Unraveled Wednesday | 4.13.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.13.22

This week a knitting milestone… I have reached Cruising Altitude on my Tegna. Yep. I am cruising along with miles of stockinette… which makes it the perfect pick up and put down knit! So I have gotten lots of minutes of knitting in!

Washing machine going…pick up and knit. Dishwasher loaded… pick up and knit. Catch up on Call the Midwives… of course pick up and knit!

The pattern calls for 16 inches to the arm divide. If I have the yarn, and I think I will, I am going to do a bit more than that…maybe 18 inches and then I will do a “mock try on” although trying on a bottom up sweater is lots of guess work… my plan is to measure it against my previous Tegna because I would like it to be a bit longer than that one. Anyways, I very much like the fabric and think it will be the perfect summer sweater!

It’s April, so of course there is a “new” Gnome. I have just the bits and bobs to finish her up. AND!!! It appears that I will be knitting a mystery Gnome for May!

One might think it was a slim reading week…but nothing could be further from the truth. Reality is that nothing else quite feels right after reading such a magnificent book…and if you have not read Cutting for Stone, fix that promptly. And yes, it is that good!

Cutting for StoneCutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book. Just wow!

This book had never been on my radar until a friend mentioned that she was rereading it. It was available from my library and so began my journey with Marion and Shiva Stone.

It is epic… truly a magnificent epic story. I laughed, I gasped out loud, I cried and cried some more.

But what I most did not want was for it to end…so I rationed my “listening time” with Marion to savor the story, the writing, the beautiful places, and especially the incredible characters.

I am happy to confess that this book has given me a bit of a “Book Hangover” and nothing else is quite satisfying me right now. I just want to stay with Marion Stone a little bit longer.

I highly recommend this beautiful story!


That is all I have for today! I will be back tomorrow with a bit of poetry to share with you all.

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!


Sometimes Monday | 4.11.22

Sometimes Monday | 4.11.22

Is for lists of things… good and not so great. I would ask you if you want the good or the not so great first, but since you are not here… I will get the not so great out of the way. If your Monday is Monday enough without any more not so great, please skip ahead to Thing Three!

Thing One… today is my sister’s 58th birthday and it has been 3 months since I have heard a word from her. I am holding on to the thought that no one has contacted me with bad news…  Still, it was so easy to get used to talking again…however brief… and even though it was simply because she had hit the bottoms bottom… I miss talking to her… even it if it just to listen to her version of truth.

Thing Two… (as if Thing One was not depressing enough) 100 days into 2022 and Pittsburgh has had 4-whole-days-of-sunshine. 4-freaking-days. I am more than ready for some prolonged moments (days? weeks?) of sunshine. Also… I am going to remind myself of this in August when it is 90-gazillion degrees and we need rain.

The remainder of my list is for your ears… things to listen to while you work on your Monday list.

Thing Three… This morning Season Five of Poetry Unbound began! Ahhhh…and this morning’s episode was exactly what I needed (“I put myself back into the trance…weather, gossip, news”)… because of course poetry helps all things…and even more Pádraig’s commentary… it helped me make sense of my void.

Thing Four…Thankfully, Jon Meacham has returned with another podcast offering. I have listened to several installments… they are short… and so lovely. If you like history, then I think you will enjoy Reflections of History.

Thing Five… Ocean Vuong. His latest book of poetry, Time is a Mother, was released on the 5th. You can listen to a beautiful interview here from NPR’s Book of the Day podcast. I found myself nodding with so much of what Ocean shared with Rachel Martin.

I hope your Monday is gentle… see you all back here on Wednesday.

Museum of Me | April 2022

Museum of Me | April 2022

In a perfect world, I would read all instructions clearly. Sigh.

That’s right. Last month I shared a job I used to have… which is this month’s prompt.

So…

This month, I am sharing something I collect…which was last month’s prompt!

Anyways, I have a deep love for antiques and I am so fortunate to have so many amazing pieces, with an emphasis on painted American furniture. Big, bold, fill-up-the-room pieces. And I enjoy them (and use them) every day! I have some antique textiles and even some fun antique barware. I like thinking about the history of the piece and especially about the maker who made them. I like them for their beauty, but they were made for their functionality… a necessity for their daily life.

But what about the pieces that I don’t use… the extra special treasures I am so fortunate to have. Well those are the pieces that I truly love… and the ones that hold some beautiful bits of my family history.

First up is an incredible quilt (sorry there is no “full photo”… the weather has absolutely hampered my getting a good picture of it in the yard… it is not super large, but it covers a full sized bed, with no overhang) This quilt was made for my maternal grandparents…it was a wedding present to them in 1932 – for their bed – which had to be way smaller than a full sized bed – by my grandpa’s Aunt Eleanor. It is entirely hand stitched… and it is a true treasure. Most of the fabrics were “recycled” (although they did not use the word recycled in the 30’s) from clothing that her family wore. It eventually became the “quilt on the grandkids” bed… yep, when we spent the night at Nana’s house… we slept under this quilt.

There was not a lot of room for extravagances in my grandparent’s lives. They struggled financially and I don’t know where the Hummel figures came from, but two of them were in my nana’s corner cupboard as long as I could remember. (The one on the left, I found in an antique shop some 40 years ago… the set of angels should have been 3… but I have never found the accordion playing angel to add to the collection)

However, my nana was so proud of those two angels… though we were never, ever allowed to touch them! They get the same treatment here… they are safe in Steve’s Grandma’s clock cabinet in our dining room.

My nana was absolutely a use it until it dies and then find another use for it girl. The other treasure I have is her clothes pin bag…  and yes, she made it. As I recall from the story… and this was very much alive and in in use by the time I was born in 1960… it is from an old pair of curtains that had faded. But my nana never just got rid of anything that could be repurposed into something else and so as the story goes the sun had faded some areas of her kitchen curtains… and so my nana cut out the faded bits and with the remainder made curtains for her garage (because doesn’t everyone’s garage have curtains?) and the final “scraps” became her “new” clothes pin bag. Curiously, the hanger that was originally in the bag rusted and had to be thrown away. Yep… the bag has outlived its original hanger.

The other special pieces are two things that hung prominently in my nana’s house. The Ten Commandments (dated May 4..er…5 1944… signed on the back …both times… by my Grandpa – although I am not sure why he did that twice nor do I know the why behind the two different dates… however, I love having a reminder of his beautiful handwriting) and The Morning Prayer (which used to glow in the dark… really. I remember thinking it quite spooky, back in the day!) Both of these pieces now live on the wall in my “office”… the room with my sewing machine, that cupboard with my stash. It is nice having bits and pieces of things that my were part of my grandparents lives  still visible and with me today.

And there you have my very tiny, but oh so precious collection of Very Special Things.

See you all back here on Monday! Have a great weekend!

 

 

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.7.22

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.7.22

This week’s theme is hope. Whew. What a week for hope, huh?

He that lives upon hope will die fasting. — Benjamin Franklin

I have always thought that hope was a singular thing… something you had inside you… or had to find inside you. Or if you could not find it inside you… then “Look UP and find hope” seemed to me to be the usual answer.

But what if it’s not?

The poem I am sharing today speaks differently of hope. And this is the kind of hope that I am looking for… the hope that has been left for me to find along my journey.

Hope

by Rosemary Wahtola Trommer

Hope has holes
in its pockets.
It leaves little
crumb trails
so that we,
when anxious,
can follow it.
Hope’s secret:
it doesn’t know
the destination—
it knows only
that all roads
begin with one
foot in front
of the other.

Hope by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer from How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope. Published by Story Publishing.

Please visit Kym, Bonny, and Sarah today to see what hope they have to share.

Happy Thursday, Everyone!

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.6.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.6.22

I did not plan on being ‘absent’ on Monday… but the news out of Ukraine put a damper on my planned post for the day. For me, it seemed that sharing something in light of the news out of Bucha just seemed… wrong. And while it does not seem any better to share such trivial things as making and reading today… here I am.

The making this week has sort of been over-taken by the news and my “escape reality reading.” I am only listening to one book… and so I managed… at least… to get through the lace work on my Summer Tegna. Evening socks have been slow going, but I think I have a plan in my mind’s eye that I think will be interesting. Onward to the heel turn we go!

Some weeks are for reading finishes and some weeks are for reading-in-progress and this week is all about that! I only have one  finish… though it was lovely. However, in the ‘reading in progress‘ list… there are so many amazing books. Books so good I want to prolong the reading of them…. and luckily there are some very lengthy books! So there is lots of time to enjoy them. Imagine my surprise when I was contemplating having to return The Books of Jacob on Friday…and I am only half way through… only to find somehow, miraculously, was automatically renewed for another 21 days. The Library Gods are so good! I am dividing my day into three time frames… mornings with Cutting for Stone, afternoons with The Books of Jacob, and night-time reading of a lighter variety… I started Chouette… a very curious tale indeed!

But my finish for the week was a lovely eye-opener… and one I recommend if you are like nature, or want to be a better ally. This one checks both boxes… in the most beautiful way.

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with NatureThe Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Never before did I ever think about racism being a deterrent to appreciating nature. Thank you, Drew Lanham for showing me the foolish errors of my ways. And as I read this book… and eased into Lanham’s love of nature… I realized that what is an activity that is not harmful to me… is not that for everyone.

There are preconceived notions – of where I should go, of what I should do, and even of who I should do it with – of who I am supposed to be as a black man. But my choice of career and my passion for wildness means that I will forever be the odd bird, the raven in a horde of white doves, the blackbird in a flock of snow buntings.

And yet… Lanham shares some of the most beautiful things I have ever read about nature… and especially about birds.

If you want to see things from a new perspective, this book is an excellent place to start.


And that is all I have for today. What about you… what is helping you be distracted this week?

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!


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