Sometimes Monday | 2.6.23

Sometimes Monday | 2.6.23

is overflowing with good things from the weekend.

Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast returned last week, but I did not listen to the episode until Saturday. I am hitting replay this morning… it was just that good! I have also gotten on the waitlist for Dacher Keltner’s new book as well.

Sherman had a rocky Friday, but by Saturday he had turned the corner. He is loving being spoiled and is really loving canned dog food. I fear we are creating a monster, but he is one happy boy this morning.

I spent some time at my Sparrow on Saturday and Sunday and spun up some batts from Hipstrings. I have the “warm batts” almost done and plans to spin the “cool batts” next. I had missed spinning as meditation, but also found it was a great way to spend the day with a snoozing pug!

And I am carrying all those good things forward to begin my Monday. See you all back here on Wednesday!


Hello February | 2.3.23

Hello February | 2.3.23

And Hello Friday! It’s been a week, hasn’t it? How about an update on all.things.medical first…

On Monday, the Nurse Practitioner called with my blood test results…sigh. My cholesterol was not at good levels and had jumped extraordinarily since my last blood work. So I am now taking Lipitor™ (or the generic – Atorvastatin) and am working on some adjustments to my diet. I get bloodwork done again in 6 weeks and see how things are going. It was advantageous that the NP called, because when we talked about the “exercise” portion of my day, I told her about my hip pain. She immediately looked at her schedule and I am seeing her on Monday regarding that. She was lovely and I am very much looking forward to seeing her!

And then there is the tale of poor Sherman who had to have a bit massive amount of dental work done yesterday. Today, he is eleven teeth lighter and quite a bit more grumpy than his usual self. We had planned on him needing to have a couple of teeth removed… but eleven… yeah. Poor baby. My goal today is to spoil him even more than usual!

One groggy, grumpy pug who is significantly more swollen this morning, poor guy! 

But, beyond all of that…I really need to set a goal or two this month and focus on them… or February will be over and I will have accomplished nothing!

The Big Thing I really need to accomplish is a rework of my “Office.” I need to rearrange things because painting has become more important than it was when I first set myself up to paint. I like to stand up to paint, and in my current set up… that is not possible. So a big room rearrangement is needed. This will include “rehoming” some things and doing more sorting of other things. Yeah. All the fun… not! Haha!

The only other thing I have to focus on this month is to pull out some cook books and see if I can find some new recipes to entice The Meat and Potato Eater with some meals that have a more vegetal focus… i.e. sans meat and potatoes! As for me, I could easily give up meat and potatoes, if it means that I can keep cheese and the occasional bit of bread! But sadly, I cook for 2 in this house. Sigh.

Seems like so little to want to accomplish in a month… but if I can get these things done, I will feel like I have accomplished much!

And with that, I will bid you all a most amazing weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

Photo credit: Mikhail Nilov


Unraveled Wednesday | 2.1.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.1.23

Greetings Unravelers and Welcome February!

January was such a good month for me! I knit one gnome… and have a healthy start on another. I have his arms to finish… and you will note that Vera is my Gnome Whisperer! Dear Gnorton has a beard and braids! Now I need to collect some materials from my backyard and see if I can’t do a bit of weaving…basket weaving, that is! Ha! What better for a delightfully soft Gnorton to be contrasted with twigs! Anyways, I have a small basket in my minds eye, now if I can just get it from there to Gnorton’s arms, I will be all set! Haha!

There was also some yardage calculation of all the “sweater skeins” once they were dry and I am happy to report that they topped 1400 yds of yarn! More than enough for a sweater and so I began my swatching… and I felt a bit like Goldi-Knits as I did it. The first swatch (with US5 needles) was too stiff! The second swatch (with the orange locking marker, knit on US6’s) appeared to be just right but what would a bit of a bath do to it? One more swatch was needed so I ripped out the first swatch and knit that yarn into a new swatch bu I feared that just might be a bit too loose on US7’s.

But things often change in the wash… not dramatically, but each swatch changed a bit once they were dry. Either swatch could work, IMO…but which one would work best?

  • US6: Pre and Post washing – 20sts/28 rows = 4″ no gauge difference, but the fabric feels denser post wash, as the stitches have snuggled tightly up together (which I think you can see because the stitches don’t lay flat)
  • US7: Pre and Post washing – 18sts/26 rows = 4″ again, no gauge difference… but the “gaps” between the stitches are no longer visible… with no change to the drape, feel, or wear of the fabric!

Now for the important part… are there any patterns that match my gauge? I am happy to report that I did have several choices for each swatch! In the end I chose the US7 swatch gauge for a top down sweater with some new techniques by a new-to-me designer. She actually had a couple of patterns in the running… but in the end I selected one (Ravelry link) that has a bit of a hybrid sleeve (a saddle/raglan cross!) My gauge matches in stitches (but I am over a bit on row gauge, but Ms. McLochlainn has some great tips in the pattern for mismatching gauges.)

Even better… you knit the neckband/collar last! So I can try on and see what works best for me! I have started and am loving the attention to details. (Also, a huge thank you to Sarah for her help on a “firm cast on” cry I put out on Twitter on Monday! Cable Cast On is a winner!)

But in case all that excitement was NOT ENOUGH! I cast on one more project for good measure! Hahaha! Yes, I finished my Base12 Spin and immediately cast on for another Hitchhiker! (I am sorry you can’t see the color changes … but there are some very dramatic ones coming.) I spun the yarn in order (no mixing things up this year) and I spun them incredibly fine… it is a very light fingering weight/heavy lace weight yarn. And in my attempt to use up stash, I am knitting it with a strand of KSH… in a deep navy. I am also doing yarn overs on my “tooth rows” to make it a bit different. There is more than enough handspun for this Hitchhiker (there will likely be leftovers of it) so I am knitting it until I am happy with the size. This is my Truly Mindless Knit (yes, even with the YO bits!) and it is perfect for nighttime television watching with Steve!

(and yes, I am still plodding along with my Pressed Flowers Wrap… never fear!)

It has been a good week for reading as well. I am still listening to A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I have about an hour to go and will likely finish it this morning. Waiting in the wings is The Colony. This will be my second attempt with it, so I have my fingers crossed!

At night I am trying to get into The Sea, the Sea. But I am not loving it… and was easily distracted from it to read Women Talking (which I had very mixed feelings about… no review written yet.)

Whew! That’s quite the update for you all! LOL What about you? What is exciting you this week?

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

Getting to know you… Authenticity | January 2023

Getting to know you… Authenticity | January 2023

Here I am almost at the end of January and my word demands that I share with you that it has been a bit of a rocky start…

Confession time; more than once this month I have asked myself why I picked this word! However, one thing I am not is a quitter…and so I forged ahead.

And in January… I always start at the beginning!

Authenticity — noun
The quality of being real or true.

But what does that really mean? Because as I was so handily reminded in Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, We Wear The Mask… we all wear a mask on our public face.

I vividly remember several rousing discussions in my confirmation classes around the topic of “white lies.” Yes, even at the tender age of 12 we got that sometimes saying the truth that hurts is not a very nice thing to do in polite conversation. Those “how are you?” inquiries and the “absolutely fine!” responses are not what this year is about.

No, this year is a deeper search into why I withhold authenticity from myself. I should not have to ‘wear the mask’ with myself… right? And yet I do… all.the.time. by ignoring, avoiding, disregarding, neglecting… I think you get that the list could go on and on.

Because my Avoidance Game is strong, this year I am approaching authenticity a bit differently with myself.

This word is different for me and as such will require a new approach! To start I have begun a word cloud that I hope will be a work in progress this year. I started with some things I want to remind myself of this year… including one poem that will be helpful in my journey this year.

I also picked up a book I had planned on reading in January… but I have yet to crack it open! So it is on the top of my list for February.

And there you have my Authentic January start!

Again, I would like to thank Carolyn for providing the perfect Monthly Landing Spot to keep myself accountable. It is most appreciated!

See you all back here on Wednesday with some Unraveling!

The Doldrums of “Winter” Riffing | 1.27.23

The Doldrums of “Winter” Riffing | 1.27.23

The “January Thaw” has been more like the “January Revolving Door” in my neighborhood… wintery-mix-rain-repeat. Proof of this weird weather is evident with this: I have Snowdrops that with 5 minutes of sunshine will likely bloom today (I will be watching to get a photo!) and the chives are coming up in my garden. Apparently they are the Harbingers of No Winter Here!

But it’s been a week… at least for me, and of course… I have thoughts!

Remembering —

David Crosby, still. Yes, there was a tear or ten shed. I really liked him… and had newfound love for him because of his tweets. My all time favorite album, Wind on the Water, contains my all time favorite song: Carry Me. It is hope that he is now reunited with his mother and they are singing together. If you want to spend a little time reminiscing with his music… you will find 10 excellent songs here.

Irritate, Inflame, Irk  —

As in what every doctor should try not to do with any patient…ever! Yes, it has been a few days since I visited “the new doctor” and I am happy to say that I have moved past the tears, depression, and anger rage phases. (Although, it took a minute, some incredibly supportive texts from a dear friend, and a new gnome to move past it all…) I begin today with a game plan… which may or may not include said physician. But I wanted to take a minute to talk about being your own best health care advocate because let’s face it… I think there are WAY more physicians like the one I saw on Monday and very few like my much loved and often longed for physician from Holland! I am saying this as a reminder to myself because I am a great advocate for others, but somehow don’t feel that I am worthy of the same treatment. The best advice I got in my Days of Moping was this… remember the doctor works for you! I have been approaching “finding a physician” similarly to how I felt about Dr. DePree in Holland… there was a camaraderie between us. We had children the same age, who went to school together, we served on committees together, we occasionally bumped into each other socially. In short, I have been wanting to find a physician that I liked… and who liked me as well. Silly me… this person works for me, he or she does not have to like me. But they do have to treat me with respect, they have to listen (more than they talk), and yes… I can demand that they not look at me and pull out their canned speech for “aging, fat, women” of diet, drink more water, and exercise. I should have stopped him in the midst of this diatribe, but I was hurt and stunned that this was even happening. He never asked me what I like to be called, he never used my name… once. But… as I said at the beginning of this… I have a game plan to move forward. I had about eleventy billion vials of blood drawn this morning and when those results are back, I am going to make another appointment with the Nurse Practitioner and I will talk with her about my hip pain issues (and perhaps even my blood test results, lol) and if that turns out to be as epic a fail as the physicians appointment… then I will be back at square one, finding a new physician. But maybe, just maybe… I will find that the NP will be as lovely as Dr. DePree is and find that this office will work just fine (and never, ever see that damned doctor again! LOL)

Finding —

My way with my new word. It has had some hiccups… because, of course it has, right? But in the midst of wondering why on earth I picked this word… I have had at least one thing happen each day that reinforces this word. The best one this week was a poem read by the new host of The Slowdown. (You can listen to Major Jackson share his thoughts and read the poem here) I wrote these lines from Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem The Mask in my journal:

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

Finally Finished —

Yesterday I had a BIG FINISH! I spun all the yarn the “Great Sweater Spin” and yesterday I gave it a nice spa treatment, a good bit of thwacking, and then hung up all my skeins to dry. And the yarn turned out beautifully! So beautifully!

One big ‘ole pile of yarn!

This afternoon my plan is to wind up one of the “smaller skeins” and start swatching to find a fabric I like. Once I have done that, I will pick a pattern… which absolutely is the best way to knit a sweater. Find a yarn you like, knit with said yarn to find the fabric you like, measure the gauge of that swatch and then find a pattern that matches your gauge!

And with that, I say… Let The Weekend Begin! See you all back here on Monday with my Bumpy Start with my Word update! Happy Weekend all!




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