Sometimes Monday | 6.20.21

Sometimes Monday | 6.20.21

I pondered doing a “what I did on my blog-cation” last week… and I will share, soon.

One thing I did not do until late last week was open my laptop. Nope, I did not look at it once and it felt so good. I realized that in not looking at my laptop also increased not looking at my phone…another win, imo. I needed a dose of digital detox… ahh!

But here we are on a holiday (if you click this link, Google will remind you of the holiday, lol) … or at least the day of no mail delivery and on the cusp of summer solstice…as someone pointed out to me last week that I jumped the gun a bit in my thoughts that summer was starting last week but who was not ready to usher in summer early? Surely not just me, right? lol

I did spend some time pondering Juneteenth over the weekend. I read some poetry… and I rewatched this several times…a good reminder of how fragile freedom is. I also listened to this and I was reminded how much I appreciate Tracy K. Smith and so I tumbled down this lovely rabbit hole. I tried to stay in Digital Detox Land over the weekend but was not as successful as I was earlier in the week… sigh.

One thing I did discover was that a break from “normal” was a very good thing and I hope to bring some of those things with me into this new “back to normal” week…at least, that is my hope! And so I wish you all a very happy Monday!

I will see you all back here on Wednesday!

 

Sometimes Monday | 6.13.22

Sometimes Monday | 6.13.22

Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds. — Regina Brett

Summer solstice officially arrives tomorrow and though it felt like we did not have any kind of spring, I am hoping that these next few months slow down so I can savor these long days.

One thing I am going to be entirely lazy on this week are blog posts and though I won’t be sitting on any branches… I will do a good bit of porch sitting where I can watch the summer sky!

Yep, I am taking a bit of a break here… I will be back soon!

 

Museum of Me – The Outdoor Games Edition | June 2022

Museum of Me – The Outdoor Games Edition | June 2022

Greetings dear museum visitors! For those of you expecting a visit to The Great Locker Room of Outside Games Memories… I am sorry, but there just is not that much sports participation in wee Kat’s life. In fact, there almost is not enough even share. But… if you follow along closely, you will find some bits and pieces of games-related things, and finally, a bit of a surprise (a surprise for Kat, most certainly!)

Let’s start at the very beginning…

Here we have a 4-year old Kat standing next to the snowman her mother had made. I don’t remember this day very well, but I do remember that I did not make the snowman. No games to be found here… but I did like to play in the snow!

Let’s head to the school games exhibit, shall we?

I’ve never liked the word team. I’ve always equated it with being picked last and getting nailed in the groin with a dodgeball. — Jordan Castillo Price

This quote aptly sums up my experience with outdoor games (i.e. dodgeball) as an adolescent… (although you could sub in head for groin in my case!) Yes, I was the kid who was always… and I mean always… picked last for any school sports event.  I don’t recall there being t-ball when I was in grade school. I remember some baseball games on the playground, but again… I was picked last and spent my time sitting in the outfield.

1st grade innocence… pre-dodge ball and by the time I got to middle school I knew exactly how to avoid the “picking for teams” issue.

I was the most singularly uncoordinated child on the planet. Eye hand coordination with a moving object… slim to none. (Think baseball or tennis… oof, so bad at it. Think basketball… that whole dribbling and running at the same time thing… yeah. Could.Not.Do.It.)

I was forced to take swimming lessons the summer I had my tonsils out… I still have nightmares about that experience. And while I can swim… it is on the “barely” scale. I don’t fear the water but I do have a healthy respect for it.

Although – this was not an outdoor activity – I did love calisthenics with Miss Kriger in Middle School… especially, leg lifts with your hands under your bum to Seals and Crofts Summer Breeze. And every time I hear that song, I think of that very thing…think of it, yes but I most certainly am not doing them! LOL Come to think about it, the best part of calisthenics was the music… oh and Miss Kriger, of course!

Thank goodness for Miss Kriger, she saw right through all that last picking nonsense… she picked the teams. (also I have no clue who the bouffant babe is…lol)

So, you might be wondering when I might be getting to the actual outdoor games content of this post…. wait no further, here it is!

High school brought new opportunities for me (plus, I was spending a lot more time at my grandparents house, a much calmer environment… and one I could invite friends to visit!)  A friend, Mary Jane Wehrmeyer, was an amazing golfer  – a shining star as a freshman on the golf team. She talked about golf non-stop and by my sophomore year she  had convinced me that being on the golf team with her was exactly what my life needed.

But, I had never played, did not have clubs, and had that eye hand coordination thing working against me. However, the coach, Mr. Maatman assured me he could help me learn golf, he would figure out clubs for me, and he ignored the whole eye hand conversation and so I eased my way into the golf team. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my eye hand coordination was much better with a stationary golf ball. I could hit it! At least some of the time! The lack of golf clubs was not an issue because for practice and when we played at “home” (The West Ottawa Golf Course now called Three Fires Golf Club… what the heck? lol) I could use a set of clubs from the course. If we were “away” Mr. Maatman brought clubs for me to use. And suddenly, I discovered that being on a team could be a very personal sport. (And no one was throwing dodgeballs at me! Hahaha)

I began to look forward to practice every day after school. Walking the course, learning how to play, being outdoors with friends… but quiet. It was really a lovely escape. At the spring school sports banquet the following year, I even got a participation award. Looking back at this, the key to my golf enjoyment lay entirely with the coach who believed that showing up and trying every single time was worth noting. I did so love Mr. Maatman….please take the time to read his obituary… I will wait for you all  before continuing on.

Lovely, wasn’t he? He really was an amazing human.

But back to the exhibit… Golf was something that stayed with me beyond high school… although I did not play regularly like like I did in high school. I did work as a server for several summers at Clearbrook Golf Club in Saugatuck where one of the perks was being able to play the occasional round of golf!.

Sadly, golf and I parted ways permanently the year I tore my rotator cuff… but the lessons of golf are still with me. Relax..shoulders down, take a deep breath, and always…always… replace your divots! Good life lessons for anyone!

Thank you all for visiting today and I would especially like to thank Kym for inspiring all of us museum curators… I hope you enjoyed this little journey to Kat’s Very Brief (and incredibly unspectacular) Life with Outdoor Games!

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.8.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.8.22

Not much making progress this week… a messenger bag strap, a beard, and an arm completed.

I also spent some brain bandwidth on a sock. I could find no clear directions on how to determine how long to continue knitting the foot of a sock with a “planned” afterthought heel. So I picked out those stitches (which was a giant pain in the arse… seriously a giant pain, ugh) and then tried the sock on. I have about an inch and a half to go before toe decreases. (Socks on Zero’s take me a long time… sigh.) But on the bright side, once I have that bit done I will do the heel on this sock. I am doing a combination of some short rows at each side and then some toe-ish decreases. I am thinking every third round, but that plan might change as the heel progresses…and I will take the Most Excellent of Notes so I can match the second sock exactly, lol.

Raspberry Honey, from la Bien Aimée

But!!! Perhaps the best? (Most fun?) thing I did recently was the purchase of these lovely skeins to celebrate Wool and Honey’s Anniversary…their 22nd anniversary of being in business! Melissa and Liz are two of my favorite people! I love their shop in Cedar Michigan…it is just perfection! I love their IG posts deeply, I mean… poetry and knitting are simply the best companions and they show how to pair them perfectly! Anyways, I purchased two skeins of La Bien Aimée’s Super Sock in the special Raspberry Honey color way. When I saw it, I knew it was destined to become the most extraordinary Parisian Hitchhiker! I think they still have some Super Sock available, just sayin…

The reading this week was soooooo good though! Two lovely finishes…

The Cellist (Gabriel Allon, #21)The Cellist by Daniel Silva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This latest book in the Allon series strikes very hard at some very current real life issues… outside influences on politics. The suggestions to solve this problem that Silva makes via Allon’s Office Team are something to ponder and while many, many, many Allon fans absolutely did not like this book at all… I did. I found it to be very relevant and thought provoking.

Aside from that, we see Gabriel making his exit from The Office and beginning a new chapter in his life… perhaps? I found the time gaps a bit off-putting, but I understand that editing sometimes makes for a somewhat jagged story. I think that while Allon was an excellent leader… trained very well by his mentor Ari Sharon, he really loved the field work best. And what he loves even better than that is turning on an opera and settling in to begin to repair a masterpiece in need of some TLC. So… is retirement in Gabriel’s future? Will he be happy wandering the streets of Venice with Chiara and the children? Inquiring minds want to know…

I am eagerly awaiting the next novel in this series.

The Man Who Died Twice (Thursday Murder Club, #2)The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second book in the Thursday Murder Club series has so very much to love about it! And love it, I did!

The dialog is just so witty… so engaging… so real! I felt like I was eaves dropping on actual conversations! And I loved feeling like I was working right along with everyone as they unraveled this mystery! No spoiler’s here… but I will tell you that you should absolutely read this book!

I listened, and the narration was absolutely excellent!


What about you? What was good for you this week?

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


Sometimes Monday | 6.6.22

Sometimes Monday | 6.6.22

Allergies to dust and grain, maladies, remedies and still these allergies remain. — Paul Simon

Spring is … wonderful … well, except for that little allergy thing that happens every year. I have some generally mild allergies to tree pollen and usually I can count on 5-7 days of itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, and – of course – a runny nose. This morning brings Day Fifteen of the most horrible spring allergies I can remember in … well … a long-ass time! So I did a quick Google search yesterday to see if my Off-The-Charts allergies were a one-off, or not… (really, I should have included a box of Kleenex™ in the above photo because we spent so much time together! lol)

Turns out, it’s a Big OR NOT… sigh.

So this weekend was all about not thinking about my allergy symptoms (and not rubbing my eyes, gah!)

My Mind Over Matter things… knitting, that water color class, and some Word contemplation (this month Ali Edwards is having us look back and look forward a bit, which is such an interesting way to consider my word at the “mid-year” point!)

First up… Knitting. In my Year of Never Not Gnoming, I began my June Gnome (a repeat of Gnombleberry that I had previously knit for Steve’s mom.) I have Gnombleberry’s body done… as well as the start of his “backpack”… which I am going to change up a bit and make it a cross-body messenger-style bag I think. Stay tuned.

Next… that watercolor class. I have watched the “make thumbnail sketches” video twice. The first time, I just watched what Rick Surowicz did. Wow, is he fast! LOL Anyways, the second time watching I picked up my pencil and managed to get two thumbnail sketches done in the time he did four. The first is perhaps too detailed for the watercolor process and the second might be a bit closer to how Rick did his four. The best thing about a video class… I can play the video’s over and over and over if I need to. I am working on letting go of my desire for perfection… but gosh, the struggle is real. Haha. Today I am going to watch the value study video … likely several times.

And that word work… I have made some notes from each month that fell into the “out of sight, out of mind” hole. A mid-year reflection is exactly what I needed to gather up some pieces I do not want to lose!

Finally, another list… and boy, I really wish that this would be the last ever list like this that anyone has to make:

  1. Philadelphia, PA
  2. Omaha, NE
  3. Chattanooga, TN
  4. Summerton, SC
  5. Phoenix, AZ
  6. Mesa, AZ
  7. Socorro, TX
  8. Chesterfield, VA
  9. Macon, GA
  10. Saginaw, MI

That’s right… 10 cities, 10 mass shootings, 15 dead, 60 injured…during the weekend.

Enough. Really. My gosh.

 

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