Falling Into Friday | 11.5.21

Falling Into Friday | 11.5.21

In November, the smell of food is different. It is an orange smell. A squash and pumpkin smell. It tastes like cinnamon and can fill up a house in the morning, can pull everyone from bed in a fog. Food is better in November than any other time of the year. — Cynthia Rylant

It felt like summer lingered for much of October and it was truly glorious, but November arrived with hints of winter. Colder temperatures, a crisp smell in the air, winds that now have a wind chill factor as part of their equation, and clear, quiet skies at night.

These things have encouraged a desire for seasonal cooking. I have a grocery list full of autumn-y things that includes the ingredients for the Cranberry Pie that Bonny shared this week. In addition, there was extra joy in making cinnamon syrup for my morning coffee… gosh, that cinnamon-y smell is just the best but it is even better on a chilly November morning!

I was even happy to see heavy frosts several mornings in a row! I am very ready to settle in to the beginning of the “indoor” seasons!

Porch-view this morning.

We have a large maple tree in our front yard that on Wednesday still had most of it’s leaves. This morning the branches are almost bare and my yard is covered in a carpet of gold. And while I am not thrilled about raking… gosh it is just so gorgeous right now! That yard full of leaves stirs up the joyous memories of childhood walking through the crunchy leaves. I even remember *liking* raking… making huge piles of leaves and laying in them…throwing them at my cousins… and laughing the entire time!

Steve and I have debated (each of us firmly on a very different side of the debate) attending the return of the Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer. Steve is very…leery about attending because COVID numbers are just not going down in Allegheny County and have increased over the past week. However, I feel confident that it will be okay to attend because of these two simple requirements: EVERYONE must wear mask. No mask, No Entry. And EVERYONE must be FULLY vaxxed. No Vaxx, No Entry. (These should be the rules for everywhere…but that is a debate for another day!) Steve is worried that because it is the first event following last year’s COVID Hiatus that it will be packed full of people… perhaps too many people, making social distancing challenging and he really hates crowds. But, as of right now… we are planning on going which means that I am currently winning the debate…for this moment in time, lol.

And with that… let’s get this weekend started! Happy Friday everyone! I will see you all back here on Monday!

 

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.3.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.3.21

Greetings Unravelers!!

First, I’d like to thank you all for weighing in on cardboard recycling! It is a challenge to be an avid recycler living with a rather lackadaisical recycler… and while I am all for compromise on many things – this is not one of them. Now to get that certain someone on the bandwagon with me! LOL

I have made great progress on super secret sewing project that is consuming my making minutes! I think next week I will be able to share a tiny glimpse of the fiddly bits I have been working on. I will have the “ornaments” all finished this week. Then on to the calendar portion of the making… I have some ideas of I’d like to do, but having never done any “free motion quilting” I am more than a bit nervous. Perhaps the smart thing to do is to just mark a “grid pattern” on the diagonal and put the walking foot on my machine and just sew straight lines. In all honestly, I doubt my grandkids will even notice the difference… but a part of me wants this to be the best it could possibly be… and I think this would lend it self perfectly to some free motion quilting!

So… for the quilter’s out there… is there a YouTube video on free motion quilting you’d recommend?

I have been doing the tiniest bit of knitting at night… enough to realize I am not going to have enough yarn for the Socks for Big Foot. But, I found something in my stash (this might be the best reason of all to have a stash, imo) that I will use on the “straight away” knitting to the toes. It is also handspun yarn and while it is not a three-ply (nor is it plied perfectly) I think it will work because it is the same thickness as the yarn I am using. I have 4 more rounds of gusset decreases at which time I will begin knitting the the “new” yarn. I am telling myself it will be alright… they are just “house socks” after all…

But!!! I am happy to report that the Knitting Mojo has returned… have you seen the latest Making? (The knitting patterns are amazing but there is so.much.more in the latest issue!) I really want to just stop everything and cast on all the things! (but especially the Jasper Cardigan!)

Reading this week has found me with a bit of a “reading hangover” from Finding the Mother Tree. I am listening to The Rose Code but I am really struggling to get into the story so I am not sure it will be a book I finish. (BUT!! I just started reading Oh, William! and I really want to slow down and savor Strout’s incredible writing! I will try… but gosh she is hard to put down!)

Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the ForestFinding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you think this book is just about trees, you would be wrong. It is so much more than that. It is part memoir, part discovery, part aggravation at trying to be successful in a male dominated industry, part history, part recovery… or quite simply, the best book I have read all year. Perhaps the best book I have ever read!

Simard opens the door for you to step into your world and look around you and realize that those things around you are doing the exact things she talks about in her book. She ignites a spark or fans the embers of readers wanting to know more about the world around them through the simple and complex lives of trees.

I have not stopped thinking about all that Simard shares. I need a physical copy of this book to turn back to again and again… although listening to Suzanne read me her story was so powerful! I highly recommend!

The Heist (Gabriel Allon #14)The Heist by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Silva finally gives us a taste of what The Office will be under Allon’s leadership. And yet, as Allon has been all along – a quiet, very unassuming man – he is bring a dynamic new twist to the leadership. One that is not surprising and really shows the depth of Allon’s good qualities (that make him such an incredible character!)

This book starts with one thing that is, of course, curiously connected to something much larger.

Each book gets better and better! I highly recommend this series!


That is all I have for this week… what about you? What is making you excited this week?

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


Monday Questions | 11.1.21

Monday Questions | 11.1.21

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

My October ended exactly as J.K. Rowling describes…windy and so rainy! And the start of November seems to be on track for her words as well (the cold is here!!) Yes, the heat is on in my house…and I welcomed turning it on!

AND!!

Welcome to my new Monday format…Monday Question’s! Some weeks, I will be asking you a question or two as I seek your opinion/advice… other week’s I will highlight a question you have asked me in comments!

This week, I have a question for you! This question is a hot button issue in my house these days… it almost always instantly takes the conversation from 0 to 60 in a nanosecond. So… help!

My question this week involves recycling… or rather the recycling of a specific item… the varied assortment of cardboard boxes that arrive in this house over a two week period. Now, our “Recycling Body” (i.e. Scott Township) takes “flattened cardboard and paper” … which means to me, flatten all boxes and place them in the bin. Someone in this house thinks you can just put whole boxes in (as do my neighbors…whole cardboard boxes overflow their bin and if there is a breeze they go all over the place) The heated discussions revolve around the fact that Waste Management takes *all* the recycling from the street… flattened boxes and unflattened boxes, but I believe that things that are not in “compliance” are thrown away – defeating the purpose of recycling, imo. (And, personally this feels like a ploy to NOT break down boxes and leave them for me, just sayin’)

So…break down boxes? Or don’t?

A very small post script… I am happy to report that my pinky toe is NOT broken but I have arrived at the How Many Colors Can Your Bruise Turn Stage… but I will take multicolored bruising versus a broken toe!

Happy Monday everyone!

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Friday Thoughts | 10.29.21

Friday Thoughts | 10.29.21

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

If you ignore all the news in the world, October was simply a glorious month. Perfect autumnal weather… darker morning and evenings, some rain, some sun to warm the days, crisp nights, and my favorite season has arrived: Sweater Weather and an Extra Blanket On The Bed!!

Gone from the days is the birdsong choir which has been replaced by the solitary calls of the Carolina wren and the Cardinal. I like the difference that a quieter morning and evening bring to my day. It is as if nature is encouraging a deeper meditation at the start and finish of each day – a welcome change from the busyness of the long summer days.

This week, I grieved when I finished reading Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard. It was the perfect book to read this month though despite it being a book (conversation?) that I never want to end! It is a book that I will be thinking about for a long time to come which has led me to think about one of my maternal grandfather’s favorite poems… Trees. It was a poem I memorized early in my life… and reciting it together with my grandpa was so much fun. MS may have kept him from the forest, but it did not prevent him from sharing his joy of the natural world. Reading Simard’s book brought thoughts of my grandpa to the surface because there was just so much to think about and wonder over in her writing. I know he would have been as in awe and amazed as I was.

I also was happy to welcome “cooler weather foods” this week..things like baked pork chops, beef stew, and spaghetti! I love  how “slow cooking” makes the house smell so wonderful! And it is nice to be able to get something started, put it in the oven, and then walk away to do something else while it cooks! All that “slow cooking” has Big Foot Sock One through the heel and racing down the foot! This is proof to me that if you have several 20 minute knitting sessions during the day, you can get quite a bit of knitting in!

And with that… I am off to *try* and finish up this week’s “ornaments” for the Advent Calendar. Yesterday I had a wee accident and dropped a can of beans on my foot… and of course, it’s my “driving” foot for my sewing machine. I am going to give it a go though. (Yesterday I thought my little toe was broken… and it might be. The bruising tho… well it is even more spectacular this morning than yesterday… oy.) Moral of the story… Birkenstock sandals are not appropriate footwear to unpack boxes from Costco! And here I thought I was done learning lessons the hard way! LOL

I hope you all have an amazing weekend and I will see you back here on Monday!

 

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.27.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.27.21

Greetings Unravelers!

Though it pains me to say it, welcome to the final Wednesday in October. I am in a bit of shock that the month raced by as rapidly as it did.

This week, I have practically nothing on the knitting front to share… nary a stitch was knit on that sweater but I did start a pair of Socks for Big Foot… from handspun… and I am loving the start! (Big Foot has seen them and so I can share a photo here! lol) I am not using a pattern…I started out by casting on 72 stitches, but that was too big so I ripped it out and tried 68 stitches which was still too big… rippppp again! I settled on 64 stitches and that was just right! Who knew Big Foot and Goldilocks were related! LOL

The other thing I did was some spinning this weekend… it was rainy, dark, and cold. So I queued up Granchester on my PBS app and started the “engine” on my Daedalus Sparrow. I finished As Natural as Aspartame and while I waited for that last bobbin to rest, I started spinning this! Oh man, is it lovely fiber…Buoy in Seafoam from Hipstrings. I am stunned that I got an entire 4 ounces on one bobbin. I have not started this next braid, but I am eager to get going on it!

On Monday afternoon, my treat for finishing my “list” was to ply the pinkish-purplish yarn. It was the first time I plied anything on my Sparrow and I am in love! Once I got the hang of it, the ONLY thing I had to think about was how much twist was going into the yarn. No treadles to count, no concerns about treadle speed changing… I set the speed and plied. I need more practice on starting and stoping while plying, and evenly filling the bobbin but I am a convert to an electric spinner! I got some excellent yardage as well… 376 yards of 3-ply yarn! I see a pair of socks for me in my future!

A slow reading week…but some very good reads! And I am *almost* done with Suzanne Simard’s book, Finding the Mother Tree. I am not rushing through it… it is just so fascinating!

The Devil's Cave (Bruno, Chief of Police, #5)The Devil’s Cave by Martin Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bruno is back with the perfect mystery for October! There are some mysterious goings on in St. Denis and fortunately, Bruno is there to gather clues. He has a new pup, which makes me happy… and he is trying to figure out his personal life.

I love solving these crimes with Bruno… Walker unveils them bit by bit. And, the ambiance of St. Denis with it’s quirky inhabitants, and delicious food and wine… it is the most lovely place to settle into for a bit!

Three Sisters (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #3)Three Sisters by Heather Morris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third book in The Tattooist of Auschwitz story, and while there is a brief interlude with Lale, the book is really about three sisters – Cibi, Magda, and Livia – and their lives. It is a compelling story and while the horrors of Nazi Germany are part of the story, but really the story is about the relationships of these sisters and the promise they made to their father.

The story is beautifully told, poignant, and a compelling listen. (Excellent narration by Finty Williams, by the way!)

I loved how this story went far beyond the concentration camps to their immigration to Israel and their lives there. I highly recommend this story!

I want to thank NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.


What about you? What has captured your attention this week? A good book? A great pattern? Please share!

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


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