To Whom It May Concern | 12.10.21

To Whom It May Concern | 12.10.21

It’s been a week, hasn’t it? Is it just me and does it feel like we are racing on to mid-December, except that December just began?! Fortunately, the mailbag has a letter or two to share!

Dear December Weather:

Mild is nice… in January, but I really like wintry Decembers…kthxbai

Dear PowerPoint Insurrectionists,

I am not sure if you all missed the zillions of company trainings that included a PowerPoint presentation from back in the ’90’s… but they were entire snorefests. Really… I think the response is clinically known as “Insta-tune out” but your feeble attempt did provide some hilarious fodder for the Twitterverse this week. I mean… I think we all have experienced Death by PowerPoint at least once in our lives. I am just insanely grateful you have not discovered the more engaging PowerPoint Alternatives! Back in the day, the most engaging Prezi was my go to training device… just sayin’.


American’s Who Don’t Insurrection

And finally…

Dear Easily Entertained Self:

This week you found such joy in the simple things like turning a heel and neatly picked up gusset stitches. But the greatest joy ever might have been found in a wee little Gnome Hat complete with a pocket! I love your thoughts on adding a bit of whimsical stitching to embellish that pocket with a tiny snow flake! You go girl!


One Whimsically Happy Knitter

And with that… I will leave you all to enjoy your weekend! See you all back here on Monday!

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.8.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.8.21

This week has all been about “bite sized bits of knitting” in my house… you know, the things that are easy to pick up and put down.

I have the attention span of a gnat these days and so I am shuffling between the heel flap of a sock, the ribbing of a hat brim (sorry no picture of that hat), and (thanks to Vicki) a “Gnew Gnome”! (also… sorry about the dog hair on the yarn… that is life with a Pug who thinks that they must be next to you/under you/on top of you… in other words, zero separation… when doing all things!)

I have had a spate of Zoom meetings recently that, while enjoyable, were a very good reminder of how nice it is to have a small project (or three) to work on while Zooming.

And The Christmas Explosion was not such a huge explosion at all this year. Why, even the tree is done! Woo! I debated doing some heavy decorating in the dining room… but after thinking about it over the course of several days, I let that decorating go! (Yes, sometimes release is just what I need to do! Ha!) It is enough to have some candles on the table… more than enough.

So there you have my knitting update… now for the reading!

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and LifeA Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book! Amazing! Brilliant! And perfect for the reader who wants to learn how to read better!

I listened and I confess that once Saunders gave his “class” on the Russian story, I went back and listened to the story again. It was fascinating what I picked up the second time through with Saunders notes in my mind.

Also… who knew I would like Russian literature so much!

This book is absolutely in the top 5 of books read this year and I highly recommend!

Pax (Pax #1)Pax by Sara Pennypacker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am not quite sure how I feel about this book. I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did… The story is somewhat engaging (not quite believable, but engaging) but the ending was such a let down.

Your mileage may vary.

What about you… what’s on your making list this week? I will see you all back here on Friday!

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

Monday Poetry | 12.6.21

Monday Poetry | 12.6.21

I thought that for the month of December, it might be nice to spend Monday’s with a bit of poetry. I hope you find this a lovely way to start your week!

Winter Trees

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

(And this week is a Two-fer because Jack Ridl sent this yesterday and it is just too good to not share and included is the sound clip of him reading it)

Happy Monday All!

TGIF | 12.3.21

TGIF | 12.3.21

Oh Friday… I am so glad you are here and bringing this week to a close. I tried to write letters this week, but gave up and decided a bit of TGIF was more in order.

Thinking about

Roe vs Wade and Sonia Sotomayor… specifically these words: “Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts? I don’t see how it is possible.”

And I am thinking lots about the lies that Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett glibly told in their hearings… their “assurances” in their belief in stare decisis – precedent – was how the court would decide. I wonder how that twat from Maine is feeling about her vote to confirm them this week. Coney Barrett set my hair on fire even more than all the others with her thoughts that women are all handmaidens and we can just give birth and give the baby away… thanks to The Land of Safe Haven in all 50 States.

I am sorry, Justice Sotomayor… but the stench is already there. There are 21 states with Trigger Laws all ready to go… The court is overloaded with political hacks and until the court is expanded (which should be happening NOW) I am expecting more of the same on things that will impact all of the citizens that the “moral-less minority” does not like.

Grateful for

November was a hard month for me… emotionally and physically because when your emotions are in the wringer, your body feels those effects too. But I had one incredible saving grace this month… poetry! From the poems in my in-box to the poems on podcasts… each day brought a poem (or two) that helped me get through that moment… that hour… that day. So many have been printed out and are tucked in the pages of my journal, but the month ended with a poem that I think will stick with me for a very long time. I have it printed out and it is next to Derek Walcott’s Love After Love… I think they are the perfect poems to be read one after the other and I thought I’d share it with you all:

When your son abandons the lawnmower for the second time in as many days

Peter Grandbois

We all want to leave this widening night,
this barking at the thing we can’t see.

No one walks through their story un-stung.
This yard, this life, like a book of changes,

the moment buzzing by like a prophecy,
your body a constellation of pain.

We spend our time stumbling through the white fog,
searching the doctrine of our own breath

when all we need do is crawl deep inside
the silence that comes after and face

the teeming hole in the ground, the wasp’s nest,
that cousin of the eyelessness of space.

Do not fear the ache and swell my sweet boy.
It’s easy to hate what we’re given.

Copyright © 2021 by Peter Grandbois. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 30th, 2021 by the Academy of American Poets. 

In search of any common sense, at all —

Another school shooting this week followed by a flurry of school closings/lockdown’s across the nation (even in Pittsburgh today) and I am just so angry and frustrated. But Garrison Keillor had some snarky wisdom this morning… and I will take the snark

I worry about how the Supreme Court might rule if asked to defend the right of high school students to carry a loaded weapon to class. And what is the constitutional basis for compulsory school attendance? Why shouldn’t six-year-olds be free to take factory jobs? Their little hands would be perfect for assembling small parts.

I am sure this snark will be lost on that moral-less minority who might actually think that compulsory school attendance is not something for all children… because after all, what could be better than to give those kids an early start in those factory jobs at greatly reduced pay, because they are so small!

Finally —

The tree is up and almost all decorated (I have a few finishing touches to get to this morning) and the lights are out on our bushes! Christmas can officially begin! LOL (and so can the weekend! Steve has today off!)

See you all back here on Monday!

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.1.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.1.21

I love palindrome days… and this is one of those days! (See how I find joy in the little things? lol)

Anyways… THE Advent Calendar arrived! And they LOVE it! I am not sure who loves it most though… Heidi or the kids! (And Olivia will have a Nana-made Advent calendar next year, promise!!)

But, holy cow was it a bitch to photograph! I made little button “hooks” on the back and I was worried that if I “hung” it on the shrubs, they would tear… and I really did not want to make any more hooks! lol Anyways, I sent along some 3M hooks for her to affix to the wall to hang it on. (The hooks on my mantle provided the most brilliant trial run but sadly… it is way too dark in my living room for good photos)

I heaved a huge sigh of relief that it arrived and safely! Thank you postal workers!

(One aside… the binding… which is brilliant!! I followed these instructions and my mind is blown! They worked PERFECTLY! I am STILL in awe of how well they worked!)

And now I am back to thinking about knitting more on The 2nd Sock in between doing some holiday decorating… no tree up, yet… but the box moved to the living room yesterday afternoon so the plan is for that to happen sometime today. Thinking about one…hopefully doing something about the other! Ha!

The reading has been a bit stunted because of you know who being home for 5 days for Thanksgiving. But I did find some moments to finish Matrix. Kym might have said it best last week… and I agree… I cannot wait to discuss this very, very curious book!

The English Spy (Gabriel Allon, #15)The English Spy by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just when you think you have figured out how Silva writes a novel… he throws you a huge curve ball. This book is that… and it is excellently thrown!

One last hurrah before Gabriel takes over The Office? Yes? No? Maybe? This story unfolds with just the “inside characters” Friends on foreign forces… as it were. This story takes Gabriel to uncharted territory… places he has never been and makes places he loves – less lovable.

I loved every minute of this book!

Faceless Killers (Kurt Wallander, #1)Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have never read any of the Wallander books, and I was in need of a bit of a “palate cleanser” and this very short book fit the bill perfectly.

It is a most excellent introduction to Kurt Wallander… a very troubled police officer. He has problems galore in his personal life, but boy is he good and piecing together a mystery!

This won’t be my last Wallander book!

MatrixMatrix by Lauren Groff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh boy, this book… what a very curious tale! The writing is really beautiful… but the story sort of missed the mark for me. (Yet, still… 4-stars)

I really was loving the story of Marie being uprooted from all she knows and sent off to a monestery. (nunnery? I am really not sure what to call the religious order!) Anyways, I loved the start of Marie finding her way, making friendships… family, really… with the women.

Where the story began to derail for me were the “visions” – which to me seemed improbable, at best. And also… I began to detest Marie and her ever growing ego. These changes were not good ones for her at all. No one likes someone who thinks they are all that… and I thought Marie neatly fell into that category. There are more visions with even more improbable results…

And the ending… all I could say was WTAF. Really? I read this book for the Read With Me book club and I am very much looking forward to listening to what others thought and talking about this book!

That is all I have for today… are you in the frenzied making of the season?

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