Make it Monday | 9.9.19

Make it Monday | 9.9.19

The “list-free” weekend was truly restful – although, on Sunday we did get some much needed yard work done! We did a bit of culling of the dying plants from the pots on the patio – the coleus was getting pretty leggy and were dropping leaves thanks to the spate of cool nights we have had. I would like to get a couple of mums for the fall but I won’t have time this week – maybe next week that will happen. But for right now the impatiens remain the star of the waning days of summer – they are just magnificent! The remaining vegetable plants in the garden have also headed to the compost pile. I have made a somewhat detailed list of garden successes as well as failures. August’s hot humid days did my basil in – perhaps assisted by my overzealous watering.

On Saturday night as we were looking for something to watch on television and we discovered that there is a new season of The Great British Baking Show on Netflix…produced by Netflix. There are 2 episodes up currently, with a new one coming each week until the end of October! Only Paul remains from the original shows, but I thought it was still most enjoyable!

But, it’s Monday and this is what my list looks like this week:

This is the September inspiration from The Balanced Life and these words are exactly what I need as I head back to my Pilates mat this week. As Kym has shared many times over the past few months – you can go from one who avoided exercise to one who finds something so very worthwhile in it! I really want to be in the latter group and I am going to make moving and exercise my focus this month!

 

This week, I have just the inspiration necessary to bring me back to the mat… stay tuned for my Friday check-in to see how I did! Add to that, my daily walks and moving my body is getting back into focus! I am so disappointed at how easy it was for me to lose this essential habit! I have put these words in several prominent places and hopefully they will continue to inspire my movement this month!

I have a wee bit of sewing to finish! One pair of Rose pants and a Zadie Jumpsuit have been patiently waiting for me to get back to them. Which will happen this week because there is no baking or preserving to distract me!

My daughter added a couple of things to my list yesterday with a request for some “Halloween costume” help – so I need to look up some cable patterns to knit a tiny pair of leggings and see if I can pick up some flannel fat quarters to make some “reindeer ears” so Vivi can be a little reindeer for Halloween!

My final goal for the week is to begin the lace portion of my Reagan! I am ever so close to finishing the sleeves and hope to have some lace progress to share with you on Wednesday!

What’s on your list for the week? I hope that you can make the most of your Monday and start your week off wonderfully! See you all back here on Wednesday with a knitting and reading update!

Friday Thoughts | 9.6.19

Friday Thoughts | 9.6.19

I have been spending a good bit of time thinking about how to reinvigorate me as I contemplate my blog. I keep circling back to the less is sometimes so much more concept as I have contemplated this space. I know that we all have a finite number of minutes during the week and frankly, time spent on a computer or digital device sucks a great number of those minutes from our lives each day – so do you really need one more blog post to read every day? Truthfully, I just don’t have anything edifying to say every day! I don’t have a million fun little anecdotes to share nor have I gone to any exciting places to fill you all with travel envy! As you can see in my monthly “looking back” posts – we are truly homebodies and are most comfortable in our home. But finally – and perhaps most importantly – the tipping point to these blog changes is a result of my word – focus – this year. That word is having such a dramatic impact on my life as I have spent the year working through how to focus on my life, my days, and the things I do!

I do so love TGIF posts, but lately I have found them to feel a bit rote at times. So, Friday’s are going to take on a bit of a different theme here at AsKatKnits. I am going to use them to share things that will close out the week – my week, and usher in the weekend.

This week brought lots of changes – visually and physically:

I eased back into walking. My ankle has been feeling better, not perfect – but better enough to take modified walks.

I picked the last of the raspberries on Wednesday morning and made the final bit of raspberry jam for the year.

Signs of a fading summer are everywhere – the green of the trees is fading, and some of the leaves are beginning to dry and curl. The burning bushes in my front yard are beginning to show signs of the coming color around the edges of some of the leaves. I wish I could say that the grass is showing signs of slowing its growth pace, but as yet, that has not happened. Even the skies look different in these waning days of summer.

The Farmer’s Market is also slowly changing as fall fruits and vegetables are beginning to show up!

And, amidst all of these gradually changing things, I am spending my days welcoming these tiny changes – being aware of them – and reveling in them. And, those three things have helped me appreciate, and stay focused on the immediate rather than wishing for what comes next.

Yet, to tell you that I am not thinking about “that next thing” would not quite be true. Last month Joji published this pattern and I have not been able to get it out of my mind. It has filled my creative thoughts as I ponder what I have in my stash that might work. It is also keeping me focused on finishing Reagan so I can cast on sans guilt! I also don’t have Morinne Short and Sweet out of my system yet and have plans to knit another one this fall!

All in all, I feel very accomplished as this week draws to a close – which is just what I need to welcome a “list free” weekend! I hope your weekend list has little on it as well! Have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.4.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.4.19

Let me just say that knitting something for 34-ish inches in stockinette can be quite boring…except when you have 5 seasons of DCI Banks to binge. And, that is partially how I got those 34-ish inches knit quickly! I have now moved on to the sleeves, which I am knitting at.the.same.time and it is moving along nicely. Thus far, I am really loving the start of Reagan!

Pie wrapped in wax-paper freezes beautifully and one little square is the most lovely afternoon treat!

But!! It has not been all knitting, all the time around here! Impending autumn, cooler weather, and an abundance of amazing fruits at the local market are just the thing to get me back into the kitchen! I have been feverishly baking to fill the freezer with some goodies. Sunday, I made an Apple Slab Pie, which turned out stunningly and I highly recommend the recipe. And I also made my tried and oh-so-delicious Bottom Crust Plum Pie from Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts cookbook. On Monday, I made a batch of Pati’s Salsa Verde and Tuesday I made a double batch of Bourbon Peach Hand Pies (with this pie crust). The freezer is on its way to being  replenished, and I still have some apples that I am thinking about what to do with. Perhaps something with puff pastry… hmmm.

Peach Hand Pies… all ready for the oven!

Now, on to the reads!

I managed to finish A Bridge of Clay, Suite Françoise, and The Crossing Places.

I had been on the wait list at the library for A Bridge of Clay for a very long time, and then I saw it was going to be available right about the time that I started War and Peace – so I moved myself back in the queue and I am so glad I did that. This book was one that I did not need to rush though. The story is all about the Dunbar family – and really the Dunbar brothers, especially Clay. I laughed, I cried and cried some more. It was truly an amazing story – and I listened to the audio version, that Markus Zusak read. I highly recommend – 4 stars.

Suite Françoise appeared on my radar thanks again to Carole. I was in luck that it was available at the library. It was a book that I savored – reading a little bit every night. It is a story about the WWII occupation of France. I want to say the story is wonderful, but that might lead you to believe that war occupation is idyllic – which is hardly the case. The writing is wonderful and it kept me wondering what might happen next and how it would unfold. The characters are beautifully developed and the story weaves perfectly between them all. But, for me the most amazing part of this story was the ‘back story’ on the writer – this novel was published 64 years after her death in Auschwitz…and I also highly recommend this book as well – 4 stars. (The movie version is available on Netflix that I might settle in with this week to knit those sleeves!)

Finally – one of you Unraveler’s mentioned The Ruth Galloway Mysteries and I pleasantly raced through The Crossing Places. I enjoyed it and loved how the author lead me along with Ruth as she figured out “who did it” and I have queued up a few more of the mysteries in this series! 4-stars for this first novel!

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


Looking Back | August 2019

Looking Back | August 2019

August, die she must
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold.
April Come She Will, Simon and Garfunkel

If you asked me what I accomplished in August my response would be, ‘not much’. But as I look at these images, it seems I accomplished more than I realized!

There was so much making… pies and jams, sewing, and always knitting! Plus, hours in the gardens (although if you saw them today you’d be doubtful of that!)

Vegetable Garden Productivity was stunningly awful. I never had more tomatoes than I could use and not enough to preserve any for future use. The only tomato plants that had any success at all were the Oxhearts – and even that was a manageable production. As for my flower beds – alas, the deer ravaged them multiple times this month…sigh.

The biggest changes were in light and skies – those August skies were less blue but rather filled with interesting clouds! And, as the August days drew to a close, we felt the first inklings of the change of seasons. Cooler breezes paired with cooler days and nights that  required another blanket on the bed and a sweater for my morning garden excursions.

The video this month was so much fun! There was so much butterfly footage! Including “Butterfly Skirmishes” – which look like a gentle, swirling, fluttering dance…those Swallowtail’s are very territorial, it seems!

And with that, August memories are tucked away.

What about you? What is your favorite August memory?

P.S. If you want to knit a hat or two for Asylum Seekers in NorthEast Asylum Cities – all details about a KAL are here!

TGIF | 8.30.19

TGIF | 8.30.19

This year, I have really tried to be in the moment and enjoy the day at hand, rather than wishing for what comes next. I thought it might make the year feel like it is going slower, ha! I am sitting at my PC this morning wondering how on earth August is over, it is Labor Day weekend, and signs of fall are increasing daily.

Okay, so staying in the moment does not slow down the pace of days – however, it has allowed me to appreciate each day more and each season more fully! I think this might be the best summer of my life, not because I did all kinds of amazing things, but rather because I lived in each moment.

Thrilled —

This week, I finished and blocked my Morinne Short and Sweet. Oh my… this sweater is poetry. It fits perfectly, the yarn I picked has the perfect amount of drape and fluidity. The construction is brilliant – it is almost like a puzzle! You start and wonder how this will become a sweater and suddenly, before you know it (21 days from cast on to finish!) – you have knit a sweater! I posted more photos yesterday on IG and am making plans to knit another one!

Gathering —

I have been picking what appears to be the final tomatoes, beans, and peppers and that makes me a bit melancholy. I have loved the time I spend each morning in my garden. It has been the perfect place to also gather my thoughts each morning along with the produce and the recent thought gathering is full of blog ideas and fall morning routines. Stay tuned!

Inspired —

I recently read this post and it really resounded with me. I am going to spend some time thinking about how I can unplug myself one day a month – or at least unplug on my terms.

Finishing —

My summer of reading has been magical. I have read some of the most amazing books and if I can finish 2 more books by Monday, I will have read 55 books this summer…That is amazing to write and think about. I think I can do it because I am almost done with Bridge of Clay and more than halfway through Suite Françoise. I would like to thank Mary for hosting Book Bingo because it just might be my favorite part of summer!

That is all I have for this week. Have a great LONG weekend and I will see you all here next week!

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