Oh my! The reading has been so very good! So very, very, very good! Really, this might be the second-best summer of reading ever! (What was first? Well, nothing can quite compete with the summer I discovered The Little House books…)
This week I finished 3 books:
- The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. LOVED! Through and through! I listened to this (excellent narration, btw) and I am so glad I did. The book contains so much detail that I would have skimmed over if reading, but listening – oh my. What an amazing picture Ondaatje paints in this post-WWII story. It is a 5-star book, all the way, filled with the incredible story of Caravaggio, Kip, The English Patient, and Hana – they are all damaged by the war – in visible and invisible ways. If you love WWII history, you will also love this book!
- Nutshell: A Novel by Ian McEwan. Fascinating concept and very well written. I gave this book 4-stars.
- Dawn by Elie Wiesel. While the writing is excellent, this book was incredibly sad. I was left with one overwhelming thought: Man’s inhumanity to man seems to be a vicious circle. Are we doomed to keep making the same mistakes over and over? I gave this book 4-stars.
I am 3 squares away from a cover all – and it is only August 9!! This makes me insanely happy!!
My current reads are as follows:
- I am about halfway through reading Viveca Sten’s Still Waters. So far, so good. And, no…I don’t have a clue who “did it” yet.
- In my ears, I began listening to Michael Chabon’s The Adventures of Cavalier and Clay. I am about 2 hours into the 26 hour listen.
- Also, a library hold came through so I am also listening to Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings.
Really… so much good reading this summer!
Now, how about a knitting update?
- I started Bateau and much to my chagrin the yarn was pooling most impressively. Sooo…. I ripped back to my cast on (thankfully I had only knit about an inch and a half…) and now I am cruising along helical striping. Is the yarn still pooling? Yes, but not so impressively. And, being a bit “blendy” with these skeins is necessary as they are quite different!
- I am also working on fingerless mitt #2 – I did manage to get quite a bit done at knitting last night (but the darkness of the mornings now makes early photos a challenge!
What are you reading and making?
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After a few very grey and cool days it appears that the sun is making a return today! (Which is very welcome even if it is not bringing the warm weather with it!) And, this morning the blog is decidedly lacking in subject matter so I thought about just writing in hopes that some brilliance would bubble to the surface.
But, sometimes, the brilliance is silent and I am struck by this month’s theme at The Balanced Sisterhood. It is all focused around meditation, stress relief, and rejuvenation. Meditation has been part of my life for a very long time now, but after all that time being still is not always easy.
I have this month’s print out at my desk where I meditate and write as a visual reminder that being still is okay and more than that, it is necessary. In those moments of stillness there is sometimes tension inside me as the external fights just being still. I am a “doer” – as in I must always be doing something… knitting, reading, stitching, writing, cooking, cleaning, doing. However, when I push those thoughts away and just focus on being still wonderful things can happen. I realize that being still is vital to being active – my thoughts are more ordered and less chaotic and I have less tension and stress in my body. Even just 5 or 10 minutes of stillness is enough to energize and organize my day.
In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. Deepak Chopra
As in all things, this is a work in progress but, there is progress and that encourages me to keep going! What about you? Do you have a meditation practice?
The weekend had a definite autumnal feel to it with cool temps, low humidity, and overcast skies. Kind of weird weather for early August, especially since I am not ready to be reminded that summer is winding down.
The weekend weather did afford a bit more Kon-Mari-ing, which is not really my favorite way to spend a weekend but I am pleased with the results.
The weather was perfect for a bonfire on Saturday night which was the first one we have had this summer!
Today is grey and rainy and my to-do list is substantial, so I am just going to focus on my list and hope for some sunshine and warm weather this week!
Happy Monday, everyone!
One would think that I would have immediately given a little Soak Wash spa treatment to my MKAL shawl upon casting off, however it sat around until yesterday. Why? I have no excuse except for pure laziness but it went down yesterday for a bath and then a good blocking. You know, with the wires and all! Give me some nice straight edges, please! Once I had it all pinned out I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of this shawl. And, even more wowed when I pulled out all the blocking wires and un-pinned it… oh.my.gosh people!! This thing is insanely beautiful!!! I might have even had a tear or two in my eyes at how crazy this turned out. I took it outside last night with “Dolores” to take a few glamor shots and she has yet to relinquish it and it is so stunning, I don’t blame her!
This is the 5th year I have knit Kirsten’s MKAL over the summer and people – this one is seriously the best one yet. The beauty of this simple design of lace and mosaic stitches works so incredibly well together. I might even be wishing for cool weather to wear this baby…non-stop.
To think I worried about it being “small” when I finished the bind off… small might describe a certain someone’s hands, but it absolutely does not describe this shawl… at.all! It is HUGE! Dear Dolores is my size and I love that it can drape casually around her “neck” and not be all tight and bunched up!
Steve thought my yarn color choices were not good and he told me so more than once. He said, what will you wear that with?? Well…everything in my wardrobe, honey… just everything! LOL
All the details of my project are here.
If you missed out on Kirsten’s MKAL, it is not too late…get the pattern and cast on ASAP. You won’t be disappointed!
Now, how about some links?
First up, swissmiss shared this and then I found this. Want….
Reclaiming my time, the Gospel version.
This week had LOTS of good knitting patterns (you’d think fall was coming or something….)
Lots of goodness in there for you to ponder! I hope something inspires you to cast on!
Have a great weekend, see you back here on Monday!
This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to write a post to welcome August.
“August, the summer’s last messenger of misery, is a hollow actor. – Henry Rollins
I have very mixed emotions about you. You usher in the end of summer and you always go racing by.
You think that your cooling nights will distract me from your noticeably shorter days – but the fading light makes me so sad.
And while my garden is heavy laden with fruits yet to ripen; we cling to your warm sunny days.
Perhaps, this year you will linger well beyond your numbered days.
At least, that is my wish!
If you want to see what others had to say to August, you will find them here. If you want to join Carole and me on Think Write Thursday’s, you can sign up here!