Unraveled Wednesday | 11.2.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.2.22

Greetings Unravelers! I have returned from my glorious vacation… one in which I barely knit a stitch and since returning home on Sunday I have still barely knit a stitch!

But!! I have a great excuse… I have been madly working on getting my last painting done for my watercolor class. It is done, turned in, and I am really quite happy with my results! Perfection? Nope. But it has so many things that turned out *how I wanted them to* which means some of the techniques are becoming familiar to me and that is a very good thing! I did feel like my masking was a bit out of control, but it worked for the most part! Tangle of branches.. yes! With snow… YES! My ice needs some more practice, but overall I am very happy with it!

Besides that I have been consumed with all the “You’ve been away for 10-days” catch up things! Yuck! The only thing left on that list are to wash rugs which will happen today! Then I can breathe a bit and might even do some knitting this afternoon!

My new watercolor class started yesterday, but I have not started yet because some new watercolor paper coming later today and I want to wait for that before I start….although I absolutely should do a value study or two for this painting.

I did have a banner reading week on vacation… I finished seven books! Now, granted, two of those books were books of poetry and I have been reading one or two each morning to start the day for most of October. But still… SEVEN books! And they were all so very good!

My current reads include the above stack of poetry books as well as the new David Sedaris book – Happy Go Lucky. I am listening to David read it to me and I am loving it! I also will be reading some of Joy Harjo’s Sunrise for National Native American Heritage Month.

And with that, you have my quick update for what I am (not, lol) making and reading. I hope you all have been more productive that I have! I will be back on Friday with a fun bit of a current post!

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

Hello, November | 2022

Hello, November | 2022

Last month, I copied Carole’s idea to welcome the new month… I liked it. It kept me focused. And it was semi-successful! Ha!

So, Welcome November!

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 their bed in a fog. Food is better in November than any other time of the year. — Cynthia Rylant, In November

Yes to all of that! I am all about the November eats! Pumpkin pie, stuffing, turkey. Yes please! Haha! And even though I cook for a “scaled down” version of Thanksgiving. I still like to have all the parts! November, you are so good!

But food aside, there are some things I want to accomplish this month and I do have a couple of “carry overs” from October’s list as well! I put them up top on my list so they are sure to get done (or at least started… see Steve’s socks! lol)

The List of More has some really good things on it:

  • More Studio Tunics, please! Yes, I have two corduroy tunics to sew! The fabric arrived the day before we left so I have a good excuse for not getting them done, but as soon as I have the fabric washed, the sewing will begin!
  • I have one sock to knit… still. So Steve’s Sock gets a spot again. Sigh. My excuse… I lost a needle (and I have torn the house apart looking for it…grrr!) I can knit the sock with 4 needles, but I prefer 5. So I need to get another set of needles. This yarn is thin and really needs a size zero, so I need to make a stop at JoAnn’s and pronto!
  • It’s November which means I have a new Gnome to knit! The Eleventh! And I have selected Gnemo for this month! Colorwork, a sweater, and a curly beard!
  • There is a fun new thing to add this year… watercolor Christmas cards! Yes, instead of buying cards this year – I bought card stock to paint on! I am even contemplating doing a painting for Steve’s Mom and Dad for Christmas. Stay tuned!
  • And speaking of watercolor… yes, I start another class today! Kym and I are committed to keeping each other painting and I am so glad! She inspires me and I just love how painting makes me feel.
  • The tomatoes were are still cranking out tomatoes before we left for Erie, so I left them (and came home to find a bowlful to pick!) but I will be pulling them this next week (we are having a week of temps in the 60’s here, so maybe they will keep on cranking out tomatoes and in the dark o’clock to take Sherman out it looked like more were ‘on the verge’ of being ripe!) But they will get pulled – eventually – so I can put their pots to bed for the season.

Now for the Less is More category… because you know that November needs to have at least one thing that I need a lot less of, right?

  • Christmas… yes, in November. I like to decorate once Thanksgiving has happened…so Black Friday? Well it’s Trim the House Friday in my house! But this year I am contemplating downsizing the volume of decorating I do. Perhaps a Less is More approach and I don’t know how I feel about that, but I have some time to contemplate…I am generally a person who embraces change but Christmas decorating is all about the care of a little girl who missed out on all that fun. I grew up in a house that put up a tree on Christmas Eve and it was gone the day after Christmas. So I think you can imagine that because of that, I take Christmas to the top… and then push it over. But I am not that child anymore (or at least I hope I am not) and this year of really thinking about what a Full Life is… and is not… has me thinking about full not meaning all.the.things. but perhaps having the all the best parts…and finding joy in them. I have tried to do this in previous years and I have always felt like so much was missing. So my goal is to view this from a different approach this year and achieve success… I hope. Ha!

And with that, I have my “November Lists”… What’s on your list this month?

See you all back here on tomorrow with some Unraveling!

P.S. In case all you readers out there are in fear of a solid month of blog posts… never fear, there will be no #NaBloPoMo for me again this year. Whew, right?


Full of Life | October 2022

Full of Life | October 2022

I did not have any idea of where I would go with my word this month. I was absolutely feeling like I understand the concept of how to fill your days with things that matter.

But leave it to Krista Tippett to show me how to take what I have learned this year and fine tune it. Full 2.0, as it were! So this month I have been putting into practice the things she talks about in the first three episodes of her short “Foundations” podcast series.

She starts by asking the listeners to become alert and reverent of the everyday ordinary. This was just the prodding I needed to take the concept of a Full Life deeper… Was I alert during my days or was I tuning out on the ordinary. The reality is that I absolutely was tuning out – frequently! So I began honing my Full Life to be more alert and reverent of the everyday ordinary. This is not easy… it is seriously one of the hardest things I have worked on. Because… tuning out is a natural occurrence (for me, at least) Make coffee… tune out. Make dinner… tune out. Steve is complaining about work… tune out – big time. As you can see, this will be an ongoing process and right now I feel like I am constantly reminding myself to “tune in.”

The second installment brought an easier task and one I was happy to circle back on. Yep… Krista encouraged us to “live the question” which is a concept that Rilke talks about. For me, living the question is such a freeing task. It reminds me that I do not need the answers to everything. Uncertainty is okay! Really!!  And when I coupled trying to be more alert and reverent during my day with living the question… I had too many “a-ha” moments to share here. But one thing I found much easier was when I am consciously “living the question” I am much more aware of the everyday ordinary and it was easier to allow the ordinary fill my days rather than tuning them out. As I said above… I was so happy to circle back on this way of living! Perfection? Not at all, but the journey this month has been so enjoyable.

The third installment settled me into a lovely concept… becoming critical yeast. As a baker, I found this analogy for life brilliant! You see, baking without yeast… is well, flat, tough, and yes… hard. This week I have been thinking about how very un-yeasty I am in my day to day life. And so as I fill my days with living the question, being alert and reverent of the ordinary… my focus has been on asking myself the question: Am I bring any yeasty-ness to life around me? A new way to fill my days! (Are you seeing a common theme here? I sure did this month…. even when I think I am living a Full Life, there is always more room!)

There is one final installment coming this Thursday and I am very eager to see where Krista will take me then! This little series has provided such good things to think about as this year begins to draw to a close… and with all this pondering, I am noticing a new word has been showing up regularly in my days. I am enjoying these word visits and am contemplating this word in my morning meditations. It feels early for a new word to “show up” but I am glad that this month I have been thinking about being more present and alert so that I have noticed its arrival!

As always, I am so grateful that Carolyn provides a space for us to share our Word Work! I am excited to see how others did with their words this month!

I hope to get caught up on all your blogs this week – be patient with me! And!! I have a painting to get done before Wednesday! Yikes!

Happy Monday everyone and I will be back tomorrow (what?!?) with a November welcome!

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.26.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.26.22

Greetings Unravelers!

Not much making this week! I might have knit less than 8 rows on Close To You and that is alright with me! Instead I have been spending as many hours as possible outside in Presque Isle! It has been simply amazing… sunny, clear skies, and warm! We have a bit of rain in the forecast today but that is okay because that means I might get a bit a knitting time! Haha!

I do have a rather fun update from my daughter to share. Every year the halloween costumes are so fun, but this year was especially so!

Meet Little Red Riding Hood,  dear grandma, and the Big Bad Wolf! I laughed so hard at this one! Well done, Heidi!

This was the week that I realized that I am indeed a painter! Why you ask? Well because I brought (almost) everything I needed to do my “weekly watercolor homework” and spent a bit of time Sunday afternoon getting it done! Yes, I planned painting time and have done virtually no knitting!

Thanks to my AirPods, I have done some reading this week! Currently, I am stealing moments to read Jussi Adler-Olsen’s latest book, The Shadow Murders. So.Good! I really enjoy the Department Q Team, headed up by my beloved Carl Mørck. It is Scandinavian Noir at its best!

And with that, I am getting back to my out-of-doors enjoyment that is Presque Isle. See you all back here next Monday with my Word Update!

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

A Gathering of Poetry | 10.20.22

A Gathering of Poetry | 10.20.22

Welcome to the second installment of A Gathering of Poetry.

Today, I am going to introduce you all to a poet I discovered late last month on the Poetry For All podcast. I had never heard of Rafael Campo but I was so enamored of the poem, Primary Care, that I checked out two of his books of poetry (and he is a prolific poet) and have been reading one or two every morning.

I tried to find online links to Rafael’s poetry and The Poetry Foundation just has two of his poems listed. My list of favorites are long in just the few weeks I have begun reading his poetry. He writes such beautiful poetry that moves me deeply.

I was going to share Primary Care, but you can listen to Dr. Campo read it here. I just love this poem… so much but I might love the poem I am sharing today the tiniest bit more and I hope you like it as well.

by Rafael Campo

I enter unexpectedly, and see
your hair cascading white-and-gray in loose,
long tresses down the full length of your back.
The nurse is bathing you in a honeyed light,
when sunrise in the hospital makes all
seem gorgeous, even the gleaming bedpan,
even the scuffed but bright linoleum,
even the faces peering into death.
Your heart is failing, yet you have the strength
to turn, your breasts still the world’s nourishment,
your eyes, though I have diagnosed in them
thick cataracts, alight again with youth’s
demure, coquettish indignation. “Please,
excuse me Doctor, I am indisposed!”
For just a moment, as you pull the sheet
to safeguard your imperiled modesty—
your operatic thighs, your blatant hips,
your ruined neck with its distended veins—
I think you are like Goya’s ageless nude,
eternal beckoning of human form,
inviolable, innocent, a gift
that both of us acknowledge, knowing that
such love is too sweet ever to be shared.

Nude from Alternative Medicine by Rafael Campo. Duke University Press copyright 2014. 

Bonny has a link up for our Gathering of Poetry… we (  Bonny, Kym, and myself) encourage you to join us in sharing a poem that you love! We will be gathering our poetry on the third Thursday of every month!

And with that, I am off to Erie! BUT!! I will absolutely have an Unraveled post next Wednesday – see you all then!


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