Sometimes Monday | 8.31.20

Sometimes Monday | 8.31.20

August, die she must… — Paul Simon, April Come She Will

Sometimes Monday is for weekend reminiscing…with memories of proscuitto wrapped figs happy hour,  torrential downpours, the return of autumn beer, and the departure of the endless heat and humidity.

Sometimes Monday means the return of a woolly sweater, which is a most welcome layer in this mornings chilly air and this knitter’s heart sings with joy.

And sometimes Monday brings the end of August and with it; darker mornings, flocking birds, and a mug of hot coffee to warm my hands.

What does your Monday look like?

 

 

Friday Finds | 8.28.20

Friday Finds | 8.28.20

Oh boy. It has been a very hard week. A week that took an already dismal month and ramped it up by about 1000% and while I am thankful that Jacob Blake survived, I am so angry that there was an incident which put that in question. And, I can’t even be sane about 17 year olds with assault weapons walking away unscathed. So I spent lots of time this week listening. Listening to the pain. The hurt. The eloquence. The raw emotion.

And then a cascade of events began to happen, starting with the Milwaukee Bucks! And I  say GO BUCKS (except, it’s not a boycott… they are striking, boycotting is what the viewer would do, but okay) (and Hurrah to the NBA for standing with the Bucks!) Rapidly many other sports players followed suit – MLB and MLS, WNBA, and yes…even a tennis player… I say BRAVO!! Perhaps you are not a sports fan, but my hope is that this will finally be the tipping point for monumental change.

 

But perhaps the best moment came last night at a baseball game that wasn’t. Oh but that leadership…

And that beautiful note ushers in the rest of the good things this week:

This past Tuesday, Ali Smith’s Summer dropped and I am number eight on the library wait list. I can’t wait, especially after reading this excellent review! I have loved this brilliant series, and if you were waiting for them all to be available… your wait is over. Start with Autumn and move through the seasons. They are just brilliantly written and eerily timely!

The September issue of Vanity Fair is a special project, called The Great Fire and it has grabbed my attention. The guest editor is Ta-Nehisi Coates, and it is a must-read issue. His editor’s letter is powerful, stirring, and so painfully true: “And so evil does its business in the shadows, ever-fearing not the heat of the Great Fire but the light. To clearly see what this country has done, what it is still doing, to construct itself is too much for any human to take. So it was with the slave narrative. So it is with the cell phone.” I broke down and bought a subscription this week and the reading that I have done thus far is incredible!

And because we all could use something to escape…coming September 23rd to Netflix… Enola Holmes! I.can’t.wait! (Yes, it is starring Eleven from Stranger Things!)

For all the Vera fans out there, Ann Cleeves shared that there will be a season 11 of Vera! Wahoo!

**A warning, this link goes to a Ravelry project page** In my never ending Ranunculus love… this one here has me rethinking the idea that I have finished Ranunculus knitting! Oh my, I love her sleeves! Yep, a third Ranunculus is being considered!

And, finally!! Isabell Kraemer has released a pattern that I have been oogling on Instagram! (Yes, I purchased it!)

Ooh la la, indeed! Discount until tomorrow, so hurry!

And that, my friends, is a wrap for this week! See you all back here on Monday!

 

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.26.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.26.20

Thanks to LONG audiobooks, I have gotten in some good knitting time this week! And voilà, I have a completed Ranunculus! It needs a wash, but I am wearing it today and it is perfect. Shorter sleeves FTW! I also started a new vest for Winston (No page yet, but the pattern is Avery 2.0 by ML Eagan). I did not get gauge, but I liked the fabric I got in my swatch, so I am knitting the smallest size (and will end up with a 12 month sized vest!)

I also began the process of cutting out mask pieces for some “assembly line sewing”

This week’s reading, oh my! I am feeling a sense of urgency about SAH Summer Bingo… I am 5 squares away from two coveralls. 5 squares. I have plotted out my course (Stuart Little, Wind in the Willows, Invisible Man, The Hobbit, and The Sweet Life In Paris) Fingers crossed that the library holds for Stuart Little and Wind in the Willows will come through before Labor Day…and if they do, then I think I can do it! All the others are either in progress or waiting in the wings!

My finishes this week were so, so, so good! And for as long as The House of the Spirits was, the others were short and deliciously sweet!

The House of the SpiritsThe House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book very much. The lyrical writing, the telling from two perspectives, and the story all combined to create an engrossing listen. The ending though… yes, this could absolutely be about what is happening today. (History does repeat itself, sadly.) The two narrators were wonderful! I recommend this book!

Counting DescentCounting Descent by Clint Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This debut book of poetry was absolutely perfect and listening to Clint read his poems made them even more so! There were so many poems I loved, but one that has stuck with me is “What the cicada said to the brown boy” and these words especially:

but every time you swarm they shoot
get you some wings, son
get you some wings

I highly recommend this little book!

Upstream: Selected EssaysUpstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

With every Mary Oliver book, I love her more and more and this book is no exception! It is a short book, but it is so full of being aware. It reflects on “great thinkers” and her responsibility. She shares her love of nature, and the wonder of the world around us. I highlighted so many parts! So many incredible words, but these I have written in my journal:

For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.

I highly recommend this book!

Intimations: Six EssaysIntimations: Six Essays by Zadie Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How do I even begin to explain how deeply these essays moved me. How they made me think. How they made me cringe. How they made me angry.

6 timely, moving, and necessary essays to shake up your world. And, trust me… you need Zadie to shake it up.

Amid the great swath of indiscriminate death, some old American distinctions persist. Black and Latino people are now dying at twice the rate of white and Asian people. More poor people are dying than rich.

Untimely death has rarely been random in these United States. It has usually had a precise physiognomy, location and bottom line. For millions of Americans, it’s always been a war.

JUST BEFORE THE global shit hit the fan, we were in a long, involved cultural conversation about “privilege.”…privilege and suffering have a lot in common. They both manifest as bubbles, containing a person and distorting their vision. But it is possible to penetrate the bubble of privilege and even pop it—whereas the suffering bubble is impermeable….

If this book is not on your “must read” list, it should be. I highly recommend.


That is all I have to unravel for you all! As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below.


In a little bit of housekeeping, the last couple of weeks there have been some “spammy” posts linked. I am trying to monitor them and remove them when I see them. Last week there was also some issues with people leaving links, I am not sure why that is happening, but if you can’t leave a link via the link up, please leave your link in your comment. If the problems persist (i.e. the spammy posts, and the issues leaving links) I will look at the future of a link up. I just wanted to make you all aware of whats been going on. 

More Intention, Less Noise | August 2020

More Intention, Less Noise | August 2020

I am joining Honoré and friends again this month to share an update on my word.

Let’s start with my guiding quote, one that has served me well each and every day!

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. — Mary Anne Radmacher

Eight months in and I am *finally* starting to see intention in a very different way. A way that I might never even considered in “normal living” times. I have stopped fighting with my word. I am no longer wishing for a different word. I am no longer feeling like intention is beating me down but rather, it feels like I have made peace with my word, it is lifting me up, and I have opened myself to learn where I can go with it.

So how’d all that happen?

Well, for starters…the overwhelming lack of “normal living.” No normal living chaos or over-packed lists. The daily idea that more is so much better has really no space in Pandemic Times. And with it goes all the “more” things. More wardrobe. More shopping. More sewing. More knitting. More. More. More. More. and yes, even more more.

But in Pandemic Times, I have found that more has an entirely different meaning. As in…

Yes, absolutely more texts/phone calls/FaceTime with family, but my days have also been…More thoughtful. More creative. More realistic.

And included…More quiet. More reflection. More decluttering. And more less of so many things. And not missing any of them!

More intentional!

I think that is the biggest thing that struck me this month. All those things from lists, the feeling of never doing enough, the need to be more, to go more…are all entirely unnecessary to intentional daily living and they did not fill me in a meaningful way, they just made me feel busy. I am laughing at myself at all the things I signed up for so I could “do less” which, in reality, just meant more things on a list… yep, I have let them all go. And it has been so freeing!

Learning to let go of all the noise has been a learning process, but eight months in I feel like I am finally getting it!

You can see all of my Intentional Journey here.

 

TGIF | 8.21.20

TGIF | 8.21.20

History says, Don’t hope
On the side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.
— Seamus Heaney, The Cure of Troy (an excerpt from Joe Biden’s acceptance speech, 20 August, 2020)

There has been a most welcome reprieve of the miserable hot weather this week! We have had cooling nights, chilly mornings, and moderate days, which in turn meant no drone of the AC, wide open windows, and autumn dreams! This week I noted a marked change in morning light as well! I am up before the sun and the dark mornings have added to my autumnal mood! Add to that, the four stellar nights of the virtual DNC convention and I have “fall feelings on overload” and my election day count down clock reminds me that there are just 74 days to go.

Last night, I sat on the porch for “Zoom Knitting” and watched hummingbirds flock to my verbena. It was the perfect ending to the day… knitting and laughter!

Taking to Heart —

My inner poli sci major has loved the “un-conventional” convention this week. From the beautiful diversity, to the pointed speeches… I soaked up every bit of it. But I especially took to heart President Obama’s jeremiad on Wednesday night…honestly, I am still thinking about all he said but if we want this democracy to continue, we need to vote like our lives depend on it. The election results need to be overwhelming… and hearing so clearly this week about the desperate need to return to decency is so true. I am ready for a president who will represent all 3.28 million of us! Do you have a plan for voting? If not, get one! And if you need inspiration to  make that plan, look no further than Joe Biden’s acceptance speech last night! First, Joe is a man who “reads everything,” including poetry! In his closing words, he shared the lines from Seamus Heaney’s poem, The Cure of Troy. We need to be part of that tidal wave of justice! Why? Well, Joe told it best: “For love is more powerful than hate. Hope is more powerful than fear. Light is more powerful than dark. This is our moment. This is our mission. May history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight as love and hope and light joined in the battle for the soul of the nation. And this is a battle that we, together, will win.”  

And in case you need a bit of levity, Mark Hamill provides some:

Going, going —

Vacation in Pandemic is not happening (at least not anywhere out of the state because of the current guidelines that Steve would have to follow to return to work…) but I have been contemplating places to go that are nearby… Although, Steve is absolutely not on board with this I am having some fun day dreaming about a trip to Lake Erie.

Inspiration —

I have gotten to the point in Pandemic Times that I am seriously contemplating my wardrobe. I wear leggings and a tunic almost every day…soon it will be leggings, a tunic, and a sweater, lol. I have no desire to go shopping, but boy… my wardrobe is feeling very monotonous. So when Grainline Studio’s dropped a new pattern this week I felt the desire to change things up and make an Augusta shirt! It is just different enough to break up the monotony of the days! I will be looking at my fabric stash to see what might work for it! And, since masking up is the new norm I need to have another “Bout of Mask Making” so there will be more mask sewing next week. I am going to try a new pattern and will let you know what I think next week!

Farmer Girl —

My daughter sent this photo this week… Vivi got her first egg! Personally, I think all Farmer girls should be in mermaid dresses and boots while they collect eggs! Ha! And yes, Vivi has charmed the chickens… she likes to carry them around!

(Also, I have updated the project page for Leland, if you are interested in the final details!)

And that is all I have for this week. I will be back next Tuesday to share my word update with Honoré! Have a great weekend everyone!

 

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