We have arrived at the last day of September and I have a letter or three to share with you all.
Dear Citizens Bank,
You botched our loan pay off and dinged our credit score but you said you’d fix it all. Honestly, I did not believe you… I thought that you were just saying what we wanted to hear.
But!! You did indeed fix it. Our loan is paid off. You have reported your error to the credit reporting agencies. AND those late fees that you debited our account… well, you sent a check which we have received.
I am just letting you know that Steve is not going to deposit that check…he is still a bit perturbed at the entire debacle. His hope is that not depositing that check messes up your accounting system for a bit. Sorry… not sorry… about that.
A shocked, yet mortgage free customer
Dear Emergency Veterinary Clinic,
I am profoundly glad that you are available, even on a Friday night, for Sherman who was having an acute allergic reaction – to what we don’t know – but his face was swollen and he was not breathing well at all. You whisked him back immediately and we sat and waited… which allowed us to observe the constant flow of pet in and out… and I pondered one question you asked deeply: did we want CPR for Sherman. I said yes, but as I sat there I began to wonder how you might do that on him. Thankfully, he did not need CPR, but I am still contemplating that whole concept.
However, as we sat there it was impossible to not hear the amounts people where being charged (sound really carries in your waiting area… just sayin’) and Steve and I began to “joke” about a vet bill the size of the National Debt. And five hours later when you called my cell phone to give me an update on Sherman… I began to really worry that it would indeed exceed the national debt.
Your Vet Tech was lovely… truly she was! But it would have been nice to actually meet with YOU versus a phone call… we were sitting in your lobby… ffs. Happily, Sherman seems entirely recovered and, no offense, but I hope we don’t have to come back and visit you for a very long time!
Sherman’s Mom and Dad… who now have a much lighter wallet!
Finally, this last letter is in response to the multitude of IG reels that Steve has sent me this week on one topic… (One of the many reels can be found here)
Dear Bored Instagram,
Or should I say Board Instagram? I think that sometimes you have lost your damned minds… but this time I know you have!
Butter Boards? Really?
I do not understand… at all. And I like butter! But I am not spreading it dollop by dollop onto a cutting board and topping it with anything and sitting down with a loaf of bread and swiping and eating.
If this is the next best craze… count me out!
The woman who will not be making any Butter Boards… ever.
And there you have it, the insanity of my week. I am really ready for a normal, instagram free weekend!
I hope you have a great weekend… free of any hiccups or emergency vet visits! And if there are any bank errors I hope they are in your favor! See you all back in on Monday!
Greetings dear Unravelers!
I have a confession for you all… September has been a month of me living my very best life (sadly, my house is complaining of neglect…loudly! lol) But for me, it was a great month!
I am on still on Sleeve Island…BUT! One sleeve is done! I still have one to go but I also have two more episodes of The U.S. and the Holocaust to watch, so I feel like that sleeve just needs a bit of Sit and Watch time and it will be done! This sweater is very much nearing completion… and good thing because Mother Nature flipped off the summer switch last Thursday… it has been chilly and perfect sweater weather. And this sweater will be a welcome addition to my fall wardrobe!
Knit six rows, decrease, move a stitch marker from the finished sleeve to the one in process…
I also finished a gnome… as you all may have seen on social media. Dear Gnorton. He was The Gnome of All The Options. There were multiple hat choices, body choices, beard choices. And even a couple of nose and hand options! And so I listened to Gnorton as I knit away… what did he want to be… And the thing that came through loud and clear was he was a thinker… who enjoyed a pipe. He now sits on the mantle next to Gnombleberry who occasionally reads poetry…providing lots to think about! A broken DPN was just the perfect “pipe stem” and I even managed a bit of “embers” in his pipe bowl. Nine months in and my mantle of gnomes makes me smile. three more to go… and a new Mystery Gnome arrives for December! FYI… The latest Mystery Gnome pattern will be on sale in November… you do not need to buy the kit! And the December Gnome Story is so much fun!
Gnorton the Gninth
And I am back to “daily painting” as well. Most days, just practicing all the techniques… there are so many things to learn! But the first class of the Changing Seasons Class I am currently taking is done! I shared my painting on IG… and as I said there, some things I feel good about, others need some more practice… good thing I like practicing! Ha!
The reading this week also fit the My Best Life category! AND, I started another book by Yiyun Li yesterday, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl… and I was quickly drawn in! It makes me realize that there are so.many.authors and so little time. And, for those interested, The Book of Goose is now available… it is so good!
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For all the struggles I had with Olive in Olive Kitteridge, the Olive from the end of that book grew and flourished in Olive, Again.
Simply put. I loved every single word. And, more importantly, I fell in love with Olive.
Strout’s writing feels so very much like she is sitting at the table sharing stories over coffee. It is real, personal, and so engaging. I was lost in the book in the first chapter. The narrator, Kimberly Farr, was excellent.
If you wonder if change is possible… read this book. If you need a renewed hope in humanity…read this book. If you don’t know what to read next… read this book.
Oh, Godfrey, just read this book! You won’t be disappointed at all!
The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One afternoon, I was scrolling through the “available titles” on Netgalley, and this cover caught my eye. I knew nothing of the author, Yiyun Li, but I loved the cover and the title. So I made my request… and fortune smiled on me with the audio-version of this compelling little story.
The story opens in America, where Agnés is reading a letter from her mother about the death of her friend, Fabienne.
And from there a story of memory, the deep bonds of friendship, art, writing, exploitation, and life in the countryside of Saint Remy France after the war unfolds.
The memories flow from Agnés and it feels a bit like a dam has broken… things she had kept bottled inside could no longer be contained. It was a book I could not set down, even though parts were uncomfortable…
Li’s writing is really incredible. And the narration… it was perfect! This won’t be the last of Li’s books I read. If you are looking for a beautifully told story, this is exactly the book you need! I highly recommend. I had originally given this book 4-stars, but I have not stopped thinking about Agnés and Fabienne and realized that this is absolutely a 5-star book!
I would like to thank Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for the audio-copy of this book.
That is all I have for today… I am off to queue up some Ken Burns and get back to Sleeve Island!
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. — Ashley Smith
This month, Allie Edwards team had a brilliant suggestion for my word this month… take photos! And so each day I captured some photos of what filled my days. It was fun… and very different from what I did way back when I captured one photo of my day. I made sure that photo was the perfect setting… edited for more “perfection” and when I look back on all those months of photos I feel very removed from them, as if I am an outsider looking in. They absolutely did not bring to mind the day or what happened that day or what I did that day.
This exercise, however, felt entirely different. They are not “perfect” photos… but I feel very present in these images and I hope that a year from now when I look back on them I will remember more of the day, what happened, and what I did… that this exercise will actually help cement the month in my memory!
I noted the changing light.
I did lots of spinning.
I picked so many tomatoes.
I made pitas more than once.
I knit my “gninth” gnome!
There was painting and more painting.
Poetry…every single morning.
There were happy hours! Ha!
And, of course, Sherman.
All this is not to say that it was a perfect month… it wasn’t because there were struggles as well. I tried to remember that being a listener is better than being an advice giver… so I let my ears fill up and worked on keeping my mouth shut! (Sometimes I succeeded even!)
But!! There is still five more days in September and I am eager to fill the coming days with good things!
As always, I would like to thank Carolyn for providing a landing space for us all to share what we learned, how we grew, and how our word showed up for us each month!
See you all back here on Wednesday!
The Autumnal Equinox occurred last night at 9PM and it is as if Mother Nature flipped a switch… the arrival of autumn did in deed bring autumn-like temperatures! This morning it was a very chilly and hushed silence talking Sherman for his morning walk. No birdsong, no crickets chirping… just one sniffing pug to break the stillness of the morning.
It seems like a good day to do a bit of RIFFing… so let’s get started:
I saw this tweet this morning and my heart broke a bit. I know what my fall/winter is going to be full of… finishing reading her Wolf Hall/Thomas Cromwell series.
I have not explored any of her writing beyond Wolf Hall, but she has a sizable body of work to explore.
(when I have brief moments of) Insight —
My new painting class began yesterday and I have spent much of the month focused on the “sequence” of watercolor. From saturation of the page, keeping a wet edge, layers, damp and dry work. And to make things remarkably clear for myself – I have done a variety of “neutral” paintings. And on Wednesday… it all began to click! And I did what I feel is my best representation of all these skills combined. Good thing because the first thing Mr. Surowicz mentions in the first lesson of the new class is how important a “shades of grey” study is before you begin a new painting. I did some work to get my watercolor paper ready to paint, but today I am going to do a rough sketch (or two) in my sketchbook and do some value studies before I begin the “big painting” and I am so very excited!
Finding (answers) —
This week, Jane asked me a very good question: “I’m trying to think how many oz. of fiber it takes to spin enough yarn for a sweater” …
Such an excellent question and I thought I’d share how I make a determination about that very thing. Way back in my very early spinning life I asked that very question. The short answer given me was to “weigh a sweater I wear” and that will give me a rough idea of what I will need. Seems simple? If you think that is a clear as mud… you are not alone. For me, figuring out “how much yarn will I need for x project” was the greatest mystery of spinning! Until I discovered Felicia Lo, that is. Felicia is the magic behind Sweet Georgia Yarns and she is an avid spinner! She also blogs… and her blog is one of the best resources I have found to answer all the “mystery” questions of spinning I might ever have! Anyways, she gives a very clear and easy to understand method of determining how much yarn a sweater might take… that would be any sweater, any gauge, size inclusive, and how much “extra” to calculate. (Actually, this method would work for ANY item you want to knit… not just sweaters!)
I hope this helps you, Jane… as well as any other spinning knitters out there!
Friday (Jabs) —
Yes, that’s correct… later this morning, I am heading down to Rite Aid to get a couple of “jabs”… the new and updated COVID booster (thank you, Pfizer!) and a flu shot as well. I have sort of cleared the deck for the weekend, just in case I am feeling a bit puny from said jabs… but I am so thankful that scientists have made our lives so much better thanks to the wonder of vaccines! (And I am still in awe of how it is possible that I have yet to catch COVID!)
Have a great weekend everyone! See you all back here on Monday!
Happy Wednesday… or Happy Autumnal Equinox Eve Day! Haha!
Yes, it’s the time of year when a knitters heart begins to think Winter Is Coming… and the urge to cast on all the woolly things takes over!
Or, in my case… the urge to get a woolly thing off my needles so I can cast on something new! Haha! But I have departed for sleeve island and it is smooth sailing! Decreases for a bit then on to the Sleeve Straits before I reach the 2×2 Ribbed Shores and then begin again to complete the second sleeve! We are heading to Erie the end of October and this sweater will be a welcome addition on all the walks around Presque Isle! So it needs to be done!
The next sweater I am tumbling about in my mind… well, it will be one that I knit from my handspun! Yes, I am making headway on the spinning portion and in a couple more weeks (maybe??) it will be a Plying Fest! Then I can swatch and see what my gauge is (which will absolutely have an impact on what sweater I pick!) I’d like to knit DRK’s Everyday Sweater…so keep your fingers crossed I get gauge! If not, then perhaps a Weekender might be the one – since she has 2 versions in 2 different yarn weights… that gives me some wiggle room! Ha!
The reading this week was stellar. A new Keven Wilson book (coming out in November) and another Strout… Olive finally settled in for me! And!! I am listening to the most incredible book…I am almost done and but it was released yesterday! The Book of Goose by Yiyum Li is something you should put on your radar. I am listening to the audio version and the narrator (Caroline Hewitt) is excellent.
Now Is Not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I first encountered Kevin Wilson’s writing in Nothing to See Here, which was a curious tale of children that catch fire. The writing was fun and engaging and the story made me think… lots.
So when I saw that he had a new book coming out, I requested it from Netgalley and was happy that I was given the opportunity to read more of Wilson’s work.
This story is just as engaging and I have thought lots about it since I finished the book this week. It is a bit of a coming of age story… and while that is generally not my first choice in reading, this coming of age story pulled me in. It is also about not fitting in… feeling different than everyone around you. It touches on divorce, single parenting, and more.
I loved Frankie… so very much. She is a tester of the waters, a try-er of new things, and yes… a budding writer! So Frankie and Zach (the other odd boy out in the town their mothers returned to after leaving their husbands) spend a summer by creating what turns out to be a very controversial bit of art… art they reproduce and post anonymously all over town. And they keep the fact that they were the artists for 20 years.
“The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with hunger for us.”
I wish I could have seen the artwork, although I have a picture of it in my mind, I am left wondering if the book will have an image of it.
This story also touches on what happens when people don’t understand something… and the way that people can cause each other to panic. (The title is just so brilliant!) I truly appreciated Wilson’s forward to the book, which explained why he wrote it. He had my attention from the first page!
I highly recommend this story!
I would like to thank Ecco and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book.
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had originally tried to read this with my eyes… and gave up quickly. I then went on to discover my joy of Strout’s writing by listening and so I thought I’d give Olive another chance in my ears and am I glad I did!
Confession… I really found lots to like and and even more to hate in Olive. She has the biggest chip on her shoulder (perhaps I could recognize that because I do as well?) and *everything* wrong is never her fault. But the story draws you along, and I ached for Olive… her frustration with herself that she takes out on everyone else. But when Henry has a stroke, I began to cheer for her… her humanity begins to shine through. I had thought this was a solid 4-star book… and then the ending just blew me away. There was no way that ending could not bump this up to 5-stars.
If you have tried reading Olive and gave up… I’d suggest you give her a listen.
I highly recommend!
There you have what is on my radar this week! What about you?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!