Unraveled Wednesday | 4.8.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.8.20

Greetings Unravelers!

I forgot to share yesterday my temperature chart, but it deserves a mention. One stunning thing I noted… Pittsburgh only had 4 days in the first quarter where the high temperature was in the 20’s.

Let that sink in a minute. Yes, that is right in 3 months, we had just 4 days in the 20’s. Every month had some temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s… yes, January, February, and March had days that got that warm. If I had not been tracking temperatures, I might not believe it.

This week I blocked my Nymphaladia (which is not yet on Ravelry) and wove in the couple of ends. I love the dramatic change from Monday’s photo!

I also began work on the heel turns on my mystery socks! I don’t think there is one single thing in knitting that brings more wonder that the simple process of turning a heel, and suddenly that flat flap begins to take form and a sock is born from a tube and a flap! I was a bit shocked to see that the color matching sock yarns were dramatically off in matching. Yes, one skein had a significant bit less of the green dyed part. So, these will be off-kilter socks but perhaps that is just what I needed to remember this off-kilter time!

It seems I have finally broken through the Reading Dam with gusto! My read’s this week were all noteworthy! Also, in case you missed it Mary is leading us all in SAH Book Bingo which began April 1st! I wonder if I can fill three cards between now and Labor Day? Anyways, Book Bingo is one of my very favorite things and I hope you join us!

American DirtAmerican Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There has been lots of discussion about this book… and much of it revolved around “don’t read it.” However, I am a Rebel (aka Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies) and being such I felt compelled to read this book. I initially gave this book 4-stars but in thinking about the book for a few days, I really think this is a book deserving of a 5-star rating.

The story’s main characters, Lydia and her son Luca, survive a horrific event and must flee their home in Acapulco. This story revolves around that escape and the people (good and bad) that they meet in their journey.

I was moved by their journey, by their hope, by their determination, and especially by some of the people they interact with. The writing is wonderful – engaging – and it pulled me in from the first sentence. I listened to the audiobook and the narration was excellent.

Look past the hype and the naysayers and read this book! You will be glad you did!

The Unquiet Dead (Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak, #1)The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book one in a series always is a bit of a challenge as you figure out the characters, their backgrounds, and how they came to be together. Rachel and Esa have wonderful potential. This story tackles a devastating time in history (the Bosnian War Crimes) and did so incredibly well! I struggled at first to keep things straight, but thankfully reading on the kindle makes remembering details easy. I am eager to read more of this series.

Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner's Guide to Holy WeekEntering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week by Amy-Jill Levine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book with my small group, and we watched Amy-Jill’s companion video series. If you want someone to give you a remarkable history lesson on Holy Week – this is the series for you! Levine’s insights and knowledge are wonderful. I learned so many things and my book is full of notes. I highly recommend it!

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and LossLate Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first, I did not think I was going to like this book at all, especially when I read a woman belongs in her husband’s church – yikes, that was cringe-worthy for me. But, I pressed on and am I glad I did!

Every day the world is teaching me what I need to know to be in the world. In the stir of too much motion: Hold still. Be quiet. Listen.

YES! I needed this reminder. I also needed to shed solidarity tears with Margaret as she sat in the pediatrician’s office with her newborn baby, tired – exhausted really, with a hungry, crying baby, trying her damnedest to breast feed with mastitis. Thank god for doctors that listen and remove the guilt and free you to be a better parent. “The best mother is a happy mother,” she said. “Give that baby a bottle.” AMEN!!

I loved her bird stories, her childhood stories, her parents stories, and how she looks at life. It is not perfect, but my gosh – it can be so beautiful.


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


Looking Back | March 2020

Looking Back | March 2020

Only those with tenacity can march forward in March. — Ernest Agyemang Yeboah 

I needed an abundance of tenacity last month, which felt like the longest year of my life. Truly. It lasted forever, but I made it through to the other side and for that I am grateful!


The Best Part of the Month 

Hands down it was the ever increasing daylight hours. The month would have been much worse if all this was happening in the dead of winter. And we even had some sunshine in Pittsburgh, which was a very good thing!

Something New

Does “shelter at home” count? Hahaha! (It should since we were doing it for almost half the month!!) Pittsburgh, or rather Allegheny County began sheltering at home on March 17th which also saw the first “quarantini” of the month. And speaking of drinking, there was a significant increase in weekday drinking, but I am not sure if that is really a good thing, lol. AND Sourdough made its appearance!

Best “Oh, Wow” Moment/s

The birds! Forced forsythia in the house! Sourdough starter success!! I also finished a pair of socks (the 13th), and Nightshift (the 24th!) Also… being comfortable in my own *sans makeup* skin enough to memorialize it here!

What I did Well and What I can do Better

I am not sure I did anything well (unless you count drinking, ha!) this month. But one thing I am going to make an effort to do is to **remember to take a daily photo and video** which apparently one consistently forgets when they are on home quarantine!

What about you? Did you have a stand out March Moment? Please share!!

Sometimes Monday | 4.6.20

Sometimes Monday | 4.6.20

Starts with a trip down the loveliest rabbit hole!

Clara started it, but that led me to this and this and finally this! These kids… PURE JOY (and you can believe me when I tell you that because joy has been a scarce commodity in my life these days!!)

Perhaps, a trip down a rabbit hole is the perfect thing for today since I spent much of the weekend with things on repeat!

I could not get enough of this and I listened to it several times on Saturday and again on Sunday.

Which led me to “Google” Pádraig Ó Tuama and I discovered he has a twitter account! (My twitterverse just grew infinitely richer!)


I finished Clue One of the Genius of Romi! My brain loved every bit of everything I thought I could not understand – that is until I broke it down and just did what the direction said to do, and not worry about that next step until its turn. (I am knitting this with a heavy-lace weight yarn and a bit of a smaller needle than the pattern calls for, but oh my do I love this start!)

I also did some “repeats” knitting and finished a long lingering UFO* (I saved the pattern in 2015 and I think I cast on shortly thereafter, but never started a project page.) Today, a good soak and some blocking to reveal the beauty! (My yarns are about a half a ball of Zauberball Crazy – in the colorway that the designer used, and almost an entire hank of Lorna’s Laces sock yarn.) There was something entirely satisfying about knitting alternating repeats of welts and wedges.

I hope you enjoy these rabbit holes! Happy Monday!

April Promise | 4.3.20

April Promise | 4.3.20

Another week, another un-Friday! March was the longest year of my life and how is it only April 3? However, I am managing to keep my mind occupied and away from activities that allow it to stray to worried thinking!

First, Steve thanks all of you for your birthday wishes! He wants you all to know it was the perfect day – a day at home that was all about him! He is the one person who is not stressed about sheltering at home – it is his favorite thing ever! The cake was incredibly delicious! (although next time I will halve the frosting recipe) It is moist and reminds me of brownies…but so.much.better. This is absolutely a recipe I will make again!

This week I spent lots of time happily noticing that despite the insanity that the world is these days, spring is blind to the uncertainty and slowly, steadily, each day it shares a new promise. My forsythia are a riot of yellow, the bridal–wreath has a veil of white lace, any my saved-from-the-dump lilac has dozens and dozens of dark purple flower buds! I have rhubarb leaves unfurling, the raspberries are getting new leaves, and the garden is calling to me. (I am ignoring the bushes that are screaming to be trimmed, and the yard that needs to be mowed – another month at home allows for the luxury of being able to take time to get the least favorite tasks done, amirite?)

I really tried to stay focused on small things. diversions, distractions, and remembering to breathe. The following are some things that have been the most pleasant distractions this week:

I discovered Patrick Stewart reading #ASonnetADay He is brilliant and I have loved every lovely word of them, but the best is when William Shakespeare retweets them!

Baking was truly a life-saver for me this week. I baked lots! I savored every step from making to the clean up – which for me was always the least fun part, but this week I welcomed the task! I also spent time tending my sourdough starter! My question for you all is this: Have you baked banana bread this week? You are not alone! (and if you didn’t, this is the bandwagon you want to get on ASAP!)

Poetry remains my favorite distraction and I have found so.many.new.poems on Shelter in Poems:

This week, there were so many moments of unexpected kindness…and I am profoundly grateful for each one.

And, finally… later today, I will begin the first clue of Romi’s Mystery Shawl!

I would say “let the weekend begin” but in these days of the never-ending weekend, it seems a moot point! I will be back on Monday and hope that you are all staying home, washing you hands, and flattening that damned curve!

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

 

Three on Thursday | 4.2.20

Three on Thursday | 4.2.20

Joining with Carole and friends today to share three things that made me feel much better this week!

Thing One:

I was really concerned I was drinking too much, but Ina told me I wasn’t at all. God love her…

Thing Two:

Shelter in Poems Oh boy, did I need this!

Thing Three:

Queue the Music… today is Steve’s birthday!

And, I spent most of yesterday baking him a cake!

I just have one question…what the hell did I do before I had sourdough starter?

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