Unraveled Wednesday | 10.13.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.13.21

There was barely a stitch knit during my time away. It is the longest I have gone without knitting that I can remember… well, since before I became a knitter!

I attempted to remedy that knitting void upon my return but things like laundry and groceries jumped to the top of the list… however, I did manage to get a wee start on All Work, Gnome Play (which seems like the most appropriate name for a Gnome-Along and I finagled an afternoon for some Gnome Play yesterday and managed to get to “clue 4” and a million miles of I-cord!)

Despite the lack of knitting there was LOTS and LOTS of making in my time away! Making of the most marvelous sort… memory making! My brain and my heart are just so full of all that happened. I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite memories from our visit to Michigan!

  1. Knock-knock jokes with Vivi… I need to find a Christmas Joke book for her. I am happy to report she is a voracious reader!
  2. Learning that there was Nana Egg Pricing… $1 for a dozen eggs from Vivi’s chickens. (Price for all others… at least $175 a dozen…LOL)
  3. That first moment that Winston first put his arms up to get some Nana Snuggles… it took 2 days, but once the dam broke it was such a sweet joy!
  4. Wrangling Kitties with Vivi… what fun! (This was a daily occurrence that happened before dinner!)
  5. Answering all the “wats’at’s” from Winston! (I think Heidi especially liked that he found a new person to ask! lol)
  6. Checking on Vivi’s wiggly tooth each day… boy that sucker just is hanging on for dear life!
  7. Playing games… practically, non-stop… with Vivi. Whew, each night I’d practically collapse into bed!
  8. My daughters very finicky 15 year old cat, Hippo, falling in love with Steve shocked us all… Hippo does not like anyone but Heidi (and now Steve, lol)

It was just an amazing time away… I did not look at my laptop, my calendar… anything! It was great but I am desperately trying to “get back to real life” this week. I am doing okay at the laptop reintroduction… but the calendar? Hoo boy… the struggle is real, but I am trying!

I know I have a little bit of a book update to give you all but I just have not been able to organize my thoughts (past doing this blog post that is! lol) to write a review of the few things I have finished reading… they are coming! I promise!

That is all I have for today! What about you? How have you all been?

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


See you all back here on Friday!

Eye Candy Friday | Get Away Edition

Eye Candy Friday | Get Away Edition

By the time you all read this, we will be well on our way to the Great State of Michigan! I hope you all find joy in this gorgeous sunset from Frankfort, Michigan – a pre-pandemic sunset!

I will be back with you all on October 13th!

 

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.29.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.29.21

Hello, Unravelers!

Last week there was little to no making because we were gone for 10-ish days. (There was some sewing and the elastic waist band insertion and hemming of said sewing is on my list for today!)

This week there has been little to no making because we leave Friday for Michigan for 10-ish days. So there are all the things to get ready to go again… plus some extras for the grands!

So what do I have to share with you all this week? Just a passel of freshly laundered hand-knits! Monday was just glorious here in Pittsburgh and I took full advantage of the day. I washed 10 sweaters and one Clapotis and the best part… I dried them all outside. The winds really helped and by the time I was ready to cook dinner, they were all dried!

Maintaining making is more important than the making, right? This week that’s my story! LOL

The reading this week was just so good!

The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #17)The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Everyone is back in Three Pines and life could not be better! Or can it? This installment takes us places Gamache and crew have never gone. It was fascinating watching everyone work out the moral dilemma…for some it seemed easy, for others… well, it was some work.

Timely (although I wish we, like Three Pines, were done with COVID!) and thought provoking.

The Fallen Angel (Gabriel Allon, #12)The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was much happier with this installment of the Allon escapades! He is working on restoring some artwork for The Vatican… and of course someone dies. And that leads Gabriel and his team on a twisting, turning mission. But are they all connected? You must read to find out.

I liked the ending very much and it appears that Gabriel and Chiara are heading back to Israel for good!

I highly recommend this series!


That is all I have for this week… and sadly next week there will be no Unraveled Wednesday. I will be in Michigan making up for lost time with my family.

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave you link below and thank you! See you all back here on  Wednesday, October 13th!


Release | September 2021

Release | September 2021

Everything in life goes back to the basics. — Kron Gracie

This month’s prompt encouraged us to go back to basics with our word.

Okay. So this month I tried to search out “back to basics” with my word and I had some wins!

This year I have really focused on staying in the moment, day, and yes, season. This was a huge change versus old me who was always focused on what is coming next, and yes…lots of time wishing for “my favorite season“. Not so this year… I stayed in summer right up to that last day. Yes, I was happy that as the month wore on, there were a couple of days that I was very comfortable in a sweater. But the release of summer and welcome to fall was a very happy occasion.

I also released the misguided idea that the only thing worth making is home grown. Case in point… tomato jam. In years past we have had such a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes that I can eat and preserve. Not so this year… but boy were we missing some tomato jam on our happy our table! So I let go of the idea that it needed to be home grown tomatoes and did a riff on this recipe… with a couple of cans of diced tomatoes. (The recipe is easy, it is super-tasty, and fills the void on my happy hour spread!) So… releasing misguided ideas worked very well this month. Likewise, since I knew there would be zero chance of being able to stop at a farmers market in the near future, I picked up a bag of apples from TJ’s late last week… there will be some apple baking this week!

Which brings me to the gardening portion of release… I have ripped out all the vegetable plants and have released the notion that there will be a garden next year. I think a pass is absolutely in order because this was a very unproductive garden year. We did not harvest our investments worth of veggies. So I have written in my planner for next April to pass on the garden and I am releasing a sigh of relief at that idea!

The other thing I painfully released was all my container gardens. Yes, they are all empty and tucked away for spring. We leave Friday for Michigan (at long last!!!!) and I did not want to return to dead, straggly plants to tear out. Yes it was painful, but my mid-October self will thank me for doing that work now.

I don’t know if any of this counts as being “back to basics” but it very much feels like it is. Every day life… living in the moment… about as basic as one can get.

I want to thank Carolyn for providing a space for us all to share our Word Journey. Please make sure you stop by this week and see what paths everyone is on this month!

See you all back here on Wednesday for some Unraveling!

Falling into Friday | 9.24.21

Falling into Friday | 9.24.21

It feels like Autumn turned off the summer switch and plunged us directly into fall here in Western PA. Late Wednesday afternoon some storms pushed through bringing rain, winds, and much cooler temperatures. Thursday morning was all about the layers for Sherman’s morning constitutional. I was so happy to have a cozy sweater to put on!

Fall brings the return of some of my favorite things (besides cooler days, that is!) I made a happy discovery on Monday morning when I opened my podcast queue to see that The Slowdown has returned! Yes, it is back with a lovely new host… Ada Limón. (today’s episode is especially moving!) And for all of you Pádraig Ó Tuama fans, he returns with Poetry Unbound on Monday!

I was fortunate to watch Nadia Bolz-Weber interview Pádraig about In the Shelter this week and it was such a lively, fun, beautiful conversation. I have since started re-reading In the Shelter with new eyes and it is helping with those feelings of discomfort, angst, etc that I have been feeling. (The Chapel has been the best thing I decided to do this year. It has brought a renewal of joy to my life. And it is decidedly “un-church-y” and is missing all of that Uber-religious-sanctimonious-fake bs that I have zero tolerance for.)

I might have stumbled on they key to returning my missing Knitting Mojo… I had been talking to Steve about Sherman needing a new sweater … a lighter weight layer rather than the “winter wooly” he has for those super cold mornings. And then, serendipitously, I saw this on IG Wednesday night. I am purchasing the pattern today and I have some well-aged hand-dyed red sock yarn in my stash that I think will make the perfect Fall Sweater for Sherms!

In the realm of Completely Weird and Definitely Wrong I need to talk about my lilac bush. In the middle of August it started dropping a few leaves and then as the month progressed more leaves dropped and it started getting some dark brown spots on the leaves. I did a bit of a Google search and decided that it might have bacterial blight… except that the branches did not wither or die at all so I figured I would solve this problem *after* we returned home from our little vacay. Fast forward to our return from Erie and my entirely de-leafed lilac had a plethora of new green leaves on the top 12-inches of all the branches… like ALL the branches. And this week it began blooming. Dozens and dozens and dozens of blooms. Seriously, easily 6 dozen lilac blooms. It looks like some strange Seussian plant with pale green leaves and a riot of pale purple booms on a long stick. I have no idea what on earth is wrong with it… but if you have any ideas please share! Lilac blooms in October is something I never ever imagined. lol

Finally, I have this urge to bake.all.the.things. and have been looking with longing at all you who have sourdough starters you are reviving for the fall. Sigh. I have never had sourdough starter success. Ever. And I have tried. But I reminded myself that I have successfully baked very good bread… so instead of wishing for something I am not likely to be successful with, I have put “bake bread” on my Monday To Do list and I am excited to renew my relationship with Peter Reinhart. (and some freshly baked bread will be the perfect accompianment to the left over chicken soup I made yesterday!)

That is all I have for this week… I will see you all back here on Monday with my September update for my word. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

 

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