Autumn has been teasing us this week with cooler mornings that give way to mild afternoons. I am soaking up each and every moment of these most welcome days!
Has my Knitting Mojo returned? Well… there is a finished Gnorwen (who has been delivered to Steve’s mom already!) But knit a sweater mojo? I am still waiting for that to show up!
In the mean time…there is a thing I simply cannot get out of my head! A variation on this theme (Ravelry link) but a rectangular variation… knit from plötulopi yarn. I need to do some swatching to see how this will all work out but luckily I have some yarn in my stash I can do some swatching with! I need to determine a width and how many flowers might fit. I am thinking about two options:
- Option one: Three full flowers on one “row” and two full flowers with a half on each edge of the alternating “row” or
- Option two: Knit the “border” pattern… as an all over pattern.
Stay tuned for some swatching to see what I like best!
And I have begun some super secret Advent Calendar sewing… When I think of the whole thing together, it seems a bit overwhelming, so I have broken it down into parts to work on over the next three weeks. I will share photos once the it has been delivered to the recipients!
Now how about a long overdue book update?!
The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What to read when you think you are a “good ally” but in reading you discover that you still have a long way to go to even get to being a good ally.
This is a hard book to listen to (and I listened to Heather read it to me) it is full of gut-punches. To think about the phrase “cut your nose off to spite your face” is the reality of this book. Rather than do the right thing… the moral thing… we as a nation have chosen to do the wrong thing too many times to count… and have chosen to do it almost always to our own detriment.
Heather lays out a very clear roadmap of the systemic racism that has long been the foundation of this nation (and, sadly, is still its guiding principle today.)
I highly recommend this as must read material!
The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I had originally given this book 3-stars, but my disappointment in it is great. I have been scratching my head wondering how this pleasant little novel, set in the loveliest setting, could jump the shark so badly. I have since downgraded it to 2-stars but with a huge caution… the dog dies.
I do not recommend this installment in the Bruno series for that reason.
The English Girl by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you ask me which story from the Allon series did Gabriel hit is stride… it will be this book. Gosh, it was just so good seeing the culmination of all the work from the previous novels finally settle into place… and finally for Gabriel to be comfortable with that culmination.
As always, Allon’s wisdom and smarts are the best bits of the writing. And coming closely behind that are the relationships he builds with those around him and how he never, ever holds a grudge.
The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What an entirely charming and completely unexpected little book. The characters are lovely, the relationships they form are touching, and where they each start is not where they finish.
The power of friendship is an incredible thing!
I highly recommend this book!
What about you? What is calling you this week?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
I usually write Monday’s post on Sunday afternoon… usually. Yesterday no inspiration struck at all so Monday morning arriving sans blog post is leaving me feeling a bit like the kid who did not do *any* of their homework over the weekend. Hoo boy…
Welcome to the Monday-est Monday! LOL
Sadly, I don’t have any cohesive thoughts but I do have some odds and ends that might be share-worthy! So here we go!
It has been a most un-fall-like fall in these parts. We were still running the air last week. And can I tell you about the volume of mosquitoes outside? As a result, I have begun paying closer attention to the Dark Sky app with hopes of a bug killing frost heading my way SOON because I am so over having a gajillion mosquito bites on my arms and legs! They are even making Sherman miserable so we tried a salve that someone recommended… and it works well! (Bonus in that it has really helped make my hands feel softer too! lol)
Speaking of hands… it has been eons since I went to get manicures at a salon. And for a time I was trying to paint my nails on the regular… but I really missed how nice my nails looked having them done professionally, not to mention that Salon Nails lasted way longer than Home Nails. I know I am late to the Olive and June crowd, but wow. Way back in September I got a start up kit…which I thought was kind of spendy but it had 5 bottles of polish and some other gadgets. I added in the nail primer and can I tell you all how blown away I am?!! Today I am on day 15 of a polish… and it is still going strong! I don’t get the whole Poppy thing and I am not doing “Manicure Bootcamp” but for a long lasting polish they are winners!
My To-Do List today includes filling out my ballot for the November election and get it mailed in pronto. I have been an avid poll worker since moving to PA but I am taking a hard pass this time around. The vitriol at the past two elections has been unsettling and that vitriol… well it has ramped up significantly in my neighborhood. It was not an easy decision, but once I made it I knew it was the right one… at least for the time being. If you go to vote in person in November… please take a moment to thank the people working there. They don’t hear it often enough!
As I mentioned on Friday, I got my flu shot last week and I also got my third COVID booster as well. That Double Whammy did me in… I did not move far from the sofa on Saturday. But by Sunday I was feeling much better and had a bit of a weekend! But that sofa time on Saturday? Well, I watched and re-watched (and maybe made Steve watch it with me for a third time!) the Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct! If you have not played for a bit… some FUN things are coming in November!
What about you? What odds and ends are part of your Monday?
Oh… and that sunset? That was the ending of my day last Thursday. It was too gorgeous not to share!
Whew! Re-entry week almost over and it feels like “normal” life is more normal!
My day started out incredibly when Steve sent me this link for my listening pleasure! (Adele’s new album drops Nov. 19 and I.can’t.wait!!)
The Loose Tooth is still hanging in there! (Heidi is a much more patient mom than I ever was, I would have pulled the sucker out by now! lol)
We had such strange weather in Michigan… practically no wind any day! Which meant no waves at the beach. It was so strange to stand on the Frankfort Beach and have Lake Michigan be like glass!
I get my flu shot this morning… yay!
My knitting mojo has RETURNED! Thanks to Gnorwen! LOL Today is all about Arm Knitting and I am eager to finish the things on my list so I can sit down and knit!
Finally (so I can get started on my list!) I heard a poem by Connie Wanek this week and I have not stopped thinking about it since. I think there is some incredible wisdom on her words which had me nodding my head frequently. (And I had no idea that Connie has a collection of Mrs. God poems!)
by Connie Wanek
Someone had to do the dirty work,
spading the garden, moving mountains,
keeping the darkness out of the light,
and she took every imperfection personally.
Mr. Big Ideas, sure,
but someone had to run the numbers.
Then talk about babies: he never imagined
That was part of his charm, of course,
his frank amazement at consequences.
The pretty songs he gave the finches:
those spoke to his
innocence, his ability to regard
every moment as fresh. “Let’s give them
free will and see what happens.”
he said, ever the optimist.
Connie Wanek, “Mrs. God” from Rival Gardens: New and Selected Poems.
Have a great weekend everyone! I will see you all back here on Monday!
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!
- 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!
- 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)
- 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!
- Wrangling Kitties with Vivi… what fun! (This was a daily occurrence that happened before dinner!)
- Answering all the “wats’at’s” from Winston! (I think Heidi especially liked that he found a new person to ask! lol)
- Checking on Vivi’s wiggly tooth each day… boy that sucker just is hanging on for dear life!
- Playing games… practically, non-stop… with Vivi. Whew, each night I’d practically collapse into bed!
- 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!
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!
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 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 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!