Museum of Me | January 2022

Museum of Me | January 2022

I thought it might be fun to join Kym once a month and invite you all to an exhibit of My Museum…

and then I saw January’s prompt: Something you were really good at as a child (either something you still do — or something you “grew out of” doing)

Hello fun… come back here…where are you going?

Okay so in all honesty, Gentle Readers… I worked very hard at being invisible when I was a child… or I tried to excel at being invisible at all moments. (I am very certain that I have grown out of wanting to be invisible, but it took years and years and years of work.)

Second to being invisible was escaping…

The thing I found best for accomplishing both of those things was reading and though I did not read until I was well into first grade… once I began reading I discovered the incredible world of books that were just waiting to “take me away!”

Since then, with the exception of those sleep starved years of young child parenting, I have been an avid voracious reader.

I started with good old Dick and Jane and I honestly don’t remember any other books until I discovered The Little House Books, which I loved and read over and over. I also loved any book about animals, so I had a long running Black Beauty phase as well.

I then had an “angsty teen” phase with Harlequin Romance books… I know… wut?! I can’t believe I am even admitting this here! Ha!

That angsty teen phase gave way to the so much better (NOT, LOL) “bodice ripping” books which occupied my reading hours for a good many years.

And then came the kiddos… and a whole new world of books opened up. Eric Carle was a particular favorite of mine (as well as my kids!) And I just loved that the girls (especially Rachel) adored The Little House books. And then came Harry Potter! We were the ultimate Harry Potter Family! We read them aloud together each day after homework was done. The best of times were sitting around the dinner table talking about Harry’s escapades!

Once I returned to “regular adult reading,” I no longer reached for a trashy romance novel. But I really did not have a clue about what I even liked to read! So I just began reading all sorts of genres and I discovered I liked epic “style” novels. (Think Mario Puzo, John Jakes, and James Michener style novels… I loved them!) And then I fell down the “mystery” hole and have really never climbed out. I do so love a good mystery.

And when I think now that I can “go to the library” from my iPhone and check out a book it just amazes me how far reading has come! I can pick an eBook or have an audiobook read to me!

I no longer read to become invisible, but gosh Pandemic Life has absolutely reinforced that you can absolutely “escape” in a book and find yourself in a place you never imagined.

Thank you for visiting My Museum today! I hope you all have a weekend that includes some reading! See you all back here on Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.12.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.12.22

January is somehow just racing on and honestly, I am shocked today is the 12th! How is that possible?

I have been doing lots of spinning and loving every single second of it! I have just two bits of fiber to spin from my Base12 Advent Spin. Seriously, this is absolutely the best purchase I made in 2021 and will absolutely be participating again this year! I am so excited to ply all these fibers/colors together that I spent a couple of days spinning two packages so I can begin the final plying. Well…I am happy to say that Final Plying will happen on Friday… and I can hardly wait!

I did get those black corduroy pants cut out, but have done ZERO sewing. Sigh. My plan is that this will “occupy” my time tomorrow to stave off any idea of “too soon” plying that might take root in my brain! Ha!

The reading has been light this week… just one finish. But it is a heavy finish… 18 + hours of listening to the very well told tale of the Sackler family.

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler DynastyEmpire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An eye opening story… you think you have “heard” of the Sackler’s? Keefe has volumes of information to expand on what you think you might have heard and shows you how little you really know.

In reality, this is a tale of how the drug industry became the organization that drives how drugs are prescribed, how drugs are marketed, and how the the easy it was to find doctors that were ready and willing to jump on the Drug Profit Bandwagon.

It is such a sad story and one that makes me happy there are attorneys… a thing that I am rarely happy about.

This is not a story for everyone… it was a very hard listen. I took many breaks, but it tells a story that goes beyond the surface news bits you might have heard. I highly recommend.


What about you? What is keeping your attention this week?

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


Thoughts to get through Monday | 1.10.22

Thoughts to get through Monday | 1.10.22

(And the necessary beverage to help! Ha!!)

In my household, we have finally gotten past the “Holiday Weeks” that encompass the end of the year and generally spill into the New Year. Today is the first “normal Monday” I have had in a while and it feels so good!

We had some snow on Friday for a hot minute… sigh. By Sunday it was all gone and the rains returned… by Sunday afternoon my poor yard was just one giant soggy (which then turned into the frozen tundra this morning!) Yep, weather whiplash is in high gear here… 40’s yesterday and a bitter 18° this morning.

I purposely left my Dickens Village up when I took down the remainder of Christmas… I really enjoyed it this year and leaving  it up for these extra days has been a treat. But today I will take it all down and tuck it safely away for another year. I am ready for a “cleaner” mantle.

Today all this will be packed away!

Last week Bonny shared that she picked up some instant espresso to treat herself and I loved this little idea of “treating oneself”. It is one of the best self care things ever… to do something special for yourself! Some years ago I “treated” myself to a wee little Bialetti Moka Express Pot. It was the best purchase I ever made for myself! I soon added a 6-cup model and I use one of these pots every single day. I don’t own a drip coffee pot any longer. I make myself a pot every single morning and on the morning’s that Steve is here then I use the larger pot to split between us. About once a quarter I have to change the rubber gasket and once a year I put in a new filter in as well. As you can see it is well-used! (Barkeepers Friend keeps it nice and shiny!) The best part is that the only “waste” I have on a daily basis are coffee grounds and I can put them in a container to mulch into my garden.

1. All ready for service! 2. Fill with water to “this” line! 3. Next, fill the basket with grounds. 4. Finally, add some frothed milk and a splash of cinnamon syrup and enjoy!

And that is my best advice for you on this “back to normal” (??) Monday… treat yourself to something special today! And skip those guilty thoughts… just treat yourself! You are so very worth it!

Happy Monday All!

Currently | 1.7.22

Currently | 1.7.22

In December, as I began thinking about my word for this year… one of the things that I also spent some time contemplating was this blog. I thought long and hard about its future and I determined that I still had things to share, contributions to make, and, especially, the connections I have made here over the years! But, this blog does not write itself and that means that I have to make an actual effort to… well… create content to post here!

I have sort of mapped out a plan of post topics to help me “jump start” my creativity and so this First Friday it begins!

I will be doing quarterly “Currently” posts as a check in with myself… what am I doing. (or most importantly…what am I not doing and what should I be doing!)

Unpacking: My word! January is always such a fun month to spend looking at all the possibilities a word has and in the unpacking of the word, I always always find things I did not previously consider about the word. And I just love writing down definitions, writing down the “stream of  words” that come to my mind as I unpack the word. Good things for January! It is the one month that I really like being at my desk!

Planning: Some January sewing! I think this is the *second* winter that has passed since I determined that I’d like a pair of corduroy pants… (THIS is exactly what these posts are going to help me do… be more accountable on the things I “talk” about wanting to get done! HA) Anyways… I simply love Sew House Seven’s Free Range Slacks and I plan on getting the pattern cut out this weekend so I am ready to start sewing on Monday! I also really need a couple of “nicer” sweat shirt-style shirts. I have had the Cosmos Sweatshirt pattern for a while now and I have these two lovely pieces of French Terry from Blackbird Fabrics. FOMU (that’s Fear Of Messing Up) has stymied me however. But I did not buy the fabric to just look at it! So I am breaking out from the fear and at least getting them washed and dried today! Then I will plan my next steps… I have not sewn knits is so long. (but thankfully Sewing YouTube has dozens of helpful videos!)

Shaking up: Friday Happy Hours! Boy, have they felt stale as the year ended. So I have been spent a little bit of time finding some new recipes and ideas to “spruce them up” a bit! Phase One starts tonight with a something freshly baked… stay tuned! (And I will be posting an update on IG! What??? LOL)

Speaking of Baking: In November I began making a “bucket” of dough and have been using Zoë François/Jeff Hertzberg 5-minute bread recipe. It keeps is the fridge for 2 weeks and makes it so simple to just pull out a bit of dough to make a loaf of very good bread! I expect this to continue as the dough can be used for pizza as well! It is nice having home made pizza every other week! (A favorite of ours is one with a chicken breast that I have previously cooked and shredded, some artichoke hearts, a drizzle of olive oil and some parmesan cheese!)

Watching: Call the Midwife and loving every second of it! (I also watched the first episode of Around the World in 80-days with DAVID TENNANT… so far, so good…and DAVID TENNANT!) These have been my “companions” while I have been spinning… and they are such very good company!

Spinning… with a plan in mind: I started a “sweater spin” last year and it sort of lost its sparkle. I love the fiber but the sweater part of the spinning has been the issue I think. So I changed the sweater plan… drastically! I knit Romi’s Morinne sweater (Rav link) some years ago and I love the design and fit so much… but the yarn I knit it with… not so much. It pills horribly and now after some years of wear it really looks like hell. This change in sweater has spurred on my spinning… as has the excitement of opening a little bit of fiber each day from Hipstrings Base12 Advent spin… which I thought was just spinning with no plan until yesterday… I think that this will make a lovely Hitchhiker (and I am sure that I will have more than enough yarn to knit a generous one!)

Bandwagon Knitting: I know that I said I was NOT doing any bandwagon knitting this year… but I should know better than to every say never… because on Wednesday night I jumped on the Musselburgh Wagon and began that fiddly little cast on. I am not through all the increases yet so I have not quite gotten to the “mindless knitting” portion of the hat… but soon!

And there you have the things that are currently filling the minutes of my days! What about you? Tell me one thing that you are really excited about!

Have a great weekend everyone and I will see you all back here on Monday!

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.5.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.5.22

Happy New Year, Dear Unravelers!

In the “Dead Zone” that is the week between Christmas and New Years I did some “retail therapy” with Miss Babs. Why, you ask, could I need more yarn?!? Well, suffice it that it felt right and so I did it! My year of making is going to include a bit of a Gnome-a-thon! Yes, I am joining Imagine Landscapes for her Year of Gnomes! There might have also been a few things that “fell” into my cart from the MDK sale as well. I got notification yesterday that my yarn from Miss Babs is on its way but have heard nothing yet about the MDK extravaganza heading my way! I am hoping that soon every.single.field.guide. will be here. If nothing else, it will be some excellent reading! Ha!

Meanwhile… I did begin the Base12 Advent Spin. Oh my, is this going to be fun. My plan is that I will spin half of the twelve packages on one bobbin, the other half on another bobbin and I will ply them together. I have no clue what is in any of the little packages but the first package (Number Five thanks to the roll of the cute little die) spun up beautifully. I don’t know the exact content of the wee little batt but there is silk… gosh it is lovely! And the tiniest bit of something shiny! (And that color! Yes, I am liking it!)

I also cast on a new knit! Remember that mohair silk from the hat I knit for myself last year? Well… I started a cowl (Thanks to Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise!) So far, so good… sort of. If I look closely at the fabric under very bright lights the pooling is quite horrid, imo. (It’s the mohair that is causing the problem… grrrr!) However, I am telling myself that I don’t think any of the pooling will be at all noticeable when it is around my neck and that is working… kinda, lol. Further, I am reminding myself that when I am wearing it I won’t be looking at it. Anyways, I am loving that the mohair seems much fluffier when paired with the handspun yarn that it did with the Weld. I would kind of like to have this done soonish, as we are finally supposed to get some actual winter-type weather in these parts!

Whew!! That is all the making that I got done since we last spoke!

The reading had highs and lows last week and I have NO finishes at all this week, thus far. I started Still Life but could not get it finished before it was due (yeah I did not start it when I got it… and silly me thought that I would be able to read it in a day or two which was not the case. So I am back on the holds list… sigh.)

In my ears is the very compelling tale about the Sackler’s – Empire of Pain… I might be finished with it next week, but maybe not… it is not a story that I can just “sit and get lost in” kind of book.

I did get one more book finished last year… it was a book from Netgalley and boy was it good! As for the other finish…well you can read below!

State of TerrorState of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oh my… I really, really, really wanted to love this book but boy did it fall flat.

I have read every Louise Penny book and a good number written by Secretary Clinton and separately, I love their voices… together…not so much.

I hated, hated, hated the “Three Pines” mentions… really… they did not work at all for me. I don’t like an abbreviated Gamache.

If you love Three Pines writing, and you love the things Secretary Clinton has written… you probably won’t like this book.

2.5 stars rounded up to three.

An Abolitionist's Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the WorldAn Abolitionist’s Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was the perfect way to end 2021… and I believe this brilliant little book is “must reading” for every single person in America. Really.

Patrisse Cullors gives the reader a road map to be a catalyst for change in the world… and I am not talking radical change (although I think if one applies all of her 12-steps it would radical!) This book seemed to me a series of love letters to yourself and to the people around you that you might interact with every single day.

The only reason I am giving this book 4-stars is because I truly wished it was longer… gosh, it was so good I did not want it to end.

If you want to be a better ally… read this book. But realize that if you do read this book, you will be setting yourself on the path to becoming a better human. And wouldn’t it be a wonder if everyone who reads this book suddenly finds themselves on the same path as everyone else!

I would like to thank Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for the ARC of this audiobook. I highly recommend!


And that is all I have for today! What about you… any New Year Cast On’s? Any new books? Do tell!

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


On my way to full | 1.3.22

On my way to full | 1.3.22

Early in 2021… when I really wanted to bail on release…I began to ponder a new word and have had a bit of a running list for most of 2021.

Despite adding words to my list, I persevered with release but once the 4th quarter arrived I began thinking in earnest about what my new word might be for this year and I spent lots of time thinking about all those words on my list.

Unbelievably, not one of them made the cut… I know, it even shocked me because they all have so much potential!

In late November a couple of things happened in my life…my sister’s ongoing issues and the anniversary of my mom’s death – one thing I’d like to solve, the other I’d like to forget – but those are a story for another day. Anyways, those things kept me focused on release for the remainder of the year.

December was so heavy and as a solace I spent lots of time reading poetry and listening others read poetry and the things I discovered were amazing.

First, I stumbled across Mary Oliver’s The Summer Day and a phrase from the poem just jumped off the page and into my head. I had never heard those words before… even though I have read/heard the last sentence of the poem dozens of times… this bit was a revelation to me: Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Wow. Just wow.

Now my intention is not for this to be the most morbid “Hello, New Word” post in history, but true facts… I am 61 years old. If I am blessed to live as long as my nana… I just have 26 more years on this earth. And if I am not that blessed… well, you see the dilemma. So this year I want to begin to really use the things I learned in my Year of Focus and my Year of Intentional Living (and yes, in my Year of Release) and begin to fill my life with the things that matter and stop with the things that don’t matter all.

But what are those things? I think have some ideas, but this year I am going to really try and not waste any time on things that don’t matter. I want to be able to look back and see there was nothing else I should have done because I lived a FULL life to the last moments. I think I am so blessed to have spent such a hard year with release… because release led me to this path.

It is almost as if release said to me… now you are ready… fill yourself up!

(And in case you think my word should have been fill… I wanted to focus more on the result of being full which I hope will help me make my choices of what I “fill” wiser.)

Because being full does not mean just doing all.the.things.

Just before the year ended I listened to an episode of The Slow Down and Ada Limón shared these words of wisdom:

One question that I often get asked is how to overcome writer’s block. And the funny thing is, I overcome it, by not overcoming it. I think it’s OK to not write. I think it’s OK not to talk, not to make, not to create, not to produce, produce, produce. How can we listen to the world if we are always talking to the world?

Wait, what? It’s okay not to talk, not to make, not to create, not to produce, produce, produce?

These words were a bit of a balm for my spirit, let me tell you and coupled with Krista Tippet’s conversation about listening to the silence with Gordon Hempton, I knew I was on the right path. (sometimes I need to have the message hit me in the face multiple times before I get it… thank you, universe for making that happen so brilliantly!)

So I invite you to come along on this journey to see what I will fill myself up with this year and,  hopefully, as I am ending 2022 and on the cusp of 2023, I will be on my way to being full of lots of wonderful things!

P.S. If you would like to hear Mary Oliver read her poem, you will find it here!

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