Each morning I begin my day the same way…before I can just sit with my thoughts I take Sherman out. He is a fine and quiet companion in the early morning… and he does not mind my silence while I listen to The Writer’s Almanac podcast and this morning’s edition was just spectacular. It’s Billy Collins’ 80th birthday today and if you want to listen to Garrison read a lovely Billy Collins poem you can do that here!
Listening to poetry really is a very good thing to start my day.
Another good thing I listened to this week was this episode of On Being. I think I knew some of these things, but boy did it help to hear someone talk about the stresses we’ve been living with… and how do we re-emerge when this is all over.
The On Being discussion on stress really helped in light of a conversation I had about gauge on Saturday with Sarah and Jane. You might have read about Kym’s gauge struggles so I felt a little déjà vu when I sat down to swatch for the Daytripper Cardigan… a MaryJane Mucklestone design… which, by the way, is the same gauge as 3 other MaryJane Mucklestone sweaters I had previously knit. I got gauge on each of them with absolutely no issues. This time? oh boy. I have a stack of swatches to show how I struggled with it! First I thought just do some knitty maths and go with my original swatch… good in theory, but the maths and the sizing did not work out for me. End result, while I have not measured my last swatch this morning, pre-washing it was on gauge. That swatch? Knit with a US 11 needle… on the bright side, my sweater will knit up even faster now! So even in struggles as you work your way out good things can be found!
Another good thing was this photo my daughter shared… and I just laughed right out loud!
Vivi, the chicken wrangler!
Finally, buds are appearing on my forsythia and lilac bush in my yard. It makes me smile to see them! Happy Monday everyone! See you all back here on Wednesday!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This is the holiday when you should try and knit with some green yarn (and absolutely not try to drink any green beer!) Sadly, I am doing neither but I am knitting! Ha!
I thought if a knitter had written the Irish blessing it might look something like this:
May the stash yarns finally whisper to you.
May your patterns never curse you.
May yarn chicken never beat you.
May the wisdom of EZ always surround you.
~ An Irish-ish Knitter’s Blessing
The making this week finds me still on Sleeve Island although I am close to departure! I also am in the slog of sock knitting for my evening television watching knitting… just round and round and round and round. It is a wee bit taller today as I knit quite a bit last night, but there are still miles to go before I start heel construction!
I started another Hitchhiker but it is in time out right now while I ponder the beads on the points. I am not sure they are worth the effort as they don’t seem very visible to me. What are your thoughts?
I also began contemplating banging out a Daytripper Cardigan. The pull to do so is strong! And I might have enough yarn in my stash to do so… I know, so it is likely I will do some swatching as soon as I make my departure from Sleeve Island!
The reading has been varied this week. I have just two finishes, (but I am so close on a third!)
Oh boy. This story. This story unfolds with in a department store and Klara being selected as a companion for Josie. Klara is fascinating to me… her perception of all around her, and her manners being far superior to the “real people” around her. We discover that Josie is ill and there is an undercurrent to push Josie’s mother and Klara closer together. And soon we discover why and that is where the book kind of derails for me. I felt very uncomfortable thinking about where Kazuo takes us. The writing is good, but the story is unnerving.
This book is just darling, really… darling is the perfect word to describe it! It is a collection of letters written between a book collector and a book seller and the relationship they forge over the years. It is funny, poignant, and easy to follow (I listened to it). The banter is fun as is thinking about a time when everything wasn’t instant…
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I haven’t done a “weekending” post in eons. Thank you, Pandemic Living for making weekends utterly unsharable! How many different ways can you say… ummm, we did the same thing as every other weekend.
Well, this weekend was the not like the previous weekends, so I thought it was “share-worthy”!
We started out on Friday heading off to IKEA… it was busy. So busy. Too busy. Pre-pandemic, I would not have even given a thought to all those people… but now? Being in a group of people is just not comfortable… so we rushed and did not get everything we came for…sigh. So we went back first thing on Saturday. However, we were smarter about our second trip. I looked up where the things were that we needed to get, made a list and we were in and out in less that 20 minutes and only saw 4 people. Why did we need to go to IKEA you ask? Well, we needed to replace our outdoor table and chairs. And we needed rubber backed rugs. The remainder of Saturday involved deconstructing the old patio furniture and building the new patio furniture. We also put the awning up on the pergola so we are ready to go on the next “moderately warm day” to eat outside. It was the perfect day to do all that work. It was sunny, but not at all warm. I wore a lopapeysa and was NOT too warm at all! We got a bigger table so I need to rethink the patio plants, but I am excited for the possibilities! Oh, and Sherman… well, as you can see he was took his supervisory role seriously, NOT! Ha…rather, he soaked up the sun and slept during the work. Thankfully, we completed the task with out his help! LOL
New table and benches!
I also picked up another Råskog cart from IKEA to give some semblance of order to my “spinning corner” in the living room. (versus having things just laying around on the various flat surfaces) I spent some time on Sunday putting it together and organizing it. I think this is going to be an excellent addition and I love that I can see things, but they are not laying around!
Everything in a place!
Finally, we purchased 8 rubber backed bathroom rugs. Yes…8. Why so many you ask? Well, recently Sherman has struggled to walk on the wood floors. He slips and falls all the time. So I had a conglomeration of rugs and/or towels down for him… but they slipped around almost as much as he did! So, now Sherman has a non-slip “path” to get from the dining room to the living room and he LOVES it! We probably won’t win any house decorating awards, but a happy pug makes me happy.
The Sherman Super Highway!
There was also a bit of Happy Houring, some corned beef cooking, and… perhaps best of all… I managed to get COVID vaccine appointments this afternoon for Steve’s dad, Steve, and myself! Shot one will soon be done and I am so incredibly happy about that! AND! We survived time-change (but back to zero-dark thirty to walk Sherman, sigh) Hahaha!
Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend too!
Let the rain sing you a lullaby. — Langston Hughes
We had a delicious taste of spring in Pittsburgh this week…warm temperatures, sunshine, and yes… some rain. It pattered on the roof all night and reminded me how lovely it is to be tucked into bed when it rains. It is the perfect invitation for sleep! Overnight my grass was suddenly green and it smelled so good outside! In the hushed winter world there are not any smells…but spring rains bring a smell overload!
And what could be more hopeful that the changing of the seasons. The forsythia bushes have taken on a yellowish-green hue as they wake from their winters nap. The maple tree in the front yard has been waiting patiently all winter for the right moment for its buds to open…and her wait is almost over. Those buds are a lovely red that looks even redder against a blue sky!
But this gives me such hope!
Last night President Biden gave me so much hope and I will gladly encourage everyone to get vaccinated when it’s your turn! (and in case you missed him last night…here you go!)
It makes me happy to hear about friends that I have worried about getting vaccinated. It makes me happy that Steve’s mom got her first shot this week! It makes me happy to hear about YOU getting vaccinated. And it makes me very happy to think about celebrating freedom from this virus on the 4th of July. And it will make me extraordinarily happy when it is finally my turn! Sometimes the best hope of all comes in a little glass vial.
Have a great weekend everyone! See you all back here on Monday!
When confronted with a birthday in a week I will remember that a book can be a really good present, too. — Stephanie Pearl McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
I finally began those socks again… and this time I decided to use a toe up sock pattern… sort of. I will do increases until they are wide enough for Steve’s feet and then knit on. Fortunately he does not like tall socks, so once I get to the heel all the hard work will be done! That is if I get through the fiddly bit of the toe! Ha! I need to get them done because a birthday book would not be at all appreciated, lol!
However, what I am focused on is a sweater! Yes, I am back on Sleeve Island again this week. This time I am knitting away on Purl String sleeves. This sweater will be the perfect thing for spring so the urge to get it done is strong. However complicated the knitting of the sleeves are… there are decreases every X rounds, and something else happening every Y rounds. Which means there is lots of counting… sigh.
A priest has been murdered and, of course, there are a collection of suspects. DI Strafford (Sinjin) begins the task of unwinding the lies and alibis… but does that lead to the killer? An excellent and well-told story.
I don’t remember what directed me to read this book but I am so glad I did! If you need something to take your mind off Pandemic Times… this.is.the.book! The Life and Times of Ignatius J. Reilly are something to behold. I laughed… lots. The characters in the book are just magnificent – I loved the fallibility of them! I hate to say this, but boy… I have one or two of these characters in my life! I highly recommend this glorious book!
I read this book after I watched the Netflix series, but that did not diminish this story at all. It is brilliantly crafted, it pulls you in from the opening sentence and carries you along to the very last page. I know less than nothing about chess but that did not diminish the story either. I loved all the bits with Beth strategizing. I fell in love with Beth and all her faults! If you have not read this book, you should…now!
But February made me shiver… — Don Mclean, American Pie
As I put this look back together Don Mclean’s song kept echoing in my head. A melancholy song for a melancholy month… a month of some hard emotional lifting. A month that the weather, miraculously, matched my mood.
But as I look back, I see glimmers of hope… increasing daylight, a gift of flowers that remind me how very much I am loved, a brilliant young poet who speaks to my heart, not one but two finished objects, and a wee doggy who is simply the best companion – especially on the hard days. Oh, and the snowdrops closed out the month, gently reminding me that these melancholy days are not permanent.