Unraveled Wednesday | 6.16.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.16.21

“LSD stands out for learning to slow down.”
Santosh Kalwar

Yes, this is my mantra for the remainder of the summer. Life in the slow lane… just feels good. In pre-slow times, I would have slammed this tunic out (with a mistake or ten because speed) and moved on to the next thing. This time I took my time… partially because I had to. I made some adjustments to the arm scythe and that meant there were two sleeves to baste in to see if they fit. They didn’t… but those basting stitches were so easy to remove that reworking the sleeves was not the headache I envisioned at all. End result… to lovely fitting sleeves! All that remains on this Esme/Uniform Tunic are a hem and some pockets. Things that will be easy to work on over the next few days.

This sleeve is perfection!

One tiny pucker in one sleeve… sigh.

However, not everything can be at a snails pace because I was picked to do a bit of a test knit for MaryJane Mucklestone! And… my excitement level is OFF THE CHARTS!! This morning I am pulling together colors for the sweater and then some swatching!

So while I am purposely slowing down… this sweater will be the one exception! Woo!

This week’s reading brought more good reading…and still no bingos!

A Thousand ShipsA Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I know many of my friends really loved this book but for me it missed the mark a bit. It is the retelling of the Trojan War…the never-ending Trojan War and Haynes imagines what that must have been like from the women’s perspectives. (And can we just talk about what an ass Odysseus was? Yeah… this book changed my thoughts on him a bit, lol) If you are looking for a book to fill the “Retelling” square on your Summer Book Bingo card… this might be the book for you.

Summer Book Bingo Square: Retelling

On Speaking TermsOn Speaking Terms by Connie Wanek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have heard several of Wanek’s poems on Garrison Keilor’s The Writers Almanac and I really wanted to read more of her poetry. On Speaking Terms did not disappoint. She writes about everyday life in the most direct and beautiful way. Her poems are relatable, at times humorous, and poignant. This excerpt from Scrabble has stayed with me and gosh, it is so true!

I need a t to give me time
a p and I’d have help.
It’s the story of my life,
rearranging assets and coming up shor.

I am eager to read more of her work. If you are looking for a very readable poet, try Connie Wanek… she won’t disappoint!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Any Book

Turtle IslandTurtle Island by Gary Snyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Can you “rediscover” something that is very familiar? If you think not… you need to settle in with Turtle Island and let Gary Snyder show you the very familiar in an entirely new light. The poems felt sacred and almost prayer-like as I read them. This book also gives you a pretty big gut punch with his words on the colonization of North America, yet the poems also give us hope, direction, and a new sense of wonder. I highly recommend.

Summer Book Bingo Square: Pulitzer Prize winner

That is all I have for today… what about you? Are you trying to slow down your summer?

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


Looking Back | May 2021

Looking Back | May 2021

“Most of the dandelions had changed from suns into moons.”
Vladimir Nabokov

For a long month, May seemed over before it began! Likewise… holy cow it seems like all we did was drink! (Perhaps that is why the month flew by? lol)

Anyways… there were some good things this month! Like so many sunny days, blooming iris, and unfurling leaves! AND… there were so many not.too.hot days to be outside enjoying the weather!

Always there are things I could have done better, which include doing more spinning during the month. I barely sat at my wheel in May, aside from that photo to start the month. I hope to remedy that and find some inspiration to sit and spin some in what remains of this month.

There you have my May memories. What about you? What stood out for you in May?

 

TGIF | 6.11.21

TGIF | 6.11.21

I don’t know about you, but the days are racing by… how is it the 11th already? Yikes! I want summer to slow it right down… take your time! What’s the rush? Right?

And with the idea of things racing on past, this weeks list of things are things that are all about slowing down!

Triumvirate (of knitting) —

Go me for figuring out the perfect way to stay excited about summer knitting….have 3 projects underway! LOL I have my “Night-time TV Knitting” (Shakerag Top) and two different shawls. One very neutral shawl (Anne Hanson’s Mystery Knit) to fill a hole in my wardrobe and one that will likely be a gift (Ysolda’s Shawl)! These three things are keeping my attention and when I pick up each of them I am so happy to be doing something different in each one! AND… with three projects in the works… it is a slow process. I am savoring the slowness.

(in-person) Gathering —

Starting next week, weather permitting, I am joining with an outdoor book club that will meet at the Carnegie Library over the next four weeks to talk about Good Talk! In the past I have steered away from graphic novels, but this one has my rapt attention. It is brilliantly done and yes, it is entertaining. But it also is making me stop and think. I can’t wait to participate in the discussions!

(on) Impulse —

Back when I was looking up fabrics that my daughter sent for Hats for Winston, I stumbled across a “pre-order” of some fabric that I just could not walk away from. It was one of those 100% impulse purchases and I promptly forgot about it. Because… pre-order…right? And I really had no “idea” for what to make with it, but that did not deter me from my impulse buy either. Well, it arrived this week and wow! First… I had no idea it had shiny copper metallic balls of yarn on it. I thought they were “peach-colored” in the image I saw, lol. So I bet you think I don’t like it right? Think again… I absolutely LOVE it! It is just the perfect Impulse Buy if ever there was one. It is now slated to become a pair of pants… elastic waist with wide legs and I am thinking ankle length would be perfect. These will be the perfect summer into fall pants!

Find (inspiration) —

The other thing that arrived this week was a box of soft pastels that Amazon suggested to me. Why they made that suggestion, I have no clue but my response was “okay, I’ll try!” I am going to step out of my comfort zone and open the “High School Art Class” drawer in my brain. I am hoping this will fill the making well inside me as well as inspire some creativity. I have no clue where this will lead, but I will share my journey with you all!

And that, my friends, is a wrap for this week! Have a lovely languid, slow weekend and I will see you back here next week!

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.9.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.9.21

Winston provided me with my Hat Review… and I am going to make those brims just a wee bit narrower so he can see, but still be shaded from the sunshine! But… did you ever see anything cuter than Winston in hats? Me either! LOL

This second half of the week I will be trimming back the brims a bit and finishing up the remaining hats for Win.

Continuing in the Shameless Nana Praises…I have an amazing Vivi update. This girl was in a Barrel Race at.age.five. last weekend and she did so well! I am so proud of her! With luck we will be there in August to spend some time… and I cannot wait!

This week the reading was unbelievable! So.Much.AMAZING.Reading!! I am one square away from my first bingo and it is not even mid-June! It just goes to show you what can happen when you spend hours on end outside in the garden with your ear-buds in!

My Name Is Lucy BartonMy Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.

This line from Lucy Barton stayed with me as I listened to this curious story. What is loneliness? Strout does an excellent job of sharing Lucy’s very lonely life. But, if you look back on your life… is it as lonely as you thought it was? Are the people now, exactly what you thought of them then?

An engaging story that I recommend!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Written in the first person

The Messenger (Gabriel Allon, #6)The Messenger by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh boy, this is my favorite (thus far) of the Allon series. It is a fast-paced story that I had a hard time putting down! This story finds Allon back to help his friend in Rome and it takes off with a bang (literally!) and races on as Allon and his team work to unravel this mystery. If you have not read any of these books, you should… they are wonderfully written and the perfect “summer escape”!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Set in a country you’ve never visited

The Office of Historical CorrectionsThe Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

She thought the insistence on victims without wrongdoers was at the base of the whole American problem, the lie that supported all the others.

If two avid reading friends of mine had not so highly recommended this book, I would have passed it by… why? Well… short-stories. I just never quite “get” the entire short-story thing. If that describes your experience with short stories… read this book. It is wonderful. It is eye-opening! Each story is beautifully crafted and each is so thought-provoking. I simply could not stop listening… and then, it was all too soon finished. I highly recommend!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Audiobook with multiple narrators

WhereasWhereas by Layli Long Soldier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The Dakota 38 refers to thirty-eight Dakota men who were executed by hanging, under orders from President Abraham Lincoln. To date, this is the largest “legal” mass execution in US history. The hanging took place on December 26, 1862—the day after Christmas. This was the same week that President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

These amended and broken treaties are often referred to as the Minnesota Treaties. The word Minnesota comes from mni, which means water; and sota, which means turbid. Synonyms for turbid include muddy, unclear, cloudy, confused, and smoky. Everything is in the language we use.

Without money, store credit, or rights to hunt beyond their ten-mile tract of land, Dakota people began to starve. The Dakota people were starving. The Dakota people starved. In the preceding sentence, the word “starved” does not need italics for emphasis.

Dakota warriors organized, struck out, and killed settlers and traders. This revolt is called the Sioux Uprising. Eventually, the US Cavalry came to Mnisota to confront the Uprising. More than one thousand Dakota people were sent to prison. As already mentioned,“Real” poems do not “really” require words.

I am a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation—and in this dual citizenship, I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live.”
― Layli Long Soldier, Whereas

Powerful. Bold. Damning. These words could aptly describe Layli Long Soldier’s poetry… but so could Tender. Heartbreaking. Freeing.

I read this book slowly to savor her poems… I am happy that I own the book so I can revisit them again and again. This is not a book you can read once and “get”… rather, it is a book you need to be invited into and once there open your heart and mind to Layli. You will be glad you did!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Less than 200 pages.

Anything Is PossibleAnything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“They had grown up on shame; it was the nutrient of their soil.”
― Elizabeth Strout, Anything Is Possible

I don’t know about you, but I always have thought that other people did not have the same problems as I did… I know that is not exactly true, but still… it is a belief.

Anything is Possible opens the ALL the doors of a small town and shows how absolutely untrue that belief really is. The characters are sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, sometimes mean, sometimes nice…but what really happens in this book is that the truth rises to the top and sings the most incredible song.

Summer Book Bingo Square: Prize winner.


What about you? What are you singing the praises of this week?

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


Sometimes Monday | 6.7.21

Sometimes Monday | 6.7.21

Is time for a big brain dump! I spent lots of time thinking this weekend… about so many things! And yes, I even managed to get some sleep! Thank goodness!! And!! I found some impatiens! (Go Home Depot! lol) There was lots of outdoor work…perfect for thinking and thinking and more thinking!

Some topics percolated to the top of the thought process often and that is what I am sharing today… Hot topics, one and all!

To Mask, or Not to Mask….that is the question! Pennsylvania “opened up” completely last weekend…but what does that actually mean in Masking Life? For me… not much. Over the weekend we did some shopping We went to the state store to get some bourbon (priorities, people!) and the sign on the door asked people to please wear masks. No problem… I had mine on as did every other customer and employee. And then comes the Maskless Woman… you could watch people move away from her as she navigated the store. It was comforting knowing that I wasn’t the only person who was a bit concerned because in my mind the Maskless Woman was not thinking about anyone but herself and I figured she was not vaccinated either (because you know I judge people…especially when I shouldn’t!) We also went to Home Depot and inside was a mixed bag of masks versus no masks (even employee’s were a mixed bag of wearing/not wearing.)

I also went to physical church this weekend where, despite state guidelines, we are not at full capacity and masks are required for entry! But we sang two hymns (masked) and it felt so good. There was even a baptism! And yes, that made me even happier that we were all masked and distanced from that wee little baby! Which brings me to what I have been thinking about….even though Allegheny County has had less than 50 new cases of COVID a day for several weeks, there is still a large segment of the population that are not yet vaccinated. I know that you all might have different opinions on this and that is okay. But for me…until it is safe for ALL… I am happy wearing my mask and going back to what Dr. Fauci said at the beginning of this nightmare… I wear my mask to keep YOU safe.

The Great Hair Debate is my next hot topic… or should I say Hot Mess Topic! Because that is what my hair feels like most of the time these days… but what do I actually want to do with it? Trim and keep growing? Throw caution to the wind and cut.it.all.off!? Or take a safer route and go for something a little shorter but not all.gone. Who knew that after all this time, I’d actually be afraid to go the salon because doing so would mean I’d have to make an actual decision! My plan is to spend some time surfing the Pinterest Hair Boards for inspiration that will move me beyond Hot Mess Hair Days!

The Close Second Hot Topic involves makeup… I have not worn any makeup for so long… I mean 18-ish months long! (And a couple coats of mascara for Zoom absolutely does not count…) Going “out into the world” in Pre-Pandemic Times took some time… moisturizer, foundation, powder, under eye cream, blush, eyeshadow, and yes… some color on my lips. Enter Pandemic Days and the Great Break from that entire routine. My days were so simple… moisturizer and sometimes mascara. That was it. And I think my skin loved the break as well. Then “Gradual Re-Entry” began and so did the make up ordeal… which is exactly what it felt like after so many months of no makeup – an ordeal. Plus… did any of you forget exactly how to “do” makeup? Yeah, me too. But try I did… more than once and my skin absolutely did not like the old routine… at all! So I am rethinking my “idea” of what looks “good” when going “out into the world.” Why is this requiring so much thought? Well, years of the belief that you did not leave the house without “your face on”…am I right?  Except there’s this…I don’t know what to say about myself if I think that all those steps mean I look better than I do with a clean face…and that is the saddest commentary there ever was! Am I comfortable in my  own skin… yes, I think so… but being comfortable in just your own skin in public? Put that way it seems simple, but maybe what I need is just a simpler routine.

And there you have my Monday Brain Dump! What about you? What’s rattling around your brain right now?

Happy Monday everyone and I will see you all back here on Wednesday!

 

 

Stitching up the week | 6.4.21

Stitching up the week | 6.4.21

Greetings, Gentle Readers.

It’s been a short-long week in my house. Short in the days which fairly flew by… long in the nights with a raging bout of insomnia that has lasted far too long. Which brings me to this morning where I find myself with a severe case of Brain Fog…I am not certain that even coffee will help today.

I did manage to get some sewing done this week and I finished up all the “brim-less” hats for little Win. I have one with brim hat to go for a trial run… is the brim too big? is the brim too small? I will soon know what modifications, if any, might need.

4 little reversible hats…so 8 hats? lol

The big bit of work I have been doing this week is on some adjustments to my Esme tunic pattern… I changed the sleeves and the under arm scythe/darts. I finished marking everything up yesterday. My original thought was that I would begin the sewing process this morning…but with this Brain Fog that might not be the best idea. A safer bet will be to do some weeding…(it really is never-ending… sigh, lol).

And that will be a good task to do while I contemplate my reckoning with post-COVID life…so much to think about! (Thanks, Kym for that word!)

How about you? How was your short week?

However it was, I will see you back here next week! Have a great weekend all!

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