To Whom It May Concern | 3.31.23

To Whom It May Concern | 3.31.23

I have not done a ‘mail bag’ post in too long. My witty-ness seems to have been on hiatus. But then this week provided me with a few letters to send out on the inter-webs.

Dear Highly Recommended Physical Therapist,

I left my ortho appointment with the delightful Dr. McLane with a referral for some PT addressing “Kathryn’s hip and spine… [because] any time you load the joint she has pain. Now getting secondary iliopsoas pain as well.” However, her all caps, punctuated with asterisks handwritten note was of greatest concern: *PLEASE DO GRASTON TO ILIOPSOAS* … Excuse me…but what?

The Google provided me with some answers, but they were a bit like opening Pandora’s box… of horrors. I watched a video and barely made it through the viewing, and I have no idea how I will make it through the “technique”. I am familiar with “no pain, no gain” but I am not sure this was what Jane Fonda had in mind when she quipped the phrase. In looking up how to pronounce iliopsoas… I realized the irony of the phrase… it appears I can look forward to not only a sore hip, but a so-ass as well…yes, psoas is pronounced so-ass.

But let’s address the real culprit here… the insurance company… you see, what Dr. McLane really wants to do is get an MRI of my hip, but the Insurance Company says that before she can do that she must prescribe PT or they will proscribe the MRI.

So, dear Physical Therapist… I can only ask that you be kind, and so very gentle… oh, and just so you know… I bruise very, very, very easily.

An already sore… and now very worried patient

Dear Now Indicted, Twice Impeached DJT,

I have so many thoughts on your yet sealed indictment which indicates that you might be guilty of some crimes:

But, I think that one of the Central Park Exonerated said it best here:

Yes, indeed… Karma is at times so utterly delightful!

Alvin Bragg’s biggest fan

And finally…

Dear March,

You have been one exceedingly long-ass month. I am so over your fickle temperatures, your wild winds, your taunting hints at spring that you quickly squash with wintry rains, sleet, and yes… snow.

I’d say don’t let the door hit you on your way out… but I am slamming it hard, so it just might!

See you next year, and please… be on better behavior!

Eager for April

And there you have it for my week! Have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

March RIFFing | 3.24.23

March RIFFing | 3.24.23

By March, the worst of the winter would be over. The snow would thaw, the rivers begin to run and the world would wake into itself again.

Not that year.

Winter hung in there, like an invalid refusing to die. Day after grey day the ice stayed hard; the world remained unfriendly and cold.”
Neil Gaiman, Odd and the Frost Giants

This quote just feels right on this chilly, very gloomy morning. I know some of you have the *s* word in your forecast… sigh. And yet… I know spring is coming but I’d like it to hurry a bit!

Relieved —

About so many things… but lengthening days, two-nights in a row of sleep more than once (!!), chemistry that makes a difference (!!) certainly top the list. But also a return of my knitting mojo which was so out of sync at the beginning of the month. Also painting which completely halts all other thoughts…well… that might be the best relief of all.

Inspired —

By the creativity of others. I follow Jo Avery on IG and she never fails to inspire me, but her latest project is my newest obsession. I love the little quilt squares she shares on IG. And she has all the squares in her stories, if you are inclined to see the collection individually.

Finding Fun —

I treated myself with some new nail polishes… and gave myself a manicure! If the weather can’t be springy… well, my neon bright nails certainly are. This weekend… my toes will join in the fun when I break out the pedicure box for them! My feet might still have to wear shoes and socks, but there will be something fun underneath!

And, if there is a boon for insomnia… and granted, that is a mighty big if…because insomnia just sucks! Anyways, one thing kept percolating around my brain in the sea of sleeplessness… an Easter Gnome. That’s right… some sleepless inspiration… I have a Gnome that is soon to come to life. She will be  springtime pastel colors and I have an idea for some delightful knitted eggs for her! I have two things that I must get done first… one sleeve (which I finished yesterday!) and that first Pi Sock… toe decreases starting in three… two… one!

And with that, I have some knitting to do! I hope that whatever the weather, you all have a great and rejuvenating weekend! See you all back here on Monday with my March Word Update!



Hello March | 3.6.23

Hello March | 3.6.23

March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.
L.M. Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery’s quote seems to fit perfectly how March arrived here in Pittsburgh. February departed with tiny leaves emerging on slender branches that seem eager to welcome spring! The Song Sparrow Song Wars pierce the morning quiet of my morning walk with Sherman. I am also savoring the sunshine we have had since March blew in!

So, Dear March, I have some things I’d like to accomplish this month… it is not an extensive list, but rather one that is steeped in reality… you know, the reality that screams that I am not the much younger version of me who could do more with no body ill-effects. Sigh.

  1. Spring Clean the house… half a room at a time. I cleaned my closet *and* did the spring cleaning in our bedroom (note, I did not do the blinds, sigh) and I paid for it all day on Saturday. So I am breaking down the spring cleaning to avoid the “paying for it” portion. Getting older is truly not for the faint of heart!
  2. Sew… yes! I have a modest list of “spring supplements” for my wardrobe. Again, this will be a gradual process… starting today when I wash my material. I got some gorgeous sweatshirt material from Blackbird Fabrics and I have plans for a couple of Toaster Sweaters!
  3. Mammogram… which I have scheduled for later this month! (I am thankful for last month me for not procrastinating on this!)
  4. And a visit to the Sports Medicine Doctor for my hip pain. Oh my gosh, I can only say that after #1, I am even more eager to see her! And can I just say how excited I am that she is a Doctor of Osteopathy!! Holistic care is exactly what I am hoping for here. I am open to any and all suggestions she might have and I am especially hoping for some PT. Kym gave me some hope last week and I am eager to move from the living in pain to moving beyond the pain days!
  5. Speaking of eager… I am very eager to join the Read With Us Gang and discuss The Shipping News later this month! This will be the first book I have read twice before discussing! It is a book that is full of so many fascinating characters, I think it will be a fantastic discussion! (Hint… there is still more than enough time to read The Shipping News – it is available on Hoopla and you could join us!)

And so, Dear March… welcome!


Friday Finds | 3.3.23

Friday Finds | 3.3.23

The First March Friday… is very March-like. We have winds heading our way… and rain. And windy March days always, always brings Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup With Rice book to the forefront of my mind. I especially love the poem for March:

Or you could just listen to Carole King sing it here!

So bring on those winds… I am ready! Ha!

I did find some really wonderful things recently that I thought I’d share with you all. Little things that crossed my path that made me stop and look, listen, absorb, and yes… share!

First, I discovered a new, entirely delightful podcast from Colorado Public Radio – Terra Firma, which is hosted by CMarie Fuhrman. It falls very much into the Very Good Things Come in Very Small Packages category. Once a week, 7-10 minutes… and listening to it brings the very best kind of pause… you know, the one where you are having an insane day and you just need a breather. I have found this to be the best stress buster ever!

Second, I stumbled upon Candice Hicks by accident… and what a happy accident that was! Either way, I am utterly fascinated with this embroidery series she did: Notes For String Theory. This is so The Magic Of A Blank Page… no?

My final find was a boon for me, but I thought you might like it as well! Eons ago… and I mean eons… like back in the very early 2000’s, Chico’s sold an amazing linen shirt. They were spendy… $75 for a shirt was a lot for me… then especially. But I scrimped and saved and bought two of them – a glorious mustardy-green and a basic black. And they were truly workhorses. I still wear those shirts but they are looking… well, worn… especially the mustardy-green one that I wear most. For a couple of years I have been looking for a shirt pattern that emulates that shirt… the fit and the details. I feared I would have to attempt to make a pattern from one of my shirts… not a thing I really wanted to do because of all the pieces of a shirt. Well, Muna and broad inboxed me this week with their Tarawi Shirt pattern. It is *almost* identical. The shirt tails are the only thing not the same, but changing that would be so simple! The thing I love about Muna and broad was this sentence from their email: “We really wanted your body to be included!” Their patterns have the largest size range, multiple bra-cup sizes, and yes… even arm sizes… to ensure that you can sew something that fits your body.

And there you have it, friends… a few Friday Finds to start your weekend off! Have a good one and I will see you back here on Monday!

March RIFFing | 3.24.23

RIFFing to bid February Adieu | 2.24.23

This week has been a Weather Roller Coaster… we have had temps in the 70’s and the 30’s. Let me just say that this mornings 30° felt bitterly cold after yesterday’s 72° and I was so glad that I had mitts tucked in the pockets of my coat for Sherman’s morning constitutional!

With just four more days of February, I really need to harness the looming closet chaos and rearrange my closet for “Transitional Wardrobe” season… you know the one where the temperature can fluctuate greatly from day to day. So you know what I am doing this weekend! Ha!

Reading… Again —

Signal Fires. Yes, I finished it this week. Yes, I immediately restarted it. This book! The threads that Shapiro begins to pull together as the story progresses… oh my. The writing is so, so good! The second time through, I am paying more attention to the threads and am in awe of how brilliantly this story is crafted. If you have not put this book on your “read soon” list… why not?

Inspired… by ME —

Yes, yes! I have all month long been thinking about my Authenticity Manifesto! Contemplating a manifesto for my word was the prompt from Ali Edwards this month and at first I was all wow… okay! And then I sat down to consider putting one together and it all my initial enthusiasm fell apart. BUT!! I did not let that defeat me! Instead I have spent the month contemplating things and before long I had ideas all over a page of my morning journal. I am eager to share this with you all on Monday, but I just have to say that my word that was feeling not quite right in January began singing to me in February. And this, my friends, is the joy of having a word to carry along with you during the year!

(in)Famous… Gifting —

I took great pleasure this month in matting and framing a couple of my watercolors to gift. I have long loved giving people things I have made, but they have always been wearable items… hand knit socks, scarves, mittens, hats, shawls, cowls, etc. But to give someone something they can hang on a wall is a first for me! I had no idea when I began this new craft how much I would love it! I have been practicing the techniques I am struggling with every morning… a sort of swatching, I suppose. It’s amazing what you can improve with just 15-20 minutes a day of practice! (There is a huge life lesson there… one that I should apply to so many things!)

This is one of the paintings I gifted this month. Who knew that rocks and water could be so delightful to paint!

Fearless… Cooking —

One thing I have become very adept at is adjusting recipes for what I currently have in my fridge and pantry, but that was not always the case. I believed recipes needed to be followed to the letter and if I did not have something… well, most times I did not make it. But, I had a daily routine of calling my nana while I was making dinner and she was a wonder… she could make something incredibly delicious out of practically nothing! And… she was a Master of Recipe Substitutions! So in our conversations, I would say “well, I was going to make this, but I don’t have any of that.” and she’d ask, well do you have x? y? z? and generally I’d have one of those. She eased me into learning how to make good substitutions… a thing that has served me very well over the years, and most especially in Pandemic Times! Ha! Well I used those skills again this week! Kym posted a soup recipe that looked amazing, but I had no kale (okay, I never have kale!!) but I am here to tell you that it is just as good with a can of diced tomatoes and a half of an avocado diced on top! Delish!

This soup was absolutely wonderful… even on a very warm evening!

And with that, dear friends, Happy Friday! Let the weekend begin!! See you all back here on Monday with my February word update!

Sometimes Monday | 2.20.23

Sometimes Monday | 2.20.23

Is a continuation of the weekend.

I thought I’d share some of the things that have made my weekend extra wonderful!

First, I saw this on IG and I had a batch of focaccia in the fridge… so on Saturday I did a bit of a riff on it. One russet potato, a couple of shallots, and some cheddar and gruyere cheeses and we had the most delicious “potato bread” I have ever eaten! I followed the baking instructions for Richard Reinhard’s focaccia not the IG post baking instructions. The leftover potato focaccia was just as good reheated with some fried eggs for Sunday night dinner!

Quite possibly, the perfect focaccia!

I have been enjoying the new On Being season and on Sunday I spent an hour with Ada Limón. It was so delightful to hear Ada read some of her poems from The Hurting Kind and of course, I now have some new favorites! A bonus was listening to Ada read A New National Anthem.

As for today… I *think* I will begin a sleeve on my handspun sweater! Yes, the body is almost done! I have about one inch of 2×2 ribbing. Today is a bit gloomy here… a good day to knit and think about President Carter, his dear wife, Rosalynn, and his family.

See you all back here on Wednesday!




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