Unexpected Treasures

Unexpected Treasures

I have been contemplating books for the Read Harder challenge. The categories are most interesting… some are easy for me to fill in a book or two or three, while others will require more research! I have been enjoying doing this research tremendously until I got derailed yesterday…

The mail person brought the most amazing package all the way from Salt Lake City! I wish you all could have seen the look on my face when I opened the package to discover these treasures! And, yes, there might have even been a tear or two shed as such an amazing gift! Dear Margene, you are truly one in a million! I cannot tell you how much these books mean to me and I have been pouring over them this ever since! They are truly wonders that are filled with such incredible inspiration! Why they even have practical application that is MOST APPRECIATED!

Now I can barely wait to begin my new stitching project on Thursday!! It will almost feel like Margene is sitting with me as I begin this new project – for truly, Margene, you are such an inspiration, and I am thrilled to take this journey with you and do so with profound thanks and so much love!

The Weekend and Seven Banned Words

The Weekend and Seven Banned Words

“Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.” – George Orwell, 1984

When the weekend began, I had no idea that before it was over we would be living in Orwell’s dystopian 1984 2017. It began on Friday night with a couple of Perfect Manhattan’s. And, I am not just saying that…nope, it is an evidence-based conclusion, rooted in fact! And, they were the ideal way start to the weekend! We had discussed during the week that we really were feeling in a rut with our Friday night eats, so we changed it up a bit. Meatballs instead of Salami, Lobster Dip instead of Hummus…why we even added in some onion rings! Three cheers for diversity!

Saturday, we still had snow on the ground but with quickly rising temperatures, I knew it would not last for long. After all, science-based evidence is clear that warming temperatures make the snow melt. There is no changing that, no matter how much I want the snow to stay, wish cannot make it so!

I also, sadly, did not get my super-secret knitting done on Friday and I feared being vulnerable to criticism on Christmas morning if I delivered an empty box filled only with an IOU, so I managed to do some covert knitting in the light of day! I am quite certain My recipient feels no sense of entitlement, but they still are deserving of this gift – so I feverishly knit on, grabbing a row or two here and there while no one was paying attention! And, with some sneaky persistence the knitting was done and now begins the seaming. It’s a good Monday task!

We got our annual visit from Santa and the Scott Township Fire Department rolled out the red carpet firetrucks for him! It is a high point of the season and feels so “small town”. I really love this little tradition!

Sunday, it rained most of the day. Hard. The melting of the snow kind of rain. AND, Sunday was a HUGE football day! There was a game for the ages: The Steelers vs The Patriots IN PITTSBURGH, and wonder of wonders – I actually rooted for those crazy Steelers! Perhaps I am finally becoming a Yinzer, n’at! Steve wanted “football foods” for the game. You’d think it was the Super Bowl or some such thing! Ha! So there was a mini-feast with more good eats and even a beer or two! It was an incredible game, even though we lost, thanks to that incredibly bad call in that last 28 seconds (because in any other football game the ball crossing the plane of the goal would be a touchdown, but apparently not in Pittsburgh)!

Finally, we come to the last two banned words: transgender and fetus… I cannot imagine that they actually think that by not saying these words it will change how people feel about themselves, their identity, or a choice that is intensely personal.

I am reminded that every single day I must embrace all that is different. I must support those who are defenseless with words and actions, and if I don’t understand something, I need to be open to new thoughts and ideas. John Lynch said it best, “We will not agree on every issue. But let us respect those differences and respect one another…”

Make it a good Monday!

P.S. I saw this late last night The CDC Poetry Project if any of you want to try your hand at a submission!

Virtual Advent Tour: Reading Memories

Virtual Advent Tour: Reading Memories

I would first of all like to thank Sprite for including me again this year! It is so much fun reading all the posts! It is a highlight of the season for me!

Today I want to spend a little time going back in time and reminiscing about the best books I read with my kids when they were much younger.

It could simply not be Christmas without these books. We read them over and over and over and over.

We talked about community, and sang the songs.

We drank cups of hot chocolate, and ate Christmas candies.

We did voices of animals.

We talked about the stories.

We thought about what perfect really is.

And, Christmas wishes.

and, best of all were the stories we made up ourselves when there were absolutely no words at all.

What did you like to read to your children? Or have someone read to you? And, please make sure you stop by Sprite Writes and see what all the other Virtual Advent participants have to share!

Finding Success in Failure

Finding Success in Failure

On Friday, I shared an idea I had for this year’s stitching and over the weekend I swatched a bit with less than stellar results.

So, I spun a bit more to see if I could improve the “thready-ness” of the yarn.

I stitched with more tightly plied yarn. I stitched with less tightly plied yarn. I stitched with singles. And, even though my results were not wonderful, I am sharing what I learned here.

  1. Dressmaker Linen is not suitable for yarn stitching. It is abrasive to the fibers and I had problems with breakage in the yarns. I also needed a needle that could pierce the fabric, but the needles I have on hand might not have had a big enough eye, which also caused more abrasion to the yarn.
  2. Plied wool yarn is very difficult to stitch with in linen fabric. I had issues with the plies wanted to be untwisted. I had issues with one of the plies breaking. I had issues with stitches laying how I wanted them to lay.
  3. Singles wool yarn is too fragile to withstand the stitching process in dressmaker linen with a needle.
  4. I did like some of the results I got with Pygora singles I tried, but it did not want to be stitched in satin stitch at all.

I admit that I am surprised by my results, but I am unbelievably happy that I am finding out these problems through swatching and not as I am beginning my new project. And, I am really happy that I have a bag filled with Pearle Cotton staring at me while I spend the next few days pondering how this changes my idea, if at all. But then, I texted with my friend Beth, and she gave me lots of advice but this made my head spin: “I would go to the internet and see if people use wool for the same stitches as cotton. By the end I would have tried 400 million fabrics and 200 million wools…”

Okay, so seriously? I don’t have that much testing drive in me! But, I did go to the internet and found some fun things on Pinterest, like this and this! Which led me to Judy’s Journal…I could be heading down the couching rabbit hole but, for today I am not going to think about this anymore. I have a bit of wrapping to finish up for things that need to be shipped out before Christmas and a quick trip to Costco.

Have a good Monday!

Begin as you mean to go on…

Begin as you mean to go on…

December seems to be starting off quite nicely, especially weather wise… as crazy as this will sound, we have had glorious sunny days all weekend (and most of last week!) with temps well into the 50’s! This mild weather seems quite surreal and it is such a treat to have the windows open to let in the fresh air! I know that winter will soon return and with it cold temps, but I am enjoying this weather right now tremendously!

The weekend was productive, there was some Swedish Death Cleaning, some reading, a tiny bit of knitting, and some football watching.

There was also a bit of Christmas decorating, which is modest this year in comparison to years past. It feels right though, and while I have just a couple more things I might get out, this scaled back decorating is a welcome change. Decorating with a thought to having to un-decorate it all in January seems a better use of precious time.

My list today is not too horrendous, but a big thing on my list this week (and for the next 3 weeks) is to work on some plans for 2018! I know, it seems so adult of me! LOL But, I think that spending some time plotting out what I’d like the year to bring is a wise move and it might bring a more productive year. We shall see!

And, so this Monday is starting out quite nicely, here is to a wonderful week for us all!

Tuesday Things, November 28

Tuesday Things, November 28

I had absolutely no clue what to write about today and then the swissmiss newsletter came!

And, especially this link!

I have:

Rosemary
Wire
Yarn

Perhaps a bit of a riff on this. I am thinking this will be the most festive accompaniment to my Christmas decorations! Who knew I would still have Rosemary growing at the end of November, but somehow I do! I wish you could smell it in here right now!

In a totally unrelated thing: why is it that lights that worked last year when you took them off the tree, magically no longer work this year when you are trying to put them on the tree? I am pretty sure there is a conspiracy in the Christmas light industry to ensure that you must buy new lights every year. GRRRR!

Hope your Tuesday is full of good smells and working lights!

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