TGIF | 5.8.20

TGIF | 5.8.20

This week, oh boy. It was so hard. So damned hard. And so full of just horrific news… each day seemed to be trying to outdo the day before. I struggled this week to find a single thing for my gratitude list, much less a list of them. But here we are at another Friday and I will try and share some things that were, for me, beacons of hope in a very dark week.

Tiny Treasures:

Sometimes all you need is a letter to brighten you day. This week there were some incredible letters that filled me with hope. First up, Emerson – a letter writing devotee. (it’s a long thread, but a very worthy read!)

Sometimes, just one letter is all it takes to make a difference. Dennis Ruhnke wrote a letter with a huge impact.

This week I am thankful that I live in the world with Emerson and Dennis (okay, and Kansas State as well!!)

Gather near and listen!

Something on my bucket list was to be in the gallery of the Supreme Court. This is one of those “gosh, I wish I could do that” things that my realistic mind knew would never happen. Enter the coronavirus, and with it the LIVE STREAMING of the Supreme Court! In my wildest dreams, I never imagined being able to hear Justice Ginsburg arguing for women’s rights LIVE, from her hospital bed. Yes, that is right – if you had doubts about her superwoman powers, doubt no longer! She might be small, but she is fiercely mighty! (Here is the LIVE STREAM link and here is the archived audio from Wednesday’s argument of Little Sisters of the Pour Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania)

Inspired Singing:

I don’t know about you, but when I am having a blue day – some music (that I can sing along with) helps. One thing I have loved is watching artists perfect together apart. This especially made me smile. And, a new word… CONFINATION.

Friday Birthdays Are The Best:

Finally, today is my Sam’s 28th birthday. He, thankfully, must work today. (that was not a guarantee earlier this week when he learned that his work was laying off 10% of the workforce) A solo birthday at home might not be the best thing ever – I sent off a care package and we will FaceTime later today where we will be together, apart.

That is all I have for this week; I hope your Friday is full of some shining moments that make your weekend glow with happiness! See you all back here next week!

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.6.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.6.20

Some of my making this week included making some modifications to my Traveler’s Journal. Normally, I have 3 inserts, and my set up works very well! I like having multiple journals in one convenient package. However, with the addition of a couple of new journals and I need a modification to my existing system. So, this week I gathered the tools necessary to make some simple changes. One new elastic later and I now have a modified cover to contain my journals.

I am cruising on my Lunar Fade Mystery shawl, this week’s clue included starting a new piece and I am really excited to see where this goes!

For as quickly as the Lunar Fade is moving, I am in the slow lane on Romi’s shawl – the final clue is out, but I am still working on the previous clue – taking my time and hopefully avoiding errors. And, slowing down has paid off, no ripping back happened this week!

And…I made the leap to join Kirsten Kapur’s Mystery Shawl! Yarn contemplation has begun!

April reading was incredibly good! I ended the month with 12 books finished (AND I could fit them all onto my Bingo Card!) And even though I don’t have any bingos yet, it is looking very good! This week’s finishes include:

New Poets of Native NationsNew Poets of Native Nations by Heid E. Erdrich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A collection of twenty-one incredible voices.
A gathering of some incredible poems.

Poems that made me gasp at their beauty, cry with their poignant words…

These words from Natalie Diaz American Arithmetic will stay with me for a very long time:

Native Americans make up less than one percent of the population in America. 0.8 percent of 100 percent. O, mine efficient country…I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible.

I highly recommend every single word!

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern IrelandSay Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“It is not those who inflict the most but those who suffer the most who will conquer.”

I foolishly thought I knew something about the conflict in Northern Ireland, this story quickly disavowed me of those thoughts!

This story takes you though the time known as The Troubles and the disappearing of Jean McConville. It was, at times, a very uncomfortable listen. Yet, at the same time, I could not stop. At the end of this book, I still have questions – but I think that is the reality for many – especially those living in Northern Ireland.

“We beat them with stones at first, and they had guns. Our people had to go and get guns. Wouldn’t they have been right stupid people to stand there? Our people got shotguns at first and then got better weapons. And then the British, who were supposed to protect us, came in and raided our homes. What way could you fight? So you went down and you blew them up.”

These words jumped out at me and I could not stop thinking about the truth in them… truth for so many conflicts in so many places… and the importance stopping the violence and listening to each other. I highly recommend this powerful book!

That’s all I have this week, what about you? What are you making this week?

If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!


Looking Back | April 2020

Looking Back | April 2020

A gush of bird-song, a patter of dew, A cloud, and a rainbow’s warning, Suddenly sunshine and perfect blue –– An April day in the morning. — Harriet Prescott Spofford

These words from Harriet Prescott Spofford sum up my April perfectly. We had lots of rain, some incredible blue skies, and a cacophony of bird-song this month. It also felt like it moved by at warp speed – which I hope means that I am getting used to staying home because I think May will be more of the same.


The Best Part of the Month:

Although there is no photo documenting it, some of my best moments of the month were spent journaling. I started a Pandemic Journal this month and my morning writing helps me to “dump” my worries on a page so I don’t have to carry them with me during the day.

Something New:

A new 100 Day Project began for me on the seventh and I am trying my hand at crochet. While the motions of crochet are not entirely comfortable, I am enjoying the result! Each circle feels a little bit better than the one before, and I have memorized the pattern, which is helping tremendously! Maybe in a few more weeks I will feel confident enough to try Genevieve’s Poncho again, that is after I watch some more videos on how to change colors efficiently!

Most Hilarious Moment/s:

Sherman manages to win the prize again this month – if you look at the 14th and 15th you will see his normal routine while we are eating our dinner. He vacillates between intently staring down the dog food containers or staring at us as if to say, “ummm, my Pug-lepathic skills are not working, can you help me out here?!” While he gets no additional food, he does win points for making us laugh!

What I did well and What I can do better:
  • In the do well column:
    • Cocktails (although, this is probably not a good thing…lol)
    • Non-sourdough bread baking
    • and a Pink Full (Super) Moon with a moondog!
  • In the Try Harder Column:
    • Sourdough…(although I am reading Tartine Bread, so there might be hope!)
    • Daily video seconds… apparently, this is way harder than it sounds because I missed lots of days!

That was it for a very speedy April! What made you smile last month?

Macro Monday Haiku | 5.4.20

Macro Monday Haiku | 5.4.20

Spring rain wreaks havoc
and lilac confetti falls
among empty walnut shells

And finally, with a nod to my favorite son, May the Fourth be with you! *wink*

Happy Monday everyone!

 

Hello, May | 5.1.20

Hello, May | 5.1.20

Sweet May hath come to love us, flowers, trees, their blossoms don; And through the blue heavens above us, the very clouds move on. — Heinrich Heine

While March was eons long, April has just sprinted on by – hasn’t it? I guess when each day is the same as the last, at first they seem to drag and then they pick up speed!

May, I hope you do come to love us with more sunny days, mild weather, and some patio happy hours!

I spent more time this week outside with the big camera, practicing more! Better? Maybe not so much, but I enjoyed every moment and was inspired to keep trying! And May ushers in Macro May!! Look for more photos during the month! We had a very rainy April (only 12 days without any precipitation) but grey days are perfect for taking photos! And getting outdoors after the rain and capturing it dripping off the lilacs made the volumes of rain *almost* worth it! Ha!!

I don’t know how many of you use Nextdoor (I use the app on my phone), but over the last week or so there has been an uptick in people women in my neighborhood trying to find a hairdresser who would break the rules to cut and/or color their hair. I was happy to see that these posts have been met with no success (or at least no one openly offers in the post to provide these services). And then Julia Farwell-Clay posted this on IG! I just want to ROAR with her with my own Badger-striped hair!

My new Twitter Daily Chuckle (or two!) is Rate My Skype Room!

I was thrilled to see that Joy Harjo was named Poet Laureate again! And through her I discovered The Poetry of Home! You can listen to Joy read Perhaps the World Ends Here.  You should listen to all the installments! They are just wonderful! You will find Robert Pinsky, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Natasha Trethewey. Each installment is just perfect for these “stay at home” days.

And The Poetry of Home is just the inspiration I needed to gather some yarn bits to start Susan B. Anderson’s Little House pattern that Kym highlighted this week. My plan is to make one for each of my children with a little Pandemic Tag on it, but I think I will also include the words of a poem too! (FYI, Little House pattern is currently discounted…so if you are thinking about it, don’t think too much longer!)

Mary is a voracious knitter and I think I found her next sweater to devour! And the Ravelry Hive Mind must all be of the same thought because this sweater from 2017 is in my “Hot Right Now Top 20”!

Want something to stir your sock mojo? These beauties are perfect for spring (AND FREE!!)

And there you have it, dear friends – Happy May to you all! See you back here on Monday!

A poem for your pocket | 4.30.20

A poem for your pocket | 4.30.20

It’s Poem in your Pocket Day and this poem is going in my pocket. I will carry it with me during the day. I will be thinking of the “heavy threads” of the day and hope that I will be stitched “into a useful garment”.

And yet, there is comfort in knowing the day “will do nothing of the kind”. Because even that is a blessing.

Heavy Threads

by Hazel Hall

When the dawn unfolds like a bolt of ribbon
Thrown through my window,
I know that hours of light
Are about to thrust themselves into me
Like omnivorous needles into listless cloth,
Threaded with the heavy colours of the sun.
They seem altogether too eager,
To embroider this thing of mine,
My Day,
Into the strict patterns of an altar cloth;
Or at least to stitch it into a useful garment.
But I know they will do nothing of the kind.
They will prick away,
And when they are through with it
It will look like the patch quilt my grandmother made
When she was learning to sew.

I hope you find a poem to carry with you today, one that will make you stop and think, one that will give you respite, one that will bring you joy.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.29.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.29.20

Greetings Unravelers! There was NO unraveling for me this week – and I am almost done with Clue Three of Romi’s Mystery shawl – although it still looks  like the green blob in the photo! Trust me that I am very happy with it and I am even happier to be back on track! I don’t think I will get Clue Four done before the next clue drops Friday but that is okay!

Larissa Brown’s Lunar Mystery Shawl is less taxing to knit, but I love the start! I have sort of bound off the first few clues and am eagerly waiting to see what the next step will be!

I am still slowly working on my crochet circles – not every evening, but most evenings. I always thought crochet was faster than knitting, but apparently that is all relative to your skill level! No photo update this week, but I do have something I have been oogling on Instagram. I am enthralled with all the lovely circles! This especially makes my heart sing!

The reading this week was unexpected and so.good! No bingo yet, but I have filled in two more squares!

Eye of the Red Tsar (Inspector Pekkala #1)Eye of the Red Tsar by Sam Eastland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can’t believe I almost didn’t borrow this book from my library! I loved it! The writing is good, the characters are intriguing and I loved how Eastland worked in Pekkala’s background to the story. If you are looking for a new mystery series, this one delivers! I have already borrowed the second book of this series! I highly recommend!

Victim 2117 (Department Q, #8)Victim 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this Department Q installment because of Assad. Adler-Olsen spends a good bit of time sharing Assad with us, and there is so much to love! I won’t give anything away, but this novel is brilliantly crafted with two separate but somehow connected crimes. They are tied together brilliantly. This is the first book in this series that I listened to, and it while it was not my favorite way to consume Carl and his team it was not horrible. The narrator was good, but I prefer to read these stories, I think I can read them faster than it too me to listen to it! Sadly, the wait list for the Kindle version was months long, so audio it was! I highly recommend this entire series!

That is all I have for this week! If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below! Thank you for joining us!


Intentional Living in the Age of Social Distancing | 4.28.20

Intentional Living in the Age of Social Distancing | 4.28.20

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. — Mary Anne Radmacher

When I started this journey to be more intentional, I had no idea that Mary Anne Radmacher’s quote would stay with me in my journey. Yet, it is – and this month I found her words to Practice wellness and Appreciate your friends were just what I needed in Stay at Home Life.

And so, I have spent the month practicing wellness by staying home.

April 7, I began stitching my 100 Day Project. I had spent much of January and February plotting and planning out what I wanted this project to be. I started off eagerly; excited each day to sit with my stitching. One edge was completed, and some niggling worries began to creep in. What if it doesn’t work out like I planned? A couple of days the uneasiness – the uncertainty – kept me from stitching. I spent some time with that uncertainty and discovered that it was not the stitching, but my inner nay-saying voice creeping in. The answer for me was not to argue with that voice, but to tell myself that even if it does not “turn out” it will be okay…and believe it, and intentionally ignore that nay-saying voice.

About mid-month I noticed some significant changes in my life.

My meditation time became easier. I found I did not need to set a time to “stay” meditating. Rather, I welcomed the silence, the breathing, and especially the listening! Being comfortable with the stillness and just listening has been so helpful in these stressful days.

I joined Katie in her Reading Through the Gospels Lenten Journey and at the end of Lent, I just kept going. Kym sent me a wonderful little Intention Journal and I am filling it with notes as I read.

And that brings me to my next focus of the month… my friends. That number includes all of you, Gentle Readers! From your comments, your suggestions, your kindnesses – You make my days better and my life is so much richer because of you! Thank you!

My local Knit Group’s weekly Zoom Meetings have become a thing that I anticipate with great joy. We laugh, we bitch, we share. I did not imagine these women would become such a vital part of my week… but they have, and I am better because of them!

I guess all this means that I have somehow found the path again, and I am profoundly grateful that I have!

I am very happy that Honoré hosts us each month! Please, head over here to see a round up of word updates!

You can see my Intentional Journey here.

Macro Monday | 4.27.20

Macro Monday | 4.27.20

Last week, I get up close and personal with my 100-Day Project. My goal is that this stitching will become a piece of art on my living room wall. I have taken my time on this project and I even spent some time learning about listening to that inner creative voice. Kym shared a link for a link to sign up for The Makerie’s first Playful Pause. I thoroughly enjoyed the hour I spent, but I especially loved listening to Melanie Falick read from her book, Making A Life. The bit she shared made me wish that my library was open! I really want to go pick up a copy of the book and settle in with it.

I spent time mentally blocking out my next steps and there was a day or two that I was unsure… so I paused and spent time thinking about what I was uncertain about. Mostly, it was *my uncertainty* in myself. (more on that tomorrow!)

But today, this poem speaks to me…to my heart.

Thank you, Hazel Hall for your simple, timeless words.

Happy Monday everyone!

TGIF | 4.24.20

TGIF | 4.24.20

I feel like I need to get a blackboard and write the day, date, month, etc. on it to help me remember what day it is! Yesterday felt like Wednesday – although, I am not sure Wednesday’s “feel” like anything, my brain was convinced it was. Today does not have a Friday vibe, but I am hoping the cocktail hour later today will fix that problem!

Third Time is the Charm?

Remember when I was all “this week’s charts are so much easier?” I am eating my words today…for the third time. I am going to try to “fix” my problem, but I am not holding out much hope of getting that to work. Which will mean I will be ripping back this section for the third time. My first mistake? I did not pay close attention to the chart rows with and without dashes – so I missed a row that was knit on the wrong side. Knitting this in one color, that row of purl bumps was crucial to seeing the detail of the pattern. So, RIPPPPPPP! And yesterday when I was almost done with the chart, I discovered that I dropped a couple of decrease stitches. Which, as you can see, sticks out like a sore thumb. Of course, this is in one of the “stitch clusters” or in my case… a stitch clusterfuck. One (good??) thing though…this has helped me with is my ability to rip out and pick up stitches like a professional! Sigh.

Grandmotherly Knitting

Two babies, means double the baby knitting!! I would really like to knit a couple of blankets (think Yarn Harlot baby blanket inspiration) and have begun looking for patterns, but have not found anything on Ravelry that is saying “knit me!” Perhaps all I need is a lace dictionary, yarn, and needles! If you have baby blanket suggestions, I welcome them!

Inspiring Poetry

These days I am more grateful that ever for the balm that poetry brings. It settles my mind and soothes my soul. This morning’s Writer’s Almanac was exceptional, and I hope you find beauty in Longfellow’s words, too!

Fri-nally!

Those flowers from last week truly are the gift that has kept on giving. I only pulled the gerbera daisy from the bunch, and now the lilies are opening! That makes me so happy! I hope your weekend is full of things that bring happiness to you!

See you all back here next week!

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