Looking Back | September 2019

Looking Back | September 2019

September was an incredible month…there was baking, and the first day of school, and so many amazing skies (most of which were captured on my morning walks!) and there were good sips, Pilates, Sherman, and a new do! One thing struck me in looking back was this: even though the daylight hours were waning, the light itself was truly spectacular! Especially for taking pictures because it is softer and warmer and I definitely noticed that in this months photo images.

The video shares 1 minute of a September that felt like it began and ended about that fast!

And, that  is a wrap for the week! I am heading off to Michigan bright and very early tomorrow morning. (Okay, really dark and insanely early as I will be on my way long before the sun rises!) I will see you all back here next week in time for Unraveled Wednesday!

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.2.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.2.19

The blocking is finished, although I was quite unsure about exactly how to block Reagan. In the end, I just blocked the lace, leaving the sleeves, back, and neck unblocked. I used blocking wires and t-pins and I think that worked. I love how incredibly soft the Einband gets when you soak it – the yarn also blooms a bit. However, taking photos in a sweater in the sun in 90+ degree temps… oh boy. It is indeed warm! Despite the heat I love the sweater and it will be the perfect layer for fall and winter.

As you can see above, I have the body finished on Early Bloomer and have started on the sleeves. My plan is to divide the yarn I have left and knit until I am out. I think I can manage to get an elbow length sleeve. And, the fit is MUCH better with the modifications I did on the re-knit (you can see the mods here.) I don’t know if I will have it done to take with me, but at least it will get some wear this fall, and it is off the “mend” pile!

One of my tasks for today is figure out some “travel knitting” for my Michigan trip. I know I won’t knit much once I am there, but I have a lay-over in O’Hare both going and coming home. I think the smartest (and lightest) thing for me to take would to pull out my Tegna and perhaps I can get the body completed!

It takes incredible talent to sleep with your head up, just saying….

AND!!! Sherman’s surgery was successful and here he is sans histiocytoma… albeit a little groggy from the anesthesia but home and so happy! He had a great night and is thrilled to be back to normal today – normal as in he can eat again, because he hates to miss a meal! Ha!

Now, how about the reading this week?

The reading was varied this week, with the bad seemingly outweighing the good… but the good was just so incredible!

The first Bess Crawford Mystery – A Duty to the Dead. I just could not get into this book at all and I tried over the course of several days… and eventually, I gave up – life is too short to struggle with a book when there are so many other choices!

Second dud of the week – Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling. I only got a few chapters into this one and stopped. How this is rated so highly on Goodreads is beyond me – I do not recommend this book at all.

I finished Everything I Never Told You and I really wanted to like this one, and perhaps my rating is because I only read it at night before falling asleep,. However, this one fell flat for me. I never really got into the story at all and while I did finish it, it only got 2-stars.

I heard about On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century on TRMS last week and was surprised that it was available at the library. It is a short read but full of eye-opening and thought-provoking things. 3-stars.

I read my first Max Porter book – Grief is the Thing with Feathers. Oh.my.gosh! I loved every word of this powerful little book. And, can I just say that Crow should be part of everyone’s grief process!! 5-stars and I highly recommend!

I also listened to some very interesting things this week that were not books! First up, did you know that you can listen to the entire whistle-blower complaint here? You should! It is not long – I listened to it while on a walk.

Next, if you have not listened to any of the 1619 Project podcast go now and do so! It is eye-opening and moving and there are just four episodes.

Finally….have you heard about Bonny, Kym, and Carole’s new book club? The first book looks like an excellent choice! I picked up my copy from my library yesterday. I’d love for all of you to join us!

That is all I have to share today, as always if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!

Oh… and what are you making or re-making today?


Make It Monday | 9.30.19

Make It Monday | 9.30.19

We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost. — Henry Rollins

The weekend days were indeed summer-like, warm and breezy. Even the pop-up storms we had Saturday night had a summer-like quality to them. And, yes – we needed to turn the damned AC back on, and it looks like we will need it several more days this week. But I also must turn lights on morning and night and that makes me really long for summer light!

But there was an outside happy hour on Friday that was so nice…until the mosquitoes arrived! They are the one thing that makes me yearn for that first hard frost.

This is the professionally-styled me… but how I love my Morrine Short and Sweet

I got my money’s worth from Friday’s haircut – it is so short! I loved how she “did” my hair on Friday but I have yet to replicate that. I feel like I have 2 left hands as I struggle with my brush. I am sure I will soon be comfortable styling it but right now, the struggle is real.

I managed to finish Reagan and I am blocking her today. Glamour shots coming on Wednesday if the weather cooperates! Steve thinks it is too big, but I am reserving judgment until the blocking is complete. I also ripped back Early Bloomer and began the re-knitting process. I do not think I will have this done before I leave on Friday, but maybe? I started the ribbing last night, but I think I should have slipped it on a couple of needles and tried it on. I will do that this morning before I go any further!

It will be a full week –

– A friend is dropping off her sweater pieces today for me to block and seam
– Sherman has a bit of unplanned surgery tomorrow morning – another histiocytoma appeared last week and is in a spot that is most irritating for him so off it will come
– I need to run to JoAnn’s to get a bit of pink fabric to make a bow for Vivi’s Reindeer headband

Plus, all the normal weekly things – just with one less day to get them all done

That’s all I have for today – how does your week look?

TGIF | 9.27.19

TGIF | 9.27.19

This last full week of September just raced by, didn’t it? It was a week of crisp mornings that gave way to warm days. Yesterday morning there were some brief rain showers and even though I did not “feel” like going for a walk I did, and it felt so good when I was done. My doctor visit reinforced that moving my body is good for so many things! My cholesterol numbers were better than last year, which makes me want to leap with joy.

Travel Planning –

This time next week, I will be well on my way to Michigan to visit my kids. The dates worked out for everyone (juggling multiple schedules can be challenging, can’t it?) and I am staying in my son’s guest room for the weekend. It will be a full weekend and I can hardly wait!

Great Cuts –

Later today I am heading back to my hairdresser after a seven-month hiatus. My plan is to cut 4-5 inches from the length, which I hope will make “doing my hair” an easier process… and I can hardly wait!

Inspired Sips –

I have been trying different combinations to come up with the quintessential autumn beverage and I think I found the perfect combination. I shared it this week on IG, and Patty asked if I would share the recipe. That caused me to go back and tweak the cocktail a bit so that I can share a recipe that you can all replicate it! Last night’s sip was a success and it is truly the perfect taste for fall! There is a hint of apple flavor, but it is not at all overwhelming or sweet!

Apple Pie Manhattan

(makes 2 generous cocktails)

  • 5 oz. Crown Royal
  • 1.5 oz Crown Royal Regal Apple
  • 1.5 oz Crown Royal Vanilla (or if you have it, you can use the same amount of Salted Caramel Crown – although this is not available in stores in our area right now)
  • 4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 6-8 dashes of Wigle Bitters

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Stir for 45-60 seconds to chill and pour over a large ice cube. Garnish with an apple slice or a cherry.

And finally,

Fantastic Finishes –

Yes, you are reading that right. I am almost done with my Reagan! I have a bit of the bind off to finish and then I just need to pick up stitches to finish the sweater off. I am so excited for this to be done because I think it will get some use on my trip to Michigan! I might even be inspired to rip back this and reknit the body/sleeves so it fits (and I can take it to MI with me!)

That’s all I have for this week – see you all back here on Monday. Have an amazing weekend!

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.25.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.25.19

No update photo of Black Hole Lace this week, but yes… that is the last ball of Lopi!! Yes, I have made some progress – really significant progress because I just have roughly 3 inches more of the lace to knit and then I move on to the finishing bits of the sweater! Progress at last! Wooo!

In my heart of hearts, I want to order yarn and cast on Romi’s shawl next…BUT!! I am going to be patient and first pull out my Tegna to finish it up and then I have plans to knit a second Morinne Short and Sweet! I might work on these two things concurrently – Tegna is at the mindless knitting point and I think the second Morrine will go quickly now that I understand how the puzzle all comes together!

Then I will be ready for Romi’s shawl!

However, first I am staying the course with my Black Hole Lace knitting.

The reading this week was simply magnificent and I have three books to share with you!

First up: Louise Penny’s A Better Man. This is book fifteen in her Three Pines series and it was just brilliant. Armand and Jean-Guy are brilliant together and their moments brought tears to my eyes more than once. This was the best book of the series and I know I say that about each of Penny’s novels, but it is impossibly true! This one tugs at the heart strings and even introduces a new Three Pines resident, I hope! 5-stars and this is a series that I strongly recommend!

Next: Say, Say, Say. I am not sure where I saw this book, but I was surprised by a very short wait list at my library. It was a quick read and I enjoyed it, but I think it could have been so much better. Still, it is a lovely story about a 30-something unmarried woman and the couple she works for – she cares for the wife, who has a catastrophic brain injury. I think this story had amazing potential to really take off, but for me it really never did. Still, there were some wonderfully tender moments in the story. 3-stars.

Finally: The Summerlings. This book will easily be in the top five books I have read all year. It is wonderful, witty, and so charming. The writing is spectacular: “In our old neighborhood, steps and walks crumbled and mold grew on the walls. We didn’t worry about things like mold back then; we worried about polio and radioactivity.” This story takes place in Washington D.C. in the summer of 1959 – the cold war is on, the Nazi’s have been defeated, and life is simpler – or is it? Potato Chip Sandwiches, Watermatoes, and an epic spider invasion and this story is off and running. I really tried to slow down and savor this story, but I just could not put it down! 5-stars and I urge you to pick up this brilliant little story!

As you can see… I have one more book on my stack to go – Red at the Bone is up next, and I am eager to read it!

What about you? How is your autumn reading unfolding?

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


Moving Focus | September 2019

Moving Focus | September 2019

Joining with Juliann today to share how I did with my word in September.

It was a good month, perhaps the best month yet for my focus. At times it felt like I was moving at a snail’s pace, but if you watch a snail – even though it moves slowly, it does move, and so did I!

My focus this month was to move my body more…AND not let all the other things I have worked on getting into focus to become out of focus.

I think I managed to do that fairly well – not perfectly, but good enough that it feels like I have figured it out and it is beginning to feel like a routine *again*!

My list of accomplishments this month might not have lots of “visible things” in the completed column – but sometimes the things that only you can see are the ones that make the biggest impact on your life!

What about you? How did you do with your word this month?

Photo by invisiblepower from Pexels

Make it Monday | 9.23.19

Make it Monday | 9.23.19

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. – Albert Camus

The weekend had a deliciously summery feel, that is if you just considered the temperatures and not the light – because the light was most decidedly fall! But the days were warm and sunny!

But joy of joys… today begins my favorite season: Fall! Its days are fast, but I am determined to slow the season down by savoring each day – rain or shine!

Yep, Friday I got an urgent message from Steve that there was a significant water break and all the South Hills (or almost all of it) were on a “Boil Water Advisory” for at least 48 hours. Water is a curious thing… open the tap and voila! Water! Easy, right? Except when it isn’t. And, when you can’t drink water it is the only thing you want to drink!

I also went to get some blood work done prior to a doctor visit tomorrow and yes, I am a bit nervous about the results.

Leggings were seamed up, but no sewing was done…so that is on my list for the week! As is that doctor visit and hopefully I can manage a haircut on Friday!

I also did a good bit of reading, but more on that on Wednesday!

And finally, STILL…there is all that never-ending lace! But I am almost ready to join a new ball of yarn and I only have 2 left, so the end is slowly getting closer!

But for now, I need to get going with my walk – rain is threatening! See you back here tomorrow when I join Juliann to share how my focus was for September!

Friday Thoughts | 9.20.19

Friday Thoughts | 9.20.19

Looking at the calendar, I am filled with the deepest sadness that September is almost over. How the heck did that happen??? I have been savoring these days, but I can’t ignore the changes am seeing more and more of every day!

Things like it is now dark when my alarm goes off – no hint of light at all…sigh. Those darker mornings coupled with much cooler temperatures have me wanting to linger in bed and I need to nip that in the bud before it becomes a habit!

Light wasn’t the only thing changing this week! I noticed that the morning sounds have changed dramatically – the clink of ice falling into a glass for iced coffee has been replaced by the comforting whir from the milk frother heating milk for my morning coffee. The birdsong has dwindled and has been replaced by the sounds of kids leaving for school and their buses driving through the neighborhood. And, an extra layer was needed to take Sherman out several mornings and my Morrine Short and Sweet is the perfect layer!

Yes, signs of autumn are steadily creeping in! But these signs did not stop me from my “move my body goals” this week! I completed the 10-day Pilate’s challenge and plan to continue my “back to the mat” consistency! I also walked every day this week. It feels good to get back to this very important routine!

I finished up the of leggings for Vivi – well the knitting portion is done, and I blocked them yesterday and this morning they aren’t quite dry yet, but all that is left to do is a wee bit of a seam to finish them. While I am waiting, I will stitch up some Reindeer Ears and then I just need to find a wee bit of pink fabric to make a bow and I can ship it all off to my daughter! And that means I am back to my Black Hole Knitting with renewed vigor – these cold mornings were just the thing I needed…that and the fact that I really want to start my next Morrine Short and Sweet!

I stopped in IKEA yesterday looking for some muslin fabric yesterday and struck gold! I found some lovely mid-weight cotton on sale for 99 cents per yard. That’s right for less than $5.00 I have my muslin fabric! I also found some lovely grey-blue light weight cotton as well. It was not on sale, but at $2.99 per yard, it was still an incredible bargain! All this fabric is in the washer and will be hanging to dry shortly. I doubt I will get the muslin cut out this weekend, but maybe!

The *last* issue of Laine magazine is out today, and it has some really wonderful patterns in it!

After a long hiatus, Lene popped in to say hello and wow. I don’t crochet… but perhaps I should learn! That sweater over a dress is just awesome looking!

Isabel Kraemer’s latest creation is so lovely!

And, finally, Romi’s pattern I talked about last week is available on Ravelry! And, Kim has pre-orders for yarn up on her website as well… just saying!

That is all I have for this week! I hope your Friday is the perfect thing to ease you into the weekend! See you all back here on Monday!

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.18.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.18.19

I feel like I have fallen into the black hole of knitting….

It feels like I have been knitting lace forever yet I still have 7-ish inches to go. Grrrr!!!

So, yesterday I took a lace knitting sanity break and started Halloween Legging Swatching! After a few trials and errors, I found the stitch combination sweet spot and am now moving along nicely! I should have the leggings done in short order. Can I just say that knitting for a pint-sized 4-year-old is quick, gratifying, and fun?

Thankfully, reading is going better than lace knitting and I have finished books this week to prove it!

First up, I picked up another Henning Mankell book from Overdrive. The Shadow Girls is about refugees in Sweden and their compelling stories – all re-told by a failing writer who is so moved by their haunting tales that he encourages them to write their stories down, 4-stars and I highly recommend this book. Mankell’s writing is simply brilliant!

I followed this up with the audiobook, The Leavers – which is another refugee story, but this one is quite different…at times it is painful to listen to. The story is told from two different perspectives – a mother and her child. About mid-way though the book I really was wondering where the author was going with this story, but Lisa Ko manages to bring all those wandering lines together to a masterful ending. 4-stars and again, I highly recommend!

That is all I have for this week, but what about you? How is your making and reading this week?

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


Make it Monday | 9.16.19

Make it Monday | 9.16.19

Happy Monday everyone! I hope your weekend was one that was full of all the things you needed, and you are ready to tackle a new week!

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.” – A. A. Milne

This weekend included some major Kon-Mari-ing of all the upstairs closets. It was not quite the level of Swedish-Death Cleaning, but the closets are organized, have a bit of space, and the “transition” wardrobe pieces have been moved so they are readily available! Also, if you find something you forgot you had it feels a bit like you got something new!

I even made a list of items my fall-into-winter wardrobe is missing…things I want to make. Our recent trek out to the Outlets really showed me how much I don’t like Ready To Wear. None of it fits well, it almost always needs alterations and/or adjustments to make it fit right, feel right, and look right. So, fall making is now high on my priority list! And, at the top of that list is a pair of good fitting jeans! This fall I plan on sewing a pair of jeans that fit me.

Now, what does the week hold for me?

Well, Reagan lace knitting is at the top of the list, and I am just over halfway – so 7-ish more inches and then the bottom band, but those rows are so.long. just saying…so I expect this lace knitting to continue into next week.

I also need to transform this into reindeer ears and some cabled leggings.

AND…I need to tackle my Zadie jumpsuit muslin so I can work out the pattern kinks.

But, what about you? What’s on your list this week?

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