Macro Monday | 8.25.19

Macro Monday | 8.25.19

The light was the winner as I thought about how to compose my photos. I also played with color removal – I learned things too, which is never a bad thing!

My weekend just flew but, it has a wee extension!! Steve took today off and we are heading out to find new walking shoes!

I also randomly picked a name (from the two who wanted to be considered for The Nickel Boys) and the winner was respondent #2! Pam I have emailed you – get me your address and I will get the book in the mail to you!

Happy Monday everyone! See you all back here tomorrow when I join Juliann for an update on my word!

TGIF | 8.23.19

TGIF | 8.23.19

Overnight rains have ushered in much cooler temperatures! After days in the 90’s, today our high will be in the low to mid 70’s — ahhh! I have the windows opened wide and my ears are rejoicing hearing the birds rather than the non-stop drone of the air conditioner. It is amazing how this change in weather resets your attitude, isn’t it? I also rejoiced at having a hot coffee rather than iced and it tasted so good!

Thinking About —

My next knitting project! I have some “lingering on the needles” sweaters and I will probably pull out Tegna first and try and get it finished. Why? Well, believe it or not – I can see the end of the Romi sweater – I only have the 6 rows to go to the lace (and final) section of the body and the sleeves! Now granted, the body rows are long, but the end is in sight! However, this sweater caught my eye this week and it has been rattling around my brain ever since! I even think that I have yarn in my stash that might work for it! However, no swatching until I have Morrine Short and Sweet finished! (At least that is what I am telling myself! Ha!)

Gathering —

I have started a “garden journal” (albeit late in the season) but I am writing down what plants I grew and how they produced. This way, next spring when the lure of all the seedlings calls, I will have a road map for what worked well and, more importantly, what did not work well so I can hopefully get better outcomes! I switched up cherry tomatoes this year and these were much less prolific than previous years plants and I had some large tomato plants that were real duds as well.

Inspiring —

I have been reading the NYT’s 1619 Project and this week these poems especially. They are hard to read – it is not a proud past we have and that is even more complicated in that this past is still our present in so many ways, and if we continue on happy with the status quo, it will be our future as well. But I believe we can do so much better and it all starts with truly understanding our privilege.

Finally —

I am so happy that the weekend is here! I have a new book from the library that I hope to read tomorrow. And, beyond that I am not planning much of anything for my “day alone”! I don’t really want a list a things to get done – but rather a day where I don’t have anything that I need to check off!

Don’t forget about my “Pay The Nickel Boy’s Forward” give away is still going on – if you want to put your name in the hat, you have until Sunday night to leave a comment!  I will pick the winner on Monday and get the book in the mail to you! Have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.21.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.21.19

I confess, I laughed at the comments about “making jam in this heat” from Monday’s post. So, true confession time…. I do not go to a Raspberry Farm and pick buckets of berries. I head to my back yard and pick berries from 6-ish plants. I am lucky if I get a cup of berries a day. This translates to “uber small batch jam making” and I am going to let you all in on a HUGE secret…I use the easiest raspberry jam recipe on earth. No standing at the stove cooking berries, no pectin (yes, really… no pectin at all), and no water bath steaming up the house. And, before 8 AM, I my day of “jam making” is done. The jam has been transferred to jars and waiting to head to the freezer. It will keep beautifully for a year (maybe longer, but it honestly does not last that long around here!)

Other making this week included a seersucker, pocketless Uniform Tunic and an Esme Tunic! (Today’s sewing will include another uniform top!) One might think that remaking the same few things over and over and over again gets boring but, in reality, it is quite the opposite! I find that I must think less about the “how” and can think more about the subtle changes! This time the Esme pockets have merged into the side seam completely and I love this little change! It gives the pocket and the garment a little more structure if you are going to use the pockets! Also, the Grainline Studio sleeve hack worked well on this Esme Tunic! In the Uniform Tunic as I began to work with the very lightweight seersucker fabric, I realized that pockets would not work at all and would add weight to the top and change the drape of the fabric. So… no pockets. If I had never made either of these patterns before I don’t think I would have felt okay with making these changes! I will try and get pictures to share on Friday.

My Romi-is-a-freaking-genius sweater has departed the “puzzle stage” and has suddenly morphed into a sweater! It still does not look like much, but I hope to have something to show you on Friday as well!

AND!! I started the heel on my Non-Eucludian socks! Waahoo!

Now, how about some reading awesomeness?!?

My Cover All is Complete!

I finished strong with War and Peace and Purple Hibiscus!

I loved War and Peace. It was so good. The thing that struck me most profoundly was the dichotomy between the lives of those serving in the war and those not serving in the war. Life and Death versus Life of Frivolity – on steroids! Also, I had no clue that Freemasonry was a thing in Russia. There was not one moment in all the 60+ hours of listening that I was bored or wanted to listen to something else – it was truly a pleasure to be immersed in this book! If you want to up your classic game this fall, I highly recommend this one!

Purple Hibiscus filled the “book I own” square and as such I read it slowly. It is a beautiful written story – I dearly loved Kambili. It is a story of growing up, family, and freedom. I highly recommend!

I also listened to Ruth Reichl read Save Me the Plums… so so good. Ruth is a brilliant memoir writer and I devoured this book about her time at Gourmet magazine. I highly recommend listening to Ruth tell you her story!

Finally, I also devoured The Nickel Boys and loved it! Colson Whitehead is a brilliant writer and this story gripped me from the first sentence to the last. Colson again shows me how little I know… truly how pitifully little I know. If you have not read this book – you should! And, to make that easier – if you leave me a comment today saying that you’d like to read The Nickel Boys – I will “pay it forward” as Juliann sent me her copy so I could read sooner than the library waitlist. I will pick a name next Monday and get the book off in the mail to you!

And, there you have my unraveling, but I want to know… what are you excited about today?

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

Macro Monday | 8.19.19

Macro Monday | 8.19.19

Waning summer days
mean heavy laden branches
with dew covered gems

I have been amazed at the volume of raspberries I have picked this year! And, this weekend’s harvest will soon be transformed into lovely little jars of jam!

And that is not a bad way to spend a Monday at all!

TGIF | 8.16.19

TGIF | 8.16.19

Mid-August… yes, I said it. Unbelievably, the month is half over. I am having zero success in my efforts to slow August down and my garden is beginning to show “end of season” signs. All of this is putting me in a bit of a melancholy mood – although I am more than ready for the neighborhood kids to head back to school, thank you very much!

Thrilled —

I don’t know if its just my “Ravelry Pattern Highlights” but I have enjoyed seeing a much more diverse group of models and designers recently! Models are not all 20-something, stick-thin, and white – and I say bravo! It is lovely to see diversity of age, shape, and yes, beautifully multi-cultural! It also makes me so happy that the “never-ravelry” nitwits have seemingly burned themselves out.

Go Sew —

I have spent much of the week pinning and cutting out a bunch of patterns. Honestly, this is my least favorite part of the entire sewing process and I figured that just sitting down and pinning/cutting in assembly line fashion would minimize the pain. As of this morning I have three things cut out, with two to go! In other words – next week will be full of my favorite part of the sewing process – the sewing part! My sewing next week will include: two Uniform Tunics, one Esme Tunic, one pair of Rose Pants, and yes, one Zadie Jumpsuit! I am excited to sit down at my machine with a stack of sewing to work on!

Irritated —

Yes, the aging process has positives, however this week I cannot think of a single one! Perhaps that is because I am focused on the aspects of aging that are just downright irritating. Things like the increased occurrence of UTI’s in postmenopausal women (hello, why yes, I do have another UTI…thank you very much!) and needing a different strength reader to *read* the damned computer monitor! So, this week I am navigating the pitfalls of growing older – and not very gracefully. My irritation is extending to Happy Hour as I am weighing the pros and cons of having a cocktail while on an antibiotic.

Forward looking —

Next weekend Steve has a work function and I am really looking forward to the time by myself! It feels selfish to say that, but boy it is so true!

What about you? Are you looking forward to anything?

That’s all I have for this week! I hope you all have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

Three on Thursday | 8.15.19

Three on Thursday | 8.15.19

Joining with Carole today to share three things! Errr…okay maybe one thing with three parts!

Thing One
“… thinking back on it now reminds that the pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite – toujours bon appétit!”

Today is Julia Child’s birthday! She would have been 107 years old.

Thing Two
“I’m not a chef… I’m a cook and a teacher.”

My cooking library contains two books by Julia and Mastering the Art of French Cooking was the first cookbook I ever bought. I learned so much from Julia about how to cook. She absolutely was (and is!) an amazing teacher!

Thing Three
“I really enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food…”

I am quite positive that I have watched (and re-watched!) every cooking show she has ever done.

Today I think I will settle in with my knitting and watch Julie & Julia again!

Bon appétit, dear Julia…and Happy Birthday!

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.14.15

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.14.15

I must confess that I found this knit to be a real slog. It was slow going and tedious, unlike Screen Door which was so much fun and so easy! However, I am happy it is finished, and I even think it will get some use in the coming months.

I am still working away on my sweater puzzle… sorry, I don’t have pictures to share as yesterday was the greyest of days. There just was not enough light to get a good photo. However, I am further along than the last photos! I am well into the back section and still have not finished the first *partial* hank of yarn! This is a very rewarding knit – I love checking off each section and row as I complete them!

The reading this week has also been most rewarding!

I finished two books and *should* finish one more today!

My finishes:

Station Eleven – which is a curious novel set in North America following a flu pandemic that has killed almost the entire world population (how they know this is never explained.) Somehow there is no electricity or public utilities, but there are some settlements of people. The story revolves around an orchestra/theater troupe who is nomadic – traveling along the shores of Lake Michigan, of all places! At first, I had a hard time keeping track of things – as it jumped back in time frequently. I was tempted to stop reading the book until all of a sudden – I didn’t want to stop reading. It took the author some time – but about halfway though you begin to see where she is going and how things are connected. And the ending – wow! It leads me to think there will be another book… at least I hope so! 4-stars!

I also finished If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. This book had some very entertaining moments… but it also had some very disjointed moments. This was probably not a good book to read at the end of the day before I went to sleep. The opening sentences told me how I should read it and perhaps I should have heeded those instructions: “You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade.”  I am going to heed Calvino’s advice and read this book again. 3-stars!

That is all I have for this week! What about you? What is rewarding in your life today?

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

Sometimes Monday | 8.12.19

Sometimes Monday | 8.12.19

Are a harbinger for a coming change….

The past two morning it has been so crisp outside that I needed a sweater to work in the garden! Everything is laden with dew and glistening in the early morning sunlight. The drone of the mosquitos and the buzzing of the cicadas seemed like “white noise” as I picked vegetables in the garden.

Over the weekend, I noticed the birds are beginning to flock – sitting in fretting little groups on the wires around our house.

No matter how I want to ignore it, the summer days are waning. So today is all about “making hay while the sun shines!”

What about you? What do you feel the need to get done before summer is over?

TGIF | 8.9.19

TGIF | 8.9.19

Once again, Friday is upon us in a week that just sped by! I need to figure out how to slow these August weeks down in order to fully savor these summer days!

Thinking –

Why does it seem that stripey socks knit up faster than plan socks? I cast on my Non-Euclidian socks Wednesday night while watching Maddow and above is my result of two nights of knitting. Perhaps it is these fun “Happy Accident” colors from Knitterly Things – because I am really happy knitting them! Perhaps it is that urge to “just get to the next stripe” that makes them seem to speed by!

Also, in the how is this going so quickly category… I am into the “Right Front” section of the puzzle knitting that is Romi’s Morrinne Short and Sweet! This has project is my “I can finally sit down and watch an episode or two of Father Brown” afternoon knitting – so it is really moving right along! I love how Romi has laid out the pattern row by row – there is something so enjoyable about crossing off each completed row! I know it does not look like much yet, but it feels like it is moving along rather quickly I promise you!

Grateful –

I spent much of this week thinking about those grandparents I mentioned last week and their impact on my life. I am profoundly grateful to each of them and so blessed to have had them in my life. They each provided a safe harbor in a turbulent life and it has been a good experience to reflect on them and a joy to find bits of them in me. Theirs are the voices I hear in my head with their words of encouragement and love.

Inspired –

By this question: Do you need to let anything (or anyone) go? Oh my, sometimes Michelle brings clarity to exactly that thing you are struggling with. These words are exactly what I needed today!

Forward looking –

My daughter shared some fun news this week – they found a house and in October they will no longer be renter’s, but homeowners! I am so excited for them, but this means that I need to get a move on finishing up Genevieve’s quilt! It will be perfect for her new bedroom! There is an added bonus to this because it means Christian will be home again in October to help with the move… and that might be the best thing of all!

What about you? What is your TGIF today?

Have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.7.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.7.19

I almost have a finished object this week – I bound off this shawl late last night, but it still needs a bit of a spa treatment and a good blocking! Stay tuned for glamour shots next week!

But that means – I can cast on something new! And, cast on I did! – although I am not far, I have begun a new project! I also will be winding some yarn to cast on a pair of Non-Euclidean Stripey Socks!

Ahh, the joy of starting new knitting projects – is there anything better? Okay, maybe new sewing projects might be as good! And, I have some sewing projects that I hope to work on this week as well!

Now, how about some reading updates!

I did manage to finish one book this week. It was not a book for bingo, but it was a book that I could not put down once I started it! The River by Peter Heller did live up to the hype – it is well written and very fast-paced – 4 stars and I recommend if you are looking for a quick summer thriller!

I am more than halfway through War and Peace and, believe it or not, I am still loving this epic tome!

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