April Promise | 4.3.20

April Promise | 4.3.20

Another week, another un-Friday! March was the longest year of my life and how is it only April 3? However, I am managing to keep my mind occupied and away from activities that allow it to stray to worried thinking!

First, Steve thanks all of you for your birthday wishes! He wants you all to know it was the perfect day – a day at home that was all about him! He is the one person who is not stressed about sheltering at home – it is his favorite thing ever! The cake was incredibly delicious! (although next time I will halve the frosting recipe) It is moist and reminds me of brownies…but so.much.better. This is absolutely a recipe I will make again!

This week I spent lots of time happily noticing that despite the insanity that the world is these days, spring is blind to the uncertainty and slowly, steadily, each day it shares a new promise. My forsythia are a riot of yellow, the bridal–wreath has a veil of white lace, any my saved-from-the-dump lilac has dozens and dozens of dark purple flower buds! I have rhubarb leaves unfurling, the raspberries are getting new leaves, and the garden is calling to me. (I am ignoring the bushes that are screaming to be trimmed, and the yard that needs to be mowed – another month at home allows for the luxury of being able to take time to get the least favorite tasks done, amirite?)

I really tried to stay focused on small things. diversions, distractions, and remembering to breathe. The following are some things that have been the most pleasant distractions this week:

I discovered Patrick Stewart reading #ASonnetADay He is brilliant and I have loved every lovely word of them, but the best is when William Shakespeare retweets them!

Baking was truly a life-saver for me this week. I baked lots! I savored every step from making to the clean up – which for me was always the least fun part, but this week I welcomed the task! I also spent time tending my sourdough starter! My question for you all is this: Have you baked banana bread this week? You are not alone! (and if you didn’t, this is the bandwagon you want to get on ASAP!)

Poetry remains my favorite distraction and I have found so.many.new.poems on Shelter in Poems:

This week, there were so many moments of unexpected kindness…and I am profoundly grateful for each one.

And, finally… later today, I will begin the first clue of Romi’s Mystery Shawl!

I would say “let the weekend begin” but in these days of the never-ending weekend, it seems a moot point! I will be back on Monday and hope that you are all staying home, washing you hands, and flattening that damned curve!

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

 

Friday With More Perspective

Friday With More Perspective

You cannot see the wood for the trees. — John Heywood

This week brought increased worry for both the rapidly increasing numbers of the sick as well as all those who are caring for them. The stories don’t sound like something from a first-world country, but rather they sound like the horror stories from a war zone or a third-world country that you might vaguely notice in the news.

I read this post yesterday and it really made a huge impact on me. Gratitude + Perspective is my new focus. Less complaining. Less rose-colored glasses views. Less meaningless lists. Less foolishly looking back at unimportant things with misplaced longing.

But, it’s not all less…because there is so much more! More heartfelt conversations with loved ones. More prayers for the sick and those caring for them. More gratitude that I have a home to shelter in and that I can easily communicate with my children. More gratitude that my library is serving the community mightily from a distance. More gratitude that I have no lack of projects to work on. More gratitude that I have an abundance of food. And, finally… more gratitude in just staying home!

Thank you, Carolyn for helping me adjust my perspective!

I do have some “lighter” things to share… things to, you know, STAY HOME and do!

Have you wanted to learn to crochet? There’s a CAL for that! Thank you, Casapinka!

How about knitting a bit of Wool Week? The hat pattern is out today!

I don’t know how this pattern appeared on my radar, but it would be the perfect spring shawl!

Then there was this from Lori Versaci. Gorgeous, but and the color combinations in the test knits are what really caught my eye!

That is all I have for this week. Again my mantra… stay home, wash your hands, and stay well!

Spring TGIF | 3.20.20

Spring TGIF | 3.20.20

Time is the longest distance between two places. — Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

This quote perfectly describes how the passage of time feels right now. Monday seems like it was eons ago and today does not feel like Friday at all. And topping off the already chaotic week…life changed dramatically last night here in PA. All businesses that are not “life-critical” are now closed…for.the.indefinite.future. Which means Steve is suddenly not working anymore… PLUS My son is calling me multiple times a day to have me talk him down from the ledge, and my heart is breaking that there are so many miles between us because all I want to do is gather him up in my arms like I did when he was little and hold him close. Hard times, so.hard.

Tension-reliever –

This lovely gift arrived in my email this morning and I signed up before you could say Settling the Mind! Thank you, Michelle for this! Please join me… we can settle our minds together and be part of the best commUNITY, even though we are miles apart!

Great finds –

This week there were many!

First, NPR now has a very short new podcast: Coronavirus Daily. I love that I can get an update that is straightforward, no hype, no bs… just a simple update.

Want to learn to sew? (because you now have the time to learn, amirite??) Here you go… seven free and very well-done lessons! This will get you from wanting to doing!

I have a friend who recently started her “Magnum Opus” project – a Russian lace shawl with something like 60 pages of charts… Yeah, my thoughts exactly! However, I did come across this beauty, which I think could be classified in that Magnum Opus category!

Remember last week when I told you about Hinterm Stein’s KAL? Well, she released a sweater this week that is DIVINE!! (and it is on sale right now!!)

Added Inspiration –

April 7th a new #100DayProject begins and I have re-assembled my “stitching basket” and will be stitching a bit each day. This time it is a more ‘planned out’ project. I know what I want it to look like…so my inspiration is to take that thought and make it a reality on my fabric!

All.the.FUN –

Last night Mary hosted our first “Long Distance Knitting Group” on Zoom. I was concerned that I would have trouble staying awake…HA! The truth is, I had trouble going to sleep afterwards! Want in on this riotous group? We are planning to meet again this coming Sunday afternoon… watch Mary’s blog for details. We talked, we laughed, we knit… and the joy overflowed! I can tell you that this was the BEST thing I did for my sanity all week… thank you all!

That is all I have for this week… my “forced” forsythias have been a ray of sunshine in this week! (Their outside compatriots are just starting to bloom – so soon, sunshine inside and out!) Have a great weekend, stay well, wash your hands, and keep flattening that curve!

Spring Forward Weekend!

Spring Forward Weekend!

Yes, this weekend will be one hour shorter when we turn our clocks ahead in the wee hours of Sunday morning. (or are you an entirely digital household and need to change no clocks manually?) My house is a mixture of digital and manual, so I will have a few things to change Saturday night before bed. However, there is no quick fix for changing the clock in Sherman… he operates on one time and one time only: the ‘is it time to eat yet’ time!

This week was really lovely – bouts of sunshine, punctuated with temps in the 50’s… and boy, do I suddenly have spring fever…bad!

My library surprised me on Tuesday night and personally informed me that my copy of Louise Erdrich’s new novel, The Night Watchman was ready for me to check out! And, then Wednesday Louise was on Fresh Air… the interview is wonderful and I am eager to start her new book!

I struggle with exercise and I beat myself up all the time because of those struggles, but then I listened to this Life Kit episode and I am not going to beat myself up any longer… it was wonderful (and so freeing!!) to hear that ALL MOVEMENT COUNTS!

I spent some time yesterday sorting through my stash of hand spun yarn to put some choices together to knit along with Vicki and friends as we all make Nightshift shawls! I think I have a pretty good start on where I want to go! But!! I curbed my enthusiasm to cast on because of those so.close.to.the.finish Miss Lime socks and this morning I only have the toe to go! (Rachel Maddow and Elizabeth Warren are fantastic knitting companions, just saying!) The absolute insanity of this all is that I knit these socks in eight days! Vera…I think you have created a monster!

And these “think spring” things caught my eye this week:

Finally, the winner of Ravelry this week (for me at least) is the Stockholm Slipover Mini (English translation is on its way…) but really, this picture was the thing that said knit me now:

 © PetiteKnit

Everyone with me now…AWWWWWWWW!

That’s all I have for this week…have a good weekend all!

**Photo by Maria Tyutina from Pexels

 

Loving February | 2.28.20

Loving February | 2.28.20

There is always in February some one day, at least, when one smells the yet distant, but surely coming, summer. — Gertrude Jekyll

That day came this week in western Pennsylvania, because on Tuesday I surely smelled a hint of summer. And as I came home from Ash Wednesday services, I saw that glorious faint green glow of the start of leaves in some protected areas! Those hints will help me get through the return of winter weather and I hope that this cold spell does not settle in for long. It is hard going back to wintry days after having a taste of spring!

It’s Lent and Steve had seriously asked me make a spread sheet for the area Friday Fish Fry locations…really, a spread sheet… Thank goodness that I found about a million sites for the Fish-Fry-Extravaganza (and even maps!!) that began on Wednesday here in the ‘Burgh! It seems Friday Cocktail Hour will be overtaken by 40-days-of-fried-fish ::sigh::

I stumbled across a moving piece in The New Yorker Magazine yesterday and I was reminded of something Bonny said yesterday: “Sometimes we just have to search a bit harder and pay special attention to the delight.” Look no further, this piece is full of delight and, yes, bread pudding.

And, speaking of delight…this tweet caught my attention this week:

I have been having the “great inner debate” over Romi’s Mystery Shawl: Should I? One color versus two? What color? But in the midst of the great debate, Larissa Brown’s Lunar Fade MKAL appeared on the horizon. Stash busting, anyone? I can tell you that I simply love my Lunar Phase wrap (and I even bought some denim material to make a Uniform Dress to wear with it… ok, maybe not just that wrap…but yeah. I really love it!!)

Anyways, I am thinking I will wait to see how Romi’s Mystery unfolds and then answer my questions and in the mean time I might have given my stash a good toss and found some yarns that just might work for a Lunar Fade!

Finally, Vera is always inspiring and yesterday was no exception! (And just in time because my socks are finished…in 12 days!! What???) So I have an empty set of sock needles…St. Paddy’s Day Socks anyone? I bet Vera never imagined that she’d be the reason for a little sock knit along! But, the pattern she picked is so cute… AND SPRINGY…and FREE!! So, grab some green yarn and join me knitting some Miss Lime Socks with her! And these are moving right along, when I set my knitting aside last night I was finished with 3 pattern repeats!

Grinch-y Green is not quite an Irish color, but I like this start!

That’s all that I have today! Have a great Friday and an even better weekend!

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