Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 12.13.19

Gemütlichkeit for Friday | 12.13.19

Winter is not a season, it’s a celebration. – Anamika Mishra

That is most certainly true…at least at my house in December! I do so love December – even the greyest of days are soothed by the lights on our tree. And that theory was put to the test this week as we had several days of grey, wet skies. The December’s of my childhood were full of grey, snowy days courtesy of the Lake Effect Snow Machine that is Lake Michigan! It’s a true fact that grey, snowy days are brighter than grey, rainy days – also snowy days often brought snow days with a day off from school! I remember celebrating snow days and sledding and making angels in the snow. Simple pleasures that are no longer part of my life, but perhaps they should be! This week the best I could do would be to make “mud angels” in our very soggy back yard thanks to all the rain we have had. Somehow mud angels do not carry the same joyful celebration that snow angels do, and I am so hoping for a white Christmas (which is a rare thing in Pittsburgh!)

Yet, even with this lack of wintry weather, there are things to celebrate. My almost daily walks in the neighborhood are marked by the warmth of the neighbors I meet on those walks! There are lots of dog walkers in my neighborhood, but two are stand outs! Allie – a very friendly Golden Retriever, always runs to greet me with such great joy! Then there is Lady Clementine, a Bull Mastiff, named for Winston Churchill’s wife…I am not kidding you (and honestly, I really wish I was their next-door neighbor!) Anyways, Lady Clementine reminds me of an incredibly oversized Pug and her greetings include some wonderfully wet, sloppy kisses! These neighbors and their dogs make walking – even in the coldest weather – a thing to celebrate!

Is it just me, or does the dry skin arrive earlier and earlier every year? A couple of weeks ago, I treated myself to a little nail repair kit from OPI, which included a bottle of OPI nail and cuticle oil. I have one question… why has no one told me about this product before now?!? I am pretty sure this might be a wonder product! In addition to moisturizing cuticles it also *prolongs* the life of a simple manicure! I am on day 8 of a regular polish (regular as in I do my nails at home) with nary a chip or any peeling! This makes my nails extra celebratory! Ha!

Reading is a constant thing of joy in my life. I do not know what life would be without books (and I never, ever want to know!) But, December is the month of Book Celebration with all the book lists that are everywhere you look! Maureen Corrigan shares her 2019 Favorites that she deems are ‘unputdownable reads!’ There are quite a few new-to-me titles that made it to my read soon list!

Now, how about some celebratory knitting?

Did you all see Jennifer Steingass’s latest design: Brightfeather? Anything with mohair silk is a celebration to knit as well as to wear! The pattern currently has an automatic 30% discount….so what are you waiting for! (FYI, I have one completed mohair silk sweater and it is simply divine to wear!)

If color work does not make you celebrate, this little sweater with lacework is really lovely!

Amy Christoffers piqued my interest earlier this week with this announcement and I have spent a good bit of time checking Ravelry to see if the pattern was available yet! And it finally dropped late yesterday afternoon. The Pheasant Pullover is gorgeous! I love the deep color work! **AND** it is on sale through Monday!

I have been consuming lots of tea in the past two months, enough that I am contemplating a tea pot. A pot of tea is a quiet celebration – one that wafts its steamy aroma about you – one that reminds you to sit down and savor – one that encourages you to linger in that savoring just a bit longer! But, how to keep that pot of tea warm? Why a Tea Cozy, of course! This was trending on Ravelry yesterday. And this also caught my eye! There will absolutely be some tea cozy in my future knitting plans!

Finally, celebration eats!

Carole, this is for you! I found some “slicing brie” at TJ’s and knew I had seen a recipe on Pinterest that included slicing brie and puff pastry, which I almost always have in my freezer! The original recipe included cranberries and pancetta, but bacon and raspberries were great substitutions! I used frozen raspberries from my garden – and less sugar (I used half what the recipe called for) since raspberries are sweeter than cranberries. I also added the juice from a half a lemon. Raspberries need a little help in the pectin department and that little bit of lemon juice helped thicken the “jam” nicely. This was so yummy as were the leftovers which I reheated for about 20 seconds in the microwave.

That is all I have for this week! I hope your weekend has some celebratory moments!

TGIF | 11.22.19

TGIF | 11.22.19

The last Friday before Thanksgiving looms large in my house. While I did pretty good at checking off most of my list, I did not quite get everything crossed off…Refrigerator, I am looking at you! But a rainy Friday and an engaging audio book will help me get it cleaned out this morning! (Proof on Monday, I promise!)

(sort of) Tiny Gnomes –

My Gnome knitting is completed and delivered! The hat was absolutely the fussiest part of the entire thing. But he is so cute, and Steve’s mom loved this new addition to her collection!

Gaining –

Yes, I am making progress in my other knitting project(s)! I have finally reached the point of joining the fronts and back of Evening Dew!! AND, I have the heel flap *almost* done on sock one of those Gift Socks!

IN love –

I had been thinking that this “half-hat” would be perfect, but then I saw this in the first Making Winter! I have yarn that will work, and my subscription has been renewed (just this morning!) Entrelac vs Colorwork… it seemed an easy choice! PLUS!! Making Winter is full of more lovely little things that could keep me busy the entire winter season and beyond!

Fiona and the Women –

I have been watching the impeachment hearings faithfully, and while I have been so impressed and comforted at the steady, hard-working, doing the right thing career government employees, Dr. Fiona Hill really was something to behold. I have a bit of a fan-girl crush on her – she is incredibly well-spoken, smarter than everyone in the hearing room, and with incredible recall. She has attained Superhero status in my book!

And adding to all my joy over Dr. Hill – did you catch the debate on Wednesday night? There were more women than men on the stage! Of the 14 on stage, there were 8 women including the 4 moderators. IMO, it was the best debate thus far. And, I am thinking this morning how much better everything would be if smart women were in charge.

And, that is all I have for this week! I hope you all have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

TGIF | 11.22.19

TGIF | 11.15.19

You can’t promote principled anti-corruption action without pissing off corrupt people. – George P. Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs

In my opinion, this was the best quote of the week. Bravo to Mr. Kent for saying it and it is certainly true!

Now, how about a quick TGIF and then… let the weekend begin!

Tenacious Knitting –

I thought I was fairly focused in my knitting this week…so focused that I feel like I should have both shoulders done! BUT!! I had a brief set back in which I had to rip out the left shoulder of my Evening Dew cardigan because I should have been knitting the right shoulder!! One would think that at my age I would know right from left, but apparently not… Anyways, the right shoulder is now finished (with the right chart!!) and the left shoulder was begun last night – with the left chart!

Gratitude –

I had hoped to maintain a gratitude list on IG which lasted for all of one day. It has been a tough week here and I am thankful for blogging friends, especially Carole, who brought gratitude reminders back into focus for me. I also realized that posting an image does not mean there was nothing to be grateful about. And, in a tough week I revisited Michelle’s prompt for seeking gratitude when sidetracked and specifically this Gilbert K. Chesterton quote: When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. I am working hard on taking them with gratitude, but it is a work in progress – truly.

Ignoring the Impulse –

I have had some yarns sitting in a cart all week as I think about those sweaters from last week! I have been very good at ignoring the impulse to purchase said yarn. Part of my success is that while I would love a red sweater for Christmas – the voice of reason tells me that will not happen this year. And purchasing yarn for a sweater for next Christmas does not have the same feelings of urgency.

Festive Prep Plans –

I have been listening to bursts of holiday music (except when Steve has been home, because he is the Penultimate Grinch about all things Christmas – especially music!) I also heard Mother Nature loud and clear this week with her Winter Weather Warning! This weekend my plans are to get out those holiday lights and have them festively adorning our bushes, ready and waiting for the time when Steve deems it okay to turn them on!

And that is all I have for the week! I hope your weekend is full of all good things and that Monday takes her sweet time in getting here!

TGIF | 11.22.19

TGIF | 11.8.19

I am really trying to ignore how rapidly the days are racing past. However, doing that with any success has been an abject failure. I did, however, finish Rachel’s Velvet-y Cowl last night. I have more than enough yarn left to make a “Mini-Velvet-y Cowl” for Vivi, so this obsession with velvet yarn is not over yet…

Tempted By –

Is it just me, or has Ravelry been an instrument of incredible temptation recently?

  • Temptation Number One: Thea’s Hard Cider caught my eye and Mary put an exclamation point on it with her plans! I love Mary’s choice of yarn and especially the color!
  • Temptation Number Two: A Rav ad for Delicious Toast also caught my eye… the details are so lovely!
  • Temptation Number Three: (which I am about to give in to!) Oh, Gnome, You Didn’t Steve’s mom loves gnomes and has quite a collection of them and this little fellow would be a cute addition! Plus, she watched Sherman for us on Tuesday, so I will be casting this on shortly as a tiny little thank you to her!
  • Temptation Number Four: Cellophane Flowers makes me want to drop everything, buy some speckled yarn, and CAST ON!!
  • Temptation Number Five: ADVENTuresome Wrap – yes, this pattern from Ambah O’Brien has been rattling around my brain – I have a good amount of Koigu that I think will work, I’d just need to get a skein of something to use for the main color!
Grateful Gratitude –

I have spent the week immersed in gratitude thanks to Michelle. I have thought about opening my eyes to notice gratitude. I have reveled in the wonder of gratitude. I have taken note of the things I take for granted. I have celebrated those slivers of joy that are a steady thread though my days. And finally, today I will think about gratitude that exists inside those difficult times. This week was very much needed in my life, and I plan to continue to seek out gratitude as the month continues. It is amazing how seeking out gratitude alters your entire outlook for everything!

It’s Old Fashioned Week –

Yes, indeed! And, this is the perfect day to celebrate that! I will be mixing up a special simple syrup to make an autumn-inspired Old Fashioned for tonight’s happy hour!

Finally, let the weekend begin –

Tomorrow is the fall Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer! It is on the North Shore versus in Lawrenceville and I have my fingers crossed that we will be heading off to wander and look at all the treasures! PLUS, a North Shore visit on a weekend that there is no Pitt game means that I might even be able to convince Steve that lunch at Southern Tier Brewing is in order!

That is all I have for this week, what are your TGIF thoughts for today?

 

TGIF | 10.25.19

TGIF | 10.25.19

By this time next week, it will be November and I am quite shocked by that. We have had such incredibly wonderful temperatures – warming beautifully during the day with only a couple nights with very light frosts. If I could order up the weather – it might just be exactly this! However, there is a part of me that knows that these days are not here for the duration and soon it will be cold with not much sunshine and yes, even snow!

Triumphant Knitting –

People… I have ONE SLEEVE DONE!!! I am so happy with sleeve one and I have begun sleeve two which will likely take all next week and maybe part of the following. But this sweater is much closer to completion today!

Gratitude Week Anticipation –

That’s right – Michelle has moved up her annual Gratitude Week offering, and I am really looking forward to it. Oh, and there is still time to sign up if you are so inclined! Michelle always brings so many “ah-ha moments” and new ways to think about life!

(IM)Patiently Waiting –

I will finish Just Mercy today and November will bring the discussion portion of Read With Us. (I think it will start on Kym’s blog on the first Tuesday.) I have so many thoughts about this book – so much I was colossally ignorant of – so much I blindly supported (Three Strikes, for instance) without having a clue. Reading, learning, and contemplating have made my white privilege obnoxiously evident. I am very eager to see what I can learn from Carole, Bonny, and Kym – and from all my fellow readers!

Full-on-Autumn –

Every year I love watching as Janelle’s maple tree transforms from summer to gloriously autumn. Yesterday she posted the Pennsylvania Fall Foliage update – and yes, I agree – the colors are full-on right now! My neighborhood practically glows with reds and yellows. Yet while the trees are glowing loudly, the cacophony of birdsong is mostly silent – save our fierce Catbirds. This week has been Cat Bird Song Wars which consists of two birds each trying to out-do the other with their song repertoire! Sometimes the songs would erupt into bouts of air battles that look less like a battle and more like an intricate dance. I truly love watching these incredible little creatures! I also love seeing all the Halloween decorations that dot my neighborhood. And, I am soaking in each magnificent detail of these glorious autumn days. Saturday will be the final Farmer’s Market for the season – a bittersweet event. And for this final weekend in October, I plan on immersing myself in these glorious autumn days.

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

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