An overly full week is winding down. Stress seems to be intent on becoming the center of our lives… and I pondered in my morning meditations if my fighting against the stress was causing more stress than acknowledging the stress and moving on around it. (I am pretty sure I just answered my question… but still, the struggle is real.)
This week, Mary helped me with the word I have been feeling about COVID numbers…. Fraught. All.the.fraught.feels. I confess I am struggling to muster any empathy for those who are causing the “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated” and I overheard my neighbors pride in not being “Fauci Sheep” – they are maskless and proud of their unvaccinated status. They are not alone on their stupidity… my county is now in the “substantial zone”. I hope I am preaching to the choir here, but if you are not vaccinated – please, please, please! Speak to your family physician and ask them to vaccinate you (or explain what the vaccine is, what it does, and – most importantly – what it won’t do!)
Despite the Stress Battle and Fraught Feels, I did manage to carve out some time for a few good things this week…
My woefully sad patio pots have started to show some improvements. I would say that we must have gotten some bad dirt, but my herbs are going like gang busters and they are in the same dirt… so I am not sure what’s up with the pots this summer. But, at least there has been some growth!
My freezer has a 7 “basil bombs” tucked away for a summery reminder in a wintery meal! I also am hoping that I will be able to harvest one more cup of leaves before summers end to steep in some vodka!
I have been wearing my new sweater and I am LOVING the versatility of it. It is perfect over a pair of wide-legged pants and is also works well over a tunic and leggings. I have made a notation in my April ’22 calendar to cast one on for next summer! (That was my huge AHA moment this week… making notes for my future self on projects I want to make, but not right this instant!) I had been toying with the idea of swatching for another sweater with Tides… however I am not getting gauge, but perhaps that is a good thing. I have some sleeves to finish and it will be so lovely to have not one, but two new Lopapeysa’s in my wardrobe later this year!
I had been struggling with my “Summer of Pastels” and I hit a wall in my creativity… I was stuck. Really stuck… I looked at this every day last week… and added nothing. But this week I took a deep breath, picked up a piece of chalk and began again. Sometimes only for a minute or two, but those minutes helped get over the hurdle. Is it perfect? Nope. But I was reminded of something important… quitting does not ever help. I feel back on track this morning and I am eager to start a new piece! (you can see the image I used for inspiration here)
I have not done a “currently” update for a very long time. Too long, maybe. Anyways, one has kind of been rattling around in my brain so I thought I’d share a bit. Sadly, it is not all of it is good… but that is often life, right?
Remembering — I read this morning that Senator Levin died and it reminded me of an interaction I had with him a very, very long time ago. I was at a gas station filling up my car on my way to work in Saugatuck. Senator Levin and his brother pulled in and while Sandy filled up their car, Senator Levin engaged in conversation with me. I, of course, recognized him and was kind of awestruck that he would talk with me. In our conversation, he asked for a recommendation on a place to eat. I asked him what he was hungry for… fish was the answer. I gave him a couple of options and he asked me where would I go… I gave him my response and he said that’s where they will go then! Such a great man with a legacy that will live on.
Tackling — This morning I have queued up a YouTube video on how to do horizontal mattress stitch. Honestly, it feels a bit daunting with all the “steps” because you bind off X stitches at the beginning of the row for X rows… which creates a series of steps. If I knit this sweater again, I will contemplate doing some knitting math and do some short rows to create the shoulder slant, which would allow me to bind off the row in its entirety (making seaming easier, I think…)
Reading — This week has been a banner week. First, I was finally “next in line” for Uncommon Ground and I stayed up a bit too late reading the past two nights – my plan for today is to get those shoulders seamed and then knit some mindless stockinette and read! Yesterday, I completed my Summer Book Bingo card with the finish of Ian McEwan’s Saturday. A brilliant way to finish my card… I just love his writing. And it is a book that will “sit with me” for some time.
(not) Growing — This summer will likely go down as the worst year ever for growing things. My vegetable garden has been a serious disappointment this year… I planted beans, some peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, and zucchini. Lots of things that are just not producing anything. Half of the zucchini have produced nothing… and this morning I noted that one plant has two zucchini starting… so maybe? The summer squash provided only 3 squash… and it appears there will be no more. Normally, I have more tomatoes than I know what to do with but it looks like I will be lucky to get a dozen tomatoes from 6 plants. I am holding out hope for some beans (to date, I have picked 5… that’s right, five beans) because I have blooms (again) so maybe this time I will get some beans. The peppers have had flowers, but no production beyond the flowers. One might think that my problem is bees… or the lack thereof. This is not the case… I have bees galore! So I am not certain what the problem is and Steve is now complaining about wasting water on a garden that is not producing.
(over) Grown — We made a decision earlier this year to not trim the bushes in the back yard in the spring, but rather cut them back significantly this fall. I worried about how “unkempt” the riot of bushes would look like, but I never imagined that those untrimmed bushes would be the source of some surprising visitors this summer! I usually hang a couple of hummingbird feeders, but had not gotten them out yet when the warnings went out about not feeding birds this summer… I was disappointed, because it is just so much fun to see hummingbirds from our porch. But, I never imagined the volume of birds that would flock to our Rose of Sharon… time spent watering in the yard is a joy with all the hummers zooming around. I have seen more of them this summer *with no feeders* than I ever did with feeders. This has caused me to reconsider garden beds and things that need pruning to “look good” … some good food for thought for the fall and winter!
Counting — Nine weeks from today we leave for Michigan. And while it seems like eons away… I know it will be here sooner than I think. I just can’t wait… although I have some trepidations about the trip (thank you, Delta Variant) My fervent hope is that both PA and MI will continue to stay out of the “red zone” as they currently are!
And there you have my “current” thoughts. I hope that you all have a great weekend and I will see you back here next week!
Hullo, Friday! Like clockwork, you arrive bringing with you the weekend, which might be the best constant ever.
Last night my “new” book club finished Good Talk. It seemed most fitting that we met in the Lincoln Gallery for our final discussion. The conversations around this book have been enlightening and so very helpful. I am eagerly anticipating our next book, which will likely be Caste.
I don’t love FB, but every once in a while something amazing shows up there and this week brought a two-for! First, this story showed up and I could not get that story out of my head! I started Googling and discovered this article which included information to donate fabrics to these amazing men. (scroll down to the bottom of the article for that info!)
The second good thing that showed up was a post by a spinning “friend” who was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the size of her stash and she wondered if there would be any interest in joining forces to “spin down our stash” in the second half of the year. Ummm, YES!! (and so many people said yes! lol) More spinning in my life is never a bad thing. I have a sweater I want to spin for so this is exactly what I need to get that done! (if you want to join this group, let me know and I will send you the link to the group)
Finally… I have worked for two weeks on a pastel drawing… and this week I think it is finished. I put some final touches on it this morning and signed it. Oh boy… it is not perfect. I learned so much about my limitations with pastels… but I kept working and I learned some work arounds… and that is always a good thing.
That is all I have for this week. Have a great weekend everyone!
Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you. — Langston Hughes
The hot, muggy weather returned which meant I was spending extra time watering the vegetable gardens so when some summer storms rolled in, it was so welcome…for the vegetables and me! Ha! And that rain brought some amazing nights of sleep… there is nothing that compares to listening to it rain at night. It is the perfect sleep track!
Thoughtful (contemplation) —
But thinking about humor like that refreshing summer rain has been more of a challenge. Although, those thoughts work well with things I need to release… perfection and control. Those two things are the bane of my existence and I fear I will never, ever be able to let go of them. But, this month I am going to try to use humor, levity, and purposeful lightness to try and release my stranglehold on them. Kym shared the most excellent (and very familiar) quote this week: “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” — David Foster Wallace. I wrote it in my journal and on my weekly calendar pages for the remainder of the month. I am going to force myself to remember just how hard it is to let go… but it can be done!
(so much) Good —
I saw this last night on television and it just made my heart sing! I thought you all might need a little heart song this morning as well! I will be excited to watch both Megan and Sue in the Olympics next week!
Inspirational (making) —
This week kicked off the #dawnmakealong… and I have followed the hashtag on IG and my plan is to pick a project (or two?) and *actually get it done* this summer! One would think I would pick a knitting project… but, you’d be wrong. I think I am going to start with some coasters… and hand stitch them. I like the thought of it being a slow project (but not so daunting that I won’t be able to finish it!) Once those coasters are done… I will see what inspires me from what other makers are doing! If you have been looking for some inspiration and want to work on a project from Dawn, let me know… we can cheer each other on!
(thoughtful) Finishes —
This week the idea of slow really settled in for me. I am working away on my pastel drawing… but I did not get it finished this week. And… the world did not end! I know, I was so shocked! Haha! There are only 24 hours in a day… and there is a garden that I love to spend time in, there is a test knit that I gladly committed to completing by a specific date. I finished the body knitting yesterday… up next, getting my crochet steeks in and then knitting on the button bands. Even with today’s grey day, I am confident that I will more than meet the deadline to complete the sweater. Why, I might even have found buttons by then as well! Anyway, the idea of slowing down has really taken root and it is working! I am slowing down and not feeling I need to rush to the next thing… I don’t feel like I have to hurry and finish to start the next thing… I am just loving the current thing… so very much!
That’s it for me this week! I will be back on Monday! I hope you all have a great weekend!
I had a very slow (and yes, painful) journey with my summer art project this week. Full disclosure… this little pastel drawing was just a bit of a much bigger photo I found online. It has more wrong with it than it has right… but I am proud that I did not give up, I did not start over, and I kept working at it. I am even going to try again next week because each day as I worked on it I could see how I could have improved it…what I should have done…placement on the page, etc. So… here is my first attempt… I hope next week’s attempt is better in all aspects!
Tomorrow starts the Tour de Fleece… which ironically coincides with the Tour de France, LOL. Generally, it’s all about how much you can get spun during the Tour… yards and yards and yards of singles that are then extrapolated into miles… in other words, it can be as competitive as the actual Tour! Not so for me this year… I am going to worry less about my “mileage” and focus on savoring these gorgeous batts that I got from Hipstrings! They are so soft! I am going to set aside 30 minutes each morning to do some spinning meditation at my wheel. I am not on any “official” team, but rather this will be a solo ride of discovery!
Finally… a wee little Animal Crossing update. This week I achieved a big milestone! I have managed to “cultivate” all the different colors of flowers! My practically impossible final flower… the elusive Purple Pansy sprouted this week!
That is all I have for this week. I will be back on Monday with an update on my word! Have a great weekend everyone!