A Few Good Things | 2.10.23

A Few Good Things | 2.10.23

Hello Friday… it’s been a week where my motto has been this: “The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get”

I have felt like I have been playing catch up all week but there were a few good things.

Thing One: I have had tremulous buds on my snow drops for weeks and I feared that the bit of an arctic blast we had last week would do them in. But as you can see above, bloom they did! They opened yesterday and it was fun to see them “dancing in the wild winds” we had! A very good thing for the list!

Thing Two: I got my homework done! Wooo! The theme for this week was “Atmospheric” and while I don’t think I quite achieved an “atmospheric painting,” Rick’s first comment in my feedback: “This reads well” was enough for me. He then gave me some ideas to “fix” my foreground trees… that look a bit like lollypops! Yes, they do!

Thing Three: Kareem Abdul Jabar’s response to having his decades long NBA Scoring Record broken by Lebron James on Tuesday night. I deeply loved watching Kareem play basketball, but I confess… I love even more where he has gone with his life post-basketball.

Thing Four: I stumbled entirely accidentally upon the Emergence Magazine Podcast a couple of weeks ago and I have been meaning to tell you about it. The episode that drew me in was one with Robin Wall Kimmerer talking about Serviceberries. It’s absolutely worth a listen and I been delighted with other episodes as well!

Thing Five: Otherwise known as The Things That Kept Me Behind This Week! I had the appointment with the NP which caused me to have to go for X-rays (which were inconclusive) but I called to make the referral appointment with the Ortho who I eventually did manage to make contact with and set an appointment. Because I was in “Appointment Mode” I also made the appointment for my annual mammogram. I mean what is not to love about calling into Doctor Office Phone Queues and making sure you are pressing the correct number for what you want to do… and then waiting… listening to Hold Music… with interspersed advertisements for UPMC… Oh! And could you please complete a survey for us at the end of this call! (Because who does not want to have the opportunity to push more numbers!!)

And with that, I have some things to finish (still) from this week. See you all back here on Monday!

Hello February | 2.3.23

Hello February | 2.3.23

And Hello Friday! It’s been a week, hasn’t it? How about an update on all.things.medical first…

On Monday, the Nurse Practitioner called with my blood test results…sigh. My cholesterol was not at good levels and had jumped extraordinarily since my last blood work. So I am now taking Lipitor™ (or the generic – Atorvastatin) and am working on some adjustments to my diet. I get bloodwork done again in 6 weeks and see how things are going. It was advantageous that the NP called, because when we talked about the “exercise” portion of my day, I told her about my hip pain. She immediately looked at her schedule and I am seeing her on Monday regarding that. She was lovely and I am very much looking forward to seeing her!

And then there is the tale of poor Sherman who had to have a bit massive amount of dental work done yesterday. Today, he is eleven teeth lighter and quite a bit more grumpy than his usual self. We had planned on him needing to have a couple of teeth removed… but eleven… yeah. Poor baby. My goal today is to spoil him even more than usual!

One groggy, grumpy pug who is significantly more swollen this morning, poor guy! 

But, beyond all of that…I really need to set a goal or two this month and focus on them… or February will be over and I will have accomplished nothing!

The Big Thing I really need to accomplish is a rework of my “Office.” I need to rearrange things because painting has become more important than it was when I first set myself up to paint. I like to stand up to paint, and in my current set up… that is not possible. So a big room rearrangement is needed. This will include “rehoming” some things and doing more sorting of other things. Yeah. All the fun… not! Haha!

The only other thing I have to focus on this month is to pull out some cook books and see if I can find some new recipes to entice The Meat and Potato Eater with some meals that have a more vegetal focus… i.e. sans meat and potatoes! As for me, I could easily give up meat and potatoes, if it means that I can keep cheese and the occasional bit of bread! But sadly, I cook for 2 in this house. Sigh.

Seems like so little to want to accomplish in a month… but if I can get these things done, I will feel like I have accomplished much!

And with that, I will bid you all a most amazing weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

Photo credit: Mikhail Nilov


The Doldrums of “Winter” Riffing | 1.27.23

The Doldrums of “Winter” Riffing | 1.27.23

The “January Thaw” has been more like the “January Revolving Door” in my neighborhood… wintery-mix-rain-repeat. Proof of this weird weather is evident with this: I have Snowdrops that with 5 minutes of sunshine will likely bloom today (I will be watching to get a photo!) and the chives are coming up in my garden. Apparently they are the Harbingers of No Winter Here!

But it’s been a week… at least for me, and of course… I have thoughts!

Remembering —

David Crosby, still. Yes, there was a tear or ten shed. I really liked him… and had newfound love for him because of his tweets. My all time favorite album, Wind on the Water, contains my all time favorite song: Carry Me. It is hope that he is now reunited with his mother and they are singing together. If you want to spend a little time reminiscing with his music… you will find 10 excellent songs here.

Irritate, Inflame, Irk  —

As in what every doctor should try not to do with any patient…ever! Yes, it has been a few days since I visited “the new doctor” and I am happy to say that I have moved past the tears, depression, and anger rage phases. (Although, it took a minute, some incredibly supportive texts from a dear friend, and a new gnome to move past it all…) I begin today with a game plan… which may or may not include said physician. But I wanted to take a minute to talk about being your own best health care advocate because let’s face it… I think there are WAY more physicians like the one I saw on Monday and very few like my much loved and often longed for physician from Holland! I am saying this as a reminder to myself because I am a great advocate for others, but somehow don’t feel that I am worthy of the same treatment. The best advice I got in my Days of Moping was this… remember the doctor works for you! I have been approaching “finding a physician” similarly to how I felt about Dr. DePree in Holland… there was a camaraderie between us. We had children the same age, who went to school together, we served on committees together, we occasionally bumped into each other socially. In short, I have been wanting to find a physician that I liked… and who liked me as well. Silly me… this person works for me, he or she does not have to like me. But they do have to treat me with respect, they have to listen (more than they talk), and yes… I can demand that they not look at me and pull out their canned speech for “aging, fat, women” of diet, drink more water, and exercise. I should have stopped him in the midst of this diatribe, but I was hurt and stunned that this was even happening. He never asked me what I like to be called, he never used my name… once. But… as I said at the beginning of this… I have a game plan to move forward. I had about eleventy billion vials of blood drawn this morning and when those results are back, I am going to make another appointment with the Nurse Practitioner and I will talk with her about my hip pain issues (and perhaps even my blood test results, lol) and if that turns out to be as epic a fail as the physicians appointment… then I will be back at square one, finding a new physician. But maybe, just maybe… I will find that the NP will be as lovely as Dr. DePree is and find that this office will work just fine (and never, ever see that damned doctor again! LOL)

Finding —

My way with my new word. It has had some hiccups… because, of course it has, right? But in the midst of wondering why on earth I picked this word… I have had at least one thing happen each day that reinforces this word. The best one this week was a poem read by the new host of The Slowdown. (You can listen to Major Jackson share his thoughts and read the poem here) I wrote these lines from Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem The Mask in my journal:

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

Finally Finished —

Yesterday I had a BIG FINISH! I spun all the yarn the “Great Sweater Spin” and yesterday I gave it a nice spa treatment, a good bit of thwacking, and then hung up all my skeins to dry. And the yarn turned out beautifully! So beautifully!

One big ‘ole pile of yarn!

This afternoon my plan is to wind up one of the “smaller skeins” and start swatching to find a fabric I like. Once I have done that, I will pick a pattern… which absolutely is the best way to knit a sweater. Find a yarn you like, knit with said yarn to find the fabric you like, measure the gauge of that swatch and then find a pattern that matches your gauge!

And with that, I say… Let The Weekend Begin! See you all back here on Monday with my Bumpy Start with my Word update! Happy Weekend all!




The Doldrums of “Winter” Riffing | 1.27.23

A Final pre-Holiday RIFF | 12.23.22

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime. ― Laura Ingalls Wilder

Today, I hope to do a bit of what Halfpint so nobly encourages us to do… but perhaps a bit less reverently, ha! So let’s get RIFFing!

Read (poetry) —

I heard this poem this week and have not stopped thinking about it. A good poem will do that… linger, niggle, inch into your thoughts. Kay Ryan is one of those poets… her work lingers…wonderfully.


by Kay Ryan

From the Greek for
woven or plaited,
which quickly translated
to basket. Whence the verb
crib, which meant “to filch”
under cover of wicker
anything–some liquor,
a cutlet.
For we want to make off
with things that are not
our own. There is a pleasure
theft brings, a vitality
to the home.
Cribbed objects or answers
keep their guilty shimmer
forever, have you noticed?
Yet religions downplay this.
Note, for instance, in our
annual rehearsals of innocence,
the substitution of manger for crib
as if we ever deserved that baby,
or thought we did.

Kay Ryan, The Best of It © Grove Press, April 2011. 

In (unity) —

Michelle Obama knit us all together with the image that she posted on IG this week of a sweater she knit for a baby. This wondrous thing we do, that causes us to oooh and aaah over the things other makers knit. We understand… knitting is not quick and so we lift each other up. It is one of the best parts of this community.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama)

Fun, fun, fun! —

For those of you who enjoyed Knives Out (I did for a variety of reasons!) there is a new mystery dropping today on Netflix… Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. More Daniel Craig over the holiday weekend? Yes, please! Hahaha

Festivus —

That’s right… today is Festivus! What is that you might ask? Perhaps this can explain it all better…

And with that… Happy Festivus for the Rest of Us! I will see you back here on Monday!

I hope your holidays, however you celebrate them, are overflowing with every good thing!

The Doldrums of “Winter” Riffing | 1.27.23

Early December RIFFing | 12.2.22

December. A desperate celebration of an end.
— Chandrama Deshmukh, A Teaspoon of Stars

This quote sort of sums of December for me…the end of a year, the end of a word (which has been a very good word for me!), the end of my being 62, the end of my Year of Gnomes (yes… I am doing a +1 in January… there is no way you can quit gnoming cold turkey! haha)

And with all those ending things, it is so hard to not look ahead to what is coming.

I don’t want to do that and so I am going to daily remind myself to savor the day… be full of the moment… and not filling myself with the anticipation of what is to come.

Do I need to do some planning and thinking about January? Yes, I do… but I am not going to allow that to overtake the Celebration of December!

Now, how about some things that have been on my mind recently!

Remembering —

Christine McVie. Her death came as a gut punch to me this week. I will forever remember her singing this:

Infatuated (with) —

Three hand knits have found me circling back to look at them for a while now. I have been in the ‘wait and see’ mode… waiting to see if this infatuation I have for them will grow into a lasting love… which will mean I can cast on with confidence!

  1. Kate Gilbert’s Nouvelle Vague (From Knitty Deep Fall) or really… a Clapotis Gradation. IMO, the Original Clapotis has the preferred shape and I had I had knit one eons ago but maybe I need a new one? I don’t know, but I am enamored of the idea of doing one in the Fade Fad. But the fad idea has halted me from moving this from infatuation to project.
  2. Drawing Sweater. Oh my. Sweater as a work of art… absolutely. And when I first saw this, if I had the yarn to knit one in my stash, I would have instantly cast on. But then I saw this….
  3. Flutter. Wow, right? Anyways, in my brain, I would do this and steek it. Flutter is just so lovely… and maybe more useful than a sweater?
(be) Fuddled —

Imagine my total surprise when Spotify notified me that my Spotify Wrapped 2022 was ready for me. Huh?

We regularly listen to Spotify, but we *always use Steve’s Spotify* … as in I make the food, Steve does the music. I know, it is a massive contribution that he makes! LOL

Anyways, the *only* thing I have used Spotify for in the past year was to listen to podcasts that were only on Spotify.

However, the list was even more befuddling… I have never listened to any of these songs, nor has Steve ever selected any playlists with any of these on it! WTAF Spotify, WTAF!

(some word) Forethought —

As my year with Full draws to a close, I have had the curious incidence of a new word nudging me for some time now. I ignored it at first, but the nudges persisted and became more frequent. I have settled in to the idea of this word, but it is a bit scary as I contemplate “the how” of this word so I have been contemplating it lots. In lots of ways. So to make sure that I capture any and all ideas that pop into my head during the day… I have started an Apple Note(s) for it. Some ideas I am sure will be hilarious to look back on, but I am capturing them all. And, while I think this technically might be Word Cheating, I am happy to be filling the tiniest bit of my days with Word Planning 2023!

And I am even more excited to sign up for Ali Edwards OLW 2023 “class” and this year I think my word will work in such a way that I can do some journal documentation! Stay tuned!

And there you have some very varied RIFFing for this first weekend in December! See you all back here on Monday!

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