Falling into Friday | 10.15.21

Falling into Friday | 10.15.21

Whew! Re-entry week almost over and it feels like “normal” life is more normal!

My day started out incredibly when Steve sent me this link for my listening pleasure! (Adele’s new album drops Nov. 19 and I.can’t.wait!!)

The Loose Tooth is still hanging in there! (Heidi is a much more patient mom than I ever was, I would have pulled the sucker out by now! lol)

We had such strange weather in Michigan… practically no wind any day! Which meant no waves at the beach. It was so strange to stand on the Frankfort Beach and have Lake Michigan be like glass! 

I get my flu shot this morning… yay!

My knitting mojo has RETURNED! Thanks to Gnorwen! LOL Today is all about Arm Knitting and I am eager to finish the things on my list so I can sit down and knit!

Finally (so I can get started on my list!) I heard a poem by Connie Wanek this week and I have not stopped thinking about it since. I think there is some incredible wisdom on her words which had me nodding my head frequently. (And I had no idea that Connie has a collection of Mrs. God poems!)

Mrs. God
by Connie Wanek

Someone had to do the dirty work,
spading the garden, moving mountains,
keeping the darkness out of the light,
and she took every imperfection personally.

Mr. Big Ideas, sure,
but someone had to run the numbers.
Then talk about babies: he never imagined
so many.

That was part of his charm, of course,
his frank amazement at consequences.
The pretty songs he gave the finches:
those spoke to his

innocence, his ability to regard
every moment as fresh. “Let’s give them
free will and see what happens.”
he said, ever the optimist.

Connie Wanek, “Mrs. God” from Rival Gardens: New and Selected Poems

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

Falling into Friday | 10.15.21

Falling into Friday | 9.24.21

It feels like Autumn turned off the summer switch and plunged us directly into fall here in Western PA. Late Wednesday afternoon some storms pushed through bringing rain, winds, and much cooler temperatures. Thursday morning was all about the layers for Sherman’s morning constitutional. I was so happy to have a cozy sweater to put on!

Fall brings the return of some of my favorite things (besides cooler days, that is!) I made a happy discovery on Monday morning when I opened my podcast queue to see that The Slowdown has returned! Yes, it is back with a lovely new host… Ada Limón. (today’s episode is especially moving!) And for all of you Pádraig Ó Tuama fans, he returns with Poetry Unbound on Monday!

I was fortunate to watch Nadia Bolz-Weber interview Pádraig about In the Shelter this week and it was such a lively, fun, beautiful conversation. I have since started re-reading In the Shelter with new eyes and it is helping with those feelings of discomfort, angst, etc that I have been feeling. (The Chapel has been the best thing I decided to do this year. It has brought a renewal of joy to my life. And it is decidedly “un-church-y” and is missing all of that Uber-religious-sanctimonious-fake bs that I have zero tolerance for.)

I might have stumbled on they key to returning my missing Knitting Mojo… I had been talking to Steve about Sherman needing a new sweater … a lighter weight layer rather than the “winter wooly” he has for those super cold mornings. And then, serendipitously, I saw this on IG Wednesday night. I am purchasing the pattern today and I have some well-aged hand-dyed red sock yarn in my stash that I think will make the perfect Fall Sweater for Sherms!

In the realm of Completely Weird and Definitely Wrong I need to talk about my lilac bush. In the middle of August it started dropping a few leaves and then as the month progressed more leaves dropped and it started getting some dark brown spots on the leaves. I did a bit of a Google search and decided that it might have bacterial blight… except that the branches did not wither or die at all so I figured I would solve this problem *after* we returned home from our little vacay. Fast forward to our return from Erie and my entirely de-leafed lilac had a plethora of new green leaves on the top 12-inches of all the branches… like ALL the branches. And this week it began blooming. Dozens and dozens and dozens of blooms. Seriously, easily 6 dozen lilac blooms. It looks like some strange Seussian plant with pale green leaves and a riot of pale purple booms on a long stick. I have no idea what on earth is wrong with it… but if you have any ideas please share! Lilac blooms in October is something I never ever imagined. lol

Finally, I have this urge to bake.all.the.things. and have been looking with longing at all you who have sourdough starters you are reviving for the fall. Sigh. I have never had sourdough starter success. Ever. And I have tried. But I reminded myself that I have successfully baked very good bread… so instead of wishing for something I am not likely to be successful with, I have put “bake bread” on my Monday To Do list and I am excited to renew my relationship with Peter Reinhart. (and some freshly baked bread will be the perfect accompianment to the left over chicken soup I made yesterday!)

That is all I have for this week… I will see you all back here on Monday with my September update for my word. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

 

TGIF | 8.27.21

TGIF | 8.27.21

In a week of disturbing incidents… so many… too many… I thought a bit of a calm might be just the thing. Just a bit to allow us to take a breath… so we can remind ourselves to breathe.

Thinking about not thinking —

Because this week thinking is a bit overwhelming. What I have done instead is gather all the woes of the week in my morning meditations and then released them to move forward with my day. They are not all magically gone or fixed, but doing this frees me to move past those big things to function…and breathe…during the day.

Geeked —

For September!! (Hello, LAST Friday in August!!) These late August days have been a bit much. Days on end of heat and humidity are just…wearing. Ten minutes in the garden and I am dripping wet. I am anxious for less humidity, cooler nights, and open windows! Yes, I am very thankful for central air… but gosh, I am so ready to turn it off!

Inspirational —

Lots of things are filling my head in these late August days… one of the main things is FALL KNITTING! I mean, is there anything better in life? I think not. I have been making some notes about an altered shape Pressed Flowers. Up next is to order some yarn to begin this exciting journey!

The next thing that I have been unable to get out of my head is the #SeaGlassTee tag on IG. I have gotten to the point of getting a container to start pulling together all.the.yarn.scraps. No “start date” or even if there will be a “start date” but I need to see if this is even a possibility. Stay tuned.

The final thing is a new pattern that dropped this week from Sew House 7 patterns… Romney Gathered Dress/Top…yeah, and I have some very drape-y fabric that I think might be perfect for it!

 

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Fact-Checking —

Steve sent me this and I was not quite certain it was correct. Because I can think of lots of presidents who are infinitely quotable and Grant does not usually make that list. And, lo and behold, it is! Tucked inside that speech: “…Grant remarked that “if we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason & Dixon . . . but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side & superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other.” He went on to say, “Encourage free schools and resolve that not one dollar of money appropriated to their support . . . shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school.” How eerily true Grant’s words are!

 

See you all back here on Monday!

Good things, with a side of food for thought | 8.6.21

Good things, with a side of food for thought | 8.6.21

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)

The final good things that occurred this week were inspired by Dr. Kendi’s podcast. I listened to two episodes this week that have given me some new things to think about. (My inspiration this week… Repairing the Past and Prison and Police Abolition)

And that is all I have for this week! I hope your weekend is full of good things and I will see you back here next week!

The Good, Bad, and Downright Disappointing

The Good, Bad, and Downright Disappointing

Or, a “Currently” update…

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!

 

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