“The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzled.” ― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Yes, this quote perfectly sums up what August was for me…a month of sizzling, never ending heat. By months end, my gardens were all looking rather fried. We did have some significant rainfall that made all the weeds leap to life seemingly overnight, but do you think I did any weeding? Yeah, that would be a big N-O, lol.
We also found ourselves at the six month mark of Pandemic times. My state went on “lock down” on March 15, but my house started at the beginning of March. The days have a familiar rhythm and it is hard to think back to what “life before COVID” was like. It almost seems like another lifetime ago. But some of the changes are so very good. I feel like a smarter shopper now, with a major shop about every 3 weeks. Yes, I pick up “fill in” items… veggies and fruits. But my garden provided loads of fresh beans, some incredibly delicious orange peppers, and a plethora of tomatoes. And all that helped reduce the “extra trips” out.
But some of these changes are just very bad, there is no way to sugar coat not seeing my kids and while I am extremely thankful for FaceTime, texting, and phone calls… it is really not a substitute for being together in person. It pains me to say that this will likely be “reality” at least through the end of this year and it is the thing that makes me the most depressed.
The Best Part of the Month
This, ironically, was not something I did… but rather something Vivi’s chicken did! Yes, one of those Easter chicks laid its first egg! There was much joy and excitement in this feat and it might have been one of the best photos I got all month!
Zoom Knitting seems to be here for the duration, and this month we finally got “smart” (yes, even knitters can take 6 months to get their act together!) One of our members had moved away, and we finally figured out a day and time that worked for everyone, her included! So Knit Night now seems like one of the best things as hearing her escapades again make for some much needed laughter. No one tells a story quite like Julia does!
Best “Oh, Wow” Moment/s
The August skies absolutely came through with the “Oh, Wow” factor! And they reminded me that looking up is always a good idea! They kicked “ho hum” mornings in the pants! And for those “end of the day” moments… well sometimes they provided that last needed thing for my daily gratitude list.
What I did Well and What I can do Better
Sadly, August had no “I did this well” moments. But boy do I have a list of things I can do better. While there are no photos here, August was a month that I learned the hard way that my opinion not something anyone needs… ever. I read some of the best reminders of this on your blogs this month… along with the reminder that there is no prize for martyrdom. Oy. There is a part of me that is very, very glad August is over… and with it, hopefully, my incredible talent for being the truly most obnoxious ass in North America. My goal for September centers around this quote:
Thinking doesn’t hurt. Words DO. — Anna Maledon
And that is my August… even the not so pretty parts. See you all back here on Wednesday!
One salvation in these endlessly mind numbing days has been The Slowdown. This week has been especially fun as each post has been about food. However, the Ode to Butter might just be the best thing I listened to all week!
This week saw the end of the 100 Day Project. Oh boy, the best laid plans of mice and stitchers…I started off very well and managed to keep up the momentum until about day 50-ish when I realized that there was no way this stitching was going to take 100 days to complete. I have a few bits to fill in, I think. I have been looking at the stitching with a critical eye over the last 20 or so days. Some days I add a bit of stitching, others I do nothing but look and think. Am I happy with what I have? Yes! I will continue to contemplate and fill in when the mood strikes me…and I am okay with that.
This weekthis news made me squeal and dance with joy!
This week … this photo has filled me with all the feels!
But this week also had some hard things…I have been reading some blog posts that really have spoken to me…loudly. It felt good to know I am not the only one who is horribly out of sorts, unsettled, scared, and just so damned angry. I should not be surprised because every day is out of sorts, unsettled, scary, and full of things to make one rage…but I have been trying to ignore, avoid, pretend, and keep my rose-colored glassed clean. Except sometimes ignoring, avoiding, pretending, and trying to see good when there just isn’t any takes more work than a body can handle. I found myself unable to focus on the simplest things, unable to follow through (see last Friday’s blog post for a prime example… I spent about 30 minutes ‘polishing’ it on Friday morning but never published it…and I never realized it until Monday morning!) unable to let go of little things. I have had thinner skin, which has resulted in an increase in arguments and/or hurt feelings. So this week…I got off the “isn’t life grand if you ignore, avoid, and pretend train” and took off those damned rose colored glasses and stared reality down… the ugly, out of sorts, scary, oh.my.gosh I am so angry reality. I allowed myself to be angry at what is happening rather than smothering that anger only to have it erupt when I least expect it. I allowed the fear in… and I meditated with that fear. Did the fear depart? Nope…but acknowledging the fears and remembering that I am not alone helped. The thing I learned is that life is not always rosy…and pretending it is, or letting everyone think that it is, simply is not working for me.
But in the midst of all this chaos…there are only 108 days until the election! Are you registered to vote? Have you applied for an absentee/mail in ballot? If not, put that on the top of your to-do list and I will see you back here next week!
‘Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about. – John Mayer
Joy of joys, this morning I found the temperature had departed from the 90+ degrees where it had been lingering far too long. A little bit of 90+ days go a long way, right? The weather person says that I will get a few days of reprieve before those hot days come roaring back. My plan for this welcome relief…knit.like.the.wind!
I finished Clue 5 last night, and I am having a bit of panic because I am not quite sure I will have enough of the darker yarn…sigh. If that is the case, then I will just figure out some work-around bind off.
I also have been watching the US COVID-19 numbers in horror. I listened to this timely Life Kit episode this morning. I added “make more masks” to my weekly list.
Random things from my Gratitude list last week:
That is all I have for this slow starting Monday. How about you? What things were you grateful for last week?
P.S. Apparently, my brain was totally fried from the heat last week. I spent lots of time working on this post, which I then did not publish. What? LOL So, you get a bonus post today… from Friday, published late. But, better late than never, yes?
We ended up with 10 pints of jam, which sounds like a lot but, they won’t last until next berry season! But oh boy, these jars are jam-packed with the taste of summer! There is nothing like a nice dollop of jam on yogurt cold, dark January. It is the tastiest promise of summer I can think of!
And in-between berry preserving, I pickled some jalapenos as well!
The jam making was a good diversion from my allergy misery. Oy, the itchy eyes, the sneezing… am I the only one, or does this year seem a bit worse than normal?
And here we are on a Monday, that feels very much like a lazy Saturday morning to me. Coffee and knitting anyone?
P.S. I did not want the day to go by with no mention of Rayshard Brooks. I read a post on FB yesterday about the need to think about the police in all this. Really? Here is what I think about the police… they believe they can get away with murder. I have zero respect for them. Zero.
Another week in the bag and this one brought our first 90+ degree days. If this is a taste of what is to come…sigh. Honoré commented yesterday on my “summer sweater” and it not being very wearable in 90+ degree weather. And that would be true if it were wool, but it is linen and yes, I can and will wear it all summer long. Sorry I did not get a photo of it yesterday, but it was exactly what I hoped it would be! Light, airy, and so comfortable! I finally added my modifications to the project page if you are interested.
It was a week with lots of reflection and inward looking… and listening. So much listening. And that is where I am going to start this post.
And this is a fantastic 8 minutes and 33 seconds. Thanks, Casey Neistat!
Get Going —
Katie gave me the inspiration to cast on my Mystery Shawl. I did start. I am on Clue One. Clue Three is out. I am not stressing about being “behind” (okay, maybe a little especially when I have this list of things I want to knit and wear yet this summer!) what yarn? I am using Jill Draper’s Ansel in Forget Me Not 1 and 3. And this yarn… oh my. It is scrumptious. I just love woolen spun yarns… and this one is perfectly done.
And then Julia Farwell-Clay had this temptation this week! Oh boy. WANT!! I am planning on this to be the perfect August Knit, you know for those days when the constantly running AC makes the house feel like a deep freeze and a nice lap full of wool is just the thing you want!
This year I have been spending time reading poetry. Each month I try and find a “new to me” poet and settle in with their words. It has been inspiring in ways that I never imagined. And these days poetry becomes more and more vital to my day. I am in awe of poetry writers and their ability to put their words and feelings on paper. I think it would be so much fun to take a poetry class… and perhaps a socially distanced poetry class!
Six words that say so much. Because of cameras, the world is finally seeing in vivid detail the brutality that Black communities have known for generations. Derrick Scott’s family deserves justice. https://t.co/cetEZUWQTd
That’s it for the week, I hope I shared some things that will make you stop and think, some resources to help us all be better, and a little knitting… because sometimes it is the only think keeping me (somewhat) sane.