Every Day Good

Every Day Good

There is so much going on every day and not all of it good. So, every day I try very hard to have something good to focus on, I thought I’d share a bit of that with you!

Watching: The eclipse! Even though in Pittsburgh we only got a partial eclipse – it was spectacular even with some cloud cover. The changes to the light were stunning. You will be happy to know that our household listened to the directions of not looking at the sun to prevent retinal damage. This was not the case for everyone… Perhaps this should be a test for competency? And, as for the digital watching: Game of Thrones (of course!) and Endeavor! I also watched the finale of Broadchurch and honestly, I was a little disappointed. But, I won’t say any more than that for all those who have yet to watch it.

Stitching: Every single day and I am really pleased with how August is unfolding. Really pleased! I also went and got some button craft thread and my hope is that I will soon turn this pile of tee shirts into my first AC garment.

Reading: and listening like a maniac as I chase down my cover all! I am just 2 squares away and have about 18 hours of listening to do. I am eager to get them done because Beach Music by Pat Conroy just came off hold for me at the library! I am also reading the Essays of E.B. White on my Kindle and I have both books by Laurie Colwin (Home Cooking and More Home Cooking). I am almost done with Home Cooking – I should have it completed this week. This has really been the most spectacular summer for reading. Ever.

Picking: Tomatoes…so many tomatoes. That picture above is from this morning! I know, you are all probably sick of hearing about tomatoes, but this year, the volume of large tomatoes has been really quite spectacular. In past years, I have been happy with the dozen we have picked, but this year has had a bumper crop with no signs of production slowing down! Also, raspberries… I picked enough again this morning to make a batch of jam. I know these are such awful problems to have. Spending time in my garden is really the best time, I would not trade it for anything – even with the bunnies decimating our beans! There should be a “not picking” category perhaps, because outside of the handful of zucchini we picked at the beginning of the season, it has not been a good year for them at all. We have picked a sum total of zero since then and it does not look like that will change. I am not sure why they are having such a bad year, but my neighbor is not having any success with his squash plants this year either.

Eating: Tomatoes from my garden! Every.single.day! And, for those things we aren’t growing: sweet corn, peaches, and an incredible variety of peppers! August is the month where I am quite certain I could become a vegetarian.

Looking forward to: Our trip to Michigan! We finalized the dates and have our Airbnb reservation all set. It is the one thing that is really giving me something to look forward to! Why? Because…

Dreading: The end of August. The arrival of Labor Day. The return of dark mornings. Having to turn lights on at night earlier. This summer I have really tried to not “wish ahead” but rather spend more time in the moment enjoying. This has been an eye-opening practice – I am much happier with each day and I am worrying less about tomorrow, or next month, or next year. September, you can just wait your turn – there is lots of August left!

Celebrating: Sherman’s 5th Birthday on Saturday! Every day I am so incredibly thankful for him. He is a bright spot in our day.

That is a slice of what is good in my life right now; how about you? What’s good in your life?

Be Still

Be Still

After a few very grey and cool days it appears that the sun is making a return today! (Which is very welcome even if it is not bringing the warm weather with it!) And, this morning the blog is decidedly lacking in subject matter so I thought about just writing in hopes that some brilliance would bubble to the surface.

But, sometimes, the brilliance is silent and I am struck by this month’s theme at The Balanced Sisterhood. It is all focused around meditation, stress relief, and rejuvenation. Meditation has been part of my life for a very long time now, but after all that time being still is not always easy.

I have this month’s print out at my desk where I meditate and write as a visual reminder that being still is okay and more than that, it is necessary. In those moments of stillness there is sometimes tension inside me as the external fights just being still. I am a “doer” – as in I must always be doing something… knitting, reading, stitching, writing, cooking, cleaning, doing. However, when I push those thoughts away and just focus on being still wonderful things can happen. I realize that being still is vital to being active – my thoughts are more ordered and less chaotic and I have less tension and stress in my body. Even just 5 or 10 minutes of stillness is enough to energize and organize my day.

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. Deepak Chopra

As in all things, this is a work in progress but, there is progress and that encourages me to keep going! What about you? Do you have a meditation practice?

Knit-sanity

Knit-sanity

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success. – Bruce Feirstein

The knitting continues, despite not making my “goal” yesterday. I wanted to be done with the body and ready to pick up stitches this morning however, I did get to the ribbing. Twenty-one rows to binding off, seems like a manageable number, doesn’t it?

Today I would like to sit under the pergola but the rain will keep me (and Sherman) in the house. I do have Pat Conroy’s South of Broad to keep me company. And, perhaps indoor knitting will offer fewer distractions than the pergola.

I do have a Brown Wren update! My persistent little wren won over a mate! She finished feathering the nest and now I think there are eggs in the nest! Mr. Wren’s songs are even more ebullient, if that is at all possible!

Also…I saw my first hummingbird on Wednesday! Yep, there she was sitting on the “deer-proof” netting on the garden. And, speaking of the garden…baby tomatoes are popping up all over and it looks like we will have a bumper crop this year!

Now, how about a few links?

First up we have all manner of shawl-y things!! Starting with Avian Melody which is just gorgeous!

To satisfy your inner super hero, you just might need a Wonder Woman Wrap (or perhaps we all do!!)

Sari, not Sari… too cute. And what is not to love about anything knit with Hedgehog yarns?

Rift is simple and so beautiful.

Aurora Borealis from Svetlana… oh.my.

In the somethings other than shawls category, first up Flexi… “MAXIMUM FREEDOM! Your yarn. Your gauge. Your size.” Yes, really.

Old Shale Cardigan for ladies is very cute!

And, finally – put a mitt on it with Wood Sorrel

That’s it for me this week, I am off to work on success and avoiding insanity! See you back here on Monday with a finished sweater! (Hopefully!!)

 

Sewing Contemplations and Questions

Sewing Contemplations and Questions

I have read through my Alabama Chanin book three times now and I think I am ready to give a tee-shirt a whirl. I think my first “go” will be from a couple of Steve’s old shirts. I hope to stop at Jo-Ann’s this weekend to get some craft thread and get started.

Beyond that, I have this pile of clothing which all no longer fits. I have been pondering how to “re-sew” all of it into wearable items. However, the thought of ripping out all these seams and removing all the neck binding and pockets is a bit daunting. Really? That is lots of ripping!

This leads me to wonder if there is an easier way to do this, but if there is I cannot figure it out. So, my question to any sewists out there – is there an easy way? They are all too big in the shoulders and the bodies of the garments. However, perhaps if they fit better in the shoulder, the garment would not look so large? I am not certain at all and my garment alteration skills are limited to hemming pants and skirts!

It is days like this that I wish my Nana was still here, because she would certainly have a plethora of ideas on how to accomplish this!

Figuring out a solution would certainly give a boost to my summer wardrobe!

When you have nothing and it is Tuesday

When you have nothing and it is Tuesday

Perhaps a throwback to Carole’s 10 on Tuesday with ten random thoughts courtesy from my brain!

  1. This head cold has totally derailed my night time reading – I have not even tried to read a single word. However, I feel I have turned a corner and perhaps tonight will be the night that before bed reading resumes… I have my fingers crossed.
  2. I made great strides on my catch-up list yesterday, which means my list for today is only semi-daunting! At this rate, my Wednesday list should be back to normal.
  3. I am almost finished listening to Orwell’s 1984 and wow. Just wow.
  4. This website has brought new clarity and understanding to my thought process.
  5. My forsythias are opening, the red-winged blackbirds have returned, and there is joy in my heart that the weather was mild again this morning.
  6. Amazon Prime Exercise Videos have not been a rousing success – I am blaming this waning but damned cold.
  7. However, Lenten meditations are – and have even offered a few moments respite from thinking about my foggy head.
  8. I jumped on the Helical Stripe Bandwagon last week – Birthday Socks have begun. A word about Helical Stripes – WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE???? Yes, they are that good.
  9. My concern level for the number of projects in the works is growing – there are way more of them than there are of me!
  10. Tomorrow is International Women’s Strike Day…I love this statement: “Some of us are striking, marching, rallying, and boycotting. Some of us wish we could. Everyone, everywhere can join the PUSSYHAT GLOBAL VIRTUAL MARCH!” YES!!! You can participate virtually! Really. It’s a wear, declare, and share kind of day – so, put some red on and your pussyhat, make a little sign about where you are from or what you are for, and take a selfie!! Share it on your social media and tag it #pussyhatglobal All the details are on Pussyhat Project.

There you have my Tuesday, Gentle Reader. Oh, and dust off your Pussyhat’s for tomorrow!

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