19 July 2019

To The Moon!

It was really really late on a weekend, and my parents, my sister Mary Ellen, the cat, the dog and I were sitting in the dark with the television on ("We'll see it all better if the lights are out," my dad said.  Also, my sister Nancy was married and living in Maryland, so she and her husband were watching their TV at their apartment.) 

Why?  Because of this:

DO YOU SEE THAT???  IT'S FROM THE MOON!!!!  TV from the moon!

I remember all of this so very clearly, not just because it was so exciting, but because it was also the last time we would (mostly) all be together for something so wonderful.  Just days before, the astronauts had taken off, on their way to the moon.  THE MOON - unbelievable!

Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin - look at them, so young!  Of course, as a kid, I was well aware that things could go wrong, but everyone was just so incredibly excited.  As an adult, I cannot even imagine how not just they felt, but their families!  I mean, how would you feel if you knew that a family member was going on a trip and not only might not come back, but could just be lost in the universe?  That still blows my mind.

Anyway, back to that evening, July 20, 1969.  Ever since we heard the astronauts say, "The lunar module has landed," everyone was holding their breath.  Because even though we were seeing it, was it really possible that people had actually landed on the moon and would be walking on it??  It was almost too much to comprehend.

And then it actually happened!

OMG you could SEE it happening right when it did!!  Amazing.  From that moment on, Neil Armstrong was the one everyone wanted to meet.  Shortly after, he was joined by Buzz Aldrin, and they placed an American flag on the moon.

Do you remember this?  The black-and-white, blurry yet completely clear images of one of the most amazing feats ever?  I remember my dad saying, "This is one of the greatest things we will ever see."  And you know, I think - at least for me, in my lifetime - he was right.  When I see these images, I'm right back in our living room, not knowing if it's OK to breathe in case something goes wrong.  Thinking that there would probably never be anything as exciting as that moment, ever.  

The moon.  Where Ralph Kramden was always threatening to send Alice.  Where, when you were little, you were told a man lived and would sometimes wink at you.  Was it in fact made of cheese?  How could we have possibly gone to the moon when it was so far away?  

Thinking about all of this today is bittersweet for me.  The images seemed only a tiny bit blurry at the time, but of course these days, people would be up in arms if that was as well as we got to see anything, much less such a momentous event!  My father was the one besides me who was the most excited and we had both been talking about it ad nauseum for weeks.  I'm pretty sure my mother and sister were excited too, but mostly looking forward to us finally talking about something else.  I'm also pretty sure the cat and dog didn't really care.  ;-)

Four months and three days later, my father died.  I remember thinking that at least he got to see a man walk on the moon, and that maybe on his heavenly journey, he would go past it himself, and it would make him happy.

It's weird the way memories work.  It's amazing we went to the moon.  And tomorrow, on the actual anniversary of when it happened, I hope that my parents are together, remembering it the same way - or maybe even better - than I am.

Have a lovely weekend.

18 July 2019

Christmas in July 2019 - Week 3

Living as I do in the northern hemisphere, Christmastime is generally cold, or at least a decent cool.  I sure wish I had some of that right now ... 

But I digress.

Hello all!  Can you believe that it's already Week 3 of

Christmas in July???

Well, it is, and this week I have another prize and more questions.

The prize this week is the combo pictured below.

That's a skein of Wooly Wonka Nimue Sock yarn, 435 yards/100 grams of 50% silk and 50% merino.  Sooo nice!  The colorway is Spiced Apple, and it's so pretty, especially with the slight sheen provided by the silk.  The small container next to contains seed beads, which due to my poor photography skills are difficult to see.  They are gold with some burgundy on them, and would look pretty amazing paired with this yarn.  It's not that I don't like knitting with beads, it's just that a) I don't do it often, and b) I still have approximately 1 million beads that remain from the few projects where I have already used them. 

So these two items need a good home, where they will be loved and used, separately or together.

Interested?  Well, then you know the drill - answer the following questions in the comments to this post only.

1.  Lake, river, or ocean?
2.  Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?

Should you comment between now and midnight (EDT) on Sunday, July 21, 2019, you will be entered in the giveaway.  :-)


I have started thinking about who may or may not receive handknit items this year for birthdays and/or Christmas, and what I may want to knit for those deemed worthy.  Right now, I have some foggy thoughts about it, but I have decided that one of the things I want to do this weekend is sit down and actually work it out.  That way, at least in theory, I can start now and not have last-minute worries.  I have been trying really hard to knit from my stash this year, and so I also want to think of things that will not require buying any new yarn if at all possible.  I did purchase yarn the other day for either a birthday or Christmas gift for The Tim, but it was for a very specific reason and only one skein, so I don't feel too bad about it.  I'll let you know if I make any progress on my plan, but I have to say I have high hopes.  

If I can knit even a few items from my stash for gifts, it means that I use up some yarn, and also don't have to spend money I do not have on gifts - so it's a win-win!

What about you?  Do you try to plan ahead, or do you start knitting the day before?

17 July 2019

Knitting, Reading, Sweating

Hello all, and I hope if you are anywhere in the heat wave, you have some way to keep cool.  Though frankly, it's so hot and humid here that even if you are in air conditioning (which is not always the case), after about half an hour you still feel kinda sick.  Ugh.

I thought I would join Kat and everyone today for Unraveled Wednesday, especially since it's been awhile since I've added myself to the mix there.

The last time I showed you my Pabaigh, I was just above the bottom ribbing.  I've made quite a bit of progress, even if this photo doesn't look all that different to most of you.  I have about 3-4 more inches to go before I will be ready to split for the sleeves, etc.  So it's moving along and I'm enjoying the knit.  

On the reading front, I'm about a third of the way through this book:

It was one of those "if you liked ____, you might enjoy this" on Goodreads, and it was also very inexpensive to get for my Nook ($2.99, I think).  It's very readable, and I'm enjoying reading about old-timey San Francisco in the late 1870s.  

I've also finished one shortie sock (which I failed to photograph), and am ready to start the second one, and I have still not started the second half of my cross-stitch project.  That will likely happen this coming weekend, when I will have some daylight hours to begin it, which makes the stitches and the squares on the fabric easier to see when you are just starting.

And that's that for today.  I'm off to see what others are knitting and reading, etc., and you should feel free to check it out too.  In the meantime, have a good one and keep cool!

15 July 2019

Week 2 Winner and a Weekend Get-Together

Here's hoping that all of you survived your weekend - whether it was hot, rainy, hurricane-y, busy with work or errands, or whatever.  Weekends always seem to go by too quickly, but they can also be exhausting, even for the best of reasons.

There were only a few people who were in the running (so to speak) for the Week 2 prize for Christmas in July, so the random number generator didn't have a lot of work to do.  (And for all I know, those people weren't really interested in the prize, but since they didn't specifically state that thye wanted to be left out, I counted them as possible winners.)  So the little men I always picture inside the computer making things happen didn't have to do as much running around ... as a matter of fact, they probably only needed one little man to make it work, right?

Anyhoo, without further ado, I can tell you that KSD (aka Kim) is the winner!!!  Here is what she had to say in response to my questions:

Favorite Christmas gift: a drum set. LOVED IT!

Best Summer vacation memory: Discovering English muffins and orange marmalade in our motel room's kitchenette in Daytona Beach.

I have to wonder if her parents loved the drum set as much as she did ... and what is more fun than discovering good food while on vacation and right where you already are!  I happen to already have Kim's mailing address, so we're all set on that front.  Congratulations, Kim!!

For my response, I have to say my favorite Christmas gift as a child was a stuffed dog that I received when I was four years old.  I named him Cream Puff (Creamy for short) and he was the only toy of mine that was allowed to call my parents by their first names.  I still have him, he lives in the bedroom and he is as sweet and loyal as ever, if a bit worn.  One of these days, I'll take a photo and share it. :-)

My favorite vacation memory as a kid was when I was about 11 years old, and my parents and I went to stay with my mother's cousin and her husband at their beach house in Beach Haven, NJ, on Long Beach Island.  We went there a lot of summers, and my sisters were often with us, but this particular summer they both had summer jobs and didn't join us.  Anyway, the highlight was when we went deep-sea fishing, because a) it was so exciting - and somewhat frightening to be out on a boat and not seeing land, b) the guy who was our guide was really nice and quite funny, and c) we didn't catch anything (we almost didn't go for fear we would actually catch something).  This was of course before sunscreen, so I got one of the worst sunburns of my life, but it was an amazing day.


The weekend was for the most part, the usual mix of chores and nothing.  Though on Sunday morning, I met my friend Andrea for coffee.  She is the friend who used to also work on Sundays at our late, lamented LYS with me, and we try to get together regularly to catch up.  But it's been longer than usual, so it was especially fun.  We must have spent about 2 1/2 hours talking and laughing and it was just the best.  I don't miss any of the politics of the yarn store and some of the others who worked there, but I do miss our Sundays together.  Hopefully it won't be as long of a time in between get-togethers next time.

Have a good week, everyone!

12 July 2019

End of the Week Silliness

The other day, I was reading something where the writer talked about seeing a word for the first time, and thinking it was pronounced one way, and then actually hearing it correctly pronounced later in life, and asked readers to contribute their own experiences.  It was amusing to read, and made me think of when that has happened to me.  Which of course, then led to other amusing and random thoughts, and now I have to share them.

So here you are.

Sleuth - when I was a kid I read all of the Nancy Drew mysteries.  The books always referred to her as a "girl sleuth," and I had never seen nor heard that word before.  Therefore, I figured out in my head that it was pronounced "slee-uth."  Being as it is not a word used often in everyday conversation, it was only years later, during an episode of Masterpiece Theater, where they were showing a a dramatization of an Agatha Christie novel, and the host mentioned that Miss Marple was one of the "best known sleuths around the world," and I thought - Oh that's how it's pronounced ...

C'mon - I realized this was a contraction, but was certain it meant "See you on Monday" (really).  And sentences like "C'mon, let's go outside and play" were really puzzling to me.  FINALLY it occurred to me that it meant, "Come on," and it was a revelation.  But then for a long time afterwards, I'd see it and know it wasn't what I had originally thought, but couldn't remember what it was instead.  WHAT??

Related to that, my niece Amanda used to say "ashpoo" instead of "shampoo," which we all still occasionally say.

Similarly, we always purposely mispronounce "scissors" as "skissors," and "Indianapolis" as two words, "Indiana Polis."  Which is amusing, except sometimes I can't remember which is the correct word ...


For the first few years we lived in Philadelphia, there would be commercials on local stations advertising the wonderful places to go skiiing in the Pocono Mountains.  Since then, they have changed the website to something like SkiingthePoconos.com.  But originally, the URL was: http://poconoski.com.  Every single time I'd see it, I'd wonder why, in order to find out about skiing in the Poconos, you needed to type in a Polish last name - i.e., Poconoski.  Sigh.

Now, three stories related to movies/word confusion.

Story 1

When I was in late high school/early college, two popular movies were "Shaft" with Richard Roundtree, and "Sleuth" with Michael Caine - completely different stories, etc.  Well, my mother and I went to see "Sleuth" because she was a big Michael Caine fan.

Fast forward a few years, and a sequel to "Shaft" arrives - "Shaft in Africa."  Everyone was talking about it, and it was quite popular.  So one day, The Tim and I were talking about going to a movie, and my mother said, "You know what movie I really want to see?  'Sleuth in Africa.'"  Imagine her disappointment when we pointed out her mistake.

Story 2

Going back to "Shaft," you may or may not know that a new movie is out by that name, which is apparently about the son of the original character.  Two of The Tim's co-workers were talking about it, and one said that he had really wanted to go and see it, but would wait until it was on TV, because he didn't want to "spend money on a movie that's only a hour long."  The other one said, "What do you mean, it's only an hour long?" and the first guy said, "Well, I looked to see when it was showing, and it said 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, etc."   Oh dear.

Story 3

When the movie "Fatal Attraction" came out, The Tim's parents really wanted to go and see it.  When they came back, all they could talk about was how awful it was.  His mom said, in a disappointed tone, "It turns out that Glenn Close wasn't even in it, like everyone says."

Well, we learned why - they'd gone to see "Fatal Beauty" with Whoopi Goldberg and Sam Elliott instead ...

Another mix-up from my mother.

Years before we moved here, The Tim's oldest brother and his family moved here for the brother's job.  When we told my mother, the following conversation occurred:

Mom:  My friend ____'s daughter is moving to Philadelphia, too.  She got into a two-year program to study how to become a paraplegic.

The Tim:  If it was a four-year program, would she become a quadriplegic?

Mom:  I guess so.

Of course, once we explained why we were laughing so hard, she thought it was hilarious too.  :-)


I hope you have a good weekend, and find something to laugh about.  Don't forget, if you want to try for a chance to win the latest Christmas in July giveaway, comment on that post before midnight on Sunday.  :-)