10 June 2021

I For One Did Not Mind Wearing a Mask

You know I meant to post yesterday, but I was overcome with a huge case of  Do-As-Little-As-Possible which of course as a lot of you know, is the type of malady that not only can come on suddenly, but one that has no vaccine and no accepted medical treatment.

But fortunately, it only lasted a day, and now I can actually not just write a post, but get motivated to so things, even if they are not major or not of great benefit to society overall.  At least it's a step in the right direction, if you ask me.

Most places in the U.S. at this point are relaxing a lot if not all of their Covid-19 restrictions for people who have been vaccinated.  Tomorrow, the City of Philadelphia will cancel the indoor mask-wearing mandate for any vaccinated people.  I've been thinking about all of these seemingly sudden changes, and deciding how I want to proceed, and while doing so, I realized that once I got over the intial claustrophobic feeling of wearing a mask, I really didn't mind at all.  And so, continuing to wear one - even when the state said we didn't have to - was not a problem for me.  

Then I realized when I sat down to write this post, that it was also Thursday, and have decided that I would make this a Three on Thursday post.  So here you go: Three Things I Liked About Having to Wear a Mask:

*these are all reasons beyond the obvious ones about not getting Covid, or giving it to anyone else, etc.

1. In the cold weather, a mask helped to keep my face warmer; in the warm weather, a mask helped me not feel my allergies so much, since it blocked a lot of the pollen.

2.  I could frown, stick out my tongue, or just place a look of disgust on my face, and as long as it was not too elaborate, no one was the wiser.  It was freeing to stick my tongue out at douchebags with no consequences. 

3.  This one is my most favorite - wearing a mask meant that for the last year plus some months, I have not had to deal with a single random male person of any age telling me to "Smile, honey, it's not that bad," or "C'mon sweetheart, give us a nice smile there."  ZERO OCCURRENCES during the pandemic and it has been the Very.Best.Thing.Of.All.  Granted, if someone had been stupid enough to say it anyway, I could revert to actions described in #2.  But not having to even hear the words at all was the most wonderful benefit.

I would like to think that moving forward, when people have colds, etc., they will decide to wear masks to keep others from catching it.  But I also really liked to think that people would band together during the pandemic to do the right thing, and that everyone who possibly could would get vaccinated once the vaccine was available, so I think I may be the only one saving my masks for when I am sick.  

In any case, at least a lot of people DID wear masks, and I hope for them there were some benefits other than the obvious and necessary ones.  I have to say, for me it has become automatic, so I guess going forward I'll have a new habit to break, at least for every day regular life ...

07 June 2021

An Inside Weekend

Ugh.  Here we are, in everyone but me's favorite season, summer - even though it's still spring, technically.  This past weekend was a miserable one in Philadelphia, weather-wise, with temperatures in the 90s (Fahrenheit) and the added humidity.  All of the weather reports told people to stay inside if at all possible.  Well, other than taking Hamlet for short walks, and a couple of errands early Saturday morning, we did just that.  The only improvement there was that we didn't have the sun beating down directly onto us.

On Saturday, I decided that I was tired of waiting to block the sweater I finished, just because there wasn't room currently in our bedroom.  So I soaked it, and blocked it in the back room of the third floor, figuring that if the Koodle decided to revenge pee on it, I would just wash it again.  I always block garments I've made inside out, so that even if someone walks on them, or the cats rest on them, any resulting marks or fur are just on the inside.  

The ONE good thing about the weather was that this dried overnight, so it was not "available" so to speak for very long.  And though it got some interest from everyone, I think it was just too hot altogether to make anyone want to make a bed or nest on a wool sweater!

So now, I just need to wait for some cooler days to take some photos of it all finished and blocked, and then I can put it away until next fall.  It fits perfectly, which makes me really really happy!

The cats and Hamlet did a lot of dramatic lounging.  In this photo, the Koodle looks like he is already done with summer (me too, Milo!).

Before I got too sweaty to knit on any project, I did cast on and start something new:

This will be a summer top for me - that is, if it is ever comfortable to knit, and I'm not so sweaty that I can't hold the yarn easily!  I also have a pair of socks going, and am very, very close to being finished with my Advent Throw - but once again, need either some cooler weather or some air conditioning for that.

On the plus side, I did spend time reading, and finished two books - one a perfect "summer read" and the other a more serious book, but very readable.  Now to decide what to read next ...

Most of the week here is supposed to continue with heat and humidity, which is depressing to say the least.  So it looks like reading, drinking lots of water, and staying inside will be my plan for the next few days.

I hope you can stay comfy, whatever is happening where you are.  Take care.

04 June 2021

Friday Funnies for the First Week of June

Let's celebrate the first Friday during June with some laughs.  My twisted sense of humor finds these worth sharing.

This one made me laugh out loud when I saw it.  

And I *love* this one - I only wish I would think this fast should something like this should ever happen to me (and I don't wish it would, I just wish I could react so well).

I hope your weekend is enjoyable, and that you have a chance to just relax and look around you.  See you next week!

02 June 2021

Just the Best

Well, our trip to West Virginia for Memorial Day weekend is now past, but with some wonderful memories.  Yes, it did feel really weird to be traveling somewhere, but I was encouraged by how people seemed to be wearing masks nearly everywhere, and being careful overall.  Even at the rest stops on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, things felt OK.  That was a huge relief to me, because as much as I was looking forward to the trip, I had some anxiety as well.

We left bright and early on Friday morning.  Our GBS (Good Boy System) was ready to go!

Until he figured we were in the car for a while, it was necessary to pay attention:

But then he was able to nap and therefore be prepared for a weekend when every person around him was busy paying attention to him - that can be exhausting, and you have to rest up, you know.

I took my knitting with me.  Here it is on the table at my sister's house - actually, it's not just *any* table, it is what all of us call the Game of Thrones Table! 😄

Our drive was pretty uneventful - not much traffic, and the sun came in and out throughout the day.  About an hour from my sister's house, it really poured rain, but fortunately, by the time we were unpacking the car, it was only drizzle.  

I seriously could not believe I was getting to see my sister again!  And then my brother-in-law got home from work, and it was hug-kiss-cry all over.  We had them to ourselves for a couple of hours before Amanda and Pat arrived, so that was especially nice.  

The entire weekend - until we were leaving on Monday, of course - it was really quite cold (40s Fahrenheit overnight, 50s-60s during the day), and either somewhat rainy or just overcast.  The only down side to that for our group was that it was just too cold to sit on the porch, which all of us love to do.  Hamlet kept walking to the door as if to say, "Now?" and one time I let him out so he could sit there, but he didn't want to miss anything happening inside.  We still barbecued on Sunday afternoon, which actually was fine because it was the best day weather-wise of the weekend, so we got to start the summer outdoor cooking season after all.

One night The Tim and I treated everyone to dinner at a Mexican place that was relatively new in town.  The food was wonderful, and again, it was weird to be in a restaurant.  But also again, a place where they were paying attention to things, so it was a fun evening.  

Amanda and Pat - I talk about them a lot, but don't know if I've ever shown a photo of the two of them.  So here you go, from the Mexican restaurant.

When we were getting ready to leave and go home, Amanda said she would meet us at the car, because she had to make a quick stop.  We all assumed she was stopping at an ATM or something, but no, she stopped at Five Guys Burgers to get a hamburger - for Hamlet!

Needless to say, when Hamlet saw that Pat had something for him, and then it turned out to be a WHOLE HAMBURGER, his trip started to look better than ever!

Sunday morning, we headed to Perkins for pancakes, etc., because all of us need lives because even though we can make pancakes and such at home, going to Perkins is a treat for everyone.  Here is the group, masked:

And then, once the food arrived, the masks were off!

(P.S. The Tim is in this photo, and showed up when I edited it.  I have no idea why he is cropped out above, but rest assured, I have gotten grief about it!)

So we had a lot of fun, laughing, eating, drinking, watching TV, and playing ridiculous games.  Some of the group made sure to get their workouts in, and Mary Ellen (my sister), Amanda, and I had many very important discussions over tea and wine.  

Hamlet pretty much got non-stop attention and so much more to eat throughout the day than he ever gets from us!  And as The Tim said, some of it was MEAT - he was probably thinking "Thank God, *these* people know how to eat!"

The trip home was again uneventful, with pockets of traffic and lots of sunshine - you know, because we were travelling, not wanting to sit on the porch or anything like that ...

A wonderful surprise when we got home was seeing how big the baby mourning doves are!  They look like baby birds now, instead of cute baby alien beings.


I'm so glad we were able go on our trip and see at least some of the family.  It was nice to travel a bit, nice to have a change of scenery, but really nice to just hug and kiss everyone.  We had so many laughs and it was so relaxing that you were almost able to forget that anything like a pandemic was still happening.

I hope we will all remain safe and healthy after our trip.  Everyone made an effort, and all of us have been vaccinated.  I just wish people would not find reasons not to get the vaccine, so that all of us could just enjoy being. 

Oh - and for those wondering - Hamlet has been sleeping almost non-stop since we got home.  When you are that popular with people, travel is fun, but terribly exhausting! 😉

28 May 2021

A Walk With Hamlet

When you read this, The Tim, Hamlet, and I will already be on our way to WV for the Memorial Day weekend.  But I wanted to share this walk around a small part of our neighborhood with you, and this seemed like a good time to do that. 

A week ago today, it was a lovely day, weather-wise, and so for our morning walk, Hamlet and I decided to do a bit of a photographic ramble.  

Once we turned off our our street, and walked less than two blocks, we spotted this crochet in the wild:

I just love how the tree hugger is wearing nail polish!  And being the size they are, I'm really glad those insects are not real ... 

Walking a bit more I took a photo of this little street, known as St. James Place - it's like a tiny English village, just below one of the busiest streets in the city.  In all of the years we have lived here, I've never once seen someone out in their little front yard, or going into the houses.  For all I know, it's merely an architectural art installation, but that's highly unlikely given where it is located.

This next photo is of something that is one of my faves.  Not the gas station, where you see the car exiting, but the wall behind it.  If you look closely, it looks like there are a lot of windows, and they are reflecting a church building.  Well, in a way, you would be correct.  The Mural Arts Program here in Philadelphia commissioned someone to paint all of this on the side of a building.  The windows and the reflected church are painted on!  It depicts the side of a building that was office space (there are no windows actually on the side of the building), and looked out onto the church in the reflection.  There was a small amount of grass, and the church was off to the side where the gas station now is located.  Cool, huh?

Another block later, we came across a small cafe that was sadly a victim of the pandemic, and had to close.  But someone did what they could to make the boarded-up front look more appealing.  More crochet in the wild!

When I stopped to take a photo, a guy walked past and said, "I hope you don't have an egg allergy, hahaha."  Everyone's a comedian.

Another small street in the neighborhood that we passed on the way home.

And finally, back to our street, which, though it looks very narrow (and it is narrow - a lot of cars have trouble getting through), is not as narrow as some of the streets in Old Town Philadelphia!  Our street is a hidden gem, as it exists for only this block in all of the city.  Most people around here know about it, but even those who have been city dwellers all of their lives are surprised when you mention it as they had no idea about it at all.  Our house is on the right side, and actually is right next to where I was standing to take this photo.  I would have included it, but the next door neighbors had not collected their trash and recycling bins yet, and they were right in front of our house, so I'll show you that another time when it looks better.

I hope you enjoyed this little stroll with us.  This is all in about a six-block square area, and it's enjoyable to be able to take your time and just walk around.  You notice all kinds of things, no matter how many times you may have already passed by on other days.  

Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend if you are here in the U.S., and if not, enjoy your weekend however you can!  I'll be back next week to fill you in on our first trip since before the pandemic started.  Take care, everyone.