14 May 2021


Friday, Friday, Friday, I am so glad you showed up at last!  This has been one of those weeks when even though most of it was OK, one big bad thing happened to me at work that has left me emotionally and physically exhausted.  It annoys me that one specific event can control you for a whole week.   So I am especially glad that it's Friday and the weekend beckons so that I can relax and push the restart button.

At least Pip bounced back from his vet appt yesterday.  I dropped him off at 2:35 for a 2:40 appt (you still can't go in with them), and expected them to call in about half an hour or so to say he was ready for pickup.  By 4:00, nothing.  So finally I called and asked if he was ready, and if he was OK (because of course I was imagining that they found something seriously wrong), and they said they had been trying to call us since about 3:15!  The problem was, they had transposed the digits in the phone number, so no one at the wrong number was picking up (and they would have probably been really confused if they had).  GAH.  Anyway, I picked him up, he is fine and all is well.  But I feel bad, because he was probably wondering what was going on and why I wasn't picking him up.  The good news is that he came home, ate his dinner and continued on as if that whole blip never happened.  I need to be more like Pip!

Clearly this a.m. he is just sleeping all of it off.

(It kills me when he sleeps like this!)

So I think all of us are ready for the weekend!  I told The Tim that tonight we should celebrate with some martinis when he gets home since we all need this weekend more than usual.  He agreed, so that will be fun.

Other than that, I have an appt for a haircut first thing tomorrow morning.  And I'm hoping to get started on cleaning up the garden and doing some planting this weekend. The weather is supposed to be pretty nice, not too hot and not too cool, so that will work perfectly for me.  Right now, I don't have a lot to plant, because I wanted to see what else I needed once I got the stuff I have in the ground or in pots.  

Here's a tip for you: Asters.  They are native to the U.S. and at least in our case, they have been doing really well!  I bought one aster plant two years ago, and planted it, and now it has taken over 90% of our front planter!  I'm hoping to transplant a few into the actual garden and see if they work there as well.  They are such happy flowers, and even better, bees like them.  

(from last summer)

My other specific plan is to make some granola, which I might do today.  The recipe I use is this one from Clara Parkes old blog.  I make half of the recipe for the two of us, and it's plenty, trust me - last time, I zoned out and made the whole recipe and we had granola coming out our ears after a while!  But I can attest to it being an excellent recipe, so if you are inclined to do so, give it a try.  The best part of it is that it can bake while you are working, or cleaning, or doing whatever because once you start it, it needs very little other action on your part.

And as you probably have guessed, there will be knitting and reading involved, no matter what else does or does not get accomplished!  Right now, I'm trying to finish both the pair of socks I'm knitting (I'm on the foot of sock #2), and my Advent Throw (I just broke into mini-skein #24), and at this moment at least, I'm determined to finish them before starting anything else.  That could change, since I'm itching to cast on two other projects, and I usually allow myself three projects at one time.  We'll see.

I'm sure that all of you in the U.S. saw that the CDC has said if you are vaccinated, you can stop wearing masks except for a few specific instances.  I like that we have moved along enough that they feel it can happen, but I'm suspicious, because I think that now, people will just say they are vaccinated even when they are not, since it's being done on the "honor" system and so many people have no honor.  The Tim pointed out that it's on them, not on us, and I know he's right, but I guess it just seems sudden.  It will be interesting to see what the City of Philadelphia decides to do, since we have always had different restrictions, even from the rest of Pennsylvania.

I'm just glad that I got my vaccine and that The Tim will be completely vaccinated at week from tomorrow.  We've done our part, for ourselves and those around us. 😃

(I do have to admit to being somewhat disappointed that we'll have to go back to people-ing again.  Sigh.)

Have a good weekend - I hope you have a chance to relax, and to enjoy something you want to do - if nothing else, take a tip from Pip!

12 May 2021

I Can Only Hope They Were Tasty

Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments on my last post.  I responded to those I could via e-mail, and then even here after I realized that none of the e-mail responses were delivered ("Recipient unknown" - yet they were all to addresses that I communicate with regularly).  Then I started to try and respond here, and those responses ... just evaporated into thin air.  I tried on two different times, and ... gone.  And so, as I said in the subject line, I hope Blogger found them tasty, since I can only guess they were eaten!

GAH.  Blogger strikes again!  And things had been going along swimmingly for a while.  Oh well, onward and upward, right?

I did finish my sweater, and wove in all of the ends.  I realized that the only thing I had to soak it in was a bucket we had in the basement, that needed to be cleaned out every time it is used.  So I determined that I would buy a separate bucket/container for ONLY knitted things.  I found one at Target for $2.00 - it's really as dishwashing thing, but not anymore.  😊

I came home on Saturday after finding it, all excited and ready to soak the sweater and block it and well, The Tim had pulled the bags of our warmer weather clothes out and placed them - you guessed it, in the only spot in the house where there is room to block something without it being bothered by any furry family members.  It's also the only spot where we can pull out bags of clothes and the Koodle can't get near them to do any revenge peeing.  

So, once those are out of the way, I'll be blocking the sweater and taking some photos.  Trust me, the wait will not make it look any different/better.  It's a basic sweater, all one color.  But I'm really pleased with it.  

In other news, I posted this to Instagram and Facebook the other day, but wanted to show everyone here.  This sweetheart has decided to set up shop in the ivy outside of our bedroom window:

Isn't she beautiful?  Since she is a mourning dove, I have named her Deirdre, which means "sorrow."  We have a conversation through the window twice a day - once when I raise the blinds in the morning, and once when I lower them at night.  For all I know, she is aware of the motion and nothing else, but she does stay put.  And yes, the conversation is completely one-sided, and mainly consists of me telling her she is so pretty, and so sweet, and how we love her and would never hurt her.  For all I know, she is actually a he named Bruiser and is plotting the bird overthrow of the world.  But I like my version better.

I realized the other day that I should probably focus next on finishing my Advent Throw - once the weather gets warmer, I am NOT going to want to sit and knit with a blanket on my lap!  There isn't that much left - I just started the 24th mini of the Advent calendar last night, so it's getting close to being finished.

That's all the news for now from here.  Tomorrow it is Pip's turn to go to the vet, so I have to strategize the best way to get him into the carrier, as I will be leaving work early to take him.  In response to Cheryl's comment, wondering if The Tim got called back to work yet, the answer is yes - kinda/sorta.  They are starting to call people back, but in the order of seniority.  So right now, he works one day a week, which is usually on Thursday (hence me leaving work early to take Pip to the vet tomorrow).  It's not the best situation, but one of the requirements for receiving unemployment benefits is stating that you have not been offered work during the benefits period.  Plus, The Tim didn't want them to NOT call him in the future because he turned them down this time around.  

I can tell you this - the animals do NOT approve of being completely alone on Thursdays!  And they have been very clear about that.  😏

Have a good one, and if nothing else, be glad it's Wednesday and the work week for most of us is almost over.

07 May 2021

Good Things

Hello, Friday!  You certainly took your good old time getting here, but as long as you show up, I'm happy.  

Not that this week was terrible, but there were enough ick times along the way that having the weekend break is even more welcome than usual.

But there were definite highlights.

Hamlet had a wonderful day for his birthday.  

Here he is in the morning, before we went out for our walk.  He is kind of giving me the side-eye, because I had just promised something special if he stayed put, and I think he is doubting my veracity.  But he did get a treat after this, so we both kept up our end of the deal.  He got more treats throughout the day, and he got brushed and fluffed up, some nice long walks, and some special food for his dinner.  Ending the day with "Happy Birthday" being sung to him (which he LOVES) and getting a new pull toy meant that he has had to do some extra resting ever since, there was so much excitement!  😀

This next photo should give you some idea of the next good thing I want to tell you:

LOTS of snipped ends of yarn - yes, I finally finished the knitting on my sweater!  I wove in the ends, and today plan to give it a quick soak and blocking.  I tried it on and it fits *exactly* the way I had hoped it would.  I can't wait to show it to you!

The next good thing happens tomorrow actually, when The Tim will get his second dose of the Covid vaccine!  In another couple of weeks we will both be invincible (well, you know what I mean), and that will be wonderful.  

Extra wonderful, because it means we will be able to see some of the family.  For Memorial Day weekend, we are headed to West Virginia to my sister and brother-in-law's.  If you have read my blog for any length of time, you probably recall that the Memorial Day weekend is usually one where everyone descends on them for a weekend and a huge picnic.  Well, of course that didn't happen last year, and the year before, we were unable to make it, so it's been two years since I've seen them in person.  This year, still no big event, but they are both vaccinated, and my niece Amanda and her husband Patrick are also both vaccinated, so all of us are headed home for that weekend.  It will be so wonderful to see everyone - we haven't seen Pat and Amanda for over a year - and still be safe.  I'm actually glad that there will just be the six of us, because all of us are very careful people, and I think having the smaller group will make it easier to adjust to visiting and traveling again.  

I'll believe it all when I see it/do it, but it's fun to think about until then, right?  (If not slightly nerve-racking, but so is everything these days.)

And that's about it from here.  The weather here in Philadelphia is supposed to be rainy and cool this weekend, so I may have to adjust some of my plans - there's no reason to try and clean out the garden when it's raining and windy, for instance.  But that's fine, I am good at doing both anything and nothing ...

For those who celebrate, I hope you have a lovely Mother's Day.

And no matter what else you do, I hope you have at least one moment this weekend when you are as happy and content as Pip is in this photo from the other day, where he was sitting with The Tim. 


03 May 2021

It's Ho Time!

I am especially pleased with this ho (half-finished object):

I finished Sock #1 yesterday, and looking at it makes me so happy!  It was a fun knit, since the stripes are not always the same size, so it wasn't just "let me knit to the next stripe color," but "let's see what the next stripe does."  One down, and one to go!  

I have decided that this pair - even though I love them so much myself - will be a gift for Hamlet's puppy raiser.  After meeting her in person, and seeing how much she still loves him, I decided she needs a pair of hand knit socks.  (She may already have some pairs, if she knows or is related to a knitter.  But she doesn't have any from ME!)  After we were with her a few weeks ago, I sent her a message asking for her foot size, and she replied.  For all I know, maybe she thinks I have a foot fetish ... 

And - on my nearly finished sweater?  I have 4 more inches to knit to finish the neck, then time to weave in the ends, soak it, block it, and DONE.  😊

Besides all of the knitting, we had a good weekend.  The weather was overall very nice, and we did a nice combination of being out of the house and just lazing around at home.  We got up early yesterday to go to a local garden place, and found some flowers that we will plant soon in our front planter, and maybe in the garden (depending how many we plant in the front).  We were able to start talking about what we may/may not be able to do once our mortgage is completely paid, which according to The Tim, will happen early in 2022!  I talked to both of my sisters on the phone, and caught up with them, so there was a lot of good.

I do have one request for all of you.  My nephew, who lives in Arizona, just turned 50 last year.  He has a wife and four kiddos, and frankly, they live a very nice life as both he and his wife have very good jobs.  But for the last year or so, he has had searing pain in his legs - to the point where some days he can't get out of bed, or get dressed, or walk as far as one room to the next one.  

He has had a series of tests, and so far they have been able to rule out ALS, MS, and cancer.  His doctors are making arrangements for him to travel to Minnesota to the Mayo Clinic for evaluation.  So if you would, please keep him in your thoughts, and if you are a praying person, please send a prayer to your chosen deity on his behalf.  Our whole family would appreciate it.

And that's it for today.  This week for me includes a dr appt, and an appt to have some x-rays done, but other than that, mostly the usual routine.  I do need to call the vet's office so Pip can get scheduled for his annual check-up (Milo went in late March).  I'm sure he hopes I'll forget to do this.

The high point of this week will definitely be Wednesday, which is Hamlet's 12th birthday!  We will definitely be celebrating that, and I'm sure he will enjoy the extra attention and treats.

I hope your week will be a good one, and that all of you can stay safe.  Take care!

30 April 2021

On the Last Day of April, Let's Discuss Humor

The other day, I posted a few cartoons, because I for one needed a little pick-me-up, and suspected that others might enjoy them as well.  It would seem that a lot of you did, based on the comments you left.

But one person left a comment which I deleted (because it's my blog and I can do that), and it said, "Why are you always posting comics, and trying to be funny?  Don't you know that the world is awful, and people are dying?  Do you think THAT'S funny?"

When I first read this comment, I thought that maybe the person had been having a bad time for one reason or another, and felt bad for them.  But then I re-read it, and realized that there was no real questioning or kindness there, just someone being outright mean.  Which is why I deleted the comment.

Which leads me to the topic of humor.  I am someone who is drawn to humorous things, and when I meet someone with a sense of humor, they rise in my estimation quite a bit.  Don't get me wrong, I don't appreciate humor that belittles or berates people (admittedly, with the exception of the former occupant of the White House and/or his ilk), or that is done simply to hurt someone's feelings.  I am not drawn to the kind of humor that used to be so popular, aka "My wife is so dumb that ___" or "My mother-in-law _____," though I am not saying that there were not some funny jokes there.  Whenever something is fun for both parties, I'm usually OK with it.

I will also admit to liking a lot of dark humor, and have always had a tendency to find some inappropriate things *very* funny.  

However, I do know people who very truly have no sense of humor.  And they make me suspicious.  In my experience, these people fall into two categories: 1) they are not very interested in the world around them, and/or 2) they take every single thing so seriously that there is just no room to be amused.  In the case of the commenter mentioned above, I suspect they fall into the second category.

And so to them, I will say this:  Trust me, I am well aware of the world around me.  I have experienced immense personal tragedy in my life, and even now, every day is not sunshine, flowers, and unicorn glitter.  I try very hard to do what I can to improve not just my own life, but the world around me.  I don't spend a lot of time talking about either the good or the bad, because for the most part, I consider it very personal.

But I was raised to find the humor in life.  And I think it's what has kept me going, and sometimes I know for a fact it has saved me from sinking into the depths of feelings.  Life is fragile, nothing is guaranteed.  Yes, we need to pay attention, and to help others, and be good citizens of the world.  But we also need to keep going the best way we can.  And if I can do that by getting a laugh myself, or making others have the chance to take a minute and laugh, then I'm doing it.  Frankly, if you don't like it, don't read my blog.  It's as easy as that.

So that is my missive for the final day of April, a day that is so windy here in Philadelphia, that I told the cats it's a good thing they are indoor kitties, because otherwise they would be "blown to Bulgaria."  (I have no idea why I say that, other than I like the alliteration.)  But it's lovely and sunny otherwise, and it's Friday, so it's all good.  

And just because:

I hope you have a lovely day, and that this first weekend of May gives you a reason to smile.  May it treat you well and may you have no egrets ... 😉