21 January 2022

Winter

Happy Friday!  Why are weeks that start with a Monday holiday the longest?  

Today winter is really here in Philadelphia.  Cold with serious wind chill factors.  


I know most people go through the stages above, but as you know, I am very fond of winter.  So although I spend most of it dressed like the "Acceptance" guy, I am not sad about it.  

Most people I know do not like winter at all.  They are 100% Team Summer, so they find nothing redeemable about the wintertime.  The other day I came across this blog post, and I have to say, I thought it was lovely, whether or not you are a fan of this time of year.  So I'm sharing it, hoping that especially for those of you who are miserable, you might be able to appreciate winter a bit more, even if you know you'll never love it.

Have a good weekend.  If you are somewhere cold, stay warm and cozy!  We have no specific plans for this coming weekend, so there will be lots of tea, kitty and doggie snuggling, and embracing all of the cozy.  I can't wait.
 
(Not my house. But *just* like it ... yeah, no.)

19 January 2022

If At First You Don't Succeed ...

As the saying goes: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  I am generally willing to try a few more times, but there are occasions when I have decided something just isn't meant to be/to happen and I give up and move on.

Which nearly happened with my latest knitting project, the first thing I have started in 2022. Late last year, I decided that I should try knitting a cardigan.  I love cardigans, but the ones I have are either very lightweight or not really suitable for wearing outside the house (you know, those "fave" ones you put on when you are cold and they last for years and they look terrible but they are THE BEST).  I had some worsted weight yarn that I wanted to use, and so I started poking around for a pattern.  At first, I was going to try the Catbells Cardigan, but then decided that it was just a bit to involved for my first go-round; then, I fell in love with the Bookworm Cardigan (Ravelry link, just so you know), but decided that since the yarn I was planning to use was a bit dark the pattern wouldn't show that well.  Then - and I don't remember how I came across it - I saw the Wildhorse Cardigan (another Ravelry link), and decided that was the one!

Or was it?  I read through the pattern and thought I understood it.  So I cast on, knit the set-up row and then got to Row 1 and ... WTF?  I followed the directions, but it just didn't work out.  So ripped out what I had and started over - three separate times!  It just didn't make sense to me.  So I sent an e-mail to the designer, who immediately responded.  Which was very kind of her, and I sat down again to give it a shot and once again. NOPE.  I knew it was supposed to work, and trust me, the actual instructions seemed incredibly clear but I just could not get it.  So I sent her another e-mail, and added in that e-mail that I realized she was not there to hold my hand every step of the way, so if she didn't really have the time or desire to help, I understood and would put the project away for another time.  Because I really do know that sometimes I can leave something for a while, come back, and immediately understand how it works.

Well, not only did she write back again - but she included a drawing to show me *exactly* what she meant!  She said in the e-mail that "I really want you to be able to knit this cardigan."  And you know what?  With the drawing, the light bulb went on in my head and it all made sense.  I managed to get it going, and not only did it make sense, but I kept wondering why it had puzzled me so much.  I'm defintely writing back so that the designer knows how much I appreciate her help.

For reasons I will never understand, I can't add the photo to this post, so I will give you the Instagram link so you can see what I have so far.  Clearly I'm gonna need a longer needle!

Reading-wise, I have two books going.  This is my read-at-lunch book at work:


This book was originally published in 1957, written by Ruth Adam, and it is so enjoyable!  It's also not that long, but when you can only read in half-hour increments, the going is slow.  

My reading-at-home book is this one, which I think I may be the last person on earth who hadn't already read it:


It's much longer than the above book, but I'm really enjoying it, even if - like most books set in this time - I'm just really upset and angry about Nazis.  I'm a bit more than halfway through.  Not surprisingly, they are planning to start filming a limited series of it on Netflix in March of this year. I'm glad I'm reading it first, because a) I almost always like any book better than the movie/dramatization, and b) I hate it when book covers get changed to reflect the dramatizations, even when people I like are in them.  It's one of my pet peeves.

So there you go.  I'm joining Kat and the others for Unraveled Wednesday, so check out what everyone else has been up to lately!

18 January 2022

The Rest of the Twelve Days of Christmas

Hello!  It was so nice to be at home yesterday for the holiday.  It's not so nice being at work today, but I have no choice, so time to move along.

You may remember that I showed you this photo a short while back:


It's the first two items/"Days of Christmas" from a Winter Holiday Box I purchased a few months ago from Joanna at Stitching the High Notes.  Whereas most people opened theirs leading up to Christmas Day, I waited for the Twelve Days of Christmas, and I have to tell you - it was so much fun to still have some little packages to open every day!  Especially once I had to go back to work - there was still something good to look forward to!

Anyway, here are the remainder of the goodies:


A small journal with Joanna's logo on the front; a small candle and small part of a tree? (More on that below.); a gingerbread man  progress keeper; a leafy shawl pin; a tiny brass spoon with a leafy design on the handle; some Earl Grey tea; a small tin of stitch markers; a tape measure; and, a notions pouch that matched the project bag.  This was such a great group of items to include and to open - they followed a theme, of course, but were not necessarily that predictable (at least not to me).

And that "small part of a tree?"  It's a candle holder for the little candle pictured below it!


I love this so much!  We have lots of little tea candles too, so once this one is done, I already have refills!

And then on the twelfth day, this lovely skein of yarn:


It's from Speckled Finch Studios - a new dyer to me, but local to Joanna - and the colorway is Comfort and Joy.  It's hard to see in the photos, both due to my lack of skill, but also due to the subtlety of the colors. It's on a cream base, and there are light shots of pink, light red, and green, as well as speckles in those shades.  Just really so pretty.  It's sock yarn, but before I start using it, I want to decide if it will become socks or something else.  I think it would make really beautiful socks, but then again, they would be on my feet ... 

We'll see.  In any case, if Joanna does this again next year, I can recommend the splurge!  She also did a cross-stitch one, which - if I have any funds at all - I may try next year and see what goodies are found in that box.

17 January 2022

Life Lesson

Though I will admit that things have improved as an adult, I still have a terrible temper.  I mean, like a really awful one.  And to make things worse, I also have a quick temper.  As I've said, it's all gotten better under control as I've grown up/aged/choose-your-own-adjective here.  I remember the only time I lost my temper at work - years ago - and for the rest of the day, everyone gave me LOTS of space, as in not coming near me or even making eye contact.  On the one hand, I was mortified that I had lost my temper at work, but it do I think made people realize that I actually had a tipping point, so I guess that part was good.

Anyway, I can remember that as a kid, one of my most favorite things to do was to play dominoes with my father.  He was really good at it, and my goal was to win a game against him, which was nearly impossible.  


Of course, being that I was six years old and he was eleventy-hundred years old (to me), and had played dominoes a lot longer, he knew things like strategy, what to look for based on the tiles the opponent played, etc.  This angered me to no end.  I knew he wasn't a cheater, but I would still get so incredibly angry when he would win yet again!  I remember one time when I was kicking up a particular fuss, my mother said to him, "Why can't you just let her win a few times," and he responded, "Because that isn't fair.  You don't always get to win, and you need to learn that.  If you can't be a good loser, maybe you don't deserve to win."  

Well.  I can recall at the time that even my six-year-old infuriated brain knew that he was on to something.  I realized that at home, I seldom got my own way, unless I was playing by myself and ordering my toys around.  And certainly at school, I wasn't doing just what I wanted to do, I did what the teachers wanted us to do.  Revelation!

Going forward after that, my challenge was always to be a good loser - at least on the outside - because frankly, it was just better.  For instance, it caused much less drama all the way around.  And it also allowed the other person/team to enjoy their victory, which should happen when you are the winner.

So why am I going on about this?  Because I wonder why it's OK for some people to be sore losers just because of their amazing talents.  Take the case of Tom Brady, the talented football quarterback who has become a living legend.  I do not deny that he is talented at what he does, in a way that leaves others in the dust.  He has an ability and a longevity that few athletes in any sport can match.  And yet, whenever things don't go his way, he is a really sore loser.  A few weeks ago, his team lost a game, not even scoring.  Every TV station showed him smashing an electronic tablet on the sidelines because he was so angry.  He said that it was because he is a "fierce competitor" - so taking that to its logical conclusion, people who don't throw or break things are not competitive enough?  This is just one example of his behavior when things don't go his way.  Yesterday, his team beat the Eagles (by a lot!) in a playoff game, and I didn't see any of the Eagles pitching fits on the sidelines (spoiler alert: that's for the fans to do, and they weren't playing at home, LOL. It's a joke, people, move on). 

And then of course, Novak Djokovic, the tennis player.  Again, someone with absolutely amazing physical capability, who has racked up so many victories that he is considered really hard to beat.  He refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19, caught the virus but failed to report it, and after a long and wearying fight, was deported from Australia where he had traveled to play in the Australian Open.  And yes, there was a lot of back and forth and issues surrounding the whole event, but in the end, he didn't follow the rules and it's his own fault that he was sent home.  Yet, he insists that he is the victim.  And this is not a single incident of bad behavior - he makes my tantrums as a kid look like they were thrown by Pollyanna herself.  But again, he is an "elite athlete," a "true competitor," and somehow that allows his actions to be tolerated a lot of the time.

Of course, I could give you a million other examples in all areas, but these two are the ones currently at the front of my brain. I hope that even six-year-old, terrible-tempered me would see this behavior as inappropriate.  

But clearly the two people above, and many others in the world, should have had the experience of playing dominoes against my dad.  They'd be different people now.😊

14 January 2022

Friday Funny


Hope your weekend is a good one!