29 June 2020

It's Monday, and It's Too Hot, and I'm Already Over It

Not that it matters, of course.  Summer weather is gonna do what it wants, no matter what I care.  It was a pretty awful weekend - heat, major humidity, and mosquito-fest.  In spite of the fact that I practically poured mosquito repellent on my entire person when heading out to water our flowers, those evil creatures feasted as if nothing was different.  Grrrrrrrr.

Which is why other than taking Hamlet out for walks, we both pretty much stayed put.  Things were done around the house, so it wasn't a complete loss, but no real garden time which was disappointing, since that had become a lovely way to spend the mornings.

In the continuing list of things that seem to make the world feel like it's working against us, our oven died a week ago.  The Tim thought that it just needed a part that he could likely install to work again - or at least to buy time - so he ordered it, and spent about an hour trying to install it before realizing that it would mean tearing out part of a wall.  And even then, as mentioned above, it would only be buying us time, since our stove is about 20 years old.  Since like most everyone, we have SO much extra money coming in while not being at work (one of us is laid off, one of us is getting paid 30% less of our salary), we bit the bullet and ordered a new one.  The good part here (and there is one) is that we ordered it from the manufacturer, so not only was it on sale for July 4th, but they had a payment plan where if you paid it off monthly in 12 months, there was no finance charge, so that at least will work out.  Supposedly it will be delivered sometime this week.  That would be nice.

I did finish knitting The Tim's shortie slipper socks, and though they look weird (yes, I did run out of the yarn I was using!) he is thrilled with them.   It's nice when someone goes with the flow like that.  It's also nice when yarn chicken happens on something that you are only going to wear around the house.  😌 I'll do an FO post this week so you can see how they turned out.

I also wound yarn for another project, and got started.  For reasons that even I can't really explain or understand, I decided to try the Stillness Shawl MKL.

Who am I???  I no longer know, apparently.  The first clue came out last Thursday, and yesterday I actually sat down and got going on it.  So far, I have learned the i-cord cast on, which is nice and pretty when it works, but meant that I started over about 8 times before I decided it was OK-looking and moved along.

Here are the yarns I've chosen:

Side view

Top view

Yesterday, while we were watching some things we had recorded, I finally got my cast on to be acceptable to me, and managed by the end of the day to knit ~70 rows.  So far, it's pretty reasonable, with a few rows where you have to pay attention, and then more rows where you just knit or purl, depending what side you are knitting.  

The Tim (when I was trying to get the cast-on to work):  Is that going to be a shawl?
Me:  Yep.  It's a Mystery Knit-Along, you get one clue a week.
The Tim (laughing):  Oh that sounds so exciting.

Half an hour later, after I had a nice amount done:

Me:  See, I'm about halfway through Clue #1, and this is what it looks like.
The Tim:  Oh cool, now I'm invested.

So that's the news from here.  Summer is making itself known, mosquitoes are feasting on my person, I've not only joined a KAL, but have actually started knitting the project, and June is nearly over.  


Something is getting ready to start again.

Stay tuned!

26 June 2020


For those who find this hard to decipher, it says: 

Anyone can slay a dragon, she told me,
but try waking
up every morning
and loving the world
all over again.
That's what
takes a real hero.

Have a good weekend.

24 June 2020

In Which I Surprise and Amaze Myself

On Monday morning, I had appts bright and early for some x-rays and bloodwork, so I put on my mask, sunglasses, and hat, and headed over to the Perelman Center at Penn to do that.  As I was walking over the bridge on the way, it occurred to me that I was more or less traveling incognito, and the best part was that it would make it pretty much impossible for someone to tell me to "smile more."  That made the trip back and forth worth it, even though it was already eleventy hundred degrees at 7:30 a.m.  

Once I got home, I only had a little bit of time before I had to attend an All-Staff meeting via Zoom.  So I decided that since I would be one person on the screen of 100+ people, and no one could see my hands, I would do some knitting.  However, I needed to cast on a project, and I had just enough time before starting to cast on my next pair of socks and get the first couple of rounds knit.  By the time the meeting was over, I'd finished the cuff!  That may have been the most productive meeting I've ever attended.  

Anyway, I was pretty much in the zone, so I just kept going through lunchtime and into the early afternoon.  I am knitting a pair of shortie slipper socks for The Tim using worsted weight yarn, so things were moving along at a nice pace.  By the time I told myself to stop so I wouldn't get sore hands and wrists, I'd finished decreasing for the gusset.  That - for me - is a LOT of progress in a single day.

Yesterday, after I finished what I had to do for work, I thought I'd sit down and do some more work on the sock.  And almost before I could realize what was going on, I had a HO:

I know a lot of you are really fast knitters, so this is no big deal.  And yes, I was knitting a shortie sock on heavier weight yarn - but I have NEVER knit anything at all in just two days!  And to be honest, probably never will again.  I think this was one of those times that the planets were aligned, or my chi or whatever was in balance, but in any case I KNIT A SOCK IN TWO DAYS, PEOPLE!!

The rest of the day was spent being surprised and astonished that I had accomplished such a thing.  Of course, that was short-lived as it occurred to me that I may not have enough yarn to complete the second sock.  Not a huge issue, since they are just to wear around the house, and The Tim won't care, but I'll admit that I'll be disappointed if I can't get a matching sock out of what is left.  It's yarn from my stash, and there's plenty more where that came from - just not the same color.  If I had really given it a lot of thought, I could have done some color-blocking, or even chosen another yarn.  

Such is life.  And I do have to say, the universe certainly seems to enjoy keeping me grounded whenever I get carried away with myself ... ;-)

19 June 2020

Here is a Friday FO!

Hi all - today I have a very happy FO to share with you.

My Down the Shore Shawl is finished - and it's a big one!

Project:  Down the Shore Shawl
Pattern:  Beachcomber, by Chelsea Berkompas
Yarn:  I used the yarn suggested in the pattern, but changed colorways with the blue shade.  All are Knit Picks CotLin, and the colorways are:  Linen (beige), Conch (coral), and Marina (blue).
Needles:  US size 8
Modifications:  As previously mentioned, I changed the shade of blue to Marina (more of a turquoise, a color I love) instead of Surf, which is a lovely blue, but lighter in shade.  I wanted the color to pop more, to make it seem more summery.

(folded in half)

Notes:  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this shawl and this pattern!  It is also going to be the perfect thing for cool summer evenings (if there are any), and/or when the A/C is just making it way too cool as is the case in some places.

This is a fun and easy shawl to knit - mostly garter, but the stripes keep it interesting.  And the occasional lace panel needs you to concentrate, but only shows up three times, and is very straightforward (and I am a crummy lace knitter, so that means most lace knitters would think it was easy).  It goes quickly, because other than the lace, the pattern consists of only 2 pattern rows which are easily memorizable.  I had a lot of fun knitting this one!  It took me longer than it probably should have, for a couple of reasons:  a) there was a 10-day period when I didn't knit on any of my projects, because I just wasn't feeling it, and b) the CotLin could be hard on my hands when I would knit for too long, so at times I needed to take a day off to rest.

Of course, you could knit this in another yarn, but when I saw it, I decided that yes, I wanted a shawl for the summer, and CotLin is very reasonably priced, so it was a no-brainer.

Also, it fulfilled my desire to try and learn new things, as it has a picot bind off, which was a new thing for me.  It took me a few times to get started properly, but once it all clicked in my brain, I really liked it!

When we went out into the garden to take most of these photos, Hamlet had to be sure to remind anyone reading this that he was there as well.  😊

This is a project that just "hit" me when I saw the pattern (and I don't really remember where/how/why I came across it), and I'm glad I just let myself go with the flow and even actually buy some yarn!  It was worth every penny in the end, in that it was pretty inexpensive to knit, and the end result is just how I wanted it to be.


Tomorrow is of course the summer solstice here in the northern hemisphere, and I came across a poem the other day that I decided to post on my other blog.  I don't write there as often as here, though I am planning to change that, but in any case I shared the poem there yesterday, because I feel that it is something worth reading, given people's concerns about body types, and particularly wearing a swimsuit.  So I hope if you read it, I hope it gives you something to consider.

Have a wonderful weekend, and if you are someplace where summer is starting, I hope you find a way to keep cool!

15 June 2020

There Were Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Yes, there were!  Now, I know that brussels sprouts are vegetables that have no gray area - you either love them or you hate them.  We love them, and the weekend breaking in of our new grill included grilled brussels sprouts and boy were they good!  The grill seems like it will be a perfect one for us, and I'm guessing we'll get our money's worth out of it easily before the summer is over.

Isn't it funny how childhood can or can not influence how you feel about food?  Growing up, brussels sprouts were a rare treat, because they must have cost more than most other vegetables, even if frozen.  So they only showed up occasionally, and it meant that whatever else we were having for dinner was raised a level, as it were.  Now of course, you can get fresh brussels sprouts pretty easily at a farmer's market, as well as still in the frozen section but I still think of them as a treat. 

It was a lovely weekend weather-wise and so I did my best to be outside when I could.  Hamlet got a lot of walks, and I spent hours each day in the garden reading and just enjoying that it was nice enough to be outside.  Yesterday, on our walk, we ran into my friend Lisa, the owner of Hidden River Yarns, and so I got a chance to sit and talk to her for a while when she was having her coffee and a bagel at a sidewalk cafe.  And that was really nice.  She just recently re-opened her shop, but only with limited hours and occupancy and 4 days a week.  So far, it's gone OK she said, and she said it's a whole lot easier than when she had to move all of her inventory to her apartment so she could still ship things online when nothing could be physically open!  Needless to say, she didn't do as well as she would have if the shop had been open, but she said online sales at least kept things going.  I was glad to hear that.

I finished my Down the Shore Shawl yesterday, and it is blocking as I write this.  Boy did that turn out to be a HUGE sucker!  I'll have an FO post sometime this week.

I have also been meaning to share this with all of you.  I know that a lot of people who read this blog participate in Summer Book Bingo.  Well, here's another type of bingo card that is particularly relevant right now.

Just thought I'd share, for any interested parties.

And I suppose that's all for today.  This week is supposed to be nice for the next few days, and then the 90s and humidity arrive, so I'm gonna try to enjoy the good stuff while I can.  I hope your week goes well!

12 June 2020

Five Favorites for This Friday

First of all, thank you so much for your kind comments yesterday.  I appreciate that you agree that I should do my thing even if others somehow find it offensive.  I was also reminded of something my mother used to tell us - if someone makes a point to tell you how good/smart/wonderful/whatever they are, and you are not, they are the ones with the problem.  I appreciate that being brought back to the front of my brain.

It's been a long time since I've done this kind of post (according to imprecise search skills, the last was December 2019) so let's give it a try.  Here are five things from the last week that pleased me.

1.  The grill we ordered for cooking outside in the garden arrived, AND the weather is nice today and is supposed to be nice through the weekend.  That means we can try it out sooner rather than later. 

2.  I get true amusement out of people who try to deliver a burning insult, but it fails for one reason or another.   Case in point: One of the people who left a rude comment told me that my blog posts about knitting and recipes proved I was "retarted."  OK, I must admit that it took me way too long to figure out what they meant to say, but nonetheless.  I was tempted to write back and tell them that I thought they were "a looser," but figured it would be lost on them.

3.  This amuses me every single time I see it.

4.  Yesterday on the deck, we noticed that our friend the Sunbathing Blue Jay had returned.  OK, it's probably not the same bird over all of these years, but every summer, we notice a blue jay on our deck in the hot sun, lying on its side, with one wing extended.  And every year the first time we see it, we think that there is a dead blue jay on the deck.  Then we move or make a noise and it stands up, ruffles its feathers and flies away.  That in and of itself is amusing, but the funniest thing is how it drives the cats NUTS.  They sit there, tensed and staring at it through the screen, like they have some great plan.  Then when the bird stands up, they almost have a heart attack.

5.  We re-watched "Waiting for Guffman" this week, and OMG I love that movie!  It's so ridiculous, and some of the lines - and the delivery - are hilarious.  I think we all know someone who is just like at least a couple of the characters.

What about you?  Have you had anything make you happy, or smile, or laugh this week?  Let me know in the comments.

And have a good weekend!

11 June 2020

Interesting (Well, At Least to Me)

Hello all - I hope this finds you doing well.  I considered not posting for a while, since I have received some really rude and hurtful comments after my last couple of posts.  They were from people who were angry that I was posting "recipes and knitting" when the world was falling apart, which apparently proved that I a complete racist and don't care about oppression.  Needless to say, I deleted those comments, because a) it is my blog and I don't have to give others a forum for hate even if they are accusing me of such, and b) the comments were from people I have never ever heard from before and were in no way constructive.  So though my first thought was to retreat for a while, I have decided that instead, I will go forward doing my thing.  Because that's what I do in the rest of my life, and my blog is part of that.

Moving on, I decided to participate in Three on Thursday this week.  I thought I would share three things from the past few days that particularly caught my attention.

1.  This is the one I am most personally invested in and that makes me so proud.  Rosemary Ketchum was elected to the city council in my home town and in my home state.  I love that this story will make some people realize that West Virginia has a lot going for it, and not everyone there fits the stereotype that most have.  (There are plenty of those types there, but you know what?  I've found them everywhere I've ever lived, so geography is not necessarily the main influence.)  Ms. Ketchum attended the same college that The Tim and I graduated from (granted much later than us and when we went there it was called Wheeling College ... Wheeling Jesuit University came much later), and it's nice to feel a connection with her even if I was not able to cast my vote for her.

2.  The other day, a person posted this video on Twitter, with the caption "This is an act of war."  Which made me laugh, but then I watched it and well, I had to agree.  I'm sharing it because even if I never made a cup of tea in my life, I would somehow know that this just isn't quite the way to do it.  I will qualify this by saying that in dire straits, I have used a microwave to heat water for tea (for instance, when visiting my one sister who doesn't really drink tea), but the rest of the system was particularly appalling to me.

3.  Here's an interesting article about elevators and people returning to work or going places that have large numbers of people going in and out all day. I will admit that I had not given it a lot of thought since I am still home, but it will be interesting to see what and how much is done at my workplace.

And that's that.  I hope the rest of your day goes well.

09 June 2020

Recipe: Quick Vegetable Hash Skillet Dinner

Hello all - I've decided that today I will share one of my favorite recipes with you.  It's not difficult, but it does take a bit of planning ahead.  This falls into the category of comfort food in our house.  Granted, because our house does not get that cool and comfy in the summer, we tend to skip making this when the heat and humidity are in full swing, but if your house cools down better this could definitely be a year-round dish.


Quick Vegetable Hash Skillet Dinner


2 potatoes, chopped and parboiled
2 carrots, chopped and parboiled
1 T. natural coarse salt
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (more if you love garlic!)
1 onion, sliced
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp. turmeric
Pinch red chili powder (cayenne can be substituted)
1 can black beans, drained
4 cups chopped kale


Bring a pot of water to boil and add a teaspoon of natural coarse salt.  Add chopped potatoes and carrots and boil until just cooked ( 8-12 minutes).  Strain and set aside until needed. 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Add garlic and saute until starting to lightly brown.  Add onions, bell pepper, turmeric, chili powder, and a pinch of salt, and continue to saute until starting to soften (about 5 minutes)

Add parboiled potatoes and carrots, another pinch of salt, and a splash more of olive oil, if you like.  Spread the vegetables out evenly on the bottom of the skillet and cook until they start to brown, then toss.  Spread evenly again, and cook until they start to brown, and the potatoes are nicely carmelized.  (You can turn up the heat if the process seems to be taking too long, but watch everything so it doesn't burn.)

Add black beans, and washed and chopped greens, and stir well.  Add a pinch of salt and some black pepper and continue to cook until the greens are wilted and cooked.

Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.  Add fresh tomato and a splash of fresh lime and give skillet a shake.

Serve while still hot.  (4 good-sized servings)

* This really doesn't take long - maybe half an hour all together. 
*  If kale isn't your favorite, you can substitute spinach, broccoli rabe, or just about any other green and leafy vegetable.
*  The recipe I adapted this from said that if you are trying to eat low-carb, you can substitute cauliflower for the potatoes.
*  That recipe also showed it served with a fried egg on top; I'm not a big egg person, so I left that out, but The Tim likes it that way.
*  You can really mix-and-match vegetables and spices according to the things you like.  I've done various substitutions based on what we had or did not have, and have never been disappointed.

Let me know if you give this a try, and how it turned out.  We think it's definitely a keeper!

08 June 2020

This Particular Monday is for an FO Post

This weekend was vastly different than last.  The protests continued, with more people and more meaning, and they were completely peaceful, which was good all the way around.  The weather was OK on Saturday, though a bit humid, but Sunday was PERFECTION. 

It was also different because I finished one of my projects!  Recently I showed you this:

I'd been working on it much longer than I'd wanted to, and though I was pleased with the result, I was annoyed that it took so long.  I've been doing pretty well with my self-imposed-in-my-brain plan to knit a pair of socks each month, and May was nearly over.  I decided that instead of switching up on my projects somewhat equally, I would give sock #2 more attention. 

Project:  Sousa Socks
Pattern:  adapted by me from the Stars and Stripes Socks, by the Sockguy (from the long ago Sockknitters listserv)
Yarn:  Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, colorways Navy and Glory Red
Needles:  US size 1
Modifications:  The whole project was a modification!  (Also, the colors in the first photo are actually closer to how they look in real life.)
Notes:  This pattern and kit was from a very long ago offering and had been in my stash since not quite 1776 ... seriously, though it has been there a LONG time.  I started following the pattern as written, and it seemed so fiddly to me that I just gave up.  But then I decided to put my own spin on it, and see what happened.  I named them the Sousa Socks because John Philip Sousa wrote "Stars and Stripes Forever," and I was still trying to go with the theme.  I kept the stitch and row counts of the original pattern, and just changed the combination so that it was much less fiddly. 

I really do like the finished socks.  The heel construction was new to me, so that was also interesting, and in some ways much quicker than the regular heel and gusset construction, though it ends up looking much the same.  The second sock, needless to say, knit up much more quickly, since I wasn't starting from scratch with what I was doing.  They will probably be way too warm to wear on July 4th, but maybe they will work for Labor Day some year??

This is only the second time I've ever knit with Lorna's Laces yarn, and this is old - when Lorna herself was still the dyer.  It is soft and lovely to work with. 

Now onto another pair.  I'm voting for plain vanilla this time.  😜

05 June 2020

Catsup? Ketchup? Or ...

Catch up?  (For the record, I'm a "ketchup" person when it comes to the name of the condiment.  Because you needed to know that.)

Anyway, let's have a little bit of a Friday catch up.

Here's one of the reasons that I find my weekly work department Zoom meetings draining.  Yesterday, we were discussing projects to work on when we return to work.  Our archivist suggested that it might be interesting to work on an exhibit where we not just display the portraits we have of founders and other significant people in our institution's history, but look into their lives such as did they own slaves, did they find other people than whites to be lesser, etc.  Our boss agreed that was a good idea, and then one of the others in the dept (the one who went HR because I kept saying "Good morning" to her every day and she didn't want me to talk to her), said, "Well, as long as only myself, ___, and ___ work on it.  Anyone over 40 can't possibly understand the issues here, and can only be racist."  And of course the boss said nothing, because he is extremely fond of this person, and will do ANYTHING to avoid any level of conflict at all.  [screams into void]

The other morning, Hamlet really really really needed to go out for his early morning bathroom walk before our curfew expired.  So I was getting dressed, and Hamlet went over to The Tim for some attention.  The Tim said, "Be careful, Hammy, 'cause it's still curfew.  If they start shooting rubber bullets, be sure to stand behind your ma so you won't get hit."  Again, he is a regular laff riot.

We are both excited because we ordered a new portable grill for use in the garden.  A few years back, we had a small one that used propane gas, but neither of us were very comfortable with it.  Now that our garden is fixed up again (well, OK it's a mess now, but we can still use a good part of it), we wanted to find another one.  We ended up ordering this one, and it should arrive today or tomorrow.  It uses charcoal, but frankly not a lot, and we just could not afford one that used bio-pellets, which are better for the environment.  Anyway, we already have more plans of what we'll grill than what is likely to actually happen!

Today Philadelphia and the surrounding counties move into the Yellow phase of the Covid-19 recovery.  Not much is likely to change for us right away, but at least it comes with the ability to do some things a bit more freely, and hopefully some businesses can begin to start to open again.  I just hope that people will still be safe - too many seem to think that since thousands aren't dying every day, that the whole thing is over and there's no reason to be cautious anymore.

Today marks one year since we had to say goodbye to our baby Jack.

It was and still is one of the worst days ever, and very often, it still feels like it was just a few minutes ago.  We have decided that Jack is probably ready for us to expand the family, so will be on the lookout for a kitty who needs us.  I'm sure all of you will be among the first to know if anything changes.  😊  In the meantime, hug and kiss your family - furry and otherwise - and if you think to do it, give a thought or prayer for our Jack today, and/or drink a toast to him.  He truly was the sweetest and the best.  Love you baby boy, forever.  💕

I follow the Awkward Family Photos account on Facebook and today there was one of the best photos ever.  The caption said, "This is our daughter's preschool picture.  I think the photographer thought the addition of a flower would make it look innocent and sweet."  Um ...

The Tim and I both laughed until we cried!  This is one of the funniest preschool pictures ever.  And I'm glad that the person submitting it thought so too. 

That's it for now.  I hope all of you are doing well, and that you have the best weekend you can.  See you next week!

04 June 2020

May You Live in Interesting Times

That is (supposedly) an old Chinese proverb.  And if it is, well, this week alone has fulfilled the "interesting" part, even if not in the way we might all want "interesting" to be.  Since today is Three on Thursday, I thought I'd share some recent things (two international, one local) that have meant that life is way more interesting than it ever needed to be.  EVER.

1.  There we all were, going along, living with the stay-at-home orders due to the Covid-19 virus.  Fortunately, it seemed that in a lot of places (including Pennsylvania), things were on the downward turn as far as the infamous curve was concerned.  Even Philadelphia is/was supposed to get to the Yellow Level of reopening starting tomorrow.  "Interesting," right?

2.  And then in Minneapolis, a black man named George Floyd was murdered by a human POS who was on the police force (along with three of his colleagues), who felt that it made him look powerful, forceful, macho and who knows what else.  And that was the last straw in a series of incredibly more frequent and awful events.  A peaceful protest here took an extremely sideways turn, resulting in looting, fires, and vandalism.  There have been/are subsequent protests, which have been mostly peaceful - well at least the protesters were peaceful - except for one with tear gas (grrrrr) and one where some white nationalists showed up in one neighborhood with bats to use against protesters.  Most places of business in the neighborhood are still boarded up and closed,  and curfew is still happening.  "Interesting" but for all the worst reasons.  Though hopefully this version of the word will lead to actual, humane change.  Here in Philadephia, one symbol of police brutality and racism has already been removed, and we have been working for that for years, so at least there a small glimmer. 

3.  Next up - this:

This is a photo that a local viewer sent to a TV station showing the approach of a derecho yesterday afternoon.  This thing was brutal.  At our house alone, we lost a tree, a huge chunk of ivy was ripped off the side of the house, and power went out briefly (some are still stuck with that last part - fortunately, in the city, it came back on within 5 minutes).  Upon closer inspection, the chunk of ivy that fell landed on top of our viburnum bush and the flowers I'd planted in the garden.  So, RIP to those.  I'm glad we'll be able to get rid the ivy (once The Tim gets the small chainsaw he ordered), but sad that the sweet-smelling bush and my flowers are gone.  Especially since everything had been doing so well this year.  But WAIT - that's not enough!  Last night we had a tornado-force storm and were told to take shelter.  Fortunately, nothing worse happened and it moved along pretty quickly.  But between the two storms, our neighborhood looks pretty darn sad.  How "interesting."

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to go back to dull and boring.

01 June 2020

Time to Regroup

June 1st - here we are, in the month that separates the first part of the year from the second part.  And this year, as months have blended into each other more weirdly than ever before, I think plenty of us have been thinking of June as somehow a bellweather of how we might be going forward.  Some places are slowly reopening, lots of places are seeing significant drops in new Covid-19 cases, and of course for many who are not me, it also means that the summer season is really getting started.  So it can also be a kind of mini-New Year, a chance to start fresh and maybe make it to the end of the year with better results.

Today in Philadelphia, it won't be that easy.  As you may or may not know, things exploded here over the weekend.  What started as a peaceful protest memorializing the police killing of George Floyd, turned into two days and nights of heavy duty destruction and violence.  Things are extremely tenuous right now.  The fires are either out or under control, but if the wind blows in a certain direction you can still smell smoke.  The helicopters are finally gone (at least for now - they kept coming and going all through Saturday and Sunday), and there are fewer siren sounds.  Curfew has been lifted for this morning.  The National Guard has arrived, and everyone is hoping that it will not be needed.

People have been injured, including some in law enforcement.  The property damage is considerable, and a couple of buildings that housed retail in Center City will have to be demolished because they were so damaged from fires, meaning that some people are also losing their office and/or living space.  After the cleanup, who knows what places will reopen or decide to rebuild?  Everything has already been closed and the future uncertain because of the pandemic, and I'm sure for some, this will be the point where the break comes.

It's been sad.  It's been scary.  It's been frustrating.  It's clear that serious and systemic change has to happen, though that's been clear for a long time.  But of course there are already people seeing only what they wanted to see, and saying that this proves that "those people" only want handouts or they resort to violence.  "Those people" of course meaning black Americans.  In spite of the fact that there were plenty of lily white people taking advantage of looting.  In spite of the fact that black Americans and other people of color have been facing disproportionate levels of income. healthcare, and pretty much everything else that is easily available and often not even realized by those of us who have pale skin.

I realized over the weekend that a bumper sticker that I've seen a lot over the years was actually a lot smarter than I'd ever realized.  Yes, a bumper sticker. 

When people are treated justly in all ways - legally, financially, socially, etc. - then we are saying that no one has to be like everyone else to lead the life they deserve.  The world will never ever be perfect, and none of us will ever be 100% happy, but if we are all treated with humanity and dignity and have the same opportunities, there are fewer reasons to look at things as being Us vs. Them for anyone in any situation.

So if you want to help the world and your community to regroup, and you want to feel like you are starting the second part of this year in a way that can only improve it, work for justice - however small, however local, let it start to ripple through the water of our world.  Unless we can all afford our own planet, we are here together.  And if you don't think that we all deserve dignity, kindness, and respect, then every single bit of this is on you.

It's June 1st - take a deep breath, regroup, and decide to move forward in the best way you can. 

And on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, make sure to vote so that our country will be able to regroup and move forward