30 November 2020

Dusted and Done

OK, maybe not dusted because I haven't gotten that done yet, but today is the last day of November, and I managed to post every day for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), which pleases me.  I enjoy giving myself small challenges, and it makes me happy when it works, since I am the first to admit that a lot of times I lose steam on my challenges/ambitions after a week or so.

I don't know if it's because of being home most of the time, or if I was just more in the mood for it all this year, but unlike other years when I would have a hard time coming up with topics, or even forget altogether, this year it was less daunting.  I will also admit that two things helped: 1) I would try to think the day before about possible topics, and b) I realized that every day didn't need to be a long, involved post about something specific.  That helped a lot.

Of course, you were the ones stuck reading, so who knows how you must have felt about it ... 😏  In any case, thanks for showing up and even leaving comments, I had fun doing this.

Our long holiday weekend was quiet and really enjoyable.  Hamlet responded well to the medicine and the rest the vet recommended, so we're hoping he is on the road back to being his usual self.  I got my hair cut on Saturday morning, which is always a way to feel better for me.  We had a couple of Zoom get-togethers with family and had a good time laughing together.  I started a new cross-stitch project, which is a fun one and will probably go quickly (I probably could have gotten a lot more finished than I did, but put it away at one point to actually try and do something other than just stitch all day.  Plus, now I have working on it some more to enjoy).  We did a lot of just enjoying the time, and that is always my favorite way to spend any weekend.

Today it is supposed to pour rain all day long (it's already started, but fortunately Hamlet and I got our morning walk in before any drops), so I made sure to keep the things that are definitely inside activities to at least start today.  I want to pay the bills (ugh), wrap a few gifts to have them ready to mail, and clean up some small messes I've made (putting things away that I piled up on a chair, etc.).  I'm also going to pull out the Christmas cards so that I can get going on them this week.  I am determined that this year of all years, I'll send some cards.*  I think even people who may not normally care if they receive them will enjoy it this year, since at least in theory they haven't had as many chances to communicate with others as much.

I'm not sure if you'll hear from me quite as much in December, but as you know if you have read this blog for a while, it is one of my most favorite times, so there's a better than good chance I'll be here more often than not.  

I hope the last day of November is a good one for you, and that we all have something to enjoy this week, when December shows up whether we are ready or not!

*if your lifetime dream is to receive a card from me, feel free to send me your address at: thekittyknitterATverizonDOTnet.  I love to send and receive cards!

29 November 2020

First Sunday of Advent 2020

Waiting for the Light : An Advent Poem
by Chris Yokel

Would you wait
several thousand years
for someone to make good
on their promise,

especially if you knew
they had the power
to fulfill it in a moment?

Perhaps, yes,
if you were sitting in the dark,
and your only hope
was the long, slow deliverance
of sunrise.

28 November 2020

Why Am I Busy on a Saturday??

Usually on Saturday I do nothing.  Because, well, even during a pandemic, it's freakin' Saturday and you're not supposetd to work hard, right?  But then there a Saturday when, even if you are not "working" per se, you get a lot done, and then it's 3:00 p.m. and you say to yourself, "Huh?" 

That was me today.  I had a haircut first thing this morning, which did mean I actually got myself in gear earlier than usual.  Usually on Saturday mornings, I'm sitting around in my pjs until at least 9 a.m., and then not even really doing anything the rest of the day.  But when I got home, I decided that I was going to try a new coffee cake recipe I'd found, and I needed nuts for that, so I walked to the market.  Came back, made the recipe, and then while it was baking, washed a load of sheets.  Then I washed the dishes that piled up from breakfast and my baking, folded and put away the sheets, and then decided there was just a bit of stuff that needed put away that was piled in a closet.  And then decided that I was itchy from my haircut and took a shower.  

And just like that - whoosh! - it was 3:00 p.m.!  How did that happen?  And why was I so busy doing useful things on a Saturday???  

Clearly I need to sort out my priorities ...

In other news, Hamlet is feeling better.   Thank you so much for your well wishes for him, all of us appreciate them.  The vet said that he thinks he might have a soft tissue injury in his shoulder.  He gave us the canine equivalent of Tylenol to give him twice a day, and recommended lots of rest.  If he is not doing better by Monday, we are to take him over to the vet's office again for x-rays.  But so far, he seems to be doing a whole lot better.  Of course, getting a pill in some peanut butter twice a day is just fine with him, as is resting a lot (yep, he's our dog for sure!).  But we are glad he seems to be responding so well, both for him and for our credit card bill.

And that's the news from here.  We have a end-of-Thanksgiving weekend Zoom call tomorrow afternoon with my sisters and some of the nephews and nieces, so that should be fun.  And no other specific plans, which is also fine with me. 

You know, especially since I "worked" so hard today.  😜

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

27 November 2020

And It Was Good

Hello, and to those of you in the U.S., I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, however you may have had to adjust your plans.  And for everyone else, I hope you had a lovely day.  

Our Thanksgiving was just wonderful.  We had pumpkin pie for breakfast, which was really yummy.  I love having desserts for breakfast.  I'm sure I wouldn't find it as fun if it was all the time, but I love it when it happens.  Our day was relaxing, and our dinner turned out really well.  Our new water heater was called into active duty, and did a wonderful job.  We watched some shows we had lined up, did some reading, drank some wine, and I even ended the day with a HO (half-finished object - completed before the wine drinking started):

Slothmas Sock #1 even has the ends woven in!

It was a cozy, lovely day, which is what I love best about Thanksgiving.  It's a holiday to just be, and to relax, and enjoy what is.  And of course this year it was bittersweet in so many ways.  I hope the day landed gently for those who needed it.

Today we will be taking Hamlet to the vet if we can get an appt.  I have no idea what happened, but on his walk Wednesday afternoon, he started limping big-time.  We checked and can't see anything in his paw/leg and he doesn't seem to be in searing pain, but he is limping and is definitely uncomfortable.  Poor bug, he is such a good boy, and of course we don't want him to be hurt.  We are hoping it might be just a sprain, but will have to find out what is going on so that hopefully he can get back to his usual self soon.

I was dismayed to read Alison's comment that Black Friday has infiltrated New Zealand.  Ugh.  Why does it seem so often that only the unpleasant things from America become global?  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Black Friday per se - I have often gone out shopping the day after Thanksgiving to shop and had fun.  But I'm a pretty low-key shopper, and for instance, could never be bothered to line up all night for "a deal."  And it annoys me that some of the worst things Americans do are what most of the world sees and is exposed to.  But people annoy me in general, so nothing new there, right?  

No shopping today, though.  I did go out for a few specific things on Wednesday afternoon, and was successful.  Since most of our gifts are knitted and ready to go, we are spending very little this year.  (Well, you can't really spend what you don't have, but you know what I mean.)  I figured I would try to get packages together so we can mail things early if at all possible.  

Other than getting some things wrapped and ready, my plans are to read, knit, and decide what combination of leftovers to have for dinner.  I'm hoping we can get a vet appt for Hamlet early in the day, but we'll adapt the day however necessary.  One nice thing about not having guests or traveling on a holiday long weekend is that the time belongs to no one but you.  That always works for me!

26 November 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

Have a safe and happy day!  If you can read this, you have something to be thankful for, because it means a) you are alive, b) you are well enough to poke around and read things, c) you are likely in your home, with a computer and Internet connection, d) you have some time to yourself, and e) if you couldn't travel to visit friends or family this year, you still managed to survive.

Enjoy your day.  Find something that makes you laugh.  Be kind to someone else, even if it means simply smiling at someone as you pass them on the street (if it's a true smile, your eyes will show it above your mask).  Call a friend or family member and tell them you love them.  Love your pets and take good care of them.  Be glad you are here to do it all, even if it's hard.

Happy Thanksgiving!

25 November 2020

The Tim Strikes Again

If you ever have something you would like to do, especially before a holiday or a big event, or just even because you are finally getting around to doing it, I would suggest not being in our house.  Because whether or not you have expressed your plan/desire/idea, you can be sure that The Tim will somehow manage to create a roadblock.  He is the master.

Just some background here:  The Tim is a good guy.  He is more than willing to pitch in on housework, cooking, cleaning, etc.  He has a certain way that he does things, and he is also famous for making the sudden decision to do something and then doing it.  Oh he may have been talking about doing it for months, but one day you come home from work, or wake up and go downstairs, and suddenly all of the curtains are in the washing machine, or the furniture is piled in the middle of the room so he can start painting, or - well, you get the drift of what I'm saying.

As I have mentioned here, I am still going to work in our building on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and he is still laid off, so he is home all day, every day.  Which was especially convenient yesterday, when the plumber came to haul out our old, deceased water heater and install the new one.  It meant that neither of us had to make any special arrangements.

Since we live in a rowhouse, and I knew that the plumber would need to go up and down the steps leading to the basement to move things in and out, I cleared out the "pantry" on Monday.   Our "pantry" consists of some small shelves inside the door to the basement, and some items kept on the steps on the way down.  I knew that The Tim would need to take off the door so that there would be room, so I put everything into some bags and boxes and placed them in a corner of the living room.  I figured that after dinner last night, I would put things back, and then today could do some cleaning up and we would be organized just fine for Thanksgiving.

You've probably heard the saying, "Man plans, God laughs."  Well, He must be rolling on the floor (cloud?) laughing hysterically right now, as far as our house goes.  Because when I came home from work last night, almost every single thing from the basement was piled in the living room (on the furniture as well), and there was a narrow path to walk through the room.

Me: What's going on here, did something else happen in the basement?
The Tim: No, the guy left about two hours ago, the water heater is installed and working.
Me: So why is all this stuff here?
The Tim: I decided I might as well bring it up so I could scrub the basement floor.  Then I figured why not wax the floor in the pantry and the steps going downstairs.  Now we just have to wait until the wax is dry before putting things back.
Me: How long will that be?
The Tim: We should be able to start tomorrow morning.  But then I also want to reorganize things while the pumpkin pies are baking, so it will probably take most of the day.
Me: Oh. I was hoping to clean up around here so things were nice for Thursday.
The Tim: Well, I should be finished by dinnertime, so you could do it tomorrow night.
Me: I usually make the stuffing on Wednesday night, and that takes a while, so I doubt I'll want to stay up later to do that.  
The Tim: You can clean up on Thursday or Friday then, it's no big deal.

And I realize it is no big deal in the grand scheme of things. And I realize that a lot of men couldn't be bothered to do anything like this, AND bake pies.  I get it, I do.

But ... 

well, you probably understand.  Right?

24 November 2020

Tiny Brain Tuesday

Thank you for your kind comments about my newly-completed pair of socks!  I am beyond pleased with them, I have to admit.

New Covid restrictions have gone into effect here in Philadelphia, as I suspect they have in lots of other places.  Though at least at the moment, I will still be going to work in our building on Tuesdays and Thursdays (well, Tuesday only this week).  Since no one else will be around but the security guard, the physical plant guy, and the woman who takes care of the live animals, I'm not overly worried - we are all far apart in the building, and seldom have reason to interact.  And already, I did not see many people on my walk to and from work - this morning there were even fewer. 

Anyway, my brain is feeling tiny today, so you get a post of random things, since I should probably save some of what brain power is there for my work.  


 -- The other day, I came across this t-shirt:

It's available here, if you are interested.

I told The Tim that when I saw this, I felt seen.  He said that the only way it could be better would be if they added "and animals."  He's not wrong.

-- The Koodle has decided that if I am sitting down and using the laptop, he MUST not just sit on my lap, but use his paw to scroll the screen.  I'll be in the middle of something, and suddenly things are wonky, or the window is closed.  I told The Tim that the Koodle uses the touch scroll more than I ever will.  He seems to find it entertaining that he can move the screen around and up and down.  Hilarious for him.  Not so much for me.

-- I spoke to my sister in California this weekend, and she said that they decided to cancel their Thanksgiving plans - or as she put it "cancel Thanksgiving."  I'm relieved even if she is unhappy about it.  My favorite thing is when she said, "What's the point of having a holiday if there are just the two of you?"  Um, Hello?  I was tempted to point out that there are always just the two of us, and we have really fun, wonderful holidays, but a) I know what she meant, and b) it's not worth getting into it, and hear her tell me how that wasn't what she meant, etc.  

-- My brother-in-law in WV (married to my other sister) is apparently quarantining at home since someone in his office has Covid.  So far he has no symptoms and has had two negative tests, which is good news.  I suspect they are not overly conscientious in his office about wearing masks, but I also have a feeling they will be now.

-- Every year for Christmas, I buy little gifts for all of the nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews from the kitties and Hamlet.  They use their "allowance" to buy the things and they can only be under $3.00.  Between Target and Five Below this year, they have now finished their holiday shopping!  Target in particular has some good things in their $1.00+ bins at the front - let's just say that  lot of people are receiving silicone straws in their own carrying case ... ;-)

-- Over the weekend, I cleaned up the planter in front our house, and then swept up leaves in the front and the entryway.  I had six Chewy boxes of leaves and dead plants by the time I was finished, and I didn't even get to the actual garden space yet!  Every year I am reminded that it's a good thing I am not a person with a yard.

-- And yesterday, 2020 continued its magic for us.  You may recall that earlier in the year, we had to replace my laptop, and then also our stove.  Well, not to be outdone, yesterday both the microwave and the water heater gave up the ghost.  We can certainly live for a while without a microwave, but NOT without a water heater.  Fortunately, the plumber is coming today, and said that if nothing to complicated is wrong, he should be able to install a new one today or tomorrow.  Which is good news, except for our credit cards.

-- Lastly, tonight at approximately 10:30 p.m. it will mark 51 years since my father died.  Which is a long time, but some days it feels like it was yesterday.  Frankly, I'm glad that neither of my parents is here to experience this pandemic.  Though I would love to be able at least call them on the phone.  In any case, please raise a glass to my dad on your Thanksgiving, because he was even more of a holiday person than I am!

OK, I'd better get moving.  I hope your day goes well, and that your household appliances behave themselves.  😏

23 November 2020

FO Monday : Know Your Roman Numerals Socks

I finished these about a week and a half ago, but kept forgetting to post until now.  Partly because I got involved in other things, and partly because it was hard to photograph them successfully.  But anyhow, here you go.

Project:  Know Your Roman Numerals Socks
Pattern:  I made this up and will probably write it up for myself, and for anyone else who may be interested
Yarn:  Puff the Magic Rabbit Superwash Sock in the colorway It's the Great Pumpkin, Mephistopheles
Needles:  US size 1
Modifications:  None, since I made up the pattern

Notes:  This yarn has been in my stash for while.  The dyer is a friend of mine, and sent it to me as a gift a few years back.  I finally decided it was time to knit with it, and though I had one thing in mind, I started fooling around and did something else.

It's a simple and easily memorizable pattern, and I really like the way it all turns out.  I realized not far into the knitting that it would probably show up better on a tonal or solid yarn, but I was on a roll and liked the way it looked, so I carried on.

I am really pleased with the way they turned out.  I call them Know Your Roman Numerals Socks because I regularly see/translate Roman numerals at work (it comes with being a rare book cataloger) and most people I work with have no clue what they are - and as for students, well, forget that!  Anyway, this creates a V-shape, and V = 5 as far as Roman numerals go.  I kept thinking of that while knitting these.

I'm really pleased with them, and love the yarn, both colorwise and how it feels.  Mindy's yarns come in such lovely colorways, and are always so soft!  If you want to try some yarn from an indie dyer new to you, here is her website.

They seem especially appropriate to have knitted during the end of October into November, don't you think? 

22 November 2020

A Fourth Poem for a November Sunday

Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things, 
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
You must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

21 November 2020

In Which I Decide (for the millionth time) That My Sister Is Just ...

I don't know, choose one.  Clueless.  Annoying.  Even more self-involved than I am (quite a feat!).  Unrealistic.  

Background: my oldest sister Nancy and her husband live in southern California (where "all the beautiful people are," as she tells us. A lot).  Her two children and their families live in northern California and Arizona respectively.  My sister - much like my parents - is the kind of extrovert that makes regular extroverts look like introverts.  So yes, this pandemic has been especially hard for her, because she is not someone who reads, or knits, or can easily entertain herself.  She likes to go shopping, get together with her friends for lunch or for pickle ball, go to concerts, etc.  Though she is disgusted with people not wearing masks, etc., she also has a blind spot when it comes to certain things.  This is a summary of a conversation I had with her last week on the phone:

Me:  So what are the kids and their families gonna do for the holiday?

N: Chad and family are staying in Arizona.  The two oldest are coming home from college, but they will get tested beforehand.  We were thinking that we would see Ben and Lauren and the kids, but Lauren said that in San Francisco, they were doing a shut down order that said anyone who traveled even within the state would need to quarantine at both ends of it for two weeks.  

Me:  Yeah, a lot of places are doing similar things.

N:  Well, in some places it made sense, but I said to Lauren, "Do they realize you'd be coming to visit Orange County?  That shouldn't be on the list." 

As you may have figured out, my sister lives in Orange County.  Which is apparently a special place free of anything awful, where flowers grow, birds sing, and unicorns dance while exuding glitter from their butts.

I understand that she wants to see her kids and grandkids, I do.  And trust me, I know how frustrating it is to be doing the right thing while other people go around like nothing different is happening.  But just because you live in Orange County, with all of the "beautiful people" and the wonderfulness of it all, it doesn't mean you are any different than anyone who lives anywhere else.  I think for a lot of people, that's as much the disconnect as anything else.

But sometimes a conversation with my sister can make me realize that we don't just live in different states, we live in different worlds.   And again, I also realize - as much as I love her and would do anything I could for her - that if we were not related, we would not ever even be friends.  

Family is weird.  Mine more so than most, and overall in a good way.  This whole thing though?  Ugh!

20 November 2020

Pre-Thanksgiving Friday Funny

Who can blame him?

Have a good weekend, everyone!

19 November 2020

Silver Linings

Today is the day after The Tim's birthday (which was lovely, and he liked all of his gifts), and officially one week until Thanksgiving, the coziest day of the year, at least in my opinion.  There's a lot of sadness and hand-ringing for a lot of people because they cannot travel and/or won't be able to get together with others to celebrate.  It's not a big deal for us, because we have had both Thanksgiving and Christmas with just the two of us and the furballs for years, so unlike everyone else, we're looking forward to the same things we always get to do.  

One of my co-workers is from Baltimore, and she always goes home for both holidays.  But this year, she is giving up a trip home for Thanksgiving so she can quarantine herself before and after for a trip home for Christmas.  She said that she gets to see more people at Christmastime anyway.  Her mom was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, so she doesn't want to cause any problems.  I do feel bad for her, since she lives alone, and normally I would invite her to join us, but not this year.  We have arranged a Zoom during the day on Thanksgiving, to knit and chat and have a glass of wine together, so hopefully that will help some if she is feeling lonely.  Since The Tim does a lot of napping, it's not like it will interfere with any of our plans.  😏 

But I digress.

Today is Three on Thursday, and I decided to join Carole and everyone else this week.  My topic is Three Silver Linings to Wearing a Mask (as opposed to most people who are bitching and moaning about it.  Get over it and wear one!).

1. Unlike in hot and humid summer weather, wearing a mask when it's cool/cold is an extra layer of warm for your face.  And does not necessarily feel as confining as wearing a scarf wrapped around your face and head securely (at least not to me).

2.  You can "treat" a runny nose without looking like a freak show.  As soon as cool/cold weather starts, my nose runs like a faucet when I am outside for more than 2 minutes.  (Kim and I have commiserated about runny noses, sneezing, etc., while wearing a mask.)  What I do before I put on my mask is take a tissue and fold it lengthwise.  Then I stick an end into each nostril (enough to hold it there, not enough to make me feel like my breathing is impaired), and put on my mask.  As I walk along, my runny nose is controlled by said tissue, and no one is the wiser.  Once I'm at my destination, I just toss the tissue.  It's not pretty, certainly, and in it's own way it's gross, but it sure is a lot better than dabbing under my nose with tissues every two seconds.  You can thank me later.

3.  No one knows if you are making a face at them or sticking out your tongue at them.  It's nice to be able to do this with people who are deserving, and yet they never know.  It pleases me so much, that I will truly miss being able to do this when someday we are no longer having to wear masks.  And I also have to say that, if someone is *really* smiling (as opposed to a small grin or whatever), I can always tell by looking at their eyes, and I know that when I really smile, my eyes show it as well.  Granted, if you are wearing sunglasses, you are being inscrutable anyway, so this does not apply.

So if nothing else, remember - if you are a person with a cold face, runny nose, and who likes to make faces at others without social repercussions - embrace the mask!

Of course, for some it's easier said than done ...

18 November 2020

Knitting, Reading, Celebrating

Brrr, it's cold today!  Which is fine with me, 'cause you know it IS November.  

Today I'm joining Kat and others for Unraveled Wednesdays to talk about what I'm knitting, what I'm reading, and then also a celebration for today.

I currently have two projects on the needles - a pair of socks which I have not been able to decently photograph, but if you remember last month when I showed some yarn and a project bag for holiday knitting, it's that - the colorway is called Slothmas, and the bag had Christmas sloths on it.  I'm nearly finished with the leg of the first sock.

The other project is a sweater that is going along nicely:

It took a bit of effort before it started going nicely.  I realized I would need to knit using the helical knitting method.  I could understand it in my brain, but could not get my brain to get my hands to understand it.  Then I watched probably the 5th video I'd tried on YouTube illustrating it and BOOM! it finally made sense.  Since then, I have really been enjoying working on it, and hope to have it finished before the end of the year.  If that doesn't happen, it's no big loss, but it's just a goal I would like to meet if at all possible.

I started this book over the weekend, and am really enjoying it.

I had been looking on Overdrive for one thing, which was not available, and this was one of those "You May Also Be Interested In" titles, and I decided to give it a try.  I think I'm about a third of the way in, and I like it a lot at this point.

We are also celebrating in our house today, as it is The Tim's birthday.  Needless to say, we can't go out to dinner or anything like that, but we are still ready.  He has requested a quiche for dinner, so I've decided to make a mushroom-blue cheese version.  Of course, for dessert, we have the white cake with chocolate frosting he requested.

And there are gifts to open, as one does on one's birthday.

All is well here - a cozy day together with the animals, reading, knitting (at least for me) and celebrating a birthday.  There will also likely be some watching of movies or some shows waiting for us.  We are lucky.

17 November 2020

Pip and the Light-Up Ice Cubes

My niece Amanda is one of the best people I know.  She is funny, kind, and if she likes you even a little bit, you've got it made.

She also loves to share things - be it recipes, makeup tips, or items she finds along the way and decides that everyone needs one too.  The subject of this post falls into that last category.
A few weeks ago, she sent me a Facebook message that said, "OMG Pat and I just had drinks with some LED ice cubes I bought, and though he was puzzled at first, now we both love them!  Keep an eye on your mail."  And I thought to myself, OK, sure, but this is gonna puzzle The Tim to no end.  Almost immediately after that, I completely forgot the whole thing.

About a week after that, I got a package in the mail that contained what looked like small containers of many many many teeny tiny little beads.  Now, I admittedly have made some questionable online purchases in my day, but I was 99.999999% certain that I would never buy containers of small beads - and not so many, in any case!  Then I read the package insert, and it explained that they were the LED ice cubes, and how to use them.  

Fast forward, past weeks of The Tim asking me, "Why did she send those to us?" or "Why would she buy them in the first place?" or "I think they are dumb, we'll never use them," or variations of such questions approximately one hundred times.  Last Friday night, we decided to have a drink while re-watching a "Mad Men" episode  and The Tim decided to give them a try.  Before he brought them upstairs, he took a video, which has Pip sitting on the chair right next where he set the drinks, originally so he could take a photo to send to Amanda.  I could not easily figure out how to share that with you on Chromebook, other than the previous video link, but I have also tried putting it on YouTube, so this may work instead/as well - I mean, who knows? 

In case you can't see it, the video shows Pip taking a look to see what is happening.  But the funny thing in the video is that he looks for a couple of seconds, and then turns away as if to say, "Humans are so weird. That looks stupid."  He doesn't even have anything to say about it, which in his case, is quite amazing!

In any case, at least the thumbnail image above gives you an idea of the whole thing.  πŸ˜€

16 November 2020

In Which There Are Many Shawl Photos

You may recall that over the summer, I took part in the Stillness Shawl MKAL organized by Helen Stewart, and knit a truly lovely (but very large) shawl.  Here is the FO post, though at the time it wasn't blocked.  I thought of, and tried, a few different possibilities, but the real problem was that I had no place where I could safely block it and leave it to dry and even more importantly, I didn't have enough blocking materials in the first place!  

Lorette mentioned in the comments that I should send it to her, and she would be happy to block it for me.  I thought that seemed really nice, but figured that I would somehow finagle something.  Long story short, I didn't.  So a few weeks ago, I checked to see if she was willing to give it a shot, and she enthusiastically said to send it to her.  I know she does lots of lace knitting, so it didn't surprise me to think she had someplace to block lace without meaning she had to move everyone out of her house to do so.  I packed it up and sent it on a visit to Washington State (a place I have always wanted to visit, but no, the shawl went instead.  Of course).  I told her there was no hurry, and whenever she had the time and inclination was find with me.

When it was returned, I could not believe how amazing it looked - and that I had actually knit it!  So I took a bunch of photos, and here they are.  I liked the shawl before, but now - WOW!

THANK YOU LORETTE!!!  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the offer of help in the first place, and then the time you clearly spent getting every part of it to look so nice.  

I love these close-ups - some of these patterns and stitches were completely new to me, and it was so exciting when they worked out!

I have no idea if I will ever join another MKAL and actually participate again, or if I'll ever tackle another project at this level.  But I learned so many new things, and enjoyed this one so much, it was worth all of the time spent figuring it out.

Look how big it is - my arms really started to hurt while The Tim was taking photos!

15 November 2020

A Third Poem for a November Sunday

Robyn Hood
by Kate Baer

Imagine if we took back our diets,
our grand delusions, the time spent
thinking about the curve of our form.
Imagine if we took back every time we
called attention to one or the other: her
body, our body, the bad shape of things.

Imagine the minutes that would stretch
into hours.  Day after day stolen back like
a thief.

Imagine the power of loose arms and 
assurance.  The years welcomed home in a 
soft, cotton dress.

14 November 2020

Happy Saturday!

Well, right now, this is one of the best Saturdays, ever!  You might think it was because it's really sunny after a few days of rain (nice), or because the temperatures are cool and autumn-ish again after warm days (really nice), but if you want me to think a day is wonderful, you'll never go wrong by serving these for breakfast:

(Not my photo - it's from Pinterest. But ours looked like this!)

Hash Brown Potatoes.  With lots of onion, pepper, and crusty on the outside.  The Tim made these for breakfast today, and oh what a treat!  We generally only have them on holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) but he said he "felt like fixing potatoes this morning," and decided on these.  

They were beyond yummy. 

And I didn't have to make them!

13 November 2020


Yesterday, right before I got to work, a woman stopped me to ask if I knew the time.  So I looked at my watch and said, "It's about 3 minutes to 7."  She kinda laughed and said, "A watch.  How quaint.  Thank you."

So I've decided that, going forward, if someone asks me the time again, I'll say, "Good neighbor, as I gaze upon the small timepiece upon mine wrist, it doth say to me that it is nearly seven of the clock this morn."

You want quaint, I'll give you quaint.  πŸ˜€

12 November 2020

I Contain Multitudes

Walt Whitman was right - all of us contain multitudes, whether or not we think we do.  I am often surprised when people who know me well are shocked or amazed to learn something about me that I have always thought was obvious, but there you go - multitudes.

I thought I'd share a few of them today, and join in on Three on Thursday.  So here are three things that always seem to surprise people about me.

1. Last week, when we were waiting for the election results, The Tim and I were discussing some political topic, and he said, "Well, I am going to tell you what I think, based on what my favorite political analyst has said before."  Now, I have to tell you, The Tim was suddenly all about government and politics this election season, providing both known and arcane factoids to me on a regular basis. Anyway, he quoted something I'd said a few weeks before, and I said, "Wait, I told you that last week," and he said, "Yes, you are my favorite political analyst because you know what you are talking about."  And - well, I was surprised because 99% of the time, I know he ignores 99% of my blather about everything.  I mentioned this to a friend, and she said, "Oh, I didn't think you were interested in any of that."  

WHY would I have spent four years in college studying Political Science and Philosophy if I found it dull??

2.  I am extremely socially liberal - if the trope that you get more conservative as you age is true, I must have been just ahead of Mussolini in the womb!  That part is maybe not surprising, but people are often surprised to learn that on a personal level - meaning for me and my own self - I am pretty conservative in many ways.  Mostly just about things regarding behaviors - for instance, thinking proper manners are very important and that people should *have* to practice them.  But although my Bridget-centric world follows that belief, I do realize that a lot of people don't find them important at all, and to many, they are trivial in comparison to other things in the world.  However, if someone decided to pass a law REQUIRING people to say Please and Thank You (as an example), I would fight it to the death!

3.  The notion that I am calm and easygoing always amuses me.  Trust me, I am neither, but I know better than to show otherwise in most situations.  I have been mocked and taken advantage of too many times to fall into that trap again, and have also learned that it does no good to cause others panic (or even more panic) when something upsetting happens.  So though I may be able to calmly deal with it or handle the crisis without outward distress, in my head the world is crashing down and I'm freaking out.  Maybe you just don't need to know that.  Plus, I am not easygoing.  I just know how to choose my battles, at least publicly.  My mind contains a whole 'nother life, if you know what I mean.  πŸ˜‡πŸ˜ˆ

What about you?  Are there things people regularly think/assume about you that are not true, or that surprise you?

11 November 2020

Veterans Day 2020

Say "thank you" to a veteran today.

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers"

-- Jose Narosky

10 November 2020

In Which I Decide Technology Is Out to Get Me

As you may recall, earlier this year - right when the pandemic and quarantine got underway - my laptop died.  As in it was DECEASED.  No transfer of things from the old hard drive (RIP photos and documents), no saving of anything at all.  Which was excellent, because it was also when Zoom for work meetings and such became a requirement, and when The Tim was laid off, and all of the buckets of money we previously had (OK not even one full bucket) were pretty well dried up.  Timing, I tell you!

Enter our Discover card to save the day.  The Tim and I poked around, and because I trust his knowledge of such topics, we decided on a Chromebook for me, and purchased one.  (He actually enjoys looking into these things, whereas I would rather even go to the dentist.  And I HATE going to the dentist.  Anyway.)  Said Chromebook arrived, and I have been using it since.  My take thus far is that it's just close enough to a Windows machine to make you feel confident.  Until you go to do something where you discover it has NOTHING AT ALL IN COMMON with a Windows machine.  I have decided it was created to keep me humble.  Which as far as techmology is concerned, does not take much - someone should have warned it.

Anyhoo, we have been getting along well enough.  Not a love affair, at least not yet, but a good enough relationship to enjoy a cup of tea together once in a while, if you know what I mean.  And I think we'll become good friends down the road.

Then there's Blogger and e-mail.  Now *those two* are really and truly out to get me.  The latest thing, which has happened a bit on and off, but now seems somewhat regular, has to do with responding to comments.  I get e-mail notifications, as well as having to approve comments.  Mostly because I got tired of dumb spam that needed to be dealt with, and that was not even amusing spam.  In the past couple of weeks, when I have thought I reponded to comments where I had an e-mail address, days later I'll get an e-mail notification that the message couldn't be delivered for various reasons: the person doesn't exist, the mailbox was full, the address didn't exist, I failed to prove I was not a robot - you know, any number of what I now think of as "excuses."  So I actually started to take the time to respond in the comments.  I would write a response, it would accept it ... and then nothing would show up.  Rinse, lather, repeat.

Sigh.  It would be one thing if this happened on a regular, predicatable basis, but no, it just happens without any rhyme or reason.  Which I feel is legitimate proof that technology is out to get me.  Clearly the gods/goddesses/leaders of technology are messing with me and they don't just laugh when I have issues - nope, I'm 99.999999% sure that they guffaw for a minimum of ten minutes.  (I'm also not paranoid, clearly.)

Not to be outdone, I shall continue the best I can to communicate with those who leave comments, but I have to apologize in advance if you seem to hear from me just fine sometimes, and not at all other times.  I do promise that I read and enjoy comments, and when I can, I love to send a response. I'm not ignoring you/blowing you off, just suffering at the hands of the robot overlords and their creators ...

I swear, sometimes I feel like this guy:

So that's it for now.  I need to go and yell at some kids to get off my lawn. 😜

09 November 2020

A Weekend Like No Other

How was your weekend?  😜  As a friend of mine said, this will be a good "where were you when ..." memory.

I was out in our garden, finishing with the first parts of cleaning it up, and I could hear cheering and whooping.  Not that unusual, since it was a warm day and people had their windows open, and there are a lot of people here who watch football or soccer or whatever and get very excited about it.

But about a minute later, The Tim came downstairs and said, "They just called it for Biden and Kamala!" and I stopped what I was doing and went through the house to open our door.  Neighbors were already outside, dancing, cheering, and music was playing.  So Hamlet and I went out to join them, and oh was it joyful!  (The Tim did not join in, as he was afraid his dancing would "look like Trump's dancing." I didn't care.)  I spent the rest of the day crying or smiling or both.  

Philadelphia did not disappoint with their reactions, here are some photos for you to enjoy.

Here are some more photos.

And then of course, this:

Which was supposed to happen here:

Saturday night, we had another reason to celebrate (and stayed up WAY too late) because we watched Notre Dame beat #1 Clemson in two overtimes!  It was a great football game, and Clemson's second string freshman quarterback is amazing - I find it hard to believe he is second string, I'm guessing being a freshman has something to do with it.  

Sunday, I attended a fun Zoom knitting meeting for an hour.  It was a group of somewhat random people but everyone was in a good mood (wonder why?), and it was wonderful.  

Other than my part of doing some cleaning up in the garden, I did nothing else socially redeeming over the weekend.  Well, unless you count having voted so that I could help my adopted city help the country to save democracy!

Finally - something good happened during 2020.  πŸ˜‚        

08 November 2020

A Second Poem for a November Sunday

by Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything if you have to.
But trust the hours.  Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become interesting.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again;
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands.  The desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asked to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.
Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a little and listen:
music of hair,
music of pain,
music of looms weaving our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total

06 November 2020

We Got This

This is both a Facebook and Instagram post from a local group that is dedicated to all things Philadelphia history.  They get it - you should too. 

Have a good weekend!

Philadelphia: protecting democracy since 1776. COUNT THE VOTES
: @mmbixler
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