21 September 2021

Do You Remember?

The 21st night of September?  (I finally remembered on the actual day!)

😉

Have a good one!

20 September 2021

I'm Just Wondering

Maybe I'm the only person wondering about this, but do children have any chores they are expected to do these days?  The reason I'm wondering is because of a commercial I keep seeing for a grocery store chain that has online selection and pick up/delivery available.  The woman in the commercial is extolling the virtues of being able to have someone else do her shopping for her, and all she has to do is pick up the bags of groceries and put them in her car on her way home from work.  Later in the commercial, she is seen eating dinner with her husband and children, and mentions how the "grocery fairies" made her life so much easier.  Then she says "If only there were dishwasher faires."

Ahem, dumbass - you have a husband and kids.  Also, you have a DISHWASHER, which ostensibly means that none of those delicate flowers seated with you at the table would have to put their perfect hands into actual dishwater.  Is your husband unable to determine the complicated configuration of a dishwasher?  Are your children - who do not appear to be babies or toddlers - too precious for any type of household labor?  Or, are you - and I know so many people like this - a victim of your own self, because no one else knows how to do it "the right way," so only you can get things accomplished?

I did a Google Images search for "children's chores" and hundreds of images resulted - from chore charts, to templates for said charts, and of course the ever popular clipart examples like below, which shows these poor enslaved young people happily doing their assigned chores.  Clearly they have been brainwashed.


I mean, my parents were hardly strict at all, but we were expected to make our beds everyday, take turns washing the dishes (no dishwashers in our house until I was in high school!), and "other duties as assigned," so to speak when requested by my parents.  As we got older, we were expected to help with laundry, cleaning the house, and even some of the outside chores.  

Was it annoying?  Yeah, sometimes.  And of course, it NEVER seemed fair!  I mean, there were my parents coming home from working all day, fixing food for us to eat, and they expected US to do work??  

The Tim's background is pretty much the same.  He comes from a family with 5 kids, who are all fairly close in age, so they were all expected to do their share as well.

Having said all of that, I did used to have a work colleague who came in one day and said she was really unpopular at home.  She had decided that she'd  had enough, so she set a schedule for the family where each night someone was responsible for dinner after getting home from work, school, whatever.  Her kids were teenagers, and the rule was that if it was your turn to cook, you also did the cleaning up.  She said she told them that no meal had to be elaborate - hot dogs, grilled cheese, soup, etc. were all options because she realized that they may not really know much about how to cook.  

Fast forward to the second week.  I asked her how it was going.  She said, "Oh that's all done.  They didn't know what to do, and ___ (husband) wasn't doing things like I wanted anyway.  So it's back to just me cooking every day."  

Well,  you know what?  She's the only one to blame in that situation.

What about you?  Did you have chores/duties/jobs growing up?  I'm curious if most people experienced what I did, or if they didn't have to do anything in particular until they lived on their own as adults.

17 September 2021

Here's Your Chance ...


Happy Friday!  I hope you will be able to have a wonderful weekend.  I am getting my hair cut tomorrow and so am happily looking forward to that.  No other specific plans, but it is my last weekend before a 5-day week back in our building at work starts again.  I would know that even if I didn't know it intellectually because my sleeping is terrible lately.  Oh well, I enjoyed sleeping well for the last 18 months, I'll adjust.  😧

As you can see from the image above, it's time for another round of Ask Me Anything!  You can add any questions that you have in the comments of this post, and next week on Friday, I'll write a post with the answers.  You really can ask anything you like - but I do reserve the right to not answer questions that I find in any way offensive or inappropriate.  Past experience has shown that no one ever asks anything that falls into that category, but I guess there is also a first time (though I hope not!).

Previous posts answering questions are here, here, and here, if you want to review what has already been revealed ... 

***

In other news, do you remember a while ago, I asked you to keep my nephew in your thoughts, because he was having some health issues?  Well, it was finally determined that the thing that was at the core of his problems was that he needs a double hip replacement.  He will be having the first one next Thursday, so we are hoping for a good result.  I feel pretty confident that he'll do well, because the operation is one that seems to be successful for those I know who have had it done.  He is motivated to do what the doctors tell him, so I know he'll do well with whatever physical therapy, etc., they throw at him.  He will be 52 years old on October 1st, so he's younger than a lot of people who have the surgery, but if it helps him, who cares?  I'm just glad that the problem has been pinpointed and is close to being treated.

So that's that.  I'll leave you with this cartoon, since we all deserve to smile at least once - on a Friday, especially.  Take care!

15 September 2021

Glowing in the Dark

I thought I'd write a post for Unraveled Wednesday before I left for a dr appt.  I think I have *just* enough time.

So I have been reading a lot lately, and for the most part enjoying it.  I recently gave up on a book that so many others have liked, but hey that happens.  My current book is this one:


I am only a couple of chapters in, but so far it is keeping my attention.  Hopefully I'll want to keep reading, since I'm always annoyed when I decide to give up on a book - though at least now I know it's OK to do that!

Knitting-wise, I just finished the first sock of a pair, and am hoping that it's colorful enough ...


The Tim claims that I will glow in the dark when I wear these - he said I should save them for when the weather threatens a power outage.  😀  I'm really happy with how this one turned out, and especially pleased with my Shadow Wrap Heel, even though it is kinda wonky - but not bad for a first try!

Want to know what others are making and reading?  Head over to Kat's blog, following the link above and find out!

13 September 2021

Perfection In One Day

First of all, thank you for your kind support and commisseration about my work situations in my last post.  Please be assured that everything that can be done has been done, even if to no avail.  Though I'm guessing that now you can appreciate more than ever why I am dreading next week, when we have to return to the building to work five days a week.  At least being at home some of the time gave me some space and a buffer.  Oh well

ANYWAY, the important thing here is to share some of our weekend with you.  This past weekend, both the NJ Sheep and Wool Festival and the Lehigh Valley Fiber Festival returned to in-person events.  I love going to the NJ one, but this year just didn't get myself together to go.  

Instead, since it sounded as if the weather would cooperate, The Tim and I planned an outing where Hamlet could join us.  So we got into the car and headed a bit northwest to the Andorra Meadow - about 20 minutes away on a Saturday with little traffic that early in the morning.  It's a little more than 2-mile trail that ends up in a meadow.  We hadn't been there before, so we were exploring as well.


Me to The Tim: We can tell people we went for a hike, and found some fungi(s).
The Tim: [crickets]

In any case, it was wonderful, and Hamlet had a great time!  For the whole time we were there, we ran into only two other people (and of course Hamlet made sure that they petted him).  It was perfect.


Apparently, the grasses were very tasty.  The Tim and I did not sample them, but Hamlet took his time doing a tasting all along the way.


In the photo above, Hamlet is right in front of a log that was blocking the trail and required one to go over it.  I went over first, and then Hamlet lept over it, "just like Lassie!" (OK, that's what we told him - in reality, I pulled, and The Tim pushed and lifted.)  Then The Tim joined us and we continued along.

I always love seeing little wild daisies like these:


And seeing these little berries pleased me!


This was in the meadow, where they had these little houses scattered all around.


Just look at that sky!  And if you saw these photos and didn't know where you were, who would think that less than a mile away was a major road with stores and houses?

On the way home, we passed a corner where one side of the street had a place called Pete's Pierogies, and the other side of the street had Murphy's Tavern.  We decided that was the best corner in town, since it would cover all of our needs ... 😊

The day finished up with some knitting and reading in the afternoon, and then The Tim made a pizza for dinner.  We watched some shows we'd recorded and just relaxed.  There aren't many days that are that perfect, but Saturday turned out to be one of them.

As we were walking around on such a lovely day, it struck me that it was the same kind of day that it was here on September 11, 2001 - a little bit cool, very sunny, and the kind of day that made you smile and believe that nothing could go wrong.  And it made me think once again how lucky I am to be able to still be here, enjoying those kinds of days, when so many never had that privilege, through no fault of their own.

09 September 2021

Small Acts of Courage Shouldn't Be So Difficult

Before I say anything else, thank you so much for your very kind comments about my finished summer top!  It is one of my most favorite things I've ever made, and to say I'm thrilled with the result is an understatement.  When The Tim first saw it after it was finished and I tried it on, he said, "That looks great - it's like it was made for you!" and then about a minute later said, "Oh yeah ... it was.  Anyway."  Which made me laugh.  Thank you for taking the time time say you liked it.  😊

Today is Three on Thursday, so I have decided to participate.  And my topic is not knitting-related, but there you go.  You have likely noticed the title of this post - or if not, you have now.  I am going to talk about three small acts of courage - or lack thereof - from my recent experience, and why they should not be so hard for people.



1.  In a recent department meeting, I asked a question about something, and it started with the phrase, "Could you offer any ideas to why the committee decided ...," and our boss responded, and I quote: "Well, Bridget, maybe it's because none of them are as stupid as you are." I will admit to being shocked and struck dumb.  And my co-workers said ... nothing.  Now, moving beyond how it was inappropriate in the first place for him to say that, that fact that no one said ANYTHING at all, then or afterwards, is upsetting to say the least.  A friend was being generous and said that a) maybe they are afraid of him saying that to them, so they said nothing, and b) maybe they said nothing to me because they were embarrassed or felt bad.  All I can say is, if you are ever in a similar situation, please speak up somehow.  Anything at all said by anyone else would have made a difference to me.  (P.S. I have complained to HR, who have told me that since it was said and not in writing, there is not proof, so they cannot do anything.  So apparently my co-workers have blocked it out and when asked said nothing or that it never happened.)

2.  In a similar vein, at a department meeting yesterday, the boss said that he felt that none of us should attend monthly section meetings because "we don't need to spend an hour that way."  Then he said, "I am guessing none of you have an issue with that."  So I spoke up and said that I did, and it was valuable because it gave us a chance to interact with our colleagues in our section that we don't necessarily see or talk to otherwise.  By the end of the discussion, three out of four of us had said that we wanted to continue going to the meetings, because we found them useful and since attendance is voluntary anyway, anyone who doesn't want to go is not obliged to do so.  After which the boss said, never mind, we could attend if we chose to.  When the meeting was over, the other two people who talked thanked me, and said they would not have spoken up if I hadn't.  And I knew that he would probably be annoyed when I spoke, but I felt strongly we should be able to participate in the meetings, and knew that if I didn't speak up, no one else probably would.  There are four people (including me) in our department: one person NEVER wants to disagree with anyone or stand up for herself ever, one person is the favorite who can do no wrong whatever, one person is often the victim of his wrath, and depending how recent it has happened, either does speak up or not, and then there is me.  It's not easy for me to speak up, because at the most I have one other person who might offer support; also, I know that our boss is not overly fond of me.  But I strongly believe that if something matters to you, you should state your case, even if it might not be agreeable to the boss.

3.  Non-work-related (aren't you glad??), is my third example.  There is a neighbor on our street who is always calling out others for not sweeping their sidewalk, not putting their trash out "the right way," and/or so many other things that are in no way a problem for anyone else.  We do not, for example, have a homeowner's association that has specific rules.  Sure, the city wants trash in receptacles, not just strewn on the street or sidewalk, but this particular neighbor wants everyone to use a certain type of thing for it "so that it all matches."  (Because you know how trash collectors enjoy uniform looking trash.)  One of his big gripes is that people who don't live on our street park their cars on our street.  First of all, we live in the middle of the city.  In order to park at all and not get ticketed, you have to have a decal that you purchased from the city for your zone in order to park legally for more than a certain amount of time.  Needless to say, parking spaces can be difficult to find.  Sometimes the gods smile upon you, and you find a place on your street; sometimes you are three blocks away.  Anyway, this neighbor started a petition to take to the city to make it illegal to park on our street unless you lived there.  Everyone was talking about how ridiculous it was, and trying to avoid the guy altogether so they wouldn't "have" to sign it.  We had a block party a few weeks ago, and said neighbor brought the petition for everyone to sign.  At which point, The Tim - who seldom interacts with neighbors, much less speaks to them (but of course they all still think he is the "nice" one), told this neighbor why his petition was not a good idea.  Afterwards, no one was willing to sign the guy's petition, and though he left in a huff, everyone else kept complimenting The Tim for his "courage" in refusing to sign and saying why.

***

People, none of this should be that hard.  These are not life and death situations, these are situations where one person who is a bully is pushing their weight around and no one wants to speak up.  I understand why it is hard, but it shouldn't be.  With so much else going on in the world, and people being more than willing to speak out about the big stuff, why are the small acts of courage (it that is even what you can call them) so difficult?

Anyway, that is my rant o' the day.  I am not asking for sympathy nor congratulations, I'm just trying to point out that all of us should do our best to support each other when it can help or make a difference.  We all have to live and work together every day, regardless of how we feel personally about each other.  Wouldn't it be better if we could be more brave in small, everyday ways?  

If you have read this far, thank you for coming to my TED talk. 😉

07 September 2021

Knitting Needles Tuesday - An FO Post

Hello all, and I hope you had a lovely Labor Day weekend.  Ours was nice, the weather was for the most part really pleasant - even the rain wasn't much and didn't ruin any of our plans, mostly because we had none.  The Tim had to work yesterday, but I got some projects of my own organized, and then fixed us a picnic dinner, so it was all good.

Do you remember seeing this just started WIP back in June?


If not, you probably do remember these photos:



Well, I'm happy to tell you that it is now an FO, with ends woven in, blocking completed, and ready to wear!

Project:  Blue Anker
Pattern:  Anker's Summer Shirt, by Petite Knit (Ravelry link)
Yarn:  Berrocco Farro, in the colorway Turquoise, 4.5 skeins
Needles:  US size 4 and 6
Modifications:  I added more stitches to the underarms, since sleeves always feel tight there to me in knitted items.  Then I decreased until I was where the sleeve pattern started, and went from there following the instructions.


Comments:  I completely love this top!  It fits the way I wanted it to fit, I just love the color, and even though it gave me fits with the 1 x 1 rib and the increases, it was all well worth it.  I think I'll get a lot of wear out of this not just a few more times this year, but a lot once the weather gets warm again next year.  Wearing this with a sweater or blazer over it, or a denim jacket, would be really comfy, as it is not bulky or heavy at all.

The yarn was a bit tricky to get used to, but other than occasionally being a little slippery-er than I would have liked, by the time I was a few inches in to the project, we were getting along just fine.  The pattern was straightforward, once you decided if you were following inches or centimeters!  There are a lot of sizes included, so I could see this being a pattern that would be really nice to use the Knit Companion feature where it shows your size only.  However, my printed pattern and highlighter worked just fine also.

I finished the knitting, weaving in, etc. last week, but was waiting for a time when the day was nice and The Tim was available to take a photo.  So Sunday afternoon, we went out on the deck.  I may have to find a new photographer, as you would have thought I had asked him to give me one of his kidneys, he was so put out by "having" to do this!  Then he was annoyed because I was squinting - but when the light is in your eyes, YOU try not to squint.  Anyway, I was pleased with how this photo turned out.

And oh that yoke!  It makes the 1 x 1 rib worthwhile (well, now that it's finished, at least).


Between that, a the fact that I am a sucker for anything turquoise, it couldn't have turned out better!

03 September 2021

The Week That Was

Remember when life just went along, and sometimes you would think to yourself that it was all just kind of boring, and how come nothing interesting or exciting ever happened?  

I learned a while ago that a lot of the time, boring is good.  Because at least in my case, "interesting" or "exciting" was not what I had been talking about.  I mean, if one day you are just living your life, and you find out that you won a million dollars somehow - that's exciting!  But when you are just living your life and then you find out that, say, you need to have a dental implant that costs thousands of dollars - well, OK, no one asks for THAT kind of intersting or exciting.

And this week was good example of that, both locally and globally, if you ask me.  I mean:

  • pandemic continues and numbers go back up
  • the U.S. troops leave Afghanistan
  • Texas decides you can carry a gun with no license and no training, but you can't wear a mask to school and women cannot get legal abortions
  • Hurricane Ida cuts a swath of destruction in Louisiana and Mississippi
  • Ida's remnants come up the East Coast and there are TORNADOES in the Philadelphia area and New Jersey; New York City shuts down because of TOO MUCH WATER EVERYWHERE
And those are just the things that immediately come to mind!  As someone on Twitter commented the other day: "I think I would have rather had the plague of locusts."

Fortunately, The Tim and I and the critters are all fine, if just somewhat inconvenienced.  We got a little bit of water in our basement, but we get a little bit of water in our basement whenever it even thinks about raining, so no big deal.  No wind damage, no loss of power.  

However, west and north of us in the city - not so much.

You know the Schuylkill River Trail, which is 2 blocks west of our house, where we walk/ride bikes/walk the dog sometimes?  Here's how it looked yesterday:


Do you see on the right of the photo where there is what looks like pipes and something pointing to the sky along them?  Well, that's the trail, and those things pointing towards the sky are the lights on the trail!  

To quote The Tim: "Looks like we won't be riding our bikes there this weekend."

And then, this image, which many of you may have seen on the news.  This is the Vine Street Expressway, which cuts across the city from east to west, and is a major link.  But yesterday it was more like the Vine Street Canal:


And that is about 5 blocks north of our house and below but right in front of the building where I work!

My friend Lisa, who owns Hidden River Yarns in the Manayunk neighborhood of the city, couldn't get to her shop to see how things were, but her landlord informed her that the street level part of the store (aka ALL THE YARN) was dry, but the basement was flooded.  Phew!  


And my other friend Jocelyn who is the owner of O-Wool, lives on a farm nearby in New Jersey, and they lost a couple of trees in a tornado, but are otherwise safe (as is her yarn supply!) - but the house nearest to them, about a mile away, was completely destroyed.


And those two are some of the luckiest ones!

Can we all agree now that it would be absolutely wonderful to go back to boring now??? 😉

I hope wherever you are, reading this, that you are safe, well, and healthy.  And that if you are not, that help is on its way.  Take care everyone, and for those of us here in the U.S., have the best kind of Labor Day weekend that you can - however you can!

27 August 2021

Friday Funny for the Last Friday in August 2021

Yesterday was International/National Dog Day, and even though I'm a day late, I thought this was appropriate. 😀


Have a good weekend, and if you are near extreme weather of any kind, I hope you can stay safe!  See you next week.

25 August 2021

Reading, Knitting, and Naming a New Winner

Thank you for all of the nice comments about my finished shortie socks.  I'm still working on deciding what socks are next, but I'll keep you posted.  

Today I've decided to join Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.  Lately I've been doing a lot of reading - more than I've been knitting, actually.  But at this moment, I'm about 3/4 of the way through this book:


I forget when or how I heard of this, but I'm enjoying it.  I can't say it's going to be my favorite book ever, but most of the characters are interesting, and there's a lot to think about while reading it.

This past Sunday, I finished the body of my summer tee.  I had tried it on before getting to the bottom ribbing, to make sure it was still going OK, and I am really pleased with how it looks:


After this photo, I did in fact finish the ribbing, and now all I have to do is the sleeves.  I know they won't take long, because they are short sleeves, so I'm hoping to get started on them today.  It would be nice to have this finished, and actually wear it before summer ends!

Now for the last part of what the post title says.  I have waited a couple of weeks, and have not heard at all from the previously named winner of the Grand Finale prize for Christmas in July.  So this morning I returned to the random number generator to choose a new winner, and that person is:

!!!KSD!!!

I actually received a note from her earlier this summer, so I have her address handy.  Kim, I'll let you know when the package goes out so you can be watching for it.  I feel bad having to pick a second person, but as I said, the first named winner has had two weeks to respond, so it was time to move along.  😊

And that's it for today.  Have a good one!

23 August 2021

I'm Back With an FO!

Hello all!  I'm back after taking a week to just be, and I appreciate all of the support and understanding from all of you.  The universe and my personal issues just all piled on, and I needed some time to do as little as possible that wasn't absolutely required.  So I'm feeling better enough to function better, which is good because it's not like I have a choice to just stop everything all together, you know?

Anyway, I do have an FO to show you, so that's re-starting on a positive note!  You probably remember that I showed you this sock-in-progress a while ago:


And then shared when one was completed:


Well, here's the whole shootin' match, to use an expression of my mother's:


Project:  Summer Shortie Socks
Pattern:  My own vanilla sock pattern, adjusted to be shortie socks
Yarn:  Mandi's Makings Sock, in the colorway 2021 Summer Sock Camp
Needles: US size 0 and size 1
Notes:  When I saw these sock sets on the Crazy Sock Lady's podcast, I really really liked them, and decided if I could get a set in one of the updates, it was OK to treat myself.  So I was truly thrilled when it worked out!  I had already decided to make shortie socks, because that seemed more summery to me.  I used US size 0 needles (9 inch circs) for the cuff, legs, and foot, and then reverted to my usual US size 1 dpns for the heel and toe.  

I'm really happy with the way they turned out.  This is a really pretty color of yellow, and I like the accent it adds to the pair.  Even better, I have enough yarn left to make a regular pair, so you will likely see this combination again sometime in the future.

*****
Of course, once I finished them, I had only one of my started-earlier-in-the-summer projects left - my summer tee.  So I have been working on that because I get into these mindsets that I like to finish all of the projects in a group before I cast on new things, or at least before I spend a lot of time on them.  And my poor summer tee had been neglected for a while, through no fault of its own.  But yesterday I did the bind off for the body, so now it just needs sleeves and not only will it be finished, but I might be able to wear it before the weather cools down.  (Frankly at this point I'm wondering if the weather will ever cool down again, but that's just me.)  So I'm going to try and finish that while deciding what pair of socks and what other projects will be next.

Also, for any Christmas in July prize winners, I mailed your packages this past Saturday, so they are on their way to you.  The post office within walking distance of our house got flooded in one of the rainstorms we had recently, so I had to wait until The Tim was home and the car was available to take the packages to another post office nearby.  So I know it's been a wait, but hopefully they will arrive safe and sound and SOON!

Here's hoping the week will be OK for all of us.  As of right now, I don't have anything specific coming up, so maybe it will just be one of those routine weeks, where being boring is a good thing.  😀

16 August 2021

Taking a Break

Pandemic.  Taliban.  Earthquakes.  Guns.  Global Warming.


The world is too much with me right now, I'm afraid.  So I need to take a break for this week and will see you again soon.

Take care of yourselves.

12 August 2021

Grande Finale Prize Winner!

I know that we are moving into two weeks past the end of Christmas in July, but as promised, I did choose a winner for the Grande Finale Prize earlier today.  I'm not going to post a photo of it here - I decided to wait until she has received it, and then I can show photos and tell you about it.

You may or may not recall that to be eligible for said prize, the only thing you needed to do was to comment on any of the Christmas in July posts - so if you commented once, you had once chance; if you commented 4 times, you had four times the chance to win.  I took all of the names each time, wrote then on a piece of paper, and put them in a bowl.  I mixed them around, and put them on the floor, where Pip happened to be the one around, so he chose the winner. And so, the person whose name was on the piece of paper that Pip first started to chew is:

*****WitchKnit*****

Congratulations!!  Please send your name and mailing address to me at thekittyknitterATverizonDOTnet.  I'll get the package ready, and let you know when it's on the way.

Again, thanks to everyone who commented and participated.  This morning I was thinking it was so long ago, but then realized that we are only talking a little bit of time since the end of July - time does indeed not wait for us.  😊

*****

I did in fact survive my walk back and forth to the SEPTA headquarters yesterday to get my Senior Pass so I can ride for free on public transportation going forward.  But it did knock me out for the rest of the day, and when I got home, I was drenched with sweat.  

(not actually me)

Fortunately, I had a little wait once I got there which allowed me to both cool down and dry off a bit.  In the end, even though I had made an effort to pull myself together so the photo had a better chance to get a decent photo, it didn't matter.  The woman who took the photo didn't tell me where to sit ("I thought you'd know") and also took the photo off-center.  So the photo looks like it was taken from about 5 miles away.  Oh well, I have the card now that's what matters.

Not much else to report.  Today is even hotter than yesterday (how that is possible, I don't know, but there you go), and so inside is the place to be.  

Tomorrow I will be at work all day because it is the first day of BugFest, and this year the Library and Archives will be doing tours for those in attendance who are interested.  Hopefully we'll get some takers, but in any case, it will be an extra reason to be happy that it's Friday!  

So now you're all caught up.  If you are also baking somewhere in the heat, I hope you can manage to keep cool.  Take care.

11 August 2021

Reading and Making and Sweating

Hello on a heat warning Wednesday here in Philadelphia.  Today the temperature is supposed to be 95 degrees (F), with a "feels like" temperature of 103 degrees.  And guess what?  I have to walk across town to get my picture taken - YAY!  Not.  I have an appointment at SEPTA headquarters to get my SEPTA Senior Pass.  Because of Covid, you have to have an appointment instead of non-Covid times when could just show up during their open hours.  Anyway, it's worth it because having that pass will mean I will not have to pay to take public transportation, which is a benefit to being a senior citizen.  I just hope that my photo for my pass doesn't make me look like a person who was doused in a shower before it was taken.  Because I'm sure I'll be soaked with sweat by the time I arrive.  I do have enough vanity to wish that would not be the case.  But not enough vanity to reschedule, since I made this appointment two months ago and today was the first availability.  

Life contains such tragedy, no?  😉

ANYWAY - today I'm joining Kat and others for Unraveled Wednesday, and I'm excited because it's been a while for me.  So let's just do it, shall we?

First up, what have I been knitting?  Well, I continue to work on my summer top, and I am "practicing" (poorly, so far) the crossed stitches for the Hipster Shawl.  But I do have a HO (half-finished object):


One shortie sock off the needles!  And the best thing is, the second sock is very close to having the foot complete, so I can move on to the toe and have an FO!  This is exciting for me, since a lot of my knitting has languished lately.  It's not that I don't enjoy the projects, I just haven't been that inspired to knit.  But this one should be finished in the next couple of days.

Reading-wise, I just finished this book last night:


It was an enjoyable cozy mystery, with some different types of things from the usual cozy.  

Finishing it is good timing, since I picked up this hold from the library yesterday:


This will be the first book of this author's for me, and I'm looking forward to it.  I always enjoy mysteries, but I've been particularly in the mood for them lately.  It was weird to pick up an actual book from the library, since I've been mostly reading library books through Overdrive during the pandemic.  When I got the notice to make an appointment to pick it up, I thought "You mean I actually have to *go* there??"  (Our public libraries are still not open for browsing, etc.  And now, thanks to the delta variant, it will still be a while. Thanks, non-vaxxers.)

Follow the link above  - it's always fun to see what others are reading and making!

06 August 2021

In Which I Am Annoyed

I'm sure you saw that title and thought, "And so why is that different than any other time?" and you would be correct.  But if you are still reading, that's on you.

Here is the specific thing I am annoyed about today.  Patreon.  

Let me say from the get-go that I have no opposition to creative people making money and being paid for their work, and I also know that only a very few, elite types can make a living through the things they design, sell, license, etc.  For example, the knitwear designers and/or yarn dyers that I know who are even doing well at all are fortunate to have either another full-time job to keep them going, or a partner who earns enough to allow them to pursue their work full-time.  I get it.

Do I appreciate free knitting patterns?  You bet I do, and I make A LOT of things from free patterns.  But I also purchase a lot of patterns, as well as buy books of patterns from time to time.  Because I know that everything isn't free, nor should it be.  Yes, sometimes I use a coupon code or a discount, but I completely understand the idea of monetary compensation for work.  

But frankly, I'm getting annoyed by people starting Patreon accounts for access to "special" patterns, "additional" content, etc.  

For example, there is a knitting designer whose designs I usually really like, and I have purchased as well as made a few of their patterns.  But they have decided to offer Patreon as an option for people.  You pay a monthly subscription fee (there are different levels of membership) and you receive a "special" pattern monthly not available to others, as well as a look into their design processes, their personal lives, etc.  

There are also a lot of knitting podcasters who have also set up Patreon programs, providing more access to them, their patterns/yarns/dogs/whatever.  

I'm not saying they have no right to do so.  I'm just saying it annoys the spit out of me.  First of all, if you want to "monetize" your work, then just do so outright.  If you feel that you put all kinds of effort and work into what you do, and that you are not getting the rewards from it you would like, then yeah, change it somehow.  But for myself, I don't like the feeling that I am paying a monthly subscription for something that is basically what you were doing anyway, but now costs something.  

From what I can tell, the monthly subscription costs can be as low as $3.00, all the way up to $10.00 per month.  OK sure, but unless there is only a single person that you love so much that you decide to support them this way, I don't have even $3.00 a month for ten different people.  Obviously plenty of people do/can provide support this way, but I'm betting most of us don't have unlimited discretional funds.  And frankly, I'm not sure that even if I did, I would want to support anyone this way.

The world is already too divided among the haves and have nots to drill down even more into those who can pay $3.00 a month and those who cannot.  

And if you are a podcaster, and still providing something online for free, I also don't want to always hear about what you offered to "my Patreon supporters" and not the the rest of us.  In this case, as far as I'm concerned, ignorance *is* bliss.  And personally I just think it's rude to keep mentioning all of the amazing things that they receive that the rest of us mere mortals do not.

Does this greatly change my life or my daily functioning?  No.  Does it have an effect on my crafting or the things I make.  No.  It's just to me more about the principle of the thing.  It completely turns me off when I hear about yet another person deciding to start a Patreon group and how wonderful it will be for those who support them.

It's a free country.  Spend your money the way you like, do things in a way that makes you happy and helps you to feel you are valued.  I get it.  It doesn't mean I have to like it, or even give it my own personal approval.

Now.  Aren't you glad you kept reading?  Feel free to write your own blog post about how it annoys you when bloggers complain about things they don't need to buy/participate in/do.  I'll get that too.  😏

Anyway, regardless of how you feel about any of this - or about anything at all, for that matter - I hope you have a good weekend.  I am getting my hair cut tomorrow afternoon, which I'm excited about.  Awful summer weather is due to return and continue though, and I'm less excited about that.  

But on the plus side, I figure that's why iced tea was invented, right?

02 August 2021

Wrapping Up With the Week 4 Winner

Happy August!  Seems weird to say "August" but time marches on, even if I am confused about it.  

There were so many good answers to my question for Week 4 of Christmas in July - I loved reading them, and they also made me very hungry!  There were a few things that were completely new to me, and others that I've never tried, even though I know people who enjoy them, and then of course the tried and true favorites.  I also found a few things that I completely forgot could be special holiday goodies, so thanks for the reminders!

When I asked the random number generator to choose a winner, it rolled around for a bit (OK, maybe the Internet connection lapsed briefly) but finally landed on:

***Dee!***

Here is what she said in response to the question of about a favorite food that you make for a holiday and *could* make other times of year, but just do not:

"I'll be right behind you scooping up the dressing/stuffing/filling ... only made at Thanksgiving.  I think that way it tastes extra good because it is rare.

I make it just the way my mom did. Nothing else would do. Funny thing is, it is the exact way Steve's mom made it too. So no huffin' and fussin' at Thanksgiving over whos dressing to make."

This made me laugh, because the first time we made stuffing for Thanksgiving after we were married, The Tim and I also realized that our moms made stuffing 99% the same too!  My mother-in-law added one different ingredient, and it is not something that makes the overall recipe vastly different.  If nothing else, it adds a bit of extra, complementary flavor, so it's all good.

Dee, I know I have your address with my Christmas card stuff, but just so that I don't have to dig it out, please send me your mailing address when you have the chance, so I can get things going.  I'm hoping to send all of the packages out by the end of this week.  I'll let everyone know when they are on their way.

And remember, there is still one prize available, so if you have added a comment on ANY of the posts for the giveaways, you are eligible - no further action is necessary!  I'll announce that winner in the next couple of days.

I really want to say another huge thank you to everyone who has participated this year!  I can say that I really and truly enjoy doing this, and I have made some new blog friends and acquaintances every year, which makes me very happy.  I do wish I had enough prizes for everyone, but I hope you know that the drawings really are random, and I am never involved directly other than telling the random number generator the number ranges to use.

******

The weekend was freakin' lovely here!  I mean pretty, comfortable days and nights with the windows open, and a sheet pulled over you by morning.  Just the best.  We did nothing special, but enjoyed some nice walks, and cleaning up a bit outside since we could do that without being ready to pass out from the heat and humidity.  It was a nice, calm, enjoyable two days, and for once the weekend felt longer than just those days, which at least for me, I can't say happens that often.

I got some knitting done, some reading done, and organized some other things to plan ahead.  I also actuallly cleaned the house, which wasn't too bad - because since I've kept up with it more than usual, there wasn't a whole lot to do.  I wish I could keep that up, but like most other things, it goes in spurts.  So I'll enjoy it while I can.  

I hope this week will be kind to all of us.  Take care.

30 July 2021

Karma

I had a different post in mind for today, but it can wait.  I wanted to ask you to please keep a good thought and if you are the praying type, a prayer for some friends of ours.

Yesterday, Hamlet's fellow guide dog and partner, Karma, headed to doggie heaven.  They lived together for 9 years, and guided their people Sharon and Jeff for all of that time.  Sharon and Jeff of course, loved them both as their dogs, not just as their guides, and Karma was one of the happiest pups ever.  She was a black Lab mix, slightly smaller than Hammy, but with the biggest puppy personality!  She was all wiggles and kisses.  Shortly after Hamlet retired and came to live with us, Karma was retired and went to live with a friend of Sharon and Jeff's named Karen.  That was another match of epic love, and Karma had a happy retirement filled with another family of love, fun, and adventures.

My favorite Karma memory was of the couple of times we visited Sharon and Jeff to see if adopting Hamlet might work out.  Karma immediately fell in love with The Tim.  Whenever we would sit down, she would actively push me off of the couch, so she could cuddle up next to him!  She would give him about a thousand kisses and demand constant pets (and of course he loved it too).  She was one of the sweetest pups I've ever met or been around, and I know that today, Sharon, Jeff, and Karen and her family feel bereft that she is no longer around to give them cuddles, comfort, and kisses.

Here is a photo from a few years ago, when we all converged on Jeff and Sharon's house to have a reunion, as well as meet their new guide dogs.  This is Karma and Hamlet giving nose kisses (after which they both went crazy realizing who each other were!), while Sharon is in the background with her new guide dog, Oakley, who clearly wants in on the fun.


When you think about it, guide dogs have such a broad grouping of family - their original families when they are born; then the puppy raisers who socialize and give them basic training; then those that they guide; and then finally their retirement families.  That's a lot of changes for a doggie life - but it's also a LOT of love from so many people the whole time!  

Happy trails, Karma, and enjoy wiggling, cuddling, kissing, and playing all of the time in heaven.  Thank you for being an angel on earth before you became one of the angels above.

29 July 2021

Three

I wanted to post for Three on Thursday today, but couldn't think of three particular things to talk about. Then I started thinking about things grouped into threes.

Not only were there Three Little Pigs, but if you take it further, the Big Bad Wolf threatened to "huff (1), and puff (2), and blow the house down (3)."



Three things that all of us are encouraged to do.


It's one, two, three strikes you're out at the old ball game!


The Three Bears were not all that pleased with a visit from Goldilocks.

And I could go on, but since it is in fact supposed to be Three on Thursday, and I've already shown four things, I will stop.  But it did get me on a tear, I have to say!

Having said all of that, just remember that according to Paul Simon, there are Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover ... 😏

28 July 2021

Week 4 - How Is It Already Week 4??


Hi all!  I'll admit I wasn't ready for this!  Though in many ways July felt eternal (it was soooooo hot and sooooo humid!), I find it hard to wrap my head around the fact that this is the last week of July.  

Which also means it's the last week of
Christmas in July 2021!!

I have to tell all of you that I have really appreciated your willingness to play along and answer my mostly silly questions.  It really would be fun to be able to send a package to every single person, but until I win the lottery (meaning I would have to actually purchase a ticket), I fear that will not be the case.

Anyhoo, here is the prize for this week's giveaway:


It's a basket of goodies!


Obviously, this small basket - large enough for a sock project or some other small item.  You could also store needles, notions, or whatever strikes your fancy in it.

Also included are a set of stitch holders, and a skein of Must Stash Sock Yarn in the Father Christmas colorway, which as you can see has lovely shades in it, and it is not IN YOUR FACE Christmas-y.  This is a stripey skein, I think it creates 10 stripes per repeat.  (The skein is currently upstairs and I am currently downstairs.  I'm afraid that laziness wins out here, people.)

Like what you see?  Well then tell me your answer to this question:

What is one of your VERY FAVORITE holiday dishes that you cannot wait to have at a holiday, and for whatever reason you never make any other time of the year, even though you could?

Potato salad only on the 4th of July??  Pumpkin pie only at Thanksgiving??  You get the idea.

If you are interested in being part of the giveaway, post a comment containing your answer on this post only, no later than 12 noon U.S. Eastern Daylight time on Sunday, August 1, 2021 (August 1!!!).  I'll choose a winner, once again relying on the random number generator, and announce said winner on Monday.   

My answer to this question would have to be stuffing.  I absolutely adore stuffing at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I start to think about it at the beginning of November, and my mouth waters at just the suggestion!  Could I make it anytime during the year?  Of course!  Do I make it at any other time?  Nope.  I don't even consider making it.  I like to think that it's because only having it those two times during the wintertime holidays makes it extra special, and maybe even extra yummy.  But it could also be that I am just not as motivated to take the time to do it any other time of year ... 

Right now though, some stuffing would sure taste good. 😋

P.S. Please once again excuse any weirdness in layout, font, etc. here.  After posting last week from my tablet, everything is now changed in settings for the blog, and I probably won't be able to adjust things until this weekend.  Just wanted to let you know - I'm sure you're all up in arms about it, right???

26 July 2021

Two Winners, But Only One Is For Week 3

Hello and I hope your weekend was a good one!  Mine was frustrating, but OK.  You may have heard that Google sent out an update for Chromebooks with a typo in it, causing users to not be able to log in.  They sent out a fix, but as of right now, my laptop has not been updated, and I need to use my laptop for work, so I will have to use the nuclear option, and wipe it clean and start all over, losing some stuff again.  I'm upset, but since I lost SO MUCH MORE when my previous laptop died, I'm kind of just numb about it now.

But overall the weekend was fine, and there's more about the best part at the end of the post.

Now to the reason most of you are here, the announcement of Week 3's winner.  Roll the drums, because the winner is:

EllenD !!!!!!

This was her response to the question about reading words, thinking they were pronounced one way, and then hearing/learning the actual pronounciation.

We had to take turns reading aloud (and I hated doing it).  I pronounced the word "pigeon""pie-gee-n" and the whole class burst out laughing.  I was so embarrassed!

Ellen, CONGRATULATIONS on being the winner this week!  When you get a chance, please send your complete name and mailing address in an e-mail to thekittyknitterATverizon.net (I promise that's  correct!).

I had so much fun finding out that all of you also had experiences similar to mine - isn't it funny how words - often even simple ones - can throw you off a cliff?  Thanks for participating. 😊

******
So I mentioned last week that I was headed out on Sunday to a baseball game with my friend Lisa.  Well, that was yesterday, and boy did we have fun!  It was absolutely wonderful to get to see and hug her in person bed catch up!  Plus it was amazing to get to see this in person again after so long:


The usher in our section was kind enough to take our picture:


The Tim: WHY does your hair look weird?
Me: Because I was super sweaty and had just taken off my hat.
The Tim: Well it looks really weird.
Me: Go away.

Aaron Nola pitched, and wow was he on point!  I the 9th inning, the Phillies were ahead 2-1, we needed only one more out to win, and a Braves hitter got a home run - at which time the manager TOOK HIM OUT OF THE GAME, much to the extreme dismay of those of us in the stands (of course, EPIC booing ensued).  But fortunately as soon as the next guy was pitching, he struck him out and we won the game!!!

I was exhausted by the time I got home,  but in the best way.  It was a wonderful day, an impressive game, and a win on top of it was the perfect way to end the weekend.

Let's hope this week will try to be as agreeable. 

***Apologies for any weird formatting or other wonkiness in this post.  I'm not that good with all of it on my tablet,  and have only so much patience at any given time to figure things out.

21 July 2021

Week 3 Is Already Upon Us!


 Hello there, and welcome to Week #3 of Christmas in July!!  

If this were Double Jeopardy, I would say that this is when the scores double, and anything can happen - but it's not, and we are not keeping score (well, at least I'm not), but I guess anything could still happen ...

In this week's drawing, the giveaway prize definitely NOT be a year's worth of Rice-a-Roni.  (When I was a kid, it seemed that a lot game shows had the consolation prize of a year's worth of Rice-a-Roni, "The San Franciso Treat" - I found this intriguing, because a) I had never ever had Rice-a-Roni, and b) it was always shown with a stock image of a cablecar, and that seemed incredibly exotic to me!)

Anyway, moving away from game shows, let's see what the prize is for this week:


Though the project bag is Christmas-themed, the book is most definitely not!  

This is a project bag that is definitely a good size for a sock project, or any other smaller types of things you may be knitting.  I purchased it from Sugar Tots a few years ago, but I have so many holiday-themed project bags, I have never ever used it.  It's so cute, I wanted it to have a happy home with a knitter who would use it and appreciate it.

As for the book, the Goodreads summary is here, and my review of it is here. It does take place in Philadelphia, but you don't have to be familiar with the city to enjoy it.  It's a good story, and is as much about families and relationships as it is about opioids and those who are suffering addiction.  (But it has nothing to do with Christmastime or the holiday season as a setting to the story.)  I won my copy in a Goodreads giveaway, so it seemed only fair to pass it along in another kind of giveaway.

Here's your question for this week:

What is a word or phrase/expression that you first encountered in print, and mentally pronounced one way, only to then actually hear it, and you'd missed the right pronunciation altogether?

Let me know in the comments on this post only.  You have until 12 noon (U.S. Eastern Daylight Time) on Sunday, July 25, 2021.  I'll once again call on the random number generator, and announce the winner in a post on Monday.  And don't forget - any comments will also give you an entry into the final prize for this year!

My answer - well, I have two that came to mind.  I used to love Nancy Drew mysteries, and sh would be referred to often as a "girl sleuth." I understood what it meant from the context, but in my head I thought it was pronounced as SLEE-UTH.  I was amazed to learn that "sloth" was correct.

The other was the expression "C'mon," which for who knows what reason I thought was short for "See you on Monday."  It didn't necessarily make a lot of sense when someone in a book would say, "See you on Monday, let's go to the store," but I would just move along.  Then one time I heard someone reading aloud say it, and then it made a lot more sense ... 😂

Your turn!