29 March 2021

A Poem for a Monday

Hello all - I came across this poem this morning, and thought it was worth sharing.

Today I asked my body what she needed,
Which is a big deal
Considering my journey of
Not Really asking That Much. 

I thought she might need more water.
or protein.
or greens.
or yoga
or supplements
or movement.

But as I stood in the shower
Reflecting on her stretch marks,
Her roundness where I would like flatness,
Her softeness where I would like firmness,
All those conditioned wishes
That bundle of 
She whispered very gently:

Could you just love me like this?

-- Hollie Holden

26 March 2021

Friday Funnies - Last Friday of March Edition

I'm sorely tempted to post this cartoon on the door to my office at work, but the people it would be directed towards would miss it, I'm sure.

This one just pleased me: 
(if you click on this one, you can see it larger to read the text)

These two just spoke to me:

(if you click on this one, you can see it larger to read the text)

And this one just pleases me:

Have a lovely weekend, and I hope you find something to make you smile!

25 March 2021

Today in My Brain

You know, I could have posted yesterday, and thought I probably would, but then completely forgot about it.  I sincerely hope that all of you managed to get through your days nonetheless ...

Today I'm going to share another Three on Thursday post, because why not?  I have three things happening in my brain today so that's a good start.

Thing #1 - I have decided that I am going to work harder to embrace "OK."  I tend to be a perfectionist more with myself than with anything else to be honest.  As a result, I seldom reach the great heights that I think I should, and often end up in the depths below.  Whereas, it recently occurred to me that "OK" is absolutely fine, and most of life is lived in "OK."  If things are OK, it means they are neither magnificent nor dreadful.  So I'm going to try and embrace that concept.  If things head downwards, well, they do; but if they go up, it's just a bonus!

Thing #2 - Unless you have been specifically asked to assist/comment/whatever, the five words you should keep to yourself are "You really should do [this]."  Nothing is more annoying than having an upsetting or negative experience, or not getting the result you'd hoped to get, than having a third party who was not involved and whom you did not ask, say this to you.  Often the SHOULD is not something you could have done/said anyhow, and other times, you have already figured it out yourself.  Think whatever you want to think about what someone else SHOULD do or say, but unless they ask you, just keep it tucked away with the other golden nuggets of wisdom in your brain.

Thing #3 - Everything is political.  I remember the first class I took in Political Science in college.  The professor gave us an assignment for the next class, which was to record every single thing that was political in our day, to see how much each of us felt politics was a regular part of our lives.  Everyone came to the next class with really good contributions, but then the professor took us through his day.  It went something like this:  

I get up at 8 a.m. each morning.  (The time zones are set and agreed to by people in organizations other than myself.)  I brush my teeth.  (Water provison and regulation is set by the town, state, and federal government; toothbrush manufacure follows national guidelines.)  I turn on the radio while I get dressed.  (The Federal Communcations Commission controls what goes over the airwaves.)  

And he went on like this throughout the entirety of a day.  Granted, this was exrtreme in its detail and scope, but what he was trying to emphasize was that for as much as people claim to be disinterested or not involved in politics, or for as much as they think politics should only be brought into certain types of discussions, that politics is in fact everywhere around us all of the time.  And that ignoring politics implies a certain degree of privilege.  Whenever I see someone getting upset because a designer/dyer/knitter expresses a political opinion, and others immediately say, "Keep politics out of knitting," I think of this lesson.  It was an interesting exercise, to say the least.

That's it for Today in My Brain.  I hope yours is keeping you company as well.  😉

22 March 2021

An Overdue FO Post

I hope the day is a nice one wherever you are.  It's sunny and supposed to be about 60 degrees Fahrenheit today here, so it truly feels like a spring day!  Of course, that also means I'll have to have tissues handy, since I'm sure my allergies will be saying, "Yay, it's spring, let's really drive her crazy!"

Anyway, I wanted to share an FO that I actually finished last month, but forgot to post about.  And since this blog is as much to document my projects as it is anything else, I wanted it to have it's turn in the sun, so to speak.

TA DA!  Finito!

Project:  Stripey Kerchief
Pattern:  Polkagris Kerchief, by Kate Davies (Ravelry link)
Needles:  US size 3
Yarn:  Milarrochy Tweed, in the Hirst (natural) and Lochan (navy) colorways
Modifications:  None
Notes:  As I mentioned in a previous post, I knit this to replace my Silk Kerchief, which I loved and wore to the point where it started to just fall apart.  Since the pattern is no longer available, and I was not able to retrieve the patterns I had saved on my previous computer, I had to find something else.  I thought this pattern might fit the bill.

This was a VERY quick knit, and if you know how to do kfb (knit in the front and back of the stitch) increase, you're good to go.  I knit this in a week, and it only took that long because I also worked on other projects.  I like the way it turned out, and think that the straight lines in the middle are a cool feature.  

Of course, now that it's finished, I haven't had a chance to wear it, and I just put it away until next year.  It's either been seriously cold, requiring a long scarf, or a temperature where something around my neck would just be too warm.  So I'll be thrilled to see it next winter, I'm sure.  Then I will be able to determine if I have the same love and devotion to it as I did to my Silk Kerchief ... 😉


Another week is underway, so hopefully it will be a good one, or at least not a terrible one.  I have a dr appt later this morning, and another one on Wednesday afternoon, but besides those and of course being back at work after my week of vacation (😭), I don't have any other obligations that I know of at the moment.  I am hoping to get a couple of small projects finished that I planned to work on last week, but that were left alone since I ended up not having the mental capacity I had expected to have.  

And I also just realized that the first weekend in April - which is only a couple of weeks away - is Easter!  I guess I just assumed it was later in the month, and boy was I surprised ... I hadn't really thought of it since I knew I wouldn't need to prepare for our usual company.  This will be the second year we won't be having Easter with my niece Amanda and her husband Pat.  Oh well, NEXT YEAR OR BUST, right???

19 March 2021

Observations From a Birthday Week Vacation in the Second Year of Covid-19

As you may or may not know, I have taken this week as vacation from work.  I usually try to take time off around my birthday, because why not?  Last year, I had planned to do so, but then we were sent home for "two weeks, probably" after March 13, so I was home anyway, without any work that I could easily do, working from home.

Anyway, this year I have been working in our building on Tuesdays and Thursdays since this past August, and of course working from home (as much as I can in my job, which is a challenge), so I decided to return to my tradition, and I also decided to take the entire week as vacation.  I have the time available to me, and really - where I am going to go anywhere soon?  

Since this is the last work day of my vacation, I thought I would share some of my observations from this past week.

OK, this first part is something I've thought all of my life, but this past week has only made me a firmer believer:

1. WHY are Americans so stingy with time off?  First of all, generally most people don't get a lot of vacation time, or holidays off, and then when you actually want to try and take that time, you're looked at like someone who just ate a baby!  I know, I know - the Protestant work ethic, American productivity, blah, blah, blah.  Excuse me, but that is just a way of justifying the crappy treatment most people receive from their employers.  You ask for even a day off, and it's like the company will dissolve because you are not there - even if most of the time, your presence is either not acknowledged at all, or you are generally dismissed as unimportant.  God forbid you take time for YOURSELF - I mean, they're already being so generous, what with evenings and weekends for your interests.  And yet, in other countries, where people have been receiving much more generous amounts of time off, somehow it's all still standing in spite of that.  I know some people LOVE their work, and love to be at work, but Work Is Not Life.

2.  This week I had two meetings scheduled related to my work.  One was with the person who is our new supervisor, who also happens to be the CEO of the place.  This is until our current supervisor comes back from sabbatical, or at least that's what they are saying.  In any case, we are not allowed [seriously, not allowed] to reschedule our meetings with him (he can, we cannot).  And this one was for a "Performance Discussion," which is what our annual reviews are now called. (Puh-leeze.)

So, OK, I figured having to go to that meeting on Tuesday morning was something I could do and then go on with enjoying my time off.  WRONG.  Nope, after being told in the meeting that he could not figure out why I was still employed because he saw no reason for my position to still exist, and that I would need to amp up my goals in order to continue to have a job - well, let's just say that threw me for quite the loop!  And as you may imagine, ruined my happy mood and mental health big time.  So much so, that just yesterday afternoon, I started to talk myself out of worrying about it since I am supposed to be on vacation.  And once again - when your time off is not really time off, that's just not fair.  If we had not been doing Zoom meetings all year, I would have not been able to meet with this guy during my vacation - the meeting would not have been possible (trust me, I would have claimed to be in Lichtenstein or someplace if I had to).  But no, since we could meet, we had to meet.  I was also supposed to meet with the consultant hired at work so that she could advise me on being more of a team player.  That was supposed to be yesterday.  I sent her an e-mail saying something had come up unexpectedly and I could not possibly do it until I was back at work next week.  (Technically it was the truth - bad mental health had come up - but even so, I decided I needed the rest of my vacation to be free from work stress and so that meeting was just not gonna happen.)  Jesus Christ in a dress, is there no escape from work anymore???

3.  Moving on from the ugly stuff, in truth, I am really glad I took a week of vacation.  Even though the weather has been not that great, I have enjoyed being able to be at home and [for the most part] not have work crap hanging over my head.  I have been reading, knitting, and being lazy, even if I had other plans that didn't end up happening.  (Admittedly they might have, had I not been so depressed/upset/thrown off for a couple of days, but there you are.)  Would it have been nice to be able to go out to breakfast for my birthday?  Yes, but since I hadn't planned on it, there was no disappointment there.  And I like being at home and on my own schedule.  So although there were no particularly special plans for the week, it's been a good one.

4.  I had a *very* slight reaction from my second Covid vaccine shot.  I felt fine for the rest of the day when I got it (this past Monday), and then overnight that night I woke up with chills and a low fever.  I felt a little bit crappy when I woke up on Tuesday morning, but by lunchtime I was fine.  I'm absolutely sure that whatever the reaction is, it's still better than coming down with the virus!

5.  This morning we had an "international" kind of car trip, stopping at a few places.  First up, The Tim wanted to go to the Asian market for some things, so we stopped there first.  Then we stopped at the Italian bakery where they have ZEPPOLES every year on March 19th for St. Joseph's Day, so we'll have those for dessert tonight.  Then on the way home, we stopped at a Middle Eastern lunch place where the make the absolute best grilled falafel sandwiches ever!  We brought things home, put away what needed to go into the fridge and enjoyed our sandwiches.  It's been years since I've had one, and I am happy to say, I was not disappointed.  So we're definitely eating well today.  😀

I can promise you, we got only one for each of us.  Such a treat, and so worth it!

All of which means that the good news is, that vacation week is ending on a good note, which is how it should be.  And I'm grateful for that, since I'll have plenty of time next week for other feelings and frustrations.

Here's hoping that your week was a good one, or that if not, it's ending on a good note like mine is.  Have a good weekend, and remember to try your best to enjoy whatever you can, whenever you can!

18 March 2021

The Not-So-Big Three

Hello everyone - it's been a while since I participated in Three on Thursday, but today I had the inspiration to do so.  The other day I realized that it's been a little while since I shared any progress on my knitting projects, and so that is what I'll do today.

1.  Yesterday I finished the first sock of a pair I've been knitting:

I like the way it turned out.  However, in true Bridget fashion, I failed to choose a contrasting heel/toe yarn that would have enough for *two* socks in the leftover ball I was using.  Sigh.  It doesn't really matter to me, but when I finished the toe and had about 8 inches of yarn left, I said to myself, "Well, that isn't surprising."  Self-awareness is important, you know ... 

2.  I've made a lot of progress on my Advent Throw!

I am through 19 of the 24 mini-skeins that were in my yarny Advent calendar.  This has been one of the most enjoyable things I've worked on, not just because I'm enjoying the minis, but the pattern (Habitation Throw by Helen Stewart - a Ravelry link, fyi) is so pleasant to knit!  I can see a few of these down the road, even just as stashbusters and perhaps even as gifts.  It's one of those patterns that is just interesting enough to require some attention, but not so much attention that you can't do anything else.

3.  And yesterday - though I had thought and even said I would do so sooner - I sat down and ripped out part of the sleeve on the sweater I've been knitting.

OK, this is not a "current" photo, but it's the most recent one I have, so work with me here, people.  Anyway as you may or may not recall, I had gotten onto the cuff of the first sleeve, and decided that it looked suspiciously big for me.  So I tried it on, and though the top part of the sleeve was fine, the bottom and the cuff were not - I had way too much room and knew it would bother me.  I don't' like my sleeves and cuffs tight, but I also don't like it when they are so big that my arm and wrist swim in them.  So yesterday I ripped back to just below the elbow.  I'll do some more frequent decreases and see if I can hit on the right amount for the fit and comfort that I like.  As much as I was dreading having to rip back about 1/2 of a nearly-completed sleeve, now that I have done it, I'm both happy about it and ready to try and get it right for me.  My first attempts will be today - it's rainy and raw outside, so a perfect day for some knitting!

I have noticed that in 2021, I have still been enjoying my knitting, but for whatever reason, I'm moving on all of it more slowly.  Nothing I'm working on is overly hard or complicated, and I like all of my projects.  It just seems that during February and so far in March, I'm spending more time both on other things and on nothing.  I have no deadlines, nor do I answer to anyone other than myself, but it is something that occurred to me.  

Anyway, that's the story for today.  I hope you have a good day, regardless of whatever may be happening outside wherever you are.

17 March 2021

From Everyone At Our House ...

 Happy St. Patrick's Day!

15 March 2021

Oh Excuse Me? You're Upset That the Clocks Moved Forward an Hour??

Well, imagine what it feels like to wake up and realize that for you, it wasn't just an hour, but a YEAR! 😉

Overnight from Saturday to Sunday, a lot of places in the U.S. turned our clocks one hour ahead ("spring forward").  This always causes a lot of whining and hand-wringing, and frankly it really doesn't bother me one way or the other, just the same as in the fall when we turn the clocks back ("fall backwards").  But this year, *my* clock sprung forward a year overnight from Saturday to Sunday!  I went to bed at the age of 64 and woke up at the age of 65!

Yep, yesterday was my birthday - YAY!!!  On Friday, this card arrived in the mail from a friend of mine; when you press the little sound button at the top right, it plays a meow version of Happy Birthday, which is hilarious.  

It was a lovely day, and I really enjoyed every bit of it.  The Tim, the kitties, and Hamlet helped me celebrate and though it was my second Covid birthday, that did not mean it wasn't a good one.  And I heard from friends and family with good wishes, so even if once again we couldn't really go anywhere, it really didn't matter. 

It was especially nice, since on Saturday we had worked on cleaning up the house and because it was in such a state, it really ended up eating most of the day.  So having yesterday to purposely relax and just do whatever we felt like doing was extra luxurious.

And after last week, where I spent a good portion of the week fighting with a migraine, I was happy that it happened earlier in the week rather than later.

Of course, this guy turned 9 years old last Thursday, so we also had a little party then:

I told him that this whole coming week was Koodle and Ma Birthday Week, so we can keep celebrating.  I'm continuing my celebration today by heading over to Penn very shortly and receiving my 2nd dose of the Covid-19 vaccine - and trust me, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that getting a vaccine would be considered a continuation of a birthday celebration!  

Strange days, indeed.

I hope your week goes well.  Mine should be good, because I took vacation all week, and other than a meeting I *have* to attend tomorrow morning for about 45 minutes, I don't have to think about or deal with work at all.  That in and of itself is another gift ... 

12 March 2021

Friday Funnies - A Year Later Edition

Remember when we were all so innocent that when things closed down, we thought it would just be "a little while?"  I remember a year ago tomorrow, March 13, we were called into a last-minute meeting at work to say that we were being sent home due to Covid-19 rates rising, and we would be quarantined "for at least a couple of weeks, but maybe as long as July."  And I can remember thinking that being quarantined until July just sounded like crazy talk!  

Mona Lisa understands.

Oh yeah.  😏

Have a good weekend, and remember that hope is actually on the horizon.  Finally, the light is coming closer!

05 March 2021

Random Thoughts for a Friday

How has your week been?  Mine was fine - nice and uneventful at work (thank God!), pleasant enough weather, and some good reading and knitting.  It's really been a nice, ordinary, quiet, and unremarkable time, and that feels like something that is different than usual.  

Which means that I have been thinking my random thoughts.  Which means I'm going to share some of them.  Which means you have been warned, so if you get to the end and think "So?" - you have only yourself to blame!

  • You may have seen this image or versions of it over the last couple of days:


This is from Fibre Space, in Alexandria, Virginia, where Madame Vice President Kamala Harris stopped for a yarn purchase.  I knew that her stepdaughter was a prolific knitter, but apparently Kamala (which I like to call her, because I'm sure we'd be good friends) is a crocheter.  This pleases me in the most ridiculous way.
  • Last night for dinner, The Tim made the pasta dish that is all over TikTok apparently (I really don't pay that much attention to TikTok unless someone I know sends me a link, but apparently someone sent him this one).  Our verdict: It was yummy, but at least for us, a bit too salty.  We love feta cheese, and use it regularly, but for whatever reason, either the particular block of cheese we used, or the combination in the recipe of ingredients made the dish taste particularly salty.  We have gotten out of the habit of adding salt to our food (well, The Tim has - I never really was a salt person to start), and so when we come across something like this, it tastes like we have consumed a salt lick!  We might try it again, with the usual kind of feta we have to see if that changes the outcome.
  • I had requested this for Christmas, and ended up receiving it for Valentine's Day.  The Tim said he ordered it early in November, but with the mess that the mail service was at holiday time last year, it didn't arrive until the middle of January.  No matter, though.  I put it on the table next to my side of the bed.  And I have to say, it's cheaply made when you look closely, but when it is turned on, it is So.Very.Pretty!  It gives me such joy to see it, and even when lit in an otherwise completely dark room, has a pretty glow that is comforting light, but not too much light.  At the time, it was on sale for $19.99, and as much as I love mine, it's only barely worth that price as far as the quality of it.  But oh how it brings me joy!
  • I had a stunning realization the other day, and that was that I realized one of the things I missed the most during this pandemic was lipstick - ???  Now, I have to qualify that by saying it's not like I am a lipstick fiend - I have a few, and they are all colors that I like and think look good on me.  I would always put lipstick on in the morning before I left the house, and then it's not like I reapplied it all day.  But I always felt that it gave me an extra pop of color to get started.  I stopped putting it on when we all started to wear masks, because a) you can't see it, and b) it just smears off on the fabric of the mask anyway.  But the other evening we were getting ready to have a Zoom session with my niece and her husband, and I decided to put some on for that, and only then did I realize how much I missed wearing lipstick!  Odd but true.
  • We have recently been watching Lupin, and enjoying it so much!  Both of us enjoy thriller/mystery/crime stories, and this one is really appealing.  This one is not necessarily anything new or vastly different, but it's fun to see the sights of Paris, and the premise is a good one.  There's even part of an episode where the protagonist inadvertently reveals who he is, which does not generally happen.  We recommend it, if you have access to Netflix.
  • Today is apparently National Unplug Day, when we are all supposed to unplug from computers, phones, etc. and give ourselves a break.  I am clearly not doing that, but mostly because I don't overdo any of that, to be honest.  Particularly on weekends, I may only check online stuff once or twice a day.  But I know for people who a glued to their phones and other screens anyway, the pandemic has only increased that, so I hope for some it will be a beneficial thing to try.

And that's it for now.  I hope you have a good weekend.  I have no specific plans, just some ideas of things I'd like to try and get done.  But no specific deadlines or anything like that.  So I'm looking forward to just taking what comes and enjoying it.

I looked up a quote for the day, and this came up, so here you go:

"No one is perfect - that's why pencils have erasers."

Not a bad thing to keep in mind!  Take care, and I'll see you next week.

P.S. to friend and reader Alison - I hope you and yours are OK, I heard about the earthquake in New Zealand.  It sounded as if overall things were under control, but I hope that's really the case.  Take care!

02 March 2021

Small Progress with a Tiny Needle

Because it is Tiny Needle Tuesday, I thought I would show you my small amount of progress on my current counted cross stitch project:

OK, you can't see the white snowflakes that were already completed above the word "Warm," but in any case I managed to get that word completed, as well as the start of part of the border around it.  Not a vast amount, but as it is using a high count Aida cloth (well, for me at least), it's a LOT.  I am enjoying this project, but it will be a slow one because my poor eyes can only work on it for so long.  Plus, the lighting has to be good, and with the gloomy days we've been having, that's been an issue.

But I don't have a deadline for this - I'm making it for myself - so I can take as long as I need to and I want to enjoy working on it rather than feel like it's some kind of assignment.  So I cannot even estimate when you may see the whole thing completed.

Which of course does not mean that I have not seen approximately 45 other projects I would dearly love to start ... 😉

01 March 2021

Hello March!


Hello March!  As always. I'm glad to see you, and look forward to seeing daffodils pop up and look happy, hopefully by the end of the month.

This past weekend - bringing an end to February - was actually a good one, especially yesterday.  That makes me happy because the month started out pretty shakily for me, and I kept wondering what was happening.  But the fog lifted and the rest of the month was just fine.  We had a rainy weekend here in Philadelphia, but it might be just what my psyche needed.  On Saturday, my big adventure was to head over to Loop, which is open, but with limited occupancy.  The only other time I ventured over there, there was already a long line to go in, and I figured I'd try again another time.  So a Saturday morning when it was raining seemed to work out well.  

Since they were having a sale, I didn't want to take a lot of time to look around, in case others wanted to come in, so I got the double pointed needles I wanted to get, as well as these two kits:

I have a friend who has made a few of these, and they are SO adorable!  I expect they will be fiddly, but I'm game to try.

Yesterday was an even rainier day, and frankly, it was wonderful.  Other than brief forays outside with Hamlet so he could attend to his business, I spent the bulk of the day stitching and knitting.  I worked a bit more of my counted cross-stitch project, and then in the afternoon sat down with my blanket o'squares to work on a few.  It felt good, since it's been a while since I spent much time on it.  But working on that and watching a few podcasts to keep me company along with a cup or two of tea, made it a cozy, happy day.

And now, March 1 has arrived.  The month of Milo the Koodle's birthday, my birthday, St. Patrick's Day, St. Joseph's Day (zeppoles!!), and the first day of Spring, just to name a few things.  I am hoping that the ick at the beginning of February will be it for a while, and that March can be better all the way around, because if your birthday month can't treat you well, what is the point, you know??

I hope that the first week of March will be kind to all of us, and that even if it's not your birthday month, it will be a good one for you.