30 November 2021

Last of the Christmas 2021 Gift FOs

I told you that the next few posts would be about FOs, and so far they have been.  Today's is the last - no my last FO ever (God forbid!), but the last one that is a gift for a family member for Christmas.  This one is for my niece Liz's (she of yesterday's post) husband Greg. Probably one of the best people on the planet, hands down.  He is a social worker for the State of Maryland, and part of his job is removing children from dangerous family situations.  He is so dedicated to his work and his family, and so knitworthy, that once I decided to knit something for Liz, there was no way I wasn't going to make something for him!

Project: Greg's Musselburgh Hat
Pattern: Musselburgh (link to desigjner's website, but also on Ravelry)
Yarn: Emma's Yarn Practically Perfect Sock, in the colorway Take a Hike (green); and, KnitCircus Spectacular, in The Orange and the Green Speckle (variegated)
Needles:  US size 3
Modifications:  None (though I did something that worked for me for the cast on - see below)
Comments:  I know that everyone and their brother has made this hat, and raved about the pattern.  And I get it - a double-thick hat that is mostly just stockinette, going around and around?  Who objects to that?

I had two problems, both dealing with the start of the pattern: 1) the pinhole cast on, and 2) figuring out size/gauge using the chart in the pattern.  I know I've told you previously about my problems getting things cast on to my satisfaction.  I did finally get it, though my "helpful" (? - because it may not be at all for anyone else) tip is that once you get the initial stitches cast on, instead of distributing them on the needles and then knitting the first round, knit the first round and distribute them as you are doing that.  This, at least for me, meant that the stitches were nice and snug on the needles, and that it was easier to make sure you had things ready to join in the round.  

As for figuring out the size/gauge using the chart in the pattern, I think that might just be a "me" thing.  But it took me a ridiculous amount of time to get it figured out to the point where I felt confident continuing.  Once that was done, the rest truly was smooth sailing!  

The green yarn was truly lovely to work with - it was soft, but not too soft, and the color is much brighter than these photos show - more like a bright forest green, not as subdued.  The variegated yarn was awful - really splitty, and extremely slippery, regardless of what needles were used.  I had originally cast on with that yarn, and nearly gave up the whole idea.  But then I decided to give it a try starting with the green yarn, and well, you can see the results. 😀

I'm going to try and wrap it up for Greg in its form in the first photo, because my other niece Amanda has agreed to take a video of him trying to figure out WTF it is when he opens it.  He's one of those guys who likes to figure things out, but has a running commentary as he's doing it, so we can't wait to see him figure out just what this gift might be ...

So I am ending the month of November by showing you the things I'm sending off as gifts this year.  It feels good to have been able to decide and get things done well in advance, and have them ready to send.  My plan is to get the gifts wrapped this weekend, so that The Tim can mail them next week.  Theoretically, they will arrive in time, but once they leave our hands, that's out of our control, so we'll just hope for the best.

On to Christmastime!

29 November 2021

An FO For a Monday

Hello to all of you!  I hope your Thanksgiving was a lovely one if you celebrate, and that in any case, you had a good weekend.  

Today I have another FO for you:

Project: Birthday Cake Close to You
Pattern: Close to You, by Justyna Lorkowska (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Dye Is Cast Squish Wish Sock, in the colorway Sweet Sixteen
Needles: US size 6
Modifications: The pattern calls for a total of 19 eyelet rows, and I did 20, because a) I had enough yarn, and b) I could not do 19 when I had enough to get to a nice, round, even number.
Comments: First of all, the yarn.  This yarn was specifically dyed for the sixteenth anniversary of my LYS, Loop.  You can't really tell from my photos, but it is a cream base, with flecks of various colors, to resemble Funfetti cake and frosting (remember that?).  It's lovely yarn, and really really really nice to use for knitting - soft, squishy (truth in advertising), and it shows the pattern detail nicely.

You may recall this this yarn was originally for a Hipster Shawl for my niece Julie - well, I got a bit into that pattern, and there was just too much going on for my brain.  Plus, I realized that I knit things for Julie and family last year for Christmas, so I decided to switch gears altogether and knit something for her sister, Liz.  Liz was born on December 25 - so they celebrate Christmas on the morning of that day, and "Lizmas" (as the family calls it) in the afternoon.  I wanted to find something special, because Liz is a wonderful and sweet person, but given what her other sisters are usually up to, she is often in the background.  When I saw this pattern, I knew I wanted to knit it for her - and even better, the pattern is a freebie!

This is a well-written pattern, and once you do one or two of the pattern repeats, it's in your head, which is always nice, so you don't have to keep stopping to look every once in a while.  It was truly a joyful knitting experience, because as you go along, it just keeps looking prettier and prettier.  I can't wait to send it to her because I think she will be genuinely surprised, and hopefully pleased.

(In the above photo, it reminds me of a bird's wings in flight.)

I can highly recommend this pattern.  If you are a person who cannot use Ravelry, you might want to ask someone who doesn't have issues to print it for you, because I don't see that she has another place where it's available (truth alert: I didn't spend a ton of time looking, sorry!).  Anyway, you should get it one way or another and knit away - you will NOT be disappointed!

28 November 2021

First Sunday of Advent 2021

First Coming, by Madeleine L'Engle

He did not wait till the world was ready, 
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine.

He did not wait till hearts were pure.
In joy he came into a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
He came, and his light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

26 November 2021

Friday: Feeling Full and a Small FO

Happy Day After Thanksgiving!  I hope yours went well, and that you were able to spend it as you wished.  Ours got a bit derailed when The Tim got a phone call on Wednesday afternoon from his work, calling him in on Thanksgiving Day from 7-3.  So that was disappointing, but at least he could be home for dinner and for an evening together.  

Everything for our holiday dinner was delicious, and topped off with pumpkin pie later in the evening, it all added up to being a good day.  This morning for breakfast I had some raspberries that we had in the fridge and that was plenty, since I still feel full from yesterday!  I love raspberries, but I was hoping I'd feel like having pumpkin pie for breakfast, since that is one of my most favorite day-after treats of all.  😀

How lucky am I that something like that is my biggest problem??


Ending November, I'll show you some FOs that I knit as gifts, and finally got around to photographing.  

Project: Makeup Remover Cloths
Pattern: My own
Yarn: Leftover Knit Picks CotLin yarn from a previous project
Needles: US size 7
Comments: I had wanted to make some of these to give with a mini-sized makeup remover to four of my nieces who have birthdays in December.  I had the leftover yarn, and since it is 50% cotton and 50% linen, I knew it could go into the washer and the dryer.  (And I wanted to use the leftovers.)

So I cast on 18 stitches, and made certain that I slipped the first stitch in each row and then knit the last stitch in each row, so they would have neat sides. Then I knit for 24 rows, and did the usual bind off.  Each pad is approximately 3 inches by 3.5 inches, and though they are not necessarily "professional" looking, I'm pleased with them, and they will serve the purpose nicely.  I would say each cloth took around 25-30 minutes to knit.

I managed to get 23 cloths out of my leftover yarn - I kept the first three, since they were sort of the templates, and didn't end up looking that great.  Since I certainly don't mind, I'll use those.  But that meant I had 20 cloths left, so I managed to have 5 for each niece, which seemed very reasonable to me.  

So I'll package them like this, with a ribbon tied around the little box and the cloths, and put them into a gift bag.  This makes me very happy, because it all turned out just the way I had pictured it in my head.

Few things are more rewarding than having a plan and then being able to make it all work, don't you think?

Good wishes for a happy weekend - if you are traveling, I hope your trip will be completely uneventful.  Take care.

25 November 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

Best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful holiday and time together.

23 November 2021

A Poem For the Tuesday Before Thanksgiving

Starfish, by Eleanor Lerman

This is what life does. It lets you walk up to
the store to buy breakfast and a paper, on a
stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have
your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman
down beside you at the counter who say, Last night,
the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder, 
is this a message, finally, or just another day?

Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the
pond, where generations of biological 
processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds
speak to you of the natural world; they whisper,
they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old
enough to appreciate the moment? Too old?
There is movement beneath the water, but it
may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.

And then life suggests that you remember the
years you ran around, the years you developed
a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon,
owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are
genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have 
become. And then life lets you go home to think
about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.

Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one
who never had any conditions, the one who waited
you out. This is life's way of letting you know that
you are lucky. (It won't give you smart or brave,
so you'll have to settle for lucky.) Because you
were born at a good time. Because you were able
to listen when people spoke to you. Because you
stopped when you should have and started again.

So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
late night dessert. (And pie for the dog, as well.) And 
then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland,
while outside, the starfish drift through the channel,
with smiles on their starry faces while they head
out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.

22 November 2021

Pride Goeth Before a Fall

I'm trying to keep in mind the quote in the title of this post, because I have been feeling pretty proud of myself for all that I accomplished over the weekend.  Well - over my four-day weekend, since I'd taken Thursday and Friday as time off from work.  But I managed to get the four days to count, and also do plenty of nothing, to feel like I had a lovely break from the usual work days.

Thursday was of course dedicated to The Tim's birthday, and you already heard how well that went.  Friday, I spent some of the day cleaning, which was needed.  But once I was finished, not only did I still have time left in the day to relax, but I also knew I still had two days left to enjoy.  I have to tell you, that was the best feeling!  So I decided on the things I still hoped to get done, and sort of made a plan in my brain.  I do that a lot, and 99% of the time, I do absolutely nothing about it.  

Saturday morning, The Tim wanted to leave the house early and get some things of his own out of the way, so I did some laundry, and worked on switching out my shorts and sleeveless tops for sweaters and long pants.  I had started a couple of weeks ago, and just stopped, though I don't recall why ... probably because I lost interest.  It's not like I have tons of clothes to deal with, it's just that I find the whole process tedious.  Anyway, I managed to finish that, which was a true relief.  I also pulled out a few things to donate, since they either no longer fit, or I realized I haven't worn them for a long time.

Sunday morning, I *finally* got around to cleaning out the planters at the front of the house!  This particular task has been on the brain for a long time, and I decided that if I didn't do it yesterday morning, I may never ever get around to it.  It took so little time, and felt so good to finally get it out of the way, that I could only "tsk tsk" at myself for putting it off so long.

The only things I wanted to do that were left were to block the shawl I knit for my niece (so that I wouldn't be waiting until the last minute), pay a few bills, and then knit while I watched the Eagles play football.  That turned out well - though it was too gloomy of a day to successfully get a good photo of the shawl on the blocking squares, so you'll have to wait to see that.  Then, there was actually some money left after I paid the bills that were waiting, and the Eagles won their game (first home win of the season!).  To paraphrase a character from "The Simpsons" TV show, I felt like "Everything was coming  up Milhous."  😊

AND - most satisfying of all - during the game, look what I finished knitting:

This is the Musselburgh Hat I was making for my niece's husband, and though this photo does not do the colors justice (again, it was a pretty gloomy day), I just wanted to show you how much knitting this sucker took.  I promise better photos soon, but here it is in its just-completed glory. 

Today it's back to work, but only for today and tomorrow.  After today, The Tim is off until Friday, so he said he'd do the grocery store early tomorrow morning, so that we could avoid crowds at all the other times of the day.  He is also planning to bake a couple of pumpkin pies, so when I come home from work tomorrow, the house will smell sooooo good!

And that's it for now.  I hope I didn't bore you to tears, but I am just so pleased with myself for having such a productive time!  Since so often, I have lots of ideas and plans in my head which never even get started, this past four days felt like a huge win for me.

I hope your week is at least a little bit as successful.  Take care!

19 November 2021

The Friday After A Big Day

You may or may not have noticed that I didn't post yesterday.  I meant to, but I got wrapped up in preparations for The Tim's birthday, which was yesterday.  It turned out to be a really busy day, but it all went just the way I hoped it would.

In our house when it's your birthday, you get to request what you would like for your birthday dinner, and what kind of birthday dessert you would like.  The Tim chose stuffed peppers and a cheesecake.  So yesterday morning I walked over to the market to get the green peppers, and then spent some of the morning getting the ingredients ready to go into the crockpot.  I've made stuffed peppers for a long time, but the first time I tried them in the crockpot, I decided that was my favorite way to prepare them - the peppers get softer, but not mushy, and the flavors seem to blend better.

Then it was time to get the cheesecake made and baked, and I was happy because it was one of my most successful attempts.  The Tim being the way he is, he had bought a couple of things himself for gifts, but I also had a couple of things I'd bought, so I wanted to be sure things were wrapped and ready to go.  

It was a great dinner and celebratory evening, and it was fun to have some things that he hadn't bought, and were actually surprises.  The kitties and Hamlet enjoyed the singing, the wrapping paper, and some treats, so I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all.  😊

Now of course, for the next four months, The Tim will be dismayed because we will be the same age - he loves being able to tell people that I'm older than he is!  So for the next four months, I'll be sure to work into any conversation that I can the fact that we are the same age.  Because that's how I roll ...


I hope you have a good weekend.  I'm hoping to make some significant progress on the Musselburgh Hat, and get the shawlette I knit for my niece blocked so I'm not doing it at the last minute.  Today I plan to clean up some things around the house, and get out our few but nonetheless festive Thanksgiving decorations.

Take care, and have a good weekend!

17 November 2021

So Stupid I Had to Share

A friend sent me this, and I laughed way too hard, way too long.  So I've decided you need to see it too.

Sorry not sorry.

16 November 2021

Love and Be Loved

I promise this blog will not become a "Bible Quote of the Day" thing, but I love this image, and I think it's good to be reminded of the quote from time to time.

I just finished reading a tribute from a colleague to his mother, who was found in a lake in a remote area of Ontario, Canada, where her fishing boat had overturned in the bad weather there a couple of days ago.  An extremely sad thing, devastating of course to her family.  But his tribute to her and the accompanying photos, showing her love of nature, fishing, and life on the lake were as much a celebration of her as it was a remembrance.

But the thing that shone through more than anything was the love he had for his mother.  The link of their souls that will never be gone.  

At a time when so many people are estranged from their families, and either have lost the love they had for them, or have had it diminished, it was a reminder that love is, in fact, the most important thing.  If your love is for your family, good for you.  But it's the love that is important.  Love yourself, and love someone.  They don't have to be a blood relation, just love someone.

And make it the kind of love that allows you to celebrate them, even when the worst happens.  It's the one thing that never dies.

15 November 2021

Moving Right Along Here

This past weekend, a lot of things happened that were small, but big - do you know what I mean?  I managed to accomplish quite a bit, but no one, single major thing.  And I'm good with that, because the things I did work on made me feel happy.

For instance, on Friday evening, I finally go to the point of adding the second color to the Musselburgh Hat I'm making for my niece's husband for Christmas, and the colors go together so well, that you can't even see a color jog where one yarn joins the other!

(This closeup was shortly after I started on the second color -
 I have about 4 inches of it knit as of last night.)

Saturday morning, The Tim wanted to go to a nearby Kohl's because he had a coupon and needed some pants for work.  So we headed to one that is also near a Target, and has a Crate and Barrel store across the road.  The Tim got what he wanted, which was a good thing, but we also managed to complete a good chunk of our holiday shopping for others.  There are only three things left to get, and they are easily obtained.  So I'm hoping that I can get things wrapped and ready for him to take to the post office the weekend after Thanksgiving, which at least theoretically (a BIG theoretically, given life these days) means they will arrive at their destinations in plenty of time. The best part is, we really didn't spend much at all - things were either on sale, or had a coupon with them, etc.  Which is nice, because although we do enjoy sending packages to people, we generally do not have a lot of funds to spend.

Besides making good progress on the hat I'm knitting, I also got another good chunk of squares made for my make-up remover pads that are part of the birthday gifts I have for a set of nieces.  

Just a few more to do, and some ends, etc. to trim, and they are ready as well.  And best of all, I'll have used up some leftover stash, so it's definitely a win-win!

There was also a bit of "specialized" laundry done (you know, things that need specific kinds of handling in the wash), The Tim gave Hamlet a bath, and the Philadelphia Eagles won a game!  OK, we had nothing really to do with that last item, but it was a lovely addition to the weekend nonetheless. 😊

These next two weeks are short ones for me, work-wise.  I am taking Thursday and Friday off this week, because The Tim's birthday is Thursday and after taking that off, I didn't think I'd feel like going in on Friday, so I took that off as well.  Which will make it a short week (though I do have my Annual Review at work tomorrow afternoon with the Boss Like Tr**p).  Then next week is Thanksgiving week, and we have Thursday and Friday off, as well as Wednesday!  Granted, Wednesday they ended up *having* to give us the day off, because some kind of work needs to be done in our building that will require the electricity to be off for the bulk of the work day - but who cares, I'll take it!  I think even our horrid CEO realized that most people would not be too dedicated to working from home the day before Thanksgiving, so just decided to face facts.  I know no one - other than him - who has been complaining or is upset by that whole development ...

Anyway, we'll see how things play out going forward.  I hope this week treats all of us decently, since I feel certain we all deserve that.  Take care.

12 November 2021


If you know these people, or have knitted these items, I apologize for mocking them. But seriously, people, this is a fish-in-a-barrel situation if there ever was one.

11 November 2021

I Spoke To a Human, So It Must Be True

Around the middle of last summer, we received a notice from our mortgage company telling us that our mortgage would be paid off as of January 2022.  We had known it was coming to an end, but were THRILLED to know when the exact date might be.  And knowing it was at the start of the new year seemed like a lovely holiday gift.

We liked the idea that our front door would really be ours!

As well as our garden!

And so we went happily along, making a list of what we would then be able to afford to have fixed/done in and to the house once that mortgage payment was off the list of bills. And trust me, there's a lot that has to be taken care of - starting with a new roof and, shall we say, "going down" from there.

Fast forward to the second week of October, when we received a letter from the mortgage company informing us that since we have paid our final payment, an escrow check would be mailed to us, and we would receive the deed to our house "sometime in the next month."  

Wait - how did "your mortgage will be paid as of January 2022" become "we'll mail you the deed now that you've paid off your house" without anything happening in between?  According to letter #2, we made our last payment with the October payment.  So who was telling us the truth?

I decided that I would not be content with just the correspondence - nope, I was going to speak to a human being at our mortgage lender's office.  Because *only* when I had someone's name, position title, and had spoken to them myself was I going to believe it.  I had visions of thinking we had finished paying, and then suddenly getting notices that the mortgage for three months was overdue, etc.

So I called.  And after pressing numbers to get to the next prompt, and being on hold for 20 minutes when I finally got to a human's phone extension, I spoke to a man named Andrew ____, who was a Mortgage Lending Supervisor.  I explained the contradictory letters we had received, and said that I wanted to find out just *exactly* what was going on.  So he looked into it, and told me that in fact, October was our last payment, and they had sent the escrow check the day before I called.  According to Andrew _____, we would receive our deed in the new year, and the mortgage company would contact the city to let them know to bill us directly for taxes, etc., but it would be up to us to contact our homeowners' insurance company to tell them to bill us.  

So we did it!  We lived until our mortgage was paid off!!!!

This also means that for me, I have lived in one single location for 30 years - a record.  The longest I'd lived in any one place before was the 7 years we lived in DC, and even then we had changed apartments once.  

So what we thought would be a nice holiday gift ended up instead being a nice anniversary gift.  

Who'da thunk it?

10 November 2021

Throwback Photo and My Latest Reads

Hello!  Since it's Wednesday, I decided to write a post for Unraveled Wednesday, and join Kat and the others to talk about knitting and reading.  

I am currently reading two books - one is my "regular" book that I read at home whenever the spirit moves me, and the other is my "lunch hour book" which I read at work during my half-hour lunch break.  Often the lunch hour book comes home at the end of the week so I can finish it, but it's easier to leave it locked in my desk drawer than carry it back and forth every day.

Here is my current regular book, borrowed from the library, which I just started reading last night:

So far, it's really interesting, and I'm curious to see where it's heading.

My lunch hour book which I started actually reading at home over the weekend is this one:

I'm a bit further into this one, and so far I like it.  Elly Griffiths is really good at setting the scene and giving you the feeling of place.  As it turns out, I currently have all of the books in the Ruth Galloway series, because someone in our neighborhood Buy Nothing group was giving them away.  I figure I'll pass along the favor once I've finished.  It's kind of nice to have all of them available and ready to read when I'm in the mood.

Knitting-wise, as I mentioned yesterday, I've been knitting on some makeup remover cloths for gifts, and still knitting away on the Musselburgh Hat I'm making for my niece's husband as a Christmas gift.  I don't have photos of anything current to show you, but I came across an older photo that I thought you'd enjoy.

A few years back when I finished a sweater I'd knit, I asked The Tim to take some photos of me wearing the finished item.  It was one of the first successful sweaters I'd knitted for myself, and I definitely wanted photographic proof.  He managed to get some nice shots, but the one that we enjoyed the most (for all the wrong reasons of course) was this one:

It still makes me laugh until I cry when I see it - what is happening here?  I think I was in between shots, but the expression on my face is the thing that gets me every single time.  I realize that most people would never share such a photo, but since I'm sure that somehow, this will be the shot that is used for my memorial service after I die, I might as well embrace it and share it here while we can all get a good laugh.

I shared this one Facebook shortly after it was taken, and besides the general hilarity that ensued, a friend asked if they could use it for their profile picture, hahahaha!  

Everyone's a comedian, right???

09 November 2021

Well Nothing About That Was Fun

Not that every minute of life has to be fun, but colonscopy prep has to rank pretty high on the list of things that are not fun at all.  Especially when you have to do it for two whole days.  But my extra long colon and I both survived, and now are free for three whole years.  I'll take it.  I'd like to be free for five more years like most people, but at this point, three sounds good enough.

So as you can imagine, my weekend was full of ick for the most part, though I did finish two books I had been reading, and got a chunk of knitting done, so all was not wasted.  But not eating and having to drink disgusting stuff gives me a killer headache, so I couldn't do a lot of what I'd wanted to do, either reading or knitting.  

Yesterday I got home around lunchtime, ate some lunch, and then fell asleep until just before dinnertime.  So that was kind of a lost day as well.  But the whole thing was exhausting, and I'm still tired today.  I only look *slightly* better than this woman.

I always forget how physically taxing it all is.

Oh well, onward.  Now the next big thing to prepare for is much better, because next week is The Tim's birthday, and I love getting ready for that.  I had planned to knit him a pair of socks for his birthday, but instead he'll get something knitted for Christmas.  Not that he keeps track, trust me.  I've already told him that he needs to give me a heads up about what he wants for his birthday dinner, and what birthday dessert he would like.  I just love getting ready for birthdays!

I did accomplish something over the weekend before I had to hunker down and drink the ick - I had a coupon for a percentage off of any purchase at Sephora, so I got myself there to get the minis of the makeup removers I wanted to get for my nieces for their December birthdays.  It was nice, because they were in stock, and getting any percentage off helps the cause.  You may recall that I was knitting makeup remover cloths/pads for them to go with the minis (well, I was planning to do that), and I'm happy to say that I have a little more than half of them made!  I wanted to make five for each of them.  The good thing is that they go so quickly - each takes maybe 20 minutes - I know I'll have the rest done by the end of the week.  So that's another good thing to anticipate.

And that's all the news from here, at least for now.  I hope your week is going well, and that you have some good things coming your way.  Thanks for all the good wishes you sent my way for my procedure, they seemed to do the trick!

05 November 2021

Good Thing It's Friday

Because frankly, if it was not Friday, someone would have to pay.  OK, let's just admit that it would probably be The Tim.  He is the victim of so many of my "pay" days.  Because you know, making someone pay at work is frowned upon, and I don't have any kids whose lives I could ruin ... 😉

Seriously though this week has just been loooonnnng.  And annoying.  And I was done with it by late morning on Monday.  

So yes, I'm glad it's Friday and the weekend is here.  But then again, not as much as usual.  That's because on Monday, I have a colonoscopy.  Which means that after breakfast tomorrow, no food until after the procedure two days later.  And of course, the vile stuff you have to drink ("now with fruit flavoring!' - puhleeze, like that's an improvement) only adds insult to injury.  Ugh.  You may wonder why I have to do a two-day prep when most people just have to deal with one day.  Well, apparently I have an extra long colon - because of course I do - and it takes longer to "clean out," and sadly sometimes even that doesn't work.  But I hope it does because I just want it all over with and to be able to eat a meal and move on.  

Dear Modern Medicine - 
Please do something about this dumb and disgusting prep. 
 Signed, Me and My Gag Reflex.

ANYWAY.  I am hoping that this means that since I will be more or less required to stay at home, that I will make significant progress on knitting, reading, and whatever other things strike my fancy.  And at least I can still have cups of tea because if that was forbidden ... well, it wouldn't be pretty.

In other, more pleasant news, the weather has been my friend this week. It's been sunny, and cool, and just perfect for being cozy at home. The nights have actually been cold, and I do love getting into bed with the covers over me.  So good!

Do you remember my nephew who was having such terrible health problems? It was determined that he needed a double hip replacement, and the first one was a couple of weeks ago.  Everything went really well, and he is already so improved, that things are looking up for him.  Which is such good news because he is a good guy and normally really active.  It's looking like it won't be long until he can not only just walk around the block without problems, but get back to golfing and hiking in the mountains.  

Dear Modern Medicine - 
Good job there.  
Signed, Our Family.

Here's hoping that your weekend is a good one.  Feel free to overindulge on my behalf, so the universe evens out. 😊

04 November 2021

I Know It Shouldn't Be Funny

Do you laugh at things that shouldn't really be funny?  I have to confess that this is one of my biggest problems - I often find things incredibly hilarious that I know intellectually are not only *not* funny, but shouldn't be seen as such by anyone.

Since today is Three on Thursday, I'll share some with you.  I apologize in advance to anyone who is offended, but by the same token, you've been warned.

1.  Signs like this just make my day.

I do know that they are informational for the public, and warning people to be careful, I do.  But the way that this person's fall is being shown gets me every time.  The only thing that could make it better would be if there was a speech balloon and they were saying, "Oh!"  That would likely put me over the edge.  (DISCLAIMER: As a person who has fallen many times, a few of them with serious consequences, it still makes me laugh. Go figure.)

2.  Typos that are beyond unfortunate.  Case in point: Years ago, I was looking through one of the professional journals for librarians, and reading some of the job ads. One was for a position at a "Christian college," and the ad was very heavy on the words, faith, Jesus,  and service. Which is good, because it was a very detailed description of the type of person they hoped to hire.  

The name of the position they were hiring was supposed to be: Public Services Librarian.  But either the ad itself, of the person responsible for proofreading, left out a very important letter, and that typo gave the job title a whole 'nother meaning, if you get my drift (it's in the first word of the position, the fourth letter was missing).  Something like this would ordinarily already amuse me, but the fact that this very seriously religious institution was associated with the ad made me laugh until I cried.  And I always wondered if they got a lot of resumes they had never, ever expected to receive ...

3.  People losing things that will never be retrieved.  

One morning on my way to work when we lived in DC, I was on the Metro already, and we stopped at one of the stations where people could transfer from one line to another.  *Right* as the bell rang signalling that the doors would be closing soon, you could hear this very high woman's voice yelling, "Please wait!" and then the teeny-tiny mincing steps of her running in very high heels.  She just made it, but as she stepped onto the train, one of her shoes came off and fell onto the track below, she said in the most despondent high voice possible, "My shooooeee!" and though others did their best to comfort her, I had to really concentrate on my book so that maybe no one would notice I was laughing so hard I was crying.  

Yes, I know she had to figure out what to do for the rest of the day with only one shoe, and there's a good chance based on how she was dressed that it was an expensive pair of shoes, and someone else's misfortune should not be so funny to me.


03 November 2021

Cast On ... Unravel ... Cast On ... Unravel Again ... Cast On ... Oh and Also Read

The title of this post tells the story.  My latest knitting project is not nearly as far as you'd think it might be, based on when I started working on it, and the fact that once the initial part is done, it's just a whole bunch of stockinette.  

My current project is the Musselburgh hat, which is something that apparently everyone but myself and about twelve other people in the world have made.  I wanted to make one for my niece's husband for a Christmas gift, because I thought it was a good choice for someone with a bald head who spends lots of time outdoors.  I also decided to make it with two different colors, since it is a reversible design.

So I got my supplies together and sat down to watch a tutorial about the pinhole cast-on.  I followed that and ... it didn't work.  After about five tries in an evening, and then four more the next evening, I had something that kinda/sorta resembled what it should be, and knit for a bit.  But after knitting some more, I decided it just looked bad.  So I decided to try again with the other color and see if that worked better.  So I ripped out what I had, and started again with the other color, and after a few tries and a few more episodes of unravelling, it finally worked.  Well, it worked a lot better, I'll say.  However, now I've put it in a brief time out because of my overall annoyance at how frustrating it all was to start.  I have no additional photos at all to show you, you'll just have to take my word for it.

To use one of my mother's favorite sayings, "Oh for God's sake!"

I did recently finish two cozy mysteries of varying interest, so I have been reading even if not anything overly involved.  On my way home from work tonight, I'm stopping at the public library to pick up one of the holds that has arrived for an actual physical book.

Hopefully this will be a good read.  If not, at least I didn't purchase it, I can just return it to the library earlier than it is due, and the next person can try it.

You'll just have to tune in later to see if I read the book and/or if I make amends with the hat.  Until then, it's just one of life's mysteries, you know??  😉

02 November 2021

The One Where The Tim Thinks He Is On Top of Things

Before I go on about The Tim, I have a funny story for you.  The year that we got married, the time changed on that weekend.  We were married on a Saturday evening, and didn't have a honeymoon since The Tim was on his fall break from grad school and so we were making our way back to Notre Dame.  Anyway, we left to make it at least a couple of hours into our trip, and had planned to spend the night at a motel in Cambridge, Ohio.  Because we were fancy that way, and who doesn't long to spend their wedding night in such exotic environs?  

Anyway, the next morning we got up and it was about 11:30 ... or was it 10:30?  We knew the time was changing, but couldn't remember if we were in an area that changed the clocks (as some places in the Midwest do not).  We had planned to go to McDonald's (again, fancy!) but knew they stopped serving breakfast at noon (at least back then).  This was long before clocks and other items automatically changed time due to computer chips, etc.  So we decided to look for a phone book, and call the front desk to make sure what time it was, when checkout was, etc.  Because the two things you could count on being in the drawers in a motel or a hotel at  that time were a) a Gideon bible, and b) a phone book.

Not so fast, though.  We opened the drawers in our room and found the Gideon bible, but not a phone book.  Instead, we found an paperback book with color photos, and the charming title "Young C*** F*****s."  (Rhymes with Young Punt Tuckers, fyi.)  I have to tell you that we were surprised but also horrified, because after seeing just a few of the images, it was ... a lot.  But one of my favorite things was that The Tim said, "Did you see how much eyeliner those women had on??"  And that has become a regular thing on our anniversary - at some point in the day or evening, one of us will say, "Did you see how much eyeliner those women had on??" and then we kill ourselves laughing.  And then we also remember how for a couple of minutes, we considered taking the book with us, to pass along as a prank gift to a friend; but we decided against it, because we convinced ourselves that with our luck, we would be in a terrible accident, and the police would return that to our family with our personal effects.  Not worth it, you know?  😜

(We decided we would just pack the car and stop somewhere to eat once we were on the road, for anyone wondering what we did.  We found out the time once we turned on the car radio.).

OK, there is your funny story which comes to mind every year at our anniversary and when it is time to change the clocks.  Except, at some point (I think it was George W's idea), the time change in the U.S. got moved to a week later.

This past Sunday, I got up and was doing something, and looked at the clock and thought that something was off.  Because it was showing the time and it was *very* confusing.  It didn't work, based on how long I had been up, and what time I'd gotten up.  I looked and the time on my tablet was an hour different.  And I just could not figure out what happened.

Once The Tim got up, he asked me why I didn't remind him that it was the weekend we changed the clocks, because he had remembered right before he went to bed the night before, and had changed all the clocks then.  I said I had not reminded him because it wasn't this past weekend.  He insisted it was, and referenced something he had read online.  Which was in an English newspaper.  Because they DID in fact turn their clocks back this weekend!  I pointed out that we would be doing it this coming weekend instead.  He was so disappointed, because he had been so pleased with himself because he "remembered."  

Then he said, "I don't know why you let me think that it was this weekend."  And then *I* said, "I don't know why we've stayed married for 43 years."  

And then we laughed ourselves silly.

The End.

01 November 2021

One Last Decoration, and Hello November!

One last Halloween decoration from our neighborhood:

I look forward to this one every year.  It's actually placed in one of those very large square planters people put on the street in front of their house.  During the day, it isn't there at all - but once it gets dark, it shows up.  It's easily 8-10 feet tall, and I just love it, mostly because I really really want to know how it works.

We had three trick-or-treaters last night.  I know that there were A LOT of parties for kids in the neighborhood, and the three who showed up at our house live across the street.  It's disappointing that for many reasons, kids don't trick-or-treat anymore around here.  I always loved seeing the costumes.  Oh well.  Another thing that was hanging on by a thread even before the pandemic.

Nevertheless - Happy November!!  It's getting very chilly and very dark around here and now it really does feel like fall is considering a stay.  Today is my sister Nancy's birthday, and the good news is that I tried to call her to wish her a happy birthday ahead of time yesterday, and she wasn't home, so I'm pretty sure that meant that she was celebrating.  😊

My four-day weekend ended up being derailed.  But it started really well, does that count?  The Tim had to work on Thursday, which was our anniversary, so during the day I just read and knit and hung out with the animals, which was lovely.  Then we had a really delicious anniversary dinner from a place we'd been talking about trying all summer, but only got around to now.  We expected it to be good, but it was truly outstanding.  I know it will be a favorite going forward.  

Friday started out well - I was able to get my Covid booster shot!  And I put together some yummy ingredients for our dinner in the crockpot, so I didn't have to do anything but serve it later that day.  Which was just as well, because fairly early in the day, things went downhill.  I got some extremely disappointing news about something that may have meant I could leave my job and its horrible, toxic environment.  Needless to say, finding out it wasn't going to work really killed any of my plans for the rest of the day, and into Saturday.  I did manage to get my hair cut, and that made me happy, but it was hard to recover and get back on track from Friday's news.  By Saturday night, I managed to at least feel resigned to it, and yesterday was OK.  I was able to get a little bit of what I had planned for the four days accomplished, so it wasn't a complete loss that way.  But I gotta tell you, it was REALLY hard to make it into work today.  Sigh.

As far as I know, there are no special or particular plans for this week, which is fine with me.  It's funny, but once our anniversary arrives, I consider it the beginning of holiday season.  Which I just enjoy so much, that I'm particularly glad of the timing this year, I have to tell you.

I hope your November goes well, and that you have a good week.  If you have leftover candy from last night, enjoy it - I brought some as part of my lunch today (I bought one bag, but with only three kids coming by, there was most of it left).  Take care!