30 September 2022

Going Into A Rainy Weekend

I hope any of you who may be or have been in the path of Hurricane Ian have managed to stay safe. We will be getting what sounds like a LOT of rain from the tail end of it, so it's a good weekend to stay home and be cozy. That's what I'll be doing, except for Sunday when I'll be heading to my shift at the yarn store. The last time it was extremely rainy on a Sunday, my co-worker and I were expecting a quiet day. Instead, it was crazy busy, so who knows what might happen?

Also, tomorrow is the first day of October - one of my most fave months of all! I always feel like October officially brings in the coziness of fall, and I'm more than ready.

Have a wonderful weekend, and take care of yourselves. 

29 September 2022

Thursday Snuck Up on Me This Week

Today I've decided to join Carole and others for Three on Thursday. So here are three things that are completely unrelated, but are currently going on with me.

1. Well, it's that time of year again:

Yesterday, just like Bart Simpson above, I closed my eyes and managed to get my flu shot for this year. Which of course means that today my entire body aches, my right arm is SORE, and I'm pretty sure that I'm at death's door. And yet, I'm glad I took care of that, because getting the flu is not on my list of fave things to do.

2. Because I am old, I wear a watch every day. Yes, I know that I can see the time on my phone, or on the computer, etc., but I grew up wearing a watch and I rely on my watch. I have three watches - my "good" watch, my gecko watch (a Timex for children, but ask me if I care), and a cheapo watch that The Tim bought for me because it has a leopard print strap, and he knows I'm a sucker for that. They are all battery operated, as are all (?) watches these days. And on Sunday, after I arrived at the yarn store for my shift, I realized that the very last one with a working battery had stopped. 

You would think with battery-operated watches being common, finding a place to get a new watch battery would be simple. At least in this area, you would be wrong. So my plan on Saturday is to go to a place in the burbs that I know has watch batteries and will replace them for me.  

In the meantime, I *could* wear the watch my father gave my mother on their first anniversary, which is a winding watch. The only problem is, the face and the numbers are so incredibly small, I can't really see them that well. Sigh.

Time may be a construct, but apparently it's one that I rely on ... as a matter of fact, even though I'm writing this on my laptop, I just looked at my wrist to check the time (for anyone wondering, I think it's Half Past a Vein).

3. Do you plan ahead on your knitting projects? As in, when you are finishing say, a shawl, do you say to yourself, "Next up is the so-and-so sweater," and then stick to that? I tend to have a broad plan of "I'd like to try and knit this next," but a lot of the time I'm at a loss, and then other times, the plan (such as it is) goes right out the window due to something new and shiny that I have come across. That happened this week when I kept seeing references to, and photos of, the Cargill sweater (pattern coming out tomorrow, Friday, September 30). For reasons that I can't even quite gather, I really really want to make this sweater - and this is waaaay out of my usual wheelhouse! Taking it a step further, I used my employee discount, plus a $50 gift card I won last year before I was working at the yarn store, to buy the yarn I would need to  knit it!  WHAT??? On the plus side, it's yarn I wouldn't usually be able to afford in a sweater quantity, and by the time all of the discounts were tallied, it cost me only a bit more than $35. But - I have not been so taken with something and bought yarn to make it right away for years, and I just hope in the end I use the yarn for something ... I'll keep you posted. (But I have to admit that as I was buying the yarn, I kept thinking to myself, "Who ARE you??")

And that's that for today. Time to move some laundry around and clean the bathrooms. I'm telling myself that if I try as much as possible to do some of the usual things, the flu shot effects will not bother me as much ...

26 September 2022

Thoughts on a Monday

Did you ever notice that no matter what, Monday always shows up? What's that about? 😉

Do any of you remember years ago, "Saturday Night Live" had a segment called "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey?" They were ridiculous, for example:

Though thinking about it, I could see myself coming up with something like this.

Anyway, I have no specific topic for today's post, but instead decided to just share some random thoughts here. So you've been warned, and if you keep reading, that's on you.

-- Since the governor of Florida has so many available funds at his disposal that he can use some of them to send immigrants to Martha's Vineyard, does that mean that when Hurricane Ian hits Florida this week, he won't need to request aid from the federal government to help people recover? Or did he use all of the money for the immigrants' transportation?

-- Does anyone else feel like NASA trying to explode an asteroid and change its course is a dicey experiment? I don't know, it just sounds like the beginning of a 1950s horror movie to me.

-- I am thrilled that not only has fall arrived, but it brought the fall weather that I love along with it. It gives me life, I have to say. 

-- Remember that hat I was knitting for the yarn shop that I felt was suspiciously like the Musselburgh Hat by Ysolda Teague? Well, I'm happy to report that people both online and in person are expressing the same thing. The hat in question is a "new" design by a designer whose name rhymes with "Flared Judd."

-- My friend and co-worker at the yarn store, Kathy, is having knee replacement surgery in mid-October. Our boss asked me if I would be interested in filling in for her on the Mondays she would usually work until she returns. I said that I would check the calendar, because I had purposely scheduled doctor appts, etc. on days I wasn't working at the shop. The previous week, she had asked if I would like to start working a third day on a regular basis starting in October, and I was happy to pick that up. So it may turn out that until the end of December, there are weeks when I'll work for four days. Which would be nice for the old bank account, but it means I'll have to plan things more closely as far as getting ready for holidays, etc. I have no obligation to do it, but I figure that if I can bank a bit more into savings until the end of the year, it will be a good start to 2023. And then I'll go to three days a week, which was my original hope for any part-time job.

-- Speaking of part-time jobs, I have still been applying for them when I see one that I could do and are interested in, and still nothing. Not even a "Thanks but no thanks." So I am even more grateful for my yarn store job than I was before!

-- Do you remember the challenge I was telling you I'm doing with a friend and also with my niece Amanda? We all agreed to try and walk/move a minimum of 30 minutes a day in September. We text each other to stay accountable, and it's gone really well for each of us. Over the weekend, we realized that this is the last full week of September, so we're trying to decide what/if to continue doing. So I would say if you want to try and get yourself any kind of exercise, but can't motivate yourself, find one or two friends to do it with you, and agree to text each time you have done something. We each live in different states, and even so, it's been both fun and motivating to have accountability. 

-- The other day, I heard a woman talking on her phone while I was waiting in line at the grocery store (of course I heard her - I'm pretty sure people in Maine could have also heard her). At one point she said, "I would rather be dead than keep getting old." Wow. I don't know, maybe she has some terrible health thing going on, though she looked fine. But if the only thing bugging her is that she is getting older, she's pretty darn lucky.

-- I think everyone should hug/kiss/say "I love you" to all of their family members (human and otherwise) at least once every single day.

And now, I'll just leave you with this - I hope your week is a good one!

21 September 2022

(Not Really) Famous and Learning Something New

Each week, the yarn store where I work part-time sends out a newsletter highlighting a specific project, upcoming event, knitalong, etc. I've realized that the newsletter has a large audience, all over the place. Whenever a new yarn and/or project is highlighted, the online orders start to pour in, as well as local people coming in to take an in-person look.  

Well, this week, the highlighted project and yarn included my first project completed for the shop! Yep, I opened up my e-mail and there was the hat I knit being featured and modeled by a co-worker. It was so fun to see, and then also see how many orders we filled for it and how many customers wanted to make the same thing. I forwarded the e-mail to The Tim, telling him that I was famous ... he was not as impressed as he should have been, but it could be because I showed him a terrible photo I'd taken myself of the finished project, so he's already seen it. So now all of you get to see it as well:

I do really like it, and am seriously considering making one for myself. I know that a few of you have mentioned that you are on the newsletter list, so you likely said to yourself, "Well, the gray and white one is especially nice, I wonder what amazing knitter made that?" Right? RIGHT??? 😀

I'll let you know when the "story" goes on the main website, so that you can see a much better photo, and get an idea of how it fits on the head.

Early in 2021, I made a list of things related to knitting that I would like to accomplish over that year. It was a mixed bag, and I had mixed success, which was not a surprise. One of the things on the list was "Trying a brioche pattern." Of course, in order to try a brioche pattern, you need to learn to knit brioche, right? I never went anywhere with that, but still hoped to learn sometime. Well, I got my chance, though it was a bit stressful, to be honest.

Customers can request a special hour of help/a lesson on weekdays during shop hours (for a fee, needless to say). Last week, someone requested a session to learn 2-color brioche. We have a workshop that teaches that, but she wanted a one-on-one session. The person I work with on Tuesdays already knew how to knit 2-color brioche, though she hadn't done it for a while, so needed a refresher. And our supervisor told her to have me learn it as well, so I could sit in on the lesson and help out.


Well, the one thing that made me feel better about it was that my co-worker hadn't done it for a few years, so she was more or less starting over too. She said she was glad to have learned it, but decided she really didn't like it that much, so she "immediately forgot all about it." So the two of us worked on figuring it out, with the help of a pattern we were given, some YouTube videos, and on my part, a few websites that explained it literally step-by-step.

After MANY stops and starts, I'm happy to say that I managed to "get" it enough to end up with this:

One side

Another side

My brain had a hard time with this one, I have to tell you. I could understand what I needed to do, but my brain and my hands were not cooperating with each other. It was a struggle, and though I'm glad I managed to finally "get" it, I'm not at all confident about it, and please don't ever ask me to help you fix mistakes, 'cause I have no idea. 😕

A few years back, I did find a free pattern on Ravelry for a beginner level pattern for 2-color brioche in the round. It was a 2-color cowl, and it was really nice looking. I put the pattern into my pattern library, and maybe sometime next year I'll give it a try. I'm sure there is an additional learning curve knitting brioche in the round, but at least if I do it for myself, I won't feel any pressure, and I have at least become familiar with the terminology.

Anyway, yesterday was the customer's lesson, and my co-worker got her started an on her way. I sat in though I was impressed with how well my co-worker could explain it, and how well the person picked it up (compared to my struggle in particular!), I think that it's one of those things that most people would benefit learning in a group class or workshop. Mostly because you would have more time to work on it, but also because anyone who would teach a class like that would be really well-versed in what it entailed, and would like not be flummoxxed by questions the students asked. But I also realize that everyone learns differently, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

But I'm proud of myself for getting the few rows I did knit to look the way they should. But after spending most of last week using ALL of my knitting time to figure it out, I'm looking forward to working on my own projects at home this week. It will be nice to work on things I actually understand ...

19 September 2022

Weekend Sightings

Hello, and I hope all of you had a good weekend. Ours was fine, nothing elaborate, but enjoyable and relaxing.

Saturday morning we started off heading down to southwest Philadelphia so I could get my Real ID. The Tim had gone to this particular office which is near his work to get his, and he said that a) it was huge, so they handled lots of people at once, and b) it wasn't crowded if you went when they first opened. The Tim was going to drop me off, and then go and pick up a new vacuum cleaner ordered from a Target nearby. So I went in, and there was a bit of a line to check in, but it moved really fast. And then it was my turn and ... I was missing a document - UGH! I had put everything into a folder, except apparently for a utility bill to provide proof of residence. Which meant that there was no way I was getting that done at that place and time. So frustrating! So that did not start things well, but it was uphill from there (thank the Lord!), and I'll just have to make sure everything is really and truly in the folder and go back another day.

And, our new vacuum cleaner is so great, that it was worth the trip anyway. The Tim had a plan for things he wanted to work on, so I decided to walk into Center City and see if I could find affordably priced walking shoes at the Nordstrom Rack. Mine are nearly shot, but I can't afford a $100+ pair of shoes at the moment.

On my way, I decided to stop at a Starbucks and treat myself to a Passion Iced Tea. Imagine my shock when I came across Steve Bannon - when did he get out of prison???

Of course, this isn't really Steve Bannon - for one thing, as everyone who has seen this photo has commented, he's never looked this good. But seriously, how much would it suck to be this guy, and always have people doing a double take?

Anyway, my plan was a success. I found a pair of really good walking shoes that usually cost $179, that were marked down to $69.97, but were also on clearance, so I got them for $40! Apparently they are from last season, so as long as the fashionistas don't find out, I should be OK. 😀

We spent the late afternoon watching the Notre Dame football game (YAY THEY WON!), and most of the Phillies game (really?), so it was a both productive and enjoyable day.

Yesterday, since I had to be at work at 10:00, I took my morning walk first thing when I got up.  And I was very excited to run into this guy while walking along the river:

I decided seeing him meant it would be a good day, and you know what - it was a pretty good day! My shift at the yarn store went well (certainly better than last week!), and everyone who came in for a class, purchase, look-around, or Knitting Circle seemed to be in a good mood, which is always nice. Then I fixed one of my favorite dinners for us (Spanish Chickpeas and Rice) and it was a particularly good batch. We spent the rest of the evening watching some shows we recorded and just taking it easy before the week got underway again.

So even though things started a bit shaky, it all ended on a good note. I'd much rather things end well because it just puts you on better footing for the week ahead.

Here's hoping the week is a good one for all of us.

15 September 2022

A Thursday Poem

Today I saw that Bonny, Kat, and Kym are celebrating poetry by posting a poem each third Thursday of the month, and are encouraging others to do the same. I'm not sure I'll participate regularly, but I recently happened upon a poem that pleased me, and was hoping to find a day to share it - so today turns out to be the day!


The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog
by Alicia Ostriker

To be blessed
said the old woman
is to live and work
so hard
God's love
washes right through you
like milk through a cow.

To be blessed
said the dark red tulip
is to knock their eyes out
with the slug of lust
implied by
your up-ended skirt.

To be blessed 
said the dog
is to have a pinch
of God
inside you
and all the other 
dogs can smell it.

12 September 2022

Plansus Interruptus

I don't know about you, but I'm very surprised that it's already the 12th of September. Didn't the month just start, like, 2 days ago??

Such is life, I guess.

Anyway, I hope all of you had an enjoyable weekend. Mine was just one of those weekends where all was well, nothing horrible happened, but everything just was ... off, you know? 

My original plan for Saturday was to go to the NJ Sheep and Wool Festival. Tim is always willing to go along with me, and the deal is that on our way home, I treat him to brunch or lunch somewhere. And I'd been really looking forward to it. But by the end of the week last week, I realized that it would probably be better to skip it this year. For one thing, I hadn't planned ahead. So I didn't have any "set aside money" to spend there. Also, and probably more important, by the end of the week, three different things came up that will require spending a lot of money in a very short amount of time. The more I thought about it, the more I felt that it would just be better to stay home and not even feel tempted by any of the goodies. So we ended up staying home. Hopefully next year I'll have myself organized better well beforehand.

Then Sunday turned out to be one of those days when everything was just "off" enough that I felt out of sync all day. Even at my job at the yarn store, I was just off for most of the day. For instance, this one woman called to ask if we had the yarn she wanted for a specific pattern. I put her on hold to check the inventory, and when I went to take her off hold, I disconnected her instead! Then she called back immediately, and I DID IT AGAIN - UGH! I found her in our customer database, but not her phone number, so I sent her an e-mail, explaining what happened, and apologizing, and giving her the info she needed. Hopefully it will all work out OK, but I truly hate when that happens, anytime and anywhere. And there were other things that just didn't work quite exactly as they should have. 

I was washing up the dinner dishes and dropped a glass, which broke - I mean, I can't actually remember the last time that happened. 

So hopefully I got all of that out of my system yesterday, and this week will be better.  I'm working an extra day this week (Thursday), filling in for someone else, so maybe that will be a good day that balances things out. Or at least not another day like yesterday was ... 😊

Here's to a good week for all of us!

09 September 2022

A Week of Walks

Along with my friend Lisa and my niece Amanda, we created a challenge for the month of September that we would all try to walk/move at least 30 minutes each day. We started on September 1 (duh), and I'm proud to say that so far, I've kept going! We text each other every day once we have completed our activity, to keep ourselves accountable. To be honest, it's made it a lot more fun, and we also share photos and things that we noticed during our outside time.

So I thought I'd share some things with all of you from my walks this past week.

The dog park early in the morning on a weekday:

The old Naval Hospital, from Civil War days. Now it's apartments and condos, but at least they didn't tear it all down:

There are tons of murals in Philadelphia. I came across this one in my neighborhood the other day. I had never seen it before, but it's now one of my very favorites:

Some of the wildflowers along the river trail:

A railroad trestle with some kind of machine on top of it. I'm not a big fan of graffiti, but I liked getting this photo, especially against the sky:

Not pictured here are Eleanor the Golden Retriever, and Norm the greyhound, who I met on separate days and who both wanted to give me many, many kisses! I love getting to see and pet so many pups every day.

I'm glad I decided to do this, not just for my health and to accept the challenge, but because I really enjoy walking, and there is so much to see even just in my neighborhood.

I hope you'll get a chance to explore this weekend, and that even if you don't, that you have good weather and time to yourself. I'll see you next week. 😊

07 September 2022

The Current State of Projects

I've been knitting away on my three projects lately, and thought I'd give you a visual update.

First up, the Musselburgh Hat for my niece's husband Pat. I'm a few inches from the point where I will start knitting with different yarn, so that it's two hats in one.

Then, the pair of socks I'm knitting for The Tim for our anniversary. I'm into the leg on sock #1, and have the cuff done on sock #2.

Finally, the shawlette I'm knitting for my niece Amanda. I misread the pattern, and started it so that the pink is the dominant color instead of the green. But, I decided to leave it because a) I had already done quite a bit of knitting, and b) since pink is her favorite color, this gives it more of that in the FO.

The socks are the ones with the soonest deadline, as our anniversary is at the end of October. But I'm not worried about finishing any of these in time. I have plenty of time until the end of October, and the other two are December gifts, so I think I'm in good shape.

Plus, if I finish these sooner rather than later, then I'll get working on one of my own projects without having these gift knits waiting until the last minute - win-win!

02 September 2022

Some Friday Letters

Today seems like a good day for some letters, don't you think?

Dear Summer People: 

Well, you've had more than what you wished for this summer, haven't you? Heat, heat, humidity, humidity. You know, what you love and can't wait to celebrate. I hope you soaked in every second, and I hope you enjoyed it, since you love it so much. But let's agree that we're all ready to move along, OK?

Dear People Who Are Having Babies:

If having a baby means you need to take your pet or pets to a shelter, or even worse, just abandon them, maybe you should never have a pet - or even a baby - in the first place. You, my friends, are the worst of us. I am curious - when you have a second baby, are you going to take the first one to a shelter because you "won't have the time" to care for it?

Dear Louis de Joy:

May you die a long, painful, terrible death, unable to get the medication you need because it is being delivered through the USPS, and you have ruined it so much, people are lucky if they even get their bills on time. You're welcome.

Dear Guy Who Sings While Walking Down the Street Every Afternoon:

You do you. Your singing is terrible and too loud, but you are clearly so happy, just keep going. The world needs more terrible, loud, happy singers.

Dear People Driving Cars:

You do realize that some people actually walk around, right? And that you can't move until the light turns green? So maybe don't honk at people who you think are moving too slow through the crosswalk, while the light is still red. Particularly you, guy in the green Lexus, who also added a "Hurry up" yell to an elderly man who was crossing the street. May someone key your precious Lexus accidentally on purpose one day.

Dear Bees and Butterflies:

Please hang in there. Our asters didn't do as well this summer because we couldn't keep them from frying in the sun. Hopefully they will be back and do better next summer, and I'm also going to try to plant more flowers that you like next year. 

Dear Fall Weather:

Anytime you feel like showing up, I'll be here - and more than happy to see you!


It's a long Labor Day weekend here in the U.S., so if you have plans, enjoy!  We have no specific plans, which is fine with us. Hopefully we can have our picnic dinner that we missed having on July 4th since Covid came to visit for that holiday.

In any case, no matter where you are or what you do/do not celebrate, just enjoy the time however you can.