31 March 2023

On a Friday

I hope that in the future they invent a small golden light that follows you everywhere and when something is about to end, it shines brightly so you know it's about to end.

And if you're never going to see someone again, it'll shine brightly and both of you can be polite and say, "It was nice to have you in my life while I did, good luck with everything that happens after now."

And maybe if you're never going to eat at the same restaurant again, it'll shine and you can order everything off the menu you've never tried. Maybe, if someone is about to buy your car, the light will shine and you can take it for one last spin. Maybe, if you're with a group of friends who will never be together again, all your lights will shine at the same time and you'll know, and then you can hold each other and whisper, "This was good. Oh my God, this was so good."

-- Iain Thomas, The Light That Shines When Things End


Have a lovely weekend.

30 March 2023

The End Is Nigh!

No, not the end of the world (though there are days I'm not so sure about that), but the end of the cardigan I have been knitting for what seems like an eternity.

The blob above is my start on the button and neck bands - there are no buttons on this sweater, so I can just knit and not worry about needing to place the buttonholes.

Below, you can see the some of the miles of garter stitch that used short rows to create the collar. (Also, look how different the color of the yarn looks from one photo to the other. The color in person is actually a bit darker than either one.)

Tomorrow is the last day of March. I set myself a deadline to have the knitting finished and the ends woven in by the end of March, and if things had gone according to my original estimate, this would have already been finished. But that was not to be, so I'm finishing it today and tomorrow. I have absolutely no idea how long it will take to dry when I block it, but I'm hoping that there will be at least one or two more cool spring days when I can wear it long enough to get some photos. 

And yes, it will be wonderful to have this project finally off the needles. Especially since I decided that I would NOT cast on another single thing until this sucker was done. And I'm dying to cast on a new project ... or two ... or ... well, you get the idea. 😉

28 March 2023

Why Ask Why

Yesterday during my walk, I saw a truck with a front license plate that said, "I'm pro-choice too!" and then showed several different types of guns. I *almost* took a photo of it to show you, but then decided that it was so disgusting, I didn't want to waste my time and a photo.**

Then I got home and heard about yet another school shooting, this time in Nashville at a church school, but with the "twist" of a female shooter this time. Oh wow, such an interesting novelty.

And again, people will say "This is not who we are," and as I said in the comments on Kim's blog, if this isn't who we are, then who the hell are we? 

I guess we're "pro-choice" like that license plate on the truck. How absolutely hilarious, right?

**But if you want to see what it looks like, you can see it here, and even buy one for your very own self. And if you do, please feel free to unfollow me everywhere. Thanks.

27 March 2023

Good Signs in the Garden

This morning as I am writing this, it is really sunny and quite pleasant. I just returned from a walk, and went out into the garden to see how things are going there. You may recall that last year, I bought some plants and put them into large pots outside, and they seemed quite happy. Well, due to an unforseen series of events over last fall, I failed to look into the best ways to prune and/or fertilize them so that they would show up in some semblance of themselves this year.

So after my walk, Alfie and I went out into the garden to fill the birdfeeder and take stock of things.

I was thrilled to see that even though it probably should have been pruned, my forsythia has new blooms on it - when I bought it last year, the blooming period was already over and it was green, but that was it. I'm thrilled to say that there are quite a few little yellow blossoms!

The hydrangea looks like it is giving serious thought to joining us again as well:

And there are leaves and buds on one of the parts of the lilac bush, which thrills me!

My clematis that returned from the great beyond last year, has lots of green on it already:

And the one I bought last year, which seems to be more of a ground cover version, is also coming up! Once I can get out there and clear the silver beacon  around it, I'm hoping it will make itself at home.

And of course, the magnolia tree is quite pleased with itself (it usually is). 

This was so encouraging to me! Now if it will just stop raining for a while, I can get out there and clean things up, refresh some of the soil in the pots, and find out how to best take care of everything (if anyone has suggestions/info, please feel free to share!).  Then I'll be closer to having the pretty, flowerful garden I have been wanting to create, and at least until the *!!!^)^%$$# mosquitoes return, we can sit out there and enjoy it all. 

Alfie and I can't wait.

21 March 2023


Hello, everyone! First of all, thank you so very much for all of the kind birthday wishes. I had a wonderful day, and The Tim and the kitties made sure the evening was just perfect. 

So today is the first full day of spring here in the northern hemisphere, and for now at least the sun is out and the day promises to be a bright one. Which is nice, because I think the rest of the week is predicted to be rainy, ugh.

I saw these lovely daffodils on my walk the other day:

I love daffodils - not just because they are my birth month flower, but because they always look happy to me. I know I posted a photo in February of our daffodils coming up, which was disturbing because it was way too early for them. But these guys had the right idea, and waited to show up, and I just had to stop and take a picture.

So what are your plans for spring? I don't have any specific plans, aka a list, but I do want to start working on cleaning up our garden and making sure the plants are doing OK. I want to plan the next few knitting projects, since I am very close to finishing the cardigan that has taken forever! But I am not casting on another thing until it's completely done - I don't want a shiny thing to distract me when I'm so close. I know there are some other things rattling around in my brain for springtime, but the ones mentioned are those at the front of the brain.

And the aforementioned cardigan? Well, both sleeves are done, and yesterday I started the neckline/button bands (thankfully it doesn't actually have buttons), so really and truly, I'm close to the end. My hard deadline I've given myself is to have it completed by the end of March, but I may even have it before then. It will be nice to have it ready for the fall.

Yesterday Alfie had his first visit with our vet. It was just a wellness check so they could meet him and get an idea of any issues, etc. before we have to take him in at the end of May/beginning of June for his shots. He was not overly pleased about the carrier, but once out of it in the exam room, he was very busy looking around, and trying to get both the vet and the tech to cuddle him. He has to lose 1.5 pounds, but otherwise the vet was pleased with how well he seems to be. Fortunately when we got home, he seemed to forget about the indignity of the carrier altogether. 😉

So enjoy your first day of spring, and I hope you find something that will make you smile.

14 March 2023

A Lovely Ride

Happy Birthday to me. 😊

13 March 2023

Monday FO Report

Hello all! I hope your weekend was a good one. I'm starting this week by sharing a recent FO with you.

Back in 2020, I knit these "house socks" for The Tim:

He LOVED them! About a month ago, I pulled them out of the washing machine and saw that the heel on one of them was completely gone. The other one was fine, but the missing heel was not even something that could be repaired.

We were getting ready to head to Baltimore overnight a few days later, so I gathered some yarn and needles and got the cuffs started on another pair. While The Tim drove, I knit, and got a really good amount completed:

Between the ride there, the ride home, and some early morning knitting while waiting for everyone else to get up, I got the chunk of two socks knit.  Once we were home, it took only a couple of more days to get the pair finished.

Project: Replacements Slipper Socks
Pattern: Plain vanilla, with some stripes thrown in 
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted in Burgundy and Kelly Green
Needles: US size 5
Notes: I have a ton of Plymouth Encore in my stash, because it's a good workhorse yarn for baby and kiddo things, as well as these kinds of projects. In my opinion, there is enough wool to make things comfy and warm, but the acrylic content makes it hard-wearing. 

I just followed the regular vanilla sock pattern that I use and added in some random stripes and I'm pleased with the results. The Tim was thrilled and immediately put them on to wear when I handed them over.

And then he said, "Even if it doesn't perfectly match, will you make me another one to go with the one sock that made it out of the laundry?"

Sigh. So yeah, he'll get a single similar sock so he'll have that "pair." Just not anytime real soon. 😉

Milo would like to thank everyone for their birthday wishes. He had a good day on Saturday, with lots of cuddles and treats, some special food for dinner, a mini-birthday cake with candles and singing, and a catnip mouse gift. 

"For the record, I didn't share with Pip and Alfie. Mom and Dad
gave them treats too, but *I* did not share any of my goodies!"

10 March 2023

Friday Catch Up

Hello all! I didn't mean to take such an extended "break" from blogging, but that's what happened. The past few weeks have had a lot of little things happening that just seemed to pile on and keep me from doing very much at all. Does that ever happen to you? Every once in a while that happens to me and a lot gets lost in the shuffle. 

Oh well. 

Happy March, by the way. 😉

I somewhat managed to keep up with others' activities, but usually more as a lurker than a commenter. Sounds like all of you are busy, and some of you are really making some pretty things!  I'm glad that - at least in general - things are well with all of you.

There's been a lot of lounging going on around here:

These guys are funny. Pip and Milo have of course been buds for a long time, and though Pip thinks Alfie is the best, Milo the Koodle seems to change his opinion hour by hour. So the fact that they were all on the guest bedroom bed together for most of an afternoon without incident is pretty amazing.

There's also been some ... deconstructing going on.

This is our second floor (main) bathroom after the sinks and vanity were torn out earlier this week. Fortunately, we have a guest bathroom on the third floor that has a functioning sink! 

The bathroom pictured has had a cheapo, unattractive vanity and two sinks since we moved in. It's something we've always wanted to change, but while we were paying our mortgage, we never had enough extra money. About a year ago, one of the sinks developed a BIG leak, and we turned off the water pipes leading to it, and just used the other sink. According to The Tim anytime we would discuss it, we were going to replace things "soon." 

Now you can guess where this is heading. At the end of last week, the remaining sink developed a big drip. The Tim tried to fix it, but the faucet fixture broke apart due to age. So he bought a new fixture, and found a plumber who could come on fairly short notice. Except that when the plumber pulled out the old fixture, it had been jerry-rigged into the sink by the house's former owners, and the new fixture couldn't go into it. So at a minimum, we would have to have the sink torn out and replaced. After some back and forth, The Tim finally agreed that it was just easier to get rid of all of it and get a new vanity, new fixtures, new floor, etc. 

Which of course happened right in the throes of too much expensive dental work happening in my mouth which our dental insurance barely helps to cover. Because as the saying goes, when it rains it pours.

I do have to say though that although it's annoying, this is typical of how things go. The Tim will quickly acknowledge a problem, I will bug him about it consistently, and then a crisis comes along and things finally get resolved. Sigh.

But hopefully soon we'll have a fully-functioning main bathroom and then we can go to the next disaster (and at the current time, there are two waiting to happen. Stay tuned!).

Yesterday when I was at a therapy appointment, I took a photo of this orchid in the office that had bloomed:

I am not an orchid expert by any means, and have never even attempted to keep one alive. The office there has A LOT of orchids in a big window that gets nice amounts of light, but this is the only one like this - look at the little openings in the one section. I think they are not only pretty, but really fascinating. I posted this photo on Instagram, and Dee identified it as a phalaenopsis orchid, and said it's a typical thing. (It's nice to have a friend who knows about orchids, you know?) She said she has a few mini versions that are blooming, and they are so small, you can hardly see the openings. So amazing, right??

And those are the big things that I wanted to catch up with you about in this post. I have some knitting to show in the next few posts, one that has been in progress for a while, and one FO that just started and finished in record time (well, for me at least). Tomorrow we are celebrating Milo the Koodle's birthday, and Sunday is my weekend shift at the yarn store. The weather is supposed to be messy over the next few days, so it will be good knitting and reading time.

I hope you have a good weekend, whatever is happening at your house. I'll see you next week.