30 June 2023

Who Knew?

Did you know that today is considered to be Worldwide Social Media Day? I sure didn't, and you'd think that since I use social media, I would have a clue. Oh well. I found out when I read this post by Louise Tillbrook, and I think it's a great post in favor of the positives that come from the social media experiences.

And it got me to thinking that a lot of what she says is true. Face it, having a blog is an early form of social media, and it was a way for me to meet so many people of like minds and develop actual friendships, even if we never get the chance to meet in person. I really enjoy having a blog and reading other blogs, even if nowadays it is considered "old-fashioned" and/or unnecessary.

Now granted, I don't use every single type of social media available. I occasionally check Pinterest for things like recipes or haircut ideas; I check on Facebook daily or every other day to "talk" to family and friends I don't usually get to see, or to find out what is new with them; I still have a Twitter account, but seldom check in there, ever since Evil Elon took over. I will admit that my favorite is Instagram, because I follow a lot of accounts that are things I love - knitting, art, animals, books, travel - and so to be honest, I seldom come across really negative or damaging things there, though I am of course well aware of their existence. I have seen TikTok videos, but do not have a TikTok account - not because of any political beliefs, just because I truly cannot imagine what I would do with an account of my own!

Some of the others out there - I may have heard of them, but I have absolutely no clue what they are about, for, etc.

Now I do have some personal rules for checking social media that I put into place while The Orange Menace was in office. I found that I needed to stop looking at online news, social media, and just about everything else all of the time if I wanted to keep my emotions and blood pressure down, and be able to get any sleep at all at night. I'm not a good sleeper in the best of times, so things were heading downhill fast.

My personal rule is that in the morning, I don't look at any social media until after I've eaten breakfast; and in the evening, I don't look at any social media after 8 p.m. This means in my case that I am able to start my day by easing into things, and end my day without being angry/upset/annoyed/whatever - well at least as far as news and social media is concerned!

So thank you to all of you who read my blog for at least participating in this type of social media. If we are also friends on Facebook and/or Instagram, all the better. And thanks to some of the social media for - as Louise Tillbrook points out in her post - introducing me to small businesses where I feel like I am actually purchasing from someone who appreciates my custom.

What about you? Do you find social media has good points, or do you wish you could just ignore it all? I have to admit, my favorite thing is that it allows me to "talk with friends" without having to leave the house, in my own time, and if I feel like it. As someone who is an introvert, most of the time it's just the amount of interaction that I need.

Have a good weekend! Here in the States, we are leading up to July 4th, so there's lots going on. I have no real plans to do anything special this weekend, but I'm glad it's here so that The Tim can be home and I can watch him take naps ... 😂

I hope your June ends well, and July starts off just as you would like. Take care, and I'll see you next week.

29 June 2023


Well, Blogger and/or my e-mail seem to have decided to gang up on me as far as blog comments go. I am suddenly getting four copies of each comment. Then, any comments I have tried to respond to have come back as undeliverable. I even broke down and tried to respond *in* the comments, and when I would go to publish them, ZAP! they disappeared into the ether.

So again, apologies if you have commented recently and I have not responded. I'm not ignoring you, but at least for the moment, it seems that any type of response just isn't working.

To quote The Tim, "Technology is great, except when it isn't." Sigh.

In any case, I am going to try to move on from my annoyance and frustration and enjoy my day with nothing to do but laundry. I went out for a walk earlier, hoping to get out before it got too hot or too smoky. There was a nice breeze, but it was already pretty smoky so it wasn't as long a walk as I may have wanted to take. But I did get outside, so I'm glad for that.

Kim has lately been lamenting the prospect of many visits to the dentist as well as the many dollars such visits will cost. I feel her pain. We have dental insurance - technically - but it pays about $10 in benefits. One of my favorite (not really) things was recently when I needed to get [yet another] crown, and learned that it would pay a very small amount towards a metal crown, but zero towards a ceramic crown, so which did I want? I am vain enough (and now poor enough) to not want a metal crown on a front tooth - I mean, it's not like it was gonna be gold or something. And I'm not a rapper anyway. 😉 I dread the dentist enough without feeling like I'm going into major debt just because I showed up for an appointment. Ugh.

I haven't gotten new glasses yet because I'm too busy paying for my teeth! Fortunately I can still see with my current prescription, but when you are planning to keep the same frames and the lenses still cost hundreds of dollars, it just seems like something in that equation is wrong, you know?

Well, enough complaining. I hope you are getting along better with your e-mail and blog platform providers. And please keep a good thought for Mabel, Vera's sweet kitty who has been missing for a few days. Please come home, baby!

28 June 2023

The Story of a Shy Girl

Once upon a time, there was a year-old kitty who had already had a litter of kittens who ended up in a rescue called Project MEOW Philadelphia. She lived in a foster home for quite a few months with other kitties, and two sisters who loved her and took amazing care of her.

Then in early May 2023, two people came to visit those sisters and seemed very interested in this little girl kitty, whose name was Beatrice Pemberton - Beatrice because it was a name someone really liked, and Pemberton because she was found with her kittens on Pemberton Street in West Philadelphia. Beatrice was pretty shy, but she let the two people play the fishing lure game with her, and allowed the lady to get kind of close to give her a treat. Then she went on with her kitty life in her foster home.

Except - two weeks later, her foster mother put her in a carrier (the HORROR) with only her SpiderMan sheet that she loved and then she was in a car, and when they got someplace else and she was let out of the carrier, she was in a house she didn't know, with strange smells, and the two people who had visited weeks before. Beatrice was not happy! She hid and wanted absolutely nothing to do with those two.

But - she could smell and hear other kitties! That seemed like something worth investigating. So even though she still didn't really like the people, she figured out that by letting them see her, she could eventually leave the room and meet those other cats. There were three of them!

One, a stripey orange kitty named Pip, was just so friendly and sweet, and wanted to cuddle with her and sometimes give her a bath, like her mommy kitty had so long ago. Beatrice liked Pip. It turned out that Pip only had three legs, but that never stopped him. It actually made Beatrice think things would be OK, because she only had one eye.

There was also Milo, another orange stripey kitty, who was called The Koodle, but not necessarily for good reasons. She heard Milo called "a brat," and he did seem to do things that got him into trouble a lot. Also, sometimes he peed outside the litter box, and Beatrice knew that you just don't do that. He started out growling at her and chasing her, but then the two people and the other kitties would intervene and he would get in trouble, so he decided to just let her do her thing.

But the BEST other kitty was a really big, really fluffy gray and white cat named Alfie. Alfie also only had three legs, but he almost immediately became Beatrice's very best friend ever. 

Beatrice still didn't want anything to do with the people, but they were nice to her. They fed her, gave her water, made sure she had a clean litterbox, and let her go wherever she wanted in the whole house. One of her most favorite things was to go into the guest bedroom, where the other kitties said the best sunspots were, and where they would sleep on the bed sometimes. Beatrice liked to lounge on the windowsill when the windows were open.

Now, Beatrice knew that her name was not the name she was born with, as all kitties know. But of course she also knew that there was no way people knew kitty cats' true names. The man in the house where she was living kept calling her Esmeralda, which she kind of liked, because she thought it sounded really fancy. And so that became her new name, "Esme" for short. That seemed fine. 

She also noticed that the other kitties seemed to really like the two people. They cuddled with them, and slept with them, and the two people actually turned out to be pretty nice. But Esme decided she still needed to be careful.

One day, the lady in the house was opening a big box and putting something together (don't worry - Esme watched from far away), and then she put it in front of the window that looked out on the garden and said, "That's for you, pretty girl." 

Esme did know that she was the only girl in the house, and everyone told her she was pretty, so it must be for her, right? Her very own place to sleep, look out the window, and observe goings on safely out of reach. She decided she would use it every single day.

Though she also realized that the bed in the guest bedroom that the other kitties told her about was pretty nice too.

So Esme decided she would settle in, because she thinks she might have found her forever family! She is still very cautiously keeping a distance from the man and the lady, though they are nothing but nice to her and tell her they love her all the time, which is nice to hear. And she is letting them get a little bit closer all of the time. 

Alfie and the others keep telling her not to be afraid of them, but she spent too much time on her own with her kittens and no home at all to feel to confident yet. She's hoping she'll get brave enough to be around them more, because the other kitties seem to get lots of pets, kisses, and cuddles, and Esme thinks she would probably like that.

She *is* glad that they are letting her take her own time. In the meanwhile she is enjoying playing with her new siblings, especially goofy Alfie, and watching the birds and squirrels in the garden. She hopes her kittens are having good lives as well. 

Esme has decided it will all work out, and when she worries it won't be, she takes a nap in the kitty bed with her SpiderMan sheet to make sure it's all OK. 

(Who knows, one day she might actually let the lady and/or the man take a photo of her to show people without having to use the zoom-in feature on their phones ...)

21 June 2023

And So It Begins ...

Just a little less than an hour of spring left - yep, today is the Summer Solstice. Unlike most others, I have been grateful for this spring. We've actually had springtime weather - very few really hot days, nice cool (sometimes even cold!) nights for sleeping, and lovely breezes nearly every day. Since usually spring is nothing but rain, and/or turns way too soon into summer temperatures, I've really been enjoying this, though I do actually wish we'd gotten enough rain for the plants and trees. (It sounds like that will happen for a few days, starting tomorrow, at least here in Philadelphia.)

Anyway, since most of you seem to love summer, I hope it is a good one for you. I do love the fruits and veggies that are available during summer, so you see there is something that appeals to me. 😉

Not much else to report. I am making good progress on my stripey summer top, and the market bag that I am knitting. I did in fact start a pair of socks and have completed the cuffs on them. Of course, I also have approximately 482 other things I would love to make and cast on immediately, but I know that I should continue with what I'm already doing, or I'll get overwhelmed and then not feel like knitting at all.

I'm also reading away, as usual. As is often the case, it seems that every book I put on hold at the library has become available at the same time. But better too many things to read than not enough, right?


I saw something on Ravelry the other day that surprised me, though I don't know why things like this still surprise me. It was pattern for a summer top, and a lot of people had knit it and said they loved the result. Someone commented that they would love to make the pattern, but they don't wear cropped tops. Someone else commented, "Well, just knit it longer," and the person responded, "Oh I don't want to do that and get in trouble with the designer."

Now admittedly, 99% of the time, I follow a pattern the way it is written, at least when I first try it. I am not a designer, and I'm not good at math to make serious alterations to a pattern. But, it's never occurred to me that if I wanted to make a sleeve longer/shorter, or a sweater longer/shorter that somehow that was not allowed. Patterns generally say something like "Not for commercial use," but that doesn't mean the knitter can't do their own thing. Yet so many people seem to think that there is something like the Knitting Police, or that designers keep tabs on every person who buys the pattern somehow. 

I know this shouldn't keep surprising me, but it does. I'm sure it happens in other areas of crafting, or even life, but it's always something that makes me wonder.

What about you? Do you/have you ever worried about changing a pattern to do what you want? Did you ever think it was "illegal" or that you would be in trouble if you got caught? Let me know. I just always wonder if I'm the only person who has never worried about this kind of stuff.

That's it for today. I'm off to a dr appointment, but the good news is that once that's finished, I have the rest of the day to myself!

15 June 2023

Oh Well At Least The House Is Clean ...

I'm serious. If you want the house to look really good, then don't expect me to look terribly put together ...

I mean, I do clean up regularly, but as far as thorough, deep cleaning goes:

But this coming weekend we were having a visit from my sister and brother-in-law (the ones we usually visit in WV). They seldom come to visit us, usually since three out of four of their kids live in Baltimore with their families. So a lot of the time, if we know they are going to be in Baltimore, we'll go there for the weekend and see everyone. So I think in all of the years we've been living in Philadelphia, they have actually planned a visit here three times. Usually related to Bloomsday, which is tomorrow. The plan was that they would drive to Baltimore today, and then make their way to Philadelphia tomorrow morning and stay here until Sunday.

So we have been doing a major cleaning in preparation for their visit. You know, actual cleaning as opposed to this:

You're probably guessing where this leads ...

Last night my sister called to say that they aren't going to be able to come after all. My brother-in-law is an attorney, and a big case that was originally scheduled to start in the first week of July got pushed to this coming Monday. So he needs to finish the prep that he thought he could work on during the next week or so to this weekend. She felt bad that they were cancelling at the last-minute, but said that even if they did end up coming, he wouldn't be able to enjoy himself, and she would end up feeling stressed. Which The Tim and I can understand and appreciate 100%. 

It's disappointing all the way around, because we had some things planned that I know they would have enjoyed. My sister said they will try to find another weekend to visit, and we can do some of the things then, but a few of them (i.e., Bloomsday events) were for this weekend only, and since we knew that was the reason they had chosen this date, we were excited that they would get to enjoy them. Plus, a few months ago, I had found someone who could cover my shift on Sunday, which is no easy task, and an even harder task during the summer, so I'm not sure if they reschedule for later in the summer, if I'll be able to swing that again.

Anyway, at least it wasn't really last-minute - I mean, they weren't supposed to arrive until Friday morning. We were just doing our cleaning so it was done in advance and I wasn't getting up ridiculously early on Friday to get things accomplished before they arrived. 

Having said all of that, the most recent weather report says that Friday and Saturday are likely to be rain days, so maybe it's all for the best and we won't all spend the days walking around getting wet. (That's my lemonade from lemons theory. 😉)

I'm sure that our weekend will be just fine. The Tim will be able to nap the days and evenings away as he usually does, and I'll be able to read, knit, stitch, whatever, and maybe do some baking; lately I've had the desire to make some cupcakes or scones. (Probably a result of a book I just finished where the main character owned a tearoom and was always making cupcakes and scones.)

And, well ... at least the house is clean. Though since we won't need to keep it clean for company, by the weekend it will likely be back to the usual state ... 

Such is life, right?

12 June 2023

Time To Begin Again

There wasn't one particular event/person that made this quote seem especially relevant today, but I saw it and it just seemed perfect.

Anyway, have a good Monday. 😊

06 June 2023

And A Good Time Was Had By Al(-most) Everyone

This past weekend started with a celebration that Alfie has been part of our family for a year! That meant cake for us, and treats and toys for the kitties. Alfie and Pip had a good time together figuring things out, whilst the Koodle was there, but out of the frame, due to being in trouble because he had tried to eat all of the treats and steal all of the toys. (There's always someone, right?)

In any case, the other two found it all quite hilarious.

Alfie LOVES those wavy cardboard scratch pads, and he got a new one because he goes through them really quickly. He is declawed in the front, but nonetheless makes quick work of them. He also finds them comfortable as a home base of sorts, to lounge on and observe all around him. (He's still such a lovable weirdo!)

Pip and Alfie are more than happy to share the toys and treats, so they both had a lot of fun seeing what was what, and leaping around, since some of the toys contained catnip.

Alfie is such an unusual kitty. He is affectionate, but really also just does his own thing. He is always happy to see you in the morning, and/or when you come home from being gone somewhere, but he's just kind of goofily himself, and quite pleased about it. We are glad to have our very own Fluffernutter as part of our family, and can't wait to see how he does as he figures out more things around him and around the house and garden.


We had a lovely weekend, and I'll share some of our photos from our day in Annapolis soon. Other than Friday, which was too hot to be enjoyable at all, we had lovely weather, which has continued into this week. I know it won't last forever, but I'll happily take it as long as it wants to hang around!

02 June 2023

A Day At The Beach

Yesterday was our beach day of our vacation week, and we headed to Ocean City, New Jersey. It was just perfect - sunny, with a cool breeze, and not many people around. We had not been to the shore since before the pandemic, and it was nice to see that the Atlantic Ocean was still there doing what it does best. 

It was pretty uncrowded - we got there in the middle of the day, and I guess since most kiddos are still in school, there were only a few other people sitting on the beach. And the water is still really cold, so no one was in the water.

The ocean didn't care though - it was pretty rough and choppy, and therefore extra noisy. But the beach actually does belong to it, so we have no right to tell it to be quiet. 😉

Then around 4, we left to go get the car and head to Somers Point, New Jersey, which is just over the bridge. It was time to make a visit to one of our most fave places in the universe, that nearly closed last year after having a tough time during the pandemic. Thank God they were able to stay open!

We love this place so much! It's the typical beachy place like we both remember from when we were kids and took summer vacations to the shore. Formica tables, paper plates and cups, and too much food - we ate most of what we ordered except they gave us too many french fries, and as The Tim said, they give the leftovers to the seagulls, so they won't go to waste.

We got home about 8 pm and still had time to cuddle with the kitties, have a cup of tea and watch some shows before we headed to bed. 

I hope this year we'll get our act together and take more day trips to the shore. It's so close, and such a lovely way to spend a day. And I just love the ocean and how it is both so appealing and so frightening. I could watch the waves come in forever.

Today is final preparations to celebrate one year of Alfie, and then tomorrow we head to Annapolis for the day. Sunday it's back to work for me, and Monday for The Tim. 

Real life can be annoying, right?

Whatever is in store for your weekend, I hope you can have time to relax and enjoy it. Take care.