Monday, February 17, 2020

Sometimes Monday ...

... is a day for little surprises in the form of little purple flowers. 

I have a collection of "purloined plants" on my kitchen windowsill in MD, small cuttings that I've come across and stuck in water in mason jars. Some of these are from my SiL, and the others come from overgrown plants in community planters along the streets in NJ and MD. At the end of the summer season, many of the plants have grown leggy, long enough to drag on the sidewalk, and I know that they'll die and be thrown away after the first frost. I rescue a few cuttings at this stage and bring them home to bring me joy while I do the dishes. Sometimes they bloom early and make me even happier!

I hope your week is off to a bloomin' good start!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Sky Watcher

Happy Valentine's Day and I hope your weekend is a lovely one!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Three on Thursday

I'm joining Carole and friends for Three on Thursday, today with three things I bought recently. This might sound like an odd topic, but I'm not much of a shopper (except maybe at The Loopy Ewe). To have purchased three things in just the past few days is not my usual, but since there happened to be three things (and I couldn't think of anything else for today), I'm going to tell you about them.

You already saw the first purchase yesterday — the skeins I ordered from The Loopy Ewe when I had a moment of inspiration with my Nervous Breakdown Hitchhiker. I'm anxious to get to the point where I add stripes of these colors, and I'm getting quite a bit of enjoyment from just having these skeins next to my knitting chair.

I thought that maybe my sister needed another gift in addition to socks for her 60th birthday, so I searched Etsy for something she loves — sea glass. I don't think she reads my blog, but if you happen to see this, Jill, please act surprised.

I came upon this next one while I was looking through Etsy. It was inexpensive, cobalt blue, small, and unique, so now it's mine. It's an antique dosing cup, although I don't know exactly what was being dosed. Maybe something alcoholic? I was intrigued by the markings for tea and dessert, so now it's on my windowsill in MD.

Recently it's felt like things are going to hell in a handbasket at the speed of a runaway roller coaster, and while I know it's not the answer to things that are beyond my control, a little retail therapy certainly didn't hurt! What have you purchased lately?

Be sure to visit Carole for more Three on Thursday thoughts.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday, today with glimmers of a new idea for the Nervous Breakdown Hitchhiker. I've been working on it almost monogamously. Spending lots of time meditatively knitting causes me to become contemplative, and last week I was thinking about why I enjoyed it so much and what might add even more enjoyment. The answer to both questions? More color!

So I placed an order with Loopy Ewe and had these skeins in my hand in record time. I think they'll work wonderfully for what I'm imagining. 

It's not just more bright color that I'm craving, but also what those colors have come to represent in my mind. There are areas of brownish-gray in this yarn and I've come to think of these as depressive periods (even though I think this gray is lovely).

There are also areas of bright pink and these remind me of happy times.

Lastly, I've noticed some isolated stitches of a lovely blue that I've come to think of as times of being balanced and calm.

I think as I approach the last quarter of the shawl, I'll add one stripe of each color. I'm not sure how wide I'll make them. Maybe I'll just live on the wild side, knit them and see what I think works best. 

I'm still reading The Topeka School and better read harder because the wifi gods will whisk it back to the library in three days. I finished Caffeine which was a quick two-hour freebie from Audible, authored and narrated by Michael Pollan. I wish it had been longer because Michael Pollan! I also finished Indistractable but it was just a three-star average book for me. If you are interested, you can read my reviews by clicking on the books in the right-side sidebar.

What are you making and reading this week?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Read With Us: Fever Discussion 2

Hello and welcome to our second discussion of Fever by Mary Beth Keane. This time we're focusing on social issues — personal freedom vs. public health, nationality, gender, and socioeconomic status. Some details regarding the discussion and how it will work: Please join the discussion by leaving a comment here on the blog. I'll be responding to your comments directly IN the comments, so please do check back once in a while to see how the discussion is going this week. Please feel free to respond to other commenters as well. 

Like Carole mentioned last week, this time around we've got an added bonus to participating in the book discussion. We have put together a “book lovers' surprise package” to be given to one lucky Fever reader! Just leave a comment on any of our book discussion blog posts. Your name will be placed in a hat EACH time you make a comment — so the more you share, express your opinions, and comment, the more chances you have to win the prize. The winner will be revealed as part of our wrap-up post on February 25.

The following questions are simply meant as a way to start the discussion. I don't want this to feel like high school where good books can be analyzed to the point that you no longer enjoy them, so please feel free to answer any questions you wish and ignore those you don't, or offer your general opinions and comments about the social issues covered in Fever. We value all of them and thank you for your input!

1.  The story of Mary Mallon exemplifies a conflict between personal liberty and public health. Because there are always two sides (or more) to the story discuss whether you think Mary's case was handled well, and consider how it might have been dealt with today.

2.  In early twentieth-century New York, class and background dictated a person's prospects. Do you think Mary was discriminated against because she was a poor Irish immigrant woman? How does Mary handle these situations? Are there any instances when Mary uses her identity to an advantage?

3.  During Mary’s imprisonment, other healthy typhoid carriers are discovered and allowed to continue their lives as long as they take precautions to not spread the disease. So why is Mary kept imprisoned? Is it because she was the first? Because she refuses to admit her guilt and cooperate? Because she is a poor, unmarried, Irish woman at the dawn of the twentieth century or are there other reasons?

4.  After her first release from North Brother Island, Mary abides by her promise not to cook. But as time passes she is eventually drawn back to her profession, first at the bakery and then at the hospital. How does she justify her decisions despite the risk to others? Do you think she believes she is responsible for passing typhoid fever through her cooking? 

Be sure and check in with Kym next Tuesday for her discussion of the historical fiction aspects of Fever; characters and events — what (and who) was based on historical fact and what was fabricated/fictionalized. I'll be back here on February 25 with a summary of Fever. 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Sometimes Monday ...

... is a day to check in on amaryllis. 

They are all sprouted and growing. I hope your Monday is off to the same good start!

I hope to see you back here tomorrow for our second Fever discussion, this time focusing on social issues. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Three on Thursday

I'm joining Carole and friends for Three on Thursday, today with some admiration for Nancy Pelosi.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Image

Simply put, she's my hero. I don't see her tearing up the speech as rude or classless, but rather what you do when you are presented with a "manifesto of mistruths". Here are three quotes from the Speaker of the House.
  • You have to believe in who you are and what difference you can make. You have to care about the urgency and the difference it will make to your community, and you have to, again, have confidence in the contribution that you can make. You believe, you care, you have confidence in the difference that you can make. And that's not to be egotistical, it's just to be confident.
  • Go to find common ground; where you can't, you stand your ground.
  • Just as I do as a mother, as Speaker I intend to do a great deal of listening. But when necessary, I am not afraid to use my mother-of-five voice to ensure that I am heard. 
Carry on, Ms. Pelosi and be heard. You are fighting the good fight. 

Be sure to visit Carole for more Three on Thursday thoughts.