Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday, today with two more Rikke hats in progress, and on the brink of becoming finished objects. 

The blue one just needs to be gathered at the top and the woodsy one is ready for the decreases once I free up the dpns. I've got two more hats in the queue, but I hesitate to label them "in progress" as this is what they look like now. 

I hope they will actually look a bit more like hats later today.

It's snowing and dark here, so I want to show you my fancy photographic setup. That's the best arrangement I could come up with to take these bad photos!

I started The Night Circus audiobook, but tragically left my iPod in NJ when we drove to MD on Sunday. It's affected my whole week in a pretty negative way, and I can't wait to get back home and look for it. I was able to rise above my grief and start reading The Red Lotus on my kindle, but I'm still missing my iPod (a lot!)

What are you making and reading this week?

Monday, December 9, 2019

Sometimes Monday ...

... is a beautiful day despite the very gloomy, gray, rainy, and dreary weather. I haven't been in MD for two weeks, so I was delighted to be greeted by my Christmas cactus when I stepped into the "plant room".

My SiL divided hers (it was twice as big as this one) and gave me half last year. I put it in what I hoped was a good location, and it looks like the plant has been happy with its new home. I'm so glad I didn't miss the show.

 Flowers are indeed magical!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Sky Watcher

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. (Here's an explanation.)

Hope your weekend is full of clear skies!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Three on Thursday

I'm joining Carole and friends for Three on Thursday, today with three weird things. I was grocery shopping at our local Walmart, so perhaps I should not have been surprised to see odd things there. 

My butt probably needs smoothing and toning, but it may be well past any help that a sheet mask can provide.

I might prefer boneless goat cubes, but their goats roam free on native pastures and rangelands. I don't think I've ever eaten goat, but I looked up recipes and curried goat stew gets some high ratings. I might try it someday and see if John can guess what he's eating. 

This glow-in-the-dark duck (duct?) tape struck me as a little strange at first, but on second thought it might be useful. In fact, the next time I'm at Walmart, I might even get some to put in John's stocking. Then I could use some on our flashlights and my bright yellow walking vest so I can be seen. 

Since the last one wasn't too weird, I've included a bonus. I'm not a pet owner, but Petchup and Muttstard definitely sound strange to me. Do you think these condiments are meant to be used on dogs' food? Human food that you're feeding to your dog? Is there a reason that dogs can't have regular ketchup and mustard? Inquiring minds want to know! 

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

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday, today with two more Rikke hats in progress. You cast on on size 4 needles and then switch to 7s, which provides the perfect opportunity to have two Rikkes in progress. It's all Rikkes, all the time here, in an attempt to provide the maximum number of family members with warm hats for Christmas. 

I've been home by myself this week, which means no cooking, more knitting time, and more audiobook listening time. Because I've been frustrated by six-twelve month waiting times on Overdrive, I've been searching a little differently. By applying the "available now" filter, I can easily find audiobooks that I can check out without any wait. I've been surprised by how many books are available, ones that I meant to read but missed for some reason. In just the past four days I've flown through Daisy Jones & the Six and Red at the Bone (both very good four-star books for me), and I'm currently reading How to Be a Good Creature and Evvie Drake Starts Over. Next in the queue is The Night Circus. I'm not sure if it's actually a prequel to The Starless Sea, but it looks like I'll be reading it soon, and then I'll be happy to purchase Starless Sea. You can click on any of these titles in the right sidebar if you are interested. 

But now it's time for me to turn off my iPod, pick up a Rikke, and watch what I hope is more unraveling of this presidency. I remember watching the debate on the articles of impeachment during the summer of 1974, and I hold out hope that there is a similar outcome this time. I have my doubts about whether there are any Republicans in the Senate that are willing to face facts and do what is right when the time comes, but again, I have hope.

What are you making and reading this week?

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Read With Us - Book Two

Have you been curious about the next Read With Us Book? After careful consideration, Kym, Carole, and I have finally chosen one. And we really did consider carefully. We thought fiction might be a good choice after Just Mercy, and Kym's goals were to find a high-quality book that was a little more obscure — but not TOO obscure, under 350 pages, not newly published and that might appeal to a broad range of readers. We hope this one will be readily available from libraries and be very discussable.

So what is the book? (Insert drum roll here) Fever by Mary Beth Keane. It's a historical fiction novel about the real-life woman known as “Typhoid Mary,” the first person in America identified as a healthy carrier of typhoid fever. 

From Mary Beth Keane's websiteOn the eve of the twentieth century, Mary Mallon emigrated from Ireland at age fifteen to make her way in New York City. Brave, headstrong, and dreaming of being a cook, she fought to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic-service ladder. Canny and enterprising, she worked her way to the kitchen and discovered in herself the true talent of a chef. Sought after by New York aristocracy, and with an independence rare for a woman of the time, she seemed to have achieved the life she’d aimed for when she arrived in Castle Garden. Then one determined “medical engineer,” noticed that she left a trail of disease wherever she cooked and identified her as an “asymptomatic carrier” of Typhoid Fever. With this seemingly preposterous theory, he made Mallon a hunted woman.

Our timeline is just a little bit different because of the holidays. We wanted to announce the book now to allow you (hopefully) to get it from your local library if that's your choice. We'll be waiting to do our promotional posts until after the holidays in January, and then discussing the book in February. 

I hope this book sounds as intriguing to you as it does to us, and you'll Read With Us once again!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Right Now - December 2019

I'm not sure why I keep forgetting about Right Now posts at the beginning of a month, but since the last time I wrote one was seven months ago in May, it's high time for one. Here's what's going on in my world Right Now. 

Making - Turkey noodle soup! The house smells wonderful and simmering soup always makes me feel thrifty and cozy. These are good things, especially in light of what I'm watching (below).

Watching - The weather. This kind of snuck up on me. I had plans to head to MD with John on Sunday, but after checking the weather I decided to stay in NJ. We were supposed to start with snow and ice early Sunday morning, then a change to rain, followed by snow until early Tuesday morning. So I'm here in NJ to get a bunch of stuff done, plus shoveling. We have estimates of 4-12", so I'm hoping for the lesser amount. 

Surveying - My pile o' purchased presents. 

Planning - What else I need to get for Christmas. I still need to make a trip to the liquor store (after the weather clears), a few gift certificates, and there is always a Rikke hat (or two) on the needles. 

Looking forward to - A trip to the oil company. This probably sounds a little odd, but for years we struggled with what to get John's mother for Christmas. One day it came to me -- a gift certificate for heating oil would be perfect! She was on a fixed income and always cold, so I know she looked forward to receiving this gift, and I've looked forward to gifting it for the past 10 years. She passed away in January, so I've been thinking about her often. John's brother lives in her house and we decided he now gets the heating oil gift certificate. I wonder if he'll turn the heat up above 60 degrees after opening it? (There is the added bonus of the National Parks calendars from the oil company. It's the little things!)

Getting ready to tackle - Wrapping the presents. If I get this chore done before next Saturday I can deliver gifts in person instead of having to mail them. This just may provide the incentive I need

Anticipating - Family Cookie Day next Saturday. Women in the family have gathered for ten years or so to bake, exchange, and eat cookies. That's part of what I need to do on Friday -- bake dozens of cookies and make chili so we can eat something for lunch besides cookies. There are 8-10 of us, so I bake my cookies ahead of time to ease the waiting-for-the-oven backlog. 

Hoping - That the oil leak my car has doesn't get any worse before I can schedule and afford the $1500 repair.

Wondering - Why I seem to have such trouble communicating with the men at my local Subaru service center. Maybe I don't understand all the correct terminology, but I try, ask lots of questions, and it seems like it is their job to be able to explain things to all of their customers. It almost feels like they try to obfuscate the situation, but if I'm going to be paying $1500+, they can explain what the cam caps and cam carrier are and why they are dripping oil onto the manifold.

Trusting - That the universe is unfolding as it should, and sometimes wishing that I could nudge it to unfold in slightly better ways. :-)

What's going on in your world right now?