Thursday, August 9, 2018

Three on Thursday

Joining Carole for Three on Thursday, and today it's with three things that should be easy to find, but were not. Let me explain ...

The house in MD is fairly liveable, and I'm determined not to clutter it up with too much "stuff". When I finally had time to sit and knit, I was also enjoying a nice cup of tea. I didn't want to mess up the brand new furniture, but the washcloth I set my mug on just didn't look very nice. My search for simple coasters took me to Walmart, a nearby knick-knack type shop, and 45 minutes away to Target before I admitted defeat and ordered them from Amazon. 

The same thing happened in my search for a lint brush. I was certain that I could find one at Walmart, but apparently people in our area aren't too linty or they don't care if they are. Amazon came through again.

My latest search was the most difficult. Justin had his windshield tinted at the top and they had to remove his EZ Pass adhesive strips to do the job. I thought replacement strips would be easy to find, so I checked Walmart once again (they sell the EZ Pass transponder) and stopped at the EZ Pass office at one of the bridges between NJ and PA, but no luck. The guy at the EZ Pass office recommended that I check with the DMV but they just said no and wished me luck. I did check Amazon, but $14.99 seemed a little pricey for two small strips. In my online search, I found out that the adhesive is called 3M™ Dual Lock™ fastener. When I searched with that term, I found that Lowes stocks it. Success at last - four strips for $3.84!

I don't know if I'm a poor shopper or just don't know where to find these small necessities of life, but I hope I don't have to go on any more wild goose chases in the near future.

Head on over here to read more Three on Thursday posts.
I'm heading to CO tomorrow, so I'll be back here in a week or so. I hope to post once or twice, but no promises. :-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.

My current knitting is still Match & Move, which looks much the same as last week, only about ten rows longer. To spare you the same old photo, I'm going to show you what I hope might be some future knitting. Ryan has a medical procedure scheduled so I'm going back to CO on Friday to do some medically-related mothering. I was just there in June, but I'm always glad to visit. Don't tell anyone, but I may also have a small ulterior motive. The Loopy Ewe finished moving to their new location a few weeks ago, and I'm hoping to have time to check it out. I bought way too much yarn at TLE in June, and this Hedgehog Fibers in Spell is what has been calling to me. I have an idea that requires beads, but the ones I ordered after I bought the yarn are not exactly what I was hoping for - too much blue and not enough purply-pink. (The beads actually look better in the photo than they do in person.)

So I'd like to visit the New Loopy, see if they have beads that coordinate better, and that is all I'm going to buy. Maybe beads and just one skein of yarn, possibly two if I'm overcome by yarn fumes. Of course, a Starry Night Mug is a must if there are any in stock when I get there. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it. :-)

I've recently felt the need for comfort and humor in my reading, so I've loaded lots of John Finnemore on my ipod. He's a British comedy writer and actor who has done a couple of BBC radio shows that I love. One is Cabin Pressure (about a charter jet business called MJN Air) with Finnemore, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephanie Cole, and Roger Allam. (You'll recognize Allam as DI Fred Thursday on Endeavour.) It's probably one of the funniest things I've ever listened to, with lots of clever writing. John Finnemore also writes and performs in another BBC Radio 4 comedy called Souvenir Programme. Listening to these is hit or miss on BBC, but they are all available on Audible. So even though my current "reading" isn't books at all, these radio shows will provide plenty of entertainment when I travel in a few days.

What are you making and reading this week?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

135 minutes

Yesterday I grumbled about having to do too many loads of laundry, and several people pointed out that they were grateful for having a washing machine, dryer, and help doing the job. Those are all good and valid points, and I'm glad to have reminders about gratitude.

Today I'm going to complain less and tell you why my heart is now filled with gratitude. Something happened last week, and while I hate cryptic posts, I can't talk about the details of this story. Let's just say it was a BIG DEAL, big enough that I had to call a CPA and meet with the lawyer to make sure that what had been done was not unlawful or illegal. It was not, just dishonest, unscrupulous, and I would call it immoral. It was too big for me to even be angry, but I was shocked to my very core (and I don't mean that in a funny or hyperbolic way.)

I talked to John and Justin about it, and they helped me to calm down a bit. I've been trying hard to put it out of my mind, calm down, not obsess or be bitter, and maybe even begin to let go. Then Ryan called last night, and I was compelled to describe the situation and ask his opinion. That's where my gratitude begins.

He listened intently, broke down the situation into its parts, explained what he saw as the problems (multiple lies of omission, duplicity, underhandedness, and subterfuge), and agreed that my feelings were completely valid. The older I get, the more shades of gray I can see, so I don't always feel that I am right. Even though Ryan is my not-impartial son, it still felt wonderful to have him explain logically why I was right this time. This led us to further discussion about clear thinking, correct conclusions, and confidence. It was a fascinating chat, and he even helped me see some humor in the whole thing. 

I'm very happy that now when I think about what happened, I'm reminded that I am so lucky to have a son who will talk with me for 135 minutes (and 23 seconds!) and the hurt I felt is no longer top in my mind. What I now have is a heart overflowing with gratitude for Ryan, his clear thinking, and for 135 minutes of his caring conversation. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Sometimes Monday ...

... is for dealing with mountains of the mundane.

(and this doesn't include the load of towels that's already in the washing machine.)
Happy Laundry Day!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Bonding Over Bows

Justin was home last weekend and brought a surprise with him - a new bow. When I decided I wanted to try archery he loaned me his recurve bow and six arrows. I bought new 35-pound limbs for it (since I couldn't pull it back with his 55-pound limbs) and it's kind of become "my bow" by default. He decided that he needed a new recurve, so bought himself a new, fancier bow. Since we both have recurves now, I was thrilled when he asked me if I wanted to go shoot with him.

We hopped in his truck and went over to my mother-in-law's house where there is plenty of room. I told him I haven't really shot much since last fall, but he promised to observe and help me.

And I did. I needed to be reminded about drawing all the way back, but not overdrawing.

And then there is my issue of keeping a consistent anchor.

My groups were much better when he showed me how to shoot three-fingered (three fingers under the arrow and nock) instead of my sloppier split-fingered shooting. My arrow no longer fell off the rest, it just felt better, and that bullseye is proof!

This is one of Justin's targets showing what it looks like when you're really a good shot.

See that second arrow from the left, stuck into the end of another arrow? That's called a Robin Hood. They're rare, and only happen when you have practiced for hundreds of hours and can shoot consistently and accurately. I haven't managed this yet, but maybe someday because I am very lucky to have a great archery teacher who is patient, kind, and willing to pass along all of his knowledge. Thanks, Justin!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Three on Thursday

Joining Kat and Carole for Three on Thursday, and today it's with three things that I saw around Elkton this week. We went to MD last Sunday night, and are just beginning to find our way with this living in both NJ and MD thing. We decided to drive only one car down, which meant that John drove it to work, and I didn't have a car during the day. That's okay because Elkton is a fairly walkable town, so I set off on my errands and took a few photos along the way.

My first stop was the Elkton Municipal Building to submit an application for a building permit. We're not really building anything; John just wants a garden shed because the garden is going to be in MD next year, and we need a permit. I dropped off the application, and they called to say it was ready only an hour later. That does not happen in NJ!

This elk insignia is everywhere, but there are definitely no elk around. I'm going to have to do some research and find out how and why Elkton got its name.

Right across from the Municipal Building I was surprised to see this castle.

It's really the Elkton Armory for the Maryland National Guard and was recently declared "surplus property" by the state. That means it will soon be for sale. I wonder if I could convince John that a castle would be much cooler than the little house we just bought?!

And then there is this:

Fatti Maschii, Parole Femine is the state motto of Maryland. I wondered what it meant, but we didn't yet have internet, so I stopped at the library to look it up. It's Italian from 1776 and the accepted legal translation is "Manly deeds, womanly words". In 1975, the government of Maryland decided to tone down the sexism and cite the official translation as "Strong deeds, gentle words". One of the librarians asked if I needed help and we had an interesting conversation. She told me that her Italian grandmother always said that the real translation from Italian is “men do things, and women just talk about things". None of these translations make a decent state motto! We looked up other state mottoes and decided that maybe Maryland should take a lesson from Wyoming or Oregon. Their mottoes are "Equal Rights" and "She Flies With Her Own Wings". Way to go Wyoming and Oregon!

Head on over here to read more (and less sexist) Three on Thursday posts.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Small Start

Growing up, I was the good kid, the one who listened to her parents and followed the rules. My sister was not bad by any means; she just knew which rules to ignore, wasn't overly concerned if she got caught, and knew how to have fun.

I'm still primarily a rule-follower, but over the last decade or so I've come to realize how silly and stupid some rules really are. Our town has one that strikes me as completely ridiculous. Thursday is trash and recycling day and we are not supposed to put these curbside before 5:00 pm on Wednesday, and cans have to be retrieved by 5:00 pm on Thursday. This is supposed to keep the town looking nicer, prevent trash cans from blowing around in the street, and generally restore calm and order in the world or some such nonsense.

The town council tried to solve a problem that didn't exist, the rule is impractical and unenforceable, so it's clearly my duty to rise up and rebel against it. I've begun to make a point of putting out my trash before 5:00 pm and it makes me happy to do it.

I know this is petty and silly on my part, and we laugh about how much of a badass I am with my big act of rebellion, but it might also be a small start on being comfortable disregarding rules and having a little fun.

Who knows, I might even start pumping my own gas (it's against the law in NJ) or using profanity on Main Street (another local ordinance). Stay tuned ... :-)