Friday, June 28, 2019

Gifts You Give Yourself

I haven't been consciously trying to adhere to a yarn diet lately, I just haven't seen anything that I had to have. But then something happened that changed my mind a couple of weeks ago ...

I follow #muststashyarn on instagram, as I always enjoy looking at pretty pictures of gorgeous yarn. I've looked and admired, but then they posted something I simply could not resist. I looked at the photos, clicked away, clicked back, told myself that it was almost my birthday, and a couple of skeins would make a fine gift.

They are the best gift!

This is Mordor Fun Run, featuring "20 stripes of perilous adventure". I think it's amazing, and even more so once it's knit.

Sometimes the gifts you give yourself are simply the best!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Three on Thursday

Carole is on vacation in Maine, taking beautiful sunset and rainbow photos, but I'm in a Three on Thursday frame of mind, so that's what I'm doing. Here are three completely random thoughts on this Thursday.

A new-to-me word, demotic, found while I was reading Milkman

It means "denoting or relating to the kind of language used by ordinary people; popular or colloquial." (I couldn't even hazard a correct guess based on context.)

Justin's girlfriend, Jess, made me this lovely owl cupcake cake for my birthday, and it deserves to be shown off.

It was a thoughtful (and delicious) gesture, and I still have plenty of the cupcakes in the freezer.

And lastly, this interesting visitor showed up on the front walk in MD last week.

Even though it's a baby snapping turtle, somehow it still managed to look ancient (but cute).

What are your random thoughts on this Thursday? Let me know!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday and what I hope might be a penultimte look at this Hitchhiker. I didn't knit very much at all on it while Ryan was here, but now I'm back at it, and that rapidly shrinking blank is spurring me on. It's almost all dark green but I'm anxious to see how that dark green looks on the Hitchhiker itself. Hopefully I'll see soon ... maybe by next week?

I read a thoroughly interesting four-star book this past week, State of the Heart. It's about the history, science, and future of cardiac disease, and full of empowering information and knowledge. The chapter on women and how heart disease affects them, along with how women's symptoms can differ markedly from those of men is something that I think almost every female would benefit from reading. 

I'm also reading three other great books, After the End, Olive, Again, and Snowball in a Blizzard. There are times that I can't seem to find a book that captures my attention, but I'm finding every one of these books interesting and fascinating, each in different ways. So many good books!

What are you making and reading this week?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Good Surprise

Ordinarily, I'm not a person that enjoys big surprises very much. They may sound exciting, but often in my experience they can be more disruptive than fun, and too often they don't turn out to be quite as nice as we might have hoped.

But none of that is true when the surprise is a completely unexpected visit from one of your sons, and I was overwhelmed (in a good way) and happy at the surprise visit from Ryan. Lots of plans had to be adjusted, and details had to be switched around, but of course, the changes were totally worthwhile. Ryan has had ... I was going to say "lots of ups and downs", but it's honestly been struggles, dilemmas, problems, road blocks and many "downs", with very few "ups" over the last two or three years. We speak on the phone often, text, and visit probably twice a year, but I have been seriously considering taking the train to Colorado since I can't fly for another four months after my pulmonary embolism. But Ryan came east to let me hug him in person, and so he could relax, regroup, and consider what's next for him. He went back to Colorado on Sunday, and only the crazy, crowded insanity of dropping him off at Newark airport kept me from dissolving completely in tears.

It was absolutely wonderful to see him, and he helped me find a neighborhood tavern in Elkton so maybe I won't dread going down there so much. I hope that all of our talks over drinks and buffalo chicken egg rolls helped him think about what might be best for him moving forward, along with some plans to help achieve what might be best. If you have a spare good thought or two maybe you could send it his way as he could definitely use some good juju over the next few months. I'm back to my usual life, but happy that I've had this wonderful surprise and some more hope for his future.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Sometimes Monday ...

... is a day to be surprised and thrilled about a VIP guest. Since I can't yet fly to Colorado, Ryan arrived over the weekend for my birthday and Father's Day (the best ones ever)!

I'll be taking a break to enjoy his company. There are margaritas to drink and buffalo chicken egg rolls to be eaten with him!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Happy to Be Here

Happy Birthday wishes from Justin's bank. I'm not sure why they would send this to me, but I'll take it!

Tomorrow is my 62nd birthday. Ordinarily I'm not much of a birthday celebrator, but this year feels a bit different. I'm profoundly glad that I didn't keel over in Philadelphia airport upon my return from Denver with an undiagnosed pulmonary embolism, quite grateful that I didn't die in the three days before I was diagnosed in MD, and pretty darn happy that I have good doctors and medications to keep me around to love and enjoy my friends and family. So Happy Birthday to me, and I hope for (and continue to work towards) more healthy years.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Three on Thursday

Joining Carole and friends for Three on Thursday, today with three things on our wedding anniversary. 

It's our 38th anniversary (which sounds like forever)!

Several people in our families thought that we shouldn't get married on the 13th because the date would be unlucky. Luckily, there wasn't really a choice because we were living in Florida, John was working on his master's degree and only had this one weekend between spring and summer semesters, and I only had three days of vacation from my job. My parents were not happy that we were "living in sin" (it was 1981 and they were traditional), so they accepted that it was better to get married on the only weekend we could, however unlucky, than continue our living together arrangements.

I wish I could go back in time to our wedding reception. It wasn't big, but all the people that I loved most were there in that one room. It went by in a blur, and I don't remember many details, but I would love to do it again and really pay attention to each and every person. So many people are gone now that it's a little bittersweet looking back at photos. But, hey, we were lucky enough to have had that party once and it was wonderful.

Head on over to Carole's for more Three on Thursday thoughts.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.

I'm still working on my Hitchhiker, but yesterday after I picked and prepared a couple gallons of peas, I got the urge to knit something different. The only "emergency yarn" I have here in MD is dishcloth cotton, so the choice was obvious. I finished one Double Bump dishcloth and cast on for another; we'll see how many I make before my hands hurt too much or I return to my Hitchhiker.

I finished a bit of light reading in the form of Still Me, the third book in the Me Before You trilogy. I loved the first book, and read the next two mainly to see how the story ended. I also finished Milkman (four stars from me) and another very good four star book, Ask Again, Yes. This one really made me wish I belonged to a book group, as I very much wanted to discuss it with someone once I finished. I just started an interesting nonfiction book, Snowball In a Blizzard. It's about uncertainty in medicine, and I think it's going to be quite eye-opening for me. 

What are you making and reading this week?

Monday, June 10, 2019

Sometimes Monday ...

  ... is a day to marvel at how fast snow peas ripen!

When I took the photo on Friday of the baby snow pea, it was one of three on three rows of vines. When we came back to MD from NJ on Sunday, there was a whole meal's worth! I picked, ate, and enjoyed them, and it looks like there will be plenty more this week. John likes them cooked, but I think that the real deliciousness is in eating them raw, with their crisp crunchiness and fresh, succulent taste.

I hope your week is off to a great, green, and growing start!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Eye Candy Friday

The garden is coming along nicely, and I spied something worthy of an Eye Candy Friday photo.

It's a baby snow pea pod!

There are a few other pods along with plenty of pea flowers, and tomato blossoms. Not something I'm going to cut for a bouquet, but I think it's equally as pretty as flowers.

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Three on Thursday

Joining Carole and friends for Three on Thursday, today with three random things. 

1.  I received this in an email from my credit card company just yesterday.

The words "recent airline ticket purchase on your credit card" had me quickly checking my account to see what unauthorized purchases might be there, but thankfully there weren't any. I did purchase an airline ticket in February, flew in March, and had been back for two and a half months before I got this email. Thanks for the good wishes, Chase, but try to stay current.

2.  As the mother of two boys, I often felt as if I was suffering from TMT (Too Much Testosterone) syndrome when the boys were at home and I lived with three men. I recently painted our small half bath, and Justin sent me this, wondering if I was interested in any further wall decorations:

Some things just don't change.


I was reading an article about Ani DiFranco when I came across the word fricative. I looked it up and fell down the rabbit hole of phonetics. It means "denoting a type of consonant made by the friction of breath in a narrow opening, producing a turbulent air flow", which is interesting and descriptive, but then I discovered affricate, sibilants, fricative trills, fricative flaps, and so much more. Who knew there was so much to the language process? Probably a linguist or speech pathologist, but certainly not me!

Head on over to Carole's for more Three on Thursday thoughts.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Unraveled Wednesday

Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.

When I sit and knit on the back porch in MD, I can watch the laundry dry and the garden grow. I can also keep a close eye on the groundhog that has moved in under the shed, who comes out to look longingly at the tasty vegetables we've provided for him and plan the best location to dig under the garden fence to get them.

While paying more attention to the groundhog than knitting, I made a mistake on a kfb. I tried to drop back and fix it, but just succeeded in making more mistakes. So there was actual unraveling while I ripped out five rows,

 then patiently put the stitches back on the needle and continued on.

My attention was momentarily distracted, but I've got my eye on you, groundhog. I'll be picking peas next week, and you better not have nibbled a single one.

I can also watch for the groundhog while I listen to Milkman. I was honestly a little afraid of starting this one (I wouldn't be smart enough to read it or wouldn't understand it), but it may be close to genius. How Anna Burns can tell a story about a place and people without naming that place or those people is a marvel, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. 
What are you making and reading this week?

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Flowers are Magical

Before I left NJ to head down to MD, I took a quick tour through the garden to see what was blooming.

Heavy rains beat down the peonies, but then a few hot, sunny days produced blooms in profusion, entangled in the roses.

A few are still standing upright,

and a few are blooming next to one of my favorite roses (and my least favorite weeds).

There is a single pink rose that I resisted cutting, but instead left it for others to enjoy, or maybe for the deer to eat.

Some roses and buds did get cut and brought indoors. There will probably be a shower of fallen petals waiting for me when I return, but even short-lived enjoyment is better than none.

My fuchsia continues to bloom and enchant.

And there are even intriguing  flowers-to-be. Marvelous, miraculous, and magical!

Monday, June 3, 2019


This past weekend I did something that I haven't done for a couple of years - fishing. I use that term loosely. I did put worms on a hook, threw a line in the water, and a few fish were caught and released, but that wasn't the best best part.


What was really enjoyable was just sitting quietly on the shoreline, paying a little attention to my line, but paying more attention to the lovely surroundings and the gentle sounds of the lake and nature.

Casting your line is a a perpetual series of opportunities for hope, but fishing is good no matter how the catch is.