Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday: 11/30/22

I'm happy to join Kat and fellow Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday (the last one in November!), with one sock done and the second sock, partly done.


I think I might be done with socks for a little while after I finish this pair. I keep thinking about my Hitchhiker plan and I'd like to see if it's going to work the way I'm envisioning it or not. And then there is this barely-started sweater sitting next to me. If sweaters could talk, this one might be saying, "When will it be my turn?" (Soon, sweater, soon.)

Last week I read two cozy mysteries while I waited for some holds. The first one was The Gift of the Magpie, but I found out it's really the 28th in the series. So I went back and read the first one, Murder With Peacocks. They were okay but I think two of them were enough for me. I also read Foster by Claire Keegan. It's amazing to me what Claire Keegan can pack into a short novella like Foster. Much of how I feel is encapsulated in this quote from the story:

“You don’t ever have to say anything,” he says. “Always remember that as a thing you need never do. Many’s the man lost much just because he missed a perfect opportunity to say nothing.” 
 
The author tells the story of a young girl who is fostered out for a summer, and how big a difference kindness, love, and understanding can make.

What are you making and reading this week?

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

That Stinks!

Every year at about this time I get a little bit sad. When I go into Home Depot for plumbing parts and see all the paperwhite bulbs,


or page through the Whiteflower farms catalog and see their selection of paperwhites.


You might be wondering why I don't just get some and force them for their sweet little flowers and delightful scent. The answer is that John thinks they smell like cat pee.

I had forced paperwhite bulbs when I was in high school and wanted to continue when I moved to Florida after college. I bought some (that John and I couldn't really afford), placed them in a bowl with stones and water, and happily waited for blossoms. When they did bloom, John walked into the apartment and asked, "What stinks?" I had always found paperwhites' scent delicate and lovely, so how was it possible that they smelled like cat pee to John? It turns out that it's due to a chemical called indole. It's produced naturally by paperwhites and also gardenias, jasmine, tuberose, and orange flowers. Not everyone likes the smell of indole – especially in large amounts. It's found in other things: fecal matter, decaying animals, body odor, and even in vegetables such as broccoli and kale. (So paperwhites might sound less attractive to me.)

Some varieties of paperwhite (the ones whose flowers are more yellow than white like Grand Soleil D’Or and Wintersun) are supposed to have less indole and therefore a lighter and sweeter smell. I've never tried them; most often the bulbs you see at Home Depot or even in the grocery store are from the subspecies Ziva which is high in indole and therefore stinky to some people.


So I'm content to have a beautiful Thanksgiving cactus blooming, a geranium blossoming on the windowsill, and hyacinth bulbs chilling in the refrigerator to force later this year. But sadly, no stinky cat pee flowers are grown here. 



Monday, November 28, 2022

Sometimes Monday ...

 ... is a day to underscore simplicity and deliciousness.

I made our traditional dishes for Thanksgiving - turkey, ham, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, and pumpkin pie. Ryan wanted to bring something so he made apple crisp. We all had some after dinner (warmed with vanilla ice cream) and it was delicious. John and Justin had a lot of it for breakfast on Friday, and I opted for my traditional Pie for Breakfast. After dinner on Friday, I was going to have a piece of apple crisp, and there was only one tiny corner left in the whole 9 x 13 pan. Of course, I ate it. Justin asked if there was any more apple crisp, then John asked the same thing. They were both so dejected even though there was plenty of pie left over, it was clear I should make some apple crisp on Sunday. 


I used this recipe, it was delicious, and John and Justin were happy. I don't make very good pie crust (even though I've tried many, many times), but even I can bake apples and a crumble topping and make something delicious. Sometimes, simplicity is best. This one doesn't have any zest, nuts, coconut, or whiskey (although I did add extra cinnamon and nutmeg, and I might try this recipe for the topping next time.). We'll see if it lasts longer than 24 hours.

Never overlook the power of simplicity.
Robin S. Sharma


Friday, November 25, 2022

On Friday I'm Grateful For ...

... really, there are so many things that I couldn't settle on just one. When my own words fail me, poetry is always there to help. So how about a slightly unexpected poem to express gratitude for one of those "infernal, endless chores"? It helps a bit if I think of dust as infinite and intricate.


Dusting 
Marilyn Nelson


Thank you for these tiny
particles of ocean salt,
pearl-necklace viruses,
winged protozoans:
for the infinite,
intricate shapes
of submicroscopic
living things.

For algae spores
and fungus spores,
bonded by vital
mutual genetic cooperation,
spreading their
inseparable lives
from equator to pole.

My hand, my arm,
make sweeping circles.
Dust climbs the ladder of light.
For this infernal, endless chore,
for these eternal seeds of rain:
Thank you. For dust. 

======

Nelson, Marilyn. "Dusting". Magnificat: Louisiana State University Press, 1994. 

You can read more about the poet here

====== 

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend ahead (and maybe even pie for breakfast today).

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Wishing all who are celebrating a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving, and a very happy and healthy Thursday to those who are not.

What am I thankful for today during my Gratitude week? All of you, who take time out of your day to read some of the nonsense I've written, offer comments, suggestions, helpful advice, and support. This is truly a wonderful community, and I'm grateful to be a part of it. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday: 11/23/22

I'm happy to join Kat and fellow Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday, and in keeping with my theme of Gratitude this week, I'm very grateful that Kat hosts this gathering place each and every week. It often feels like one of the highlights of my blogging week where I get to see what others are making and reading, and I am inspired by gnomes, socks, sweaters, and pressed flowers. 

Today I've got a completed pair of socks to show you, along with another pair that I started. 


Some plain vanilla socks knit with Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in Home for Christmas. These socks were a joy to knit, in fact so much so that I started another pair almost immediately. 

These are from some String Theory Colorworks leftovers in Pluto. I made Ryan a pair of fingerless gloves to match a flannel shirt and this was the first thing I grabbed when I went looking for more self-striping yarn in my stash. I don't know where this desire to knit socks has come from but I'm just going to keep knitting and not question it. 

I finished Nobody's Fool, The Light We Carry, Welcome to Dragon Talk, and And Finally last week. They were three and four-star reads for me. I'm quite excited about the books I'm currently reading: A World on the Wing and a pre-publication copy of You Could Make This Place Beautiful. It's all I can do to stop reading and make crescent rolls, pies, stuffing, and raspberry jello salad, but my Kindle is on the kitchen table in case I have a few free minutes in between rolling crescent rolls and baking pies. 

What are you making and reading this week?

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

On Tuesday I'm Grateful For ...

 ... Yarn and the ability to knit! (I can crochet a little bit, but only if I have to.) 

I don't often keep yarn on the dining room table, but I had just cleaned it off (a monumental achievement because there were >12 antlers, a mountain of hunting equipment, and assorted fishing stuff on it), dusted, and put the tablecloths on, so it seemed like a good place for the picture of some of my stash.

I love yarn, I love how it feels, how it smells, and what I can make with it. Cotton, merino, cashmere, and alpaca all have a place in my stash. I wouldn't call myself a yarn snob, but I do only have a few skeins of acrylic (mostly for washable baby blankets). Much of my stash is from The Loopy Ewe. Ryan and I would visit several times a year when he lived in Fort Collins, and I enjoyed his careful consideration and choosing of the yarn and time spent with him as much as the yarn itself. I know I can still order from The Loopy Ewe online, but it doesn't feel quite the same. And while my stash isn't huge (three large tubs and one smaller one) it is quite big enough to keep me happily knitting for many, many years, so I definitely don't need any more yarn. But does that keep me from wanting more yarn? Definitely not!

In fact, I may have acquired a couple of new skeins despite my attempts to not buy more yarn, but I blame Kym for these. :-) I couldn't stop thinking about the colors she used for her Humulus sweater, so I bought something similar to try out a Hitchhiker idea that came to me one night when I couldn't sleep. I've started knitting with the green and hope that my idea will work when I add the pink-purple. 


I hope you've got lots of yarn in your life to be thankful for!

Monday, November 21, 2022

Sometimes Monday ...

 ... is the start of Gratitude Week here at Highly Reasonable. I'm grateful much of the time, and for many of the same things that I suspect all of you are thankful for. Each day this week, I'll highlight one of those things. 

Today I'm grateful for books, libraries, librarians, and all of the book recommendations I get from you. I'm lucky enough to belong to five different libraries (Poudre River in CO, Elkton Public Library in MD, Bucks County Free Library in Bucks County, PA, and Hunterdon County Library and Flemington Free library in NJ). When we've helped the kids buy houses, our names have been on the deeds, so all I've had to do is take the deed to the library and they have all happily given me cards. I don't feel bad because I also help the kids pay their property taxes so I am supporting the libraries financially. 

Because I have access to so many libraries, I can almost always find a book that I am looking for. I can only borrow Kindle or audio versions from CO, MD, and PA, but that often works just fine. I read four books this past weekend and three of them came from libraries. The books were a mix of fiction and non-fiction, average and above average, and I learned something from each one of them. (You can click on my reviews in the right-hand sidebar if you're interested.) 


And now I'm reading a bit of fluff in the form of Christmas mysteries by Donna Andrews. Bucks County Free Library had a bunch of these and I thought I'd give them a try. Normally I'm not much for books like these, but I like good puns, they are written with humor, and are good listening material during a busy week. 

So a big thank you to libraries and books for providing me with so much lifelong enjoyment. What are you reading?


Thursday, November 17, 2022

A Gathering of Poetry: November 2022

There are some days that I can barely stand the onslaught of troubling news, needless war with the threat of nuclear weapons, rampant inflation, and other daily tragedies. But we still need to exist, live, and maybe even thrive during these times. The world is both terrible and wonderful, and as it so often does, poetry helps to remind us that "we must risk delight" and practice stubborn gladness in the "ruthless furnace of this world."

A Brief for the Defense
Jack Gilbert

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered caf├ęs and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.

====

Gilbert, Jack. "A Brief for the Defense.” Refusing Heaven: Poems, Knopf, 2007.
You can read more about the poet here

====

Thanks for reading and joining us for our third monthly Gathering of Poetry. Be sure to visit Kym and Kat so you can gather more poetry and you can add your link below if you would like to share one of your favorite poems. The more the merrier!


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday: 11/16/22

I'm happy to join Kat and fellow Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday with a pair of socks that just needs a toe decrease and kitchenering. 


Yesterday was the kind of disturbing news day that I haven't experienced for quite a while. The Russian-made missile that killed two people in Poland and prompted discussions of NATO Articles 4 and 5 had me putting down my knitting and reading far too much news. I went to bed early with a headache, but have hopes of finishing the sock today. Like Elizabeth Zimmerman said, "Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises."

On a happier note, I've been listening to Michelle Obama's new book, The Light We Carry. The subtitle is Overcoming in Uncertain Times, and I am appreciating her calm and caring voice in my ears. She talks a lot about how she took up knitting during the pandemic. I also finished Dinosaurs and The Whalebone Theatre this week but they were just average three-star books for me. 

What are you making and reading this week?

Monday, November 14, 2022

Sometimes Monday ...

 ... is a day to gaze gratefully into your freezers.


We have two chest freezers and now they both look pretty much like this - about 2/3 full of venison in steaks, stew meat, roasts, and ground into burger. For readers that might not want to see the details, don't worry, this is the only photo I'm going to subject you to. 

John and Justin both hunt, in PA and NJ. Justin has gotten two deer and taken them to the butcher for processing. John got one deer and because he says "he wants it done right", we butchered John's deer ourselves. (This may also be due to being somewhat frugal, but it is his deer.) I had forgotten the time and effort that it took to butcher a deer as I haven't done one in over a year. It took us 22 man-hours to process this one, including all the actual butchering, grinding, and packaging the meat. I'm glad for the meat in the freezer, and I'll be even happier when my back feels better. John figures that we got ~ 100 pounds of meat, and I hope the loin roast that we're having tonight is delicious. 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Museum of Me: November 2022


Today at the Museum of Me, we ask the question  - who is your unsung hero?

I have a file labeled "Unsung Heroes" and I add names to it when I come across someone that I haven't heard of before that accomplished something difficult, who spoke out in favor of what was right when all around them were doing wrong, who achieved great things that involved acts of bravery or sacrifice yet they are not recognized or celebrated. There are really hundreds or thousands of people like this once you start looking, in history and in the present day. 

I thought about Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician who tried to introduce handwashing and disinfection in obstetrical clinics, Miep Gies who hid Anne Frank and other Dutch Jews from the Nazis and retrieved Anne Frank's diary, or the cheerful cashier at Walmart who never fails to greet me with a smile and make me laugh. But I finally settled on Irena Sendler as the unsung hero I'd like to write about today. 


Irena was a Polish humanitarian, social worker, and nurse who was part of the Polish Underground Resistance. During World War II, Irena Sendler smuggled more than 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto. She smuggled the children out of the Warsaw Ghetto by providing them with false identity documents and getting those children to safety with other willing Polish families and orphanages. Her work was done at huge risk because giving any kind of assistance to Jews in German-occupied Poland was punishable by death, not just for the person who was providing the help but also for their entire family or household. She and her co-workers buried lists of the hidden children in jars to keep track of their original and new identities. The aim was to return the children to their original families, if still alive after the war. Irena was arrested by the Nazis who broke her arms and legs, beat her severely, sent her to prison, and sentenced her to death. She was rescued by the Polish Underground, assumed a new identity, and continued her work. 


She lived in Warsaw after the war, continuing as a social worker, and died in 2008. Irena is celebrated as a hero in Poland but is not well-known outside of the country. 

I think Irena Sendler is a worthy unsung hero because of her heroic rescue of 2,500 children. When asked why she put herself and her family at such risk, she said, “It was a need of my heart. I only did what any decent person would do. It was the parents and grandparents who gave up their children, they were the true heroes.”

She said it was her father’s teaching that inspired her. “If you see someone drowning you must rescue them, even if you cannot swim. There are only two kinds of people in the world, good and bad, regardless of race, religion, or creed. And most people are good.” I'm not sure I see myself reflected in her words, but we don't have to perform grand or mighty deeds to be heroes. We can get up, show up, try to do our best, and be kind. I think that may be enough on most days.

There are unsung heroes all around us, and I'd love to hear about your unsung hero/es in the comments. Thanks for visiting The Museum of (Not) Me this month and be sure to stop by The Museum again on the second Friday in December for a new installation. 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Adventures With Dirt

On Monday we went up to Ryan's house to have some adventures with dirt. Shortly after he moved in, he got at least eight inches of rain within a few hours and his basement flooded. We remedied things in short order with three shop vacs and fans, but then we had to figure out how to prevent this in the future. After talking to several neighbors, the ones that had installed a second sump pump didn't have any flooding. So we did have a second sump pump installed, but the drainage from the original one was also a problem. It was only pumping water out a couple of feet away from the house and the sump pump drain is also at a low spot. We fixed the sump pump drainage by digging a trench and diverting the water much farther away from the house. The last piece of the drainage issue was to address the grading of the soil around his house. It had settled and everything was sloping towards the house, so we needed to get some topsoil and spread it on both sides of the house, away from the house on a downward slope.



The dump truck driver was nice and dumped 5.5 cubic yards on the side that needed the most and 1.5 cubic yards on the other side of the house. Then we just got busy with wheelbarrows, shovels, and rakes. 




We worked pretty steadily, taking breaks for water and our backs, but by late afternoon we had spread all of the dirt necessary on both sides of the house and still had an extra 1.5 cubic yards. So John's garden got quite a few wheelbarrow loads of the extra topsoil. 


John and Ryan put the fence back up and we spread grass seed and straw and watered. We had a beautiful day for the job, 78 degrees and breezy, but then it got 20 degrees colder with frost at night, so I doubt the grass seed will germinate this year. 




It may not look like much but you can tell that we did something by looking at the cellar window wells. They were about eight inches above soil level on both sides of the house but now the soil comes up to the level of the window well. 

We still have to add window well covers and see how things look when we get some rain. I'm sure we'll have to re-plant grass in the spring and we could probably scrub the mildew off the siding, but these can wait until warmer weather. I was really dreading this job and we had allotted two days for it, so I was very happy that we were able to complete it all in one day. After a few ibuprofen, some roll-on lidocaine, and muscle rub my back and shoulders weren't even too sore. I am very glad that this is done!

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday: 11/9/22

I'm happy to join Kat and fellow Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday. We're back from successful adventures with dirt at Ryan's house, and I'm glad that job is done. I might bore you with photos of dirt tomorrow, but today I've got socks. 

One done and about halfway down the leg on the second sock. I had forgotten how much fun it is to knit socks with self-striping yarn and have been thinking about what other self-striping yarn might be lurking in my stash. But then there is that sweater I abandoned to focus on socks, so it might be time to get back to the cardigan. I'm going to drown any post-election dismay I might feel with the new season of The Crown and both sock and sweater knitting will go quite well with that. (I'm really not sure how I'll feel about Dolores Umbridge as the Queen!)

I did read an interesting book last week, The Boys by Katie Hafner. Probably the best review I can write for The Boys is to advise you to stop reading reviews right now, and go read this book, right now. I seriously think your enjoyment of this original book will be increased if you don't know too much about it. In short, it's a detailed and thought-provoking story about socially awkward Ethan, a gifted programmer who suffered some childhood trauma. He meets Barb, a research scientist investigating the effects of loneliness and social isolation, they get married, and the stage is set. I'm not going to say anything else, other than as soon as I finished the book, I started re-listening immediately. I've never done that before, but this is that kind of book. Katie Hafner is a journalist who has written a lot of non-fiction titles, but I'm going to be waiting impatiently for her next intriguing work of fiction. (4.5 stars rounded up.)

What are you making and reading this week?

Monday, November 7, 2022

Monday Is for Manual Labor

 

I'll be absent from the blog for a few days because I'm at Ryan's house performing manual labor. This time it's for real; we've had seven cubic yards of topsoil delivered and it needs to be wheelbarrowed, shoveled, and raked into place. I'll be back later this week, hopefully without too much pain in my back and shoulders. 

I hope your week is off to a good start, without too much manual labor (unless you like that kind of thing)!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Out My Window

... and up on my roof! 


The guys are here to repair the box gutter, soffit, fascia, and even some joists. (I know these words now because I've gotten quite a bit of education about them.)

First, there was setting up the ladders, some sawing to open up the problem area, and then some assessment. 


It turns out that the gutter is bowed down slightly in the middle and this is what led to the rotten wood and drips. The bowed gutter is pulling away from the soffit and the joists that are holding this all up are 140 years old. They can't just screw it all back together without strengthening the joists so that makes it into a two-day job rather than just one like they had originally thought.


John likes to see things for himself so he had to get up on the roof and take a look. I was content looking at the pictures that the guy showed me on his phone. I did have to laugh to myself a little because I've learned that whenever John stands with his hands on his hips, he's making an important decision. The decision he made was to fix it right and that doubled the cost. 

So we'll see what the final invoice comes to. John and I have taken bets, and my bet is twice what John's is. If you look at those buckets of Gaco Roof and Gaco Patch in the photo below, those materials alone are $450.00 and $250.00 respectively. But look at those nice new boards to repair and strengthen the old joists! I do feel happier knowing that hopefully, the whole gutter assembly won't just rip off the house when we get some heavy snow. I'm not worried that the cost of the repair just doubled because I bought some Powerball tickets so I can pay for it with my winnings. :-)

They've asked me questions about 12 different times, and while I appreciate knowing what's going on, I did have to chuckle at one of the questions. That nice piece of white molding in the photo below is what they are replacing the peeling and rotten fascia with. They are trimming the new molding to match the height of the old stuff, but there is a little lip on the new molding that is about 0.5" higher than on the old one. The head guy wanted to make sure I was okay with that. I almost laughed but told him that I doubted I would be able to even tell the difference standing on the ground, so it was just fine with me. 


So that's the view out my windows, doors, and up on the roof. I hope your own views are pleasant (and maybe not costing you too much)!

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday: 11/2/22

I'm happy to join Kat and fellow Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday with two knitting projects. I did separate the yoke and the sleeve stitches on the Cloud Cover cardigan. 

The directions have you knit the left sleeve flat and then the right sleeve. Given my lack of experience with sweater construction, I'm doing what the directions tell me to do. The free needle on the left is the left sleeve in progress, and the taped-together needle is holding the rest of the stitches out of the way. Given that the sweater now has two needles and two balls of yarn attached, it's not too easy to work on it as a traveling project away from home. So I searched my stash, found this yarn (Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in Home for Christmas that I bought about eight years ago), and am having great fun working on a sock.


I took it to Ryan's and it's the perfect traveling project. I've basically ignored the sweater since I started the sock and am already through the gusset decreases and cruising down the foot. Since they are sort of Christmas socks it would be nice to get them done in a somewhat timely fashion. They'll also be the perfect project to test my neck light tonight. People complain about Jeff Bezos and Amazon, but they deliver important things like neck lights promptly. 

I'm waiting for a few holds from the library so reading has been slow this week. I haven't finished anything, but I did start The Boys by Katie Hafner. So far, so good.

What are you making and reading this week?

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Right Now: November 2022

Tempus fugit and Happy November! November 1st seems like a good day for a catch-up post, so that's what I'm doing today.

Excited About - The fact that I've cooked enough over the past several days that we can have a smorgasbord for dinner. Don't confuse these with plain old leftovers, these are much better. I think that venison barley stew, chicken bacon ranch pasta, and cider-roasted turkey breast are all delicious so I'm already thinking about what I'm going to have for dinner. 


Making - I already made turkey stock and picked all the meat off the turkey breast. For anybody that lives on the east coast and has access to a WaWa, I will be making a Gobbler for dinner some night this week. For those that have never had a Gobbler, it's turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, on a hoagie roll. It's also available as a bowl, but I like the sandwich better. I realize it may sound disgusting to some, but I think it's delicious. It's only available for a limited time so that may add to my enjoyment. 

Making Part 2 - I'm going up to Ryan's today to pick the rest of the hot peppers, help John clean up the garden, and make chili paste with Ryan. It seems like a good way to use up lots of these peppers and Ryan will use the chili paste in soup, on pasta, in eggs, etc. Any remaining hot peppers will go to Justin to take to his Hispanic co-workers.

Grateful For - The fact that we did not get topsoil delivered to Ryan's last week. It had rained for four days and the topsoil guy said it had been too wet for them to sieve the soil. I talked to him on the phone and he said that topsoil needed to be sieved to remove rocks, glass, and all manner of things. He seemed surprised that I didn't know this but now I do. We don't have any estimated delivery for the future, but I was glad to put off what I imagined as back-breaking work. 

Planning - Thanksgiving dinner. It's actually my favorite holiday, mainly because I enjoy the food and adore the leftovers (like fried stuffing and pumpkin pie for breakfast the day after). I also like it because it doesn't require gifts, decorations, or much of the stress of other holidays. We just have the usual turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc., but I always make homemade crescent rolls and cranberry-orange relish. 

Glad - That I got my flu shot last Saturday. I looked around for appointments and the only place I could find that would do it within two weeks was Walmart. It was my first year for the 65 and over HD dosage. I usually have a slight reaction to the regular flu shot, and I don't know if it was the power of suggestion due to the warning from the pharmacist, but I felt awful on Sunday. I woke up with a fever and shaking chills at 2:00 am, and had a headache and muscle aches through Monday. But it's done and I feel better for having done what I could. I'll continue to wear a mask in public and wash my hands and I don't want either flu or covid. 

Dreading - Paying bills. I've never enjoyed it, but since John has retired we no longer have income coming in every month. We've both decided to wait as long as possible to get Social Security but may need to start that next year. We were quite thrifty while he was working and we have a 401k, but before we start tapping into it we are living off of our savings account. It's painful to see it decrease so rapidly each month. 

Made Me Laugh - It's a little bit mean and childish, but still funny. It's from an NPR article about Bob Woodward's release of his original interview tapes with Trump. NPR has since corrected it, but I'm not above laughing at Trump.

Watching - Nothing, because the power is off for the fifth time in the last week! When I reported it they said it would be off for another four hours. So I'm glad I didn't do the load of sheets I had planned because I wouldn't be able to dry them in the dryer. I do wish I had turned the heat up above 62 though.

Grateful for Part 2 - Electricity! After seven hours, it's back, along with internet and wifi. I found out I can knit with just a flashlight but some sort of light that goes around my neck would be much better. I've also added AA and AAA batteries to the list because I've gone through all of them. The heat is turned up to 65, I have light to knit by, my phone and iPod are charging, and things aren't looking quite as bleak as they did in the dark. 

What I've Just Ordered - This! 

What's going on in your world right now?