Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Field Trip

Last weekend John and I went to our local alpaca farm. They were having a sale and I haven't been there for almost three years, so it was time for a visit. 

When we first arrived there was one cute little alpaca outside of the fence. He seemed to be trying to find his way back in. I let the owner know and she didn't seem too concerned. She said he had been getting out all week and would join the rest of the group when it was time to be fed. Sure enough, when we left he was back inside the fence. 

I have trouble telling alpacas from llamas unless they are standing next to each other with their ears up, so I'm not sure exactly which animals are in this group. 

This was not really a help to me.

I think these two were playing some sort of "I'm taller than you are" dominance display game since they kept posing like this. The one on the left was consistently the winner. 

I'm fairly sure these animals below are llamas because their ears look like commas (that's how I remember). 

This one was quite tall and she was content to just look around the corner and chew.

I did buy some yarn and I think you might get to see it tomorrow.

Thanks for coming along on the field trip!

Monday, January 30, 2023

A Little Weird but Still Tasty

A while ago I cleaned out my pantry. I threw away the things that were expired, donated stuff that I thought the food pantry could use, and organized the unexpired cans and bottles I thought I would use. There were a couple of items that didn't fit into any of those categories. 

These were just slightly expired and even though I have no idea where the Spam came from or what would have possessed me to buy it, I still couldn't bring myself to throw them away. They sat on the counter for several days while I thought about what to do with them when I had an idea. Once I saw that there were actual recipes for this, I decided to try it. 

Behold, fried rice with spam and pineapple! I didn't follow the recipe but made it the way I have prepared fried rice before. I scrambled two eggs and removed them from the pan. Then I fried cut-up cubes of Spam and removed them from the pan. Next, I added a few teaspoons of sesame oil to the pan, dumped in some leftover rice, and added the scrambled eggs and Spam to the rice. After some stirring and frying, I mixed a few teaspoons of soy sauce with a couple teaspoons of pineapple juice, added that, and mixed it in. 

I didn't have any green onions or I would have used them, but it made a surprisingly tasty dinner. It was quick and I didn't have to feel bad for throwing away food. I won't be buying Spam in the future to make this (or for any other recipe), but I might make something similar if I have leftover ham. 

What did you have for dinner this weekend?

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Why Again

I posted before about wondering whether I should choose a word this year when I've been spectacularly unsuccessful at doing anything with my chosen word in the past. I thought I might need a plan about what to do with my word once I made a choice, and I was very leary of journaling, scrapbooking, and buying "stuff" that might go with One Little Word.

But so many of you left comments about how choosing a word was helpful to you throughout the year, and quite a few of you have done this for multiple years. I've been thinking about this for almost three weeks and have decided to give it a try. Why not? 

So I've chosen Why as my word. Kat suggested this in a comment (thank you!) and that helped to clarify my decision. I can't promise I'll post monthly about my word, and I doubt that I'll be journaling or following prompts, but I do think this might prove to be a fun word this year. I'm a naturally curious person, I wonder why about a lot of things, and it may help me to question why I behave the way I do or do things in certain ways. Questioning my behavior may lead me to change some of my behaviors. I also think I might learn a few things along the way. My mother always said I asked why too much, and it may be even more this year.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday: 1/25/23

I'm happy to join Kat and fellow Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday, with a small palate-cleanser of a project, the Sophie Scarf that much of the knitting world seems to be making. 

No soft cashmere or qiviut had miraculously made its way into my stash, but I did have an extra ball of Knitpicks Swish DK left over from my BSJ, so cast on six stitches and began. My first attempt was a little tight, so I went up a needle size and started again. It's better this time, but the fabric still feels stiff, and some of my i-cord looks a little wonky. I was going to cast on for a third time, but I decided this was my practice Sophie and I'd see how I felt after it was finished and blocked. I do have to pay attention to what row I'm on and I haven't yet figured out a good way to do that aside from a row counter, so this is not mindless meditative knitting for me like the Hitchhiker pattern. 

I finished three books last week. All the Dangerous Things was only two stars for me, and the only thing the author excelled at was the use of similes. There were so many it was like trying to count the stars in the sky. An example: "... seeing that man - his eyes like peeled grapes as he stared into the darkness; the way he creaked back and forth in his rocking chair, a methodical rhythm like someone had wound up a key in his back ...". I thought that "eyes like peeled grapes" was simultaneously creepy and hilarious. 

A Silent Fire: The Story of Inflammation, Diet, and Disease was informative enough to earn three stars. The winner was a pre-publication copy of The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende. It's an engrossing story of war and immigration told through two different children in Austria in 1938 and the United States in 2019. I have started Spare and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude so it looks like a good reading week ahead. 

What are you making and reading this week?

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Read With Us: It's a New Book!

Today's the day we announce a new Read With Us book for winter! You might already be aware of this if you attended the last Zoom discussion for The Marriage Portrait, but now everyone will know. Would you like to read a classic book that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1993 and the National Book Award for fiction in 1994? It is set in Newfoundland and Labrador and the author writes with a strong sense of place. Her characters are memorable, the language engaging, and I found the book to be thought-provoking. 

I'm happy to say that we're going to be reading The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. Many of you may have read this at some point, but I think it's a book that stands up well to a re-reading, and I very much look forward to discussing this book with all of you. 

As the book was first published 30 years ago, it should be readily available from most libraries without a long hold list, and the Kindle and paperback versions are available from Amazon for $12.99 and $11.99 respectively. If you're lucky enough to have a local independent bookstore, I'm sure you'll be able to find a copy there. Edited to add: Kat commented that she found the book available on Hoopla, so if you have access through your library, it should be available any time without a wait!

KymCarole, and I will be talking about the book, giving additional information, and doing promotional posts throughout January and February. Discussion day for The Shipping News is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at 7:00 pm Eastern time, so mark your calendars. We'll ask questions on our blogs that day and then host the always fun, educational, and entertaining Zoom discussion.

“We face up to awful things because we can't go around them, or forget them. The sooner you say 'Yes, it happened, and there's nothing I can do about it,' the sooner you can get on with your own life. You've got children to bring up. So you've got to get over it. What we have to get over, somehow we do. Even the worst things.”

I hope you'll Read With Us and find out if Quoyle and the rest of the characters in The Shipping News can get over the worst things. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

Sometimes Monday ...

 ... is for reminiscence. Over the weekend I spent some time in my messy back bedroom. My original goal was to bring some organization to the various photo albums that I've removed from the bookcase and are currently lying piled up in various places around the room. Photos are my organizational downfall, and it was pretty much the same with this attempt. I started paging through the albums, quickly getting sucked in by how cute everyone was when they were younger, people and events I have forgotten about, and quickly abandoning any attempt at organizing. I thought I'd share a few examples of what waylaid me. 

Me, five years old

Me in college with my dulcimer

Ryan eating strawberries, two years old

Ryan in a tree in Rocky Mt. National Park

Justin after catching two fish on one lure in TX

Justin with the inconnu he caught in the Yukon

Justin and Ryan trying to catch a squirrel by painting themselves with mud. The plan was that the mud would act as camouflage
 and they would be able to hide in that little tree and catch squirrels unaware. Alas, they were not successful. 

I hope your weekend was filled with lots of things that brought a big smile to your face!

Friday, January 20, 2023

Red In the Morning

Sailors did need to take warning as it was a rainy, dreary day yesterday, but it sure started out in a beautiful way. I was glad to be up to appreciate all the colors of the sunrise before the gray gloom set in. 

I hope your weekend is full of good things, whether they are sunrises, sunsets, or good times in between!

Thursday, January 19, 2023

A Gathering of Poetry: January 2023

It's the third Thursday of the month so I'd like to welcome you to A Gathering of Poetry. Today's poem is one that I've read multiple times and each time I come across a new word, a new idea, or a new mental picture. I've written before about my love for Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro (one of the best books I read in 2022). The author quotes this poem in the book's epigraph, and once I read the whole poem I was completely smitten.

by Carolyn Forché

A peacock on an olive branch looks beyond
the grove to the road, beyond the road to the sea,
blank-lit, where a sailboat anchors to a cove.
As it is morning, below deck a man is pouring water into a cup,
listening to the radio-talk of the ships: barges dead
in the calms awaiting port call, pleasure boats whose lights
hours ago went out, fishermen setting their nets for mullet,
as summer tavernas hang octopus to dry on their lines,
whisper smoke into wood ovens, sweep the terraces
clear of night, putting the music out with morning
light, and for the breadth of an hour it is possible
to consider the waters of this sea wine-dark, to remember
that there was no word for blue among the ancients,
but there was the whirring sound before the oars 
of the great triremes sang out of the seam of world,
through pine-sieved winds silvered by salt flats until
they were light enough to pass for breath from the heavens,
troubled enough to fell ships and darken thought—
then as now the clouds pass, roosters sleep in their huts,
the sea flattens under glass air, but there is nothing to hold us there:
not the quiet of marble nor the luff of sail, fields of thyme,
a vineyard at harvest, and the sea filled with the bones of those
in flight from wars east and south, our wars, their remains
scavenged on the seafloor and in its caves, belongings now
a flotsam washed to the rocks. Stand here and look
into the distant haze, there where the holy mountain
with its thousand monks wraps itself in shawls of rain,
then look to the west, where the rubber boats tipped
into the tough waves. Rest your eyes there, remembering the words
of Anacreon, himself a refugee of war, who appears
in the writings of Herodotus:
How the waves of the sea kiss the shore!
For if the earth is a camp and the sea
an ossuary of souls, light your signal fires
wherever you find yourselves.
Come the morning, launch your boats.


Carolyn Forché."Mourning". In the Lateness of the World. Penguin, 2020, New York.

You can read more about the poet here


Triremes, pine-sieved, luff, ossuary, and more. I love the language in this poem and the pictures it conjures for me. 

Thanks for reading and joining us for our 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, January 18, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday: 1/18/23

I'm happy to join Kat and fellow Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday, with lots of real unraveling. I started Cloud Cover (ravelry link) way back at the beginning of October. I was initially enthused, but after knitting the yoke, separating for the sleeves, and starting the left sleeve, it just languished in a pile by my knitting chair. Every time I thought about working on it I just thought, "Ugh!" I like the sweater but the pattern instructions got to be too much for me. I don't know enough about sweater construction to know what I could disregard (like leaving the needle in the yoke while I knit the sleeve on another circular) and the whole thing just got too cumbersome. 

This is what it looked like: 

And this is what it looks like now: 

So what's next? 

I found another sweater pattern that I like and swatched for it with size 5 and 6 needles, but my gauge is way off. It's DK weight yarn and the pattern suggests size 7 needles and a gauge of 4.5 stitches/inch. The fabric I'm getting even with 6s is too loose and holey for me, so I can't imagine what 7s would be like. I think I can use size 5 needles and knit the largest size in the pattern and math tells me that this would work. But, like I said, I don't have enough sweater-knitting experience to trust that this will really work in real life plus it's a bottom-up sweater. That's a lot of knitting to get to the top and find that gauge and math have lied to me. I think I'm just going to sit with this, knit on my Hitchhiker, and see what I arrive at. (Looking back, I was a lot happier with the gauge on Cloud Cover, so maybe I need to add re-starting it as an option?)

I read two books this week; one was disappointing but the send one was stellar. I started George and Lizzie with high expectations because it was authored by Nancy pearl, superstar librarian. But just because she can review and recommend books does not mean her talents extend to writing fiction. It read like YA and the timeline was almost incomprehensible, so I only gave it two stars. 

But Inciting Joy more than made up for it. Every year in January or February, I read a book that I'm sure will be among my top 10 books for that year. I'm fairly sure that Inciting Joy is that book for 2023. I tried to slow down and savor Ross Gay's essays, but I started listening as soon as I downloaded the book and didn't want to put it down. Like any other book of essays, there were some that I didn't connect with as much as others, but that is because I don't have a lot of interest in skateboarding or basketball. But I listened to "Through My Tears I Saw" three times because this reflection on what was healed while caring for his father is one of the best I've read. In the remainder of the essays, Mr. Gay asks us to pay attention to what brings us together (like eating good food, dancing, and gardening) rather than focusing on our differences. Several reviewers have said they're not fond of the author's digressions, but I loved them as his curiosity always leads to more compelling writing about how joy is deepened by grief, fear, and loss.

What are you making and reading this week?

Monday, January 16, 2023

Sometimes Monday ...

 ... is a day to check on my hyacinth's progress. 

Lots of roots, the stems are coming up, and hopefully, I'll have buds and blossoms soon. 

And look, a bonus geranium bud, too!

Here's hoping there is something good happening in your world this Monday!

Friday, January 13, 2023

Museum of Me: January 2023

Hello and welcome to The Museum of Me. This month's installment is based on a provocative statement: Five years from now I will be doing . . . 

I've thought all week about how to answer that question, what to include in this month's display, and where in the world did Kym come up with this difficult prompt? Looking back through my email, it seems that I might have been the one to suggest this. I've now made a note to myself to not offer further suggestions that I have a very difficult time answering.

But after a week of contemplating the statement, I think I have finally come up with a simple way to complete it. 

Mom, high school graduation, 1951

In five years I hope to be living. I will be 70 years old, and 67 is a sort of gateway number for me since that's how old my mother was when she died. On Monday it will be 22 years since my mother died of breast cancer. She was only sick for a year which is relatively quick for breast cancer. She had just retired from a long career as a postmaster at a small post office in PA and she had big plans. Mom delayed retiring for a while because she loved her job and really enjoyed talking with all of her customers every day but finally decided that it was time to get my father out of his recliner and plan some travel. 

Mom, 1956

They did make a trip to Sweden and enjoyed meeting up with some long-lost relatives that Mom and my aunt had located through their genealogy research. But sadly, that was it for her big plans. Shortly after they returned, Mom started experiencing some very disturbing changes in personality and behavior. After finally convincing my father that something was seriously wrong, we started visiting psychologists, neurologists, and then oncologists. My sons were seven and nine at the time, so I would get them on the bus, make the hour-long trip to my parent's house to see what awaited me, and then try to be back home by the time the boys got off the bus. It felt like a long year, and she did have hospice care at the end, but my father just didn't have the mental and emotional fortitude to take care of my mother and her needs. 

Mom celebrating our cat's birthday, 1969

So in five years, I hope to be alive, healthy, content, and I hope to be living to my fullest. Still walking, reading, knitting, cooking, learning, and maybe even traveling. My big plans include seeing the Northern Lights and I think I'll have to travel much farther north to do that. 

A rare photo of me, my nephew, my sister, and my mother, all together and all smiling, 1981

How about you? I'd love to hear about what you might be doing or where you'll be in five years. We'll be back on the second Friday of February with a brand-new installation. Thank you for visiting The Museum of Me and reading about my glimpse into the future.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Small Wins: January 2023


I haven't written about any small wins since September, and I've certainly had a few so it's definitely time. Ordinarily, when I take a photo to use here, I try to compose it a little bit and at least move the clutter out of the way. But this picture illustrates several of my small wins, so I'm keeping it. 

  • That notebook with my scribbling sitting on top of my Kindle is filled with my review notes for The Marriage Portrait. I read the book in October, so any details have gone completely out of my head. Given that I might need to ask my questions, presumably give my answers, and participate in the Read With Us book discussion on Wednesday night, I spent Tuesday re-reading and reviewing. I'm always a bit nervous before our discussions, but now I feel better prepared.
  • That blob of teal yarn is what I have knit on the Cloud Cover (ravelry link) sweater so far. Every day when I sit down to knit, I feel bad that I'm not working on the sweater. I have asked myself why, given myself an honest answer, and I have a plan to move forward. Once again, I feel better prepared. (More details at a later date.)
  • I set my tea mug in that spot almost every day, and almost every day John warns me that I'm going to spill it. I have been doing this for many years, and I'm happy to report that I have not (yet) spilled a drop. 
  • I cleaned out my clothing and filled three large boxes and one bag. I finally delivered the boxes and bags to Salvation Army last week. 
  • I cleaned out and organized my two chest freezers and two refrigerators. Now I can find what I'm looking for and don't have to go to the grocery store so often. (This was more of a big win!)
  • I also cleaned and organized all of my pantry shelves, got rid of the expired artichoke hearts, and took a bunch of canned soup to the local food pantry.
  • I found a box of raspberry bar mix in the pantry, so guess what we're having for dessert tonight? (Raspberry bars might be another big win!) 

I hope your week is going well and you have enjoyed several small (and large) wins!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Read With Us: Discussion Day for The Marriage Portrait

Today is the discussion day for our Read With Us Fall selection, The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell. Kym, Carole, and I are each posting discussion questions on our blogs today, and you are welcome to respond in the comments. I would also encourage you to reply to others' comments if you choose. This is a book discussion, after all, so there are no correct answers or right opinions. I've been looking forward to discussing this book for quite a while, and I don't know of a better bunch of people for a book discussion than all of you.

First, a synopsis of the book:
(From Book Browse, via Kym)

Florence, the 1550s. Lucrezia, third daughter of the grand duke, is comfortable with her obscure place in the palazzo: free to wonder at its treasures, observe its clandestine workings, and devote herself to her own artistic pursuits. But when her older sister dies on the eve of her wedding to the ruler of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, Lucrezia is thrust unwittingly into the limelight: the duke is quick to request her hand in marriage, and her father just as quick to accept on her behalf.

Having barely left girlhood behind, Lucrezia must now enter an unfamiliar court whose customs are opaque and where her arrival is not universally welcomed. Perhaps most mystifying of all is her new husband himself, Alfonso. Is he the playful sophisticate he appeared to be before their wedding, the aesthete happiest in the company of artists and musicians, or the ruthless politician before whom even his formidable sisters seem to tremble?

As Lucrezia sits in constricting finery for a painting intended to preserve her image for centuries to come, one thing becomes worryingly clear. In the court’s eyes, she has one duty: to provide the heir who will shore up the future of the Ferranese dynasty. Until then, for all of her rank and nobility, the new duchess’s future hangs entirely in the balance.

Full of the beauty and emotion with which she illuminated the Shakespearean canvas of Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell turns her talents to Renaissance Italy in an extraordinary portrait of a resilient young woman’s battle for her very survival.

So the questions I'd like to pose are these:

Discuss the novel’s portrayals of motherhood. How do Eleanora (Lucrezia's mother), Sofia (Lucrezia's nurse), and Emilia’s mother (a cook and wet nurse) provide varied forms of sustenance to Lucrezia at key points in her life? Ultimately, who makes up her true family?

What do you think? I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

And don't forget we will have an in-person Zoom discussion at 7:00 pm Eastern this evening. You can send me an email (the email address is in the upper right) to RSVP and I will make sure you get an invitation with the Zoom link if you haven't already.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday on a Tuesday

I usually look forward to joining Kat and fellow Unravelers mid-week for Unraveled Wednesday. This week, because of a scheduling change, we're posting our Read With Us discussion questions on Wednesday. I don't want to miss Unraveled Wednesday, so welcome to my Unraveled Wednesday on a Tuesday. 

Unraveled Wednesday helps me make sure I'm making some knitting progress every week and aids me in keeping track of reading (along with what others are making and reading). So I'm very grateful to Kat for hosting. Unraveled Wednesday truly feels like the anchor in my blogging week. 

And I have a (small) FO this week - Half an 1898 (ravelry link). For only half a hat, it took me longer than I expected. 

The best part may be the mad crochet skills (just kidding) I used to crochet the two halves together. But it is knit with lovely soft alpaca yarn in a color I like, so I'm looking forward to wearing it in chilly weather. My Musselburgh is still my favorite head covering, but I'll give this headband some love, too (or maybe it will become a gift if it sits in the hat and mitten box for too long).

In reading I finished three books - one was awful, one was average, and one was great. The awful one was Thursdays at Eight, and I really should have known better. I initially decided to read the book because the characters each chose a word to guide them, and this is something I was considering (and still am). But once they chose their words there was no mention of them ever again. The story is told in disjointed chapters and I thought the ending was terrible. This will be my yearly reminder to myself that chick lit is really not for me.

We All Want Impossible Things was three stars for me. Edi has ovarian cancer, and after three years of treatment, the hospital social worker basically kicks Edi out by giving the “make the most of her remaining days talk — while simultaneously clarifying that this most-making would need to happen not there.” Inpatient hospice care is recommended so her seven-year-old won't have to watch her die at home, but all the local facilities have waiting lists. Although Edi has a husband and young son in Brooklyn, Edi's best friend, Ash, ends up moving her to a hospice near her in Massachusetts, and the rest of the book is about Edi and Ash (along with Ash's slightly chaotic family). I suppose hospices could have waiting lists, but I found that a little difficult to swallow. The rest of the book has plenty of actually funny moments, along with an emphasis on female friendship. It's not overly cute, and there are some of the realities of dying of cancer.

And then there is Remote Sympathy. It is a powerful book about WWII, but it is different from anything I had read before. It's the story of a Jewish physician, an SS officer, and his wife at Buchenwald, told through the letters Dr. Weber writes to his daughter, SS officer Dietrich Hahn gives taped interviews, and his wife Greta speaks through an "imaginary diary". The lives of these three characters intersect when Greta is diagnosed with cancer, with a fourth perspective provided by the "1,000 citizens of Weimar". Each character must keep up multiple lies and self-deceit. Dietrich insists that he was "merely in supplies", Greta is shocked that her domestic servant is actually a prisoner, and Dr. Weber has to continue to treat Greta as her survival is closely linked to his own.

Chidgey's writing is beautiful despite the ugliness of the setting, and I found it a compelling story. It's a forceful book that makes you keep reading, even when it's difficult, and showcases how all humans possess the ability to look the other way and the evils of our obliviousness.

I've started an advance reading copy of Isabel Allende's newest book, The Wind Knows My Name thanks to Kat's recommendation. It's a story about war and immigration in 1938 Vienna and 2019 Arizona and is very good so far. 

What are you making and reading this week?

Friday, January 6, 2023

Always Go To the Funeral

I have the first memorial service of the year to attend today. I thought about not going and could list many of the reasons - it's an hour away, my connection to the deceased is a bit loose, and there are lots of things I'd rather do. We used to stay with my grandparents for a few weeks every summer, and one summer it seemed like they were always going to a funeral. When I asked my grandmother why they had to go to so many, she told me that it was always important to go to the funeral. Once I remembered that my decision was made.

I went to high school with the man that died and rode the bus with Tim every day for six years. When I think of him, I can still picture him clunking his trumpet case against every seat on the bus when he got on. He married the youngest sister of my brother-in-law, so I have seen him several times over the years. His wife Robin is one of the sweetest, most gentle people I have ever known, and she has always been exceedingly kind to me. Several times I have talked with my sister about how Robin may be too tenderhearted to exist in the world unscathed. There are several reasons for me to put on my black suit, drive for an hour, and express my condolences. 

It turns out that there is an NPR essay that agrees with my grandmother. It was written 18 years ago, but it's still true, you go because it's the right thing to do. I was numb during my mother's funeral, but I still remember the people present that cared about her and came on a frigid and snowy January day to express that. And I had a few overwhelming moments during my father's funeral when I was so glad to see some friendly faces after years of his being ill and me being angry (at him, his long illnesses, and his insistence on an open casket). Those moments meant a lot, and it's the least I can do to maybe be a part of that and say "Tim's life mattered and I'm sorry for your loss, Robin." So today I'm going to the memorial service to do the right thing, honor Tim's life, support Robin, participate in this ritual that's a part of life, and maybe even reflect on my own life. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023


I have a rather poor relationship with choosing One Little Word. I looked back through my blog and was quite surprised to find that I have actually chosen words for five years. 

2015 - Light
2018 - Enough
2019 - Patience, but then changed to Balance
2020 - Focus
2021 - Well

In the past, I've picked a word but then I'm at a loss about what to do with it. I'm not much of a journaler, scrapbooker, or documenter, and I've never been one to follow prompts, make vision boards, or buy "stuff" to enhance my relationship with my word. 

I've been thinking about picking a word once again this year, but before I even get to the choice part of the process, I've been thinking a lot about why should I choose a word? How will this provide a benefit, enhance my daily life, help me develop better habits, or minimize bad habits? Are there other benefits I'm not even considering?

I have found a few articles that might help answer that question, one of the most helpful was surprisingly from the  AARP. I especially liked this reasoning: "Picking a word of the year can bring clarity and focus to who we want to become and what we want to accomplish in life. A carefully chosen word is a type of mental mentor — something to help us stay motivated as we move toward our goals in 2023." I could certainly use a "mental mentor" so I am beginning to see some reasons why choosing a word might be helpful. 

I stumbled upon a book while browsing at the library, and even though it's pretty far from my usual literary fiction, I checked it out. Thursdays at Eight by Debbie Macomber is the story of four different women who come together through a journal-writing class, and they each choose a word that helps them deal with the unexpected directions their lives are taking. It's chick-lit, but I don't absolutely hate it, and there's even some knitting in it. Oftentimes reading helps me get a better handle on things I'm questioning, so I'm going to see if this book helps me answer the question as to why I might want to choose a word. 

If any of you have any basic ideas about why choosing a word might be a good thing, I'd love to hear them! I have read, enjoyed, and benefited from many of your One Little Word posts, so I don't doubt that it can be a valuable thing. I'm still a little on the fence if it can be a valuable thing for me, so I'll take any help I can get. Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday: 1/4/23

I'm happy to join Kat and fellow Unravelers with a fitting beginning for the first Unraveled Wednesday of 2023. 

In my quest to "begin as I meant to go on", I knit on this Hitchhiker during my wild New Year's Eve celebration (two White Claws and too many cookies!) but noticed something a little disturbing when I looked at it in the light of day. I bought the skeins at The Loopy Ewe, and the multicolored one was a discounted "Less Than Perfect" skein. It looked like several of the plies were broken in several places, so I ripped it out, put the blue section back on the needles, and resumed knitting again past the broken ply section. I didn't notice this when I was winding the skein so I hope it's the only "less than perfect "place.

I'm also working on the headband section of the 1898 hat for me. Our temperatures are near 60 degrees for the next few days, dropping into the 40s after that, but still not seasonably cold enough to need something to cover my ears. I know it's still winter and I'm going to wish I had this lovely alpaca yarn covering my ears, so I need to get going on this.

I had put Signal Fires on hold at the library because I couldn't stop thinking about the characters and their relationships. So a re-read of that terrific book was my first finish for this year. It was even better the second time around. I'm also reading Remote Sympathy but it's quite a powerful book so I need an occasional break. When I do, I've also been reading We All Want Impossible Things

While I'm talking about books, this is just a friendly reminder that our Read With Us discussion of The Marriage Portrait will be taking place next Wednesday, January 11th (instead of our usual Tuesday). Kym, Carole, and I will each post a question or two on our blogs that day, and then we'll have a Zoom discussion (always fun and something I look forward to!) that same evening at 7:00 pm eastern time. Please let one of us know if you would like to attend the Zoom meet-up (if you haven't already) and we'll make sure you get an invitation. I'm looking forward to a fun, educational, and rousing discussion!

What are you making and reading this week?