Friday, September 24, 2021

It's Friday

After my husband and I moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1979, my Mom called me on Friday evenings to chat. She greeted me with a cheery, "It's Friday." We continued to call each other on Friday nights long after we moved to Lincoln and were only two and a half hours apart. Those calls were a joy after our work weeks. Writing this Friday TGIF post reminds me of her. She would have loved these great grandchildren.

A Nebraska t-shirt in Ct.

Thinking:  I am thinking about our recent visit of ordinary days with my daughter, son-in-law and family. We walked the three brothers to school, played the card game Uno, threw a big ball back and forth over the trampoline net, made chocolate sand pies, walked the cemetery loop on the church grounds, read at bedtime, and watched a squash plant grow in the backyard. We also celebrated Emmett's 11th birthday and Norah's 3rd birthday with their choice of dinners and decor. Emmett requested an "All American barbecue" dinner with veggie burgers, potato chips, dill pickles, sweet corn, watermelon, beans, and apple pie with ice cream. His table decor included a checked tablecloth and plastic ants crawling down the table. Norah had a Minnie Mouse party with a Nacho dinner. Kate made Minnie Mouse cupcakes. We all wore Mouse ears. Pre-Covid, the kids also chose a special birthday event, like a visit to the local nature center, touring a museum in NYC, or attending a major league baseball game. The kids love this tradition and have fun celebrating each other's birthdays. What's not to like about plastic ants topped with marshmallows and Minnie Mouse cupcakes? Avoiding the hoopla of kid-birthday-party-creep is smart.

Grateful: I am grateful we have the resources to travel and return home safely. We all tested for Covid before traveling. We wore N-95 masks on the travel days. Of course, the adults are vaccinated. I am grateful we could provide childcare so my daughter and husband could have a "working" night off. He officiated a wedding but still they were out for a few hours. We fed the kids and put them to bed on time. We had a great time together and no blood was shed. 

I love to visit my kids and I also love to come home. We fall back into our routines easily. Last night the weather was beautiful, so we carried our dinner out to the deck. The tomatoes are still producing although not as prolifically which is fine by me. It's time to collect zinnia seeds for next year.  

Inspired: I am inspired by Kym's September Thursday posts on fall gardening. In these posts, she writes about what, why, and how to take care of a garden in the autumn. These posts are full of good information and interesting links. This morning I brought in two begonias from the front porch. Overnight temperatures have dipped down to the high forties twice. The weekend promises 90 degree highs but fall is in the air. Nature with its gentle insistence on change is comforting. Yesterday I picked up fresh pumpkin pie spice and a can of pumpkin. I don't want pumpkin in all my food but I do like pumpkin muffins. 

Fun: While in Connecticut, I got my first temporary tatoo - Minnie Mouse. Since it is washing off, Norah is sending me another. "Tatoo on Grammy!" Who-boy - I don't think my kids can believe it. Even though I have a pair of socks on the needles, I cast on another pair for traveling knitting. Between air traveling and a busy household, I needed a simple pattern. Here's a bit of fun. I ordered this yarn because I thought the gold and rust speckles on a cream background looked like fall. Turns out the background had a rose tint. Oranges and browns have never been my favorite colors to wear. I tried to order an autumn color but chose rose gold despite myself. The yarn has a lovely hand and I love the colors.  

 Ravelry Link  Traveling Socks

Gentle readers, I hope all is well with you. I wish you beautiful days of early autumn weather and no ants on your picnic tables. Have a good weekend.


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Walking into Seventy

Last Thursday was my seventieth birthday. I had a lovely day, talking and texting with my sweet family and friends. My husband brought me a bouquet of roses and I tried out a new spindle. Like most everyone else, I don't feel as old as my age. As far as I'm concerned, I'm as young as I feel. Mary Pipher in her book Another Country, wrote about two periods of age, the young old and the old old. Today we are fortunate to count ourselves among the young old with plenty of laugh lines and gray hair creeping in around the edges. I'm well aware that we could join the old old group at anytime. 

For the record, I have never colored my hair. I inherited my dark hair from my Mother. She didn't turn gray until after seventy. When my hair grays, I'll consider it a badge of honor. I also believe that old age is an honor. My mantra is each day is a gift. I aim to age with as much grace as I can muster. Along the way, I'll knit, spin, read, write, and enjoy my family and friends. I walk almost every day. Walking is a good metaphor for life, one thoughtful step following another with plenty of time to breathe and enjoy the moment. I'm walking into seventy with gratitude for each day. 

Today is a glorious early autumn day. When we left on our morning walk, the temperature was 59 degrees and the sun was shining. I wore a sweater. Some maples in the neighborhood sport a few red leaves. I plan to venture out again today just to soak up the day. I potted some bronze mums last evening. Saturday the temps are going back up into the mid-nineties and two weeks of summer remain but the season is turning to my favorite, Autumn. 

This Wednesday I''m linking with Kat and the Unravelers to post about knitting and reading. My birthday cast on was a shawl incorporating some handspun Cormo and a commercial yarn. I enjoyed playing with the yarns but the colors didn't work together the way I thought they would. I'm going to unravel the project and ponder what to knit with the handspun. In the meantime I'm making good progress with Norah's sweater. I put in some textured pockets and knit a light lavender lining for the pockets. When I finish the second sleeve, I will block the sweater and stitch down the pocket lining and trim. Then I'll knit the buttonbands. I made a little progress on my current sock project.

I listened to two audiobooks that I enjoyed. Both novels had two storylines, although The Keeper of Lost Things was more intricately done with short stories as part of one story. The Keeper of Lost Things also had a bit of realistic magic that was fun. One of the main characters was a young woman with Down Syndrome. It was nice to see her included. The Lions of Fifth Avenue contained some interesting history about the New York City Public Library and women's history in Greenwich Village, beginning in 1913. Both of these novels had strong but not perfect female characters and tidy endings. With so much going on in the world, two light novels with both of these features were comforting.  

I hope wherever you are, the season is beginning to turn with cooler calmer days ahead.  

Ravelery Links

Norah's Sweater

Couplet Socks

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Hello September

September blew in with a very welcome cool breeze. I wore a long sleeved cotton tee on our walk this morning. We had an early morning thunderstorm on Monday but could use more rain. The backyard still has big cracks in the ground. Today is the first day of school for my Connecticut grandchildren. Jonah starts kindergarten. The sky looked like rain so he wore his firefighter rain jacket. My Texas grandson started his senior year late in August. It is hard to believe he is a senior looking at colleges. Sometimes the days are long but the years are short.

The first day of school is a tender moment but this year feels especially tenuous. The Connecticut school district has a good Covid protocol, beginning with masks. The PTO provided drawstring bags for each child. Families add an extra mask, hand sanitizer, and a beach towel for outdoor breaks and lunch. These three boys have been learning at home since late February 2020. They packed their backpacks and were excited about school and seeing their friends. Their parents are taking a leap of faith with a heaping amount of courage. With my heart in my throat, I'm holding a good thought for ALL school children today. A Covid vaccine for children under twelve can't come soon enough. Norah is going to be lost without "the brothers" at home. I foresee sparkly nail polish on her nails by the end of the day. It is the one girly thing she enjoys. She would rather run the bases or ride her scooter than play with a doll and that is fine by all of us. 

Moving onto the knitting and Unraveled Wednesday with Kat and friends. This week I made good progress on Norah's sweater. I finally found the rhythm for this project so it is my evening knitting. Sometimes it just takes awhile. The back and forth stockinette is peaceful and I like the heathered color of the yarn. Last night I put stitches on waste yarn for the pockets. I'm using the pocket instructions from the Cricket pattern with a slight modification in stitch numbers. Fingers and needles are crossed in hopes that I figured this out correctly. 

I started on a new spinning project and these two singles are ready to be plied. I am sectioning off each color to spin in separate but graduated colors. I plan to use the gold yarn in one project and the gradient of blues in another. Time and spinning will tell. Spinning is teaching me to let go of expectations and see what happens. I let the fiber be what it wants to be. I'll decide on projects after creating the skeins. Honestly, it's about as wild as I get. 

Speaking of gold. I walk by these sunflowers. Seeing their bright blooms brings me joy. The honey bees love them. On hot sticky mornings, they were a landmark for the way home. Seeing them meant we were just a few blocks from home and a drink of water. 

Wishing you a little peace in this crazy upside down world. 

Ravelry Links

Norah's Sweater

Blue and Gold Polworth