Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A Stealth Month

It's been years since I joined in NaBloPoMo, where you pledge to write on your blog every day in the month of November, but this time I decided to try it, low-key, and see if I could/would want to do it. And look at that, it's the 30th and I did. 

It was a good reminder that I don't have to go deep into a topic every time; real "the perfect is the enemy of the good" stuff there. Just write something, don't overthink it, this is supposed to be fun. At least most of the time.

Will I keep it up? Well, probably not every day (given the holidays, my brother's visit for same, and Mom's possible surgery), but perhaps more often than I had been. 

Now, a funny Maggie story that (for once) does not have an accompanying photo. Last night, I was watching the Bruins game, of course, but I also wasn't feeling well (moderate headache with stomach involvement), so after the second period I got myself ready for bed, and when the third period started, instead of sitting up on the couch as I normally do, I was lying down, on my side so I could see the TV.

Maggie was baffled by this. It's not that I've never done it before, but it's rare, and she clearly didn't remember it ever happening. She came walking over and alongside me, checking out the space, and came to the correct conclusion that she wasn't going to fit in next to me.

She jumped down, and my mother rolled one of the footstools over next to me, so that Maggie could be near me, at least, if she wanted to. I called Maggie to come back, and after enough of a pause to be clear that it was her idea, and she wasn't coming when called like a dog or something, she came back up.

Climbed all over, checking things out.

And then decided to lie down on top of my hip, from waist to knee, not on the couch next to me but on me, up in the air. This struck me as so funny that I was laughing, and trying not to because it bounced her. I'm laughing now, remembering it.

She stayed that was for a few minutes, then got up, turned around, and laid down along the side of my torso instead. I petted her and told her how beautiful she was, and she stayed there probably 10 minutes, including a brief bath period, before decamping for more stable ground.


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Not Final, Surgery and Yarn Edition

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my mother has been having trouble with the shoulder that was replaced in March. She had some sort of nerve test yesterday, then met with the surgeon, and, well, she may be having surgery next Monday to remove the screw. Monday! Yipes.

She had been thinking that if surgery had to happen, she would wait until after the holidays to do it. The thing is, though, that she needs to see her own doctor and have bloodwork within a month of surgery, and she actually saw her doctor and had bloodwork, routinely, this month. So if she gets it done now, she doesn't have to repeat all that again.

Plus, of course, she does want to get rid of the pain.

Anyway, it isn't set yet; she has more appointments today, and we'll see. 

Meanwhile, isn't it more fun to talk about yarn!* I think so. I got some in the mail yesterday.

*You know I'm a planner, and being at this too-early-to-plan anything stage makes me twitchy.

I hadn't been planning to make this purchase, but I got an email from a yarn store that their black Friday sale was including 50% off Shibui, which is a very nice and not cheap yarn brand. I already had a few skeins of Lunar, which is 60/40 merino/silk and so lovely, that I had gotten on sale here and there. I looked at the available colors in this sale, and ended up ordering these:

Which are beautiful, right, but perhaps incomplete? Let me add in the ones I already had:

Ahhhh. So beautiful. I keep switching the order around; it's very much not final yet. But I'm looking at the Summer Candy shawl pattern and pondering. Which is fun.

As is this view, which shows why I say that my favorite color may be blue, but my second favorite is rainbow.

Monday, November 28, 2022


You really don't want to hear my vents about the project I worked on today (seriously, the bio of one of the directors had "Opthalmology" listed as part of her title, that is spelled wrong), so have a Maggie picture instead. She held still for me very nicely, long enough for me to pick up my phone, open the camera, and get the picture.

Sun and shadow.

Need more? Lounging this morning.

She lives the life, all right.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Did the Thing

Whenever I have more than a few days off, I find myself imagining that I will accomplish so many projects, and then I often don't get very far into them. But one thing that I wanted to get done over the Thanksgiving break was finish my cousin's shawl, and I did! Yay!

Candidly, it was not a great experience, making this shawl. The pattern had shall-we-call-them flaws, some of which may have been due to English not being the writer's first language, but others... well, let's just say that I thought about burning the pattern printout when I finished (though in the end I just threw it out). 

But it's done! Done! Washed and drying and then it will be ready to mail to Pennsylvania well before Christmas. Which, considering that she asked me if I would make in in June*, is about time.

*I did tell her then that I couldn't say how long it would take me. But still.

So happy....

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Time Off

Even a three-day weekend is so much better than a regular one, but a four-day weekend? Amazing. Waking up after two days off to have two more days off feels fantastic.

Of course, that's followed by a five-day work week, and then two more of the same, which will be a rude return to reality. But I am taking the whole week before Christmas off, and then we get Monday for the holiday AND I'm taking Tuesday the 27th, AND THEN, I will work three days that are generally not hectic, followed by another three-day weekend. Phew.

(I would love to retire, but my finances are not ready yet. My back-up plan continues to let me down: on last night's Mega Millions ticket, we had one number. And although I was mildly irked that we had three other numbers that were one-stinking-digit off a winning number, we would only have won $400 if they were all correct. Not exactly retirement money there.)

Ah well. Here, have a burrowing owl photo I took on a walk today. The new phone's camera is so much better than the old one--so much zoom!

I just love how they always look so fed up with the attention.

Friday, November 25, 2022

More Maggie? More Maggie!

It seems crazy that it's a month to Christmas, doesn't it? Let's not think about that. Have some Maggie pictures instead. She's been extra-cute recently, I think.

Rolling on her box.

Investigating the mattress pad, airing on the lanai. "Can I sleep in this?"
Back on the box.
Looking at me from Mom's bed, after she has rearranged the blanket.
"What? It looks better this way."
Mom used to make her bed every day, but that changed when her highness moved in. She sleeps around, is what I'm saying, and we have boxes and blankets everywhere.

And we wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Holidays: Thanksgiving (for the Americans) and Maggie

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans who celebrate it!

Happy random Thursday in November, everyone else!

Happy four-years-with-Maggie for those who celebrate that!

After last year's somewhat-unplanned 25-pound turkey situation, my mother and I agreed that going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner was a good solution this year. There's a local restaurant that we went to with friends a while ago where I had the turkey and stuffing special, and it was delicious, so there we go. Or, rather, there we are going.

I hope that if you are doing something for the holiday, it goes well. (How's that for low-key? Remember, the key to happiness is low expectations.)

And now, brace yourself for the fire hose of here-comes-Christmas. Breathe. We'll get there. Wherever there is.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Good Yarn Mail

In addition to the two yarn orders I mentioned last week, I also placed an order with Treasure Goddess, because I can NOT resist a sale on nice yarn. And it arrived yesterday!

One skein of Treasured Yak Toes sock yarn, which is 70/20/10 merino, yak, and nylon, in colorway Sultry Sapphire:
Such nice yarn.
And two skeins of Treasured DK Luxe, which is 70/20/10 baby alpaca, silk, and cashmere, in colorway Swimmin' with the Fishes.
It's glorious.
And the packaging is very affirming. I do have great taste!
So that was yesterday's mail, and here's today's!
Just how gorgeous is this? Anzula Squishy Skeinettes, which is 20 grams each of the rainbow, and a 50g skein of Squishy in Charcoal (both are 80/10/10 merino, cashmere, and nylon).

I've said before that my favorite color is blue, and my second favorite is rainbow, and here I am! Happy (belated) birthday to me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Giving Blood

I was very surprised this week to read the news that the Red Cross has reversed its ban on blood donations from those who lived in certain countries during certain years, which was enacted a few decades back and related to mad cow disease. 

When they put that rule in place, I had been a blood donor for, oh, 20 years, since I was in college, and I gave regularly (including doing plasmapheresis for a while). So I will admit that I was bothered to be kicked out just because of the year I had spent in England in the mid-80s. But now, apparently, all is forgiven! How about that.

Will I give blood again? Yes, when I encounter a convenient, evening or weekend blood drive*, I'm willing; I'm not going to hold a grudge about it. It just ... feels funny? Knowing that I can again? I'm not sure why. 

*When I lived in Charlotte NC, there was one annual blood drive that I always timed my donations to be eligible for: it was sponsored by Ben & Jerry's, and you got a free pint of ice cream for donating. Why not, right? I haven't been paying attention to drives around here, of course, so I'll have to look around and see if there are any fun ones like that.

Do you or have you given blood? 

Do they still give out the stickers when you do?

Monday, November 21, 2022

Doing Some Holiday Prep

I ordered my Christmas cards last week, and I would like to strongly thank Last Year Me for that, because I had made a note on my calendar last year for this November, telling myself to order a photo card using a picture of Maggie from a specific date last December, which was very handy to be reminded of (because I had of course completely forgotten). I found a Groupon for cards from Staples, so instead of $30 for 25 cards, it was $12.50, which is a good enough deal for me. They turned out pretty well, I think; you'll see it here on Christmas Day, assuming I have them all mailed out by then. 

I've made a start on getting shopping for presents organized: I don't have a ton of people to shop for, but I do enjoy finding fun/cute/nice things for my loved ones. Lots of packages are incoming, which is kind of fun in itself.

Speaking of packages, I've used the Shop app to track packages for a while now, but lately it hasn't been as reliable. Sometimes a shipment will be listed twice, but other times it doesn't show up until the item is out for delivery. And now it's contradicting itself:

  • This morning one item showed in the summary as arriving November 25, but when I opened that order, it showed as out for delivery. Today is not the 25th.
  • Another said it was arriving today, but the locator shows it as most recently in Louisville, Kentucky, and it seems to me it should be scanned in Florida before it goes out for delivery. Wouldn't you think?

Shop has definitely become a provider of more general guidelines instead of absolute info.

Ah well. It's still somewhat helpful. Do you use it or anything like it for tracking things? I like to have the info (I love stalking packages), though I also use an analog method for tracking things I've ordered. I made a table in a Word document, so I can write in where I've ordered from, and then note when it shipped, who it's coming by, and the estimated delivery. (Yes, I am a data nerd.) I print a sheet of this out and hand-write on it.

A lot of the time, I don't need it (I mean, if I order one thing, it isn't going to slip my mind), but at this time of year, it can help me keep straight what's come and what hasn't yet.

Whether you are all done or not even started with holiday prep, I hope you're hanging in there--it's all we can do, sometimes. Be easy on yourself.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Why to Block Knitting

I gave a glimpse recently of what I'm knitting, which is a project I started before my trip last month, to have a small, portable project. I love the Wheelwright Shawl that I finished in the spring, and thought it would be nice to have a lighter-weight version of it (that one was DK, this is fingering).

As I got started on it, the edges were really rolling, and while I was pretty sure blocking was going to take care of that, I decided to do a half-assed block-in-progress and see.

Laid out, and curling at the end (top in the photo) and along the rounded edge.

Dampened, spread out, and pinned. There we go! So much bigger when you can see all of it.
And when I took the pins out, it pretty much stayed that way. So it's good!
Yay. Onward.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Classic Car Show!

Today was time again for the classic car show, and Mom and I had a very pleasant time walking around oohing and ahhing at the beautiful old cars. Some of them are probably the same that we saw in previous years, but seeing them again is still great.

Ready for a lot of photos? Enjoy!