Friday, June 30, 2023

June Movie Ratings!

Another month, more amusing movie ratings from the Boston Globe!

Spider man, spider man...
So it's like a language lesson!
When fire and water mix...after reading the reviews for this one, I don't want to see it, which is a shame, I often really like animated movies.
Cussin'! Gettin' nekkid!
Naughty, naughty, and one star, oof.
That is saying something...but again, the reviews have not enticed me to want to see this one.

Seen any good movies lately?

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Making a Uniform

As I've gotten older, I have more and more embraced the idea of simplifying my clothing, to something between a capsule wardrobe and a uniform. I have a lot of random items that are okay, fit fine, I-can-wear-that, but things I'm not excited for, and that I don't find myself reaching for. Why keep them, while I wear the same few things again and again?

Note that this doesn't include things I still need to have but don't wear often, like grown-up clothes (theater, etcetera), or warm layers for trips up north. I need to keep some of those, but I'm talking about everyday items for my everyday life in Florida.

A note about material: I have been looking a lot for cotton, because it breathes better than synthetics. I would love to buy more wool clothing, which is even better for that (yes, in hot weather too), but what I have found is not always available in my size (looking at you, Smartwool) and when it is, is awfully expensive (hi, Woolx, that would be you). Having wool leggings for a light, warm, moisture-wicking wear experience sounds great, but it's not worth $135 to me, at this point in my life. I ordered a pair from REI that were much less, and we'll see how that is.

So: instead of having the random oddballs, I've been trying to find something that works, get a bunch of them, and simplify the whole process, while packing up a bunch of things I don't wear and donating them. 

I've been able to find things in a couple of categories.


I first got a pair of Zenergy by Chico's capris from the thrift store when my mother was volunteering there (this is not the only time I will say that), and I then found a few more on Poshmark, so I have four pair now.

They're part cotton, lightweight, and comfortable. The only drawback is that they're thin fabric, which means that on most of the ones I have, I can't wear patterned underpants because they show through, and also, because I am a sweaty person in hot weather, I sometimes worry that it might look like I sat in a puddle. But for casual circumstances, they work great.


Again, my first Ideology skort came to me via the thrift store, and I liked it enough to search out some more. They are stretchy/flexible material, not cotton but comfortable, and while it's a slightly short length for my preferences, the fact that it's a skort means at least I don't have to worry about flashing anyone. They look like this:

I have one I like as much from another brand, Coral Bay, which a search tells me is a brand from Bealls, and it is equally comfortable, slightly longer (21 inches versus 18), and, drumroll please, it has pockets!

I found one kind of like this on Poshmark, or at least let's hope it's enough like to work for me.

Sleeveless Shirts

As I mentioned, in really hot weather, I do not want to be wearing a shirt with sleeves; for some reason, it drives me over the edge when I'm hot. The shirts I wrote about that I got from JC Penney are these, from their St. John's Bay line, and I liked the two I got enough that I went to the website this week and ordered it in more colors than the store had in stock.

Because if it works, it works.

I also found a sort-of-similar sleeveless shirt that I liked when I ran into Bealls Outlet to look for cotton sleep shorts, and like it enough that I'll be checking back for more of that brand.


I had a couple of these cotton dresses (technically they're swim cover-ups) from Lands' End already, but a friend let me know that they were on a big sale, and for about 75% off, I couldn't resist getting some more. 

They even have pockets! They're great for hanging around the house (or by the pool, in theory, though I don't actually do that frequently). I would probably wear cotton bike shorts under them for going out, though (see above: sweaty person).

Do you have a personal wardrobe/style thing going? Have you ever, after putting off going through your closet to pull out what doesn't work, suddenly felt ready to do it, do it now, out they go?

Tuesday, June 27, 2023


When you wake up from a nap and don't know what day it is.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Tarragon; Pool Reno; Women's Clothing Sizing

Tarragon, Anyone?

My mother recently made a batch of tuna tarragon salad, from a recipe that a neighbor gave us (it's yummy), and mentioned that we now have more tarragon than we will use before it gets stale, so I offered to ask y'all if anyone has a recipe that they enjoy that uses tarragon. She thought that was a great idea, and added that if anyone uses a lot of tarragon, she would be happy to send you half the amount she just bought. So, hit me up: tarragon! Do you use it? In what? Want some? 

Oh, the Noise

Meanwhile, I often say that they key to happiness is low expectations--that way, when something goes better than you expected, it's a pleasant surprise, instead of the other way around.

Also, I would like to state for the record that I do understand, I really do, that timelines shift and plans change when having repair/remodeling/fixing-up work done. It's the nature of renovations. I get that.

However, I am also very literal. And if, after three weeks of mostly extremely loud work around the pool, we are told Friday afternoon that the pavers are done, and the interior pool work will start Wednesday, I do not expect loud work to happen on Saturday morning, and then starting again bright and early Monday morning.

You. Said. Wednesday.

I'm not personally blaming the condo board member who sent the update, not even in my own head; they are just passing along what they were told. But still.

You. Said. Wednesday.

What Size?

I went shopping on Saturday, and bought some sleeveless tops, as I mostly live in those in the summer down here (when the heat index can be over 100, something about sleeves, even short ones, sets me off). I looked in a bunch of places, but found one I liked at JC Penney, of all places. It fits me, doesn't flash too much, hangs well ... and is a size 3X.

As a woman dealing with fashion as it is today in America, I don't think of myself as being a particular size. I have plenty of XL tops, but also have tried some XL pieces that I can't even get on. Sizes are essentially meaningless. But I have tried on 3X tops that look like I am wearing an actual tent, which this (honestly) does not. It strikes me as odd that I can wear things that are labeled four sizes differently. The sizing system really is based on nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Do you think of yourself as being a particular size? 

Friday, June 23, 2023

It's a Mystery

The sock I've been knitting most recently is at a turning point (literally, at the heel), which means it needs to be gotten around the corner before it can be carry-around knitting again.

So I went digging for what I knew were a couple of socks-in-progress to find one for carrying around (I always have one in my purse), and I found a surprise.

Sometime between October 2020, when I got this yarn, and now, I started a sock with it, in my usual pattern (Simple Skyp Socks). 

And, very unusually, I did not put the project in Ravelry*! I always do that! Reliably! Except apparently not this time. (I didn't seem to have blogged about it, either, which I usually do.)

*The yarn itself is in Ravelry, but not associated with a project.

Wow, when you do something 99% of the time, that 1% is so confusing.

Anyway, after a while, it occurred to me that the other thing I (almost) always do is take pictures of winding yarn and starting projects, and a scroll through my archive found the relevant photos in May 2021. With the date narrowed down, I could look more closely in the blog, and sure enough, there it was. I was preparing in case I had to go in for jury duty, and given how I was dreading that, I think it explains how I skipped the whole part about listing the project in Ravely. At least there's a reason.

Maggie thinks it isn't much of a reason. She may be right.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Of Headaches

So many times recently, I have expressed my discontent with the different systems for human bodies and cars.

If my car has a problem, I take it to the mechanic, he plugs it in, and the computer tells him what's wrong.

If I have a problem, I go to the doctor, we discuss this and that, try this and that, can't tell what is causing an issue and can't tell what makes it better ... it's insanely frustrating.

However, just because I can't tell what is causing a victory does not mean I won't celebrate a victory if it happens. To wit:

  • From March 23 to April 22, I had a headache on 18 days.
  • From April 23 to May 22, I had a headache on 15 days.
  • From May 23 to June 22, I had a headache on 6 days.

How about that for an improvement! Also, though this isn't something I've tracked, I feel like it was less frequent that they were all-day headaches in the most recent month, whereas before, they often were. Either way, really, it's awesome.

Now, what caused the improvement? Any or all or none of these things:

  • The beta blocker that my PCP put me on.
  • One or both of the medicines that the ENT put me on, for fluid in my ear (now all better, yay).
  • Background hormonal BS that has subsided (for now, anyway).
  • Or who knows?

Don't get me wrong, I would like to know. So much I want to know! But since I can't plug myself into a computer and study the readout, I'll take what I have, which is drastically fewer headaches. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

A Lingering Effect

It's nine months since hurricane Ian upended life here, and while we were so very lucky in the grand scheme of things and are not, like some areas, still dealing with unspeakable damage, it was A Lot to go through. My first hurricane bug-out!

I'm kind of realizing again that I have some PTSD from it, as hurricane season gets underway and I have to watch storm paths again. (Good news is that Bret is currently not headed at me, yay.)  The idea of having to evacuate is giving me flashbacks to September, and wow, I hope we don't have to do that again this year.

But of course we will if we have to. Just, cross your fingers that we don't have to?

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The Answer Is Four Months

And the question is, how long would it take after my yarn windfall in January for me to get back to my yarn-buying ways?

As I said one month later, "I'm not going to say it will be a long time before I buy any, because that would be tempting fate" and who wants to tempt fate? But in fact, other than the yarn I bought for the sweater-in-progress, in March (update to come, it's going well), it was four months later. 

I bought yarn on my trip up north in May, and mentioned in that post that in late May I preordered some gorgeous rainbow Pride yarn from Blue Brick (which I am anxiously awaiting--preorders are not ideally suited to my want-it-now ordering style).

In early June, I didn't buy but asked for a couple of skeins from Blue* Barn Fiber, of a colorway she mentioned planning to dye. She said she would try to do two on the base I want (it has cashmere!), and if she does, I will happily buy that, but does it count as a yarn purchase? Yes, no, maybe.

*Yes, I do mix up the two Blues, constantly.

And then, Midknit Cravings has a sale over the weekend, and I have a few skeins coming from that. Which already shipped, yay, but it's coming from Canada, so it will take a few weeks, sigh.

And just like that, I'm back.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

A Keeper

I am a keeper. No, not like that. Well, maybe? But what I’m talking about here is that I keep things for sentimental reasons and I keep things for just-in-case reasons. I’m the opposite of a minimalist, although I no longer describe myself as like a hoarder after watching that TV series, which was so upsetting I had to stop watching it. Those poor people had mental health issues that put them in these awful situations, and I don’t think that me hanging onto a piece of ribbon that I might use again is anywhere on that spectrum.

Now that I’ve gotten myself depressed, on to a lighthearted tale of cleaning out desk drawers!

Yes, I might need to work on my transitions here, eh? Well. What happened was that I went to get something out of a desk drawer and it wasn’t there. (Which is a problem because if an item is not where it belongs, I have zero idea where else it is. But this item isn’t important here except as the catalyst.) Everything else under the sun was crammed into that drawer, though, and in frustration I started pulling things out, trying to find the item. Which wasn’t there, but enough “why do I have that” and “why would that be here, it belongs there” went through my head that I decided to take everything out and start sorting through it all.

The goal wasn’t to throw a ton away, but to really think about if I wanted to keep it, and if so, where it belonged. Whee! Lots of crazy stuff.

Some stuff was trash, for sure. Some needed to better sorted and organized. One drawer led to another, and to others. I did enough that my back started complaining about it.

Among the keepers were a handful of hockey pucks: “Hey, Mom, do you need any paperweights?” Those are useful keepers. Among the 'non-useful and I don’t care' keepers were these.

Because how could I not?

I remember waiting to go in to one of these games, and a man near us, holding a printout of his tickets, said enviously, "How did you get real tickets?" (The answer was that my friend got them through work, and I guess the corporate season ticket holders get the pretty ones.)

In the not-keeper category was this CD, which notes that the system requirements start with "Windows 3.1 or '95"--imagine putting that in a computer today? It would probably faint.
Also not keepers, my incredibly outdated collection of airline frequent flyer cards.
Pop quiz, how many of these airlines still exist today?

I've been working on this, on and off, all day, and I still have a bunch of stuff strewn around to figure out, but what's been put back in the drawers is 1000% better already, which feels great. 

Even if my back does not.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Infuriating or Funny?

My printer is old in technology years, but it still works, so I don't see the point in replacing it until it goes (knock on wood). But it has developed a little quirk recently that is either infuriating, or funny.

  1. I click on print.
  2. It gives me an error message. 
  3. I open the printers part of the control panel, and click on troubleshoot.
  4. It informs me that the troubleshooter was unable to find a problem.
  5. At that moment, the printer starts printing.

Whether it's infuriating or funny kind of depends on my mood. You can see how that would go both ways, right?

Thursday, June 15, 2023

New To-Do

If I'm embedding this correctly, you should see a video that prompted me to say this morning, I need to go to a hot-air balloon festival.

(And if I didn't do it right, you can see it here.)

Isn't that something? I love it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Late Night, Tired

I stayed up late last night to watch the Vegas Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup, and while it was very satisfying to see the team that knocked the Bruins out of the playoffs be beaten soundly in the final (4 games to 1 in a best-of-seven series, and the score last night was 9-3), staying up meant I'm running on about two hours less sleep today than I normally would be, and whoa. It was a long, dopey day.

I was also working on a report whose writer does not count English as her first language, so it's more of a challenge than the average bear. The good news is I finished that one, and the next one looks like it might be ... pretty well done? Is that allowed? We'll see how it goes.

I'm tired.

Maggie is cute. This is neither new, nor news, but come on. So cute.

Thursday, June 08, 2023

Busy, a Little Crazy, Not Quite Crazy-Busy

Life has been a bit much since I got back from my trip. Jumping straight into month-end busy-ness at work made me feel like I couldn't get my feet under me properly, and even the three-day weekend, while wonderful, did not get me ahead of things, just keeping up (barely).

Then this week, my mother had cataract surgery--it went very well, thank you--and it did add some stress and to-do things to my week. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I'm here to do it! But, you know, some stress involved. This morning, I was unreasonably angry about something that was really not much of a thing, and I thought, wow, I'm not even on steroids, why am I so upset?

Yeah, steroids. The ENT gave me steroids to take, if I choose to, for four days, to help relieve sinus pressure (I have fluid in my ear, apparently), but so far I have not been able to convince myself that I can stand to be more short-tempered than I normally am, which is what happened to me on steroids last year. I go back to her in two weeks, so we'll see if I do it before then. I've been taking the other prescriptions she gave me, at least I'm doing that much. 

Oh, and when I go back, they're going to give me a hearing test! I'm not sure I've had one since grade school, as I haven't yet reached the "what? what did you say? is my hearing going?" stage of life--not quite, anyway.

One piece of not-bad-news-at-all that I must not forget to share: while I am absolutely not counting my chickens while they don't have headaches (how's that for a mixed metaphor?), I have been having very few headaches recently, and given how I had been having them more and more frequently, this is (provisionally, knocking on wood) very, very happy news.

Long may it last.

Monday, June 05, 2023

Yarn x Three (Stores), Plus Pre

In addition to all the fun I had on my trip north, seeing friends and eating great food, I managed to visit three different yarn stores, and did not leave any empty-handed. (I want to get this up quickly [finished is better than perfect], but if you have any questions on the yarns/colors, let me know.)

The haul looks like it was chosen by two different people with very different color taste.

Two skeins of Feliz, in a colorway that makes me think of sea glass.

Two skeins from Wonderland, in also muted colors.

Then we hit the sale rack and got these fun lightweight skeins of Viento.

Look at all the colors in this mini of KFI Indulgence

And then I picked up this skein of Serena. It was next to a skein that was multicolored, and I remembered that I had some of it in multis at home, and I thought it would coordinate well.
When I got home and and pulled this out, it wasn't as great a match as I hoped.
But then I realized that I pulled out the wrong multi. This one is much better!
I don't know yet what it will be, but that's okay.

After all that, I had no plans to buy any yarn, but then this popped up on Instagram as a preorder.
Just gorgeous!
Being patient is not something I'm good at, but this is worth waiting for.

Bought anything pretty lately?

Saturday, June 03, 2023


Maggie was napping on my lap this afternoon.

And then she had a bath.
And then she realized I was taking her picture while she had a bath.
And then she pondered how she came to live with someone who would take a picture of a cat in the middle of a bath.