unraveled wednesday|a snowy day…

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From my journal, 7:42 am: Snowfalls quietly, gently – all around: silence, punctuated by the normal, routine sounds: scratch of my pen gliding across my journal page; a jet plane taking off; an occasional clang of the radiator ~ all are exaggerated, louder, yet quietly so. “Shhh…I’m reading,” my coffee mug, tho’ empty, proclaims. The scent of candle wafts through the air, filling my nostrils and soul. In my left hand, I hold my tea mug – it’s warmth, too, soothes and comforts. My Valentine roses are exceptionally bright, still bringing joy, seven days later and counting…

Currently, 12:15 pm: Snow continues to fall; flakes are the kind that make you want to stick out your tongue and catch. When I was a child, I always imagined spending these kind of “snow days” at some out-of-the-way ski lodge, wrapped in a warm quilt, sitting in front of a roaring fire, reading a book too good to put down. Today is one of those days minus the ski lodge and roaring fire…and tho’ I’ve been reading, more of my energy has been spent looking, writing, thinking, reflecting…interrupted briefly to wash a load of  dish cloths/towels and chat with Norman over breakfast; and catch up with the news, stock market, the snowfall, etc.

He’s now situated in front of his computer and I, mine – tho’ we’re on separate floors. As I type these words, I hear the sound of ice against the window. Early this afternoon, the snow is to turn to mixed snow and sleet; I think, as predicted, it’s beginning to happen.

12:30 pm: Yep, I think the snow has ended…next up “icy rain! ”

Joining Kat and friends for their unraveled wednesday, too.

Cheers~

unraveled wednesday | 2.13.2019…

     All 24 quilt blocks are done: stitched together in six columns of six blocks each and seams pressed.*  Next steps:

  • 1 -join the six columns;
  • 2- buy backing (I looked  through my stash and didn’t find anything I really liked so I’ll stop at the quilt shop tomorrow after I meet with my Thurs stitching friends);
  • 3 – give to the long arm quilter to stitch her magic joining the three layers – top, batting and backing – together… and then
  • 4 – Voila, one quilt ready for the May quilt show and, and…
  • 5 – finish the two quilts on my design wall, also slated for the quilt show.

I’m about half through Digital Minimalism and discovered the other day I missed the author’s book signing last Sat, here in DC. He actually lives in Takoma Park, MD, a suburb of DC. Oh well… On my TBR list: 3 memoirs: Educated by Tara Westover; Inheritance by Dani Shapiro; and Anne Patchett’s Truth & Beauty.

As for knitting, I continue to stitch a row or several most days on the Christmas stocking and Log Cabin/ 9- patch lap robe. Waiting patiently in the wings is a project I promised myself I would not start until (if ever?) those two were nearly completed… I am seeing the end! I also have a couple other KNiPs ( knit projects in progress – or not) that need some attention; determined to do so in 2019!

Time to resume my stint at the sewing machine and even go for a walk – sun’s in/out today and the temps are in the high 40s! Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday!

Cheers~

*(the photo on the left is cloudy because the iron was steaming…)

unraveled wednesday | 2.6.19 …

 

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~oops, she made a mistook! ~ 

     This stitcher’s most coveted tool is her seam ripper… and she’s had plenty of practice using it over the past couple days. Stitching the blocks of a special quilt  she’s making. For some weird reason, she’s also being challenged in arranging the blocks in the proper order…discovered, of course, after a few have been stitched together! Nevertheless, she perseveres and progress is being made, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y. If all goes according to her intent, she will have completed sewing 12 (5 blocks to stitch) of the 24 blocks together TODAY!  Sew Honoré Sew!

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~often on her walks, she runs across a ‘free library’ ~

     This reader’s TBR queue is growing, almost daily. So many choices, so little time. Tho’ desired, one cannot do everything in any one single day, she reminds herself. One has to be a bit more discerning … She’s been thinking a lot about where she wants her reading to go and how to tackle the TBR queue. She’s not set a number of books to read in any given time period. When she was a child, the idea of reading a book perched in a tree or sitting by a fire at a ski lodge or on the beach  was very appealing. Alas, none of those desirable options are available today, either. She’s currently reading books relative to her 2019 word – habit – and zeroing in on memoir and an occasional fiction title – primarily as an audio book/walking companion. She received Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism yesterday, started it this morning …and had to force herself to close it…or nothing might’ve gotten done today, including the blog and the quilt blocks! Yep, she thinks it’s going to be that good!

So, it’s time for her to return to the sewing machine and quilt blocks…or perhaps, take a quick read with lunch. Heads or Tails???

Joining Kat and friends for today’s Unraveled Wednesday .

Cheers~

unraveled wednesday |1.30.2019 …

 

 

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Bright sunshine greets us on this chipper and cold (31°), next-to-last day of January…we are grateful for the sun’s warmth and that the furnace is steadily pumping out heat. I have been in this house, in January when there was no power, therefore, no heat. Brrr! I can’t imagine what it must feel like in SD, WI, MN, IL with wind chills in the minus 50°s… I hope the homeless are in shelters and made myself a note: Send a contribution to our city’s non-profit homeless shelter hotline/transport service.

Speaking of heat and sunshine, I listened to What Should I Read Next?’s podcast #168, on my walk one day last week. The guest shared a very ambitious 2019 reading plan…but what really caught my attention was her review of The Warmth of Other Suns. I have that book; it has been languishing on my bookshelf longer than I care to divulge. Given to me by my friend Pat  (who devoured the book over a period of 3-4 days – she’s a binge reader), I decided it’s time to move the book up in the queue. I may also download the audio version to take along as my walking companion – tho’ it’s going to have to get a bit warmer first!

My friend Pat also made the lap quilt in the photo! A surprise Christmas present, machine-pieced and lovingly hand-quilted! Plus the backing fabric comes from OR!

Books, Quilts and a Good Friend are the best! Agreed

Joining Kat and friends for this week’s Unraveled Wednesday!

Cheers~

 

unraveled wednesday | 1.23.19 …

 

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Upon learning the sad news of Mary Oliver’s death last Friday, I pulled out her Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. *  The poems in this 2017 publication, include work from her very first book of poetry, No Voyage and Other Poems, published in 1963, through Felicity, published in 2015. Mary arranged the poems in  Devotions. The first poem I turned to – on page 14 – was this:

 The Gift 

Be still my soul, and steadfast. Earth and heaven both are still watching though time is draining from the clock and your walk, that was confident and quick, has become slow.

So, be slow if you must, but let the heart still play its true part. Love still as once you loved, deeply and without patience. Let God and the world know you are grateful. That the gift has been given.”

Over the past few days I’ve read many tributes to Mary Oliver’s words of peace, quiet, gratitude, encouragement. I am saddened but heartened that we have the gift of  her words to console, guide and inspire us. Thank you Mary.

My reading queue continues to grow – tho’ I must admit that  over the past week, I’ve added more titles than words actually read.  Currently new “to read” includes Tara Westover’s Educated (via Audible) and Wabi Sabi by Beth Klimpton (print ). The back cover says wabi sabi teaches us to find more meaning and inspiration in our perfectly imperfect lives.

Knitting on the stocking, tho’ slow, continues; each stitch brings me closer to a fini! Also, over the past several days, I’ve been true to finding myself in my sewing room circa  9 am, honoring my commitment to stitch on a quilt I’m making for  ???  (name to be revealed at a later date).

Joining Kat and friends for this week’s edition of Unraveled Wednesday! Hop on over to see what others are making and reading.

Cheers~

* Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. Penquin Press, New York. 2017.

unraveled wednesday | 1.16.2019

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Between Döstädning and Snow (D & S) these first couple weeks of 2019, both knitting and reading have gotten short-shrift:

  • I’m still reading (i.e. listening) Becoming, enjoying and  savoring every word; however because of D & S, daily walks  have been fewer, shorter … I have the print version because pictures  – and also happens to be my preferred way to read.  My next walking companion: Educated by Tara Westover.
  • I did not make as much progress with the stocking as I’d intended but, progress was indeed made! And soon to be finished!  Quite a milestone after all these years!  My  plan for 2019 knitting falls under the category of finish ! More in a future post.

Joining Kat and friends for another week of Unraveled Wednesday!

Cheers~

PS. The clear library book bag in the photo was a birthday gift from friend MT – perfect for both books and knitting/quilting projects on the go!

unraveled wednesday | 12.19.18 …

 

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I woke up this morning filled with energy:

  • zip zap –  strip the bed linens …
  • gather and sort laundry …
  • prep chicken tenders  for baking …
  • fix tea for MSQT

Whew! That was a lot and all before 7:00 am. Despite frost on the rooftops, the sky is bright blue and sunshine pretty much all day. Later today, Norman has a medical appointment; perhaps that’s why I was so gung-ho earlier.

My Christmas knitting project proceeds; I think I’m about/near the halfway point. I am learning intarsia (which is probably why I stopped knitting this many, many moons ago). I don’t expect to finish this by Christmas – why rush? Perhaps the first week or so in 2019? When is just a word; the goal is to finish. Stay tuned.

I mentioned yesterday that I’m still reading (via ears) Becoming. Next in my queue: The Library Book.  On New year’s Day, I’m hosting our bi-monthly (give or take a day/week) Recent Reads gathering; it also happens to be friend MT’s birthday. She requested that we all read the same book – we normally don’t – and we agreed. The book has received rave reviews! Have you read?

I’m 99% sure I will be listening to the book since I have Audible credits. There’s not a copy to be borrowed from either of the two library systems I use.. The hold queue is long! I’m debating about reading the Kindle version and syncing it with the Audible version… Any thoughts? Whatever, I guess I’d best get a move on if I intend to join in the discussion.

Both the washer and dryer have signaled cycles have ended; probably a cue for me to end this post and move on with the next item on my agenda. Joining Kat and friends here.

Cheers~

unraveled wednesday |12.5.18 …

 

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Christmas, late ’90s: My mother bought the above book for me. In addition to being an alphabet, it is also an advent book, filled with wonderful paper sculptures and accompanying words.

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Even tho’ this book has been a Christmas staple, easily 23 years, it still delights each day as I open the corresponding letter for the numerical date…and remember my mom. Always in my thoughts and with me.

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Knitting the Christmas stocking is slow progress … but progress is being made! Chalk up a “win in the making…” TBC…and I’m still thoroughly enjoying Michelle Obama’s  Becoming. For sure a keeper – I intend to also purchase the print version, for me and a few secret chosen people…

Joining Kat and friends for another Unraveled Wednesday. Read and Knit on!

Cheers~

unraveled wednesday | 11.28.2018 …

 

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In my ongoing döstädning efforts,  I found this tangled mess: a Christmas stocking I began, hmmmm… well let’s just say many moons ago…and leave it at that! I toyed with these ideas:

  1. abandoning the project…
  2. taking it to my quilting group as a freebie – some of the members also knit…
  3. attempting to pick-up where I left off and declaring it December’s knitting du jour.

After 30 seconds or so mulling time, I opted for my third choice. I’ll knit on the stocking each evening as we watch Nightly News; msnbc; and occasionally a Hallmark holiday movie (see Norman cringe!).

And who knows: perhaps I’ll even make considerable progress on this very-long-in-the-making Christmas stocking!

I’ve been listening to Michelle Obama’s Becoming on my daily walks. It is excellent and 100% enhanced by her narration.  It’s just about noon, very, very windy –  c-o-l-d  still – but sunny!  My plan is to hit publish on this post, don my coat, hat, gloves and earbuds, be brave, and go for a walk.

What are you döstädning, unraveling and/or reading these days?  Joining Kat and friends here for another Unraveled Wednesday.

Cheers~