Monday, October 16, 2017


Thank you for all your good wishes for Sam. He was happier on Friday

see that pointer finger? he has it ready all the time - pointing is his "thing"! (and apparently it's contagious - I noticed my right hand did the same thing on Saturday)
and by yesterday, pretty much back to 100%. I certainly had fun spending all that 1:1 time with him (that was a first since my last Thursday with Sam ... back in April), but whoa, I was tired Friday night!

Saturday would've been our dad's 80th birthday. My brother had the wonderful idea to visit the Tech campus in his memory. My sister was headed to Florida to spend the weekend with our mom (good thing Tech is on the way), so we met up early. Saturday morning at 7:45 on a college campus is perfect for enjoying some quiet time!

nephew Andrew, me, brother Steve, sister Karen, sister-in-law Lydia
The rest of the weekend was quiet. I opened a special bottle of Sonoma County Pinot Noir Saturday evening - in honor of my dad who loved Pinot and my mom who grew up in Sonoma County. I have many happy memories of visiting my grandparents in Santa Rosa. The images and stories coming from there now are heartbreaking. I'm glad that buying (and drinking) wine helps!

...and did my usual stuff yesterday. an early run. church. knitting. a little TV with Marc (football, baseball, golf). and very early to bed.

Looking forward to a quiet week. and nice October weather!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Alaska | Ketchikan.

Saturday, August 19, we docked in Ketchikan ... and set foot in Alaska for the first time!

It rained. Apparently, August, 2017 was one of the rainiest months Ketchikan has seen. ever.

But it's still pretty.

I love how colorful the buildings are.

This was our first official Alaska selfie.
♥ the lovely cowl that Kat knit for me

A kind stranger saw that effort and offered to take our photo. (I still like the selfie better.)

We chose a self-guided walking tour of town, intending to walk up to Creek Street and browse the shops. We did see Creek Street, but by this time we were getting cold and wet ... and decided to head back to the ship.

And that's pretty much all I have for Saturday. I'm sure we spent a lovely afternoon on the ship. I'm sure we played trivia.

Apparently someone had a beer.  And then, just before dinner, we heard "whales"!

Yeah, that's about fifty photos of water ... where a whale had been. Can you see it?

Next stop - Juneau!

Happy Friday everyone - have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Three on Thursday | In Photos.

Joining in with Carole, Kat and friends today to share three photos from today.

Those first two were, as of 7:30 this morning, completely unplanned. But then Katie texted that little Sam wasn't feeling well and could I please come to help. He didn't look nearly that happy or bright-eyed when I arrived late morning. But after a nap, he perked up a bit. I took him for a walk so Katie could take a work call ... we had a great time! I'm headed back tomorrow and can only hope the stroller is ready to work magic again!

That third photo is the tree in our front yard. Happy to document a beautiful blue skies afternoon. but sadly, it appears the pin oak's leaves turn ... simply brown.

Hope your Thursday served up a pleasant surprise or two! Head on over to Carole's to see what others have shared.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday | The Blanket's Tale.

Joining in with Kat and friends today to share an update on Sam's birthday blanket. In stark contrast to my last two projects, this one has traveled very little. It spent its first few days at my kitchen counter, but it did get to see the sixth season of Call the Midwife (which might be my favorite one so far --- oh the stories were so good and I really enjoyed the new characters)
yep, tissues at the ready!

Yesterday it traveled to the local car dealership to see a few episodes of Fixer Upper while I got my car serviced (boy, folks who say they "don't have the patience to knit" confound me; I don't have the patience not to knit).

And today it traveled to a local Starbucks for knitting with friends.

It had a very good time. as did I. and I love that I'm on track with my "one repeat a day" goal. The repeats are 24 rows and there are 18-1/2 of them; at that pace, I'll comfortably finish before the party on the 28th. Thanks to this afternoon's knitting, I have just two rows to finish today's repeat. I'm headed to my sister's house for knitting as soon as I finish this post --- I think I'll have a nice headstart for tomorrow!

I hope your project(s) has seen something good this week, too!  Head over to Kat's to check in with what others are knitting (and reading... I owe y'all an update on that ... next week!)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Good Start.

...finally. It seems like ever since I started listening to books (and podcasts about books), I've had less and less music in my life. I miss it; last year I set an intention to get "more music" into my life. It wasn't very successful. When we setup Alexa earlier this summer I tried again with Amazon Music. I found a few playlists and stations I enjoyed, but it still didn't click.

And then I spent two weeks with Sara and saw how much she used and enjoyed Spotify (just like many of y'all have shared). Today I finally got myself started.

In addition to joining Spotify Premium (and telling Alexa about it - which was surprisingly easy), I also suspended my Audible membership (credits have been piling up now that we're using Overdrive so much), so I'm actually saving a few dollars a month.

Now I need to start exploring the music! If you have playlists you love, would you please share them with me? My username on Spotify is mere2007. Thank you!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Grief, Prayer and Healing.

from Sunday's worship service
It's hard to believe a week has passed since we woke up to the terrible news from Las Vegas. I do not know anyone personally who was there, but a friend's family lost a cousin (a father of three young children). It seems that Las Vegas is a lot closer to Atlanta than I ever imagined. While much of my weekend was spent with knitting and Netflix (arguably two of the very best means for healing I know), I also had three specific experiences that I wanted to share with y'all.

My small group gathered Friday morning to continue our Book of Joy discussion. This week's chapters were about Forgiveness and Gratitude. tough topics, especially in today's context. But we all agreed what we've read has helped our reactions and responses.

The Dalai Lama makes a distinction between the person and their action:
"This is where the power of forgiveness lies -- not losing sight of the humanity of the person while responding to the wrong with clarity and firmness."
The Archbishop Desmond Tutu offers this:
"When we forgive, we take back control of our own fate and our feelings."
Saturday morning, I found these words in my inbox (the Plough's Daily Dig)
...deeds are done which appear so evil to us and people suffer such terrible evils that it does not seem as though any good will ever come of them; and we consider this, sorrowing and grieving over it so that we cannot find peace in the blessed contemplation of God as we should do; and this is why: our reasoning powers are so blind now, so humble and so simple, that we cannot know the high, marvelous wisdom, the might and the goodness of the Holy Trinity. And this is what he means where he says, “You shall see for yourself that all manner of things shall be well”, as if he said, “Pay attention to this now, faithfully and confidently, and at the end of time you will truly see it in the fullness of joy."
-- Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love 
And finally, our worship service yesterday centered around the shooting. There were 58 roses on the communion table and one more, with a broken stem, by the baptismal font. We read responsively a Litany for Peace that closed with these lines:
"In the wake of any event that should be impossible to contemplate, but which has become all too common in our experience, open our eyes, break our hearts, and turn our hands to the movements of your Spirit, that our anger and sorrow may unite in service to build a reign of peace ... and terror no longer holds sway over our common life."
We were invited to take a rose home with us, to pray for lives affected by the loss.

With open eyes and a broken heart, healing begins.

xo, M.

Friday, October 6, 2017

FO Friday Two-fer.

First up, here's 2nd Avenue ... in the 2nd Avenue subway station (yep, Sara did acquiesce).

It was still hot the day we left the city, but I had the scarf with me on the train and it was a perfect layer with the sleeveless dress. It cooled off in New Haven, and I actually got to wear the scarf for the first time last Friday. with a chambray shirt (just like I envisioned when I bought those five crazy skeins). How cool that its first "in action" photo was with New Haven pizza!

I repeated that outfit yesterday (yay for October weather!) and know the scarf is going to be on heavy rotation for the next few months!

As is the Tapered Cowl, aka "Moving to NYC". This is today's outfit. Perfect for cool mornings/evenings (and grocery stores) when you need a little something around your neck (and shoulders) but not too much - and very easy to take off when the afternoon warms up.

I missed blogging about this piece in progress, but it was the stupid-simple-stockinette (in the round no less) project I planned for Sara's move. The pattern is part of Churchmouse's latest collection - perfectly written and very wearable. I used an alpaca/silk blend that was pretty close to what the pattern suggested, but major on sale at Webs (maybe it's been discontinued?) - the whole project cost me less than $30. 

I cast on the 200+ stitches on the way to the airport (way back on September 14), knitted a few rounds on the flight and then didn't pick it up again until well into the U-Haul drive (and then only for short bits). I made a little more progress once the apartment was setup. That's the piece on the floor (under the table) - a week after I started ... and still on the first ball! 

I joined the second ball on the train to New Haven and knit a little more late last week and on the plane ride home (since Marc sat next to Charlie and I sat in the row in front of them).

Then it was still a few more days to finish (I didn't join the third ball until Monday). and block. and oh boy, was the blocking key! Here's the before (left) and after (right). The "raw" knitting was not at all pretty but wow, I don't think it shows!

These two projects have a lot of memories tied into the making. Alaska, Sara's move, the 2nd Avenue subway, train rides and airplane flights, pizza and lots of sitting with family and friends. When I started writing this post I kept thinking about how little progress I had to show for almost two months. but now that I've written the story, I see. it wasn't really about the knitting....

Happy Friday my friends.

xo - M.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Three on Thursday | October Love.

Joining Kat, Carole and friends for Three on Thursday.

It's the first Thursday of a new month - October; and it's one of my favorites. Here are three of the reasons why:

1. Bright blue weather. I snapped the photo above in our front yard this afternoon, figuring it also serves to document the turning of the leaves on that tree. This is our sixth (!!!) October in the house and Marc and I realized this morning we're not sure when/if the leaves actually turn. (stay tuned).

2. Sweater weather. I wear handknit sweaters all year-round, but there's still something special about wool (or even a wool blend). ditto the knitting of same.

3. Porch time.

What do you love about October?

Check out the link-up to read more Three on Thursday posts.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday.

Joining in with Kat and friends for a quick update on two of my favorite things - reading and knitting  (neither of which I enjoyed nearly as much as usual these past few weeks).

Things are slowly returning to some sort of normal around here. My sister will be here soon for our first Wednesday knitting since August 2. That seemed a fitting occasion to clean the porch, which took a beating when Irma blew through.

...and provided a beautiful setting to enjoy a few pages of A Good Hard Look. I'm just at the halfway point and it's definitely captured my interest. It takes place in Milledgeville (about 100 miles southeast of here) and features Flannery O'Connor, peacocks and a host of other interesting characters. More to come once I finish!

...which might take a few days. The UPS man just delivered the yarn for Sam's birthday blanket. 1,800+ yards (of worsted weight on size 8 needles) means audiobooks. I'm re-listening to A Gathering of Shadows (I first listened in the spring of 2016 and I remember almost nothing) in preparation for A Conjuring of Light. The re-listen is even better than I remember; I have high hopes for #3 in the series. 

It's also been fun catching up with y'all. I still have a few dozen unread posts in my feed reader (it does go quickly when I don't leave comments on every post ... trust you understand!) but it doesn't feel so daunting. Thank you as always for providing me inspiration, humor, and a welcoming place to simply be.

xo - M.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Looking Back | September.

My heart is with the hundreds of folks who were caught in a madman's fire Sunday night. Unfortunately, prayers are not enough. My congressmen are getting an earful about gun control and I trust yours are too. The reports I read from Las Vegas this morning, then seeing the flag at the lake flying at half mast on our dark early walk gave me pause about the story I'd planned to share today. But I decided to move forward with it; I refuse to let hate and fear win.

So with that - here's a look back at September through the lens of my daily photos. 
Labor Day weekend, time with the boys, a new bible study, Charlie's third birthday, Hurricane Irma, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, 3,000 miles and seven states, a new home for Sara, time with Marc's family ... there is much to celebrate.

Here's one photo I never shared. This is the sunrise over Lake Wingra (which used to be in Sara's backyard) on Friday, September 15. A beautiful parting gift from Madison.

xo, M.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Back Home.

...but still a ways to go before things start feeling "settled" - at least on my part. Holly took all of about five minutes to find her happy place here again.

I did take a quick run to the lake yesterday; it was glorious.

This morning I sorted through a few of the photos from last week. The underlying reason we were all gathered was certainly sad, but it was wonderful to be together. This was the first time we'd met all the cousins as adults and everyone's first time meeting Charlie and Sam.
three generations, all together
the younger two generations
Sam & Justin
Friday night dinner
It was also Sara and Charlie's first time to try New Haven pizza. Needless to say, it was a huge hit!

(I'm honestly not sure if Charlie liked Snapchat or the pizza better - but his cousin Justin was a hands-down favorite)
I will say it's good to be back in this space and I look forward to catching up with all of you. As of yesterday afternoon, I still had 120+ blog posts to read, so please be patient with me!

Hope your week is off to a great start!