The Final Countdown

Ha. Here's what's on my calendar today:

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It'll be that way for a while! "Wherever" is currently Amsterdam for a few hours' layover on the way to Valencia.

I was in low-key vacation prep all weekend, and it's going pretty well! I've crossed quite a few more things off this list since I snapped this photo.

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I am more relaxed than I think I've ever been!

Things were going well enough that I took some time to dye yarn on Saturday morning, and then cleaned up my studio on Sunday morning. And when Ali brought the kids over for a visit on Saturday night, the big kids ended up staying overnight!

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That started with a bath and ended with a slumber party in the living room. Ginny fell asleep against my shoulder before we were half-way through the first bed-time book!

They're playing together better these days -- if not always together, then at least side-by-side. They both know how to push the other's buttons, though!

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We did a little craft project in the morning (also some Spirograph doodles) and then it was time to go! I didn't mention anything about our going away or not seeing them for a while because Junah was pretty upset about it the last time... not so much that we were going, but that he wasn't! He wants to go to Spain, too... RIGHT NOW!!

I gave them a subscription to Little Passports at Christmas and he is certainly interested. With good reason, I suppose, having family living or visiting in Spain, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Scotland!

Final laundry and packing will happen this evening, and we're off in the morning!


TGIF!

T is for... Try, try again!

We're flying Iberia to Spain next week and, though I was tempted by their very nice offer to upgrade to Business Plus, with its diverse menu, wine cellar and reclining bed, I opted to just choose and/or purchase our Economy seats in advance. I tried and tried and tried... and finally, this morning, was able to make it all the way through the process -- in English and without getting kicked off the site. We have confirmed seats on every leg of our journey, now, except from Valencia to London, and that's a fairly short flight so I'm not too concerned. It's the 8+ hours on a plane when I need a little wiggle room... preferably with a view.

G is for... Galicia!

We're so excited to explore the Costa da Morte in the Atlantic Northwest! I feel very lucky to be going there -- thanks to cheap flights -- because it would be way too far for us to drive there from Valencia, given our timeline, even for road-tripper vacationers like us! I thought that Spain was probably a little bigger than Wisconsin, but didn't realize that it's 3X bigger!!

I is for... Inventory!

It's release day for Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 10: Downtown!

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I have a few available in the coffee shop and a few online -- I'd be happy to send you one! (I am dying to make some of those nesting cowls.)

F is for... (not) Freaking out!

I'm going on vacation in a few days -- for two weeks! I haven't been on a 2-week vacation from work since the early '80s. Ha! I realized that I didn't even take ONE full week off last year, it all got parsed in 4- or 5-day long weekends.... quite a few of those, I guess, and that's fine, but there's something about a whole week off. Two. Man, I just don't even know. Anyway, I'm trying not to freak out about the house & the cat (we have a great -sitter), and whether it's going to snow while we're gone (because, ugh!), and how/what I should pack, and travel knitting (the above-mentioned cowls, if I have some suitable yarn, otherwise I'm leaning toward another pair of worsted socks), and when we should leave for the airport, and the language, and currency...

This weekend will be devoted to laundry & packing. And, hopefully, watching some snow melt.

P.S. I didn't receive a single email notification of comments on yesterday's post! Ugh. It's such a pain sometimes. Typepad said that they had some problems yesterday morning, but that all seemed to be working by afternoon. I still haven't received a notification. I'm curious about today. It's kind of a pain responding to comments when I don't get an email. Thank you all, so much! I am thrilled that I was able to find such a perfect gift idea for Lady Kate, and love that some of you might have future Lairds and Ladies in the family, too.


3TT: Hello, March

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

1 -- The second stem of my gorgeous, delicate amaryllis has begun to bloom -- six buds!

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I love it so much! It's right in view from my seat at the table -- the Garden Room is one of the best features we made in this house, especially wonderful in (a long snowy) winter.

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1b -- I'm pretty happy that we'll at least see stem #1 of amaryllis #2 in bloom before we leave for Spain. I may have our house sitter send me photos as it develops. That's not too weird, is it??

2 -- Good company, good food & drink, fun & games.

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Rusty & I met Ali and her friend/co-worker Kristin at 313 Dodge, which is co-owned by friend and former co-worker, Janel, for Beer/Wine Bingo Night! We shared & enjoyed some yummy food (last chance for a few things, as the menu is changing next week) and had a blast playing BINGO! I never won a game when I used to go to Sunday night Bingo at the local Catholic church, but I won last night!!

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I conveniently placed my morning pick-up order with Kristin before we left, and had this most delicious avocado toast for breakfast today! So good.

3 -- You may call her LADY KATE!!

Kate's early birthday gift arrived just in time on Tuesday afternoon!! She happened to be sitting at the kitchen table when I brought in the mail and I just handed it to her with little fanfare -- other than a big excited grin! I hadn't got around to telling Rusty that I'd pulled the trigger on this (though I'd mentioned it to him as an idea several months ago), so it was a little surprise for him, too! I don't know how I first became aware of Highland Titles, but I've followed them on social media for years, and this was finally the year. Kate's reaction was EXACTLY as expected, she was thrilled, Rusty was thrilled, I was thrilled... it's the best gift ever!

She's planning to be in Scotland in May with her friend Shannon, and definitely in this very part of the Highlands, so I hope they go scope out Kate's "estates." Haha! I'll keep you posted.

Now to find something equally as inspired for Ali & Maddy!! Their birthdays are coming up right quick.


Weekending: Trial by Fire

...or In Hot Water - NOT!

or... All's Well that Ends Well.

Whew.

Hey Friends! A quick catch up with non-related cute kid pics.

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He looks ready to take on the world!!

Rusty & I went to a closing reception for an art show on Friday evening and, upon our return, discovered that the water wasn't very hot... and a big puddle on the floor around the water heater in the basement.

Fifteen minutes later, our second Airbnb guests arrived!! OMG.

There wasn't much to do but inform them, apologize, and then work at getting it fixed. They were SUPER gracious, insisting that they were here mainly to relax and hang out.

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Sitting on my lap, playing peek-a-book with mumma!

Also, it snowed on Friday night.

So, while Rod came over on Saturday morning to go with me to pick up the water heater I'd purchased on Friday night, Rusty shoveled...

(There was an option for delivery, but the estimated date was March 13th. Hahahahahahaha. Who orders a water heater in advance... just because??)

How gracious were our guests? The guy came out and offered to help get it down the basement!

Rusty & Rod had it in and installed by mid-morning.

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I'm not happy that we had to buy a new water heater right before going on vacation, but I've already come home from a week-long vacation (with three little kids and all the associated laundry) to find that the water heater had given it up while we were gone.

There are two things that I'm happy about. First, it's bigger -- 50-gallon capacity instead of 40. Second, our water pressure seems to have improved. A couple of years ago when they re-did all of our water lines and everything, they guys were all saying how much better our water pressure would be... but there wasn't really any change, until now!

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Kate is leaving tomorrow for an extended time away, starting with a visit to NYC. We'll meet up in a couple of weeks in Spain, but I don't expect to see her home until June or July, or maybe even August! That's going to be so weird.

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So Ali & the kids came over to hang out on Sunday night, bid farewell to their Auntie Kate, and humor their grandmother.

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I love how Ginny's stealing the show!

I am/have been busy getting the books caught up and straightened out for a meeting with Ali's accountant tonight. I was a bit behind, but I'm feeling very good about it all... establishing processes is helpful!

Maddy's taxes are all but finished, too.

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I started ours (the easy stuff), but it looks like I'll be waiting until after vacation to finish. I'll be refreshed & renewed!! Haha.

Our guests loved their stay, even with the water snafu! And our third Airbnb guest arrives this evening for a few days! (This whole thing continues to blow our minds.)

Hope you had a great weekend!!


Friday: Scotland at random

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There seemed to be more contrails and planes in the sky this morning than I've seen in a while!

I always smile when there's a good Saltire.

Kate will find herself in Scotland with her friend Shannon for vacation in May.

I have already purchased her very Scotland-related birthday present and there's a slim chance it'll arrive before she leaves. I may or may not give it to her then.

I might bring it with me and give it to her when we meet in Spain. (Ahem, especially if it doesn't arrive in time... see above.)

It is something that she could possibly do/visit/use/take advantage of while she's there in May.

If not this time, then next time, or the next time... forever and ever.

SHE IS GOING TO LOVE IT!!

I can already see her quizzical expression, and hear her: "Wait. WHAT?? IS THIS EVEN REAL??"

Stay tuned.


3TT: So long, February

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

1 -- With the help of my fashion consultant, Kate, I ordered new glasses yesterday! I went to a new place because... long story. It's very close to work, though, and they let me take some frames home to try/get opinions. I was OK with the couple that I brought home, but knew that I could use another set of (better) eyes to help me choose. My consultant will soon be leaving for an extended period, so I grabbed her while I could! They're going to be my first pair of Transition* lenses... and I sure hope I like that! I was assured that if I truly hated them, they'd re-grind.

*ETA: Transition sunglasses. I've never had anything but no-line bifocals since that became part of my prescription.

Speaking of glasses, as I wiped mine off for the zillionth time the other day, I thought a) wouldn't it be cool if they could make lenses out of Gorilla Glass? And b) if I could use that amazing liquid screen protector stuff on them?

2 -- We welcome our second Airbnb guests tomorrow night, a couple on a weekend get-away from Milwaukee -- another "reason" that we never considered! We usually get away to there! Haha.

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3 -- My gorgeous amaryllis is fading but still gorgeous... and there's so much promise!!

Bonus:

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The days are getting longer y'all! We're up to over 11 hours of daylight (and gaining every single day)! There's reason to open the blinds when I get up in the morning now. The colors were so soft and beautiful at dawn today, and then I noticed that the moon was still hanging there, too.

Have a great Thursday!


Right Now: March ahead

It's been ages since I've done this!

Anticipating... Sunday night and the OSCARS! But first, tomorrow is Day 2 of the Best Picture Festival: The Favourite, Vice, Black Panther, and Bohemian Rhapsody, along with the Animated Shorts.

Celebrating... the approaching end of February -- less than a week to go!

Excited about... March! I am so ready.

Itching to... put some catch-up book work behind me, and I'm getting close!

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Looking forward to... VACATION!!

Three weeks from today we'll be exploring Costa de Morte along the Galician coast in Spain -- the "Atlantic Northwest."

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I have my International Driving Permit, our Airbnb is booked, and I am ready!!

Needing... to get some footwear suitable for traipsing around the "Atlantic Northwest." I'm really in need of some waterproof/hiking shoes. We're going to be traveling very light, and footwear is always the most challenging part of that situation.

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Planning... "DYE" days. I've only missed one calendar date so far!

Sewing... Nothing, really, at the moment -- at least not actively. I have dreams, though. I might bring a small Alabama Chanin project on vacation for Annie & me, and possibly for a friend of hers.

Watching... Soundbreaking. I happened upon E4 by chance once night on PBS as I was actually turning off the TV but was immediately hooked and stayed up to watch it all!

"Music has been a constant in human history, an intermingling of voice and instrument that for all its local variation and increasing sophistication nevertheless endured in more or less the same form for centuries. Then came recording––and music was forever transformed. Soundbreaking, an eight-part event television series, traces this ongoing sonic revolution, and explores the nexus of cutting-edge technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives."

Wondering... What's up in your world?

Wishing... you a Happy Weekend!!


Life in the crazy lane

There isn't usually much idle time in my world, but sometimes things really rev up for one reason or another, and I feel like this is one of those times. I'm a go-go all the time-o!

Thankfully, I know that this, too, shall pass. So, I'm cruisin'...

I had off last Friday and started with an early morning eye exam, followed by a visit to my chiropractor, and then zipped home to gather up Gin & Jün and jump into Kate's car for a trip to The Big City! Our destination was the Milwaukee Public Museum.

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This fascinating if graphic exhibit, punctuated by special effects of the thunderstorm variety, was... endlessly fascinating to these two! And, hopefully, not too traumatizing!

No, wait, it was the ESCALATORS that were even more fascinating. Haha!

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I can't believe I'd never been to this museum before!!

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We also enjoyed the butterfly exhibit. And this ^^^ was just incredible to see!

The museum also has an "Old Milwaukee" exhibit with a trolley car, cobblestone streets, and shops. It morphs into the "European Village" exhibit wherein each house, room, or shop is decorated in the traditional manner of a different country.

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I was more than delighted to see plentiful knitting in the Latvian Room!

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There was also knitting in the Irish House. You can see just a bit of a spinning wheel to the left. And I noticed St. Brigid's Cross on the wall as I cropped the photo! There was knitting/spinning evident in other rooms, too.

The kiddos stayed overnight on Friday because Rod had a gig out of town that came with a free hotel room, so Ali spent her first night without the kids in nearly 11 months! (The other grandparents had the baby.)

Saturday was Day 1 of the Best Picture Festival, which began with a screening of all the nominated Live Action Shorts. Holy moly. The BPF wraps up this Saturday and begins with screening the Animated Shorts. They had adorable "OSCAR" statues made of balloons flanking the theater entrance, and handed out ballots at the end of the evening so we can all play along at home.

In other news, I'm knitting a sweater for Malina.

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It's in Malabrigo's WASHTED which I purchased at my new LYS, Casting On. If the sweater is a little bit big -- perhaps fitting her sister -- I won't really mind. I did rip & re-do the sleeves last night, though, as it looked as though I was knitting for a baby gorilla!

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Lastly, I'm going to blast you with amaryllis photos. There are four flowers in full bloom and another just opening. There is also another bud coming up.

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This plant is much smaller and daintier than the big ones I'm used to from the grocery store or wherever. It's just stunning. In the last photo, you can see two bud stalks from the larger plant that have also finally started to grow. So exciting.

Our Airbnb guest checked in on Monday and sent me a wonderful message about how beautiful the place was and she could move right in... that's always the stick by which we measure, too! Whew.

I can hardly believe we're mid-week and March is right around the corner. Ya-freakin'-hoo.


3TT: To Do

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

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Thing 1: It's Go Time! I mentioned the other day that we published Kate's/the upstairs apartment on Airbnb, and that there had been some interest.

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It's been nine days, we've had eight inquiries, and we are so surprised! Of those:

  • One canceled booking by a woman whose son attending a nearby university would be recovering from outpatient surgery; upon further review, it turns out a traditional hotel (with long walkable hallways) would be better suited for his post-op needs.
  • Two declined bookings: one because the apartment wasn't suitable (she didn't read the listing limitations); the other because of too short notice!
  • Two that weren't possible: one because the number of guests suddenly increased and exceeded our capacity; another was a pre-approved request for dates that someone else snagged before it was accepted!
  • One pre-approved, awaiting confirmation.

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There are two confirmed bookings! The first one is for Monday-Friday -- as in this coming Monday! So we are getting all the last-minute things done. And Kate, in the meantime, is also packing for a quick work/art trip to Nebraska... also keeping in mind upcoming longer trips to the UK & Europe! It's all a little crazy.

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The other confirmed booking isn't until mid-April, but who knows what will happen between now & then! We truly didn't expect much until summertime, and then... maybe a family reunion, a wedding. None of these bookings or inquiries are for reasons that had even crossed our minds. So. What do we know?? Haha.

Thing 2: It's Almost Drive Time! I need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) for Spain... a trip that is coming up right quick! (YIKES!!) I've had my application filled out for weeks, and finally had Rusty take some "passport-type photos" the other night, which I sized & printed, so I could bring the whole she-bang with me yesterday. Then I noticed that they required check or money order, and didn't accept cash... I don't know about you, but I haven't carried my checkbook in a very long time. I needed to make a deposit for work and happen to have my HSA account at the same institution, and they let me draw a $20 MO from there. I happily made my way to AAA and she told me that my photos were too big (even though they were processed to passport specs -- GAH!!). They could take photos there, and I'd have done it... if they'd accept a credit/debit card from a non-member, or I'd had a check with me, or a MO for $32 instead of $20. GRRR. I resized & reprinted photos last night -- and tucked a blank check into my wallet -- and will try again today!

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Thing 3: It's Yarn Time! I've never knit a Fade (though I have printed out at least a couple of patterns), but that almost looks like it could be one! I've had some fun in the dye studio over the past couple of weeks. I've made it a point to put "DYE" on my calendar on my days off -- making it a priority on those days, not just a thing I do when I have time. There are a few last-minute tweaks before a website update later today -- shooting for noon CST!

Happy Day!


Snow day!

...not before I was up and already on my way, but I wasn't quite half-way. I can report that the roads were terrible!

So, I guess I'll get some things done at home today. Soaking those socks that I finished last night, for one thing! Woohoo.


Experience and Patience

I tried to "have a word" once -- maybe twice -- and it never went anywhere. I know there's not right way or wrong way to do that, but for it to really mean anything it takes commitment in a bunch of ways that I'm just not good at.

Every once in a while, a word crosses my eyeballs and I think, "That could be a contender."

This morning there were two, discovered as I was perusing a compilation of ancestors' marriage records, and they go so well together!

Experience and Patience.

Experience Ellis, 1687-1750, one of my great x7 grandmothers.

Patience Martin, 1684-1722, one of my great x8 grandmothers.

Likely Puritans in the tree! Aren't those the greatest names? Experience and Patience... things I use, to varying degree (and sometimes take for granted), every single day!

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I enjoyed a fairly low-key weekend.

It was cold but sunny on Saturday, and I accompanied Kate on an outing to hit some thrift shops in Green Bay... for no particular reason, though we have finally published the apartment listing on Airbnb and there are a few not-urgent things on that list. In less than a week we've already had some inquiries and even a booking that was later canceled! Plans change... sometimes quickly!

Anyway...

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I am just a little bit sorry that I left this on the shelf. There was something like this in my childhood memory, but I'm not sure of its origin. My mom did paint by number back in the day, and it's possible she did "elegant mosaic craft" as well!

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Fun fact: there was a dedicated Green Bay Packers section in just about every shop we visited!

Rod was half of a duo playing nearby on Saturday night, and I watched the kids while Ali & Kate went to see the show.

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Jün & Gin had brand new washcloths (Superman & Elsa) and toys from a stop at the dollar store, so naturally we filled the tub with bubbles! Look at that baby... she pulled herself up to peer into the tub several times, to join in the giggling.

I managed a little dyeing on both days (it sure helps to put it as a to-do on my calendar), made a a couple of nice dinners, continued my DuoLingo streak (24-going-on-25 days!), did a little book work, and a little knitting (so close with Ali's socks). I didn't get to anything sewing-related, as hoped, but it'll all still be there...

I hope you had a good weekend!


Unraveled Wednesday: Still Christmas Socks

Joining Kat & the Unravelers to share what I'm knitting and reading!

KNITTING:

I am currently working on Ali's second sock! A couple days after my last Unraveled post, I ripped out the first sock and started over because I knew it wasn't going to fit. It might be a bit more complicated, but I really do love Ysolda's Long-tail Tubular Cast-on! (Did I mention that I saw Ysolda at Rhinebeck? Even spoke to her... well, no, I basically grunted as she handed me a Ravelry pin. Completely starstruck! I could have talked to her about so many things, but no...)

Anyway, it's apparently my go-to cast-on. In addition, I went up a needle size (US 6 instead of 5) and started with a few more stitches.

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I finished the first so Ali could try it on last weekend -- it fit perfectly and she was so happy! I can't wait to finish the pair, and I'm thinking they'll be an FO by the weekend.

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Since I took the photos yesterday afternoon, I've made a heel flap & turned the heel. I'll knit the gusset tonight so that by Knit Night on Thursday, I'll be working the mindless foot. Christmas knitting ought to be done well before Valentine's Day!!

READING:

I am reading My Brilliant Friend. There's been a lot going on around here, so I've only read a couple of pages every night. I haven't been listening to anything. I'm going to have to suspend my Audible account for a while!


The current state of things

Behold:

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This has been the state of things all weekend, more or less, and it's currently coloring my mood. It was a little easier to handle with the "freedom" of a weekend vs. a workday. There isn't any sunshine in the forecast until Friday! Ugh. Send cookies!!


Happy Birthday, Mom

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Dear Mom,

I just sent a text to Joe:

Deja vu!! Hell froze over 34 years ago, too! Happy Anniversary.

Haha. He always said that he'd get married again when hell froze over... and he teased you about how you actually got it to happen!!

I always thought that you sure made it easy on him, getting married on the anniversary of your first date and your birthday! Three big Dates To Remember all in one.

We agree that you'd be in total denial about being 81. It's even hard for me to imagine.

We're hopefully experiencing the last day of a Polar Vortex (they didn't call it that 34 years ago, at least not that I remember), which we seem to be having a bit more frequently lately. At least there's snow on the ground. Though we were never farmers, we both knew how important it was to have snow on the ground when the temperature plummeted.

In searching for a photo to post today, I came across this one... you look a little carefree, there! It looks like you were up north, probably at Hiawatha Resort on the Flowage... so you should be looking a little carefree! I love the warm, summertime vibe... the cabins, the boat, all those wildflowers.

I love you, Mom. I miss you so much.

Love, Vicki
xoxo


Weekending: Snow Day!

I'm having a Snow Day today... but not after actually driving to work, doing something for a half-hour to make it worthwhile, and then driving home! We're not getting as much snow as predicted, but it's very windy and that makes driving difficult due to visibility issues.

So, I'm working on a little of this and a little of that (mostly business/tax related stuff), and will also be taking some time for some FUN!

It was all about the movies last week/weekend! Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday; on Wednesday, we watched Roma (10); on Thursday I bought tickets for next month's Best Picture Festival; on Saturday I watched The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (3), and on Sunday First Reformed (1). Roma won't be shown at BPF because it wasn't a theatrical release, and instead/new we will see the nominees for the Short Films (Live Action & Animated) at the beginning of each day, and I'm excited about that! There is a lot of crossover in nominations, especially when all of the BP films have been nominated in at least five and up to 10 different categories. There are a few biggies, though, that I'm going to need to find/stream somehow: At Eternity's Gate (local boy Willem Dafoe/Lead Actor), The Wife (Glenn Close/Lead Actress), Can You Ever Forgive Me (Melissa McCarthy/Lead Actress and Richard E. Grant/Supporting Actor), and If Beale Street Could Talk (Regina King/Supporting Actress). Without sounding too much like a nut, I'd also like to see Cold War and First Man. There are some other nominated films that I won't see at BPF, haven't already seen, or haven't listed... but arguably, not very many.

Also on Saturday, I visited our brand new LYS! Casting On had their soft opening, which I've been eagerly awaiting since I learned about it on the day my former LYS closed. The owners, Sara & Sam, are super warm & friendly, and I can't wait to watch as they all progress and grow... and Make.Do has been invited to take up some shelf space!

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There's been a bit of a Malabrigo drought around here, though, so I fixed that! Those left two hanks are WASHTED worsted-weight, and I think they'll become a sweater for a certain little granddaughter who will be turning one in < two months! 

There was a little website update over the weekend and an even tinier one this morning with some fresh-from-the-pot yarn:

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Check it out: Make.Do! The yarn in the top photo reminds me of last year's Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water, so that's what it's called!

OK. I'm getting back to work on this cold, snowy day...


Friday!

Best laid plans... I slept in a bit this morning, and that was great! There was a message from work, and though it wasn't essential that I drop by, it felt like the right thing to do. So I made a trip of it:

  • Credit union (deposit/cash)
  • Movie theater (pick up tickets for the Best Picture Festival!)
  • Home Depot (pick up a ship-to-store order, that Airbnb thing is slowly coming together)
  • Work (being a good employee, also delivering some of those BPF tickets)
  • Meijer (for groceries, it's been open for months & this was my first time there)

It's very cold, but the sun is out. As soon as I got home, I started a pot of Chili All Day! It's definitely a good day for that. I was supposed to pick up Kate at the airport at 5:30 (she's been in NYC since Tuesday) and thought that would be a nice welcome home supper, but she won't be arriving until 10:30 now, due to delays. (It could be a nice welcome home bedtime snack!) (And will taste even better tomorrow!) (OMG, I just remembered that I forgot to buy Fritos... hopefully, Rusty will get my text & avert tragedy by stopping for some.)

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Here's a Friday Amaryllis update! There's definitely some growth in that front pot, the one in the rear is looking good & healthy but taking her sweet time.

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I also ran down to photograph some yarn before it got too late. That update is coming... it sure takes a lot of time to do all the things. Anyway,  I really like these... a series of 5 or 6 that were largely inspired by a photo of some fruit, the solid sunny orange skeins are older but they all look pretty good together, non?

I need a nap!


3TT: Down Under

Joining Carole & friends for Three Things on Thursday...

Those three things being some recent photos that Maddy shared from Australia! Some of you follow her on Instagram -- and if not, here you go: @maddymooothes!

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Do you see the koala in the tree?

Maddy & Viv were visiting family (hello, SHEEP FARM) and are now traveling a bit (Outback!) before vintage work begins in a couple of weeks -- Viv at a winery in Australia, and Maddy back in NZ at Wither Hills again. She's sent us photos of kangaroos, wallabies, and fruit bats (lots 'n lots of big ol' fruit bats) besides sheep, sheep doggies, koalas, and lizards (several varieties of those, too, and also big!).

OK! Who doesn't want another cute koala photo now?

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TGIT! Tomorrow's my day off and I'm ready! We had a lot of snow fall yesterday -- no snow day because, you know, it didn't actually start to pile up until after I got to work -- and other than having to scrape/brush it all off of my car at the end of the day, it wasn't bad. But tomorrow, it's gonna be COLD -- the Wind Chill Advisory advises chills as low as -25 to -35F tonight and tomorrow!! So cold. It'll be a great day to stay in, and I have plenty to keep me busy.


Unraveled Wednesday: Fashion Climbing

Joining Kat & the Unravelers to share what I'm knitting and reading!

KNITTING:

I've started on the other belated Christmas present:

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Ali's socks! They're exactly the same as Maddy's... and I realized that I did Christmas knitting for all three girls this year. This is an old photo, as I've already turned the heel and finished the gusset! Worsted FTW.

READING:

I finished Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs by Bill Cunningham. I enjoyed the glimpse at his early life and the crazy fashion industry, but I guess I tired of reading about fashion and sped through the last couple of chapters. Next up: My Brilliant Friend, which has long been on my TBR list, and was a gift from Carolyn K. for Jólabókaflóðið! 

I also finished listening to Tom Hanks and am currently listening to Brené Brown read Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.

Alas, no snow day today...


Today in Microfashion

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Our Ginny girl, stylin' and stayin' warm!!

On the heels of brisk & clear moon-gazing days is the first major snowstorm of the season... and every time I look, the predicted snowfall grows! There could be a foot (and counting).


Weekending: Super Wolf Blood Moon

It was VERY cold (1ºF), but I couldn't help it! That cold temperature meant that the sky was crystal clear... and how often is there a Super Wolf Blood Moon??

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These are not-so-great photos from my phone, but not bad considering... I love the colors of the moon and how it looks sort of painted.

I hope you had a great weekend! Other than having the kids for a while on Saturday afternoon/evening while Kate & Al went on a "sister date," I just sort of plunked along... not quite at 100% yet, but slowly improving. I predict that by the time Friday -- and the start of a 3-day weekend -- rolls around, I'll be feelin' fine.  :)


How in the world can it be 34 years?

Thirty-four years ago today (also a Sunday) at Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City, OR:

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Innocent babes get married! Heehee.

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This is my 34th Wedding Anniversary card. Rusty often paints me cards for special occasions... someday I'm going to have to have a retrospective, because they're pretty great! This one is obviously neither to scale nor geographically correct... there's a big emphasis on Spain & England!!

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All the important reservations (airline, lodging, car) have been made, the itinerary has been roughed in, and now it's the fun part... figuring out where we might want to go, see & explore, and where to EAT! Based on our destinations, I am predicting a heavy emphasis on seafood.

We are looking forward to visiting & vacationing with Annie & her family in Valencia during Las Fallas in March (with all of us going on a side trip to Galicia -- the "Atlantic Northwest" -- to escape some of the early noise & hubbub), and a leg to Cornwall for a few days on the way home.

I love having something to look forward to!


FO: First Finished Project of 2019

I finished the first of two belated Christmas presents last night. Monogamous knitting FTW!

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Oh the DRAMA of photos taken by LED task light at o'dark-thirty on a winter morning!

I finished all but the i-cord at Knit Night, then did that part and soaked/blocked when I got home -- using my largest dinner plate! I wished for one even an inch bigger. I can't wait to get a modeled shot!

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Lo and behold, as I processed this pics I noticed a mistake where a cable wasn't crossed! This would be a serious flaw in the girders of the Eiffel Tower, which inspired this design, but will have no effect on the structural integrity of this beret, and will therefore likely remain uncrossed.

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Unless I can't live with myself.

At any rate, I loved knitting this and I'd definitely knit another if another beret-wearer happens along. I don't wear hats, and am especially repulsed at the thought of wearing a tam/beret myself... thanks to my mother who, year after grade-school year, forced them on my unwilling head. Maybe Kate will love and want one in a different color... because I also loved knitting this yarn!

Next up, belated Christmas present #2: Ali's socks. I did a German Twisted Cast-on last night but... I think it was too TIGHT, and not very stretchy, so I ripped it out and will try again later today. That's the stretchy cast-on y'all said you liked for socks, right??

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On a somber note, I have been rattled this week by the news that an old knit-blog friend suffered a stroke last Friday. I can't for the life of me remember what her blog was called, but Laurie and I are roughly the same age... she is a beloved mother, daughter, teacher, and friend. We share a love of a certain bit of Oregon coastline. She'd finally moved out of ICU yesterday, but was whisked back very early this morning. Her sons will need help in aiding her recovery, so a GoFundMe: Laurie Oberg Medical Fund has been established... and, if you're able, perhaps you'll consider helping them out. And also send some good juju in the direction of Salt Lake City, UT!

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Thanks for stopping by. ❤️ Have a terrific weekend!


Random Thursday with Bullets

Hi there. It feels like ages since I've really been here.

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  • We're over the hump of January, and for that I am thankful.
  • I got over the hump by taking a quick overnight Tues-Wed trip to Madison for a little get-together with Bookish Wendy (some of y'all may remember her from the "good old days" of blogging). She was (is, until tonight) in Wisconsin for a conference and I was happy to help break up her week.
  • My sinus/cold thing is all but gone; I am breathing unimpeded (for the most part) 24/7 through both nostrils and the fog has lifted. Thankfully, there was never any sore throat, chest congestion, or coughing, which makes me think it wasn't really a "cold." More likely an allergic reaction, though I have no idea to what.
  • The Christmas decorations are off the tree and put away, but the three is still standing! That's #1 on the list for Saturday.

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  • While putting away ornaments, I ran across the box of spare lights and fuses that's been collecting/growing for years. Guess what? I don't have them anymore!
  • I finally finished listening to Tom Hanks' Uncommon Type! I enjoyed the stories and listening to Tom Hanks read them; the one little thing that irked was that there was no discernible pause between the stories. Though it's a little thing, I think it was one reason I avoided listening... in the back of my mind, at the beginning of every sentence, I'd be subconsciously wondering if it was still the same story or a was it a new one. Exhausting. In the end, I sped it up and listened to Tom Hanks reading really fast!
  • Now I'm listening to Brené Brown reading Daring Greatly, which is marvelous -- her voice is wonderful -- but not while driving any distance. I listened both ways to Madison, and stopped to catch a wink or twenty each way... she was lulling me to sleep with her smooth, mesmerizing voice!

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  • I'm looking forward to a healthier, quieter, more uneventful second half of January.
  • It sure would be nice to get a little sewing done! The itch has only grown since Ali send this photo of Ginny all cozied up with Malina's quilt.
  • There are a million other things vying for attention, of course. Lately, I've been giving most of it to Kate's Ironworks Beret and I'm closing in on it.
  • Next up: Ali's socks!

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  • I've also been readying some yarn... I actually found a few opportunities in the past few weeks to head down to the studio. Make.Do update soon! It'll be small, but I'm pretty pleased. Instagram is probably the best place to keep tabs on that. Hopefully soon!!
  • In other news, among my Christmas gifts this year was a small flat of miscellaneous wood type. My local antique shop had posted it and I informed Rusty that it was immediately on my wish must-have list!

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  • Junah was intrigued by those letters, too, so we spelled his name and mine. That other piece is a large #1 -- it's probably 5-6" tall.

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  • I still haven't spent the quality time I'd like to with this... examining and sorting and playing and dreaming. I want to do another letterpress printing workshop now more than ever.

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Thanks for reading!


Weekending: 5

And now he's 5!!

I can hardly believe it...

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He was such a little nugget.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JUNAH!

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There was a little friends & family party... and no shortage of present-opening helpers!

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He decorated his own cake and it was just perfect!

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I'm nearly recovered from the dastardly head cold after a 3-day weekend full of... not much. It was kind of a pain, but I'm thankful it didn't develop into anything more.


Unraveled Wednesday: Ironworks

Joining Kat & the Unravelers with an update!

KNITTING:

I've been working on the first of two belated Christmas presents, Kate's Ironworks Beret, which I began on New Year's Day.

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The pattern is in MDK Field Guide No. 9: Revolution, or, as I like to call it, the Norah Gaughan issue.

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I have a ways to go, but I imagine the decreases will be starting pretty soon. I haven't knit cables in a while, and these are especially fun.

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I'm using the specified yarn, Jill Draper's Windham, which I ordered from Ann & Kay at MDK, in the color Graphite... and it's GORGEOUS!! It's lovely to work with, too.

My cute project bag is made by Madder Root, and was a Rhinebeck purchase. That particular bag is sold out at the moment, but there are so many other great designs!

READING:

The reading is the same, same, (almost the) same!

However slowly, I am making progress on all fronts. But now that the holiday ruckus is behind us and people are all either home or well on their way, I am mainly concentrating on staving off a cold! I'm looking forward to a Friday-off workweek this week, which means a long weekend and hopefully lots of rest... though possibly with a side of taking down the tree and definitely celebrating a 5-year-old's birthday (without spreading too many germs)!!


Give Them Wings: Maddy Mo On The Go!

Originally, Maddy was to depart for Australia/New Zealand on New Year's Eve, but with the fall on Christmas, ER visit, stitches, swollen and sore, and just not quite in the best shape for such a long trip, she decided to postpone it.

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Instead of heading Down Under on NYE, she ended up visiting both the dentist and the endodontist when she noticed that one of her top teeth was becoming discolored. The tooth registered zero sensitivity, and she wound up the year with a(nother*) root canal!

It's been great having her around, and we've had some wonderful family get-togethers. Yesterday, Kate baked a Victoria Sponge for our send-off dinner... which was pizza (haha)! The cake was a triumph!

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The recipe was from Jamie Oliver's Great Britain cookbook, which Kate had given me for birthday or Christmas a few years ago. It was truly spectacular, and so delicious!

So, anyway, away she goes today... Maddy leaves here late this morning for Chicago, then L.A., and finally Sydney where Viv will meet her! They are going to travel and explore Australia for the next month, then Maddy will again work the vintage at Wither Hills. And then... who knows!? I do know that we won't likely see her again until next Christmas.

It was a great month despite the ER visit, stitches, and root canal!

*We're really against making this a tradition!


Weekending: Random catching up!

OK. This is going to be a super random dump of odds & ends that have been swirling in my brain...

It was kind of a crazy long holiday around here, beginning right after Thanksgiving with Maddy's arrival & Viv's visit. We celebrated, more or less (something/anything/everything), all of December, right through Christmas, and continuing with Ann & family's arrival for a few days just before the end of the year.

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Mack picked up right where he left off last summer... with a baby in his arms! He's so sweet on her. It's adorable!

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We made two visits to a new-to-us and spectacular indoor pool/rec center while Ann was here, once with Ali & the kids, and once with friends (above). Junah's going to be 5 years old in 5 days... and he looks it, doesn't he?!

We played a lot of Bananagrams!

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It sure is a fun game. Maddy called me over to see one particular word she'd made...

All day long on New Year's Day, I was thinking "begin as you mean to go on," but I also just needed to chill, y'know?

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One thing that I did do was the refashioning of a thrift store find -- rescued from the Clearance Rack (at the thrift store, so it was maybe $1.50). I don't know why it was on clearance -- well, actually, yes I do... it had sewn-on ribbing at the hem & cuffs that gathered the fabric and at the wrist and made for a bubble-butt look that wouldn't be flattering on anyone! I really liked the fabric and the size/length and thought for all of one second about whether to buy & re-work it. It took a while, but it was so easy to cut off the ribbing and turn up/sew new hems. I've been wearing it almost everyday since!!

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I was pretty awful with picture-taking over the holidays... the one above isn't even mine (credit to Ali!). It tells the story, though: it was a chaotic & fun holiday season with the very best people. ❤️

Finally, the last wrap-up of 2018, I think... my Top Songs on Spotify. My #1 artist was, again, Gregory Alan Isakov, followed by The National, Amber Run, Lord Huron, and Langhorne Slim; and my favorite subgenre was the rather esoteric "Indie Folk."

They made me a playlist of my Top 100 songs... don't let "indie folk" scare you, it's a crazy fun mix of music! I was playing it yesterday and Katie asked about a few songs she was (surprisingly) unfamiliar with, eventually declaring it a "solid" playlist, which I consider high praise! Haha. Anyway, have a listen... maybe you'll find something new to like, too!


3TT: BuJo

Joining Carole & friends for *Three Things on Thursday

Actually, one Thing  -- a Bullet Journal -- and three photos of it.

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I've never done a Bullet Journal -- or any kind of journal, really. Six pages of the diary I got for Christmas when I was 11 hardly counts.

Kay was talking about it at MDK just before Christmas -- just as I had a ton of things to keep track of -- and I decided to sort of try it out for the holidays. And I liked it. I had a "cover" with a line for each day and a bare-bones description of what was happening -- who was arriving or which celebration or where we were going. There was a section inside devoted to each day where I kept track of details -- schedules, how many for dinner, the menu. It was GREAT!!

Meanwhile, I ordered an actual journal for myself -- and one for Rusty, too, because he is a journaler from way back, and it was his birthday on the 26th!

I'm trying out a few things, but I know already that even without sketches, calligraphy, and all the other doodads, it could turn into a huge time suck and I am not about that. At all. I am well aware of all the "inspiration" to be found on Instagram and Pinterest, and have been keeping my distance!

I rather enjoyed drawing out that January/Monthly Log calendar, but I don't think I'll be doing that for every month... I have a million monthly calendars at my fingertips, and this one doesn't really seem all that useful. In fact, it'll probably make me frustrated and mad... unless I dedicate it to keeping track of one or two very specific tasks. Hm. I do have one or two specific & related tasks that I need to be reminded of... Maybe I will be doing that every month.

There's a reason that some of what I've written in this journal so far is in pencil.

The Future Log seems useful -- a simple listing, by month and at a glance, of important events/reminders.

I am very  excited about my Duolingo-Spanish log, which I just created last night, picking up with a refresher from where I left off two years ago. I plan to practice/meet my goal everyday until our vacation in Spain (designated in red)... and it looks like my subconscious chart designer decided to carry on right through to the end of the year! We'll see.

Meanwhile (bonus photos), I'm not above this sort of thing...

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...format, print, cut, tape!

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But I also ordered washi tape... way more than I thought! So we'll just have to see where this all goes.

I'm planning to keep track of some vacation stuff -- packing lists, reminders, a log. And house stuff -- room dimensions, paint chips, window measurements, the size of those dang furnace filters. And gift lists. And... I dunno what else! It's a book made for lists and I'm looking forward to keeping them all in one place.

Do you BuJo? I'd love to hear a little about how you use it... the thing(s) that work best for you, and those that don't!


Unraveled Wednesday: 2018 Wrap

Joining Kat & the Unravelers... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

KNITTING:

I started & finished 19 items in 2018, with the exception of "Habu for Me" which was started in 2009!

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  • Two hats
  • Two adult cardigans
  • Four infant/toddler cardigans
  • Two shawls -- somehow missing from the photo array is "Summer Camp"
  • Three pairs of mukluk slippers
  • One pair of socks
  • One pair of mitts
  • Four gnomes

Four items started & not finished or abandoned in 2018:

  • Water (still working on it)
  • Lunar Phase (abandoned) - interesting design, just not for me. (But what a great enamel pin!)
  • Morvarch (in the future file) - love this design
  • Parallelogram (in time out, likely to be abandoned/frogged) - my wrist/arm/elbow can't take the repetitive motion. I've been considering that I may need to make some changes to the way I knit.*

Details (more or less) on all of the above on my Ravelry page: I am knitorious!

To start the new year, I cast on Kate's Ironworks Beret (for Christmas 2018) and as soon as I finish that, I'll knit Ali's socks (also for Christmas 2018).

READING:

I read 15 books last year, which is 10 less than I'd hoped for... and it's a stretch to call at least one of them a "book."

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I am still reading Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs by Bill Cunningham, and have recently made a point of reading a few pages every night! I have a couple in wait, including My Brilliant Friend, which I received from Carolyn K. as part of this season's Jólabókaflóðið exchange, once again brilliantly organized by Susan!

I'm still listening to Tom Hanks read Uncommon Type: Some StoriesI am enjoying the book and stories and like Tom Hanks' voice... I don't know why I'm not listening more. I sped it up a bit last week and have been trying to get back into the habit of listening during my commute.

I've set a goal of 20 books for 2019... and will just see how it goes!

*I continue to "feel" my shoulder injury, which occurred on Sept. 1st; there seems to be continued improvement overall, which I credit to early treatment, and mostly to my husband for his willingness to work on my shoulder/arm for about 10 minutes every single morning. Some days are better than others -- it's not only shoulder discomfort, but elbow & forearm as well. I haven't knit for long stretches in one sitting for quite a while, but I don't seem to be experiencing very much knitting-related discomfort... except when I do ribbing!


Unraveled Wednesday: 2018

Firstly, here's wishing Rusty a very happy {mind-blowing number} birthday!!

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He's getting a massage this afternoon and Lobster Bisque this evening and a few other prezzies, too!

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Also, we had a great Christmas except for the part where I ended up taking Maddy to the ER! SHE'S FINE!! She came home from visiting friends in Milwaukee in the early afternoon on Christmas Eve and went for a run -- so she was feeling pretty good at that point! We had a nice dinner, started a game of Monopoly, and watched a Harry Potter movie and she felt more and more lethargic as the evening progressed. She went to bed before the movie was even over and, well, if you know Maddy+Harry Potter... it's just not right. She had some other symptoms on Christmas Day, but was able to hang in there with us all, though declined to join us for our traditional Christmas Day movie (Mary Queen of Scots). My phone vibrated as we were walking to the car and she said that she'd felt lightheaded when she got up and fainted/fell/face-planted on the living room floor, resulting in a big gash on her lower lip (inside and out). Long story short, she got two stitches in her lower lip and was sent home with orders for ice, rest, and hydration. Hopefully, she'll be able to eat something soon. Poor thing -- she's leaving for The Land Down Under in 5 days!

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Joining Kat & the Unravelers for one last time in 2018! And there's a lot to talk about.

KNITTING:

I finished a pair of mitts and a pair of socks for Christmas presents!

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Not finished for Christmas: Ironworks Beret for Kate, and a pair of socks for Ali.

Ali requested the socks and I'd intended to give them to her, then decided that I really wanted to knit Maddy some socks and it sure would be easier to give them to her before she left for Australia! Both Kate & Al got yarn wrapped up with an "intention" gift card, and those projects will be next up...

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After I knit a few more Gnomes! This is the first, there's a second underway... along with a third and fourth!! Numbers 3 & 4 are styled after the Travelocity gnome, and for Maddy & Viv, so I need to finish them ASAP. I want to knit them for everyone!!

I'll do a complete wrap-up/review of my 2018 knitting in the next few days.

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READING:

The book currently on my nightstand is Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs by Bill Cunningham.

I'm still listening to Tom Hanks read Uncommon Type: Some Stories. I still seem to be in a "quiet period," but I've been listening a few days each week lately.

I'll also do a reading wrap in the next week. In a nutshell? I seem to be reading less.