Saturday, November 28, 2015

Knitting Content :-D

How about a little knitting content on this blog?  :-D

I haven't forgotten about all the WIPs, and I continue to work through them.  I just finished #16 on the list, the Holidazed socks.

These were a YOSS pattern from December 2014.  I'm really glad that they are done and I didn't take an entire year to finish them.  :-D

They are very thick socks.  The yarn is Socks That Rock Mediumweight, in the Farmhouse colorway.  I like them.

Yesterday I also pulled out The Big Easy Gansey sweater - #8 on the WIP List - and discovered, to my dismay, that I had knit about 3 or 4 inches too far.  I mean, it was going to be a dress if I started the armholes as far up as I had gotten  :-D  Oh well.  Another project that has been sitting for more than a year.  I really hope I have learned my lesson about letting things sit around.  I will be so happy when that list is clear.

On the left is where I started - I took the photo on Wednesday morning for the YOSS Thanksgiving Finish-It-Up Challenge.  The one of the right is where I frogged back to - I'm about to pop in some Sherlock Holmes and curl up in the sunroom with this.  I'd like to at least get back to where I was - this time with the armholes in place  :-D

As always - you can click to biggify any of the photos  :-)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Here We Go . . .

I got the first Advent email from d365 this morning.  I signed up to get their daily devotionals for Advent and for Lent.  For Advent it's called Following the Star.  I like it.  It's a nice way to center and start my day.

I am so grateful for this 4-day weekend as we head into what can often be the craziness of Christmas.  I don't have a lot of holiday plans in place at the moment, but you know how things come up, particularly in December  :-)

There are three days left in NaBloPoMo.  It's been an excellent exercise for me and I'm very glad that I've taken part for the first time.

I motivated and went with my cousin over to the club for a great stretch class this morning (I'm  back in my jams already  :-D).  She had already been out shopping!  Every year she goes to the Home Depot for their door buster 99 cent poinsettias.  She got 15 for her house and she always brings me three.  :-D  Here they are!

I put them on a decorative glass platter on my little kitchen table.  They are way festive  :-)  And they're in excellent shape!

Christmastime is here . . .  :-)

This is my favorite Christmas carol -  I really like this guy's cover.  His name is Nathan Drake.  His website is called Reawaken. I like the space where he's singing, and I like the simplicity of his arrangement. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving . . .

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be grateful for - not the least of which was a wonderful dinner at my cousin S's house today with other members of my extended family.  It was excellent!  Tomorrow I'm going to the movies with my cousin ME.  We want to see Love the Coopers.  :-D

I hope wherever you are that you have had a Thanksgiving full of love and joy and family and friends, and really good food.

As we head full tilt into Christmas, I hope to remember the words of Julian of Norwich when things go completely sideways during the Holidays (they always do at some point  :-D ):

All shall be well.  And all shall be well.  And all manner of thing shall be well.

Her book, Revelations of Divine Love, was the first published book in English written by a woman.  In 1395.  Talk about a woman ahead of her time . . .  It's on my list to read.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Well Done . . .

I don't know what day I thought it was yesterday - I posted twice because I must have thought it was Wednesday and had missed my Ten on Tuesday post.

Clearly, I NEED this four-day weekend . . .

I did well on the train home today.  We got out a couple of hours early for the holiday tomorrow.  If I had hurried, I could have caught the special extra train that left at 3:15.  I didn't hurry.  I waited and got on the regular 3:20 train home.  It makes most of the stops, but I didn't mind.  I had a book with me that I'm reading - Cheryl Richardson's The Art of Extreme Self-Care.  It's quite good.

Even though most people got on the extra train, the 3:20 was a little crowded.  There were people standing in the vestibule, but I felt that many if not all of them would likely get off at stops before mine this time.  I was right.  :-)  I did have to do a little bit of my breathing exercise (breathe in peace, breathe out fear), but I was on it in a timely manner this time at the first hint that I might have an issue.  It worked.  :-)   I also sat in car 5 on a 6-car train.  Normally I would have been in car 4, but I dropped back a little further to hopefully avoid the congestion of people trying to get out closer to the platform steps down to the parking lot.  It was a good plan. Breathing, sitting strategically, focusing on the book, and looking out the window instead of at the doorway all helped me make it through what could have been another meltdown.

I'm feeling very good that I paid attention.  Yay Me!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Good Sunscreen and a Hat . . .

Well, it looks like two posts today - I forgot to click "publish" last night on Tuesday's post :-D

I am really looking forward to the 4-day weekend here.  I have a lot of things I'd like to do!

The violets need some potting attention, and I need some serious downtime.

Now that my collection of African violets is at 35 varieties, everything is much more manageable than when I had 50, so the thought of spending some time down at my potting bench is not daunting any longer.

I have bags to take to the Second Chance shop to donate so will do that on Saturday,

My office looks no better than it did when I posted about it a couple of weeks ago . . . so there's always something to accomplish in there  :-D

And, I am looking forward to some serious downtime for myself.

I don't have plans for Thanksgiving, although I will probably go over to one of my cousins' homes at some point that day.  But if I don't, I will make a good dinner - probably fish since although I can eat chicken again, I still pretty much avoid turkey.

Yesterday I went to the dermatologist for a body check.  I am very, very careful about my skin because I am so fair.  According to the doc, people as fair as I (and he!) have a 30% higher chance of getting skin cancer.  Good sunscreen and a hat.  My mom drummed it in to me.  She was even more fair than I am.  I did have one very bad blistering sunburn - over most of my body back in high school when we were all trying to get tan (never mind that I was never going to get tan - I did try . . . ).  I had to spend the rest of the summer in long pants and long-sleeved shirts because just walking outside in the sunlight was painful. I stayed inside a lot  :-D   It was a very bad burn and I was very lucky - particularly lucky that my face didn't scar. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop on that, though.  It only takes one really bad sunburn to cause problems later in life.  So far I have escaped them.  I'm crossing my fingers  :-)

I have the most sun damage on my arms - a farmer tan that's not tan  :-D  There is some sun damage on my chest, too, but not too much.  And really, I'm mostly just freckled up a bit, even on my face.

The doc recommends that I use a daily sunscreen with a 30-50 SPF.  I have a 30 that I use in the summer for every day, but the Clinique one I like for winter wear only has 20 SPF, so I got some new stuff from the doc.  It's from a line called Revision.  I hope I like it - the comments are pretty good about it.  It has 50 SPF.  If I like it, it appears that I can get it on Amazon for a little bit less than what I paid, so that's a bonus  :-)

I've always taken good care of my skin, probably because I worked in live theatre throughout my 20s, 30s, and 40s.  I was always the the last out out of the dressing room after a show - I was taking my makeup off and being sure that my face was clean, toned, and moisturized.  I do use some retinoid cream now.  Pretty much everyone should, according to the doc.  He also advised that the stuff you can get over the counter isn't strong enough to make any difference, so if you want to use something like this, you need to get it from a dermatologist, or get a prescription - but it's not covered by insurance, so in my experience it's cheaper to get it from the doc.

He looked at a wonky spot on my face that has looked shiny to me ever since the accident last November.  At the point of impact I had turned my head and the side curtain airbag deployed across the right side of my head and face, burning (like a rug burn) and scraping my right ear and the right side of my face, and giving me a black eye and scratched cornea.  He said that as the abrasions healed on my face that the scar tissue in that area healed white, which is why it appears shiny to me.  There's nothing wrong, which is good, and I cover it easily with some concealer and the light base that I use.

I don't have to go back for two years!

So, take my mom's advice to heart:  Good sunscreen and a hat.  :-)

Ten on Tuesday . . .

This week's Ten on Tuesday topic is:  10 Things I am Thankful for Right Now

The email said that they added the "right now" to help make it a little different from your average Thanksgiving week post because they use this topic every year.

So - at the moment I am thankful for:

  1. Waking up
  2. A whole lot less pain in my knees.
  3. Finishing a November YOSS pattern hat.
  4. Ice melter.
  5. My hiking boots.
  6. SmartWool socks.
  7. Apples and peanut butter
  8. Christmas music  :-)
  9. The upcoming 4-day weekend
  10. A good skin check at the dermatologist
Somehow this didn't get posted yesterday!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Star Light . . .

I hold on to stuff.  This is not a new revelation  :-D  It's just that I find something I like and I hold on to it.  I'm not sure if this is a personal trait, or a trait of my Taurus nature - we're not keen on change, you know ;-D

These are my star lights.  They are strings of Italian lights with stars on them.  I bought them at IKEA at least a decade ago and they've held up quite well over the years.  Now, though, some of them are dying.  You're supposed to be able to change the bulbs, but, thus far, I have not been successful in so doing.

IKEA doesn't have them any longer - I'm thinking that they suffered from the same issues as the lights I used to have in my sunroom, because most of the time you can shake them and they come back on. 

The windows on the north side of my home are oversized.  That's my kitchen window - here's another view so you can see how large it really is. 

And they are the same in the living room - just more of them.

And one more in the dining room, which is where I'm standing in the above photo  :-D

And the star lights are absolutely perfect.  They hang all the way down and they look so awesome! 

And I'm thinking I'm going to have to find some other sort of lights to hang because enough of the strings are out now that I think they look wonky.  Those windows don't face the street, though, so they only look wonky to my neighbors.  They haven't complained.

As previously mentioned, I thought I had two more boxes of them downstairs, but I don't find them at the moment.  Oh well.  I will take another look because, you know, God forbid I should have to change . . .