Life is Beautiful

Some of the best dreams are the ones where I can fly. Not just fly, but SOAR. Little effort is needed for me to rise above everything. I don’t take on a Superman pose, with my arms in front of me rather, my arms are to my side. Every so often I have to move my arms to give me height or speed, but for the most part I am soaring. It is so calming and peaceful. What a wonderful experience. I don’t know if any of you have had similar dreams. If you have, please take a moment to share them with me.

Some of the best foods are the ones that look like crap. There are a few things that I never buy because I don’t know moderation when eating them; liverwurst and German bologna, to name a few. Pickles are another favorite; not just any pickle, but a garlic dill eaten out of the jar. I recently walked into the kitchen to find my son eating pickles out of the jar. I have raised him well.

Making progress on the knitting front. I am down to the last ball of yarn for my husband’s blanket. He should have plenty of winter to enjoy it. Come to think of it, he will enjoy it in the summer if the air conditioning is too chilly for his legs.

I inherited a sweater quantity of yarn from a friend. 16 skeins (about 1500 yds) of Classic Elite Believe, a cotton/rayon. The photo is washed out. The yarn is black. I need a pattern that will be easy to navigate so I won’t have difficulty reading the fabric. I have a few in mind.

Emma’s Caponcho

This begins as a cowl then grows into a cape/poncho thanks to the addition of increases down the sides. Don’t you think it would be nice in a drapey cotton? I am hoping the yarn fades a bit with washing. The plain stockinette would be ideal for embroidery. Thoughts?

Easy to knit in stockinette.

Top Down Poncho

As you can see, I am drawn to a cape or poncho for this yarn. I think it would make a great layering piece over jeans or a dress. I would hold the yarn double for this one. Not sure about the buttons. I have visions of them constantly coming undone. Don’t tease me.


I did a bad, bad thing. I clipped Razz’s nails last night. You know where I am going with this, don’t you? I snipped one nail too close to the quick. I KNOW!! My little boy squeaked in pain. He is fine, I am scarred.

For Christmas, I received a gift certificate for Harney & Sons Tea. I had a field day filling my cart. Formosa Oolong, Darjeeling, and Irish Breakfast. All loose tea. While cleaning out the storage closet recently I found a tea pot that my sister passed on to me. I cleaned it up and had fun filling it with my new tea. I learned a lot about this pot. It is heat resistant and can sit directly on the burner. I trust this to be true and have no intention of testing the claim.

In my glass: Peppoli Chianti Classico in a Pittsburgh Steelers glass. Salute!

In my ears: 9-1-1 Calls Podcast with the Operator. OMG! I love this podcast. Don’t worry, they always follow up the 911 calls with a happy ending!

Saint of the Day: St. Agnes. This is one heck of a story. Legend has it that Agnes was a beautiful girl of 12 or 13 yrs whom many young men wanted to marry. Among those she refused, one reported her to the authorities for being a Christian. She was arrested and confined to a house of prostitution. The legend continues that a man who looked upon her lustfully lost his sight and had it restored by her prayer. Agnes was condemned, executed, and buried near Rome in a catacomb that eventually was named after her. The daughter of Constantine built a basilica in her honor. What a horrible experience, but let’s hear it for our girls. Any surprise Agnes is the patron saint of girls and girl scouts?

As always, thank you for stopping by. Don’t be a stranger…drop me a line and tell me how you are!

Have a blessed day and hug a puppy!

I’m going to leave you with the song my husband and I danced to at our wedding.

Keb’ Mo’-Life is Beautiful

This is for Robert.

Love and peace to you all.

ReginaMary

But What About the Puppies?

I have been seriously toying with the idea of deleting my Instagram account long before the latest whoooha. This isn’t the first time. I ditched Facebook and Twitter months ago and I am so glad I did. So what keeps me hanging on to my account? Well, all the yarny deliciousness right at my fingertips. I follow friends and knitters, dyers and designers. I would definitely miss all the inspiration in those posts. If I am going to be completely honest though, I would have to say it’s really all about the puppies. What would I do without the puppies?

This is Kevin. He has an Instagram @agoldennamedkevin. He quivers.

Well it has been a while. I hope everyone had peaceful holidays. I did. They weren’t all that different for us; our celebrations are typically quiet. The US Postal Service extended my husband’s Christmas. I just receive a gift I ordered from early December.

Thanks to weather and some really good football games, I was able to knit a hat. I have some long-term projects on the needles that will take a while to complete, so it was fun to throw in a quickie. (All you fans of the Office, enjoy that one on me!) I knit the Piper Hat by Yankee Knitter Designs in a bulky merino by Le Mouton Vert. My sister purchased the yarn for me while hiking in South America, but it is available online. The Piper is a lovely, cabled hat that is fun to knit, and combined with this yarn, it makes for a warm topper that is super wooly and soft. Melinda Goodfellow is the designer for Yankee Knitter. She has a very sweet Instagram presence-one of the reasons I stay. Please send her some lovin’! When yarn festivals are a thing again, I plan on heading to Connecticut for festivals and an in-person meet & greet. The photos will show you the evolution of my first pom-pom! The first image is what a pom-pom looks like when left to my own devices-Shaggy McShagster. My friend Katherine loaned me a cool little wooden gizmo by Loome and voila! I left the two ends of the pom-pom long and fed them through the top of the hat. Then I threaded them into a button and just tied the ends together. The button keeps the pom-pom in place and I can remove it whenever I want. Can you see it in the photo?

I am making slow and steady progress on my hunny’s blanket. I timed myself. It takes me 17 minutes to knit one row. That is without any interruptions from this guy:

He loves to go in and out and in and out all day long whenever we have the fancy rain.

My hand is in the photo for size perspective, not because I aspire to a career in hand modelling.

Yes, that Bill has been up to no good again! Here is his latest farmer’s market purchase:

I am knitting a cowl in the style of the Scoreboard Cowl. Since the wool is black and grey, I am loosely following the Las Vegas Raiders 2020 schedule. Not a fan of the team, just a fan of the yarn!

The end of the year brought many wonderful encounters. Some mornings, as I pull into the driveway at school, I encounter a lady walking two beautiful Golden Retrievers. Naturally, I stop in the middle of the road to have a chat! Traffic be d*mned! Just before we went on break, I received a piece of mail in the office addressed to ‘Secretary’. Welp, since that is me, I opened it.

It was a Christmas card from Parker the Goldie! Parker’s human wrote me a nice note on the back, introducing herself. Apparently, we talk so much about our puppers that we failed to share our names. This comes as no surprise to anyone that knows me. I showed everyone the card. I mean EVERYONE! Every kid that came by the office saw it too. There is something so special about this breed. Boop that snoot! Go ahead. I know you want to.

I received an email from a knitter who spied some wool in my stash that she desperately needed for a project. The yarn is no longer available and she asked if I would sell my skein. I really did not want any money for it; it feels so good to rehome yarn to someone in a yarn chicken death battle. Later that week, I received a card and a set of beautiful stitch markers as a ‘thank you’ for the yarn. Knitters are a lovely bunch!

Sudeshna used to have an Etsy shop where she sold her wares. Aren’t they beautiful? The best part is that we are now friends on Ravelry.

I did not make any resolutions for the new year; I typically don’t. I am, however, listening to The Bible in a Year podcast with Fr. Mike Schmidt. I love it and at 20 minutes a day, I learn so much. I also like knowing that I am sharing in an experience with so many people around the world. Very much like the community I find here.

This post has been languishing in my draft folder for waaay to long. I have said it on many occasions, but it bears repeating, all of my blogging friends who keep to a regular schedule have my unwavering admiration!

In my glass: Makers Mark

In my ears: Me. Me crying over what has to be the worst 5 minutes of football I have ever seen. Oh, but wait, there’s more! The next 5 minutes proved to be more than I could bear. Good night, Steelers, it was great while it lasted.

Saint of the Day: St. Alexander of Fermo. Not a lot of information about this saint; he was born in the year 250, became a bishop and was killed for his faith. I will gladly raise my glass to this man.

My son’s name is Alexander. I know tons about him, and he is in the early stages of sainthood. (Aren’t you, sweetheart)

Random Robert wisecrack: “Do you need the light on, hon? Oh wait, I forgot. You are the Cosmicknitter, you can knit by the stars.” He is such a goofball.

Sending love to everyone who stops by this silly little blog. I am enriched by your comments and humbled by your generous hearts. So much hugs.

ReginaMary

A Nice Minestrone

This post has no real direction; it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Just like a nice minestrone.

It has been a busy few weeks for your favorite knitting space cadet (that would be me…). My sweet and plucky 93 yr old mama had some minor surgery so I spent many hours in waiting rooms and in some cases, due to COVID, sitting in my car. Just me and my knitting. I managed to get a few projects done. Let’s take a look, shall we? We shall…we shall.

You may recall from my last post, the basket of Roma tomatoes and skein of yarn I received from Bill, one of my son’s clients. Well I ate all the tomatoes. Raw. With olive oil, black pepper and sea salt. Apparently, they were intended to go into sauce. “No regerts!” I also knit up another Barley Light for Bill with the yarn. I threw in a pair of Appleseed Mitts from yet another skein he gave me; it seemed fitting. I failed to take proper photos before I gave them to him and he assured me he would send me an action shot for my blog and Ravelry page. I was not disappointed. Here is a fella who is ready for the elements.

I am so glad you like your knits, Bill. You are very knit-worthy...

The next thing off my needles was The Seamed Wrap by Purl Soho.

A free pattern from Purl Soho, this was a joy to knit. The pattern calls for an all-over linen stitch with a band of two-color linen stitching along the neck. I did not have the patience for all that, so I began with a large band of linen stitch, knit the body in stockinette with garter stitch selvedges and the two-color linen stitch to finish it off. This is a modular piece that can be worn sideways, front or back hanging. It can also serve as a dog pillow, but that’s another story entirely. {{cough:Razz:cough}} I knit this using Miss Babs Yowza, which knits up into such a soft drapey fabric. I could have made the smaller size since Yowza does tend to stretch. Next time. And there will definitely be a next time.

There was a big event in my house. My husband bought a new chair. Not just any chair, mind you. A recliner. A real dude chair. An electric powered, soft as butter recliner. He is soooo happy!! He has wanted a chair in the bedroom so he can sit and read or pray quietly and comfortably. Feet up, nice lighting, peaceful surroundings. Get the picture? I’m sure you are wondering what this has to do with knitting. Or maybe not. If you are a knitter, you know where this is heading. What comfy chair is complete without a knitted blanket to snuggle under? It was his idea, I swear! The request was for a simple blanket in browns golds and blues; brown to match his chair, gold to match the dog and blue to match his eyes. I jumped at the chance to break the yarn fast, people! My friend recommended Webs since they always have sales, and there I found the perfect yarn. This is a wool/acrylic blend in all the right colors.

He wanted a simple pattern so I cast on for the Summer Sidewalk by Fifty Four Ten Studios. This will be the third time I knit this blanket. I cast on 400 stitches. Last thing I want is a skimpy binky! While this won’t be done in time for Christmas, it will be ready for the cold and dreary months that follow.

On the non-knitting front, my sister is home from Japan for a few weeks. We haven’t seen her in a year. She quarantined so we celebrated Thanksgiving the Saturday after and we had a beautiful day. One of the perks to celebrating late is not having to deal with the insanity at the supermarket.

Look what she brought back for me!

On the days when my husband is out of town, I’m always a bit blue. This week, before he left, he gave me flowers. The message on the card reminded me that even though he was leaving, Baby Jesus was coming! He makes me smile.

My chonky boy has lost 17 lbs since September. With less stress on his joints and the cold autumn air, he jogs around the neighborhood little pup!

Razz and his cow.

And in other news…

here are other things that keep me entertained.

I’ve been walking a lot.

It’s no wonder I’m so h*ckin tired.

I also enjoy stalking Golden Retrievers on Instagram

Saint of the Day: December 14th is the feast of Saint John of the Cross. He is the patron Saint of contemplatives, mystics and Spanish poets. He is one of my favorite saints. I read “Dark Night of the Soul” at a very significant time in my life and the impact was profound. It was as if his writings found me; they spoke to the struggles I was having at the time and helped me navigate very difficult days and very dark nights.

“In the dark night of the soul, bright flows the river of God.”

~St. John of the Cross

In my cup: Lagunitas Hop-Hoppy Refresher

I love this stuff. It has no alcohol, no carbs and no calories. It has a crisp and refreshing ‘hoppy’ taste. You can still win a belching contest, but without all the boozey side-effects.

In my ears: The Patriots vs The Rams. It’s Thursday Night Football, baby!! Can I just say how happy I am that the NFL ditched the color rush uniforms.

I appreciate that you stopped by for a visit.

I hope everyone is healthy and well and enjoying all the traditions of the season.

Peace to you all,

ReginaMary

Yes, Sir…That’s my Baby!

I don’t know how it gets to be a month between posts. I admire all of you who write daily or weekly. I really do.

I have two grown boys, aged 27 and 25 years. Who is my real baby? I think you all know.

This guy:

A few weeks ago Razz developed a growth on his lower lip. It grew quickly and it was ugly. His vet said she doesn’t like to play around with things on a dog’s mouth, so off it came! He did great. Surgery was uneventful and he came home without the cone-o-shame. The biopsy showed it was cancer. Good news is that the vet got it all and the skin around the site is healthy. Look at that face. Tragic.

Besides fretting about Razz, what have I been up to? I have had a productive few weeks. I have finished objects, people! You were introduced to some of these projects here: https://cosmicknitter.com/2020/09/22/sound-and-fury-signifying-nothing/

I am very proud of this sweater. It is Savage Heart by Amy Cristoffers. There were obstacles, but not with the pattern. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. This had some ‘new-to-me’ techniques. The sweater is knit in two halves and from side to side. It also has an applied I-cord edge on the bottom which I loved doing! And finally, I learned how to seam reverse stockinette along side seams as well as a bound-off edge. I am very pleased with the results. I am going to wear the HECK outta this one!

Next off the needles was the Larks Alvina by Louisa Harding. I would describe this as a nice palate cleanser! Easy pattern to follow using two balls of Morehouse Farm Merino Lace.

The last project to come off the needles was another Barley Light. I received a surprise delivery a few weeks ago. The doorbell rang and I was greeted by my son who was bearing gifts from his client, Bill, with the message “pretty please?” How could I resist? The tomatoes were supposed to go into sauce, but I ate them whole with a little sea salt and black pepper.

This is a great pattern and the yarn is from Sawkill Farm which is 10 minutes away in Red Hook, NY.

I love a good impulse buy as much as the next gal, so when I saw this fella online, I had to pick up a few for my knitting friends. I love his face. Here are photos of our front stoops. Mine is in the middle. I’m going to call her “Baaabs”.

We are planning a much needed vacation to Orwell, NY.

See that little dock? I love to sit there and say my prayers each morning.

Razz can’t go swimming because of his surgery, but there is no reason why he can’t go canoeing with his mama. These were taken last year. It was his first time in a boat.

Welp, that’s all folks. This post took forever and day to finally make it out of drafts!

Have a blessed day and kiss your favorite furry!

Love,

ReginaMary

In my ears: The wind is howling and gusting. Such a great sound!

In my cup: Tomato Bisque and black pepper crackers…I could eat this every day.

Saint of the Day: Today is All Souls Day! All Souls Day is a holy day set aside for honoring the dead. The day is primarily celebrated in the Catholic Church, but it is also celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and a few other denominations of Christianity. The Anglican church is the largest protestant church to celebrate the holy day.

The End of Summer

Where did the summer go? You would think that working from home for weeks on end would result in a long, boring season. It was not that way for me. In my last post I wrote about all the knitting I did, without much to show for it. Today, I thought it would be fun to go off-topic somewhat and share with you some of my non-knitting wins.

I turned 55 in June. In spite of my health, it was a fabulous day! I wore my birthday tiara, got pretty flowers from my sweetie, bought myself a Razorbacks t-shirt, got a new Kitty for my desk and had lots and lots of CDC approved kisses.

The gyms may have been closed, but I spent my time in the Lord’s Gym!

I turned over gardens, hauled blue stone, thinned and transplanted perennials., and made lots of places for my birds to relax.

We had some victories at work due to solid leadership and a dose of teamwork:

I found some cute shirts to wear when I putter in the yard. I see a theme.

One of my first social outings was a visit to my friend’s porch to discuss her class budget. It was a beautiful day to snuggle up for a photo with her littles.

New friendships were made.

My honey had a birthday too! What do I give a guy who doesn’t ask for anything? A garden! Moving more dirt and stone for my man!

Once it fills in and blooms, it will be lovely. I planted Russian Sage and Rose of Sharon (both dwarf varieties), a miniature pine and some periwinkle for ground cover. St. Francis seems very happy! Next year I would love to add a hummingbird feeder.

Welp, that is my summer in a nutshell. Not bad if I do say so myself!

Have a blessed week and if you celebrate Yom Kippur, G’mar chatima tova! May you be sealed in the Book of Life!

Love to all,

ReginaMary

Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

I always chuckle at that last line. It was one of my daddy’s favorites and it basically sums up my knitting in July…and August…and September. The last time I wrote was the end of June. I don’t know where the summer went. I have been knitting quite a bit, but due to some health issues, I have very little to show for it. I had a bit of trouble with my brain due to Lyme disease. I became easily confused and unable to concentrate on simple tasks. There was one point where I could not recall any of my wips! I continued to work on the Lace Blanket MKAL by CeCi at Oh La Lana!, however I found some of the blocks to be too difficult for me to process at the time; for those I knit one of her simpler designs. I did not want to bail on the project completely, but I was becoming increasingly more upset with my lack of ability to understand what I was reading. Here are some photos of finished blocks. I am now working with black wool.

Back to Square One…

I cast on a pair of socks in the spring. I was nearing the finish line on the first sock, and decreasing for the toe when things went south. I know what you are thinking. How can things go wrong on simple toe decreases? I don’t know, but they did. In my frustration I ripped out the entire sock and cast on again. This is the extent of my progress. To maintain my sanity, I am just doing a simple top-down sock in a 3 x 1 rib.

The next project should have been done about 3 months ago. I have knit and frogged this one 3 times. It is the Savage Heart Cardigan by Amy Cristoffers (caution: this link takes you to Ravelry). I am using Superfine Merino 2-ply by Cestari Sheep and Wool Co. in a natural light gray. This is a really beautiful wooly wool. I am using my Addi Turbo circulars for this sweater, but the wool is still dragging quite a bit on the needles. I work on this here and there because it is hard on the hands and for a while I was experiencing some numbness in my fingers that made knitting tricky.

Can you smell the lanolin? My husband caught me doing a deep-inhale face plant in to my knitting last night.

I participated in a KAL hosted by Morehouse Merinos and Ann at I Thought I Knew How Podcast. The pattern was the Lark’s Alvina Shawl (link goes to Ravelry) by Louisa Harding. This is a very satisfying knit. I chose to knit mine in Haystack. A few more yards and I’ll be done!

Now that football season is here, and the gardens are fading, I will have a lot more knitting time on my hands and hopefully some FOs to share!

I hope you all are well. I have been enjoying everyone’s posts and beautiful sharings. It is my intention to write again soon; I would love to share some of my non-knitting related adventures. For now I will leave you with a photo of me and Razz-the best boy ever!

Mutual Admiration Society

Have peace in your day and coffee in your mug!

With love,

ReginaMary

Saint of the Day: Today, I picked a rather obscure saint to share with you. St. Phocas the Gardener. Phocas earned his living by cultivating a garden near the city gate of Sinope (now in Turkey). The quiet and beauty of the plot he cultivated proved quite conducive to prayer. He shared with the poor what he earned from his gardening, and opened his home to travelers lacking a place to stay. He is patron to gardeners, sailors, inn-keepers and farmers.

In my cup: I am having a glass of wine, thank you very much!

In my ears: Monday’s Saints vs Raiders game. Robert puts football on for Razz to watch while we are at work.

The Nature of the Beast

I haven’t said much about COVID-19 here because, honestly, it is mentioned practically everywhere, but I am going to take a moment to speak briefly about the virus.

This I personally know to be true:

It is stubborn. It is pervasive. It does not discriminate. It is an opportunist. It is multi-faceted. It is mysterious. It sucks. When we go out for groceries or for errands, no one, and I mean no one gets a text from a loved one or friend saying “don’t forget to pick up a virus while you are out.”

It’s not on our ‘to do’ list either. ‘clean the office, do laundry, pick up virus.’ The virus that found me was left behind by someone and it sat there just waiting for a host. Maybe it jumped on my hand, or found my clothes, but somehow, it found me, and if I am not careful, it will try to find someone else. Why? Bottom line…It is the nature of the beast.

Now, not everyone thinks this virus is a big deal. It is shocking, but some believe it isn’t real. Many people don’t socially distance themselves or wear masks when around people. Heck, we all know that person who isn’t even in the habit of washing their hands. Why? Bottom line…It is the nature of the beast.

The big buzz word out there lately is “self-care”. In order to be of any benefit to family, friends and colleagues, we have to be healthy in body, mind and spirit. While that makes perfect sense, self-care often comes with the temptation to only see things in a manner that is relevant to ourselves. That sounds perfectly natural, right? But when something bigger than our individual selves comes along, it may benefit us to look at the bigger picture first. I like to think of this as “other-care” This virus is big; it is bigger than our individual selves. Heck, this virus is global. This is a fact. Period.

I won’t lie. I have been experiencing a constellation of emotions along with the various symptoms. The one that bothers me the most is anger. This emotion grows deep roots; I would go so far as to say it has tentacles. I felt it trying to take up residence in my heart and it scared me. I spent one particular day sitting, praying, reading and writing. I turned to one of my favorite mystics, St. John of the Cross. In ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ he writes of the journey to become closer to God. He does so by starting out with an honest to goodness, no holds barred, sit down, pay attention and follow along look at the 7 deadly sins; the first of which is Pride. And that, my friends, did not resonate with me at first. Until I sat, and prayed and wrote some more. Then it clicked. Pride was at the root of my emotions. It is my pride that had me convinced people should do what I believed was right. They should act a certain way and follow the rules. If they didn’t, then I got angry. That is my pride. We are all individuals with the God given gift of free will. I will exercise mine, and by the same token, I need to accept the fact that others will do the same. This self-reflection was liberating for me. It started to loosen those tentacles of anger that tethered me and I began to feel lighter and more at peace. It was self-care on a deep and personal level. The virus knocked me on my keister, but my pride had the power to cause me the most harm. I love God, I love the ocean I love the weather, but I also have a healthy respect for their power. I can now add the power of this virus to that list.

Oh, I plan to exercise “self-care” by wearing my mask, social distancing and washing my hands, and by doing so, I will be practicing “other-care”.

There are no memes with this post, no cartoons or irreverent potty humor. I’m just not feeling it right now. I know you will understand because you are a supportive and lovely bunch of coconuts.

Be well, practice self-care and while you are at it, throw in a measure of other-care; it will do the world good.

Love to you all.

ReginaMary

I Am The Winner

When I was a young mother raising two boys there was a growing trend that puzzles me to this day. The idea was “there are no losers, everyone is a winner!” I have been scratching my head ever since. If I subscribed to this mindset, a game of Candyland would be rather confounding, and my son Ben would never have been able to bankrupt me in Monopoly. (word of advice: If he ever becomes a landlord, avoid him at all costs).

So, if everyone is a winner, and there are no losers, then there really are no winners. We are tied and everything becomes ‘meh’. So why bother? This is how my brain works. It’s a curse.

I will be the first to admit that there have been, and continue to be times when I am a loser.

Trying to fill a colander with water. Loser

Asking my husband where Leonardo da Vinci was born. Crossword puzzle clue…five letters…begins with ‘V’. Double loser

Whatever. Loser. Dead to me.

This past month, I received two prizes in the mail because I was the winner. I won and everyone else lost. Sorry folks,

And here’s what I won:

A door prize courtesy of The Knitting Garden during the Long Island Yarn Crawl. This is some serious loot. Thank you, JoAnn!

This is the Rowan “Quench” Kit. It includes 8 balls of Rowan Cashmere Haze and the pattern for Lisa Richardson’s stunning tri-color scarf by the same name. I also receive a bag of mixed stitch stoppers and a Maker’s Keep both by Cocoknits, and a set of Nirvana Mango dpns. This is a new-to-me brand and I look forward to knitting with them.

The next win came as a surprise. I entered the Lolodidit Gameday KAL and my Cheesehead socks were one of the winners. Knit anything in one of her team colorways, enter a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #lolodiditgamedaykal and you could be a winner, too! I won a $30.00 gift certificate to her shop lolodidit.com. Guess what I picked? C’mon, guess! Another skein of her team themed sock yarn. This time in the Auburn Tigers colorway.

War Eagle!

So you see? I am a winner. If only there was a way to bump off Mr. Plumpy…

Damn you, Mr. Plumpy!

Saint of the Day: St. Francis Caracciolo. He’s a nice Italian fella from Naples and patron to Italian cooks. Bene, mangiamo tutti!

In my cup: Coffee 3.0

In my ears: Sweet Tea No Shade knitting podcast

Stay well, my friends!

Be cool, stay in school.

Up with hope, down with dope.

Geeks rule!

{{Hugs}}

ReginaMary

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times, It Was the Best of Times.

In my last post I shared the drama that was unfolding in my back yard birdhouse. It began with a chickadee who found himself dueling it out with a bluebird. Who would prevail? Honestly, I would be happy with either. Enter the plot twist. This guy:

This is a European Starling; we’ll call him…Mr. Big Stuff for now. He showed up at the birdhouse, sticking his beak where it doesn’t belong. For days there was no sign of activity at the birdhouse and I thought all hope of a sweet tenant was lost. Fast forward one week. As I sat on the deck, I noticed flurry of activity. Pulling out my binoculars, which every knitter keeps in their project bag, I watched as two house wrens worked to decorate their new home! Yes! It’s true!! Have you ever seen wrens as they build a nest? Wrens are tiny birds, about 4″ long. They carry twigs twice their size in their beaks and attempt to cram them through the small openings of the house. It is wonderful to watch. They are so skilled at turning the twig in such a way that it fits it through the hole and the building continues.

While I was thrilled at the prospect of hosting a chickadee or bluebird, knowing that wrens are nesting makes me so happy. These were my daddy’s favorite bird.

Such a big voice for such a little fella!

He hung houses all around the property with hand carved and painted signs boasting clever sayings like “House for Wrent, Real Cheep”. Nothing makes me happier than having wrens for tenants. So there you have it. It was the best of times and they all lived happily ever after.

While we are on the subject of birds…I had an Oriole at my feeder! An Oriole! I spent the first few seconds yelling to my husband “what do I do…what do I do!!!” His advice? Just enjoy him. I have never seen one in the wild, not to mention at my feeder! They are stunning. In other bird shenanigans, my most frequent customers (yes, plural) have been Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks (again, emphasis on the plural). I thought I had one family, but I have a confirmed three. The male is colorful while the female is muted and understated. When it comes to seed consumption, they are equals. Regardless, they are both striking visitors.

So it is May! May is a busy month. It is the month of the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary), it is the month when my oldest son Benjamin is born, it is the month of Mother’s Day, and my anniversary (more on that in a bit). I hope everyone had a blessed Mother’s Day. I don’t really celebrate; every day is Mother’s Day for me. My oldest son was born on the 13th and being separated from him is a foreign and unwelcome experience. We zoomed. He looked handsome. He has COVID hair; I like it. I miss hugging him and holding his face in my hands like Italian mamas do just minus the cheek pinch.

My youngest son, Alex, gets me. He remembered seeing me borrowing books by this author from the library maybe 15 years ago. (and you think they aren’t paying attention)

This is the complete collection of “Too Much Coffee Man”. What? You have never heard of TMCM? Well, to quote Wikipedia, “Too Much Coffee Man (TMCM) is an American satirical superhero created by cartoonist Shannon Wheeler. Too Much Coffee Man wears what appears to be a spandex version of old-fashioned red “long johns” with a large mug attached atop his head. He is an anxious Everyman who broods about the state of the world, from politics to people, exchanging thoughts with friends and readers.” So, to sum it up, this is 600+ pages of cranky, neurotic and caffeinated bliss. Well, aren’t you an odd one, Regina.

As I mentioned earlier, we are celebrating our 5th anniversary. We had a small wedding and spent our honeymoon in Italy. The photo on my home page is from Frances’ Lodge in Siena. Please visit their website. The Inn is so beautiful and the hospitality truly special! Robert created the playlist for the wedding reception. Robert has the most eclectic taste in music and a very expansive collection. Music : Robert = Knitting : Regina. If it is good, he knows about it and most likely owns it in his HUGE music library. Except for that one song by Babyface, listening to the play list had me falling in love all over again. In case you were wondering, I did add some songs as well. I’ll share a few at the end of the blog. It was such a fabulous day!

On the knitting front, I am starting another pair of socks. I wanted to do a toe-up sock using Judy’s Magic Cast-On, but after 5 attempts at left and right leaning increases for the toe, I finally gave up. What do all you toe-up sock knitters use for toe increases? Of course, it did not help that I was using a deep purple yarn on black dpns. I am knitting these socks with the Perth I purchased on the Long Island Yarn Crawl. It will make a stunning pair of socks, assuming I get beyond the cast on.

Very subtle color changes. Can you see them?

I cast on for a cardigan but you’ll have to take my word, it is not photo ready.

A follow up to the ‘soup isn’t a meal’ revelation of an earlier post. Apparently in order to make soup “meal-worthy” you need to add meat, or pasta. Better yet, add both. Thanks Alex.

My favorite garment these days is my kitchen apron. If you see me on any given day at any given time, I am wearing an apron. Yes, I am wearing it over my clothes, I save the other look for zoom meetings. Hey, I got such a fresh F2T box this week, there was a snail in my lettuce. I gave it to the birds.

I hope you all are well. I really appreciate having a chance to catch up with you. I feel like this post is a bit scattered, and I must confess it took me waaaay too long to write. That’s ok, right?

So I’ll end with the usual.

Saint of the Day: I’m going dedicate this post to The Blessed Mother. Why not? It’s my blog and it is May. “Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you”

As promised, here are a few of the goofy love songs I added to our wedding playlist. I hope you enjoy.

Thunderstruck – AC/DC

Back In the New York Groove – Ace Frehley

Dancing Queen – ABBA, in memory of my Daddy.

It was such a great day. Happy Anniversary, sweetheart!

This one goes out to the Starling: Mr. Big Stuff

Love you all!

ReginaMary

Great, Now I Have Guilt!

Last week, while walking in the yard, I noticed a head peeking out of the birdhouse we have mounted in our garden. It was a chickadee! I have never had a chickadee nest nearby, at least that I am aware of. This was very exciting. They are cute, chatty and well…cute. A few days later, when I was sitting on the deck knitting, I heard the bluebirds. I love everything about bluebirds. They have a cheerful song and the prettiest blue feathers. As I sat there, I heard a commotion. I picked up the binoculars (because everyone knows you need binoculars when you knit outside) and saw a bluebird sitting on the perch of the birdhouse with the chickadee hopping on the roof all pissy. Now what? Is it possible for them to share the space? Maybe it can be like a time-share? What if they think this is a bad neighborhood altogether, and vacate? Will this affect my taxes? How will I ever live with myself?

Yesterday Razz had a birthday! He is 11yrs old. It is tradition to take him to Holy Cow Ice Cream. We pop open the back hatch of the Subaru and tailgate in the parking lot. Razz gets a kiddie cup of soft vanilla. The first time we did this, I made the error of ordering a cone. He took that down in one gulp. He also got brain freeze and pressed his head against my leg. Even though there was no tailgating this year, he still had his bowl of Holy Cow vanilla ice cream and all was right with the world. Well, at least in his world.

Do you ever wonder if the stay at home order is getting to people? Wonder no more. This was a headline in my news feed: “Naked man punching cars, fighting officers, taken down by K-9”.

In knitting news, I have a new pair of socks. The pattern is the Slip it Simple Sock by Christine Long Derks. I love the pattern, I love the yarn, but can I be honest? I am not crazy about the the two of them together; I just don’t know if they flatter each other. I will wear them proudly, none the less. Do you swatch for socks? I don’t because I know my preferred needle size and stitch counts. So now, my trio of NFL socks are complete. I fully expect that none of my teams make it to the playoffs. I am the kiss of death.

Lolodidit Everyday Sock-Keep Pounding

Another project in the works is the Granny Stripes Blanket by Attic24.

I love working on this!! It is fun and I am using up odd balls of yarn from previous projects as well as mini samples of new-to-me yarn. Deciding on what yarn to use next is like poking around inside a box of chocolate. This is the perfect project to work on while waiting for the charcoal to heat up, or the pasta to boil.

Speaking of pasta. I had the pleasure to meet Bill, Maker of Masks. He arrived at our door with his little nephew, who was carrying a bouquet of ramps. I added olive oil and cream and tossed it over thin spaghetti. Be still my Tarantella beating heart!

I bet you are wondering how Razz and I are doing on our walk. We have gone another 70 miles, and find ourselves on Million Dollar Highway in Bangor, PA. It appears there are some wineries in Bangor but what appeals to us most is Bear Swamp and Lake Minge, a tree-filled swamp with a wooden boardwalk to a nature center with a pond for wildlife observation. Right up our alley. I’ll grab my binoculars.

Did you know that soup doesn’t really qualify as “dinner”? I did not know that until 2 weeks ago. Even if you add cornbread and a salad, it falls short of dinner material. This is apparently a known fact that has eluded me for 50 years. That leaves me at a loss as to what to serve for dinner this evening.

If you are not this tall, you may not ride the roller coaster!

I hope you are well and in good spirits. I love reading all about your gardens and knitting, pets and baked goods, as well as hearing of your frustrations and fears as we all bumble around trying to settle into some type of normal. On that note, I will leave you in peace.

Happy Days,

Regina

I am not drinking anything. Shocking, I know.

I am not listening to anything. Shocking, I know.

But there is a Saint for today!

St. Catherine of Siena. St Catherine was born during the outbreak of the plague in Siena, Italy on March 25, 1347. She was her mother’s 25th child. You heard me right. 25th! She is the patroness against fire, illness and of nurses. She is a Doctor (and rock star) of the Church

“Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.”
― St. Catherine of Siena

Keep enduring people!! We got this!