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!

Does this Mask Make My Butt Look Big?

Resurrexit Sicut Dixit! He has risen, Alleluia Alleluia!

Well this certainly has been a Holy Week we’ll be talking about for some time, yes? In meditating on the Passion of Christ, my husband and I couldn’t help but notice parallels to the lessons we learn from our faith and the current circumstances we find ourselves living in presently. Even though I find meditation elusive at times, when I do ‘connect’, the experience is different than anything I have experienced before. I often see a flow of faces when I pray, but for the past week or so, I have seen colors. It was a bit odd, to be honest, but I have come to embrace these experiences. Have any of you had this happen while in prayer? A blessed and peaceful Easter season to all of you! Whether you celebrate or not; it is a gesture I offer that has profound meaning to me and I send my love and prayers to you and your families-it comes from my heart of hearts.

A few months back, I knit a Flax for Bill, a client of my son. He makes a striking model.

A smiling Bill in his Flax-Isn’t he handsome?

This past week, Bill made masks for us. This is me, modeling mine. Less striking, more dorky.

Pay attention to those mushrooms on the stove behind me…

Believe it or not, I have never met Bill. When this crisis is over, there is a giant hug waiting for that man!! (consider this your only warning, Bill!)

See those mushrooms behind me? I subscribe to a wonderful product called The F2T Box. It is a weekly grocery subscription that curates items from farms local to me. I request vegetables and produce, but i don’t know what the box contains until it arrives. When I opened this week’s box, it contained some really lush produce. In this photo, I am marinating some portobello mushrooms with scallions, ginger, olive oil, sesame oil and balsamic vinegar. I grilled them over a low heat; they were juicy and meaty. In fact, the stems were so hearty, I put them in soup. I made the soup from fresh dandelion greens and carrots also included in the box. The other items were butternut squash, baby swiss chard, and arugula; all of which went into my Easter dinner. If you have the opportunity to subscribe to a service like this, please give it a try. It is a surprise when you open the box, but I have yet to be disappointed.

Can we talk about eggs again? Please? It won’t take but a moment. As you use eggs, and the carton begins to empty, do you rearrange the remaining eggs before you return them to the fridge? I do, and unbeknownst to me, my dearly beloved does as well. Would it surprise you that we disagree on how they should be organized? This may seem like a really odd discussion, but I must know your thoughts on this.

Knitting has been interesting for me. While I have been doing a lot of it, I am doing it very slowly. I am also keenly aware of my limitations; my brain only wants to knit on autopilot. I am not the only one. Many of my knitting friends are talking about the comfort found in miles and miles of stockinette. In fact, I know at least 4 people, myself included, who cast on a Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure.

This was such a soothing project for me. I chose a skein of Anzula Cricket from stash, in the color Kale. This shade of green was very unique, ranging from a dark hunter green to a lighter sage. I will definitely work with this yarn again. The hat is thick and squishy with amazing stitch definition; I thoroughly enjoyed knitting all 4″ of the pattern’s 2×2 rib!! This hat is going to get a lot of wear.

I completed another square in the MKAL hosted by Ceci over at Oh La Lana! Knitting Blog. I have mentioned before, but it does bear repeating: my brain is struggling with lace. These squares are not complex patterns, mind you, but it does require thought, and chart/pattern reading and all that jazz. But I am getting them done, people…I am getting them done! I screwed this square up, but ask me if I care. Go ahead, ask! This project is an exercise in determination and “le ostinazione”!

Wanna see my socks? I’ll admit, they aren’t much to look at, but I am ready to start the heel flap. The yarn is Lolo Did It in her Keep Pounding colorway. My friend and fellow blogger over at Nothing But Knit is a sock knitting Goddess! She finds the best patterns. This one is the Slip it Simple by Christine Long Derks. Isn’t it interesting how this yarn/pattern combination is creating a plaid vibe? Hers look completely different, but that is what we love about knitting! You should check them out. The photo top right is my ‘project bag’. I found this little bit of awesome on line for about $5. My only complaint is that it did not come with a copy of Pokemon Yellow!

A little more info on these socks. I want to explain a knitting cheat I often use for socks. The pattern I am using is a two row repeat. I am often one who knits round and round, forgetting which row I am on. Using the most excellent bulb-shaped markers, I chain together equal markers as rows in the pattern repeat. (4 row repeat=4 bulb markers, 2 row repeat=2 markers, etc.) The photo on the left reflects row one, and the photo on the right reflects row two. If I lose my place, I just have to look at how many markers are *on the needle* to determine the row. As I move through the rows, I add or drop a maker. PS. You can get a bazillion of these markers on Amazon for what you pay for a double mocha-choca-lata ya-ya at Starbucks.

Next up: What is she going on about now?

My husband says I lie. Yes, the egg-manipulating, drive-up eating, pretzel-hogging, best-hug-giving husband thinks I lie. And to some extent he is right. When asked how I am, I typically lie. When asked if I need help, I typically lie. When asked what is on my mind, I typically lie. And, when writing about this kinda stuff, like I am right now, I typically lie. So here it is in a nutshell.

I am sad. I am worried. I am angry. I am grateful. I am confused. I am distracted. I am blessed. I am forgetful.

I am sad because the names of people who have died from this virus are becoming more and more familiar to me. I am worried because there are so many people known and unknown to me who are crying out for prayers and I don’t feel like I can help them. I am angry because in my community, as in many, there are people who just can’t seem to understand that THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT THEM! Stay at home means STAY AT HOME {{add expletive of choice}}. I am grateful because my immediate family, by the grace of God, is healthy. I am confused by the information spewed out by “those in the know”. I am distracted and forgetful because of all the spazzatura bumbling around in my head. I have days where I ignore social media, email or other sources of influence because my tiny head is just too full. I know I am not alone in these feelings. You know what else I know? My husband is right. I am a liar. Forgive me?

I think I am typed out. I will end this post with the usual:

Saint of the Day: St. Lydwine. Patroness of of sickness, chronically ill, ice skaters. Do you find it odd that on the days that I write, the Saint du jour happens to be a patron of the ill? I long stopped believing in coincidence. It seems to me that God is always peeking over my shoulder, gently reminding me that He is present with me through the nuances of my day. PS. I don’t think St. Lydwine was the patroness of chronically ill ice skaters, so mind that comma.

In my cup: An afternoon cuppa coffee. Check out this mug though!

In my ears: A confounded fly because Razz left the door open. Just kidding. It was me. I left the door open.

To all my friends, I pray for you and your families every day, and I feel your prayers for us as well. Thank you for being a constant source of humor, creativity, honesty and humanity. Thank you for STAYING HOME. We’ll get through this.

“One day at a time, Sweet Jesus!” – John Killian

“This is why we say our prayers and drink good booze.” – also John Killian

All my love,

Regina (and this guy)