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

Help! What’s the Number for 911??

You may be hearing from me on more than one occasion this week. Bless your hearts. I have had many ideas and thoughts over the past week and I don’t want to overwhelm you with a lengthy post. These aren’t thoughts of a subtle nature, and they certainly aren’t of the profound nature. These are more of the “jeepers, Regina, you actually sound lucid”, nature. However, those titillating posts are going to have to wait, since I just had a moment. I really awkward moment. Stop here if you have any sense at all or are weak of tummy.

As I sat at my desk, the smoke alarm started beeping. “Change my battery”, it was saying. So, I did. I also did a test, you know, just to be sure everything was cool. That’s when things went south. The test triggered the alarm. This is no ordinary alarm. This alarm is so loud it would be heard by the fire department without any call made. As I race up the steps to silence it, ADT calls to see if everything is ok. I give them my code and assure them it was user error. Nice fella. “I’ll give the fire department an ‘all clear'”. Brief call. Peace comes to the house and all is well. Then my daily constitutional came a-callin’. I am just going to preface this by telling you that I am a lady with a stellar diet. Lots of apples, leafy greens and plenty of beans. See where I am going here? As I settle in, I hear what sounds like a siren. Could it be? Nah. Nice fella was contacting the fire department. Then the sound of a truck. Big truck. Maybe big enough to carry, oh…I don’t know…ladders or hoses and a few hulking men. If you are thinking “Regina, it sounds like a fire engine is coming down your road!”, you might be right. I had a wonderful visit from the Rhinebeck FD while sitting on the loo.

That is when our heroine dies a slow and embarrassing death.

I try to race out before anyone came to the door. There stood a parent of a former student, another acquaintance and my neighbor. Full gear and ready to save me.

I would like a simple casket. Open. With a rose between my teeth.

May she rest in peace.

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!

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)

Pick Up or Delivery

How’s this for an inspiring photo? I know what you are thinking. She’s gone mad. The virus has gotten to her. While the former may be true, the latter is not; I am in very good health. Thanks be to God. So…what’s with the picture? This is the outside of my sweetie’s office. He works about 3 minutes down the road. He is an accountant and while he typically enjoys lunch at home with Razzle, he is working straight through helping his clients navigate the changes affecting their businesses.

“Ring, ring.” “Hello?” “Hi sweetheart. I’m not going to be able to get home for lunch, would you mind dropping something off?” Thankfully, this guy loves leftovers (isn’t that right, honey…). So I warm up some home cooking and head out. He was going to meet me in the parking lot, but some people insist on being in the building even though they are far from essential. Rather than have either of us come in contact with them, I tapped on his window and passed his food through. “Did you order the pasta? That’ll be 3 kisses and a virtual hug-please move to the next window!”

My son continues to take care of his Grammy, and she has no problem telling me what a good boy he is. Of course we knew that all along, but somehow, when Grammy says it…

Meanwhile on the Razzle front:

Today’s saint is quite relevant to our lives. St. Francis of Paola was a hermit who lived in Paola, Italy around 1400. Maybe we can ask God for the grace to view solitary life through the eyes of St. Francis of Paola. Of course, I am pretty sure rambunctious, housebound kids were not permitted in a monastery. Just a hunch! God bless all of you young parents.

I am not drinking anything right now, but looking at the time, and feeling my lids getting sticky, I think there is a cup of coffee in my future.

In my ears: Alex had a really good mail day! The video game he pre-ordered came a day early! Persona 5 Royal. According to theverge.com, it is “the definitive version of an already brilliant RPG”

I would like to thank each and every one of you who visit me here. It is so nice to have the company. And for all you other bloggers, THANK YOU! Your words and thoughts come into my day like a good friend. I am so incredibly blessed.

Praying for peace and health in your lives,

ReginaMary

Walking to Gettysburg

Hi friends! With all this extra time, one would think staying current on my blog would be a breeze. Oddly, I have found myself distracted and otherwise preoccupied. I don’t like it one bit.

I don’t have to tell you how much I enjoyed going on the yarn crawl. It felt good to be out and about, meeting people and visiting new towns. Now, my “out and abouts” are limited to walks with Razz and the occasional mad dash in and out of the market; we are staying home and staying in with the rest of the world. As a way to combat the current and necessary restrictions, Razz and I decided to walk to Gettysburg. Yes, Gettysburg, PA. I have always wanted to go, and let’s face it, I have the time. This is going to be fun! It’s going to be weird, but fun!

C’mon, Razz!! Let’s go for a walk!

Week One:

Our journey begins on Monday, March 16th, which is when schools in New York State closed. According to Google Maps, Gettysburg is about 260 miles away. I suppose we could walk non-stop, that would be the quickest-Razz trots at a healthy 3.5 mph clip! Nah. We’ll get there when we get there. According to my trusty Fitbit, we have already walked 25 miles.

That puts us somewhere around Wallkill, NY. We crossed the Hudson River via the Walkway Over the Hudson. The bridge now known as the Walkway Over the Hudson originally opened in 1889 as the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge to transport western raw materials to eastern industrial centers. At the time of its opening, it was the longest bridge in the world. At 212 feet above the Hudson River, this 1.28 mile linear park “boasts scenic views north to the Catskills and south to the Hudson Highlands.” (I got that from the website!)

If you are planning a visit to the area in the fall, this is a ‘gotta do’!

I mean C’MON people!

At the end of this week’s trek, we enter Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wallkill to light a candle and ask God to look over us all. Yes, Razz is welcome inside! That is the best part of this entire fantasy-dogs are always welcome!

In knitting news…I finished the Love Note by Tin Can Knits. What a sweet little sweater. Previously, I attempted to combine a beautiful green variegated with a lighter green mohair. It did not work out at all. The mohair was too bulky and completely obscured the shades in the main yarn. Remember? It looked like this:

EW…

Instead, I used this:

The final result is perfect!

I found a mohair blend yarn online that had the perfect shade and the perfect price-point. The only catch? I had to buy the lot (10 balls). When I say perfect price-point, I mean, the entire purchase cost me $15.00 US, including shipping! Get outta town! I am so pleased. I followed the pattern as written, but knit the body to 12″ from the underarm, so it is not too cropped. Hey! It’s called Love Note, not Muffin Top! I knit the neckline bind-off 3 times before I finally got the affect I liked. I followed the tutorial by VeryPink Knits for the Simple Stretchy Bind-Off. It is simple, it is stretchy and you can find it HERE. Remind me to avoid ripping out in mohair AT ALL COSTS. What a pain in the arse that was.

I have three completed squares for the Lace Blanket MKAL with the fourth block on the needles. I am not a prolific lace knitter, so this project puts me just at the edge of my comfort zone. I am really enjoying it and I enjoy the challenge.

These blocks are a finished size of 12″ x 12“.

So that’s what I have been up to since our last visit. Nothing terribly exciting, but that’s what imagination is for, right?

I am keeping all of you in my prayers each day. Please take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Much love,

Regina

P.S. On a positive note…I can take Razz to Mass with me! Well, sorta. Since there are no public masses being offered at the moment, I can listen to daily mass on Facebook with Razz right by my side!! Fr. Brendan Fitzgerald is a special man, and very dear to us. He married Robert and me in 2015. He has since moved to St. Barnabas Church in the Bronx, but we get to hear him offer Mass live thanks to the wonders of technology!! Yesterday’s Mass celebrated the Solemnity of the Annunciation. Imagine being a young expectant mother right now. That’s hard for me to wrap my head around. They must experience moments of such fear and unknowing. We need the Blessed Mother more than ever.

Here is one of my favorite images of Mary.

The Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner

The End is Near! LI Yarn Crawl Pt. 3

I had the fortune of visiting 6 out of the 10 LYS during the Long Island Yarn Crawl. The final two did not disappoint.

Shop #5 would appeal to knitters and quilters alike. Sew What’s New & Yarn Too, located in Islip, NY, has a quilting and fabric shop in the front and a small knitting shop in the back. While the knitting section is small, the selection is not! They offer a wide variety of yarn for their size. Refreshments were available, as was a squeaky clean restroom. Remember, I have been motoring for a few hours at this point! The shop has a full calendar of lessons in knitting, embroidery, quilting and a Saturday Sewing for Young People series for children ages 8 yrs and older. How cool is that? The staff were very friendly and generous with their time. I found this to be the case with each shop I entered!

There were plenty of items on sale, which came as a relief to my ever-shrinking wallet. I chose three skeins of Mirasol Sulka Legato. Webs describes the yarn as “a luxuriously soft blend of merino wool, alpaca and silk. This gorgeous fingering weight yarn has a slight sheen from the silk content, and a slight halo from the alpaca, working up into fabrics with stunning drape, lightweight warmth. Ideal for next-to-skin projects, particularly ones you keep for yourself!” What’s not to love, people! The shades Pearl and Charcoal were a calming balance to the color riot that was residing in my bag. See for yourself.

The final stop on the crawl was a familiar shop that I was introduced to in a previous crawl and loved it. The Yarn Garden is a sweet shop in the heart of Huntington, New York. Their yarn is varied and in great supply. What made this particular visit so unique was that the shop was completely empty! You heard me. No crawlers, no knitters around the back table. Just the owner behind the counter weaving in her ends. Let me back up a bit. As I pulled into town I couldn’t help but notice a lack of parking and an abundance of men in kilts. Using my keen observation skills, I deduced that Huntington was on the verge of a very festive and well attended St. Patrick’s Day parade. While I toyed with the thought of skipping town, I really hated to miss the chance to visit. Unfortunately, I had to park a few blocks away from the shop and since Razz was with me on this leg of the trip, I leashed him up and took him along. You know Razz. He would be very content to sit at the door and wait for me as long as he could see me at all times, but the owner was gracious enough to let him come in with me. She must have noticed he is a very good boy. We went in, he sat, I shopped and all was right with the world. Here is my haul…

I was looking for something in the blue family to knit up a hat or mitts and some socks to match my blue Mountain Mist Sweater. I think I found some beauts! The Wonderland Yarns is ‘new-to-me’, and with a name like “Hookah Smoke” I was instantly sucked down the rabbit hole! As for the Perth? Welp, I think you know how I feel about Perth. Shush! No one asked you!

NEWS FLASH! I just received a call from The Knitting Garden…guess who won Sunday’s Door Prize? C’mon, guess! Me!! I did!! I am the winner!! I can’t wait to see what I won!

I think that covers all the shops. There are a few miscellaneous item I have not mentioned; I’ll touch on them in a later post.

Thank you for joining me on my virtual crawl! I think I found some beautiful yarns and even more important, some very special shops.

While germs fly around the globe, please pray for all those who are suffering, pray for those who are fearful, and those who do not have a network of support or someone who calls to check on them. This is a time for us all to put differences aside and pull together. I love you all.

Peace and health to you and your loved ones.

Regina