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Monday, May 27, 2024

MIA, Catching Up


It's important to know the difference and why you should not say Happy Memorial Day to anyone.  That's like saying Happy Funeral Day.  My Father, Uncles, and Grandfather all served; but I am lucky that they all returned safely, so I honor them on Veterans Day.  For those of you who have lost a loved one in service to the country, I honor and remember them and am sorry for your sacrifice.

As a person that doesn't really like winter, it's I think a bit odd that I decided to read/listen to this 4 books series by Elin Hilderbrand, but I've been taking a break from some of the heavier books I've been into of late (WWII, politics etc).  This is book #1

This is book #2

This is book #3

And this is book #4.  Lots of characters in this series.  At the center of things is The Quinn Family, owners of the Winter Street Inn during the Christmas Season.  Eggnog, and Whiskey and prison terms, a surprise pregnancy, Santa kissing who?  Subplots a plenty between a hedge fund manager, a drug addicted wife, a music teacher with an interesting and frustrating love life, a bartender, a French maid, a marine in Afghanistan, and a Famous TV Anchor.  NEVER a dull moment.  I've enjoyed many books by this author who writes about Nantucket, her home.  A fun, and entertaining diversion from life and all the things in the news currently.

Catching Up:
  • I've been MIA since returning from Hilton Head with lots of appointments.  The most involved was dental surgery, Gingival Graft that turned out to be far more involved than was anticipated.  I'm 5 ish weeks since, but not yet completely healed.  Eating and exercising have been difficult until just recently.  
  • I am now back to going for walks and mowing; but have no exercising stats for several months to record
  • I've been involved with the planning of our 55th high school reunion which will be at the end of the summer
  • hubby and I have finalized the details of our upcoming tour of Sicily in the fall

We recently finished watching this series.  I really like Jeff Daniels; though the series is a bit dark...........realistically so when you think about small towns in the rust belt.  Thus far there are 2 seasons, and there's debate about whether or not there will be a 3rd season.  Just have to wait and see, I guess.

I'll post a picture of the almost finished afghan, the last one I worked on while still on Hilton Head Island, in the next blog post.  For now, I'm anxious to get blog walking and see what you all have been up to in my absense.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Another Ta Dah, Finished Project, Roses and Books Oh My


Falling Leaves is drying after being laundered.  This was the easiest project so far this year, as these were all crocheted squares (no knit squares), and while all are not granny style squares they were fairly close to the same size, so that required a bit less work on my part.  This ghan is a bit more narrow than I like, but working with the squares that I had this was the way to make the pattern of squares work.  It's unusual for me to have so many similar squares to work with.  My daughter and hubby like symmetrical things and so they liked this one..........me, I've gotten used to working with some of this and  that and sorta prefer the less symmetrical designs.  Either way, it will keep someone warm.  All the afghans I put together from pieces parts are donated to Homeless Shelters.
The before picture, though turned the other direction.  This ghan didn't change much as I worked on it.  Forgot to mention above picture it's edged with really dark green, though it may look black in the picture.
This one is the next project, though after looking at it awhile, I moved a few squares since this picture.  This will probably be the most tedious of the ghans so far this year, as the squares are really different sizes, some are squares, and some are rectangles and some are knitted.  I'm not sure I have enough of one color to do the edging and sizing for this, so may do a bit of a design/pattern with edging in order to use multiple colors....we'll see how it goes.  Current plan is to edge the middle row both horizontally and vertically in brown and do the 4 corners in the dark green, lighter green, and or blue left over from the previous ghans.  Trying hard to use my stash and not buy more, particularly after the work my daughter and I did over Christmas to sort and roll and donate 41.5 pounds of yarn.  Buying would add to the stash and that's not the goal.  Soooo, we'll see how this goes.

More gorgeous roses.  These white roses are tipped in pink and are so pretty.  Hubby brought this home yesterday.  I missed taking a picture of the last roses he brought home that were purplish.  

Post World War II, Paris and it's people are trying to rebuild.  Families are separated, missing and or dead and somehow life must go on.  The captivating story of two strong women from the same family generations apart finding a future with the commonality of a small neighborhood bakery.  A most enjoyable book.

Set in 1916, an intriguing story with a World War I nurse.  She finds herself in the middle of deadly secrets as she carries a personal message from a fallen solder to his family.  Lots of surprises in this book.  I'm not typically a mystery book lover, but found this book hard to put down.  I also didn't know befpre reading/listening to it , that it is  book #1 in a series, so now I need to find the listing of how many books are in the series and get them on my list.

I've read/listened to a good number of Kelly Rimmer's books and always enjoy them, and this was no different.   Though set in 1970/current day we're transported back to the cold war, double agents, injuries and danger.  Family loyalty vs patriotic duty with some very tuff decisions to make.  

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Purple Haze in Stages, Falling Leaves, Exercise and Books!


Purple Haze.  Hubby mentioned this name, so I went with it .  Does it remind you of Jimmy Hendrix?  Here it's laid out to dry.

Here it is in stage 2, I've edged the squares to even up sizes, and tied the squares together to begin joining them.
Here it is before anything was done.  It changed quite a bit, and I did move a few squares around after edging.
Waiting in the wings is Falling Leaves.  This is most unusual in that I had enough donated squares to make a pattern.  The green squares aren't quite the same size of the orange and variegated, and the yellow aren't granny squares; but this one should require less work to size things up to join.
February was a pretty good month in terms of activity.  My mileage went from 115.48 miles in January to 127.83.  I went for 10 actual purposeful walks in January and 15 in February.  Hubby fixed up the bike from Goodwill so I managed to get 6 bike rides in afterwards.  Planks are both up and down.  They're up in that I increased from 45 seconds x 4 to 50 seconds x 4 partway through the month; but my total repeats are less.  I did planks 17 days in January and 15 days in February.  Sadly I neglected to document 2 days in February...so don't know what I did those days.
Help Me to Find My People.  I returned this to the library only partially read.  I tried several times to get into it; but found it bland, and very repetitive.  Lots of stats and references to other books and authors exploring how slaves felt being sold, being separated from the families.  They felt bad.......I don't think you need stats to know that.  They felt fearful, they felt useless.  It's not rocket science.  Everything about slavery was horrible.  Most people know that, except for White Supremists. 
Hush Harbor was frightening, thought provoking and difficult.  An uprising because cops killed a Black American who was un-armed.  Sadly, we've witness this is the news far too often.  This book shows a group of people fed up and fighting back.  I found it chilling, but highly recommend this book.
Kinfolk........small town life in Alabama, a dysfunctional family. An un-educated girl finds a family can be more than blood.  It's a heartwarming story with some dark undertones of what people live with.  It's read by the author which made it even more enjoyable.  Highly recommend this book.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Another Finish, Ta Dah, and Starts, Jimmy Carter AND.....


School Days/Daze is being blocked here at it's drying.  The rectangles with the mixed colors were a bit of a challenge size wise.  Had to edge them differently.  ANd as you can see some are turned horizontally and others vertically. in order to fit right.  In part, because they were very stretchy.  Not sure what stitch was used when they were made, but in some cases I needed to mix stitches when edging to not leave holes, as the side stitches were fairly loose; but am pleased with the end result.  It measures 51 x 61, and was made with 30 squares.

Here's the before picture, though it's not oriented the same way as the finished picture above.  I had to stand on the side to get the best shot for the completed picture.  This is the 3rd afghan I've made while we're here on the island from pieces parts.

And this is the next one I'm working on.  I've begun edging some of the squares, but this picture is before I started edging.  These are all crocheted squares and rectangles.  This one is called Purple Haze..

I finally got around to grabbing my calendar and adding things up for January and added stats to my exercise tab across the top of the blog.  In Jan I did 35 second planks with 10 seconds rest x 4 repeats and did that 4 days, then upped the time again to 40 seconds and did that 4 times, then upped again to 45 seconds and did that 9 days, so in total did 17 planks during January which is an increase I'm happy to say.  

My mileage is up by 6 miles over December, at 115.48 miles.  I did 10 purposeful walks which is also up a bit from December.  I started doing leg lifts to a count of 40 (occasionally 50) and did that 9 times in January..

February is coming along, and since I got my Goodwill bike (see previous blog post), I'm adding some bike rides to my exercise.

A very good read, thought provoking about being Black through the history of one primary family in the south, Jim Crow laws and more.  Add this to your list.

If you've been a frequent visitor to my blog, you know how many WWII historical books I've read/listened to.  So, I consider myself fairly well versed on The War, and how vastly different horrors there were; but I did not know about the plot to kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill.  All these years later after documents have been unsealed, much is still being learned.

History might not show Jimmy Carter to be one of our best Presidents, but, it will show him to be a great man.  A truly involved and caring man.  The work he did after his Presidency is incredible, even without his work with Habitat for Humanity.  He worked so hard for peace in the middle east, and had such a profound understanding of the needs and wants of people.  I found this to be an important read given the sad situation we're in today.  Please read this book.

Another round of beautiful roses, this time gorgeous yellow which is my personal favorite over red..  I always consider yellow to be such a happy color.

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Green Acres, Starts and Finishes, Goodwill Bike and more.


Green Acres is complete, has been laundered and is now drying/be blocked.  This one came out a bit larger than the previous ghan/Mint Julip.  This one measures 57 x 57, Mint Julip was about 52 x 52

Here's one of the before shots, you can see I moved a few squares around to try and even up the colors a bit.

Next up, School Dazes/Days.  We'll see how this one comes along.  There are no knitted squares in this one; but you can see the multi colored pieces aren't square, but rectangles.  This design has 30 pieces vs 25 that the 2 previous ghans had.

A friend found this bike at The Goodwill for $20.00.  It had a flat in the front and a large hole in the back tire.  So hubby bought a new tire, and 2 new inner tubes, oiled things up, bought a lock and I'm good now until we leave the island.  At that point, I'll return the bike to The Goodwill or one of the many thrift shops here on the island.  (Hilton Head).  In previous years I've rented a bike for our time here; but it was getting a bit pricey.  I've only been out on it twice so far, as we've had lots of wind.

Hubby keeps me in pretty flowers pretty often.  Aren't these orange ones gorgeous!

"One special night" with two of my favorite actors was a very enjoyable movie.  Never saw it when it was new, but pushing buttons one night on Amazon Prime and came across this.  Sweet, and sad........add it to your list.

This book really gets under your skin....as it should.  That's the purpose of it...to make you think, perhaps about things you've not thought of before.  I wouldn't say it's enjoyable, but it is worth the time.  So many forms of trauma.

I watched all the trials on TV so knew quite a bit about Cassidy Hutchinson, but I learned quite a bit more listening to this book.  With her reading it, you really feel like you were there...behind the scenes.  I'm surprised she still considers herself a Republican; but am grateful she spoke up....trouble is, is it enough?  So many others need to, and are those that are speaking up being listened to by the very people who need to here the truth. ???

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

A Finish Ta Dah! More Starts, Audio Books, and TV Series


Initial Design of Wee Bit Irish (the before pictures)

Step 2, The edging begins, and it already look less Irish to me, thought maybe Irish Mint would be a good name.

Ta Dah, finished, been laundered and is now being blocked/drying.  I've renamed this afghan to Mint Julip.  Irish just doesn't fit anymore.  I'm happy with the finished project and a bit surprised how much it changed.  That happens sometimes, sometimes it doesn't.

Meet Green Acres, the next project.  Same number of squares 25.  Again you can see the varying sizes of the squares.  A few more in this design are knitted then Mint Julip, but still the bulk of the squares are crocheted.

Step 2,, edging with sage green has begun.  7 of the 25 squares are edged, as I work to get squares sized the same.

Connie Britton, as Rayna Jaymes in the TV series Nashville that hubby and I have been enjoying.  Lots of good music in it, especially if you like country.  We're in season 3, never watched this back when it came out in 2012.  Love, sex, and rocknroll as they say.

 What's better than a love story, beachy book to take your mind of the cold ugly winter!  This fun book has romance, friendship, and adjustments to daily life...sometimes up and sometimes down.  

Women making their hard road in the CIA during the Cold War for starters.  Family Affairs and secrets, and an assignation.  Very intriquing.

War changes people.  Secrets and murder in a small town.  Mystery and Prejudice.  Everyone knows your business, or do they?

The month isn't over, so I have some time to add to my mileage.  I've walked 85.11 miles thus far in January.  Hoping to catch up or at least get close to 109.15 which was December.  I've done 15 sets of planks so far this month, just 1 shy of the 16 I did in December, so feeling encouraged there.  Stay tuned.