01 September 2015

Ordinary Is Good

I haven't done the Ten on Tuesday for a few weeks, but this week's topic is one that really appeals to me.

(Sorry for no pictures - my computer is not cooperating today!)

10 Seemingly Ordinary Things That Bring You Joy

1. Animals.  Not just my own sweeties, but ones I see all of the time, whether another dog on a walk when I'm on my way to work, a cat sitting in a window, birds and squirrels all over the place.  Animals of all kinds make me happy (including stuffed animals from my childhood!).

2.  Trees.  They all have stories.

3.  Flowers.  They make me smile.

4. Teapots.  Yes, they provide nice hot tea when you fix it, but they are pleasing to look at as well.  Even plain ones are happy ones.

5.  Letters.  Nothing is better than a handwritten letter, and they are increasingly rare.

6.  Books.  Even just seeing books on a shelf is pleasing to me.

7.  Tomatoes.  Real tomatoes that you can only get in the summer.  (They are one of the very few things I like about summer.)  Nothing tastes better than a real, fresh tomato.

8.  Our washer and dryer.  When we first moved into our house, I couldn't wait to show everyone our very own washer and dryer.  Such luxuries!

9.  Music.  Instrumental or vocal, I like most kinds and I always have some kind of music going through my head.  

10.  Waking up.  Because it's never guaranteed. 

What about you?  Do you treasure the ordinary?  

29 August 2015

Stitch 'n Pitch 2015

This past Tuesday, a bunch of us attended this year's Stitch 'n Pitch game featuring the Philadelphia Phillies (yay!) vs. the New York Mets (not yay!).  The Mets are in first place, and the Phillies in last place in their division.  But nonetheless, we were undeterred in our enthusiasm.  The end result of the game was a loss by one run, but it was a good game and a wonderful time.

On my way to meet a friend at the subway, I passed a school in the neighborhood, and thought this yarn-bombing on the railing of the access ramp into the school building was pretty.

Then, while waiting for the friend, I was standing near the subway entrance next to one of the clinics of the Philadelphia Dept of Public Health.  Where I noticed for the first time ever a uniquely named garden behind the fence surrounding the parking lot.

If you look closely, you can see that the little plaque says, "STD Garden."  There are "Chlamydia Tomato", "Hepatitis Pepper," and "HIV Tomato" markers, among other similarly-named plants.  It was ... interesting ...

Anyway, I was the last one to get to the park, so of course I had to see this picture, which was supposed to indicate that they waited so long, one had nearly starved to death.

But eventually we were all there, and ready to go inside.  (I'm the one in the red shirt wearing sunglasses.)

And proceeded to take some more ridiculous photos.

Well, you get the gist of things, right?

The giveaway this year was a project bag, and I for one really like it!



We really lucked out, the weather was just perfect, which is not something that usually is the case in late August in Philadelphia.  There were lots of other knitters, crocheters, embroiderers, etc. in our section, and we were a LOUD bunch if nothing else.  :-)

This is the fourth time I've gone to Stitch 'n Pitch, and each time  has been more fun than the last.  In my dream world, I'd love to go to a Pittsburgh Pirates Stitch 'n Pitch too, but like I said, that is my dream world.  In the meantime, I'm more than happy to see the Phillies, and though it's better when they win, just going to a game is enjoyable in itself.

Even if you are not a baseball fan, if you go with a bunch of friends, I can pretty much guarantee that you'll have a good time.

23 August 2015

The Weekend

Yesterday, I posted the following as my Facebook update:

"Today is one of those perfect weather days.  And it's Saturday.  Here is my plan for the day:

1. Relax.
2. Breathe
3. Spend time outside with The Tim and Dug the Doodle Dog.
4. Eat and drink whatever I want.
5. Not think about work or any of the other annoying/depressing things I usually think about, or can't help thinking about.
6. Be as happy as I can be.
7. Read.
8. Knit.
9. Listen to music and/or watch stupid things on TV, while cuddling kitties.
10. Laugh a lot.
11. Remember to be as happy as I can be and be grateful.
12. Stay off the computer for a change.

I am seldom able to convince myself that a day should be like this, because there are always Things That Must Be Done.  But not today.

So I'll see you tomorrow."

That is exactly how my day turned out - it was wonderful.  And I have to say, I didn't miss the computer all that much.  The only time I was frustrated was when I wanted to check some weird question on Google, and couldn't.  I think it didn't bother me that much because I knew I could use it today.  I'm sure I could survive without being online, but I do enjoy it as a way to keep up with friends and family, you know?

Anyway, I finally finished the first watermelon sock!  To be honest, I assumed when I started them, that I would be finished and wearing them by now.  But as I remind myself, it's not a contest, and I will definitely be motivated to finish the second sock soon.  I can wear them all next summer if I want to ...

Today has also been a quiet, somewhat lazy day.  But I have done some laundry, completed a couple of errands, and obviously, used the computer - I posted some pet pictures on Instagram, besides other things.

I would encourage you to "take a day off" as it were.  Everything and everyone was still around and doing their usual things today online.  And maybe they had a lovely day yesterday as well, I don't know.

I do know that *I* did.  :-)

18 August 2015

Not Quite Ten on Tuesday

Even though I don't participate every time, I always look forward to the topic for Ten on Tuesday.  The person who coordinates it, Carole, is on vacation for a couple of weeks, and so it is not "officially" happening.  As a result my dears, I fear that you are stuck with thoughts and activities that are going on with me right now.

First of all, thank you so much for your kind and very encouraging comments on the completed back of my Custom Fit Sweater!  I know a lot of you are big-time sweater knitters, and it's not big deal to you, but it feels like a major accomplishment to me.  I'm ready to start on the front, but want to wait until I have a quieter evening, so I can get myself well underway.  But it's definitely gonna happen.

As you may or may not remember, back in May, our Pip kitty had to spend nearly a week at VHUP because he was suffering from a urethral blockage.  He is much better, and fortunately has not had any recurrences, but apparently it traumatized him more than we realized, as he has been spraying.  Ugh.  We are doing pretty well at cleaning up and our house doesn't smell as awful as it could.  The vet had us put him on a special stress-reducing food, and we bought three Feliway diffusers and put one on each floor.   That was a little more than two weeks ago, and he really hasn't improved.  So the vet has now prescribed a relaxer medication in a transdermal gel that we will put inside his ear flap to see if that helps.  I'm just grateful it's a gel, since getting Pip to take a pill was a multi-hour, multi-person operation.  Hopefully this will help.  Poor Pipster - he used to be the most chill of the kitties!

Heat.  Humidity.  They need to leave.

Tomorrow is my last class in my 5-week session of learning how to use Pilates equipment.  I've really enjoyed the class, and even in just these five weeks, have made progress and become more flexible.  There's another 5-week session for the next level, but I don't think I can afford it right now.  I'll try to do my mat Pilates at home regularly, so I don't lose whatever I gained in the class.

I know a few of you appear to be regular readers of my other blog.  Last week, I started what I hope will be a regular Friday or Saturday event, and shared various links with anyone reading.  I know I always enjoy those posts on other blogs, as long as that isn't all that is ever there!  But anyway, here is last week's post, if you care to look.

My great-nieces and great-nephew in Tucson recently had their photograph taken by a professional photographer who is a friend of their mom's, and wanted to build her portfolio.  I love the photo they sent to us, and decided to share.  I don't often have pictures of them, so I feel that they don't get "equal time," as it were.

From right to left:  Jude, Lola, Anya, Omi (Naomi)

They are great kids, and even though we have only seen them in person a few times, we keep in touch via Facebook, Twitter, my sister, and regular old snail mail.  We are hoping to make a trip west to see them, as well as their cousins and my sister and her husband.  Maybe next spring.

That's it for now.  What's new with you?

13 August 2015

OMG - Knitting!!

It's been a while since I've had any knitting to show you here.  It's also been a while since I've been knitting, to be honest.  The summer has been a weird one, as far as most of my usual activities and interests.  But I've been getting my mojo back in several areas, and thankfully, knitting is one of them!

I stayed home from work today.  When I got up this a.m., I was extremely dizzy and felt awful.  So I went back to bed for a few hours.  When I got up, the dizziness was nearly gone, but I still felt crappy.  So I decided to fix a cup of tea and watch some of the "Today Show," then I took a shower, which helped.  I decided I felt good enough to knit a bit, and decided to return to my Custom Fit sweater.

I can't remember how much, if anything, I've said here about that.  Last October, I took a class at Loop to knit a sweater using Amy Herzog's Custom Fit system.  I think it's brilliant, and the few people I knew at that time who had tried it were absolutely in love with the results.  Since my sweater knitting takes place mostly in my head, I decided to try it.

I got started on my sweater, and was zipping along on the back, and then the holidays arrived.  So I put it all aside, figuring I'd pick it up again afterwards.  I did, a couple of times, but would always put it aside for something "shiny" ... I think since I've never had a sweater really turn out well, I was subconsciously avoiding it.  But you know what?  I LOVE sweaters, and want to knit them!  So today I picked it up, and was embarrassed to notice how little was left to do before the back would be finished.  I mean, it took about 45 minutes, and then I had one piece of it to show:

Not the best photo, but it is the one that shows the color most truly. And it looks rather blobby, since it's unblocked, but it's KNITTING, people!!!!

I've told myself that I really want to finish it no later than October (and hopefully before), so that I can wear it when cooler weather is here, and so I can actually have it on my person a year later.  (I know, that's just sad.  But what are you gonna do?)

I have to say that it improved the day greatly, and made me feel like I got at least one thing accomplished.  Right now (early evening), I am feeling a lot better, with just the tail end of a headache, and a little tiredness hanging on, but thankfully, I don't think I'm getting really sick.  Phew!

In other news, I hope those of you who - like me - are lucky enough to be one of the few, the chosen, (dare I say the brilliant??!!), have been celebrating today.

Happy Left-Handers Day!

And before you go, let me suggest that you join us over at Kim's blog for the annual Knitters' Hunk and Knitters' Chick contest, which is now underway.  It just started the other day, so you have not missed a lot.  It's so much fun, and often the comments are as much fun to read as voting in the contest is! Not only is it a bright spot in each day, but to quote my mother, "It sure beats spittin'!"  (She said that a lot.  As usual, I have no idea ...)

Anyway, go and vote each day - you'll be glad you did.  :-)