Saturday, April 21, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter S - Shopping

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  





Shopping

I was excited for the last four days of this week.  Here in my part of the world, Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22  is the 2018 New Jersey Wool Walk.



And to top it off, today Saturday, April 21 (besides being my favorite granddaughter’s 14th birthday) it is the first “Local Yarn Store” day.   This is sponsored by The National NeedleArts Association. 

As noted on their website:
Local Yarn Store Day is a brick-and-mortar yarn shop appreciation day created by TNNA Yarn Group. The inaugural LYS Day will take place on April 21 and is designed to show support for small businesses while bringing together a unique community of knitters, crocheters, weavers and spinners to drive awareness and celebrate the craft.

One of my favorite things in the whole wide world to do is shop at a yarn store.  I really didn’t need a special event to get me to go yarn shopping, but in some way I guess I thought of it as more of a party that I received a personal invitation to. 

Thursday was a cold rainy day.  But that didn’t deter us.  By us I mean Ross and I.   He is my patient yarn shopping companion.

We had our map.  There are 15 stores on the “Walk”.  It, by no means, should have been called a “walk”  because there weren't even two stores near enough to each other to be able to walk to.    My intention was to visit three of the shops on Thursday, one on Saturday and maybe a couple more on Sunday.


We did visit two stores on Thursday, Chelsea Yarns in Red Bank and Frame and Fiber in Point Pleasant.   I had never been to Frame and Fiber.  We had the opportunity to meet Paige, the owner.  I watch Paige’s YouTube knitting podcast called Paige TheFramer.   She is a great gal.  

Today, we went to what I consider my Local Yarn Shop, Woolbearer’s.  I’ve been shopping at Myra’s for the last 10 years.   I particularly love the yarn she hand dyes.  


I did a lot of shopping and loved every minute of it, but I think I am shopped out.  

My Pretties


Friday, April 20, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter R Ribbit, Ribbit

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  




Sometimes a knitting project I am working on becomes tiresome and tedious.  It could be that the color of the yarn does not look the same knitted up as it did when it was wound in the ball.

Perhaps the project is taking much longer than I thought it would.  
The knitting process can get boring if the pattern calls for the same stitch to be knit over and over again.  The “Stockinette Stitch” is one where you alternate a knit stitch on one row and a purl stitch on the next row.


More often than not, though, I just get plain bored with the project because I have found something new and different that I am obsessing to knit instead. 

I must say, though,  I usually finish what I have started. 

I am currently working on a sweater.  
I am not feeling the color. When I found the yarn on the shelf in the dimly lit yarn shop, I thought it was a soft gray.  But as I am knitting with the yarn, it actually looks like a moss green.  
The pattern throughout the whole sweater is the stockinette stitch, which like I said, is a very boring stitch.  
I started this project three months ago and have barely touched it in the last month.   
Oh, I try to psych myself up to work on it.  I pull it out of the closet and then out of the knitting bag.  I hold it up and turn it this way and that.  I pet the yarn and think about how soft it feels and how nice it would feel to wear it. 
I settle into my knitting spot, the cozy stuffed chair.  I pick up the sweater.  I take out the directions and find where I left off.   I decide I need a drink of water.  I put the sweater down, get up go to the kitchen.  There are dishes in the sink.  I rinse them off and put them in the dishwasher.  I remember that I owe my daughter a phone call.  An hour later, after we say good-bye, I go back to my chair, and decide I’m too tired to knit now and will pick it up tomorrow.  
I have decided that I am now at the point where I am considering ripping out the sweater.  In knitting lingo the term for this is called “frog” or “frogging”.
I wonder if someone thought to name it that because, you know “rip it” little like the sound a frog makes, “ribbit”. 


To “ribbit” or not.  That is the question. 


Thursday, April 19, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter Q - Quietly

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  




Quietly

Ross and I have been married for almost 17 years.  I have children from a previous marriage.  Ross never had children of his own.  
He is a retired high school math teacher.   So in essence, he gave birth to around 80 children each and every September.   He was well liked and during his 30 plus years of teaching, I know he provided much more than just math skills to his “children”.
Ross grew up with the experience of a large family.  
In his immediate family there was his mother, father and two sisters, Joan and Myra.  His extended family consisted of many aunts, uncles and cousins.   Ross’s mother was a gregarious and welcoming host.   He has many fond memories of a house filled with Sunday and holiday guests. 
As what typically happens, circumstances cause families to grow apart either by changes of location, expansion and development of their own family units and life’s circumstances.
Myra sadly passed away a few years ago.  Joan lives 500 miles away.   Neither Joan or Myra had children. 
Last Saturday we celebrated Ross’s 75th birthday.   We had a gathering at a local pub called “The Plumstead Grill”  We were a party of 16.    
The Plumstead is a unique place.   It appeals to a wide range of  patrons, from families with children to biker dudes and dudettes. 
This particular Saturday happened to be the first nice day we New Jersians have had in months. 
The restaurant parking lot was filled with pickup trucks and shiny Harley Davidson’s, as well as Toyota Camrys, Hondas CRV’s and BMW’s.
Ross and I got to the restaurant a little earlier than the designated 1:00 p.m. time.  Fortunately we had reserved the private room to make sure we could, well have a little privacy.   
The restaurant was packed and noisy.   As
we made our way to the room, elbowing our way through the bar area, big guys with long beards and muscle shirts comically threw out comments referring to the large birthday cake Ross was carrying.
The room had a long table set for 16.  The guests included my children and grandchildren, my sister and her husband, my brother and his wife and my aunt Dolores.
Ross sat at the head of the table.  I sat all the way at the other end.
As usual, when we get together there is a lot of talking, interrupting, teasing and laughter.
We were almost as noisy and lively as the group beyond the closed doors of our room.
After we finished our meal, the waitress brought out the cake with lighted candles.  We sang Happy Birthday and I as I watched Ross, he seemed to be contemplatively pleased.
After he blew out the candles, we began to chant “Speech, speech, speech!”
Now, I must tell you, Ross is never at a loss for words.   We all turned to him and a hush came over the room as we intently waited for him to speak.  But no words came.
At that moment I felt as though he and I were the only ones in the room.  I watched him closely, silently encouraging him with my eyes.
Finally, with an emotionally filled voice he quietly whispered,  “You are my family.”



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter P - Purpose

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  





Purpose

It’s been a week since our puppy Rico passed.   I am having a lot of feelings.  Some of them are easy to recognize, others are not. 
We had a routine around here, much of it involved Rico.   When he was a pup and young boy, he would wake up bright and early.   During the last few years he preferred to sleep in and most days we would be up before him.    Whatever his wakeup time was, though, as soon as he opened his eyes and stretched, either Ross or I would immediately make sure he went out.
That was the beginning of the daily routine.   Before we would have our breakfast, we would prepare his.  He liked to eat at the same time we did.  
There were plenty of walks.  He was a little guy, only 9 pounds so he needed to go out more frequently. 
I guess I was the Rico whisperer because when he barked, Ross would ask me, “What does he want?”
I think I actually could discern the tones of his bark.  “I want to go out” was different from “I want a cookie” which wasn’t the same as “My water bowl is empty.”
Rico was always either by my side or he would keep Ross company in the den. 
I’m pretty sure he did not like to be left alone but he was never spiteful or destructive.   
If we went out, for five minutes or an hour, he would be at the door to greet us. He knew as soon as we came in, we would put his leash on and take him for a walk.  Yes, that was the routine. 
After dinner, his and ours, and another walk, we would settle in to watch TV.
Poor little guy, he would be sound asleep, but at 11:00 we would wake him up and Ross would take him for  his final walk of the day.
I suppose you could say Rico was more than a routine for us, he was our purpose for most of the 17 years we have been retired.




Empty Nest Yet Again.




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter O - One Hundred and One

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  



One Hundred And One

Pauline sat in her favorite chair in front of the window.   The chair was covered in chintz.  It was a cheerful pattern with large pink blooms against a pale blue background.    
She chuckled to herself as she thought about the day she and Bob brought the chair home.
They had been married for only a short time.   Oh my, she sighed as she remembered the tiny sparsely furnished one bedroom apartment they shared.   The kitchen was small with three cupboards, an icebox, and a stove.  There was just enough room in the corner for a small dining table with a chair on either end.   
They had a second-hand sofa which filled up much of 8 x 10 living room. 
The chair had been left out by the curb.  They were out for a stroll when she spotted it.  
“Oh, Bob!”  she exclaimed.   “It’s perfect.  It’ll fit right in front of the window.”


The two of them must have been a sight, she holding one arm he the other as they lugged the chair the two blocks to their apartment.  
Over the years the chair had been covered and recovered at least a dozen times. 
This last time Donna had helped her pick out the fabric and helped her sew it.   Well, truth be known, Donna did much of the sewing. 
Pauline heard a car door slam,  bringing her back from her reverie.
She looked up and watched out the window as Donna came up the walk.  
Donna was carrying two big balloons and a cake box.  
One of the balloons had “Happy Birthday Mom” the other “One Hundred and One”.





Monday, April 16, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter N - Never Never Land or Nancy

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  


Never Never Land

“I’m never going to do that!” exclaimed Nancy.   
“Never say never, Nan” advised Olivia.
Nancy bristled at her sister’s bossy tone. 
Olivia was four years older than Nan.  She was about 4 inches taller than Nan too.  She cared for Nan, not only as an older sister but almost more like a mother. 
After Olivia and Nan’s father died, their mother had to take on a second job to support them.  
They even had to move to another part of town to a smaller house.   Nancy was 12 and Olivia 16.  
When their mother would leave for her nighttime job as a waitress at the Town Diner, she would always say, “Olivia, make sure you take good care of your sister.”
Olivia was at the sink washing up the last of the dinner dishes.   Her fine blond hair was loosely tied  behind her head with a pink scrunchy.  She kept blowing at the wisps which fell over her eyes. 
Nancy was standing next to Olivia grabbing the next plate to dry.  
Although Nancy's hair wasn’t as light as Olivia’s and her eyes weren’t as blue, you could tell they were sisters.  
Nancy had been telling Olivia about a girl at school.  
“Liv, she and her mother were found sleeping in their car in the parking lot at Big Mart,” Nancy said incredulously.
“All the girls make fun of her,” said Nancy.  
“Surely not you?” asked Olivia, as she looked over at her sister. 
 Nancy, blushed and turned her face away. 
“Nancy, said Olivia in a more gentle tone, you never know what life has in store for you.” 
Olivia’s cell phone began to play her  “I Believe I Can Fly” ringtone. 
She grabbed the towel to dry off her hands as Nan handed her the phone. 
She recognized the number as the Town Diner’s.
A thousand thoughts ran through both of the girl’s minds.  
Why would someone from the diner be calling?  Maybe mom forgot to charge her phone.  Yes, that had to be it.  
Though neither sister said it out loud, they both had the same frightening thought. 
It had been that phone call from their Dad’s work that instantaneously changed all of their lives. 
The sister’s both held their breath as Olivia said, “Hello?” 
 

  


Saturday, April 14, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter M - Monsters Under The Bed

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  



Monsters Under The Bed

I read that children are more sensitive or “open” to psychic and paranormal experiences.   Apparently, the idea is that there is wisdom in the ignorance and inexperience of youth.  Adults rarely see entities or have such experiences because their minds have been closed off by logic and skepticism. 

As a child I remember the fear of “monsters” under my bed.  

As I grew into adulthood, I pooh poohed the idea.  When I had children of my own, I naturally had to reassure them that there was no such thing as monsters.  

Now, I, being an adult with a great deal of seniority, have come full circle in my beliefs. 

I do believe in monsters, but not the ones with big teeth and hairy bodies. 

I love life.  It’s wondrous.  

Except for the monsters, that is.  

There are small ones like the “stepping off the curb the wrong way” so you have to wear a cast for six weeks the day before you were to take the trip (no pun intended) of your life demons.

Haven’t we all experienced the “middle of night phone-call” ogre?

Death can be the cruelest of all.   I have come face to face with this savage far too often lately.

Yes, I have suffered more than my share of monsters in my wondrous life.

The best defense I have to combat these beasts are my precious memories.

They remind me that monsters live for only the briefest of time.

And when I am sad and confused about the fairness of it all, I remember the good times of my wondrous life.

The thing about monsters, they hide and lay low, under your bed.  They rise up and attack without warning when you least expect it.

On Tuesday of this week, we had to say good-bye to our little fur baby.
Funny, I talked about Rico in my D post, reminiscing about the day we met him.

We are sad and we are lonely without him.  But my goodness, what a wondrous life we had with him.