Friday, March 22, 2019

Fifteen Minutes of Fame


My normal writing position is sitting in my comfy
writing-chair, legs tucked up underneath me with computer on my lap.  I'm usually leaning to one side with my left elbow propped up on the arm of my comfy writing chair.

Yes, like that ------------------------------------------------>

I'm normally motivated to write because of a nagging idea that won't leave me alone.

For instance yesterday, as I was in the shower, my aching head being soothed by warm water and my mind freely wandering, I thought about how interesting it was that the knitting/crochet community, of which I am a part, has a hierarchy of fame.

I wondered if non-knitters/crocheters would find it interesting or perhaps even astonishing that there is such a thing as a knitting/crochet community, let alone a fame hierarchy. 

First, the knitting community is world wide, consisting of millions of knitters.  We gather on various virtual platforms, such as "Ravelry" (which is strictly for knitters and crocheters), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Etsy, and YouTube.
We find each other by searching hashtags. We communicate with photos of our work, selfies, videos, podcasts, and blogs.  Several times a year, we meet in person at "rallies" called "Yarn Festivals".

Now let me explain the fame part.  I'm not talking about well known actors or actresses who knit.  I'm talking about the individuals whose names, faces, designs, podcasts, blogs, etc are known to most all in the knitting/crochet community.  Or simply put, the ones who have achieved celebrity status.  They are the influencers.

One of these celebrities may have designed a sweater that now thousands of knitters must knit.
Then there is the mother/daughter team or the pair of sisters who decided to talk about their knitting/crochet experiences on a weekly YouTube podcast, which now thousands of us tune into on a regular basis.

Another way some of the community have achieved celebrity status is by their beautiful hand dying yarn artistry.  They have impressively turned selling their yarn on Etsy into thriving successful businesses.

In years past people, probably mostly women, might have socially met with their neighbors to knit or crochet practical items.  Do you think that Mrs. Smith, the minister's wife,  might have been the one with whom everyone wanted to knit? 

In the 1950's a woman named Elizabeth Zimmerman rose to fame.

"Elizabeth Zimmermann (August 9, 1910 – November 30, 1999) was a British-born hand knitting teacher and designer. She revolutionized the modern practice of knitting through her books and instructional series on American public television."

Ms. Zimmermann is still revered today and I'm sure every knitter would swoon given a chance to meet with her.

I suppose sociologically speaking, the rise of certain individuals to the top, and the desire of the rest to be in their presence is age old tribally typical.

But, I wondered how, in present day times, the phenomenon of celebrity in the knitting/crochet community came to be.

Of course the answer is obvious.  Anyone can become famous with a single tweet or viral video.
We live in a world of instant notification and recognition.  We make friends from all over our own countries and around the world with those we might never meet in person.

I guess Andy Warhol did predict the future,

15 minutes of fame is short-lived media publicity or celebrity of an individual or phenomenon. The expression was inspired by Andy Warhol's words "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes", which appeared in the program for a 1968 exhibition of his work at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden.
Are you part of a virtual group?   Have you ever had a fan girl/guy moment over an individual from that group that you have spotted in person?




Thursday, March 21, 2019

Old and New All Over Again

UPDATE:  In a post called "Me and Young Guy", I wrote this about my new iPad:
       
 "While I like my new iPad, especially when I am using it with the “Knit Companion” app, I have found that my laptop has more functionality with programs such as Blogger and iMovie".  

After struggling to write that post, (using the iPad it took me twice as long) I decided to return the iPad and exchange it for a laptop.   I chose the MacBook Air and I love it!

As I mentioned in that previous post, my 8 year old MacBook Air would not hold a charge, hence the need for a new device.

After receiving my new laptop, I began to wonder if the battery on my old laptop could be replaced.  I googled and found that I could buy a new battery for about $40.   But who would install it?  I searched on YouTube and found a video on how to change the battery on the model of laptop that I had.  It looked simple enough.
I ordered the battery on Amazon.  It came two days later complete with the tools I needed.
I followed the clear instructions of the YT video and was able to install a new battery in my old laptop.
So now Ross has a "new" laptop too. πŸ˜€

Monday, March 18, 2019

Mitzi The Jersey Diner Waitress

It's amazing when I think about all of the services Ross and I use.

Here in the US it has become customary to tip at least 20 percent of the tab to
those hardworking people who provide all the services we enjoy.

The two newspapers we get daily are delivered by the same two persons.  There is a driver and his helper.  The driver hardly slows down while the helper tosses the papers out the window, where they land on the driveway on the same spot each time.  How do they do that?
We pay for the papers automatically out of our checking account each month.  We tip the two guys at the end of the year.

The garbage collectors leave a Christmas card in our mailbox.  Sometimes, when we don't get our garbage out on time, they will come back later on in the day and pick it up.  I would say that is going above and beyond, wouldn't you?

Doesn't everyone receive an Amazon package at least once a month?  We do.  To be perfectly honest, though, I've never tipped the UPS guy.  Anyway, he doesn't hang around long enough.  He rings the bell and runs back to his truck.

The lovely ladies who come once a month to clean our house receive a nice cash Christmas present each year.
I'm never quite sure what to do for the woman I go to for my manicure and pedicure.  I don't get my nails done on a regular basis.  Usually, it's for a special occasion, the holidays and then a couple of times a year in between.  The charge is $71 and I leave her a $15.00 tip.
Does that warrant an extra something at Christmas time?
Last year I gave her a lovely hand made shawl.   She didn't open it in front of me and never thanked me for it.   This year, I wished her a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  Was that okay?

This post though is about the waitress, Mitzi, who served us our meal yesterday.

The brilliant blue sky day was demanding that we go out and be in it.   The only plan we had was to take a car trip, leisurely meandering the back country roads.
We eventually made our way out to a highway where we spotted a diner and decided to stop for a bite to eat.  The parking lot was full.  That's when we remembered it was St. Patricks day.
Around here, there are three times a year when it's never a good idea to eat out.  Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day.

Before I start on my litany of complaints of yesterday's experience,  I do have empathy for wait staff.  All of my children worked in the food service industry.  My son-in-law still does.
I will concede and take into account that because of the holiday, the restaurant was unusually busy yesterday  Should that have effected the level of service?

New Jersey is famous for its diners.
According to a July 2015 article on Bon Appetit.com :

"New Jersey is called the diner capital, mostly because of the sheer number of diners in the state. ... "Diners filled that need—and our location between New York and Philadelphia along with this road network through New Jersey becomes part of the reason why there were so many."

One of the remarkable things about Jersey diners is the size of the menu.  It's a book, with several chapters.  And then there are the daily specials which are listed in a separate mini book.

I mention this because it takes more than a few minutes to "read" the menu.
Typically, when we eat in one of the Jersey diners, our experience, for the most part, is that our server gives us enough time to look over the menu before they approach.   They then wold politely ask if we need a few more minutes before we order.

First, our table did not have a set up.  No placemat, no flatware.  When the pleasant enough gentleman came over to set the table, he had a fistful of flatware.  I hoped he washed his hands before handling the forks, spoons and knives we were about to put into our mouths. Yes, I'm personally, extremely germ aware.

We waited more than a few minutes for our server to come over to our table.  We read through the menu at least twice.

Our server, Mitzi,  was a tiny middle-aged woman with frizzy "blond" hair.   By her demeanor and harried look, I am sure she had already put in a long day.   When she finally got around to our table, we got no preamble greeting or hint of a smile.
She asked if we were ready to order.  I was, Ross looked unsure.
It was clear that she did not want to wait for Ross to make up his mind and quickly said, "I can take their order,"  pointing to the table next to us.
Since we had waited for a time already, we did not want her to leave before she took our order.
I told her what I wanted, giving Ross a few more minutes.
When it was his turn, he hesitated, which apparently annoyed her. I say that because of the significant size of the sigh she pushed out.
He ordered.  He chose the St Paddy's day special corned beef and cabbage, I the roast chicken.
When Mitzi brought us our basket of bread and bread plates, she hastily dropped them, with a clatter, onto the side of table closest to her.
She brought the soup and salad out at the same time.  Shouldn't the soup have come first, then cleared away, then the salad?
Am I being too picky?
I could go on with other little infractions, but let me get to the main "course".
Remember Ross ordered the Corned beef, cabbage, boiled potato special.
Mitzi handed us (not placed in front of us) our meals and then quickly ran off.
I looked at his and said, "That doesn't look like corned beef."   It wasn't.  It was ham.
Since she was like the "Flash" swooshing past, eyes straight ahead, it took a few tries for us to get her attention.
When we finally got her to notice us, Ross politely said "Did they run out of corned beef?"
With another big sigh, she grabbed up his plate, and "flashed" into the kitchen.
Side note, although, she got my order correct, it was hardly edible.
By the time Ross' meal came back out, we were done, ready to go, had had enough.
Mitzy mumbled something about the cook giving her the wrong meal.  But why didn't Mitzy notice this before she brought it out?
We asked for the check, and  take out boxes for our salads, which we never had time to eat.
She threw the boxes onto the table, no seriously she did.   We then had to ask for a bag to put the boxes in.
Now, again I am empathetic towards the hard, demanding job of wait staff.  I'm sure I would not be able to do it.  Dealing with the public is not easy.

Isn't a tip, though,
supposed to be an indication of the level of satisfaction with the service?

I did not want to leave Mitzy a 20% tip.  Ross disagreed.

What would you have done?










Friday, March 15, 2019

Me and Young Guy

I recently bought a new iPad, which is what I am using to write this post.  I’ve only had it about a month or so.
I’ve used Apple products for about 10 years now.  Laptops, Desktops, iPods, and iPhones.  In fact this is my third iPad.  So, I can safely say I am familiar with lay of the Apple land.

I loved my old MacBook Air laptop.  For the past eight years I used it to write my blog. After eight years, though, the battery wouldn’t keep a charge.  I have to keep it plugged in while using it.

I like my iPhone 7 enough so that I have decided to keep it for awhile.  For the past two years I used my iPhone to record my podcast (Joey’s Scarf).   Then I would use my beloved laptop to edit and upload the video.
The laptop, though, has become very slow in converting the video and uploading to YouTube.

It was time to replace my laptop.  Hence the new iPad.

I’ve written about why I chose an iPad instead of a new laptop  in my blog post called Thank you Pink!

A few days ago I decided to record an episode of my podcast using my new iPad.
As I started to get ready to record, I discovered that the microphone I normally would use with my iPhone did not have the same connector as the new iPad.
Next, I found the remote clicker I use to start and stop recording was also not compatible with the new iPad.

I went to Best Buy to purchase compatible cables to work with my older devices.

The young man at the door greeted me and pleasantly asked me, “What can I help you with today?”

I explained.  He didn’t understand.

“Why would need you a cable?” he asked.

By the look of his furrowed brow, I could tell he was genuinely puzzled.  He started throwing words around like “bluetooth” “WIFI” and the dreaded “cloud”.

I became exasperated, but kept my composure  and I politely tried  once   again to explain what I was looking for.

After a couple of back and forths, we seemed to be on the same page and he led me over the the cable rack.  He pulled one off the hanger and handed it to me.
“This should do it,” he said.
I immediately knew it wasn’t the right one.
“No, I said,” “That won’t work.”
He again mentioned how I probably didn’t need a cable “because of the Bluetooth/WiFi/cloud availability,  you know,” he said. 

At that point I don’t know who was more frustrated.  But I bet it was me.

After several more exchanges, we came to an agreement.  I wanted cables and he needed to find them for me.  Which he did.  

Lesson learned for both of us, me and “Young Guy”. 

Even though most of us in my generation didn’t grow up with computers, we have had no choice, but to learn to live with and in some cases even learn to love them.  

Perhaps Young Guy realized that sometimes we older folk know what we are talking about.   I know for sure he learned that at least this old gal knew what she wanted. 

As for me, Young Guy encouraged me to learn more about BlueTooth/WiFi/ and the now not so dreaded iCloud. 

A final note:  While I like my new iPad, especially when I am using it with the “Knit Companion” app, I have found that my laptop has more functionality with programs such as Blogger and iMovie.  

As I was writing this post, I eventually had to revert to my laptop to finish it.
And since there is only 18 percent battery left, I better hurry up and end it. 

If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have purchased a MacBook Pro along with a smaller less expensive iPad.(to use my knitting app on) 😊 


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Gingerly Navigating My Way

As I hobble into the next decade, I find myself struggling with age progression anxiety.
“Oh come on now,” said my doctor, I wouldn’t consider you “elderly”.
Since I had just gone through a litany of aches and pains felt in more than a few of my body parts, talked extensively about those little black dots that seem to float in front of my eyes lately, and “Yes, I said, “everything I eat gives me heartburn”, I was puzzled by her comment.
I like my doctor.  She looks directly at me when I am talking, nodding appropriately, but was she really hearing me?
It’s kind of interesting, it seems Ross and I have moved to a location which has attracted like-aged people.  As our congregation continues to grow and it is growing, the landscape of the area continues to evolve.
Old Pathmark supermarkets, going out of business K-marts, and even restaurants that couldn’t make a go of it have now been turned into rehabs, urgent care facilities, and orthopedic centers.
Our local hospital has expanded twice in the 15 years we have lived here.
Perhaps my doctor made the remark about me not being “elderly” because she has treated patients much more age advanced than me, with more serious ailments than I have.  Or, okay maybe she was just being kind.
In any event, my age progression anxiety is real.  Is there a support group I could join?  Will the talk be filled with knee surgeries, “remember when’s”, “where did I put my keys?” and whose funeral is on “Thursday?”
Or perhaps the talk will be of interesting experiences, enlightened perspectives, astute opinions  and of course grandchildren
Who else, but those of us who have extensively age progressed, would be able to advise, nurture, coach and enlighten the ones who are on the road following in our well worn treads?
Sadly, I’ve sometimes learned the value of the wise most when the wise were no longer here to ask.
I suppose as I maneuver my way through the next 10 years, I will manage to figure it out as I go, just as I did through all the others of tens of years.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Seeking Perfection

I spent the last few days and a great deal of time looking for a special knitting pattern.   I browsed through hundreds of patterns on the Ravelry database, dismissing many because they just weren’t right.
The pattern had to be interesting, but not too complicated.   It had to fit the type, color and amount of yarn I had on hand.  I wanted a pattern that hundreds of others had not knitted.  I wanted to find an unexplored gem.  I would know it when I saw it.   And then there it was, the perfect pattern.

I excitedly cast on with silky merino yarn in a lovely shade of  blue with specks of green.

I was quite pleased with the way the pattern was written.  Even though there was a section of lace stitches, which can sometimes be tricky, the designer wrote clear step by step instructions.  The font was large so when I printed the pattern out, it was easy to see as it sat on a stand on my side table.
I happily knited along, stopping every so often to ooo and ahh at the results.

I posted a photo of my WIP (work in progress) on Instagram.  My knitty friends commented, “lovely”, “beautiful” and “love the color”.

Because this pattern has sections of lace, stitch count is important. The designer was kind enough to include the number of stitches the knitter should wind up at the end of each row.  Each row of each section of this pattern is different.  The end of row stitch count is also different.
I carefully knit my way through all of the three sections of the pattern.

Then this happened: “Work from Chart 3 five more times until you get (the specified number of stitches)”, This instruction was without any of the details of stitch count, etc.

I was taken aback.  It was as if the designer quit on me.   I felt as though the designer was saying to me, “okay now you figure out what to do now.”

I tried.  It was much too complicated for me, though.  The reason I buy and download patterns that other people write is because design and particularly the math of design is not my thing.

I still love the design of this pattern.  I think the designer is creative and I’m sure spent many hours perfecting the work.

I am disappointed, but mostly I am sad because I won’t be able to finish this beautiful design.

This pattern, this design was going to be the project I was going to knit for the third annual “Joey’s Scarf Memorial” MAL (make a long).

I’m sure I will find another perfect pattern.  There are over a half million available patterns just on Ravelry alone.

I host a YouTube podcast called “Joey’s Scarf”.  It’s a podcast about knitting and crocheting and colors and patterns and beautiful things one can make with yarn.
Associated with the podcast is a group I created on Ravelry.  It is also called “Joey’s Scarf”.

 In case you are not familiar with Ravelry, here is the description according to Wikipedia:

Ravelry is a free social networking service, beta-launched in May 2007. It functions as an organizational tool for a variety of fiber arts including knittingcrochetingspinning, and weaving. Members share projects, ideas, and their collection of yarnfiber, and tools via various components.
  
For the past three years I have hosted a “Memorial MAL”.  The idea is to craft an item in memory of someone you have lost or in honor of someone who you might think of while you are crafting.
The name of this year’s MAL is “2019 Joey’s Scarf Memorial”.
     
  A MAL or “Make a Long” is where a group of crafters get together, virtually, to knit on a project. 
        
This MAL is running until April 4, which is the anniversary of my son Joe’s birth.  Typically, at the end of the MAL the host will award gifts to a couple of crafters who have completed their projects. Those selected will be randomly selected from the group.

If you are interested, please come join in.  I will gladly answer any questions.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Thank you Pink!

My MacBook Air laptop is about ten years old.  The battery is shot, so I have to keep it plugged in when I am using it.
I’ve been thinking about what to replace my laptop with for about a year now.  It’s a large purchase and I wanted to make sure about my decision.
I always thought I would just get another Apple product laptop computer.
We periodically pay the Apple store a visit. Well, Ross likes to stop in.  Me?  Not so much.  It’s always crowded, especially since the Mac Genius  to customer ratio seems to be 1 to 1.  That means there are as many customer service reps as there are customers.  Well, it appears that way to me.  I guess that’s a good thing because one rarely has to wait for service.
So, on one of these drop in’s, as I was checking out the new laptops, a Genius stopped by to ask if I needed help.
She was obviously born to work in an Apple store.  She was pretty tall, about 5’8”.   She was dressed in pink from head to toe, including her hair.
She introduced herself, “Hi, I’m Pink, can I help you?”
Really no kidding.
I told her that I would soon be in the market for a new laptop.
“So, what do you do with your laptop?” she asked.
After a brief distraction with her glittery pink eyeshadow, I explained that I write a blog, and edit my podcast using iMovie.
Then Pink went into full “let me convince you that you should really consider an iPad instead” mode.
She was very good at showing me all the bells and whistles of the iPad versus the limitations of the laptop and “not to mention the prices comparison,” she said.
I think the thing that sold me was when she showed me the Apple Pencil.
You can’t use a pencil on a MacBook Air.
My interaction with Pink happened about six months ago.
Last Tuesday, I decided it was finally time to go get my laptop replacement.  Even though Pink did a good job with her iPad pitch,  I was still vacillating between a laptop and iPad.
But, Pink wasn’t there this day.
Leroy, the Genius we had this time was very nice,well informed and spent as much time with us as we needed, but, he just wasn’t Pink enough for me.  He kind of left it up to me to make my choice.
In the end I suppose Pink was with me in spirit, though, for here I am, writing my blog on my new IPad Pro II, 256GB in silver, fully accessorized with a keyboard folio, and





Thursday, February 7, 2019

It’s Here I Come to Feel

Once, when I was participating in a therapy group, the moderator suggested an idea for our consideration.

“Change a thought, change a feeling” she wrote on the whiteboard.
It sort of made sense to me at the time.  At the time I would have grabbed onto any lifeline thrown my way.

On Monday of this week the doctor called with the kind of news that sucked the air from our bodies.

No amount of thought alteration could have changed that feeling.

We have a long road ahead.   More tests, more waiting for results.  Perhaps months of treatments.

Today I am wobbling between thoughts of despair and feelings of hope.

Once, when I thought that my feelings would overwhelm me and command me to despondency, someone suggested I write.

During the last seven years, this space has been my safe place.   It’s here I come to explore and express all of my feels and thoughtfully send them on their way.

It’s the lifeline that makes most sense to me.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

I’ll Gladly Knit You A Hat

Thursday, January 24, 2019

This weather!

Yes, I’m going to start off by writing about the weather.  So far the pattern this winter has been typical cold weather temperatures for a few days, then a rise to unseasonably warm temperatures, with down pouring rain.

The latter is happening today.  It’s pretty depressing.

But, thankfully,  number 1, I don’t have to go out of the house and number 2, I can stay in my night duds all day if I choose.

I’ve been in a knitting quandary lately.   In case you didn’t know, I am an obsessive knitter.  I knit every day.  I knit hats, scarves, socks, shawls, cowls and occasionally a sweater. I do wear what I knit and I also  give knitted gifts for Christmas and birthdays. I’ve been doing it for years now.  And just like the recent weather, I have saturated myself and the family with my wares.

So what do I do?  I can’t imagine myself stopping my knitting or even taking a break. Besides I have enough yarn in my closet to last a life time, even if I live to be a hundred.  
I know what you are thinking, “How about charity knitting?”   Yes, I suppose I could do that.
In fact yesterday, I dove into my knitted items dresser, and pulled out 10 hats, 4 shawls, 2 scarves, and 3 cowls.  My sister was visiting, I asked her if she wanted any of them.  She kindly took a shawl and hat.
I decided to donate the rest.  Ross, who champions my knitting, assured me that the Ladies Auxiliary from the local hospital thrift shop would be thrilled to have such beautiful items.
I carefully placed each give-a-way item in a pretty shopping bag and off we went.
When we got to the shop, the woman at the counter was very friendly and directed us to follow the arrow on the “Donation Drop Off - This Way ” sign.
We found our way to the back room.
No one was at the counter.   Ross rang the bell, but got no response.  We waited another few minutes.
Ross called out, “Hello?”
A woman popped her head out from one of the aisles of shelves and said, “Oh, hi!”
“Are you dropping off a donation?” she asked.
I proudly held up my pretty shopping bag, smiled shyly and nodded my head.  
She went behind the counter, handed me a tax donation receipt, and took the bag.
“Thank you,” she said.   She placed the bag on the floor along with a dozen other bags.
Ross, said to her, “My wife knits.”  "The bag is filled with beautiful hats, scarves, shawls…”
She said, “How lovely” and again thanked us without looking in the bag.
One of the most rewarding pleasures of knitting for others is the same that a gift giver might experience.
A thoughtful gift giver takes the time to choose just the right item.  The reward is the anticipation of seeing the look on the face of the recipient, hopefully a genuinely excited and happy look.
I admit I was disappointed.  In my imagined trip to the thrift shop, I could actually hear the ooo’s and ahhh’s as each time was lifted out of the bag.
As we left the shop, I said to Ross, “I hope they (meaning my donations) keep someone warm and dry this winter.  Especially with this crazy weather.

Right now I am working on a pair of socks.  The yarn is silvery and it sparkles.  And I am genuinely excited and happy as I anticipate how much I will love them.  

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Life’s Nexts

Thursday, January 17th.

πŸ’Before I begin, today is my grandson Ryan’s 11th birthday!  How different times are.  This morning I sent him an Instagram voice message of me and Ross singing Happy Birthday :)

So, we are dealing with a life bump, or potential blip.   I don’t care to be specific, and we are hoping that the test turns out to be favorable.

The reason I have even mentioned it is because it has triggered uncomfortable thoughts and feelings about the stage of life Ross and I are in.

I am frightened.  Not of the immediate that we are facing, but of what’s to come next in our lives.

And it is a life certainty that there is going to be a next.  

When I try to imagine what it will be like to face these nexts, I get a clutch in my stomach and realize there is not a way I can envision that I would be able to manage.   I worry that my power-through stamina is not as strong as it once was.  

I’m perfectly aware that the horrible, unfathomable next we have already experienced, the death of my child, has greatly affected my outlook on all the future nexts.

I know, I know.  Stay in the present.  Focus on the now.  Honestly it’s a hard thing to do.




Thursday, January 10, 2019

They Clean So I Don’t Have To

Thursday, January 10, 2019

We employ a service to clean our house every three weeks.  The women are pleasant, show up on time and their prices are reasonable.
Before they arrive I run around straightening and clearing up any clutter that we have lazily left about.
I figure the least amount of stuff around, the more time they have to do actual cleaning.
Today is the scheduled day.  They arrived 20 minutes early.   I was in the middle of my frazzled "cleaning before the cleaning people come".
Now, this may sound strange, but I felt as though I had been "caught".  Yes, I was a little embarrassed.
I am giggling to myself as I write this because I suddenly realized the reason I felt that way.
Obviously,  I wouldn't want the cleaning ladies to think that my house needs cleaning.
Okay here is another admission.  After they are done and have left the house, I watch out the window to make sure their car is gone.  Then I examine the house.  I run my fingers across the furniture, window sills and top of the fridge.  In order to make sure they properly cleaned the bathrooms,  I check to see if the floors are wet.   I stop short of looking under the bed.   If and when I find something they missed, I shake my head and tsk, tsk.
But, then I stop and remind myself how much more time I  have to write and knit.

Thank you for cleaning, ladies!




Tuesday, January 8, 2019

She’s So Vain

Tuesday,  January 8, 2019

Ugh, another gray day!

I think I may record a podcast today.  I have a knitting podcast on YouTube called “Joey’s Scarf”.
It takes a bit of time to prepare, record, edit and upload these podcasts.  That’s why I have to mentally prepare myself to do one.
I’ve been doing them for two years now.  In fact January 15 will be my 2nd podaversary  There are 30 episodes.
A change I have noticed since the first one, is the way viewers watch YouTube.   Instead of watching on their six inch smart phone screen or on a tablet with a nine inch screen,  a good number of people are watching on their smart TV’s.  I’ve had one viewer tell me that she watches my videos on her 65 inch TV.
I admit I have watched Joey’s Scarf on our 42 inch TV.  It made me uncomfortable to see myself. I found myself cringing a few times. I mean I hardly look in the mirror much. 😏
To be fair, it’s true that I don’t have a production team.  There is no hair or makeup staff.  The lighting is a 60 watt bulb in the lamp on the table next to the chair I sit in.
So, after each episode, I take a step back and have a little talk with Lyndagrace.  I remind her that there are many memories lovingly etched in her much lived face.
I encourage her to be proud of her ability to keep up with the latest technology in order to produce, edit, and present a pretty decent 30 minute video.
Lastly, I tell her to remember why she decided to do these videos in the first place.  If you want to know, watch the first one. Joey’s Scarf - Episode One
Oh, on your smart phone would be preferable.  Hey, I still have a little streak of vanity.


Monday, January 7, 2019

Monday, Monday, The Pest Control Guy

Monday, Monday…

We waited all weekend for the exterminator to show up.  First of all, I can’t believe we have to have an exterminator at this time of the year.  It’s winter after all.  But this year, in January, by the New Jersey shore, the temperatures have hardly dipped into freezing.  We also have had a lot of rain.  I suppose that's why I have been seeing tiny ants in my bathroom.  Not many, YET!  But, to get ahead of a potential infestation, I called our Pest Control Guy.
I contacted him on Tuesday.  He said he would come on Friday.   He called me on Thursday to tell me that the weather forecast called for rain on Friday.  Apparently, there is some reason why rain is not the best condition for pest control. So he changed it to Saturday or Sunday.  I asked him to commit to one of the days.  He said it would be Sunday, in the afternoon.  I asked for a time.  He said between 11-1.
It was a beautiful day on Sunday.  As I said, sunny days have been few and far between.  Our plan was that after he finished spraying, we would do something, anything, to finally get out of the house.
By 3:30, we realized he wasn’t going to show up. Ross called.  The Guy claimed that he never said he would definitely be coming. UGH!
So the reschedule is for today.  This morning in fact, between 9-11.  It’s 8:30.  I’ll let you know.

10:30:  Yay, he showed up!
"Now if you see any ants, don't kill them.  We want them to share with their other ant friends."
Thank you, Mr. Pest Control Guy.   You're not so bad after all.

Cold but sunny, the days is ours!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Pink Canvas Bag - Part 2


The Pink Canvas Bag  

Part 1 of 2
She knew he was worried about her.   
“Please let me help you, Ell," he said.
“I’m fine, really," she replied. 
She couldn’t understand why he thought she wasn’t fine.  After all, this was just a matter of tying up lose ends. 
Eleanor began searching her closet for the canvas tote.   She thought she had put in on the top shelf, but it wasn’t there.   
Will came in the room.  “Whacha looking for?” 
“That pink canvas bag,” she replied.  “Have you seen it?”
She climbed up on the step stool.  “Oh here it is,” she said.  It had been pushed to the back of shelf.
Will narrowed his eyes, and with a quizzical look, asked, “You’re not taking that, are you?
Elenor sighed, “Come on Will, you promised you would let me handle this.
Will walked out of the room shaking his head.  
Eleanor was a tall woman who always looked perfectly put together.  She made sure she kept herself in shape, too.  She walked every day, rain or shine.  She had a standing monthly appointment with Judy, her hairdresser and a weekly Thursday appointment with Tami for a manicure.   
Nothing flashy, mind you.  She wore her hair in a straight bob, chin length, never longer.  She always wore the same color on her nails, Champagne Toast.  
She and Will had retired one year ago.
After a month long retirement celebration travel-vacation, which, as she told everyone, "was marvelous", they each went through a little rough patch of “retirement adjustment”.   
But now, after a year, they had finally eased into the next chapter of life. 
Typical for Eleanor, her calendar was always full.  She volunteered at the library on Monday’s. Wednesday afternoon she played Canasta with her new group of lady friends.  She and Will spent Friday together.  They called it their date day and took turns planning the activities of the day. 
Will found a second career as a consultant and private guitar instructor.   His temperament was quite opposite from his wife’s.   He was perfectly happy to wear his favorite, perfectly worn in, jeans and whatever was on top of the tee shirt pile.   Will was tall and lanky.   He had a full head of gray hair, which he would not bother cutting until Eleanor reminded him, “Will, it’s time for a trim.” 
Will called out to Eleanor, “Ell, are you just about ready?”  
Eleanor was right, Will was worried about her.   It had been only a month, after all.  But true to Eleanor’s nature, she seemed to be fine.   After all she was the strong one.  
Of course after a lifetime, they had gone through their life’s times, the ups and downs.  Mostly ups’, he reflected.  
During the not so good times,  Eleanor was the one to take charge, just as she was doing this day. 
Other than Will, Mia was the one with whom Eleanor let her hair down, metaphorically speaking of course.  Will chuckled to himself at the thought of Eleanor’s hair ever being out of place.  
Mia always made Ell giggle.  Imagine, Ell giggling, Will smiled at the memory. 
When it was time for Mia to leave, Will was the one who cried like a baby.   Eleanor comforted him, saying, “She has to, Will.”  "You know she can't be with us forever.
The pink canvas bag was full.  Eleanor slung it over her shoulder.   Will was waiting in the car for her.  She climbed in and said, “Okay, lets go!

Part 2 of 2
Eleanor had prepared herself for this moment.  Or at least she thought she had.  She had it all carefully planned out in her mind.  She was preoccupied, obsessed really, with it for several weeks now.  She supposed that was why Will was concerned.  She certainly had been preoccupied.  
Lately, Will would find Eleanor, sitting at the kitchen table, staring out the window.  She would hold her tea mug up in the air, as if she were going to sip it, then after several seconds, she would place the mug back down on the table, having not touched the tea. 
“Ok, Ell?” he would ask.  
Startled she would look over at him as if she was surprised that he was there.  
“Oh, Will,” she would say.  “Yes, yes.”  “I’ve told you a thousand times, I’m fine.
The drive over to the center was a short one.  
Eleanor repeatedly  checked the bag.  She wanted to make sure she hadn’t left anything behind.  
Will kept glancing over at Eleanor.  
He wondered how she managed to get through it all.  
When he asked her about it, she would say, “Will, I’m just not as freely open with my emotions like you are.
“That doesn’t mean I don’t experience the same feelings as you.  I just don’t express them the same way.
Truth be told, Eleanor was surprised how much Mia leaving had affected her. 
She found herself wandering from room to room, straightening this, fluffing that.  
Many times, she thought she heard Mia calling her.  
As they pulled into the parking lot of the center, Will asked again, for the thousandth, make that one thousand and one, time, “Ell, are you sure?
Eleanor sighed, “Oh Will” 
She looked at  him and smiled.  
As she opened the door to get out of the car, she said, “I’ll only be a few minutes.""Don’t forget, Will, today it's my turn to choose our Friday date day plans.” 
He watched her walk up to the door of the center.  He was relieved that she didn’t want him to come in with her.  He didn’t think he could bear it. 
He wondered what she had packed up in the pink canvas bag.   He wanted to keep all of it, but Eleanor insisted that Mia wasn’t going to be needing it now and the center was always looking for donations.  
He sat with the car running, listening to his favorite radio station, tapping on the steering wheel in time to the music.  
Will checked his watch.  Eleanor had been in there for much more than a few minutes.  He was about to get out of the car to go and check on her, when he saw her open the front door of the center.  She stood there for a minute talking to a woman and then she turned around waved at the woman and headed for the car.
He saw that she still had the pink bag slung over her shoulder.  
I guess she couldn’t part with it after all, he thought. 
As she got closer to the car, he noticed that she seemed to be holding the bag rather tightly to her.  She looked as though she had been crying.  
Elenor opened the door and handed Will the bag.  
The bag wriggled. 
As a head of white fluff popped out of the bag, Eleanor said, "Will, Meet Sabrina.”   




Friday, January 4, 2019

The Pink Canvas Bag - Part 1

I pledge to you  "Year 2019”  that I will try my best to write here everyday.   Although some days may turn out to merely be an accounting of the day,  my primary goal is to create a story, a story of the year I spent in 2019. 

January 3, 2019 - Partly Sunny - High in the 40’s

The Pink Canvas Bag

Part 1 of 2
She knew he was worried about her.   
“Please let me help you, Ell," he said.
“I’m fine, really," she replied. 
She couldn’t understand why he thought she wasn’t fine.  After all, this was just a matter of tying up lose ends. 
Eleanor began searching her closet for the canvas tote.   She thought she had put in on the top shelf, but it wasn’t there.   
Will came in the room.  “Whacha looking for?” 
“That pink canvas bag,” she replied.  “Have you seen it?”
She climbed up on the step stool.  “Oh here it is,” she said.  It had been pushed to the back of shelf.
Will narrowed his eyes, and with a quizzical look, asked, “You’re not taking that, are you?
Elenor sighed, “Come on Will, you promised to let me handle this.
Will walked out of the room shaking his head.  
Eleanor was a tall woman who always looked perfectly put together.  She made sure she kept herself in shape, too.  She walked every day, rain or shine.  She had a standing monthly appointment with Judy, her hairdresser and a weekly Thursday appointment with Tami for a manicure.   
Nothing flashy, mind you.  She wore her hair in a straight bob, chin length, never longer.  She always wore the same color on her nails, Champagne Toast.  
She and Will had retired one year ago.
After a month long retirement celebration travel-vacation, which, as she told everyone, "was marvelous", they each went through a little rough patch of “retirement adjustment”.   
But now, after a year, they had finally eased into the next chapter of life. 
Typical for Eleanor, her calendar was always full.  She volunteered at the library on Monday’s. Wednesday afternoon she played Canasta with her new group of lady friends.  She and Will spent Friday together.  They called it their date day and took turns planning the activities of the day. 
Will found a second career as a consultant and private math tutor.   His temperament was quite opposite from his wife’s.   He was perfectly happy to wear his favorite, perfectly worn in, jeans and whatever was on top of the tee shirt pile.   Will was tall and lanky.   He had a full head of gray hair, which he would not bother to cut until Eleanor reminded him, “Will, it’s time for a trim.” 
Will called out to Eleanor, “Ell, are you just about ready?”  
Eleanor was right, Will was worried about her.   It had been only a month, after all.  But true to Eleanor’s nature, she seemed to be fine.   After all she was the strong one.  
Of course after a lifetime, they had gone through their life’s times, the ups and downs.  Mostly ups’, he reflected.  
During the not so good times,  Eleanor was the one to take charge, just as she was doing this day. 
Other than Will, Mia was the one with whom Eleanor let her hair down, metaphorically speaking of course.  Will chuckled to himself at the thought of Eleanor’s hair ever being out of place.  
Mia always made Ell giggle.  Imagine, Ell giggling, Will smiled at the memory. 
When it was time for Mia to leave, Will was the one who cried like a baby.   Eleanor comforted him, saying, “She has to, Will.”  "You know she can't be with us forever.
The pink canvas bag was full.  Eleanor slung it over her shoulder.   Will was waiting in the car for her.  She climbed in and said, “Okay, lets go!


I promise there is a part 2. :)







Thursday, January 3, 2019

Good Morning Video’s and Instagram

I pledge to you  "Year 2019”  that I will try my best to write here everyday.   Although some days may turn out to merely be an accounting of the day,  my primary goal is to create a story, a story of the year I spent in 2019. 

Wednesday, January 2 - Mostly cloudy, high in the 40’s.

I had a good night’s sleep!  Believe me, that is worth mentioning.  I am not a good sleeper.  Perhaps it had something to do with being quite active yesterday and the fresh ocean air. 

I have gotten into a routine of taking a “Good Morning” video of the outside thermometer and posting it into my daily instagram stories.  I usually add a little piece of music to the video.  
I also post  a “Remains of the day” video with music too.  Apparently, some people like to see these videos because they get about 40 views a day.  For me that’s pretty good.  
I am lyndagrace on Instagram.

Other than write here, as of this moment that’s about all I have done.    It’s 9:00 a.m. , time to get the day started.  

I have started to keep a chronicle of my mundane daily routine.  I am using an app. called “Chronicle”.

I recorded every little thing we did.  By doing that, I have realized is that there is no such thing as doing nothing.    


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

January 1 2019 - My Pledge

I pledge to you  "Year 2019”  that I will try my best to write here everyday.   Although some days may turn out to merely be an accounting of the day,  my primary goal is to create a story, a story of the year I spent in 2019.

January 1, 2019 - A mild and breezy 61℉


Among my first conscious, and groggy thoughts this morning was a feeling of wanting to do better.
You know the usual, unattainable goals, like, “I’m going to go for a walk every day, and drink more water.”
It’s already 9:00 and I haven’t walked very far.  I’ve gone from the bedroom to the kitchen for a cup of tea and then to the sofa, which is where I am now.  My “Fitbit” says that’s 317 steps.  I’m sure that’s not what I meant when I mused about daily walks. And I suppose tea shouldn’t count towards my water intake, should it?

Other thoughts were more lofty, like being more patient with and kind to others,  especially Ross.
πŸ˜‡

I have goals pertaining to my obsessive hobby, which is, if you don’t know, knitting.  I will just broadly categorize it as “Mindful Knitting”.  Perhaps I will dedicate a post just to that one.

THE DAY
I think it has been passed down to me through DNA that New Year’s day should be a day of cleaning.
Something about starting off the year with a clean house, fresh linens, and an empty laundry basket means a fresh start.

So that’s what I did for the first part of the day.  



Ross, Aunt Dolores and I went to Wally’s on the island (Long Beach Island) for lunch.  The day was unseasonably warm.  


After lunch we went up to see the ocean.  




We got home at about 4:00 and I crashed out.  I worked on a pair of socks
while we semi-binged the Showtime show “Escape from Dannemora”.  We still have 3 episodes left.  I found it to be way too dragged out.  There are 7 episodes, that’s over 6 hours of video.  the story could have been told in 3.

So that was our day.







                                          Oh, and my final Fitbit stats:


I DID IT! I wrote something.  I’m proud of myself.