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.

💝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.
😇

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.