Sunday, September 20, 2020

A Hopeful Couple of Updates

 Just a couple of updates:

Hah, I didn't realize until I decided to do this update that my last two posts were about future goals.  

My future.  

Recently, I haven't thought about my future in any sort of positive way.  

Sure, I admit it,  I may be spending way too much time wallowing around somewhere down in the deep dark crevices of gloom and doom. But, apparently, subconsciously, there appears to be, although somewhat dim at times, a light of hope flickering through those crevices. 

The first of my last two posts was about knitting socks.  My goal?  Knit 100 pairs of socks.  

The update? Since that post I have knit another 5 pairs, which brings the total to 19 pairs.

One of the pairs was specially custom made for Ross.  Can you guess which one?

I have been knitting on other things in between.  Or I should say I have started several other projects.  That's what I like about these little socks.  Once I cast on a pair I seem to be driven to finish them.  It's the goal thing.  I'm convinced of that. 

The second of my last two posts was written two weeks ago on September 6.  It was  about a "weight loss" journey I have set upon.  In that post I talked about how I had begun to walk 20-30 minutes a day, six days a week.  

At the time I figured that's all I would need to do to loose the LB's.  But, as I soon found out, walking  wasn't going to be enough.

Last week I added an eating plan to the goal.  I started out using the "My Fitness Pal" app.  It's a great app.  But, it didn't seem to be working for me.  My daughter recently started using the WW (weight watchers)  app.  She said she liked it.  I signed up a few days ago.  For now, I do like it better than "My Fitness Pal".  For the record, I have lost 3 pounds.  

I'm still walking.  And now I have Ross walking with me.  I walk a bit faster than he does, so I walk ahead of him, turn around walk back to him, and then walk ahead of him again.  Sometimes he takes a little rest. 

While I was writing this post the phrase "Hope Springs Eternal" came to mind.  It seemed appropriate to use that somewhere in this post.  I decided to research the origin of the phrase before I included it.  I wanted to make sure I was using it correctly. 

The phrase is taken from "An Essay on Man: Epistle I" by Alexander Pope. written in 1733. 

I had never read it and I found it quite powerful.  I will re-read it again and again.  

Here is the section containing the "Hope Springs Eternal" phrase:

"Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;

Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore!

What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,

But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast:

Man never is, but always to be blest:

The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,

Rests and expatiates in a life to come."

 My interpretation of his meaning is that it is the hope of an eternal life to come which enables us to endure through this life.  What do you think?

My hope to complete rather less lofty goals seem to be quite attainable here on this earth and in this life. 

Links to my last two posts are here:

"100 Pairs of Shorties"

Cheer Me On

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Cheer Me On!

Oh boy!  For the past few months, I intentionally haven't been weighing myself.  You know how even if you don't get on the scale you just know that if you did, you wouldn't be surprised?
It's not even a matter of my clothes not fitting the same,  I feel the extra heavy I've been lugging around.
I wondered if the weight of the world's problems along with my own personal woes, had somehow slowed down my metabolism.   Of course it couldn't be my past six month couch potato-ness or the nightly snack of cookies, ice cream or pie, could it?  I have a sneaky suspicion that it's combination of it all sprinkled with a dusting of depression.

Yeah, so last week I did step on the scale.  And yeah, I wasn't shocked.

But what to do about it.

I thought, I know I will start a blog series on how I'm going to cut the heavy loose.   I'm tired of carrying it around.  It's exhausting.
I know what you're thinking.  "Oh no not another blogger thinking  their public forum space will be a great incentive to stay honest and on track.  Ha!  Like that ever works.  Usually, the series just fades away somewhere between gung-ho and giving up."  That's what you're thinking, isn't it?

I'll pretend I didn't hear that.

So, this week I walked 6 of the 7 days.  I'm taking today off.  It's Sunday.
I'm starting off slow, walking about a 20 minute mile, and walking an average distance of about an extra 1.5 miles a day.
My muscles ache and I haven't lost an ounce.  However, I'm still at the gung-ho stage and not ready to give up.

Cheer me on.  It might help to stretch out the "I'm Going To Lose Weight, You'll See" series for at least another week.


Sunday, August 2, 2020

100 Pairs of Shorties - A Hopeful Attainable Goal

100 Pairs of Shorties

When word of the first case of Covid19 was announced in the USA, I subconsciously, I suppose,  instinctively understood that we were in for a long and difficult road ahead. 

Coincidentally I started a long term project about the same time as the Covid19 lockdown happened.  Yes,  I believe the idea came to me around the middle of March.

It seemed to be an outrageous goal and hardly obtainable.   In fact, at first, it was an idle, off-the-cuff musing. 

When the first of my project was completed I posted a pic of it on Instagram with what has since become the beginning of a goal noted by the hashtag  #100pairofshorties. 

What is a shortie?   A shortie is another name for an ankle sock.  Ankle socks may also be known as:

These shorties are hand knit socks.  Hand knit by me. 

There is something soothing and purposeful about knitting these little socks.  For one thing I can start and finish a pair in less than one week.   Secondly, they only use a small amount of yarn.  That's a good thing because I have an ample amount of small amounts of yarn. 

Besides my obvious love of knitting I have found the most meaningful benefit of creating each pair is  mindfully and at the same time mindlessly working towards attaining the goal of knitting 100 pairs.

This may sound strange to some, especially non-creators, and more especially non-knitters, but for me it's an exciting project.  

Why exciting?  Because as with any goal, it requires a belief in a future time.   

When I think about that future time when I have attained my #100pairofshorties goal I think of a hopeful time, a peaceful time, a time when I can safely visit friends and loved ones with perhaps a handknit gift to give. 

If you want to follow my progress click on this link

Saturday, July 11, 2020

What's Painfully Missing

July 11, 2020

I would imagine that the year 2020 will certainly be one for the history books.

A pandemic, toilet paper hoarding, millions of people out of work and most recently massive protests in the world about racial injustices have lead the headlines for nearly six months now.

This is also a presidential election year in the US. The current president, Donald Trump will be running against Joe Biden.   Because of the Covid19 virus, this campaign will be the most unusual in modern history. 

The specific details of all of these things will most certainly be well documented, therefore I don't find it necessary to do that here.

What I can write about is how Ross and I have been coping.

We have experienced the personal loss and scary illnesses of loved ones.  Those have been tough.

Sitting here now, today, reflecting on the last six months, I would have to say, overall, we have managed well.  The most important thing is that we have not gotten ill.  Fingers crossed that we continue in good health.  I am still frightened about getting this virus.  I am especially concerned about me getting it because I need to be healthy for Ross.

One of the observances I have found most interesting is how we were able to adapt to this new small world we find ourselves in and how quickly we established a new routine.

We do miss having a meal out, which we would do a couple of times a week.

There have been times of depression, and upset.  We've been getting help with that.

At the start of the world seemingly ready to fall apart, Ross and I were glued to the TV, watching  wall to wall coverage.  That has changed.  We find other things to do instead.  For instance, sitting on our front porch, listening to the birds, watching the squirrels and rabbits scamper about is quite peaceful.

We've managed to see the ocean a couple of times and frequently ride by the Barnegat bay.  Seeing the water soothes our souls.

Every day we walk up to the corner and back.  (inside joke)

Up until a few weeks ago we had been ordering our groceries online.  Someone from the store wold bring the packages out to our car.  That is a great service. 
But now we are venturing out into the stores.  I am a little skittish about it, but try to be as careful as possible.

Facetime and phone calls have kept us somewhat connected.

New Jersey has been one of the hardest hit with the Corona Virus.
Now, restrictions are slowly being lifted.
As of yesterday, with safety measures in place, such as social distancing and mask wearing,  restaurants can serve, via outdoor dining.  Retail stores are open bound by limited capacity.
Next week hair salons and barber shops will open.
Yay! Today, the wonderful women who clean our home are back.  So grateful for them.

But spectacular sparkling bays and blue ocean waves,  melodious bird songs, cute bunnies and funny scampering squirrels and hundreds of miles walked to the corner and back pale in comparison to the hugs and kisses we are painfully missing.

A treasured past summer

Sunday, April 26, 2020

How We're Doing

April 25, 2020

The last time we were in a store was nearly a month ago.  It was a trip to Shoprite.  We went on March 27.

Since then my daughter and son-in-law (they insisted) have been delivering groceries to us and in-between we have been doing pick-up's at our local butcher/deli shop.

The staying-in part of the Coronavirus pandemic has not driven me to the edge, yet.  Perhaps it's the introvert in me.  I can be with myself. 

I've been doing a lot of knitting and crocheting.

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful to have Ross here with me.
When I think about those who don't have someone with them, I wonder how it would be for me, if I were alone.  It's a scary thought.

What does get to me is the roller coaster emotional part of this.  It angers me.  It frightens me.  But mostly it saddens my heart.

Whenever I have faced tragedy in my life, I question the "why" of it.  Why tragedy and sadness and loneliness and sickness and even death.  Why?  It seems so evil.

This tragedy will not soon be forgotten.  It will be the one written about for ages.  We will remind the youngest, who may not have understood.  We will tell stories to the not yet born all about it.  For the rest of our lives, we will commiserate with each other and shake our puzzled heads.

And I will always wonder "why?"

Monday, February 24, 2020


She was the type of person who turned heads when she entered a room.  She had a sweet look about her, approachable, you know.  Her shiny dark hair grazed her shoulders and the curly ends bounced when she turned her head. 

Although it was a somber occasion for which we were all gathered, she had the unique ability to soften the tenseness in the room as well as the face of every person she interacted with.

I was seated in the back, an observer. Her voice was soft and melodic. I watched and listened as she made her way, stopping to say hello to those she knew, introducing herself to those she was meeting for the first time.  I saw that each person leaned in towards her when she spoke and I thought about her unique ability to persuade such consideration. 

She took her rightful place at the front, her back to me now, I felt her stillness as she quietly listened.

I had the opportunity to finally and properly meet her the next day.   It was a brisk wintery day.  She had been out for a walk.   When she came in, she was breathless and her face was rosy.

As she shed her coat, scarf and hat, she called out greetings to everyone. 

She made her way over to me. 

She didn't ask my name, but I must have seemed familiar to her.

"Hi," she said, with a smile. 

She told me that she had been on a treasure hunt on the path through the wooded area out back.
Standing in front of me now, her arms were at her side, her hands were tightly clutched. 
"I found two of these," she said with a giggle.   
She raised both hands out towards me and slowly opened each one.
"Aren't they beautiful," she asked?

"This one is special, it's my favorite and I would like you to have it."  she said.

She placed an oddly shaped stone in my palm.  It felt icy cold in my hand. 
I thanked her and told her I would always keep and treasure this treasure she gave me.
She smiled when I said that.

It was now time for me to leave.  I had a long ride ahead of me.  I said my goodbyes, and  gave her a little hug. 

As I walked out to the car with my hands in my pockets I knew I would never see her again.  I squeezed the cold stone tightly and it gave a bit of relief to my aging joints and comfort from a sad weekend.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Life is a Highway

February 11, 2020

Boy, January was a long month.  The winter weather here in Barnegat, New Jersey is quite dreary.  So far this year we have not had any snow or arctic cold blasts.  The temperatures have been averaging in the high 40's and 50's with quite a few gray and rainy days.  As I said dreary.

What we've been up to.

I helped Ross create a YouTube channel.  It's called "Ross' Snippets and Bits".  He has recorded two episodes so far and the response has been favorable.
I would describe the content as a reminiscence journey.

We both upgraded our iPhones to the 11's.  Our old phones were 7's.  The new phones were a little challenging to get used to because navigating around them is now all done via touch screen.  The physical home button has been replaced with swiping motions.  Also the fingerprint ID was replaced with facial recognition.

Oh, by the way, though, you can still make and receive phones calls with the phone 😀

I have been doing a lot of driving lately.  As someone who was used to being the chauffeured, and not the chauffeur, I have become much more appreciative of what it takes to get behind the wheel.
I consider myself to be a conservative driver.  By that I mean I obey the rules of the road.  And by that I mean I drive the speed limit.  I have discovered that most people don't.  I find cars either whizzing by me or on my tail.  It's as if they are challenging me to a race or strongly urging me to get out of the way.

We frequently travel on a road which is a two lane highway.  The speed limit is 55 MPH.
County Route 539, abbreviated CR 539, is a county highway in the U.S. state of New Jersey. The highway extends 54.32 miles (87.42 km) from Main Street (U.S. Route 9 or US 9) in Tuckerton to CR 535 in Cranbury Township. Much of the two-lane route passes through isolated areas of the Pine Barrens and Joint Base McGuire–Dix–Lakehurst. In these stretches, the route has a speed limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h), one of the few two-lane roads in the state to carry a 55 mph limit. CR 539  through three boroughs: Tuckerton, Allentown, and Hightstown. Other than those boroughs, the route travels mainly through rural townships.
 There usually is not a lot of traffic on this road, but because it is a two-laner, whatever traffic there is tends to become parades of clumps of perhaps a dozen cars, each one behind the other.   Although, there are sections of the road where no passing is permitted, a lot of the road does permit alternate lane passing.

As I previously mentioned, I obey the speed limit, especially on this road.  That means on the sections where no passing is permitted, I tend to have a string of cars behind me.
A lot of the time, the car directly behind me, is up on my tail, anxiously waiting to break away as soon as the passing zone comes up.

I wonder where that person going in such a hurry?   I wonder how much time he or she saved by passing me so they can speed up to 10 or 15 miles above the speed limit?  I wonder if they will appreciate that precious time they have saved. I  hope they will spend it wisely.

I am totally amused, though when that person passes me, speeds up,  comes to a traffic light, has to stop, and finds me right behind them.  😈

Life's like a road that you travel on 
Where there's one day here and the next day gone...

Monday, January 6, 2020

On A Journey to Other Lands

January 6, 2020

December of 2019 proved to be interesting, busy, challenging at times, and finally smoothing out to a peaceful close.

The other morning I was distractedly walking from the kitchen, towards the front of the house. Up a good part of the night with worrying about everything, I hadn't gotten much sleep and I was tired.  My mind was filled with a never ending to-do list, mentally assigning the hours of my day to this and that.   As I came up to the front door, something caught my eye from the side light windows.  When I  looked more closely, I saw a large bird sitting in our front yard tree.  It stopped me in my tracks and my heart began to beat faster.
I began to murmur to myself, "please don't leave, please don't leave."
I hurried into the den to find my camera.  My murmuring tune now changed to "please don't let the battery be dead, please don't let the battery be dead."
I breathed a sigh of relief when my camera light turned on.
For the next 10 minutes I was still and quietly absorbed in watching this wondrous creature, snapping a photo when I could.
I'm not sure why the bird chose our tree to land in.  Perhaps it was a pit-stop on its way to other lands.  I prefer to think that, instead of it being on a breakfast hunt.
I experienced feelings of gratitude for a variety of reasons.   It was a privilege to be able to get close enough, albeit behind a window, to spend time with this bird, if only for a brief time. 
Along with my worries, all of the nonsense thoughts of making beds, laundry, food shopping and such flew out of my head and landed up in that tree on the wings of that mighty bird. 

During this new year of 2020 when life might get somewhat overwhelming, I hope I will recall the morning I was still and quiet and remember the bird who took my cares and woes away on a journey to other lands.