Ignorance / Tolerance

Adam Fielding, a talented young actor in the U.K. (and someone I’m pleased to have met) wrote this poem and created this wonderful video.

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Reading Follow Up

Well, I’ve read most of the books that were in my stack.  I must say that I’m quite enamored of the Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes series (Laurie R. King).  They are more suspense than mystery, but I like them very much.

Lake District Murder iAutumn Readings a snooze-fest.  I enjoy reading old Perry Mason series books by Erle Stanley Gardner.  It’s an older style of writing, but still entertaining to me.  But Lake District Murder is an older style of writing and it is annoying!  It’s talky and plodding; makes me want to scream, “Get on with it!

Mystery in White, another in the British Library Classics set, I started but discarded in favor of a few others.  I am still withholding judgement.  I couldn’t get myself into it, but that was (I think) because I was wanting to read something else.

Murder on the Leviathan (Boris Akunin) was OK.  I had figured it out before the end, but I kept reading it because I expected it to get better.  I was wanting more of the detective’s background; instead, it was a cast of eccentric characters.  I’m not interested in reading other books in this series.

Wicked Autumn (G.M. Maillet) was a fine, modern cozy.  The writing of this first book was jam-packed with wonderful references and puns!  I went on to read the other books in this series:  A Fatal Winter, Pagan Spring, and A Demon Summer.   In perusing Goodreads, I see that there is a fifth book in the series, The Haunted Season.  I’ll be looking for that one soon!

At Christmas I treated myself and my husband to the Song of Fire and Ice series (George R.R. Martin) in paperback.  I’ve just started on the first book, Game of Thrones.  I like it.  I love the way this man writes!  The novels are thick — both with pages and with plots — but never dull.  If ever I am stuck at home in a blizzard, I’ll have my books and my knitting!

Cabled Hat for Adult – a free pattern

Ed wears hatAt last!  I can post this now that my husband has received his hat!

Worked with  Socks That Rock Heavyweight (Blue Moon Fiber Arts) which is about a sport weight.  Or DK weight.  I don’t know.  The colorway is Chanticleer (nice for fall).  I’m working it on a 16″ US 6 circular needle with a gauge (in stockinette stitch) of 5.5 stitches to the inch.  Finished size is about 23″ circumference, which should comfortably fit an adult head but still have a bit of stretch if needed.

The corrected version of the pattern is now available on Ravelry.

Autumn Reading

Autumn ReadingThis is the stack of books on my nightstand.  The bottom three I’ve already finished.  These are books 2 (A Letter of Mary), 3 (The Moor) and 4 (O Jerusalem) in the Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R King (the first is The Beekeeper’s Apprentice), which I highly recommend.  They are more on the order of suspense than mystery, but they will do.  I have books 5 and 6 of the series on order.

The four on top are the newest additions.  Murder on the Leviathan and Wicked Autumn came from a link I found on the Facebook page of Charles Finch (he is the author of the Charles Lennox series, which I cannot recommend highly enough).  There was an article about 10 books a person might like to read if he/she enjoyed Agatha Christie, and Finch’s first book in the Charles Lennox series, A Beautiful Blue Death, is at the top of the list.  There is also a book in the Inspector Gamache series by author Louise Penny (another favorite), entitled The Cruelest Month.  The first in that series is entitled Still Life.

As I was searching for used versions of the books above, I came across something called the British Library Crime Classics series of books.  The two books I purchased, The Lake District Murder and Mystery in White, were written in the 1930s, each by an author I’d not heard of before.  I’ve started in on The Lake District Murder.  It is, so far, an easy read and more in the police procedural style.  Both books come with a foreword by a current author.  Both seem to be the sort of cosy mysteries that were common in that golden age of detective fiction.

So, bring on the colder temperatures and the rainy weekends.  I have books to enjoy!

The Goose is Getting Fat

I was going to entitle this “Christmas is Coming,” but then I remembered some little song I’d learned a long time ago.  It was a round, I think.  The words are

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do.
If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you!

So, I am working on getting things done for Christmas.  The following are finished:

Cabled Hat on needles

Cabled hat for an adult.  (Obviously this is not the “finished” photo, but it is done.)

Socks Done

Socks for Ed.  I’m feeling especially clever that I figured out where to start each time (InLine 150g ball, US 4 needles) so that they would actually match.

Scarf done

A purposefully scrappy scarf worked from 4 odd balls of Wool of the Andes (50g each ball, US 7 needles), worked in 1×1 ribbing.

Not done yet:

Scarf not Done

This wonderful UFO among my stash.  It’s an early version of Manos del Uruguay, still in that thick-and-thin texture.  It’s 1×1 rib (again) on US 10 needles and it’s about 1/3 finished.

I have started and frogged several attempts at socks — it’s like I’ve lost my sock mojo, but I hope to get two pairs of socks knit before Christmas.  I think, however, that these will take a back seat to other projects (like more scarves).  We’ll see.  At any rate, Christmas is coming and I’m going to be a little bit ready for it.  Always a good thing. 🙂

A Rose by Any Other Name

From time-to-time I read an article on the Kveller.com site.  It’s a site primarily for Jewish mothers, but I had started reading it when Mayim Bialik was posting there regularly.  (She still posts there sometimes, but most of her stuff is on her own site, Grok Nation, now.)

Recently I read a short piece about whether or not one should give a baby a very ethnic name.  It spurred in me the remembrances of my own growing up.  I was called “Judy” then, and it didn’t take long to get from “Judy” to “Judy-Doody,” to “Rooty-Tutti,” to “Tutti Fruity,” and finally to “Fruitcake” (a pejorative in the 60s and 70s, used for a person who was considered stupid, slow, or just plain weird).  And that doesn’t even begin to address the number of times I was assaulted with “Judy, Judy, Judy” (a la Cary Grant, except he never said that), “Hey, Jude,” and (the worst), “Judy in Disguise (with glasses!).”  If there is one thing that kids know how to do, it is how to mangle your name into something that can make you feel bad about having been born.

"Judith with the Head of Holofernes by Cristofano Allori" by Cristofano Allori - Royal Collection. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Judith_with_the_Head_of_Holofernes_by_Cristofano_Allori.jpg#/media/File:Judith_with_the_Head_of_Holofernes_by_Cristofano_Allori.jpg
“Judith with the Head of Holofernes by Cristofano Allori” by Cristofano Allori – Royal Collection. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Judith_with_the_Head_of_Holofernes_by_Cristofano_Allori.jpg#/media/File:Judith_with_the_Head_of_Holofernes_by_Cristofano_Allori.jpg

It was when I was in my 20s that I was told about the story of Judith, which was rather weird because the person who told me about it was a self-confessed pagan and I had grown up Roman Catholic.  I’d seen the Cristofano Allori painting of Judith holding the head of Holofernes and I said to my friend, “Great!  Here’s another picture of a weird woman named Judith!”  At this my friend told me of the Book of Judith (as it appears in the Roman Catholic version of the Bible; it is one of the five apocryphal books).  I dug up an old Bible and read it.  I loved it.

The story is a clever one!  Judith saves her people in a clever plot (that would take too long to describe here).  She is brave.  She is beloved.

All of this brings me to one point:  Love yourself.  Love your name, love who you are, love everything that makes you and your name one special being.  Anyone can make fun of a name — it’s a childish thing to do, after all — but no one else can define it as you do.

What I’ve Learned

I’ve been away from the blog for too long.  My new job has me busy from the beginning of the day until the end of the day, and I come home mentally and emotionally exhausted.  It’s hard work, but it’s good hard.  I am writing text for proposals, sometimes to explain and sometimes to persuade and sometimes to connect to another person’s soul.  I am designing — often in the context of a specific form, but it is page layout and design nonetheless.

When I’ve been at home we’ve been dealing with all manner of silliness:  replacing the refrigerator, nearly replacing the air conditioning unit (turned out it didn’t need it), and the washing machine needs a repair (the parts are in; I just have to schedule a time for them to come in).  I’ve also been knitting, sewing, and struggling with all manner of emotional upset.

But, today I’m back.  And I figured the best way to start again is to tell you all what I’ve learned over the past few months.

  1. There are people in my life who have my back.  People like my husband, who has been giving me all of the space I need to deal with all of my feelings and weird moods.  People like RH at the office who finds things that I missed on a proposal, but doesn’t jump on me about it.  People like my younger brother who can advise me on things like wiring and computer problems.  People like my girlfriends and guy-friends who make time to see a film or talk over beer and pizza.  These are good people.  These are people I can trust.
  2. Even if someone has my back, I am still responsible for my own health.  Yeah, that one bites sometimes, but it’s reality.  I have to take care of me.  I have to allow myself to grieve; I have to get rest when I need it; I have to let myself off the hook when I make a mistake; I have to admit I’m human and be OK with it; I have to eat properly; I have to ask for help.
  3. I’m still trying to figure out how much is too much and how much is enough.  I tend to give myself over to whatever I’m working on, whether it’s a proposal at work or something I’m sewing or a book I’m reading.  That’s exhausting.  I am still learning how to draw a boundary around my energy, to rein it in so that I don’t exhaust myself.
  4. There is a lot of stuff about myself that I still need to accept.  I get tired (a great hindrance to getting things done).  I’d rather not eat properly.  I’d rather stay home and play with my toys all day.  I wish machines didn’t break.  I’ve screwed up relationships.
  5. Oddly enough, there is a lot of good stuff about myself that I need to accept, too.  I’m a good designer.  I’m a good writer.  I have good ideas.  I’m a talented person who can sew and knit and do graphic design.  I’m kind to my friends, and I’ve learned a lot over the past few years about how to love my husband in a better way.

In the spirit of respecting my boundaries, I’m not going to ramble on here. I’m not going to expect that every post to the blog is going to be wildly inspiring or even basically interesting.  I just need to write at least once a week to keep myself tethered.

Thanks for listening.

Here’s a cute picture because, you know, puppies.

Cute Puppy