what’s going on

The blog has been quiet for several reasons these days:

~ I was away all week for work, adding Indiana to the states-I’ve-visited list. Here’s a sunrise in Muncie:

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~ I’ve been doing the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything” thing. I’ve been discouraged by politics and Auburn football and current events and have tried to avoid ranting about ungrateful, cowardly, spoiled college students.

~ Much of my downtime has been spent knitting or surfing Ravelry. I’ve got four works-in-progress at the moment. Here’s one of them:

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~ Even though I compose blog posts in my head on my commute or in the shower or as I toss and turn at 2 a.m., I haven’t felt like sitting down to my laptop and actually typing them up. Just call me lazy.

~ I indulged in some Netflix binging on Call the Midwife recently. Now I’m all caught up. Any recommendations for another series I can watch while knitting?

I hope to get back in the blogging groove, but I’m not making any promises. Thanks for sticking around.

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playing catch-up

Well, here I am…behind again. C’est la vie.

It’s been a crazy, hard, busy month, and I can’t say I’m sorry to see it drawing to a close. But it’s been good, too, and God has been working on me. I’ve put knitting ahead of blogging, so here’s an overdue post — a quick miscellany/random thoughts mashup:

~ My daughter-in-law recommended Call the Midwife, a BBC series on Netflix. I began binge-watching on Sunday afternoon, and I’m hooked.

~ I’m also more hooked on knitting than ever. Right now I’m working on a challenging (to me, at least) project that I’m determined to conquer. The brioche stitch in two colors has proven difficult, but this is where my stubborn streak pays off. I will not give up until I’ve got it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started over on this cowlI’ve finally made some progress:

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~ This afternoon, while I was knee-deep in piles of paper at work and just beginning to wonder what in the world I’d make for dinner, Paul texted those sweet, sweet words: “How about if I take you out to eat tonight?” YES, PLEASE!! We tried Grub, one of the many new burger joints in Tallahassee. We agreed that it’s a do-over. I had a salmon burger. Two thumbs up!

~ Ok, now on to less pleasant matters — politics. This is really, really discouraging. It’s maddening that Lerner et al got away with it.

~ If McDonald’s goes under it will be because they followed liberals to disaster. Maybe. But I do think their very poor service plays a part. When I want fast food on my lunch hour, I go to Chick-fil-A because, even though the line stretches around the building, it moves quickly, I always get the correct order, the food is fresh, and the employees are friendly and respectful. McDonald’s? Not so much.

~ How our culture of narcissism creates trans obsessions:

When we say that gender, ability, or race are social constructs rather than inherent qualities, we are not saying anything about ourselves. The trans person is not saying, “This is what I am.” The trans person is saying, “This is how society should treat me.” This causes all kinds of issues to arise in public policy. Should a person who blinds himself because he feels blindness is his identity get the same benefits as those born without sight? Should a person who identifies as black get preferential treatment in college admissions? Should a transwoman-owned business be eligible for government set-asides?…

…These transitions are never about how one feels in regard to themselves, but always expressed as a demand to be treated a certain way by society at large. This reflects a wider cultural change in the West over the past half-century. A culture of narcissism has emerged, in which society exists primarily to make us happy. In the world of participation trophies, gender fluidity, and sensitivity training, society is no longer molding us; we are molding it. We no longer ask what we can contribute to society, we demand that society contribute to our well-being.

~ Soul mates? Read the whole thing, but here’s a peek:

The “soul mate” concept is unworkable and completely unfair to the real other person in your life. It puts enormous pressure on him or her to perform, to meet our impossible expectations. As Jerry Root and Stan Guthrie point out in “The Sacrament of Evangelism,” putting others in God’s place—expecting them to give us what only He can—is a naked form of idolatry and will only lead to deep disappointment.

Here’s another thing. The “soul mate” idea suggests that marriage is all about me, that I need to find someone who understands me perfectly, who makes me happy. Marriage should be about finding someone you can make happy. In the great teaching on marriage in Ephesians, for example, husbands are told to lay down their lives for their wives, as Christ did for the church.

Well, my knitting project and Netlix are calling, and I’ve only got about an hour or so before my eyelids get too heavy.

Thanks for hanging around,
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saturday afternoon

It’s another gray, gloomy Saturday, but at least we have a little taste of cooler fall temperatures. I’m happily at home, with a huge pot of Brunswick stew (recipe below) on the stove, a sweet dog nearby, and football on the big screen. We’re dog-sitting for my parents this weekend, so I’ve had a little sidekick:

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I haven’t made Brunswick stew in years, but Paul and Stephen both expressed an interest. (I really like cooking when folks appreciate it.) People can get a little crazy over Brunswick stew preferences, but here’s the tried and true recipe I use. I love that it makes a huge pot because leftovers are always a blessing.

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Brunswick Stew

1 whole fryer (about 3 pounds)

2 stalks celery – cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small onion – quartered

water

2 (10-oz) packages frozen lima beans

2 (10-oz) packages frozen kernel corn

1 cup chopped onion

2 (28-oz) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped

1 (8-oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped

3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon salt

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper, or to taste

Combine chicken, celery, onion, and enough water to almost cover the chicken in a large stock pot; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove chicken, celery, and onion from broth, reserving broth in pot; discard celery and onion. Cool chicken; skin, bone, and coarsely chop meat. Add chicken, lima beans, and remaining ingredients to broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered about 4 1/2 hours or until desired consistency, stirring often. Add water if/as needed.
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The Auburn game is starting in a few minutes, so I’ll be flipping back and forth between that and the UGA/Bama game while knitting. Go Dawgs! 🙂

Oh, and another tidbit about the Brunswick stew: My dad says it’s good to eat when you’re sick because it looks the same coming up as it does going down. You’re welcome.

Happy Saturday y’all and War Eagle!

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hey there

As you already know if you follow me on instagram, I’m once again obsessed with knitting. That has cut into my reading time — and into my blogging. So here’s a brief attempt at catching up a little.

~ I mentioned that when my son was visiting recently, he interviewed me for his podcast. That episode is now up, so you can listen in to our late night conversation if you’re so inclined. We chatted about photography, blogging, knitting, football, and my need for speed. It’s a pretty mellow episode, so grab some caffeine first.

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~ I’m working on an easy drop stitch scarf with a skein of yarn I bought earlier this year in California. It’s turning out really cool, and it’s an easy pattern.

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~ September is coming to a dreary, wet close. It looks gray and cool outside, but it’s really muggy and warm. I’m pretending otherwise, however, and am putting myself in a fall frame of mind with flowers, a scented candle, and lots of coffee.

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~ I’m still working on the 1 Peter Memory Moleskine, but I’m not on schedule. I’m not giving up, though.

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So that’s a quick round-up of what’s going on around here.

Happy fall y’all,
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random thoughts

~ I don’t know what’s worse: walking out of a dressing room when nothing fits or walking out when everything fits.

~ We recently rented a condo on the Gulf coast, and it was crammed full of useless “decorative” items (a large frog with artificial greenery coming out of the top, odd fish-shaped vases, etc.). It was a small studio condo, which was all we needed, but it felt even smaller because of all the clutter. Less really is more, you know.

~ Fall is in the air. I’m so happy. But what’s with the pumpkin-spiced everything? We recently went to a Mexican restaurant, and at their hostess desk, a heavily fall-scented candle was burning. Um, pumpkin-spiced Mexican food does not smell good, y’all.

~ I went back on Whole30 for a whole five days. It made a difference, though, and I do feel better. It was a good detox from vacation.

~ Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Trader Joe’s and get some dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Or don’t. So there will be more for me.

~ I’m back on a knitting binge. I’ve got so many projects in progress and in the queue, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got my Auburn football scarf all ready to resume during tonight’s game, a spur-of-the-moment easy drop stitch scarf on my needles, a complicated shawl waiting patiently at the bottom of my awesome knitting tote, a wrap I’m itching to start, a class to take in a couple of weeks, and countless patterns pinned and saved in Ravelry.

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~ Today is a Saturday with nothing on the calendar except a football game tonight. I’ll be making a Costco run, cooking, and cleaning, with college football as my soundtrack. Yep, I love fall.

~ Late start this morning. Yay!

~ Hey, if you’re in a drive-thru line, would you please consider pulling up close to the car in front of you? When you leave a car length or more, you leave folks hanging out in the road. Thanks ever so much.

~ I’ve got a bad case of TrumpFatigue. Seriously. I don’t want to hear any more about him.

~ Speaking of politics, so glad Boehner is out and I wish he’d grab a few others as he heads off into the sunset.

Signing off now to get started on my Saturday. What’s on your agenda?

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saturday

I can’t believe I’m saying this after that terrible loss to LSU, but yesterday was a really good day. My son was down for a visit, and we spent the day together. He had a podcast interview with The Sturdy Brothers in Thomasville, so we headed north on a beautiful fall day. We enjoyed coffee at our favorite spot, and then he did his interview while I camped out at The Fuzzy Goat to knit. It’s the coziest spot in town.

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On the way out of town, we stopped by my sister’s house for a visit with their family, and then we grabbed a late lunch in Tallahassee before getting home to watch LSU crush Auburn. I worked on my Auburn scarf (more on that project later) while wailing and gnashing my teeth.

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Paul took Will for a ride in his beloved 1970 Camaro, and he gave Will a turn at the wheel. I missed all of that fun, but I did snap a pic in the driveway.

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After the game Paul, Will, and I went out for sushi, and we just happened to find out during our conversation that Paul had never seen Face/Off.  We rectified that after dinner, and Paul may never forgive us. Around 10:30, Will remembered that he was going to interview me for a future podcast, so we did a late night (waaaayyy past my bedtime!) thing that will probably be as exciting as an NPR episode. (More on this later, too.)

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I ended the day by watching Ole Miss beat Bama – the cherry on top of my day. 😉

Family, football, knitting, hanging out, a beautiful day… these are a few of my favorite things.

Tired but happy,

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random thoughts

~ I’m very rarely bored, and it’s hard for me to understand those who frequently say they are. (I bite my tongue to avoid quoting my grandmother: “If you’re bored, you’re boring.”) But lately I find myself quite bored (maybe uninterested is a better word) with certain topics (celebrities who cheat on their wives with younger women — yawn, how unoriginal!) and with politics (we’ve got to put up with this stuff until November 2017???).

~ I’ve been knitting again — just an easy knit one/purl one scarf — and I’m enjoying it. I need to get some Christmas projects planned and started soon.

~ Yes, Christmas! It will be here before we know it.

~ We’re less than a month away from the kickoff of Auburn University football!

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~ I’ve been trying out Audible during my commute. Honestly, I struggle to pay attention when I listen to a book. When I read one, however, I can tune everything else out. So I thought a Michael Connelly thriller might keep my attention, and so far, so good.

~ I recently finished reading Dennis Prager’s Happiness Is A Serious Problem, and I’ve been sharing quotes here and there. Here’s another one:

If you value growth, you will value virtually every situation because there are very few situations from which you cannot learn and therefore grow.

Lots of opportunities for growth and learning around here!

Happy Thursday!
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random thoughts

~ No television series should go longer than 5 seasons. Inevitably, characters do things totally out of character, writers and producers indulge in silliness, and there are bizarre dream sequences and awkward musicals.

~ Since Paul gave me a FitBit for Christmas, I’ve begun thinking in steps and miles. Since I got it set up Christmas evening, I’ve walked more than a marathon in the course of my daily routine. I’m strangely motivated by this:

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~ I’ve been intentionally reading more this new year, and I’m truly enjoying it. I recently finished About A Boy. It was an easy, amusing, yet serious read. I had to smile when I got to these lines. If you’re a Dennis Prager fan, you’ll understand:

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~ I had to show my ID recently to purchase cold/sinus medicine. I guess they knew that you needed to be a certain age in order to handle the sharp implement necessary to open the little pill packs. (And, hey, how is it not racist to require an ID to purchase medicine? That’s the argument for no ID for voting, isn’t it? Who are all the haters who want minorities to go without Mucinex?)

~ If our government is going to continue to be involved in the minutiae of our lives, I have another suggestion for a law: Ban radio commercials that have sirens in them. It drives me crazy to have to check my mirrors and wonder if an ambulance or fire truck is in my path.

~ Random thoughts, random photos:

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~ Our recent southwest Georgia weather reminds me of Belgium — wet, cold, and gray. I would love to see some sunshine.

~ I love, love, love the Anhaica bucket bag I received for Christmas. It’s perfect for toting my current knitting project.

Happy Thursday, y’all!
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monday miscellany

~ I’ve had the dictionary.com app on my phone for ages, but for some reason I recently started receiving word-of-the-day emails from them. I think I should attempt to use the new word in a sentence at least once every day. Sometimes the word is a challenge to drop into conversation:

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~ 3 Facts for your fret

~ Trisha’s word for 2015.

~ Mike Rowe on following your passion. This is good stuff.

~ “You can sum up God’s agenda for your life in one word…

~ Our colder than usual weather has me wanting to knit this up STAT.

Happy Monday to you!

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