Finished Object: Nipote

It took me six months from cast on to last end woven in, and missed its recipient’s birth by a month and a half, but the baby blanket I have knitted for my nephew, lovingly called “Nipote” (both the blanket and the nephew), is finally finished.

I would have loved to give this a nice photo shoot outside, but the last couple of days were rainy and cloudy. Today it’s been sunnier, but the ground is still damp.

Anyways, let me introduce you to my latest finished object, Nipote.

Yes, that’s a router box it’s sitting on.

Here are some of the specifics:

  • Pattern: I didn’t use a pre-designed pattern for this one, but I used this tutorial as a template, and the base consisted of 13 triangles of 8 stitches each. All of the tiers and side and end triangles also have a base number of 8 stitches. The tutorial is free and also has a YouTube video embedded if you’re more of a visual learner or just need a visual refresher on certain steps.
  • Yarn: Caron Simply Soft, in Soft Blue and White; I ended up using maybe a skein and a half in the blue and 2 full skeins and part of a third in the white. (You’ll learn why I used more white in a minute.)
  • Needles: U.S. #7 (4.5 mm) circular needles, 29 inches. (This project is worked flat, but the cable supports the weight of the knitting better than straight needles do. Believe me, I learned that the hard way.)

I cast on for this blanket back in March, when my sister-in-law would have been around 5 months pregnant. The technique I used is called “garterlac”, which is entrelac worked in garter stitch. The primary difference between the two techniques is that while entrelac uses stockinette stitch to give the short row blocks a woven texture, the garterlac uses two different types of garter stitch to achieve sort of a harlequin style appearance. Depending on which side I was picking up stitches from, the blue tiers were done in knit garter (stitches were picked up and knit, and the short rows were worked with knit stitches and ssk — slip, slip, knit — decreases); the white tiers were done in purl garter (stitches picked up and purled, with the short rows being worked with purl stitches and p2tog — purl 2 together — decreases).

Now you may notice that the stitching in the white blocks looks a little looser than in the blue. This is due to my knitting style. I tend to purl looser than I knit, and unfortunately switching to a smaller needle to work the purl rows would have proven too cumbersome, as I would have had to slip all the stitches from the previous tier from one circular needle to another one before I could begin working the next tier. When taking a look at the white tiers compared to the blue ones, I realized the visual difference wasn’t all that jarring. So I just decided to work with the same needle all the way through. The only major issue was that I needed a little more yarn to work the white tiers since the looser gauge used up more yarn. I ended up getting two skeins in the blue and three skeins in the white.

As of this post, I have not yet met Nipote. He’s almost two months old (he’ll reach that mark in a little over a week). My sister-in-law has been especially cautious about COVID possibly getting into their home, and hasn’t really let anyone visit. Also, with any newborn there’s usually some chaos going on as everybody starts to settle into a new routine. At least this is the last baby they plan on having, so the chaos is going on one last time. I’m hoping once my dad and I are fully vaccinated (which should be by the second week of October), they’ll finally let us come over and meet him. Anyway, at least this blanket is finally finished and ready to give to the recipient and his parents when we finally do get to meet him!

Before I go, I’ve got a couple of quick updates of what is currently on my needles.

I’ve been working on the Study Hall shawl by Sarah Schira, which is available for free on Knitty. The original pattern calls for some fancier yarn on size 6 and 7 needles, but I’m using Red Heart Ombré (in True Blue, which is a gradient yarn) and Red Heart Super Saver (in Black) and size 9 and 10 needles. I’ve gotten most of the second section done, but I’m excited to get to the slip stitch section. Should be nice and cozy when it’s done.

I’ve also resumed work on my Neapolitan blanket after it was in hibernation for the better part of a year. I’m currently working on a round of brown rectangles, which will then be followed by a round of white rectangles, and then I’m thinking of adding the final large corner squares and finishing with a narrow brown border.

What have you all been up to? I’d love to hear about your latest projects (be it yarny, or written, or even just some sort of renovation project). In the meantime, I’m off to get ready to cook a slow cooker stroganoff. I’ve made it before, it’s delicious.

9/11: Twenty Years Later.

This is the first time I’ve decided to write a post about 9/11 (or 11/9 for my international readers) in the four or so years I’ve been writing this blog. There’s been reasons why I’ve avoided it over the years. For one, I watched much of the events of that day play out on live TV, and I have had little desire to relive those events over and over again. 9/11 was the “flashbulb memory” of my generation (the Millennials), much like JFK’s assassination was to young Baby Boomers or the Challenger disaster was to young Gen-Xers.

Today marks 20 years since that incredibly tragic morning that forever changed the course of history, opening a chapter that spanned four presidencies of both major parties that has only recently just ended. But I’m not going to get to that part just yet. I’m going to start with my own experience of that day…that late summer day in 2001, less than two weeks before that year’s autumnal equinox.

That Day.

The morning of September 11th, 2001, started off like any normal morning. I was a fresh-faced 14-year-old (okay…actually, it was more like slightly acne-ridden and I had a smile that was almost ready to have the metal braces from my mouth removed…but I digress). I had just started my freshman year of high school a month earlier and was only just feeling like I had settled into a routine in this new environment that I was trying to navigate. (Where I’m from, 9th grade or “freshman year” is the first year of high school, so this was indeed a brand new school for me.) My English class was actually scheduled to meet with a group of exchange students that day, so I actually dressed nicely. I wore a sleeveless blue and green paisley dress and white wedge shoes that day. (I should mention at this point in my life I had only just begun some of the weight gain that would end up defining my teenage years, so I was actually of average size at the time.) Anyway, I went to school as usual that morning.

My first class of the day was actually a gym class, specifically tennis class (my high school offered physical education classes in specific sports that would count towards your P.E. credits on your diploma, and tennis was one of them). For my first class, which started around 7:30 that morning, I ended up dressing out into my P.E. uniform and went to class. Our classes were split into four 90-minute periods and the classes themselves would change every quarter (our grading periods were four quarters of nine weeks each), so my class ended around 9:00 that morning, and we’d go to the locker rooms to dress back into our street clothes about 10 minutes or so before the bell to end that class rang. So, right around the time the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center (8:46 am), I would have been getting ready to go back to the Girls Locker Room.

Now, I had absolutely no clue of what had just happened at that time, because this was 2001. This was before the age of smartphones and social media. Cell phones with internet capabilities were around at this time, but the phones were usually clamshell flip phones that charged by the minute how much data you used to go online. Text messaging was only just becoming a thing for teenagers, and schools would have normally outright banned the use of cell phones during school hours anyway (although if one’s parents were well off, they would sometimes let their kids carry a cell phone in case of emergencies). So, the way we would have found out about the events of that morning would be either by logging onto an actual computer (whose internet browser would probably have some sort of news site as its home page) or by turning on a TV.

I arrived at my second period class, Biology Honors. Now, at my high school, we had an actual TV Productions class, with a classroom that also functioned as a TV studio. There were a few levels of the TV Productions courses, and typically one of the advanced levels of the course was scheduled for the early periods, and they would produce and air the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the morning announcements. These announcements would air during the early minutes of second period over the school’s closed circuit TV system. Well, the announcements didn’t come on that morning. And that’s when I first noticed something was not quite right.

What we saw on the TV instead was live footage from NBC’s Today show. In those first few minutes, the first thought in my mind was not “Planes have struck the Twin Towers”, but rather:

“Oh my God, the World Trade Center’s on fire!”

The second plane had just struck the South Tower minutes before I had arrived in class. It would be a few minutes before my classmates and I realized the actuality and the gravity of what was going on. The hijacking and crashing of the other two planes into The Pentagon and the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania both happened during that Biology class. By the end of class an hour and a half later, both of the Twin Towers had collapsed. I remember the gasps and “whoas” of the boys in my class as the towers came down. I remember feeling numb, helpless, and dumbfounded as we all watched the events play out on live TV. I’m pretty sure the news of both of the other crashes broke during that class as well. We’d later find out that a classmate reportedly lost his uncle in the attacks.

Much of the rest of that school day was a blur. Lunch was a blur, and English class was mostly a blur. I do remember our teacher asking us to write about our thoughts on the day’s events in our journals. I don’t actually remember what I wrote that day. My final class of the day was Chorus, which had been through its own drama. (Our original teacher basically quit or left a week or two into the term and he was replaced by a long-term substitute who had previously long-subbed one of my science classes in middle school.) I don’t remember much of that class either other than the sub basically scaring us into thinking that they were going to bring back the draft (forced conscription). He basically went around asking all the boys in the class how old they were, and he’d reply with, “In ___ years, you’ll be going to war.” (The blank representing how many years it would be before they turned 18, which is when American men become eligible for the draft. Even now, all male citizens are usually required to sign up for the Selective Service System upon turning 18 in case the government needs to bring back the draft. I was exempt from this because I’m a female.)

The rest of that day after school is hard for me to remember.

The Immediate Aftermath.

The weeks and months following that day saw what I can only describe as shared grief. Not just in my own little microcosm, but all over the country. So many people either had a family member or friend or partner die that day. I saw “United We Stand” signs going up in yards, or as bumper stickers on cars. I got a long sleeved blouse festooned in American flags and wore it on the 11th of each month for almost a year. I used my backpack as an opportunity to share my anger towards the cowardly terrorists responsible. (“How?”, you ask. On the flat side of the backpack that would normally rest against my back, I wrote my feelings on there in Sharpie, that’s how.) We grieved and cried and stayed solemn until a few weeks later, when then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (who at this time was a respected figure among both major political parties and was a far cry from what he’s become now) gave Saturday Night Live creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels permission for his show to be funny and for America to laugh again. The New York Yankees (who are based in The Bronx, while the attack took place in the nearby borough of Manhattan) went all the way to the World Series that year, but were defeated in the decisive final game of the Series, Game 7, by the Arizona Diamondbacks almost two months after the attacks.

This brief period before the beginning of the Afghanistan War later that year was one full of promise and optimism despite all the pain we were experiencing. There was one Saturday Night Live sketch in particular that I think summed up the spirit of this time perfectly. It’s since become known as not just one of Will Ferrell’s most memorable moments, but one of the most memorable in the show’s history.

But that brief window of optimism began to close and close quickly.

The Ensuing Decades.

It turned out that the attacks were the opening salvo in what is now known as the “War on Terror”. Within a month, we began sending troops into Afghanistan, which at the time I was okay with because we believed that the mastermind behind the attacks (we all know his name, I will not glorify him by writing it here, but I will refer to him as “The Mastermind”) was in hiding there.

I could debate whether we really should have invaded Iraq a year and a half later, but I know the specifics behind why we invaded and whether we should have invaded would be certain to invite flame wars, which I for one am not really interested in starting. The point is that we invaded, and I will admit the response to that war really began my complicated relationship with my opinion on the military. Suddenly, it became the norm for people to affix yellow “Support Our Troops” magnets to their cars, almost as if to say, “If you don’t support this war, you’re not a real American.” I remember going on day trips to a family friend’s house out in the rural part of Central Florida, and on the road where we’d turn onto to head towards that house, we’d see this large sign that read in huge letters: “We proudly support our troops. You either stand with us or you stand against us.”

I honestly think it was the Iraq War, even more so than Barack Obama’s election as President in 2008, that was truly the beginning of our hyper-polarization of our national politics. Unlike Afghanistan, there seemed to be a lot of disagreement on whether the invasion of Iraq (and the subsequent overthrow of the authoritarian dictator running the country) was justified. Anti-war protests popped up all over the country. And looking back on history, the pro-war side pretty loudly echoed the pro-war side during the Vietnam War some four decades earlier. Unlike in the Vietnam War, though, the anti-war side during the Iraq War never quite had the loudness or the clout that they had during the Vietnam War. But I sure do remember the pro-war people pretty strongly doubting the patriotism of the anti-war people. And I did tend to sympathize more with the anti-war people. Even now, I still think of myself as mostly a pacifist, but I’m no longer an idealistic one. I realize that self-defense is sometimes necessary.

The polarization had gotten so bad that when The Mastermind was finally found and killed in 2011, my dad openly questioned whether or not he was really dead. There had begun a major distrust in government that would permeate throughout much of the decade.

It took me a while to figure out that one could still support members of the military without necessarily supporting what they were sent to do. Our military, though its members are deserving of respect and admiration for doing one of the most selfless things a person can do (put their life on the line in service for their country), are not gods. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen…they’re all human beings with flaws. My dad could have been very easily called into combat if needed during the four years he spent in the Marine Corps. He had the training and this is what he signed up for. He got lucky in that he enlisted in the post-Vietnam period.

The Iraq War basically killed the idea of nuance when it comes to patriotism. And the fact of the matter is that patriotism isn’t always black-and-white, especially when we get ourselves involved in war. We can love our country and also wish for it to do better — better for its people, better for its service people, better for its own prosperity. Sadly, it seems that a lot of people (whether it be about war or vaccines) have lost sight of that.

20 Years Later…What Have We Learned?

First off, I think we’ve learned the following the hard way: Declaring war on a concept or ideology almost always does not go well. As we saw last month in Afghanistan, the war there had essentially delayed the inevitable: the people who were in power before we invaded are back in power, like they never went away. Another lesson we’ve learned is: We cannot build nations for people who do not want them. At times I really do hope that our days of imperialistic policy and nation building are behind us. We cannot be everything to everyone in the world.

Twenty years later, the girl who looked on at the TV screen in horror as the World Trade Center was aflame on live TV has grown into a woman who is at times cautiously optimistic, but at the same time realistically cynical about the state of the world. Her expectations and aspirations have been worn down by reality, but somehow she still keeps a small flame of positivity, even if it’s only a flicker now instead of a torch.

Twenty years later, that TV show that made it okay for us to laugh again is still on the air…and one of the cast members of Saturday Night Live, Pete Davidson, is the son of a firefighter who lost his life trying to save people in the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Twenty years later, the unity that we saw in the immediate aftermath of the attacks is now nothing but a distant memory. The name calling, the demonization of perceived political opponents, the absolute negativity has now become a regular part of political and social discourse. We’ve been at the scourge of the worst pandemic to strike the world in over a century, and we’ve managed to make it worse in our country because of the division and bickering over how to manage it, how to treat it, and even whether to get vaccinated against it.

(Had we had this attitude over a half century ago, the world would still be dealing with smallpox.)

Twenty years later, we are seeing how 9/11 has changed us. In some ways, it changed us for the better. But in many ways, it also changed us for the worse. What hasn’t changed, though, is the fact that it changed us all. It was one of those days that lives on as a significant day in the annals of history, along with days like:

  • 15 March 44 BCE (the date of Caesar’s assassination)
  • 28 June 1914 (Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which triggered World War I)
  • 1 September 1939 (the day Germany, under Hitler, invaded Poland, triggering World War II)
  • 6 June 1944 (D-Day)
  • 9 November 1989 (the Fall of the Berlin Wall, which was the beginning of the fall of communism in Eastern Europe)

Today is a solemn day for all of us. As we reflect on how the events of 11 September 2001 have affected us over the last two decades, let us also remember the lives of the nearly 3,000 people killed that day, and their families and friends. Two decades seems like a long time, but a lot has happened in those years. Let us hopefully, finally, find some peace amidst all the turmoil…even if that peace is ultimately a pipe dream.

Better Later Than Never

I know I’ve been putting off getting my COVID vaccination for a while, but I’m finally getting my first dose. And so will my dad.

Yes, he’s in the demographic that would be vaccine hesitant (older, white, politically conservative)…but he’s also employed at a job that pays him well for what he does and it’s a job that he actually likes. His employer hasn’t begun requiring employees to get vaccinated yet, but they’ve been asking employees whether they have and are strongly encouraging employees to get vaccinated. He doesn’t want to risk getting fired later, so he has begrudgingly decided to get vaccinated. I offered to get vaccinated along with him, mostly for my own peace of mind, but also so he wouldn’t have to do it alone. Luckily, it’s still being offered for free regardless of insurance status, so even my uninsured self can get it.

So what we ended up doing was that we both set up appointments online to get it done at a local pharmacy. They would have taken walk-ins anyway, but things just flow much easier when you set up an appointment. Because we set our appointments up separately, we’re getting them done on different days. We’re getting ours on the same day of the week, but one week apart. He’s getting his first dose this week, while I’m getting mine next week.

I’ve been wanting to get vaccinated for a while now, but I didn’t quite know how to bring it up with my dad. So, in a way, his employer encouraging employees to get vaccinated was kind of a good thing. And hopefully us getting vaxxed will ease some of my sister-in-law’s concerns about us possibly bringing in COVID with three kids ages 5 and under (including a newborn). I don’t know if my brother and sister-in-law are getting or have gotten vaccinated (even though they both already had and recovered from COVID earlier this year; SIL may have to wait a little while anyway because she’s in the period where she’d be nursing, although her first two babies, I think, were formula fed). Given that none of their kids are currently old enough to get the COVID vaccine, it would be smart of them to get it and get that extra barrier of protection.

It’s still a Petri dish 🧫 down here, and the Delta variant has been rampaging its way through the South. My dad and I have been lucky to avoid contracting it thus far, mostly due to us being isolated for the most part (we don’t really go anywhere on weekends, when my dad is off from work), my dad’s job being at night and working with a small crew (and thus being away from large groups of people), and me masking up when I do go out to get groceries every couple of weeks. Even after being fully vaccinated, I still plan to mask up in those situations so I can do my part to avoid becoming a carrier of the virus. I can’t trust other people around me to be responsible human beings, but I can do everything I can to be responsible for myself.

The Delta variant has certainly put a damper on some activities, but I still keep wondering what we might be able to do once we’re fully vaxxed (which should be early October). TBH, I wouldn’t mind just the two of us going for a drive around the more rural areas (which is something he and my mom loved to do), maybe getting a bite to eat at a mom-and-pop restaurant or something. I haven’t left my home county in over a year, maybe a year and a half. It’s been ages since I’ve been to a restaurant…at least since before my mom’s condition worsened and left her increasingly homebound until her final decline early last year. I’d even be okay with eating outside and swatting flies if I have to.

I know there are some of you out there who may be hesitant to get vaccinated, and that’s okay. I’m not going to be judgmental to you about that. Trying to shame a person over their choices is just a bad idea all around.

I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about the vaccines and how they work in recent months, and ultimately I think the benefits far outweigh the risks. I have had a dislike of needles for many years and still can’t bear the sight of seeing a needle going into skin, but for me the fear of contracting COVID while unvaccinated is even worse. The vast majority of new cases and hospitalizations consist of unvaccinated people. A small fraction of cases (“breakthrough infections”) have been in vaccinated people, and an even smaller fraction have been hospitalized or died. While no vaccine is 100% effective, it’s clearly like the infectious disease equivalent of a condom: some protection, when used or taken properly, is better than no protection at all.

I could explain how the mRNA vaccines (the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines here in the U.S., the former of which has just gotten full approval from the FDA rather than just for emergency use) actually work, but this Twitter thread actually did a pretty effective job of it. Here is the first tweet in the thread.

(There is also a TED-Ed video on YouTube that explains the whole process in less than 5 minutes, which can be seen here.)

This whole pandemic has affected humanity in ways we haven’t seen since maybe the 1918 Flu pandemic or even the Black Death (bubonic plague) in the 1300s. I’m pretty sure each of us has known somebody who has either contracted the disease or even died from it, if we haven’t contracted it ourselves. I could go on and on about how the irresponsible behavior of people has made this even worse than it could have been, but it would be futile. The fact of the matter is that 38 million people in this country (a little over 10% of our population) have caught the virus, and 631,000 have died from it. My brother and sister-in-law were two of the 38 million, and my sister-in-law’s grandmother was one of the 631,000. My brother and sister-in-law both fall into the category of white and conservative, the same demographic that have typically been vaccine-hesitant. But my sister-in-law would probably also give anything to have just a little more time with her grandmother.

To try and convince everyone around me to get the vaccine would be an effort mostly in vain, but I can take action for myself. And I’m glad my dad’s taking action for himself, too, even if the motivations are different from emotional appeal.

Better later than never, I guess.

One Heck of a Saturday

So, when I last posted, I had just let you all know that I had a nephew about to arrive.

Well, the little guy kicked off this past weekend by making his glorious arrival at 12:28 Saturday morning. He came in weighing just a little over 8 pounds and was otherwise a healthy baby. Not surprisingly, he is named after my brother (as for as long as I can remember, my brother was set on naming his son after himself if he ever had one). I’m not going to post his name here, so I will keep referring to him as “Nipote” on here. I’ve seen a few pictures of him that my sister-in-law shared, and he totally looks like my brother’s Mini-Me. 😂 Then again, all three of my brother’s kids looked like his Mini-Me when they were born. Oldest niece, R., now looks more like a blend of both of her parents, while Bambina definitely looks more like my brother.

I have not met Nipote yet (he only came home from the hospital yesterday), but I imagine my dad and I will eventually. It’s probably best for now that we give them a little time to settle into a routine with the little guy. The blanket I am working on is not finished, but the majority of it is done. I had planned to make it 13 base triangles by 13 side triangles in garterlac, and I have 10 of the 13 side triangle tiers done. However, the white tiers have had to be done in purl garter, which comes out at a slightly larger gauge because I purl looser than I knit. This eats up the white yarn more quickly, and I may have to get one more skein of white yarn to finish it (although that will be a couple of weeks from now if I need to). Luckily, the dimensions are large enough that it could double as a crawling mat when he’s a little older.

Coincidentally, I also felt ready to finally get a proper haircut, almost a year and a half after I had buzzed off my hair. My reasons for wanting to cut it now were pretty much practical, as it’s the middle of summer right now and it’s hot and humid here in Florida. My thick and wavy hair and the sweat that’s caused by the Florida heat don’t mix. It hadn’t gotten to the point where it was getting heavy, but it was getting long and it was just time to nip it in the bud.

Here’s what it looked like just a few days before.

Me sheepishly trying to hide my double chin…

You can see it was about shoulder length, maybe just barely long enough to get into a ponytail.

So, just a few hours after finding out about my nephew’s birth (which my dad informed me of just after I got up that morning), after we got some cash to pay for it, I went into the hair salon housed in the local Walmart (since I was going to do the grocery shopping afterward). The girl who did my hair was a Latina girl, probably in her twenties, with very curly hair. She was super-nice and helped me figure out how exactly we were going to execute the hairstyle I had in mind. She washed my hair and then we went over to her station so she could get to work on cutting it.

I definitely had something quite short in mind. I usually like having a little hair to play with as well, so a Peter Pan-type pixie style was out of the question for me. I ended up asking for a layered pixie style, which ended up working out really well for my hair. The hairstylists who’ve worked on my hair in the past have always fawned over how much they love working with my hair type: thick and wavy. This girl was no different. Buzz cut aside, this is the shortest I’ve ever had my hair done professionally.

Much of how my hair was shaped was done with a razor comb, although the front areas of my hair were cut in a way that it falls around my cheekbones (more flattering for my face, especially since I have a double chin) and I can part it off-center (also a little more flattering; I lost the ability to part it off-center as my hair had grown out). Before I went to go pay for the haircut, she put in some volumizer and conditioner to bring out the waviness in my hair, which I was okay with for that day, although I typically don’t put a lot of products in my hair (usually shampoo and conditioner, and maybe the occasional bit of mousse). Here is the result from Saturday.

I also took some pictures that evening as the sun was setting, to see if it would bring out the blonde in my hair.

The following day, I brushed my hair out, which got rid of some of the product in it and smoothed out the hair.

I actually washed my hair yesterday morning, and I currently don’t have any product in it.

So far, the new hairstyle feels great. I don’t know how often I’ll have to trim it, though!

How was your weekend?

An Announcement

Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, this announcement does not involve me personally, but it involves my family.

I will be becoming an aunt for the third time. In fact, it will be happening in the next few weeks.

And this time, I’m gaining a nephew! That’s right, my brother and sister-in-law are having a boy. Which means I have to come up with a new code name!

Luckily, I already have a good code name for the little guy, thanks to Assassin’s Creed II. I’m going to refer to this one as “Nipote” (pronounced “nee-PO-tay”), which is Italian for “nephew” and is also what Ezio’s uncle Mario referred to him as in the game rather than by his name. Also, since one of his sisters has an Italian code name (my younger niece, who I usually call “The Bambina” on here), going with one for my nephew makes sense.

So, why did I wait so long to share the news with you? The simple answer is: my sister-in-law (the one carrying this baby) has not posted about her pregnancy this time around. Her pregnancies have caused her to become kind of withdrawn every single time. Also, in between her pregnancy with The Bambina and this one with Nipote, she suffered a miscarriage. My dad and I didn’t find out about the miscarriage until right around the time we found out she was pregnant, which was late last year. She suspected she was pregnant back in October, but they (she and my brother) didn’t confirm the news with my dad and I until around Christmas of last year. My brother also confirmed with my dad and me a few weeks ago that this pregnancy will be their last. I haven’t asked my sister-in-law why she hasn’t posted anything about her current pregnancy, as it’s her choice and she’s not obligated to justify anything to me.

(And if you’ve been paying attention to my past posts, this means that yes, she contracted COVID while she was pregnant. Thankfully she has since recovered, and the baby will likely be born with COVID antibodies in his immune system.)

Nipote is due to be born later this month. I actually have two old friends/classmates who have also been pregnant during this time, and one of them is about 2 weeks ahead of my sister-in-law in her pregnancy (the other one gave birth to a baby boy just a few days ago). Based on that, I suspect my sister-in-law is due sometime in late July, which opens up the possibility that he could be born on my mom’s birthday (July 17th, which would be an appropriate tribute to her, I think) or my dad’s (which is July 21st; my parents’ birthdays were four days apart, but my mom was 7 years older).

Before this post, I had actually only revealed this news to a handful of people outside the family: The Lady Bryan (aka my bestie IRL), our mutual friend/my closest guy friend, the old friend of mine who is due two weeks before my sister-in-law, and a handful of people on Ravelry and Instagram. As with my nieces, I will not be publicly revealing my nephew’s name on here. But I will still be referring to him as “Nipote” on here even after he’s born.

I actually do have a project in the works for the little guy, although I don’t know if it will be done in time for his birth, but it’s an adorable blue and white garterlac blanket (that can also be big enough to become a play mat when he starts crawling) that I am fittingly calling “Nipote”. As of this post, it’s a little over halfway through the length I’m going for (enough to make roughly a large square). I won’t be posting pictures of it right now, but I’ll probably write up a dedicated post for this blanket once it’s finished. I will say, the white tiers have been harder for me to knit in one piece because it’s done in purl garter stitch (to give it a right side and a wrong side), and I tend to purl looser than I knit. So these tiers end up looking slightly bigger and looser gauge than the blue tiers (which are done in knit garter) because I’m too lazy to move all the stitches to a smaller needle for the whole tier. But the difference isn’t so jarring that it bothers me visually, so at least I’m at peace with that.

I hope to be able to let you know soon when my nephew has arrived. Here’s to hoping mother and baby do well when the time comes! I can’t wait to meet him.

How is it June Already?!?!?!

Self-explanatory, really: how is it June already?!?!?!

Well, the most notable thing going on around here recently is that we’ve been replacing and installing appliances left and right.

First off, the refrigerator. It turns out what was causing our fridge problem was a clogged vent. But…we didn’t realize this until after we had ordered a new refrigerator. We first offered the old fridge to my brother to use as a garage fridge, but he turned it down saying that he already had one and didn’t want to upset A., which is understandable. We actually still have the old fridge in our kitchen, waiting to be moved out. We’ve been waiting for my brother to come over and help move it out, but he hasn’t had the time yet. This is why our new microwave hasn’t been installed yet, either. It’s an over-the-range model from Samsung that will certainly require an extra set of hands to install. But for now, we have the old fridge standing in the middle of our kitchen, looking like those giant Monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The old fridge, which will require a lot of cleaning inside, will be taken down to the curb, and what will likely happen is that a junker or scrapper will collect it (they love to snap things like these up and usually will before any garbage collector can) and will see if they can fix it up to sell later, which is fine by us.

My dad also bought two ceiling fans for the kitchen and dining areas (although both areas are still quite cluttered…I want to try and get both areas as well as the spare room cleared out, although I’m not throwing out my book collection; I want to put those in the spare room for now until I can eventually get myself a bookcase). We were able to get both fans installed without much issue. My dad did have to figure out some of the wiring issues, though, as switches to both fans were being overloaded. Luckily, as a technician by trade, he has some experience working with electrical stuff (his jobs have basically been mechanic, electrician, and technical skills all rolled into one), and was able to rewire one set of switches so that the less loaded one operates the dining room fan, and as for the kitchen fan, that one has some quirky wiring and switch work to begin with, so one of two switches can operate it. We just switched switches to operate that one. The fans, combined with the new roof, have done wonders on taking a load off of the air conditioner, which can get a lot of use during the summer and drive up energy costs. So far (and we’re in the early part of the hot season), we’ve managed to keep the house at a steady, comfortable temperature without having to fiddle with the air conditioner too much. We’ll see if this holds up for the rest of the summer.

I guess finally I should update you on how my reading is going so far this year.

Currently Reading — I started Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier about a couple of months ago but for some reason I haven’t gotten very far into it. It’s not a “not liking the book” issue, it’s more of a “distracted when I have energy and just tired when I don’t” issue. I also decided to try starting the Short Novels of John Steinbeck a little early, but I’m only a few chapters into the first novel, Tortilla Flat. What little I have read, though, has been all right.

Recently Read — The most recent full books I finished reading were Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (the final part of the Hunger Games trilogy) and Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. It took me a while to finish Mockingjay but ended up finishing it on the same day my dad and I watched the entire film series of The Hunger Games, and I think I finished Mockingjay during the Catching Fire film. Norwegian Wood took me just 11 days to finish and was a well-written (as well as well-translated, since I was reading the English translation of this Japanese novel), immersive novel that had stretches of where I just didn’t want to put my iPad down (I was reading the ebook). I have another Murakami in my ebook collection, Kafka on the Shore, that I’m saving for another time.

Recently Acquired — Physically, I’ve acquired four books this year so far:

  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance
  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

I also got a gift card for my birthday and I was able to get the following ebooks:

  • The African Trilogy by Chinua Achebe. It consists of Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, and No Longer at Ease, all set in what is now Nigeria, where Achebe was from, and are novels centering around people from the Igbo ethnic group before and during European colonization. I first heard of Things Fall Apart in an episode of Crash Course Literature, and I’ve been wanting to read it ever since.
  • Big Trouble by Dave Barry. He’s been a favorite author of mine since I was a teenager, and while most of his books are narrative humor nonfiction, this one is one of his first novels. It’s set in our home state, Florida (Barry spent many years writing a humor column for The Miami Herald and is still writing into his seventies) and has an alligator’s open jaws on the cover.
  • Fatal Purity by Ruth Scurr, a biography about the notorious French Revolution politician-turned-tyrant, Maximilien Robespierre.
  • The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman, about the first full month of World War I. This book won Tuchman her first of two Pulitzer Prizes, and she was the first woman to win a Pulitzer for nonfiction.
  • Precolonial Black Africa by Cheikh Anta Diop. I saw this on a list of best history books, and by chance I happened to see the ebook on sale at a discount a few minutes later. I have developed an interest in learning about African history in recent years, and unlike most African history books, which are often written by non-Africans and take a Eurocentric perspective, this one was written by a historian from what is now Senegal, and he writes about the history of Western Africa before the Europeans began colonizing it in the late 1800s.

The first anniversary of my mom’s death is in eight days. I don’t know how I’ll handle it, to be honest. Mother’s Day a few weeks ago was a bit rough to get through, but I did manage to get through it. The one bright spot of this is that the 10th falls on a Thursday, which is my dad’s first day off from work during a typical work week for him, so he may be feeling a little too tired to notice or get emotional.

But he carries her with him every day. On my dad’s phone, his lock screen has a picture of her smiling and clad in a Dale Earnhardt Jr. jacket during one of the last vacations my parents took together before the Alzheimer’s really started taking a toll on her. I’ll probably reflect on how’s he handled this more a bit closer to the actual day.

My older niece’s birthday is in four days. She’ll be turning 5, old enough to start kindergarten this fall. I keep thinking of how quickly time has gone by since she was born. It’s crazy. I think of this quote from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Have I been able to look around yet? It’d be nice if I finally could.

Stay safe, my friends, and I hope you’re having a good day.

Checking In

It’s been a heck of a month. We had our roof redone, some family members caught the COVID, and now our appliances may possibly be going kaput.

So, in order to revisit this, we have to go back a few months. My dad has been wanting to have the roof redone for several years, but for various reasons wasn’t able to make that happen. Around October of last year, though, he finally decided to start the process. First, he had to have the roof appraised and then secure some funding from our home insurance so that he wouldn’t have to pay so much out-of-pocket. Then, once he had selected a roofing company and secured the funding, there had to be a permit filed with the county before they could even purchase the materials they’d need to use. This took the longest to get done. It took something like three or four months to have all the paperwork come through.

The actual work on the roof took place during the week of my birthday (around the end of March). It took about 2 days for the roofers to complete the job. The first day involved removing the old shingles and installing new plywood. The second day involved the installation of new shingles and the replacing of the fascia (among other things). There was lots of noise and it drove the dog absolutely nuts, but once they finally finished the work, we were able to take a look. My dad originally wanted a metal roof, but the roofing company he used didn’t specialize in installing metal roofs, so he opted for higher-quality architectural shingles that are more durable than standard asphalt shingles. They do cost a bit more than standard shingles, but he felt the added cost was worth it. He also ordered them in the lightest color available, which is supposed to reflect sunlight rather than absorb the heat, which should keep the house cooler from the roof on down and help reduce energy costs during the summer. We’ll see how energy efficient this ends up being.

The one unfortunate part of this is that the color of the shingles clashes with the exterior paint job (which has the house currently a beige color with brown trim). Luckily, the neighbor that we are closest to in terms of neighbor-to-neighbor relationship paints houses for a living and has offered to paint our house once he can get enough paint together. However, there may be a delay in this, because he and his girlfriend got into a motorcycle accident last week that resulted in her being hospitalized with serious injuries that required surgery. (Thankfully, she’ll be able to recover.) He suffered more minor injuries, but was still kind of banged up. This is the second motorcycle wreck they’ve gotten into within the past year. As a result, he’s decided not to get another motorcycle for the time being. And this wreck also happened a couple of months after someone wrecked his SUV in a hit and run crash while he was at a gas station. Our neighbor’s a nice guy; it just seems that he’s one of those people where he doesn’t necessarily go looking for trouble, but trouble finds him.

Now…the COVID. Thankfully, it wasn’t me and my dad who got it. It was my brother and sister-in-law. My sister-in-law believes she caught it from her grandmother, who was hospitalized but wasn’t confirmed to have COVID until 3 days later. She and my brother both ended up developing it, but somehow their daughters avoided catching it. (I later told my brother, “It’s because they’re low to the ground!”, since both are under the age of 5.) My sister-in-law, A., got moderate symptoms (fever, chills, overall body pain and fatigue), but didn’t require hospitalization. My brother got mild symptoms (fever, loss of taste and smell), but took a little while longer to clear the virus and thus be able to return to work. Sadly, my sister-in-law’s grandmother lost her fight against the virus on April 1st. She had been in the hospital at least three weeks before she passed away. Her funeral was held last week. I only remember meeting her a couple of times. I don’t have the closest relationship with my sister-in-law’s side of the family because we simply don’t meet up all that much (even before the pandemic).

My dad and I were able to avoid contracting it from them because we live on the other side of town from them, and when they did come down with the virus, it had been a couple of months since the last time we’d seen them. For once, not visiting on a regular basis was actually a good thing! 😅 Dad and I are doing good health-wise. We have not been vaccinated yet, and I don’t know if my dad wants to. Personally, I’d like to try and look for work in the next few months, and I may look into getting vaccinated then once I start the process. Thankfully, the vaccines in Florida are being offered at no cost (out-of-pocket), so money and lack of insurance wouldn’t be an issue for me.

Now, as for the more recent stuff…it seems like everything in our kitchen is going on the fritz. First, it was the lighting on just about everything, from the ceiling fans to the fluorescent light over the sink. The fans will likely need to be replaced entirely, while when it comes to the fluorescent light over the sink, only the actual “bulb”/tube/whatever needs to be replaced. Since those went out, I’ve been opening the kitchen blinds during the day and using an auto shop light at night (which uses fluorescent lights; I’ve been hanging it off of the cabinet handles, which are metal).

Then last week, I started hearing a loud hum coming from the microwave whenever I’d try to run it. Some googling and figuring out the appliance’s age (it turns out this microwave is 20 years old, manufactured in 2001) led me to deduce that the magnetron (which generates the microwaves and heat in a microwave oven) may be going out. So, as a result, we’ve stopped using the microwave, and my dad is looking for a new one. Our current one is a Whirlpool Gold over-the-range microwave (which fits in the area right over the stove and connects to the exhaust fan) and has been good to us for most of these 20 years that we’ve had it. Just given the age, and not knowing whether there are compatible replacement parts out there, we’re probably better off just replacing it.

The only real inconvenience I’ve been dealing with (in regards to the microwave) is that we recently got off the meal delivery service plan and instead I’ve been getting Lean Cuisine dinners at the grocery store…and they can’t be heated up in a regular oven. I ended up cooking the proteins we’d already had in the freezer (chicken, salmon, a ribeye that had been in there for many months, but still thawed out and cooked up perfectly) this week while my dad took the frozen dinners to work with him. (They’re not too bad, actually. Each meal is under 400 calories, and I’ve also packed low calorie snacks with them for him to nibble on through the night.) I still got some Lean Cuisine dinners at the store yesterday, but I mostly got stuff I could cook on the stove. (I can use the oven to reheat food if needed. 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes if I’m warming up room temperature food, 45 minutes to an hour if it’s straight out of the refrigerator. I just put said food in a small baking pan and cover with aluminum foil.)

Speaking of the freezer…there’s now a possibility the refrigerator could be on its way out as well. It’s a Samsung we got lightly used (with a little help from my brother, who was working at a Lowe’s at the time, which is where we got it from), and we’ve had that one maybe 10 years. Well, the fridge isn’t getting as cold as it should. And in the freezer, things keep thawing out and refreezing. The freezer unit is on the bottom on this model, so I don’t know if that’s contributing to the issues or not, but all of this is getting a bit irritating. I don’t know if it’s the near-summer heat causing it or if the fridge itself is on the way out.

Why is it that appliances like to crap out on us in groups? It’s never just one thing that needs replacing, but, like, two or three! Does Murphy’s Law (anything that can go wrong…will) apply here? If the world was a person, would it be laughing at us right now?

Anyway, that’s what’s been up in my corner of the planet lately. I may talk a bit about what I’m reading or knitting at some point. (I do have a project on the needles, I just can’t talk about it right now. Once I do talk about it, which will eventually happen, you’ll realize why I had to hold off on it for a while. I’ll just say it doesn’t involve me directly.) I apologize for the silence on my end; I just haven’t had the motivation to write here lately. Life’s been happening, but when it becomes the same old cycle over and over again after a while, it’s just not as interesting to write about. And really, that’s what I try to make this blog about: my life. I hope to be able to write again soon. Until next time, I wish you all good health and safety in these trying times, and much happiness.

The Parenthood Dilemma

I think I’m reaching the point in life where just about every person of childbearing age is seriously having to consider (if they haven’t already had a child) whether or not they should or want to have children. I think I’m at that point and it’s my turn to make that consideration.

I’m 34 and I’m childless. I have two nieces, but it’s obviously not the same. I’ve never had a partner of any kind and at this point in my life, the idea of romantic relationships (pandemic notwithstanding) is still very foreign territory to me. I look back on my twenties, and I realize I was probably too messed up then (dealing with the depression and the anxiety and the low self-esteem) to handle a relationship, let alone having a child, even though now I know those were probably my best years biologically to do so. My thirties so far have been filled with so many obligations to others (especially caring for my mom when she was alive) and then the pandemic putting a speed bump on much of humanity that I’ve had no real opportunity to make a life or decisions for myself. My social life is nonexistent with the exception of online interactions over social media, so I have had no opportunities to meet anyone in a romantic sense. And honestly, I’ve gotten so used to being single that I wonder if I’d function well in a romantic relationship at all.

Then I think back on my interactions with kids over the years. There are times when I feel convinced that children hate me. I remember visiting an old friend of my mother’s many years ago, and her very young grandson was there that day. He couldn’t have been any more than three at the time, and I was maybe 12 or 13. I was tasked with keeping an eye on him while the adults were talking and hanging out, and the kid wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. He kept running from me, even though I was just trying to keep him calm. By the end of it all, I was starting to feel like he had driven me insane.

And then I think of when my neighbor tasked me with watching his ten-year-old daughter one summer while he was at work…that girl absolutely drove me crazy. For one thing, we had completely polar opposite personalities: she was a major extrovert while I am a major introvert; she was always full of energy, and while I’m already quite a low energy person, on top of this my mom was in the early stages of her illness at the time. This girl would be rambunctious and run me ragged with her games and constant talking, and just for funsies she’d sometimes go into dramatic hysterics (like locking herself in a bathroom and refusing to come out or pretending she had been possessed by a “spirit”) just to get a rise out of me, which would stress me out to the point of me being in tears. There were times afterwards where I’d actively question myself on whether my inability to have kids in my charge get along with me meant I was gonna make a terrible mother.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my niblings to the moon and back and I will always be there for them if they need me, but more often than not, children and I don’t necessarily mesh. I don’t get the same reaction from seeing babies that most women seem to do (go into absolute cute mode and baby talk). My mom got that reaction all the time when she’d see a baby. I feel upset inside when I overhear a small child comment on the size of my rear end in a grocery store (which has happened to me). I’m so used to being alone that the prospect of having a partner, let alone a child, scares me.

Sometimes I question if I even have that so-called “maternal instinct”. I’ve been called highly sensitive and can be a bit of an empath, but caring for my mother (which in many ways was like taking care of a child) came with its own set of challenges. I sometimes found it hard to show compassion and patience with her, when my mind was feeling tired and exhausted. Could I possibly handle two decades of that with a child? Am I gonna be one of those parents who doesn’t have enough mindfulness to make sure their child doesn’t fall into a dangerous situation and I end up harming them, or worse? Would I end up as strict as my parents were with me and have my child sometimes resent me for over sheltering them?

(Side note: my parents had a rule that I couldn’t date until I was 16, and even though there were a couple of interested boys before that age, I begrudgingly stood by it. I sometimes wonder if that was partially responsible for my romantic failings in life.)

And what if I have the same genes that caused my mother to develop Alzheimer’s? Would I want to put that burden on my own child to care for me when I’m not in a position to take care of myself? It took two of us (me and my dad) to care for her, and I wonder what would have happened if I had managed to build my own life, family, and career before the illness really took hold of her? Would my dad have still been able to care for her at home? Or would he have had to look into outside assistance? What if my piece of the puzzle that is our family had fit in a different section, one where I was making a puzzle of my own?

I’m torn about whether I think motherhood is a good choice for me. There is part of me that would love to have that experience of raising a child, knowing that I had a part in hopefully making them a loving, compassionate human being. But I think about my niblings, especially my nieces, and I know that I can make a positive impact on their lives without having to be their parent…or even a parent.

I had kind of told myself that if I didn’t have a child by age 35, that I likely would not want to have a child at all. That age is now one year away, and I don’t see my life changing significantly enough for motherhood to happen. I feel like I’m entering a period of mourning.

The risks that go with being pregnant get higher past the age of 35; the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and all the conditions that come with those occurring goes up, the risks of the pregnant person developing complications like preeclampsia goes up. Pregnancy is already a dangerous thing to go through, and not every person of childbearing age wants to put their body through that process. (I say “person” rather than “woman” because some trans men and non-binary people do choose to keep the reproductive organs they were born with in order to bear a child naturally. It’s important to include their experiences as well.) I want to know that if my time as a functioning member of society are numbered because of any potential genes for Alzheimer’s, that I want to spend that time feeling happy and content with how my life is going.

My mom was 34 when she gave birth to me, and 37 when she had my brother. She was a wonderful mother and it worked for her…but I’m now the same age that my mother was when she had me…and I don’t know if I’m meant to be a mother. It breaks my heart having to write that. I’m crying as I write that. This is a dilemma that so many people have to go through, especially as they approach middle age. Society places so much value on people who choose to become parents: most religious groups see them as more worthy of their god or gods’ love, governments usually give parents some sort of tax break, and society in general seems to appreciate people who become parents more than those who don’t.

I’m probably going to have to make some tough choices for myself over the next few years. I’m not completely ruling out the possibility of having a child in the next few years, it’s just that I’m realizing that the possibility is becoming less and less likely for me. I feel kind of sad coming to that realization. I feel like it’s another life goal that I set for myself that I know I’ll be failing at. And that’s what hurts me more than anything else. That by not necessarily wanting to have children, I feel like I’m failing myself and failing at life.

I’m feeling angry at the cards that life dealt me and knowing that the draw probably won’t get much better. I feel like I deserved better, but all the good hands have already been played and that I’m on the verge of going to the rail. (For those of you unfamiliar with poker terms, “going to the rail” means losing all your money in a poker game, being eliminated, and becoming a spectator watching from the sidelines.) I deserve to be happy, but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened. Trying to stay positive in this gets really hard sometime. I’ll be okay physically, but this is something I’m still trying to wrap my head around.

Am I a bad person for treating this realization like a mourning period? Have you ever been in this position of trying to figure out whether or not you want children? How did you end up handling it? Did you end up feeling fulfilled with your decision about having children, whether you did end up having children or not? I hope I’m not feeling alone.

Hat-A-Palooza

I have something to confess: since December, I’ve been obsessed with knitting stranded colorwork hats (otherwise known as “Fair Isle” knitting). I have affectionately branded this “Hat-A-Palooza”.

It started innocently enough: I had a significant amount of smaller balls of yarn to stash bust (from what The Lady Bryan sent to me for Christmas 2019), and it was around Christmas and I wanted to knit myself a hat with snowflakes on it. So, I took some balls of blue and white yarn and I knit myself a snowflake hat…

The Snowflake Hat

…and there was still some yarn in both colors left over. Then I got the desire to knit myself a TARDIS hat (which is supposed to evoke the TARDIS craft that The Doctor uses to time travel on Doctor Who), which I did…

…and I still felt like I needed to knit something. First I tried a brioche hat, but it became clear that two-color brioche and I haven’t quite come to an understanding yet. So decided to abandon the brioche hat, and I started on a colorwork beret. And I even figured out how to purl in Continental (where the yarn is held in the left hand) so I could make this gorgeous two-color ribbing. The hat itself wasn’t too bad once I got into the stranding on the charted section. However, when the time came to decrease for the crown, the chart got all wonky and I still can’t figure out what exactly I did wrong. But…I decided to leave the crown as-is and call the wonky colorwork in the crown a “design element”.

The Béret Généreux, stretched over a dinner plate to better show its shape.

I had these all knitted by the middle of February, but I was too lazy to weave in the ends and didn’t do so until a few days ago. So, here are my hats on my head, and I will link to the Ravelry pages of the patterns I used, all available for free.

Pattern: Snowflake Hat by Evan Plevinski / Yarn: Premier Yarns Just Yarn in Blue and White / Needles: U.S. #8 (5.0 mm) circular and DPNs

Pattern: TARDIS Beanie by Alena Ruman / Yarn: Premier Yarns Just Yarn in Blue and White, Mainstays Basic Yarn in Black /Needles: U.S. #6 (4.0 mm) circulars, 16-inch and 29-inch (for the crown decreases)

Pattern: Béret Généreux by Isabelle Allard / Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in Baby Pink, Mainstays Basic Yarn in Black / Needles: U.S. #6 (4.0 mm) circular needles, 29-inch (and I think used 16-inch needles for the ribbing section)

In case you’re wondering, I took these pics while standing in the front doorway, all while my dog was sniffing around in the front yard!

I do have another project on the needles, but I can’t really talk about it right now. I’ll let you in on it when the time is right.

I know I haven’t posted much since the beginning of the year, but honestly not a whole lot has been happening…just life. However, my birthday is a week from tomorrow, and then my blogiversary is coming up after that…so we’ll see if anything good enough to write about happens at that point! Until next time, everybody!

How Did We Manage to Avoid All This?

So, unless you’ve been living disconnected from the world around you, you’ll have either heard of or lived through some recently freaky weather that’s been going on in the South. A polar vortex forced some cold air and the resulting jet stream much further south than usual, resulting in a lot of parts of the Southeast getting snow or ice. Texas was hit especially hard…but that’s a whole other story that I’m sure that every news outlet has covered within an inch of its life.

Much like the Mongols, though…Florida was the exception. We were barely touched by any of this ridiculously cold weather…maybe with the exception of parts of North Florida. We had some rain come through and a couple of cool blasts, but other than that…it feels like March. We’re not even at the end of February!

This is meant to be a short post, a sign of life from me. I’ve been knitting and planning and knitting some more…and I promise you that I have some finished projects to show you very soon! But anyway, I’m doing fine, my dad is doing fine, my dog is doing fine, and things have been relatively uneventful. I hope to be posting again soon. Until next time, stay warm and stay safe!