Easing My Way In

Well, it’s been a little while since my last post…again. I promise you, I have not dropped off the face of the earth, and I have been busy.

Neapolitan is coming along fine, I’m already onto the next round of brown rectangles. I also started a crocheted shawl, a pattern called the Shell Wave Shawl by a Dutch designer named Wilma Westenberg who has quite the following on Instagram. Her patterns (including the one I’ve linked to) are free through her website, but ad-free PDF versions are also available for purchase through her Ravelry store if you’d like to support her. (I would if I was in the position to be able to, but since I can’t personally, I figured I’d spread the word to others who can if they’d like.) This particular project uses Lion Brand Mandala Baby (a very light worsted/DK self-striping acrylic, almost sport weight) and a US size J hook (but you could use a heavier yarn with a hook a couple of sizes larger than recommended to produce a nice drape). I don’t know what it is about crocheting shawls in particular, but it does just enough to satisfy my crocheting urge, even though I prefer to knit everything else. It’s coming along well (with maybe just a repeat or two left), and I hope to be able to share pictures of the finished shawl soon!

The biggest change lately is that I’ve finally joined the world of smartphones. (For those not in the know, I’ve been writing my blog through tablets, first with an ancient third-hand Toshiba with a ridiculously outdated Android operating system, and then when the battery on that one finally crapped out, my dad ended up getting me an iPad to replace it, which I still have and use. I love it and have had almost no problems with it, other than the occasional app crash. I draft and publish my posts using the WordPress app.) The phone itself is a hand-me-down, an iPhone 5 that used to be my dad’s (he decided to upgrade to the newest model available, an iPhone 11 Max Pro…and it is huuuuuuuuuugggggggggggeeeeeeeeee). Technically, my iPhone is obsolete when it comes to what kind of operating system it will run (it will not be able to upgrade past iOS 12, with the exception of security patches and stuff like that), but it is functional and will make and receive calls, send and receive texts, and run apps compatible with anything higher than iOS 10.

Speaking of apps, the reason why he decided to let me have the phone in the first place: a little app called Uber. My mom’s condition makes it very tricky for her to want to get into the Jeep, and sometimes she gets overstimulated from getting dressed or things like that, and it takes time for us to all get into the Jeep, time that we may not necessarily have. I also don’t get much of any opportunities to go out and just get away from the situation at home for a little while other than getting groceries. So, my dad decided to set me up with an Uber account (in my name but billed to my dad) so that I can get opportunities to leave the house without having to worry about my mom’s mood or state of mind getting in the way of me being able to go (as long as my dad is there with her). I’ve so far only used it to go grocery shopping, but I’m thinking of getting groceries again a little later this week (on one of my dad’s days off) and then the next day going to the local library to get a new card and check out their book sale (which this particular one holds every three months or so). My county’s library system allows patrons to check out books electronically (hence why I’m looking to get a new card), and I’m hoping to be able to try that out with some nonfiction books that I’ve been interested in reading. I can always take a break from whatever ebooks I own that I’m reading so I can read an ebook I’ve checked out from the library.

I was a little nervous about taking an Uber for the first time, as I hadn’t ridden in anything resembling a taxi since I was a child and my grandmother (who didn’t drive, surprise surprise) and I needed to get home from a grocery store. So, she called a cab and we rode home in that. She died 15 years ago, but she probably would have loved Uber if she were around to see it. The drivers there and back were both very nice, and the driver back was very accommodating about me getting my groceries into the trunk (there’s a field in the app where you can provide any extra information that you need to let the driver know about the trip if needed), which my dad and I were able to unload when I got home. The cars rode smoothly, and I was able to tip the drivers pretty easily. I’m easing my way in for now, but I’m happy that there are opportunities opening up for me. Maybe not necessarily shopping, but knowing I could go to a park or somewhere I could just walk around for a while to clear my mind and return home feeling a bit more refreshed gives me a good feeling. (I also have a friend who lives in the general area who also takes Ubers when he can afford it. He’s already invited me to join him for lunch when the opportunity arises. Before you jump to any conclusions, this guy is squarely in the Friend Zone.) I know I should be more independent at my age, but given the circumstances I’m glad things are opening up a bit.

With the phone also came the opportunity to finally join Twitter. I am now on Twitter as @snwlssknttr (that’s “snowlessknitter” disemvoweled) and I have a handful of tweets on there already. I’ll be updating the page on here where my other public social media handles are listed. Feel free to give me a follow on there if you like. I have already tweeted about the weather, football, Charlie Brown, and Keanu Reeves, and I have no clue what the Twitter world holds in store for me. I have a lot of interest in sharing my opinions, but no desire to start or join in flame wars. I like to think of myself as a preferably drama-free poster/commenter.

Finally, on the books front, I am still currently reading Children of Blood and Bone as my physical read (over 100 pages in, although some days I haven’t had the energy to read) and The Color Purple as my ebook read. Great thing about having a smartphone (especially an iPhone): since both of my devices are on the same ID, I can switch back and forth between devices when I’m reading in the Apple Books app. This is especially useful if I have to…um…use the 🚽. (Come on…just about everybody reads on the toilet! It’s not exclusive to men only!) The phone is not quite as big as a tablet and I can just set it off to the side when needed. The tablet needed extra steps. I also got a copy of The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (which is the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale) when I went to the grocery store, and I plan on reading both of those back to back once I finish Children of Blood and Bone. (The sequel to that one, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, is supposed to come out in December, if I remember correctly.) Children of Blood and Bone has been a fun read, though, when I’ve had the energy to do it.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. We’ll see if my venture into Uber takes me anywhere interesting.