Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Visitor....

I sensed you before I saw you....

Stepping coyly from the shadows of the wood...

The starkness of the white pronounced in the deepening gloaming;

All the colors of the spectrum combined into something purer.

You acknowledged me and, though your companion retreated, you came toward me - self-assured and unafraid.
You stopped within a comfortable distance and seemed content to continue grazing while I sat on my porch watching - my hands becoming stiff with the cold and my eyes struggling to adjust to the thickening dark. 

When the dusk turned inky, you lifted your head to me and then to the wood, and slowly turned and made your way back.
I watched you and even thought I saw you turn back to look at me one last time ...and then you slipped into the shadows from where you came.

{*A few months back, I posted about my first sighting of a white stag. (That post can be found here.) Initially I thought this was the same deer and I had been mistaken about it being a stag.  However, I went back and looked at the photos from that day...both the ones on the post and the others I had not posted and I am still convinced that that was, in fact, a buck.  If you look at the photos from the first post, poor as they are, you can definitely see antlers. And while bucks typically shed their antlers here from January to February, this deer has an entirely smaller, more delicate, frame than the first. Also, the first deer seemed more mature in keeping its distance...this one seemed naive in her innocence and lack of inhibition in my presence. 
 Mayhap there is more magic in Nod than I give it credit for.}


Saturday, March 26, 2022

It's That Strange Time of Year....

It's that strange time of year...
...when tantalizing wisps of warmer air whisper to the frozen ground that it's time to go and eerie fog settles like tears....

...when sudden snow squalls can't silence the song of the spring birds as they feast on berries of bittersweet....

It's that strange time of year when, each and EVERY morning, some of us still think we have been gypped out of an hour of sleep thanks to "daylight saving time"....
 ...and we be none too happy about it....

And it's that strange time of year when the calendar, without fanfare or ceremony, flips on another year of my life....

I always feel "untethered" in this "twixt" time.  Like Mother Nature who does not quite know if it should be winter or spring, I do not quite know what it is I want to do.
Hooking? Maybe.
Stitching?? Maybe.
More likely just cursing daylight saving time AGAIN because I am not tired at the time the clock says I really need to go to bed. (So, yes, I really feel cheated out of two hours of sleep every day....the clock says it's an hour later than it should be when I get up and it says it's an hour later than it should be when I go to bed. My head is a scary place most days.)

In other words, I have gotten little to nothing of anything done.
I put aside my large(r) Noel Sampler I had been off and on stitching on (more off than on) and worked on a teeny little piece called "Winter Woods" by Chessie & Me.  The stitching is almost done except for another large snowflake and then nun stitching on the sides.

My hook I have picked up not at all.

It is windy and cold, with spurts of flurries coming from the lifelessly gray sky.  I'm off to see if I can revive Hepzibah (my sourdough starter) so I can make sourdough cinnamon cranberry bread.

I hope there is a corner of each of your worlds where you can find some peace and hope in  these troubling times.

Recently read:

If you haven't figured it out yet, one of my favorite genres of books is historical fiction: Two of my particularly favorite time periods are, of course, 17th century Salem and World War II.  The downfall is that many of the plots tend to follow a very predictable path and one story becomes unremarkably similar to others.
In some regard, this can be said of this book, but it was relatively fresh to the market and I couldn't resist.

 It is the story Jewish mother and daughter who flee from the war raging in Poland and go into hiding in a neighboring barn.  Above that, it is the story of the bond between a mother and a daughter and of the precious gifts of imagination and music.

While I, at one point, took violin lessons (another surprising piece of trivia I bet you didn't know), the music detail in this book was a bit much for my taste.  (Kinda like The Book of Two Ways mentioned a few posts back may have been to much "Egyptology" for some....)  Despite that, I enjoyed it. (But hey, if you haven't figured it out by now, I really enjoy most all books.)  It is not one that will earn a rank among my favorites, but that's a very selective list.    

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

From a 2 to a 10 (and Everything In Between)

 ...and I'm not talking about my dress size.

In a (somewhat) un-ending (well??) quest to locate my elusive hooking mojo, I once again wandered down the lane to Red Barn Rugs.
I didn't find it (the mojo, I mean...I found the Red Barn of course). But I did find myself in the company of some incredibly talented hookers.

Since I didn't accomplish any hooking and was not successful in finding that mojo, ya think I would have managed to at least take some more (and better) photos; but it seems when one thing goes missing, others do as well.
Be it as it may, I did come away with a few snippets from the day.

Miss Marilyn (a/k/a "Good Marilyn") was working on her own design of which I did not get a photograph.  I was too amazed at the bag of so-called "worms" she was working from.  I call them dental floss.  YIKES!  I do believe they were 2 and 3 cuts.
Seriously?? Who does that??!
(For you non-hookers who are still with me, the smaller the number of the cut, the thinner the strip of wool is that one pulls through the 2's and 3's, like in dresses, are wee thin.)
Anyway, I did manage to get a photo of her precious Charlie rug. was done in dental floss too.  But as precious as her real Charlie.

Some of you may remember Marilyn's tribute to her grandparents' engagement ("Marry Me Mary") that she hooked several years ago and I had on my blog...also years ago. 
Yeah, THAT Marilyn.
This rug still stuns me.
Rumor has it that Marilyn will be having another rug featured in Rug Hooking's Celebration.

Good Marilyn was scheduled for surgery the following day.... If you're out there reading this Marilyn, I hope you're recovering well. (And thank you for your so very kind words.)

Pat was putting the finishing touches on "Southwest Geometric," by Cathy (Red Barn Rugs*).  This is one big rug...and, yup, done in pretty small cuts, although no 2's or 3's.

And then there was Bad Marilyn. 
(She is one BAD Marilyn, let me tell you.)
Again, I did not get a photo of her current project (DUH!!), but I did get a photo of her David Galchutt "Witch."  
Who needs a fancy title with all THIS??!

Try as I might, I just couldn't capture the color or the many details! 

So many varied textiles (I particularly fell in love with the black chenille), so many embellishments... It was one of those pieces you could look at a dozen times and always find something new to squeal about.
And, yeah...those teeny, tiny, cuts.

Cathy* had finished hooking her new "Colonial Eagle" pattern...she just needed to finish the binding.  I could drown myself in this's that good.
And, yeah...Cathy hooks with 10 cuts.  (Actually, I think this one was done in 9.5?? but who's counting??) 

As for the "in between," that would be me...if I ever got any actual hooking done.  My "sweet spot" is an 8 or an 8.5.
I have no updates on "Welcome Cats" (or any other of my started-but-finished projects).  So you are probably wondering what it is I did do if I neither hooked nor took decent photos.  Well, about all I did was work a little on binding my "13 Stars" mat.  Very little...but I did finally finish it up a few days later.
{Design by The Old Tattered Flat}

It's not perfect, but it's done...and, in my world, done is good these days.

I've fallen a bit behind on the "current reads" since I haven't posted much (but I continue to read).  This is the book I finished up last week (I think??):

Kristin Hannah is the author of one of my very favorite books The Nightingale, and I have read many (most?) of her books.  I have enjoyed them all, but none as much as The Nightingale.  This one is one of her older books and I am not certain why I hadn't read it before...probably because it was described as a "love story."  (Yeah...just not in the mood for those lately.)
But Cathy and I swap books and she had this one so I read it.
It is, indeed, a love story...of sorts...but also much more.  It is actually a story within a story set both in modern (well, early 2000's) time and in war-era Lenigrad.  Would I recommend it? Yes...It was not as good as The Nightingale, but it was a refreshing change from some of the "darker" things in which I tend to get mired.


*For the hookers:  I believe I may have confused some readers in my last post and perhaps in this one as well.  Let me clarify:  "Red Barn Rugs" is Catherine (a/k/a Cathy) Stephan's business.  And to answer several questions from my last post, no, she does not have a website.  She, does, however, have a Facebook page (search under her name, Catherine Stephan, and when you find the red barn, you've found the right one).  Many of her designs are listed in albums under the "photos" tab on her page...but she has so many more.  You can keep up with her newest designs by following her Facebook posts. 


That's it for now.... 
Beware the Ides of March.