Why I'm Unraveled

38271351954_ee677fa7f0_o

Monday, around 11:30, filtered by dense air, the sun peeked through the branches of the pine  outside my office window.  Usually the sun comes in and warms my room all day. I knew this could be the last day our mountain was visible. As I turn away a shadow flickered in the corner of my eye and I turn back to see a siskins, or a nuthatches, dancing through the limbs. Every surface was covered with frost and the air around me was chilly. 

38129456275_5686dd5e64_k

That night, as we drove to dinner, it was foggy, as the cold thick air was filled with humidity. By morning many trees were covered with hoar frost, the sky was steel gray, and the mountain completely obscured. The inversion had clamped down over our valley. The temperature stays between 25 (for a low) and 30 (for a high) during inversion periods. 

38300174484_318987bab0_o

No one enjoys inversion season, that is unless you head up to mountains, which are bereft of snow, but are a balmy 55+ degrees! That's why it's called an inversion. (get it?}  Smith and I spent part of his day off looking for furniture (gifts to ourselves) and as we were driving home (sans furniture) the sun decided to break through for awhile. This picture may give you some idea of what we're dealing with. The air is worse than the picture shows. The weather peoples tell us a storm could be coming through this weekend (maybe) and the winds could stir the air (big maybe) and bring some relief (maybe). They do not want to get our hopes up, but we have our fingers crossed. Today, we are socked in, again. 

39016245241_e0793c07ca_k

But, in my other world, knitting and reading, things are going really well. I put the body on hold and have started a sleeve. The color in the photo is far from true. The actual color is deeper, more berry and red. I'm reading Eva Trout and while I had trouble getting used to the language, and the seemingly choppy style of her writing, I've grown used to the rhythm. I enjoyed Elizabeth Bowen's other books more, but I think I'll end up liking the story. I wouldn't stick with it otherwise. Life is too short to read bad books. I am also listening to the last in the series of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. I have had more fun reading this series than anything I've read in a long time. I heartily recommend all three. 

I'm joining Kat and gang for Unraveled Wednesday


Some Fun Stuff

38944655071_3892fb7535_k

Friday was a good mail day, although with my Postcrossing addiction, almost every day is a good mail day. This postcard arrived from Russia, a Russian bear in a (what must be) hand knit sweater, with the added plus that the sender had written a very nice note on the back. We're all all about connecting to the world at large. This postcard, along with another I received, was nice on its own, but a great package also arrived.

38079289115_5b7c6c9b9c_k

Cara had decided to do a little destashing, via her Instagram account, and I was the lucky recipient of this pretty yarn. I had to have it as it is self-stripping and I've missed my self-stripping sock addiction. I had to wind up the yarn immediately as my sock drawer is still losing more than it's gaining. Sock knitting must continue as often as possible. Stripes are easy (with Carole's Picot Edge pattern) and pretty yarn is always a plus. This is called Electric Slide by White Birch Fiber Arts. 

38908158662_6d60089c02_k

You were right about my need to be patient when it comes to an amaryllis blossoming. The fancy-smancy amaryllis has growth! Can you see the little tip of a leaf coming up? Kym said that fancier bulbs can take longer than the "store-bought" bulbs.  All three amaryllis are now sending forth shoots. Time will tell if that includes blossoms. 

And, thank you for your help and suggestions on the Christmas cactus. Your comments and links were very helpful as I learned about its needs and I may have narrowed down the problem. Since I bought the cactus in full bloom last year at Christmas time, I'm fairly sure it is a "Thanksgiving" cactus. All its needs seem to be met (water, cool nights, light, but one thing is lacking and that is the darkness it seems to require. I will try covering it and see if that stimulates flowering. There is always next year, but the cactus grows and looks beautiful, nonetheless, and I will keep hope. 


Cold Mountain

38166449744_6a64cbedae_o

The mornings have been in the low 20s, the days in the high 30s. Days of the "dreaded" inversion are on the doorstep. Soon, this will become the disappearing mountain, as the clear air is eaten up with the smog and fog. Until that happens I am enjoying the sun, even through the filter of inversion, it still warms the skin and feels good on my face. I'm absorbing vitamin D as much as possible! 

Thank you the comments and links about the amaryllis and cactus. After reading through all the information I've come to the conclusion the problem with the cactus is light. I will start covering it at 9:00pm to give it total darkness until morning. The place it sits is cool enough through the night and light enough during the day, but lights are always on around it. We'll see if that works! Thank you for your help!!


Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

I bought an expensive bulb to replace the sad and sagging amaryllis that flopped. One of our local nurseries specializes in all things beautiful and this bulb came highly recommended. I have been waiting and waiting. 

24920450138_7c89b12f91_k

Sadly, I am about to give up. Do I give up? There is no cost for staying vigilant for a couple more weeks, but I have been watching and waiting for this and the two amaryllis below to do show some sign of life since Thanksgiving. There is so much hope in both pots. 

27018478199_dc77912af9_k

 Can you see the tiny bit of green coming up on the right? I thought it was a bud, but it's turned out to be just leaves (again). This may not be the year of pretty red blossoms in the Smith house. Oh well, there's always next year. 

38373394441_771708ff65_k

And then, there is the Christmas cactus, which I bought because of Bonny's beautiful specimen. I had hopes it would rebloom this year as I have kept it alive--which is a feat.  Even though it looks good, it shows no sign of blossoming, only a few new leaves. I am not the best at plant care. In fact, I go beyond benign neglect, sometimes forgetting about them altogether.  It's no wonder my expectations are not met. It may be too late to do much, but this week  have tended them, kept a check on their water needs, and have even considered picking up some plant food for the cacti(?).  Oh well, there's always next year. 


Tis Wednesday and I am Unraveled

38122647044_b4ae2a9481_k

Unexpectedly, my sweater growth! I am nearing the end of the body, about 5" more, then I'll put the body on waste yarn and knit the sleeves. Checking the fit and length will be more accurately figured if all pieces are as they should be. Monogamy has paid off and I expect to stick with this sweater (Brickyard) until it's finished. I am so very excited to be knitting a sweater and telling you about it, as well!

Also, I readeth. The book group I belong to, Roz Reads, has posted books for the first few months of 2018. I've read them all, but will reread, as I want to be ready for a discussion of each. In the meantime, I am reading my own choices, the first being Eva Trout by Elizabeth Bowen.  I read To the North a few months ago and just loved it. Eva Trout has been a little more difficult to get into, but about 4 chapters in (they're short) and I'm hooked. In my ear I have The God of Small Things, which is a reread, but since I read it in 2005, or so, I hardly remember a thing.

Two books the group discussed the last two weeks were, Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson and Hunger by Roxanne Gay. Hunger was an add-on group, as Roz thought it an important book. We all agreed and discussed it in depth for 2 hours. Both books come highly recommend by our whole group. I also read We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates. You can read his essays in The Atlantic, but his commentary about each essay is well worth the time. All three authors are award winners and all three authors will make you think outside of your own world perspective. 

Two books I read for fun were Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (of Jessica Jones fame) and The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. Bonfire was okay, if you like whodunits, but The Golden Compass was marvelous. I will continue on with the series as I loved Lyra. 

Today I'm going to run by the library and pick up a copy of Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. I've heard good things about the story and I'll let you know how it goes. 

I'm Unraveling along with Kat today. 


Deep Breathing

Unnamed

As I opened my computer this morning I found there were no blog posts in "draft" form and, even worse, few pictures of the weekend on my camera. So, I went out in  my nightgown to snap a picture of Happy Buddha in his fresh snow coat. He is not fazed.  

The weekend was quiet, except for the mini snow storm, which IS news, but I am saddened by the very real news  that ____ will be here to shrink Bears Ears National Monument, created only a year ago, and Grand Staircase Escalante which was created more than a decade ago. Every day feels more a horror story. I am fazed, but I think of Happy Buddha and work to find balance. 


Good-bye November!

38752556301_7f823547bc_o-2There are a couple of things I learned (relearned) from posting every day of November. I CAN find things to blog, but it takes a lot of time to write a post, especially when you have a detailed story to tell.  And, one more thing I learned was I like being here in Blogland and I like the connection of the community. There will be no more daily posts, but I will not abandon my place. I started blogging in March 0f 2004, which seems ages ago, and truly, it WAS ages ago. Talk about a journey, I'm so happy to be here. Thank you so much, friends. 

Hello December!!