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December 2017
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February 2018

December Days



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Remember December?  It seems like so long ago, but it's only been 9 days. December days were warm, for the most part, although we ended up with a few days of inversion, a couple of gray days, and even a day of snow. As you can see there were many blue sky days and the beginnings of amaryllis watching. Some of the people who mean the most to me ended up in the photos and the sun appropriately, is represented, too. Can you tell there are more hours of daylight? Every evening my heart lifts when the sun goes down 5 minutes later than the day before. I am on sun watch.  

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This year winter has been easier for me to handle. First reason is the warmer days and while we desperately need snow, I am grateful for the chance to take a daily walk with blue sky over me. Even gray days are in the 40s. Second thing, my day is my own. Mornings I go to swim exercise 3-4 days a week as water makes it easier for my joints to work-out. Two classes are sponsored by the Arthritis Association and the other classes are full on aerobics. Who knew you could get your heart rate up just by jumping around in the water! (That's my bathing suits above on the second Friday). Lastly, while I was working and leaving each morning in the day and coming home in the dark, I get anxious in the evening. But now, it is quite the opposite. I am the boss of my time and I love it. Proof of time, is the sweater I've knit, my first since 2014! I should have an FO post soon. 

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As your reward for wading through my thoughts on winter. I bring you the elegance of Mz. Pink. She has made my heart sing with her unfolding beauty. What a bright spot in the dreariness of winter. One this one stem there are 6 flowers. In the same box is another amaryllis with two buds and upstairs  in my office I have a single pot with an amaryllis called "Crimson" that has three red stems! The expectation on it are high!! My winter is going brilliantly! 


3TT

Becky sent me the link to my 2018 books! I was thrill to see the banner and the count still exist. Thank you, Becky! Below My Year in Books you can see the star ratings I gave each one. 

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My 2018 is starting out well as I have one book read with a star rating of 4.5. The next book, Never Let Me Go, won't get that high a rating, but I have a couple more in the wings I think they will be better. When I read a book my expectation is to be educated, enlighten, told something I did understand and through fiction I feel that's what happens. Empathy and understanding for people who I would never get a chance to meet grows. Learning of our differences, but also finding out they are just like me only perhaps living in circumstances they cannot control or change.

Books take me to other worlds or societies, to places I would not survive if given the chance, but that the person in the book shows the strength and character TO survive. I want to understand, to absorb all that I can, even if I can't live that life. How fortunate I am to be able to read a variety of books that bring those worlds to my doorstep. 

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My days are spent on amaryllis watch as the three plants I bought will produce 5 blossoms. This first one to bloom is out performing all others, but the other two bulbs are spending their energy on doubling down. I think this one is going to be a beauty. I can't keep my camera away. This blossom is a temptress, a chanteuse, and a time hog. Isn't she amazing? I guarantee she'll continue to show off for you. The other two will be something marvelous when their time comes, too. 

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 When I watch TV I don't exactly watch. I'm not a fan of TV but I enjoy a few shows on Netflix or PBS. When I "watch" I'm either knitting or working on jigsaw puzzles. During the winter we watch a lot more TV than we do in summer. Because I only work on puzzles sporadically, they don't get much time or attention. This one took about 3 months to do and it was fun until everything except the pink feathery wings were left. Every piece was the same color and I had a devil of a time finding the edge pieces and filling in the shapes.  It was maddening, at times. New Years Eve I sat down with the last 30 pieces and didn't move until I had finished the whole bird. She's a very elegant swan and, in the end, a fun puzzle to do. Now she's tucked back into the box ready to give back to Cheryl, who can decide her fate. I now have a Wasgij puzzle to do.  What do you do when you watch TV? 

Three on Thursday is happening over at Carole's blog. Check out what everyone else has on their mind, too.


Brickyard and Books

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Brickyard is only a couple of inches from the finish line. I've enjoyed knitting this pattern and have high hopes of having a beautiful sweater in the near future. Kim's yarn is has been a joy (as usual), plus I don't remember ever knitting a pattern that was so well written. 

I've been reading well outside my usual genre, as the last few books would be classified as sci-fi or dystopian. I went right through the His Dark Material's series lickity-split! I LOVE The Golden Compass, but think it's worth reading all three books (back to back). Then I read Ready Player One which was just a kick as it took me back through the 1980s via 2045. I didn't understand some of the gaming references, but who doesn't remember Pac-Man?

Then on a whim, I listened to The Power by Naomi Alderman. I was BLOWN away! I couldn't stop listening it was, well, SO powerful! I highly recommend this book even if you think you don't like sci-fi, because it isn't aliens or UFOs, it's current day problems and politics, but with a big twist. This book had as much impact on me as Handmaid's Tale did when I read it in the 80s. And, just to push my case, President Obama picked it as one of his Top Books of 2017. (I also like many of his Song of the Year choices.)

My book group pick of the month is Never Let Me Go, which I read when it was first published. I don't remember the ending well, but it's another disturbing dystopian tale. After this, I think I'll read a classic. 

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Sadly, I missed capturing a screen shot of My Books of 2017 from Goodreads, but here's a shot of some of my favorites from the year. I'd recommend any and all of the books you see here. I'm joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday. Tell me what are your favorite books of 2017 is and if you've made a reading goal for 2018. 


Intentions and Resolutions

Did you have a lovely Christmas and a great New Year celebration? We did! The weather has been unseasonable warm and the air quality not TOO bad. The days between Christmas and New Years were mostly filled with brilliant blue skies and temps near 50, which gave me the chance to head out for a daily walk. Even our one cloudy day was warm. This next week could bring back some of the hazy, yellow inversion, but as long as we don't end up totally socked in, I'll live with it. Did you see the super moon?

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As a new year begins many people start making intentions or resolutions. Truthfully, intentions and/or resolutions have never been my thing and, if  they ever were, I'm sure I've broke them often enough to know there's no changing now. However, I did look around and decide on a few things I might throw into the 2018 ring. 

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Last year I made several pairs of perfectly striped socks but, sadly, the attrition rate from my sock drawer was more than I'd knit. So, I thought I'd keep the sock mojo primed. The only yarn in that photo that hasn't been hanging out in my stash for years is the blue/black yarn, named Electric Slide, which Cara (January One) destashed last month. I'm knitting it first because it's stripy!! The other pair with a bit of ribbing already started may or may not be next. In fact, it may or may not be at all. Time will tell. I also do not intend to stray from my favorite colors of blue and pink (or red) unless something spectacular comes along. 

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My sock drawer wouldn't be in as bad of shape if I ever took the time to mend a few pair of slightly damaged socks (and gloves), but I think I'll just say I should "dedicate" a day to darning which would keep my feet happy. The warmer weather has meant a pair of mitts is all I need to get by in the cold, otherwise, I would have mended the gloves by now.  I'm great at excuses. 

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I AM taking a watercolour class. No intentions there. The teacher (Liz Steel) is in Australia, which is why I've "misspelled" watercolour. I'm a rank beginner, but I'm willing to learn and will (hopefully) get over my impossible fear. The plan is to just have some fun and not try to be upset when things aren't "perfect". Perfection is over rated.  

 And, I plan to finish my sweater (Brickyard) which is in its final inches. Oh, and reading, I'm all about that this year, too!