Soundtrack of My Life

Glide on the Peace Train

Click here for today's soundtrack.

Back in December - eager for peace - I climbed on board the Peace Train (aka Project Peace).  I got a bit waylaid for a while. . . busy with this, that, and another thing.  But, eventually, I got caught up.

Last weekend, I finally finished my peace cowl.

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I'd say . . . just in time.

For out on the edge of darkness
There runs the peace train
Peace train take this country
Come take me home again

Glide on the peace train!

(Ravelry details here.)

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PS -- Don't forget -- the Month of Letters begins today!  Let me know if you'd like a letter this month and I'll be happy to write to you. 


So Complicated

If your house was anything like my house back in 2002, this song was probably blasting from your kids' boomboxes all. the. time.  (Right up there with Pink's Get This Party Started and anything by N'Sync.)

Anyway.

As soon as I read through the cable chart for my latest knitting project, this "golden oldie" from Erin's middle school days popped right into my head!

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Because 17 symbols in an 18-row chart is . . . well.  Complicated.

Plus . . . changing stitch counts.

And "borrowing" stitches from the next round.  (Sometimes 2; sometimes just 1.)

See what I mean?

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But nice hat, huh?

I'm not so sure about the pompom, though.

I think I'll pull a Tom + Lorenzo here . . . 

IN or OUT?

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I knit this hat as part of a quick-and-informal knitalong with Kat and Juliann.  Ravelry details here.

 


Finding the Right Song

Back in October, I decided to knit a warm and cozy sweatshirt-of-a-sweater.  Kind of an (ahem) instant gratification project.  Simple.  Big needles.  Chunky yarn.

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And I cast on during one of the Cubs games . . . on their way to the World Series.  I knit through all the games, and my knitting soundtrack seemed to be David Bowie/Queen's Under Pressure.

I was planning to finish up the bottom ribbing a week later . . . as I watched the election results.  But.  That night I couldn't knit a stitch.  I just sat there.  With my knitting in my lap.

Weeks of angst.  No knitting.  I couldn't bear to pick up any knitting - let alone that particular sweater.  I was dealing with my election grief -- while also hosting my entire family for Thanksgiving and my Mom's memorial service.  My knitting soundtrack switched to grunge . . . insert any Nirvana song here . . . but let's go with Smells Like Teen Spirit.

I started knitting another project - Project Peace, in fact.  Which brought be back to my needles and away from my angst.  After a few rounds of Project Peace, I decided to put it aside temporarily -- and finish up the sweater.

This time, a new knitting soundtrack emerged . . . Foo Fighters Times Like These (here's a nice acoustic version for you).

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I, I'm a new day rising
I'm a brand new sky
To hang the stars upon tonight
I am a little divided
Do I stay or run away
And leave it all behind?

It's times like these you learn to live again
It's times like these you give and give again
It's times like these you learn to love again
It's times like these time and time again

And then . . . well.  I finished the sweater easily.  

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Sometimes you just need to find the right song.

(Ravely details here.)

 


Roll With It, Baby

Today is a special day . . . because this guy?

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Birthday Boy!

And because every birthday needs a soundtrack, here's my song for Tom . . . on his 58th birthday.

You see, this year . . . well.  It hasn't been an easy one.  In fact, this year ranks right up there with some of the crappiest years of our 37 years together.  In fact, I'd place this year in the #1 spot of our Top Five Most Challenging Years Ever list.

There was 1993.  That was a frustrating year.

And 1999.  Lots of growing pains.

2003 was particularly nasty.  But only for a few very intense months.

2008.  Yeah.  That one was bad, too.  

But 2016?  Total shit storm.

But we're getting through it.  Because that's what we do!  We hold each other up.  We light each other's path.  We shoulder on.  We head up north.  We go to the gym.  Basically, we . . . 

Roll with it, baby.
Hang on and roll with it, baby.

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Get on through it, roll with it, baby
Luck'll come and then slip away,
you've gotta move,
bring it back to stay

You just roll with it, baby,
come on and just roll with it, baby
You and me, roll with it, baby,
hang on and just roll with it, baby

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So, happy birthday, dear Tom!  

No matter what life brings us in the coming year, I know we'll roll with it.  

Because that's what we do.

 


Right Now . . . November 2016

29/30

November has been a crazy-busy month for me, end to end.  Filled with stresses and emotions and too-long ToDo lists . . . but also with love and gratitude and turkey!

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(These gorgeous flowers are from my mom's memorial service last Tuesday.  Aren't they lovely?)

Here's what's happening in my world . . . Right Now:

Watching - I finished watching The Crown last night.  I loved it.  Tom and I watched Love Actually the other night.  Other than that, not much watching going on.

Reading - But . . . I do have plenty of reading happening!  I finished reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (and winner of this year's National Book Award) just yesterday morning.  This is a powerful book -- one I will be thinking about for quite a while.  I also recently finished Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  Again, powerful.  I have two books on library loan through Overdrive -- and I'm going to have to read fast because they're due far too soon (when it rains it pours, it seems): Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh and Hot Milk by Deborah Levy.  (Luckily, they're both on the short side.)  

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Knitting - I have been finding some time to knit a bit.  Not much, but some.  I'm knitting this sweater, and I'm nearing the end (just one more sleeve and the pockets).  On size 11 needles with bulky yarn, this one is clipping right along (so to speak; it's a relative statement).  I'm anxious to try some of these cute little guys -- and I'm still looking forward to knitting up some of these.

Drinking - Tea.   And plain old water-infused-with-oranges.  And wine.  (Natch.)

Humming - This one.  Four Strong Winds was one of my mom's favorites.  (She was from Alberta, you know.)  Erin sang it at the memorial service last week --- quite a bit different than Neil's version, of course.  Seeing that Erin's voice is classically trained.  And Neil's is . . . not.  Anyway.  I've been humming this song ever since.

Needing to - Resume my usual fitness routine.  Because my life has been so upside-down and inside-out lately that too many of my workouts have, well . . . pretty much disappeared.   (I also need to quit eating so much cheese.)  (But let's not talk about that.)

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Delighted by - Shhhhh.  It's kind of under the radar . . . but I'll let you in on a secret.  My knee has improved enough that I am running again.  Just a little.  And very slowly.  But I'm delighted.  (I'm also delighted by the shoelaces in my new running shoes.  Aren't they great?)

Looking forward to - Bringing light and winter comfort into my house during these dark times (seasonal AND political).  (Stay tuned.)

Celebrating - Something that I can't quite blog about yet.  But it's fun.  And I'll tell you as soon as I can.

Planning - A party.  The holidays.  My dad's move.  What to knit next.  Which book to load on my iPod.  Year-end tax stuff.  Pretty much . . . All The Things.

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Grateful for - These four goofballs.  I was so happy to have them all home last week.  I was happy to buy them drinks and take them out for dinner and laugh with them and listen to their banter.  It doesn't get much better!

How about YOU?  What's going on for you . . . right now?


 


What's on My Mind

7/30

Last night, Tom and I went to a concert.

Kansas.

It turns out, this year is the 40th anniversary of Kansas' Leftoverture album.  (Yeah.  I know.)  (One of the biggest albums of my senior year in high school.)  Carry on my Wayward Son . . . and all that.

It was a fun concert -- and they played the entire Leftoverture album.  A total trip down memory lane -- with so many familiar songs I haven't heard in . . . well, decades.

Like this one.

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Which . . . got me goin'.

Pardon me my feelings are showin.'

I'm only sayin'. . . 

What's on my mind . . . 

TOMORROW IS ELECTION DAY HERE IN THE US.

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, GO VOTE!

For our future.

For RESPECT.

For civility.

For the planet.

For ending this circus.

For Hillary.

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Like Never Before

(This post . . . is supposed to be accompanied by a soundtrack.  Whenever I include the clip of my chosen video, the entire format of my post goes just wonky.  I am tired of trying to fix it.  So.  Just imagine Songbird playing as you read this post.  Or click one of these versions and listen on You Tube. Christine McVie. Eva Cassidy.)

At the end of June, my mom was in the hospital for the first time - and I was just about to leave on my trip to Scotland and Ireland.  I really needed a "mindful" knitting project.  Something I could stop or start easily.  Something I could memorize quickly.  Something that was portable.

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I decided on the charming-but-seemingly-endless ZickZack Scarf.

I knit through my mom's first hospital stay. A couple of international flights.  In Scotland and Ireland.  Through another, very long hospital stay.  And then through time in skilled nursing/rehab.  A trip to Colorado.  Fretting on the road - or just at home.  Bedside at the hospice facility.

My ZickZack scarf saw it all this summer.   Worry. Hope. Joy. Adventure. Distress. Despair. Sadness.

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When I cast off . . . finally . . . after running out of yarn two days after my mom's passing . . . I thought about giving the scarf away.  Because how could I wear it?  After all the angst and bad juju that was knitted right in?

But then . . . I thought about how much comfort this scarf gave me when I really needed some comfort.  How each time I picked it up . . . a sense of calm came through me.  My fingers knew just what to do - and the stitching brought me comfort and centering.

Besides. . . it turns out that this scarf . . . is the last thing of mine . . . that my mom touched. 

Now, I'm looking forward to the comfort and warmth this scarf will give me whenever I wrap it around my neck.

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For you, there'll be no more crying,

For you, the sun will be shining,

And I feel that when I'm with you,

It's alright, I know it's right

To you, I'll give the world

to you, I'll never be cold

'Cause I feel that when I'm with you,

It's alright, I know it's right.

And the songbirds are singing,

Like they know the score,

And I love you, I love you, I love you,

Like never before.

 

(Ravelry details here.)


A Catchy Town (I Mean . . . Tune)

When I was a kid, I used to "collect" Towns With Catchy Names.  Names that are fun to say -- and just kind of roll off your tongue.  Chattanooga.  Tallahassee.  Timbuktu.  Walla Walla, Washington.  Tuscaloosa.  Minnehaha.  Kalamazoo.

The kind of name . . . you know . . . that might end up in song lyrics.

(Never imagined that I'd end up living in one of them!  But.  Here I am.)

Kalamazoo

Anyway.  This week, Carole asks us for for Ten Songs About Where We Live.  Lucky for me . . . Kalamazoo - one of those catchy-name towns - has been plugging into song lyrics forever!

My favorite?

1 - Gotta Get Away by The Black Keys.

  

2 - Another favorite is Kalamazoo by the Ben Folds Five.  (They performed this during their appearance at the Gilmore Piano Festival a couple of years ago.  As you might imagine, it was a big hit with the home crowd.)

 

3 - This one is quite popular with the home crowd, too.  Kalamazoo by Primus.  (They've performed this one live in Kalamazoo, a couple of times apparently.  I wasn't there - but you can imagine it was a bit hit.)

 

4 - Marylou by Bob Seger.  (Not one of his most popular -- but . . . Kalamazoo.)

 

5 - Down on the Corner by Creedence Clearwater Revival.  (Twangin' out a rhythm on his Kalamazoo.  You bet!)

 

6 - While not about Kalamazoo, this song just embodies the whole Up North/Lake Thing in Michigan.  So, yeah.  It's about about where I live!  All Summer Long by Kid Rock.

 

7.  And, of course.  Especially in Michigan by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  (The link is a "tease."  If you want to hear the whole song, click here.)  (And Carole?  This link should include images that look a bit familiar to you now. . . as it was filmed in Ludington!)

 

8.  Lake Michigan by Rogue Wave.  (Because The Lakes RULE . . . here in Michigan.)

 

9.  Greetings from Michigan . . . an entire album by Sufjan Stevens . . . honoring Michigan.  (This tune, Romulus - a Detroit suburb - has nothing to do with Kalamazoo.  But Michigan.  And nice.)

 

10.  And, of course, no Kalamazoo list could be complete without this one. . .  (yeah, I know) . . . I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.  (Trust me.  I know.  I live here.  I've heard this WAY too many times . . . )

  

How about YOU?  What are the best songs about where you live?

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Click here to see what everyone else is singing today.

 

 

 

 

 


Right Now - May 2016

Oh, my.  Time is just completely getting away from me these days.  

Let's stop.  

And take a breath.  

And catch up with the end of May.  (Since June is already WAY underway!)

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Here's what's happening . . . RIGHT NOW:

Watching . . . Birds and toads and unfolding blossoms and weeds.  (Lots and lots of weeds.)

Reading . . . I'm already making a dent in my summer BINGO reading.  Last week, I finished The Boys in the Boat (a pretty good book about a most awesome feat) and The Dictionary of Mutual Understanding (. . . meh).  Next up? LaRose by one of my all-time favorites, Louise Erdrich (in my ears), and My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (from the library).

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Knitting . . . It is summer.  And I am in full-KAL-mode.  First, I am slogging through this sweater as part of Kat's KAL (brilliant in it's simplicity).  (Plus cocktails.)  Second, I am trusting my knitting-soul to Kirsten Kapur and her Through the Loops Mystery Shawl!  (I think this is my fourth year.)

Listening to . . . Sirius radio in my car.  I've got The Bridge (just like listening to the radio in my high school days) or Classic Rewind (just like listening to the radio from college and Tom's grad school years - but with maybe a bit too much Van Halen for my taste) or Lithium (for my grunge craving) or Pearl Jam Radio (when I just need a bit of Eddie Vedder).  This all works for me!

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Drinking . . . Oh. Yeah.

Itching to . . . Have my NEW, IMPROVED windows installed!  We're having ALL NEW windows (and sliders) installed in our house.  We bit the bullet.  (Because pretty much like having college tuition again.)  But, now?  SO EXCITED.  (Unfortunately, it's going to be another month before it happens.)

Humming . . . Night Moves.  Bob Seger.  (I never know where these things come from.)  (Let's blame . . . Sirius radio.)

  

Needing to . . . Do some "deep dives" into heavily weeded areas of my garden . . . (wish me luck).

Dreading . . . A couple of "light" commitments coming up this week and next.  Neither is particularly terrible -- but, still.  They do not Bring Joy.

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Delighted by . . . Blooms!  Every day . . . blooms!

Looking foward to . . . Sailing off to Scotland and Ireland with my sister in a month!  (Oh, yes.  This thought gets me through rough spots in my days.)

Thinking about . . . ALL the Projects I want to get rolling on.  

Planning . . . A party.  A visit.  A trip.  (Now THAT sounds fun, doesn't it???)

How about YOU?  What's happening for you . . . RIGHT NOW?