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December 2019

Winter Interlude

I spent yesterday in Chicago with friends.  It was such a lovely winter interlude.  The sun was even shining!  (Which is a rare treat anywhere near the Great Lakes in winter.)

What did we do?


1 -- We took in the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute.  It was just fascinating!  He was so, So, SO far ahead of his time (and so much more than soup cans and Marilyn Monroe).


2 -- We ate lunch at Terzo Piano.  Fabulous food, a most excellent view, and a great atmosphere.


3 -- We visited the Christkindlemarket set up in the Daley Center downtown.  Lots of fun!  We didn't buy much, but we did enjoy drinking hot, mulled wine (in souvenir boot cups!) while strolling around the market.  Very festive!

A great day -- and a wonderful way to celebrate the season with friends.


Be sure to stop in at Carole's today to read other Three on Thursday posts.  (And . . . share you favorite aphorism!)


Flying Off the Needles

Little Miss I'm-Not-Knitting-for-Christmas just wants to say . . . 


those Woodland Loafers just fly off the needles!  (That's a stitches-away-from-being-finished pair in all their unblocked glory there in the photo.)  (And another pair, waiting in the wings.)  (Which is really only a wound ball of yarn at this point, but I know you know what I mean.)

Seriously.  These things are fun to knit, easy (especially once you cut your teeth on the first one), and kind of magical.  If you're looking for a rather quick gift-knit, I recommend these cute little slippers.  It took me about 3.5 hours to knit the first one, but only 2.5 hours for the second.  (There is definitely a learning curve.)  (Plus movie-watching on the first one.)  I'm hoping to make good progress on the 2nd pair today -- I'm heading to Chicago and not driving.  That's hours and hours of knitting time!

If you're doing gift-knitting this year, how's it coming along?


Be sure to head over to Kat's today for more Unraveled posts.

Read With Us: A New Book

Read With Us

Bonny and Carole and I are pleased to share our next Read With Us book selection today.  After much discussion and careful consideration, we've chosen Fever by Mary Beth Keane.


What's it about?  

Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

On the eve of the twentieth century, Mary Mallon emigrated from Ireland at age fifteen to make her way in New York City. Brave, headstrong, and dreaming of being a cook, she fought to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic-service ladder. Canny and enterprising, she worked her way to the kitchen, and discovered in herself the true talent of a chef. Sought after by New York aristocracy, and with an independence rare for a woman of the time, she seemed to have achieved the life she'd aimed for when she arrived in Castle Garden. Then one determined medical engineer noticed that she left a trail of disease wherever she cooked, and identified her as an asymptomatic carrier of Typhoid Fever. With this seemingly preposterous theory, he made Mallon a hunted woman.

The Department of Health sent Mallon to North Brother Island, where she was kept in isolation from 1907 to 1910, then released under the condition that she never work as a cook again. Yet for Mary, proud of her former status and passionate about cooking, the alternatives were abhorrent. She defied the edict.

Bringing early-twentieth-century New York alive, the neighborhoods, the bars, the park carved out of upper Manhattan, the boat traffic, the mansions and sweatshops and emerging skyscrapers, Fever is an ambitious retelling of a forgotten life. In the imagination of Mary Beth Keane, Mary Mallon becomes a fiercely compelling, dramatic, vexing, sympathetic, uncompromising, and unforgettable heroine.

Why did we choose it?

We really did put a lot of thought into our second book selection.  We wanted to choose a fiction book for this go-round, and we wanted it to be obscure enough that most of you haven't already read it, interesting - and full of discussable issues and topics, highly regarded, old enough to be available through most libraries, and short enough to be readable during the holiday months.

That's a lot of shoes for a mere book to fill . . . but we think we've done it with Fever!  (Besides . . .it's historical fiction about a woman most of us have heard about by reputation -- but really don't know much about.  And that's always interesting.)

What's the timeline?

Let's just say . . . you have plenty of time to get your hands on a copy of Fever!  We'll be starting our background/promotional posts in January, with discussion posts to follow in February.

Where can I get a copy of the book?

I see that Fever is available for download on Kindle or iBooks ($12.99), as a paperback ($10.99 on Amazon; I also saw it on the shelf at my local Barnes & Noble for the same price), or through your local library.  (The book was written in 2014, so there shouldn't be a big rush to read it.)


So.  There you have it.  All the details on our new book selection.  
I hope you'll . . . Read With Us this winter!



Start Your Engines

Doesn't this first Monday in December - which also happens to be the Monday after a long and leisurely Thanksgiving weekend (here in the U.S., at least) AND "Cyber Monday" (my normally quiet email inbox is having a party with all the uninvited guests this morning) - just feel a lot more Monday . . . than even a regular Monday?

Time to . . . 


Here are a few things I stumbled across or thought about this weekend. . . 


A Quote

"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now."
   --- Alan Lakein



A Word

Tom recently introduced me to another word that I'd never heard before.  It's another word that is (apparently) more common in science than in regular life . . . but is DEFINITELY one I want to incorporate into my everyday language. Because so much fun to say!


Am I right?  It just rolls off the tongue in such a pleasing way!  
(I'm going to use this word all winter long.)


To Read


Do you borrow ebooks from your library?  Do you ever marvel at how the "hold" wait times can be so dang long?  (Like . . . nearly a year sometimes for new or popular titles?)  Well.  This recent article from the Washington Post breaks it down for us.  Fascinating!  

How about you?  Do you borrow ebooks from your library?  How are your wait times?


To Make


So.  I have said . . .  I am not making any gifts this year.  
Well.  I caved.  I AM making a few quick gifts this year.  And part of that is because I discovered this pattern.  

I made the first (of 4) (let me clarify . . . I'm making 2 pairs) last night in the time it took Tom and I to watch The Irishman on Netflix.  (Granted . . . that is a long slog of a movie, clocking in at just over 3.5 hours.)  The design is clever - and kind of magical the way it comes together (there is no seaming).  A tiny bit futzy, but not TOO futzy.  If you're looking for a quick gift, check it out!


And.  That's it for this Monday!

If you haven't yet, please take a few minutes to complete our Read With Us survey.  This is the last day for the survey -- and we'd love to hear from you, whether you read Just Mercy with us or not.  (And if your have already completed it, thanks so much!  Your responses are very helpful to us.)

And . . . be sure to join us tomorrow when we announce our next Read With us selection!