Hope.

In a world that seems to have more bad news then good how do you go on? How do you get up, have breakfast, go to work, work all day, come home, make dinner, watch TV and go to bed? Today I woke up (again) to a news alert on my phone. I assumed that it was yet another political notification (every time Trump uses the loo I’m getting a notification it seems.) Sadly though that was not the case this morning. This morning it was 13 confirmed dead in a terror attack in Brussels. Instead of having quiet time with my coffee I turned the news on hoping that there were answers about what had happened but there were none. So I made breakfast, got dressed, put makeup on and went to work. When I got to work I looked at my to-do list and it felt to trivial.  Who cares where the Farmers’ Market ends up? Does it matter if the banner hangs over Cedar Avenue? If I don’t get my flyer approved it doesn’t really matter. So I sat at my desk working and checking the news. Tearing up a few times at the solidarity shown to these people from around the world. I know there is nothing I can do from my little desk on Cedar Avenue. I can’t personally end terrorism, I do not have money to donate to relief funds, or answers to the many questions floating around. I guess really all I can do is get up, have breakfast, go to work, order the banner, make the flyers, go home, eat dinner and try to be a positive person. I can smile at people on the street. I can decide to not live in fear and depression because the state of our world is terrible. I can hope that things get better. I think hope is what keeps us going. So tonight I am grasping onto my hope and praying for the entire world.
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Book Review: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and There Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

 

The Boys in the Boat

Photo from Goodreads

A few weeks ago I went to visit the Brother in Chambersburg where he moved. I decided that I should not waste the three hour drive and I would try out audible. I decided all of this about 10 minutes before I was set to leave. So I made a mad dash to download the app and sign up. Then I needed to pick my free book. I surfed through the main page and The Boys in the Boat came up. I had it on my Amazon wishlist but had never pulled the trigger and now I could listen to it for free?! #Score I hit the download button and was on my way.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and There Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics written by Daniel James Brown

This book sucked me in from the first moment. The narrator was  Edward Herrman and as soon as he started reading I was taken away. I felt every single moment of Joe’s childhood pain and I was so mad for him. I listened as he explained some of what was going on in Berlin leading up to the Olympics and about the relationships between key officials. I was on the Washington Sound as they rowed together for the first time. And I was cheering them on over and over again as they raced bigger schools with more money, As they raced with class and backbone, stregnth and passion that living on the frontier during the Depression can give you. I cant put into words how highly I not only reccomend this book but get the audio book. I cried a few times, felt happiness, anger, elation so many feelings. GO GET THIS BOOK. You won’t regret it.

The story focuses mostly on Joe Rantz’s story. Joe’s entire leading up to the 1936 Olympics is a trail. Nothing ever is easy, his life is always sad, he is always hungry and dirt poor. But Joe is never negative about his situation. He just keeps on. His early life certainly led him to being the excellent rower that he becomes.

There has always been something beautiful to me when it comes to patriotism. When the people of Seattle come together to make sure there boys get to Berlin I wept. At the end of the book when you learn about where these boys go, what they do I had chills. I have not enjoyed a book like I enjoyed this one in many many tears. You can find the Audible version and the Kindle version here. I still highly recommend listening to this book.

Also, I’m hoping to read 52 books this year and January I did pretty well with that goal. I read 5 books last month! I need to read more. And cell phone less. Instagram, Facebook they’ve really become a problem.

Baby blanket

As I’ve referenced in all of my recent posts I have recently fallen in love (with a 5 month old) named CB (for internet purposes). Anyway his Momma asked me to make him a baby blanket because he didn’t have any that were made just for him (he has an older sister and she has a shelf full of blankets. I know this because after she tucked me in with all of them I had to fold them and put them away. #2yearsoldsaremessy)

Well I trotted over to Ravelry (the mecca for knitters and crocheters everywhere) and started looking for the perfect pattern. After the search began I understood why no one had made this kid a blanket. They were all terribly girly. Finally I stumbled upon the Baby Tree of Life Throw. Here is the original pattern which I still felt was a little girly.  Well in looking through the MANY projects that had been completed I found someone who had changed the pattern a bit and published it. It’s here. Much more my speed.
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So I trotted up to Michaels on Christmas Eve with the Brother to get the yarn (even though I had Christmas things that needed finished. I could not ignore the siren call of a wee little baby blanket). I decided to use Vanna’s Choice yarn witch is 100% acrylic (#GASP) I am a yarn snob so this was a hard decision to make. I like to use the very best. But I know how busy Mom’s are and I know how often CB pukes. So it needed to be machine washable. (But lets hope Mom doesn’t put it in the dryer all the time.)
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Fast forward about a month and I have finished blanket that has been washed and blocked. I was finally able to use my Knitpicks blocking wires (here is a video showing how to use them).
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Now I’m onto the Downton Abbey Cardigan for myself. Because I deserve a new cardigan.
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This is the big sister. She’s a diva in the best way possible. She also wormed her way into my black heart.

#Always

snappeI was never a fan of Professor Snape. Never trusted him. But Alan Rickman. Well I always loved him. Beloved actor. Kind face. Excellent baddie. There are some celebrities that pass away that break my heart. This is one of those times. I don’t know if I am so bothered because of all the other negative things that I have going on or if it really is just because he was so much a part of my life growing up. Because you see, yes Alan Rickman was in many, many movies that I love but from the age of 11 until now (18 years if you are counting) he was Professor Snape. Harry Potter took me far away from Scranton. Transported me to England. Made me a witch. Gave me a whole different world to hide in when things were to much in my life. They are books and movies that I turn to in the darkest of times. I think that’s why this hurts me so much. Because it’s like I’m losing a teacher. Ha. Now that I sound crazy here here is a post from the Bloggess. She gets me. “I Can’t”

A little montage from CNN on some of his more famous movies. CNN

Dear Alan, “Remember Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” (J.K. Rowling) -Katie, a big fan

Checking in.

It seems as soon as I said that I would recap my heart surgery I wanted to stop writing this blog again. See I want to write it all down but Mr. E was a large part of that recovery and I know I can’t leave him out of the posts but dredging up his taking care of me and having to focus on the end of the relationship is hard. So I am going to table that post for when I’m not so #emotional.

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Tea for my raw throat

13 days into the New Year I haven’t done anything all that exciting. Mostly my life has revolved around eating (I cook ALL THE TIME) work. Whole30 is going really well. I’ve eaten out once and I was very careful and ordered the safest things on the menu that I could find.  I’ve also eaten at friends houses and they have been really wonderful about letting me be a pain in the butt and say I can’t have this, this and that. #luckygirl I haven’t felt any of the magical changes that Whole30 promises BUT my size 16 jeans (from Old Navy) are currently on me. I’ve missed skinny jeans so on Sunday when I could get these on I was thrilled. I knew my weight gain was out of control when I started wearing boot cut jeans. Also, don’t get me wrong. The jeans are tight BUT I can sit and and cross my legs. That’s enough for me! 🙂
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Chorizo nachos. Holy moly!

I’ve been eating a TON of veggies, meat and fats on this diet. It’s been a lot of fun to just drop a hunk of Ghee or coconut butter in the pan and not have to put the skillet on the scale and make sure that I’m only having 6 grams at a time. It’s also been fun to have more then 3 ounces of protein at a time. I will say that I am missing cheese and rice a lot. And my weekly (or 3x’s a week) sushi visits are missed. #thestruggle

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Typhoid CB

I started the new year with a cold that was given to me by my most favorite baby CB. He is the love of my life. And sick or not I needed to kiss his cheeks. A decision I regret after the week I spent sick as a dog. But I’d probably do that same things again. 😉

Have you seen Casablanca?! I’m sure you have. Everyone has seen the movie except me. The problem was I’m a hopeless romantic who needs  a happy ending. My life is tragic enough without adding depressing endings to the mix. Anyway, I finally saw it and I was on the edge of my seat. Wonderful movie. I want to watch it again and see what I missed. #somuchgoingon #Mustnotpee I also almost cried at one point. There is something about patriotism that brings tear to me eye.

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Road trip to see the brother.

Last night I went to a friends house for dinner and she made a magical salad and venison stew. All whole30 approved AND I made a knitter! 🙂 Really she knew how to knit and needed an update BUT I still get her started and I’m excited to teach her how to purl next. I love hoisting my hobby on people. Although, teaching is not something I’m great at.

Thanks for listening. Maybe I’ll do something fun with interesting pictures soon. For now it’s windy and cold and I want to curl up with a book.image

Road trip to discover oxygen.

A few weekends ago Mr. E asked if I wanted to head to a historic site on a Sunday afternoon. Well truth be told it was my first day off in two weeks and I was tired and grumpy and I really didn’t want to. But he sounded earnest and I’m a sucker for making him happy so on this Sunday afternoon I found myself heading for Northumberland and the Joseph Priestly House.

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Joseph Priestly was born during in 1733 and did not move to the United States until the 1790’s. He was a theologian, scientist, outdoors-men, teacher and an all around well educated gentleman of the 18th century. He spent most of his life in England and didn’t move to the United States until his teaching on religion got him in a bit of trouble. After having his home and laboratory burned down in the Priestly Riots he fled to London and his 3 sons went to the states to see about purchasing land. They picked Northumberland, PA . Priestly’s wife designed her dream house overlooking the Susquehanna River (although sadly she passed away before the house was completed) and he moved in. Priestly sent the final decade of his life in the home. Dying in the study that he spent much of his time in.

Priestly made many important discoveries including oxygen (and a few other elements), the first Unitarian Church in the United States, he taught students in his home (and was an early proponent of taking them outdoors), among many other important things.

That all being said I went because I love a good house tour. I really couldn’t give a single hoot about science. As 18th century homes go this was a great home. It was big and stately in the English style with lovely view and a great staircase.

This is Priestly's microscope which was pretty awesome to see.

This is Priestly’s microscope which was pretty awesome to see.

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The study/library where he eventually passed away.

The study/library where he eventually passed away.

Priestly himself.

Priestly himself.

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An out building built by Penn State in the early 20th century. They used the site for outreach courses at Penn State.

An out building built by Penn State in the early 20th century. They used the site for outreach courses at Penn State.

I'm a sucker for an awesome English style door.

I’m a sucker for an awesome English style door.

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Even though I didn’t want to go it was a BEAUTIFUL day. I always enjoy spending afternoons with Mr. E. He doesn’t need to know how lazy I am. The house sadly is showing the decline of museums. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission turned the house over to the Friends Group and it is showing that. There is only one bedroom furnished and it is Priestly’s daughter in laws room. They didn’t have HIS bedroom on display. The volunteer tour guides also were complaining about the site and way it is run while Mr. E and I were touring (unprofessional much?!). Looks like the house could use a little life blown into it and I hope that happens before it becomes another of the properties that is lost due to funding.

Links for the week of 3.29.2015

Happy Easter! I’m spending the day with the family (and no friends. Boo). And Mr. E is spending the day with his parents. It’s been a VERY short lent. I cheated and ate at my favorite restaurant twice (but I don’t feel guilty they were justified) and I did NOT have a single cheese danish. So you can better you booty that I’m eating a cheese danish for breakfast today.

Some stories I found interesting this week:

Buttons are something that we don’t often think about until they have ripped off your winter coat on the COLDEST day of the year. Here an educator at a historic home in NY looks at how the button can help trace the history or the home. Great read Here.

I can’t imagine teaching anyone to read, write and speak English but here is a 90 (!!!) year old man who comes out once a week to help and has been helping for 25 years. Check him out Here. 

It’s a known fact around here that I love history, particularly the American Revolution, so when I saw this article “10 Amazing Women From the Revolutionary War” I read it as quickly as I could! I’m a HUGE Abigail Adams fan. What about you? Check them out Here.

Some photos from the Samsung (which isn’t holding a charge):

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I found 14 hair ties under my bed when cleaning.

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Who knew that peanut butter creme Brule was a thing? Well it's amazing.

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Easter egg dying!

What are you listening to? This week it’s been The Beatles. The Abbey Road album to be more specific. Who knows why. (PS: I found it on youtube Here.