Friday, April 30, 2021

Z is for Zoom

A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19 

Z is for Zoom

I missed more than one zoom meeting because I didn't take timezone into account

Prior to March 15, 2020 I had never heard of Zoom.  Well, I had heard of the word zoom, and I have been known to zoom around doing this and that, but Zoom as a platform for virtual meetings was an unknown. 

How quickly all that changed.  My Sunday morning WW meeting quickly went to zoom, as did my Saturday morning CoDA group.  Even my Thursday evening Knit Group started Zooming until the better weather allowed us to meet outside (socially distanced of course). 

I found myself over the course of the last year joining a number of Zoom virtual meetings.  Some in Australia, some in Colorado, some in Toronto, and most recently Alaska.  

It is an amazing tool to keep us connected during a time when in person connection isn't possible.

I have a love/hate relationship to zoom.  The video freezes, the sound kicks in (and out), and when I speak it appears that once I have finished talking it takes quite a few seconds before the other members in the meeting acknowledge that I have been heard.  It is eerie to finish speaking and be met with blank stares and silence.  And then, just as I give up hope that my sound was working, there are nods and laughter, agreement and feedback. 

I had the opportunity to teach via the Zoom platform but I declined.  I couldn't bear the thought of the stress of my sound/video being intermittent.  Zoom often tells me "Your internet connection is unstable", and it isn't.  I am sitting literally six feet from the router and my internet provider tells me I have a strong/excellent connection!  I see/hear others who have the same issue, but in this case misery does not love the company. 

I get anxious whenever it is my turn to talk, and I certainly talk less in zoom meetings then I would if I was there in person. I push through the anxiety though,  because if I didn't take advantage of these Zoom connection I would quite likely lose my mind.  

My logbook is filled with zoom meeting ids and passcodes.  There is usually also a note about time zone because often the host is not local to me.  

I have heard that if you worked for Zoom you are now quite wealthy, and if you had stock prior to March 2020 then you did quite well.  Not me in either case. 

How about it readers?  How have you stayed connected?  Zoom or another platform?  Do tell!

So there we have it.  The A to Z(ed) Challenge can be put to rest, and now my logbook can go on the shelf with my other completed (or half completed) journals.  

I have started a new one. 

Also from free store on the little island

It seems fitting that the first page was the planning for this A to Z(ed) challenge.

Are you a zoomer?  Do you love it, or hate it?

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Y is for Yarn

A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19
Y is for Yarn

Of course Y is for Yarn.  I don't know how these past fourteen months would have played out for my mental health if it wasn't for my knitting/crocheting obsession  hobby.  2020 was going to be a year where I didn't buy any yarn and to just knit projects from my stash.  Yes, knitters and crocheters call their stores of unused yarn stash.  It does worry me if border guards ever read through my emails or texts where I am discussing stash with my friends.  I could be in for a long border wait. 

I think I broke down and ordered yarn early in the pandemic lockdown so I could knit my daughter a sweater.  Then I started to crochet a blanket out of left over yarn I had, but I just didn't have enough variety of colours, and besides many of my friends were crocheting this Havana blanket and I wanted to get in on the action.  

With the leftovers from the Havana I wanted to knit my Nativity scene, but, oh drat, I didn't have the earthy colours I needed for the shepherds.  

Of course whenever you I order yarn you I have to order enough to get free shipping.  Am I right?  Of course I am right.

Much of my logbook is me desperately trying to de-stash 13,200 yards of yarn as a challenge I had made with my Ravelry friends.  This meant calculating the yardage of every project I made, but also having to include when I added yardage.   (I am pleased to report that I made it by the skin of my teeth on December 30th, 2020.)

The logbook is full of scribbles and notes about weight of yarn, yardage of yarn, colours of yarn, yarn needed, and yarn remaining.  I also should admit here that I go back and forth between yards and metres, ounces and grams.  OMG border is grams of wool.  Jeez!

I could commit to just using Ravelry's stash feature and let the program calculate everything for me, but there is something satisfying about getting out my little scale, and putting pen to paper logbook. 

As I have mentioned before I am a wee bit of a math nerd.  And in this time of CoVid there is something to be said for the simplicity of one plus one equalling two.  Or, more often in the case of yarn - 400 yards minus 370 yards equals 30 yards (to make a little dolly or gnome). 

It gives me faith that sometimes there is only one right answer. 

And I have it written down in my logbook. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

X is for X

A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19 

X is for X

Math nerd alert!

Looking through my logbook I could have picked Xmas or Xray but I don't like using the term Xmas for Christmas (even though I did write it down that way in my to-do list from December as in Xmas lights), and I am so tired of all the X-rays, MRIs, CTScans, and Ultrasounds I have had in the last year I just don't want to give it any more energy.  

I do use X a lot in my notes.  Sometimes it represents an algebraic unknown as in the calculations above.  Sometime it represents multiplication.  It can represent the number of times to take a vitamin, or to repeat a knitting motif - 3x.  There are many big Xs in my logbook as I have crossed out something I have completed.  Often it is a filler for a box to show progress or attendance. 

re-posted from A is for Abottie and Aquafit

I have other examples of X as part of a word I have made note of like Britbox (my new favourite streaming service), or the Ox I knit for my nativity scene last December. 
The donkey photo-bombed the Ox pic

Today X is for X.  


And makes a more interesting post than X is for Xylophone....or maybe not. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

W is for Wordscapes

  A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19 

W is for Wordscapes

In September of 2019 I was introduced to an app called Wordscapes.  It is a simple wordgame that I quickly became addicted to.  In the beginning I was annoyed by the ads that would pop up and interrupt my play, but then my son took my phone and purchase the app so I could play ad free.  A great bargain for $3.79!

On the weekends there is a tournament that you can join and if you score in the top ten you get a few extra coins (to help you buy hints), but mostly you earn points to get cool crowns for your avatar, and of course bragging rights.  

See?  Cool crown!

About six months ago I joined a team so I could enter team tournaments.  I found a team called Wales and decided to join even though I don't live in Wales, but I have always wanted to visit there.  It is a great group.  There are 50 of us on the team and many are not from Wales but we are all welcome.  There is a lot of chat, encouragement, silliness, and friendly banter.  Sometimes we come up with our own tournaments and split our team in two and compete with each other.  The picture of my logbook at the top of this post shows one challenge where we had to see how many animals/birds/insects we could find during the weekend.  I know it may be considered a waste of time by some  - but hey, Life in the Time of CoVid, we all do what we can to have some fun and social interaction. 

Have you fallen into any game/app rabbit holes since CoVid began?  Do share in the comments!

Leer, Reel, Mere, Eye....

Monday, April 26, 2021

V is for Vision Board

  A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19  

V is for Vision Board

There are some things in my logbook that I have done nothing else with except enter the information in my logbook.  This page is one of them.

I heard Dr. Shefali being interviewed by Oprah, and took note of her website - Radical

To save you the anguish of trying to read my handwriting, here is the transcription of the above page. 

Vision Board

Who am I today?

Am I being true to myself today?

What do I need to do to be my true self today?

What do I need to let go of to be my truest self?

Well, there is no time like the present. 

Who am I today?  I am a 65 year old women, waiting for yet another Doctor to call for a tele-appointment.  I am feeling nauseous - likely due to the new beta blocker by heart doctor has put me on.  Personally I don't know how good it is to have a heart rate of 47 bpm.  Just sayin'.  

Am I being true to myself today?  Ok, this seems like a trick question.  I truly am nauseous, and 65, so there is that.  Is that all I am?  Of course not.  Do I give myself permission to feel my feels?  I think so.  I also know that my true self is a warrior.  My true self will put on my hikers and go for a walk after I finish this post.  My true self will marvel at the beautiful spring blossoms.  My true self will come home and hit the yoga mat for a few minutes - probably a healing class.  My true self will not only go and find my big girl panties, but make sure they are clean and even kinda pretty.  

What do I need to do to be my true self today?  I need to go out in the sun.  And, if it warms up just a little bit more I will sunbathe au naturel for ten minutes aside.  It doesn't get any truer than getting naked.  

What do I need to let go of to be my truest self?  Clothes.  lol.  Ok, seriously I need to let go of my illness(es).  I need to remember I am more than a person who has had more xrays, mris, ct-scans, and blood tests than she can  count.  

So, ya, V is for Vision Board.  

Maybe I need to go check out Dr. Shefali's website.  Clearly it was important enough to me at the time to write this all down in my logbook.  

Maybe, just maybe, my younger self was onto something. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Yopping Update #43 - Promise kept


A finish!

this is one LONG scarf/shawl

Practical Magic is done

As promised last week I got going on my Sweater of Many Colours and finished the body and currently I am knitting the sleeves two at a time - hopefully I have enough of the blue for them to be a solid colour. 

Here are some pictures - unblocked of course. 

Crazy eh?  It will be like wrapping myself up in a colourful blanket. 

Speaking of crazy I am getting set to start on a Gansey project.  I have been joining a small group of knitters every Tuesday afternoon for an hour or so.  We range from Germany, USA, and Canada.  They are all avid gansey knitters and I have caught the bug!  The yarn will be on its way to me next week, and I am studying up with this book that has been on my shelf and is now going to come in very handy. 

I have been walking everyday, and I also have been keeping a commitment to myself to do yoga everyday until the end of May.  So far I have succeeded six days out of six. 

I will leave you with some lovely photos showing evidence of new growth and the promise of Spring and Summer and all good things. 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

U is for URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

 A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19  

U is for URL (Uniform Resource Locator)


Even though I was a computer programmer/analyst for ten years I didn't know what URL stood for so I had to research that before starting this post.  If you didn't know either then you're welcome. 

My logbook is full of URL's.  Some for online shopping like the one in the page above.  Some for email addresses.  Some for zoom meetings.  

I wish I could say they are all on one page so they can be easily found when I need to reference them, but alas, it is not to be.  They are simply scribbled down on the next blank space available as soon as I found a pen or pencil which was never as easily done as it should have been.  Ah to be organized. 

Ironically when people ask me where they can find my blog, I usually can't remember the URL offhand.  I often think I should get some business cards made just so I can remember.  Is there a hyphen, or not? Is it .com or .ca? Really, my mind is like a sieve when it comes to names of people, or apparently my own URL.  Don't get me started as to whether it starts http, or https.  It doesn't seem to matter which I use as the computer always seems smart enough to find me. 

I have sometimes played around with google search to see what happens when I put in the name of this blog, Breathing LIfe, or a topic I have written about.  Sometimes Google can find me.  Often not. 

URLs are a fact of our life now.  Even more so in the Time of CoVid-19.  


Friday, April 23, 2021

T is for Twelve Steps

A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19   

T is for Twelve Steps

Peppered throughout my logbook are zoom meeting ids and passcodes for a number of Twelve Step meetings I attended in the last year. 

I began going to CoDA meetings (Co-dependent Anonymous) May of 2018, but by March of 2019  the meetings had gone virtual via zoom.  I miss the in person meetings, but the benefit of the zoom meetings is that you can meet people that you would never meet in person because they are zooming in from outside our area, often outside our province and even, at times, outside Canada.  

By June of 2020 I had connected with a small group of women and we decided to meet every Thursday evening via zoom to work through the twelve steps together.  It was not always easy.  Sometimes there were tears (mostly mine), but there was so much support and understanding.  We finished our step work in January but we continue to meet every two weeks to reflect on the Twelve Promises of CoDA.  

Around the same time a friend privately messaged me and suggested I might want to check out an ACA meeting (Adult Children of Alcoholics).  Something I had shared at a meeting made her think it might be beneficial to my recovery.  I started attending a zoom ACA meeting at the end of last May 2020.  Through that group I also heard about a group that was going to work the twelve steps together.  I have been attending that zoom meeting since early February 2021.  

I have also attended workshops in Australia, New Zealand, Toronto and Colorado on different topics such as Non-Dominant handwriting, and Inner Child work. 

The work is not easy, but, for me, necessary to my being more authentic in how I relate to others, and of course to myself.  

If it wasn't for CoVid-19 I would not have been able to attend these conferences.  If I only had the option to attend an ACA meeting in person I would have to choose between CoDA and ACA because the meetings local to me both happen on Saturday morning.  Thanks to zoom I can attend the ACA meeting on either Tuesday evening or Monday afternoon. 

Self-reflection is not for the faint of heart.  Step 4 asks us to take a fearless moral inventory.  My list had about fifty entries.  Very few of them were what I would consider positive traits.  My sponsor reminded me that an inventory is also our positive traits.  At first try I came up with four.  I am happy to report that the list has grown as I continue my journey. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

S is for Self-Publish

 A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19  

S is for Self-Publish

First two of five pages of notes

Last June I attended a zoom presentation on how to self-publish my novel.  I wrote a novel in November 2015 during the Nanowrimo challenge.  I edited it two years later during  Nanowrimo 2017.  

Periodically I have posted snippets of the novel on this blog. You can find the first post of 30 here from November 2017.  I sent my novel out into the world the summer of 2019 to have a dozen beta readers take a look at it, and I received positive and helpful feedback. 

I have sent chapters into a couple of writing competitions and received polite rejection letters.  

Where is my novel now, you may ask?  It is in a drawer in my craft room.  It is edited and converted to an epub version, and there it sits. 

I took all the notes last June from the zoom session, but I have yet to start doing anything else about it.  I want to.  I want to get my novel out into the world.  I think it is a good novel and I don't expect to put it into the world to make money or get accolades.  I just want to put it out there because it is a novel about a woman struggling with depression and finding stepping stones towards healing and re-connection with others and mostly with herself. I think it is a story that needs to be shared. 

Why don't I?  Partly I am procrastinating on all the steps: getting a ISBN number, making a cover page, picking the genre, deciding which ebook platform to put it on. 

Partly I think it is because I have felt like I am not a writer, even though I know intellectually I am a writer and a poet because I write prose and poetry.  Through this A to Z(ed) challenge I had the startling realization that I AM A WRITER.  I had spent about four hours on an earlier post.  I AM A WRITER.  I am not a writer that sits down every day from nine to five and writes, but I am a writer and I know/feel intrinsically that what I write at times is good.  Sometimes even very good.  

But mostly?

Mostly, I am afraid.  Afraid of criticism.  Afraid of my novel not being received in the same spirit it was written in.  

I need to find my big girl panties, and get going.  It is not like I don't have time since our lockdown and possibility to travel is on hold for at least another six weeks or so. 

Maybe if I post this I will get going.  

That is my hope. 

Any encouraging words and/or advice would be welcomed in the comments. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

R is for Rainbow Pride

A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19  

R is for Rainbow Pride

If you read my F is for Fleece post you will remember I was involved in two spinning challenges last year.  I won some beautiful rainbow fibre during the July challenge, and so during the September challenge I began to spin it.  I decided to spin the fibre in repeating lines of colour and so I would pull off a small piece of each of the colours and then spin them in order.  I wanted quite a long colour change, To preserve the colours I chain plied it at the end so I could control where the colour changes happened.  If you are not a spinner this will be all nonsense to you, but trust me it was a good plan, and for the most part it worked. 


Part of the fun of the challenges was joining a team (or two) on Ravelry, and of course I joined the Canadian spinners, but I also joined the Queer Revelry group.  They were encouraging and chatty and welcomed me as a proud parent of a queer child. 

The spin took me a g e s!  I did not finished it during the second challenge.  In fact looking back at my notes I see it took me until December 30th, 2020 to finish it and that was only because I was involved in a yardage challenge elsewhere on Ravelry and I needed to spin more to make the yardage I had committed for 2020!  

In January I had decided on a pattern to use with the rainbow pride yarn.  Being a bit of a math nerd I chose a sock pattern made up of equilateral triangles.  I have made this sock pattern before so I am not as crazy as I sound.  

I was very pleased with the results - and once, after the pandemic, when Pride Parades are again allowed I will wear them...with Pride!  Until then I hope when people see my socks they will recognize an ally.  An ally that can spin and knit the rainbow!  This post is for you dear daughter, and my grand-nibling. and all those in the LGBTQ community.  

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Q is for Quotes

A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19 

Q is for Quotes

My logbook is peppered with quotes I have heard in various zoom meetings.  The one pictured above is written on the inside cover of the logbook so I can always find it quickly and I do refer to it often as a way to stay grounded.  

Here are the others:

  • There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. (Maya Angelou)

  • Interest is Love in plain clothes

  • Shift from what we are missing to what we are gaining

  • Saying yes to everything means saying no to the important things

  • There is no future - there is only now. 

  • The reality of a goal is that it is already visible inside of you. 

  • I love myself.  The quietest, simplest, most powerful revolution ever. 

  • What I think I know - I know nothing .... unless I ask. 

  • Slow down to the speed of God

  • Do with it what you will. Don't say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you'd have heard this story.  You've heard it now. (Thomas King)

Perhaps you have a quote you have written down in the past year.  I would love you to share it in the comments. 

Monday, April 19, 2021

P is for Podcast

A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19 

P is for Podcast

Ever since my son was born, almost thirty-six years ago, I have had trouble falling asleep.  The only way I can drift off is to have something playing in my ear.  It used to be music, then it was late night radio.  For the last few years it has been podcasts.  My son often has podcasts to suggest, and so do other bloggers.  A couple of months ago I was on a zoom meeting and the three podcasts in the picture above were suggested.  
The first one is two sisters chatting and laughing about all anything and everything- and it is very, very funny.  The second two are true crime podcasts.  

I have a few go-to podcasts - Armchair Expert, WTF, Smartless, Don't ask TIg, Ear Hustle, Office Ladies,and Alan Alda's Clear and Vivid.  I also like to catch up on a few CBC podcasts like Because News, Laugh out Loud, and The Debaters. 

If you have any podcasts that you would like to recommend, I am always looking for more.  I listen to a CBC show called Podcast Playlist and they give snippets of podcasts that they or other podcasters recommend and I usually find one or two more each week to try.  

When I was thinking of my P is..... post I could have written P is for Poem, but I already blogged about a poem I wrote in my logbook last summer.  It is my thoughts on my aging body. If you want to check it out you can find it here

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Yopping Update #42 - Next week - I promise


I finished my Pole Dance socks - such an interesting construction. 

First you knit all the grey from 1/2 the cuff down to the start of the toe.  Then you go back to the cuff and as you knit you pick up stitches on either side of the grey.  It was hard to gauge the length of the sock because the grey is wrapping around your foot, so for the toes I only had about 1/2 inch to go.  I made a star toe reducing by 5 stitches each round form 68 down to 8.  I love them.  They are very cozy and I have enough of the yarn left over to knit my husband a pair of easy/peasy vanilla socks with the blue stripes as the main colour and the grey for the heel, toe and cuff. 

I am almost finished my Practical Magic shawl. Tonight or tomorrow for sure it will be done. 

And then?

Then, I promise I will pick up my sweater of many colours before I cast on another pair of socks. (although I do have a sock pattern calling my name.......but I can't hear it over the yelling coming from the love seat where the neglected sweater is sitting).

A friend and her son dropped by yesterday with a gift:

This is the 2nd edition of a book written by two colleagues of mine and many of the patterns my children made during their years at the Waldorf school.  I hope one day to teach my grand-daughter to knit using these patterns.  It is also sweet in that many of the children featured holding their knitted creations are children I taught over the years. 

On other news, I got my first vaccine (Phizer) on Tuesday and was feeling pretty smug about how my arm wasn't very sore and I was feeling so good. 

Then this morning I woke up feeling crappy and stayed in bed until 4:30 this afternoon.  Headachy, achy muscles, slight fever and very sleepy.  I think I will be fine by tomorrow.  I take it as a good sign that my body is building a large army of antibodies.  

I have been walking - just not as much this week, and doing a wee bit of gardening.  I have planted some flowers for the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds and I am tending them like wee babies. 

This week our community held a Writers' Festival and I attended three zoom presentations and then last night five friends and I participated in a Trivia night.  We came 4th out of six teams.  It was a lot of fun and was very well organized for being their first ever zoom trivia event.  

My second amaryllis is about to bloom and it is a gorgeous deep red.  We have had spectacular weather this past week so I have been practically living on the back deck.  Finally we have turned off the furnace. 

I have been keeping up with my A to Z(ed) challenge so if you are interested I have posted and will continue to post every day in April.  

That's it.  That's my week. My husband is roasting a chicken for our supper (he just called me to come and get it)  and I will get to my knitting later tonight.  

Oh, I before I forget:


Saturday, April 17, 2021

O is for Online Shopping

 A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19

O is for Online Shopping

Until CoVid-19 disrupted all our lives I didn't do much online shopping.  I did order a vitamin that I couldn't get in Canada anymore since one of the dumb bills was passed that the supplement I take 1000mg of per day was only allowed to be sold in Canada in 10mg capsules.  I also have ordered yarn for a company in the next province over from mine, and sometimes even from a yarn company in England when I was making my grand-daughters tree of life blanket and couldn't get the perfect yarn locally.  

However all that changed at the end of February 2020.  The first thing I ordered was a fitbit.  I wanted one that would track my heart rate since all my appointments and tests had started with my heart.  

That was followed my my buying a pair of wireless ear buds because I was tired of walking around and catching the wires of my ear buds on door handles.  

After that all bets were off.  (Plus I discovered having Amazon Prime for free shipping gave me access to Amazon's Prime streaming service).  

Since the pandemic began I have order underwear, wart cream, pen refills, and suncream.  

In the fall I was getting tired of walking in the pouring rain and so a friend told me about mountain wearhouse so I ordered a raincoat and rainpants which made my fall and winter walks much more pleasant. 

I ordered more vitamins and supplements online.  

And yes...more wool.  Wool to make my daughter a sweater.  Wool to make my creche.  Wool to make two more blankets.  Wool to make socks. And most recently I ordered some knitting needles and to get the free shipping four more skeins of sock yarn. 

I have ordered safety eyes for the woolen toys I have made, and at one point not feeling like I had nearly enough stitch markers I order 100 of them.  100!

We order our groceries online and pick them up curbside.  We order from our local Canadian Tire, and local Vitamin Store, and local Drug Store all for curb-side pickup.  I even bought a cute skort online last summer not too mention t-shirts, masks, and beanies. 

So yes, because of the pandemic I have become an online shopper. I have never liked shopping or going into shops so I likely will never go back to personal shopping unless I have no choice.  

For now I have choice.

How about you?  Have you shopped online more since Covid-19?  Will you continue?

Friday, April 16, 2021

N is for Netflix

 A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19

N is for Netflix

Quite early in the pandemic lockdown we started to run out of things to watch on Netflix.  I use the term Netflix pretty loosely because for me the name has become ubiquitous with all streaming services.  We also have Amazon Prime, Acorn, and most recently BritBox.  Our television stopped working at the beginning of December and the new one is a Roku, which comes with its own set of streaming channels. We even had a free trial of Crave for two months.

My sister and I have similar tastes in series so she gave me a few Netflix ideas, and then when I got Acorn she had a lot more to suggest.  My two children as well as other friends frequently suggest movies and series. 

Not trusting I will ever remember their suggestions I started to write them down in the back of my logbook. My husband and I have watched a number of them together.  A few of them I have watched on my own on my computer, or sometimes even on my phone while I knit in the afternoon. 

For me watching television is really just background to my knitting.  I just can't sit and watch television unless I am doing something else.  Folding laundry, doing taxes, playing Wordscapes on my phone, but mostly knitting (well, sometimes crocheting) .  My friend calls what I do (and she does) Knitflixing.

I have learned that we love period series like Peaky Blinders and The English Game.  We enjoy British crime shows like Call of Duty, The Bletchley Circle, and Vera.  We are very fond of British comedies like Trollied and WA1. Recently we have discovered some amazing Australian and New Zealand series like The Circuit, 800 Words, and The Sound. 

I can totally get hooked on teen dramas like Dawson's Creek, and Riverdale.

I binged ALL the seasons of Ru Paul's Drag Race.  Yes, ALL the seasons.  Not even sorry. 

We re-watched all the episodes of The Office, and are currently watching Red Dwarf from the beginning. 

Our evenings are usually one episode of some sci-fi series (The Expanse or Earth Final Conflict), one episode of a crime show (Death in Paradise or Vera), one Red Dwarf, and currently the next episode of The Circuit or The Serpent.  All the while I am knitting either a sock, a shawl, or a sweater as those three projects are in rotation as well.  

Okay, that's it.  Don't judge.  It's been a l o n g thirteen months. 

If you have any suggestions feel free to put them in the comments as I don't think this pandemic is ending anytime soon. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

M is for Magi

 A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19

M is for Magi


In September 2020 I started to knit a Christmas Creche scene.  It had been in my list of things to knit for a while, and so it began. 

I started with the three wise men.  The Magi.  This is where the fretting began.  

The original pattern had the kings in the following colours and ages:  The green and yellow king were young and the red king was the eldest. THe yellow king was the Moor.

the original pattern

I have been involved in the Waldorf/Steiner school since 1989, and they have a Three Kings' festival every year, and the colours I remember weren't the colours of the pattern.  And so it began:

First I went to the bible - trying to find descriptions of the three kings, the colours of their robes, and the gifts each brought, as well as their names and the land they came from.

Then I went to look at paintings I had done with my classes over the years.  

No yellow King

Then I contacted two colleagues to see what their remembrance of the colours and ages was. 

hmmmm still no yellow king, but blue is eldest and green is the Moor

And then? 

Then I came to my senses.  What was I worried about?  Well, honestly I was worried someone was going to come into my house and look at the creche I had knit as I had it displayed on my piano and say something about how I had the colours, and/or ages wrong. 

Um?  Can you say 'co-dependent'! 

This is how fu&k#d-up my brain can be at times.  I fretted over this for a good week or two (as you can see from my logbook) and then I just sat down and started to knit.  Despite my research I started with the Yellow Magi.  And then I combined the blue and green together into one King.   I also changed the colour of Mary's dress and cloak - non-negotiable.My creche, My decision. 

The original pattern didn't have an angel - how could they not have an angel?  Nor did it have a camel, donkey or oxen.  I searched Ravelry and found suitable patterns for the animals, and used the template for the Magis' for the angel - knitting him/her all in white.  (I don't think angels have a gender but using 'it' for the pronoun seemed just wrong.  I suppose I could have used 'them', but then it sounds like there were two angels.)  

Clearly an example of first world problems.

Also, a signal that I need to get out more. 

I love the finished creche and have no concerns about comments from the peanut gallery.

how cute are the sheep?  


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

L is for LastPass

 A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19

 L is for LastPass

In the summer of 2019 my son introduced me to using LastPass to store my passwords.  I had a 'little black book' of all the passwords I used for all the apps and programs I use, which replaced a sheet of paper I had for years.  Not very secure I know.

Also not very secure was the fact that I used the same two or three passwords for everything. 

Since I had time on my hand this past year (thank you CoVid-19?), I slowly started to go through all my accounts and let LastPass give me a secure password.  They are always weird combinations of numbers/letters/special characters/capitals and lowercase.  Something like this:


It was a long and tedious process, and especially when changing really important  passwords I would write them down in my logbook.  I didn't put the account name with the password so should my logbook go missing it will all be okay.  

Many years ago I wrote about the tedium of passwords and wouldn't it be nice if the world was just a safe and honest place and no-one was ever trying to steal my information.  You can read that post from 2011 here.

Well, as my mother always said, "If wishes were horses then beggars would ride."

LastPass still reminds me when I have a duplicate password, or when a password I have been using isn't very secure.  Recently there was a lot of hullabaloo about LastPass asking users to upgrade to be able to access their vault of passwords on both their phone and computer.  I went for it - spending the three bucks a month.  Good deal for peace of mind my son suggested and he is right. 

An interesting anecdote about the timing of my learning about, and how to use LastPass.  A month after I started to use it a very dear friend died and I was helping his wife with paperwork and their accounts the following month.  We discovered he used LastPass for all his passwords.  She hadn't known anything about it.  I was grateful that I new what LastPass was and how to use it. 

I remembered to thank my Higher Power for what seemed like serendipidity. 

I have come to realize that coincidences and serendipidity are really proof that God is in my life and looking out for me.  

PS:  I have no affiliation to LastPass and this is not an endorsement of the product.  It is just what I use and it fit the bill for my L post.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

K is for Knitting

 A to Z(ed) blogging Challenge - (my) Life in the TIme of CoVid-19

K is for Knitting

ooo - even added some colour on this page

I am sure anyone who knows me would expect nothing less than K is for Knitting.  For most of my life knitting has been a constant companion.  (my) Life in the Time of CoVid meant even more knitting if that was possible.  I am sure most days I can safely say I probably knit over eight hours a day.  

So no surprise then that my logbook has many pages of hash marks, notes about decreases, colour planning, and calculations for yarn usage - how much I would need, or how much I have left. 

There are many ways that knitters keep track of what row they are on, and how many times they have done a repeat.  I have used phone apps, bead counters, click counters and spin counters that stay attached to my needles.  

But my favourite method is pen and paper and hash marks.  There is something very satisfying about making those four straight lines standing like little soldiers and then crossing through them all to make the fifth mark before starting all over again. 

When keeping track of where I am on socks the first sock gets marked in pen, and the 2nd sock goes right on top marked in a colour, usually red. (see first picture at top of page)

Knitters (and crocheters too) often find themselves playing a game called yarn chicken.  This is when you are getting close to the end of the pattern while at the same time getting to the end of your ball of wool. 

For a math nerd like me this involves weighing the diminishing wool, knitting a row, and re-weighing to calculate how close I will be to winning at the game.  Sometimes this involves cutting the pattern short - but more than one pair of socks has had the toe or cuff a different colour because I had lost the yarn chicken game. 

case in point

Currently I am on my ninth pair of socks since January 2021.  I have been wearing jeans and cotton t-shirts for a year now.  Well also shorts in the summer.  I have no reason to dress up in anything else.  My wardrobe has been sadly neglected - hanging in the closet so lonely.  But I always have a pair of stylish socks on my feet.  

Something to cheer up the saddest of days as I wait out this pandemic. 

And today?  
Today I am happy because in three and a half hours I get my first vaccine!!

Yes, Virginia, there is light at the end of the tunnel.