The Saturday Update: Week 18

Another week. It is just crazy, but with sunny warm weather the days seem to be going a little faster. The lawns have been mowed and I am working in the gardens now clearing out the debris of last fall and planting seeds into the bare spots. I managed to get my new roses planted and am now working on clearing out the gardens in the back… so many dandelions for the bees right now, so I feel a little guilty. Luckily there are lots of other things that I can get done out there before I dig and clear those last gardens.

So the pandemic is kind of overwhelming for me right now. The news here in the US is full of people storming the governmental offices and demonstrating to be allowed to reopen the economy. I get that, but what is insane is people demanding that their lives be returned to normal. You know, no more masks! Packed beaches! I want to go to the movies and to restaurants. I want everything to be the way it was! I refuse to take a vaccine! I don’t care that we don’t have testing! This is just affecting old people anyway, and it’s just fake news, so let’s just go back to normal!!!!!


This was me five years ago when I was first diagnosed with scleroderma, Sjogren’s disease, and all the rest that came crashing down on me in the months that followed as all of the test results and specialists visits happened. I get it. The loss of your former life can be crushing. Get over it. To pretend something is not happening is not “living without fear”, but rather just burying your head in the sand. It is happening. Be brave. Put on your mask, make the adjustments that you need to in your life, plan for the long haul, hope for the best, and plan for the worst. We will make it, but not if we all just act selfishly.

I decided to switch the order of my weekly topics because this book is so appropriate for what is happening in my world right now.

I finished The Splendid and the Vile this week. Oh, my goodness. This is the book that I needed right at this moment. Imagine blackouts, nightly bombings, fires, thousands of casualities, and a pretty darn hopeless outcome as the nation prepares for invasion. Your allies are gone, and your friends just don’t want to get involved. In the midst of almost certain disaster Churchill emerged in Great Britain as the man that they needed at that time. Hugely energetic, positive, honest, ecentric, and ruthlessly demanding of the people around him, Churchill played a long game over years navigating his nation’s way though what can only be described as desperate times. His leadership and the development of central operations that placed and maintained a wartime footing over years was just inspiring for me and a great counterpoint to the nightly news. This book unpacked the early WWII years and made the people involved in the British effort come alive. I am so glad that I read it.

Now I am again picking away at several books at once trying to settle on one to carry me through the next week. I started a book called She by Pete Brassett because I had the audible version along with the book; I also kind of like British detective books so it was appealing. Oops. A book about a serial killer. What was I thinking of? I then started a science fiction book that is the last in a series that I’ve been reading. The Last Emperox by John Scalzi is set in a scenario where civilization as they know it is collapsing and the rich, powerful corporations are all scrambling to secure as much profit and security as they can in the unfolding chaos and uncertain future. There are machinations, betrayals, assassinations, and blantantly unscrupulous business practices that completely ignore the welfare of “the little people”. What was I thinking!! This is perhaps not the best book for me to be reading at the moment. I can go back to American Dirt (desperate mom tries to escape Mexican cartel and get to America and safety… maybe not) or return to The Mirror and the Light (more political maneuvering with a unhinged leader at the helm; death and betrayal is everywhere…), or just give up and read some nice Japanese cat comic books that I have. That’s the ticket! I am going to focus on The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home for a few days!

It’s a plan!

My needles have been busy this week. You know how it is. You can work for days and days without seeing any progress, and then suddenly it is apparent how much you have actually gotten done.

I finished up my Sweet & Tartan socks this week. I am so happy with how they came out and couldn’t be more pleased with the pop of color that the I-cord at the top gives them. I wore them for a couple of cool days this week and they really stay in place. My notes are here.

Then there is the knitted Maya cat that I am making for my son. The knitted Jonesy needs a friend, right?!

I’ve finished the back from the tip of her nose to the end of her tail. Next I will be doing her legs.

You can’t see the cat in the above knitted cat rug? Huh. Maybe I should show it to you in another format.

There, is that better? I’ve draped the knitting over MacKnitzie so you can see how much progress I’ve made. I’m well on the way to having a cat!! This pattern is Cat by Clair Garland. My notes are here.

I’ve also been knitting and knitting on my new V-Neck Boxy sweater. I am about 9 inches below the armhole now and am approaching something that might be looking a little like a sweater.

What do you think? This is V-Neck Boxy by Joji Locatelli.

Things are starting to come to life out back. I have an immense shrub by my back deck that is almost as high as the rain gutters. It is now covered in blossoms.

The shrub is absolutely covered in these scented blooms… but they don’t smell nice. I’ve actually been keeping the patio door shut to keep the scent out of the house. Later on this shrub will have nice little red berries on it. I’m pretty sure that this is a Viburnum.

Remember my very unhappy roses that I put back outside after they spent a winter being babied in the house under grow lights? They are slowly toughening up, and today I saw this:

Aww… it managed to get a bloom out. See little guy, you will be okay.

Well, that’s all for the week.

Please, please, everyone, be safe!

Remember to read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart can’t live without it.

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled kittens. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

12 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 18”

  1. Viburnum lentago – well done you. But if it don’t smell good, rissole it – or at least move it, no ? Your husband could be corralled into doing it ..
    The knitting is super ! I wish I were confident enough to do top-down, but I ain’t. When the yarn arrives I shall be knitting a cardigan for a dear friend: the hoo-ha we went through in finding a pattern then a replacement yarn (can’t buy Berroco in Oz) and then the colour .. I shan’t be doing this again.
    At the momentI’m taking part in a “crochet tournament”, would you believe ? – great fun.

    1. Did I mention that this shrub is absolutely enormous? Like 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide. I do go out there with a trimmer and cut it down every year, but I thought that I would wait until after it finished blooming because… I’m a biologist, and all God’s creatures need love except, of course, wool moths.

      There is no husband. He and I went our own ways almost 20 years ago after 30 years of marriage. We are still friendly, but I’m pretty sure he would never help me out with a shrub replacement!!

      It is so hard to knit for family and friends. They kind of assume that you just know what they want, or even worse, they don’t know what they want until you produce the object of your labors and it wasn’t quite what they had in mind. I force people through an endless number of choices before I do any work for them. If they don’t play that game with me, my needles move on to something else. 🙂

      A Crochet Tournament? How much fun that will be!

      1. Gauge is my problem: I swatched as instructed, and found I had to go down from a 4 to a 3.5 hook (the 3.75 made absolutely zero difference !); but now I grow anxious about the over-all 50cm size of the first piece. So I’m finishing it to find out ! I rather think that it’s not going to be anything to do with quality but with drawing out of a hat. 😦 Oh well. It IS fun, crocheting away as best you can to a pattern .. didn’t say that well, but you probably understand. Btw: what is your name ? – mine is M-R. How-de-do ? 😀

  2. It is so hard for me to comprehend what we see on our news about the things going on in America. There’s such a sense of community, pride and supporting our NHS here and doing the clapping every Thursday evening for the key workers. I’m grateful that we haven’t really seen here the things you see in America…and certainly anyone in the street with a firearm would never ever be seen here not without them being arrested. I saw that the woman who organised one of the demonstrations there now has the virus. Meanwhile on our news they interviewed a young nurse who’d had to have a tracheotomy and you could still see a wee hole in her neck from having it, and people with decreased lung capacity that they think will be permanent for some. Doctors and nurses dyeing of it. I imagine stories like that are just not being read or watched by the people who are protesting.

    Anyhoo, you are being careful and that’s what’s important and you are making great progress. Your cats is really coming on and yes much easier to see when it’s over Mackenzie. I love your tartan socks. For mine I’d found some charcoal grey yarn in my stash but then remembered it’s not superwash, so I will be dyeing a dark skein and pairing it with some yarn from Cookston Crafts that’s called Thistle and is greens and purples. Hopefully it’ll work well.

    1. I think that your yarn choices sound great! I look forward to seeing them.

      The situation in our country has been building for years, and now we are in the perfect storm. People are really polarized and tend to get news and information from different sources. If you only hear information that is loaded with spin, misinformation, conspiracy theories, and outright lies you form different conclusions from people who are receiving news that, while not perfect, is based on verifiable facts. Then factor in conservative religious groups who look to their religious leaders to tell them what to think, and they send their children to receive Christian educations that exclude a lot of history/science and teach their children what to think, instead of how to think. Then factor in a very powerful gun lobby that has made it impossible to control access to weapons of war by the average citizen. Then Russia interfered in our social media to further polarize the nation. To make things worse there was a court ruling that allowed huge amounts of money to be used in political campaigns, allowing special interests to virtually buy governmental policies that they want. Then add on top a president who calls any reporting that he doesn’t like “fake”, insists that the states need to handle the Covid-19 response on their own, but then undermines the efforts of the states as they attempt to do this by urging citizens to “liberate” their state and by actually stealing the medical supplies that states are trying to acquire. My own governor just disclosed that he has managed to secure tests and medical supplies on the “down low” and they are being held in secret locations. Another governor has his tests under guard in a hidden location. It is almost like living in a dystopian novel!! I think that you are right that the protestors don’t have an accurate picture of what is happening, but they won’t believe any other source of information than the propaganda that is coming their way through the conservative sources.

      For me this is personal because not only am I at high risk if I contract Covid-19, but all three of my children are. One son is a cancer survivor with a pacemaker on blood thinners. His wife, my DIL, has MS and is immunosuppressed. My other son is a type-1 diabetic and smokes. It is almost unthinkable that we are in this situation, but we are. When I hear people argue that the deaths of people like us are acceptable in order to maintain the economy my heart breaks for America.

      Anyway, I have tons to keep me busy as all this plays out, and my children are doing okay also as they can work from home.

      1. My heart breaks too for it. It is like a dystopian novel you’re right…let’s hope it is one with a happy ending in the end. We could do with some positive plot twists. Take care xxx

  3. Your socks are fantastic!! I love them:) Maya looks great!
    A vocal minority is speaking out here even though we have 100+ deaths every day in my little state. Our governor has instituted mandatory masks in public if distancing isn’t possible. I don’t understand why these people can’t understand that these measures aren’t for them but for the vulnerable among us.
    Stay well:)

    1. Thank you, the socks are the most fun thing I’ve made in quite a while. Okay, the cats are fun too, but they are so labor intensive that they kind of wear me out. The socks were just fun!

      We also have that vocal minority, protesting with signs and carrying guns. Denver made the national news as some health care workers counter protested and blocked them in the streets. I’m living in a hot spot and we just had our stay-at-home order extended as other parts of the state began to open up; I’m still sewing masks and handing them out to anyone who needs one. Luckily I also have a good stash of batik fabrics to use, but it is nothing like the yarn stash!!

  4. I love seeing your knitted cats developing! Maya is looking great, and your socks are beautiful too! I really do need to get that pattern 🙂 Thank you for the book review for The Splendid and The Vile – I passed it on to my DH, who is very interested in WWII 🙂 Stay safe!

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