Knit Wit Living

Reflections, Beading, Knitting, Life

7 years

It’s been 7 years since DDSO passed away. His estate was finally closed last month. I received a holiday card from his son and his son’s girlfriend, and that made me really happy.

I was reading the Sunday NY Times today and seemed to gravitate toward the articles about love and loss. Or maybe there were just more of them because of the new year. I find myself less

  • angry
  • annoyed
  • disdainful
  • impatient

with other people’s losses.

I have come to learn that – – –

  • Everyone’s relationships are different
  • Everyone’s loss is different
  • Who am I to judge
  • I don’t expect people to understand me / my loss, but I would like them to listen when and if I want to share

I can be happy and sad simultaneously

Whole30 Six Month Report

Here’s my Whole30 six month report.  I did not step on a scale before I started and have not stepped on one since.  I didn’t want to make this a numbers game.  That really messes with my head and I just wanted to focus on how I felt.

  1. My Golf Game is Better
  2. My Clothing Fits Better
  3. I am More Focused
  4. No More (Real) Cravings
  5. I am Sleeping Better

Whole30 Six Month Report

My Golf Game is Better

Well, first, let’s not get carried away.  When I say my golf game is better, I am not saying that I am good yet.  Just to be clear.  I still need more lessons and even more practice.  But my swing is better, I can focus more, and my putting is better.  Since my body is changing its shape it is easier to swing and position the putter.  Yes, there’s still a lot to think about and not think about it (part of playing golf is not overthinking it, and not having your thoughts get in the way of your game) but my body seems to be more flexible and less in the way.

My Clothing Fits Better

I do not really pay that much attention to clothing. I have a fairly scant wardrobe and am not a clothes horse.  However, one of my body size gauges is my work badge that I wear in the office.  I wear it on a lanyard around my neck.  My varying body weights have had it closer up, where I could just position my breasts near the badge swipe box and then open the doors. Nowadays, the badge hangs lower on my body so I know that my body has been changing.

I’ve also noticed that many of my necklaces hang lower than when I first made them.

Whole30 Six Month Report

I mostly wear dresses and recently tried on one in the size the next step down the other day at a store…and it fit!  I also tried one on in my Whole30 starting size, and it was way too big.  I can still get away with wearing my existing wardrobe, so it’s not a drastic change – which I also like.  Slow and steady.

I am More Focused

I have reported on this before.   Again, don’t get me wrong, I still like to waste time and just process thoughts while playing Candy Crush or some other “mindless” activity.  However, now when I’m thinking about procrastinating a simple task I just decide to do it instead of thinking about it a zillion times before I “cave in” and get it done.  Like, putting away my shoes, or emptying the dishwasher. Non-consequential tasks that would have otherwise clogged my thinking. I get things done faster now, and then have time to do the more enjoyable activities, like reading, beading, knitting, and golf.

No More (Real) Cravings

(Real) refers to yes, sometimes I think about having that cupcake with copious amounts of frosting (or really, just the cup of frosting).  But it’s not a craving – more of a remember how much (I thought) I enjoyed that?  I step off the Whole30 for a variety of items here and there (primarily cocktails), but then come running back to the structure and stability of the Whole30.  Every now and then I allow myself some gluten, then suffer through joint inflammation mentally kicking myself for it.  Sugar makes me bite my nails.  Cheese makes me all mucus-y. I don’t even enjoy legumes. I am thankful that potatoes are allowed. I relish food texture, and potatoes allow for the chewing consistency that I would otherwise miss with grains.

Whole30 Six Month Report

The prosecco is #NOTWhole30.

Every now and again, I will put aside the wonderful raw oysters and sashimi and treat myself to sushi.  It’s good, but not necessary all that often.

I Am Sleeping Better

While my mind is more active at bedtime, I am sleeping through the night.  I have started wearing a sleeping mask to block out the light and make myself focus on quiet and darkness at night.  Since I am not consuming dairy, my throat is not bogged with phlegm and I am sleeping straight through the night.  Wow, maybe that should have been the first item because that contributes to everything else.




Chocolate Babka Debacle – NOT Whole30 Approved

Chocolate Babka is NOT on the Whole30

Chocolate Babka is a wonderful, heavenly, delicious dessert made from chocolate, sugar, butter and flour.  Here’s a great recipe from the Smitten Kitchen.  Trader Joe’s describes theirs as:

Chocolate Babka is crafted from scratch, in small batches, using a sweet yeast dough that’s covered with a rich chocolate filling, and twisted by hand before being placed in a high loaf pan to be proofed and baked. The generous application of chocolate reveals itself as swirls in the finished product when the Babka is sliced.

chocolate babka debacle

DDSO’s son and girlfriend came over and brought a Chocolate Babka gift.  Oh, my!  Toward the end of their visit, I made tea and we cracked open the Babka.


chocolate babka debacle chocolate babka debacle

I cannot resist the heavenly concoction of chocolate, butter and sugar rolled in flaky layers of dough, and then baked and melded into a sweet luscious delicious mouth watering gooey dessert.

Devouring more of the babka after my guests left was shameful, but oh so delicious!  I finally threw the leftovers out after the 5th “this is the last bite” (yes, only 5!).  And I took the garbage out to the curb.  Yes, I know myself.  And did consider having a 6-10th final bite in the evening before repeatedly remembering it was already in the trash bag, in the garbage can, on the curb waiting for tomorrow’s trash pick up.

Did I mention Chocolate Babka (or any Babka) is not Whole 30?

And boy, did I feel it.  The rest of the day was L E T H A R G Y personified.  I could not do a thing. I was tired, unmotivated. My body must have been in shock.  All plans…out the window!  I barely moved, binge watching The Last Alaskans (a great show!), and finally late in the evening managed to get myself up and into bed.

I forgot the next day about my fall from grace, or my fall into delicious heavenly but oh so dangerous chocolate delight. I went to work and found myself highly emotional. I got tears in my eyes when I received a very unprofessional email from a colleague who was trying to throw me under the bus.  Luckily I had enough sense, professionalism and experience not to respond in kind, and instead set up a meeting with my manager to let her handle it. I also got tears in my eyes during a staff meeting in which the Director of our department came in and thanked us for our work.  He wanted to acknowledge us and started with me, telling everyone else on the team what I do and what a “value add” I contribute.  Oh my!

A roller coaster of a day.  I forgot about the fall into the gluten chocolate-sugar buttery heavenliness and went to the Whole30 site to see if others had reported a high emotional state while being on the Whole30.  The light bulb went off while I was perusing the site.  DUH!  It’s not the Whole30 that’s making me crazy. It’s the “Not Whole30” that’s making me crazy!

Well, sometimes I need to fall off the wagon to remember why I’m on it.

Thank goodness that’s over.

Though, yes, very delicious.


At Long Last – Recommended Reading

Books I’ve Liked

I’ve decided to only share my recommended reading since it’s been almost two complete (weather-related) seasons since the last reading report.  EGADS!!!

I have been reading up a storm.  I’ve checked out many books that were not memorable, or that I did not get through the first chapter or so.  I’m sorry to all the authors who take awhile to get to the action.  I do not have the stamina nor the interest to suffer through interminable pages before my interest is captured.  I’ve left all those experiences off this post!

The books listed below were all enjoyable in one sense or another. Some were lighthearted romances, while others just blew me away.

Recommended Reading

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk is a historical novel intertwined with a modern story that conveys the story of the removal of the Chinese from California in the late 1800’s.  Given today’s political turmoil about allowing or removing refugees from our country, it was timely to be reading about a situation that might be repeating itself shortly.  This is a well written story, with great detail, emotion, and character development.  I read it in a few days or so.  Too busy reading to write any posts!

Recommended Reading

Jodi Picoult writes good stories.  However, I still object to her tendency to bring in a new detail to end the story.  With Small Great Things, this was also the case.  Yes, it’s worth reading. It’s thought provoking, good for discussions, believable, and well written.  However, the little detail she throws in at the end would have been so much more interesting if she had incorporated it into the actual story.

Recommended Reading

LaRose tells a story of a man who accidentally kills his neighbor’s son, and his own son’s best friend, while deer hunting.  To make up for this terrible mistake, he and his wife give their son to the other family.  This is an amazing story about each member of both families and how they cope.  It’s an entirely new story line that’s fascinating, well written, and believable.

Recommended Reading

Yes, a cookbook has made it to the Recommended Reading report.  Anthony Bourdain wrote Appetite: A Cookbook for his daughter, and it’s a conversational account of how to make the recipes they enjoy together. It’s well written, and easy to grasp and follow. I will admit that I did not finish reading all the recipes, but I fell in love with the book nonetheless.

Recommended Reading

This Jewelry Making book is very helpful in breaking down different techniques, at a high level, but still with enough detail.  The topics I knew a little bit about were explained well.  That led to my comfort level in understanding techniques that I have not tried yet. I checked this out from the library, but may actually buy a copy later.

Recommended Reading

The Story of Beautiful Girl had been recommended for our now defunct book club over and over again, and we kept rejecting it. The story description was just not appealing: two runaways from a mental institution leave a baby in the hands of an older woman before they are taken away.

Yes, that’s the basis of the story, but it is so much more.  I will admit that there are some details where I felt I had to suspend reality, but then again, life is often stranger than fiction, so I need to give those parts of the story room to be possible.  I know I am not giving you more incentive to read it, but I think you just need to go with blind faith, like I finally did, to give this book your attention.

There are more comments in the complete list below.

All these books were good.  No bad reviews this time!

Recommended Books Since September 2016

Love and TreasureAyelet WaldmanGood story, well written, B+
Elizabeth is MissingEmma HealeyEnjoyed it
The Ladies RoomCarolyn BrownVery light-hearted story, but still enjoyed it
The DressmakerKate AlcottGood
Everyone is BeautifulKatherine CenterGood writer
The City Baker's Guide to Country LivingLouise MillerEnjoyed it
Appetites: A CookbookAnthony BourdainExcellent - written the way you would share recipes. Good recipes. Good instructions. What else do you need?
Small Great ThingsJodi PicoultVery good - but the usual twist at the end (not a fan of that tendency)
The Invention of WingsSue Monk KiddVery good. Well written. Good story.
LaRoseLouise EdrichVery good. Good story, good characters. All believable. New subject matter and story line for me. Would recommend it.
The House on Main StreetShirlee McCoyLight romance but enough of a story to keep me interested & read the 2nd in the series!
The Forgotten GardenKate MortonB+ worthy. Good story, believable. I think I read this one pretty quickly.
The Girl Who Wrote in SilkKelli EstesCaptivating.
I think I devoured this in a couple of days.
Recommend it!
The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry MakingTammy PowleyGreat reference & explanations for different types of jewelry making. I got this from the library, but may actually buy it too.
The Cottage on the CornerShirlee McCoyThe 2nd book of the Apply Valley trilogy. Still good. Nothing serious or thought provoking, but enjoyable.
The Story of Beautiful GirlRachel SimonVery good book. Different kind of story, new story line. Kept me reading and reading. Finished quickly.



Or an ode to Mustard

Or I’m on the Whole30 again

A new appreciation for mustard. Listed as one of the six things I would not like to live without as “not that I can’t live without it, but it does add a bright flavor,” on a previous online dating profile.  (Did not bring any new admirers.)

This is actually a new way for me to report that I’m back on the Whole30.  You know when you’re just not feeling that great, and you know that your diet is to blame? That’s when I knew that the Whole30 needs to be more than a sporadic plunge every now and again.  3 weeks into the first month now. I’ve decided that I can step off it for no more than a week each month.  Since I have mini vacations this month and next, I can plan to eat “whatever” (more likely drink “whatever”) while I am away, but then come back and do what’s really right for me.


I now have a new appreciation for different flavors, and a somewhat limited condiment selection as many of them contain sugar, so mustard has moved rapidly up the list. It’s tart, vinegary, fresh, and has no bad ingredients.


Now you know I usually go for the organic, but Heinz had better graphics!  Also interesting to note that the mustard brand is part of the ketchup line. Go figure!

The truth:


The Results

After two days of being back on the Whole30, I checked a previous post to see if I was on track:

  • Sleeping better – check
  • I feel the need to move around – check
  • Clear thinking. Focused. Get things done quickly.  – check
  • Thirsty. – check
  • Cravings. None. – check
  • My skin is brighter.  – check
  • Energy Level. Up.  – check
  • More decisive. – check – and more self-assured.
  • My fingernails are stronger.  – check
  • My stomach is not bloated. – check
  • BOREDOM. – NO!!!!!! My mind is running amuck with energy.  This did not happen before. Now, I am coming up with ideas right and left, waking up in the middle of the night to write them down, moving forward on them the next day, and beyond. This is craziness.  Is this how it’s supposed to be?  I am actually getting tired from all this excitement! and waking up from thinking too much.

Okay, okay, one should not complain about being too alert.  It’s just so odd for me.

New Habits

Water. Lots of water.  Also kicking the plastic food container habit.


Very bare refrigerator.  Some items are waiting for a non Whole 30 day, like the Maple Syrup and the wine!


Alertness = Lots of reading!  Reading report to follow…


And for now,  I unplugged the coffee machine!


Not to worry, I ordered some Whole30 approved “creamer” and will be back in business soon!

InCoWriMo – A New Habit

A friend posted on Instagram that she was challenged to participate in “InCoWriMo,” and to pm her to receive a hand-written note. I signed right up.
Then I looked up InCoWriMo –

InCoWriMo is the short name for International Correspondence Writing Month, otherwise known as February.

With an obvious nod to NaNoWriMo for the inspiration, InCoWriMo challenges you to hand-write and mail/deliver one letter, card, note or postcard every day during the month of February.

Personal notes take me back to receiving and sending notes in my childhood. I remember getting notes from my grandmother that started with “Julie Dear,” instead of “Dear Julie.”  In my mind, my grandmother was very fancy because she had a typewriter (with the changeable ball for different fonts [though I’m not sure they were called fonts back then]) and typed the letters. The only handwriting was her signature at the end. We always sent thank you notes (much to my chagrin) and even letters from sleep away camp or if a friend moved away.

Diane’s note arrived about two weeks after I signed up, and I decided I had to do this too!  The videos on the InCoWriMo site were helpful. Ultimately I decided they were really just to hold my hand to get started.  They didn’t tell me anything new though it was nice to see people having a conversation about personal correspondence, like bringing back old traditions in a modern context.

As I like beating to a different drum, or really because I found out about it late, I decided to start in March, after ordering new note cards.


So it’s been 9 days.

On my way home from work I start to think about the person to whom I’m going to write and what I’d like to share.  I come into my home, get my mail, leaf through it, put my things down, write the person’s name on my writing calendar, grab a note card, an envelope, and the object in which I have the person’s address (my phone or an address book), sit down at the kitchen counter, write the note, address the envelope, put a stamp on it, put it in my purse sticking out so I remember to mail it on my way to work the next day.


When I come home, I say in my mind, “Hi Honey, I’m home!” and the house answers me back with a greeting. Now, I also sit down and actually talk to someone via my writing.  After I prepare it for mailing, I get to live with the anticipation of having it arrive at the person’s home and surprising them with a hand-written personal note.  Then I get a nice feeling thinking about making them smile, and hopefully feeling appreciated that someone took the time to write and send them a letter. I hope they feel touched that I reached out to them and shared my life.

Sending a hand-written note is the short version of knitting a gift for someone. You think of them while you’re deciding what project to do, what yarn, what colors. You’re thinking of them as you knit. You’re thinking of them while you’re preparing to give it.  The whole object is wrapped up in your thoughts of them.

Texts are good but phone calls are even better. A hand-written note, well, it has its own category.

If you would like me to send you a hand-written note, please email me your name and address to

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