A Major Award Weekend

This weekend we went to Cleveland to visit A Christmas Story House! We’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and finally made it happen. We brought kids and stayed with kids in their new house, so it was a wonderful kid-filled weekend!

The kids (including Bob) enjoyed getting into character. It was a lot of fun!

We also enjoyed the museum, which included a room filled with some of the costumes.

I was disappointed there was only one sweater.

Remember when I waxed rhapsodic about the handknits in the movie? I can’t find this old post, or I would link to it.

They have a fan art room, and I’m tempted to recreate Esther Jean’s stockings and donate them to the museum.

The gift shop was also a lot of fun. I picked up a few small things, including this charm I’ll use as a progress keeper!

I also got to meet a new family member on this trip, Cannoli. ❤️

Do you watch A Christmas Story every year, like we do?

Thorsday Three: Dread Full Media (in the Best Way)

Book: The Dark Queens

My sister recommended this, and it hasn’t disappointed. I’m near the end and want these proto-Machiavellians to repent, especially Fredegund. Absolutely horrible, but fascinating. It’s nonfiction, but written in a fun and engaging way. I was surprised how many Frankish documents from the sixth century survive, which are the sources for this epic work.

Film: She Will

I have loved Alice Krige since Ghost Story and will watch her in anything. Even so, I found this film bewitching — a fanciful tale superbly done, dark, mysterious, and cathartic. And how refreshing to see a wonderful actress aging naturally and playing a choice role. I felt very satisfied.

Podcast: English Heritage Episode 184, Bram Stoker’s Dracula

I don’t normally listen to this podcast, but the topic of this episode piqued my interest. It includes a history of the locations where the novel is set, a bit about the origin of the work, as well as a brief history of vampires and revenants in general. I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of the first nonfiction book I read about vampires in my teens, which was essentially coverage of 17th and 18th century court cases. I couldn’t find this episode on their website, so linked to a public service where you can listen in a browser. However, you can find this on Apple, Spotify, et al.

Side note: have you watched Dracula on Netflix? Claes Bang and Dolly Wells are delicious! The dialogue is smart and funny.

There and Back Again: Lake Michigan Adventure

Bob and I spent last week in Southwest Michigan celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. We hiked, walked along beaches and piers, and ate delicious food. Bob even swam for a (very cold) second.

Here are my Beachcombing Slacks in action. They were perfect for long walks down Weko Beach. Someone in downtown St. Joe complimented me on them. It always makes me happy to have my making skills admired.

This year we hiked Warren Dunes, Chikaming Township Park and Preserve, and Warren Woods State Park. Warren Woods includes a primeval forest. The beeches were ginormous!

I didn’t take very many photos, but here’s a gallery of selfies which I imposed upon Bob as often as possible.

We missed Flick or Treat this year, so instead we watched The Last Drive In Nosferatu double feature from last season. (We saved it for vacation.)

I’m so grateful they showed the FW Murnau silent version with correct timing and original score. The first time I watched it — late 1980s early 1990s I guess — I had checked it out at The Ken Cinema in San Diego. The Ken was a wonderful theater with attached video rental store specializing in independent and foreign film. As an art student at UCSD, going to The Ken was a type of pilgrimage. Unfortunately, the Nosferatu version available at the time was not complete. It was also hilariously timed too fast, and the score was… ragtime? Not spooky, anyway. I’m glad I finally got to view this as intended, although Herzog’s Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht is my favorite. I also love Shadow of the Vampire, which I kept thinking about while watching Murnau’s Nosferatu. They are closely intertwined. I’ve heard Robert Eggars is planning a remake with Bill Skarsgard in the lead role. I can’t wait for the release!

I found a new favorite radio station during this trip: Radio Harbor Country. (They have an app!) We also bowled again at Pete’s Cider Social, ate burgers at The Buck, enjoyed pizza at Silver Beach Pizza, breakfasted at The Mason Jar, and dined at Blackbird Waterhouse for our anniversary dinner. We’re lucky there are so many gluten-free options in the area. We also picked up gluten-free treats from Sweet Bees Bakery, like last time.

I’m mostly posting links for future reference. You would be surprised how many times we looked up our last trip to Michigan on my blog!

Oh! I picked up a souvenir skein called “Michigan October” from The Sandpiper Bridgman.

We really love this area of Michigan. It’s beautiful, waterfront, with plenty for us to do, and it’s only a 6 hour drive from home. Next time, I think we are both interested in visiting the upper peninsula!

Media of the Week

Book

Why yes, I have been reading, believe it or not. I picked up “Ladies-in-Waiting: Women Who Served Anne Boleyn” by Sylvia Barbara Soberton last week. It’s nonfiction. I’m enjoying it. I’m learning new things! I heard about it on one of the two Tudor podcasts I’ve mentioned before. I think I’m going to give up on fiction books for now, unless it’s something epic.

Series

Los Espookys is back with a new season! I wish we had rewatched season one before we watched the first episode of season two, but we’ve already watched season one twice. I’m just glad it’s back. Bip bip.

Movie

A+ to “All About Evil” for using a knitting needle as an implement of death with actual knitting attached! This film started a little flat, and we were concerned we weren’t going to get through it. But Bob and I both love Natasha Lyonne, so we hung in there. And boy, am I glad we did! It got weirder and weirder — so slowly it was almost imperceptible until it smacked you in the face. At one point I announced, “I officially love this movie!” Jack Donner was a creepy delight. Natasha Lyonne’s progression into stereotypical Hollywood starlet made me cackle. Thomas Dekker playing it straight kept it all real enough. Cassandra Peterson because Elvira. If you love weird horror, you’ll like it. Hang in there!

Cranky and Caffeineless

With headings, so you can skip the things that don’t interest you.

My Bowels

My combo endoscopy and colonoscopy is done. They found two polyps (off for biopsies), diverticulitis, and an ulcer at the base of my esophagus. They are also testing for a history of Celiac, which is funny because my gastroenterologist told me to stop eating gluten several years ago, and I did. Overall, nothing to worry about, except that my brain needs some kind of stimulant and I am not allowed caffeine. I’ll try regular exercise and see how that goes before resorting to meds.

Crafty Stuff

I’m eco printing more of the Virginia cotton fabric today with black walnut leaves in iron mordant. My goal is black leaves on white for winter project bags for the shop. The mordant left red marks, so we’ll see how this turns out.

Movies… and Fiber Arts

I’m starting to notice knitting needles being used as murder tools in horror movies. Mostly, they are used by women against their attackers. As you can imagine, this makes my little knitting horror heart giddy with glee. Except when they attach a piece of crochet to the knitting needle!

If you are making a movie using a fiber arts tool as a weapon of destruction, but don’t know the difference between knitting and crochet, just stick the knitting needle in a ball of yarn! Or, ask someone who does know. Your mom might know. Let’s keep my suspension of disbelief alive.

Books and Tudors

Why do most works of historical fiction turn into romance novels? I suspect one of the reasons for my fascination with the Tudor period is because it was horrific: beheadings, burnings, plagues, politics. It was dark. I’m sure there may have been some people who fell in love, but had to marry someone else because it was arranged, then fell in love with that person, had lots of babies, most of whom survived, and lived happily ever after. My point is, I don’t read historical fiction because I’m looking for a love story. This honestly is not about any book in particular but more about my personal experience with the genre. Maybe I should stick to nonfiction? I know I’m the outlier here.

You know what I loved? Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy. Damn, that was brutal — just like the times.

Speaking of Tudors, another podcast I like is Not Just the Tudors with Suzannah Lipscomb. Lots of Tudor history but also witches, werewolves, and the most recent episode I listened to was about a 16th Century executioner. It’s always fascinating. I learn something new every time I listen.

I got to hang out with my babies today. They are amazing humans.

I also had knitting nails done today in preparation for my trip to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival.

My stepdaughter Sydney does them and she is just amazing. It was good to spend time with her catching up while getting my nails done.

I told Bob that without caffeine and alcohol (not allowed that either) and off meds, I’m going to get weirder and weirder. He said he’d strap in. He’s a keeper. Have a great week!