23 April 2019

Hang Tough


My gorgeous hyacinths were making a grand debut.


And then it snowed.


The snow melted.


Another blanket arrived.


They survived again.


Threepeat.


Another accumulation is on the way. We need the moisture. I am very thankful.

However, I brought a few of my favorites indoors to keep warm and to infuse my kitchen!





22 April 2019

Mandala Monday


Can you tell what were the inspirations for today's creation?


I was so relieved to hear the windows survived! And so thrilled at the public outpour of generosity to rebuild!

You may do whatever you'd like with mandalas you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!


Finished Size: 6 inches across
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread in 2 colors (1 variegated, gradated or ombre, if desired), size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

NOTE: Uneven Rounds are worked with the solid color; even rounds are worked with a multi-color. You may bind off at the end of each Round or carry your unused thread to each succeeding Round, whatever method works best for you. Binding off each Round means more knots to weave in; carrying unused thread means sometimes inadvertently tangling/twisting strands as you go.

Color Guide:

S = Solid Color
M = Multi-color

Cathedral Window Mandala Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: With S, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through 2nd ch of starting ch 2 and replace loop on hook, pull loop through ch (starting popcorn stitch made), [ch 3, 5 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc (popcorn stitch made) 5 times; ch 1, 1 dc in top of starting popcorn st to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round. Pull magic circle tight. Bind off.

Round 2: With M, [3 dc in any (or same on repeats) ch 3 tip, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3] 6 times; sl st in top of starting dc. Bind off.

Round 3: With S, [3 dc in any (or same on repeats) ch 3 tip, 1 dc in next gap between 3/dc shells, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3] 6 times, omitting last 2 ch of final repeat; 1 dc in starting dc to form 6th ch. Bind off or carry S color to Round 5 and on each succeeding uneven Round.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 4: With M, [1 popcorn st in middle dc of any (or next on repeats) 3/dc shell, ch 3] 12 times; sl st in top of starting popcorn st. Bind off or carry M color to Round 6 and on each succeeding even Round

Round 5: If carrying S, ch 1 and sl st in Round 3 M ch 3 sp above, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc). If binding off each Round, with S, 1 dc in any Round 3 M ch 3 sp above a Round 2 ch 3 tip. For both methods, [2 tr in Round 2 ch 3 tip, 1 dc in same Round 3 M ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 dc in next Round 3 M ch 3 sp, 1 tr in next gap between 3/dc shell and lone dc, 1 tr in next gap between lone dc and 3/dc shell, ch 3, 1 dc in next Round 3 M ch 3 sp] 6 times, sl st in starting dc to form 12th ch 3 sp of Round. If carrying thread instead of binding off, keep the M thread to the front as you work.

Round 6: If carrying thread, with M ch 2. With M, if binding off each Round [3 dc in M ch 5 sp just left of Round 4 popcorn, ch 3, sk next 4 S st, 3 dc in same M ch 5 sp, sk next M popcorn st] 12 times; sl st in starting dc (skipping over starting ch 2). If carrying thread instead of binding off, keep the S thread to the back as you work (and take care not to catch carried thread in M stitches throughout as you work).

Round 7: If binding off each Round, with S, 1 dc over M ch 3 sp. If carrying thread, with S, sl st over M ch 3 sp, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), [1 fptr around post of each of next 2 S trtr, 1 dc in same M ch 3 sp, ch 4, 1 dc in next M ch 3 sp] 12 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 or starting dc.

Round 8: With M, if binding off each Round, 1 dc in first Round 6 M dc of any left 3/dc group. If carrying thread, with M, ch 2, catching Round 5 (but not Round 7) S ch 3 in st, [1 dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 3, sk next 4 S st, catching Round 5 S ch 3 (but not Round 7 ch sp) in st, 2 dc in next M dc, 1 dc in each of next 4 M dc, 2 dc in next M dc] 11 times; ch 3, sk next 4 S st, catching Round 5 S ch 3 (but not Round 7 ch sp) in st, 2 dc in next M dc, 1 dc in next each of next 2 dc, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2).

Round 9: If binding off each Round, with S, 1 dc over M ch 3 sp. If carrying thread, with S, sl st over M ch 3 sp, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), [1 fptr around post of each of next 2 S tr, 1 dc in same M ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 dc in next M ch 3 sp] 12 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 or dc.

Round 10: With M, if binding off each Round, 1 tr in 5th Round 8 M dc of any 8/dc group. If carrying thread, with M, ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), catching Round 7 (but not Round 9 ch sp) S ch 3 in st, [2 tr in same dc as sl st or starting dc (3 tr in next dc on repeats), 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 sc in next dc, ch 3, sk next 4 S st, catching Round 7 (but not Round 9 ch sp) S ch 3 in st, 1 sc in next M dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, 3 tr in each of next 2 M dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in next dc] 11 times; ch 3, sk next 4 S st, catching Round 7 (but not Round 9 ch sp) S ch 3 in st, 1 sc in next M dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, 3 tr in next dc; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3 or tr; bind off.

Round 11: If binding off each Round, with S, 1 dc over M ch 3 sp. If carrying thread, with S, sl st over M ch 3 sp, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), [1 fbtr around post of each of next 2 S tr, 1 dc in same M ch 3 sp, sk next 3 M st, 1 sc in each of next 6 M tr, sk next 3 M st, 1 dc in next M ch 3 sp] 12 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 or starting dc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: You don't have to block the mandala, but you should. If desired, blocking may be accomplished with a mist of water instead of stiffening.


Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin mandala to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint mandala with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow mandala to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel mandala from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to top of one curve, weaving in end. Display as desired.

18 April 2019

Wanted: More Kindness


What is wrong with us when we allow this kind of isolationism and reclusiveness to go unchecked? Why do we not reach out to those who seem beyond lonely and feel rejected/abandoned/shunned?

"Neighbors thought some things about Sol Pais were a little off.

"'She didn't say hello, good morning, how are you. She kept to herself. She wasn't nasty but reclusive,' a neighbor, Jack Reiner, told Daily Mail.

"Another neighbor told Daily Mail: 'She was strange girl, quiet and withdrawn but then she was a teenager after all. She usually wore a black t-shirt and jeans but her look didn't strike me as unusual. She never looked looked anyone in the eye when they talked to her.'" - heavy.com, 04.17.2019

Why are we not taught and encouraged to reach out to these individuals, extend a hand of friendship and a shimmer of hope, and attempt to bring at least a molecule of joy into their lives?

Why are we so quick to judge someone as being a tad off instead of trying to make them feel welcome, included, appreciated?

Why do all the other politically correct voices get headlines and front pages? Why can't we pay more attention to the expression on our own faces that could make a difference in the world?

Why can't we smile at one another and mean it?

16 April 2019

Whole Again


During a recent area conference at my church, Kevin J. Hathaway, one of our general authority seventies from Salt Lake, gave the most magnificent speech, centering on not focusing so much on good things that we sacrifice the best things.

One of the really good things in my life I thought of as he spoke is Ride the Rockies, a seven-day bicycle ride across the state via a different route every year. I've done Ride the Rockies and other charity rides that hog up a Sunday morning many times. Ride the Rockies is a really good thing, but I should not sacrifice something very good for my soul for something that is very good for my body. I smiled inside as I listened because I often left before dark when riding on Sundays so I could make it to church on time. I've attended church in my sweaty bicycle gear, with my bike parked in the lobby vestibule, twice so far because I did not finish the ride in time to clean up and change.

Elder Hathaway read from the Book of Mormon, the verses about Nephi building a ship, not as the world builds a ship, but as the Lord taught him to build a ship. He changed the words to parents building a family, not as the world builds a family, but as the Lord builds a family. Teaching our children about the gospel and how to choose right from wrong is every bit as important as spending Sundays doing family things you can't do during the rest of the week because of school and work.

Tears were streaming down my cheeks because I tried so hard with my kids. Back in the '90s, I adopted two older special-needs children, one of them alone, as a single parent. I adopted them thinking I had enough patience, consistency and love to heal anything. It didn't take long to realize I cannot heal everything. Both kids took permanent unauthorized field trips in 2002. (They ran away.) Both returned to the lifestyles of their birth families, and both have been through the wringer more than once due to choices they have made. Both face consequences with the potential to haunt them the rest of their lives.

I am stronger now than I was then, and I know so much more now than I knew then. My parents did the best job they could with us, but I was not raised in a gospel-oriented environment. As a parent, I tried to make my own home as close to gospel-oriented as I could, based on what I knew then. And yet, my children strayed. Far. In my head during that recent Sunday morning, I was confessing to God - yet again - I did my best but failed.

Suddenly a sweet, peaceful feeling swept over me. I felt as if He had wrapped His arm around me as He whispered, "I know." I didn't hear a voice, but I felt it, deep inside. It pierced my heart. For the first time, I felt as if I don't have to beat myself up over the way I raised my children anymore.

Both my kids have the right to make their own choices, just as I did when I was growing up. I did not always choose what my parents wanted, and my kids are no different. They have had to learn some things the hard way, just as I did when I was young.

At the very end of Elder Hathaway's talk, he spoke of a vacation with his family on a beach, where the waves were incredible. He said they were all body boarding, which I did not know was a thing. He said he was out on a wave that grew super high, and he realized and felt at the same time he probably should not do that again.

He swam back to the shore, and when he turned, he saw his son and his son's cousin get swallowed up in the waves and carried out to the ocean. He immediately dove in to try to rescue them but realized as he was fighting the waves he could save only one, and his skills were not strong enough for him to do even that. The cousin was the closest to him, so he tried to make his way to the cousin, wondering the whole time who would save his son. He had to fight the waves for a long time, at times thinking both of them would drown, but he managed to get the cousin to shore safely. As he looked back out onto the water, he saw a lifeguard bringing his son to shore.

"After we have done all we can to teach and protect our children, sometimes we have to trust that Heavenly Father will be there when we can't reach our children, and just be ready to try to save those who are within our reach," Elder Hathaway said. I was absolutely bawling my eyes out because of what I'd already felt, but now, in addition, I realized the teenagers I worked with at the residential treatment center, the young girls I taught for seven years, my neighbor's children, and even my daughter's kids and their siblings, are all now within my reach. Although I don't feel as if I'm that much of an influence on my kids anymore, I can still try to teach and be a good influence, and perhaps that's exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.

Elder Hathaway said if we keep our covenants, pray always and continually try to help and serve those within our reach, the Lord will provide a "lifeguard" to help and serve those outside our reach. Our Heavenly Father loves my children even more than I do, and He will not forget them.

The best part of all this whole experience was that Lizard was sitting right next to me in the church. He had not been able to go to church with me at all the last two years while he was working, and then when he retired in December, he was having such a difficult time sitting still (thanks to Parkinson's), it had taken him weeks to feel like he could control his tremors just long enough to sit through two hours of church with me.

After we got back in the car, we talked about why I had been crying. He thought I was agonizing and grieving over my kids again, as he had seen me do many times during the last 15 years. He was quite touched by what I'd felt and remarked the experience is something neither of us will ever forget.

When we got home, my daughter had called and left a message asking what song she, my son and I had sung in church - "A Child's Prayer." I sent her a link to the YouTube video, and she immediately posted it on Facebook, telling everyone she sang it in church with her family, and that she hoped everyone would like it. I commented on her post that she'll have to teach it to her daughter, and she said she would. I told her she will have to learn the mother's part now (which I sang when we sang it together), and she said that will be the hardest part, but that she will do it.

I've had some amazing days in my life. The day I adopted each of my children after a childless decade. The day Lizard popped the question, and 10 days later when we tied the knot. The day I made it to the top of Independence Pass after feeling my brother, my sister and my brother-in-law encouraging me not to give up from the other side of the veil. The day my parents reached their golden anniversary.

Etched in my memory now for the remainder of my life is the day I felt my Savior's love so strong, it healed a wound I thought was permanent.

15 April 2019

Snowflake Monday


You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!


Finished Size: 3.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

A Snowflake for Cynthia Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in ring, [ch 2, 2 dc in ring] 5 times; ch 1, 1 hdc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 2 sp of Round. Pull magic circle tight.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 hdc over post of hdc directly below, 1 sc in same sp, [ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), in next ch 2 sp work (1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc)] 5 times; ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, in next ch 2 sp work 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 3: Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc and ch 4), [1 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 1 dc in same tip, ch 4] 5 times; 1 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 6 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 4: Ch 8 (counts as 1 dc and ch 6), [1 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 1 dc in same tip, ch 6] 5 times; 1 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 6 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 5: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, [1 dc in next dc, 1 dc in each of next 6 ch, 1 dc in next dc, 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, ch 5, sl st in 5th ch from hook, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (tri-picot made), 3 dc in same sp] 6 times, omitting last 3 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

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