30 June 2022

In the Bag

We had to fly unexpectedly, and I didn't want to take the old crochet bags. So I whipped up this little gem in just a couple of hours the night before we flew.

I'd cut out all the pieces, even the batting, with the intention of making it for my then-annual office craft fair at least ten years ago, possibly longer. I think I did finish three other bags back then, and I think a couple of them sold. We haven't had our craft fair in two years now. There are days when I hope we can do it again this year, and there are days when I dread trying to get ready for a craft fair, when I vow to never manage another craft fair as long as I live, when I wonder how in the world I could possibly even think I could participate in a craft fair, even as a shopper.

And yet, I do have some happy memories of running our little office craft fair, especially when my kids were young and anxious to participate. I think if I could get my grandkids involved, I'd probably dive in and never come up for air!!!

In the meantime, I still have many sacks, boxes and bins of projects I got ready to make for craft fairs over the years and never had time to finish. Like this cute little bag. This one isn't going to be sold; I needed a new crochet bag, even though I don't get out much anymore these days, and this one perfectly fits the bill. So bright and cheerful, too!, Plus, biggest advantage of the finish, one of my really old projects is done, done, done!!!

Linking up with Alycia Quilts.

28 June 2022

Lessons Learned

I take my camera just about anywhere. But I recently learned that isn't always a good idea.

We had to fly out of state unexpectedly to attend a memorial service. The camera didn't get used at all. I did use my phone camera; quite a bit, in fact. But the real camera was unneeded weight and expensive cargo I had to tote around everywhere to keep it safe and to prevent it from getting hot in the rental car.

There were other lessons, as well. So I've made a list for future reference

1. Don't take the real camera to a memorial service. You probably can leave the crochet bag and magazines at home, too.

2. Always make sure your driver's license is current when traveling.

3. Make sure you take ALL your luggage when you have to change hotel rooms because the bathroom sink flooded overnight.

4. Always keep a mask with you, even if not mandated. (We walked to a restaurant to pick up an online order but could not be served because we didn't think to bring the masks that were safely stored back in our hotel room, and masks were required at that particular restaurant.)

5. Reading a eulogy from a phone screen is a LOT different than reading from a piece of paper.

6. Ask the mortuary for a location before running across the lawn in 100-degree heat to view a headstone you haven't visited in more than five years.

7. Don't try to change the name on every financial and/or utility account of the deceased right away. Said institutions run credit checks, which each individually ding the credit rating of the surviving spouse who is trying to secure a loan to pay for burial. And for family's sake, please buy funeral insurance. So worth it. (We both have it.)

8. Don't schedule a necessary virtual medical appointment on a brand new holiday and then expect to remember said 7:20 a.m. (different time zone) appointment after repeatedly being told by all 17 previously mentioned financial and/or utility institutions they will be closed on said brand new holiday.

9. Make sure you know how to put gas in the rental car before you go to the gas station. And go to the gas station the night before your 5 a.m. flight, not the morning of.

10. $7 per gallon?!?!?!?!?

27 June 2022

Snowflake Monday

I have a hole in my heart, so I made a hole in today's snowflake.

Today's pattern features foundation double crochet. I've included Moogly's tutorial below in case that technique is new to you.

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: 4.5 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

Hole in the Middle Snowflake Instructions

Round 1: [Ch 3, 2 fdc] 3 times, forming 6 diamonds. sl st in starting point of 1st diamond to form a circle.

Round 2: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 3), 1 dc in next diamond point, ch 3, 1 dc in same point] 6 times, omitting last ch and last dc of final repeat; 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 3 point of Round.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, [ch 3, sk next ch 3 sp, 3 dc in next ch 3 point, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp] 6 times, omitting last ch and last 3 dc of final repeat; 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 5th ch 3 point of 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: Ch 9 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 7], sk next ch 3 sp, 1 dc in next ch 3 point, ch 7, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), 1 fdc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 fdc, ch 1, 1 dc in same ch 3 point] 6 times; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 9; 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.

24 June 2022

Healing

I'm taking a few days off. Stay safe, and I will try to do likewise.

Friday Funny

23 June 2022

Healing

I'm taking a few days off. Stay safe, and I will try to do likewise.

22 June 2022

Healing

I'm taking a few days off. Stay safe, and I will try to do likewise.

21 June 2022

Healing

I'm taking a few days off. Stay safe, and I will try to do likewise.

20 June 2022

Healing

I'm taking a few days off. Stay safe, and I will try to do likewise.

17 June 2022

Grief

I'm taking a few days off. Stay safe, and I will try to do likewise.

16 June 2022

Grief

I'm taking a few days off. Stay safe, and I will try to do likewise.

15 June 2022

Grief

I'm taking a few days off. Stay safe, and I will try to do likewise.

14 June 2022

Grief

I'm taking a few days off. Stay safe, and I will try to do likewise.

13 June 2022

Grief

I'm taking a few days off. Stay safe, and I will try to do likewise.

09 June 2022

Housework

I didn't get any quilting done last weekend, but I did add 19 more houses to my Scrappy I-Spy Neighborhood.

I'm using up so many of my tiny green batik scraps! Last weekend I stitched the smallest pieces into triangles and strips large enough to make the house backgrounds.

Real housework is what's keeping me away from my sewing machine except for tiny house-building these days. We went from 90 degrees to 12 inches of snow and right back to 88 degrees literally overnight. Lizard keeps saying we got robbed of spring this year.

All that snow created more weeds than I can count. As well as all kinds of volunteer flowers in places they are not supposed to be.

I've been pulling up weeds, trying to get as much root as possible so they don't come back, and digging up flowers, trying to get as much root as possible so I can transplant them and enjoy them. Why is it flowers aren't as hardy as weeds???

The transplanted cosmos seem to be doing okay in their new homes. The transplanted California poppies all died, and the transplanted blue larkspurs haven't decided yet if they are going to stick around.

Fortunately, I still have more than enough California poppies to paint the garden orange. Two larkspur in the garden look almost ready to bloom. All the volunteer dill has been moved into the raised-bed garden. Eight new lavenders have been planted. All weeds in the lowest level of the property have been pulled; the upper level has been weed-whacked, but you'd never know it. It's green as a lush forest again, but not with desirable plants. All the empty pots have been prepared to receive new growth in the way of seeds, flower volunteers and/or new plants from the nursery. And the rockwork around the house is getting closer and closer to getting done. Kind of a heavy duty patchwork, fitting all those rocks together!

Linking up with Alycia Quilts.

07 June 2022

Rainy Days and Ride Days Always Get Me

It's been a while since I've done a Parkinson's update. I get discouraged sometimes because Lizard is losing so much so fast. I guess I stopped talking about it here because I didn't want to be a Debby Downer. Some days the future seems so bleak. Not just at home, but in the world. I've decided some attitude adjustment is in order.

One of my friends told me last week about losing her first husband to ALS. When I get discouraged about Parkinson's, I really need to think about those who've got it worse. ALS travels MUCH faster than Parkinson's, and ALS takes no prisoners. There is no real medication to ease the symptoms. They can delay the inevitable three to six months. There have even been a few cases when patients have beaten the odds for more than two years. But generally speaking, ALS is FAR, FAR worse than Parkinson's.

Bicycle rides so far this year have not been the day brightener they were last year. Every ride seems shorter and slower. For all the feelings I've been battling, Lizard's fighting it even harder. Some days, it takes everything he's got to even want to get on the bike. I think knowing what's happening to his body is playing a big role, but also, there is progression we haven't been able to slow, no matter how hard we try. So often, he describes it as, "I just don't have any legs."

When we do get out, oh, how wonderful it is to be outdoors, to see wildflowers and wildlife, to remember the adventures of days gone by. We took a short ride up Waterton over the weekend. We'd hoped we'd be able to do at least the shortest Elephant Rock route that day, as it was the final Elephant Rock. So many of our favorite rides have not survived two years of postponement. Many of our favorite rides have been sold; at least they are still going, but it feels as if everything has changed so drastically.

Elephant Rock's shortest route is - make that WAS - 12 miles. Lizard can barely do three miles these days. So I donned one of my favorite Elephant Rock jerseys, and we pedaled a short distance up Waterton instead.

Waterton Canyon is awesome therapy! We are so blessed to have such a beautiful and easy ride so close. Wildflowers are beginning to poke through the canyon walls, and there are almost always wildlife photo opportunities.

We waited until after the afternoon high, knowing Lizard would be able to go a little further if the temperature was a little cooler. Humidity was about as high as I've ever felt it in the canyon. But we were treated with a nice little rain shower on the way back down, which really cooled us off. I worried Lizard, who has no cold tolerance anymore, would be miserable. But when we reached the car, he said he felt refreshed.

Just as we were finishing up the ride, a muted pastel rainbow appeared, the first one we've seen in a while. I thought about the Biblical promise connected to rainbows. In spite of hardship, I need to remember God's always got us on His radar. I need to do my part and keep my attitude out of the bitter swamp. And He's given me an abundance of paint and canvas to help me do just that!

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