31 January 2024

Wordless Wednesday

30 January 2024

Chasing Rainbows

I'd been missing the rainbow light that would brighten the days I had to go to work in the old building once we got moved to our new, improved and smaller office work location. There are so many things to love about our new space. But I missed my rainbow refraction.

Last week I noticed an extremely faint rainbow on the wall near my desk. It didn't last very long, and it was so pastel. But the rainbow is back, and I will find ways to play with it!

Back in the day when I used to ride the train, I could play with such a shot on my way to work.

I'm not riding the train as much these days, and when I do, I try to use my commute time to catch up on email. But I'm hoping I will be able to see this particular refraction again and squeeze in more fun photo editing time so I can come up with some new digital rainbow art!

29 January 2024

Snowflake Monday

I jumped on the snowplow name Brr Ito as a snowflake because I'm from New Mexico and because I love Mexican food. It's only fair I seize En-chill-ada, too!

I designed this snowflake the week after Thanksgiving, but a stitch sequence ending the 2nd Round (to prevent having to bind off and rejoin) kept me from writing the pattern until now. If what I tried very hard to describe clearly below is too difficult or too confusing, just finish the last dc picot and bind off, then join again for Round 3.

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

En-chill-ada Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in ring; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. 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), [sk next dc, in next dc work (1 dc, ch 4, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 5, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 1, 1 dc)] 5 times; sk next dc, in 2nd ch of Round 1 starting ch 2 work (1 dc, ch 4, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 1), yo 2 times and draw up loop through 2nd ch of Round 2 starting ch 2, [yo and draw through 2 loops on hook] 2 times (2/3 of tr made), yo 2 times and draw up loop through bottom segment of tr, yo and draw up loop through 2nd ch of Round 2 starting ch 2, [yo and draw through 2 loops on hook] 5 times.

Yes, I made a booboo in the above photos and forgot to work my final dc and didn't notice until after I'd bound off and woven in my ends and clipped off the tail to make this cute little flake. And yes, I unbound it and fixed it and then didn't have enough tail to tie a knot. I fixed the bind off by gluing the teensy tail end into place. Don't do it that way! This was NOT a fun snowflake surgery! Really cute little flake, though...

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over whatever you want to call that last Round 2 stitch directly below, [[ch 4, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook] 2 times, ch 1, in next ch 2 tip (between dc picots) work (2 dc, ch 5, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook, [ch 4, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook] 2 times, ch 2, 2 dc)] 6 times, omitting last 2 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: I've been stiffening my flakes with undiluted, full-strength water soluble school glue for quite a while now, and I've been squishing the glue onto and throughout each flake with my fingers (yucky mess!!!) instead of gingerly painting the flakes with glue. Yes, it's a mess. But it's faster. And stiffer.

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.

25 January 2024

On With the New Year

All I've got to show for the last week is finishing the last of my 2023 digital temperature quilts. I like the color scheme on this one, and I like the design. I've now seen a photo of another actual temperature quilt that was done with circles inside squares, and although I don't have time to daily piece or quilt something like that right now, this idea definitely will stay fresh in my imagination.

My 2024 digital snowflake quilts are coming out AMAZING. Add these to my list of fabric quilts I'd love to piece, appliqué and quilt for real one day.

I did stitch between a few rows of my Spoonflower-printed 2023 snowflake temperature quilt, but it's a bear to work with! I do think it will be cute, and I might even be able to send it to my niece for her new baby next month. But I will have to really buckle down and work on it, because time is growing SO short!!!

23 January 2024

When Time Doesn't Stand Still

Sometimes I have to turn off the phone and put it away. Sometimes, it's so depressing, it threatens to keep me from accomplishing anything the rest of the day.

one of the most painful crochet losses

I'm learning so much from the Parkinson's caregivers support group. But sometimes, the things I read just hurt.

It was so difficult to read about all the spouses who returned to their heavenly homes during the Christmas holidays. A death in the family is difficult any time of year. But how would one possibly survive it happening during Christmas???

Thank heavens, all the group members are compassionate and caring. When my dad died, the online comments I got from so many friends and loved ones, some of whom I'd not heard from in years, really did help. They felt like virtual hugs. And I could go back and read them again when the loss began to sting again.

I hope those who lose someone they love get that same benefit...

Just hours away from the new year, and I read the tale of a woman who had to wait six months to get her husband into his neurologist. Her husband had not been out of the house at all in months due to other health issues. Getting him out of the house was a time hog, and then traffic didn't cooperate. She was 15 minutes late for the appointment, and she was forced to reschedule.

Been there, done that! I schedule an extra hour before I have to get Lizard to one of his appointments. Sometimes, that's not enough. Sometimes, I'm able to get him in the car on time, but then traffic slows me down. I can't call to report I'm going to be late while I'm driving. Lizard can't operate the phone anymore, so he can't call either. I can pull over to make the call myself and be even later, or I can just keep pushing on. This overwhelming experience has happened to us with dental appointments, general practitioner appointments and physical therapy appointments, too.

Sometimes, providers will go ahead and see Lizard. Most of the time, however, we are forced to reschedule.

Many who commented on the post told of it happening to them, too. Most who commented say they never get in to see their medical professional without a 15-minute or longer wait. A few were horrified and suggested a change of providers. And a couple said they are no longer able to do in-person visits, so they are on time for all their virtual appointments. They no longer have the stress of trying to rush someone who cannot rush anymore.

All I could do was turn off the phone and cry.

It takes longer, much longer, to get someone with Parkinson's ready to go outside the house and then into the car, and then into the medical provider's office than it would take a healthy person. Someone with Parkinson's cannot be rushed. Rushing them stresses them, which makes the Parkinson's worse, and it puts them at risk of falling.

People don't die from Parkinson's. They die from falls due to Parkinson's.

With Lizard's latest medical complication, he is even slower in response and movement now than ever before. I have been trying to get him ready two hours ahead of time. That isn't always enough.

Being in traffic stresses him out, even though he is not driving. Waiting in waiting rooms stresses him out, even when there are only two or three other patients waiting. His restless legs kick in, and that's the end of patience.

Waiting in the tiny examination rooms really sets him off. He can't sit still more than about two minutes, and being in such a small space with no room to walk around when his legs begin acting up gives him serious claustrophobia.

By the time they take his blood pressure, his heart is pounding.

Fortunately, most of his providers now understand what's happening with his blood pressure, and they aren't prescribing new meds. Thank heavens!

We can't make do without his medical care if we have to reschedule. Rescheduling is extremely stressful for both of us because we know he can't wait up to three months for another appointment. We see his neurologist every three months, and sometimes that's not often enough. His condition sometimes changes and deteriorates faster than that.

My heart goes out to all who have experienced this. I wish everyday tasks weren't so hard for any of us.

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