Counting in sequence

Define sequential : forming or following in a logical order or sequence thus the Oxford Language Dictionary states. And therefore I submit, that counting in sequence is the format that the order of my counting makes logical sense to me. I love counting in sequence according to the projects of my crochet stash.

Forming order and logic in this world of chaos and happenstance must be important to me. I spent a whole lot of time doing it! Somehow, crochet to me is relaxing. The methodical repetition keeps me sane. When I complete one project and find “nothing” to do with myself for a moment in time, I feel lost. Everything feels out of order. I feel out of place. Crochet is my comfy spot, I guess.

Logical steps involved in gardening and crochet do not translate into good housekeeping for me. While my mom has her “day of the week” for cleaning, cooking, baking, crafting, I am not near so set in my ways. I still find a lot of random behavior in my role as house keeper. Keeping watch over my plant babies is more satisfying. They grow! They respond to my care. The house only gets dirty agin. The floor only needs swept constantly. The dishes must be done daily. The laundry only gets done when the basket is full. Watching the project that I crochet grow in my lap is very satisfying!

Counting in continuum I see the rows of yarn gradually change the pattern. The mosaic crochet technique is very addictive. It really does not matter which pattern I pick. It’s like the continuous motion of the pendulum. The ticking of time does not even seem to occur to me. The rhythm of the hook and the yarn in my fingers becomes like breathing. I think of nothing else, until the cell phone rings and interrupts my counting!

“What’s next?” I ask myself each time a project is completed. And here you can see, the little Canna Lily sprouts are coming out of the soil. Most of the seedlings are up in the growing tent. I am so thankful that my husband is such a good production manager, an excellent warehouse engineer, and my better half. When I have a need, all I have to do is ask. It seems like the only thing he will not do for me is jump and run. Anything else that is possible for him he does. And so he made for me a little indoor station to begin seedlings.

Meanwhile, I get to watch things GROW! The rose bush meant for zone seven (we live in zone 5) is putting on another rose to enjoy. I nearly killed the poor bush by overwatering. All of a sudden one day I noticed many leaves falling off the bush into the pot. I checked the soil and it was so soppy wet. OOPs! I removed the tray underneath and flipped it over so that the clay pot bottom could breath and dry out more. That whole scenario made me so worried. Uff dah! It seems to be on a better path now.

Inventory in the greenhouse was rather challenging. The geranium starts and such are in every location, from east, west, middle beds to the center stand and the tank plant stand. There are 52 hanging geranium baskets. The floor has 14 large containers some with multiple plants. There are 20 half gallon sized containers much for my own purpose of growing on new “bushes!” And there are well over 97 starts in pint sized plus containers. Some of the starter dishes have multiples as well. So while that number additions sums up to 241, the generous actual number is probably 250 or above. I think I shall have enough to share.

Again, I find myself in the ‘what’s next’ stage of life. I have to decide what the next project color should be. The choice is spring berries, or salsa colors of fall. It is suppose to be rather bitter cold this next week, so the greenhouse will be is “sustained” mode. Though I am finding the small pint containers have to have water thrice weekly, other containers go two times or once. Surprisingly, it got rather warm in there today. Nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The sun was shining and it was 30 degrees outside. So here’s to another week, another book, and another basket of yarn!

New year, new journal plan

A couple years ago, I decided to keep the yarn wrappers fro the whole year. 2022 gave me forty five wrappers from finished projects. We won’t count the unfinished symphonies in my repertoire. Haha! It is rather enjoyable to look at the wrappers and know that there is more yarn where they came from.

This year I plan to do more of the read/project/ yarn/ weather journaling than I have in the past. So while the hook size and yarn might not mean much to others putting them all into the journal together makes for an adequate memory bank.

The first of the year took me back to the Ellas Gems Legend pattern that I purchased last year. I have wanted to do a table runner and we liked the yearn that I picked out for it. The Peaches ‘n’ Cream cotton was the choice for a table top because it washed up so nice and can handle being a hot pad of sorts. So off white and summerfield ombre was the choice with a comfortable G size hook. It took me three tries the week end of the New Years Blizzard to get the first row of stitches correct for the pattern. I had no idea I could get it done in just a few days.

Having a book to listen to really helps me pass the time in complete ignorance. The book this time was “Paul A Biography” by N.T. Wright. It is a rather long book with lots of notes into the Biblical narratives. I actually sped it up a bit on my Talking Book reader because much of the content is not new to me. I did recollect however that for my high school senior essay paper I wrote about Paul. I never could have collected near as much information about the era as Wright did. My paper was pretty shallow I suppose. The book is good taking all of the epistles into context of the account in Acts. We also started watching the Chosen series and will have to include some review on that in the month to come.

Weather or not, the project was fun! And there was weather. The snow event gave us about a foot of snow total in one weeks time. My back got plenty of work out scooping all the white stuff off the decks and steps. I am glad we have a little skidster to clean the driveway off. I tried to scoop some of that one day and uff dah!

Meanwhile, I am cleaning up after our daughter’s doggy stayed while they vacationed. We are planning to have our little grand-kiddos over this weekend and the floors and surfaces all need a real good “once – over!” It will probably be more like a seventy times seven over. And hopefully Honey does not get into the presents AGAIN!

Christmas was really drug out this time. We started with a new appliances set for our selves beginning around Thanksgiving time. The television came first. The next new thing was the stove/ oven range. And then we installed the microwave with a miniature kitchen remodel. We just moved the cupboard up a whole foot to make room for the microwave above the range top. I love it! And I am getting used to all the newness.

January is almost to the middle. Our daughter’s birthday is this week and I sure hope I get to see her sometime. Not too long ago someone suggested that we have to lower our expectations so that disappointment is not so readily obtained. My whole mindset as a parent was to set the bar high or your kids would not have anywhere to aim. “You know if you try to jump to the moon, you might get over the barn. If you aim only to jump over the fence, you will land in the manure pile.” Well, I decided rather than expect so much of others to be their best, I would just raise the goals for myself! So here is to aiming for the stars this new year. I hope others will see I am expecting better from myself in my relations to others. I will treat the rest of the world like they need all the help that I can give them. May my attitude change be wholistic!

This year I am using I Corinthians 8:6 as my focus verse. “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” I learned in the book on Paul that this is the new “Shamma.” The word Shamma itself is about “brain training” or teaching the mind to focus on eternal truth. The prayer itself from the book of Deuteronomy is the centerpiece of the Israelites prayers and this verse should be the centerpiece of the Christian’s prayer.

Training our mind to focus on God’s purpose for our lives is not new. Though it might be new for an individual to do this. For me this verse has taken on new meaning. Time will tell how high I have aimed.

My yarn year in review 22

My yarn year in review is just a peak at the projects that my hooks have created this year. Mosaic crochet takes the win with nine of the eleven projects having some mosaic stitches in them. Of course this is only the skimming the top of all the time I spent crocheting. And remembering that most of the time is also spent listening… well, I could maybe pick up the book with the project. This next year I hope to keep a better journal of the books and the projects. Journaling the books that make me “me” is also important.

January began the year with a prayer wrap. Making the mobias twist prayer shawl made me think of pretzels and the story behind the pretzel. Starting the year out with a prayer focus is something that our faith journey remembers well. We were involved in a church for about ten years that began the new year off with meetings in warm homes during the coldest first week of the year. Then February I finished my favorite project of the whole year. This “table runner” has graced my coffee table most of the year. The pattern is the first mosaic that I purchased. I really have to do another runner with this pattern.

My favorite patterns turned into not so good results in the next couple of months. March and April turned out struggles rather than fair prize winners. Oh well. Sometimes I actually don’t rip the results out and leave the bad vibes. There were a couple other hats and mittens but these were just ugly to me. And the wrap/poncho was not the best either with the angle in the middle of the pattern. That part is on the back side. It was hard work and so I left it in.

Favorite patterns returned me to another project that I have wanted to do for a while. The C2C is an old stand-by for me and this blanket is one of my favorites even though the colors turned out a bit wonky. It’s still warm and the “Linus” blanket is an real winner.

The hand bag or back-pack is a new fun one for me. Not really sure on the count ofr how many I made this year. Around six or seven. I forgot to take pictures of some that I gave away. There is an ugly browns one that I am using right now as my own what-nots bag.

Half the year would not be complete without another virus shawl completed. This yarn came from a thirty year old stash in someone’s attic. That was rather fun to sue such old yarn. The smell was a bit much for my nose. I ended up keeping some essential lavender oil nearby to rub on my hands so that I did not have to smell the old mildew.

And of course the year would not be complete without some hats for the grandees. These three hats were made by choice and request. It was fun to go shopping and let them pick out their own yearn and come back with hats that sort of match, but fit just so!

Making the C2C Linus blanket for my newest niece was really enjoyable also. This time I decided to make the color choices very random. I loved the outcome so much. And hope that as Texas baby in winter, she gets to use the blanket a little bit!

Fall came and went so fast it was hard to believe that already time for Christmas decorations and goodies had come without much of a plan for projects with purpose. Oh, well. Maybe next year I will plan ahead a little more with my crochet year. Meanwhile what better way to sandwich the year with another prayer shawl. This one had the right color choice for the season, but the goof up on the number scheme has me wondering if it might turn into a rip-and-redo.

Yep, my twelve months in review ended with only eleven pictures of projects. I probably could have found another picture, but I have just not been on my game lately. This past year the garden veggies were a bit of a flop, some of my attempts to seedlings were a white fly disaster, and I also added to my health restrictions. Though my health is not awful, taking away coffee and tea the last month or so has been tough. Coffee it seems is what gave me all that energy to do all those things. So I feel a little like an old stubborn mule with a halter that is too loose. Pull with all your might, but my days will still be a bit on the low production list.

I am so thankful that I have my hooks to keep me occupied. Life without crochet would be really dull. Life without coffee and tea might be boring, but there are still books. And if I can’t find a new read to keep me going I can always go back to the favorites.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’” In deed I am thankful to find some pleasure yet in my year past and looking forward to the new year with renewed hope.

How to grow a “worry wart”

Satire on growth of an ulcer. The best advice I heard from a blind man was “If you can’t look in the mirror and laugh at yourself, then you have a problem.” Even then, looking at yourself might be more of a challenge. Introspection is the key.

One: Have a family that gives advice instead of encouragement. And then I thought, How much do I give a good word? So I got on the phone and found someone that might actually encourage me. It wasn’t family, sad to say. Years ago, we made decisions based on our “family.” We moved closer to extended family so that our daughters would know their grand parents. We left many close friends behind, but distance has not lessened the ties. Thank goodness many of these friends are still “close” at heart. Many of you, I am sure have families that have developed divisions and “rifts” that the past few years have seemed to accentuate. Mine has also. And unfortunately while many of us are trying to move on, the old battles still get brought up time and again. Then I look to those who have lost siblings these last few years. They would do anything to have one more “row” about some stupid divisive thing.

Two: Live in the country when you are blind. Yep, we still live with move than a mile to the closest neighbor. I’m not sure why that seems to be such a problem. But out here in the country, there are some that simply won’t “go the extra mile.” So, here I sit… Last year I tried to create a reason to get into town and spend time with people. The drought kept the garden on lock down, and we did not make it to the market more than twice. Also, there were times when I wanted to get out of dodge on the farm, and I knew that my husband had spend all week gone, simply wanted to stay home. Our unity of need has gone polar express. So while I desperately want to get off the farm, he simply wants to stay home and avoid the “kind of people that he spend all week working” with. Well, aren’t we a find kettle of fish? He’s the garlic and onions, and I’m the tilapia (in case you wanted to know).

Three: Have children and grandchildren along with aging parents. While any one of the three might make one’s hair go silver, Having all three at the moment in time certainly adds to the stress. Our Parents that are turning into toddlers and keys, and stoves need to be removed from grasp. Toddlers that jump off the backs of sofas and then slide across wooden tables, only to take out the sibling, or the lamp in flight really turn up the heat on the anxiety. Then there are adult children that seem to be returning to the rebellious teenage years though they are married and somewhat responsible career holders. What’s next? Could we just not have another life event “Derecho” and everything on the house and out buildings need to be replaced.

Four: Grow a garden in a drought. Yes, it’s true, our corner of the state set record level drought recordings. And rural water can’t make up for the rain that never fell. Nothing really grew well at all. We do have a plan for keeping the water in the soil better next year. More mulch-tastic ideas coming right up. From leaves, to straw to whatever else we can pile on there. And the size of the garden will be just about as reduced in volume as last year. The cipboards are not bare, so don’t worry. We have enough to eat here.

Five: Have an auto immune disorder that reverberates through your life even though there are “known” cures and helps. So yes, I had ITP for about twelve years. Took prednisone ans such until the spleen was yanked out. Then through the years my immune system has been over taxed many times so more steroids. Finally, a recent discovery that some new allergies had developed made my life change much. At least knowing what allergies I have, makes it a much better guess when choosing off the menu. Allergies can be very serious and life threatening. Scary. Not fun. At least most of my Outdoor allergies are much more manageable.

Six: develop food anxiety because of food allergies. I carry an EPI pen now. And it has been used this past fall. So when I eat food that other people fix, there is a “nag” in the back of my mind for at least fifteen to twenty minutes after the meal. Will I be okay, or do I need to keep the pen handy? However, even just recently I made something for myself and found out that the tin containing the whole wheat flour had been tainted with flour containing barley. That was a rough couple of days. So I have to admit that my diet has not been very good or consistent that last few months.

Seven: Have insomnia for five years or more. Lack of sleep is the best cultivator for an ulcer. Because I do not sleep well, (it’s kind of this hyper awake incredibly aware listening mode) it has made me rather tired. Brain fog is not even a strong enough name for the feeling you get that you are sleep walking all day. LOTS of coffee does not even help. I tried the… well….Those pills did not do me any favors. Summer time busy is a better plan. But winter? I need a gym within walking distance. Haha. So, yeah, coffeee and strong coffee is really bad for the stomach.

Eight: Live in a wold where social media is a prime communication tool. We have all experienced some bad thing on social media if we admit it. Finding out about engagements, babies, family deaths, you name it. When is the world going to go back to good old kitchen table gossip? If you don’t actually talk to the relatives yourself, there is nothing to care about. It feels like the populace has all gone into the “grey rock” mode of relationships. We can talk about the weather, the sky, the new car, but don’t ever tell anyone that we have food anxiety because of allergies. No, no, no….

Nine: Drink coffee by the potful to help stay awake. Maybe I mentioned that one already? Well, you know. When you love coffee and you drink a pot full before breakfast, that’s a problem. Just saying. Try starting the day with water. If you get heartburn so bad that you can’t eat your oatmeal? It’s an ulcer.

Ten: Get heartburn that dictates your meals or lack thereof. I did not know that my bird picking appetite was really the sign of a rooted and growing ulcer. Yes, bird picking. I ate every two hours, just a little bit. Because I am too close to the fridge and the cookie jar, picking at my meals was pretty easy to do. Now, I am force feeding myself the recommended foods on the “heal my stomach-starve the ulcer” diet. As if my food list was limited before, the next two weeks will really be limited. And with the holidays coming up, there might be some cans of chicken noodle soup in the back pack ready to substitute. It’s a good thing I like chicken noodle soup. Hey and those books are pretty good too! Except most of the stories are tear jerkers.

How to grow a worry wart? Plan the seed with insomnia, food allergies, and going blind anxiety. That’s some pretty fertile soil there. Water the ulcer with coffee, black tea, and frequent snacks. Feed the worry wart with more food anxieties, relationship struggles, friendship failures, and family bickering. Don’t forget to shed some light on the little wart with some enlightened political debates, social media discouragement, and silent cell phones. And finally, the best thing of all for the worry wart? Don’t let sleep get in your way.

Gardener’s Hiatus

Another litter of kittens found their way into the dog hut next to the house. Our poor old Eva was kicked out once again. She usually sleeps in the hut on the old house porch though. Lela is the mama kitty. She and Stitch were sister kittens a few years back. Both are quite wild. I cannot catch Lela, though she does come for extra milk and fat the last few weeks.

So there are five little kittens to name and play with and pick up. The little fur balls were not too keen on the handling today. A good pair of sheep gloves came in handy. Two of the little hissy-fits were pretty scary. But I picked them up with out much damage to their pride or my fingers.

The “Complete Sherlock Holmes” has been keeping me company this past week. And the last few days I fell ill with some sort of flu bug that gave me none other than extreme fatigue. Of course, I had to look up sleeping sickness and found there is a real thing. So thank goodness it was not that. But after three days and nights of such lethargy, my hubby dragged me off to the doctor for some blood work and a check up. All is well, just busy fighting off some virus or another.

Glad, to say that I have actually been upright for nearly three hours now! The heavy limbs and head ache are a bit nagging, but none-the-less the symptoms are so few, that I was quite nervous at the amount of sleeping one can achieve when fighting off some viral bug. Much fluid intake at least kept me rising to use the facilities.

Upon some further investigation, we presume perhaps a flu bug just had no chance with all my fluid intake and vitamin consumption. I am rather thankful not to suffer the stomach bug as the some other extended family had the misfortune to befall.

So, inspired by the little hats that I conjured up about a month ago, I began this little prayer shawl. Not sure how many I will make after this fashion, but the pattern is an easy one to attempt and does not require much for concentration. My faculties have been in the dull-drums of late, so it was smoothen to do as I work back into my house keeping chores. Even, the laundry lady suffered. She is nearly exhausted jut over the sorting!. (I am the laundry lady and took a short snooze after that chore completed!)

The chief cook and bottle washer have gone on vacation. The gardener left the morning’s work unattended. The maid has not tended to any of the house hold duties. The dog trainer was under the covers for nearly three days and may return by the morrow. The grandchildren’s Oma even lost tuch with reality for nearly a day or two. None of the text messages were answered. And finally, the hubby’s dear even advised perhaps he should sleep in the other room. She thought the flu bug would result in some unpleasantness. However, the capacitor of all those roles survived with nothing more that much work left undone. Only a few days of catch up required.

All those people are one and the same. The roles I play are not stage perfect. And the occupations that call me back to the present life are beginning to scream louder than the heavy limbs that returned me to my cot. On we go in this life of ours. The bell on the washer is ringing out for the laundry lady to rise from her slumbering ways…

Monday Mumblings

Watching “Mayo Clinic Minute: How weighted blankets “lift anxiety” on YouTube this morning, I learned all about those little sleep hormones and the feel good hug.

One week has passed since I began sleeping with my gravity blanket that we purchased a few years back. I had tried it off and on but never just in itself for a full week trial. It is pretty amazing how a full week of rested sleep changes one’s mood! It must be knocking my anxiety hormones down a bunch, because for the first time in fur-ever, Honey took a nap on my lap!

Unfortunately her “serviceability” goes way down when she senses anxiety . She feeds on it and gets more hyper! This is not very helpful to say the least. So, in spite of the fact that she is now five years old, I am going to look for a trainer that can give me the right response commands to get this crazy dog down on all fours when the her hyper kicks in.

Saturday morning my dear helper hubby found the aphids moved into the pansies that i multiplied to hundreds. We spent a few hours treating them with some nnatural remedies. They look a little tough but I will be spreading them out into some more spacious quarters today and hopefully things will go well with the proper treatments. It’s so difficult to keep on top of it all once the nasty bugs begin their residency.

This is Holy week for the Christian and Jewish populous. It is always such a special holiday for me. Both of my daughters were baptized on Easter morning during their teen years. Easter has so much triumph and hope. How can the rest of the world live without that joyous celebration? I am so glad that we are back to church gatherings and that the “pandemic” shifted to endemic and everyone is just kind of “over” all of the talk. Yes, there are some rough memories, but not gathering has to be the worst. People are meant to live in community. And not being together makes everyone so depressed and cranky.

The wind blew something fierce the end of last week, and I though all of the old anxieties would come back also. Then I found Amy Carmichael’s book “The Edges of His Ways.” Though it is a daily devotional, I listened to nearly a full month. One of her notes was about the wind. And she encouraged me to look for inspiration from the wind that the Lord blows my way. So rather than fighting the blustery forecast for another day, I took up the “inspired by” list that i could find. The first one was comforting classical compositions that were inspired by … you guessed it-The Wind! Some of the pieces I have heard before but many were new to me. So the next time that I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances, I am just going to begin with looking for inspired by… a list that helps me turn the thing around and lifts up the mood.

This morning, I uncovered the rose bush that I planted in the tire flower bed next to the greenhouse. Today is going to be another beautiful day here. Without that nasty gale to knock me over. I also went out and zip tied the wind wheel at the Hydrant flower bed to the water meter pole there. The poor wind wheel has been knocked over so many times from the westerly hurricane breezes. (And we do not have hurricanes here… just the wind.). That made me FEEL like I had really accomplished something.

Then, I spray painted the basket that I had crocheted. The dye in the wood glue had not worked entirely to color the basket green. So I emptied the black spray paint on it. The rest of the paint was used on the wire baskets in the greenhouse. I had not done anything to them since purchase. That too FELT like I was really doing something. Then I repotted the little holiday cactus starts into two beautiful red pots that I found while shopping the other night at our local wally world. They look so happy. And now they will thrive. The other containers had proved to be too small over the long haul. The little plants had been in their since Thanksgiving and I would constantly forget about them. So they were either too hot, too wet, or too dry. There you go little holiday cactus starts. And I even decided who I am giving them to as gifts. But I am not telling you.

It’s not Monday. Thank goodness. You would not have wanted to talk to me this Monday. My visit to the greenhouse found the pansy stats much worse than before. I tossed quite a number of them due to some nasty little fly of some sort. We treated them again last night at sundown so I hope there is not burn from the spray. It is just not fun growing plants to just toss them out. Part of my eyesight problem, part of the learning curve.

So here goes to a lengthy post again. Today, I hope to get a new mosaic crochet project going. My last two project attempts were a bit lacking. I did not like the outcome. Yep, I feel like I spent the whole time mumbling. But I got it all out right? And the gravity blanket is still working to help me sleep. Yay!

The Silent Treatment

(Disclaimer: I do not sanction the use of coping strategies that punish oneself or another. Using aggression is not the answer. Fighting should not be a way of life.But fighting for life is a long battle. This week has been full of history making.)

When I was growing up my mother used this passive aggressive discipline technique (coping strategy) to get her children to see her way. It did not really work. The worst memory I have of this happening was the night she did not hear me say I was across the street babysitting. She used this anger management tool to keep from saying the wrong thing, though she already had. Her attempt at poetry to instill a value of trust did not work either. The two weeks following the incident were pretty rough. Being my senior year, it did not occur to me that having a message board for the family use would alleviated end the drama. Oh, well. This week my selence had an altogether different cause.

This morning I am drinking some green tea and blueberry herbal with honey. Hopefully the healing properties will help this nasty laryngitis to fly the coup. If only cold virus were so easily scattered like birds. Everyone thinks I am giving them the silent treatment. The one that suffers the most still tries to call me the most often. On the other hand, my doodle dog Honey has not barked in a couple of days because she does not know how to whisper. I think it is rather successful!

So I took my “down” time to learn a new pattern. This mosaic hat was a free video tutorial. I made the red and white first and then the reverse pattern blue second. It was satisfying to get a project done in just one day. Then after the fever began to break my voice disappeared.

February cones to a close this week. I wrote two other blogs nearly completed. I did not finish either one. Just had no conclusive thought. Story telling is not my strong suit I guess. I prefer the lesson of fables and something with a moral conclusion. Why, it seems, must I find a lesson in every thing? Willy nilly writing does not have analytical potential. Do we have to learn from everything?

I decided to makeover one of my brightest hats. I thought this pattern was a perfect fit for the bright colors. I wanted to do some mittens in the design but could only find videos of different designs. So I left these mittens because these fit so well. And so I came up with my own pattern.

All of the seedlings in the greenhouse seem to be okay. The plunge into artic air meant that the heat is on in the building. The propane tank ran empty and we have yet another day of frigid temps. I can’t believe that the temperature stays at nearly fifty degrees Fahrenheit. The full water tank, the black buckets, and the soil and plants are doing their job to keep it warm. Circulating the air kept the even feeling. I knew I should have called for service on Monday but now I have no voice and whispering does not work on a cry for help! Ha. The propane tank is full again and the weather will soon warm. Melting snow means mud. Ugh. But it also means spring is on it’s way!

Sometimes doing smaller projects makes me feel happy and fulfilled. Like I actually got something done. This week I managed to bake a turkey one day and make turkey soup and dumpling on another day. My energy level was pretty low. So I did not even go up to see my grand babies this week. I finished a mosaic shawl, and a Bavarian stitch shawl this month. Tackling a couple of small pattern ideas was next on my list. It is always fun to make new hats. And the remake was really enjoyable. Then I decided to attempt some mittens. I combined some pattern ideas and used the new mosaic stitch from the hat. Love them all. Now it’s decision time for what is next.

The final remake this week was interesting. Not sure that that I “like” this one. It’s a good thing the dumpling and soup tasted so good and helped us ride out of the week well. The yarn was a really busy “jazz” ombre and probably should have a coordinating color with it. But I used what I had. Resourceful is my middle name! And do you know how hard it is to do the same thing twice? Really hard apparently. I had two attempts at this one. I wrote down the mitten specs, but the second pair are a little smaller. Not as happy with the configuration. I prefer the look of the red and blue. It could just be the busy yarn. Oh, well!

I made it through my “sick” week. Fever for a few days and the laryngitis thing. Seems like any cold I get ends up in my throat of voice box. Gargling with salt water was the cure. And lots of tea with honey. We finally got some moisture with this bitter cold. Stuck inside while it is so cold outside was not so bad. The snow is such a welcome sight. I went out with the dogs and played frisbee in the fluffy stuff this afternoon. And yes, the mittens and hat worked quite nicely.

Still trying to find myself

This is an RP update. I did not know that when I first started writing this one. Sometimes the journal of going blind one day at a time gets an entry. I could call it the Chronicles of Yvonne Annette. Not sure anyone would even read such a book.

Seven years into blogging and I am still trying to find myself. Just the other day I decided to look up some of the history. It is really pretty embarrassing to discover that my writing has taken so many twist and turns. Perhaps that is normal.

For one thing, I find it hard to be completely frank and honest. Someone might actually read my blog that knows me and ask me a question that I do not want to answer. Here are a few potential nightmare questions… “How can you say that you are blind and still crochet?” “Why don’t you just get a job and have something to do that way?” “Where is your focus and purpose for this blog?” “When are you ever going to write something that earns money?” “What do you really want to do with your life?” “Who reads this stuff anyways?”

Here’s the thing, for the most part of my fifty years I did not know those answers and I am not even going to attempt to try! Writing for me is a release. Just an exercise, kind of like taking a walk that has no purpose. Every once in a while we take a walk that actually leaves us filling fulfilled and happy. Every day I send my dog out to do her business or on the days I actually go with, there seems no other purpose than just doing the routine.

Routinely writing for me is relaxing and a way to release often unintelligible thoughts. Once in a great while, the thoughts find a path and I find a gorgeous waterfall. Other times all I notice is the barren ground and large cracks in the winter earth that are screaming out for some snowfall moisture.

Today is one of those awful after-insomnia days. The ruminating thoughts that keep me awake at night are nothing worth repeating. Yet on they go. Sometimes, my mind is so hyper-alert it feels as though I did not get a wink of sleep. The sheep counting “God Bless You”-s did not work. The Bible mindful listening did not work. The warm milk and hot tea did not work. The pre-slumber routines did nothing to aid in the sleep process.

Last evening I went to church to do a recording with a friend. The song was quite repetitive and the count patterns got stuck on repeat for my mind. Also, when I used the facilities to release my full bladder, I walked right into the wall afterwards. How could my tunnel vision keep pulling so many tricks on me? I am constantly finding myself “lost” these days. Often right in the bedroom while turning in circles to put away my clothing. I ran right into the table the other day in the kitchen while doing the dishes. Had I forgotten the table was there? I was not paying attention to my other senses and did not even realize that the rug under my feet was actually NOT there. Ugh. This blind think sometimes catches me by surprise.

In just one half hour the brand new song was embedded in my memory and I had to play it by little signs like # * > 1 2 X and letters for chord names. My focus on how many times of certain chord patterns kept me from reading the words all together. Besides, unless they are size 50 type, I would not be able to read them anyway. Same girl?

On another note…. The ability to learn a new piece of music is getting to be shorter and shorter time expense. The song was mentioned to me one day. I listened to it a few times the next day. We ran through the piece with some “guitar chord lead” sheets that same evening. And by the third go round I actually did not loose my place in the sheets and words. This is the same girl that failed her first few recitals in early years of piano lessons. This is the same girl that could not memorize pages of classical piano for the jury sessions in college. This is the same girl that could not play a single note by ear training in the early years as church pianist. This is the same mother that made her little string playing children switch positions to play a song in the key that it was written so that mommy could accompany them at the nursing home church services. This is the same woman that bombed reading the music for her daughter’s senior recital and ruined the whole event (in my mind.). This is the same woman that one church rejected as pianist because she could not play the praise and worship “style” that they wanted. (Which by the way is the same “style” that she now plays completely by ear with just a guitar chord lead sheet!)

Not hardly. I feel like a completely different person than I was at twelve years old. I feel like a different person than I was even at 40! How do I make peace with this new me?

Golden Moments

Golden moments are few and far between during these blistery cold winters. I enjoy watching the survivalists in their wilderness cabins and am thankful their is no wood splitting daily chore. My life seems rather golden and some days I feel very lazy.

The golden pothos received a new home this week. I bought three little four inch plants one day before Christmas and had them in clay pots in various places. Then one day while looking at my spider plant in the library / office, I decided it was just too dark in here. So the pothos would find a new home. The hanging planter was also a recent purchase. So here it is…

I have been waiting for the coral kalanchloe to pop open a bloom for nearly one month. For a couple of weeks in January I enjoy spinning some wool in the light of the south window in the living room. I was hoping that moving the kalanchloe into the living room would also encourage it to flush out it’s blooms. Warm sunshine for me and the blossoms. It seemed to do the trick. However, the four and a half spools of homespun wool were not quite enough for the C2C shawl that i had in mind. So now what shall I do?

I am not an early bird by any means. The days that I go up to see the grand kiddos and have to rise before the sun to ride along with my hubby is so painful. Usually I fall back asleep and my little grand daughter gets to giggle at me as I try to wake up again. The sunrise photo of the greenhouse was actually on a Sunday morning before going to church. Our organist has some health challenges and so I am playing for praise team more frequently this next couple weeks. I finished the newest mobias prayer shawl just this week. And it finally turned out much better in size. I need to write down the dimensions and count the stitches for the sizing options. So there is something I am happy with.

And one final note for the memoir chronicles, the lemon tree is putting on blossoms! It lives much happier in the house. Patient is definitely a virtue in waiting for the lemon tree to do something. Of course if lost all but one leaf so far after the move indoors. And yes, we actually purchased a piece of exercise equipment in January! I thought just getting the heavy box into the house on this blustery south wind day was enough exercise for one day. I think I’ll go have a cookie or two now!