Not a problem

Woolen solution

Once it’s upon a time I was learning how to spin wool.

I was not very good at it.

This red wool yarn became a hat and mittens.

Mighty warm woolens!

Then I washed them.

Oops!

I forgot about them in the wash and put them in the dryer.

Oh no I shrunk my mittens!

And a shrunk my hat.

No worries about that

Last winter I spun some new wool. While I was a little better at my consultancy, the natural color was odd.

So I finally fixed those mittens and that hat.

Yay!

What ti do with the leftover, I wonder?

November blunders

Mistaken speeches

Hasn’t this month been full of them? There are times I just want to turn the owrld off and wake next year. But that’s not an option. And now is not the time for the populous to enter a comatose state and ifnore what needs to be done. There are so many things happening in the world today, it makes my head spin.

Meanwhile in my exile out here in the country, I have to find something to do with myself. So I probably try to keep myself too busy and ignore much of the world’s problems. But there is still something to keep my occupied. So I carry on.

The weather has entered an every other week pattern. One week of moisture and one week of mild temperatures. The Greenhouse has been staying pretty even kilter on the thermometer and we have not had to use any heat during the day. The beauty of things growing and blooming is such a bright spot in my day.

The above phot really accents the building technique we used on the grow beds. With the brick walkway and the gernamiums from my sister in full bloom, I called this the perfect “greenhouse Selfie!” It’s one of my favorite phots ever from the Greenfield Greenhouse!

this little checkerboard lapghan is still not complete. The two ends will have a sweater stitch checkerboard pattern also. It just needs to be rectangular to actually work as a lapghan. It was a fun lefties project after my great big C2C blanket.

One of the funny stories from my little grandaughter happened this month. We were stilling at the table and she spied a covweb above the chandelier. “There’s a spider web!” She declared in her two and a half year old matter of fact way. I told her “you’ll have to get your broom and sweep it down.” She replied in her driest Eeyore voice- “Can’t reach!”

It was rather funny. She makes that declaration quite often as she takes after her Hawaiian Great-Grandparents in her height. We won’t mention that her maternal grandma and great-granny are rather short also.

I forgot to trun the above photo before uploading. Oh, well. The Lemon and lime Starburst baby blanket is a real gem. It has no reciepient yet, so I’ll just have store it for a time. The Softee brand baby yarn was perfect for the project. Sometimes I out do myself and then there is not one to appreciate it.

This little pot holder is my plan for the next month. The mosaic them is “Hope” for the world. I think it is befitting a Christmas focus. Though the colors that I found are nothing but Christmas. Sometimes it is nice to have Christmas every day of the year. So I will keep on making them until I am really a professional. Haha

This past month the politcal and civil unrest has kept me from participating in the world’s chaso. But I would say that this picture is proff that the minority wins. The one with the loadest voice is eventually silenced. Either by compromise, appeasement, persecution or execution. I don’t believe in the latter for the above feline, but her cries can be pretty unnerving. So there are days, I just let her come in to shut her up. Autumn was our “car kitty” from two years ago. She and two other gals were shipped away to be fixed earlier this year. I was hoping that she would selttle down agter the affair with the surgeion’s knife. No such luck. She’s still just as loud and obnoxious as ever.

Autumn is proff that perhaps protesting does work. (Even though I firmly believe the opposite.)

And finally, I am attempting another prayer shawl in jsut two colors. “All around the mulberry bush” has been a challenge at times. The red grape and green grape colors are pretty though. The monkey is the skein of yar-if you were wonderdering. The tail is the thread, and the weasel is my crochet hook. I hope I can finish itwithout too many blunders. The mistakes have me putting the project aside quite frequently as I contemplate where I went wrong and what can be done about it.

Forgeveness is my new best “giving” this November. I have been offering up for myself and for others frequently. As Thanksgiving approaches, the season of GIVING arrives with such gratitude for all that we have here in this life. I hope that you will find some time to be giving this season as well. And find it in your heart to lend mercy to another in your life as well.

And now that Thanksgiving is nearly upon me, I’ll probably go and make a few more mistakes. Had to take our a few rows of the Mulberry Bush to fix the pattern blunder. It is much bigger now and almost on the last motif.

The “once indoor” cat continues to scream at the kitchen window to be let inside. I’m not sure what I have done to myself. We spent the day outside again on Sunday trying to create our own mulberry stump rocket stove. I grew impatient and the kettle of water booiled shortly after I came indoors. My hubby used it to put out the fire and we will play again another day.

Well, there went one more month in 2020 with nothing more than a rear view of what blunders i created. Hindsight continues to be lacking in most of the world. People are in such a hurry forward that this time to “slow” down has hardly changed the majority of what people do.

I am okay living a simpler life.

Security and comfort zone

Comfort in familiarity

How much I love the C2C crochet stitch shows up in every corner of my house. The corner to corner stitch is one of my favorites. I would call it my comfort zone. The weight and feel of the fabric that it creates cannot compare to other comfort stitches. And the ease of making something in the C2C means that a project can be completed in a week, weekend or sometimes less.

The above cornmeal yellow blanket keeps our feet warm all year round. I made a mixed up yellows, reds and blues and the busy pattern took away from the quilt top. So off to charity it went. And this simple yellow afghan is so soft and warm.

This blanket is the remnants of a rug that I once made for the room’s floor. After a few years of padding across the rug, it could no longer be cleaned easily. I decided to take the item of 50 plus skeins and make two rugs. One was water blue circular and the other an hexagon yellows. The edging yarn was left so I made this large squares throw to sit on our hope chest. The new queen size bed did not fit the way the old antique frame sat, so this blanket sits on a different chest now.

There was still some leftovers and we had a blanket that I had made early on in my crochet career. This blanket was again a remake and and add on. It is one of our winter favorites. The diagonal stripes are both fun and confusing. But the practicality is the goal for this chocolate hug!

The C2C quilt-as-you-go crochet blocks afghan is now finished. Yes it only took me one week. But it was colder this week and I just did not want to go out doors and be cold. This blanket is full of old yarn, new yarn, used yarn, and scrap threads. The practicality of the design has me in love with the stitch.

Some people take the stitch and made grid patterns that turn out adorable little characters. but I think I’ll stick to easy. Once upon a time my daughter called me lazy because I did so many things in the same stitch. There are simple neck “turtle” scarves, ponchos, infinity scarves, shrug shawls, and even a washcloth or two. The versatility of C2C seems endless.

There has been a lot of talk about insecurity these days. The “fear” of covid 19 has the media constantly sharing more scare tactics. The virus has found my family and only one of the whole bunch even got tested. So the numbers are really disproportional. No matter what the numbers are, there are so many more that have not been tested accuracy is impossible.

Every day death is around some corner. We don’t know which corner, but that does not keep people from living their lives and doing what needs to be done to stay alive.

We have become much better stewards of the property that we live on simply for the fact that is so little else to do. But after putting up all those jars of tomatoes, the last bucket of tomatoes sat in the fridge for two weeks. I just could not do another batch. We tossed them out to the racoons this morning before picking up all the leaves in the back yard. The wind just goes in a circle there and mulch would be better used on the garden area for the winter.

This weekend we are also doing the social distance thing up a notch. Apparently my husband may have been exposed to the virus and contact tracing gave him a call Friday. The fear set in for a few moments, and then the get busy set in. We had a pot roast for supper and will eat lefties for the rest of weekend.

Security and insecurity are realities that some people are living right now. I have to admidt that the phone call made me feel a little insecure. The feeling did not last very long though. While I trust in the Lord for my eternal security in Jesus Christ, I also trust Him for today. Maybe it does not appear to others that way, but for myself day to day living in isolation has become fairly normal.

Isolation was never meant to be the normal though. I watched a fellow on a video channel share his life in virtual isolation. He lives in the idealization of “self reliant” and heavy work ethic. Though he says he is married, they do not share their daily living experiences. He lives one lifestyle and she another. That does not really sound like a marriage to me. Where is the service to one another’s needs, and the compromise of ideas, ideals, successes and failures. Since hearing that they only “holiday” together, I decided to unfollow the craziness. What’s the point of living life so alone?

I want to share life with my spouse. I want to do meals together. I want to experience the same things together. I am such a togetherness freak, I find it hard to sit at the table and eat a meal by myself. I think of all my family members and others who do so every day. It’s not for me. I need companionship so much, I want the dog less than five feet from me most hours of the day.

Yep, I would rather die doing life together, than die alone. Some of the pictures from our wedding were taken out in the cemetary next to the church. Some said it was a “good luck” portion to the day. I think it just solidified the vows a little more.

That’s my take on this whole mess of a world we live in. And even after spending three or four hours solving the world’s problems, I am sure no one will even listen to me.

Ecclesiastes 11:9. “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgement.”

Is Hindsight Really 20\20?

When we remember things with a skewed sense of reality…

Here is the thought that got me considering hindsight, and I’m not talking about the butt end of a roast or anything else of that sort. This year is in fact 2020, so why not think upon all of it’s various connotations.

Recently my mother started the whole sibling group on a “remember when” game and the focus was the earliest snow in our state. The consideration was in September, but now we are already into October. Snow is expected for our area within the week. The northern part of the state had snow and ice this week.

What each one remembers is truly based on the strength of that persons memory. I do not remeber any snow earlier than October 31st within the first year of our marriage. Then just a few years ago we had snow that landed the bean crop in disarray. That snow was earlier than Halloween, but the exact date just does not stick in my head. Lots of people lost cattle during that snow.

When considering the whole vision thing (20\20) is really about how well one can see on things put in front of the eyes. This has nothing to do with the foresight of whether to plant corn or beans for the best harvest value. If one sees best at close up or and distance we have names for that kind of vision. Well, in life experiences, some people are truly better at foresight, while others are good and hindsight. I will try to explain later.

Even more skewed in my mind is the memories that I have of our families first home in the northern part of the state. I vaguely remember running under the old metal table from the late sixties. I was so short and so young, it was a great spot to hide from my sisters. Funny how I do not remember the moment that stopped my under the table “cross country” home runs!

And answers that we were seeking are no longer questions to be asked. We can see clearly now. Hindsight brings us clear vision and the view is nearly 20\20. Is this the thought that we will have some years down the road? A few years from now we will look back. Right now we simply try to look forward and all that we see is the moment. The difficulties of the day seem insurmountable.

Foresight tells me that this is the plague that is taking away our history. So many elderly people are being lost to this virus. This disease seems to be taking the people that gave us our history. They are the ones of our past. The gray haired populous is considered at risk in this pandemic world that we live in. But hindsight is telling me they are not the only ones at risk of this disease. Some younger people suffer and just this week the world news exploded with the news of a 38 year old dieing in flight because of the virus.

We all have so many opionions about everything, and yet there is still only one breath between all of us and the future. The next breath could be our last. We never know.

But here’s a look at the past few weeks here in my neighborhood.

Our outdoor living space is complete. We made a 2×4 slat bench to add to the collection. The recitation bench along the east wall of the house came from our old grain shed in Iowa. The place that we lived had three delapitating buildings: the grain shed, a small animal barn and a garage. The garage was the first thing to go. After the spring snow melted and we discovered it was full of the trash from the previous occupants, we lit a match to the whole lot. Of course the fact that the propane tank was less than ten feet from the building was quite a frightful thought. The grain shed and the basement held a number of pieces of furniture that still grace my home today.

The swing is an old crib remodel. Haha. The crib was the one that Gavin’s dad and siblings all slept in when pre-toddlers. Today it would not fit the safety regulations as the bars are too distant in measurement. It makes an amazing back porch nap zone.

The focus of all the pets attention is the deck box. It contains their food. We have had to discard of a few wild critters in the past as raccoons can figure out how to lift the lid and help themselves. Thank goodness for the new addition to the family. Eva has kept them away since her arrival.

The slat bench has wood that came from the top of the barn. All the pieces were well over fifty years old and rough cut lumber. We spent quite some time getting each piece to the correct measurement. The staining of the top pieces made the construction of the slat bench really pop. It is a pretty good nap zone also. However, these cooler temps are not the best for such things. The finish is an old oil based recipe from Aussie Timber care. It has kept my benches and other outdoor pieces in tip top shape.

This mosaic crochet afghan is now complete. It does not have a new home yet. Because I was born in the spring, I prefer bright and bold colors more than fall. I have a perpetual spring in my greenhouse and could bore you with my pictures of flowers.

The pattern on the blanket is “What comes around, goes around.” The square spirals were really quite fun to crochet. The border and the separation lines are a simple steppe pattern. I think they kind of look like “z’s” and that makes it a good sleeper’s warmer! While I thoroughly enjoyed the process of crocheting the afghan, the colors just did not thrill me. So if there’s a friend of mine in love with it, they better holler quick. Otherwise my sister will find a home for the burnt orange delight.

Lately, I found the cold a bit too nippy on my fingers. So I decided to remake a couple of my hat and mitten pairs. I started with my everyday set that keeps me from the frost while doing the morning rounds. Honey and I go out to greet Eva. She sleeps in the heated hut outdoors. We scoop a bowl of kibbles for the cats then head out back to do the business. Next we run to the greenhouse to check the temperature. I give Cocoa a can of oats. Then we run like mad to the house because the north wind is so bitey.

This little whimsical hat was part of my creations from last spring. It is a scrappy hat. In other words, I used some scrap chunks of yarn and made a hat that was one of a kind. So the other day after perfecting my mitten pattern on a different set, I sat down and pulled up some yarn chunks to make my “whimsy set.” Something of the Oma in me enjoys wearing such a silly little dunce hat. The ball always gets a lot of attention either from little kids (while shopping) or even from other peoples pets (they can’t take their eyes off of the ball dangling from my head). Well, with a Grandmother name like Oma, why wouldn’t I enjoy a little whimsy in my life? My favorite books were the Dr Suess and I still can’t resist buying one even if I can’t read them anymore.

People with foresight always seem to get things right. They dream forward. They plan ahead. They look to the future with hope and ideals. People with hindsight are always talking about the past, looking into history with new perspectives. Trying to discover the truth about how things really happened. Maybe even considering the latest conspiracy theory. Ahhh, now I don’t believe that’s all a blanket approach to the whole of living.

My vision into the distance has always been a little poor. Having someone else to explain exactly where the moon is has made it much easier to find. Even if I can’t see the “man on the moon” I can still imagine it. And now my closeup vision has gotten a little more challenged also. Losing the peripheral view of the world, does not mean that I don’t see what’s going on in the world around me. It just means that I run into things far more frequently than I would like. It also means that my husband has to sort my little yarn chunks into the right color coordinations. White and yellow seem to be so close in color these days.

Whether you like to look ahead and dream of the future or whether you are an avid history book reader, one thing is the same. We all breath the same air. We are all fighting for another day another breathe. Today I want to aknowledge that I believe that breathe of air comes from my Soveriegn, Invisible Source. God the Creator who breathed into that first man Adam the breathe of air,

Psalm 144:4 “Man is but a breathe of air, His days are like a passing shadow.”

These days I do not visit my grandchildren as frequently as I would like. The fear of covid probable keeps me away more than I would like to admit. Being high risk in the health area is not something that I want to frequent in this blog. So I will just say that looking to the Author of this vapor does give me meaning and purpose to make each and every visit of high value and very enjoyable. They bring me so much joy, even if it is just during a phone call with childish squeals in the back ground. Looking at each day, week, or month as a passing shadow is one thing, considering my life to be but the passing shadow is another thing entirely. For now seeing these little faces as a small token of my shadow cast into the future is almost too deep a thought for consideration.

Thanking my Creator for every breath of air. Looking to a brighter Future tomorrow.

Contemplation stone

Think, think, think!

The last five weeks have been very full. That does not mean there has not been time to think though. I’m not sure I shall ever be that busy again.

The garden’s fall harvest is in full swing and the business of putting away our winter store kept us very busy. We gave away a lot of produce this year thanks to our decision to increases our garden plot by 200%. Don’t judge my math, I am not the engineer in the family.

So one weekend while waiting for some more tomatoes to ripe, we took on the rock pile and found a few statement stones to place around the greenhouse for the landscaping project. It looks so much better, I don’t know why we did not start this sooner. The perenials that I wish to put around the perimeter will wait until next spring. The dry weather just makes watching them die after a fall plant too depressing.

While we were at our binge exercise plan, we found a large flat stone for a bench. The contemplation stone only named such, and has an amazing comfort to the weary back after bending over the garden tasks. So, think, think, think, we like our beloved Winnie the Pooh Bear, now have a spot on which to contemplate all sorts of topics.

On adding another teaspoon…

Most of the zuchini is made into our favorite pepper relish. Adding just one teaspoon more of the hot dried peppers from the past season can make it nearly inedible. The sweet pickle relish with a kick is a family favorite and keeps the jalapeƱo plants purposeful.

The tomatoes find their way into salsa more than chilli, or Italian sauce. The family recipe for the salsa can be tweaked by just adding so many habaneros or so many jalapeƱos. The number is contemplated with precision or the mild batch turns into “fire-salsa” pretty quickly! Oops!

Filling up wonder…

The back porch swing received a new coat of paint along with the propane tank. The gas bubble is not near as adorable as this little girl. She had a cry-fest for this moment. Yep, Grandma let her win. I forgot she wanted to spent a few moments on the swing. So we went back outside to ride the wave. The shade, the breeze and the motion are so very relaxing. Even though it delayed my supper preparation by fifteen minutes. I loved seeing the wheels in her little mind churning in wonder and contemplation.

Grandparents day went by without a peep from the grandkids, but a weekend in August gave us a chance to have the little gal for an over-nighter. Our little two-derfully wonderful toddler has us guessing what goes on in that little head. Sometimes she expresses herself quite clearly, other times we are left to wonder. The best thing about grand-parenting is filling up little brains with wonder and awe as they discover new things and experiences.

Testing boundaries…

Another of our projects was filling up a rather large ‘dead space” with interest. The butterfly shape is just full of rocks for now, but next spring I hope to clean out the rocks and fill it in with interesting flowers and perenials. I have a lot of the seeds already and plan to jumpt start some planters in the greenhouse. Then, fill in the spaces with seed to sprout on their own. The cats seem to think I have created a new playground. The dogs chase the cats through the stones, and they are all testing the boundaries of my patience. During the same time frame of placing all the rocks, our Doodle decided to hunt in the dug out hole out back. Of course she suffered an injury that needed surgery. So we spend another five hundred dollars on her. She healed up nicely and there is only a small imperfection in her thigh. Honey just does not seem to in-dear herself to us in a calm fashion. No matter what happens, the stinger finds a way in somewhere. Honey still won’t loose-leash unless she has a harness. So we wrap the leash around one or both front legs and she’s like a horse that walks on a string of twine. Oh, well. There have been days when she guides me like she went to school for the job, Other days I want to send her away to the kangaroo boxing school.

The view from here…

This little guy is the highlight of my Tuesdays. He watches his sister with so much concentration. His gurgles and giggles when she pays attention to him are so full of glee. I know that the view from here will only become more and more amazing each week that I see him.

I am thankful that for us the threat of the virus seems to stay at least three or four people removed from us. My husband knows people off from work because of the virus, but they never seem to be someone he has any close contact with. We had a nephew that recovered well from the virus, leaving his pregnant wife and four year old untouched by the illness. So for now, I will keep visiting my little grand babies.

Returning to the library…

Going back to finish a project left undone can mean many things. Facing the past failures, or the moment when something had to be redone. This lap-ghan was not nearly the end project that I had envisioned. The smallness actually took me by surprise. However, the stitch pattern that took so much concentration makes it highly valued to me. I can’t see letting it go like a carpet of leaves on the lawn. Give aways are part of my purpose in crochet, but this one might cause me to cling for awhile.

My library / office sat empty much of the month. I spent so much time baby sitting the stove during the last few weeks, I just did not get in here. Sometimes the thought of sitting amongst all those books that I can no longer read, or read with difficulty, I just avoid it.

Then, there was the new update on my blog host, so I was stuck until my hubby got me out of the mud. Any time that changes are made on the site (and sometimes inadvertantly by me) I could sit for days or weeks in limbo. Asking for the help is usually the key to unlocking my difficulty.

Also, this past month, I spent contemplating the though of stem cell therapy for my eyes. There is a company that does the stem cell therapy for retinitis pigmentosa. We made a few phone calls and did some research, but the risk of traveling with the virus and the fact that it is out of the country have made me very skeptical. Is the risk really worth the travel and the money?

For now I feel like someone is giving me a hefty dose of wonder and another teaspoon just might put me over the edge. Perhaps, I shall just sit here on my contemplation stone and let the whole of life pass me by. Living life in the high risk category sure makes for a rocky path. The boundaries seem so unclear and out of focus. Perhaps, this is just not the time to gather the honey.

Patina

I Chronicles 16:11 “Seek Lord and His strength; Seek His presence continually.”

Weathering artfully is something that copper does naturally. by attracting the elements to its surface, the patina of copper has colors that change almost imperceptively year by year. When I look in the mirror, I wonder if my aging process contains as much beauty to the beholder. The verse from 1 Chronicles chapter sixteen also has the ending option of “seek His face evermore.”

During our recent drive-inn church service, our sister church’s Pastor gave a message about the likeness of Fathers and Sons. She shared how some father and son duos look so much alike, that in the year by year comparison it was hard to tell them apart. Through the week following, I thought about my family and who was like whom… I am not going to implicate anyone.

When we look at our face in the mirror, whom do we see? So much of the world is a comparison of images that we forget whose image we are really suppose to reflect. Genesis chapter one verse twenty-six says that God made people in His image. The message of the sermon was that we are to look for God in His Son, Jesus. We are to look for little rays of the Father in the images of His children.

Lately, with all that has happened in our country and around the world, we have to look a little harder it seems. Seeking the face of God the Father in the images of people as they flash past on the social media scroll is not easy. We are ever more scrolling through the latest news and we by pass the glimpses of an eternal God over and over.

While I am not trying to make my face into the most angelic figure ever seen, what do I spend my time “facing?” What do I seek? Once or twice a week, I am blessed to visit the little faces of my grandchildren. The rest of the hours I spend facing the task of filling the time wisely.

My newest age defiance is putting together the old and new yarn into a mix of stitches. The old and the new together unlike any other . Being creative is one of the joys of life for me. And I believe in a creative God. If you don’t, I am sorry for you. There is so much joy if searching our His creativeness in life and in others.

The wonder of how something will lokk drives me to work at a pace my back and neck don’t like. My breaks from the project at hand usually means house hold chores. So I wont talk about the constant clean up after our goings out and cojmings in.

Just finding this pattern was fun. There were so many plaid variations on the mosaiac crochet, but this one really caught my eye. Somehow it looks like the plug of the outlet, the buckle of the overalls, the continues flow of energy of a two year old grandchild. I love the mis of the old and new yarns. The Seafoam spray of the gray and the bold undertones of copper turning old… Fun.

The dogs and I are enjoying the cooler temperatures out of doors. I have kicked Honey outside more than usual and the two don’t seem to scrap nearly so often. Eva still won’t sit on command, but at ten years old, she probably won’t learn a new trick. She is so short it does not much matter.

The endless hours alone can be almost exhausting. Hubby spent more of his days on site for work rather than at home. It is understandable, with the majority of what he really does being an on sight requirement. But this morning after rising and seeking His familiar face in his temporary office and then not finding hime there… i was sad.

Pandemic isolation was not something that I saw in my life’s plan. I would not choose to give in the Alaskan wilderness. Watching television shows about the hermit life seems ridiculous. Yet some people seem to be making a living doing just such a thing. Selling their life choices on YouTube via video footage of the alone time.

While I do watch a number of “how to’s” on the channel, I just don’t see how sorting through hours of my go-pro footage would be interesting for anyone. My crochet story would have to be put into high speed to make it even remotely entertaining.

For now I will continue on in my endless hooking of yarn. Days will turn into nights. And weeks, and months end in project after project. This one more than likely will take about two to three weeks to be complete. However, while it occupies for its hours, there are other things to do also. The garden will soon demand harvest time. I completed two or three other little items in the last two weeks . And there is the library book time project that is nearing completion. That one is another blog.

The rest of the world seems to continue on it’s path to nowhere, anywhere, or somewhere. I’ll just stay here making my crochet hook march through time. Not having a spleen makes the virus epidemic seem really scary. So this distancing thing gets old, buts it is the answer for the moment on letting me age artfully. Haha.

Keep seeking strength from the One who gives it. And keep seeking for little glimpses of the Heavenly Father’s Image in the faces of those around you.

Not feeling it

The lucky penny poncho pattern that I found in April is one of my favorites. The crocheted design was a follow up to the driftwood poncho. I made two of the driftwood in late winter. One with a white base and hooded, the other shades of red and cowl necked. What I like about this one is the incredible sweater border all around the edge. And the border is made while making the garment. The only finishing touch is the cowl neckline, in the ribbed sweater stitch.

The first poncho that I made was for my great niece in April. While she may outgrow it before it gets cool enough for her, I find mine quite comfy on the cool mornings. Or in the shock of the air conditioning after being outside. I like the fact that you can mix lefties or two different ombres to get a variety of looks.

Pattern sizing is quite simple also. Circumference of the head times two equals the width, and the length is foot to neck with a few added inches on the back side. Such an easy , cozy moss stitch fills the interior of the garment that it can be used as a lapghan on chilly mornings!

This time of year the heat can take the wanna right out of us. They use to call it the “dog days of summer.” When the heat in the shade reaches 101 degrees Fahrenheit, I feel like a long afternoon nap, too. But the shade of the old apple tree is not quite cool enough for me. We take up the Library floor, chairs and cushions. Ceiling fan on high, and away the crochet hook flies.

So while I sit in my air conditioned house with the air feeling like the fridge door got left ajar, the dogs snore. When I come back inside after a mailbox run, and giving the flowers a drink, this poncho or another shawl sits ready to provide it’s shelter from the breezey air.

Here is the photo I took of my first attempt at the “lucky penny poncho.” For this project I used a wool blend that is washable. Lion Brand mandala yarn makes lots of different cakes to choice from and this peachy flavor was one that I could not resists. I think the child’s size poncho turned out perfectly.

Someone suggest going shopping and I am simply not feeling it. No feeling the hectic panic of having to wear a mask. No feeling the endless search for what I might have on my list. Not feeling the hours on the internet looking for the best price.

“Not feeling it” is how I think of the riotous civl unrest that has followed the protest movement. Of all the busy no good actors that have nothing better to do with themselves, I am sorry, but I am not feeling it.

My compassion is better spent on the local gentleman whose mother just passed away after a life filled with prayer and faith. My compassion is better spent on the family of a local boy whose body was recovered from a nearby pond. My compassion? What compassion have I, but that the Lord first lent to me?

Laminations chapter three is one of my favorite compassion passages. The idea that the Lord gives His mercy new every morning and but for His compassion towards us, He would consume mankind in an instant. Wow! If only people could see, that God’s wrath is just beyond the next wrong thing they chose to do… Then my anger is dosed like the embers of the evening fire. I think about the flood and how God was sorry that He had made man… Genesis six.

Not feeling it? God’s mercies are new, His compassion tender. I feel His banner over me like love. This lovely blanket shawl warms my cool skin. Now, perhaps maybe I am feeling it and I pray that the violence ends. That people who need Jesus will find Him. That God in His tender mercies will protect my family. That our garden will bless more than just our own family.

Compassion and empathy does not mean that I jump off the bridge when someone else does. It does not mean that I won’t call the foolishness of others out as idiocracy. And that’s how I feel about the lack of common sense these days.

I live a peaceful, quiet, country life. We are blessed that my husband has a job that he has kept through this whole pandemic time. We know that giving of our abundance is what God sees as a generous heart.

Why am I here and those there are there in the city and in difficult circumstances? I do not know why the choices we have made have not covered us over with a flood of riot gear. But I am thankful for every little act of kindness that our Lord lends to me while here on this earth.

I am not feeling lucky at all.

I have never felt lucky.

Not feeling it, nope.

Blessed beyond my own comprehension. Yep. Blessed by God and filled with His compassion for those who think that lighting someone else’s things on fire or lashing out at any person in their path is the answer. Not the answer. The people who go at life with their arms flailing, their eyes darting, and their fist and tongues blasting everyone in their path will eventually be brought down. For those in the way, the others that they pull down with them, I am also filled with sorrow.

Life is too short to spend at war with God, others or yourself.

Prayer chamber shawl

Stitching my way through prayer requests often finds me forgetting the sequence and making mistakes. Forgiveness, mercy and grace is something we all need and we should all give. I am so thankful that I learned about God’s grace early in my teen years and found out that forgiveness He offers is both for me and forgiving to others. It sure makes being open minded towards others in my prayers much easier. Oh, that Our Father’s mercy would extend to all. Our world has so much tension right now and a good healthy dose of forgiveness would sure cool off many a hot headed relationships. I recently found out about two couples who have ended their attempt to serve one another through the covenant of marriage. It made me so sad. I picked up my mission once again and reminded my loved ones that marriage is not the key to happiness. If you aren’t happy before you are married forget finding happiness in another’s misery. Happiness is an attitude something like the motto found in the olden days of the Pollyanna Club. Gratitude is Glad-itude! Finding old hymns and making them new is also one of my favorite past times. So when I found myself singing the old hymn of St Patrick’s Beatitudes, I went to the hymn-tubes to hear a newer version of “Christ Be Beside Me.” That kept my “God Bless You’s” on the round table for quite awhile. I love those powerful songs in prayer. I can hardly wait to see this shawl finished. There were so many mistakes in the beginning of the triangulation. Finally looked up my Tiaga Shawl pattern and used it as a guide to adding stitches at each row start and finish.

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There was no major problem finding the new stitches. With videos, pictures and images, I found what I needed on the internet. Mosaic is a difficult learning curve. But getting the straight line patterns not to curve while attempting a triangle on the pattern scheme was rather challenging. I have it figured out. Then of course the center point is accurate now. That involved a lot of counting. Counting in sequence is one of my favorite activities. Haha!Stress should not play a large factor in the crochet craft. If things are too hard to do, we find a different medium. Whether it needs to be larger yarns, larger hooks, different types of crochet, or simply taking a break and doing a different project altogether. Sometimes pulling weeds in the garden is a better option than getting the knots out of the thread or yarn that I am working with. This color sequence made it much easier for me to move from and towards the lighter colors. Contrast was key in the beginning of my mosaic studies.For now the future of my mosaic crochet looks pretty bright. I have already chosen my next project. It will be a shawl also. This shawl does have a name. The patterns are all border designs. Prayer Chamber Shawl number one was completed during the July heat wave.

Tending garden

Morning and evening prayers

The past two weeks, the weather made gardening a bit aof a challenge. we expanded our garden space to three times its previous size. The weather dawned hot and windy right when our little seedlings should be popping out of the ground. Concerned about them being fried by the sun and then blown away by the wind, tending the garden became a twice daily chore. We won’t mention all the weeding and watering. I found some new ideas to cut back on the weeding hours, but we ran out of wood chips with just one row of the tomatoes ground covered. Oh, well. Maybe by the end of summer every thing will be as perfect as we want it to be. For now, we’ll keep tending the garden outside and inside the greenhouse.

Meanwhile there was a new grand baby to go visit. And if a few days went by without a visual, it seemed like a whole week passed by. Babies change so fast. Watching him out grow his newborn onesies happened so quickly. And watching big sister adapt to her new role was fascinating as well. From the first days of sympathy tears, to the proclamation “It’s Okay!” Big sister sooned learned that baby cries are a common thing. I asked her if she would take a picture with me this day, and she said, “No.”. This Oma is not very demanding so, this is what we get.

The dog and myself are way overdue for haircuts. She has way more hair to clip than I do. But I can sympathize with Honey’s panting after a romp outdoors. At least I can put mine up into the hole in my cap. It makes for a great pony tail pin. We skipped the runner coming just one this past month. The day was kind of miserable for me. She was underfoot all the day waitng for Something to happen. It sure helps spend some of that doodle energy to have our girl come run her for five miles or so. The rest of the week goes much better when some of that energy is released.

Our one mama cat had six kittens. This is the third try at mothering. And she seems to be keeping them all roly-poly. I am not a very good cat person, and they are not very friendly yet. Of course the only brave one is a little orange one and since there are four, who knows if it is the same kitten each time?

The whole world had a pretty bad case of cabin fever it seems. The staying home and staying inside drove a few too many mad. And the results were pretty devastating for many people. I never understood protests. As a child my mother learned to ignore my temper tantrums. I may have been a slow learner, but throwing a fit never got others to respond well to my demands. I found that cookies, treats, a good meal, or some other reward is the best way to train a dog. And it’s quite effective on family members, relatives, friends and neighbors also! There is an old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than a stick.” I think I’ll live by that one right now. So blessings go to the receiver of this scarf. The mosaic practice run turned out pretty good I say. Learning that the colors have to be a strong contrast was key to my husband/s survival. He could hardly handle my grumbling as I tried to learn this new pattern. It was my attempt to bottle up some of the summer heat for next winter’s use! Haha

Learning mosaic crochet is taking up much of my “free” time. I am listening to a book about a one room school teacher from Fort Pierre, South Dakota. It makes me so very thankful that I am alive one hondred years after her experiences. Oh, my! But she did have quite the sense of humor. Then, I spend an hour visiting with my mother. And she puts me to shame by how many books she read in the last three weeks. She is such a history buff. And my reading is usually anecdotal and nothing political. I am glad to be so inspired to keep learning. Her mind is so busy with educating about the past and making sense of the present. Wow!

So, it took me five tries, and a day to figure out how to make the row by row mosaic work on a triangle shawl pattern. The lego table sits in the library just inches from my creative zone. The lego’s will go to grand daughter’s house soon. But right now it is my end table. The sampler will use all of the border or mosaic edgings that I have found up to now. And using one color to tie the samples together… well, I hope someone likes it. Lots of prayer for the family goes into the stitches.Morning and evening prayers are either in watering the garden or in choosing the next stitch pattern.

Flowers are still my favorite thing to grow. The verdict is still out on the marigolds that I planted this year. Only one seed brand grew. They are to put on a Lime colored head. I sure hope they find flower power once they get out from the greenhouse nursery. This little flower is about the size of a thumbnail. The early summer heat nearly did them in, but after a week of extra water, they revived. I think they look fake! The season of greens is here, though. And we are enjoying fresh salad pickins’ every day now. Growing flowers is still my favorite though. A girl can never have enough flowers in her life.