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.”

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.

Two rows at a time

Like two steps, or two feet or two hands

two rows at a time the projects get done. One round, two hands, sunrise and sunset, the world goes around. And just like that it’s thanksgiving ago=ain and everyone is talking about that day with a color name in front of it. (that would be Black Friday for those who haven’t heard it lately.)

Crochet is really a series of knots. Loops and loops hooked through each other. Before the hook moves a million times there is one long forever string of hopefulness. Now it is all tied up in knots.

Okay that’s not really how it works, but when I’m all tied up in knots that could mean that I am stressing out over a skein of yarn that a puppy got ahold of. That is a regular mess. Thank goodness Honey has taken to being a sock third instead of stealing balls of yarn.

Frayed knots. Strung up. Wound too tight. Stressed out, All done in. Does it sound like the holidays are coming at your house too? How can I turn this fast moving river of time into a sun kissed misty rainbow?there’s never enough time to make all the crafts I think of for Christmas. Most of which I think of at the midnight hour. If I am ever going to be serious about Christmas crafting I shall have to buy all of my supplies right after Christmas to begin for the next year’s holiday. Do you know someone like that? I’ve never been that good at planning ahead. That’s why I’ll be all tied up in knots trying to get things done.

How I want to celebrate the holiday season is completely different that everyone else. Hearing more about a certain day of the year proceeded by it’s color has started to make me a bit edgy. Is that even a word? The focus of all conversation and purchasing plans makes me wonder if this consumerism driven holiday has been given the wrong name. Why should “Black Friday” occupy so much talk and Christ’s name be attached to spending more and more money?

I am not anti-family meals. Or anti-family game time. Or anti-playing with the little children. Or anti-giving. But I am anti-all the stuff that gets thrown away. I am anti-scheduling hours just for gift opening. I am anti-trying to come up with a twenty dollar purchase for someone who would probably be better of spending the money in their own way and me visiting with them for thirty minutes about life. Maybe I am anti!

The statistics are being circulated that Christmas around the world is not like Christmas in the United States. In other countries Christians can expect to die at Christmas for gathering to have communion, read Schriptures, or pray. It’s not that fear of death is a more blessed Christmas experience. It’s just a different focus.

Now that I rattled off my “mouth” for a bit, lets get back to the focus of the week. Thanksgiving. Watching television the other night, it was no surprise to see the focus on telling other people thanks. I missed the Snoopy special on Thanksgiving. It is one of the rare finds yet during this month of November that actually tells the pilgrim’s story of giving thanks to the Creator.

Another of my favorite contemplative songs is from the musical Fiddler On The Roof. In it the mother and father sing the woes of getting older one sunrise and sunset at a time. So this year as I recount all the year’s happenings, I am drawn to think of all the crochet projects and garden plants that made the year go by. Whether its projects at work, children’s birthdays, illnesses or hospitalizations, one day at a time the year marches by. Once again Thanksgiving has arrived and God’s blessings to me cannot possible be recounted. they have happened each 24 hour period at a time and it would take too much time to tell them all. His abundance is greater than all the sands on the beaches, Greater than every single crochet stitch ever made this year. Like two steps, two feet or two hands, God continues to pour out His love towards me two rows of a crochet project at a time. Thanks be to god for His abundant love.

Bow  the knee

Or throw a temper-tantrum

Lately there has been a lot of movement towards protesting. Or perhaps I could say throwing temper tantrums. 

As a child I was an expert at screaming fits. My mother says the first two years of my life were spent crying. Sometimes we blame my ears, my illnesses, or my older sisters. But I use to tell my children they would have to find a better way to get their way because I was an expert at temper tantrums. I told them my mother couldn’t take me to the store until I was eight years old because by then I had finally been able to use words rather than fists and feet on the floor! 

I find no real benefit to protests. To me it is just an adult temper tantrum. 

When I first saw the bow of the knee during the national anthem, my mind began reeling with all these implications. First of all I thought that bowing the knee was a sub-servient statement. 

This made me so confused. To me  the thinking behind those who did this was completely backwards. History tells us that the reason  our founders came to this country was that they no longer wanted to “bow to the  king” of England. Our country would be an equality-standing as equals kind of place. 

So that is why our national anthem played at so many millions of events has an etiquette of standing. If we take to the knee is that not a return to servitude?

History can never be erased. 

The past is there loud and clear. Or it is silenced by the voices of the present and those future generations are not allowed to learn from it. The past is a grand teacher of so many lessons. 

The first protest to our anthem seemed completely in-appropriate to me. It is a protest against the past. Who has ever been able to bring back the dead?  Can we ever tell someone in our past not to birth us?

This whole protest thing is so confusing. Even the fight to remove statues of dignitaries. I am reminded of the Equptian leaders erasing all monuments to the previous tier and replacing them with the present head of state. Thoughts of dictatorships and portrait murals come to focus. Memories of falling debris as the Iraqi citizens toppled their dictators regime. 

I thought I lived in the United States of America-not the Middle East. 

If we bow the knee and choose to take on servitude once again is this  really a free country or is it a country of slaves? We have the freedom to choose our present and our future. The past however is not ours to choose at all-EVER!

Chose to stand as equals. We do not serve the whims of a king, a president, or an inadequate congress. We can vote, we can petition, we can make phone calls, we can protest, demonstrate and even riot. But there are always consequences for our actions. 

Consequences on a large scale that future generations may chose to scream so loudly against that the past will be forgotten. 

I chose not to forget the past. To remember that others made decisions that in their time seemed appropriate. And today I will chose to stand against the childish protests of our generation. I will continue to live my life in peaceful protest against the whims and winds of the masses to rewrite our rich history. Like it or not the past has its mistakes. I will not mistake the in-obvious bow-of-the-knee as a peaceful demonstration of ones opinion. Do something else that speaks louder. Call your representative. Write a letter copy it a thousand times and send it to all the newspapers, or social websites, or start a petition.  Or maybe read a book to a little child?

Do something! Don’t bow on an act of servitude. Those days are past!

When I bow the knee it will be an act of prayer. I will not bow to the statues, monuments, or idols of this day. Like Daniel in response to the King, I will continue to pray to my Creatir. Asking the King of my heart what appropriate responses are to the behaviors of this present age. 

And I will invite others to find answers to the questions of this generation. Our decisions today will effect the future. And someday “when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord” I wii bow in humble adoration, thankful that my mistakes are erased in the cross of Christ. 

Maybe this whole protest thing is a little too big for my country mind to grasp. But I have learned there are a better ways to get what I want than by falling to the floor and kicking with all my might and screaming  obnoxiously. Sometimes a plate of cookies is all it takes. 

Maybe I should be the cookie lady at the next local demonstration.