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.


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.


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.”

Learning something new

Log cabin or summer campfire blanket must be one of the ugliest projects I have ever crocheted. Putting all those colors together in such a bold design, makes me wonder why? Why did i choose those colors? Maybe the sharp contrasts are easier to see. When I am working on a pastel or light colored yarn gathering, then I wonder why? Why do my eyes have to think a pink and yellow look the same? It’s all about how they reflect light.

But this is not a writing about the the property of color. Mh grand daughter really loves colors and it surprised me one day to learn that she even knows “gray cat” color. Wow. She really loves to paint and watch the colors change. It is fun fo watch the neighborhood dogs pass by and ask her what color each one is… She always knows.

Mixing up colors until they all turn brown? Well, thank goodness crochet is not paint. Sometimes however, the projects look better on a filter than they do in real time.

Finished and folded

This log cabin design received a mosaic rectangle border that is a new stitch process for me. Mosaic is actually quite easy on the stitch learning. Nothing like trying treble or cluster stitches found in doilies. It’s the reading the patterns part that is getting me stumped. No log in my eye, really. Thank goodness that YouTube has so many ready teachers. The free things to learn can be endless. I am pretty specific about my youtube rabbit holes.

Finding the right edging was actually part of my learning some of the mosaic techniques of various teachers. This rectangular or square is a piece of the larger labyrinth of mosaic maizes. Some of them make me dizzy. This edging is also done on the double line mosaic, forward and reverse. The original Apache tear pattern is a right to left orfront facing only crochet. Studies of what to do with all of those loose ends kept me watching vids for a day or two. The best way to cover them is to simply hide under the twin double crochet border. It seems to be my favorite cover up.

My summer campfire blanket is now complete and will probably get a lot of use. The air conditioner always tend to cool the house down a few degrees colder than is comfortable for sitting. While the greenhouse keeps me busy and the garden calls my name (actually it is the weeds that holler), I might still be sitting under the comfy stitches of crochet.

And staying warm…

Doing another project… like this one perhaps… It is called the Hope square. And yes, I found it on the YouTube. One of the crochet sites that I follow about mosaic crochet had the new pattern. And the little hot pad or condensation catcher only took me a day! Yay, crochet!

Log cabin blankets vs summer campfire cozies

Visual textures

Study and survey

This little desktop doily found it’s way to our end table. I thought it would be fun to continue the tea doily into the next round and see if we like it. Yep. It’ll do. And since my hubby sits or stands at his desk at work, a little thing of beauty next to his armchair is kind of nice

Then I completed another row on a different project. That project is a scrap journal of all my projects. I decided to to try this gem. The patter is the “Nomad by Fate.” However, I call this one “Gypsy Diamonds.” Too many colors and no particular color scheme makes it a bit busy. But the texture study is challenging.

I have always loved textures. Feeling the yarn thread through my fingers is soothing. And the fabric made by the varying stitches is always an enjoying study.

A student is usually considered a beginner or an amateur. Many of the patterns that I crochet are intermediate or difficult. Though the crochet hobby has been in my life for some forty years already, I still find new things to learn. Knowing all the stitch language from english to british along with the international pattern symbols makes me feel like I can tackle anything. But the most fun is taking something by sight, studying the photo, and crocheting my own idea. It’s this ability that drives me to learn new patterns, and try something new.

To survey all the available possibilities and complete a project. All while reading a book of some sort or another. The blue waters shoulder wrap above was my evening television project. When the yarn ends just 20 stitches early and there is nothing that matches it in sight, frustration sets in. But today the frustration lies in a misplaced yarn bobbin winder. Really now, It can’t have taken up legs and walked away. When the mind just simply cannot remember where the squirrel has stashed the winter suppy… Frustration.

The feeling on this three items is so very different. The patterns are completely unrelated. The smoothness of the “Blue Water” is such a contrast to the “Gypsy Diamonds.” The scrap yarn journal is never going to be done. And the tea doily, turned into a desktop display is so pretty. Now – What’s next?

Woolen linens

So done with winter

My mother asked me to crochet some woolen wraps. One, in fact. And after study of the yarn that she gave me, I added two more skeins so that I could play with a new pattern. I am so over winter. These days with the balmier weather, I ought to be outdoors. But the early spring tells me it’s not quite time to do certain things.

So this morning I popped in another book from the library and completed the last of the collection from these three colors of fisherman’s wool. Escape to another world in a book has been my answer to myself since I was a youth.

Then, I listened to a missionary story from the isle of Labrador Canada. Fance that. Tales of icy cold north easters and fisher men. If only the book knew what I was doing as I listened to the tales of Eskimo wares, and the missionary hospital there. Perhaps there is a chill. Maybe I should wear one of these things while I work. Wow. Suddenly, I felt oh, so cold and wet all over again. The power of suggestion was a might to strong. Do I hear wind and waves?

I am so done with winter! Can’t my book reader hear me?

Time for a salad and some sunshine!

Winter gives way to spring

New rainy day projects

The past two weeks were full of research for me. watching appropriate videos of poetry conferences, to news blurbs, to crochet patterns. Some of what I watched was memorable. Some a desperate wish to forget!

Lately my favorite past time is hats, mittens, and turtle scarves to perfection. The hat is a new stitch patter using the moss stitch or the single crochet beanie. There are nearly ten made already. The first few were made with leftover scraps. The set above was made with one skein of BrightStripes from my Grandmother’s favorite durable Red Heart brand. I had to borrow form another skein to complete the mitten thumb. The fingerless pattern is also another new pattern for me. The wrist is the sock stitch and the hand is with the knit stitch for crochet. I am pretty pleased with my ability to watch netflix at the same time as crochet.


My work on the new pattern study found me trying some new things with it. Now that the pattern is learned perhaps there will be another shawl in my future. This pattern study is in the spider stitch family. Because the body of the critter is gathered after a few passes of the hook and yarn. It does look rather odd until the body is made. I love it though. There are other versions: pineapple, ladybug, dragonfly, the spider of course and this butterfly.

First I tried some washcloths with the butterfly pattern and then got down to business and made some others. Talking to my sister and all of her flood problems, she teased that it would take an awful lot of dishcloths to sop up all the expected water. Thank goodness for me I do not have a basement and I could spend the storm days teaching the dog a new game.

Find tug!

Honey did pretty good with the mud, water, snow, sleet, stay on the high ground path that I tried to teach her. Three days apparently is her limit to good behavior. Today when the sun came out after three days cooped up in the house, she looks like muddy moe! What a mess. As soon as the laundry is all done, I’ll find the towels and give her a bath. No more find tug-of-war rope toy today. At least until that dog is cleaned up.

Another prayer shawl

With no home yet for the previous prayer shalw, guilt sinks in as I picked out the next yarns. Keeping the creative juices flowing is a must though, right? So here are a few of the projects that have been keeping me busy.

Winter lost to spring in our neck of the woods. The flooding has been pretty devastating in our area. I have a sister and brothers in the blizzard zone for the week. My mother and other sister in the flood zone. And my poor son-in-law was stranded in no travel zone and unable to work for a whole day., Weather can wreck havoc on all kinds of plans. My friend in another flood area went with the flow to practice her kayak moves! Sometimes it is hard to find the humor in such a mess, but we must.

A few of my conversations have led to good news on my “After” project. I hope to get another post prepared on that line soon. For now keeping up with the yarn stash is my plan as I listen to others memoirs, books based on the authors own experiences. These types of books are given me lots of inspiration right now.

So much for our blizzard we just got rain, lots of rain.

Prepare for the worst and all that remains is mud. The day it was a blizzard for half my family I prepared for an early come home day with my husband. But all that it did here was rain. He did not come home early. The roast was done at two in the afternoon and so I ate supper then. On top of the miserable rain and flooding for so many, my cat hitched a ride with him to work and so he had to stop and pick her up before coming home. Silly girl. I don’t know if she’ll ever learn to stay away from the heat of the warm engine. She is such a “car-pet.” Bother the silly thing.

So far spring brings me a hand full of facial tissues. My nose is in deep rebellion to the change of seasons. Is everyone allergic to the season that they are born into? Mine is spring and sorrow proceeds my birthday by many fashions. Most of my depressed mood is a result of my oppressed immune system. I love spring. I hate mold, rainy mildewy, sniffly air. Kachoo! Winter gives way to spring once again.

Now for that shower for my mutt.


No such thing

My initial thought to the above picture:

“It is the wrong time of year for cotton candy!”

Then my mind tells me- No, silly, that’s wool.

What is normal? Finding a new normal is just as challenging as trying to keep things normal. Maybe there is no such thing.

Today I spent several hours picking through some wool that I dyed the other day. That is not really a usual activity for me. Doing this chore during the summer time makes more sense. Having soaked it in vinegar before dying did help as the matter was easier to pick out and fell apart readily. Dirty jobs really are meant for outside. This chore is considered so for the back breading position I find myself in keeps me bent over even when the job is done.

It was just the thing for my dry hands though. The oil in the wool moistures the parched skin. So I think I will try another hour at it this afternoon. Let my back straighten up some first.

Nearly finished with the prayer shawls for my mother. She wanted them out of fishermen’s wool. The project is beautiful and made me think on the wool spinning that i have neglected for so long. Maybe this is the week to figure out that skill again. Finding the rhythm is the hardest part. If I could only remember whose concertos were the best for the long steady strides. It will probably be the cellist that is best.

The hour spent picking kept me from heading into the office. The room is so inviting now that it is all cleaned up. It is also much warmer than any other room as only the window wall has outside exposure. Nice reprieve from the wool sweaters that I have been wearing the last month. Will the cold ever leave us?

When will the normal temperatures return? we are below normal by nearly 30 degrees this time of year. The old normal was two weeks of a cold snap in January. This year the cold snap is more like a drum beat that won’t stop. Part of me wishes they would not tell us what the normal temps are then we wouldn’t be so tired of the cold.

The best anecdote to the cold for me is a wool garment. Wool socks. Wool sweaters. Wool mittens. Wool hats. For all those that can’t do the wool, my apologies. Try some fake fleece item. They are at lease soft.

March is just around the corner. Actually it is only days away. Normally all of my snomen display gets put away about now. Because there are afew snow globes with water in them, I cannot put them away until after the chance of freezing goes away. They normally get put back into the old house. There is no heat over there. So this year maybe I will stash them in the empty bedroom closet. Just because I am so tired of the cold, it is time for spring. Out with the snowmen, in with Easter!

There is no such thing as normalcy. While I may attempt to keep things a certain way in my life, capturing the usual just seems evasive this year. Haven’t even got to plant in the greenhouse yet. It is just too cold!

Foolish ideas for this time of year would be planting potatoes in the snow. Thank goodness Easter is two months aways yet. But since my mind thinks of things in terms of farming or gardening, this proverb did come to mind on this 26th day of February. Proverbs 26:1 “As snow in summer and rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool.” Spring has another month before it’s true arrival. So we will let winter continue on it’s snowy path. Normal days of winter might exist also.


“Faith which first lived in your grandmother Eunice”

The Bible doesn’t talk about grandmother’s. Except for the mention of Timothy’s grandmother by Paul in his letter to the young pastor, the word isn’t even used in the Old Testament. Generations are listed and Matthew gives credence to several outstanding women in his lineage of the Savior. This verse then has become quite a thematic focus. Praise God it is about the two women’s faith!

Generational socialization was so normal during the times of Bible writings that it has only been a recent issue. In years past the ability to move or travel wasn’t as simple. Therefore many cultures still hold to generational homes. Homes in which the grandparents do much of the child care.

Growing children that understand respect is quite simple when grandfather takes charge of an errant boy. The story of John Quincy Adams is told frequently of his schooling days. The stubborn child refused to go to school. The elder Henry Adams quietly left his office and grabbed the young boy’s hand. He then led his defiant grandchild for a one and half mile walk never releasing his hand until the child was safely seated in his chair in the schoolroom. The embarrassed Johnny never defied his grandfather again. This respect of elders took the young man into a career as the most successful statesman in United Sates history.

My favorite story from my children’s youth is when an elderly woman in a wheelchair wanted to hold Yolanda’s little 1/16 violin. The lady’s shaking fingers left may little five year olds eyes wide in fear. I know she was thinking “She is going to drop my violin, I’ve never dropped my violin!” I softly told the wide eyed daughter, “I won’t let her drop it.” The woman’s face lit up like a Christmas tree as she plucked out “Twinkle, twinkle” for Yolanda. It was a lesson in respect and honor we have all never forgotten.

The many stories of grandmother’s almost always talk about gardens. Many of them give like they have the bank of a queen. The tulips, lilies, dahlias, and irises that we all enjoy are surely because someone’s grandma shared the bulbs with a dear one.

My first adopted grandma was Lillian. She was nearly at the end of my paper route and the funniest, skinniest 80 year old I had ever known. She taught me more than I can recall in one writing. The next adopted Grandma was when we lived in Minnesota. Grandma Dorothy was my baby “burpee” grandma in the church nursery. I planned my little babies feeding times to be during the sermon so that I could play piano for the worship service. grandma Dorothy then was baton passed. There were many times she changed diapers before I picked up baby again so that our visiting time after church was enjoyable.

While I learned to cook for my growing family, I called my own grandmother frequently to ask about what spices to use. She taught me so much about flavors and meats. But my adopted kitchen cook was Idell. If I missed my mother’s cooking, I could count on Idell to make me something that made me feel better. Her chicken noodle soup and summertime lemonade was amazing.

Children aren’t cookies. And shouldn’t be molded like dough to be sliced with cutters and popped out of the oven 12 or 13 minutes (years) later all wearing the same frosting. Why we opted out of cookie cutter education and decided to homeschool was a long year by year process. Each year we made the choice, weighing all the options. But Grandma Eleanor in Iowa was the most positive adopted Grandma we had. Though for such a short time, she prompted me to write a song when we knew her. “Always Wanted a Grandma” is about the power of the aged to bless young lives. The covenant all blessings of years ago can return in the audible blessings of these special people. The power of their words is often greater than those of our own parents.

We wanted to give our children lots of opportunities with many different age groups. I  think it worked. The most important aspect of their training up was probably the church. How the church today has bought into generation gap appeal. It breaks my heart to imagine the inner “rebellious” of our youth insisting on church experience that does not involve the respect of the elderly. From the music, to the locations, to the atmosphere, the new church movement is so entertainment focused and lacks the loving touch of adopted grandmother’s. If only those youth understood how much grandma labors in prayer for her dear loved ones.

Building bridges with a community of various ages gives a child the ability to relate to all ages. The dear adopted grandmother that I love so now is Ella. She is so special. So loving. I can’t imagine our lives without her prayers. She and her husband adopted “our girls” early on in the musical career. Their hugs have always been a sought out affair.

Having these people who love-no-matter-what are the foundation of beautiful young people. Their mentor ship and guidance should be treasured like the silver that their crowns are adorned with.

My friend Lillian was the one who taught me resourcefulness. She used old socks and sweaters to make hundreds of balls of yarn. Then she filled a popcorn tin and began making a rug. Maybe that’s why I love homemade rugs.

Today as I think of the legacy of grandmothers and the song by Twila Paris, “Same Girl” my heart is burdened by the ailing body of another one of my adopted grandmother’s. Accepting failure and yet blessing our Lord is one of the life lessons’s best learned by the aged. Their body might grieve them, but their sweet demeanor and loving words echo in our hearts forever.

–In loving memory of Eileen. Though she seemed more like my piano teacher than my grandmother (I always got nervous if I knew she was listening), may her memory be a treasure to all those who knew her.