Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Guessing Game - more clues


I have included the last 3 clues in this post.  

I have attached all the parts except for the last picture
which are obviously wings.

The crocheting was a lot - I thought.
The finishing was even more than I anticipated.
And with each step my hands complained and complained and complained.

For some strange reason, crochet is just harder on my hands.
I think if I was crocheting a flat piece like a blanket, it would have been easier.

But all the tight curves and small details made this project a 
hand-killer for me.




The next time I post on this project, it will show the finished object.
  It will be done on time, thankfully.
  Will I immediately start another crochet animal?  
Probably not.  My hands must rest.

But I did find a very cute pattern for a Tooth Fairy pattern. 
 I mean seriously cute and, of course, I will attempt it.
  But I suspect it will be easier for a lot of reasons.  
At least I am hoping so.

Since it is a Tooth Fairy
 and my little nugget of a grand daughter is just now growing her first teeth
 I have lots of time.

😉

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Guessing Game - Third and Fourth Clues

Time is ticking away and I am making slow but steady progress on the crocheted item for my Grand daughter, Eskarina's birthday.  I was so busy trying to get the pieces crocheted that I stopped posting them on the blog.

It has been slow going mostly because I find this whole crochet animal process a little less satisfying than knitting.  I have a new knitting project I started and set aside that calls to me all the time.  And another knitting project I want to start for Eskarina, but I ignore the sirens calls so I can get this crochet project done in the next week.

Some of your guesses are pretty darn good.  I knew what I was making from the start looking at the picture - but I still would never have guessed as well as some of you.


Here are the next two clues.



Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Front Row Seat at a Fire

Rarely am I the first person on the scene of anything.  

But it can happen ... like the time I was driving on a heavily traveled, multi-lane highway at the speed of 50 (which was the limit but to some that means 60 is ok)  - and the light ahead had turned green - a light that could be seen from a distance.  Traffic surged with our right of way established ... but a fire engine was attempting to cross in front of on coming traffic with his siren and lights just coming into view.    I stopped ... at the green intersection ... as did others on either side of me ... and then watched in my rear view mirror with anxiety in my stomach at oncoming cars barreling towards me at speed right behind me.   It was a terrifying moment - that ended ok, (for a change everyone was paying attention) but it was memorable.

A more recent event was memorable as well.  


It happened right on my street.  I was heading out to the store.


As I got closer I saw this.  I was the only one on the scene.
A vehicle in full flame.

Fire crews had arrived.
But I was alone for only seconds.


I pulled up to the curb and reached for my phone to call 911.


But before I could do so, the fire truck in full siren - could be heard.



I could see no one around the car but rescue workers.


I prayed no one was in the car.
Since no police arrived I assumed there were no deaths.
It was about 15 minutes before it was safe to pass.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Like a Brick


Even included some snotty tissues for the picture.
😃
That is what my head feels like!  A brick.

Warning!
Approach this post with a face mask and Lysol Wipes!

This has been the year - or season - of 'The Cold' for me.
A ridiculous year, truly.
Although getting a cold is not something I normally think is blog worthy ...
I must be on my 5th or 6th cold since September.

I should buy stock in all cold related products!

This cold so far - has stuck to my sinuses only.  At least so far.
Some times my head is so stopped up no air passes through my nostrils, but my nose
drips all the same.  What the heck is THAT!

I have had all versions - sinuses and chest congestion, sinuses and ear congestion, sinuses only.
 I think that is the scope of most cold viruses.
And for some reason they last for weeks.

My hope is that I will have exhausted all the possible cold viruses by spring.
My immune system will be super hero strong.

No flu yet this season - but I got a shot for that - so fingers crossed.

I got the Shingles Shots as well this season - there are two.
The first made me feel icky for about 12 hours ...
but not as icky as when I had Shingles!
That was beyond icky and it last for over 2 weeks.

So how are YOU feeling??

😫

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today is my mom's birthday. 
 She would have been 91 years old today if she had lived.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I haven't written about her recently.  As her birthday approached,  I realized that there was a time when this blog was almost totally devoted to our experience together as she aged reaching end of life, and as I cared for her.  I think it is time to make a return trip to the life of a woman I admired and loved.

If you are curious about caregiving generally, or my time with mom during those difficult last years, you can find those posts listed under the Label - Through My Caregiver's Eyes.  Labels can be found on the right side of my blog and if you select that label, the blog will sort out all those posts.

The caregiver part of my life seems like a far distant memory - even though it only ended four years ago.  But I am so very glad I documented that time on this blog. I hold the memories (good and sad) securely in my life through this link.  I consider that experience to have formed me into the person I am today.  I am stronger and more understanding of the road ahead of me as I age.  I am indebted to my mom is more ways than I can count.

Mom and her younger sister.
They were very close.
Mom was about 12 years old.
This post is not about the caregiving experience.  It is about the woman I called mom - who was raised in a loving family as a child, who was beautiful and smart, and appeared to have a bright future ... and who made one misfortunate choice - a choice sealed with a vow before God in a church - and who lived for 24 years honoring that vow at great expense to herself.

My mom and dad when they were dating.
She is about 19 years old.
My mom's name was Elaine.  I was named for her by my dad.  In the stunning random spin of  genetics, I have favored her in many ways over all of my life.  I thought we were different in only one way - the way we approached adversity.  She would live around it and with it.  Despite many terrible life experiences, she remained an easy-going sweet person all her life - even into dementia.  I have a tendency to meet adversity head on and fight through it.  I used to believe that difference separated us.  But as you will read later - maybe we were more alike than I ever thought.

Mom with her father, her grandmother and me.  She was
a dedicated and loving mother
but also strict in her child-rearing.
Sadly, by the time this picture was taken, she knew her marriage had been a mistake.  My dad suffered from alcoholism - an issue that I guess wasn't evident before saying "I do."  Now-a-days folks typically live together before marriage and some of these issues can be discovered before taking that vow.  I am not a big proponent of 'living together,' but I understand the value it holds in really getting to know a person.  Of course, this was the 1940s - a different time.

Our young family.
So much is hidden behind those smiles.

Mom was the glue that held us together.  She raised two girls to be completely whole and worthy citizens of this world - no easy task in the environment we called home.  As a young child and teen, I never understood why she continued this marriage.  But as I grew I began to see the whole picture somewhat differently.  She was a stay-at-home mom with 2 girls to raise, she was hundreds of miles from her extended family, she was raised to believe that once married - you were on your own - help from your parents was not to be expected, and because of her sweet personality, she did not appear strong enough to make such a difficult break in the family.  What I didn't understand at the time was that my mom took the difficult path ... the path that involved great strength.  At my dad's death I learned the true nature of her choice - it was simple.   What held us together wasn't glue - but the bedrock of her personality and her love for him.  Love is a powerful bond. My dad loved us as well - and he was a good man beneath the alcohol, but addiction is also be a powerful bond.  She chose to stay in her marriage until death.  Mom took the more difficult path in life.  I see that now.  

Hindsight is 20/20 - or so they say.  It is most certainly true in my case.  

After dad's death, mom's life bloomed.  She really was better without him.  She had a satisfying full time job, she became a grandmother several times over, she traveled to Europe with friends, and she had an active retirement.  She earned the peace of mind and fun experiences she had in the last half of her life.  And as I looked back at her married years - many married years that I was old enough to remember - I saw the raw strength she mustered to be a mother and wife. It is only as an adult myself that I could have judged that.

Mom and I during one of her first rehab experiences.
Her declining years are well documented in my caregiving posts.  When I saw mental changes that made me suspect she needed help - I stepped up.  She resisted, of course, but I didn't back down.  She eventually lived with me and then in the very last years she needed to be moved to Assisted Living and Nursing Care.  Her end was not kind to her.  Dementia is not a kind disease.  Her mom also had dementia so the genetic link I have to that line of the family is at times worrisome.  But - I have absolutely no regrets about the 8 years devoted to this woman's care.  Her gifts to me were the gift of life and her guiding hand to normal adulthood despite a dysfunctional father.  Her gifts cannot be topped by any care I gave her in the end.  It was a debt I owed.

I believe that sometimes life creates a mountain for you to get passed.
Some of us go around it.
  Some of us go over it.  
Some of us go through it.  
I am a 'go through it' type of person.

I think I chose the more difficult path.
I see now so did my mom.

Until you have had a mountain put in your way
you may not really know what kind of person you are.

Dear Mom,

I miss your smiling face every single day.  It is hard to write those words without tears even after 4 years.  Rest in peace dear mom.  Your legacy lives on in your daughters for whom you gave up much.   Happy Birthday!

Love,
Elaine

Monday, February 4, 2019

Guessing Game - Second Clue

Ready for the second clue of the crochet I am working on?

Remember, this is an item I am making for my grand daughter, Eskarina - hopefully for her birthday in February.  The item is made in pieces and they will be sewn together into - something.  And that is your challenge to guess what that something is.

The first clue was this:


Here is the second clue.


Thoughts??



Saturday, February 2, 2019

Guessing Game - First Clue

How about a little guessing game.  
I am crocheting a ...
something
for Eskarina.  

I am curious to see if you can tell what it will be.
  You see, it is crocheted in pieces!
Then I need to sew them together. 

It is a bit of a challenge in my mind as I work on it.

The challenge for me doing crochet is this ... 
when I am knitting, I can read the pattern and see the path ahead pretty clearly
 and understand the beginning, middle, end
and I know how my stitches are building this whatever.
I can also make adjustments on fly.

But with crochet - especially 3 dimensional animals
 - even with the picture in front of me of the finished item
  - I feel like I am 'flying blind" as I work my way through the stitches.

So I am locked into following the pattern line by line, instruction by instruction ...  
and checking the picture to confirm I am actually making it as shown,
hoping that in the end -
all this effort makes
something!


So with that said ... here is the first clue in two views.





Thoughts??


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Do You 'To Do?'

I think I have been down this path before
but it is an ever evolving journey so
I am visiting it again.

I am a list maker.
And as I get older, I don't trust my brain to keep things for very long.
("very long" being 5 minutes - and
sometimes as short as the time it takes to get across my condo.)
*Sigh*

It is fair to say that if it isn't on my To Do list, 
it doesn't have a chance of getting done.

In fact, I have had to resist the impulse to put Get Dressed on the To Do list,
 because somedays if I am not stepping out the door - 
I get to 2:00 in the afternoon, look down, and find I am still in my PJs and slippers.
It just wasn't on the list!!

My way of keeping organized has changed over the years.  Maybe it is a reflection of age, maybe it is a consequence of a less busy life, or maybe I just get bored with one way of doing things and want to try another.

I am always curious about how others maintain order in their lives.  While almost all keep some type of a list, it looks different for each individual.  I thought I might share my 3 step process to an orderly life and would love to hear what yours is.

Mine starts with the Step #1 - the bedrock  ....

The Big Wall Calendar

The appointments, engagements, baby / dog sitting, shopping trips, birthdays ... all go on a large wall calendar.  This works pretty good if I actually LOOK at the calendar!  Ah, that's the rub.  Looking.  Sometimes I wish my calendar was actually the size of a wall or so big as to be impossible to miss from space.


Without this calendar hanging right in my face - the future is just a big black hole.  And very very important ... those dark daily strike outs help me keep track of exactly what day it is!  Sincerely, once you have been retired for a number of years, knowing the day of the week without a prompt can be chancy.  I live in fear that one day I will sit across from a Neurologist who is checking me for dementia and he will start his little check list of questions by asking me what day it is.  If I didn't check my calendar before leaving the house - my response will be, "Can I get back to you on that?" or "Who cares what day of the week it is.  That is just a label and I am not into labels. " or, my personal favorite ... "Do you know what day of the week it is?  You first."  I am pretty sure that none of those responses will be good answers.  Just to paint a complete picture of this - my son or daughter would be sitting beside me rolling their eyes!!

In fact, I remember just such an appointment with my mom 10 years ago - the doctor asking various questions, and I was sitting beside mom who was attempting to answer them, and as I listened (not rolling my eyes) I realized with a little anxiety - that I would need to study up for this dementia quiz myself!!!  I won't stop rehearsing my deflection responses to this question - you know, just in case!!

So a big bold calendar is step #1.  (Checking it every morning is step #1.5.)


Step #2 is the heart ...

The To Do Lists

"To Do" lists are different animals entirely.

I used to keep daily To Dos in a bound book similar to the Bullet Style Journal - where you hand write in the daily To-Dos and checked them off as 'complete' or marked them as 'forwarded' to the next day if not completed. There were many other symbols to use on each 'to do' in that system of organization.  But mostly I completed or finished an item.  I used that method when we bought and sold property and it was a life saver that year.

Previous to that in my professional life - before the world went crazy over electronic options -  I kept a large 8x10 loose leaf binder book in a leather case - very expensive if I remember correctly - like a Steven Covey or Day Timer book - with my entire life within its covers.  Lots of fancy pre-made inserts with many many spaces to fill.  It was an Epic Tome that was inches thick and very impressive!!  It sort of announced to all - I am a busy important person with so many balls in the air I must write them all down inside this expensive leather binder that has my name on it!!

Did you ever have one of those?


But life changes and so does your perspective on stuff.  I have reverted back to my old friend - the simple  3 x 5 index card - for the day-to-day stuff.  Almost everything goes on the card.  My life has become so simple - no job, no property transactions, no nothing - (thank God!!) the index card works just fine (as long as I don't lose it.)  Besides - on the index card I can be brutal.  Putting a small X or a check mark beside a completed item just isn't good enough.  Even a line through the words isn't good enough.  For me 'completed' has to be a Statement of Fact - an emphatic bold magic marker crossing out the existence of the To-Do entirely so it cannot be seen ever again.   "I am done with you To Do ... never to see you again."  "You other To Dos ... live in fear ... you too will be entirely obliterated with a bold line very soon."  Well ... as soon as I get off my new LazyBoy chair.  :-)

When a card is complete - full of bold strike out marks - I rip that card up in a bunch of tiny little pieces and pitch them into the trash - a final assault on that offending list.  Of course, another to-do 3x5 card list has already been born so the process starts all over again.

The 3x5 card is a flexible tool as well.  It starts out with the day of the week on top (mini-dementia quiz to see if I remember without the big calendar, Ha!) with my list of to-dos.  If I don't complete them on Monday, I simply add the next day to the top of the card.  The card might start out as a Monday card, but end up as a Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday card.

If the to-do card (step #2) gets stalled, (like I lose the card), then I try to recreate the list from memory - and you can imagine how well that goes when I sometimes need prompts for identifying the day of the week.

(I sure said a whole bunch of stuff about the simple 3x5 card!!  Maybe I should write a book!  Ha!)


Lastly - step #3 - the big picture ...

The Reference Book

My big picture is smaller these days!  But I still need a slightly larger and more permanent tool to house it in.   It is called the Reference Book.  This book is still in development.  I keep forgetting to develop it - but I have purchased the book - all new and shiny - with many lovely blank pages just waiting for me - in lovely bright orange cover which should be easy to find if when I misplace it.  



I even have a matching orange case to store it in (the case is not new but how serendipitous that I had it and the color was a match.). The cover doesn't have my name on it.  I consider that a plus and a minus.  The plus - that I have evolved from needing any status symbols.  The minus - if I forget my name I have no prompt!!  Ha!  But it does have all the lovely pockets for stuff - and a place for pens. And it zips closed.  



The book will house all the information that is spread over the course of a year - or longer - stuff like big projects, items in development, plans for hobbies, future goals or big tasks, activities that need tracking, budgets, birthdays, anniversaries, quotes I love, or stuff that is just stuff and fits no where else.

While Step #3 isn't as important as the first two steps in getting through a single day, it would be a big loss if misplaced or destroyed.  It would be like losing detailed road map while on a trip in a strange  large city.


So ... 
Do you Calendar or To Do?
Do you use a specific method for organizing your activities like To Dos?
Do you talk to your To Do List ... threatening it ... like I do?
Do you know what day it is?
 (and no cheating by checking your calendar.)
 😄


Sunday, January 27, 2019

In Love Again

Before Christmas I fell in love again.

It wasn't with a being - human or animal.

It was with a thing!

Again.


Once was with a vehicle I named Maxie!  She was a beautiful, fast and comfortable car - a Maxima.  I saw her as the fancy lady with pearls and lipstick and running shoes.  She and I had been through some eventful parts of my life.  She served me well.  Tears came to my eyes when I found out she had an oil leak that would cost more to fix than her total worth at age 11 years.  She had body and internal wear and tear - not particularly the beauty she started out as.  But after 11 years of road experiences with her behind her steering wheel - it broke my heart to trade her in. I was forced to buy a new car.  Am I attached to that new car?  Not at all!  It is just transportation.  End of story.  I wasn't making that mistake again!

And then there was a beautiful mature Japanese Maple in my townhouse front yard -  the showiest tree in my neighborhood - admired by all .... until we had a broken water pipe in our basement.  The fix involved digging up my entire front yard - landscaping and all- to lay new pipe. On the day they needed to remove that beautiful tree, they cut it in pieces and then pulled out the trunk with some large equipment.  It was brutal.  I had to shut my blinds while it was going on.  It hurt my heart to watch the tree's destruction. When we planted the new landscaping did I fall in love with any of the new plants?  Nope!  Stupidity shouldn't be repeated.

The biggest love loss of all was my townhouse of 30 years.  That was 2 years ago and regular readers know how hard that was for me to part ways with that home.  So much love, and sorrow and happiness and joy were imprinted by our family into its very foundation.  When we moved into this condo, did I fall in love with this abode? Dear God - No!  That way lies madness!

I learned my lesson!
  No more loving objects!
It is stupid!
It is insane!  

Then my new Laz Boy recliner rocker was delivered.

My husband and I had talked about getting recliners for a long time.  Our 50 years of marriage was filled with furniture that had minimal fabric.  Cats, you know.  They love fabric for their claws and we loved cats.  So the choice was easy.  Get sturdy, wood type furniture - and keep the cats.  Comfort was never a consideration.

Now we both have these ever so comfortable chairs - all padding and fabric.  Very very comfortable.  So far our cat Wally has shown no interest.

I can hardly believe that at age 71 - I have finally gotten real grown up furniture!

Here she is!!

Resisting the temptation to give her a name.  But I am open to suggestions!  😂

Please ignore the clutter that is to her left! It is all my knitting stuff.
She is electric - buttons on the side - and she has a port for charging electronics!
Woo Hoo!!!

She just reclines - no heat, no vibration and she doesn't lift you to a standing position!  Just reclines.  She is electric so all I have to do is push a button and she lifts my feet up and tilts me back into the most comfortable of positions.  She supports my back perfectly when it aches from standing in the kitchen too much (You will never find me falling in love with anything 'kitchen.')  She also has a USB port so I can charge my electronics.  I know she like me - because I always feel hugged when I sit in her.

My husband got the same chair in a darker color. (left)
Sorry these pictures are so dark.

And, yes, she is a 'she!'  I checked. 
 😍 
A 'he' wouldn't make me feel this comfortable.

So I have gone and done it again.  

Jumped into the deep end of insanity.
At least it will be a comfortable landing.


Legs propped up looking at my Christmas Tree in December.
Also you can see the kind of furniture we usually got - mostly wood.

Isn't it ironic that I should follow up a post on exercise
with a post about my new LazyBoy recliner chair?

Did anyone notice that?  
Ha!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Eyes on 2019: Exercise

!! Exercise !!
It should be one of those bad 'four letter words.'
And yet when I do it I feel so much better.

At my age - exercise is not an option.
And I am not happy about that. 

Various parts of me stop working well when they rest for too long.
Trite but true - Use it or lose it!
Don't you just hate it when 'trite but true' is ... well, true!

In 2018 I had no exercise goals, but I did do stuff.  I participated in an aerobic class 2 times a week and on the weight machines 2 times a week.  Routine - magic word.

But all that fell apart at the end of last year.   I hurt my shoulder and was advised by my doctor to leave the weight machines alone for about 8 months.  Toning - gone. Then my aerobic class changed from Mondays Wednesdays to Tuesdays Thursdays.  I can never do Thursdays.  Aerobic activity - gone.

There goes my routine.
Couch potato time!!
For 2 months I did pretty much nothing beyond thinking
on the couch -
 (by the way ... thinking is not an aerobic or toning activity ... just in case anyone was wondering.)  

Everything needs to change in 2019.  And man ... do I hate change!   I found a Monday Wednesday class called Power.  It uses free weights, a step lift, exercise ball and bands ... and is designed for toning and muscle strength.  I have given Power a try and I like it a lot.

I rented two DVDs from the library.
This DVD does not use weights but I thought I would purchase
with this one to begin with.  

I discovered in class that getting down on to the floor and get up again
was so much easier using a step up of about 4 inches.  There are
graduated risers just like in class to increase effort.
In fact I liked it so much I got a step lift for the condo - and an exercise DVD to use when I miss going to Power.  The work out is similar.  Now to just work it into my day.  One problem solved.

Aerobics is a stickier problem.  The DVD I purchased does address aerobics as well so maybe I can kill two birds with one stone.  Or I'll go back to walking.  It won't be an ideal solution in my neighborhood because it isn't really walker friendly.   But no matter.  I have a blogging friend who walks in her basement on bad days.  If she can walk in her basement  (for 6 miles of steps, I might add) I can walk in my neighborhood.  If you don't believe me about 6 miles a day, check out Life is Good - a blog by my friend HappyOne - Karen.  She inspired me to blog.

It is a plan, at least, for now.
  Without a plan or a routine, I will do nothing,
(and doing nothing is not toning or aerobic activity ... just in case you were wondering.)
😏 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

It is Eskarina time again!

You guys are a captive audience.

If you were sitting in front of me - visiting - knitting - having coffee - just talking ... I would whip out my iPhone with the latest pictures of my sweet grand daughter - just like a gun slinger with a fast draw - I'd be showing off my pictures of this most beautiful child before you could find an excuse to leave.

So consider this my periodic proud grandma moment that I am forcing on you (one of many in the future - you have been warned) - while we visit here in blog land.  I can hear you oohing and aahing politely at appropriate times even if you are clear across the country.

This child is just my sun and moon and stars.

I have showed this picture before - but she is just so darn cute in the sweater and hat I knit for her.
Esk and the second sweater that I made her - both were Christmas gifts.  

Esk and her Aunt Kris - my daughter - who is teaching Esk the finer points of drumming 😆.

And she is a fast and enthusiastic learner!

Esk in her first tutu - compliments of her Aunt Kris. Hair bow to match, of course.

Esk and her Aunt Kris on a "Grandma and Aunt Kris" babysitting night.
Just two girls sitting up watching TV together late at night at Grandma's house
because a there is no actual 'go to bed time' here!!  💗
 One girl with her phone and one girl with her thumb.
Life is good.

Esk and her Mom - first snowy day!
Esk is blessed with two wonderful dedicated loving parents.
All children should be so lucky!
Let's not forget the doting Grandmother and very cool Aunt Kris!!
And that is just on her father's side.  Her mother's side another layer of
loving relatives.
This kid has it MADE!!!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Go Deeper Not Wider

So I have been tootling around the blog world looking for interesting blogs - blogs with ease of commenting.  In my search I discovered this one:


(Just a tiny point of clarification:  
no one should think I am interested in getting better at being human
 - and that is the first sign that 'bettering' is probably needed!!) 
Ha!!  

No, I was pulled into the blog by the current post called  Go Deeper Not Wider.

As I read this post I can honestly admit I felt a "wow factor."   It was like this guy was peeking in the window of my brain and finding something growing there that I was aware of but did not or could not express.  And he expressed it so well.

In his own words his thoughts on Go Deeper Not Wider:

*****

No new hobbies, equipment, games, or books are allowed during this year. Instead, you have to find the value in what you already own or what you’ve already started.
You improve skills rather than learning new ones. You consume media you’ve already stockpiled instead of acquiring more.
You read your unread books, or even reread your favorites. You pick up the guitar again and get better at it, instead of taking up the harmonica. You finish the Gordon Ramsey Masterclass you started in April, despite your fascination with the new Annie Leibovitz one, even though it’s on sale.
The guiding philosophy is “Go deeper, not wider.” Drill down for value and enrichment instead of fanning out. You turn to the wealth of options already in your house, literally and figuratively. We could call it a “Depth Year” or a “Year of Deepening” or something. 
*****

I encourage you to read the post completely.  I believe it reflects and compliments a lot of current thinking in areas of minimalism, anti-consumerism, finding joy in what you have, and other growing ground swells of thought.   

I am not sure I am up to any formal challenge or experimenting (his term) of 'deeper vs wider.'  But it does feel comfortable in my brain - and it is nice to have this image in my mind.

You see, I recognize the pattern of 'going wide' as a common pattern in my life.
  • I have a room full of yarn and about 5 three inch binders full of patterns - and I need to stop that expansion.  I won't live long enough to use all the yarn and patterns I have now.  That is not an idle statement.  I have counted the yardage and averaged the usage.  There is yarn in my yarn room that will outlive me!! I have three weaving looms.  I am not weaving.  I have two tapestry looms - I do have plans to do that.  I have fiber spindles and fiber - I don't spin.  I used to have a spinning wheel but in a moment of mental clarity I gave that to a cousin who was interested in spinning.
  • Adult coloring was all the rage a few years ago.  I got hooked.  I have several types of color pencils (not the cheap kind either) and probably 6 books - beautiful books.  I have colored about 2 1/2 pages ... only!!!  When I look at this hobby I think - yes I would like to return. I really enjoyed it.  But seriously, 6 books with only a few pages completed?!?!
  • I have a iPhone phone with lots of memory and 61 audio books are housed there.  61!!  If each audio book averages 10 hours a piece of listening time and I have 61 - that is over 610 hours of listening or about 25 days of listening round the clock!  Ridiculous!  
  • My Kindle library is about 6 screens long with titles just waiting to be read.  I kindle read only before bed and while I eat - at that rate I could read these titles probably for a year without adding to them.
  • My Craftsy account has 9 previously purchased classes.  I have viewed a few, but when Craftsy went to Bluprint they offered a one year membership - at a reduced rate - which would allow you to select 12 classes to keep permanently - AND a year to view any of their classes on line for free.  Wow - great offer - a large savings on their class costs - so I joined right up because this would be the year I would take some instruction.  I can't travel to it - so at home instruction is PERFECT!  But ... really, now instead of 9 classes that I haven't fully viewed, I will have 12 more.  I probably went 'deep' with some advanced instruction in current hobbies, but I think I went 'wide' by expanding of the class numbers I have yet to view.  *sigh* 
  • I have a pantry that is a hard-hat area!  And yet, my grocery shopping adds more to the stack of food stuffs then I use up.  What's with that??  I HATE cooking.  Sometimes I feel like I am unconsciously preparing for the apocalypse.
I could go on, but the bald-faced truth is this - I need to go 'deep'  ...  not 'wide.'   I think I have been moving in this direction unconsciously over the last year.  I avoid yarn stores, and yarn websites and I try to limit my purchases at yarn fairs.  I have de-stashed yarn and books and patterns, but to the casual eye - the dent is hard to see even with a microscope.  I did give away a full size spinning wheel  and a lap loom and that felt wonderful! We will not even address the pantry issues here (but I am ready for Zombies - in case you are wondering.).

Final thoughts on the Raptitude blog:
  • He has a deep inventory of posts on various subjects.  He currently does about 2 posts a month - and many of the titles are intriguing.  I have only read this one, but I know I will visit again to look at his other posts.  I did subscribe to his blog.
  • His blog is not a personal life sharing blog like mine or like so many I follow.  He does have a tab where he documents individual experiments (on himself) and logs the process.  And I noticed that while there is some commenting, he closes his commenting after a bit.  
  • Finally, the blogger doesn't claim to have any professional expertise - and that is fine by me.  Sometimes when a blogger has professional creds and lets you know what they are - I can't help wonder what they are trying to 'sell.'  This blog appears to be just his thoughts and ideas.  He appears to be just a writer-guy out of Canada that thinks a lot about these subjects and wants to share his thoughts.  Not much different from us other bloggers, I guess.  
In previous years I picked a word to point in the direction I wanted to go.  It is a popular habit among bloggers.  I didn't plan on picking a word this year, but after reading this post - 'Go Deep' fits me like hand to glove. 

  Check him out - or at least check out this post
 and let me know what you think.

Do you prefer going 'deep' or going 'wide?'

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Winter

Here we are in my favorite season.

Winter

Yes, I know I am odd. I look at this seeming perversity this way ...  no sense in joining the fan club a season that is already crowded with tons of fans - all those folks that love  💕 spring, or live for the heat of  😎 summer, or are blinded by the beauty of  🍁  autumn.  The fan base for those seasons ... just too crowded.

⛄🏔🏂
I love winter.
❄❅❆
And I think winter loves all its fans special because we are so few.


My holiday season passed without problems - thankfully.  Family and friends filled the days with happiness.  It is always a hard season for me, but my reward, as always, is reaching Winter.  Lovely, cold, crisp air, at times white, wet and pure.  Weather that draws one inside for indoor activities - like reading, hot coffee, knitting, binge TV shows, blankets and shawls, soups and stews, and ... time to think.

Think on it!  Who wouldn't love sitting by a warm fire, with comfortable fuzzy slippers on, a tasty drink beside you and a favorite book or favored hobby on your lap - while Nature covers the outside with a dressing of white snow.

Of course, it would help to have a fire place, which I do not.  But you get the idea.

Forecasts for our area promise an 'active' snow-filled winter.  Living in a condo means snow is not a problem.  I can enjoy the beauty of this season without effort. Win-win!

When I was younger and working - snow was still beautiful but a challenge.  First I would fight my way shoveling down my short sidewalk from the front door, then down 20 snow filled steps filled with the shovel  - then across another short side walk until I reached my car - and then (not done yet ...) dig out the car and the space behind it until I could reach the plowed areas.  I get exhausted now even talking about.  So glad I left that behind.

I am a good snow driver even though I don't venture out much now.  I was taught to snow-drive by a father who was raised in Pennsylvania.  Those Pennsylvania folks know what they are doing in snow.  I learned the survival techniques of not getting myself stuck as well as how to avoid all those nutty drivers who have no skills and no snow capable vehicle.  Those skills saved me more times than I can count.  Working in health care I was one of those folks who needed to get on the road and arrive at work no matter the weather.  My boss was a Cardiologist who arrived at work on skis and if one of his heart patients showed up in bad weather (and they usually did) he would see them.  I personally would have thought driving in those tough conditions was enough of a cardiac 'stress test' and that putting them on a treadmill was redundant!!  Ha.

So I am looking forward to my exciting weather season ... just as I do every year!

Welcome Winter!
❄❅❆
Your small but dedicated fan base is faithfully here.





Thursday, January 17, 2019

Blog Soul Searching

Blogging has grown from a solitary activity, where I wrote for myself only, into a community activity where I visited folks' blogs, and they visited mine, and we converse through commenting, and a friendship of sorts develops, and the sharing of life experiences deepens the whole experience for everyone.

Unfortunately that process has totally stalled for me.

No matter what approach I take, I am not recognized as logged into Blogger or Google when I visit most blogs.  I used to be able to leave a comment if I was persistent and stepped through pages and pages of screens matching "cross walks" and "cars" and "buses" and "bikes" to prove I am not a robot. Now even that option is gone.  After many tries it dumps me out of the system.

The only way I can participate on your blog is if your blog uses 'pop up comments' rather than 'embedded comments.'  Only one or two blogs in my reading list use pop up comments.

I thought long and hard about quitting blogging.  
An important piece of the process has been taken away.  

Then I remembered how I started!  Just me and my computer and this blog.  Nobody else.  So actually I am back to step one - but with readers now that I cannot return a visit to any more.  That makes me sad, but until something changes in blogger I am stuck with it.

So after thinking long and hard, I am going forward. Over time, if I am blocked from commenting because I am unable to prove I am not a robot ... I will unsubscribe.  I'll build another reading list of folks who use "pop up commenting."  I have no choice. I want that 'give and take' of conversation back again. I don't want to visit your blog like a ghost and pass on without saying hello.  My reading list will be substantially smaller, I fear, because I think the default when a blog is built is "embedded commenting."  But that will have to be OK.

Starting again!

I'll be back to blogging again soon.