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

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Going Deep - Update

In January I discovered a blog post called

That post plugged into a theme that was trending in my brain.  Since that first exposure to Go Deep, Not Wide, it has not been far from my thoughts.  If you missed that post I encourage you to check it out by clicking on the link above.

For me thought has become action in subtle ways - not an intentional change, just sort of like watching another person (me) do things differently.

Using the words "Go Deep" to navigate 2019 generally ... theoretically ...  fits companionably with my desire to declutter and lead a simpler life.  Said another way ... Go Deep is sort of like a string that holds together many different beads.  And so ... I thought I would share some observations of "this person" who I have been watching  ...


I get a lot of email for a person who doesn't work.  Most are vendors who want me to spend money.  I usually delete without opening and sometimes un-subscribe.  But every single day I would have about 30 emails - only 5 or so were real.  So I reversed things.  I now un-subscribe as my usual action - and delete a few without opening. What a different!!  This morning only about 8 emails - and most were blog posts I keep up with.  Excellent, Excellent, Excellent!

Kindle and Audio books:

I think I am the fastest downloader east of the Mississippi!!  See it, want it, download it!  Done!  I justified it by telling myself that 'electronically having it' didn't create actual clutter.  True, but clutter isn't only objects.

My Kindle library of books waiting to be read is large.  But I pretty much read my Kindle only when eating and before going to sleep.  The pending titles grow faster than the completed ones.  I now delete offerings from Amazon for Kindle titles without looking further.  If I do happen to see a title I want I just put it on my Wish List for later. (*sigh* next in line will be shortening by Wish List.  Ha!)

The first time I counted the audiobooks on my phone there were 61 titles waiting to be heard.  Today there are 54 books.  Some were deleted because I wasn't interested in them any more, but still ... progress. I will keep my Audible membership but stop buying additional new titles - even at the cheap "daily deals" price  - till the list gets down to about 10 books.  I picked that number out of thin air, but it seems reasonable.

Real Books:

Surprisingly I am reading a few 'actual books.'  You remember what they look like - paper, glue, ink.  I occasionally purchase books - new and used - 'cause I think I want the actual paper copy of a specific title.  Of course, I don't seem to get around to reading all these purchases. I have a collection of maybe 30 books.  No more buying.  I'll read what I have and pass them on when I am done.   The books I am reading right now are:
  • The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker
  • A Stash of One's Own by Clara Parks
I'll try to use the library in the future.  We have a great library system.  Taxes pay for that.  May as well make use of it.

Electronic Social Media:

Now here is a brain-drain and time-suck I can probably reduce dramatically ... social media!   I am registered with 4 sites and I seem to participate with only 2.
  • Instagram - Joined this recently, but seldom visit.  I instinctively don't like the Instagram messages I get that tell me "So and So is now following you."  I don't know So and So.  Why would So and So follow a stranger (me) that isn't famous, isn't selling anything, never contributes anything to the site like a picture or comment, and never even visits Instagram anymore?  Just creepy. It goes.
  • Facebook - I am a frequent visitor.  My family is out there with pictures and stuff, and several craft websites are there as well.  I have blocked all the religious and political extremists, and the advertisements.  There is a Go Deep Facebook Page.  Reading others' interpretation of this  idea has been interesting.  As long as I can mold my experience by blocking and refusing unwanted people and sites, it stays (even with the bad press recently.)
  • Pinterest - I get their emails all the time - lately I seldom open them.  I remember when I joined  up, I told a family member how expansive the world of ideas and projects are on Pinterest. I remember her response - I want less not more! I get it now. It goes.
  • Blogger - I put blogging and reading blogs in this category.  It eats up more time than all the others combined, BUT it is important to me - as Marie Kondo would say - It gives me Joy!  It stays!
Where it goes from here I do not know.  Guess I will just have to keep watching "this person" to find out.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Guessing Game: The Reveal

Here is the finished crochet project that I have been working on for my grand daughter, Eskarina.

Meet JJ., The Fire Dragon, 
but my version is Ms. Dragoness!

The original dragon was in shades of red, orange, yellow, black and white.  
Perfect for a fire dragon.
Ms. Dragoness is more greens, hot pink, purple/burgandy and white.
Sort of a high heal dragon - without the heels!
(But I did include pink nail polish.)
I made one other change.  
The original had nostrils.
  I made them but then opted to omit them.
The face looked friendlier without them.
Ms. Dragoness will have to be a 'mouth-breather.'


This was a project!  
No ... not quite the right emphasis!
This was a PRO - JECT!!!
My hands start to ache just looking at it!  
But, I'll do it again - just not this month!

Here is Ms. Dragoness with a little bow grouped with other birthday presents for Ms. Esk!
Tomorrow Ms. Dragoness goes to her new forever home and her new mistress!
Hoping our little birthday girl is not frightened by this gift made with love in every stitch.

That's all folks.
The end 
(so to speak.)


Orignial Pattern Credit:
Paola Navarro -

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.

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!


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.


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Guessing Game - First Clue

How about a little guessing game.  
I am crocheting a ...
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

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