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, December 18, 2021

Christmas Images and a Holiday Greeting for you.

While the holiday season picks up speed - I thought I would provide proof that I don’t back away from participating.  I think of it as plowing onward a day at a time in an attempt to sweep away the memories of past Decembers, and make this December fun for those that I love.  

She needs no introduction at this point.  
My little Christmas Angel, Eskarina.

My tree as seen from my deck.

Looking at a fully decorated and lighted Christmas
tree works better for me than any meditation. 

We lost this wonderful dog in 2021 - Milo, my daughter’s French Bull Dog and
my grand dog.  What a heart ripping experience that was for both of us.  His passing
is still fresh in my mind and brings tears to my eyes even 5 months later.  It is 
amazing to me how one little dog can settle so permanently inside your heart - as this dog has.

Meathead, my son’s English Bull Dog - gone many years ago
but still much loved.

My tree has bows on it instead of tinsel.  Many years ago we switched to 
bows - cats eat tinsel, as it turns out.  You don’t want to know how I found out.
It involves rubber gloves.

Memories of my mom hang on the tree.  She made these ornaments.

An ornament commemorating Esk's year of birth. 

A Pug in a Santa suit - a nod of remembrance for Grimace, 
my son’s pug that loved me as no other has done.  Gone many years but
still fills a large part of my heart.

A package ornament that my mother-in-law put on a
Christmas gift to me - my first Christmas with her son.

An ornament I purchased the first Christmas my
son spent away from family in the Marines.  Another hard Christmas.

Our tree is full of decorations that hold memories.  We never went with breakable ornaments.  There are no glass balls.  After picking my tree up off the floor one year (our very first cat, Ashes, loved to climb trees), I decided that glass balls were out.  But I love the look of trees with them.  Beautiful.

Decorations I inherited from my mother-in-law.  She loved
lighted houses.

Two other houses I inherited.  The Christmas tree was made by my mother.

Her initials are on one of the packages below the tree.  
ELM for Elaine Leona Mesavage. 
Miss you bunches, Mom. 

My helper!  😀

Although it is not clear, she is trying to tie her dress to my tree. 🤣

A visit to Santa!  Socially distanced, of course.
And a big improvement over previous years - the first of which she
cried and cried.  The second of which she had a stomach virus and
threw up in the car on her way to visit Santa.
Ahh ... the memories.

May you all have a joy filled holiday season,
 no matter which holiday you celebrate.  
And may you only have happy memories of past holidays
 - or at least - 
memories that don’t weigh you down.

Be back in the New Year!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Quilt and the Blanket

I dedicated this past weekend to wrapping Christmas gifts.  

It always takes considerable time.  

Because I am working slower now-a-days - this task which used to fill a full 10 hour day, now fills parts of 3 days.  I just don’t have the energy or desire to push through and complete the wrapping in one day like I used to.  

But I enjoy the process - and this year, at least, I will get a chance to see my family open these gifts in person.  Last year Zoom was my only option and it was better than not seeing them at all.  Man, that was a bummer.

One of my gifts for Esk is a matching quilt and sheet set for a junior size bed in the Frozen theme.  For those who don’t know what Frozen is - it is a Disney cartoon story about two princesses, Anna and Elsa,  their kingdom and their adventure.  If you want to know more - ask any kid who crosses your path.  Any kid and most adults.  Yes, it is that big!

Anyway, before I wrapped the quilt set, I had this notion that I would I open up the quilt and place the blanket and quilt together.  I did this previously as I picked the colors for the blanket specifically using the Frozen color scheme.  Now with just over half of the blanket completed this might be the last time I could catch a picture of the 2 items together. 

So I opened completely both window shades in the guest room and turned on all the lights - hoping to improve my success as capturing the colors of the quilt and the crochet blanket correctly.

And I think I did it.  The colors shown as almost perfect.  Finally!!
In opening up the quilt I realized the quilt is also quite large, so now I am very glad that I am making the blanket as big as it is.  I was a bit concerned that the blanket would swamp the quilt. Glad to find out that it won’t.

And as I snapped a few shots I made another executive decision.

I am not going to wait until her February birthday to give her the blanket.

  I will give it to her as soon as it is finished.  

They are too cute together. 

Note:   If you look at the first picture that showed the quilt and the blanket together - in the lower left hand corner the color of the bedspread can be seen. In every previous picture I took and posted, that bedspread looks a dark beige!  It is not - it is green!  It is amazing how much better natural light is in photography.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Gaslighting with Pizza Cutters

This morning I was busily cleaning up the kitchen, hand washing a few dishes, emptying the dishwasher and drying some items that had collected in my dish drain.  And then the oddest thing happened. 

I casually looked down at the towel in my hand and the 2 items just dried to determine the drawer they should go in and discovered there were 2 pizza cutters.  Two.  I own one.  Only one.  I stood there in the middle of my kitchen looking at these 2 pizza cutters.  While my body was still, my brain was bouncing around in my skull searching in my memory banks trying to explain 2 instead of 1.


I quickly texted my daughter-in-law, sure she was missing a pizza cutter.  Logic, of course, didn’t enter into this action because even though she was here several times - why would she have carried a pizza cutter into my home.  No matter.  I texted. God knows what she was thinking when she read my message. Nope!  She has her pizza cutter. Nuts! 

I circled back into my brain for another reason.  

No one visited with a pizza cutter ... I don’t think.  No one of my social circle carries a pizza cutter in their purse or in their back pocket and besides - would you admit something like that?  I wonder if pizza cutters are on the “no fly list” for airports!  🤣 I am going to bet they have seen everything.  But visiting my condo with one.  Not likely.   

Could the former owner of the condo accidentally left this pizza cutter behind and I am just finding it now - 5 years later?  Ha!  Only a desperate brain would accept that as a possibility.

It is possible, I suppose, that I misplaced pizza cutter #1 and then went out and bought pizza cutter #2 and just today #1 pops up ...  Nope!   I have no memory of doing such thing and to consider the possibility that I may have completely blacked out on a trip to the store to buy pizza cutter #2 ... well I am not ready to go with that yet.

Is someone gas lighting me?
 I sure hope so!   

So I am going with that - 
no matter how paranoid it sounds
 because all other options have ramifications I am not prepared to accept. 

The opposite problem and I are 'good friends.'   Items ‘hiding’ in plain sight ...  sometimes on the bridge of my nose, on top of my head or right in my hand or right where they should be and I look right past them.  Yes, I know that problem well! 

But I don’t have room in my life for another “good friend” unless that good friend is causing extra $100 to show up in my hand that I didn’t know I had.  

But an extra pizza cutter ... !!


Friday, December 10, 2021

The Heart Blanket - An Executive Decision

This is my last progress picture.  I had not yet reached the center of the blanket.

Clearly I have made progress, reaching the center and 
now decreasing.

But with only 15 days left until Christmas it is very clear that this blanket will not be finished when I thought.

Although one side matches the edge of the bed, this side shows about 
4 inches of space not covered by the blanket.  But once the edging is 
added, it will most definitely fill the top of a queen bed - up to the pillows.

It is too bad that the colors are so far off.  The center pink panel is close to the actual color but all other colors are not showing correctly.  Maybe an outside shot when I am close to finished will show better.  To give you some idea of how far off the colors are - the bedspread is green - not beige.

If this wasn’t such a busy month and I could sit for hours each day and do nothing but crochet, I could probably finish this in 15 days.  But with Christmas coming and the a list of to-dos that I have not yet touched, it is not realistic.  This weekend I need to wrap all the gifts - a task that seems to take up a lot of my time when I get going.  Next weekend (the weekend before Christmas) Eskarina will be at my condo for cookie making and a sleep over.   I need to prepare some of that cookie dough in advance so she can do the fun parts when she comes.  And although I am retired, I can’t entirely set aside things like house cleaning and laundry and cooking.  And I started a Christmas Puzzle - jigsaw puzzles are relaxing mediative activities for me, and I need to squeeze that time in as well. So there is very little chance that I can get this completed by the Christmas deadline.

I made an Executive Decision!

My grand daughter has a 4th birthday coming up in February.  Guess what will be one of her presents! I am much happier with that deadline.  


Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Last Minute Granddaughter Blanket

 Here is my first update on a blanket I decided to start on November 13 (November of this year - not last year) as a gift for my grand daughter. The first pictures are November pictures.

The following pictures are from 2 days ago - early December.  It is a pattern that has grown on me the longer I work on it.  The lacy hearts are subtle - not easily seen up close while working on it.

Even when I spread out one heart on my lap, like in this blue stripe, I think - I can’t really see the full structure of one lace heart.

In almost every close up view of my work - as I crochet - the pattern seems lost.

But stretched out like so below, it is easy to see how cute it is.  And the more I do on this pattern,
the more I think about doing a second blanket as some point - maybe one for me.

In the picture below the blanket is extended it full length on a queen size bed.  It will be larger than I thought using the colors I wanted and the size of the stripes.  

The pink stripe is the center of the blanket and at present is about double the width seen in this picture. Pink will be the widest stripe.  As of today, I am about 3 rows into the decreases - meaning I am working on the second half of this blanket now.  And with each row the rows get shorter now.  

I am so glad I decided to crochet this blanket instead of knitting it.  If I was to have any chance of finishing this blanket for Christmas I needed to crochet instead of knit since knitting is so much slower.  And I have really enjoyed making this blanket - the change of the colors, the completion of each row of hearts, the growth in size - all added to the enjoyment.

The real question is will this blanket be done by December 24?  Unlikely.  Once the blanket is complete, I still have a border that is about 2-3 inches wide to complete.  But it should be done by the New Year for sure.