December 28 2017

Craft Plans for Winter

What plans do you have for crafting this winter?
Me, I almost exclusively make hats to donate to charity or someday sell on my own website or through an Etsy store. Not that I have done either yet, but someday I will, maybe.

Take a look at your yarn stash, you know you have one! Figure out what project you want to make from some of your stash yarns.

Unless you are making a tried and true pattern, like the hat pattern I use constantly, you might want to watch this video from Lion Brand yarns.

6 Bad Habits Every Knitter and Crocheter Should Break!

Continue reading

Category: Crochet | LEAVE A COMMENT
December 21 2017

The Joys of Aging

Getting old is NOT for sissies! I have heard that for years and never really thought about what it meant. I know the older I get the more aches and pains find their way into my body and aggravate me at the most inopportune times.

The most difficult change I have had to deal with thus far is the changes in my eyes. It seems as soon as I turned fifty my eyes developed cataracts. I didn’t know what the problem was but when I complained during my annual eye exam that I was having trouble driving at night because the glare was almost unbearable, the eye doctor told me I had the beginnings of cataracts in both eyes. What?!? Cataracts are for old people. I can’t have them I’m not old enough. Did I do something to bring them on? Is there anything I can do to get rid of them? The eye doctor tells me that everyone eventually gets them if they live long enough. Really? That makes me feel only marginally better. How do I fix them? They are messing up my life.

I have trouble when the cars coming at me have their high beams on, that almost blinds me. I have learned a few tricks for coping with the problem because I refuse to give up driving at night which would mean staying home from many of my group meetings, And I refuse to give those up. In case you are also experiencing similar difficulties, I will share the ways I have learned to cope with my aging eyes.

I try to get where I am going before it gets completely dark, because for some reason getting home is never as difficult as getting there is, not sure why, but getting home is easier.

I have found that if I stay out past ten or so there is less traffic to deal with on the way home and I can often use my high beams if the road is deserted. Using the high beams really helps a lot, but I try to be very conscientious of other drivers who will either be blinded through the rear-view mirror or by coming at me.

Another thing that helps is staying on well lit main roads that I am very familiar with. With enough street lights, driving at night is almost like driving in daylight. It also helps if I keep the lights inside my car as dim as possible.

I wish I had better news about getting older. I will most likely get the surgery at some point but that is probably years off because right now my cataracts are just beginning and not bad enough to warrant surgically fixing them.

More info here:

What changes have you noticed as your body ages? Care to share them with me? I’d like to be informed rather than surprised by the lovely little changes my body will throw at me.

If you have any suggestions for dealing with aging, please let me know in the comments below or send me a message using the contact form.

This is the first in an ongoing series about the joys of aging. More joys will be shared as I discover them, so be sure to subscribe so you won’t miss them.

December 15 2017

Different (Five Minute Friday)

If there is one thing I have always been, it is different. I was never thin like the other kids in school. I never really looked like my siblings, at least not in my opinion. We all had differing hair colors and heights. I have never had the same hobbies as most people, especially my siblings with the exception of reading. I have always loved to read, but I used to read very slowly. When I went to high school, rather than take the required speed reading class for a single grading period like most of the kids, I had to take an entire semester. It is probably just as well I did because it did help me to read much faster.

I never liked dressing like all the other kids, not that was really a choice growing up since we were too poor to buy the “in” clothes. I have always enjoyed going to Goodwill or some other second-hand store and choosing the clothes I liked because they were different. I have never liked the idea of being a cookie cutter and going along with the crowd. I wear what I want, what I like, what fits at the time, what I could find cheap that fit my budget.

I even raised my kids differently than most parents at the time. When they got to have candies like Skittles or M&Ms, they couldn’t just eat them like other parents let their kids do. Nope, we sorted them all out by color and made bar graphs out of them. Then we talked about how many would be left if you ate two blue ones. We discussed which color had more and which had less. We did all sorts of fun things with them as we ate them.

We read to our kids, we read with our kids and had them read to us. We let them see us reading and enjoying reading. We let them take books with them when we went out to dinner. The only rule was that they had to close the book while the waiter or waitress was there to take our orders and once the food arrived, but they could read again once they finished eating their dinner. We almost always took them with us when we went out to dinner unless it was our anniversary. We would eat out usually on Friday nights and we took turns choosing where we would eat. The kids knew they couldn’t choose any place that was expensive or fast food, but pretty much anything else was fine. We taught them to read the menu and choose their own food, but they had to eat what they chose and it had to be a balanced meal. We made them try new foods, usually, the rule was that they had to eat the number of bites of something that matched their age. A four-year-old had to try 4 bites before getting off the hook.

We took our kids on vacations with us and we usually went to science museums or children’s museums because that is what they wanted to do.

Being different isn’t always bad, sometimes it is a good way to get to know yourself and an excellent way to raise very smart kids.

Embrace your different-ness! It makes you unique and memorable.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Different
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

December 14 2017

Book Review: The Man from the Train The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery

I found this book quite by accident while searching online for an audiobook to listen to on my phone using the OverDrive app. I find that I get many more books read this way because I can take advantage of driving times and other times when I could never read a traditional paper book or even an ebook such as when I am packing my lunch, cleaning the kitchen, or even making a meal. I was a little disinclined to listen to it because it was so long, but let me tell you it goes by so fast. Since I listened to most of the book at either 1.6 or 1.8 speed, it likely cut the time to listen to it down significantly.

As someone who has long enjoyed watching shows like Numb3rs, CSI, Criminal Minds and Cold Case shows this was right up my alley. I really enjoyed how the authors explained that the technology at the time did not help them to catch the guy. In fact, the lack of technology made it appallingly easy for him to get away with murdering loads of people. The murders covered in this book took place between 1898 and 1912. Fingerprints were just becoming important and communication between the various law enforcement departments was practically non-existent. Blood was only able to be matched by type, so not terribly helpful. I really appreciated that the authors explained to me, as the reader, why certain things were done or not done. Toward the end of the book, when they finally explain how they found out who did it and how they were sure it was the right person, I felt completely comfortable with their explanation and found it believable. It was fascinating hearing how they uncovered one of the deadliest serial killers in the country over one hundred years after the fact. This means they solved numerous cold cases in the process of all their research. Unfortunately, his reach was even deadlier than he might have realized because a few innocent people were punished and put to death for crimes they didn’t commit and a few more were lynched and died because they were thought guilty of crimes “The Man from the Train” committed.

Reading this book did make me appreciate just how far crime-solving technology has come in the last hundred years or so and help me to understand that something like this would most likely not be able to go on for so long in this day and age.

It amazed me how thoroughly they were able to research crimes from over one hundred years ago. They explained things so well I understood the logic behind where they looked and why they kept looking for more crimes before the ones they were finding. I would love to see this book turned into a movie, mini-series, or TV series.

If you are looking for a good book to read or listen to, I highly recommend choosing The Man from the Train.

The Man from the Train The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery
Bill James – Author
Rachel McCarthy James – Author
John Bedford Lloyd – Narrator
Release date: September 19, 2017

If you are interested in buying this book, please consider using the affiliate link below. It won’t cost you more and I might make a few cents because you did.

The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery

December 9 2017

Only (Five Minute Friday)

Today’s Five Minute Friday word is only.

I only need to write for five minutes. I only have a million things to do. Not that I will do them because I am only writing. I was making the graphic to go with this post. I really enjoy doing that and seeing how different I can make them while keeping them looking similar in style. I’m only a novice at it but seeing them makes me proud because instead of paying only $1 for some of the photo backgrounds that Canva offers, I take my own. Whenever I am out and about and see an interesting texture, I snap a photo with my always-present cell phone. I zoom in so the texture is all you see filling the screen and sometimes I zoom in even more. In case you are wondering, today’s graphic is only denim, I thought the orange would go nicely since it reminded me of the thread color on many faded pairs of jeans I have worn over the years. Often, I only have one pair of shoes to my name, only a couple of pairs of jeans. Who wants to have two weeks worth of laundry piled up? If you only use what you have until it wears out, only have the bare minimum of things, you can never have too much to wash when everything is dirty, right? I only have a couple of loads a week most of the time.

I have learned a lot by being a blogger. I only need to know what I need to know today, tomorrow’s problems will present themselves soon enough. I teach myself how to do only what I need to know how to do at the moment. I used to use PicMonkey to create my graphics because it was free. I got pretty good at it, but then it suddenly wasn’t free anymore and since this blog has yet to earn anything for me, I try to get things free when I can. So I used Canva instead because again, it was free. I was frustrated because using Canva wasn’t the same as PicMonkey and it was new and different. There are still things about it I don’t understand, but I only had the need to try it when PicMonkey got greedy and decided I couldn’t save my graphics unless I paid. Thanks for the opportunity to learn something new. PicMonkey pushed me out of my comfort zone and I only learned more because of it. I still think of myself as only a newbie blogger, but then I find someone who is way newer to the whole thing than I am and I can help them so much by sharing the mistakes I have learned along the way. Maybe I am no longer only a novice. By continually stretching myself beyond my comfort zone, I continually amaze myself with the new things I am learning each week. Many weeks I feel I am only writing for myself and the spammers who seem to be the only ones to leave comments. I get enough of those that sometimes I don’t trust the honest to goodness real comments when they do happen. I am only me, so why do all these spamming people from so many other countries want to spam my blog? Do they read it and decide it is worthy or does some bot find my little old piece of the web and deem it worthy of posting a spammy comment to? Only God and the spammer really know.

I only do what I do and try to share some of the lessons I have learned the hard way in my half-century inhabiting this planet. Remember, it isn’t always that deep, sometimes it is only denim!

I forgot to set the timer and once again when I get to writing the words just keep spilling out onto the page. So you, dear reader, get an extra long ramble to read.  Remember I post new content every Thursday and whenever I get the Five Minute Friday prompt written, ideally on Friday. Until next week, I am only your humble rambling writer. Have a great week and subscribe so you can be the first to see what I post next Thursday.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Only
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.