Saturday, April 21, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter S - Shopping

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  





Shopping

I was excited for the last four days of this week.  Here in my part of the world, Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22  is the 2018 New Jersey Wool Walk.



And to top it off, today Saturday, April 21 (besides being my favorite granddaughter’s 14th birthday) it is the first “Local Yarn Store” day.   This is sponsored by The National NeedleArts Association. 

As noted on their website:
Local Yarn Store Day is a brick-and-mortar yarn shop appreciation day created by TNNA Yarn Group. The inaugural LYS Day will take place on April 21 and is designed to show support for small businesses while bringing together a unique community of knitters, crocheters, weavers and spinners to drive awareness and celebrate the craft.

One of my favorite things in the whole wide world to do is shop at a yarn store.  I really didn’t need a special event to get me to go yarn shopping, but in some way I guess I thought of it as more of a party that I received a personal invitation to. 

Thursday was a cold rainy day.  But that didn’t deter us.  By us I mean Ross and I.   He is my patient yarn shopping companion.

We had our map.  There are 15 stores on the “Walk”.  It, by no means, should have been called a “walk”  because there weren't even two stores near enough to each other to be able to walk to.    My intention was to visit three of the shops on Thursday, one on Saturday and maybe a couple more on Sunday.


We did visit two stores on Thursday, Chelsea Yarns in Red Bank and Frame and Fiber in Point Pleasant.   I had never been to Frame and Fiber.  We had the opportunity to meet Paige, the owner.  I watch Paige’s YouTube knitting podcast called Paige TheFramer.   She is a great gal.  

Today, we went to what I consider my Local Yarn Shop, Woolbearer’s.  I’ve been shopping at Myra’s for the last 10 years.   I particularly love the yarn she hand dyes.  


I did a lot of shopping and loved every minute of it, but I think I am shopped out.  

My Pretties


Friday, April 20, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter R Ribbit, Ribbit

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  




Sometimes a knitting project I am working on becomes tiresome and tedious.  It could be that the color of the yarn does not look the same knitted up as it did when it was wound in the ball.

Perhaps the project is taking much longer than I thought it would.  
The knitting process can get boring if the pattern calls for the same stitch to be knit over and over again.  The “Stockinette Stitch” is one where you alternate a knit stitch on one row and a purl stitch on the next row.


More often than not, though, I just get plain bored with the project because I have found something new and different that I am obsessing to knit instead. 

I must say, though,  I usually finish what I have started. 

I am currently working on a sweater.  
I am not feeling the color. When I found the yarn on the shelf in the dimly lit yarn shop, I thought it was a soft gray.  But as I am knitting with the yarn, it actually looks like a moss green.  
The pattern throughout the whole sweater is the stockinette stitch, which like I said, is a very boring stitch.  
I started this project three months ago and have barely touched it in the last month.   
Oh, I try to psych myself up to work on it.  I pull it out of the closet and then out of the knitting bag.  I hold it up and turn it this way and that.  I pet the yarn and think about how soft it feels and how nice it would feel to wear it. 
I settle into my knitting spot, the cozy stuffed chair.  I pick up the sweater.  I take out the directions and find where I left off.   I decide I need a drink of water.  I put the sweater down, get up go to the kitchen.  There are dishes in the sink.  I rinse them off and put them in the dishwasher.  I remember that I owe my daughter a phone call.  An hour later, after we say good-bye, I go back to my chair, and decide I’m too tired to knit now and will pick it up tomorrow.  
I have decided that I am now at the point where I am considering ripping out the sweater.  In knitting lingo the term for this is called “frog” or “frogging”.
I wonder if someone thought to name it that because, you know “rip it” little like the sound a frog makes, “ribbit”. 


To “ribbit” or not.  That is the question. 


Thursday, April 19, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter Q - Quietly

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  




Quietly

Ross and I have been married for almost 17 years.  I have children from a previous marriage.  Ross never had children of his own.  
He is a retired high school math teacher.   So in essence, he gave birth to around 80 children each and every September.   He was well liked and during his 30 plus years of teaching, I know he provided much more than just math skills to his “children”.
Ross grew up with the experience of a large family.  
In his immediate family there was his mother, father and two sisters, Joan and Myra.  His extended family consisted of many aunts, uncles and cousins.   Ross’s mother was a gregarious and welcoming host.   He has many fond memories of a house filled with Sunday and holiday guests. 
As what typically happens, circumstances cause families to grow apart either by changes of location, expansion and development of their own family units and life’s circumstances.
Myra sadly passed away a few years ago.  Joan lives 500 miles away.   Neither Joan or Myra had children. 
Last Saturday we celebrated Ross’s 75th birthday.   We had a gathering at a local pub called “The Plumstead Grill”  We were a party of 16.    
The Plumstead is a unique place.   It appeals to a wide range of  patrons, from families with children to biker dudes and dudettes. 
This particular Saturday happened to be the first nice day we New Jersians have had in months. 
The restaurant parking lot was filled with pickup trucks and shiny Harley Davidson’s, as well as Toyota Camrys, Hondas CRV’s and BMW’s.
Ross and I got to the restaurant a little earlier than the designated 1:00 p.m. time.  Fortunately we had reserved the private room to make sure we could, well have a little privacy.   
The restaurant was packed and noisy.   As
we made our way to the room, elbowing our way through the bar area, big guys with long beards and muscle shirts comically threw out comments referring to the large birthday cake Ross was carrying.
The room had a long table set for 16.  The guests included my children and grandchildren, my sister and her husband, my brother and his wife and my aunt Dolores.
Ross sat at the head of the table.  I sat all the way at the other end.
As usual, when we get together there is a lot of talking, interrupting, teasing and laughter.
We were almost as noisy and lively as the group beyond the closed doors of our room.
After we finished our meal, the waitress brought out the cake with lighted candles.  We sang Happy Birthday and I as I watched Ross, he seemed to be contemplatively pleased.
After he blew out the candles, we began to chant “Speech, speech, speech!”
Now, I must tell you, Ross is never at a loss for words.   We all turned to him and a hush came over the room as we intently waited for him to speak.  But no words came.
At that moment I felt as though he and I were the only ones in the room.  I watched him closely, silently encouraging him with my eyes.
Finally, with an emotionally filled voice he quietly whispered,  “You are my family.”



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter P - Purpose

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  





Purpose

It’s been a week since our puppy Rico passed.   I am having a lot of feelings.  Some of them are easy to recognize, others are not. 
We had a routine around here, much of it involved Rico.   When he was a pup and young boy, he would wake up bright and early.   During the last few years he preferred to sleep in and most days we would be up before him.    Whatever his wakeup time was, though, as soon as he opened his eyes and stretched, either Ross or I would immediately make sure he went out.
That was the beginning of the daily routine.   Before we would have our breakfast, we would prepare his.  He liked to eat at the same time we did.  
There were plenty of walks.  He was a little guy, only 9 pounds so he needed to go out more frequently. 
I guess I was the Rico whisperer because when he barked, Ross would ask me, “What does he want?”
I think I actually could discern the tones of his bark.  “I want to go out” was different from “I want a cookie” which wasn’t the same as “My water bowl is empty.”
Rico was always either by my side or he would keep Ross company in the den. 
I’m pretty sure he did not like to be left alone but he was never spiteful or destructive.   
If we went out, for five minutes or an hour, he would be at the door to greet us. He knew as soon as we came in, we would put his leash on and take him for a walk.  Yes, that was the routine. 
After dinner, his and ours, and another walk, we would settle in to watch TV.
Poor little guy, he would be sound asleep, but at 11:00 we would wake him up and Ross would take him for  his final walk of the day.
I suppose you could say Rico was more than a routine for us, he was our purpose for most of the 17 years we have been retired.




Empty Nest Yet Again.




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter O - One Hundred and One

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  



One Hundred And One

Pauline sat in her favorite chair in front of the window.   The chair was covered in chintz.  It was a cheerful pattern with large pink blooms against a pale blue background.    
She chuckled to herself as she thought about the day she and Bob brought the chair home.
They had been married for only a short time.   Oh my, she sighed as she remembered the tiny sparsely furnished one bedroom apartment they shared.   The kitchen was small with three cupboards, an icebox, and a stove.  There was just enough room in the corner for a small dining table with a chair on either end.   
They had a second-hand sofa which filled up much of 8 x 10 living room. 
The chair had been left out by the curb.  They were out for a stroll when she spotted it.  
“Oh, Bob!”  she exclaimed.   “It’s perfect.  It’ll fit right in front of the window.”


The two of them must have been a sight, she holding one arm he the other as they lugged the chair the two blocks to their apartment.  
Over the years the chair had been covered and recovered at least a dozen times. 
This last time Donna had helped her pick out the fabric and helped her sew it.   Well, truth be known, Donna did much of the sewing. 
Pauline heard a car door slam,  bringing her back from her reverie.
She looked up and watched out the window as Donna came up the walk.  
Donna was carrying two big balloons and a cake box.  
One of the balloons had “Happy Birthday Mom” the other “One Hundred and One”.





Monday, April 16, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter N - Never Never Land or Nancy

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  


Never Never Land

“I’m never going to do that!” exclaimed Nancy.   
“Never say never, Nan” advised Olivia.
Nancy bristled at her sister’s bossy tone. 
Olivia was four years older than Nan.  She was about 4 inches taller than Nan too.  She cared for Nan, not only as an older sister but almost more like a mother. 
After Olivia and Nan’s father died, their mother had to take on a second job to support them.  
They even had to move to another part of town to a smaller house.   Nancy was 12 and Olivia 16.  
When their mother would leave for her nighttime job as a waitress at the Town Diner, she would always say, “Olivia, make sure you take good care of your sister.”
Olivia was at the sink washing up the last of the dinner dishes.   Her fine blond hair was loosely tied  behind her head with a pink scrunchy.  She kept blowing at the wisps which fell over her eyes. 
Nancy was standing next to Olivia grabbing the next plate to dry.  
Although Nancy's hair wasn’t as light as Olivia’s and her eyes weren’t as blue, you could tell they were sisters.  
Nancy had been telling Olivia about a girl at school.  
“Liv, she and her mother were found sleeping in their car in the parking lot at Big Mart,” Nancy said incredulously.
“All the girls make fun of her,” said Nancy.  
“Surely not you?” asked Olivia, as she looked over at her sister. 
 Nancy, blushed and turned her face away. 
“Nancy, said Olivia in a more gentle tone, you never know what life has in store for you.” 
Olivia’s cell phone began to play her  “I Believe I Can Fly” ringtone. 
She grabbed the towel to dry off her hands as Nan handed her the phone. 
She recognized the number as the Town Diner’s.
A thousand thoughts ran through both of the girl’s minds.  
Why would someone from the diner be calling?  Maybe mom forgot to charge her phone.  Yes, that had to be it.  
Though neither sister said it out loud, they both had the same frightening thought. 
It had been that phone call from their Dad’s work that instantaneously changed all of their lives. 
The sister’s both held their breath as Olivia said, “Hello?” 
 

  


Saturday, April 14, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter M - Monsters Under The Bed

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  



Monsters Under The Bed

I read that children are more sensitive or “open” to psychic and paranormal experiences.   Apparently, the idea is that there is wisdom in the ignorance and inexperience of youth.  Adults rarely see entities or have such experiences because their minds have been closed off by logic and skepticism. 

As a child I remember the fear of “monsters” under my bed.  

As I grew into adulthood, I pooh poohed the idea.  When I had children of my own, I naturally had to reassure them that there was no such thing as monsters.  

Now, I, being an adult with a great deal of seniority, have come full circle in my beliefs. 

I do believe in monsters, but not the ones with big teeth and hairy bodies. 

I love life.  It’s wondrous.  

Except for the monsters, that is.  

There are small ones like the “stepping off the curb the wrong way” so you have to wear a cast for six weeks the day before you were to take the trip (no pun intended) of your life demons.

Haven’t we all experienced the “middle of night phone-call” ogre?

Death can be the cruelest of all.   I have come face to face with this savage far too often lately.

Yes, I have suffered more than my share of monsters in my wondrous life.

The best defense I have to combat these beasts are my precious memories.

They remind me that monsters live for only the briefest of time.

And when I am sad and confused about the fairness of it all, I remember the good times of my wondrous life.

The thing about monsters, they hide and lay low, under your bed.  They rise up and attack without warning when you least expect it.

On Tuesday of this week, we had to say good-bye to our little fur baby.
Funny, I talked about Rico in my D post, reminiscing about the day we met him.

We are sad and we are lonely without him.  But my goodness, what a wondrous life we had with him.



Friday, April 13, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter L - Loveladies LBI

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  



Our Favorite Beach


Long Beach Island (LBI) is located 42 miles (68 km) north of Atlantic City, 61 miles (98 km) east-southeast of Philadelphia and 101 miles (163 km) south of New York City. LBI is approximately 18 miles (29 km) in length, which includes three miles (5 km) of nature reserve located on the southern tip.The island is about a half-mile wide (800 m) at its widest point in Ship Bottom, and spans a fifth of a mile (300 m) at its narrowest point in Harvey Cedars.


My family started vacationing on Long Beach Island, NJ  in the 1980’s. I have many nice memories of LBI summers.
So much so that when Ross and I retired fifteen years ago, we moved to a town which is about 20 minutes from LBI. 
The beaches on the island are among the most beautiful along the Jersey shore. 
Our favorite beach on LBI is called Loveladies. 

This is what Loveladies, LBI look like today.



Even off season, when the beach is empty, there is always something to look at.  A fisherman, a dog walker, joggers, surfers and of course the beach birds.




It was windy and chilly on the beach today.



There is a lighthouse in the town of Barnegat Light.  The locals call it Old Barney.

The island has been continuously settled since 1690, initially being a destination for hunters. Barnegat Inlet, to the north of the island, was an important path for freight shipments and whaling from the 17th century through the 20th century. Due to the Inlet's importance and its turbulent waters, a lighthouse tower was constructed in 1835 to guide shippers through the area, but was inadequate to ships, constantly being mistaken for another passing ship because the light was fixed. Erosion problems destroyed the tower in 1857, two years before the current Barnegat Lighthouse was completed in 1859, flashing at each point of the compass every 10 seconds.







It’s been a long cold winter here in NJ.  In the next couple of days spring is supposed to finally make an arrival. Temperatures should raise into the 70”s F.  

Perfect beach weather!



Thursday, April 12, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter K - Why Knitting of Course

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  



Knitting Of Course

Knitting.  What image does that conjure up for you?



Although there are plenty of grandmothers who do knit, I am happily one of them, knitting is not just for your grandma anymore.  


All sorts of people knit. 
 Famous people knit


Men knit.   There is a magazine filled with knitwear designs for men.  RIB Magazine




Knitting is not just my hobby, for me it is a passion.   I knit every day.  I have a YouTube podcast where I talk about knitting. It’s called Joey’s Scarf.
Sometimes Ross joins me on the podcast.


Strange you say?  Well, there are over 1400 other YouTube channels where other knitters talk about knitting.

There are hundreds of knitting festivals, at different times of the year all over the world where thousands of knitters gather together to commiserate about knitting.   The most famous I would say is the New York State Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck, NY.




Here are some of the things I have been working on lately.



I have taught several people how to knit, including my mother, my aunt, my daughter and my granddaughter.  I tried to teach Ross how to knit.


That didn’t go so well.  But he is very supportive of my passion.  He is my companion (okay and also my driver) when we go around the country looking for yarn.

I have knit many items which I have given away to friends, relatives and friends of friends and relatives of relatives.

In case you are wondering why I knit, let me explain.  There are so many reasons actually.  I knit because it has provided comfort to me during some hard times.   The repetitive sequence of knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl is meditative.

It has proven to provide health benefits as noted in this NY Times article.

The Health Benefits of Knitting - The New York Times



Another reason is the creative outlet it provides for me.  And as the above article states, I get a complete sense of satisfaction when I finish a project because I not only have a useful item, but a most beautiful one.

Another positive benefit is the supportive community I have discovered,  all of us with a common understanding of how our deep passion for this ancient creative process of knitting has created a bond among all of us.

History of knitting, from knotted nets and knitted socks to knitting guilds.



Knitting is now commonly known as a slow craft which goes along with the Scandinavian term Hygge.


"Hygge is a Norwegian and Danish word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.” 

 I like that I can take my time leisurely and peacefully enjoying the creative process.

Have you ever tried to knit?   I suggest you give it a try. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter J - Jackson’s Story

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  



Tell Me A Story Grandma

My four year old grandson, Jackson, called me last night to ask me to tell him a story.   I have told stories to little kids all of my life.  It started when I was a little kid myself.   I would tell my younger siblings and cousins stories. To this day a few of them still remember details of some of the stories.
I especially love the looks on their faces as they imagine the places I take them to.

I was a little caught off guard when Jax called me so I didn’t have a story ready for him.  I told him
I would think about a good one and call him today.

So here is Jackson’s story.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, lived a little boy named Jackson.   Now this land was a magical land because, you see this little boy Jackson, well he was the king of the land.
He was a handsome king indeed.
King Jackson had the most beautiful mother in the world and although his dad was handsome too, he was not as handsome as King Jackson.  Oh no, because you see, King Jackson was the most handsome boy in the land.
But, sadly, King Jackson was not a happy King.
He didn’t understand why he couldn’t be even more handsome.
Each day he would put on a new shirt, for he thought that a new shirt would make him more handsome.
But when he looked in the mirror in his new shirt, he looked the same as he did the day before.
“Mommy, it’s not fair!”  the little king would whine.
King Jackson spent a lot of time looking at himself in the mirror.
When all of the other littles were playing outside, the King was too sad to play because he thought he thought he wasn’t handsome enough.
The king’s mother was not only the most beautiful mother in the land, she was also the wisest.
“Your Majesty,” she would say, “being handsome is not the most important thing for a king to be.”
But King Jackson couldn’t hear his wise mother’s advice, for you see,  he was whining too loud.
Each year on September 8th, all of the land celebrated.  For you see September 8th was the king’s birthday.  
In this magical land on September 8th  the plants and trees became laden with chocolate candy kisses, cherry lollipops, vanilla cupcakes and cinnamon donuts.
This year was a special birthday, for this year the king was going to be five years old.
The king decided to invite all of the other littles to the castle for the biggest party the land had ever seen.
But each day the royal mailman delivered dozens of letters to the king.
“I must regretfully decline your invitation,” the letters would say.
“Waa, waa,” the king whined. “No one wants to come to my party because I am not handsome enough.”
The king’s mother, who was the most caring mother in the land said,  “Your Majesty being handsome is not the most important thing for a friend to be.”
But King Jackson was whining too loud to hear his mother’s caring advice.
One day the handsome king was sitting in his garden, holding a hand mirror and snacking on a cupcake with no sprinkles, for you see the king did not like sprinkles on his cupcake.
All of a sudden, he thought he heard singing.   He looked up and sure enough there was a little girl skipping down the path towards him.
“La la la la la, I am the happiest little girl in all of the land,” she sang.
The king was puzzled.  The little girl was quite plain looking.  She did not have beautiful brown hair and eyes like the king did.  In fact her hair was pale and her eyes were blue.   She wasn’t even wearing a brand new shirt like he was.
He wondered how she could possibly be the happiest little girl in all of the land.
The little girl came up to the king and bent her knees, and with one foot in front of the other bowed to the king in what was known in the kingdom as a curtsy.
“Hello, your Majesty,” she said with a smile.
He noticed how her blue eyes sparkled.
“My name is Annalise,” she said.
“I am the happiest little girl in all of the kingdom,” she added.
The king couldn’t help but notice her worn blue jumper and tattered sweater.
“You can’t be. No, no, no!” whined the king.
“You don’t even have nice clothes,” he whined.
“I came to tell you that I am going to come to your birthday party,” she said.
“But no one else is coming,”he pouted.
“Why do you want to come to my party?”  he stopped whining long enough to ask.
“I’ve seen you in your garden sitting by yourself and I thought you might like to be my friend,” she said.
“And, you did invite me to your party.  It’s always a nice thing to be invited to a party and an even nicer thing to accept the invitation,” she said.
“It’s called an act of kindness,” she added.
 “If you are kind to others, others will be kind to you,” she said.
“How do you know that?” asked the king.
“My mother, who is the wisest mother in the world, taught me that,” Annalise said.
The king didn’t understand how this girl’s mother could be the wisest in the world when he knew his mother was.
Annalise did come to the king’s birthday party and they became great friends.
He accepted Annalise’s invitation to celebrate her birthday, for that was the kind thing to do.
She coaxed him to come out to play with the other children and he soon began to smile more. He found that he didn’t have time to look in the mirror as much.
His mother began to notice that King Jackson didn’t even whine as much anymore either.
Many years later, when he had children of his own, as he snacked on a cupcake without sprinkles, for he still did not like sprinkles on his cupcakes, he would tell the story of his friend Annalise and how she taught him to be kind.
But more importantly, when his own son, Prince Joseph, would begin to whine, the King would kindly and patiently remind the prince that there is more to being a Prince than just being handsome.



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter I - Why I Prefer Instagram

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  




Instagram

Instagram has become my favorite social media application.  Before I became active on Instagram Facebook was my choice.    I still look at FB but I use it mainly to keep up with the family and see photos of the grandkids.

The reason I prefer Instagram is that the stories are told with photos and videos.  Of course there are many other features, such as Insta Stories, Instagram live, Insta messages.   

I have a different set of “friends” that follow me and who I follow on Instagram.   My “group” consists mainly of knitters.  

I have a public account, so anyone can follow me.  But Instagram, of course, allows me to block someone from following me.  And I have blocked quite a few people.

The people on my blocked list are mainly men.  My profile and my photo clearly indicate that I am an older woman.  My main interest is knitting, which is quite obvious from the photos I post. 

So, why, I wonder, would a man who obviously has no interest in knitting want to follow me?  

That is a question that I don’t have an answer to.   But I am very suspicious of these characters.   

Strangely, the profile photos of these men show them dressed in military uniforms.  I suppose they may feel that a uniform makes them more trustworthy. 

So aside from strange men wanting to follow me, and by the way, I have heard from other women who say they experience the same thing,  I feel Instagram inspires my creative needs.  

I like that I can tell a thousand word story with a picture.







Monday, April 9, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter H - I Am A Knitting Hoarder

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  




Hoarding

I am an avid knitter.   Okay, to be more precise I am an obsessive knitter.  I knit every day.
But I am not here on H day to write about knitting.  Because, you know K day is coming up soon and I don’t want to waste good K material on H day.
But there is a correlation between my H word and knitting.

For those of you who are not obsessives, you might not understand what I am about to tell you.   But trust me, I would say this topic, this H topic, can apply to anyone who is obsessive about their passion, or passionate about their obsession.  It works either way.

For I believe it to be a fact that most obsessions require stuff.   You know I’m right.   You not only have to have the right gadgets and tools, you absolutely need to have more than one of each.

I will admit that over the years of my life I’ve had more than one obsession.  For instance there was the tennis phase.  And of course, how can one play tennis without a racket and a spare racket and covers for the rackets. You need the right bag, proper tennis shoes and let’s not get started on the outfits.

But today I want to tell you about the stuff my current obsession, which happens to be knitting, requires.

But let me back up, just a bit.  When I first re-discovered my love of knitting I would shop for my stuff at the big box stores.  I started out with one skien of yarn and a pair of knitting needles.  But I quickly realized that I also needed a pair of scissors, a darning needle and something called stitch markers.  If I wanted to do the cable stitch, I needed cable stitch holder.  If I wanted to make something larger than a scarf, I needed needles with a wire connected to them so they could hold more stitches. Then I realized that I needed a bag to hold all of the stuff.
As a beginner I would work on one project at a time.  So all of my stuff would fit nicely and neatly into one bag.
One day as I was browsing around the internet for a pattern to knit a hat, I came across a site called *Ravelry. That’s when my little knitting corner exploded wide open to the WWK.  The Wide World Of Knitting.


*Ravelry has 7,810,192 registered users from countries from all over the world.  929,442 Ravelers have been active during the last 30 days.

That’s a large community!  A community with new ideas, new patterns, new yarns,  new bags, and just lots of new stuff. 

Actually, when I started my blog, the first followers of my blog were knitters. 

Ravelry led me to the makers of ETSY who create all of the stuff one obsessive knitter can possibly need and absolutely must have! 

And finally my journey along the WWK led me to audio and video knitting podcasts where the hosts of these shows enable we obsessives by showing off the latest yarn they acquired, the newest pattern they are knitting, the best knitting needles they have discovered and the cutest project bags they are using to hold all of their new stuff. 

The one knitting bag I started off with has grown to a dozen bags.  Five of those bags hold “in progress” projects.   I have a closet with bins of yarn and boxes filled with needles and gadgets.

My name is Lynda and I am a Knitting Hoarder!




Saturday, April 7, 2018

A to Z Challenge -The Letter G - Grief Is A Shapeshifter

am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday, April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  


  


Perhaps you might imagine or have even experienced this yourself. 

I am writing this post on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.  Today would have been Joe’s 43rd birthday.

The cloud of Grief I step in and out of is constantly changing color and texture and density. 
Even after almost seven years, I expect my most important Grief days to be held gently with care by all.  Today is one of those days. 
It may sound strange to designate certain days as “important” when talking about Grief.   But I didn’t designate them as such.  Grief did. 
For Grief is a shapeshifter.     
It slowly burrowed a hole in my heart where it now lies quietly most times. 
Last night, on the eve of the most important Grief day a mother can experience, I thought I might spend the anniversary of Joe’s birth, quietly celebrating him.  I thought that perhaps I might pull out all the photos.  I pictured myself smiling at his birthday pics, especially the ones from “Chuck E. Cheese’s”.   I would have to say that one had to have been his most favorite birthday party of all.   Yes, I thought, that’s how I would spend the day. 
I had a fitful uneasy night, though, filled with disturbing dreams.   I woke at around 3:00 a.m.  My heart was racing.  I felt strange.  I came out to the living room and settled myself on the sofa. 
Eventually, I was able to fall back into a dreamless sleep.
As I opened my eyes with the light of day, it took me a moment to gather my thoughts and bearings.   My phone was beeping at me.   A text message from my sister Marie. 



Still half asleep, my first thought was one of joy.  My sister was a grandmother for the first time!  
And then I saw the date. April 4.  Grief smacked me in the face.  It slithered out of its lair, wrapped its many tentacles tightly around my every part and squeezed the tears and sobs out of my being. 



  




Friday, April 6, 2018

A to Z Challenge - The Letter F - On The Front Porch

I am participating in the “April Blogging From A to Z Challenge” for 2018.  Except for Sundays, but starting with Sunday April 1, I will be writing a post each day in April.  Working through the alphabet, by the end of the challenge I will have posted 26 writings.  



On The Front Porch
As she walked up to the front porch, she found him lying on his back on the old weathered bench that her father had made. His body was too long now to fit all of it on the narrow top. At first she thought he might have been sleeping, his head was motionless, but his dark eyes were wide open, staring up at the ceiling.   One arm dangled over the side, his long fingers moved back and forth brushing the floor. His other arm rested on his chest.  His bent legs hung over the end, his feet planted on the floor anchoring him. 
Her father, his granddad, fancied himself to be quite the carpenter.  His creations were crafted from tossed aside lumber he brought home from the mill where he worked.  
The benches were his specialty.  He always painted them the same color,  Marine Blue. He was quite proud of  his “original” design of the cut out legs he attached to each end. 
All of her brothers and sisters had one of the benches on their porches.  By now most of the paint had faded and chipped.  Splotches of bare oak were visible, creating an original design of their own.  
She stood quietly for a moment watching her son and remembered the many lazy summer days she spent laying on such a bench, day dreaming her dreams.