Anyone who follows my blog knows I love Westerns (here’s the link to my Western Book Review category). One of my favorite authors is Robert Thomas. His 113+series about US Marshall/bounty hunter Jess Williams, who hunts only the worst of the worst outlaws, is one of my favorites. Jess Williams fights injustice, follows the law, and helps those who can’t help themselves. The stories are set during my preferred post-Civil War time frame of 1866-1899, an era in America’s west when fighting Indians had almost ended, Western law hadn’t yet solidified (US Marshalls and Town Marshalls aside) so outlaws often rode roughshod over good citizens, the Pony Express had been replaced by stagecoaches, themselves being replaced by trains, indoor toilets were the rage in the best hotels, the sewing machine was beginning to make clothing more abundant, canned goods were becoming popular (especially peaches), and so much more.
This week sped by at high speed and I am not sure why. I didn’t do anything special or anticipate anything upcoming. I have been writing, and working on a story that may or may not ever be shown to the public.
When I start writing, the world slips by me reasonably quickly. I get a good thought going and all of sudden I realize that I have been typing for four hours straight and my arthritic knees and hips are screaming for movement.
The first thing to do is create a well-thought-out strategy for getting out of my chair. Once I am verticle, I wait a few seconds to make sure my knees and hips will actually hold me up. Then, cane in hand, I make a few tottering steps toward the bathroom, usually.
It never fails to amaze me that I can get so into what I am writing that I am able to ignore basic bodily needs, such as a bathroom break or getting something to drink. For a time, I can ignore sore hips and aching knees.
But, this week I wrote nearly 20,000 words. *Pats self on the back.*
Are you a process or a product crocheter? Maybe you’ve never stopped to think about it or perhaps you’ve never heard of these categories before. Read on to learn more and find out what drives your crochet process.
How do you pick your crochet projects? If your main focus is the end result of your finished project, you’re likely a product crocheter. Because your main goal is to create the desired piece, you may not even look through the pattern before you begin. For fearless crocheters, this is a wonderful way to gain experience in new techniques you may not have otherwise tried. You choose your pattern based off of a garment or accessory that you want to wear or complete for a gift. Generally, product crocheters will focus on one project at a time and finish what they’ve started.
For process crocheters, it’s all about the journey. You love the act of crocheting and simply want to play with different yarns and your favorite stitches. Process crocheters tend to pick larger projects that allow you to crochet away without much stopping for measuring, hand finishing or fiddling with any kind of stitch you don’t enjoy. You may also cherish the act of searching for the perfect pattern, pairing with the perfect yarn, and swatching until everything is just right.
Most of us aren’t strictly process or product crocheters, but a combination of the two. I know there are certain stitches or finishing techniques that I just don’t enjoy, so I do tend to shy away from patterns that are heavy in those areas. For the most part, I have a rough idea of my finished product in mind when I’m searching for a pattern. I usually start with a yarn from my stash and the amount of yardage guides me to what is possible (one skein? A lacey scarf or hat. Several skeins? Sweater or shawl time!). From there, I look at what the end result would be and if I like it, I’ll take a closer look at the pattern to make sure I’ll enjoy creating the piece. Combination crocheters want to cherish both the act of their craft and the end result.
Something fun to note is that preferences can differ from craft to craft. I find my knitting process is very similar to my crochet process, however I’m definitely a product sewist. The act of sewing isn’t as therapeutic to me as crocheting, so I just want the project to be completed and off my sewing table. In contrast, sometimes I just want to crochet for the sake of crocheting. I’ll grab a skein or two of yarn, my hook and a simple pattern repeat to create a shawl or scarf that just goes and goes. I always want something in process on my hook or needles.
So, which type of crocheter are you? Whatever your process, cherish your crochet time!
This post is not about crocheting or writing. This one is about anger, as the title suggests. So much to deal with, these days. But, let me start at the beginning.
Anyone who follows this blog knows my brother died last June. In order to keep my finances in order without having to sell most of what I own, I decided to get a roommate who could pay me a small amount of rent monthly. I made a very bad mistake when I didn’t charge a deposit. I thought I was being nice. I thought I was doing my future tenant a favor. I tried to be a fair and reasonable landlady. What a mistake!
I found a woman in her fifties who needed a place to rent, so we agreed on a sum I gave the the grand tour of the house and she said she liked it. She signed the lease, agreeing to pay me month to month. Then, she moved in. Within a week, this woman started complaining about the temperature in the house. My house is 126 years old which means it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, even with HVAC installed. She complained about several things she thought was wrong with my house: No insulation, builder’s grade carpet in the bedroom, only two electrical outlets (she forgot to count the one in the bathroom) and the water from the water heater was too cold, the internet was slow, she had to park on the street, and on and on ad nauseum.
I replaced the water heater because it was old and a ticking timebomb, anyway. I patiently explained the cost of insulating a old home and the cost of re-wiring and old home. She demanded lower rent. So, we renegotiated and I lowered the rent by $100 a month. In retrospect, I should have told her to get lost right then.
Then, she began accusing me of going into her room when she wasn’t home. Every. Day. I told her I did not go into her room because I had no reason to go into her room. She installed a security camera and pointed it toward the door to the bedroom. This was apparently done the day she moved in, however, I didn’t know there was a camera in her room for a couple of months. She was bragging on a rug she bought for the floor and I spotted the camera when I went into her room (with her present) to admire it. I thought my head would explode, but I held my peace. Another big error on my part.
She began accusing me of going into her room when she wasn’t home. Every. Day.
The next time she accused me of going into her room, I suggested she look at her camera footage and she would know I didn’t go in there. That became my new mantra. “Look at your camera footage before you accuse me.”
By this time, winter was approaching and she began to complain about the room being too cold, the water being too cold, me going into her room and me listening to her phone conversations. As for the last complaint, I went into my bedroom, which is upstairs and right over her bedroom, to change my clothes after dropping food down the front of my shirt. She came up the stairs and demanded I stop listening to her phone conversations. “What are you talking about?” I asked.
She demanded I stop listening to her phone conversations.
“I was on the phone and you went into your room to just hung out and listen to me,” she explained in her whining, complaining voice. What an incredible ego she had. Really? There couldn’t have possibly been another reason I went into my bedroom? She is too old to be an entitled millennial, but that is what she acted like.
I asked her through clenched teeth, “Is your TV on right now?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“Stand in my bedroom and tell me what you hear.” I could not hear her TV in my room, nor could I hear her when she was talking on her phone in her room. She didn’t respond. She gave me a bitch-I-wish-you-would-drop-dead look and left. While she was heading down the stairs, I told her that I refused to sit in a closet and never come out just because she moved in.
She had her mail changed to a post office box because she thought I was reading her mail. She continually complained about me going into her room. She still complained about me listening to her phone conversations. She complained that it was my fault that HER Firestick stopped working because of my wonky internet. (I have no problem with it, whatsoever.)
As a side note, I didn’t promise 5-star accommodations. I distinctly remember promising a bed and a bathroom, kitchen and laundry privileges.
She nearly ruined my washer with using too much fabric softener and when I asked her to not use it again, she did anyway. It took me two days to clean out my washer after she left because the inside of it was covered in a sticky blue sludge that smelled just like her fabric softener. And I was allergic to it. when I did my laundry, inevitably, it coated my clothes. I had places that itched that I really didn’t want to scratch in public. I told her this. She didn’t care.
And then, the day before she left, she once again accused me of going into her room. My patience snapped and I suggested (loudly) that she check her camera footage. I suggested she stop making the accusation because if she asked me five months from now, I would tell her the same thing. “I did not go into her room!” I told her that if I HAD to do into her room for some reason, like the house was on fire, I would text her to let her know. I told her I never wanted to hear that accusation, again. She said, “All I want is peace.” I replied, “Then, stop your paranoid accusations and figure out, once and for all time, that I don’t care what is in your room and I have no burning desire to hang out in there when you are not home. I have a life and none of it includes looking around your bedroom.” My tirade was skillfully sprinkled with a few foul words and much longer than I included in this post.
She moved out the next day.
And after she left, I knew why she didn’t want me in her room and was so freaking paranoid about it. She robbed me blind. She must have had a pile of my things in a corner and she was afraid I would see them. The list of things she stole from me is as follows and in no way complete: sheets for the bed she slept on, 2 brand new pillows, the pulls from the ceiling fan, the light bulbs out of the ceiling fan, the bathroom set of cup, toothbrush holder and soap dish, a walking cane, a blanket I crocheted for her that she was supposed to pay for, another blanket I let her borrow, a 25 gallon plastic tote I let her borrow, a hammer, several screwdrivers, a cordless drill, kitchen utensils, an umbrella, and the key to the front door.
She robbed me blind.
Then she told one of my neighbors, who asked her why she was moving, that I kept going into her room when she wasn’t home and she had camera footage to prove it. That statement made her a liar as well as a thief, because there is no camera footage of me going into her bedroom because I never did.
And I don’t want to even discuss how nasty the bedroom and bathroom was right after she moved.
The Lessons I Learned
I will not invite someone I don’t know to live in my house, again.
And if I ever decide that someone can move into my spare room, they will give me a hefty deposit that I will NOT return until about 30 days after they have left and I have had time to assess anything stolen from me.
I will immediately evict anyone who starts to complain about my house.
I will not renegotiate the rent once it is agreed upon.
I will add $150 non-refundable key deposit and change the lock the same day a new tenant moves out.
Although this year brought about many changes in my life, I have not been slack when it comes to creating. I still have a passion for crochet and other needle crafts. Being stuck at home because of the pandemic has been no hinderance.
For example, I finished a chicken latch-hook rug mostly because I wanted to learn the technique. What I really intend to do is to create a rag rug using old clothing. Just cut the fabric into strips to use instead of using tiny pieces of yarn. The chicken rug was fun to make and I believe the rag rug will be even more so because it will be part of my creative energy. I have not finalized the design for the rag rug, but I will very soon.
I have also completed a commission for a thick, bedspread sized blankie in pearl gray and I have started working on an afghan. I am also nearly finished with a kimono sweater. All of this while working full time in October, November, December, January and February. I am back to part-time for March and April and will working full time again in May and June.
By then, I hope to have some, if not all, of the above mentioned projects completed before full time work begins again.
The time has slipped by me and I realize I failed to write out my yearly manifesto. It is not a yearly resolution, but rather a series of unrelated and disjointed thoughts about life.
Make a list of decorating changes to my home. I want to make it as cozy and comfortable as possible without breaking the bank. This includes ideas for a real Boho look in my bedroom. Lots of color and me surrounded by things I truly love. Originally, a Bohemian was a person who traveled the world and picked up items to bring home for display. Well, I am not a world traveler, but I have a number of interesting collections: Dolls, Japanese fans, seashells, coral, books.
Unclutter. That seems contrary to the whole Boho idea, but what I mean is to unload extraneous items lying about the place. Items I either haven’t used in a couple of years or do not intend to use ever again. Selling them will add a bit a cash to my pocket and lighten the mood around here. Also, donations are good for the heart.
Unclutter my brain. In other words, simplify everything. I want to make my life a easy and simple as possible. In my attempt to unclutter, I will try to not add to the confusion by purchasing additional things I don’t need. (A real problem I have.)
Finish projects started but not completed. These include a rug I hooked for my kitchen, a crocheted valance, a sweater, pillow covers and a Victorian style dress for Barbie. If I continue to think about it, I could find 100 other things, but I don’t want to work that hard this morning.
This look would not go amiss for my bedroom.
So, onto 2021. I hope it will be a very productive year.
I have been neglecting my poor, poor blog for so long.
Several changes occurred in my life and I have discovered that I do not deal well with change. My brother who lived with me died and left me with a helluva mess to clean up. Not just a physical mess in his bedroom and the rest of the house, but the emotional mess, too.
He killed himself. Suicide. Not like putting a gun in his mouth or taking too many drugs. This was a slow alcohol-induced death. Liver failure. And he made me watch. Every day was a slow decline. Almost imperceptible, like when someone is on a diet and gradually looses weight, but doesn’t really notice until someone says, “Dang, you have lost a lot of weight!” He drank until his liver could tolerate no more. He didn’t have the fortitude to quick drinking years ago, when it could have made a difference.
My bother was a coward in every sense of the word. He used alcohol to bolster a personality that was defective. He didn’t want to be a coward, but didn’t know how to overcome. He didn’t try. He hid from his cowardice in a bottle. And he made me watch.
Like many alcoholics, he thought only of himself. He didn’t have room in his pickled brain for thoughts of others. He didn’t care, honestly didn’t care, what happened to the people he left behind. I was closest to him in the end. He burnt all other bridges, systematically, through unbridled selfishness and conceit. He was the only person who knew anything, understood anything or had the right to an opinion.
He picked fights with neighbors, friends, me. In the end, his degenerate behavior netted him nothing but cremation.
I am so angry at him. He killed himself and he made me watch.