Blog Entries, Essay, Writing

Not Quite a Resolution

Every year, about this time of year, I get this idea that I should do something meaningful. Maybe a lot of people do that. New year, new ideas. I don’t really make resolutions. This is more of a PLAN for the year. More precisely, projects I hope to complete.

CHESAPEAKE BAY CROCHET

Overriding everything is getting my online business, Chesapeake Bay Crochet, really moving along. I actually sell more items on eBay, but I don’t plan to close my Etsy store. Also, I am selling items on this blog, by listing my latest projects.

A Corner of My Desk. A Large Part of My LIfe

This will involve creating patterns to sell as well as finished items. I have spent time researching key words and updating my SEO knowledge to be relevant to today.

KEEPING A DIARY

No, I am not thirteen. What I mean is, I have a little pocket size notebook that I intend to take with me everywhere I go. You can get them at Amazon. They are inexpensive and small enough to fit in a purse, backpack or whatever else you carry on a regular basis. This little notebook will be the place where I write down everything: ideas, grocery lists, interesting things, funny things, sketches, things I am thankful for, reminders. One notebook for everything instead of having several locations for all of my stuff. Don’t you just love organization?

READ THE BIBLE EVERYDAY

This is not a new idea for me. This is a plan I make every year. Even if my Bible reading consists on just one or two verses, I will read a portion of the Bible daily. Yes, I am a religious person and I believe in what I read. The Bible is my source of comfort, intelligence, wisdom, ideas, knowledge and belonging. I do not read it just for the sake of running a race or for a sense of accomplishment. Over the years, I feel as if I have read the entire Bible. It doesn’t go like a novel, where you begin on page one and carry on until completion. Depending on the day, I will carefully choose what to read: a song, a prayer, practical wisdom, history, an individual’s story.

Blog Entries, Essay

One Year Ago

One year ago, I was worried about so many things that I cannot even remember, now. That is, not until I got the email from FutureMe.

FutureMe is an email servcie, where you can send an email to yourself, or anyone else, at some point in the future-a day, a week, a year, longer. I used to think it was a cool idea, but now, it is a reminder of what I did not accomplish.

I didn’t:
*Lose a bunch of weight
*Read the Bible every day
*Pray every day
*Get my finances on a better track
*Exercise regularly

Maybe, I don’t have to accomplish anything at this stage of my life. Maybe, my life is good enough right now. Maybe, some of those goals are unrealistic. Truth is, I am pretty satisfied with the way things are. The major change I would make is lowering my stress level, which is, I am very sad to say, sky high. There is a single person responsible for that. Or rather I should say that the person I stress about is not going to change what he is doing and in reality, I am responsible for my own level of stress.

So why do I worry about him so much? He has no one else to worry about him. Not really. I worry that he will die and I certainly don’t want that. I worry that he will not get better from his sickness that has been going on for nearly 3 months and he refuses to go to a doctor. Why? Because he says that anyone on earth can look at his medical records and there is a “libatard” (the term he stole from someone else for a liberal retard)–likely the janitor at the doctor’s office–that will take that information and use it against him to have him declared a menace to society and they will take away his right to buy a gun or own a knife.

I say, “That is the craziest thing I have heard in my life…”

“Just you wait and see! It will happen,” says he, interrupting.

I respond, “Like it or not, you are not that important in the grand scheme of things. Neither am I. We are both merely drops in the ocean of nearly 8 billion people. No one is going to look at your medical records to see if you went to the doctor to cure nausea.”

“That kind of thinking will get you in trouble with it all goes down. Stick your head in the sand like everyone else.” He walks away to end the discussion.

I went on vacation to see new faces and to talk to new people and to get a fresh presepctive. I took the problem with me. It seems as if all I could talk about was him, my brother. I realized that I cannot hide from stress. So, a new year and a new resolution: REDUCE STRESS

crochet

My Next Project

I am still very busy making new items to sell here, on Facebook and on my ETSY Page. Everyday, I crochet, update blogs and websites and think about what I will work on next.

I have perfected my fingerless mitten pattern. For now, this image is of my fingerless mittens Mirasol Sisa Yarn in Stardust which is 60% lambs wool and 40% alpaca in the first stage: The Basic Mitten.

Fingerless Mittens INCOMPLETE
crochet

Fingerless Gloves

My creation is completed. As with any new crochet project, there are issues that must be resolved before I can offer the pattern for sale: Tweaks in wording and verifying that I didn’t miss a step.

These gloves were made with scrap yarn, so I am working on the real thing now, with real yarn purchased for the specific purpose of creating a pair of PERFECT fingerless glove. Well, as near perfect as I can make them.

I am not a machine. There may always be variations in stitches, or tiny imperfections that add to the overall beauty of the project. Anyway, enjoy the next step in my crochet creation project.

I used Red Heart Soft Yarn in cherry red, Patons Beehive Baby Sport Weight Yarn in Angel White and Susan Bates Silvalume crochet hooks size G and H

Fingerless Gloves in RED AND WHITE
Uncategorized

Creativity

Creativity means different things to every individual.  For me, creativity is the act of CREATING something, using just the power of my not-inconsiderable brain.

cre·a·tiv·i·ty
/ˌkrēāˈtivədē/
noun
  1. the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

I have wasted many, many hours scouring the Internet for crochet patterns to match the vision I have in my head of items I want to produce.  What a load of rubbish!  What I mean is, I am working really hard to reinvent the wheel.  Why would anyone want to do that?

I have created my own patterns for crocheted items previously. Click here and here for examples of patterns available for digital download through my Etsy Store.

So, I am now working on a pattern for fingerless gloves, or more precisely, fingerless mittens because there is a thumb hole, but not individual holes for fingers.  I have ripped out stitch after stitch in an effort to create my patterns.

This it the first half of a pair of mittens:

IMG-2991
Fingerless Mittens Stage One

Yeah, I know what you’re saying.  It doesn’t look like a glove or a mitten or anything else recognizable.  Well, maybe half of an orangutan mitten, but why would anyone want to put mittens on an orangutan?

I agree.  Stay tuned of the next iteration of my invention!
crochet

I Have Been Very Busy

I have been working feverishly to create items for my online store that can be found here and here.  I have sold several items on ebay recently and have even sold some items directly to interested individuals.

The key was finding what people wanted to buy and not concentrating on what I wanted to make.

Also, price control has become an issue for me.  If it is priced too high, no one wants it, even if the item is hand-made.  If it is priced too low, then the entire market for hand-made crafts is diluted.

Pictured are Fingerless Gloves/Wrist Warmer Steampunk or Boho Style: Red with black ruffle trim and large vintage buttons, Fingerless Gloves/Wrist Warmer Steampunk or Boho Style: Blue chenille, lace trimmed with vintage white/rhinestone buttons, Ear Warmer in shades of teal and gray, and an Ear Warmer in shades of light gray with a large crocheted flower.

All of the items are hand-crocheted by me and listed for sale on the internet.

Blog Entries, Road of Change, Writing

Excuses, Excuses

Okay.  So here’s what’s been going on in my life that has rendered me unable to post another chapter of my novel…

First, I sneezed a couple of times uh… caught a summer cold  uh… came down with pneumonia and then spent a couple of days, no weeks, months under the weather…

Okay, here is the real story:  An airplane fell from the sky and crashed through my office window completely destroying my laptop, my tablet, my phone, my empty journals, all my pens, a typewriter and lots of light bulbs.  Oddly enough.  *notices no one is believing that story, either. *

Fine.  You win!

I HAVE WRITER’S BLOCK!  ARE YOU HAPPY, NOW?  ARE YOU HAPPY YOU MADE ME SAY IT?  (Dramatically illustrated by the typewriter with a blank sheet of paper and a notebook with pristine white pages in the photo below

elijah-o-donell-760367-unsplash
Photo by Elijah O’Donell on Unsplash

It’s just that outside is so beautiful with the bright sunshine, the pretty flowers, the brilliant green grass, the summer breezes.  Who wants to write, expressing the darker innermost thoughts of a couple in the midst of a tragedy in their marriage when the sky is so blue?  Who wants to dwell on such deep negative thoughts and ideas (even though I know how the story ends) when the house finches and chickadees are clustered around the bird feeder, feasting on the seeds I gave them?  How can the world be horrible when the tomatoes are changing from bright green to bright red even as I write?

I will wait for a rain storm or an earthquake in a faraway place or the darkness that come right before the dawn to write another chapter in my novel: The Road of Change.

In the meantime, patience, dear readers.

 

Road of Change

Road of Change: Santa Fe to Arizona

The next morning after a hearty breakfast, we set off without too much fanfare.  We said most of our goodbyes the previous evening. As we loaded up the car, I half expected Snow to jump into the car with us, but she stayed glued to Barbara’s thigh on the chaise lounge.  I ruffled the fur on her head and kissed her fuzzy face, promising to see her in a few weeks when we got back home. She wagged her tail and gave me a little yippy bark, which I assumed meant “See you later.”

Matt made sure we had plenty of water and snacks that don’t melt in the heat.  I assured him the Road Service provided by the car company was in working order.  He reminded me to start looking for a gas station as soon as my tank was down to half.  One last kiss for Matt and Barbara and we set off for Phoenix.

I drove the first leg of the journey.  It is my car, after all. Chris spent time looking over the owner’s manual on my phone.  He played with the satellite radio and found a jazz station he liked. He adjusted the passenger seat until it was what he called the “perfect comfy,” for him. He set the memory for his seat preference. He played with the AC vents, the windows, and the internet settings on the display between the seats.  Finally, he announced, “The only way this car could be any better is if it drove itself.”

“Well, it does.  It lets you know when you are straying out of your lane and it has that automatic system that slams on brakes if you get too close to an object in front of you.”

“Not to mention cruise control,” Chris added.

“All the toys are included,”  I reminded him.

Then, Chris asked,  “You want to take a side trip to the Grand Canyon?  I have never seen it.”

“Me, either.  Yes, let’s.” Chris entered the new information into the GPS. “So, it says 7 hours to the Canyon.  We’ll have to get a hotel. Let me see if we can get some reservations.”

While I drove, Chris searched the internet.  He made calls to four places before he finally announced, “Okay, we have reservations at the Grand Hotel which is about 6 miles from the state park entrance.  I guess you heard that I got us one room.”

“I heard,” I said and made no further comments.  I just agreed to spend tonight and every night for the rest of the trip with my husband.  I hoped it wasn’t a bad idea.

We stopped at the You-Are-Entering-Arizona sign to take the selfie.  For the first time, Chris and I did a proper selfie, heads close together, smiling with the Arizona sign behind us.  I emailed it to Mr. Cartwright, Lily, to my sister and to Barbara and Matt.

We stopped at fast food restaurant on the interstate and both of us got a salad for lunch.  We shared one hamburger and did not order fries. As we approached the car Chris said, “Can I drive?  Please, please, please.” He looked about fifteen years old, so I said, “Sure. It will give me a chance to play with all the gadgets on my car.”

“I really like the color, by the way,” Chris said.

“Thank you.  So do I.”

           In a repeat of Chris’s investigations, I played with the satellite radio, the AC vents, the GPS, the seat settings and anything else within reach.  I called the car’s concierge and a friendly lady answered the phone. “Hello, Mrs. Archer. My name is Amy. What can I help you with, today?”

“Amy, what is a good restaurant for dinner near the Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon?”

“Do you prefer casual dining or something more upscale?” Amy asked.

“Upscale.”

“I have two choices for you.  El Tovar is more upscale and the Coronado Room is a little less so.”  She gave me details on both and the asked if I wanted to make reservations at either.  I selected El Tovar and she asked me to hold. Within three minutes she came back and announced we had dinner reservations for 10:00 PM.  She asked if there was anything else she could do and I told her no.

“Oh, my gosh,”  I said to Chris.  “Unbelievable fun. Amy is like a personal assistant.”

Chris laughed at my enthusiasm.

We arrived at the Grand Canyon just before dusk and watched the sun go down over the distant horizon.  The stars popped out and gave us a view of the sky I had never seen before. A man standing next to us told his lady friend, “You don’t get a lot of light pollution, so you can see more stars.”  He kissed her and they walked away arm in arm.

My view of the canyon was limited and my imagination filled in a lot of the blanks.  I wondered if seeing it in the daylight would live up to my expectations.

Chris and I got back into the car and drove to the restaurant in silence.  I almost felt like I was leaving a part of me behind on the rim of the canyon.

We were seated immediately when we arrived at the restaurant and ate dinner in near silence, eat of us only talking when necessary.  

Back at the hotel, Chris went into the bathroom and got ready for bed.  I took my turn, putting on my pajamas, brushing my teeth and my hair. Chris waited for me, sitting on the edge of the bed.

“You were deep in thought at dinner,” Chris prompted.

I sat beside him on the bed.  “I thought about the canyon and how I felt very small, but still a significant part of the whole universe at the same time.  Humbling. Also, I desperately miss Lily and Snow. I didn’t really mind leaving Snow with Barbara, but it is almost like another part of my family is gone from me; like I have no one left.”

“You still have me,” Chris said, quietly.

Did I really?  How could I trust what he said.  He told me he broke up with Kathy and that is definitely a step in the right direction.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that his affair was my fault. Not because I was older or bigger, but because I neglected my husband.

“There is something else bothering you, isn’t there?”

“Yes,” I said.  “But I don’t want to tell you what it is, yet.”  I blew out a sigh. “Chris, I love your singing voice.”

Chris’s eyes grew wider. “I didn’t know you ever heard me sing.”

“You do, mostly when you think no one is listening.  You sing show tunes, like that one for South Pacific.”

“Lillian loved show tunes.  I was raised on Oscar and Hammerstein.”  He paused and said, “Anne, you have done a remarkable job of holding this family together.  I wasn’t there for you to share you grief over losing our son. I was too busy feeling sorry for myself. I didn’t stop to think that grief doesn’t end for you on the day of the funeral.  It didn’t stop for me, then. I guess I didn’t take time to consider that you would be feeling the same way.” He paused for several moments and I thought he was finished talking. But then, “Snow will be back with us when this trip is through and so will Lily.  We are still a family, even though a separation from all of them for a short time was necessary.” He ended with, “I love your cute curls.” To prove his point, he gathered a handful of my hair and kissed it.

I got up to walk around to the other side of the bed and Chris sang in his glorious baritone, “‘Once you have found her, never let her go.  Once you have found her, never… let… her… go.”

arizona-welcome-signs