Snow Day and a Freebie

So far this year, my entries have been a bit on the dark side; the post about my daughter, absolutely harrowing. This time, I promise, I’ll focus on something else. Nevermind the title, I like snow…unless I have to shovel it. So that’s what I’m going to do. Post pictures of the snow.

Snowy trees line my driveway
Guess who’s shoveling this snow….?
Tulips peeking through the snow
Taken from my front porch
I really liked the gate
A little subtle HDR action

Looking up

And just in time, the freebie! A simple Rolled Brim Slouchy pattern. There is a little shaping to the hat, it’s not just a tube, and I should have possibly made it a bit longer to get more of a slouch, but, oh, well. I still like it, and hope you do too. Enjoy!

Advertisements

Closure

On January 26th, the small town of Colfax lost part of its soul. A perennial favorite of the locals and hungry travelers on I-80 for seven years, Cafe Luna closed its doors for the last time.

It was the sopas with carnitas that hooked me. The very first time I ate at the cafe in 2015, it was located on Depot Street, in a hole in the wall. Well…an even smaller hole in the wall. Mario’s music was playing, Lauren was still nursing Lola, the vibe was super cool and casual, the food was great. What more could a customer want? For those of us who were regulars, it was as comfortable as hanging out at a friend’s house. We got excited when the back of the building was opened up for more seating options – (yay!); we counted the days as Lauren waddled around, working right up to her due date with Mael, who then became the town baby; we watched in dismay as the news of their separation and divorce ultimately became public knowledge.

But life goes on, and Mario continued the business, experimenting with different ideas. Some of them were hits, some were misses. He was just about to re-open the back after a massive redo to what was surely going to be a hit when he discovered his lease wasn’t being renewed.

Moving, no matter how well planned, is generally a messy endeavor. Locating another site for your business can be tiresome, very expensive and usually requires lots of time. The new owner of the building, for whatever personal or business reasons, gave Mario three months to vacate; Mario chose to end it after one month.

The last business day, Saturday, I ordered a favorite of mine. I would have liked to order the whole menu so I could make the savory goodness last…but it wouldn’t have. The food was always made with fresh ingredients and wouldn’t have kept well. Instead, I ate it slowly, trying to remember the textures, tastes and smell.

Monday rolled around and I was back at the cafe with my camera to take pics for Mario on a different project, so I snapped a few while there of the progress being made. All the little knick-knacks that made the place so homey were packed up, the walls were uncharacteristically bare, and an empty McDonald’s bag sat on a table, a telling sight in this room. The cooler that normally held the drinks and salsa and other condiments was turned off, no happy music came from the kitchen where Mario normally spent his work day. It was, after all, just a place with four walls, a roof and a floor.

I have asked Mario several times if he plans to continue looking for another local site. His response is general and vague, and he assures me if something good comes up, he’ll pursue it, but for now, he’ll be working at Dine ‘n Dash.

So ends that chapter of Cafe Luna on 38 N. Main Street. We will miss you.

Curses and Blessings

In and out of consciousness – don’t ask why I was taking pics at a time like this!

On New Year’s Eve, a night traditionally reserved for revelry, reflection and resolutions, I sat in the emergency room, feeling utterly helpless, watching my daughter slowly lose consciousness while struggling to breathe.  Puzzled because she wasn’t running a fever, the nurses ran a battery of tests on her after asking a slew of questions to which we (I) responded “no”.  Their initial assessment was a massive infection, but blood work wasn’t backing that up.  They were just about to check for a pulmonary embolism when I mentioned her weight loss.

If, dear reader, you remember a post from a year back, I mentioned that I was losing weight, which I have, and all that entailed.  My daughter took the opportunity to lose weight with me.  She lost weight by cutting back on her sugars, carbs and portions and seemed to be doing fine, except the last month or so, she was looking too skinny.  Everyone was asking if she was eating enough and she assured all and sundry she was – multiple times.  In fact, her answers were getting harsh and snippy because she was starting to feel badgered.  As part of her dietary effort, she’d increased her water intake some time back, so no one was alarmed by the gallon of water, sometimes more, she was drinking every day.  If I had written all these signs on paper and looked at it, I would have insisted she see a doctor.  As it was, and happens so often when you’re too close to a situation, we had no idea.

Wonderful ICU nurses
Some relief found here…

I’m sure most of you have guessed by now the diagnosis the nurses and doctors came up with: diabetic ketoacidosis as a result of uncontrolled diabetes.  Type I or II is yet to be determined. For her sake, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Type II because I’ve heard it’s more easy to control.  What really freaked me out was the how?  Diabetes doesn’t run in our family.  It doesn’t fit in with the information I’ve received all my life.  This was totally unexpected.  I thought it was possibly asthma exacerbated by allergies or a collapsed lung, but diabetes?

Several days have passed since I first started this post.  She was released Friday, whereupon we proceeded to a restaurant that we knew would have acceptable food, and the onerous maintenance and forethought that is part and parcel of her condition kicked in.  I’ve been on diets before, and I actually worked at Jenny Craig in the mid ’90s, so I understand portion control and exchanges, but instead of being focused on caloric intake, she has to carefully monitor her sugar levels and understand the relationship between carbs and metabolism.  Since she’s my daughter, she already knew about this because her mother is a quasi hypochondriac wannabe nurse/doctor who was raised by a medical transcriptionist who listened to doctors dictating patients’ case histories all day long.  *pauses, takes a deep breath*  In other words, I know just enough to be dangerous.    

Life goes on, but for my daughter, it almost didn’t.  Do I have a new appreciation for her? for life in general?  I would like to think so.

How was your New Year’s?

Two Days Without My Cell Phone, or: I’ve got to change my ways

As a vendor in the midst of the holiday crafts fair whirl, sometimes a person can just…lose it.  And by lose it, I mean totally air out on where the single most important communication device I own is misplaced.

It was 5:07 pm Saturday evening when it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was wondering why I hadn’t heard my musical alarm that I have set for 4:30 from Thursdays to Saturdays to remind me I have to make a phone call to one of my clients.  I was so far gone in working on some pattern revisions that I had lost track of, not only time, but my cell phone.  That’s when I realized I’d left it in my husband’s car; my husband who had just gone to work; who works for the railroad and is gone for days at a time.

gabriel-matula-300398-unsplash

I panicked.  I tried to hook up my tablet for phone use, but since my cell phone wasn’t nearby, it couldn’t be activated.  Didn’t used to work that way.  I remember leaving my phone at a smog inspection station several years ago, and I was able to use my tablet as an emergency phone.  What’s up with that, AT&T?  Basically, I was dead in the water.

I happen to be of a certain generation that was raised when telephones were hard-wired to the wall with thick cables, connected to a terminal somewhere in the distance, protected by miles of conduits.  There was no way to turn it off when you didn’t want to be bothered.  If you were taking a shower and heard the phone ring, you jumped out, grabbed a towel (or not), hastily wrapped it around your body to cover your shame and ran to wherever it was located to answer it.  Same applied when you were taking a nap – you answered that phone, because you had no idea who was on the other end.

When you left your house, you left your ability to be contacted.  No message machines, no call history, no pagers.  You were incommunicado – and it was all right.  It felt like freedom, knowing you couldn’t be reached.

Fast forward to December 2018, and the loss of the use of the phone feels like losing a limb…or at least, how I would imagine I would feel losing a limb!  And it didn’t make sense.  Virtually all the programs that I accessed on my phone I could easily manage from my laptop…except, of course, the phone.  I didn’t even go anywhere on Sunday, because…you never know when you’ll need your cell, the biggest being, what if I got into an accident?  Since when did it become so freakin’ important to have this device?  Maybe because, like most of us, I no longer have a landline.  I don’t know.  I find it disturbing.

What can I do about it?  Maybe I should disconnect on a regular basis.  Let everyone know beforehand, and just turn the damn thing off.  Actually go out and about and leave it at home like we used to do.  See how that feels.  Naw….I’ll probably continue on as I have been, intertwining my life with devices and apps and games and programs in such a way that it becomes difficult to function otherwise.  *sigh*

So, how was your weekend?

 

Adieu, adieu, parting is such sweet sorrow – NOT!

As I pack up my minivan for the last show of the season, I am loathe to admit that, yes, I am glad that it’s over, and yes, I’ll be doing it again!  I went all out this year, purchasing a canopy, lights to illuminate my wares for night time shows, a cool pink chair that has a lot of gee-gaws, including a fold out side area for my lunch, electronics, etc.  I am pleased to say that my endeavors were able to cover the costs of the purchases I felt necessary, even though the money earned managed to disappear in the general household fund.  How does that happen?

Anyway, with all this industriousness, I was able to write up a few of my own patterns and will be sharing them as soon as I can.  The first one I have is very popular and doesn’t stay around long.

 

California Little Quail Messy Bun Hat

California Little Quail Messy Bun Hat

I named this hat after the California Quail because it’s little curved crest reminded me of the bobble stitches on the hat.

This pattern is worked in rounds with joins.  When joining, sl st to the first st, and work first st in the new round in this spot.  Here is a link for the method.  It reduces the gaps when joining, giving the finished work a much neater look.

Abbreviations:

Yo = yarn over

Ch = chain

St(s) = stitch(es)

BLO = back loops only

Sc = single crochet

Dc = double crochet

Tr = treble crochet

FPSC = work single crochet in the post of the stitch directly below from the front

FPDC = work double crochet in the post of the stitch directly  below from the front

Materials:

1 skein worsted weight yarn

Crochet hook size I or 5.5 mm

Definitions:

Bobble stitch: work tr EXCEPT leave the last two loops on hook; yo twice, and repeat, leaving three loops on hook; yo twice, and repeat.  There should be four loops on hook; yo, draw through all the loops.

With I hook (5.5 mm), ch 20, join with sl st to first ch to make a circle.

Round 1:  ch 1, 24 sc into the circle.  Ensure the sts are lined up so as not to twist them; join

Round 2:  ch 2, dc in each st = 24 dc

Round 3:  ch 2, *2 dc in first st, dc in next st* around, join = 36 dc

Round 4:  ch2, *2 dc in first st, dc in next 3 sts* around, join = 45 dc

Round 5:  ch 2, *2dc in first st, dc in next 5 sts* around, dc in last 2 sts, join =  53 dc

Round 6:  ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row

Round 7:  Working in the back round of sts, ch 2, *work 2 dc in first st, dc in next 6 sts* around, dc in last 3 sts (the last st will be half hidden because of the unusual join at the beginning of the round – don’t despair, it’s there!), join = 61 sts

Round 8:  ch1, sc in BLO around, inc. 3 sts evenly, join =  64 sts

Round 9:  ch 3,*Bobble stitch, 3 sc* around, join with chain on top of first bobble cluster

Round 10:  ch 2 , dc in same st as the join, dc around, join

Round 11:  ch 2, FPDC around, join

Round 12:  ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row

Round 13:   Working in the back round of sts, ch 2, dc around, join

Round 14:  ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row

Round 15:  Working in the back round of sts, ch 1, sc around, join

Round 16:  repeat round 9

Round 17:  repeat round 10

Round 18:  repeat round 11

Round 19:  repeat round 12

Round 20:  Working in the back round of sts, ch 1, sc in BLO around, join

Round 21:  ch 2, dc in BLO around, join and end off.

Optional earflap extension variation:

Row 1:  Using last round as reference, DO NOT CUT YARN.  ch 2, turn, hdc 30 BLO.  Check at this point for position and comfort; if you need to go further, add a few sts at a time, if less, remove a few sts at a time.  If more length is needed, repeat the row as you see fit.  If you like what you see, follow next step.

Finishing:  sl st into next st, turn, sl st across the row plus one.  End off.  This should round out the squared edges and give the hat a less “home made” look!

Work in any ends, tuck your hair up and enjoy!

Goofing around

 

 

Xanax and Funny Yarn Memes

I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling a bit down I find a good laugh helps a lot.  I understand this sentiment is shared by virtually everyone, but the last several days, I’ve rediscovered just how true that is.  I finally had to give up the ghost on my old Xanax stash as it had been prescribed back in 2007.   Aware of the addicting properties of the drug, I’ve always been very careful how I took them.  Even with the current opioid hyper-awareness – scare – witch hunt – what-the-fuck-ever! my doctor prescribed me several to help me get over a few things in my life.  He said that opioid addiction was one of the things he wasn’t worried about with me.  I definitely wasn’t on my toes, because normally I would have responded with, “So what does worry you?” *sigh* Most likely, it was a good thing I didn’t pursue that.  Anyway, he’s a good doc and also a good chat, because he made me laugh during the course of our visit, and when I did, I literally felt some tension go away.  Nothing in the world like that, so I thought I’d throw in some funny yarn memes to help spread the goodness!

Teehee.....

My Life!!

I can crochet, but I don't want to make things for you!

But I will teach you how!!!

Nittin' Ninja

Soooo me!!!

Nittin' Ninja party-style

Let’s not forget Saturday nights, y’all!

Nittin' Ninja

Ouch!

Nittin' Ninja

hahahaha! I hear the two crafts mistaken constantly! I have to bite my tongue in order not to blurt out their conversational faux pas!

Nittin' Ninja

Oh, yea. House looks like a hurricane AND an earthquake hit it, but wait – this hat is not going to finish itself!

Nittin' Ninja

Only when we’re into the three digit projects!

Pulse. Wow!

A few of you who follow me may be aware of my photography sideline, in a peripheral sort of way!  I used to be a professional photographer, but every time I got a good rhythm going with business and clients, we always seemed to be moving.  That meant every time we relocated, it was back to square one.  Several moves ago, I gave up.  In a fit of pique (meltdown combined with a sense of despair), I donated all my backdrops, studio lighting, and a bunch of other costly photo equipment.  I was done.

My advice to anyone who feels that way – don’t do it!  A year after the great purge, I found myself really missing all those costly items that were tossed away like so much detritus.  Do I want to return to professional photography?  Nowadays, it’s not so much a matter of want, but more like a matter of “can’t”.  My eyes are doing that thing called presbyopia (you’ll learn when you get there, if you haven’t already) and it really bites.  I imagine I could continue to take pictures, but I find myself more and more at the mercy of automation, especially when it comes to the focus feature on the camera.  I don’t like losing that control.  So, as of the last five years, my photography has been more personal or commercial stock photography of items.

Do I still buy gee-gaws for my old Nikon D-90?  Nope.  I get by with what I have right now, that is, until you see this on Kickstarter…

I’m a big fan of low-light assists and remote control.  I may have to climb a mountain or go hiking to get that special selfie!!!  And yes, they have my email to let me know when it’s ready for retail sales.  Can’t wait!

Have you photo hounds found any new technology that’s fun?  Let me know! 😉