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?

 

Advertisements

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

 

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 cut yarn.

 

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! 😉

Good-bye, Summer. See you next year!

For many knitters and crocheters in the northern hemisphere, September 22 is an auspicious date.  Having taken a hiatus from the beloved craft because of the heat, September usually brings cooler temps, for some, only slightly, but it’s enough.  Out come the hooks, the needles, patterns and yarn, and the crafting season is on!

https://people.com/home/fall-equinox-2018-everything-to-know/

I found this particularly cool crochet hat pattern while perusing Pinterest – of course!  Originally designed in conjunction with Lion Brand yarns, Jennifer created this pattern for a Stomp Out Bullying campaign.  I found it a bit too late to contribute, but I still had to make it.  This is for a good cause, and even if we can’t send the hats in on time, we can sure spread some love.

Meanwhile, some lucky child of my friends’ will be getting this hat!

See you in the funny pages!

Holy Flercking Schnit!

I am pleased to announce that my knitting and crochet themed graphic designs are now available on Amazon!  I’m stoked!  I don’t know how hard their initial vetting process is, but, hey – I’m trying not to overthink that.  I want to believe this is an achievement.  LOL!

One of my designs on Amazon

There are only two designs available right now, and I can upload only 10 designs a day.  They do review the individual items carefully, because the first design I uploaded, I used the the phrase “guaranteed to bring a smile” in the description, and it was immediately denied.  I fixed it up, and re-sent it, where it took about 12 hours for them to review and pass it.

If you feel you don’t have enough t-shirts that proclaim your crafting obsession, check out my store.  The picture above is a link.  If you’re not personally interested, but think someone else would be, please pass this info along!

Meanwhile…

“Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.” René Descarte

If you read my blog with regularity, you know that I am caught in the machinations of trying to open a local yarn business.  My biggest hurdle?  Lack of confidence – and for once, it’s not a lack in myself.  I did an exercise in Google maps a few weeks ago to help me get a grasp on where my customers would be, literally, in relation to the brick and mortar location.  I was not impressed.  I used zip code information and got the population from there.  All in all, it was a dismal showing.  Maybe that’s why there isn’t one in town already.  I don’t know.  With approximately 70% of the store fronts in town empty, it can be hard to justify opening a niche shop and making it work.

So…I’m juggling a little.  Make that a lot.  My internet savvy cousin, Nancy, told me to build an online presence first, then open the lys after you can make ends meet that way.  Such pragmatism and great genes in one package!  I feel like Veruca Salt from Roald Dahl’s creation “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the subsequent movie “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” when she’s singing I want it now! https://youtu.be/2zcVnNwAHys

 

 

Waiting for the fire

North fire California

This was the scene I came home to after running errands all day. (Courtesy of theunion.com)

Here in the Sierra mountains our summers are punctuated with short jabs of fear when we get a whiff of acrid smoke and wonder…is it a fire?  Or when  we see these huge, rapidly growing clouds that don’t have anything to do with rain.  Fire.  Our homeowners insurance premiums are outrageous, and many of our neighbors have had theirs cut off since their companies won’t cover them anymore because of where we live.  It’s considered high risk.  Every time I get a letter from our agent, my heart beats a little faster as I wonder if this is our termination notification.  Finding replacement insurance has become difficult, and tales of annual premiums reaching $5,000 have circulated around for a few years.  For some people, that means they’ve had to sell their homes.

Welcome to Northern California.

My husband and I had ran errands all day long, and as we crested the last hill on I-80 next to our exit, I noticed a cloud.  I knew it was closer to our us than I was comfortable with.  I also knew I had to get home so I could check the status.  Before reaching my computer, I got a call from a friend, telling me where it was.  She said 25 miles, but she’s further down the road than I am.  For me, that was only 16 miles.  10 minutes later, we were compiling an evacuation list, and gathering critical documents, where they still sit on the dining room table.  My camera is packed and contractor bags are placed strategically around the house, copies of the list next to them.

North fire California 2018

Another view. (Courtesy of sacramento.cbslocal.com)

The fire is not currently threatening any property, but it also isn’t contained and these buggers can easily get out of hand.  It will be a long week, and hopefully, no one gets hurt. Good wishes, prayers – all are welcome!

See you in the funny pages.