A yarn crime….almost

Hey folks! It’s been a minute….I have no excuses.  So I do still see yarn crimes out and about and of course on the ‘net. Items with pompoms are serial offenders I have to say…..

I saw this just moments ago, but it’s so flippin’ cute, it transcends the criminal nature of the offense IMO. Here ya go!

If you have a dog (or perhaps some other pet/offspring…a POMeranian?!?) willing to wear this, here’s a link where you can get the pattern:


My intention is to post more frequently but less wordily. Maybe that’ll help. 🙂  Love to hear from you in ze comments.

Linen sheets to lie on…….

Flax plants in bloom

Been awhile. How’ve you been?  I think of you often. 🙂

Katherine Tilton has done a lovely guest post on Marcy Tilton’s website about making linen sheets. This is so serendipitous for me because I had just finished a linen flat sheet for our bed a few days ago, and am planning to make the fitted sheet this week.  Katherine has really laid it out so clearly what to do – I’m definitely gonna follow her guidance.  But…I have a wee problem. Ok it’s not a big problem or even a real problem; it’s a 1st world problem like……

One of my lifelong pet peeves has to do with putting the fitted sheet on the bed. It’s not my favorite chore, I have short little T-Rex arms which makes it more challenging for me than for other people who live with me. Countless times I thought I had the sheet oriented properly to the mattress and I have gotten 2 corners on the mattress, only to find that, NOPE! I don’t have it oriented properly and have to start over. This frustrates me too much!  I overreact to this….and it’s silly. Really, it’s such a small thing – why let it upset me so?

Tantrum GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


So I’ve been thinking about what to do and a solution came to me IN A DREAM. I kid you not.  It’s simple, it takes longer to write it out than to show it and here it is:

I will put ribbon tags in 2 colors in the corner seams near the hem and they’ll show a little bit on the right side.  I’ll be using lavender and grey ribbon b/c those are what I have on hand.  Here’s my lousy diagram A:

And so here’s how the colors will be placed (lousy diagram B):

So if I’m putting on the sheet facing either long side, I’ll know that the sheet is properly oriented if I have 2 corners with tabs of the same color. If I’m facing a short side – top or bottom, it doesn’t matter – if I have corners with tabs of different colors, the sheet will be properly oriented.


These tabs will take me maybe 15 minutes of sewing time to do, but they’ll save me so much frustration……I may do this with all my sheets. 🙂


So by this time next week, I’ll be sleeping on my fitted linen sheet and under my linen flat sheet for about 20% of the cost. Don’t EVEN get me started on the pillowcase neurosis……..!

Flax fiber in various stages of preparation for spinning


If you’re a glutton for punishment, enjoy silly animated GIFs and you’d like to know the whole nine yards about this linen sheet thing (and yes it has really been a THING for me), read on for the backstory. (more…)

Multi-day Music Challenge (long post)

One of my longest friendships in life is with Tina K. and I love all the stuff she posts on Facebook. She LOVES to go to concerts and she has been to more than probably anyone else I know (pssst – that’s a LOT!!!!!!).

She’s been posting these every day on FB, and since I will forget to do this every day PLUS I’m procrastinating (who wants to do what actually has to get done today?), why not write a blog post about it?

A bit of a warning – my taste is eclectic….. I could do a bunch of these using themes…… favorite songwriters only, foreign language, heavy metal, folk music, the 1970’s…..I’ll save that for another procrastination day.

A song with a color in the title

Absolutely no contest with this one. 2 versions – original and SuperBowl


A song with a number in it

There are so many…..but I simply adore this song and have since I was a kid.


Still alive

Sorry no blogging in so long. Been insanely-busy.

Hope everyone is well and happy. I still have loads to write about, but just have no time….nope not even for Pinterest, Ravelry or Facebook – 3 of my online faves/go-to’s. Oh well, it’s good to be useful. See all y’all later.

Let’s talk about a “made up” holiday…..

So I was talking with Studmuffin about a week ago about the holidays that are happening now, and he said something about Kwanzaa that I have heard many people say – something about how it’s a “made up holiday”…


I won’t go into all of the parts that offend me about that statement, and I don’t wanna go into a full on rant here, but there are a few points about holidays I really would like to bring up.

  1. The biggest holiday in the world EVER is MADE UP.
  2. What do you think Jesus might say about the principles of Kwanzaa?

So for point #1 – the biggest holiday that has ever been celebrated is Christmas*. I wish to be clear: Jesus certainly was born and it absolutely was a miracle and I love celebrating the Birth of Christ. I revere Jesus so greatly – I cannot even find the words to express my love for Him.


a.) It is quite clear that Jesus was not born on December 25th or on January 7th; the date and time is not known. The exact year and season is up for debate, but was almost certainly not in the winter. So the date for the world’s biggest holiday ever is MADE UP. **

b.) Many of the most cherished traditions of Christmas have nothing at all to do with the birth of Christ: the lights, the tree, the giving of gifts, the feasting, mistletoe, holly, drummer boys, Yule logs- along with reindeer, sleighs and Santa (more on him below).

c.)  Santa Claus is sorta, kinda related to Saint Nicolas, but most of what  is even said about Saint Nicolas is myth, i.e. MADE UP. ***

Of course the best parts of Christmas are not made up – celebration of the Birth of Christ, peace on earth, goodwill towards men, generosity, family, love – all of that is real and true and so worth celebrating. I look forward to this part of Christmas every year! But all the rest of it is MADE UP.

Coming to my 2nd point: when one mentions the made-up-ness+ of Kwanzaa, why is that the thing that gets mentioned? Is it that we are somehow concerned that a made up holiday – that is not nearly so old, so widespread or very familiar – is somehow conflicting with another made up holiday that is old, widespread & familiar? I don’t get it.

First, let’s take a quick look at Kwanzaa: it began to be celebrated in 1966. It is a week-long celebration held in the United States and in other nations of the African diaspora in the Americas. It was begun – yes, MADE UP – by Dr. Maulana Karenga, who is still living (age 76 in 2017).  It was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study of African traditions and Nguzo Saba, which are the “seven principles of African Heritage” – which Karenga said “is a communitarian African philosophy”. ++


These principles are:

  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.


  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

  • Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.


What part of the 7 principles above do you think Jesus would object to? Unity?

 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”      -John 17:20-23  NIV

How’s about self-determination?

“Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk?  Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing?”

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

                                                                   – 1 Corinthians 9:7, 24 but you should really read the whole chapter…..



OK, let’s look at collective work and responsibility:

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. …Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,  for each one should carry their own load. ”

– Galatians 6:2, 4 & 5


I think you can see where I’m going with this…….I’m no Biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination, and I’m certain those that are could find many, many more quotes from the Bible that uphold these same ideas. I cannot see any conflict at all with the ministry, laws and precepts of Jesus and the principles of Kwanzaa. Goodness knows ALL people on the planet would benefit from these principles.


So I delight in wishing you a Merry (made up) Christmas and a Happy (made up) Kwanzaa!


* Some lists have New Year’s Eve/Day as the biggest and oldest world celebration (like this one- 10 Most Celebrated Annual Holidays Around the World wonderslist.com 2017 (March/April?). However, as all of the world religions each have a different calendar, the date of the beginning of the new year is different than January 1st for a couple of billion people, whereas there are billions of people who celebrate Christmas, whether as a religious holiday or a secular one.

**You can read more here- When was Jesus born? LiveScience.com Jan 30, 2014     And here- Was Jesus born on December 25? United Church of God’  Beyond Today Jan 25, 2011

***You don’t have to take my word for it- Five Myths about St. Nick – Dec. 21, 2017 Washington Post

+ Yes, I just made up that word. 🙂

++ from Wikipedia Kwanzaa

Falling off the “Yarn Diet” wagon

Did anyone hear a loud “THUMP”?  You should have, ‘cos that was me falling off my yarn diet and beginning a binge.

My knitting mojo has been very low for nearly 2 years..but I am thankful it is back! So I have been buying  yarn……which I haven’t done much of for the last 3 or 4 or maybe 5 years.

Aren’t you excited? Actual yarn photos! FYI – all the really good photos are not mine and ganked from the ‘net. Bad photos are mine. Perhaps you’ve already learned this…..


Patons Kroy Sock yarn  in “Woodsie”  3 skeins

It started with this one – Craftsy was having a supply sale some months ago (last April?) and the Force of Nature was home from college. There’s a*long* story about the 1st pair of socks I knitted for the FoN – I may tell it here some other time – but basically, I needed to knit another pair for my progeny, so I asked her if she would choose some yarn and she did. BTW I just finished that pair a few days ago – they are all finished but for photos. Hopefully I will have photos by next week.

Then, in early November, I was poking around Etsy – always a bad idea if one wishes *not* to buy yarn.  Quite some time ago, I knitted a pair of neon colored socks – “retina -searing” bright colors…and I love them. Love love love them. I didn’t have any more neon sock yarn in the stash (well, not in the the near stash…deep stash – maybe there is, but I’m not yet that brave.) So I ordered this skein –


Yes, it really does look like this IRL

Sock yarn, wool/ nylon blend, HeartWarmedStudios in “Black Light Bliss”. I ordered another skein of yarn from another Etsy shop the same day – it arrived only yesterday, so I’ll tell about it later.

While visiting my parents in Virginia at the end of October, I went to Wool Workshop.  It’s a terrific yarn store – if you like yarn, I highly recommend it.  I *knew* I couldn’t go in there and just look, and yet I went in ANYWAY.  What can I say? I am an addict. All my good intentions went right out the window when I saw their Wollmeise – like 40+ skeins of it just right there!  I felt very virtuous in only buying 1 skein of it.


1 skein of Twin in Wasseratz (the blues in my skein are much darker – closer to black)

Once I’d decided to buy some yarn (Wollmeise!!!!)….”In for a penny, in for a pound” I always say.  Just know that it isn’t as if I get ALL the yarn I WANT. If that were true, we wouldn’t be able to pay the MORTGAGE.  No, I only get the ones that I know I will forever regret not buying.  Here they all are:


colorway – #105 – Happy Summer Days

Sea_Turtle_Fiber_Arts_Nighttime_Glam 1

colorway – “Nighttime Glam”


colorway – Born This Way


colorway – maleficent

Yup, all sock yarns and 1 more – a “bucket list” yarn: Quince & co. One of the limited edition indigo yarns!  Not gonna pass this up, no way.


tern in “indigo 3”

An expensive afternoon…but oh so worth it.

In my quest for more neon sock yarn, I thought of Knit Picks. They really have good, good yarns for great prices and I’d like to, while I’m in spend mode, give them some business. Of course I found several things on clearance and other things on sale.


Felici sock yarn – colorway – punch bug; 2 skeins

This one is being discontinued and since I and the Force of Nature *still* play ‘punch buggy’, I HAD to get this 1.


Stroll Tweed in Wellies heather


Palette (fingering weight) – Blue Note Heather – 3 skeins.

I think the 2 above reflect my wish to make more mittens with colorwork.


Alpaca Cloud fingering – colorway- Edmund. This might also be for mittens….

I love their Chroma line – I guess they are Knit Picks version of Noro colorways.  I have at least 2 skeins in different colorways hiding in the stash, but these 2 were ridiculously low priced, so I got them as well.


Chroma fingering – Lake front


Chroma fingering Hollyhock

My birthday is coming up in December and I buy my own present for that (I’ll save you the sturm und drang of how that came to be).  I had been thinking a lot/becoming obsessed with knitting a sweater out of this book-


knit, Swirl! Uniquely Flattering, One Piece, One Seam Swirl Jackets by Sandra McIver (I’ve had the book for 6 years now…..). 

To use the yarn that is used in the book (Mountain Colors mountain goat), for a person of my size, was gonna be a BIG ol’ pile of money- much more than I could afford or justify or have ever spent on yarn in 1 outing. SO, with holiday sales in mind, I started looking on the ‘net.  I wanted something lovely to look at, but also something that was lovely to knit with. My most recent projects’ yarn are kind of crunchy feeling – the yarn blooms and softens when one blocks it after the knitting is done. I know it’s gonna take a while to do this project so I wanted something I looked forward to putting into my hands.

I found several, less expensive yet worthy candidates online….but then I remembered – Small Business Saturday!  Why not got to my LYS ( Fiber Art Work)and see if I could find something I loved, and enough of it to suit me?  Yes, I knew it would cost me more dollars, but I thought I could go a little higher; it’s worth it to me to spend more $ locally for many reasons.

So I got 11 skeins of Malabrigo Rios!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Malabrigo owns my soul. Lovely to knit with, gorgeous colors (really the pictures do not do it justice) and a very good value.


3 skeins of Purple Mystery (my skeins are much darker and muted)


2 skeins – Whale’s Road


1 skein Azul Profundo – my skein is darker and less homogenous in color


1 skein Solis


1 skein Candombe – this colorway varies a GREAT deal depending on the skein, but this photo is close enough.


1 skein Lavanda – another one that varies greatly from skein to skein. Mine is a little lighter in color.


1 skein Sabaduria


1 skein Paris Night. My skein has more black in it than this one.

You’ll have to take my word for it – these all really go together IRL. Yes, it’ll probably be a year before I finish this project – there’s a good bit of garter stitch which I find pretty boring – but hey!  I *love* this yarn and I’ma enjoy this knit I think.

But wait!  There’s MORE yarn!  I was at Hobby Lobby near the end of September and I saw this:


Yup, it’s Red Heart super saver worsted in Parrot.  2 skeins went home with me. Red Heart has definitely upped their game and my yarn lust has overcome my yarn snobbery these days. I already knitted something from this yarn. Hopefully, pictures to come soon.

Finally, I had long admired the self-striping yarns by Berry Colorful Yarnings, and recently on Ravelry, I saw a super beautiful pair of striped socks – with bright, bold colors that drove me to by Berry Colorful Yarnings’ Etsy shop.

OH NO!  She’s closing her shop!!!! Tragedy!  Well, let’s get something….and we’ll eat more beans and rice.

I found a simply gorgeous skein of striping sock yarn in browns – not a color I have much of.  I just had to have it.  I forget now what the delay was – Thanksgiving maybe? – but it arrived yesterday!  Joy! Rapture!

Berry Colorful Yarnings_selfStripingBourbon1

1 skein Saturated Sock in Bourbon Barrel

PLUS a wonderful SURPRISE!

Berry Colorful Yarnings_selfStripingGirlOnFire1

1 FREE skein of self-striping yarn – my skein’s “black” is a very dark green, and there’s more orange…

I was so shocked – friends, this just does not happen! So I wrote to the shop saying that I think I got an extra skein by mistake?  If so, I’ll mail to whomever……..?

But NO!  The shop wrote back and it’s MINE MINE MINE!  Since the colorway wasn’t listed on the label, I went looking through all of her previously sold yarn on her Etsy site and I believe I have “Girl on Fire – Hunger Games series”.

Berry Colorful Yarnings_GirlOnFireinsp

This picture was the inspiration I believe.

Thank you SO MUCH Berry Colorful Yarnings – it was a lovely thing to do. Now back to the yarn diet…..  still I wanna shout from the rooftops:

Hey y’all!  Christmas is now canceled for me ‘cos I gots lotsa yarn!



A post I didn’t want to write

Today, the second of our beloved pair of “Labramatians” died. Miss Natasha has been declining for some time, and when I recently went out of town, I was quite sure she wouldn’t be here when I got back. But she was!

She didn’t like having her picture taken somehow.

For a dog of her size, she was very elderly – about 105 in people years; she lived 15 & a half actual years.  The last 6 months or so, she seemed to be free of the itching/scratching & everything else that went with her parasitic infection (leishmania); I think she outlived the parasite! She was a tough cookie. Her skin healed, her fur mostly grew back in and  she gained weight.

A happy, hot day at the dog park – before leishmania. She’s about 11 years old here.


Anyway, she had mostly stopped eating almost 2 weeks ago and I knew it would be soon that she would leave us.  Studmuffin was feeding her raw ground beef.  Tasha loved chocolate; she used to get into swap packages I received – climbing up on places I didn’t think she could get to & tearing them open with her teeth if they smelled of chocolate. Because it was clear to me she was dying, I fed her as much Halloween candy as she wanted. I’m so glad I did. Tasha seriously loved her food.

She had 2 seizures today. After the first one, I had the Duke of Curl put her on some blankets on the couch; she just loved to lie on the couch, she wasn’t supposed to do it but I often caught her at it. After several hours, she tried to get up/turn over and I helped her. That’s when she had her final seizure. I am so glad I was with her.

Natasha (L) & Boris (R) – at about 8 years old.   I’m so grateful to have been a part of your pack.

We will have dogs again I am sure, but gosh, they leave such a big hole when they go. It will be some time before I am ready again. I am so grateful to have had Miss Tasha & Mr. Boris in my life….. So sad to be writing the end of the Boris & Natasha adventures.

I sure hope, my Tasha, that in your happy hunting grounds, there are UPS trucks for you to chase, raisins & chocolate and garbage for you to eat and Boris is there to endlessly lick your ears.  I miss you already, my brown-eyed girl.

NOPE! I’m not dead…..

So REALLY it’s been too long. I’ve missed you!

There is some knitting happening but no photos as yet – sorry.  Just gonna share with you a thing I’ve just sewn. Again, no actual photos, but it looks a lot like the pattern envelope artwork:

Butterick 5652 View A

Except on me it’s more like this…..Of COURSE this isn’t ME!  I NEVER wear white pants…..

I promise to get somebody to take a few photos of me in the thing, and soon…. Been wanting to make this for a WHILE – certainly I have needed to make myself some clothes for quite some time…..

You can read the whole she-bang, with 5 part harmony and all, over at Sewing Pattern Review – if you are so inclined. But mainly I wanted to let you know that yes, I’m still around and the blog has only been sleeping. I’ll be back with photos…so perhaps soon.

So – what have YOU been doing since last we talked?  TTFN

Edited to add – the photos are up and over at Sewing Pattern review – https://sewing.patternreview.com/review/pattern/139322


A comment that needs to be….

….a blog post. Guess I need to blog more,since I’m writing my long windy comments in response to folks on Facebook.


A friend on Facebook – that I actually know IRL even, posted this link –

Why Do Men Keep Putting Me In The Girlfriend Zone

A fella in the comments used the term “friendzoned” in his comment and indicated his disbelief that the guy is the problem. He went on to say –

I’m a little befuddled that a perfectly normal and very human instinct (being particularly nice to someone we like, and subsequently being distant when we find out they don’t share our emotions), has been turned into this feminist flash point. When did being human become such a terrible thing?

So I responded:

It’s so not about human instincts and it isn’t “perfectly normal” though I acknowledge it may be so very usual to you that you cannot even see it. It could be like the joke where 1 fish says to the other – what’s this ocean everyone keeps talking about?………. It’s completely an outgrowth of the near total objectification of women – which is a characteristic of patriarchal traditions mixed with rape culture. So it isn’t about being human or being terrible.


Ocean? I’ve never seen it…….


I’m gonna try an analogy here – it may not be useful but I’m up for trying. 🙂 Imagine that you’re about 14 years old & you have a brand new video gaming console that’s really expensive and different and special. A lot of people have them in the world but not everybody – maybe you’re the only one in your class in HS, and absolutely everyone – not just 14 year olds – is excited and dying to play your console!


Like this, but WAY cooler with lights and groovy noises and lots of shiny chrome…..

So because you have this thing – let’s call it a Zbox – a good number of your classmates are trying to get close to you so that you’ll invite them to play the Zbox. With one group of kids – that’s all they wanna talk about. Before you had a Zbox, they weren’t interested in you at all, but boy howdy, they are always trying to talk to you about it, and you’re getting pretty tired of this -even though it’s true – the Zbox *is* the coolest thing ever! Another group of kids, who were never interested in you before either, they try a subtler approach. They start hanging out with you, inviting you to their homes or to the movies or to do homework together, and you feel like hey, I’ve got a new group of friends! And that would be groovy except that one day, one of them asks why you’ve never invited them over to play with the Zbox….. perhaps you can see where I’m going with this.


So our Zbox kid – who might really like to share this Zbox with someone else, but perhaps with someone who is interested in an authentic relationship based on digging each other, not centrally focused on the Zbox and access to it – is feeling like there’s no one who gives a damn about them as a person.

For the vast majority of the people without Zboxes – not just the 14 year olds – this group is so focused on getting access to, getting to play the Zbox, that to them, the possession of the Zbox is the single most important aspect to them – by far – about Zbox kid. Not if Zbox kid is a good person, not if Zbox kid writes really funny stories, not if Zbox kid is a genius in economics. And when that circumstance is true, not only does Zbox kid cease to be a whole individual to them; the Zbox kid’s personhood is erased.

The want/need of the non-Zbox-owning group to gain access is deemed so hugely important by them…well, it’s all about them and what they want – not at all about Zbox kid.


See? We’re smiling so we must be your friends….now give us what WE want. What you want DOES NOT MATTER.

This is my own experience with the whole “friendzone” thing. Yup, it’s sexist as hell.

A question of discipline

A Facebook friend has a 14-year-old daughter and her husband, while she was working, took the daughter to see a horror film that was really probably not a good thing for the daughter to see. She was feeling pretty conflicted about it and asked for the opinions of other parents….

An opinion? Why yes I *do* have an opinion!  I know you are simply shocked to learn that…… 🙂


I started writing my response and, well, decided it was way too long for a Facebook post on someone else’s timeline and so moved my reply here.

I did my very best to keep my kids away from things that I thought would harm them. When our oldest son was a toddler, my husband was out of work and so during the day, while at home with our child, he would watch anything at all he wanted to, thinking it would have no effect on our son. After a  time we noticed our son acting out more and more physically and I found out about my DH’s tv habits.


This was one of the shows he was watching daily with our son…….

I asked him if we could try an experiment: for 6 weeks, while our son was around/awake only non-commercial kids-oriented television would be watched, saving ad-filled and adult oriented tv for night-time or when our son was out (like with Grandma). Within 2 weeks, we noticed a big and positive difference in our son’s behavior, and so we went on along that way with all 3 of our children.

So, my children were not permitted to watch PG-13 movies before they were 13, unless either one of us had seen it before and deemed it appropriate. I also had seen some scientific evidence that caffeine possibly can prevent kids from growing to their fullest height, so they were not allowed caffeinated drinks (sodas, teas, coffees,etc.) til they were 15.


Of course, I was unable to enforce these rules when they would stay over at their friends’ houses, but I was very persistent at home. Oh and how they would argue and complain about how mean I was!!!! How stupid my rules were! Nobody else had such stupid rules and so on….


When, in turn,each one of them came to me to really talk/discuss (not just complain) about why I had such rules, I would tell them 3 things:

1) My children are the most precious things in my life and I want the best for them, plus I’ve given a lot of thought as to what would be best for them – it’s not about a power struggle.

2) Ruhiyyih Khanum told the story of when she was young, she very much wanted to read a certain quite scandalous book and her mother refused to let her read it. Her mother gave the analogy of a pot that has been formed and dried, but hasn’t yet been fired in a kiln (the greenware stage). Anything can easily make a mark or a dent in that pot and that mark will be permanent. Young people are just like that greenware and until they have been fired in the kiln of life experience,it is better that they be protected ( all 3 of my kids had done some pottery so they knew that this was true).


3) When you attain the age of being able to do these things (13 for those movies and 15 for the caffeine), you will enjoy them a huge amount more than you would have if they had always been permitted to you. When you are young, those ages seem so very far away, and I know because I have been those ages – I have the perspective of age and I know that waiting will not harm you in any way. However, my rules and these protections, as stupid as they seem now, are truly a gift from me to you.

My youngest is now 18 and 2 of my 3 children have affirmed that those rules were “probably a good idea” and one of them even apologized to me for arguing with me about it AND that they had tried to stay a certain friend’s house very often so they could break these rules “behind my back”. This grown child of mine said that even then, he could see the benefit of the rules, as his friend didn’t have them and in many ways, it took away his childhood innocence too early. This same child also had nightmares for years about one scene in “Shaun of the Dead“. I’ve seen it and it isn’t really that bad, but he knows now that he saw it when he was too young and it made a big impression on him.


Your mileage my vary, but I am in a stand for enforcing such rules, and most of the time it’s no fun, lemme tell you. Once something is seen, it cannot be UNseen, not until somebody invents brain bleach or something, and your children are worth it. Innocence lost is exactly that – lost.


I was never in a hurry for my kids to be grownups. Childhood is very short nowadays….

The purveyors of movies and tv advertising DO NOT CARE about what is best for your children, they care about your money; do not let them make your parenting decisions for you. We are the protectors of our children and also the educators – the responsibility is ours and the world will do all that it can to tell you just how uncool you are for doing your job.

Good luck!


ELEVEN years?! Really?

So yeah. As of January 21, 2017 I’ll have been blogging for 11 years. That’s an accomplishment of some kind………?

I know posts have been quite sporadic the last 3 years – I do apologize. Without going into great personal detail, the last three years have been quite difficult and I certainly could have shared lots & lots more….I decided not to do that. Because to me, whinge-ing is more like funny complaining, which I believe is my God-given natural talent. Sharing woes is best done with one’s closest friends perhaps or family or most definitely one’s therapist (shoutout to Dr. F. P.!!). BTW, if you enjoy comedic whingeing, you might enjoy the BBC tv series “One Foot In the Grave” – I’m certainly not up to Victor’s level!


I’d never planned to go on so long – certainly I cannot say that I’ve had a huge following…..but still, plugging away at anything for such a time tends to improve skill….

I believe I have gained some skill in writing, and creating the posts for the most part has been joyful. But wow, even I’m shocked it’s been 11 years.

I’ve also considered closing it down…..but as it costs me very little other than time and brain power, I’ve decided to keep going, however infrequently.

I hope to blog more consistently about knitting in 2017, God willing.


Thanks to everyone who’s ever read this blog and enjoyed it. 🙂

P.S. You can still read my very first post here.    The 1st Knitting and Whinge-ing post


Goodreads book review …. Headstrong

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the WorldHeadstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World by Rachel Swaby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We were travelling. We were going through Knoxville – there’s usually a fair amount of traffic – and we stopped at a restaurant we’ve been to before. Around the corner was a used book store and we decided to spend a little time there. I found this book; it looked interesting. Little did I know that my head would be blown wide open!

This has to be one of my top three books that I’ve read in the last 10 years. There are so many scientists who are women that have made tremendous contributions to the world, not just to science, and we don’t know them. We don’t know their names, we don’t know their history, we don’t know the obstacles that were in their way, we don’t know their contributions. And we ABSOLUTELY should. I can just imagine how much more encouraged I would have felt as a girl to go into science had I known about these women. It’s a terrible legacy that their contributions are invisible to most all of us. Terrible not only from a scientific perspective, but also an historical one. I really could go on and on, but I’ll spare everyone the ‘soapbox’ this time.

Even though this is a book that I think you should read, I think everyone should read it, but it’s also incredibly interesting and well-written, which makes it easy to read. Each one of the essays are a couple of pages long, which makes it just perfect for reading in the bathroom.

I very much hope that this book reaches a very large mass of people, and then becomes part of the conversation about history and how we teach it in schools. Who and what gets left out? This book goes a ways into redressing the imbalance.

I give this book my highest recommendation!!!!

View all my reviews

What a summer/what a bummer and What’s for dinner? (part 2 -long)



(Click here for Part 1)

What’s For Dinner?

I make some really yummy things to eat, even now that I am a diabetic and have changed my eating habits so that I can keep my fingers and toes and such. But overall, I’m just an OK cook. My Dad and my brothers are people who really love to cook, they really show their love to others through their cooking. My Dad wakes up every day thinking about what he and Mom are gonna eat for dinner, which – given that my mother takes a fair amount of time & caffeine to really “wake up”- has led to 50 years of him accosting her most every morning, right when she gets up, and demanding to know what she wants for dinner, which leads to a very blank and confused expression on her face that I find pretty hilarious these days.


Of course, Mom’s not wearing the hat or the beard…..

Now I might wake up thinking of food, but it’s a completed dish I’m thinking of, preferably one that could be conjured up and served immediately by the chef/butler we do not have. Since I’m the one who does the VAST majority of cooking around here, I have tried many different ways to make the decision of what we will eat easier, and some of them have helped. I admit that we go out to eat way too often, mainly because I just don’t wanna cook much at all anymore.  One of the things that has helped a bit has been subscribing to Blue Apron** for one week a month. Since I’ve been sick or gone so much this summer, I have not been eating the way I want to and need to, and we aren’t sitting down to dinner  together nearly as often. Fresh things are going bad in the fridge, mainly ‘cos I forget that I bought them. And there’s loads of things in the pantry that should be eaten as well. I’ve fallen into a very lazy & unthinking pattern about dinners around here that is not only costly to my wallet, but to my health. So here is my latest attempt to change this downward spiral & act like an adult-



If you click on the picture, you can see it better. I’m just happy to have a reminder of what’s going on foodwise each day. Studmuffin would rather eat chicken than almost anything else on the planet, ‘cept maybe chocolate ice cream, so that’s why there’s so many “Chicken Somethings” in the plan.  I have a lot of cookbooks, for someone who’s meh about cooking, so I put in “Use a cookbook” in hopes that I might try something new; it could happen. My favorite innovation here *has* to be “Pantry Roulette” – go into the pantry and see what interesting thing could be made from what’s there and the older the better. Please feel free to try this out yerself, or put in the comments how you deal with the daily grind of ‘what’s for dinner?’ BTW, it’s Crockpot Chicken Teryaki tonight. See? Workin’ already.


** If you don’t know what Blue Apron is, go to the website and check it out. I have some free meals from them to give away; let me know if you want to try Blue Apron in the comments section and if you live in the USA, I’ll send them your way.

Some Actual Good Things this summer

Singing with the band Kaleidoscope & becoming a much better keyboard player because the fellas let me play more and more, singing with One Human Family Workshop choir twice, been married to Studmuffin for TWENTY-EIGHT years, traveling to Dayton with Studmuffin, traveling to WV for the Studmuffin family reunion, the Force of Nature graduated from high school – in the top twenty of her class, taking the Force of Nature to Marion Military Institute for college, the Duke of Curl spent part of the summer working in Colorado, he came home and now is in school AND has a job, paid off a fairly large loan, going to Birmingham several times for Baha’i Ruhi Institute training, YARN! FABRIC!……there’s been good things, many good things.

THE END:A Real Grievance

The day after I wrote the previous post (The Gardening groove…) on this here blog, June 1st, my beloved dog Boris suddenly died. His sister Natasha has been ill/dying with a chronic parasitic infection for the last 3 years and we thought for certain, she would be gone first. We know their deaths are coming – they are 13 or 14 years old, and for their kind of dog to make it past 15 is quite rare, so we know it is gonna happen within the next 2 years certainly. Natasha, whom I have nicknamed “the Crypt Keeper” because she looks so bad – patchy fur, flaking skin and so skinny – is still living and quite happy. She gets all the treats now.

I has a sad....

I has a sad….

I think he ate something he shouldn’t have – probably some poisonous vegetation. He always loved to eat leaves and green things. I planted zinnias every year, not because I’m fond of them, but because Boris loved to nibble the leaves so much. Others have told me that Labradors tend to get stomach cancer and that is possible, too.  I did not realize just how sick he was until about 2 hours before he passed away; I spent about 5 or 6 hours that day driving the Duke of Curl to and from his dr.’s appointment in Birmingham; I would not have done that had I known that Boris was dying. We buried him next to Bluto^^ that night, and a week later I planted zinnias on his grave.

We won’t be getting another dog while Natasha lives; she’s elderly and sick, but she was the less dependent of the 2 and I think adjusting to a new dog would be hard on her. I will rescue more dogs after she’s gone, mainly because of this video: Shy Shelter Dog gets Adopted. But it will be a while. Emmy the cat was sick this last week with a bad cold and it brought it all back.

Boris was the dog of my heart and life is really not the same without him for me. I am reminded of him everywhere in our house and yard and all the streets nearby. It’s been nearly four months and I’m still grieving, which of course, I have mixed feelings about. There are so many terrible things happening in the world all over, and I’m crying about a dog. A dog who had a seriously wonderful life, who I was privileged to have in my family since he and Tasha were 4 months old. All I can say is that grief is the price of love and buddy, your death is costing me a fortune. You were the BEST dog for me and none of us will ever forget you. Thank you Borisman.


^^Bluto adopted us in the early Summer 1997 (est. 3 yrs old) – died January 7, 2010

DCF 1.0


What a summer/what a bummer and what’s for dinner? (part 1 -long post)


This has been one for the books. So let’s jump right into the whingeing, shall I?


So I’ve spent a fair bit of time this summer being sick and recovering from being sick. The only reason I’ve time to write today is because I have a cold and I don’t wanna give it to others, so I can’t go and do things, but I’m not so sick I’m gonna stay in bed all day. Studmuffin has had this cold far worse than I – I think I’ll be fine by Friday.


feeling yucky….

No, the mostest, worstest sickness I got was for about the first 2 weeks of August. High fever, then mega-chills, all over aches – I mean even my eyelashes hurt when I blinked. And I could not sleep for more than 30 mins to a hour at a time for nearly 2 weeks. I even went to the doctor, knowing that he probably could not help – it was a virus I was certain- but if it was one of the ‘named’ viruses*, I could be at least a public health statistic. But no dice – no help and an un-named virus, but he still took my co-pay (which has gone up about 30%) and suggested I come back in a few days if I was still sick. HAH!  I really considered going to the hospital, but then I remembered 2 things: I never get any rest in the hospital -someone always wants to ask you something or stick a needle into you the moment you’ve dropped off to sleep, and hospital stays are very expensive.

A friend from the next town over was in the process of dying, and I had previously promised his wife that I would sing at his funeral. He passed away & I was too sick to even go to the funeral, much less sing.  This is something I will regret for the rest of my life. Though I am very thankful that Studmuffin went in my place. No, he did not sing.

I lost 15 lbs. in 12 days I was so sick. I cannot ever remember feeling worse….and I was sick for all 9 months of my last pregnancy!


*Zika, Swine, H1N1,Bird, Spanish,Influenza and so on



The gardening groove is back!

vintage seed catalogWhen the seed catalogs start arriving in December, I start dreaming of my garden. I pore over the new offerings again & again – all those gorgeous photos! – and think back to what went well the previous year and begin my scheming. At least, that’s how it has been for the last 20 years or so…….until this winter.  The seed catalogs came in as usual with all their promises and blandishments, and I remained unmoved.  By the time March rolled around, I was seriously beginning to wonder at myself – what was WRONG with me?  I’d not spent any time at all planning the garden and coming up with a budget, much less actually setting foot inside the space, except to deliver kitchen scraps to the compost. It had been on my “To Do’ list for 4 months. This is so unlike me….

Friends and neighbors, I had lost my gardening groove. My well had gone dry. Heck, I didn’t even get excited when the crimson clover we planted as green manure bloomed.

This is not my photo or my crimson clover, but it does look just like this. So pretty!

This is not my photo or my crimson clover, but it does look just like this when in bloom. So pretty!

Still I knew without a doubt that come July, I was absolutely gonna want to eat homegrown tomatoes and a whole lot of them, so gardening had to take place. In a weird way, Facebook came to the rescue.

For those few who don’t know, Facebook will often remind you of something you posted in years past; they’re called Facebook memories.  I kind of like them as they remind me of how quickly time is passing, and not to waste it…. spending loads of time on Facebook in particular! Just before Mother’s Day a few weeks ago, Facebook reminded me of a post I had written about how I’d gotten all my tomatoes in the ground on that day in 2015. UH-oh!  I needed to get it in gear.

On Mother’s Day, I went to my favorite plant nursery (as did dozens of other folks). Such a lovely sunshiny day – really very cool temperature wise for Alabama in May (which truly freaks me out, but I’ll save that rant for later). I wandered on over to where the veggie plants were and BAM!  The switch was flipped – do plants give off fumes along with fragrance? – and Garden 2016 was ON!

I only bought 10 plants that day, but I knew that I had come back to my senses.

I’m doing things a bit differently.  Last year, I had 2 keyhole gardens, and that was a lot. I decided this year that I’d do just a few plants in the front of the house and 1 keyhole garden in the back since I still have mobility issues. For the unplanted keyhole I will continue to collect more “browns and greens” for it and maybe plant cool weather stuff there. I know, I know, I *say* I’m gonna do that every year but by the time I get to the end of August, I am tired of gardening!  But my dear friend Ellen had me chock full of garden envy last fall when she showed photo after photo of fall gardening success – I’m truly inspired. I’m dreaming of heads of lettuce and cabbage, and onions and peas and carrots….

As if to egg me on, the Nigella out front bloomed right after and was its usual spectacular & freaky self.

Nigella alba, aka "love-in-a-Mist"

Nigella alba, aka “love-in-a-Mist”


Buon appetito! – A Food Vignette

beautiful foodOver Mother’s Day weekend, Studmuffin made Angel hair pasta and sauce. It was yummy but he made a HUGE amount of pasta -far more than we could or should eat, so he suggested I make a baked pasta casserole of some type. The last few days have been quite warm – almost ‘normally’ warm, which we are unused to because it has been such a cold spring…….I had no desire to heat up the house by baking something in the oven when it’s 90 degrees F (32 degrees C)!



Ten fer Tuesday – 10 things to make yer life better

It’s been quite a while since I posted this. I was thinking of editing it, adding new stuff….but after messing with it for a while, I didn’t improve it any, so here it is. Hope you enjoy it – even tho’ it *isn’t* Tuesday. xxxooo

Knitting & whingeing in Abalama-ding-dong


  1. laugh & be silly      721510105_b314546e17_mkids_laughing


Are you smiling yet?


Really, if you aren’t smiling yet, you need to go do something silly immediately!! A few more for you “hard cases”…


2.   sing/make music/hear live music

Making music is a human birthright and do not let “performance anxiety” get in the way of that.  Listening to recorded music is wonderful…but it won’t make your life better in the way that making music does. Yer not performing at Carnegie Hall, so silence yer inner critic and make some music EVERYDAY.  And then make a date to go out and HEAR some live music; there’s just something about that energy that is good for the soul.

3.  STOP watching the news

Yup, you really can and still be a well-informed individual.  You can read the news and you’ll get more out of it I reckon.  I dare you to stop watching tv/online video news…

View original post 326 more words

New post – old project

Ok so I lost my mind during March, maybe several times. It’s been an odd time for me – everything’s ok in general, but I’m not feeling normal… I’ve done almost nothing abut gardening which is SO UNLIKE ME.  SOmething’s up, but I dunno what it is.

There is almost no knitting getting done, so I thought I’d share a sewing project I did quite some time ago.



Emmy the Rascal

Emmy's spot

Emmy the Ferocious, next to the only houseplant I have ever been able to keep alive for more than a year. I can hear you scoff and say, “But it’s an Aloe plant! Anyone can grow an aloe plant…” To which I say, “Hah! I’ve killed many before now.”

I had to take a few photos this morning of Emmy, our young cat.  The above picture shows her in one of her favorite places: sitting in the sun in what used to be called a “picture window”. Now I know it doesn’t seem too sunny in the photo; that’s because it’s a cell phone photo and today, everything looked really terribly blue. So then I tried fixing it, and even though the picture isn’t “fixed”, I got a nice effect.

Still, all of that isn’t the reason I needed to take pictures of her today. As I was puttering through the house this morning, I noticed a new behavior from her…that I think is cute. Therefore, the next photo:

Another photo I tried doctoring to better show what I see. I'm not very skilled at this, obviously.

Another photo I tried doctoring to better show what I see. I’m not very skilled at this, obviously.

She has her front paws resting on the window with the sheer curtain inbetween! I’ve never seen her do this before today….

A little closer. Friends, my curtains are a turquoise batik! And the sheer curtain is white......I give up.

A little closer. Friends, my curtains are a turquoise batik! And the sheer curtain is white……I give up.

I think its adorable. I am hoping she wont leave holes with her claws in the sheer curtain.   Of course, when I tried to get a little closer, the act of taking the photo disturbed the subject-

This one's the closest to the real colors in my opinion, except her eyes are very yellow in real life.

This one’s the closest to the real colors in my opinion, except her eyes are very yellow in real life.

Then she hopped down and then back up to her truly mostest favoritest spot: the ironing board.

Emmy the Rascal on the ironing board

Emmy the Rascal on the ironing board. This photo is unaltered- can you tell? lol

This ironing board no longer stays up by itself, so we have a “C” clamp that we use to keep it up. It’s a little bit of a hassle to take down and put it back up again, so sometimes it stays out in the living room like this for several days at a time (especially if I’m into a sewing project). Doesn’t everyone?  I put an old towel over the board when I’m not using it to keep the cat hair off of the surface. Then somebody put this polar fleece scrap on here (the red fabric); I’ve no idea why.  I sometimes wonder what the cats think about the appearance and disappearance of this favored cat perch…..

Still Life with Cat and Iron

Still Life with Cat and Iron


Have a lovely day, and take some time to dance. 🙂

dancing stick figure


By the way, I **COMPLETELY** missed my TENTH Blogaversary…It was in January. Which seems completely in character. Maybe I’ll do a bunch of giveaways or something…for the Eleventh.  xxxooo

2014 kNIT WRAP-UP [very long post]

Yeah, I know. It’s 2016 already, so I’m very late (this isn’t news).


And of course, an end-of-the-year wrap-up is NOT a groundbreaking blog post idea certainly.  But I find it helps me see 1) what I’ve been accomplishing for good or for ill, and 2) how much yarn I will actually use in a given year – which is a serious curb on any urge to enhance the stash. I have NO BUSINESS buying more yarn!  Except maybe more Ultra Alpaca……. Since this is SUPPOSED to be a knitting blog primarily, it’s ACTUAL KNITTING CONTENT. So there. I hope you’ll enjoy it anyway.

Why is this not about 2015’s output? I’ll tell you at the end…a payoff for slogging through all the rest of this.



Yes, the past matters. A BUNCH.

I was reading this good article about Woodrow Wilson’s legacy at Princeton (The Chronicle: Don’t Repress the Past ).  I sometimes read the comments, though sometimes that *Really* isn’t a good idea because people will say the most awful things to one another sometimes.  However, I came across this and it really sparked something in me. Here it is:

“Why. Who is being ‘degraded’ by having a building named after W. Wilson. I am no fan of the late POTUS but give it a rest. It was almost 100 years ago. Isn’t there a statute of limitation on this kind of thing? “

IMO & my experience, I think there are lots of people who feel this way, and I wanted to give a somewhat serious response, which is below. Don’t worry, there will be knitting content in the next post, I imagine. 🙂


I replied:

Ummm. No. There isn’t a statute of limitations, so long as we teach US History and deem it useful. What kids in the US – to this day!- haven’t heard “Remember the Alamo!” Or what about all those much more recent memorials for 9/11 that say “Never forget!”? Or is it just that those who have been oppressed should forget?


And who is being degraded, you ask? Every single one of us who considers ourselves an American, regardless of race, religion, creed, or origin.  Perpetuating lies when we know better/different – because it’s more comfortable and/or easier for some – makes us all accomplices to those lies AND it continues the wounding the wronged.

Here’s an analogy that may be useful in better understanding this issue. Just imagine if your whole life growing up, people told lies about your family. These lies are a hundred years old, but people still tell them. You know that what people say is not true, but the majority of the people you interact with, day in & day out, believe those lies to be true. When new people meet you, they hear your last name and they immediately say, “Oh are you one of that family?”  referring to your family’s untrue but widespread reputation. If they don’t ask out loud, it is clear from the look on their faces, that they are thinking about those lies, and it affects they way they treat you.  People you know well and have come to trust have learned that these lies are not true, mainly because you have taken the time to educate them, and to show them the proof that they are untrue. You do it, so you won’t go nuts, but you get damn tired of having to prove yourself over and over again to everyone. If an opportunity came along to educate the vast majority of people, to prove that the lies are untrue, do you think that you would take that opportunity?  Or would you listen to those who say,”Just forget about it. It’s untrue anyway. What’s the big deal? That was all a long time ago….”


In the instance of the buildings, YOU may not care because it wasn’t you that has been wronged, but to those who have been wronged (and continue to be), it . does matter and it will continue to matter.


My cat is a BOSS!

Kali, my mushroom colored calico cat, in the last 24 hours performed a rather amazing feat.


This is a rather awful Instagram shot of my BOSS cat, Kali.

We’ve had Kali for about 6 or 7 years (or perhaps even longer…I don’t remember) and she started off as a complete ‘fraidy cat – she wouldn’t come out from under the Duke of Curl’s bed for the first month for almost any reason.  Over time, she’s developed her own kind of boldness – the dogs leave her alone – but she still gets bullied by our much younger cat, Emmy.

About 3 or 4 months ago, the Force of Nature noticed something about Kali, and it wasn’t good news.  A little wart-like growth she had on her rear right flank that she’s always had, had grown into a rather large, hairless pink tumor like thing and it was ugly, veined and growing.  By last night, I would’ve estimated it was close to the size of a half-dollar coin. I’ve been sad about this because I cannot afford to take her to the vet for any kind of treatment for it, and I figured it would either kill her or eventually, if she was in pain, we’d have to euthanize her. Neither prospect filled me with joy as you might imagine.

So tonight, Studmuffin, the Force of Nature and I were in my bedroom relaxing and chatting – Kali was in there too, sleeping as per usual. The FoN went to look at the growth…and  and cried out – it was GONE!  I went to look – a thorough examination I made of it too – I couldn’t believe my eyes; it is gone. It almost looks like a surgical scar with stitches recently removed – I think she must have chewed it off or somehow convinced the other cat to do it…..

Who ever heard of such a thing?  Not I, certainly. I try to  imagine what it would take to chew something like that off; I haven’t got the guts to do it.Anyway, the growth is gone completely and it’s probably likely she’ll live healthy and a good deal longer.


And like I said – my cat is a BOSS.

Don’t scoff at my poultice, please.

No, my poultice did not look like these – WAY uglier.


I’m a little bit allergic to fire ants and yesterday I got 6 bites on my left hand, 3 on the same finger. Man, that finger hurts & it’s pretty swollen…but better today since I soaked the hand in hydrogen peroxide & after I put a poultice on the bites.

Yes, that’s right – a poultice. Studmuffin, who did NOT grow up in the country, makes fun of my poultices and herbal things. He is a bad man.

I think of……

There’s a website I like – http://www.nineteenmonths.com/
really lovely photography on it, and they just started asking some writers to read a quote from the Baha’i Scriptures, then write 95 words about it. Here’s the quote for this round:

“O My servants! Be as resigned and submissive as the earth, that from the soil of your being there may blossom the fragrant, the holy and multicolored hyacinths of My knowledge. Be ablaze as the fire, that ye may burn away the veils of heedlessness and set aglow, through the quickening energies of the love of God, the chilled and wayward heart. Be light and untrammeled as the breeze, that ye may obtain admittance into the precincts of My court, My inviolable Sanctuary.”

 (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p 322-3)


I decided to write my own 95 words. Here they are:

I think of the earth and how we can be as reconciled and meek as she – quite unfamiliar territory! Still, she is the source of our material well-being, our treasury. What power she holds in her meekness.

I think of the hyacinths coming up so early in the spring – their shape so unusual, colors so bright, that the eyes will find and must take notice, with fragrance so powerful and heady – like an open bottle of perfume the Supreme One hid here to remind us again of His constant love and presence.