Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Promise of a New Day

Each morning holds the full promise of a new day. Each morning is a new chance to approach the day with a clean slate, to make progress, to plan, and to quietly reflect. After taking care of some morning "farm" chores like feeding the chickens, cat, and dogs, pulling on some sandals over socks (not a great combination, but alright for simply driving the car) and dropping Nature Girl off for a morning hike, I ran through a mock-up of my day in my mind. 

I also stopped to photograph some neighboring miniature horses and their sweet baby at the dawn of its life. They were so peaceful, and there is nothing like the velvety soft nose of a horse rubbing against your hand while its flared nostrils take in your scent and breathe it back out at you in gentle snorts. 

 In my thoughts, my day looked something like this: Leisurely absorbing the growing light and warmth of the day, watching the dew subside from the grass and trees, savoring a decaf Mexican Mocha while scrambling eggs and heating turkey sausage, and eating outdoors on the East Deck as the sun peeks over the trees to meet me. After breakfast, I would clean the living room, dining room, and kitchen, and place the beautiful flower bouquet vase from Women's Prayer night as the centerpiece of my freshly scrubbed farmhouse table. Next, I would pick up Nature Girl and we would go on a planned adventure in town, and then we would settle in somewhere for a bit of knitting and chatting and reading together. Then, we would head back home in the afternoon to tend the animals and plan and begin dinner. 

In reality, my day has looked more like: The dogs going outside to relieve themselves and getting full of burrs because they went on an adventure of their own through the dry August grasses and vegetation of Deer Palace, then digging through Nature Girl's closet to find the items we need to bring for the planned adventure, realizing that tickets are required for the adventure and looking online to purchase the tickets, only to find out that "ticket sales have ended" and we *might* be able to purchase tickets at the door (if supplies are available by the time we arrive). Mexican Mocha getting cold on the counter while I cook my breakfast. Eating my breakfast indoors in front of the computer while I try to work out whether we will be able to get tickets or not...then realizing a trip ticket for a family member who is about to embark on a trip has an error, and spending almost an hour on the phone with the issuing company to correct the error. On hold for over 10 minutes, give information, then on hold for several more minutes, then speak to someone else WHO DISCONNECTS THE CALL (accidentally?) while placing me on yet another hold...begin again with the original hold muzak and explain all over again when someone finally answers... 

Thus, the time available for tidying the living room, dining room, and kitchen passed on by, and the sun met the tops of the trees without me there to see it, and the rest of the day may or may not go as "planned", and it is time to jump in the shower and get actually ready to be in public without hair akimbo and being clad in a sock/sandal/pajama pants combination. After shower, ready to run out the door...and get a message that the hike took longer than expected, and it will be an additional 1/2 hour before I can pick her up because they are still driving and are in a town 30 miles away. Cool my heels while I wait. Is there enough time to do some of that tidying? No!

In the end, we had a fabulously fun day. We got to the event, and they gave us free tickets. We went to a thrift store, a book exchange (I had taken a box of 29 books to exchange), late lunch, and a beautiful drive in the top-down convertible. We stopped and cut a cattail because Nature Girl had never touched one before. How did we get so many years collected without ever stopping to cut a cattail? The feel is hard to describe: firm, fuzzy, soft, almost as velvety as the horse nose from this morning, but in a very dense way. Cattail info: "(genus Typha), genus of about 30 species of tall reedy marsh plants (family Typhaceae), found mainly in temperate and cold regions of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The plants inhabit fresh to slightly brackish waters and are considered aquatic or semi-aquatic."

This day did not completely follow my plan or my imaginings, and I did not complete the chores that were on my "to-do" list, and there was no knitting, and dinner was made of leftovers, but there was so much LIVING in this day that it didn't matter that some of the things were left undone. Tomorrow will be another brand new day, and each and every day dawns with the same clean slate, the same chance to accomplish tasks and goals, the same promise.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Drinking in the Nectar of Life

In an ever increasingly hectic and chaotic world, I find it important to stay grounded, centered, in constant pursuit of the sweetness. When I find the sweetness in life, I drink deeply and give thanks abundantly. What is the nectar of life? I am sure it is different for each person. In a nutshell, it is joy, goodness, warmth, love, beauty, wherever it finds you. It is the places and times where you feel contentment, serenity, the ability to breathe deeply and relax.

I find it in so many places, but when the daily news bombards me through the internet and through my phone and over the radio airwaves and on my streaming device, I have to actively seek to turn those things OFF and to remember the small, sweet things. Our Heavenly Father wants us to experience joy, and He lends us his joy when we can find none. 

The industrious honey bee, the fluttering humming bird, the brilliantly colored butterfly, the woodpecker, the scurrying squirrels - these are all wonders to behold. A flower unfolding, a chicken scratching for insects, the breeze through the trees, the evening song of the crickets and cicadas, the brightness of the stars on a warm summer eve - these are the treasures of the world given us.  

When people lived in simpler times without all the "modern" conveniences and technology and noise, they were more connected to all of these things that pour out the nectar of life. Time moved more slowly, and there was cool sun tea on the porch of an evenin'. There was fishing for hours in the babbling brook and foraging for wild greens and berries in open prairies and on hillsides. 

These days, we cannot always see where we are going, what lies ahead, or even maybe where we have been. It takes effort to slow down and really connect with the natural world. It takes diligence to re-learn what generations past knew and took for granted.

We can do it!! "Intentional living" is required. That is a buzzword these days, but what it means is that you have to determine what you want, how you want to live, what values you want to keep and follow, and then you have to take intentional steps to do and be those things. My intentional living steps (and I am always a work in progress) are moving toward staying centered in the Word of our Heavenly Father and soaking up the knowledge and hope and strength it offers, keeping my family close and engaged, writing "snail mail" letters, decluttering and minimizing worldly belongings, continuing my knitting/crochet charity efforts and making items for myself/friends/family, writing with ever-increasing focus, developing a business idea I have had dancing in my mind for years, completing a Master Herbalist certificate course, growing primarily useful plants, gardening, learning all aspects of food preservation, learning some basic woodworking skills, helping others make and achieve goals, and continuing to remember at every possible second to seek and experience the sweet nectar of life in this mortal realm. The more we seek, drink, share, and remember, the more we can spread the joy that is our gift. My hope would be that we could spread and share enough joy and love to crowd out the darkness. I can definitely sip from that cup. Where will you find the nectar?


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Back to Nature

Nature Girl has been reading my blog and asking why I have not posted in so long. My answer is that life gets busy and there is not enough time for all the things we want to do. When one thing takes priority, something else gets bumped. Unfortunately, writing has been bumped for me for too long. 

Many things have kept me busy, and many things will continue to keep me busy, but I enjoy writing, and do intend to revive this blog. In doing so I will have to experiment a bit with the theme and layout. 

Nature Girl has also asked me why I don't speak to her the way I write for the blog. My answer to that question is that we don't generally speak the way we write, and my thoughts for the blog get to be more thoughtful and philosophical (if you will) than we usually take time for in verbal conversation.

Most days, our discussions are centered around mundane tasks like laundry and other household chores, work outside the home, school work, community activities and obligations, feeding and caring for our dogs, and other such topics. I am often giving orders or making requests for assistance and feeling distracted by all the thoughts and requirements swirling through my mind on any given day. In my mind, we do take time for all manner of fun philosophical discussions, but reality bullies its way in and the above mentioned topics take top billing.  

We have decided to have family sit-down-at-the-table dinner again at least two days per week so we can more leisurely have some of those interesting discussions, and we have committed to having mid-afternoon tea time on Saturdays. We had a lovely tea time yesterday, and it did allow for some fun family discussion and slower enjoyment of the afternoon.  

After tea, we went to our small bridge over the seasonal creek and sat outside for a time. Nature Girl built a small house for the wildlife and I knitted in a chair while I watched her run a little boat down the creek and clamber across on a fallen log. Mr. Nature cleaned debris out of the bridge planks while our cat lounged next to him. My original plan was to knit inside on the couch, but Nature Girl said to me that I shouldn't miss out on creek season. She was so right! 

The creek is seasonal and fleeting, like so many other aspects of life. She reminded me to take hold and enjoy every moment.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

For the Love of Ryder, Part 2

We spent that first week with Ryder, and we all fell in love with him. He is friendly and polite, and his feathery tail swished its way back and forth through the week in a never-ending wag. By the time next Saturday came around, we were all ready to make the adoption permanent. We took him back to the adoption event on Saturday, arriving at the agreed upon time. We signed the papers, paid the fee, and he was ours!!

We had a short one-on-one training session, and went on our way. Ryder was settling in nicely to our family and routines, and then on Thursday, May 21, at about 10:30 p.m., just 5 days after our official adoption, the first seizure happened. We were sitting on the bed in the bedroom and I was looking away from Ryder talking to Nature Girl and doing something on my computer when, all of a sudden, she gasped and called for me to look at Ryder. He had slid off the end of the bed like a gelatin blob and was writhing and pawing on the floor.

At first, we thought he might have fallen off the bed and broken his neck in the fall. When the rigid movements kept on, however, it became obvious what was going on - he wasn't dying, but was having a Grand Mal Seizure. His back was stiff, his legs pedaling the air, his mouth drawn back into a horribly tortured pose, eyes glazed, saliva and foam coming from his mouth and nose. And the smell!!!! It was not a urine or feces smell, though he did lose his bladder, but another smell altogether. I cannot describe it, but it is one of the worst smells I have encountered.

I now understand how "seizure assist dogs" can determine a seizure in a human before it begins. The smell happens first, but the advance scent change is so slight that a human would not notice it in time. A dog's sense of smell is so much more acute than ours, they can scent the change and alert the human before their seizure occurs. This gives the human time to sit or lie down in a relatively safe place before their seizure begins.

Unfortunately, there is no way to know when a dog's seizure is going to occur, and no way to warn our furry friend(s). After that seizure, we gave Ryder a bath, and started doing some reading. We learned that seizures, if they are going to afflict a dog, usually afflict those around the age of 3 or older. Ryder turned 3 just a two weeks before our adoption. We also learned that certain pharmaceuticals, such as certain flea and tick treatment brands, had reported instances of seizure side effects. Ryder happened to have had one of those brands used on him two weeks before our adoption. In addition, he had undergone anesthesia to be neutered, and he had endured vaccinations all at the same time. This is routine in the rescue industry, but it can mean toxic overload for the dog(s) and cat(s) having been rescued.

Ryder had 6 more seizures, mostly about 17 days apart, but two of them occurred back-to-back. Most often, they happened between midnight and 3:00 a.m. which meant some sleepless nights, and bleary-eyed dog baths and blow-dries. We consulted veterinarians who said there was nothing to be done but to give anti-seizure medication. They wanted to give him Phenobarbital. That drug is a heavy-duty drug that has its own host of side effects and the possibility of changing his personality and causing him to always be lethargic.

 We consulted a holistic veterinarian who said he thought he could help. We started Ryder on an herbal protocol, hoping that it would work and we would not have to give the anti-seizure meds. It took time, but it seems to have worked. He went 20 days between seizures, then he went 4 months between! Now, he has gone 14 months without a seizure!

 We have a new problem, however. He recently began to walk with his back hunched, and to cry out for no apparent reason. Veterinary checks have revealed that he has two compressed vertebrae in his spine, at two separate locations. More reading and questioning reveals that his vertebral compressions are most probably a result of the seizures he endured. Seizures can actually cause vertebrae to crack (though thankfully Ryder's did not). The conventional veterinarian says we may end up having to do surgery. The holistic veterinarian is optimistic that we can avoid surgery. Either way, we have had to give some medications, some new herbal therapies, and some acupuncture treatments.

 Acupuncture for a dog, you ask??? Why, yes, indeed! Ryder LOVES his treatments (he has had 3 acupuncture treatments). He gets so relaxed and gets a dreamy-eyed look on his face. After the treatments, he seems much more peppy and moves more normally. For now, it seems that we have gotten the muscle spasms around the compressed areas to relax, and he is doing well. We are told that he should not worsen, and that we can do the treatments only when it appears to become again necessary.

We wouldn't trade him for anything. He is one of the sweetest (though grumbly at times) dogs I have known. He loves his girl and has slept in her bed every single night since his first night at our house. I am glad he ended up with us because if he had gone to another home, he might have been returned and put down, or he might have ended up on heavy medications. Please keep him in your thoughts.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

For the Love of Ryder, Part 1

Go Fund Me - Ryder's Fund
Click the Photo to go to Ryder's Fund

Ryder is our rescued Deer Chihuahua.

I have never witnessed love at first sight between a human and animal before we met Ryder, and I don't know if I will ever have the blessing to witness such a perfect and immediate bond again, but I am thankful that I was present and paying attention when it happened this time.

We have a small dog named Prince who joined our family as a 10-week-old puppy in 2012. He will be 5 years old in May of this year. We were happy with him as our sole dog, and were not looking for a new member of the family. Nature Girl, however, wanted to explore short-term fostering of other animals and volunteering at our local animal shelter. She was too young to volunteer at the shelter, and we hadn't found the time to foster, but we did visit the shelter often and she took time to visit with the dogs and cats and give them attention.   She never complained when it was time to leave.

On Mother's Day weekend in 2015, we were at PetSmart with Prince. Nature Girl went to take a look at the pets up for adoption, just to browse, NOT TO ADOPT! (I was adamant that we were NOT looking for an animal to adopt, so she should not get attached enough to ask.) We make our plans, and sometimes the Heavenly Father has other plans. She went to look at this particular Chihuahua who seemed to be very interested in her and also seemed very calm and friendly. Their eyes met, she gave him a pet, and sat next to the portable pen to pet him some more. He was SOOOOO SOFT and so polite. She was mesmerized, and he was ignoring all other people but her. I called her away, and told her that it was nice that she had given him some attention.

As she walked away from him, he howled for her to come back, all the while still ignoring others. There was another little girl trying to pet him, and he turned his back to her and gazed our direction. Nature Girl got a pleading look in her eyes, but I stood firm. WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER DOG. As the uncharacteristic tears welled up in her eyes and the little sweet dog howled for her, we resolutely left the building. She cried. She did not beg, as she is a polite and respectful sort, but she softly cried. I was wavering and marveling at the sight I had just witnessed. This dog actually howled for her! She is in tears (and she has never ever cried at having to leave the animals at the shelter before, despite frequent visits).

When we arrived back at PetSmart to pick up Prince a few hours later, this sweet little Chihuahua was still there. Adoption time was ending, and he had not been chosen. He howled to Nature Girl when he saw her walk into the building. She ran to him with tears in her eyes. I caved. I asked the woman if we could foster him for a week, just to see if he would be a good fit with our family, and if Prince would accept him. The woman was elated, and said we could take him for the week. So, we left there with Prince, and our new friend, Ryder, in tow.

Now, how to tell Mr. Nature? He had been adamant that he also did not think we needed another dog. We worried that he would be upset because he had not been consulted or included in the decision. I reasoned that we had not made a permanent decision, and that he could stamp the idea with his ultimate veto if he chose. Mr. Nature was very understanding, but he did not say that we could make this dog a permanent member of the family (yet). He agreed that we could keep Ryder for a week and see how things went.

More in my next post...

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Thursday, November 24, 2016


Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States.  Yesterday, my dear friend gave up her battle with cancer and went Home to live with the Heavenly Father.

Thanksgiving finds its origins in early meals of thankfulness for the harvest.  Over the past almost 400 years, people have held an annual observance of thankfulness.

In our modern lives where we are no longer all hunting, growing, harvesting, and preserving our own food, the holiday of Thanksgiving has become a day to give thanks for all manner of things from food to friends and family and beyond.

I give thanks today for my family, our health, and our home.  I give thanks for my friends, their health, and their homes.  I give thanks for the time I had with my dear friend while she was here with us on Earth, and that she is no longer suffering with the excruciating pain of her illness.  I give thanks that I was able to see her out, and that we shared farewell sentiments.

It is amazing to me how a person can be the glue that holds others together.  Sometimes families don't even realize that a certain person is the one who binds them all, and the hole that person leaves will create a void that all else crumbles and falls into, perhaps irreversibly.

In my work life, I often see families crumble after a death.  Sometimes this can be avoided with good planning.  Other times, it is unavoidable and so dividing that people stop talking to each other altogether.  In my personal life, I have experienced the silence of family members for 15 - 20 years or more.  It is always tragic when the loss of one person causes the downfall of a family, but it shows how important each of us is to the working dynamic of a circle of family and friends.  It also shows the importance of planning and maintaining good, healthy communication at all times.  Nobody wants to talk about what would happen "if", but these are discussions that people need to have so that in the eventuality of a death, all surrounding lives can navigate a smooth transition.

Hug your loved ones tightly, today and every day, and make sure you let them know how to manage with and without you. Most of all, tell them you love them, and let them know you are thankful for their presence in your life.

As ever, I thank the Heavenly Father for allowing me this human existence, and for the love I have known and will know.  I am thankful for the health of my mind and body, for the time I have with my family and friends, and for my ability to lend a helping hand to others along the way.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Joey + Rory - To Joey With Love

I don't know how you feel about Joey + Rory, or whether you are at all interested in their story, but I have been deeply moved by the faith, hope, and love that shone through them as they shared their "severe mercy" with the world. 

I don't watch television, other than occasional choice streaming of specific shows or movies, so I never saw them on the show that catapulted them into the public spotlight. I stumbled upon them online somehow near the time that Rory began his blog and Joey was first diagnosed with cervical cancer, and I was transfixed. 

I have a friend who has been battling cancer for almost three years.  It has taken a lot from her, and she still manages to keep her faith in the Heavenly Father, present a positive attitude, and wants to help others to any extent she is able.  I have had female friends in their 30's, 40's, and 50's die from cancer in recent years. all leaving young children and bewildered, heartbroken husbands. I watched a family lose their 35-year-old father to cancer just over a year ago, after he bravely battled for over 4 years. I lost my father to cancer when he was just 52 years old.  Instead of searching for a cure, I believe we need to be searching for the cause.  If we could eliminate the cause of this increasing disease, we could save untold lives.

Cancer defeated my grandfather when I was 12 years old.  It wasn't as prevalent in those days. There weren't cancer hospitals in every city, and I didn't know one child or young person who had the disease.  I was, however, terrified that I would get cancer.  It looked painful and scary, and it robbed people (us) of their beloved family member (grandpa).  Little did I know that cancer was about to bloom to become one of the leading causes of death, and that almost every person I knew as I navigated adulthood would be in some way touched by cancer.  These days, there are cancer stories in abundance, and you cannot pass a person on the street who hasn't either had cancer or known someone who has.  I have escaped it thus far, but nobody knows the future.

What sets the Joey + Rory story apart, for me, is that it is magnified, inspiring, and beautifully rendered.  Rory was, and is, a song writer.  He was writing songs and giving small performances long before he met Joey.  He has a way with words that allows him to pour out heartrending emotion in a beautiful way, on his blog and now on the screen.  I saw the movie last night, and it was exactly what I expected (documentary style use of "home video" with narration), but also more.  It is not for everybody, but for those who wish to see, it is very moving. 

Some people have posted nasty comments about his motives, but I think that people can find ugliness in any place they choose to find it.  People can also find beauty and truth, if they are willing to see.  I see a mourning husband who believed in the higher good that sharing Joey's life could bring.  Rory has his own faith, but he has stated that Joeys' faith was bigger.  Rory believed in Joey's knowledge that this mortal realm is not our final resting place, and that the bigger picture is where our spirit resides after out body ceases to function. 

Whether we like it or not, cancer is a common thread that binds we humans together, even if we don't know each other personally, and even if we are so different from each other in lifestyle, beliefs, or tastes that nothing much else would bind us. It has become such a common story that many of us turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the human interest stories that we can read every day in almost every form of media.

Joey had a life force within her that even now defies death.  She was beautiful in physical appearance, and also in her soul and spirit.  Joey had a graceful, quiet bearing, and a magnificent singing voice.  She was humble and steadfast in her faith in the Heavenly Father and his love.  I felt that I could almost see light emanating from her in photos, in the video of her live performances, and in the video of her day-to-day life.  No matter what life threw at her, even when she was despondent and in tears, she had a sturdy rod of faith holding her upright and glowing.  

She smiled through her pain.  She wanted to comfort others when they were grieving for her as she went through the diagnosis and treatment.  She knelt to pray, and she sang hymns through it all.

I lament that she is gone, and that her clear and sterling voice will never again grace a live stage on this Earth.  I grieve for her family in the loss of their beloved Joey.  I revel in the legacy that she left behind, and in the shining example of faith she set.  My personal belief is that the Heavenly Father does not cause the afflictions of this world, but He does have a purpose for each of us, and perhaps her purpose was to be that shining example, that others may find Him through her story.  My hope is that, as Rory has been led to share Joey with the world, there will be those who find Joey's life as beautiful, full, and inspiring as I have, and it will lead them to a life of faith and love for others, even if they are in the process of navigating their own devastating life circumstances.  

I thank Joey's parents for guiding such a beautiful spirit from birth to adulthood, and I thank Rory for sharing her with us.  I hope people will see that the Heavenly Father has used her in an extraordinary way, but He did not "take her from us" or "cause her pain".  I hope people will see the light and beauty that shone from her while she was here, and the light that still shines on the wake she left behind her.

As Joey would say, "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through...the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door, and I can't feel at home in this world anymore..."


Friday, September 16, 2016

Where are we going?

Harvest Time

Sometimes you have to stop and take notice of where you have been and revise the plan for where you are going.  You have to take the time to write down the direction goals, and make a plan for reaching those goals.  You have to be willing to sacrifice free time to the cause, which is one of the most painful parts of goal attainment.  You have to decide: DO YOU WANT IT BADLY ENOUGH?

Life is cyclical, and we live through varying seasons of want, need, reticence, apathy, procrastination, determination, failure, success, despair, and hope.  Behind it all, through it all, underneath the layers of whatever lies in the way, there should always be hope.  There should always be "The Dream".  When you forget what The Dream is, or you lose sight of The Dream, or you decide you don't care about The Dream anymore, it is time to stop and take that notice of where you really want to be going.

Are you content to stay in the spot where you are and simply drift lazily along the waters of life, or was there something you really wanted to do?  Was there something you started, but didn't finish?  Something you didn't start, but wish  you had?  Was there always that elusive something that you have never managed to reach?

Now is the time.  Decision will take you out of the state of indecision.  I have to always remind myself that one must have the courage to fail.  Even if failure costs money.  Not failing often means that no attempt was made (thus, no possibility of failure).  Attempting often means that failure follows - for a time.  Failure hurts.  Failure costs.  The attempt costs time that you won't get back. Is it worth your time?

Only you can decide.  For me, the question has always been: Which thing do I want most?  Which thing is actually "The Dream"? Which thing is worth my time, worth the attempt, worth failing at a few times?

I have decided that it is time to sit down with myself once again and decide the direction I want to take.  I am happily married.  I am happy with my family.  I have the college degree that provides the ticket to certain goal attaining venues.  I have the drive to get further than the place I now find myself.  I am at the place of determining how much time I am willing to give to finally complete the leap.  I am here at a crossroads where I need to strip away the apathy and decide to continue the journey.  

One element of The Dream is to be a published writer, and this blog was always for the exercise of the "writing muscle".  I have been on the fence about whether to continue that endeavor in the "Nature With Me" realm, or to begin anew with a more focused blog and a hosted site of my own.  Those answers are not yet clear to me, but I have decided to continue here for a time while I make some decisions about how and where to spend my precious free time.  The journey is long, but life itself is simply a journey; life is The Journey, and we must make of it what we are willing to make.  Our time on this earth is finite, though none of us knows when our time will end.  I think we owe it to ourselves and our Creator to find joy and success, and to help others find their joy and success.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Nantes Hat & Thankfulness

Life continues to fly by at breakneck speed. I continue to be thankful for every day.  No matter how bleak the world becomes, there is always a reason to find a bright thought and give thanks for the gift of life.  The daffodils are beginning to poke their greenery up through the earth, and the grape hyacinth say spring will be here in the blink of an eye.
I am knitting the Nantes hat again. I do so love this pattern! It was published in the Interweave Knits Winter 2011 magazine. It is also available for purchase on Ravelry. I am making my fourth Nantes hat, so I think it is definitely a pattern worth purchasing. In other news, the weather has been unseasonably warm lately. We have had no snow this year. I heard on the radio today that the temperature will be -27 tomorrow in parts of
Vermont. Brrrr!

I hope you all are staying warm and healthy this winter. Until next time,

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Picot Backpack for 18" Dolls such as American Girl, Götz, Madame Alexander

It is here! The Picot Backpack pdf Knitting Pattern for 18" dolls is available on for Free (free until further notice).

This sweet little backpack is a very fast knit and a great stash buster!  It features a ribbed flap and drawstring closure.  I have had good reviews from testers and others who have downloaded and made the backpack from this pattern.  Now that the testing period is over, it is available to all who would like to purchase.

Saige, our American Girl Doll, has been wearing hers non-stop for over a month, and it is still going strong.  She carries her fingerless mitts and her small Schleich toys in her Picot Backpack.

Try it out today...I would love to know what you think.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

The Webkinz Lil'Kinz Sweater

I have been hard at work on a teeny sweater pattern. In 2013, I set a goal to design 5 knitting patterns by the end of the year. I didn't make it. I didn't even come close. I didn't even get one pattern design completed to satisfaction.

But I have not given up the goal - I have just given up the timeline. I am almost always at odds with time. Time is not a friend I would invite to tea. So, I have been busily working on a few designs, and it looks like I might have three finished soon.

 I had planned the first to be muffatees (wrist warmers), but it seems that my plans are often sidelined by other outcomes. Instead of muffatees, my first design ended up being a bedspread for an American Girl doll sized bed. It is a very simple design and will soon be finalized and given to test knitters.

My second design is the Webkinz Lil'Kinz sweater shown in the photos above.  I have knitted two. One for Chico and one for Rosita.  Isn't she lovely?

 I have not yet come to what the final pattern will be, as I need to make more changes to the arm holes, and maybe to the neck. It is knit in the round, and I am not liking the way the arm holes have to be knit, so I am toying with making it a knitted flat project that will require seaming.  I love knitting in the round, so this will be a difficult choice.  Third test will be knit this week.  Once I get the technique pinned down, I will be able to make it for actual live dog sizes as well. 

Off to the needles...


Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Unknown Future

I hope you all are well. I have let my blog languish for far too long. I have been busy - trying to decide what direction this blog should take, and whether it should take any direction at all. I really enjoy blogging, but I have so many interests to puruse and so little time in which to squeeze them all in, something had to give. It was the blog.

I blink, and six months has gone by with no post here at all. Blogger has changed its features and how I post, and I am not familiar with the new dashboard. It takes time to keep up-to-date with the electronic technical changes and "upgrades" to the blogging platform. Frankly, I was not happy with many of the changes, and I was dissatisfied that my login is now a Google login. I have trouble remembering my login information because I have had to merge so many times when large Intenet companies merge/go belly up/sell out to others.

I don't like having to use a Google login to go to YouTube, Blogger, etc. I want a separate login for each place - and I don't want Facebook to log me in to any place but Facebook. I really don't use Facebook for anything but a place I can go to contact certain people if I so choose. I didn't join Pinterest for a very long time because it originally had to be done through Facebook. I don't want to log in to a site and have another site "know" I am logged in. I don't want to be tracked and sent "targeted" advertising based on something I browsed on Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, Overstock, or any other site. I want to explore in an environment that allows me to find what I want when I want it, and that will not try to intuit what it THINKS I MIGHT WANT TO FIND.

All this Big Partnering by "smart" technology has really soured my taste for blogging and other online activity. I expected this post to be about a new knitting pattern I just finished, but my fingers took over and wrote something completely different. Something that I don't see many people voicing, but that needs to be said nonetheless.

 I plan to try to get myself back here more often because I miss blogging and connecting with the blogging community, but I really don't know at this point how often that will be, or whether I will be able to get back into the nice groove I once had here.

Here's to the unknown future...

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Friday, September 27, 2013

She Makes Hats

SheMakesHats, Robyn Devine, has committed herself to make 10,000 hats for 10,000 heads in her lifetime.  She previously ran an Etsy shop, and has hosted a fundraiser for a friend with an ongoing medical issue.

Many of her hats go to charity.  I don't know how she knits so many so fast, and I seriously don't know how she finds the energy reserves to keep churning them out, but she does, and many people benefit.  What a wonderful heart for the betterment of as much of the world she can reach! 

I am happy to have stumbled across her blog some time ago, and I am always happy to share stories of people sharing their gifts with the world.  Sometimes all we can do is make a little ripple in the pond, but that ripple makes other ripples and on and on and on.  In these dark days, we need all the good deed ripples we can make!  There is no telling how far one good deed will go, or how many lives can be reached.

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