These days of mine…

Are filled with crafting and creating, when I’m not futzing around online, reading or watching Netflix, but I haven’t always been a crafty soul…

In my youth I was more concerned with other things and trying to sort out yarn and needles, hooks and string or anything other than my mildly artistic doodling was overwhelming.  I groused for years that I lacked the skills to save my life if crochet or knitting were involved.  Reading, music, life in general took front stage and the attempts to craft were put in the closet of my mind.

Fast forward to my mid 20’s.  I found myself pregnant and desiring to make items for my soon to be child.  Knitting was still too complex to fuddle through, yet crochet seemed more approachable.  Success happened, soon I was creating gifts for cousins also expecting, toys, blankets and clothes for my son… Crafting was happening!  That once complex means of creating things by hand wasn’t quite so complex and distant in my life, I was thrilled and began learning as much as I could about it.  New stitches, reading patterns and charts, collecting hooks and patterns soon paved the way to my creating patterns to share with others.  I could do this, finally I was a crafty person that could make items that even my very skilled great aunt approved of!

Time slid away with crochet being my only crafting outlet until by my early 30’s I was interested in the skill of hand-spinning.  Taking a spindle or a spinning wheel and fiber and creating hand crafted yarn.  A friend of mine had learned how to do this in an art program in university, she did it often while we sat over coffee and chatted, I was enthralled by the craft and desperately wanted a spinning wheel of my own.  Another friend happened upon a spinning wheel at a local yard sale and called me about it, arranged for them to hold it until I could get there and for approximately a 1/4 of the price brand new, I had my own spinning wheel.  Within a week I was spinning as if I had been doing it for years, producing my own yarns from fiber I acquired from online groups and sources that introduced me everything from raw fleece to clean and processed fiber.  Over the years I have tried so many of them… different kinds of wool, mohair, silk, cashmere, angora, dog fur and so much more.  Thick, medium and fine yarns accumulated in my baskets, they didn’t translate to crochet as well as I hoped, so they languished, waiting for a purpose.

Within 6 months of starting my journey as a spinner, I found a particularly large set of needles and took a chance in buying them as a gift for my friend.  Instead, she used them to teach me how to knit.  These large needles and a couple of strands of thick yarn, her patience, a little trial and error and some practice doing just the knit stitch and there I was knitting!  I could do it, I could process it, it wasn’t nearly as hard as my young self had convinced me it was…  There went I with much practice, learning new stitches and new things about this craft, deciphering patterns, collecting the various types and sizes of needles.  I could now knit.  The joke was on me and I was teased about how I could now knit to save my life – LOL.  I didn’t care, I was having fun, I was exploring this new field in my skill set and having a grand time.

 

Now all these years later,  I don’t crochet as much as I once did, knitting has taken over as my craft of choice… Slippers, socks hats, mitts, scarves, cowls, shawls and even a sweater among the things I crafted on my needles in the intervening years. There is a fairly large stash of yarns hidden and tucked away in odd spots of the house to feed the habit with, sometimes I go on the odd foray to the store to buy something for a specific project, otherwise I try to stick to what already lives here.  As well, I have a fair stash of hand-spun yarns, in spite of how much I have sold or gifted to other knitters. Years of spinning have produced a lot of finished skeins of my hand-crafted yarns and I have even taken to knitting things in it for myself and others, instead of holding on to it for “something special in the future”… My future is now and the yarns are finding a use in my knitting finally.  

I have a half dozen items for myself, I’ve done several items for my daughter-in-law, a couple for my son, an item or three for friends as gifts.  Creating things by hand, even as far as creating the basic components from scratch is like therapy for me, the joy and accomplishment that comes from it is so much greater than I could have imagined all those years ago when I bemoaned my lack of skills.  Sometime it takes time, maturity and the right teachers to make it happen.  I have to say, I am plenty glad that all that and more have been a part of my life.

 

I look forward to sharing some of what I do in the future…  Hope you will enjoy taking that journey with me.

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Flash Fiction 22

 

They worked all year to make their quota, the Crazy Crafters Club had high hopes of raising funds for their members to go on that fancy retreat this year.  Each member picked venue to attend and they all worked together to sell the things they made to the masses that showed up.  Unfortunately, it was a lean year so far and they had barely raised enough for one of their members to go.  The latest meeting had brought this to light and instead of trying to pick one lucky person, they were donating to charity…  Far more winners that way.

 

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and try out using her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a 100 word story.

Flash Fiction 21

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Tradition….

It was the same every year as we grew up.

The second Saturday in December they went out in the morning and got the tree, then afterwards it was lunch at the diner.   Then again on the morning of Christmas Eve, we all went to the diner for supper, it saved Momma from having to cook the night before the big day Poppa said.

Everyone a role to play on the big day…

She got up early to start the turkey,

The kids got the delight of presents,

Tasks were assigned to all,

It was the same every year…

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and try out using her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a 100 word story.

Can crowd funding really work..??

I have been considering a service dog for many years now and recently tried applying to training centres that offered dogs that the fees were all or mostly covered.  I have been turned down due to my case being too complex for them to provide a trained dog for me and they wouldn’t give me less than what I needed.  This is totally fair, but that leaves me with no other option but to raise funds to for a dog where the fees aren’t covered.  A well trained dog for my needs can start at $25,000.00 and go up to $40,000.00 or more.  This is why I am hoping you, the public will help.  Such a fee is absolutely reasonable,  but beyond my means as I am on disability.  I am currently working on applying to a training centre that feel they can help me, so I am taking the step to raise funds in the hope I am being proactive in my future!

For years I have known there where complicated things going on with me, but other than being diagnosed with a severe and slowly progressive form of Fibromyalgia, bad knees, crazy loose joints, no one could seem to determine exactly what was going on.  Over time my mobility got worse and now I am in a wheelchair part-time, while trying to stay as mobile as I can on crutch and cane, I am still pretty unstable most days.  Chronic general neuropathic & muscle pain, muscle spasms, chronic muscle tension, numbness and dizzy spells are common everyday things I deal with making applying for a service dog a valid reason to start with…

Recently my new family doctor came on board and started sending me to specialists and it was discovered that I have diabetes and also diagnosable psychiatric issues such as cPTSD, BPD/EID, and severe anxiety that makes going out in public on my own a very stressful effort just to consider, let alone do….

This is the beginning of my message for fund-raising money for a service dog… I paid the money to the doctor and the centre to apply for a dog that would be covered and was denied.  I called another place and they won’t charge me to apply or interview, but the dog isn’t covered.  They are certain they can help based on a half hour phone call, that it would be easy, just a matter of finding the right kind of dog, doing the training…. All I have to do is come up with the money to pay them for their time and efforts.  Easy, right??  *Sigh*  Not so much, after much stress and over-thinking, I am trying the crowd funding idea.  If I can raise enough to get a dog, it would be the best gift for myself I could have…

Please consider donating or sharing my page and let’s see how far I can go to raise the money I need to actually get a dog.

 

THANKS!

Paprikash of Slow-Cooked Lambs Hearts

Source: Paprikash of Slow-Cooked Lambs Hearts

Oh my gosh!  This looks yummy…. but since I have pork hearts, they will have to do. 😉

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For those that might think this is gross, [I mean it’s hearts folks] this can be a really tasty food source and it usually MUCH cheaper than other cuts.  I have seen recipes that call for flash frying like you can do with livers, but I seriously recommend low and slow cooking to get the most out of heart meat… it is a giant, well used muscle and can get super tough if you don’t cook it right.

Any animal heart can be used for cooking, the squeamish will not be able to handle them I would imagine, but for those willing to brave meat that looks like an organ, these can be used for long cooking soups, stews, braised dishes, or my favourite is simmered in a spiced brine and then eaten warm at dinner or cold in a lunch the next day.

Cut them up or leave them whole, hearts on the menu can be less daunting than you imagine… Are you brave enough to try?

Up, up and away…

As I am typing this, I am experiencing my first ever plane flight.  

I’m not going far, a 2 hour flight farther north.  To transport a puppy to his new home and visit with friends I have known about 17 years, yet have never had a chance to meet in person until now.  It’s very much like meeting a blogger friend, but we met on a mom’s group online and over the years we had watched each other’s children grow, supported each other through tough times, celebrated the happy moments together… All virtually via the internet.

Flying in this wee little plane it like traveling in a cramped bus with tiny windows, that is until you look out that wee window and see clouds down below.  I have taken meds for motion sickness to be on the safe side and can sit back and enjoy my coffee and some knitting and just stare out at the world literally flying by. The clouds look like sheets of batting laid out as far as I can see from my window, but I did get a few good shots to share as we were starting out.

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And the next one has a rainbow ring…

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I can’t post this until I land, but this is definitely as fun and easy as everyone kept telling me it would be…

Almost before I know, we are descending into the little airport that is my destination…

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So after the big hugs had been passed around and the puppy I was delivering was lovingly admired, it was time for what turned out to be a longer drive to their house due to the flurries on the highway.  Several stops along the way allowed for stretching and an adorable shot of puppy with one of his new pack members…

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Now I have been here a day and it’s been a great time so far. I am booked to head back home on the 12th and plan on making the most of my time here!

Catch you later all….

Flash Fiction #20

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I have paid my fare to ride the wind.

As the machine begins to rise,

My heart beats a little faster.

The forward momentum begins like nothing more than a merry-go-round.

Speed grows slowly at first,

Like a child I cry out inside… Faster! Higher!

The tone of the machine changes,

The force of gravity pulls at me and I swing outwards.

I close my eyes and imagine I am flying,

The wind in my face and the feeling of moving through space fills me.

Holding out my arms I embrace the sensation.

Too soon I fall back to earth….

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and try out using her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #19

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She blinked as the blinding lights struck her eyes again and again…

Where was she?

What am I doing here?

Who am I?

Forgotten details buzzed in the white noise inside her head, lost to coherent thought and making her dizzy and confused. The lights struck at her again causing her to grip the railing next to her, she turned her head to notice the river below. Something about the calm looking waters below was comforting, appealing to her need to stifle the chaos inside her head.

A gentle hand touched her shoulder…

“Alright there miss?” a soft voice asked.

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and try out using her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #18

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Here we are in an example of a paper copy storage unit. Even though reliable computers and various other digital storage advances had been around for many decades, people of the 21st century still maintained an obsessive need to have paper copies of information. While they were fully capable of storing huge amounts of information digitally, they still feared the loss of the power needed to access it and would process “hard copies” to ensure availability of the information.

Today we can reliably store the amount of information that would have been in this room on a single digital cell…

Flash Fiction #17

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Victor was fuming, the little brat had done it again. Isobelle’s daughter was worse than any of the boys he had grown up with, but Isobelle was his employer, so he could do nothing but fume.

Rotten child, her pranks were out of hand in his opinion.

First had been the peppers strung like holiday lights, then the herbs turned into centerpieces on all the tables, all his ingredients moved about in the pantry and this latest one – Sacre Bleu!

She has hung his onions and garlic about like they were decorations!

How was he to get his job done…

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and try out using her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a 100 word story.