Friday, July 25, 2014

Karen's latest scribble

Therapy drawing.  This is what comes out when she's "down"! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dave is an Arctic Runner!

This is from January 2014.  Love it that I'm posting it when it's like 85 degrees and all the Washingtonians are melting in the heat.
Try to adjust your thinking back to 17 degrees! 
In most kids' races Dave does well, but he's not really in training steadily, so the kids who train with a coach end up winning.  
This Reindeer Run, Dave entered the kids' race on a 17 degree day and walked away with it! 
The probable winners started off really fast like they normally do and zoomed ahead, but they ended up on the sidewalk with their lungs hurting and Dave just kept on chugging. 
The really great part is that Dave finally won a big race and his mother did not get a picture.  He was TOO fast for me! He came around the corner first, and it surprised me! 

Check out the Reindeer Run fashions!  Some were cute, some were crazy!  
That's how cold it was. 
Another stylish adult runner. 
Smokey the mascot from Crime Stoppers. 

I got a shot of Dave's back and his finishing time!  
There's the bike cop, coming back from leading the adult runners on their course.  What a cool idea!  The frontrunners don't have to pay attention to where to go, they just follow the bike. 

The bike cop complimented us on Dave's cold tolerance  :-)  

Glorious Miscellaneous

You must want to see my random pictures or you wouldn't be here!
And that's why I put them HERE  :-)  

The tank was basically full, but I don't think that's why the pump stopped.

Vicky's been labelling the jars in her kitchen...
I know that this idea came straight from her mother. 

Random excellentness in a parking lot.  I take pictures of stuff like this.  I am a follower of true STYLE! 

That's where I want to live! 
Take summer classes in order to avoid real life.
I chuckled over one of them, but when I saw the whole series and each was funnier...

What we gotta do when we don't have pie pans  :-) 
This was out by the garbage!  I LOVE it!  So classy looking.  And although similar to the ones at "that other place", also distinctly different.
I really like this chair.  Gonna haul this one around with me from now on (Lord willing, weather permitting, etc)
The kids wondered how somebody could actually throw away that nice chair... but they aren't, they put the chair out NOT on garbage day because they expect somebody to grab it within moments.  

This, too.  When I first moved here the boys wanted one of these at the Goodwill for $4 and I was pinching pennies.  This one's in better condition! 
And the table was by the garbage at Vicky's place.
I'll be your garbage collector for today!! 
A glass top for the handy setting down of hot cookies! 
Went for a walk and found this in the grass by the side of the road.  Um, I mean street!  

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The First Anniversary of Freedom

I didn't plan for July 4th, 2013 to be the date of my final escape.  The whole thing began to blow up in the morning and the day went dramatically sideways, but it was only midway through it, about five pm actually, that the holiday came to mind. 
I am an American, this is Independence Day, I am not anyone's prisoner, I am not going to be a victim any more!

It occurred to me that July 4th would be a GREAT date to cast off the shackles, as it were, and deciding to claim that date actually helped by a bunch.

I'd been worried that I wouldn't have enough strength.

Having a deadline helps things get accomplished  :-) 
"I must get free tonight, because tonight is the coolest possible date for it." 

I may publish the account.  It is a pretty good level of drama and suspense!  But maybe not yet.
Right now, I've got some other FREEDOM to celebrate. 

For one thing, FREEDOM from drama!  The daily wallowing in emotions and expectations-- over.

Freedom from blame.  It doesn't matter any more whose fault it all was, or who was the meanest and nastiest.  Because it just doesn't. 

Freedom to go to sleep at night, with peaceful and pleasant vibes.  Leave the squabbling in the living room, "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath."  Be friends again before bedtime, and go to bed with a smile on your face. 

FREEDOM to do something else!  Like, get a life.  Have some plans.  Do some work!  Think of a goal and take steps to reach it.

Some time ago I was walking with Karen and she expressed something just like that-- how do we find something that's really inspiring, something worth striving for?
I started singing on the sidewalk:  "Climb every mountain!  Ford every stream, follow every rainbow, til you find your dream!  A dream that will need all the love you can give--"  etc.
Karen said, "Well, Mom, if this was a movie, I would probably start singing, too." 

Hey, you gotta go with the moment.  

And that's the big news, worth making a blog post about--  I've thought of a dream.  A goal.  Something to do.

I want to be a paralegal!

Does that not sound FUN?  When I read the list of classes, every one of them sounds like candy. 
I have the MS Office skills and the language skills and the thinking patterns. 
I would not do family law.  There's lots of law other than that.  I like contracts.  I like discussions of borders and maps.  I like concepts of right and responsibility. 
When I hear about someone being taken advantage of by others... something inside of me seems to flare up and glow. 

Can I do it?  I don't know.  Are there problems and difficulties?  Yes, indeed.  But is it doable?  Yes.  Could I do it, in theory?  Yes.  Could I do it if I wanted to badly enough and tried hard enough?  Yes and yes.

If it's HARD, then that means it's time to go up a notch. 

And those shoes I showed you a couple posts ago?
*perfect*    :-D 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Divorce is Final

That was hard to get out.
How to get it out?  By getting it out.  Just say it. 
The hardest part of any of these things is to do it.
"One foot in front of the other."  Best advice I ever got. 

I got a Lincoln County divorce.  That was actually Ed's idea, once he had the girlfriend and wanted to be quit of me.  And I must say divorce by mail is a much nicer option!  Never once having to enter a courtroom, not having to do the whole sob story thing in front of strangers who are trying to judge whether I'm telling the truth or not.  
Yesterday they emailed to let me know that the judge had signed the papers, and they'd mailed me the copies.  
It was necessary.  It was long overdue, and it is a relief, but it still felt like a punch in the gut.
Thank God for friends unexpectedly stopping by, which redeemed my day

There, I said it.  And I'm gonna say more, as the fancy leads me. 
NOT going to lapse into silence again!  Not because there's something too difficult to say.   Magna est veritas. 

I really love my famous blog that nobody reads  :-)
Oh, a few peeps read it! 
So I'll go on posting all my lovely, fascinating nonsense.

But first, lemme take a selfie!

It's a random good memory.
I was like eighteenish and the folks took me to the Abbotsford air show so I could fangirl the helicopters the entire day.  Without sunscreen.  A guy noticed my face was burning to a crisp, took this cap off his own head and put it on mine. 

It's not my style!  But I still have it.  I tried many times over the years to declutter it, but random good memories should be kept.   

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fasting Improves Cooking

Made it five days this time.
I really LIKE fasting, for maybe-weird personal reasons.  I like using myself as a guinea pig.  I like making changes to see what will happen.  I like new sensations.
Cleaning some junk out of the old system is always good. 

Fasting sharpens the senses.  I notice that fasting upgrades my sense of smell and touch.
I walked by Pizza Hut and the smell was... repulsive.  Because of the fake and nasty ingredients they use! 
I walked along, pondering this.  When we are in a heightened state like this, we can detect the smell of chemicals as being very unattractive.  I'll bet if there was a real pizza, with a handmade crust with fresh ingredients and oregano, and the toppings were higher quality, the smell would be nearly irresistible.
And then about a mile later, I walked past the Pizza Time.  HOO boy, Lord have mercy. 

Fasting improves my cooking skills!
All of a sudden I can think of a hundred different wonderful cheap meal ideas  :-)

This one doesn't look like much, it's just rice cooked in chicken broth, with fried onions and corn, and cheese on top.  Boy did it smell good, though. 
I wanted some. 

Here's where I surprised myself.  Cooked chicken breast then wiped out the pan, cooked corn at the bottom, the sliced chicken breast over that, then some flour and milk mixed together, and a lot of chopped spinach.
I got unsolicited, flowery compliments from all the kids. 
Karen said it was "ultra yummy" 
This is homemade custard style honey ice cream.  Half and half, blackberry honey, eggs and vanilla.
My nose knows what it's smelling here.

The kids had some while it was chilling and some more once it was frozen. And wanted more. 
I told them I may not be your STANDARD mother, but there's no mother on earth is going to let them have ice cream three times in one day!
Dave told me that was my chance to be a really SPECIAL mother! 

Oh, and I was wearing a muumuu  :-)   
The best part of fasting, I couldn't get to this time.  The best part is once the body is totally independent of food, and all of those uncomfortable, obsessive, worried thoughts seem to just float away, and there's just me and life interacting without contamination between.
That part is cool. 

I would love to eventually do one of those epic 40 day fasts, in order to experience something I've never  experienced before, "true hunger."
I'm really curious about that!  A physical sensation I've never experienced?
I need to know.

(end of my remarks)

True hunger is a sensation in the mouth and throat, similar to thirst, and not a gnawing pain in the stomach. The way it will get your attention is that comes after many days of experiencing no hunger. Seemingly out of the blue, you'll have an intense desire for food.
When food is taken at this point, it tastes extraordinarily wonderful, a real sensual treat. And the act of eating itself is fulfilling, creating feelings of contentment and pleasure. This is the experience eating is supposed to be.
Having once experienced this "true hunger", you will no longer confuse it with the emotional desire or physical discomfort we usually associate with hunger. Such physical "hunger pains" felt either in the stomach, or as "hunger headaches", are said to actually be withdrawal and detox symptoms from rich foods, chemicals, and stimulants.

Most Americans have not felt true hunger since they were toddlers...

If you only ate when truly hungry, it would be almost impossible to become overweight. True hunger is a signal to eat to maintain your muscle mass.

True hunger is not uncomfortable. It does not involve your stomach fluttering or cramping. When you feel it, you know it is a normal reaction that signals a need for food. It makes food taste much better when you eat, and it makes eating much more pleasurable. People are consistently amazed at how good the simplest foods can taste when they are truly hungry.

True hunger requires no special food to satisfy it. It is satisfied by eating almost anything. You can't crave some particular food and call it hunger. A craving by definition is an addictive drive, not something felt by a person who is not an addict. Remember, almost all Americans are addicted to their toxic habits. A disease-causing diet is addicting. A health-supporting diet is not.
Another is that when you eat foods that have toxic properties or that aren’t healthy for you, they create addictive withdrawal symptoms once you stop eating them. Since those addictive withdrawal symptoms are relieved by frequent eating, they drive people to eat more frequently than is necessary. For example, if you stop drinking coffee you get headaches. You can get rid of the headaches by breaking the caffeine habit or by drinking more coffee. Likewise, when you eat a diet that contains processed foods and trans fats, lots of saturated fats and lots of salt, your diet is relatively toxic and when you stop eating for a few hours, you start to feel lousy. Feeling weak, achy, abdominal spasms, and headachy, are not how one feels true hunger. True hunger is felt in the throat, not the stomach.

Killer Shoes from the Clothing Bank

I have enough money to get by, if I'm really careful.  Rice and pinto beans, yum!! 
The lack of any cushion worries me a bit, but I've realized from the lives of others around me, that with any reliable income I am well off.  
The ones I feel sorriest for are the fathers with young families, who can't find a job despite trying.  That's gotta hurt. 
Anyway.  Some have told me to go to the food bank, but I don't feel right about it.  Others need that worse than I do.

The clothing bank is another story!  In America, grown-up women's cast-off fashions are so abundant that there's plenty for all and no end in sight.
In that marvelous place (run by the Catholic church) they hang up all the donations, and a couple times a week let everybody in to "shop" for free.

I've found all kinds of cool stuff there!
What a boost it is to get new-to-me and different stuff to wear, quite regularly!  
In a way, it's even MORE fun even than the thrift shop, because you can pick up anything that looks interesting, bring it home and if you don't end up liking it, just donate it again.
As Karen's pointed out, this expands our options because we sometimes pick up things we are not sure are really the type of thing we'd wear, then it turns out to be. 

I stay pretty true to form  :-)
It must have flowers all over it.  

Karen says of this one, "It looks like you want to be a nurse."
I haven't worn it, it'll probably get donated again! 

These, I love.  LOVE, I tell you!!

There's no longer any law that says I have to wear flats.  I'm 5'10" in these  :-)

For walking around inside buildings, a slight heel is actually more comfortable, but I had not hitherto found a heel that suited me.  Most heels seem so unstable. 
And then I find THESE and they were FREE
*happy sigh* 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Playground! Not just for kids...

Let's post something.  Anything!

I can do this.

The "journey to recovery" has been very interesting so far.  I get out of my pressure cooker, and get out of my head, stop the drama and I can start to grow, expand, become.  What am I becoming?  Not sure yet.  I guess that's the fun part! 

It's helpful to try to remember what I liked as a child, what my hopes and dreams were.

I used to dream of being in the circus.  When my mother took wide-eyed little me to see Circus Vargas, I saw those ladies in spangly outfits swinging from rings and felt the heart-stirring of recognition. 
That was my favorite fantasy from then on, as I played on my rope swing.
The first thing my daddy did, at every place we moved, was hitch up another rope swing for me. 

When I was married and lived out in the woods, one of the loggers who came out was kind enough to climb two big trees and string up the highest swing I'd ever had, using steel cable from the back of his pickup.  He put on an old manila rope that was nice and thick and easy to hang on to, and said, "Now don't trust this for very long!  Be sure to get a different one.  I was going to toss it because I don't trust it any more."

So I swung on it happily for like three winters until it broke at the high point and dumped me flat on my back.  I remember lying on the ground stunned while the kids watched me.  "Mommy, there's blood coming out your ear..." 

My earring had scratched the side of my face  :-)  

When I moved to the apartment last year, I had to find ways to get exercise in the city.  It is kinda cool to live a few blocks, or a couple miles, away from nearly everywhere I need to go.  Money being what it is, I have a perfect excuse to walk. I've gotten better at walking. 

Then I discovered the nearby elementary school had those nice kind of rings with a thick coating. 
Why not walk over there every day it's not raining and try to get my grip back again? 

At first I could hang on for only a few seconds before my wimpy hands hurt, and if I ignored it my palms would bleed.

They've started to get better  :-) 

I guess we go through phases. First we play on the playground. Then we're too old for kid stuff any more. Then we grow up and might like to play, but can't anyway, and are ashamed to be seen trying and failing. Then we get really old and don't give a fig who's watching, and try patiently until we can again. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Karen's Play-Doh Lotus

 Karen-lotus-sculpture-3 Karen-lotus-sculpture-2

And a coloring page... this is what we call "Inskyfied" 


Dave fiction: "The Aliens"

My twelve-year-old's latest adventure! 


The Aliens

At 3:00 am, Dave woke up at the sound of zzzzzzzzt zzzzzzzzzt zzzzzzzt. As he walked out of the bed room, he saw that his roof was being sliced open by a laser then suddenly crashed on to the floor.

Then bright lights shined on to the floor.

Okay that's it! He ran up the stairs and got his shotgun. When he got back down the stairs there were two aliens in red and white space suits.

Dave aimed and shot. Boom-bang it didn't even make a dent!

Then the aliens turned and looked at Dave then aimed at him and...

part 1

Dave woke up to find himself in a small white room. He was lying on a flat bed like thing.

When he got up a man-like person walked up and said, "We've been watching you."

"You can speak English!" said Dave.

"Yes, we took you for a mission."

"What mission?"

"My enemies have almost killed all of us-- you are the only one you can save us!"

"How?" said Dave

"Their radars can't pick you up. I want you to go in their ship and put a chip in a computer and then get out as fast as you can. Can you do that?"

"I will try," said Dave.

part 2

Dave was in a space suit and had a black laser gun. His code name was Stringer.

The alien putting Dave in the suit said, "You will go in a 45x rocket pod, which is invisible to radar. The pod will take you a half a mile from their ship. From there you need to get in somehow."

Dave rocketed out of the ship an hour later in the pod. It landed three hours later. Dave got out and walked around then walked north for a hour.

There was a 50 yard high, 200 yard long, 50 yard wide space battleship. Dave saw a door the size of a car open up and a rover came out. Dave quickly ran over and snuck in as the door shut. Four aliens saw him and started shooting at him.

He quickly rolled over to a wall and shot back and killed one, then ran over to a shelf then shot out the side ziit, ziit, ziit, ziit and got them. Then a loud sound came out of what ever and an army came up behind Dave. Then he ran down a stairway and found the computer room. He looked for the red one and then put the chip in then ran for a big red button. He thought was the big door button. He pushed it then the door opened and he ran out for his pod. Then they stared shooting but he ran away.

Dave got in the pod and rocketed away then boooooooommm their ship exploded!!!!!

The End

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lattice Quilt Idea from Home Depot

A display for privacy lattice.  Look at the cool way they arranged the color samples!  
"That should be a quilt pattern" 

It probably is, I just don't know what it's called. 


I tricked Electric Quilt into cooperating with this by making the diagonal "block" two inches square and the plain fabric "sashing" four inches wide  :-) 

It should be pretty easy to make...

HD lattice quilt idea

Monday, January 21, 2013

Crochet Rag Rug

I used fabric strips and a size Q crochet hook, for the "braided rug" look. 

I made one of these many years ago, but it didn't last long.  First time I put it through the washer it came undone in several places.  This time I used only large pieces of leftover fabric and cut them into huge spirals, to minimize joining, and whenever I had to join a new strip, I made sure to overlap by six or eight inches so that it was wound through two complete stitches.  (I'd meant to SEW all the strips together this time for security, but you know about good intentions.  I think this will stay together!!) 

Boy, it goes fast!  It's also hard work!  Wrestling a hook that large requires shoulders, not just fingers!  So I only worked on it a little here and there.  It was still done really fast. 

The pattern is just single crochet all around, with two sc in each of the six points. 

crocheting-size-Q-fabric-rug-2 crocheting-size-Q-fabric-rug-1 crochet-fabric-strips-rug crochet-rug-done

The Round Knit Dishcloth Explained for Non-Knitters Like Me

An expert knitter was making one of these and I expressed admiration, and she wrote down the pattern from memory for me. 

I tried.  I would make one section come out right, and end up with the number of stitches I was supposed to have, about 1/5th of the time.  No fun. 

The internet gave me a bunch of similar patterns, with varying sets of instructions, several of which... I tried. 

I'm obviously the lamest knitter on the planet, that or I just can't count. 

knit-round-dishcloth-1 knit-round-two-1

I finally figured out what I needed was a list of how many stitches I'm supposed to HAVE at a given moment (not how many I'm supposed to remove) on every single row. 

I wrote it out for myself in knitting-kindergartener language and crossed off each row with a pencil as I completed it, and voila!  Success! 

Here's my easy no-fail version for any other baby knitters out there  :-) 

* * *

The Cotton Knit Dishcloth (Written out with numbers)

From a pattern by Marion Torgerson, that I rewrote to make it easier to keep track

worsted weight cotton yarn, size 7 US needles

Cast on 15 stitches

row 1: knit across. (ends with 15 sts on needle)

row 2: k3, yo, k11, leaving 1 st, turn.

row 3: knit across. (ends with 16 sts on needle)

row 4: k3, yo, k11, leaving 2 sts, turn.

row 5: knit across. (ends with 17 sts on needle)

row 6: k3, yo, k11, leaving 3 sts, turn.

row 7: knit across. (ends with 18 sts on needle)

row 8: bind off 3 sts, k2, yo, k8, leaving 4 sts, turn.

row 9: knit across. (ends with 16 sts on needle)

row 10: k3, yo, k8, leaving 5 sts, turn.

row 11: knit across. (ends with 17 sts on needle)

row 12: k3, yo, k8, leaving 6 sts, turn.

row 13: knit across. (ends with 18 sts on needle)

row 14: bind off 3 sts, k2, yo, k5, leaving 7 sts, turn.

row 15: knit across. (ends with 16 sts on needle)

row 16: k3, yo, k5, leaving 8 sts, turn.

row 17: knit across. (ends with 17 sts on needle)

row 18: k3, yo, k5, leaving 9 sts, turn.

row 19: knit across. (ends with 18 sts on needle)

row 20: bind off 3 sts, k across row (ends with 15 sts on needle)

Repeat these 20 rows seven times, draw up the center and sew together.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Scraps from the Free Swap!

At the last free swap, I made a beeline for a lady I knew was a source of fabric.  She passed me the two bags of it that she had brought, and I took them away unopened. 


There is NOTHING more fun than washing and ironing out a whole pile of new fabric. 

Several were a whole yard or two, best suited for sashing or future-grandbaby dresses.  But my favorite part of the deal actually isn't the large pieces.  I like the little scraps and strings the best!  They keep me calm for a long time, washing, sorting, ironing, and arranging in my string box. 

scraps-from-Free-Swap-1211-02 scraps-from-Free-Swap-1211-03 

That one chunk of quilt-shop quality butterfly fabric was easily the coolest piece in the two bags! 

scraps-from-Free-Swap-1211-08 scraps-from-Free-Swap-1211-09 scraps-from-Free-Swap-1211-07scraps-from-Free-Swap-1211-04

See, I have a new ironing board cover!  Isn't it pretty?  Especially compared to the old one which was burned and stained, but still had its picture posted all over on the internet! 


There's my box of scraps, revitalized with fresh stock!