Saturday, July 29, 2017

Evidently gray hair means you are deaf, dumb and blind too!

Okay, I am going totally 'off script' tonight to touch on a topic that unfortunately has become all too prevalent in my life...being patronized as an elder.  I'm usually not too sensitive but then again I stay away from main stream society so I am not exposed to it much.  But on the occasion when I do go out which is usually only to the grocery store I have noticed that each and every time I am treated as if I am 'deaf, dumb and blind'.
The local store is trained to offer help as we live in what used to be a retirement town.  It isn't as much anymore and it certainly has no conveniences for retired folk but I digress.  So, the clerks are all fairly young and always offer to carry out your groceries by asking if you need 'help'.  I refuse but then they come back with 'are you sure'?  One day she even said "this is really heavy, let me get you someone to help you"....I had already refused her twice but she insisted whereby, I asked her why she felt I needed help?  I told her I was not limping, I did not use a walker nor was I in a wheelchair so why did she think I needed help????  She had no answer because if she had answered she would have to admit it was because of my gray hair.  What else could it be?  This has happened more times than I can shake a stick at and today took the cake!  Granted these are store employees who are trying to help but today it was another shopper!
I was looking at pickles and relishes and actually looking for a relish from Oklahoma (we are neighbors and sometimes get products from their state) that Pioneer Woman mentioned in one of her recipes.  I was planning on making her macaroni salad.   As I am perusing the shelves I hear a voice asking me if I needed help "reading" first I ignored it but the voice returned louder...after all I have gray hair so I must be deaf!  I looked up and saw a fellow shopper (not an employee) who again asked me if I needed help "reading".  I was in shock and gave her a 'deer in the headlights' look.  I told her no....and asked why would I need help "reading"?  I must admit I was not very kind and I'm sure by then I had a not very nice look on my face and a 'tone' to my voice.  She mumbled something and walked away....thank goodness!  I'm not usually rude or unkind but I am really tired of this patronizing behavior by people and it just seemed to start when my hair started going gray!
Now, many of you would probably think these people are being kind and considerate but I don't take it that way after experiencing it every time I go out in public!  It is patronizing, demoralizing and pathetic that we give so little respect to our elders and treat them like they don't have the sense to come in out of the rain!  Really?
So, the next time you see a person with gray hair, please do not assume they need help or they are weak or deaf or can't read....we will ask if we do need help but most of us have worked hard all our lives, raised children and been through some kind of hell and back again.  You would be wise to listen to us as we have a world of knowledge and wisdom that only comes with gray hair!
P.S.  This will not be read by the people that need to read this because my blogging friends have always treated me with the utmost respect and kindness regardless of their age or mine.  I certainly hope I have not offended anyone by my tirade but I also notice they do not treat older men with gray hair that way.  Okay, I've said enough and no I have not been drinking! LOL!   
Happy Trails!!!  

Friday, July 28, 2017

My hand crafted life...........

I was thinking recently about what my 'retired' life is all about and what my hopes, goals and dreams are and to be honest, the older I get the less I want or need.  There's a big difference between 'settling' and being content and at this stage of life I am content.
 I've actually never been happier but then why wouldn't I be?  I have food, shelter, entertainment, wonderful companions and a very simple lifestyle.  I have my blogging friends who are custom connected because of our common values and interests and  for the first time in my life I can sleep without setting an alarm! 
 Living alone I can pretty much do what I want when I want without disturbing anyone else.  I've been known to wake up at 3:00 a.m. and, feeling rested, start my day!  So, the goals I have are simple but yet will require effort on my part to accomplish them.  I have concluded that I am part pioneer...I truly enjoy making do with less, making everything I can from scratch and doing many mundane tasks.  Crazy?  Maybe, but it has given me much peace and tranquility in my life.
  When I had my little farm it was called Serenity Acres but it was anything but serene as I was working full time, on call, my family was leaving, even my husband, and I was juggling a million balls in the air....until I got sick and they all came tumbling down.....on my head! LOL!  It was a 7 year exodus from my life as I knew it and lots of heartache and loss and illness but when I look back now it forced me to recreate the life I have now which I love.

 I came to love myself instead of waiting for others to appreciate me, I came to a spiritual awakening that led to a close relationship with my God....which may be different from  yours but which enables me to be alone but never lonely. 

So, you ask, where is all this leading to?  My realization that all I really want now is a 'hand crafted' life for as long as I can sustain it.  My interests are many but they all involve doing things from scratch, making do with what I have (as much as possible) but also taking advantage of some conveniences so I do not harm myself.  This last RA bout, I couldn't open my garage door because it is broke and I have been opening it manually for about 5 years now.  Also, I think I will get the dryer fixed as I couldn't get down the basement stairs with a basket of wet clothes in my arms and I couldn't mow my, I may be getting some conveniences and some help while at the same time freeing myself  up to sew my own wardrobe, make my own cheese, do some carpentry around here and decorating and learn some new skills to enable me to remain independent and healthy and financially solvent. 
I still want to move to home town where I grew up.........
 I'd still like an old farm house out in the country to fix up...............
but while I will continue to work towards those things, I will also continue to enjoy every minute I
have left on this planet and hopefully share that joy with others!

 Have a wonderful weekend everyone and remember, "it's a great life if you don't weaken"!
Happy Trails!!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Christmas in July!!!!

Yes, it's finally here!  Christmas in July and it is a day where us 'makers' start officially 'making' (if we haven't already) for the coming Christmas Holidays!  Gather up your ideas, check out all those 'pins' you've been pinning on Pinterest this past year, check out Craftsy's Handmade Holiday for their reasonable yarns, kits, materials, free patterns and FREE SHIPPING with keyword HANDMADE.  Order your materials and let the making begin!
 As for mine.....this is the year of 'finishes' for me and most of my 'makes' will be gifts that weren't finished in time for a past celebration (tsk, tsk).  This is fortunate for me as it means I have already paid for the materials and for some projects there is already significant progress....Yay!  I have about 7 family members to 'make' for and of course my immediate family....Nitty, Annie, Grace and Miss Peeps, and friends.  Plus, there are a few items I may want to purchase for myself such as yarny goodness in the form of Advent Calendars.  Some are very pricey but I found the Opal Advent Calendar which is much more reasonable than the hand dyers.  I mention this only because you need to order ahead of time so they don't run out!  Also, there is Little Bobbin's Christmas Eve cast on (an annual event) which is for the sock knitters out there and you need to have your yarn and needles ready to cast on Christmas Eve.  Just yesterday, I finished last Christmas Eve's socks.....whew! These will be worn this coming Christmas Eve.
 I already have my yarn for this Christmas Eve and it is gorgeous!!!  It is by Brazen Stitchery on Etsy and it is self-striping fingering weight yarn in the colorway "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" from the movie "Christmas Story".  See the sparkles?  She even included a Christmas write my letter to Santa!

For those of you who are not 'makers', QVC has a Christmas in July special all day today where you can do your Christmas shopping right from your pajamas.....with a cuppa!
July is like the most expensive month of the year for me.....crazy but true.  It is more expensive than Christmas partly because there are lots of birthdays, doctor and vet annuals plus I buy the supplies for the Christmas 'making' and of course the AC runs non-stop this time of year.  But, thankfully, this year I have most of the supplies already.     I noticed Lion Brand also has a Christmas in July Gift Guide 
Just so you can 'get in the mood' here's a Hallmark Christmas in July Movie Guide
for your viewing pleasure!
If you know of any other Christmas in July special events please feel free to share them in the can never have enough help when it comes to Christmas and the holidays.  Enjoy this day........the official starting point to Mrs. Claus's workshop here for the 2017 Season of Making!
Sharpen those pencils, make those lists and get those supplies ready.....we're off to a Holiday Wonderland!
Merry Christmas and Happy Trails!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

YOP Week #4

  I have a fear of commitment and now I know why!  The minute I commit to anything, it seems providence and/or  'the powers that be' start laughing and whispering.......'we shall see about that'.  Remember the sad tale of the the star ornament and remember how I said, "well, at least I should have a finished sock by next week"?  Not so much.........but I have worked on it.  You see I had several doctor appointments this week and little did I know that one would result in some 'in office' minor surgery.  I'm fine but it was my toe and I've been limping along and have meds to take with food 3 times a day and I only eat twice a day so I had to come up with something else plus twice a day I have to soak it and change the dressings.  I'm fine but it's just very time consuming and instead of being able to put my 'feet up' and recuperate.....I spent a day in Mountain Home and came home to my usual responsibilities.  There was little if any pain involved so I am very grateful for that but I had my eyes dilated the same day! LOL!  It's been quite a week you think my life will ever settle down? 
The good news is, I am healing and my eyes are great and they will monitor my eyes for the new RA medicine I am on which is much more affordable.  End of story...........but the socks are not finished.....close but no cigar............
 My daughter and SIL  celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary so I thought I would whip up a little Bluebird of Happiness (a free pattern on Ravelry which many have made....successfully, I might add).....I had some troubles as it called for a WT (wrap and turn) throughout and I had never done that particular instruction before.  I watched some You Tube videos and went to which has always been so clear and helpful and they all seemed a bit different. So, I went straight to the source....the author of the pattern,  Sara Kellner.  I emailed her and she got right back to me!  She gave me these instructions which were very clear and understandable.........or so I thought.......

"No worries - it’s not a dumb question at all! If short rows in the round is not something you’re used to, then of course you’d be confused - anyone would!
The answer is very simple. If the round says to:
K3, WT, P6, WT, K3
Then you will K3, WT, P the 3 you just knit, then P the next 3 on the other side of your beginning/end spot - in other words, the last 3 sts in the round. Then you will WT, and K the 3 you just purled. And now you’re back at the beginning of the round again.
Same goes for all of the WT rounds. So on the next one you will K4, WT, P the 4 you just knit, then P the next 4 on the other side of your beginning/end spot, WT, and finally K4.
Now that you know how to do this, you can make any of my patterns! :-)"

Yes, you can laugh......I would too if I wasn't once again...disappointed in my 'knitting performance'...............and what happened to the tail?????  Really?  This is the best I can do?  I think I will be sewing this week.................
 When I was at Walmart I was able to pick up some new yarn...........unplanned for but it caught my eye............Lion Brand's version of 'cake' yarn for $'s light at a 3 weight, it is 590 yards or 540 meters and 150 grams.  It comes in a variety of color combos and is machine washable and dryable which is great for my gift giving to people who do not have the time to care for fine woolens nor do they want to! LOL!  It shows a scarf/cowl and I think I will look on their website to see what else they make with these 'cakes'. is Christmas in July officially starting on the 25th!  Next week I will post about what I am 'gifting' this year in the 'handmade' department.

I also picked up this 'scrubby' yarn by Red Heart for guessed it....scrubbies!  One of my  ideas was to make some gift sets including scrubbies and some coordinating last night I got the pattern off the Red Heart website for citrus slice cute! But this yarn is so stringy and sort of rubbery that I could not see the stitches so I will be returning it and getting my money back!  Has anyone used this stuff?  I am feeling extremely dysfunctional in the knitting and now crocheting arena.  I may be sewing from now on!  
I also bought the cotton worsted for the cloths to was a nice idea.........until it didn't work!
I did get this new magazine by Pioneer her and her dishes and her cookbooks and her Food Network show and her recipes are divine!    I thought it would be pricey like most magazines today at anywhere from $10 - $25 but it was a mere $4!!!!  I couldn't believe it.........thank you, Rhee!  Finally a sensible, non-greedy business person!  So, needless to say, I picked it up. 
 This week I have been watching a podcast about sewing, knitting and decorating by a darling young 'mum' in the U.K. with exquisite taste and talent......The Little Tailoress.  I highly recommend her podcasts!  She doesn't have a lot out there yet and only podcasts about once a month so it's not hard to keep up with her but she has gorgeous projects and a gorgeous home and she looks like a movie star!
Hopefully, I will get my life/act back together this week although I do have future doctor appointments and vet appointments and the roof boys were back last week!  I'm also getting new glasses so there are going to be many trips to Mountain Home in my future!
I wanted to end on a more positive note so I saved this for last............Susan B. Anderson's mini-mitten bookmark/ornament pattern which...cross your fingers.....I am able to knit.........I've finished the hand and now need to do the thumb which is on waste yarn.  If I can successfully complete this I will be making quite a few for the grand's 2017 Ornament of the year and one for my tree and also for the 12 Ornament Along by Maker's Haven and The Homespun House.  Wish me luck!
I hope you all had a great week and I can't wait to see what everyone has been up to!
Happy Trails!!!