On The Trail

Winter isn’t my favorite season. Bracing against the cold gets more tedious every year. Climbing into our car the other day, I was all bundled up, arms full with purse, packages, etc. My Beloved urged me:  “Close the door, close the door!” He was in a hurry to go. Dismayed, I glared at him and proceeded to pivot my legs and feet into the car before closing the door.

RandyThe image of Randy (from A Christmas Story) came to mind. Having obeyed the first rule of Winter (layers), I was encumbered by so many layers, my arms and legs moved only sluggishly! The garb prevented the gusty winds from penetrating, but if there’d been a fire, I’m not sure I’d have made it out! Continue reading “On The Trail”

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Tale of the Two-Minute Job

Over almost forty-five years of wedded bliss (work with me here), my Beloved and I have cultivated a symbiotic relationship. There are numerous facets to this symbiosis, one of which is (1) I break things, (2) I attempt to fix them and (3) he eventually follows up by fixing them correctly. Amid a multitude of missteps, this is a dance we’ve perfected through the years.Handyman_Tools

While he was still in graduate school, we repainted the house we were renting. Since he’d done house-painting full-time during summer breaks, he knew the tricks of the trade (unlike me). When repainting began, I offered to help. As a can-do person, I naturally believed I could assist … I mean, you have a paintbrush and some paint … you slip the brush into the bucket, drench the bristles and slap paint on the wall. It’s not rocket science, right?!

In short order, I was demoted from painting most surfaces and given the task to paint louvered doors. Ugh! Eventually, that task was taken from me as well. Ever since, I’ve been banned from wielding a paintbrush.

… But I’m the kid who assisted my daddy whenever he had a job around the house. Granted, I was mainly there to hold the flashlight or keep the ladder steady or fetch another tool from the basement workbench, but I was his assistant! My experience didn’t qualify me as an expert, but more practice was all I needed in order to attain weekend handyman, er, handy-woman status (so I thought). Continue reading “Tale of the Two-Minute Job”

Wanted: Computer Nerd ASAP

Since about 1992, I’ve been working with computers. In those early days, I ignored my younger brother’s advice to go with Mac (what did he know … he was my kid brother after all). I wholeheartedly jumped on the Windows 3.1 bandwagon.

We had dial-up internet and as I recall, the speed (theoretically) was in the 14.4k range (bits per second?) But we were amazed computers could communicate over a network! Wow! Eventually, we ditched the outmoded modem for a smokin’ hot 56k — boy, we were zooming!

(It’s been so long, I’m having trouble recalling the exact terms, but all those old modems are still gathering dust in a box out in our barn. Maybe when I’m old and gray … uh, really, really old and gray … my grandkids will dig through that stuff and ask me, “What’s that odd-looking thing?”)

In the years since, Windows has released multiple iterations and advanced its operating system far beyond what we experienced in those good old days. I remember 3.1 — a single window at a time, but we were tickled pink with its fancy, colorful interface. How far we’ve come! Continue reading “Wanted: Computer Nerd ASAP”

Have A Cowl!

Today … a temporary respite from my musings about weeds and garden challenges. Gardening is one way (technically) to work with my hands, but some of my other passions also involve handwork. In a post from last year, I referred to my family name, suggesting the influence (both as a writer and as a knitter) my forebears may have had on me. There’s no doubt:  I am a knitter.

Last fall, my daughter-in-law (DIL) resigned her patient coordinator position and became an entrepreneur. (Hooray!) She bravely launched a vintage clothing and housewares boutique in our community. (In a down economy, she’s — thankfully — enjoyed a good measure of success.)

Her unusual boutique suddenly offered me a ready outlet for my handwork — I mean, there are only so many gifts family members will endure before they say “enough with the knitting!” Given this opportunity for DIL to sell my creations, I definitely let the knitting needles fly. Pictured here, DIL is wearing a red cowl, doubled around her neck for warmth. I used Lion Brand Homespun yarn to emphasize its cozy texture, rendering a subtle seed stitch design.

The pattern I used was a Lion Brand design. The model (pictured in the free pattern link) wears her cowl long. In Lion Brand’s example, the use of Hometown USA yarn displays the seed stitch with greater clarity. I think both looks are attractive.

My DIL liked this pattern so much, I knitted additional cowls in different colors. A couple she sold at her store; others were gifts.

Though I didn’t use the Lion Brand pattern for all, here are several others I made and she (almost immediately) sold. Fun!

  Of course, it never hurts to have a beautiful young model eager to wear your creations!