Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Snowflakes - ice dam inconvenience!

 Time seems to be flying by...  this past week we "welcomed" more snow... about 4 more inches of the white stuff on the first day of Spring.  You have to love New England!

The manager, Alan, from the Association finally came out to look at the third floor damage.  I've two entire ceilings that need to be re-done due to ice dam staining.  Then the carpeting that is against the wall I share with my neighbor Joan........ jeez, what a mess.  It may mean I need a new carpet for the entire room as the stains don't look like the kind you wash out.  Of course, another week goes by.

As if the news can not be getting better, Alan noticed that there seems to be one of the trusses that holds up my third floor has given away and the flooring is slanted, the walls have separated from the ceiling - not a good sign!   Not in any danger of collapsing but now this project is escalating.

With all that --- here's this week's snowflake courtesy of Snowcatcher.  It is so appropriately named JackHammer.  Like I feel this week!

This one was fun to do!  There is a rhythm in her patterns.  The points on the third round started off a bit quirky, then it was success!  I like this one and may make more of them as they are small, easy to do,   Heck my project needs a bunch of itty bitty flakes.

Here's wishing that Spring begins where ever you are living!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Snowflakes - finding more thread

 Great week, I completed two flakes #14 and #15!

The top is called SP-511 - Unfortunately I don't have the designer's name.  A friend of mine sent me a copy of the pattern.

The bottom is called Sophronia from Snowcatcher.  Her patterns are just lovely.  She puts up a new design each Monday.   This patten had lots of work on the third round.

I'm beginning to understand how the snowflake is made.  Couple yards of thread, a crochet hook, a few rounds of stitches and it happens before your eyes.  Remember snowflakes have six points!

The notebook I set up as I started this challenge - I'm respecting it and including all the patterns, credits, etc that I have worked.  Of course, we  have enjoyed the pictures.  This has been on of my best organized efforts!

My snowflake challenge falls over into other aspects of my life.  I finished up two balls of DMC  #10 in getting these snowflakes so far.  Great as that's two balls out of the open stash box - though no more white.  I began scouring my stash and could only find balls of Ecru ?  Where is my stash of white?

So there I am pulling apart items in the studio.  I found two unfinished thread crochet projects stuck away from a very long time ago.  One was almost done - though I'm not excited about it any longer. I may reclaim the thread from that project - but not right now.   A second one was really not started.  It was a multiple motif placemat - nice pattern but.....  The second project doesn't exist any longer!!  So now a hook can be placed back into the holder and I found an almost full ball of #10 DMC Cebelia!!

Yeah - studio received a few moments of my much needed attention.  I've an almost full ball of thread to continue making my snowflakes.  For the unexperienced, I've 284 yards of thread to continue on.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Living My 60th Year - Circles in Life

What a week - It was housekeeper week and that means things need to get back to their "place" .  I'll admit - I can litter about the place.  Then I pick up and especially during housekeeper week.  So it is getting back around to where it was last month... coming full circle.

Housekeeper week started several years ago.  Once a month, I have a friend of mine come in and clean - mostly big stuff.  She makes it feel great and I get to continue to work.  When she's done - it's like a awakening from a great dream.   Everything is done, kitchen, laundry, floors, carpeting, etc... even dusting!  Go ahead and laugh!  It is the greatest feeling and I can feel the effects well into the next week.   

This past Saturday was the century celebration of Pi -  π is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter "π" since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as "pi"  (wikipedia).

I bought these two tee shirts - kinda cute!  Sent one to my niece Jessica who is finishing up her student teaching of math!  She was excited when I told her - us math buddies gotta stick together.  

By the way it was Albert Einstein's birthday on March 14th ...  gotta love this guy!  

It is budget time in the Town - talk, talk, and talk.  We are faced with some difficult challenges.  The past and current Town Council/Board of Education/Town Manager have spent lots of time kicking the can down the road only to have it come back to hit time in the butt.  The Town folks are not happy and the public is beginning to roar.  The State is attempting to take away the powers of the TPZ of many of the Towns so it can make up a Transit Corridor.  With transit corridors - it also comes with housing, traffic, etc, all on the backs of individual towns and an additional strain on each of their budgets.  Elections could not come any sooner.  This November - we could see the end to a regime, and come back to basics of what our roots, our services, and how we wish to live in our Town, it's a circle too.

Ball of thread - in my snowflake challenge (SC) I've been finishing up balls of thread that had been in the open box located in the studio.  It was getting lots of unfinished balls and that wasn't working.  So with the SC, I decided that I'd use up all the white balls of #10 thread that I had on hand.  Oh my goodness - two balls done and now I couldn't find another ball?  No worry, it was in an unfinished project bag - the project has been eliminated (that feels great) and I've another ball of thread to put to work.

I opened a Port wine over last weekend that I purchased in Sydney Austrialia over two decades ago.  Opening an old bottle, there is a doubt that it was opened - it may have spoiled.  I had to find a pair to get the top off.  The first taste - it transported me back to old Sydney town.  When I was there, I had the chance to taste a 30 yr old of this same wine.  What memories came back!  

Circles of life are everywhere - from  the changing of the seasons to the simple everyday routines we carry out without a second thoughts.  IMHO - we all need to slow down a couple of degrees - look around and appreciate all that we have.  

I'm appreciating a clean home, I was alive for the celebration of Pi, speaking out with what we need vs. not need in budgets, a great tasting port wine and finding another ball of thread to complete more snowflakes.

Take a deep breath - breathe deeply several times and then look around - you will see your surroundings just a little bit different  - Happy Pi!

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Living My 60th Year - how old am I?

With various FaceBook friends we do these silly tests to tell you who you are, or act like and this one is just to tell you how old you are.  On mine - they added to 'kids' together to equal my age.  Oh my goodness - I had to google who they were!  By the way google began on Sept 4, 1998 and I was 42 years of age  ..........  so as of today........
I am 21,605 days old
My star sign is Capricorn. My birth stone is Garnet.
The total number of candles on all my birthday cakes so far is 1,770.
My heart has beaten approximately 2,160,578,xxx beats in total.
My have taken approximately 470,166,xxx breaths in total.
The moon has orbited the earth 791 times since I were born.
When I was born there were approximately 2,825,478,075 other people alive on Earth.
There are now about 7,2097,467 people alive.

As an infant
2nd Mar 1956   Morocco declares independence from France (you were 1 month old)
15th Mar 1956   The musical "My Fair Lady" opens on Broadway (you were 2 months old)
5th Jun 1956   Elvis Presley introduces his new single, "Hound Dog" (you were 4 months old)
4th Jul 1956    The U-2 spy plane flies over the Soviet Union for the first time (you were 5 months old)
26th Oct 1956     Red Army troops invade Hungary to suppress the Hungarian Revolution (you were 9 months old)

As a child
4th Oct 1957  The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth (you were 1 year old)
14th Oct 1962  Cuban Missile Crisis begins after US spy planes spot Russian nuclear weapons in Cuba (you were 6 years old)
28th Oct 1962  Cuban Missile Crisis ends with the Soviets agreeing to removal of their missiles from Cuba (you were 6 years old)
18th Mar 1965  Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov becomes the first person to walk in space (you were 9 years old)
9th Oct 1967   Guerrilla leader Che Guevara executed in Bolivia (you were 11 years old)

As a teenager
9th Feb 1969   The Boeing 747 makes its maiden flight. (you were 13 years old)
20th Jul 1969   Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to step onto the Moon (you were 13 years old)
17th Apr 1970   Apollo 13 returns safely to earth after explosion cripples craft en-route to the Moon (you were 14 years old)
4th May 1970   Four students at Kent State University in Ohio are killed and 9 wounded by Ohio National Guardsmen (you were 14 years old)
3rd Jul 1971    Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors is found dead (you were 15 years old)

In your 20s
12th Aug 1977   First free flight and landing test of the Space Shuttle Enterprise (you were 21 years old)
16th Aug 1977   Elvis Presley dies in his home in Graceland at age 42 (you were 21 years old)
14th Dec 1977   Saturday Night Fever, an American dance film directed by John Badham is released (you were 21 years old)
25th Dec 1979   The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan (you were 23 years old)
17th Aug 1982   The first compact discs (CDs) are released to the public (you were 26 years old)

In your 30s
28th Jan 1986   The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster (you were 30 years old)
7th Aug 1991   The World Wide Web is announced to the public by Tim Berners-Lee (you were 35 years old)
24th Nov 1991   Freddie Mercury dies aged 45 (you were 35 years old)
25th Dec 1991   Dissolution of the Soviet Union. The Russian SFSR officially renames itself to the Russian Federation (you were 35 years old)
7th Feb 1992   The Maastricht Treaty is signed, founding the European Union (you were 36 years old)

In your 40s
1st Jul 1997   The United Kingdom hands sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China (you were 41 years old)
31st Aug 1997   Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a car crash (you were 41 years old)
1st Jan 2001   The dawn of the new millennium (you were 44 years old)
11th Sep 2001   9/11 terror attacks on NYC's World Trade Center and Pentagon (you were 45 years old)
7th Aug 2004   Pitcher Greg Maddux won his 300th baseball game (you were 48 years old)

In your 50s
15th Jul 2006   Twitter is launched (you were 50 years old)
11th Mar 2011   A 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami hits the east of Japan (you were 55 years old)
2nd May 2011   Osama bin Laden killed by US military forces in Pakistan (you were 55 years old)
21st Mar 2014   Russia formally annexes Crimea (you were 58 years old)

1st Jun 2014   The website launches (you were 58 years old)


Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Here's # 13 - completed..  great snowflake and worked up really well.  Thanks to Snowcatcher for the design.  It's called Dusty Snowflake.

I'm still on track to make 50 by Thanksgiving!  

Thanks to Clare for sending me some very interesting snowflake patterns.  Some will be interesting as they are comprised of long stretches of single crochets.

Will need to get the starching process set up.  I can then do them in batches.

Minimalism - February - Sugar in our Food

Minimalism is tough in February here in New England.  Areas where I wish to work on - like the garage - has been tough with the number of cold days below 5° and that's not the temperature with the wind blowing - burrrrrrrrr.

So I keep looking for places to complete or expand on.  I've completed more of the Day 21 - related to the kitchen - I've expanded it to include the pantry and the area of garage that I am storing items. I have found that doing a little at a time, i.e. clearing out the non-essential, and working with it for a little time is the best method for me.

About mid-month, I was able to clean out the fridge - not just for cleaning but to organize what I keep in it.  I've been reading up and watching some documentaries on the US food industry.  If you haven't seen the documentary -- "Fed Up" get it, watch it at least twice and then go to the grocery store and watch the labels!

What is going on is very, very sad and in my opinion, the American people are unaware of how the food industry is operating.  I could go on and on about these issues about our food.  Right now ---  eat only on the perimeter of the store.  Re-read those labels for "sugar".   Sugar - other than what is naturally contained in food - there is so much sugar in food today.   Any of the following are sugars - XyLitol, Tagatose, Sucralose(yellow packet), Sorbitol, Saccharin (pink packet), Polydextrose, Neotame, Mannitol, Maltitol, Isomalt, Hydrogenated Starch Dydroysate, Glycyrrhizin, Gylcerol, Erythritol, Cyclamate (non US), Aspartame-Acesufame Salt (Europe only), Aspartame(blue packet), and Acesulfame Potassium  just to name a few.  The new one on the market  Stevia in a green packet.

Of course, sugar it is stated in grams ---  4 grams of sugar is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar!  Here's a blog article that seems to balance what we need to be paying attention to.

February was good for cleaning up more of the kitchen cabinets.  Each time another one is done.... yep life is so much better.  Wasn't ready to do the pantry closet until I found mouse poop!  He's a healthy mouse this time and was chomping away on my bag of flax seed and drinking apple juice from a juice box.  The cat... found the mouse and was carrying it around.  Her new best friend.  Well she was distracted and I haven't been able to find the critter yet!

So the pantry is cleaned out, and that is great right now.  Note to self ---- store only items in glass containers!

Thanks for reading along.     See below......  that's what is left in the kitchen!

Day 21 - kitchen cabinets - only the necessities  - Take one cabinet/drawer a day
0.  Cabinet to the right of microwave -----  December
1.  cabinet left of microwave
2.  drawer below #1 January
3.  Drawer below #2 January
4.  Drawer below #3 January
5.  drawer to right of stove January
6. cabinet below #5
7.  drawer on left side of island  February
8.  cabinet below #7 February
9.  drawer on right side of island
10.  cabinet below #9 February
11.  cabinet above to the left of sink
12.  cabinet above sink
13.  cabinet above to right of sink
14.  Pantry closet /February
15.  storage in garage.
16.  storage cube in dining room
17.  Cabinet in dinning room January