Monday, November 4, 2019

Two Days of Productive Crafting - Loved it

I always try to keep at least half a dozen of my "plastic canvas satin ribbon" crosses in my purse and that spot was bare. I finally found and dug out the last of my whole sheets of plastic canvas. These are all colored sheets, not clear, so they will look even nicer than usual.

When I make these crosses, I do it assembly-line-style in a way. I take a template I've saved, a rectangle without the cross shape yet cut and I use that to know where to make my cut for the "blanks." I cut strips from all of the sheets. Then I take the strips and cut those down further into the cross-shape-blanks. And then, last, I finally cut out the shapes.
I had quite a few sheets. Sunday I started. I did manage to cut all of them into strips. And I did manage to cut 51 blanks - I'll start with just those. I've already cut 3 of them into the cross shapes. I still have ribbon-lengths which I've pre-cut for the weaving, maybe enough for the first dozen or so crosses.

I'll work on them off and on but once I've begun, it's easier to grab them at odd moments and do a few at a time. I love how these look. I've seen patterns around and most of them have smooth edges but the first one I received, back in 1996, had the jagged edges. I like those. It reminded me of his suffering and worked in this context.

Then, today, I finished a pair of crocheted slippers... I have several on my to-do list and will fit those in off and on. The ones in the photo are from my old Etsy shop days, not the ones I just finished.
Rolling along...

Recent Charity Crafting Distribution Counts

About a week ago, I posted some photos of all the bags outside my home, waiting for Louise and Georgie to pick them up and take them to the next stop on their short journey to the local homeless. I promised to post what was in those bags, oh, and if you missed the photos, you can see that post at this link.

Meanwhile, we were so happy to be able to turn in the following:
Hats/Earbands              342
Scarves                         132
Gloves                          54

There are thousands of homeless in every major city today, and we are no different. This barely scratches the surface, but we love thinking that something we made with donated yarn will warm a cold lonely bod out there this winter.

We aim for quantity rather than fashion, and we try for hats first and foremost to warm from top down and over ears, then scarves because they can be pulled up over ears and mouths, and then fingerless gloves which work up quickly for hands that are usually thrust into pockets.

The hats in the photo are the ones made by one of our invisible crafters. She and her hubby live about 60 miles away and she makes them on a knitting loom and brings 300 to us once a year. They are very soft, flexible and warm.
Feels good...

Weird Food Day

Well, the title of this one isn't totally correct - it was only one weird food combo I tossed together. The rest of the day was normal food prep for me.

The weird thing was when I realized I had an old package of Bob Evans whole cranberry sauce in the freezer and still had not figured out how I wanted to use it. I took it out yesterday and defrosted overnight. Then today, I tossed that whole container and 12 tiny meatballs from the freezer into the microwave. That turned out to be a really delicious saucy meatball mixup... ate half today and have half for tomorrow. I don't usually do beef but once or twice a month I give in. And I don't usually do the Bob Evans things because of all the salt or sugar, but I inherited this and will balance today's lapse along the way with healthier choices. I've made myself a promise not to become a stressed out health obsessive -

I did make 3 days' worth of coffee. And I cooked up 8 cups of brown rice, some for the fridge and most for the freezer.

I also packed 3 peanut butter jars with my CBR medley: can of whole corn, can of black beans, and can of Rotel - ends up a whole protein and I use that with the cooked rice during the week, especially when I can't decide what I really want. I also use that at times when I've eaten something I shouldn't and I want to balance it out.

There was one last package of Farmer John's maple breakfast sausage links, so I cooked them up and will use one or two each time I re-heat any of my veggie omelets.

All in all, I did get some food items taken care of... rolling along...

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

My Friend Just Passed On

Thank you all, each of you, for the prayers for her and her family. This will be brief. It is sad on one hand because I feel for the family and what they are going through dealing with the loss, and I am relieved on the other hand because I do not think she would have wanted to have lingered any longer in that condition. It is what it is. I'm happy to have known her.

Sweet Lord Jesus, take care of this sweet soul but also, please send comfort to those left behind. Help them to pick themselves up and move forward, carrying with them all that they loved about her. We trust in you.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Thankfully, October Almost Over - My "Sad" Month

Those of you who know me well know I am generally a cup-half-full person. If life tosses something at me, once the moment has passed, I take a deep breath and move along with whatever steps are needed to deal with situation.

October, however, is always a bit tougher for me these days. It's a month when 4 of my loved ones passed away. I usually can't wait until it is over. Memories surface. Moments get sad. 

The four who are always on my mind this month are:

My mother - loved my mom so very much. She passed away from a stomach aneurysm back in 1994, Oct. 9, the year I moved to Las Vegas. She put up with a lot when we were growing up but it never soured her.

My sister - my baby sis, younger than me by only 11 months, was like a friendly puppy, even with her occasional episodes from the schizophrenia and bipolar issues. She passed away in 2009, Oct. 13, from brain cancer, after four years in a low income level nursing home because of Parkinsons and diabetes complications.

My stepdad - this man helped my mom get over the years she suffered with my alcoholic dad, a laid back Glenn Ford type of guy, all country western, and he passed away in 1990, Oct. 29, from lung cancer.

Tigger - okay, Tigger might not qualify in some folks' eyes as a "loved one" but he surely was that, our only time with a boy cat, a gray tabby who was a real gentleman and loved everybody and was our little host, and passed on in 2012, Oct. 22.

Even though it is a sad month for me when these things come to mind, I am very very grateful that I have commitments to distract me and keep me from wallowing in sorrow and freezing in place. Life, and death, is what it is.
Rolling along...

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Sent Off a Gazillion Bags for Homeless Distribution

Thursday morning, bright and early, my long-time charity crafting friend and her hubby picked up a gazillion bags for the next step of their journey to the local homeless. I think we had 20 or more bags out there. Thankfully, they did manage to cram it all into their vehicle!

Then, this morning they dropped those off to their contact who will take over and get them to each of the two priests who will hand them out personally to local homeless.

In a few days, I'll list what we sent off but I need to post it in our November mobile home park newsletter first. I don't want any of our residents seeing it here first... but at least I can include the photos of all those bags...

So, now half of my big closet is empty of white bags. Except, of course, for a few for Baby's Bounty and the VA. The baby things will go before Thanksgiving, and the VA lap covers will go sometime in December, I think.

Along the way, we begin rebuilding the stash... odd, how quickly our folks in our group become addicted to this...  it's a good thing.
Rolling along...

So Grateful for Crafting to Relieve Current Stress

After visiting my long-time friend at her home while she is in hospice status, I sort of "froze in place" when I got home. She was already in a state where she is totally unresponsive and seemingly unaware.

After a while, I looked around, picked up my hook, and dove into some partly-finished projects.

It is so rewarding to be able to relieve stress with craft projects. I was able to tuck in ends and finish off 3 almost-finished pairs of fingerless gloves and one ribbed hat, for the local homeless.

I might not have done much else today, but between the visit and the projects, I felt better when I came back to the PC to check emails and to post.
Rolling along...

My Friend in Hospice - Status

I visited her home today for a while and left when the hospice team arrived for their tasks of bathing, meds, etc. But I am glad I went, sad as it was. She wasn't aware or responding. But I am glad that when she called for her mom, I was able to hold her hand for a while.

Her family is going through so much right now, not just this. This is a loving and supportive family, and I am happy that they have each other. This prayer post will be short and sweet.

Sweet Lord Jesus, please look down on this family with love and compassion and mercy. Fill them each with the courage and with peace in their hearts, to deal with each step in this sad journey. And please, if it be according to the Father's will, grant her a sweet and peaceful passage. Jesus, we trust in you.

Friday, October 25, 2019

My Heart is Heavy Tonight

It's not appropriate for me to go into any detail at the moment, but I've just learned that a dear friend is now in hospice at home. I'll explain later after I talk with the family a bit more tomorrow. But for now, I am stunned. We thought there would be more time than there is.
For now, I pray for my friend and for her loved ones.

This is a very special woman and our friendship goes back to January of '09, a long time ago. Jane was still alive then, but passed on a month later. Lost one friend, gained one.

Sweet Lord Jesus, you had friends here and watched them suffer and you understand what this family and my friend are going through. Please comfort each one in whatever way they need most. And when I visit them tomorrow, please fill me with enough compassion and wisdom to know what to say. This is very hard for me to take...

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Eggplant, CBR Jars, and so on...

In addition to my visit to the retina specialist today (so far, so good, on that), I managed to get that eggplant I inherited last weekend peeled, sliced, and done up. I took the easy route. I just sautéed the thick round slices in olive oil until just tender. Then I stashed the 6 slices in a container. Over the next 3 days, I'll take 2 at a time out, drizzle some canned tomato sauce over some shredded pepper jack, and add 3 tiny frozen meatballs - sort of like a poor man's (or lazy woman's) eggplant parmesan.

I also made 3 peanut butter jars full of CBR. That's what I've been calling a quickie protein medley I've been enjoying the past few months. I toss 3 things into a bowl from their cans (corn, black beans, and Rotel), stir to mix gently, and put into the jars. I freeze 2, and the other goes into the fridge. I always have a container of cooked brown rice in there, and when I just do not feel like fixing anything big-deal, I toss a few spoons of rice into a microwaveable bowl, and half a jar of the CBR medley. It's satisfying, filling, and tasty. Makes a nice healthy protein bowl because corn and beans make an almost complete, or complete protein - depending on where you read about it.

Also took the time to cook a pack of Farmer John breakfast sausage links (maple flavored) from the freezer - I'll chop/slice one or two at a time into my veggie omelet servings for a while for a change of pace. If I don't change things a little now and then, the same food, healthy though it might be, it can get boring.
Rolling along...

Latest Eye Issue Visit and Thoughts About Our Bodies

Thanking the Lord tonight for a happy visit to the retina specialist today. This was the one-month follow-up. I am still in a holding-pattern and did not yet need the injection into the one eye. However, I did something stupid - (lol) - as soon as I sat in the chair in the final round of offices we visited (eye drops in one room, into another room to wait for them to "take," eye drops in another room, photos taken in another room, into another room to wait), I looked over on their counter and saw the hypodermic sitting on a clean cloth, all ready and waiting!

So, there's no adverse change since last month, so he wants to do two months next time, then maybe another two month, but never more than four months between exams. Each one comes with a small co-pay. But I'd rather keep this rolling, now that I'm aware of the reality of the situation. He always ends the visit with something like, "but of course, if something happens suddenly, get right in here" -

So, thinking about the fact that we discovered this in a routine visit earlier this year with my former cataract surgery crew (from four years ago), I'm very grateful that it is being monitored.

On another aspect of taking care of this body, about 10 or 20 years ago, somewhere after my Stage 3 colon cancer and all the subsequent surgeries connected with that, I realized something I should have been respecting all my life. We do not own our bodies. God created them. They are on loan to us. We're supposed to take care of them.

Granted, many, many things can happen that we cannot anticipate. But I really should have taken better care on quite a few levels - food, health check ups, more physical activity when I was able to do so, that sort of thing.

I might be a slow learner in this respect, but I really am trying these days to take better care of this body so it's at least not in too bad a shape when he asks me to turn it in.

Sweet Lord Jesus, thank you again for a good visit with the specialist. I can't always expect that, given my age and the medical issue, but I thank you for this one at least. Please guide my actions along the way to help keep the status quo but to also accept whatever must be.

Monday, October 7, 2019

My Poor Back Bedroom -

Aside from taking stock of my poor back bedroom today, I didn't do a lot today except for dividing up some things from the fridge into serving sizes and tossing them into the upright freezer.

The back bedroom (the bigger one) and the bigger closet is where I store the 13-gallon white plastic bags stuffed with our handmade items for charity distribution. At the moment, the poor closet is stuffed with 5 full bags for babies and vets. AND there are 10 bags for the homeless in that closet, and 8 outside the closet... okay, what's that, 23 13-gallon bags back there. It's also where the desktop PC is, and the bed I sleep in, and the recumbent exercise bike (which has 2 bags on the seat at the moment). I don't mind all of this... and neither does the cat. In fact, the cat loves to snuggle up against the plumpest ones - never could figure that out.

Anyhow, a few years ago, I used those big green or black Hefty lawn bags. Then they became way too heavy for me to lug from there, through the house, through the pantry, down the back steps, down the drive to the car trunk. These 13-gallon ones are manageable and I'll keep doing this as long as they remain manageable. That will probably be another couple of years.

While I was counting and stacking by destination, I also packed one filled with scarves; the gloves will go into the next one. That sounds simple but it takes time. I must gather what I've accumulated, count as I plop it as neatly as possible into those floppy bags, then attach a tag to the bag and make sure to document it in the file on my hard drive. When we take things for distribution, a little printout goes with those things with a list, a count, of the items being donated that day.

So, my old double-wide mobile home is happily holding for later distribution, not to mention the yarn donated for these items. About that yarn - do not ask!

Between things, I began a pair of slippers for a friend - she stopped in Friday at our usual charity crafting session and asked if I still made them. She bought a pair from me a few years ago, back in '13, I think. Anyhow, I love making those, so I began her pair so she can pick them up this coming Friday.
Rolling along...

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Our Stash for the Local Homeless is Almost Complete

It won't be long before we pass along what we've been making since last winter. One of our "invisible" members (those who work at home and drop their items off to us) dropped off 300 hats this weekend to me. They went inside (all 9 thirteen-gallon bags of them!), added to those already stashed in one of my closets.

In a couple of weeks, before month end, my "right hand" in the group will stop by with her hubby and they'll pick up over a dozen bags and haul them to the next stop along their route. The gal who gets them at that point will divvy them up between the two priests who then hand them out directly to local NV homeless.

There are lots of places to give these things to, but when I began this group back in April of '09, my main goal was to do it for here, at home. We have thousands out there on the streets each winter. And even though we do not get the bitter eastern or midwestern or northwestern weather, our nighttime desert cold is c-c-c-cold, especially if you are out on the pavement and unprotected.

We feel so grateful to be able to make a little difference in their lives, provide even just an item or two for them to warm their bods.

Yep, I love seeing this pile of stuffed white plastic bags grow - and I love the gals in our group - without them, none of this would be possible.

The Energy Level of Some of My Amazing Friends

I was thinking today, after doing a few things in here, how often folks think I do a lot more than I do, and how often they caution me to not do too much. Thing is, I am very very careful to not go over my limit during each of my energy spurts. That's what they are - spurts. I'm not consistent. But I really don't care.

See, in my way of thinking, even more than the medical issues I might have, and those my other senior friends might have, even more than those, is the danger we impose upon ourselves with undue stress.

Stress is unavoidable. I remember once hearing that long-ago TV preacher, Rev. Schuller, point out that some stress is good - a violin or guitar string must be taut, or "stressed," to make lovely music. But in life, stress can cause a lot of grief. So knowing stress will appear no matter what I do, I just try to manage "undue" stress.

Anyhow, today, after I finished making a few days' of coffee, packing serving size (1/4 cup) cottage cheese snacks, making milk, and mixing a batch of salmon/avocado salad for several days, I relaxed in other ways.

And I was thinking about two friends, in particular.

One is 73 and now undergoing dialysis 3 days a week, about 60 miles from me, and she and her hubby must travel about 25 miles each way for those treatments. In addition, they "garden" but I call it "farming" because of the amount they produce on their lot. They have really managed to get a lot of mileage from that spot they've got, day after day taking care of that plot. And somehow, they are dealing with this, and still have their sense of humor, and still make 300 hats on a knitting loom each year for our charity crafting group. Amazing.

The other one I've never met in person. She's a cyber friend. And she and her guy live in Canada, in an area where they get really wicked winters. There's rarely a day goes by without my seeing her post a photo of the jars she's canned that day. It ranges from about 6 to 16 or more, at times. She puts up everything possible. When they get snowed in, they do not need to fret running out to a store. But even so, I don't know where they get the consistent energy needed for that, day after day.

Yep, I do things in spurts. I'm grateful I can do that. But I truly respect and admire those who do far more than I can, and more than I think I even want to at this point.
Rolling along...

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Leak in Pantry - not sure of extent...

Crossing fingers, toes and eyes while saying a wee prayer. Heard a drip in pantry by back door just now when I went in there for tea bags for iced tea. Flashlight shows wet on floor behind dryer which is in front of water connections for washer... called guy to check it out - hope he comes early today and that it is very very very very minor...