Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Library Loot June 2020

Library Loot June 2020
The Public Library here in Longview, Washington has just begun accepting returns of items still in our possession at the time the shelter-in-place rules came into play locally in late March.  And they are accepting placement of holds and the checking out of up to five items for six weeks.  The catch is there is still no going inside.  Delivery of the items is via drive through and the arrangements need to be made ahead of time by email or phone so the items can be prepared for you on the day of your arrival.  Prepared includes checking them out to your account even though you are not there to present your card and placing them in a sack.  When you arrive in the parking lot you remain in your car and someone approaches to request your ID and then the bag prepared for you is brought.  In this case since I don't drive my sister was my designated retriever as arranged via email earlier in the week.

The four items:


  • DVD of the movie RBG about Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
  • Book on CD: The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown
  • Tree book: Islam in the Modern  World : Challenged by the West, Threatened by Fundamentalism, Keeping Faith With Tradition by Seyyed Hossein Nasr,
  • Tree book: The Catholic School by Edoardo Albinati


Islam in the Modern World was a surprise as it was not one of the items I placed on hold.  It was related closely by subject but yet very different.  The one still showing as on hold in my account is: My Isl@m : how fundamentalism stole my mind--and doubt freed my soul by Amir Ahmad Nasr. 

Ah, same last name. 

This one is a memoir of someone extricating themselves from a fundamentalist religion and I collect these stories to compare with my own experience.  I find that all the fundamentalisms have more in common with each other than with the mainstream or traditional practice and faith of their own religion.  Tho I'm disappointed in having to wait until next time for the memoir I'm quite interested in the overview of the same issue by the Islamic scholar.

The other tree book was the first item I put on hold as soon as news came of the plans for drive-thru checkout. I had The Catholic School checked out from late fall right up until about a week before the Library closed for the duration.  Tree books are very difficult for me to read and the bigger they are the harder it is to control the placement of the page in relation to the angle of the light and the distance to my one eye that can still see text with 3x magnification. 

This book is over 1200 pages.  It takes me five to seven minutes per page and my wrists and arms tire after half an hour.  So do the math.  It is still not available in audio at the Library of Congress talking books or BARD and the Kindle is going for $19.99.    Get real!  I've discovered via on-line searches that the ebook is available through the Overdrive/Liby systems that contract with local libraries but the Longview library has not acquired it for their Washington Anytime Library.

I'm really excited to get back to The Catholic School and am hoping I won't have to start over.  The book is translated from the Italian and is a coming of age story that is based on events in the authors own life that are centered around a horrifying national scandal that took place in the 1970s when several young men who had attended the same Catholic School as the author abducted, tortured, sexually assaulted and murdered multiple young women.  Albinati attempts to analyze all the cultural influences that contributed to the psyches of these young men.

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Monday, June 15, 2020

Neither One Nor the Other--Maybe Both?

Infinity Scarf/Shawl
I made this Infinity Shawl in approximately three weeks.  I started it the week of May 20th a few days after I'd 9 finished for the month of May at that point.  I allowed myself to start this new project as a reward and with a promise I was going to work it steady until done. One of my motives was to find out how long it took me to work through a whole cake of Red Heart It's a Wrap.

I was estimating a week but it took about three although the events around the final breakup of my marriage ate into crochet time and near the end of the cake it developed a snarl that took me over two days to untangle.  So I think a fair estimate is 10-14 days of steady work averaging four hours per day.

One of the reasons I need to know how long it takes is ever since I ordered and began working with my first It's a Wrap I began collecting the colorways including multiples in my favorites.  I've already made another infinity scarf with a hood and a circular collar tent dress thingie with large mesh for wearing over summer outfits or swimsuits.  I've not posted pics of either of them because they are in the all-but-finished bag awaiting tail tucks and other finishing touches.  I've also got two more shawls on the hook--one a triangle the other a mandala.  And I've got plans for two or three shawl and skirt matching sets.

Red Heart It's a Wrap - Action

The Mandala shawl I'm making is with the colorway Action and I've ordered a total of 5 of that colorway in the last year.  I'm intending to make a skirt and a sleeveless top out of it to make an entire outfit with the shawl.  There is another colorway in blacks and grays I've collected for the same purpose.

This yarn is a lace weight cotton/acrylic blend that creates a supple drape and is soft to the touch.  I delight in working with it.

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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sunday Serenity - The Andy Griffith Show Theme Song



Listen to this three or four times in a row and try to stay glum.  Can't be done.


Last Sunday I went to my husband Ed's apartment in Kelso to retrieve the things I'd left there over the last two years of Sunday visits and occasional weekend overnights.  We had the conversation that ended our 41.5 year marriage.  Not a serene Sunday.  No Sir.  (for the backstory see these three poems in this order: Piles of Painted Echoes and My Heart is the Lake of Fire and Who Am I Without You? )

This weekend my Mom resumed her weekend visits with my brother's family in Portland OR.  Even before she left Friday afternoon I'd already started covering her bed with the contents of the back-and-forth-bags and the plastic dresser I'd brought home last Sunday.  I added to all that the clean clothes that had accumulated from the laundry over several weeks and other wardrobe items that were not stowed in their homes.  

Contributing to the disorder was the habit I'd developed of using items out of the travel bags and stowing clean clothes back in them or piling them on top.  It generated a sense of being neither her nor there.  Along with a deep sense of homelessness.

Before midnight Friday I'd cleared Mom's bed of the first pile having bestowed order upon my wardrobe, accessories and personal items.  Not perfect yet but getting there. I set up so I can continue to sort and organize smaller containers during the week Mom is home without covering her bed.  

I did not rest on my laurels.  I immediately began a new pile on her bed.  This time of craft paraphernalia from the room across the hall which is my office/crafting room.  It has been the same situation there with the back-and-forth bags and boxes of crafts and writing stuff including electronics.  This was a more complex project and took me until late this afternoon to get Mom's bed cleared. There was a lot of going back and forth between the rooms and in the end I've established a similar situation in which I can do fine-tune sorts of smaller containers without commandeering Mom's bed.  At least not for more than a few hours in the afternoon.

The irony did not escape me that with Mom returning to Portland for the first weekend since the shelter-in-place regimen began in mid March I might have been schlepping those bags over for our first sleep-over in three months but instead I'm busy unpacking, sorting, organizing and stowing all manner of stuff: Clothes, crafts, health-and-beauty aids, electronics, books, office/writing paraphernalia -- along with thoughts, feelings and memories.

Since I only have the stamina to stay active about an hour at a time I took sit-down breaks to crochet and/or watch videos.    Altho there have been a few others I've been nearly bingeing on Season 1 of The Andy Griffith Show.  Since this is a show that aired during my childhood and Ron Howard who played Sheriff Andy's son is only 3.5 years older than me this is a total nostalgia kick.  

It is also helping me to remember who I was before I became who I am and grounding me in my own history and memories.  In other words it is helping me find hope that there is a viable 'after' a devastating ending of a 41.5 year marriage.  I may have lost my best friend but I have not, as I half expected to discover, lost myself. 

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Friday, June 12, 2020

Finished Crochet in the Month of May


Crocheted Circular Collar Tunic Top
Actually this one was finished in December for my Mom's Christmas.  It ended up in the same laundry load as the rest of May's  finished items because I was using it as a model for the one pictured below and it needed a wash after all the handling and dropping on the floor it endured.

This was an original design.  Inspired by pictures of other projects I saw on social media but I sculpted it by trial and error rather than following any of the patterns.

They were both made with Lion Brand Comfy Cotton.

Crocheted Circular Collar Tunic Top
This one was made for Mom's friend who helps in her care when she spends the weekend at my brother's.  I began it in early March and finished it in mid May. Mom is returning for one of her weekend visits for the first time since mid March today.

I want one of these myself now but I won't allow myself to start it until I finish at least one significant WIP  including finishing touches and one item pulled from the 'all but finished' bag pictured at bottom of this post.

Crochet Bag for Travel Blanket

This was the travel blanket bag I made inside a week in early May that inspired the getting stuff finished project that ensued.  The post I wrote about it is linked in the caption

This was made with Lion Brand Cobo in magenta.  The mesh was created with double crochet alternating with single chain with the DC made into the DC below rather than the chain space.

I want to make several of these for myself now.  For WIP kit bags and water bottle/thermos bags but I've made rules for myself about starting new projects that involve finishing something of similar size/complexity plus something out of the 'all but finished' bag.


Crochet Striped Winter Scarf

This scarf was begun in 2014 to go with my favorite winter jacket, a sky blue, quilted nylon with sleeves and hood that could zip off so I could wear the vest even in spring and fall.  It was a size 3X though and after I lost the weight down into 1X territory, my sister said I looked ridiculous in it and it was dangerous as it kept catching on door handles and other things I walked past.  I eventually agreed and gave it away.  A couple of years later she got me a sky blue fleece jacket and that inspired me to get back to work on this scarf.  I finally finished the crochet a year to year-and-a-half ago and stuffed it in the 'all but finished' bag.

This was made with lace weight baby acrylic.  I can't remember the brand.  I'm especially pleased with this one as I invented the stitch I used.  At least I have yet to see it represented in any of the thousands of crochet images, tutorials and patterns I've looked at in the years since I devised it.  I call it the LOL stitch because it looks like a line of cursive Ls and Os alternating.  I make the stitch by creating a row of six-chain loops on one pass and on the next pass I twist the loop before stitching a single crochet in its top.  I've been thinking of putting together a photo tutorial for it.  I don't know how to do video tutorials yet but am thinking of trying to learn.

Crochet Infinity Scarf

This is an infinity scarf made from a single cake of Lion Brand Mandala.  It's made with rows of two-chain loops with single crochets inserted in the loops.  I made it ruffle by increasing the number of loops every few rows as I worked out from the middle.

Crochet Winter Hood
This hood began as a scarf but I miscalculated how much yarn was in the partial skein given me by someone.  when it became clear that it would not reach a proper length for a scarf I set it aside for years.  When I encountered it in the 'all but finished' bag in my scavenge hunt for quick things to finish, I remembered it was really in there to be frogged as soon as I could do it without feeling too bad about it but while I held it I got the idea of turning it into a hood by adding the white edge with the frou frou rabbit tails.  It was the only other velour yarn I had and also a partial skein from the same friend.

That velour yarn is soft to the touch and for that I enjoyed working it but it is chunky and much too warm to wear for Washington winters.  Besides I have no coats or jackets in any shade of green.  This is a very dark green and looks very Christmassy.  But I doubt I'd ever wear it and I don't know anyone who might like it so not sure what I'm going to do with it.  Maybe points to the possibility that having my own Etsy store is now a viable concept as several have suggested lately.

Two Crochet Cloche Hats
These two Cloche hats were made with Patton's Grace.  I'm chagrined to say that I finished the crochet on them nearly two years ago and started wearing them without tucking the tails.  I hid the stitch saver under my hair.  So they didn't spend much time in the 'all but finished' bag but were rounded up in my scavenging for quick things to finish.

Torso Sized Trash Bag Full of Fiber WIP Awaiting Finishing Touches.  Many for Years.

Next time I post pictures of finished items pulled out of this 'all but finished' bag I'll take another picture of it to reflect it's diminishing size instead of borrowing the photo from the post about the finished project that inspired the ongoing finishing spree.

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Monday, June 08, 2020

Who Am I Without You?

Who Am I Without You?

You held up the mirror I saw myself in,
Then you flung it into the sky with a spin.
Now I don't know where I am.

The light in your eyes when you gazed upon me
Kept my heart beating true only for you.
Then you closed your eyes

And now I can't see.

The light in my eyes when I gazed upon you
Was the fire in which your power grew.
Until I saw you true.

You saw that I knew when my eye-light dimmed
And you turned away with a cruel whim.
And my world caved in.

You saw my dismay and turned away,
Crawling inside the cave of your mind.  Your way
Of saying "My way or the highway"

I named my pain.  You called me insane.
I make out you're wrong
You make me gone.

How can I be when you won't see me?

The only way back is to agree with you.
A path I've traced more times than a few.
But now I'm new.

This time the pain was a fire that burned
Away all my yearning for your return.
It scorched the path back.  A Lesson now learned.

Now I am free to look for me
In the wind blowing across the deep blue sea,
In the rain trickling down to the deepest roots of the tallest trees,
In the snow atop the mountain peaks,
In the waves that crash against rocks on the beach.
In the sun that shows its face to me
whether or not I agree to agree.

These are the mirrors God holds up
To show me just how He sees me:
Persistent and Brave,
Resilient and Deep,
Rooted and Giving,
Creative and Wild,
Resolute and Strong.

With His gaze he bestows His grace on me
Like a never setting sun on a gentle breeze.
And through His eyes I see my true Me..

You are lost to me
But I am found.



(for the backstory see these two poems in this order: Piles of Painted Echoes and My Heart is the Lake of Fire)

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