Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Blue Screen Angst - ROW80 Check-In

Blue Screen Angst

On the evening of Tuesday, June 23, while my mom was preparing for bed my computer froze in the middle of a video and then presented me with the above screen.   I recognized it as the screen that announces "Your computer has a problem.  We're gathering date and preparing for a restart"  But the text was unreadable with the pixels all crawling all over each other.  Half an hour later nothing had changed and there wasn't any sounds of hard drive activity.  I planned to do a forced restart as soon as Mom's lights out ritual completed but when I returned from Mom's room the screen was black with white text that read: Please insert boot disc.

I yelled down the stairs for my nephew who came up and sat in front of the screen shaking his head for a long time.  I was freaking because I'd just realized that I hadn't backed up my files onto the external drive for months.  Not since at least last summer well before I started prep work for NaNoWriMo.  Tech geek tho he is, he had no better idea than the one I'd been planning to implement on the first screen:  forced restart.  So with my blessing that's what he did.  And I lucked out when the restart ended on the usual sign-in page and the sign-in landed me on my desktop.  But he cautioned me that since we had no idea what triggered the issue I should not open the browser nor any aps until I had rescued my files.  That way if opening a file or ap triggered another crash at least I would have my files.

That took the entire night.  The last of the file transfers happened nearly twelve hours from the moment the blue screen appeared.  By then Mom was awake and dressed and awaiting her breakfast tray.  And I had found myself passing the 24 hour mark awake for the first time since the April read-a-thon and for the only time in several months that had nothing to do with an event for which I'd planned to stay awake.  There was a time when I would have seen this as a failure because I'd broken the long streak of successful full night sleeps but I was able to see it instead as a simple anomaly and be grateful I had been able to stay awake to rescue my files and confident that it was not an harbinger of a return to hit-and-miss sleep.  I knew I had the tools and skills to get right back on track.

And so I did.  I planned my day to make sure I was ready to crawl into bed as soon as Mom was ready for lights out Wednesday night and I slept twelve hours and by the time I'd had my first coffee Thursday I felt as though nothing untoward had happened.  Mood, energy, stamina, brain power were all back to the status quo I'd been enjoying for months.

That brings me to today's events that are affecting the fulfillment of the ROW80 goals I just posted Monday.  My computer started getting sluggish late Tuesday and then it told me it needed a restart to install updates.  But I as usual had too many aps and browser tabs open with tasks awaiting completion so getting those handled had to take priority over the ROW80 goals especially any that required opening any more aps or windows.  Tho I did allow myself to open browser tabs to complete social networking tasks, visiting ROWers to see their goals and leave comments.  I probably tripled the goal for that while completely bypassing anything involving opening a word processor or Scrivener.  I wrote long comments in a few cases which might be considered a substitute for journal entries.

To add to today's angst, my sister informed me late last night that she was going to have to take Mom to the doctor today and ended up spending the afternoon and evening in the ER with Mom who'd been exhibiting signs of a small stroke since Sunday night. Mom has been spending the week with my brother's family and the symptoms weren't texbook so it took awhile for the back-and-forth texting and phone calls between my sister and my brother and his wife to lead them to that conclusion. Turns out there were no signs of stroke in the scans so it's still a mystery why her speech is slurred and she's listing to the right.

Do I need to spell it out that this has taken up a lot of mental and emotional bandwidth for the last 24 hours?  If I could have opened my journal and invested that particular angst into it that would have helped but I couldn't or rather I couldn't open the established one on my main computer and the alternatives I've worked out since and discuss below had not yet occurred to me.  i.e. having alternative journal options for emergency situations. 

Overall tho I consider the first half week a success.

2020 Round 3 ROW80 and July Camp NaNo goals check-in:

* Sleep 7.5 hours Daily Minimum --  Very Good
* Move/Breathe/Meditate 15 min Daily minimum  -- Satisfactory effort
* Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15 min Daily Minimum --  a technique I learned from Robert Olen Butler's From Where You Dream. -- Satisfactory effort
* Read Fiction 30 min Daily Average -- Above and beyond
* Read/Study Craft 15 min Daily Average -- Satisfactory effort
* Social network activities 30 min Daily Minimum (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- something I've a strong resistance to.  -- Above and beyond.  Probably clocked two hours each day.
* 30 min Daily minimum engagement with a scavenger hunt though all my creative writing files including Joystory looking for better than shitty first draft scenes, sections, stories, poems and essays and edit, organize and make hard copies. --  Zero effort but understandable due to circumstances so will not say unsatisfactory.
* To prep for self-pub: Gather all my poems into a single Scrivener file. Minimum one poem per day until all accounted for.  Adding new ones encouraged.  . --  Zero effort but understandable due to circumstances so will not say unsatisfactory.
* Personal Journaling 45 min or 1000 words whichever come first Daily Minimum -- This is the heart of the writing challenge.  The preceding provides the structure and the nutrients that nurtures and honors the work which I've learned over time must exist to ensure that this becomes more than just dabbling.  . --  Zero effort but understandable due to circumstances so will not say unsatisfactory.  

note to self:  set up a tree notebook journal I can default to in future and/or an Evernote notebook I can access with one of my android devices and the Bluetooth keyboard I use with them.  Having alternatives provides flexibility and encourages thinking outside the box in the midst of unexpected events and stressors. Lack of flexibility is an issue with Asperger's and if I knew how to create a measurable goal to address it I'd include one for ROW80.  These concepts just came to me while I was prepping this 'report card'.


Monday, July 06, 2020

Of Truth and Words and Rude Epiphanies - ROW80 Round 3 2020 & Camp NaNo July 2020 Goals

The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020

I'm back.  And I'm committed.  

It's been a long four year hiatus struggling with conflicting priorities and personal drama that choked off my fictional storyworld like bindweed overtaking the yard, garden and house.  But I finally broke through the denial and excuses and woke up to reality and made the hard choice that will, as a side-effect, allow me to put writing back in the central place it always has been whenever I'm allowed to be myself.

On June 7th I gave up on my 41.5 year marriage because the only other option was to give up on myself.

The backstory for this can be found in the early posts with the Lifequake label but a succinct summary that hits all the emotional high notes can be found in these four poems written in 2013, 2015 and 2020 in this order:

Ed's an alcoholic who refuses to admit he is and I've been taking half or more of the blame for it for decades because I believed he drank to ease his anxiety which was high because mine was always hovering at panic levels. Or because being responsible for a legally blind wife was too stressful. Or because my infertility denied him the children we both craved.  I gave him a pass for his pathological lying because I believed he told his stories to 'protect' me or out of fear I'd freak out when confronted with bad news.  And I endured the random withdrawal of affection or communication as my just punishment for stressing him out.  

So I believed and so I behaved until this latest three week binge and withdrawal in the middle of the shelter-in-place pandemic rules, during a time my anxiety levels were the lowest they've ever been in my memory (in spite of the near apocalyptic current events) and in the midst of my months long accumulation of one triumph after another over the various deficiencies in my character that he'd named as most anxiety provoking for him.  This proved the falsity of the hypothesis I'd been operating under for over 40 years.  

I was not to blame for any of his choices.  Not this time.  Not ever.

About a week into last month's withdrawal I smacked my face into a hip-high bookcase bending down to pick up something I'd kicked into due to my visual impairment.  This gave me the opportunity to verify the truth of the metaphor I've repeatedly used to describe to him the pain his withdrawals inflicted on me.  I would say that I could not imagine a punch in the face could be any more painful.  Now I know for sure that is true and not hyperbole. Now I can testify that being emotionally and physically frozen out by someone whose 'love' is the center of your world is equally painful, equally cruel and equally unjust as a physical blow.  

By any other name it is abuse.

By no definition available in any dictionary or philosophy does this behavior have one whit to do with love.

Another epiphany related to how all this impacted my writing came to me while watching a YouTube ad about Joyce Carol Oates's Masterclass in which she is emphasizing the importance of being a truth teller to any kind of serious writing.  That you have to be willing to look fearlessly at even uncomfortable truths and not flinch at revealing them in your work.  I'm totally paraphrasing but the gist is there.  

I came to realize that there were two levels on which my refusal to face the truth of my marriage's dynamic was sabotaging my writing. The first level is in all the unconscious effort my psyche invested in not seeing the truth and the second level was all the conscious effort that went into protecting him from being found out by family, friends, acquaintances, employers and landlords.  The primary way I protected him was by keeping my mouth shut so that I never contradicted something he may have said when I wasn't present and this always devolved to shutting down the flow of words on paper and screen as well. 

It also resulted in my sabotaging all the relationships I had before marriage and prevented me from developing any other close adult friendships.  If you are always watching every word you think or say for potential booby traps you eventually learn to practice silence.  True friendship cannot thrive where truth is not welcome.

That doesn't even begin to touch on the aspect of being willing to speak the truth publicly once you are able to say it to yourself.  This post may be considered TMI to some and even completely inappropriate. Though I have had Ed's permission since 2005 the year my Dad was dying to share on my blog some of the negative impact his behaviors were having on my writing, I know there are those in both my family and his that believe that you don't air dirty laundry in public and might find some of what I share shaming to the family.

Even Ed might find some of what I'm willing to share now objectionable but since he is now completely ghosting me he is unlikely to encounter it. Thus it is far from my intent to weaponize my words to exact revenge on him. Or even just influence him in any way. He is neither the target of my words nor my intended audience.  

My entire purpose is to excavate my own soul and reclaim my own sense of self. So to prevent even accidental negative blowback on him I spend some minutes every day holding him in the Light of Divine Love praying for him to find his own way back to his own true self. I no longer feel any duty to be the one to rescue him.

This post is written for my writing community and any family member who might encounter it will just have to deal because I am through being silent about the central truths of my life.  I am through having others dictate to me what is OK for me to think, or say or believe. I am through protecting everyone else from their shame while taking it on myself in silent agony.

This is almost precisely how I felt in 1994 when I broke from the cultish funde church I was raised in when the Elders were splitting up extended families with excommunications over doctrinal minutia while quietly covering up domestic violence, child abuse and molestation perpetrated by those allowed to teach from the pulpit. I wrote in my journal at the time:
 all those sober Elders who appointed themselves our teachers, who point proudly to the missing Rev. before their name and the lacking Ph. D. following, are far from lacking in B.S.  Their head’s and heart’s are stuck so far up inside their hollowed out egos--that echo chamber where they hear nothing but the sound of their own voices, but think it God’s--they couldn’t see the light if the sun orbited their eyeballs and they couldn’t know God’s love if Jesus himself walked up and kissed them on the nose.  None of them will ever have any further authority over me, mind, body, soul, or spirit.  I would wash their feet in my spit!  And anoint their brows with the sweat of my pits!  They are worse than the blackest hearted crook.  They are hypocrites!  When they try to make out like they got God’s mouth in their ear, I want to ask how far he sticks his tongue in!
That's me writing as a fearless truth teller.  I need to find her again.  To own her again.

I thought that over the following decade I'd learned to think for myself but now I realize that I've never been able to feel comfortable with any conclusion I came to on any topic if I sensed any disagreement or disapproval from Ed.  I thought I'd repudiated my need to proselytize but apparently I still had a burning need to convince someone besides my own self of a truth before I could own it completely.   My husband became my guru.  Not by his conscious design but by default because I had not yet learned to own my own mind.

Now I have to go back over all that old ground all over again.  That is why, like with my last several NaNo projects, this ROW80 round is going to be focused on personal journaling.  There will be some stream of consciousness word flow but for the most part I'll be writing to a slew of topic or specific memory prompts I've collected in those recent NaNo files and will continue to add to as concepts or memories occur to me.  Some of those memories will be written using the same techniques as in fiction which I hope will re-enliven those skills and hone them for a near future return to my storyworld.

2020 Round 3 ROW80 and July Camp NaNo goals:

  • Sleep 7.5 hours Daily Minimum --  This used to be a major challenge for me but I've got it managed since mid March.  No more all-over-the-clock sleep 'schedule'. No more multiple day awake manic episodes.  And I've done all that in spite of going off anti-depressants over a year ago.  I switched to over the counter 5HTP, tripling the dose I'd been taking as a supplement for over a decade.  Done with med nurse supervision.  The process proved that most of the mood disorder symptoms were rooted in sleep deprivation fueled by anxiety which is part of the sensory information processing issue in Asperger's.   
  • Move/Breathe/Meditate 15 min Daily minimum  -- Swaying on the mini-tramp can include all three simultaneous.  There are a number of other ways I can do any one or combine two but it is essential that each one is included every day.  And this represents baby steps as it is barely a quarter of a healthy level of these activities.  Besides they have proven to provide a high yield return on investment as whenever I've practiced any of them it stimulates creativity, memory, and insight; lowers anxiety, and increases energy, stamina and a positive mood.
  • Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15 min Daily MInimum -- This is a technique I learned from Robert Olen Butler in the book From Where You Dream.
  • Read Fiction 30 min Daily Average
  • Read/Study Craft 15 min Daily Average 
  • Social network activities 30 min Daily Minimum (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- something I've a strong resistance to.  The autism diagnosis helps explain this but doesn't let me off the hook.  If anything it makes it more important.  Plus this is preparing the ground for future promotion once I'm ready to publish
  • 30 min Daily minimum engagement with a scavenger hunt though all my creative writing files including Joystory looking for better than shitty first draft scenes, sections, stories, poems and essays and edit, organize and make hard copies. --  It's been years since I've made clean copies of manuscripts in my portfolios and for most of the noveling writing challenges I've never printed hardcopy.  That is a lot of words to mine as between 2004 and 2015 I participated in more than one such challenge per year-- Nanowrimo, Junowrimo, Camp Nano, ROW80 and Sweating for Sven.among them.  That is a lot of novella length WIP just gathering electron dust.  A conservative estimate is over 20.  I've been wondering for sometime now if the neglect of these stories after the challenges were over is at least partly responsible for the storyworld's elusiveness over the last several years.  I'm hoping that this exercise in honoring their existence will cure my character's recent shyness.
  • To prep for self-pub: Gather all my poems into a single Scrivener file. Minimum one poem per day until all accounted for.  Adding new ones encouraged.  This will take most of the Round as there are over 80. See Poems by Joy Renee Portal.  Another exercise in honoring old work to encourage new work.
  • Personal Journaling 45 min or 1000 words whichever come first Daily Minimum -- This is the heart of the writing challenge.  The preceding provides the structure and the nutrients that nurtures and honors the work which I've learned over time must exist to ensure that this becomes more than just dabbling.  This is not intended for future publication tho I do expect that eventually material begun here will lend itself to development into personal essays for blog posts and new poems and stories.  This is what I've been doing for the last several NaNo and I'm hoping that the addition of the new willingness to seek and own my personal truth through this exercise will unlock the fictional storyworlds for me again by the first of the year if not in time for this November's NaNo.
  •

    Sunday, July 05, 2020

    Sunday Serenity --Poems for Life

    Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

    There is just something about having poems read aloud to you.
    Especially by someone who knows how to read them effectively.
    And with a voice like buttered toast.
    I've listened to several on this channel but this one is really speaking to me in my current trials.


    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.


    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.


    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 tingeing 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. 


    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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