Posted in This and That

National Teddy Bear Day

A wonderful person just let me know that “National Teddy Bear Day” is coming up, the 9th of this month. What a fun idea! I had no clue this was a thing. I’ve managed to knit a few teddy bears in my life. It’s so satisfying; and this has rekindled my excitement; I will have to get out my teddy bear knitting needles. I’m currently knitting a blanket and a pair of socks, but I can always set them aside and start on a bear, right? Here’s a pic of a mommy teddy bear with her baby teddy bear that I made a few years ago.

Posted in This and That

RV Black Tank Stink Problem Solved!

I have to share this solution with everyone! I’ve lived in an RV for five years now, and if you have lived in an RV for even one weekend, you likely know what the main challenge is (or one of the main challenges) . . . that blank tank. How to keep it from smelling.

There are lots of treatments out there, I’ve tried many of them over the past several years. I can’t use the ones that employ perfume as their main remedy because I’m sensitive to it, so I use the ones that are scentless. Some work better than others, but over the past few months, I’ve tried an idea that I came up with all by myself. And it works! And it’s cheap! So I have to spread the word!!

Take a bar of cheap soap; cut it in half, and send it down to the black tank. This is how I do it: I drain the tanks, then close them up, then I run what I imagine to be about two inches of water in my black tank. Then I put the bar of soap down there (remember to cut it in half–if you try to send it down whole, it will get stuck). I leave it to sit all night to give it time to dissolve a bit. I’m not a scientist, but I think bar soap can do a number on bacteria fairly well, and it also has a slippery quality to it. Between those two things, this idea seems to work really well. I hope it will help you, too. Let me know if it does!

Posted in This and That

My Favorite Recipe . . .

. . . for a knitted blanket. This blanket is heftier than most knitted projects, since it’s a doubled thickness; and the main enjoyment comes from simply knitting and knitting and knitting. No special requirements to pay attention with this pattern, you merrily knit away while you watch a movie, visit with a friend, listen to an Audible book or your own thoughts. 

I’ve made ten of these so far, and I find people absolutely adore them; it’s a great way to use up leftover balls of yarn, so you always have a unique color combination in each blanket. Just grab a ball of yarn, tie it onto the tail of the last one, and keep going! They make great gifts.

On a 36” or longer circular knitting needle (I use a size 8 but you can use whatever you have) cast on 252 stitches. Join and knit 125 stitches. Place a marker. Slip one stitch, (this will make a nice fold line for when the blanket is finished) and knit another 125 stitches where you will place a second marker. Now, off you go! Always slip the stitch after the marker so you have that line for folding the blanket. When you are finished, fold it carefully then crochet around all the edges, closing the open ends together and using the slipped stitches as a place to put your crochet hook. You can crochet something fancy around the edge if you wish, after you’ve sealed the blanket’s edges.

Posted in This and That

For the Love of Yarn . . . (or, what I do when I’m not writing)

I’ve always loved yarn. This smitten-ness came upon me when I was quite young. A favorite aunt of mine showed me what to do with a crochet hook, and for years afterward I crocheted everything I could; it became my favorite hobby. I’ve made over thirty afghans, dozens of rugs, a plethora of toys, lots of silly potholders, a few truly ugly jackets and some beautiful Christmas ornaments.

Knitted hats for Christmas elves
Crocheted blanket
Crocheted blanket

Knitting, however (the other thing you do with yarn) was different. It took me several years to learn how to knit. I’m admitting this because I think I’m not alone here. Some of us just have a hard time figuring it out. I don’t know if it was because I learned how to crochet first, or what.

Crocheted blanket

My mother was an excellent knitter, and so was my great grandmother. She knit socks for her eighteen children in Denmark. So impressive. Once I got the hang of it though, I was smitten again. I set aside my crochet hook and began to knit. Everything. I, too, love to knit socks, but I will knit just about anything that strikes my fancy—sweaters, blankets, scarves, shawls, leg warmers, vests, ponchos, hats, mittens, slippers, toys . . . a few years ago, I knit up an entire Noah’s ark for my grandchildren.

Noah’s ark animals, with Noah and his wife
These teddy bears are the size of an average two-year-old child
Posted in Books

Free AudioBook on Youtube, narrated by me!

What a fun project this was! It was a little more involved than I expected, as I’d never uploaded a video like this to Youtube before, and there was a bit of a learning curve; but all in all, it was an interesting experience; and now, you can listen to someone read you a book, if you’d like. Personally, I love having a book read to me. It’s so relaxing and enjoyable. Plus, if someone else is reading the book out loud, I can knit while I’m listening, which doubles the pleasure.

I wanted to do this for anyone who maybe cannot afford to buy my book (even though it’s only 99 cents on Kindle) because I do understand when the household budget is that tight, having lived there for several years myself. Also, I wonder if perhaps someone out there is lonely, and might appreciate having a person care about them, and read them a good book.

Posted in Books

The Dancer & the Cowboy – Catalyst Series Book 2 . . .

. . . is now only $0.99 for a Kindle version. My books aren’t deep and brainy, and they won’t end up on the New York Times Bestseller list, but they are fun. And sometimes, that’s what we need more than anything else.

The Dancer and the Cowboy, Book 2

Celina is the director of a prestigious ballet school in Dallas. Her father passed away recently and her elderly mother is living all by herself on a ranch in Montana. The hired man just quit and she must find someone to run the ranch until they can sell it, and convince her mother to move back with her to the city.

Catrina’s Uncle Cody, from Book 1, leaves his cattle ranch in Idaho and goes to Montana to help take care of the ranch. When he learns of Celina’s predicament—that her mother refuses to leave—he begins hatching a plan to help her.

In despair, Celina decides she will have to quit her beloved teaching job in order to care for her mother. She returns to Dallas to finish teaching her final semester, planning to come back to Montana during spring break; but when she arrives at the ranch, she finds that the furniture and belongings are gone, and so is her mother!

Fun Facts: Book 2

I really enjoyed writing this one because my daughter is a ballerina, so it was fun reliving many of those beautiful experiences through Celina. Cody and Celina were originally named Ben and Belle, but then I got the idea for how I wanted to name all my characters in the series, so I changed them.

Also, I play pinochle (and euchre) and I think I can (humbly, of course) describe myself as a kick-ass player. I used to take my father to the senior center in Salmon, Idaho and play pinochle on Monday and Thursday afternoons, just like Mrs. Bradshaw and Cody.

Posted in This and That

Anyone else grain-free?

I’d like to ask you a question, if you don’t mind. I’m wondering if you have tried the grain-free idea.

The reason I ask is because I decided to try it, and I’ve been completely grain-free for three months now; and I’ve noticed that, after wearing glasses for fifty years, I suddenly don’t need them anymore. My eyes don’t want them—they want to do it themselves, thank you very much—is the feeling I get when I try to wear them. 

Has anyone else had this reaction? I wasn’t expecting anything like that and it’s rather intriguing.