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 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. 

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Listening to the Leaves . . .

I live in an area of the world where you can actually hear the leaves when they hit the ground. Having recently moved here from the desert Southwest, I’ve never experienced this phenomenon in my life. Fifty-foot-tall Cottonwoods, Alders, and Hemlocks are what I’m surrounded by, with a few towering Big-leaf Maples. It is so quiet here—the forest is quiet, the neighbors are quiet, the road is quiet (it’s kind of fabulous)—that the noise the leaves make as they touch the ground can almost be described as crashing. They aren’t coming down in bunches this time of year, of course, but a few yellow ones drift down every time a breeze ruffles the branches. 

Flitter, flutter, flitter; and the leaf lands with a plop. Flutter, flitter, flutter; and the leaf lands with a noise resembling a crash. How is that even possible? I experience it, it’s right before my eyes and ears, but I still don’t believe it. 

One more thing in this extraordinary world over which to marvel.

Posted in This and That

While cooking bacon . . .

Just this morning, it occurred to me that when I’m doing something that doesn’t require my thoughts to be fully engaged, something relatively mindless like cooking bacon, that’s when my brain likes to whir and work out little problems. 

Frying bacon takes about twenty minutes (for me cuz I like mine crispy) and all you’re doing is flipping the bacon over and over while watching it sizzle and shrink and change from white to brown. It’s interesting that without conscious thought, my mind will begin solving one little question after another pertaining to the story line of my next book. Kinda cool. 

And often, at night, just as I’m dropping off to sleep, my characters will begin talking and coming up with some pretty darn good dialogue. So then I have to decide if I want to get up and write down what they’re chatting about or, try to remember it until morning. Yeah, I almost always get up and write it down. If it’s really monumental, something that I won’t forget by morning, I’ll tell them to shut up so I can go to sleep.

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Dandelions and me, we have a thing going; I think they are beautiful. They’re cheerful, radiant and tenacious without being overbearing. Just cute little sun-colored flowers. I’ve no idea why, in most people, they seem to provoke the attitude of disgust. It’s illogical. Why does a lawn have to be only green? Why can’t it also contain tiny spots of yellow? The bees love these flowers, so why don’t humans? They’re harmless and wonderful; and personally, I can’t get enough of their own variety of joy.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
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Firewood, anyone?

Would you like to see what I do during the day as a break from writing? You can’t sit and write all day, as I’m sure you other writers out there know. Your brain fuzzes up and you simply must do something REAL for awhile. When I need to be active, I go out in the backyard and package up firewood. 

Wood pile number one

It feels great to be outside, breathing the fresh air and listening to the birds. I’ve also learned how to chop the firewood. My son does most of the chopping, of course, because he’s young and strong. I’m small boned and I weigh less than one-hundred pounds; however, when I can wield an axe and actually get a log to fly apart into two pieces, I feel like Paul Bunyan! 

Wood pile number two

I split maybe five logs per morning and even that little amount does make the pile grow, day by day. Like bundling firewood, I package up maybe three bundles a day, but if I do this every day, pretty soon I’ve got piles of the stuff.

Wood pile number three

And now—to offer a word of encouragement to anyone who needs it (don’t we all)—if I can chop and bundle firewood, maybe you can do something that you’ve been wanting to do but aren’t sure you can, for whatever reason. Begin by picking at it, just one piece at a time, or one minute at a time. It will be positive nourishment for your mind and soul and body, and hey, it might even stimulate your writing. I wish you success!

Posted in This and That

Embryo of a Sock

Have you ever wondered what a sock looks like before it’s fully grown? (Has anyone, ever? Insert laughing emoji) 

I like to knit socks. I think it’s genetic, as my great-great-grandmother knit socks for her eighteen children. Now that’s a lot of socks! They lived in Denmark, so they probably wore them for most of the year. 

I just thought I’d share this with you. Here’s a pic of what a sock looks like when you first start out:

Now, aren’t you glad to know this? Don’t you feel satisfied to have added this tiny bit of information to your vast treasure trove of stuff collected over the years? 

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If you’re looking for laughter and romance . . .

You’ve come to the right place. We all need a break from the world every now and then, right? My books are written with the intent to give you a respite from life that we so desperately need once in a while. Fun, entertaining, and clean, the books in the Catalyst Series will bring you joy.

I’ve written 6 so far, all are available on Amazon in Kindle Unlimited or paperback. Enjoy, my friends!

Posted in This and That

A Great Way to Wake Up . . .

I’ve recently discovered a great way to wake up in the morning. We’ve had a lot of mosquitos around here lately, in the area of Washington State where I live, and a few manage to get in my house every day. Somehow. They are pretty thick this year so, after I’ve been outside and they’ve collected on my body, riding along with me as I go for my morning walk, I’ve developed a strategy of waving my arms around and doing a bit of a get-the-mosquitos-off-of-me dance before I step inside my home. It helps; I think. 

Some do manage to get in to my sleeping area and so when I hear them humming around me in the morning, I try to slap at them, of course. They invariably land somewhere on my face or head, so I slap myself. And you have to slap pretty hard to extinguish a mosquito, as you well know. And you never get the beastie the first attempt. So, I end up slapping myself, in the face, many times, right after waking up. 

It could be annoying, but it’s more comical than anything else, in my opinion. So, I choose to laugh. And, it’s a great way to wake up!

Photo by Pragyan Bezbaruah on