Monday, January 30, 2017


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

We have seen a lot of unrest and disturbing things in the last ten days.  It is difficult to watch our president take the same path as someone most people consider the epitome of evil - Hitler.  I really dislike comparisons between Hitler and other people - it is generally an over dramatic comparison.  Unfortunately, that is not the case with Trump.  As soon as he came into office, he started to create unrest with the Muslims (this would be the group comparable to Hitler's Jewish population).

Now there are hate crimes against Mosques.  I'm sure if you looked at the unrest in Germany prior to World War II, you'd find similar actions.  Here is a link to what Hitler did to the Jews once he came into power German History

So many things are headed in the wrong direction.  Too many things - it is overwhelming.  It is mind numbing.  All my daughter has to do is sigh at this point and I ask "Now what has Trump done?"  It isn't surprising to me but it is sad.  It feels like he is making us into pre-WWII Germany.  I do not want that.  We should know better and should behave better.

There is a feeling of exasperation, desperation, and powerlessness.  What can I do?  I don't have the ear of anyone powerful.  I don't have a huge following.  However, I believe the worst thing we can do is to be silent.  Some of our senators stayed silent on the Muslim ban.  If they stayed silent, they are endorsing what has been done.  We cannot stay silent when we hear and see wrong occurring.  If we do, we are part of the problem.

It's difficult to see large scale problems and not know how you can have any effect.  I write but I don't have a huge following.  Yet I'm speaking out.  I can't march but I can support.  I can tell people when I think they are wrong.  I can be vocal in my dislike of our president and his actions.  I can let my representatives know they are not representing me.

It's time for all the people to speak out, speak up, and stop being silent.  Silence endorses and encourages the wrong.  Take a stand to push back the hate and intolerance.  Speak up and stand up for those who are being persecuted.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Not the Plan

Apparently I'm getting to know the people at urgent care.  Yesterday Ken had an attack of kidney stones.  We spent three hours dealing with urgent care and then getting him prescriptions.  It was a long day.  He and I both napped when we got home.  His and my list of things to get done - didn't get done.

A good thing from yesterday - yarn arrived in two boxes.  One box was my order from Herrschners which was part of my Christmas gift.  The other box was yarn to finish a project I ran out of yarn for.

Last night after my napping and general grumpiness about the day, I organized the yarn.  I got projects organized for taking to work (for lunch hour and training crocheting) as well as got the yarn organized for the project I ran out of the yarn.  I even managed to get a couple of rows done on the project.  It has 15 or 16 balls of yarn attached to it.  My plan (and we know how well plans go in this house) is to work on the computer for a bit this morning and then go back to crocheting.  The blanket I'm working on is for my youngest and she will be here in a few weeks.

It was a bad night for me with waking up a lot of times.  The weather is also very damp which means I'm aching a lot.  My gout and arthritis are not happy right now which makes me want to do nothing but sleep.  However, I have to go back tomorrow so I'll try to stay awake.

Once I'm done on the computer, I'll work on a crochet project and hope to find something interesting to watch.  I may have to resort to DVDs rather than tv.  It might be a good day for movies as Ken will be wrapped up in football.

The blanket for my daughter is heavy and warm - which means I sweat a lot while I work on it.  Each row is different so I can't just crochet and crochet.  I have to stop after each row to determine how many stitches of each color.  It's turning out beautifully but it is definitely time consuming.  The nice thing - I've got two more like this planned and I have already taken the time to write up one of them so I have the color changes already written up.  I am working on the second one in the hopes of making it easier to work with.

Hopefully my plan for the day works.  If not, I'll go with the flow.  However, it would be nice to have things happen the way they are supposed to - for a change.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Elephants Dancing Off (off off) Broadway

Since before Thanksgiving I've been sick.  Sinus infections which persist and won't go away have progressed into what I believe is bronchitis (no diagnosis other than for my husband and we have the same symptoms).

Ironically, my husband and middle daughter both went to urgent care on Sunday, saw different doctors, had the same symptoms.  My husband was treated with respect and due diligence, got his diagnosis and prescriptions.  My daughter was treated disparagingly, was told she needed to suck it up and just deal with her "cold", yet her symptoms are more pronounced with breathing being a significant issue.  She was given medications but had to fight for them.  What is wrong with our medical system?

When I went to ER because my bp was too high and I couldn't breath, the ER doc was rude, disparaging, condescending, and suggested I take a drug I've been allergic to for more than 25 years.  He also told me to go off my daily decongestant.  I did - it was a total fail.  On top of my symptoms I was already struggling with, I then added in more breathing problems - asthma attacks, more congestion, and more struggling with breathing.

One other thing this lovely ER doctor did, he doubled the dose of the antibiotic (one of the few I could take) which then caused me to have issues with it - similar to ones I have with other drugs in this family.  Now I'm not sure I'll be able to take this drug again because every time I've taken it since then, I've had some pretty severe side effects.

My daughter and I both feel like we have elephants dancing our chests and want this feeling to go away but the medical community don't seem to know how to take care of us.  It shouldn't be that hard to listen but apparently doctors don't know how - perhaps in all their fancy classes they should add in one about compassion, concern, and active listening.  

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Seven crochet patterns have been published!  I'm thrilled to have finally had time to get them out.  These have been on my todo list for quite some time.

I was off work yesterday and was going to do it then but I've got upper respiratory crud on top of my gout flaring.  I slept most of the day - not even crocheting until evening.

Last night I was trying to sleep and couldn't breath.  I tried different levels of reclining but realized none of them were going to work.  I also tried having a cloth with eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary on it to inhale but I couldn't get any air through my nose.  Eventually I got up and took a hot shower with the essential oils.  It helped a lot until I sat down to sleep again.  It was after 2 am before I got to sleep though.

Sadly, Ken has the same crud so we are both struggling to accomplish anything other than breathing, coughing, and surviving.

I've been working on an afghan for my youngest daughter.  I've got it about half done but I need to have Ken hold it up so I can see it.  I think the graph caused a flaw and I need someone to hold it while I look to see if I have to rip out some rows and adjust so it looks right.  It is a corner to corner graphgan.

For those who don't speak crochet, this means I'm working from one corner to the opposite - diagonally across the piece.  It also means I've taken a picture and made it into a graph.  This happens to be the Packer's G symbol.  The issue is the G is surrounded by a circle which is difficult to do on an afghan.  When I looked at it last night, I thought the circle part wasn't quite right but I double checked my row against my graph and they match.

The next step is to decide if I need to adjust the graph / pattern based on how it looks.  I might but I need to see it held out and a little away from me.  I can't really do that - so Ken will hold it up for me.

The rest of today will be spent napping and crocheting until the daughter gets home.  Once she's home, we will see what happens.  It depends on what she needs / wants.  Unfortunately, she has the same crud we have.

For the crochet patterns I published today go to my web site to find links.  The Amazon links aren't up yet but should be by Monday or Tuesday.  My todo list is still quite long but at least I made progress.  

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Foolish Mortal Making Plans

Finished an afghan and started another, this was in my plan for yesterday but driving to Prairie Du Chien wasn't.  My middle daughter needed some help so we met her in Prairie Du Chien.  I woke up with a well thought out plan in order to get some tasks done around the house and with crocheting.  Before we left to meet her, I got some of the projects done - paid bills, clipped coupons, made out a grocery list.  The rest of my plan - out the door.

We got home early evening and I was able to finish off the afghan for my niece and start another one for my youngest daughter.  I did a sample, took pics, and sent it out for approval.  Then I tore it apart and did it for real.  What does this mean?  For starters, I had to make some decisions about how I was handling some of the yarn - it is multi-colored and the yarn can't easily be carried.  In order to use as little yarn as possible, I had to decide when I was cutting off and when I would carry it along.  Next I need to find a clipboard, ruler, and highlighter so I can keep track of where I'm at.  I've found a highlighter - multi colored so that helps.  Ken found me a clipboard just now.  Next is a ruler - I have a big one but can't find a little one.  I could improvise but I'll have to see what I can find.  I asked Ken and he is great at finding stuff.  He just brought me the PERFECT one.  He's so good!

Today I plan to have a quiet day.  I want to watch West Wing (yes this is my current binge watching program) and crochet on the afghan.  My daughters will all be home in a little over a month.  If I could finish this afghan for her to take home - that would be wonderful.  It's a corner to corner graphgan.  For those who don't speak crochet - corner to corner is like it sounds - instead of working across and afghan, I work from one corner to the widest point and then back to the opposite corner.  A graphgan is a picture which has been turned into a graph.  Each square on the graph because a stitch (or in the case of the corner to corner a set of stitches).  It will be my first of this style.  I'm liking how it's turning out so far but we will see how the rest goes.

Next I want to look up a temperature blanket.  This will require some research so I can find out the daily high temperatures for the years each of my daughters was born.  Then I will create an afghan based on the temperatures.  One row per day in a color designated for the temperature.  It should be interesting to see how it works out.

Ken was busy yesterday and today.  His list of things to get done was interrupted as well.  Still he managed to get a package to the post office, run errands this morning, and work on laundry and other household chores.

We're both hoping to settle in today to relax - him watching football and me crocheting and watching West Wing (or other stuff).  Oh and Sherlock is on tonight!  I can't wait to see the new episode!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Winter Projects

Marketing is a necessary part of writing.  I'm realizing that I need to have marketing tools in place before I normally do.  I've been posting to social media in an attempt to get my work noticed.  I've been getting published in other places to draw in people outside my social media.  I've been trying to get reviews (though I could work harder at this.)

Has any of it done any good?  Some has and some hasn't.  The thing is - with marketing what works today may or may not work tomorrow.  It's something I have to constantly think about.

I've got a weekend without anyone home besides Ken and I so I'm hoping to get some work done in the writing arena.  I have marketing, publishing, and writing to do.

Having said that - I'm definitely in a crochet mode.  I'm working on the projects I had going before I set them aside to do holiday stuff.  I want to get certain things done while I'm still in the mood.  I'm on the down side (or nearing the finish) of one project which means all I really want to do is work on it and have been every night.  Behind this big project, I have one more in progress and at least four more in the wings pushing at me to work on them.

I don't know if it's the cold weather or the pile of containers in my craft room but I feel the need to get things done - crochet wise.  I've got ideas in my head for projects and patterns I want to try out.  I've got ideas for articles on crochet.  I need to get focused and get things done.

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...