Monday, December 25, 2023

Christmas 2023


I haven't been taking Christmas pictures, but letting everyone open their presents organically and just spending time.  I made a few cards after lunch today, and read some of the book Esme got me for Christmas.

Had finally finished up those fingerless mitts a few days ago, that had been started a year ago! They're too big, but they are complete and they do fit, just loosely. It's so warm I don't really need them right now! So with these needles free I had started a simple ribbed hat pattern, size 6 dpns, 100 stitches give or take... 1 x 1 ribbing - and I always make the hat a little too small or a little too short so I think I'll keep this one by my desk and do a little 'overkill' on it, a bit too big perhaps, and longer -- some of my instincts say to mix a somewhat-clash color with it, like Navy Blue, and then it will be 'a real thing' compared to just a plain straight color. It is supposed to get colder again after a week or so - and since I keep having to put my other hat from last year back on after it slips off my head - I thought another hat might perhaps be a useful item if it turns out better than that one. Accounting myself to stop knitting so my hands will be in good shape tomorrow... Is six o'clock too early to go to bed? Considering the dogs wake me up multiple times in the night and wake-up time is before six in the morning, it is probably okay.


I have a big route tomorrow, and not my usual one - and we expect it to be heavy.

I need to go fold the laundry and go to sleep, probably.


 Our Minion cat already has gone to sleep on my desk - although I had to evict her out of a baseball cap she had claimed... put this ten year old scarf on the desk out of a bag hanging on the wall and she eventually accepted it.


Grandma Irene came down for lunch, we made pork roast and I made a butter cake with ginger-syrup poached pears beside it. The pears were a bit soft, but better than too hard. We did a few small presents, something for each of the family members to wear, a book, candy - and a little something else for Esme. She got a game she wanted on the computer, and there is an art item coming in the mail for her soon. I bought her a book by Erin Hunter, which she had previously missed I think, by her reaction.

I've still been doing French language this week, maybe one or two lessons for something else, but switch back and majority of French. I've done a little drawing, mostly for thank you and New Year's cards.

I also need to order the next proof of my book soon so I can get it looked over and push the button to order print copies.  




Sunday, December 24, 2023

Thursday, December 21, 2023


spent a few hours making this yesterday - the pattern did not sew together exactly as planned, but it turned out cute.  I cut a straight band and embroidered it on across the top of the forehead because it was sort of mismatched here and there - but it worked out great.


His number one feature beyond 'cute rat' is he sails through the air like a lovely puff ball, tail streaming behind him


It will take another couple of gos to work out a real pattern for him  

Thursday, December 07, 2023

Pay attention

I've written bits and pieces of this one over the past few years.

I feel it's for those 'spoonies', those who only have so much energy, those going through hard times and troubles

I bring it up and look at it.

It don't always take my own advice, but I look at it.

It isn't finished - I'm still slogging away on many things, including this.

It helps a little.

Pay Attention

Pay attention, not just the bills

The bills just keep coming, but not always our attention

That is fleeting and the more stressed we get, the less of it we have

Because it isn’t getting any easier any quicker.

And because it seems foolish to expect it to.

We get up and go when they ask, when they ask… if we can...

And we get up and be ready to go when we can, if we can….

And sometimes when we can’t, we do it anyway…. As far as we can.

And when we can't .. we decide how and when we can, and how to get there.

Worrying before the paycheck hits won’t help much, if at all.

Worrying others about the problems won’t help at all.

Listening to the others and trying to pay attention is the best we can do.

Because listening is hard, yet it is what we have.

Pay attention, because it's what we have, when we have it.

Complaining doesn’t help unless you do something different for the future because of it.

Yet we are unsure what to change for the future – and even when we know, it’s touch and go...

Guessing won’t help. Guessing Never Helps.

Wishing you didn’t have to guess won’t help.

Staring at the calendar and counting the days won’t help much.

Adding up everything and knowing what your number to hit won’t help much, but some.

Writing down every item's expected cost and budgeting won't help always, but some -- you never know the future and what will change.

Understanding that nothing is exact when it comes to the future will help most.

Knowing that the future keeps going … and going, will help depending on your attitude.

Your attitude, this attitude, is what helps most often.

It's hard to keep your attitude optimistic, sometimes you can't, but you can try. 

Optimistic pessimism seems to be how we operate, but we operate.

Looking at all the due dates won’t help much.

Being sad about birthdays and Christmas won’t help much at all.

Thinking about what you will have to say about things, won’t help much.

Counting all your change won’t help much, maybe enough for a gallon more of gas.

Putting the gas in your vehicle to do the day’s work and doing it will help for later.

Going straight to work and straight home every day usually helps, but we do that anyway.

Not heading out into town without a good reason helps, but we do that anyway.

Knit the sock, cook the rice, boil the eggs, can the tomatoes, mend the tear or weed the garden when you can, you'll appreciate it later.  Do the little things that need doing, when you can.  When you can't later, the future 'you' will appreciate the 'you' now, that is doing this.

Learn the French, the Spanish or whatever your little heart desires, you'll appreciate it later.

Later isn’t going to wait until later, but you still have to wait for later.

Charging your phone will help, do it.

Doing your laundry or the dishes will help, do it.

Cooking your dinner and eating it will help, do it.

Using up leftovers and food before it spoils will help, do that.

Feeding the animals will help, remember it.

Washing and filling the water bowls will help, remember it.

Emptying the trash will help, remember it.

Sweeping the floors will help, remember it.

Putting the clothes and things away from the clutter will help, remember it.

Checking the mail and knowing where it is helps, remember it.

Reading the library book that is due will help some, tuck a blanket around yourself.

Being warm and having coffee or tea will help some, tuck a blanket around yourself.

Listening to some music or watching a television show when the day is done will help some.

Tucking a blanket around yourself when the night is long and cold will help some.

Holding a hand, or a paw, and being in the moment will help some.

Because the moment is what we have, when we have it.

Sleep will help at times, and at other times, it won’t.

A long hot shower will help at times, and at other times, it won’t.

Pay attention, it’s what we have, when we have it.

Knowing it isn’t all crashing down right now will help, pay attention.

Being grateful you made it until December right now will help a lot, pay attention.

Remembering there is still January to come, and this will all happen again, will help a lot,

Pay attention, not just the bills.

Pay attention.

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Brazil Nut Cookies


Experimental Brazil Nut Butter Cookie Round 2 (Mark's recipe)


1 stick butter


2 cup sugar


2 cup flour


6 fluid oz egg (3 or 4 large eggs)


1 tbsp vanilla (optional)


1 cup brazil nut, chopped fine


melt butter, cream with sugar. Optionally add a bit of vanilla extract now, up to 1 tbsp. Add eggs and whip to silky surface texture, where you can count waves from the powered mixer in the batter. couple of minutes worth. add nuts, then flour, blend all smooth.


Turn off the blender and lick the beaters.


Stick the bowl of batter in the fridge for a while, 10min to several hours, until you're ready to cook.


Drop 1 tsp wads on un-greased cookie sheet, leave space for them to expand. If the run together and cake up its not problem, you can cut them like brownies later.


Bake at 375F for 13min or until the edges begin to brown.


Take out and let stand for ~5min. Run together cookies should be separated by scoring with a butter knife while still molten. After they've cooled, peel them off using a sharp spatula onto paper towels etc.