Crafty Crochet : Christmas in July

I can hear what you’re saying. What!! Christmas already…but summer just started.

All of you crafters out there know that if you want to gift any hand-made crafts for Christmas that you have to start early and the earlier the better.  Crafting is a year long job for a lot of crafters and it is not unusual to start making Christmas gifts immediately after the holiday.  However, starting your Christmas crafts in the month of July, usually gives you ample time to get your gifts done if you keep at it.

Crocheting your gifts usually takes some planning.  Figuring out which gifts you are going to make for each person on your list can be fun.  Try not to pick complicated patterns unless you have either done it before or are very sure that you can do it.  It can be easy to get discouraged if you start a hard pattern and can’t figure it out after you get the initial rows started.  Stick to what you know and wait to start a new pattern when you can devote more time to it.

Red, green and white are the most usual colors for any Christmas craft.  If you are a crocheter or knitter, a lot of the yarn associated with this holiday have some sort of silver or gold filament in them and gives the yarn a nice sparkle.  This type of yarn is good for making coasters and placemats and they really look great on your holiday table.  The choice of yarn color for your gifts is totally up to the individual. More and more colors are becoming available and with varying degrees of softness and texture, you can have almost as much fun picking a yarn color as actually making your item.

Red Heart has free patterns that are very easy to follow and are in both crochet and knit.  The patterns run the gamut from afghans, pillows and ornaments to hats, flowers and nativity sets.  Favecrafts has tons of crafting ideas for Christmas. Favecrafts is not limited to crochet or knitting ideas.  This site is a favorite with many crafters because they have such a wide variety of  ideas and e-books that are very easy to download.

Lion Brand  is another fantastic site for patterns and has many different types of yarn to choose from. No matter where you get your crafting ideas from, just remember to give yourself plenty of time to get your gifts done.  Don’t start a big project and stress yourself out if you can’t get it done.  Christmas is such a happy time of year so smile and start your projects early. Here is a photo of some crochet earrings that I made.

earrings

Made-with-Love

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Summer

 

The first day of summer always reminds me of when I was a young teenager.  We lived in the country with fields of flowers, flowing creeks and gardens full of fresh vegetables. It was a good summer day when no chores needed done and I was free to wander and dream till my heart was content.

I remember that day with fondness and I wrote this poem.  I hope you like it and that you can dream along with me. Let it take you back to a day where you could take some time and just dream.  Here is that poem (Memoir)     field of dreams

FIELD OF DAYDREAMS                                                            

Walking slowly along in the coolness of the tree-lined dirt road, I could already smell the wild flowers. The sweetness of the wild roses and the spicy aroma of the Queen Anne’s lace greeted me with the breeze.

I stopped and leaned against a tree and closed my eyes. I could see the flowers in my mind… flowers in every color of the rainbow. The gentle wind brushed against my face like a feather, and I opened my eyes.

I started walking again. Just a few more steps and I would be there. I turned the corner by the old barn, and there it was. The sight always took my breath away. The field was ablaze with color. The golden-yellow of the black-eyed Susan, the reddish-orange of the wild poppy, and the delicate blue of the cornflower were remarkable.

I was headed for the stream that was on the other side of the field. Little by little, I made my way through the tall grass. The grasshoppers jumped out of my way as I passed by.

Stopping occasionally to pick some daisies, I could hear the faint sound of the gurgling stream. I walked closer to the sound, and I could see the sun glistening off the water like diamonds.

Arriving at the stream, I sat down in the cool grass and began making a necklace out of the daisies that I had picked. I had been working on it for some time when I heard a noise at the edge of the field and looked up to see what it was. I could hardly believe my eyes. A deer and her fawn had come out of the woods to eat, and I watched them in fascination. After a while, they returned to the woods.

I lay back in the grass and looked at the sky. The puffy, white clouds were drifting lazily along. They were taking on different shapes as I watched. I could see a horse carrying a rider. In my mind, it was my knight in shining armor coming to carry me away.

The harsh cry of a crow startled me. I got up and looked around the field. I could see the garden on the other side of the road. The corn was getting tall, and the tomatoes were starting to get red. Both would need to be picked soon.

I heard the screen door slam shut on the back porch. My mom would be calling me soon for dinner. It was time to go. I gently tossed my daisy necklace into the stream and watched it float away.

I headed back through the tall grass toward the road. The aroma of fried chicken was drifting toward me in the breeze. I knew there would be buttery mashed potatoes and a crisp salad on the table as well, and I hurried my step. I would be back tomorrow for more dreams.

 

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Lava Lamps

What is it about a lava lamp that attracts a person to watch in complete wonder? I have always been fascinated with them since I was a teen and made my way into my first Spencers Store at our local Mall. There were plenty of other things there that caught my eye, but none of them as much as the Lava Lamps.

While looking around on E-bay a few months ago, I saw them and decided why not. I got my first Lava Lamp!! I was so excited the day I got it that I almost dropped it.  Silly I know, but what can I say.

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This has given me a sense of going back to a time when things were much simpler. When you could leave your doors open in the summer and let the cool breeze come in. When you could sit outside after dark and not be afraid.

I love my Lava Lamp. Try one and see if it doesn’t do the same for you. We all need to dream a little.

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Tragedy in America

The recent events of this morning have been horrific.  The biggest mass shooting in America ever. How do you even start to understand this kind of thing.  Fifty people have needlessly lost their lives. Fifty-three injured, some of them critically. rip

I am anxiously waiting for the next press conference to see what else they have found out about this shooter. I won’t call him human, he is a monster.

My heart is crying over this tragedy. When is all of this violence going to stop?  I don’t think that is a question that can be answered because no one can agree on what to do to stop it.

All of those poor families that are waiting to hear if their loved ones are on the list of ones that have been lost. My whole heart and all my love goes out to all of the people affected by this tragedy. All of the injured that are in the hospitals, I am praying that they can be healed. ( I am not a religious person, but who ever you pray to, now would be the time to pray. You will be heard.)

As we await the outcome of this obscene blow to our way of life, we all need to be watchful of our surroundings and be so very careful. This is a sad way to live, but unfortunately, it is a fact of the times that we live in. This kind of catastrophe can happen anywhere and at any time.

The world that we live in has changed, and we must not stop living and going out and enjoying ourselves. That would be the wrong thing to do. We must show these deranged people that they can not stop us from living our day to day lives.

Please stay safe out there and be ever mindful of your surroundings. If something doesn’t feel right or look right, follow your instincts. They are hope-quotes06usually right.

 

 

 

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Caring for the Caregiver

Take Care of the Care Giver

The first thing you have to remember is to take care of yourself.
Taking care of someone who is ill or has just had surgery is very tiring. When it is a loved one, the task can be even more daunting. Paying attention to what your body is telling you and taking care of yourself is crucial and should not be pushed to the back of your things to do list. Being a caregiver is a hard job and your care should not be overlooked. Pay attention to you, the caregiver. Take care of yourself.

Nutrition
While you make sure that the proper nutrition is given to the person in your charge, don’t forget to eat properly as well. It takes little more time to prepare a nutritious meal for two than it does for one. Make sure that you follow any dietary instructions that you might get and if you aren’t sure, don’t hesitate to ask their physician. It won’t hurt you a bit to follow a healthy diet yourself.
You will also want to keep well hydrated. While drinking coffee might keep you awake and feeling charged up, make sure to drink plenty of water as well. Stay away from sugary sodas, the sugar will give you a short-lived rush followed by a not so nice crash. Drink herbal teas and decaf coffee for a change of pace.
Keeping Clean
The importance of cleanliness can not be stressed enough. Make sure you wash your hands before and after any tasks that require bodily contact. This may sound silly especially if this is a loved one, but this truly is for your safety as well as theirs. Wear gloves whenever coming into contact with bodily fluids or when cleaning surgical wounds and changing dressings. You don’t want to take the chance of giving them an infection. Besides, wearing gloves just makes sense. Some of the things you will have to touch are gross and can cause some serious illness. In short…keep it sanitized for your safety and wellness.
Get Enough Rest
Proper rest truly does heal. Whenever possible, if they are taking a nap during the day, you should get some rest as well. A nap as short as fifteen minutes can be rejuvenating. Getting the proper sleep at night,(at least seven hours) will give your body the chance to regroup and get ready for the next day of care giving. Pay attention to your body. You know what to look for in your patient, so pay attention to yourself as well.
Remember, the most important thing after taking care of the person that you are responsible for is to take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t properly be able to take care of your patient or loved one.