Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Oh Heavens.

I am crafting today: working on the flannel shirt,
then maybe the pink sweater which is now all the way to the sleeves,
and enjoying the sunshine,
and not have to shovel today.  And I'm spending time with all you wonderful crafters who visit each other's blogs and say nice things and make lovely craft items.  This is a nice world.

And then there's the not-so-nice one.  A friend of mine is running for DNC chair, and while anyone who steps up to run for office should be applauded because it's a lot of work and there's often no reward and no thanks, I was kind of trying to lay low and not have anything to do with it.  Kudos to her for running, but a DNC chair from Idaho would be like and RNC chair from Hawaii or whatever other state hasn't elected a statewide Republican in 20 years--maybe NOT your expert on building a successful organization.  However, when I logged on to social media this morning, I had a message that Breitbart had done a story attacking her and their readers were harassing her via her personal page on Facebook (when did we become this?).  So, I read what they said she had said, then went looking for the actual clip as Breitbart is not an actual news agency and can say whatever they want.  And then decided that, not only can I not help, I think her statement was in poor judgment, even in context.

When you work on political campaigns, no matter how hard you prep and coach and polish and draft speeches, everyone has experienced that moment when your candidate goes "off the cuff," and you hear words you never even thought you'd hear and you spend the evening consuming copious of adult beverages and swearing that the next candidate you work for will be a mute with no personal life.  It happens.  In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan perfected the use of sound-bites.  He really changed the game at that point, and from then on, everything was about the Sound Bite ("Read my lips: no new taxes," "You, sir, are no JFK," "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall," ), then with social media came memes, but the one thing that stays constant: only a snippet of what you say will ever be seen or heard by most, and this is both a tool (sort of) and a really big danger. So while I understand that she was trying to address the racism in the democratic party itself, because of the words she chose as of 5:00 PM our time, she has over 650 messages of hate on her Facebook page, has already been trashed by Rush Limbaugh, and if I were better at Twitter, I'd know how bad that was as well.  I know this isn't limited to one side--this is just the only time I've seen this behavior up close, and if it weren't for crafting blogs and Ravelry, I would honestly say that I think social media is the worst thing that ever happened to humanity.  What have we become?

Monday, January 23, 2017


I had actually forgotten about Me Made Mondays, but later I'll be donning this
 to go out and deal with this:
Yes, it's snowing again.  And had I checked the weather forecast, I might not have done a second set of arm exercises at the gym last night, but sometimes you just don't want to know.  They stopped discussing record snowfall about 3 or 4 storms ago.  I wish people would stop calling each other "snowflakes" to imply fragility.  They've obviously ticked off Snow Miser,
who is taking it out on the northwest.  There is NOTHING fragile about snowflakes when they unite.  More than 50 buildings in the town closest to where I grew up have collapsed under the weight of snow, including the grocery store.  And it's only January.

I am crafting today.  I've made progress on the new flannel shirt,
and am trying out some of the new embroidery designs, starting with towels

followed by a new icicles design,
 and hopefully building up to more towels: 
Did I mention there were SEVERAL new embroidery sets?  Ahem........

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Why I Didn't March Yesterday

A lot of people have asked why I didn't march yesterday because I have been so politically active, and I've been a speaker at marches in the past.  When people asked if I was joining the local march, I said "sure," but when it came down to it, I just couldn't go.  Even I didn't understand why I didn't march until today.

I didn't march yesterday because for years I have been trying to get people to be politically involved, and have heard over and over "I don't follow politics" or "I don't follow local politics." Trump didn't happen overnight or this year. He started with Newt Gingrich's Contract With America. He started with the No Child Left Behind Act. He started with Reagan repealing the Fairness Doctrine. He started with big money being poured into judicial races. He started with low voter turnout and voter apathy. He started with people preferring to follow celebrity news over actual journalism. He started with more people knowing the names of every Kardashian but not the names of their elected representatives.  

So no, I didn't join you yesterday. Of course Trump outrages me, but I HAVE BEEN MARCHING AGAINST HIM FOR YEARS and if the outrage yesterday turns into ANY sort of constructive action, THEN I will be with there. But everyone else need to be there as well.

I don't mean to take anything away from those who did march--I was honestly glad to see it and glad to see the humungous turnout.  But unless there is follow up and political engagement, it will just be a footnote in history--not the changing of the future.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

More Snow Today

And for the first time since our winter-from-hell began, it was snowman snow.  So, of course:
but the ensemble was 100% courtesy of my husband, Andy.  Besides loving his sense of humor, he's a staunch supporter of human rights--not to mention those of snowpeople. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Day of Mourning........

We used to be a nation that expected a free press to question our leaders.

We used to be a nation where presidential candidates of both parties released tax returns to assure the public they had no conflicts of interest.

We used to be a nation where presidents put their financial affairs in a blind trust, or in Jimmy Carter's case, sold their peanut farm because Americans understood how dangerous financial conflicts for a president could be.

We used to be a nation where marital infidelity and multiple wives would have been the end of a campaign, especially for the party of "family values."

We used to be a nation where bragging about groping women was wrong.

And as of today, we aren't.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Me Made Flexibility

So in the interest of wearing more of my me-mades, this year I decided that every Monday didn't have to be a different me-made item.  Last year I found myself wearing fewer hand-made items the rest of the week to try to "save" them for Mondays (which probably says sad things about my enthusiasm for doing laundry).  Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment, and since we have been housebound quite a bit this winter, I celebrated being out by wearing the blue microsuede ensemble
AND a blue bowknot scarf that has apparently never gotten a "finished" picture.  It felt so festive!

And I learned a very important lesson: If you are trapped in a waiting room for an hour with some "Discovery" Channel show about hillbillies making moonshine (and boasting about not knowing what they're doing), the actual exam is NOT the worst part of the annual "woman's wellness" exam.  Heavens.  I like my doctor, who is a very educated man who probably still assumes that the Discovery Channel has something to do with science, but it was a LOOONNNGG hour. 

I stopped at the library, went out to lunch, stopped for groceries, and almost didn't make it home before the next snowstorm hit.  At least for us, this one was fierce but turned to rain so there was little shoveling, but other areas were not so lucky.  Today snow collapsed the roof of the closest grocery store to my hometown, and our local ski resort received 20 inches of new snow in a day.  It was so cute last year when we were excited that the mountains had enough snow for cross-country skiing.  I know there's more snow predicted, but I have turned off the weather app on my phone until it decides to say nicer things. It's 2017 and facts no longer matter, right?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winter = Sweaters

We have managed to not lose power, but other parts of the state haven't been so lucky.  Now we've had 3 days of heavy rain here, which melted off much of our snow
but has led to flooding, rock slides, and avalanches.  In one of the weirdest twists of fate, one of the nearby ski resorts is closing tomorrow because of TOO MUCH snowI've never seen that.  With everything going on with our crazy winter, I was a bit unenthusiastic about putting these up
and my hip/back was even less so as I did something and threw it out, landing myself in bed for the last day and a half.  I'm better today, and I keep trying to remind myself that winter justifies knitting lots and lots of sweaters.  To emphasize this, for Me Made Monday I wore the first wearable sweater I ever knit:
Sure, it was supposed to be in cotton and I made it in some bizarre acrylic that Red Heart no longer even makes, but compared to my earlier sweater attempts, that was only a mildly wrong substitution.  It's 30 years old, and had I actually made it with the right yarn, it might look a little dated now.  Instead, it just looks like a sweater made from very cheap yarn......

Sunday, January 8, 2017

We Have A First Finished Project!

The second Santa stripe table runner is done,
and aside from not realizing the lines wouldn't line up once I stitched the seams, I'm pleased with them.  And I've started two MORE table runners with fabric strips cut from my college fabric prints:
and now that we can take a break from Snowmageddon, I'm hoping to clear off my craft table enough to maybe cut out this,
which is one of my "allowed" purchases which just arrived.  It's a nicer flannel in a very dark hunter green.  Andy has been wearing the flannel shirt I made him so much that I wanted one for myself.  And this,
is a Polartec fleece that I'll be using to make Andy a shirt for Valentine's Day.  I found this fabric in 2015, I think, so not deep stash, but stash all the same.  And they're both Warm Things.  Honestly, my hometown has at least twice as much snow as we do right now, so it's not like I didn't grow up with bad winters, but potential power outages with no non-electric heat source is a new thing, as is 2 feet of snow that never gets plowed.  And being able to shovel snow with my back/hip is one thing. 

Being able to then LIFT the snow onto a pile the height of my shoulder is another thing entirely.  After yesterday, I wasn't even sure I'd be able to get out of bed today, but aside from just being a bit sore, I'm good.  Sick of winter, but good.  However, if we could get a day off from shoveling, that would be good.  Maybe like a week.  Done for the season would work well, too..............

The Sunday Storm

This morning our "togetherness" activity was to remove the snow from the roof of the patio, because while we're pretty confident about the rest of the roof holding, the patio was questionable since freezing rain is predicted for today.  This is our backyard today:

That's easily 2 feet of snow on the ground, and heavy rain just started.  The storm drains have been dug out, but so many of them are frozen over that when the rain melts this snow, there is going to be trouble.  We live at the top of a hill, so aside from the voles who built their tunnels at the bottom of the slope in our backyard about to be drown, we won't see much flooding, but things could get very ugly for the people at the bottom of the hill and in the valley.  Now they're saying this storm will be with us through Wednesday and we're still in a state of emergency. Ugh.

We cleared off as much ice as we could earlier, and with the rain now, we can finally take a break from storm "preparation" and I think I'm going to get to spend a little time sewing.   Fleece underwear, here I come!!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Craftless Saturday

Theoretically, this
would make for a great sewing day.  However, our county is now in a state of emergency, so we had a few things to do.  We received another 3-5 inches of snow this afternoon, but this particular storm system is projected to bring more snow, freezing rain, and rain this weekend, leaving us at risk for downed trees and power lines, flooding, and power outages with temperatures below freezing.  So we have spent the day shoveling snow, shoveling snow for neighbors, prepping for potential power outages, filling water containers, Andy did a grocery run, and I baked bread--more because I wanted bread than as a survival technique, but it is sourdough-oatmeal.  It's a bit unnerving as I have never seen a winter like this in Boise, but the good news is, I am wearing hand-knitted wool socks every day, and everything I've made for us out of fleece is FABULOUS.  If it stays like this, I am making fleece underwear.

Friday, January 6, 2017


It has finally stopped snowing here, and since Andy handled the 8-inches on Wednesday, I did the remaining 2 yesterday:
I grew up with much more snow, but since Boise doesn't really get much snow, the county doesn't own many snowplows, and never, ever, EVER plow roads like ours. 
This has been record-breaking snowfall for us, with 15-inches on the ground, but that also means 15-inches on the ROADS.  Schools have been closed for two days, and one of our local pizza companies earned HUGE points for closing for the safety of their drivers.  Emergency services were asking people to stay off the roads unless it was absolutely necessary, so I'm disappointed more businesses DIDN'T close.  Luckily, Andy telecommutes and I haven't found a new job yet, so we're good.  We're getting a break from snow as it's -7 right now,

and while there's debate about whether or not it can be too cold to snow,
 -7 makes it extremely unlikely to snow.  Since we had a bit of sun yesterday,
 our driveway melted off a bit after I shoveled, so it's relatively safe right now.  Of course:
my car couldn't get OUT of our driveway right now, but Andy has a truck that could, if necessary--maybe.   Our mailman didn't even make it here yesterday, and they chained the truck tires up last week.  I'm not worried about not getting mail, but it was also 20 degrees yesterday, so getting stuck in a vehicle with open windows would have been miserable and potentially dangerous, so I'm hoping they just didn't even try to come.  The city has already declared a state of emergency, which allows them to make purchases without the usual bid process, because while we're supposed to have a few extremely cold days, shortly it's supposed to warm up above freezing for the first time in weeks followed by RAIN, so parts of Boise will probably flood.  Looks like it will be a very eventful winter here.....

Today is actually sort of beautiful,
and I'm not just saying that because I don['t have to shovel anything,
though it helps.  

I didn't get much sewing done yesterday--partly because my hip has been really sore, and partly because shoveling a walk and driveway wears out the arm muscles needed for free-motion quilting,
so instead, I worked on the existing sweater.  I'm just making the armholes on the front piece, so I might be halfway on this.  Part of me wanted to change to something that would be finished sooner,  but did I mention this is an angora blend?  It turns out I want the finished sweater even MORE than I want a fast project.  Whoo hoo!!  Maybe there's some hope for my sweater WIPs this year!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A New Year And Back to Zero

Okay--100 finished projects.  I can do this--and have done it many times. But it is a bit daunting when one is at zero.

For the first Me Made Monday of 2017, I wore what I call my "clown" socks.  They're so loud that I put a bobble pattern on the leg:
which didn't go as badly when we went snowshoeing as I had thought.  It's been too cold here to do more than a mile, but since we're in the middle of yet ANOTHER snowstorm,
it's nice to have snowshoes to be able to negotiate the local streets.  Subdivisions never get plowed here--they barely do the main streets--so my little Toyota Corolla is going to be safe in the garage for a bit.  Thank heavens I haven't found a job yet!

I took down Christmas decorations yesterday, but I did take a break to start the stippling on the second runner,
 and am working on it again this morning over morning coffee:
(Note to self:  make sure at least SOME coffee has kicked in before trying to sew.)

While I'm not going to attempt 100 yards of fabric this year, I did run across the listing for the mauve fleece in my fabric spreadsheet,
and I believe there are 3.5 yards of it.  As we're not expected to get above freezing for some time yet,  I'm thinking this might be one of my first projects for the year.  Somewhere I have a pattern for fleece "lounge wear," and the pattern looks both simple AND warm.  At this point, I'd take either of those.  AND fleece takes up more room than other fabrics, so starting the year with a big visible dent has a lot to be said for it as well. 

100 projects to go.....I can do this...