Crochet Bug

I think I have gotten obsessed with crocheting as of late.  I have in the last 2 weeks learned several new stitches, completed various projects and started a lot of new ones.

The one that I finished that took the longest time was a customer order boot bag.  I think I took it part at time a half dozen times before I felt it was good enough.


One of the stitches that I learned is a simple shell pattern that I am using for an afghan order.  The colours are based on a picture the person has, her request.


Another stitch that I learned is called corner to corner or c2c for short.  Just a sample of a couple of pieces in progress.  The light green will be a baby blanket and the darker mixed colour is the shawl.


I have also been working on custom designs.  The following is the start of a craft bag that I am making for myself with my notes on how I am working / planning / designing it.


More to follow

Seed Order

This is more for me to kind of keep track of what I have ordered.  I forgot to write down what I had ordered before this one.  😦

Heritage Harvest Seed
Heirloom Tomato – Amish Paste
Heirloom Herb – Chamomile
Heirloom Herb – Borage
Heirloom Herb – Florence Fennel
Heirloom Herb – Old Ukrainian Dill
Heirloom Cucumber – Boston Pickling
Heirloom Cucumber – Early Green Cluster
Heirloom Carrot – Scarlet Nantes
Heirloom Brussel Sprouts – Long Island Improved
Heirloom Lima Bean – Henderson’s Bush
Heirloom Bean – Amish Nuttle
Heirloom Bean – Arikara Yellow
Heirloom Radish – Round Black Spanish


In terms of this blog, the “DEH” stand for dear ex hubby or dear estranged hubby. Some of the blog ideas that I have will refer to him. I have a difficult time in “real life” with defining him with a label. Most of the time I just use his name.

The short side of the story is that I left just over 7 years ago. I think in many ways we get along better now. We have always had a great relationship when it came to working in projects. The person that had more experience was the person that took the lead in the project.

We still speak often and do go out together once in a while. Our phone calls can last as long as several hours. Most of the time what starts the call is one of us needs help with a project. In my case the last time was for suggestion on how to move the ductwork. In his case it was to ask about a piece of furniture that he wanted to refinish. Between us, we have most of the skills and knowledge that we need for the projects we both have worked on.

When I first started looking into what I now know as homesteading, we were working on learning as a team. Things like solar energy (my skill), wind power (his skill), green houses (his skill), herbal meds (my skill) and the list goes on.

Should anything happen to me, he is the person with the keys to my home. He is the person that based on him taking care of my critters until the end of their nature lives gets everything. I guess you can say that he is my BF.


I was introduced to the idea this week.  I had heard of being  “born again” but I never gave it much thought, it was just a label to me.

Re-birthing as it was explained to me is what happens after a major life event.  It is what you make of yourself, your life and your surrounding once you make it thought the other side of the event.  The event can be just about anything that rocks your world;  from a job lost to income lost to lost love to having nothing grow in your garden.  It is something that is important to you and not the world on a whole.  It is that moment when most of the emotion has slowed down, when you take a look at your life and decide the next step in your path.  You may choose to keep going on the same path or you may decide to jump off and go another way.  Like being born, re-birthing can be painful but it is also wonderful if you let it.

Not sure where I am going here.  I found the whole idea of “being given permission” to take a new path peaceful.  Realizing that it is up to me and only me to decide where to go now.  I still remember my mom telling me when my marriage ended that it was going to be one of the most fun times in my life.  My answer was something to the effect are you nuts?  She tried to explain to me that I could do anything that I wanted, only I was holding myself back now.  If I wanted to use my out door patio furniture in my dining room, then there was no one to say that I couldn’t.  If I wanted to eat cookies all day (not a good idea) but I could do that too.  I am not sure she realized what she was talking about had the label of “re-birthing”.  It wasn’t until I started to type this that I remembered her telling me it was ok for me to do what ever I wanted to do.

I have no clue what I really want to do going forward.  Some days it is one thing, other days it is something else.  I allow myself to get overwhelmed by the physical things that in part of my brain I think I should do or have based on that faceless “they”.

I am sure it will take a lot more time to figure out what is next but hopefully for the moment I will remember that it is ok to just take it moment by moment, task by task, one step at a time.

Do Your Own Research

When starting a project, I most likely over think & over research.  I will not change as it is better to be actuate then wrong.  Use different sources.

In the last few months I have found myself questioning those that “seem” to know what they are talking about.  I am speaking on those that write blogs, have web sites, etc to “teach” or “help” others or just share information.  Those words are in quotes as I am finding the information is lacking or misleading or wrong.

Yesterday I lost my cool with one person.  It was about a news story.  The person had taken it and done it up in a blog.  The person added false information to their post which in turn was promoting a racist attitude.

For herbal medicines;  do not take just one person’s opinion  or even one piece of medical/scientific research.  All medical/scientific research ideas come from one direction or point of view.  A researcher often starts out with proving an idea.  Then once it is published, another researcher may or may test it to see if they can come up with the same results.  The other thing is that no two bodies are the same, no two health concerns are the same.  To ask “what should I take” will give you a 50/50 chance of it working and a small chance that you can end up with more issues.  Discuss all health issues with your doctor first.  The see a qualified professional that deals with natural healing.  Also the idea is to deal with the issue not the symptoms.  Until you know that the core issue is do not try to heal yourself without a lot of research.

Homes; whether homestead or buying a house or building a house this is one of those things that can haunt your for the rest of your life if you make bad choices.  I don’t want to screw up what I am hoping will be my last home which is way I have spent several years looking into this.  More in various posts on my blog and more to come.  I will leave this as is for now.

Gardening is another subjective project.  What works for me may not work for you.  A person needs to take into account hardiness zones, where a seed was purchased or collected, the quality of the soil, the surrounding landscape and the list goes on.  I often get asked questions on various things that I grow.  I have also been told over the years that there are some things that I can NOT possibly grow.  I always set out to prove someone wrong when they say it can not be done.  Mind you, I only mention growing something if I have done my research.  The one plant that comes to mind is peanuts.  I did prove them wrong but I found the amount I got off a plant was not worth the effort.   If you have an issue growing something that you want, take a look at the possible reasons.  Did you get your seeds that were produced in a completely different hardiness zone?  Are they old seeds?  Did the weather play a factor?

In all honesty, I have run out of steam on this post.  I had so much to rant about but since I have calmed down my words have slowed down.

Please take your time, do your research – learn how to fish and don’t just take “hand outs” of information because it seems “correct” and it is the easy way out.


Building a Home

I often get asked why the heck would I want to spend so much time researching, designing and planning a home rather then just buying one & renovating it.  There is no short answer.

  • I get what I want without having to do a lot of “extra” work that is required to renovate
  • I am cheap – the cost to build a home based on my research is still much cheaper then to buy one and renovate it
  • no home that I have seen on the market has everything that I want to make it my “forever” home
  • I won’t have hidden faults

When I purchased my first home, I gutted it to the roof line and rebuilt it.  New everything.  It was a mess, took way too long and very stressful.  The second home (which is the one that I am now in) has twice the square footage but only about half of it is effective usable space.

The second home has just a few of the following issues:

  1. The windows are too low to the floor on the 2nd floor.  Most of the windows are only about 2 feet off the floor.  This means basically nothing can go in front of them leaving 3 feet in every room unusable.  I can replace the windows, increasing the height from the floor but this will more then double the cost of just replacing them.  The house is double bricked which means hiring a brick laying company to come the same day the windows are replace.  Not going to happen.
  2. Air ducts and cold air returns are in strangle places in the house.  There are no cold air returns on the 2nd floor.  In the master bedroom with the windows and the air duct, there is only one way the bed can go and it still blocks part of the air duct.  Again as with the windows, this can be “fixed”.  All I have to do it gut the 1st and 2nd floors and run new duct work.  Not going to happen.
  3. Closets are only in the bedrooms on the 2nd floor.  They are not deep enough to have a hanger sit straight.  The only way to “fix” this would be to re-do all of the walls on the 2nd floor.  There is no place that a closet can be put by the front or back doors.  It makes hanging winter coats a challenge.  What fixes can be done, are not going to happen.
  4. The kitchen is too small.  There are 2 low windows, a cold air return, air duct, duct work running through part of the kitchen and 3 doors in the room.  The counter space is so limited that when I do the dishes there is no room to make a pot of coffee.  The plumbing for the only bathroom (2nd floor) is attached to the outside wall behind the kitchen cupboards.  There are only 4 of them.
  5. The bathroom is so small that even a skinny person like me finds it a challenge.  I could remove one of the 2nd floor bedrooms to expand the bathroom, this too would give me the ability to widen the spare bedroom closet.  All of the plumbing, air ducts would also have to be move.

It wasn’t until I started to live in the house that I began to realize just what my needs are compared to the lay out of the house.  I do really like a lot of things about this house but I find it a challenge to do most things.

I also want to make sure that I have main floor utilities, bedrooms and bathroom for my older age.  As well as designing it for the “just in case” idea of ending up in a wheel chair or using a walker.

Hence the reason for all the research, planning and designing to build a place.  I want to have a smaller floor space but more storage will a better use of space.

Finding Balance

There is a fine line between prepping and hoarding.  Since my mom’s passing, I have taken a long look at what I own.  I have to admit for the first few months of getting disability I went over board in my spending.  Buying food, clothes, supplies, etc that I had no been able to purchase in the previous 14 months.  The last spending spree that I had was boxing day buying yarn.  I bought enough to last more then a year.

Since then, I have taken a good hard look at my “stuff”.  I have been making a point since then at looking at everything I have.  Asking myself –  “when I am gone will someone else want it, use it, need it” plus the food side of things “what is the expiry date”.

I have been slowly changing my eating habits to use up those food items that are close to expiry.  I am no longer allowing myself to purchase any food items until I have gone through my food stores.  It has made some very interesting meals and not the healthiest.  One of the things that I discovered was that popcorn tastes like crap after it has been stored for over a year.  It was stored in vacuum sealed jars with O2 absorbers so it was a surprise to me.

It has been very hard for me to pass up really good food sales when I know the price of things are just going to keep going up.  Each time I see a sale, I have to remind myself over & over that I “don’t have to have it, I can do without”.  I don’t know about others but I find when I purchase fresh / new food, I have a really bad habit of eating it first.  I believe the only way for me to work through the dates is to not purchase anything.

I am hoping that the battle that goes on in my head will get easier.

New Year

With the start of the New Year, comes the chance to re-new my direction in life.  I don’t know why people (myself included) seem to wait for the start of a new calendar year.  I think perhaps it goes back to the beginning of time.  I started my new direction 2 months ago.  Hopefully it will last longer then the changes people make for New Years.

One of the “new” things that I started was getting more involved in my community.  Joining groups that help others, education groups and social groups.  Sounds like a lot but there is only one of the social groups that meets once a week.  The rest is on line or the meetings are far between.

I have also “found” a wonderful speaker that has really touched how I deal with life-  Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera (known to most as Ajahn Brahm).  He speaks about loving yourself & your fellow man.  I am not a Buddhist but I find his videos on youtube don’t really seem religious to me.  I understand what he says as he explains things in a down to earth manner.

Four Ways of Letting Go | by Ajahn Brahm

“Frogging” old WIP

Frogging means to rip out stitches. If you say rip out several times very quickly is sounds like a frog song – ribbit, ribbit, ribbit.

As part of getting projects done before starting new ones, I went looking for all of the knitting and crochet projects that I have started. Then as I found each one, I reviewed the piece with the following in mind:

  • do I still liked what I was doing
  • if I like it, do I still have or can I find the yarn in the house to finish it
  • if I don’t have the yarn and I like it, it goes in the “to review again” pile
  • if I like it, can find the yarn then it goes into the to finish pile
  • if I don’t like what I was doing, was it the colour or the pattern or the size
  • if it was the colour, can I add to what I have already done – if no, it gets frogged
  • if I don’t like the size, can I add to what I have already done – if no, it gets frogged
  • if I don’t like the pattern  – it gets frogged

Based on the above, I have frogged 2 afghans and 1 scarf this week.  I have 2 other afghans that are in the to frog pile and 1 afghan to finish.

  1. I didn’t have the colours to finish afghan “A”.  I know the one colour is no longer available.   The balls of yarn went in one of my yarn baskets to be used sooner rather then later.
  2. Afghan “B”, I have no clue what I was thinking with it.  My best guess was that it was going to be a “lap-gan”, a small blanket to be used in an office to keep my legs warm under my desk.  I used most of the yarn for it already & used it for a scarf.
  3. Afghan “C” I am still working on frogging it.  It was done except for the edging.  I think the total size was 12 feet by 8 feet.  It was for a king sized bed with “extra” to hang down the sides. I have spent about an hour frogging it so far.  I don’t like the pattern and it was less the perfect in my crocheting.  The yarn will go into a clear plastic bag to go in my yarn large project blanket box.
  4. Afghan “D” I don’t like really anything about it.  When I get to frogging it, the yarn will go into one of my baskets.  I will have to re-think the colours and pattern.
  5. Afghan “E” was one I started over a year ago as a Christmas present and forgot all about.  It will be the next thing I finish. (hopefully lol)

WIP or work in progress

This year I have decided that rather then track what I “need” or “should” do, I will keep track of what I have done in the way of projects.  I am hoping that this way I will get a more positive outlook.  Some how the “to do lists” really make me feel bad when I get off track.  I seem to forget some days just how I have come as I am too busy looking at how far I think  need to go.