Status February

Hello Friends,

So, this is what’s been happening here since the end of last calendar year (I think I first began this journey with yarn on 16 December 2016).  I’ve been making things; some nice things, some horrible things.  Two snow storms have come and gone, and one is here right now.  Here’s the incriminating evidence below.

Cheers,

Bex The Hooker

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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I’d Rather Listen to Dan…

Just for the record in my blog, here is an entry from Dan Rather’s Facebook page concerning his views of the recent inauguration of our country’s President this week.  Dan Rather is someone whom I admire and respect, unlike the subject of this essay.  Written on Inauguration Day in America, 20th January 2017, by Dan Rather (and with my comments about Dan following his essay):

And so it begins.

Of the nearly 20 inaugurations I can remember, there has never been one that felt like today. Not even close. Never mind the question of the small size of the crowds, or the boycott by dozens of lawmakers, or even the protest marches slated for tomorrow across the country. Those are plays upon the stage. What is truly unprecedented in my mind is the sheer magnitude of quickening heartbeats in millions of Americans, a majority of our country if the polls are to be believed, that face today buffeted within and without by the simmering ache of dread.

I have never seen my country on an inauguration day so divided, so anxious, so fearful, so uncertain of its course.

I have never seen a transition so divisive with cabinet picks so encumbered by serious questions of qualifications and ethics.

I have never seen the specter of a foreign foe cast such a dark shadow over the workings of our democracy.

I have never seen an incoming president so preoccupied with responding to the understandable vagaries of dissent and seemingly unwilling to contend with the full weight and responsibilities of the most powerful job in the world.

I have never seen such a tangled web of conflicting interests.

Despite the pageantry of unity on display at the Capitol today, there is a piercing sense that we are entering a chapter in our nation’s evolving story unlike one ever yet written. To be sure, there are millions of Donald Trump supporters who are euphoric with their candidate’s rise. Other Trump voters have expressed reservations, having preferred his bluster to his rival’s perceived shortcomings in the last election, but admitting more and more that they are not sure what kind of man they bestowed the keys to the presidency. The rest of America – the majority of voters – would not be – and indeed is not – hesitant in sharing its conclusions on the character and fitness of Donald Trump for the office he now holds.

The hope one hears from even some of Donald Trump’s critics is that this moment might change him. Perhaps, as he stood there on a grey, drab, January day, reciting the solemn oath of office demanded by our Constitution, as he looked out across what Charles Dickens once called the “city of magnificent intentions”, he would somehow grasp the importance of what he was undertaking. Perhaps he would understand that he must be the president of all the United States, in action as well as in word. Perhaps, but there has already been so much past that is prologue.

There is usually much fanfare around inaugural addresses. They are also usually forgotten – with some notable exceptions. I think today will be remembered, not so much for the rhetoric or the turns of phrase but for the man who delivered them and the era they usher us forth.

Mr. Trump’s delivery was staccato and there was very little eye contact as he seemed to be reading carefully from a teleprompter. His words and tone were angry and defiant. He is still in campaign mode and nary a whiff of a unifying spirit. There was little or nothing of uplift – the rhetoric of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, or Reagan. We heard a cavalcade of slogans and one liners, of huge promises to “bring back” an America – whatever that really means to many who look at our history and see progress in our current society.

The speech started with a message of an establishment in Washington earning riches on the back of struggling families across the country. It was an odd note, considering the background of many of his cabinet picks. President Trump painted a very dark picture of the current state of our nation, beset by gangs and drugs and violence, regardless of what the data shows. His words swelled with his economic populism and the nationalism of “America first.” The applause was sparse, and I imagine many more being turned off, even sickened, rather than inspired by what our new President had to say. President Obama looked on with an opaque poker face. One could only imagine what he was thinking.

It bears remembering that one never can predict the arc of a presidency. It is an office that is far too often shaped by circumstance well beyond its occupant’s control. Those challenges, wherever and however they may rise, now will fall on the desk of President Trump. We can only see what will happen. We hope, for the security and sanctity of our Republic, that Mr. Trump will respond to the challenges with circumspection and wisdom. Today’s rhetoric was not reassuring.

Our democracy demands debate and dissent – fierce, sustained, and unflinching when necessary. I sense that tide is rising amongst an opposition eager to toss aside passivity for action. We are already seeing a more emboldened Democratic party than I have witnessed in ages. It is being fueled by a fervent energy bubbling from the grassroots up, rather than the top down.

These are the swirling currents about our ship of state. We now have a new and untested captain. His power is immense, but it is not bestowed from a divinity on high. It is derived, as the saying goes, from the consent of the governed. That means President Trump now works for us – all of us. And if he forgets that, it will be our duty to remind him.


Many years ago, when I was just separated from my first husband, Bill P., and I was living alone in Salem in a tiny apartment in an antique house on Beckford Street, I saw an advertisement in the Salem News that Dan Rather would be appearing in Salem soon to give a talk.  It was within walking distance  of my new home.  Even though I’d only just become separated from my first husband, I called Bill and asked if he would be interested in going to see Dan Rather give his talk… and Bill, being a political science major in college, jumped at the chance and said “yes.”  So he and I went to see Dan in person.

I cannot, for the life of me, remember now what the topic was.  This was back in 1976, and politics back then were hot and heavy.  But I do remember the wonderful calm that came over me as we sat there on the fold-up chairs in downtown Salem listening to one of my all-time favorite newsmen.

When his talk was over, we shuffled up front to meet with him, shake his hand, tell him how much we liked and respected his work and his thoughts.  He was so charming and lovely.  He looked us right in the eyes and talked “to” us… not around us, something our newly intstalled President can’t seem to do, apparently.

I was sad that Dan had to leave his television news show, and I can’t even remember why right now.  I miss him as a regular presenter of news.  The only person these days who even comes close to him, in my view, is Rachel Maddow on MSNBC each weeknight at 9 pm.  Rachel is terrific, and if she were the ONLY news presenter left on TV, I’d be happy. She is the only person we watch with any regularity these days, local news excepted of course, at the dinner table.  She gives a slant on the news that no one else does.  She makes it all easier for us laypersons to understand the big scope of things and the importance of subjects that seem to get short shrift with the other circuses that call themselves cable news shows.

Anyway, I wanted to memorialize Dan’s take on the recent inauguration.  Take a deep breath and just pray 4 years goes by in a flash!

 

Cheers,

Bex & Co.
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The Last Sunday

Hello,

I did it again.  I changed Themes.  No, I can’t remember the name of this one (I went and looked, it’s “Two-Twenty” I believe.)  But I wasn’t really loving that other one that much.  This is a bit more plain and simple.

The comments are probably at the bottom of the entry.

I am lamenting what the title of this entry means for us here in this country.  The last Sunday for so many things, not the least of which is that we have a leader of our country who is great and are going into an era with a leader who is far less than great.  To put it mildly.

I haven’t talked much about politics lately.  I’ve had to divorce myself from it, for the most part, as it was making me sick inside.  Especially after November the 8th.  Then, we still had time to hope and pray that something would happen to turn it around, to make it not happen, but now here we are, just days away from a new leader being installed, and just thinking about it is making me nauseated all over again.

And that is why I started crocheting again.  I needed to turn off the cable news, the non-stop screaming and yelling from that big black box over there, across the room.  Listening to lie after lie after lie coming from the mouths of the “other side” was just too much to handle anymore.

Now yarn is my main concern.

I have more than enough yarn here to keep me busy probably for years.  I do not have the gigantic stash of it that some crocheteers have, but mine is now finally and happily all organized right here near me after I splurged and paid a whopping $7.49 for this handy-dandy hanging cubby-hole thingy to hold all my yarn.

This black thing is only 48″ high, it has a velcro piece at the top that opens up and closes around a rod, so it could go into a closet.  But my closets are all full, so I snuck it in next to the curtain here and filled it with all the yarn I could find plus the new yarn I’ve bought recently.

Those two see-through bags of yarn are both from England.  One contains the rest of the yarn for the Moorland blanket (it contained 15 skeins of yarn and I did not make the blanket as prescribed but rather a few smaller things, and I still have quite a bit of the yarn left – in fact, a lot left.  The other see-through bag contains 8 skeins that are for making a bag called the  “Jolly Chunky Bag.”

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Above is the bag all made up by Lucy at Attic24 (in Yorkshire, England).  I love this bag – it’s so cheery and happy!  I can keep my current work in there and sitting near my chair and it will make me happy just to see it.  So that is on the horizon to do soon.

My blanket for Paul is coming along after some glitches.

I started out making it using a stitch I found on YouTube called the “extended moss stitch” which was a new one for me.  I did like it, but it was a not an easy flowing stitch, it took real concentration to do each and every stitch, and even some muscle power sometimes when the place where the hook was supposed to go was not easily accessible.  Finally, I gave up but didn’t want to rip out and start over, so I continued down the blanket in the plain old double crochet stitch which goes much more quickly, and I’m just treating that top part as a kind of “header” on the blanket… so Paul can tell the top from the bottom!

Pretty soon I will begin the 3 stripes of colors he wanted – to match his lobster buoys, of white, dark green, and yellow, as you can see by the picture below of the late, great Whitby girl and Paul’s stash of freshly painted buoys:

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KODAK Digital Still Camera

8(Update:  Jan. 19th… I am on the home stretch now with the blanket (see photo below).  I am putting that “header” of the moss stitch on both the top and bottom and also I will go around the edges with the regular single crochet moss stitch for the edging.  So it will be 8-10 inches longer than this in the end.  I think.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

At left are all the knitting implements I found when I went hunting for old yarn the other week. I did a fair amount of knitting back in my day, but I don’t have a lot to show for it as I made things for other people. Paul does have a nice vest I made for him and one day I’ll haul it out and photograph it.

Below are the implements I have for crocheting, and I do need to acquire a few hooks that are for larger items, using chunky yarns. I’d really love to crochet a bath mat for in front of the tub, something nice and chunky and soft to step on out of the shower.

OK. I’ve almost lost this entry several times here, so I’ll wrap it up.

You may have noticed that I changed the Theme again. Hope it’s working for you.

Cheers,

Bex & Co.

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This is only a test…

For comments, check the very bottom of the entry.  I think you will find the link there.

I’m experimenting again with “themes” here on my blog.  Since I don’t very often get to redecorate my house, and I love to change things up, as a rule, here is as good a place as any to do that.  It’s just that there are so many options and choices and decisions to be made, it all gets overwhelming by the time you’re done with it.  So, for now, this is it.  My new look.

I wanted the links to appear on the same front page as the blog entry.  Let’s see if this all works now.  Teddy can be my guardian angel here… keeping an eye on the place whilst I’m doing other things.

On my pillow cover that I’m crocheting to cover an ugly old pillow we use,  here it is so far:

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Still using the leftover yarn from the Moorland Blanket project!

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That’s all for now.  Let me know how it’s working for you.

Oh, and to the people who have recently joined my notify list (thanks!), I’ve been doing a blog for a very long time, and all my older entries should be linked on the side-bar over to the right here.  Since I had to move them all over from an old site (JournalScape) last year, there are things in most of them that need “tweaking” (editorially), but I only get around to doing that now and then.  I’m not going back through all those years of blogs to fix everything all at once!  But the basic entries are there.

So welcome, and I’ll see you next time.

Cheers,

Bex & Co.

 

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It’s a whole new year, new life

Dear Friends,

It’s been a while.  Here I am tweaking my blog again, never being happy with things they way they are, for some reason.  I want a more simple page.  To find my links, click on the arrow at the TOP RIGHT corner. 

Everything has changed.  Well, not everything!  But important things, like my state of mind. Changed.  I dumped politics out of my consciousness.  The deed has been done, not by me nor by anyone I consider to be reasonably intelligent and thoughtful… but by those darn deplorables.  

Oh, there I go again.  

To effect this change in my life, I have taken up crocheting.  You probably know this if you ever read my FB pages.  But this is taking up all my waking hours these last few weeks.  

Somehow I lighted on a website called Attic24.   The author of the site is called Lucy; she lives in the Yorkshire Dales of England and is a crocheteer (one who crochets).  She does this big-time.  I only do it to fill my brain with soft thoughts.  I love yarn.  

My first project was this:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I made up the pattern with yarn I bought from England.  They are the colors of the Yorkshire Moors – the Moorland Blanket..  I got the yarn in December but the “crochet-along” wasn’t to start until the 6th January!  I got impatient and just started and this is what I ended up with.  I have not blocked it so it’s kind of wobbly looking.

My next item of crochet was a hat that I made using some 30+ year-old yarn I found in the coat closet.  

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I followed a pattern on YouTube,  and it’s supposed to be a “slouchy hat.”  The brim I made wide so it could be rolled up.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Then, I got an order from husband to make him a blanket for his bed for when he reads up there.  He wanted a specific color combination (like his lobster buoy colors) and he wanted it fairly simple.  I have it all planned out in my head, I have most of the yarn here now and am waiting for the dark green.  These are his buoy colors:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I am awaiting the dark green.  The background will be a teal/marine blue/green color, like the ocean.  He wants three wide stripes near the top, white, green, and yellow. This is how much I’ve done so far…

KODAK Digital Still Camera 

Then, I started a hat with some other new yarn I bought recently, and this is what it turned out to be, a hat for my beloved’s head in this sub-freezing weather we are having:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

It wasn’t supposed to be FOR him, but I showed it to him, and he whipped it on his head and I said “It looks great on you” and he went in to the bathroom to look in the mirror, and he took possession of it.  I told him the pom-pom was detachable if he didn’t want it on there, but he said that, no, he loved the pom-pom!  So he wore it down to his boat to check things out and now he owns the hat.  

Belle thought she’d give it a go at first…

KODAK Digital Still Camera  KODAK Digital Still Camera

..but it just didn’t really work for her.  Her ears were  hidden, and she really likes her ears out in the open where they can detect threats etc. around the house. 

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Anyway, with that hat done, I needed to be crocheting something, so I decided that I’d make a pillow cover for an old ratty looking pillow that we have in here that I use behind my back when sitting in my big chair, for support.  So this is where I am on that project to date:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

It’s using the Moorland blanket yarns that I have left.  Oh and I forgot to mention the scarf I made for myself before this project… it’s here, using the Moorland blanket yarns:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I want to make another hat, too, once I’m finished with the pillow cover.  But that will be a little while from now.  Once I start to crochet Paul’s bed blanket, that will take me quite a long time, but I hope to keep you abreast of my progress.  

All this yarn work has succeeded in keeping my mind off the most horrible year EVER in American politics… the election of the most horrifically unqualified human being as President, soon to take office in a couple of weeks.  To keep my sanity, I focus now on beautiful soft, colorful yarns and patterns and different stitches, not to mention that it’s made my hands feel a lot more useful these days even with the arthritis that lives there. 

So Happy New Year everyone.  Since I just changed my “theme” here on this site, I am not sure where you’ll find the “comments” section, (I think it’s up near the top, under the header, after the dateline… somewhere around there),  but if you can’t find it right away, click on that ARROW in the top right-hand corner and poke around in there… I could change this whole set-up again, who knows?  I’m like that.  

Cheers,

Bex & CoKODAK Digital Still Camera

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