Sunday, October 2, 2022

Homeless Blanket Afghan # 9 - The Isle of Deserted Mountains (mdI)

Just to sit and mindlessly crochet, that's what I'm really digging right now.  Will I have them all done by December?  Nope, but I will complete them all AND give them all away.

I'm using Impeccable (Michael's) Putty for the single color.  Making them pretty good size so I don't have to do too much sewing together.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Homeless Remembrance Blanket Project


Big DC Display will be December 21, 2022 - The shortest night of the year!

Sizes requested:  45 x 80 - or - 60 x 80

Well, I certainly jumped in with both feet!

The G

The Isle of Deserted Mountains (mdI)

Homeless Blanket Afghan #1 - The Auspicious Afghan

 The Auspicious Afghan
(auspicous means inspiring hope)
The Afghan That Started It All

9/16/22     21 blocks completely ready
                  5 blocks need the final/joining round
                  5 across x 4 already sewed together = 46 blocks

5 x 8 needs 40 blocks, so looks like there's more than enough to make it even bigger.

Impeccable "Golden Beige"

Homeless Blanket Afghan #2 - The California Afghan

 The California Afghan
Started with scraps from Dede, then added colors from stores n Petaluma and San Rafael

9/16/22     17 blocks done and waiting
                 5 across x 6 down already sewed together = 47 blocks ready

Was going to make this 5 x 8, which takes 40 squares, but since I've made 7 more than that, I'll probably make it bigger!  We'll see!

Impeccable "Putty"

Homeless Blanket Afghan #3 - The Carlisle

 The Carlisle Afghan
The Whole Project Started in Carlisle, right?

9/16/22   39 blocks ready
                none sewn together yet

48" wide
5 per row x 8 rows = 40 blocks needed
Gotta make 1 more block!

Impeccable "Soft Taupe"

Homeless Blanket Afghan #4 The Dolores Afghan

 The Dolores Afghan
#4 in the alphabet is D 
so of COURSE, this needs to be named this!

9/16/22  15 blocks ready & waiting
               4 x 6 sewn together = 39 blocks complete

It seems to measure 46' wide, each block seems about 8" or just a little less

Will probably make 8 blocks for the length?

6 x 8 blocks total needed
Only 9 blocks yet to be made!

Craftsmart Value Economique (Michael's) "Off White"

Homeless Blanket Afghan #6 - The Frances Afghan

 The Frances Afghan
   (Love ya, girl!)

9/16/22   15 blocks ready
                5 x 7 sewn together = 50 blocks done

Each block is about 6.75 ", the row of 7 (sewn together) is about 48"
Think I'll need 10 (possibly 11) rows total, but we'll say 10 for now.

7 x 10 = 70 blocks total needed
20 blocks yet to be made

Impeccable (Michael's) "Classic Gray"

Homeless Blanket Afghan #5 - The Elizabeth Afghan

 The Elizabeth Afghan
(Love ya, Mom)
If I could see better to use black yarn, I think this would look SUPER cool.  Maybe the next one?

9/16/22   27 blocks ready
               3 x 8 sewn together = 51 blocks done

Each block is about 5/5 inches, a row sewn together is about 46" wide
I'm guessing 12 rows (possibly 13, but for now I'll go with 12) for a total of 96 blocks all together.

45 more blocks to be made

Impeccable (Michael's) "Aran"

Homeless Blanket Afghan #8 - The Harry Afghan

 The Harry Afghan
(Queen Elizabeth II just died, and Harry looks so sad...)
I really love the look of this block, however, I'm afraid it'll be too much white when they're all attached together.  We'll see.

9/16/22     22 blocks ready
                  2 x 6 rows sewed together = 34 blocks done

Each block is just a smidge less than 8", so the 6-block row measures about 46 inches wide
To be 72" long, it'll need 9-ish blocks for length

6 x 9 = 54 blocks total needed
20 blocks to be made

Impeccable (Michael's) "Aran"

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Banana Nut Oatmeal Cups

3 cups rolled oats
1 ½ cups low-fat milk
2 ripe bananas mashed (about ¾ cup)
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
½ t. salt
½ c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Coat muffin tin with cooking spray
Combine all ingredients, fold in pecans last.  Divide into muffin cups.
Bake about 25 minutes at 375 degrees – test with toothpick
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.  Can freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts
176 calories; protein 5.2g; carbohydrates 26.4g; dietary fiber 3.1g; sugars 10.5g; fat 6.2g; saturated fat 1.2g; cholesterol

Saturday, April 30, 2022


Even though I swear that my birthday is meaningless and I don't want to celebrate in any way, I always look for special things to happen.  Sometimes they do and lots of times they don't.  But yesterday was a pretty cool, special day, all in all, and because I was looking forward to a late afternoon/early evening gathering with friends at a venue I'd never visited, it seemed like my actual birthDAY.

The day was gorgeous, a real spring day, culminating in the low 60s.  A stop at Gracefull Heart, where I bought myself a new jade-bead bracelet.  Then on to Verizon where I treated myself to a new glass screensaver for my phone - holy shmoley what a difference!  From there to Ashcombes, where I purchased a jade plant and had it potted.  (It wasn't until later that I realized I bought myself both a jade bracelet and a jade plant.  Weird.)

Because I was searching through my stash of cards for a birthday card for Bonnie I discovered a treasure trove of really cool cards I'd bought (and never sent) through the years.  I pulled out FOUR and wrote letters to four special people.  It felt so good!  I haven't actually written in handwriting with pen and ink that much in forever!  Sally, Andrew, Fran, and Heather!  And that really made me happy.  I even mailed them on my way to the Hook & Flask where I met up with Lani, Sandy, Micah, Bonnie, Devera, and Pat for a Pear vodka drink (yum, slurp, guzzle....), chicken wings, and onion rings.  

Such a fun day!

And then the actual!  Dinner at Carrabbas.  Delicious and oh-so-fun!  Grinned my way through it.  Photo above.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

35. The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

listened on Libby - borrowed from the library
344 pgs.
Mystery/Thriller - with ghosts
Finished 4/26/22
Goodreads rating: 3.94
My rating: 3
Setting: 1970's and contemporary Oregon

My comments: Two great female narrators, loved listening to them.  A ghost story, with everything based in reality except for one particular protagonist who is a dad, hateful ghost.  It didn't work for me, not at all.  Although I may remember this book in the future, it won't go down as a favorite.

Goodreads synopsis:  In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect--a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.

Oregon, 2017Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases--a passion fueled by the attempted abduction she escaped as a child. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea's surprise, Beth says yes.

They meet regularly at Beth's mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she's not looking, and she could swear she's seen a girl outside the window. The allure of learning the truth about the case from the smart, charming Beth is too much to resist, but even as they grow closer, Shea senses something isn't right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?

A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

33. Sea of Tranquility - Emily St. John Mandel

listened on Libby, borrowed from library.
225 pgs.
Finished 4/20/22
Goodreads rating: 
My rating: 4.5
Setting: Although it keeps going back to Vancouver Island, it takes place all over the world

My comments: What a fascinating story.  I bet I'll be thinking about this one for awhile.  Time travel, interesting characters, and pondering about what "anomaly" means.  Excellent science fiction.  The only thing I would've changed were some of the readers, although they read excellently, for some of them their voices were disconcertingly older that I felt they should be.

Goodreads synopsis:  The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon three hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal--an experience that shocks him to his core.

Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She's traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive's bestselling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.

When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.

A virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful, Sea of Tranquility is a novel of time travel and metaphysics that precisely captures the reality of our current moment.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

North Carolina Road Trip Spring Break 2022

My Facebook notes are below.

5 NPS sites (but one was closed)
                Cedar Creek & Belle Grove NHP (Closed)
                Shenandoah NP Skyline Drive (Last 1/3)
                Petersburg NBP (?)
                Guildford Courthouse NMP
                Blue Ridge Pkway – Just a small bit, in Roanoke VA
1 yarn shop
                Wool Workshop – Roanoke, VA
1 quilt shop
                 Patchwork Plus - Dayton, VA (amazing!)
8 letterboxes
9 cemeteries (at least)
                Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, VA
                Cedar Grove Cemetery, New Bern, NC
                Greenwood Cemetery, New Bern, NC
                U. S. National Cemetery, New Bern, NC
                Jacksonville City Cemetery, Jacksonville NC
                Montford Point Federal Cemetery & Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery, Jacksonville, NC
                Oakwood Cemetery, High Point, NC
                East Hill Cemetery, Salem, VA
                Resthaven Memorial Gardens, Harrisonburg, VA
3 Munzee gardens
5 nights in a motel –
                Wingate by Wyndham, Short Pump, VA
                Hampton (2) New Bern, NC & Waynesboro, VA
                Microtel – Jacksonville, NC
                Quality Inn – High Point, NC
1 flat tire, Richmond, VA
2 new windshield wipers
1 bookstore
                Next Chapter Bks & Art, New Bern, NC
2 museums
                Pepsi, New Bern, NC
                Guildford Courthouse NMP
1 college
                High Point University, High Pont, NC
1 factory tour
                  Route 11 Potato Chips, VA
2 war memorials
                Lejeune Memorial Gardens, Jacksonville, NC
                                Vietnam War Memorial 
                                Beirut Memorial
3 roadside Attractions
                5 (of 80) fiberglass bears, New Bern, NC
                “Furniture Capital of the World” bureau
                2 huge bicycle “sculptures” at the Star on the hill in Roanoke
Numerous bronze statues of famous people sitting on benches, High Point University, NC

4/14  Chris Graves is in Short Pump, Virginia.

Lovely day! I headed down Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. No bear this time, but deer, wild turkey, and snake all crossed my path. Overcast, but no haze - beautiful views. Stopped for the night just outside of Richmond, found a Vietnamese restaurant and had yummy pho, setting out for North Carolina in the morning.

                    3 photos:  tulips, mntns, Skyline Drive sign


4/15 earlier in the day than the next post:  Chris Graves is in Henrico, VA.

Always an adventure!!
My current scenic view.
Flat tire. May not be repairable.
lollolol, what else can ya do but laugh?

               1 photo inside tire store


4/15  Chris Graves is in New Bern, North Carolina

What a gorgeous day today! My flat tire debacle was concluded by 10:30, not bad at all. My first stop, Petersburg National Battlefield, was pretty gloomy. The end of the Civil War, a nine month siege between Lee and Grant to cut off supplies for the confederate capital in Richmond. Grim. Spend some time letter boxing in cemeteries in Petersburg and at my final destination for the day, in NC. All in all, four really historic cemeteries. I actually don’t find cemeteries grim at all, I enjoy and respect them and learn lots of history from their primary sources. I’m a weirdo…
          Photos  Petersburg Battlefield sign, Welcome to NC sign, arched cemetery entrance, New Bern arched cemetery entrance, US National Cemetery gate, grave markers inside National cemetery, New Bern flag by river


4/16  Chris Graves is in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Day 3. I love being on the road. And there’s so much to see along the North Carolina coast!

Before I left New Bern this morning I drove around and took photos of some of the 80+ fiberglass bears that decorate the town. History is everywhere in New Bern- roadside signs and old houses labelled with their information all over town, plus the two old cemeteries I mentioned yesterday. I went into the corner drugstore-now-museum where Pepsi was invented and enjoyed a browse and sip. My last stop before leaving town was a really interesting book shop. They cater to local authors (of which there are a huge amount) as well as some local artisans. I actually found a small souvenir for myself here - and met a super friendly cat as well. Leaving town I was treated to the site of the roadway rising in front of me so that a tall-masted ship could go under the bridge. Took less than 10 minutes and was quite interesting.

Heading south, I got my first-ever taste of the Outer Banks! I traveled along about 20 miles, from Atlantic Beach to Emerald Isle. There’s a lot for sale along that roadway! Ocean on both sides, prime real estate. And lots of public access to the beach on both sides of the road.

When I got to Jacksonville I visited the Lejeune Memorial gardens, where I spent a bit of time at both the Vietnam War Memorial there and the memorial in recognition of American lives lost in Beirut in 1983. Look it up. Interesting. And sad.

I have no idea where I’ll head tomorrow. That’s the fun of a meandering vacation

          Photos  standing bear, colorful bear, pepsi recipe, me in Pepsi corner, bookshop cat, river bridge road n the air, two different pink flowers, beiruit monument, 3 vietnam memorial photos

4/17  Chris Graves is in Archdale, North Carolina

North Carolina. All the trees are green, all the shrubs are blooming in glorious pinks and purples, and it was about 75° all day with sunshine. Sunshine!

Two standouts today – Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, a 1781 Revolutionary war battle site near Greensboro NC (It’s not all Civil War battlefields down here). I asked them if adults ever did the junior ranger programs and she told me about their not-so-junior-ranger program… for people like me! It was fun, had to answer all sorts of questions after watching the video, touring the museum, and driving the auto tour.

A short drive away is High Point University, where two of my nephews went to school. They both loved it there, and I love checking out colleges —- I’m so glad I went! This place is unbelievable! I’ve probably seen hundreds of college campuses, but none ever like this. Huge regal white buildings, fountain after fountain after fountain, lots of space and green and flowering plants. But my favorite part was the dozens and dozens of benches that had bronze statues of famous people sitting in them.. I had quite a conversation with Aristotle, as you can see in the photos. The town of High Point was once the largest manufacturer of furniture in the US not so long ago.

Plus some more really interesting cemeteries…

I’ve had a lovely dinner every night, but tonight was my favorite, a local Mexican restaurant. So good.

             PHOTOS:  US/NC Flags, Guilford Courthouse sign, Guildford Crthse woods, inside museum, HPU flags on lightpoles, Helen Keller, Me & Aristotle, MLK Jr with sign behind him, Coltrane, Mother Teresa, huge bureau, 50 confederate bured headstone, buried American flags placque.

4/19  Chris Graves is in Waynesboro, Virginia

Yesterday (4/18) was a gloomy day. Downpouring rain, sleet, snow, multiple car accidents…but I did find a very cool wool shop. My plans for Roanoke pretty much tanked because of the wetness and limited visibility. I did find a couple of letter boxes in a sopping cemetery.
           Photo:  foggy tree with star, foggy bikes

4/19  Chris Graves is in home in Carlisle, PA

Had a long,somewhat leisurely drive up 81 today.  I went to an absolutely incredible quilt store in Dayton, VA, which is a tiny bit southwest of Harrisonburg.  Holy Schmoley, what a place!  I MUST go back when I have definite quilt plans, or to take Dede.  Also in Harrisonburg I hit a cemetery for a letterbox.  Muddy.  Got mud on me, the tires, the running board, and the car mat.  Light brown mud....

Not too far down the road I saw a sign for Route 11 Potato Chips.  It's a small facility, and you can look through windows to watch them make their very-fried chips.

And then home!  Didn't take too long.  My tiny suitcase and I hit the stairs, then I hit the bed and fell fast asleep.  What a great trip!  School tomorrow!