A Look Back at 2016

It’s past time for my annual review of goals, but I’m going to do it anyway.  I usually try to write this prior to Winter Solstice, but this year it’s been hard to focus. 

My Mother had taken the time to reflect on the past year and commented that she had no idea how I had managed to get through 2016, little alone reach any of my goals.  I thought about that and decided I should look back at the year first, then look at what I might have accomplished.

We started the year living in our 25’ travel trailer.  We had sold our home in Escalante, UT and had purchased a new (to us) home in Enoch, but had allowed the sellers to rent back until February 1st.  We put everything we owned in our commercial building in Escalante and went to Quartzsite, AZ for the month of January.  Tracy was changing his hobby/craft one more time from photography to lapidary arts and needed some equipment.

It didn’t take him long to find an 18” and a 24” rock saw.  The bigger problem was how to get them home.  “No problem”, he says.  “We’ll buy a utility trailer and run them home”.  After driving nearly every street in Quartzsite, we finally found an old beater that would work.  It looked like the devil, but was of sound structure and had bigger tires than most.  The saw dealer arranged for the parks’ forklift use and the saws were loaded in no time.

I took advantage of the opportunity and purchased an old mine car complete with rails for front yard décor.  It just fit in the unused trailer space.  We hooked that poor trailer to the truck and headed for Enoch.  That was after we spent a whole day wiring the lights on the trailer.  The ones there didn’t work and we couldn’t haul it 500 miles through 3 states without lights. 

It was a 3-day “adventure” to “run” the trailer home, park it and return. Sore rumps and wet weather made for a “just drive” trip.  On the return trip, we got to the motel at Henderson and were greeted with a pack of big horn sheep. Not something you expect to see in the heart of the Las Vegas Valley.  But all that lovely, well-kept grass was too much to resist for their afternoon nap in the shade of the city park trees.

We returned to Quartzsite for some beads, picks, signs, and the 6 buckets of rough rock we purchased at the Saturday Auction.  Those and the 4 buckets of found rock were tucked under the trailer and we headed to La Mesa, Ca. to see my mom.

Her health has continued to decline and as trustee for the Family trust I needed to gather paperwork for the tax returns.  We took her to Balboa Park and the natural History Museum.  She had ever been.  It’s a place I spent many hours as a teenager, meditating as the pendulum clock knocked over little wooden pegs that marked every 5 minutes, as it swayed back and forth in long arcs across the shiny floor.

Time to return to Quartzsite and retrieve the trailer and rocks.  The sellers had left our new home the 15th of January and the house was ready for repairs.  We were ready for our next major adventure – or so we thought.

Until next time – – –

Thanksgiving Week 2016

We had quite the rainstorm this AM.  Now it’s turned to snow.  At first it wasn’t sticking, but now it is.  I need to visit the post office today, but I’ll wait until it quits.  Glad we got all the outdoor chores done before this started. I still have to store the patio chairs, but now they’ll have to dry first.

 Good friends came into town yesterday and we spent several hours “catching up”.  It was nice to just sit  and talk.  Spent the rest of the day writing our Thanksgiving cards and getting our family letter out.  They’ll go in the mail today.

Now I can start working on earrings for the Christmas Market in two weeks. I have Christmas Candy Baskets ready, except for putting in the candy.  Rock Candy, of course.  A few will have chocolate peppermint pieces.  In the meantime, I’ll try and get the blessing blanket done for a wonderful lady who is expecting her first in March. Then I’m going to go back to knitting baby outfits – more fun.  I’ve found  some new needles I’m going to order that replace the sets of  5 double pointed (DP) needles with three bent double pointed needles.  DP needles are okay with larger yarn, but I have trouble holding onto No. 1 and 2 needles.  Old hands are not as pliable.  It will be fun to try something new.  I have several patterns I’d like to try that call for small size DP needles.  And I need to settle on a project for the hospital.  I’m thinking a scarf would probably be the best, I won’t have to count stitches, just knit. Then again, I might be better off keeping track of a pattern – busy mind to go with busy hands.  On second thought, maybe I’ll do both.  LOL

November is about over and I have much to be grateful for – a wonderful husband and partner, good kids doing their thing, a wonderful house that is warm and dry, plenty of food and #enough money to live a nice life.  Every year, about this time, I sit down and go over my goals from last year and make new ones for the year to come.  I’ll do that this week.  Stay tuned – – –

Happy Sandwich Day

History of Sandwich Day
There is a commonly known story about the history of the word sandwich, and it’s attributed to John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. One piece of that history that’s rarely discussed is the meaning of the word Sandwich and the town it comes from. Sandwich is a city in the shire of Kent in England, originally the word was spelled Sondwic, and then Sandwic, and ultimately in 1086 as Sandwice. The name of the town came from its purpose and its claim to fame, it was a market town. So what does Sandwich actually mean? “Market Town on Sandy Soil”.

John Montagu was the 4th Earl of this town, a royal title that essentially means ‘chieftain’ and placed them in charge of a territory in the King’s stead. John was a well a known lover of card games, and it’s said he originally ordered his meat to be delivered to him between two slices of bread so that he would not get his grease laden fingers on the card, nor require a fork to eat. As people heard of this, they started ordering their food “The Same as Sandwich”, and eventually just “a sandwich”. From such things are legendary culinary delights born. Sandwich Day celebrates both the Earl himself, and the wonder he brought to us in the form of the sandwich.

New Moon – Black Moon

Yesterday was a new moon, a black moon because it was the second new moon in one month.  A new cycle begins and a new time to focus on personal goals that express positive energy.

Should we focus on –

  • Work
  • Our budget
  • Our business
  • A special relationship
  • Or just having fun?

We’ll have trick or treaters tonight.  That will be the first time in 20+ years I’ve been in a neighborhood that is conducive to having children knock on our door.  In Bandon, Or. We our home was tucked back behind our commercial building and hidden amongst the huckleberry bushes.  Too spooky and no real neighbors.  In Escalante our home was again behind our commercial establishment and even though there were children nearby, they didn’t know us and didn’t stop to trick or treat.

We have a nice family two doors down now and they still have two children at home.  They plan to come tonight and that will be fun.  Their mom tells us we’ll probably get about a dozen stoppers, and that’s perfect for us.  We’ve got a bowl full of Goldfish treats for whomever knocks.  In addition, I’ve got a special enough basket for each of the girls.  I’ll include my poem and list of what is your enough for each.  It will be fun to see what their costumes are.  I still have the scar on my thumb here the knife slipped cutting a slot for a hobo stick.  We had great fun when my girls were little.  I have a couple of pictures of them dress up for Halloween.

One of those pictures is with the San Diego Chicken.  We lived in Santee, CA at the time and I was a PTA volunteer.  My job was to help with the entertainment for the school Halloween carnival.  The Chicken was brand new and indicated he would love to visit your school.  So, I asked if he would, and he did.  It was a huge success and great fun.  More fun than elections.

Maybe that’s why there’s such a big interest in Halloween, even for adults.  It’s a time you can dress up and pretend to be someone else.  It’s a great distraction from politics and nasty elections.  I’ll be glad when

  • the nasty negative and stupid ads go away;
  • when the Clinton News Network (CNN) goes dark;
  • when the media realizes they’re no longer providing news and need a disclaimer that their report is only for entertainment;
  • and for snow – the weather event that brings peace and quiet.  A few feet would be fine.

Until next time.

Helping Hands – Volunteering in Today’s World

Over the years I’ve been involved in a number of not-for-profit organizations.  Rotary, Lions Club, Job’s Daughters, Scouting, musical organizations, political organizations, and a rock club (I’m sure there are more but they don’t currently come to mind).  Over time, they all come down to some type of political/power struggle.  I volunteer to do something, and later on wonder what was I thinking?

I was thinking I want to help.  I want to assist their progress in some way.  I want to see them succeed. How can I help?  With my take-charge personality I end up the chairman, the president, the leader.  I find myself pulling away from those decisions more and more.  Would I be Secretary of the Rock Club. No thanks.  How about the Membership Coordinator? Grant Writer? Publicity Chairperson?  NO, NO and NO.   I’ll help where I can, but I don’t want the board meetings, the distraction to creating, the politics.

So how can I help?

I’ve been knitting for years.  As my little sign says, “knitting keeps me from unraveling”.  I can create something useful and keep hands busy.  I’m a much nicer passenger when I knit and don’t watch Tracy drive.  I’ve gifted hundreds of blankets over the years both knit and crochet.  I’ve taught both my youngest daughter and grand-daughter how to knit and they also have “busy hands”.  So what do we do with all that stuff?

When we had our art/gift gallery we sold well over 100 scarves to travelers looking for something useful to offer that would remind them of their trip.  Grandmothers love the scarves as gifts for grandkids.  And some locals bought them on a regular basis as gifts and for their own families. But now that the store is closed what happens to them?

One day on Facebook an ad showed up for an organization called “Operation Gratitude”. They provide “Care Boxes” for our active military, veterans, first responders, and wounded warriors.  They take only scarves made of acrylic fibers – check;  4-6” wide – check; in masculine colors – check.  If you go to their website you can download their donation form to see all the other ways you can help.  They recently had a “service day” at their base of operation in California and created 3,000 “care boxes” for the first responders in Dallas.  This is an organization I want to give to.

I’ve put together a box of scarves with the labels as requested and will send them off this next week.  They also ask for letters to the care box recipients.  It took me a couple of weeks to figure out what to say, and how I might help take their mind off where they are.  I wrote a letter using pictures from our previous time in the heart of the Grand Staircare Escalante National Monument.  I hope it will give them something else to think about.

It also reminded me to add their service as volunteers to my gratitude journal.  I’m grateful they believe our freedoms are worth fighting for. My grandmother, mother, father, and 1st husband all volunteered for the Marine Corps.  They each had their own reason for that service, and each contributed in a unique way.  They wanted to help in some way.  I guess it’s in my blood.

Until next time – – –