Free Patterns

Saturday, January 6, 2018

My Little Ecuadorian Dog

Thought we had lost our little Ecuadorian dog this morning. We (the BF, my little Ecuadorian dog, Tessa, and I) were out walking near the mouth of the river as the tide was going out. Tessa loves playing in the water and fetching things that are tossed in. This morning, she saw a coconut floating on the current and jumped in to bring it to shore. The combination of the river current and the outgoing tide was so strong that she could not make it back. I thought about going in to help her and was thigh deep before my husband told me to stop.
"I would rather lose a dog than my wife." was his reasoning.
He was right. The current was so strong that we would both have been swept out to sea. All I could do was watch helplessly as she struggled to make it to shore. Then struggle to keep her head above water. Then I held my breath as I lost sight of her beneath the waves.
It was a horrible thing to contemplate - her drowning. I could not watch. But, as we turned to walk back up the river, my husband spied her on a wave, being washed ashore on the other side. A wave or two later and she was out of the water and running along the opposite bank looking for a way back.
Then, the silly girl, jumped into the water and began trying swim back! Again, as I watched, she was caught in the current and pulled toward the sea. Again, as I watched, she struggled to make it back to shore, to us. Again, I saw her, in my mind's eye, being pulled under as the tide joined with the river to produce a current so strong.
But, this time, she was closer to the sand bar so the current was pushing in her favor. I held my breath as she struggled toward the safety of the shallows. I watched as she appeared to be carried out into the main part of the river and out to sea once again. But this time she made it. Her little feet touched solid ground. She struggled with the current still, but she was almost home free. Then, she jumped and bounded across the shallows that were chest deep for her. She had made it!
I wanted to grab her and hold her close. She wanted to stay just out of reach but close enough to know safety.
She is downstairs now, lying in the warmth and safety of her yard. I am happy she is there. My little Ecuadorian dog.

Friday, January 5, 2018

White, Chocolate or Strawberry?

Hello.  My name is...and I am the child of a horrible parent.

My father, who shall remain unnamed, would lie to us.  Well, mostly my baby sister who was, in her youth, very gullible.  The stories he would tell were so far-fetched and so funny that I remember them to this day.  Among my favorites were the ones about the milk and the hot chocolate.

About once every couple of weeks, my family would drive from Sonoma down to either Pacheco or San Lorenzo to visit family.  The drive down took us over the Richmond Bridge and past the oil refineries of Richmond and Benecia.  It always smelled so bad that my sister and I would beg for clothespins to hold our noses shut.  I would laugh at the way we looked when, once, my mother came prepared.  My sister - I love you oh sister mine! - would whine about the smell, even while wearing her wooden clothespin.

Well, on one of these drives, my father became inspired.  As we drove by the tanks full of crude he began to spin his tale.  A tale that would make the whining stop, replaced with awe and wonder.

"Hey, M," he said. "See those white tanks over there?"
"Uh-huh," she replied while mouth breathing.
"You know what is in those?" he asked.
"Stinky stuff." she responded.
"Now, that is where you would be wrong." He said in a voice reserved for the imparting of wisdom. "
"Then what is it?" she asked.
At this point my brother and I were paying close attention because, being so much older the our sister, we knew that this was going to be a humdinger.
"Well, those white tanks are in the process of being filled with milk." He said sagely.
"Really? Really, Dad?" She was amazed!
"Yes, really. And, as soon as they are full, they are going to start running milk into the homes here."
"Nu-uh." She had grown skeptical.
"What?  You don't believe me?  It is true.  I swear it is true!"  he stated.  "And the pink ones, are for strawberry milk and the brown ones are for chocolate."
(at the time there were truly pink, brown and white tanks)
My sister's eyes got big. She loved strawberry Quick and was so excited by this thought.
Then, to put the proverbial icing on the cake, he pointed off into the distance to a smoking stack and served up his last bit of tall tale...
"And, see that smoke stack in over there?"
"I do!  I do!" my sister exclaimed, really excited by this point.
"They are heating up the chocolate milk so kids can have hot chocolate whenever they want!"

From that day on, whenever we would drive down to the south bay area, rather than whine about the smell, she would ask if Aunt Elsie and Uncle Jim had strawberry milk yet.  

Then, one day, the questions stopped.  I think she caught on.  Our father was a horrible parent that lied to his children.

I think I took after him.  One day I will have to tell you all about Janice and the salt mines.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Dreams For The New Year

I am sure that everyone is looking back at the past year; thinking about the changes, the successes, the losses, the happiness, the sadness.  All of that is a part of life.  And, being human, I will do the same.

The past year was a gentle one for me - sort of.  I lost my father shortly before the beginning of 2017. We are always told not to make big changes after the loss of a loved one.  But, I didn't take heed.  The BF and I sold everything (except the house my father left me), packed what clothing we needed, grabbed the dogs and moved.  We didn't just move a little.  We moved a lot!  To Ecuador.  Do I regret it?  No.  It is different.  Although it is far from my children, it is alright.  It is quiet.  It is relaxing. It is liberating.

After that, not much more happened.  Every day has been just like the last.  The tide comes in, the tide goes out.  Life is simple.  We want for nothing as we don't need much.  We have a few friends and each other.  We eat well on fresh seafood and veggies taken from the earth that very day.  I feel as though I am living in a movie - I just don't know what the plot is yet.

We got our Visas without a hitch.  Then, the next milestone occurred when we headed to Guayaquil for our Cedulas - Ecuadorian I.D.  Now is is just a waiting game until we have our residency.  We cannot leave the country for more than 90 days a year for the next 2 years.  But, that isn't difficult.

What are the plans for the next year?  Not much.  Exploring our new country is the top of my list.  There is so much to see that I don't know where to start.

The top of my list is visiting Mindo. It is one of Ecuador's most visited locations; very touristy, pay for everything, must see.

Then, I want to take a train tour  to the last stop on the line, wherever that may be. 
Seeing the countryside from the train will make it fun to choose the next trip, the next adventure.  We will see the volcanoes, the lakes, rivers, valleys, villages - all that cannot be seen from main roads. We will see the country from a wonderful vantage point.
I want to swim in the ocean every day that I am home.  I want to walk the beach every morning and evening and enjoy the tranquility. I want to savor fresh seafood daily - until I tire of it and want nothing more.  

Yes, 2018. A year of tranquil living.  A year of stress free existence. A year to look forward to.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

"Year One", The Book She Was Born To Write

Year One (Chronicles of The One, #1)Year One by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where to start? I have been reading Nora Roberts since I picked up an advanced reader's copy of Montana Skies. I fell in love with her prose and her ability to paint a picture with words. And, yes, I also enjoyed the brain candy provided with her romance and family relationships held between the covers of each of her books I have since read. But, with this new novel, I feel that Ms. Roberts is truly flexing her muscles and delving into new territory. I LOVE it!
In the opening chapter she begins setting the stage for a new world order. She builds the tension. She introduces characters. She weaves a spell. Then, as the book progresses, the battle lines begin to form.
I also feel that this book is a statement. It illustrates the lines between those that are "different" and those that "discriminate". It paints a picture of the trodden upon and those that trod upon them. It weaves a tapestry of a polarized world, in which there is more than one side - good and evil and everything in between.
Yes, this book did contain Ms. Roberts signature leanings toward all that is magical, both dark and light. However it didn't have the main character with the typical romantic struggle. The struggle contained was that of life and death; the struggle of light over dark.
I cannot go into much more without giving spoilers. But, it is well worth the read.
When is the 2nd in the series? I want it NOW!


View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Life Is Crazy

It has been so long since I have posted.  It has been so long that I seem to have forgotten my voice.  Which person blogged here?  Is she still around?  Does she still think the same way?  View the world with the same eyes? Or has life thrown a few curve balls and caused her perspective to change?

Me. Yes. No. Only one of them. And Yes.

I haven't posted a thing here since 2012.  Holy Mackerel Andy!  That is a lifetime!  Since then, I have closed the yarn shop.  My dad passed peacefully, at home, surrounded by his children and grandchildren.  Hijo Primero graduated from college with a degree in Bio-Chemical Engineering (where in the hell those brains came from I will never know).  Hijo Segundo graduated from college with a BA in Political Science (Magna Cum Laude, again with the brains).  Hija Primera is living in New Hampshire with her husband and son. The BF has retired from the Air Force after reaching the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. And Hija Segunda is living with her dad and I in...and this is the Crazy part of the Life is Crazy...Ecuador!

Yes.  We have kicked everything we knew to the curb, packed a few belongings, bid farewell to our friends and family and left the country!  We bought a guesthouse, Casita Las Mareas on the Pacific coast, in the province of Manabi' in the village of San Jacinto.  It doesn't keep us very busy.  Life is simple. Life here is idyllic.  It is still so new. 

Casita Las Mareas
There are days that I feel as if I live in a movie.  The sun is shining, the waves are out there - in my front yard no less - doing what waves do and making the most peaceful background noise, the locals are playing their music that makes me want to dance and life is unbelievable.

I do miss my friends and my family that we left behind.  There are days that I miss them terribly.  But, the show must go on and life must be lived - even if it seems crazy at times.  

I hope I can keep coming back and put new life into this little corner of my world.  Maybe it can keep me sane.  Or maybe I can just get back to sharing the insanity as it happens.  Who knows.  Who really cares?  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Yarn!


I love walking through the door of the shop every morning and seeing the beautiful colors, textures and fibers of the many and varied yarns.  It gives me a feeling of contentment for some reason.  A feeling that all is right with the world as long as there are yarns to knit, colors to absorb and soft fibers to touch. 

The only problem is that I see the same things every day!  

Having a shop and running it by yourself is like having one big fiber stash.  You feel the need to add to it.  It must be dynamic.  It must change and flow with the times.  It can't be allowed to stagnate.  The only remedy is to buy more yarn!  And not just a skein or two.  It must be in quantities to fill the shelves, giving them new life.

In that respect, I have been doing my job, albeit slowly.

Often I think that my offerings are slim and limited.  But, last week, as I was doing inventory, I realized that for being in business only 2 years, and with very limited capital, this little shop looks good.  It doesn't have what the big stores have, and never will.  What it does have is a sense of serenity and calm that only a small, intimate space can have.  It has a good selection of quality, affordable yarns.  There are buttons, notions, fiber, and more.  All you have to do is look.  It is there.

Last month I brought in three new yarn lines:

 Dyelot Yarns out of Santa Fe, New Mexico,

Recovery Package
This is the Recovery Package.  Includes 4 hanks of yarn!  Generous hank of over 1200 yards.

Also new is Done Roving from Maine.
Stepping Out by Done Roving
This is Stepping Out, a wool crepe/nylon yarn.  Beautiful colors!

And, last but definitely not least,  Galler Yarns from New York.
Galler Yarns Prime Alpaca
This bin contains Heather Alpaca Prime and is significantly less full as of closing on the 30th of August.
The generous hanks contain over 600 yards of the softest alpaca imaginable!

Each of these companies is family owned, and wonderful to work with.  I love the fact that when I call to order I am talking to the person that actually envisions the finished yarn, the mind that combines the colors, the hands that touch the fibers.

Now I have something new to look at every morning.  Something new to share and to dream about knitting into something wonderful for someone, somewhere, someday.

Until I get my hands on them, all of these yarns can be ordered if you wish.  Just send me a message and get your hands on a hank or two!