mediocrity.

Here in Ohio, we are smack dab in the middle of 48 hours of endless rain, drab and cold weather. Which inclines me to address a topic that has been on my list for a while now.

Mediocrity.

A while back, I read an interesting article that popped up on my Pinterest newsfeed. As soon as I started to read it, I thought, “Damn, that is pretty spot on!”, and I knew it was something I wanted to talk about.

When I was a kid, I would wake on a Saturday morning and before much of the morning passed, there was a question of “What is on your agenda for the day?” posed to me by my father. I don’t remember how old I was, however, I do remember feeling like I had to create a list that would prove I had worthy tasks to be completed! For the record, even as of this morning, the question was asked, “So, what did you do last night?” and I instantly felt a need to list off everything I had gotten done. This is obviously an ingrained problem in my character!

Now, since at least my mother is going to read this, I would like to disclaimer that I do not think it was necessarily a BAD thing. It taught me to plan and organize my goals and life to the best of my ability. Also, who knew that many years later, I would be teaching Habit #2, Begin with the End in Mind, of the Leader In Me (an extension of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) to my hundreds of students daily. There is nothing wrong at all with making a plan and sticking to it.

However, just like most things in life, I believe that the key is moderation.

To this day, I plan the week, to each and every day. I write WIGs (Wildly Important Goals) at school for both my professional and personal goals. I make lists to meet those goals. I keep calendars and journals for my inner deep secret goals. I even check off water glasses on Fitbit to prove to no one that I drank enough water each day.

Frankly, I sometimes need to chill the heck out and I think most of us do.

So, why in the world is mediocrity so wrong? Because we live in a world where if you’re not on Team Accel, you’re just a loser?? Shouldn’t there be a range of success and all of it would be ok and accepted? I mean, maybe your personal growth is staying sober one more day? Shouldn’t that be just as important as closing a multi-million dollar deal? Shouldn’t all levels be celebrated? After all, no one should have the right to impose their interpretation of mediocrity on you and judge you for where you are on your journey.

I look at it this way, as a teacher, I know not all of my kids will want or be able to go to college. Does that mean they are automatically failures? Absolutely not. There is a place for them in this world and they should be celebrated just as much as the kiddos who take the college path. Of course. So, does that mean they are mediocre because they didn’t go to college but have focused their energy in other ways? I don’t think so. (OBVIOUSLY, I don’t agree with doing harm or bring negative consequences to yourself or those around you under the guise that being mediocre is accepted and ok).

I can not remove the word mediocre from the dictionary, be that as it may, I can change my interpretation and also how others interpret it.

So, I accept for myself, that today I might wake up and be mediocre. In my opinion, that is better than not showing up at all. Maybe I need the mediocre moment to rest and prepare to be a rockstar again tomorrow. Maybe I just want to know that the life I am building is ok and acceptable, even if deemed mediocre by some. It might not be for everyone, but it is for me.

The life you are building and the journey you have embarked upon is also ok and acceptable. Just FYI.

So, own it. Don’t be a jerk. Be a good human and embrace that not everyday is going to be rockstar level.

Peace out peeps.

podcasts.

Recently, I have delved DEEP into the world of audio entertainment. It is something I thoroughly enjoy and now, I feel I must share one of my new favs with you guys! It is actually connected an old fav from my childhood and I am sure yours also.

I started listening to audiobooks about two years ago (and I plan to start a new conversation topic on that soon! Be so excited!) and that kinda transitioned into listening to podcasts while I would wait for a book hold from the library, etc. I primarily used it to fill the down time between books. But then I started to really get into them, the concept, the content and the ease of access are top notch. Plus, the variety of topics…it’s like blogs…ENDLESS!

In my most recent search, I stumbled upon the handsome Joe.

hee hee hee!

How could I NOT post that pic of this man! I mean, it’s freaking hilarious and you probably need a good laugh at this very moment! Or on the flip side, you could be highly offended. Which in that case, my apologies.

However, back on track. This guy, Mike Rowe, hands down one of my favorite celebrities who I find to be pretty down to earth and incredibly talented. I mean, he might have faked it, but he did make it into the Baltimore Opera and a performance of Rigoletto! Want to know more…his site is pretty handy.

Anywho, his podcast is called “The Way I Heard It” and I found it on Google Play, but you can check it out here if that is easier for you.

Way back in the day, there was this great story teller named Paul Harvey and for over 56 years, we could listen to his broadcasts on almost a daily basis. I never realized how much of a role those broadcasts played in the fabric of my life, until they were gone.

Well, if you’re seeking a bit of a throwback feel, truly, check out “The Way I Heard It”. All of the episodes are under 10 minutes and they will teach you something, enlighten you and even have you finish a cast and think, “Huh, who knew!”. Plus, you get to listen to that great voice of his!

I know you think that this post has nothing to do with the house, however, just think about all the Paul Harvey broadcasts that were listened too over the years in that old brick house!

Check it out and enjoy your day everyone! Don’t count on a 3rd post in 3 days, I don’t know if I can keep the expectations that high!

Peace out peeps.

barns.

So, in case y’all didn’t know, I love historic barns. There is a barn on the property. It is one of the biggest reasons why I pursued the place.

I love it.

It breaks my heart daily.

Way back when I started this blog, one of my very first posts was about the barn actually. You can stroll down memory lane here.

The good and bad news is that not much has changed, at least with my barn.

Now, the neighbors are a different story.

One neighbor has gone above and beyond to preserve their gorgeous gambrel roof barn. Last summer they primed and painted the entire thing. I see it every time I go outside and it is a truly inspirational barn and I give all credit to the family who is fighting to keep it up!

Another neighbor however, just slightly further up the hill in the same direction has recently broken my heart. I could hardly believe when I saw a barn removal company in their driveway. The barn was OLD and had a newer roof and metal siding covering the gem beneath. Within days, the sheeting was pulled and within two weeks, she was gone. Only the stone foundation remains along with a huge pile of debris.

What this all boils down to is that it truly kills me to see barns fall down (trust me, I am fully aware how close mine is to giving up the ghost) or to see them sold and moved. I know, I know….they are being repurposed and loved and salvaged, but it still makes me sad.

What brings this up you ask?? Well, on Sunday, I was out working on the pesky grapevines and was scared half to death with a stranger pulling in and asking to take pictures of the barn. I can’t blame him. I have used it as the subject of some amazing photos myself. However, I did chuckle to myself as he was setting up thinking, “No worries, I have been letting it rot to the perfect level of patina for you to photograph!”

Secondly, my lovely and wonderful neighbors stopped by later that afternoon and we were chatting about my barn and some of the neighboring barns. It brought to my attention how blessed I am to see no less than 4-5 barns from the property throughout the course of the seasons. For this, I am very blessed and lucky!

Plus the buzzards love it and have become part of my life.

Now, to wrap up. In my original post, I ended with a list of things I was doing to help save the old girl. So, because I am who I am….might as well wrap this one up the same way. No worries, not much has changed. Still waiting for a miracle on a wing and a prayer.

  1. Continue to save nickels, dimes and dollars. It would help immensely if roofs and furnaces would quit dying on me.
  2. LOTTO BABY!!! LOTTO!!
  3. I stopped drinking Diet Coke, so guess that is out.
  4. I ended the Go Fund Me Campaign and to the people who donated, I love your souls….and you are friends and companions and I could not keep asking you. No offense, I was hoping for a Warren Buffet type to see it and, well ya know…hand me a wad of cash. Greedy and horrible, right? But I am honest!
  5. Ellen. I actually had dwindled in my writing of the superstar. However, I might have to ping her an email this week…
  6. Back to the damn nickels and dimes…

So, have a beautiful Tuesday friends.

By the way! If you reading this internationally, please comment!!! I see you! I want to say hi!

Hell, if you’re reading it at all, comment!! lol!

Peace out peeps.

the wall, pt. 2

This is such a sad commentary on my life, but is so the reality of the world I live in!

Last June, I wrote a blog on the wall in the craft room. Little did I have ANY idea back when I wrote that, it would be 10 months later before I would even think about touching that project again! But alas, this is the life I lead.

So, last week was my Spring Break and I had HUGE goals about getting that craft room entirely done. Painted, new wall built and everything sorted and purged/donated that I didn’t want any longer.

Here’s the lofty goals.

I started pretty strong, truly. I did. But I immediately ran into an engineering problem with the wall. Remember those big lag bolts on the original framing boards??

Well, I had already decided that much of that original framing was going to stay and that I was going to work it into the new design. The problem however was that I could not securely attach the new framing for the new doors into that same exterior wall.

I had to call in reinforcements. Ohhhhh Daaaaaaddddd….

So, after a couple of attempts…and some heavy equipment (heavier than I own!), I have framing that is secure. However, it happened right at the end of my break, so that corner is NOT done! But this is where it stands…sort of….today!

So, I mean, it is definitely progress…just not where I had hoped it would be at this point.

Then there was the OTHER issue with this project. The amount of patching required was INSANE!!! I know that at one point, there was a family renting the house and that they had like 456 kids living there. Well, it would seem that a few of them really liked to play with BB guns in the house. The amount of holes and patching (that had been hidden by some seriously ugly wallpaper, was crazy. Literally, two days of patching and sanding, along with 2 tubs of patch.

This is just the START of the patching of holes. I even found the evidence of BB’s in one of the cracks of the flooring.

There was also some decent plaster damage that needed attention.

So, because I love a good cliffhanger….this will be the second one I am leaving you with on this particular project…I am going to leave you with this picture!

I want to say that this project is at a solid 75% of completion….but I am going to save the rest of the pics for the big reveal post! I am hoping it won’t be another 10 months before I finish that furnace corner, but there are no promises!

This weekend is predicted to have 70 degree weather on Sunday, so my butt will be OUTSIDE starting on those grapevines and garden! Dear lord, I hope they are correct, I NEED to feel some warmth after this winter!

Peace out peeps.

to-nisian or not to-nisian, part 2.

See what I did there??? You love it. You know it.

Corny plays on the English language are classic and always elicit a good chuckle.

Anywho.

My Tunisian project, the final ruling.

I think I MIGHT like it! I have actually started a second project, who knew!

If you are completely lost at this point, please check out this post for the first part of this saga….if you have anxiously been awaiting this post, here ya go pals!

In case you’re a visual person, here was the beginning of it. Shocker, I ended up ripping most of it out from this point and I pretty much started over. I was thrilled with the end result! I still definitely need to figure out how to join it better when making an infinity and if anyone has any advice on this, feel free to comment below!

check out my new mannequin!

I also managed to put a hell of a dent in the scrap stash in the trunk….which means there is more room again to go yarn shopping!

So there ya go! My first run at a Tunisian crochet stitch! Have you tried it yet?? If you have. share your pics in the comments!!

Speaking of which, any of you follow the #wearwhatyoumake on Instagram?? Or if you really want to be blown away, check out #crochetersofinstagram!

Not on Instagram?? No worries! Just search either of those hashtags in Google and click on images!

It is so inspirational (in my opinion) to see all of the gorgeous items out there that people make, love and wear daily!

#wearwhatyoumake

Finally, for those of you who are right with me on the countdown to spring, check it out! We can so make it! I CAN NOT wait to see the first green plant pop through the ground!

Have a fabulous day everyone! Peace out peeps.

how to’s of crochet item care

Hey hey darlings!

So, this topic has recently popped into some of my daily conversations with peeps who have received a crochet/knit item and are not sure of how to care for it.

Shockingly, as someone who gifts/donates/forces a TON of crochet items on loved ones, I have NEVER discussed with any of those recipients on how to care for it (FYI, my new personal goal in life is to include some simple instructions with each prize!) I have also ALWAYS taken it for granted that since I was raised in home with tons of handmade stuff that EVERYONE automatically knew how to care for their gifted goodies.

Guess what? Nope, not the case.

So, here is some VERY basic 411 on and suggestions I have learned over the years. Feel free to comment with any suggestions or lessons you have learned on this topic! Lord knows, all help is always welcome when it comes to keeping our beautiful creations looking amazing for years to come!

Cleaning

Before washing your gift, you might consider contacting the creator for specifics on what type of yarn they used and how they recommend laundering it.

Now, I can’t lie…do I throw my winter scarves I made in with my regular laundry, wash and dry it with everything else, and move on with life. Sure do.

However, you might consider following a different life path. I would always recommend a gentle cycle (consider even using a lingerie bag) or handwashing if you are concerned about damaging the item. I make so much stuff, if it falls apart (which it rarely does), I make a new one and move on.

To be safe, always air dry your items. One of the easiest ways it to lay an item out on a flat surface that is covered by a couple of towels. Feel free to “block” (shape while damp and smooth out to lie evenly) for this process to help the item retain a lovely shape. It is IMPERATIVE that the item is completely dry before it is folded and stored away. Yarn will get funky and nasty quick if it is stored damp. Imagine a wet dog smell forever, only worse.

A random end….

So, you have a glorious blanket that your Great Aunt Gertie handed down to you. It’s your fav. EVER.

One night while binge watching Handmaid’s Tale or Outlander, you spot a random tail peeking out of the edge of the blanket. You think, no biggie and you tie a knot in it and snip it short.

Worst thing EVER.

If you do not crochet or knit, you might understand the mechanics of how that tail works. Nor should you! It ain’t your gig to make this stuff!

That little tail however, plays a pretty important roll in the construction of your piece. Each time a color is changed or a new skein of yarn is added, there is a connection made. Those connections have two tails. Now, most creators, weave them back in using a tapestry needle. Over the usage of the piece, those ends can weave themselves back out. When you snip it short, you are getting dangerously close to where the two pieces connect and therefore closer to the creation of a hole. If you see an end, the best thing to do is to tuck it back in. You can use your fingers, a crochet hook or a tapestry needle to weave it back in.

Dum, dum dum….a hole.

Oy. This could be a problem. Your favorite winter scarf that you have sported for years and washed without a care in the world has developed….gasp….a hole.

Now, there are a couple of approaches on this. First, do NOT pick or pull at it. It will only get worse….promise.

Next, call your craftiest friend, offer to buy them wine, dinner, whatever and beg them to fix it for you. They most likely will do it without any payment minus the joy on your face when you get to wear your gem again!

cute, random kid who loves his crochet scarf!

You can always also contact the creator. I know personally, if I have made it, I will ALWAYS fix or replace an item. I back my work and I want people to wear and use the crap out of things! That is what it is for and should know that I have their back!

If you feel fairly savvy with a needle and thread, you can always try to repair it yourself, by catching as many of the loops as possible and “securing” things back in place to prevent any more unraveling.

Highly recommend jumping to YouTube for some guidance on this. You will most likely not have the exact yarn, so match it with thread or yarn the best you can. One quick Google search provided a ton of options, including this one!

Most likely, this will always look like a repair. I personally am good with that, because you can still love and use the item! It just has more character now that it is showing it’s age.

In closing, if you have been so lucky to be gifted a handmade gift, please NEVER insult the creator by not using it. They made it for you. They want you to enjoy it and love it forever. The best thing you can do is bring it into your life fully and just go with it. If it has an issue, contact someone. We are everywhere…us crafty folks…and all of us are awesome and amazing and would love to help you!

Don’t forget, comment with any advice you have to add! LOVE hearing from y’all!

Peace out peeps.

what i do.

Besides working on a really damn old house, I make stuff. Lots of stuff.

I graduated from Ohio University a long time ago with a BFA and a focus in painting and ceramics. Now, however, I get a thrill out of making more “craft” life art and I think it’s wonderful!

My primary medium in the winter is crochet. I crochet until my little fingers want to fall off. I know there are a lot of you out there who are with me on this one! I wanted to share show of my newest creations…I would LOVE to see what you make in the comments section! SHARE YOUR CRAFT!

So, here we go!!

This was a fun little mosaic type stitch that is an infinity scarf! I really enjoy trying out new patterns! If you would like to try this pattern, you can find it here! I HIGHLY suggest using the videos at the end of the article!

Now, the rest of the ones I will be sharing don’t really have a pattern. I have a huge issue with making up things as I go! Sorry friends! A lot of them are being made because I am trying desperately to clean out my yarn stash a little!

This little guy is a prime example of using up two partial skeins of yarn!

The last one is a pattern I tried because I have had a lot of requests for messy bun hats! I did modify this pattern a little, because I enjoy a nice brim on a hat. You can find the original pattern here.

So, with all of that! Share your talents!

Peace out peeps.

arctic crap.

So, how y’all doing?

Anyone who is actually living in the Northeast….a BIG shout out and kudos for surviving Winter Storms Harper and Inga! Now, here comes enough cold air to make an Elsa herself want hot chocolate and what I lovingly have nick-named a “life-changing” blanket!

As I am making preparations and finishing up weather-proofing projects around the “old girl”, I am curious, what do you do to prepare for this level of impending cold? Do you have animals? How do you help them?

This is Princess Daisy last night….

Yes, this is the DEFINITION of spoiled pet. Can you imagine if I had a kiddo?



So, for transparency purposes strictly, this is how I prepare.

  1. I have a variety of extra sources of heat (just in case I end up without heat!)
  2. I stash a TON of yarn so that I can crochet my little frozen fingers off.
  3. I stick to carbs and warm beverages with a splash of protein…not the best for the diet, but frigid cold screams comfort food to me!
  4. I keep a pair of Carhartt bibs at the ready, whether I am at Momma D’s place or mine!
  5. LIFE-CHANGING blankets are freshly washed and ready to snuggle in with!
  6. Humidifier is on the ready, because lord knows, the drafts and the cold wing tear my skin and sinuses up! Speaking of which, anyone ever use Castor Oil as a moisturizer? You should try it out!
  7. Must have my favorite, comfy pairs of sweats clean and ready to go!
  8. Keep the cars with no less that a 1/2 tank of fuel, totally old school on this one…

Obviously, these are not survival based ideas…way more along the lines of comfort levels! lol! That is my official disclaimer, please do not use the above list and expect to survive in sub-zero temps.

Just saying.

However, in case you would like to ready up on winter preparedness…here is a handy article!S

So, how do you prepare? My winning responses are going to involve moving to a warm state! That is for you P.T. and M.P (if you’re reading this!)

Most likely, I will be posting next week (I am predicting a cold day or two from school, so I’ll have no excuse!). Hopefully, it will be more entertaining that this post! lol!

Peace out peeps. Stay warm!

This is for you Aunt S.

Yep, here I am. I had to charge the laptop and make a point of sitting down to formulate a thought. All for you Aunt S.

Actually, in reality, I owe you a huge thank you!! I have discovered that over the course of the last three years blogging (and I use that term LOOSELY) I have learned how easy it is to let large amounts of time pass between entries.

Call it life, call it laziness ….call it whatever the hell you want…it happens. All the damn time.

So, the back story is, I saw Aunt S. at our yearly family Christmas event and right off the whip she said, “There is nothing there!”. Then the real reality check, “Not since August and the birds!”.

In fairness, I did sneak a short entry in for November.

BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT.

So, thanks Aunt S. I don’t think you’ll ever realize how much you make me smile and how much I love ya!

I don’t like to do resolutions, but being that it is January 1st, I feel compelled to at least say that I will try harder to be more present…and frankly, bore the crap out of y’all!

I do actually have a fun project to share. Years ago, I inherited my Grandma D’s china. The story went that she remembers this china being shipped from England in crates with straw. All I knew about it was I was in love with it.

I moved out years ago and I have NEVER made an attempt to move this stuff out of my mom’s house. I was firmly convinced some freak accident would happen and it would be destroyed.

Two weeks ago, I got brave and took 12 pieces to my house for my round of Book Club.

It inspired me. I immediately started trolling all of the Buy/Sell ads for the perfect piece of furniture to house it all.

Then I found it!

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I recruited mom and dad (and for the record a cute little dog named Brave) to ride along with me to go snatch it up! We met a wonderful woman who shared the story of the piece and how it had been in her husband’s family for generations.

As soon as it was unloaded, I headed straight to my mom’s to round up the rest of the china and prayed hard to get it all home in one piece!

Which I did…for the record!!

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I LOVE the final result! I don’t mean to sound like a braggy bitch, but it makes my heart so happy to see it all on display after literally decades.

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I have also be blessed with watching this little gem over my break! So, from my crazy home to yours….

Happy New Year’s and make every day count.

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Peace out peeps

Welp.

Well, would you look at that.  It is almost December!!

So, I have a question for everyone….what’s everyone stance on Christmas decorations?? Specifically Christmas trees.

Not holiday trees either.

I am not hugely religious, but I have a wicked old-school traditional streak that runs through me.  It’s hard to modify the name of one my of favorite things ever.

I personally am addicted to Christmas trees.

I just returned back to school from my Thanksgiving break.  Over the course of my 5 day (really actually only 4 days…) I managed to decorate a total of 5 trees, 4 of which were at my house.  Friends and I were discussing it this morning and it is kinda crazy.  I don’t have holiday parties, I don’t really entertain…but I LOVE the house being decorated and enjoying the lights!

In years past, I would spend Black Friday decorating the house.  However, I knew that with everything, I should start to break it into chunks.  The themes of these two are “Ice Queen” &  “Thin Blue Line”.

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Then the big one got done!  I found my new little tree stand at my fav Hobby Lobby.  Don’t be like Momma D. and point out that the plaid doesn’t line up in this picture!

Love you Momma D.!

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Just for the record….this is the kind of chaos that ensues when I decorate…plus you can see the little kitchen tree, even though it’s not done!

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Then throw in Momma D’s tree for more fun!  Excuse the look on my face, it was after Turkey Dinner and I had a sore throat and was TIRED!

I even have two little trees in my classroom!  I can’t get away from them.  One of my life mantras is to do all the things that make your heart happy and Christmas trees make my heart happy!

So, do me a favor peeps!  Share your pics!  Add your comments!

Most of all, do what makes your heart happy!

Peace out peeps.