Friday, December 21, 2018

Winter Solstice

I don't know about you but I am so happy to see this day arrive. These short daylight hours and I don't get along. I don't really mind the early darkness in the evenings but long dark mornings mess up my whole day and attitude. I like to start my day's activities as the sun comes up and I just can't do that in the winter and accomplish what I want.

Does winter bother you the same way or even worse, are you afflicted by SAD? If so more daylight hours are coming and hopefully we both enjoy life better soon.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Just another day....

Yes just another day here in Jackson. Cold, cloudy but no new snow.

I sent off the baby afghan I finished knitting to the hospital in town for the first baby of the year. I started my first recorded Ravelry project when I bought the yarn. After Jim took the package to work I realized that I never took any pictures. So no pics of a very nice blanket for here on the blog or for my Ravelry project pages. Typical of me really, if something simple can get messed up I will find a way to do just that. Oh well...

Currently I am watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix. I am enjoying the story much more that I thought I ever would. I started watching the show because it was next on my list on Instant Watcher. That website has lists for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO and podcasts. You, whoever may be reading, may find useful for you.

Still reading my way through all the Reader's Digest condensed books that were given to me. The current volume is a classics collection and I am reading Jane Eyre.

I wish I could say I am excited for Christmas but I am not. My gift giving has been taken care of and safely delivered and I am glad of that. I used emailed gift codes from Amazon this year. There has been too much talk of packages being taken from porches so I decided not to send physical gifts.

No pictures today, just talk and now I'm done. Hope all my readers are happy and well.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Monday, November 5, 2018

A Quiet Sunday

It was a lovely Sunday here. Here is currently Arizona. The temperatures are down in the 70's and I had all the windows open to enjoy it. We selfishly have a patch of grass in the backyard and looking out at the bright green was so easy on the eyes.

The last two Sundays I haven't turned on the laptop. Email goes unchecked. Books are read throughout the day and something on Netflix is watched in the evening. So here I am rested, refreshed and recharged and in front of a screen again on a beautiful Monday morning, well more like afternoon now that I look at the time, to share this post with you. After this I will use Tweetdeck to see who has retweeted any of my posts and get busy returning the favor with retweets from their timelines.

What I finished reading was Reader Digest, Volume 4, 2002, Today's Best Nonfiction. This volume contained 5 books and I could not find this particular volume on Amazon so at the end I will give you affiliate links to all the titles separately. These links don't cost you anything however if you click and then make a purchase a tiny bit is paid to me and after all a girl always needs a bit of pocket money right? If you choose to click and then shop, many thanks!

The books in this volume are

  1. Last Man Down by Daniel Paisner
  2. Find Me by Rosie O'Donnell
  3. The Count and the Confession by John Taylor
  4. American Pie (slices of life and pie from America's back roads) by Pascale Le Draoulec
  5. Zoya's Story by Zoya with John Follain and Rita Cristofari
All of these books were great reads!

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Art Forger

I recently finished reading The Art Forger by B. A.  Shapiro. This was a book I was able to read free through Amazon Prime books. You can have up to 10 titles at a time downloaded and I always do, stored on your Kindle app or I suppose on a Kindle device which I don't have. Now I can return this book and get another just like using a library. Prime reading has about 1500 titles so I will be sure to find something new.

From the book's page on Amazon.
Almost twenty-five years after the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—still the largest unsolved art theft in history—one of the stolen Degas paintings is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist. Claire Roth has entered into a Faustian bargain with a powerful gallery owner by agreeing to forge the Degas in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But as she begins her work, she starts to suspect that this long-missing masterpiece—the very one that had been hanging at the Gardner for one hundred years—may itself be a forgery. The Art Forger is a thrilling novel about seeing—and not seeing—the secrets that lie beneath the canvas.
I enjoyed reading about the technical details of painting, forgery and determining authenticity of art works. The plot was interesting, paced well and kept the digital pages turning. The character of Claire Roth was a mystery to me. How and why she made some of her choices were beyond my way of thinking but I like to read books with characters very different from me. After all reading about someone just like me would be boring, been there, done that, kind of boring.

Amazon has several versions of The Art Forger to fit your reading preferences, Audible, Kindle, paperback, hardcover and and audio CD.

Affiliate links for shopping below and in the text above if you would like to read this book yourself.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Can't Stop Now

4132 miles is how far I have walked in just over 2 years according to FitBit. That has earned me the Nile Badge because 4132 miles is the length of the world's longest river.

My little wristband has become an important part of my quest to enter old age healthy and strong. I am so grateful that my daughter gave me my first FitBit and got me started. Now a day without 10000 steps just feels wrong and a day that starts with those steps goes better.

Do you think that may have something to do with endorphins from the activity? Whatever it is I can't and won't stop now.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Two weeks ago I was at my Mother's house for a week long visit. I left saddened and a bit worried. I was saddened by the anger she showed when watching the news. Understand that Fox is her favorite news station and for me that cable channel could disappear and I would be filled with joy. She would change to other news channels and spend time yelling at the television.

She and I are so very far apart in our views on politics and life in general. She actually said that nice people are weaklings who never win anything. She also believes that my attempts to find something good about everyone I meet is naive and silly. Not responding to her disdain, taunts and criticism is so hard but would be futile so I do my best. I would love to be able to enjoy being with her but that is a very rare thing when we are together.

My worry is about her confused memories. I have a couple things that happened in my life, what they are does not matter. What does matter is that when they happened she was not with me. She is now telling my stories as if she was there and a part of these events when they occurred. She has internalized my moments as her own and who knows how much else in her mind is false and taken from others.

It was another short night. I talked a bit about that yesterday. I'll need a nap today I am sure. Besides that I will be retweeting those who have shown me some attention on Twitter. I also hope to get some pictures taken for new listings. If I manage that I should be blogging about those new listings tomorrow. We'll see.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Irritated With Myself

 Yes I am irritated. I try to keep regular sleep times and usually I go to bed around 9 pm and wake up without an alarm about 5 am. For the last few days getting to sleep is not the problem but staying asleep is. I have been waking up around 3:30.

Wide awake, useless to try and roll over and close my eyes for another hour, I get up and start the day in the dark by reading news and exercising. I need about 7 hours of sleep to do well so I have been napping for about an hour each day but I don't want this to be a long term habit.

Hopefully this trend won't last long.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo

Did you ever pick up and read a book that made you wonder why you didn't discover it much sooner? The Bridge of Sighs has a copyright of 2007. That was a time when I was going to the library very often and trying to keep up with current bestsellers and I missed reading this one. On the back cover of my copy is a review from The Washington Post Book World and it says exactly what I felt while getting lost in the depths of this novel.
"A story of constantly evolving complexity and depth....[Bridge of Sighs is] Russo's most intricate, multifaceted novel....Enormous and enormously moving."
If you are in the mood to read a great American story the ad below will take you right to it. You could also check libraries. I actually got my copy at a thrift store here in town and now that I finished it my copy will go back there for them to sell it again.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence

Eyes on the news this morning. Watching the news of the storm and looking up some information online. One place to go is The Weather Channel's information page for this latest storm. From there you can find links to evacuation news and to the Red Cross.

One thing that always confuses me is those who in the face of all the pleas to evacuate choose to stay behind. What makes them think they are more special than all those who left? What makes them think that it is too much trouble to have a few days or even weeks of discomfort vs dying? What makes them think it is okay to increase the workload of first responders and put their lives at risk to rescue you or verify your death? You can't keep the trees from falling or the water from rising by staying behind. If you need help you can use the Get Help page on the Red Cross website.

For all those in the path of winds, rain and flood I wish you well. I hope all of you are in a safe place.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Amazon Prime Reading

In our house we have an Amazon Prime subscription and enjoy the benefits. My husband has become a shopper and packages show up often for things like his favorite Trader Joe's mints and coffee since we don't have a store in Jackson. He has also found boat parts and other hard to find locally items.

I, on the other hand, am not a big shopper. I feel like I am coming to the time in my life where it makes sense to move toward living more minimally. However I do enjoy a couple of Prime benefits, namely Prime Video and Prime Reading.

With Prime Reading you can have 10 books at a time out on your account. When you finish one you return it and get another. With about 1300 books available for Prime Reading I have plenty to choose from and I am sure the selections change over time so I am not afraid of running out of enjoyable reading. Being able to have 10 at a time means I can download onto my tablet and have vacation reading on that slim device and not have to pack heavier books. Having 10 at a time means also that if I download one that I really don't like, which for me is very rare but happens, I am not left with nothing to read. I love this!

The last two that I read and returned are The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and The Physician by Noah Gordan. The former was okay but I admit to just skimming parts of it when I felt the author went too deep into the most minor details of his thoughts. As for whether you believe in God or not I leave that up to you. The Physician was a wonderful book. It was historical fiction about a boy driven by a desire to be a doctor that takes him from being an orphan in England to studying in the Middle East and back again during the Middle Ages. I don't want to put spoilers for books in my posts. Let's just say this one was a great read!

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

The ads below are affiliate links. Clicking on them to shop on Amazon will not cost you anything but could add a few pennies to my yarn fund. Thanks in advance for clicking and shopping!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Mac and Cheese for Dinner

I am admittedly not and never will be what I call a good cook. I try to get something edible and somewhat healthy on the table for dinner each night. Some of those nights go better than others. Sometimes I get a "This is good." from Jim and I did that last night.

Dinner was a simple meal of baked mac and cheese and broccoli. I used whole grain pasta, made a white sauce with cheddar, jack, Parmesan and cotija cheese in it. I was using up little bits of each of those cheeses from the fridge. I also sauteed a chopped bell pepper and onion and put them on as a topping before putting the casserole in the oven to bake.

I would also like to point out I am not a food blogger or a food photographer either. I must say however that last night I got lucky and my sauce was creamy and the topping added just a bit extra flavor to keep this dish from being boring.

What did you have last night?

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Sense of Anxiety

The leaves are beginning to change here around Jackson. At the higher elevations it is obvious but here in town the tree across the street is showing the first signs of change by showing off a glorious yellow glow.

With the coming of fall and going into winter lots of big events are lined up. Thoughts of all that needs to happen and thoughts of spending so much time traveling start a sleep reducing train of thoughts that run through my mind over and over. Along with my racing thoughts come a real physical fight or flight kind of feeling. I feel tense and a bit shaky. All of this piled up on someone is is a introvert is hard. Forcing myself to break it down to one step at a time helps, exercise helps, but it is still there.

First up is a visit with my mother. I am going with a sister to spend a week with Mom. These visits can be tough. She loves to have company but she is bossy and judgmental. Listening to her negative barrage of opinions about everyone can be emotionally draining. Then a cycle of guilt starts about not wanting to be there for a visit at all. I need to see her and I will go and take walks and deep breathes, count to 10 and put a smile on my face.

Next Jim wants to take a vacation this fall. Now I know this is a good thing. I will love the trip we're  planning and I will tell you all about it here later but once again I have to leave my nest to do this.

Last on the pile of things on my mind is still a probability but is likely to happen. After the first of the year we will (I hope) be making a permanent move to our home in Phoenix. But that means I need to plan and organize breaking down my household and setting it up again. I feel like I could be almost professional about this by now. Consider that I have moved in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and tried to set up retirement homes in 2016 and 2017 and well made plans for those last two moves got derailed by the needs of others.

Add in all the holidays and the desires to be with family and there you have it. A fall and winter designed to keep this introverted lady out of her nest and away from her crafts and books. Maybe by February I will feel settled again. I hope so. I am never bored at home.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

This day.....

According to Google photos 6 years ago today I was taking pictures of ducks on the pond behind our house in Victor, Idaho.  I remember enjoying sitting on the deck and watching them. It was such a peaceful time and a great place to live. Great that is except for Jim driving Teton pass each day to get to work. Winter there was the worst.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Call the Midwife

The PBS series Call the Midwife is my current Netflix evening entertainment. Jim watches the news so I put on some headphones and get lost in the story on my tablet. I am at the last episode of season 4 right now. Netflix has the first 6 seasons and PBS has 7 seasons and there will be 9 seasons done with the current news I can find about the show online. That will take the nuns and nurses into the 1960's and I am looking forward to seeing it all.

Do you have a current series you are enjoying?

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Another Book Post

Three days in a row of blog posts and exercise. I didn't get these things down during Labor Day Weekend but am on a roll this week. I have a lot of changes and travel coming up in my life between now and the first part of 2019 so I expect there will be more interruptions. Despite these happenings I have every intention to keep up the habit and established routines of walking and blogging whenever possible.

My daily steps and stairs are done and I am drinking a tall glass of water while cooling down and writing. In the background I am listening to a Fresh Air Podcast that is an interview of John Kerry.

I have a backlog of books I have read and not recorded here. Today's post will chip away at that list by one book. The book I am talking about today is a Reader's Digest Condensed Book, Volume 1 from 1992. If by some strange chance you are interested in reading any or all the stories in this volume I found that a few sellers have a copy to sell on EBay. Please note that I am an EBay affiliate so I would get a few pennies of yarn money if you make a purchase.

So here are the copies available as of today (9/6/2018). No guarantees that they will still be there when you click.

The stories in the volume were all good and I enjoyed them all. Included in this volume is Night Over Water by Ken Follett, Doctor on Trial by Henry Denker, Beast by Peter Benchley and Dear Family by Camilla Bittle.

My favorite of the four included works of fiction in this volume was Dear Family. It is a story of a family struggling and even triumphing through the years of the Great Depression. Beast was the book I liked least in this group. I found the idea of an evil, thinking octopus a bit far fetched but your appreciation of this book by the author of Jaws my vary from mine. The other two books included in this volume were certainly worth my reading time. I have read a few of Ken Follett's books and enjoyed them all.

Time to get on with my day.
Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Catherine Gaskin, A Falcon For a Queen

From the information page for this book on
Tells the story of Kirsty Howard, who leaves China when her parents die and seeks out her grandfather in Scotland. It is a strange world she finds at Cluain - an arrogant and lonely old man running one of the finest whisky distilleries in the world with two women running the house.
If you wanted to know about a working whiskey distillery in Scotland this book gives a peek into that life. There is also the mysterious death of Kirsty's brother as part of the story. The solution to that comes toward the end of the book with very little build up that would make for a good thriller. With that said the book was entertaining if not a stay up too late reading page turner.

The Amazon ad you see below and the link you see in this paragraph are affiliate links. Clicking on them will not change a thing for you but may add a few pennies to my yarn fund if you shop on Amazon. The price for this book currently starts at 0.00 for Kindle Unlimited readers to about 100.00 for a new collectors copy.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Labor Day Weekend

Hope all who read this had a great weekend and made some new fun memories. Jim actually had all three days off which in the hospital business is kind of rare. As I said in a previous post my son and daughter in law came to visit. We spent one day on the boat on Jackson Lake and another on a drive to Dubois, Wyoming for lunch.

Dubois has a great spot for lunch, the Nostalgia Bistro. I have linked the name for you to use for more information about location and menu. Just across the street and a few doors down is a great coffee shop that is worth your time. We all got drinks for the ride home there. For more about this great place click here.

The evenings were spent with card games like 5 Crowns and Cribbage. The cribbage board pictured shows one of my very few wins and the fact that I double skunked my daughter in law and that never happens. She plays cribbage very well. As a beginner I would jokingly accuse her of making up rules so that she would always win.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

John McCain

Even as a Democrat I always had great respect for this great American. I am posting here to mark the day we as a nation said goodbye to this man, John McCain. More than that I cried along with his daughter as she said her farewell to her father and reminded us all his loss was a personal one too.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Gimlet Media Podcasts

Like I said yesterday I am blogging once again during my water sipping cool down time. I did 20 sets of stairs and 15000 steps according to my FitBit. Go me!

So while walking I was as usual listening to podcasts, several actually. One of them was Science vs put out by Gimlet Media. BTW I also have enjoyed The Habitat and Reply All from the same company. I need a break from all the news and politics sometimes and Gimlet Media podcasts provide that.

Back to Science vs., today the show was a advertisement for another of their shows named Every Little Thing. After looking up Every Little Thing I decided to subscribe with Podcast Addict which is what I use on my phone to listen. This new to me show has 45 episodes so far with titles like Do Scarecrows Scare Crows? and Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons? Come on now, who could resist such fun and informative topics?

Just found out that son and daughter-in-law are coming for the weekend. So I don't know if I will get steps or blogging done with company to enjoy and care for.

If I don't get back here til next week I hope all of you have a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Be a Better Blogger

Being a better or at least more consistent blogger is really just a small part of what is on my mind these days. However when it comes to blogging I have a plan. I am damn good at making plans by the way. I can get so lost in list making and organizing that I don't get anything done but that list is beautiful. I have had to stop making lists and just keep deadlines which I rarely have and appointments on a calendar and call it good. Procrastination encouraged by distraction is a problem for me.

Back to the plan. I have developed (and am proud of this) a daily habit of exercise and walking. I do this first thing in the morning after 1 and only 1 cup of a caffeinated drink, either coffee or tea. I turn on podcasts and start moving. After all, as I like to say, I am in training for old age. So when I finish this activity I drink some water and cool down a bit before I move on to having breakfast, a shower and get myself dressed. My plan is to start writing my blog posts during my cool down time. 

You see, my exercise time is great getting lost in random thoughts. Rather than being so random I can plan a post and then sit down and write while sipping my water. The reason I think this will work well is because I am building onto a already established routine. I have tried planning blogging for other times of day and it just doesn't work. I, and maybe you too, need a certain amount of alertness and concentration to write a post and those things are best for me in the morning. After a day of Etsy shop work, tweeting, housework, making meals, running errands and so on and so on the last thing I want to do is sit down to plan and write a blog post.

So if this works you will see me here or rather I will be talking to myself here more often. 

Dear reader if you would, and you are a blogger, let me know what works for you.

And now I am leaving you with my most viewed picture on Google maps. I am going to imagine he is watching to see that I do well in making the goal of more consistent blogging happen.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Crocheted Cotton Infinity Scarves

Before I left Arizona for my summer in Wyoming I got some new scarves listed in my shop These can all be found in the Infinity Scarves section. All of these crocheted warm weather accessories are made with 100% cotton crochet thread except the white which is made with a soft polyester thread. The cotton thread softens over time and wears like iron. One of these scarves will brighten your wardrobe and your day.

All scarves pictured in the shop are made and ready to ship. I also want you to know that any order over $25 ships free to anywhere in the US.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Summer Project

My life for the last couple years has meant going back and forth between Arizona and Wyoming. Currently I am in Wyoming for the summer and looking forward to spending time with grandkids and on the boat on Jackson Lake.

Being here in Jackson, away from my studio set up and supplies left in Arizona I wondered what I would do to keep my hands busy on long summer evenings. Actually my mother ended up helping me out with that.

More than 30 years ago I started a Cathedral Window Quilt. I was going to use up bits of fabric from the clothes I sewed back then for my children and myself. The barely started quilt ended up being left behind at my mother's house when we moved from San Diego to Salt Lake City. My daughter brought the quilt to me after a visit to grandma's house earlier this year.

My instructions are on a photocopied page from a magazine but you can now find a how to at

Below is a glimpse of what I have so far. These blocks we already done. In the basket the whole project came in there are probably enough muslin squares cut to make a quilt. For the small patches that go in the "windows" I have about 75 different fabrics cut into small squares. You will probably notice that I sewed a lot of gingham back in the day.

I like putting the patches in groups of four. If you ever make one of these you could make each window different. As the blocks get joined a new places to put more patches will get created. This quilt gets its layers from folded fabric rather than batting. It is also all done with hand sewing so if that idea soothes you like it does to me, this is a quilt that you may want to make. 

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Next Finished Book of Books

Another volume read and ready to be passed on to a thrift shop. 

Most of the stories in this volume from 2001 aren't ones I would normally seek out to buy or borrow from a library. I don't regret the time reading them however because I feel no time with a book is ever wasted and I felt like each one expanded my knowledge of the world in some way.
  • In Harm's Way by Doug Stanton
  • Keep It Simple Stupid by Judge Judy Sheindlin
  • The Russian Word For Snow by Janis Cooke Newman
  • Special Agent by Candice DeLong
  • Down The Highway by Howard Sounes

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Etsy Turns 13

Through highs and lows, good times and bad Etsy has managed to become a teenager. I remember reading about the site on blogs in 2005 and was so thrilled someone had made something for crafty people.

To celebrate rather than have cake I am having a sale. Although I offer free shipping for orders over $25 the idea of a percent off sale is new to me. I thought about what I should offer and came up with 40% off. I wanted to make an offer that makes it worthwhile for folks to come by my shop and look.

This all ends on Friday and I wouldn't want you to miss out. I will not be offering such a steep markdown again this year. You can shop for dishcloths, headbands, market bags, hats and potholders at

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Market Bags Available Now

A recently added section in my shop,, is a group of hand crocheted market bags. I have had and made this pattern for a very long time, maybe 30 years or more. These handy bags have a lot of stretch which makes them very useful. 

  • You could load these string bags up with goodies from your local farmer's market. 
  • You could use this bag at the beach to hold your sunscreen and towel. 
  • Another use would be to transport books between home and the library. 
  • These crocheted shopping bags would even come in handy during your regular grocery shopping trip. 

Hand crocheted in 100% cotton your new shopping bag be machine washed and dried. When not stretched out they don't take up much room making them easy to carry and keep handy in a purse of backpack. 

Consider cradling your kale in something pretty!

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Liberty Market, Gilbert Arizona

I had a chance to go to lunch at Liberty Market in Gilbert, Arizona last week. This was my first visit to this restaurant but will certainly not be my last. The atmosphere is casual but the food is not. The menu has a lot of items that I look forward to trying on future visits. If you are curious you can find menus here.

 For my first visit I had the Picnic Sandwich and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad. Both were delicious! The people I went to lunch with have eaten at Liberty Market before and already know their favorite dishes. They ordered the Hollywood Cobb Salad and Minestrone Soup. From the looks of the crisp green salad I will definitely be giving salad a try, oh and breakfast and dinner sometime too.

If you want to see the latest from this great eatery you can check out the website for menus and information on weekly specials. These folks are on social media too with mouthwatering posts on Instagram and Twitter.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Out Back

In our backyard in Arizona we have planted a bush known as Mexican Bird Of Paradise. They are starting to bloom now. Looking out the patio door to see the bright flowers and lacey green leaves makes me smile. I do hope you found something to smile about today too.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Time Life Book Digest 1990

I finished another book last night. This is another volume of best sellers at the time by Time Life rather than Reader's Digest this time. Loved all these stories and maybe you will too.

  • The Longest Tunnel by Alan Burgess- Many of you may know of this story through the movie "the Great Escape" but it is worth checking out this book too. 
  • Bitter Sweet by LaVyrle Spencer- A story of parting after high school and coming back together later in life. Of course there is more to it than that but wouldn't want to spoil it for you.
  • The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille- A fascinating look into east coast wealth, lawyers and the mafia.
  • The Burden of Proof by Scott Turow- Chasing family secrets after the death of his wife in a search to understand drives this great story.
The links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. If you chose to click and make a purchase I get a few pennies at no cost to you.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Yellow and White Wool Eater

More yarn out of my stash and made into something useful. This time I have a lot of yellow and white baby yarn. These aren't really colors modern moms like so I decided to use it up. I chose the Wool Eater, also know as Catherine's Wheel stitch pattern. It has made a small lightweight nap blanket to keep on the couch in the living room which is a perfect spot for a quick nap.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

No more shoelaces

I start each morning with walking my 10000 steps as recommended by FitBit. If I miss a day it really feels strange. At my regular pace it takes less than two hours. Since I live in a two story house I am able to get about 10 sets of stairs done at the same time. It may sound strange but I do all this walking in my house. I am currently in Arizona and it is getting warm already. I can pace through the rooms in my house in a temperature controlled place and get it all done in my pajamas.

I do put shoes on rather than doing all this walking barefoot. I have found my feet and legs feel better throughout the day with the support from wearing shoes. And this brings on the reason for today's post. Shoelaces or rather finding a good replacement for them.

Shoelaces can be too tight or too loose. They can come undone and need to be tied again. After walking for awhile if your feet swell shoelaces may need to be adjusted for continued comfort. I found on Amazon the silicon replacements you see here. I got a three pack of white, gray and black. Each color comes with more that most shoes need but would allow for sizing to customize how they fit for you and your shoes. If you do a search for these on Amazon you can find all kinds of package combinations for single pairs to up to six and all kinds of colors if you find my choices boring.

I have used these for the past week in two pairs of my walking shoes and love them. I went from ties to slip ons. The no tie laces hold without being too tight or too loose. If you are a walker of a runner you may want to consider these for yourself.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

The ad below is an affiliate link. Making a purchase would give me a small commision at no cost to you.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Shop News "CozyAtoZ" on Etsy

I spent time this week getting all my finished hot pads listed. BTW, just wondering, do you call them hot pads or potholders? For no apparent reason I use both names with no favoring one name over the other.

These hot pads are real kitchen tools that can last for years. I used a smaller than normal crochet hook so the created fabric would be thick, dense and strong. The final stitching makes these double layered and closes up the potholder and I added a hanging loop for convenience. 

Made from 100% cotton these won't melt like those made with acrylic yarns. Of course they can be burnt if kept to close to flame or electric cook top elements. With the double layer these could also be used as a trivet to protect counters and table tops from hot pots or pans.

Two sizes are in the shop right now. The smaller ones are about 6 inches square and would be great for anyone. If you have larger hands or plan on using them often under larger pots you may find the larger size of 8 x 6 inches to be what you need in your kitchen.

While you would certainly consider using these in your own kitchen like I do, they also make great housewarming or bridal shower gifts or something for your favorite cook.

I love making and using these potholders using a vintage pattern that I have lost somewhere in my piles of patterns. I plan on making more in other colors so it's a good thing I have the instructions memorized.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day Gift

I did it. I headed off the flowers by choosing a gift for myself. No regrets either.

By the way did you have a great Mother's Day? Mine was quiet but good. I heard from my kids on Sunday and talked to my own mother on Saturday.

Now the gift I got myself was something I have been thinking about for awhile. I got some metal mesh bands for my fitbit. I have the Charge 2 version and these work perfectly. I can also tell you after wearing them for a few days that they feel better against my skin that the plastic bands that fitbits come with. The magnet that secures the band is infinitely adjustable and strong enough to not come undone. You can find them in lots of colors and for me I chose silver and champagne gold. The bands came in a box and inside the box each band had a protective plastic sleeve. I am so happy I got these!

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Affiliate Link below if you are interested. I would get a small commission if you purchase that won't change the price you pay.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Flowers As Gifts, Yes or No?

Beautiful, aren't they? For Valentine's Day and Easter my husband sent me flowers. They are lovely but if asked I might have made other choices or given him a few ideas. Christmas seems to go much the same. He says get yourself something and I think that's not quite right either. If I order or shop for a gift myself for myself that doesn't feel as if it actually is a gift. I guess I should be pleased he remembered the day. With Mother's Day coming up I wonder what color the flowers will be. 

I worked with someone who got flowers and she told her husband she didn't like them because they died. She realized after many years of marriage and strange gifts that she might have prefered flowers after all.

I have asked for things to decorate the house and was told those aren't appropriate. The ideas I gave needed to be personal but they didn't realize my home is personal to me.

The flowers come. Most of the time they smell wonderful. All of the time they look beautiful. I will say thank you and take pictures. Then I will have a new vase to keep for dust collecting or give away.

So today the question is do you like to get flowers as a gift? Would you prefer other things or are you at that time in life when there is really nothing more you want?

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Special Offer

I like getting deals and I bet you do too. I wanted to give customers a chance to get a deal from me that I could afford to give for a long time. So here it is -

I am working on getting more items in the shop. With the help of Ott Lights and FotoFuze I feel like I am finally getting there, for photography at least. Next is to stop worrying about great descriptions and tags and get comfortable with getting more done. Anyone else struggle with procrastination fueled by wanting to be perfect though logically you know nothing ever is?

Anyway spend $25 and it all ships free to the US.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Reader's Digest Volume 5 2002 Nonfiction

As the title says I finished another book. This time it is a Today's Best Nonfiction edition from 2002. This book had the condensed versions of 5 very different and interesting stories.

  • 3000 Degrees by Sean Flynn
  • Cancer Schmancer by Fran Drescher
  • A Dog Year by John Katz
  • Riding the Bus With My Sister by Rachel Simon
  • The Children on Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen
All of these books were interesting but the one that I stayed up a bit longer to read a bit more each night was The Children of Willesden Lane. The main character is Lisa Jura who, with many other children, was sent to England from occupied Europe during WWII to save their lives. War and survival, hard family choices, coming of age, a career as a pianist, reunification, and more all in this story. If you like history from this time period you will want to find a copy of this book.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Still Decaffeinated with Tattle Tea

Last post I talked about the coffee I bought from Coffee Bean Direct. Today I am going to share about what I got from Tattle Tea which is, I guess, what you would call a sister company.

I first ordered my loose leaf teas from the coffee company and then the two business were split apart. For convenience you can order from both places and have one bill and one shipment. The combination of coffee ordered and tea ordered together apply to the $50 required for free shipping.

Tattle Tea has some of the best prices I have ever found anywhere for good quality loose leaf teas. You can order in packages from 5 oz. to 5lbs. Of course the larger the package the lower the price is per ounce. In the caffeinated section of the site I have bought Nilgiri black tea, Earl Grey black tea, Sencha green tea and lemon and ginger green tea. I can highly recommend all of them!

Decaf Raspberry Black Tea
Going without caffeine I wanted something a bit special and indulgent. To see if I could make this whole idea work I started small ( 5 oz. ) and got three flavors, apricot black tea, raspberry black tea and orange and spice black tea. I have brewed a pitcher of all three and tried each of them both hot and iced. Picking a favorite was not hard, the raspberry flavor will definitely be ordered again and in a larger size. The orange and spice tea will be perfect for cool winter days. The apricot was good as well. All the teas have real pieces of fruits as well as natural and artificial flavors. Just opening the packages and smelling the scents was a treat. Brewing a pot made the whole kitchen smell good.

I look forward to working my way through all the choices available in green, herbals, more blacks and rooibos teas and will keep you posted. By the way this is a personal, not sponsored, recommendation. Just wanted you all to know about a great company and a great product.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Going Decaffeinated

Coffee Bean Direct Breakfast BlendOne of my goals this year is eliminating caffeine from my system. I discovered as a post menopausal woman that caffeine can stress the bladder and be a part of the reasons old ladies, ahem, leak. I reduced my intake of caffeine to one serving in the morning starting in January. Before this I sipped caffeinated drinks nearly all day, starting with coffee in the morning and changing to tea later in the day. I did notice right away that overwhelming urges to get to a bathroom NOW stopped. I feel more confident and in control. This was even though I was drinking plenty of liquid, meaning water because I like to have something to sip close by throughout the day. I am now into the first week of no caffeine at all and feel great and am pleased with myself for making this decision.

I do love the flavors of coffee and tea however and I have no intention of missing out on those and water only all day is kind of boring. Ordering whole beans from Coffee Bean Direct allow me to have my favorite flavors and even discover some new ones. I am also not limited by time of day and that is a nice plus. I started my decaf coffee trial with a Breakfast Blend described in the following way on the Coffee Bean Direct website.
Some of us just cannot handle the caffeine, no matter what the time of day! This blend offers the delicious flavor of our traditional Breakfast Blend, without the caffeine many of us need to learn to live without. This medium-bodied blend of light and dark beans has just a hint of acidity and tartness. Ideal as a morning cup, it has a smooth and subdued flavor that stands up well to cream and sugar.
The first time around I used our coffee maker and was very pleased. Having a hot cup of coffee is how I like to start my day. I sit and sip while I read blogs and news on Feedly or browse Instagram to see what my family is up to or just finish waking up and before I start exercising. I do want to try this coffee as a cold brew as well. Over the years I have experimented with cold brew coffee, almond milk and sugar free Torani flavorings. Warm summer months are coming soon and I love iced coffee as a treat.

Coffee Bean Direct is a personal favorite of mine. This post is my own uncompensated endorsement. They are a great company with excellent service, carefully roasted coffees from all over the world, pricing that I find reasonable and prompt shipping which is free if you spend $50 dollars or more. They even take the time to educate you with their packaging. Tips you want to take advantage of so that the product they send you is the best it can be when you use it.

To learn more you can start with the About Page on Of course these days all companies have a social media presence and here is where you can find my favorite coffee roasters, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

I'll be back soon to tell you about the tea I ordered. So good!
Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Monday, April 16, 2018

CozyAtoZ on Etsy

Spring Floral HeadbandBlue Headband with tiesBlue Paisley HeadbandBrown Calico HeadbandWhen I first opened an account on Etsy in the olden days of 2006 I used the name Cozy and it served me well. It was short and easy to type and remember. It was a generic word that fit my vision and goals and that still works for me today. I really do want to make the world a cozier place.

Black Headband with Crocheted Lace TrimPastel Plaid HeadbandOver time as new websites and new accounts came along the name Cozy was sometimes not available so I started using CozyAtoZ. That is the user name I use for Twitter and Pinterest. During those days I was on Artfire, Etsy and Zibbet so being Cozy at all places from A to Z fit. So in getting all things matching I changed my Etsy shop name to CozyAtoZ recently and having the same username in more places make me happy.

Purple Crochet HeadbandTurquoise and Brown Hair AccessoriesThe shop closed last year for awhile and is reopening this spring. The first items are in the shop with more to come. In the meantime I am seeing how long I can offer free domestic shipping and if it might make a difference in how often my creations get to go to other people to use and get cozy.

Eight of the the headbands in the shop so far have a fabric middle that was hemstitched. This is a process that puts holes on fabric so that an edge can be crocheted. The crocheted trim and ties gives these headbands a soft look that you aren't likely to find anywhere else but in my shop.

Red Knit HeadbandThere is also a red knit headband in the shop. The design is my own. I just love the red color. This headband will be very comfortable to wear because it is very stretchy. With ties you can personalize your fit.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!
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