Wednesday, January 31, 2018

HumaNature Podcast

Do you ever listen to podcasts? I discovered them about a year ago now and love them. Podcasts can bring the latest news to you or comedy or history or just some really great storytelling. I subscribe to many and use the Podcast Addict app to listen to them on an Android phone. The app lets me find new podcasts through recommendations, organize my podcast lists in several ways and provides a background to my days.
One of my favorite storytelling podcasts is HumaNature from Wyoming Public Media. It brings stories to you from the place where meetings between humans and nature happen. The stories expose how those meetings have changed lives and strengthened the spirit of those whose stories are being told. There are 35 episodes in the series so far and I always look forward to what the next podcast will be about. You can follow HumaNature on twitter or facebook or subscribe on you favorite podcast app. 
Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Animal Farm by George Orwell

I finished two books while traveling earlier this month. I blogged about the first one, 1984 by George Orwell. The second book, Animal Farm was by the same author. Again this was a book I read the first time many, many years ago. From the Amazon site you get an introduction that starts with the following words.

George Orwell s famous satire of the Soviet Union, in which all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.Animal Farm is one of the most famous warnings ever written. 
The development from idealism that sounded so good to oppression so much more cruel than ever happened on the farm when humans ran it was so interesting to read. As with so many stories and societies there were heros to admire and villains to hate and all those in the middle just trying to get by.

The link in this post is an Amazon Affiliate link. If you use it your purchasing price won't change but I could get a few pennies for yarn money and I thank you for that.

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

Monday, January 29, 2018

Cabo San Lucas Glass Factory

I am going to share a bit more about our cruise earlier this month on the Oosterdam. After a day at sea our first port was Cabo San Lucas which is a town at the southern end of the Baha Peninsula in Mexico. We decided to take a guided tour to a glass factory and I don't regret that one bit. I seem to be collecting hand blown glass these days so I loved the chance to see the work being done.

We had a bit of a bus ride, maybe half an hour, to get to the glass factory from the cruise port. I can't really say how long but we went from Cabo San Lucas to San Jose del Cabo. Chairs were waiting for groups to show up and once we gathered one of the glass artisans started working on a demonstration piece. The blob of very hot glass turned into a turtle in a sombrero with a tequila bottle in just a few minutes.

Of course there is a gift shop attached to the glass factory. Besides seeing all the items for sale my eyes were drawn to the walls and the ceiling. Color and sparkle and light filled the place and made it hard to know where to look next. The picture of the ceiling I took is a good example of this.

Of course I got myself a trinket. Actually I chose an ornament for my Christmas tree. It will be a nice way to be reminded of the day each year. You can see this speckled glass technique in many pieces of Mexican glass work including glasses of all shapes and sizes, vases, pitchers and so much more and I wanted a piece for myself. 

Our guide made sure we got to see the local church before taking us back to the cruise port. No matter what your beliefs are there is a calmness that seems to come over most people when the enter these old and loved churches. Right across the street was our lunch stop at a restaurant named Molly's. They have good food and a great system for serving a busload of tourists quickly and with a smile.


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

Friday, January 26, 2018

Huichol Bead Art

I mentioned in a previous post that we went on a cruise just after the first of the year. The trip was described as a visit to the Mexican Riviera. We had a lovely time and I may tell you more about the cruise and the cities we visited in a later post.

Today I want to share with you 2 of the souvenirs we brought home with us. These are known as Huichol Folk Art. The bead work we bought is just one form of crafts done by the Huichol people. The other type of folk art they do is known as yarn painting and you can learn more about all of this in a great Wiki article.

Jim fell in love with the vibrance of these designs and had to have a couple pieces. We watched as new pieces were being created in several shops in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. The process starts with a section of a form covered with a thin layer of beeswax. Before the wax hardens the seed beads are applied one at a time and pressed into the wax. Each of the designs on the elephant have a meaning and those and more are found on many objects.

Things like our small pieces and the little turtle are certainly cute and an affordable item to bring home to remind you of your trip. The birds below were very large and definitely in my mind masterpieces. Impressive, right?

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

Thursday, January 25, 2018

What To Do With Scrap Yarn

I am trying not to add to the collections of odds and ends of yarn and fabric I have boxed away in a very big closet in my house these days. Without buying anything new I could keep myself busy and happy for years. In my 60s now I may have reached SABLE. If that term is new to you let me explain. It is an acronym for stash acquisition beyond life expectancy.These materials have built up over the years in little bits at a time and will be used up in the same way.

I ended last year by making a baby blanket to be given to the first baby of the new year at the local hospital. You can see here all the ends I had to weave in to get it done in time. While I loved the pattern that I found on Ravelry, Baby Bonanza Blanket, I did wonder what the heck I was thinking when I chose a pattern with so many color changes. I loved the yarn too. It is a machine washable 100% cotton that I got from named Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima. The softness of this yarn, the rainbow of colors and the squishiness of garter stitch made a beautiful blanket. The hospital's first baby of the new year was a boy who I imagine being very cozy in his new blanket. Of course I had bits of leftover yarn after the blanket was done so......

I started the new year with a scrap project that has managed to use up almost every little bit of that leftover yarn. I now have a stack of brand new washcloths and bright and cheerful rainbow colors. I haven't reduced my stash with this project but I haven't added to it either. I call that a win.

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

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Instagram Irritations

A bit of a rant today. 

The story starts with Facebook and why I left it about 2 years ago now. Through no fault of Facebook my feed was out of control. I had family members (extended ones mostly) that drove me nuts with all kinds of political and inspirational crap that was liked, reposted and shared 24/7. You can't just unfollow family so I quit using Facebook. I just wanted to know how everyone was doing and be done with it. 

Along came instagram, used on a phone, you had to take a picture and there was no viral reposting of stupid stuff. I could handle that. So I joined and followed a select group of crafty, vintage and home town business people that I had crossed paths with over the years one way or another. I also added family members so I would know their latest real news.

Well wouldn't you know it, Facebook has found a way to mess Instagram up. My feed is now being interrupted with sponsored and recommended posts and people to follow. I get the ads, the service is free and needs to be monetized somehow but if I have an interest in something or someone else I will search for it myself, thank you very much. Come on Facebook/Instagram quit thinking you know me and what I want.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

George Orwell's 1984

I read this book for the first time many, many years ago. As I am discovering the benefits of an Amazon Prime account that includes books you can download I came across the title and decided to read 1984 again. I was able to load up books on my tablet to take on our recent cruise. I like the feel of a real book in my hand as much as the next reader but the lighter luggage was nice.

This book has themes that echo fears of where our government could go now more than the when I read it the first time about 30 years ago. The book talks about a layered society with no movement from one level to another. Prols will always be prols and the Party members will always be Party members that is unless they get in trouble and then they are gone. Media in the book is not really an enemy but rather a tightly controlled, constantly adjusted, publisher of a history that fits the plans of The Party. I bet our current White House occupants, the guy at the top and his staff, would love those kinds of privileges.

It is a classic and I am glad I spent the time reading 1984 by George Orwell again.

(Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. Clicking and maybe purchasing does not change your cost but gives me a few pennies of yarn money and for that I am grateful.)

Monday, January 22, 2018

Weekend Happenings

Good Monday morning to whoever stops by!

At least now I can say it's good. Over the weekend Jim had to travel in Utah, in a snow storm, driving. He did okay but someone behind him did not. His truck was hit from behind by someone who the UHP ticketed. Both vehicles were driveable but damaged and no one was hurt so Jim was able to finish his trip.

Now comes the fun (not) part of dealing with insurance.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Late Start

Been quite some time since I blogged. I missed it so here I am with good intentions.
What a year 2017 was and I am not even talking about politics. Jim was going to retire in the fall and then he didn't. I started creating a retirement nest for us in Arizona. At the beginning of the summer, Memorial Weekend in fact, Jim has a heart attack. He is doing very well these days but we kind of started adjusting timelines.

I am back nesting and he is still working. We started the year by going on a cruise. We were on the Holland America Line Oosterdam on a trip to Mexico. We had a lovely time and were welcomed back to San Diego by a couple of stunning sights. The first was the USS Midway all lit up before the sun rose and the second was a ship heading out of the harbor in the fog.

It was good to go and good to get home. I don't know when I will be here on the blog again. The plan for blogging would include the word soon. Until then take care.
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