Friday, 16 March 2018

My Addiction

I am addicted to yarn, and as I already having a fondness for on line shopping...have found myself in a spot of trouble. I got an e mail from my favorite yarn company offering 30% off some yarns, and clearance prices for others.

I have ordered from this company before, and loved the yarn and their prompt service. Problem is that this is a US company and as I live in Canada I need to convert to Canadian currency. Fortunately I can do that conversion as I order.

Also, in order to get free shipping I need to order $75 worth of product, so that makes the bill a lot more when I convert. I have a strange way of justifying my order. If the price in Canadian is less than or on par with what I can buy local, it's a good deal, and the color selection is so much greater.

If the shipping was going to be about $15 or $20 dollars, and I was close to the $75 dollars in my order, I just ordered more. If the money is going out, one way or another, it might as well go for yarn. That's how I justify making the order
I live a quiet life, don't take vacation, the highlight being family get-togethers or meals out with friends, so I figure I can spend my money on yarn as I get so much pleasure out of creating, and giving.

I have made baby hats for the newborn nursery, chemo hats for the hospital and hats and scarves for the women's shelter. My family (the girls) are fussy and I learned not to waste my time making things they would never wear. My son likes sweaters as he's an outdoors guy, and his kids are always taking hats I've made for winter.

Their other grandmother knits and makes them hats and mitts so I wasn't surprised when they pulled out a huge bag of hats we have made them over the years.

I occasionally get requests to make items, like a family set of matching Christmas stockings or funny hats. I only charge friends for yarn, giving my time for free.

This last order, was troublesome. I wanted the colors to start my Christmas crochet. That's when I make every person in the family the same type of thing. I've done hats, of course, then slippers, socks, and last year surprised them all with a stuffed animal. I make 15 in all, whatever it is. The fun for me is finding that pattern for each individual. Boy, are they going to be surprised this year.

I had some computer trouble when placing my order and parts of it were, tripled. It happened to be the Christmas order. So, rather than send it back I decided to keep it and figured the charities I crochet for would get a nice donation next year.

I had to scurry to store it all, and have yarn tucked away in every nook and cranny of my small place. If need be I know the kids will store a bin for me but I like to keep it close, just in case my creative urges need that particular yarn to be satisfy my inner artist.

I am a happy hooker, hoarder, whatever.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Time Change

There have been a number of articles and conversations about the time change and the negative effect it can have on people. One of those negatives is when you forget to change your clocks and arrive early...or late.

A few years ago I was to meet my brother for lunch. The clocks had changed the previous weekend, back, as it was autumn. When we are meeting I get ready and leave, and either shop first if I am very early, or sit and read, whatever works for the day. I don't wear a watch and depend on the clock in my car.

That day I was reading, and reading, and reading. It seemed like I was there forever...and where the hell was my brother? He was never late, and here he was over 45 minutes late, and I was worried as he drives across the city. With no cell phone he couldn't contact me.

I went into the restaurant where we habitually met and hoped he might have called and left me a message. No. He was now over an hour late and I was getting very scared.

Suddenly I saw him appear through the windows, walking casually, taking time for that last drag on his smoke before entering. Need I say, last straw. Safe and sound, just rude and late.

"Where have you been?" I asked, my stress showing.

"What? I'm only a minute late."

Then it dawned, I was going by the time in my car, that I had not changed. So he was on time and I another time zone.

Yesterday I called my 90 year old neighbor to ask if she wanted to go to the grocery store. She said she was just sitting down to lunch. "Late for you, isn't it?" I asked.

"No, it's just noon."

"No," I said, "it's two o'clock." She argued with me, but finally realized what she had done. Instead of the usual 'spring forward' for...well...spring...she did the 'fall back' time change and was now 2 hours out of sync. But, boy, had she ever accomplished a lot for her day thus far.

Myself, I don't mind the time change. But then I have so little structure to my day that I barely notice. I just need to keep all of my clocks current, and have already changed the car.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Text Talk

When I got the new I phone I was with my daughter and we were in the store for awhile as she had her phones updated and data transferred. I was anxious to try out my new texting ability and texted my son. It was a strange experience.

Me: Hi Sweetie. I have an I phone. I have joined the masses.

Him: Who is this?

Me: It's your Mother. LOL Who did you think it was? Who else calls you Sweetie?

Him: Are you sure? What's the last thing I posted on line? My Mother does not call me Sweetie.

Me: The gun control thing on Facebook. Better call you Kiddo.

Him: That's better. LOL

I was assuming that my name showed up as a caller, not just the number. Of course, he wouldn't recognize a strange number. I laugh at how cautious he was, and if I'd thought about it, I would have used kiddo from the start. I was just eager to get started.

Written communication, texting, does not always come across as the sender might have intended. Comments can be taken seriously when actually meant as a joke. That's why there are so many LOL's used, just in case.

I have a strange sense of humor, one that my granddaughter doesn't get, but then she's only nine. I texted her one school day and asked what she'd studied that day. She replied "tobacco". I questioned her further..."about how they grow it or did they take you out behind the shed and teach you how to smoke?"  It was the grow part. She ignored the rest.

I tried again, on a Saturday morning, asking what she was up to. The answer was they were having a laundry party. I knew that meant the family was all involved in doing laundry and putting it all away. When both parents work it's often a weekend chore.

My reply was...."Are you fluffing and folding? Will there be music and dancing?"

Her reply was not as enthusiastic..."it's just what Dad called doing the laundry".

I know this kid has a great sense of humor, but she needs the face to face, otherwise I may become that strange old lady they call grandma.


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Cell Phone Etiquette

For years I have been the only adult in the family without a cell phone or tablet. The teens and preteens have phones, and everyone has a share in the use of family tablets.

I finally broke down and agreed to get a cell phone. I wanted the use of a the camera, and the ability to text when away from home. And okay, in case of an emergency, it might come in handy.

My daughter set the phone up for me, added my contacts and organized some apps. See, I know the lingo. I also have an i pad and have enjoyed the portability of it over the laptop. The downfall is trying to write with it, something I haven't attempted seriously as I use the i pad in bed.

So wasn't it funny, after all the family gatherings, dinners out, coffee get togethers, where others have been on their phones, texting someone else while I sat there idle, that I found myself at the table with my phone out when everyone else had theirs in their pocket.

No fair, this time I wanted to be the one to ignore everyone else, and what happened? I got called out for being on my phone, the only one on their phone. I found the situation hilarious, and couldn't help but laugh.

I was actually seeking assistance as I had texts that didn't go through and needed another lesson. I just wasn't expecting the lesson to be one of cell phone etiquette. I should have complained before, for all those times I was ignored.

I do understand some of the cell phone use when out with others. My daughter, for example, uses her phone for work and some messages need a time sensitive response. And, she has kids, two of them teenagers, so enough said.

I feel like that cartoon about the young child on the phone, giving his grandmother advice for her computer. Amazingly enough, I am that younger person for my older friends. The level of knowledge is greater the younger you go. I had a lesson on the i pad from my thirteen year old granddaughter.

I was going to blast my kids with a plethora of texts, just to show how right they were that their old Mom needed to get with the times. I do have a strange sense of humor.

But, with the i pad, I have been annoyed with that constant ping, ping ping. I would be in the middle of a crochet project and didn't want to stop, but curiosity always wins out. And I do love that daily connection with family, with my children and the grandkids.

So ping away everyone.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Goodbye Velma

I named my van a couple of years ago, thinking if we were on a more friendly basis, she might stop acting out. There were a number of times she wouldn't start, demanding a new battery, and I gave in.

I'm not sure where the name Velma came from but it seemed appropriate, suitable for the grand old lady that was my vehicle.

I called her maintenance trips to the garage Velma's spa trips, a bit of pampering to keep her happy and running smooth. Much like me, where the mind, or in Velma's case the engine, was willing but the body was failing, Velma suffered from a case of terminal rust.

Her spa master had warned that the rust was getting so bad he would soon have to take her off the road for safety reasons, so I could see our relationship changing.

Our Canadian winters are rough on a vehicle, and I'm the worst kind of driver for this climate. I only drive short distances, to the store, to see friends, and don't drive every day.  So Velma sat out in the damp and cold, the salt off the roads eating away at her from the underside. Other than that she was in pretty good condition for a fifteen year old car with 150,000 Km .

The thought of buying a new car was daunting, But then I was given a special gift.

A long time friend of mine, eighteen years my senior, lost her license, doctor's orders. Her car, also a van, was older than mine, but in better condition. My friend gifted me her van which I have named Bertha. She drove even less than me and had neglected it a bit, so I took her to the spa for a checkup  and some required repairs before we did the paperwork to change the vehicle into my name.

I am now her designated driver, and very appreciative of her generosity.

Let me tell you, growing old sucks. I have watched my friend change into a frail old woman over recent years. She has fought the aging process, but it gives you with new challenges on a constant basis and she was losing the fight. Sometimes, I tell her, it makes life easier to give in to things like a cane or walker, but she would rather struggle through, fighting to maintain every ounce of her independence.

We all manage the best we can, and for us, we'll continue the fight, helping each other as best we can.