Winter Warmth


Winter, I am ready! This crocheted cape will be keeping me warm this winter. I almost can’t wait for the cold.


Horse Reins

Horse reins. When I was a kid, we made horse reins. We took an old spool that once was wrapped with sewing thread, hammered 4 nails into the top and proceeded to work scraps of yarn systematically around and about the nails such that a rope was created.

Even as a kid, I wondered what anyone would do with the rope once it was created. The rope never got very long; I ran out of yarn after not very long. Either that, or I ran out of interest.

Someone told me that the rope creation could be wound around and around and sewn in place to create a rug. That did not hold my interest either, and so the project was abandoned. More than once.

Almost 60 years have passed and I have finally figured out what to do with the horse reins. Oh, they do not call them horse reins anymore even though such spools are available for purchase nowadays. Today, however, they are more often called I-cords, which research tells me comes from “Idiot Cords,” the reason being “any idiot can make them.” I-cords are typically knitted, most often using double-pointed needles, but can also be crocheted and even worked up using just the fingers on your hand as stitch holders.

So nearly 60 years later I have finally finished that early creation. I made drapery pulls – horse reins, I mean I-cords, with pom poms at the ends.


Cunni- What?

I play Ruzzle. Ruzzle is an online word game played on computers and devices and is much like Boggle. Within two minutes, players find as many words as possible from a grid containing 16 letter tiles. After 3 rounds of play, the highest scorer wins.

Accompanying chat is available. Most people are more interested in the game than the chat and so chat is infrequent – most of the time.

A 32-year-old female player began chatting with me recently. She lives in a nearby state. She is originally from Yugoslavia but has been living in the U.S. for quite some time and certainly enjoys the English language and all its idiosyncrasies. You have to be a word lover to enjoy playing Ruzzle after all.So we chat about our love of words, and this and that, and we wander to totally unrelated subjects. 

I was unprepared today when she wrote:

She is a Ruzzler, a cunning linguist!


Labor Day

by Joyce Maynard

It all happens over Labor Day weekend. Thirteen-year-old Henry is approached at the mall by an injured man, an escaped convict who needs a place to hide. Henry and his mother Adele are willing to help.

Henry is an unpopular loner at school. He does not enjoy sports and just does not fit in with the other kids. To make matters worse, he comes home from school to a lonely existence with only his mother who has isolated herself from everything and everybody, except her son.

Frank settles right into the household and almost instantly they are a family. This is not the Stockholm syndrome, but rather genuine compatibility. With Frank in the house, Adele becomes strong and full of life and Henry is emotionally lifted to perform better at sports, make friends, and understand his budding sexuality (and his mother’s).

Labor Day is a story of three misfits who come together and benefit from the strengths and weaknesses of each of them. It is a pleasant story that held my interest.

In discussing the writing of this book, the author refers to her own experience corresponding with a prison inmate. On her website she posts an article she had written detailing that relationship. She also makes the point that Frank is not the convict she had involvement with, that there were similarities but mostly differences. Of Labor Day she wrote: “It’s a product of my imagination, not my experience.” In my opinion, her own true story is more intense and more compelling than the romantic tale she fabricated.

Labor Day is the story of a lonely adolescent, an emotionally fragile woman, and the convicted murderer who brings love and romance into their home. And piecrust.

Child’s Play

I ordered a broom from Amazon. Oh, I have brooms. I have a simple nondescript broom left by the former owner of our condo as well as a large patio broom. Both brooms live on my balcony. Both brooms have proven to be irresistible to grandchildren.

I have watched small hands fumble with oversized brooms on our very narrow balcony as the brooms fall or are awkwardly shoved against windows and screens or tumble clumsily through the railing, threatening to fall to the ground below.

A child-sized broom seemed like a good, and hopefully preferred, addition to our outdoor space. So I ordered one through Amazon. I ordered the one pictured at right.

It was to be delivered today. My $9.99 purchase with 2-day free shipping thanks to Amazon Prime was to arrive today. And it did, but during the 30 minutes out of the entire 24-hour day that I was not home.

UPS left a note. They refused to leave our package at our door like they did last week for my new expensive camera. No. This child’s broom requires an adult signature!

Maybe tomorrow.


The Humans

by Matt Haig

From a distant galaxy, the planet Vonnadoria, a nameless alien comes to earth on a mission. He is to take over the body of Professor Andrew Martin, a mathematician who has solved the Rieamann hypothesis, a mathematical solution that will ensure human progress. The alien is assigned to destroy all information pertaining to the Riemann hypothesis and kill anyone who has knowledge or information of the mathematical solution, beginning with, of course, the renowned Professor Martin.

At first repulsed by the human form, appalled by human weakness, and disdainful of human inferiority, the alien quickly adapts to life on earth in human form. As he seeks the information he must destroy, he begins to understand human life (including mortality and pain), music, poetry, and love.

This book is a delightful diversion into another dimension. It is laugh-out-loud funny and tragically sad. It is insightful and thought  provoking, and wonderfully written from cover to cover.

Can You Buy Pink

Dear Sidrah,

When you were visiting, I combed your hair. Remember? Sometimes I put your hair in a pony tail and sometimes 2 pig tails. I only had brown elastics. You asked me if I could buy pink. 

Will any of these do?

I put one in my hair so you could see how it looks, but I know it will be much prettier wrapped around your beautiful blond locks. What do you think?



P.S. Ask Sister what she thinks too.

P.P.S.  I can make more pink. Other colors too. Your wish is my command.