Bustin’ Out the Crown: Version 3

November 26, 2018

The 1st version was too tight and not tall enough, so, like Goldilocks, I sought a better version.

The band started as 6 stitches high. I changed that to 8.

I changed the length of the band (which goes around the head) from 66 rows to 78 rows. The total number of rows must be divisible by 6 because the shell motif that is worked around the band takes 6 stitches to complete.

So now I need a care label to sew in the back inside band. I’ve used the ones that I’ve bought in Michael’s craft store, but I want to order some custom ones online. Any suggestions?


Flowers for Evelyn

November 24, 2018

I realized earlier this year while doing some genealogy research that this would be the 100th anniversary of my mother’s birthday. It seemed like the best way to remember that occasion would be to send some flowers in memoriam to the church where I grew up. A few people there still remember her.

I coordinated this long-distance with the folks at the church office and the florist. My friend Walter, the church organist, sent me the program by email.


Here’s a photo taken by Walter. I took the liberty of lightening it.

BigBroSteve took the flowers to the cemetery after the service was over.

It was the easiest thing ever to order these for the church. It makes me wonder why I haven’t done it before, but I hate to try new things and to make phone calls.

There you go, Mom! Happy birthday! Sorry I’m late!

St. John AME Church

November 24, 2018

There’s a little church that I pass every day, twice a day. It is a historically black cemetery, and some of the folks in my neighborhood go there.

I was poking around findagrave and saw that there was no memorial to this church. This was several months ago, and yesterday I searched findagrave in a different way. I searched all the churches in a particular zip code, and found that St. John had been entered as Saint John. It was clearly the same church.

A volunteer had made 162 individual memorials, and none of the memorials had gravestone photos. You know what this means.

This is also the home church of Clementa Pinckney, a senior pastor and state senator who was killed along with 8 others in the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal in Charleston, SC, on the evening of June 17, 2015.

The church recently created a memorial to Rev. Pinckney there on the grounds. I’ll include that at some point.

This is a large graveyard. This church was started in 1865.

While looking at the findagrave memorials, I found one for Willie Fickling. Mama Florrie’s sister Eula married a Willie Fickling, but I’ve never been able to find anything about him. Eula is buried at Bethel where Mama Florrie is buried, and I would like to jump out there and say that Eula’s husband Willie Fickling is the same Willie Fickling that is buried at St. John’s. Is it?

Another mystery.


Take a look. Bloom (and blog) where you are planted.

Some Days You Have to Bust Out the Crown

November 17, 2018

I’m not talking about liquor, although perhaps that is where some of your brains immediately went.

I’m not even talking about Royal Crown Cola, which would actually be more my speed.

No, I’m talking about the NEW IMPROVED crownage!

My niece sent this link:


Which means that I made a quick trip to Walmart at lunchtime. New hook, new sparkly yarn.

The needle was a notch too small so the crown is a notch too tight. I actually followed the directions and learned some new skills. BL means back loop, confirmed by cousin Melissa, plus another technique that is easy but tedious.

The cute little baby children at work say to MAKE THEM SELL THEM. You can immediately see that they are equating my labor with that of a sweatshop. I swear, I am old enough to be the grandmother of these coworkers. They can’t write cursive or use an Excel spreadsheet. They don’t know where a stamp goes on an envelope. They don’t know that you have to dial a “1” on a landline before a long distance number because they only use cell phones.

I might need to wear my crown every day.

Thinking About Political Things

November 10, 2018

I took a course in political science in college during the first go-round, back in the seventies. I don’t remember the name of the instructor. I have no clue what grade I made. I remember one thing. Well, two, if you count that there was a cute guy that sat behind me. The instructor said that Democrats started policies, and Republicans didn’t.

I have had zero interest in politics until I met Sugar. I’d never had time for politics. I was working and exhausted and raising children and trying to maintain a home life with a man who was slipping further and further into mental illness. I had the luxury of being a white middle class woman.

I’ve become more and more interested in political dynamics over the last 15 years. I was slightly interested in high school and college, but never to the extent that I was outspoken. The politics of my life seemed to show that if you were popular, you got elected. I wasn’t a popular sort.

I’m not here to state anything that you probably don’t know. I’ve followed the disturbing trend that showed more and more white males abuse their white maleness.

The turning point for me was the election in Alabama between Roy Moore and Doug Jones for Jeff Sessions’s vacated Senate seat. I wouldn’t have known anything about Roy Moore except for the fact that I was reading Mark Childress’s book “Georgia Bottoms”, and Moore was mentioned in it in a not-so-flattering light.

On Election Night I watched the race online, and screenshot the end.

You have a pretty good idea that I am not a fan of President 45. This statement is a far cry from my former self who made comments like “I support the President”, no matter who the president was.

So there it is. I don’t want my family in the years to come to say that they didn’t know who I was or what I believed.

My daughter called me yesterday morning after her morning devotional to ask a question: what shows love to you? My short version is that love means action.

Words mean nothing if not accompanied by action. Sometimes actions begin with words. But action is the manifestation of love. You can give me a pair of diamond earrings or a diamond necklace for Christmas so that you can tell your family what you bought for me, then not allow me to wear those things because I could “lose them”, because they are actually too valuable for a person like me to wear, and continue to act like you are the only person of value in your world, and those are not actions of love. You know the difference.

Actions have consequences. And my words here today are that I will act to resist the politicians and the people that are harmful to the earth and everything in her best interest.

45 flew to France for the centennial ceremony for the ending of WWI, but he decided to cancel going to the ceremony because it was raining. My grandfather was in France in 1918. I am ashamed that 45 shamed himself and our country on the world stage yet again. Actions. They mean love. Trump only has love for himself.

An Anniversary and a Meltdown

October 21, 2018

Today would have been my 40th wedding anniversary. I am so happy to not be married to that devil. Someday I might write about him. It won’t be good so maybe I won’t.

This morning I saw a FB post on an animal rescue site in Tennessee. Something was off. It was a political meme that had been shared by a member of the group. There were 4 figures on the meme: (A) Freddy Kruger, (B) Michael Myers, (C) Jason, and (D) Hillary Clinton, and the caption read “who has killed the most?” The person that posted it wrote “D” and LOL.

I was pretty horrified that someone put this blatant political post regarding who they thought had killed the most, and put it on an animal rescue and education page, and they thought they were being clever and funny in a Halloween theme. Y’all probably have a pretty good idea that I have liberal leanings, and I’m going to be tolerant but I’m not going to suffer any fools.

The first commenter said, “I agree… Lol.”

Y’all, they are laughing about death on an animal rescue site. Animal rescuers see death every day. You don’t even have to be a rescuer to see it. I saw – *two* – dead female deer lying on the side of the road Friday morning, and I cried out loud. It’s everywhere.

The next commenter asked why political posts were being placed on the page. Then I jumped into the mix.

I said that I was leaving the group. I won’t tolerate hate speech. I won’t make any more donations. I don’t have much, but I have donated when I could. But I’m done.

The group has about 6K members. One of those members decided to tell me to suck it up. She said that I shouldn’t punish the animals because of one person’s political views.

By that time I had already left the group so I couldn’t comment without rejoining. So I sent her a message.

I went back to the FB page to screenshot it, and the post was gone. Poof. Like magic, it disappeared.

I’m sorry that people think it is okay for me to hand over money even if I don’t agree with their views because the ANIMALS. Insert handwringing. Y’all have no idea how many issues I have and how many things I do without.

I went to Sugar’s to meet up for lunch, and I told him what happened and he told me what he would have done. I seriously don’t care what he would have done or said and I didn’t need it mansplained to me. I wasn’t asking for advice. I was just telling a story, like I tell my little stories right here on the blog.

We went to the Mexican restaurant that I love and he doesn’t, and when the food came I was checking something on my phone, and he told me to eat my food. I lost it in front of God and everybody and said in a very loud voice “stop telling me what to think and what to do”. I could eat very little after that because in a perfect world I’m supposed to be having an anniversary celebration, not suffering fools.

I had wanted to go to a presentation in another county by their Historical Society, but Sugar was afraid there would be people there who had been unfriendly to us before, and he couldn’t go because he was busy being a neurotic recluse. Things are complicated.

Today will soon be over and maybe I can stop being outraged.

Maybe not.

DNA Updated

October 21, 2018

Ancestry.com had an update recently regarding DNA finding regarding ethnicity.

This doesn’t mean that my DNA changed. DNA doesn’t change. It means that there is a bigger pool of participants so the geographic regions of ethnicity are refined.

For instance, in the past my African DNA was assigned to Sub-Saharan hunter-gatherers.

That generalization has changed to a more specific Cameroon, Congo, and Southern Bantu peoples.

The British Isles and northwest Europe section is greatly increased to 98%.

So what are your reasons for not taking a DNA test?

Casting on My way

October 20, 2018

There’s method of creating the first loop for your knitting project. It involves an overhand loop and a resulting firm knot at the base of it. I’ve been troubled about the knotty part for years. When you are running your fingers along the cast-on edge, you can feel the knot.

I don’t want to feel the knot. I work a lot of items in the round using a circular needle or double points. Socks, hats, mittens, sweaters. Almost any article of clothing can be knitted in the round.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video to show you how to make this loop. Click here.

One day as I was creating the first loop for a project, I stopped halfway because I realized that I had the answer right in front of me.

That loose end hanging on the right? Push a loop of that through the place where my thumb is.

Now it’s like a baby bow tie.

Push the loops up into a rabbit ear position and slide the needle through.

Now let’s add some stitches. I do this by inserting the 2nd needle between the stitches on the 1st needle, looping the yarn around it like I’m knitting a stitch, and pulling the yarn back through to the front and sliding it on the 1st needle.

Now I have 3 stitches! I continue to add stitches in this manner until I get to my goal. For this hat, I’m using 100 stitches cast on a #5 circular.

I join the ends by distributing the stitches all the way around the needle until the end meets the beginning. Then I add my short end of the beginning yarn to the working yarn and use them as one yarn to knit the next two stitches.

I work knit 2, purl 2, for ribbing until it is about 1.5″ long.

I switch to stockinette stitch for several more inches, then reduce the number of stitches every few rounds to finish the top. You get the idea. I’ll get better directions later.

I used a lot of Red Heart yarn when I saw all the fun transitional colors that they offered. Plus I needed cheap yarn for this science project.

The BabyGirl had asked for a Messy Bun hat. I created a pattern. Some of the openings at the top are more generous than the others, since some of our buns are more generous than others.

What a pretty, smooth join.

Yes, I am in the car at lunchtime modeling an almost finished hat.

I found that I could get 2 Messy Bun hats out of 1 skein.

So I have a whole pile of hats. Plus a smooth join that I have not seen anywhere else, so there’s that. If I had uncovered this 50 years ago, I think I would have been a much more confident knitter. And more confidence means you don’t model your hats in the car.

You just put them out on the Internet for random strangers.

The HydraFacial

October 20, 2018

I had a gift certificate to be used at a local spa. I’ve been hanging on to this certificate that I got for Christmas last year.

I have been to this spa for haircuts. The stylist that cut my hair has moved on to another salon, and I watched a YouTube video about how to trim your own hair. So you know what I have been doing out in the yard.

I decided to get a facial. It’s what the ladies of the British Isles do for their lovely skin. At least that is what I’ve read. So I looked at the spa’s website.

There were several types of facials listed. A Signature. A Deluxe. An Ultimate. And my favorite: A HydraFacial.

Why would this thing be named after a creature of mythology?

A HydraFacial it was to be, then.

I am happy to report that I did not sprout extra heads.

A New Spider in the ‘Hood

October 13, 2018

Ten years ago a friend was redesigning her flower beds at the front of her house. She gave me the choice of taking any and all of assorted plants and bulbs.

Several of the bulbs I tucked at the base of several pine trees. Several years they put out some spindly growth that looked like daffodils, although they never bloomed.

One of the hurricane-damaged pines fell over on August 24, 2018.

Almost a month later I was returning home in the evening and noticed something glowing red in the near darkness.

I’d never seen this type of flower before. The internet tells me that it is a spider lily.

Over the course of several days, more bloomed.

I feel lucky to have these beauties. They need light in order to bloom, and when the pine tree fell over, the light was able to warm them enough to spring forth.

And who doesn’t love a good spider in the woods?