To Learn, You Must Do

It’s rare when I am surprised by anything I read online. The last time I was truly shocked about anything in the public domain was when Trump won the Presidential election. Watching the election night coverage (yes, we watched all night) was true “shock and awe.” That was the best reality show we have ever watched and the reactions were priceless (and gloriously genuine). Virtually no one expected that outcome, especially me. I didn’t vote for Clinton or Trump. I can’t stand any of the Clintons but figured Hillary was going to win no matter who she was running against. See? “Shock and Awe.”

Most of the online election aftermath has caused my eyes to roll way too much. Both sides, with their diehard supporters who never really paid attention to what their candidates actually believed, just irritate me. As much as I love the MAGAs’ dread when they realize Trump isn’t the ultraconservative they assumed he was, I really loathe those Hillary supporters who assumed, because I did not support her (and definitely did not support Obama), that I was a Trump supporter. I knew some of these people for over 20 years, yet they lashed out at me like I had suggested someone needed to start drowning puppies. They chose to ignore the fact that I had never supported any of the chosen Republican candidates that ran against Obama in both elections. All logic and reason left their overly emotional brains and (from what I have seen) has never returned.

This has never been more evident than what has actually surprised me online: they are scared and talking about arming themselves and either advocating for (or anticipating) a civil war. I have even read some hoping for a military coup. It feels like a really bad episode of the Twilight Zone since this is the same talk I saw from ultra-conservatives when Obama was elected to office except then, the “fight” was to preserve the Constitution and now the “fight” is to dismantle it (despite the calls to arm themselves). They just aren’t thinking this through. Why would they want to give up control of their lives (and their right to protect their lives) to the very people they are protesting against?

This is new territory for me. I knew what to ignore when Obama was first elected as mostly grandstanding (or in my off-line words, idiots being keyboard commandos) but I don’t know this new crop of people. I am not sure how serious they are or are they just typing all of that to make others think they are serious.What I do know is there are too many people within society who do not understand that just because they think (or say) something doesn’t mean they will always win. These people also do not understand that with every loss, there is a lesson that can be learned if they are willing to remove emotion from the equation.

I do know that, outside of the anti-Trump groups, I have noticed an uptick in worry and a desire to begin preparing for … something. I am not sure exactly what the impetus to prepare is. I do not think it really matters. Whether people are preparing for some sort of civil war, civil unrest, disruption in the food chain, nuclear war, natural disasters, or any other imagined scenario, the path toward independence and security is the same:

You can have all the books in the world but if you have never grown a tomato plant, you will never be able to grow all the fruits and vegetables you need to sustain your family. This also applies to splitting your own firewood or baking bread (you know, actually cooking) or sewing a shirt or repairing your appliances or any number of skills you think you will need to survive any of the disastrous scenarios people can imagine.

This also goes for life in general (which was the original intention of this post). If all you do is read books without putting into practice what you read, you have learned nothing. Online marketing, SEO optimization, building your email list, writing (and publishing) a book, improving your health, losing weight, increasing your strength … none of the knowledge you acquire from any book, course, or video will do you any good if you don’t physically DO anything!

So, where do you begin? Go through everything you have learned over the course of the last year and figure out what one activity you can do today, right now. Choose just one. Then tomorrow, choose another. Slowly build up until you are practicing what you were taught (and learning what will work and what won’t). Not everything you have been taught will lead you to your ultimate goal (or end up working the way you intended). So, you set aside those things that are not working for you and move onto another activity.

The most important thing to know is you cannot control everything. You will not get everything you think you want (or things will not go the way you have planned). This is called life. You either embrace that fact or you will end up just spinning around in circles, blaming others for life not going the way you intended.

Even if you believe that the climate changing is caused by humans, what can you really do about that? Can you, personally, eliminate all excess carbon emissions from the planet, allowing your tomatoes to grow better this year? No, and even if you could, what would happen if the climate didn’t change back? What if all the scientists who support human caused climate change are proven wrong? What would you do with your life then?

We all need to focus on what we can personally change: our sphere of influence. Plant a tree, get your yard equipment serviced so it burns fuel more efficiently, stop using so many weed killers or bug sprays, pick up the garbage on your street (then the next street, then your entire neighborhood), dig up your lawn and plant food, vote for a city councilperson who embraces your way of thinking, etc. These are the types of acts that will ultimately change the world, not blocking traffic or hiding in your house waiting for the end of the world.

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Third (and Final) Amazon Store

Alright!  I have now setup my third (and hopefully final) Amazon store.  This one is woefully lacking in items listed.  This is my oldest blog and I have used so many various resources throughout the years to get to where I am today that I’ll be surprised if I remember them all.  I will continually add to the list as I remember (and scour my brain, computer, and bookshelves to jog my memory).

As of this moment, it has a list of all the store-bought gluten free items we have tried (and liked).  I have a list going of what we liked, what we hated, and the ingredients of each item.  My goal is to take all that information and figure out the right mix of gluten-free flours that we will like.  Right now, it seems as if there will be two (can’t remember if I’ve already typed that or not in my last post): one for quick breads/pancakes/muffins, etc. and another for bread like foods (you know, white bread).  I discovered that with each product link, I can add my own notes (so, of course, I did with all the products so far).

The other things I have listed are all the knitting and crochet books I have.  Those I also know are not complete lists but I’m pretty sure I’m only missing a few.  I have cookbooks listed and yes, that is not a complete list.  I will also include a list of books on gardening/homestead but my brain’s a bit fried right now so that list is empty.

The link to the store is to the right and along the top of the page (I figured doing a store like this would be easier than a links page, where we know web sites tend to disappear over time).

Also, here’s the link: My Amazon Store.  I won’t be posting an update every time I post something new to the store.  Just know that it’s there: a constant reference list of all the things I have enjoyed and learned from over the years.

I hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Brenda

Food Storage You Tube Playlist

I’ve been lost on You Tube for two days.  I’m such a huge video person and realized (when trying to write out some information about food storage) that my channel was pretty lacking.  So, here it is.  It doesn’t have the entire scope of all the options I think of when considering food storage but I think it’s a good primer.  I know me.  I will be adding to it (unless I actually force myself to get off my rear and get some projects started/completed).

OH!  And I fixed the link (to the side of this post) for my main You Tube channel.

What is Art?

I’ve been making an inner journey.  It’s a journey that I am willing to share the basics of, soon.  This journey has led me to let go of so many of my doubts when it comes to exploring my abilities.  That is now in the past.

Yesterday morning, I stumbled onto a set of You Tube videos.  These videos were, “How to Paint a Sunflower in Watercolor”.  Here’s the first video:

I sat there, watching, and thought, “I can do that.  No, I will!”  So, I grabbed my child’s art set, my sketch paper (you know, those large pads of paper that you can get in just about any store), and I started.  No, first, I snagged a photo from my prolific photo-taking friend, Melana Hiatt (she takes some of the best photos).  Then, I got started.

AND here’s my result.  My first painting:

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I love it!  I made mistakes but they are lessons for what to do next time.  I can’t wait to do another one (thinking maybe something about Montana).  I loved the freedom of watercolors.  You just put some paint on the brush and let the brush do its magic.  So, what do you want to do?  Don’t let anything stop you.  If you love it, it’s art!

I’m Weaving!

Well, after much trial and error (mostly me thinking I was smarter than most others and not having it work at all) I am finally weaving something!

I think I posted this link before but this was basically what I did:

http://www.theloomybin.com/doc/cwloom/

And, of course, I can’t choose something simple for my first project.  This is the pattern (well, it’s supposed to be … now that I have pictures, I’m not sure I’m doing it right but I don’t care!):

http://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/birkarcp.html

I’m using just yarn … normal Red Heart (still don’t know the difference between the yarns) and it’s really wide … don’t know what the heck I’ll do with it but I don’t care!  I’m weaving!

And here’s the result:

See the cards on the left?  I made those!  I had an old accordion file and the stiff cardboard on either end was about the same width as the cards I was given.  To make the holes, I made a punch out of the metal nozzle off a large rodent water bottle (we used it when we had a rabbit) like this: I just pulled the metal part out and sharpened it with some files used to sharpen chain saws.  Then, hit it against the cardboard with a hammer and poof!  Perfectly round holes!  🙂

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That is a door to a small cabinet that we removed, 2 C-clamps, 1 Knitting needle, a TV tray, a chair, a large bottle of 409, a paint stirrer, bungee cord and paper clamps.  🙂

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Macrame

Well, I promised a post on macrame.  Since I ended up NOT doing this with my plant hangers (I ended up just knotting the cords), I’ll just post a blog I found.  It’s ALL about macrame!  If you know nothing about it, go ahead and start on this page:

http://www.macramelovers.com/blog/how-to-macrame/macrame-2/

If you know a little, here’s a pretty basic plant hanger design I was going to use:

http://www.macramelovers.com/blog/macrame-patterns/macrame-patterns-plant-hanger-2-tiers/

There are many, many (too many to list) resources out there (including some You Tube videos … my favorite) to list.  Just do a search and you will spend days looking through all there is to know (and learn) about macrame!

 

Cordage

So, I’m “THIS CLOSE” to finishing my woman cave (well, as finished as it can be until I can make some looms and such).  The last thing I need to do is make some plant hangers so I have room on the desk.  I have two skeins of some funky, fuzzy yarn and thought that would be fantastic, macramed into some plant hangers (yes, think 1970’s child here).  My problem is this isn’t the strongest yarn.  Although the pots aren’t huge and heavy, I don’t want to take the chance of them snapping and raining dirt all over my work.  So, while trying to figure that out, I thought, “Well, I’ll just read up on card weaving.”  That’s when I stumbled onto Lucets.  Take a look at this:

That tool … aside from the sanding, I could whip one of those up really quick.  What do you think about making cordage with that, THEN macrameing that into a plant hanger?

Then, I have a friend.  She scares me sometimes.  I hadn’t posted anything about lucets at all yesterday.  That’s when she posts this:

http://www.historicum.eu/product/flettehjul-3045/

Of course, I don’t speak (nor read) Danish but did a search for “flettehjul”.

That’s when this page pops up (with a lucet on it)!

It’s all about cordage!

And, here’s how to use that handy little gadget:

I found this pattern for making the lucet forks:

lucethttp://lildog-blog.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/lucet-patterns.html?m=1

All I have to say is, thank goodness I’m not doing this to make money!  They are ugly but they work!  I used a Rotozip (because I couldn’t find the blades to my scroll saw) and boy oh boy, does that thing like to go everywhere!  But they are sanded and I’m finally making my cordage.  So, perhaps some time tomorrow, I can make my plant hangers?

Basic Weaving (101)

I’m back on my weaving tangent, though I’m not even finished with my woman cave yet. This is how my Attention Deficit works. I was given a link quite a while ago (http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/index.html). That tab has been sitting there, open, this entire time. I finally decided to go through all the links, download what I wanted, then finally close it.

Well, imagine my surprise when I found these .pdfs! It’s Weaving 101, with instructions for building a full-sized loom, tablets, board looms, and table top looms! Not just that but exactly how to use them! I’m thrilled (and properly distracted from finishing my cave). Actually, I have hung my embroidery hoops on the wall and thought, “You know, I could do the same for the tablets I was given and even make some small frames and store them on the walls, too.” That one thought gave me permission to embrace this tangent again. 🙂

These were all written by Luther Hooper and are a fantastic resource for anyone to have (who is interested in this or think they may be in the future).  To save these to your computer, right-click on the links below, click “Save Link As” and choose where you would like it saved on your computer.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I am!

Weaving For Beginners

Weaving With Small Appliances Book 1

Weaving With Small Appliances Book 2

Weaving With Small Appliances Book 3

Hand-Loom Weaving Plain & Ornamental Part 1

Hand-Loom Weaving Plain & Ornamental Part 2

Grind Your Own Meat In Minutes: Use A Food Processor!

After the last food recall (which was hamburger made from diseased cows … yeah, like cutting out the cancerous eye before slaughter was good enough AND all that meat was stamped “Approved” prior to grinding), this really is the way to go. The only problem I’ve had is getting the meat/fat ratios right for burgers. I use a clamp to the counter manual grinder (quite a workout when grinding a lot of meat) but I never thought about using a food processor!

http://tipnut.com/grinding-meat/