Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Road to Saline Valley ....

The desert. Part of Death Valley.
Hot. Dry. With no services for 126 miles.
No gas. No water. No food. You bring it in. And take out what you don't use.

Saline Valley.

You drive by the salt flats. And you look up into
the face of beautiful snow capped mountains.

Once off the main road? You drive a long, rocky,
dusty road for about 3 hours. You can see the salt flats at the base of the mountain. That's where you turn left to go to the hot springs. A small oasis with no utilities but, a couple or three out-houses. Nice ones.

The drive into the desert is amazing and beautiful in a barren sort of way.

I've only been once. And I was only there for a few hours. I never even got into a hot "tub" but, mid-day when the temp was high? I did get in the "cool pool" ... right before they drained it to water the little patch of grass.

We were set up to camp overnight. But, a dust storm grew as the sun was setting and the decision to make the three hour trek out of the desert was made.

I watched the sun setting, 
while stacking rocks on anything 
that might blow away.

And in the end? I was happy for being there and 
looking forward to my return trip in October.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Sanctuary ...

My new room. None of the furniture is mine. I wouldn't paint the walls white and I wouldn't have mini-blinds. But. When my 13 boxes of treasures arrived? I made the white room with the miscellaneous furniture mine.

The dresser - long and white - has become my mantle.

The sewing machine cabinet is where I sew, or write and even put my computer there sometimes.

The desk holds all assorted stuffs ... books to read. Baskets of notions. A coffee cup of utensils - the rest of the set appears to have been left in Hawaii. I read here. I blog here. I pray here.

The bedside table holds reading materials, finished projects to be sold on Etsy and a fav picture of my Grandson Luke.

I made a side table from a tin my Mama gave me YEARS ago, that holds stationary and a box on top of that, that was given to me this year by mama and was full of my favorite Vanilla bath supplies!

I love the huge mirror. I do yoga right there. First time I've been able to check my posture while practicing my positions.

I also get to decorate the kitchen. I've even taken BEFORE pictures so you can watch the transformation in an upcoming blog. I know you are breathless with excitement. *LOL* Well, I am any way.

Getting my space in order makes ME feel more in order. The past couple or so years I have been living the life nomadic ... I'm ready for some rooting to take place. And right here, right now seems to be a good place to do that. We'll see ....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

To Smoke or Not to Smoke ...

Let me just say this. I KNOW how to quit smoking. I quit smoking in 1991. I put the rest of my box and my lighter in the box on the dresser and walked away.

This was after I got up off my FACE. I had read a scripture in the Psalms. And what I personally 'read' was
"stop buying things that are not bread". And my first thought? No. You're kidding me right? It doesn't really say that does it? Uh. yes. Yes it does. I read it more than once. I can find it for you if you insist. But, regardless of what it says, I HEARD it say. Cigarettes are not food. Bread is life. Cigarettes are not.

However? I'm not hearing that message right now. All I hear is that it's one more thing I have to give up. And dangnabbit. I'm just not ready to put down the nicotine. I DID stop buying tobacco ... smoked my last of it Friday night August  19.

Now. To the idea of an electronic cigarette? It's cool. It's electronic. It comes in the smart little case. It has little parts that fit together and has a LED light that tells you when it's charged fully and when it's "going out". You have this little device (cartridge) that screws into the end of the cigarette (battery) and then has a USB port on the other end. I can recharge it using my computer or I have an adapter for the car ciggy lighter.

It seems like a good idea. There's no smoke. No smell. Just vapor created when the battery heats the liquid when you inhale. It's really quite genius and I am intrigued. I just want to quit because I want to not because I'm forced to. I'm too rebellious right now. I don't want to give up something else I enjoy.
It's been a hard year. Maybe next year I'll give it up. Right now? I can enjoy this little bit of technology and quit when I'm really ready, willing AND able!

Using my Mac as an iPod AND a ciggy charger.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Five Fotos ....

My Neighbors to the North ...

Pears ... near ripe.

My favorite tree - a Willow.

My Neighbor to the South.

In my yard.

That's the view from here ....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Socks ...

I had such a plan. I remember thinking I'm gonna knit ME somethin'!!! It's been a long time .... and being that most of my other handknit socks are beginning to wear and even develop a few holes here and there,  I gathered yarn and needles.

I did find a pair the other day without holes. Tube socks. I knit for 6 months on nearly nothing but tube socks for myself. I made them tube versus fitted because I was taking classes at Surry Community College and I had much "downtime" in between testing. But, I didn't want to have to focus on a pattern. So I knit 9inch cuffs and continued just knitting in the round for 9inches and then I decreased for the toe. I had quite a few pair. The pair I found? Has a big hole in the front where my dog Miah ATE the front of my sock!!! It's patched with yarn from an entirely different yarn. My theory? 'If you can't hide it? Illuminate it!" (Pictures coming soon!)

I chose the Cascade Green Wool (100%) worsted. Nice. Thick. Warm. I'll make them with cables. I even did the math so that there would be 5 cables - 3 across the foot and 2 cables down to the heel.

I was knitting these socks when I left for North Carolina on July 5. I knit at Mandie's. I knit at Molly's and at Mama's. I knit in the car. I knit on the plane. I knit going to North Carolina. And I knit coming back to Quincy, August 3. I know it sounds like a lot of knitting. It is. But, there were times when only a row or two was knit and then I would go do something else. Then come back 3 hours later and knit another three or 5 rows.

I love the process. The journey. I loved the idea of having new socks. I  had the resource already. I made something from just a ball of string. And I thought ... "Hey, I bet I could sell these!". I decided I would SELL the socks! So now I was getting excited (*coughdesperateforcashcough*) about finishing them up.

Note: I usually knit socks on double-pointed needles. I did not have the size I needed in my possession so I used 2 circular needles instead.

So now we have the history. Almost anyway. Here's the thing. New pattern. Traversing the continent by plane. Journeying from state to state. Carrying my knitting on needles I've never used for this task. All added up to there has to have been some mistake along the way.

Well. There was. I put the socks on to measure for the beginning of the toe decreases and I could NOT believe what I saw. A hole. Right there. On the very top. Not a dropped stitch. A hole. The kind of hole that happens when you accidently pick up your knitting and turn so now you are knitting in the opposite direction. It makes a hole.

Now my friend who tried them on after I had stitched them and I was bemoaning the fact that now I couldn't sell them because of the hole ... and she said "What hole?"  "The one right there on the top of your foot!" I said. I had to actually get up and point to the hole before she saw it.

 It's a one-of-a-kind flaw. No one else would ever be able to buy another pair like 'em. And I'm thinking $35.00 plus $5.00 for shipping? Would be worth it for a One-Of-A-Kind Betriska Original Design!

You be the judge .... you can see the hole in this picture ... it's on my left foot ... the one in back.

This is Maizie inspecting. Sorry about the kitty hair. They were knit in a SMOKE FREE home!

The cables make the cuffs nice and cozy warm. 

So there you have it. Socks. Unusual. Original. For Sale. 

Email me if you're interested. Betriska at Gmail dot com!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Something I Made ...

This is Big.
Big was naked.
He needed a bow - atleast.
So from the hand-dyed, 100% Cotton Muslin that I used for Molly's custom Designed Baby Sling? I made him one. Ain't he cute?


This is the Baby Sling ... Custom designed for my Baby Girl ...  


And this is the fancy-secure-the-rings-above and beyond all possibility.

Oh. And notice the fabulous - weld free - rings!!!

This was such a fun project. From going out to Jo-Ann's and picking out the fabric with Molly, to the dyeing of it on the kitchen stove, to the sewing it together - it was just a make-me-feel-good project. I hope to make more and sell them on my Etsy Shop. I'm thinking of tie-dyeing in earthy colors and making at least one from some fabulous Hawaiian print fabric I have!

Stay tuned ... I'm working daily and have some things I want to share with you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's a Mess. I Mean a REAL bone-eh- fied. Mess.

I just opened this box. It's the box my Daddy made me. I cherish it ... It's strong. It was built to last. With hands though callused, were gentle. It was designed by daddy.  My sister's each have one, too. Three terribly lucky girls.

I've seen my little sister's box. It's packed with treasures. In tiny little boxes all stacked in that particular way that only a puzzle fits together. Mine?  (You read my title right?) NEED I say more? Um. Yea. I do. 'Cause this is a blog about the mess I have in  my tiny little treasure box.

Look at it. I'm ashamed. But, in my defense? I packed this little box to carry with me to Hawaii. Well. I had it SHIPPED to Hawaii. That was a mess. I tried to clean up. But, just never could wrap my head around it. So I mini-organized it. And then it got trucked all over the Big Island packed in a box and shipped to North Carolina. Why to North Carolina? Good question. Hmmm? I don't know. Because I had every intention of living in this Little Town in California - probably before I came here. But. I digress.

Today I'm sitting in my little room in my yoga dress listening to Andrea Botelli sing something beautiful. And I'm looking at all my little treasures that traveled once again ... and now resides with me in Northern California and I'm thinking ... "What a mess. It looks just like me." This tangled mess of "treasures" are in an indescribable knot of necklaces, earrings, pins, pendants, bracelets. My Aunt Millie's pearls. A beaded garnet necklace/glass holder. A beautifully specially designed necklace for me, by my niece Lory. A hand crocheted beaded necklace from my French speaking friend - Isabelle.

The treasures I have remaining. May be unremarkable ... but, what they represent? Lives of those I have loved. Who have loved me. I want the lessons each of those loved ones have taught me to be remembered. So I carry simple treasures all jumbled up in my special box and in my heart ....

And as I untangle each chain, each bead, each memory? I will rejoice in all the little things that brought me to this place. In this time. And deeper than that ... the One who brought me here. Carried me. Loves me. Speaks His love to me a hundred times a day. My heart can sing today. Even though yesterday was full of sorrow. Because it's His enduring love that sustains me ... gives me strength ... and fills my heart with joy in His presence. Truly my Beloved is mine and I am HIS.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

And in other news ....

  • The Peanut Butter in Question.
    Ok. So the three in back aren't expired peanut butters. The organic (never opened) has a use-by date 2005. However. The other jars ALL contain hydrogenated oils. The Organic? Peanuts and oil. What would YOU keep of the four?
    I'm thinking if the organic peanut butter tastes ok? It should be fine. I'm just clearing out the foods that are processed - I've been sick for a month and I need food that I can actually digest! I was trying NOT to throw out good food. There may come a day when 6 year old peanut butter is all we got! *LOL*

    Well. I opened the 'good' jar - the "just peanuts and oil" jar - and smelled it. Smelled ok. Stirred it and mixed the oil in real good. Then ... yes, I did ... I took a taste. I'm gonna use it. I just may make some amazing peanut butter fudge!!! Not exactly on the Low Carb diet menu ... but, if I can find it? A recipe for "Peanut Butter made with Stevia" is exactly what this little girl's gonna do. (And yes - I will use *gasp* real powdered sugar if necessary.)

    If I opt out of the fudge, I'll make some yummy little doggy treats for my new little canine friends!

    ****** UPDATE ******

    Well. It was a bear. Mixing all that oil, in with all those peanuts! And I added a packet of Stevia to sweeten it a bit. And by golly. I didn't die when I ate the sandwich I made! AND neither did Phil. So 6 year old REAL peanut? Pretty good stuff. 

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