Crafting Bluntly

Today I’m thankful for rude crafts.

I’ve been in a crafty mood of late.  My mother taught me basic needlecraft and I pick it back up when I need to work with my hands.  I’ve been working on a rude cross stitch.  It’s nearly finished.  It will probably be hung in one of the public areas of my apartment, as that’s just how I’ve been feeling about the world and things occurring in it.

This is what I’m working on.  I felt like being cautious about posting a photo.

Fun aside, King Henry VIII was said to be an “enthusiastic embroiderer.”

Now I Know Why The Floor Was Concrete

This might run a little long though I hope you still enjoy it.  Today I’m thankful for my mother’s unflappability.

We visited Reykjavik in 2014.  Our return flight left Keflavik in the afternoon so we landed late in the evening.  We both had an additional flight.  We scheduled a layover long enough that we could get a hotel room and full night’s sleep.

I wanted to find an acceptable hotel offering a free shuttle to the airport the next morning.  Most hotels have shuttles but they can cost as much as a nice dinner.  I eventually found a place with fair reviews, advertising a free shuttle.

A cheerful driver picked us up at the airport.  The hotel concierge greeted us as we walked in, from behind a substantial pane of glass.  We were shown to a very clean room, complete with concrete floor and sturdy deadbolt.  We ordered pizza (actually quite tasty), blocked the door with a chair and had a quiet night.  Our drive to the airport and return flights were uneventful.

It wasn’t until I finally got home and scoured the hotel website that I noticed the discreet mention of “hourly rates.”  I had booked my mother and me into what was essentially a love hotel.  I was mortified.  My mother thought the entire experience was exceedingly funny, and did it all with a broken fibula.  I have to say that everyone at the hotel treated us very kindly, as we were clearly out of place.

She’d Know

Today I’m thankful for my grandmother’s apparent ESP.

I know I’ve posted several times about my grandmother.  The truth is she’s an evergreen font of inspiration.  I’ve worried a bit that she seems a little fantastic, but every thing I’ve written about her is entirely true.  Some people you just can’t make up.

She gave me a certain toy when I turned 10.  I was a little old to receive it but she’d spent many hours building and finishing it.  I played with it for a year or two and then outgrew it.  It stayed in my room after because it probably qualifies as an heirloom, not something to get rid of blithely.  She agreed to store it for me while I was at university.  I thought I’d managed to outrun it.  I was wrong.  When I moved out she and my grandfather visited, bringing it with them as a “favor.”

Later, I was redecorating.  The thing is not small.  It is probably about the size of a stool.  I couldn’t find a place where it’d be out of the way.  My mother suggested it was finally safe to get rid of it.  I looked at her, and referring to my grandmother, said “she’d know.”  My mother protested, saying Gran would only know if someone told her and none of my family would.  My sister immediately entered the argument on my side.  Neither of us is entirely sure how, but our grandmother just knows, and never lets the thing go.  My mother dropped the subject, seeing that her children believe their grandmother has extrasensory perception.  It’s because when things concern her, she does.



Today I’m thankful for gongs.

They have a fascinating history and appear in cultures around the world.  Mostly I like them because they produce such a great clashing sound.  I’ve always been more partial to brass and percussion instruments.  It’s reflected in some of the pet names my family gives me (like “Lights and Noise).  Gongs are both percussion and metallic so they’re the best combination of both.  My mother made me laugh uproariously when she gifted me a tiny version for my desk.  It produces more of a “tink” than a full size one but it still makes me smile.



I Come From The Land Of Ice And Snow

Today I’m thankful for Reykjavik.

I spent four days in Reykjavik in 2014.  Icelandair ran a wildly inexpensive promotion.  I’d planned to travel on my own but as soon as I told my mother she asked to come along.  She is a great traveling companion so I really didn’t mind.  She broke her fibula about four weeks before our travel date.  The woman is made of stern enough stuff that she still came, fracture and all!

Iceland doesn’t feel entirely real.  It’s difficult to describe.  There are very few trees.  The city of Reykjavik is spotless.  Most of the buildings are clad in metal against the climate, but they are painted numerous cheerful colors.  I felt like I was in a well designed saga whichever direction I turned.  The people were reserved but very helpful.  My hair was almost sparkly after being washed because the city water is from actual glaciers and hot springs.  Even the snow was picturesque.  It was an special trip.

Still Blooming


Today I’m thankful for my rose bush.

The mushrooms appear to have been routed.  Even if some occasional spores pop up I will claim victory.  The silly thing is still blooming.  I figure it has to get tired sometime.  I can’t prune the rose canes until it calms down.  We’ll see how long that takes.  I bought it at my mother’s suggestion.  I’m glad I did.  Thanks Mom.