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Gifts of Summer

Weeds are flowers too,
once you get to know them.
[A. A. Milne]

2015Home

6:30 a.m., June 2015, My Home

Flowers are a gift of grace. What I know about gardening would barely fill a thimble so any flower that blooms in my gardens is a gift and not a result of my tending. If this photo had been taken closer, weeds would show to prove my point. When a foot of snow was piled over these window boxes and lawn, I rested on my shovel and imagined this scene. The anticipation of enjoying the warmth and the color was almost as much a gift as the flowers.

Wounded Warrior Project

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.
[Jose Narosky]

The Vietnam Women's Memorial was designed by Glenna Goodacre and dedicated on November 11, 1993. It is part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and is located on National Mall in Washington DC, a short distance south of The Wall, north of the Reflecting Pool. Photo by Rudi Williams (American Forces Press Service).

The Vietnam Women’s Memorial was designed by Glenna Goodacre and dedicated on November 11, 1993. It is part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and is located on National Mall in Washington DC, a short distance south of The Wall, north of the Reflecting Pool. Photo by Rudi Williams (American Forces Press Service).

Fifty years ago, I reported in to U.S. Naval Hospital, Charleston SC and, by Christmas, we admitted one of our first Vietnam casualties. Within a year, our census doubled as air-evac flights brought us wounded Marines, Seabees and hospital corpsmen. Looking back, all I can remember was living in the moment—doing what I was able to do each day. Our hospital wards were big open rooms in stilt buildings that were left over from World War Two. I never thought about how poor the environment was for patient care, nor did I ever know what happened to our patients after they left our unit.

I was reading a novel about wounded soldiers from the recent conflicts. Their post-hospital situations were dreadful. Compound that with what I had heard on the news about veteran’s affairs problems and I was sick at heart. I asked myself if our folks had it as bad fifty years ago? Then I ask myself what can I do to help this generation who could be my grandchildren? Within days, I received information about the Wounded Warrior Project from USAA (United Services Automobile Association).

Here is what USAA had to say:

Honor and empower wounded warriors.

The purpose of the WWP (Wounded Warrior Project) is:

  • To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members
  • To help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other.
  • To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

If this issue calls to you as it did to me, Here is the LINK to more information about WWP.

History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past,
trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes,
and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days.
[Winston Churchill]

A Story of Service and Survival

Celebrating rail history:
WHAT: The Three Rivers Railroad Heritage Council will sponsor a Railroad History Weekend at the historic Baker Street Station.
A new book about the station, “A Story of Service & Survival,” will be released at the event.
WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 7-8
WHERE: Baker Street Station, 221 W. Baker St., at Baker and Harrison streets
COST: $5 per person for ages 13 and older, free for ages 12 and younger.
NOTE: Copies of the new book will be sold for $30 each at the event; normal price is $39.95.

Railroads have fascinated me since I was tall enough to see the model train set up on the ping pong table in our friend’s basement. That is why Skip Sassmannhousen’s article in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel captured my attention at this LINK. Skip tells how his book came about and shares the following about the special event:

The Baker Street Station books will go on sale Feb. 7-8 at the annual Railroad History Weekend at the station, which is sponsored by the Three Rivers Railroad Heritage Council.

The theme for the 2015 Railroad History Weekend will be the New York Central Railroad, which played a major role in the transportation history of northern Indiana. Photos, maps, printed posters and other historical material will be displayed. Scale models of New York Central equipment will run model railroad layouts.

In addition to the New York Central materials, photos and drawings of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Baker Street Station will be on display. [News-Sentinal, Jan. 24, 2015]

I hope to see you there.

The New Willowgreen

 The meaning of life is to see.
[Hui Neng]

New Willowgreen Web site

 

Ten years ago, I designed and produced a Web site for one of my clients, Jim Miller at Willowgreen, Inc.; a publishing company that produces “meaningful resources for hope, healing and inspiration.” Since then, I have not only maintained his site, but I have also designed and produced print and electronic media for his company.

Having Jim as a client has been a graphic designer’s dream. He is a writer and an excellent photographer. His portfolio of breathtaking photographs assures me that I can hardly produce an ugly design. Also, I have been able to contribute hand-rendered illustrations to some of his publications, and spread my wings into electronic publishing.

Last spring, we embarked upon a complete redesign of the Willowgreen Web site. I produced a site plan and visual design which we turned over to a programming team who setup the store in Shopify. The redesigned site was recently launched.

What do I like best about the new site? In addition to Jim’s photography and insightful writing, I like that there is a balance between the commercial aspects (selling products in the new store) and free offerings. The homepage alone with its inspiring slide show and video is a place to go just to meditate. There are free eCards, inspiring blogs, and helpful writings for caregivers and those who are grieving.

One of the many things that I am thankful for this holiday is that I have had the honor of serving the kind and gentle folks at Willowgreen.

Dreambird Completed

Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience.
A rustling in the leaves drives him away.
[Walter Benjamin]

DREAMBIRD-2-sm

This is Dreambird, designed by Nadita and sold as a downloadable PDF on Revelry.com at this LINK. I used sock weight yarn—marino for the black and silk for the variegated. I used only one page of the 22-page pattern—the chart for the short row turns. If you knit this, place markers where they make sense to you to keep track of your place in the pattern. Also, use the wrap-and-turn that you like best for short rows. Now, I’m trying one using shetland jumper weight yarn.

DREAMBIRD-1-sm

Apple Experiences

You can focus on things that are barriers
or you can focus on scaling the wall or redefining the problem.
[Tim Cook, CEO, Apple Inc.]

yosemite

So here’s the deal. I’ve had one personal computer or another since 1982. Apple soon became my choice as my major tool in my graphic design business (after I gave up using a triangle, T-square and drafting table). I’ve used every operating system since the Apple II so I do not shy away from upgrading. Here is a cautionary tale in case you are anxious to upgrade soon: do wait for the patches and tweaks to come out before you forge ahead, unless you have a high tolerance for fiddling with technology.

  • iOS 8.0 and 8.1 for the iPad: I upgraded and immediately had problems with connecting with my bluetooth devices, especially my speaker. I even bought a new speaker and it exhibited the same problem. It would play for short awhile and then turn off. I searched the internet and the closest I could come to an answer is to wait until the next iOS upgrade. Meanwhile, I am using my earplugs for my audio books.
  • OS X Yosemite: This upgrade is reputed to have a number of cool features but I haven’t found them yet since I immediately encountered a fundamental problem—I couldn’t get email to send. I’ve spent three days researching the internet and finally resolved the problem. My advice, search apple support until you find Mail Settings Lookup. Then look for the instructions for using that information in your Mac Mail preferences.

The delicious Apple news is that Fort Wayne has a new Apple store (simply • mac) at Jefferson Point shopping mall.

New Harmony Slippers

Don’t you stay at home of evenings?
Don’t you love a cushioned seat in a corner, by the fireside,
with your slippers on your feet?
[Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.]

New Harmony Slippers

Last weekend was the annual knitting retreat at the Barn Abby in historic New Harmony, Indiana. I love that little town, its shops, cafes, historic sites, botanical displays…

The New Harmony Slippers is the project I developed for part of this year’s program. The knitters who attend have been to countless classes so I had trouble thinking of something that wouldn’t be a repeat. I finally designed these slippers merely for their interesting construction. They have no sewn seams, but are not knit in the round in a way that socks are customarily knit. They are also a fairly brief project so those who were interested could finish at least one in the time we had together.

These slippers can also be worn in shoes like commercial footies or socks. The size is easily adjustable and the slipper toe can be knit in a decorative pattern. Plasti Dip or another synthetic laytex can be used to treat the soles if you intend these to be used as slippers instead of footies.

Pattern Features

  • Knit back and forth on two needles
  • No sewn seams—3-needle bindoff at heel
  • k2tog and ssk decreases
  • lifted stitch increase
  • slipped edge stitch
  • k2tog join at toe
  • 3-stitch attached icord

Yarn

Sock-weight yarn

Tools

Two US #2 (2.75 mm) needles (or size that gives gauge), yarn needle with eye, scissors

Gauge & Measurement

19 rows/2″ (5 cm) and 14 sts/2″ (5 cm)

The pattern is offered for $2.50 on ravelry.com at this link

New Harmony: Barn Abby

New Harmony: Barn Abby

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