In Defense of the Southern Man

She said, “Don’t call me, ‘sweetheart.’ It’s misogynistic.”

But, as a southern man it’s one of the highest praises I can respond with. Of course I would never do that to a man. And do you know why? He doesn’t deserve being treated with such a prominence as that of lady. He is my equal. And you, my dear, are not to be treated as my equal. You are to be treated better than him. And you always will.

gregory-and-bearYou see, southern men do a great job of treating women of such value that we’re famous for it. We battle our fathers, crass with our contemporaries. But, we treat women differently. We acknowledge our mothers and pay them homage. Our mothers are sacred. We honor chaste ladies that are chased with a reverence afforded only the saints. We respond to a woman’s power with an acknowledged “yes, ma’am.”

Ladies, women, have a valued place in the southern man’s heart. She fills the deficit, she fills his weaknesses and makes him strong, and like wise, she shows wide eyed respect when he grabs her by the waist, pulls her close and whispers, “Don’t worry, sweetheart. I’ve got you.” And he looks deeper into her eyes and she knows, yes, this man will fight dragons for me.

So when a southern man calls you “sweetheart,” listen close. He’s not demeaning you. He’s placing you on a higher grade than that of himself. The sweet part of his heart. His sweet heart. When he calls you “ma’am,” try not to dismiss his intentions. For they are the best that you could imagine. He has recognized you as valuable and deserving of bowed reverence. So as we push ourselves into a new century where traditions are being pushed away for the sake of solid and determined requests for acceptance as equal, our choice of words, our attempt at acknowledging you as a more beautiful thing than me may come across as alien and foreign in voices that are not politically correct. We mean only the highest praise in ways that were taught to us by the women that reared us. The lady is more precious than the jewelry she wears, her lineage and breeding, and her social standing. She has a value in our hearts that we men sweeten to. She is, and always will be, a lady. A sweetheart.

“….and at first with the charm around him, he loosened it so if it slipped between my breasts, he’d rescue it….then his spark took life in my hand. “-Ulysses.

I only need to sell 20 more copies of my book to break my 100 goal mark. That’s pretty nice :)

willknitcoversmallThis is the story of how I knit my way out of homelessness. To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here, or for a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

Shut Up and Knit

I’ve wrestled with this post all day long. When I saw Phillip I proposed my ideas, my thoughts, and even then, he said, “Calm down. Take a minute. Focus on something else.”

confederate-flag-1-1400x650In this current climate of opinion, should you have one that goes against the masses, you are doomed. You’ll be run out of business, you’ll be drug through the mud, you’ll be given a place in history (before it’s revised again) of an intolerant insolent who refused to go with the status quo. You are not allowed a difference of opinion. I promise you. And that’s why I’m terrified these days of saying what’s on my mind. But, as a knitter, you spend so much time alone, deep in thought.

And deep in those respectful notions of “it forces a dialogue” comments from others, you discover that there is no place for dialogue…..they want you to assimilate, or get out of the way.

So, I’ve wanted to say something about the confederate flag controversy over the past few days. Much of me had so much to say, alas, there comes a time when you’re heart and your soul become restless, for you burn with an opinion. And there is much of me that realizes that I’m not afforded that opportunity, to say what I want, for the social-sphere will come hounding down on me so hard and so fast that I won’t have an opportunity to even have a career before they decide to take it from me…..

And that’s precisely what I’ve seen lately. We don’t want your different opinion. We don’t want you to think differently. Bake my gay cake for my wedding, get rid of your ridiculous confederate flag, and  ACCEPT me. I DEMAND it. I don’t care about your feelings. WAIT! EVERYONE! LOOK! OVER HERE! HE doesn’t AGREE WITH ME! DESTROY HIM!!!!!

Where and how and why did this happen? That’s the question this southern man wishes to pose. As they take away a piece of my culture, I watch everyone else celebrate and brand theirs in populace territory. And if you are offended by that flag, then please give me a moment of reflection as to the moment of when where and why (in personal experience!) of how that is, and by all means, don’t begin your personal story with, “Well, everyone knows it represents…..(fill in racist reference).”

We all made a disastrous turn when we decided a picture of a flag could be more offensive than a picture of a man pissing on Christ. We turned hellish corners when we decided that the national discussion should be about a cotton piece of cloth reminiscent of the past versus the daily on slot of crime in our more urban neighborhoods.

This whole incident reminds me of a question posed to me yesterday  by the reporter, and I censured myself. I wanted to say, “When I was in my 20’s we pushed and screamed for moments that affected people in terms of life and death. Now? Now, people scream and yell because their feelings are hurt.”

I expect more from people because I was taught that your actions were more impressive than your words. You wanna bad mouth me? Fine. I don’t care. You wanna call me names? Blah blah. You hit me? Now, that’s different.

Be cautious, be careful of these actions we take now as we decide to overwhelmingly ban a flag. (really? no discussion about crime in America over tennis shoes and labels and entitlements.)You’re offended by a flag? Well, I’m offended by your crime ridden neighborhoods. Mine is only thought, yours is downright action.

You are setting precedent. Tomorrow I promise you, I promise you, it will be your symbols, your look, your heritage that will be called into the court of public concerns…..your identity will be banished, because the majority has decided that symbolism and thought rule more than your actions. Drive by shootings and home invasions? Who cares? Garner a flag? DESTROY THEM!

And this is where I am told to just shut up and knit….Keep your concerns out of current issues, and press them more on how to use double pointed needles.

I’m sorry, ya’ll. But, I just can’t do that.

 

willknitcoversmall  This is the story of how I knit my way out of homelessness.

To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here, or for a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

 

 

This is Home

I had the most incredible surprise.

An old friend, whom I haven’t seen in probably 15 years, came knocking at my door. You see, she had bought a copy of my book a few weeks ago, it was delivered, she read the whole 590 pages in one evening, then used my return address to track me down and pay me a visit.

It will be cataloged as one of the most beautiful moments I’ve had in a long. Her smile was still just as grand, her spirit just as vibrant, her heart still just as warm as I had remembered.

We only shared about 20 minutes of time, but it reinvigorated me, as she had always done before, back when I was but a wee thing yearning to find his place in the world. Her talent is finding value behind dust and coal, wiping it off, showing the world how brilliant you are. She always treated me as a better man than I treated myself, coaxed me into my craft, reminded me on every occasion that I was worth more than I had dared to think of.

And it reminded me of so many days before. And how this city really is my home, it has my history, it has my memories, it has my friends, and my future. Orlando is where I belong.

Our conversation turned to my homeless days. I’m reticent to discuss it at length, which is why I wrote a book. And there, in the depth of our friendship being reborn, I was deciding to move forward on this path. I heard my heart talking.

I’ll wake one day and the memories of being homeless will be once and forever more nothing but memories. There will be no more fear of being asked to leave, there will be no fear of keeping a bag tucked in the closet that holds enough food and water and pocket money for Mario and I. There will be no more holding onto the paranoia lingering from yesterday, for I’ll be solidly sitting in my own kitchen, cooking food, asking each of you to come join me. I’ll wake one day and have sold enough books to have that little home of mine. I’ll wake one day and my dream will be real.

I’ll be sitting here writing and knitting into the sun breathes a touch of his smile through the windows to make it happen. For all I want is a home. A permanent one. One that I can snag this little cat, toss her into a pillow case and say, “Don’t worry, sweetheart. This is the LAST time we have to do this. We’re going HOME.”

And my friend looked at me and smiled and said, “You’ll get it. I know you will.”

There are worst things served by a man’s ambition. He can crave greatness, totalitarian leadership, demanding respect, unlimited financial resources. But, these things pale in comparison to the simple desire of a home filled with the security of loving, caring friendship…of bad memories of the past overshadowed by good memories of the present.

I will wake one day, and it will have happened….

willknitcoversmall  This is the story of how I knit my way out of homelessness.

To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here, or for a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

 

Books and a Big Blue Pachyderm

My big batch of books showed up today! It was like Santa (dressed as the Postman) had dropped off presents at my front door. Two huge boxes filled with fresh copies of “Will Knit For Food.” We had to film me opening them because I was insanely giddy. And it ended up pretty funny, with me screaming “Chrismas!” and not knowing that the OTHER box had the majority of the books and this box had the remaining count, plus filler for volume.

IMG_1981Look at that picture of me grinning like a fool. So happy :) Moments after, I had a fresh cup of coffee and got to work signing them. Every last one. Then Phillip pipes up, “Ok. Gimme the camera. I wanna film you signing them.” Uhhh, too late! Within an hour I had them all signed and labeled and ready to be picked up Monday. Can’t wait to schedule my pick-up for Monday. “Estimated weight? uhhh, 50 pounds :)” SUCH a nice way to start the weekend. A REALLY nice way to start the weekend. Now, I’ve still got about 30 more copies to go to reach my goal of 100. 10 more and I can order another big batch and save on not only the printing, but the postage, as well.

IMG_1966Oh! And I promised I would give an elephant a shot! (….no, that didn’t come out right). I promised I would try my hand at knitting an elephant. And here is what the little guy came out like. I’m rather proud of him. And one may ask, “Why blue?” Well, why not? He’s made with Lionbrand’s Wool-Ease, measures 12″ tall and is ready to ship with a signed card by me. If you’d like to have him, click here. There is only one!

Ok, as I said, it’s Friday night, Phillip is here and as soon as I publish this post, I’m grabbing the knitting, plopping next to him on the couch to get some bear orders done. Friday night has become “Old School Sci-Fi Night.” This evening? Battlestar Galactica. Very nice way to start the weekend.

Have a good one!!!

UPDATE!!! As of June 21, with 9 days until the end of the month, I only need 20 more copies sold!!! So close! Order a copy!

willknitcoversmall  This is the story of how I knit my way out of homelessness.

To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here, or for a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

One Man’s Weed

My back yard has been desolate for so long. It’s a simple patch of earth. Nothing more than the size of my apartment, really. Grass refuses to grow. Mounds of dirt and ant beds do well. But, it has been a great haven to enjoy because of it’s privacy. The bougainvillaea and bird of paradise have been darling. And it’s nice to be outside. I need the sunlight. Desperately. I like going out early mornings. And just at the hint of dawn I’m drawn to how sadly dead my back yard was. I even bought some wildflower seeds, had them scattered about to give life to it. But, sadly….nothing ever happened. I blame the birds.

IMG_1945However, I woke recently to see a patch of green. Yes, the whole back area was noisily screaming in a shriek of green begging to admired. And dotted about were speckles of purple flowers all alight with brightness and standing to give announcement. “Good Morning!” Clovers had over run my little back patch, and sadly, all who came to witness it whispered to themselves, “You’ve got weeds.”

Well, you know what? One man’s weed is another man’s wildflower. I was happy to see the vibrancy. Happy to be met in the morning with color and brightness. Happy to enjoy the frail little flowers as the punched through the earth and swallowed up whatever dew and sun they wanted.

Random flowers blooming here and there, not sheltered by the ideas of cultivation of heredity, blossom where they will and as they wish.

So that was what I put on my list tonight of my 30 Days of Gratitude. Wildflowers. For, they are a great metaphor for the personage in which we see ourselves and each other. Be mindful, or better yet, be skeptical of the environmentalist driving a Prius with a weedless yarn. Be nervous of people who claim that weeds are menaces. That is a weird social view of, “Only some of you belong. I’ll get rid of you that don’t.”

IMG_1946So, be a weed. Bust through the earth and claim your place in the sun, let your little petals float in the crisp morning air, and let your bright, simple colors be spied upon. As you stand proudly next to a bulb of irises, be triumphant in your equal importance. Shuttle up close to roses and daisies and share the sun with them. Smile and be reminded that someone thinks you belong.

One man’s weed is another man’s wildflower, and the only crime a wildflower is charged with is being too simple in the wrong spot. But, I promise you, if many of you gather together at once in a simple patch of green, you’ll be seen as the beauties mama nature intended. Just as I saw in that great patch of clover.

willknitcoversmall     To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition, personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

 

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

 

 

The Carolyn Herr Project

I have to say one of the best parts of this journey of mine has been the amazing people I have come across. And as I hope to achieve some level of success, I’ll hope to finally be able to fully claim that I am no danger of ever being homeless again….and in full circle, return back all the kindness and support that has been shown to me. And in any capacity I can, I’ll do so.

11401144_10155600804145307_1644059178064926179_nI recently met Carolyn Herr, who offered to send me some yarn. You see, Carolyn sells her crocheted things at a crafts table and uses the proceeds to help the homeless. She helps pay for more than food, but also toiletries, underwear, socks, and coats.

She asked if I could use one of the skeins to make a bear for her table and use the profits to keep her project going, and in return I could keep the rest of the yarn for myself.

I’ll one up her :) When given the chance, I’ll use all of that yarn to whip up a bear and send it to her, using that massive stash to repay in some way the blessings bestowed upon me, knowing that the craft I used to survive on will help others do the same.

And now, The Carolyn Herr Project is in the running for a grant from Mission Street Grants and Chase Bank. The more votes she gets for her project, the more she has a chance of winning a very much needed grant to help pay for a van to help distribute to those in need. And I love that. I truly do.

So! If you have a moment, and want to help, all you have to do is vote. Go here, and simply click “vote.” But, you have to act fast. She only has 2 days, until June 19th, to finish collecting her votes.

If you’d like to know more about her work, check out her facebook page.

….and thank you all. Any time something like this comes up, I’m more than happy to offer whatever I can.

I was lucky. I got out in 3 years. Some aren’t so fortunate.

Now, go vote! And thank you!

 

199 Years Ago Tonight

phantompic2There are many literary buffs out there that celebrate June 16, 1816. It was the evening that changed Gothic fiction forever. In the later hours of the evening, Lord Byron (living in exile in Switzerland) challenged his house guests to write their own ghost stories. Through an evening of heavy intoxication and drug use, they each dealt with their own demons in demoralizing ways….and when they woke on the morning of the 17th, each had crafted the drafts of what would change literature. Mary Shelly wrote “Frankenstein” and John Polidori wrote “The Vampyre,” which Bram Stoker used as his influence for “Dracula.” So, the late evening of June 16th as it rears into the early mornings of the 17th is a big event for fans of gothic literature. For, we consider it the birthday of some of the most memorable monsters ever penned.

Many years back, I took their cue, and wrote my own monster, dealing with the social issues around me at the time. That was 15 years ago tonight. My book, “The Phantom Ghores” was finally penned and finished in the early hours of June 17th in homage to the greats. And I didn’t rehash an old monster, I didn’t rewrite the vampire….No, I created a new monster that reflected the horrors in the current world, a monster that embodied the shrilling pain of what can kill a human in the 21st century:  the need to have everyone look and sound alike, the need to let go of the identity in order to belong to the greater construct, the clique.

So, tonight, 15 years after my monster was born, I’m releasing the dead again. :) My delightful deadlies are out tonight, pulled from their graves and ready to be read again. It’s their anniversary as they make way for a sequel. Yup! They are back to pave way for a sequel I’ve been working on. Often bored with television, I write in a serialized style, creating my own cliff hanging suspense to keep me entertained. I sit back, read what I’ve written before, and let the characters guide me. “I can’t wait to see what happens next,” I say to myself as I begin to scribe. Those characters were so rich and vivid that I had to do little, but watch them move in my imagination, then write about their sinister behavior. Even more so, I often listen to music when I write….but, this time I had to go beyond that. I had to compose my own music, because the Phantom Ghores deserved it. So, I scored a soundtrack for my monsters, which you can listen to here.

I love spending time with the Phantom Ghores. They’re a beautiful distraction from knitting, and from the cruel world at large. They’re beautiful, horrible, tragic and sexy. So, I invite you to enjoy my little demons as they coyly flirt with you from the page, as they bat their lashes at you and softly say into your ear, “You belong….”

PhantomEXPfrontFor the next few days I am going to share more of my Phantom Ghores with you as I finish tidying up the sequel, “The Phantom Rogues.” I’m anxious to see what happens to Clayton, and to Taylor, and how the Ghores are going to survive now that their leader is dead, and will the Lady Pearl be able to hide for very long as the Ghores have started looking for her…? I can’t wait to see what happens next :)

The book is currently available in paperback (autographed!) or PDF. So! For a short bit, let’s distract from knitting and submerge ourselves into the thrilling, heavy lidded sexiness of the Phantom Ghore world.

It’s June 16, 2015, 20 minutes shy of midnight….199 years after the birth of gothic fiction. Perfect timing. :)

Enjoy!

 

Advice for the Novice Knitter

IMG_5715I was asked recently by a beginning knitter if I had any advice when it came to learning the craft and art of knitting. What was funny, was seeing how their face twisted into inquisitive when I was mentioning things that I don’t think they considered, nor had seen in pamphlets. Because I treat knitting as a more metaphysical accomplishment, my concepts on ideas for the novice knitter are a shade different than what you might generally hear.

1. Don’t let anyone intimidate you. There are some knitters out there that will smack you down for not knowing every stitch or technique there is. Smile, remind yourself they were once beginners, too, and carry on with your path. But always smile :) You are learning!

2. Scarves are amazing, but go big when you first learn. Scarves can be a great way to learn basic stockinette and garter stitches, but after a while, I think you get stagnant. You can get easily bored. Go big! Think of a sweater, or socks, anything that will constantly keep you on your toes and learning new things every time you pick up your work. You’ll be surprised at how much you retain, and how much you learn so fast if your brain is open and looking for the next technique needed to finish your first prized piece.

3. Learn to listen to yarn. Go to your local yarn store, pick up hanks and skeins and FEEL them, and listen to how you react to them. A relationship with yarn is no different than it is with people. Some yarn you are immediately attracted to. They feel good, they look right….but, holding it for a while can tell you something different. It can be difficult, demanding, and hard to work with. Looks aren’t everything. Listen to your yarn, see if you agree with each other.

4. On the same hand, don’t dismiss yarn. Just because it is acrylic doesn’t mean it’s bad. Acrylic has an important place in projects. It can be washable and puke friendly (as I like to call it, for the baby’s sake), and can feel quite comfortable. Don’t hesitate to go make a blanket with acrylic. It actually makes more sense. And don’t hesitate to treat yourself to some really good cashmere or alpaca if you have extra cash. Every yarn (like people) have a place in this craft. Don’t dismiss something because it wasn’t made “organically” or isn’t made of “natural fibers.”

5. Learn to be patient with yourself. You will make mistakes. Mistakes are one of the best lessons learned in life. You learn what works, what doesn’t. You learn. So as you work up some of your first pieces, you’ll pull them apart realizing how badly you screwed things up. That’s life, isn’t it? You get something wrong, you try again. You don’t toss the whole thing in the trash and say, “Screw it!” Nope! You see where you went wrong, you learn from it, and you correct it, and begin again.

6. Tithe with your knitting. Your first desire is to knit yourself something. The minute you get the hang of it and get a feel for those needles, your mind leaps instinctively to knitting gifts for others. AND THERE IS A REASON FOR THAT! Knitting is a craft of giving. Always will be. Every time you knit a stitch, you’re putting into life, into reality, a moment of kindness. Whether its a blanket, or a scarf, or socks, you are putting into motion the art of giving. Someone will receive your work. So, as you work up things for yourself, and things for others, be sure to be generous with your new craft. Knit something up for charity sometime, knit up kindness for those in need.

7. Don’t be a knit snob. As the first piece of advice told you not to be intimidating, once you get a handle on things, don’t boast about it, don’t claim yourself a higher degree on a knitting scale. Be proud, but not a braggart. Offer help and advice for anyone struggling. Keep the community close. Anyone who attempts to learn this craft already has a particular gift of giving that should be cultivated and nourished, not dismissed. And no matter how much you learn, there is always MORE to learn.

8. Never knit angry. Your emotions bleed into your work. No matter what is happening in your life, you’ll see it in your gauge, in your stitches. Things going bad? Step back, breathe, pick up those needles and remember, you knit to give of yourself…and the last thing you want is your work to hold all of your bad energy. Listen to music that makes you want to dance, or a show that makes you laugh. But, never knit angry.

9. Hear your thoughts. Knitting can be a moment of meditation. Hear yourself, listen to yourself. It can be a great place of quiet in your mind and appreciate that. Hear closely to the whispers that pop into your head while you knit. You’ll learn so much about yourself.

10. Enjoy yourself. Don’t take this knitting world too seriously. And people who do are probably not as impressive as they appear to be. The action of knitting can be incredibly enjoyable, watching your pieces come to life in the form of a sweater, or a teddy bear! But, the better part comes from finishing it up…and handing it over. You are going to have great moments knitting. You’ll love seeing it all come to fruition, but I promise you, nothing will give you greater joy than watching the smile on the face of the recipient of what you made. Your life, your love, your giving will all be rewarded by that one smile on their face, and it will be beautifully addictive. As a knitter, your great reward is giving. Enjoy that idea while you’re knitting! It should make you smile and knit more!

Remember that when you start to cast on, you’ve already tapped into a better part of who you are, a more giving part, a more connected part of the world and it’s crazy people. And your finished product is your moment of love shown in form.

By all means, share this bit of advice from one old knitter to a new one. This is one of the best communities you could ever be part of.

Now, go cast on! And be sure to help me reach my goal of selling at least 100 copies of my new book, “Will Knit For Food!” A story of how I knit my way out of homelessness. I have 55 more copies to sell to reach my goal of 100! That will provide expenses for 1 month, which is DEEPLY needed. So, enjoy the book!

UPDATE!!! As of June 21, with 9 days until the end of the month, I only need 20 more copies sold!!! So close! Order a copy!

willknitcoversmall     To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here, or for a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

Big Sunday Dinners

IMG_1943I put on this list of gratitude tonight, the idea of the big Sunday dinner….or supper, depending on your rearing.

I had a great weekend. As I had promised myself, I binged on “Orange is the New Black,” did an ENORMOUS amount of knitting, got some orders filled….and even experimented with knitting up an elephant, and capped off this lovely Sunday with an idea I’ve always adored. The big Sunday dinner.

I never had those growing up as a kid, and now as the world swirls closer into a strange mode of disconnect, I think Sunday dinners have such an importance. Who knows? Perhaps life is more connected with a big table, loved ones and strangers both gathered to share a big meal, big discussions, big hearts filled, and big smiles on once lonely faces as they walk into another week in a life that can often be filled with fierce detachment and isolation. Perhaps the family bond would be tighter, the neighborhood richer, the community stronger if we all pulled up to a long table and not only shared a meal, but shared our lives, our laughter, our pain, our holding of hands as we give great gratitude at the feast of coompanionship and closeness.

IMG_1940So, with Phillip around, I get the chance to have a big Sunday dinner. We had pork chops, mashed potatoes and peas. Great evening. Perfect company. Perfect dinner. Perfect way to begin the week.

And I get to go to bed grateful tonight that there is such a thing as a big Sunday dinner. Can’t wait to have my own home one day, my little white house, big long table, solidly waiting for company to come join me for Sundays, the smell of a home waiting for laughter, the warm hug of friends as they greet me at the door. And maybe that is the end result of all my knitting and writing. To get there, to that place, where I can share a Sunday dinner with friends and strangers.

Sundays were made for gratitude and enjoyment.

IMG_1939Knit up this little bear this morning. He’s a one of a kind. Made with Lionbrand Fisherman’s Wool for the body, and the last of the Ella Rae alpaca for the sweater. He’s 12″ tall and ready to ship with a signed card by me. If you’d like to adopt him, just click here…..

…and while you do that, I’m gonna sneak some left over mashed potatoes, and rest my head. Gonna sleep tonight, thinking fondly of Sundays.

IMG_1439     To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every dollar helps!

 

On the 12th Day Of Gratitude, My Landlord Gave To Me….

IMG_1929On the 12th day of gratitude, my landlord gave to me….a great feeling of understanding. We had a great talk the other day and all was taken care of. With such a great thanks to you, I get to keep my apartment for another month. So, in this month long journey of giving thanks to all things that come my way, I definitely had to put on my list both my apartment AND my landlord. I am so grateful to have this apartment. After having nothing for so long, I was so happy to finally have a little 10×20 studio for Mario and I to rest our heads. And I was so grateful that my landlord took a chance on me three years ago. I finally had a few dollars to rent a place and no one, and I do mean no one, was willing to rent to a self employed knitter with a cat, but no car. And I was eternally grateful to her just a few days ago when she showed understanding. So, all is well. Other things I’ve added to my list come from a long day of thought, or something that may have happened, and just before bed, I jot down on my little fridge the one thing for that day that I’m truly grateful for. It’s interesting to see the list progress.

IMG_1928And I was asked the other day what a “tortizza” is. Ok! Pretty simple! And a very cheap way to make a pizza. To begin with, I buy flour tortilla wraps (the big burrito size) when they are on sale. So, I usually end up getting 20 wraps for about $2. And you can make sandwich wraps, quesadillas, chips for a salad or chili, all kinds of things. But, tortizzas are a big go to for me. Brush a little olive oil on the top side, toss on some cheese (also, only bought when buy-one-get-one-free), slice up a tomato and BOOM! Place in a 375 degree oven for about 5 or 10 minutes, watching for the sides to crisp up, then take it out, let it rest for  a minute or two and YUM! Slice the bad boy up, and you’ve got a tortizza. It’s also a great way to clean up the fridge. Yup! Got just a handful of spinach or mushrooms, toss them on! I’m growing some basil out back so I garnished with some leaves. Got some red pepper flakes? Some Parmesan? Hell yeah! Throw that on there too. You can pretty much do anything you would with a pizza. Now, one whole tortizza is enough for one person. So, if you’ve got a family of four, let everyone make their own, bake their own, then have their very own. Awesome.

IMG_1893IMG_1888Now, these two little bears have been here for a good week or so. TIME FOR THEM TO GO! Now, the little brown bear is made with Ella Rae Alpaca. SOFT little guy, measuring a good 12″ from head to toe. He is one of a kind and ready to ship with a signed card by me. If you’d like to adopt him, just click here. Now, the other bear, whom I call “That 70’s bear” really does have the cutest face, and some interesting coloring. Now, he had a mate, exactly like him, that got adopted last week so he’s a TWO of a kind. (I wanted to finish off the skein and managed to get two bears out of it). He’s also ready to ship with a signed card by me. He’s made of wool and measures 12″ tall. If you’d like to adopt him, click here.

And! I was able to get out my order of 20 books, and managed to save a nice chunk because I ordered in bulk. Again, thanks to you. So! They’ll be here next week and then they’ll be signed and sent off to you! Thank you again! Truly, I am overwhelmed sometimes when I remember how much all of you believe in me, and know that I can do good things and accomplish even greater things….one teddy bear (and one book!) at a time.

Ok! So, that’s a nice update, isn’t it? Nice way to end the week. Phillip is here, and we’re gonna make some sandwiches and scarf down potato chips and, like many of you, are gonna spend our Friday night binge watching the new season of “Orange is the New Black.”

Have a nice weekend everyone :) And I truly mean that. Have a great weekend. (Oh! I know what I’m gonna put on my list for today…..Today I’m grateful for….when weeks end well. :) )

IMG_1439     To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

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