Knitting Up a Mess of Chili

Cool weather and knitting certainly do go well together, don’t they? With the weather very temperate this time of year, we have every window in the apartment open. All that 72 degrees of breeze flowing beautifully through. However, we woke this morning to find the thermostat reading around 48. We quickly bundled, I donning a thermal, Phillip hunted for his Pokeman beanie, and kept close the first few hours of the day, waiting for the sun to rescue us. Oh, I know what some of you are thinking. That a low of 48 and a high of 65 are hardly worth a cold weather warning. But, this is the sub tropics and when days like that sneak up on us, they sneak up fast. You can definitely tell who is local (thermal shirt, beanie) and who is a Yankee (shorts, flip flops).

To combat the cool air, we started a pot of chili around 8:00 this morning, so it could slow cook and get all luscious on us. We then both began working on our own individual crochet and knit projects while the aroma of cumin and spices scented our little home. We knit and crochet everyday. But, there is something rather comforting and nesting when it happens on a cool day with warm food waiting for you. Again, it’s that….nesting feeling. Of being at home….

img_2983Chili looks kinda gross, doesn’t it? That’s when you know its PERFECT🙂

These days are rare in Central Florida. Brisk bouts of chilly temps are unusual and fun. So, we’re having quite the nice day.

The elephant in my book, “The Teddy Bear That Saved Me” was so well received that many people asked if I would write up the pattern for him. Well, here you go! Like the other patterns, he’s worked up in the round using double pointed needles. For the moment, he’s on Craftsy. If you’d like to try your hand at him, click here. I’ll get him over to Ravelry…..as soon as I can figure out how that site works (I always have the worst time navigating through there🙂 )

So, I’m gonna dig into my bowl of spicy chili, wash it down with a beer, then head back to work. I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday🙂

teddyfrontBe sure to check out my new book!

Signed Hardcover First Editions are here.

Paperback versions from amazon are here.

Instant download in pdf available here.

 

 

 

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“Woe is Me,” Will Not Help You…

IMG_1823An open letter to Tiger:
Dear Tiger,
It has come to my attention that you will not meet with me. I caught this photo of you scurrying off when I arrived to talk. I assume this is because of how you feel you were portrayed in my book. If I offended you, I deeply apologize. However, in my own defense, I must say that of all the knit animals, you truly did epitomize a certain importance when it comes to bonding that I wanted to portray. You were the first of Jackson’s favorites. I know how much you loved him, and I know how much he adored you. The incident that left you lost in the closet was important to the book, because it proved how much we can lose friends for reasons beyond our control. I am sorry if you felt that I gave the impression that you were overly sensitive about the subject. However, it was by your own admission that you never made arrangements before the “Moth Crisis” to reconcile with Jackson, and it was obviously, very important to note. When he needed you, you came to his rescue, and for that you should be applauded.

However, your “woe is me” attitude, and refusal to meet with me is sadly not helping things much. I am sorry that we disagree on so many things that I have written about you in my book, however, I do hope that we can at some point begin a dialogue, and at some point, become true friends. In the meantime, you will have to understand why I was insistent on being truthful when writing about you in the book in the way that I did…..for your selflessness did eventually rear it’s head, you came through, and you helped Jackson to recover.

You have a great opportunity now to prove to the world that you can take criticism, rise above it, and do more noble things, despite what a writer like myself could ever say about a Tiger as impressive as you. We should come together, be kind to one another, and remember the greater accomplishment was not our own interests, but of those of a sick boy.

Should you ask for me, I’ll be here. In the meantime, know that I meant no harm, but only did my best to write the truth about how you and the other knit animals attempted to sacrifice yourself to save a sick boy. I applaude you for that, but concern myself with your own worrisome sorrows. My portrayal of you, Tiger, is not the issue.

My best,

Gregory Patrick

If you’d like to know why the knit Tiger is so bitter with me, you should read how I wrote about him in my book. 

teddyfrontSigned Hardcover First Editions are here.

Paperback versions from amazon are here.

Instant download in pdf available here.

 

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Meeting Elephant

I was anxious to talk to Elephant this morning. I wanted to know what he thought about my depiction of him and his role in the “Moth Crisis” in my book. Now, I’d already spoken to Rabbit, and the Lion had asked to speak with me, but I had not been able to find Elephant anywhere. Tiger has been AWOL lately, probably a little embarrassed about what I wrote about him, but that’s fine. I’m hoping he turns up. Now, I do have an interview with the little bear in a few days. I was hoping to secure the interview sooner, but now that he’s a hero, he’s been in very high demand. And even though I wrote the book about him that catapulted him to stardom, he’s still very busy doing interviews with other people. I’m looking forward to that interview. I promise to hold no punches, I’ll ask tough questions. Make the interview just as compelling as the “Frost-Nixon” interview.

Rabbit finally approached me. “I hear you’re looking for Elephant.”

“I am! Have you seen him?”

He moved close, lifted a paw and whispered in my ear, “He’s out in the garden.”

“I thought you guys weren’t allowed to go outside without Jackson.”

“We’re not, but…(psst! shhhh!)….he sneaks out there so he can read and be left alone.”

img_1967I finally found Elephant outside, huddling near the fence, lounging under brush.

He saw me coming and said quite quickly, “Let me guess. Rabbit told you I was here. I swear, he can’t keep a secret for anything. Always gossiping about something….”

“I wanted to ask you if you liked my book. Hope you don’t mind.”

“I did like your book. I actually read it twice.”

“Twice? Really? Wow.”

“Well, the first time I just scanned it to look for the parts where you wrote about me. The second time I read it all the way through.”

“And?”

“Do I really come across like that? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was flattered how you described me, but I didn’t realize I was so….distant.”

“I wouldn’t call that a flaw of any kind. You like to be left alone to read. I made that perfectly clear in my book.”

“Thank you for pointing that out. The other knit animals just don’t understand how important it is for me to read. I’m supposed to remind Jackson to be a good student.”

“Yes, I know.”

img_1966“And reading books is VERY important if you’re to be a good student.”

“I couldn’t agree with you more.”

“So, I’m a little detached, so what? My role in the ‘Moth Crisis’ was just as important as everyone else’s.”

“Indeed it was.”

“I learned alot about myself through that whole episode. I think we all did.”

“What did you learn, Elephant?”

“Just like you wrote in the book. Being brave isn’t always easy. It can be tough. And it doesn’t have to be BIG stuff, but being brave can be little things you forget about.”

“Thank you, Elephant. I appreciate that.”

Now, I’m off to get my questions written for my big interview with the little bear.

If you’d like to read more about the knit animals, the ‘Moth Crisis’ and how the little teddy bear became a hero, be sure to read my new book. If you’d like the Elephant, click here. 

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Paperback versions from amazon are here.

Instant download in pdf available here.

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The Power of a Smile

Have I told you how much I love my husband? He didn’t have the easiest childhood, didn’t have the best life growing up. He’s a wonderful man, but he’s more endearing when he is youthful. I strive my best to make sure he gets to use those dimples as often as he can. He gets to shed whatever sadness the past taints him with, and gets to relive, blossom, and enjoy a childhood he never had.

Phillip has so thoroughly enjoyed how much you love his Strange Friends. He loves hearing from you, loves knowing how much you really appreciate his creativity. He had the best day today. All of his Strange Friends are selling, and he got to be a kid again for a moment. Not in the way his memory serves him, but in a way that makes all the hard work worth while. He got to enjoy himself today. Got to smile and I can’t tell you how much I love it when he smiles.

We found out today that my book has sold in really great numbers to the Netherlands, to Germany, with a nice couple of copies heading to the UK, and a really nice quantity heading to the west coast of the US. His Strange Friends are beginning to make the same treks. Our teddy bears, books, and Strange Friends are all finally beginning to move across the globe. And for that, he was so giddy, so excited to see that the work he and I have done are finally allowing him a smile that erases history, and cements a great future for the both of us. He was like a 12 year old in a theme park, and I can’t thank you enough for helping me put that smile on his face.

There are many evenings where I think I do this for us, but to be truthful, I work this hard for him. Because I want to give him that life he was robbed of. A life of enjoyment, family, home cooked dinners, and tender hugs. A life of hope, of care, of a skinny man and two furries at his side, always willing to battle for him, always there for him. A life where the greatest reward is the end of the day, when the four of us are curled in bed, under the covers, the cold world unable to touch all of us, with our full bellies, and warm quilts. We don’t need much in life, just that blessing of comfort and safety, of love and attachment.

I know now that the greatest combatant to a world grown dark is the bright light of a smile you can give someone.

So, thank you all so much for allowing me to give my husband a smile today. I could not have done it without you.

Be sure to check out the book, “The Teddy Bear That Saved Me.”

teddyfrontSigned Hardcover first editions are here.

Paperback versions from amazon are here.

Instant download in pdf available here.

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

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What the Lion Taught Me

IMG_1800The Lion from my book asked to speak with me privately. I met with him on the couch, where he sat firmly, regally, and with the hint of a smile, which Lion rarely does. He’s far too stern, far to serious most of the time.

“You asked to see me?”

“Yes, I did,” he said with his traditional rumble of a voice. “I just wanted to thank you for portraying me with some nobility in your book.”

“You’re very welcome, but I can’t take too much credit. I simply wrote the truth. You showed yourself to be the true leader we all knew you were.”

“Yes, and I knew you would be just the right person to write about that incident with the Moths. Those were some very trying days. But, I knew you were the perfect person to write about the whole ordeal. Thankfully, all of us animals made it through that crisis. You captured that historic moment in your book ideally.”

“Thank you again, sir. I certainly do appreciate that.”

“Now, you do know not everyone is happy with you.”

“Yes, I do know the Rabbit wasn’t very happy about my calling him a gossip. I haven’t heard from the Tiger. I think he’s giving me the cold shoulder.”

“Ahhh, well. I can only give you the same advice we all had to learn through that horrible ordeal with the Moths: be brave. Stay true to your convictions and be brave. It will hurt, it can sting. But, you will retain some nobility if you do what you think is right.”

I just lowered my head and heard the Lion speak truth. Sometimes bravery hurts.

“Thank you, Lion, for your time and your advice.”

“You’re quite welcome, young sir….”

I was given the nod that my audience with the royal animal was over.

“And Gregory,” he said as I was leaving the room, “more people love you than not. Remember that.”

Amazing what you can learn from your own book….

If you’d like to read about the knit animals and the crisis the Lion discussed about the Moths, be sure to check out the book, “The Teddy Bear That Saved Me.”

teddyfrontSigned Hardcover first editions are here.

Paperback versions from amazon are here.

Instant download in pdf available here.

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

And Pray….

It’s a touch after midnight. I’m usually in bed this late. I actually DID go to bed somewhere around 9, fired up some “Murder, She Wrote” to just disappear in. (Yes, I do love my little old ladies. They make me feel safe). But, after three hours of flipping and flopping in bed, I decided to just go ahead and get out of bed and write…just write. Just, let it all go.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. Obviously. Truth is, I’m actually pretty terrified on this end. My book just isn’t moving. It’s just….sitting there. We took out a loan to pray for the production costs for the hardcover version. Yes, believe it or not, someone actually gave me a loan. Apparently, the former homeless man had proved he could be resourceful, proved he could land on his feet. We’ll take a percentage of the proceeds of your book sells to pay off your loan….Perfect plan. Love it. People have been telling me I should write a children’s book. So I did! I was terrified when I started writing it, but soon fell in love with it, grew very proud of it. Realized I could write in areas that I had always feared venturing. Wrote the book, sent it to print, hoping and praying this would be the moment that took me to the next level.

So, I’m just a little scared right now that the book hasn’t been moving. Those who have bought, have received it well, and truly love it. But….I just can’t seem to get it moving.

I guess I just have to push harder….and pray.

teddyfrontBe sure to check out my new book.

Signed Hardcover first editions are here.

Paperback versions from amazon are here.

Instant download in pdf available here.

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