Tag Archives: family thankfulness

Writing 101 Day 15 Life Changing Event??


Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force.

How does that make you feel?

I have been thinking all day about the Writing 101 prompt of the day. I have attended events, concerts, plays, movies and backyard BBQs, but honestly, in my 57 years on this planet I absolutely can say with certainty, not one of them was a life changing experience. In as much as I enjoyed most of said events, without one, two or most of them I would not have been devastated.

Maybe I am not Zen enough to put all of this importance on ONE MAJOR EVENT. I dunno.

buddy 9In the last 10 years I have been privileged enough to attend concerts of some of all-time favorite artists. Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton and Buddy Guy. I have seen plays in Chicago with superstars such as Zero Mostel, Donnie Osmond (don’t laugh, he was a very hot guy and had his shirt off most of the play), David Hyde Pierce and my personal favorite Tim Curry (Huge, HUGE fan of Rocky Horror Picture Show here!!) and many more I am surely forgetting.


I learned to actually appreciate opera after attending several for my Opera Appreciation Class in college. Oddly enough I hated the one in English, loved the one in Italian. I was fortunate enough to see both the best (Aida – was fabulous) and the worse (Macbeth – biggest bust ever!) of the year according to the Chicago critics.

As far as events like family picnics, trips to the zoo with our children and vacations, almost all of them have been great. There was the unfortunate incident with bad clam chowder (my dear young cousin and I fondly pronounce it chowda in honor of the east coast) in Oregon giving me food poisoning for the last four cold and rainy days of our vacation.

Don’t for a minute think we had a lot of disposable cash. I didn’t work when the kids were young, but stayed home raising them while my husband worked. We did the zoo and museums on free day, camped because it was lots of fun for three little boys and a big Old English Sheep Dog. And it was cheap. We watched our money and ate at home, not restaurants to save our money to do things with the kids and as a couple. Jim Hartman_5


I don’t want to gloss over hardships we may have had. Money was really tight some days, weeks, months. We made do. One of our sons had a major medical issue but is thankfully back on his own, working and thriving. We’ve had sickness and deaths of those close to us. Two come to mind that passed away too young.

After all of this information telling you that one event didn’t shape my life, I have to tell you that all of these events had a part in shaping my life.

I have learned the following (and wish I could always live by them but sometimes just can’t – I’m only human)

  • No amount of worry will affect the outcome of any situation
  • I cannot make people act differently, but I can control my reaction to them
  • Sometimes I just have to act happy when I am not. Ironically, it does improve my mood
  • Money is nice, but you can have a great time with little or none
  • Keep learning and growing. Your little grey cells will thank you
  • Family dinner is important. Talk to your family. What a concept!
  • Hold your friends close or let them go – you’ll know which is appropriate
  • Enjoy your life or change it
  • Live, laugh and love (to quote some wise, famous person who remains a mystery to me)

© Laura M Hartman 2014


Filed under family, Frampton, Uncategorized, Vacation, writing101

Projects, lots of projects!!

What a busy, busy year and it is only October!!! I’ve been MIA from my blogs for too much of the year, but life got in the way 🙂 In May I foolishly stated I’d be back to blogging before July. Evidently, I was more confident about the number of waking hours I would have free than I actually did. In addition to our youngest son and his wive’s move we also moved our middle son into his first home and my dad from downstate to a new house really close to us. Between packing and moving and fixing things that need to be done in the three new homes, writing sort of got pushed off my plate. Hopefully I can pick up the pace he last quarter of the year 🙂 Enough  of why I haven’t been posting, on to the projects I’ve been working on between unpacking and painting.

20130612_203033 20130704_180116

I finished the dragonfly socks I was working on. Love the way they turned out. (Finished them on the road to our son’s home – it is a long drive 🙂 )

The next project was small, I purchased some fresh lavender from Local Harvest (google them, really grreat stuff available) so I made a really cute little knit sachet out of left over sock yarn. I’m going to sew small sachets out of muslin, fill with the lavender and give for small Christmas gifts. I am currently working on one out of Knit Picks Stroll tonal yarn in oranges. It is left over from the leg warmers my son’s girlfriend asked me to knit for her. she picked the pattern and I just finished adding the buttons today.

Allison's leg warmers

I finished 2 baby blankets for Allison’s cousins’ babies. I found the pattern for the puppy granny square, but made it bigger, added a shell border and thing they turned out really cute. I am thinking of making a kitten one next. Maybe a fish in the future…so many possiblities. They worked up really cute and easy. I used my goto fav yarn for baby blankets, Knit Picks brava. In case you thing they have me on the payroll, I’ve looked around and the Brava yarn is the most economical to use and really works up nice.

DSC_0011 DSC_0012I finished an afghan for a woman at work whose Mother started it several years aga, but steadily forgot how to knit as dementia ravaged her. She had over 1/2 of it done, using an unusual mix of 3 strands of different types yarn used together. After completing the second strip and knitting the third strip, I crocheted them together. My co-worker was extremely happy and was going to surprise her brother with the finished blanket, for whom her mother originally started making it for.

I’ve started on a new Christmas joke vest for my middle son. The crazy snowman vest I made him a few years ago doesn’t fit anymore because he’s lost quite a bit of weight. This one isn’t quite as crazy. I’m just about to begin the pattern rows, so hopefully pictures will follow soon.

20130915_204926Courbette_first section done_adding secondFinally, here is the shawlette I am working on to test the pattern. It is working up so beautifully, I love it. I almost have the second section done, and hope to start the third this weekend.

So much for what I did this summer – how was yours?


Filed under Crafts, Crocheting, family, Knitting, Ravelry

I am very Thankful for Christmas Craft and lots of other stuff

Christmas Craft/Thanksgiving part deux. My life is incredibly good. I am truly blessed. The most important thing to me is my family. As long as everyone is ok, I’m ok. I fret, I worry, I implore the higher being that watches over us human fools to no avail when I think things are not going as they should in my fragile little world.

Life is indeed good even with the bumps that have lately popped up in my road. The people in my family that have been sick are all on the mend and back to work. I am thankful for both of these things.

The move at work is almost complete and going much smoother this week, so work life is settling down. Hubby only has 5 days left to retirement. I am so looking forward to having a house husband to leave our weekends free. We are happily moving on to the next phase of life. I am thankful he is able to retire while still young enough to enjoy life more because he has worked really hard to provide for our family for almost 40 years.

I am thankful for our extended family. Our house was full of laughter, fun and love the last two days while we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday together. We ate good food, reminisced, and made this year’s Christmas Craft and shopped. I am thankful for each and every one of my family both near and far this holiday.

I’m making a new resolution that can’t wait for January. I will look at the bright side and will be thankful for big and little things. Especially remembering the little things because they make up my day to day life.

Here are some of the pictures of our Christmas Craft this year.

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Filed under Choose to be happy, family, Optomism

Thanksgiving=Christmas Craft

Quick, what do you think of when I say Thanksgiving? Turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, football, relatives, thankfulness, pilgrims, Indians (oh stop it, back when I was a kid no one even heard about PC and besides my grandma’s grandfather was a full blooded Indian) and everything else that has to do with a great (sorry if yours isn’t great) day of family fun and food.

Maybe you just think of Thanksgiving as Black Friday Eve. While I admit I am going to read those ads after the table is set and the house is filled with the wonderful smell of holiday food.

My first thought is Christmas Craft!!! About 15 years ago, we went to my Aunt’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. As the guys settled into comfy chairs to watch a bit of football, she pulled out a bunch of paints and plain glass Christmas ornaments. She was putting up a Christmas tree for the first time in years, and shades of Days of Our Lives (if you watch it you know every year they hand ornaments with each character’s name on it on a tree with lots of flashbacks) she didn’t have any ornaments.

We had the best time painting them with our names, snowmen, trees and all sorts of things to make the ornament different and fabulous. My one aunt had such a hard time getting hers “right” she kept wiping the white paint off of her blue ornament. The paint was partly dry so it left a white smear. She painted her name over it and called it a snow storm. Ah we are not only a crafty bunch, we share a crazy way of looking at life and a sense of humor that can’t be beat.

The next year, all the cousins started asking what the Christmas craft was going to be. A tradition was born. We’ve painted t-shirts, made snowmen out of tube socks (that was a hoot) and painted glass ornaments. Now each person takes his or her craft home for their tree, mantle or garbage can depending upon the outcome.

One year we made gingerbread houses out of pieces I’d baked the day before. That was lots of work for something that doesn’t last past one season. But it is more about the fun we have with each other than the finished product – which turns out adorable most of the time.

The craft is kept a mystery until Thanksgiving afternoon. Then the person in charge hauls out the clay, glue, fabric, ribbon, small clay pots, etc and picture of the craft. This year’s craft will hopefully include empty pop bottles, paint, fabric and maybe some googly eyes.

I found it on Pinterest, and it is adorable. Since we only have a few hours, prep needs to be done before Thanksgiving. I often spend more time in craft preparation than I do in food prep. Seriously, frying a turkey isn’t that hard, the rest of the stuff only takes a few hours at the most.

Anyway, I have to cut each pop bottle and glue two together with superglue. How hard can that be? Manicure scissors turned out to be the easiest thing to use because that plastic is tough to cut straight. So, that means 30 bottles (I’ve been begging my friends to save them for me at work) had to be cut. Then they needed to be glued together. That was the simple part. Super glue is the best for plastic and it was a snap. 

Now for the hard part. Each one had to be painted black. Have you ever tried to paint a smooth, slippery plastic bottle? Not good, not good at all. I had a spongy brush type thing and finally patted about 3 coats on on bottle, letting each layer dry. Seemed ok, at least it didn’t slide around like trying to brush it on, but as it dried it cracked.

So I asked my hubby to try spray paint. So far, the one he painted looks WAY better than the ones I tried to paint, I am hoping this will be the way to go.

So after the thanks have been said and the dishes have been done, we are going to haul out the crafts and have a few laughs. We always have so much fun it is really something I look forward to.

I don’t know how you spend your Thanksgiving, but I hope you are planning something you’ll enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours however you spend your day.


Filed under Crafts