Knee-Jerking to Assumptions

The Liberty Zone

A beautiful young girl was murdered in Virginia yesterday, and a 22-year-old illegal alien has been charged in her death. Police found Nabra Hassanen’s body in a pond after she was kidnapped and savagely beaten with a baseball bat. The 17-year-old was walking back with a bunch of friends from a local IHOP back to the mosque where they were observing Ramadan when Darwin Martinez Torres accosted the group.

Snuffing out a young life, a life full of joy, a smiling future full of promise – it’s a heinous crime no matter how you stack it.

But that’s not enough for some, who choose to immediately claim bigotry and Islamophobia, merely because the young girl was wearing a headscarf.

The usual suspects like the HuffPost are screeching about vulnerable Muslim women of color.

The victim’s father proclaimed he was “100 percent” sure Nabra Hssanen was targeted because…

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Dealing with prolonged absence

Normally the folks who deal with this the most are military families. I have a feeling what I’m going to say though, many would agree with.

DR is out on a prolonged case.  I’ve been complimented on how well I seem to be dealing with it.

I’ve been asked how I’m dealing with it.

Simple…

I’m not.  This is called faking it until you make it.  As you make it through the time they’re gone.  It’s harder on the dogs.  They don’t understand where he is or why he’s gone.

It’s one of the reasons why I have as many damn interests as I do.  They are distractions during the absence.  And yes, they are infinitely more enjoyable when he’s around.  Such is life as the wife of a PI.

It doesn’t easier.  Getting used to it does not equal getting easier.  It’s finding things that pass the time. It’s watching TV, crocheting, knitting, sewing, gardening, camping, something anything to pass the time.  It’s forcing yourself to be patient with yourself when you become frustrated because you’ve rolled over in bed for the thousandth time and it a dog or two there, snuggled up to you because they are confused.

It’s reminding yourself that this is a part of the process for building a reputation that will exceed the lifetime of the case or contract and that it will carry over. It’s reminding yourself as you scrub a tub or floor for the tenth time in a week that he’s trying to stay just as busy too.

It’s finishing the two dozen works in progress and staring at your yarn wondering what to do for the next week.  It’s playing with your dogs when the sun goes down until they sploot on the driveway and don’t want to play anymore.

It’s not getting to sleep and staying asleep. It’s grabbing naps at random hours in the day. It’s looking forward to game nights or crochet circles or work because you don’t want to forget what your own voice sounds like.

Handling it?  No dearies, I’m just good at faking it. The time will have passed before I know it and it’ll be over for the time being. However there is always a next time. And after awhile, it doesn’t matter how much one makes on a case. What matters is where your spending time together and how your spending it. Time together becomes the only thing that matters.  Time that increases together as the reputation becomes better and the company starts being able to hire a person or two. Maybe.

Until then…. staying busy, because you’re faking it.

Product review: Cotton yarn

DANGIT! I forgot to schedule this one.  Oh well, better late than never.

Okay so we’re doing to do a quickie review of the Hobby Lobby brand “I love this Cotton”.  I had picked up a skein of it to test it out for pads (This pattern is actually going to be updated in the next week as I’ve figured out slightly better joinings for the layers).  It’s a much softer cotton that the Peaches & Creme and Sugar & Cream cotton yarns that you can find anywhere that sells yarn.

It doesn’t work well for pads.  At all.  I’ve had them made for about six months now and I’m going to have to throw them away once I get replacements made.  They stretched way out to the point I can’t even use them for anything but very light days.

Now this cotton I can see being useful for baby toys and washcloth’s for babies as it’s the perfect softness for that and will probably hold up better for those uses.

So the Creme series is still the better cotton yarn for the re-usable pads. It’s not as soft, but I’ve found that it doesn’t really matter after the first wash, it loosens up and becomes more comfortable.  I don’t even notice it 99% of the time.  So there’s that and I’ll see ya’ll next time.

A glimpse at my creative process: All about that yarn

It’s a pretty common question I get actually: “How do you come up with these ideas?”

I have a tendency to need to keep my hands moving. Hence why you’ll never see me with a fidget spinner as my mom taught when I was a wee girl so that I’d stay out of trouble. I should have done more crocheting as a teen as I think that would have helped me stay out of my head those years.  I really really wish I could have had the coping mechanisms I have now back then. I digress.

So how does the process start?
One of two ways. Either it’s a favorite pattern of mine to make like the PineApple Shawls  that I want to try a new yarn color with or it’s yarn itself that I want to try and shape into something that shows the yarn’s color, softness, etc.

Nine times out of ten, I have a 3D image in my head of what it is that I hope to be end result. It doesn’t always work out.  And when I say doesn’t always work out, I mean the IMG_20170606_162436228_HDRyarn changes the idea many times half way through the project.  Take the very colorful project here. That was originally going to be a vest, showing as an example what I wanted to see for representing the Guild.  A close to full spectrum of colors and their transitions.  Instead… after getting through the greens the yarns nudged it towards being a baby blanket.

For those of you wondering that is the lovely Moss Stitch that is being used.  I might make another one and sell it, but this one is mine.  Starting to try to have kids is on the agenda for this year.  I need about… eh, two more baby blankets after this.  I think the magic number seems to around four for most kids.

Ramping it up

And we’re back to our irregularly scheduled boring shit that is me gushing about Arizona, yarn related stuff, witchcraft kinda, my progress with my PTSD and other shit and the occasional reblog. Though I really should be trying to have a new post every week at least.  I made my hands sore with that last article.  Then again it took two hours in-between googling things and re-typing paragraphs that I felt were coming across a little too me like.  There’s normal me and then there’s reporter me. Reporter me should sound engaging and professional. Reporter me is damn rusty.  I liked having her out and about for a bit.

Probably won’t have her out again for awhile.  Unless I just feel ornery about something. Who knows? Not me at the moment.

So updates on the house: Still dealing with a manager that’s just fucking lazy. Still have three things that need taken care of.

It seemed like it got hot sooner this year, but that just might because of the fact I have two yards that need work. I literally can’t do anything in either right now outside of making sure the compost fence is intact and making sure the fences aren’t getting worse. Once the temperatures break in August/September, I’m going to be sunburned from the amount of work I’ll be doing outside.

From the looks of it, we can grow starfruit here in Phoenix even during the summer time.  Apparently they love it.

The citronella plant is happy as a clam as are my green onions.  The Aloe is going to need it’s own pot sooner than expected.

I’ve prioritized all current work’s in progress crocheting projects for this month.  No new projects, unless custom orders . Once they’re done, I’ll show them off no worries.

Been thinking about doing a couple more book reviews as well, just so that I can forgive myself from taking time away from crafting to read for pleasure.

We were going to go hike Mt. Humphrey’s for DR’s birthday, but my monthlies look like they’ll be interfering.  We were going to do it then instead on Summer Solstice.  The sunset from the highest peak in Arizona on Midsummer?! Yes please.  However, we’re too damn tight this year finance wise because of having freshly moved still.  Oye.  I think that’s the part that I hate the most about moving is that it can take up to three months for things settle down enough to really be able to start doing the fun stuff.

Which will work out in this instance because that puts us close to or in fall weather. Yay.

My second studio window, is the only south facing window in this household. Ever since getting the curtain up, it’s made the studio a lot more bearable.  I used quilting cotton swatches for the curtain so I still get a decent bit of light coming in, but it’s not direct light anymore.  Which I find I like better.  At least in the summer time. Though that does mean in the Winter time, the sun will be shining directly in that window…but in the winter time that will be okay because the temps won’t be grossing 100+ degrees.

A Catch-22: Wastefulness that makes zero sense

Beginning of June of this year, one of my friends in the trucking business had me give them a call.  For the purposes of this article, this friend is going to be code-named Wolverine. I will not be naming them as this could cost them their job, but what happened was incredibly offensive to them.  It was to me as well as they explained the situation.

Wolverine had made a delivery to a Walmart distribution center in Alabama. The delivery was several cases of Johnsonville sausages and bratwursts, under the Great Value label (Walmart’s brand). Several cases too many, and they were told what to do with them.

It was not take them to the food bank five minutes away.  No.

They were to (while taking pictures to prove they were doing as told) open the boxes, open the individual meat container and dump the product into the dumpster.

No, you read that right. Read it again, slowly this time.  Look at these pictures.

Wolverine was hornswoggled and made contact with someone in the Johnsonville company because it made zero sense to be doing this.  The contact stated that it was a Catch-22.  Yes they were the ones who packaged the sausages and if they were packaged under their name, then they could be driven on down to the food bank and made several people and families very happy but no. It was under the Great Value name and they never donate the food. They destroy it.

In this instance, we are talking close to 300 lbs of meat.  One of those packages could feed my household for roughly four days, and right now we’re only two humans and two dogs.  A family of four humans would be eating good for at least two days depending on which kid is having a growth spurt.

When one hits the search engines under the search terms “Great Value food donation policies”  there’s nothing. Changed to “Walmart Food Donation policies” and there are links to their site… which address buying from WalMart and donating, employees being encouraged to donate to other employees whose families are on hard times and how to get a tax free number for your organization.

Now we get a slightly sticky part of this equation: local, state and federal levels regulations that could affect why this policy is in place.

Starting with Alabama, I didn’t find anything. Nothing on the state government that even came close to the information I was looking for.  From the looks of it, at least in Alabama the food pantries as long as the FDA storage and prep rules, are the ones who decide what they can or can’t take.

Federal level?
Well, here I’ll add the links that popped as most relevant.

  1. https://www.fns.usda.gov/tefap/frequently-asked-questionshttps://www.fns.usda.gov/tefap/frequently-asked-questions
  2. https://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/regulations
  3. PART 250—DONATION OF FOODS FOR USE IN THE UNITED STATES, ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS AND AREAS UNDER ITS JURISDICTION

Okay that last link is getting us somewhere or is it? When you dig into that document, 250.11 is the only section that even touches on the donation part and that states

“(b) Receipt of shipments. The distributing or recipient agency, or other consignee, must comply with all applicable Federal requirements in receiving shipments of donated foods, including procedures for the disposition of any donated foods in a shipment that are out-of-condition (as this term is defined in §250.2), or are not in accordance with ordered amounts. The distributing or recipient agency, or other consignee, must provide notification of the receipt of donated food shipments to FNS, through electronic means, and must maintain an electronic record of receipt of all donated food shipments.”

I don’t see anything there that suggests that it was illegal or that there were a pile of papers that were needed in order for this food to not go to waste.
I have a lot of friends who snipe at WalMart for the usual gauntlet of reasons.  This is definitely something to snipe about. That was a lot of good protein wasted.  All because…someone was being lazy and didn’t want to deal with it when they were setting the policy. That’s literally the only reason I can think of that is the cause for this waste.

Does this happen to other foods packaged under the Great Value label?  I’m going to go out a limb here and state yes, it probably does.  Leaving people like my friend Wolverine, disgusted and righteously outraged.

Do over orders happen frequently?
At an individual distribution center it might be a weekly occurrence.  Nationwide, however, there are probably multiple grocery store distribution centers that are dealing with this problem right now.  With employees who want to keep their job but know what’s going on is wrong.

Is Great Value the only company doing this?
I think it’s safe to say that no, they are not the only ones doing this but one can hope they are in the minority.

The photos in this article are from Wolverine.

Attention Food Service Employees: Don’t Be That Asshole

The Liberty Zone

When I was in college, I worked at a Bennigan’s at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. I loved that job. I had lots of fun, my coworkers were terrific. Customers ranged from demanding tourist assholes, to demanding, non-tipping assholes from the projects down the street, to fun business people and cops – lots and lots of cops. Those guys were the best. They’d come over after they got off duty, order beers, and tell stories. SO many stories!

Dealing with people is hard. I fully understand that. Some people are just jerks, and they treat wait staff like their own personal slaves. And dog forbid you don’t immediately cater to their every whim!

Yo! I want that couch seat (booth). I don’t like this one.

Hey, can you have the cooks put exactly 1/4 cup of Alfredo on my pasta – no more, no less!

I forgot to ask you for…

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Goofy project

20170511_22390920170511_22392320170511_223934So the other day while checking in on some of my international news sources, I stumbled across a couple of articles that made me see red.  For several minutes.  I’m not going to go into details on them because I can’t focus on my day when I get as mad as what this news made me.

I need to calm down and do something creative so I decided to make a journal. I had a composition notebook that had died and I wanted to use the still viable sections.  I hate wasting paper almost as much as I hate wasting or having to throw away yarn. So I decided that I would use the paper to make myself a journal for the month of December of this year.  I had run out of space in the current journal I’m using for December, so it was logical.

20170511_225350

Yeah the cover is a bit goofy and simple but that’s okay. I’ve never claimed to be a good drawing or painting artist.  It was a nice little project that definitely helped me re-focus about that anger stint.  Frankly, I’m actually quite pleased with how it turned out.

When I was in my early teens, my mom had cleaned out one of the cabinets at the church we went too and it had had a LOT of loose paper.  I don’t remember where it all came from but for the next about four months after that I was obsessed almost with figuring out and making my own journals and books.  Let me tell you, you figure out really quickly that Awls are good for paper too. I was a bit curious to see if now that I was much older, if I’d gotten better at it.

20170511_235149 As you can see from this last picture I had some fun with the Washi tapes.  I’m in love with the flower prints tapes.

So that’s that. I made a journal and it turned out pretty good.  I’d never make these to sell as the covers are too crude for such things, but they serve my purposes.  It was nice making one of these again.

Next time, I’ll be talking about my creative process for my yarn creations.  It’ll be a longer article though I think you guys will enjoy the peek into my insanity on that front.

Figured a piece out

So with all the chaos of the move having calmed down some, I’ve been able to take it a bit more easy in the day.  I’ve noticed what I think is helping with my overall mental state: This house has nine windows in it.

There is SO DAMN MUCH NATURAL LIGHT ABLE TO COME IN and my studio is situated perfectly.  During the winter time I’ll be getting a lot more light coming in because it’s south facing window (and faces the backyard so that I can keep an eye on the doggos when they are out there).   Yes a dog house is on the project list.

It’s saddening in a way though because I can’t help but wonder if the fact the apartment was damn dark and closed in that contributed heavily to the slump I experienced last year that lasted for several months.  I think it’s safe to say it is.

In terms of my sleep schedule, it’s been acting a touch weird.  I’ve had two nights where I was up very late (almost 5am one day and past 6am the other).  Midnight a few times, 2am other nights.  I’ve gone to bed before midnight a few times.  I’m waking right now between 9 am and 10:30 am almost regularly. Even if I’ve gone to bed late as fuck.

I feel like I’m just kinda floating around right now. I’ve been careful not to push too hard if I feel my stress or anxiety starting to rise but here it’s been so damn easy to deal with so far.  I step into the back yard (which has been cleaned more thoroughly but is at the ‘bend over and pick it up’ stage of cleaning) or sit at my counter with a cup of coffee or tea.

This house is an upgrade.  In more than just having yards to kick the dogs into when I need to clean.