Year: 2015

Knock Knock Knock, Penny

My new/old boat obsession is the Flicka 20. I say “new/old” because it was my original obsession, but I gave it up ages ago because I thought Flickas were too small. I’ve changed my tune on that after realizing how long it would take to save up for a Dana 24, and after getting to hang out on a Flicka and seeing how salty and roomy they are for such a wee little yacht, and after realizing that fibromyalgia makes a small boat very appealing. So, once our current boat is sold, our search for a Flicka begins (who are we kidding; I check Yacht World daily – hey, did you know they have an iPad app?).

Anyway, sometimes, on these late winter nights, when I can’t sleep, I add to my list of Future Possible Flicka Names. Tonight, I thought how we ought to name our future boat Knock Knock Knock Penny. That way, any other boat hailing us would have to call into the radio:

Knock Knock Knock Penny
Knock Knock Knock Penny
Knock Knock Knock Penny

This Christmas’s diversion: paracord bracelets

Every Christmas, to assuage the holiday stress and overwhelm, I pick up a small hobby. Novelty makes a great distraction. This year, making paracord bracelets accidentally became my project. My almost-11-year-old daughter came home from school a few weeks ago with a paracord bracelet craft kit she’d picked up at her school’s book fair. “Aha!”, I thought. “That’s what I’ll get her for Christmas!” I bought her three bags of paracord, a book, a wooden device for making bracelets, and some shackles. I hid it all in my office.

A couple weeks later, I ask how the paracord craft kit she bought is working out, and she tells me that it was fun for a couple days, but it isn’t something she can see herself doing as a hobby. I laughed out loud, which brought a look of confusion from Beth. “It’s just…..” I said, “……I might have based a few Christmas gifts off of that idea.”

She laughed with me, and then clearly wasn’t sure what to say. She’s such a sweet kid. I could tell she didn’t want to appear disappointed, but at the same time, I imagine she wasn’t looking forward to getting a bunch of supplies for something she wasn’t into. I said, “No worries, Boo! I’ll figure something else out for Christmas!” And I did!

Meanwhile, although I knew I could send it all back, I thought why not see if I could make one myself. None of it was crazy expensive. I opened it all up last night, and after watching a few YouTube tutorials, ended up making seven of them. My son and husband are wearing one, and I have a bunch more that are sized to my own (big) wrist, although I’d be happy to give a few away. How many paracord bracelets does one person need? I’m about to find out.

It’s a colorful, tactile activity, that doesn’t take take a lot of concentration, and unlike my knitting, if the cats try to join in, their potential for destruction is much less (I worked the bracelets last night while wielding a squirt bottle). And the finished product, especially the fishtail weave, is very pretty.

How I got started:

I didn’t like the book I’d bought, Paracord Outdoor Gear Projects: Simple Instructions for Survival Bracelets and Other DIY Projects. It assumes too much prior knowledge, and the diagrams weren’t complete enough for me. I went online and found YouTube videos, instead.

The best one I found for doing the basic bracelet is this:

But after I’d done a few of those, I wanted to learn how to do a fishtail weave, so I ended up on this video:

And there I stayed, making fishtail after fishtail.

I now have several:


Blues, purples, and greens are my favorite, although I need more pink in my life (the pink one pictured is a little too pink, so I’ll probably give that one to someone else). The silver shackles look big and clunky, but they’re surprisingly comfortable. Last night I accidentally wore a bracelet to bed, and I didn’t notice until I woke up this morning.

Next up: I want to try a belt. And maybe a dog leash. And a monkey’s fist:

If you want to try playing with paracord, I highly recommend YouTube. A few channels to start you off (between these four you have hundreds of videos to peruse):

Go forth and knot things! And have a lovely, stress-free holiday season!

Let the Hawaii photos begin

In late November, we took a family vacation to Hawaii to celebrate mine and Greg’s twentieth wedding anniversary. I have dozens of photos, and if I don’t start posting a few now and then, I’ll just store them away and forget.

We stayed at the Lawai Beach Resort, and this is the beach right across the street. You could swim there, snorkel, or just stare off into the sunset, which we did every evening (joined by a dozen or so others). I took this photo with my GoPro 3. November 2015.

Kauai, Hawaii

Hawaii is paradise born of fire.  – Rand McNally