A conversation between my sister and diem3 had me remember the photos I snapped of my mother’s cross-stitch projects.

I should clarify . . . in Part 1<<link, I identified her work as needlepoint, but it’s cross-stitch. I corrected that in Part 2<<link, but I repeat it here.

OK, cross-stitch . . . here’s a description (LINK) and here’s a bit of history (LINK) and some stitches (LINK).

The last cross-stitch post had mostly Christmas related projects . . . . not this time . . .

Again, it might be helpful to step back from the screen to appreciate the picture. Up close, you can see the stitches.

A conversation between my sister and diem3 had me remember the photos I snapped of my mother’s cross-stitch projects.

I should clarify . . . in Part 1, I identified her work as needlepoint, but it’s cross-stitch.

OK, cross-stitch . . . here’s a description (LINK) and here’s a bit of history (LINK) and some stitches (LINK).

The pieces I’m posting today are all Christmas related . . . and because I’m pressed for time, I’ll keep my brilliant commentary to a minimum (or completely absent).

Some of these have greetings in Italian; “Auguri” means Greetings . . . whereas Anguria means Watermelon. I know, it’s not relevant, but I wanted to put that out there for them who might be interested.

A conversation between my sister and diem3 had me remember the photos I snapped of my mother’s needlepoint cross-stitch projects.

I should clarify . . . photos of a small number of my mother’s needlepoint cross-stitch projects. So, here I am, finally posting the photos I took last September (and a few from 2017).

It’s worth noting just how much has happened in the past eleven months. The world has actually changed, and not for the better. On a personal note, we suffered the passing of my brother early in the year, something that still sucker-punches me.

I mention all this to underscore the importance — physical, mental, and emotional — of having a hobby or interest that offers an escape from the increasing bleakness of the human condition.

Hmm . . . all that seems a downer of an introduction. Let me recover . . . by telling a joke I recently read on a friend’s timeline (Facebook):

“I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather did. Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.”

OK, needlepoint cross-stitch . . . here’s a description (LINK) and here’s a bit of history (LINK) and some stitches (LINK).

And away we go!

Most of the ones I’m sharing are holiday-themed works, but not all.

A few people (none I can think of, but it sounds better than saying “no one”) noticed my blogging absence. Well, I’ve suffered a digital loss. 

Sunday morning had me waking up to an unresponsive phone. Pretty much all morning and early afternoon were spent trying to revive it. I didn’t even eat, and my coffee got cold as it sat in the cup next to the computer. 

I worked the magic of soft boots, hard boots, factory resets, wiping cache, but at each step got errors that it could not find the system files or the backup cache. Tried to find the original firmware so that I could reload it and found firmware for just about every country on Earth except the US (Verizon).

Tried loading custom firmware but you need the phone to be able to boot for that. Tried a leaked Samsung program that is supposed to unfreeze bricked phones but it could not communicate with my phone. Tried an official Samsung program that’s supposed to fix this thing and nada.

Paraphrasing Jayne and Mal:
I found the patient unresponsive. I tried pulmonary resuscitation and applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from the patient.  

The phone is four-and-a-half years young . . . it should have lasted longer than this, although I read that it was incredible that it lasted this long. And yes, it’s not comforting hearing “it had a good run, but you now need to let it rest in digital peace.”

I subscribe to the Smithsonian’s newsletter. I should probably subscribe to their magazine but I don’t really need paper copies showing up where I live. Their short stories are generally enough and if I do chance on something that piques my interest, I gots Wikipedia providing me with references, photos, and leads to more in-depth stuff. 

That said, I do contribute to both Wikipedia and the Smithsonian. 

Painting from the lobby of a local hotel — treated with Topaz Plugins.

Anyway, I figure I would sit and share a few articles I found interesting and also share a few random photos from my phone. 

This is the third day of our one week without the Internet. It seemed as if it would be a breeze . . . But I’m here to tell you just how much the internet insinuated itself into our lives.

. . . The internet has insinuated itself into our lives. There; I’ve told you. No, wait . . . I did not include a quantity.

A very much mucho grande amount.

We don’t realize how much we rely on the internet to entertain us when we are bored, to provide information whenever we have a question, to keep us company when we are snacking, to give us the illusion of having a social life, and all the times in between what I just mentioned.


Anway yesterday we drove to Hilo and had our first meeting with a real estate agent. An uneventful meeting, it was. We expressed our interest in buying a house and make it our home. The real estate agent expressed her interest in selling us one.

. . . not.


A thing that bothers me – and I mean, really bothers me – is the propensity of people to assign meaning or intent to everyday events.

Some will do it explicitly (“thank you, god, for this or that”), and some will do it implicitly (“there must have been a reason why this or that happened”).

Some take it a step further: “there is a reason this happened, and something good will come of it.”

Underlying all those sentiments is the denial of the tenet shit happens and the egotistical and self-absorbed belief that something or “someone” has a particular interest in what happens to us, as if the Universe/god knows who we are and takes an interest in our lives.

The condo complex we are in holds a special place in our memories . . . it was the first place we stayed at during our first visit to Hawaii. That was back in 1991. We were younger then, and we now show the signs of age. The complex also shows the signs of age, with many of the units in need of renovation, and the buildings themselves lacking the luster of youth.

But, they do maintain the grounds to a high standard. A sharp contrast, indeed, to the units themselves.

Yesterday, I picked up the Nikon D7000, mounted the Nikon 105mm Macro lens, and set about walking them grounds. I snapped a lot of photos. I then walked the same circuit and snapped a lot of photos using the phone.


Another relatively quick update for them curious about what we are doing. So, yesterday’s post was a general announcement of our current location and associated intentions. It did show the beginning and end of Friday, the first full day we were here, and mentioned us running errands. 

Let me go into a few more details . . .

Since we lacked basic staples, on Friday morning we headed into town (more of a tourist center) to grab a bite to eat.


We first saw that tree some 25 years ago, February of 1991. It’s a bit more impressive now. Near there, we went to eat at a restaurant that used to be a Chinese food place (now, it has Hawaiian and American fare). It used to be fairly cheap, but now it’s as expensive as the San Diego restaurants we visited.

As much as we like being on the road, the one negative is a lack of proper internet connections. Also, not sleeping in our own bed. And, not having full access to foods we (me) are used to. Also, crappy coffee.

So, really, there are four things. Plus, being around more people. Especially, people in other cars. So, five things.

BUT . . . it also means my few entertainment options include playing with a few apps on my phone and leveraging their power to have my way with photos I’ve snapped these last few years and which have been patiently waiting for me to do them justice.

Photos like this one . . .


So, an eye doctor’s appointment offered respite from our busy moving preparations. 

One of the things I will miss once we move is the sight of Pikes Peak, visible from many sites around Colorado Springs and vicinity. 


All of the photos on here are from my now-ancient Samsung Note II. The photos have been processed using a combination of the onOne Suite and Topaz Plugins Suite. 

I think the tree is a wild cherry tree, or possibly a dogwood. I think it’s too early for dogwoods, but, what do I know. Also, note that this flowering tree is at a location that is 1,300 feet lower than where I live. We do have daffodils flowering, but nothing as far as trees, weeds, or any other plantings.