Jack Skellington


Here is the PDF for the Jack Skellington C2C square/rectangle for the Nightmare Before Christmas Afghan I am creating.


Jack Skellington


You can also find the link through my Facebook page:  Tricia’s Ball of Yarn


The Halloween Moon square is done.  You can find the link here:  NightmareMoon1





I am tired of “making lemonade.”

Who ever came up with the saying:


“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”


They really should have been more creative.


I am terrible at making lemonade.  I take things way too personally.  I know that is one of my character flaws.  I know that I am not able to let things “roll of my back”  (there is another euphanism that I can’t handle).


I just internalize things (because I do not have someone to whom venting is a regular and useful thing).   I also internalize and keep my mouth shut because I know that I have a tendancy to be blunt and that gets me in trouble and makes people not like me.  However, when I keep my mouth shut because I don’t want to speak unkindly, I am then deemed stand-off-ish and unapproachable.   I just want to be liked and included.


I can’t win for living.


My life seems to be a series of disappointment after disappointment.


I would just like something encouraging to happen soon!


Yes, I know that the people that disappointment me aren’t worth the anguish it is causing me.  I know that in my brain…. tell that to my heart.    I know that there are people who do care about me and do not actively disappoint me.   I am just struggling today with so much disappointment weighing me down.


The sun did come out this morning after that wonderful thunderstorm.  I’m sure that I will find my joy again… I hope that I will find my joy again… it seems elusive right now.


Do you disappoint others?  I’m sure that I do.

Today, make it a point to encourage someone instead.

If your life is full of disappointment (as mine is) try and find something positive about the day to focus on.  I will be focusing on a new piece I am crocheting and it is turning out nicely.    It will not remove the disappointment, but it will distract me for a while and that is good too.





Physical Beauty

Let’s be real.  We all want to be considered pretty or beautiful… heck some of us would even settle for cute.     🙂


As much as we don’t like to admit it, we do make an initial impression of a person based on their physical beauty.  Yes… we do judge books by their cover…   We are human beings.


Of course, “it is what is inside that counts”… we have all heard that and we do believe it.  We know that someone can be physically beautiful but can be a terrible, ugly person.  The reverse is also true.  Someone could be not very attractive and have the best heart and be the most loving and giving person ever.


Then why do we yearn for people to compliment us and tell us that we look nice or that we are pretty?


Do you remember when you were 10 or 12 and you asked your mother:  “Am I pretty?”  Your mother probably replied the same as mine:  “Of course you are!”

But did you really believe her?  Afterall, you look at yourself in the mirror everyday and don’t see it.  She HAS to say that, she’s your mother after all.  Is she really going to tell you that you are homely?


Seeing ourselves as physically beautiful has a whole lot to do with self-esteem.  When you feel good about yourself… when you are feeling confident… when you are feeling loved… at those times, when you look in the mirror you think:  “yeah, I might be beautiful.”  However, when you are exhausted from the stress of life and things haven’t been going your way, that is when the mirror says to you:  “nope, just my same old homely self.  No one thinks I’m pretty.”


Do you tell others that they are beautiful?  Do you say it enough?  Is there a point where you could say it too much and it not come across as sincere?  I believe there is.  Telling someone they are pretty/beautiful needs to be a sincere statement.  I shouldn’t just be “something you say.”  It needs to come from your heart and needs to be truthful.  There are times when you just really don’t look beautiful and if someone says that you are, you know that they are just being nice and are not being sincere.  In that case, it becomes hard to know when they are being sincere with their compliments.


Yes, yes… inner beauty can shine through and even coated in mud or pimples or sweat someone can appear beautiful to you.  They should, if you love them.   Still, do you tell them they are beautiful at that moment?  Probably not.  There are other ways to compliment them and encourage them.


However… IMHO (in my humble opinion), when someone says:  You look nice…  You look pretty…  etc.  It is meant as a compliment to your physical beauty.   At least, that is how I take it.


Saying things like:  You are nice… You are fabulous… etc.  Those statements would be more about the inner beauty.    Which is, in the end, more important than the physical beauty but…


Still… we love to hear it don’t we.


You are beautiful.

You look nice in that outfit.

Your hair looks nice today.

You should wear those jeans more, I like the way they make your butt look.    (LOL!  OK, don’t say that to anyone but your significant other.)

You are pretty.


Maybe you will be able to encourage someone by reminding them that they are pretty.

Maybe you will help build up someone’s self esteem so they can be a better parent, friend, mentor, teacher, human being…

Maybe you will just make someone smile and giggle a little bit.



Not to brag but… I do have VERY PRETTY daughters!   ❤





Strong Woman?

What is a strong woman?


Is it someone who can lift hundreds of pounds?  Like the women in the Olympics?


Is it someone who can fight or box or has a black belt?


Is it someone who doesn’t shower so has a strong odor?


What is a strong woman?


Why am I always called a strong woman?


What makes a woman strong?


I think what makes people think I am strong is that I don’t over react to situations that “normal” woman might get all excited about or fret about or get anxious about.


For example:  My mother was making a list of all the “tragedies” she has had since Christmas.

*the bedroom flood

*the new sump pump

*her sister dieing

*tree branches through the roof

Now which of those are really tragedies to get all upset about?  Some women would not be able to handle any of those.


My first response to her was something like this:   The sump pump certainly wasn’t a tragedy, the water wasn’t anywhere near the furnace.  Maybe if the water had reached the furnace it would have been a tragedy.


To which she responded something like:  Yes, to you and I that wasn’t a tragedy but to others it would have been.


So… because I can take things in stride – like sump pumps, and flooded bedrooms, and trees through the roof – that makes me a strong woman?  Because I don’t get emotional about that and have a nervous breakdown and need someone to rescue me?


Is that what makes a strong woman?


If so, then that is because I was raised that way (obviously, if my mother is a strong woman).


I was raised to just fix it.  If there is a problem (tragedy?) then you just get ‘er done.  You repaint the bedroom, you install a new sump pump, you prepare to repaint a bedroom after the branch damage is repaired.  You call the insurance, you call the repairmen, you schlep your butt to the hardware store to get the right parts for the new sump pump.  You just do it.


I was raised, that woman/girls can and should be able to take care of themselves.  I can do all those things and build a castle in my backyard as well.  I own the power tools and know how to use them.


But just because I can do all those things, does that make me a strong woman?


Is being a strong woman just about having abilities to cope physically or is it also an emotional/mental state?


If I am classified as a strong woman, does that mean I can handle emotional tragedies as well?  What does that look like? Is it stoicly standing by your father’s grave in 3 feet of snow at 7 months pregnant and not sobbing hysterically?    Is it holding your head as high as you can when you are told you must move from your home and community because of a job transfer?   Is it laying in your delivery bed after giving birth to a child and being told she was being life-flighted to another hospital and not screaming and sobbing?


If so… than I guess I’m that kind of strong woman too.


Here is the kicker.  I don’t necessarily enjoy being a strong woman.


On the inside, I am not as strong as you think.    I would love to be taken care of.  To be told “it is OK” to not be strong, to not hold it all together, to let someone else take care of things.   Would I be able to let go, if given that option?  I don’t know, no one has ever offered.


I do believe that while a good portion of my strength was learned/inherited, another large portion of it comes from God.  While my faith has wavered greatly (massively) over the last 5 years, I still believe that He is in control, therefore why should I get worked up over things.  I don’t need to worry (I don’t tend to be a worrier, though I do tend to run multiple scenarios in my brain that may or may not come to fruition).


Honestly, was I worried when that baby was taken away to the helicopter?  Not really.  Someone asked me once how I handled it because they were sure they would not have handled it so gracefully.  I just did.  That is how “I roll.”


How did I handle my father’s death and then a baby shower the next week?  I just did. I had to.  Life goes on.  What was I to do, curl up in a ball in the corner?  That isn’t me.   Do I still cry myself to sleep with the grief of his death.  Yes, I do.


When my mother tells me her bathroom/bedroom is flooded on the same day as my Christmas Open House, do I get all stressed about it and fret?  Nope, I put on my shoes and bail and move furniture.  That’s what I do.


Am I tired of being called a strong woman?   YES

Am I tired of being a strong woman?  YES

Will anything really change? NOPE

I will always be a strong woman because that is who I am.

However… feel free to help me out… or take care of me… or treat me like a “not strong” woman (whatever that looks like)… because it would be nice.


I was raised by a strong woman.

I am a strong woman.

I am raising strong women.

While I may not like it all the time, I would rather be a strong woman than the opposite.




Tricia’s Ball of Yarn

If you haven’t already done so… go to Facebook and like my “business” page:  Tricia’s Ball of Yarn


If you want/need a custom made… hand crafted… made in the USA… knit or crocheted item… then you need to contact me.


I will work with you to find a pattern that you are happy with and then create your one-of-a-kind item at a price we both can agree on.


Let me know what I can make for you!