My mom loves her bag!

Happy Independence Day from this American who lives in Spain, which means I did not have a barbecue. Instead, I spent the day teaching summer English classes. I hope everyone had a wonderful time with family and friends this July 4th weekend. I did take a lunch break at home and enjoyed the simulacra of barbecue: I roasted some chorizos criollos in the oven. A chorizo criollo is basically an interestingly seasoned sausage that reminds me of the cross between bratwurst and Italian sausage. It’s truly addictive.

Today also happens to be my mother’s birthday. She is an experienced knitter and crocheter with 60+ years of experience behind her. As you might remember, I crocheted a bag for her and sent it off to America a couple of weeks ago. I sent it to my older sister’s house and gave her the responsibility of passing the gift to Mom today. Even though I haven’t been able to call her and wish her a Happy Birthday (I called her on FB Messenger but her phone wasn’t with her, I guess) she did leave me a note on my Facebook wall with the words: “Thank you so much for the purse you made for me. I’m already using it. You do beautiful work.” Even though I haven’t been able to talk to her with our real voices today, I am so grateful for that note, and I think I’m the best crafter in the whole entire universe. My mother, who taught me how to play with yarn, knows a good piece of handmade when she sees it and she’s not afraid to tell me the truth about my work (I mean hey, she taught me, and corrected me when I messed up, never a word minced). So, yes, I’m very sorry, but I am the sultan of the sticks (and hooks), the caliph of crochet, the kning of knitting, the czar of czrochet! If the fiber master (or mistress) tells you that “you do beautiful work” I mean, seriously, I think I’ve pretty much reached the peak of yarn crafting divinity. I know, I know, I’m not any better than anyone else. But I feel so proud of my work. Mom’s approval still has a strong impact on me, even if I’m 40 years old and have to shave every day.

And she’s using it right now, right away, only minutes after opening the gift. Now that is awesome!

I also have some not so nice news to report, but I’ll save that for another day this week, when it isn’t a holiday. I super pinky swear promise that it’s the kind of not so nice news that will make you laugh hysterically and then feel guilty for laughing, and then you’ll laugh some more knowing you’re laughing with me, not at me, because it’s seriously ridiculous and awful all at the same time. Keep the barbecues hot and smoky, my friends! By now it must be s’mores time.

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