Tag Archives: Prescott

Six Business Points That Getting Stuck In The Snow Taught Me


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Pretty evening view out the hotel window. The streets are iced.

Yesterday I attempted to get out on the snow-covered streets of Prescott, AZ to meet fellow yarnies at a coffee shop. Well, it didn’t go so well for me. And I learned a few things that can be applied to business as well as life.

1.  Experts don’t always know what’s right for you You are the only one who truly knows your background and circumstances.  And it’s your job to know your reasonable limits.  Locals I talked to were saying, “Oh, this snow is nothing. You can drive in it. No big deal!” However, the weather turned out to be not quite what even locals expected.  In analysis, I think my problem was complicated by drought weathered tires and the fact that I have seen snow less times in my life than I have fingers. Meaning I have not really driven in real snow either.  (We generally get ice if we get anything in Austin and everything shuts down – hence I don’t get out in it.)  My tires seem to have good tread, but we had 6 weeks of over 100 degree weather this year in Austin and it probably doesn’t make it easy on the tires when it comes to maneuvering in snow, nor do I have 4-wheel drive.

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After scraping some of the snow off. It was at least 3 inches.

Though several people seemed OK out there driving, there were people like me having trouble.  On my way back there was even a van that had once been behind me, flipped on its side from trying to make it up a hill.  A local driver with more experience and better equipment might truly have been fine driving out there, but I should have thought better and not gone out in the weather.

2. Things are not always as they seem, but with a little pause and think, you can likely figure it out.  Folks crammed into the downtown area of Prescott for the parade and other Christmas activities this weekend. Lots of families. After all, Prescott is Arizona’s “Christmas City.”  It took quite awhile to get out of the hotel parking lot because of all the parade goers.  Or so I thought until I saw the main road.  Perhaps the amount of traffic in the hotel/shopping center parking lot should have been a clue that traffic on the main road wasn’t normal.  If I had stopped to figure out that piece of information, my decision process would have been much different.

3. There is no shame in letting others know when you need help.  Getting unstuck requires space to work.  People can’t help you or give you the space you need on your own without knowing something is up in the first place.  I had worked my way out on the roads and got maybe a mile down the way before I realized that I didn’t have a lot of visibility and that I was having some trouble with the slick roads after all.  With a white truck, I knew that other drivers might not realize that I could not drive as well as they could in the snow, that my vehicle would not be as visible and it definitely did not have a very good turning radius.  As a result, it was possible that others might not give me the room needed should my truck fishtail or should my u-turn not work out as well as I hoped.  I threw on my hazards and looked for a safe place with enough space to safely turn around.  I couldn’t find any at first.  Finally I pulled into the snow-filled middle turn lane for a left turn into a parking lot that looked big enough to turn around in.  Which is where I got stuck.

4.  You are not committed to an action if the follow-through turns out not to be in your best interest, or not in the best interest of others.  Do not force what will not likely work, especially when the environment of the game has changed.
In the end, you must preserve yourself and others.  I had pulled into the center snow filled lane thinking it would have more traction and that I could just make a u-turn and head right back the way I came.  This seems logical under normal driving conditions, but here I got stuck.  I attempted a few times to continue to make that u-turn, but physics proved that it was not going to work for me as long as traffic continued the way it was.  I was too stuck and my truck was starting to drift in a circle.  I might have been fine should I have been the only person on the road.  As it was, though it seemed logical, my initial idea was too risky and would put both my life and the lives of others in danger.  My goal to get home safely had not changed, but I needed a new course of action.

5.  Baby steps are the backbone of any successful outcome.  Keep the end goal in mind, but focus on the NOW.  Getting unstuck from any situation requires focus and patience.  Drop your main attention from the desired results to the immediate steps necessary.  My end goal was to get back safely to my hotel. I even had a comforting picture in my head of sitting in front of the fire with hot tea and relaxing.  Oh how I wanted to be there right then!  However, my main focus needed to be on the first problem, getting unstuck from the ice and out of the center lane with traffic coming at me from both directions.  If any cars around me started to skid, I was a sitting duck.

First baby step, get out of that spot.  The road finally cleared in both directions enough so that I could slip and slide my way back into the lane I came from without mishap.  I was finally moving, and that baby step was solved.  However, it put me still going (slowly) in the wrong direction.  Next baby step, change lanes and find a well-traveled road I could turn onto so I can hopefully work my way around a loop to come back.  Baby Goal: avoid stopping since I seem to get stuck when I do.  Other baby steps towards getting home safely were also required.  Stay away from pedestrians (I marveled at the amount of people walking around cars that are slip-sliding in the ice) and be still if they come near you.  Keep a slow steady pace.  Start braking half a block away from stop lights and flash your brakes so those around you can see you and compensate in case you skid.  Keep the hazards on.  Focus on the right now, so you can get to the future.  Be patient.  Work cooperatively with traffic, knowing everyone else is also having to focus on their baby steps.  Roll down your window, be friendly and let others know that your next move depends on them moving first.  They might not realize the situation, so it’s not a bad thing to let them know.  And do not try to turn into a parking space surrounded by pedestrians and cars when your truck obviously won’t take the turns under these circumstances.  While you’re at it, pray for everyone.

Eventually, all these things inevitably led to me to the driveway at my hotel, which at an incline had me stuck again for a bit, and then on into a parking space way in the back of the lot.  I may have had to walk a ways, but I didn’t mind, because it allowed me to park safely.  I’ve been in a horrible car wreck that I was lucky to walk away from.  And I spent over a year in physical therapy regaining strength in my left arm and hand as a result + years of pain.  I’ve worked hard, overcome a lot and never want to repeat that experience, for me or for anyone else.  I feel blessed.

6.  Fear (not panic) is a motivator that can keep you alert and clear the mind.  However, STRESS requires a lot of energy and recovery time.  Allow for the reboot when there’s stress.  After I got back, I realized my goal and relaxed by that fire with some crochet and tea for a bit.  However, after a short while, I had to head upstairs before completely passing out from the intensity of the day.  I didn’t lay down for long, since we needed to meet friends for dinner and would be walking, but the bit did wonders for helping me finish out my day.

Not bad for a life lesson, huh?  Goes to show, lessons can be drawn from even the mundane, and all experiences have value.  Y’all stay safe out there and Happy December!

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Kumihimo Could Be The Ultimate Stash Buster


Today was well spent at A Good Yarn taking a beginning Kumihimo class from Jeannie.  She’s a good teacher!  And the class proved to me what I suspected…  Kumihimo might just be the ultimate stash buster.

Kumihimo is the Japanese term and method for braiding.  There are many different types, but we learned a basic yatsu umi, or 8-strand round braid.  Jeannie even introduced us to using beads.  For a basic yatsu umi starter project, we each started with four strands of about two yards each, doubled over to make eight strands to work with, and create a key chain.  Most everyone else stopped with a normal sized key chain, but since I was camping out for part of the day anyway, I kept going until I had no more threads left to work with!  So mine’s actually long enough for a necklace now.  I’m thinking about taking the split ring off and instead adding a decorative clasp for an offset design.  Maybe add a crochet element.  Not sure yet how, but pretty sure this is going to be a necklace.

The fun thing about Kumihimo (and I should have taken some photos of Jeannie’s examples to do her justice), is that you can use up scraps of yarn and thread that might not be long enough to do much else with.  She had examples of several made from a variety of yarns, thick and thin, including pigtail-eyelash.  How much stash you can bust with braiding depends on your end project idea, of course, but it adds one more thing to my bucket of tools and growing skills.  I look at kumihimo and see possibilities for jewelry, where crochet might not give me the result I want, but also, I think this could make a much stronger, less stretchy purse strap for some of my weighty beaded purses, over crochet.  One of my fellow classmates mentioned wanting to make some for decorating Christmas presents.

Here are some photos of my yatsu umi.

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This is the basic beginner's small Kumihimo kit, long with my yatsu umi hanging out the backside.

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The yatsu umi has a spiral effect when you use contrasting colors.

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Beading adds a nice element to the spiral braid.

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My yatsu umi is long enough to make a necklace! I'm thinking I might take off the split ring and instead turn this into an offset necklace with a decorative clasp.

If you find yourself in Prescott, AZ, I can’t recommend the local yarn shoppe – A Good Yarn – enough. They are incredibly helpful, friendly and a bright spot to visit. I also LOVE Debra’s “Buck A Ball” community donation project. Drop off your unused yarn leftovers, or balls you aren’t going to use, and Debra puts them in a box for $1 a ball, with all proceeds going to the local women’s shelter. Umm, yes I found some goodies to buy in the box too. Gracious and community oriented, this store is one of the most crochet friendly yarn stores I’ve ever shopped. And you can tell that Prescott locals value them too, as they stayed busy with many local friends coming and going, friendly chatter, along with newbies who dropped by today as well. I met a lady from South Africa today who said she’d heard so much about this store she just had to come. Seriously, you can’t help but be in great hands!

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Carma, Jeannie and Debra! When you are in Prescott, you must visit these super friendly ladies and tell them I sent you!

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Field Testing The Crochet Gear in Prescott


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All that frosty grey on my hat and giant scarf is snow!

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Happy December everyone!

I am in Prescott, AZ, field testing my Crochet Gear! LOL!  OK, that’s not really the purpose of our visit, but I have enjoyed the opportunity to none-the-less.

We just got in tonight and it started to snow!  Super pretty!  Dear hubby and I enjoyed a walk in the snow around the square after dinner tonight.  (For those who might not know, we’ve only seen snow in Austin maybe 4 times in the last 17 years and where I grew up, I only saw it about 3 times as a kid, so any snow is a pretty treat for me!)

It’s not quite our anniversary, but it’s close and we’ll be celebrating 16 years.  The grand ‘rents are staying with the kids back home, holding down the fort and giving us this time together.  It’s a blessing I sure won’t turn down!  And the ‘rents and kiddos are getting quality time too.

Got a plan in the works while I’m here this year.  While hubby’s taking care of work tomorrow, I’m scheduled to take a Kumihimo class at the local yarn store A Good Yarn.  You might remember I blogged about them last year.  I drop by and see them every time we come.  They’ve moved recently and I look forward to seeing their new digs and visiting with folks I’ve met in years past.

Saturday afternoon I’m catching up with yarnies at Method Coffee.  And sometime before we leave, I’ll be seeing about dropping by Peaceful Prairie Alpaca Ranch to see Wendy.

We ate at Prescott Brewing Company tonight.  It’s a favorite of ours, along with their Christmas ale.  Seriously, all their food seems to be top notch, as are the brews.  I try something different each time and am always pleased.  On our walk earlier, I noticed a shop with Tibet imports I want to check out.  Also have to be sure and go by the Arts Prescott Gallery Coop.  That’s where I found my gorgeous blue dichroic glass necklace that everyone loves.  It’s a great shop of several local artists’ work.  And I’ll stop by Bead-It on Whiskey Row.  And there are a couple homemade type candy shops too.  Plus we should be able to catch the city’s lighting of the courthouse on Saturday.  It should be fun!

All in all, I look forward to a pleasant visit and lots of photos and reporting. Provided we aren’t snowed in!

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A Day of Knitting and Crocheting with Alpaca!


Photos from my visit to Peaceful Prairie Ranch an alpaca ranch in Prescott Valley, AZ.

I met Emily at Debra’s Christmas party at A Good Yarn and she invited me to tag along with the Prescott Knitters (Ravelry group) on Sunday to visit the alpaca farm. As I mentioned to folks along the way during my visit that I had new plans to visit an alpaca farm Sunday, I received a lot of incredulous replies along the line of: “There’s an alpaca farm in Prescott?! I didn’t know that!” Well, so I made a point of spreading the news. :D

The Prescott Knitters Ravelry group was real friendly and an all round awesome group of folks. If you’re in the area, you can drop by and join their knit-ins (whether you knit or not) confident that you will have a great time! Trust me, whenever we go back, I’ll be checking to see what the Prescott Knitters are up to and working it into my schedule! Big hugs and thanks to Emily, Capi and the others who made sure I felt welcome. More about Capi and the gorgeous crochet hook she gave me later.

Wendy, the awesome owner of Peaceful Prairie ranch, carries roving for felting as well as spinning, as well as a lovely variety of spun fibers for knitting, crochet and whatever other crafts you might need yarn for. I’ve ordered what turned out to be bad baby alpaca before, which has left me shy to order any online ever again. In fact I still have a whole box of lace weight “baby” alpaca that feels like super thick rug yarn, and not at all something you’d want against your skin. I haven’t yet decided what to do with it, though I imagine I’ll get creative and come up with something.

But let me tell you, Peaceful Prairie’s alpaca products are top notch and after being able to listen to Wendy talk about her passion, see and feel the fibers, even in various stages, not to mention experience her top notch customer service, I’m convinced whole-heartedly in ordering from her online anytime! Her husband Dave was also cordial and helped make us all feel at home even while Wendy was busy.

Wendy also helped me purchase a gorgeous green baby alpaca with my credit card since I was there for a trip and not local. A little awkward since it needed to be done through Paypal, but she made it work so I could shop and I really wanted that green baby alpaca hank. It’s soooo super soft! I’ve included a photo of it here too. Whatever I make with it, I expect to be mine this time. I haven’t settled on what just yet. Leaning toward a cowl though. I’m really grateful and my experience with these lovely people only added to the pile of amazing things that became a part of my trip to Prescott.

Thanks y’all, from the bottom of my heart. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Enjoying a Crafty Party at A Good Yarn


Debra’s hosting a Christmas party at her store, A Good Yarn, in Prescott, AZ. We’re all enjoying knitting and crocheting together.

Here’s a photo of what I’m working on at the moment and you can see more photos of the shop and group below.
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Debra has a new partner this year who carries weaving fibers and supplies. Carma runs the weaving portion. Her prices are awesome and the quality is fantastic. I’ve purchased some wonderful fibers from her by the ounce.

I just have to say that between my two trips to Prescott, AZ, my visits to A Good Yarn are among my favorites amongst the yarn stores that I have visited in my travels. Not only is everyone friendly, and I mean customers, staff and all, but she has an incredibly nice selection in my opinion of less than common fibers. And high quality fibers. And more fibers per foot of store space that I want to work with than most places I’ve walked into. And I love that she carries uncommon buttons too!

I have also overheard her on the phone with customers for private orders and such and just have to say, her and her partners’ customer service is just awesome. She’s really helpful, professional in all her dealings, obviously goes the extra mile and yet, her “knit pit” has the feel of visiting the comfort of someone’s home. There’s no fireplace, but I easily imagined one nearby while sitting on her couch and working along with everyone else. Cozy indeed!

If you’re in the area, definitely stop in and see Debra at A Good Yarn. Tell her you read about her on my blog and extend a healthy howdy from me.

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A Good Yarn in Prescott, AZ

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