Thursday, March 15, 2018

One of the many knitter's laments

I've said it before and I will say it again... moving is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. I'll return you to your regularly scheduled blog now.

The crafter's lament... have you caught yourself saying it or been in a room where it is discussed? Oh that's right we have many laments. I'm talking this time about how once we've deemed someone "knitworthy" and finally make them something, it gets safely tucked away in a drawer or closet rarely to see the light of day again.

Horror of all horrors you finally find someone you know will love this perfect hand crafted thing that you spent both time and money on. And they put it away to preserve your effort. Alas!

I have to confess doing it myself. My sister and mother both enjoy embroidery. They have made me some cute and wonderful items, that I safely stored away in closets and drawers. Why? You guessed it, they were too cute and too dear to be used. What if I wore them out? What if they got stained?

Son of a gun! I'm one of those saver people too!

Once we moved into the new house I unpacked the towels my sister had emblazoned with kittens, some of which actually look like Burt! They're now hanging on kitchen doors and making me smile.

The pillowcases my mom did? I few of those actually saw service in the apartment and will continue to see it. I've just got to make sure they're in the rotation.

The quilts that my grandmother made? I've got a quilt rack that I refuse to give up in my knitting room. They will serve as inspiration when not looking dazzling on my beds.

And all those socks that I knit? Well they see regular service. But the ones that wore out or no longer fit. I'm coming up with ideas, like serving as temporary anti-scratch pads on the new floors. How about a new cup cozy instead of a old sock? Gosh I bet they could even work as a duster or two, you know if I really had the urge to dust. Don't have a coaster for that teacup? Here's an old (clean) sock.

Let's stop lamenting and just start using! We can always change our behaviors before we can change someone else's. Lead by example if you will. If you'll excuse me I've got to go throw some old socks on the cat, Burt looks cold.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Movin' on Up

Well I guess it is settled, my yarn and a whole whack of knit sweaters have gone to a better place.

Don't worry I will soon be joining them. We found a house. Shh Burt is not really sure what that really means. I mean he is a pretty smart guy but he has not been through a move with us. He just sees us huffing and puffing up and down the stairs when we should be getting some nice lap time. What gives Momma?

I told him he is going to have fun exploring and he may even get a sister or a brother. He is not sure how he feels about that. A sister or brother sounds fun but you never know what Momma is going to pick out.

I'm just going to say that I've name my knitting room...Rhinebeck. It seems right.

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Things "People" Do

I am very comfortable and happy with the person I have become. I like me. That is one heck of a statement when you think about it. There are things that I would like to change about myself, but all in all, I am grateful and comfortable being me!

I was just thinking this week that my hair and I have come to a mutual understanding, we both think  it looks great. Who knew I would ever be comfortable without bangs? I was told that I am lucky because the color of my hair is pretty and I don't have to dye it.

I got through the toughest years of my life recently. I took care of my hubby and myself while he recovered. I drove/moved cross country by myself. Flew home to SD twice in a month, once by myself to attend my father's funeral. I lost two beloved cats.

I am a Wife. I am a friend. I am a sister. I am a daughter. I am a worker. I am a knitter. I am a Kitty Momma. I am one Hell of a Farmer's Daughter!

But today I received this...

Just when you have hope, you realize just how shitty "people" really are. 

This coward, who is not a person in my opinion, sent this load of judgemental crap to me anonymously.

Guess what? I am still very happy with who I am.

I do not need nor want to change anything for you. 

I will never be a model, a lady or a spokesperson. I will never be polished or impeccable. Heck, I won't even be well dressed.

What I am is me. I am beautiful. I am witty. I am funny. I am strong. I am caring. I am smart. I am blessed. I take care of my loved ones. I take care of my furry ones. I AM LOVED!

I too am judgemental and critical, but I try to keep that to myself. I can be vicious and hurtful. I cry and drink beer. I swear. 

I know who I am. Can you say the same about yourself?
We all know what you are, coward.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Looking Forward by Looking Back

It is hard to escape your future no matter how hard you run, you simply turn a corner at it is waiting there for you. Probably best if we would invite it in to sit and chat with our friends. At least we could enjoy our friends and not be out alone and desperately running. Heck we may even be able to have a nice cup of tea.

I thought 2016 was a doozie. 2017 treated us like it a chew toy too. I may have some wear and tear, but I feel stronger and loved. It is a funny lonely feeling sitting bedside in a hospital room. It is even worse when the bed and its patient are not there either. I knew I had to be strong for him and especially strong for myself. When I fall to pieces all that remains are shards, sharp nasty little shards.

I used to worry that was denying myself the comfort of shattering, it is a great way to relieve pressure. Lord knows the pressure I was under. It could have been so much worse. I still tell myself that a year later, mostly because it is still true. We heard what so much worse sounded like in the room next to ours. I've never prayed so hard as when they kept calling out "No Pulse." They did get her pulse back and sent her to surgery immediately. I don't know if she survived and I've decided I don't want to. To me she will always be alive and on her way to a successful surgery. That is one story where I will insist on my own ending.

But as scary and lonely as an empty hospital room is, I oddly was very comforted by the messages of support we received via internet and text. I could feel strong hands supporting us. Never underestimate the power of good wishes, positive thoughts and prayers.

I still don't know how I made it through those weeks, probably never will. But I do know how many helped and that I was not alone even when I was alone.

We recently took the lady that called me and held D's hand while he was laying in extreme pain in the street, out to dinner. It was beyond interesting to hear another side of the story. He remembers desperately trying to pull himself off the tracks, and feeling like no one was there to help him. The lady explained they were all running towards him, they had just not made it there yet. All those people coming to help. Time it is different when you're laying in the street.

I guess the glue that I held myself together with is mostly set. I find myself leaking a lot. Especially after losing Dad. But I'm an even prettier vase now, I have character!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hanging in there

Yes I really am hanging in there. I have managed to get some Christmas presents bought. The tree is up and the lights are on. Yay me!

I worked on some Christmas cards last night but I don't have any stamps so...

It is my first Christmas without having a dad. Yeah sometimes everything is fine then sometimes I realize he is gone and that makes me sad. I know he is in a better place. But this last year has been ever so hard. It makes me think back to 2016 with fond memories.

We're a few days away from the anniversary of D's accident. It seems so long ago and just like yesterday in the same moment. I know I'm still processing, which sounds so silly but it is true. It was a hard hit and I'm having trouble remembering some things. I guess I should have sat down and wrote is all out at the time, but I had my head down the whole time. Pushing, shoving my way through. That's me, put my head down and give 'em Hell Harry.

Momma? Your name's not Harry!? What the Dickens are you talking about?

Shh Burtie my boy, I'll explain it sometime, just go with it for now OK?

Purr OK.

I tried to finally write a blog post last night but I got a few sentences in and even I was bored of the whining.

So let's talk about some knitting shall we?  I finally finished D's sweater and he even wore it to the Holiday Ale fest. There is even a picture...but it is on his phone and I can't get to it. We did meet a couple from Seattle where the wife was a knitter and recognized a hand knit sweater.

From there we trooped down to Powell's bookstore where I got to help a lady in the knitting section. She wanted to learn so she could teach her niece. I told her about Ravelry and referred her to a yarn store across the river where she lived. It is one I've been meaning to go to and it looks wonderful for beginners. I wonder if she will do it?

All three pairs of socks on the needles (in various stages of progress) are for D. And none of them will be done in time for Christmas. I know I can't say I am shocked either.

In previous years I tried getting most of my knitting done so I could start new things in the year, but now I just want a nice calm intro to the new year. And we're house hunting so you know that is not going to happen.

I did manage to complete my adjusted Goodreads reading goal. I've figured out a way to listen to books at work too. I'm in a nice quiet office but have found the morning goes so much quicker if your mind is in Australia with Phryne Fisher. Powering through piles of papers is easier with your mind somewhere else.

Burt is cute as ever and slimming down nice. he does think that Momma shoud give him snacks at three am.

Momma, you're up to pee anyways, and you walk right past the food jar. And it has been hours, hours I say, since I had second dinner. What is a little 3 am snack between us?

Well my chest seams lighter so I'll go ahead and post this. Maybe I should pet some slender orange kitten fur for a while. Of course I could always try to finish a sock before Christmas...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Sometimes it does mean a lot!

I knit a simple shawl out of some lovely grey alpaca yarn years ago. Little did I know how much the shawl would come to mean to me. 

I was never able to get a picture that did it justice. It is such a soft warm yarn that pictures cannot convey. I loved the pattern (Multnomah) so much I made it three times, at least. But none of the others match this one. It is just the right weight and warmth. Easy to wear and it just makes you feel better, wrapped in soft warmth. 

When Gus was old and sick the shawl gained more significance. He came home with a shaved belly from an ultrasound. It took so long for that fur to grow back. The weather grew colder and so did Gus. Enter what became known as The Shawl of Healing.

Gus was tucked in under more than once. He agreed it was just right, not too heavy and not too warm. Each time he fought his way back.
He was one Big Tough Kitty.

Last year I put Gus's bed under the Christmas tree with the shawl in it. Orange fuzzy Burt asked Gus if he could give it a test. 

Now Burt is not yet old or sick so he lets me keep The Shawl of Healing with me. You know, since I need it more.

I even wrapped D in it while he was in the hospital. He looked like an old babushka, even with the beard. Sadly those pictures will remain private. They do make me smile.

Two weeks ago it flew with us back to South Dakota. My Dad was not doing well. It was a source of comfort and warmth for me.

A few days ago I thought I lost it. It was with me then it was not?! I searched frantically, thinking not now, I still need you. I had resigned myself to "it was just a shawl" and I could always knit another one but my heart was breaking. Till I turned around and someone had hung it where I never do. I had dropped it, it was found and placed safely.

Now it travels with me to be a continuing source of comfort at my Dad's funeral.

Also meaning a lot on this voyage are the socks I'm wearing. I was wearing them on the day D had is his accident that was bad, but could have been so much worse. I am still struck by how awful it could have been and how well he has healed. I like to think of them as good luck socks.

Tomorrow, I will be wearing my Adriene socks. The yarn was a  gift from a knitting friend and a source of comfort too. My very first pen pal. I'm still amazed that we hit it off so well after reading a random blog post. Who knew yarn cakes could be as much of a bonding point as real cake. It is the stuff great friendships are based on. Well we do love tea too.

They may just be knit items but sometimes they can mean so much more.

Today wrap yourselves in all the comfort you need. And say a prayer for my dad and my family if you can.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

My Dad

You know when you really frustrate your parents and they say that one phrase...I hope you have a child just like you when you grow up.

Me? I am that curse from both sets of grandparents. I am 50% like my dad and 50% like my mom. I drove them both a little crazy and managed to make them both love me because of it too.

So my dad is not doing well. Today I was asked to "tell me about your dad." Not so easy as you would think. (I also have a hard time in interviews when asked to tell me about yourself too.)

My dad is a tough South Dakota farmer, who lost his farm. My dad always wants to know how everyone's crops are doing and where you are from. He can ask a thousand questions before you even get the chance to start answering the first.

He could always talk to anyone. A fact I hated at the time but find myself admiring all the more now.

My dad has one Hell of a temper, that he passed on to me and my nephew. He also lectured us in how not controlling that temper could get us in lots of trouble too. When I am mad, I am furious and you will most likely know it. But I also know not to let get the better of me.

I got my love of reading from my dad. I've read The Little House on the Prairie books several times. I still have the urge to pull two books out when I want to read one because of my dad. You would be happily reading along and set the book down to go do something, only to come back and find Dad had picked it up and started reading just where you left off. So we learned to leave out another book from the series as a decoy. Yep you read that right we left decoy books out.

I got my procrastination gene from Dad too. Along with my inability to send a card on time. If it can be done tomorrow why do it today?

Dad took me out on the back roads and made me practice driving home. It almost broke my heart to break the rules like that. But when the time came for me to get my license, I got my license and not my permit. Mom told me years later she thought I would fail and was ready to give me a good pep talk.

It was from both of them that I received the confidence to face a bully. I never had to fight but I knew if the fight happened I was going to hurt them more than they hurt me. I knew they would back me whatever the consequence. I still can remember them telling me I was tough and strong.

I received my strength and put your head down and get through it from them. I also received my joy and happy outlook from them. The ability to see beauty in everyday things, even rusting old farm equipment.

Oh and my love of rain definitely came from being a farmer's daughter.

And ice cream love that came from Dad too. Tea, the tea thing started with Dad.

Yeah I was the curse from both grandparents. It is good to be a curse.