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.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

OFFF 2017

Fiber festivals I really love them. I usually text Hubby when I arrive and say something like "I'm with my Peeps!" This year I may have even said "My Sheeps!" There is nothing like walking fairgrounds and seeing yarn and knitwear every where. Nothing like it. Ok fine I will admit to missing the gear up to Rhinebeck. All the excitement and chatter. Attending a knitter's mecca. It was fun while it lasted. 

I missed Black Sheep Gathering this year due to 100+ degree weather giving me the urge to strip off every piece of clothing not the urge to wrap up in woolie goodness.

But September in Oregon I got a taste of the fun again. Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is held in Canby OR, close enough and cool enough for me to take myself off to join my peeps. After a lovely leisurely breakfast of scones and tea with my adorable family, I set off. No early morning wake up for this festival. It is not cut throat like Rhinebeck, something that I can like quite a bit.

I tend to do a walk through making note of who I'd like to come back and buy from at less hectic festivals like these. This time I walked up to a booth selling counting bracelets and decided I had found something I'd been looking for a while. It works like an abacus, two rows of beads. Nine beads on one and ten on the other. To mark where you are in a pattern you move one of the nine to the side with the sheep charm, on the tenth row you move one of the ten towards the sheep, and move the nine back to restart. So that little bracelet keeps track of up to 100 rows. Nifty huh?

I rarely wear jewelry so I felt elegant as all sheep with my shiny blue beads and sheep charm dangling. I really should pull out some of my favorite pieces. Now that I don't have to answer a phone at work I could get back in the habit.

I wandered out to the sheep and llama barns. I texted D saying I could bring home a couple of alpacas for only $1000, I'm sure Burt would like some sisters. Cat bed? Shmat bed I'll just go curl up with (on) my sisters.

In the llama barn I'm sure I was cursed. I foiled a llama escape plan. The lady went in to clean the stall and the gate popped back open while her back was turned both made a quick exit. I swear one of them had a little cartoon balloon above its head saying Ffrreeeeddoomm!!!

You know me I'm a farm girl at heart, I threw up my arms and said Whoa repeatedly. What? Whoa works on horses why not llamas? I did not want to grab for the halter, I don't like stranger's hands near my face why would a llama, so got to touch llama neck hair. Ever so soft! Honey if I'm a great wife, maybe next year I can pop the trunk and bring back some wool on the hoof???

I meet up with a fellow Raveler and had a lovely chat about our felines. We wandered into the stalls where I enabled/encouraged her to buy more fiber because a sweater is better than a vest. Oh don't act like it is not true, sweaters are awesome. Vests are of course awesome...without sleeves, which makes them less awesome. (Yeah, that one got away from me a bit.)

As I was petting and fondling all the lovely fiber, commenting oh this breed, oh that breed a plan formulated in her mind. She took me to another booth she's been to and showed me a 30 breed fiber sample pack. One ounce of 30 different breeds of sheep, all clearly labeled just ready for the sampling. What a nifty idea! But alas I am in my heart a product knitter, what would I do with 30 little skeins of yarn? I'm all for experimenting for experimenting's sake, but 30 little skeins of experiments without an end product to enjoy? That is just not me.

Then we walked around the corner and saw a garland of mini mittens and socks. Ding ding ding we have a winner!! A mini knit item garland for Christmas or anytime? Sign me up!!

I came home a happy little knitter. And promptly found my spindle full of wool from the last time I spun. So a sweater for Hubby, that I have still not pulled out of the bag for measuring, is not the only thing that has to get done around here before I can start some new fun. Don't worry, just like the sweater I am more than halfway there. Burt will attest to my spinning lately.

This post was written in October but I'm back dating it so I will be able to find it before I go back to OFFF next year. What things get busy but we can always write down the details and change the dates as needed.