Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The wanderer

So I wasted an hour on itunes last night. Sorry I did not waste it I just did not use my time as effectively as I could have.

Sometimes I like to go to places with a purpose and other times (read most times), I go places to wander. I commonly go to the library to get a video or book and end up getting six or seven other items. In all our moves I've called seven libraries home. When we move I am always lost for a little while, not because I do not understand the dewey decimal system but because I remember the location of books I want to read. They might be in the same order but the location within the library varies. Biographies were in the corner next to a table in Florida, now they are next to the magazines here. Mysteries were mixed in with the fiction in South Carolina, now they have their own little area. I found things based on where my wanderings took me within the stacks. Fiction usually lead me to want to find out more in the non-fiction area. A book mentioning a king of England would send me off to find a book about the history of Britain, or the genealogy of the royal family.

My life is guided by mood and current interest. Last night I got on itunes with the intent to look for a song a friend had recommended, two hours and six songs later I still need to go to bed and I have not found what I was originally looking for. Good news, I own a couple of Adam Ant songs that I never would have thought to look for. Goody Two Shoes is a great song, you know you secretly love it!

As a general rule I like being a wanderer. On the days I go to Target to buy toothpaste and get cat litter, shampoo, a birthday card and funky new kitchen towel but not toothpaste, I am not happy being a wanderer. That is why I am so for lists in my life. With a list I have a 50/50 shot at remembering the toothpaste.

You should see me in a yarn shop. It can be small or large I will still circle it three times before I will buy anything. I must make sure I saw it all. Just because I only buy a new needle set does not mean I will not be back next week to buy my next sweater's worth of yarn. I guess being a wanderer also makes me a ponderer. I like to ponder the possibilities before I jump in.

I think I will wander off now.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Like I need an excuse to take Benadryl

My body is out to get me, I think. D and I went to the drive in on Friday night to see the new Harry Potter movie. It rained a little bit so that made viewing a little difficult. We had both read the books so we were able to track what was going on fairly well.

At some point in time my foot begins to itch. I am notorious for how bug bites get to me. If I have an itch I scratch it. Yes I know it is wrong, but it is what I do. We get home after the movie and I use one of my now favorite products. Cortisone cream to relieve the itching. I notice at that time my big toe looks a little inflamed, but I thought it was just because I had been scratching it. Off to bed we go with me thinking the Cortisone will cure what ails me. At 4 am I am proved wrong. Now the swelling has moved up to the whole top of my foot. I ice it, take Benadryl and Motrin and back to bed. A couple of times in my sleep that foot twitches, and let me tell you that swollen and twitchy do not mix.

By nine am it is really not better and even more tender, so off to Urgent Care for me. Doctor thinks it is a spider bite and after looking at it today I agree. So it turns out I was doing all things correct just not in a high enough dose to really help. He did put me on an antibiotic also to keep away any other complications. Who knows where that spider had been and when he had last washed his little spider hands. I bet he does not wash behind his little spider ears either. Filthy little bugger!

So it is back to the highly caffeinated world for me to counter act Benadryl it makes me so sleepy. This always makes work interesting for me. Think my co workers will be willing to make random loud noises to wake me up throughout the day?

And now I give you a picture of what one of my friends called a ham hock.

You can really see it from the side. Doesn't it remind you of Fred Flintstone feet? Try shoving that puppy into a shoe, and I don't have what I would call dainty feet to begin with either.

And now a shot of it encased in my latest finished socks. I thought what the heck I might as well get a picture of the new socks while I am out here.

Pretty aren't they? See how hand knit socks make feet more attractive?

Oh by the way it is better today but I might ask to run around in socks on Monday. Shoes make swollen foot angry and you won't like when swollen foot is angry.

Don't worry I made tea and scones for the Hubby, he did not have to go without.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I am anti-social, I know this about myself. It took many years for me to figure it out. I don't trust easily and once given it can be rescinded like nobody's business. Hubby had to push and push and push me to get me to attend my first knitting group. Once I did I seemed to fit in pretty well and was hooked. It helped that I found my "sister from another mister" there. Yeah, hubby came up with that one. Funny guy isn't he? She has my sense of humor and tastes. Yeah it is scary.

But I do find me giving myself pep talks before I go. Some days it is very hard for me to be social. Sucks when one of these days happens on a knitting day. Do I drag myself out of the funk or allow it run its course?

Even worse, I hate attending events where I don't know anyone. Every once in a while I put on my brave face and go and stand in the corner. I am a wallflower, that is what I am. Unless I know you, then I will latch on to you and not let you go.

I don't make conversation, I don't understand small talk. I'm not even sure I like people. Can you tell I was not popular in high school? Or ever for that matter. The funny thing is I am OK with that. I've always had a special sense of who I am, and that person does not need other people to feel valid. I still can not figure out if that is a good thing or bad. I guess it is OK since I don't have agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house).

Who I am is who I am. At the end of the day I like me. But I still know I could always have more friends and that is something I really don't know how to do. I remember waiting for a friend outside of a knitting shop so we could go into knit night together. Going in by myself while waiting for her was not an option. If she had not shown, I know I would not have stayed. I might have gone in to shop for a moment but I know I could not be convinced to stay. I don't join in with out an honest invitation. When people invite me to do things I feel like they're just doing it to be polite, they don't really want me to join and throw off the group dynamic. I know that's not always true but it is how it feels to me most of the time.

Maybe it is because I know I am awkward. I know I don't fit. Maybe it is because I'm lazy and don't want to try. Maybe I don't want the world to know how crazy I really am.

I learned a very useful skill when I was in Tae kwon do. You were to do every move with force and confidence. It didn't matter if you realized you were wrong or did not know the next move, force and confidence. Not many people can tell right from wrong when done that way. If you look like you know what you're doing then you must know what you're doing. That is how I approach social situations now. I plaster a smile on my face and act like I know what I am doing. Poor D got to see how good I am at it when we had a trip to the ER one night. Outward I was calm, but once they took my blood pressure he knew how scared I was. I try to tell myself there is nothing to worry about till there is something to worry about. I english that means, we waste a lot of time worrying about things that might happen or could happen instead of dealing with what is happening.

So I am trying, I try to talk D's friends more, I'm lucky to be a member of a knitting group, I try to believe that people really do mean come join us when they say it and I'm actually making eye contact when we attend church, not just running for the door when the service is over.

Just remember the next time you're at a party and you notice the wallflower in the corner it could be me. Throw out a life line, it might be worth your time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Two of my favorite things

This is how we usually start out the weekend at my house. Tea and scones. I don't think it is a traditional English breakfast. I've had a couple of those now and I'm still surprised they get anything done before noon.

The big morning discussion in our house is what type of scone and what type of tea. I have tried putting muffins into the rotation but Hubby loves the scones and so do I. I usually bake a pan of muffins and freeze them so I can grab and go during the week.

I especially love the apricot or cherry scones while D is on a cranberry-orange kick currently. I will be trying one of these days a combined cherry-apricot scone but I'm still afraid of too much of a good thing will spoil it.

Don't you just love the tea cozy we picked up on our vacation to Maine a couple of years ago? What says tea time like moose, bears and buffalo?

The tea is usually Lapsang Souchong. That is the tea that I can thank for turning D into a tea drinker. I had talked him into going to "this tea place" in Millerton NY. We tried a couple of teas, by we I mean me, and while I was calculating how much I could buy without ticking him off, I checked in on him. He had found this one all on his own and had them brewing it up to try. I do believe I said a little prayer in that moment that went something like, please God let him like this one, and he did. Let me tell you I made sure that one made it into the basket. We must encourage tea love in all it's forms. We have since recommended it to five or more couples with them liking it.

We have tried many of the other teas but I think this one will always be in first or second place. The added bonus for me was when we went to England I knew I could talk him into taking tea with me.

We had a lovely time at The Orangery at Kensington Palace. D says that is his favorite picture of me from the trip. I do look pretty happy, but come on I had spent four days in London by then what was there not to be happy about. Plus do you see the food? Crusts cut off and everything I live like a Queen, OK maybe I live like a Brit.
This was the view from outside. Remember this was in January. I can't remember seeing South Dakota that green in May. England what is there not to love?

Thanks for the trip Honey, when can we go back?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What type of knitter am I?

People use many ways to define or identify themselves. Interests can narrow us down even further. A reader can be defined by what genre they read, mystery vs romance. Music preferences carve out other identities, country, rock pop, rap and reggae, to name a few. When D played the guitar the differences were electric/acoustic, with in acoustic there are classical vs folk. Now with his biking love the biggest divider I see is: road vs mountain. Road biking is what they do during the Tour de France. I'm still annoyed that his obsession has leaked into me. I am actually excited to see the Tour de France this year. I caught part of the Swiss tour the other day on TV and realized I had tuned in and stayed that way while he was not even in the house to request the channel hold.

In knitting there are subsets like any other grouping. Since it is my hobby/obsession I know more break downs of knitterly definition.

Yarns - acrylic vs natural or hand painted vs kettle dyed.
Tools - material make up - wood vs metal vs plastic vs anything else you can think of.
Technique - straight needles vs circulars, double pointed needles(DPN) vs magic loop, top down vs bottom up.
What you like to knit - socks, scarves, sweaters, mittens, cozies
Motivation - enjoy the process of knitting or the end result

Defining what type of knitter you are ranks up there with using your Starbucks order to define yourself. Grande, half caf, skim, light, cappicino vs Tall caramel latte. (Thank you "You've got mail" for that analogy.) Personally the way I like my coffee to have a hint of coffee flavor over the milk and sugar. Yeah I gave up sugar in my tea I will not sacrifice sugar in my coffee.

I am a top down, bamboo DPN wielding, wool sock knitting machine. I enjoy the process but love the results. I knit because I will have something to show for it in the end.

Hi my name is Yarnkettle, I'm a knitter. Just hand me some sticks and string and no one will get hurt.

That is part of the way I define myself.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dealing with difficult people

I have been thinking about a topic for a while now. How do you deal with people you don't like? I kept calling it in my mind "dealing with difficult people". I realized yesterday what I mean is I find dealing with people I don't like to be difficult for me. It is not that they are difficult, it is that I find any situation with them difficult.

I have a very low tolerance for people who want you to sympathize with them over everything but never seem to change anything. It seems to me the same stories and problems over and over again. Sometimes they are repackaged but essentially the same. They always seem to react to the problem the same also. I find that beyond frustrating. Who does not want to improve themselves and their life? Why would you just keep covering the same old ground? I live in fear that I am really one of those people, and just don't recognize it.

If I don't like someone I tend to withdraw from that person. Why spend time with someone you don't get along with? The simple answer to that is because you will eventually eliminate everyone. I will end up alone, and I assume very bitter. Recently, I had someone that I had written off reach out to me. It was not a big gesture, it was a small one of simply talking to me. I can remember thinking "Why are you talking to me, don't you know we're not friends?" No, she did not know that, because I would not say something like that, only think it. As I thought more and more about the situation I realized I had put up the barrier not her. I was incredibly touched by the conversation, because I realized what an effort she was making. She was trying to get to know me, even though I had dismissed her. I realized how narrow I had become. It sucks to realize something like that about yourself, but it sucks more to not have realized it and kept moving in my small rut.

This person continues to make an effort to talk with me, and I in return am making an effort to get to know her also. I'm not saying we will be best friends, I'm saying that we do not need to be enemies.

The funny thing is that I doubt she even knows what she did for me that day.

Love you neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39 It is the second greatest commandment given in the Bible and it is the one I struggle with the most. I don't think I am the only one struggling with that one.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm still supporting my Husband!

Well, not financially but in spirit. My hubby did something this weekend he did not think he could. I, being a very good wife knew he could but we will not quibble over that.

He completed a 62 mile bike ride for MS. Storms were forecast for the afternoon so we were both nervous about him getting caught in the rain. He toyed with the idea of only doing the 30 mile route, but we checked forecast Sat. am and he decided to do all or nothing. He chose all by the way. Not to spoil anything here but he did not get rained on. It did cloud over but we lucked out.

We arrived at West Mountain in time to see the 100 mile (century) group leave. Small but effective group. FYI 62.5 miles is called a metric century because it is 100 km. D completed the metric century.

We got him registered and prepped. See how happy he looks? I believe our Escape is now being referred to in our house as the SAG. It is a biking thing Support And Gear.

I saw him off at 9 am. Yes that is 9 am on a Saturday, we were up by 6 am. Sad but true. You can not see it but that is the thumbs up sign he's giving me. He is so cute!

I found a spot and unpacked my now I wait for 5-6 hours bag. Yep that is right: knitting, knitting journal, water, Ipod, new romance novel and notebook for random thoughts and future blog entries. All the food was stashed in the Escape but a granola bar. Can you bring chips and beef jerky to an event like this? Do the fitness food police confiscate it?

The first 2 hours passed quickly like they did at the other event. I missed my knitting buddy this time, but hey she can't come to every event with me. Then I got hungry and had to retire to the SAG. See it even works when you're not the one riding in the event. Let me just say I love our Escape, it seems to be living up to its name. I spent a couple of hours in there and got a bit twitchy waiting. There is really no way to know how long it will take for him to get back. The closer it gets to a possible finishing time the twitchier I get. Luckily he texted me at about 1:30 to tell me 8 more miles to go. I closed up shop and went to wait by the road.

I saw this at around 2:15. Did I mention that I think he is super cool and cute, sweaty and all.

He does not look half as tired as I would after riding a 6th of that distance. That picture is post ride, post dinner and pre ride home. I think he is happy, to be done and to have been able to do it.

I forgot to mention that the reason he did this ride was for his mom who has MS. Betty, are you as proud as I am? Yeah I think you are. So send all your good thoughts and best wishes to her today!

My favorite picture from the day. Doesn't he just look like a visionary?
Hubby, I love you and love being your SAG team.

Follow me where I go what I do and who I know
Make it part of you to be part of me
Follow me up and down all the way and all around
Take my hand and say you'll follow me
John Denver - Follow me

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I blame my husband!

I am obsessed with le Tour de France. I have a decent chance of being able to explain what the different colored award jerseys are for. Shoot, I even know that there are different colored jerseys and they have meaning.

I can remember thinking, last year when D started to get into road bike riding, it is too bad that Lance Armstrong retired before we had a chance to appreciate him. He is back baby!

I believe that the coolest American name on the tour is Levi Leipheimer. I foresee one of our cats being named that in the future. We are not going to have kids so that is the highest honor I can bestow. Seriously cool name!

I am learning how it is a team race even though only one person wins. It is amazing to see the team dynamic in action.

I am enjoying the French countryside passing by and have fallen slightly in love with the British announcer on Versus network. I don't think he is a fan of Lance but I think we can work it out.

Thanks Hubby for giving me something besides knitting to think about. I am not changing the title of the blog!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A general update of me

I learned a new heel for my socks. This is a short row heel. I'm still not sure if I like it but I must do at least one more, for the other sock of course.

Youtube is an amazing thing. I kept reading the directions for this heel and could not understand it. I watch a couple of videos on youtube and I am off and running. To bad I was off and running in the wrong direction. I did not get very far before I realized there was a mistake and worked back to me starting point. I watched the video again and was off yet again this time in the right direction.

So one new thing learned this summer. Now I can mark that off my never ending ways to improve myself list. Sometimes I improve myself in small ways sometimes in big ways, sometimes I just think I improve myself, ha.

Oh I finished reading "The Princess Bride" today also. The movie was fairly true to the book. Mostly it was shortening the story for time in the movie. I don't think I like the author commenting on everything. Maybe because he seemed rather snarky to me.

I was suffering from a migraine this week so Crime and Punishment was turned off in the car the past couple of days, so no progress in that area.

I have always been a person that can read multiple books at the same time. Well not at the same time exactly, but I usually have one story going at home, one story at work for lunchtime and recently one audio one going in the car as I travel. My sister thought it was weird as we were growing up but I think she does the same thing now that she waits for my nephew at soccer games. My poor sister had to share a room with me while we were growing up. We are very unlike each other especially during that time. Now my nephew has a lot of my personality traits. I do believe that is ironic. She waited so long to be able to move away from her annoying little sister only to have a kid very reminiscent. And that is why I know God has a wicked sense of humor.

Happy day before the fourth of July everybody!