My sweet puppy

This week has been a whirlwind. The eclipse, leaving LuLaRoe,  my husband and I both started college Monday, and we were struck with a tragedy that evening. Our dogs have always been strong willed but usually are very complicit, until they get bored of their surroundings. We have a good sized back yard and over the years the boundaries got tested more and more. Half this past summer was spent fixing the fence where they found out how to crawl under and be jail birds. We were pretty lucky for the most part, we would either catch them or within minutes neighbors would be by with them. 


Monday evening I was home with the kids and my sister and received the worst phone call. Someone had found the puppies, but were situated across the Parkway from us. When I told her I was going to grab the kids before heading out, she said it wasn’t a good idea. She told me one of them had been hit by a car. I was shaking the whole way over, trying not to cry. The panic was hitting me that all their determination to escape had finally batted against them. When I got there I could see my sweet girl by the median. I couldn’t bare to go over to her. I did get to take my loving boy home, but it has been a hellacious ordeal. There were several wonderful women who helped to reunite us. They comforted me while I had to call my husband who was on his way home from his first class and break the news. I’m not sure how long it was, but I’m grateful my sister was there to keep an eye on the kids.  
Now we are trying to adjust to our boy, all alone, having to relearn how to dog. Mancy was always the ringleader and he always followed her. They always went together everywhere.  I’m so terribly heart broken. I keep expecting her to bark in the morning to be let out, watch her play with the kitties, nose licks. This is going to be incredibly difficult for all of us to move forward from. We never kept animals long enough to live out their entire lives growing up, so this is a first even for me. 

The kids are going to be seeing the circle of life come full circle here shortly, with a cat that we adopted recently who turned out not to be fixed but already pregnant by the time we got her. 

Her name is Daenerys and she will be showing them the amazing side of life in the next week to 10 days. She’s finally adjusting to our chaos and is fine with the boys now, but still adjusting to our easiest fur baby Warrior. 



Tyrion has taken over as Warriors shadow and I’m so incredibly touched by his gesture. I’m hoping that through all of this we will be able to make out as good as they easily make it seem. Life will never be the same, but we know that she was and is loved. 

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Clarity

Blurry.

Between the rain and the fog, things have been quite dismal the last few weeks. We caught a short break today, if only for a few hours. During this time I managed to scoop the short people up from school and make a run for the eye doctor’s before the rain came back in full force. My eldest has now joined the ranks of the four-eyed clan with the rest of us, only part time with reading glasses though.

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We had an incident last week with our kitchen faucet deciding to quit on us. So my better half had to finagle a few things around, and get the old one out (3 hours and many colorful words later).

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The new faucet is a breath of fresh air compared to the leaky, hard to shut off thing that was originally there. You have no idea how good new things are when you have used crap for years. I just hope this lasts until we get to remodeling the kitchen. (who knows when that will eventually be)

With all the time that we’ve had inside lately, games have been in order. Hubby and I had a lunch date Friday, well it started out as a surprise at work and turned into a date. Saturday we went and saw Deadpool while my stepdad babysat. We ended up going out window-shopping and finding Bean Boozled. Now, if you don’t know what it is, it’s 10 different colored jellybeans with 2 flavors each-1 good, 1 gross. We’ve watched tons of youtube videos of people doing the challenge and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do something silly like this. The kids got a kick out of playing it. Better yet was my 50¢ Goodwill find of a complete travel Battleship set. I spent the weekend teaching the kids how to play and Rachel finally beat me, declaring her victory throughout the house, as she was the first opposing winner.

Earlier this week I made sure to get a progression picture of my Moho. I’m so close to being done with the second section, but I’m definitely playing yarn chicken with this shawl. I’ve found one annoying flaw that I’m going to have to go back and fix with any spare yarn I have leftover.

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I finally wound up some of my handspuns. I love loosely winding them and thinking about all of the possibilities they contain. They are beautiful inspiration and temporary decoration.

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Leaving in less than 48 hours

Let the packing panic begin. Okay, it’s not that bad, but I’m totally not ready mentally. I’ve organized things and gotten them together for weeks and prepped for months and now I’ve gotten to the point where I’m losing sleep reorganizing and added this, subtracting that, and my neat lists are m.i.a.

The presents are wrapped, but I’m constantly telling myself “No, no, no. This simply will not do. You must even this out and add just a smidge more.” I feel like I cheated them on things because we weren’t able to afford things this year as we did in other years. Granted I made things out of yarn, and good stuff at that, I feel inadequate. It’s a strange feeling. Non crafters don’t know the costs, labors and so on that go into the work. I know the gifts that are going to these particular recipients are going to be appreciated, I’m just kicking myself with my own anxiety.

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Last week was chaotic, and to a degree it went better in some ways than planned. Thursday the teachers had a luncheon planned and parents volunteered to watch the kids for the period. Because it was the first year doing so with a block schedule for the upper grades, communication was a bit lacking. Once that was figured out, it went rather smoothly. Most of the kids were really easy to deal with, and I’m sure if there weren’t any laptops involved, the rest would have been more involved in the card making activity I had planned for them. They made holiday cards for their home room teacher, and if they were done, they could make one for whomever they choose. After they were done, I passed out candy canes and had made a new friend in the class with one of the girls.

Friday the kids had a party scheduled for the end of the day. Parents were asked to come and I was not made aware of that until I arrived and had to park at the far corner of the school and had to simultaneously juggle 5 bags and a purse and buzz into the school while parents smiled and watched on. You never realize how much you are being watched until you have your arms full. Once inside I had to make a mad dash to the classroom because I had ice cream that I didn’t want melting, only to get trapped in the front area of Fort Magnet Doors. The lady at the front had somehow confused me with a regular ole boring parent and tried to keep me corralled with the rest of the herd. I explained to her that I had to go set up and I was the room parent, but that didn’t work. Eventually I snuck back when someone else got buzzed back.

The party went pretty smoothly for a bunch of 4th graders. They are at the age of I still want to bounce off the walls, but I want to sit here and annoy you to death-and they are really good at finding that balance. Especially the boys that decided a contest to see who could fit more grapes in their mouth was a better idea. So I had to watch out for the kids that were trying to Darwin themselves out and limit their grapes and mean old lady lecture them.  The rest of the party went great. They had so many options to choose from, I was surprised that so many kids choose the healthier items. It was a big win to me.

After the party I signed the kids out early and we went home. They were both stuffed and ready for some peace and quiet. One read, Two napped. When Two got up he had a high fever and was a bit disinterested in everything. No food, tv, activity or even sleep could cheer him up. Now there is a phantom fever with mild nausea going around my house. Nothing more or less, hits for a few days & ends sporadically. Probably some strain of the noro virus we’ve already had before.

Now that we are in the home stretch I can finally post a few f/o’s!

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a hat for a family friend

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leg warmers for baby Elise

…and in non knitting news, I found this fabulous gem in Thing Two’s first semester papers he brought home, fair warning it is silly and inadvertently crude:

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Winter…. is not coming apparently

Thanksgiving last week was spent with my mom, stepdad and sister, along with my intermediate family. It was a rather quiet event. It was probably the first one where the weather was temperate and everyone but the kids was agreeable and nobody cared about what was going on in the outside world for one day. It was nice. My mom and stepdad knew we are going out of town for Christmas and sprung that upon us early. I wasn’t expecting that, but the kids enjoyed it very much so and it left the adults with some peace and quiet for a short time.

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It is now officially December and today it was in the upper 50s here in Huntsville despite the rain. The view above is from the parking garage at my neurologists a week ago, the view below is the dismal cloudy, foggy, rainy today. All the other filters made it too bright and cheery compared to how bleed and gray it really looks. If only I could get my leaves and last week back! Ha!

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It’s actually been rather pleasant up until Sunday, when we were cursed with this never ending rain that seems to be settling in for good. December also means we are going to be visiting family! * insert super excited yay here * It has been an eternity, or so it seems, since we have been on the traveling end of a family visiting vacation. We are looking to visit the in-laws in Indiana first and then my dad and stepmom second in Virginia.

I’m getting rather ahead of the trip planning. I have several school functions to take care of and gifts to make-I didn’t think I was going to be doing those this year, but I got a special request (x4) and that is a rare thing that I couldn’t say no to along with a trip to the yarn shop! I’m done with one of the four items already, number 2 is giving me grief but that is user error for no paying attention. So I will sit my happy rear down and put my needles to work the first free moment I get.

Do you remember the mittens I was talking about making in project avoidance? I made a couple pairs.

I started on another pair, but ended up being swept into gift making, so those are on hold for now.

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Scrap yarn hat ornaments are an incredibly fast and fun item to make and take less than 25 yards. There are a ton of patterns on Ravelry, I just went off of my basic hat knowledge and found them rather simple and nifty to create. These are going to be making the trip with me and handed out with Christmas cards. I’m hoping we get to experience some snow while we are out, because we have had to turn the a/c on and get experimental in the kitchen with vanilla sugar butter cookies and mint chocolate chip ice cream to cool down.

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Since last week was Thanksgiving break, I will say that I am grateful for the time I got to spend with my mischievous children. (the maniacal laughter of children is always welcome in my home) They make life interesting and I’d be lost without them, especially when thing 2 does silly things like this:

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A case of the Pox

I had forgotten about the existence of chicken pox until this last week. Monday, my eldest showed me some ‘bug bites’ on her leg and foot, and stomach and back and scalp. She had worried me as my stepdad had taken her and her brother hiking the day before. After careful examination, I started going through shot records and researching things. It is possible to get the chicken pox after 2 vaccines, and so Tuesday I kept her home and called the doctors. Her regular doctor wasn’t available so I called our office’s walk-in clinic, and warned them what might be walking in and asked what their quarantine procedures for us were available. Luckily we were the only ones that had come in, and got seen right away. We got our confirmation, which comically the nurse had not seen a case of in over 20 years. I called the nurse at her school, whom I’m quite amicable with, before I had even left the parking lot to let her know what was going on. The reason for that, is not my own insanity, but because there are children that for religious reasons are not vaccinated, pregnant teachers and volunteers and other people that may have come in contact with her that need to be notified so that if they are exposed can be treated to the best of their ability. The CDC has procedures that the nurse has to follow when a major contagious thing like the chicken pox goes around. It seems rather arbitrary, but you have to bring in paper work to prove your kid has seen a doctor and has a diagnosis before they can even notify other people during an outbreak.

So it’s been lots of oatmeal baths and calamine lotion around here, as procedure hasn’t changed since we were kids. Because she had the shots, she’s had considerable less pox (?) and on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the itchiest, she’s been hovering around a very comfortable 2-3 when she’s distracted. As long as they slow down and we can have this contained to NO MORE by Thanksgiving, that would be great. Because pox are contagious as long as there are new ones popping up, according to what the doctor said. Do you know how pitiful that is when all your kid wants to do is run around, go outside and do things that all the other kids are doing because they are pretty asymptomatic (minus the pox of course)?

Her brother hasn’t had any signs of it show up, and the doctor said he may not because he has a less compromised immune system than her. He lacks the allergies and skin conditions that put her in the conditions to weaken her immune system to full blown exposure the way her’s did is the best way I can explain it. Which is all good, because she’s been taking to chasing him around the house threatening to hug and kiss and share her germs with him. (no matter what she’s threatened punishment with, she just want’s someone to commiserate with, apparently our chicken pox stories are boring by comparison) He’s been making up for all the mischief she’s been missing out on at school in the mean time.

Now that we are getting closer to our trip and we are expecting more colder weather at night, all I can think about are mittens and fingerless gloves.

I made my better half a pair of fingerless gloves off of a free pattern I found using some Manos Del Uruguay that I had in my stash.(for anyone tackling this pattern, I recommend being careful with thumbhole tightness because these are very small, and she calls for very tight multiple rounds on top of it to secure the thumb hole, you may want to adjust for fat fingers) He will be doing the driving, and it seemed only fitting that he have something that will help with the cold steering wheel.20151119_231818-1

I’m currently in full project avoidance mode with my mkal shawl, yeah you know the one. I have to frog some lace work, but first put a life line in, and I’m not in the mood to touch it what so ever. I’m going to cry if I have to do anything with it right now. I know I’ll feel better once I get on track, but I really can’t get in the mind set to do it yet. I want to get a couple pairs of mittens out of my system first. My equivalent of chain-smoking a few cigarettes before tackling the beast. The mental hurdle I need to battle to get into the physical throws of things. So now I have some short term goals. I’m actually happy because I’ve been able to enjoy the 60 degree weather we’ve been fortunate enough to still enjoy.

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I’ve been waiting for a decent storm to finish off our neighbors Ginkgo leaves, but alas it hasn’t. They just look really neat half green and yellow, akin to an apple ripening. So I’m going to sit back and enjoy this before it’s gone. These tree’s typically shed the majority of their leaves in one fell swoop. When we get a really good windy day, I’ll get a cup of hot cocoa and hang out by the window and watch the leaves swirl across the yards.

Gratitude

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This is what you get when you search for the word gratitude, it is synonymous with thankfulness and my favorite gracious word.

Every November social media flocks to do the 30 Days of Thank(s)fulness, and I will confess my past participation of terribly incomplete attempts. The more I see these kinds of posts, the more I realize that some of these are grabs to appease the social masses and impress people who don’t care what you think. It’s the Hail Mary before Christmas so they can get the best gifts or whatever they think they are deserving of for being so gracious. Don’t get me wrong, some people are genuine in their posts, but many others are not. Their posts are set up in the formats of “I’m so grateful for Cate because she brought coffee to work for me today! (insert coffee emoji here)”

 Someone did something nice for you, but you’re not thankful for them any other time except when it benefits you is what I hear.

Maybe I overanalyze things, maybe people are reaching desperately for posts to get their 30 days in, maybe I don’t know. This is the way my brain works. When I started seeing a trend in posts like these, where people specifically chose a person and thanked them for a specific task that was beneficial self serving rather than something really to be gracious or thankful for the person got me thinking. I stopped doing my own versions of the 30 Days. For one, it was exhausting to come up with things that don’t make you sound like a complete narcissist, and for two, everything gets repetitive year after year-especially when you are married with children.

I started watching what others posted. It seems a bit silly, even intimate at times. Some people had things that you could tell they breathed some real life into writing about. The passion was in the words, others grasped at threads because their lives were stuck in the same mediocre spot mine had reached. I’ll share of few of my lame attempts of trying that I had to reach for.

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Grabbing at family, friends and children is the easiest and simplest play when reaching for anything to post as a married mother of 2. I even pulled the oops I forgot a day, let’s cram another post into 2 and hope nobody ever looks at this one again move. Looking through my history I realized that I wasn’t really grateful for many things outside of my family and friends. A trending theme amongst my years in comparison to some people. I thanked my technology for bringing me closer to my family and friends one time. Many times I was grateful for Day 19’s sentiment. I realize many people with multiple kids share similar things, especially my friends with multiple young children.

The core of my purpose though, is not to critique every little gratitude, but to make you think about how you are grateful and where it is really owed.

We shouldn’t waste time and energy focusing on the mediocre things like self-centered appreciations, but more so on the people who are there every day, doing little things to make our lives a tiny bit easier even though they aren’t obligated to. Gratitude is not a one month a year practice before the gifting season obligation. It is something that should be shown like manners. It should be used and reciprocated without hesitation. A natural reflex, if you will, used every day, that is genuine. Gratitude is not something you use as a ploy to post on social media and brag about, it is a feeling and an action rolled into one. It is something that you can actively participate in. The 30 Days of Thank(s)fulness is not the best example of showing or being thankful. I say this because not everyone wants to be outed on social media for the things they do for you, you might embarrass them. If you want to show someone you are thankful, actions speak louder than words, no matter how small the action is. A shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, a coffee date, writing snail mail-these things are priceless and cheap! People who respect and value you as much as you respect and value them, will be grateful for whatever you have to offer.

First frost at last

We have been enjoying flip flops and shorts for as long as possible down here in Alabama. It has managed to stay around 60-70 all through out October and into the beginning of this month. Believe me, I’ve been wearing flip flops, tank tops and capris for as long as I can get away with them, and accessorizing with knitwear.  I might look a bit silly but I hate dragging out the winter clothes. Last night was our first frost. Even the dogs refuse to stay outside for any length of time. This means the holidays are right around the corner, and I really need to get shopping done since I’m not doing knitting this year.

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I was able to take the kids to the park on Veteran’s Day. They had off from school. We discussed a few things about veteran’s earlier in the day and then they were set free to join the other kids on the playground. It was a beautiful 73° day, and probably our last until spring.

My sister has requested a Slytherin hat. The colors are definitely in my stash,  the cable length for my interchangeables has not been. I can’t work on super short ones, and never thought to check my fixed ones until I was out of the house, and forget every about them every time I’m home. I managed to free up an interchangeable needle cord from another hat I finished up last night, so no doubt it’ll fit.

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Also on Veteran’s day, my eldest had so much planned she seemed rather disappointed when I told her my plans for the day. So we sat down and discussed. She is really into sewing. Hand sewing that is. She will eventually work her way to regular fabric but for now she’s working with felt for amount of things that you can make with it. She’s learning the difference between felt woven and knit materials and why felt is more of a novelty and it’s not made for clothing. So she makes small items out of it.

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She ended up sewing a Pokéball hanging ornament. Sewed one side, on the back we glued felt to cover up the unsightly knots. I made and icord out of the red thread for her to hang it up with and we put that in between the layers of felt. She loves how it turned out. She felt useful having done something creative and constructive with her time. It was a good 3 hours well spent, especially discussing techniques and fabrics and all the little history lessons that you wouldn’t expect to pop up that do. I love her and her curious mind.

Our planned baby shower was a success. My stepsister was surrounded by tons of people and food and presents galore. All the items went over really well. I’m not going to post pictures of the shower but I will share a picture of the blocked cardigan. It took forever for me to get around to it. It’s a newborn size. It looks like it wouldn’t even fit a doll, but it may fit a baby! My stepsister had her daughter this week and she is tiny. So tiny that none of her clothes are small enough to fit her. My younger sister and I went to visit her in the hospital and she is just the tiniest. I got my baby fix in while I was there -long enough to last until we get to Indiana and our new niece.

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I’m so excited that we have Christmas plans this year.  We are going to be driving to Virginia to my Dad and step mom’s.  After Christmas we are going up to Indiana to visit my in-laws and see my husband’s family. His sister and brother-in-law just had a baby back in August, and she is just darling. We really can’t wait for the holidays this year.