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Friday, November 30, 2012

50 pounds of junk in a 10 pound bag

Have you ever felt like you are a gazelle on a pair of ice skates and no matter how hard you try, something keeps knocking you down?

The week started out as most weeks do. I finally had enough of the tween induced mess in my house that is also known as my daughter's bedroom, so I went in there with a garbage bag and a mind made up that come hell or high water, this room would be clean. I spent a good part of nap time on Monday afternoon working in there. I was so overwhelemed when I lifted up her bed and saw the contents underneath it that I called my mom and used my "high pitched what am I going to do?" voice. Mom promptly arrived and I knew that if Julie got home from school and saw that I had called in the "big dog" she would get the point. She came home and basically was amazed at the rearranging that had taken place and loved her room. She even helped a little bit, and I know you new age moms (or whatever you would call it) are saying "she should have done a majority of the work." Perhaps you're right, but the thing is, I wanted it done right. I also wanted it done in a timely manner. We made it through Monday night. Tuesday was when all hell broke loose.

I got a message from the treasurer of the knititng guild letting me know that there had been a major snafu with the room we normally hold our meetings in. We didn't have it. I didn't schedule the meeting for November because of Thanksgiving. Someone else scheduled it for the 14th and somehow I had gotten it in my head that it was the 28th. So, I sent out email reminders and newsletters with the change in the date noted. It wasn't until the day before the 28th that we found out we didn't have the room. After some scrambling and running, we did secure a space and had a great meeting, but uffda. Did I ever feel like a pariah. I know I shouldn't have because mistakes happen and it did end up being okay, but it was just another thing that happened that made me feel like I wasn't living up to people's expectations of me. There's been a sharp drop in membership at guild. I feel like it's kind of been since I became the president. Is it me? Is there something that I'm doing that's wrong? This kind of stuff eats away at me. I know you can never make everyone happy all the time but I get in this mode where I am not satisfied unless EVERYONE likes me. I'm working on overcoming that. It will take time, however, I am sure.

Then on Wednesday, my husband was late coming home from work. I finally called him to see if everything was okay, and he answered the phone from the side of the road in a 2003 Ford Brick. The transmission was dead. Gone. Kaput. Game over. We just bought this car in June. My cousin owns a garage and could do the transmission for us. The dealership still has it under warranty and will pay for 25% of the cost to fix it, but we have to pay about $100.00 to tow it back to them so they can look at it and give us an estimate. Are they going to over charge us since they are paying 25% of the cost? I hope not. But do I know anything about cars or dealerships? Heck no. I know how to walk on to one with a pre approval from a bank and say, "I want that one." but when it comes to negotiations or getting a fair deal, I have absolutely no clue what to do. So, I am letting my husband deal with this fiasco. He can talk to the service managers, the parts department, whoever you have to talk to. I'm going to sit on the couch and rock back and forth while I knit and hum to myself and pray that it all works out and I don't end up with a $4,000.00 hunk of metal in my yard.

There's more that I could go into, but I'm not going to because in all honesty, there are people out there who have it WAY worse than I do. I am blessed with parents who care about me and will help me with anything even though I'm almost 30 years old. In spite of all the shenanigans I pull on them, they are still always right there ready to help out when something goes wrong in my life. I will say with all of this car garbage, I've given some thought to becoming Amish. Horses get sick but I'm sure they don't cost as much as Ford Explorer transmissions. Or maybe they do. Oh hell. I'm just going to knit and not think about it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Trolls and Bucket Dippers

The internet sure has become a playground for faceless bullies to come out and flex their muscles, hasn't it? I've noticed a huge influx in the number of people who will make comments about things that have absolutely nothing to do with them in order to gratify their own egos.
Facebook is like the mecca in the world of rudeness. Having a bad day? Want to go rain on someone elses parade to make you feel better about whatever is happening in your life? Then sign up for Facebook. Complain about every single post someone makes as if it has anything to do with you in the first place. Sit down over dinner and talk about how fat someone has gotten since high school and how disgusting they look. Comment on the number of times they change their profile pictures and how vain that must mean they are. Don't bother getting to know someone on the inside first or learning about them at all. Who cares if they are a great parent or a great friend, or if they have gone through something difficult and posting about seemingly meaningless things on Facebook gives them an outlet or a place to be heard. Don't take into consideration that if you stopped judging them based on what you see on your screen, you might make a great friend. Keep pointing your finger at other people and ignore the three that are pointing back at you. Do you think you might post about things people don't care about from time to time? What you had for dinner? That you are tired? Newslfash, today is Friday and I get paid! Whoo hoo, that's awesome. Don't like it? Then don't read it. Honestly, if you're going to get that upset or annoyed by people who post about what is taking place in their lives, then maybe social networking is not for you. It's just a possibility. People it's Facebook. It is not the be all end all of life. It used to drive me nuts if someone deleted me for no good reason, and it's happened, but I finally realized that those people are doing me a favor by removing their presence because if it bothers them to know that I didn't match my socks this morning, or that I thought whatever movie I watched on Friday night was good/bad/or otherwise, then who needs them? How sad and empty are the lives of the people who have nothing better to do than sit around nitpicking at people for their social networking page. It's YOUR space. If you want to post 0598437689789 pictures of your right ear, then that's your right to do so. If you want to spray your political beliefs all over the place and get into arguments with anyone who will bite, that's YOUR space. Go ahead. But DON'T call me ridiculous or immature or whatever else because of the things that I choose to post about. Don't call me vain because I changed my profile picture to one that I thought was flattering.Be happy for people if they seem to be happy. Be sympathetic to people who need sympathy. Be kind to people who haven't been shown kindness. Everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about. So stop being rude and start being a catalyst for a better place for everyone to enjoy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I think I am Amelia Bedelia....

Do you remember that quirky and scatterbrained maid from the children's books Amelia Bedelia? She was always getting off track and was disorganized to the point of being funny. That's how I feel in a lot of aspects of my life. Once, I was tearing the house apart looking for my cell phone. I was so frustrated with it's absense but I could not for the life of me figure out where I had left it. Suddenly, someone called me and I heard the chorus of The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony, and low and behold, it was in my hand. I've looked for my glasses only to finally realize they are perched on my head. I've put things in the microwave and forgotten about them. I have found my ball winder in the fridge, mascara in the freezer, and loose socks in my purse. I am by definition, a scatterbrain. It used to be that when it came to knitting, that adjective did not describe me. Now, however, it does.
We had a show and tell night last month to kick off the new guild year. I had no idea what to bring. It could have been a work in progress or something that you were just very proud of. I had several works in progress to choose from, and I had just designed and knit my own pattern for a baby hat, but I had given it away. I could have shown photos, but I decided I would just talk about whatever I brought along to work on during the meeting. That night, it was the infamous blue cardigan. (It seems all of my sweaters become infamous for one reason or another during the course of their creation) I was in awe of everyone's beautiful work. Especially Adriane's reversible baby toys. Everyone had their cell phones, computers, or iPads out to go on to order the book she made them from. Super cute! But then it was my turn. I held up the sweater. The body is done. The collar and button bands are done. It is without sleeves and only appropriate for Larry the Cable Guy at the moment. I tried to show pride in this work because I have poured so many hours into the ribbing on the bottom and the button bands....but alas I held it up and said "Well. This is my sweater. It is covered in cat hair because my cat, Amazing Larry loves to lay on it while I work. I also accidentally spilled chocolate on it so I will have to scrape that off before I can wear it. And don't even get me started on all the ends." It has dawned on me that perhaps my projects would not suffer abuse like this, and turn out better if I focused on ONE project at a time. Will I ever be satisfied with just one thing in my WIP basket? Time will tell I guess. I'm resolving to not start anything new until I have cast off the last stitch on my last WIP. Right now staring me in the face I have:
1. Cardigan
2. A scarf that seems to go on and on and on
3. A baby blanket for a dear friend (thankfully the baby has not been born yet)
4. A baby tunic for a baby due any day
5.  A crocheted prayer shawl to donate to church
Oh wow. That's only 5. I guess I'm not as bad as I had originally thought. Though I will admit it is more than someone with my attention span should have going at once if she expects anything to turn out half way decent.
Now what was it that I was going to do after I finished this entry? I feel like I was planning to be productive. I guess I'll pick up the scarf and see if I can get it a little closer to being done, and watch my amazing son sleep peacefully under his Mickey Mouse blanket. That sounds better than boring adult responsibility.
Share the peace


Sunday, July 15, 2012

No More Tears

This weekend has absolutely been the worst God forsaken weekend I have endured in a long time. Yesterday was slightly worse than today. Today I mostly slept and when I wasn't sleeping I was randomly crying or staring at nothing. I'm normally very happy but this weekend....uffda.
But everyone has a point where they break. And I reached it. Working in EMS is not easy. It is one of the hardest jobs I will ever love. It involves time, energy, sacrifice, and sometimes a little bit of your sanity. You might work on someone for 45 minutes doing chest compressions, ventilating them with a bag valve mask, watching the portable monitor praying for a normal rhythm. You can use all of your skills, every drug at your disposal...amiodarone, narcan, sodium bicarb, seemingly endless doses of epi...and you still have to tell someone that they are now a widow. You don't know your patient or their family when you arrive, but when you leave, your heart is broken for them. They are on your mind and your heart for days. You randomly start to cry for seemingly no reason. You can't discuss the details with your loved ones unless you want to have the pants sued off of you. It's hard. Impossible in some moments, and those are the moments where the easiest thing to do is shut your eyes and leave reality for a few moments of restless sleep.
Saturday morning, my eyelids were heavier than cement. They opened and I saw my husband standing over me, and he was crying. I was alarmed and immediately wide awake. Our beloved cat, Calvin, was not passing urine and was in pain and this warranted an emergency trip to the vet. I felt impending doom. I love this cat so much. He has been a resident in this house as long as I have owned it. And that's not an exaggeration. The day that we began moving in after closing the deal, I went to the humane society and picked him and his friend Figaro up. (Figaro left us for heaven on August 4th, 2009) Calvin is always there when I need a kitty friend. He is one of the sweetest, silliest, friendliest cats I have ever known, and the thought of losing him was too much to bare after already having a rough start to the weekend. We took him to the vet and they were able to get the blockage removed and he was doing much better and even eating today. Praise God. Yes, it is going to be quite expensive, but when you have a cat or a dog in your family, they are just as much a member of the family as anyone else. He is expected to come home tomorrow and I know that I will be counting down the minutes to go get him and have him home where he belongs. Joey isn't quite sure what to do without the alpha cat here to keep him in line.
In knitting news....there really isn't any at this time. I just haven't been up to it and that should scream volumes about my level of sadness over Calvin. I guess my depression was a little bit intensified when I picked up my wool of the andes sweater to knit a few rows on the button band to find that a hershey's cookies and cream drop had melted on it and resulted in the bottom lip quivering again. What is happening to me? I can only hope that this week will only bring better things. I know cuddling with my favorite gray and white feline will be a start to getting back to feeling like myself. I hope that everyone else has had a much better weekend. Oh. And I broke the light fixture in the bathroom when I towel snapped it trying to kill a fly. When it rains it pours, eh?

Saturday, March 31, 2012



Compassion is defined:

Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.

You can't fix everything. But you can wish you could. Even if you can't fix a sadness or a problem for someone else, just being a good friend and having compassion is the best you can do. I have this for my friends and family. I wish that it was more common in today's society because if it were, the world would be a better place. People wouldn't feel hurt by the things other people say and there would be a better understanding of each other.

Indeed. The world would be better. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

So it rained last night.....

The weather was perfect yesterday! Not too hot, not too windy, just warm enough to not need a coat. It was wonderful! So of course, I brought my Easy Ruffle Coat outside to get some length added to the body. It's taken me forever to get to this section so I've been trying to work on it as often as possible. Since I am not always the best at remembering where I leave my things, at 9:00 last night when I realized that I had left my work in progress sitting on the swing outside, an inner war began inside of me over whether to run out and get it, or just leave it out over night. I hadn't watched the weather, but I was pretty sure it wouldn't rain. My prediction that it wouldn't rain was partly made with help from my healthy fear that running outside into my dark yard would bring no good to anyone. Whenever it is dark and I have to walk through grass, I am always positive that there is a snake lurking somewhere just waiting to bite me. I could turn the outside light on so I am able to see a path to the swing where I inevitably leave everything, but then I run a risk of the neighbors seeing my I Love Lucy pajamas. From my comfy spot on the sofa, I reassured myself that it wouldn't rain, and fell asleep. I woke at 2:30 am to a soothing and familiar sound. It was RAIN! Crap. Thankfully this yarn is very forgiving and as soon as it's dry, it will be no problem to continue knitting with.
I did learn a lesson though. Just because you're afraid of snakes and therefore afraid to go outside at night in I Love Lucy pajamas does not prevent rain. It will happen and even the greatest fear of reptiles and public humiliation can't keep it away.

No need to doubt...he is definitely my child....

The last few days have been filled with the familiar laughter and random screams of Pee Wee Herman. Anyone who has spent five seconds with me knows that I love Pee Wee Herman. But this time, it's not me watching the grey suit wearing childlike moron. It's Daniel. Julie went through a similar phase around this age. He constantly wants to watch "Pee Wee Orner." Again, this is exactly how his sister pronounced his name. I must pass down a good sense of humor gene to my children. Others don't get it, but we embrace the silliness that is Pee Wee. And we are all probably healthier  because everyone knows that laughter is good for the soul.

My mom got some horrible news yesterday. After 38 years at ATK, the plant she works in is being closed and she will be losing her job. When she called to tell me yesterday, my heart broke for her. She's not worried about the financial aspect as much as the sense of loss. When you work somewhere for 38 years, you are bound to make close friends and she has no doubt made many who she views as her family. Its kind of surreal for her to think about not driving to Brice's Prairie every day to work, but we have all agreed that some time off to relax and refresh is in order. She is so dedicated and whatever she does, she does 100%. Last night, we went and picked out some really pretty pink tulips in a pot for her to transplant into her flower gardens. I've pointed out a lot of perks. She will have more time for gardening, worshiping, being a grandma, and doing things she's always wanted to do but never had time for. She knows she has love and support around her and she will pull through it. I did but a mega millions ticket tonight...*just in case* and if I should happen to win I would definitely help my mom and dad. Not that they need financial help, but I know from being faced with job loss how hard it is to feel helpless about your livelihood.

The weather has been great this week. We've gotten a lot of things done outside, so as long as spring really is here we should be set soon.

I'm stuck on hat #20. I just can't quite get myself to finish the last 20. I think when you get in a rut like this, it's best to step back and remember that you're only one person and if you have to knit some socks or some button bands on a cardigan to keep yourself sane, there is no shame in that. You're still knitting, right? In fact, today I finally learned toe up socks. And the best part? Magic loop toe up socks! I am all over this! But I will not be able to sleep thinking of any little baby with a cold head, so I know I'll be back to whipping out the hats in no time. But for right now, my heather gray cardigan that I started in September is getting some much needed TLC.
It WILL be a day. Hopefully soon.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Embarassing your offspring: one of the hidden joys of being a parent

Someone stop me. I almost spent $18.00 on a Spandau Ballet Tee Shirt. Or don't say anything because I'm not totally convinced that I won't wander back to the site later today and order it. Anyone who has ever watched any movie staring Molly Ringwald can appreciate good 80's music. What has happened to music since then? Now we have Justin Bieber in our faces getting his ridiculously annoying songs stuck in our heads. The kid needs a hair cut. And a career change. But that's just my opinion.

Julie has turned into just as big of a music lover, if not slightly more than her mother. I'm really glad that she listens to music as often as she does, however I wish I could adjust her taste a little bit. She did enjoy Rich Girl by Hall and Oates when we were coming back from Target the other night. That made me happy. Hall and Oates is one of my very favorites. I sang along really loudly and made a big show with animated hand gestures. I was so into what I was doing that I didn't notice how she had slumped down in her seat and put her head down. Occasionally she would glance out the window, probably wanting to make sure that none of her friends saw her riding in an SUV with her 80's rock star mother. I can't recall ever feeling that way while riding with my mom anywhere. I've always kind of been the animated rock star in any vehicle though, so it's quite possible that my mom felt the way Julie felt during any of our trips to Westby when a Supremes or Neil Sedaka song came on. I say who cares? If someone sees you enjoying what is obviously great music, then maybe they will lighten up a little bit and not take life so seriously. Shake it off and have fun. Enjoy your surroundings because tomorrow is not a promise. If something happens to me tomorrow, I will know that I had fun on earth in my kitchen dancing with my wonder mop to Tears for Fears.

So on September 21st, 2011, I cast on for a pattern that is called "EZ Ruffle Coat" or something like that. Well yesterday I FINALLY finished the sleeves. I did pick up the stitches for the body but it's not quite as tidy as I would like so I may be ripping out and re doing that later. This sweater has become the bane of my existence and I tell you....if it doesn't fit or looks like crap I am going to come unglued. Or I'll just shout....shout...let it all out. Ha Ha....if you didn't get that reference then you need to go watch VH-1 for awhile!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Life is full of disappointments....

I realize that things are not always going to turn out perfectly. Sometimes the noodles will not be straight in your pan of lasagna. Sometimes you will cut your bangs yourself and trim your split ends and wind up looking like Dudley Moore. But few things are more disappointing than pulling a biore strip off your nose after letting it dry for 15 minutes and finding that there is no yucky fuzz on it. It makes me feel like I have just wasted 15 minutes of my life and allowed my dignity to be compromised by having a white bandage on my nose. It pretty much shouts to the world that I have oily skin and dirty pores (or at least I think I do and if no one looks at the strip after you pull it off, they will think I do too) And what is also disappointing is when you get a whole mess of dirt and oil on the strip, and no one wants to look at it with you. I feel like some kind of freak of nature as I stare at the "forest of ick" as I like to call it on my biore strip, and no one looks! People go so far as to call me a sicko and put their hands to their mouths as they move quickly away from me. I just want to show people my accomplishment.It's not like I want them to touch it. Though if they wanted to it would be fine with me. I don't plan to put the dirt and oil back into my skin.

Today was fine. We have day one of our first responder refresher down and just two to go. I had a few red faced moments during the practical sections of the class. First of all, while trying to do an emergency move on a patient (who happened to be my husband) my wrist gave out and I dropped him. Right on the floor. In front of everyone. I felt awful but when I saw he was alright I did have to chuckle. Someone said if I kept doing things like that I would end up on a Primetime special and I just replied with, "Primetime is a good show, but I've always wanted to be on Snapped!" Not sure my husband will sleep very well tonight, but I'm not sure if it will be because he's concerned about what I may or may not do, or his aching butt from being dropped on the floor. When we were reviewing how to set up oxygen, I remembered my very first class when I was learning this for the first time and I cracked the cylinder and the noise startled me so I let go and the powerful blast of air blew everyone's books and notebooks across the room. That was definitely not one of my finer moments. The whole class was silent and the instructor had that "Really? Did you really just do that?" look on his face. Ah, the good old days of being a rookie. At least I have moved from mishandling potential missiles to dropping patients. Its not THAT far to the ground.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It Is A Day To Celebrate

The infamous purple sweater is......DONE. (Almost) I have most of the ends woven in and now I just have to block that bad boy and it's ready to wear. Yep. Just in time for summer. Fail. Oh well. It is Wisconsin and just because it's been record high temperatures for the last few weeks doesn't mean we won't get dumped on with snow tomorrow. And if we do, I am ready. I will be warm because I refused to give up. I sat outside with my 75% wool/acrylic blend in 80 degrees and feverishly knit around and around and around. Sleeves were the last to be created, but there are two and they are the same length so this sweater is not custom made for a mutant. I'm happy!
So this weekend is the first responder refresher. It had been scheduled awhile ago, moved to next month, moved back to this weekend, and I just want the weekend to go by fast. I love being a part of our group, and I love our mission, but it's always sad to give up a weekend with my kids. At least the class is right here in our town so I don't have to drive to the other side of the planet to some little podunk town with a population of 20 people. How do those towns always end up getting the refreshers? It's gotta be some kind of conspiracy by the oil companies to make people use gas. This whole thing has been such a fiasco. I was really happy when the class was moved because it freed me up to take Julie to her first communion class. Then it was moved back to this weekend so no class for this mom and daughter duo. Then her first communion service was supposed to be on Maundy Thursday but of course we have an executive board meeting and a regular meeting that night. The regular meeting isn't such a huge deal, but since I'm on the executive board I would really like to attend so I can be a part of whatever decision making needs to take place. It's so hard to be pulled in so many directions sometimes. Since our church and pastor are so wonderful, they said Julie can have her first communion any time really, I decided to go to the meetings and we are going to take her for communion next Saturday evening. That works out for everyone. Of course my husband over reacted and didn't listen to what I was saying, so he asked the president to move the whole meeting to another night so we could go to the Thursday service. I was so embarrassed. We certainly aren't the glue that holds the group together so I felt like it was asking for a lot to do that.
My phone was going absolutely crazy last night. I finally had to stop and remind myself that the worlds problems are not my problems. Sometimes people need to figure things out for themselves. My stomach was on fire and when my mom reminded me of one more thing that being in this class this weekend was going to screw up, I lost it. My stomach was on fire and I just wanted to throw up. After being needed in about a billion places at once I finally realized that being spread so thin is not easy. So I shut my phone off, went and got a Blizzard and said no to all of it for awhile. My night started to turn around when I found out that I can make any blizzard a cheesequake blizzard. Who can be unhappy when there's cheesecake pieces in your ice cream?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Peace and Quiet. Why Are You So Elusive?

It's been a long week. I've been trying to stay on top of things but I've been getting behind thanks to the nice weather that keeps distracting me from things I should be doing like mopping the floors or cleaning mirrors and other finger print covered glass around the house. Sitting on my swing with a hat, sweater, or the sleeves of my ruffle cardigan is so much more attractive. I've also been a little bit stressed out lately. Nothing major that I can't handle, but just enough to make taking a nice, hot shower at the end of the day sound very appealing. Last night I got frustrated when I ran out to get diapers and when I returned home nothing had been done like I had asked. All I wanted was for my family to pitch in, give mom a minute to get away from the house for just a few moments, and pick up the laundry that was scattered in various rooms, and put away their own things that had been left out. I had a feeling my request had been forgotten because as I pulled in to the drive way, I saw my husband and daughter scrambling. The tell tale squeak of my clutch had warned them that I was home. I really need to get that fixed if I want to catch them red handed doing nothing. I walked in and saw that everything that had been laying around when I left was still laying around. I felt my pulse quicken and I took a deep breath and told myself that I wasn't going to yell at my family. I wasn't even going to say anything in fact. I would just do it myself because any good woman knows: if  you want something done right, you simply have to do it yourself. I began picking up while trying to swallow my anger and the feeling of being overwhelmed trying to be the caretaker of everyone and everything. Even the dog clings to me and will only go where he is supposed to go if mumma is within his sight. So I stopped. I said "Did you guys pick up at all like I asked?" And I heard a few muttered "Yeah"s. Now I was exasperated. If I had been left home, even with 2 kids and a clingy dog, I know I would have been able to get at least one room straightened up and vacuumed. So then I asked where they had picked up. Now they looked around and realized they had been caught. Then I was really annoyed. My family stood looking at me sheepishly and I said "So how did you do on your game on the internet? And how many times did you blast your Miranda Cosgrove CD in your room while doing absolutely nothing? Shut off the TV. Shut off the stereo and get in there and clean up that bedroom or so help me God I am coming in there with a black garbage bag and anything that's laying on the floor is going to be bagged and on the curb in about 20 seconds." Now they all dashed around and began cleaning up. I gave Daniel a bath, and tried to let my annoyance dissolve. My phone rang, and I was relieved to see that it was my mom. A good talk with Mom always helps. And it did. Mom told me to put a biore strip on my nose because pulling crud out of your pores is always liberating and calming. It worked. But I still needed to ease the tension that had been piling up in my shoulders. I told everyone I was going to take a hot shower to unwind before bed. The water and steam felt amazingly good. I felt my muscles relax and I inhaled the scent of my shampoo and began to feel more like my old self. I was so lost in my relaxation that I didn't even hear the bathroom door open. Suddenly I was assaulted from the opposite side of the shower curtain by tiny 2 year old hands. I screamed from being startled by the obnoxious "farting" noises he was making and his banging on the shower curtain. I felt like Norman Bates had just showed up and ruined my shower. Then he decided that the shower curtain was his super hero cape so he grabbed it at the bottom and ran, taking the curtain and some of the decorative hooks with him. Thankfully my husband got it away from him and all was well again. For a minute. I was rinsing conditioner out of my hair when I heard the unmistakable beat of a loud bass from a stereo. Normally I would assume it was a car outside being driven by some rude teenager borrowing Mommy and Daddy's Kia Spectra trying to sound cool to everyone he drives by, but actually being irritating instead. I sighed and shook my head. That's when it dawned on me that I had heard this beat before. It was Miranda Cosgrove. The annoying sound was coming from within my own house. All I wanted was a measly 15 minutes to bask in some hot water with my arbonne salt scrub and green apple shampoo, and it seemed like everyone was out to sabotage me! Now I couldn't help it. I SCREAMED at the top of my lungs, "JULIE! TURN THAT DOWN OR I AM GOING TO CUT THE WIRES FOR YOUR SPEAKERS. THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE LIVING IN THIS HOUSE WHO DO NOT WANT TO LISTEN TO THAT ANNOYING MUSIC, YOUNG LADY!" The bass stopped. All talking stopped. Movement ceased. Standing in the door way of the bathroom, freshly shampooed and conditioned in my bathrobe, everyone including the dog had stopped and was staring at me. Julie finally spoke. She said, "Chill out mom. I'll just use my headphones." Chill out, indeed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Darn it. I made it so I'm gonna wear it!

On Monday, it was almost 80 degrees here in good old Wisconsin (I'm still not convinced we won't be paying dearly for this gorgeous weather. I predict a blizzard in April) I was sitting outside on my swing while the children played, enjoying the lovely day and of course doing what I always do. Knitting. I have a mere 2 or 3 inches to go on the right sleeve of the infamous purple sweater. Noah asked me "How many years have you been workin' on that, Glena?" and I told him it was at least 50. It's actually only been about 4 months, but still enough is enough. It's time to wrap this baby up. (Don't bring up the Ruffle Cardigan that still has only sleeves and no body, please. That was cast on in September. Waiting for the yarn shop to get more of a specific yarn can take a little time. Get off my back!) I wanted to see how my sleeves were matching up since I wasn't being very particular in making sure I was decreasing at the exact intervals that I had on the left sleeve. I just want a comfy sweater and I figure any little flaws that will only be noticed by me will give it character. Yeah, that's it. It's not because I'm kind of lazy these days and don't have luck with my catcha counter because my 2 year old loves to hear the clicking sound it makes. So, I put the sweater on and compared the sleeves. I saw that the right sleeve was just above my wrist so I got excited. I knew it would just be a matter of time before I was ready to bind off, weave in ends, block, and wear! (yeah, right in time for summer!) I found the sweater really comfortable. Yes it was 80 degrees, but I've worked this long and hard on this thing so I don't really care. I left it on. My husband thought I looked ridiculous. When Dave came to pick up Tyler he just shook his head. When Suzie came to pick up Taylor, she didn't even have to say anything. I immediately said, "I know it's not done and I know it's hot, but I made it so I am wearing it!" She just went along with it because she knows after 6 years of friendship when I get something in my head it's there. Things like heatstroke and dehydration are no match for the desire to wear a creation when it's nearing it's completion. If I finish it and put it away through the summer months, what if I forget about it and never wear it? What if my cat makes a bed out of it and gets it all full of hair? What if there is a horrible fire that destroys my beautiful sweater and all that remains are ashes? I need to wear it now. Heatstroke be darned, it's March and we shouldstill be wearing sweaters!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Things I Don't Miss About Facebook

I'm less than a month away from when I can return to Facebook after my lent fast. I'm definitely not counting down the days. In fact, I have found that Facebook has been replaced with much more rewarding activities. Not just knitting, but I've been reading more, and just taking time to stop and smell the flowers (not that I can grow flowers, but metaphorical flowers). I have a better appreciation for real people and my relationship with them. After some reflection, I've realized that there is so much I DON'T miss about Facebook, that it has me wondering if I will bother signing on again after Lent is over. Here's a few of the things that occurred to me:

1. People who are so opinionated and so driven to be offensive. Not a Christian? That's okay with me. But I am. So don't waste your time trying to convince me that what I have based my entire life on isn't real. There is absolutely no reason to debate the issue. I believe with all of my being in God and the Bible is my instruction manual for life. If you don't like that, it's okay. It really is. I'm not going to force you to read it. I won't force you to listen to contemporary Christian music. (If you are riding somewhere in my car you might have to, but that's just a chance you'll have to take I guess). I don't make fun of your beliefs, so you don't need to make fun of mine. A good friend put it best yesterday when she said "Christians are tolerant of the world. The world is not tolerant of Christians." My joy is found through Christ, and if that's not what brings joy to your life, then I can accept that. But it's my joy so let it be.

2. People who over share in their status updates. Now I'm not talking about people who say they have a cold or a sinus infection. That's one thing. If you are throwing up, I do not need to know what it looks like, what it smelled like, where you unleashed it, or if anything is coming out of any other orifice. I'm really sorry you're sick. I feel for you. Having the flu/food poisoning/whatever you have is awful, but maybe if you're that sick you should get off Facebook and take yourself to the doctor. Or call your mom. She will probably care.

3. People who "call people out" in their updates while using vulgar language. Yes, we all have our moments where people tick us off, but does it get any more passive/aggressive than that? If someone is really worth the energy it takes to be so angry, shouldn't you say it to them directly? And by all means, if you are having feelings that intense and you want to use a forum like Facebook to air your grievance or dirty laundry, that's your decision.....but why is vulgarity so acceptable? Why can't people use language that doesn't make me want to run to my mother's house and plug her ears.

4. People who post pictures of their kids potty training progress. Do I really need to say much more than that?

5. Self portraits of people in the bathroom. I've seen people go so far as to post pictures of themselves on the toilet. Have we really become that ridiculous?

6. Random people you don't know wanting to be your "friend". Who the heck are you? That's right. Ignore.

7.  Post this (insert random heart filled message) to prove that you love Jesus. I love Jesus. I love God. He knows that. I praise him and worship him daily. I don't think that God is going to look down and say "she didn't re post the hearts on that update. She is no longer my child." Just don't.

I'm pretty sure that's it! So the rules of my house could carry over to Facebook and I think it would be a much less stressful and dramatic experience (even though it might not be quite as entertaining) for everyone. Here are my rules:
1. Be nice
2. If you can't be nice, then leave.
3. Have a nice day, Sunshine!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Helpful Tips For Annnoying Your Husband

Last night, my husband pointed something out to me. I have become a master at annoying him. And I have only gotten more creative as time has passed. I wanted to share my wisdom with the rest of you wives out there so as to keep your relationships fun. (For you at least)

1. If you are relaxing on the couch and decide that you want to read a book on your kindle, but the kindle is on the other side of the house, tell your husband something he's been looking for (a pen, headphones, chapstick) is in the same room as your kindle, even if it isn't. That way you can say "Honey, would you mind grabbing my kindle while you are in there?" and of course since he is going in there to find whatever item he has been searching for, he will have no reason to say no. You win. And another plus side is that you will be guaranteed peace and quiet to curl up with your kindle (or nook, or ipad. whatever e-reader you prefer. Or if *gasp* you still read actual books.) because he will still be stalking around the house trying to find the chap stick or post it notes that he knows he just saw.

2. Change all the pre-sets on the radio in his car. Myself, I like to change them all to my favorite radio station. This drives him nuts to no end.

3. In the spirit of messing with his gadgets and electronics, when he isn't looking or is asleep, take his cell phone and change the names of everyone in his contacts. This is especially funny if you know he is avoiding someones calls or texts because he pretty much has to answer unless he wants to let fate take over and possibly get a voicemail. I like to use fun names when doing this. Be creative. Names like "Butt Munch" and "Wiener" never really get old. If you are in a creative rut, go for people you know. Seeing a missed call from "Spongebob Squarepants" or "Justin Bieber" is sure to put a smile on his face. Until he realizes he has no idea who it really was. Then you might have to make a comfy place on the couch, but if your husband is anything like mine, he will just roll his eyes and say "why didn't anyone tell me you were such a creep before I put a ring on your finger."

4. Make beautiful artwork or calligraphy on his head while he's asleep if he's bald. What better way to express your love then some body art. One day, my husband was a tad on the cranky side so I drew a very angry frowny face on his head. Of course he didn't see it until he signed on to Facebook and saw the pictures and immediately ran into the bathroom to scrub his head. Many of you might remember the "Glena was here" message from last winter. That was another good one! Glitter and glue are also good options. Just try to get the glue warmed a little so the cold liquid doesn't alert him to his personal bubble being popped.

5. Does he have a shirt that you absolutely detest but won't get rid of? I have a solution for that too.  Take a fabric pen, sharpie, or get out the glue and glitter again and write a cryptic message on the shirt. My husband had a ridiculous shirt once that made me angry just looking at it. I don't know why. It just did. Anyways, it was similar to those tee shirts that have the tuxedo's on them. This one had a pimp daddy style robe on it and it just looked absolutely atrocious. Knowing I hated it, he wore it as often as he could. That is until I wrote "I love boogers" in bold, black ink on the back of it. He gave in and the shirt got tossed into the rag bag and now it makes a great dust rag!

6. Dramatically sing along to EVERY song on the radio when you are driving. Even if you don't know the words. Make it up.

7. Take a puppet of some sort with you everywhere. If you go through a drive through to get food, have the puppet pop up from behind your husband and let it talk to the kid working in the window. I will never forget the look on the kid at Culver's face when we went through for ice cream (sorry, custard) sundaes, and a little troll popped up out of seemingly nowhere and said "Thank ya for la ice cream!" He was surprised at first, but he took it in stride and said "You're welcome."

That's all I can think of right now, but as soon as I think of some more, I will be sure to post them.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chicken Ceaser Euphoria....?

15 hats, ladies and gentlemen! 15 hats ready for 15 little teeny tiny heads! I'm almost half way there. I know I can do it. I admit, I have had to take a couple of breaks from hats because after awhile you just have to knit something else for a little bit. So my last sleeve is over half way done on the infamous purple sweater.....and of course we have been having spring like temps lately so who knows if I will be able to wear it before winter hits again, but at least I will have the satisfaction of knowing that it is done and ready to wear when Wisconsin gets cold. Maybe that will be in November, or maybe it will be next week. One just never really knows for sure.

So I think I'm actually addicted to something else now. A few days ago I posted about my undying love of chicken ceasar salad. Not only are they pretty healthy and low in carbs, they taste really gosh darn good. I've noticed that whether I get one from take out, or make it at home myself, when I'm done eating it I feel this sense of euphoria. It is the weirdest thing. I could be in the worst mood ever and sit down with a chicken ceasar and some kind of carb on the side (fries or bread) and I am transformed and I feel empowered. All this because of a salad? It's so weird. But my new obsession is helping me take some of this winter weight off. I'm planning to start my new running program soon. You remember, the one where I pretend that an evil snake/knife wielding clown is chasing me. Now that I'm almost 30 I have found I care a lot less about what I look like. If someone finds my running down the street looking like Kermit the frog offensive, then I suggest you stay off of LaFond Avenue between 6 and 7 pm. I know if I make it fun I will continue to do it, and everyone remembers running like that as kids towards the swings at the park, to the monkey bars at school, away from the fat red headed kid who used to threaten to kill his mom if she didn't take him to KFC.....the good old days! (For those of you who have doubts, this kid exists, just ask my childhood best friend and neighbor Mike Lancour...)
Well, my ode to the ceasar salad has been made and now it is time for these amazing and energetic kids to lay down and recharge their batteries a little bit. It was not too muddy this morning, so we took our lunch outside and ate and enjoyed some fresh air and it tired these guys out! I want to knit while they sleep but I have instructions to finally get my taxes together from my husband, so if I want to keep enjoying my ceasar salads I suppose I better not ruffle his feathers and get that done.

My friends and family, you are all in my prayers that you are healthy, happy, and loved. Share a smile with someone today. It might turn their whole day around. Share the peace and be good!

Friday, March 9, 2012

"When I Was Your Age..." Did I REALLY just say that?

This morning Noah was telling me about his new favorite show. I was so excited when he admitted that it is Fraggle Rock. I LOVED Fraggle Rock when I was his age! (That would be 4 for those of you who didn't know). I found myself going back in time for a moment and I said something that sounded extremely familiar to the beginnings of many of my grandmother's stories when I was growing up. You know...the "When I was your age we had to take turns eating because we only had one plate." stories. I said, "Noah, when I was your age, we didn't have DVR or Netflix. If I wanted to watch Fraggle Rock, I had to get up at 5am on Saturday mornings to watch it on TV when it was actually on. I couldn't record it and watch it later. You kids sure do have it easy these days." What?! I'm only 28 years old for goodness sakes! I think I'm going to need to get myself a pair of roller blades and start behaving in a more childlike manner. Here this whole time I thought I was a big kid, but suddenly I'm telling those far fetched "when I was your age" stories? It wasn't that long ago I was their age! I used to think that Grandma's stories were way out there and totally untrue, but when I saw the looks on the faces of these children, I could tell they thought I was making up stories. Maybe Grandma really did only have one plate....poor Grandma! And poor Glena for not having a DVR when she was little and having to wake up at 5am to watch Fraggle Rock! Or I guess I should feel bad for my dad, for he was the one who had to wake up at 5am to set the VCR to tape the Fraggles so I could watch them while I had malt-o-meal around 8. So if Grandma's stories and my stories are similar then it would be reasonable to assume Grandma probably had paper plates a time or two in her childhood. Or maybe they had sloppy joes and didn't really need a plate. Just a napkin. Oh fiddlesticks, I'm going to go watch Fraggle Rock on Netflix with the kids and enjoy technology.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Girl Scout Drop Out

I was the worst girl scout in the whole world. I wanted so badly to earn the colorful patches to have my mom sew (okay, glue) on to my sash. I wanted to be the top cookie seller in my troop. I wanted to live by the girl scout law...whatever that means. But I was basically none of that. I would show up every other Monday night at the Community Center and try to do whatever activity we were earning a patch for. I remember sewing a puppet glove thing and pricking my finger and bleeding all over everything. I sat and cried until my mom came. Then another time, we were cooking and I burned myself (naturally) and spilled milk all over my pants. Again, I sat in my chair and cried until my mom picked me up. Another time we were doing some kind of exercise activity and all I really remember about that is that Mickey Mouse was involved, and I peed my pants. Can you guess what happened next? Yep. Cried until Mom came. Selling cookies was a nightmare. I would go around to the neighbors houses with my little brown sash depending on my overwhelming cuteness to get people to spend their fixed income dollars on the over priced cookies, and sometimes it worked. Other times old ladies complained about the price and I usually chipped in by saying "My mom buys the same cookies at Wal Mart for like a dollar." Yeah, pretty much the worst girl scout ever. Now Julie is a Brownie, and I hope and pray that she does better in her quest to live by the girl scout law than her mom did. So far I'm not reassured. They recently had a fund raiser and Julie had no interest in going to the wood shop or the fire station to peddle over priced nuts and candy and magazines. Who can blame her? If they gave away patches for being clumsy or forgetful, I would have needed 2 sashes, and I think Julie is following in my footsteps.

I could feel a headache brewing in my temples yesterday afternoon. I tried to take it easy but this morning I woke up with a full blown migraine. After showering in hopes that the heat and steam would alleviate some of the pressure and pain in my head and neck, but no dice. Thank God for husbands who are caring enough to take a half day to come home and take care of you. He took care of Daniel and let me lay in my dark, cool room and sleep. Finally at 7:30 I started to feel more like a human. Now that I have a final dose of excedrin PM in my system and Desperate Housewives on Netflix, I'm sure I will be back to my chipper self tomorrow. I always feel like days with migraines are such a waste. I got absolutely no knitting done today. I'm going to fall behind on my 40 hats in 40 days project if I get sidetracked with pesky annoyances like migraines too much more.

Since the purple sweater hasn't been touched and the Irish Hiking Scarf is just sitting pathetically in my basket giving me those "please knit a few rows" eyes, I'm going to give up for the day and call it a night. Tomorrow is a new day with 24 more hours to fill up with knitting. Though I'm settling in for the night, I have to google some solutions for Joey's (my pomeranian) breath. He jumped up on the bed today and opened his mouth over my nose and for a second I thought a yeast infection had humanized and was hovering over me. Not pleasant at all.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Greatest Knitting Fear

I decided that the infamous purple sweater has to get out of my WIP basket. Between that, the hats, and my Irish Hiking Scarf, I am getting too many WIPs piling up and it's time to get some into the pile of articles that I need to block. I picked up the good old purple sweater and to my disdain, the scrap yarn that was holding the stitches had somehow worked it's way out of the stitches. (I'm sure it had no help from a certain 2 year old) If this had happened a year ago I would have thrown myself on the floor, sobbing and gasping and shaking my fists to the sky screaming "Why, God, Why?" Some of you may think I'm exaggerating. Others who have known me for any length of time know that this is an understatement of my reaction to this kind of predicament. Today I am a more accomplished knitter. I took a deep breath, picked up my addi turbo size 9 circs and picked up each stitch carefully and soon I had them all picked up and ready to begin the final sleeve. My cat lost her dang mind chasing the yarn, but that was a minor bump in the road to having sleeves. I'm hoping to have it done sooner rather than later, but we will see. I'm determined but I'm also busy with so many other projects. Who really wants to wear a sweater in the summer time? Okay, obviously I will because of all the work I've given this one, but I'm sure I'll be cranky as I roast in the wool/acrylic blend at the swimming pool. But everyone will know I made it!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Well that didn't work

I posted yesterday about crocheting a prayer shawl. The v-stitches were working out really nicely and I was pretty satisfied with how things were going. Then Calvin found it and it is now no longer a lovely, lacy work of crochet art, but a ball of purple, green, and grey yarn that was unraveled, played with, and then balled up and batted under the mission table in my living room. Ho hum....That's why I prefer knitting I guess. Much harder for the cat to get that off the needles!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

One Sleeve Left To Go!

I finished the collar on the infamous purple sweater last night! I sat and did a sewn bind off around the collar while watching The Wizard of Oz with the kids (Daniel's first time seeing it and he LOVED it! Especially the part when they first arrive at the Emerald City and the colored horses appear). As I finished the collar I was nervous, but excited. After ripping it out twice and starting over, I was anxious about if I would like the collar after knitting it for the third time, and as soon as I pulled it over my head I knew my worry was useless. I loved it! Now to get that other sleeve picked up and knit and then I'll be able to wear it. Yes, just in time for spring....but hey, it's Wisconsin. There are bound to be some chilly spring days. Especially after this warm winter. I have a feeling mother nature is not going to let us get by with so little snow.

I found a really pretty skein of self striping yarn at the bottom of my stash today, and thought it would make a really pretty prayer shawl to donate to church. I'll have to pick up a few more skeins of course, but I have one on my knitting needles already that is going to need more yarn, so I thought maybe crocheting this one would be good for something different. I went to chain for the first row and I couldn't believe it. I had almost forgotten how to crochet! Has it really been that long? I remember being pregnant with Daniel and crocheting myself into a self inflicted carpal tunnel situation. Thankfully that went away after I had him and hasn't returned (knock on wood!). I went to start chaining and I held the yarn in the sling shot method that I use for the long tail cast on, and I was dumbfounded. What do I do? This isn't right? Thankfully after a moment I remembered how to do it and chained 85 for a simple v-stitch pattern that is working up really nicely. My crochet chains are actually a lot neater than they used to be which I think is a result of all the knitting and fussing over tidiness. My tension when holding the working yarn has improved a lot and when you are pleased with the results of your knitting/crocheting, that really helps the passion you put behind it!

So this morning I was getting Daniel dressed and he looks at me with seriousness and says, "Mommy. I'm going to be a turd today." and he hit me right on my head! Then he ran away into his sister's room where his quest to be a "turd" continued. Polly Pockets went flying. Voices were raised. Tears were shed. This mom needed a calgon moment. So I went into the bathroom and turned on the shower and decided to pamper myself with some Arbonne salt scrub and to wash my hair with the yummy green apple shampoo that I've love since high school. I was enjoying my shower when I heard the door open and in the mirror I saw the little blonde head of my son, the turd. I knew my shower was about to go from cleansing and relaxing to challenging. He didn't disappoint. True to his promise, the inner turd was released and he flushed the toilet, shut off the light, and slammed the door. All this happened at the very same moment that my delicious shampoo seeped into my eyes and started to burn,so the water was scalding hot from the flushed toilet and I couldn't rinse my eyes until it cooled down, and it was pitch black in the bathroom. Ah the joys of motherhood.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Nice Quiet Saturday

It's the weekend. Laundry is caught up for the most part, the house is clean, and I am ready for a couple days of relaxation and rest and devotion. Julie has swimming at 11:15 this morning, and after taking a day long break from hat knitting I think I am ready to pick up the circs again and get going. I did start a prayer shawl last night but I know I don't have enough yarn to finish it, so I'm going to pick up a skein here and a skein there and let it be one of those "go to" projects that I can work on in between hats. I ripped out the entire collar of my infamous purple sweater and have to pick up the stitches and get it going again. I definitely think I will stop trying to be creative with it and create an elaborate collar and just stick with what the pattern says. Had I done that in the first place, I would be done. I've ripped the collar out twice and I really hope the third time is the charm. I want to wear this thing before we are in the dog days of summer.

Life without Facebook is going extremely well. I'm noticing that when I do go online it's either to blog, or read the local news. Oh, and of course check out pinterest. So who the end of the 40 days perhaps I will only check Facebook every now and then. I really don't miss it nearly as much as I thought I would. The first week was kind of hard and the temptation was pretty strong, but it was much easier this week. Kind of like life before Facebook! I like it...

Have you seen the Folgers commercial with the women doing Zumba yet? Every time I see it, I want to sign up for Zumba and start shaking some calories off. I am still practicing yoga regularly and it has made a huge difference in many aspects of my life. I feel great, weight is starting to come off, and I'm a lot more relaxed. I did something to my back on Thursday, and instead of medicating for the pain during the day, I've been doing some good restorative poses and it's slowly healing the pain. I just feel like yoga has given me the ability to be more patient and relaxed. If you've never tried it, definitely give it a go. You won't regret it!

On top of yoga, I did think up a new running program I'm excited to try. My husband is not really excited to try this because he already has enough people commenting to him that living with me must be a challenge, but I really think this might catch on. All you have to do is get your playlist on you iPod or mp3 player going and convince yourself that there is an evil knife wielding clown with rattle snakes crawling around it chasing you. Or if that doesn't completely scare the bejeezus out of you, pick whatever evil entity does scare the bejeezus out of you and let yourself take off. To take a little advice off of Phoebe on Friends, who really cares if people star at you while you are running like Kermit the frog down the street. It's only for a second and then you're gone. And since this scenario is real in your mind, you can just tell yourself that evil clown will eat the person judging you. I think this is a great way to tie imagination in with exercise and well being. I can't wait to give it a try.

On another note, I watched Billy the Exterminator tangle up with a 15ft python under a house last night. All by myself. I was pretty sure that said python was somewhere in my house after watching that. My husband really doesn't appreciate being woke up in the middle of the night to walk me to the bathroom so a burmese python that isn't even in Wisconsin let alone in my house doesn't attack me and squeeze the life out of me. The moral of the story I guess, is don't watch shows about gigantic snakes at night before bed all by yourself when snakes are the scariest thing that live in your world. My mind is definitely a busy place. Did you know that cats have 244 bones in their bodies? That's crazy!

Well I suppose I better get in the shower and get ready to take the bug to swimming lessons. Afterwards I'm going to work on better communication strategies with my cat. I think he might be depressed.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Is it okay to knit something else just for a day?

I've made 13 hats in about 9 days. I'm ahead of my goal and I want to keep the momentum going....but I am starting to get a little tired of hats to be honest! I am going to get to 40 for sure, but I'm just going to make some swatches today and maybe work on the collar of my infamous purple sweater that I started right after Christmas. Hey, why not finish a sweater just in time for spring? It's just the way I do things I guess.

So lets see here... not being on Facebook has certainly kept me more committed to blogging each day, but truthfully my life is amazing to me, but probably kind of boring to read about. I hurt my back somehow yesterday so I've been trying to move slow and adjust my posture frequently. I did some restorative yoga poses last night and that helped but I think a massage is in my future. I have finally been sucked in to Pinterest. Amazing! I have found so many awesome recipes and DIY ideas so far, and I've been "pinning" things for others to enjoy. I really don't miss Facebook as much this week as I did last week.

I'm not good about wearing my glasses, but I noticed the other day that Stephanie Pearl McPhee and I have the same glasses, so I have been wearing them all the time and wow....I can see! I can read things that are across the room and I can read signs in stores. It's really nice! And since we have the same glasses, we are obviously best friends. So many things to feel good about! And it's Friday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Peaceful Feeling

Sheryl Crow has provided me with a new life theme song. Click on the link and join me! Enjoy this song as I am today while I knit for others and enjoy the sound of children laughing around me.

Have a great day everyone!

Peaceful feeling!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yo Gabba...What the...?

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has been appearing on our television less and less often. At first that was okay with me because I was beginning to have dreams about setting a mouse trap for him, but now Daniel has gone from a show that is educational and colorful though a bit irritating after awhile, to Yo Gabba Gabba. We had a brief interest in Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers, which I thought was awesome because that was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. Now though, we are engrossed in Yo Gabba Gabba.  If you don't have kids or don't know what this show is, I'll try to create an accurate synopsis for you. I don't know if I will be able to do it justice, but here goes. Basically I think that the creator of the show (Charles Schulz's son) had a horrible nightmare about various sexual toys surrounding him and singing songs that are catchy enough to get stuck in your head ALL DAY. There's the big orange hot dog shaped guy with bumps all over him, and the white thing that resembles a suppository and cries all the time. If I'm being totally honest, if people thought about suppositories when they say me I suppose I would cry also. Then there's the little green guy with the freakishly long arms. I think his name is Brobie. Brobie is pretty much as stupid as they come. He thinks that it's okay to eat food off the dirty floor and he also has to be told that he can't bite the hot dog looking thing. Okay, I get what they are doing here. They are trying to teach these lessons in basic behavior to children, but they are actually terrifying the parents. There's a blue cat like thing that just runs around complaining about everything. It doesn't like it's yogurt and refuses to eat it but it is revealed that she hasn't actually tried it. On the plus side, the cat thing does try the yogurt and discovers that he/she/it loves it, so I guess that's a good lesson in taking polite bites, but again. I am scared. Then there's the pink thing with the flower growing out of it's head, and I don't really know what its purpose is, but it makes me wish that Care Bears were still popular so I could enjoy watching television with my children. The last character that I can think of is that robot dude. He's okay. He seems to be the smartest one in the lot, so I guess I can't say too much about him. DJ Lance, the guy who plays with all of these.....freaky looking eccentric for lack of a better word.
I'm considering putting some serious limits on TV since there are few good tv shows on anymore that I don't mind my kids watching.  Daniel was watching a Pee Wee's Playhouse DVD the other day, and there was a scene with Cowboy Curtis and Pee Wee that made my jaw drop. They were having a camp fire, roasting hot dogs, and Pee Wee says to Curtis "Cowboy Curtis, how is your wiener doing?" And that sounds innocent when you are reading the quote in a blog, but if you had seen the look on Pee Wee's face and heard the tone and innuendo in his voice you would have thought you were watching a dirty movie. I have noticed things like this slipped into kids shows a lot lately. Thankfully things like that goes right over the heads of children, but at the same time do you really want your kids hearing things like that? I appreciate a little adult humor in some kids shows, but when it makes me feel like I should go take a bath in bleach I have to draw a line.  Less TV, more books and crafts. Not that my children watch a ton of tv in the first place, but it will definitely be less now.
I finished hat #11 yesterday. This one is baby blue with a heart knit into the body in seed stitch and an i-cord top. I'm going to make #12 today and I have a really bright red sport weight yarn picked out and I plan to add a lime green leaf to the top so it will be a cute little apple. Maybe a baby born to parents from La Crescent will get it and it will be special to them. I hope all of the hats that go on the heads of the precious babies born are special to the families they are given to. Thinking about those little heads is what keeps me knitting these caps. The negative people who posted on the Tribune's site are missing something very important in their lives if finding fault with knitting for preemies is what they have the time to do.
Go out and do something good!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Desperately Seeking More Patterns

Since starting my hat mission, I have found lots of patterns that I really like! I am noticing that I'm on Ravelry several times a week trying to find new ones because it seems like once I've made a pattern once, I'm restless and want something new. A new color, a new fiber, a new pattern. I guess I'm just not a monogamous knitter. This is probably why it takes me a year to get a pair of matching socks. Once I get through one, I want the excitement of the new color and pattern. Thus my socks almost never match, and if they do it's noteworthy.

As far as being without Facebook, I have to say I'm enjoying a less "plugged in" lifestyle. I'm still able to email and text with Emma (40 days with no Emma was no bueno. She's pretty much the reason I got so into Facebook in the first place) Emma's friendship is part of my life that I actually do need to function. We have basic needs as humans. Oxygen, food, water, and in my life Emma needs to be on that list as well or else the sarcastic wit that has become so much a part of my personality would shrivel and die and then I would be the crazy cat lady who knits all day everyday. Hey wait a second...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chicken Ceasar Salad Annonymous

I think I have a new addiction in addition to knitting. The chicken ceasar salad. I have eaten a chicken ceasar for at least one meal almost every day for the last 2 weeks. Sometimes I make it at home (the chicken is always dry and chewy though- ick) and sometimes I get carside to go from Applebee's (I'm pretty sure all I need to do is call them and say "Hey, it's me. Give me the usual.") but it's literally ALL I want to eat these days. I suppose it could be worse. It's not the raisinette obsession of 1998. It's not filled with carbohydrates that will wreak havoc on my blood sugar. The average chicken ceasar has about 6 grams of carbs, so according to my diabetic educator, I technically wouldn't have to even take any insulin when I eat this because my dosage is 1 unit of novalog per 10 grams of carbs, but since I do usually have a side of something with carbs like garlic bread or french fries I do take the minimum dose of insulin. Coupled with yoga and the chicken ceasar fixation, I've been seeing a very steady drop in my blood sugar and I am THRILLED. Lower blood sugar has equaled higher energy levels and just over all a great feeling physically. I'm also taking a daily vitamin that is formulated especially to help my body metabolize sugar and use it for energy more efficiently and so far so good.
We went on a little drive yesterday afternoon just to get out of the house and enjoy the nice, fresh air. I know with gas prices people probably think we are nuts but it was well worth it. Daniel got a good nap in the car, and Julie got her reading for the whole weekend done, and I got some valuable knitting time in. I finished my 9th hat and cast on the 10th (I did end up ripping it out and starting over when I got home because the cast on was too tight and I didn't like the way it looked.)  but I finished the 10th at Mom and Dad's house last night while waiting for supper to be ready. It wasn't chicken ceasar, but mom's turkey and mashed potatoes is never a treat to be turned down.
Today is going to be a great day with the kids as all days with these amazing kids is. They teach me so much about being a child at heart and appreciating the little things that life has to offer. Right now though, I wish Daniel would enlighten me as to where he hid my car keys. It's the only set I have, and they have been missing since Thursday after I got home from Baskets of Yarn. I've looked everywhere I can think of and have had zero luck. I've missed 2 first responder calls due to not having access to my vehicle and that's never a good feeling. I also had to drive the "mom van" to church and even though it is a nice and smooth ride and it's comfortable to sit in and knit on trips, I do not like driving it. I don't know why I despise the mini van so much but I would almost prefer to walk places than to take that. My husband on the other hand loves it. I think he looks like a dork, but he's happy.
Speaking of my husband.....he's been on a kick about getting a motorcycle lately. So taking a few things into consideration, I have developed my argument against it.
#1. He constantly jokes about falling asleep at work in the wood shop. He works around huge machines with saws that could take your hand off quicker than quick. I will love my husband no matter what forever, but I don't really want him to have to wave at people with a stump. And besides, if he had no hand, who would mow the grass and pick up dog poop?
#2. He's a firefighter. As if I don't worry enough? He has no qualms about packing up and running into burning houses. In fact, I think he likes doing that. He is a hero in my eyes, make no mistake, but when you really start thinking about everything that could go wrong in a scenario like that it makes you want to stay in your house and never go anywhere no matter what.
#3. Where is the money going to come from? My yarn budget is not negotiable. This is something he's known from the beginning. I've been a knitter for 10 years so this is not something new for him. He suggested taking out a loan and I suggested he shut up. I don't want any more debt. This is the guy who listens to Dave Ramsey religiously, so does he need his hearing checked? He's also suggested saving up which I have also shot down because we need to have an emergency fund first. Again....your best friend Dave Ramsey has advice on that, Honey. Sorry to burst your bubble.
So I think that I've developed a pretty strong defense for the motorcycle thing. If he just comes home with one I'll probably just be forced to slash the tires every day until he grows tired of fixing them and gives up.

Did I mention that my knitting article was published in the Wisconsin State Journal? Well it was! I would normally be really proud of this, but the fact that these newspapers allow commentaries on the articles is really disheartening. Some people are nice and offer encouragement for the ministry I'm doing. Others are just great big meanies and say things that are completely not necessary and rude. One person pointed out that agnostic people are out doing good things for the community every day and not getting any recognition. Well...okay? I guess if you're an agnostic person and you're serving soup to the homeless or walking 3 legged dogs, the papers are at fault for not recognizing your contribution to the community. I should really stop dwelling on what nay-sayers have to say, but it is hard when something that you're doing out of kindness and compassion for other people, especially premature infants, is dissected. How sad is your life when that's what you have to do with your time? I guess I should feel sorry for people who feel like they need to say negative things like that. Maybe I should offer up my phone number and tell people who want to be rude to give me a call and say it so I can hear them. Or better yet, meet up somewhere and say it right to my face. How many people would show up to do that? Probably none. The internet is a playground for spineless bullies. I wish I would have considered that before doing the interview, but at least I learned a lesson. If you are doing something you are passionate about never ever tell anyone about it no matter what because people are jerks.
With that being said, I'm off to knit some more.
hat #9

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hat Progress

Day 1
"Hurricane Hat"
Tried to get a good angle so you can see the heart
"Swirl Hat"
"Cabled Hat"
"Diamond Hat"
I don't know what this one is. Kinda looks like a cupcake
"Striped hat"

You Can't Do Anything Nice Anymore

Some of you may have read the article in the La Crosse Tribune this morning. Maybe you didn't think it was newsworthy. Maybe you got a kick out of it. Maybe you live in your grandmother's basement and should get off the computer and apply for a job. I could not believe the negative comments left on the article. I should have expected as much living in the world we live in today. Here's the story in a nutshell.

Every day, when I sit down to have lunch, I go on the tribune's website to see what's making local news each day. Since signing off of Facebook on Fat Tuesday, I've been working hard on the preemie/newborn hats for the NICU (or really any baby in the hospital) and hope to have 40 made by Easter. ANYWAYS, when I checked the Trib's website I saw an add asking for people giving up Facebook for lent to contact a reporter who's email address was in the article. So I emailed her. Had I known that there were so many small minded and heartless people in this area I never would have done such a thing, and I could really kick myself now for agreeing to do it. As soon as the article was posted, people were saying things about me actually being ungracious, arrogant, and addicted to Facebook. They insinuated that if I had just lived a "clean" life all year I wouldn't have to worry about giving up anything for Lent. REALLY? So all of these people are perfect and have no vices they could give up for 40 days? And on top of all of that, I'm doing something for the community to make it a little NICER. Something these people might want to consider doing instead of running around trying to steal the joy from other people. I was hoping that doing something for the greater good would inspire other people to do the same and then maybe the community and eventually other areas would benefit from paying it forward and doing good deeds for less fortunate people, but the human race has proven that it just isn't possible to do that.

I really hoped that perhaps what I'm doing would inspire others to try and do something nice for other people. The people commenting acted like I was seeking an "atta girl" for what I had been doing, but what the story didn't say was that I've been doing things like this with no recognition for years. I don't expect recognition for it. I do it because I'm blessed with an ability to knit and create things and giving something I have put love and effort into to a baby who was born too early, or a child going into foster care, or a cold elementary school student makes me happy. It gives me a good feeling to know I've helped someone. So someone wanted to write a story about it and people run around saying it's not "newsworthy". Well it wasn't scrolling across the screen as breaking news for Pete's sake. It was just one of those little stories that's meant to warm the hearts of people and remind them that there are good things happening in the community, and it's not all robberies, rape, kidnapping, and assaults. People do have kindness in their hearts to share with others but I learned an important lesson in being humble. If you are ever going to do something nice don't tell anyone about it no matter what because someone is waiting to dissect and berate you. I feel very sad knowing that this is the world we are living in. In spite of these people I'll continue to knit and be kind to people and just pray that it spreads to other people somehow. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Facebook Fasting

Well it's the first day of my 40 day "Facebook Fast". So far it's going quite well. I didn't roll over and pick up my phone to read the news feed. It felt a little odd as I am a creature of habit, but I'm really glad that I am sacrificing something that's become a fixture in my day. It's going to be a challenge and I'm sure there will be temptations but I plan to overcome them.

Is Facebook really all it's cracked up to be? I see more people sharing way too much information about their personal lives and starting arguments and trouble than people using it for keeping in touch with old friends. No matter what you post as a status, someone is going to find some reason to complain about it. I'm sure people have said "She talks entirely too much about knitting." or "If I was her husband I would hide all the markers in that house." about me. Then there are the plain jane "Thank goodness it's Friday." or "I'm tired/hungry/sick/bored (and there's always the person who spells bored wrong and ignites a whole forest fire of judgement from the spelling and grammar sticklers.) and people find fault with those people too. So what can you post? And don't even get me started on the people who dissect every little innocent comment you ever make and turn it into something offensive, thus starting a debate on whether or not that was what you meant or why you said what you said. For example, I had a friend who posted a status about running on the treadmill and feeling good about getting into shape. I commented with "I went for a long run this morning, too! Good for you. All aboard the energy train! Whoo whoo!" and almost immediately there was a notification that someone else had commented. I looked at the comment after mine and it said "I think he better just stay on his WIFE'S energy train." My jaw dropped and my head almost surely spun 360 degrees. I hadn't meant that at all! I got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I realized that if that's how this person had taken it to mean, is that how other people perceived it as well? I sent my friend a quick message saying, "Oh mylanta- that is NOT at all what I meant by that! I'm so sorry if that's how you took it. Not my intention!" and he replied almost instantly saying that he knew me better than that and he didn't take it that way at all. I felt SO much better knowing that no harm had actually been done and then I deleted the comment in question and went about my day. Then I started to notice that I didn't see any posts from this friend anymore so I searched for him and he wasn't on my friends list anymore. Surely he didn't "unfriend" me over that! I searched outside of my friends list for him and couldn't find him so I thought maybe he just deleted his facebook. Then a mutual friend mentioned him and I told her that he wasn't on my friend list anymore and she said "that's odd. He's still on mine." Now I was puzzled. My husband went on his facebook account and did a search, and sure enough. There he was. And then when I searched again on mine, no dice. What the heck. So he blocked me. Really? Over something so silly that was simply a misunderstanding? This irritated and hurt me a lot and I'm still not really sure why. I shouldn't care but it really got to me. I want to go back to the life before Facebook where if someone didn't like you, their only option was to tell you. Being blocked on Facebook by someone isn't a very nice feeling, especially when you didn't do anything wrong. Who needs that? There is real life to live. I'm hoping if I can get used to living sans facebook I will enjoy it so much that I will just delete my account permanently. It has just given me reason to feel awkward around people I don't need to feel awkward around too many times. Some people just take it way too seriously. Perhaps I am one of them, but I have 40 days to figure out how I functioned before joining the popular social network, and I really think that I will be just fine.

I'm going to try to make one hat each day over the 40 days of lent. Hopefully I will have a huge donation to make to the NICU when Easter arrives. I'm also going to commit more time to bible study and devotion. Maybe I'll even try learning something new. Maybe I'll take a cooking class or some kind of art class. Maybe I will not do either, but at the end of the 40 days I'm praying that I am renewed and refreshed and just overall a better person.

Well, I have things I need to do. I have to pet my cat, feed my son some lunch, and work on this pretty little preemie hat I started this morning. Maybe I will read a book. Do people still do that?