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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Compassion

Compassion.

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 cardigan...one 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 knows....at 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!