Monday, July 28, 2008

If it's worth having, it's worth working for........

After my last discourse on my life, I thought I would count my blessings. I have so many. And you know what? The blessings in and of themselves, are also challenges. Believe it or not, my mother used to say, "If it is worth having it is worth working for." With that, I give you my other, current challenges in the knitting genre.

1st up: Briar Rose sock. Handspun, 3ply size 3 needles. Super wash Merino. Absolutely lovely, and smooshy (to quote dixigirl)! I couldn't find a pattern that I loved and I was sick of being tied to a pattern anyway..... so, I took my newly acquired know how from Cat Bhordi's book, cast on for a toe up , and increased until it would fit my foot. Risky, risky. But greatness is only achieved by risk. We'll see what happens when it comes to the heel. Gusset? Short row? Who knows.
2nd up: The Joe Basic Fair Isle Vest. Size 4 needles. Random colors from Knitpicks Palette. EZ pattern from Spin-off for the basic color changes. I'll tell you a secret. I got thru the corrugated ribbing and into the actual pattern, when I caught my mistake. I was on a size 2 needle. Well, rats. My stitch count was off and it was going to be way too small, even if I have lost some weight. So, instead of ripping it out..... I just changed up to a 4. Not after the ribbign either. Some where in the 1st blue zig zag. We'll see.
Obligatory close up of the actual colors and color changes.
3rd up: Maddy's Wonderful Wallaby. This was an actual challenge that I had set for myself for the beach. To begin and finish a child's sweater in a week. Granted, this is an extremely easy pattern on size 8 needles. But a week no less. I was so up for this challenge. Unfortunately, mom happened. The rest is history. Challenge failed. Oh, well. It's almost done anyway. How bout a child's sweater done in 2 weeks?

Last but not least. My most important challenge of all. Why don't the most important things not get all our attention. I think it is because they might not scream the loudest. My mother also used to say, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." Well, I guess y'all all know how much she has squeaked lately.

So, I present you:

Maddy's snaggle tooth. I went after it today with dental floss. Trusting soul that she is, believed me that I wasn't really trying to get it out, and willingly let me play with it. Let me tell you, if I thought I could have gotten it, I would have. Same goes for my knitting. So there. ha

Oh yes. I worked off a lot of my angst by cooking up a storm. Homemade bread (no knead variety), rice, bean stew and roasted medley of root vegetables. Food helps so much!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Warning. This is a vent post. Do NOT read if you have an opinion. Note, I have also disabled comments. No offense intended. Thanks. the management

Dear Friends,

What a week. We are back and the week went well.... for the most part. I don't even know where to begin. I am drained as I haven't been in a while. To put it succinctly, mom had a psychotic break this week. She hasn't had one in 5 or so years.

Here are the pertinent details. She had lived with my brother (who is also bipolar) for about 4 years. Before that, she was in an assisted living facility in Las Vegas. (yeesh, I cringe to even tell y'all that). RGG (bro) thought it would be a good idea.... save her some money. Didn't matter that I knew THIS WAS A BIG, FAT, HAIRY MISTAKE. They didn't care what I thought.

I won't go into the gory details.... let's just say that the shyte hit the ceiling fan and I am up to bat. On vacation no less. What you don't know, is that my mother can time a psychotic event for when I have something else to do. She has done it. Many. Many. Many times. Think wedding day. Think departing the country for a job. Think my father's death. Think every year, when I HAVE to go to the beach with 11 other children and 15 other adults who are not my blood family.

I spent Tuesday thru Friday, all day, on the phone with so very many, many, many people. Trying not to listen to bro and sil vent, couldn't stop most of their venom, but some, at least. Social workers, nursing homes,..... you name it. Then, I am treated to the opinions of all my husbands family. Whom, have NEVER had to deal with anything like this.

So, I have got mom placed in an independent living facility with 4 hours/day of an aide coming in to wait on her hand and foot. This is going to drain her until there is nothing left. I am so frustrated because my dingbat bil, who is a lawyer, and thinks he knows it all, now is trying to advise me on money.....

Short list of stressers:

  • mom's actual psychotic break
  • brothers neediness
  • traveling with 11 other children
  • dealing with in-laws on an upclose and personal basis
  • worrying about kids at beach
  • dealing with dh's opinions on each of these matters
  • worrying about money, mom's money
  • making dinner for 5 people upon arrival at home

So, why am I telling the entire internet about this? I don't really know, except I know some of y'all really love me. And I love you right back. Many of you have become family that I have chosen. Thank you for that. I am sorry to unload something so STUPID when others in our little family have much worse problems.... like hurt children, or hurt husbands. What have I got to complain about? Nothing really. This is just my life, and this blog is a small piece that I can control. Just a small piece.

I have so many blessings. I think it is just easier to focus on the problems and neglect the truly beautiful things in life.

On the way home, I got to listen to some teachings on the book of Proverbs. The titles were, "The Healing of Anger", which by the way states that anger is good, just be slow getting to it; and "Healing of the Wounded Spirit". God really addressed me directly today. Not sugar sweetness either, but an antibiotic for my soul. His Presence. His direct address of my angst. That is the biggest blessing of all. I am not alone.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Ocean Isle Oct 2007 - 071, originally uploaded by Downtown Guy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pin Oak

All things are born to die. Even trees. This is the last shot of the pin oak my father played under, I played under, and several sets of grandchildren (including my own) have played under.
Cherry picker. Ethan is beside himself watching all the big equipment in his own yard. I am making him stay in the house as it is just not safe when a 70+ foot tree is being taken down. No margin for error, and as we all know, accidents DO happen.
The dozer.

The funny thing is, Andy, aka The DIY Man, is going to keep ALL the wood. The other funny thing is, we are leaving for the beach ..... on Saturday. Today is Thursday. There is no way the DIY Man can get a full trees wood, 70 yo worth, organized and put away.

I am stressed. I want to pack. I really NEED to knit to get settled. So, off I go to do something.

Later, catie

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I CAME, I SAW, I .................................!

The kids got picked up today by grammy and grampy. I was supposed to be working on the school room, preparing for some hand-me-down desks from my aunt. Cleaning, sorting, rearranging etc. Instead, I took a nap and knit for an hour. Before long I had this:

Not much to look at. What you are seeing is a GORGEOUS, prime alpaca sweater (natural colored, of course). But wait. Catie.... there is a "small" problem there.

You are exactly right. I can't even fit my fist through the head opening. What is wrong? Off to my handy dandy sewing machine. Where I promptly broke a needle (I was a tad overzealous), learned how to dig out alpaca from a 20th century machine, change a needle and rethread the whole thing. Mind you, I have never worked that much with this appliance... and swiftly continued sewing.

A few snips. It went so quickly, and there you have it. A beautiful shot of my 30 something decolletage. No silly, my new v-neck sweater. Raglan. Fits nice. It was hot out there on the porch considering it is 85 and the alpaca.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!!

The above picture is the 9 am view off my front porch from my favorite place to spin outside. Notice the haze. Land o' mercy, it's gonna be hot.
The view of my HUGE boxwood to my right. Hmm, what have we here?

It's on the wheel. Just a baby. My baby, ds who is 4 yo, saw him and gasped in wonder.
The tiniest preying mantis I have ever seen. Wait till September, he'll be monstrously huge, but for now, he's a little greaser. Just so you get an idea of how small the little dude is, that yarn right there is cobweb weight. I will ply it to make a 2ply lace weight for the Bee Stole.
I love the fact that I actually got the camera to focus on something that small!!!!! I marvel at God's workmanship. This little guy is so delicate, tiny..... He could be crushed by the tiniest touch. Yet, he is so full of personality. He kept jumping on my camera lens. His little head would cock from side to side as if he could commune with me. I feel blessed cuz he visited with me and my wheel for a few minutes before he disappeared into the boxwood cavern.

Gotta fly, guests coming! Later, catie