Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Post of 2008

Since this is the last one of the year, I thought I'd do a recap of the good vs the bad. There's so much of both that I'll have to pick just a few highlights. Here's some of the good in no particular order:

I bravely went where I didn't think I could go in knitting and I'm pretty proud of myself. I've learned new techniques and completed projects I didn't think I could do. My husband had his first year anniversary with the new job. My son turned 2! We were able to make many changes to the house - including moving our bedrooms upstairs and cleaning up the downstairs. We bought a new car. We have food, clothes and warmth when otherwise we could be on the streets. We have family and friends who love us. We are not poor, we are merely broke. We have a reliable vehicle. Gas prices have gone down. Our son has everything he needs and most of what he wants. I have an iPod!

And here's some of the bad, also in no particular order:

I unfortunately continue to have anxiety attacks due to a number of reasons. My father-in-law continues to be very ill and very ill-mannered, not a good combination. My MIL had knee surgery and lost her apartment due to mobility issues. We continue to live with my grumpy father who reminds us on a weekly basis that we have absolutely NO privacy. We live with my father and have no privacy. Did I add, we live with my father and have no privacy? Right, moving on. We are broke. We had to cash in our last remaining savings account to pay the remaining bills and put money down on a car. We have a car payment...and no savings or retirement. iTunes is expensive!

All in all, I think we have more good to be thankful for than bad to bemoan over. I continue to remind myself that my father is having just as tough a time as we are. Whatever we face, he faces. No privacy, all his things have been rearranged, changes have happened everywhere. Regardless of whether these things are positive or not, he has had his world turned upside down over the last several years. He may not accept it with good grace but then again, it's his house and he's letting us do all these things to it so he doesn't have to accept it with good grace. We would be arrogant to assume he's ok with everything that's going on and we need to be cognizant of his position. We need to remember to respect him and understand that he's doing the best he can with this situation. It's not ideal for anyone except for the wild man. He's getting the best of everything and since he's the one we are all doing it for then I guess it's safe to say that everything will work out as it's supposed to. We need to remember that we all love each other and we should continue to try to make this as comfortable a place as we can - for all who live here. No matter how difficult it seems sometimes. And if that means many more sacrifices on our part? Than so be it.

I am grateful to be here. I am at a place where I can say I no longer miss our old house merely that I miss the idea of our old house. Anxiety attacks aside, this is our house now and it is a very good place to be. Wild man is insanely happy here. He has lots of room to play, lots of toys to play with, plenty of food to eat and juice to drink, and a safe and warm environment to live in. He's growing up with people who love him. What more could I ask for?

Here's to the old, bring in the new! I'm pledging to be a better person to my family in the new year. I'm going to show more respect to my father, more love and support to my husband, more attention to my son and I'm going to try to meet my 40th birthday with a sense of humor. Bring on the mammograms!

Happy knitting and have a safe and happy holiday!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quick Hello!

Things have been so blasted busy the last few weeks that I have seriously neglected my blog! I barely have enough time to sit down and sift through email before I'm needed somewhere else in the house. Today is no different. Our big combined family Christmas party is being hosted here in our tiny little house. It is finally clean, lighted, toys put away, food pre- prepared and is awaiting our guests. Dad has been exceedingly grumpy - but with some reason I'll not explain. I do adhere to some respect for privacy! In any case, it's been a little tense around here and I'm hoping today will help brighten the Holiday atmosphere.

I have several FO's and many pictures to post in the next few days. As for right now? I'm off to make some Shrimp Stuffed Eggs courtesy Paula Deen's recipe.

Happy Holidays, happy knitting, be safe and enjoy the coming New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hoping you all have a wonderfully blessed and safe Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!! Thanks to all who have been reading my blog and I promise you, once this holiday hullaballoo is over I'll be posting more often!!

Be happy and safe and as always, happy knitting!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Photo posting

Pics of the wild man during our power outage...notice the battery powered DVD player that had just enough juice to play Franklin and the Green Knight once.

Recent pics of my darling child occupying himself.

Mysterious unknown bird that isn't in the Audobon Society book - the closest we get is some bird that is indigenous to the West coast! And we have them by the dozens here in southern Maine!

The view out my front window of the recent ice storm. It got much much worse. We lost power for 2 days - there are still some people without power including the road in Saco where we used to live and it's been nearly a week! Roughing it sucks, though. You don't realize what you take for granted until it's gone! The bottom pic is how I entertained myself by firelight...knitting socks for my Secret Santa!

What I've been crafting...hand painted origami boxes accented with glitter glue and hand crafted jewelry to go in them! I'm loving making jewelry and would do it more it it weren't so durned expensive!!

What I want for Christmas...
L O V E the knit cloche on the cover of Boutique Knits.

FO!! Socks for my Secret Santa! Also my first time using two different colors. That was an experience! Anyway, they are done and now I'm onto the next Christmas project...the felted mocs for my Dad.

BTW, wild man has been very well behaved of late. Don't know what I'm doing right but it's working!!!

Ciao and happy knitting!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Small Victories

I've been making some progress with the wild man's behavior. Not sure how long it's going to last but I plan on sticking with it. I know he's only testing his boundaries and I also know I've been reacting very badly. So I decided to try something new. I'm monitoring my behavior. If I react badly to the wild man's negative behavior he escalates. Spanking his hands doesn't work fact, it's only teaching him that it's ok to hit - which of course it isn't. Two negatives DO NOT make a positive! I know most of you are thinking this is all common sense and maybe it is. Trust me, it's not a natural thing for me. My mother's been gone for 15 years so I don't get any kind of feedback. And, since having children was never part of my game plan, I've had many years to become comfortably selfish. So, believe me when I say that this is extremely difficult for me. I need to be conscious every minute of what I'm projecting to my son. To be frank, I'm exhausted. The good news is it is working! Instead of seeing Mumma fly off the hook every time he misbehaves, he's seeing Mumma calmly advising his consequences of bad behavior and actually following through without reiterating or negotiating. He screams and won't stop, his favorite toy is removed from the room for a while. If he continues, more toys disappear until he realizes Mumma is serious about using his indoor voice. I have to say, I've nearly cleaned out his toy box today. But by the end of the morning he had earned two of his toys back by listening and doing the first time I ask instead of the third time. It has been confusing for him yet more pleasant for me. He's been calmer and nicer. We even had a long period of time where we played together and laughed and had lots of fun! It's been a while since we've had much fun together. I was WAY too demanding and not thinking about how my behavior was influencing his. I have a lot of work ahead of me but I'm not going to give up. I want to have fun and snuggle time with my son again. I think I'm on the right track. Like I said, this may seem like a "duh" point with most of you and again, maybe it is. What can I say? I had 12 years with my husband when it was just the two of us and I was perfectly happy. Selfishness is very hard to suppress. The crux of the matter is that he is now more important than anything else in the world and I need to show him that Mumma really can focus on him even when I feel I'm being lured away. Pray for me, people!!! I really need all the help I can get! Pray for patience, tolerance, generosity, calmness and all those things that make a Mom a really good Mom.

Peace and, as always, happy knitting!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Never Enough Time in a Day

I can't believe how long its been since I last posted. We've been super busy around here and things seem to have slowed down a tad. We had my oldest SIL stay with us through the long Thanksgiving weekend and it was simply wonderful! She is such a creative lady. She brought along some crafting projects for us to try and introduced our wild man to watercolor paints! It wasn't that bad! We covered him with one of hubby's old tee shirts and plastered the table with newspaper. Then we let him go to town! Here he is with his creation, isn't it wonderful? He really has a good eye for color!

She also introduced me to the wonderful world of beading jewelry. Wow, I never knew it could be so much fun or so expensive!!! Of course I gravitate to the good stuff so I had to pay for it! I made my MIL a lovely Christmas present from the wild man. Check it out! (Don't worry, she doesn't read my blog).

Yes, those are Swarovski I said the good stuff, right? If I'm going to do something, I'm going ALL the way! I also made myself a beautiful pair of earrings. Photos another time.

We also learned some origami - making boxes! We made these lovely boxes after watercoloring our designs on the top paper. I lined mine with self-sticking felt.

Hubby made several and the little man did one too! We are going to use them to give our gifts in. I'm telling you - this woman should run her own crafting business. She's done everything from beading, candle making, clay polymer, origami, painting, and photography to woodworking and welding and everything in between! She's great with kid friendly ideas, too. She really brings out the best in me - I have to think she's my creativity muse. Nothing comes out right when she's not around! We also stamped some cards and that carried over to my PC group on Tuesday morning. I made these during group:

No progress to report on the "green monster." My new term for the never ending hubby sweater. After having to rip out the sleeve I lost my ambition for the project. So right now I'm finishing up the last sock for my SIL and have wound my balls for the slipper project. Today I'm ordering the leather slipper soles. At least I'll have everyone else's Christmas presents done even if my poor hubby doesn't get his sweater then. I haven't given up on it. I'm just going to pick it up again after Christmas. I do want him to be able to wear it this winter season!! It's my goal to finish it before I start any other large projects - like the swallowtail shawl. The palindrome scarf is hibernating for now. I'm a third of the way done but I have more important projects to finish first!

Well, that's it for now. I'm going to get the wild man dressed so we can head outside and get some fresh air. It's really lovely out today!

Ciao and Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

I'm taking part in Monday's post of The Simple Woman's Daybook. I don't know if I'll continue with it every Monday but I thought it would be a nice diversion. If I decide to go with it I'll be leaving a permalink to Peggy Hostetler's website and you can follow any contributions I make.

FOR TODAY November 25, 2008...

Outside my's dark, rainy, cold and very windy. The lights were flickering on and off earlier and I wondered if we would actually lose power!

I am tired I am! It's pretty late for me, around 11pm and I just got back to this!

I am thankful family, having a roof over my head, food in the fridge, a car that works, and all my friends.

From the will be very busy tomorrow as I begin to baking and preparing for Thanksgiving.

I am wearing...jeans and a pink tee-shirt.

I am creating...a sweater for my husband, a scarf, socks for my SIL, felted mocs for my Dad, and a toy for my son.

I am where.

I am reading...The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

I am hoping...for peace and a good nights sleep.

I am hearing...the water running in my son's fish tank.

Around the's dark and quiet and very wet outside.

One of my favorite things...knitting!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Family Thanksgiving, long overdue housework, maybe a movie, some me-time, fun with family.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is sort of how I feel right now! I'm off to bed, hope you all enjoyed my little slice of life.

Happy knitting!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tribute to the Never Ending Hubby Sweater

I knew I spoke too soon on my last post. I made the comment that it was on its homestretch...not anymore. I discovered after having nearly finished the first sleeve, like only an inch of ribbing left, that I read the instructions wrong. EVERY TIME I READ THEM! How does that happen??? So after several hours bemoaning my humongous mistake, I took a deep breath and ripped...and ripped...and ripped. *sigh* I ripped all the way back to about 2 inches from the pick up stitch row. That's over 15" of sleeve ripped. *sigh* Shall we say I learned a major lesson from all this??? If it feels wrong than it probably is wrong. *sigh* So now I begin again but this time it's going to be done right if it kills me! I'm still going for Christmas but it's crunch time now. I still have to cast on for my dad's slippers and for my Secret Santa's wool socks. I also promised my SIL she'd have her socks in a couple of weeks. I have my work cut out for me. I think next year I'll plan out my gift giving a little better. Yeah, right.

Little man is giving me the worst attitude. I know it's the terrible two's but there have been many times this week when I seriously questioned my sanity. I honestly don't know what to do anymore. He is so strong willed and is constantly pushing my buttons. He's developed the habit lately of dissolving into screaming temper tantrums, complete with kicking, hitting and flailing, for whatever reasons, that last about 15 minutes. I've tried everything. So now I just make sure he can't hurt himself or anyone else and I leave the room. I simply can't stand it. He is driving me batty. And, since I'm equally strong willed, I tend to make it worse by not caving in to his demands. It's makes the tantrums longer and louder but I'll be danged if I let a 2 yr old dictate to me.

In other news, hubby has a 4 day weekend over Thanksgiving and I am soooo looking forward to getting a bit of a break. We also have a ton of household projects that need some tending to. All in all should be fun. Our oldest SIL is coming to stay with us to so we can expect to have some Upwords tournements! Yup, we're really exciting people to hang with!

Finished twilight and LOVED it! Can't wait to get to the other books in the series. Right now, I've moved on to a cyber-thriller called The Traveler - so far so good. Then it's on to Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs.

It's late, I'm pooped and in need of some serious shut-eye.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

*Yawn* ...

Trouble is always brewing behind that smirk!

Last night was a weird night for sleeping. None of us save my Dad got any kind of decent sleep. As a result, I'm dragging ass and the wild man is throwing temper tantrums of the colossal kind. He screamed so loud he ended up coughing. Fortunately I've been taking some St. John's Wort and it seems to be working. At least I didn't end up having a temper tantrum too! The weather is crappy and nasty and we're stuck inside bored out of our furry little minds. Wild man can't decide if he wants to lay on the floor and scream, or throw all his crayons and papers to the floor, or empty the refrigerator shelves he's able to reach. Notice nothing productive is happening here. I've obviously escaped to the gated office where I can type randomness while keeping one eye on the destructive one. Right now, he has his dad's lunch boxes and has slung one over his shoulder and is carrying the other like luggage, has bade me adieu and is heading to the door. I told him to have a nice trip.

The hubby sweater's sleeves are taking FOREVER! I've knit 8" of decreasing stockinette stitches and thought I had stitched more. Bummer. I still have 7" more of decreasing stockinette and 2" of K1P1 ribbing. Maybe I can finish this weekend. At least it's my goal. But then I have a whole other sleeve to do. Remind me to NEVER knit another XXL sweater! Of course I probably will some years down the road when I am a MUCH better knitter. But for the foreseeable future...not so much. I'm bummed now because this sweater is cutting into knitting time for other projects. Of course I could be knitting rather than blogging but then where would the fun be! Sometime this weekend I need another pair of size 13 circular's. I bought 26" instead of 24" and now I think I should get the 16" to be on the safe side. *ARG* In looking over the pattern for the felted moccasins I think I've gotten in a little over my head - there are short rows, people! I have no experience in short rows - do I really want to do it on a Christmas gift for my Dad??? Of course I do - because these slippers are the perfect gift for him. I was really hoping to get my SIL's Trekking socks done by Thanksgiving but now I'm not so sure. My time table is getting rather unreliable. That's what I get for trying to plan things around a 2 yr old wild man...really now.

Button choices for the hubby sweater...
pewter celtic knots or green painted wood,
opinions anyone???

I was able to get several more cable repeats down on the Palindrome scarf during my MOPs meeting yesterday morning. The hubby sweater just isn't practical now to haul around so I need something smaller to take with me. I could have, and probably should have, taken the Trekking socks but I find trying to knit in the round on tiny needles is frustrating enough. I don't need to subject all my MOPs friends to a series of grumbles and sighs during our once monthly meet.

Wild man has moved on from counting and pulling out all the kitchen drawers to unloading his copiously filled toybox onto the living room floor. Now I hear him tearing through his drawing pad and when I go check on him I fully expect the floor to be littered with toys, torn paper and markers with their caps off. *sigh* I could really use a me break sometime soon.

I'm in the middle of reading Stephanie Meyer's twilight...can I just say WOW - I'm really loving it! Probably won't get to the movie while it's out so I'll have to wait for the dvd. I'm also looking forward to reading the rest of the series. Again, I'm loving this!

Weekend plans are still up for discussion. Most likely church in the am then off to see the FIL at the nursing home. Still no improvement there. He's declining rapidly - the dementia is definitely taking over. My Dad went to see him this past week and really noticed the physical changes. Anyway, no sad stuff today. Must go save what is left of the living room!

Ciao and Happy Knitting, y'all!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I'm having the urge to start another project. The first sleeve on the hubby sweater is coming along rather nicely. I did get off to a rocky start by picking up and knitting stitches the wrong way. You know, I'm at the point where I just don't care. I'm not going back and ripping them out just to struggle doing them the right way. Hubby won't care either! And if someone does happen to notice a portion of a row under the arm is twisted stitch and asks why? Then I'll say it was my first (and likely last) sweater! Yet I'm getting bored again with all the stockinette stitches even though it is going much faster than the body of the sweater. I'm feeling the time crunch and I need to cast on for my dad's slippers soon. I still need to find slipper bottoms to attach to them so Dad doesn't slip and slide all over the place! Plus my SIL's Trekking socks need to be finished. I'm thinking tonight I'll cast on for the slippers and try to get a few rows done. I'll limit my knitting activity to the sweater and the slippers and switch back and forth to eliminate the boredom.

Dinner is pork roast, gravy, baked potatoes, etc - cooked by dear ol' Dad! Heavy meal but who cares when you're the one not cooking it!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Hubby Sweater is Nearing the Finish Line!

Yup, I've finished the ribbing on the body of the sweater and tonight I finished the neck ribbing. Tomorrow I'll be loading up the 16" circular for the first sleeve. I'm totally psyched to finish this sweater! (Notice the use of outdated slang - I'm a child of the 80's dudes and proud of it!) I tried it on late last night to see if I was even close on the fit. It's sized for a XXL man and I can fit into it comfortably. The length is right, too. I added several inches to accommodate hubby's long torso. My goal now is to finish the first sleeve by this weekend and at least have the second sleeve loaded up and ready to go. I need to get started on my dad's felted slippers and I still have the Palindrome scarf and Trekking socks to finish. I'm hoping to have the Trekking socks mostly done by Thanksgiving but all depends on the finishing of the hubby sweater. I have a lot of ends to weave in and some buttons to buy and sew on.

I've started teaching my 5 yr old niece how to knit. I was surprised she was even interested. She's made comments in the past about learning how but I chalked it up to her just being interested in what Auntie was up to. Since she spent the weekend here and continued to show interest I agreed to try and teach her. She seems to be determined to get it! I started with a simple knit stitch and send her home with some waste cotton and a borrowed pair of needles to practice with. As luck would have it, her mom called me later today and asked for a quick tutorial because B was still trying to knit! I talked her through slip stitch and casting on and told her about all the wonderful video tutorials online she and B can watch. I'm pretty darned happy about all this! Imagine, me, having the patience to teach a 5 yr old knitting! Yippee for the both of us!

Time to catch some serious ZZZZ's ... a weekend full of house guests and two kids is enough to tucker me right out!

Ciao and Happy Knitting!

BTW - I'm trying St. John's Wort and so far so good!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Baking and Knitting...Two of My Favorite Things

Saturday was the day for baking and such. First off I made 6 jars of apple jelly using slightly overripe Red Delicious and Mac's. The color of the jelly is gorgeous...a beautiful shade of shimmery pink. The jelly was so sweet on its own that I only used 1/2 the sweetener the recipe called for. Delish! And, since hubby was so sweet as to give me the time to bake by making some bonding time for him and the little guy, I knocked off a batch of chocolate chip cookies, a batch of mini donut muffins and a batch of Harvest Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting...super YUMMY! I'll be making those again very soon! All in all it was a wonderful day of baking and eating. Tonight my Dad has taken over the kitchen and is baking some homemade mac and cheese. This is the time of year when my taste buds clap and cheer!

Last night was my first night at the library kniting group. We knit and chatted for about 1 1/2 hrs and it was really nice to sit with other knitsters who speak the language! I met some really nice ladies and heard some funny stories. A welcome break in my routine. I'll be attending once a month for the forseeable future! The hubber sweater is finally progressing nicely. I only have an inch or so left on the K1P1 ribbing then it's on to the sleeves. Also, I've started a new knit project. It's called the Palindrome Reversible Cable Scarf. I'm using Patons SWS in geranium colorway on size 9 straights. It's my first attempt with cabling and I have to say the stitch pattern is super easy but I'm using the wrong kind of cable needle. I want the U shaped cable hook and instead I'm using the needle...very awkward. As soon as I can get to a notions store I'll remedy the situation! In any case the scarf is knitting up very quickly and is quite beautiful. See for yourselves!

I voted yesterday and it was quite an experience. Very exciting and for the first time I felt like this country was moving in the right direction. We needed new blood everywhere and we got it. Now let's hope that Obama and his newly elected democratic government can stand up to the high expectations and actually get something accomplished. I believe he's in for a bit of a shock when he reads that first Presidential brief. I believe he can do what he says and I hope he has the courage and conviction to stick with it. If he can, and if he can avoid being a target, I think he can move us all into a better future. That's just my two cents.

Anyway, I have to get my little man up from his nap so I'll call it quits for today! Happy knitting, all!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Ahoy, maties! Avast ye lowly landlubbers...arg! Wild man is dressing up as a pirate for tonight's excursion out Trick or Treat-ing. He looks so darn cute with that foam pirate's hat and foam sword! He has somehow figured out how to slash and jab with no regard to his surroundings - namely me. I've been poked and jabbed and slashed at with the appropriate sound bites and to tell you the truth - it's all I can do to keep from laughing my head off! He's just so darned cute! favorite holiday. When else can we dress up in silly or scary costumes, dye our hair outrageous colors, wear piercings and tattoos and appear perfectly nor..mal..huh... Ok, when else can a perfectly straight laced person dress up in a silly or scary costume, dye their his or her hair an outrageous color, wear fake piercings and tattoos and fit right in! LOL!! Those of us on the fringes LOVE this time of year! I can't wait until the wild man is old enough for Halloween parties. I'm going to have so much fun catering and decorating and stressing out for those events! I'm making harvest cupcakes with cream cheese frosting sometime today or tomorrow. I'll decorate each cake with luscious swirls of frosting and sugary leaf sprinkles, mmmmmm!

Briefly, the FIL situation is growing worse. He's still in the hospital and the dementia seems to be taking over. It's making him act crazy and behave like a nut. It's enhancing his naturally mean and manipulative state to the point where I just don't want to expose my family to him. Yet I can't very well tell my husband he can't see his sick father or prevent my son from seeing his Grumpy. Fortunately the FIL is not mean and nasty around my son. If he were...well that's another story. We are all just waiting to see what this weekend brings then he may get discharged and admitted to another nursing facility. The fun never ends. Neither do the tears or empathy for what my MIL and IL's are being put through. Hubby says he doesn't care anymore but I think he does and what my FIL is doing is really hurting hubby. I can't make it better for him but I can love him and support him when he goes to visit and comes home thoroughly disgusted and unhappy.

On the knitting front, I only have another inch or so of stockinette for the body of the never ending hubby sweater. Then several inches of K1, P1 ribbing and I can start on the sleeves...YIPPEE!! We're getting there, folks! It's painfully slow but I am definately making progress! I'm about to cast on for my dad's felted moccasins. I think I've got the right needles so I feel ready to start. I also still have my SIL's socks to finish. I'm hoping by Thanksgiving her socks will be done, the moccasins should be mostly done and the hubby sweater should be done as well. If that's the case, I'll be celebrating Christmas early! No, I'll probably just move on to some easy hats and scarves.

No real cooking or baking has happened lately other than another batch of supurb Donut Muffins. I've got the temp and timing down for melt in your mouth tastiness! Next up should be the Harvest Cupcakes then on to cookies, cookies and more cookies! Between the knitting and the baking (and preserving) I should be able to whip up several baskets of goodies for Christmas presents.

I'm still reading up a storm. I'm now onto Dee Henderson's series, the O'Malley's . Very very good. I think if I can find more authors like her I'll really be able to enjoy Christian themed genres more often. I've read the first 3, I'm now on the 4th and I have 2 more to go to finish the series. Then it's off to the 4th installment of the Temperence Brennen series by Kathy Reichs. I also have The Last Lecture to go through as well. In addition, I've been trying to get more Bible reading under my belt. It's heavy stuff and I can't always sit down with such a weighty tome. My Bible study class is helping. It's not heavy duty, in fact, it's geared to the beginner so to speak. Which it turns out is exactly where I want to be right now.

Well, it's off to watch the rest of Eleventh Hour before the wild man wakes up!

Have a safe and wonderfully Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Flu Bug, Flu Bug, Go Away!

Yup, you guessed it. We've been down and out all week with a bad case of the flu. The wild man is recovering well but still has a nasty cough every now and then. Me? I'm feeling old as well as sick. It's a harsh realization to find out that my body doesn't just bounce right back after a bad bout of the yucks like it used to. I can't seem to shake the cruddy feeling in my ears or the nasal congestion. At least I have my voice back! I've felt so crappy that I haven't felt like doing anything but going to bed early at night. I've barely been able to keep up with family emails and reading some of my favorite blogs. Knitting fell by the wayside, as did cooking, cleaning, showering, moving...yeah, right. Fortunately my Dad was willing to take over for a while. He was pretty cool actually. He did the dishes, cooked, cleaned up, did some grocery shopping and, get this, watched the wild man for several hours so I could nap! That's why I say he was pretty cool. His great reward? Slapped down with the same crud we were whacked with. Poor man.

There's also been a ton of news on the FIL front. He's back in the hospital but they've solved most of the riddles. They now know what's going on with all his repeated ailments. After the first infection about 8 weeks ago his body started declining. With decreased ability to fight his infection his diabetes roared to life. It damaged parts of his frontal lobe which affect reasoning. It also sped up the neuropathy in his legs causing him a lot of pain. When he was told he could no longer function in an assisted living facility he became increasingly depressed. The depression bred anxiety and panic attacks (I can relate) and caused his huffing and puffing breathing problems. The original infection isn't totally gone yet either. In any case, he's been assessed by a team of Dr's including a Psych Dr, which is totally what he needed. The Psych Dr increased his sleep medicine to counteract his sleep deprivation. If he manages well on the new dosage he can go back to overnight dialysis. (He had been removed as he was a danger to himself and other patients). He has been given the proper dosage for his anxiety and over the past two days has shown marked improvement in his attitude. Sunday and Monday he was asking to stop dialysis and just let him die. Now he is trying to do as the Dr's suggest and seems to be behaving himself. He may be released back to his nursing home this weekend...we'll see. The dementia that resulting from his frontal lobe damage will only continue to decline so even though things look a lot better than they did at the beginning of the week, we know that he will continue to get worse until the time comes when decisions will need to be made with regard to his ability to continue any kind of normal existence. At that point his Dr's will weigh in and he will be reassessed. Until then, we soldier on!

I pulled out the never ending hubby sweater the other night and was pleasantly surprised at the amount of progress I've done on the body. I thought I was merely picking at it but didn't think how many rows I was adding on every day. I have maybe 4 to 6 more inches left until I can do the bottom ribbing. I think I'll do 4 inches and do extra rows on the ribbing. Yippee!!! While the end may not be in sight at least I can see myself moving on to the sleeves sooner rather than later!

I've got lots more to relate but need to get back to the little guy. It's snuggle time before nap time and I'm looking forward to it, too!

Until next time (I hope it won't be so long!) - Have a wonderful weekend and happy knitting!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's Been Too Long!

I can't believe I'm not posting as often as I want to. I admit to being distracted this week with catching up on my reading. I borrowed 5 books from our church library - all fiction - and I've been spending the week with the Sisterchicks. Surprisingly a very good series! I'm not that into romance so I tend to pass it by and I was afraid that any Christian fiction I came across would be an even worse imitation of the romantic crap out there. To my embarrassment there are a whole host of authors writing in the various genres that are Christian writers. Imagine my surprise to find a cadre of mystery/suspense and women's fiction that appealed to me. The Sisterchicks series is a classic example of women's fiction with a very pleasant Christian twist. I love the freedom all the various female characters have in expressing their love of God and their admiration of His creations. And the books are also so beautifully written - full of vivid images and colors - so clear one can imagine oneself right there next to the main character. So in case you haven't gotten it yet, I highly recommend this series. And if you are afraid these books are "pushy religious stuff" you would be wrong. They are stories of wonderful women and their friends who happen to be Christian and they are celebrated as such.

I have managed to knit a little bit this week. But in addition to reading A LOT I've been battling a sore throat and cold so my motivation has been off. The last two nights I've retired to bed really early - about 5 minutes after we put the wild man down! So not so much time spent on knitting. Also, I've been resisting the urge to start another project because the vast amount of stockinette stitch I've been doing on the never ending hubby sweater is REALLY boring. I don't think I'll be doing another sweater like that again. If and when I do another one it will have more interesting stitchwork. Nevertheless the urge to pick up my laceweight yarn and go forth on the swallowtail shawl is great indeed.

I have to relate something that struck me yesterday when the wild man and I were out walking about the farm. I've been in a fairly grouchy mood so my tolerance level with him is practically nil. My fault, not his. He's been a really good boy lately. Anyway, I was grumpily walking around behind him as we were exploring down by the barn and around when I happened to look up into the trees. I was stopped in my tracks by the vibrant fall colors and intensely blue sky. I felt so small and petty. I felt like God was shaking his paint splattered finger at me as if to say, "Wake up and enjoy all I have given you! And by the way, you need to stop acting so selfishly. Now go and play with your son with a light heart." I was ashamed of the way I had been acting and when I looked back down at the wild man it really was with different eyes. I need to be poked at frequently and reminded that children learn through play and what may be boring and dull to me would be fun and interesting to him. So I stopped feeling sorry for myself for not feeling well and not getting any breaks and I grabbed my son's hand and walked with him up the hill and there we played for a long time. After playtime was done, the wild man looked at me and said, "Up Mumma" (we were rolling up and down the hill). When I looked up at him I could see a rainbow behind his head. I know it was the angle at which I was lying down but I couldn't help but think that God hung that rainbow there just for me.

On that note, I'm taking my little wild man outside for the morning so we can both enjoy the beautiful, though chilly, day before all the wonderful fall colors fade and fall. Oh, before I go? The wild man is busily emptying my cotton yarn bin and playing with the I disturbed by this? Surprisingly no...but I should still stop him before he gets to the other stuff!

Or before he yanks the dogs tail again!!!

Enjoy your weekends!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

FIL, Pirates and Knitting Nonsense

It's official. My MIL emailed us today that my FIL is officially out of assisted living. He'll be living in the rehab nursing home for 90 days then will be evaluated. After that he'll move to one of the regular care wings in the same Home. The Home is actually pretty nice considering it's one step from living in a hospital. In all fairness I can see why my FIL is having a hard time. The place may be nice and it may have nice amenities but it's still a full care nursing home and that has to suck. We went to visit him on Sunday and while it was really beautiful out we still had to contend with his self pity. The wild man did his utmost to cheer his Grumpy up. It worked for a while then when we said we had to leave (to give lunch to the wild man and see his Mem) my FIL slipped back into self pity. Like I said, it's understandable but it's still pretty hard to take.

My MIL wasn't feeling well that day. We still had a nice visit even though the wild man refused all attempts at napping. He finally conked out in the car around 5pm, of course. Since we were nearly home we let him catnap.

Saturday we went to a birthday party and had a good time! Wild man dressed up like a pirate and even had fun at the vernacular, AR Maties! The food was good and the company the best!

Nothing new on the knitting front. Still working on the never ending hubby sweater and I've done a few more rows on the second Trekking sock. Sad but I haven't felt much like knitting these last two days. Probably because I borrowed 5 books from the church library and have almost plowed through the first one! Sisterchicks do the Hula. It's really good!

Here's a few pics of the little pirate, the birthday girl & her bro, and the birthday girl with my BFF to leave you with...

Friday, October 10, 2008

FIL, Cooking, Knitting, Dyeing

Sorry I haven't posted much this's been a bitch of a week. Hubby's been up way early every morning to get to work and my Dad has been driving my batty. Wild man is doing really well and isn't the source of my anxiety for a change! We got one of those dreaded night time calls from my MIL. They had just been told that my FIL won't be moving back to his Assisted Living room (which he loves - which we all love!) and he was really really depressed. He now has to stay in a full care nursing facility and it's a major blow to his ego. He didn't realize he was that bad off. He kept hoping he would recover to at least his pre-hospitalization condition. The Dr's and staff don't hold out a lot of hope for that considering he's been steadily declining (while deluding himself that he's maintaining status quo). My MIL can't continue to cover for him anymore. He can't do the minimum required activity to qualify for a lesser care home. He can't stand on his own, shower, potty, wipe, etc anymore. The next step is finding him a permanent room. Right now he's in a nice facility in a rehab ward. They will wait and see how he does and if, by some miracle, he shows improvement, they may (fat chance) approve him for lesser care. Anywho, they called Wednesday night around 8:15pm and they were both total wrecks. She because of his meanness and inconsideration, he because he finally has to admit he's not doing as well as he thought he was. He gets bad news and takes it out on her. So hubby, sweet man that he is, drove all the way up there to calm the situation down. He sent his mum home around 10pm then settled in to have a heart to heart with his dad. Hubby came home around midnight absolutely fagged out. I got the jist of the update, then he crashed hard. We'll be going up tomorrow morning to get some of my FIL's stuff out of his old room and take it to my MIL's house until a more permanent solution is made. Wild man and I will either take in the Mall or Joker's. I still have to pick up a birthday present for my BF's daughter. She's turning 4 already!

After FIL errands in the morning, we'll head up north for the birthday party. I'm hoping wild man will snooze on the way up. The party is at 1pm and he's going to be really really tired after. I'm hoping to put him down for a nap there if he'll let me. Too much excitement with his friends so I'm not sure if he'll be up for it! I'll pack his PJ's in anycase, so when we head home he'll be comfy.

I didn't cook as much as I thought I would this week. Generally because my dad was a pain in the ass. He gets grouchy sometimes and I suppose when you're 77 you've earned the right to be grouchy whenever and whereever you choose! Still doesn't make it easier. Grrrr.... Here's the beef jerky and mini muffins I did get around to doing!

On the needles: the never ending hubby sweater which is actually making progress! My goals seem to be working. It's about 3/4ths done lengthwise, then the sleeves and finishing. If I don't think about where I am on this garment I don't notice how much I've done until I hold it up. It is turning out nicely. Also, I've cast on for the second Trekking sock for my SIL. The first one is pretty cool! I like the K3, P1 ribbing. It shows off the subtle, yet striking, colors in the yarn. Pictures really don't do it justice. I've also tacked on two drop stitch scarves, one just finished last week and one done years ago. You tell me which is which!

I've been trying to grow my hair out for 6 months now and I'm really frustrated with it! I realize it's at an "inbetween stage" but it still drives me crazy. I'm thinking it's time to see a stylist for some shaping. I can still let it grow but I need a style otherwise it just limply lies there. I have colored it and it's looks good! Quite a bit darker than my usual colors. Mind you, I've been blonde my whole life, natural and bottle enhanced. It's only been in recent years that I decided to go with the darker tones in my hair. Amazing how well it works! Hubby says he is withholding judgement until he sees it in the sun. I think with a steller makeup job I'll look pretty hot!

Here's my cutie:

Books on Tap for 2011

  • Knit Together - Debbie Macomber
  • Captured by Grace - Dr. David Jeremiah
  • Murder Most Foul - A Collection of Great Crime Stories
  • Fireproof - Eric Wilson
  • There's Something About Christmas - Debbie Macomber
  • Questioning Evangelism - Randy Newman
  • Murder Uncorked - Michele Scott
  • A Sacred Sorrow - Michael Card
  • Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? - Philip Yancey
  • Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore

Books Read in 2011

  • What a Sista Should Do - Tiffany L. Warren
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper
  • Forgotten God - Francis Chan
  • The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  • Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
  • Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Chill Factor - Sandra Brown
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Wednesday Sisters - Meg Waite Clayton
  • Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
  • Bound for Murder - Laura Childs
  • Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Faefever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery
  • The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
  • No Wonder They Call Him Saviour - Max Lucado
  • I Still Dream About You - Fannie Flagg
  • I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
  • The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  • Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
  • A Thread So Thin - Marie Bostwick
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
  • The Search - Nora Roberts
  • The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
  • Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
  • The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
  • Awakened - PC & Kristen Cast
  • The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  • Photo Finished - Larua Childs
  • Keepsake Crimes - Laura Childs
  • Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
  • The Icing on the Cupcake - Jennifer Ross
  • Fleece Navidad - Maggie Sefton
  • Dyer Consequences - Maggie Sefton
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree - Susan Wittig Albert
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Books Read in 2010

  • The Yada Yado Prayer Group - Netta Jackson
  • Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  • The Hole in Our Gospel - Richard Stearns
  • A Winter Marriage - Kerry Hardie
  • So Long, Insecurity - Beth Moore
  • Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
  • Dead and Berried - Karen MacInerney
  • Murder on the Rocks - Karen MacInerney
  • where do i go - Netta Jackson
  • be sweet - diane hunt
  • The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
  • Raven - Allison Van Deipen
  • Push (Precious) - sapphire
  • Faces of the Gone - Brad Parks
  • The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
  • Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick
  • Fired Up - Jayne Ann Krentz
  • The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
  • Matters Arising - Sarah Harrison
  • The Sheen on the Silk - Anne Perry
  • I Saw the Lord - Anne Graham Lotz
  • The Dangerous Protector - Janet Chapman
  • The Seduction of His Wife - Janet Chapman
  • Re-reading all the Tintin graphic novels - Herge
  • The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
  • the last time i saw you - Elizabeth Berg
  • Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer
  • Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris
  • Crawl Space - Sarah Graves
  • The Honey Thief - Elizabeth Graver
  • The Otherworldlies - Jennifer Anne Kogler
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
  • A Face at the Window - Sarah Graves
  • Draycott Eternal - Christina Skye
  • Shelter Mountain - Robin Carr
  • Virgin River - Robyn Carr
  • Death by Cashmere - Sally Goldenbaum
  • An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris