Friday, February 29, 2008
The rest of it belongs to me, I guess.
I'm making headway on the sweater I'm knitting. It's the Alpaca StagHorn Cardigan or something like that from an older Knit N Style magazine. I know I said I didn't like busy cables and this is nothing but cables but the pattern, while looking ever so complicated is easily memorized and almost mindless. It has the advantage of looking like the most complicated pattern in the world though so I end up looking good.
My cabling has definitely improved over time. I'm using reverse combination, where I wrap my knit stitches the opposite way but wrap the purls the most common way. It has improved my tension so much that I really need to knit this way all the time. Unless I'm doing garter stitch, of course.
I finished another hat for Knit4Lent and started another last night. I'd love to get to work on some toys for Haiti but I think I'll wait until after Easter. We have a new baby at church and I need to make something for him but he has so many beautiful things right now that I told the parents that I would wait a while and make him something for when he's a bit older.
I also told Amy that I would hold him later because I just don't hold new babies. My personal belief is that they just don't like it and it makes mom nervous. Mom, in this case, is an internist so she appreciates the health aspects of passing new babies around. She thanked me very quietly when I told her I would wait a few months before I held him.
Confession for the day: I would love to get rid of about half the furniture we have in this house. Tom won't let go of anything so we have some huge pieces of furniture we had in our big house 18 years ago, not to mention all the furniture he's picked up from relatives over the past several years. If I could get by with it, I would also empty the attic, basement and garage with a huge shovel without even looking at any of it. I'm so tired of walking through the house sideways because I have to negotiate around furniture. I did take down the dining table and put a chair in its place because the table was only used for clutter and took up so much room that only one person could walk through the dining room at a time. And since Tom tends to sleep downstairs now and then (or every weekend) I need a family room to watch television or read. It hurt to sit on a dining room chair for hours on end. Not my idea of relaxing with a book at all.
I'm going off by myself today to do the banking and library and shopping. I don't intend to come home soon but will take a book and get a soda and sit at Wendy's and read. Or write. I've been wanting to do that for a while but since there isn't a single place in this house where I could be alone I haven't managed to write a single word. Or maybe I'm just making excuses.
I may get my drawing pencils out again. I went through my portfolio the other day and cringed at what I used to think was good work. I tend to put all my eggs in one basket and work on one passion at a time. I just need to manage my time better.
I've been working on spinning on an occasional basis. I have good days and bad days with it but I think once it's plied it will all even out.
The snow is screaming at me to get busy so I must do that before I can go to town. I will have tons of video pleasure this week as nearly everything I put on hold has come in so I'll be marathoning in order to get it all watched before it has to go back. Some of it is on two week loan so I'm not panicking...yet.
I hope this is the last of the snow for the season.
ETA: The boy, bless his heart, heard me getting ready to go shovel and came out to help without being asked or anything. I will listen to his chatter 24/7 without complaining from now on. I am so lucky.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
So I thought I would start with a few confessions. No, don't prepare to be shocked. My life isn't that exciting.
This is mildly embarrassing but I have a neopet. I've had this neopet for 1,134 days and I can't bear to give it up. I almost called it him. For some reason whenever he gets to the starving stage, I feel guilty so I stick him in the neolodge where they will feed and pamper him and I don't have to think about him until I get the email telling me he's checked out and I need to think about feeding him. The way I afford all this pampering is to play games for neopoints.
I also have a neohome that is three stories high and completely furnished. That, too, costs neopoints and I don't buy furniture as often as I have to feed the pet but there it is. I can't give any of it up. I've tried to. I've even gone so far as to look up the adoption page but something in me won't let go.
I'm such a child.
Another confession is that I wish I could be done with dieting. I'm tired of thinking about food 24/7 year after year and watching my weight stay the same or go up. I honestly don't think I can give this up either because it's like the neopet and is ingrained in my being. But I truly think dieting is what is making me fat. Ideally I would like to just wake up in the morning, eat what I need to eat all day and go to bed at night without looking at the scale or worrying about how my clothes fit. I think our society has screwed us up for life with diets.
I'm going to try it knowing that it will probably get worse before it gets better but what I'm doing right now isn't working and since I've tried every diet out there, plus counseling and that's not working, I can't see how it would hurt to try this.
Confession number three: I hate watching television with Tom. He ridicules my shows and makes commentary all the way through it. Let me make it clear that he does this with shows he watches, too, but it does make my viewing less than pleasurable. He considers it entertainment but I don't.
Confessions last: I'm cranky. So very cranky. I love the boy with everything in me but I need silence right now and he's so excited about things going on at school that he's a virtual chatterbox. I don't dare burst his bubble so I listen but I seriously need a vacation from everyone. An afternoon at Wendy's (they know us so well there) with a good book and notebook and pencil would be my ideal vacation.
I'm so weird.
I frogged the pullover from Interweave because the yarn I had wasn't right for the pattern but let me tell you that I love the pattern and will knit it as soon as I have the right yarn.
More snow tomorrow. Whee. Let me contain my excitement.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
You say there's another 2-6 inches coming? And just where am I supposed to go wee?
That's not a drift; that's how much we've got on the ground.
And bear in mind, Professor is a Chihuahua/Pomeranian blend.
It occurred to me today on the way to church while having a theological discussion with Zach that most people aren't necessarily interested in finding the truth; they want what they believe to be the truth.
Tom is sleeping in the living room again today and got there before we got home from church so I can't get to either my book or my knitting. Plus I've spent the entire afternoon trying to keep
Mr. Yappy the Professor quiet. A near impossibility. And I haven't been able to call my parents because it would wake him up. I'm reading closed captioning on the television because I can't turn it up loud enough to hear without waking him up. Grrrr.
I got the new Interweave Knits today and am very impressed. I haven't seen a knitting magazine yet that I wanted to make so many items in it. So very doable in this issue. I'm not going to use the pictures from the site because it would take forever for this blog to load up, but you can slip over there and see them for yourselves.
First off is a pair of legwarmers that are just lovely and wouldn't be hard at all to turn into socks if you wanted to. They're snug-fitting rather than the slouchy legwarmers of the past. Made of sportweight yarn, using size US 3 needles.
Mirabella Cardigan by Jennifer Tallapaneni is a nice short-sleeved fitted-waist cardigan. Not my style but something I would like to knit for my sister, maybe.
Flutter Sleeve Cardigan by Pam Allen is similar to Mirabella but with enough differences to make it very interesting. I think I like this one better but they both look like a lot of fun to knit.
Auburn Camp Shirt by Chrissy Gardiner is a nice short sleeve sweater with interesting cuffs and collar. Another one I would like to knit.
My favorite is the Holly Jacket by Theresa Schabes. It ahs a definite 50's flair to it and its simplicity makes it so charming. This one I will make for me.
The Frock Camisole by Katie Himmelberg looks feminine and comfortable but I couldn't wear it because of my prosthesis, darn it. I wish someone would make feminine things for women with one breast.
Aleita Shell by Bonne Marie Burns is another one that I love but couldn't wear because of my shape. But maybe I could lose enough weight to wear it. It's really lovely.
I love the Linen Trumpet Skirt by Kat Coyle. I'm not a big fan of knitted skirts because they tend to be fitted and my shape is nothing to exaggerate but this one is loose and flowing. I would make it longer (if I could afford the yarn) but otherwise it's great.
A Good Stripe Dress by Mareike Sattler is adorable for a young girl wanting to look both feminine and sporty at the same time. It's knit in the round with jogless stripes. Looks like fun but I have no one to knit it for.
Banded Peasant Blouse by Mary Jane Mucklestone is cute and looks very comfortable but again not for my shape. My sister would look good in it though. It has all the beauty of a peasant blouse without the blousy sleeves.
Printed Silk Cardigan by Connie Chang Chinchio is beautiful. A bit of an empire style waist but still something I could wear. I love this one as well.
Slyph Cardigan by Robin Melanson is cute and feminine but I think for a younger person. The fitted waist and ruffle speak to me of girl and not woman, but I could be wrong. Still, if I had someone to knit this for I would do it in a heartbeat. It looks so interesting.
Dovetail Pullover by Kathy Zimmerman will be on the needles before my head hits the pillow tonight. I love this. The simplicity of it makes the cables really stand out. I also love that the sleeves aren't cabled. I sometimes love a cabled pattern but think they get a bit too busy when the sleeves have them as well.
Chameleon Scarf by Lorilee Beltman is the only pattern in here I didn't care for. Not that it's not pretty. The colors are nice. But I'm not a huge fan of granny squares and this looks like a bunch of granny squares attached one by one. Not my favorite.
Twisted Tulip Socks by Chrissy Gardiner are nice and will definitely by in my queue.
Hexacomb Cardigan by Katie Himmelberg is beautiful but I'm not a fan of short or cropped sweaters. I don't think it would be hard at all to lengthen though.
I love the Katharine Vest by Eunny Jang and not just because of the name. It's lightweight yet is a wonderful fashion accessory rather than a full garment. The open front makes it doable for any figure shape.
Cobweb Lace Stole by Michele Rose Orne is another one in my queue. I prefer rectangular shawls and this one is lovely. Not as delicate as some I've seen out there but that's another thing I like about it.
Drawstring Chemise by Connie Chang Chinchio is another one the I would love to wear but again, can't. I might have to knit it anyway just because it looks so good.
There are two shawls in the issue. Two! Bleeeding Hearts Shawl by Anne Hanson is another beautiful shawl although a bit more delicate than the Cobweb Lace Stole. Another rectangular shawl so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth with this issue.
There are some free patterns as always but they don't scream out to me but there is an article about Ravelry that is really interesting.
I'd definitely recommend this issue to anyone.
Now if Tom would just wake up so I can get in there to my yarn and needles!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
But after shoveling last night (drifts of about a foot on the sidewalk) we got another inch or two with snowplow residue on the entrance to the driveway. Neither Zach or I could face it today. We'll get it tomorrow.
Of late when I get home from wherever I happen to be on a given day, Professor needs to be held, making responding to blogs and emails a difficulty. He's off sleeping right now so I'm free for at least an hour or so until he wakes up and wants to be held again. It's like having a baby in the house after all these years. At least he's starting to make up with Hannibal. For those who don't know the back history, they were playing and Hannibal caught Professor when he was trying to get up on the couch. Prof fell and hurt his back leg (he's still limping occasionally on it) and ever since then won't have anything to do with the cat. Poor Hannibal keeps trying to get him to play but the mighty dog barks hysterically when he comes near.
Last night, Professor got one of his jerky treats caught on the roof of his mouth and was freaking out a bit trying to get it loose. I picked him up (thinking it was in his throat...me near hysteria myself) and tried to dislodge it. He squeaked when I put my fingers in his mouth so I set him down. Hannibal came running up to him to see if he was all right, in obvious distress over Professor. Professor was able to get it out and calmed down and let Hannibal sniff over him. Later when Hannibal crawled up on the bed, he didn't chase him off but let him come over and sniff him to see if he was okay. Later on I woke up to find them both under the covers with me curled up next to each other.
I've been working on a sweater from Knitty the past couple of days. I frogged the cabled cardigan I was working on because I didn't like the neckline on it and didn't feel like making a button band after it was all said and done. I want to do something challenging and love the trees on this sweater. They remind me of Gondor's flag from Return of the King. Mine is in a sage green and I'm not decreasing for the waist since mine tends to the concave rather than convex. I don't like a lot of fitting around the middle anyway.
Working on a pink and black raglan pullover for Zach. It's pretty mindless so I do that when I'm watching Midsomer Murders or Inspector Lynley. Or if I feel like propping a book up in the car and reading.
Speaking of reading. I finished the latest Hamish Macbeth mystery and am back to Elizabeth George and Caroline Graham. And listening to the third Artemis Fowl book. I think my mind is coming back to me. It doesn't feel like mush anymore.
At least not much like mush.
I'm loving Pride and Prejudice on PBS. I almost got the dvd from the library today but I decided to wait until this Sunday to watch the conclusion. It's not like I don't know the story but I've never seen any of the productions. Casting was excellent. Colin Firth makes the best Mr. Darcy and Mr. Collins is superb. He played Cicero on Rome (HBO) where he did an excellent job. Plus he's been on Midsomer Murders, as well. That's one of the things I love about British productions: you see actors all over the place...on television, plays and movies. There doesn't seem to be the division or caste system that exists in American actors.
One of my favorite moments was seeing Sean Bean on Vicar of Dibley. It was classic.
I'm feeling better today. Thanks so much to everyone who was concerned. It means a lot. I think the sunshine helped. More snow on Thursday but I'm going to start exercising tomorrow. I think that will help the depression as well as any medication might. I'm starting out slowly though. I'd love to take Professor out walking but the sidewalks at intersections are blocked by snow and no way to really get around it unless I walk in the road and that's not a good idea.
I'm off to relax, knit and watch the dvds I got from the library today. And later a soak in a bubble bath.
I will post my list of blogs that make my day later this week. I truly feel honored to have been chosen by Ailsa.
Monday, February 18, 2008
So the extent of my outdoor activities has been driving to Fond du Lac in near white-out conditions, slippery roads (because MPTC doesn't cancel classes apparently) and sitting in the car snoozing under a toasty warm blanket while waiting for Zach.
And shoveling snow.
And shoveling more snow.
And still more snow.
It's getting to everyone. Next door to the north (elderly lady) the son brought his snow blower over finally (the second time all winter he's been over) and stopped at the property line. Sigh. We've shoveled her sidewalk every time it snowed.
The neighbors to the south used their snow blower on only their side of the driveway. We've done both sides of our shared access every time we've been out there. They've done it, too, but we've shoveled the past four times, including the 15 inch snow storm from a couple of weeks ago.
Sigh. I know it's getting to everyone but we're the only ones with just shovels and muscle power. They've got the snowblowers.
I've been knitting a lot more than I've been reading about knitting. I'm just taking a break from the internet for a while. I canceled all the email groups I've been on and have been reading blogs only a couple of times a week.
I finished a couple of baby blankets but otherwise haven't gotten a lot of anything done. Nothing that requires any amount of concentration. Seasonal depression is so debilitating.
Thanks so much to Aisla for nominating me for an award. Truthfully, I was ready to quit blogging and probably would have if it weren't for her. Thanks so much! It really did make my day.
Things at home haven't improved any. I continue to gain weight but I am sleeping more. In fact, I'm sleeping way more than I should. I feel like sleeping around the clock and the past two weekends stayed in my pajamas all weekend long. Hopefully I will reclaim my life once and for all and make something of it, instead of just stumbling along.
Even knitting hasn't held a lot of interest for me.
But I've been reading a lot, mostly Inspector Lynley mysteries. I did manage to get the new Hamish Macbeth mystery. It's very light reading and I usually finish them in a day. Like a snack rather than a meal.
Off to fix supper and then outside to shovel yet more snow.
Eighty inches is more than enough snow, I think. But apparently we're getting more this week. Not to mention below zero temps tomorrow.
Thanks to those of you who have been so faithful about stopping by even when I haven't been faithful about writing.
You mean so much to me.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I'm thoroughly exhausted and sore right now. Just got done shoveling snow for the third time today. With Zach, of course, but there was more than enough to go around, believe me. Seventeen inches worth, in fact. Wet, heavy snow. And some of it in difficult places to shovel. I know I have more shoveling to do since the snow plow will go past sometime tonight and Tom won't be able to get into the driveway unless I go out there before he gets home.
I got up at 6 a.m. this morning to shovel the driveway for him and probably will have to do it tomorrow as well. Otherwise he parks in front in the snow drift and I have a hard time getting out of it when I need to go someplace. And since tomorrow is Zach's class in Fond du Lac, I don't want to negotiate a snow drift first thing in the morning.
And Mondays and Thursdays I get up early anyway to pack our lunches and snacks and get all my gear loaded up.
Everything was closed today, including Zach's school. Thank goodness! I sure didn't want to drive in this. Church was canceled as well. That I was sorry about but I wasn't going to drive in this weather to go to that either.
Puppy is off looking for a better place to sleep so I have my arms back but I'm too tired to write anymore.
Off to knit a bit on whatever and try to get to sleep. All that exercise out there woke me right up.
And I still have dishes to do yet.
Monday, February 4, 2008
I know...that's not strange.
What is strange is how I was able to bribe him. Professor loves catnip. I made a toy for Hannibal for Christmas, just a bitty Christmas stocking with some catnip inside it. But Professor won't let him play with it. Instead, he nuzzles it until he gets inside the stocking and licks all the catnip away. If, heaven forfend, Hannibal should happen upon the toy while Professor isn't on guard, the old Prof will take it away and bark ceaselessly at him.
Although it's true he's been barking a lot at the cat ever since Hannibal caught him and caused him to fall off the bed and injure his leg.
I've decided to stop fighting my fatigue and give in to it. Part of fibromyalgia is a near-constant fatigue that no amount of rest will alleviate. I've been fortunate that mine hasn't been terribly debilitating and that my pain has been very manageable. But of late, the fatigue has been a real nuisance. I think I've discovered that fighting it makes it worse. Or at least it seems that way. I'm just going to do what I can when I can and rest when I need it. Some people don't accept that fatigue is not something you can work past but
I napped today while waiting for Zach and felt much better for it. It was only about 25 minutes but I was comfy under my blanket while listening to the rain on the roof of the car. Very soothing.
I was able to get a lot of knitting done after that while listening to Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident. I'm trying to get the baby blanket done before Sunday so I can give it to Jan for the Haiti Project our diocese is working on.
I've also been doing some breathing exercises to help with stress. That only seems to help a little bit, but maybe I just need practice at it.
I'm not doing terribly well with the whole healthful eating thing, but I'm not doing as badly as I was doing before so I'm counting that as success.
Baby steps, after all.
Which is what I took while walking across the parking lot today. Ice and rain have made a very slick mess of things so I walked very carefully taking small steps. I do not want to fall down again. I think I've reached my quota for the year.
I'm so ready for spring.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Church was wonderful as usual. The lesson on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday is traditionally the story of the transfiguration of Jesus. The ultimate mountain experience, as our priest stated it. She put it in a way that really spoke to me especially in light of what I'm going through emotionally. The experience for Jesus was one in which He demonstrated to His disciples just who He really was. He realized His potential in a way they could see and understand. Then she talked about how we are expected by God to realize our potential, too, in a way we can understand.
As usual, God comes through. Not in mystical, magical ways for me (although I've had some mighty timely blessings happen to me) but in very practical, meaningful ways.
Of course there are the pesky prickles showing me where I fall down and how I need to just reach up and take God's hand to get up again. Again with the forgiveness thing. It's amazing to me how I just don't seem to get that one. I'm convinced that God's insistence that we forgive others isn't for their benefit but for our mental, emotional and spiritual health. I'm sure I could get a whole lot of de-stashing done in my life if I would just learn that lesson.
I took the supersocke to church as usual and got tremendous complements from it. I had on the Monkeys so I showed them off as well. There are several women there who either knit or have in the past. We also have some terrific seamstresses as well. One woman did some delicate embroidery on altar cloths as an offering for her son who was stationed in Baghdad, in much the same vein as prayer shawls are knitted up. Stitch by stitch, prayer by prayer.
Last week while waiting for Zach, I had to go inside to sit for a while because it was -8 F outside in the car. I was working on socks, as usual, and a woman came by on her way to ballroom dance class and stopped to learn more about knitting in general and knitting socks in particular. I get a lot of stares working with those tiny needles and so many of them. It looks much more complicated than it really is.
No kidding, this is the conversation I had with Tom today. I had bought some ammonia because I always make my own cleaning solutions.
Tom: You bought ammonia.
Tom: What are you going to do with ammonia?
Me: I'm going to do some cleaning. I was out.
Tom: Ammonia is a dangerous liquid. You'd better be careful.
Me: blank stare
I've only used this stuff all my life and in the 22 years of marriage, I know he's seen me use it at least once a week. But I've learned since New Year's Eve not to respond to him so as not to escalate things.
I'm also learning to pick myself up when I fall down. Several times a day. And no, not literally. Okay not much literally. I think learning to forgive myself when I let myself down (not so good with the follow-through remember) is perhaps the biggest lesson I can learn this week.
Ailsa, thanks for the support. It's nice to know you are there for me. And thanks to the rest of you as well. I don't feel so terribly alone anymore. I've gained a bit of confidence in myself as a result.
Off to bed and to knit on the Log Cabin-ish baby blanket. It's Stargate Atlantis, season 2 tonight. I taped Masterpiece and will watch it tomorrow, along with some more Midsomer Murders.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
One thing I've decided to do is have a divorcement ceremony (private, of course) to completely separate myself from the things and people that I have been allowing to abuse me. I desperately need to divorce myself from the person who is dead-set on killing me slowly with stress and bad, evil healthless habits. Me.
Somewhere inside is a person who is fun and happy and eager to realize her potential. I just have to figure out how to get rid of the bitter, resentful angry old biddy who is keeping her locked up in a closet.
Also there are people in my life who do the same to me. Some of them I can't avoid having as a part of my life. Those I can, though, will be gone. No longer welcome. Those who can't will be symbolically divorced. They will no longer have any power over me.
I am somewhat nervous about all of this, of course, because I'm not really good on follow-through. My mother is right: I never seem to finish anything. I'm just hoping I can follow through on this. I think my life depends on it.
It's snowing again. The neighbor used the snowblower (notice how I'm not as snooty about it now as I was earlier on in the winter?) on the driveway entrance so that is a big relief. But the snowplow hasn't come through yet so it will have to be done again. We haven't gone out to shovel the sidewalks yet because it's still snowing but I do intend to get it done before nightfall so we can get to church tomorrow.
I really love my church. It's small and the parish tends toward the social security jet set but I've never been in a more loving community of people. And the way they accept my son unconditionally is amazing. Love is what it's all about, after all.
Plus, I love the Book of Common Prayer. I've always been drawn to the liturgy and while Roman Catholic isn't my cup of tea, I love the discipline and form of the Episcopal church. I guess I need that kind of discipline more than someone who is happier in a church without it. I'm so glad the choices are available out there.
I'm working on a log cabin-type blanket for the Haiti project in our church. They need baby blankets and while I don't necessarily like knitting blankets (although I might consider crocheting them) this one intrigued me and gave me a chance to use up lots of yarn. I'm using Caron Simply Soft in various colors but I think next time I will use up my Red Heart supply.
I frogged the hat for Knit4Lent. I hated it. I will figure something else out later. Still working on Supersocke and my Woolease socks.
I've been doing a lot of reading lately. In particular, Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley mysteries. And to my delight, the wonderful Nathaniel Parker is a great voice artist. I've been listening to Artemis Fowl in the car while waiting for Zach and am thrilled with the quality of Nathaniel Parker's talents. He doesn't just read the book; he acts it out. I think I like him as well, if not better, than Jim Dale. And that's saying a lot.
The laundry monster is breathing down my neck so I must take care of him. And there is baking to be done since I'm off on a health kick. No more processed sugar or sorbitol for me so baking from scratch is the only option there. I've been sugar free for hours now and I'm doing okay.