"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

I spent Christmas Eve this year with Stephanie, Jack, Zoe and Megan.....plus a few of the Huntsville family friends.  This included Jack's brother Bob, his fiance and their dad, TJ.  It was a blast and the food was AWESOME.  Stephanie made the most AMAZING chicken and dumplings.  There was food every where you looked.  I experienced Kracken Rum! It was wonderful!  Enjoy the pictures and I'll post more later this week!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

Anyone in the holiday spirit? I'm getting there. So...here we go!

1. As I neared the door I saw the lights in the window.

2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is what I'm reading right now. It's different.....

3. I didn't start out this way, time and my family helped.

4. I'm still not really a morning person, to tell the truth.

5. The best way to learn something is to do it.

6. This is the reason I am humming along....thank you Chris Renee!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing a cross-stitch ornament, tomorrow my plans include knitting the blanket for Liam and Sunday, I want to knit and watch the Texans!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

1. One of my favorite things about December is decorating the house for the holiday.

2. I love odd and unusual ornament(s)!

3. This is what I'm hoping for today/tonight: a long overdue date with C.

4. What noise?

5. Ooh, a craft fair with home-made goodies for me to wander about within.

6. Stop all the bells from ringing!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to see number three, tomorrow my plans include getting ready for C's next surgery and Sunday, I want to watch football/Lady Vol's and craft things!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Deep breathing has helped......

Okay, so I have been posting today and I feel like it is time to "spill the beans", so to speak.  Since June of 2008 my life has been very different than it has ever been.  Much of this change was needed and I know this.  Many other facets of it were just part of the way that the journey unfolded.

You all know that Megan graduated from SFASU on Mother's Day of 2008 and I couldn't have been prouder.  What you don't know is that my life was headed in directions I couldn't control.  I spent a year in an efficiency apartment living alone for the first time in my entire life.  I learned a great deal about myself in that year.  I learned what I liked and what I expected.  I also learned how to love myself in spite of myself.  These are all lessons that most people learn when they are in college.  Late to learn them, but I forged on ahead.

It was during this self-discovery that I met SF.  She needs a new name, as our relationship has passed the Special Friend place in both our lives.  Alas, I haven't stumbled upon a name that will suffice.  What started off as an attempt for both of us to make a new friend has led to a relationship that is strong, passionate and full-filling.  But I jump too far ahead.  It was during this year of solitude that I learned what a friend was and let that help me make more of them.

I let the friendships expose me to new experiences and let them enrich my life.  I wanted more and felt like a sponge.  I was still conservative but I suppose in some way I always will be.  I like things to have a certain order and I don't really like unexpected surprises.  I like surprises for gifts but that would be the exception.  I like order and prefer not too much gray area.  I let myself drop my guard and let people get close to me.  That is hard, as I don't always trust people.  I also learned the art of compromising.  I also had the opportunity to teach people things I know.  That is a big source of joy for me too.

Along the way I also changed jobs.  I was excited and then after four months that was shattered when I was laid off.  I spent the next year working every temp job that I could get.  I worked in various industries and for good rates.  I had no benefits and no guarantee that I would be there another week.  It was a gut check and was VERY stressful on me as well as on our new relationship.  It was on one such assignment that I had a three hour long interview.  Not just one, but there were several.  This company wanted me and we were just trying to determine the best fit with the openings available.  I started on June 20th of this year and it has been a blessing.  I'll leave it at that.  There has been a lot of adjustments at home.  I work long hours and the commute is 72 miles round trip daily.  It takes a toll, especially when the traffic is bad.

I also had to put Eraser down on Good Friday and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I miss her daily and cannot explain it.  Add to this the fact that SF has had two pre-cancerous growths removed from each ankle, a torn rotator cuff and the surgery necessary to repair it and her left foot has been reconstructed.  All of this since I started the new job.  She also has to have her right foot reconstructed next Wednesday.  This has meant that I have been the sole person responsible for all household work.  I have had to be the one that does all the interior cleaning.  I have been the "pool girl".  I have been the yard crew, mostly making sure that the weeds are kept in check and that the yard is watered (the back has no sprinkler system built in).  I have had to be the sole source of labor on top of all the rest of my responsibilities.  Now, before you think I am complaining, I am not.  I am just filling in the gaps of time to account for my lack of activity.

It has been a time period that has led me to have self-doubt and the desire to retreat back into my shell.  SF has held me accountable and has kept me engaged.  She has been painfully aware that I have been close to sever depression but has managed to keep me from falling over the edge.  It has been difficult to say the least.  I also managed to gain back all of the weight I had lost while I was training for the half marathon.  That devastated me.  I no longer felt confident and no longer felt that I had any sex appeal.  I am pleased to announce that I have lost 19 pounds but I still have about that same amount left to feel comfortable.  That will also put me in a 12 which has been a goal of mine for a while.  I have been seeing a PhD to get some focus and guidance.  She has me reading a book called Stress Free for Good, and I think I can actually put most of the lesson into practice in my own life.  I already see a difference and I have only read five chapters.

Slowly I have begun to right the ship and get to a place where I want to be engaged in life again.  My knitting has picked back up and I am anxious to get some old UFOs done.  I am also getting the urge to get a new sewing machine and get to sewing.  I want to make things for Zoe and for the house.  I am spending time with Stephanie and Megan and enjoying my relationship with them.  I am slowly getting to a place where I want to be at home and the nurturing part of me has returned.  I don't want to be SF's mother, I want to be her partner and care for her like I know I can.  Life lessons can be hard and demanding but if you listen, they do teach you how to live.

SF and I have recently exchanged rings for our left hands.  Not wedding rings but rings that take our relationship to the next level.  I am still "gun shy" from my last two relationships but it is fading faster.  We have been having more open and honest communication and making certain that both of us are allowing ourselves the time to decompress each evening while still including each other in the process.  She has expressed her anxiety with not being able to help me with daily activities and has apologized many times over for the series of events that have side-lined her.  We have grown stronger through all of this and I have no doubt that the love we share will continue to grow stronger as long as we remember how much we love each other.

Other things have happened too.  Sassy has begun a transformation as well.  She was always afraid of Eraser and hid most of the time.  No longer is this true.  She is vocal and is out more than she is hidden.  She has become a lap cat as well.  It is very amusing.  She loves to get on the chair beside me (right side) and lay there.  If I am not paying attention to her, she will climb in the middle of my lap.  It is amazing.  She has also added three ounces since May 1st.  That may not sound like a lot but trust me, it is.  She is no longer skittish and looks beautiful.  At times I think I want a second cat but then I am reminded that I still don't know Sassy and owe the development of that relationship all the time it needs.

Life may not be perfect but this one is perfect for me.....

Knitting has been taking place too....

So, I know I have been MIA for a while.  More about that in a different post.  I wanted to showcase a few FO's that have actually been done for a while.  The first two are of the Holden Shawlette that I made for a swap.  I had dyed the yarn at Upstairs Studio and it seemed perfect for the swap.  The third picture is a crochet gift bag for the same swap.  My attention span was at an all time low, so the next few pictures are of three scarves that I worked on.  they were mostly mindless and I needed that.  The first and second ones are for gifts.  The last one is for me.  I made it with yarn from a Valentine's swap.  It is from Wales and I love the colors.  I didn't realize that there was a MAJOR color difference with the skeins until after I was finished.  It is literally two different scarves but that is what makes it so unique.  I have also finished the Red Hot and am a third of the way finished with a baby blanket for my Niece's second son.  Not bad considering what my last year has been like.

....beginning to look a lot like Christmas......

Ok, so as you can see I was busy yesterday decorating the house.  I carefully brought all 15 storage containers down from the top floor of the garage and set everything up.  Then, I took all 15 containers back to their places upstairs.  Why?  Well, I had special motivation.  SF has been side-lined since June and I knew that while she was in TN for a week I had the perfect opportunity to get this done without her feeling obligated to try and help or feel guilty for not being able to help.  Regardless of how you look at it, I managed to get the entire house decorated.  I have a few more things I would like to get done before she returns but I have the majority of it completed.  I still need to get to the store for some AA batteries for all of the decorations that need them....all of the stuffed toys you see in the last picture need them to "do" their respective jobs.  We have a collection of Santas and they run the gambit of themes.  We also have a varied theme of anything goes since we have the nautical and beach themes in the house year-round.  Enjoy a slice of the decorations....

Friday Fill-Ins

And...here we go!

1. As you can see I make it here when I can.

2. Christmas will be here soon!

3. I love to buy gifts for SF.

4. Giving some one something I made as a gift(s).

5. What's up with all this Black Friday nonsense.

6. I seem to have the world just past my fingertips.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to snuggling with SF, tomorrow my plans include dropping off SF at the airport and then decorating the WHOLE house for Christmas and Sunday, I want to work on some cross-stitch ornaments and knit while I watch football and Lady Vols!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

And...here we go!

1. It's easy to blame someone else.

2. I think that we are still dancing the waltz my darling.

3. Once upon a time, I really did have a bigger dream than I do now.

4. I came, I saw, I knitted ... the end.

5. What is a life that is not lived.

6. Learning your limitations is better sooner than later.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to celebrating "I Love Yarn" day, tomorrow my plans include getting outdoors and knitting/reading and Sunday, I want to be totally spontaneous!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

1. I need an afternoon of sipping wine while knitting.

2. After all I have learned about my relartionship, I realize how lucky we were.

3. A great deal of happiness depends upon your mental state of mind.

4. Octoberfest beers are best in a big tall glass.

5. It was announced that cooler weather was on the way....I am excited.

6. I have been know to cut up raw veggies with steak knives.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to movie night at home with SF, tomorrow my plans include finishing a data base for work and Sunday, I want to watch football and knit!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

1. When I walk around my neighborhood I see a quiet place where people know their neighbors and lend a helping hand.

2. Thanksgiving Dinner really is my favorite thing to cook.

3. Life is really is what you make it.

4. My other half's love and support makes me feel all warm and fuzzy

5. Buternut Squash is my favorite Autumn vegetable.

6. Ice Cream is better when it is shared on a date.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the Heart/Def Leppard concert, tomorrow my plans include getting the hair done and College Football and Sunday, I want to knit and enjoy SF's company!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins

And...here we go!

1. How in the world did I get myself in this predicament.

2. There is an open road in front of me.

3. Life's too short to be unhappy OR to knit with bad yarn.

4. I would love to share a romantic picnic lunch.

5. That was where we stayed talking until the wee hours of the morning.

6. The two parking spaces we use at the Duck will always be what I think of as "our place".

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having my baby back from her trip to the East Coast, tomorrow my plans include a trip to get the hair "did" and Sunday, I want to enjoy the day doing whatever we feel like doing!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins


And...here we go!

1. I hold my friends close to my heart.

2. So far, SF is someone I like to travel with because she shares the trip a lot more gracefully than anyone else ever has before.

3. That day, I saw a rainbow in my new neighborhood was a wonderful thing.

4. Great things will happen this year.

5. Trust your instincts.

6. I do my best thinking in the dark.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to serious down time, tomorrow my plans include housework and Harry Potter DVDs and Sunday, I want to knit, swim and watch the US Women versus Japan in the World Cup!!

General Catching Up

No, I have not fallen off the face of the Earth, at least not yet.  There have been too many things going on so I am attempting to get caught up.  Some of this has been goon and some has been a set back of sorts so bear with me.

I have a new job and I am LOVING it.  For those of you who didn't know, and there was a reason why I kept it private, I had been without a full-time job since April 2010.  This had been a huge strain on me and on the relationship that was developing with SF.  She was supportive through all of the temporary positions and all of the interviews and rejections.  The new job is awesome even if the drive is a bit grueling.  It is 36 miles one way and thus, 72 round trip.  Thankfully I have a serious collection of music on the three iPods that I can rely on.

As I was adjusting to the commute and the hours, I lost time with the PC at home in the evenings so I am woefully behind on blogs and Ravelry but I am trying to get caught up.  So, if you get comments from me on really old posts just smile and remember that I am playing catch up.

I have been hitting the gym HARD again and I am seeing results as well.  I am down ten (10) full pounds in a month and I am almost back into the 14's.  It feels great and my self-confidence is hitting stride again.  So much so that I am wearing red lipstick again.  It took a week to get used to the sight, as you simply cannot hide red lips.  But the confidence that red lips bring cannot be topped.  I also chopped off the hair in a modified pixie and I love it.  It is totally wash and wear and is super sassy.

The knitting mojo is coming back and there will be some pictures coming soon.  many of the projects have been for swaps, so I cannot share them just yet....patience.....

I only have one more thing to add.  Please say a prayer for my mom.  She had been cancer free for five years until the Memorial Day weekend.  She broke T11 in a weird accident and when they went in to repair the vertebrae the surgeon noticed that there was a spot on the spine in that same bone.  He took a biopsy and the Breast Cancer had metastasized in the same bone.  It is Stage One, so they caught it early.  She has had two different PET scans and there is no evidence of the cancer anyplace else so they can begin a highly aggressive spot radiation treatment on that are within the next two weeks.  I know that my dad and the rest of my family could use extra prayers for my mom, so thank you in advance.

Sassy and the Bunny

Sassy and the Bunny

Dye Day - Part Three

Dye Day Part Trois 2011

Dye Day Part Trois 2011

Dye Day Part Trois 2011

I had an awesome time back in June when Lizzy held a third dye day at Upstairs Studio.  Picture number one is an interesting test.  I selected some wonderful fuchsia cotton yarn and wanted to test what the indigo dye pot would do with it.  The picture doesn't do the richness of the color justice.  I am trying to see what it wants to be....

Picture number two is wonderful Cascade 220 Superwash Merino that I used Wilton Cake Dye on.  I have no clue what it will be when it grows up....any ideas?

Picture number three is a secret project at the moment....I used Wilton's on this one as well and the colors were chosen for a specific person....I can tell you that it looks wonderful as it works up for the shawlette I am making.....I promise to share more about it when it is finished an in the hands of the person it will be for....

Birthday 2011

Birthday Surprise from Amy and John

2011 Birthday

2011 Birthday

Swap Packages

Okay, so I am WAY behind on posting these pictures....

The Swap Stop - Color Swap (April):

The Swap Stop - Color Swap April 2011

The Swap Stop - Color Swap April 2011

The Swap Stop - Color Swap April 2011

The Swap Stop - Color Swap April 2011

The Swap Stop - Color Swap April 2011

The Swap Stop - Color Swap April 2011

The Swap Stop - Color Swap April 2011

The Swap Stop - Color Swap April 2011

The Swap Stop - Color Swap April 2011

The Swap Stop - Color Swap April 2011

The Swap Stop - Color Swap April 2011

The Swap Stop - Recession Swap (July/August 2011):

Recession Swap 2011

Recession Swap 2011

Recession Swap 2011

Recession Swap 2011

Recession Swap 2011

Recession Swap 2011

Recession Swap 2011


ISE10 - 2011

ISE10 - 2011

ISE10 - 2011

ISE10 - 2011

ISE10 - 2011

ISE10 - 2011

ISE10 - 2011

ISE10 - 2011

A heartfelt thank you to all three women that sent me these AWESOME packages and for all their thoughts that went into putting them together.  I can hardly wait for winter to wear the beautiful cowl!  And the chocolate depicted in all the various photos was appreciated more than you know!