I’m alive and well…

Just a quick post to say I’m alive and well. It’s been a long road this last year but challenges make you stronger and better right? Will post more soon…

Getting a very late start to NaBloPoMo (I just love that name…)

I firmly planned to post every day of the Month of November – to answer the topic questions and get into all sorts of discourse with all kinds of people.  As is the way with my always topsy-turvy life, though, it didn’t go down like that at all.  I’ve spent the last part of October and the first part of November working on a personal project that I’m hoping will change the lives of everyone in my household dramatically when it is finally done.  More on that as we get closer to the end and I have positive things to report.  No, we’re not trying to have another baby (yet).  It’s actually something that I’m finally doing for me;  something I really should have done a long time ago.  Better  late than never, I always say.

Being back from our summer California trip was crazy.  So much to do to get Jake ready for school and then we get into that routine and TJ gets a promotion and complete change in his work schedule.  It will give him weekends free for me and the kids again, how great is that?!?!  Now I’m caught up in “my thing” and even though it may seem like I’m being lazy, it’s a lot more work than anyone that hasn’t been there can possibly know.  I don’t feel like I have to defend it because it’s going to do wonderful things for myself, my husband and especially my kids.

The last few weeks, however have been mired in medical bullshit!  I’ve had gall bladder issues for at least 5 years or so; the worst of it being when I was pregnant with Connor (the pregnancy was too high risk at the time for them to do much about it, but it would have been nice to have two cuts, one healing time dontcha  think?  So anyway I go to the doctor about two weeks ago bc this pain in my URQ as they so quaintly put it (read:gall bladder attack) has me doubled over in pain with every breath.  I won’t even talk about the level of discomfort a simple sneeze caused.  It caused people to come and check on me.  Dr. P-S (not to be confused with my normal doctor, Dr. McK) did the physical exam, and yes she was gentle pushing on my belly,thank you Dr. P-S.  Confirming that it may, indeed, be related to the gall bladder attacks I’ve had on and off forever, she made an appointment for an ultra-sound for me.  Did that two weeks ago, results came in last week as all looking normal (read: no gall stones made an appearance in my gallbladder.) which is supposed to be a good sign, but still leaves me in pain and with nowhere to go.  Then Dr.’s office calls and says they are scheduling another test for me to take that involves an IV of radioactive something or another and seeing if my gb (as I’m starting to call it) is emptying effectively.  This test is on Tuesday and I have no idea when those results will come back or what we will do from there.  So I get to lay in bed in pain much of the time, worry about everything I put in my mouth and know that no relief is coming?  The silver lining here is I get to lose a little weight (God knows I need to) and that I’ve been told that usually even if they can’t find anything specifically wrong with the gb,  the doctor will still refer me to a surgeon so we can take the offending organ out.  My uncle had that surgery done recently, but it was a bit more complicated for him.  All I’ll say on that subject is Thank God Uncle Harold is better and well on the road to recovery.  There are some scary things that can happen with that (or any) surgery I think.  Surgery is NEVER my first choice (except in child-birth where it is not only the first choice  but the only choice in delivery options for this woman) but if a couple of incisions and removing an organ whose necessity is questionable at best is going to make me stop doubling over in pain for hours after almost any meal, I say cut away!!

So while I’ve been dealing with this.  The nights/days sometimes that I’m in bed in one of the few comfortable positions I can find at any given moment, I’ve been getting my Netflix on.  This thing is addictive.  Take Ghost Whisperer for example:  Here’s a show that, while on, I actively made fun of and refused to watch bc of some preconceived notion that Jennifer Love Hewitt was the devil or something equally stupid.  Now with all this time on my hands, I’ve started watching and am all the way through mid-season 5 with season one still to watch.  I jumped in with the season Jay Mohr joined the cast and go swept away.  Sometimes, though you need a break from that so I turn to my season 2 NCISLA fetish.  I’ve watched the first 15 or so episodes of the season in two days.  Does it mean you’re watching too much of one thing when you start seeing bits of it in your dream.  This morning I dreamed Hetty from NCISLA was my boss and I was telling people what a great boss she was.  Sure there’s that, but where I ask you is the dream with Chris O’Donnell in my bed waiting for me?  Maybe tonight?

Knitting, knitting, knitting

Gee, can you tell what this post is going to be about? LOL
I went on a wonderful yarn crawl while on my way to CA this past summer and I discovered so many new and wonderful yarns. I’m in love with MadelineTosh yarns now. I have a ton of Pashmina but can’t wait to experiment with the lighter weight yarns. The Alamitos Bay Yarn Company in Long Beach, CA is the ultimate in yarn shopping and enabling. LOVE THEM!! I bought so much yarn from them that I had to make 2 trips to the store. I’ve really gotten in touch with my love of fingering wt and lace wt yarn after months of obsessing over just sock yarn ( which is mostly fingering anyway). I also discovered this amazing yarn by Araucunia called ruca or runa can’t remember exactly but it’s made from 100% sugar cane and it’s one of the softest, drapiest yarns I’ve held. So I bought a bunch…LOL I’ve fallen in love with the concept of making new things and trying that which seemed impossible a few months ago. I can do anything I put my mind to.
Christmas knitting has begun. Only two or three projects this year, but big ones for the people who are getting them. I”m also working on a project for me (Picture coming when finished)for the first time in a long time and I’m just crazy for it. I love working with Pashmina yarn; the hand is great and the colors blow me away. YUM!!
For the first time in years I’m doing a swap. A Christmas/Winter Holiday themed swap. I can’t wait to start “stalking” my recipient and putting together the most amazing package for her. I can’t wait to see what my person puts together for me. :)
I just love knitting and all that goes with it; especially this time of year. :)

Catching up…

Yet again I haven’t blogged in FAR too long.  I keep meaning to and life gets in the way; or my laziness or any number of things that I tend to put above the things I really need and want to do.  I”m working on this, though, as well as many other aspects of life.

Quick update on life.  Took a trip out to CA with the kids and Nan.  Drove my mother’s new HHR (Love that car) out to her and drove her old PT Cruiser (go hamsters go, I know you can run faster than that…LOL) home.  It was the first time I’d taken, or even attempted, a trip of that magnitude by myself.  Usually TJ is there to do the driving and organizing and keep the kids from going bat-shit crazy etc.  Not this time.  This time it was all me; okay that’s not exactly true.  My friend/Jacob’s old nanny, Andrea (who we call Nan) came with us for the trip.  She got a free trip across the country and I got help managing the road, the kids and my own fears etc.  It was an adventure that I will cherish forever and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  There are things I would do differently, of course.  I think we learned a lot about organization, how much to bring and how much yarn can really fit into an already packed car.  It was bound to be an issue.  We were gone for just over three weeks and it was a blast.  Not only did we get the car driven out and a nice visit with my mother, we also got to see TJ’s cousins Sherri and Danny (I gave her a spindle – her first – and some fiber and have hopefully pulled her over to the spinning dark side) and we also got to see Uncle Ron and Aunt Judy as well as Memaw and Bill.  Every time we get out that way at all, I try to bring the kids to see their great grandparents.

There were multiple yarn crawls along the way.  Colorado has some great little yarn shops.  The very best yarn shop of all, though, was in California.  It was called the Alamitos Bay Yarn Co. and it was FABULOUS.  I left a large majority of my spending money there and it was well worth it!!

There is so much more to talk about – the kids, my knitting/spinning etc. but that will come later, when I have more time.  :)

Finished BSJ (almost) and Struck Down By Shawl Fever

After more than a few false starts I finally finished a BSJ.  It really is an amazing; almost magical, knit.  I still find it hard to believe that the wonky little oddly shaped rectangle or so of knitting turned out to be this really cute jacket.  I don’t have pictures yet to put up.  I will take pictures before giving to its recipient.  I used Rayon Sparkle from Over the Rainbow Yarns on E-Bay and I love, love, love most of her stuff.  This yarn is so soft that I can’t think of a good way to describe it.  I have three different colorways of it varying from a white to lightest pink variegation  (the main color of the BSJ) to darkest pink with some carmel colors mixed in variegation and a mid-shades of pink variegation. All three of them have a bit of Angelina or Fire Star in it that give it its sparkle and shine in the light.  Just beautiful yarns all the way around.

When I finished the BSJ I was struck by a problem I hadn’t had before; there was nothing on the needles to pick up and start knitting.  So out came the laptop, on went Ravelry and somehow I ended up in the shawl category.  I have tons of lace and fingering weight yarn in gorgeous variegated colors as well as solids and everything in between.  The problem:  I mostly have only one skein of each.  I used to just wander around my LYS and pick up one skein here and there of everything I thought was pretty; that, my friends is the danger of going to the yarn shop without a clear idea of what you want the yarn for.  So I have yarn for lots of shawlettes or scarves, but I’m finding myself more and more taken by the full-sized, lacy shawls.  I spent countless hours on Ravelry looking at yarns, patterns, other people’s images of their projects etc.  In the end, I’ve cast on a Forest Canopy shawl using Socks That Rock Lightweight in the Grimm’s Willow Wren (I think that’s the name, I always screw it up) colorway and the Vortex Pi shawl (knitting and math together – my dad would have been proud) in Jojoland Melody.  It’s a red/purple/greenish colorway and I think the really long repeats of Melody and the way they blend and feather together is going to look wonderful, I hope.

There are also several shawls on deck for Christmas presents this year to people  have been extremely nice.  A Birthday Pi, a Lady Eleanor and an Enchanted Forest (again, not sure about a name).  There are also a ton of socks that I want to knit and I’d really like to get back into spinning for relaxation.  We’ll see how it all goes.  Will keep you updated, gentle friends.

BSJ progress

The BSJ project is coming along nicely.  I’m using two colors rather than just one; I thought a deeper red in random stripes making up less than a third of the design would be a nice contrast.  So far I like the way it looks.  I’ve been reading a lot in the Ravelry group about Baby Surprise Jackets as well as a few other sites/KALs that have been giving me tons of great information.  I couldn’t have done it without them going before me.  I’m a little less than 1/2 way done right now.  It’s coming out really well and I really like it.  I’m not finding as much time to work on it as I’d like to, but It will be finished soon and given to the happy couple/new parents.  What they chose to do with it from there I have no control over.  I hope they like it.

BSJ Day 1

Ok, really I’ve been working on Baby Surprise Jackets for almost three weeks now, but there have been epic fails in the first two.  This time, I’ve taken the time to read everything I can get my hands on; I’ve looked at the increase, decrease options and decided what to do and have figured out the best way to keep track of my stitches, I hope.  This will be the first of three BSJs that I plan to finish this summer.

The one I’m currently working on is going to be a newborn/baby size (actually they will all be this size) for an old friend of ours back in the Detroit area.  Congrats on the birth of your little girl, Jimi, and THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity to use girl colors instead of yellow/green/orange etc.  I have a beautiful sparkly rayon yarn in a color called Pink Snow that varies from almost pure white to a light bubblegum pink.  Gorgeous!!!  I’m going to use a different colorway of the same yarn (this one has deeper shades of pink that go into rose shades and even some orange/rust shades) should be a nice contrast to the lightness of the other yarn.  We’ll see.  I’m definitely willing to pull out and start over if things don’t go right.

After this one I have one for one of my best friend’s in the world, Little Thumper I call her.  She’s having a boy around Labor Day and as she’s a rock and roll chick I’m thinking of a rock and roll color.  Black with shades of red and purple overlayed.  Such a pretty yarn.  If she wants something more traditional, though, I can do that too.  I’ll leave that up to her.

The final one is for Jacob’s 1st grade teacher who’s due in October.  I was trying to get that done by today, but an epic fail in the original knitting caused a ripping out and time crunch that was just not manageable.  For that one I used a thicker yarn (Calmer) in three colors:  a medium yellow, light lime green, and bright orange.  It really was a pretty sweater while it was coming along and will be again; when I get back to it.

That’s most of my summer knitting plans.  There are also random socks I want to work on as well as starting to think about the few gifts that I’m knitting this year for Christmas.  I’m trying not to over burden myself because then I get nothing done.  So here we go…

Today’s Goal:  C.O. and get the first 10 rows of knitting done, ending up with the correct stitch count at the end.

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