Feeling Friendless…or maybe just sorry for myself…

I think cabin fever has finally gotten to me.  I’ve cut my pain meds. down a SIGNIFICANT amount as well as completely getting off of Zoloft and I’m seeing a HUGE change in myself and my drive to have a life.  You know, like I have the drive to have a life that doesn’t revolve around solo knitting, interneting and sleeping.  The problem is…I think I’ve driven all my friends away with my past ho-hum attitude and my unwillingness to make – or keep, if I’m being honest – plans.  ARGH!!  When Andrea lived with us I had a built in friend even if I bitched about the lack of privacy at times.  When she first left, it was a relief; I didn’t have to deal with being “on” at all, ever, if I didn’t want to.  One of the best things about having her around was her dragging me to things like knit night and other events even if I didn’t feel like getting dressed and going anywhere.  I always had such a good time with “the girls”, that was never the problem.  I didn’t even want to go home at the end of the afternoon/evening once I got there, it was the motivation to get there that was killing me.  Much like my sex life, but that’s a whole other story for a different day/post.  In a lot of ways, Andrea was really good for me and my social life.  Now she’s gone, though.  Has been since late Aug. and it’s just now really effecting me and my socializing (sad commentary about the state of my life, huh?)

So she’s gone and TJ and I are out of the “blue house” in Kalamazoo and living in our very own (bought and paid for) house in Battle Creek.  Hmmm…my blog name doesn’t fit anymore.  Somehow, though, Battle Creek Mommy Knits doesn’t sound as good.  I like the alliteration.  I think I’ll keep Kalamazoo Mommy…it sounds better and it’s close enough.  But I digress…  So we’re in our own home and it’s still got a long way to go.  All the rooms are livable, but the bedrooms need painting and ours needs carpet.  We need blinds, I’m sick of the neighbors, who I think might be drug dealers (both sides, sigh), being privy to every aspect of our lives.  The biggest issue, though, is the kitchen.  We still have to drag our appliances from blue house to this one (before the 10th when the house belongs to the bank…thanks again, Rachel, for the royal screwing) and finish bringing the furniture.  Had we known that we were going to buy this house we wouldn’t have planned a three week trip to the other side of the country right before Christmas.  What’s done is done, though, and whining and bitching won’t fix it.  We need to get the shit done and get a kitchen in my house.  We are making due surprisingly well, though, with a refrigerator down the basement, an electric fry pan, two crock pots and a microwave.  We managed to have Christmas Eve at our house for family, feed them and even have leftovers.  Sweet and sour meatballs…mmmm…oops, I’m digressing again.  LOL  We also need to go out and buy a new love seat, the chaise chair we have, while comfy and pretty, isn’t really a very viable option for company.  I think a love seat that matches the club chair and couch would be a much better fit.  Especially since I want to start hosting a knit/spin night here once a month.  I feel like I have so much to give back to my knitting friends and I love the thought of entertaining in my very own home.  I admit, too, there’s the smallest pull at the thought of not having to go out and still being social; old habits and all…

So now I’m starting to feel a lot more like my old self.  The self I was back before I moved to Kalamazoo 10 years ago.  When I was still down in the Detroit area there was very rarely a night when I just sat at home in front of the TV doing nothing.  I was always out and about.  Clearly hurting my back the way I did when Jake was born changed a lot of that, but I wasn’t exactly a social butterfly before he was born, either.  Living up north created, or brought to the surface, most of the fears that have plauged me for the last 4 years or so.  The fear of driving being right up there with reasons for me to stay (safely) in the house.  Cutting down the meds and this new house (new start?) seem to have taken care of that.  I actually left the house today to go shopping and out to eat with Jake while TJ is out of town.  There was plenty of food in the house and no reason I HAD to leave, but I made the choice and I’m happy to have done it.  I felt so normal when we got home.  Sad, huh?  Now that I’m ready to have a social life again, though, I fear that I’ve driven away the very people I want to be social with.

I’ve blown off or declined to make plans with Shannon more times than I can count and I don’t even know how to start going about making that up to her.  Sorry, if you’re reading this.  My knitting girls I haven’t seen in over a year – I keep saying I’m going to come to knit events and then blow them off.  Not that I think it really effects anyone one way or the other if I’m there or not, but it does kind of destroy my credibility.  So now I’m feeling like maybe it would be better for me to just try to make all new friends (my favorite M.O.).  The problem is that I DON’T WANT TO!!  I like the friends that I have/had and I want to get back into the swing of things.  I just don’t seem to know how.  See, I warned the world in my post title that I’m feeling seriously sorry for myself tonight.  I’m bored to death and wish I was out doing something, of course I can’t be with TJ out of town and Jake here.

Jake and I spent the whole day today, other than when we were out, playing Wii.  I love, love, love that thing.  BEST Christmas gift we got this year.  Jake loves bowling, fishing (UGH) and billiards.  He’s really good at bowling, too, and often out scores both his father and myself.  It’s so cute to watch him play.  It’s not enough, though.  I need friends, I need a life outside of this house.  I will NOT be a prisoner in my own house, mind etc. anymore.  I WILL overcome this, somehow.  Any thoughts, advice etc. are more than welcome!!

If you’re still here and reading, thanks…there will be actual knitting content next time, which will be soon.  Have a happy new year everyone!!

Spindles Rock and This and That…

I’ve fallen in love!!!  The spindle is a spinner’s best friend, IMO.  Just recently Spinsanity commented to me that a lot of people see spindling as a stepping stone of sorts to the “real” spinning on a wheel.  I have to shamefully admit that, until recently, I was one of those people.  I really had a lot of trouble getting it together when it came to spindle spinning.  My singles were always lumpy bumpy and just not pretty.  Then I got Penelope

My baby...well, okay my second baby.  Can't leave the human baby out.

My baby...well, okay my second baby. Can

and after some rough starts, it all started to come together for me.  I felt like I was actually learning to spin for real.  This reinforced the notion that the spindle was a stepping stone and not a very good one at that.  Boy was I wrong.  Recently, I picked up a few more spindles from Spinsanity in exchange for some fiber at the Michigan Fiber Festival (I’m still waiting on my kokopeli one, but she’s busy and I’m not in a hurry) and when I got home I really wanted to try out the square one I’d been coveting for some time.

Tweaky guarding the spindle and fiber

Tweaky guarding the spindle and fiber

For some reason, something just clicked for me at this point and all of a sudden, I could spin on a spindle.  So, in my case anyway, the spinning wheel was a stepping stone for the spindle.  Now I find that as much as I love Penelope, I spin more often than not on the spindles.  It’s a lot easier to control the amount of spin as well as being a hell of a lot more portable.  Right now I have a gorgeous soysilk/wool blend on one of my spindles from Flawful Fibers called Trinket that is spinning like a dream.  I’m spinning it at 30 wpi and trying to decide whether to keep it laceweight or to ply it into something like a dk weight.  I still don’t have a lot of experience plying fiber, but I’m willing to try.  On deck is a colorway called Teddybear Trio from DK Knits that is going to be Spirogyra mitts from Knitty.com.  There was a great article in the same issue about spinning for these mitts that inspired me and I’m going to give it a whirl.  This is the first time that I’ve spun something for a specific purpose and I’m thrilled and terrified at the same time.  Yay/Ugh.  I think I’m going to use a round spindle as opposed to my square one for this, though, as I have a tendecy to get fiber caught and ultimately broken on the square corners when winding on and I don’t want to do that.

As for the this and that…I had planned to go to Zombie Prom Date Knitting this past week, but it didn’t work out b/c of work on the new house.  I’m going to miss all the knitting activities for the next few weeks b/c we’re leaving Saturday morning for a three week trip to AZ to visit TJ’s grandparents who haven’t seen Jake since he was 4 months and then on to my mother’s for a visit and a trip to Sea World San Diego with Jake, which I know he’ll adore given his obsession with all sea creatures, but especially sharks and whales.  We’ll be back in mid-December and then will be busting our humps to get everything ready b/c I, like the dumbass I am, insisted that my mother in law and Tj’s aunts come to our house for Christmas this year.  I’m nervous as all hell, but I’m also really excited.  After that, though, I’d really like to host a knit night at our new house.  I’d love for the ZPDK people (are you reading this Holly and Shannon?!?!  What do you think?  I’d love some feedback and advice)  I figure since I haven’t been a very social knitter and I love my knitting peeps, I’d have them over, ply them with food and booze and knitting and get their love back.  Seriously, though, I just want to have my girlfriends over to knit and drink and eat the goodies I’m going to make in my new kitchen.  I’ve never hosted something like this, or anything really, so any advice about what to make etc. would be much appreciated.  It would mean the world to me to have you guys there.  So please, please, please say yes!!!!  Let me know what you think.  I’ll have access to the computer for the next few days and then (gasp) no internet access for the whole trip as this Toshiba piece of shit (that I’ve had since July) is going into the shop b/c the power cord doesn’t want to give me power.  My cell number, should you want to call to talk about the logistics is 269-779-4755 (If I get too many crank calls from putting it out here, I’ll just change it as it’s a new number and really no one has it yet, LOL) so let me know.  I’ll cross post the knitting night info on the ravelry board for ZPDK.

For those of you I won’t see/talk to before the holidays, have a great time.  Love you all!!!!

Dental time…ugh

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have a deep and abiding fear of the dentist. I don’t know where it comes from or why I can’t shake it, but it’s there and it’s strong. I have to have the nitrous gas at the dentist just to walk into the room and have them look at my teeth – yes, it’s really that bad. That’s why I have the ugliest teeth in creation. Fear is really a damaging thing. It’s embarrasing to be a grown adult with a husband and a child and still have this totally child like fear of the dentist. There it is, though.

I have been having major trouble with my mouth for the last four or five months now…there is a cavity in my front top tooth that needs to be taken care of – it’s almost impossible to miss and I always feel like everyone is staring at it and making comments behind my back (just b/c you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re NOT out to get you). Anyway, I bit the big baby bullet and went to see a new dentist last Tuesday. It wasn’t a terrible experience and everyone seemed really nice. Of course I was higher than kite on nitrous the whole time which tends to color the whole thing in a much rosier light than may be accurate. I have an appointment at the end of January to deal with the issues that the neglect I’ve visited upon my mouth has created. In the meantime, it’s brush, brush, brush and watch what I eat so as not to aggravate the situation.

The holiday season was apparently not very good for that. After my last post, I sauntered downstairs; that’s right, I saunter at times; to eat some breakfast and discovered that I have a MAJOR toothache ‘a brewing. So here I am, waiting for pain meds from my back to kick in enough to make talking feasible and praying it will be soon. I’m supposed to go to ZPDK in an hour and if I don’t start to feel a little better soon, I’m going to miss it for the third week in a row. I SUCK!! I miss my knitting gals. I don’t get my weekly dose of Holly and Shelly laughter if I don’t go and that’s a real tragedy. I can see Shannon more readily, as I have her phone number and I see her for other knitting events as well. Hey, Shannon, lets do something this coming week – TJ is taking Jake up north on Monday and I’m on my own for a few days. Give me a call, let me know what you’re plans are for Mon-Thurs. Actually Tues. I guess, since TJ works till 4 on Monday.

Zombie Gals: So sorry to have missed you all for almost a month. I’m a bad Zombie fighter, but fear not, Holly, if I see any on my own, I’ll take care of them to the best of my ability {GRIN}. I WILL be back next week, I promise, hopefully with no more tooth pain and a slightly prettier smile. I’ll be thinking of you all this afternoon while I’m sitting here waiting to hear from the dentist and hoping I can be fit in sometime today. If any of you gals want to get together and do something next week, I’m free and up for an fiberly adventure…Let me know. Have fun knitting, see you guys soon.

Merry Christmas…better late than never, right?

I don’t post nearly enough. I’ve been in a computer funk/trying like a madwoman to get X-mas knitting done. I didn’t finish on time (should have seen that coming) but I did show the progress I had made to the people who were supposed to get gifts; they were duely impressed and I’m going to have to keep working my butt off to get things done before V-Day. LOL Mom’s moebius scarf was actually done, the knitting at least, but I didn’t finish the blocking so I didn’t want to give it to her. She liked it, though. We also gave her a collage frame with pictures of Jake and us and John and Kate (brother in law and his girlfriend of 4 years – who say they’re getting married at the beginning of the year but we’ll see) and even one of her (Mom) at Christmas Eve Celebration. It really was a nice gift. I wish we did more crap like that for our house which, after a year of living here, still lacks all but the most basic of decoration. We suck at that homey stuff. Blah. Fran’s shawl is nowhere near done, but I did show her my progress and, again, it was complimented. I feel like absolute crap about that one, b/c it was the only gift we had for her and now she’ll have to wait for it. I’m going to prioritize getting that done after a SHORT break. It’s all I’ve been working on for weeks now and, frankly, I’m sick of it.

Right now I’m working on a pair of Fetching mitts for myself using the Malabrigo that I got before X-mas. I also want to make the thrummed mittens for myself that I saw on Grumperina’s blog. So pretty. I have some bamboo roving on the way, but I’m not sure it will be warm enough. I have plenty of other roving as well, so I’m sure I’ll find something to use.

I’ve done a fair amount of spinning over the holidays. The roving I got from Over the Rainbow Yarns on Ebay is spinning up really prettily. It’s full of electric blues and vivid pinks with some deap teal and a hint of purple thrown in for fun. I’ve been reading Spinning the Old Way and it’s been giving great insight into spindle spinning and I’m getting better, I think. I still have to give Shannon too her spindle for X-mas and I have yet to get something for Emily as well. I’m lazy, lazy, lazy.

Jake had a great X-mas. Got lots of stuff: a Leap Frog computer, REAL Tonka truck (metal and everything), a Thomas the Tank Engine playset, Radio Controlled racing game, some books, some clothes (which he didn’t care about) etc. TJ and I didn’t do too bad either. All in all it was a very nice Christmas with his family. I’m hoping to be out in CA next year with my mom and family for Christmas and after that start our own “at home” family traditions. All the travelling for just a day or two is hard on me and on Jake. I’m not big on the leaving the house to begin with and I have so much of it coming up. In Feb. I’m off to CA for three weeks to a month, then in April we’re off to Delaware for TJ’s work (we will be getting a side trip to DC out of it, though and I CAN’T WAIT for that), then in June/July we’re back out west to AZ to visit TJ’s grandparents (they haven’t seen Jake since he was 4 months old) and I might make a “side trip” to Texas to visit my best girlfriend, Brooke. She’s had a tough year; she lost her father to a six year battle with prostate cancer; and I want to spend some time with her. That’s a lot of travel for the girl who went six weeks or more without ever stepping foot any father than the front porch last year. See, all this going out to knit has been really good for me. It’s opened up horizons that I thought were closed forever. I actually like being social and all that. LOL

Off to have a late breakfast with the family. TJ has been tending to little man while I play on the “puger” (Jake’s word for it). Time to do my share. Later friends.

Beat the repeat and other adventures

I finally beat the lace repeat from hell!!!  I swear the thing was trying to drive me insane.  I’ve been cruising along on the BJLL shawl and then I got to repeat number 12 (you would think it would have been #13 that was unlucky…lol).  For some reason, I just couldn’t get through this repeat.  Something went wrong with one of the 8 rows of it 4 different times.  Good thing I moved the repeat at the beginning of each repeat, so I only had to rip back 8 rows or less each time.  I just kept having to go back to the beginning of the repeat and I was getting more and more frustrated with it.  After three days of trying,  though, I finally got through it the other night.  I let out such a whoop of joy, I startled the cat who jumped up and then fell off the bed.

Last night was my first Zombie Prom Date Knitters without Andrea with me; my first knitting anything without her.  I still didn’t have to drive, though.  Shannon was kind enough to pick me up and drive me to Water Street and then TJ and little man picked me up.  I really do have to start driving, but the snow makes me really paranoid about driving.  Give me a nice, clear, warmish day and I’ll be all over it!!

Got more yarn in the mail yesterday:  some kidsilk spray (yummy) and some hand-dyed rayon/silk in pretty pink shades.  Will photo and put up later or tomorrow…

Grief sneaks up on you

Corky’s been gone 2 weeks tomorrow.  The first night and the following day were pretty bad, then Thanksgiving and traveling were upon us and that took my mind off of things.  Coming home gave me a twinge of sadness, but I shook it off.  Corky was really sick and he was weak enough that he couldn’t even tell us if he was in pain or not.  We made the best, nay the ONLY decision that a caring, loving family could make for their pet.  I was okay with the decision and I was getting over the loss.  So I thought…

I wasn’t feeling like being social at all the night after Corky left us, but my BIL was visiting from up north.  So we moved the cable box up to the TV in our bedroom (which usually isn’t even plugged in) and holed up for the night to wallow in my grief and self pity.  The problem is that it’s two weeks later and the TV and cable box are still up here.  Most of Jake’s toys have also made their way up here.  More and more lately, I don’t want to leave the room; I don’t want to face the memories of Corky that are all over the living room and kitchen.  I don’t want to face my grief.  The more I’m up here, though, the worse I feel.  I don’t notice it all that often, I just see it as tired, and not feeling well, but when I look at it objectively, usually in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, I see it for what it is:  a downward spiral of depression and self-pity.  It’s not healthy.  It’s not good for me or for Jake or for anyone else for that matter.  The housework isn’t up to par, the cat box is dirty, TJ is sleeping on the couch b/c I don’t sleep and even Jake is starting to act out.

It’s time to shake the cobwebs out of my head and do something about this.  I could be complacent about this for months, letting the time slip by without my even really noticing it, but the one who really suffers here is Jacob and I have to be more concerned about his well being than I am weak and depressed.  I have to fight this for his sake as well as for mine.

I haven’t left the house in days.  Not good.  It’s reminiscent of the last months in Lake City.  I even missed knitting last week, which isn’t like me at all.  Sure, I had a decent reason, TJ had work to get done after being at work so much all week. It would have been a MAJOR inconvenience for him to take Jake for the few hours I would have been gone, but he would have done it and without complaint.  I know that.  It really was just a lot easier to stay in bed, watch movies with Jacob and not bother with the world.  The thing is that I know I would have had a great time!   Ilove the Zombie Prom Daters and being one is one of my favorite things.  I always have a great time and laugh a ton when I’m with Spinsanity.  I just didn’t have it in me.  It was totally self destructive, though.  This week I’m going not only to ZPDK but to Guild as well and to Spinsanity’s house for some knitting/spinning before guild.  I’m jumping back into life even if feels like it takes everything I have to do it.  The TV is also coming down tomorrow no matter what.  If we want to watch TV, it will be in the living room like normal people.  I’m coming back, baby, just wait and see.

Turkey Day recap…

Thanksgiving is over and we’re back home.  It seems like the holidays go by faster and faster every year.  This year’s trip to Detroit, which I have to admit I was rather dreading, turned out to be one of the best that we’ve had in years.

Weds:  We left Kalamazoo around 4:30 (later than planned) b/c I was in bed much of the day with a splitting headache and some back pain.  The ride down was uneventful if long and tedious.  There were at least 3 accidents/slow downs on I-94 between Kalamazoo and the exit for I-69 which is basically Lansing (I think).  TJ made the executive decision to get off there and take I-96 instead.  2 more accidents were found.  People had apparently completely forgotten how to drive in the rain.  What should have been a 2 hour ride turned out to be about 3 and a half.  We got to Dad’s and unloaded then got ready to go to the bar.  Little did I realize that the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest bar night of the year.  I guess I really am very much out of touch.  The bar, Shots, used to be a little hole in the wall where Bubba and friends were the only people who were there regularly.  I was expecting a quiet night of drinking, playing pool and/or darts and catching up with old friends.  What I got was a VERY crowded bar (well over capacity) and not being able to spend any time at all with friends b/c of the crowds.  Andrea and I spent most of the evening sitting at a table in the back of the bar; it was less smoky and, more importantly, if we had gotten up we’d have lost the table.  TJ ran into Eds Sr. and Jr. so he was all set.  I did see Robin Young (who is pregnant with baby #4) and Jackie Poulette (who I haven’t seen in at least 7 or 8 years) so that was kind of cool.  Sean and I didn’t say two words to each other all night, how odd.  I suppose, though, that I was the one who was being cold.  He hasn’t returned phone calls, though, so why would I think he’d want to talk in person?  I don’t regret it, but I hope that he doesn’t think that I don’t want anything to do with him.  Friendships become so complicated when there is a jealous significant other in the picture.  It was really much too late a night for me, I’m not used to closing down bars anymore…LOL

Thursday:  Woke up hungover (I only had a drink and a half for Pete’s sake) but it didn’t last long.  We spent part of the day just sitting around Dad’s house.  It was a nice little relaxing day.  Went to Mom’s house for a pre-dinner drink and to visit.  Jake didn’t want to leave for dinner b/c his Thomas the Tank Engine set was there, but we got around that fit by taking it with us to Aunt Nancy’s.  Dinner at Aunt Nancy’s was divine!!   Small group of people, delectable food, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.  We were back at Dad’s early and stuffed and in bed by 10:30 with Jacob.

Friday:  A day for relaxing.  Got up and lolled around Dad’s house through early afternoon.  Got some work done on my Circular Shrug – I really think I’m going to like this pattern (or at least the yarn; it’s my first time using the Silver Thaw).  It really is such a simple shawl.  I wanted to get work done on the Blue Jean Leaf Lace Shawl, but it’s the kind of pattern that you need to concentrate on and can’t sit and have conversation and watch Jacob while working on.  In the afternoon we went back to TJ’s mother’s house and had a second turkey dinner and just hung out for awhile.  Jake loves going there; there are so many toys for him and he knows exactly where that toy box is.  After leaving Mom’s, we went to Rusty and Shannon’s house.  Their daughter Alexandria is 16 months and she’s just the cutest thing.  I want to make her something, I just haven’t decided what yet.  Suggestions are welcome.  She’s a bit of a tom boy and she’s definitely a bigger toddler.  She’s already almost 25 lbs while Jake (who is admittedly smaller) is only 30 lbs.  Rusty’s brother Ed and sister Renee came over as well.  She brought her five year old, Jason, who Jake loved playing with.  I really do wish that he had the chance to grow up with his “cousins” as it were.  Finally Jimmy and Stacy Jean showed up with their son, Griffin who is an adorable, if somewhat timid two year old.  Stacy is also about 4 months pregnant with number 2 and she looks so damn cute with that little belly.  I can’t wait to be pregnant again.  Maybe soon…fingers crossed.  We stayed out there for a few hours, went back to Dad’s house and watched National Treasure (great movie, btw) and went to bed.

Saturday:  Got up at 8:30 and sat around for about an hour.  We packed up, got on the road and both Jake and I promptly fell asleep for the entire ride home.  We went shopping and spent the evening at home.  Nothing overly exciting, but it’s my life and I like it that way.

Now I’m just getting back into the swing of things…like I’ve been gone for months…lol.  It’s going to take Jake a few days to adjust, it always does when his schedule gets turned around.  I’m just waiting for Zombie Prom Date day…:)