A little of this and a little of that.

Maybe not as better as I thought.  The kidney infection is still gone, thank God, but now I’m plauged with cluster or migraine headaches that suck just as badly if not worse.

I”m getting my shit together, though.  Even though it was late, I got my secret swap package sent.  I really hope she likes it.  I plan to spoil her rotten next month (the last package) to make up for the lateness.  I’ve wanted to be a much better swap partner than I’ve been, but my swapee has been so great and understanding about everything I’ve been through.  I’ve been blessed with great swap partners on both sides. Since my camera seems to be another of the things on the dead list, I thought I would just go ahead and describe what I got in my first package ( a little late, I know, but I was hoping to have pictures instead of just describing…argh).  First and foremost I got an amazing skein of sock yarn from the Great Aiderondak Yarn Company; mostly deep, saturated blues and burgandies with some orange, green and purple thrown in for good measure.  Swapper (I’m tired of saying “my partner” etc. so I will just call her swapper for now) said that she hoped it would inspire me to try my hand at socks and all I can say to her is “enabler!” LOL.  I am going to try to make a pair of socks with it once I’ve finished up my commitments to X-mas knitting.  There were goodies for Jake (too sweet) also a Disney towel that expands and opens when you throw it in the water…I’m saving that for a day that a bath is the last thing on his agenda.  There were two stunning stitch markers that had leaf charms on them and I’m in love…of course I’m a total stitch marker whore to begin with so that isn’t too surprising.  There was a tub of body butter (another of my weaknesses in life; I swear Swapper read my mind) in a very relaxing lavendar scent…great for right before bed moisturizing; calming and soothing scents help me drift off to sleep (now if I could only stay asleep…)  I saved the best for last, though, an absolutely charming little project bag with squirrels and pumpkins all over it; the perfect autumn project bag.  I will post pictures as soon as I get the camera working again, or get a new one, whichever comes first. 🙂

On the house front, it’s a done deal now.  We had our inspection and everything came back okay, so we’re going ahead and will be closing on election day.  We’re hoping to be fully moved in by Christmas.  There’s quite a bit to do in the kitchen.  That’s an understatement, really.  We have to gut the whole thing and start over.  I’m excited about that prospect, though.   It means that the floors, counters and cupboards will all be our choices and that will make it feel even more like home.  We’re also going to get all new fixtures and lighting to start with. Those will be our two big before we can move in projects.  There are a lot of other little changes and tweaks that we want to do here and there, but they will come over time.  There is so much really beautiful old, dark wood in the house and I’m in love with it.  I’d love to be moved in even sooner, but we leave for CA and AZ in mid-November and will be gone for 3 weeks.  It makes for a bit of a crunch to get everything done in time for moving in; in my insanity I’ve insisted that I want to host Christmas Eve for my MIL, BIL and SIL (really by BIL’s girlfriend, but they’ve been together since Jake was a newborn and she’s his “Aunt Katiebugs” so that makes her family in my book) in the new house.  The offer was made in the excitement of getting the house and I’m a little stressed about it, but I don’t regret it.  It’s my motivation to stay on track and get things done.

I really think this move will be good for me.  A fresh start, if you will.  Andrea disappeared on us, again.  I don’t know why I thought this time would be different, but it’s the elimination of one of my crutches to stay in the house all the time.  I’ve been working (with limited success) on becoming a much more social person.  I’m trying to get past all the phobias and hermit-like habits that I became so enmeshed with when we were in Lake City.  I’ve made some really good friends in the last year or so and I really hope I haven’t blown them by being me and not ever going out of the house.  It’s the craziest thing.  I WANT to go out and do things, I have a great time when I’m out with friends, but when it comes time to actually LEAVE the house, to go out, I feel this panic start to rise inside me.  The last time I did anything social was the Michigan Fiber Festival with Andrea, Shannon, Emily, Kai (I know I spelled that wrong, didn’t I Shannon?) and Abby.  Jake had so much fun with the kids and I had a blast with the older folks.  We made plans to get together and Jake got sick, then I got sick and this whole thing spiralled.  Needless to say, plans never happened and even though TJ keeps telling me that people understand when you’re sick etc.  I feel too embarrased to call and apologize for my freakish behaviors and phobias – again.  Yes, I know I’m an idiot.  So anyway, I plan to be a lot more social and spend time with my knitting group again (if they’ll still have me) and do other things.  Being in Battle Creek will be good in that sense since one of my biggest hurdles is the long drive (and yes, for me Kalamazoo to Battle Creek seems like a LONG drive).  It’s time to get Jake socializing with other kids and to allow myself to have a life and have fun and not hole up in the house like some sort of leper.  I deserve to have a life and friends, damnit and I’m not going to blow it if I get a second, or is it third or fourth, chance.  Okay, when did this become a self-pitying rant about how I’ve screwed up friendships and made a agoraphobic out of myself?  Life is positive and I’m going to be positive.  Self-loathing over, let’s move on!! 🙂

quick post

Just a quick little post to say that I’m finally better; YAY!!!!  Also I got my first secret swap package and it ROCKED.  I’ll add pics as soon as I get the camera out of the van; we’ve been house hunting and using it to take pictures and I keep forgetting to bring it in.

Oh yeah…WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!  Well, we put in an offer on one anyway.  I hope it will be accepted.  It’s in Battle Creek which I’m actually happy about.  It means being much closer to work for TJ and I’ll be closer to Shannon Too, which means I’ll actually leave the house more often and be more social since I won’t have to drive endlessly.  Hopefully it also means we’ll have a babysitter for Jacob that I will feel comfortable enough to actually leave him with…Emily, you want to make some money?!?  🙂  The house is small, but not too small, and it definitely needs some work, but it’s in move in condition other than the kitchen which we’ll remodel before we go out west in November; I can’t wait to start ordering cabinets and ceramic tile etc.  The best part is that the attic is a finished walk-up that will make a perfect studio for spinning/dyeing etc.  We’re supposed to close on the 5th and take possession the same day.  🙂  We’ll find out later today if they accepted our offer.  Fingers crossed.

Home but still not well

I keep meaning to post more often, but this kidney infection thing is kicking my ass.  They sent me home from the hospital late last week and told me that with some rest I should be feeling better pretty quickly.  Here I am, still sick, still with symptoms and still feeling like total shit!!!  I have to go back to the doctor tomorrow and am anticipating another hospitalization…no fun!!!

On to happier things.  I’m getting ready to put together a package for my first swap.  I hope my swapee likes it.  It’s not going to be as extravagant as I had first planned b/c of this illness, but I figure I can save the really extravagant package for the final one.

I finished knitting the first of the fingerless mitts that I’m making from the yarn I spun from the camel/merino fiber I got at the Michigan fiber festival.  I love, love, love camel fiber is what I’ve discovered from this.  It’s so soft and so amazing to work with.  The yarn, I’m afraid, still leaves a little something to be desired, but I made it myself and that gives me a great sense of accomplishment.  I smile everytime I look at the glove and I imagine I’ll have a similar reaction whenever I wear them.  In just the short time I’ve put on that single glove, to figure length etc., I realized that this is a VERY warm fiber.  Would be great for a hat/scarf set or even for a sweater (Perhaps Evangeline from White Lies Designs – although that would be awfully expensive to do in a camel blend…LOL)

Evangeline is my dream sweater, btw.  I keep looking at it and telling myself I’m going to buy it, but I never do.  It’s definitely more difficult than anything I’ve attempted (I have yet to make a garment for myself or anyone else for that matter) but I love it anyway.

On the projects I want to start front:  I just discoverd that Knit Picks has a Sheldon the Turtle kit with his different career costumes here.  How cute is that?!?!  I’ve never really been struck with the urge to knit toys at all, but this one speaks to me.  You can’t beat the price, either.

On the swap front:  I’ve got a great swapper (the person who is sending to me) so far.  She’s been great about contacting me and we seem to have quite a bit in common.  I’m really enjoying the communication!!  Thanks swapper o’ mine!!  For my swappee I have some things planned.  I was planning for her first package to be big and extravagant, but with all the illness stuff I have going on, that will have to wait for the final package.  I really want to do a good job and spoil my spoilee the way I would want to be spoiled.  This being my first swap, I really want to make a good impression.

My Christmas knitting for my MIL and my FIL’s girlfriend Fran are coming along nicely.  Last year I started gifts for both of them, but didn’t finish.  ARGH!!!  So this year I picked something smaller (Tidal Streams for MIL in Silk Twist in the colorway Peridot and Storm Water for Fran in Sea Silk in the Dandelion colorway)  I’ve really come to love the Handmaiden line of yarns.  My dream yarn currently is the Camelspun that they offer.  I’m just obsessed with Camel yarns right now.  I really wish I had bought a pound of the camel/merino fiber at the festival instead of just the 4 oz. that I bought.

I’ve spent so much time on Ravelry lately drooling over patterns and yarns that I want and it’s almost like punishment b/c I’ve made a pact with myself to work on nothing but these scarves until they are done.  No debacle like last year, thank you very much.  The camel/merino mitts were different; I had to try out the yarn after I spun and set it.  LOL  I will post pictures of the yarn and the mitts when I’m feeling better and can do all the camera stuff.

Have I mentioned that spending the majority of one’s time in bed doing nothing but watching TV, knitting and playing on the computer is not nearly as much fun as it might seem?  When I’m well and doing stuff around here, I long for time to do nothing, but now that I’m pretty much bedbound for at least 3/4 of the day, all I can think about is how much I have to do around here.  The other day I was feeling a little better and I did some cleaning and reorganizing of the bedroom and the craft room and I woke up the next morning feeling worse than I had in weeks.  The doctor chastized me and said that rest does not mean major organizing projects.  Who knew…

We’ve sent in the app. for the apartment we’re hoping to move to.  It’s a three bedrom with a private entrance, two full baths (one in the master bedroom, yay) and a washer and dryer (full sized – what will I do with my washer and dryer though?) in the unit.  There is also a great balcony (bigger than any I’ve ever seen in an apartment) that we will be able to put some outdoor furniture on for BBQ’s etc.  It’s really well laid out and spacious and I can see us living there for the next 4 or 5 years.  That’s important to me b/c I told TJ that if we decided to get an apartment instead of looking for the first house available that we could afford, I wanted to commit to at least 3 years but would be happier with 4 or 5.  I hate moving and there has already been so much upheaval in Jake’s 4 years that I don’t want to put him through another move until he’s older.

Okay, I guess that’s it for now.  I have to get back into bed…ugh…I hate being sick!!!!

Still in California and a Spinning Wheel Question

I hate wordpress!!! That about says it all. In the last two days I’ve written two lengthy posts about this trip and about the spinning wheel that I’m going to be getting when I get home from CA (will I ever get home seems to be the question at hand). So I had these two posts written, I published them both and…and…well, nothing. Neither of them are here nor are they saved as drafts, nothing. They just don’t exist. ARGH!! I’ve never had this happen to me before. It quite sucks ass!! On with life, though; an abbreviated recap of them…

What started out as a three week trip has turned into an epic journey. I was supposed to go home at the end of Feb. but my mother is coming back to MI with us and b/c of doctor’s appointments she wasn’t going to be able to do that until at least the middle of March. Then her birthday (March 24th) came up and it was suggested that we stay until after that so everyone could celebrate with her and Jake and myself. Next we moved onto my aunt Marion’s birthday which is only about a week and a half after my mother’s and my mother is very close to Aunt Marion as am I etc. so now we’re at April 16th for a fly home date. I’m booking the tickets this week and they will be non-refundable. LOL

Don’t get me wrong, I’m having a WONDERFUL time out here. This is one of the best vacations/visits I have ever been on. My mother and I are getting along better than we ever have in my adult life, I’ve renewed a friendship with my cousin Krista that’s deepened and become very important to me – she’s one of my closest friends now and leaving her to come home will be difficult at best. Jake has gotten the opportunity to play with his cousins Brandon, Logan and Olivia and he’s taken to all of them. Olivia is his special one, though. He adores her like a puppy adores it’s new master. Too cute!! He’s got a little Brandon worship going and I think he relates to Logan the best – Logan is the only one who will play chase with him and there is nothing Jake likes more than a good game of chase. Spending time with Diane and Melissa has, as always, been a blast. You can’t be around Diane and not laugh and Melissa and I have been close since we were kids. I’ve always loved spending time with her and that hasn’t changed at all. I do wish she weren’t so busy with all things kids, as all mothers are, and we could have some one on one time, but I understand how it is with kids in your life; hers have the added bonus of acting auditions on a regular basis. Yes, my little cousins are going to be big, famous stars one day and I’ll be able to say I knew them when…they were in diapers…LOL I never really thought much about family and how important it can be, but now that I have Jake and especially after spending all this time as an adult with them all, I see how much it means and that it would be unfair of me to keep Jake away from this crazy, loud, obnoxious, wonderful, loving and oh so fun family that he’s now a part of. If any of you are reading this, I love you with all my heart and am so glad I was blessed to be brought into this family!!

Now onto the important stuff: my spinning wheel!!! When I get home TJ and I are off to the Knitter’s Nest in Howell to pick out, and hopefully pick up, my new spinning wheel. I couldn’t be more excited!! This is where all of you experienced spinners come into play. Right now I have myself settled on one of two wheels: The Louet Victoria or the Ashford Joy. The Victoria I have actually had the chance to spin on briefly and it was a dream, even for someone who had no clue what she was doing. I’m pretty sure it had less to do with the wheel itself than with the fact that I was actually using a wheel for the first time, but that is a pretty powerful thing. It will always be a special wheel in my head b/c of that. My friend Shannon Too has one and I’m pretty sure she’s happy with it – she certainly spins gorgeous yarn on it. The Ashford Joy, OTOH, I’ve never spun with or even seen in real life. It’s got a good reputation though, and I’ve heard good things about it. So there I am. At this point I’m looking for a smaller wheel, most likely a portable one. I want to get the “fairy tale” wheel one day (which will be a whole other deciding frenzy) but right now we’re in the middle of houses (the owner of our rental home has decided to allow the house to go into foreclosure so we’re screwed. At least we get 6 months or so of rent free living there while we look, but we have to move, ugh!) and I don’t want the big wheel until I know we’re in our “forever house”. So I want a traveller, something that’s good for a beginner, but also that will grow with me as I learn. I tend to spin fairly fine, but that may be mostly b/c of my light weight spindle. I want to be able to spin a variety of weights. I tend to love things with “bells and whistles” but in this case I think something a little more simple is in order. So I would love some advice. The Victoria or the Joy? Or another wheel altogether. As much input as possible would be appreciated here. I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say.