Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Florida style

**lots of photos**

Well, I'm back from vacation!  My family and I went to Florida for Christmas this year and it was absolutely perfect.  As you've seen from my pictures I left a lot of snow and chill and arrived in 80 degree beach weather!  In the area we went it was actually unseasonably warm but I was soaking it all up like a lizard on a rock.
My brother met my Mom and I and we all stayed at my Grandma's house.  This is the first day at the beach.  The time stamp will be off on all my pictures due to the time zone difference.  This is Coquina beach, it was just gorgeous.  The sand was like sugar, white and powdery.  
Joab and I stayed until the sun went down, it was so beautiful.
It was great watching the ball of light drop down, down, down and then disappear below the horizon.  It reminded me of watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve.  Counting down, then celebrating the reward of beauty, peace and color.

From the time we started planning the trip I said I wanted to go to Harry Potter World in Universal Studios in Orlando, FL.  Joab said he'd go with me and I'm glad he did, we had SO much fun together.  I don't know what I was expecting, but it hadn't occurred to me that there would be roller coasters!  The dragon ride in the Harry Potter area was a blast, we rode it 4 times!  

We also rode a bunch of other rides, the Hulk ride was amazing!  I'm actually afraid of heights and get vertigo easily so I had to take a break after a couple rides in a row.  After the Hulk ride, we got off and looked at each other, "want to go again?" YEP! Then we'd race back around the line and go right back on!  By closing I wanted to cut my feet off they hurt so badly but it was worth it!
One of the big treats for all of us was going to see my Uncle George at the theater!  He was the general in a musical called A White Christmas, based on the movie.  It was so, so special!  He did such a good job and everyone had a great time.  I have a small family that is far-flung, so it was really meaningful that we could spend this holiday together.
On Monday we went to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.  Their house is also available for viewing and we sat out on the terrace that overlooks the bay.  My Uncle George and his wife, Betty, were with us and we had lots of time to stroll and chat and enjoy the day together.
On Tuesday, Christmas Eve, Joab and I took our last trip to the beach for a couple hours.  The temps had dropped a bit (70 degrees is rough! LOL) so people were scarce on the beach.  We were beach bums, just laid right in the sand on towels and just soaked it all in.  

Christmas Eve night was very special.  My Grandma's church had a candlelight service and we didn't know until the day before that Grandma was going to be singing in it!  Oh, what a treasure that memory is.  Watching her sing Happy Birthday to the King is indescribable.  Tears just streamed down my face.  And then, at the end the whole congregation was in a big circle in the dark, taking turns lighting each other's candles.  Something about each of us lighting the other's candle just hit my heart and I was crying again!  Oh well, I think it's pretty expected for me to be emotional :) 

Christmas!  
George and Betty had us all over for Christmas dinner, it was wonderful!  This is their Dickens Studio 56 Christmas village lit up at night.  Doesn't it look almost real?  My imagination sometimes works overtime.  Betty cooked "standing rib" which turned out to be prime rib.  When they said standing rib I was picturing ribs all in a circle with the meat on the bottom.  It was perfect, delicious.  And, true to our family form there was lots of pie to (over)indulge in!  Best.

I think all in all it was the best trip possible.  With everything that has happened this year, Scott being gone, I really needed to be around my family.  I'm so glad that they were game.  And now, here I am at home, alone with my pooches.  My mind is swirling with memories, my heart is full and yet also broken, bittersweet.  We just never know what the future will hold and so I am thankful for my memories, new and old.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

life is not fair

***I'm sorry, I really have been trying to keep more upbeat on the ol blog but really had to get this out***

Tomorrow is Scott's birthday.  He would be - SHOULD BE turning 38.  He should be celebrating and enjoying life.  But he's not and it's not fair.  I know, I know that no one ever said life was going to be fair but dammit this is too much.  I wanted to write a nice post about all the wonderful things about him that everyone should know, about how much I miss his face, every single thing about him but I can't do it because I am too overwhelmed by the cruelty that he is not here when he should be.  I know I'm not the only widow in the world but sometimes it really feels like it.  There is an ache in my heart that feels like it will never heal.  When I should be thinking of nice, comforting memories full of love I have flashbacks from his funeral of the man who gave me the folded flag and thanked me.  The whole year Scott was in Korea I worried so much about him, but truly never thought he'd die.  He was 23 and invincible and I guess I always thought he would be.  I loved watching him get older.  I loved the wrinkles by his ears where the face meets the ear.  I loved teasing him that he might need bifocals soon because he had trouble adjusting vision when he'd look up from something near to far.  I loved watching his body change from a young guy into a man.  He was always big and strong but in the last few years had really filled out and others could see what I always had.  He was larger than life, the most funny person I ever met, so witty and clever, the most talented, the best at everything.  He knew how to do just about everything.  Fix a roof - yep.  Play guitar - yep.  Run 10 miles like it was nothing? you got it.  He could draw, paint, play any instrument and yet also was a sharpshooter and awesome fisherman.  Any, and I mean any, friend of his will tell you the same thing - he would help anyone at the drop of a hat and at any time of day or night.  He made you feel like you were something special.  When we'd be at the grocery store he'd talk to the cashier, really talk to them and ask them how their day was and it was sincere.  Or a waitress/waiter - same thing.  These are the things that are public knowledge, things everyone knows about Scott.  The deeper, more personal things are what are so crushing that they're gone.  I knew the Scott that he didn't show to the world, the things that were just between us.  How he felt about people and things that he didn't tell everyone else.  When the laughter stopped, when the show was over, the real Scott, I knew a side of him he didn't share with others.  He knew everything about me and still loved me. Yes, no relationship is perfect and ours certainly wasn't - but he was my best friend.  He was my confidante.  My hopes and dreams for the future that I had prayed and believed for are gone, just gone, in literally a heartbeat.  When his heart stopped mine was shattered.  I'd give anything for him to be alive somewhere and happy and celebrating his birthday tomorrow.

more pouches

Yesterday was warm - in the upper 30's I think and so a bunch of snow melted off.  Then, temps dropped and the melt froze, and then fog rolled in.  So, this is what it looks like when fog freezes.  It's quite lovely, really.

I have been busy making pouches!  Besides these that are pictured I made 3 for Charese and 1 for Jan but didn't get picts before giving them away.  These join the first two that I made and will be filled with knitting projects :)  
These I've made with all fabrics that are really fun and that I love.  I should have gotten pictures of the linings too because each one is fully lined with another fun print!    The smaller one in the middle has houses on it and I like to pretend what it would be like to live on the top of one of those rolling turquoise hills.  I feel like I might have sheep and tulips :)

For this bag I used two fat quarters from the same line but the prints are just a little bit different.  I got this fabric while Mom and I were in Ft Bragg September 2012.  In the picture above you can see that this side is a little bit different, the other side is like close-ups of each character.  

I experimented a bit with the bottom gussets.  Um, I'll have to take a picture of what I mean b/c trying to explain it otherwise doesn't make sense.  But, from the picts you can kind of tell that some have "fatter" bottoms.  And, I've decided I like to use a zipper bigger than I really need and then cut it down.  That's what I do for garment sewing so I should have known that would be what I'd prefer with these but - eh.

Have I bored you enough with sewing talk?  Tee hee, sorry about that.  I guess there's not much else going on around here!  I am going to see Frozen this afternoon, so that will be fun.  I've heard it's really good.

Friday, December 13, 2013

warm weather, please

I have a fun trip planned that is coming up soon (I'm super excited!).  I'm not going to say when for security purposes in case there's any creepers reading.  So anyways, I'm thinking of knitting projects to take and it's a fun prospect thinking of the time I will have to leisurely knit away.  I've been making more pouches! I want to have one for each project to keep them tangle free and mobile.

I'll share picts when they are all done, they are turning out super, super cute!  Mostly because I'm using fun fabrics that I have tucked away for a rainy (snowy more like!) day.  I need to get more interfacing and am wondering if they make a 10 inch zipper?  12 inches was too long and 9 inches is just all wrong.  I didn't realize that until after I made one for Jan's birthday gift bag to put the scarf in.  Anyhow.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

knitty cowl

Okay I have like 2 minutes to update! I finished the infinity scarf/cowl for Jan last night.  All I really had left was to weave in ends so no biggie.  So, a few months ago I started noticing on Pinterest that Jan was pinning pictures of chunky scarflike things.  She even started a board of things I might like or that she could bribe me to make for her.  I got the hint! I saw this pin and it looked like one I could actually figure out.  I went to Ravelry and found a pattern and on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving cast on.  The pattern says cast on 131 but I did 153 and then only did 8 inches wide instead of 11.  Jan is super tiny so I didn't want it to swallow her whole! I'm really happy with how it turned out.

This is how it looks doubled.  It's super squishy!  It's a seed stitch, so really easy, a little teensy monotonous but easy is good!  I really hope she likes it :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

disgruntled snow day

I'm having a dilemma today, a tricksy dilemma.  Usually on Saturdays I drive over to Eagle Point to the national cemetery where I can take flowers for Scott's grave and tell him all about my week.  I knew winter was coming and eventually it would be too snowy/icy to make the trip.  This morning I woke up and it snowed even more over night but had stopped snowing.  I checked the road cams and the road was white with temps like 7.5, which means icy.  I kept checking up until about noon or so and then chickened out.  Going over wouldn't be so bad, but there's this one hill that I find intimidating coming back that is downhill.  Next Sunday is his birthday so I'll save my brave snowy driving for then.  In the meantime, here I am with all this time on my hands, and it looks like winter wonderland outside.  I know most of you might enjoy a day inside (snow day!) with nothing to do.  I have a soup in the crock pot, the dogs are super snoozy.  Perfect, yes?  Ugggggg. I think I just feel antsy because I'm out of my routine and I feel slightly panicky.  Trust me, I have lots to do!  To make!  Christmas is coming, tick tock. But I don't want to do anything that I should be doing.  So, I did put out some Christmas decor.  Here is my collection of nutcrackers (that I lurve!).
I also put out some of my light up village.  I didn't have room for all the houses.  I have some fake snow out in the craft house storage area to add.  I also put  up my Christmas wreath and runners, quilt, etc.  
It still just doesn't feel right.  Scott loved Christmastime.  I loved to start decorating the day after Thanksgiving and we'd put up a tree and decorate it and put lights around the windows and have Christmas music playing, hot chocolate.  I debated putting anything up but I think I'll be glad I did.  Just not today.  So, I'm working up to going out to the craft house to try and redeem this day a little bit.  I am drinking some yummy Prince of Wales tea in my real English tea cup that my mother in law brought back for me a few years ago.  I put honey and milk in it and it's yummy.

I'll end on a good note: did I tell you I finally figured out my ipod??? If I did, humor me, cuz I'm so glad I did!  Scott bought me an ipod a few years ago and I put a couple cds on it and was happy with it just like that.  But, my friend had put the cds on it for me and I've been wanting to update.  I have an itunes account and couldn't figure it out!  Good thing for google.  It turned out it was synced with my friends itunes, not mine!  Tee hee.  I've been having fun adding songs and setting up playlists.  I've gotten emails with free downloads from klove for years and never used them so now it's cool that I can get a new mix.

Alright! I've got some pouches to make!

Friday, December 6, 2013

first snow

We had our first snow today.  When I went out to start my car this morning it was spitting little ice chunks, which usually means it's not serious about snowing.  But 15 minutes later when I left for work it was for reals snowing!  And it snowed allllll day. There were  a bunch of accidents, 29 reported, last I heard.  We lost power at work because someone ran into a power pole and power was shut off to our grid to fix the pole.  The good news is that it's actually warmer! Yesterday at 7 am it was 3 degrees, and this morning at the same time it was 22 degrees.   When I got home I snapped this picture super quick while letting the boys out:
I have a bunch of projects that I must, absolutely must, work on this weekend!  So I let the boys run around - Joey loves the snow! and then I went to Joann's to get zippers and more interfacing.  Also I had bought the wrong thickness of yarn to finish up Jan's infinity scarf.  So, you can see from the picture that the snow was pretty deep.  I wore the absolute wrong shoes for snow today so I was dreading coming home and getting snow in my shoes.  BUT!  Oh man.  My neighbors had shoveled my parking spot, the sidewalk and my walkway and steps!!!!!  I was blown away by the kindness! And promptly started to cry.  Seriously though, how awesome was that?!

Um.  Okay.  Not sure if I mentioned that Joey is an allergy dog.  He must take after me ;)  His ears always bugged him and that's what lead to the hematoma from him shaking his large floppy ears.  I've changed his food to hypoallergenic (super expensive!) and he gets a vitamin supplement.  Also did some allergy testing that is still awaiting results.  His ears are doing so, so much better after almost a month on the new food.  No itching, no gunkiness, no flapping ears.  Maybe he flaps once or twice a day, which really I think is probably normal.  But now his poor paws are suffering.  He has been chewing, licking nonstop.  I finally got a good look at them and there are blisters between his pads! Poor guy!  I picked up some steroid/antibiotic salve from the vet tonight and put it on his paws.  All this long story to lead up to this picture:
I've had this old pair of socks in my drawer and thought several times I should get rid of them (they actually have holes) but never did because I love them! And now, they have a new life!  To keep Joey from getting at his paws.  It's either socks or the cone and I thought he'd like this better.  I love this picture, it really captures both of my boys as they are.  Joey, just chill, like what have you done now.  And Rocky, a whirl of energy and always so concerned about what's going on with Joey.  

Tonight I am so thankful for my warm house. And my job to provide funds to pay the bills. Thank you God!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

sewing

Well, hello December.  I've been dreading your arrival.  My birthday, Scott's birthday, Christmas, our 16th anniversary and then we're on to New Year's. Harumpf.  At the beginning of every month Scott and I would say Happy _______ and try to say all the holidays in that month before the other one could.  December was the most fun because we had all our special days all in the same month.  I could always count on him calling me a cheater if I won, he'd laugh and say no no no you mispronounced birthday or something silly just so that I couldn't possibly be the winner.  We'd both be trying to talk so fast and over the other one, it was just fun.  He was a goof that way.  Oh man, and January 1st?  Look out!  We'd try to get every holiday for every month of the year out!  That one I legitimately would lose because I'd forget some obscure holiday like Groundhog day and he wouldn't forget.  Man, I miss him so much.

But! I will try not to get sucked into the vortex of sadness however easy that might be.  Scott would not have wanted that.  Instead I went to church this morning and then came home and started sewing.

So, the last zippered pouch I made was just by me trying to figure it out.  It is lined but the seams show and I just hate that.  I've been sewing so long that I can figure most things out, but some things just don't make sense to my brain right now.  I did a little google search and came across a few tutorials for lined zipper pouches and found one that was written well  and thought "ha!"  I had taken my other one into work and Charese saw it and wanted me to make her one.  But there was no way I would be giving her one with exposed seams.  I like the way these turned out.  I went with a medium weight interfacing, last time I think it was light weight.  Next time I think I'll get shorter zippers, but I just used what I had.


I LOVE that llama fabric.  Let's discuss.   Here's what happens to me.  I read blogs.  I like what goes on on other people's blogs.  I see fabric that screams "buy me!" and click whatever link there is and buy.  What happened in this situation is that I did not pay attention to what I was buying.  More specifically the quantity of what I was buying.  Ummm, I thought I was getting 1 yard of fabric for $8.50 plus S&H.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the envelope and had really bought just a fat quarter.  huh.  A tiny fraction of what I thought I was getting and all the plans I had for this fabric went out the window! It has lurked in my stash since March 2012......waiting for the perfect project.  I am so, so, SO happy I could finally use this bit of fabric :) It's going to be perfect to put some knitting in.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

shopping

I made this zipper pouch on Thanksgiving to carry knitting projects in.  I'm loving it!  I started with 12 inch pieces, added the zipper, lining and interfacing to give it some structure.  I think I will make a few more so I can keep each project safe in it's own little bag! I have a bunch of whimsical fabric to choose from so they will be fun.  
Right now I have two knitting projects going.  One is an infinity scarf that Jan asked for and the other is a pair of socks.  

So! I got a new camera!  Walmart had this canon camera for a great price on Thanksgiving starting at 8pm.  Jan and I got to Walmart like 9ish and there were only 2 left! So far I'm just trying to figure it out, it's not as easy as my old camera.  I'd really rather just use my old camera that Scott gave me but I'm afraid to mail it to the repair place which is out of state.  What if it gets lost? ugggg.   Anyways, I have a trip coming up that I will absolutely need to take pictures so I had to get something.  Plus, I have these puppies that are too cute not to take pictures of!
Yesterday was Black Friday and I was up like before 5 on my own!  I thought I had set the alarm but really hadn't but it didn't matter cuz I was UP!  Didn't get much sleep honestly - I was SO cold, but also lazy and didn't want to get up and turn the heat up!  Finally I did at like 2 or 3 and got some rest.  I had staked out flannel at Joann's and they opened at 6am so I had a mission! It was dark when I got there and there was a long line waiting for the doors to open.  I was so tired and not paying attention that I went into the wrong store at first!  Sports Authority is right next door, so I got in line and followed them inside, the guy handed me a coupon and I looked at it and thought it was funny that sports authority was handing out coupons at Joann's, I thought he was trying to drum up business Baha! Got inside and it was completely the wrong store.  Walked out and the line was still there for Joann's, got in line.  Once the doors opened I made a beeline for the back of the store where the flannel was.  The flannel I was aimed for was gone, but I did find some other fun flannel for $1.74 a yard!

The next mission was for dog beds.  Ended up at Grange Co-op and they also had dog toys 5 for $10.00.  Rocky kills the squeaks so quickly that I bought 5 just for him! Joey doesn't care for toys, no interest in them.  I was done with everything by 7:15! And then I went to work, had waaaaay too much caffeine! Leftovers at Jan's for dinner and then I crashed!   I did really well on Thanksgiving, only cried once (!) but yesterday was not as good of a mood.  I blame the caffeine :)


Sunday, November 24, 2013

ouch, man, ouch

This has been a painful, terrible night.  I was completely caught off guard by a message from someone accusing me of something I would not do, had no knowledge of, and have been called evil.  And a bunch of other awful things. To which I responded in the best way that I could that I did not know what they were talking about and that it was further than the truth than they could imagine.  Not exact words but you get the picture. To which they responded with more venom.  Less hate but still awful words to read. Words that are now burned into my head.  Initial response was complete shock.  Then wanting to clear my name. Then realized I couldn't if I tried and would just dig deeper and find out more I didn't want to know. Don't want to know. Crying, lots of crying.  If they wanted to hurt me with their words then they did it. Success! 

And for what?  Why kick a grieving person while they're down?  I don't know.  I don't want to know.  So, what do I do now?  I've already tried to explain my side to no avail.  I won't keep trying and I won't keep getting words thrown at me that are not true or are just plain hurtful.  I'm sorry you feel that way but it's just not true. So, what do I do?  I'll tell you what - I'm going to pray for you!  I am too tired, too full of grief to fight.  I know you are in pain too and I have nothing to offer for comfort. Except the God of the universe who loves you!  Take that! baha. I'm not going to pretend that your words did not hurt me, because they did.  They found their mark. But.


"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21


I will not continue to "eat" death. I can't. 

"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" Matthew 5:44


I will pray for you because God's grace is for everyone, not just me.  I can't do it by myself, God gives me the strength to.  I'll end with this doozy:

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

holiday dread

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! I feel as though someone is shouting at me like in the Revolution when the Redcoats were coming and they needed to get ready for imminent battle.  I am not looking forward to the holidays.  I don't know what I want to do, where I want to be, who I want to be with (um, except Scott, duh) or what in the whoville is going to happen.  I feel as though I am walking on eggshells at all times, I get invites and I don't want to commit to anyone.  So then I feel like I'm hurting their feelings.  But, really, I don't know how I feel.  I don't know what will feel good on these important upcoming days.  I waffle back and forth between wanting to be around friends and family and then back to wanting to hide.  I don't want to be around "someone else's family" and watch them interact - either good or bad.  I definitely don't want to be around any bickering.  I don't want to witness people not appreciating the immense blessing of just having their loved one still alive.  But, then I feel like I'm not giving my friends and family enough credit.  They probably feel like they are the ones walking on eggshells because at any second I could cry.  If I hear a diesel truck drive by I will cry.  If someone talks about hunting, guns, fishing, tractors, boots, camo, military, plaid shirts, dogs, cats,  video games, ooooh just about anything right now that maybe, might remind me of Scott - I might cry.  And right now, I need to be somewhere that's okay.  Where I don't have to be strong and hold myself together.  I've got a whole bunch of firsts coming up, Thanksgiving, my birthday, his birthday, Christmas, our 16th wedding anniversary and then New Year's.  Whammo.  And I'm not looking forward to any of it.  I'm not sending out Christmas cards, sorry.  I don't know if I'll be able to hold myself together.  I do have one trip coming up that I am looking forward to and I'm just hoping and praying it will be peaceful and that I won't offend or hurt anyone.

Last week I said I needed to live in a bubble.  But only if that bubble would be made out of kevlar, have enough room for dogs, and have some sort of weapon just in case.  So, really I need a tank.  I wish I could make myself not feel, protect myself somehow from the pain that continues to come in waves.  It's going to be 8 months in 2 weeks and it still feels so fresh, my mind still sees him and can't believe he's gone.  I still imagine what he'd be doing on a sunny, crisp day - what project he'd be working on outside.  Then today it was rainy a bit and overcast so I imagine what he'd have going on in his shop.  He always had talk radio playing in the shop, or a book on tape.  Always.  I can still see him there.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

home

Ok. So.  I finally have internet at home.  I know.  so behind the times.  But, really it's more than that - I'm stubborn and cheap  frugal. Why pay a monthly bill when I can go to the library and use it for free?  Well, as with anything, there was a final straw a week and a half ago.  It went a little something like this: I went to the library and was looking around at blogs, facebook, pinterest, the usual time suckers.  Someone (else) in the community computer area kept farting.  Not just like, whoops let one go and pretend it didn't happen.  Repeated. Disgusting. Farting.  And I knew, right then that I was done being frugal.  It is worth $30 a month to me not to have that happen again. You know?

This morning has been super cozy.  I'm having one of those days that I pretend I live on the coast.  And there is a big lake here so kinda......?  I've done this before, pretended that I really live on the coast and that even though I can't see the ocean, it's there.  It's super chilly out, like 30-ish.  So warm inside and chilly out.  I have a yummy soup in the crock pot, which I'll be taking to a friend who had surgery later today.  The dogs are snoozy.  The light is juuuuust so in the house.  Not sure why that all adds up to coast, but it does for me.  Since it's so cozy and coastal here I don't want to go anywhere or do anything.  I've had two cups of java and just want to knit.

But!  And here's the thing that's been happening to me lately.  I say lately and what I mean is like the past 2 years :) I have so many things, projects to work on that I don't do anything!  I want to look at other people's projects, read other people's blogs, look at fabric at the store, oogle yarn on websites and in person.  I want to buy things, set everything up just perfectly.  Like this morning I was reading a blog of a lady knitting socks, and she had solid sock blockers, which I can't find around here.  My first inclination is to find a website, waste time finding others to compare, hem and haw on price. Bah!

It's worse since Scott died.  I have trouble some days wanting to get out of bed, let alone DO anything.  When I do, though, I feel pretty good about it.  Sometimes it's also hard to make myself stay home, where it's so quiet, too quiet.  I have been trying to set aside a bit of time where I'm just knitting.  Like in the morning, I'll be like I am going to sit and knit for 20 minutes.  The weekends are tricky.  I feel like a kid let out for recess and there are sooooo many things to do! and see!  I'm just running around the playground trying to decide which toy will be most fun and then the bell rings and recess is over.

This afternoon I'm going to stay in and get a few things done.  And it will feel good once I do.  There will definitely be some Christmas music playing too :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

socks

So here is my first pair of socks!  I asked my coworker Karla to take a picture since my camera is still on the fritz so I could share it.  The yarn stripes itself! They are very, very comfortable.  Towards the end of the day they did kind of stretch a bit but not too bad.  I love them!

I've already started another pair.  The first pair was a toe up pattern with an afterthought heel, meaning you start knitting at the toe and then increase to the desired width then knit until it's at the heel, add some waste yarn then knit a bit more, then start the ribbing for the cuff.  I did an extra stretchy bind off.  For the heel you go back, take out the waste yarn and knit around, decreasing, then do a kitchener stitch to bind off.  The toe up version I did was a very clean cast on, you can't even tell that's the spot to cast on!  The kitchener closure is a similar experience, so clean looking.  

I'm doing basically the same pattern for the second pair, with a little exception, I'm adding some texture!  One of the bloggers I read made a few socks with this pattern, the Hermione everyday sock pattern, and I like the way it looks.  It's a series of 4 stitches in each row that repeats which looks easy enough to me :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

And I bought this mug because it makes me happy :) I've decided then I will drink tea at work in the afternoon so it wasn't really a frivolous purchase. Money well spent methinks.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Still no photos. Bah! Will aspire to find a camera or fix the one I have....soon.

In the meantime, last weekend I found this pattern at Joann's and sewed it up and I love it!  I cut out another one last night and will hopefully stitch it today.  It's super comfy and I like the fit.

I am down to just the heels to finish on my first pair of socks.  Turns out socks are not as hard as I had made them to be in my head.  I'm glad I decided to try them out.  I have so many ideas now of socks and sweaters and such to knit in my head.

I'm also thinking ahead to next Summer.  I am thinking of a garden, a for reals garden.  Not just one zucchini plant that barely eeks out 1 squash.  That's one of the things I love about living here is that I actually look forward to Summer all year.  Growing up in 100+ degree heat during summer I hated summer and dreaded it.  Now, I actually soak up the warmth and plan ahead for it.

Last night driving home from the cemetery it snowed over the pass!  It was slushy and I'm sure melted off quickly but while driving in it I was like, snow already?  In an odd way I'm kind of looking forward to that too though.  Cozy, knitting, staying inside weather.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

regrets

I know I haven't blogged in awhile. Nothing new to say. My camera is still not fixed and I still haven't looked for a new camera so I don't have any pictures of the crafty things I've been up to. I've been knitting a lot, sewing/quilting some and hanging with my pups a lot.


I also regret a lot lately. So, just because basically I'm the only widow I know there are so many things I didn't know going into this experience. I mean, you sort of expect older people to start dying, but my 37 year old husband? No, I didn't expect that. Neither did he. He went to sleep and never woke up. So now, every morning I wake up I think "I made it through another night" and look around at my dogs to make sure I'm really here. I regret selling his truck and so many of his things so soon. Why didn't I keep them? I don't know. I regret not keeping some of his ashes with me. Why didn't I keep them? Well, that one I know. At the time I was creeped out by the idea of keeping his ashes in the house. My advice is this ever happens to you is to keep some aside just in case. Because after the shock and the freakiness fades you might want a piece of your loved one close. I know I wish I had. And, now there is sense that I can't ever move. I can't leave him. I don't want to miss a week taking flowers to his grave, miss that honor. I want his grave to be cared for. If you don't know what I mean you will never know what I mean until this happens to you. There is no explaining it until you've lost someone so deeply close that the thought of ever even leaving their ashes is devastating. I mean, I KNOW they are just ashes. I know. But, even if it was his body buried I would have trouble leaving that too, probably even more. I know he's gone and he doesn't know I'm there talking to him and bringing him flowers.


Regret is a terrible thing. The what-ifs are terrible. What if I had somehow known his heart was giving out? What if he had told me he had chest pain? What if he had finally quit smoking like he was trying to do? What if he had switched doctors to someone who really, really wanted to run tests on every one and somehow it was caught? What if I had known that he had an abnormal ekg when he was in the Army? What if he stopped eating McDonalds? What if I made him only super healthy low fat everything food (that he would have hated)? What if? What if? What if? What if 6 months ago I didn't lose my best friend, my husband, the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and thought I'd watch get old? Or how about what if I could stop thinking what if?


This is an inevitable phase of grief, I know. But it sucks. I feel like nothing is real. Sometimes I question our life together at all. I have pictures as proof but I question myself, my sanity. I replay the words over and over again "Scott is dead". I picture him in the funeral home with the tube in his mouth and have to shake it loose. I HAD to see him to believe it and then I had keep going to see him because it just couldn't be real. Right before Scott went to Korea for a year after we had been married a year, we went on a long vacation to California. I had to get on a plane first to fly back to Tennessee where we were living at the time. I could not leave him. My legs were lead and I could not physically walk away from him. I did, I eventually had to but it was the hardest walk I ever had until the day I had to walk away from him knowing he would be cremated. How could I leave him? I didn't want to but I had no choice. Now people ask me if I am going to move or stay here and I feel the same way.



As always with my posts, I know there is nothing you can say or do to make me feel better and I don't expect it. I just need to talk, get it out. No offense intended in any way but this is for me.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

not okay

A few years ago I thought it would be a good idea to take one of the little canoes (boat? idk) and row across the little pond. It was a beautiful clear day and Scott was out fishing in one of the "real" boats. The way across was great, the way back not so much. It turned out there was quite a breeze that had picked up. Try as I might I wasn't getting much distance between the shore and me. Also, I am very, very prone to sea sickness. I kept thinking that any second Scott would come motoring up in the real boat and save me. Nope. I ended up against a cattle gate on one of the shores and very close to losing my lunch. I did the only rational thing that came to mind at the time - I got out of the boat. Sea sickness thwarted. But now I had to get me and the boat back to the dock and out of the neighbor's field. So, I grabbed the rope on the boat and started walking the shore. There was a big tree in my way so I tried to get back in the boat thinking I could at least row around the tree and get back out to walk. That didn't work either and I ended up swimming in the algae filled pond pulling the boat behind me. When it was shallow enough to walk I would, but the algae is so thick you can't see in the water and I would crack my shins along the way on rocks under the water. Did I mention this pond is right alongside the highway? Oh yeah, it is and various autos felt like they also needed to honk at me as I struggled. Hilarious. I did, eventually, make it to the dock.

Sometimes this story seems very funny to me. Lately, though, it seems to sum up my life very succinctly. I think I have a great idea and things are okay, and then they are not. They are very bad. and I struggle along pulling the weight of my emotions behind me. And there are onlookers (friends, family, anyone else with an opinion) who honk at me along the way. Perhaps they consider this help? Or maybe they just have an opinion and don't care to listen to me or offer help either way it's just noise to me. and distracting.

When Scott was alive we had struggles. Every relationship does. We talked a lot about whatever would bother the other one. He would always say "I'm okay, you're okay, WE'RE okay." and it would soothe the situation. In the big picture he was right. Onlookers never understood us. I can't tell you how many times the advice I was given was to give up, get divorced, throw a fit, or any other thing to do to get my way. I refused to give up on "US". And frankly, that was a very lonely place to be - when anyone I'd seek comfort or support from only wanted me to give up, or badmouth him. I stopped talking to people about my relationship. But, I could always talk to Scott - about anything and everything. He was the only person in my life ever who knew every single thing about me, everything. And he loved me anyway. No matter what I brought to him. We were in the same boat together no matter what. It was always I'm okay, you're okay, we're okay.

Now he's dead. So he's not okay. Which brings me to I'm not okay. And there is no more "we". What now? I'm struggling to believe he's even gone and he's not here for me bounce ideas off of, to talk to to make sense of anything so it's even less real. Nothing was ever for real until I talked to him about it and processed how I felt. I hate not having him here, I hate that there is nothing left. I hate that my memory is crap and I feel like I've lost half of myself - my brain included because he had a great memory and would remind me of places, things, people. For 17 years it was the two of us and a lot of those years were away from anyone that is around me now, so they have no idea what we went through or that place in Kentucky that we went to that one time.


There is no answer and I don't expect anyone to try - you can't make it better and neither can I right now. I'm just wading through this murky pond, cracking my shins on giant rocks and my arms and legs are tired. And it hurts. And I can't even see the dock or any relief.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

um, and so

I know I haven't written in awhile. Sorry. I guess I was feeling like all I talk about is sad stuff and I don't want to bum everyone out all the time. I feel v.sad a lot of the time and still just really can't believe Scott is gone. Rest assured that I am still sewing, knitting and making pickles! My camera is on the fritz so that's another reason I haven't blogged. I mean, I could write a completely detailed description of the quilt top I just finished but it's so much better to see a snapshot, yes? So the yarn store here in town has a little get together on Tuesday nights after work and then again on Saturday afternoon. I went to both last week and it was nice. I have just finished another bunny and sweater for him. He's super cute.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

and i ramble on again

Last weekend my Mom and I had a lovely visit to the coast. It was foggy and overcast most of the time, and chilly. But Saturday we drove down to Trinidad and it was raining and I thought "oh no! we'll get rained out". The closer we got, though, the clearer it was. It was beautiful. I hunted agates while Mom hid from the waves. I love, absolutely love, love listening to the waves while hunting agates. I could literally do that allll day. I'm glad that we took the time to go and relax because this week sucked. I had a major meltdown in Fred Meyer - the kind where strangers came up and asked if I was okay and the sweet boy at the front opened a checkout line just for me so I could GET OUT of there. Then, the next night I erased a very special phone message from my birthday from Scott. I was trying to record it onto my cell phone but it wasn't working and I thought I hit stop on the answering machine but no it was delete. BAH! Also, my camera quit working. The one that Scott bought me for my birthday a few years ago that I take all my pictures with and have used to share pictures for this very blog. Work has been a whirlwind as we are short staffed and to say that my nerves are frayed is an understatement. I took the camera to the shop today and was told that it must be a lens issue but I'd have to find a Kodak certified shop which they are not. Also, a friend had suggested taking my phone/answering machine in there for possible recovery of the message. He looked at me like I was extra special. I stepped out of the shop and started crying. So, basically if you see someone in a store, on the street, in the library, or really anywhere just randomly crying - it could be me! Or another widow, so be nice :) No one has been mean but I know that in my "before" I don't know what I would have thought if I came across someone like me now. You just never know. So, you may have picked up that I finally got a cell phone! Not particularly my choice but I am glad to have it! I wish now that I had gotten one sooner. I had been pondering and taking my sweet time to decide, then Scott died. My MIL added me onto their plan because she didn't like the idea of me being alone up here and traveling and not having a way to call for help if I needed it - how sweet is that?! I have been blessed with a loving family. It's funny though because I never thought I'd even use it, and now I'm like texting everyone! Haha. And Rocky doesn't like it, he thinks he should be getting all the attention that the phone is getting! A few things that came to mind this week about Scott that I want to share so I won't forget: * he loved regular malt flavored ovaltine * he loved Adams chunky peanut butter with the layer of oil on the top and would eat it with a spoon * He would put the phone up to the cats when they were purring so I could hear it through the phone, it would always make me happy * He would say "Hornberger!" (as did I) when we thought we got away with something cool. It's from 30 Rock, which we loved to watch. Also, in the store I say some chips that were chicken and waffle flavored and I thought, what would he think of that? I think it sounds grody.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

projects and pain

In case you didn't know, there is an abundance of rhubarb up here.  I love it!  A lady at work brought me a huge bag of it so last night I sliced it all up in the food processor and made jam and froze the rest. 100_3389[1] I bought these fun squatty pint jars that I think look really pretty with the jam in it. This week I am closing at work which means I don't go in until 9. Usually I sleep until the last possible second and then get ready for work. But today I was up early and got some quilting done! 100_3385[1] this guy was right by my side "helping" 100_3386[1] I am almost done with this quilt top that I started awhile ago. I have one square left and then I can sew the top together. 100_3387[1] I know I'm a broken record, but this week has been tough and it's only Tuesday. Dang. This weekend and most of last week I've really struggled with believing this is all real. Like I'll find myself thinking things are totally normal and then *wham* my mind snaps back with "he's gone" and then I find myself wondering if he really is? I know he is I just can't accept it. I don't want it to be true. I know this is a little morbid to discuss but I'm also having a hard time with the cremation. Like he is completely gone. There is a bit that is buried but other than that he is completely gone. How can that be? Right now I'm not okay with cremation. But, burying his body to decompose is not cool either. ugh. It all sucks. These are things I never, ever thought of before. Why would I? I think back over everything that has happened in these almost 4 months and I feel like I'm living a nightmare. And one that I'm trying to find something that isn't there, that eludes me. I miss him so much it's tangible. Okay confession time - don't judge. I smoked a clove cigarette on Saturday night. I was sitting there feeling like is this real? Is he gone? and I had to do something else, I didn't want to drive anywhere and I can't really explain it. Scott smoked and that's part of what contributed to his death so I should know better. And I have had this pack for 4 years and it's only missing 3 so it's not like I'm a smoker. But anyway. It like conjured him a little. I could picture him smoking, the way he would light up and blow out smoke. The way he held it. When the smoke would go my way he'd wave it towards himself and say "I'm sorry." and I could hear the way he'd say it. Not audibly, I'm not losing my mind. How is it that a habit I hated so much and he hated to do could somehow bring comfort? Ultimately just more pain though because it made me miss him more.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

wild life



The other night I was moving the sprinkler in the front lawn and I looked up and saw two deer!  So close and they had big fuzzy racks of antlers!  I crept inside to grab my camera, I got pictures of one of them but not the other.  So cute!


A week or so ago I drove over to the cemetery and a wild turkey crossed in front of the road followed by 5-6 babies!  Leaving down the road there was a big group of them altogether!  I stopped and snapped a couple pictures.
Last weekend Jan and I had a yard sale and I took a bunch of stuff over to her house.  A TON of books and some knick knacks, the last guitar of Scott's, a couple guns, the amp and effects pedals and just whatever else.  Word of advice if you ever find yourself in my position - ie: a widow.  Don't get rid of stuff so soon.  Some people will tell you that it's best to get rid of things that you won't use or don't need.  True enough.  But, if you're like me then what you'll really feel is like you are losing everything that ever mattered to him and in essence him.  I KNOW it's just stuff.  I KNOW I can't use it.  I KNOW.  But it was his, a part of him and now he's gone and the reminders of him are too.  Sure, I still have some stuff.  But that amp, I remember when he bought it and he was STOKED and he played with it and fine tuned it and really valued it.  That was to him what my sewing machine is to me.  It was a tool for his creativity and it added volume to the music in his soul so he could share it with those around him.  And now it's gone.  The everyday items that he used were taken before I had a chance to pick anything that he wore or kept close to him every day.  I have some things that I can keep as a tangible keepsake, but I wish I had more.  I wish I had the cologne that he wore, his watch, his utility knife that he wore in a pouch on his belt, his belt, the quirky little things that set him apart. 
I have his drum set now in the craft house and now that it's there I don't know that I'll ever be able to get rid of it.  Not right now anyway.  Or his tools or tool box.  Those were his livlihood, how he made a living. 
I sifted through all the books that were his before I parted with any of them.  I kept all the ones that any time of writing to him or his name on the inner cover.  Children's books I kept.  I plan to read most of them because I never did, like the Narnia series, The Lord of the Rings series, Little house on the Praire series.  There was an older copy of Black Beauty and I was thumbing through it and there was one dog-eared page.  On the folded part his Grandma Eunice had written "I hope you finish reading this and write me a letter!"  I cried so hard when I read that.  He loved his Grandma Eunice something fierce and she loved him and I was holding such tangible proof of that sweet bond. 
It makes me really look at my "stuff".  What do I have in my house?  Is it meaningful to me or was it just on sale?  If someone had to go through my things would it be a bunch of junk to them or would it be valued?  I don't know.  I have more sifting to do. 
I know all I've been writing about is pretty downer stuff.  I'm sorry.  and really I don't see an end in sight so feel free to stop reading.  I just have to get some of this out.  I write in a journal too but sometimes it's not enough.  I can type faster than I can write so I can get more out this way.  I just miss him so much.  My heart is heavy every day.  Laughing is literally painful like my chest is collapsing.  I don't even want to smile at people anymore and frankly I noticed other people don't smile much either so who cares.  I am SO thankful to have the time I had with him.  I am so glad to have had him as my husband, even with all the crap we gave each other.  I wouldn't be who I am without him. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

energy burst

Most days it's a struggle to get out of bed. Even though I've been awake off and on all night I still don't want to get up. Usually I can get about an hour or so after 6am. This past week I dreamed of Scott 3 times, all of them pretty involved so I won't go into it here. One of them he had been dead and returned to life....oh how I wish that could really happen! Doing chores around the house even though it's just me I have to clean up after seems like the most daunting task, and so therefore it usually doesn't get done. So today I slept in until about 10 or so (yes!) and was pleasantly surprised when I felt like getting stuff done around the house. I washed the dishes (luckily not too many) and made a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam. strawberry rhubarb jamThen I made a batch of homemade laundry soap. I had a stroke of genius and used the water from the hot water bath from the jam for the soap! Less waste of perfectly good hot water! Then I just did some general clean up and vacuuming. It felt like I had climbed a mountain and was looking down on a beautiful valley, so satisfying. I know to most people doing menial housework seems like nothing. But, it's been a little over 3 months, 102 days, since my husband died and everything right now is overwhelming. I know I've said it before, but I wouldn't wish this on anyone! I've been going to grief counseling through the local hospice and it's been kind of helpful. Mostly it's been nice to talk to other widows and not feel like I'm making them uncomfortable with my sadness. I have been sewing. I have one finished quilt top that just needs to be pinned together with the back, quilted and bound. I have another that only has one square left to piece and then sew the rows together. I'll post pics when they are done.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Rocky had a cyst removed from his eyelid yesterday and has to wear a cone.
100_3376[1] He hasn't let it slow him down in the least! He's still running around like "what cone?" 100_3369[1] 100_3370[1] Joey was super curious at first, got right in Rocky's face to sniff it. 100_3368[1]

Saturday, July 6, 2013

dogs

What keeps me sane these days?  My puppies.  The other night Rocky was walking around with this bear in his mouth: 100_3363[2]100_3365[1] I tried to get a pic with both pups in it but Rocky kept herding Joey away from the camera (and attention). 100_3366[1]
I would not have these dogs if it weren't for Scott and I am eternally grateful for them.  Growing up, we only had cats and I never was around dogs.  But Scott is a dog man through and through and there was no question that we'd have dogs.  Now, I can't imagine not having a dog! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

beach

Last weekend I went to the beach by myself. Yep, alone. And I really needed that time just to myself.   The two weekends prior we were doing the estate sale and cleaning and sorting and just stuff all the time.  My brother came out from Pittsburgh, PA and was a huge help.  My mom and best friend came up from Chico and were a huge help.  My father in law was here and he brought a crew of guys from his church to help and everyone did such huge things, helped in such huge ways.  We were completely blessed to have people want to help and really pitch in so much.
The estates sales were hard.  I think I did well keeping myself together but almost everyone who came had a comment about the drums "someone was a musician" and I'd explain that that "someone" was my husband.  The surprised expressions, the pity, the sadness was wearing.  Along with just the fact of getting rid of a lot of his stuff.  So anyhow I needed to unplug.  I needed to not worry about any schedule or anyone's feelings or anything.  I drove over to Crescent City on Friday, checked into my hotel and then sought the first beach I could find.  It turned out to be perfect.  There were a bunch of pelicans and seagulls in this little freshwater area.
100_3344[1]I loved watching the pelicans fly up and then dive down headfirst into the water after food.100_3352[1]The thing that I had sought after most, not having a schedule, was actually really hard to let go of and let myself do!  Saturday I had planned to get up early and drive down to Trinidad, which is about an hour.  But, it's hard for me to stay asleep so I tossed all night and about 5 or 6am I finally started to feel like I could sleep and I had to decide whether to get up and keep with my schedule or just laze about.  I lazed.  I got to Trinidad about noon, had some lunch and then hit the beach.  This is one of the beaches that we would always go to.  See all those rocks?  Prime agate hunting.  We would lay on the beach and sift through the rocks and find agates.100_3360[1]It was a perfect day.  So full of memories.  So beautiful.  Sad.  But the ocean just has a way of soothing.  So I found a good handful of agates, I knitted.  I sat and prayed and thought a bunch.  I missed him horribly.  I thought about how his eyes were the color of the ocean under blue sky and how much he would have loved such a clear day.100_3356[1]But, he's gone.  I can't come to grips with that.  I still can't believe it.  I don't want to believe it.  I miss everything about him even the bad things.  I just wish he didn't have to go.

Across the street from the turnoff to the beach is a meadow that has elk.  I stopped and watched them for a bit and got a few pictures.  I love how fuzzy their little nubbins are on their heads.100_3355[2]

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I know I haven't checked in for awhile, sorry about that.  Everything is super overwhelming right now.  We did two weekends of estate sale which was really tough.  I don't quite know how to explain it.  Feeling like I don't feel right selling his stuff and profiting from it but then intellectually knowing that I can't use the stuff and I have LARGE bills.  HUGE.  So selling what I can will help me not completely fail financially and become homeless.  I mean, I have two dogs to support so I can't just shut down.  This week, though, shutting down sounds really nice.  If hubs had had life insurance or something to where I wouldn't have to work to survive for even like a month I would take the time and just cry.  Last night I was watching a movie and thought of the scar he had on the left side of his forehead right above his eyebrow.  It was a jaggedy sort of scar like it had been sewn together roughly.  Each time I'd ask how he got it he'd have a new story.  Shrapnel, clocked on the head, hit it on something.  He was always messing with me.  I miss that because he was the only person who could mess with you and sort of make fun and you'd think it was hilarious!  Now everyone who messes with me just makes me mad.
Today I had an appointment for the gospel mission to pick up the stuff that didn't sell.  The guy came and took as much as he could but there were a few things that he couldn't use so I threw them in the dumpster.  Along comes a guy on a bike who had been by several times while we had the sale and while the donation truck was there.  He saw the open dumpster and asked if he could have anything out of it?  I was at a loss and was like yeah.  So he proceeded to dig out what I had just thrown away - a kitchen sink, a 30 gallon fish tank, empty drill containers.....random stuff.  It was so weird and kind of funny,  and somehow upsetting to me.  I can't explain why but it just made me cry.

I know people go through this every day.  I know I am not experiencing anything new.  But dang, this hurts and I am so sorry to anyone else who has to also experience it. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

cake and table

Okay, wanna see something delicious? Boom 100_3341[1] There you go.  These, friends, are miniature pineapple upside down cakes.  I forgot the cherries on top, but they were no less delish.  A few years ago, my Mom had gotten this book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket.  In the book there is a little section about pineapples and she had bought this pan that as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it.  Except that I never could bring myself to buy the pan. Why?  Idk, $25 for a cake pan that I had never even tried the cake seemed a little frivolous.  It still does but after Scott died I bought it, he always encouraged me to get whatever I wanted and I figured I could use the cheeriness of a cute little cake.  I tried this recipe except for the ground almonds I used almond flavoring because I'm allergic to almonds.  It turned out ah-mazing!  So, so good.

So, I'm living in a house that I never thought I'd be staying in for very long so I haven't really decorated or unpacked boxes.  Now, I realize I will be here awhile.  I really wanted a gateleg table for the kitchen because I like the openess of the kitchen but also need a table so if I have people over for dinner.  I didn't exactly find a gateleg table but I did find a really cute little table with drop leaves, and it's white so perfect. 100_3342[1] side view: 100_3343[1]
It fits perfectly in that little nook area and I have the chairs in another room to cut down on clutter and then when I need them I can just bring them out.  You can see Rocky's back in the top photo.  The pups are always so curious when I'm taking photos.

So, yesterday being Memorial Day I drove over to the cemetery.  I always used to tell Scott "happy Memorial Day" or "happy Veteran's Day" because he had been in the Army and I know he appreciated being acknowledged that way.  It was so beautiful, they had put a flag on every single grave so the hillside was covered with flags!  I didn't know that they would do that so I hadn't brought my camera.  As Jan likes to remind me, if I had a cell phone I could've gotten a picture. 

Last week was really tough.  Ups and downs.  Started out with my dryer breaking, the lawn mower was broken.  Then both got fixed.  I almost feel like the cloud of shock I've been in is starting to lift and there's more pain as realization sets in.  I feel like an empty shell, almost like just sleepwalking or something.  I don't know how to explain the strangeness and pain at the same time.  I miss him so much. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

numbness and memories and stuff

Most of the time I feel so numb.  It must be some kind of self preservation.  I've heard over and over that everyone grieves in different ways.  I've read multiple blogs where people can't even get out of bed, can't stop crying, are in such dark spots that they don't even want to live themselves.  That's not me.  I'm just numb.  I can't believe he's gone.  I will probably say that 10 million times and you'll get sick of hearing it.  But I can't.  I know I am feeling stress because I have anxiety and my heart races out of my chest.  I also now have shingles.  Thanks, stress.

Tonight I was thinking about memories.  Sometimes I think I have the worst memory ever, and other times I can remember exactly a conversation and what was said.  I wish I could have kept better track of the millions of memories I have of Scott.  A friend recently asked me how I knew that I was special to Scott when he had been engaged before me.  When I met Scott I knew, absolutely KNEW that we would be together and be married.  And he felt the same way.  We had been set up on a blind date for our first date and I was just a goner.  Two days later I got a call from him asking me if I wanted to go out with him again and I said yes.  He drove up in his huge green ford truck, it was so loud! and his music was so loud and my heart was racing, butterflies.  He said he thought he'd take me up to Cohasset to see the first snow.  His great grandma and his grandparents lived up there, it's about 15 minutes out of Chico in the foothills.  So we drove the windy road up there and sure enough the first snow.  He introduced me to his great grandma who was at the beginning stages of Alzheimer's.  She made us hot chocolate and it was so cozy.  After that she always did remember me and I will cherish that memory, the warmth and the love.  Scott was a little bit of a badass when I met him, and then on this second date I got to know the real him.  The one who loved his family more than anything and sitting by the fire with them and playing guitar for them and included me in that, and we always loved a great cup of hot cocoa. 

I'll also always remember the first time I met his dad and that side of the family.  We drove up to Klamath in that huge green truck late at night and going from the heat of Chico and slowly it became freezing cold.  I knew I was in a different world.  The air felt crisper, more pure somehow.  I slept in the living room on a hide a bed and in the morning I was just barely awake and I could hear two little girl voices whispering to each other -"is that her?"  Those two curious girls were his sisters and they were and are the sweetest loving girls.  Scott loved this family just as fiercely and I learned to also.  His youngest brother was 4 when I met him and he was running around with the vacuum hose saying it was his bear gun.  That little blond boy is now 21 and 6 foot 10!  On the drive home from meeting this family Scott and I got engaged.

I have always been an awkward person.  I don't always know what to say or do in social situations.  But with Scott I always belonged.  I was always accepted and included.  He always put everyone at ease, he was funny and the life of any party.  With each side of his family he had 3 siblings, so 6 total.  I had not ever been around any sort of big family gathering so it was very intimidating to me at first, and then I so looked forward to holidays when we could be together with either side.  I was looking at photo albums last night and  realizing that when I look at the pictures I can remember what was happening at the time and how I felt and I need to write it all down.  More details.  I wrote general things like where we were and the dates, etc but I need to add more.  Like on our wedding day I was an hour late because I had to get my dress steamed and I wanted to have my makeup done and I had borrowed a friend's car that I had never driven and it snowed that day (in Tennessee!) and so I took some long way there and he was so nervous, standing outside smoking!  We just went to the justice of the peace but we were just as nervous and excited as if we had a huge wedding.  Now I wish we had waited and had a wedding with all our family there.  But, my best friend/sister Jeannette had given me a silver plate that was engraved with our names together with 1997 on it so we HAD so get married in 1997.  So, we were married on December 30, 1997. Looking back, of course, I know how ridiculous that is.  Anyhow, hindsight and all that.  I have many, many regrets - but marrying him is not one of them!  Just the manner in which we did. 

I was reading a blog earlier, The Widow's Voice and one of the ladies that writes on it was saying that she lived pretty much her whole adult life with her husband and now she is trying to find out who she is without him.  Scott and I were both super independant so in a way I don't feel that I don't know who I am without him but somehow I also do.  I was thinking the other day who am I going to bounce political rants off of???  He was so up to date on everything political and would indulge my ranting, no judgement.  No judgement.  That is what I'm really missing.  That safety which exists between a husband and wife.  My safety zone is gone. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

thinking

I have another post brewing, but it is going to take a bit and possibly be v. long so in the meantime I will ramble on.  I'm a muller.  I think about things for a long time, chew on it and the thoughts roll around in my head for awhile.  In January I had come aross a blog that was devastating to read.  It's a guy, Matt Logelin, whose wife died 24 hours after giving birth to their premature baby.  Suddenly widowed and a single dad to a premature baby.  I still cannot fathom what that would be like.  I read his blog a bit and then on January 18th I bought the book, Two Kisses for Maddy from Amazon.   I always read the end of the book first, and since I had been reading his blog I knew how the story would go pretty much anyways.  For some reason, I couldn't finish this book.

Last summer I had a moment when I thought, "what would happen if Scott died?"  In my head I went through the process of - okay well I'd have to take care of the dogs, go through all the stuff, and then was like "snap out of it!!!" and made myself stop thinking of that.  I didn't want to even entertain the possibility.  Because that would never happen anyway and I didn't want to even put it out there.

And now.  Now I'm thinking - was God trying to prepare me?  Reading that blog is heartwrenching at best.  From reading it I've come across links to other widows.  In a way it's good for me to find them so early in this process to know that I'm not alone and that other people understand this pain.  Not that I thought I was the only person to lose a spouse, but it's a different pain.  When my Grandpa died I felt pain, and regrets and sorrow - but not like this.  He had been 85 and sick for awhile.  Scott was 37 and it was a shock.

Tonight I stopped at the post office on the way home to get stamps so I could get my mother's day cards out.  The guy in front of me sort of looked familiar, but I've worked in lots of doctor's offices so a lot of people look familiar to me.  As he was walking by he stopped and said I looked familiar too - was I married to Scott?  And then it's the panic of does he know already, am I going to have to say it?  Or what if I just act like nothing if he doesn't bring it up do I have to?  So here I am stuttering over myself and I ask if he had heard what happened and he had.  Then the questions start.  Were we still together?  What happened?  How are you?  Do you need anything?  I didn't say v. much and he left.  It was my turn at the counter.  And I fell apart.  Complete meltdown at the counter.  I couldn't get air, gasping, crying and my throat was closed off so couldn't get words out either.  The lady was v. nice and gave me a kleenex.  I got one word out - stamps.  Because for craps sake I had to get those cards out!.  Lame.  I eventually regained some semblance of composure and walked myself out to my car where I could have a whole body heaving sob.

I know that these things are going to happen.  I know it will not always be like this.  All I can say is boo to grief.  Boo to death. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

precious cargo

Last week in the mail I rec'd the information from the cemetery about where Scott's plot is located and since then I really wanted to see it.  Last night after work I loaded up the boys and drove over to Eagle Point National Cemetery.
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It really is a beautiful cemetery.  Not that I ever thought I'd say that about one, but it is. 100_3337[1] And, since I am still myself I also wanted to check to make sure they had spelled precious correctly on the stone.  Why did I put "precious cargo"?  I knew Scott for 17 years and during that whole time every time one of us would go on a trip without the other we would say "Keep the rubber side down, keep it between the ditches, you're carrying precious cargo."  Every. single. time.  I knelt down to brush off some cut grass before taking this picture and found that the stone had been warmed by the sun and still felt warm to the touch.  What a difference from the cold of his forehead in the funeral home.  It made me glad that he is in a spot that will be kept warm by the sun.  I know it's just ashes that are buried there but I felt closer to him and it was nice.  I miss him so much, my heart feels like it is turning in on itself, like my chest is caving in.  My eyes feel raw and grainy like I've taken them out and rolled them in salt.  I guess without taking them out, I have.  I feel nauseous all the time.  I can't understand where he's gone.  Why is he gone?   And then my mind will touch on his death, that he's not coming back and I panic.  I can't breathe.  Mercifully that doesn't last long....until a few minutes later I'm wondering again where is he, where has he gone?
Every time we got off the phone or would leave each other we'd say "I love you".  I haven't heard that in 27 days.  I know friends and family and others love me.  What I'm talking about is different.  I don't know how to explain what my thought is here.  I am so, SO glad I saved voicemails.
After some tears and talking to him about what not I drove the rest of the way to Medford and picked up some cheeseburgers for the boys.  The sun had finally sunk down behind the hills and turned them purple and the sky was a golden with a tinge of pink - my favorite kind.  I think God gave that to me special to let me know that He loves me too.

This is Scott's view now:
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