Sunday, July 27, 2014

One sock down

The weather up here this week has been considerably cooler, like 40-50 degrees when I wake up.  It does warm up during the day and is mostly always sunny even when it's chilly.  But!  Weather like this just makes me want to curl up with a movie and knit even more.  Today I'm wishing I had thought ahead and put something in the crock pot!  Eh.  I may put some frozen chicken and a potato in later, that will be nice.

I finished sock #1 of the neon socks last night!  I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  I tried that new heel, fish lips kiss heel, and I like it.  Once I could put it on without the needles it really cups my heel nicely.  So there's a win!
I went with a sort of middie length, not super short but not tall either.  I feel like this sock went pretty fast and I'm hoping the second does as well.  I have definitely caught the sock knitting bug!  I cast on sock #2 late last night.  One thing is that the way the yarn stripes I don't think they are going to match, and I'm okay with that because these are just for me and they are whimsical anyway!  

It's funny because at work I've never been much of a break taker.  I've done my fair share of farting around at work and just considered that a break, you know?  Mostly I've also had receptionist positions where it's not really convenient to leave the desk empty for 15 minutes.  But, working on Caye's socks and trying to get them done before my trip I started taking breaks at work.  I set the alarm on my cell phone so that I don't space out and just knit for 15 minutes straight!  It's wonderful!  And I can get quite a few rows in that time.  So, I've continued my sock breaks and I think that's why this one just hummed along.

In other news I'm seriously looking at a new sewing machine.  I've got two that both have little issues that make it frustrating at this point to sew.  I read a lot of quilting blogs and the Juki looks like a great machine for quilting, it's got a huge harp space and is very powerful, all metal.  But!  It only does a straight stitch.  So, one blogger says you still need another machine to do any other stitches you need to do.  But she also recommends not getting a computerized machine, which the Juki isn't.  So, now I'm sort of shying away from that machine though because if I'm going to spend $1000 on a sewing machine I want it to do more things.  Which lead me to a Janome machine which is computerized but  is also heavy duty for quilting, large harp space and for the same price has more stitch options.  Not many because it's calling itself a no fluff machine.  But, right now that's the one I'm leaning towards.  I did also find a store in Medford that carries Janome machines so will make the trip over there pretty soon.  Maybe next weekend?  I'm going to call this week when they're open to see if they carry the one I'm looking at.  Also, Joanne's online carries it so that is also an option and I have a $20 gift card I can use towards it.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

knitting knitting knitting socks

Let's discuss the socks I'm currently working on!  I realize that these are super bright and not everyone's cup of tea but I love the yarn!!!!  I remember when I bought it I was at the coast at the tiny yarn shop in Crescent City that I love and I saw it and was like gah! I had to have it.  It's Plymouth Yarn Neon Now 75% wool 25% nylon.  

I don't love the way it feels to knit.  It's sort of scratchy even though it has the nylon.  I'm doing a toe up sock as I have for the last 2 pairs I've knit.  I do intend to try out cuff down to see which I prefer.
I just liked the way my polish matches the yarn in the picture.  This week I tried something I saw on pinterest where the polish was dotted along the edge in white.  I like the way it turned out, it's fun!
And this picture is a little bit wonky but shows the heel there on the left.  I tried something new!  I don't know when I started hearing about the Fish Lips Kiss Heel but I did somewhere and everything I had heard was that it was easy and fit well.  Before I purchased the pattern (only $1!) I thought it was a different technique for an afterthought heel.  Not so.  Usually I like to read through a pattern and get this gist of what I'll be doing before starting.  I read through and didn't really "get" what I'd be doing but just jumped in with youtube stitch tutorials at the ready.  I figured I just needed to trust the pattern, right?  LOL I know I made one mistake because I didn't understand the stitch but didn't realize until a couple rows in but didn't rip back figuring it's just one stitch, right?  Well, there's a teensy hole but I know it can be fixed but reinforcing a bit.

Truthfully, for me, the jury is still out on the FLK heel.  I'll know if I love it after I do the next sock (with no mistakes!) and when I can put them comfortably on my feet.  I did make another mistake which I did rip back because I didn't realize I was supposed to have started knitting back in the round again - oops!  I was going to ask a question in the forum on Rav but in reading the other questions realized that no one else had made that mistake so it must have been my rookie mistake.  Again, experience building, yes?  

Monday, July 21, 2014

SD fam time

While I was in San Diego the weekend before last I took the most random pictures!  I didn't seem to have my camera with me when the whole family was together and then when I had each individual I guess I didn't have the presence of mind to take a picture!  Rest assured though I did have a good time with everyone and nice fellowship.
This is a statue of Jesus and Paul at Point Loma Nazarene College.

Two very silly chickens that run amok in the backyard.

My MIL Caye showing her right-out-of-the-oven peach pluot cobbler.  The peaches and pluots were picked fresh from trees in their back yard!  yum

One of my sisters in law, Lacey and I at Ocean Beach.  It had rained about an hour earlier so was overcast but nice and warm.  I should mention that I am not a short person at 5'6" but everyone in my husband's family is super tall!  I think Lacey is the runt at 5'9" or 10".  It's good exercise to be around them though, to try and keep up with their long legs :)

Socks finally finished!  And Caye modeled them nicely.  They fit really well which was a relief!

This was taken the morning that I flew out from SD, it was super warm but overcast.  I had found a bench at a park at Point Loma overlooking the dorms and the ocean.  It was a great trip.  We all watched the last World Cup game on Sunday, which was so funny!  The game itself, not funny, but the announcers and then our commentary was.  Spending time with Scott's family is a memory I will treasure.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

camp crash

So there's this phenomenon called "Camp Crash" that happens after returning from Camp Widow.  I had read about it before I went to camp so knew that it could happen.  I even signed up for a class Saturday to send myself an inspirational hand painted post card to remind myself of the goodness and hope from camp.  I haven't gotten my post card yet but frankly I don't think it would matter if I did.  I am in full on camp crash nose dive.  It started immediately after the last presentation on Saturday which was a hilarious comedy routine.  It was lively and so, so funny and SO hit the mark of ridiculous things that widows deal with.  Tons of laughter and whooping it up! and then I walked out into the silent lobby.  I felt like I had gone from such almost manic energy to a vacuum.  I actually thought "what now?"

Tuesday was my travel day and I left my inlaws house early that morning to go to work with my MIL and waited a bit for my flight, her office is like 5 minutes from the airport so it would be easier that way.  I found my way to a little park that overlooks the ocean, which was gray and moody that day since it was overcast.  I sat down and just cried.  Knowing I was leaving connections to Scott, people who knew him and I could talk to and they to me.  Leaving the support of fellow widows, and family.  Also, missing my husband so keenly.  And wanting to get home to my boys and George.  And Klamath, no traffic, the familiarity of my own home.  Such a bittersweet mix was just too much for me and I could do nothing but weep.  I had another tiny meltdown on the plane from Portland to Medford.  Just sitting there crying.  My poor neighboring traveler.

On the drive home, which goes right by the cemetery, I was on autopilot and stopped to talk it out with Scott.  Yes, really, just myself.  But sitting by his memorial and just pouring out my heart and crying and working out what I had learned, observed, felt was exactly what I needed to do.  When Scott was alive, he was the one I'd tell everything to.  Nothing was really real until I talked to him.  I had preliminary opinions but bouncing things off of him my opinions would become concrete as he'd validate my thoughts and feelings.

Getting home was hard.  The boys were still at the vet boarding so the house was starkly quiet.  Familiar and comforting but also very lonely.  Wednesday morning I picked up the boys who were ecstatic to see me - oh these furry loves of mine!  I'm so thankful I took Wednesday off of work, it was perfect to just spend the day with my fur babies and nap and lounge and relax back into our routine.

Since then I feel very flat.  Very lonely.  Yes, I know I could call people.  Yes, I know I could go out and be a part of something, anything - but what?  I will say that I started knitting a new pair of socks while I was waiting to go to the airport.  Thank God for knitting!  Something to occupy my hands and keep my busy.  I will share more of the fun and more pictures later.  Otherwise this would be the longest post in the world!

This was my view from the little park.  Washed out moody grey.  But still beautiful and warm.  The new socks are going to be neon striped!  I love them so far.  I've gotten quite a bit more knitted since then, but here's the beginning nubbin of the toe.  I had my ipod, diet pepsi and the ocean as my view.  V.peaceful.

Monday, July 14, 2014

healing slowly

So I'm here  in San Diego visiting Scott's parents and also attending  a conference called "Camp Widow".  I don't even know where to start on how overwhelming this whole weekend has been so far.  Overwhelmed by love and support.  Scott's family has not only kept in touch with me, they've still considered me family which blows me away!  I keep waiting for them to disappear.  We didn't have kids so I didn't expect them to want to maintain that connection but they have.  It's been so nice to visit with them, catch up and get to know my youngest brother in law better.  We all watched the final game in the World cup Sunday and it was the best.  Hilarious.  The announcers were so funny and we just made jokes and cringed along with the players as they were beat up and tired from playing for 120+ minutes!  Memories I will treasure forever, just spending time with the people Scott loved so dearly.

And then there's Camp Widow.  What can I say to do it justice?  First of all, any type of grief counselor needs to take one of the classes here!!!!  I cannot emphasize that enough.  I literally have been made to feel that at 15 months after Scott has died that I am now somehow too wrapped up in my grief and that it must at this point be a character flaw in my personality that I am holding onto the grief.  There are men and women here that are 2,3,4 and 9, 10, 11 on up years "out" that still grieve their deceased spouses.  Overwhelmingly everyone past 2 years has said that the second year is harder than the first (not easy to hear when I haven't gotten there yet!).  And everyone, EVERYONE, says you never stop loving and grieving your husband.  Yes, life goes on.  And, if you are blessed with new love it is not a betrayal of your first, it's ADDING love onto love.  And that you are going to be sad but that is not who you are.  You are going to be tired and fatigued because grief is exhausting - in the back of your mind at all times there is drum beating to the beat of grief.  And blocking it out to function in every day life is exhausting.  So, being tired and fatigued, unmotivated, does not mean you're lazy.  There are so many things I heard yesterday and today that I NEEDED TO HEAR.  That for crap's sake! I'm not crazy, lazy or character flawed.  I love my husband.  And he's dead and I lost my future that I so wanted and that equals a lot of pain and I am allowed to say it SUCKS!  Death sucks.

I could really go on and on.  But, bottom line I am so glad I came.  I am so blessed to still have Scott's family in my life.  I am so blessed by my Mom who I know has been lifting me up in prayer.  I am so blessed by the conference and all the brave, beautiful men and women who came together in hope and support this weekend.  It sounds crazy since I have never met any of them before yesterday but they all, all of them, felt familiar, looked familiar.  We share an experience that has changed each and every one of us to the core.  Each one had the bottom drop out and felt like we wished we died the same day our spouses did but somehow lived on. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

allergy dog

Joey is not very happy with me today.  I don't know if I've mentioned on here that Joey is an allergy dog.  He doesn't look like a typical allergy dog, his allergies manifest in ear infections.  We didn't know that for the longest time.  One of the vets we took him to told us he had ear mites - it looks very similar.  Dark, tarry brown, stinky gunk in the ears, and v.itchy.  But, the medication never worked.  I found a new vet clinic that knew immediately it was allergies.  They cleaned out his poor ears, even had him put under so they could really get in there.  Rounds and rounds of antibiotics, ear washes and then one day I found a giant lump on his ear flap.  It was a hematoma from him flipping his ears to itch them.  The force of the ear hitting the head when he flaps it causes little blood vessels along either side of the cartilage layer to break which makes the blood pool up.  Two surgeries and a draining later!!!!  He was such a super trooper.

I did allergy testing that showed that he is allergies to lamb, duck, turkey, salmon, rice, peas, corn and then also human dander and a bunch of grasses and trees and stuff.  Basically mostly all the ingredients in dog food, he is allergic to it.  I put him on hypoallergenic dog food which is so expensive $85 a bag!  It *kind of* helps.  His poor ears just itch him all the time.  I clean them out and q tip around.
Since the hypoallergenic food only sort of helps I thought I'd try one that only had one allergen listed.  Peas.  And now I can hear fluid in the one ear and there's a tiny hematoma.  So, I gave him some antibiotics this morning, cleaned out the ears really well and stuck the CONE on him.  The cone helps stop the force of the ear flapping.  He's back to his regular food, he only had that other food for a few days.  But he's not too happy about it.  He's been laying on the kitchen floor ever since.  

Oh and don't mind all the throw rugs strewn around the kitchen.  Those are to help Rocky, my other dog, keep some traction.  He's got arthritis and I think has lost some strength to grip on the linoleum.  The rugs help but they get thrown all around.  

P.S. doesn't Joey kind of look like a chunk in that picture?  LOL he acts like I starve him but clearly I don't!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

quilt top

Here's a quick update in the quilting department: I finished a quilt top tonight!  Yeah!  My sewing machine is on the fritz so I haven't been doing as much sewing but yesterday and today my machine was in a good mood :)
I have to say this came together really quickly - it's taken awhile timewise to get to here but I haven't actually spent much time on the quilt - does that make any sense?  Like actual cutting and sewing time haven't taken much time at all.  I love the colors.  I have a trip coming up so quilting it will have to wait a couple weeks.  

So, this pattern is basically the Floral Gatherings quilt that is on the Moda Bakeshop.  I literally saw it one morning and then went right out to the craft house and started it.  I did omit the sashing but otherwise the same.  I don't buy pre-cuts so I just used what is in my stash and I love that.  Each star is 36 inches square so as it is without sashing this is 72X72 and I think I'm just going to leave it like that.

shortest longest sock in the world

Well, we're at the tail end of the 4th of July!  I am still awake because people are still shooting off fireworks in my neighborhood.  I feel that I've made good use of the time, though, I've been knitting, knitting, knitting!  So the longest sock in the world part 2 is turning out to be much quicker.  Hurrah!   I think the momentum from finishing the first sock is propelling me :)  It's like, the first one just dragged on and on and I finished and it was like YES! I wanna do another one!  And I felt like I had just accomplished something great!  So anyway that's good news because so far I haven't suffered from "second sock syndrome" which is where some people finish the first and then dread having to do another so then just don't.
I know the lighting is awful here, but it's super late so no natural light to be had.  I put the socks next to each other so you could tell how far I've gotten just this week!  You can kind of see the thin light blue line which is the waste yarn that will become the afterthought heel.  Soooooo, that means I'm officially at the half point!  The striping is just a skotch* off from the first sock but it's so close!  The first toe started on green and the second on the periwinkle color.  Oh geez I'm just rambling on because I'm so tired!  Um and it's now the 5th of July so I think I'll call it a night.

*PS Skotch is a Scott-ism.  It means just a little bit.  I don't think it's a real word, he pronounced it sk - oh- ch.  Not scotch like the alcohol or tape or Scottish.