Tuesday, October 28, 2014

couch dogs

I tried a little experiment Sunday with my dogs.  I was helping my friend Jan who lives across town by letting her dogs out and feeding them this weekend.  Sunday I got up early, let my boys out and was getting ready to go to her house to do the same - and my boys were so sleeeeepy!  So, I thought, these are full grown, well behaved house dogs - maybe I could leave them out of their kennels for a couple hours.  I let Jan's dogs out, popped over to Walmart and then got home not sure what to expect.  What I found were two very sleepy couch dogs!  So, I did the same thing in the afternoon and came home to the same thing.

Yesterday I extended the time.  I came home at lunch and they were so sound asleep that Joey didn't even look up when I walked in!  I thought, maybe I'm onto something here?

Nope.  I came home tonight after knitting and discovered that 6 hours is their limit!  The trash was gotten into.  I know that doesn't seem like that big of a deal - could be WAY worse, right?  But, I know that means they were bored and probably Joey was hungry and that means trouble.  Rocky is after all the dog that used to open our fridge and ransack the shelves!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

and then I stitched some more

This weekend I was scheduled to work on Saturday, which meant that I could take a 1/2 day one of the other days of the work week.  When given the choice, I usually will pick Friday afternoon so I can pretend that I'm getting a full weekend.  So Friday I came home and got to watch the newest podcast from DancingGeek, aka James.  His podcasts are quite lengthy so I usually will watch a bit here or there as I can.  Friday I got to watch the whole thing!  It was really a funny episode.  I had to get a picture of George, who has to be right in the middle of everything.  In fact, right now as I type she is laying across my right arm.  For typing this is fine but if I need to use the mouse she'll be disturbed.

So I finished the first sock of this set.  The yarn colorway is called Dumbledore and I used the stitch pattern Hermione's everyday socks with a fish lips kiss heel.  I've realized that even though I'm following the FLK pattern measurements, my socks are still turning out 1/2 inch too long.  So, I'm going to deviate from the pattern and see what happens.

I haven't cast on sock #2 yet.  I wanted to finish up another project I've had in the works which was this little cross stitch pattern!  It turned out so cute!  
I used embroidery thread that I already had in my stash so the colors are different from the pattern but I like how they turned out together.  The only thing I'd do differently is the turkey body - I'd do a lighter brown.  As it is he's too dark and so I had to give him green eyes because you couldn't see the black eyes against the dark brown body.  I haven't decided if I'm going to frame it or make it into some sort of patchworky goodness.

In other news I'm back to not sleeping through the night!  Uggg. ggg. gggg. aaand faceplant.   I had about a month or so of completely sleeping through the night.  Every morning I'd wake up and be like yes! I slept through the night.  I was starting to feel like maybe I was back to 'normal'.  Ha!  I think it's a combination of work stress and just normal grief not sleepingness.  But dang it felt so good to sleep.  Also I need to get serious about going back to the gym.  I know I say it every single day and then don't do it but for reals now I need to.  I've gained 40lbs since Scott died.  I'm not exaggerating.  I wish I was!  I weigh in every Monday - somehow I always hope I've lost something even though I do the same exact thing, which does not include salads or any form of exercise.

So, I've done pretty well with the spending freeze for craft items and I think I can add a new item to my "disciplines" which would be going to the Y at least 2 times this week.  I know that sounds like nothing but I need to make a realistic goal and I think I can accomplish that.  Will revisit next week.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

end of weekend

Oh my goodness, such a lazy day today! Yesterday I drove over to Eagle Point to visit the cemetery.  It's about 1.25 hour or so drive so I've been refraining from going every week like I was for the past year.  But, as I mentioned in my last post, last week was a doozy and I was feeling antsy to talk out my feelings.  Even though I know he's not there, I still feel that need to talk to him.  So I sat there and griped about the week, cried a bunch and then drove home.  So today I was kinda pooped.

I also came across a new podcast today that is absolutely hilarious!  Seriously, I'm so glad that I've found knitting podcasts!  I'm blessed by Tuesday night knitting at my local yarn store but besides then it's nice to hear what other people are working on, learning, and all the silliness that goes on.  As the day went on I realized I'd better get busy on baking these little cakes!  Tomorrow is my friend Karla's birthday and she mentioned once that her favorite cake is pineapple upside down cake!  Mental note taken, my friend.
This is batch #2, the first one looked a little sparse so I added more batter and the sort of exploded!  LOL!  
I also stitched up a zipper bag for her.  I've been using mine that is out of the same fabric as my sock project bag that I take to work.  And she's hinted a couple times that she really likes it.  So, easy gift for me to make and give!  She doesn't knit or anything but it would probably work well as a toiletry bag for travel.  Or anything really.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

staring at patchwork

I'm at the point in this quilt top that I'm done with the squares and now I stare at it.  Sit back and stare.  Maybe shift a color here or there.  Stare some more.  I may or may not sew the squares together this weekend - we'll see.  This weekend I'm not committing to anything.  
 This past week was a doozy.  Lots and lots of changes happening at work.  People leaving, hopefully new people coming soon.  Until new people come in and get trained I anticipate some stress.  I'm trying hard to not worry because I know that God's got this.  In the big scheme of things this is nothing.  I am very, very sad to see the two who are leaving go.  V.sad.  And, selfishly I want them to stay.  Not just for the workflow bit.  
So, last night I went to dinner with my friend Karla and her two boys who are 4 and 2 years old.  It was really a fun time.  The boys like to dance and we were seated a fair bit away from anyone else so Karla, the boys and I were grooving in our seats.  I also played with a toy truck rolling it across the table with them.  Which was also great fun.  We laughed a lot last night!

It's always striking to me when a child likes me.  When you can feel that they invite your company and that it brings them joy.  I'm not around children very often, and being an awkward person by nature, I'm not always comfortable around them.  I don't know how to strike up conversation oftentimes with adults, let alone a 4 year old!  As we were leaving the youngest kept saying my name "Cleema" in his little 2 year old voice, and I'd repeat his and he'd giggle.  Then Karla told me, he can't say his own name but he can say yours.  And she said she thought that was really cool since she didn't consider my name easy to say (or remember I'd add) even for adults.  Talk about heart squishy moment!  So sweet.

Okay I'm going to stare at the quilt some more.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I started a new project - cuz I really needed one, right?  I couldn't resist it though.  I've been going on about it being Fall and everything that feels fallish to me seems like I should be making it.  One of the blogs I read is one of the two ladies of The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  Last week the first picture of her blog post was this adorable turkey pattern!  And it looked small and manageable to try.  I've been admiring their patterns for a long time but I'm not much of a cross stitcher so have not wanted to take on one of the bigger items.  But they're SO CUTE!  

Anyhow, I saw the picture and was like eeeeeee!  And bought the pattern.  I have tons of embroidery thread that I've acquired and also aida cloth.  So, I went through my stash and picked out colors that are *close* to the pattern.  So even though I did spend money on the pattern I'm still staying in my parameters I set for myself of not buying fabric/craft items until I've checked my stash first.  It's a win.

I started it last night and this is how much I've gotten of the turkey body.  I put on a knitting podcast and stitched.
 So this morning while I was trying to get the above picture, George kept getting in the middle of everything = big surprise, right?  baha!  Silly kitty.  So, I got the picture and then she jumped back up on the table and laid down right on top of the whole lot.
Yesterday I did not leave the house at all.  Well, I did go from the house to the craft house. But I don't really count that.  haha.  I'm so, so, so close to finishing all the squares on my modern maples quilt.  I have 3 squares left to finish and I'm mulling over what colors I want those leaves to be.  I'll add pictures later once they are finished.

Friday, October 10, 2014

apple dog

This guy.  My Rocky dog loves apples.  I had an apple in my purse from the day before, I hadn't eaten it as my snack at work.  He nosed it out of my purse.  He was absolutely adorable, licking it and then taking a choice bite, the licking again.  Juicy apple to be enjoyed by a puppy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

holiday dread

I'm dreading the holidays.  I wish I could hibernate for half of November until the middle of January.  And somehow still get paid and dogs taken care of.  It's not going to happen, I know that.  December is a bit of a bomb for me.  It starts with my birthday.  Then 5 days later it's his birthday.  Then Christmas. The month ends with what would have been our 17th anniversary.  Then there's New Year's.  ug. g.g.g.g.g.g.

I was trying to ignore it.  But a gal at work asked me what we should plan for Christmas at the office, gift exchange, ornament exchange, secret santa?  I brushed her off.  But it keeps popping up.  It used to be my favorite time of year.  I loved to decorate, put up a tree, lights, music, hot chocolate - everything.  Today at lunch I didn't mean to but I started thinking about whether I'd want to put up a tree this year.

My own tree.  By myself.

Scott was fundamentally against fake trees.  He loved a fresh tree that would scent the whole house.  We would put up special ornaments and lights and have Bing Crosby crooning in the backround.  The warmth was not just from our propane heater, it was the love of the season that we both had.  Together.

If I wanted an artificial tree I could do it.  If I want knitted ornaments, I could make them.  I've had a turkey in my freezer since last year - I could roast it.  I could try and make my own memories.  Nothing really feels special alone though.

I know I'll get pity invites that will be made to seem like it's not out of pity that I'm being invited to their personal family traditions.  It is nice to be thought of, that anyone would try to include me, it really is.  But it's not the same.  It's just that nothing feels right with him gone.

Today, all day, unbidden thoughts of him throughout the last year of his life keep haunting me.  I will just have a little snippet of him laughing, no inkling of what was coming.  His little quirks - like the way he would sometimes clear his throat or cough.  In the early days I worried about whether or not he knew in those last moments that he was dying.  I didn't want him to be scared.  I'm glad that he hadn't been sick and suffering, didn't have that fear of when is it going to happen.  But it's just so disconcerting.  One second here, the next not.  Saturday marked 18 months since he's been gone.  Some days I get caught in the "it's not fair" trap.  Because it's not.  And I don't have the strength to find the silver lining.  To only consider how lucky I was to have him for the time I did.  I do know that.  I do know that I was lucky to have him, blessed by him immeasurably.

But anyways.  I've been trying to think of somewhere to escape to.  Or do I just see if I can handle it this year?  I know my puppies and George would appreciate me being home, spending the days with them.  I don't know yet.

***Disclaimer: this is my grief journey.  There are no answers to it.  I know there is nothing anyone can say to make it better and that's okay.  This is my space to just get my feelings out.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

sewing weekend

This is one of the trees in my back yard.  It has these teensy tiny apples on it, it's kind of pretty.  Except that all those teeny apples end up on the ground, get squished and traipsed into the house by the dogs or myself.  But!  It's very Fall.
 Yesterday I didn't have any plans on my schedule.  I thought about doing several things, and at one point was going to make my way to the annual rummage sale at the fairgrounds.  But, ended up just staying home and sewing.  I worked on my Modern Maples quilt.  Now that I've added more cream backround squares and a couple of plain I like it.  Also, I really like the squares that are a mix of fabrics in the same color.  I thought about doing the whole quilt that way but I think I'm going to keep it a mix of both for now.
I had early dinner plans with a friend so I had started this mug rug just before getting ready to go and then I finished it this morning before going to church.  It's going to be heading off in a little care package with the square that I knitted.  The circle in the middle didn't quite come out perfectly circular but eh, oh well.  You can't exactly tell from the picture but the binding is glittery fabric.  Mom had given me this scrap bag of fabric a couple years ago that had mixed in pieces of binding.  Like must have been the tail ends of a project's binding.  This piece was one of those scraps and was just the perfect size for a mug rug!

This afternoon I've been watching podcasts and knitting :)  Such a pleasant way to while away the time.  I have to say that it is taking a ton of restraint not to cast on or start so many new projects!  I keep seeing cute or fun or interesting things and wanting to start and catching myself and saying nope!  Finish what you've started and then you can move on.  Funny thing is that once I get to that point I'll be past what I want to start now and will have found a hundred more things.  I'm thankful for the ideas and that I actually can make things that I see and want.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall is here

I have to confess that this past week was pretty stressful.  The supervisor at the office I work at had given her notice a couple weeks ago and Wednesday was her last day.  Honestly, I've been in a bit of denial about it.  I really like her.  And now, of course, none of us is sure who will take her place and what the office will feel like once there is a replacement.  She was the one there when Scott died and she was very understanding.  It's sad that now I worry about having to tell someone new (possibly) about my situation.  What happens if I have a day where I just can't pull myself together?  Anyhow.  Not the point.  Karla and I decided to make her a gift to take to her new office to remember us.  We trolled around pinterest and found some jumping off points of ideas.  This is what we came up with:
We bought a picture frame, took out the glass and glued in cork board.  Then we added a few accoutrements and voila!  Denise (our supervisor) really liked it, so that was cool.  When she opened it she said, how did you know I like red?  Which I don't think we did - but Karla had that ribbon left over from decorating her sister's wedding and it just 'went'!  We forgot to buy push pins to go with it, eh.
This week has been verrrry Fall around these parts!  Trees are starting to turn color a bit, there is a nip in the air and it's October, which all equals Fall.  Last year I had roasted and pureed a pumpkin, which I still have two 2 cup containers in the freezer.  My inlaws are visiting this week so I thought it would be perfect to make some pumpkin bread with cream cheese swirl.  I made these two loaves last night.  I took one to work today and it was gone before lunch!  

I might be the only one, but does anyone else get nervous when they make food to take somewhere?  I do!  I was fretting about this bread because it baked for 1 hour and 18 minutes!  That's a long time.  So I was worried that it turned out dry.  Also worried because the cream cheese filling got all mixed in with the bready dough part and didn't make a nice cream cheese layer.  Then, I alllllllways worry that no matter how careful and clean I make my kitchen there will be dog hair in something I make.  Luckily, so far, so good.  Unless no one is telling me......uggggg.

But anyway.  In other news I actually blocked my first knitting item today!  Of course I always hear of people blocking their work and how it shapes the item and then it is truly "done".  But, have never actually blocked anything.  Blocking is where you gently hand wash/rinse with gentle soap and then lay the item out to dry.  You can stretch it out to get a desired size, shape, or to open up lacy patterns.  In this case I wanted to make sure the square I made is 12 x 12 inches and square.  The cast on edge was rolling and making a general nuisance of itself so I was hoping to fix that.  I used a square of cardboard from my scrapbooking items to get it perfectly 12" square, pinned it to a towel and let air dry.  It's still drying.

Can I just say again how much I love this yarn?  I love it.