Thursday, April 17, 2014

Goodbyes

Yesterday the hospice nurse told my mom that my father is in the final stages before death.  He isn't lucid most of the time, can't communicate but is, on occasion, awake.  He doesn't seem to be in a lot of pain and they are managing that the best they can.

It's heartbreaking, though, and when I think about it I just don't know how to say goodbye to such a wonderful man.  He has been the pillar of our family all his life and to see him so weak and sick is the most difficult thing I've ever dealt with.

And, while for some, 72 is "elderly"...for my family it is most definitely not.  Most of my family live well into their 90s.  I feel as if I've been robbed of 20 years of my daddy's life.  I so looked forward to him loving and teasing my grandbabies should I ever have any.   He always told outrageous stories, rewrote the fairy tales, and had shocking endings to any event he experienced. And now he will "only" be stories for them.

And I do know that those stories will be told, that the next generation will love my daddy because I loved my daddy.  I also know that those stories will grow taller and broader as the years pass and that he would love that beyond everything.

So, folks, I'm off for a few days.  I'm going to go have myself a good cry right now and then get packed up to travel to my parents' house.  It's a day's drive from here and we will leave in the morning.

------

But before I go thought I would start the archive of my daddy's stories by letting you know the first one I ever remember hearing...and heard it for so long that I knew it to be truth until I got old enough to know that it couldn't be true (though I think I hung onto the hope that it was true when I was a teenager and convinced I was adopted as most teenagers do).

My daddy found me under a telephone pole.  He'd gone to work that day thinking that he'd love to have a little girl and there I was, all wrapped up in a Princess Telephone box.  He brought me home to mama and they loved me ever after.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Inspiration

I'm not sure where you seek your inspiration.  Magazines, books, nature, the weather...the yarn itself...other knitters...

I tend to be inspired by geometric patterns.  I'm strongly attracted to the modern clean lines of art-deco and cubist art.  I like images that suggest rather than represent...though I'm always impressed when people can represent something.

For my home, I want furniture that is sturdy, well-made and comfortable.

I also love color and am inspired by color.  Sometimes that simply from looking outside and seeing a gorgeous blue sky...and sometimes it's by looking in the basket as I pass by the door of my studio and the yarn pops out.

I've only been knitting since June 2011, so I still feel very new and "beginnery" in a way.  I don't know all the kinds of yarn I like knitting or the kinds of projects, so am still discovering things to look at and try and experiment with.

One thing that has captivated me recently has been home decor.  I want to make pillows and afghans and upholstery.  I want to have towels and dish cloths and area rugs.  And I want all of them to be made by my hands--either through my loom of my knitting needles.

Since I still haven't gotten onto my loom (I'm really hoping this summer will afford me opportunities since I'll have Fridays off again), all of the ideas are going right onto my knitting needles.

And this weekend I had a yarn scream at me to be knitted.  It's been hiding in the back basket under one of the shelves in my studio so I don't know how I remembered that it was there, but it and its mate hollered at me when I went into hang some clothes to dry and low-and-behold it was cast onto my needles and a giant pink fluffy mitered square was born.  Behold, Pearl even wanted to eat it.


I still don't know where this square is going after I've finished it.  It will depend largely on how much of this skein I use in making this square.  I have another skein that I can use to make another square or to finish this one off depending on how things go.  I've pulled some crazy yarns from my stash and will use them to finish off a blanket, or a pillow, or a rug or something.  But for now it's coming along as a lovely mitered square and I'm really enjoying the knitting of it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Up close and personal

This morning I want to show you a few close-ups of my work. I love taking close ups because I love seeing the individual stitches.  It also affords one the opportunity to notice specific details about a project that you might have otherwise missed.

First up for inspection is the Woodlands Shawl:


Now that my rows are pretty long, I'm not getting one full color on each row.  So, what you're seeing here are the two ends and how the colors are interacting with each other.  I think it looks pretty amazing, especially with that little shot of blue on the end at the bottom half.

Next I want to show you the needlepoint section I'm working on right now.  I LOVE stitching these flowers.  They have been very absorbing--to the point that I stayed up too late and stitched too long on Saturday night.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Kitten Adorableness

On this Monday, I thought I'd share some of the kitty adorableness that happened over the weekend.

Pearl hiding in a bag.


Zora showing me just how hungry she is.



And the two cuddled up having a nap.


(this pic gives a good size comparison between the two, too...that Pearl is practically laying on top of Zora should say something!)

Friday, April 11, 2014

It happens every time

Sometimes when I'm down I think, "this is it, I'll never be able to be truly happy again" and then I wallow in self-pity and go on being miserable.

But, I force myself each night (and sometimes during the day if the down is really bad) to think of things that make me happy--please me, keep me going.

And I've been sad a lot lately--I have a lot to be sad about and sometimes it really is overwhelming.  The biggie is, of course, my dad's illness.  But, my girls are moving to Florida in a month, I'm not terribly happy at my work, I don't know what they'll have me doing at work come July (this is potentially good, potentially not, and therefore, VERY stressful), and David's been gone for almost 3 weeks.

As you know, though, the gratefulness and the forced thinking of happy things is necessary to remind me that things really aren't bad.  I'm focusing on the bad, but there are so many other things that are amazing and wonderful.

I've lost weight, I have wonderful kitties in my life, the sun has been shining for a week (or most of it), I can knit.  I rediscovered needlepoint and have had a GREAT time doing it.  I am no longer obsessed with eating food and can eat just to maintain health and well-being.  All of these, when I think about them, make me happy.  They keep me going and allow me to see the other good things in life.

Like that my daddy had a wonderful life and was able to retire in his early 50s and enjoy 20 years of retirement.  My mom is able to be home with him during his last days and keep and make him happy and comfortable.  They've been smart with their money and she will be able to live comfortably for the rest of her life.

I am also super-excited about my daughters' opportunity.  They are getting to move to take on their "dream job"...it's an awesome and wonderful opportunity for them.  I will miss them, but this is the right thing for them.  And that's terrific.

I also remind myself that through my blog and through reading the blogs of others, I've been able to develop friends...a different kind of friends than I've had in the past, but friends nonetheless.  It's wonderful reading about the antics of different people, their knitting, their families, their happiness and sadness.  I enjoy being able to write here and share things that are going on in my life, or in my head, or through my hands.

And once I"m able to get myself out of the sad feeling by remembering and focusing on the good feelings wonderful things start to happen.  Case in point:  2 times this week I have won yarn giveaways!  Ellen sent me some green yarn and Jimmy Beans Wool is sending me a sweater's worth of wool as one of their giveaways on FaceBook this week.

And a couple of weeks ago, when David was on his first trip, he met Mary and she gave him a giftie for me:  A Tiny Happy bag and a sweet little bunny to keep me company during all of this change and frustration and fear.  Thank you Mary.  You're very sweet.  And because I think of you when I think of Vesper Yarn, I'm keeping my Vesper projects in this Tiny Happy bag...at present the 3S Shawl which is growing by leaps and bounds!






Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Things in Life

When times are difficult I try to focus myself on the positive things.  The happy things.  The things in life that make it worth grabbing ahold of and keep going.

Crafting definitely does that for me.  Without it I'd be bonkers, nuts and potentially dangerous to other people.

My family and friend relationships are also important to me...

You know what else?  The thing that will make me smile every time?  The cats.  I love having pets and missed them the few years that it wasn't safe to have cats around the babies...(for the cats, not the babies, please don't think I didn't have cats because I was fearful of what they'd do to my girls...they could definitely fend for themselves).

I've had some very special cats throughout my lifetime.  Oliver was sweet and funny and it was very sad when he passed away.  Lochi was my "baby" and sat with me and snuggled all the time.  She was the ultimate lap-cat.

But when I got Pearl, I knew I'd stumbled onto a special animal.  She's hilarious, vivacious, sweet, snuggly and just about the most interesting cat I've ever know.

Not only does she fetch (which is beyond charming in a cat) but I swear she understands what I'm saying and responds appropriately.  We have a ritual in the mornings where she gets on the table that has the drawers with her toys in it, she looks at me and I open a drawer, she picks out her toy and I throw it and she runs after it and we have a grand old time waking up in the mornings.

But today...this is what I found...


Three...three...glittery fuzzy balls (they are her favorites).  I usually try to pick them up when we're done playing because they have a nasty habit of getting under the stove or the refrigerator...but if I don't, she will put them in her food bowl.  Apparently she went hunting last night.

And apparently Zora doesn't like the balls in her bowl because she has knocked the food all over the floor.

They are definitely good therapy those kitties!