Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mad Hatter

My sister-in-law, Courtney, asked me to make her a monster.  She has a very vivid description of her, and I picked out the yarn and the pattern well before the tornado hit...but I also had issues with my thumb (remember that) and had to take a break from monster making for a few weeks (or at least a project).  Then I had to order some safety eyes in green and wait for them to come in...and they came in the day before the tornado hit.

And you know what happened then.  A frenzy of packing everything up, taking it to our third floor apartment, dumping it all out and going back to the house for more boxes of stuff.  I finally found all the pieces to the monster, but that took a couple of days as I mentioned in my blog entry last week.  And finally, on Saturday, I got to sit down and knit and knit and knit.  I'm having so much fun working on this little critter.  She has quite the personality and as I'm doing each little part of her, different things come out.  For instance, she did NOT like sitting still to get her hair done last night.  The end result is well worth it but I had the hardest time knitting up those little bits of hair.  And I just love how the three green eyes pop out and look at you with a completely guileless expression.  You know she's up to something, but what you could never tell.

I think we're settling into the apartment ok.  Getting into a routine and enjoying the quiet of the place.

Today's picture is of me knitting her.  I kind of hate how her body blends in with my pajamas, but then that allows my working hands to show a little better.  I've never seen pics of my hands knitting and think it's kind of neat to look at.

Monday, February 25, 2013


When you get tired of me talking about the tornado let me know, please.  The further I get away from the immediate fear and stress, the more I realize just how lucky we are.  To be alive, to be whole, and to be as minimally psychologically damaged as we are.

I still cringe when the building comes down next door, and I was a tad nervous with the storms last night.  But I think overall, I'm ok.

What hit me this past week was the fact of choices.  Choices that we made during the storm that resulted in us having much less damage to us than we had.  Because we were sitting there trying to figure out what to have for dinner:  burgers or deli.  We decided on deli, even though I really like the local burger place that's just down the street.  I had, in fact, been thinking of eating one, but we decided to go to the deli because that's more along the lines of preference for the daughters.

And I'm so glad we did as the burger place was in the direct path of the tornado.  The buildings just to the north of it were demolished, and it lost all of the windows.  The church just behind the store is the one that was destroyed.  The simple choice of getting a baked potato rather than a burger meant that David and Alyssa didn't get in the direct path of harm's way, that David's car is still functional and that the two of them didn't have to go through the ordeal of being inside a building with an F4 tornado wreaking havoc.  I can't imagine how terrifying that must have been.

David calls it luck.  Luck, choices, a gamble.  Either way, I'm truly blessed that it turned out as it did.


Today's picture is of the towels that I'm working on--almost finished with to be exact.  They were designed for David and I'm ready to see him using them and enjoying them.  I had just a little bit of turquoise yarn left...enough to get that skinny little stripe, one towel in "plaid" and one towel in solid turquoise weft.  They are going to be gorgeous!

Friday, February 22, 2013


Well, it's Friday and there's a weekend ahead of us to get settled in to the apartment and to finish up the cleaning out of the house.  I'm very much looking forward to sleeping, getting a sense of closure at the house and hanging pictures on the walls.

This week has been good.  A good adjustment back into reality.  It's been a slow week at work without too much stress and anxiety, so I'm hoping that soon, I'll feel normal again.  I'm getting used to sleeping at the new place, and adjusting to the new sounds and placement of things.  It'll definitely be nice to clear pathways, though. :)

I have to say that I'm battling with a little PTSD.  They are tearing down the building outside of my office and every time things crash, I cringe. It's less awful today but I think that's because they are working on the far side of the building and the noise isn't as loud.  When I hear the crashing noise, though, I remember that that's what I heard during the tornado.  It's quite frightening.  I'll be glad when they're done tearing that building down.  I haven't noticed anything else, but we shall see how I deal with storms this weekend and early next week.  I doubt I'll be the only person panicking at the sound of thunder!

Today's picture is of the "body parts" of the next monster I'm going to start.  It's for my sister-in-law Courtney.  She sent me a detailed description of her monster, and I finally found all the parts (in different boxes, but all there at least) and will start knitting it this weekend.  She is called "Mad Hatter" and has pink tufts of hair, pink tummy, orange fuzzy wings, green freckles, green eyes and an all-over purple body.  I remember that there's a long tail involved, but I don't remember off-hand what color it is.  I think pink.  This will be entirely too much fun!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Obviously the relocation is fresh on my mind.  And will be for some time, probably.  What I find most difficult about all of this is that we had NO time to prepare.  I mean none.  

People are always asking "in a time of crisis what would I grab if I had to run out of the house?"

The answer to that is your loved ones.  And by that I mean the people in your life.  I worried about my cats immediately after the tornado, but during, I was worried about my people.  Liz and I were standing together, but I was terrified about where David and Alyssa were and what they were experiencing.  The rest, as it were, was ancillary. (JIC you were wondering, Zora paused for about 10 seconds from eating supper, and the other two were so far hidden up behind the couch that it took me a long time to find them.  And when Pearl finally came out she was shaking all over.)

When the water started pouring in the ceiling, my first inclination was to save the quilts, then the bed, then I took stock of everything else.  It was Elizabeth who noticed that our shoes were getting soaked.

And then as things calmed down, we had the water flow mostly contained, I had a rising panic that my yarn was going to be ruined.  I kept going in the studio to check things out by flashlight.  All night long I did this.  And while I couldn't move it all at a moment's notice, I might be able to save it if it came down to it.  I could throw things in trash bags, which were at minimum water proof, to stave off most of the damage.  So I kept vigil, and luckily that room didn't spring a leak and everything seemed to be ok.

And now that we're mostly moved and settled in, let me say that I would mourn the loss of my kitties, I would mourn the loss of my art work (that created by me and that that I purchased), but I honestly don't know how I could deal with the loss of my family.  It's been awful enough to have everything ripped up around me and no time to prepare.  

And in the end, all of that is just stuff.

Today's picture is of Pearl exploring the loom in my new yarn room.  I love how you can see that she's using her tail for balance.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday...and we're settling in

I'm so sorry to have left you in a lurch last week.  I had a couple of hours of internet on Monday and then everything became hectic and frenzied and I slept when I could and ran around like a crazy person when I couldn't.

The good news is that we've moved to a warm, snug apartment that doesn't have water pouring in the ceiling.  Our house appears to be drying out finally.  The insurance is coming through with payments already.  And we're next on our contractor's list of jobs.  I'm very happy about all of this.

I'm more than happy about the fact that I spent Sunday putting together my Yarn Room.  It's funny how at the house it was my studio but here it's definitely a yarn room.  I don't know why exactly, just is. I've tested the loom and it survived the move just fine.  All is very well indeed.

And thank goodness I'm finally sleeping.  That's really helpful too.

The apartment living will prove interesting for a number of reasons.  David and I have been talking about wanting to sell the house and move to the carefree living of an apartment.  We're in a much smaller space than our house, but it feels just about right (our furniture is too big but that's something that can be remedied if we decide to make this permanent). So, the excitement of "trying this on" is helping with the transition and adjustment (and the fact that we'll just have to move again in 3 months!)

We're meeting with an architect and our contractor this morning to draw up some plans of what we'd like to do with the house if we can do what we want to do with the house.  Might as well since we have an apartment already rented for 3 months.  This will hopefully give us some closet space and make our one large bathroom a little easier to move around in.  We'll see.  The options we'll have in front of us will be's just a question of whether our brains can think clearly enough to make a decision right now!

Today's picture is of the new loom room.  I honestly can't wait to get back to work on those towels.  That darn tornado totally interrupted progress on that project!

Monday, February 11, 2013

We had a Tornado

It's been a very stressful 24 hours.  Yesterday just as the girls came over to have our weekly dinner, the weather turned really awful and then the skies turned black and the tornado sirens went off.  I did what I always do when the sirens go off, I turned on the weather channel and looked at the warning there and I didn't see anything that concerned me.  I mean it said a "large tornado" in "Rawls Springs" but I didn't know where Rawls Springs was.  Nevermind that this large tornado was heading towards Hattiesburg.  Hattiesburg is a rather large town (geographically speaking) so it could hit anywhere.  And when I looked out my east window there wasn't anything to be concerned about.

So, David and Alyssa ordered dinner and left to go pick it up.  Elizabeth and I stayed at home to get the table set.  And in the 10 minutes that David and Alyssa were gone (a mile south, thank goodness...I'm unbelievably thankful we decided deli instead of burgers) the tornado struck our house.  It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life.

I mentioned that the skies to the east were grey, cloudy, but no funny color or eeriness to them.  Elizabeth was worried about the noise and then a something smacked the house and it sounded like it broke open the wall, so I went to the kitchen to check it out and that's when I noticed that the skies to the west were black.  I walked up to that side of the house and that's when I noticed the bushes were boiling around and I hollered to Elizabeth to meet me in the hallway.

She called Alyssa to make sure they were ok and for about 1 minute or so we were standing in the hallway listening to the tornado whirl around outside.  I described it as sounding like being inside of thunder.  Elizabeth thought it sounded like a lot of noise, really loud, with a high pitched squeal on top of it all.

And then, just like that it was over.  No rain, no wind, just over.  David and Alyssa came home and we surveyed the damage from the outside.  We noticed a limb on the roof...a really large one, so David went upstairs to check it out.  He said the limb was large, it had damaged the roof, but didn't look too bad.  Later, when the rains started in earnest again, we learned just how wrong he was.

The water poured in all night.  We emptied a giant 20 gallon trash can three times through the night.  Neither one of us slept well.  Driving about town today it was pretty amazing that no one lost their life.  We were clearly at the very edge of the tornado and fortunate that all we have is a giant hole and a lot of other little holes in the roof.  We had contractors out today to cover things up, so we're hoping that the work they did holds and that we can get the roof replaced soon.

But, right before all of this took place, I finished my joyous socks.  One light in this dim day!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Count Down

We're counting down here at the office.  At this moment there are 21 minutes left in my work day...and we have a long weekend ahead of us, so it's kind of hard to have 21 minutes left in my work day.

BUT there are actually 2 students up here studying.  I really can hardly believe it because there is almost never 2 students up here studying at 3:39 on Friday afternoon, much  less the Friday before a long weekend.

The long weekend we have in front of is for Mardi Gras.  I remember moving here thinking it rather funny that we had Mardi Gras off.  One year they tried to put our spring break during the week of Mardi Gras.  While it was nice to have a week off, it was too early for Spring Break and no one liked it, so we have never done that since.  So, next week we have 2 days off and then in a month we'll have a week off for spring break.

Interestingly enough I put countdowns for all of the holidays on my countdown app on my phone when the semester began.  We have a number of holidays during the spring semester, so it gives me something to look forward to.  There are 18 minutes until Mardi Gras Holiday, 29 days until spring break, 49 days until good Friday and 97 days until my vacation.  I'm looking forward to every single one of those days off of work.


I don't have any new knitting projects to share for today.  Instead I'm going to share a picture of a lovely Lochi lounging on a blanket I bought in Ireland.  This blanket, in case you can't tell, is a mama blanket.  All the kitties love it and will lick it if I leave it out, so I have to put it up when I go to bed.  But it brings them all great comfort if they're feeling low.  While we don't know how much longer we'll have this sweet girl kitty, we do know her days are numbered.  So, it makes me happy to see her so enjoying herself in this picture. I hope you enjoy it too.

p.s. there are 14 min left.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


The word joyous brings about so many wonderful connotations.  It's happy...but in a HUGE way.  When you're joyous you have to tell people about it, usually in a loud and very upfront kind of way.  You sing from the mountain top, you grin from ear to exude positive energy and good thoughts and general happiness.

Being joyous is amazing and wonderful.  It's so more more awesome than being happy, or "god-forbid" content.  Joyous.

And Joyous was how I felt when I got this month's sock club yarn from Knitterly Things. is indeed joyous.  And can you imagine how joyous my feet will be when they get to wear these socks?  I've finished the first and am cruising along on the second.  Joyous indeed!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The (not-so) Exciting News

After several days of soul-searching, talking with David, stewing by myself, talking some more with David, not sleeping well, and all the while soul-searching, I decided not to interview for the very exciting job I applied for.  I was beside myself and thrilled to get the much so that I didn't really think about the practicalities of it at the time.

But, I'm a grown woman now and can examine things with perspective if I'm forced to, so upon looking at the fact that I'd be living apart from David and the entire rest of my family (and friends!) and that I'd not be making any more money than I'm making just didn't make logical and rational sense to do the interview, especially since if (on the long shot) they did offer me the job I would have to turn it down.

Well, it was a hard decision, but I know the right one.  I slept better last night than I have in several weeks.  The challenge now will be to get myself focused back on the life that I'm living right now and enjoy it.

And I do enjoy it...most of it.  There are things that I'd like to change and things I'd like to never change, so I need to be positive and look at the possibilities of the here and now and revel in the fact that I'm truly happy in my life.

And, btw, I slept beautifully last night, in case you didn't catch that earlier...good sleep is a marvelous thing.


So, I think I put you through a huge teaser last week with the cowl I finished knitting but never bothered to put up here.  Here I am in it.  When I looked at this picture, I don't know why, but I saw Grandma's eyes.  I was a little shocked because I don't know when I got them (and even IF my eyes even look like hers in this picture).  I think they do, but I also think I'm hoping since I've been missing her a lot lately.  I went in search of pictures, but the only color ones I have she has her eyes closed or the color of her eyes isn't popping quite like mine did in this picture!  Which means I've probably made the whole thing up, but for a minute there, I did see Grandma looking right back at me and it made me very happy indeed!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

And the grand finale

The monsters are finished!  I saved the best for last, of course.  She's the queen of the group with pretty red shoes.

Now, off to "rest" my hands with some sock knitting.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Monster #5

She's almost finished, but not quite yet.  I've made the important part so will post it today...If it doesn't make you smile then you're heartless...that's all I have to say.

Yep, that's a big-old-wide mouthed grin.  And I knitted it on my very first try.  I have to say it was THE thing that made my day yesterday.

I have had two awful days in a row at work, this was after a fairly stressful week last week.  Luckily I also got some awesome news (that unfortunately I can't share for a little while at least) and had a good day today because I had the ability to work in Hattiesburg AND take half the day off.

So, all-in-all this week has been a roller coaster and has left me gassed and exhausted and slightly nauseous about it all.  I'm hoping that a weekend of restfulness clears my head and helps me deal with what promises to be another challenging week next week.  I'll certainly be knitting myself silly until then!

Thumb report:  It's much better. I hardly feel a twinge, but know it's from all these wonderful monsters I'm knitting.  I'm going to have to do them more slowly from this point forward.  Fingers crossed it was just sore and not the harbinger of awful things to come.