Sunday, September 28, 2014


I started working on some towels today.  Aren't they pretty?

I wound up this warp a long time ago...last year some time?  But I just couldn't motivate myself to weave.

Now that I'm living alone and don't have to worry about the time I'm spending away from my partner, I can weave whenever and for however long I feel like it...and that's a pretty amazing feeling.

So, some towels are begun!

Friday, September 26, 2014

I saw a beautiful sunset yesterday after putting the loom together and working for 8 hours and just in general being a really tired and grumpy self, I went out for ice cream.  Actually I was going to do the frozen yogurt thing and went to the place near the Safeway where I like to shop...big fail off to Safeway to grab a few yummy pints (and some coffee because man did I buy some nasty coffee).

And I walked out of the store looking to the west and oh-man the most beautiful sunset.  Clouds over the mountains, bright yellow rays of sun beaming through.  And I got to drive all the way home looking at that. I'm so glad I didn't wreck into anyone because it was incredibly distracting.

And moving.

I cried, y'all.  I've never cried because of the beauty of a sunset before, but I did yesterday.  (Hell, I'm crying now thinking about it).

My heart felt full.  I felt beauty and it felt so good.  I was happy and I knew it.  I wanted to sing and shout and talk to everyone I know and tell them how amazing it is to live in Reno and be able to see a sunset like that all because I decided to give into my craving for ice cream.

I thanked God for giving me the opportunity to experience such a wonderful thing and for opening up a world of opportunities here for me.

I have no idea where my life is going and right now I'm totally ok with that. I love where I am and the lofty ideals and goals have no place for me. I'm going to have fun, meet people, get to know myself, and just enjoy the riches and bountiful beauty that's all around me.

I'm truly blessed.


As you may recall, one of my favorite things about living in Texas, and one of the things that I missed the most all those years I lived in Kentucky and then Mississippi was the bluebonnets.  Now that I'm living in Nevada, I'm not likely to see them again for a while, so Mom bought me some metal ones and aren't they just the thing for my patio.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The kindness of strangers

Well...the loom arrived this afternoon as planned.  So nice to know it is here.  One of my work colleagues volunteered to come by and help me with it if the FedEx guy wouldn't deliver it up to the apartment, but I'm happy to report that the FedEx guy delivered it to the apartment.  The neighbor came out to help.

It took a while to get it all back together because it wasn't closed up properly before shipping so all of the harness cables had come unhooked.  It took a while but I managed to get them hooked back up.  All but one and it was broken so I've already ordered a replacement.  Yea!

SO, the weaving will commence soon.  If you want something, let me know.  I sell at a fairly reasonable price and the stuff you get is AMAZING (I couldn't lie about that!).

Anyway, One day, if I manage to build some inventory I'm going to open an Etsy shop, but until then, just send me a personal message to lesliestbutler at gmail dot com and I'll talk with you.

(I don't typically promote my wares on my blog so I hope you'll forgive me for doing so, but I've not sold for a long time and wanted folks who've been asking to know that I'm ready to start taking some orders!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Loom

I just received a phone call letting me know that the loom has arrived in Sparks and is ready to be dropped off at my apartment.

I'm very excited about this.

I'm also a touch worried because said loom is rather large and won't be easily lifted up a flight of stairs.  Impossible to do alone, and I know so few people still.

I'm hoping for the kindness of strangers, or for one of my work colleagues to be willing to come along and help me out...I'll let you know what develops.

For now, it's a retro picture of me on my loom...

Monday, September 22, 2014

One month ago

So, yesterday it was one month since I left Mississippi to embark upon my great adventure of yarn, love, and taking care of myself.

And it's been such an amazing month.  I've done so many things I didn't know I could do:

  • walk 10000+ steps on a regular basis at work
  • drove 4 days straight in a car with two cats, all by myself
  • lugged huge boxes up a flight of stairs, again all by myself
  • built many bookshelves, all by myself
  • slept on the floor for 3 weeks
I've also cooked, cleaned, grocery shopped, gotten gas in my car, and explored my neighborhood.  I've found the Post Office and know where the parks are.  I know where the major shopping areas are as well, though I haven't gone to them to shop because I'm trying not to spend too much money.

I've started getting comfortable in my apartment, am hanging pictures and feel that a routine is settling in somewhat.

I'm loving my job and "mostly" avoiding spending my entire paycheck on yarn.

And the kitties...the kitties are loving life in Reno just fine.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Smoke, Part 2

The smoke continues to be really bad.  My reactions to it today weren't so bad as they were this weekend, but I do have to say I do not want to be outside.  This is what it looked like when I left work today:

If you need a comparison, go to my other blog post where I was bragging about the awesome mountain scenery I would see everyday when I leave work.


I knitted away on that shop sample hat last night but I got was a hard day at work yesterday.  Today wasn't so bad and I did get to get on the phones and "eavesdrop" as Jeanne talked with customers.  I will do this for a week or so until I'm comfortable with all the things I'll need to do and then I'll start taking the calls and have someone eavesdrop while I interact with the customers.

JBW continues to be such an awesome place to work, and everytime my brain tried to think of the divorce or the changes in my life, I reminded myself that I picked myself up and got here and that this is a great place for me to be and that I am going to be wonderful.

And it worked, y'all.  The negative thoughts went away and I wasn't even aware that they'd gone away.  I love the power that we can have over our attitude and our circumstances.

Life is, indeed, good.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I'm learning all kinds of new things living out there's fire season and it comes with some amazing sunsets.

And smoke that makes it really hard to breathe and apparently irritates my sinuses and eyes something terrible.  Hopefully my eyes won't look like they did yesterday.  That was really bad.


I worked the 9:30-6 shift today.  It was hot.  And smoky this afternoon.  We had to close the warehouse bay doors to keep the smoke out.  It got hotter in there without any air moving.

I was tired at the end of it.  I'm so glad I cooked soup yesterday because dinner tonight was super easy and tasty...and now I'm done and can finally go shower this stinky self.


But before I go I want to share my shop sample that I'm working on.  It's the St. Stephen's Hat by Classic Elite Yarns and is knit in Fresco.  If you buy the pattern and the 5 colors needed to do the colorwork hat you can actually get 4 hats out of all that yarn!  I'm going to do both the stripe one (that's what's on the needles right now) and the colorwork one and then see if I'm interested in continuing to do two more.  Could be good give-aways or Christmas gifts or something.


and finally, if you want to go look at the awesome people that I work with, please do!  I'm so proud to be part of this team (and tomorrow, they're putting me on the phones...)

Monday, September 15, 2014

A bed

You don't realize what a wonderful thing a comfortable bed is until you've gone without one for a while, say three weeks (honestly I think 2 was plenty to gain appropriate appreciation for the comforts and necessities of a good night's sleep, BUT 3 really drove home the lesson).

And on Saturday, at the time planned, the furniture delivery people showed up, built everything for me, and then left so that I could enjoy my new furniture.  I got a bed frame and mattress, pictured below, a dresser and a dining room table.  The table has a leaf in it that takes it from 36" square to 36x60.  I'm keeping it to the 36" square unless I have a passel of company or move to a bigger place. It's a gorgeous table and will serve as both my desk and my eating surface for the time being.  I bought 2 folding chairs because chairs are very expensive and I'm definitely going to have to save up for those and they are far from priority.

The dresser is wonderful too.  Nice deep drawers with lots of space in them.  I've just this morning cleaned out the floor of the closet and gotten everything in the dresser that I need to...and it's a wonderful thing.

The bed, though.  The bed has made me happy beyond belief.  The mattress is wonderfully comfortable and the bed frame is a platform with baskets all around.  There are 6.  I put my purses in one basket and have my bed quilts in 2 others.  I just put out of season pjs in a 4th...leaving 2 more baskets for sheets and other quilts/blankets.  It will work out perfectly.

I love my bed and today I'm sharing her picture with you because she has made me a well-rested and very happy woman.

(I know you're wondering, and the quilt was made by me back in the day when I quilted.  The pattern is Women's Voices, by Fabric Expressions.  The pillow was made by my Aunt Betty, also years ago and features a Texas flag on the back so that I never forget where I'm from.)

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I've decided to go hitch hiking...and isn't she lovely?

Pattern: Hitchhiker
yarn: Vice Paradigm in color way Plain Jane

I'm using the karbonz needles by Knitters Pride and I love them.  The yarn, too, is amazing. It's like knitting with velvet.  This little treat I've given myself is a true treat indeed.


Apartment update:  I hung pictures in the living room, and the maintenance people came to clean out my dryer vent.  I'm hoping that means it'll work a little better.  Overall I'm enjoying living in this apartment.  It's very quiet, clean and well maintained.  I miss my nice new appliances, but the ones I have seem to be working fine...and to be honest, I don't cook enough to merit a fancy stove...and I'm convinced that Saturday when my bed gets here I will be AOK!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Alright, y'all, I work in a yarn shop...a really really big yarn shop, where we have loads of skeins of just about every kind of high quality yarn out there.  There's stuff I've never seen before and stuff I can't believe people pay money for and stuff that if I had all the money in the world (and space) I'd hoard because it's just so beautiful.

I've filled orders over the past 2 weeks for as little as $2 (and they paid $4 shipping...I honestly don't understand) and as much as $1000.  Most of the orders range right around $100 or less (free shipping kicks in around $80 and I know it was always worth spending $80 to get free shipping when I was shopping...)

I've touched the yarn, fondled it, imagined what someone was going to make with it, liked people's color choices and marveled at others.  I've gotten to know a few customer names well and love the fact that we send yarn out to 50 states and 60 countries.

I love the fact that I'm helping people make beautiful things to use themselves or to give away.  It feels good knowing that.  I like that part of my job...

So, I know you know where this is going.  Working around all that yarn, imagining what everyone is making, seeing all that yarn go to all those places...I HAD to bring some of it home with me.

I was good...really I was.  I was NOT going to acquire any more yarn for a while, and for at least until I got the studio set up...or minimally organized.  But I couldn't help myself.  I met Vice, and her name was Plain Jane and she said, "you WILL buy me and take me home and make a shawl out of me because you don't have a choice."

And I did.

And of course I brought her a play mate called Optic (by Madelinetosh...such lovely yarns and colors and oh everything about Madelinetosh is just lovely).

Here they are in my kitchen sitting side by side...

And here Plain Jane is outside showing off the absolutely gorgeous colors


Update on apartment:  The furniture will come on Saturday.  They promise.  If not, I may absolutely lose my mind...I was close yesterday as it was.  Kitties are doing great.  They love the birds that perch in the tree outside and Pearl can not stop playing fetch.  At present there are 10 balls in various places around the apartment...she's too adorable.  Me?  I'm doing ok.  I have some good days and some not good days.  Yesterday I got angry...not just at the apartment people but at him...and it felt good...I've never felt good about feeling angry before but I felt good...and it was healing in some way that I've never experienced before and that was good too.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I just can't talk about it

My furniture didn't come today.  Still waiting on a call back to understand exactly why and what they plan to do about it...but I'm too upset.  More nights of the air mattress..I didn't think I could do it but now I have to.

I'm off to have a pity party.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Shocking Realizations

I had a shocking realization today about midway through the "operations meetings" at work.  I have never, in my life, enjoyed a job...until now.  And I thoroughly enjoy my job.  I'm excited about the opportunities I see there...and while I'm "just pulling orders" right now, I'm fine with that.  I'm enjoying the sense of accomplishment when I find a skein of yarn that has somehow jumped boxes...and that I know where to look.  That when I go into the retail portion I get to see what people are working on and help some out if necessary.

IT'S SO COOL!  I love being part of this group of people who work with such enthusiasm and passion.  Who actually stay on task, are pleasant, and are extremely helpful to us New Beans.

It is beyond amazing to be excited about working, not caring about when I get to go home, and just simply being in the moment.

I'm very very lucky indeed.


Because Pearl always gets the limelight for being so darn cute, I'm going to switch things up a little and show you Zora in a box.  Cat in a box...can't get much cuter than that! (especially when she's a calico!)

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Yesterday I had three separate people tell me how brave I am and how much they admire my courage and strength...

And I have to tell you that yesterday I was feeling so low and sorry for myself that I sat down and cried a couple of times.  While accepting things you can't change is empowering it is also very sad because you're letting go of so much.  I know that I can't change David's mind about this.  And part of me (a big part when I'm allowing myself to be truly honest) knows he's right...but the part of me that knows he's wrong has been fighting really hard this week.

And I've been listening because I miss his love and companionship.  I miss having someone to come home to and tell what an awesome day I've had.  I miss having someone to share how absolutely adorable Pearl is (and Zora too when she allows herself).  I miss having someone to explore Reno with and to get settled into life here with.  Someone to go to the store with me and see what kinds of vegetables and fruits they have and to marvel at how cheap wine is here (really!)  I miss someone having dinner with me, going out to eat, to watch football games with.


And then I get all these sweet messages from people who are telling me that I'm doing great, that they are amazed at the strength and courage I've displayed and I think "am I just putting on a good show?"  So, I think about it and decide that...

I'm not putting on a good show...I'm just being me.  I'm embracing the beauty and changes around me and doing this for ME.

Yes, I'll miss the man I loved for 25 years who decided one day not to be my husband anymore.  I'll have to take time to get used to not thinking about him every day, but I've loved myself for 44 years and you know what? I'm pretty cool.

And I am strong, and I'm pretty good company and I can do all these things by myself pretty well...But part of being strong right now is also being sad and weak and wondering how the heck I'm going to get myself to see the beauty and then stopping and saying "good attitude" and putting on that good attitude and seeing the beauty.  It's all around me and as I unpack my yarn (yea sock and noro yarns tonight) and see the mountains playing coy in the mornings and look out the windows of my apartment and see gorgeous blue skies and the peaks of mountains in the distance, I know it's beautiful.  Life is beautiful.  It's a matter of putting the attitude in the right place and deciding to see that instead of the other.

And the fear subsides, the sadness goes back into its cubby, and the happiness starts to shine.  I smiled a lot today, I worked well, I felt good.  I was confident (and my hair looked good!).

So, see, attitude is amazing.  And the awesome thing about attitude is that we get to CHOOSE it which means that we're in control of it.  And that by being in control of it, we don't let all the other stuff control our lives.


And Pearl...Pearl is adorable and I can share how adorable she is with y'all...because folks...this truly is a special cat.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


8500 steps today, but they were hard.  I'm sore all over.  Hopefully some rest will help.

I've unpacked all my clothes boxes.  Tomorrow I tackle the shelves (building them) so that over the next few days after that I can get the yarn unloaded and the studio somewhat set up.

One thing I don't like about the apartment is that there aren't any overhead lights. I just don't get that.

Last week I worked on this...tonight I'm going to work on something else.  I'm dying to get back into my crafting, and all this disorganization, etc., is getting in my way!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

11000 steps

So...after my first day of work at Jimmy Beans Wool, I knew I was tired, but after my second day, I was thoroughly exhausted.  As a "puller" I take all the orders that people send in, go find the yarn, needles and notions and put them on the packing table where the packers take over.

The warehouse is 20,000 square feet.  And I walk it all day for 8 hours.  Up and down the aisles...and boy, let me tell you after putting in a full 8 hours, I wanted to know how many steps I was taking.

SO, I put a little pedometer app on my phone (Pacer if you're curious) and counted my steps on my 3rd day at Jimmy Beans...10,600.

Today was 11,500.

That's a lot of steps and all in a days' work.  Isn't that awesome?

So far I really like the job.  I'm pulling yarn which means that I get to touch, see, and think about all the beautiful things this yarn will become one day.  People bring in their finished projects to work, and that's incredibly fun too.

And today these people that I work with blew me away in their support of a fellow co-worker who has just been diagnosed with metastitic endometrian cancer.  They had a "peach fuzz" party where some folks shaved their heads and almost everyone dyed at least a portion of their hair.  The folks at JBW will be sporting all kinds of crazy do's if you want to come take a look (and are in the area for the balloon festival which I hear is pretty cool.)

Anyway, enough of work.  the apartment is progressing very very slowly.  I'm still trying to figure out why my mattress is delayed, and I'm kind of getting a little cranky about that, but it'll work out eventually.

In the meantime, here's me, in my little chair next to my little lamp using my computer on my tv tray.  Life is grand.