Tuesday, December 30, 2014


We've had a really fun week at work.  Festivus they're calling it--something to do with a Seinfeld episode with a Festivus pole that was used to air gripes or complaints.  However, we're giving kudos to our co-workers.  At the end of the week we will draw a prop and that person wins a fun prize.

So far during morning meetings we have had a Scrooge Sleigh with a bah-humbug Santa handing out candy canes (it was a terrific use of a mailing bin in my opinion), yarn dodge ball, an ugly sweater competition, a paper snow-flake cutting party and a scavenger hunt.  I know that Friday will be the drawing and something is happening on Thursday...and who knows what we'll do tomorrow.

It's been fun.  I'd love to do something like this everyday even IF I didn't find anything or win a prize yet! :)


It snowed last night.  I had to go to work at 4:30 this morning well before the roads were cleared away.  I was fine, though a little bit nervous.  It's been a good long time since I've driven on anything that wasn't regular pavement or rain.

I bring you a picture of the snow on the metal bluebonnets this morning.


It's cold outside.  We're getting to 7 or so tonight.  BRRR.  While the kitties are fascinated by the snow on the patio they don't want to go out there because it's really cold and icky.


I'm past the heel on my second Cosmic Wonder Dust Sock.  I'm in love and can't wait to wear them.

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's winter y'all...

...I don't know about where you are but where I am, and apparently a whole lot of other knitters, WINTER IS HERE!

I talked to so many people on the phone, on e-mail, and in person today and everyone seems to have awakened from their post-Christmas stupor and realized that it's really cold outside, or snowing, or both, and that they don't want to go out there no matter what...and that if they are to stay inside they need to be knitting things that will keep them or someone they love warm...and that involves LOTS OF YARN...lots and lots of it.  20 skeins, 14 skeins, 13 skeins...I pulled, placed orders and packed up really big orders today.

And if you're wondering, in the desperation that is WINTER IS HERE people don't care about mixed dye lots or even if it's the color that matches their house...or really even if it's a color that they like.  They must have the yarn, and lots of it, and it we don't have that particular yarn what will substitute.

And honestly, they don't really care if the yarn matches the needles they currently have.  They aren't going to buy new needles, but they'll make the ones they have work.  "Don't you think size 9 needles will be ok with this fingering weight yarn?" (not really but hey, if you want a really loose drapey knit, then sure!)

People want to make afghans, or sweaters.  One lady in Florida has her eyes on a cowl out of silk (so lovely...I'm jealous).

There is desperation out there.  Driven by the self-denial that comes with knitting exclusively and in panic for other people for over a month.  Driven by the fact that it's REALLY cold out there and no matter the socks, blankets and heat you have it's still seeping through the windows and floors and walls.  If the grid fails we could all die...it's built into our DNA as knitters--we must protect everyone, starting with ourselves!

Me?  I'm knitting socks.  I'm focused...it's all I want to do.  Sit in front of the tv watching College Football Bowl Games (yea Aggies) and knit socks.

Yarn: Tosh Sock in Cosmic Wonder Dust (I'm more than a little in love with this yarn and this color).
Pattern: Hermione's Everday Sock

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy end of weekend...

...to those of you who have a regular weekend.  I'm mid-week, but it's all good.

Things continue good at work.  We're all caught up and seem to be doing really well.  I did inventory on needles today.  I actually liked it.

I'm knitting socks.  It's fun...I've missed knitting socks.


In the midst of the great pain I felt on Christmas Day I read through my journal entries from July forward.  Not all of the, but I picked key dates or titles...I was smart, and insightful...I see that I'm amazing, and it makes me really proud.


I hope that in all of this, in my behaviors and healing, in my taking care of myself, in my learning to love myself...I hope more than anything that I can be a good example to my daughters and help them grow into the amazing women they're destined to be.


Today's picture is of Zora sitting atop my refrigerator this morning.  She's not happy about the cold weather.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Celebrations, and set-backs

There comes a time when trying to understand things just doesn't work anymore.  I'm at that point...I just don't understand.

Christmas was yesterday.  For the most part I was ok being without the family.  Sure I missed them, but I can be comforted by the fact that we talked, that they gave and received gifts and that things seem ok with most of them.

What I can't be comforted with really can't be shared on the blog.  It isn't my story to share, but it hurt and set me back emotionally...and made things less celebratory yesterday.

But I'll pull through.  I reminded myself when I got home today that there are things I can't control and I just have to let them go, so I tossed them aside and let them go.  I felt better almost immediately.

Then I took a deep breath and reminded myself that things here are really quite wonderful and I do love my life and I've done a heck of a job getting myself back on my feet and figuring things out.

And you know what...that last little bit, about me doing things that are good...that made me feel almost whole again.

I wish everyone the best day that that can have.  I hope you are happy and are enjoying all that this holiday season has to offer.  I hope that when the new year comes around that it brings for you hope and possibility and that you grab all those hopes and possibilities by the horns and do what you can to make them a reality.

Because, seriously folks, if I can still be standing after everything I've experienced in 2014, you got this!


Today's ornament was a gift from Jenn (at work).  LOVE my coffee...and the red cup.  Special!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Gift of Friendship

Yesterday my friend from grad school, Jeff, came to visit me.  His mom lives near Tahoe, which isn't too far from here, and we spent the afternoon hanging out...

It was fun.  Nice to talk with someone, nice to get out of the apartment for a bit (he's allergic to cats, and apparently my apartment is really bad for people who are allergic to cats.  I feel sorry for them).

He showed up at work so I could show him around the warehouse and all that jazz, then we came back here for a chat and then went to Virginia city.  It's only about 30 minutes from my apartment and what a wonderful little trip.  Beautiful views, and of course all the Mark Twain stuff.  Totally cool day.

Here are my sunset pics from the Virginia City cemetery yesterday.

I wish for everyone the gift of a good friend during the holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2014


I love the idea of giving gifts.  I like getting them too :)

But seriously, gifting is such a wonderful concept.  Giving someone something that they'll appreciate--use, for fun, whatever--is such a terrific thing.  Working in a yarn store and hearing all the people talk about all the things they want to make and give that's even better.  Why?  Because they are gifting not just a thing but their time, and there's nothing that's more precious than our time.

I've received two ornaments this week from friends I met in grad school at University of Kentucky.  Two handmade ornaments for my tree.  What wonderful gestures and such a perfect thing for this time in my life.

This Christmas where I'm starting new traditions and experiencing the season, holiday and days in such different ways than in the past.

And I've been happy today.  I'll take that hands down.

The first is from Fran who I shared a desk (and so much more!) with during my first year at UK.

And this is from Jenn, who I shared an office (and so much more) with for three years at UK.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A little time, a little breathing space...and things start to look better (and 8th day of ornaments)

I had to do a lot of self-coaching the past couple of days to help myself regain perspective and peace, but I finally managed it.  A big part of it is acknowledging to myself that things are what they are and that I'm where I need to be and that I will learn the things I need to learn...but only if I quit fighting it.

So, I gained some peace and find that while I will miss so many things about the holidays this year, being able to relax and be calm and quiet is exactly what I need.  I need time to reflect, to own my space, and to be happy where I am.

If that means that I'm unable to do the things I have done int he past, that's ok, because my present is different (way different) and the me right now needs peace and calm and quiet and relaxation.


Besides, I'm having so much fun making all these new ornaments for my tree!  What a fun fun tradition I've started this year.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Breaking Traditions (or the 7th day of ornaments)

As I approach my first Christmas alone, I keep getting reminded that "it's gotta be hard."  I'm still trying to get through today and Christmas is a whole week away and to be honest, it's been hard enough to get through today(s) lately.

One day at a time, one step at a time, and sometimes one minute at a time.  I'm making progress, though, and as I gaze upon my tree with its adorable new ornaments, I'm struck by the fact that I'm breaking traditions as I've known them and making new traditions.

The hardest part of this Christmas?

Not having my daddy to hug and talk football with.
Not doing the Christmas stocking tradition we've always done as a family.
Not being able to hug my beautiful daughters on a special holiday and be with them in person when they open their presents.
Not hugging my mama and seeing her as she opens my present to her.
Not seeing any of my extended family.


While I've spent many Christmases in nontraditional ways, this one will definitely be different.  And I'm sure it'll be hard, but I'll plug through it the best I can knowing that the next one won't be so bad.  I'll have started some new traditions that I'll build upon for next year and maybe I'll have the ability to go visit my family (I'd really hoped they'd have been able to come here this year but it didn't work out).


So, in the mean time I'm taking deep breaths and trying to focus on the things that are good in my life...there are lots of them.  I'll be sad, and I'll be happy, and I'll work through this...and it may just be one ornament at a time.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Really not much to say...

Well...today was kind of low-key, and it was a good thing.  I didn't feel sad, or bereft or lost or anything.

In fact, I have to admit that I just simply didn't feel much other than it being an ordinary day and that's really just fine by me.

I will have a glass of wine tonight, but mostly it's just been a chill day, one that could have been so hard if I hadn't come so far.

And I'm glad I've come so far.


And for your kitty viewing pleasure, here's the girls snuggled on the alpaca blanket (which I'm proud to say was still not as wonderful to sleep on as I was last night).

Sunday, December 14, 2014

How far I've come in just 5 short months

I can't really decide if the bomb dropped on the 14th or the 15th.  In some ways it's the 14th because that's the day, technically, that David came home, but it was close to or after midnight before he actually stepped into the house and we had our conversation.  I "knew" in my gut before he came home what was about to transpire, so I kind of keep that as my "date"...but then I pulled everything together and tried to figure out what direction to run in on the 15th, so maybe that's "MY date."

I'm not sure.

14th, 15th, I'm not sure it really matters either, but I do find that I'm reflective today.  I know part of it is the un-anniversary that is tomorrow...part of it is that it's the 14th...part of it is that there are holidays and as I said a few weeks ago that started with my birthday in November...

Either way, one of the things I do to gain a little perspective on where I am, how far I've come and just what the hell I'm doing (because let me tell you there are some days I have no idea) is read my blog...I'll pick a date--last December, November 2010, whatever.  Today I wanted to see what I wrote about in the "right after."

That aftermath when I was being rather astute and together and hell if I didn't just grab the bull by the horns and take off...

In my reflective moods, let me tell you some things that I know about myself and how I've grown in the past 5 months:

  • I no longer expect or want perfection in my life.  This is not just out of me but out of those around me.  I will be what I am and people are what they are.  I can't tell you how much the important relationships in my life have grown as a result of this thought process...and in being able to embrace my own imperfections I'm able to see all the beauty that is within me (and wasn't that what I said my journey was all about...to find the beauty, and that HAS to begin with me or I won't be able to create it).  I can see how expecting perfection sabotaged what may have been a wonderful relationship.  I can also see how trying to live up to someone else's expectations that I BE perfect sabotaged my own personal growth and development and made me bitter.
  • I am patient.  Losing that need for perfection in myself and others results in an amazing amount of patience.  Little things don't bother me, big things don't bother me.  I just deal with what I can deal with, do it to the best of my ability and move on.
  • I have learned to let myself feel emotions.  Good and bad.  When the bad emotions come on I find myself trying to fight them and then I remind myself that I have to feel them, to express them and to let them out.  Once I do that, I feel better.  I have more perspective and I'm able to ask "what" or "why" about that feeling and start to make sense of it in the bigger picture.  I'm still not really (as in not at all) comfortable with anger, but I'm trying to understand it's role as a motivating emotion...understanding I think I can do, expressing it is entirely a different thing (because let me tell you the WAY in which I want to express that anger isn't appropriate).
  • I don't really need the "big picture" anymore.  I was talking to someone who was asking about my plans for the holidays and I replied, "all I can think about right now is getting through today"...I have long-range plans, I'll tell you about those in a minute, but the "big picture" is fuzzy...right now it's mountains and sunrises and sunsets and glorious skies whether they're cloudy or blue.
  • "in the moment" of the 14th (or 15th) I decided to do what I wanted to.  Period.  And I'm doing it.  My "dream" was to get a job at Jimmy Beans Wool.  I've been here just over 3 months and I'm loving it.  I see myself fitting in, I love the people here.  I want to do more in the company and the opportunities are there.  It's going to be glorious.
  • I am learning this business of taking care of myself and it's really quite wonderful.  I'm not just talking about feeding myself, cleaning house, etc., but the other stuff too...realizing when I need some down time, leaning into the pain, embracing the joys.  Understanding that each moment can be powerful if you give it the chance.
  • Exploring my higher power and what he/she/it means to me.  I should say that I'm not longer afraid to explore my higher power (I was and I'm learning that there are reasons I was).
And each day with each thing that I learn, I'm growing stronger.  People comment about how amazed they are by my strength and ability to get through and do things.  I marvel when they say this because there are so many times when I feel like I'm falling to pieces and it makes me worried that I'm putting up a brave front when I'm really not doing so well...

...but I'm doing ok.  I'm not great and there are some days that I just have to get up and deal with it, but I'm dealing with it rather than hiding it or trying to control it into some little box or define it the way I want it to be regardless of what it is.

...and I'm satisfied with where I am.  I have asked myself that a lot in the past few weeks.  If the tables suddenly turned and I could "go back to July 14th (or 15th) 2014" I wouldn't.  There's some power in owning that.  There's power in realizing that I can own that and still be incredibly hurt and angry.  There's power in putting the pieces of my life back together into a mosaic that will be a beautiful me.

...and I'm really so very happy that I get to share it with you.


So, my awesome news:

I'm going on a Rick Steve's Tour to Tallin, Helsinki and St. Petersburg in May.  I am SO VERY excited about this trip.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

6th day of ornaments

Really quickly today.  My latest ornaments:

I particularly liked the little circles.  I'll be making some more of those in different sizes.

I felt really good today.  Work wasn't bad, in fact we were almost in "refresh mode."  That's the goal by tomorrow night.  That's pretty amazing considering that we were so far behind (by our standards which are high and why we're awesome!) last week.

And the fact that I feel good today is wonderful.  Today could have been difficult (his birthday), but I struggled through because (I think) I'm in a good place and (I think) am figuring out this living on my own thing.

I'll talk to you on Monday and let you know if I make it through that day.  It could be really rough...as it would have been 24 years that we'd been married...and will mark 5 months since he told me the devastating news.

But as I said, today affirmed that I'm ok so we shall see how Monday goes.

(btw, yesterday I went through a box that I hadn't unpacked yet because I wasn't sure where to put the things inside it and when I opened up one of my memento boxes which mostly has little trinkets from when I was a kid I burst into tears at seeing the very first ring he gave me...I kept reminding myself that it's one day at a time, and sometimes one minute at a time, and not all times are going to be perfect and happy...and I made it through it...therapy really is good for the soul.)

Friday, December 12, 2014

5th day of ornaments

Brought to you by Auntie J:

 For those of you who know me well, you know she "done good"...:)

The button heart is a reference to my love of buttons and hearts, and of course the knitting needles and yarn ball...need no explanation.

I've been laying low these past two days.  Getting some much needed rest (aided by a glass of wine before bedtime), couch time, Pearl snuggling and overall general laziness.  The weather has helped me be ok staying in doors.  While we haven't had the rain (thank you mountains for keeping it on the west or in snow) we have had some serious winds.

Hugs all...I'm back to my couch now...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

4th day of ornaments

I'm bringing to you the stocking that took me three nights to make.  I love it!

The original pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and a bigger hook...I used sock weight and a C hook. The stocking is about 3" top to toe.  Fun!  I'm totally excited about doing another one with a chevron pattern...will decide whether that one is next or the one with all the snowflakes all over it...decisions!


In general things are going ok here.  Getting over the cold, though yesterday was kind of frightening with all the coughing I was doing!  I go to work today and then I'll come home and relax and hopefully be all better for my "weekend" which begins tomorrow.


And a big shout out to my Auntie J who has a birthday today!  Love you!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Laying Low...

Well...I've got a stupid cold.  I can't remember when I last had a stupid cold, but I don't like it one little bit dangit!  My brain can't organize very well...this morning's post will exploit that :)

At least today I get to go into work a little later than 5am...(people are always surprised when they call and someone answers the phone at 6am local time...it kinda cracks me up).

I saw this sunrise this morning.  It was gorgeous.  I caught this shot from my balcony

And when I turned around Pearl was plastered to the glass door yowling at me.  She's just so darn cute.

Shortly after this the clouds turned back to their normal grey...then I looked to the east one more time and saw that they were turning hot pink.  It's a rainbow in slow motion.

I'm still making ornaments...the one I'm working on it taking some time.  Plus I had to weave yesterday to finish a project for someone.  AND sometimes all I can do is sit there...the one I SHOULD finish today is going to be adorable, so it's worth it.

I put a deposit on a trip for next summer.  I'm excited.  Once I get confirmation that I'm in, I'll share the good news.  It's one I've wanted to do for a very very long time.

It's time for more coffee.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

3rd day of ornaments

On the 3rd day of ornaments I discovered a book at work called Christmas Crochet, so I bought it.  Such cute cute ideas in that book...if you're dying to get one, we have one more copy...

Yesterday I finished 5 ornaments while sitting on the couch watching football, trying to stay awake and breathe...it was a tough day but still...5 pretty ornaments.

I'm particularly fond of the little red square.  It has some "fancy" front post crochet stitches that when put together look like a star...here's its close-up.

It's that adorable?

Speaking of blowing up or shrinking down...this was from a pillow pattern, that blown up would be about 4" square.  It's right around 2".  The pink circle?  That's from a dish scrubbie pattern... totally cool texture.  And the others are the centers of larger motifs that I just did until the interesting part was over.  So fun.

Now, onto some official Christmas crochet!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

2nd day of ornaments

Feeling a tad under the weather today, but I'm crocheting and watching football.  A little weaving when I have the energy.

These are the ornaments I finished yesterday.  I love the little ball.  It is a pattern for a dish scrubbie...I love taking patterns and either blowing them up or shrinking them down...in this case, the shrinking turned out super-cute!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Seeing Green

One day last week I woke up from a vivid dream that I was using green yarn.  I immediately went to my stash and pulled out the green Noro Retro that I bought many years ago (afghan quantity) and decided I'd make a sweater.

After pilfering through patterns on Ravelry I remembered that I have a green towel set to make so got after it.  All those tangled threads from a couple of days ago are the result.

Well, yesterday, I got it warped, threaded.  Started weaving it today.  It's just lovely.

The other thing I did yesterday was put up my tree...I mentioned this yesterday but didn't share a picture with you.  Here we are:

And finally, my ornaments from last night.  3 little snowflakes out of scrap sock yarn. So cute.  I'll share with you my ornament progress every day.  What a wonderful way to start a new tradition for myself, in my new life, with my new rules. (I really missed a tree...funny the things we give up for others).

Thursday, December 4, 2014


I put up a Christmas tree today.  I have 6 ornaments...so far the cats has chewed on it a little bit but it's still standing...and so festive...it makes me happy.

I like having things that make me happy.  I feel whole for the first time in a long time.  I haven't put up a tree in years.  One more piece of evidence that things were unhappy and I was unwilling to see it.

Since I didn't bring any of my ornaments with me (horrors I know) I am starting anew.  I bought 6 to get me started and will make more over the next 3 weeks and see where I am come Christmas.  My tree will look different every day.

Tonight I crocheted three snowflakes from left over sock yarn.  I may continue that trend.  I like snowflakes and these were fast and easy and just the right size.  They're blocking now.

Today is my "Saturday" so I went grocery shopping too.  While I was out, I took this picture of my finished Mecha Cowl...there are mountains behind me but you can't see them because of the clouds/fog.

I'm still fascinated by the weather here.  Everyday is something new and interesting.  I'm thinking of changing my career (not really!)

My hair was super curly today too!

(btw, last week I knitted 3 hats and 1 cowl...pretty impressive, huh?)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Today I sleyed the warp on my new set of towels.  These are green and white striped, and will be woven (some of them anyway) in houndstooth.

And as I finished and leaned back and stretched I saw this...and laughed a little...because it looks really scary even though it isn't.

It's a metaphor for my life right now and I've decided to make it my Facebook cover photo...at least for a while.

Striking isn't it?  And what's more striking is that by Thursday (morning I presume) I'll have all of these little threads lined up and behaving themselves.  But for now...what a giant mess!