Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Thoughts on a Tuesday.......

Since every spare minute I have has been used up making these hats, not a lot else has gone on here.   Little Buddy likes putting the hat on but informed me his favorite color is red not pink.  

Two have already been delivered and three more have been made.  I think I can get one more finished before I take my SIL's to the bus in Tampa on Friday.  They are riding all night so they can participate in the Women's March on Washington, on Saturday.  They are marching for women's rights as well as the rights of every single person in this country.   I so wish I could go!  There are Sister Marches all over the world.  Look at this site to is amazing to see the participation out there.  

I have been watching the Gilmore Girls on Netflix while I knit row after row.  It is a great show that I am late to the party for.  I swear I am late for everything!  A perfect show to watch as I try to knit my heart out.  I want to live in Stars Hollow and of course I have a crush on Luke.  I am still on season 1, and am loving every minute of this show.

Another great Netflix show, The Crown.  If you haven't watched it you should.  It is superbly acted, absolutely stunning, the costumes are incredible, and oh my the music is so stirring.  I can't wait for the next season to be released.  It is by far one of the best productions I have ever seen.

Here was my Christmas present from my friend Holly.  She bought this not knowing at the time the person she bought it from had made it.  It is actually made by a friend of mine who used to own a yarn store near me.  She lost her daughter in a tragic car accident some years ago.  The proceeds from these little monsters go to the foundation she set up in honor of her daughter.  Her daughter Jen, was an artist who taught art in elementary school.  If you want a monster you can find out more here.  

I have been trying to weed thorough some of the things in my home as I have stated before.  I ran across an article stating you should remove, recycle or donate 27 things from your space for 9 days in a row, to clear out the old so the new can flow in.  I can happily say I have completed day 8, one more day to go tomorrow.  If you miss a day you have to start all over again!  I have been through drawers and cupboards, closets and under beds, yet there is still so much here!  I just might keep going a few more days as there seems to be no difference here at all.  Out with the old stuff and in with the new.  Well in with positive things, nothing negative I hope.

I have also been gluten free for two weeks to see if it helps my headaches.  It is not as hard as I thought it would be but can I just say that my rice flour, agave sweetened gluten free blueberry muffins are not near as yummy as my agave sweetened chocolate chip muffins.  I am starting to bring gluten back in a little at a time starting tomorrow, wish me luck because I feel like I have been hungry for two weeks.

Just to make you laugh, not the greatest selfie, but you get the idea.  Little One and I had to try on the hats together.   Soon they will be on their way to marchers in Washington D. C.  I am in awe of all the women, men and children out there who are marching for all of us, for equality in all forms. I wish them all a great day.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Another controversial post sparks good conversation......

I believe I am starting to be quite the controversial blogger.  I love that you all feel passionately about the things I write about, whether you agree with me or not.

Of course I am talking about the Pussy Hat Project.  I have to tell you that when my SIL, who has her Ph.D in education and worked for years with University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, asked me to help her make this hat I was a little floored by the name.  It is not a word I use, have ever used or agree with using.  I feel it is extremely derogatory and insensitive.  Yet after reading the meaning behind what the two creators of the project intended, I joined in at full speed.  

I agree we should not lower ourselves.  I agree we should reach high, but that has not worked really well so far.  The creators of this project, Krista Suh and Jayna Zwelman wanted to make a strong visual statement on the day of the march.  Well pink hats with corners that can represent ears will make that statement, even if you think they look a bit silly.  This is a pattern seen frequently on Ravelry, and it is not offensive in its other forms.  Yet the name of this hat makes it quite controversial.  It is a play on the words pussy cat, and of course a reference to the word our President Elect has chosen to refer to women and where he likes to grab them.  I like this quote from the project webpage, "We choose this loaded word for our project because we want to reclaim the term as a means of empowerment."  It helped me understand where they were coming from.  And frankly a less controversial name would not have garnered the attention that this name has, whether you agree with the name or not.

I thank you for you interesting comments.  I thank you for those of you who made hats, passed on the pattern or simply chose to abstain from the whole thing.  I am not the only one making this project.  You can find many articles about this project online, here are just a few from Huffington PostYes! Magazine, The Detroit Free Press, and Bustle, and the links to Ravelry and Facebook.

Here is the hat I made for my SIL.  She was very pleased with it.  I have now finished number two and am casting on number three tonight.

Here is Mr. 23 modeling the hat above. 

Onto other thoughts.  My house is a lot quieter these days.  Mr.19 went back to school on Sunday, and Mr.23 and his darling girlfriend returned to Ohio yesterday.  I have to admit I have cried a few tears.  I really feel whole when they are all around, when they are gone I feel like I am missing a part of my body.  I always think I will get used to it but I don't.  Little Buddy is missing them all, too.  He told me yesterday that his biggest brother and girlfriend were missing him, but that is okay they will come back to F is for Florida again.  Yes, Little One, they sure will.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Stopping the baby blanket for a much better cause........

This baby blanket has been put on hold.  There is time to make it later as my new little grand nephew won't be in this world for some time.  This morning I found out there are much more important things to create.

My wonderful SIL'S are going to The Women's March on Washington, D.C. on January 21, 2017.  I am so excited for them.  They are going to march to defend the rights of women in this country.  Not only women's rights but the rights of everyone.  I am jealous I can't go, but I can do something, I can knit.   They brought this project to my attention this morning in hopes I would help them get started on a few hats.   Oh you bet I will.  I wish I had known about it a few weeks ago, believe me that would be all I would be doing in my spare time.  

This project, started by two women, is so important considering the road we are on.  And while you might not like the name you have to understand that our President Elect feels it is fine to use this word  freely in regards to women, and wants to grab women by this body part.  So your offense should be with who says things like that, not the name of the pattern.

On the website which you can find here at Pussy Hat Project, you can find this knitting pattern as well as several different crochet patterns.  There are links to where you can mail hats, where you can drop them off and which yarn stores in your area may be participating.  Please visit it to find out the mission behind this project. 

What an amazing visual affect it would have if many of the marchers wore these hats.  I am on a quest to knit as many as I can so my SIL's can give them out to other marchers.  If you can't make hats for marchers make one for yourself and wear it on January 21, 2017 in a show of solidarity to those who are marching for all of us. 

You see we cannot say that what is happening is okay.  We cannot let women's rights and those of anyone in our country be moved back into the dark ages.  We have to have a say.  We have to choose to be better, to be the one fighting for all of us, Little Buddy included.

If you are a mother, sister, aunt, or friend please think of those young girls you see around you.  Look them in the eye and know that they are in for a tough ride if we let things slide backwards.  If their rights are taken away, the right to equal pay, the right to reproductive health, the right to birth control, the right to be in charge of the decisions for their own bodies, they will be far worse off than we have been.  You see other women and men have fought for us to have the rights we have now.  They are easily ripped away, how can we let that happen?  How can you look at them and tell them you could have helped but didn't?

It is not just about women, it is rights for everyone of every color, nationality, religion and sexual orientation.  I want my sons to grow up in a world where we are all equal.  Wouldn't that be amazing!

As you know a very wise woman once said, "Women's rights are human rights, and human rights are women's rights." 

My superpower is the ability to take yarn and make it into something special.  While I might not be able to attend, The Women's March on Washington,D.C., or any other marches at state capitols on that date, I can do this.

Will you join me?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year.....

Happy New Year everyone.  I thought we could all use a photo of Little Buddy to start the New Year off the right way.   Although he woke up on the wrong side of the toddler bed today, I did get him to smile a wee bit.  Maybe he was up in the middle of the night having a party in his bed, Lord knows the rest of my neighborhood was out shooting off fireworks and making all sorts of noise.

As for me I was in bed hoping to start the New Year rested.  My goal every year is to have Christmas firmly put away up in my attic before the New Year starts.  I want to start off fresh, that means a massive cleaning of my house, sheets washed, garbage out and two trips to the Goodwill with trunk loads of things to donate.  I want a clean fresh start to the year.

Even my office/studio got a good cleaning and some rearranging.  It feels good to get things in place.

This is where I visit all of you.  Sitting in this chair and drinking tea.  It is lovely to share time with you.

I also dropped off more donated yarn.  Over 4,000 yards, I am trying to be ruthless with my space and my house.  I feel like I have so much stuff I don't need.  My goal is to donate two to three bags of things a month.  Now that does not sound like much but it will end up making a difference.  I have been doing that all last year and hope to continue my progress.  How did all of this get here in the first place?

Last night I surprised myself with a finish.  Right before the year ended.  This is my version of the Cancun Lace Boxy Top.  I used 648 yards of Cotton Classic yarn, with a size 8 needle.  This yarn was some of the oldest in my stash, maybe 18 years old.  I am hoping to wear this with a white tank top underneath with jeans.  It looks very boxy on my dress form Caroline, remember she is much smaller than me and well frankly does not have arms or hips so it looks better on a real body.  Don't mention the arm thing to her she gets upset about that.

Yarn total used in 2016, 15,892 yards, up about 1,000 from 2015.  That is just over 9 miles of yarn!  I completed 36 projects using yarn, with no real favorite this year, well maybe my Lovey Lambs.  While I added a ton to my stash, I used a lot and gave a lot away.  I am hoping to use even more up this year.  Well as of today I haven't bought any yarn this year!

Today I am starting my new baby ripple.  I decided the blue/gray combo was not bright enough so stopped by the yarn store this past week to exchange gray for this green.  It seems brighter for a baby boy.

As for 2016, I am not sorry to see you go but am very fearful for the year ahead. I read article after article about the changes that will be attempted to be made to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  While there are many who will fight for Social Security and Medicare, those who receive Medicaid generally are those who cannot fight for themselves.  Little Buddy receives Medicaid to  meet all of his complex medical needs.  Without this very basic insurance he will not receive the therapy he needs nor be able to see his current specialists.  He is one of many, many thousands of children that will be affected.  If you live in Texas these changes with children are already in the works with Occupational Therapy (that is me) and Speech Therapy being the first to be targeted.  There are already changes in the way we treat women's health issues, women's rights, those of a different sexual orientation, color, religious belief, and frankly anyone who is not white and male.  I am not excited at how this year, and those ahead of us will turn back the rights for so many.  So while 2016 was a tough year for me both mentally and emotionally, 2017 rings in whole new fears.  And those fears are personal to me with my work, and for my son.  

So 2017 you are here, even if I am not ready for you.  All I can do is hope and pray you will not be as devastating as I feel you might be, for me, for my son, and for so many others.  I feel this is the year we will look back on and wonder how we got to this point in our lives.  How we let our country become a place where we are not evolving, not accepting and welcoming and of course not taking care of those who really need it.  Little Buddy being high on that list.

I am wishing you all a Happy New Year with a heavy heart.  Not a great way to start the New Year is it?  I hope and pray I am proven wrong.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas fun.......

Whooooooo it is over!  Well over until all the decorations are put away.  Did you have a nice day yesterday?   We had a wonderful time.  There is something to say about having a five year old in your house who squeals at the top of his lungs when he sees his red wagon from Santa.

After the rush of presents this photo sums up our day.  Little Buddy sat in his new wagon for hours.  He can get in it all by himself, and fasten the seat belt.  Which makes him stuck for a while so I don't have to wonder where he is.

I think he received every known Paw Patrol item out there.  Including this sleeping bag from my friend Holly.  He asked for a Paw Patroller, Air Patroller and Tracker the latest Paw Patrol pup.  He got a new plate and bowl, a big stuffed Chase, Paw Patrol books, puzzles and a toss across bean bag game.  Ooops, I forgot a Paw Patrol watch and this Rocky's farm track.

This five year old was in Paw Patrol Heaven!  Even though I tried to keep his presents limited we have lots of friends who like to buy a toy for a cute five year old so he got much  more than I anticipated.  Many of my friends have much older kids so buying for a little one is fun. He did play with everything yesterday, including spending loads of time in his wagon.  We are so fortunate to have this precious boy in our lives.  He brings the magic of Christmas to all of us.

There were gifts for Mom, too!  This great project pouch.

This beautiful Mountain Colors Hand Painted Yarn and the pattern for the Gradient shawl.

This really cool Drunk Yarn that comes with capsules of color and mordant that you can dye yourself.

Okay here is a funny story.  My closest yarn store is about 40 minutes away.  Two of my patients live fairly near it.  So on Thursday I stopped in to buy baby blanket yarn as we are expecting a new grand nephew in the Spring.  I have not been to this store for months and months as I am on self imposed yarn buying restrictions until I can get my stash down.  I do not have baby blanket yarn so knew I had to visit at some point.  I had a break between patients so I decided on the spur of the moment to stop in.  I also have decided in advance that Little Buddy's therapists presents for next Christmas will be an Interrupted Cowl by Heather Hill.  I know I will have made about 10,000 of them by then, but it is a fast and easy pattern with a unique look.  It will be much faster than the Hitchhiker's I made for all of them this year.

  I popped into the store for these yarns specifically.  I was only in the store for a few minutes when the bell rang and in walked my husband and Little Buddy.  What are the odds we would be there at the same time?  I thought it was hysterical as we were literally the only ones in the store besides Terri who works there.  My husband wanted me out of the store quickly so told me to drop my goods at the register and head out.  So technically I did not buy the yarn for the blanket and cowls he did!  All in all 2,225 yards of yarn were added to my stash.  I have a lot of work to do to get it back down again.

This was taken this morning.  The wagon love is still going strong.

This was my very favorite item of the season from Little Buddy, made at school of course.  Look how old he looks in the photo!  My favorite part is this, "My family is great because....My mom is the boss and my dad is a boy."   It makes me laugh every time I see it.

Hope you are catching up on some much deserved rest today.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you celebrating in the next few days.   I just want you all to know that you mean so much to me.  You visit and leave comments when you can.  You celebrate and worry right along side of me.  You are just the best at helping me through this crazy life of mine.  I thank you for your friendship.  I thank you for all of your kind comments about my son graduating.  Or as Little Buddy says, "congradulating."  I thank you for your kind words, your thoughts and prayers and for sticking with me this year in blogland.  I thank you for loving Little Buddy.  I hope this photo makes you as happy as it makes me.  It is very special to be five!

I wish you the very best holiday.  I wish you peace and tranquility.  I wish you the gift of friendship, love and laughter.  I wish you good health and happiness, and for your life to be truly blessed.

With love to you,

Monday, December 19, 2016

Big Family News.....

Big, big news here at my house, Mr. 23 is a graduate!  He graduated yesterday from The Ohio State University!  Woo Hoo!!!!

The ceremony was held at the basketball stadium which was packed.  The graduates all sat in these empty seats.  There were 3.600 of them graduating this December.  They only say the names of the doctoral graduates, and frankly we had no idea where Mr 23 was in the mix of this, somewhere on the right side on the floor.  But we found him after the ceremony and boy did I squeeze the life out of him.  I could not be prouder.

Mr. 23 and Mr.19, who will be next in line for the next graduation.  Well lets not forget  Little Buddy who will graduate from pre-k into Kindergarten this spring. 

My three boys, I am a proud mother.

We grabbed some innocent man and had him take our picture.  Not bad for spur of the moment. 

Let me just say that Mr. 23 has been through a lot.  He has grown up to be an amazing young man.  He is smart, funny and articulate.  He swam at Ohio State for three years before retiring and concentrating on internships, which is amazing.   He plans on working for a year or two and is entertaining the thought of law school.  He is  just the best.  Anyone hiring?????????