Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cleaning up the mess..........

There has been such a mess to clean up both on the internet and in my home.  I am only sorry I tackled my home first because it would have been very therapeutic to get rid of so much after the mess with Little Buddy.  As you can imagine I have been a bit distraught.  I have been consumed with trying to find his image out there and stop it from spreading.  I have had my dear sister, her husband, my oldest son and all of his friends on the chase. We have been somewhat successful, but as you know once it is out there, it is out there.  

I can't thank you enough for all of your support.  You have left me so many wonderfully supportive messages.  I have gotten back to most of you, but if you are a no-reply blogger please know I read your heartfelt words and appreciate you taking the time to contact me.  Many of you have emailed me separately and joined in my search or have listened to me rant.  You are all the best, each and every one of you are so wonderful, positive, and caring, and felt almost as much outrage as I have.  

This is an unfortunate situation, and really is so pathetic the lowness some people will turn to.  What I do know right now is that the gofundme,com site where Little Buddy was first listed was taken down about 20-30 minutes after I reported it and has not gone back up.  They did a wonderful job at that organization stopping this bogus story and stopping the person trying to make money off of Little Buddy.  Twitter has not been quite as successful, but I think the original tweet spread like wildfire and was re-tweeted so many times it can't be fixed.  But the link back to gofundme is still disabled so that is good.  I will have to say I had to join Twitter to log a complaint and they were not the nicest about helping me.  I will only keep my account to check on things like this, not to tweet, it just is not my thing. 

So now I have to find a way to move past this and to be honest I am still struggling with that.  Blogging has lost a bit of its luster for me, I can't trust it and I am nothing if not a trusting person.  I am sure it will pass so I appreciate it if you would hang in there with me while I try to work through this.  I have read your blogs and am so happy for all that you have posted.  I have not commented as I really have not had the energy, but I am reading.  I don't expect you to comment here if I am not commenting with you, please know that I am totally fine with that.  

I plan on using many of your suggestions such as marking my photos.  It really is easy and even if it can all be photo-shopped out it is still more of a hassle to do that than just stealing an untouched photo.  I still plan to feature my little guy, but right now I am feeling a bit shy about it.  He is so precious and thankfully will not know what has happened, but it has scared me and I want to keep him safe.  

I am taking the rest of the week and weekend off.  I hope you understand.  I need to get my groove back and it seems to be missing in so many areas right now.  I am even having difficulty settling down to knit or crochet, so I am back to cleaning out things.  I have had 6 bags already sent to Goodwill, with 3 more ready to go.  I have two big bags of yarn ready to donate to the lovely people who accepted Mrs Josephine's yarn.  The person I need to take the yarn to won't be back for a few weeks so I am adding more and more all the time.  I have been a bit ruthless getting rid of it, none of the yarn was from the yarn I counted up, just the odds and ends I had in my closet.

So for now I leave you and wish you a wonderful weekend.  I have the greatest love and respect for all of you.  I especially want to thank you for hanging in there with me.  And of course I want to thank the brilliant reader who notified me in the first place, I can't imagine what would have happened had she not been so alert and proactive. 

See you soon.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

The good and bad of blogging......................

Grab a cup of tea of coffee because this might be a long post.  Last night something happened as a result of blogging that really shocked me to my core.  A wonderful reader of this humble blog of mine contacted me stating that she had received an email from someone using Little Buddy's photo on a campaign to raise money.  This blogger took the time to open this email she received, search the site and contact me regarding the contents.  And as soon as I got her email I searched the site and with further help from her found a picture of my beautiful boy representing a bogus story to raise money.  I felt sick to my stomach, I still do.  With this readers help we were able to contain this situation before it got out of hand, and after several emails to the picture was removed and then that site was shut down.  I am so disturbed that someone would go on my blog and take advantage of my disabled son, but in the land of social media where everything is out there I guess I should not be surprised.

I am a careful blogger.  I don't mention my family by name, I don't post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or any of the other sites.  I thought I was being diligent, but it was not enough.  My first reaction was to completely shut down this blog and remove all the contents of it.  I want to make sure no one takes advantage of my son.  But after a very restless night  and a good long talk with my sister Claudia, I have calmed down a bit and my thoughts are now moving in a different direction.

You see we need to be there for each other just like this amazing reader was there for me and for Little Buddy.  She emailed me no less than seven times on a Friday evening to help me get to the bottom of this situation, she even included her phone number in case I needed more help.  And without her diligence and help Little Buddy would be used in a way that is sickening to think about.  We need to be aware and take the time to help each other just like this reader was there for me.  We need to be positive with each other and help when we can.  I will probably never meet the reader who helped me, but if I could I would give her the biggest hug ever.  There are horrible people out there in this big scary world of ours.  People who happen upon a blog and steal a picture of a little boy to make money off of him.  Now we know far worse things happen in life, but look how easy this was to do.  And without help from a friend I would have never known it was happening.

So after a lot of thought and wisdom from my older sister I have decided that if I were to shut down this blog then the ugly, pathetic people out there would win.  I enjoy blogging because of the interaction I have with all of you.  I thought seriously about never including Little Buddy again, but you would miss him, he is such an inspiration to me and so many.  He is on a journey that is interesting and motivating in so many ways.  I want to capture that for all of you and for him.  

So for now I remain here standing strong and steady.  But I stand here with all of you standing right next to me, holding my hands and creating a big circle of friendship.  I am here for you just as you are here for me.  We have to take care of each other and watch out for each other with love and compassion.  We have to reach out to each other when we see something that is not right, just like my friend did for me and Little One.

My emotions are all over the place right now.  I am disgusted, and  feeling violated in a way.  But overall I am feeling gratitude to a reader who took the time to help me out and make sure Little Buddy was not taken advantage of.  Lets be there for each other and learn a lesson that we are stronger together than we are apart.

And just to prove my point here is our little guy.  Boy is he in need of a haircut!

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Friday, May 22, 2015

A gift from Amy and getting real with myself....................

Before I get all crazy I want you all to see what my lovely friend Amy sent me in the mail this week.  She had a little giveaway and I was the very fortunate and excited winner.  
Have a look.

Look at the wonderful things that landed in my mailbox.  These adorable cards, each featuring a dog or two, well you know how much I love my Max.  And this incredible cherry broach that she made and designed.

Isn't this broach the best?  Amy made some for fellow blogging friends she met up with a few weeks back, then she had a giveaway so we could all be included and have one too!  I am sorry for all of you who entered and did not win, but I have to say I am thrilled for myself!  I want you all to visit Amy at Love Made My Home, she is warm, caring and oh so funny.  She is also the creator of Five on Friday.  Pop in and say Hello!

Now for my reality check.  This love of yarn of mine has gotten out of hand.  I think I have a real problem here and I haven't even bought any yarn this year.  I decided to write down all the yarn I have, well all the yarn that in a singular amount could make a project.  I came up with 53 different types of yarn, with different amounts of yardage in each type ranging from enough to make a sweater all the way down to a nice scarf.  That amount does not included anything in the flat brown basket on the right side of the third shelf that is filled with all different amounts of cotton yarn.

It does include all of this, but not the bins of leftovers or odd balls I have in my closet.  This reality check also included messy shelves that need to be dusted and organized.

And it does not include these mini balls of yarn left over from lots of things I have made.  I knew I would be surprised by the sheer amount of yarn I own, but boy was I really surprised.  There is no way I am adding up the yardage, I might choke if I realized how many miles of yarn I actually have.  But writing it down has made me realize even more that I need to stick to my guns and not buy anymore yarn for a while.  I might even make it a whole year without a yarn purchase, wouldn't that be amazing!  I am going to try and pick projects for the yarn I have, not a project that is going to increase my stash.  Now to be honest, a lot of this yarn was on sale or was a gift, but still I need to get a handle on this before more is allowed in my house.  

This weekend I also plan to get a handle on my patterns.  Before Pinterest and Ravelry hit it big I was a huge printer of patterns.  I still love to do that but I need to be better about printing only those that I really, really think I am going to make.  I think it would be better for my house and the environment.  I have four days off this weekend including today, now you know I can't sit still for very long so I will be attempting to clear some things out of my house and off my list.  Today was spent running errands and getting clothes for my son to wear to his graduation and senior breakfast.  He is not one to dress up at all so he is hard to shop for and will not go out to shop for anything.  I managed two trips out and two trips back to return certain items.  He looks so handsome in nice pants and a nice shirt, don't tell him I told you that!

My container garden is looking great.  I have a huge cucumber plant growing on the right and a cantaloupe on the left.  The leaves look surprisingly similar.  The plants love the new spot I moved them to, they like having a little bit more time in the sun.

This is the remainder of my one surviving tomato plant.  We have already eaten several ripe tomatoes and there are a few more ripening right now.  Yum!  I can't wait to eat some more with a little basil and balsamic vinegar. 

I hear Little Buddy waking up from his late nap so I am going to sign off.  Hope you all enjoy your weekend.
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Monday, May 18, 2015

Things on my mind on a Monday...........................

I can honestly say I am not ready to start my work week.  I am trying to prepare myself for a very full four days ahead of me.  Seems like the older I get the longer it takes me to regroup from a busy week with long days at work.

I tried very hard to take some time to sit down and crochet this weekend.  This is another Jamie short sleeve vest by Vicki Chan.  You knew I had to make another one didn't you?  I have to make it again so I feel like I have mastered the pattern, and so it fits a reasonably sized human being. 

Made from Berroco Boboli Lace that I had in my stash.  I am just loving this stash shopping.  I seriously have not bought yarn in over five months.  That does not mean I have not been gifted yarn, I just have not bought any and I am so happy about that.  

We have finally had rain this past weekend.  My flowers and grass are so happy.  I know we are not having a severe drought like many places, we just needed some rain and it appeared in big, booming, thunderstorms, late in the day.   One storm hit last Tuesday when I went to pick up Mr. 21 from the airport and his flight ended up circling over Tampa for an hour and then got diverted to Orlando to refuel.  He arrived three hours late even though he was supposed to arrive 20 minutes early.  I had a lovely time in the airport chatting with several people and listening to my audio-book.   Did I have anything to do with my hands, nope left all my projects at home because I thought it was going to be a very quick trip.

Mr. 21's girlfriend arrived yesterday afternoon.  You know who was having a lovely time with the extra attention (not that he needs any).   These two have been an item for seven months, that is like seven years is real time.  She is a delight and I am glad they have found each other.

I have many cucumber flowers blooming on my plant and even some cantaloupe flowers, too.  I moved my container garden to an area where it got more sun.  My tomatoes have gone wild in this new space, thank goodness only 1/3 of my tomato plant is still alive or I would have to open a tomato stand.  

Max enjoyed a quiet moment by the pool this morning while I tried to coax Little Buddy to eat.  His appetite is still down, his nose still stuffed and his cough still coughing.  But he was well enough to go to school this morning.  I know he will be tired by this afternoon and will take a big nap after his speech therapy session.  Thank you for all the well wishes, we are both doing much better.

This past weekend I also started the Nevis Cardigan by Stefanie Japel.  I needed a project I could work on that did not take a tremendous amount of thought.  A good project to pick up while watching TV, or listening to a book.  I have had this cardigan on my list to make for several years and actually purchased yarn to make it 3 or 4 years ago.  I will see how it works up and just might knit it again in the yarn I intended to make it with in the first place. This Berroco Folio yarn was purchased a while back to make another Berroco pattern that I just could not stick with.  I think it will work beautifully with this pattern.

This gorgeous hawk landed in my yard right outside my office window.  I climbed up on a chair and took his/her photo through my very dirty window.  I asked it nicely to leave a feather for me but it declined.  

I am now dreaming of being done with my work week even though it has not technically started yet.  I am severely in need of some alone time and that is not going to happen any time soon.  Summer is quickly approaching and Little Buddy will be home all the time.  Mr. 18 will be too, well that is until he leaves for his new college.  So much change and so little time does not make me a happy person.  

How are you?
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Friday, May 15, 2015

The dreaded Lurgy ...............................

Yep you guessed it, Little Buddy and I have both been ill.  First it was Little B, then I caught it a week ago and now he has it back again, and even worse this time.  Lots of the kids I work with have been ill too.

I have always loved the phrase, "The dreaded Lurgy."  I feel that I am British, well not in this lifetime but maybe in my last one.   I find all things British just fascinating.  So I have decided we both have The Lurgy.

He has missed four days of school this week.  I should have missed a day or two of work, but I didn't.  I am now feeling much, much better, especially after many naps this past weekend.  Little Buddy has a ways to go yet.

Here he is trying to blow raspberries with his lips.  Even when is not feeling well he can still make me laugh.  Being around all those other preschoolers has not been easy on his immune system this year.  The first seven months he lived with us I don't think he was ever ill, but this school year has been hard.  I guess he has to build up that immune system sometime.

Lord you can see in this picture I really need to wipe his nose.  I have been following him around with a tissue which has not made him happy.  We went to the Doctor today just in case it was an ear infection that would rear its ugly head right at 5 pm when the office closes for the weekend.  Nope, he just has a nasty, miserable, cold with a sore throat which makes him not want to eat a thing at all.  Not even potato chips or chocolate chip cookies his very favorite things to eat.  My little one has already lost almost 2 pounds.  Well he will gain it all back soon enough.  Having Mr. 21 return home a few days ago has helped brighten everyone's spirits.  You have to love a young man who picks up his coughing, wheezing and sneezing brother and could care less of the germs being spewed all over him.

Little Buddy will cough directly in your face and then say, "You have to cough into your elbow!!!"  Well yes you do little one, now maybe you can try it!

Hope you all have a healthy weekend.
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Monday, May 11, 2015

Hmmmm...... not so sure about this Jamie

I have finished my Jamie - short sleeve crochet vest and I am not happy.  I went up hook sizes to get the gauge, yes I actually checked the gauge, and still this is a very small sweater vest.  I used the  recommended type of yarn, so I am not sure what happened.  

Here it is take a look.

It is a tiny sweater vest, even with a huge amount of steam blocking.

The pattern by Vicki Chan was very easy to make, I really enjoyed it, I am just not sure where I went wrong.  I have read over everyone's project notes on Ravelry and it seems I might be the only person with a vest a bit too snug.

This was going to be for my niece, but she is really a bit more my size just shorter.  So now I think it has to go to her daughter, who will graduate from high school soon and be off to Boston University this Fall.

It looks so formal in these photos, but I think with jeans and a white tank top it will be perfect , maybe even a little bohemian to wear.  She may not like it at all but I have to try.  A lot of work went into this vest and I don't want it to end up in a time out bin at the bottom of my closet.  Maybe it was meant to be my great-nieces all along, it certainly would not be the first time I have made something that went to an entirely different person than it was meant for after it was finished.  

This is made with Ella Rae Lace Merino Solid , with a size D hook for the bodice and an E for the lace pattern.  I made it a little longer than the pattern because it just seemed way to short.  I used approximately 750 yards of yarn for this project.  The yarn was purchased last year in Tampa for 30% off when my yarn store was going out of business.  So it is a cost effective present, and even better as more yarn has left my stash.

I hope my great-niece likes it.  You never can tell with a gift can you?

Hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day and a great weekend.
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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of you fabulous women who inspire me everyday.  You don't have to be a Mother to celebrate this day, we all have had Mother's and we all mother others.  So put you feet up, have a cup of tea and enjoy your day.
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