Sunday, September 17, 2017

Getting back to normal......

Everything is back in place after Hurricane Irma.  I am so thankful it is all done.  After the whole yard and outside furniture clean up I still had a few things to do, replacing Dinah was one of them.  You can read about this precious doll here.   Dinah was carefully wrapped in a towel and placed in my closet for the duration of the storm.  She rarely is out of her glass case, so before I put her back I took a few close up photos of her.  My older boys think she is the creepiest doll ever.  I did too when I was young.  The boys don't understand the history behind her even though I have told them a million times.  Is it boys, or maybe all kids don't seem to appreciate the precious mementos of our ancestors?  They are so digitally engaged, have they lost the importance of our past?   Dinah is so delicate, and frankly she has aged way better than I have.  Look there is barely a wrinkle on her face, not bad for being over 100 years old.  If you have to take one precious thing with you what would you take?  Well that is besides your family, lovely pets and important papers.  My answer is always Dinah.

It is amazing how funny I feel when things are not in place in my home.  When we were getting ready for the storm Little Buddy said, "Mom, everything is out of order!"  Yup, it sure was, but now I can walk around and see everything back in place, hooray!  So many people in Houston, Mexico, Florida and the Pacific Northwest are still suffering.  And yet another senseless bomb in London, you have to wonder when all this chaos will end.  All we can do is help when and where we can, send positive energy, love and money if possible to those in need.  And of course put things back in order.  A new week at work and school starting again tomorrow will help.

You would have thought with all the time off work I have had that this Envision Cardigan would be complete but it is not.  Every time I went to work on it before, during or after the storm I just could not stay focused.  There was too much to do with everyone here at my house.  And when I got everything all sorted out I had loads of paperwork to catch up on.  So yesterday I made myself sit down with it for a few hours and start the ribbing.  I am off a stitch so it does not look like actual ribbing but I kind of like it so it will stay this way.  My own design flaw I guess.   Even though I swear I hear my yarn calling me from my stash, wanting me to come and play, I am refusing to listen.  I need to complete this sweater before I can start anything else.  I think this beautiful yarn deserves a finish after trying four times to make something with it before.

My darling Max is exhausted.  The storm really took a lot out of him.  He woke the morning of the storm coughing and vomiting.  He kept at it periodically through out the morning until I finally gave him a pain pill and he settled down.  The next day it was the same but to a slightly less degree in intensity.  He does not like children, but did well with the little ones at the house.  Still he must have been exhausted.  During the storm we would take him out when it seemed like there was a slight lull.  He would always look around very concerned, almost frozen for a bit until he would finally turn and come into the house.  This morning he fell and did not eat his breakfast until well after 11:00.  I am keeping my eye on him and as always I tell him I love him and to tell me when he is ready to go, I will honor him with the respect and dignity he so deserves. 

Okay, have a wonderful week my friends.  Stay safe wherever you are.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Surviving Irma...........

Hi everyone, I have missed you.  We have been very busy with an old crotchety storm named Irma who frankly could not make up her mind where she wanted to go.  We started preparations by removing everything from our back pool area on Saturday.  If you live where there are hurricane's it is safest to toss your furniture in the pool.  Well the furniture that can sink that is.  Everything else has to be hauled inside or into your garage.  All the plants, chairs, tables, swings, plastic play houses, I mean everything has to go somewhere secure.

We weathered the storm miraculously well.  I am so shocked because Irma must have some anger issues, she was big, bold and frankly devastating to so many.  The morning of the storm it looked like she was coming directly at us.  Entering near St. Petersburg, jumping over Tampa Bay and heading to our house a few miles inland.  I can't tell you how stressed we were.  On top of the stress from a week of trying to find water and supplies.  I assume everyone shopped really early while I was at work after seeing what happened with Hurricane Harvey.  One week before Irma touched the United States there was no water or batteries anywhere.  The stress of every update made all of us go a bit mad.  Where would she go?  Then to see the major evacuations all over the state, it was crazy.  Anyway back to the morning of, I made a tough decision and sent my son, Mr. 20 back to Orlando.  We were going to get hit head on and frankly I wanted one of us to be okay.  It sounds melodramatic at this point but it is the truth.  He has an apartment there, he could start school if needed if we were without a house.  It was the toughest thing I have had to do, say good-by to him and know he would feel guilty if something did happen to us.  Gosh, I could cry right now thinking of it all.  I know you are screaming why didn't you go somewhere?  Well there was no real safe place to go.  We had yet to be told to evacuate, we are zone C, A and B were the priority.  Plus we had Little Buddy's medical foster mom, her girls and a baby staying here from Saturday afternoon until this afternoon.  They live in low St. Petersburg and needed a safe place to be.  The girls have issues that would not have done well in a shelter.  Gosh it was a mess.  Suddenly we are responsible for a whole other family.  Anyway we all talked and decided we have a very sturdy house, we have been thorough this before, it was time to take more action.  We have safe places to go downstairs and have an up stairs in case of significant flooding.  So I emptied out my closet and the little cubby under the stairs I use for storage.  It is only accessible from my closet.  The girls slept there, Little Buddy and the baby slept in my closet.  We could all hop in there if needed.  The kids thought it was the best, the adults were stressed to the max!

We watched the weather reports all afternoon and evening long.  Suddenly Irma wanted to head up the middle of the state after entering near Naples.  Those poor people and those on the east coast 100 miles away from her.  They have been devastated with destruction and flooding.  I felt better knowing we were on the west side of her, and she kept shifting east.  So now I have sent my son to an area that is going to be worse than us, I know not my best moment of motherhood.  We stayed up late into the night and watched the news and felt the winds gust up over 80 miles per hour.  That is doable in our house, not for everyone but certainly for us.  At about 2 AM it got very quiet, I think we were kind of near the center of the storm at that point although the eye did not go directly over us.  By 3 AM it was game on again, and continued all night long.  

In the morning the baby woke at 5:30 and I got him up for a bottle so he would not wake the others.  He soon fell back to sleep and I put on my raincoat and took a pre-dawn walk around my house and the one next door.  It was raining and windy but the worst was over.  We had very big branches down all over, but the miracle is not one of them fell on the house or our screen enclosure.  We have had electricity the entire time, even though most of my county is still without power.  We are all safe.  Mr. 20  had high winds, tornadoes and ended up losing power and just got it back this afternoon. The little's act like they have been on a grand adventure.  Little Buddy is completely exhausted from playing non stop and not taking a nap for three days.  Last night he actually told us he was going to bed!

My friends just left late this afternoon.  They are still without power but do have a generator.  It took us two full days to chop up branches, load debris into garbage bags, and replace all the things we had stored away.  We are so lucky, so crazy lucky I can't even tell you in words how grateful I am.  There are so many suffering.  They have lost so much.  Somehow we lucked out with this one.

I want to thank you all so much for your kinds words, your emails and your concern.  I can't ell you how much it means to me that you would take the time to email me with your concern about our well being.  I thank you for your comments on my blog, for contacting my sister when I was not able to get on this space and write that we were fine.  I also want to thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts.  Knowing you were thinking of us when you were watching the weather just warms my heart.  You are all the best.

And just so you know the last photo is Frankie the tortoise.  He had to come, too.  He is just 2 months old and will live 80-100 years.  He is so cute, and loves hibiscus leaves.  He was fun to have here.

Okay, now back to regular life.  Thank God!  

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Ramblings of a weary woman..........

Hello my friends.  How was your week?  These two beauties ate a late afternoon snack at my house this week.  We have been getting a lot of rain lately, dear Texas and the areas out west with fire all around, I hate to even utter those words, it sounds so silly with what you are all going through.  The swamp behind my house has filled up and the deer are safer on solid ground where the gators and water moccasins are not as likely to appear.  I rounded up Little Buddy to see these two, as deer are usually not snacking this close to my house in broad daylight.  We spooked them even by moving to the window inside our house.  They did not go far, just to the edge of my property for more to eat.  So beautiful and serene aren't they?

I can't remember if I posted this new sheep I got for my birthday from my dear friend in North Carolina.  As you can see I am fishing for photos to post.  It has been a long week.  Work had left me very weary by Thursday and on top of that on my ride to pick up Little B from school a massive migraine set in.  I am just now shaking it.  Even with medicine that literally knocks me out I am still experiencing the after affects of it all.  I feel like my brain has been scrambled for days and the pain was pretty relentless.  None the less I am in my dry home, slept in my own bed, with all the possessions I own, not worried about where I am going to live or how to rebuild my life.  I have nothing to complain about.

Very little work got done on the Envision Cardigan.  I did not do a stitch on it until Friday and now am trying hard to get more work done on it.  I am trying to stay monogamous with this project because this yarn, the fourth time it is trying to be made into a sweater, deserves it.  I like the look of it so far.  What do you think?

Normally I do not post photos of clothes but I am so excited.  We are going to a nephew's wedding in November and I have been searching for a dress to wear.  I am not easy to fit being tall, flat chested and now apparently in my 50's getting very hippy.  For a wedding we went to this past February I searched for months and ended up wearing something I already had that I feel was not quite right.  I understand no one cares what I wear, they are only looking at the bride and groom, still I want to look presentable.  This time I decided to shop online instead of the never ending driving around and searching like I did last time I was looking.  I have now ordered five dresses, all of which have been returned.  Finally, yesterday I took Little B out and we made a quick stop at Stein Mart.  I saw several dresses which we took into the fitting room to try on.  I think he was my lucky charm as two of them fit and looked decent.  I think the woman in the room next to us was laughing at our conversation.  Me saying things like, "This is a possibility."  Little Buddy saying things like, "No way Mom that is not a possibility."  Me, "Do you know what the word possibility means?"  Little B, "No but it isn't one."  Me, "My knees look horrible in this one, I inherited your Grandmother's knees."  Little B, well he had no response to this one, he just made faces at himself in the mirror.  I am not sure which one I will wear but I am happy to have two options and the price was right.  And I might add I am keeping them both.

I finally walked outside to view my sadly neglected back pool area.  I have exactly two flowers to show you because I have exactly two flowers.  The rest of my yard is cluttered with leaves and twigs, and my flower beds are inundated with weeds.  I am not bending over to pull out even one weed.  My head is just starting to recover there is no way I am going to jinx it now.  Again, what are a few weeds when I actually have a yard that is above water?   I can walk around the yard and go back into my dry house.  I will take the leaves, twigs and weeds considering what others are going through.

This boy has been neglected this week, too.  So today I set about making him feel beautiful and special.  I combed a whole dog of fur out of him and I fear there is still more to get out.  He can only handle so much combing.  In standing you have to support him while he is being brushed because he  easily loses his balance.  I will try to get more off him tomorrow and maybe give him a bath.  He must be so hot with all that fur on these hot and humid end of summer days.

Really, he is the best boy ever.

As for this one he was making a mad get away from me this morning as I tried to round him up to get him dressed for the day.  He is doing well in school although had a tough day on Friday.  He told his assistant that he was done.  No matter where they went, therapy, art or computer lab, he was done.  Frankly by Friday I know how he feels.  She had a good chuckle about it but told him even though he thinks he is done he still has to do what is expected of him.  It was probably my fault because I let him nap much to long on Thursday due to my migraine.  I simply could not get up.  So by the time I got him it was much later than usual which meant he had a hard time falling asleep in the evening.  Oh well it won't happen very often and by Tuesday, when he goes back to school he should be all rested up.

I know we are all praying for those affected by the floods in Texas, those affected by the fires out west, and frankly for the whole state of our country and the world.  I know I am.  Have a good week.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Thanks and a new project......

Hello my friends.  Did you have a good week?  I want to start off with a special thanks to all of you for you comments of concern about Mr. 20.  He is doing much better but is still not at 100%.  He left for Orlando on Saturday and told us he did not need our help moving into his apartment.  Well by 4:00 he was calling very stressed out that his bedding did not fit.  The bedding that fit in the very same apartment complex he was in last year.  He went to various stores that did not have sheets and bedding appropriate for the sized bed the complex told him he had.  He kept checking in and with every call I realized he was getting more stressed and his stomach was hurting again from all the stress and activity that moving entails.  So at 5:30 I jumped in my car, made a Target run for Queen sized bedding and drove the 2 hours and 15 minutes over to get him set up.  He was much better after I got there because he was no longer hiking his items up two flights of stairs and had had some time to rest.  I set him up and took off.  It was a fast 20 minute visit but I needed to get home.  Ah, the things you do for your kids.  The  trip was worth it because he can't afford to miss school with this intestinal issue and frankly I can't afford more hospital stays.  

Here are my boys just minutes before Mr. 20 left for school.  Can you believe this is the only picture I have of them all together this summer?  Little Buddy's face is looking a little wonky but all in all it is a good shot.  Little Buddy looks like he could have been born into this family of mine.  Funny how often that happens.  And frankly he is a pistol just like his oldest brother so I am wondering how he inherited that?

My husband is the main cook in my house.  He really enjoys it and frankly I don't.  I can make a good turkey spaghetti, or chicken fried rice now and again but that is about it.  Little Buddy loves to be in the kitchen helping.  His main job is to run the microwave but he wants to do so much more.  He is not tall enough to help at the counter and does not have the stability to stand on a chair.  My husband heard about this Little Partners learning tower and ordered it right away.  Now Little Buddy is happily helping with the cooking duties and he is safe in his little stander.

His first big job was to put sticks of butter in a pot after removing the paper they were in.  Success!  This stander is adjustable so it can last for a long time.  Maybe his future career will be as a chef?  Well that or an elevator operator or conductor, he is still obsessed with elevators and trains.

My dear friend Chris whom you have heard me mention many times on this blog sent me this beautiful crochet pattern.  It is the Envision Cardigan by Heidi May.  I fell in love with it right away, Chris knows my love of crochet and is always spot on with pattern suggestions for me.   Once again I have frogged a project that I was making with this beautiful Juniper Moon Moonshine yarn.  I think this is now my fourth attempt to make something with this yarn.  But I have to say the yarn holds up to frogging and reuse, it is a pleasure to have this yarn working through my fingers.   Wish me luck that this time I have an actual finished project to show you with this yarn.  Thanks again Chris for thinking of me.  You are the very, very best.  For all of you non crocheters there is a knitted version of this sweater here.

It was so humid out this morning that my camera fogged up every time I tried to take a photo.  Yet this beauty still turned out.  I have to say that for the first time in over four months I am actually in my house alone.  Yup, it is blissful.  There is silence.  No one is sleeping, studying, watching TV, working or playing with cars and trucks.  I would not want this every moment of my life but I am sure enjoying it for a few hours.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A long two weeks......

Well my friends it has been a long two weeks.  Funny how just a few things happening can completely wipe you off the blogging grid.  How are you?  Any News?  What is happening in your life?

First things first, look who is now officially a kindergartner.  Little Buddy is very much enjoying his new class and new teacher.  He has the same assistant as last year.  I sent many a letter this summer to the administrators in our school district recommending they stay together.  She is loving but tough and frankly does not let him get away with anything.  That is just how I want it as a cute little one that is catered to because he has special needs will not be a productive in middle or high school.  He is capable of learning and performing at the same rate as his peers and should be encouraged to do so.  She understands this and I just love how much she loves him.  Little Buddy is so lucky to have her.

The surprise baby blanket is finished.  I ended up having an abundance of time to crochet last weekend, more on that in a bit.  This baby blanket is called the surprise baby blanket because my next door neighbor is having a granddaughter that was a bit of a surprise.   All is well with Mom and baby and after the shock the whole family is getting more and more excited.  Obviously I am also because this baby blanket was made with this beautiful baby in mind.  Every stitch has a little prayer in it in hopes this little one has a wonderful life.  

The body of the blanket is made with Ella Rae Cozy Soft in the color 21, gray.  I used 3.5 skeins of yarn for the body and the last row of the border pattern, so approximately 750 yards.  I used left overs of various Simplicity by Hikoo and CoBaSi by Hikoo for the border.  I am estimating the shawl to have used 950 yards of yarn, and it was made with a size H hook. The main body and the border are based on the Sunday Shawl pattern I used to make my very own Sunday Shawl which you can find on this link to my Ravelry page.  I only made eight rows of the border as frankly this blanket was just getting to be too big.  I think it ended up the perfect size with just the right amount of border.

Ah, now the reason for so much crochet time.  Mr. 20 got very ill last week and ended up in the hospital for four long days and nights.  Bless him he had not been feeling well for several days until Thursday when he went to the doctor for intense abdominal pain and feeling things were not right in that area.  She felt he might be getting an ulcer and sent him home on all kinds of medication.  By Friday AM, very, very early he was in a lot of distress so I sent him to the hospital with his girlfriend with me quick on the trail after I dropped off Little Buddy at school.  After hours of tests and several shots of pain medication we were sent home on anti spasm drugs, pain medication and a diagnosis of mesenteric lymphadentitis.  Well my friends I had never heard of this before but I won't soon forget it.   We were back at the ER 3 hours after discharge as the pain meds were not helping and my son was in extreme pain, he reminded me of a woman in labor with no break between contractions.  He was admitted, put on morphine, and had to let his intestines recover before he could ingest anything, even water.    By Monday morning his pain was lower and he was able to start taking fluids, then a liquid diet and by evening he had eggs!  Whoop, whoop I have never been so happy to hear that my boy ate eggs.  He was able to come home Monday night and is recovering nicely although does not seem to be to pleased with his bland diet.  He is headed off to school in Orlando this weekend so we have to get him healthy enough to go.  

Last but not least, actually he should have been first, my darling Max is now 13.  I am just so thrilled he is still doing relatively well.  Yes he has a bit of a hard time getting up and sleeps all the time.  He can't hear well but then neither can I.  He is still happy, loves his family, loves to eat fruit and still hates to have his picture taken.  We are so blessed he is still with us.

So I can be honest with you all can't I?  I am exhausted.  I mean really, really tired, with work, worry about my son, making sure Little Buddy is taken care of, and endless hours in the hospital.  The events of the last week politically have also left me feeling depressed, more so than ever about the current state of our country, and the manic hands it has been left in.  We should not be surprised, he has been telling us who he is for a very long time.  Firing his chief strategist is just for show,  the fact that this man and several others have been allowed near The White House is a travesty.  

Hope you are all well.  There is just no way I can catch up from two weeks off blogging but I hope to visit you soon.  Have a good weekend.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The letter of the day is C.......

The letter of the day is C.  Yup, and it starts off with crochet.  I am almost done with the body of this baby blanket.  Just about four more inches to go until I start the border.  Maybe if Little Buddy will cooperate with me this afternoon and rest I just might get that body done.

Next we have clutter.  We are closing in on the end of the summer here, Little Buddy's school supplies are all over.  Mr. 20 has moved back home for a few weeks so we have bags of his bedding in the dinning room, clothes all over his room and well you know how it is with boys, a crazy mess.

Mr. Cuteness is of course adorable.  He decided to have a pajama day today and why not?  School is starting on Thursday so we have few of these days left.  We had no where to go today so I said okay.  Well it was all cute until he had an accident in these pj's and I literally said, "Oh crap!"  Yup, I was right on the money with that statement.  He is getting much better in the big boy underpants department but he is not perfect yet.  The mess was cleaned up in a hurry and now we are having a 
t-shirt/big boy underpants day until after nap when we will go for a swim.

I made cookies this morning with agave and grain sweetened chocolate chips.  Mr. 23 and I eat a lot of them! 

I have been rather cranky this past week as it is hot and I have worked a lot.  Little Buddy and I spent an entire day on Tuesday getting routine tests done that are needed annually.  He was a champ the whole time but it was a long day.  That along with a super surprise adventure to see Paw Patrol Live last Sunday has left me feeling less composed than usual.  It has been very nice to spend a cozy weekend at home.

Thanks for the chat, you are all charming companions.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Failure is not always a bad thing.......


Failure is not always a bad thing.  It can lead you onto new projects, ones that will make a difference.  This sweater has been frogged.  I love the yarn too much to have it waste away on something that ended up was going to be much to big for me.  I felt that I was going to look like an old woman in a little girls crochet outfit, this yarn deserved better.  A weeks work was quickly frogged.  Funny how long it takes to crochet those precious inches and how fast it is to unravel them.

I made a quick trip to the yarn store last weekend to get the basic yarn for the new baby blanket I need to make.  This Ella Rae gray yarn will be perfect as it is acrylic with just a pinch of wool, washable for all those baby messes.  I also bought the skeins of pink and light turquoise to make the border a little more baby friendly.   They are a different texture but I don't think it will make a difference when it is all worked up.  The dark lavendar was added from my stash.

I worked out the math for the blanket and chained 132 for the base plus 3 for the first hdc, after nine rows I realized this baby was way too big so last night, rip, rip, rip.  I was calculating my missteps last night and realized I had crocheted over 1,000 yards with nothing to show for it. Today I will start again, with a chain of 102 plus 3 for the body of the blanket. Projects that don't work are a part of life.  At least it is only yarn and the pleasure is in the making, the creating, not necessarily the product.  .

I am not sure that can be said for what is going on in our government.  Yes, you knew I had to say something didn't you?  Ramming through healthcare is not the same as ramming through with a project.  I can frog it with no worries.  I can start over and only have myself to blame for a wrong yarn choice, wrong needle or hook size, or wrong pattern.  No one will be hurt in the process, it is only time I have wasted.  I am only working with myslef and my choices don't affect anyone else.  As for healthcare it affects all of us whether you have Obamacare or not.  Millions of people without healthcare affects the whole economy and frankly their deaths, their lack of care, their grief about not being able to pay for their child to receive services affects all of us as a whole on the most primal level.  It says a lot about who we are as a country, who we are as people.  We should protect our own as well as protect those who can't protect themselves.  I applaud Senators Collins, Murkowski and McCain for standing up for what is right.  It was a dramatic moment when Senator John McCain stood up for what is right.  I have not always agreed with him, but I do think he is a man of integrity and honor, a hero in my book in every way.  It is easy to go with the flow and ram something through hoping that it won't get passed, it is another thing to stand up to your party and say this is not right.  It is hard to face the backlash for days before the vote as Senators Collins and Murkowski did, they have listened to the people in their state and thus were treated unfairly by their own party for doing so.  Now can we work together to make something that is right?  Can we fix the current system and make it better for all who need it?  And to add the tweets coming out of the highest office every single day are disrespectful and dishonest.  They reign chaos and serve to move us away from the real issues.  Frankly it is a disgrace to our country.  Okay enough said even though there is so much more to say.

This little one is feeling much better.  Thank you for all of your well wishes.  He lost another 1 1/2 pounds, gah isn't that always the way right before a doctor appointment? I am working on getting weight back on him.  He was sleeping in this morning and I could not resist a photo opportunity.  He had a late in the day eye appointment yesterday which meant no nap.  He slept in until 9 this morning, a world record!  I think he is still recovering a bit.  Isn't he precious?

Hope your failures have been minimal this week and your progress is positive on all accounts.  Have a great weekend.