Sunday, March 29, 2020

Keeping busy, fat quarter napkins and a wee little blanket..........

 Hello friends.  How are you?  Everyone holding up okay?  Anyone not feeling well?  Please let me know how you are.

As for me I have been working still and when I get home trying to get Little Buddy ready for online school.  It has been an effort I tell you, but we are finally at the point where I think we know the things to do to log on and get busy.  Tomorrow starts his official online schooling and it will be interesting to see how it works in real time.  I took the morning off to help him and to hopefully teach his babysitter how to do it all.  The more we do it the more it will become easy to understand.  

Friday morning I worked which is not usual for me but I had a few kids I needed to make up for various reasons.  I don't want to miss anyone in case we have to take a few weeks off of therapy.  I heard that Joann's was giving out supplies to make face masks for medical personal so I drove by to see if I could pick up a kit to make and donate but had no such luck as they are already gone.  But the store was open so I went in grabbed three bunches of fat quarters, a skein of cheap acrylic yarn and dashed out.  Keeping my 6 feet of distance from everyone I might add.  It amazed me how many people who were just meandering around shopping.  Actually, it amazed me the store was even open.  

In one of my recent purge sessions I got rid of all our cloth napkins.  Now I am not proud to admit we use paper napkins but I am cutting myself some slack here because really I am the recycling queen at this house.  We are seriously running out of paper napkins and good luck finding those out there my friends.  I decided that fat quarters cut in half and serged around the edges would be a great idea.  I picked the three packs that were not Christmas or baby themed, set up my serger and got to work.  I now have 28 light weight napkins that can easily be thrown in the wash.    I placed them in a basket on my table so they are easily accessible and there we are.  It is better for the environment, pretty cost effective as they were 40% off and easy to make when these get stained and need to be replaced.  

While I have been cleaning like a mad woman Little Buddy has spent some time practicing his educational games for school.  He really enjoys them and gets credit for doing them.  Yesterday I spent over 6 hours cleaning my house and did not even make it upstairs.  It isn't that is was that dirty, it really wasn't.  But I did have to let my cleaning people go and so now I am back to doing it all myself.  I just could not keep up my house with the hours I work so every other week they cleaned the bathrooms, kitchen, cleaned the blinds, vacuumed and dusted.  It was nice to come home to a house I did not have to clean for one day.  They really did not do a good job, I knew it, but it was a help in my very busy schedule and I trusted them.  Lord knows I cleaned and vacuumed all the time, but it was nice to think I did not have to deep clean all my bathrooms.  For now with work not expected to continue on a regular basis for some time, my husband and son working from home, not to mention this little one with online school, well it just wasn't going to work.  So I did a super deep cleaning yesterday to make things easier for me in the next few weeks.  And let me tell you when you really get down and clean you realize just how much was not getting done.  I will keep up with it as long as I can and as long as my schedule permits, but for now I am ready to go with a super clean house, well super clean bottom floor anyway!

Today I eased off cleaning the house and Little Buddy and I cleaned our cars instead.  He did not want to do this but I promised him he would have fun.  He washed all the tires and helped spray the car, mostly after I already had it dry.  It is hard to entertain him when he is used to going on adventures to ride on elevators with his dad.  Keeping him busy with fun activities at home is hard because he isn't as mobile as other kids.  Thank goodness we have a pool where he can expend energy in a wonderful way.  By the way, he can now swim down and retrieve and object off the bottom of the pool in the shallow end!  That is big stuff!

This weekend I made this little square blanket for one of my patients.  He is very physically involved and blind.  He likes to rock on his back, make sounds and play with a crochet blanket he has had for years.  The problem is the blanket has a big hole in it and it can't be fixed.  When I made my mad dash into Joann's I picked up this very inexpensive acrylic yarn and made him this blanket.  It is 18 x 18 inches so really it is just a big square, but it is a perfect size for him to play with.  He loves the acrylic blanket, not another made of cotton, so for this guy acrylic it is!  So, 230 yard of yarn used for this granny square mini blanket and a size H hook.  I carefully steam blocked it to make sure there are no germs on it and it is now in a bag in my car waiting for me to deliver it tomorrow.

So that is about it for us.  So far we are just trying to get by with the restrictions we have.  I am going to work this week if I can, but not with the kids I feel are most vulnerable or the families that have elderly parents living in the home.  We are all feeling well, hope you are too!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

What a week............

Well my friends what more is there to say?  This has been quite a week.  While I work or try to sleep I fear we don't have enough food or paper products.  The stores are empty and this is our new normal.  I actually found a frozen organic turkey at the health food store and grabbed it for the meat we can get off of it to make sandwiches.  We can eat some now and freeze some.  It is the most EXPENSIVE turkey in the history of turkey's but what choice do we have?  I woke at 4 AM on Friday morning just in a state.  So I got up at 5 and rearranged my entire office.  My oldest is working from home and needed my work table.  That was fine because I am not working at it anyway.  I moved my desk and shelves to the opposite wall and made a little area where people can sit while their loved ones are being worked on.  Not that any private patients will be here for a while, but still I am ready when they are.  By 7 I also had the garage cleaned, and by 8 my toy closet in my office with all sorts of toys and games ready to be donated.  By 9, I had Little Buddy's room organized, moved a bit and toys ready for the ever growing donation pile.  I made trips to recycle boxes, to the Goodwill drop off, got gas and ran to the store just to get more milk and a few greens.  Not much was there, certainly no flour, butter, milk, meat.  It is just crazy.  In the midst of feeling like this is the end of the world I remind myself that it isn't and to take a deep breath, but still it is so hard for everyone.  I know I am the norm right now, this isn't about me it is about all of us.

After helping Mr 26 to rearrange his work station upstairs I came down to see that Little Buddy had made his own office, complete with calculator and three phones.  He must be very busy!  He keeps switching what floor he is working on and had a pretend fire drill.  If this boy can push buttons he is one happy camper.

Hank and Bear had a grooming appointment today, I thought I was going to get it in before they closed down but no such luck.  They are officially closed for a few weeks.  The store is open for pet food and such but I still made my husband make an emergency run for more food.  We are good to go for a while, but two dogs eat a lot!  I gave the boys face hair cuts today, and trimmed a bit around their paws.  They are going to be an awful mess by the time this is over but really that is the least of my worries.

We started working on some assignments for school today.  School was officially going to start on Tuesday after spring break, but for now they are staying closed until April 15, and I can't believe they will open then.  I think we are out until next Fall.  Still we got some things done, I had Little Buddy do extra math problems and we always read so that is not new.  Yesterday was writing sentences on the computer, that takes him a long time, not the typing but processing the information and getting his ideas out of his mind and onto the page.  He wrote about elevators, which I thought was an easy subject as it is his favorite thing, but still it was a chore for him.  We will keep at it and all the other work he needs to do.

And just so you know Mr 26 no longer has a girlfriend, Little Buddy does!  His first crush and it is adorable.  Thankfully Mr 26's girlfriend is as kind and loving as can be.  She always makes time for this little one and makes him feel extra special.

While cleaning out my toy/work closet I came upon this wee little tent.  So right this second Little Buddy is in there with his iPad, a blanket and a pillow.  It gives me a break and he is very excited to have his own special place.  

I am doing an online course so better get back to it.  Just wanted to update you all on our week.  We are fine so far, trying to stay at home as much as possible.  Trying to sanitize and stay away from people when we need to go to the store.  I am working a half day tomorrow as Little One has an appointment we have to go to.  I will keep him close and as germ free as possible.  

Hope you are all well.  Check in in blogland if you can so everyone knows you are doing alright in these crazy times.  Even though most of us have never met we all care about each other.  Stay safe my friends.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Trying to find a sense of calm.......................

I am trying my hardest to maintain some sense of calm among these trying times.  I am an anxious person by nature, not usually in an out of control way, but right now I am more anxious than usual as I am sure all of you are.   So I thought I would spread a bit of Little Buddy love.  I think we all can use it to make us smile.

He was all dressed up for his spring concert Thursday evening.  He did a very good job even though in the photo he looks upset, he really wasn't.  He sang and did all the hand movements, even if he was a second or two behind.  I was one proud Mama because I know he was nervous and he did it anyway.

He is off from school a minimum of two weeks.  That puts a bit of stress on us as far as who can take care of him.  I am fortunate to have a wonderful babysitter, Aunts near by to help,  and my son's girlfriend who is off work for at least two weeks who volunteered to help with him if we need it.   I am working if I can.  I won't go if the families or kids I work with are sick, or if I am, but for now I am planning to work if I can.  If I don't work I don't get paid, no paid sick leave here.  It puts a whole extra level of stress on you when you really need to work.  I am sure I am only one of millions who feel that way.

We are planning on staying low key when we can here at home.  Yesterday was Little Buddy's last gardening club for a few weeks, today was a big ride on his big wheel and time in the pool.  Tomorrow probably more of the same.  I can keep him pretty busy at home but he will miss riding in elevators like he loves to do on weekends.

As for me I am grateful to have toilet paper and some food stocked up in my fridge and pantry.  I am so happy Mr 22 and his girlfriend got home from a cruise yesterday, with no one apparently ill on the ship that they know of.  They headed back to Orlando today, but he will not be able to work for at least two weeks due to the closure of Universal Studios.  I am grateful that my parents are not here to deal with all this.  I know that sounds horrible but trying to take care of them and their medical issues, with all this extra stuff going on might have put me over the edge.  I am thinking of all of you with elderly parents, trying to take care of them and keep them isolated at the same time.

I am thinking of all of you my friends.  Stay safe, stock up on things if you can.  Stay away from crowds, and be kind to all of those struggling. Watch wonderful movies and create if you can, it always helps. 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Why is it?

Why is it that one job leads to another?  I started off my morning raking leaves from the oak tree near my house and thought okay this is all I am going to do today.  But that led to washing off my front porch from all the pollen we have, it is thick and green on every surface around. Which led to scrubbing my front walkway where mold was beginning to grow.  Which led to pulling weeds all around my front walkway and front of the house.  Which led to giving my boys a bath.  I know that was a big jump but it really did happen.  Which led to pulling weeds out behind my pool area.  Which led to washing up, vacuuming and washing the floors while the boys were outside drying.  That first job was all I was going to do and I made it in the house and finished four hours later.

Why is it that just after I got rid of all toxic cleaners in my house I found out my refrigerator was leaking and I was getting some black mold and had to use bleach to clear it up.  I got an infestation of flies in my master bathroom which I think are drain flies and had to use a toxic drain cleaner to get rid of them.  We are not in the clear yet but the fly death rate at my house is slowing down.  And of course there is that mold outside on the sidewalk, heavy duty cleaner needed there also.  I am trying to be toxic free but the Universe seems to be having a laugh at my expense.  Ha, you want to detox your home, we will see about that!

Why is it that this wild turkey was walking down the middle of the road on Friday afternoon?  Seriously this is behind my house and I pulled up behind her and she just kept walking right down those yellow lines.  As cars approached I flashed my lights at them and they did slow down but really just kept moving along.  She wasn't even fazed.  I pulled up next to her and she ruffled her feathers a bit.  I honked at her and she just looked irritated.  I tried to get behind her and pull up slowly to move her towards the woods and let me just say she was having none of it.  She just kept walking, I just kept following until she finally walked to the side of the road.  I'd say we were together about 6 minutes, her walking and me following.  She is a beauty isn't she?

Why is it that the month of March finds me consumed with paperwork?  There are six progress notes or re-evaluations due this month for work and I am finding it hard to get them done.  I am working all day on Friday's while Little B is at school to get ahead of all the work.  So far I have two complete, two more almost done with two to go.  I am the kind of person who can't be late handing things in.  It all has to get done on time!

Why is it that this little boy took two whole years to be brave enough to get in his jeep and drive it?  He got this two years ago for Christmas and on his second ride it went a little fast for him and he has not gotten in it again.  Just as I was thinking it was time to give it away he wanted to ride it.  Well my friends that battery in the jeep was dead, dead, dead so I ordered another one and what do you know?  This guy is riding around like a race car driver.  He loves it!  He is a brave boy and finding his way in his own time.  I am pretty proud of him.

Why is it that Hank is so much more beautiful in person than he is in pictures?  I can't understand it.  His eyes are a beautiful caramel color that doesn't get picked up in a photo.  They are almost the exact color of his beautiful nose.  He looks happy here, which he usually is. but boy when my phone comes out to take his picture he usually gets all serious.

Why is it that Bear can't stay clean even before he is sufficiently dry after his bath?  If you look closely you can see he was eating dirt out of one of my plants, it is all over his mouth.  These boys!  

Why is it I can't stop making Elise Shawls?  This one is for another dear friend.  It will be a surprise.  I think I am still in love with the pattern all these years later and the yarn I am using is so lovely.  It is a win-win.  It is a project that does not take too much thinking, and it makes a beautiful shawl.

Why is it my son's seem to be having so much more fun than me?  Last weekend Mr 26 was in Jamaica.  It was a well deserved weekend, and he needed the time away, but still it was Jamaica!  And this week Mr 22 and his girlfriend are going on a cruise.  She got a great deal on this trip thorough her work so they jumped at the chance to go.  That means we have Luna, the granddog for the week.  She is so excited to be with the boys, she could care less about her grandmother.  Still she brought me a dried up dead lizard today so there is that!  I sent Mr 22 and his girlfriend with lots of essential oils to combat bacteria and viruses.  Hopefully they will use them.  Am I nervous with all the news about the Coronavirus?  Not really to be honest, they are smart kids and they will keep washing their hands and taking precautions as much as they can.  We all have to continue to live our lives the best we can and not get hysterical.  Be smart, stay in if you are sick, wash your hands, stay away from those people who are ill if you can, eat right and sleep well so you have the best immune system possible.  That is all we can do, oh and don't hoard toilet paper or hand sanitizer, that stuff is really horrible for you anyway.

Why is it weekends go by sooooooooooooo fast?  I feel like I really never get a chance to relax before I have to prepare for the week ahead.  Speaking of work, I better get ready for Monday.  Have a good week my friends. 

Sunday, March 1, 2020

A shawl for Mary, and one for Joy, too............

The prayer shawl I started to make for the mother of my son's dear friend who passed away is done.  I think I must have had lightening in my fingers to get it done so quickly.  It is made with Rylie by Hikoo yarn, an alpaca/silk/linen blend in the color Driftwood, and a size I hook.  I wanted it big and full of air, yet comfortable to place around her shoulders when she needs a good hug. I tried to put loving thoughts into this shawl with every stitch of the 550 yards that went into making it.  But seriously how can you even begin to place all of your love and blessings into a shawl for a woman who just lost her son?  A young man that will be dearly missed by so many including my entire family.  As I said in my last post at least this is something I can do.  I can donate to the charity they want us to use in honor of him, I can make sure my oldest is moving through this deep pain and grief without getting stuck in the pain of loss.  And I can make something with my hands just to let her know I am thinking of her and sending her love.  I will drop this off at her house next weekend when they will be back from California and all the services for their son.  There was one with the navy, the one my son and his friends went to for his ashes and now another one on the ship he was stationed on.  In April there will be another service here in Clearwater where the rest of his ashes will be placed in the Gulf of Mexico.  Then things get hard don't they?  No more gatherings and services, just trying to get back to some sort of a life without their boy in it.

Before making the prayer shawl for Mary I made this shawl for my friend Joy.  I had just finished it when we got the news about my son's friend.  I taught Joy to knit years ago but it did not stick with her.  She works with pastels and watercolors and is very talented.  She is going through a rough separation from her husband and I thought she could use a hug, too. Joy gave me this yarn to do whatever I wanted with.  She loves this color so I decided to make her a shawl.  Both shawls are made with the wonderfully easy Elise Shawl pattern I have made a thousand times before.  It is now a classic in my book, easy but makes something so beautiful.  Made with  Berroco Pure Pima yarn, which has been discontinued, four skeins used  to make this shawl, a total of 460 yards, and a size H hook.  I hope she likes what I did with her donated yarn.  

Luna Tuna my granddog was visiting here two weekends ago while Mr 22 and my husband took a quick trip to Kansas City.  Mr 26 was supposed to go to but well he had just heard the news about his friend and was in no mood to travel.  It is just as well because I could keep and eye on him at home and make sure he was doing okay.  Young people have a way of doing really stupid things when they are deeply upset, so my Mom radar was on high alert.  Thankfully he just wanted to be quiet and be alone, I can handle that as long as I know he is okay.  This weekend he has spent in Jamaica with his girlfriend.  It was their Christmas present to each other, I know it will be so healing for him to just get away and be in a beautiful place. 

And just so you don't forget this guy, here he is in a shirt Mr 22 brought back from Orlando for him.  UCF is where Mr 22 graduated from last summer and his girlfriend will graduate from this summer.  It is always fun to get a present from your brother.  And by the way Little Buddy has been pretending he is a sloth and testing my patience because he is already pretty slow in the movement and listening department.   He moves slow, speaks slow, nods his head slow,  and even gave me a thumbs up in super slow motion.  Lord give me strength!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

When Life gets hard I make things............

When things get hard in life I make things.  It makes me feel better.  The feel of yarn traveling through my hands, it gives me peace.

I have been missing this lately, really there has been little time for creating, during the week I am just too tired.  I feel like I have lost my purpose a bit with yarn, I need to get back to it because it helps me stay grounded during my busy days.

This weekend has been so hard.  My oldest and two of his dear friends flew out to San Diego from all over the country to be with the family of their best friend.  They got in very late, they all met for the first time since the death of their beloved friend.  They celebrated his life with a paddle out on Del Mar Beach in the cold and windy weather Saturday morning.  Most people swam, my son and his friends were part of that group.  They threaded water for a long time, holding flowers in the air as the ashes of their dear friend were spread into the ocean.  They were there for his new wife, they were there for his family and they were there for each other.  I am so happy he could make the trip, it is the first step in the healing process.  The whole thing was covered live on the news in San Diego, over 11 minutes of coverage about a young man who was in the navy who lost his life way to soon.  Can you even believe that?  11 minutes of uninterrupted coverage of a ceremony to celebrate a life, that is amazing to me in this day and age of horrible news.  Today they are on their way home, it will take hours with layovers and time changes and I just have to say I can't wait to wrap my arms around my son and tell him how proud of him I am.

Late this morning the mother of the young man who passed away sent a group text to the mom's of the boys who are still here.  She said she was so proud of our boys, the men they have become, for being there for her family, when she hugged them it helped to soothe her soul.  That is about the most beautiful text I have ever received.  I wrote back that all of us have raised these boys in our own way, all of us have contributed to them growing up into the men they are, and that includes her.  So much sadness my friends, there is just so much sadness.

So after I sent her text back I went to my yarn stash because the one thing I can do for her is make her something.  I can make her a shawl that she may never even use, but it will be filled with love from me.  She can wrap it around herself when she is sad or lonely and know that love has been put into every stitch.  So that is where you will find me every minute I am free, creating something to represent the love I had for her son and the compassion I feel for her and her family during this horrible time.  I hope it is a hug that will help to soothe her soul, and I hope making it will help to soothe mine.

Hug your family and friends, life changes fast.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

My hiatus continues..................

Just when I was attempting to pull things together we had horrible news Thursday evening.  One of Mr. 26's very best friends was killed in California after being hit by a car.  He was 25, in and Navy and just a wonderful young man.  Mr. 26 was part of a group of four young men who knew each other since middle school, they swam together, lived very close to each other and although all went to different colleges they remained so close all these years.  It is a tragic loss for so many people, the young man's family, the three young friends left behind, and for the driver of that vehicle and their family, no one will ever be the same.  So I am continuing to stay off the grid here, I am just trying to be present for my son when he needs me.  To love him and hug and help him through this horrible loss.

Hug your kids, your grand kids and all of their friends.  Life changes so quickly.