Sunday, February 1, 2015

Heavy hearted

There are just some weeks that get you down, weeks were you can't seem to regroup.  Last week we heard of a young man who killed himself and it has broken every one's heart.  He was 15 and when my kids were younger they swam at the same swim team this young man did.  Well he was little then, just a little boy in fact.  His older brother was friends with my Teenager for a few years, he was often at our house playing after swim practice.  


Such a huge waste of a life that was just beginning to blossom.  I went to the viewing yesterday with my friend Holly and my knitting friend Cathy.  We were all connected to this family for a time.  Cathy coached this young man when he was younger, and Holly's son swam with the same team.  It was so hard to see his family so completely shattered.  His Mom was taking charge but sobbing, his Father was just broken.  Really there are no words to say except that you are so, so sorry for their loss and it wasn't their fault.  As I hugged this poor woman and felt her sobbing it just was so incredibly sad.  How do you get over something like this?  How do they move on with their lives especially now that the memorials and services are over?  


She feels she missed something, but boys are just plain stupid when they are younger.  They are impulsive and never see the big picture of their actions.  Girls are also but they tend to be a bit more developed at the age of 15.  This is the swim team my oldest son was treated so horribly at by the coach.  I have heard that this young man was also.  It never stops, the bullying by this horrible man.  I am not sure if it had anything to do with this child's death but I can't in my heart believe it didn't.  Your coach is supposed to be the person you can go to with anything, the activity, like swimming, should be the least important aspect of your relationship.  Well for a good coach that is how it should be.  My heart is so sad for this family because at the age of 15 it could have been my son for all he went through there.  We worked and worked with him to get him through that tough time.  He has been gone from that team for 4 years this Spring, but I still see that he is affected by what this coach said to him, over and over again.  It just breaks my heart for all the young people he has hurt and for all the incredibly stupid parents who stay..........   

This, on top of a really tough work week, has just got me worn out.  Plain and simply worn out.  I did not even knit or crochet for five whole days, a record for me.  So last night I forced myself to cast on a baby hat for Taci and her baby hat project.  I am also going to make a crochet version or two from Teresa's crochet pattern she posted a day or two ago.  Hopefully this will calm me down and help me deal with the week I had.


Of course this guy is going to help lighten up my heart.  He is in 3T pj's now, he is growing!


He is waving, "Hi" to you!


I know you want to wave right back.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Earth Box fun................

Hey are you still out there?  How is your week?  What have you been up to?  I once again have been bombarded with a crazy work week.  I really do love my job but two new little ones on my caseload have really put me over the edge.  It takes a LONG time for me to write up the new little ones evaluations.  These little people deserve to have as much information compiled in their first evaluation as possible so that parents, teachers or foster parents can understand what is going on with the child.  Now you know from my blog I can be a bit wordy....... so obviously it takes me a long time to get it all out.  It is like fitting the pieces of a puzzle together and figuring out the child.  I am not so sure my menopausal brain fires as fast as it used to so that probably isn't helping me. I have been the paperwork Queen and now I am almost done!!!!

I have to admit that I have not knit of crocheted at all in the last four days.  I think that might be a record for me.  No wonder I feel a bit frazzled and overwhelmed.  I haven't even read a blog post in days, did you notice I have been missing?  I sure hope I haven't hurt any one's feelings out there.

As I have nothing crafty to talk about I thought it might be fun to show you my new Earth Boxes.  Remember last weekend I took a field trip with my friend Cathy to visit the Earth Box store in Ellington, FL.  The store had three different sized boxes to choose from to grow a self contained garden.  As we have so many deer here I needed something that I could keep on my screened in porch but would not be a huge mess.


I bought two of the larger boxes and one smaller one to start my little veggie garden.


Two tomato plants, some lettuce and three strawberry plants found there way home with me.


You can buy these boxes in kit form which I would suggest.  I wanted organic fertilizer so I was informed by the woman behind the checkout stand that I had to buy everything separately.  Well that was foolish as I should have bought the two kits and the organic fertilizer separately and it would have been cheaper.  You need soil, growth simulator and fertilizer.  See the black tube in the upper right hand corner of the photos?  That is where you water the plants.


Here is the box with the fertilizer in it before I covered it up with more soil.


After you have all the soil, growing stimulator and fertilizer all compacted in the pot you cover it up to keep the soil and moister inside.


Take a cup and cut out circles for you plants with an exact-o knife or box cutter.  A large container can hold two tomato plants, or six smaller plants.


Once your hole is ready, dig out some soil and put your plant in.


Look a mini garden!  I also bought the feet and plant stand to hold the tomato plants up.  You can grow just about anything you want in your Earth Box.  Wish me luck!

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wrestling the wild beast.................

I thought that title would catch your attention.  What wild beast am I wrestling you ask?  Well here it/he is.  This little boy with all this long hair!


It is a windy, blustery day out so I thought I might have a go at this mop.  Not my favorite thing to do, and certainly not Little Buddy's.   I think they should have mini courses when you are a Mom, things you need to take to make you life easier like how to cut a squirmy little boy's hair in 20 minutes or less.  I could use that one.  The thing about Motherhood, Sisterhood and Daughterhood is that you need so much information that you have not been taught.  How to cut hair, give advice, not give advice, take care of an aging parent, become the parent, how much to get involved, how hard it is not to.........so much we need to learn.  Where are the courses for all of that?  Oh and being a wife, don't even get me started on all the knowledge I need for that, I think that could be a doctorate program right there.



Here is the after bath photo, by the sweet look on his face you would never know Little Buddy becomes as squirmy as a snake trying to be caught when his hair is being cut.   He makes it look like we have had the best time, maybe he is feeling the relief that it is all over and he can play.  Notice his face is clean, too.  No crumbs from breakfast like in the photo above.


Little Buddy's head is an interesting shape due to his severe prematurity.  He also has two shunts that stick out a bit making the haircut even more of a challenge.   So far so good I think.  There will be modifications, but for now I am pooped out and it is only 9:30 in the morning.
 

Looks like Monkey is ready to use the potty even if Little Buddy isn't?   He makes me laugh.


This afternoon I am heading off on an adventure with my knitting friend Cathy.  We are driving almost to Sarasota to investigate the Earth Box, a container/growing unit for veggies and flowers.  She has two of them and just loves them.  It all started here with my little tomatoes.


I was just so darn excited that I grew three little tomatoes from a plant I bought at Home Depot, that I wanted to grow more things.  In Florida we don't have plots or allotments, and where I live we have deer, deer that eat everything.  I want a system I can keep inside my screened in porch area, sort of like a big pot that has a drainage unit to control all the rain we get in the summer.  I am excited about the prospect of growing a few things.


I ate one little tomato and it was delicious!  I am thinking tomatoes, herbs and maybe lettuce?
 

Last night I started on a baby hat to make for Taci to take to Brazil.  I have some beautiful yarn left over from the African Flower Baby Blanket I made a year ago.  I think this will be perfect.
 

How about a light pink one with a dark pink flower, and a dark pink one with a light pink flower?  I hope you will join Taci on her quest to take 200 baby and toddler hats on her trip.  Wouldn't it be fantastic if she exceeded her goal?  My own projects can wait a bit, this is much more important.

Happy Saturday.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.......

Here I am, stuck in the middle of the week.  Here I am, stuck in the middle of new evaluations and paperwork.  And here I am stuck in the middle of you........


The Crazy Granny Square blanket is almost at the exact halfway point.  After I finish this last green circle I will be halfway done with the blanket, well with the exception of the border that is.  
 

Halfway through this blanket means I have used 1300 yards of yarn already.  Crochet is a huge yarn suck isn't it?  I still like this project, it is so fast to make.  Well fast if you consider I have been working on it since January 1. 
 

And here I am, stuck in the middle of the Lady Kina.  I have at least 250 yards more to knit on this baby and then I will be out of yarn.  There are lots of ends to sew in on this sweater as this Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo yarn comes in 104 yard balls, so I seem to be finishing them up at a rapid rate. Gosh this picture is horrible, the color is more gold, this photo is so washed out.

So I am feeling a bit stuck, stuck with work, stuck with projects and frankly stuck on that darn song by The Jeff Healy Band, not even a band I like listening to.


Lucky for me there are friends that come to the rescue.  In the mail yesterday I received two surprises.  This beautiful star was made by my dear friend Taci.  Isn't it beautiful?


Although I think this beautiful star is meant for my Christmas tree I am going to hang it in my craft room/studio.  Taci is the best, and so, so sweet and caring.  I am going to invite you to stop by her blog and see her latest project.  Taci is from Brazil and when she visits her native land she takes loads and loads of things for children in need.  This year she is planning on taking 200 hats for babies and toddlers.  Please pop in and see if you can help her in her quest to help those babies stay warm and healthy.  Taci provides a link for a knit and a crochet pattern for a simple hat, but you can make whatever pattern you want and send it right to her.  I plan on knitting a few to send, won't you?


Another surprise was from Becky who so graciously sent me this beautiful calendar.  Becky is a beautiful photographer and writes a very wonderful blog.  She joined the annual ladies lunch with Teresa, Gracie, Betsy and Taci, you know the lunch we all want to join in, too.

Hope you are not feeling all that stuck right now.  Have a great week.
 
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

A bit of this and that and a Valentine in the mail

How are you this early Sunday morning?  Or Sunday afternoon, or evening, or whenever you might be reading this? We have had a nice weekend, sort of letting it unfold as it goes.  I finally saw the Disney movie Frozen yesterday for the first time.  I just might be the last one in the world to see it and it was wonderful.  The music, which two of the little ones I work with sing all the time, is fabulous.  The story has such a strong message.  I loved it and so did my knitting friend Cathy who so graciously watched it with me while we knitted.  I do have to question, once again, why all Disney movies seem to have a dead mother or dead parents?  Can't we have a good movie with the parents alive?  It was a fun afternoon watching a movie with a friend, having some tea, and playing with yarn, not much could be better than that.


Look what I got in the mail yesterday, a beautiful Valentine from my dear, dear friend Betsy.


This beautiful heart is a pin for me to wear for Valentine's Day, and any day I want because who would not want to spread the love around while wearing this pin?


Also inside the package was a very special card.  Betsy you are the best!!!!!  Thank you so much for my wonderful surprise, I am so thrilled.  Your heart pin is so beautiful and thoughtful.  Betsy, you make the world a better place.  Please stop by Betsy's blog and see all the wonderful things she makes for so many people in need, see her darling grandchildren and her wonderful life so filled with Faith and Love.  Betsy is such a blessing in my life and the lives of so many others.


This guy, who is never far away from his Mickey Mouse, has a stuffy nose, well a stuffy nose that runs.  Those noses are the worst kind.  He is all sniffles and sort of snotty all at the same time.


His best friend is giving him hugs and keeping him company, they are still having lots of fun despite the nose issues. Little Buddy calls him Mickey Mouse Clubhouse like the show on the Disney Channel.  We here at the house think Clubhouse is Mickey's new last name.  He loves his new underpants by the way, he tried to put them on his arms.  We had yet another talk about big boys doing their business on the potty and all that.  He will be ready when he is ready, and the one thing I know is he is stubborn, so this issue cannot be rushed.  We are all stubborn in this family so I wonder if stubbornness is genetic, or environmental, or both?



Max just looked so beautiful in the late afternoon sunlight yesterday, I had to take a few photos of him, not his favorite thing that is for sure.  We went to the vet this week for his yearly check up, she says my boy is doing great at the age of 10 1/2.  He has a bad hip, and allergies to wheat and corn, but he has doing beautifully and that is all we can ask.


As you can see he is ready for the big game today, are you?  I plan to visit a friend who is having a gathering before she and her husband move to Texas for a few years.  After that I am settling in to work on my sweater and watch the game.  

Whatever your plans, I hope you have a great day.
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Friday, January 16, 2015

Gifts from near and far......

I had two very special surprises this week.  The first was a package in the mail from the wonderful Ellen.  The very funny, very wonderful and very, very caring Ellen had a giveaway and I was runner up!  I was totally shocked because I missed her post about the winner and of course about the runner up.  So I opened the package and squealed with delight.  I mean how beautiful is this yarn?


Do you see wonderful possibilities here?  I do.  Thank you so much Ellen and your random generator for picking my name and sending me this surprise gift/win in the mail.  By the way Ellen bought this yarn a while back when visiting her Mother in Hawaii, doesn't that make it all the more special?  I mean yarn from Hawaii, wow!  Pop in and visit my dear friend at her blog The Ellen Report and see her gorgeous knitting, her gorgeous family and her gorgeous sense of humor.


Surprise two was a wonderful breakfast today with my dear friend Holly.   Holly's son was so ill over Christmas with kidney issues.  The miracle of his recovery is just amazing.  He is a wonderful young man and I am so thrilled for him, and of course his whole family, that he is back at school, catching up and receiving great marks on all of his kidney function tests.  Holly and I usually give each other a little gift at Christmas.  She got boring dishcloths and soap from me, and she gave me this.  Isn't is wonderful?  It is decorative ribbon or twine on this spool which I guarantee you is going to hold beautiful cakes of yarn I make with my yarn winder.  Can't you just see this displayed on my table while I knit or crochet?  I love it.  I am not wasting this beautiful red on bows for packages, maybe a beautiful, simple doily for my table.  Any suggestions anyone?


My tomatoes yesterday.

My tomatoes today.  I think they are almost ready to pick.  I happened to get this plant a while back and thought it would be fun to try and grow some tomatoes.  I plopped it in a pot and just watered it when I remembered.   I never thought I would actually have a real tomato to eat from it.  Now I am not a real city girl, I have flowers not have plants that actually produce real things to eat.  I sound like I am in first grade I know but I am pretty excited.  Maybe a bacon (turkey bacon of course) lettuce and tomato sandwich is in store for me tomorrow.  Yum!

Look what I found at the store today, Mickey Mouse underpants!!!  Now we are no where near ready to train Little Buddy although he is at the perfect age.  He is a boy first of all and he has cerebral palsy which is a double whammy.  We talk about it all the time, read about it and I have him sit on the potty which he shows absolutely no interest in.  In fact he has told me on several occasions he likes to poop in his diaper, I think this is going to be a long process for us.  He loves Mickey Mouse so these just might be incentive!

Have a great weekend.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lists......

I am a bit of a control freak just in case you haven't noticed yet.  I like things clean and orderly.  I can't go to sleep if my floors and counters are dirty.  I like to get things done ahead of time.  And because I am like this I am also a freak about lists.  I LOVE lists, because I love crossing things off of them.  I feel such a sense of accompaniment when I draw a line through a completed item on my list.

This past weekend I had to be a bit stern with myself on getting things done so I made my list up.  Do two of four pending re-evaluations for work, check.  Wipe down the area outside as we have trees spreading pollen everywhere, check.  Finish my audiobook, Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky, great book by the way and there is knitting in it although it is not a book about knitting, that was just a bonus, check.  


Work on my Lady Kina so Kathy B does not beat me to the finish.  She just started hers, I have had mine on the needles for a while now.  My goal was to cast off the sleeves, check.

Watch the Packers win, check!!!!!!  We are a big Packer family here as my husband grew up in Wisconsin and much of his family still lives there. Knit and crochet during multiple football games, check. 


I wanted to get at least six squares completed on my Crazy Granny Square Blanket, check.  I finished square number eight last night while watching the Ohio State/Oregon game.  It was a great game, I stayed up until the last two minutes of the game, that is late for me.  Ohio State won, check!  Sorry Oregon fans, it was a great game to watch if your son swims at Ohio State and you want them to win.


This pattern is really so easy.  I love the simplicity of it,  I can almost do it with my eyes closed so it is a great project to work on while chatting, watching TV, listening to a book, etc.   

I had a minor injury to my shoulder on Saturday night while holding Little Buddy for 45 minutes at my neighbor's party.  We ended up coming home after less than an hour because I was in a lot of pain.  Once I got home and put him down, stretched my arm, took some Tylenol and put on my PJ's I suddenly realized I had several bonus hours of yarn time.  I tried to take full advantage of it and was thrilled my shoulder did not hurt while I knit.
 

On the list was taking a walk on Saturday and enjoying the beauty surrounding me, check.  This is what I see behind my neighbor's house.  It is right on my side yard and the funny thing is they don't see it at all.  All this beautiful color is a treat.
 

Seeing new leaves emerging from the trees already.  It seems a bit early for this, usually they pop out closer to the end of the month.  No walk for me on Sunday, see shoulder injury above.

The past two years I have kept a list of all the projects I have made, and all the yarn yardage I use.  I don't  have a set goal, I just find it fascinating to see what I have done at the end of the year.  This year I am also keeping a list of all the books I read or listen to.  I think that will be fun to see, too. 

Now to be totally weird, I have even been known to add something to a list I have already completed and cross it off just to feel better about my accomplishments, and of course to remember I got it done.  Are you a list maker, too?

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