Saturday, January 12, 2019

A quick catch up....................




I feel like I have been missing since the New Year and indeed I have.  Work has kept me busy and to be honest I am still fighting this cold/flu/infection or whatever it is.  I am going on week four but have seen vast improvement, still it is tiring me out.  How are you?  Feeling okay?  Any news?

These two interrupted my peaceful morning with their crazy antics.  I tried to get them to sit still for an early morning photo but nope they would not have it.  They had way too much energy after a night of sleep.  This weeks casualties, a screen on my lanai that they dug out and thankfully we caught or they would have been on yet another grand adventure. The bus driver from Little Buddy's bus is now an amputee and several of Little Buddy's cars have been mysteriously showing up all over the family room, and it hasn't been from Little Buddy.
   

They do make me laugh.  I can't even tell you how happy they are every single minute of the day.  Our beautiful Hank, who is on the right in the photo above will celebrate his one year adoption day with us in just two days.  Bear's is coming up in two weeks.  Where did that year go?  


This is about the most action this new crochet project of mine has seen all week.  There is just no time during the week to even think about creating anymore.  As much as I miss working with yarn and creating I am fortunate to have a busy job, at least for now.  Come February 1st all sorts of changes will take place with Medicaid and who knows what will happen then.


This is another Slouchy Crochet Cardigan.  I have worn the first one I made several times now and that is a miracle as I actually rarely wear what I make.  But that sweater is so nice and soft, it is comfortable and fits perfectly.  I just love it.  This one is made with Jeans by Lion Brand in the color Vintage.  The yarn is a dark grey but in some light it almost looks green.


I can't remember if I showed you my finished tile work.  This fireplace had forest green tile that was definitely dated.  We replaced it with a fairly inexpensive porcelain tile that looks like marble.  I love how it lightens up the whole area and really updates it.  I have ordered a new rug which should be in this week.  Our new master bath cabinets have also been ordered.  They are definitely showing wear and need to be updated as well.  My husband has been fixing all the divots in the walls that Little Buddy made when he was first starting to use his walker and was a crazy driver.  Now he only uses crutches in our house so the walls are safe again.  He has also painted baseboards, it looks so fresh and clean.


This is Little Buddy and his best friend at soccer last weekend.  It was so cold out we did not wear his soccer jersey.  They adore each other, they even have the same color walker!  They are no longer in the same class yet still see each other every day at school.  It is good to have a friend.


Before soccer today we had to go get new glasses as Little Buddy broke his at school yesterday.  He has two pair but I wanted to get them fixed before they were no longer under the one year replacement plan.  Of course the red/black ones he had were no longer available so I had to spring for these new frames.  These were the only ones that fit his lenses.  I think he is styling!  We laugh because now he has the most expensive glasses in the house.  Still for one year they can be replaced with no charge, and believe me they will be replaced several times. 


I will leave you with this lovely photo of a very tired boy on the way to our car after soccer today.  It has been a tough week for him returning to school, he is very tired.  I think we all are.  

I feel bad about not visiting all of you, to be honest I have just been so tired fighting this bug and trying to work.  I'll catch up.  Wishing you all well.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hello to a new year........


Welcome 2019!  I have been looking forward to you so much, or might I say looking forward to all the holiday stuff being done.  This is my favorite time of year in Florida.  The leaves are falling from the trees making a carpet of crispness to walk through.  The evenings are cool, the days still warm.  It is wonderful outside.


The boys have been having loads of fun running around after a squirrel or two who darts across my screened enclosure.  Max used to do this daily with the same squirrel, or the squirrel's descendants.   Run, run, run across the lanai, back and forth throughout the day.  The squirrel has the advantage, the boys fall for it every time. 


No deep words of wisdom about the year that has past.  It has been crazy as far as politics, natural disasters, shootings and all that.  Each story more horrific than the next.  I so hope this will end for all of our sake but it looks far from it at this point.  I think our collective levels of stress continue to be at an all time high.


As well as the tough times there has been light.  These two entered our lives last January, grabbed our hearts and never let go.  Even though they gave us quite a scare with their mad adventure they have enriched our lives so much.  They are still very mischievous,  grabbing reading glasses is their favorite thing to do.  Still we are so blessed to have them in our family.


2018 was not my best year at making things.  But I did work an extra amount, I mean averaging 14.5 more treatments a months this year.  As each treatment is an hour you can see how that adds up.  So most of the week was about work and Little Buddy, not creating.  I did knit a sweater and a shawl, so knitting did happen on this blog called Mereknits!  Amazing if you think about it!   My favorite projects were the East End sweater, my second Zick Zack Shawl, and last but not least my latest finish my Slouchy Crochet Cardigan.  Only 12 projects were completed because of those work hours.  And only 9,875 yards of yarn used, but that is okay there is more to use this year. 


This year there are no resolutions of exercise or eating right.  I do what I can with the time I have available.  I am thinking more of really trying to do with what I have before buying more.  I am going to see how long I can go without buying new clothes or shoes, I really have all that I need.  I am going to try and continue to work from stash as much as I can, there are three baby blankets for me to make so far this year and all that yarn will have to be purchased, but the rest of my projects should come from stash first.  I am not picking a word to lead my year but will continue on with this quote from Oprah, "Have faith that the universe has your back."  With all the potential changes at work, with Little Buddy's services, and well our country as we slip into year 3 of complete chaos I think this quote still works well.  

I am not a huge social media fan and have fallen off from most of it.  I find it just takes up so much time, and time I have little of to start with.  I want to connect on a real level, not with likes and such.  I feel we are all losing or ability to relate in real life, in real time.  Does that make sense? 

I also want to feel more kindness to myself and to others.  I have to remember that kindness matters every moment of the day.  And I have a tendency, especially when tired, to not be as kind as I can be. 

I wish you all a wonderful, prosperous, happy and healthy 2019.  Thank you for joining me in this space, thank you for your friendship and your continued support. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A day of rest.......


This little boy had a wonderful day yesterday.  It started off waking up in Mom and Dad's room because a sleep over is a tradition on Christmas Eve at our house.  That way we won't bother Santa when he comes with presents.  He waited patiently til 9:00 for the older kids to wake up and then walked into the family room to find a kitchen, his stocking and a yellow blender with green on top and a red button.  Yes, it had to be that specific one.  The kitchen was almost a Christmas disaster as it was missing half the directions when Santa's Elves tried to put it together on Christmas Eve.  So a helper had to download new directions, which weren't quite the same or in the same order.  It took thee Elves, with multiple degrees in education, to get this baby together and advert a Christmas disaster.   There was quite a bit of swearing and laughing too as three adults had to contort themselves to hold pieces together to be screwed in place.  It is a lot smaller than I expected but it works and this little one has been very, very busy cooking and making smoothies.


He also got a camera from my friend Lynda in North Carolina.  A very, very simple one.  Yesterday he too 168 photos all of which were very interesting.  He has it figured out even though it is really for a right handed person and his right hand doesn't work all that well.  It is so great to see his perspective, all the photos are taken from interesting angles.


He got remote control cars, pots and pans, dishes, food, two different buses and so much more.  We had recently passed on toys that he had grown out of so there was plenty of room in his room to add all of his new things.  He has been very busy!


This was our first Christmas with Hank and Bear.  They had a wonderful time and got lots of things to chew on.  Yet they still seemed to get the little gnome out of my son's girlfriends stocking and rip it to shreds.  The poor little guy never stood a chance.  Luckily Santa had another one that quickly replaced this one.
  

Today is quieter, not quiet, but quieter.  I got my husband and Amazon Echo Show for Christmas so as I am cleaning up and organizing here and there I can listen to music, and of course I can hear Little Buddy asking Alexa all sorts of questions. "Show me a picture of a high speed elevator.  What sound does a broken elevator make?"  Poor Alexa, she has no idea what to say to these types of questions.   So we often resort to, "Alexa, tell me a knock knock joke!"


I am back to work tomorrow and I have to say I am not ready.  I feel a bit mad as I have been ill most of my six days off.   I feel cheated somehow, but that is life isn't it?  At least I am well enough to go back tomorrow.  My oldest is working today, Mr. 21 and his girlfriend have headed back to Orlando.  She will work a few days and fly off to see her family in Indiana for a week.  Mr. 21 comes back on Friday for a day or two before he heads out on a cruise to celebrate his best friend's 21st birthday with his family.  Oh, to be young again!


This lovely rocking sheep was a gift from Lynda in North Carolina.  She said she is doing everything I like to do, rock and knit with my reading glasses on, so true!

I hope you all had a wonderful day.  For those of you recovering from sudden surgery or who have had some issues and are in the hospital, I want you to know I am thinking of you.  You know who you are and I am sending you healing thoughts.  Have a peaceful day my friends.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Finally.........Christmas


Little Buddy is just beside himself excited about tomorrow.  The wonder and magic of children should be spread around the Earth, maybe that is what we all need at Christmas and all year long.  It makes you shop and wrap presents when you are coughing so hard you feel like you are losing a lung.  It makes you take time to read Christmas books, so full of sweetness and innocence, with a warm little body on your lap.  It makes you gather a little one into your arms and hope, just hope, that you are going to make their day special just like he makes every single one of your days.  It makes you go outside and make reindeer food even if you are not feeling well, mixing oats and glitter so those reindeer can find your house no matter the weather.  And to make even more for the little girls across the street because Santa has to see their house, too.  It makes you appreciate the family you have with you and the family you are desperately missing this year.  It seems to me that with each passing year I miss my parents more and more, is that possible?  It makes you thankful for the friends that add so much to your life.  I am talking about all of you in addition to the friends I see and talk to all the time.   Friendship takes a lot of time, something we are all short of, it is a gift given all year round.  Christmas is a time to sit back and enjoy those around you or simply the solitude of the day, and appreciate the love you have and give everyday.

 If you are missing loved ones I send you love.  If you are overwhelmed by family, cooking and chaos I send you patience.  If you are alone don't worry, I am sending you a hug and friendship.  If you feel like you have lost your way, I am sending you hope for a new direction.  If you have lost your home due to some horrific disaster, I pray that all becomes right again.  I pray that our lives, in this country and all around the world feel less stressful in the coming year.  We all deserve a break from the chaos and stress that greet us daily.  I wish you all peace and love.  Thank you for being here in this space of mine.  Have a lovely holiday.



Friday, December 21, 2018

While I should be relaxing and enjoying Christmas this is happening.........................




While I should be sitting down drinking tea, knitting or crocheting, all while being one with the darn holiday that is quickly descending upon us, I am not doing any of those things.  Today was Botox day for Little Buddy, so even with a nasty cold that was given to me from my little one, and three hours of sleep, really just three, we were off at the crack of dawn driving down to the children's hospital in St. Petersburg for those shots.  It is miserable out today.  Now granted I know I live in Florida so really how miserable can it be?  It is very windy, yet humid, yet cold, yet raining in big huge drenching spurts, then sunny again all in a matter of an hour.  This weather is messing with all of us.  Little Buddy was on two medications before the procedure, and frankly his doctor can't believe he was awake, chatting about cars and elevators and walking with his crutches.  He should be knocked out!  We survived just slightly better than the last time we did this, which was better than the time before.  On top of oral medications to relax him and for pain, we also tried a cream that numbs the area.  It sort of worked but would have worked better if they had actually given me the instructions on how to use it.  Create a thick layer, wrap the leg in saran wrap an hour before the procedure and you will have less pain.  I just got the instructions, rub on area one hour prior to the injections.  Still it was better than last time so there is real hope for the next round in three months.



So this is what I am doing instead.  Nope not the actual tiling but the clean up from the tiling.  We were supposed to get this done in January but the lovely two men doing it had a last minute cancellation this week so of course I said yes, I mean how much mess could tiling make?  Can I tell you honestly?  A LOT!  We needed to do some updating from the forest green tile that was around the fireplace and the tile on our front porch and into our front entrance was old and shifting so the grout was constantly breaking apart.  I had the grout replaced two years ago but it just would not work anymore.  The cabinets, counter tops and sinks in our master bath are next.  They are dated, see green tile above, and the cabinets were not the best to begin with and are showing a lot of wear and tear.  This is the least expensive way to update the bathroom, not a lot of work and relatively small expense compared to a big redo  I can't wait to see it finished it will look so fresh.  The cabinets have been ordered, the sinks and faucets purchased.  The quartz counter top is picked out but can't even be measured until the new cabinets come in.  It will be a while until that room is finished.  


This area is also getting fixed.  Do you remember when my three month old puppies dug a hole in my laundry room wall and ripped up the wallpaper when I left them alone for exactly 6 minutes?  This area will now be white beadboard with a small chair rail on top.  Sort of like it was a design plan all along.

So I am cleaning today while chilled and miserable from this cold.  I have six days off from work for Christmas, I hope I am not ill that whole time!  Okay, I need to get cleaning while I am still able to stand up.  See you soon!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Getting ready and a big finish.....


This little one was not feeling well on Friday.  He woke up crying with a,"fever" although no actual fever, I think to Little Buddy that means he isn't feeling well.  He spent about seven hours on the sofa watching his shows before he managed to plop down on the floor for a bit.  By late afternoon he was feeling better and by yesterday he was back to normal.  Whatever it was it did not last long and luckily there were no messes to clean up, just a quiet boy to attend to.  As for me it forced me to stay home and get things done.  Things I had already planned to do but also with a trip out to get last minute gifts for therapists and office staff.  Oh well, we will get to those this week.  I did type up two major re-evaluations for work so I am done with my intense paperwork for the month.  Next year things will be different at work.  They are changing the major provider for medically fragile children in Florida.  I am not sure if I will be able to see the children I do, at the frequency I see them, or the duration they need, it is all a mess right now.  I am not sure if Little Buddy will still get the services he so desperately needs.  I know, not the best news before Christmas but there you have it.  Our current Governor has not been kind to people and children who have special issues and need services to help them function at their most independent level.



As I have been visiting just a few blogs this weekend trying to catch up I see so many beautiful Christmas decorations all around.  I had to laugh because if you look at the two photos above you think I have it all together.  Yet if you just shift to the right you will see the following area below.


My dining room table is covered with presents for the kids I work with, Little Buddy's baby sitter and therapists.  It is a big ole mess, but an organized one.  While stranded at home on Friday I got all this done so I can deliver them this week.  I also have oats and glitter to make reindeer food with my little ones, cotton balls and paper plates to make Santa's, it is a tradition the week before Christmas to do these activities and it is amazing that even the older kids still love to do them.


This was taken this morning as the morning light started to peek through the clouds.  I have so many photos of Max in this very spot, searching the woods for squirrels and deer.  I have not officially forgiven the boys for their escape earlier this week, but I am thawing.  All the children in our school district have a color chart behavior system that the teacher indicates in their planner how they did that day.  Each child starts on green, and if you stay on green you have had a good day.  If you move up to orange or blue your day has been fantastic with blue being the best day.  But you can also move down to yellow and red, red being very, very bad.  I made a chart on a small chalkboard we have and put Hank and Bear on red after their escapade.  Little Buddy thought this was so funny.  He wanted them moved up to yellow and then green far earlier than I did.  He actually asked me to move them up because they were making good choices now.  So there you have it they are back on green and all is well.




I have a finish can you believe it?  I know with all that is going on this time of year and with work I actually have found time on the weekends to work on this sweater.  I started it is November and finished it yesterday.  Hooray!  This is the Slouchy Stripe Cardigan by Ashleigh Kiser.  I loved the pattern, it has written directions, photos and a graph which makes it super easy to follow.  It was a very fast project.  If I had serious time to crochet it would have been done in a week or two.  But seriously, who has that much time to crochet this time of year?

Made with a size J hook and 7 skeins of ZZ Twist yarn by Lion Brand, in the color Silver Agent.  ZZ Twist yarn is made with crocheters in mind, and I have to say I like the yarn.  It did not split and is durable.  I am not usually an acrylic fan, but for this sweater it is perfect as it makes it light weight and washable.  I think about 1,700 yards were used to make this up, not much was left at the end.  I bought it at Joann's on sale so that is an even bigger bonus.  I did make some modifications on this sweater.  Instead of joining in the round while making the sleeves, I picked up the stitches at the sleeve and crocheted back and forth leaving an opening to sew up later.


I think the seam looks better sewn up instead of joining in the round as I am notoriously bad at that.  My joined seams are all sorts of wonky.  I also extended the collar for 11 rows or basically until I ran out of yarn.


I actually wore it this morning for a few hours before it got too warm out.  I think it fits really well and I am so excited to have made something I will actually wear!  I mean I am usually all about the project and not about the product.  I have a million shawls I have given away because I love making them but rarely wear them.  It feels good to have a good finish.

Wishing you all a wonderful week.  I better get going on more Christmas stuff.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hank and Bear's Excellent Adventure

                                               

This was the scene late last night at my house.  Two very exhausted boys and I might add very exhausted family.  Would you like to hear about Hank and Bear's Excellent Adventure?  Yup, I know it isn't Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, although I do have a soft spot for Keanu Reeves.  

 

Yesterday we were having our roof pressure washed and the man doing it left our back lanai door open.  When my husband got home he let the boys out on the lanai like he always does and well you can imagine what happened next, they found that door and took off at lightening speed.  My husband woke up my son who was home from college and they went off after them, my neighbor was out and took off in his car to help with the chase.  I was happily ignorant at work until I pulled up at my next patient's home and got a text message from my neighbor way down the block that said, "I just saw the boys running toward The Enclave." which is the subdivision next door to mine.  I called home no one was there, I called my husband but he didn't answer and then called my son.  He told me they were missing and had not been seen anywhere, and that was for 30 minutes at that point.  I walked into my little ones home, told them my dogs were missing and drove the 45 minutes back to my house to help.

 We had five separate cars out looking, we had security out looking and let me tell you these boys were no where to be found.  We basically live on a swamp that has plenty of water in it right now due to recent rain.  We live off of an almost 9,000 acre preserve which is why we have so much wildlife near us.  Our main subdivision is huge, surrounded by really busy streets.  There are so many people in this area everyday, I was so worried they would be hit by a car or truck, or just picked up and taken away.

Finally, my husband found someone who was working on the golf course who had seen them but the boys would not let him get near.  He gave my husband a ride in the golf cart to about where he had seen them and darn if they hadn't moved down another hole.  Yup, that is where they were found, running around the green and playing like it was no big deal.  When my husband called them he swears they looked at each other like, should we really go to him?  We are having the time of our lives!  It is so scary out there my friends.  My husband saw a coyote on the golf course, my son an 8-9 foot alligator and I just saw hills and ponds as I raced across the golf course looking for them.  

Their great adventure lasted about 2 1/2 hours and I swear it took about ten years off our lives.  My son said that as he drove around his heart felt emptier with each minute he did not find them, mine did too.




When they got home they were so covered in swamp water, burrs, twigs and Lord knows what else, I called the groomer at Petsmart and we took them in.  So now they have had their first official haircut.  Apparently the burrs were so deep she had to trim them very close to their skin.  Gone are the beautiful feathers on their legs but I don't care, they are home and they are okay, that is all that matters.  Let me tell you these boys could have been in a very dangerous position, alligators win in Florida, they kill dogs all the time.  Coyote's win, especially if there is a group of them.  Cars, win...........we know that.  

I am seriously so mad at them still, don't let those cute faces fool you I am not taken in by them.  It is funny because they know I am mad, they will go up to everyone for attention but me right now, and I didn't even yell at them.  These boys, while I love them are not the smartest of dogs, they are into everything.  Thank God they did not get curious and approach something that would have had them for lunch.


I am home from work for the day today for doctor and dentist appointments.  I did not mean to take half a day off yesterday but that is how it goes.  Little Buddy's walker situation has been rectified, a new blue one like the one I ordered will be delivered soon.  He will use one at school and have one at home for when he needs it for long distances like the soccer field above.

I will leave you all with this photo of Little Buddy and his best friend after soccer last Saturday.  They just love each other so much.  Aren't they adorable?