Saturday, August 8, 2020

A memorable morning.......

This morning was very special.  Very early this morning as the sun popped up over the horizon we all celebrated one of my oldest son's best friends.  As you recall he was killed in a car accident in California on February 13, of this year.  It has been a terrible blow for the family and friends left behind.  He was one of this special group of boys, the four of them did everything together through high school.  Although they went to different colleges and swam for different teams they were closer than close.  

Today, after many, many delays due to the current pandemic the ceremony was finally performed.  While some of us waited on the beach (Mr 23 came with me to honor a young man he grew up with at our house all the time), many people paddled out to the water, each holding a rose.  They gradually got into a circle and after a moment of silence, Thomas' Dad said some words, then they threw their roses into the center of the circle.  As his ashes were placed in the water everyone splashed and splashed.  It was really beautiful and very touching.  And coincidentally, after all the many delays the ceremony ended up being on Thomas' birthday.  This was the other half to the ash ceremony that was in California right after he passed.  This was also attended by Mr 26 and his two friends who flew out after just a few days of even getting used to this.  They spent over 36 hours traveling just to be there to honor their friend.

After the ceremony this morning there was a one mile swim in honor of Thomas.  The three boys, while excellent swimmers had not swum for a long time.  Still they made it and actually did very well.  They were all pretty tired afterward, the water temps are very warm and so is the air.  It was beautiful for us standing on the beach but maybe not so much for those swimming.  There will be a yearly swim in February to honor Thomas.  

We saw people we have not seen in years, young people coming to honor their friend.  People like me who were not able to make it to California for the other end of this service.  It really was a beautiful tribute to a really wonderful young man who will be sorely missed the rest of our lives.

I am blessed Mr 26 has been close by to offer support to this wonderful family.  He has gone to workout with the father a few times, helped move things in the garage, painted, picked up a shed they needed from the store.  Whatever the reason he has connected with these wonderful parents who need to see a young man that reminds them of their son.  Someone they can hug and hold onto even if it is only for a brief moment.

And as much as this contact helps them it helps my son.  To know he is there for this family is a way to honor the wonderful friendship he had with Thomas and will always have in his heart.

Hugs your kids my friends, things change fast.  Stay safe.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

A lot of pain, not so much gain.............

This week has been a lot about pain, not so much about gain.  Just after I posted last week about how far I was on my sweater, I crocheted both front panels then went to start on the back and oh no, it was wrong.  I had missed one leaf increase several rows down on the back that threw the whole thing off.  I had to rip out everything, back, back and back.  It was a mess but now I am near the finish line.  I am not going to boast or sure enough the crochet gods will be laughing at me again.  I have literally made this sweater twice and it isn't even done yet.

Not that you want to see a photo of my very un-manicured feet, but this is about pain and so here it is.  Fire Ant bites numbers 13, 14 and 15 for the summer are now on my left foot.  I got 10 bites on my right foot and leg from stepping in my mulch and landing on an ant pile that was hidden.  Number 11 was from the middle of my grass, and 12 was from an ant that crawled on my sandal while I was vacuuming out my car and proceeded to bite me while I was driving.  These new bites occurred while also stepping on the edge of my grass trying to get Little Buddy into my car.  Again, no visible ant mound, they were hidden in the grass.  I had no time to treat them as we were on the way to an appointment.  I scratched all the way there. Now my foot is swollen all the way to my ankle, lots of pain and for no gain if you ask me.  Pardon my feet, there is no way I am going to get a pedicure any time soon with Coronavirus still so rampant in Florida.  But just so you know our commander in chief was about 15 miles from my house this weekend and he thinks Florida is doing GREAT!  Over 480,000 positive cases, over 7,021 deaths, (remember we don't count those deaths in prison or if you actually died of pneumonia due to Covid-19) with over 437 deaths in my county alone.  Yup, we are doing GREAT!

These two hibiscus trees were outside the screened in area around my pool.  They are new and after I had planted them had been eaten by deer almost to the top so I raised the pots on unused pavers and that was that.  Yesterday I was admiring the new and beautiful foliage while one little boy was in the pool.  Just a few hours after that I saw two gorgeous bucks roaming my backyard, proudly displaying their wonderful antlers.  After I admired them and watched them walk into the woods I looked at my trees and saw this!  Now the trees have been moved inside where they will remain and hopefully recuperate quickly.  Lots of pain for these trees but not so much for the deer, they had a delicious treat.

This freckle boy had his Botox shots on Friday.  Lets just say it was a real pain for both of us.  I had had a really bad headache all week, and a boy who is coming off strong medication he needs for the shots is not a joy to be around.  I completely understand what is happening to him but a two hour tantrum about a special toy I bought him does not make motherhood easy.  My head was throbbing, especially after having to carry him into the house, he weighs a LOT!   Two more major tantrums during the day and mom was exhausted.  The shots are necessary, and they are painful thus the need for a lot of medication to make them more tolerable.  He gets 11 shots in his hip adductors and right hamstring to help reduces the spastic muscle tone in these areas.  Without the shots it is much more likely the increased tone will eventually pull his right hip out of socket so he would then need surgery.  So while these are a real pain, they actually are for great gain in the long run.  When the Botox is working full strength in a few weeks Little Buddy will have a much better gait pattern with his right leg. 

After just a few little incidents yesterday we are back on track today.  I am pain free except for that darned foot.  Little Buddy is back smiling and happy.  I might be called a, "mean girl" again today but that is okay because I just might be a mean girl sometimes.  This mom only has so much patience. 

We are on track to start school the 24th.  I am still very upset with the options available but at least I know Little Buddy will be watched closely.  My babysitter of 6 1/2 years told me she is very uncomfortable with him starting school and the potential exposure he will have. She only has one kidney so she has to be super cautious.  I had a big discussion with her about how I need to work, so my only option is to send him.  I am not sure why she won't just wear a mask in my house if she is concerned but that apparently was not an option.  So for a few minutes after she left I was sort of in a daze wondering what I was going to do, but then Ms. L, Mr. 23's girlfriend walked in and said she would take care of Little Buddy.  She would drive up from St Pete, pick him up at school and bring him home, working with him on homework, putting him in the pool, whatever he needed.  I told her he can be a real pistol and she shrugged her shoulders.  I told her I might be really late every night, she shrugged them again.  I told her school might be canceled just a few weeks in and she would have long days, she did not seem to care.  So as of August 24th she will now be helping out and I could not be happier.  I can pay her, which she needs.  She can do classwork online while he is home playing or watching a movie.  If he is home due to school closures she can help him with online learning a lot easier than I can.  And she can build elevators in Minecraft which of course I have no idea how to do.  I can't even tell you what Minecraft is besides a guy walking around and there are sheep that look like they are made out of squares.  So a brief amount of pain but loads and loads of gain.

Have a safe week my friends with very little pain and all the gain you need.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Mulling over many things on a Saturday.................

Here is Little Buddy at breakfast this morning, being goofy as nine year old boys tend to be.  Tammy J did not get her Little Buddy fix last week so I am giving her loads to look at today.  Funny faces, crooked smiles, missing teeth, freckles, and the best eyelashes and eyebrows in the world.  I think we can all use a bit of Little Buddy these days to brighten our weary hearts. 

I have been pondering what to do with this Little Boy when school opens.  As typical the state of Florida and our current school administrators have left most of us working parents with little choice.  We can send our darling children back to school.  We can attend online school with their assigned teacher for nine weeks but we must be in attendance during school hours.  This is not feasible for me as I work during those hours and he won't do work on his own or with the sitter.  And the third option of virtual school for 18 weeks but we can then lose our slots in our assigned school.  A bit of a threat if you ask me.  No good answers here.  I did talk to his assistant on Sunday who told me if he went back to school she would keep him safe, so that at least eases my mind a bit.  There is no riding on a bus and thankfully she is with him the whole day, still it is a tough decision to make.  The GOP can cancel their big convention in Florida because it isn't safe to be here yet parents have to send their kids to school if they work.  I am pretty upset with the way things are going.

Here in Florida we have a total of 414,511 positive cases as of yesterday, we are up 12,444 from the day before.  Our deaths are low, 5,777 because the governor does not count people who have died of pneumonia due to Covid 19 in the death totals.  I have also read three separate articles that those in prisons in Florida are not counted for positive cases or with the Florida death totals.  It is like they are in a different country and don't exist in Florida.  Just so you know the prison system is running rampant with this virus.  See why I am worried?  The numbers do not add up to a successful and safe school year.  And frankly our numbers just don't add up at all.  I wish we could just have an accurate depiction of the cases, hospital beds available and the correct death numbers so we can all make decisions based on the truth not fixed information to make our state look better. 

I continue to work on the In the Forest of the Night  cardigan.  I am at the place I was before I had to pull the whole thing apart because it was too small and too tight.  I will be separating for the back and sides in two rows.  I am still excited about this project and am keeping my fingers crossed it all goes well and fits right. 

These two yarns have been added to my stash this week.  Five of each color, from We Are Knitters.  They were 25% off if you ordered a pack of them and you could choose any color.  I have had the intense need to add yarn to my stash lately.  I feel that I will be adding even more.  It is sort of the panic I felt about toilet paper early on in the pandemic, what if I run out of yarn????????

I am mulling over the mess in what used to be known as my dining room and the even bigger mess in my garage.  This is where we are storing Mr 23 and Ms L's things until they move into their new apartment on August 6.  I love having time with them so the mess is not a big deal.  But it will be by August 6, then I will be over it, but I will miss them both as I adore them.  At least they will be much closer than Orlando!  See Bear in the background photo bombing?

Laughing at Mr 26 and Ms B as they were jumped and walked all over by three dogs this morning right after they woke up.  They are such great young people.  I am so proud of Mr 26 who literally got into it with a non mask wearing woman in Starbucks yesterday.  This woman was demanding service from the young woman behind the counter until my son stepped in.  He told her to get a mask  on or get out of the store as the store was requesting.  She talked about her, "rights" being violated by having to wear a mask and he shut her down with actual facts about the Constitution, what exactly her rights were, and how she was endangering herself and everyone else.  He told her to move out of the way and get a mask.  She ended up going to her car where she had one available, which makes this whole episode even more ridiculous, do you think she was just trying to pick a fight?  She then came in and tried to move to the front of the line but was told to go to the back by several people who were lined up behind my son.  He got a big thank you from the manager, a smile from the poor young woman behind the counter and a free coffee to boot.  Don't argue with a history major from The Ohio State University, they know their facts my friend.  There is another photo bomber in this picture, can you see Little B eating his breakfast?

Although Bear still acts like his life is over with Luna visiting he does enjoy her.  She will lie next to him quietly several times a day, even Bear can't object to this.

Still her full time playmate is Hank. He is very, very tired by the end of the day.  It is hard to entertain a 1 year old all day long!

And just because we can never get enough Little Buddy here he is on his green machine ride on toy.  He loves this and races around my kitchen with the dogs running after him.  He pretends he is racing like in the movie Wreck it Ralph, which I believe I will be watching with him again today.  Maybe viewing 3,001?  It is his favorite and really teaches some great lessons, plus there is racing!

A big shout out to the Wall of Mom's in Portland, Seattle and now Chicago who are trying to keep protesters safe.  Never underestimate a mom! 

Stay safe my friends.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

emPower People a worthy craft project and other news....................

Today I got a notice in my email from A Good Yarn in Sarasota about a very worthy project.  It is the emPower People Bandanna.  

This is taken directly from their website:

a craftivism project aimed at uniting crafters of all mediums to engage people across communities to spark conversation, engagement and action in the political process to uphold social justice and human rights.

emPower People is committed to the following:

Embrace Humanity
Embrace Family
Embrace Community
Embrace Equality
Embrace Equity

The pattern for this bandanna is available in knit, crochet and sewing versions and is available on the website for free.  Proudly wear your bandanna to the store, out in public, mask on of course, and needless to say to VOTE!

I stopped everything and made one, I am already on number 2!  Made with Malabrigo Twist I have had in my stash for some time.  Because my yarn was thicker than suggested I did use a large hook, and a dc stitch instead of hdc, but what does that matter?  What matters is craftivism for a real purpose.  And even if you only wear yours inside while self isolating you are sending out your loving craft vibes by just making one and wearing it with pride!

You can also find the information for this pattern here on Ravelry.

In other news the yarn barf on my lap is due to my darling grand dog Luna who apparently thinks she is a cat.  She got a hold of the yarn I am using to make my In the Forest of the Night cardigan and ran around with it.  The whole ball came undone but by some miracle none of the work on the cardigan came unraveled.  I spent last night winding this all back up.  She is a pistol!  She can now jump the dog gate without even touching it so I don't even hear that she has gone over.  She is part kangaroo apparently.  She can also use her paws to open doors, We have more of a lever door handle rather than a door knob, and she has figured that out.  Now we have to keep the door going to the garage locked and the actual garage door down because if she gets out she is gone with  lightening speed, that must be the cheetah in her!

Here she is with her father Mr.23, look at those eyes, you know she is thinking about getting into something.  Hank is ever present watching over her and playing until they are both exhausted. 

I think Ms. L, Luna's mother thinks we are upset by her but really I am amused, well that is as long as she does not get out of the house.  She does a lovely camouflage with my sofas which also makes her part chameleon.  This morning, after her 20th jump over the gate, I just made sure all the doors were shut to all the rooms she could get into and let her have her way.  Maybe it won't be so fun if Grandma is not chasing her!   

Bear continues to have very hurt feeling about it all.  He runs back and forth from one sofa to another barking and carrying on but does not join in the play session with his brother and Luna.  I think this boy is a tad dramatic, but it works in his favor because he gets loads of attention for being sad. 

This beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail came to visit my next door neighbors bougainvillea yesterday while I had the boys outside to do their business.  She was kind enough to stay around until I could get my phone.  She is a beauty and I was thrilled to stand there as she flitted around finally settling down long enough for me to get these two photos.  How lucky am I? 

  Stay safe my friends, wear masks and protection.  Listen to the doctors and scientists that know what they are talking about with this pandemic.  Be smart and stay safe.

Rest in peace Congressman John Lewis.  We are a better country because of your patriotism and wisdom.  Your service, persistence and  hope for our future all these years has helped to shape us as a nation and will for many years to come.  Thank you for all you have done to make us better people and a better country.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Meet Mr. Horrible Haircut and other news................

I would like you to meet Mr. Horrible Haircut.  Yes, Little Buddy now has a new name.  After a haircut by me this morning he has now renamed himself because as you can see it is a horrible haircut.  Actually I think it isn't too bad, well except the back which needs to be blended a bit.  I told him I was doing my best and I did not go to haircut school I went to therapy school and then he said, "Well I think you should have gone to hair cut school!"  And there it is, I am a haircut failure!

Another failure on my part is this new project, In the forest of the Night.  I started it on July 1st with what I thought was the correct gauge.  As I was crocheting away it just seemed small to me and the fabric a bit too dense.  But did I listen to myself?  No way.  I kept creating these beautiful leaves until I almost got up to where the arms separate the pattern.  Then this morning I bonked myself on the head and got busy with taking it all apart. 

Even though crochet is much faster than knitting this was over a weeks worth of work, which disappeared in just a few quick minutes.  This is We Are Knitters, cotton yarn purchased last year in a weak sale moment.  It is a beautiful light khaki color so perfect for this project.

Lunatic, my grand dog arrived yesterday.  Her real name is Luna but believe me she is more of a lunatic than a Luna.  Luna strikes me as soft and mellow, she is the opposite of that.  She rules the house when she is here and my boys are just exhausted by the end of the day. Hank from playing, Bear for reprimanding and feeling sorry for himself.  The cycle continues all day long.  Mr. 23 and his girlfriend Ms. L are packing up to move here for 3 weeks before they move into an apartment in St Petersburg in early August.  Mr. 23 will be attending law school and Ms. L, who was supposed to start law school now has to defer a year because the last class she was going to take this summer got canceled and was only available in the fall.  Still she can take it online, work and take a breather before starting law school.

Mr. 26 and Ms. B helped make one little boy very happy on July 4th.  Sparklers and some popping things that popped when you threw them on the ground.  These two are just so wonderful to this little boy.  He adores them both so much. They are a big presence in his life.

In other news Florida is still rising with Covid numbers that are out of control, 13,354 new cases Thursday and 10,360 yesterday.  And these are only the people who can get tests, if you recall I couldn't get in to get a test when I was ill.  The big drive by testing areas located throughout our county had an average 4-8 hours wait in your car.   People are running out of gas in line because the wait is so long.  There is still no statewide rule to wear masks, only county and city rules.  It is amazing to me those who will not protect themselves or others by wearing a mask or those who argue it is offensive to their rights.  Such a simple thing to do to have compassion for those around you.  

This week I found out one of the people who lives in a home I work at was exposed to Covid and they did not tell any of the therapists that came into the home.  I was there one week of that time and am actually a bit speechless that someone would do this.  I was told by someone else and I do not want to get the person who told me this in trouble, so I am not sure how to handle this.  They are huge Trump supporters and believe this is all a hoax, that masks are not necessary, and it is their right not to wear them.  I am now wearing one in their home, which is difficult because two of the little ones I work with pull it off all the time.  That is how I got sick in the first place and now it has becomes a big sinus infection for me.  They also know I fought cancer 21 years ago and my immune system is not always strong. If you get your sinus area radiated for 4 1/2 weeks there is going to be trouble there for the rest of your life.  I have been in this home a long time and  I care about the kids I work with there very much, so for now it is not an option to not go to their home. It is just startling to me that this is what people really are like, this is who they are and they are proud of it.  Thanks so much but I will always be on the side of caution, compassion for others, and caring for the well being and safety of those who come into my home.

I will leave you with hopes that you are all being smart and safe.  Take care my friends

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Not the best week or 4th of July.................

Before I dive into the week, Happy 4th of July for those celebrating.  This is a flag Little Buddy made at his camp this week.  I love the glitter paint stars.  

This has not been the best week, actually, it has stunk.  I was sick the whole week long and now my Little Buddy has it, too.  Not Covid, just a darn cold that really knocked me out.  I was at a home where the foster mother was ill, and so was one of her children but I was not informed of this until a few hours after I had already been there.  It took me a while to get it, over 10 days but when I did, I really did.  I spent much of Monday and Tuesday sanitizing my house and then heading to my bed where I watched the entire season two of Offspring on Netflix.  This was recommended to me by a friend and I love it.  It is like the show Parenthood, but Australian, and much funnier.  Can I just say that you Australians are super cool?  I was too tired to knit or crochet, so I basically draped myself on my pillows and tried not to move my aching head while I constantly blew my nose.  I did get an antibody test yesterday which was negative much to my dismay.  If you are going to be that sick that you miss a week of work it better be for a good reason.  Not that I want the virus, or to spread it to my family, its just that if I had had it then I could maybe stop worrying so much.  For now on even in the homes it is difficult for me to wear a mask in I will be wearing a mask.  I have many small kids who just pull it off, so for those kids I will work with them in a separate room with no one else allowed in if I can't have a mask on.  If you are following the rising cases, Florida is beating the whole country.  There were 9, 500 new cases yesterday, something we should not be proud of.

Little Buddy came home from camp on Wednesday a bit sad and quiet.  I knew he was getting something at that time.  He woke up Thursday with this red nose where he had been wiping it and that nose has only gotten worse since then.  I keep putting cream on it, which he wipes off, and the cycle repeats itself over and over.  We have watched Wreck it Ralph so many times I have lost count.  But it keeps his runny and stuffy nose happy and that is all that matters.

That bra thingy I showed you a few weeks ago has turned into a finished project as of today.  This is the Palmer's Vest by Kendall Timko.  Made with Berroco Remix Light in the color eggplant.  I used almost three skeins of yarn for this vest so approximately 1,250 yards and a size G hook. It is supposed to be really big so if you are worried I made a ginormous vest by mistake don't be.  I can see myself in the winter wearing this with a long sleeve white t-shirt, jeans and boots but I simply don't know if I am that cool!

Yesterday was my birthday, not something I make a big deal out of, but it was nice to be home with a little boy, even if he was not feeling well.  I got to take that antibody test, yes I really know how to celebrate, and I got lots of lovely messages from family and friends.  My oldest told me I really look good for 56, that is a present unto itself!  I also got to watch Hamilton with his girlfriend, who will now be known as Ms. B.  We were up late watching it and it was worth every sleepless minute.  She had seen it live but not with the original cast.  It is a brilliant musical, brilliant lyrics, brilliant acting and singing, well the whole thing was magnificent.  I just loved watching it with her because she is just so, so lovely.  If you have Disney Plus I hope you will watch it, it is well worth it.

Since I don't have red, white and blue flowers how about orange, white and purple?  Stay safe my friends.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

A not so little, Little Buddy...............

The big news is Little Buddy is now nine!  It is official and even though I was not going to allow this birthday it somehow happened and my sweet boy is officially one year older.  He has grown 3 whole inches this past year, which may not be much for some kids but it is huge for my boy.  His face is changing, his attitude is too!  Maybe not always my sweet little boy, more of a bossy, back talking boy who can't always control his temper, but then again neither can I!  We had cake and presents on Wednesday with both brothers here to celebrate, which does not happen very often.  Thursday was our adoption anniversary, six years now this boy has been officially ours.  He has been here longer than that but for those months we still had to deal with the foster care system and have their approval for all decisions.  June 25 will always be a special day in my heart. 

Little Buddy also started his camp for kids with special needs this week.  It is where he usually goes during the summer.  I am thrilled that they are having it even if it is only for a few weeks this summer.  There are five children and two adults who wear masks all day.  They are very careful not to mix personal craft items like scissors and glue and they wipe down all the toys constantly throughout the day.  Little Buddy has so missed interacting with children, there are no children around for him to even talk to at a safe social distance.  So this is just wonderful for him and his already delayed social skills.  He was so happy all week just getting out and having a schedule.

In other big news our favorite splash park has opened with hourly appointments that allow a very limited amount of people in at one time.  They were booked for over two weeks when I got the opportunity to log on so we finally got a slot for this morning from 9-10.  There were only three other children there, and a total of seven adults including me.  We were the first group of the day which made it even better.  Little Buddy had a great time.  This is an activity he can do almost as much as his peers.  He was so happy to go even if it was only for one hour.

On a rare occasion when I actually sit down on the sofa there is always one or two fur boys sitting next to me.  The boys are finally looking better after their drastic hair cuts of 6 weeks ago.  I actually have to brush them a bit now.

Hank has the most beautiful caramel eyes and brown nose.  He takes care of all of us all the time. It is a big job.

Can you see Bear's long eye lashes?  They are so gorgeous as are his deep brownish black eyes and dark nose.  We love these boys so much.

And just because I can't resist that sweet crooked smile, here is another photo of Little B.  He sure is getting big!

As Florida continues to set records for positive cases of Coronavirus day after day, I want you all to stay as safe as possible.  Be smart and safe when it comes to this horrible illness.