One day at a time

Things going on in my life right now:

  • I’m in the process of adopting three kids – two girls I’ve been fostering for two years, ages 5 and 8, and a boy who just moved in two months ago, age 7. There is much drama.
  • I have a new work schedule – for the first time in my life, I’m working normal bank hours – 8:30-5:00, M-F. It’s liberating – evenings! I have evenings! – and soul sucking all at once.
  • I’m finishing up knitting pairs of socks which have been languishing. One pair got finished yesterday!
  • I’ve got visions of painting in my head.
  • I’ve spent more on essential oils this month….. yeeks.
  • Yarn, too. I’ve spent a lot on yarn.
  • And other random crap.
  • It’s my anxiety – it makes me comfort-shop. Is that a thing? I think it’s a thing.
  • Ark check – two dogs, 3 cats, 2 chickens, 4 fish, and the occasional ant my youngest brings in pretending to be her pet.
  • I am trying to purge crap I don’t need. In order to not be a hoarder.
  • It is almost May… and I have no seeds started, nothing. I just don’t have the energy this year for much gardening.
  • I just ordered 10 skeins of sock yarn in a mixed bag sale. I am waiting impatiently for it to arrive.
  • My kids or my dog stole off with my debit card and it has disappeared into the otherworld.

Today’s plans:

  • Knit on a sock.
  • Enjoy the rain.
  • Drink tea.
  • Organize some crap in my house.
  • Laundry.
  • Hug my kids a few times.
  • Clean out the kitty litter box and start fresh.

 

 

 

A new year

It’s a new year, eleven days late, and a new moon, besides.

I’ve had plans of a fresh start, but I’m feeling burned out, and tired, and apathetic, and maybe just a little bit pathetic in general. I have no energy to commit to anything except sitting down with a bag of chips and bean dip, some hot tea, Doctor Who, and the Sims.

As a result, my housework has suffered. So has pretty much everything else.

I’m in need of a kickstart. A beginning. A way to revitalize my mind, my body, my house, my life.

So these are some things I want in my life right now:

  • A bright, clean house. (Bright is going to be a trick, since my house isn’t…)
  • A clean desk in the den.
  • A nature table.
  • A reading nook for everyone.
  • A clean kitchen, stove, oven, fridge, etc.
  • A newly painted bedroom.
  • My bills paid.
  • My second Maudie sock knit.
  • Playtime with the kids.
  • My Christmas décor put away.
  • Some patience.

I’m going to start tomorrow. The plan is to first begin to put away (with the kids’ help) all the Christmas stuff while drinking delicious tea, listening to loud music, and feeding the kids all the leftover cookies. (Did I just say that? For real?) Then I’ll start cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry. I was about to write how I was going to then sweep the floors and mop, but I don’t know if that’s the truth or not. Frankly, it may take longer than I’d like to get all the Christmas stuff put away proper.

My oldest has been a bit too busy lately, if you know what I mean, so she’s gonna be put to task cleaning the shower and then cleaning her own room before my friend’s kids come over to stay the evening with us. We’re gonna eat ravioli lasagna for dinner, and have popcorn before bed.

And while I’d like to think that once the kids get into bed, I’d keep on trucking with laundry and cleaning off my desk and all that… the truth is, I’m probably just gonna settle down with my Doctor Who and chill.

And then Sunday, I hope to have the energy to keep going – to do all the sweeping and mopping and cleaning that I didn’t the day before, and to vaccuum my basement and to clean the toilets and bathroom sinks.

I’m focusing on the cleaning, because it’s the area of my life that’s looking the worst and will leave me with the most sense of accomplishment when I’m through. But by January’s end, I want to be ahead for once, with motivation, and energy, and a plan to keep going.

We’ll see how it goes.

 

 

 

 

A Rainy August Wednesday

For about the second time in weeks and weeks, it’s rained. At last. It was gray and chilly instead of too hot and powerfully sunny, and finally, I am reminded that summer will end. This hundred-degree weather that we’ve had for weeks on end shall pass. Eventually. It’s only mid-August, of course, but today I finally feel that maybe fall will eventually arrive.

For the next three days, we’ll see no more rain, probably, but it will stay below 90 degrees if the weatherman is right. After that… back into the heat we go.

I went to the fair this weekend with the girls and my mom, and it was fun! We bought them a handful of ride tickets and let them bounce and whirl around in delight. My littlest one cried only once, after one of the carnies kept insisting the kids on the ride smile for pictures, and all the attention on her was too upsetting for her to bear. She was plucked off the ride and handed back to grandma for safekeeping while her sister grinned for the rest of it.

We ate corn dogs and deep fried cheese curds, and drank slushies and munched on cotton candy. We bought princess veils and played the duck pond and received terrible prizes.

And then, four hours later, we went home. I’ll be back Friday night for another dinner at the fair and my first-ever rodeo.

 

Strawberry Moon Plans – and some Anxiety too.

Well, let’s just mostly skip the recap of the last month (I went back and crossed off items I completed, if you must look). While I got some items finished, I made absolutely no progress in others, and I’d prefer, today, to dwell on the future, not the past. Anxiety has been calling my name for the last few days, and I suspect it has a lot to do with… well, horomones, if you know what I mean. That, and real life drama left and right.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been reading a blog (Free Range Kids) which is all about raising self-reliant and independent and confident kids by NOT being a hovering, overprotective helicopter parent… but it shares a lot of news stories about how kids are being suspended or handcuffed and arrested for everything, mothers are being arrested for having their kids watch their siblings for an hour, and how the media would have us believe that we need to erradicate every possible danger and risk to our children, no matter how minute, or else THE END WILL COME, or at the very least, we’ll be labeled bad parents and… well, arrested.

Let me be the first to say that I have a minor anxiety problem. Runs in the family. A couple years ago, I stopped reading the news, because I would lay awake at night in a panic, worrying about all the so-unlikely-its-not-worth-angsting-about but horrifying and awful things that could happen – you know, airplanes falling out of the sky onto my house, drive by shootings, rapists climbing through my windows and killing us all…. When I stopped reading the news, I stopped having anxiety attacks.

Unfortunately, Free Range Kids is… well, news. Bad news. News to get all blood-pressure-rising-upset over. News that makes me want to cry and rage and be righteous over. News that makes me wonder what the world is coming to. Worse yet? Sometimes, I read the comments. And then I hear from other people, who say awful things, and I can’t stop, it’s like a train wreck!!!

So, much as I support the site and agree with the premise and most (virtually all?) of it, I need to back off and just live my life, and not worry about all the crazy 6 billion plus people on the planet are creating, or I’m gonna work myself into a heart problem.

So, long story short, I’m not gonna worry about what I didn’t do, and just move on. Righto.

New goals:

  1. Plant hot weather veggies!
  2. Finish Ana’s socks.
  3. Finish TGV scarf for Camp Loopy 2012.
  4. Find/Buy a chicken coop. 
  5. Clean off and organize my desk before it collapses under the weight of all the junk I’ve piled onto it.
  6. Actually put the gravel I bought into the fish tank, for real this time.
  7. Whack some weeds.
  8. Try out the new waterpark in town!
  9. Take a relaxing bubblebath.

Better luck this time!

Loose Ends

Two knitting finishes in the last couple weeks – both languishing projects since 2008 and 2009 or so. (Poor projects. They needed love!)

I got my socks and my shawl both done, although the shawl has a million loose ends to weave in. If I choose to do that. Not sure I will or not, because what a PAIN.

Neither wound up taking a very flattering photo – photographer error, bad lighting, whatever, so there are none to be had.

I wore the socks. They were itchier than I’d have liked, but I never washed them first, and that probably has a lot to do with it. I’m sure my scaly-dry legs were also a factor.

Less lazy, more hen

The Lazy Hen has been anything but lazy recently! Boohoo to that – I like lazy days, and instead, I’m largely getting days filled with crazy instead! I’ve been on a new (temporary) schedule at work since May 7th, which has me up at the crack of dawn and to bed hours before I normally would be. Somehow, this hellish schedule has actually made me more productive. I’m not really a morning person, in personality, but I get a lot more done if I get home at a reasonable hour, instead of the 7:30-8:00 madness that I normally do.

To begin with, I picked up the knitting sticks again and polished off a sock that had been languishing since… oh, 2009. (Sorry for the poor iPhone photo!)

Baby cable sock

I’m partway through the second one and hope to complete it this week. With any luck at all I’ll get close, anyway. I’m doing the sock at work – at home, I’ve been fixing delicious food, making banana bread, and doing both sewing and knitting. I finished my cherry quilt, as you can see here.

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And started a new one here:

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I’ve recieved a ton of charm squares from the charm swap newbie giveaway thing, which is terribly exciting! I’ve got a nice little stash started now! I’ve chopped up a few more out of what few leftovers of the cherry quilt I have, and added them in. I’ve got a second box started for duplicates. So I can swap them too.

And I’ve been knitting madly on a scrappy shawl that I’ve had going since… oh, probably 2009 as well. Go figure. It’s nearly finished too!

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In the meantime, I’ve signed up for a fantastic and fun summer knitting “camp” called Camp Loopy – hosted by one of my favorite online yarn shops, The Loopy Ewe. Camp Loopy is a huge (online) knit-a-long, complete with games and prizes, where we all work within certain guidelines to finish three summer projects. The first project begins 5/27/2012, which is when I’ll be casting on for a TGV shawl with the lovely Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light yarn below (colorway Nostalgia). I have until 6/27 to finish it. That’s one reason I’m in such a rush to finish the sock! So I can work on this at work instead!

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Lastly, my most recent project? Well, I am now the owner of six adorable baby chicks. My city is about to pass a chicken ordinance allowing up to 6 laying hens, and I’m jumping the gun by getting chicks while the farm store still has them! Aren’t they just adorable?

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Look closely, and you’ll see my dog Bentley is checking out the peepers too!

A sewing machine. A gift.

I visited my mother over the weekend – for mother’s day and all. She insisted she only wanted me to visit, no gifts required, but I knit her four new dishcloths, which I knew she needed, and gave them to her when I arrived anyway.

In return, she gave me something else – her Babylock Ellageo embroidery machine. You see, she didn’t need it anymore – it was sitting on the floor in her sewing room, having been cast off for a pair of fabulous Brother machines and that fancy old timey looking Singer she couldn’t resist. So the Ellageo wasn’t getting much love.

I brought it home with me, and it will at least partially replace my current machine – my Babylock Ellure, which is like, the bastard cousin of the bunch – not nearlyso nice. However, I say ‘partly’ replace for a reason – and that’s because the Ellageo has one major fault – it only takes floppy disks when it comes to getting embroidery designs onto the machine.

You read that right. Floppy disks.

That’s almost less useful than the special embroidery cards my other machine takes. I went looking on Amazon for floppy disks. The only people still buying them are… people like me – people using embroidery machines that require them.

Me thinks it’s time for a major upgrade. If only I had the money!

 

Flower Moon Goals (belated!)

May’s Flower Moon was on the 5th – and it was a supermoon! I had every intention of going out to take a look, and howl at it, all that, but utterly forgot once I got done with getting kids in bed and all that good stuff! Boo.

Let me begin by recapping what I managed to complete of my last list of goals for the April Pink Moon.

  1. Finish knitted scarf
  2. Knit a dishcloth (I did two)
  3. Quilt my cherry lap quilt  (completed the day of the new full moon – does it count? Sure.)
  4. Finish first set of Dear Jane blocks – I’m already a couple months behind. Yikes.
  5. Move garden beds to where I want them and fill with soil.
  6. Plant cold-hardy veggies & fruits
  7. Organize kid’s toys and stuff into their rooms (slightly, at least.)

Not bad, right? Six out of seven completed, even if I did come right up to the line on a couple of them – at least they’re done! But oh Dear Jane, you’re getting no love…

This time, I have set the following goals to be completed before the next full moon:

  1. Complete at least 4 Dear Jane blocks, even if it’s not the full month’s worth.
  2. Survive 3 weeks of training at work, where I must be to work at 7 a.m. (I consider this a worthy goal.)
  3. Get cold-tender veggies planted (if weather cooperates – no freak snowstorms!)
  4. Finish binding Cherry Quilt
  5. Finish dishcloths for mother (should be done today, actually)
  6. Finish knitting my twisted rib sock pair (one sock to go!)
  7. Try out my doughnut maker
  8. Get extra rock put in goldfish tank
  9. Sew new owl apron from Spoonflower.com

Good enough for me! Let’s see how it goes.

Near completion…

Cherry charm square quilt

I started this quilt two years ago – god, was it that long ago? – and finished the quilt top straight off. Then it sat around sadly waiting for me to purchase backing and binding fabric, and batting. Then, I purchased backing, but not enough. And finally, two years later, got it quilted!

The quilting is imperfect – I didn’t draw out any of the lines like I intended to, but instead, just eyeballed long lines across the top, as you can see from the photos. But in my estimation, a quilt two years in the making is better finished imperfectly than never completed at all.

Last night, I sewed on the binding. Wrong. And now I may be slightly short on it when I go to wrap it around to the back, but we’ll see what I can do.

This second photo is of the back of the quilt, where I added some extra squares to use them up. Sorry for the blurry iphone photo!

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April Planting

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It’s been unseasonably warm this winter, so on April 1st, I planted a few pounds of potatoes in my garden. So far, I have twenty-four plants emerging, and hope the rest follow soon – it’s been more and more every day for the last ten days! I planted solely red potatoes bought from the local farm store, and hope they survive thrive in my poor soil!

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My garden boxes are also out, and I have three of them filled with better soil – namely, relatively weed-free topsoil mixed 50/50 with compost. (The fourth still needs to be done, but my back was screaming and the heat was scorching, and… lets’ just say it didn’t get done.) I still have to take out some nails or screws and mark out a square foot grid on each of them, and run string around it all before I can consider it plantable – with any luck, that will be this weekend. Although, it’s supposed to rain this weekend, so we’ll see. I’d take that with a grain of salt – but a small carnival is coming to the local mall, and for the last three years that I’ve lived here, it pours rain and is windy and cold the entire time the carnival is on. Go figure.

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I also planted some raspberries in the back patio area, along with a couple rhubarb crowns, and in the regular garden plot with the potatos, I popped in a gooseberry bush. We’ll see if it survives!

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The trees planted last month are budding and flowering and leafing out some, and I hope to get them fertilized a bit. I’d rather use some organic fertilizer, but I haven’t really found anything I’m sure of yet. Will talk to the nursery folks for some suggestions, possibly!

Still waiting on my onion order to arrive. Those are set to ship next week!

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