Friday, April 24, 2015

Moving is Hard

So, hubby got a new job and we're moving about an hour and a half away from where we are now.  I'm happy he got a new job (something he doesn't believe).  He just doesn't seem to understand the whole "I'm going to miss my house" thing, and equates that with "You are questioning the entire process".   No, I'm going to miss my house.

I love our little house.  It's the perfect size for us.  We have a spare bedroom, a finished basement AND a sewing room AND a cedar closet.  It really was (and is) my dream home.

The house we found to rent I am glad we are just renting.  I am getting the house in filthy condition (new landlord=not quite understanding why it's not ok to charge me $600 for my cats, but give me a disgusting carpet with carpet beetles).  It's an old farmhouse, but the only place to put my sewing machine is in a dark cubby upstairs.

The plus is that there are 10 miles of walking trails behind the house, with a little creek that runs through it.  Needless to say, my Anna is in love.




Speaking of Anna, she was recognized as a youth volunteer.  She's put in over 600 hours at Heckrodt, and I am very proud of her.
I have been knitting a little bit, thinking about it mostly.  I'm working on a scarf for a friend.  I also made this little shawlette:
One of the hardest things is finding all of my yarn.  Half of it is at the new house and half is at the old house, and I feel like it's just so much work to put anything together.  To the point where I am nearly done with a sock and it seems like too much work to find a yarn needle to get it off the needles.

But everything seems like so much work.  I'm very down lately, worrying about getting a job, not even wanting to bother with school.  I just don't seem to care that there's a semi coming at me in my lane.




Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Projects 1 of 4

So the latch hook is finished (well except for the finishing!) Woohoo!

Nick's hat is at the decreases, baby sweater is a third done and Emily's Barbie clothes are woefully behind. But I'm working on it.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Thinking Ahead-New Year Style

So there's been more than one moment this week where I've said to myself, "Self, this would be a good resolution to do EVERY DAY!"  They're pretty basic, and boring, but here are some I've thought of:

1. STOP READING COMMENTS FOR FUCK'S SAKE!  Seriously, nothing can make me more miserable than reading comments on news stories, whether on Facebook or tv or newspaper sites.  I am even sick of reading comments on some people's Facebook posts.  It's the same old crap all the fucking time.
And speaking of Facebook...

2. FACEBOOK NEEDS TO BE A "SOMETIMES" FOOD.  I spend WAY too much of my life on Facebook.  Mostly it's wasting up to an hour at a time looking at bullshit I really don't care about, that usually makes me sad or angry.  I like the funny stuff, but there just isn't enough of that.  Mostly drama, and I just don't have time for drama.  At least I shouldn't.  It seems I always do.

3. MORE KID ONE-ON-ONE TIME.  (Sensing time as a theme?)  My kids LOVE "mom and me" time, even at their ages.  Even if it's just running to the grocery store or grabbing a quick lunch.  So why not make them feel special whenever I can?  It's an easy thing to do.

4. MORE TIME FOR SCHOOL (Time....)  I know I didn't spend enough time on my one class.  I got off to a rotten start for the semester and just never seemed motivated to get my shit together.  This semester, it's checking in at least once a day, whether I want to or not.  I'm not going to do the "I'll get all my stuff done before the day it's due" because why lie?  I won't.  I do better when I have a deadline (and that's actually not a lie).

5. LIMITING TIME SPENT AROUND TOXIC PEOPLE. Ok, so there are always some "toxic" people we can't seem to get rid of.  Mostly those are called "family".  I've done a pretty fair job this past year of stepping away, but holy hell, nothing can test your toxicity meter like Christmas.  Here is an example of why I step away:

A Mother-In-Law Christmas Story

Once Upon a Time, my Mother-In-Law was broke and asked us for money.  But she still got us something for Christmas.  Why she didn't just not get us anything was beyond me, until I saw what she got us.

She's broke, but she got us Rachael Ray pots and pans.  Now, I don't need pots and pans, but what a lovely gift.  Expensive. Only then she says, "Look inside the box.  They aren't all there".

No, friends and neighbors, SHE needed new pots and pans, so to justify it, she left us the little frying pan and one pot and kept the rest.  Now, she could have taken them out of the box and just put a bow on them and we'd never know there was a whole set.  Yet, she chose not to do this.  And THEN had the audacity to bitch at Brian for using her new pan (Whose new pan is this?) when we came over to cook HER breakfast for Christmas.  You know, and brought ALL. THE. FOOD.

And Lynnette, by some act of Nature or the Divine or just her own willpower (which is a minor miracle) did not lose her shit on her MIL.

OK, so anyway, on that note, I hope you understand the limiting toxic people thing, and in some ways, the levels.  At least, seeing the next point, maybe distance makes the heart stop being so pissed off all the time?....

6. DE-CLUTTER.  Yes, it's the age-old "Of course I will organize and de-clutter my life" resolution everyone makes with the "I'm going to lose weight" resolution.  But I REALLY don't have a choice this year.  Brian got a new job that will require relocation, and even though someone will be moving us this time (for the first time.  Ever. Because someone is paying for it for the first time. Ever.) we have so much SHIT.  It's not just little shit, like books and toys and yarn, of which there is a half ton (and no, I am not a complete idiot and no, I will not be parting with any of the yarn.  I am just saying.  Not gonna happen.  But it will be packed, labeled and organized.) it's also big shit like excess furniture.  When we got this house there was lots of excess furniture, and we had some, then we acquired more shit thinking we weren't leaving here and, well, I have 5 bedrooms, a basement and a garage (complete with attic) full of crap.  I would like to halve it, but I would be happy to lose at least 30% of it.

7. EAT OUT LESS. We spend an INSANE amount of money going out to eat, whether it's me grabbing lunch on the way home from work to "It's 6pm.  What are we having for dinner?  Oh you're going to run and get something?  OK"  A little planning can not only limit my runs to the grocery store, but will save us the unhealthy expensive meals.

There will be more.  These are just the ones that I have been thinking about the past week.  I won't be exercising unless I feel like it. I will eat lots of ice cream and gluten.  I will still play video games, because it's something I enjoy and why the fuck not?  I'm going to knit hopefully lots.  I have ideas for creating cool things that I hope I'll get to do in the New Year.  Because it makes me happy.  And honestly, I would like 2015 to end as a year of happy, since the beginning of it might be mass chaos.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What am I up to?

So, Winter Solstice. Christmas looming around the corner. And I'm sitting on the couch, drinking a bloody Mary. Last 2 pans of Chex Mix (I made it from scratch for the first time in my life) are just about ready to come out of the oven. And I'm working on...

A trippy 1970's owl latch hook for Anna. Trying to get it done by Christmas.

Along with Barbie clothes made for Emily. And a hat knit for Nick. And a baby surprise jacket knit for my coworkers baby.

And I need to make cookies. And candy. And come up with something for my brother and sister in law. And now host lunch on Christmas day for my mother-in-law.

Head. Exploding.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Book Review-C'mon, Grab your Friends!

 

For those of you who don't know, I love Adventure Time and so do my kids.  That's why when Blogging for Books gave me the chance to review Adventure Time Crafts, I took it.  I received this book as a part of the Blogging for Books program.

The crafts are easy to follow, although some require some basic skills a crafter might not have (crochet, sewing with a machine, etc).  It does give some "Crafty Basics" to get you started, and I think it's a great starting point for seeing something you HAVE to make and jumping into a new craft.

Overall, there was enough in this book to make it worth the while of anyone who enjoys Adventure Time (or anyone who has kids who do).  Seriously--there are perler bead patterns for coasters!  Perler beads...you can do stuff in this book.  You can learn stuff from this book.  And at the very least, you can admire all the very cool Adventure Time craft ideas in this book!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Actual Knitting(!!)

So I have been doing actual knitting.  I'm hoping to start (and finish) mittens for at least one child, since we have 1-3 inches of snow coming tonight.

I finished test knitting this very cute kitty hat.  I made one a little bigger than the other, not only so I could help the brilliant designer (and her first pattern!) check the sizing, but then I have one for Anna and one for Emily.







Right now I am working on Barbie clothes.  I decided for Christmas that the kids' presents from us are going to be something we made.  So for Emily, I want to make some clothes for her Barbies (and I bought a big lot of shoes on Ebay to put in the box).

The only problem with knitting Barbie clothes is they're made on REALLY little needles with crochet thread.  This isn't so bad while I'm making Kelly dresses (and I can usually knock out one of those in an afternoon) but egads, this gown I am making is taking forever just to do the first skirt.  But I found this amazing website of free knitting patterns, all Barbie and her friends size.  I'd like to shake this persons hand!!

So now--knitting (after I have a rice krispie treat Emily and I made together today) and watching Kitchen Nightmares on Netflix. 

Periphery

pe·riph·er·y
/pəˈrif(ə)rē/
noun
noun: periphery; plural noun: peripheries
  1. the outer limits or edge of an area or object.
    "new buildings on the periphery of the hospital site"
    synonyms:edge, outer edge, margin, fringe, boundary, border, perimeter, rim, verge, borderline; More
    outskirts, outer limits/reaches, bounds;
    literarybourn, marge
    "rambling estates on the periphery of the city"
    antonyms:center
    • a marginal or secondary position in, or part or aspect of, a group, subject, or sphere of activity.
      "a shift in power from the center to the periphery"
 --Google.com

I was perusing Facebook (as I am known to do.  25 times a day) and saw another one of the "Light this fake candle picture for someone in Heaven you are missing this holiday season".  Which made me think, "Why would anyone do that?" but then, "Who would I light a candle for?"

I have some family members who died.  My grandma (mom's mom).  My uncle (mom's brother).  My great grand parents.  But I thought about how sure, I miss them, but probably not much more than if they were here.  It sounds bad, but there is a reason for this.

Growing up, we were always on the outside of our extended family.  I saw my grandma (mom's mom) probably the most, but even then she'd do something that pissed my mom off, and we'd not see her for a while.  Same with my aunts and uncles and cousins.  It was like, my mom would be "friends" with one of them that would put up with her and her horrible life and her abusive, drunk husband.  But then they'd say something (I assume.  I was never completely privy to the information) and we wouldn't see them for months.  So I would spend nearly every waking hour with a set of cousins, only to have them ripped from me.

My dad's family--I can count on 2 hands the number of times I've seen them...on one hand or no hands for some of them.  They're in New Jersey, and, for most of them, I probably come to mind only when they see me on Facebook, and maybe not even then.  I am always on their periphery, and they are on mine.  I am sure that if I died, they might "light some candles on Facebook" but it would be for them thinking of the loss that isn't, and not really thinking of me.

My grandparents:  I still love them.  I used to love them dearly.  Then my love for my grandmother dimmed considerably when I visited at 18, and she bought me a bridal magazine and asked me to pick things out (I was with Brian 2 years.  And young and stupid).  So I showed her things I liked.  Then she went to her sister and told her how selfish I am to want such an extravagant wedding when my parents were on a fixed income.  It dimmed more when she came to visit a few times and did nothing but talk on her cell phone to the people back in Jersey.  My kids are here that she hardly ever sees.  I'm here that she hardly ever sees.  But all she could do was have drama on her cell phone, like we weren't even there.  She doesn't even visit anymore.  I have no desire to go there.

My grandfather?  Oh how I loved him the most!  The biggest thing he gave me was whispering in my ear, one time as a teenager in one of my darkest hours that "I was the first, and I was the best".  So much love!!  He loved me and I loved him and all was right in the world.  Until last year.  He's sitting next to me on the loveseat, and he's complaining how my cousin threw away her full cheerleading scholarship to get married (to a guy for about 6 weeks.  But don't worry, we saw all the elaborate wedding pictures for the wedding my grandparents paid for and heard about how wonderful she is).  Anyway, he said the sentence that forever put me on the periphery of his life, "I would have been so proud to have a granddaughter to graduate from college."

Here I sat, right next to him.  The granddaughter that never asked him to pay her rent, or raise her kids, or throw her bail.  The granddaughter that got married at a reasonable age (and paid for her own, non-elaborate wedding) then had her kids.  And never had to ask anyone to take care of my kids while she got evicted (again) or off drugs (again).

There I sat next to him.  The granddaughter that graduated from college.  The granddaughter that was, indeed, starting graduate school.  The granddaughter that thought she was going to grad school, in large part, to make her grandfather proud.  To give that to him.  And in that moment, he took so much away from me.  It was like being ripped away from the only person who lived out there who I thought gave a damn about me.

I just patted him on the knee and said, "You already have a granddaughter that graduated from college, Grandpa".  And I got up.  He stammered after, "Oh yes, and I'm very proud".  But at that moment, I knew the truth.  No matter how many times a day I thought of him, no matter how cherished the handful of memories I had of him, no matter how I can still smell his den (where I learned my love of history) and his garage and picture holding his hand walking through the woods, or helping him stain a picnic table or feed the dogs, or smelling his A&P coffee, or thinking about him taking me to sit with his buddies down in Highlands at his friends bait and tackle store in the morning, no matter all of that, I was always on the periphery.  Always on the outside.  Always an afterthought.

I wasn't even going in this direction when I started this post, but I guess that's the beauty of a blog.  Maybe it's all coming out because my grandpa is coming for hunting season in the next 5 days.  It's probably his last time; he's getting older, the trip is long and he has a lot going on back at the Jersey Shore.  Cousins who need him.  Maybe he doesn't think I need him because I didn't ask him for all the stuff my cousins did: The bail, the rehab, the kid raising.  But he's so wrong.  I took care of myself because that's what you are supposed to do.  But instead of making him love me for that, it pushed him away?  I don't know.  Maybe it's to the point where I am 41, and he's 84, and I can ask him if that's what he thinks.  And tell him he's wrong.  And maybe, in the end, I can get out of his periphery.

But maybe, just maybe, this is why your best family is the family you choose.  My best friend Jess is the sister I never had.  She listens to me and I listen to her.  She's probably the only one reading this right now.  I don't feel like I'm on her periphery.  She has so much going on in her life, and she still never makes me feel like an afterthought.  Never makes me feel like I'm not important, and not worth her time.  I always feel like she's happy to hear from me, and that she loves me and misses me.

And where this post was going in the first place, was me thinking about how my own, immediate family keeps us on the periphery.  If we don't do things they like, or we don't do things their way.  Does my brother think about me when we aren't together 6 months at a time?  We get together and it's fine, but does he miss me like I try not to miss him?  Even though we live about 5 miles away?  But I only hear from him when he wants something.  I heard from him last because he needed job references.  I had to suggest we go out for his birthday, otherwise I would not have been included.

I don't want my kids to be surrounded by people that put them on their periphery.  I want them to feel loved, and wanted, and important.  I feel badly that my parents didn't care enough about me to want that.  I feel really badly that they don't care enough about their grandkids to not do that; that there is no happy medium.  Either they don't come around ("Because you don't want us" or they're pissed at me for something) or they are smothering, here every day, telling everyone how to live and what they do wrong.  I love my dad, but he's Jersey people.  He's so self-absorbed; when I was diagnosed with MS, he called to tell me how horrible his life is now that he has a daughter with MS.  I can't even make that up.  Any problem that I have becomes something he has wrong, only more horribly.  I know he loves me, and I know he loves my kids, and I know our interactions would be different without my mom's influence.

And I guess I walk away from this very long blog post with this:  That although there are family members that have died that I'll miss, and there are family members in my life that if they died I would miss them, but my heart has to be with people that care about me back.  I give so so much of myself, all the time, because I'm supposed to.  Because it's the right thing to do.  Mostly because I WANT TO.  But how much of myself can I give anymore, when it's not given back?  When I am an afterthought?

I have to give to people who give back.