Thursday, September 30, 2004

More Autumn Stitching

Not a very catchy title. But here is today's tribute to my most favorite of seasons and holidays, Earth Threads, Lambs Halloween. This piece is a sentimental favorite as it's my first time using an evenweave linen, my first time using GASTs, and my first attempt at speciality stitches.

Bad Omens

Last night I knew when I looked up at that blood red moon that I was being set up for a major catastrophe. I had nightmares all night, woke up, used the bathroom, and flushed. Upon flushing, the toilet backed up. But it didn't stop there, DH flushed the other toilet and it overflowed(fortunately full of clean water), the washer was running and I stopped it immediately. So then I take DH over to hook up with his carpool sobbing all the way, come back home and everything is fine. Flushed each toilet three times back to back to back. Flushed fine. So I turn the washer back on, it reaches the first drain cycle, toilets start talking, water starts flowing gently into each bathtub. This is not good. I have to work today, there's just no getting out of it, I'm hoping this is just a temporary kind of clog that just needs a little time to work it's way through the pipes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things will go ok while I'm at work.

I've been crying all morning. When the toilet in my bathroom overflowed it ran into the litterbox, sounds like the appropriate place for funky toilet water, but not when the litter box then overflows. I'm still afraid to go into the bathroom. I'm supposed to call a plumber and expect him to walk into that funky mess? Yea, I know that's sorta like their job but ick. Shouldn't take too long to clean, I just dread it. DH then tells me that I brought all this on myself by even saying outloud that the moon last night would bring trouble. The nightmares were kind of weird. One was just a horrible nightmare related to my fired former coworker and him acting on his anger, if you get my drift, the rest were related to my job itself. Being overwhelmed with customers, running out of food, people getting upset and causing problems, me not being able to do anything right. Then I wake up to an overwhelmed toilet. Just not good. One of those days when you know you should just stay in bed and hide from the world. It doesn't help that I'm majorly PMSing. It just adds to the emotional rollercoaster. I mean does anyone really break down and sob just because a toilet overflows into a litterbox. It's not the end of the world. I know that in the big scheme of things this is just a minor blip on the old radar screen. But for some reason this morning it was just more than I could handle. Maybe it's because I cleaned all day long yesterday and filled up several garbage bags of trash and the house still looks like one of Saddam's palaces after the bombings. Maybe it's because my kids aren't going back to school until October 11th. They are getting restless, bored, and I worry about going to work and leaving them, even if it's only for 5 hours and just around the corner. They are good kids, but being out of school is starting to get to them, and I worry what they might start doing to entertain themselves. I'm tired of flippin' cold showers, and can't seem to find a plumber to replace my gas hotwater heater at the moment, thanks to Hurricane Ivan, and now I have toilets overflowing, which is definitely an emergency(under control at the moment-fingers and toes crossed) but if I can't get a simple gas water heater replaced, how am I going to find anyone to fix my overwhelmed plumbing system?

Maybe this all just seems like a lot because of my PMS or because of the fact that I'm late, at least a week. Could be the stress of Ivan, could be I'm just late or didn't count my days correctly, could be I'm preggers. Oh well, time will tell won't it?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Veg Out Day

Today is going to be a lay around the house, watch DVDs day. Last night I rented Mean Girls, Scooby Doo 2 and Walking Tall(DS#2 is a huge Rock fan) I have a few things that need to be finished and mailed out by the end of the week, so I really need to get my butt in gear and wrap up these projects. I'd also like to finish a couple of granny squares to add to the every growing pile. I'm still a long, long way from 144 squares.

Under Her Spell

Today's featured cross stitch piece is Mosey 'N Me's Frank's Witch Matilda. I have her boyfriend Wendell the Warlock in progress.

I still need to add a little black button to the top of her shoe but I have misplaced the package of buttons.

Since I really don't have much to write about today I thought I'd also add a pic of the boys' Halloween Stockings(they aren't actually stockings yet but you get the idea). Yes, I stitched this design 3 times and still have an aversion to DMC 712.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

An Autumn State of Mind

Today's cross stitch piece is my second RR with the same group of ladies that stitched on the RR I posted yesterday. The theme of this piece was Autumn.

I need to get it framed soon. It's a shame to have two such pretty pieces tucked away in a Rubbermaid bucket.

Another favorite of mine is this piece:

I plan to banner it and hang it on my laundry room door, the side of the door that faces the kitchen so I can enjoy it all year. I love it and it was fun to stitch. Not sure how well the verse shows up, it reads, "With silk from a web, by the light of the moon, Witches are stitching from midnight til noon." It uses funky wildhair threads for her hair and glow in the dark krienik for the cat's eyes and in a few other places.

Caught in the Middle

I really hate being in the middle of uncomfortable situations. The lady I work for fired someone who had worked for her for about two years. This person keeps calling me, I'm not sure how to handle it. I talked to her(my boss) before she fired this person. Nothing I said could change her mind. Was she right to fire him? YES. Do I feel sorry for him, yes, because I know how bad he needs the job. What am I supposed to do about it? I told him he could put me down as a reference when he asked. He was always on time, that's about all I can say, but I feel really bad for him. I hate being in the middle. Now his wife is calling me. How annoying is that? I'm getting to the point where I don't care about him or his wife any more. Before he was fired I did all I could to try to help him keep his job. I have no control over this and he's responsible for his own actions.

Speaking of Work

We reopened yesterday and were so busy! Our regulars were happy to have us back up and running. As much as I've whined about going back to work I was happy to be there.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Autumn is in the Air

So I thought over the next week or so I'd share a few Autumn/Halloween projects. Today's featured project is my first ever cross stitch RR. The theme was witches and I can't believe I haven't had it framed yet. It's one of my all time favorite pieces.

Speaking of RRs

Am I the only one that agonizes over stitching on someone else's piece? I have one now that I should have mailed out a while ago, but I'm afraid of it. The band I'm going to do is full of speciality stitches. Not difficult ones, satin stitch, rhodes stitch or eyelets, can't remember right now, anyway they are stitches I'm comfortable with on my own pieces but this is someone else's piece and I don't want to screw it up. Anyway, I need to get over myself and get it done. The stitching itself won't take more than an hour, maybe two, I just need to feel the fear and do it anyway. The diagrams are great but I have found whenever I do satin stitches the diagrams always seem to show more threads over than one actually stitches on the piece. I've never understood this since the diagram appears to go with the specific cross stitch chart but I always seem to be off by a thread or two. Very frustrating.

The Year of the Norman Rockwell Holidays

Here's a little secret:

In the area of housekeeping I suck. There I've said it. Don't misunderstand, we all sleep in clean beds, I'm totally down with laundry, it's the other stuff that drives me crazy, like putting the laundry away. I think we all need about 3 huge walk in closets a piece. There's not room for all the dressers and chest of drawers we could realistically use. I do the laundry and then it tends to hang out on the dining table or in laundry baskets or when things get really desperate, all the baskets get dumped out on my bedroom floor and we just sift through the piles. I go through phases when I'm really good about putting all the clothes away and others where it just sits on the dining table for weeks. What does this have to do with Norman Rockwell Holidays? Well I also suck in the area of family holidays. You know Halloween for example, the outside is usually decorated ok, but the inside, what a mess. Christmas, I manage to get the lights up outside, a tree up inside but it's never special you know? When you walk in my house you don't get all warm and fuzzy, well maybe you do it but it's probably from the cat hair on the couch.

I want this to be the warm and fuzzy year. I want my kids to carry in their hearts one season of holidays when mom managed to get it right from decorating to presents to food.

I'm on a mission and hopefully I will succeed. It's 5 weeks until Halloween, surely I can get my house ready for some kind of kiddie/neighbor open house by then. I have a gazillion ideas, I'm the idea chick, it's bringing them to fruition that usually brings me down. Then after Halloween there's another 9 weeks or so until Christmas. Halloween and Thanksgiving are kind of there together so the decorating can cross over a bit. Anyway I want to do the holidays right this year.

Week after next I start the big Christmas layaway strategy. I have got to get a headstart on the shopping this year and should have been buying stuff all summer but nope, I wait until it's almost time to open presents to even start an attempt at buying gifts. Not this year. Yes, famous last words, I know.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Back to Normal

Happy to report that life is slowly getting back to normal. Today I went to the Publix and found milk! I'm totally feeling the joy. I bought a gallon of milk, a half gallon and a quart of chocolate milk. Do I need to go on about how good that chocolate milk is?


Since I haven't been working this week, and man, it's not a good thing. I don't want to go back to work. I want the money, but I'm really enjoying being home, anyway, I have made 5(or is it 6?) granny squares. I'm using the same colors I used in Harleigh's afghan because that's what I have on hand. I wanted to cross stitch today but fell asleep listening to the radio. I'm sleeping a lot these days. I guess my body is catching up on all that sleep I missed last week due to Hurricane Ivan.

The #1 Reason to Not Feel Guilty About Accumulating Stash:

A natural disaster can shut everything down. When JoAnn's, Micheals, Hobby Lobby, the LNS, LYS and even Walmart are all inaccessible the obsessive stasher can run to her stash and pull out everything she/he needs for a new project. I have always said that I try not to feel guilty about stashing but now I'm so glad that I have stashed as much as I have over the years and my stash is pretty small compared to some. Yes, I know with all that has happened over the last week how can I even discuss stash? Well my projects offered me a whole lot of comfort. Even if I only picked one up for a few minutes it was a distraction from all my other worries. It took me away for just a little while. Yep, once things are really back to normal I plan to be an even more obsessive stasher. If you think my Stitcher's Organizer is full now, just wait until I start reorganising projects I want to work on and projects I want to start and projects I want to kit. I am an obsessive kitter. I carry lists around in my bag and everytime I go to the LNS or another craft store I'll buy some floss or fabric or a chart, whatever I need to gradually kit up a project. I feel so good once a project is completely kitted almost as good as I feel when I finish a project.

I do wish I could finish something, anything soon. I've been hoping for the last few weeks to finish L'Ete by BOAF but I just haven't been able to sit and concentrate on my cross stitch. Granny squares are much easier to work on and don't require a lot of concentration.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

#1 Reason To Give Someone a Handmade Gift:

This is why I rushed to finish this blanket for my niece Harleigh. I could tell how much she loved it when it was still just a pile of blocks. To get a thank you like this is worth every ounce of work I put into it. I never expected it but to open my email and find this jewel in there made me cry.

Not much crocheting or stitching getting done around here these days. I do have power today but spent most of the morning running errands and searching for some boneless chicken breasts or tenderloins for dinner tonight. I'm so craving a homecooked meal even if I have to be the head chef. We are having Chicken & Rice seasoned with Goya Sazon con Azafran. My neighbor made this the other night and it tasted so good I have to make a pot for my family tonight. I'll make a simple lettuce and tomato salad to go with it. If I make another trip to the store I may just bake a cake but don't hold your breath.

Simple Pleasures

Today while running errands I was able to get some sweet iced tea. I usually go the unsweetened route but hey, it was tea, not water, not a coke, but tea so I indulged in a large Sweet Tea from Krystal. We're still under a boil water restriction in my county so I haven't made tea. UH big duh to me, I have 7 gallons of water alone in the fridge I think I can spare a little for iced tea. Sometimes I wonder about this old brain of mine. How dumb am I? Speaking of the aforementioned fridge we got power late yesterday. GO GULF POWER! YOU GUYS ROCK! We kept having huge power surges last night but so far none today.

I think I may just go work on some Granny Squares. I have one half of block #1 finished for a new Girl Power Granny. Maybe I can get a good start on a new afghan for myself. With all the hurricane damage, I've given up collecting any yarn other than Red Heart for this afghan right now. I thought I might go for the Caron Simply Soft brights but I think I'll just save those for another time. I have everything I need here for this particular afghan, and hey, I like Red Heart. I could do mail order but would rather start something now instead of waiting.

I checked on the LYS-The Yarn Garden, and just from what I could see driving by it looked like it didn't have any damage and that they had moved all their inventory out of the store. I hope they are able to open up soon since trips to Pensacola are going to be difficult at least for a few weeks. I need to start sticking back a few dollars here and there and when Pensacola is accessible again indulge in a Hobby Lobby shopping spree. I mean I do need to help out the economy over there in Escambia County right? I might just have to go spend some money at Micheals too.

Shocking Pictures

Yesterday I managed to pick up a local paper for the first time since Ivan hit. The pictures coming out of Pensacola of the bridges and damage to homes is catastrophic. I knew it was bad but what I imagined in my mind couldn't compare to the pictures.

There was a time when I thought making the decision to evacuate would be an easy one. When we finally decided we needed to leave I didn't want to. I knew it was probably the right thing to do but what it boiled down to is that we feel safe in our homes. No matter what is raging outside, inside we feel we are safe. Also this whole idea of being able to control events pops into your head. If I stay and the roof springs a leak I can fix it then(yea, right, sure, climb up on that roof in 150 mile an hour winds), if the house starts to flood I'm there to stop it(nope you can't). All these ideas go through your mind. If you leave you are letting the hurricane control you, take over your life and your home. I realize these thoughts may seem silly but they are what kept going through my mind. If only I stayed I could protect my home and my family would be safe here since it's our home not Ivan's. I now know why against their better judgement people insist on staying in trailers. Even though common sense tells you to leave, you feel safe there because it's home.

One of the saddest stories I've heard since Ivan hit was the one where a man chained himself to his mobile home. I kept wondering what he was thinking? The trailer ended up rolling over on him and pinning him beneath it. I never heard if he survived or died. I think about him often and wonder what was going through his mind when he made this decision.

I used to think that people who didn't evacuate were fools, and maybe on some level they are, but it's about leaving your home. Leaving a place that makes you feel safe and going to some unknown place around strangers. Will I evacuate again, yes. I know that my life, the kids' lives and DH are all more important than the roof over our heads. When we left, I had to keep home in my heart. I had to remind myself that my family was my home and our house was a place where we felt happy and safe, but we can be happy and safe as long as we are together and alive.
I never once dreamed that making the decision to evacuate would be such an emotional one. I thought it would be a black & white decision. It wasn't. I agonized over it for two days.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Interesting Times

I'm saying that a lot lately. For years I've seen people in natural disasters waiting in line for water, ice, gas and I've always thought to myself that you must need it pretty bad to be sitting in those lines for hours. What I have discovered is that it's not that you need it right now, it's that you may need it tomorrow or somewhere down the line. Survival instincts kick in and waiting in line seems a small price to pay for a case of water that you may desperately need in a week or two. Another reason one doesn't mind waiting in line is that there is absolutely nothing else left to do. It's too hot to crochet, too hot to attempt to practice to knit, too hot to cross stitch, too hot to read, no tv. It's just too flippin' hot period. So waiting in line is something to do that gets you out of the house. It also puts you near people who may know something you don't.

Our county emergency commission is crap. It's been 3 or 4 days since Ivan hit our area and they can't seem to get information out to the people of this county. It's messed up. We managed to get home from Panama City the Thursday afternoon after the storm. We have been able to get back and forth to the county next to us. No one can convince me that all our county commissioners are trapped in the same area of the county with no communciation, trees blocking the doors to their homes. Our local radio station has thought that it is more important to play U2 songs and run commercials instead of giving out a constant stream of info. Apparently they are under the delusion that we all are listening to them and have nothing else to do. Yet they refer to this as the continuing coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. It's a joke. There are no functioning gas stations in our whole county. People in my county have to carefully plan their trips over to Ft Walton Beach. If we had some decent information from local authorities it might help us make those decisions. Do I use the gas in my car to sit in line for ice or do I drive over to Ft Walton Beach and find a gas station and buy ice? Maybe if someone would tell us what's open, where things are available it might help. You hear about areas north of us in the county but nothing in our part of the county. We haven't seen a newspaper since Wednesday. We did attempt to purchase a paper at a local convenient store while on a run to Ft Walton Beach on Saturday, the dates had been cut off the papers and customers were buying them thinking they were new papers. I'm not kidding. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that I had bought those exact same two papers on Wednesday and recognized theh headlines. Someone took an exacto knife and cut the strip of the paper with the date on it off the front page of the paper. That is messed up!

Line Cutters

Ok this is to the person in the corvette, when you pull up to a gas station and you see a long line of cars, just because you are turning left into the gas station and not right does not mean that you get to go to the head of the line. You must drive your sorry ass to the end of the line and make a U-turn and get into the line. YOU HAVE TO WAIT JUST LIKE THE REST OF US! Yes, I'm talking to you. You cannot cut line because you think you are smarter than us. Nope, you are not a VIP you are a someone who needs gas just like the rest of us and your needs are not any more important than the rest of ours are.

Also, when someone lets someone out of a side road in the middle of a long line it's not to let you into the line in front of everyone, it's because you led them to believe you were crossing the highway or making a left hand turn. Yes, "we know you" you are a sorry ass line cutter. What were you thinking, if I loop around this way and come out the side road near the front of the line it's ok for me to cut in front of people who have been waiting two hours for gas? Are you flippin' nuts? Take your butt to the back of the line and wait your turn. You are not special, your needs are no more important than the rest of ours.

These are the people that create bad scenes during these hard times. People who think they are special, people who think they are smarter than everyone else. Everyone else is getting along, waiting their turn. It's damn hot but hey we are waiting, why do you have to come along and push buttons, intentionally get people riled up? It makes no sense whatsoever. Just wait your turn, go to the back of the line. Other people aren't the jerks, you are. We're working hard to get along, not piss each other off, but nope you come along and jump line, then people get upset.

Oh and to the backerupper, when someone tells you what gas pump to use, use that one. Don't back up into another pump heading in the wrong direction because you just don't want to use that other pump. You screwed up the line. You were supposed to use pump 2, heading forward, not pump 8 backing in. Why the heck do you think people are there to tell you what pump to use? Do you think they like standing in the heat telling us all which way the lines flow? Because you are an idiot you backed up the line for another 15 minutes, because they had to then get you out of the parking lot but you were facing the wrong way because you backed in! Was it that horrible to wait for the lady at pump 8 to finish like the man told you to do? Did you have to get gas that fast, I mean they said it wasn't running out? Good grief man! Don't be a backer-upper, it just messes the whole system up. Use your brain.

Thanks to DH's Employers...

We now have a borrowed generator. It's working great and GO BRIGGS & STRATTON! My next big purchase is one of these bad boys. It's been so nice to be able to connect again. In this day and age of instant info to be utterly cut off is disconcerting to say the least. I mean we went for several days with no information at all. As neighbors started heading back home we'd hear news like Hurricane Ivan is making a U turn. Surely that's a joke? Also heard that Karl may be headed this way.

Heads Up Local Radio Station:

If people don't have power they can't go to websites. It's useless, take a few minutes and read the updates. Why does that cause you all such a problem. Sure it's not Outkast but we need the flippin' information. We don't have power, give us the info!


I do know that my family is blessed and the above rants are little things. We have our home, we have each other and we have the things we need. We are so lucky. So many people lost everything.

When you live along the coast this is the price you pay. I fully expected to come home to nothing after hearing how bad our area was hit. To come home to a house without one shingle missing, no windows broken, loss of power seems minimal.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. This has been a rough time but fortunately not as bad as it could have been.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

After Ivan

Today we were loaned a generator from DH's work so I am able to blog again. We evacuated to Panama City only to be two blocks away from the tornado that hit a local restaurant and killed a man driving by in his car. Very scary. Wednesday night to early Thursday morning was pretty hairy but nothing like what they recieved at home. We were lucky. Our house did fine. No damage, just lots of huge tree limbs down in the yard. We are definitely counting our blessings.

We have no power, just got our phone back this morning, and water is very limited in the area. We are hoping our power comes on soon since we are on the same grid as the water treatment plant and they are working hard to get the power up over there since they are running low on diesel fuel and if they run out we have no more water.

My family is safe, as is our home. I can say too many times that we are counting our blessings. This area was hit so hard. We have been so lucky through all of this. I wish I could write more but it's late and the generator is loud.

Interesting times to say the least. They say we could be without power anywhere from 3 wks to 2 months. This is to be considered the kids school vacation. There is no power whatsoever in my county. We have to drive 20-25 miles for gas and hope to find a place open. Luckily Ft Walton Beach is almost back to normal and this afternoon we easily found a gas station, had to wait in line but were happy to do it. We were able to fill up the car and the truck today and a 5 gallon gas can. We treated the boys to TGIFridays. The one in FWB was open and had a/c. We have gotten so used to the heat that we all got really cold. The MREs(Meals Ready to Eat) have been a nice treat after Ramen noodles every meal for a couple of days. Gourmet no, tasty yes. On a positive note I have a gas stove and we've been able to make pancakes for breakfast and scrambled eggs. Three cheers for Hungry Jack complete pancake mix. Saved us for sure.

Things I will not ever take for granted again:

Cold milk
turkey sandwiches
a gas station on every corner
air conditioning
cash in hand
my washing machine and dryer

My kids are actually asking for vegetables. DS#2 ordered a salad. He ate every bite.

DS#3 seems to be experiencing a little post traumatic stress disorder. I think he's just realized what a serious situation this is and we've started talking to him letting him know that things are ok, we're in our house, school will eventually start back and life will gradually get more normal. Things are just "different" right now.

It's late and I'm tired. So I'll catch up some more tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hurricane Ivan

We've made the decision to head to a friend's house in Panama City. They should be far enough away from the eye of the storm to only get tropical storm force winds. It's close to home yet a safe distance from the hurricane force winds.

I feel better being with friends, my boys will have company and the dog can go with us.

I kept hoping the pressure would rise and the storm would be downgraded, but when I woke up at 3am and Ivan was still a Cat 4 I knew we had to leave. We had discussed going north to a shelter but they are going to be right in the path of the storm. Going east we have a chance of being out of it's way altogether.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Hurricane Ivan

We've been debating the issue of evacuating. For some reason leaving seems wrong, but staying doesn't feel right either. We live in a sturdy house. If we were in a trailer, the decision would be easy. We'd leave. We're four miles from the Gulf, three from the Sound.

I've stocked the pantry with Oreos, ChipsAhoy, chocolate milk, sandwich stuff, ramen noodles, sodas and water. We have plenty of Koolaid mix and Country Time Lemonade and tea. Laundry's running, and if we had to leave we're prepared for that too.

I never realized what an emotional decision this would be. I always thought it would be a black and white decision. Who knew there were so many areas of gray in deciding to evacuate or stay? Not me for sure.

The two older boys want to stay, the youngest has his backpack packed and keeps asking when we're leaving. Only three families are left here on our road and we are one of them.

Time will tell, we may head out in a few hours, then again we may ride the storm out here. The farther west it turns the better off we are. Other issues to consider is that we will have to be home by Friday for DH to return to work, that means after the storm hits here we must drive back through the rest of storm to make it back home.

I just wish one decision felt right. Nothing feels like it's the right thing to do.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Busy Weekend

Yesterday I wrote a blog entry and then immediately deleted it. Not because I wanted to but because sometimes I just do really dumb things like click the wrong button.

Yesterday DH and I went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and what do I see being built in the shopping plaza next to the Cracker Barrel? A Micheals!!! YEA!!! Go Destin, Florida. Finally a Micheals in an area I don't mind driving to and I never get lost there like I do in Pensacola.

Then to make the morning even better I found Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks book at Barnes & Noble.

This book, IMHO, is fabulous. I love all the blocks and her color choices are great. A color challenged chick like myself finds this very comforting. She gives you tips for working different blocks together and also shows quite a few of the blocks in different color ways. I want make her afghan Eastern Promise and use her color choices.

Then last night I took DS#1 to BooksAMillion and bought Jan Eaton's Crochet Basics.

I debated over buying this book for a few days. I couldn't decide if it was information I already had in various books around the house or if it was something I really "needed". I decided last night that I like the layout of the book, the way it explains finishing and the diagrams of how to do certain things. I've kind of been winging my way through a lot of the finishing techniques and I think that this book will help my crochet projects have a nicer finished look to them. I also love the section on shaped motifs. These happen to be my current obsession, I want to make a hexagon shaped edging for a future afghan that so far I have only dreamed about.

Now that was all the good news. The bad news: our garage flooded yesterday morning and our hot water heater is leaking, we are now suffering through cold showers. ICK. I'm hoping it can be fixed tomorrow but with people boarding up houses in anticipation of Hurricane Ivan, who knows when the property manager will be able to get someone over here to replace the hot water heater. On a positive note all the stash had stored in the garage in Rubbermaid buckets is fine, even the stash in Sterilite brand buckets came through totally dry. I almost lost my high school diploma and my 7th grade year book had a nice dunking but I think for the most part everything that was ruined was stuff that should have been thrown out anyway. At least now we have a fairly clean garage. Before it was a disaster, I mean, no where to walk. Now everything is moved to the left side, the floor is nice and clean, trash hauled away. I guess going without hot water for a few days can have it's perks.

DH and I are now having serious discussions about what to do about Hurricane Ivan. Neighbors are boarding up, he's watching football. Most people have an evacuation plan, he's watching football. Until someone gives him some solid info he's not moving. Know what that means? I'll be the one boarding up the house Tuesday or Wednesday not him. Men. Is there a more frustrating creature on this earth than a man? I don't think so.

Friday, September 10, 2004

In A Funk

Not sure what's wrong with me these days. I'm in a funk. I want to do lots of things but just can't seem to get focused enough to work on any one project. I hate it when I get this way. Restless is about the best way to describe it.

I'm also obsessing over Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks book. I can't find it anywhere around here. I hope to make a trip to Barnes & Noble tonight and see if they have it. It's my last resort and if I can't find it there I guess I must resort to ordering it from Yesterday at BooksAMillion I ran across Jan Eaton's Crochet Basics book. It looks like a pretty good book but I think a lot of that information is already in various books I already have around the house. I did like the section on shaped motifs. I only glanced through it so I'm not sure if it had patterns for shaped motifs or just a page or two on how to connect them. Ever since I saw this jacket:

in the Interweave Knits Crochet Special issue I've been obsessing over making the yo-yos on this jacket and using them as trim for a SC striped afghan. Lots of bright colors and nifty yo-yos around the edges instead of fringe. Yes, I'm sick, obsessing over this yet to be created afghan but I love those yo-yos. Isn't the little girl adorable? I'm trying to decide if I could make this jacket for my niece or if it's way beyond my skill level. Heck, I'd like one in my size.


Lately I've been reading Pioneer Women by Joanna Stratton and Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey by Lillian Schlissel. While reading these books this line from the Eagles song Last Resort keeps going through my mind, "there is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here." I keep thinking about these women, their journey, the hard life that was before them and how they survived and created communities on the new frontier. I think about their solitary lives, how lonely it must have been.

These stories make me even more grateful for the internet and what a gift it is to all of us. To be able to "connect" with friends, family, fellow needleartists, quilters, crocheters, knitters. To find kindred spirits and to fill that void that other friends can't seem to fill because they don't "get us".

At the same time, I dream of a ranch, horses, chickens, sheep. Miles and miles away from the nearest neighbor. I dream of a place where the kids are happy and not always looking for the next video game for entertainment but a place where the outdoors brings hours of enjoyment and entertainment. I long for mountian views, very little traffic, and no tourists. This does seem to be a recurring theme doesn't it? Is there a place for an inground swimming pool in this fantasy? Is that just wanting too much?


On September 14th DH and I will be married 19 yrs. 19 yrs! Where have the years gone? How is it that time has passed so quickly? Even though we are parents of a 16 yr old, a 13 yr old and an 8 yr old, it just doesn't feel like we've been married 19 yrs. I love my DH. He's my best friend and a truly good man. How I lucked into being his wife, I don't know, but I count my blessings every day. I only hope that he knows how much he means to me and how much I love him.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Labor Day

It really is Labor Day for me. I have to work. Thought Tropical Storm Frances would give me a day off but it looks like she's going to be a mere 20 miles east of us. We may not even get a drop of rain or a gust of wind. They're predicting rain and wind but I think this is going to stay well east of us since Frances is moving north, not NW.


Yesterday I found the new Interweave Knits Special Crochet issue and I went to sleep last night dreaming of yarn and a myriad of crochet projects. In the magazine there's a child's Yo-Yo Cardigan that is very cool. I think I'm going to do a single crochet afghan, using a lot of different colors for thin stripes, then use the Yo-Yos to edge the afghan instead of fringe. I love those little Yo-Yos. I want to start making some now but I'm trying to decide what yarn colors to use. I found a lot of Caron Simply Soft Brights at Hobby Lobby Saturday and also some great bright colors in LionBrand's WoolEase. I decided that if I did decide to make my own Girl Power Granny(it looked very cool on the back of the couch) I'd make mine in the Simply Soft Brights or the WoolEase or maybe even a mix of those yarns. I'm trying to get over being so anal about having to use the same brand of yarn through out a project. I'm pretty sure if I don't buy enough of the Caron Simply Soft Brights it wouldn't be a crime to mix in some regular Red Heart granny blocks or even some Wool Ease blocks or I could buy the Wool Ease and Simply Soft Brights for the blocks themselves and use up my RH Bright Yellow stash(I have a lot of that color) for the last round on each block. I just never trust my judgement where colors and yarns are concerned. I want to create but I want someone to give me permission, to tell me that my color choices are good and that I can mix this and that it's fine, lightening won't strike me. There's no better feeling in the world than being inspired to create something. Those Yo-Yos inspire the heck out of me.

I managed to finish my girl power granny afghan for my niece Harleigh and it's on it's way to her. I thought it turned out to be a very pretty afghan. I wasn't able to take a finished pic of it but the pic I posted here in a previous post is a pretty good representation of the finished project.

I see a huge yarn shopping trip in the not too distant future. I love the Hobby Lobby yarn section. Such a great variety of yarns. I went looking for something to crochet two of my nieces ponchos with and couldn't find what I was looking for or least something that got me excited. I wanted to do them in Lionbrand's Carribean Homespun and then trim them with fun fur but Hobby Lobby doesn't carry the Carribean Homespun. I plan to make a Micheals run one day this week or maybe next Saturday. Maybe they'll have the Carribean Homespun in stock.

Cross Stitch

Not a lot of stitching getting done around here. I'm working way too much. I still haven't finished L'Ete but hopefully soon. Especially since I have a pile of cross stitch projects I want to start and finish in this lifetime.

I'm trying to be a one at a time girl and finish the cross stitch projects I have started but that remains to be seen. There's just so much out there I want to do.

Blogging Frustration

Saturday I wrote a long blog entry and it just disappeared. There's nothing more irritating or frustating than that. Just makes me want to scream. Hopefully this one will not get lost in some cyberspace worm hole.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Long Weekend Ahead

Unfortunately I don't get to enjoy much of it. I work tonight and tomorrow morning and Monday. I shouldn't complain. It's the first of the month and the extra money comes in handy.

Some friends and I were discussing scrapbooking(yes I have some scrapping stash but haven't dove head first into it yet. More laziness than anything, pics are organized, I have acquired a nice bit of stash over of the last few years) and the subject of an "About Me" album came up. This really got me to thinking about how much my kids know about me. Who I was before I married their dad and they were born and who I am now. Sure they see someone who does laundry, cleans, makes sure they eat and do their homework, but who do they really see? My oldest is 16 and he's gotten interested in politics this year. Last night while discussing some things with him I got annoyed that a certain political comedy show was where he was getting his facts. Then this bright light went on and I started to remember when my political ideas were formed, what people influenced my thinking and why. I shut up fast and then just explained to him that while this show did manage to book political guests it was first and foremost a comedy show and he needed to remember to search other places for information and opinions. My parents never discussed politics with me. I remember when I was a kid and the whole Watergate thing was going on all my mom would discuss was the fact her Soaps weren't on. Anyway, the point I was getting at was what do our families know about us other than the obvious? My mom continually talks about us moving back home, I finally had to tell her, "I spent most my life planning my escape from there, why in the world would I move back now?" Where was she when I was growing up? I knew a long time ago that she never really knew me but for some reason I thought maybe she heard me all those years ago. Apparently she didn't.

I hope I always hear my kids and support them and treasure them. Now I hope that with some scrapbooking and journaling maybe they'll know a little more about me one day than they do now.

I finished my niece Harleigh's afghan and forgot to take a finished pic but it looks pretty much like the pic in an earlier post, just all sewn together with a nice SC border around the outside. It felt so good to finish something and honestly, to give it away. There is nothing that makes me feel better than someone loving something I make. Of course she may never get it because DH forgot, FORGOT the zip code of his mother's house and wrote the wrong one on the package. He only lived there all his life. What have I learned from this? Fill out all airbills myself.

Now to restart the afghan for myself. It really perked up my living room when I had it tossed over the back of the couch. Really happy colors. I do need to collect a few more brighter colors. No where around here has a good selection of yarn, even cheapie Red Heart yarn is only stocked in the most basic colors. I can get bright yellow and orange easily enough, JoAnn's stocks the Red Heart Kids in lime and bright pink, but I'd like to find a few more super bright colors to add to my afghan. I wish there were more choices in softer yarns for afghans that wouldn't break the bank.

Next up in the crochet to do pile are a couple of ponchos for my nieces. I found a free pattern at Their pattern calls for Lionbrand boucle yarn, but I was thinking about using Carribean Homespun, a bright pink, and trimming it with some dark pink fun fur. I haven't cared too much for colors the boucle comes in, but then again Walmart doesn't have a huge selection of colors in the fun fibers either.


Just started reading Good Grief by Lolly Winston. So far it's pretty good but I haven't had a lot of time to really get into it yet. It's a about a woman who has lost her husband and then the rest of her life sort of falls apart too.

I'm obsessing over these books: Books: Covered Wagon Women: Diaries and Letters from the Western T

I want to read the whole series. I've always loved Laura Ingalls Wilder and even reread the Little House books occaisionally, but these books tell the real time stories of the women moving West in the 1800s. I've requested Books: So Much to Be Done: Women Settlers on the Mining and Ranchi and Books: Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey (Studies in the Lif from my library while I try to track down the Covered Wagon Women series. If I can't find it locally I'll order it from Amazon.

I go through phases when I get restless and want to be anywhere but where I'm at and considering I love where I live and it's the only place I've ever wanted to live, I'd hate to really up and move since it took me 35 yrs to get here, but I also dream of ranches, horses, mountians, and sheep. Blizzards, warm fires and no tourists. Wide open spaces fill my dreams but then could I really leave my Gulf for not only cold winters but 40 degrees below zero kind of winters?