Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wednesday Yarn Along plus a Malabrigo trunk show

My knitting has kind of taken a hit because my summer has been a bit crazy. I have knitted here and there, and while I am sad to admit neither of my shawls will be ready for when I go back to class next week, I have been working on other goodies instead.

Last Friday our LYS held a Malabrigo trunk show! Malabrigo was in the area (my town, actually!) taking pictures for an upcoming yarn/book release. Having never attended a yarn trunk show before, Mom and I felt the need to go and "taste" the yarns.

We each brought home little cakes of two different yarns and instructions to knit garter stitch until it was gone. The shop owner is then going to piece it all together and the result, a lap blanket, is going to be gifted to someone in a local nursing home. How cool is that?!

Of course there were door prizes and gifts for those who purchased the most Malabrigo yarn in a week period. Mom won the 2nd prize (she bought yarn for two sweaters) and I won a door prize, both of which we picked up today when we finished our knitting swatches.

Mom is knitting socks for everyone this year. 

My swatch is the lighter color whereas Mom knit the blue (of course she did!). 

I wish we had gotten the name of the yarns (we forgot both times we were at the yarn shop), but I am sure we can find out the next time we go!

Enough yarn for a shawl and wristers! Mom's prize.

Red yarn? Hello! You know me so well! 

I intended to start reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks long before this week, but again, lots going on. This is a required book for one of my classes this fall so I figured I'd get a jump start on it. So far I'm really enjoying it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Summer days.. drifting away..

I had intended on writing quite a few blog entries this summer. I even planned on doing quite the blog update when I took that week off earlier this month from work. Clearly it never happened. Even when I wasn't supposed to be busy, I was.

Next week I return back to school. Next week is also September. So where has summer gone?

I think I have spent most of my summer working. I'll be completely honest when I say that I was truly beginning to hate my job and hate what my job was doing to me. I tend to think I am a pretty tough person, and what I originally was hired to do is not hard work. But it all comes down to a numbers game. Enrollment is down and they need it up so last minute plans are made on how to get those numbers back up. A hiring freeze was put in place so despite my department working short-staffed, no new bodies could come in (we're going to be down two people next week, plus someone else is out for surgery). All of the part time staff were given "unlimited" hours to work. By the time I took my week off, I was pushing nearly 50 hours one week (Oh plus I was moonlighting in a different department).

But yes. I took the busiest non-school related week off: UA week. There were over 2,000 UA workers on campus for a week in August (it happens every year), and I didn't want any part of it. So I took the time off, unpaid of course, and stayed at home. Of course while at home I had one full day to do nothing (Chase and I rearranged the living room, twice), and then I was running errands and going to appointments. Chase started at a new school this year so he had orientations to attend. Yeti turned six months old two weeks ago and so she had a vet appointment scheduled to be fixed. Mom had made appointments with her doctor months ago for her six month check-ups, so we had that going on. Oh, and not only did Chase has those orientations to attend, but his new school went back on August 17th so there was the back to school rush to do earlier than usual.

Yeti, the day she was fixed and one day shy of her 6 month birthday.

Because a Pyr wearing a Cone of Shame is extremely amusing (if even just to the humans). 

Busy. Busy. Busy. Exhausting.

There have been nights when I have come home from work, laid down on my bed, and cried. I love helping students, I think I'm good at my job, but they are so desperate here that things were changing not daily, but hourly and it's hard to keep up with what we can and can't do now. They also decided to extend our office hours through the month of August so I work 8 hours on Saturday (but don't get a lunch break). I'm really glad that this is the last week of that.

Not to mention that Steve has spent a good portion of his summer working away from home. He comes home for about 24-36 hours and this then gone again. He's actually home for the next few days, and he is hoping when he calls for jury duty on Sunday, they will pick him Monday for a trial that will keep him home for a week. Ever hear of people praying to serve jury duty before? Yep, he's cracking, too.

And Chase lost out on his summer, too. He worked as a CIT (counselor in training) for Cub Scout camp, went on numerous camping trips, and then spent a week at summer camp himself. He only had 2 weeks when he came back from camp to spend with his friends before he was back at school.

So far, Chase is loving his new school. We ran into a hiccup during the first week that stemmed from the bullying he went through at his old school last year (it apparently was far worse and went on a lot longer than Steve and I were aware of), but his new school has made it perfectly clear to him that they are there for him and support him in every way they can. I love his new school. They are currently the only IB (international baccalaureate) school in the area (though rumor has it Ann Arbor is getting one this year, too) and everything I have seen so far makes me just love them so much. Plus, it helps that Chase knows 9 Scouts that are in the combined middle/high school. I hope for great things for him this year.

He really doesn't look like a 13 year old heading off to 8th grade!

There are a few highlights coming up this fall that I think will help with everything. In less than a month, Mom and I heading up north to the Traverse City area to participate in their yarn crawl. We are so looking forward to this little vacation! It's a girls only trip that we hope to fill with yarn, wine, chocolate, and just peace away from home. 

Steve and I also going away for a couple of days in late October when my school-school (not my work-school) has a fall break. I'm looking forward to going to Lake Michigan and just spending some one-on-one time with my husband. He definitely deserves a break from the grind.

So I guess this was quite the informational dump. I am still around, I do still plan on trying to update more frequently, and I am reading (and trying to post) everyone (I can at least sneak in a peek here and there while at work!).


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday Yarn Along

I have put my beaded shawl on hold for a bit. Only because I am back at the beading part and that really needs a quiet spot and a table to work on. I feel like I am so close to finishing, but also a distance away. I still have plenty of time to finish it before the start of school!

I started a different project a couple of weeks ago, but that one is on time out. Mom and I fell in love with a baby sweater pattern at our LYS from Appalachian Baby Design. You couldn't get the pattern alone, but instead could get it in a kit with their cotton yarn. The last visit we made to the LYS, Mom decided to splurge on the kit (I get to knit the pattern, woohoo!). Cotton yarn can be so finicky to work with. The pattern... I am struggling with. It's flipping between pages to read different parts of the pattern instead of being on one page. I want to sit down and re-write it so it's easier to manage (I tried to a week ago -- it did not go well). So for now, especially since there is no immediate need, the project is on hiatus.

That brings me to the current project:

I have been drooling over this yarn since it was first pictured in Wool & Honey's Sleeping Bear Yarn Club email. With the club membership, each month you get a skein of yarn with an upper Michigan theme and your choice of a pattern (shawl, baby sweater, or socks). Mom ordered an extra skein of yarn for me (yay!) and all three patterns (she's working on the socks right now). I am working on the shawl for myself. While I am only 14 rows in (I started working on it this morning while at the dealership), I am enjoying the ease of this pattern. I needed something that I can take with me and can work on a row or two at a time. I am planning on getting a lot done with this on Friday.

Reading wise -- well, not so much actually. I've been really tired when I get home at night from work and I usually just veg out with Netflix. I've been fighting quite a few migraines, too, and sometimes I just can't focus on reading (or knitting). I hope to change the reading, though!

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Yarn Along

Happy evening, everyone! I am happy to be back and participating in the weekly Yarn Along.

Any Firefly fans out there? Well, the hat in the above picture is from the program. One of my best friends has decided to cosplay the character this fall and requested that I make the hat for her. The Jayne Cobb hat was a quick and easy little project to fill in the times when I needed some mindless knitting.

Has anyone knitted with beads before? The shawl I am working on has beads that you add on. It has been an interesting pattern so far. Lots and lots of stitches in lace weight yarn means lots and lots of counting. And re-counting. And even a bit of swearing. I was so excited when I started the first beaded section that I opted not to put in a life line (mistake number one) and I rushed through starting it with a very bouncy, excited puppy in the same room (mistake number two). I ended up having to pull back to my last life line. I'm two rows above the life line right now (this is a knitting project I really can't be distracted with) so it's definitely slow going. My hope is to have it done before I go back to school in the fall (two months should be sufficient, right?!).

This morning found Mom and myself dashing off to the yarn shop. She had a dream we went to check out the new offerings, and I justified the trip by not having enough beads for the above mentioned shawl. It's really hard to not walk out of there with half the store in my bag!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sometimes you need to fall off the Earth and work your way back

I've been working on coming back to blogging over the past couple of weeks. A little bit of design updating, a new picture (I'll explain our addition soon), and just some overall sprucing up.

I think I had a bit of a breakdown in February. Classes had only been in session for a couple of weeks and I woke up one morning and I just couldn't convince myself to get out of bed and go to class let alone go to work afterward. Thankfully I have wonderful instructors and an understanding boss. I was okay after a couple of days, but my heart was in shredded pieces. I literally woke up that day and told Steve that I was completely and utterly heartbroken. That I was just so sad.

Most of the time it doesn't hurt to think about my Dad. I would say that 99% of the time I can talk about him now and not get weepy. It's no longer pain, but happy memories. There are times when Chase says or does something and I want to tell him, and I have to stop myself from doing so. My brother fills a lot of that gap. He gets all the silly "Chase moments" now. He gets to be my sounding board when it comes to school, work, and family. We're each other sounding board, really.

For the first six months after my father passed away, I still woke up around 3am. Dad had a hard time sleeping and would often be up in the middle of the night watching old monster movies and would text me. I was so accustomed to waking up, reading and responding to his texts, that when it suddenly stopped, my body didn't know how to adjust. So I made it a point that if I woke up I would whisper "Hey Dad, love you." and then go back to sleep. I realized that in the past month I'm not waking up as much at 3am now. I want to believe that when I wake up it's because he's thinking of me and I of him.

The spring was hard. Dad's birthday was in March (Delaware had a snowstorm that day -- my stepmother found that amusing since my dad hated the snow), Fara's birthday was in April along with their wedding anniversary. Adam and I made sure we gathered our forces and sent flowers on Valentine's Day (and are waiting until Fara has settled into her new home to gift her with her birthday and Mother's Day gifts).

Time is marching on. We're marching with it.

So, a few things worth mentioning.

Adam and Candace were married in March (on Pi day to be exact). I officiated. It was a small, casual affair one that I was originally going to be a witness by proxy (my father was going to be Adam's witness) for, but in the end I was asked if I would officiate. It was quite amusing.

Mom has been retired and living with us for over a year now. We've definitely had our ups and downs, but it has been wonderful having her with us.

The puppy in the picture is Yeti. We told Mom prior to her moving in that once things were settled, she could have a dog of her own. We spent months researching what breed would be best, and the Great Pyrenees won out. Yeti will be 5 months old next week. She is an absolute sweetheart and I am thankful that she is in our lives.

My nearly 14 year old son is growing too fast. He volunteered a week ago at Cub Scout day camp, a role which he took very seriously. He's becoming more active with the Scouts, and is spending what free time he has this summer with his friends down the street from us. He's now 5'10" (officially an inch taller than me!) and we won't even discuss that shoe size. *sigh*

I'm knitting when I can (and I even learned to crochet so I could make a present for my cousin who just had her first baby), and I plan to share my projects this Wednesday.

I decided to take the summer off from school so I could just breathe. This coming fall semester I will be taking 18 credit hours (all science, save for math), and working a little bit less to accommodate my lab schedule. If I go quiet for a while, I hope you will understand why.

It's good to be back to blogging. I have been reading and keeping up on what everyone is up to. I just didn't know how to respond. I miss you all.



Saturday, January 10, 2015


My father died seven weeks ago.

He had been sick (another infection) and spent the weekend in the hospital then was discharged to home. Despite his down playing of how serious this last trip to the hospital was, I think he knew this was probably the last trip he'd make out of the hospital. While he was there he was determined to make sure things he promised Chase were handled.

The day before he passed away the last conversation we had together was about how Steve was flying to Texas for work and if Steve could bring him a cow for me and not get arrested for cattle rustling. The last picture I have of him was his first attempt at a selfie while in the hospital.

And then he was gone.

My heart is still broken.

He didn't want a funeral (we will all get together when the weather is better to celebrate his life).

I worry about my stepmother and how lonely she may be. And how Wolfie is.

I miss him so much.

I miss his text messages in the middle of the night when he was up watching classic movies.

I miss sending him text messages during the day and his wit and sense of humor.

My brother and I are closer now. I send him those random text messages.

I dream of him weekly.

I was going to delete this blog, or at least block the posts about him. They just feel so raw.

I know it will get better day by day so I decided to try and blog again.

Today I went to a funeral of a barbershopper that Steve sang with (Steve is in the UP on work). It was the hardest thing I had to do. I sat outside in the 2 degree weather to calm myself down, but I did attend.

I am thankful for my friends.

I wish I knew if my Dad was proud of me.

Friday, November 21, 2014

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18