Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Voices in My Head Present: Surviving an International Move…..AGAIN

The last time we heard from the voices in my head (or at least the last time YOU heard from them…they won’t freaking shut up for me), they were cheering me on while I attempted to walk/run 6 miles with my friend in the middle of the Australian summer. I also ate a fly and may have accidentally married Miss A in the process. All in all, a very productive workout session, I would say.

Well, both Geanie and Meanie now want to let you know how to survive the first week after uprooting your entire family and moving across the globe. Again. For the second time in 9 months.

Let’s see what they have to say, shall we?

Geanie: OMG! We totally get to move to England! I’ve ALWAYS wanted to move to England!! I hope I get to have tea and crumpets with the Queen! I need to practice my accent: The raaaaain in Spaaaaain faaauls gently on the plaaaaaaain. I CANNOT WAIT!

Meanie: OH DEAR GOD! Not again! We just freaking moved! We just got our stuff from Australia after waiting 4 FREAKING MONTHS and now we have to pack up everything AGAIN???? KILL ME NOW!

Geanie: Wahoo! We get to go through all of our belongings and get rid of the clutter. I bet we can sell quite a few things to make some extra cash so that we can have another fresh start! Decluttering feels so good! Hmmm….what else do I have a lot of that perhaps I can sell so we won’t have to lug so much stuff with us? Hmmmmmmmmm………..

Meanie: DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! Get your disgusting, cheery hands off of my yarn! I don’t care that I have enough to open my own store and that the guest room is going to consist of a yarn stuffed mattress, closet, dresser, and possibly bathtub! If I even catch a glimpse dollar signs in your eyes when you look at my yarn, I WILL CUT YOU!

Geanie: Oh, the kids are going to love being on an airplane again! Luckily, the flight isn’t very long, and it’s at night so they can sleep, so they should get over the jet lag pretty easily. YAY!! My kids are awesome!

Meanie: UUuuuuuuughhhh. A red eye flight. And we’re leaving hours after the kids’ bedtime which means they’re going to be super tired and probably super cranky. If we have another episode like we did flying to Bangkok, I may have to kill…….everyone.

Geanie: We made it!! Yay! It’s so freaking cute! It’s like we stepped out of an Agatha Christie novel! I cannot wait to meet the neighbors! Maybe they know the Queen and can introduce me. YAYAYAYAY!

Meanie: Wow. It's.....not bad. So many wild blackberries growing all over the place. I actually could really like this pla…..WHAT THE CRAP??? I’ve been attacked by some plant and am swelling, itching and hurting all at the same time!! STINGING NETTLES???? I thought I left all the dangerous wildlife back in Australia!!

Geanie: Oh yay! Going car shopping has never been so fun! A beautiful car drive along the quaint country roads! The kids have been such troopers, even though they’ve been stuck in the car all day. Oh my sweet little angels! I just want to snuggle them to pieces!

Meanie: Holy crap this is a long drive! Where the heck is this dealership? What?? Down a dirt road that leads to a farm? Are we in the right place?? Just great! We’re lost in the middle of England somewhere and both the kids are saying they need to go potty. UGH!! It’s not like we can just take a 50 pacer on the side of the road!

Geanie: Awwwww! How cute! Seeing their tiny little butts hanging off the side of the fence while they potty out in the country, just like the cows and sheep they’re looking at! Their first Poop On The Side of The Road in the Country! What a momentous occasion!

Meanie: DO NOT TAKE A DUMP ON MY SHOES! Point your butt THAT way! HURRY UP AND PUSH, ALREADY!

Geanie: Whew! What a long day! The end of our first week in England! Now to sleep in our cute English house, with the cute English windows, on our cute English beds. SO LOVING IT HERE!!!

Meanie. GAH! I’m so ready to pass out from all the exhaustion! When will our bed get here?? And, GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY, ENGLAND!! Put some freaking screens on the windows! I’ve never seen so many spiders in my house in my whole life! AND I LIVED IN AUSTRALIA FOR 3 YEARS!!! I hope we’re going to survive here…..



We have definitely survived our first week and are enjoying discovering all the different quirks of living in a new country. One thing’s for sure- there is enough vegetation all around so that, if needed, you can pull over during a long drive and poop on the side of the road in complete privacy. No toilet paper? No worries! There are plenty of leaves to choose from! Just be careful, though. Australia has some dangerous bugs and animals, but England has plants that can bite you. (SERIOUSLY!! Stinging nettles?!?! They freaking hurt, man!)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

On The Move Again

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was a time of insane stress, and a time of unbridled excitement. Moving day is always like that- a mixture of OMG! We're moving again! and, OMGWE'REMOVINGAGAIN!!! 

We are currently in yet another hotel room, awaiting our flight tomorrow to take us to another land where we’ll have another house, have to look for another car, hopefully meet new friends (wanna be my friend?? There may be yarn in it for you...), and pray our stuff doesn’t take another freakin’ 4 months to come back to us

It’s almost exactly 4 years since our last big move from the States. Moving is never easy, but I must admit, compared to 4 years ago, this has been a walk in the park.

Back then, we had a 2 month old newborn, I was having horrendous postpartum depression and anxiety and was *thiiiiiiiiiiis* close to a total meltdown. I was so afraid my precious little baby was going throw me a curve ball and, instead of just eat, sleep, and poop like he normally did, he'd....I don't know....poop, eat, and then sleep? Or something similarly crazy like that.

I was terrified of breastfeeding on the plane and then having a huge diaper blowout to contend with, as well as a potential screaming baby for all to enjoy. I was terrified of everything, really. Man. I was a mess.

Now, even though we have 2 small children this time around, we thankfully don’t have a newborn anymore. I am not dealing with postpartum hormones (THANK YOU, JESUS!) and I don’t worry about what goes in or out of their mouths or butts anymore. Just a little duct tape for their mouths and a cork for their butts and BOOM. We have this travel thing down.

Even though this has been an easier move, comparatively, it has not been an easy move by any means. This last bout of Lyme has seriously kicked my butt, making me all but useless many days. Perrrrrfect timing for when I need to be on my game for such a stressful time, let me tell ya.

However, today has been a good day. A calm day. We have finished most of the large items on our list and have a good plan in place for the other things we need to do tomorrow before we leave. Everyone is sleeping right now, including My Mister. It’s a well-deserved rest for him and I just hope these next couple of days will go smoothly so we’ll all be relaxed and have an easy transition to our new abode.

One of the large items on my list included an activity with my BFF Lyteyz. You see, after hearing about all the fun I’ve had yarnbombing with my Aussie friends, she really wanted to get in on the action before we moved. However, since it would just be the two of us, we had to choose a small target so we could complete it in time, as well as minimize our chances of getting chased by the PoPo. Dude. I don’t need any more stress. Or arrest warrants. I’m hardcore, yo.

So we decided to yarnbomb my sister’s Jeep.

It was brilliant, really. She was on a mission trip to Haiti, so we were able to get the measurements without her knowing. Lyteyz worked on many of the squares right away while I went nuts trying to get ready for a move. She was afraid that I wasn’t up for it anymore since our move date was getting closer and closer and I hadn’t worked on it at all. However, she totally underestimated my ability to crochet like a madwoman when jacked on adrenaline, stress, and a mountain of mind altering drugs. (Don't you dare take away my caffeine- I will cut you.)

I had the perfect design for her- something I designed years ago, though for a different purpose. I had to polish up my rusty algebra skills to get it to work just right and am pleased to report that I am still able to solve for “x.” Yes. I know. I am all that and a bag of Cheetos.

Lyteyz was leaving early Saturday morning on vacation (which means she won’t be able to see us off tomorrow- *sniff*), so we stayed up Friday night til 1am crocheting and sewing and yet, alas, we still were not able to finish everything to pull it off that night. BOOOOOOOOOO!

So, even though it was her first yarnbombing, my dear Lyteyz was unable to participate in the actual “bombing” part. However, since it only took a couple minutes to put up, she really didn’t miss anything. Well, actually, I could have used her help during the knife fight and subsequent tazing, but otherwise, she didn’t miss anything.

So, on the eve of the eve of my last day here, I put up my latest yarnbombing. 



It's Mrs. Skullhead Bony Hands!

My sister loved it and both Lyteyz and I are happy to know our hard work will be appreciated and will last for a long time, instead of being torn down and tossed away like last time. (Oh wow- seriously forgot that I never blogged about the last time!)

It felt good to get my creative and designing juices flowing again. Now I just need to wait for all my yarn to make it back safely to my hoarding arms so that I can once again unleash bombs of yarny goodness all over my future hometown.

Where will that be, you ask? Well, guvnah, I’m not going to tell you just yet. Though I’m sure you brilliant chaps will be able to figure it out.

Peace, love, and yarn, y’all! See you on the other side!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

All of the Feels


Feelings…..nothing more than feeeeeeelings……….feeelings of……. O.M.G!

One of the reasons I’ve been so silent here as of late is because life has been a huge roller coaster for me and my family for a long while. However, instead of having the uphill reprieves of a normal roller coaster, there were so many more scary, downhill, “OMG-I’M-GOING-TO-DIE!” moments in our lives.

I truly do try to find the funny in the not-so-funny parts of life. I think I have a good sense of humor and, truth be told, use humor as an escape from the not so humorous parts of life. As far as escapes go, using humor seems to be one of the healthier ways about it, don’t ya think? Of course you do. You’re not a heartless sociopath, right? Because, if you are, ummmm……………heeeeey there, you……..amazing person, you. *Don’tkillmeplease*  


Ahem.

I figure there’s a difference between being depressed and being depressing, ya know?

Well, things here have been rather depressing for us, to be honest. And, even though I’ve truly been craving social interactions with others to help keep my mind off of all the craziness that’s surrounded us, I have not been able to find words to convey the ugly without bringing the ugly to everyone else.

So. I have been trying really hard to focus on all of the good that’s been happening, in spite of all the bad. I am a natural optimist, after all, so putting on rose colored glasses usually isn’t that difficult for me.

Today is a case in point.

Today happens to be the 3rd anniversary of my dad’s death. (OH NO! Please stop crying!! It gets better- I promise!)

Today also happens to be the mrfmrfmrf anniversary of my birth. It’s something I’ve really not had any reason in which to find joy the past 3 years. (Dude. Please ignore the hundreds of tiny violins you hear right now. Unless they’re playing your favorite song, of course. In that case, enjoy the music in your head, you crazy person, you.)

I’ve been hiding my birthday from all of my online interactions for years. Paranoia runs deep in my family, young padawan. Don’t judge me. I’ll cut you.

I’ve mentioned my birthday was in August many times on this blog, but have not actually put my actual birth day because………stalkers. And Big Brother. DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU!!!

But, this time, I decided to actually unmask my birthday from my FB friends because, well…..truth be told, I needed the love. I needed to know that folks knew who I was and actually cared about me and that today was special enough for them to connect with me…..even though I was too engulfed in my stress, anxiety, and fears to connect with them.

OH COME ON! Don’t pretend you don’t also love the attention you get on FB on your birthday! YOU TOTALLY DO!!!!

Well, not only was today filled with amazing love and gifts from My Mister and kids, I was also rewarded with lots of birthday wishes from friends and family that I haven’t heard from in a long time on FB, AND (!!!) I was also rewarded with an amazing birthday gift from an interaction on Twitter, as well.

You see, I was already feeling bummed since today reminds me how freaking old I truly am. And then, to pour salt in my aging wounds, as I was watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with my kids, huge waves of nostalgia washed over me, once again reinforcing just how old I am.

If you don’t already know, the voices of Daisy Duck and Toodles also happen to be the very talented voice actors of just about every cartoon that makes up your and my childhood. For instance, they voiced Dot and Yakko Warner on Animaniacs, respectively. If you do not know what Animaniacs is, then…………OH DEAR GOD I’M OLD!

So, I happened to send out a tweet that said, “Hearing @yakkopinky and Tress MacNeille work together on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse just makes me miss Animaniacs. And then I feel old.”

Little did I know that Rob Paulsen, the voice of Yakko himself, also happens to be an all-around cool guy who just so happened to respond to me. Then I responded to him. And he responded to me………..again and again.

I’m not going to lie. IT WAS AWESOME.

It finally culminated in me tweeting, “(FYI: today’s my b-day….chatting with you has made it very memorable, to say the least."


And then………..you guys!!!!!

He tweeted back this:
 

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!


I KNOW, RIGHT?????!!!!??????

So, even though my birthday has sucked for a few years, this year, thanks to an amazing husband who knows just the right gifts to get me, a neurotic need for online relationships and appreciation, an aging sense of nostalgia, and an amazing person who also happens to be one of the most talented voice actors to ever grace our TV screens, today was a great day.

I’m feeling all of the feels, all of the love, and all of the pains associated with aging. Because, OhMylanta, people. I’m old.

And yet I’m also really happy.

Big hugs to all. Even the crazy ones.



(BTW......in other news..........we're moving. AGAIN. In 2 weeks. But where? DUN DA DUNNNNN....... You'll just have to play, "Where in the World is Gege Sandiego" to know for sure! Because I'm old.)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Third Time’s the Charm

I’ve often heard that good things come in threes. Or possibly it was that Hollywood deaths happen in threes. One or the other. The point is that THREE is an important number and has been since the beginning of time. The Trinity, for example. The Three Wise Men. The number of days Christ was in the tomb. The third eye. The number of times I woke up last night because my kids are teething or sick or possibly plain ol’ mean.

So I’m dealing with something for the third time in my life right now and am hoping that it, indeed, is the “charm.” And hopefully the last time.

OH DEAR GOD, NO- I am NOT pregnant again. Sheesh. Get out of my ovaries, people.

Although, I may actually prefer being pregnant again over what I’ve been dealing with the past few months. Especially since the outcome of pregnancy is pretty straightforward- an impossibly cute and tiny human being that captures my heart and then poops on me.

My current outcome? I’m not quite sure, honestly.

You see, I have just begun treatment- AGAIN- for Lyme disease. Now, if you’ve been following my blog for the last few posts (even though they’ve been faaaar and few between), you’ll notice that I JUST FINISHED being treated for Lyme earlier this year after some really scary neurological stuff started happening after we moved back from Australia. Actually, ever since we moved from Australia in October, our time can be succinctly described as: WHERE’S THE NEAREST HOSPITAL????

Seriously- we have all been run through the gamut of various doctors, hospitals, tests, scans, biopsies, and medications. I alone have had a CT scan, an MRI, multiple mammograms, a biopsy (dear Lord, “relief” doesn’t even begin to describe what you feel when you hear the word, “benign”), shingles, the flu, a couple UTIs and Lyme disease. TWICE.

All since October, people. Nine months. I could have my third adorable bundle of poop by now, which, thank the Lord, IS NOT HAPPENING.

Instead, I’m once again on antibiotics to treat an awful bacteria that wreaks havoc with just about everything in my body. I’m in pain all over (including my hands again, which, thankfully, I now know is not due to my dalliance with the knitting needles) and my muscles go through periods of deciding they don’t want to work anymore, just to name a few.

I’m pretty sure I got bit by another tick sometime in May because that’s when I got that red rash. Although, even though I’ve had Lyme twice before, I didn’t put 2 and 2 together until my body started crapping out on me again a few weeks ago. You see, I never got the rash before, so when I got it this time, I thought it was some weird bug bite (did not see a tick on me) and wondered why it took so freaking long for it to go away. And then, about 6 weeks later, my body decided to punish me for not realizing the danger from the get-go.

The good news is that I’ve been successfully treated twice before so, hopefully, I’ll have a similarly positive outcome this time around. The bad news is that Lyme, for whatever reason, is a hotly debated and politicized disease, especially the concept of “Chronic Lyme.” And that’s the part that scares me.

What if this third time truly is the charm and my prize is having a long term, debilitating disease that some in the medical community denies even exists? THAT’S SCARY, PEOPLE. And tragically sad. Especially for the many, many people who have to fight with this disease, and have fought with this disease, for years and yet are constantly told that it’s all in their heads.

I truly hope that I am not going to be one of those people because, holy moly guys. This sucks. Really, REALLY bad.

There’s more to our ongoing saga that is not Lyme related but yet is a HUGE thing….but more on that later. For now, if I could humbly ask for your prayers for me and my family because, dude. We could really use a break.

Also, if you have time, watch the documentary, “Under Our Skin,” which is really eye opening in regards to the complexities surrounding Lyme disease and its treatment….or lack thereof.

For now, peace out, homies. I will be writing again soon….promise.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Crop Dusting

“Today was so fun. And btw…old ladies should not be crop dusting.”

This was the text I received from my BFF Lyteyz this afternoon. While I knew that, yes, today was so fun, I really was at a loss as to what crop dusting old ladies had to do with it. Maybe it was a secret code we came up with today at lunch and I somehow had forgotten it? I was sorely tempted to respond, “Oh yes- and the crow flies at midnight!” showing her that I, too, could be cryptic with secret handshakes and stuff. But then I figured that midnight flying crows may be code for lady parts or something equally embarrassing we may have discussed while out in public today. I was wondering why those people kept looking at us funny. (Note to self: be conscious of volume level when discussing lady parts with Lyteyz.)

So I responded, “Today was very fun! Ummmm…..ok. I’ll take your word for it……” because today was VERY fun- we happened to go yarn shopping (!!)- and because I truly had no opinion on whether or not old ladies should crop dust. I mean, if they are still flying airplanes in their old age and haven’t died yet from all the chemicals they’re spreading over our food, then more power to them. I guess?

“Oh gosh. Was that you?!?!?!?!”

Ahhh….the penny dropped. It was an inside joke she had with another friend and thought it was with me. Silly Lyteyz. How do I gently let her know her memory is failing in her old age and that she had better not mix me up with another friend again because I’d cut her. Wait. Was she saying she was the old lady and was considering taking up crop dusting? Did I totally space out on our conversation today? Am I the old lady? I’ve never flown a plane before, though. Or had I and I forgot about that, too? Crap. I’m getting old.

“I may be old but I’ve never crop dusted before.” Was my diplomatic reply.

I was wracking my brains going over the events of today. A local LYS is moving to a new location so they are having an AMAZING sale clearing out the stock they will no longer carry at the new location. So, of course I and my enabler BFF had to go since there is still some yarn in this world that we do not own. Besides. There is still some room in my kids’ bedrooms for me to stuff some yarn. They’re still young and flexible- they can sleep in the bathtub.

We went around the store, sniffing, petting, and rubbing the yarn all over our faces while saying appropriate things like, “Baaaaby,” and, “Ooooooo….mama like.” Maybe it was here that Lyteyz had a conversation about crop dusting with some strange woman and just thought it was me since she was so very distracted by the woolly goodness all around. I can’t blame her. I was drooling with my tongue lolling out while in my happy place, too.

I remember I was snorting some wool and started smelling something…a little off...and thought that perhaps this yarn wasn’t as clean as some others. Was there still some manure stuck to it?

I looked up at Lyteyz and she was making a weird face and motioned me to come over so I tried coming down from my wool high and floated on the fumes towards her and was nearly knocked over by an old woman who looked like she was trying to escape the aisle Lyteyz was in. That’s when I noticed the fumes I was floating on started to really turn sour. What exactly was in this wool??

And then it hit me. Like a brick wall. It totally stopped me in my tracks, made my lungs stop working, my eyes started watering, and my hair started falling out. I’m pretty sure something died in someone’s colon and was trying to escape. I thought it might have been Lyteyz and she was calling me over as some cruel joke- a yarn store Dutch oven, as it were. Then I noticed that she wasn’t motioning me over, she was fanning her nose and trying to escape. I beat her to the punch and returned to my happy spot to shove a few skeins of yarn up my nostrils to save them from the Fart Wall of Death that had just ambushed me. OH DEAR GOD- I WANT TO LIVE!!!

“Um. What’s funny is just when I walked over there this old lady booked it across the room. You did smell that right? Cause I thought you made a face the same time I did.” She text back.

And that’s when the second penny dropped. CROP DUSTING. That old lady that almost knocked me down- SHE WAS THE CROP DUSTER!! And I was crop dusted!! I am torn between hoping she made it to the hospital before succumbing to whatever festering rot she had up her butt, or hoping she didn’t make it and suffered a slow, painful death for making my face turn inside out and skin to melt off.

*SHUDDER*

Dude. Lyteyz is right. Old ladies should not be crop dusting. Especially not in a yarn store. THINK OF THE WOOL, LADIES!!



Saturday, March 21, 2015

I'm Like a Sailor- One At Every Port

Through all of the suckage of the last few months (and man, there was a LOT of suckage), I’ve managed to work on that neverending yarn stash of mine, if even just a little bit.

Weeeellll….there may have been a teensy weensy bit of adding to said stash prior to working it down (one step forward, two steps TO THE YARN STORE!) but that was part of my evil plan for our “vacation” trip back home from Australia. I wanted to stop at a local yarn store at each of our visits to get some local yarns, if possible. While there were no yarn stores to visit on Guam, and no native sheep for me to stealthily shear at night like a ninja, there were a few to choose from in Honolulu.

Unfortunately, there aren't really any “local” yarns to Hawaii (at least not at this store…if there is some Hawaiian sheep not doing the hula but actually producing wool, dude... tell them to get back to the dancing because that’s where the money’s at.)

(Sorry…my mind totally started seeing a hula dancing sheep who then transitioned to wearing a top hat and singing, “Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gaaaaaal!” And now you can see it, too. You’re welcome.)

Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes- Hawaii…

YarnStory specializes in all natural fibers and, since I may have a skein or two of wool lurking about somewhere, I thought I’d try something new…something I’ve never thought of trying before, and certainly something I’ve ever inhaled. So, I bought some hemp. 


It's called Hemp for Knitting. Crocheting with it is illegal. Unless you're in Colorado.

There’s a pattern from Vogue Crochet 2013 that I’ve wanted to try ever since I first saw it- a Pineapple Dolman Top- and I thought, what better yarn to use for a pineapple top than yarn from Hawaii? AND, it’s a DOLE-man to boot! HAHAHA! 

Photo
©
Vogue Knitting
Oh come on! I’m not anything if not punny. 

I started crocheting my Hawaiian Hemp Pineapple Dole-man right away but had to put it aside for a bit because I didn’t have the right kind of hook for it and, since I waited until our last day in Hawaii to buy my yarn, I had to wait until we made it to our next destination to buy a new hook. Gah! 

Our early morning trip to the airport was an absolute comedy of errors which culminated in another night in Honolulu, an urgent care visit, and some slightly deranged woman saying very loudly to anyone within earshot, "I'VE GOT THE SHINGLES- ONLY THE SHINGLES!" so there would be no confusion as to why I...I mean "she..." was picking up herpes medication from the pharmacy. 

When we finally arrived in Phoenix, I knew I had to visit the Southwest Trading Company (if you are able to, you should totally visit this place. AMAZING!).  I invited my Mother-in-law to come with me so she could choose some yarn- something she’d like in a color she’d like for something she would actually wear. Since she has very sensitive skin, and since Arizona isn't known for its need for wool in the winter, she chose this delicious soy yarn for a scarf. I started messing about with various stitch patterns and she chose one she liked. A knit pattern. With lace in it. 

Gothic Lace made with SWTC Pure (100% SoySilk)

Now, I’m still a very new knitter, and I didn’t have much experience with anything other than stockinet so you can imagine how much I was kicking myself for showing her that swatch. But I thought I’d rise to the challenge and hopefully make it in time for Christmas.

But then... *sigh*

Part of the suckage of the last few months included some very strange and scary neurological issues for me, as well as some very intense hand pain that I had been living with for months. The hand pain started sometime last spring, around the same time I started knitting. It was like my hooks got all my knuckle joints to protest my budding love affair with the needles so they were going to punish me with SO MUCH PAIN. 


So, I had to put my MIL’s lovely knit scarf away for a bit since the pain was becoming unbearable. That and the scarf was making me very angry and needed to be punished, so away into time-out it went. It was either that or burn it (IT KNOWS WHAT IT DID!). 

Our next stop was Albuquerque where I was able to visit Fiesta Yarns and buy some of their Zia cotton yarn (on clearance....holy moly their yarn costs a pretty penny!) While their storefront isn't really anything to write home about, it would be really cool to be able to have a tour of the dyeing process in the back. As a native New Mexican, I must say I have a sense of pride for this yarn brand- if only Albuquerque could be known for its gorgeous yarn rather than directionally challenged rabbits and crystal meth. I quickly cast on for a cute knit tunic that I found on Ravelry, but soon discovered that my hands were still not on the whole, "I'm a knitter, now!" bandwagon and had to put that away, too.

My hands didn’t hurt so much when I crocheted, though. I figured my hands just needed time to adjust to the new muscle movements that knitting requires and chose to ignore the condemning "ADULTERER!!" looks from my hooks  So, once we made it to Virginia, I crocheted my family some new scarves. Of course I needed to buy more yarn for these scarves (teehee!) since my stash was somewhere on the ocean taking the scenic route back home.
Only one of them still has...."fringe"

And then a blessing came. It came disguised as the worst case of strep throat ever seen by any doctor alive, but it was still a blessing. You see, I was put on some antibiotics (a Z-pak) to help calm my raging fever. Turns out I didn't have strep, after all, just the worst case of tonsillitis ever seen, so I'm not sure the antibiotics did anything to help me get well any faster; however, the week after taking the meds, I noticed that my hands didn’t hurt anymore. And the other weird and scary neurological stuff stopped, as well. (!!)

After months of fearing I was getting Rheumatoid Arthritis and possibly Multiple Sclerosis in retaliation for my dalliance with knitting, it turns out that my hands weren’t protesting my carnal love affair with the needles after all! Had I not gotten so horribly sick, I'd never have known my hands and body were merely refusing to work due to (*most likely) Lyme disease.

Man. Once I figured that out, my torrid love affair with knitting was back on like Donkey Kong, baby! I finished knitting my MIL’s scarf, and in time for Christmas! 


Greatest.MIL.EVER


And then I made a hat for My Mister. And then another hat for My Mister since his head isn’t the size of beach ball. 

The jellyfish one and my Head Eating Blood Clot make a good couple.
And then a cowl for my lovely friend Miss A, who now lives in Hawaii (and who we were able to visit whilst there). 

Actually, I RE-knit it. IT KNOWS WHAT IT DID!
And then this pretty, sparkly scarf for me. 

Doubles as a hypnosis tool.

And then this lovely hood for me. 
Yes it is lovely! Use your imagination!
And this hat for me, but since my head is not the size of a softball, I gave it to SweetPea. And then made me another one. 

I will never be as cool as she already is.


And this sweater that's almost done.

Yes, it's supposed to be that big. The sleeve, on the other hand...IT KNOWS WHAT IT DID!


In short, I’ve been rather unfaithful to my hooks as of late. I did pick them back up after the first (ginormous) hat I made for My Mister since I needed some instant gratification, so I made this cute hat for SweetPea. 

She was trying to knock the camera out of my hands. She's like the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.

And then I started this sweater. However, in my defense, I did try various crochet projects with this yarn, but none of them looked right to me.

Even in knit I wasn't in love with it. Though this pic makes me want to change my mind.

Ohhh....don't look at me that way, hooks. C'mon, baby. You know I love you best! Knitting? Well....she's just something new....a little sumpin sumpin on the side, but it doesn't mean anything! C'mere, baby- I'll show you just how much I love you best....



 

(Actually, there has been a bit more crochet...but it's for a couple patterns, soooo......hopefully will have them up...soonish?)


*(Unfortunately, it cannot be confirmed since Lyme testing is notoriously unreliable. I had a false negative when I had it in 2008, too. However, the big clue is that I got better after taking antibiotics, so SCREW YOU, LYME! By the way, since Lyme disease is very rare in Australia, and considering the time frame when my symptoms first started, I most likely contracted it while in Asia last year. And you didn’t think that story could get any crazier! Well played, Thailand. Well played.)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Frustrated

I’m sitting here frustrated right now. Frustrated because I have a blog post all ready to go but have been having issues getting (and editing) pictures of the stuff that’s in the blog post. Stuff I’ve been working on these last few months because I’ve been doing a heck of a lot of crocheting and knitting lately. A lot. And I’ve even finished a few things, too. INCLUDING weaving in ends. (I KNOW! I almost fainted reading that, too!)

I’m sitting here frustrated because I’ve been looking up patterns and goofing around on Ravelry instead of weaving in more ends on my projects. (DUDE. Where are the end-weaving fairies when I need them? Hmmm…..the kids are awake. Maybe I’ll teach them how to do it. They need a break from vacuuming, anyway. After they give me my pedicure, of course.)

I’m sitting here frustrated right now because I have had so much to write and say and show my friends and family (and those of you who seem to wander by now and again) and yet haven’t because I can’t get those freaking pictures out RIGHT NOW so I’ve been silent instead of just posting things that I’ve been thinking and it’s giving me anxiety because I really really really want to write. And blog. And connect with people.

I’m sitting here frustrated right now because, to be honest, I’m lonely. I miss my friends from Australia and my friends from here that I've not been able to connect with yet, and I haven’t been able to join a crochet group or create one while here and, gosh darn it. I really miss talking to people. People who aren’t toddlers. People who can actually wipe their butts by themselves and don’t need constant supervision all of the STOP! DON’T PUT THAT UP YOUR NOSE!

I’m frustrated right now because I’m feeling guilty spending time writing this instead of spending time with my kids at this very moment. I just sent them downstairs to play so they would stop touching my computer with their sticky little hands so I can finish up this post before my words leave me and they’re playing together and I don’t hear any screaming or maniacal laughter, so I should just be happy that I have some peace and quiet and not feel guilty, BUT I DO! THE GUILT! THE GU…ok. I’m better now.

I’m feeling frustrated right now because things are going really well for me and my family and I should be content and happy and farting rainbow unicorns and yet I’m dwelling on my frustrations because I’m afraid that if I let my guard down then ALL THE BAD WILL COME AGAIN! Oh no….here comes a smile. I feel it…it’s pushing up my cheeks….it’s moving to my eyes….I’m feeling a little bit better….I’m feeling…WATCH OUT! BUBONIC PLAGUE!
 

Things truly have been going well for us- we haven’t been sick in weeks, we’re getting settled in, and spring is here, which always lifts my spirits. I’m going to send a note to a few people I’ve been meaning to connect with and haven’t because of one distraction or another. If you’re reading this, may I please encourage you to reach out to someone- the person who just popped into your head now as you’re reading this- just to say, “Hey- been thinking of you!” They may be feeling lonely, too, and that little acknowledgment from you may be the very thing they needed to hear.

Much love to all, but I must go now. There are butts to be wiped.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Maybe I Can Open A Shop?

Whew! We are still digging ourselves out of the sea of boxes and packing paper while tripping over toys we haven’t seen (or heard…egads! I miss the quiet!) for 4 months. It’s been both great (I have my kitchen and YARN back!) and overwhelming (HOLY CRAP I HAVE A LOT OF YARN!)

I’m struggling trying to find places to put everything, which has been frustrating, but it’s also been liberating. Almost half of our stuff had been in storage for 3 years and, I must admit, distance and time has mellowed out my slight sentimentality I have toward things. (Read: I’m borderline a hoarder.) Even the four months away from our Australia stuff has given me an urgent sense of, “THROW IT ALL AWAY!”

We’ve weeded through quite a lot of stuff and tossed or donated boxes and boxes of things. But still, my sentimentality still clings to the oddest of things. I mean, I still remember using this first tube of Avon Minnie Mouse Banana flavored lip gloss that my mom gave me when I was 10 and she started selling Avon; the slight pale yellow tint on my lips as I licked off the tasty gloss is a very fond memory and so I NEED TO KEEP IT FOREVER. 



You thought I was kidding, didn't you.

Actually, I have a whole collection of lip junk (as I lovingly call them) that I’ve collected over many years. The thought of tossing them all gives me anxiety- what if I need some chapstick RIGHT NOW but have to suffer gross chapped lips since I tossed that 20 year old Bonne Belle Lipsmacker? Also, I’m pretty sure my daughter will love to inherit this vintage collection and it won’t at all be gross and rancid when she’s old enough to start her own hoard.

I also have a thing with writing instruments and have a few hundred pens, pencils, highlighters, and Sharpies hanging about. I used them a lot when I was in school or working but now? I’d be lucky to use up the ink in one pen in the course of a year. (Note to self: need to write more. Send handwritten letters to family and friends just to use up ink. And to let them know I miss and love them. But mainly the ink.)

And now I have a collection of yarn that I know I’ll never be able to use up in my lifetime. The very last Hookers meeting we had at my house, my gals wanted to see my stash. So I obliged. Well, mostly. Mainly just the wools. And then their type-A, mega organizing personalities took over and they counted all of it. (Again…most all of it. Just the worsted weight wools, and mainly Patons, at that.) I sure wish I could find that notebook they used to write it down because it’d be nice to know. (SORRY, GALS!)

I know this may come as a shock, but I think I may have some problems, y’all.

I have been working on various projects (futilely) trying to use up my stash, and I’ve actually got a lot done (or almost done….egads I hate sewing in ends) but more on that later. For now, I finally got the kids down for a nap and there is wool to be played with. And clothes to be folded. Ha! Yeah right! Who needs clothes when you have all this yarn.....



...to roll around naked in.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fifteen Years Ago...(now 17......) Valentine's Day

Continuing (somewhat) the Story of Us, which I started a while back. Part 1 can be found here

Going through all of our boxes of stuff (and stuff and stuff and even more stuff) has really brought back a lot of memories. We just went through one of our boxes of photos where we found....Wait, what? What do you mean? You know. It's a box where you used to keep pictures before you could just store them on your phone. You see, there was a time when pictures had to be processed from actual film (google it) and phones only made calls and "texting" was something someone with a speech impediment said when giving a mic check. 

The time was 1998 and it was a glorious time of technological advancement when a newfangled thing called the "World Wide Web" was just finding its legs and more and more people were getting "cellular telephones" that worked on some sort of digital network, whatever that black magic voodoo means. All I know is that it meant I could send a numerical page to my friends (probably 55378008) from anywhere and not wait until I got to a landline phone, although I could not receive pages since I was lame and didn't have a beeper. (DUDE. Just google it already!)

It was a time when two college kids had met and fallen in love and were excitedly nervous about having their first Valentine's Day together since this was a super special holiday and being seen together on this day meant that we were really and for true A Couple and completely and totally in wuuuuuv with each other.

Ugh! The pressure! What do I get him? What does he like? He likes me, obviously, so he must like things that I like since we have SO.MUCH.IN.COMMON. It's crazy how alike we are. I mean, he likes Star Wars and *I* like Star Wars. He likes spicy food and *I* like spicy food. It's like we are the same person!! So, I'm sure he is into crafty stuff, too, since I am and he's like me and, I KNOW!!! OH. Such a perfect gift!!!!

****************************************

Giving a glimpse of my first Valentine's Day with My Mister, here's the first (and quite possibly the best) Valentine's gift I gave him. 

Now, it's not the best gift I ever gave him based on artistic merit or anything. It's just that I'm pretty lousy at giving Valentine's Day presents. To see what I mean, and for a wee bit of insight into our Valentine's Days through the years, head on over to Artistic Expressions by Elisabeth blog where I was a guest blogger for her Valentine's Day series.  

Much love to all!

 
E-mail made it to our list of memories....geez. We're old.






Thursday, February 12, 2015

Four Months


Four LOOOOOOONG months. That’s how long it’s been since my last blog post (!!) and how long it’s been since our stuff has been making the long journey from Australia back home to us on the East Coast. And today, that journey finally ends. FINALLY. In other words, I GET MY YARN STASH BACK TODAY!!!! If that’s not cause for celebration, I don’t know what is.

I had fully intended to blog during our trip back home- documenting our various travels and the yarn stores I visited along the way. However, starting with SweetPea catching a bad cold during our first stop in Guam, things kinda went downhill from there. We were like chain smokers, except with sicknesses, and I don’t mean plain ol’ colds, either. After we all caught SweePea’s cold, I was treated with an urgent care visit in Hawaii (for a doctor’s note saying I was healthy enough to fly….now there’s a fun story that goes with that….) where I found that I had ALSO had developed shingles. (!!) And that was just the beginning, finally culminating with Little Mister and I getting the flu last month. After that, I implemented a lock down for the kids and I. We had our groceries delivered and were true hermits and didn’t leave the house for weeks, except for doctor’s appointments of which there were quite a few.

Thankfully, that means that we have actually been well for about 4 weeks now, 2 of which My Mister was out of town, leaving me a neurotic mess hoping and praying we didn’t get sick while he was gone. Four straight weeks of not sneezing, coughing, runny noses, screaming babies, ERs, MRIs or CAT scans. There were still a couple urgent care visits, though. However, those were a result of SweetPea’s proclivity for sticking beans up her nose rather than snot coming out of it.

After traveling for nearly a month, visiting family and friends along the way, we were in a hotel for a month and a half until we found a house- our Christmas present. We moved in on Christmas Eve and had fun unpacking all our stuff that had been in storage for the past 3 years. It’s quite odd, actually. Seeing evidence of My Mister’s and my life pre-kids and all the memories that come with it, and then seeing our kids playing with these things that predate them by many years. It brought up some important questions, actually. Questions like, why the heck did we have a Blue’s Clues doll, anyway?

We celebrated Christmas a few days later because we were determined to have a Christmas tree and to make some happy memories with our kids. Seeing their ecstatic faces with the tree lit and all the presents for them was priceless. We were actually blessed with 4 sickness free days at that time and that was indeed a Christmas miracle.

Being well these last few weeks has been a true blessing. I was so close to losing my mind cool there if I got sick again. Oddly enough, I got the worst of all the sicknesses, including nearly a week of a 104 (40 C) fever while we were still in the hotel, and weird neurological stuff- like my legs giving out in the middle of the night when I went to pick up a crying kiddo- that may possibly be another bout of Lymes disease. Oh, there’s another fun story there, too! So, so fun.

And now, finally, today we get our stuff back from Australia. We get to have our house filled with memories from the past 3 years. The kids get their toys again. I get my kitchen back. (I’m so thankful to a very nice gal from church- someone I had never met- who has loaned me a set of pots and pans so I could cook these past 6 weeks. People can be so awesome sometimes!) And I finally, FINALLY get my yarn back.

Actually, funny enough, our stuff was delayed a bit because of said yarn. You see, when the Aussie movers packed it up, they labeled it “Wool,” which is the Aussie way of saying “yarn.” After a few boxes of wool, it then became, “WOOL!!” So, we got a nice email from US customs asking what these 9 boxes of wool were and if it was “directly from an animal” which made me laugh and laugh. Although I wanted to say, “It’s still on the animal…you did feed and water our flock, didn’t you?” I wisely decided to hold my tongue since I’m pretty sure US Customs folks don’t have senses of humor. Aussie ones sure don’t. They made us destroy our fake ficus tree when our stuff first arrived there 3 years ago. It was a FAKE tree, Australia. Thanks a lot! Now my house is ficus less!

The movers should be here shortly and I’m going to take the kids to a Fiber Friends get together, which brings me full circle to my first few weeks in Australia. You see, that same woman who started the Fibre Friends group in Australia lives not too far from me out here and has invited me to her newest group out here. She’s been one of the biggest blessings since moving back, actually. More on that later. I promise.

For now, I’s gots ta go. But, I promise it won’t be 4 months until my next post! As a matter of fact, I’m going to do a guest Valentine’s post for Libby….stay tuned….