11 June 2017

No orders, please

Working on my DRC Shrug as fast as I can!
So I finished my first week back at Disney and it was fabulous! There were a few hiccups at the beginning but I have backtracked and recovered quickly, hopefully resetting expectations and moving forward with grace. Nothing too detrimental but enough that I was taken aback and decided that certain measures needed to be implemented going for forward. Just things that happen - some of my making, some of the making of others but everyone's perception is their own reality so you do what you can to shift it.

Anywho, I did have one thing happened yesterday that I had never have happen to me before - to my husband, yes, but never to me. People see that I make him stuff all the time and they ask if I will make something for them. His response is so sweet - "She made it because she loves me. She doesn't know you. I can ask but I have seen her list of things that she wants to make so it would be a while. There is a closet full of yarn in our house she has to work through first." He chuckles and people will either push the subject or just move on. If they push, he will usually pass the request on and I will honestly decide if I can or want to do it. Honestly though, in all my years of crafting, I have never been directly approached and I was taken aback by my knee jerk reaction to it. Here, let me set the scene for you...

Scene: Me knitting during a break. Fellow new hire cast member walks by and stops with a look a pure delight on her face.

CM: Ooooo, you knit?
Me: (raises face to CM and smiles while hands work feverishly) I do.
CM: Do you take orders? (eyebrows raised while mind races with ideas and requests).
Me: I do not (still smiling and feverishly knitting).
CM: What? Why not! (face no longer elated but suddenly cloudy and cross).
Me: It then becomes work and that takes the joy out of it. It becomes something that I "have" to do instead of something that I "want" to do. I do knit for people, out of love, but never for money.
CM: (flounces away, totally put out).
Me: (shrugs and continues to regain peace and shed anxiety through stitching).

End scene!

Yeah, I am not even embellishing. That is exactly what happened. I have never been asked by a stranger if I 'take orders'. Why would I take orders? If you bake, do you take orders? If you sew, do you take orders? If you draw, sing or play an instrument, do you take orders? Why does my hobby have to all of a sudden become a business - and what gives you the right to be upset when I say no?

This is what I do for my anxiety, for pleasure, for mindless activity - basically, just to live. I knit. I crochet. I do other things as well but they aren't as portable. It is something that I do that brings me joy. I have no idea where the mindset came that such things have to now turn a profit. I do it for the simple act of doing it. The act of doing it is what I love - and the fabulous pile of FOs that I create which I either keep, donate to charity, or gift to people I love.

If someone has a baby, I craft for them. If someone has a tragic event in their life, I craft for them. If someone gets married, I craft for them. It is such a personal experience and present that I don't ever do it for profit. That would tarnish, for me, what I find beautiful about it.

So no, I don't take orders... but I will teach you so you can make whatever idea you had swimming in your head. My lunch is at 7 pm, meet me in the break room... you'll be glad you did.

07 June 2017

Wednesday Wound-Up

Ahhh, Wednesdays... the day where I gather up all of my projects that are in progress and pass judgement on them. "I love working on you". "You are still in time out and I hope you are thinking about what you've done". "Hello, new beautiful project". You may be smiling, giggling even, but you know you do the same thing at some point. So what do I have going on - all of this...

We will start with the oldest first - my Henslowe Shawl. Still love it, just need a break from it. I'll pick her up again soon.

Next is Pork Swinewalker, whom I would like to finish for Pokey for our anniversary. I'll work on him this weekend.

My GGB Socks are on hold while I learn how to do either an afterthought heel or a fish lips kiss heel. Need brain power.

My February Lady Sweater has a completed body and is just needing sleeves to be picked up. I'm thinking this weekend.

I cast this on yesterday because I will need a shrug for my sundresses at work. I hope to have it done before the month is out.
Those are all of my current WIPs wound up in one tidy spot. I hope to have new updates for you on them next week. I have no idea how my crafting time will work out since I just went back to work full time outside of the house. I can tell you, last night when I rolled in the door at midnight, I did not feel like knitting at all. Hopefully, once I get used to it, that will change.

What all do you have laying around on your hooks and needles?

03 June 2017

I can share my secret!!

Finally, I can share what I have been keeping secret - though rather badly, I admit. I quit my WAH job and went back to being a Disney cast member!! Today was my Traditions but I am finally home! I peopled so hard today - I even made a new friend!! Oh my gosh. I am exhausted but in a good way. I'm not peopled out like I thought I would be but peopling at Disney has never worn me out the way it does peopling in the world... I'm sure that probably doesn't make sense but it does to me so there we go.

So here is my day in pictures. I did my best to photograph the bits I could. I couldn't take anything in the Utilidors because that is grounds for instant termination but everywhere else I was allowed, I took pictures. My day started like this...

Disney University - where bigger dreams come true and people get perfectly pixie dusted.
Affectionately known as "DU" where I do have Mousesters and a Ducktorate but I am going to get new ones I think. When you walk in the door, you are greeted by Pluto...

Hey pal!
Yep, he's coming out of the ceiling and saying hey. Then, I walked down the hallway to my classroom and ran into Goofy...

Garsh! Be careful, Goof!!
Once there, we covered the boring bits of Safe-D first  and then, after our first break, we were told that we had mighty big ears to fill and the only way we could do that was...

I think I held myself together pretty well... well... I tried to anyway and that is what counts.
With our own set of ears! Naturally, I put mine on and wore them all day. I can neither confirm nor deny that they are still on my head right now. After a few more Disneyfied orientation bits, we broke for lunch. When had gotten back from our first break, we had to change seats to meet new people and that is when I met Barbara and Zuiy who are going to be at the DRC with me!

Barbara, me, and Zuiy - your Guest Service Specialists
Yes, I was stupid happy all day so ignore my scary over the top smile. I learned that Barbara was a cast member at the DRC the same time I was, we were just on different teams and in different segments. She was also morning part time and I was evenings full time but we had seen each other around. She was so much fun.

After lunch, we did our Utilidor tour and spent a little (very little) bit of time in the Magic Kingdom looking for "good show". My table even voted me to be the leader, which was strangely honorable to me. Then we came back, learned a few more Disney things and our boss came to visit to see how things were going...

Nothing beats having your boss applaud your work on your first day!
He was clapping because they asked a trivia question and I got it right (surprise, surprise right). He gave me a Minnie Mouse figurine. After that, he brought in a box which had the final piece to make us "officially" part of the family...

I'm back!
I am so stupid happy to be back home, I can't even explain it. Now, I'm at my home home and my fabulous husband is making my favorite supper - burgers and tots - which I don't have the heart to tell him that I had it for lunch but I can eat it every meal so I'm good. Today has been perfect. Now to put on my pjs and just stupid smile the rest of the day away.

31 May 2017

21st Street Rice Bowl

In our town, we have a rather large Hispanic community and you can find the best food down on 21st Street. During this transition period, we have had to adjust a few of our habits so dining out has been one of the first things to put aside for special occasions. Well, I was craving some TexMex today and so I went through my pantry and was able to find all the things I needed to make something fabulous... and that is how the 21st Street Rice Bowl came into being.

Here are the ingredients and directions on how to make this delicious dish that will be an instant hit with your family too.


Ingredients
1 lb of ground beef (I used 90/10)
1 16 oz jar of your favorite salsa (I used Publix Mild)
1 10 3/4 oz can of Tomato soup (I used Campbell's)
1 15.25 oz can of sweet corn (I used Green Giant)
Worchestire sauce, to taste (I used Lea & Perrins)
Salt, to taste
1 clove minced garlic
2 cups of rice (I used Publix Instant Rice)
Onion powder, to taste
Four Cheese Mexican Blend, shredded (I use Sargento)
Ranch Dressing (optional, and I used Hidden Valley)

Directions
1. Brown the meat with Worchestire sauce, salt, minced garlic, and onion powder. Drain.
2. Add in salsa, tomato soup, and corn. Simmer on medium heat.
3. Make rice according to directions. Once finished, add to the beef mixture and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
4. Scoop into bowl or onto dish, sprinkle top with desired amount of shredded cheese. I like to add ranch dressing to my TexMex and stir it in.


This is a great supper and super fast to make. I think the total time was about 30 minutes. It made 6 servings so I have three suppers in the fridge for when I go to work since I will be working nights. More on that soon, I promise!

11 April 2017

A reminder... for me...


I am waiting... patiently... well... quasi patiently... well... I'm trying to be patient. I can't share at the moment but I am hoping soon that it will all change and then I promise to sing it from the rooftop.

02 April 2017

My gracious!

What a week it has been. The first week back from a vacation is always hard but this one has seemed abundantly so, for various reasons. Some I can share, some I can share in time, and some I may just need to allow to slip away with time because they don't hold any value - to me or you, as there is no lesson to be learned or shared. They were just moments of nastiness that happen and it is always best to just let them go and not allow them to sink in and become a part of the fabric of your soul.

I had a lovely surprise on Monday this week - an unexpected day off! I must have known that I was going to need an extra to recuperate because I headed in to work at 5 am and did not even notice I wasn't supposed to be there until 7 am. Once I did notice though, I debated for a hot minute as to whether or not I would rescind my PTO or just take it... and I took it. I put Hobbit on the bus and took the day to get the house back in order and just relax. I even inadvertently took a nap!

Tuesday, I received some unfortunate news but that is a message for a different day. Tuesday night is the blessing I want to focus on, and oh what a blessing it was! Hobbit was chosen to deliver her TEDx speech for the school competition. Now, to stress how much of an honor this was just to get to the school competition, let me outline the process really quickly. Each teacher has six classes and from those six classes, they had to chose two students - from their combined student total - to send to the school competition. So out of roughly 150 kids, the teacher could only nominate two to move on to the school competition. Hobbit was one of those two for her Language Arts teacher!

There appeared to be 4 6th graders, 3 7th graders, and 9 8th graders who earned the honor of presenting their speeches. The topic was "Taking a Stand"... and guess what...

My precious baby girl won 1st Place and is on her way to District presentations!
We are so stinking proud of her! One of the judges was a local news producer and she gushed over how poised, elegant, articulate, and fabulous she was. She said that Hobbit just blew everyone else out of the water, she was so magnificent. They said their awe was multiplied even further when they found out she was just in 6th grade! The Cambridge Director (prestigious program where the kids can take classes and work towards college credits from the Cambridge University in Great Britain) came over and asked why she wasn’t in the program and “oh by the way”, she was granted approval for her to go in for 7th grade (apparently unheard of - I overheard that all her teachers, the principal, and assistant principal all wrote letters of recommendations for her!). Her teacher and the assistant principal were fawning all over her after she won, telling her how proud they were of her, and how they knew how awesome she was but even they were gobsmacked over her presentation.

My little girl, who is only 11, beat out kids who were up to 13 years old! The other kids all applauded her and congratulated her. She cried because she hears all the time from us how smart she is (think Sheldon Cooper, that’s her - even down to missing the social queues) but to hear it from everyone else was just amazing to her. She said that maybe she should start believing how smart she is… and she really is… like, the highest you can score on the test for placement into the gifted program is 145… she scored 144 and once she explained her reasoning (in 3rd grade when she was tested), the person understood why she answered the one question as she did which prompted that question to be thrown out of future testing due to her “argument” of it being invalid. Although, being as she is, she’s been targeted by bullies and had a very rough go of it in school which this year has caused some challenges. So needless to say, this win was huge!

Wednesday I just enjoyed having the day off of work. I started a shawl with yarn that my best friend left for me to use. I am going to send it to her when I'm done. I have been working on it off and on, even during church this morning... church, wow... but I'll share that in a few minutes. I will, however, share the progress of the shawl right now though.

The pattern is Henslowe by Beth Kling and the yarn is Unisono by Zitron in colorway 1260.
I am interested to see how this yarn plays out. There is some burgundy in there as well that I just haven't gotten to but I am thinking it will be coming into play here soon when I finish that delicious chocolate brown.

Thursday and Friday were just blurred together for various reasons, some good and some not so good but like I said, I will share in time. To gauge how the day was, it required a lot of the following to help get me through...

I murdered some tea this past week. I got an electric kettle for the office so that helped. Sweet & white for the win, always.
Yesterday, Hobbit came down with a cold so I ended up going to visit my folks solo. Pokey stayed home with her and I got some Mama and Daddy time. The first thing we did...

It's still a little strange not seeing my beautiful blue locks!
I know, crazy right! Where is the blue?!? It's been there for over a year now - yes, a whole year I have rocked blue hair. I know it wasn't a favorite look for my mama or my husband, honestly, but it was something I needed to do for me. It was crazy and daring and did you know that the shade of blue I chose was the same as the ribbon color for social anxiety? I didn't either when I chose but I thought it was super appropriate afterwards. My natural hair color is more of an ash strawberry blonde but I didn't want to bleach my hair again so I went a shade or two darker with "natural light auburn" to make sure that the blue was covered and didn't pop out green. It took one bottle for my hair and two for my blue section but I think overall it looks nice. Just going to take some getting used to again.

Then I got to sit and knit with my mama before I had to leave to get back home. I had made a mistake with my shawl while I was anxiety knitting in Cracker Barrel waiting for my husband to show up on Friday night. I don't know what I did but I managed to make a perfect circular hole in a spot just left of center. I believe I may have knit and pulled it over without actually dropping the stitch. Either way, I couldn't figure out how to fix it so I brought it with me to show my mama who can fix anything.

"Here, you work on mine while I fix yours".
Yep, that's what happened. She handed me her yellow baby sweater and I knit on it while she frogged and picked up all the stitches back to before the mess up. I am not good at picking them back. I can fix a dropped stitch without a challenge but since there was nothing dropped, I was just lost. I was ripping it out slowly, thinking I might could put it back together but she offered so we traded. I love knitting with my mama. It is honestly one of my most favorite parts of any visit... just sitting quietly in the room together, my daddy reading and us doing some kind of handicraft.

That brings me to today.. and church. Man oh man, what a message. You see, I haven't found a church home in town so I started "attending" Lakewood Church. Yes, the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas which is home to Pastor Joel Olsteen. I love his messages and I always walk away refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated for the week. When Pastor Joel is away, Pastor John Gray steps in and man, that man is ate up with the Spirit, let me tell you! I watched service last night and Saturday services are relaxed. The messages are still good and on point but just more relaxed - jeans, etc. Well, I sat down for early service today with my knitting in hand and I was curious if the message was going to be different. It wasn't, actually. It was the same message but interestingly enough, while I did listen to it last night, I actually heard it this morning. As Pastor John said, I am in a moment and it is "the moment before the moment". My moment is coming but this is the moment before the moment when I should work on those little indicator light items so I am right and ready for my moment. Oh yes, I heard him loud and clear - to the point that I had tears in my eyes because he was hitting everything on the head for me. It is amazing what happens when we hear instead of just listen. Have mercy. So I plan on getting right and ready. Realizing it was 90% of it for me. Execution will not be easy but if I stay mindful, I will be alright. I know, it sounds cryptic right now and I am sorry for that but I promise, there will be a time when you will collectively go "oooooohhhhhh, I get it."

So that was my week. I am excited for this week. I really am. I am hopeful, expectant, and passionately positive about the road before me this week. It is mine for the taking and I plan on planting a sign in the middle of it with my name on it. Look out World, here I come!

26 March 2017

Time flies

Today is the last day of my vacation. I got to spend it with my best friend in the universe. She is my family of choice, the sister I never had, and I proudly claim her at any time. You want to know how I know I had a good time - I hardly took any photographs! I was so "in" the moment that I forgot to capture the moments. I did snag a few so I thought I would share them...



























This last one is full of memories. I picked her up from the airport and immediately took her to my favorite yarn shop, Four Purls in Winter Haven, where I had her pick out a skein of Malabrigo so I could make her a hat. She asked if I would make her one so I waited until she was here so she could pick her yarn - Memory 1. Then I spend the first night knitting the band so I wouldn't have to keep up with the pattern, even though it is an easy repeat, while walking around. We sat and talked most of the evening while I worked it - Memory 2. Then we headed to Epcot on her first full day with us where I knit on the hat as we wandered around, something she thought was weird/neat/odd/cool/just me being me. I got half of the body done - Memory 3. The day after Epcot, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom and I did the same thing. Knitting all through the park is just what I do so when she would look at me, I was looking and walking and knitting (without looking which she just thought was magical). I finished the body of the hat that day - Memory 4. The next morning, we drive Hobbit up to spend requested time with Nana. No knitting happened but I did teach her how to crochet by making a granny square! That Friday, we sat around and talked and watched Murphy's Romance. During the movie, I finished the crown of her hat and the pompom - Memory 5.

Now whenever she wears it, she will have it full of memories of her vacation with me and I hope it makes her smile. I know I had the best time. I may be tired now but I honestly couldn't have wished for a better way to be completely exhausted.
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