30 December 2014

All set

I don't normally carry a ton of WIPs so I'm doing a Detention OWL this term to clear them out!
I may be crazy for proposing all of these but I can't handle having them hanging around any longer so I am going to do the once a year offering of a Detention OWL over at The Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry.  It doesn't count towards my OWL Mistress badge or for being able to do a NEWT but it will clean out all of my old projects that are just hanging about and making me twitchy.  I have three months to get them done... and here is where they each stand, as of right now...
My Hitchhiker that I started in November.  I am so painfully slow when it comes to knitting, I swear.

This was supposed to a Christmas present for one of Pokey's coworkers - obviously I didn't make it.

This was the first knit project I started after several years of not touching my needles.

Another awesome MADDesign shawl that I love working on but it is just so flipping big, I got burnt out.
I figured with two crochet shawls and two knit shawls, it will give me a nice mix of things to work on.  I am proposing my 50% mark to be when I have completed both crochet shawls, made it to 30 teeth on the Hitchhiker and completed up to x” on the cabled edge shawl.  I really need to figure out what that "x" will be... it's sitting at 18" right now so I think if I can get it to 22" that will be a good indication of halfway... though I'll probably propose it to be 20" and if I go over, then it's all the better but I don't make it, then that's a challenge.  Yeah, I'm going to make it 20", thanks for helping me work through that last bit.

How many WIPs do you have hanging around?  Do you have a point that you reach where you get twitchy too?  Here, enjoy one of my favorite songs while you pull out your pile of WIPs and figure out whether to finish or frog...

29 December 2014

Hi there!

It was a low key but very festive season here.
Well, it appears that I needed to take a bit of a break.  I didn't know I needed a break, or I refused to acknowledge it, but any way you look at it, a break was had.  I would like to thank each and every one of you who took the time to write me a message.  It was so very sweet of you to take the time to reach out to me and I appreciated each and every letter that I received.  I promise, I am doing well and did not mean to scare y'all in any way.  I guess I forget sometimes that this is more than just an online diary of my silly life... but it was sure comforting and heartwarming to know that friends here were concerned.  I'm sorry I made you worry.  Please, forgive me.

So, how was your holiday?  Our Christmas was fabulous.  We are looking for a new tradition to start with Hobbit so that she'll have a special memory associated to the holidays.  We have some for the time leading up to Christmas - cookie baking, etc - and we have one for Christmas Eve - light looking, cocoa, Pokey reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas", and Santa tracking - but we were looking for one for Christmas Day... so we went to Walt Disney World after the presents were opened.  By 9:45 am - because Hobbit had us up at 4:30 am! - we were driving through the gates of Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Even though it was crazy busy and full of people, it wasn't too bad.  We chose this particular park because of the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights - and because, historically speaking, the Magic Kingdom and Epcot reach capacity and turn people away.  That's just too crazy for me so we went for the smaller park and a slow, relaxing day.

We were greeted by one of the largest Christmas trees I have ever seen in my entire life!

Our first stop, The Great Movie Ride.  This is one of my most favorite attractions in the whole park.

Then we went to Oaken's so Hobbit could build her first ever snowman!

Afterwards, it was off to watch "Lights, Motors, Action!" where we got to watch Lightening McQueen!

After lunch we went on Star Tours to resist the temptation of the dark side - and their cookies.

After a cocoa break, we went to get our pixie dust topped off at my favorite attraction - One Man's Dream.

We ended the night with some magical snow flurries that only Disney could do on Christmas Day.

A stroll through the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was the perfect end to the day.

I don't know if we'll make it a tradition but we certainly made it a most memorable Christmas for her.
I do hope that your holiday - however you celebrate - was filled with the love of family and friends, as well as every blessing of the season.  I know mine was - and you were such a big part of it.

08 December 2014

Did I keep my promises?

Every year I write a list of things I promise to try and accomplish during the year.  I don't make resolutions, just promises to try.  This past year, I had some different kinds of promises so I thought I would take inventory to see if I was able to keep them.

My first promise was attempting to pay off all outstanding debt, with the exception of the car.  I am pleased to announce that by January of this coming year, that will have been completed!  It wasn't easy and some weeks, I just wanted to give up but I reminded myself that once those bills are done - they are done and not coming back.  I would think of all the fun things we could do with that money instead and it helped get me through.

My second promise was about crochet colorwork charts.  Yeah, I so didn't even touch it.  I did, however, pick back up my knitting needles after several years and have been attempting to make peace with them.  So while I didn't keep that particular promise, I'm not upset about the reason as to why.

The third promise is a little tricky.  While I continually put funds into savings this year, I also had to continually use the funds I had put up.  I could look at it as in being blessed enough to have the monies available when I needed it instead of how I am practically back to square one on the savings front.  I think I'll choose the latter and just try again next year.  We'll focus it more towards savings and less towards "emergency funds"... maybe I'll set up both and see how it goes.

Fourth spot on the list was dedicated to reading six books this year.  I checked my Goodreads listing and learned that I actually read six books and I am in the middle of my seventh!  I have a few other books in progress but they seem to continually get back-burned for something new.

So for this past year, I think I did a pretty good keeping up with my promises.  I'll be pondering my 2015 list over the next few weeks.  I've got a few things in mind already but I've not ironed out all the particulars just yet.

How have you done with your promises this year?  As long as you gave it an honest try, then you can be proud of what you've accomplished.  Like Albert Einstein always said - "You never fail until you stop trying."

04 December 2014

More of everything

More tests.  More waiting.  More crafting.  More working.  More more more more.  I wish I had less some days.  At least the one 'more' that I've been really enjoying is taking more pictures...

The little tree from last year is now in Hobbit's room for the holidays.

I've got everything out for Christmas so we started December all ate up with the spirit.

Even the animals have their stockings up and are waiting for Santa.

I started the week like this... stay tuned, it's grown and I'm tickled over it.

I spend the nights admiring my tree.  I do love all the ornaments and their special meanings.

From the new ones we just picked up within the last five years...

All the way to the ones my mother made when I four years old.  These are my treasures.

Certain ones make me cry - like this one because it reminds me of Peanut and I miss her at Christmas.

To the silly things that Hobbit does to make up for Christmases long past.

I love my tree and all the memories that it holds and shares each year.

This photo is now out of date because I've got a few rows of green on it past the variegated!

I told you it grew!  Who would have something so simple would be such fun.
So here is hoping for a week of less.  A quiet, simple week with the only thing in the "more" category is rest.

28 November 2014

All my blessings

My wonderful family, posing as I requested for our first family portrait - ever!

Yesterday was simply amazing.  I found all of my blessings in life under one roof.  I have amazing parents, a wonderful brother who married a sweet woman, an awesome husband, and fabulous kids.  The time we are able to all get together is precious.  I enjoyed yesterday so much and I hope that we won't have to let six and a half years pass by again before we are able to get back together.

We truly are a silly lot.  God, I love my family so much.  Thank you for making them mine!

27 November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

I pray that you are surrounded by those you hold most dear. When I give my list of thankful things, y'all are definitely at the top!  I hope that you have a blessed day and stay safe.

22 November 2014

Tell-tale sign

Gratuitous puppy shot - he's so cute!  I love his snores.
It's such a tell-tale sign that things are out of sorts around me when my blog gets quiet.  I don't mean for it go quiet like it does but it's just one of those things that happens.  It's like something has got to give and this is where it goes.

I've been sick recently.  Nothing to alarm anyone about - I'm not alarmed anyway but I'll let you know if that changes Monday afternoon after my appointment.  I doubt it though so don't worry.  Anyway, this thingamajig has worn me slap out so I've not done much of anything besides go to work. I get up early, go to work, do what housework I can during my breaks, get off work, cook supper, help with homework, get Hobbit in bed, and then I'm a zombie on the sofa for a good hour before I just kind of doze off and Pokey sweetly toddles me off to bed.  Then I get up the next day and do it all over again.

This new doctor has had me keep a food journal.  It's rather pathetic on the entries but I've kept up with it.  Still feel crummy but hey, I'm doing my 'homework' like a good girl.  I keep looking over it for a something, anything, that looks like a common thread that would have me feeling horrible but I come up empty.  She was trying to tell me it was either food allergies, appendix, or ovaries.  Now how those three things would cause me to feel constantly nauseous, cramped up, and exhausted (along with other details that we'll just smile and nod over) I just don't know.  I would have thought at the ripe ol' age of 41 that if I had a food allergy, I would have known about it well before now.  I'm no doctor but I took Health Education back in 10th grade and my ovaries have nothing to do with my belly.  The only one that makes sense would be my appendix but honestly, I saw my husband go through it all six years ago and it's nothing like what he was going through.  I'm just lost.

I think it is coming along nicely.
So that's why it's been quiet around these parts.  I'm just basically a Petri dish it seems.  Hopefully there will be some kind of answer or direction on Monday because I am completely over it already.  It has been cropping up every few months for years now but since it was getting more severe and more common, I thought it best to have it checked out.  Y'all know I'm stubborn and don't like going to the doctor but sometimes, it just reaches the point where you have to go and get poked.

On the upside, I did start a shawl yesterday.  Pokey wants to gift it to a coworker for Christmas so I thought it best to get started now so I can have it done in time.  I really like how this heathered hunter green is working up.  I have some darker rainbow variegated to use as well.

16 November 2014

Sunday Snaps

We started the week helping Butch feel like he was a part of the family and his world was once again secure...

I failed my Order of the Phoenix Mission but I started it super late due to change of pattern so it's my own fault...

By mid-week, things were starting to get into a groove with everyone, even our newest family member...

I finished an epic shawl in a week thanks to Quidditch motivation...

We chaperoned Hobbit's first ever school dance.  She had a wonderful time.

It's been cold enough that I periodically get to rock my awesome new hat and cloak...

and we ended the week with someone finally feeling right at home.

12 November 2014

Let the dust settle already

My word, it has been crazy around here.  Deadlines, projects, things I can't tell you about yet, family, illness and unexpected surprises have been running rampant around here.  What to share first, oh, I know...
My assistant, hard at work today.
Allow me to introduce you to Butch.  He is a 6-year-old Bagle Hound... Beagle and Basset Hound mix... and the newest member of our family.  You see, our dog sitter called to take me up on an offer I made about a year ago.  Butch's original owner was in poor health, in and out of hospital care, which resulted in Butch being at our sitter's a great deal.  I had said last year that if he ever needed a home, to please give me a call.

Last week, his owner passed away.  That fact is sad enough but the heartbreaking part is that Butch was left with the body for several days before anyone bothered to check on him.  It breaks my heart on so many levels.  Our sitter received the call and she went to get him, with the next of kin's permission, so Animal Control would not put him down.  When she had him, she called me to let me know what happened and asked if the offer still held true.  After hearing the story, there was no way we could refuse to let Butch into our home.  We all agreed that since he knew our dog sitter fairly well that it would be best if he grieved for a few days at her place before transitioning him again.

We picked him up on Saturday night after I got off work.  He smelled like death, literally, but he got along well with Buddy and Hobbit.  He let me take him out in the yard on his lead and he even wagged his tail by the end of our visit.  When we went to get in the car, he jumped right in and sat down with his head on Pokey's lap.  We gave him an oatmeal bath straight away to help with the smell and he's been settling in nicely.

Now, I had a severe allergic reaction to supper on Sunday night, early Monday morning, which has had me down for the count for the past few days.  Today is the first day where I can be vertical and not feel like I'm going to toss my cookies.  Me being me, I went in to work because I felt bad for not making it in on Tuesday.  Thankfully, my days off this month are Sunday and Monday so I only missed one day.  I'm doing all I can to make it through today.  I have managed to eat 3/4 of a Cinnamon and Sugar pop tart.  Granted, it's taken me the better part of two hours to get to this point but the fact still remains, I'm doing it.

Sneak peek at the color scheme on my shawl
I'm on the final rows of a shawl that I started on the 6th for Quidditch.  I am crossing my fingers that I have enough yarn to do all her repeats for the edge but either way, I've managed to pull out about 1.100 yards when it's all said and done.  I really love how it's coming along.  The colors are just so happy.  Initially I wasn't sure if I would like it but now that it's about done, I really do.  I hope that I will be done with it by tonight but those are some super long rows I'm working with now so we'll see how it goes.  I think I will make it but thankfully the edging is set so that you can stop wherever you need to and it will still look wonderful.  I would love to have the full ten rows but I'm on row four now and just connected my fifth and final skein of Rose Garden.  I have enough of the green left to do a final row so wherever I get with this last skein, that's where the end will be before I do the last row in green.  I'll share it with you when I'm all done.  I promise.

I ordered some yarn from the UK to make myself a sweater.  I hope it arrives in time so I can get the sweater done to wear to Pokey's annual Christmas party that his company throws.  It was a nice enough event last year and this year it will be early in the season instead of on my birthday.  I can wear the cute dress that I wore last year but I need a new top/sweater to wear over it.  Everyone there was so intoxicated that they will never know it's the same dress.  Needless to say, we didn't stay long after supper was over.

There are other things bubbling in the background that I wish I could share with you but I just can't at the moment.  I will soon though, I'm sure.  Okay, it's time to get back to the grind, though I am surely feeling a lot worse for wear the longer I am upright.  Fingers crossed that I can make it through today... that's my goal, anyway.  How about a song to get things in a good direction for the rest of the day...

04 November 2014

The realization of a little goal

Back in 2011, I took a tiny step towards one of my big dreams.  I don't know if I've ever shared my particular dream of getting my own pattern book published but it is one of my big dreams.  It has a timeline too so it will become a reality.  This is one little step towards that big dream - and it is just as exciting as I thought it would be, maybe even more.

Three years ago this past August, I submitted a pattern for a book that was going to be published regarding gift knitting in America.  I did it for the experience, fully expecting to be rejected but I was going to use the feedback as a learning tool to improve going forward.  Today, all these years later, what I got was not a rejection but the book that has my original design published pattern in it...
American Gift Knitting by Beth Moriarty of Planet Purl
Yep, my pattern is in there.  That book is in bookstores, on the shelves, waiting for purchase.  I will admit, I giggled and cried and jumped for joy when this package arrived.  I couldn't believe it.  I am now an officially published knitwear designer.  My silly little pattern was chosen from the hundreds of other entries and they said, "Hey, I really like this.  It has such potential.  Let's run with it".  It is such an honor that I am having a difficult time putting it into words.
It's hard to believe that what started out as this has now become something so amazing.
So to all of my fantastically creative friends and family, if you have a dream of becoming bigger than what you fear you can be I am here to tell you that you can absolutely do it.  My daddy was right when he said that the worst they can tell you is no which will leave you no worse off than you were before you started - and that is philosophy that I use to this very day.

Never be afraid to do what you think is impossible or that others have told you is impractical.  Never be afraid to try because you only fail when you fail to try.  Even a lack of success is beneficial because you learn from it and move forward for the next time.  My next step?  Well, it's already being sketched out... and by my deadline of 2017, I hope to have some even more exciting news to share - possibly sooner, you just never know.
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

28 October 2014

Different definitions of luxury

Just something mellow and relaxing on this mellow type of Tuesday.  It's actually been kind of a crummy work day but I am trying really hard to not let it bother me.  My day here is almost over and the best way to stay above it all is to find something fabulous to listen to and get lost in.

I do, however, hope and pray that they call Pokey for an interview regarding that internal position at his company.  It would be a great advancement which would bring him joy, as well as taking some of the necessity pressure off of me which would bring me great joy as well. 

Truthfully, I miss being "just a housewife"... my days were busier and more fulfilling than what I do now which is basically sit tethered to my desk so I can listen to people who believe themselves to be privileged whine over how they aren't getting their way regarding luxury items such as international travel, boutique hotels, and off the charts dining reservations.  To these types of people, "things" bring them joy and make them feel accomplished... to me, I'd rather have a tidy house, completed laundry, and a home cooked meal around the family table.

One day, I'm sure I'll be granted the luxury of being a housewife again and until that time comes, I will do my best to endure the daily grind of ungrateful people... giving thanks that I am not them and taking comfort in the little things... like going to work barefoot every day.

27 October 2014

Such fun

Okay, so I'm still dealing with Miranda Hart deciding to pull the plug on one of my most favorite shows.  She is so hilarious and if you have a subscription to Hulu then you simply must watch all three seasons of "Miranda" - you'll thank me for it if you've not yet seen it.

This past weekend we went up to see Peanut at school.  It was Parents Weekend and while there were many things that I would love to have changed about it all, getting to spend that time with her was wonderful.  How do I know that it was a blast - I didn't take hardly any photographs!!

We spent the morning wandering around St. George Street.

Peanut's roommate, Peanut, and Hobbit deciding if there is something on the menu they like.

My beautiful Peanut.  My word, I'm so stinking proud of her.  She's grown into a fabulous young lady.

My precious little Hobbit.  One day, she'll be all grown up too - my word, how time flies!

Peanut's roommate soon learned to just 'go with it', as Peanut told her.  She was a sweet girl.

My most awesome - and oh so sexy - Pokey.  I loved having my family all together around the table.

My girls being silly - Peanut is stooping so Hobbit can get her arm around her.

A legendary 4 hour game of Monopoly that ended with Hobbit, who has never played, being victorious!

This game was epic... can you see why?

Peanut showing Hobbit her room - and yes, she drew most of those images on her wall.

After the epic game of Monopoly, we all watched a family favorite - Undercover Blues... someone fell asleep with her puppy.
Spending time with my whole family together brings me such joy.  I love having my entire heart in one spot instead of split across the state.  The only thing that would have made it perfect would have been my parents being able to go too.

Next year, we're just going to hang at my folks' house instead.  Too many tourists and not enough quiet family time... but I'll take any time I can get because I know pretty soon, what little time I have will be gone as well.

Hug your loved ones - call them and tell them you love them if they aren't close by - but never take your family for granted.  The time comes all too quickly when they aren't so never wait for tomorrow what you can tell them today.
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