29 January 2014

Little happy moments

Last night, while I was working one of the most horrible shifts I've had to date, Pokey brought in a package for me.  I didn't recognize the handwriting and it was posted all the way from the U.K.  I was immediately tickled because who doesn't love surprise post?  Once I got it opened and read the sweet card, I was overwhelmed by the sweetness of it all.  Here, this is what all I received...

All of this loveliness came for me from a very sweet reader named Laura - and I adore all of it!

My owl, tag, and magnet are on my desk lamp so I can see them all the time.

My awesome Union Jack inspired square is on my desk, waiting for my next cuppa to get me through the night.

All of my stitch markers used to be in this pathetic little case that I have had for almost 20 years...

Now they are kept in fabulous style!  I know the stamp one should hang off a phone or zipper but I don't have one.

How awesome is this little purse?  I love the pattern and it just makes me so very happy to look at it.
Thank you very much, Laura.  I absolutely love every single bit of it and you have cheered my heart right up with your random act of kindness.  Every time I glance over at my little owl or place my mug on my square, I smile and think of a super kind and generous soul so many miles away.  I honestly do love every bit of it.

This morning, the happy moments continued, as I went to my doctor's office because the PA wanted me to tell about the situation that happened with the other PA to the Medical Director... who turns out to be my doctor!  I was floored - and so was she when she heard about it.  We talked about what our game plan is to figure all this out and she was her usual awesome self.  She even hugged me and said how sorry she was, even apologizing to Pokey.  I love her.

While we were there, the PA asked if I wanted her to draw my blood.  We told her about how I have deep veins and they don't always cooperate but she was determined to try so I said why not.  Worst case scenario is that she can't and we go on about with our original plan.  Let me just say, she was awesome!  She got it in, got all the vials filled that she needed and was out - no pain or nothing.  Normally it takes forever and the only horrible bruise I have now is due to ripping off the tape (it's all purple like a blood blister).

I got my appointment set up for next Wednesday with my doctor to go over it all and I'm feeling a bit of relief and even a bit of hope that we're going to make some progress.  She even agreed that there was no medical need for the tests that I cancelled - why poke it if it's not presenting itself as needing to be poked was what she said... man, I swear I have the greatest doctor ever.  Funny thing is, I didn't want to go to her to begin with simply because she was a woman and I had never had a good experience with a female doctor... until now.

After we were done, Pokey and I had an amazing dinner at Panera Bread (broccoli cheese soup and half of a smoked turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato) and then we ran a few errands.  He even bought me some Starbucks (decaf only now) which made the morning most wonderful.

So that's been my day.  I'm going to go work on my neon poncho/cape/chilldefyingthingiemagigie that I started last night.  I'll share once I decided if I need to tweak it or not... still pondering.  I hope y'all are finding a ton of happy little moments in your day today too!

28 January 2014

Blessings and peacefulness

I love Garth and sometimes, when another artist you love does a cover of a song, it just feels off. Not this one. Scotty does an incredible job with it and tweaks it just enough to make it his own - a note here, a note there. Nothing extravagant or extreme and I'm betting that is because he loves and respects that song, along with it's original artist, too much to do anything but honor it.

This song has been calling to me today and I wanted to share.  I toyed with posting the original but sometimes in life, you can find peacefulness in paths that you've never taken as long as you travel with someone you trust and love.  If your traveling companion is a blessing in your life then nothing in life is too scary to handle.

I embark on an unknown, and albeit a bit scary, road tomorrow but my traveling companion is the biggest blessing in my life so by simply holding his hand and looking into his loving eyes, I will find my peacefulness.  Hopefully this round of testing will give us some answers and a direction.  I don't know if it will but by taking control and ticking off things that it isn't brings a bit of peace to it all as well. 

I get mushy and emotional when I'm nervous so I just wanted to take a minute to honor my heart, my rock, my one true love... my Pokey.  Tomorrow may be scary but with him by my side, holding my hand, I can do anything.

27 January 2014

Change of scenery

You know what the downfall to working from home is... you grow tired of being at the computer in your office.  What once was a haven for fun and goofing off has now become a place where you must focus and work diligently.  This ultimately has your brain screaming for a change of scenery on your time off when you really would like to fiddle around on the computer but you really don't want to be in your office.  It's a true conundrum considering that I am now on a desktop and not a laptop.

Before when I felt this way, I would simply unplug my laptop and go to the living room or front porch to write but now, I can't do that.  I will figure out a system - it's what I do - but today is just one of those days where I don't want to be in my office, especially since I have to work tonight.

Oh well, such is life, right.  Anywho, I spent the weekend with the family because it was my last full weekend for at least a month.  My February schedule has me working Saturdays but the trade off is that I'm off on Sundays, Wednesday and Thursdays.  As long as I have a 2/2/2/1 kind of schedule, I'm good.  It's when I get the split 4/3 that I grow weary.

I don't think I had much to share for the week anyway.  Let's take a gander for the sake of argument...

I made another owl - this one has attitude and sits on my desk. Her name is Owlriley.

I got hacked off at the medical world, took control of my testing and treatments, and started some socks for Pokey.

I started, and have some more progress on, a chicken purse.  Yes, I did say a chicken purse.  It will be epic.

I ate cookies... because when the world seems topsy turvey, nothing sets it straight faster than a cookie.

I made some serious progress on my bear that I'm making for my OWL.  I may still be behind but not as far now.
Yep, just as I thought.  I didn't do anything that y'all weren't already totally aware of anyway.  I also frogged a few projects yesterday.  I love frogging stuff.  It honestly makes me happy to reclaim the yarn for something that I just may like better because obviously I'm not liking it now or else I would be finished.  I give my projects a four month rest period and revisit.  If I've not had the fire rekindled to start up again, I frog it.  You should try it, it's very freeing.

Also known as "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming", thanks Dory!
Off to either play a bit of Lord of the Rings Online or watch some "Almost Human" that I have recorded.  Not sure which - depends if I've shaken the "Office Aversion" for the day.

I hope you have a beautiful day.  Here's the quote that I've been thinking of lately and just wanted to share.  You never know, it just might motivate you to keep going too.

23 January 2014

Some bigger projects and a fabulous cheat

Morning y'all!  It's chilly here - currently 34*F and will only get to 54*F with a wicked wind that whips things up.  At least the sun is shining.

I really need to get cracking on making some African Flowers for my OWL bear because I'm behind schedule so I think that will be my office project instead of my Mission chicken bag like I had been doing.  I've got a good bit of the bottom done but it's not as mindless for me as the flowers have become so I need to switch anyway.  So, knowing me then you know I have no other choice than to say... guess what...

Here is my project page if you are curious or want to keep tabs on it - it will be epic when it's done!

Yep, I have the humor of a toddler.. lol.  To offset the silliness, here is a serious photo on my African Flower progress - of which I need 56 and there are 28 days available so it means I have to do two a day (plus seaming together) in order to make it on time right now for my midway check in points -

Here is the project page for this one too because it is going to be one massive bear when I'm finished.

I have to finish this one and do my two for today, if not more to build my sanity cushion.  I like how it's coming together though.  I worried a bit that it wouldn't look nice but I have to say, I really do like it.

Last night, around 11:15 pm, I was dying for something sweet and I really just wanted a cookie.  We didn't have any in the house so I was very thankful that I had some cheaters in the fridge.  Y'all know that I am not a food snob in the least so let me tell you that I have no shame in keeping one package of cheater cookies in the fridge for such emergencies.  So I pulled out a cookie sheet, preheated the oven to 350, broke out the little squares of premade cookie goodness and when the oven was ready, I popped them in.  Ten minutes later I had some fabulous cookies.

If you are super curious who makes my cheater emergency cookie dough, click here.

Right, time to get off here and get busy on my day.  Hugs to all - stay warm... it's a rather blustery day in these parts.  I think it is best for me to stay in with a good movie, a decaf cuppa and some cookies to nibble on while I craft the hours away until I have to go to work tonight.

21 January 2014

Strength through music

I've been asked why I take a day to do a music post instead of just sticking to crafting or family stuff.  The reason is simple - music gives me strength.  It lifts me up and heals me, though I am sure that last bit is confusing for some.  The easiest way to explain it is like this - you know how you can get lost or swept away in a good book or movie or the rhythm of your crafting?  I get the same effect through music too.  Songs can capture a moment and let you keep it with you just like a photograph or favorite smell.  Melodies can lift your spirits or break you down to tears.

I have loved music for years - my entire school career found me in choir and even now, I don't go a single day without singing or humming something at some point.  So for as long as I am blessed to be on this Earth, I will have music in my life and I love to share my music with everyone... and with that - here is a fabulous song that captures these past few days for me.  Enjoy.

20 January 2014

Hey you

How have you been?  Me?  Not too shabby, all things considered.  I took a little time because I had a little scare but now that I've got my bearings, I'm getting better by the minute.

I thought I would have a ton of answers today and everything would be set right but the only answer I have is that a lot of the heart is missing from the heath care field.  I have never felt more like a bit of cattle than I have in the past few days.  A faceless chart number just passing through for stamping, tagging, and being talked about or around instead of directly to - and it was awful.

The end result, regardless of my patience at being kept waiting for hours on end, was nothing.  I have no new information but just today alone I lost three hours of my life that I won't get back.  I haven't lost faith in health care professionals as a whole, just those few that I have had the 'pleasure' of dealing with these past few days.

No answers.  Vague replies.  Annoyed glares at being asked a question and then being asked again but for the answer to not be in medical terms but instead to use words that make more sense to me because I have a BS in Business Administration, not an PhD in any medical field.  My favorite to date has been being told that everything is structurally sound - it looks goods, it reads good, it sounds good - so let's poke it until we find something wrong.  No thank you!

I am not an experiment, a number, a faceless chart in an endless day.  I am a patient who is scared, worried, confused and looking for you to be my steadying anchor of information to make it less scary and confusing which will make me worry less.  Smile at me.  Acknowledge me.  Talk to me.  Take a moment to honestly inquire about me.  Look at me.  Don't rush me.

So in the past week, the things that I have learned are these -
  1. Not all tests are medically necessary and I have the right to say no.
  2. Not all medicine is necessary and I have the right to not take it.
  3. Knowledge is power and power is needed to take control of treatments.
  4. My time is just as important as their time and deserves the same respect.
  5. I can do something as amazing as this -
Yep, that's a sock on a super cute and super tiny 2.75mm circular needle with a 9" cord!

17 January 2014

These presents made it out

I've been crafting for little people around here and I must say, I love it.  Nothing is more fun that making something tiny for someone tiny.  Who knows, that little thing just might be the item they hang on to forever.  So when two of my dear friends that I have known for the past 27 years welcomed precious little girls into the world, I had to get crafting.

Sweet little Abigail was originally getting a very large blanket but an unfortunate tea accident caused a change in plans.  Instead, I made her this little shawl and...
This little blanket buddy - all in the yarn that didn't end up a sweet, sticky mess.  Even though it wasn't what I originally planned for her, I do like how it all came out.
This was my latest endeavor and it went to sweet little Miss Rebecca who was a surprise answer to many prayers.  She has the most beautiful raven hair and all I could think about was how pretty she would look in these jewel tones.  I hope she loves them.
So see, I have been busy - made that pinafore during a day full of testing and waiting.  Great use of time and instead of focusing on the scary unknown, I focused on the sweet babies my friends have been blessed with - so thank you Miss Abigail and Miss Rebecca for bring a bit of peace to me. 

I may not have had the honor of meeting y'all yet but I love you both very much.

13 January 2014

Just keep stitching

I finished my projects.  I'll share when they reach their new home.
This past week, I've not felt very well.  Y'all kinda knew that already but the thing that kept me sane with all the hurry up and waiting was my crafting.  Other people are sitting around me wreaking of cigarette smoke and fuming over the minutes that pass.  I simply make another stitch.

Fussing won't make time pass any faster.  Running in and out of the doctor's waiting room to go smoke won't shorten anything but their lives.  Glaring at the medical staff doesn't make them want to hurry along to help you.  Making snarky comments won't get you on with your day any faster... so why do they do it?  All the above does is put a person in a worse mood.

None of us like to be kept waiting but sometimes, it happens.  If I'm kept waiting because the doctor is spending unhurried quality time with a patient who needs him, I'm okay with that because it means when it's my time to be back there and I'm his main focus for the moment, I get the same unhurried quality of time as well.

I've got my projects so you, dear medical team who has been looking out for me, please take all the time that the patient before me needs because I know when it's my turn, it will be returned in kind.

12 January 2014

This past week...

I completed five homework classes for Winter Term over at HPKCHC, and had both of my AS approved.

I made something to snuggle up with whenever I miss Peanut.

My OWL yarn finally arrived, although I've not yet had a chance to start anything with it... yet.

I designed a pretty sweet project bag that I'm rather proud of actually.

I also started a project to kill time while I hurry up and wait because if I didn't, I'd go insane.
It's been a super crazy week - it all started on Wednesday - and even though I'm not quite ready to share, mainly because I don't have much information just yet to share, I have kept myself busy during it all.

So while I may not have any answers, at least I have plenty to show for my time... that's the best way to look at it, better yet, it's how I am choosing to look at it.

08 January 2014

A bit of crochet and a bit of cream

I finished my super huge Herbology homework assignment and it's so stinking snuggly!
 I finished that poncho I was working on with all the yarn my eldest daughter gifted me for Christmas.  I love it.  It is so soft and snuggly - it's perfect for the office.

I also wrote a note to Coffee Mate because I haven't had a good cup of coffee in over a week!  I don't know if they'll answer but I had to try because my daddy always says "You don't know if you don't ask... worst they can say is no".  Granted, the final message had to be shorted to 500 characters but this was the original elegant plea for my creamer - the final version, not so elegant...

I have been enjoying your Peppermint Mocha creamer faithfully for years and last year, I was delighted to be able to purchase it all year long.  This is my absolute favorite creamer.  I honestly don't like anything else in my coffee.

You can image my heartbreak when I learned that the grocery stores in the area are claiming there is an issue with their supplier - that possibly they won't be able to stock it.  I was calling to put in a standing order for a case of creamer every two weeks and now, it is looking like I won't be able to complete my request.

Please, I must have this delicious creamer for my coffee.  It's been well over a week since I've had a good cup of coffee - and I drink a pot in the morning and a pot at night... that's a lot of yucky coffee!  Is there any way that you will be able to bring the sunshine back into my life by allowing me to purchase my creamer?

One case.  Every other week... if it helps, I'll up my coffee intake and order a case a week.  Whatever it takes - I miss my Peppermint Mocha.  Please, please, please... don't make me suffer any longer.


Amy ********
aka - Peppermint Mocha Mama (seriously, that's my blog - I love it that much!

Hopefully they will answer my plea and I will be drinking delicious peppermint mocha coffee soon.  Fingers crossed and all the positive coffee energy in the world is directed towards this goal!

Yeah, I honestly do love this stuff that much.

07 January 2014

Back on schedule!

Oh goodness, it was absolutely lovely having the bus stop at our driveway for pick up this morning.  We waited on our front porch, I had coffee and actually got to chat with the other mother on the street.  She seemed very nice.  It is going to be even better this afternoon, while I'm at work in the office, to see her get off the bus and come directly in.

Speaking of waiting outside - oh my bob, it's chilly out!  My poor nose is still thawing, it's that cold.  We have a wind chill advisory until 11 am because it is feeling like the teens to twenties outside right now.  The sun is shining and it's a beautiful day - just a very blustery and bitterly cold one.

I'm going to enjoy the quiet I have - which I admittedly missed during the holiday break - and I'm going crochet on my poncho to get it done for today.  I might even take off my favorite cast member sweatshirt and put it on instead... who knows.  Coffee, crafting and cheesy chick flicks - that's going to be my day before I head off to work.  I was already a good girl and the dishes are running as is the washer and dryer.

Hope y'all have a fabulous Tuesday!!

06 January 2014

Just a bit random

It's coming out rather lovely for no pattern or plan.. on the 3rd skein already.
1. I seem to be having a challenge focusing today.  Not sure why but it's best to just go with the shiny things of the moment then get flustered by the lack of concentration.
2. Last day of Christmas break and I've got Hobbit catching up on all the things she would do "tomorrow, promise!"  Tomorrow has come and the list, she is long.
3. Might surprise her with Peanut Butter Chocolate chip cookies if she gets it done... or at least half done.
4. I really must get in the shower and then start the laundry... oh, and change the cat box!
5. I can't believe I let her give me the face that resulted in an actual purchased box of "Hamburger Helper".  We're having it tonight since it's her last day of break.
6. The bus stop tomorrow is officially at our driveway - so very excited for this bit of life to occur.  Makes the end of the day stress free for me since I have to work.  Nothing beats getting dropped off at your own driveway.
7. I am out of creamer and it appears as though I won't be able to get my Peppermint Mocha year round any longer.  This is a million times worse than when I quit smoking... I love my creamer!!
8. Must remind Pokey to pick me some type of creamer up from the store... maybe Tuscan sweet cream or the York peppermint patty one... something!
9. Hobbit is going to spend the next long weekend (weekend after next) with my folks and Pokey is taking me on a date day that Sunday!!
10. I have a list of things to do... must get cracking.  Having a bit of a random day and just deciding to go with it.  It's all for the best that way.  Once I'm done, I'm going to work on one of my latest crochet projects.  It's a pull over shrug since I get chilly at night - and it's freaking cold here at the moment.  Should be done tonight, then I can finish up the last present for the box that needs to go out later in the week.
11. I think I've figured out how to pay off my computer this week - and get a savings plan started for vacation weeks this year.  Should be interesting if I can make it stick... and I think I can because I warned Pokey I was doing it.  We're in the black as of late November and I want to keep us that way - haven't been in the black for almost two years!!
12. I really must get going - I have a list of things to do.  Might put the kettle on.  The day calls for a good cuppa or two.  First though, shower and cat box...

05 January 2014

This past week I...

Not been without one of these - between swatching and Winter Term starting, I've been busy!

Watching Hobbit grow with her own crafting has been a ton of fun.

She turned in her homework for the month too - very proud little Gryffindor there.

She has even started a 'lace' scarf that I wrote out a simple pattern for in regular speak, not pattern words.

I turned in my Quidditch and released a brand new pattern...

I even created these mitts to keep my fingers warm but they are now on little Hobbit hands.
It's been a very busy week and I am most pleased that I have a file on my computer full of photographs for every day but New Year's Eve... it's nice to get back to taking a daily photograph.

I'm debating writing up that pattern for the mitts, not sure there is much interest... just because I'm addicted to the flower hexagon doesn't mean the world is.. then again...

03 January 2014

New year, new pattern

This was the product of luck, determination and a fair bit of maths... the fact that it worked is amazing!
I designed this hat during the biggest snow storm of the year. It was named Hercules. Now, I don’t live where snow would ever think of falling, unfortunately, so I made my own. Winter is my most favorite season of all so to celebrate it and all it’s beauty, I made this beret. I think the crown looks like a perfect snowflake that will never melt, keeping the beauty of the season with me all year through.

I must love it to put my mug on here!
This Ravelry downloadable pattern is deceptively simple but the results are captivating beautiful. I chose to make mine in all white but I know it will be equally as fabulous in an array of colors. Perhaps by making the flower stand out and then alternating the rows in the chosen shades you can create some Springtime magic to carry you through the winter if you don’t share the same love of the season as I do.

However you choose to make it, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. Please, do me a favor though. While you are making this little beret, think warm and loving thoughts because no matter who you are making this hat for, the love woven in each stitch will surely shine through.

If you have any questions or run into any challenges, be sure to email – either at my normal account or through Ravelry – and I will help you figure things out.

Good luck and enjoy!
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