09 October 2016

Here, Mojo... Where are ya, girl?

Have you ever lost your mojo? Be it at work, at home, or in your creative life? Yeah, me too. Actually, I'm currently sans mojo in several areas. I think it is because I am just bone weary and am in desperate need of a break. I won't be getting one any time soon so I have been looking for ways to recapture it. I thought I would share with you what I have been up to in order to find my elusive mojo.
  1. Daydream - Yep, you read that right. Sometimes, when I have lost the juice that gets me going, I daydream about what I would rather be doing and then finish up so I can go do what I've daydreamed about. It may sound silly but it works some days. If I'm at work and I'd rather be baking a lemon loaf, I tell myself that if I can get "x amount" done in "x amount" of time, I can go do what I would rather do.
  2. List It All - I love lists. They help me get things done. If I write a list, I get the joy and complete satisfaction of crossing said thing off of said list. Think I'm crazy? Try it. You will be surprised how excited you feel to look at your list that consists of things such as "make bed", "wash/fold/put away colors", and "cook supper" is completely scratched through.
  3. Plan for Some Day - I do this a lot. I plan for that vacation that I can't take just yet. I order materials online, watch videos, and price out different scenarios. Sometimes, it just feels good to know that your dream vacation can be created even if you can't take it just it. Plus, it gives you a good idea about how much money you'll need which may spur you on in the work front.
  4. Pull a Nike and Just Do It - Oh yeah, I have just grinded through things - chores, crafting, work - just to get it done and over with in hopes that the feeling of accomplishment will miraculously make me feel productive and regain my mojo. It rarely does but when it does, it generally spurs me on to bigger and better things.
So yeah, that is my little list of things that I do to find my mojo. I have tried a few of them this past week to get my sweet mojo back... they haven't worked but I did try. I plan on trying again on Monday because nothing says motivation like the definition of insanity per Albert Einstein.

What all do you do when you're mojo has gone on vacation?

25 September 2016

Swap Etiquette

It's my own fault. I assumed people would put as much pride, thought, and consideration into the box coming to me as I put into the box going to my partner. I should have known better and yet, I continue to hold out hope that one day, I too will receive an awesome tailor made box.

So, I thought that perhaps the best way to do this would be to share my latest experience. This is not meant as anything mean spirited, and those who actually know me will understand this. It is simply informational.

To be a good swapper, you can start by actually reading the questionnaire filled out by the person you have been paired up with. I will use my own answers to help illustrate this aspect so as to not highlight others without permission to use their responses.

1. What kind of yarns/fibers do you prefer? If the person answers that they like items that are soft and squishy, accompanied by examples such as Three Irish Girls, Malabrigo, and Knit Picks then you should take heed. Sending scratchy, course yarn is not what the person said they enjoyed.

2. What are you favorite colors and combinations at the moment? Should the person answer that they love all colors but are really enjoying blues and greys at the moment, try not to send items in a rough acrylic yarn the color palette of animal droppings deep in the forest or poorly circulated appendages.

3. What is your favorite treat to eat? When the person lists two specific flavors - either combined or separate - then get those two flavors. This is cut and dry, whether you know me or not - peppermint and chocolate. It's in my name for heaven's sake. Any combination or separate will work. Hard sour candy in bitter biting flavors is not the same thing... at all.

4. What is your favorite hot beverage? Should the person answer that they love peppermint hot chocolate or decaf black teas, then that is what you should strive to find. French Vanilla is the antithesis of what was stated and herbal teas with flavors of maple (seriously, not kidding) apple cider or spiced cinnamon are nowhere near the mark.

5. Do you have any allergies? This is the most important one. Those of us with asthma and allergies clearly state that we have them. We do not try to be coy because we do not want to be sick. Yes, yes there are allergies. Severe allergies coupled with asthma. It is clearly explained that heavy scents can not be tolerated, as they will make me sick.. and yet, the items arrived with a stench so strong I was physically ill. Essential Oils, moth balls, and cedar are so pungent that the two skeins of scratchy yarn and the bag sent are currently living in the laundry room to "air out". It is doubtful that unskeining and soaking will help at all as the odor is still lingering in my living room even more than 12 hours after the fact.

The box you are creating is not for you. It is for the person who took the time to fill out the questionnaire. You could hate everything that you are putting into the box but if you know that it fits the bill to the person who is receiving it, that is the only thing that matters.

If you only take one thing away from this post, let it be this - a swap is not for you, it is for the person you receive. It is a moment in time where you do something selfless for the pure and simple reason that it will make another person happy. If you run a swap, don't defend the obvious bad swapper. Make it right. Talk to the bad swapper and let them know how they failed so they can be a better swapper in the future. Don't simply dismiss it and tell the person who received the obviously bad box that you are sorry it wasn't want the person had hoped for... all a swap participant should hope for is a box that was carefully created to make the recipient feel loved.

If you can look at the questionnaire and check off a few things that match what was stated by the person who is going to receive the box, then you have done a good job. If you can't, then your heart was not in the right place. As for the box of items I received...

The books are being donated to the library to bring joy to those who enjoy those kinds of books. The yarn is being donated to the Salvation Army stores, as is the messenger bag simply because I can not get the odor out of them. Hopefully, someone else will be able to gain some joy from them as well. The candy was given to my husband to try. The cocoa and teas were thrown out because no one thought they sounded good. The mug is in the cupboard and the deck of torn up cards was discarded. The cowl is being worn by Hobbit though I am going to throw it in the wash momentarily, in hopes of getting the smell out.

This was a disappointing week - both on a professional and personal front - and I was honestly looking forward to receiving a little box with a few treasures to brighten my day. Unfortunately, I did not receive that at all... I have never felt more unimportant or nonexistent. It is a sad but apparently fitting end to the week.

Here's to a better week ahead...

03 September 2016

Interesting week

My goodness, this has been one interesting week. While we did not get a lot of challenges from Hurricane Hermine, our old house sure did! That area was evacuated and was flooded so badly. I am so thankful that we moved further inland. We had some seriously soaking rains, gnarly thunderstorms, and at times a severely blustery day but overall, we came out on the other side with very little to complain about... and I'm extremely happy about it.

This afternoon we are going to drive over to the Magic Kingdom and say our goodbyes to the Main Street Electrical Parade. I am going to miss this event but I am so happy that my kids got to make the same fabulous memories that I have with it. Hopefully, others will think it will be continued rainy and we can have a fairly empty park.

Since it is also the weekend, I'm going to finish this post with excessive photographs.. hehehe...

This is our newest family member. His name is Matthew Liam and Hobbit is raising him for FFA and to show at the fair.

We went to the breeder's last night. He is a Netherland Dwarf with a champion sire for a daddy. It was love at first snuggle.

I came home from knit group to find them on the sofa together. He likes to sit in an apron pocket of all things.

I am almost done with my icord hind off. My only complaint is that it rolls. I don't think blocking is going to help but I will try.
I am up to the five rows of blue section in my blanket. I'm still unsure about the variegated but others have liked it so it stayed.

And KP made us ice cream and coffee floats this morning during knit group. It was a most magical pairing of flavors!

27 August 2016


Isn't it funny how light changes the color of a project. Same project, shot at several different points in it's life so far, and the colors have changed dramatically. The brightest being the last, shot during knitting group at Barnes & Noble.

I think it's progressing nicely. The yarn is the new Caron Cakes that I bought. This particular colorway is Macaron. While it is made up of 80% acrylic and 20% wool, and has 383 yards of worsted weight to it's name, I don't think it should be priced as high as it is. I think $8 for a skein of acrylic yarn is a bit dear but that is just me. I guess because it has that little bit of wool, they believe it deserves a higher price point - and a  hand wash, dry flat note.

This is going to look super cute on Hobbit. I have yet to decide if it will be tucked away for Christmas if I will give it to her when I'm done. I'm leaning more to towards Christmas but we'll see what the weather does.

Now, I need to continue my search for a rabbit that Hobbit can raise for FFA and show at the fair. You would think it wouldn't be this difficult to find a rabbit but let me assure you, it has been practically impossible. I finally found two options - one at the Humane Society and the other with a breeder. We'll see which responds first and what the pricing turns out to be before we go visit... though I'm leaning to the Humane Society, as the shelter is not a no kill and I'd much rather rescue a creature than purchase.

Oh, my Taco Bake beeped. Time to get supper on the table. I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

19 August 2016

Something a little different

Okay, so not only did I do a podcast/vlog post, I did it all on my phone! If this works out, can you imagine the possibilities?!?

14 August 2016

The last weekend of summer

Some of us are happier than others about this fact but what can you do. I know she's nervous about starting Junior High - where has the time gone?!?! - but I know she will rock it. Currently, she is behind me, playing on her computer. I'm not asking much from her today, her last day of 'freedom', and so she's still in her pjs... at ten minutes til three in the afternoon.

Yesterday, we celebrated like nobody's business... we went to the Magic Kingdom! The PhotoPass is now a part of our annual pass membership so we took advantage of it, in all it's glory. Here are a few of the images they took for us...

It was a great day - even though the heat index rose to 113 in the shade! I did knit on Pokey's Christmas socks for a little while in the queues but honestly, it was just too hot to play with yarn. The whole day was wonderful and I hope that it got Hobbit energized for all her adventures this year in school.

Now, time to check to make sure her backpack is ready and all is well in Junior High world...

28 July 2016

Waiting for the first...

That's when my world will take a deep breath in... and let it out slowly, releasing a whole lot of tension... at least that is the plan/hope/desire. Given that it is "break month", I'm sure everything will according to what little plan I truly do have.

On the first of August, I will have officially stepped down from all of the staff roles I have in a silly little game that I love. I am so torn with the decision but I know it is the right one. I need to find a better balance in my life and that is one of the areas where I evaluated for joy and found it was not as high as it used to be... don't get me wrong, I still love the game very much but I think I need to step away from the responsibilities of it all and just play for a while.

People think being on staff for it is just willy nilly fun - and it can be - but the reality is that it is a LOT of work. Those who are truly dedicated to their positions can put in as many hours as a full time job - an awesome job but a job all the same - and I don't have the time to be as dedicated as I want to be so I thought it best to let someone else have a go.

I'm also going to be traveling, relatively speaking, next term. Things in the current house aren't as they used to be - which is neither good nor bad - but sometimes, in order to rekindle the joy for something, you have to let it go. So I'm going to let go of Slytherin House and see where the wind takes me. I have been focusing a lot of energies on Gryffindor but they have been eaten alive with the whole Pokémon GO! movement, and I just can't get in to that. I tried to get comfy in Ravenclaw but it's a work in progress. I have wandered back down into Hufflepuff but most of my friends have traveled on to other houses as well.

I think I may tell Sir Hat to put me where he sees fit - something that will reignite my crafting mojo and love of the game. A change of pace is in order so maybe he knows best... or I could just tell him to put me in Gryffindor and leave it at that. I'm a rising B7, which means I have been a diligent student in good standing since May 2012 - though I did play as a NQFY so the reality is I've been around since January of 2012.

I can go anywhere but the question remains... where do I want to go?

24 July 2016

I can see the light!

I can seriously see the light at the end of the moving tunnel. There are a few kinks that need to be worked out (like how I did not move anything to hold our movie collection!) but overall, it's coming together nicely.

Last week was a very exciting one for us... and since it's Sunday, why not start up one of my favorite themes - Sunday Snaps! Here we go...

It's summer so it rains every afternoon...

Literally, every afternoon... but some days we get gorgeous rainbows too!
I was able to buy Pokey his first ever brand new car... and he absolutely adores it. Look at that face.
To say thanks, he bought me a new SUV! I just love him - and my new wheels!
We found some really great local eateries. It's like a foodies paradise here. This place was amazing. Kafe Kokopelli, try it!

I got a new shirt and it couldn't be more true... lol.

Tinkerbell really wasn't much help but she is okay with that...

and today, I finished organizing and unpacking my office. The house is 95% done. Just need Hobbit to finish her room.
As soon as that happens, I'll go and do the follow up to the initial empty house video and share how I've filled it all out. Hopefully it won't be too much longer... but for now, I'm quite pleased with how things have been going.

I hope your week was wonderful. What have you been up to?

17 July 2016

Because he deserves it

He's done everything for us - I want to do this for him.
Today we are headed to the Toyota dealership and are praying hard. You see, my husband's AC went out in his car about two years ago. Normally, in normal states where summer is only 3-4 months long, it wouldn't be a big deal. Initially, he didn't think it was a big deal. We lived on the coast, the breezes were plentiful and his drive was 10 minutes to work. Now, we are further inland, there are no Gulf breezes to be found and his drive is 17 minutes... and really flipping hot. By the time he gets home in the evenings, he is dripping wet - and he was born here in Florida!

So, yesterday we went to the Nissan dealership because they had a promotion that sounded interesting. Now keep in mind, I am the negotiator in these things because I walk in and lay it all bare - this is what we're trading in, we aren't putting anything down, and I want the payments between here and here. He hates car shopping but he needs a new one so you will deal with me. He will drive it and decide if he likes it but otherwise, you will deal with me. What can you do for us? - and see what happens. I hate being jerked around and my husband thinks all sales people are out to stick it to you. This is the one place where my social anxiety doesn't seem to kick in because I have my husband with me and he always tells me little things like "you are so good at this" etc which gives me confidence... and my daddy taught me how to buy a car so I am not afraid to just get up and walk away.

He's the goofy center of our little universe.
Anyway, the Nissan dealership, after swearing they could do what we wanted and it was no problem at all, came back with numbers that were over $200 more than what I stated - so we got up and walked away. After 4.5 hours, Pokey was so over it and so on the ride home - because we took both cars - I called the Toyota dealership because they have a loyalty program. He bought his car there from the used lot and I got mine there too. His is a Chevy though and mine is a Toyota. So I called, to see what was up with it and let the girl know that my husband - in all of his 46 years - has never owned a new car and I really wanted to do this for him. I explained what we just went through and how frustrated he was at the moment. She told me to go and fill out a pre approved credit application online when we got home, text her that I had it done, and she would check with her manager to make sure it was doable. I did what I was told and she called me back, telling me she could do it without a challenge and the payments would be right inside my range (only slightly higher than my lowest number too!).

Well, I made an appointment today and I'm taking him down there at 11. It won't be odd for us to go to the Toyota dealership because I told him that my breaks were squeaking and I wanted them looked at. I told him that I called on the way home and we had an appointment on Sunday at 11. He doesn't know that I can get him a new Toyota and the reason my car is going too is because if he wants something besides a Camry, Corolla, or RAV4 then I'll trade in my car too because since my car is a Toyota, I can get anything from the lot.

His only requirement is AC... mine is that he finally gets a new car and one that he likes, not a compromise, because he deserves it.

10 July 2016

It's getting there...

My living room has an awesome fireplace. I absolutely love it.
Slowly but surely, it's getting there. We moved 8 days ago and my house still isn't fully unpacked. This irks me to no end because I know my mother would be done by now. She's a guru when it comes to moving. She boxes it all up, hauls it across the country, unboxes and even bakes something within three days. I wish I could be more like her.

I have a laundry list of reasons I could blame it on - my knee, my job, lack of funds to do certain things - but the reality is, I just run out of steam. I unpack a room and I like to bask in the glory of it's completeness. If I move my head just right, I won't see those other boxes in that other room that need to be unpacked.

My craft nook is just the coziest place in the planet, isn't it!
Right now, my living room is done. So is the craft nook and the kitchen. Those are 100% complete - sans new blinds but we're doing that across the whole house so I am not counting that. The dining room has a few stray items in it that shouldn't be there, as does our bedroom. The office... well... that is just a hot mess but I will get to it next weekend when I have time. The bathrooms are both done - complete with new carpets, towels, and shower curtain in the guest bath.

I am sure it will all get done at some point - but unfortunately, it won't happen with just my wishing it so. I really do wish it worked that way... or maybe a cute little nosey twitch followed by some "dinky dinky dink" music... or folding my arms across my chest one at a time and flipping my ponytail over my head followed by a "dooooing" noise... how about a bit of wingardium leviosa?

Oh well. It's getting there. Slowly but surely, it's getting there.

03 July 2016

New Beginnings!

So many new and exciting things are afoot at the PMM household - new house, new job description, new school. It's just been crazypants. If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook then you are pretty well caught up.

I do believe with this new role - the one thing that I couldn't post on any of those accounts - I will have more time to get back to writing. I have missed it terribly but the QA position just honestly sucked the life right out of me. By the time my day was done, I wanted to do nothing but sit in my chair and knit. I didn't want to talk or do much of anything. I'm actually looking forward to starting my new position when I go back to work on Wednesday. I am assuming I have training during those first few days but we'll see - I honestly haven't been told anything before I left on PTO on Thursday afternoon.

The move had gone pretty well, all things considered. They brought a truck that was too small to fit all our things! I can't tell you how thankful I was to have spent the week prior hauling boxes over here. I can't imagine what would have been left if we hadn't done it. All of the big heavy furniture was carried over yesterday so there is just odds and ends left at the old house. Pokey is over there now gathering it up and cleaning for the key return on Tuesday.

I honestly should be unpacking but Buddy and Tinkerbell are both underfoot so I took a few moments to just sit with them and help calm them down... so since I was sitting, I really wanted to dust things off in here. I've missed this space so much!!

While I was gone, I did finish a few things...

I free-flow designed a cowl that Hobbit promptly claimed for herself...
I designed this capelet, which was inspired by one Claire Fraser wears in Outlander during the Boar Hunting episode...
And I finished my second ever full pair of socks! Hobbit claimed these too... little stinker.
I've got to get to finishing that baby blanket I've been working on during the move. Pokey needs it for next Saturday afternoon to attend his boss' baby shower that his coworkers are throwing. He's already agreed to an IOU and a store bought something if I'm not done by this Friday... thank goodness.

Okay, time to get back to unpacking. I'll pop in soon with photos of the new place or maybe a video tour!

11 April 2016

Sloppy Pasta

Y'all know me, I've got find some way to make the modest pantry seem new and exciting. Welp, I just did it again with my latest casserole and I'm rushing in here to share it with you while it's in the oven!

1 lb of ground beef (though chicken or turkey would be good too)
2 cans of Tomato Soup + 1 can of water
1 box of medium shell noodles
1 package of Sloppy Joe seasoning
1 package of shredded Mexican blend cheese (2 cups)
Minced onions
Worcestershire sauce
Minced garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Brown meat with spices and Worcestershire sauce. Drain.
2. Add in the two cans of tomato soup, one can of water, and the sloppy joe seasoning packet. Let this simmer on a medium low heat. I put in a handful of cheese but you don't have to, it's a taste thing.
3. Cook your noodles to the package instructions. You want them a little under because we'll be putting this in the over for a bit to melt the cheese.
4. Combine the noodles with the sauce and meat mixture. Pour this deliciousness into a 9x13 pan and sprinkle the cheese on top.
5. Bake in a 350 oven for about 18-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden.

Look at this - it is absolutely wonderful and delicious. I wanted something new and different for the family to enjoy. This has a bit of spice so if you want to add a swirl of ranch dressing to the top when you serve it, I can tell you that it's out of this world fabulous.

I hope you enjoy it. I'm going to go dig in now!

11 March 2016

Logic doesn't matter

Here it is... that fire radiating from my chest out to my limbs. The tingling in my extremities. My mind going a million miles a minute. I know what to do and so I start my checklist.

1. I counted five things around me - my knitting, Tinkerbell, my phone, my work supplies, and my computer.
2. I acknowledged and touched four things around me - my hair, my chair, my glasses, my coffee.
3. I paid attention to three things I could hear - Tinkerbell eating, Hobbit eating, the washing machine.
4. I focused on two things I could smell - the detergent that spilled on my hands and the cat box (eww, must change that).
5. I acknowledged one thing I could taste - my coffee.
6. I know I am safe. I know I am healthy. I know this is irrational and illogical. I also know that logic doesn't matter... not when you're having a panic attack.

Deep breathe. Don't cry. Don't lash out at others because they can't see what is going on inside of you. Hug Hobbit and kiss her goodnight. Catch Pokey's eye and let him know - he understands and runs interference. Try the countdown again now that Hobbit is in bed... nope, not working tonight. Take a Benadryl and go to bed, things will be better in the morning.

That was my night last night and this morning is 90% better. I can still feel the slight burning of anxiety in my chest but it is not taking over my head - or at least I am doing better at not letting it. Panic attacks and anxiety are a new thing for me, meaning they've only begun in the past five years.

I remember my first one. I was sitting in the car loop at Hobbit's school. She was in first grade and I was overcome with this horrible feeling that something catastrophic was going to happen. I was literally going to die in my parked car and there was no logical reason for any of it. I had no idea why I felt that way and I had no idea on how to make it stop. I sat there and just cried. I'm working hard to not cry remembering it since I'm still fighting the residuals of an attack. Deep breathe - hear the spring birds outside - focus on the washing machine whirring - the dog is drinking his water - focus on your breathing in and out - deep breath. Stream of consciousness typing... got to get back to what I was telling you.

After that day, I lived in fear that it would happen again. That I was losing my mind. I told my husband about it a few days later and he smiled at me. Not condescending but more understanding. He used to suffer from anxiety - large crowds would trigger it for him - and he told me that I was perfectly normal. I made an appointment with my doctor and I explained what happened. She advised me that it was indeed a anxiety episode - or panic attack - and that it was normal, especially in woman my age. It was a symptom of premenopause... and it can last 15 to 20 years.

That was a rollercoaster moment - Yay, I'm normal... Holy wow, 20 years!! She laughed at me and said it would be fine. Now that I know what they are and how they feel, I can do a few exercises when they happen and it will lessen the effects. The one that works for me is the one I shared and when that doesn't work, I was advised to take a Benadryl. Most people only become relaxed with a Benadryl - I fall asleep within 30 minutes and I sleep for hours on end. It works most days. I'll take it night after Hobbit goes to sleep and I'm in bed well before 10, sleep all night long. It's rare that I need a Benadryl. Honestly, I hadn't had an episode in quite a few months so this one has taken me off guard. The fact that it's still here this morning is not surprising, as it usually takes me a good two or three days before it's fully gone. I also know that it's a hormonal thing and mine are apparently currently out of whack... joy.

One more inch to go - then, split for the cabled front section
Today, I am going to focus on my knitting of Pokey's sweater... at least at noon I will focus on it. I have things that need to be done prior to that and I must get them done first. Knitting and crocheting helps a great deal too - especially something that I have to focus on but isn't too terribly complicated. Charted lace wouldn't work but simple cables or just knitting in the round is great. I can get in rhythm and focus on that - count every stitch I make or focus on the feel of the yarn.

I don't know why I felt compelled to write and share that tidbit with the world. I know I always that this is my online journal of my life and that I simply welcome others to read it but I write for me. Perhaps I thought that someone else could benefit from reading it today. Perhaps I thought writing it down might help me today. Who knows what I thought but the fact remains that I did and I have. I still feel anxious and it's the same level as when I started but hey... I'm safe, I'm healthy, and I know it's not logical but I also know that logic doesn't matter.

07 March 2016

All I Did Was Blink

I can't believe that my baby is going to be 23 years old this month. How did that happen? Wasn't she just born last week? I swear, all I did was blink and she went from cuddly baby to beautiful adult. This will be the first birthday where she has actually made plans that didn't involve the family... and I'm a little bummed over it. I mean, I raised her to be independent but my goodness, why does it sting so badly when she exercises it. I swear...

Peanut's birthday falls in the middle of her last official Spring Break, as she graduates in just under eight weeks. That's a whole other post of 'where has the time gone', only one gut-wrenching realization at a time. So since it is their last Spring Break of their college careers, a group of them are going to go to Walt Disney World and have a grand time. She paid for her adventure with the monies she made working at the library during the term. When we asked her if she had enough funds, the response we got was - and I quote - "I've got $30 and I'm packing my food". See, independence kicking in - she wants to do it and she figured out a way to get it done.

Naturally, we could not let that happen so we decided to celebrate her birthday this past weekend. Over last week, I busted out my beautiful sewing machine and went to work.

Peanut's favorite attraction is the Haunted Mansion... can you see where I'm going here?
Her favorite color is purple... and the wallpaper inside is purple with black eyes so it's an homage to both really.
This is actually the back of the bag but it's just as pretty. You can kind of see where love lies just from the back...
But you can really get the idea from the front! I did my best to make it look like one of the cast member's costumes.
Inside, we put 3 $50 Disney gift cards and a $100 MasterCard gift card for her to use during her trip, however she wants.
The wristlet is big enough to hold her cellphone, wallet, small camera that we got her for Christmas last year, keys, and a few more odds and ends. She seemed pleased with it so I hope she will take it with her on her break.

I was really pleased with myself on how it came out. The black stripes were cut from the material and then sewn on top of the outside portion. The pattern that I used did not have a lining so I had to do that on my own with just my wits and previous experience. The wrist loop was not part of the pattern either, I just winged it.

Overall, I think it came out lovely. It is a great representation of my baby and all of her 23 years on this earth. One more major milestone and then she's off to face the life of adulthood. I'm serious though... all I did was blink.

23 February 2016

Pass the blessings

Are you blessed with a friend that, no matter how much time passes, you can pick up the phone and just talk like no time has passed at all? If you are, then you know the kind of blessing I'm talking about here. I have a friend like that - she's a sister to me and an aunt to my children. There may not be any blood between us but that doesn't negate the fact that she's family to me.

There have been times in both our lives when we've dropped everything for one another - no matter the miles between us - and been at each other's side because we knew that we just had to be there for whatever the other may need. Happy and heartbreaking events have fueled these road trips. I truly believe that I would be a completely different sort of woman today if God had not seen fit to bless me with her friendship.

Today, I learned that her half sister is battling cancer. She wanted to know if she shipped me yarn if I would make her a few hats. I don't need her to ship me any yarn - I need to know colors, styles, likes, dislikes, sense of humor, and weights. I can handle the yarn and I will definitely make her a clutch of hats simply so that this beautiful soul feels beautiful again.

So if you know of anyone - and sadly, we all do in some fashion - going through such trials, I thought I would share the collection of patterns with you... and if you feel moved to donate to my collection to her, that would definitely pass the blessings on. Just shoot me a PM on Ravelry (PprmntMochaMama)  and I'll give you my address to send them to so we can make her smile again.

All images to follow belong to their original posters and they retain all rights.

Cannon Hat by Annina Päivärinta
Martine Hat by Lisa R. Myers
Spa Turban by Yarnstarved Creations
Captain Hat by Rosi Garmendia
Striped Chemotherapy Cap by Essie Woods Bruell
Hallowig by Megan Reardon
Wurm by Katharina Nopp
LuAnn Chemo Hat by Beverly Forester
These are just a few that I've found and added to my library on Ravelry. If you have a favorite pattern that you know is beloved by others, please share. I'd love to add it to my list of hats to make for her.

I hope that you hug your loved ones tight and if they are too far to physically reach, please call them and let them know they are loved. Younger kids will hug you back, older ones will roll their eyes, parents will have hearts bursting with joy, and anyone in between will smile and feel the warmth of your love - and that should be something we strive to do for others every day. Always let those you love know they are in your heart because some days, just knowing that one person loves you is all you need to find the strength to keep going.

Secretly, I hope to have a box full of hats - for her and any of the other people in the room where she has her treatments who needs a bit of love - but if I can only fill a small padded envelope with a handful, that is still a handful of blessings be passed on to someone who needs a little extra strength to fight her battle.

22 February 2016

Brand new day

Today, Hobbit started her new school. We are all very excited about this and hope that today is fabulous for her. Getting her out of that one school is the best thing we could have done. There are only 3 more months of school but there was no way we could have left her in that environment - the amount of damage that that particular group of educators was inflicting on her required immediate attention.

This past weekend, we decided that Hobbit needed a fun day. After all the mess of the past few weeks, she just needed a place to recapture her joy and get ready for the adventure ahead. So we took her to Epcot. It was a wonderful day spent wandering around the park and enjoying one another. It's rare that we have such a luxury of family time on the weekend so it felt great reconnecting.

We loved it so much, we even scheduled another adventure for this coming weekend - we're going to the Spirit of Aloha Luau for supper! It's something we've always wanted to do and figured that it would be a nice bookend to her first week at her new school.

While we were wandering around the park, I managed to get a large portion of her hat completed. I started with this...

I hadn't gotten much further than the ribbing when we went to the park - maybe an inch or so more than this photo shows.
I pulled my knitting out for our stroll around the countries because I could pretty much just keep it out at all times... even while waiting for supper...

I have to say, it was one of the tastiest Chinese dining experiences I have ever encountered. I had Shrimp and Steak - so good!
And by the time we got home that evening, I had managed to almost complete the body of the hat! I love the fact that I don't have to look at what I'm doing while I wander around the park. It's become such a relaxing thing for me to walk and knit that my hands just know what to do. Look at my progress...

I ended our day with a total of 6" of completed work! I only needed 8.25" before I had to bind off - very productive day.
It was easy for me to finish it last night so that Hobbit could have it today. We weren't sure of the hat policy associated with the new school so I didn't give it to her yet but it will be sitting in the car when she gets out this afternoon.

It looks like a plain old square...

But when she puts it on, it will do this...

Please, for the love of Mickey, ignore my medicine flushed and puffy face. One day, I will be healthy again, I swear.

I think that qualifies under the whole "Mama, will you make a hat with ears" label, don't you? My next adventure in travel hat knitting is going to be Nell by Lisa Gutierrez. Just enough lace to keep it interesting. Not sure I will be able to work on it around the parks but who knows. It looks to be a simple enough repeat. If not, I can always cast on something else. You never know, I just might try socks in the parks! I doubt it but never say never, right.

I hope everyone had a beautiful weekend and is enjoying a magnificent Monday.
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