Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving's over, bring on Christmas!

I've been missing a few weeks.  It's been busy!!!  My son is still having anxiety issues with school, there was the planning/packing/going/staying/coming home of the Thanksgiving holiday at the beach, Christmas decorating here and at my in-laws (my mother-in-law is being treated for cancer for the third time in three years and had decided decorating was too much trouble), and, of course, knitting.

My sister and I are blessed with an absolutely wonderful relationship.  Her kids are mine and mine are hers.  We truly enjoy being together.  She works and I've kept her kids (still put one on the bus in the morning and fill in at the elementary school events neither of her parents can make).  Our families vacation together in the summer at the beach in Nags Head, NC and again over the Thanksgiving holiday, mostly to escape our parents and their issues.  The kids are like siblings, so there've been tussles here and there, but mostly, it's just heaven.

This year was no exception.  I visited my favorite knitting store, Knitting Addiction, ate wonderful food, and relaxed.  I finished several big projects and started new ones.  It was also nice to return home to our greeting committee of four - my son's cat really couldn't care less if all of us fell off the earth.

We have two Christmas trees and they were up before we left.  Saturday night, I decorated the family room, but still have the living room, the window candles, and the outside to do.  We spent 3 1/2 hours at my in-laws house doing their decorations and next weekend we'll help my father with his.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Update...

I can't believe it's Friday already.  I guess the kids being out of school Monday and Tuesday made the week go by faster.  So, here's what happened this week in knitting:

Finished Object:
Heidi's Christmas Hat - to match her fingerless mitts
On the Needles:
Dad's Christmas Vest

KAL for the Knitabulls podcast

Stash Enhancement:

Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in Peanut Butter and Jelly

That's it for this week.  My Christmas knitting will be finished with Dad's vest and then I can get back to my Vitamin D sweater for the Loopy Ewe 4th Quarter Challenge.  I'm in two swaps this winter, The Loopy Swap 9 and the Mommy Needs Yarn Podcast swap.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Dogs...

I've had questions about the dogs.  Like, "There are dogs in your title, but I don't see them.  Where are they?"  So, I decided to introduce the pack.

This is Penny.  She was adopted at 9 months from a rescue and we were her third family.  She's very high strung, to the point of having to be on a chain in a fenced in yard.  She will dig her way out just to run and run.  I do feel sorry for her being cooped up in the yard, but we have leash laws and, more importantly, cars in the area.  She's so very sweet, but when the other dogs or the cats upset her, she will speak her mind.  She is now 2 1/2 and not mellowing like most beagles do...

This is Shiloh.  He is 4 1/2 and a total sweetheart.  He loves to dig moles out of the ground and actually finds and kills some.  Mostly, we have a backyard full of tunnels!  He's definitely a mama's boy and would eat himself to death if allowed.  We have to watch him or he'll eat his food, the cat's food and the people food if we don't!

This is Clover.  He's 9 1/2 and is a miniature wire-haired dachshund.  He's had a few health problems and so is very attached to me.  He had surgery to correct an umbilical hernia as a little fellow.  He's been stung in the lip by a yellow jacket, actually had tonsillitis, and this summer was diagnosed with a hernia in his diaphragm.  The hernia enlarged and allowed his liver and gall bladder to move into his chest cavity, smushing his heart (not a medical term!)  So, instead of new family room furniture, we spent a small fortune to have this surgically repaired.  He's great now, in fact tried to climb the outside steps the first day home...

So, that's the herd.  Oddly enough, the little old man is the alpha and generally tells the others what to do!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Update!

TGIF - and boy, do I mean it.  It may be chilly and raining this morning, but it's Friday.  My family (husband, kids, sister, her husband and kids and my parents - who don't speak, at least to each other) are going out for my birthday dinner tonight.  We'll catch up with the in-laws this weekend.  My mother-in-law is dealing with her third round of chemotherapy in as many years and can't go out right now :(

On to the knitting update:
Finished Objects:
Heidi's Fingerless Mitts
One of my niece's Christmas fingerless mitts
My sister's Christmas hat
Jennifer's Hat
On the needles:
The other fingerless mitt is almost finished...
Vitamin D received zero attention this week:
My Vitamin D
Malabrigo Silky Merino
4 skeins Purple Mystery
Beautiful bag from Knitting's my Bag

Bounce in Golden Brown
by Fibernymph 
Sunshine in Faded Royalty Lt.
by Fibernymph

Another beautiful bag from Knitting's my Bag

That's it for the week.  I have big plans to finish Heidi's fingerless mitts, a matching hat for her and begin my father's Christmas vest.  I will also be working the polls during our local elections on Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Life's little trials...

Sometimes life doesn't go as well as we'd like.  Nothing tragic, just not what we want.  I'm going through a trying time and I'm not liking it at all!

I was an anxious child, it's throughout my family on my mother's side.  I dreaded the transition from elementary school to middle school as if I was being sent to battle.  I had stomach issues for most of the first two months of 6th grade.  Over the years, I've dealt with anxiety off and on until I am now, through medication and changing my mindset, at a good place.

Now, it seems, my youngest son has inherited the anxiety gene.  He's almost 14, in the 8th grade, his last year of middle school.  His issues were there last year, but bearable.  This year, they have gone from bad to truly awful.  Tears, insomnia, true panic attacks.  It's so awful to watch someone you love struggle so.

Part of his problem is a result of his middle school being closed due to a decision by our local school board.  Although I, along with a large group from our community, opposed the decision, it was made and he had to attend a different school for 7th and 8th grades.  It didn't help that many of the kids at the new school weren't too happy to have the "new" kids there.  He's had some minor bullying, nothing violent, but just making him uncomfortable and unhappy.  This year, it continued with some physical poking and verbal abuse.  Although the perpetrator has been talked to and moved away from Michael, he seems unable to rebound.  He hates the school.  He's that type of kid - I shouldn't have to be here, so I won't be happy here.  Same as his mom.  It took me quite awhile to incorporate the whole "if I can't change it, I have to deal with it" attitude to my life.

Anyway, we are seeking help from a psychologist and the guidance counselor has been wonderful to him.  It just makes for stress and unhappiness all over.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stash Enhancement with a Purpose

Yesterday, the mail carrier brought a box of goodies.  Ten skeins of Cascade 220 Heathers in a beautiful dark red color.  I want to make the Rocky Coast Cardigan, but didn't have the needed yarn in my stash.  So, after perusing many people's stash for sale, I found these beauties:

and I think it will be beautiful.  I love red, especially deep red.  I can't wait to get started, but I won't even cake this until I'm finished with Christmas knitting, my Loopy 4 Quarter Challenge, and a baby gift I need to have ready in early January.