journey

"Happiness is the journey, not the destination."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Just a little update

So, the Never-Ending Afghan is really, truly almost finished -- I just have to finish the final row of edging & I have about a side and a half of that left (which, considering this is queen-sized, is not exactly an inconsequential amount) but I get a fair amount of that done during hockey games if it's not too hot in the house. That's a LOT of blanket to be under & it gets uncomfortable if it's in the 80s (or even high 70s) while I'm trying to work on it.

The next afghan I'm going to do is underway -- it's going a bit slower because it's more small pieces and in all kinds of different colors, rather than two, and also I'm using an actual pattern for this one, which is not for as big an afghan as I intend to end up with, so... I may take some liberties with the pattern & do a few things slightly differently & just use the pattern for the squares. We shall see, as it gets further along.

In between all that, I've been making infinity scarves -- I made a really pretty green-and-white one, where I basically created the pattern myself, for a friend in Utah, and all my kids have requested one "just like it, only with different colors." And it really only takes a few hours, so I'm doing those sort of in-between. & additionally, a friend just moved to Denver, so he's getting a really nice charcoal infinity scarf that I found the pattern for off the internet somewhere. It looks really nice; it was simple to make & I think it will work well. I may, in fact, make up more of both kinds of scarves to send to people for Christmas presents. (If you're still reading this and you want one, I'll post more pictures on Flickr & you can tell me what colors you like & I can see if I can find them in super-soft yarn. I also intend to eventually finish that hairpin lace that kind of got set aside, and make it into an infinity scarf. But since it involves deliberately setting aside time and clearing off the table, it's harder for me to make it happen -- my other stuff I can just pick up whenever I sit down; I don't have to have that flat surface to work on.

Beyond that, I've been working on trying to keep my house clean and rearranging the chore thing so that my kids have a few more responsibilities, and a few different responsibilities. We're all cycling through the main rooms of the house, keeping them clean-and-neat-ish, some of us with more success than others (sadly, I'm one of the less successful; on chore days I'm too busy supervising everyone else, and during the week I'm typically caught up in more in-depth cleaning, running errands, doing one-off types of chores, crocheting, and occasionally volunteering at the boys' school).

Also, yes, I've finally been called to come in & volunteer at the school -- they had a bumper-crop of willing volunteers this year, so it took a while to work out what to do with people. I was asked to come in, and I ended up in the library shelving books for an hour or so. I ran across a few treasure troves of childhood favorites -- Lois Lowry, Judy Blume, E. L. Konigsberg -- with some books that I loved but for whatever reason don't own myself and also some books by those authors I've never heard of. I was invited to just sit down & read once I'd cleared the cart of returned material, but I had other obligations so I wasn't able to, but I have an open invitation to come back & just read sometime if I want to. And I *do* want to; but I also want to volunteer in more parts of the school than just the library, so maybe that will be my reward -- work for an hour or so, then treat myself to a book in the library on a comfy chair.

SO, yeah.

Also, the DH went hunting this morning & he tells me he got two wild pigs. I'm not so thrilled about certain parts of this (you can probably figure out which ones), but can't deny that I'm pretty happy about having all that pork! He wants to try his hand at sausage at some point; we have a meat grinder, seasoning, and casings, but who knows when he'll actually find the time!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

If it ain't one thing, it's another...

so, my weekend:

Sat: Drive DH to Savannah to get his stuff out of his semi. Drive to Richmond Hill to Urgent Care Clinic. Drive to Savannah to ER. Leave DH in ER & drive home to put kids in bed. Drive BACK to Savannah to take DH some things he'd need overnight after admitted into hospital (like his CPAP). 

Sun: Get home from hospital at 2 a.m. Crash HARD. Wake up, feed kids, get kids through a few basic necessary chores, feed them again, take them & food to neighbor's for the day so I can drive *back* up to Savannah to visit DH in the hospital where he's had a bad reaction to a new antibiotic they put him on. He sleeps the whole time I'm there; finally I head back home, stopping at the grocery store on the way. Home in time to get kids to bed.

Mon: take kids to visit DH in hospital; when he gets overwhelmed by them, I take them to the mall where they fuss & whine that I won't get them All The Things, they complain they're starving then eat 2 bites of dinner & say they're full. Home. Bed, dammit. Through all these days there's a weird knocking under the car.



Tues: take kids to optometrist b/c DinoBoy has been having trouble seeing the board in school. Insurance does not cover. Yay. Take kids home; make them eat lunch. Get ready to go to Sav to pick up DH who's getting discharged today. Going to leave kids home alone b/c should only be a couple of hours... Ha! 1st hear bloody murder being screamed from house before I even start the car. Go in; it's Girl-child being bitchy. Make everyone get in car. Drive to Savannah for 5th time in 4 days. Wait for 4+ hrs for DH to (finally) get discharged.  Start for home; realize kids have school tomorrow so we should eat on the way. Pick a restaurant 4 blocks from hospital. Takes us 20 min to drive the <2 miles. Eat (it was YUM. Five Guys). Get caught in *different* traffic on other end of town after a relatively smooth drive *through* town. Tire blows. DH & the boys change the tire (Girl-child would have helped but didn't want to get dirty). Drop DH at Wal-mart to put in his Rx's; take kids home; rush boys through showers & brushing teeth & into bed. Drive back to Wal-mart to take DH his wallet & pick up a new window fan b/c the one in our room isn't working.

DH is finally home. He's still on the antibiotic that gave him a bad reaction, but he's OK as long as he takes Benadryl about half an hour before the antibiotic. He's also on Oxycodone for pain, which means he can't drive which means he's going to miss a week's work (wonderful...) on top of which we now have to replace a tire and there's still that weird banging noise...

If it's not one thing, it's another...

But there was this cute little froggie on the door at one point, so that's a happy...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I'm aliiiiive!

Seriously, I suck at this blogging thing. I'm trying to get better at it, though!

I've picked crocheting back up sometime in the past year. It started as a desperation thing -- we were seriously broke & I needed Christmas presents for people and yarn is basically cheap and plentiful if you're not all picky about fibers & can just go with whatever Wal-Mart has. So I ended up making half a dozen or so scarves for family members and then I used the scraps and made a crazy granny-square afghan for DinoBoy (& I found 3 skeins of this really soft variegated yarn in beachy colors that I used to make a single giant granny square afghan for VelcroBoy, in the hopes that it will eventually replace his disintegrating blankie he's had for the last 7-ish years). & then two friends requested their own blankets. I'm working on them, slowly. One is Very Nearly Finished. She wanted navy & white & I found this pattern for a square that has a star in the center, and the finished afghan is going to be 14 x 14 squares (that's 196 squares, total; I did the math) & I've been joining the squares into rows as I go, then I'll join the rows together & do a border to finish. Currently I have 9 joined rows and 2 rows that need to be joined and I'm starting in on making the center stars for row #11.

I am getting super overwhelmed, though. It's just such a big project and I started back in, like, February or March. Sometimes I want to just bundle it all up and throw it in the river for the gators!

So what I've decided to do is make smaller projects -- like scarves & hats & tiny amigurumi stuffed critters -- for the occasional small break & probably Christmas presents. Plus they'll let me try out new techniques and stitches that I'm not as familiar with, and perfect my gauge & tension & whatnot. First up is an infinity scarf in a sort-of-almost Dallas Stars green.

If you want something small, let me know -- what colors do you like? Do you like traditional scarves? A bulkier cowl? a delicate infinity scarf? Something sort of in between or hooded? a hat? a duckling?

Chances are good that if you toss out a couple of ideas you may well end up with something around Christmas. Or before. Or after, depending.

Also, I have a hairpin lace loom and a couple of tatting shuttles that I'm looking forward to learning to work with. One of these days I'm going to take pictures & when I do I'll post them!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

True Confessions of a SAHM on the verge of a job interview...

OK, I think it's been established at some point that I've been kind of looking (admittedly perhaps a bit less whole-heartedly than I should) for a job. Just, you know. Life happens, and right now we really need the financial boost. To help with this, my parents took my kids for the summer. My MIL died a couple of weeks ago so DH had to take an entire week with no work -- and thus no pay -- so we could go up there for that, and now he's off to NC for two weeks for Reserve training (again, no pay from his regular job, and no telling if when we get his Reserve pay it will make up for the two weeks of nothing).

I've been stressing over a resume, because really the idea of working at Wal-Mart or a grocery store or some other large-chain retail/fast food job is Too Depressing For Words and I'd be competing with a ton of kids looking for summer jobs in between school years, and... yeah. So. Resume that hopefully makes me look like a competent hire-able adult despite a looooong stretch (nearly a  dozen years!) of No Actual Paycheck.

But it seems to have paid off; I got a call from a Real Estate Agency wanting someone to do clerical/support type stuff. They had me do a personality test on the internet, decided from that to call me in for some skills tests. I'm fairly confident on the math part (although I do not enjoy math) but I'm worried that my typing skills will not cut it. I know they're a little rusty these days. I'm confident that, once I'm using them again regularly, they'll shine right back up, but... well, getting the chance to shine 'em is going to be the hard part. On the plus side, I'm not planning on leaving any time soon (although if they'll send me back to school to learn office-manager-y stuff, I would love that) so that might be a plus. (And, yeah, I'm trying to type this as quickly & mistake-free as I can.)

Anyway, I've been ruminating a bit on things like whether or not, beyond the financial necessity, I actually *want* a job -- more specifically, if I actually want *this* job -- and I think... I think, yeah, I do.

It sounds like it's going to be a challenge, stretch mental muscles I haven't had to use in a long time, and I'll be frank. With few exceptions relating to mostly craft projects (UGH Gifted Program), I haven't had to challenge myself much over the last few years. I mean, not that way. My patience, yes. My voice, MY GOD YES. But my brain? There are the random philosophical questions from DinoBoy and VelcroBoy, but they don't so much challenge me to *think* as they challenge me to try to figure out how to explain these complex ideas to them in fairly simplistic terms, while not completely ruling out for them the idea that there *is* complexity to them that they can continue to discover. If that makes sense.

And keeping house is not challenging. It gets physically challenging when I decided to take on heavy, moving-furniture-and-all-the-things, down-on-my-knees-scrubbing type cleaning, but it's even then still very rote. Plus it's hampered by the fact that I don't CARE, I don't need my house to look like a magazine spread. I need it to look like anyone can walk in, grab a book & a blanket, and settle down on the sofa, and they'll have a cat on their lap and a dog at their feet before the blanket is on and the book is open (they probably won't; my cats are weird about laps). I want my house to look like half a dozen kids can come tromping through with a metric ton of sports equipment, half of which I don't know the name for, and I won't freak out about "Oh My GOD WHAT are you doing to my FLOOR!?" Also, I want my kids to be able to function as adults and know how to clean up various different kinds of messes and as far as I can see, the best way to let them learn that is to let them do it themselves. Which means I have to take a back seat on some stuff and let them take on more and more chores.

It's been disconcerting being just me at home here lately (even when hubby's home, it's for very short periods of time & I haven't actually cooked much because I'm not sure how to cook for anything less than half an army), but having to do All The Things all by myself has just kind of reinforced how much I don't enjoy these things that seem to be part and parcel of the SAHP life.

If -- no, WHEN -- I get this job, I may use some of my earnings to hire someone to come clean for me.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gah... I feel like I'm always apologizing to my blog...

It's just...been so random lately. Without internet at home, I don't always think to actually write up blog posts (although they percolate through my brain nearly constantly. Of course, if I leave them there, they disappear completely when the next Idea traipses through...). And of course there's been a million and one other things happening to put this on hold, as it were -- we're nearly at the end of the school year and I'm looking for a part time job to help defray expenses because we had to start getting health insurance through DH's work because he's having some health issues, and he's probably going to have to get out of the reserves. And how me working is going to work with the kids being home, I do NOT know; I'm a bit stressed about that, TBH, but don't really see any alternative. DH's mom is having some pretty massive health issues; there's question as to whether or not she's going to be with us much longer, and that, of course, has plunged part of the family into dramadramadrama in addition to their usual... let's be honest, compared to my family, who are weird and random and dramatic, DH's family is full of so many Drama Llamas, I'm just exhausted by it all.

On the Up Side, I'm learning how to use Jutoh to turn a Word document into various other types of downloadable ebooks for self-publishing. I've got the basics down; now I'm just playing with specific special things. Maybe I can leverage that into something that brings some actual money in (at least enough to get internet back?) so I'm kind of excited about that. And I want to go back to school in the fall. Not sure it's actually going to happen, honestly; I've put off getting information for some of it for so long, and it just might not work timing-wise, if I'm trying to work while the kids are in school come fall. But you never know. I can try, still.

However, our beloved Pittsburgh Penguins are doing this thing where they were playing *awesome* and had a 3-1 lead over the Rangers in their current playoff series and then they... I don't know. Anyway, they lost 2 games in a row. It's hard to tell exactly how they fell apart when you're doing all your "watching" via Twitter updates. Anyway, they have a game tomorrow. If they manage to somehow pull themselves up by the bootstraps and win, they go on to the semifinals where they'll be playing either the Boston Bruins or the Montreal Canadiens; otherwise, the NYRangers go on... So, keeping my fingers crossed.

And now... to fill out some applications online and see if I can write a resume that's good enough, with virtually no real-life work experience, and all of that happening 10+ years ago, to get me a job that's neither Wal-Mart or fast food. I've done that before and nearly anything is preferable...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Here we go again...

Sometimes I just get so caught up in the rollercoaster that is frequently my life that I forget to take a few minutes to myself to just stop and breathe.

Of course, sometimes, I have the actual *time* to stop and breathe, but I'm afraid if I do I won't be able to restart, or I'll drop one of the carefully juggled balls, or I'll just...give up. Which is kind of the same as not restarting, or at least very similar.

I'm caught between loving my life and hating it a little, and I feel torn and guilty. I am trying really very hard to not hold myself to standards that are not actually my own.

I don't know; maybe I'm overthinking. Probably. The problem with my particular rollercoaster is that it doesn't exactly require a lot of brainpower. The stuff I love, the stuff I hate -- it's all stuff that keeps my body occupied but doesn't exactly engage the mind all that much.

I've thought about trying to take random classes, just, you know, stuff I'm interested in but aren't necessarily part of some big Plan for My Life, but...that kind of thing just isn't available here in town, and between kids and travel time and gas prices, I can't go elsewhere looking for it. Maybe I need to set some local goals, like retraining myself to read a little more critically, or less for enjoyment (some stuff, at least). And, I don't know... maybe some other stuff? volunteer work? I have so many things running through my brain sometimes, and none of them ever quite seem to click with me.

I'm feeling a bit like Charlie Brown right about now: "'Nothing lasts forever, All good things must end.' I've memorized that phrase by heart. So, tell me, I need to know it... When do the good things start?" (Only, yeah, I've had some good things. But this particular moment in time is kinda short on them.)

DH & I are still talking about moving to Pittsburgh within the next couple of years. I am so beyond ready for that.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sieve-for-Brains

I actually had something I wanted to say on here.

I can't remember it now...




Anyway, mostly I've been doing my thing (looking at pictures & gifs & videos of primarily hockey players) on tumblr.

I'm not making much progress in doing things that need doing; I need to start setting timers even more than alarms, I think. & maybe when we have medical insurance again, I should see about figuring out what the hell it is that keeps me so tired & unmotivated all the time. It's kinda getting old; I'm done with feeling mentally foggy all the time.

I'm trying to get back into the habit of yoga every day. I may have to start letting the kids practice with me; otherwise I won't have time till midnight every night (starting Friday they have a WHOLE WEEK off school, then they only have about 3-4 more weeks before the super-long winter break (which is at least a month long).

I dunno, it feels like I had something of substance to say, but I can't think what it is, still.

Laundry and reading...