Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Good Friends

There is a saying that Good friends are better than gold, and who says you can have just one?  or is that potato chips?  In my life growing up, I had one very good friend, I saved her life when we were small kids.  I was at the public pool and I of course couldn't swim, I had to stand on the shallow side of the ropes, if I went on the other side it was on tippy toes and very risky if the pool was busy.  So I was standing neck deep in water and I could see this girl struggling to keep her face above water, but she was on the other side of the ropes.  Her braids floated past me, she had very long hair and I grabbed them and reeled her in.  We became best friends forever, even before the term BFF.  Turns out she just moved in down the block from my house, and that sealed the deal.  There was nothing that kept us apart and nothing we didn't share.She saved my life many years later, after my first divorce I was a shell of a person, I had no self esteem, no identity and she swooped into my life and rescued me, I too owe her my life.  I got married, she got married, she moved a little further and we kind of went separate ways as lives do, but there is one thing I know for sure, if I called her today and said "I need you"  she would be there and I for her.   Well we still keep in contact at Holidays and so on and I thought I would never find a friend so dear as her, but I was wrong.  I have found more, I have friends that I can call on, depend on, ask for help or just to listen.  It has taken me a really long time to let someone in that close.  It may have been because I worked with men all the time that I wasn't exposed to very many women.  I have good men friends but not that I could call on and meet for lunch, they are all married and there are certain boundaries of respect, and I respect that.  Sometimes I just don't know how I got so lucky to have so many good friends.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Another year is passing

I don't know if it is part of being grown up but it's like the WE energies bill, it seems like I just paid it and it's in the mail again.  I never dreaded tax season till now and having a business, because like all other business's we have to pay taxes and personal taxes and all of this collecting of information starts January 1st.  Doesn't it seem like we just celebrated New Years?  Remember Y2K, when bunches of people bought generators in "case"?  In case of what, some people bought plywood to board of up their windows, my thinking was if I got hungry I would find the boarded up houses or some Mormon, they have to have food!!!  Well anyway with the New Year breathing down our necks, I am thinking what I would like to achieve in the New Year.  I don't make resolutions, I never follow through and I know it so why bother.  I do like to think and I use that term loosely, think about what I would like to achieve in 2011.  I am excited about Sheep in the City getaway and I am teaching at UWM in Spring.  I am not planning on going to Yarn School this Spring, just can't afford it, but I may go to Washington Island for some spinning sanity.  Anything further out than 5 or 6 months is pretty much a long time away for me.  I may rent the Civic Center and hold an Art yarn spinning class for two days?  I am loving recycling sweaters and saving the landfills from good wool and natural fibers.  I am joining a sketchbook challenge which last one year.  I want to write more and take more photos.  More street photography, that is a real challenge, but capturing people being themselves is my quest and the "How we knit"  this is where I am going to different knitting groups and photographing how knitters hold their needles.  It is of great interest to me, because we all hold them differently.  I may do a pod cast?  Well anyway I have to pay the Utility bill again.  Rest a little before another party weekend!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hey who put that statue so close to the road?

Things seemingly are easing up as far as mom and her new transition, well her's and ours.  This morning I took Iggy to daycare and wanted to see if Target was open before 7am, guess not.  I drove a different way home, the way I normally take all the time, as I crested the hill, a familiar Christmas Carol was on and I was singing and thinking about the words, Little Drummer boy.  I used to dislike that carol for some reason but I am finding it very sweet as I get older.  I think it goes back to Holiday Concerts and the droning Rumpapumpum....we all had to sing, well at least I had to because I think I may be a tad tone deaf.  To keep with the theme of being annoying I would Rumpapumpum, either loud or off key.  I think I may have been jealous that I didn't sound like Brenda Lee or Janet Lennon?  So I am singing the words not the chorus and look to my right and mentally say "Why would someone put those deer statues so darn close to the road?  The deer at this point was looking in my window saying "Why the hell is the road so close to my toes?"  Seriously this deer was looking at me through my side window, maybe he heard me singing and it was like a dog whistle to them?  I was only going 35mph but when you see something like that it seems like you are going 100mph.   I kind of laughed to myself, the poor deer was dumb I am sure I was too.  Rumpapumpum...

Monday, December 20, 2010

They ask us why?

People ask us why we stay living in Wisconsin.  People ask how we can stand the cold and snow.  People like me say, Winter is beautiful, drinking chai tea or hot chocolate just doesn't seem right in 90 degree heat. A fireplace burning and wrapping in a wool blanket or hand knit afghan, can't be done like in the summer. It is snowing out right now, it is beautiful.  Knitting and sipping coffee, and wearing flannel jammies, is all part of the beauty.  I love walking in the snow, I don't like the bitter cold, but snow makes my heart and soul feel lighter, it lifts my spirits, or makes my spirit bright.  Why do I live here in the cold?  I love the snow, I love how the branches on the trees get heavy with sparkly white shiny glitter.  How the moon even looks like it is peaking out from a blanket of clouds, just enough to make sure all is calm, all is bright.  I love to hear the snow scrunch under boots or tires.  I love to watch Iggy run and flip snow with his nose and hop like a baby lamb in Spring.  I have to admit I don't like the snow when it gets dirty, and slushy, but everything has it's downside or the upside would never look so good.  So I am going to put on my coat and boots and go walk Iggy in the snow and catch some snowflakes on my tongue, or mostly my glasses.  I will kick the snow with my boots and smile and then come back into house where the fire is burning bright, the lights are sparkling on the Christmas tree, I will sit by the window and let it snow let it snow let it snow!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tis the Season

Oh I hope you have your shopping done and your knitting has all it's ends neatly tucked in, the end is near.  Christmas that is!  I am not sure if I am ready, but I do know I am partied out.  This last week I had my Miller retirement party and it was very nice, nice to see all the people you worked for and it makes you wonder who is left working?  Then the Steamfitters from Miller throw a party at a bar near work and the retirees party on the working fitters.  I laughed so hard at all of the stories, some I heard and some I had not.  It is always so much fun to see those guys. I also need to mention it is so nice that there is no smoking anymore, I could breath.  Last year it was so cold and I didn't want to take my good jacket into the bar for fear I would never get the stink out of it, so I wore my sleeping bag coat and let it hang outside for a few days and nights.  I have been busy making slippers from sweaters!  I am having lots of fun doing this and also found that acrylic does not felt, like I didn't know that?  I thought it was a wool sweater, and normally I get a breathing reaction from acrylic, but I was working with so much fuzz I didn't really notice.  So into the washer it went and filled my washer with fuzz, fuzz and more fuzz and are now residing in the trash.  I also had to burn test one sweater because it looked like a mohair sweater but it wasn't.  I do have to say they are doing a prettty darn good job of making acrylic feel less plasticky.  So these Ugg like slippers are so warm and fun to design and decorate.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Punch everything and everyone

Have you noticed that a lot of commercials on TV are slapping people and hitting.  If you use Thera flu becareful because it will kick you butt.  Halls cough drops will bring in the Boxing trainer and open a can of whoop on you.  Heartburn causes your food to slap you in the face?  I get the idea, but is this the only way we can get a point across is hitting?  Seriously we grew up with the 3 stooges and yes we did emulate them poking eyes and slapping heads and the sound effects of whopppppppppp weeeeeeeee dunk.  I try as I might to avoid commercials but I noticed this and it can't help but make me wonder what it is doing to our kids.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My favorite mug and a break down

I bought this mug at Starbucks on Downer during a book reading at Boswells bookstore, it was soon to become my favorite mug.  It has a cool lid that pushes on and then you secure it with a twist of the outside band.  It is  a tad larger for a full cup of coffee or equivalent to a grande cafe.  Anyway, we and by we I mean my brother, sister in law and myself are  in the process of dealing with my mom.  She cannot live alone anymore, she has to have 24 hour care or assistance.  She will not be walking, she will probably be confined to a wheel chair and this is to prevent her from falling which she did in her apartment daily.  She has been extremely lucky to not have broken any bones and misses hitting her head by cleverly curling into a ball like a potato bug, when she does fall.  She will be moving into Assisted living and it is a family type group home and she will have her own private bedroom.  There is a mountain of paper work involved and do this and do that and tell them this and today I spent a minimum of four hours on the phone, in preparation for a move next Tuesday.  Last week we met with the funeral home director to prepay for funeral services which by the way if you have aging parents is highly recommended, that money is not considered in their assets and is not taxable.  So I grabbed my favorite mug with coffee and headed to the Rehab to meet for this preplanning stuff and had to leave quickly after for a hair appt.  I left my mug behind and my mom called to tell me, that my mug was still here.  I sighed with relief and said "oh thanks mom that's my favorite mug" the next day they were in what they call lock down, there was a case of the flu on her wing, no visitors, no leaving the wing.  So one day went into another and with phone contact and not being able to visit, I think she felt we left her.  So yesterday we finally got the OK to visit and Cheryl and I dropped in and I looked around and didn't see the mug, and then we got caught up on conversation and forgot to ask about it.  Today I asked where my mug was and she said "I threw it out"  point blank, just threw it out.  I really didn't believer her and did some errands and stopped in and she said , no I threw it out, I thought it was cardboard.  I said it was ceramic how could you not know?  Part of me wants to believe she made an honest mistake but knowing my mom and her history, part of me knows she can be mean, so I really can't just let her off the hook.  I left shortly after that and got in the car and started to cry...I really don't think it is the mug, it is all of the stress of this situation, are we doing the right thing with mom, is she going to love/hate the new place?  Is this going to work out Ok or not?  If you have not gone through this, let me tell you there is nothing you can do to prepare for this moment.   It is horribly stressful and so much red tape and hoops to jump through, it is unbelievable.  I can cry about it who cares....then I had a thought maybe I can stop in at Starbucks and see if they have another mug, just by chance.  Now I look like a street person, I have my black sleeping bag coat on, my dalmation spotted  scarf and a red hoodie sweatshirt with the hood up.   I see Chrismas mugs left and begin my hunt looking behind other mugs and please just one more luck.  I go to the counter and order a Chai tea and mention the mug and wonder if they have any left.  The young pretty girl says "I just sold the last one about 1/2 hour ago"  that did it, I started to cry and said and get this 56 years old "my mom just threw mine out and it was my favorite and and it really isn't about the mug and I'm sorry, she is old and sob sob, sniffle"  The other girl chimes in, hey I think they had some this morning at Holt ave.  "can you give me the number?  better yet she says, I'll call them...Oh thank you!!!  She says they have two and I said I'll take them both, I will go right over there.  Thanks so much and I'm really sorry to have blubbered, she slid the Chai tea over and said quietly, it's on us....Merry Christmas.....that made me cry some more but knew enough to get out of there before they called the pity police.  What gentle spirits they were, in a time when I was unraveling, a bare exposed nerve, inside and outside.  I hope I can pass that gentle spirit on when someone else has a melt down.  I hope someone will be kind to them when they need a tissue to dry their eyes, even when they are almost 60 years old.  It really isn't about the mug, now is it?

Sketch Book Challenge

Sometimes we all need inspiration.  I am joining this group and it will give me the push I need to sketch what I want to work on.  Now fair warning, I never sketch and idea because it is a deal killer.  For some reason, if I sketch it, it never turns out.  I am a fly by the seat of my pants person.  I write down the idea like, I want to make felted slippers from recycled sweaters, this is what I would do...
Felt sweater slippers, cuff, cute buttons
That's it and that is just so I remember the sketch in my head, if I put it to paper it is pretty much doomed???   I don't understand it but maybe with the help of others I can do this?  So I will be joining the Sketch book challenge and see what happens.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tis the Season

The needles are clicking and everyone is trying hard to get that last minute knitting in before the Christmas parties begin.  I myself am working on a ruana, using Silk Garden and Nature spun yarn, it is a fun project and I find that it will keep my attention as long as there is either a color change or a pattern change.  I think that is why I love entrelac, it keeps growing and color changing.  It is a wintery blizzardy day today, I really love days like this.  I am glad they are not that frequent but I do enjoy sitting inside with coffee in hand, fire in the fireplace and chili cooking.  I am going to spin today, or actually continue plying a coil yarn I am working on.  I also may go down into the shop and weave, this is the perfect weather to sit at the loom and look out the window at the snow blowing and drifting outside.  I hope you can have the luxury of relaxing today and working on a project that will keep someone warm.  I also want to mention what a big hearted group of customer/friends I have here at my little shop.  Together we donated over 40 knit hats, scarves, mittens, lap robes, cakes, cookies, candies, money.  I had two pick ups of items and I am sure we helped to make a Veteran have a happy and warm Christmas last night.  My thanks to everyone that pitched in.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

New Buzz words

This is the age that we become the parents to our parents and our children.  Yesterday, I had to make preburial funeral plans with my mom.  This is highly recommended by all senior living places, in order to shelter money they may have.  This money is put into a fund and the price of the funeral home is fixed but the other costs such as cremation, grave opening blah blah may go up.   When I entered the room I sat down and my first picture is just how frail my bossy, independant, perfectionist mother was.  A strong minded woman is just a shell of her old self.  Slipping out of control of what once was her life.  I felt compassion, something I haven't often felt for my mom.  I took her hands and said "Mom, I know we are shoving papers in front of you and asking you to sign them, I know this is hard for you and you have to know that we have your best interest at heart for you.  There are three of us working to make life as good as it can be for you, My sister in law Cheryl is doing way above what any DIL would ever do, my brother and myself are teaming up to take care of mom.  Prepaying for a funeral is kind of cool, you get to pick out exactly what you want, and you or I, got to cry at your decisions while reading verses that say goodbye to your family and friends on a shiney little piece of paper, with your name and date of birth and death printed on them.  It all seemed so final and I tried to make light of a sad situation.  It is now done, her funeral is planned and paid for and now we move on to the next hurdle.  Finding a place for mom to live, new buzz words are "family care" which is a nice way of saying Title 19 or Welfare.  You can only use that when you run out of the funds you saved your whole life and on and on....  So we never stop learning do we?  We learn life at different I am learning Senior stuff and how great is that?  By the time I will need to remember these phrases, they will have changed and I won't remember...I need a  nap!!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The nose

Yesterday it was really cold here, the kind of cold that when you inhale through your nose the little flaps close inside and preheat your inhale air.  I had errands to do yesterday and warmed up the car while I took the Igster for his walk.  Before I left for grocery shopping and dropping the baby off at doggy daycare, I changed my coat, I usually wear the black sleeping bag coat to walk Iggy and it is hard to sit and drive in.  I put on my short coat and got into the car, I wasn't even to the end our short road here and I could feel it begin, the drip inside my nose.  I remained calm, my pockets are filled with neatly folded Kleenix to attend to just this kind of mishap.  I slip off my mitten and try to shove my hand into a pocket that is neatly tucked under my seatbelt.  I pull my jacket up and then the seatbelt down and wiggle my hand looking for that flap that will end this slow moving drip that is getting close to peaking out of my nostril into the cold winter air. I finally find the opening and grab kleenix, it is not neatly folded, it is not in a cute little plastic encased wrap, no it is a previously used wad.  I am desperate and after all it is my own snot that it was used for.  With my mittened right hand I go to wipe the escaping drip and something is tickling my lip and it is long and white?  I snear at my own disgust, but, I get the drip just as it starts to exit my nose and make it's ski hill jump down my lip, I pull the tissue away and who would know it was a long piece of white handspun yarn twisted into the white tissue. Oh the perils of a fiber freak!!!  Pockets are reloaded and ready to go.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The beautiful Season is upon us!!

I love snow, once again it makes my heart and soul lighter!!  I am blessed to live above a little village and all the lights are on and twinkling and snow makes it looks so much more pretty!!!  I am sitting on my couch watching it snow with a cup of hot coffee and a fire burning!!  This is the time for candles and peace!!   Snuggling up with a really good book, a blankie, and a  cup of chai tea.  Today we have our Holiday Stroll through the Village and Santa is here.  I should be more of  treat type person for when the kids come in but honestly, candy canes and yarn/fiber just do not fair well together.  Last year we had a great Santa, this year we have Suzanne from the Bead shop, she will do a great job, it will be interesting to be sure.  She loves kids so it will be fun.   Well I am going to make some breakfast and enjoy the show!!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Me Hurry??

I had my week planned, well as far as "me" plans go.  Monday I had running around and shopping, I call it my money Monday.  That went well, then Tuesday I wanted to make soap, felt some sweaters, finish some odds and ends, bring mom and her roomate lunch.  I started by trying to get in touch with my mom, no answer, for what seemed like hours no answer.  She has rehab a couple times a day, so I keep trying, I get the newsletter written and it just dawns on my I forgot to send it, foiled again!!!  I mean it, right now I forgot.....Ok, one more unfinished task.  I take my mom lunch and I eat a salad and I am done, my belly is aching and I don't feel too good.  Well then I get an email from Germany, they want 20 more DVD's, yes, I have 10 in stock that means burning, printing labeling and now I am behind MY schedule.  Like it doesn't take much to throw me off schedule.  So yesterday I played catch up...made soap with didn't turn out so good, I had to do my hurry thing and the colors on the ivy bled, it will be interesting to see how it looks when I turn it out of the mold?  I worked on a recycled hat, not too happy with it so I will be revamping it today.  It kind of looks like a floppy hat from the 60's...  it's cute but not too current.  I have some really cute arm warmers, done.  So the shop is buzzing.  My head is swimming and there is not enough time to get stuff done.  Next week is party week, and the week after is parties, tis the Season.....I just finished plying my recycled cashmere, it is so beautiful and soft.
For some reason I can't upload photos??  Yet another thing I will be looking into?  sigh