When life gets in the way

I mentioned yesterday that I have had a lot of non knitting things going on and I thought I would make a separate post to go into, at least a little bit of what has been taking up my time from knitting. This will be a tad long. You have been warned. Sadly the bulk of what I have been doing is planning for the future and that means I have nothing physical to show for it so I feel as though I have accomplished nothing, even while I have accomplished quite a bit.

First of all one I am starting back to school this fall and because of that, I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything turned in and situated for classes and financial aid. This may not seem like that big of a task, but I had a hold on my account for not paying a fee that I didn’t have any clue was owed. Once I got that squared away and got my application put in again and all, I couldn’t log into the school website. It ended up taking me something like 3 phone calls to get that fixed only to find out that I couldn’t register for classes because I had another hold on my account. Apparently they sent something to an address I haven’t lived at in over 7 years and the mail was returned. They didn’t use the address that I had on my application, which would likely be a better address than one I used 10 years ago. In fact since that time, I have lived at other addresses and been registered for classes and have never had this problem. After several phone calls, I finally got it fixed. Then there is the financial aspect of it. Financial aid and applying for scholarships takes a lot of effort and time. I am still waiting (im)patiently to see how much this is going to set me back next semester. I honestly can’t imagine getting ready for school with a full time job and a toddler, because it has taken me weeks of being a stay at home mom with a toddler and having time to do things. A lot of it has been waiting on other people to get things done and now I am playing the waiting game on all my financial aid stuff. For once I didn’t procrastinate and I am so thankful for that. I know that all of this will be worth it in the end, because it will put me in a better position to do the things that I would like to do as Jonathan gets older and as it gets closer to my hubby getting ready to retire. We are hopefully looking at 15 years, give or take, so I should be able to be done with school and get a good career going by then. I hate that it has taken me until my thirties to get all of this going, but life is what it is.

Outside of preparing for school, it has been a lovely, busy spring so far. Jonathan and I went with my dad and one of my best friends and her two boys to Silver Dollar City and Branson. It was so much fun. The day we came back from Branson, hubby and I took little man on his first camping trip. So far I have really enjoyed camping in the hammocks, though once the bugs start getting thicker, we will have to get the bug nets before we can do it again. Jonathan’s first camping trip was wonderful. He had a lot of fun. The campsite that we went to is in a lovely Arkansas State park nearby on the lake. We chose a site that was up above all the others so that we could have a little bit of privacy and it is now our favorite spot. We ended up going again the next weekend, just the two of us. It was wonderful, even if it was a quick trip. I think that if the weather keeps this up, we will be going camping a lot this year. While it was easier without the little guy, I sure don’t sleep well when he isn’t around so he will be.

I have been itching really bad to do some spinning. It has been almost a year since the last time I have gotten to use my wheel. Shortly after we moved into this house, some sweet adorable little boy stood on my wheel and knocked a nut loose so now it doesn’t treadle. It is a simple fix, only it requires a wrench which I haven’t made the time to look for. I will look for it tonight or tomorrow, because I want to get back to spinning really badly.

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Lost and found

My lost knitting bag has been found! I am so excited! Unfortunately, I’ve spent some time in the hospital lately and haven’t really felt up to knitting. That is changing today. All is fine now, I had a severe case of pancreatitis and gallstones so my gallbladder had to come out. I know now what I have been having so many problems lately with my stomach. I was passing gallstones! Other than being sore, I feel great. I have regularly scheduled knit night tonight and I am going to go. Jim is going to drive me. I figure I can sit there nicely and knit and socialize, especially now that I have showered! I’m feeling quite a bit better today than I have felt so I think I should be good. I am looking forward to having time to knit and having time with my dear hubby and my sweet baby boy for the next two weeks since I can’t go back to work yet. I am hoping to have my sweater finished this week. I can’t do much with Jonathan right now because I can’t pick him up and I can’t get down on the floor to play with him so I guess I will spend time knitting!! If I can, I’d like to finish my shawl too, but I’m not anticipating having that much time to knit.

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Hello 2011

Yes I understand that this is the 10th day of the month and I am just doing a 2011 post, but the new year snuck up on me fast and I really needed a little time to ponder what goal, wishes, and dreams I have for 2011. So far 2011 is not going quite as planned, however I did finally finish a knitting project last night! More on that in a bit.

How is my 2011 starting? Well lets start with the end of last year. I woke up at 2 AM on the 31st with my face all swollen up because of an abscess tooth. I have spent way more time finding a dentist and sleeping because of my tooth than I would really like to admit, but between an insurance change and dentist office’s being closed a bunch for the holidays, it has taken some time. Anyway they pulled what was left (the roots) of my tooth and I have to say it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would even despite the fact that I apparently don’t clot well and had to make a trip back. It is still tender, but I think I might live.

Some of you may remember that in October we had to move back in with my inlaws. We haven’t had a whole lot of luck with finishing the attic, but we have started on it. That being said, we live in the attic. There is this aweful staircase that leads up to our little 400 square foot bungalow. Yesterday I fell down said stair case. Not all the way but enough that I hurt my arm pretty bad and my rear end. All is fine. Nothing is broken (that I know of), I just can’t rest my elbow or forearm on anything without pain. Luckily this hasn’t affected my knitting much.

On to knitting.

I started a couple of Christmas presents before Christmas and I got one finished yesterday. Well sort of. It was a hat for my stepson, but my husband has kind of decided it is his, so I have to knit another one for Jacob. No problem though. Just need a tad more black yarn and I will be set. This was my first real color work project. I had some difficulty with the sizing because it seemed so big, but in the end, I went with the original size. It is still a little big, but the size that I went down to wouldn’t even fit on my head! LOL!

The other Christmas present kinda fell through. Started out because my dumb kitten decided to chew through the yarn while I was knitting. I didn’t even know she was doing it. She wasn’t down there but a second and I went to shoo her away from the yarn and it came out of her mouth in 2 pieces. Bad kitten. Anyway I didn’t complete it after said kitten attack because the recipient decided that she didn’t want a Christmas gift. So I guess the socks will be mine whenever I get back to knitting them. No biggie, but I would have chosen a different color if I known that and the yarn would have been less expensive. Whatever.

Since I am not really in the mood to try mess with the socks right now but am really itching to knit my pretty purple laceweight, the search is on for a pretty lace pattern that this yarn is mean to become. On that note I am off in search of the perfect pattern. Pictures to come a little later.

 

Im still here!

I know it’s been a while since my last post and I am very sorry about that. I have just had a whole lot going on lately.
To start out, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to do much spinning lately, nor have I had much money for fiber. Because of this I have only spindle spun about an ounce of fiber in the last couple weeks. I haven’t touched my knitting at all, but that has more to do with the fact that I don’t have anything started that I want to work on. I don’t know exactly what I want right now, but definitely not a wool scarf! Lol! I really need something lighter to work on and I have been a little too stressed to work on a super intricate lace pattern. Maybe I need some sock yarn and make some socks. Maybe I should see what sock yarns I have. Hmm. That’s a good thought.
As far as my goal to start cooking and baking from scratch more… Well I made homemade poptarts! They were super delicious and well, super ugly! Lol! Here is where I got the recipe if you are interested: smittenkitchen.com/2010/04/homemade-pop-tarts/ it wasn’t difficult and they really were tasty! I highly suggest them!
On a slightly related topic, my husband is doing so much better, healthwise. This whole go round has been difficult but he’s tough and we are tough together. My husband is older than me by about 15.5 years. I know a lot of people probably think that’s just wrong, but it really works for us. The bad thing, however is the fact that chances are I will outlive him and that is hard. The whole heart attack thing really brought that into perspective for me. I mean I have thought about this from the day we started dating so it’s not like I’ve been in the dark on this or anything. Now it is even more clear to me that no matter what happens, I need to be able to support myself because you never know what’s going to happen.
When we moved to Georgia in September, it took me a month or so to find a job. I started a temporary job for a filtration company. When I completed my assignment in March, I had a hard time finding a new job. There aren’t many jobs around here and the ones that are available tend to want you to have a degree or manufacturing experience. I have neither. I am an office worker. I don’t know how it happened but it did. Anyway it took me 2.5 months to find a job. At first I wasn’t actively looking because we thought we could make ends meet with just Jim working. Yeah, not so much. As long as we didn’t need anything extra and he worked 7 days a week we were ok, but things were stressful. We didn’t always have decent food, maybe just enough for 2 meals a day. So when I finally got a job, things were really looking up. I started working on June 7. One week later on June 14, Jim came home having a heart attack. I got my first pay check the Friday after his heart attack. So basically we had 1 week that we had 2 checks in 3 months. So of course they don’t release him to go back to work right away, or for 3 weeks or that matter so it is just my puny paycheck supporting us and paying for all sorts of other expenses because of this. And then his job didn’t want him to come back. They didn’t say it so many words, but strongly implied it. Then the job hunt began again, only for him this time instead of me. Do now we have the added expense of his meds, no more insurance, we can’t get the VA to do anything or call us, can’t afford gas to get down there to whoop some VA rear, and insurance is pretty much denying the whole thing because of this. I am prettys sure that my stress levels are off the charts right now and I know that his are, which is the last thing he needs right now. I am doing my best to keep Jim calm and all through this and sometimes it works and sometime I end up stressing out and kinda cracking that it adds more stress on him. All of this has motivated me to get ALL of our debt together. I have everything written down and I have a tentative plan to get rid of it all. Some of it is just going to have to wait, some can’t wait (electric bill, rent, ppt on the jeep, etc) but all in all it’s going to be gone soon(ish). If I can just find a second job, we are talking like 2-4 years and if I can’t, probably closer to 7. As depressing as that is, it’s one step closer than we were and I think that’s an important part of stress reduction. I am hoping to get it all under control soon and maybe buy a house in the next couple years.
Besides the destress goal, or maybe in addition to that, I have a goal to get healthy. I am not in the best shape. I am 5’2″ and I am about 60 lbs overweight. I wear most of my weight in my belly, which puts me at a higher risk for diabetes. I have knee pain that I don’t believe is due to my being fat, but I know that the extra strain from that weight makes it worse and I want that gone. I want to be around for my husband forever. I am trying to eat healthier, which honestly isn’t horribly difficult for me. I love veggies. I could eat them for just about every meal. I do enjoy carbs too, which is my downfall, but I don’t mind limiting them, some! I don’t drink soda for the most part. I will occasionally have a sprite if my tummy’s upset, or a orange soda, but that’s pretty much it. I drink my coffee black. I do have a weakness for sweet tea, but even that I rarely have. The problem is I am broke! We eat like college kids because I can eat ramen which is less than a quarter per meal. I hate that veggies are so expensive. I know that compared to most convenience foods they aren’t, but I don’t buy most convenience food either. I do buy frozen veggies a lot because they keep. I don’t have to worry about spending $1.49/lbs on something for it to go bad before I eat it. And I put them in my ramen sometimes. So I could eat a lot better AND a lot worse! But since I can’t change my diet much more than that for now, I have decided to start exercising more. I am not the type of person that sticks with hard workouts. I need to feel the workout, but if I am sore for day, I don’t want to do it again. I really got into walking and jogging and even some running when we lived in AR and had the nice walking trail by our house. It didn’t matter if it was hot or cold, I would go. It helped me relieve stress and clear my head some after my stepson died. It helped me lose some weight (which I gained back when we moved here) and I really enjoyed the “me” time. I wanted to do the Couch to 5K at the time but never managed to keep up with it. I just didn’t have the motivation to do it i think. Now I am motivated. I got an iPhone app the otherday and I have to say that after my first week, I am hooked. I chose to do week one over this week because I am SO out of shape and have had some health issues that have made it difficult so I want to start over. Actually as I am typing this, I am charging my phone so I can go and have music and my app. :0) hopefully I will have many more updates on this in the future.

Talented kitten

I am generally a dog person, but I have the sweetest kitten in the world. She is a little on the crazy side, but she is such a mommy’s girl. So much in fact that when I go anywhere in our apartment, she frantically follows. We live in a ground level apartment and my phone gets horrible service. I can usually text and use my TweetDeck app, but phone calls and certain game apps (We Rule) I have to go outside to use. We have a sliding glass door that leads to our patio. We have been leaving it open when we are up and home because the weather has been nice. When I go out on the patio to use my phone my sweet, darling kitten insists on climbing up the screen to try to get to me. To avoid Jasmin ruining our screen, I started closing the glass door. One problem with that: she still tries to jump up on the door. On the handle is a lever lock. Flip the lever up and it is unlocked and down is locked. I finished harvesting and planting crops on We Rule and pulled on the handle to open the door, where the kitten had been jumping just minutes before. It didn’t open. I tried again and still nothing. Jasmin looked at me and I knew immediately what had happened. Jasmin locked me out. This was at 1:45 in the morning. Jim gets off work at 7:30 in the morning. My keys were on the counter. I started giggling. It was a nervous giggle until I realized our bedroom window was open. I am so glad that there was no one around. I am short and can only imagine how silly I must have looked crawling in the window. I am very thankful that we don’t have an upstairs apartment or I would have been stuck there all night. Needless to say, from now on my keys go with me!