Thursday, January 31, 2013

January and Goals

I don't make New Year's Resolutions.  I've never had a life Plan, Five-Year or otherwise.  My life has always just sort of happened.  Not entirely, of course --- I did set my cap and my jaw for a few things along the way.  But mostly, I've just dealt with each day as best I could.

Still, I find myself looking back over this month as it ends and being proud of keeping some promises I made to myself.  I continued with the Alphabetical Authors run, knocking out "R," "S," "T," and beginning "U."

And, I took myself out of town.  For the last couple of years, I've been aching to travel.  Big, airplane-y, meet people I only know online travel.  But, still unemployed, Travel has to be smaller, smarter.  One place a month.  The bed and breakfast I began with was ideal, and a wondrous start that made me want to keep going all year.  In fact, my February destination may already be chosen.

But that's for another month.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Baby Steps

My self-promise to take myself on a trip each month has begun a scant 20 minutes from Athens, at a Bed and Breakfast.

Only for two nights, but away, and comfortable, and, perhaps most indulgently:

a noise machine that can make it sound like I'm by the ocean.  ABSOLUTE HEAVEN.

This is the room I'm in:

However, I'm the only guest in the house, so I've wandered around and looked at all the rooms.  Already picked out the one I want when/if I come back.

The bed is so, so comfortable --- I've knit in the parlor and read on one of the porches --- I've taken as much advantage of being alone while meeting my three goals: napping, knitting, reading.  It's been a good couple of days.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Doctor's Orders

Lorette, The Knitting Doctor, told me to give my confounded shrug one more go, then ditch it and move on.  That's just what I'm doing, and, so far, so good.

Very cold here today, but no ice or snow.  Grave disappointment.

Since it was such a freezing, grey day, and since I'm still trying to stay out of harm's way in the house, I've spent all day in my room, knitting, reading, watching movies.  I think the last time the Alphabetical Authors project was brought up, I was on "Q" --- Daniel Quinn's My Ishmael.  "R" was Lisa Rogak's Dogs of Courage.  "S" was Cain, by my beloved Jose Saramago.  It's a slim book, yes, but I read it in one sitting.  Saramago's stories and his words transport me.  This time, it was no different.

Right now, I'm reading Boots On the Ground By Dusk, by Mary Tillman.  Her son, Pat, a former NFL player, joined the Army Rangers after 9/11 and was killed by friendly fire.  Only it took the family months to be told that, and they were given several versions at that.  I'm not sure they have the Truth to this day.  It's a sad, infuriating, yet interesting read.  I very well remember Tillman's NFL days, and all the turmoil that surrounded his death.

It being Inauguration Week and all, thought I'd join in the patriotism and stuff.  I've been to Washington, and would love to go back.  Took a tour of the White House, but, nice as ours was, it could never match up to this:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I never, ever buy the yarn that a pattern I like is made in.  It's usually too expensive, and there is already so much yarn in this house, odds are there will be something that can be used to make just as lovely a garment.

Seldom, though, do I ever have precise matches.  The pattern I like calls for more yarn than what I have on hand. or the pattern calls for considerably less, which leads to the problem of leftovers and what to do with them.

A couple of days ago, I found Perfection.  Pattern I love, yarn I'd just bought with exactly the amount needed for the project.  I foresaw a garment in a new color, easily knit and put together, and I cast on with a smile.  A fancy rib back, just a rectangle, and two sleeves that are variations on feather-and-fan.  Couldn't be simpler.

I have started that freakin' back THREE times.  And have always messed up the stitch count.  So I decided to try a sleeve first.  


So the search for other possible patterns began.  But that shrug out of that yarn is IT.  It is ideal.  Why can't I get it right?  I think I'll try once more.  And if it doesn't work then, it's deep into the back of the stash with the yarn, and deep into the bookshelf for the pattern.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dear. . .

. . .  Every Bag I Saw at TJMaxx That Would Have Made a Great Knitting Bag: Why were you all $129.99?  I mean, every single one of you.

. . . Little Knits:  Even though I don't have a cool new bag to put any of it in, thank you for all the great yarn in my latest shipment.  I'm already working with the organic wool:

. . . Stitches South, I made my reservation for you today.  My plan for this year is to take myself on a little "vacation" each month.  Stitches fits that bill for April.  AND I get to see some friends!

. . .   Hugh Laurie, I still love you.  This was a wonderful book, and it looks like you've helped make it a wonderful movie.

. . .  Girls who were in Barnes and Noble studying for a French test: the terms are not "bone-a-partay" and "coop duh tatt."  Neither of you, I suspect, has a prayer on the exam.  And I would love to know who asked whom to help her study.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Might As Well Let All of You Know the Truth

It has been a difficult week, because it was a torturous weekend.  My son has the capacity for great empathy and caring and selflessness, but, unfortunately, he has a greater capacity for bursts of temper that are frightening.  He exploded on me last Saturday, and --- my right hand on this --- spent hours ranting and raving and throwing things and spitting at me and waving his finger in my face and punching walls and windows.  Hours.

He did go see his girlfriend that night, but within 20 minutes of walking in the door, he had spiraled out of control again, screaming about how much better off every one would be if he were dead, pounding on his chest while saying "I'm a waste of skin and oxygen.  The universe is against me.  Why do I even care?"  That went on for another couple of hours.  I hid all the knives and chemicals in the house, and took away his car keys.

Sunday was The Walk on the Eggshells for me.  I never know what will set him off.  Of course, he was fine --- he had spewed all his poison and felt much better.  While I had a splitting headache from the yelling and the crying I did afterward, not to mention the lack of sleep I got because I was listening for him in case he decided to do something stupid.

Monday I had therapy.  It dawned on me somewhere in all the warfare that I am in an abusive relationship.  With my own son.  I spent another hour crying, while my therapist just let me go.  Add more pain to the still-throbbing headache.

All week, I've just laid low.  No energy, really, to do much else.  Everyone thinks I'm in a bad mood, but I'm just scared to talk.  To trip the trigger.  And I'm empty.  There is absolutely nothing left in my tank.  No energy.  No joy.  No hope.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Past Few Days

Finn scared me deeply Thursday by first vomiting and retching, then literally collapsing against one of the bathroom cabinets.  It was the first time I'd ever seen him anything but jumpy-happy, and it was unnerving.  I laid on the bed with him, gave him ice to lick, and, within a couple of hours, he was back to normal.  Still pretty tired, though:

Pretty sure I put something about this organization on my facebook wall.  Well, the bracelets I ordered from them arrived:
The top one says "Dropped + Made in Laos."  Hard to realize I'm wearing parts of bombs or guns or ammunition around my wrist.

Spent a good part of this morning updating my etsy page.  I didn't make a single sale over the holidays, so it isn't like I had to re-stock or anything.  There were just some pictures hanging around that needed to be posted.

On THE other economic issue, I am still unemployed.   I told myself I was going to jump back into the hunt with renewed vigor in the new year, but all that's out there are the same jobs I've applied for anywhere up to six times.  Even the teaching job in Atlanta, which I phone-interviewed for, has come up empty,  I've sent e-mail after e-mail to them, left phone messages, but have yet to hear the first word back.  Not at all encouraging.

How's your 2013 going?

Monday, January 7, 2013


The stomach crud will not let me go yet.  If I'm on Briton's timetable, tomorrow should be a much better day.

When I can stay awake long enough, and sit upright long enough, I'm knitting with some great yarn I bought at knit in Charleston.  It's thick-and-thin, which is a huge favorite, and a bamboo/wool/acrylic blend that has a delightful hand.  It's called "Bamboo Bloom Handpaints" from Universal Yarn.  I'm using Reflecting Pool.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Are You Like Me?

When your son has passed along the stomach horror that has had him abed for the last 3 days, do you browse around on etsy, or cowboy boot sites, or online yarn shops?

Or do you think about the days when your son was little, and even then susceptible to high fevers?  And do you think about the number of times you've put him in the tub at ungodly hours to pour cool water on him and try to help him out?

And then does your mind go to both your children, when they were both little, and you remember having babies was so sweet:

But then you realize there were an awful lot of days like this:

And you down some Gatorade and ibuprofen, slump down onto the couch, and hope that your fever brings you warmly weird and satisfying dreams.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


When my parents were alive, my mother cooked black-eyed pears, hog jowl and collard greens every New Year's Day.  Daddy was extraordinarily superstitious, and wouldn't have it any other way.  No one in my family now eats hog jowls or collards, though my daughter does love black-eyed peas, so we  just throw caution to the culinary winds and eat what we want at the beginning of the year.  This year, it was stir-fry at Genghis Grill for the two of us.  My son went to Atlanta to pick his girlfriend up at the airport;  she's been in Australia the last three weeks.

Also, whatever you do on New Year's Day is supposed to be the template for what you are going to do the rest of the year.  If that's so, I'm going to drive in cold rain a lot, shop at Barnes & Noble, eat stir-fry often and cast on new knitting projects.



For some reason, this year I am constantly moving Christmas stuff around the house.  I'm not sure why things are so unsettled, but they...