Monday, November 30, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 30

Giving Thanks, Day 30, otherwise known as thank the Lord it's the end of November & I can go back to posting only a few times a week.  I'm proud of myself for posting daily for a full 30 days though.  Actually, I didn't.  I missed yesterday.  Instead of blogging I cleaned & purged the house and made a giant pile of stuff to take to GoodWill.  And I'm thankful for that.  I was also thankful for Amazon yesterday.  Actually, thankful might not be the right word.  In total awe is more like it.  The fuel pump went out on my car Saturday.  Saturday night, around 8:30 p.m. (8:41 to be exact) my husband ordered a replacement pump from Amazon.  Sunday morning. when I came down stairs around 9:30 a.m., the pump was sitting on our front porch.  Not only did Amazon deliver it on a Sunday, it was delivered less than 13 hours from the moment we ordered it.  I am in awe!

I'm also thankful that the replacement pump works and that my husband was able to install it and my daughter can take my car to school today instead of me having to drive her in the company truck.  (She's not insured to drive the truck.)  My husband is thankful that Nissan's fuel pumps are located under the back seat instead of where ever Chevy puts theirs.  I'm not sure where Chevy places their fuel pumps, but I know replacing them involves a full day in the garage with the vehicle completely torn apart, lots and lots of curse words from my husband and bloody knuckles.    The Nissan's fuel pump replacement took about an hour and a half and no Bandaids were required.  Thank you Nissan!

But that was yesterday.

Today, I'm thankful for a wonderful mother-in-law who wishes to remain anonymous and a terrific brother-in-law who makes my sister very happy.


So, thanks for being you, Irene & Boots.  And happy birthday to you both.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 27

It's Day 27 of this Giving Thanks thing and I have so much to be thankful for.

It's Black Friday and I am NOT out among the crowds shopping.  I have lots of friends who live for the excitement of pushing and shoving and standing in Black Friday lines and I realize they save a ton of money, but you will never ever see me in a Black Friday line.  I try not to even leave the house on Black Friday.  So today, I'm thankful that we came home from Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house with enough leftovers that I don't even need to stand in line at the grocery store today.

I'm thankful that Thanksgiving went well and was drama free.  There were no baking emergencies, no one got sick, no fights or arguments, no 911 calls, the weather was perfect, the food was even better than the weather and I finally got to meet my great nephew.  Good Lord, I can't believe I'm a Great Aunt.  That just makes me sound so old!  So while I may not be all that thankful that they are teaching him to call me Great Aunt Jeannie, I am thankful I finally got to meet him.  He's precious!

I'm thankful that the season of pumpkin flavored everything is over and the candy canes have arrived.

I'm thankful my Christmas cowl is blocked and almost dry.

Christmas cowl
Christmas Cowl

And I'm thankful that I finished all the knitting projects I'd promised myself I'd finish before Thanksgiving.  There's currently nothing on the needles.  It's a very strange and slightly scary feeling.  But that's about to change.  I have just a bit of frantic Christmas knitting to get done.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 26

I'm combining giving thanks with Throwback Thursday.

Today, as America celebrates Thanksgiving by stuffing their faces, I'm thankful for

giving thanks for food on the table, enough to eat and food hangovers
Zack, at peace with a full belly, 1995

full bellies and food hangovers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 25

Today, I am giddy with thankfulness that tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I can not wait!  I'm so excited for the excuse to over eat.  I LOVE turkey but for some reason, I never cook turkey so the holidays are about the only time I get turkey.  And it goes without saying, I love pie.  And I love my daughter's pumpkin spice cake roll and my sister's macaroni & cheese, and my niece usually bakes some kind of yummy desert... And then there's how much I love annoying my family by making them listen to Alice's Restaurant on repeat.

But besides the food and awesome song lyrics, I'm also thankful for Thanksgiving because the next day means Christmas!  I get just a tiny bit excited about Christmas.  I'm like a two year old waiting for Santa.  I don't go overboard with decorating or shopping, in fact I'm fairly low key with both decorating and shopping.  But you can bet, I'll be happily setting that dreaded alarm clock Friday morning so I can get up nice and early to turn on the Christmas tunes, put the candles in the windows & plop myself in front of the Holiday Movie channel with a candy cane and begin the Christmas knitting frenzy.  I can not wait!

Meanwhile, today I'll keep myself busy with accidently dropping pies on the floor and finishing up the blue striped hat

Blue striped slouchy hat for sale at
OTN 11/25/15

and the second faux cabled fingerless glove to match the hat I listed for sale yesterday.  Sadly, I didn't even get the second glove cast on last night.  I'd planned to finish it but never even started it.  Although it doesn't have the nice ring to it that Second Sock Syndrome has, I think Second Glove Syndrome has set in.  I've got to do something about that though because come Friday, it's Christmas Frenzy Knitting time.

Well, it looks like I have a busy day cut out for me.  I have pies to burn, a hat and a glove to knit and I must go que up Alice's Restaurant.  Sing it with me now,

"This song is called "Alice's Restaurant."  It's about Alice, and the restaurant, but "Alice's Restaurant" is not the name of the restaurant, that's just the name of the song.  That's why I call the song...."

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 24

Gosh!  I'm on Day 24 & I haven't missed a single day yet.  That alone is something to be thankful for.  Maybe not for you, because really, besides me, who cares what I'm thankful for?  Probably no one.  Oh well, get over it.

So, besides being thankful that I've made it to Day 24 without missing a beat, what am I thankful for today?  Besides the fact that there's only another week of this thankful nonsense to go I mean, because that is something to be thankful for!  Anyway... what am I thankful for  today?  Well, it may be well past noon as I write this, but noon is still "early morning" to me.  I'm still on the 'sleep all morning, work all night' sleep schedule.  I can't seem to break it.  I may have to resort to setting the dreaded alarm clock.  Yikes!

Okay, refocus.....

Today... what am I thankful for?  Besides large doses of coffee?  Once again, I'm thankful for my daughter.  She may have gotten home from school (in my car) so late yesterday that I missed knitting group, but she did take it upon herself to hit grocery store after grocery store until she found pecans.  I have pecans now!  Thanksgiving has been saved and I'm oh, so thankful for my daughter's thoughtfulness and diligence.  And she doesn't even like pecan pie all that much!  Thanks, Sarah!

Meanwhile, in knitting world....

slouchy beanie for sale at
Faux Cabled Slouchy Hat

I finished another faux cabled hat.  The color is just gorgeous.  It's not really blue and it's not really green.  The yarn manufacturer calls it Fjord.  Which is actually a perfect name for it.  It's the exact color of the water in this picture of a fjord.

example of a fjord

In case you're wondering, the definition of a fjord is "a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, as in Norway and Iceland."  The shirtless guy in the photo is just an added bonus of 
stealing pictures from Google Images.  

gloves and mittens for sale at
Faux Cabled Fingerless Gloves

Currently, I'm knitting a pair of fingerless gloves to match the hat.  I didn't get much knitting done last night.  There was a lot of drama going on in my geared-towards-teens,-Netflix-soap-opera that forced me to do a lot more mindless cookie eating than knitting.  Hopefully tonight's knitting time will be more productive.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 23

Today I'm thankful for my family, specially my sister.

Playing dolls

Even though she's ten years older, growing up, she always took the time to play with me.  I also got some great hand-me-down dolls from her.  Based on their hairstyles alone, you can tell those dolls were well loved.  Perhaps not treated well, but well loved.

Cary & I at Radford University
First day of college

She helped ship me off to college.  And that was more help than you know.  I was one-armed due to a shoulder injury from playing way too much corner tag in the pool.  Have you ever played corner tag?  It's brutal!

bridesmaid dress gone wrong
Peach taffeta

She even wore that peach monstrosity of a bridesmaid dress for me without complaint.  Well, not too much complaint.  But I'll cut her some slack on that because, well, who wouldn't have complained about wearing that peach monstrosity?  Good Lord!

But around the holidays, I become more thankful than ever for my sister.  And do you know why?  It's because, being ten years older, she always hosts the family gatherings.  Family gatherings like Thanksgiving.  So while I'm here, boozing it up over not being able to locate a bag of pecans, she's at her house, scrubbing and polishing and wrangling a giant turkey and fifty other side dishes.  Thank you, Cary!  I am forever grateful for having you as my sister.

Meanwhile, in knitting world, I finished the faux cabled hat from yesterday and started this simple striped hat.

hand knit hat available at
Blue Stripes

The yarn is Patons Kroy Socks in the Singing the Blues colorway.  Have I mentioned how much I love Patons Kroy Socks yarn?  (And no, that's not a type-o/grammar thing.  It's an official name thing.)  For local, pick it up at the big box craft store yarn, Patons Kroy can't be beat!

And now, I'm off to go in search of pecans.  I really need pecans and I will not be denied!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Giving Thanks Day 22

I've got to admit, it was hard to come up with much to be thankful for today.  About all I'm honestly thankful for today is a well stocked liquor cabinet.

It was just one of Those days.  I woke up too early so I went back to sleep, then when I woke up the next time, my back was killing me because I'd been laying in bed too long.

The spouse was between me and the coffee pot and he didn't appreciate my cheerful, "Move!"  His inappreciativeness had us bickering first thing in the morning afternoon.

I had to go grocery shopping.  Thanksgiving grocery shopping.  Thanksgiving grocery shopping on a weekend.  And if that wasn't bad enough, they were out of pecans.

When I went to the grocery store, dear sweet, unappreciative hubby asked me to run by the Verizon store and pay his company's phone bill.  Verizon wouldn't allow me to pay the bill without the company's tax id number.  Never mind that I had both the bill and a credit card with the company name on it.  I drove all the way home, got the tax id number, drove all the way back to the $$@$% Verizon store and the lovely employee proceeded to tell me that the tax id number I had didn't match their records and I still couldn't pay the bill.

I should probably apologize to the Verizon chick but I was under-caffeinated and just a tad bit pissed that she wouldn't allow me to pay the bill.

I got home from the second nonproductive trip to Verizon to discover that the dogs had eaten the brand new loaf of bread I'd just bought an hour earlier.

At least they didn't get into the liquor cabinet.  But I did.

So, tonight, I'm thankful for a very tall, very stiff drink and some lovely yarn.

faux cable hat for sale at
OTN 11/22/15
By tomorrow, I hope to be thankful for another hat to list in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Giving Thanks for Friendship

Today, and every day, I'm thankful for my wonderful friends.  My crazy friends, my almost normal friends, my co-worker friends, the friends I see daily and the friends I only see once every 16 years, my knitting friends and my non-knitting friends.  Where would I be without you?  I don't even want to think about that!  I love you all!

But before this gets too mushy and you begin to wonder where the sarcasm has gone...

faux cabled fingerless gloves
Two-toned fingerless gloves

Okay, so that's for one (or maybe 3 or 4) particular friend(s).

Anyway....  I love you all and am blessed to call each & every one of you a friend.

And, in case you were wondering, I finished the two-toned, faux cabled fingerless mitts.  They won't be showing up in my Etsy shop because the thumb hole on one is a row higher than the other.  Oops.  Not a big enough oops to bother fixing, but too big of an oops to sell.

So yeah, some lucky friend will be getting miss-matched, two-toned fingerless gloves for Christmas.  Aren't you glad we're friends?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 20 & the Delete Key

Wow!  Day 20 of giving thanks!  I can't believe I've kept up with this.  While I am always thankful for the things (the people, experiences as well as the material things in my life) in past years, I've been horrible at publicly stating them on a daily basis.  Anyway.....

Today I'm giving thanks to the Delete key.  Good Lord!  I don't know where I've suddenly been on the web that's made my Spam folder explode with advertisements for young girls, cheating house wives, virility meds for men, vitamins, ocean cruises and cars but.... Thank God for the Delete key!  I should also thank my Mac.  This baby has always been awesome at spotting spam email.

I'm also thankful for the Delete key after last night.  I had a little too much birthday cake, got a little snarky in a public forums and was able to delete my snarkiness before I ever pressed Publish.  Thank you, Delete key!

Meanwhile, between the cake eating and all that deleting, I've been knitting.

marigold sock  by
Marigold Sock #1

I finally finished the first Marigold sock.  It's only taken me, what?  Two months?  I need to hurry up and cast on the second sock and knit the ribbing before Second Sock Syndrome sets in.  Once I get past the ribbing on second sock, it normally flies off the needles but doing the ribbing..... Yikes!  SSS has already set in.  It's not helping that I oh so badly wish I'd used a slip stitch pattern for these socks.  The yarn just begs for slipped stitches.  I'm not ripping this sock though.  Guess I'll just have to buy more yarn.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 19 & My Baby Girl

Today, I'm thankful for my baby girl.

celebrating TBT and Sarah's birthday and her fashion sense.
Sarah, the Redneck Hillbilly

I'm oh-so thankful she came into our lives 19 years ago today.

I'm also thankful she outgrew her five year old sense of fashion.  Her Redneck Hillbilly phase was even more embarrassing than her three year old Barbie Princess phase.  At least when she wore her Barbie Princess costume to the grocery store people realized it was a costume and not something I'd purposely bought for her to wear on a daily basis.  But the Redneck Hillbilly phase.... ah, that was just painful.

Happy Birthday, Sarah.  I love you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 18

I'm just glad to be alive.  Sarah, my daughter, took me on another hike this past weekend.  We went to North Anna Battlefield Park.  It started off nice.

hiking in VA
North Anna Battlefield Park

There was an easy path to follow.

day hike in VA
North Anna Battlefield Park

The path quickly became covered with leaves but it was still an easy walk.

North Anna Battlefield Park
North Anna Battlefield Park

We walked beside and/or over several different little creeks.  And then, then we came to the sign.

Dangerous Slope

You see, before we crossed the first creek, we'd had to choose between taking the Blue path or the Gray path.  Sarah let me choose after telling me only that the Blue path was a little longer than the Gray path.  It was a beautiful day and we both needed some exercise so I chose Blue.

North Anna Battlefield Park
North Anna Battlefield Park

Let me tell you people - if given the choice, never, ever choose the Blue path.  When allowing me to make the choice between Blue & Gray, Sarah never bothered to mention that the website has a Blue Path warning.  We had to walk, slip, slide & crawl from the top of one mini-mountain to the top of the next.

North Anna Battlefield Park
North Anna Battlefield Park

And while we walked, slid, climbed & crawled, we could barely even see the path under all the fallen leaves.

hiking along North Anna River
North Anna River

A few minor heart attacks later, we finally made our way to the river which marks the end of the trail.
North Anna Battlefield Park
North Anna River

It's a pretty little river, but wait....  We're at the end of the trail.  The trail doesn't loop back around?  I've just suffered about 16 minor heart attacks climbing up and down hills and now I have to turn around and do it all over again?  In reverse?  Needless to say, my dear daughter is no longer the favorite child.


We eventually made it out of the woods and back to the glorious sight of our car.  The only wild life we saw, thankfully was one very large toad.

And after all that, somehow, my dear daughter has talked me into going back next week to give the Gray Path a try.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 17

Today, I'm giving thanks for the beautiful fall weather we've been having.

#givingthanks for beautiful fall weather, dog walking weather
Sarah & Max

It's been perfect dog walking weather.

And it's always knitting weather.

Giving thanks for fingerless gloves for sale at
Fingerless Gloves

In an effort to use up a little of yarn I have left over from all the recent hat projects, I'm knitting a pair of two toned fingerless gloves.  The yarn is Patons Classic Wool and I'm knitting a mock cable pattern.  I love mock cable patterns.  Well, I love cable patterns in general, but I hate having to keep up with the cable needle.  You'd think keeping up with the needle would be easy considering 99% of the time, I'm parked in front of my computer & Netflix but.....

Monday, November 16, 2015

Giving Thanks for The Guy Who Sews

Today I'm giving thanks to The Guy Who Sews and the adorable project bag he made for me.

knitting project bag from

There are sheep on it so of course I love it!  It's a knitter's dream and I love it for many more reasons than just the sheep.  But the sheep are pretty great!  Since the sheep have little pink noses, I requested my bag be lined with pink fabric to match.  Honestly, I was a little worried when I requested the pink lining.  I'm not all that fond of pink, but I wanted something light colored but not boring white.  Anyway, even though there were many colors to choose from, I chose the pink and am super glad I did.  It matches the sheep's noses perfectly.

The bag is the perfect size.  I wanted something large enough to easily hold a hat or pair of socks, but small enough to toss into my purse.  I should probably admit that my "purse" looks more like a brief case.  It's huge.  But what ever.  I wanted a simple project bag that would easily fit into my briefcase sized purse.  All my other project bags, even the small ones that barely fit one sock, are too bulky and have handles and.... Well, I could come up with a million reasons why they aren't what I wanted.  But this bag is perfect.  I can fit a pair of socks and a hat into the bag and it still easily closes with room to spare, yet the bag isn't huge and bulky.

And speaking of closing easily, the bag's drawstring is perfect!  The drawstring moves easily through the fabric so it's easy to open and close and yet it doesn't accidently come open when it gets tossed around.  It's apparently a magical drawstring.  Oh, and another great feature - there's no velcro in sight.

I was also delighted with the customer service Sean provided.  Sean is The Guy Who Sews by the way.  He was great at keeping me apprised of the status of my bag and he was quick to address my questions and concerns.  The Guy Who Sews definitely knows how to please a knitter!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Giving Thanks - November 15th!

My entire family is giving thanks for November 15th finally arriving.

You see, growing up, my mom refused to turn the heat on until November 15th.  She said it was the law and as a young child, I honestly thought it was a law.  The heat didn't get turned on until November 15th and it got shut off for the season on April 15th.  It's just the way it was.  And as much as I hated freezing half to death for the few weeks leading up to November 15th, I've kept the tradition.  My family hates the tradition, but they do enjoy teasing me about it.  And luckily, they are pretty good sports about it and are happy, or at least willing, to wear coats and gloves in the house on those few super cold days we have prior to November 15th.

And since my family are such good sports about the Heat Law,

Giving thanks for fingerless gloves available for sale at
Fingerless Gloves

I knit a pair of fingerless gloves someone can wear on April 16th when it's still too cold to turn the heat off but I turn it off anyway.  Because really, it's the law!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 14

Today I'm giving thanks for two things.  The first is that I've stuck with this Giving Thanks thing, at least so far.  I'll be the first to admit that when I publicly declare that I will do X on certain days, it's pretty much a guarantee that I will never, ever do X again.  But so far, so good.  I'm quite thankful for the Blogging Gods or the Gods of Public Declaration or who ever it is in my head nudging me to put the knitting down & turn off Netflix for a few minutes each day so I can write these posts.

The second thing I'm thankful for is my son.  While it kills me that he's all grown up and talking about moving out, I'm oh so thankful for the fun, yet responsible young man he's turned into.  And since he's such a responsible young man, he received his first credit card in the mail yesterday.

#givingthanks for my son, a happy Zack

He's feeling pretty smug about it.  Or at least he was until I suggested he use it to buy me some yarn.


Meanwhile, I knit another hat.

hemmed brim slouchy hat for sale at

I absolutely love the finished results of this one.  The yarn is Patons Classic Wool in the Light Grey Marl colorway.  Every single time I go to the yarn store, this wool taunts me.  I love the colorway in the skein but I'm rarely happy with the way tweedy yarns look knit up.  Each time I visit the yarn shop, I pet a skein of the Light Grey Marl, tell it how pretty it is, then move on because I know I'll be unhappy once I start knitting with it.  But on the last trip, the yarn fumes got to me and I tossed a skein into my basket.  And I'm so glad I did.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Giving Thanks to my Etsy Customers

Yikes, I just realized it's Friday 13th.  That wouldn't normally bother me because while I was raised to be superstitious about it, in all  honesty, I tend to have better than average luck on Friday 13th's.  But, today, my baby girl has taken my car for the day and I'm still a little twitchy about her driving by herself.  I'll admit, she'll be 55 years old & I'll still be nervous about my 'baby girl' driving but cut me some slack about it today.  It's Friday the 13th.

But, this post is supposed to be about what I'm thankful for, not what weird little things freak me out.


Today I am oh so thankful for my Etsy customers.  Y'all are the best!  Not only have you all been pleasant in our interactions and I've enjoyed creating the custom orders you've requested, you also give me a reason to knit.  Okay, you give me a reason to knit more.  And buy more yarn.  And while I may occasionally grumble about not having time to knit for myself, I'm sort of glad I don't.  I really don't have the drawer space for another pair of hand knit socks.   But all sarcasm aside, I really am very appreciative of your business.  It makes me so happy when you trust in me and hand over your hard earned cash to purchase something I've knit.  Each and every transaction warms my heart.  The shop has been open for four years now and I still do the Happy Dance each time I'm notified of a sale.  I hope I never loose that sense of excitement.  As a small token of my appreciation, please use coupon code "JGKTHANKSYOU" to receive 10% off your entire purchase from Jeannie Gray Knits.

Meanwhile, there's a new listing in the shop.  This slouchy hat went from


to being listed in the shop almost over night.  I love the simple design, the hemmed brim and the decorative hanging loop on the crown.

I can't remember the last time I knit anything with a hemmed edge.  I'm not sure what motivated me to put one on this hat because at the time, I was dreading it.  The whole time I was knitting the hemmed part, I was giving myself the 'you can get through this, it's not That bad' speech.  I must have had a bad experience at some point with knitting a hemmed edge, so bad in fact that I've blocked it from memory.  But this hem knit up smoothly and now I'm slightly obsessed with knitting more.  So thanks again, Etsy customers.  You've gotten me over my fear of knitting hemmed edges.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 12

Today I'm giving thanks to my kids...

TBT Zack & Sarah, Kings Dominion, 2001

and the fact that they (a) have both learned to drive real cars and (b) they both got teeth.  Eventually.

I'm still terrified of the idea of them being behind the wheel and the freedom that a driver's license provides, but damn if it isn't sweet having someone I can send to the grocery store.  Thanks kids, I love you to death!  And would you pick up a head of lettuce on your way home?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Giving Thanks on Veterans Day

Today all of America gives thanks to our veterans.  We thank and honor them for the sacrifices made so that we may enjoy our freedoms.

We thank people like my father who served in WWII,

Dad, Randolph M. Owen, WWII
R. M. Owen, WWII

and we thank those who served in Vietnam,

Ron Hudson, Vietnam
R. L. Hudson, Vietnam

and we thank the troops who've served our country whether they went to actual war or not.

Greg Wiant in Panama South America
G. S. Wiant, South America

A double thanks goes out to those last two.  I admit it - I stole their photos off their Facebook walls.  Over the years I've known many, many military personnel but for some reason, I don't have photos of them in their uniforms.  Worse, I can't find the photos I have of my great grandfather in his WWI uniform or even my husband in uniform.  Since the only photo I could find was of my dad, I decided a little thievery was in order.

Thievery or not, from the bottom of my heart, I thank all the men and women of our military for your protection and service.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Giving Thanks to the Yarn Gods

I'm giving thanks to the Yarn Gods today!  Remember I started these fingerless gloves the other day?

giving thanks for fingerless gloves on sale at
Fingerless Gloves

Well, I played a mean game of Chicken with the yarn.

The yarn's band said the skein weighed 50 grams.  I didn't weigh it before I began knitting, but when I'd finished the first glove, I had 26 grams of yarn left in the skein.  One gram more than exactly half.  Excellent.  Excellent as long as the skein had actually weighed 50 grams when I started.

And so, the game of Yarn Chicken began.  I got a little nervous doing the second glove's bind-off.

#givingthanks for fingerless gloves for sale at
Completed Fingerless Glove

But in the end, the Yarn Gods blessed me with a spare 6.5 inches of yarn.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Yarn Gods!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 9

Today, I'm giving thanks to Twitter for providing me endless hours of procrastination.  Specially today.  Etsy's Forums are down so no procrastinating getting done there.

No knitting photos being shared today either.  I don't know what I did yesterday, but what ever it was, it wasn't knitting.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 8

So yesterday was a weird one.  This weekend is the first weekend I've had off since the beginning of March.  March people!  That's a long time to go without a Saturday and Sunday off.  All the cool, fun things happen on the weekends and I miss out on all of it.  That's one downfall to the job I love so much.  Another downfall is that working the long hours that I do and never having two days off in a row means that the one day off I do get is spent sleeping and doing laundry.   My entire summer is spent either at work, sleeping, or standing mostly naked in front of the washing machine.  When the season ends and I get to go back out into the real world, it's a bit disorienting.  Literally.  I have to re-learn how to grocery shop, how to cook dinner for the family, how to interact with cashiers and how to be social.  It sounds weird, but it's true.  And I'm not the only one who feels it.  Other co-workers have mentioned they feel the same weird disorientation when they finally get the opportunity to go out into the real world (as opposed to theme park world.)

Anyway.... Since I woke up sick the very first day after the season ended this year, yesterday was my first day out of the house. (I woke up feeling much, much better thank you very much.)  Of course, while I was waking up feeling oh, so much better, the rest of the family was waking up feeling ughy.  Ha!  That's what they get for 'allowing' me to wash dishes while I was sick!  Pay back's a b*tch.  (Picture the evil Mom grin.)

Anyway....  After enjoying a cup of coffee that I could actually taste (glory hallelujah!) I got dressed in real clothes (no uniform!) climbed into the car and hit the Real World.  The Real World being Target.  Now, keep in mind I'm suffering from Real World disorientation so every single thing seems slightly weird, exciting and surreal.  But several things happened while I was there that seemed noteworthy.  First, there was the Halloween 70 - 90% off sale and lucky for me, the only candy left was candy corn.  You know how I feel about candy corn.  I am now the proud owner of six bags.  Six!  Good Lord!  I was also interested to note that the only costumes left were banana costumes.  That may not seem strange to the majority of you, but my closest friends will understand why that would be "a thing," specially when I'm still feeling slightly Real World disoriented.  And then, as I was walking toward the cash registers, I passed the kids' toy aisle and I overheard the most precious thing.  One little twin boy drags the other twin boy over to some special display (looked like Lego's to me, but it was secured in a special glass case so who knows) and the first twin says to the second twin, "Let's talk about The present."  It was so cute!

Next up was a trip to Michael's craft store.  You know I spent hours and hours wandering up and down every single aisle, some of them more than once.  Okay, most of them more than once, some of them more than twice.  The weird thing there  - there was a customer with a bunch of children on the spray paint aisle.  They were down on the floor, spray painting a wreath bright blue.  Spray painting!  Spray painting a wreath on the store's bare floor, with a can of paint off the shelf.  What the Hell??  You don't even get to see that kind of behavior at Walmart!

Next on the docket was a trip to Barnes & Noble.  Where a little boy who looked to be about four was throwing one of those fits that only a four year old can throw.  But this kid's fit was extra special.  While he cried and flung snot every where, he was also kicking his mom and loudly screaming, "I'm gonna beat your a$$!"  Good Lord!

At that point, I decided that I'd had enough of the Real World for one weekend and went home.  Home where I'm grateful to be an American.

flag & row boat on the pond.  American simplicity.  #GivingThanks

Okay, that's cheesy, I admit it.  But there's something I just love about the simplicity of this row boat and flag on the edge of the pond.  And I couldn't very well say I was dedicating an entire Giving Thanks post to 75% off candy corn.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Giving Thanks Day 7, or let's just knit instead

Today's post has been written, deleted and re-written about 40 times already and will most likely, be deleted and re-written at least once more.

I'm conflicted and at a total loss for words.  Imagine that - me not rambling on for page after page after page of a "short" post.

The problem is, today I feel guilty for being thankful.  My mind is numb and all I can do or think is how eternally grateful I am to have my kids and to be able to hug them.  To be able to send them crazy, "I know I'm being a helicopter parent, but I love you and please be safe and please come home" text messages and have them actually respond.

You see, a friend and co-worker doesn't have that option any more.  Her two teenaged sons lost their lives in a tragic car accident on Thursday.

And just typing that leaves me speechless and in tears.

And guilty.  Guilty for being thankful that I still have my kids.  Guilty for even sharing the information.  Blog wise, should I mention it or pretend it didn't happen and my thoughts are not consumed by what she and her family are going through?  While I consider us friends, we weren't super close.  We didn't have the opportunity.  Our jobs had us working in different areas most of the time so we didn't get the chance to interact much, but we did spend plenty of nights chatting while ironing wet money.  (Yes, that's a thing.  Part of the job is ironing wet money.  Crazy, right?)  While we weren't close enough to have shared phone numbers (and I'm speaking in past tense because the season is over and the job feels like it's in the past,) my heart breaks for you.  You and your family are in, and will remain in, my thoughts and prayers.  And as a fellow parent.... I'm once again speechless, in tears and numb.

Meanwhile, since this is supposed to be a blog about knitting,

fingerless gloves, fingerless mitts, arm warmers for sale at
OTN, fingerless gloves

And once again, I'm conflicted.  Should I delete all that?  Again?  Should I just make up some dumb, meaningless thing to be thankful for today and simply show the OTN photo?  Probably.  But I won't because I want to give thanks for the things I'm truly thankful for.  Even if they make me feel a little bit guilty.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 6

I'll be honest.  I'm not feeling particularly thankful today.  I have a cold.  A horrible, horrible, cold.  My nose is stopped up and raw from being blown so often, my lips are chapped from doing that awful 'I have a cold' mouth-breathing thing, my ears hurt and my sinuses....  My sinuses feel like....well, I don't even know what they feel like.  They hurt.  They throb with each beat of my pulse.  I swear my cheeks are so swollen they're blocking my vision.  Just glancing down at the keyboard makes me feel like I've been hit in the face with a brick.  I've coughed so much even my arm pit muscles are getting sore.  Generally, I feel really, really ughy.

Have I mentioned that I don't do well with little illnesses?  Child birth, ectopic pregnancies, broken bones, gall bladders..... no problem.  Give me a Tylenol and I'll laugh at how bad it hurts and then get on with my day.  But little illnesses like a cold, a hang nail or a paper cut.... and I become a huge puddle of pathetic.

And that's where I am today.  A huge, gigantic puddle of pathetic.

And since I'm a huge, giant puddle of pathetic, I don't have much mental capacity for knitting anything the least bit difficult.  "Difficult" being anything more than knitting one stitch every few minutes.

Giving thanks for simple cowl project OTN
OTN 11/6/15

Luckily, I still have an "at work" project on the needles even though work is done for the season.  It's a simple, all stockinette, knit in the round cowl.  Pretty mindless and perfect for 'I feel ughy' knitting.  And please, pardon the blurry photo.  Coughing fits and photography don't go together too well.  But I am thankful to have this very simple project already on the needles.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 5

Today I am giving thanks for my wonderful, loving husband.

TBT throwback Thursday photo of my loving husband
TBT Mike & Zack, 1995

He's put up with me through the good times as well as the bad and he turned out to be a great dad to our kids.  Even when he drives me so insane I want to bash his head in with a cast iron frying pan, I still love him to death & can't imagine life without him.  So I guess what I'm really thankful for is an old boss who forced me to go to a hockey game where I met Mike.  Thanks Nancy!  I owe you one.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 4

Today's Giving Thanks post will be short.  I've managed to catch a horrible cold & feel all ughy, so besides being thankful for Advil Congestion Relief,

giving thanks for blue skies and yellow leaves
Fall foliage

I'm thankful for fall foliage against a bright blue sky.

giving thanks for fall at the lake
Fall on the lake

And the simplicity of walking the dog in the fall.

giving thanks for living at lake caroline and watching the sun set over the water
Sunset on Lake Caroline

And watching the sun begin to set over the lake.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 3

Today I'm giving thanks to cheaper gas prices.

gas prices at Flying J, Carmel Church as of 11/2/15
Gas Prices, 11/2/15

$1.79! Wow! The last time I put gas in the car, it was $2.24.  Admittedly, I've been lucky & the car has needed gas on the days my daughter is driving (we share a car) and she's been the one to go to the gas station for the past month or two.  But still.... $1.79.  I'm pretty excited.  And thankful.

I'm also pretty excited about this hat.

hat for sale at
Watch Cap Style Hat

It's a fake fair isle knit from Yarn Bee's Fair Isle yarn.  The yarn is an acrylic/alpaca blend and was a joy to knit with, even though it was mostly acrylic.  (That's the yarn snob in me is coming out.)  The yarn was nice and squishy and knit up super fast.  It has that alpaca hairiness, but it didn't have the alpaca scratchiness.  I'll definitely buy more of this yarn.

slouchy hat, slouchy beanie for sale at
Slouchy Style Hat

I knit it so that the brim could be folded up watch cap style or worn unfolded and slouchy.  If you're interested, that hat will most likely show up in my Etsy shop within the next few days.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 2

Frequently, it's the small things I'm thankful for the most.

Today I'm thankful for my Employee Appreciation Day travel mug.  This thing is fantastic!  I always have a drink in the car so over the years, I've owned a lot of travel mugs/cups.  And most of them have been horrible.  The lids don't screw on tight so they leak, the spout is too large & you choke to death on the huge mouthful of hot coffee, or the spout is too small & it takes you 30 minutes to get one little sip out.  And I've had cups that didn't keep hot things warm so that by the time I got out of the driveway, my coffee was already cold.  Or my favorite - when the cup sweats profusely from a cold drink and it drips on you so badly, you might as well have dumped the contents of the cup down your shirt front.

But this cup, my Employee Appreciation Day cup, is fantastic!  Hot coffee stays hot for hours and cold drinks stay cold for hours and best of all, the cup doesn't sweat.  I LOVE my new travel mug!    Now, if I can just keep it out of my husbands hands....