Life is crazy

So, I have been absent again from this space.  Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever slow down enough to continue this blog as it should be.

Our life has been busy here with the play and my efforts to help with costuming the 114 little people in the cast.  This year, I think we (Sara & I) have about 6 people, including ourselves, working on costumes.  It seems like it should be more and maybe there are more that I don’t know about.  This year just seems harder.  Harder to get the information we need to make the right costume choices in the first place and harder to get into the right mind set to get the job done at all.  Part of the problem seems to be a lack of people who still know how to sew and are willing to do that on a volunteer basis.

I think it may boil down to me needing to say no to some of the extra stuff that I do.  I think it’s time to slow down the busy-ness of my life and just enjoy being in the moment.

It’s time to say no to being the service unit treasurer for our Girl Scout service unit.  I haven’t had time to do this job properly for some time now and I’m sure that there is someone in our service unit who can do this job.  i’m not sure what other volunteer stuff I can cut right now, but this one has to go.

It’s time to say no to busy work.  Those projects that I come up with to fill time that doesn’t need filling.  Like cutting out an apron pattern to sew for the play when we don’t need one.  The pieces are staring me in the face, but I’m not sewing this up until other things get done.  And maybe I’ll just sew it up for myself  then instead.

It’s time to declutter our living space.  We have too much stuff.  Our house is the right size for us and I don’t see us moving into anything else, either bigger or smaller, any time soon so it’s time to rid ourselves of what we no longer need, want or use.  I’m sure that there are charities who can use these things to make money for themselves via resale and that is where they need to go.

It’s time to get serious about getting rid of my excess weight.  It isn’t helping me by keeping it on and it is hurting other aspects of my life and my life expectancy.  It has got to go.  Today I have made a start-again.  Kind of like when I quit smoking almost 21 years ago, I just had to keep quitting until the quitting stuck; I will have to keep beginning the 17 Day diet until the formula sticks.  Today I had 6 oz of Greek yogurt with 1 Truvia packet and a cup of coffee with creamer for breakfast.  Not exactly the perfect 17 Day Diet breakfast, but closer than I was yesterday.

It’s time to put our house first on the to do list.  That means making sure that I have finished what needs to be finished here before going to another project outside of the home.  Pretty soon I will get called back to work for the spring and I need to have this space clean and in proper order before that happens or things might continue to slip.

It’s time to stop putting my family second to other people’s wants, or what they think are their needs, because I’ve accomodated their wants in the past and they just seem to want more and more.  Enough!  My family deserves my best effort and that is where my efforts will go.

It’s time to enjoy life without the craziness of busy-ness.

Enjoy life.

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The Maker of Opportune Miracles (aka Mom)

Sorry for the silence.  I’ve been battling a cold and pms this past week.  I think the pms plans to hang around until the cold is gone and then really unleash its fury.  Or perhaps the cold has me so knocked down that I am able to ignore the pms.

Either way, I’m miserable.  It would be nice to be able to just lie on the couch with a cold cloth over my watering eyes and rest.  At least to rest as much as one can while clutching a box of kleenex and praying the wastebasket doesn’t overflow before I feel well enough to empty it myself.

But that won’t happen.  Because I’m a mom.  We don’t get the luxury of days off like that.  Instead we keep plugging away at our tasks.  Like driving to school to deliver the guitar, music book & guitar picks to the son who always seems to forget what part of the week Tuesday falls on.  Or explaining patiently, when the husband asks in all seriousness, why I can’t fit 100 pounds of beef roast in my 5 quart crockpot and get it started for the Blue & Gold ceremony that happens to be on the same day the Girl Scout troop needs to run a station for Thinking Day (an all day event in our service unit).

“Well, could I do it if he got me a roaster?”  Yes, seriously he asked.  And no, I could not fit 100 pounds of beef in an 18 quart roaster either.  The man has no concept of quantity and the space needed to store it.  Or for that matter, the time needed to cook it.  In fact, I doubt that we could fit 100 pounds of beef roast in our home refrigerator even if it was completely empty and it is currently full of produce (for my diet) and leftovers (because I can’t always eat what I make for them).  So no, no and N-O.  Sign me up for bars or something I can make the day before.

However, this is why I have come to believe that my family thinks that the word Mom stands for:

Maker of

Opportune

Miracles

Their supporting evidence:

1.  Their clothing is miraculously clean when they need it.  And mended when required.  All with little to no effort on their part.

2.  Good food always appears when they are hungry.  The only effort they make in this area is to occasionally cook if the mood strikes them.  And if they aren’t “too busy”.

3.  They can drop their junk anywhere and never clean it up, yet they can ask one question and be told exactly where to find said item.  And the items in question even occasionally arrive in their rooms waiting to be found and put away.

4.  Needed items always make their way to them without anything worse than a phone call to the Maker of Opportune Miracles (guitar, flute, change of clothes because they can’t be seen in their school uniform after school hours).

5.  The house is always clean (or at least clean enough for them not to care) with little or no effort on their part.

6.  When they are sick, they receive comfort, care and as many of their favorite foods or things as their illness can tolerate without worsening.

Quite the convincing argument for belief in the Maker of Opportune Miracles. 

I think it’s time they start pulling their weight.  This M.O.M. needs a break.

Still trying to be good

Christmas eve was spent with just our immediate family.  We attended 4 pm Mass (out of duty as I was scheduled to sacristan & Ditty was scheduled as an altar server.  I would have preferred to attend the 10 am Christmas Day Mass.),  then headed home for supper and gift opening.  CB, Ditty, BooBoo & DH all enjoyed their gifts very much.  BooBoo had what will probably be referred to by our family as a “Very Lego Christmas”.  At least for the next few years.  DH asked BooBoo, after he had opened his last present, if he still felt the need to go to the Lego store and spend his birthday & Christmas money and BooBoo actually said “No”.  That’s a first.

Christmas Day was spent with DH’s side of the family.  The children draw names and swap presents among the small fry.  The adults purchase a gift and we do our exchange as a game.  This year with dice, gift swiping and a bit of “pot stirring” by a few of us.

Today was spent with my parents, due in part to the early Christmas eve Mass and also CB’s schedule.  She had to work until 1:30 on Christmas eve and then had a 3 1/2 hour drive to get home, so it just worked out better to do Christmas with my parents today.

Today’s muse:

“Anger is the feeling that makes your mouth work faster than your mind.”  Evan Esar (1899-1995)

Yeah, that’s why this post has the title it does, but nothing in it seems to apply.  Guess I should be glad that typing slows both mouth and fingers so the mind can catch up.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.  Wishing all of you a joyous & prosperous New Year!

Thanks for your confidence in me. . .

. . . at least, I think.

I’ve always said that I would not go winter camping in a tent or other shelter.  I have no desire to freeze any part of my anatomy by winter camping.  I don’t do well in the cold.  Yes I know I live in the great white frozen north, but that’s in a house with a fairly decent heater, plenty of food & coffee squirrelled away, lots of good books to read and plenty of wool to knit.  Living here in a tent wouldn’t cut it at all with me.

I guess God has other plans.  We planned a family vacation to Yellowstone for early to mid June.  I checked the park’s webpage on the National Parks site just to see what ranger programs would be happening.  Then I saw the road updates link and thought “Hey, let’s check that out for fun”.  OH BOY!  That was not fun!

Apparently, they have had lots of snow in Yellowstone this year.  25 feet of it in the mountain passes.  Yeah, it’s probably no big deal for people used to that much snow.  For us and our trip however, it means that the road between Tower Falls and the campground we have reservations at will be cleared of snow on June 10th.  Weather permitting, they are careful to add.  That’s very close to when we arrive!

Dear Lord, why do you have so much confidence in my ability to adapt to whatever comes my way?  I was looking forward to wearing shorts & a t-shirt when we hike up the mountains and stand on a glacier.  Guess we’ll be packing the parkas instead.

At least I can bring my wool and knit some new mittens to wear.  Ditty was equally “thrilled” to hear about more snow in our future.  Lord, please give us strength.

Happy Mother’s Day

From a greeting card, but so appropriate:

     Here’s to the mothers awake in the night with a colicky baby in tow.  And here’s to the ones who are knee-deep in laundry with five or six loads left to go.

     Here’s to the mothers who mouth every word when their child is performing on stage, who understand wisely there’s something to love about each child at every age.

     Here’s to the mothers who try but still fumble, who hope that love makes it okay.  These are the ones we remember and honor in all of our hearts every day.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms, whether biological, adoptive, step, foster, in-law or just like.  Your strength and love are gifts that money can’t measure.

Since temps were unseasonably cool this year, even for the great white frozen north, these pics are actually my 2009 garden.  I felt moms should have flowers on Mother’s Day.

A little of this and that

Well I have to say that I was appalled at the eulogy delivered by Dave Three’s pastor.  He kept saying “Well, for you, he died too young”.  Yes, we already knew that, duh!  How does it help the bereaved to keep harping on the fact that the deceased died too young?  I was getting close to walking from the back of the congregation up to the pulpit to have some words with him.  Yes, I know that would not have helped his wife and family either-which is why I stayed in my seat, seething, instead.

The other thing the pastor said was this: “It is in our nature to ask Why when something like this happens.  But you should not ask Why.  There is no answer to that question at a time like this.”  What do you mean there is no answer to the question of “Why”?  I suppose asking that question might lead a person to ask other questions.  Like about life, death, their faith practices.  Oh, heaven forbid that we question whether our faith is right or not!  Sheesh, how are people supposed to grow and mature in their life and in their faith if they never ask questions?

Well, the assembly was invited to join together after the funeral for a luncheon in their fellowship hall.  I chose to just get out of there and eat lunch at Perkins.  I couldn’t stand another minute of that pastor and if anyone had asked my opinion of his sermon, I couldn’t have lied.  I was way too angry.

Now for some questions of my own.

Why does the Lutheran Church say the Apostle’s Creed?  There is a line in the Creed that states:  “I believe in the Holy Catholic Church”.  Well, thanks for believing in us, but is it doing you any good?

And why do they say the Nicene Creed?  The line “We believe in one, holy catholic and apostolic church” seems wrong in that setting too.  They deny Apostolic Succession, so why say you believe in what you deny?  Since Catholic translates to universal, how are they universal?  They don’t necessarily pray the same prayers or use the same scripture readings on the same Sundays as all the other Lutheran Churches.  And there are now so many varieties of Lutheran Churches that they are definitely not One or Universal.  It just doesn’t make sense.

Yeah, I’m going to need to reread the Letter of James again.  It’s awfully hard not to judge others.

Hello there

We’re just hanging out over here, trying to decompress from the Christmas hubbub.

Ever have days like this?

Resort Vacation

At least the penguins are enjoying the weather.  Do you think they packed enough in that basket?  Balls, stilts and who knows what else.  Bet there’s no broccoli, lol.

It’s snowing (again) today.  Doesn’t look like it could snow enough to cancel tonight’s activities (picture day & cookie dough pickup for BooBoo’s wrestling group).  I just hope it doesn’t slop up the roads too much.  Ditty needs her flute repaired and I have to drive it to the shop.

If it’s snowing where you are . . . drive safe, carry extra windshield washer fluid and stay warm.

My knitterly ways

I just picked up Elizabeth Zimmerman’s book Knitting Without Tears.  I’ve been knitting for 34 years but started knitting with her book Knitting Around a few years ago.  I like the way she writes her instructions.  I truly enjoy all of her “digressions” as she calls them.  Maybe that’s why my blog is not purely a knitting blog.  Okay, that reason and the fact that it takes me so long to knit things “in my spare time” as it were, that  posting would be too sporadic for anyone to want to follow this blog.

My favorite (okay new favorite) quote from Knitting Without Tears is about scarves (no, I didn’t start at the beginning and read the whole book yet.  I peeked at the back and found this gem.).

“They (scarves) may be made back and forth on two needles, with as many stitches as you wish; the length is governed only by your patience and stamina.”

Well, I’ve been working off and on toward a scarf for Ditty and I think my patience and stamina are both getting a bit thin.  Unfortunately, I have no one to blame but myself.  I decided to knit the scarf rather than a pair of mittens out of the excess yarn that I bought to make her a hat.  Why I thought that a pattern which said two hats could be made from one ball of the recommended yarn would somehow require three balls of said yarn, I do not know.  Maybe I had initially wanted to make a hat, mittens and scarf but it was last year that I made the hat, so the initial intent is no longer in my memory.

But here’s a photo of the beginnings of the scarf.

And one of the current progress on the scarf.

The pattern is inspired by the Double Cable Scarf in Leigh Radford’s book One Skein.  I decided to skip the ribbing in between the two sets of double cables and just cable the whole scarf.  I also decided that a 38 inch scarf is really too short for a girl, so I added a second skein of yarn.  I also did this so that when I reversed the cable twist, I wouldn’t have to figure out where the halfway point was going to land-just cable up the first skein and then cable down with the second.  It seemed brilliant at the time, but like I said, my patience and my stamina are wearing a bit thin with all those cables.  At least it will be a pretty scarf when it is done.  And a one-of-a-kind as well, lol.

To break up the monotony or to just give me a break, I’m also knitting Matthias’ Oversized Monk’s Robe for BooBoo.  He wants to be Matthias from Brian Jacques book Redwall for Halloween next year.  This (ahem) little project was inspired by the book Great Yarns for a Close Knit Family by Mary C. Gildersleeve.  The book gives a brief description of a story that the author and her family enjoy as a read aloud and she has designed a couple of patterns to go with each story.  Redwall is mentioned as one of the stories, so I hoped to find a monk’s habit pattern to knit for BooBoo.  I know, silly to think someone would knit a full monk’s habit, but I had hoped.  Mrs. Gildersleeve’s pattern for Matthias’ Oversized Monk’s Habit was a very large, hooded poncho.  Rats!  Since I wanted something that looked like an actual monk’s habit, I knew I would have to design it myself.

Here’s where reading (and believing in) Elizabeth Zimmerman’s no nonsense approach to knitting came in handy. 

I knit some stockinette stitch on size 8 needles to find my gauge with the (yuck!) acrylic yarn I would be using for the costume.  No one, in my opinion, should use good wool yarn for a costume.  Especially one that will drag in the mud and muck that usually comes with Halloween in these parts.  So acrylic it had to be. 

Size 8 needles seemed to be the right size to give me a knitted fabric that would be neither too tight (meaning I’d have to knit forever to get the thing to the right size) or too loose (meaning large gaping holes that make it look like moths have attacked a monk’s habit-the nerve!).

Once I found my gauge, I cast on the number of stitches that would give me a 36 inch circumference.  BooBoo is a skinny kid so a 36 inch chest will look plenty big on him both this year and next.  I then knit in the round twelve rows of garter stitch for the hem of the robe.  After all, who really wants to have to sew a hem after all that knitting.  A garter stitch bottom seemed to be the answer to my prayers.  I switched to stockinette stitch after that for the body of the garment.  Then I measured BooBoo from the floor to his armpit to determine the length I would need to knit before having to worry about, I mean plan out the sleeve and yoke shaping.  I added two inches to this measurement to give me more time length to the garment.  It is supposed to be oversized and since he’s been growing close to two inches a year lately, this seemed to be a wise thing to do if I want the thing to be truly oversized.

Here’s a photo of my progress so far.

The robe measures 22 inches in length so far.  Only 22 more to go before I have to w plan for those sleeves, etc.  Gee, if I get this done by February, BooBoo could even wear it for the Dress as your favorite Book Character Day at his school during I Love To Read month.  Pressure, pressure.  We’ll see how it goes I guess. 

I’ll update on the progress again once I’ve got some sleeves  or a finished scarf to show you.  Until then,

Happy Knitting!

Today was the day

Or rather, yesterday was supposed to be the day.  The day we went to the Math & Science Family Fair.  DH & BooBoo went.  Ditty & I were going with our Girl Scout troop.  But, the weather turned fickle as it is wont to do in mid November and often times much earlier.

We woke up this morning to snow.  Not enough to keep most people indoors.  After all, we have to shovel the stuff off the driveway and front steps.  Can’t have it piling up just anywhere you know.  It was however enough to keep Ditty & I at home.  My co-leader for her scout troop and her husband own a towing business along with a snow plowing service.  This snowfall gave them plenty of work.  They were busy pulling vehicles out of the ditches all morning.  They are also the ones most aware of just how bad the roads are since they go out on calls during the worst weather.  So, she called off the trip and I will stand by her call.

I called DH to ask him if I should drive down to the Fun fair with Ditty since he was expecting her to help him in the B.E.S.T. booth.  He said no.  He had seen 8 cars in the ditches of the freeway between two towns that are not so far apart.  The roads were bad and if he hadn’t been the one with all of the stuff for their booth, he would have turned back just one town up the road from ours and headed home himself.  When you’ve lived all your life in Minnesota, that’s saying something.  We deal with snow on a constant basis in winter.  Although not all the people here remember how to drive in this weather, we do.  So when he says don’t go out, I listen.

Or at least I did until I ran out of painter’s tape.  Then I head to Walmart.  Luckily, it had stopped snowing.  The side roads hadn’t been plowed yet, but the main road was good.  I passed my co-leader heading in the opposite direction.  A car was in the ditch close to where we both live and she was in one of their tow trucks coming to get the person back on the road.  No, we didn’t wave to each other.  We both kept our hands on the steering wheels of our vehicles.  There’ll be time for hello’s later.

In the meantime, Ditty’s room has it’s walls washed and the trim is all taped.  Monday will see us putting on the first coat of primer and if all goes well (meaning if the phone doesn’t drive me daft), we should be done painting her room by Wednesday or Thursday.  Then I’ll just have the wall paper border to put up along the ceiling.  Ugh, the things I get myself into.  When did I ever think that I could hang wallpaper?  Oh yeah, back when that room belonged to the 24 year old.  Oh drat!  Wish me luck.

Have a blessed Sunday!

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Perfectly Preserved In Perpetuity

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

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Quotes:

"If you are what you should be you will set the whole world on fire."
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I finally understand

"Among those around you, apostolic soul, you are the stone fallen into the lake. With your word and your example, you produce a first circle, and it another, and another, and another, wider each time. Now do you understand the greatness of your mission?" St. Josemarie Escriva: The Way