Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Still Crazy After All These Years

I won't tell you how it went at the dentist, because it's tomorrow. I managed to bollux up the dates- and FC had to call to tell me it was this Thursday. I've also managed to misplace last week's book, so I'll use this week's instead. Are you getting a sense of the current state of life around here?

I am more than halfway through this, but I fear it came a bit too late to offer any insight. The author recounts her sons' teenage years, and a major upheaval when they move. They end up staying at her parents house for 3 years, while building their own. Back in 1997, this family upped sticks and moved to the country- it lasted 14 months and we were back in suburbia. I'm not sure I would want to relive the teenage years, although in alot of ways I think teens get a bad rap- they are a mass of raging hormones, no one understands them, and they become very quiet and secretive. It's a hard stage of life- and I am coming out the other side of it with my two. But they are funny, they have alot of insight, and we need to remember that they are people too- insufferable at times. One thing I always remember about kids- to love them, especially when they least deserve it.
This is the progression of my spinning efforts last week- from l to r- White Shetland, Grey Romney, Oatmeal Romney (dk weight) and Oatmeal Romney fingering weight. Kind of looks like yarn, doesn't it?

Last evening, as I was plying some coloured Corriedale (I'll show you next week), the cat was on one chair, Laura was spread out on the couch, there was roving all over the other chair, and when FC managed to squeeze into a small space, he smacked his head on the cross stitch frame that was on the back of the couch. Poor FC.

I guess I should let daddy sit here- he does pay for my kitty meat.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Springer's Final Thoughts

I'm going to post today because later in the week I am going to the dentist, to have an intensive cleaning, and am already suffering major angst over it. It's silly, I know it's silly, but I can't help it.
But I am going to get it over with, and take my own advice.

In terms of knitting and spinning, there isn't alot to show you. This morning I went through my quilting supplies, as my SIL is taking classes, and I offloaded a pile of books, really nice fat quarters, and some other things on her. I have a few major projects left over- and I don't know if any of you are aware of how long it takes to cut, piece and quilt a bedsize quilt- but it is a major time investment. So far, all I have managed to do is make myself completely nuts, so she is doing me a favour by taking it off my hands.

Work continues on the Shetland Supreme Hap shawl:
Not very exciting, I'm afraid.

This week's book, Knitting Heaven and Earth, was a bit sad. I read "The Knitting Sutra" when it came out back when, and it was the first book that I read about knitting that addressed the obsession- in terms of how knitting can take over your life. Finally, someone "got" it. This second book takes place years later. She talks about a major breakup in middle age, as well as her chemo for breast cancer. But it's not a cancer book per se. I was very saddened to read that the author died shortly afterward, because her writing is like that of someone you knew- if you can read this book from the perspective of discussion of craft- then I would recommend this. If you get upset by real life cancer issues- then give this one a miss.

Continuing last weeks post, I will share some other thoughts.

6. Treat those you love like you would a stranger: One thing that has always puzzled me, and I am guilty of this myself, is why we take our nearest and dearest for granted. We say things to them that we would never think of saying to someone we don't know, safe in the knowledge that they will forgive us. Isn't that a little backwards? Don't the ones we love deserve our respect and kindness more than the clerk at the gas station? I don't mean we should slob all over anyone- but a compliment, or doing something nice for your partner- can make all the difference.

7. Acceptance: We have no control over the behavior of others- but we can control our own behavior, and we are capable of learning better behavior. It isn't so much what happens to you, it's more how you deal with things. In alot of situations- YOU are driving the bus. Some people will never change, and in fact, will only get worse. There is a very true adage : "what can't be cured must be endured".

8. Make every day count: Just because it says so on the calendar, you don't have to wait to mark an occasion. In fact, pick up a wonderful cake, a bottle of wine, wear your new shoes- don't save it for something that may never happen. Have a get-together, phone a buddy for no particular reason. Do something each and every day to celebrate living.

9. This is a big one for me: "Own your shit"- I have noticed recently that there are alot of people who never own up to their part in a bad situation. "Love means never having to say you're sorry"- that's crap. It takes a big person to own up- say you're sorry, I was wrong. Don't always wait for the other person to apologize- that may never happen. I have no respect for those kinds of people- the blameless, professional victims. I also don't have time for arrogance, and know-it-all behavior. Can't be doing with any of that. Let's be honest, you can't like everyone- don't waste precious time on others that have an underlying agenda.

10: The most important thing: Laugh: I don't mean to make others the butt of your jokes, but try and find the humour in a situation, and give yourself permission to laugh, especially at yourself. My father thought he was the funniest guy in the world, and he was. He had the best sense of humour, and I hope I have inherited some of that. I laugh at the silliest things. I laugh when I'm alone and with others. I laugh at the cat, because he is hysterical- kids have no hang ups about laughing (or crying for that matter)- and they can be alot of fun to hang out with. My two have me in stitches sometimes. They're great.

Do you think I can laugh my way through the dental visit? Oh, man!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

As I was saying......

Okay- you want to see the latest yarn I spun? Sure you do.

This time it's 108 yds of natural Shetland Black- kind of sock weight, I'm not sure. I spun and plied this last weekend.

I picked up the edges of my Shetland 2000 Hap shawl- and now it's nothing but lovely knitting, around and around. Laura and I have been having a bit of a Joan Crawford movie marathon- and we love the bitchier ones. Anything with someone getting slapped is great.

I finished this book last night. Gretchen Rubin has a blog- in case you want to get more information about this. Basically, she took a year to become more aware of what made her happy, and does stress the fact that it is a very personal process- which I was glad about, because there is nothing worse than a self-help book that only gives absolutes. Each month she set some goals and resolutions, and it was actually a really easy book to read. Personally, I did wonder how anyone could manage to remember what they set out to do as the year went on- so I found that a bit daunting. I even managed to write some things down, before those thoughts vanished into the ether- but I don't want this post to become preachy. This will be in 2 parts- I've narrowed it down to 10 things- here are the first 5, in no particular order, and what they mean to me.

1. Be Authentic. Gretchen's number one rule is to "be Gretchen". One of the nice things about being an individual, and an adult, is that we have the freedom to choose who we are, and we don't have to be what we are not. For example, like Gretchen, I am not a drinker, don't like alcohol, never did. So I won't have a drink just to be social, and more to the point, I'm not a bar scene, or even cocktail party socializer. Somehow, this makes other people uncomfortable, but I truly don't judge others. It just isn't for me.
I feel much more comfortable with who I am since turning 40, and now that I'm heading toward 50, I find I make less apologies for who I am. It's very freeing, in alot of ways.

2. Keep It In The Vault. It's not so much what you say, but what you don't say. Sometimes we are critical and say things about other people to make ourselves feel better. It rarely works. If I'm feeling crappy, I sometimes will dump some of it on another person, therefore 2 people are feeling crappy. That doesn't work either.

3. Don't Hate-Congratulate. You know, I try never to be envious of other people. If someone gets ahead in life, be happy for them. It's the biggest gift you can give a friend. If your best buddy is moving away, on to a better life- sure you will miss your friend, but what matters is that you truly want the best for them. I don't begrudge anyone a thing.

4. Choose Happiness. There are usually options in most situations. Take the high road, or the easy way, and try to have a positive attitude. I don't mean that in a PollyAnna type way- but even if it means stopping and treating yourself to a Starbucks, if it puts a smile on your face it's worth it. If you love The Three Stooges- who cares? Spend some time with Curly, Larry and Moe. ( and Shemp).

5. Don't Put It Off. It will bite you in the bum. If there's something that has to be done, do it and move on. No one likes the yearly checkup, dentist, taxes, whatever. The sooner you get it out of the way, the sooner you can stop obsessing about it.
That goes for the good things too- is there a place you want to visit? Something you've always wanted to try- if it's within your means, go for it.

There are a few more of Lorraine's Words to Live By, but I'll save that for next time. Here is the obligatory Kitten Chow photo-

You told Chris about my bare tummy- and my nipples. Why didn't you keep THAT in the vault?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

BFL is my BFF

I promise not to start off the first post of 2011 boring the crap out of everyone with my adventures with the spinning wheel, so I'll get to that first, and you can skip over it:

Behold the first plied yarn- my wonderful friend Pat came over and showed me plying, and I really didn't think that the lumpy crap on the bobbins would amount to anything, but hey- we have real yarn, folks. 56 yards of it-

Pat also, touchingly, sewed me a piece to put on my lap, and put my initials on it- I feel choked up when I look at it- because it was so thoughtful, and so Pat. (going off to burble in the corner)

Yesterday, we had the first real snow of the season, and up until now, I have felt completely gypped out of winter. But you always know it will get here. It seems everyone else got it- but it came, it came just the same.

One of my new things this year is to keep track of the books I've read- and I borrowed this from my sister. I am a confirmed bio/non-fiction reader, and this is one of the best ones I have read. Detmar was married to Issie Blow, and he gets to the point. She was an incredible woman who happened to have serious mental health issues, and towards the end, she was on a mission to die.
After many attempts, she finally succeeded in a horrible way (the same way his own father did, by drinking pesticide)- but don't think this is a sad book, because it wasn't. Interestingly, her protege and discovery, Alexander McQueen followed the same path last year.

This is such a nice time of year. The holidays are over, and I feel very optimistic. On to another book, another knitting project and another challenge. I have, however, kept the same cat.

Peace out.