Monday, April 13, 2015

It will get better

I try not to complain.  I really do.  Or rather, I may complain but I hope it's in such a way that people know I'm generally not a negative person and don't let my complaints ruin my outlook on life.

But this month has been hard, y'all.  Like HARD hard.

It started in the beginning.  I found out on April 2 that I had two weeks left of work.  My job has always been sort of up in the air, which is a horrible way to work, actually.  I never knew how long it would last.  It was part-time temporary, but was a new position and frankly, one that not everyone saw the value in.  So when it was time for budget cuts my job was seen as not important enough to keep.

So that put a black cloud over everything.  I stopped running as much and I've been eating my feelings with Easter candy and wine and staying up entirely too late because I'm not sleeping well.  Which made me feel even worse.

Plus our house is in incredible disarray because we are in the process of ripping up our carpet to sand and refinish our wood floors and everything everywhere is covered in this yellowed glue that was under the carpet.  Tiny pieces find there way into everything - everyone's socks and shoes and clothes and it's even in rooms that didn't originally have glue.  Which is stressful enough.

And last Wednesday my cat got sick.  I had Susy since before we had Sebastian.  She wasn't the friendliest of cats, but she was my cat.  She loved me, and I loved her and she was kind of my first baby.  I got home from picking up the kids Wednesday afternoon and found piles of, well, bloody stuff.  I searched for her and tried to make her comfortable, not really knowing what was going on.  And then that night she went missing.  Since we're redoing the floors there are some holes where boards are being replaced and she crawled in one of them and got under the floor.

Chris managed to find her on Thursday morning, but she wasn't really moving around.  I tried to give her some water with a syringe, but she wasn't all that interested.  But then she started moving around more and seemed better.  But it turns out she wasn't.  Chris took her to the vet on Friday and he said she more than likely had a form of blood cancer and had to be put to sleep.  It was awful.  I didn't really get to say goodbye to her.  And then we had to tell the kids.  Adele still doesn't understand.  She thinks Susy is sleeping and will be back sometime, when she's done.  But Sebastian took it really hard.  This is his first real experience with death.  He cried and cried and has said over and over again that he wishes Susy was still alive.

Me, too, buddy.  I keep expecting her to walk in and jump on my lap, or jump on our bed at night and curl up, or come downstairs and meow for her "Susy snacks."  

So, I'm still processing that.  And on Saturday, while I was waiting to pull into a parking space by the redbox at McDonalds, an elderly gentleman decided that backing into the driver's side door of my car was an excellent idea, in spite of my honking and waving.  And my children were in the car.  And he drove off without stopping.  And I had to sit there and wait for the police to come with two children, the older of whom was still dealing with the death of his cat and who was convinced that we could also have died in that car incident.

Good times.

So, I've complained.  I've been and still am pretty down.  I am trying and trying to get out of this funk that I'm in, to be positive, to be happy.  It's so very hard.  But I will get there.  I know I will.  I'm planning on running after work, which is a good start for me. And I began preparing the gardening beds and planted some seeds and weeded.  It always makes me feel better to have my hands in the dirt.

But what I really need to do is take some time and sew, because that allows me to only focus on what I'm making, or on the next stitch.  But as I mentioned before, my house is a disaster and we don't currently have a dining room table set up, which is were I like to sew.  But I think I'm going to have to improvise because I have to do something.

Three more days of work and then I will sew.  And I will feel better.

Adele and sunglasses and a worm.  It made me smile yesterday.
(If it weren't for my anniversary this month or my sister's birthday, I'd give the month of April a giant middle finger.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Motherhood and More: Introducing chore charts to teach responsibility, get stuff off the floor

I’ve started researching chore charts for my children to strongly encourage them to stop being the ungrateful heathens that they are.

I know they need chores and we should have started this years ago. I know, I know, I know. It’s important for them to understand life doesn’t revolve around their every want and need and we all have to work together to keep this home going. For goodness sake, would you please stop throwing your socks all over the living room floor or at least pick them up yourselves without waiting for me to do it for you?

We’ve made good efforts in the past to enforce chores and whatnot. And the rule still is if they keep their rooms clean for a week, they get a dollar on Sundays. Guess how many times that has happened?

I am not out all that many dollars, is what I’m saying.

Occasionally, my son will want to earn money to purchase weird, zombie-type game apps and is willing to sweep the floor and unload the dishwasher.

But I think it’s time to be more serious. We need to have a schedule and rules and consistency.

Implementing a regular chore chart is going to be difficult. We’ve been talking about it for a while and how we expect them to start working around the house more since my husband and I spend 70 percent of our time at home picking up all of the random junk that ends up on the floor. But the kids don’t seem to be too keen on the idea.

My youngest, my daughter, has no concept of money and the fact she can buy things with it. We very rarely take her to the store because she’s insane and we lost her one time in a huge, packed store. No one has recovered yet. Since she hasn’t seen actual money transactions very often, I think she thinks toys and books and fun stuff just show up in her hands through no effort of her own. Which is true, actually.

Both of the kids really enjoy helping, though. Setting and clearing the table can sometimes be a battle to see who can put the most dishes on the table and clear the most off, which has obvious ramifications.

I mean, there’s only so many glasses that can be broken before we’re all drinking out of Spider-Man cups.

Although, now that I think about it, their excitement with helping probably has more to do with competing with each other than actually helping their parents. I’m willing to accept that, though.

But they do like to feel included, like they’re doing something that contributes, like they’re responsible members of our family and that we appreciate their contributions. So I think it will be good.

I think they’ll adjust well in spite of all the whining and complaining about me being the worst mom ever and why can’t they just watch television instead of dusting. Having responsibilities will be good for them and for all of us.

Plus it means less work for me, which leaves me more time for watching television. 

This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on March 25, 2015.

Monday, March 9, 2015

But I am looking forward to having daylight past 5 p.m.

I'm attempting to write a post about my weekend but really all I can muster at this point is "Duuuuuuude!  TIME CHANGE SUUUUUUUUUCCCCKKKSSS!"

Eloquent, no?

But really.  I'm running at about 13 percent today because of time change but also because I stayed up too late watching House of Cards and cross stitching.

It was a full on rager, you guys.

Would you think I was more cool if I told you I also drank a bit of Basil Hayden's while I cross stitched vegetables with faces?

I learned that I liked Basil Hayden's when Chris' boss gave me a shot of it on Saturday at a homemade bike show in Louisville.

As you do.

We were at the show because Chris designs/works with this really cool carbon drive bicycle belt that replaces chains and it was neat to see the belt on all sorts of bikes from all over the place - even a Louisville Slugger bike that will be on display at the museum.

However, I told Chris that we didn't necessarily fit in with much of the people at the bike show because neither one of us had epic facial hair or man buns.

Plus there were no cruiser bikes which is my preferred bicycle because I am an old lady. (See cross stitching reference above.)

After the show we ate at an Irish pub and I had fish and chips and drank two very good beers and we went home and watched a bunch of House of Cards while I cross stitched smiling vegetables.

And on Sunday we picked up the kids who were only minorly irritated with everything.  I felt a sinus infection coming on, what with the swollen left side of my face, but it seems to be better today.  However I still feel a bit like death because I stayed up too late and had to wake up when it was still dark outside because DAMN YOU TIME CHANGE.

I think I'm going to see how much coffee I can drink before I start floating on the ceiling.

Totally unrelated to anything I've said in this post so far but it makes me smile:

Friday, March 6, 2015

Homemade Friday: Fort, by Brooklyn Tweed (Or the sweater that wouldn't end)

I don't knit for my husband that often.  He has a couple pairs of warm socks and a nice wool sweater that he loves and he's satisfied with that.

He doesn't ask me for things.  And maybe that's because he knows me.  He knows how long it takes me to finish something for him.  I'd like to say it's because I want to take my time and go slowly to make sure that whatever I make for him is absolutely perfect but the reality is that I know that I can push his items to the side when they get boring and work on something else.  He won't get mad.  He honestly probably won't even notice.

So that is what happened with this sweater.  The pattern is Fort, by Brooklyn Tweed.  I like it.  The sweater is sophisticated and stylish and has enough texture to keep me interested.

But the problem is that I started the sweater last spring or late winter.  That's a horrible time to start a new knitting project for me because my mind shifts with the longer days and all I can focus on is sewing.  And more sewing.  And then even more.

I don't want to knit because knitting reminds me of colder weather and in late winter I am ready for sun and warmth and hand sewn dresses.

So this sweater languished.  I had most of the body knit by the time I put it to the side last spring.  And I had so many other projects I wanted and needed to finish once I picked knitting back up in earnest in the fall that this one sat in it's bag.  I left it out and visible so seeing it would encourage me to work on it, but all it did was silently admonish me for not being faithful and for straying on to other, more exciting and time-sensitive projects.

A few weeks ago I picked it up again, determined to finish.

I haven't finished.

I've got the body knit and most of one sleeve.  It really won't take much at all to finish.  But the urge isn't there.  I want to want to knit it, but I don't want to knit it, if that makes any sense.

And spring is coming, in spite of the two feet of snow and I have dresses to sew.

So maybe I'll finish it next fall.

It's a good thing my husband knows me so well and is so understanding.