Thursday, March 15, 2012

Finishing Projects

This is the blanket I've been working on for about a month! Actually it's about the 5th attempt to finish. It just seemed to be the unfinishable pattern. I couldn't seem to follow the pattern. The first time I had it completed, it was actually a TRAPEZOID not a rectangle! I tried a couple of times more but the sides were never straight. So I changed patterns and had it completed within a week!

I also took the last of the yarn to create this bottle warmer. Who would have thought a baby would need a bottle coozie!

Here is a lovely hat that I made from some yarn my mom had left over from knitting my sweet little niece, Ciarra a cardigan for Christmas. (She's not exactly little anymore since she's 22 now!)

Crochet Cable Hat

I also made this scarf from the leftover yarn from the cardigan that my mom knit me for Christmas. I have enough leftover that I'm making it again because my first attempt didn't look very much like the example.

Waves of Gray Neckwarmer
This ‘scarf’ is made from the leftover yarn used by my mom to make me a cardigan for Christmas. I actually had enough yarn to make 2 of these! I used more of the yarn to make a cute teddy bear hat for a baby. 

Isn’t that adorable?

Next, I have two amigurumi frogs for your viewing pleasure! I have two family members that are frog collectors that might like these. Personally, I love their kookie eyes! They give them a fun personality!

I told you that I have become a kind of crochet fanatic lately! I just can’t seem to stop myself now that I’m on a roll. I might have to start selling them if I keep on this path! Stay tuned to see what’s next! 

Meet Me on Mondays

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend Warrior Pt. 6

First I’ll start off with a little mystery picture. Do you know what this item is? I found it today while putting away some items in the laundry room. It was on the shelf in the back. Before you guess, you should know that it doesn’t belong in the laundry room. I’m hoping when my mother hears about the discovery of this, she will tell me why she put it there. (I have no other rhyme or reason since she is the only one who has been cleaning my house besides me.)

And now we return to our regularly scheduled post! I bought the right kind of pipe for my shoe rack! It’s amazing how much better it is staying STRAIGHT! One of the things I learned was to be picky about the wire hangers you pick. I never realized that some of them were stronger than others. The hangers that have worked the best are actually the ones that have the cardboard tube on them. These are strong but also they are easier to curve into the appropriate shape because you don’t have to cut them. You simply remove the tube and bend the wire.
Some of the grout around Bobby’s tub came off a few weeks ago. I asked my tile guy, whose son I taught a million years ago and goes to my church what I could do. He suggested purchasing some caulk that was specifically designed for tiling. And yes, I accomplished that this weekend! I fixed that 8” strip this weekend. It's not exactly the right color but at least it's sealed!

I finished two crochet projects this week which is exciting to me because I have been so slow to complete them lately but something about finishing baby Emma’s blanket seems to have jumpstarted me into actually completing projects! I’ll have pictures of those later in the week.

 You'll have to come back to see those!

It has been a long time since I cleaned the house so that was a major goal for the weekend. Now it is Sunday night and I have finished about 1/3 of the house which doesn’t sound like much except when you consider the amount of junk that had piled up everywhere then it’s amazing that I have gotten so much done!
  • Laundry – done & put away (first time in 3 weeks that it was completed before I had to go back to work on Monday!)

  • Bobby’s random piles of toys
  • Last box of Michael’s clothes (It’s been sitting on a chair for weeks!)
  • Bathroom clean
  • Bedroom dusted
There is still so much to do around the house but I’m hoping with Bobby in Colorado and no nighttime activities this week, it will all get done. Hopefully, I can get some of the yard mowed tonight when I get home. It will be difficult because of the 3” of rain and the fact that it’s around a foot tall in some places but I have to start somewhere.

Stay tuned! I want to write a post soon about our love story that is unlike any other. I also want to tell you about the ‘Building Bridges’ that Bobby and I are attending in Wichita Falls to help him learn more about the grief he is feeling.

Thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you! Even a little note saying “keep it up” is encouraging. 

PS - one more update to share - my new do!

My new do!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Gallon of Paint, A Ten Gallon Aquarium, and A Six Foot Ladder

I love you Mom but this story has to be written down somewhere! I will retell this story the way I remember it.

The year was 1986 or 1987, either my Sophomore or Junior year in high school. Back then, my dad traveled a lot for work and my mom was always coming up with projects around the house, sometimes little and sometimes big. As Dad was leaving for his latest trip, he told Mom "Don't start any projects while I'm gone." Famous last words!

Mom had been working on painting the interior of the house and for some reason she decided it was time to tackle the fourteen foot cathedral ceilings in the living room. This wouldn't present a problem for most people but my mom is not most people. The woman owns a paper weight in the shape of the number one with the word "klutz" written on the bottom. As kids, we didn't get in trouble for breaking things because if we didn't do it first she probably would!

Anyway, she began painting by placing a drop cloth on the kitchen counter, she placed the step ladder on top, after all she didn't want to get any drops of paint on the counter tops! She poured paint from the freshly opened gallon of paint into the rolling pan, climbed on the ladder and began to paint with the roller. Little did she know but the ladder was slowly moving. Eventually the ladder worked its way off the counter top, sending Mom flying to the floor. When she got up, she realized the ladder had knocked off the gallon of paint, the paint tray had gone flying across the room splattering paint on the wood paneling and the fireplace, the wooden TV cabinet that my grandfather made, and of course the green shag carpet!

So, she began to frantically clean up and then she heard the sound of running water. What could it be? Yes, you guessed it! It was the ten gallon aquarium! Evidently when the ladder fell, it hit the corner of the aquarium and broke it! So in a panic and covered in paint, she jumped into the car and drove to Hulen Mall to pick up a new aquarium. (For you youngin's, we didn't have a Wal-Mart to run to for everything!) Of course while she was there, Mom ran into my best friend Kimmie Kay's mom. That wouldn't be so bad except that her mom worked in the cafeteria at our school and she told me all about it at lunch. Even though she told me Mom was okay, I was still worried about the mess I would find when I got home but more than that I was worried about my mom. I said a quick prayer that everything was okay.

By the time I got home that day, Mom had cans under the carpet and fans blowing under it to try to dry the padding. In order to get the paint out of the carpet, she had brought the hose in from outside and literally washed it out of the carpet. She rolled the TV cabinet out to the back porch and hosed it off. She got most of the paint off the walls and the fireplace. I have a feeling that if you look really close, that to this day you will find some paint splatters on the fireplace!

The carpet never recovered completely and was eventually replaced. The painting of the ceiling was eventually finished. Surprisingly, this wasn't my mom's last foray into painting the house but it was definitely the best painting story!

PS - "When Dad arrived home supper was on the table, as usual. Mom gave us ...a situation report, and then we sat down to eat. Suddenly, the whole affair became too much for her. She looked at Dad, exploded "Don't say anything!", then jumped up and ran to the bedroom and had a good cry." Thanks Dad for the reminder of the rest of the story!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The New Ride!

After 2 ½ months, I finally had all the documents necessary to consolidate our vehicles into one! The first week of January, my dad and I had gone shopping for cars. We had the deal ready to close but unfortunately nothing could be done officially because Michael’s name was the only one listed on the Mustang and it had credit life on it. All that simply meant I had to wait for the insurance company to pay off the car, the bank to send the title, then to get the car retitled in my name and wait to receive the title in the mail. Each step seemed to take forever! 

Now it’s finally done! Now let the shopping begin!

        I incorrectly assumed that we would head directly back to the dealer we had the almost deal at but Dad felt it was best to check out other dealers first, just in case they had something better. After some truly interesting stops, which included “L-o-ret-ta” with the tobacco stained front tooth, we went back to Daryl. Or as he’s known around our house “Daryl and my other brother Daryl.” (Sorry for the 80’s reference there!)Success was achieved again! They had another car similar to the one we saw two months ago and we made the same deal as before. As we were working on the deal, I turned and looked up on the wall and saw a sort of timeline of Toyotas. The second one was a Land Cruiser similar to ours and it was another sign that I was making a good decision that Michael would be proud of. I keep my head pointed in the direction of making Michael proud of me and I can’t go wrong! Bobby even said that he thought Daddy would be proud of me! Remembering his wonderful cheerful words even now, bring tears to my eyes it’s one of those moments that tickles the heart and makes you proud to call him your son. His daddy would be proud of him too! Another great weekend!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weekend Warrior?

Weekend Warrior? Yes, I’m still ‘warrioring; on but I’m trying to come up with a better name for my weekend projects. Weekend Warrior just doesn’t seem to describe who I am and what I’m trying to stand for. It’s so much more than that. It’s not just about projects.

·        It’s about overcoming the daily trials of being a widowed mother of a seven year old.
·        It’s about learning to take care of problems that were taken care of by Michael.
·        It’s about getting the basics of daily household tasks taken care of.
·        It’s about being the only provider for your household.
·        It’s about making decisions on your own without having any one to bounce them off.
·        It’s about cheering on other widows who might need a little comfort in their lives knowing that they aren’t alone.
·        And, yes, it is about projects but sometimes those projects are just taking care of our basic needs and not a large “project.”

So, I’m reaching out to you, the reader, for ideas of what is going on here. What would you call this blog? How would you describe it?

Questions, comments, concerns are always welcome!

Maybe you know someone who is going through something similar. I would love to connect with them! It’s so important for women to communicate with other women but especially with women who are in circumstances that are similar. It’s nice to know you aren’t alone in this strange turn that your life has taken. Whether your husband died suddenly, like mine, or he was ill for many years, we are all struggling with the difficulty of relearning how to function in everyday life. Please share this blog with everyone! You never know – they might have a friend or family member who has lost their spouse and needs a connection like this.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tracking To Do Lists

My mother has always been good at keeping a list of her to dos in a spiral notebook. As a matter of fact, there was even an occasion when my sister-in-law was running errands with her and they wanted to eat at Whataburger. When Suzanne looked at the list, it wasn't on there so she quickly grabbed a pen and added it to the list!
My mother has even gotten my dad using one since his retirement! But this never worked for me. It would work for a couple of weeks but then I slowly stopped using it and didn’t even realize it until a few months later when I came across the notebook by accident. I tried keeping track on my iPhone but I didn’t want to buy an app. Surely there is something out there that will work.
Yesterday, it hit me – what about using the Reminders app? I had started a couple of lists to track ongoing projects and possible needs around the house but nothing else until I realized that I could create a list for each day. If something is accomplished, it gets checked off and you can look back at your completed items and they are even shown by date! If something doesn’t get accomplished on the assigned date, it is moved to the next day when I could work on it. For example, Sunday was the day I was supposed to finish the laundry but it didn’t happen so I moved it to Monday.
You have to look quickly before the completed tasks disappear from the screen

You can even change the order the lists occur. So I might try keeping the current day as the first list that way when I open the app, I see today’s list. Since I’ve only been using this app for a few days, it’s hard to tell if it will work long term. After all, other systems have worked for a couple of weeks and then “fell apart at the seams.”
Here is a screen shot of Monday’s list. You can see that I moved laundry from Sunday to Monday.

I would love to know what you have found is way to keep track of your To-Do’s. Do you use technology or are you from the old school of pen and paper? How does it work for you? What do you think? HELP!