Monday, April 25, 2016

Versailles Matelasse Afghan

Happy Monday!

Last May, I started working on an afghan called Versailles Matelasse.  I really loved working on it and made really quick progress.... until I lost my crochet mojo in the summer.  It sat for months and months untouched.  Then, earlier this year, I picked it back up and finished all the main work on it.  Then it sat for a while with the ends unweaved.  I'm normally pretty good about weaving in ends as I go because I hate to sit and weave in ends for hours.  But I didn't do that, and I had other things to keep me occupied.  So it sat next to my chair 99% finished.  I even used it a couple of times in the early morning to warm up, although it's not a very cuddly kind of blanket.

My Mom's birthday was Saturday and I was thinking about what to get her when I remembered the afghan.  It was perfect.  She's always sitting under a blanket, it was a color she'd like, and it's something I really poured myself into, even if I didn't make it with her in mind specifically.  I always knew I'd give it away, I just didn't know who it was meant for at the time.

Anyway, once I decided to give it to her, I had to sit down and weave in all the ends.  And wash it to try to soften it up a bit.  I made it with some yarn that had been given to me and it was very old and very scratchy.  It did soften up a little, but I'm still not sure it'll be much more than decoration.  Like I said, it's not a very snuggly blanket.

My Mom liked it =)


She even put up the blanket she usually has by her chair, although I should tell her it won't hurt my feelings at all if she doesn't use this one to keep warm.

The patch of yellow flowers my girls are standing in has a bit of a funny story.  Our entire back yard was covered in the pretty flowers and I hated that Mr. Bill was going to mow it down, but it was pretty long.  As he was mowing, he noticed that one area had dozens of bees buzzing around, so he decided he wouldn't mow there right now.  He didn't want to take away all their food.  He's a good guy like that.  So we have a good little patch of yellow left in the yard for the bees.  He even marked it....

I think it's the cutest thing I've seen in ages.

I've been back to taking my walks on the weekends, although they're much shorter than I'm used to.  I'm really just trying to enjoy the time to myself, some music, and the beautiful spring weather and scenery.


I adore honeysuckle.  I think it's the BEST smell in the world.  I just wanted to stand in this one spot where it was really strong and just breathe it in as long as possible.

The dandelions were just glowing in the sunshine.  So magical.

It's been a good week, mood-wise.  I'm trying to just take it one day at a time and be grateful for the good days and hang on through the bad ones.  But I've felt more positive than negative this past week and that's a good change.

Have a great week and make someone smile!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


I know you're not supposed to do nice things with the expectation of getting anything out of it, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping that by spreading some happy around that I wouldn't get some back.

It's been tough lately.  My health, mental and physical, haven't been good and I hate it.  I'm just so fatigued all the time.  Like yesterday, I was struggling to stay awake driving home after picking the girls up from school.  I went straight to my room and face-planted on the bed.  I was out cold for almost 2 hours.  I keep being told "you need to get outside, you need to be active, you'll feel better!"  I'm sure I would.  It's just difficult to make it that far most days.


I've had 2 appointments this week that I thought were going to be really expensive and really discouraging....

And they were neither.  I anticipated having to somehow scrape up $360, and only had to pay $10.  We worked together and I think in the next few weeks I'll be seeing a drastic improvement in how I'm feeling.

I think the old "what goes around comes around" might be coming back around for me at the moment.  I'll keep throwing the happy out there to be sure ;)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Random Acts of Happiness

First of all, thank you guys for the love you sent me on my last post.  You all are the best =)

My mood lifted a bit on Tuesday.  No particular reason, I just realized later in the day that I felt OK.  Wednesday, I had my appointment with my therapist.  She didn't really tell me anything I didn't know, but it's nice to have the validations.  I have way too much on my plate and I need to make Bill and the girls help me more.  I need to make sure to take care of myself and take time for myself - and not just the scraps of time at the end of the day.  She thinks hormones might be playing a big part in my depression, but that I'll talk to the psychologist more about that to try to figure out better meds for me.

After my appointment I went to get my new dogwood tree.  I made sure it looked really healthy and strong.  It was tall and even had blooms on it.  I took it home and had it in the ground in no time.  For some reason I still haven't taken a picture since planting it, but this was before I took it home:


I got some cute little picket fencing because Izzy wanted to put a fence around it and plant flowers around it.  The flowers might not happen this year, but I got the fence.

My brain started whirring throughout the afternoon.  I felt like I needed to do something for the anniversary of my father's passing the next day.  I was't sure what, but just something.  I had planned to take the day off of work and knew I'd spend part of the day with my Mom and little sister, but I thought I needed to do something tangible.  The idea developed throughout the afternoon and after dinner, I grabbed the girls and headed to Hobby Lobby.

By midnight, these had been born.


Random Balls of Happiness.  The shirt they're sitting in was a very old shirt of my Dad's.  I used to wear it every day in high school (telling my age, it was grunge style, around my waist LOL).  I was able to crank 5 of them out.  I actually was tempted to stay up all night making them, but I knew that would be a bad idea.  So I finally stopped around midnight, took some melatonin and crashed.

I got up and got the girls off to school.  I decided to go take a walk, but first I was going to grab something to eat and that's where the first Ball was left.


I went to the Big Dam Bridge and walked that.  I left two of the Balls around there.



After that, I ran home to shower and get ready to go have lunch with my Mom and sister.  We had a really good time visiting and had lunch at a steak house.  It was yummy and the waitress was the sweetest.  I left one of the Balls on the table.


Then, on my way to pick up the chicklets from school, I ran inot the gas station to grab a soda and left the final ball on my Dad's favorite, Diet Pepsi....


It felt really, really good.  It totally made the day so much easier than I thought it would be.  Of course, in a lot of situations like this, the anticipation of the day is really so much worse than the actual day.  I had a really good day, but the week leading up to it was filled with tons of tears.

I had some friends and my older sister ask if I'd send them a Ball of Happiness, so I think I am going to box of 5 or 6 to send to them, one to keep, the rest to give away.  Keep spreading the happiness.  =)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Almost a year

Thursday will be one year since my father passed. I'm not going to lie. I'm having an incredibly hard time right now.  I could put "with it" in that sentence, but it's not just the anniversary approaching.  My head isn't in a good place and I feel like I'm spinning my wheels in any attempt to fix it.

I saw a therapist 2 weeks ago.  It was just an intake session, so I spent the entire time just answering questions like "do you eat your hair?"  It's expensive at the moment (until I meet my deductible) so I am planning on going every 2 weeks because that's how fast the necessary money gets in my health savings account.   I had an appointment yesterday, which I was kind of really counting on.  I spent all weekend thinking "maybe, just MAYBE, she'll give me some hope that I can cope with this bullshit."  

And she called to reschedule.

I was on the verge of tears.  I rescheduled it for tomorrow.  But now I'm not so confident that it will help. 

So, Friday I had an appointment to get my hair cut.  It had finally grown out from my short pixie cut two years ago that I hated, so - OF COURSE - I felt the need to chop it all off again.  I found a cut that I adored and was in a fabulous mood.

They did a pretty good job.  The long side was a little longer than in the picture and the angle not as steep, but considering the disasters I've had in the past trying to get a stylist to copy a picture, it was great.

When I left, my husband was outside with the girls.  The girls were upset because he was mad for whatever reason.  He just looked at my hair funny, didn't really say much.  But over the next 2 days, he would tell me that it made me look like a lesbian and that he'd be ashamed to leave the house if it were his hair.  Oh, yes,  OF COURSE he's joking.  So my haircut I was so in love with, I now felt awful about.  Thank you, dear.

Saturday was just crap.  The girls were just defiant over everything and Bill literally cannot deal with that constructively, so it was screaming from all of them ALL DAY LONG.  In a moment of peace between them, Bill was doing yard work and let Zoe ride in the lawn cart.  She stood up and he didn't notice, and she ended up taking a tumble and spraining her shoulder.  So there was more crying and yelling (because when Bill feels at fault about something, he lashes out at people - he can't possibly take the blame gracefully)

All this carried over to Sunday.  We usually go over to my Mom's house on Sundays for a few hours, but she called and said she didn't feel well and asked us to stay home.  So no reprieve there.  The girls were just awful.  Threatening to run away, demanding - DEMANDING? - I give them money or take them out to eat or this or that. 

Then I went to deal with the laundry and stepped in dog poo.

I lost it.  

I screamed at them.  Realized I sounded like Bill and just went to lock myself in my bedroom.  I cried.  I read on Facebook that my Mom felt well enough to go to some social thing at the apartment complex, which I should have been grateful for, but instead I took it that she just didn't want to see me.  I cried.  I thought about how I asked Bill to go pick up a dogwood tree at Lowe's for me so I could replace the one that I planted last year in memory of my father that didn't survive the dry summer - and how he didn't and he KNEW why I needed him to do it and still didn't.  And I got angry.  I thought of what an ass he had been over my hair and I was just in a rage.

So I went into the bathroom and grabbed the clippers. 

I'm not bald.  It actually doesn't look all that different in the front, although I'm sure the back is a mess but I can't really tell because I don't have a handheld mirror.  I tried checking it with my phone, but I just really can't get a good picture.  I realized after that I kinda have a mohawk now.  Everyone has said it's cute, but I'm not entirely convinced it has been genuine.  And I can't bring myself to care.

So, that was my little breakdown moment.  I cried so much that I felt like a mess yesterday.  I still just feel raw.  Everything sets me off wanting to cry.  I literally feel like I'm truly alone right now.  While part of me is still trying to tell myself that I'm overreacting and being dramatic, I can't help that I feel like no one wants to be around me.  I don't really have any friends, a point that has stung quite a bit lately because my doctor and therapist both asked if there was someone I could talk to and I have to say there isn't.  "No one at all?"  No.  No one at all.  I feel like I'm failing as a mother because my children are acting so awful lately.  My husband makes me feel like I'm just there to cook, clean, and serve his penis.  I just want to run away.  I'm right back where I was in December, begging my doctor for something to help.  And it's not helping anymore.  And now he's gone and my therapist might be a flake and I can't get in to see the psychiatrist about meds until May.

And Thursday is coming and I have a  dead dogwood.  

I'm going to dig it up today.  I'm going to find time to go get a new tree, even if I have to perform some sort of magic to fit it in the minivan.  I'm going to plant that tree so that I have a new one by Thursday.  I'll go to therapy on Wednesday and she'll have magical advice.  And I'll be OK.

Somehow, I'll be OK>

Thursday, March 17, 2016


You know how it is when you know you should or shouldn't do something but you let the opposite happen?  Story of my life.

I told myself when I finally got my crochet mojo back that I wasn't going to overload myself with projects.  I was going to go from project to project, I had a big project in mind that I was excited to get started with once I was finished with some long-neglected things.  No deadlines, just relaxing work.

Then I made that frog.

I loved making that frog.  So I wanted to make some similar stuffed animals for the girls for Easter.  I had 3 weeks, plenty of time.

Isabelle's Happypotamus in progress... It's actually almost finished now.

I started on Zoe's Fatty Lumpkin the Brave (he's a horse, with a fantastic name).  I can work on the flowers with the girls around, but I can't do assembly, so I have both going on.  I'm also making Olivia a Fatty Lumpkin, but with wings, because she's into Pegasuses.

Then Ms. Norma asked my Mom if I would make another frog to sell her.  I said, sure, as long as it could wait until after Easter.

A friend mentioned wanting a turtle.  I never committed to doing it, but I really would like to.

A coworker who is always asking me to make her something or other finally wore me down and wants not one, but two mermaid tail blankets.  She really wanted them before Easter, but I told her there was no way, not even if I wasn't working on things that needed to be done before them.  I've really never had any desire to make one of these, let alone 2, or the 3 my kids will be begging for afterwards.

Isabelle wants me to make the We Bare Bears (If you haven't seen that cartoon, you HAVE to watch it - Cartoon Network.  It cracks me up) for her birthday next month.  I had wanted to make her a fusion blanket (fabric and crochet) for her birthday, but I don't think I could finish in time anyway, but it's also on the list because I actually did buy the fabric.

And I still need to finish up one of the pillows I am making for my sister.

Olivia wants me to make an Eevee and Sylveon for her and her best friend (Pokemon.... can you believe that's still around?).

That's 12 projects lined up.  I'm ridiculous.

And my sister sent me this box of awesomeness that I can only stare at for the next few months before I can make myself something.  The blue and green are alpaca.  They're payment for making her a cowl earlier this year.  I only asked for the reddish yarn, the alpaca yarn is a tip I guess.  =)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Don't talk to strangers

I work in an outpatient surgery clinic that is attached to a hospital. Usually, if I have to use the restroom, I go down the hall to the public restroom at the hospital. Not because we don't have one, but because ours is occupied 75% of the time I want to use it.  That's never a problem in the hospital. But, there's obviously a down side to using a public restroom.

The public.

I'm an introvert.  Very much so. I am not going to initiate conversation with someone I know, let alone a stranger. Especially a stranger in the bathroom. But, some people are different and don't feel the need for such boundaries.

So, the other day, I run down to the restroom. There is a lady in front of the mirror. I breeze past her and go into a stall.  I take care of business and then I hear: "Are you a nurse in the emergency room? "

I wear scrubs to work. I don't know why the office staff wears scrubs, but we do. I was sure this lady was talking to me because the restroom had been empty except for the 2 of us when I came in and I hadn't heard the door open since.

I answered, "No. I am not a nurse at all. "

"Do you know anything about fibroid tumors? "

I told her I really didn't know much as I came out of my stall and headed for the sink.

She started telling me that she just found out that she has fibroid tumors and that she was really afraid because she doesn't know anything about them. I listened to her because I felt bad for her. She was obviously really anxious and had been crying. I hoped lending an ear would make her feel a little better, even if it made me feel uncomfortable. I try to be a compassionate person sometimes.

I listened for a bit and wished her the best outcome and headed out of the bathroom. She followed me into the hall and continued to talk to me.

After a few minutes, I started to realize she wasn't simply anxious about a diagnosis she was unfamiliar with. She was convinced it would become cancer and she told me she'd rather go home and kill herself than die slowly of cancer.

Of course, then I was concerned for her mental well-being. I couldn't just take off back to work thinking she's headed home to commit suicide over fibroid tumors.

She continued on, telling me about all the various medical conditions in her family. She sounded stranger and stranger by the minute. She started talking about her granddaughter. How her granddaughter was taken away by the state....

I was dying to leave. We were past the comforting and into seriously personal stuff now. Way out of my comfort zone.  And, to be honest, she wasn't sounding very stable.

I listened to her anxiety turned paranoia turned conspiracy for about half an hour. No exaggeration. When she angrily told me how the judge who was sneaking booze into his coffee during the hearing gave her biracial grandchild to racists who probably just beat her, I decided I really needed to get out of there. I told her I had to get back to work. She hugged me. I'm so not a hugger, but I hugged her back.

But then she kept talking. As I kept stepping back, trying to get away. She was ranting about the injustice of the child protective services. How they take kids from their living families to sell to other families.

I'm not trying to be callous to her situation.  Really. But it sounded like that poor child is most likely in a far better situation judging by things she said and how she was acting herself.

I finally actually broke away and got back to my desk. Everyone was wondering what had happened. I told them I had honestly hoped one of them would have come looking for me. They assured me next time they would.

Next time.

Trust me, for a while, I'll be doing a pee pee dance waiting for the bathroom at the surgery center to be free. Because that's exactly why you don't talk to strangers in the bathroom.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

This and that

This is the longest week ever.  You'd think I had something exciting on the horizon to make the days drag, but no.  I'm just really tired this week.

I had a message the other day that my doctor appointment in April needed to be rescheduled.  So I called yesterday and was informed that my primary care doctor is leaving the practice at the end of this month.  I'm so sad.  I love my doctor.  He listens to me and doesn't make me feel like a loser for not being perfect.  I went ahead and made an appointment with the other doctor in the practice.  I'm really hoping she'll be as good.

One thing my doctor and I had talked about when he put me on antidepressants was going to therapy.  I put off making an appointment because my insurance was changing and I didn't have mental health benefits with my old policy.  I do now, but I felt so much better that I just didn't do it.  I'm thinking about it now though.  My meds are working, I'm no where near where I was, but I think now that my body is used to them, they're not quite enough.  I just can't summon up the drive to get things done.  I'm just BLAH.  I just skate by doing the minimum.  But my biggest problem is that I want to binge eat all the time.  And if I try to just not have anything in the house, it makes me anxious all night.  So I'm thinking I should make that appointment now and see if they can help me to deal with all this without adjusting my meds.  I need to have some drive to do something other than sit in the recliner and crochet while I listen to an audiobook.

And speaking of crocheting, I am soooo close to being finished with a long time project:

It's a Versailles Matelasse afghan.  Matelasse are whole cloth quilts where the focus is more on the quilting of the fabric, where as most traditional quilts are all about the designing of different pieces of fabric.  I found an ebook of crocheted afghans inspired by this type of quilt and I just think they are so beautiful.  I just need to add the border and weave in my ends and I'm finished.  I started this last spring, I believe.  I used some yarn that  had been given to me, it's not the best yarn.... pretty scratchy, but maybe I can soften it up in the laundry.  Olivia has tried to claim it already.  I think it's too heavy to be used as a throw for the couch, but it's too small for my bed, so I guess it would be fine for her bed.  I'm debating making a different matelasse pattern for my bedspread.  I was planning on a different pattern, but now I'm wavering.

The dogs are still with us.  I honestly don't think anyone is going to step up to claim them.  I guess we have two more dogs, then.  Yippee.  Sigh.


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