Monday, August 11, 2014


It has been a weekend of letting go.

In the spirit of Fifty Things I had a garage sale. I have been pulling items and tossing them in the garage with everything that didn't sell at last year's sale. Again my Stepmother and Dad came out to help. She's a whiz at organizing these things and did all the pricing for me. But there was a big difference in this year's sale. I was determined that what was left wasn't coming back in the house. A few things did. My parents left a few things that wouldn't fit in their car, to pick up when they return. There is a pile leaving the house when the Geek-boy can make use of a larger vehicle. I have a small collection that is going to get posted for sale on Craigslist. The rest??? I posted a Curb Alert on Craigslist saying anything left today was going to Goodwill. And lo and behold today it is all gone. And there is room in my garage. And my basement. And the clean-out isn't done yet.

But I had to endure an even bigger episode of letting go. My parents weren't here solely to help with the garage sale. They had an agenda. Little Dude has made a big step into becoming a Big Boy; his first trip without Mom or Dad. He's off visiting the Grandparents for the week. I am back on contract at work and he's not in school yet so this is a big help. He spent three days at work with me and I love him, but he was driving me nuts. When first we broached the subject he said he didn't want to go without us. Gradually he has gotten used to the idea. First he thought he could go for a day or two. Then for a few weeks he thought three days might be nice. Lately it has been five days. Which is good because that is how long he will be gone. He'll also be spending time with my mother and little brother while gone.

I didn't cry. I almost cried, but I didn't. The person who is having the hardest time is Little Miss. Within two hours of him leaving she began asking where he was and when he was coming back. In fact, in the morning she stated that he couldn't leave because she loved him. (Total Awwwww moment) And when he was getting into the car and we were saying goodbye guess who came out of the house wheeling her suitcase behind her expecting to climb in the car beside him. It will be an interesting week.

I've already noticed that the house is much quieter.

But we are not resting on our laurels while he is gone. Within two hours we had cleared out much of his room and I was painting the walls. The color is the same; I've just been staring at it for the last year thinking it really needed a third coat.

 And now it does. We are moving into Phase II of the Super Hero Room Makeover. The walls are the blue he picked out of the swatch book. The Scenic in me is twitchy about the straight color on the walls. I can't just roll some color on and let it be. Of course not! Why would I do that? The finish on the walls is an eggshell. I'm thinking of doing some sort of pattern in a glaze, no color change just something in a different sheen. I just don't know what to do yet. We're considering  making it look like comic panels or doing the 'kapow' bubbles. You know these:

I'm hoping inspiration will strike me in the night.I'm working on some panels for the walls with various characters on them. Ultimately I'd love to have them done and up before he gets back. His  loft bed won't be done before then. It's still in the drafting stage. The Geek-boy was pricing the lumber today.

I also tackled the playroom/mancave. The Geek-boy hung as much drywall as the intrusive Sewer-Pipe-That-Must-Be-Moved will allow. I finally convinced him that I should just mud what I can and do the rest when it is up. So after Little Miss went to bed it went from this:

 to this.

I know. So exciting. But it is progress. And progress is good. 

And now I'm going to fall asleep reading Game of Thrones.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Plugging back in

Oh hello.

I finished my big painting project before the end of my contract (barely) and then I decided to unplug for a while. I just needed a break.

And take one I did. From most everything. If it didn't have to do with my immediate project at work, my kids or the disaster known as my house...I pretty much didn't have contact with it. I've barely touched Facebook in the last few months.

But don't think that means I've been just lounging around eating bon-bons....though I will admit to a day or two where the MS had me bedridden. My MS has been the current that I have been struggling against the last few months. I feel like I've had to fight like hell for every inch of ground I've gained. Today was infusion day, and boy was I ready. But it seems I'm not the only one feeling this way. Whether it is the alignment of the planets or just this bloody heat, the rest of my infusion-mates had a rough month as well. I've said it before and I'll say it again. MS sucks!

This was the odd summer out in the last few years where I have actually had some steady work. And luckily for me it was on my own schedule. But you can read about that adventure at Footprints in the Sky.

When I wasn't working, or wrangling the Minions, my focus was on continuing the downsizing of the clutter. And to make a few things in the process. I've somewhat amended the Throw out Fifty Things idea to include a companion project: Create Fifty Things. When it all comes down to it, I am an artist and I love having a finished product at the end of the day. That was one thing that made my retail career so frustrating. Well, that and stupid people. I would work all day and have nothing to show for it. Even if what I do sucks, at least I can point to some scenery that looks different than it did in the morning and say "I did that today."

So what have I done the last two months?

I started by attacking my sewing corner that I had carved out for myself. I unearthed it and jumped in on a few projects.

 Little Miss has a few new dresses

and another waiting in the wings.

I made a bed rest for Little dude.

I'll have reviews of the all the patterns in a future post.

I pulled out my entire fabric stash. All of it. I kept finding fabric....some here...some there. Where was that cotton I had gotten for pajamas??? Oh here it is....with 4 other boxes of forgotten fabric. I washed much of the stash and was sorting it into Keep/Donate/Toss piles. I had started to assign fabric to patterns. And then....

the wall came down.

My husband. My...lovely...husband decided it was time to start the work on the hallway/livingroom renovation. And he ripped out walls...walls that when ripped out created a lot of dust. Dust that covered my recently unearthed fabric stash.


Yeah. I nearly killed him.

Instead I set about rewashing and ironing my entire stash. I packed them into ziplock bags before sorting them into Rubbermaid bins, knowing the renovation mess was not over yet. And that bit has stalled. I still have a laundry basket of fabric left to iron and put away...but it safely resides in our bedroom. Completely in the way, but away from the drywall and saw dust.

And in sorting the fabric stash and all of it's bins, I continued the can of worms that my yarn stash sorting had become. And in the time between when I first dumped all that on my living room floor and when I finished sorting, I made a lot of cuts. Some figurative and some quite literal. (Screw wasting any more time on this huge tangle. cut your losses, cut the crap yarn and save the one you will use) I felt like Homer Simpson as the football coach.

Of knitting I've done very little...if any. I'm stuck on a project. I started the Medusa shawl while on my trip to Texas. I love the pattern. I love the yarn; Ball and Skein Glissade, colorway Elderberry. I love the shawl but I'm in a debate with myself whether or not to start over on a smaller needle. I tend to knit losely, but I am right on gauge. It make be the silk content in the yarn throwing me off. I just don't know. And it is sitting off in the corner while I decide.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Ten on Tuesday- Waiting Game edition

Now here is a topic I can relate to. Multiple Sclerosis means a lot of doctors' appointments and that means lots of time spent in waiting rooms. Having kids also means a lot of waiting room time as well. What is really irritating is when you spend more time in the waiting room than you do with the actual doctor. But being the savvy preparded woman I am, I am rarely bored in the waiting room. Here's a list of 10 suggestions to occupy your time.

  1. Knit- Obviously. Waiting rooms are a great time to pull out a sock and get a few rounds done. Just don't bring a project that requires charts for it is in Murphy's Law that they will call you in the middle of a row. Vanilla socks are best. And expect some questions and comments (oh the Grandmother ones are soooo original) but you might make a few converts along the way.
  2. Crochet- again...simple projects are best, but it has the advantage over knitting that you have only one stitch to wrangle when they call you instead of enough to make you cry when your needle falls out.
  3. Read- I always keep one of my books in my bag or purse in case I didn't grab my knitting. Paperbacks are great for that reason. The problem is is when you get a chatty person in the chair next to you who doesn't respect the nose in the book as a sign of 'leave me alone, I am reading.'
  4. Sudoku puzzles- keeps your brain active and away from watching the clock.
  5. Angry Birds- or any other game on your phone...if you are lucky enough to have a smart phone. 
  6. Newspaper- perhaps a little old fashioned, but if I have an early appointment I'll grab my paper and do my news perusal in the wait room. I'll often hand the sports section so someone who looks bored, since I never read it anyway.
  7. Talk to other people in the waiting room- I've had some great conversations with people I'd never have contact with otherwise in the waiting room. Just don't do it if they are reading.
  8. If you have kids I usually bring their LeapPads and/or books and crayons. It's a good time to get some reading time in with the little ones.
  9. Writing- sometimes I'll bring a notebook and get some thoughts out, whether it is free-form stream of consciousness or to-do lists for work.
  10. Filling out the endless forms- More often then not, I have a new batch of forms to fill out and that will take up much of the wait time these days. 

And just remember if you have a long wait at the doctor's, don't get'd like the doctor to be as thorough with you on your turn.