All posts by Maura

Knitter, spinner, artist, mom. Not necessarily in that order.

Haiku and Zentangle, 4

After yesterday’s bout of depression, I give you Haiku of hope for today:
From deep inside me
Contentment and happiness
Begin bubbling up

Today’s art from tanglepatterns.com is String 039.  I quite like this one also.  I think I may be getting better and drawing a cohesive square!  Link: http://tanglepatterns.com/2013/02/tanglepatterns-string-039.html

String 39
2015-03-06; tanglepatterns.com, String 039
Advertisements

Silence Could Be Golden. If Only.

So, I have been missing for a week or so.  There has been stuff in the personal life that has just been crappy and I don’t really have anything positive to talk about.  Except for the following bits of goodness:

  1. I watched Thor: The Dark World.  Not the greatest movie, I’ll admit, but Tom Hiddleston… I am Loki-fied.
  2. I got a red Poang chair and foot stool at Ikea and it is amazingly comfortable.
  3. I have been sleeping really well lately.  That is a huge thing.  Huge.
  4. I had an Oreo or 2.  Maybe even 3.  I love Oreos.
  5. I found my framed Mark Rothko print so I can hang it on the wall by my red chair.  Woot!

Okay – there you have it.  My list of good things.

Today’s drawing from tanglepatterns.com is String # 038.  Isn’t she a beauty?  I think this may be favorite so far – except for maybe #007.  They are strangely similar, aren’t they?  Anyway, here is the link to the string: http://tanglepatterns.com/2013/02/tanglepatterns-string-038.html

String 38
2015-03-03; tanglepatterns.com, String 038

Costco and Post-Apocolyptic Syrup

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Dog Named Bob.”

The following is 100% true.  Except I don’t really know the dog’s name.  So The Daily Post made it up for me.

I live in the country on the edge of a big city.  In my yard there is an abundance of wildlife and land.  The back of our house overlooks a ravine with a sometimes dry creek bed running through the bottom of it and in the summer we can see no houses through the woods.  The Husband (who is a wonderful, yet occasionally obsessive man) has looked at said ravine and discussed its potential for putting in one of those weird survival things that you bury underground and stock with everything you may ever want or need.  He is a handy kind of guy, having installed a new and upright mailbox at the end of our lane that is perfectly level, anchored in concrete and just the right height that I don’t have to get out of my car to get the mail.  Sometimes, I see blue jays or cardinals sitting on it (we have both and they are spectacularly colorful) and find their poop later when I get the mail.  And a big hairy spider lives inside.  I can’t rightly ask for him to leave since his is outside of my house.  Bummer.

The Husband loves to go to Costco without me and buys things – weird things – in bulk quantities.  One of the things we do go through at an amazing frequency is paper plates, so we buy those in mass quantity, along with laundry detergent and K-cups for the Keurig machine.  I am telling you, in case of a Zombie-pocolypse, there had better be coffee in my underground bunker!  One weekday while I was not gainfully employed, he called from Costco to verify what we needed – milk, coffee creamer, protein bars, eggs, the usual.  While we were on the phone, I was looking East out of the back window of the house and saw our dog, Butter, sitting next to the shed.  I said to the husband “I have to go, Butter is out of her kennel!”  Then I turned around and faced West where the kennel is and there was Butter, laying happily in her house in her kennel.  “Never mind, Butter is in her kennel.  She must have a doppelganger!”  The Husband said, “Oh, that’s *Bob* a neighborhood stray.”  And the conversation about shopping went on.  Guess what he came home with?  No protein bars, no coffee (I know where his priorities lie!), but a gallon of pancake syrup and ink for the printer we had two years ago.  No lie.  A gallon of pancake syrup.  And two gallons of orange juice.  He loves Costco.  So after the Zombie-pocolypse, if you’re craving pancakes with lots of syrup, but no coffee – head on over to my bunker.  It’s right behind the 4th tree to the right.

Photo of Trees
The Woods are Deep

Don’t Give Up

On Peter Gabriel’s amazing album So, Don’t Give Up is probably my favorite song.  Besides being a political statement,  as so many of his songs are, it features Kate Bush and her amazing vocal range.  I had this album on CD in college when it first came out and I still listen to it frequently.  It has never lost its shine.

Don’t give up
’cause you have friends
Don’t give up
You’re not beaten yet
Don’t give up
I know you can make it good

I could include all of the lyrics, they are so good.  And today, they are speaking to me personally.  How is it that once in a while, you hit your playlist that is randomized and the right song comes on?  I feel like I am on the edge of change, that the other shoe is about to drop.  I am mentally girding myself for battle, knowing that when that shoe does drop I will have a battle on the other side.  For me, that battle may include overwhelming pain, depression, anxiety, anger, loneliness.  But I have friends.  I am not beaten yet.  I can make it good.  I won’t give up.

And one of the things that I know helps get me beyond my personal demons would be art.  And so today’s art is from tanglepatterns.com, String 037 – http://tanglepatterns.com/2013/01/tanglepatterns-string-037.html

String 37
2015-03-02; tanglepatterns.com, String 037

A-spinning I shall go, A-spinning I shall go!

Over the weekend, I finished spinning one of the very first braids of wool that I ever dyed.  My first round at Yarn School (see HarveyvilleProject.com) in 2013, I didn’t really know what I was doing in the Dye Lab.  I have a degree in art, so I get color and I get saturation, and I get how to put colors together in a combination.  I dyed my fiber decently that year, but I was never overly excited about spinning it all because my color combinations just weren’t me.  Not yarn that I would knit with once I spun it.  Since then, I have learned a whole lot about wool and how different varieties and blends take color and what it will look like when it is spun since that is usually completely different than what it looks like before it is spun.  And then once it is knit up, it looks completely different again!

One of the groups that I am in on Ravelry is for people who own Kromski spinning wheels.  This month we had a spin along where the theme was What Was I Thinking.  We could choose a braid, a batt, a breed – something that was in our stash that didn’t seem to belong, that we didn’t know what the hell we were thinking to have it sitting there.  I chose a braid that I loving called Ugh, It’s a Deere!  I think you can see why.

spinning fiber
Ugh, It’s a Deere!

So, I started spinning right away and then got horribly bored with it.  These are NOT my colors.  But I had to get this fiber done before I could let myself move on to something that is more appealing.

Singles on the wheel
On the wheel

And so, this was the weekend to finish.  By last night, I was ready to take the single off the bobbin and wind it into a plying ball while watching The Last Alaskans.  And then while watching Game of Thrones (why? why do I watch this show??), I was plying up the yarn.

Plying Yarn on the Wheel
Plying a Deere

Into the bath it went before bed and then out on the deck to dry out.  This morning when I woke up, it was to discover that Ugh, It’s a Deere! has been transformed into To Green Bay and Back.  It is poofy and soft and lovely.  And I still hate the colors.  I texted a photo to my sister-in-law to see if she wants it and she snatched at it like she had never seen yarn before.

Finished Yarn
To Green Bay and Back

And so, in July when we are in the same general vicinity it will go to a loving home.  Which will be not mine.  And now, it is out of my stash and I can move on to something more fabulous.  I wonder what will be next?  I only have about 15 pounds of spinning fiber waiting for me!

Haiku and Zentangle, 3

Weeds grow between good
Green on Green, How do I know
What to keep or throw?

Now, really, this is hypothetical as I do not do any of the gardening.  But the Husband has been frustrated because he cannot get into the garden to weed because of all the rain.  I have to say, however, that the strawberries are SO juicy this year!

Today’s art:  tanglepatterns.com, String 036 – http://tanglepatterns.com/2013/01/tanglepatterns-string-036.html

String 36
2015-02-26; tanglepatterns.com, String 036

Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home!

Ladybug!  Ladybug!
Fly away home.
Your house is on fire.
And your children all gone.

All except one,
And that’s little Ann,
For she crept under
The frying pan.

Okay – maybe that’s a little more morbid than I want to be.  But my baby (A2) has gone away for 2 weeks.  She is with family and close friends, doing some work and having some fun.  When we lived in the same town the Husband was raised in, A1 had the opportunity to work for our former daycare provider in the summer.  She earned a little money and got a lot of training on how to take care of small kids.  A2 had been lamenting the lack of that opportunity in our new home earlier in spring.  So we told her she could certainly contact the daycare provider to see if she could do the same work for 2 weeks.  The daycare provider welcomed her happily for 3 days each week that she is in town.  A2 then contacted friends, grandparents, and an aunt and made arrangements for food, lodging, and transportation to and from work on working days.

So now she is gone.  Last summer, she and her older sister went to summer camp for a week and I barely missed them.  But now, it is just the baby flown away.  I want to call her every few hours to check on her.  I never checked on them last year.  Do you suppose it’s because I knew her older sister would watch out for her?  I guess I am not very trusting of her grandparents and I know that she has already been in a fight with the friend with whom she is to spend some of the weekend.  She is old enough to handle those things herself.  And she is a strong little girl.  I guess I need to be strong to and let her go and have her own experiences.  And having her out of the house means I can (hopefully) finish her quilt while she is away.  That would be amazing.

Today’s art is, as usual, from tanglepatterns.com, String 035 – http://tanglepatterns.com/2013/01/tanglepatterns-string-035.html  I think I told you at the beginning of this blog-venture that part of the goal is to document my arts and crafts and one of my goals is to go through, in order, each string from tanglepatterns.  Good or bad, they show up here.

String 35
2015-02-25; tanglepatterns.com, String 035

The Weather Outside is Frightful

Disgusting really.  My office is on the 11th floor overlooking downtown.  Most days, the view is amazing.  Today, it is truly frightful.  I can barely make out any of the buildings, the sky is gray, gray, gray, and it looks like rain is coming down again.  Soon, the Husband will be requesting tools and wood to build an ark.  We have 2 cats and one dog, but they have been appropriately spayed or neutered (in case you are listening, Bob Barker).  I am not really an animal person, so will I have to take other animals on my ark?  God has not, that I know of, told the Husband to start gathering the animals 2 by 2.  But the rain just will not stop in the middle of the country.  And California?  Horrifying drought.  The 100 year weather extremes now seem to be on a 5 year cycle.  I don’t want to see the Missouri and Mississippi flooding again and the people getting killed in Texas from rising waters.  I feel like I have seen enough of these tragedies to last for the rest of my life.  And I have a lot more living to do.

On the bright side: I did do two of the things I said yesterday that needed to get done.  The trash bill?  I don’t even know where that one is.  But I do have a brand new shiny license plate for my car and the Boy is confirmed for Driving School (thank goodness).  The Boy really needs to get his driver’s license.  He works today at a time when both the Husband and I are supposed to be at work.  Luckily I have a very understanding boss, and usually I would leave early.  But today I went to the DMV (barf!) and can’t leave early.  The husband can’t leave early.  So, here we are… What to do?  The Boy is going to see if one of his friends can take him, but if not, I will have to go.  And risk losing my job because I am not reliable.  Honestly, sometimes being an adult sucks.

Art for today, because that is always nice, isn’t it?  And I really, really love this one.  It is one of my personal favorites!  Tanglepatterns.com, String 034 – http://tanglepatterns.com/2013/01/tanglepatterns-string-034.html

String 34
2015-02-18; tanglepatterns.com, String 034

Personal Irresponsibility

I have an issue.  Maybe several.  I forget to do things.  Not just the little things like picking up my shoes, but big stuff.  Things that are on my list right now include paying the trash bill which is probably overdue and leaves me hoping that the trash and recycling get picked up today, registering and getting a license plate for a new car we bought in May whose temporary plate has expired, and confirming my son’s registration for Driver’s Ed for this Saturday.  I don’t know why I do this.  These are things that should be easy to get done and I just don’t do them.  The husband gets so angry at me.  I understand why.  But it just doesn’t help.  I don’t do the things I should.  I even make lists of things to do and don’t do those I don’t want to.

I do it with little things too.  Food burns while I am spinning or knitting because I have completely forgotten about it.  Laundry goes sour in the washer because I feel like I am done with laundry.  Then next time I feel like doing laundry, I have to start by rewashing the load in the washer.  I start a bunch of things I never finish.  My kids don’t think I am reliable all of the time.  This is the part of my personal irresponsibility that hurts the most.  They don’t see me as a mother who keeps her promises.

A lot of this has to do with Fibromyalgia.  I hate to make excuses, but when it comes to my kids and my husband, I forget what we talked about yesterday.  I have horrible pain one day that prevents me from going to the store.  All I can do some nights after I get home from work is crawl into my bed and sleep until the next day.  Right now, I am in one of these phases.  Work is taking all of my energy to get through.  My pain levels are very high and I am unable to concentrate.  I don’t know what to do or where to go.  I know I have an appointment with my rheumatologist coming up.  The thing is, that before I started this job, I was sleeping well, had good energy, and my pain levels were very low.  Do we blame the weather pattern we are stuck in, me drinking a couple of beers over the weekend, the job?  All of it?  It’s hell, you know.  And I can’t fix it.

Today’s drawing is tanglepatterns.com String 033 – http://tanglepatterns.com/2012/12/tanglepatterns-string-033.html

String 33
2015-02-05; tanglepatterns.com, String 033

The Joy of Cooking + To Serve Man

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Worldly Encounters.”  The friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial you run into outside your house is asking you to recommend the one book, movie, or song that explains what humans are all about. What do you pick?

This is a very funny daily prompt for a blog.  I know that there are people who will take it seriously and recommend the Bible, the Koran, some important work of literature.  I almost chose Jane Eyre because it is my favorite book ever.  The Stand would be a good one too.  Love me some Steven King. But instead the book I would give the alien outside my door would be my well-worn and well loved copy of The Joy of Cooking.  Everything is in that book.  Humor, wit, and how to kill, clean, grow, harvest and cook or preserve your own food.  There are bits in the recipes about how they were created, where they came from, their history.  Not necessarily a book you read, but interesting if you just happen to pick it up.  And a valuable tool for survival.

At the same time, I would invite said friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial into my house and pull up Netflix and queue up the episode of the Twilight Zone called ‘To Serve Man’.  25 minutes or so, surely he has that much time?  Friendly aliens are not to be trusted.  How many times have we learned that on TV, in books, in the movies?  If aliens come to Earth, they are either coming with guns blazing, stealing people one at a time for horrifying scientific experiments, or … Like in To Serve Man under the guise of ‘helping’ Earth be more healthy, less war-like, more productive at food production.  What is the goal of this friendly alien?  Have I just handed him a cookbook that will help him serve me up on a platter?  If you haven’t seen this episode of the Twilight Zone, stop everything and go watch it now.  Really.  It is necessary.  One of the best single episodes of television ever.

And now today’s art.  Tanglepatterns.com, String 032.  http://tanglepatterns.com/2012/12/tanglepatterns-string-032.html  As you can see, I struggle a little with having patterns cross or turning corners.  I must work on this!

String 32
2015-01-21; tanglepattern.com, String 032