Thank you

No matter what politics do, and believe me, I have many feelings on that, I always try to separate my support of the government and support of the military.

It doesn’t matter what those in charge do, the men and women that serve do so at a great personal sacrifice, and I am grateful for that.

So, the last few weeks, I decided I wanted to put up something on my door to mark the day. Door decorations have become a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, and I’m really enjoying coming up with new and fun door decoration ideas. This was inspired by several wreath patterns on Pinterest, and the pattern came from the 5000 poppies project.

The rest- well, I wanted to have some white ribbon or lace for the bow. However, some sisal rope was what this tipsy crafter had on hand!

I’m pleased with the result, and I hope that it conveys even the smallest bit of the depth of my gratitude.

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The Best Laid Plans

Well, despite my best efforts, the bulk of my resolutions have not been going well. About the only one that has is giving up processed sugar – which let’s face it, isn’t too shabby.

Work has been 12 hour shifts for the last nine days – and these are intense “save the world” type shifts, because of the work I do. I’m also the most experienced, which means that I haven’t disconnected since the emergency started. And still, I have done well with my sugar plan! A few slip ups, but we’ve gotten right back on the wagon, and I haven’t been craving it.

Cheese, on the other hand, has been more difficult. The cafeteria at work is littered with it – and the non-cheese options actually give my stomach a worse reaction than eating cheese in the first place (go figure). So I’ve been grabbing what I can, and being glad for it. Couple that with a partner who just lost his best friend suddenly to a serious illness she’d kept quiet… and well, he gets whatever comfort food he wants right now. Usually in the form of pizza.

I intend to get back on (well, off, really) the cheese wagon. And keep going on the sugar free zone.

And in the meantime, I will celebrate the fact that for the first time ever, I own my car outright. And that I have handknit one half of a lovely pair of kilt hose (and I’ve just taken a break from casting on the other half- no sock curse for me!)

I hope whatever changes you all have been making have been going well, and that you have plenty to celebrate.

Skipping the Magical Holiday

It’s almost that time! The most magical day of  the year! The best day, which falls in dreary February, brightening the life of all women….

Half Price Chocolate Day! (no, not Valentine’s Day, silly reader.)

However, this year I am going to be abstaining from my favorite of the minor holidays. Because this year, I am going to do a health challenge.

I’ve needed to get my health back on track, this we have discussed. I’m not Catholic, but growing up, my family observed the “Giving up something for Lent” process. And this year, I’ve decided that I’m going to do it again. It’s an accepted time period to do these kinds of challenges, which makes the explaining of things easier, and it’s tied to something ingrained in my life, which I feel will help fool my brain into actually getting this done.

So, from February 14 until April 1, I’m challening myself to give up processed sugar, all dairy, and to eat as much “whole, real food” as possible. To get my lifestyle change jumpstarted, and to get all of the lingering cravings out of my system.

Dairy is especially important to cut, as I’ve found that I’m actually allergic to dairy, which means that it is actively impedeing the process of healing from my ulcers. I read an article over the weekend that the University of Michigan has completed research that said cheese sets off the same receptors in the brain as opioids, which to me means that I need to be very diligent about getting that aspect of my health on track. 

I’m looking forward to taking this step, and checking back in on how I’m doing over the next 40-some days.

Are you doing any health challenges in the near future?

Belated New Year, Belated New Me

My mother has threatened, on many occassions, to cross stitch me a sampler that says “Someday, when I have my sh*t together!” Apparently, this is something that I say more than I even realize. While my entire work life is designed around working a week into the future, in my personal life I am almost always behind. It’s a work in progress.

So, I did not get my life together in time for the traditional new year. I’m still working on figuring out how I want to manage things in this coming year, to be honest. Work changes have added a lot of stress, as well as illness and lots of extra work. (which has been good for my debt repayment, truth be told)

I’m thinking about doing a mini challenge for myself over the 40 days prior to Easter – I feel like it might be a good time to refocus. To really work on being a better version of myself. (and the fact that I still have two whole weeks to plan my life is somewhat appealing!)

What have you been doing to build a better you this year?

So many babies!

Four babies are entering my friend group, and so the last few weeks my time has been swamped with baby blankets!

I favor a nice, simple pattern for baby blankets, so that’s left a lot of time for navel gazing and introspection. January has always been a difficult time of the year  for me, and this year has been no different. So, for the meantime, I will knit away, and count the rows, that turn to days, that turn to spring.

I’m looking forward to it.

Starting Over

I knit. I hesitate to say that I’m a knitter, because that makes it sound like I create amazing fiber things in a timely manner. My knitting is slow, contemplative. It’s an active meditation. It’s a way of surrounding myself with a fiber hug and a lap of cats when nothing else will do.

In knitting, sometimes, when you have a project that is just terrible. You hate the pattern, or the yarn isn’t right or any other numbers of things aren’t lining up, you have no choice but to pull the piece apart, so that you can start over. This is called “frogging.”

Two years ago, after much deliberation, I decided that the fabric of my life was not right. The yarn wasn’t working for me, so to speak, and I hated the pattern that I had forced myself into. So I pulled it apart. To the basic elements of me.

I spent the first year wallowing. Making no-so-awesome choices. Thinking. And knitting. I spent the second year trying to identify who I was, and who I wanted to be.

This year, I’m starting to find my way back. I’m ready to get the yarn of myself back on the needles, and I’m ready to choose a new pattern for my life.