crochet:: on the topic of taking a break…


You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been taking a little breakity break from blogging.  There were lots of reasons, lots of things to do, lots of changes to be made in my life.

The long story has way too many layers to bore y’all to tears with, so the short story it will be…

My father’s death 1 1/2 years ago was very difficult and I have been in a funk ever since.  You can even see it in my blogging, or lack thereof.  I was in a miserable place both personally and professionally.  I changed jobs last summer and got my professional life in order to the point it no longer weighed down my personal life where I was attempting to deal with loss and sadness.  (I’m apparently still queen-of-the-run-on-sentence) 

This spring I decided I needed to *ahem* grow a pair and work on my personal life.  I made a list, as one does when one is as OCD as I tend to be.  I realized I needed to fix SO MUCH CRAP in my own head that the only way through it was to sprinkle in some rewards to myself or I would be overwhelmed.  I didn’t want to get to a point that I’d give up, my Daddy would not approve…

I began my Personal Reboot Challenge with simple things each week building on the success of the previous week.  Some things were easy, like ditching soda.  Others were very flipping difficult, like working out every day and quitting smoking.  I’m 3 months in and happy to report that I have completed the list, kept all the good habits and not reverted to the old bad ones!  There were small rewards along the way…a Runza hamburger, fries & a Dr. Pepper (OMG ~ hated it after eating healthy for so long), and with the money I’d saved by not purchasing cigarettes I got fancy & expensive hand-dyed yarn, and a new set of crochet hooks.  But the pièce de résistance was to finally make myself a studio space in my itty bitty house.   It took a ton of work, and even organizing an 8-family garage sale, but I did it!

I have emptied out the basement living room, and I’m in the process of making myself at home in my very own studio.

Here are a couple of pics with my progress so far.

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I still need to move 2 more of the white cabinets into my space, hang some art on the walls, and to find the right office chair…but I’m on my way.

Thanks for stopping by

&

Have a lovely day!

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life:: eulogy

IMG_2924We’re going to take a moment here to mourn the loss of my Annie Annie.  She passed away of a heart attack too young, after recently retiring from the corporate life to pursue her dream and open a cake decorating business.  She was my fairy godmother and yes, I realize I didn’t call her my Aunt Ann because although she had 26 nieces and nephews, she was MY Annie Annie.  (I often stressed that to my cousins back in the day.)

On the day I was born, she gave me my most cherished childhood toy, my Buffy Puppy.  Recently, I had worked at re-creating Buffy for a pattern to share here.  I wanted other kids to be able to love a stuffed toy that much too.  That is how much it meant to me. Although it’s not done, I now feel the need to work harder at perfecting the pattern.

  That is one overly loved stuffed toy ~ poor thing has seen better days.  But hey, Buffy is 47 years old…cut her some slack.

When I was a small child, Ann moved from the country with my Grandma Amy to the big city.  She lived with my family for a time in the 70’s before getting her own apartment.  She was a godmother, a big sister, and a spare mom all in one while she lived with us.  At the time, I was still the only child so it was awesome to have another playmate to annoy at all possible moments of the day.  She was a captive audience.  And what an audience she was.  She was so present in every moment.  When I spent time with my Annie Annie she made me feel heard, cared for, and that time spent being silly was never wasted.  She had a wonderful sense of humor and never let me forget that I announced as a child I should be addressed as ‘Lisa Victoria From the First’. She would also play loud music on her record player in the basement and we would have dance parties to ‘Benny and the Jets’, or ‘My Baby Does the Hanky Panky’ which would invariably end in both of us collapsing in giggles.  She added so much to my love of silly.

In the 80’s, I had the first real and true scare in my life.  Ann had cancer.  Ann survived with courage and grace.  She lived very far away by then, but came home often and I took every opportunity I could to spend time with her finding our silly.

Fast forward to my 30’s and I got the next real and true scare of my life.  I had cancer. My Annie Annie was there for me.  There were so many questions and she was patient and helped me through all of the answers.  She coached me through surviving with courage and as much grace as I could muster.  She was a calm voice, a cheerleader, a fairy godmother.

When my father got diagnosed with cancer next, I relied on all of her advice to help coach him through too.  I tried to pass it all on, pay it all forward.  I think I helped, and I owe it to my Annie Annie for the strength be his calm voice and his cheerleader.

This spring, she finally was able to retire at 68 from her day job.  She was starting her next career.  I was so excited for her.  She had recently called me to tell me that she had finally picked a name for her new endeavor.  She was calling it Annie Annie’s Cakes.  That was so sweet, it bought tears to my eyes.

She was so special.

She will be missed.

My life has been made better by having her in it.

not crochet:: hoarder level eleventy unlocked

If you are a pin hoarder like me, you have no doubt seen the pin with the hanger & shower curtain rings to group your tank tops, thus saving valuable closet space.

The cheap plastic shower curtain rings are $4 and a total pain to use. Have you tried to take down your shower curtain to wash it lately?  Yeah, that’s why I never buy the circular plastic shower rings anymore.

The shower curtain rings do not like being hung in the shower, let alone being regularly used for tank tops that will inevitably bunch together and end up smooshed to one side because of the weight of said tank tops.  It’s like the tank tops are trying to run away from the shower curtain rings because they know the rings hate everything.  

Yes, they know.

Solution:: belt & tie hanger from the dollar store

You’re welcome

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life:: sometimes you just can’t go home

Sometimes revisiting your old stomping grounds can just make you sad.

Recently, Frankie had to go home to Ohio for a funeral and like every time we go home, he stopped by to see our old house.  We lived there for a very long time and it was our safe place, our hideaway in the woods, our place to find peace from the chaos of the world.  We lived in Shawnee State Forest in the foothills to the Appalachian Mountains and it was a haven for too many reasons for me to blather on and on about.  Suffice it to say, it was where we healed from very traumatic events in both our lives and became the best of friends and learned to move forward.  ‘Nuff said there.

Our beautiful 20 acres was bought by an entrepeneur who saw the potential we always had, but he had the money to make it happen.  He turned our corner of the world into a beautiful wedding garden and reception hall and threw outrageously fabulous weddings.  FYI, we got married in our front yard 10 years previous to that, and the photo ops were stunning.

Our old farmhouse always stayed as the caretaker’s home behind the scenes.

Fast forward 10 more years later, and the entrepeneur lost his millions in the Great Recession a few years ago and now has all but abandoned the business.  Our old property is on the market again for many 100’s of thousands of dollars more than we sold it for back in 2002.  Although we would love to buy it back, we are love rich and cash poor.

So back to his stop there last month…

He took gobs of photos, but they are so incredibly sad.  The old place is no longer as we remember it…overgrown…falling apart…totally neglected.

I went through all the photos over and over and decided to only keep the not-so-sad…the ones that can still remind me of home.

old house 2014

~from this angle it’s not quite so bad, and my Granma Amy’s snowball bush is in the foreground and flourishing~

our creek 2014

~our mountain runoff creek is still wild and sun-dappled and just as I recall~

loveseat 2014

~and my ‘loveseat’ rock that Frankie hoisted up & out of the creek to sit and contemplate life, while extremely overgrown, is still there on the creek bank~

 Edited to add::

After writing this post, I needed to see some shots of my old life in Ohio.  This is how I remember our creek and our loveseat.

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loveseat 2loveseat 3
Think happy thoughts and make today ridiculously amazing!

photography:: some horses & my daddy

daddy

 

I know I don’t talk about my Daddy here at all.  But there are reasons.

My Daddy is amazing and brilliant and I am still a daddy’s girl at 45 years old.  My Daddy also has in-operable terminal cancer.  I have been able to spend the past 6 years with him because he is brave and noble and awesome and can SUCK IT UP SOLDIER and deal with all the BS that goes with his diagnosis & treatment.  So yeah, every moment I can spend with my Daddy counts.  HUGE.

This particular day? GREAT.

daddy 2

young stuff

He was able to forget the big C for just awhile.

He left the farm for the big city in the early 60’s,  so it’s been a very long time since he has seen a Shetland pony and her 1 ft tall baby.

Seriously ~ 12 inches at the shoulder ~ it was so cute, but the bull in the background was all “if I could get to you, I would be your worst nightmare”.

shetland pony baby

We talked and laughed and for that I am thankful.

That is what life and family and finding some zen is all about.

shetland pony baby 2

Have a ridiculously amazing day.

photography:: this is the wild, wild life!

DSC08283~ Little Dude (or one of his offspring) has resumed residence on my back deck even though his tree house umbrella was destroyed in a storm last year.  What a trooper!!~

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~Droves of hummingbirds are making me a regular at the grocery store to buy 10# bags of sugar.  Beautiful but greedy little friends!~

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~ Momma snapping turtle from the pond out back made the trek across my yard to lay her eggs across the street as she has every year for 10 in a row now.  I always love to see the babies trek back a few weeks later.~

~Make today ridiculously amazing!~

life:: fairy garden

fairy garden 1

Recently I became enamored with the idea of fairy gardens.

Yeppers, had to make one.

I even used all the special rocks that my son gave me as a little boy.

fairy garden 2

The worst part is that I also used a piece of marble I picked up on a 3rd or 4th grade field trip day at a local lake.  As a fairy guard dog, I also have a Tinosaur that I got in a Happy Meal when I was 18 while harassing the help at a McDonalds with my closest high school friends that shall remain nameless.  The house is a gourd I have had drying in my greenhouse for 14 years.  Good gawd I’m a sentimental junk collector!  And the scary part is that I remember when, where, and why I got them all.

If you are interested, check out my Pinterest board where I got inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by!