Category Archives: Life

Idol, Country Music, and the Horse It Rode In On

I’m a wicked big country music fan. Sort of.

See, the thing is this: I grew up listening to country music. Hank Williams, Jr., Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, George Strait, and many, many more. I remember my dad being upset about what was happening to country music back in the mid-80s…a particular dislike of Randy Travis comes to mind, though I may be misremembering.

I’ve listened to a crazy amount of country since then. And it’s seemed for a while now that as time goes on country seems more and more likely to exercise its particular propensity for terrible lyrics. We know not the line between whiny and sad, or cheesy and meaningful. Not to mention all of the bending metaphors until they snap (I’m looking at you, Carrie Underwood. Jesus will not be driving my car for me any time soon.).

Point being that I don’t necessarily expect a ton out of this stuff, lyrically, but “Love You This Big”? Really? I mean, really?

There’s hope for the other song, though, and I might not even have to turn off the radio if I hear it there. You see, it’s got a traditional streak in it, no matter how crossover it may sound: it’s got mama. It may not have trucks, or trains, or prison, or getting drunk, but it’s got mama.

And that’s something.

So then…

Been an odd couple of months personally, and it’s not much worth getting into here, though I have set up a fledgling blog for the sort of thing I don’t necessarily want to discuss here. Not sure whether I’ll really use it, so I’ll wait before linking…might well take a while before the thing is truly underway, if ever.

There are never enough hours in the day.

Most of them go something like this: drag ass out of bed. Go to work. Hide with a book at lunch; can’t knit/crochet because then I have to talk to people and all they want to talk about is work, and 9 times out of 10 in a nasty, gossipy fashion that I really don’t want to even listen to, much less participate in. Come home to howling kids, shove them through the evening with varying levels of help, depending on who is more exhausted at that stage, drop into bed, telling myself that tomorrow I’ll manage to get something other than the gruntwork done, pass out.

Rinse. Repeat.

Note that crochet, knitting, and blogging have lost their places in this scenario. And man is my personality getting crispy around the edges. I’m wicked burned out and tend to feel like I don’t have much to say, anyway because of that.

Well, and it’s hard to keep up a crochet and knitting blog with no crochet or knitting. Heh.

Anyway, I never announce that I’m back to blogging because that invariably winds up with total fail, but I thought I’d drop by. Just, you know, in case. Because I might just actually manage to pull it off someday…

Testing…

Upgraded, including wandering through the process for the wacky Twitter Tools setup. So this is the checking-to-make-sure-it’s-all-working post.

I’d have more, but I work at Most-Hated-Retailer-in-America and tomorrow is Thanksgiving. So.

Have some FOs. Pics after Friday, lol.

Day 14

Trip to Maine was nice. Got to stuff myself silly at my favorite local eatery and spend an hour or two cursing at Traveling Woman. I don’t know what it is about that project, but even the simple stockinette portion kept going wrong for me. Methinks that I am currently lacking the focus to knit lace. Or the yarn is angry at me for making it live in a ziploc bag in the dark between bouts of working on the thing. You never know.

This afternoon I have the house to myself and in the absence of three small loud children I’ve been working again on a new pattern template. Nothing elaborate…I’m not in a good place right now to purchase or learn anything more elaborate than Word, but I’ve managed to jazz it up a bit all the same and I’m pleased with the results. I also set to writing the pattern that I think will make its debut the soonest. It’s been pulled from the pile of swatches and scraps and will shortly, with any luck, be made to behave.

I have no FO to show for this weekend, but the scarf project I’m trying to finish right now should be all set by the end of the week. Yay!

Got no pictures, either. I can be incredibly lazy sometimes, and moreso when I’m tired and bouncing between happy and cranky. On the plus side, the boyfriend gave me this to keep my moody self out of his hair, and I’m finding that I quite like it so far. So a book may actually get read around here for the first time in ages. Exciting stuff.

Ah, well. Back to the pattern thing. I have to do this writing in little pieces or it wouldn’t get done at all. Watching a design grow under my hands is easy. Writing it out so someone else can follow it? Not so much.

More Maine

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the boyfriend’s family has a cabin in Maine, and the boyfriend? He’s been building himself a pretty damned awesome solar power system for the place over the last couple of years. His charge controller crapped out a little while back, so we’re off with the replacement to get the thing up and running again.

I’m only bringing two projects, but it will only be a 28 hour trip, lol. If I do it right, one WIP will be a FO by the time we get home. 🙂 Pics if I remember to take them before we leave tomorrow. The light up there is gorgeous. So tempted to do my next pattern photoshoot up there…but I hope to have something finished before spring, lol.

Day 10

I’m a bit caught up in delaying tactics at the moment, but I’m still working on things that are positives for the business. I did a simple bit of reformatting on my pattern template this morning that really improves the look of the pattern I tried it out on (at least to me, lol). I’ll let it wait a day and if I’m still this fond of it tomorrow, I’ll redo my existing patterns to have a consistent look.

I’ve also decided that I’d like to rework the samples for a couple of them, and redo some of the photography now that I have a camera again. I need to build myself some sort of setup where I have consistent light. I used to have one, but my reliable lamp died and hasn’t been replaced. Oh, the joys of a tiny budget…

Anyway. Making progress. Pleased with that. 🙂

Boston

It’s been a very, very long time since I had a wander around Boston. IIRC, the last one was in 1994, when I spent a solid week roaming freely. I was visiting a friend, and he was working during the day, which left me free to discover the city.

I moved out to this area almost 7 years ago and I can count the number of times I’ve been properly in the city on one hand. Sad, but I’m old and settled now. 🙂 I’m lacking the time to just take off for a day and play.

Yesterday I had to go there for a medical appointment, so I brought Michael along with me for moral support, and we made it a day in the city that happened to include an appointment, instead of just popping in and out for the thing. And it turned out to be an incredible day, instead of one that could easily have been difficult and depressing.

I don’t have the pictures; he was the expedition photographer, lol. We got there just as the sun was coming out for the afternoon, between rain showers, and just walked around semi-aimlessly, doing the tourist thing. We wandered through the Common and the Public Gardens and generally just hung around until it was time for the appointment. Once we were done with the medical thing, it was lunch and a trip to Windsor Button. That was my birthday present, lol…I told him he didn’t have to buy me anything, just endure the stop with me. 🙂 I wound up buying this, which I’ve wanted for a while, because I couldn’t decide on yarn. I was really impressed with the wide range of yarns they carry…there were acrylics and blends all snuggled up with alpaca and wool and silk. There’s something about that that makes me unreasoningly happy.

Anyway, the appointment was inconclusive. They had trouble finding the records that my doctor’s office sent, so he wanted to look over them before giving me a conclusion. His impression, however, was definitely not MS, which leaves us with, “I don’t know.” So probably back to waiting to see what happens next. Which is ok. These things sometimes stay mysterious. What can you do?

Also, this is the first time I’ve taken the commuter rail into the city and it was awesome. It was amazingly stress free and worth every penny. And it’s funny to realize how close together everything here really is…if you’re a train. 🙂 Not to mention how compact the city is.

In any case, it was a thoroughly awesome day. I really ought to go wander around Boston more than once a decade.

Day 5

I need a new name for this endeavor. The previous one is half made of fail. This is what happens when I write too early in the morning.

Anyway.

Pretty much nothing has been accomplished on the yarn scene the last few days because I’m busy blowing my nose repeatedly and wondering why I had kids in the first place and if I were going to, why am I not homeschooling? I love my little vectors, but kindergarten may be the death of me.

On the schedule today: I have knitting that I need to finish for a friend of mine and I want to take at least a few minutes to work in one of the patterns in progress. It’s totally my birthday and I’m off work and I’m putting my foot down and stealing the time. 🙂

The Design-in-the-Morning Experiment: Day 2

Yesterday I managed to get a solid half an hour in toward the sample I’m working on, and developed a firm conviction that I need to stop getting ideas for such big projects, lol.

So today I don’t have to be to work until 10, and I hauled my ass out of bed at 6, figuring that would give me a good hour or hour and a half before the kids got up. I took a long hot shower, and made a pot of coffee, and luxuriated in the quiet. The blessed, blessed quiet.

And before you could say boo, the kids were up. Because somehow that took me an hour and a half. ROFL! Working nights I was accustomed to having quiet when I got home, and I had missed that so much I was too busy feeling all peaceful to get any work done. OTOH, my Rav surfing is out of the way for the moment. Heh.

So I’ll work a bit on the sample, which doesn’t require concentration of the same degree, and try again tomorrow. Because this is how I used to do it, dammit, and it’s how I’m going to do it again, one step at a time…

Stuck in traffic.

That’s the closest I can come, metaphor-wise, to what’s happened with the designing lately, and the knitting in general, and the blog. It’s all starting to sound like excuses to me at this point; I need to just write.

I had a big thoughtful post all planned about the mental traffic jam that’s been holding me up, and inspiration v work, and a whole lot of other nonsense, and it’s all fled from me. I think my biggest mental block is that at some point I stopped thinking of myself as a designer and started thinking of myself as someone who used to design, back when life allowed me to.

I’m calling bullshit on myself for that one.

There are really for real things that I’m struggling with right now…my health’s still lousy, and I just changed jobs again, and I have three very active kids and an ex and a current partner who has his own family problems and I feel like I’m stretched so thin you ought to be able to see right through me. I’m still not all that good at working in the 10 or 15 minute spaces that are all I can seem to create some days, and I’m great at letting myself get crowded back out of the longer spaces I try to create, and I wonder sometimes how much I want to do this, given how damned hard it is for me to manage everything I’ve already got on my plate.

But every time I come back to it and ask myself that question, the answer is desperately. I can’t think of a damned thing I’d rather do. I love it, love working out the stitches and discovering how a yarn behaves and watching something brand new take shape under my hands. I love the way it feels to concentrate completely, and I love knowing that other people enjoy the results of my work. It’s insanely rewarding for me on so many levels.

Sometimes I step back and I think to myself, it’s only crochet, it’s only knitting, what does it matter?. But you know what? It matters. It matters to a hell of a lot of people, and it matters to me, too. It’s beautiful and practical and it brings us joy. And that joy carries meaning, even if it’s something as simple as bringing a smile to my face when I wash my dishes.

I have an odd feeling that I’ll be up earlier than otherwise in the morning. I think I have a swatch that needs my attention.