Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Work Weak

My work days consist of me trying to stay as inconspicuous as possible, but somehow ending up looking like a dumbass.   Look!  It's Debbie Dumbass.

I will have to get back with you if this ever gets better.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Appreciation for Learning

Before I met Steve, I was in a relationship with a man that defined my life (and not in a good way). My life during this period revolved around said man. All of my free time was spent on him. And I spent six years with him. I voluntarily gave up 2,190 days to benefit someone else. I had no hobbies because everything centered around him.

After extricating myself from the sickness and dependence of that nightmare, I realized part of the recovery would be to get involved with something outside of work that could occupy my time. It was hard for me to figure out what I should do; I've always been a reader but reading did not give a sense of accomplishment or encourage my creativity.

I met Steve and was very impressed with his artistry in painting. I could see Steve's personality in his paintings - devotion, straightforwardness, and positivity. I envied his ability to create something. At the time, I had no tangible evidence of my creativity. Pointing to a pile of books and saying "I read these" is not my idea of great accomplishments.

Steve tried to help me figure out what I could do but his suggestions were basically things that we could do together. I really needed something to do for myself. And that's how I discovered knitting.

Teaching myself knitting has given me confidence to try other things. I'm also learning how to speak conversational Spanish (I bought a collection of CDs called the Pimsleur Method). I have to say that my redneck hillbilly accent is not evident until I speak Spanish, and then it is overbearing! There is no doubt I'm from Polk County, Florida when I say MOO-CHAS GRA-SEE-AS.

Thank you to whatever force or entity or karma or fate bought me to this place in my life. I appreciate getting to know myself again.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Come In Quietly

I made a delicious lunch today. Sunday is the one day of the week that Steve and I share as a day off. Of course, he was a grumpbump when I woke him up to eat lunch. I made ham and green beans and homemade mashed potatoes. I was feeling pretty good, thanks to my three glasses of Sangria I downed while cooking.

It has rained most of the day, but I was good enough to get my weekly shopping done early today, so I could enjoy the afternoon. However, I did not plan accordingly and ended up at Publix. I spent $100 for a week's worth of groceries. I paid more because I determined it was too inconvenient to go to Aldi's, which is further away from me. Even though I am working again, and perhaps Publix is now in my budget, I really appreciate that Aldi's can save me so much money.

I've been knitting dishcloths lately. They are a very weird shape and it is my fault because I did not check my gauge before knitting. I hate knitting gauge squares and refuse to do it. So I tolerate my weird kite-looking dishcloths.

I have taken the whole week off from exercising and I feel terrible. I have to get back on track because I sense that work is going to start sapping my energy out of me. Also, I have been very bad about not bringing my lunch to work, although the good news that I have not been going to fast food. There is a cafeteria downstairs in my office building, and I usually get a sandwich from them. I have asked Steve to help me get back into exercise.

However, right now, I'm just enjoying the rain and drinking my coffee. My silly cat is laying on the floor next to the sofa, with her paw over her eyes as if to say "hey, it's too bright in here", sleeping the afternoon away. She's going to jump up and freak out when Steve comes in (sleeping by the front door is a good way to get spooked).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Story In Three Pictures

(Please suspend any dislike of me allowing my cat outdoors until the end of the story)

A few nights ago, Delilah and I went outside; Delilah to do her business and me to enjoy the cool breeze and fresh air.

I could hear rustling in the grassy area across the parking lot from our apartment. After my eyes adjusted, I could see the movement in the leaves. I walked up closer to see what was making the noises and saw it was an armadillo. Man, he was ferociously hunting through the leaves and grass for bugs.

I watched him for a while and he never even acknowledged my presence or looked up at me. He was a man on a mission.

I heard a noise behind me and found it was Delilah, back at the apartment, calling me to come home. I guess I needed to pay attention to her, so I politely took her picture from across the parking lot.

When I saw the picture preview on the camera, I was not sure I wanted to head home with spooky kitty eyes glowing at me. Lucky for me the real-life version of this picture was just a sweet cat who wanted to go back inside and get some food.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Knitting Till My Hands Fall Off

You have no idea how much my hands ache.  I finally finished my baby blanket today, with minutes to spare.  I had to knit for 5 hours straight to complete it.  The finished product was about 35 inches long (I was shooting for 36).

This picture shows the blanket folded over (with a close up of the basket weave pattern).

The following picture shows the entire blanket as laid out on the bed.

In a perfect world, I would have blocked it so the edges were straight, but when you get the finished product off your needles at 12:45 p.m., and  the baby shower starts at 2:00 p.m., there is no option but to just wrap it up.

As luck would have it, my gift was the last one opened at the shower.  When the mother-to-be unwrapped it, I got emotional because this is my first true knitted gift and it was for such a wonderful woman and the baby she always dreamed about.   When she held it up, I was surprised by how nice it really looked (close up I can see all of my mistakes).  

I learned a few things while knitting this project:  (a) I am not a marathon knitter, just let me knit a few hours every day and I will be fine; (b) I am terrible at budgeting my time for knitted projects; and (c) I would like to knit a baby blanket for myself one day (but I'm not holding my breath).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Knitting Countdown

I started working on the baby blanket on Sunday. I allocated at least two hours every night for it; knowing that I had to have it done by Saturday. I'm behind schedule but I don't have to work tomorrow and I plan to have most of it done by tomorrow. The baby shower is not until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, so if I need it, I can use Saturday morning to finish it.

It's a bit of a simple blanket and it's definitely for a Florida summer baby because the yarn is thin. I'm using Bernat Softee Baby in Baby Pink Marl. The yarn is very soft and it's a really cute pink color.

Additionally, I will pick up something else for the mother-to-be as a secondary gift. She's registered at Target and Babies 'R Us so it should be easy for me to find something to go along with the blanket. If I can't finish in time, then at least I have a backup gift. I'm looking forward to this shower on Saturday even though I will not know anyone else there. I know the mom-to-be because I worked with her last year, and this baby is truly a miracle and a gift. She's only one year younger than me and this is her first baby, but I don't say that with any jealousy or envy. I know I made poor choices and that's the reason I'll never have kids. I'm not spoiling anyone else's joy because I wasted my child-bearing years with a jerk.

Speaking of jerks, the ex-boyfriend texted me a few days ago, feeling me out about the possibility of meeting up. I said no and told him I was with someone else. Even through the limitation of texting, he was pretty upset with this information and started to call me a liar, a whore, etc. I think he assumed I would remain single and celibate, waiting for the possibility that he would call. Of course, if I did this, he would only want to spend a few hours with me, before going back to his real life. As if I would settle for that shitty lifestyle ever again. How sad and depressing that this is the person I loved so much with all of my heart only five years ago. While I always knew in my heart that he never really cared or loved me the way I deserve, now I can see how ridiculous I was to have devoted so much time, effort and energy on trying to make things work. I find it easy to see now because I can compare it to what I have now. I never feel the despair and desperation with Steve that I felt on a constant basis with the ex. There is no comparison of the person I was then to the person I've become now.

Finding My Treasure

Now that my shawl is complete (yarn purchased during the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl in March), it is just hanging out in my foyer until I de...