Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Summer has come and passed,
The innocent can never last.
Wake me up when September ends.

Tomorrow it’s October. Summer has come and passed. Where did the time go? Wasn’t it just January, with people making resolutions they can’t keep? Now it’s officially fall.

I’ve heard that the older you get the faster time seems to pass. How can that be? There are still 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and 365 days in a year. We have the same amount of time we’ve always had. So why does time seem to fly by?

Bryce being Superman
The kids when they were little...just the other day.
I remember being a teenager and wishing to be older. I think we all did. When I get older I’ll…you fill in the blank. I got older. I did what I wanted to do. But there was always something more. I’d still wish to be older.

At some time you reach a point when you feel you are old enough. Maybe it’s 25. Maybe it’s 30. For some, it could be even older. You no longer want to be older. Instead, you’d like to be younger.

I know people who live in the past. Their glory days were in another era. They aren’t satisfied with how things are now so they live those days, over and over. That wouldn’t work for me. I don’t want to go back and relive high school or college. Some of it wasn’t all that fun. I don’t see the point in staying the same. It’s a lot more exciting to experience new things.

Maybe that’s why time seems to pass so quickly as we get older. We’ve done a lot of the things we couldn’t wait to do. Now there doesn’t seem to be a lot to look forward to, for the average person that is. Part of the anticipation of something good happening seems to make time go slowly for me. When I’m waiting, time seems to crawl. If I’m not looking forward to anything, I’m not anxiously waiting for something to happen and before I even notice it’s here.

I got an email from a dear friend I grew up with. We were talking about a school mate who passed away. At the end of the note he said, “Fewer days ahead than behind.” It’s a bit scary to think about but it’s that time of life. The things I want to do had best be getting done. And I don’t know if there will be enough time.

I read recently where one of my knitting friends had designated another to finish her projects if she should die and leave them incomplete. Once I was asked to finish something that wasn’t done before the time came. It was to be a surprise gift for the daughter it was intended for. It’s a little eerie to pick up the yarn and needles that were someone else’s. I deciphered the notes she’d made to figure out where she was in the pattern. It wasn’t an easy task, but I completed it. It was satisfying, in a way, to know I’d helped her out and that the personal gift she’d started with love was completed and delivered.

I have a lot of unfinished projects lying around. I have a lot I haven’t started yet! But there isn’t anyone who will finish mine. They’ll just go wherever unfinished projects go. I’ll just hope they end up in the hands of someone who cares. So…better stop now and get busy!
At the end of September the knitayear will be halfway done. September also marks the end of the summer strip. Day 179, September 26 was Alan’s birthday. I made him a cake, the same one that was the first I ever baked him, and it made me reminiscent of the years that have passed. I picked a gold yarn for all of the golden years that have passed. Day 180, September 27, started the workweek. I worked with the doctors but for the first time had a very low turnout. Maybe it was the topic. Maybe they were just busy. I was a bit disappointed but the people who did show up enjoyed the session. I picked pink and blue variegated yarn because it reminded me that sometimes things work one way and sometimes they work out another way. September 28 was a good day, a trip to Balmorhea, substitute training and the late night. I got it all done and was feeling pretty dynamic. Bright green marked the day. Day 182, September 29, we came up with a plan for the workshop we are all so unsure about next week. I feel a lot more reassured that things will go well and chose a rust yarn that fit my mood that day. Finally, September 30, the end of September and the end of the fall strip of the knitayear! It’s the halfway mark and I feel complete, because I’ve stuck to the project this long. I picked pale green, which called to me and seemed to be like the end of the fall. It’s the last shade of green showing before things get brown. All in all the time has passed quickly. I have to admit I’m not as enthusiastic as as I was and I feel like I’m in a rut trying to describe my moods. That seems to be the hardest thing for me, but then anything to do with self always is. I’m anxious for a new start and the new strip that starts in October!
Summer Strip of Knitayear
Ring out the bells again,
Like we did when spring began.
Wake me up when September ends.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Here Comes Trouble Again

I better act carefully.
She knows what she's doing to me
And she makes it look so easy.

She’s mad and it’s all because she won’t share that yarn stuff.

My mom has the coolest things. I just can’t wait to get hold of it when she’s not looking! I know she got me some giant bones and some Bit O Honeys. And dad will give me a bite of whatever he’s eating. But it’s so much more fun to play with their stuff and put it in my mouth. Dad forgets and forgives pretty easily. I have to be careful though because sometimes it makes her mad!

One time mom had some really cool shoes. I could toss them and catch them. I could chew on them and it hardly even showed. I loved those shoes. And I couldn’t believe she was upset when I ate one. It was an accident. And it did have a hole in it so what good was it? I guess she was so mad she threw them away because I can’t find them anywhere! I found these green slippers though, and they taste pretty good.

I like to chew paper. I don’t eat it, but sometimes it smells good and I think maybe I can taste whatever it was they had for supper on it. I try not to scatter is all around but it’s so much fun chewing and ripping it up that I just get carried away and before I know it there’s a mess. If I bring my chew bone in and roll it around on the paper it tastes so much better. Occasionally I can find one of those cap things dad wears. He’ll leave it in his chair and while he’s not looking I’ll get it and try to put it on. I’d look so good! But I seem to have a little trouble getting it on my head. It gets stuck in my mouth and they think I’m chewing on it. It was just setting in my mouth when my teeth shut.

I found a plastic card once. I wanted to see how it works. I know dad uses it to buy things. I was just holding it. But I guess I held it too hard because the end was kind of chewed up.

The little guys are a lot of fun. They have toys! They play and are having such a good time I just want to join in. So I’ll get a toy so we can share. But they all start screaming because they think I’m going to eat it! Then it’s gone and I can’t play anymore. On a really lucky day I can share the pacifier with the baby girl. She has more than one so it doesn’t hurt her to share. But she always wants the one I have, even if she has another one! Not fair! I have to give it back.

My favorite is that stuff my mom is always playing with. She pokes it with sticks and it grows! It’s soft and fluffy. If she forgets and leaves the yarn room open I hurry in and get me some. I want to learn how to poke those sticks and make the yarn grow! But mom won’t share. She always takes that stuff away from me and she looks at me with mean eyes and says, “No more yarn!” Sometimes I get so happy it scatters all over the floor. That’s when she really gets huffy! And she still takes it away.
I had fun!

She fixed it
One time I found one of her sticks. I was going to see if I could find some of that yarn stuff to poke. I carried it around looking. I didn’t find any and I guess I got a little excited because somehow the end of that stick got chewed off. I thought I’d really blown it. I tried to let her pet me. I even licked her but this time she was really mad. She wouldn’t talk to me for a whole day!
The chewed stick

Now, I’m careful. I have to be fast if I want to get some of that yarn. I watch her so see if she forgets and leaves some out. If I’m lucky I find some. But I treat it nice and don’t chew it into pieces. And I try not to scatter it too much! I’m still looking for another one of those sticks. I know I’ll get my chance some day! And if mom gets mad I’ll just give her one of my cute puppy looks and she’ll get over it. Eventually.

Me as a cookie. My sister made it!
She's a pistol pointed at me
Smoking from her head to her feet.
Packing the heat
She's lethal,
With a license to kill.

I’m almost at the halfway mark for my knitayear! Seems like it went pretty fast. Day 174, September 21, I’m feeling pretty sharp. I was just at work but I knew the answers to all my calls and jobs today. Sure helps make the day better. I chose a hot pink yarn that is part of a bright colored yarn I used for a summer scarf. Day 175, September 22, I had to go to Marfa. It’s a nice drive, taking about 3 hours. I met with a couple of people and listened to what they needed. I was attentive and able to help with their problem. I have some green yarn, variegated of course, that is going to be a shawl someday. I used some of this because it looked like the scenery on the trip. It’s pretty out there. September 23, day 176, I got to talk to an old friend. It seemed just like the old days. I was nostalgic and it actually made my day a lot brighter. I had a short piece of a blue mohair multi strand yarn. This short piece was perfect because even though it felt like old times I know it isn’t. Day 177, September 24, I was satisfied to get so much done at the office. I’m not ahead, but I’m not as behind as I was! I chose a maroon sock yarn. September 25 was Saturday. It was day 178 and I worked around the house. I was industrious and even though there is so much to do you’d probably not be able to see I did a thing, I did. The yarn is silver and gold but combined looks like an animal print, not metal. One thing is silver and the other gold. And it all comes out in the end. Well, got to pick up something Junior messed up! Dumb dog.

Here comes trouble again.
I better act carefully…

Monday, September 20, 2010

When the Leaves Come Falling Down

I saw you standing with the wind and the rain in your face,
And you were thinking 'bout the wisdom of the leaves and their grace.
When the leaves come falling down,
In September when the leaves, come falling down.

It’s fall. It’s my favorite time of the year. I like the excitement of the first weeks of school. I like the Friday night football games. I like the temperature change where there’s just enough chill to need a sweater. I like the color changes, and the leaves falling from the trees. I like the smell of autumn, lingering fires, the smoke trails trickling up the chimneys, apples and pumpkins and the spicy scents they bring. I like the sunsets and the shorter days. I like the full moon on a clear night. I like fall.

When I was young I watched the Newhart show. You know, the one where Bob is Dick Louden. He and his wife Joanna live in a town in Vermont and run an inn called the Stratford Inn. I decided then I wanted to go to Vermont in the fall and see the leaves changing color. I’d been told it was magnificent, like nothing I could imagine. I got the chance a couple of years ago. It was supposed to be a surprise (for me), but with my work schedule surprises are hard to carry off. It was great, nevertheless.
I could live here

We flew out early in the morning and rented a car when we landed in Hartford, CT. It was late and we were tired so we found a place to stay and got something to eat and called it a day. Next morning we drove to Stowe, Vermont, and the show began.
On the road

Stowe is small town, rich in history. The village (as they call it) is about 250 years old. Nestled close to Mt. Mansfield, the highest mountain peak in the state, Stowe provides some of the finest skiing in the state. Stowe is where the Trapp Family Lodge is located. The Trapp Family was the inspiration for the movie, "The Sound of Music."
Planning a trip to see the fall foliage is tricky. If you go too early you’ll get green trees. If you go too late you get bare trees. If there is a freeze, they say leaves drop, overnight. We were lucky. It was just about right for the color change. It was a little foggy some mornings but otherwise very nice. Some afternoons it was even hot. If you look at trip planners for foliage trips they recommend the first two weeks of October. But it still can vary, depending on the weather.
A mix of colors

Foggy mountainside.
We saw many great things while there, some local sites, some farms with pumpkins and maple syrup, covered bridges, barns, the Yankee Candle Factory, and yarn shops. As we drove from place to place the yarn shop radar was always on! I looked for things that would remind me of the great colors when I was gone. And I was lucky enough to find a few!
Autumn yarn memories

Modern covered bridge?
Middle Bridge
Taftsville Bridge
It’s almost October. I look at the pictures of the wonderful colors and remember the good time we had. Then I look outside and imagine how the leaves out here are going to look. It doesn’t take much. There aren’t any trees.
Carpet of leaves
Leaf in the water
Time to rake?

I’m not bored with the knitayear. My time doesn’t seem to come as freely as it did when I first started. But I won’t quit. I’m almost through the second strip. Day 167, September 14,started off ok. It wasn’t til later it got bad. It was just some of my ‘friends’ helping me out. No need to go into it but I was, in a word, pissed. I was seeing red. I picked red and black eyelash yarn to commemorate the occasion. September 15, day 168, brought more meetings. Of course, as usual, the meeting was over hours before my flight. They tell us how long it’s going to last then we plan transportation. It never fails, the meeting ends but the flight can’t be changed. It makes me tired. I picked old blue cotton. I say old because I’ve had it for years and never did anything with it. It’s just there. That’s how I felt. September 16, back to work, and it’s busier than ever. It’s day 169 and I’m on the edge of overwhelmed! I picked rust fun fur for this day. It’s kind of wild and goes every way. Like my day was going. Day 170, September 17, was a day off and well deserved, in my mind at least! It was busy, being with the little guys and I seemed to do a lot of waiting but was patient. I found lavender cotton I had used for a dishcloth. The color was peaceful and calming to me, not so much like the day, but how I felt. September 18 was day 171 and we were on the way to a wedding. It was an unusual wedding to say the least, but it was nice, and it was what the couple wanted, and that’s what is important. I enjoyed people watching and was amused by the sights and sounds. I chose a multi color wool, bright colors spun together to make one yarn. It reminded me of the wedding and how all the different people were there but for the same reason. Day 172, September 19, was a bad day, but not for me exactly. Poor Alan. Dead battery, sheriff, lost phone, soaked by rain, and that was just part of it. I was sympathetic but there wasn’t much I could do. I found a rust suede yarn that seemed like the right yarn for the day. Day 173 brought work again. Funny how that keeps coming around! It was Sept 20, and I was diligent, getting it all done, or giving it a good shot anyway. I use blue, brown and white fuzzy yarn. The way the colors blend it reminded me of a day, the sky, the clouds and the earth all blended together, and how it happens every day, just keeping on. I’ll always remember the leaves in Vermont and how amazing the colors were. And I hope I’m able to see it again. See the leaves. Even if it’s only in my dreams.

Knitayear strip 2 so far

And at night the moon is shining on a clear, cloudless sky.
And when the evening shadows fall I'll be there by your side.
When the leaves come falling down.
In September when the leaves, come falling down.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Who Died and Made you King of Anything

Who cares if you disagree?
You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be?
Who died and made you king of anything?

I walk through the day and I hear any number of self proclaimed experts telling me how to live my life. I can find someone to tell me how to dress, what car to drive, what to eat and what insurance to buy. If I try this or buy that my life will improve immensely.
I hear expert information on television. I hear it on satellite radio where there aren’t supposed to be any commercials. I hear it at work. I even hear it at the grocery store.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That’s how we live in America. It’s a democracy and we have the freedom of choice. I’ve never lived anywhere else and wouldn’t choose to, mainly because of that guaranteed freedom. Can your opinion cause you to become so self righteous and self assured that you can never be wrong? I think that’s a possibility.

I had a problem the other day. It was something I know how to do. It wasn’t working correctly. I explained the situation to someone who was supposed to offer help and support in this type of situation. Then the questions started.

Him: Did you push the buttons?
Me: Yes, I did.
Him: Did you have a blank field? It only works in a blank field.
Me: Yes, I was in a blank field. And I pushed the buttons.
Him: Did you push the right buttons? There are different buttons that do different things.
Me: Yes, I know that AND I used the correct buttons.
Him: Well, that’s never happened to me. You must be doing something wrong.
The end.

Was my problem solved? No. But the self proclaimed expert decided I was doing something wrong and the system was correct. Maybe I was doing something wrong. But the opinion was, without any visible facts of the situation, that I had to be the one wrong and something couldn’t be wrong with the system. Was it even checked? No. The opinion? I’m right and you are wrong.

Maybe the problem I have is with authority in general. I appreciate your opinion. I really do. And I will view it with an open mind. I can’t tell you the things I’ve learned from listening to what someone else thinks. Things I might have never thought of otherwise. But when you proclaim it’s your way or the highway, no questions asked, I will rebel. It irritated me to no end when I was in school, to receive an assignment with directions including the phrase “what you think”. I always knew it didn’t matter what I thought. If I didn’t think what the so-called correct answer was, it wasn’t right. So why even ask? I often wonder about weird things as well. Who decided green is green? Why isn’t green blue? Who had the authority to make that decision? Who?

I realize there is a difference in opinion and a rule. Rules are set, whether you agree or disagree, to make things run smoothly and to keep things safe. Some rules don’t bother me. Some bother me a lot. And for the most part I conform. We need rules to keep things aligned. I just read a blog about smuggling knitting needles onto airplanes. It’s pretty much legal on airlines nowadays, but the TSA always has the last say. I would never try something like that. I wouldn’t chance getting arrested just to knit on an airplane!

I was at a knitting group one time a long time ago where a beginner knitter was working on a project. One of the more experienced people came along and watched. Immediately she said, “You are doing that wrong. This is the way to do it.” She took the knitting and ripped it back to the beginning. The beginner was crestfallen. I watched her self-esteem unravel along with the yarn. Her hard work and concentration destroyed! All because someone decided that the way to do things is her way, the only way. Newsflash: There isn’t a right way to knit! Your own way is the right way! You have to hold the needles and the yarn in a way that’s comfortable for you. Granted you knit and you purl, and those are definite stitches, but the technique getting there can be diverse and varied.

As Joan Rivers says, can we talk? Tell me what you think. Express your opinion. I’m ready to listen. And I’ll expect the same courtesy. I may learn something. And I have no problem agreeing to disagree. Besides, I already know that I’m right!
You’ve got opinions, man
We’re all entitled to ‘em, but I never asked.
So let me thank you for your time, and try not to waste anymore of mine
And get out of here fast

Day 159, September 6 was the day we came back from hunting in Stamford. It was the end of a good weekend and we took E home and the kids were all over us. It gives you a warm feeling to be so loved. I picked a pink rug yarn. It was a rosy feeling and pink suited the day. Day 160, September 7, is a day to be thankful. It’s my beautiful baby girl’s birthday. She’s grown now with babies of her own but she’ll always be my baby. I picked orangey boucle because it reminds me of her. I made curtains and pillows and all for her bedroom in gingham that was that color. She hates that color but it still reminded me of her. September 8, day 161 is a busy day. There are meetings and lots of stuff to catch up on. I chose a pink, white and blue acrylic. The colors are bright and remind me of a busy time. Day 162, September 9, was a day of reflection. I chose a light purple velour. There are a lot of conflicting thoughts right now. Day 163, September 10, I accomplished quite a bit. I chose a variegated ticker tape that is orange, turquoise, and purple. It knits up very nicely and reminds me of royalty. When I get things done I feel like a queen. September 11 is day 164. It’s a good day. We got green chili and put it up. 137 quarts in all. That’s a lot! I was pleased and chose a hot pink yarn. Day 165 September 12 was a trip to Austin I was dreading. But I was pleasantly surprised and had a good time. We went shoe shopping and that’s always fun! The yarn today was a green, turquoise, and yellow cotton. It’s fun colors and surprising how it works up together. Finally, it’s day 166, September 13. It was a day of training but I feel like I know a lot more. I chose white boucle, which seemed bright, like I felt today. I was in the middle of a battle of wills, but I knew it and stayed neutral. I have learned a bit of diplomacy. I’m glad I’m strong enough to disagree. And I’m smart enough to I know I’m not the king of anything, without someone having to tell me!
Who cares if you disagree?
You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be?
Who died and made you king of anything?

Monday, September 6, 2010

I Keep Looking...

Well, the straight haired girls,
They all want curls.

And the brunettes wanna be blonde…

If I only had a brain…or a heart or a nerve…It seems to me that almost everyone wants something they can’t or don’t have. I hear conversations everywhere with wishes for something. If I lived in a bigger town I could do more. If I had a better car I could get to work faster. If I dyed my hair, had a better job, had more time…and the list goes on.

I’m guilty as well. I often wish I could lose weight then turn around and eat a piece of candy. I wish I could organize my yarn room but I go home and sit in front of the computer. I’d like to start a new project but because I haven’t taken the time to organize my yarn room I can’t find the yarn I’m looking for. I finally find the yarn but can’t find the right needles. Eventually I find the needles. Now, where is that pattern again?

 I can change the situation. I can go home, get supper ready then work in my yarn room. Even if it is just ten or fifteen minutes it would be progress. If I kept it up I could make a change. I would eventually organize my yarn. I’d find all my needles and have the patterns on hand. But I don’t.

As I think about the conversations I hear; If I made more money, if I had gone to college, if I had straight hair, I realize that if I’m in charge of my life, then those who are complaining are also in charge, to a large extent, of their lives as well.

Think how productive we’d all be if we could be happy with what we have. If we take the initiative and work on the things we aren’t happy with, instead of wishing and complaining, change will happen.

There’s an old saying that goes something like this:
“I once complained that I had no shoes, but then I met a man who had no feet.”

Maybe we should take the time and reflect on the good things that we have. Maybe I should take the time. I have many things to be thankful for. I have many things to be happy about. I have a good house to live in. I have three great kids and one exceptional son-in-law! I have three smart, cute and loving grandkids. I have enough money to buy the yarn that is in my unorganized yarn room. I have a choice. It’s time for me to stop looking behind the number two door and take charge. It’s time to appreciate what I have.
It's your typical thing,
You got ying you want yang.
It just goes on and on.

I always wonder what's on the other side
Of the number two door…

Well, I keep looking for yarn to add to my knitayear! It goes on and on. Day 154, September 1, is a day of learning. New duties at work with no instruction, not the bosses fault. I chose Lion homespun in a purple/white/dark blue. It reminded me of the sky and how the clouds could pass by and the sky was still blue. I’ll get this down. Day 155, September 2 was great. I took the day off and went to get my oil changed. Piddled around and did what I wanted. It was a very much needed good day! I chose a sparkly red. It reminded me of a celebration and that’s what I did. September 3, Day 156, I’m ready to get out of town. It’s a holiday and we are going to a friend’s house so Alan can hunt dove. It’s taking FOREVER to get everything together and leave. We pick up Evan in Odessa and we are off. I chose an off white Lion homespun. It’s fluffy and just made me happy. Day 157, September 4 is another good day. I’m teaching my friend’s wife to knit and she’s taking to it like a fish to water. She’s really doing a good job and likes it too! 

Brand new knitter!
I chose a pom pom yarn, green and purple, because it’s fun. I’m working on something with it right now and it’s soft and squishy. The weekend has been like that so far. September 5, day 158, is Sunday. It’s almost time to go home. Evan has been a doll and had a blast. Got to see good friends and get to know others, enjoying the hospitality and the time together. I felt hospitable as well, because I was comfortable. I chose another Lion homespun, this time turquoise and yellow. One of my favorite colors in that yarn. I don’t think they make it anymore. It invited me to use it for today. All in all, a great weekend and holiday. I’m sure I’ll keep looking to see what else is out there. And I’ll want something else because it is the human thing we do. But I’m very lucky with what I have.
They say, hey, it's only human
To never be satisfied.
Well I guess that I'm as human as the next one,
I keep looking,
Looking for something more.
Oh, looking for something more.