Sunday, April 13, 2014

Don't Ask Me No Questions

And I won't tell you no lies… 

I ran across something the other day that said we live in a culture of Tell. I know most people just expect but I’d never really thought about it like that. It went on to say that telling puts the other person down. It’s supposed to be a sociological thing.

Personally, I have never liked people telling me what to do. That’s not to say that I won’t do something when I’m told (by my mother or someone like my boss) but I don’t have to like it. If I’m asked to do something, however, the chances improve considerably. It makes all the difference in the world.

After looking up synonyms of “tell someone what to do” I found the list surprising. Words like order, command, and dictate came up. Phrases included “to say that something should be done, in a way that shows you have authority”, “to tell someone exactly what to do and how to behave”, and “to keep telling someone what to do in an unfair and unpleasant way”. Doesn’t that make you want to rush out and do whatever someone TELLS you to do? Ask and you might receive!

It doesn't hurt to ask...
Asking questions however, is another story. My mother says, “Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies.” She especially likes to repeat this when we pester about what Christmas gifts were under the tree or anything else that involved her not wanting us to know! Even though I would rather be asked than told I don’t particularly enjoy being questioned. If I want to share information I will. If I don’t there is no point in asking. I especially dislike those soul searching questions; “What are your strengths?” I freeze. I can’t think. I don’t have any. It’s not really any of your business. When forced I’ll think of something. Pressured, I’ll speak. The tepid reception seals it and I vow never again.

Ask isn’t always nice. Callye was the first class in our town, of pre-kindergartners. It was open to anyone so we had to decide whether to send our tiny four year old to ‘school’ or risk her starting out behind because everyone else was sending their babies. She came home the first day and I asked her, “How was school?” “I don’t know,” she replied. “Why not? Didn’t you have fun?” Her little face clouded up, she frowned and in a teary voice said, “Cameron called me a dumb-ask”. I guess that would put a damper on your day!

Then there are the people who are constantly seeking your opinion on something or other yet always doing the opposite of what you tell them. Why even bother? These people are called askholes. (I wish I had coined this term myself but it’s from the Urban Dictionary). How about the brutally honest? We all know those who feel “don’t ask if you don’t want to know” is the best policy. Alas, it’s not always a pleasant experience.

Generally, it’s usually better to ask if you want something done. Just try a kid at bedtime. They will run any errand for you! Beware the empty questions and remember; only a true friend will ask you how you are and actually wait to hear the answer.

Well, I appreciate your feelings and I don't want to pass you by.
But I don't ask you about your business, don't ask me about mine...

Next time someone says “How are you today?” or maybe “How have you been?” Try saying something nonsensical. It most likely won’t even be noticed. The ‘asker’ will continue on, probably responding with, “That’s nice” or some other such phrase. And you can laugh because you’ll see what I said is true!

If I could, I’d stay home all day and knit. Or crochet. Or anything. I don’t want to get out of the house but I don’t want to be productive when I’m home. Well, productive in the ways I need to be that is. I guess it’s a funk and it will soon pass. Hopefully sooner than later.

I spent (wasted) a lot of time knitting on a Lace Capelet and was close to the end when I decided I wasn’t going to have enough yarn to finish. I don’t know why I didn’t just bind off and make a pretty cowl…but I didn’t. I ripped it all out and started again with another mohair yarn. I didn't even take a picture. Mohair is not fun. If you mess up you might as well just toss it.
Airy...but will it be cool enough?

There's a tiny thread that shines woven throughout this yarn.

But I persevered and even after ripping back a couple of times on this new project am on the way to the finish. I don’t know if it will even be wearable as hot as it is here. It’s something easy though, and hopefully it will knit me out of this mood! I’ll let you know…don’t ask.

But when I come off the road, well I just got to have my time 
'Cause I got to find a break in this action, else I'm gonna lose my mind.
So, don't ask me no questions...
And I won't tell you no lies.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Making a Memory

You and me 
We should be 
Making a memory whenever we're together, yeah… 

Well, it’s the end of spring break here. Oh yeah, and daylight savings time started. Woo hoo! I’m kidding. I dislike daylight savings time. A lot.

Truth is it kicks my butt. It doesn’t matter if it’s spring forward or fall back. It makes me tired. I don’t ever seem to get that extra hour of sleep the news talks about. And in the spring, when it’s not dark until 8:00 or 9:00 o’clock, I tend to stay up late. Then when it’s time to get up, it’s pitch black and I just want to stay in bed. Add the time change and the Littles together and there wasn’t much rest!

This is the first time that all three have come to stay for more than a day or two. I didn’t think it would last long but it was the whole week. And it was fun!

We didn’t go out much; to the park one day, to the grocery store another. Evan went with his cousin a couple of times and he came here but otherwise they just played together.
Ouch! Bike wreck.

My kids, their mother and uncles, loved to go outside and play on the ‘mountain’. They enjoy it just as much. They find crystals, or fossils or flowers or cactus. I’ve told them over and over to stay away from the cactus. This time for some reason, Caleb had a really strong curiosity about the cactus. He and Belle came in a couple of times with the tiny needles in their hands. One time the two of them came in and Caleb said he had needles in his tongue. I told them to go in the bathroom and I would be there in a minute. The next thing I know Caleb is throwing up. Belle had tried to help get the needles out of his tongue, gagging him until he puked! I found out that their other grandpa was eating cactus. Napolitos are the edible paddles of the prickly pear cactus. I got them a jar of pickled ones at the grocery store and no more curiosity!

I fixed them their favorite things to eat. One day we had tiny little pancakes for breakfast. Many tiny little pancakes! We had pigs and blankets, steak dogs, and cinnamon rolls. I made French toast one day and sliced it into fourths. I put it on the plate in a square with a little cup of syrup in the middle. Then I sprinkled powdered sugar over the whole thing. Evan came to the table and said, "Mamye, you always do things so fancy!" It really wasn’t but it made me happy that he thought so.
A happy note!

One of the funniest things was when I made spaghetti for them. They were downstairs watching a movie. I put the spaghetti in bowls and cut it up so it was easier for them to eat. I mixed up some grape Cool Aid and put it in wine goblets then sat it all out on the table. The only thing I forgot was the camera to capture their reactions!

They got to the table and their little mouths literally dropped open! In hushed voices they were saying things like, “She’s giving us wine.” “You try it.” “No, I’m not trying it!” Finally one of them was brave enough to taste.  "It’s just Cool Aid!!” I wonder why they would have even thought that I’d give them wine!?

Sleeping was an adventure for sure. Alan and Junior just moved to another room. Then the rest of us  climbed into the king size bed. The hard thing about sleeping with them is that they all want to be beside me. That’s fine if we take turns but that doesn't happen. Close is what they want to do; all at the same time! I need to be on the outside or I get claustrophobic. I might have started out on the outside but sometime in the night, besides Belle the human magnet, a little boy would be on the other side of me. Then another might be at my feet. Instead of everyone being at the head of the bed like we started, I might wake up to a set of feet on the pillow. Sometimes even two! It was fun but there wasn’t a lot of rest going on. Around midnight I’d finally get everyone settled in. If I was lucky we’d sleep in til around 10:00. And if I was really lucky I could get up and have a cup of coffee and they’d stay asleep a little longer!
It works...if I don't move!

It was a fun week for me and with any luck for them as well. I hope they remember the fun and look back at the time as the week we made memories. And I look forward to making more.

Look at me 
Can't you see? 
We were meant to be. 
Making a memory… 

I’ve been on a crochet kick, making many half double crochet Mobius scarves. No reason. They are quick, fun and the yarn has been colorful. They will make good gifts I suppose.
Three of the cowls.

I also went to a bracelet workshop to learn to do a heart in the kumihimo. It was fun and quick too.
Kumihimo. Can you see the hearts?

Then I tried an experiment with a straight chain closed with a button. It’s kind of cute and summery. I don’t like how I attached the button but I can work on that.
Long chain with big button closure.

While the kids were here they wanted to make crafts. Well, Belle did. Next time I’ll have some little projects she can work on.

We should be 
Making a memory whenever we're together, yeah…

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

King of Nothing

When I was 17, I dreamed of being king. And having everything I wanted. 

How about Queen? It’s still of nothing. Normally it doesn’t bother me that I’m just a worker-bee. After all, what would all the Kings get done if it weren’t for the worker-bees? Probably not much. Their job isn’t to do the work. It’s to get the credit. Have they earned that status? Some, yes. Most, no.
There is definitely a hierarchy where I work. And when you are at the bottom you are reminded, continuously. It may not be overtly, but it is definitely in a most nebulous fashion. Take today for instance. We were told we had visitors in the building and if they came by your area to please help welcome them.

I had been working on a large project most of the morning. I stepped out to warm my cold coconut coffee, (you don’t waste those little K-Cup things), and said hello to a fellow worker. We had just completed a joint project and we caught up on that, then drifted to some chit chat. I was preparing to return to my office when the tour came through the hall and stopped at a poster hanging in her window. The guide said, “let me introduce you to a very important person here, the coordinator of a notable state project.” She dutifully stepped into the hall. I dutifully stepped further into her office, out of the way.

At the end of an animated conversation with the group the guide prepared to move them along. She turned and said, “Don’t you need to introduce Jamye?” He hesitated and said, “Oh, yes, this is Jamye. She’s in charge of CTE. She’s in that office over there.” He pointed in the general direction and I spoke to the group and explained that CTE means Career and Technical Education. That was it. I was dismissed as they moved along.

Did I do this to myself by moving further into her office? Or am I conditioned to know my place? If she hadn’t spoken up I would have been completely ignored. Should I have rushed out with her and told them that what I do, even though I am Queen of Nothing, is just as important? I don’t know.

Why is it that someone who has a title thinks it’s unimportant for another to have one as well? I was reminded of a conversation with my then boss, years ago. I had to sign forms in the blank with a title even though I didn't hold that title. He said a title meant nothing. It was the quality of the work, etc., not a title that defines a person. Titles are unimportant. I, apparently in my smart *ss mode, asked, so instead of superintendent would it be okay to call you custodian? Interestingly enough, the story changed and a title suddenly meant something!

In the grand scheme of things, I suppose it doesn’t really matter. I could pass that group in the hall and they wouldn’t know who I was. I will most likely never see any of them again. If I did, I’d have to introduce myself or be introduced again because none of them said their names. And in reality I have a title. I have lots of titles; Mom, Mamye, friend, daughter, wife, sister. They are all cherished. They also mean much more than a work title.

As my friend Lynn told me; your value doesn't decrease, because of someone’s inability to see your worth. Thank you Lynn. I’ve got to stop wearing my feelings on my sleeve!

But that was long ago and my dreams did not unfold, so I'm still the King of Nothing. 

We finally had our last Christmas this weekend. The littles came over. We ate and visited and opened presents then ate some more! It was a good time for all. There were a lot of presents and a birthday too! Evan turned 10. Seems impossible.
Christmas prime rib. Yummy!
Presents and cousins. Belle was hiding!
The first grandchild is already ten years old!

Caleb asked me to make him a scarf. He wanted green and blue with hot pink on the ends. I had some bright colored green, blue and yellow yarn and he thought that might work! He liked it. It’s always good when someone appreciates your efforts!

Smashing! Handsome little dude, huh!
If I could rule, I'd dance my cares away, find romance everyday. 
I wouldn't have to listen to this poor fool say, "I'm the King, I'm the King, I'm the King of Nothing."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Same Old Lang Syne

We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast to now… 

Here it is, already ten days into the New Year. So far I haven’t noticed a lot of difference between 2013 and 2014.

It’s customary to make resolutions. At least I think I am supposed to make resolutions but like I heard Rachel Ray say on her show one of the days during the holiday, “I fail enough without setting myself up!” I agree. So no resolutions for me! However, my friend Robyn posted something intriguing on Facebook. Basically she said she chooses a word for the year. It sounded interesting. I thought I could do that. But it’s harder than it sounds! Try it. Think of a word that you could use to do some of the things that resolutions state but without the concrete statement. So I thought. I came up with a few, narrowed it down and finally settled on one. My word for the year is “Embrace”.

Embrace means a lot of things; to hold someone closely, to accept or support, as in an idea or practice, and to include or contain as in a part of something bigger. I want to embrace the changes to come, love the people I love and maybe include some new ones, and to celebrate all of the opportunities I have, both in my life and in my job! When faced with a challenge I want to look at it as a chance to grow instead of a chore.

It won’t be any easier than keeping resolutions. But maybe it will result in more positive changes because it seems, to me anyway, that it’s broader than specific statements. I guess we’ll see!

We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast to time… 

I’ve already made a couple of things this New Year. Funny how much you can get done when work doesn’t get in the way! There’s some knit and some crochet.

The Candy Cowl isn’t really finished. I’m going to add some ‘stuff’ because it’s a handspun that reminded me of art yarn. But since it didn’t have anything added in I decided I’d just add it myself!
Candy Cowl from Ravelry

I’m not sure how warm the little gloves would keep your hands but they look good!
Crochet Openwork handwarmers. Fun and quick!

And the One Good Turn cowl is a great stashbuster for those orphan skeins. I like how it turned out.
Lion Brand Amazing. Turned out pretty!

I hope to keep up the momentum. We’ll see!

Reliving in our eloquence, another 'auld lang syne'...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Christmas

Hang all the mistletoe. 
I'm gonna get to know you better... 

Well, another Christmas over! Almost that is. It seems we got the flu for Christmas. So, because we wanted Callye and family to be safe, we haven’t met with them yet. But that can be something to look forward to.

This was, and not only in my opinion, a strange holiday for sure. Not really anything specific that could be named as the cause, just a multitude of small things.

Maybe it was the weather with the temperatures fluctuating daily. One day would be spring like, with temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s while the next day would be a cold, icy, wintery day, closing schools, businesses and roads, with temperatures in the 20s.
Ice pictures.

Maybe it was the shortened shopping time. According to my son, it was one Christmas shopping week shorter than normal. Add that to the homebound days and everyone just got that much further behind.

Maybe it was because Christmas was on a Wednesday. I guess it hasn’t really affected us before, but this time, since Christmas was in the middle of the week, people with regular jobs, (as not in education) had to work Thursday. So that messed up travel plans for many and made celebrating either before the actual holiday or after.

Whatever the reason, there were definitely some differences. The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney with care. That’s because we couldn’t find them. Not only were the stockings missing but the ornaments for the tree were also put away so well last year that they remained hidden for the season. The tree was up, with lights, and it was fine. Some odds and ends and new ornaments were added but the tree wasn’t really decorated. It was pretty, none the less, and nobody doubted that Santa would be there, regardless of the bare foliage.

There weren’t any presents under the tree. Not until almost Christmas Eve anyway. Usually I get some time off before Christmas. This time, the two days I had were spent shopping and planning for a weekend trip for one of the gatherings. The trunk of my car was full. That’s where the presents were.

We didn’t have a traditional Christmas dinner. We had a wonderful dinner but it wasn’t the customary fare. My thoughtful son brought a prime rib bigger than baby George! Since not everyone was going to be there we cut it in two pieces so we can enjoy the rest another time. Through a family phone chat the sides were to be fancy (to us), consisting of salad with grilled shrimp and feta, mashed loaded new potatoes, broccoli with hollandaise and chocolate cake that tasted like Rosa’s. (Rosa’s is a local Mexican food restaurant with outstanding chocolate cake.) Okay, not a problem!
George and dinner!

Somehow, like it always seems to, it came together to make a great holiday. New traditions, old traditions, and family, all mixing together to build memories. Merry Christmas, and to all a good night!
Merry Christmas!!

And as we trim the tree,
How much fun it's gonna be, together this Christmas...

With all that was going on there wasn’t much time for knitting. There were a couple more ruffly scarves to add to the stash and a short neck warmer as a secret pal gift. Also, there was an experiment that worked fairly well! I’d read about the arm knitting ‘craze’ and frankly, didn’t know that I’d ever do a thing with it. But then came the two ‘camo’ themed parties. I got some camo jeans and added a sparkly black top (for the season) to make a ‘party’ outfit. But it needed something to tie it together. So I gathered two army green colored yarns, paired with a worsted black and another with gold sparkles. It matched and tied the outfit together so I felt dressed for a party! And it was kind of fun.
Casting on, knitting, finished product!

So on Christmas day, after all the food and festivities, I asked my son if he still wanted me to make that scarf for his friend. I told him I could have it done before he left. Sure, he said skeptically. I grabbed some black velour, plain worsted black and black with the sparkles, some kind of flat tape yarn and a thin gold thread, cast on 4 stitches and finished in about 20 minutes. He was impressed! I hope his friend likes it.
Together and separate strands.

Come on, everybody shake a hand now. 
Family, and we’ll be together. 
To make this Christmas bright, yes, we will…

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Do You Want to Know a Secret?

Do you promise not to tell?

A recent game on Facebook had people revealing ‘X’ number of things about themselves that other people did not know. I was very careful not to ‘like’ anyone’s status, even though I really enjoyed reading them, because I didn’t want to get some horrid number that I couldn’t fulfill.

The more I thought about it though, the more I liked the idea. But I found it was harder than I believed.

Once I stuffed 21 grapes in my mouth while talking on the phone to my then boyfriend, now husband. My roommate and I started laughing and I almost choked to death.

I rode a bus home from Hobbs, NM, on an ice covered road with a bunch of students from the school of the deaf. It was really quiet until one of them signed something funny and they all started laughing.

I was in a beauty pageant in high school. I didn’t win but I didn’t lose either. There were 20 of us and only one winner. I spun yarn and knitted for my talent. Seriously. It was 1976, the bicentennial. My art teacher is the one who encouraged me to participate. That year Miss America arranged flowers as her talent. So she thought spinning and knitting fit in. She wrote a script, I memorized it, wore a costume and spun then knit on stage. I was so scared my knitting needles clicked together with my shaking hands. You can stop laughing now.

I almost drowned when I was little. My aunt’s parents had a pool in their backyard. I fell in but managed to get myself out. It was traumatic. To this day I get very nervous when water gets up to my chin.

Junior high had ninth graders when I went to school. Freshmen took algebra. My teacher was a male chauvinist pig. When class began he said you girls, you go over there. You can’t do math anyway. And we don’t think we can. There’s no telling how many girls he quashed with his superior attitude.

I hate mice. Not only do I detest the nasty creatures but I also despise their cousins, hamsters, rats, bats, and anything else that resembles a rodent. They terrify me. If I even think there is one in a room I can’t go there. If there is actually one in there, deceased even, I can’t go in there. Once when Callye was small we had a mouse. We live out in the country so it’s to be expected but I grew up in the city and never had to deal with such. Anyway, Alan set a traditional trap. He was at work, Callye was playing and new baby Bryce was sleeping peacefully. Suddenly I heard a ‘snap’. Sounded like the nasty thing was caught. Sure enough he was because he ran out from behind the table, carrying the trap along with him, made a few circles and died. Right in the middle of the living room. I couldn’t do a thing. I couldn’t get the broom and a dustpan and sweep it up even. I was paralyzed. I pondered the situation and wondered if it would be considered child abuse to get a three year old to take the dead parasite out of the room, not touching the thing mind you, but with a dustpan or holding the trap itself. Luckily, and this is real because we didn’t have visitors, someone happened to stop by. I asked her if she could help me. She gave me a disgusted look, went over and picked it up. By the tail. And she threw it out the door. Far out the door. I don’t know which I found more revolting, her or the dead mouse.
I’m sure I could think of plenty more now that I’m in project tell secret mode but I’ll stop. They might come in handy some other time!

If you dare, tell something nobody knows about you!

I've known a secret for a week or two.
Nobody knows, just we two...

Speaking of secrets, I think I mentioned I participated in a scarf exchange with my LSSK friends. Well, my recipient pretty much guessed it was me! But she liked the scarf and the rest of the package as well she said.
And I got a great package too! My scarf is beautiful, bright greens and blues in a pattern called Strangling Vine. There were some cool stitch markers that were square and of course, some chocolate! It was a great package and I’ll wear the scarf for years to come. Thank you Caroline!

Closer, let me whisper in your ear. 
Say the words you long to hear…

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I Thank You

I want to thank you.
Thank you 

Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. Those who were able came to Callye’s house to share food and enjoy each other’s company. My nephew who is in the Army and stationed at Fort Hood made a surprise visit and joined us for dinner. Bryce came in and Bernie’s family was all here.
Surprise! My nephew dropped by for dinner!

Ty and Jenn went to Utah to celebrate with her family. My sister cooked dinner for my parents who were joined by my other nephew and his wife. My brother and his family celebrated with loved ones at home.
We had a feast!

Although we weren’t all at the same place at the same time, we are still connected. We are family.

I’m grateful for the ties we have as family. I know I can count on any of them as they know they can count on me. Sure we have our disagreements. Sometimes we don’t even like each other. But we always love one another. And that is truly something for which to give thanks.

You didn't have to love me like you did,
But you did, but you did. 
And I thank you. 

All I’ve wanted to do this holiday break is knit or crochet or make something. I’ve been into instant gratification with the ruffled scarves out of the netted yarn. Easy and fairly quick, although I discovered crochet is a lot faster on these. The knitted are a lot fuller but they do take a bit longer.
Ruffled scarves for fun.
What am I going to do with all of them? I actually wore one! The rest? I’m not sure yet. But I’m having fun making them. I’m already dreading having to go back to work!

You got me trying new things too
Just so I can keep up with you. 

And I thank you.