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Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas to Me!

All the mad hoopla that leads up to Christmas and it's over in a flash. So now what? Since I no longer have someone who wakes up with me on Christmas morning to shower me with gifts, I decided to buy myself a Christmas present.

The king-sized bed that I have has become too big and too empty. With all of the after-Christmas sales at the furniture stores, I decided to go browsing for a new bed. They saw me coming... I ended up with a whole new bedroom set:

This pic is of a king-size bed. Mine is a queen so smaller. Visualize 2 pillows across instead of 3.


The set is called Camilla by Ashley Furniture. Yep, I've been watching Clean House waaay too much LOL!! But the sale was outrageous. The box spring was free with the purchase of the mattress, the full set of furniture was had for $1000 off and I got free delivery and assembly. Can't beat that! It should be here on Friday. I'll post pics of the room redo when it's done.

So... you can't get new furniture without crocheting something to go along with it. I'm thinking I'll make this throw to put across the bed maybe in a neutral color like light ecru or oatmeal:


And of course, doilies for the nightstand and dresser, but I haven't picked the patterns out yet.

So there you have it. Can I spend money or what? No one can ever accuse me of not supporting our slumping economy!

But I don't want to leave you with the impression that I didn't get anything from anybody - that would be sad :(

I got some gorgeous yarn from Sandy - Crystal Palace Moshi Plus in a gorgeous blend of self-striping fall colors, a crochet-knit technique book with some cool patterns, some Ferrero chocolates (have you tasted the white chocolate with coconut? Food of the gods I tell you!) She also made a beautiful pair of earrings and a matching bracelet of pearlized beads and crystals with sterling silver - so pretty! She spoiled me rotten. I've already made a beret for myself with 2 of the 4 balls of yarn, I'm in thinking mode for the rest. I'll post a pic as soon as I dig my camera out of my nest of a computer room.

Nisha sent me some very cool hand-made knitting needles and some lovely hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn that I'm still looking for the perfect pattern for. It's a gorgeous shade of ocean blue with hints of purple in a wool/mohair blend. Very beachy! Again, pics to follow.

And one gift that I haven't redeemed yet cuz her mother gave me fudge that I've been having for breakfast, lunch, snacks... is a 1 lb. box of See's candy. Milk Bordeaux is in my future for sure! Thank you Gretchen :)

From Leisa, a home-made blackberry and apple pie. To die for!

Finally because Kirby always bought me a bottle of Opium, (he made me forgive the French), and 2 Lord of the Rings calendars, I picked those up for myself as well. It made him present in a way, and made having Christmas without him a bit more bearable.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and let's all look forward to a better 2010!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weed Pouch

Here's a quick and simple little thing you can make to use up some of that scrap yarn :)


Materials:

Light Worsted Weight Yarn*

Hook Size E / 3.5mm

Assorted dried or silk flowers or weeds

Red Heart Collage in Wood Trail was used for the model


Rnd 1 (RS): Beg at base, ch 6, sl st in first ch to form ring, ch 1, [sc in ring, ch 3] 10 times, join with sl st in beg sc. (10 ch-3 sps)


Following Rnds: Sl st into ch-3 sp, ch 1, (sc, ch 3, sc) in each ch-3 sp around, join with sl st in beg sc. Repeat rnd 17 times or the number of times to obtain desired length.


Edging: Sl st into ch-3 sp, ch 1, 3 sc in each ch-3 sp around, join with sl st in beg sc. Finish off.


Insert dried or silk flowers / weeds and hang on the wall by inserting the nailhead through a ‘hole’ in the pouch.


Not intended for use with fresh flowers.


I'm also making this pattern available as a PDF download from Ravelry so you don't have to copy/paste - how's that?! :D

(Ahem... that would be as soon as Ravelry cooperates with the upload of the file. Stay tuned.)

Good-Bye Sweetheart

It's taken me quite a while to get up the courage to put up this post, but I feel I need to communicate the last part of my husband's story before I can even think of posting about anything else.

Kirby passed away on November 14th, 2009 at 9am. I was blessed with being with him as he left. His last hours were spent in excruciating pain from the cancer, but I am forever thankful that they were hours and not days. On the one hand, having him pass at home was a blessing as I had the honor of holding him as he left and he was in his own surroundings without IV's, monitors and 'the hospital'. On the other hand, it was the most painful experience I will ever have had to live through - to have the one you love in such dire pain and not being able to do anything about it. But I do take solace in the fact that he's not in pain anymore.

My mother passed exactly 1 week later almost to the hour. She left us on November 21st at 9:20am. How's that for timing? Her passing did not affect me near as much as she was 92 years old and had lived a nice long life. However, when it is my turn to go, I will have to ask her about her impeccable timing.

I went back to work on the 7th. I spent the majority of my bereavement time off clearing out my mom's mobile. And thank God for my friends! They spent a few days of their own time helping me deal with all of that. In between cleaning days, I ran back and forth to the mortuary. With 2 deaths one after the other, I became quite intimately familiar with the place and the guy who made the arrangements for both. I hope to never see him again unless it's in public somewhere. The one thing that I'm happy I did was to have some of Kirby's ashes put into a small jewelry pendant. It's very comforting to have him with me.

Because of the time spent dealing with my mom's mobile leading up to almost the day I had to go back to work, I haven't had much time to grieve for Kirby. I'm doing OK as long as I stay busy, but those quiet moments are especially rough. My routine is pretty much intact except for that one huge piece - him being here. Because he's not here, I find that I can't even do the simplest things easily. I feel confused and unsure of myself most of the time when I'm alone. I'm still very much unsettled. I can hardly watch TV as they're showing previews to movies that he had wanted to see.

I've made small changes - I've managed to arrange the area that his ashes are displayed. I've set up the flag and put Jose's ashes next to him (his beloved dog.) I have a candle burning next to him when I'm home. Most of his big power tools have been put into the shed to store until I decide what to do with them. But his clothes and things he'd left on his nightstand and end table are still there. His van is still parked in the same spot in front of the house - unmoved. I can't even bring myself to move it into the driveway. He was the only one that ever drove the van - I never once got into the driver's seat and I can't bring myself to do that yet because I'd have to adjust the seat and it would be like a little part of him would be gone once I did that.

So I kind of veered from telling his story into telling my own, didn't I? But all of the medical info and dr. appointments that took place leading up to his death seems quite pointless in the telling. He died from melanoma within 4 1/2 months of his diagnosis. Any more than that seems trivial at this point. Now it's a matter of learning how to live my life without him in it and without being resentful that we didn't turn out to be one of those couples that lived together to a ripe old age. And also figuring out how to avoid those stupid eHarmony commericals...

Good bye Sweetheart. I shall forever miss you.