Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Frosty Green Afghan

Those of you who have been reading me for a while know that yarn is my love language. When someone I care about is hurting, I want to wrap them in yarn. I crochet to manage stress and to stitch together the pieces of my broken heart. Some people volunteer, some people write a check, some people bake cookies; I crochet. 

The Husband, Da Boys, and I have all the yarn crafts we need, but stress and a wounded heart persist so the crocheting continues. Closets, cabinets, and totes are tucked full of items waiting for homes. I have a fantasy of getting a booth at craft shows and donating all the sales to my favorite local charity, but today this remains only a dream. For now I gift and donate almost everything I make. 

One of the items in storage found a home today. Here is its story:

Four years ago I snagged 15 skeins of brand new yarn from a second hand store, enough to make an adult sized afghan and then some. It was a muted color called Frosty Green. I picked an overlapping stitch pattern to make it sturdy so its owner would feel confident using it daily, not worry about ruining it, and not feel the need to save it "for nice".
A lot of work and three years later, it was a thick, warm, luscious masterpiece. I folded it carefully and packed it away to wait for the universe to call it forward.

Well, that's not entirely true. When it was halfway done, the afghan told me where it was going. There's a shelter for homeless teens the next town over; it serves numerous boys and girls every year. Most of the clients are LGBTQ who find themselves homeless after coming out to their families.
The will of this afghan to go to this shelter was strong. I made an effort to finish it before the weather turned cold. And I did it! ...last year.
I had intended to take it to the donation dropoff right away, but I didn't. No real reason, just didn't get around to it. When the temps warmed up, the afghan went into the closet to wait, for what I didn't know.

Today, the "for what" revealed itself.
It was a community craft fair to benefit this homeless teens' shelter.
I convinced The Husband to accompany me to the craft fair, and I told him my main motivation was to finally donate the afghan.
"It's probably too late for them to sell it (at the fair)", he said.
"It's not to sell. It's to give to one of their clients."
"Oh! Nice."

At the fair, we tracked down the shelter's executive director.
"I crocheted an afghan that needs a home," I explained, "and it told me it belongs to one of your clients. It's out in the car."
"Perfect timing!" She told me they were assembling winter gift baskets for their clients. "Is it for a boy or a girl?" she asked.
I told her it was gender neutral, that its color was (air quotes) "Frosty Green".
Her face lit up. "Oo! I think I know just the person who needs a frosty green blanket to cozy up with." A new non-binary client had just moved in.

That's when I realized why I had waited a year to take the afghan to the dropoff site. Its owner hadn't arrived at the shelter yet.

When I later handed the afghan to the director, she admired it at arms length and declared, "Oh yes, this is definitely something that Charlie has to have. I love that it told you where it belonged."

On the way home, The Husband remarked, "Well. That was pretty amazing."

It really was.

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Sounds of Rain on the Roof

The Husband and I recently purchased a used delivery van which we plan to convert into a travel camper. In the meantime while it's still empty and hollow, we've been using it as a second vehicle, running errands and hauling stuff around.

The other morning as we prepared to take it out during threatening weather, The Husband warned me that rain on the roof might get loud.

He wasn't wrong.

"I like it, though," I said. "It sounds like bacon!"

Monday, October 31, 2022

Sensitive Conversation Topics

Did you know vehicle purchases are trigger topics?

This shouldn't be news to me, really. Growing up I learned that all vehicles are GM vehicles if you want to remain in this family.
I once mentioned to my dad that I thought the Mustang looked pretty cool, and I wanted to buy one. He replied, "Oh yeah? Where are you going to park it? Because you're sure as heck not putting a Ford in MY driveway."
So yeah. I liked eating the food and living in the house my GM-employed father paid for, therefore I have never owned a Ford Mustang.

But dayum. 
Mention that you've ordered a GM-produced electric car to each of your GM-retired brothers and you get two polar opposite reactions.

One asks if you need to use his GM family discount to pay for it. Nice! 🙂👍

One accuses you of drinking Biden-agenda Kool-aid. And that was the nicest thing he said about it. I got a fricking earful of a lot of unrelated garbage he thought I needed to hear about on top of that. 😑

I'm just saying, regardless of your political views, this an unusual and unexpected response to the news that someone is financially supporting the company that you and your father retired from.

I'm just stunned by this reaction.
The hell?

Pardon me while I retreat back into my paranoid shell and avoid talking to certain family members about anything even slightly personal for another ten years.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

I'm the Reason Your Kid Quit Grad School

Wondering how long it'll take my friends to figure out I'm the one giving their adult children hippy advice like, "As someone who went back to college at age 47, I can tell you that you can go to school anytime. So if you're feeling the pottery thing is taking off now, you should follow it while it's hot."

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Getting Old Is Hazardous

I'd been sitting oddly on the floor, so my entire leg fell asleep.

When I was a younger person, I'd have been amused by this and simply walked it off. 

But I'm old now. Instead, I thought, "Oo, I better sit down until this passes, otherwise I could hurt myself."


Also. Because I'm old, I don't lock the bathroom door anymore.
Twice last year I had incidents where I needed assistance, but I had to crawl to the door to unlock it before I could call The Husband for help.

Man, getting old is hazardous. 

Sunday, October 09, 2022

They'll Swear They Never

No matter how many people in your household want a pet, let's say for today's purposes, a cat, every single one of them will swear that they never:

- noticed the food dish is empty
- smelled anything in the litter box
- heard the cat pawing at your bedroom door even though everyone of them was awake and within earshot on the one day you were blessed with a day off and could sleep in


Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Just Do It, Then Do Some More

There's something about finishing something difficult that gives you the idea that you can finish other difficult things.

The orthodontist told me it would take 2 years for my teeth to be properly corrected, maybe longer if I didn't like the results of the correction. ("There will be some flaring of your front teeth," she cautioned.) She gave me the impression that 2 years is a long time.
I thought, "If I can endure college for 5 and a half years, I can do braces for 2."

The Husband and I bought a used delivery van last week that we plan to convert into a travel van. It's a rather large vehicle, and The Husband insisted I test drive it before we signed a check to make sure I would be able to give him a break on road trips. He was impressed with how well I handled it; I even took it out onto the highway without flinching.
Was it uncomfortable? A little. But I thought, "If I can get used to Invisaligns, I can get used to driving a bigger than usual vehicle."

It wasn't all that long ago that I felt stuck in a dead end career. I couldn't do anything, I had no options.

Enrolling in college was a VERY difficult thing to do. Past Roses wept in front of strangers over it.
But now, having gotten through it, I think, "If I could do that, I can do this."

It all makes me wonder what I'm gonna try next! 🦸‍♀️

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Houston, We Have Invisaligns

It finally happened. 
The Invisaligns I'd been trying to get since May 2020, and the teeth correction I'd been wanting since 4th grade, were installed Wednesday, September 21st.

It's all good so far (she says on Day Three). The challenges I'm having are not the challenges I expected.

1) I expected sore gums and tension headaches. None of that so far. But what I didn't expect was how much the edges of the trays would rub against and irritate the inside of my cheeks and lips. I expected them to be more flush with my teeth and gums.

2) I expected some inconvenience with the need to remove the trays to eat. I did not expect the amount of time this process would involve. You can't just pop them out and snap them back in. For one, it's not an attractive activity, and there's a good amount of drooling. For two, you need to clean your teeth thoroughly before encasing them in plastic for the next how many hours.
Example: This morning I was enjoying breakfast with The Husband, looked at the clock and realized I had a Zoom meeting in 5 minutes. Normally not a problem to walk to the at-home office up the hallway. But I had to put my trays back in, and I had to brush and floss before I could do that. Suddenly the casual  5 minute stroll up the hallway turned into a frantic bathroom frenzy.

3) I honestly thought Invisaligns just snapped in and out. Maybe for some people they do. But mine required about two dozen tiny attachments to be glued onto my teeth to hold the trays and move my teeth. When the trays are out, the attachments rub against the insides of my cheeks and lips. And when I bite down, those little buggers pinch like a mo fo.
That has been the biggest challenge so far. But it's getting better with every meal.

4) The pain from those attachments makes it feel better having the trays in than having them out. Did not expect that. This is probably a good thing.

5) Snacking is out. Any potential snack has to be worth taking out trays, enduring the pinching attachments, and the time it's gonna take to clean everything up afterwards. Sorry bag of chips and handful of M&Ms, you ain't it.
Let's hope this helps me finally lose those last 5 pounds.

In case you haven't been taken notes, let's recap:
She went back to college at age 47 and got braces at age 56.

This is how you keep feeling young, kids 😉👍

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Sunday Evening, Cat Style

You'd think they had a big weekend or something.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

One Weekend Working at the Store

Notable things I'll remember about escaping the office to help out at one of the company stores for two days:

1) The elderly man who told me he wanted a checkout aisle with a middle aged cashier. When I gave him a choice of immediate service with a 20-something cashier or to wait for a middle aged cashier, sure enough, he chose to wait.

2) Overhearing a man on his Bluetooth say, "I'm at the front of the store. Where are you?" I looked around and noticed a woman about his age talking on a cell phone some distance away. 
"Is that her?" I asked the man.
It was.

3) Item #2 happened a second time with a different couple.

4) The little old lady who looked a little lost and told me she was just trying to figure out where she was. I wasn't sure if she meant where in the store or where in the world. Not knowing how to respond, I asked if I could help her find something, and she said she was looking for her sister. I walked the entire store without finding anyone matching the description she gave me; I even asked a couple of random women if they were shopping with their sister, but no dice. By the time I returned to the little old lady, she was speaking with an acquaintance who eventually located the sister.
I learned later from the acquaintance that the little old lady was a Silver Alert risk. I am very glad the acquaintance happened to be in the store at that time and had fully understood the stakes. I certainly hadn't. 

5) Throughout the weekend, I kept seeing one of my college professors walking around the store wearing a company logo polo shirt. Wasn't my college prof, of course,  he was a coworker I hadn'tmet yet. I asked this coworker if he had any relatives who worked at my alma mater; he said no. I explained why I asked then Googled an image of the professor. He agreed the resemblance was freakishly similar, then he made me show the picture to several other people who also thought the two of them could have been twins.
I called this coworker "Doctor" for the rest of the weekend.

6) Running the length of the store three different times to fetch batteries for customers who had expected to find some hanging by the cash registers where they could grab them on the way out.

7) The owner and superstar of the company showed up. At one point in the day, I saw her surrounded by half a dozen cashiers waiting for her to autograph the brims of their uniform ball caps.

8) Watching a 30-something customer frantically patting his shirt and pants pockets.
I asked, "Did you lose something or did you forget something?"
"I think I dropped my debit card!"
He described it as having an American flag image on it and sadly told me he had been all over the store; retracing his steps would be impossible. We split up to search for it hardly expecting to find it. But in the Pet section I spotted a plastic card face down. As I reached for it, I prayed for it to have an American flag on it. Pleasepleaseplease. And it did. The look on his face when I presented it to him was priceless; he was certain it had been lost forever.
This was my big win of the week. I will glow about this for days.