In the Middle of a Lot of Things

I’ve heard that your surroundings often reflect the state of your mind. I can believe that, given that when I don’t feel well the house starts to get cluttered and I start lots of projects that I don’t quite finish. I’ve needed to get back to the painting for months (although, to be fair, it’s better when I can let the fumes out via the windows. Winter has lasted at least 7 months this year, so that was a limiting factor). I want to organize all the rooms in the house – they’re all only partially done right now. When I feel so bad I’m stuck on the sofa all day, I cast on new knit and crochet projects. I just can’t bring myself to work on what I already have in progress.

On the good days, I get things done. Unfortunately, when I’ve had a good day in the last week, I’ve had to spend it entirely outside of the house. I needed gardening supplies, and clothes, and groceries… Groceries have gotten to be a big expense in both the time and money sense around here. Eating only food that can spoil means that you have to shop every other day or so at a minimum. I have to make the cats’ appointments on the days that I feel well, which means a half-hour drive north for the kittens or south for my cats. It’s exhausting to drive so much.

I finally have a day where I can stay in. I have a fever, but I feel mentally alert and productive, so I am going to just pop a little ibuprofen and get things done. First, the blog update.

I’ve gotten a little work done outside. The lawn has a lot of holes in it, like someone salted the ground in roundish patterns, and the grass is brown there. A friend of mine suggested that maybe the burned grass is from dog pee. It makes sense – the original owner of this house had a dog (I even found a dog toy in my yard earlier this week) and the last owners didn’t really take care of the yard much. I dug up the burned areas, added new potting soil and grass seed, so we’ll see what happens. I also need to plant the vegetables I’ve been growing, so I had my friend Bree come out to help.

(click to embiggen)

the holes patching in progress.

Bree helped me remove a really overgrown bush and a tree stump!

I still need to shovel all the rocks off the patch where I want my garden to be, then till the existing soil and add more topsoil. It’s a big, involved thing. It’s rained a bit in the last few days, and even gotten cold again, so progress only happens when the stars align and I feel well when the weather is good. Status: Half-Finished

The kittens are a desperately full-time job right now. Three of the five kittens have mommy cat’s cold and a bonus eye infection. Veggie, the orange one, has the nastiest eye, but he’s handling the cold just fine. Summer, the tortie, lost a little weight and had trouble breathing, but she’s finally started to bounce back. She is by no means out of the woods, but she eats voraciously when I hand feed her. Winter, on the other hand, is failing. I give her fluids twice a day, I bottle feed her, and I give her meds of all sorts. Whenever I go in to see her, the poor thing is always asleep in a way that makes her look dead – I have to pick her up just to be sure she’s alive. Her nose seems to have cleared a bit, but she still can’t manage to nurse. Winter has lost a lot of weight. Her brother, Pomegranate, looks identical to her except he’s huge. I really think Winter won’t make it, but she’s not dying actively, so I can’t do anything. It’s tough. The kitten project is never finished, so I don’t hold that against myself.

I also cast on a lot of new projects despite having plenty in the works. I think it’s time to list what I am working on again, just so I can keep it straight.

1. I cast on this dishcloth on a sick day. To be fair, we are running low on dishcloths, so it was a necessary evil. I’ll finish it soon, simply because I need it.

2. Michael’s Zauber socks. I feel a deep need to complete these socks soon, which I think is a sign that my mind is clearing a little.

3. This will be a spiral rug (Ravelry link) for my friend, Janina. I’m using scraps of my dishcloth cotton yarns.

4. This is the beginning of the heirloom christening gown I am making for Michael’s sister’s new baby. It’s due in September, so I still have plenty of time.

5. A hemp shopping bag that I started crocheting a few months ago – this is just the base. I got yarn for the project when I lived in San Francisco. Who knows when this will happen. If I like what I come up with, I’ll publish the pattern.

6. Razor Cami that I cast on when I went to Florida and Puerto Rico. I just wanted to start something new. I know, I know. I was smack in the middle of the cleanse. It was a reward to myself.

7. Cascadia (Ravelry link) from the Jan/Feb Socks that Rock sock club.

(I’m starting to feel a little ill here because I know this list is way longer…)

The rest of these will have no picture because these are hibernating (don’t laugh – I can hear you)

8. Crochet Noro socks (Ravelry link). I made these for the crochet sock class that I was going to teach before I quit the yarn shop. I might still finish them, but I am in no hurry.

9. Beaded Deep Space (Ravelry link). I still love the yarn, but it’s lace and it requires time and focus that I seem to be short on right now.

10. Colorado gloves (Ravelry link). Hey, it’s hard to think about gloves when it’s warming up.

11. Robert’s Boot socks (Ravelry link)- I owe that kid so many knit things. Maybe he’ll get his knit stuff for Christmas.

12. Cat couch (Ravelry link). My cats deserve this project. I’ve been a bad mom. 😦

13. Ryan’s afghan. I have no pictures of this whatsoever – it isn’t worth it at this point. He asked me to make him a large blanket out of acrylic yarn since his ex-girlfriend took the one I made for her. I told him it could take a long time. I think, after looking at this list, you’d agree.

14. The Knitting Guild Master’s level 1 project. It will all get done in a flurry of activity, I’m sure. I just have to wait for the inspiration.

For what it’s worth, I have finished things. I completed two dishcloths so far, one of which I photographed.

This is the Bark Sedge Stitch dishcloth from Lion Brand Yarns. If you’ve made their Hooded Baby Blanket pattern, you’ll recognize the stitch.

I also finished the handspun baby blanket.

The corners are a little funky, which normally I would be a perfection freak about, but if you bunch them up just right they look like cat ears, so I decided it’s ok. The blanket turned out to be 25×30 inches, which I think is enough to swaddle a baby. I have to wash and block it (the cats really enjoyed making sure it was soft enough, so I need to make sure the dander is minimized), but otherwise, it’s done. There’s even a little bit of yarn left for repairs. Admittedly, this isn’t what I set out to make, but I made the best of it. Now I just can’t forget it when I go to Boston next weekend.

I plan to start just one more project in the near future. One of the vet techs saw me knitting the handspun blanket while I was waiting for Wesley and Buttercup’s senior exam, and she asked if I sold the blankets. I told her generally not, because I couldn’t make a decent wage, but for her (since we really like each other), I would be willing. We’re working out the details of the whole thing now.

I should interrupt my list of unfinished projects here because there is news about Wesley. The vet discovered that Wesley’s heart is not working properly. The walls are thickening (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy), but the vet is more concerned that his heart is not pumping as strongly as it should. We’re trying a new drug in addition to his old pill, but I’m not so sure that he isn’t just wearing out. It really saddens me – Wesley and Buttercup were the first cats I got as an adult. They’ll be 9 years old in July. At this point Wesley isn’t showing signs of heart trouble, so I think he’ll at least make it to his birthday. Otherwise, it’s getting to be time to think about end of life care. I’d rather he remained an unfinished project. That suits me.

Speaking of unfinished cats, Duck is getting just a little bigger. He’s just under nine pounds, but with his fluff he looks the same size as Buttercup. He’s just naughtier.

The big unfinished project that I really, really want to complete is my craft room. Right now, it looks like this:

There’s yarn and other crafting paraphernalia everywhere. I’m trying to figure out shelving and storage, which is the biggest hold up right now. I came up with something really clever for my closet.

I got these shoe and sweater organizers and filled them with yarn. They zip up in the front, protecting the yarn from moths. The organizers also solve the wasted space problem I was having in the closet. I thought about just taking down the existing shelf and clothes bar to add some sort of organization system, but these bags were such a cheaper and quite possibly better solution to the use of space issue.

So, I’m neck deep in this right now. I have no idea what my priorities are. Well, I think the yard work needs to be done the soonest. I need to get these guys re-potted soon:

I have tomatoes, sweet peppers, watermelons and some herbs in the greenhouses. I plan to put some of the herbs in my window, and some outside. I also intend to start some beans outside. All of this relies on the garden space getting cleared. Better hop to it!

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3 thoughts on “In the Middle of a Lot of Things

  1. Wow! You do have a ton of projects in the works! I thought I was bad about starting and stopping projects. Sorry you’ve been feeling under the weather again. I can kinda, sorta commiserate with you. I feel like lately I don’t have the attention span needed to work on anything…much less the energy needed to complete it.

    That blanket is absolutely gorgeous! I think it will be the perfect size for snuggling a baby and honestly, I’m not picky about a few imperfections. I’m sure all of my projects have had imperfections here and there. It’s what makes them unique and super special. We really need to talk about getting together when you are out here…I just feel so up in the air not knowing when I’m going to deliver.

    Again, I’m so sorry about Wesley. I really hope that the new meds help him. I hope the rest of the kitties start feeling better soon!

    • Yeah, I didn’t want to have so many unfinished things, but when I’m down, I’m really down, and I lost motivation. I have faith that it will all be better after the diet treatment.

      I suspect that the last stage of pregnancy is much like what I have been going through for the last 10 years. Always tired, no motivation, no focus, nothing that helps you get through a day. It’s a hard thing to deal with.

      I’m glad you like the blanket. I wish so many things were better, but we are all more critical of our own things. That’s what I get for taking on an ambitious project.

      I’ll send you another Facebook email about the trip. I’ll give you my cell number so we can talk when I get there as well. Remember, I am very flexible, so worry about nothing but yourself and the baby. 🙂

      • That sounds about right. I’m always tired (course feeling like a beached whale doesn’t help matters), I have little to no motivation (save for the occasional bout of nesting that kicks in, but those are few and far between) and I can’t focus to save my life…I want to read my books, but can’t pay attention long enough to remember what I just read…

        I’m sure I’ll love the blanket even more in person. I showed it to Scott last night and he really liked it, too. I know I’m always noticing when things aren’t just right in my projects, but really, when you don’t point them out, I think those who aren’t looking for them never see them. I always appreciate the hard work that went into it.

        I got your facebook message. I’m pretty flexible, too, all things considered! I really do want to meet up with you. 🙂

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