Today has been a day of some serious tests for me. Let’s start at the beginning. I promise to tell you when the breakthroughs came.
I woke up, quite grouchy and groggy, when the kids started yelling at 7. I remained grumpy until 8, when I drug myself out of bed to cook breakfast. This makes me extra grouchy, these days, because I get up and cook a breakfast I can’t eat. Biscuits, muffins, cinnamon rolls… even worse is that my youngest daughter has decided she doesn’t like eating any of those things and usually eats cereal and the oldest has decided she just doesn’t want to eat anything. I make them, hoping someone will eat them. My husband has confessed he’s “not much of a breakfast eater.” No, that doesn’t make any sense to me, either. It’s the thing I miss most! This morning, I was annoyed enough that I ate biscuits. I ate them with my homemade Peach preserves, even! I felt horrible, which had nothing to do with the biscuits. The grogginess, the aches in my shoulders, the pain in my back.
Since I felt like crap, I didn’t go to fighter practice. No, I don’t think I was contagious. It was just a bone-deep achiness that meant fighting was out for me today. This was the first test, I think. I could’ve stayed home, wallowed in my ickiness, and had the house to myself for a few hours. The girls were at a friends’ house for a play date. My husband was off to the track early to get some practice in before the races started.
I didn’t go back home after I dropped them off, though. I did something that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do: I went to a local Fiber Guild meeting. I wasn’t sure what to expect from that experience, to be honest, and I wasn’t sure how to approach it. I’m NOT a newbie with strings. I’ve been doing stuff with strings since I was in 3rd grade. In the last two years I’ve branched out considerably, and there’s so much more I want to do with strings! So, I jumped in. I took my craft bag in case I was ready to yawn myself to sleep at a business meeting (c’mon, they’re boring for newbies, especially newbies with no voting power or experience to have an opinion about anything), sat in the back corner (I would sit there, anyway, to be honest. That’s where I usually like to hide.), and knitted with my Bullet Journal open just in case I wanted to write anything down.
I get to go to school on Monday and tell those kids I was a risk-taker today! I had a great time! Most of the ladies there are older, but they’re just as enamored with strings as I am! They’re a bit more hippie about it, I think. I’m WAY MORE traditional with my patterns and things. They like free form quilting (huh?) and the things those ladies can dye and weave is simply amazing! The words “that captures the spirit I was feeling” came out of someone’s mouth and the nodding that went along with it across the room made me laugh (internally, of course. My mama taught me manners!). People came over to introduce themselves, though, and wanted to talk to me about the knitting I was doing. One other new person there brought some show-and-tell that was about 6 waist pockets that she had hand embroidered designs on. She didn’t know the name of the stitch (it was stem and I kind of hated her for how good it looked when mine still looks like crap!), but the designs were gorgeous, hand drawn, and close to perfectly stitched. She just picked up a needle a few months ago! After the meeting, the President walked over to introduce herself to me, specifically. There were 6 new people there and she introduced herself to ME! We talked about weaving for a bit (it’s on my list of things to learn, as soon as I can get my hands on an inkle loom that doesn’t break the bank!) and she invited me to their workroom upstairs at Oatland Island after their little chat and munch session! Do I think I made the right decision in going to this meeting? ABSOLUTELY! I get paid on Thursday and my check for dues will be in the mail shortly thereafter!
Now, here comes another test. You see, this was a luncheon meeting. Sandwiches, fruit trays, veggie trays, and these amazing chocolate cookies that had a swatch of cream cheese icing and shaved chocolate bits on the top… yeah. I took one look at them setting that table up and my head said,
The tour would happen AFTER the eating. I would have to sit and watch them eat that yummy smelling goodness and fight getting some of my own every second if I wanted to see that workroom, which I really, really did want to do! I did what any sensible person with an iron willed determination not to gain twenty pounds in chocolate cookies would do when faced with this situation, right slap in the middle of Oatland Island! I went to visit the wolves!
Yeah, you heard me right. I took my stuff out to the swagger wagon, locked it up and went for a walk! I decided that the main trail was only a little over a mile and I should be able to do that in about 30 minutes, probably less. Besides, the trail is mostly in the shade and it wasn’t TOO hot, yet. Maybe I’d hit my 10k steps today! I filled up my water bottle and struck out. I visited the wolf pups, who are so big, now! The last time I saw these guys, they were tiny, big footed, babies! Now look at them, all grown into their ears!
There was some damage from the storm on the walkway on the other side, but it doesn’t seem to have done any damage to their habitat, so yay!
It made my walk a little longer, since I had to go the long way around this section of walkway, but that was alright. The detour was down a road that is restricted to staff go carts, so I’d never been down there. The Marsh Walk was open, so I doubled back so I could get that part of the trail in. I love that walk, and any other time, I take that walk VERY SLOW so I can appreciate how quiet it is out there. Today, it was more about getting my exercise, but I did watch the tide rolling in while I walked it and smiled at the fish biting in the marsh grass.
By the time I made it back to the main building, most everyone from the meeting had gone and the rest were already upstairs. I took the elevator up (I really want to walk up those stairs. Maybe I’ll ask next time. They’re gorgeous and I love them. It’s a Scarlet O’Hara thing, I think, but I am seriously in love with a good staircase. Anyway, I found the President upstairs with another member and 4 newbies. When I ducked into the workshop with my jaw on the floor, she turned and said, “Tiffany! I was looking for you before we came up! I thought you’d left before I could bring you up here!” You know, I learned something right then and there. You want newbies to stick around, make sure you know their names 40 minutes after you talk to them. Address them before they address you. And make sure they know you were looking out for them. I was floored! If I wasn’t in love with this bunch already, that would’ve sealed it for me. This is one of those things I’m going to have to remember going forward, I think. Now, here’s the porn from that workshop…
As a member, you have access to anything in that room as long as Oatland Island is open. FREE! If you need to take it home (and can get it out of there), there’s a small rental fee ($20 a month for a loom, people!), but you sign it out and take it home! It’s RIGHT THERE! That’s just… WOAH!
So, I left there, feeling good! I stopped at the Dollar Tree on Victory Drive to waste some time, then headed over for my 3 O’clock appointment for Painting with a Twist. I had prepaid for a friend and I to do this Beauty and the Beast stained glass piece with the rose and I’ve been looking forward to it since they posted it and I sent in our registration! I walk in the door and find out… the class started at 1, not 3. I had missed the thing! My buddy never showed, either! The lovely folks gave me a credit, so I can go another time and it’s already paid for. They didn’t have to do that, but they’re really awesome people and they did. I was still pretty upset about it, though, and sat in the parking lot for a cry before I backed out and decided what I was going to do with myself.
What did I decide? Well, I stopped at McDonald’s for a chocolate chip frappe to drown my sorrows, went to the track, and parked it on my husband’s couch, soaking up his AC in the trailer. I downloaded Netflix onto my phone and started an episode of the Gilmore Girls with my headphones in and worked on my knitting. I got to do that for an hour, which was kind of nice. He was racing, so he was in and out a few times, but otherwise, it was peaceful, quiet time for me. That’s its own kind of therapy.
Then I picked up the girls, picked up dinner and went back to the track to make sure my husband ate something. The girls made me go to the bathroom with them after we ate, then demanded to see the “ducks” on the way back. We were at Lake Mayer, and there are a ton of Canadian Geese, some mallards, seagulls, and random other birds like chickens, that hang out there. There was a family of kids throwing bread at them near the lake, and the girls thought that was awesome. I tried to keep them away from the kids, not wanting them to intrude on their fun, but their Dad brought my oldest a loaf of bread and said she could throw it at the birds, too. He’d stopped by the store on the way and I swear bought out the bread isle so his kids could enjoy feeding the birds. I was so touched by that and the way the kids just… played together, feeding the ducks and geese and laughing at their antics when the bread got too close to another bird. I had left my phone in the trailer, or I’m sure there would be a billion pictures of that moment to share with you!
I will put a bit of an aside here… I’m not a big one to talk about race issues. Honestly, it’s because I think they’re stupid. Actions speak louder than words or appearances and should always be what is used to decide whether you want to interact with someone or not. Judgement is for God, not me, so I accept that people are the way they are and if I don’t agree with something they DO (see how I didn’t say “how they look?” learn something, people!), then I don’t hang around with them. Modern society has made me suspicious of EVERYONE and, honestly, when it comes to my beautiful girls, I don’t trust ANYONE around them if I don’t know them, regardless of whether it’s an 80 year old white grannie or a 20 year old black guy! I’ve noticed something this summer that makes me happy, though. I blame racial idiots for my noticing it, but, thanks to the news, I’ve been a little more cognizant and concerned about how stirring up racial issues can affect my kids in public. They have NO CONCEPT of race and I like it that way. They truly judge whether they want to associate with people based on how those people treat them, and openly give everyone the benefit of reaching their hands out in friendship, regardless of ANYTHING! I think this is one of my biggest achievements as a mother, truly, and I pray that never changes. I bring this up because what I’ve noticed is that, no matter where I am, no matter what is on the news, the people of this city are NOT reacting to it. At least, not with open hostility every where. People hold doors for each other! The guy that handed my kid a loaf of bread had dark skin and a mouth full of gold teeth! I know people who would’ve run the other way when he walked up to them! Instead, we joked about kids and geese, and buying a ton of bread because they were there a few weeks ago and there was a big fight about the single loaf they’d brought not being enough for his kids to all feed the birds! I laughed because I didn’t bring ANY bread and this was far from my first trip to the lake! I’ve noticed the exact opposite of what I feared was about to start happening here and it makes me so happy that I’m proud to live here! Yes, our crime rate is not the best. Yes, lots of people get shot in this city every year. Yes, there are a lot of horrible things that go on around here on a daily basis. It’s not a perfect place! But it’s the same place where people from completely different worlds can laugh about bread and geese! It’s the same place where I held a door for four people when I stopped to get gas and only one of them thought that was weird, but all of them smiled and said “thank you!” I’ve made it a point to smile, look people in the eye and tell them to have a great day this summer. I’m an introvert, looking people in the eye is not something that comes easy to me. I’ve forced myself to do it, though, and what I see is that, when I do, they smile back. Their eyes smile back. I don’t care that color their skin is, how old they are, or the neighborhood they live in! They all smile back. THAT makes me feel good about this place. I challenge you to do the same. Be an equal opportunity smiler and see what happens!
OK, soap box over. The girls were exhausted by the time the little one finished eating and I had to make sure stop sweeping her Daddy’s trailer so we could leave, which I only did by promising she could sweep it when he got home and out of the shower. We came home, they played with their guinea pigs, then ran around like the loopy kids they were until bedtime. They’re really tough to handle when they’re like this. The little bursts into tears if you correct her behavior, the oldest one is completely off her medication and can’t control ANYTHING she does… it’s a really ugly scenario. Bedtime isn’t any better, either! I’ll save you the gory details about THAT. Let’s just say that was another tests. I’m a stress eater, and this stresses me out, all the time!
I combatted this by remembering that I had a laptop table out in the barn. Now, I will say that I was in the market for a pillow stand for my bobbin lace pillow, after fighting the flat surface of a tabletop while learning and my bobbins rolled or slid everywhere. Dianora, my teacher, said that I needed a slant and gave me some ideas for getting one, which ranged from a notebook to a pillow stand. I tested my laptop stand AND IT WORKED PERFECTLY! It has wrist rests built in that I was initially worried about, but it turns out, they’re perfectly placed to wedge the pillow in without damaging the pillow or allowing it to slip off the stand!
So, I cranked up the TV with Netflix, turned on the next episode of Gilmore Girls (I started season 2 the other day. I finished episode 6 tonight!) and got to work on the pattern Dianora was teaching me on a few weeks ago. It looked like this:
It was awesome how easy this was to just twist and cross my happy little way through this pattern THREE TIMES! I think it looks like a good, old fashioned game of MasterMind when I get near the bottom!
Admit it, I’m right!
Anyway, so now I have about a yard and a half of bobbin lace that I made all on my own! It didn’t hold its shape very well, which is kind of sad, but it’s my first try, so there you go. I’ll try a different one tomorrow, maybe. Either way, I’ve got the crosses and twists down and even remembered the windmill cross at the intersections! Yeah, I had to take out half the lacing because I realized that I hadn’t been doing it, but hey! I learned!
Ah, well, that’s been my day. It’s been a bit crazy, but overall, I think I enjoyed most of it. I have learned a lot, picked up a new couple of hobbies, and will be joining the Fiber Guild AND maybe the Friends of Oatland when I get paid on Friday. I guess we’ll have to see what kind of payraise they’re talking about before I get excited. LOL What’s really interesting about today is that I stayed on my plan for most of the day. I walked an extra 1.53 miles and broke a daily “busy time” record I’ve been holding on to for a while. I moved a lot today. Tomorrow will be full of cleaning for Peanut’s party next weekend… She’s into Minecraft. Please pray for me. HAHAHA
Until next time,
this is me, checking in at 215.7 lbs!