life


Note:  Sorry, this ended up to be a nonknitting post again.  I was going to go over my knitting/crochet/craft year too but when I started writing, I realized I had other things I needed to write about first.

I’ve been trying to think of ways to describe 2010.  I had the highest of the highs (CoffeeBoy back for good, work successes, weight loss, the wedding of two very close friends) and the lowest of the lows (spending the first half of the year in a depression, my only constant companion in my life passing away, family issues, problems too personal to post on the internet). So I guess to sum up, 2010 was just…a year.

I went through a depression for the first 6 months, to the extent I’m not even sure anyone realized.  I pretty much only left the house for work, I blew off friends invitations and just sat around and ate, knitted,and  zoned out on the internet/tv and just couldn’t shake it. I hate when I get like that – I don’t want to bring other people down so I don’t whine about it. So I retreat deeper & deeper in my own mind, which wasn’t a pleasant place to be.

And I gained a lot of weight, which made it worse. I just couldn’t get motivated to do anything about it.   I’m going to admit somthing that very few people know about –  I think I was pushing 250lbs – I was too scared to actually step on a scale. I’m 5’11” – I felt like this huge monster.  I’ve always had problems with self image and this is the heaviest I had ever been and I hated myself for it.  I wouldn’t buy myself new clothes because I wanted to cry when I saw the sizes I was fitting into & it was all my fault for letting myself go.  In 2007 I weighed about 175lbs, I was working out & was happy & healthy.

Finally in June I had enough.  May was a pretty good month – I had a wonderful trip with my mom to the Oregon coast, which we both really needed and I finally got my self out of the house to go to a show, by myself even, of one of my favorite bands Mumford & Sons.  And I realized I couldn’t continue with this fucking depression & I needed to do something about it. Immediately.

I bought an ipod touch and downloaded the Couch to 5K program and started.
I can call myself a runner
It was tough starting.  I honestly never liked running, even when I was fit & happy but I did once in awhile, usually about a mile at a time.  But now, running even for a minute at a time was tough.   I had an old treadmill my mom gave me & ran outside a bit.  But slowly I started to improve and finally felt brave enough to go to the gym again.

Then at the end of July, I decided to push myself and join my friends at a Boot Camp.  My close friend was a trainer there and other friends were going and I figured that I did want to lose more weight before CB came home and honestly, I think I realized I  needed to be around people more.  Again, starting was rough – I stepped on the scale for the first time in well over a year (231) & during  the first class I wanted to die because I couldn’t keep up. I came home & cried.  But I went back and other days I spent at the gym closer to my work & home.

By the end of the 6 week session, I had lost 13lbs and actually went out and bought some new jeans that actually fit me  for the first time in years (instead of not letting myself buy the size I actually needed because I was embarrassed by the number. Yes, lame I know.)

CB came home & my depression for the most part lifted.  We took a trip to Seattle, our first “vacation” in years (all of our vacations was flying back & forth between MA & OR) and in Oct was the wedding of our very close friends.

wedding
Blurry, but it’s one that I took.

CB & I had a nice picture taken together though.
wedding photos

It was a good month.

November came, and I started another session of boot camp, more intense than before, but I could see the changes in my body.  I also became more outgoing and more of a team player than before, which kept me going. It also was the month I lost my cat – which I’ve already covered in detail so I won’t go into it again.  But having CB here and some really close friends, as well as a job I loved helped me through it.

As of yesterday, my weight was down to 207.  Higher than I wanted (I was really hoping for 200 by NYE) but still pretty good.  While I had a really awful day this week, I think I’m ending this year much happier than I started.  Tonight I will celebrate with friends the passing of 2010….and hoping for a wonderful 2011 for us all.

A long December and there’s reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last…

(okay, a Counting Crows song, but I love it & it fit my mind right now)

Thank you so much for all the kind comments on my last post.  Obviously, I still miss my Mina very much – I don’t think I’ll ever get used to walking in the door and not having her greet me.  But I’m trying to stay busy & am actually going to volunteer at a place called The Pixie Project in the new year.  It was funny how I discovered it, we were going to a show across the street from the storefront about a week after Mina passed away and in the window was all these kitties – and one looked exactly like my cat.  CoffeeBoy & I just stared (and started to tear up) but it didn’t devastate me as much as I thought it would.  It just made me want to be around them.  I looked them up after we got home and just thought it was a really great organization.  We probably won’t get another pet for awhile so this gives me a chance to play with dogs & cats every week.

I didn’t mean to leave such a sad post up for so long – I’ve had long thoughtful posts written out in my mind, but finding the time to actually get them in here seems to be an issue with me. Right now,  I will leave you with Christmas wishes (or whichever holiday you celebrate) and hope to be better at updating in the new year.

Merry christmas

I don’t normally get too personal here – or anywhere really.  But it’s been a rough couple of months, mentally.  The thing about long distance relationships, you expect the long distance part to be over at some point and then when that date gets pushed back & pushed back & pushed back, it has a wearing affect on you.  And that has been getting to me.

Part of me feels my complaints are not nearly as bad as what others are going through and I shouldn’t be so down. My SO isn’t fighting a war in some distant land for years on end.  We both have jobs & are financially stable. We’re both healthy and have great friends & family.  So I keep such whining to myself for the most part- I may make the odd post on facebook or a passing comment to friends  but try my best not to have a pity party and have everyone feel sorry for us.  But it still has been getting to me a great deal.

And in this internet age, it’s not like we don’t have the option to “see” each other every day.  It’s not like when I was growing up – my father was in the Air Force and there would be months and years that he would be sent on TDY where we were lucky to get a letter or a phone call every couple of weeks.  We now have cell phones with unlimited minutes to anywhere in the US, gmail chat – even video chat.

But you can’t hug a video image.

And while I have a wonderful job and coworkers and fantastic friends & family that I spend time with, it makes me feel lonely sometimes.  It’s not the same.

So in the midst of yet another delay, other annoyances this week, and the prospect of an uncomfortably hot weekend in Portland – I had reached my breaking point.  So I took myself to the Oregon coast.

I love the Oregon coast – I will say it’s in my top 3 favorite places on earth. I felt my body instantly relax when I came around the bend and saw the ocean.

I found a perfect place – a hotel in Seaside with ocean view from the room and within walking distance of the Boardwalk (as opposed to right on it – way way way too many screaming kids).  It’s quiet and relaxing.

It’s my weekend dammit, so I decided to do some of my favorite things.

I listened to a lot of music.

I love Mumford & Sons. A. Lot.

I had a new book to read

behind the curve I guess.

I, naturally, had knitting.

Brattleboro Hat from my new fave knitting book, New England Knits

My room had a jacquzi so I had a little relaxing spa.

Um, I may have a problem with Lush...

I ate & drank.

And just attempted to relax.  I don’t know if I feel better.  I still feel sad & a little empty.  But I guess I’ll just keep managing.

Awake my soul...

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season…I’m trying to get my act together with updating this blog & my knitting projects – I haven’t even been keeping up with adding projects & stash to Ravelry!  Now I’m just trying to enjoy my last few days with CoffeeBoy until he goes back to MA then I hope to get back into a regularly updated blog.

I’m also going to attempt to do Project 365 – My flickr set is here.  I’m really terrible at keeping up with projects like this – which is why I hardly ever do KALs – but I want to get back into the habit of taking pictures.  And I have some healthy changes planned for myself, so I think keeping a record of it will be neat. 🙂

Obviously, since I haven’t posted in quite awhile. Having CoffeeBoy in town has been great – I’ve missed him so much and we’ve been doing a lot around the house…and doing a Foodie tour of our favourite (old & new) Portland restaurants.

But sadly, this will all come to an end on Monday when he returns to MA and we’ll be seperated again for an undetermined amount of time :(.  Although I will be able to update the blog on our adventures – Sock Summit registration (okay, so that was just my adventure), Anthony Bourdain, seeing Up, several incredible restaurants we have discovered.  Oh and a wee bit of knitting.

Until then, here’s one of my flowers that bloomed.  I’m in shock that I actually haven’t killed everything in my gardens yet.

It’s been awhile.  Most of it has to do with my internet connection – or lack there of.   I was able to pick up a free signal…if I stood out on my porch and the wind was right.  So while I was able to check my email & such, it made blogging a bit more of a pain.  And really, I didn’t have much to blog about.  Oh I have been knitting – just not finishing a darn thing.  So really, even if I did bring my computer to the coffeeshop to sit down and write, I didn’t really have much to say.

And really at this moment, I still don’t.  I finally have a internet connection I can actually use in the house but I feel at a loss. You’d think, with no job & not much of  a social life, I would have multitudes of FOs to show off.  Wrong.  I have none.  Part of it is the fact it’s been absolutly beautiful and I’ve been trying to take care of the yard.

pretty picture of the tree in my front yard

pretty picture of the tree in my front yard

The yard has taken up a lot of my time – with the exception of a couple of trips CoffeeBoy & I took out here, it hasn’t been cared for in over a year.  Not to mention, this is the first time I’ve lived alone in a house with a yard to keep up with.  So it’s been quite an experience.

Another factor is general restlessness.  I knit for a bit, then I have to get up & do something else.  I don’t know if it’s the projects I’m working on, or what.  Maybe I need an instrant gratification project or something.

I did finish a sock.

 

Groovin sock

Groovin' sock

But instead of casting on for its mate like I normally do, I co for a pair of socks for CoffeeBoy.

Mostly because I’m doing quite a bit of reading and it’s so much easier to work on the borring stockinette while reading  than trying to mess with a pattern.

The yarn is the newest in the Bare line at KnitPicks – the Superwash Merino/Alpaca blend and it is as lovevly as it sounds.  My worry is CB washing & drying them – though they are superwash, I worry about his tendency to just throw everything in the dryer – he did that with the first pair of socks I made him & he thinks they shrunk up a little.  Sigh.  Good thing I love him.

I’ve been making some inroads on setting up the house…to the surprise of no one, I had to get my yarn out in the open right away.

thats most of my yarn...though there are some storage bins stacked underneath.

that's most of my yarn...though there are some storage bins stacked underneath.

It just made me happy to have it all out.  I put the shelves up myself – my father would have been so proud (he was a woodworking guy – I still have much of the furniture he made me).  Between the yard & shelving I’ve been putting up, Home Depot has become my best friend.  It’s also right next to my gym – where I’m pleased to say I’ve been making a concious effort to go at least 5 times a week.  

So that’s a brief update of what’s been going on – hopefully now with much easier internet access, I will be around more. To end, here’s another pretty flower from my yard

Happy Earth Day!

Today is my last full day in Massachusetts.  While I am excited to go back home to Portland, there are a lot of things I am very sad to leave behind here.  It has been a great experience, living on the East Coast after living in the West all my life and while not perfect, has had more good than bad.

My friends

I’ve known Debb for nearly half my life – we’ve had so many adventures in our early 20s, living in OR – trips to LA, exploring Portland, where I knew I would make my home one day, and just goofy things to amuse ourselves.  After she returned to MA, we kept in touch – my now ex was one of her close friends so I visited a couple of times and her & her husband took a cross country trip and visited me in OR.  So it was a wonderful coincidence that I ended up living near her again.  I didn’t get to see her as often as I would have liked – life gets in the way – but I will miss knowing she is nearby.

I will also miss other knitty friends I wish I could have gotten to know more – Britt, Amanda, and Marianne.  I don’t care what people say – I don’t think the East Coasters are more rude than West Coasters.  Nearly everyone I’ve met out here has been fantastic.

My job

 

my office

my office

I really lucked into my job here – I was a temp & this was the third temp job I had.  I loved nearly everything about it – it was challenging & fun and I worked with fantastic people.  After a year, I got my first office.  I was so sad to leave it – even the chairman as well as the president both sent me a very nice emails saying how much they’ll miss me, which made me feel really good.  Very different from when I left my previous job.  My biggest worry (with good reason) is finding a job that I will love as much as this one out in Portland.

The Sox

Yes, I can be a Sox fan in Oregon.  It won’t be the same – it’s not like I can turn on the games every time they play.  I only wish I could have seen a game at Fenway.  I’ll just miss living in a sports town honestly – I’m really not a huge sports fan (except the Sox) but it has been fun following all the teams.  I have my sports memorabilia – several Sox items, a pair of Celtic sweats (that I honestly bought because I got caught in a downpour in a light coloured linen skirt – oops) and some Pats slipper socks (a Christmas gift).

WEBS

Okay, so I only went there twice & ordered online from once – but just the fact that I lived in the state with the biggest yarn store just made me happy.  If I had a car here, I probably would have made many more trips.  Other places that are just out here I’ll miss – Dunkin’ Donuts (large iced coffee – black), Au BonPain (love the sandwiches) and Windsor Button & Woolcott & Co as well as many restaurants – Ricardo’s, Blue Taleh, Mela, Maggiano’sDesfina – really it’s no wonder I’ve gained so much weight out here!

The History

I am such a history nut and it’s been really exciting to live where so much US history has taken place (I’ve been reading a lot about the Founding Fathers – especially John & Abagail Adams).  Yes, Portland has it’s own history, but seeing buildings that are nearly 400 years old is very exciting to me, after living in the West.

But, most of all, I will miss my dearest friend & love.  CoffeeBoy will not be joining me for an undetermined amount of time and that makes me dreadfully sad.  When we moved out here, we lived together for a year, but because of opposite work schedules and separate friends, we didn’t seem to spend much time together.  But here, we live a bit far from our friends and our work schedules were the same so 90% of our free time was spent together.  And, after living alone for several years, I never thought I would get used be in the company with the same person day after day but now…I can’t see myself without him.  We’ve never even been separated by more than a week since we met  nearly 3 years ago & I just don’t know what I’m going to do.  😦  I feel so silly saying that but it’s true.

Okay!  No more sad things.  A couple of things I will not miss:

  • My neighbors.  They’re not as horrible as some, but I’m so sick of dealing with them.
  • The commute.  I spent 3-4 hours getting to & from work each day.
  • Most Masshole drivers.  Luckily, I rarely dealt with them while driving, but I’ve witnessed some of the asshole things people do in their cars.
  • The super dry winters – my skin gets so dry it hurts – as well as the super humid summers – icky sweaty all the time.
  • Lack of excellent coffee – nothing has been as good as the artisan coffee back in Portland.

Tomorrow I get on a plane to Portland with Mina so my internet usage will be limited for awhile.  Wish me luck!

Work is kicking my ass this week.  Seriously.  I have plans for some nice interesting posts…but too bloody exhausted to do them during the week.  But I thought I’d share some images of things that have amused me this week.

 

Someone at Starbucks HQ must be a knitter

Someone at Starbucks HQ must be a knitter

 

Everyone in MA needs a scarf.

Everyone in MA needs a scarf.

 

 

Friends rule.

My oldest friend and me., waiting for our SOs.

 

 

New yarn love.

New yarn love.

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in US!  It’s going to be a pretty quiet day around the ol’ Babbling/Coffee house – there are are pros & cons of living on the other side of the country from family – I don’t have to deal with some of my relatives I don’t particularly like but on the other hand, I miss my family very much.  But, since it is just us and since we have become big ol’ foodies, we get to make what we like.  CB has been obsessed with trying BlueFoot Chicken, after an Iron Chef episode, so instead of a turkey, he ordered that (they are from France, though he found a place in Canada that sells them – and yes, they really do have blue feet).  Paid a pretty penny for that – the shipping was even more than the bird itself.  So he’s in charge of that and is also making this  liquid pumpkin pie he made last year (which I like to call Pumpkin Juice, because I’m a nerd like that).  I’m making homemade stuffing (my first!), these awesome sounding mashed potatoes, and an interesting sounding pumpkin pie (cinnamon crust with maple mixed in the pumpkin.)  So I guess you can say it’s our take on the typical dinner.  Yum yum!

And man do I need this day off – work has been INSANE this week. Even though I worked from home yesterday, I still was nonstop all day, although being in my pjs all day was definitely a bonus.  I keep meaning to blog but I’ve been on the go & in the evenings, I’m still answering emails (joys of a Blackberry).  But I do have an FO to write about

 

Moms tye-dyed socks

Mom's tye-dyed socks

Started: November 8

Completed November 22

Yarn: Blue Moon Socks That Rock – mill end from Black Sheep Gathering

Pattern:  Used the Thuja stitch pattern

Needles: Size 1US Harmony dpns

Notes:  As I mentioned before, my mom gave me her STR stash with a request of more handmade socks.  I finally got around to doing it!  As with every other STR socks I’ve made or started, these pooled.  A Lot.  Sometimes I don’t mind pooling (I like how the foot part looks, actually) but I hate when there is big blotches of colour, like on the cuff.  Ah well.  Believe it or not, they actually match, which is nice!  I finished these pretty quickly (less than 2 weeks) – I guess my mom’s smaller foot size had something to do with it, but really, it’s only an inch or so less on the foot.  I pair of gift socks down, 3 to go!

I’ve actually started the next pair but I don’t think I’ll write about them – the person I’m making them for has been to the blog (or at least my flickr page).  But I’m nearly done.  The rest of the holiday projects aren’t really something I can photograph easily – the grandma blanket, which doesn’t look that different, a toy I’m creating from scratch for my youngest niece, and more hats for the nephews.  Hopefully I’ll complete one of them soon, I’m getting a wee bit nervous about the time!

So all of you who celebrate it, good eats this Thanksgiving!

For the most part, I feel like I’m a solitary crafter. I generally knit or do crafts by myself for various reasons – I don’t mind & most of the time like being alone with my thoughts, I can concentrate on what I’m doing, I don’t have to worry about anyone else being bored.  I do like going to Stitch N’ Bitches once in awhile – one day I need to make it back to the Lowell one with Amanda & Marianne – but for the most part I just knit or whatever on my own.

Well this week I branched out a bit.  

As Tuesday was a holiday and the trains into town were on a holiday schedule, I decided to just take the day off of work.  By lucky coincidence, my commuter buddy Britt had also taken the day off and was planning on making her first pilgrimage to WEBS with some friends.  I was invited along…and how could I resist?  I mean it’s WEBS!  

Of course, I did not take any pictures of the roadtrip.  It was a perfect day for a roadtrip too – chilly but clear for the most part.  I worked on my mom’s Christmas socks on the way over with Britt working on her socks & had a lovely time.  WEBS was fairly hopping, my guess because of the holiday. I kept my head for the most part with my purchases because I was concentrating on holiday gift knitting.  I did do the same thing I did last time – carry tons of yarn around before deciding against it & putting it back (in the correct place, thank you very much, I used to work in retail)  I love WEBS.  It’s ruined me for other yarn stores, at least for large purchases.

What I bought:

 

yarn yarn yarn

yarn yarn yarn

Most of these are for gift knitting – hats for my nephews, a scarf for…someone.  Sox for my sister.  But I had to get one thing for myself

 

Mmmmmm...stripey green alpaca socks....

Mmmmmm...stripey green alpaca socks....

I actually was looking for the new Malabrigo sock yarn, but sadly, I could not find it.  After looking at all kinds of sock yarn, I grabbed this at the last minute (literally, I was in line to pay and this was near me).  I love it and after all my gift knitting is done, it will be a nice pair of warm socks for myself.  Or maybe it’ll be a gift, but really, the colours are ME.

My other example of non solitary crafting this week was yesterday.  My best friend of 15 years is a papercraft addict – much like I’m a knitting fiend.  Every few months she hosts a gathering of scrappers (I think that is the correct term) and has invited me each time.  Well, papercraft isn’t really my thing but yesterday I took her up on it.  Glad I did, because it was really fun.  We each made 3 holiday cards.

 

my attempts

my attempts

I’m pretty pleased with mine – I still don’t think papercrafting is for me necessarily but it was really interesting.   I can see the appeal of it more now but for me to make these on a regular basis would involve buying a lot of items that would seriously cut into my yarn budget. 🙂  But now I have nice unique Christmas cards to send out this year.  

I think the BFF and I are going to have a craft night with some other crafty friends at some point where we teach each other our craft and make some things – she has an idea that we each bring a project from our prefer ed craft to show the others how to do and we each take a project home.  I’m trying to think of one I can do – I have a ton of size 7 & 8 dpns but I only use my Harmonies now.  Maybe I’ll put some caps on each of the old dpns and get some worsted weight yarn for each person and show how make…an ornament?   I want something small that can be finished in an evening.  That’ll take some thinking on.

So while I’m still pretty much a solitary crafter, I’m at least branching out a bit 🙂

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