Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Musings

Ronn the practice child and I went to visit one of the state Universities on Friday. We had to leave early because I'm a nervous driver and was worried about getting there on time.

I hate driving city but love driving on the highway.  I hear people complaining about the flat prairie farm fields but I enjoy it. I remember as a kid hating it. It was so boring but you know, I managed and I managed alone.

We got there and arrived in time for the music department presentation. We also saw two other students from their music school. We did not get to spend much time together because my son was going on a different course. Music Technology.


He interviewed with several instructors and came out of there a little shaken. He was looking forward to trying out for the drum line of the marching band. And doing symphony. The teachers told him that he would not be able to do as much outside activities as he would like and that it's a tough program. I was so pleased. It was a wake up call that showed him where his heart is and that is in performance.

Not that I want him to become a performer full time. No. I want him to be able to realistically look at life and work and what a dream means. My husband has played music his entire life. Is he paid? No, not really. But he has consistently done music for 40 plus years. That's pretty amazing. It's not that you can't do music. It's just that you may have to rethink what it will look like long term.

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Weight Watchers is going pretty well. I have more energy than I have had in a long time and that is reflected in my home. I purged a lot of clothing that I haven't worn in many years and will be donating them. I asked the kids to do the same. I haven't even talked to my husband about it. Not really. He has trouble getting rid of things period. It can wait, I suppose.

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In my latest crocheting efforts, I am debating the colors of this scarf.



I worked on it while we were waiting for my son's interview at the university. The ribbon colors are supposed to reflect Autism Awareness. I didn't realize that they were rainbow colors when I bought the yarn. Still I think I'm just going to go for it. They look nice and bright against the black. Just what I was looking for.

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Still no luck on our vehicle. I am hemming and hawing about the size of the vehicle. The kids are older and I'm not sure that we need a minivan anymore. We're looking at a mid size SUV with great gas mileage. It's small though and the one we're looking at is what I would call "stripped." However it's in our price range and it's a year old with low mileage. We'll see.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Like everyone else

I am a nervous drive and I'm worried about driving to Champaign/Urbana. I was there over the summer when everyone was out of school. Tomorrow school is in session and there will be a million people and cars and I am not familiar. Dread does not come close.

Ronn is pulling the same thing as he did last semester. He's not turning in homework and we just started a new semester. In my opinion, he is playing a game called "I'm going away to college, just like everyone else, so then I'll be like everyone else." The stooge of a parent is going along and enabling him-at least for tomorrow.

He has another audition in February. If he is still pulling the same, um, doodoo, then I do not feel obliged to drive him to this audition. I don't. It's playing. It's pretend. It's acting. It's not honest.

Honest would look like this:

I'm overwhelmed.
I'm so overwhelmed I cannot think straight.
I want to go away to school like I see everyone else.
People who stay home and go to junior college are losers.
I don't want my peers to know that I'm not even in the top 10% of my class when freshman year, I was top 5.
I want to go to college and play.
I am terrified of the thought of trying to get a job after college. What am I going to do?

Instead, we post clever sayings on Facebook and tell them that everything is ok when it isn't. Just like everyone else.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Retreats and Advance

I joined Weight Watchers three weeks ago today and I'm down 7 pounds. That's great except that...no. No. I won't talk about how much weight I have to lose. No. I lost 7 pounds and good for me.

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We are actively looking for colleges for our oldest aspie. And yes, it is an issue. He has been having trouble staying disciplined and we are not sure that he will be able to handle being away from home. Now that his grades have gone down, he will not be getting as much money. And we're not signing loans. Both his father and I agree.

Two of the three were away this weekend. My oldest went away for a retreat with school. They talk about what is going on in their lives, do skits, have fun and have excellent speakers. Ronn the percussionist was very disappointed that he was not chosen to be an emcee. He has had many disappointments because he had unrealistic expectations. He thought he would do this, then that, then this, then that and it did not work out that way. I feel bad but on the other hand, he has got to learn this now rather than later.

My daughter was supposed to go to the same retreat but didn't want to go. Last Sunday (not yesterday, as I am writing this on Monday), she told me that she didn't want to go to the school retreat but was interested in going to the church retreat. I signed her up and she went. She was not happy. My daughter wanted to stay home and go to the music school. I wanted her to be 16 and take a break. I prayed for her all weekend. The subject of the 3 day retreat? Rest.

It is to laugh.

Youngest was lounging around at home but doggone it if he doesn't do his chores.  He is hooked on Minecraft. I let him play if his friends are on there otherwise forget it. He and I are also catching up on Star Trek: Voyager. He watches two episodes a night and I do not forbid it.

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Our minivan need $2000 plus work on it so we are looking for a new vehicle. The van is 19 years old and every year we are putting at least $1000. Our mechanic told us it was time. I am going to be driving oldest to a college interview on Friday as it looks like we will be renting a car.

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I have written about the dissolution of a friendship. I found out through the grapevine that she is engaged and moving away. I am sad. Sad about her family. Sad about the way things happened. But I am moving on too. Counseling is helping. The past is behind me. I'm finally doing it. I'm looking ahead.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Crochet Chunky Yarn Slouchy Hat

Youtube videos are invaluable to the visual learner. One of my favorite video tutors is named Emi. I seem to be able to follow her instructions with no problems.

I wanted to crochet a slouchy hat using chunky yarn. You'd think that would be no problem finding what I wanted but it was a problem. None of the videos showed what I had in mind. I started and frogged two hats. I looked and looked and finally decided to try to make the pattern my own.

How to Crochet a Slouchy Hat #120 - youtube link here
I modified her pattern by adding 4 rows single crochet before starting on the body of the hat.
I used Lion Brand Charism Yarn and a size M 9mm crochet hook.

It is a straight forward pattern, but I wanted a band around the ears. It's freezing here in Chicago and what I saw would not be practical. I took a leap of faith, did four single crochet rows and then started on the body of the hat as instructed.



I purchased Lion Brand Charisma yarn and I love the variegated colors. I'm going to make another hat with the variegated yarn as the band and the gray yarn as the body of the hat. It did not take long once I got the hang of it.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My first hat

I am not a talented yarn artist like my daughter. She read a pattern when she was in 4th grade and made two hats. I have hard time reading patterns so youtube has been a godsend for me.

I discovered chunky yarn over the summer. I fell in love with the ease and speed of crocheting with this yarn. Recently a lady at our church said that she needs hats for homeless men. I decided I would give it a try.

Crochet a ribbed hat - youtube link here

I am not going to apologize for the mistakes that I see in this picture. I hope someone can use it, that it will keep them warm and whoever wears it will feel loved by God.

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When I sat at my friend's table at our women's Bible Study, my friend said that she needed scarves. I asked her if I could make a pretty scarf for a woman. Something feminine and white. Shouldn't someone who is homeless have something beautiful for herself?

The yarn is old and almost bad. Almost but not quite. It split a lot and it was annoying to work with but I am very happy with the results.


 Forever 21 scarf and ribbed hat

Crochet Forever 21 scarf - youtube tutorial here
The stitch is very easy to follow on the video but I am certain I would be lost if I had to read the actual pattern. I think it's lovely and a simple reminder that even in very hard times, God loves us and wants His girls to feel special.

First of the Year and Definitions

I did not write as much as I would have liked in 2014 and I will remedy that immediately.

New Year's Eve was quiet here. I hated it. Some people loved it but I miss the chaos of spending time with friends and family. I have family who live 45 minutes away and there is no way I'm driving home after midnight New Year's Day.

2014 was a huge change for me and for my family and I won't kid you, it was rough. I lost friends earlier in the year and withdrew. It was okay that I withdrew because I needed to figure out for myself who was with me and who wasn't. It was sad to find out that there were so few with me but that's ok too. At least it's honest and it's real. And I can be real, instead of walking on pins and needles.

I started seeing a counselor who, shocker of shockers, encouraged me. I thought I would be criticized or judged or something unpleasant but it has had just the opposite effect on me. Counseling has showed me truth AND encouraged me and made me stronger. I didn't think it would do that.

Because of all this turmoil, I turned into a flake. I flaked out. Became Flakey McFlakerston. I have a friend whose mother in law passed away. I did not go to the wake or funeral. I wanted to go and debated about going and instead I flaked out.

I guess I would have made more of an effort if she were my friend. She's not my friend. She is slightly more than an acquaintance and I've known her for many years.  I've been to her house a few times over the past 18 or so years. We are certainly friendly, but we are not friends in my definition of the term. I wasn't sure what to do and in the end I made the choice to stay home. I will send a card.

As I sit here typing at 2:15am January 1st, 2015, I guess I could choose to feel sorry for myself, but I'm not going to. It would be lovely to be like one of the people who have loved ones to hang out with  during the holidays and I will work toward this during 2015. I was supposed to work towards it in 2014 and it blew up in my face, more or less.

For me personally, part of the obvious definitions of a friend (loyalty, honesty, humor, listening, kindness, loving person) would be time. You spend time with friends because you want to be with them. It is not possible to always be in each other's lives but you make the time to be with a friend. You carve out that time because it is something you desire, something that you need, something that you both need.

I found that I do indeed have friends like that. Those are the people who I need to be with. They are few. They are far between. And doggone it, some of them live far away, but they are there.

I could choose to throw myself a little pity party but I won't. It's a New Year with new possibilities.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ironic Perspective

The blog title has no meaning to anyone but myself. It makes me laugh because those were the two favorite words that my father used to use when I was a teenager. How they used to irritate me.

Now that I am his age, I get it. Things are ironic and to see them as such, it does indeed take perspective. I turned 52 this year. I have friends that I haven't seen in forever and yet I know that if I saw them, we would be able to pick up right where we left off. How is that? We are apart and yet together.

I haven't blogged in a while and I don't know if anyone reads this. It's fine if they don't. It's probably better, honestly.

Ronn the senior is driving us to drink, almost literally. He is stressed beyond reason. Big changes are upon him and he is not handling it well at all. He has become self absorbed, as in Sheldon Cooper self absorbed. It is hard to talk to any sense to him. He's not receiving it. It reminds me of what is happening over at another asperger mom's blog.

Hermionie has lost her mind too but it's only because she's 16 years old. She is pulling away from me and choosing to be with her friends more and more. I know it is the way of things and I pray that one day I will be able to be close with her in a new way.

She is a true introvert so she stays in her room to recover from being around people. Lately she and Ronn have been doing a lot of concerts at the music school and at the high school. She is spent.

Today she made cookies, which is a little bit of relaxation for her. While she was waiting for the time, she got a little cuddle time with our crazy dog..

Harrey the youngest is doing well. Actually he's doing much better than we all expected. He's pulling A's and B's in school, which is amazing and fantastic--for him. He always struggled with school so this is something new for him and for us.

The year is drawing to a close and Christmas is upon us. I have barely any presents to even put under the tree. They have asked for some very expensive items and we are unwilling to purchase them.

We are facing a new roof, a new(er) car and these are major items. And our above the stove microwave finally bit the dust so we will have to buy one of those too.

In the meantime I have been looking for a job that will coincide with the children's schedules. It is certainly not easy and I don't know what I'm going to do. I have been praying and I know that God will provide something.

I suppose I could talk about my folks and their health issues. I think I will force myself to write about it another day.

So, if anyone is actually reading my words, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!