My life had been full of changes lately. Huge changes. Right now I kind of feel like I’m stuck in limbo, just waiting to see how things are going to play out. It kind of sucks.

Work has left me very little time for creative outputs, something that usually helps a lot with the frustrated feelings. But I did get to work on my quilt for a bit the other day, and I had been knitting a lot (till I royally screwed up on my Vivian sweater and put it in indefinite timeout).


Just for giggles…my crazy kitty, that I really don’t know what I’d do without.


First time trying to put pics in a post from my phone, so apologies if it doesn’t turn out right!

Toxic People

Some people just can’t feel good about themselves without putting someone else down. I am genuinely sorry that their world is so small and that they are so insecure in it that they find it impossible to be positive or kind to others. I hope that you felt at least a bit more secure for putting me down today, that you found it just a bit more tolerable to live in your fragile little world. I wouldn’t trade places with you for love or money. I live in the sunshine, and you’re not big enough to cloud my sky.

Oh, and next time, I’m not going to just bite my tongue and shrug. FYI.

Places to Go

My list of places I can reasonably hope to go is rather short this summer. I’ve got something coming up I need to save some PTO for, and gas prices haven’t come down much anyway. There are a few places in daytrip distance I’d like to go, but I can never seem to remember them when we have a “What’re we gonna do today?” moment. So…I’m making a list. Including prices for admission and approximate distance from Roanoke because that figures into the choices as well.

Natural Bridge (and caverns)- both, $29 a person, bridge only $21 – 40 miles, less than an hour drive
Monticello – The suggested Presidential Itinerary sounds really interesting, but also out of budget. Monticello day pass and tour is $24 per person. 2.5 hours.
Virginia State Capitol Building – free so far as I can tell from the website – 190 miles, 3.5 hour drive
Edgar Allen Poe Museum – not sure how exciting this would be, but I love Poe. $6 a person, ~3 hour drive.
Haunts of Richmond Ghost Tours – Yes, please, in spite of the cheesy freak picture on the main page. I love stories of ghosts and hauntings. They also do haunted pub crawls, and one of their tours departs from the Edgar Allen Poe Museum. $15 a person, ~3 hour drive.
Library of Virginia – enough said, yes? Huge library, lots of historical documents and collections. Free. ~3 hour drive.
Historic Jamestown – obviously. $14 a person but good for 7 days and includes the Yorktown battlefield. 4+ hour drive, Yorktown an additional 40 minutes.
Science Museum of Western VA – honestly, I just want to see the butterflies. $4 a person after July 1, and it’s right here in Roanoke.
Smith Mountain Lake State Park – everyone keeps talking about it, but I’m iffy because the lake is man-made. However, apparently there is quite a little network of hiking trails that no one mentioned, so a day scouting the lake and boat (jetski!!) rental prospects wouldn’t be entirely wasted. $2-3 parking fee. ~1 hour or less.
Assateague Island National Seashore – because I was enthralled with the Misty books as a kid, and it looks beautiful. I think this would have to be an overnight trip though or we would just be miserable. Price depends on if you decide to rent a kayak, see the lighthouse, etc. $5-75 a person, 380 miles ~6.5 hours.
Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center – pushing the limits of a daytrip with this one, too. But I’m sure we could find something else to do in Virginia Beach if we decided to stay all night. $22-28 per person depending on if you choose the Imax option. Boat trips in conjunction more. 4 hours 45 minutes.

There. Now I have a long list of possibilities. Looks like the list leans heavily on the Richmond side though…hmm…

In Limbo

Waiting…waiting……waiting…and still waiting.

I’m really not good at waiting. It makes me feel bored, listless, and sad. I need to be doing something. I’ve been working…knitting…sewing…but not nearly enough hiking. Ok, no hiking at all. Somehow every time I had a day off to go, it rained. We’ve had a lot of rain this year, which is good, but very irritating if you’re trying to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Unless you like feeling like a limp dishrag, I guess.

Oh, I did discover Sherlock. Promptly got obsessed and watched both season in 24 hours. And now we have to WAIT? Until possibly 2014?? Grrrrr. I think this is the first time I’ve ever been addicted to a TV show that wasn’t reality based (i.e., something like the Ghost Hunters that I’m also currently devouring as soon as I can get my hands on the various seasons). I tried Downton Abbey and while it’s ok, it just didn’t grab me the way Sherlock did. I think I watched about half of season 1.

I finished a sweater. Take a good look at that and tell me again how knitting is for grandmas?

Off to work again…bored bored bored. And it looks like it’s going to rain again.

Figuring It Out

Still working on that after the last few stressful months. Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll make some headway. I’ve been looking at my list of goals for this year, posted back in January, and feeling kind of bummed. I don’t foresee many of those happening now. Maybe I just wasn’t realistic. But, if everything goes as I’m hoping it will it really won’t matter. Anyway, I will stop attempting to be cryptic and bore you with pictures of a now very grown up looking Alfred. Until I have something better to say.

Please ignore the laundry.

Alfred does yoga.

I love that he has whiskers that are part black and part white.

“What do you mean, ‘your’ pillow?”






Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

A New Venture!

Well, through all the mad-insane-crazy (yes, I needed ALL the adjectives, precious) creating I’ve been doing lately, I’ve come up with a new venture. In my frantic quest for kitten-proof bags for my knitting and spinning projects, I discovered that probably the best way to get exactly what I wanted was…to make my own! I’ve become a little bit obsessed, which made me start thinking, which made me start researching, which gave me a whole slew of ideas…

Why yes, the print on this bag is sideways. Hence prototype (i.e., I didn’t have enough fabric if I turned it the other way…).

I’ve re-opened my Etsy store, under a new name – Bent Needle Designs. The pics are my samples/prototypes of bags that either are or will eventually be in the shop. I love modern fabric prints and high quality materials – two things I rarely find combined in project bags (though there are a couple lovely makers out there that I love). I have a lot to learn about having a business, but right now I’m having a lot of fun. ;)

Eventually I hope to offer things other than just project bags, but for now I have a million ideas floating around in my head for new bags and new designs, and there are so many lovely new fabric lines coming out right now! To celebrate both spring and the grand opening of the store, there is free domestic shipping (discounted international) for the month of April. I hope you’ll pop over and have a look, and use code BLOGLOVE for an extra 10% off. :)

When There Was Knitting

And not much else. Not much else that bears writing about, anyway. Job situation for me and the other half is not good right now, so I’ve been knitting like the wind to save my sanity. It’s working…mostly. Also been doing some spinning, since I got a gift of a spinning class at my LYS for my birthday. After years of spinning on a spindle, I get to play with a wheel and I’m in love. Now I just need to figure out how to fund one of these (just think of all the beautiful ways you could finish that!). Oops…back to the job thing again. So lets talk about the knitting…

Finished a pair of socks for the February SKA challenge on Ravelry:

Pattern is “Lord, What Fools,” by Claire Ellen. I am in love with her designs and want to knit them all.

This top was also finished, though after blocking it took a turn for the worse and is now in time-out until I actually want to wear it, at which time some mods and steam blocking will be required. I’ve decided that I don’t get along with cotton blend yarns. Meh. Oh, the pattern is “Gemini.”

This is yarn I spun 4 years ago (first attempt at chain-plying, so it was a bit uneven) that has sat sadly in my stash waiting for the right project to come along to make its 100 yards of squishiness shine. I finally found it.

Chickadee Cowl,” by Kristen Kapur.

And then these projects are all in progress (links on my Rav page and will be blogged properly when finished).

Those last socks were nearly destroyed a few days ago, when Alfred dug them out of my knitting bag (which was ON my craft table, UNDER some magazines) and had a heyday with it. Chewed through the yarn in two places and utterly, completely destroyed the needles – which were, of course, the only ones I can knit socks on due to my super-loose gauge. He doesn’t realize how close he came to being made into socks himself. Grrrr. Thankfully the sock itself was untouched.

So yes. Knitting, and not much else.


Just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try.


Eliminating Money

image courtesy The Candor

There have been a lot of financial stresses in my life lately, and today while standing in the kitchen wondering what on earth would sit well on my flu-rampaged stomach the thought came to me (not for the first time), of how nice it would be to just eliminate money all together.

Fair warning: I am still somewhat in the grip of aforementioned flu and will not be held responsible for my vocabulary or the lack of it in this post. I had to try four times before I could properly spell “eliminating” in the title.

You would either have to be a complete and total bum, or someone incredibly motivated, strong, and intelligent. I’m just imagining how completely lovely it would be to 1) have everything I paid for (i.e., not owe rent OR a mortgage every month), 2) skilled enough to provide most of my own food, 3) know enough otherwise skilled people to trade for other necessities, and 4) not be dependant on big companies for things like electricity and internet (electricity = solar, internet = ??).I can’t imagine how much WORK that would all be. I can only begin to imagine it, and even just that brings me back down to earth with a hard bump, because I was just looking in my kitchen cabinets complaining to myself about how long it would take to make some rice as opposed to ordering a pizza. I haven’t always been like that. When I was growing up it was enforced, not by my choice, but I can see now that eating at least from pantry stores if not straight from our own garden saved us a good deal of money and was healthier for us as well.

I think what I really want (not most want, but it’s high up on the list) is to be as self-sufficient as I can possibly be. I hate depending on anyone else and I especially hate being essentially held captive to high bills on freaking everything because, well, that’s our standard of living and there’s only one company that provides that service to this particular area. Grrrr.

I realize this is a pipe dream that is mostly born of frustration. I wouldn’t really want to cut myself completely off from the world (I’d go insane worrying about what the hell was going on). It would all have to come back down to that ever-elusive state of being – balance. Harmony, beauty, balance. Also when it comes right down to it, I don’t want to spend all of my time being a farmer, even though yes, I love being on the land, listening to the plants and the trees. My first love is helping people, and I want to continue to pursue that through medical avenues. But that in itself would work well in a sustainable-style life.

The problem being how much goddamn money it takes to get there in the first place. It feel like a brutal merry-go-round that I can’t even try to win for already losing.