Thursday, April 29, 2010

a breakthrough

Thank you Dawn and Amanda for being brave and responding to my last post! I had to get it out of my system..and I didn't even get it all out because a lot of it I'm actually embarrassed and ashamed. I have been doing a lot of soul searching and a bit of letter writing the last few days. I forget how cathartic writing a letter can be. I need to remind myself to keep with my mail pile so I'm not keeping things inside. It was in the last letter that I had written to a fellow raveler and teacher that I realized why I really truly became a teacher.
Over the last couple of days I have been thinking about my childhood.  I didn't really have much of one with my sister being born when I was 8 years old and then my brother when I was 11.  I became their primary caregiver afterschool so from the time I was about 9 or 10 all the way until I left for college, I was stuck taking care of the kids; kids who weren't even mine. Both of my parents worked. My mom worked a regular 8-4 job while the pyscho worked varying shifts. I think when my brother and sister were really young he worked the graveyard shift so he'd be home with them during the daytime. Then when we all got older, he switched to swing shift so I'd have to go pick them up from the babysitter's house and then we'd all walk home after I got out of school. Of course I couldn't do any activities because I had to go straight home to take care of the kids.
It has dawned on me that my parents didn't really 'raise' me. I had to grow up quickly since part of the responsibility of taking care of my brother and sister fell into my lap-not by choice but out of obligation. I was polite, had impeccable manners (who knows where they came from), and did really well in school. While my friends would tell me that they got $20 (or something like that) for a good report card, I didn't have any boasting to do. I didn't ever get anything for a good report card and I always had good report cards. I wasn't ever praised either. I also never received any kind of encouragement. So for me, it was like getting straight A's was expected. The psycho would only ever comment when he had something negative to share. In the 5th grade, I won the district-wide spelling bee. Did I even get a congratulations or a we're so proud of you? No.  In fact, I don't think they said anything to me at all about winning. They were more annoyed about having to take me here or there.  The following year when I ended up losing (but made it to the final round), the only thing to come out of that psycho's mouth was, "Why didn't you win?"
When I was a kid, school was my escape. I loved going to school. I loved my teachers and my friends. I loved learning! My teachers were always praising me when credit was due and they knew what a great student I was. I excelled in both reading and math.  Oh, I failed to mention in the paragraph above that my parents never attended an Open House or a parent conference. Work was always more important. It was like they didn't care what was going on in the one place where I actually thrived. Aside from the lack of praise and encouragement, there were also no hugs or kisses or mentions of how loved I was (if I ever was). I just existed. I was there to take care of the kids.
So it dawned on me, (while I was writing the aforementioned letter because I had been talking about my childhood in that letter) that this was the real reason I went into teaching. It wasn't just that working with kids came easy to me. It was because I wanted to be like the teachers I had in school that were encouraging, offered praise, and were there for those students who weren't getting those things at home.  I guess it is also why I strive instill independence and a strong self-esteem in my students. I want them to be able to get past a childhood like the one I had and go on to succeed in life.
On a lighter note, I had a knitting breakthrough too.
I finally made it to the lace portion of for my dame damson. 72 rows of garter stitch nearly killed me. I still despise straight garter stitch with a passion. In fact, my strong dislike for it may have increased after having to endure 72 repetitive rows of it.  Purple haze is coming along nicely. I'm about 2.5 pattern repeats from completion. I have also settled on starting a clothilde once I get around completing dame damson, purple haze, and possibly that cozy cardi as well! At least the yarn is already wound. :) Still working on a mental list of things that make me happy!  Oh and today, I received two early birthday gifts. Macy's sent me a gift certificate and Robyn sent me a package that I can't wait to open!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

it had to be done

Sooooo, I received the callback from the school that was out in the middle of nowhere and after some thinking, I had to tell them that I wasn't interested in the position. Mostly because it is in the middle of nowhere and should an emergency occur (say we actually moved where the school is located) the nearest hospital would be 90 minutes away. I told the woman I spoke with that I couldn't take that chance since my husband had health problems.  She said that the closest hospital (to the school) is in a neighboring town of where I grew up. In my mind I thought..that's your solution?? Then I told her that I did not want to have to make a commute of 2 hours there and 2 hours back home 4 days a week. She appreciated, understood, and respected what I had to say. She said it was a good thing my head wasn't in the clouds and I wasn't just thinking, "We can do this!" I told her in the past few months I have learned that anything can happen at anytime and it has so I did not want to take any chances. We parted with me saying should they ever build a hospital near the school, I'll definitely be giving them a call! It would've been a really cool place to be. Hopefully this just means that there are other future cool places to be that won't be such a stretch for us.
I heard back from one of the tutoring places and they said thanks but no thanks. Whatever. This Friday, I have to attend a four hour long info session for the other tutoring place that finally called me back so we'll see how things go.
The situation here on the homefront is getting worse (how could it possibly get any worse than what it was before you might ask. well, it has). I am to the point where if I see that man lay a hand on my husband (which he has done at least on two occasions in the last couple of weeks)that man better watch out. He had the nerve to come up to me today to say that if we didn't have any money, we shouldn't move out. Easy for him to say when he's not the one whose life has been made into a living hell. The fact that my husband now lives with a life-long illness doesn't seem to matter. When actually, it should take precedence over everything especially when it comes to their interactions with each other. It changes everything but this cold, heartless, soul-less man only sees things in black and white. This is a person who expects people to NEVER forget anything and holds grudges against people because they didn't follow his orders. This is a man who locked my SIL out of a bathroom because she 'forgot' to put the bathroom mats back on the floor. She had to go to the bathroom and could not go because that cold, heartless, soul-less man kept her from using the bathroom. Do you know what his response to this was when I brought it up to him? "I only did that ONCE."  Any reasoning with this man is pointless. He doesn't register a word that is said to him. So I have stopped fighting. I refuse to waste my intelligence on such a pitiful excuse for a human being. I cried tears of disappointment, shame, and disbelief. I apologized to my SIL for the horrible treatment she received from both the males in my immediate family. No one deserves to be treated the way she was. Today, I got a glimpse of what her life must've been like when she had to suffer in this house and I would never want to wish that kind of pain on anyone.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

yesterday was my lucky day!

Wow..who knew that yesterday was going to be so good! It didn't start out too grand but by early evening things were definitely beginning to look up in our sad little life! News on my car? Not so wonderful. Here's what was going on-the brake light and an EPC light were on in my dashboard not to mention the car kept beeping while it was being driven. Our guy couldn't figure out what it was which is why we had to bring it to the dealership and spend an unbelievable amount of money just to do a diagnostic test. It turns out battery acid from my old battery (which we replaced in February of this year) had leaked screwing up the electrical system basically. We took my car back to our guy who is going to take care of it.
While waiting for my car to be ready, I tried to do a bit of blog reading (still behind by the way!) and I learned that Rachel from Bmore Crafty had nominated me for an award. Thank you so much-this was definitely the start to my lucky day! I will be posting my list of things that make me happy soon. Thanks again. :)
The next great thing is we received a call from the apartment complex we looked at last month. My husband already booked us a meeting where we have to provide all of our bank statements, check stubs, etc. for Monday morning. I can't even fathom the idea of having our own space again. He immediately gave the dept. store he used to work at a call to see if they needed anybody (because he wants to ensure we get out of here pronto) and he was told to call back over the weekend.
Next wonderful thing is after having waited what seemed like forever to be put back on the Sock Yarnista Club/Stash Menagerie Club over at Three Irish Girls, I received an email telling me my wait was over. :)
I am so very grateful for all of these wonderful things that happened yesterday!

Friday, April 23, 2010

friday morning

When did I last post?? Sorry for that. It's been a tiring week. My poor car isn't acting like herself. She was at the shop Monday-yesterday and our guy couldn't figure out what the heck was wrong with her. SO, I had to cave and bring her into the dealership this morning (just for a diagnostic test though). We'll see what the verdict is.
Wednesday was my interview. Did I mention beforehand that it was two hours away from here?? The school is off of Highway 1. It's a very small school. I was interviewed by a panel made up of adults and two older students. It was all right. I've sort of gotten used to the interview process. We liked the school but I am very weary of its location. Everything around there runs only on generators. There's no cell phone service (we got lost and couldn't EVEN call to find out where exactly the school was). It's in the middle of nowhere. I didn't like that should an emergency occur, the closest hospital or whatever is at least an hour away. With my husband being sick, I can't have that.
I received a couple of callbacks (finally!) regarding some tutoring positions I applied to recently. Next week I have to endure a 4 hour info session for one of them. I'm just glad things are finally beginning to pan out a bit.
I finally took some pics of what I've been working on. I've even cast on for something new as it had dawned on me last weekend that my ex-teaching partner's bday is next Monday! She is a fellow knitter and last year I knitted up the butternut scarf for her. This year I went with damson.
Though I'm not so sure I'll have enough yarn. I'm still working on the garter stitch part and I just may shorten that to make sure I have enough yarn. We'll see.
Here's my long awaited cozy cardi. She's currently on hold until I figure out what I want to do. The ribbing for the front placket wasn't knitting up as desired so I ripped back.
Here's a glimpse of purple haze. Though I am not at liberty to show you what she is becoming.
Though I can say. Wow! I need to purchase a skein of this yarn for myself. It is from Tess' Designer Yarn. Melinda is an absolute peach..and talk about a genius with color!
And here's my citron.
My sister is coming into town this weekend so I'll get to take a better posed shot of it while she's here. :) And maybe I'll finish up she can pose with that. HA.
I may be casting on for another new project in the next day or so too. The 'itch' has returned it seems. :) When I was selecting yarn for my ex-teaching partner's shawl, I had narrowed it down to two different colorways. I kind of want to cast on for something with the one that didn't get chosen. We'll see. I also want to cast on for the olatz shawl. I guess it's going to be another year of shawls..

Sunday, April 18, 2010

down by the wayside

That's what seems to have happened to my blogging. It's fallen down by the wayside. It isn't as if there is a lack of things going on around here. (ha!). I just haven't felt the urge to spend an hour waiting for pictures to upload etc. while I'm blogging! While I have been away in no particular order, I received my spring kit from Dye Dreams;

I finished citron;
I cast on, ripped, frogged, and re-cast on for a cozy bolero cardi; (She's a bit camera shy because she keeps morphing into something new on a daily basis!
I picked up Committed at the library (after having just finished Eat, Pray, Love last week!)  and have been heavily engrossed in that;
The monkey peed her pants on my watch (and had to hand wash said pants and undies!)
but she also did #2 in the potty for the first time during that same watch! Here she is playing with the suds. She was having a ball playing with the suds.
I have also been asked to do an interview next week and I was contacted for another position as well!
So in a nutshell that's what's been going on over here. If you don't hear from me for a while it's cos I'm buried underneath all the library books I checked out this past week! I'm about 50 pages away from completing Committed (which by the way is very interesting..Elizabeth Gilbert is sort of a pseudo-sociologist in this one exploring Marriage in Western Culture. It has been quite eye-opening! I started My Life in France before I got so engrossed in Committed and I  to finish that soon. Plus I've got about 5 more great books right by my bed.
Once I'm done with my cozy cardi, I think I'll be on a brief knitting sabbatical (because of all those books!!). Though I do have a secret project that I'll be casting on for probably in a week or so..depending on my mood.
There's been a bit of gardening too. Hopefully something will sprout up in the next couple of weeks. :)
Enjoy the beautiful spring days ahead of you!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

brief moment of happiness (til reality sucked me back in)

Well, for the first time(possibly ever) I went to bed feeling happy. I had just read a bit of Eat, Pray, Love. I am trucking along on finally completing it (since this is the last time I can renew it!). I got distracted the last oh forty days trying to finish up those ufo's and now I can refocus on reading. Last night, Elizabeth spoke to me about gratitude and prayers. Both of which I have been thinking a lot about for the past forty days too. I've been journaling for the past forty plus days about gratitude and prayers. In fact, it was this very book and The Help that got me to start journaling about both. Basically, Elizabeth said that everyday you should be grateful for something (which I am. more than a few somethings in fact). In regard to prayer, she said if you're going to be sending up prayers, they ought to be specific and that the person we're praying to, doesn't do it all on his or her own. We need to help out a bit as well.
A few hours after the start to my deep sleep, I was awoken by my brother. The paramedics were at our door. My dad had fallen in the bathroom. He came to but fell again when he got out of the bathroom. Apparently my mom was yelling for me to call 911. I didn't hear a sound but my brother did so he called and they came within minutes. My dad was admitted and they're going to keep him another night for observation (according to what he told my sister). We're going to go visit him in a little while. So far all the tests have come back clean (MRI and CAT scan) so we're not sure what might've caused the fall. Luckily he didn't get hurt or suffer a concussion.
When my brother came to our bedroom door, I thought the ambulance was there for my hubby and that I had just slept through whatever was wrong with him. He had caught whatever sickness my mom had been harboring for the last week or so. It hit him hard last night.  I was worried because his immune system has already been compromised and I wasn't sure how it would combat this new attack. I didn't know if he'd be able to sleep through the night. He said he didn't. He was awake when everything was going down but he didn't hear any of what was going on outside our door.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a great Easter (those of you that celebrate it!). I received this darling Easter card and this cute bunny from one of my rav pen pals in Australia!
There was some Easter egg dying with the monkey yesterday too.
And today, both she and her mom came over for an indoor/outdoor egg hunt! Though I didn't get any pictures because it was such a drab day.
I have been quietly working away on citron. It seems as though having given up starting new projects for Lent has turned me into a one-track-minded knitter which basically means that I can only work on one project at a time. I keep having an inkling of wanting to cast on for my cozy bolero since I now have the correct needles but I want to finish citron. Wonder how long this will last.
In non-knitting news, a few days ago, I decided that I wanted to make a lil pillow for the monkey. We had this fabric leftover from some draperies my husband had done for a custom order.
So I hand-sewed it into this.
It's been stuffed and sealed shut but it has yet to have a pillow cover made-that's the hubby's job. lol. The monkey and I studied my sewing machine when she was here on Thursday and she couldn't wait for her lil pillow to be complete. Hopefully in the next few days. While we were out selecting fabric and trim for her pillow, I inquired about the sewing classes that are held at our local Beverly Fabrics and they're pretty cheap. I'm going to have to hint to someone to get me a set of classes for my birthday. ;)