October 24, 2009

Me and My 'Cowboy'

I certainly can't speak for everyone else's marriage, but I can see how this song can ring a bit true for so many of us.

There is so much to be said for dating, courtship, and being a newlywed. It's like a BIG DEAL. There's also a lot to be said for growing old with someone. That's like the ultimate for a lot of people. But, the journey to get there isn't always (Read: USUALLY or EVER) easy. But, for most people, the space between the beginning and the end is HUGE and not always the part we want to talk about.

While I can certainly identify with this song,I can't say it totally rings true for me. I can't say my husband is out 'having a beer' when he's not home with me. He's working. He's doing his job the best he can so that I can stay home with the kids. That was something that was important to both of us going into this whole 'arrangement.' Granted, if I had to go back to work tomorrow to make our lives better I totally would. I believe in doing what is best for one's self and their families when it comes to working outside the home. But even agreeing on that puts us in the place where our jobs are not 'equal' and never will be. They are both measured in completely different ways and it's so easy for each of us to feel as though we're getting the short end of the stick at one time or another. Plus, he's a man and I'm a woman. We are wired in completely different ways and to hold out hope that we'll ever completely understand one another is just setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Okay, back to my point. What I'm saying is that the big 'middle' section of a marriage isn't all that talked about. They don't usually tell you how easy it is to settle into a rut and how sucky things can get sometimes. And that's okay. I mean, it's not okay to want to stay that way forever, but it doesn't make your marriage BAD if you have your fair share of bad days as a couple.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong here, but I think it's actually okay to have days where your partner comes home and you're thinking, "OH. It's you. AGAIN." Perhaps the divorce rate is so much higher than it needs to be because people give up too easily. But, life happens and (often) so do kids and inlaws and jobs and money worries and the clock just keeps on ticking an you can feel like all you do is run and try and sometimes you really don't know if you're ever really getting anywhere at all.

But it will almost always get better...if you let it!

I am probably more guilty than many people of staying in my own 'corner' of the relationship, not willing to really give anything but angry if I think that he's not giving me anything either. If you ask my husband, he'd tell you that keeping to myself is what I'm probably best at. He knows to not try to play 'silent treatment' with me. I'll win. Partly because I do truly believe that, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Sadly, it can take so much longer than it should to say something nice if I don't put a little effort into it. The other part of my reasoning stems from my own stupid stubbornness. It's a wonder there is any brain in my head at all with how thick my skull can be!

But, more than anything, it helps to just trust myself. I did, after all, choose to marry this man. I wasn't held at gunpoint or anything like that. Neither was he. I was of sound mind and good judgement. And I need to trust that on the bad days. And it's okay to have bad days. I find it really helps to vent to a friend I can trust, then do something nice for him. Things seem to fall into place when you get the ball rolling in the right direction. At the end of the day, I married a good man who works hard for his family and really does love us. And we will, one day, be that old couple that sits on the front porch yelling at each other...not because we're angry, but because we can't hear as well anymore.

To be honest, things are really good with us right now. I am in no way venting. I was just playing an old cd in my car while driving alone today and just started to think about my 'single days.' There were some fun times, but everything I did back then was just to pass the time to get me where I am right now. I'm a lucky girl, even if I'm not ALWAYS willing to admit it!

Ultimately, I think we're responsible for our own happiness. I honestly think that the secret to happiness is to know and accept that we're not supposed to be happy every single moment of our lives. Besides, how boring would that be, huh? As much as I would love for David to be able to read between the lines (In other words, READ MY MIND) and grant me my every wish before I can even voice it, it's just not possible. And that's okay. Truth be told, I'd probably get bored with that too and take it for granted. And I'd still complain that he turns the television channel to something boring and falls asleep right away with the remote control tightly in his grip. Actually, I'll probably always complain about that. But, instead of just complaining, I learned to knit. Unless it's something I specifically want to watch, I've learned that I could care less about what's going on in the glowing box and find something better to do with my time. We're both happier that way.

Besides, I'd rather save the arguments for the more important things, like where he chooses to squeeze the toothpaste tube and how he doesn't change the toilet paper roll when he replaces it, but just sets the new roll on the counter. You know, the big stuff!

October 22, 2009

Sadistic Trainers, Long Tongues, and Apple Cider Vinegar

From my calculations, Aly's tongue seems to be about an inch and half too long!
I don't know what's come over me, but I've been sitting less and exercising more. Now, I'm not ready to give up my candy corn crack just yet...that would be CRAZY TALK...but I'm trying to eat a bit better and trying to exercise every day. So far, so good. Too bad it's only Day 3 and my track record for being consistent at anything sucks! The Sprint 8 program on my elliptical totally rocks though! And the Wii Active...that sadistic virtual trainer is trying to kill me! I started their little 30-Day Challenge thingy, so I wonder if I can stick to it. I was so sore today that it winced and moaned a little just to sit down and stand up. (Pitiful, I know!) I hopped on the elliptical and BAM...I felt BETTER! The soreness was almost gone after that, so much so that I decided to take on the sadistic virtual trainer after all, even though I had originally given myself the day off.
I've recently heard of some health benefits from apple cider vinegar. I'm curious as to what people know about it, so comments would be much appreciated. I figure it can't hurt to try, though there are a ton of things that it is said to be good for.
I think our new kitty has 'mommy issues.' He only wants to be held by me. ALL THE TIME. He's currently perched on my shoulder, shifting his position as necessary so I don't put him down. We were gone last weekend and my mom stopped by the house to check on the critters. She was amused by how 'needy' the cat is in always wanting to be carried and suggested that we make some sort of sling or infant-carrier like thing to put him in. I tell ya...holding that cat could easily be a full-time job! When I'm not holding him, he's watching me, just waiting for me to sit still for just a moment. If the kids try to take him elsewhere, he's like a little boomerang and just runs right back to me.
Since he was in the shelter for so long, I can only imagine what happened to him there. Or even before that. Was he taken from his own mother too soon? He's very needy for a cat that's a good seven months old!
Anyhow, I have to get dressed and ponder snipping the tip of my dog's tongue off. (I'm not gonna do it, but she walks around like this ALL DAY LONG now and it's fun to joke about.) Is an extra long tongue some sort of genetic thing, or do I just have the Gene Simmons of boxers?
Don't forget to check out my FREE PATTERN! I'm working on a smaller one right now made with worsted weight yarn and 16-inch size 7 Knit Picks circulars. It's the same exact pattern and turning out like a baby hat. YAY! I'll post pictures when it's done.
Have a great Thursday!

October 20, 2009

Ten Random Thoughts for Today

1. First ride on the BART. Grab a seat anywhere you can...this train waits for NO ONE.

2. 3YO was pretty excited about riding the BART, too. If I had taken the picture at a different angle, you'd see just about everyone there on their IPHONES! I think it might be an actual requirement to own a iPhone if you live in the Bay Area. I'm just sayin...

3. Despite what David originally thought, this was not a bounce house but a KITE. A kite that's bigger than a car!

4. See them fly? It was really cool. This was at the Berkeley Marina.

5. This is my friend Meri. Five months ago, Meri decided to train for a marathon. So she did. I guess you could probably call her 'Marathon Meri,' but I'll just stick to the name that I've decided to call her...which is 'CRAZY.' Seriously...26.2 miles. I won't even run down to the corner of my block right now without my inhaler and a ride back!
6. Meri is my hero...AND the craziest person I know! She's super pumped now and is already looking for another race to train for.
7. Now, where did I leave my candy corn?
8. I think that candy corn just might contain crack cocaine, because it's pretty much all I can think about these days! It's not the bad kind of crack or anything...just the kind you find in Girl Scout Cookies and Facebook Apps.
9. Speaking of which, I need to take care of my farm, park my cars and get a better Farkle score. Don't judge me.
10. Remember my pattern? The one I posted last week? Yeah, well...it was PUBLISHED on an actual pattern site! WOO HOO! I want to make more patterns for people of my easily distracted nature. Speaking of being easily distracted...I just found a workout on my elliptical that I can actually DO! I hadn't tried it because I was intimidated by the concept, but it's really cool! It's called 'Sprint 8' and has eight 30-second intervals of really intense stuff broken up by a minute and a half of sort of taking it easy. I can totally do that! Trying to keep a good pace for 30 minutes or more makes me want to bang my head against the wall! I feel like I'm being held captive in my own living room.
And on that note, I bid you farewell!

October 15, 2009

FREE PATTERN: Easy Ribbed Cable Hat

Easy Ribbed Cable Hat

Skills Needed:
Long-tail cast-on (CO)
Knit Stitch (K)
Purl Stitch (P)
Knitting in the Round on Circular Needles
Knit Two Together (K2TOG)
Purl Two Together (P2TOG)
Knitting Cables
Knitting in the Round on Double-Pointed Needles

Materials Needed:
1 skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky or any other bulky weight yarn
1 set of 16” circular needles in size 10 ½
1 set of 5 double-pointed needles in size 10 ½
Stitch Markers
Cable Needle
Yarn Needle

This hat is knitted in 3.5 stitches per inch guage and measures about 20.5 inches around to fit an average-sized woman, so adjust your measurements accordingly. Using your circular needles and a long-tail cast-on, CO 72 stitches and join to knit in the round.
*K1, P1 * Repeat to end of first round and PM.
Continue in K1, P1 ribbing until your piece measures four inches long.
Round 1: P2, K6 (for cable), P2, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, PM
Repeat this pattern three more times, placing a second marker at the beginning of your second round, so you know where the next round begins.
Round 2: Same as Round 1.
Round 3: P2, SL 3 sts onto the cable needle and place it behind your work. K the next 3 sts, then K the 3 sts from the cable needle back onto your circular needle. P2, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, SM. Repeat this pattern three more times to complete Round 3.
Repeat Round 1 for 5 rounds, repeating round 3 on the next round.
Continue this pattern until your hat measures 8”.
To begin decreasing, P2, K2, K2TOG, K2, P2, K2TOG, P1, K2TOG, P1, K2TOG, SM.
Continue the pattern 3 more times for the rest of this round.
Onto a DPN, P2, K5, P2, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1.
Continue in the pattern to the end of round so you have 14 sts each on 4 DPNs.
Next Round: P2TOG, K2TOG, K1, K2TOG, P2TOG, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1. Repeat this pattern 3 more times until you have 10 sts on each needle.
P1, K3, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, repeating this pattern for the rest of the round.
K2TOG for the entire round, leaving a total of 5 sts on each of the 4 DPNs.
K2TOG for another round, slipping the last st on Needles 1 and 3 to the next needle and leaving a total of ten stitches. Cut the yarn, leaving 6-8 inches of yarn and thread it through a yarn needle. Slip the sts off the DPNs and onto the yarn needle, running the yarn needle through the last ten sts and pulling it tight. Weave in all the ends and fold up the brim.

Now, wasn’t that easy?

October 14, 2009

Now Available in HDTV

Awhile back, we acquired an HDTV. It’s a few years old, but much newer than the one we'd had before. Since my husband was designed with that 'Y chromosome,' he was sort of excited about the HD part of it. The picture itself was a huge improvement, so we were not in a hurry to actually switch our cable service to the HD package. That is, until yesterday.

We swapped our box out for an HD box. And David is in love.

I guess it’s a better picture, but how much better can you get? Honestly, I didn’t really have a problem with the picture before HD. David spent several minutes switching the television back and forth from the regular picture to the HD one, trying to show me how much better the picture really was on Phinneas and Ferb in HD. I just didn’t see a big difference. Then again, how do you make animation more clear? It’s not as if the picture is going to get so much better that you’ll be able to see their mother’s laugh lines or their dad’s acne scars. It’s a freaking cartoon!

This brings up another point: How much more do we really want to see? I don’t know about you, but I sort of prefer the fantasy aspect of television. I don’t want to see Kelly Ripa’s smile lines or the acne outbreaks of Cameron Diaz. I’m pretty sure they don’t appreciate it either, for that matter.

It seems odd to me that special effects can come so far only to be canceled out by the technology that allows you to see right through them. I miss the fantasy of it all. Now, I’m not saying I want to go back to the truly lame days of the original ‘Land of the Lost’ or anything like that. Now, that was just sad. But I really do long for the fantasy, you know? I’m afraid we could lose the airbrushed, dreamy glow of the old picture. Now, I don’t know about you, but I watch television to be entertained. If I want something real, I turn it off and look around.

What do you think of how far technology has come? Think it will go too far? Think it already has?

October 12, 2009

I have an assignment for you...

There is no way on earth I have time to sit down and compose an actual, thought-provoking, laugh-at-me-while-I-cry-inside kind of blog today. Seriously, I really wish I could. But, I DO feel I need to pop on here really quickly and plug something.

So, we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming...

My most favoritest slow cooker guru has a book coming out. Like, TOMORROW. She is the awesomest (yes...that is a word to me!) and she's going to be on Good Morning America to talk about it. She has literally saved dinner in my house, as well as the houses of so many others I'm sure! She also has a terrific blog on organization that is not only helpful but reasonable. Easy little things to get one's house in order.

Anyhow, you should really set your DVR to record Stephanie's appearance on GMA. Then, go buy her book. Seriously. I plan on buying it ASAP. Or, go and leave comments on her Slow Cooker Blog or her Totally Together Blog. This is life-changing stuff here and I would hate for you to be left out!

Have a great Monday!

October 9, 2009

Greetings ffrom NOWHERE!

She's pretty, even with her occasional glimpses of intelligence.
I'm so not sure where the time has gone. The treadmill of life keeps me plugging along without really going anywhere, yet afraid to blink! These days, 13YO has way more of a social life than I do. I'm in a knitting group now and I love it! It's at our local library and I take the girls with me. While I already feel overscheduled most days, the rest of the week seems easier when I know I have some time carved out for me. (Next thing you know, I figure out that exercise actually gives you more energy..NAH! I wouldn't go that far just yet!)
I knitted my first cabled hat. However, I grabbed a pattern that was meant to be knitted flat instead of in the round and had to do some tweaking. That's what I get for starting something without reading it first! Once I've weaved in the ends and closed the top and all that, I'll post some pictures. I really like it and want one in every color now, though I'll probably put a few more cables in it than this one. Two just doesn't seem like enough for a whole hat.
We had a flu scare the other day with 13YO, but no other symptoms developed and she went right back to school the next day. She was just nauseous. We're awaiting the results of David's bloodwork to see his cholesterol levels and such.
See how exciting my life has become? I'm talking about health stuff...and it's not even real stuff now!
I'd better sign off before I start talking about the weather and the price of gas! Going to try to get one of those 'life thingys' everyone keeps talking about so I have some good blog fodder.
Right after I make my menu plan for next week and go grocery shopping.