Monday, March 27, 2006

Secret Pal Surprise

I received my final package from my secret pal in the mail today. My pal did some serious shopping for me at Dea Terra Creations. If you've never checked out her stuff you really should. I can't recommend Maia highly enough. I was totally blown away by all the goodies inside the box. First, I pulled out the soaps. 3 handmade soaps. One each of Apple Spice, Oatmeal & Honey, and Coconut Lime Verbena and let me tell you that they smell SO good. I can't wait to use them. I'm so psyched to use them that I just might drag my lazy arse out of bed early to hit the shower in the morning. Then I pulled out a silver package that had 13, yes 13, amazing stitch markers inside. They are made with Lapis, Lazuli, Amber, Phrenite, and Carnelian. Just beautiful! Then 370 yards of the softest 100% Merino yarn called Pacific Dreams. It's blues and greens and will always make me think of my visits to the Pacific ocean. It's amazing how many wonderful memories this yarn stirred up. The last package I opened contained an amazing yarn I will cherish forever. It is named Kerry's Blues and is 380 yards of the most gorgeous shades of blue I've ever seen. It's a 50/50 blend of Merino and Tencel and is destined to become my favorite pair of socks. Not just because of the colors but because my pal took the time to have something so special made just for me. I cried. Like a baby. Telling you all about it now is making me teary eyed again.

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much Secret Pal!!! You have made me feel so special. I will never forget all the wonderful things you have done for me. The postcards, emails and all the wonderful've truly outdone yourself and I appreciate you so much!!!

By the way, my pal has given me some hints but I've yet to figure out who she is. As soon as I find out I'll post a link to her blog so you can visit.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Magical Melaleuca

I hate to clean. Period. I had a woman who use to come clean the house every 2 weeks. She did an amazing job. We had a falling out when she tried having her husband (my best friend) arrested on false charges to try to get him out of their house sooner rather than later after she filed for divorce because she was bored with her life. Nasty bitch. I've yet to find a replacement for her. When people come in I tell them we're in between housekeepers. ha ha ha

But today I'm sitting here in a partly clean house. I say partly clean because I haven't finished all the rooms yet. YET. I will. I'm actually excited about cleaning now. Why am I excited about cleaning? Well, because of Melaleuca. This stuff is amazing. Period. I've caught up all the laundry within the past few days just because I'm excited about seeing how clean the clothes come with no effort on my part. I actually take the time to use the daily shower spray. Not just because it really works well but because it smells so good too. I sanitize all the kitchen and bathroom surfaces a couple times a day because I love the smell of the spray. It smells like thyme. I love it. Wanna know the best thing about their products? Because they are 100% natural they are 100% safe for the kids and the animals. Can you imagine? Cleaning products that not only sanitize and disinfect but that are safe too? I love it.

My cousin is a nurse at our local hospital and one of the other nurses introduced her to these awesome products. My cousin kept telling me about them but I was really hesitant to try them because I'm not a nature freak. I remember Dailaesse's godmother telling me about the cleaning products her environment loving daughter used that smelled to high heaven, didn't clean well and they were expensive. I thought this would be more of the same. It's not. If you become a member you get 30-40% off their regular prices and it makes it cheaper to buy Melaleuca products than the better known cleaning products. Everything is concentrated so you can make between 2 and 4 bottles of cleaner with just one bottle of the concentrate. Plus you get money back if you place your order before the 25th of each month. Plus if you join this month you get a $50 product pack for free with your first order this month and then $25 in Advantage points for next month. You also get to choose a free item with your second and third months of membership. But wait, there's more...the membership is only $9.95 for a whole year if you join this month instead of the normal $29.95. If you have kids, pets, allergies, asthma or just a dirty house this is the stuff for you!

Just to let you know, I'm not selling these products myself although you can if you want to. My plate is way too full for anything else. But, in order to get a membership you have to sign up through someone who is already a member. I'd be more than happy to do that for you, but that's all I'd be able to do. Melaleuca would send someone to see you if you were interested in selling their products. It sounds a lot like Avon. And no, I don't think it's anything like Amway. You don't have to sell it to be a member.

OK, I'm climbing down off my soap box to go knit now. I just had to share this with you all because I'm so excited about it. New cleaning products. Yippee! I know, I'm sad.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Bearfoot and Hairy

Here they are. Straight off the needles and onto the feet. (Like my little man's hairy legs? He'd have a cow if he knew I posted a picture for you all to see.) No time to wash. I honestly don't remember what color these are. They are Mountain Color Bearfoot though. I do remember that. Wonderful yarn to work with and it washes really nicely too. I love how this yarn blooms with each wash. I'm finally wanting to knit tons again now. I think I just needed a few good FO's to get me in the mood. Of course I'd have lots of good FO's if I'd get more knitting done.

Yarn Therapy

Some of the amazing knitters that frequent Sue's shop planned to get together to knit this morning. Eileen called Thursday night to ask if I was going to make it. I made the mistake of responding within ear shot of Dailaesse. This is what happened:

No Mommy you can't leave me! Why do you do this to me? You're going to leave me with my Daddy? Are you insane???

I waited until I started a load of laundry to call back and let Eileen know that I'd be there. I was really looking forward to going.

I got up this morning and went to the bathroom. Dailaesse woke up and found I wasn't in my spot. She screamed. LOUD. We sat down and had a little chat. I told her if she promised to sit quietly at the yarn store that I'd bring her with me. She agreed, got dressed and packed a bag with her dad. (By the way, NEVER allow a 3 year old child and her dad to pack a bag of toys and treats to take for a quiet, relaxing trip to the yarn store. They pack talking toys and Doritos. Need I say more?) We left at 9:30 am without a hitch. Dailaesse sat quietly and played Barbies in one of the nice big comfy chairs in the coffee shop. I was impressed. We sat and talked and knit until about noon. I was in awe of my sweet little girl. She was so good for such a long time.

Then we went to the grocery store.

Dailaesse wanted a candy sample. Fine. She picked gummy bears. Not so fine. She wanted to stick her sweet little hand into the bin and choose her own bears. I told her she had to let me use the tongs. She wasn't happy. When I told her she couldn't have a handful she was even less happy. I promised to buy her a bag to take home. Fine.

We made it a couple more aisles. Fine. Dailaesse wanted St. Patty's Day plates. Not so fine. I told her we didn't need them today and urged her to put them back so we could quickly finish getting the few things we did need and get home. Dailaesse told me it was a terrible thing how I argue with her. I thought the lady a few feet ahead of us in the aisle was going to choke to death from laughing so hard. I kept walking and she put the plates back and followed along. Fine.

We made it a couple more aisles. Fine. Dailaesse wanted a Barbie. Not so fine. I tried to calmly explain to her that I wasn't going to pay $16.99 for a Price Chopper Barbie when we could get one in Plattsburgh for $4.99. She told me she HAD to have the Barbie. I told her if she didn't stop screaming I was going to call her father to come get her. Fine.

We made it through the rest of the store without any trouble. She was excited when we got the last aisle of the store and she was able to get her Dora yogurt cups and her "drinking" yogurt. The things that keep her happy.

So, last week Lisa called from Sue's. A new box of Fleece Artist Merino had arrived. I was thrilled! I went over the following day. I stroked. I fondled. I ooohed. I aaahed. And then I came home with this. 9 hanks of the stuff. Seriously. I can't stop. Help.

In knitting news, I did a really awesome square last Sunday for an afghan for Essex County Families First. Sue and the girls are putting it together. What a wonderful thing for them to do huh? Sue's donated the yarn and people have been volunteering to knit squares. I chose a really textured square (I think it was no. 21 from the Great American Afghan book) and had so much fun doing it. It went incredibly fast because I couldn't wait to see what would come next. Of course I forgot to take a picture of it before I brought it over today. I'll try to get a picture of it next time I go over to show you. I also finished Dan's socks today. He's going to be so excited when he gets home tonight. I can't wait to give them to him.

What's everyone else working on?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Stuart Little

Thank you everyone for your well wishes and prayers. I can't tell you how much you all mean to me. I hate to post about the negative things that happen but it's good therapy so I'll hope you can forgive me when I rant and rave. And here's one now:

Yesterday sucked. It started with a phone call from my best friend. She's buying a van from us. Actually, we're giving her the van and she's paid for some of the parts to fix it. Unfortunately, the guy Bran got the van from filled the back of the title out with our information and in NY you can't just hand that title over to someone else. You have to title the van to you and then sign that title over to the new owner. Which, by the way, cost $80.75 plus insurance as you can't have it parked in your yard without insurance. Which I paid for and never asked my friend for. We're trying our best to help her out. She's now a single mother of 2 living in low income housing. She gets food stamps and still struggles to make ends meet. Her car is dying. She has very little money. It cost her less for the parts for this awesome van than it would to fix her current vehicle. I even told her to keep $150 of what she was going to put towards the parts because I knew she would need money to get it on the road as soon as we got the title. Make no mistake, there isn't much that I haven't or wouldn't do to help her. At the very end of January I went to DMV to start the paperwork for the van. About a week later she gave us some money to buy parts with. The plan was that Bran would go through it from front to back and fix everything that needed to be fixed and have it ready by the time the title arrived. Yesterday she called and told me that her father said we were either screwing her over or there was something wrong with the title since we haven't gotten it yet. He went on to tell her that we were lying to her because all you have to do is take the papers to DMV and they print all the papers you need for your new vehicle, including the title, and hand them to you right there on the spot. For all of you not familiar with NYS DMV let me just say that couldn't be farther from the truth. In most cases it takes between 8 and 10 weeks to get a title back in the mail from Albany. I'm not going to go off on a tangent and tell you how pissed and hurt I was that her father would even suggest that I would do something like that to her because what pissed me off and hurt me even more was the fact that she hinted that she believed him. So much so that she called her mother and several other people to ask if what I was telling her was the truth. 'Nuff said.

THEN we had our meeting with probation yesterday. We drove an hour to get there to be told by some snotty asshole that we weren't on the schedule and that they never schedule these matters at 1:30. Someone finally took the 2 minutes that it takes to fill the form out but let me know she was really put out about it. Tell it to the ass who booked the appointment sister. Then we went upstairs to meet with Becky from CPS. Darcie chickened out and wouldn't tell her she's scared of Pat because she's terrified of what he'll do if and when he finds out that she's talked to someone else. The saddest part is that if she had just told Becky the truth they most likely wouldn't have had to go with the dick tonight. I guess we need more counseling to build up her confidence. I'm just so discouraged and furious and...well, you name it and I'm most likely feeling it.

NOW, here's a little something silly for you all:

Saturday we picked the kids up from visitation and Darcie told us how My ex split she and Danny up and started questioning her about who she had talked to and what she had said. He also tried to convince her that his bitch of a wife didn't grab her by the throat and choke her but that she only set her hands on her shoulders. WTF??? He wasn't even there. Asshole. Anyway, I was of course furious and started babbling to Brandon asking him what gave the ex the right to grill my baby girl like that and from the back of the van Dailaesse started crying and screeching...

You don't grill family!!! You only grill hamburgers! Not family members, just hamburgers!!! And sometimes chicken. But not family! NO!!! Don't let him grill my family!!!

All I could think of was the line from Stuart Little when they tell the cat that Stuart is a family member and you don't eat family.

THEN my father was over on Sunday helping to work on the bathroom. Dailaesse was bugging to have booby. I was arguing because it was getting to close to dinner. My dad came through the living room and told her she was a big girl and asked when she was going to give up her booby. How did Dailaesse respond?

When I start kindergarten.

Hey, even a long term plan is better than no plan at all.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Burden of Proof

I'm happy to report that I have indeed been knitting. I managed to turn the heel and get past the gusset decreasing on the Glad Ragg socks yesterday. The more I knit these socks the more I love them. I'm so in love with them that I'm madly stocking up on all kinds of tweed yarns. Of course it's silly to think I'll actually knit as many pairs of socks as I have yarn for, but I'm that into them to buy every tweed yarn that strikes my fancy just in case I should decide to knit that many more pairs of them. Darcie loves them too. She wants a pair in blue with blue beads. I bought a great Regia tweed in blue (the burgundy is for my mom) the other day at Sue's that I think she'll love. I'm going to surprise her with them so I'm not going to show her the yarn. Plus, if I show her the yarn she'll bug every day between now and the time the socks are actually finished. Less pressure. That's what I'm all about these days.

Now, not to be a downer or anything, but back on the 18th when we picked Dan and Darcie up from visitation with their father Darcie showed me bruises that my ex's new wife left on each side of her neck when she grabbed her and started choking her. Nice huh? I immediately called Child Protective Services and reported what had happened. Then I called our local police department to see if I should bring her to the ER or to them to have photos taken for documentation purposes. The village police came here and talked to Darcie and took photos but since my ex lives outside the village there was nothing more they could do. They recommended taking her to the ER and to the State Police. The woman for our county of CPS called just after they left and highly recommended the same. So we headed to the ER first and then to the Trooper barracks immediately after. We returned home after 1 in the morning and Darcie and Dailaesse were both exhausted. I was too worked up to sleep and stayed up until 4. Darcie and the ex's wife had an argument because the ex's oldest son (he's 3 and very abusive plus he's never scolded when he hurts one of the kids) kicked Darcie in the head. Darcie got up to go to her room so he wouldn't be able kick her anymore. Ex's wife blocked her way and told her to sit down and finish watching the movie. Darcie refused and finally got the wife to move by telling her she had to use the bathroom. Wife blocks Darcie again when she comes out of the bathroom and tells her she wouldn't have gotten kicked had she just got up and moved out of her spot for the 3 year old monster. They continue to argue, Darcie starts to cry and then the wife apologizes...but is snotty about it. She steps towards Darcie to hug her and Darcie steps back away from her because she's sad and angry and doesn't want to be touched. Wife steps towards her again and Darcie puts her arms behind her back and steps back once more. Wife reaches out and grabs Darcie by the neck and starts choking her. She's shaking Darcie, pinching and digging her nails into her neck at the same time. She finally lets her go and Darcie goes to her room. CPS shows up Sunday afternoon to speak with Darcie. She talks to me after and tells me to make an appointment with Probation immediately to file a petition to get the visitation reduced. I call first thing Tuesday morning (of course this whole thing happened on a holiday weekend) and they can't get me in until the 6th. WTF??? The trooper that talked to Darcie the night we went out called that Wednesday and said he had more papers for me to sign because the District Attorney for our county doesn't feel there's enough evidence to support an assault charge even though the doctor at the ER listed that as the diagnosis for the bruises. Now they're going to try to get a conviction under the new domestic violence laws. He'll call me later the same day or the next. I haven't heard anything as of 6pm on the 23rd so I call him. The asshole DA has now decided that there isn't enough evidence for even a harassment charge. Again, WTF??? How much more evidence do they need? The wretched wench left bruises on my daughters neck that lasted for days and they don't have enough evidence? So the only other hope we have of being able to get something done is with Probation on Monday. I have to say, I'm not hopeful. This county is so backwards that it's an awful thing. They protect the parents that abuse the children, not the children being abused. Darcie hasn't slept since this all happened and needless to say, I haven't either. She's highly emotional and so am I. I'm frustrated because I can't seem to do anything to make a difference for them. I'm ready to pack us all up and move to Mexico in the middle of the night.

If you made it this far, bless you. :-) I'm off to do some shopping today. That always helps to lift my spirits. I need a few groceries, a new door for the bathroom and yarn. And yes I DO need yarn. LOL Hope you're all doing well! Oh, I'll be handing out matches for the mini secret pal by the end of the weekend. If you previously signed up and have changed your mind because I've been so damned poky I'll certainly understand, just drop me a note to let me know. And, since I have been so poky, if you'd like to join in, let me know by midnight tomorrow night and I'll be happy to add you to the swap.