Friday, August 25, 2006

Didn't I Used to Knit?

I've been in classroom training at my new job for three weeks. Today ends the third week. This is the best training I have ever received on any job. Bar none. However, the tension is also rising because the expectation on MY part begins. We're being released onto the sales floor next week.

This company is a very results-oriented company. They don't have much, if any, "ramp up" period for thei new sales people - it's get out there and DO IT!!!

Yesterday I glanced around the room at my 6 other co-trainees and I saw this glazed deer-in-the-headlight look, and it must have echoed the same on my face because the trainer smiled at us and said, "Okay, you've all hit the brick wall stage that all my training classes reach at about this point in time."

Eeeks - this is a crazy and challenging time for me. Tension is high. Expectation is high. I feel under a lot of pressure.

And I'm still knitting on the 2nd of my green Simply Lovely Lace sock. This month of August was supposed to be Finished Object month. I think I once used to knit, but it feels like forever since I've had any downtime to knit at all.

My brain is exploding. Now I need to act on all this information. And oh yeah, I need to get back to my diet - (which has gone totally to hell in the last 3 weeks), a weekend to putter around and do nothing with my family would be REALLY nice. My knitting, all the fun stuff.

A weekend is coming - and when I'm not packing for the big upcoming house move, I'm going to snatch back some fun out of life, at least a teaspoon full.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Our House Is a Very, Very, Very Fine House

Okay, all Jewish superstitition aside (yikes) I'll brave a post about my frenzied activity this past week. We listed our house for sale on Thursday the 11th and we had an offer on it exactly 6 days later. Prior to this weekend, however, we didn't have another house to move into - slight problem, right?

So we spent two evenings last week and this entire weekend searching for the right house. One that meets our needs, within our price range etc. We are really picky buyers. And the whole experience was getting pretty frustrating, both for us and our wonderfully patient real estate agent who was chauffering us around to see every possible house that might even POSSIBLY fit the bill, and some which clearly didn't.

Finally, it came down to two houses that were both really nice. I liked one and my husband liked a different one. We didn't agree. While we seldom argue anymore, after 21 years of marriage, this choice was getting heated and frustrating. Today I finally had to admit that the one husband selected was a better choice from a logical standpoint - but the other one had so damned much charm. Arggghh!!!!! Give me charm over practical any day. That's why I'm a salesman, right? I'm a dreamer type. But the husband suggested that if we need cute decorating hints to make this once cute like the other one, then perhaps we can have someone with sharp taste help us decorate. We can do that way easier than redesigning a floor plan that was fatally flawed in the home I preferred. Reality really bites sometimes.

So once we finally agreed on the one to go with, then we found out that another couple was also bidding against us and we were afraid we were going to lose it. But I think we have it now.

This is what we decided on:

We close in mid-September and will be moved in a month, can you believe it? That's if everything goes well on both ends - buying and selling, closing etc. It's going to be busy, complicated and nail biting until it's complete. Change is scary - but we're working through it one chewed-off fingernail at a time. I made need some Lee Press-Ons before this is all over!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Life is Like A Rollercoaster

If you want to learn something about rollercoaster physics, read about it here.

The car has been accelerating up the tracks lately. Keep. It. Coming. Don't. Look. Down.

Keep your fingers (and toes) crossed. Don't talk about it. Yet.

I'm afraid to breathe.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

You'll See Perpetual Change

Perhaps this "dates" me, but truly my life (especially lately) reminds me of that old Yes song "Perpetual Change."

And one peculiar point I see,
As one of many ones of me.
As truth is gathered, I rearrange,
Inside out, outside in, inside out, outside in,
Perpetual change.

In response to these major life changes, I haven't been knitting much at all this week. In fact, I didn't pick up my knitting bag all week, believe it or not. Usually I knit my way through stress, but this week, I just cleaned like a speed demon and studied like crazy for my new job. I don't think there was a spare moment and things were getting pretty frantic. But we finally got our house in saleable shape and listed it late this week.

Crazy week, let me tell ya. I started in training at the new job and in the heat of all that, I put my house up for sale. On the house front, we really would like something bigger with a family room, but we must sell ours first before we make a move. I don't want two mortgages. Period.

So now the onslaught of house tourists begins. Ugghh! I dread that part of it. But it is a necessary evil if you want to sell your house. Already, I keep looking for essential household and personal grooming items I put away or shoved in a drawer somewhere to make the house look less cluttered. It really IS less cluttered. I've thrown away, hauled away, given away and stored away an unbelievable amount of "stuff." I will probably end up re-buying half the stuff I can't find, but that's all a part of the house selling process don't cha know?

My husband and I both are just exhausted, but in fairly good spirits feeling that we've accomplished a ton of stuff now that we've combined energies and are determined to face the changes, which we've been avoiding for some time. Change is scary, but . . . transforming.

On the other hand, I don't want to get TOO swept away by the changes. Whew! Time to take a breather.

I did make it to about half an hour or so of the Sip and Knit yesterday. I thought I'd missed it altogether, because we were running various errands all day, but I popped in right before everyone disbanded and knit just a few rows. It was a welcome break. Thanks everybody for sticking around, that was nice.

I'm going to have some iced tea now and try to relax a bit before the teengirl wakes up and takes me on a school supply buying marathon. Have a good week everyone and I hope to come up for air again soon to give you an update.

Meanwhile, knit some for me, will ya? And tell me about it. I'd like to experience the yarn at least vicariously through you! And speaking of yarn, most of my stash is even hidden away right now in a storage locker, so maybe I'll be forced to finish up some of the Unfinished Objects I have on my list. Those are the only items I didn't haul away in the great stockpile lockdown we conducted.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Shhh!!! Don't Jinx It!

Laura asked how the new job is going. Well, I actually STARTED to post a message about it the other day, but I have this superstitious (but very strong) belief that if I brag on something, the good in it will immediately disappear in a flash. That's why I never brag on my car's current performance, my health, my marriage, my child, nor anything else that may be doing fine in case I might jinx it.

So . . . . let's just say I don't want to talk about it - which is a GOOD (really good) thing WINK. VERY BIG SMILE. I'm still in training of course, but wow. What a difference.

Now, we'll speak no more of this blessed (errr UNSPEAKABLE) event.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lucy Neatby

In the past few days, I've been listening to these two DVD's called "Knitting Essentials" made by Lucy Neatby. These DVDs are fantastic. I've never been fortunate enough to take a class with Neatby, but I've always wanted to. By watching these DVD's, I'm just amazed by her skill and teaching ability. She's a smart cookie and is able to communicate her knowledge. I feel like I have a "front row" seat by watching these films of hers.

Lynn, over at Colorjoy, described going to Lucy's classes in this June 13, 2005 blog entry. The photo of Lucy (above) was taken by LynnH of Colorjoy fame. She has some great photos of Lucy teaching - so you might want to visit her June archives for more info on the classes she took in person.

Lucy Neatby is not only a creative person, but she LOOKS creative. How many knitter gurus have purple hair? I don't usually fawn over knitting celebrities, well, okay I admit to being bowled over when I met Sally Melville at Stitches in 2003 ---- but I was nearly giddy when Lucy herself called me several weeks ago to tell me that my Knitting Essentials DVDs were delayed but on the way. Now they are HERE and I'm enjoying them so much I may buy her Sock DVD's once the cash flow is coming in again more steadily.

Heat Wave Has Broken

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
- Cat Stevens "Morning Has Broken"
Lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon

Ah! Refreshing change finally happened, a storm last night pushed out that hot, muggy air we've been plagued with these past two weeks. I woke up this morning feeling refreshed. Got up early, sat out on my deck and enjoyed the cool(er) air. It's not really cool but much better than it has been. Our high temp today should "only" reach 85, but that's lovely as compared to the steady stream of 100 degree days we've had for way too long. I know we're not alone in our suffering. Temps across the whole country have been way above normal and even the usually cooler places have been hit by this heat.

Some still insist there's no such thing as global warming? Ah, yeah right. But anyhow . . . . .

Yesterday, I hauled 9 huge trashbags of clothes to the donation center (as well as many boxes of assorted household items and many loads of books). And there must be a LOT of people holed up in their air-conditioned houses doing some decluttering, because let me tell you, giving away your stuff is a challenge right now! I went on a field trip to several charity centers before being able to unload all my stuff. They are all being very picky about what items they accept! I learned that Bean Bag chairs are now considered a safety hazard for kids, so that was a tough one, even though it was in great condition.

Laura's husband often says, "You have to make a big mess to clean up a big mess." Well, he's right! My house looks messier now than it did when I started! And I've barely made a dent in it. We're going to have Grand Chaos around here for a while until it gets better. The piles are just never-ending, especially since we have so much of "other people's things" in our basement. Need I say more? Ughh! And getting various family members to part with their things isn't easy. It's like prying pieces of their hearts out through their fingernails. I never realized that there was so much emotion attached to mere STUFF. Yikes.

On the knitting front, I haven't done much, believe it or not. I've been decluttering (as mentioned), studying for my new job (I've been given some training material to review prior to starting). I've been working on that Simply Lovely sock that is lovely, but is slow. And on top of all that, somewhere along the line, I lost my original pattern copy with detailed notes on the pattern. I treasure those notes and am really bummed that I lost them, especially since I'd written down some notes about converting the pattern from 4 needles to 2 circs and turning the sock to profile mode and back again. Oh well. I'm on the second sock, about halfway through the lace cuff.