Monday, August 11, 2008

This is me right now, when it comes to my Personal Time Off. See, I’m supposed to get one weekend every two months O-F-F, off. No cooking, cleaning, bill-paying, Denizen-wrangling, or listening to Denizen noise. Usually, I physically leave the house.

I have a KOA card, people, and I am not afraid to USE it!

I have a curious need for utter solitude. Weird, for a person who wanted All These Kids, but there it is. I need to have a certain amount of time alone, without the fuss and bother and noise and Responsibilities of being a wife, mother, Den C{E/F/O}O and Citizen of the World.

Without it, there comes a point where I am just losing my @*^&@. I become short-tempered, highly distracted, unable to deal, and otherwise a mess. It’s like…it’s like my BS filter gets full, and if I can’t get away long enough to give it a good rinse and wring, the BS backs up into my psyche and gums up the works.

And for the last eight months……fail…fail…fail…

The campground I was going to stay in was too close to a major wildfire. I couldn’t leave because something came up for the husband. I didn’t have budget enough for a tank of gas, let alone a campsite or hotel room. The Den was under construction and needed my two willing hands to keep things moving on schedule. Somebody got married on “my” weekend.

That’s OK (I said), I’ll just take next weekend. Some girlfriends are getting together for tea in Santa Cruz and I already said I couldn’t because of X, Y and Z…but you know what? To Fallen Babylon with X, Y and Z! I’ll just go ahead and go anyway! So there! Nyah!!!

…I’ll just take my tent and my KOA card, and I’ll find someplace to crash nearby. That’s what I’ll do. Uh-huh, that’s right, they almost always hold a couple walk-in sites back…

So it shouldn’t have surprised me when I woke up Friday with a miserable headache and blocked up sinuses…which I was convinced was allergies because I didn’t feel, you know, sick. Just miserable. “Something” was bothering me. Since I have had precisely zero allergic reaction to Dharma so far, I began saying, “Well, here it is! Took a while to get here, but here’s where I start with the cat dander rhinitis thing!”

I didn’t feel all that bad Saturday morning so I hopped in the car and started driving only to realize that actually, I didn’t feel all that sociable. So I puttered out into the Gold Country for a quick drive in the aloneness, felt just well enough to stop in Sonora – where I was brutally attacked by the By Hand Yarn store and barely escaped with my life – before heading back home and falling face-first into bed with an epic case of common cold.

Sigh. I am so glad I didn’t tell the girls I was going to come on down. That little voice that told me, “Don’t do it! Many a slip ‘tween cup and lip, sweetheart! If it works out, you can call them on the way and meet them somewhere down there! Don’t worry about tea reservations, you should just skip that part anyway, the black tea you insist on ordering always makes you gassy!!” can be sooooo wise, sometimes!

I woke up the next morning to discover four things.

First, my cold was brutal. BRU-TAL. Pounding head, aching body, throbbing sinuses, racking cough. Nice. I swallowed enough pills to choke a horse yesterday trying to keep myself on this side of the dirt.

Two: The aforementioned vicious yarn store had left a few marks.

yarn score

Two of my favorite words were at work here, folks: On. Sale. The Rowan book was on clearance, and the baby blanket pattern was only a quarter! Eeeee!

The yellow-orange variegated sock yarn is Austermann Step Duett, a wool/nylon blend imbued with aloe vera and jojoba oil. It’s supposed to last through about 40 washings, and I’ve heard it feels really nice on your hands while you’re knitting. Sweet!

The pink is Dream In Color “Baby”, a lace-weight Merino superwash, spun and hand-dyed here in the good old US of A. The color is called “Cool Fire,” and I’m trying to decide if I want to make something simple from it alone, or use it as a darker border to a lighter pink or white girl’s sweater.

The last one is Cascade Heritage, hand painted sock yarn in the ‘Isle of Skye’ colorway.

As I stumbled back recovering from the shock of these horribly disfiguring injuries…I tripped over Thing Three: The vast amount of crap in my bedroom. I didn’t think to take pictures before I started, so you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you…it was preeeeety bad in here.

Basically, what had happened was this. We tore out the linen cupboards in the hallway and dumped everything in them on the floor in here. Then we took out everything in the three (3) kids closets and dressers, and dumped that on the floor in here.

Many things have come in. Not nearly enough has gone back out.

With all the Chaos going on, the shelves got wildly out of control, with books spilling everywhere with no regard for Proper Placement, yarn peeking out of drawers and falling out of baskets…mass hysteria!

My bedroom really, really needed a thorough straightening up.

Which it got.

Clean room

It took me all freaking day and into the night to get it to this point. But we can now walk across the room without fearing for our lives, and that is a Good Thing. Even better, the stuff wasn’t just shoved out of sight – it is actually put away.

I know where everything is, right down to the last no-longer-missing stitch marker.

Which made me realize Thing Four: Sometimes, when your plans go all to hell, it isn’t really such a bad thing.

Sure, I could have done without the cold. But for less than the cost of a campsite, a KOA tent campsite, which is about the cheapest way to spend a night away from home and still have a flush toilet and hot shower available, I got three skeins of yarn each representing a good thirty or forty hours of entertainment AND two pattern books loaded with inspiration and motivation.

This morning, I woke up with the same pounding head, sore throat, NEW TODAY! upset stomach, and charming (constant) cough, sure…but I woke up in a neat, orderly room, able to reach out and grab whatever popped to mind. Did I want to do that sweet little cardigan in that one book, using maybe that soft port-wine-red Italian wool and a pair of #7 needles? I know right where they are. Need a piece of tape, or a Post-It note, or perhaps a working pen? Right here. Camera? Battery charger for same? Portable drive to get the pictures off it?

Here, here and here.

Sudafed Severe Cold and Cough? Imodium? Throat lozenges?

Here, here, and {hak-COUGH!} here.

Might not have gone down the way I’d hoped, but it went down good nonetheless.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put a meatloaf in the oven (excitement!) and work on finishing a pair of socks (fun!) (see? fun and excitement! TOGETHER AT LAST!!) I found buried somewhere between the Mesolithic and Neolithic strata in here.

One is already finished, and the other one is all the way to the heel flap! It’s Tofutsies ‘Two Step’, being worked into a pair of Uptown Boot Socks from Interweave’s Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs

The pattern of which I was able to find right away, because I knew right where to look.

…cleaning might not be fun to do, but it sure makes for easier livin’ when it’s done…


(formerly) no-blog-rachel said...

I suffered injuries at By Hand Yarn about a year ago. Dangerous place, that!

Well I'm sorry you feel crappy but I'm glad there was an up side to it too. :)

Anonymous said...

So sorry your plans went pfffft....and you got sick too. That really stinks. I sure hope you feel better soon and can get your time away. I'm the same way - if I can't get AWAY FROM IT ALL now and then, I just lose it. Not pretty. Lots of fluids!

Oh, and the Austermann Step really does feel lovely on the hands when you knit it. I bet you'll love it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lemonade recipe to me.

Here's wishes for a speedy recovery. Although, you know what they say about a cold: You can doctor it up and get better in a week and a half, or you can do nothing and be well in about 10 days.

Yarnhog said...

I'm SO sorry about the cold! (I hate colds. Having a stuffy nose makes me almost suicidal. I feel like I'm drowning.) I hope it goes away quickly.

The bedroom looks great. It is so nice having everything organized.

Science PhD Mom said...

And the bonus is that I'll bet while you were cleaning, you didn't think about being sick and feeling bad! Win win!

Threeundertwo said...

It's terrible when yarn stores attack like that, isn't it? they just don't play fair.

So sorry you're sick, but your bedroom looks like a lovely haven. I need to shovel out mine. On the husband's side of the bed actually (ahem!)

Feel better!