A story of OCD, sort of

For some time now I've been turning the idea of hosting a celebration gathering around in my mind. We have had reason to celebrate. My son, who had had a horrendous junior year, graduated from high school this past spring and about the same time my husband, who had been laid off from work for nine months, embarked on a new career working in a library and more recently my youngest daughter and eldest son will be having their birthdays in the next week or so. However, I may have some skills when it comes to knitting but when it comes to hosting a party I'm organizationally challenged, my own version of OCD. If I were to even consider hosting any type of social gathering I would have to do something about "that" room. This is what a knitter friend of mine refers to as "THAT" Room (I can't believe that I am going to show you this.)

In my home "THAT" room is in what other more normal families would use as a dining room. Ideally, in my dream home, my husband would have a library to house his extensive book collection and I would have a room to use as my studio space. Ideally, this room would have windows for light and a view of the real world and more importantly a door.

Of course the door would have to stand open while I was using the room because I tend to freak out a bit when I'm left alone in a closed room, cut off from the world around me. Besides that, my children would never stand for their mother to be anywhere where they could not see her or be able to pose to her the days most crucial questions. Important questions, you know like, What are you doing? Why? Where is Dad? Are you going somewhere? Then why are you wearing your shoes? Do you know where MY shoes are? Did you wash any underwear 'cause I'm all out? Do you have to work today? Why? I think I was bitten by a spider while I slept last night. Does this look infected to you? Have you seen where the TV remote is? What's for lunch?
These Q&A sessions will then be repeated intermittently throughout the day for periods less than but not exceeding ten minutes at a time. No, I'm afraid that mother being in a room by herself with the door closed would be simply intolerable to them. If mother is at home she must be accessible at all times. This even includes her time in the privy. Should she be in the bathroom with the door closed for longer than the allotted time ( see above) she can expect a knock on the door and the aforementioned quiz will then be repeated once again, only this time it would be shouted so that they can be heard over the sound of the water running from the tap, that she turned on so she could pretend she didn't hear the knock on the door.
My point was that ideally there would be a door, a door that I could close if in I ever wanted to. Say on a whim, I decided I wanted to invite a few friends and or family over for, I don't know, say to celebrate a birthday or graduation or new job or something. Then I would not have to panic, wondering how in the world am I ever going to find the proper place for all this stuff in this room. That's is what all that stuff is, by the way, it is stuff that hasn't been given it's proper place. My mother used to tell me that putting things in their proper place was a German trait. She would say that there is an old German adage that states ,"Everything has a Place and Everything in it's Place". I wonder if that's true? Not about everything having a place but if it's a German trait. The problem I have with this is that I'm not always altogether certain what is the proper place for all the stuff that comes floating into my room. When stuff doesn't know it's place it lands on the table or floor or chair until I get around to deciding where to put it all, let's just call this place limbo. My efforts to forward this stuff from limbo to it's proper resting place are inconsistent and episodic at best. I'm not sure how German I am because I'm having some trouble keeping up with the finding and the putting of stuff in its proper place.
This wouldn't be an issue if I had a door. If I had a door all I would have to do is close the door and hang a beware of rabid dog sign on the knob and voila my problem is solved. No one would need to know that I am proper placement challenged, it would be our little family secret, the skeleton in the closet so to speak.
But alas, in the shoe that I am living in with so many children that I don't know what to do with, there isn't a spare room with a door to hide my fiber excesses in and so, sacrifices have been made. Who needs a dining room anyway? I like to think that if we had an actual dining room set things would be different, but somehow I doubt it. Besides, we don't have a dog. Of course, there are other ways of warding guests from entering rooms you don't want them to enter. When Katie has a friend over, she tells them that you don't want to go in there. That's her brother's room and he is mean! It seems to work. Well, probably only on little girls.
My husband, who apparently is more German than I am, doesn't particularly like that I have usurped the dining room and turned it to my own purposes. And I can't really blame him, boy, I wish I had a door. In defense however may I point out that there are bookcases, tall and small, filled with books, CD's and DVD's lining the walls of our living room and our bedroom, and no, he has not read all of the books, most, but not all. Nor has he watched or listened to all the DVD's or CD's. If you were to total up the cost of his collection and compare it to mine, I think you'd find that his cost is probably ten to twenty times the cost of mine and why does he need to keep the books after he has already read them? Are they not just taking up space too? I'm just saying. So what if the things that he collects are uniformly shaped and compact units that sit neatly in rows on a shelf.
I could do as one of our friends did and wall off the dining room. It wouldn't be difficult, it may be a good use of those bookcases that I told you about. Hmm, I'll have to think about that. Blocking off the dining room would necessitate diverting the traffic flow through the house to the back through the hallway to where the bedrooms and bathroom are, which could be problematic as well, but those rooms have doors that I could close. This may not be such a bad idea after all. I wonder if it would make heating the house easier? You know what I need? I need to consult a feng shui expert. I wonder if feng shui has the cure for my OC disorder (Ha, disorder, get it? That's funny. At least I think so.) Whatever.
So round and round my thoughts go, I don't think there is going to be a party here, so invite me to your parties, I'll bring a cake. Speaking of cake did you see Tipper's birthday cake?
Better to stick to things I know better, like knitting. My little girl will turn seven on Saturday. I promised that I would make her a pair of socks and a fluffy yellow chocobo* scarf. The color of the yarn she chose is an array of bright colors, colors you would see when you open a new box of crayons.(BTW, school starts Sept. 1, yay) I originally thought that I was going to make her a simple pair of toe up socks. But I couldn't do it. It was too boring for me, so I perused my knitting magazines for patterns and decided on the Swatch your Step pattern in the Knitter's Summer 2003 issue
After experimenting with different color combinations from the yarns that I had on hand, we decided on the red. Now the question is whether or not I'll be able to finish the socks by her birthday.

I think that I can finish A sock by Saturday, I never promised that they would be done by her birthday.Not to worry, she probably won't be wearing the socks this month yet anyway. I have finished the scarf, however.

* A chocobo is a largish yellow bird from the Final Fantasy Game series.
For the record Katie took this picture.

Living La Viva Cicada

In the summer I take my knitting out of doors. Winters are long in Minnesota where I live and you will spend the better part of the year inside, so unlike my children, who prefer to spend their time playing video games indoors, I will take my projects outside, to the backyard usually, whenever I get the opportunity. When I go outside for the most part I am left relatively alone. The children will wander out to see where I am, see that I haven't completely abandoned them and to be certain that there is still someone to complain to about their hunger and the lack of food service, then mumble something about how it's hot out here and there being too many bugs out here and then go back into the house to pitch battle with dragons and conquer the evil doers of whatever world they are in and once again I am left to fend for myself out in the wild.
In past summers I would putter around the yard, imagining myself as some sort of earth goddess and play at being a gardener. But this summer has been too hot for playing in the dirt, I'm afraid that the only energy I've expended for upkeep has been the occasional watering of my poor flowers and walking the perimeter.
Do you walk the perimeter? Strictly speaking it isn't exactly walking the perimeter that I do, because I don't necessarily walk the outside edges of the property. Usually I will walk from the back door of the house , which is actually a side entrance on the north side of the house , and walk toward the west around the house down to the front sidewalk , walk around the boulevard gardens then come back up to the house and walk around the south side of the house to the backyard along the tree line to the garage. Then around the garage to the edge of the drive way on the east end of the yard, then back along the fence on the north side and back to the door. I don't know exactly why I do this, I think mainly I do it to see the flowers and how they're blooming but sometimes I just do it because it gives me something to do.
When my son was younger he would walk around outside and tap trees with a stick. I've asked him if he knew why he did that and he said he couldn't explain it really, except that it comforted him. My youngest daughter likes to dangle a chain in her hands and hold conversations with different imaginary characters again it comforts her, Ani has something she does to comfort herself but she would not want me to say what that is, walking the perimeter comforts me. The thing is I would like to be outside more but there isn't much outdoors that I like to do, so I have to come up things to do while I'm outside. Since gardening wasn't happening this year I've been taking my knitting outside with me to keep me occupied. So I've been sitting in our screened gazebo knitting, because the kids aren't wrong, there are too many bugs in the yard. Bugs like this guy (gal?) here. In an effort to bring down the power bill we have been hanging the laundry on a line outside to dry. One morning as I was bringing a load of clothes out to hang on the line, this cicada decide it wanted to hang out with us, there he was just clinging to the screen door. Since he was posing so nicely I decided to take a few pics of him. He's a beauty ain't he, they're big buggers too. Over all they are harmless, the only thing I would charge them with is disturbing the peace.
I can't say that it is really any more peaceful in the backyard than in the house. First there is the sounds from the city, as my husband puts it, planes, trains, and automobiles. We are in the flight path of major airport and regularly have planes flying over, we have a train track that runs behind the house,and there is a parking lot beyond the end of the drive way. Second there are the people. Yesterday I don't know where it came from exactly but a girl screamed very loud and long, it sounded like a scream from a horror movie. I wonder if she saw a cicada? And third, there is the sounds from nature. The birds calls, the squirrels squawking and the sirens of the cicadas. The sirens of the cicadas being the loudest of all.
On Friday my husband and I rode our bikes to the Uptown Art Fair. We enjoy looking at all the exhibits but agree that there tend to be a lot of repetition in subject matter when it comes to the photography especially. So we thought we would make our own art and take a few snapshots of say, a red door, or windows with green frames, or a bicycle against a wall or clothes hanging on the line. Therefore I am pleased to present for your viewing pleasure, a work I think I'll call,
Ani on the line -Basic Black- a study in summer colors.

To complete the diptych is Buckman on the line:year round wardrobe- no long sleeves please.

Speaking of art I completed my op art project, which actually is a buttonhole bag, as I'm sure you already know. Here is the bag before felting. It measured 12.5 inches across the center of the bag before washing it. After felting, it measured 9.5 inches, it shrunk to three quarters of it's original size. Pretty cool.

This buttonhole bag is for an exchange I'm having with some of the knitters in the TCSnB group. All I have to do now is come up with something to put in the bag for a surprise gift. I've been knitting Katie' chocobo scarf and it's coming along, it's my take along project and I carry it in a little clear plastic bag so it looks like I've got a bag full of canary feathers. I've also been working on a calendar project, it too is looking pretty cute but I'm not ready to show it yet. So I give this Ani and Kate at play.