Between Stitches Novmber 18

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As usual, the closer we get to the end of the year, the faster the days slip past. November was no different - my birthday month, celebrating my 38 trip around the sun - which was also my 1 year anniversary of not washing my hair. AND, as usual, I feel that pull to cut my hair. I don’t really know why the cold months push me into wanting to cut rather than grow; it’s so counter-intuitive. I asked the husband what he thought and he dodged the question like a bullet! No way in hell was he going to open his big mouth and make a comment about my appearance that might backfire in his face (he’s learned much about women in his lifetime HA!) I knew he was keeping a safe distance from possible wrath, but I really did want to know. Alas, he was no help so I asked Mae. She is really into growing her hair now that she has — NO BALD SPOTS — which is something worth celebrating, and she was extremely against even the possibility that I would cut my hair an inch. Those two… no help at all. I guess I’m still on the fence so… psht. However, I did start oiling my hair more heavily this month — three days a week or so I’ve been working the good ole’ argan oil through the locks and they have transformed from dry, brittle strands (split ends galore here!) to soft, glossy locks. Maybe this dry winter air is just bananas right now.

Hubs had a week+ off work this month which is a funny thing. The girls and I live lives that he really gets to be very little part of usually. He works his ass off so that I can be home with them (driving to the east side to get Mae to and from school is seriously a job though, right?) and that means working shifts that have him out the door before the girls are home from school and working 10-14 hours a night. The girls really only see him a couple days a week and hubs has asked if people think I’m a single mom since I’m always attending school functions and teacher meetings alone. The girls and I just have our little routines and I often say I’m the sun because everything and everyone in the house seems to revolve around me. Not to say I’m really in control or play a starring role, just that I’m there in the middle like a little gravitational anchor in the family system. I think it became apparent to hubs the other day just how out of the system he usually is when he was at home and the big kid texted me that she was leaving while I was out. He texted me to ask if I knew where she was going because she didn’t say anything to him. What I’m getting at is that his introduction to the system takes getting used to for all of us. Of course, once we all become accustomed to his presence in our daily routines, he goes back to work and we feel the empty space his presence filled for that short time. The best part of this time of the year though is that he takes most of his vacation days around the holiday so …. mid December, he’s ours again.

I’ve been watching one of our nieces and one of our nephews a little bit this month, too. I got out of the all-the-time-on-the-schedule-kid-watching game a long time ago, but it is nice to have little ones around the house occasionally. Hubs is more in the we-raised-our-kids-and-deserve-some-peace phase, which I’m certainly starting to get on board with, but we talked through it and both made some compromises. As in, I promised to not over promise and he promised not to be pissy about it HA! I will say though, there were no kids under 10 at thanksgiving and it was extremely pleasant.

We also got my grandparent’s display case in the house finally. I was already feeling a bit emotional on that particular day, really missing gran, and as I started to pull all of my little treasures from hidden boxes and bags around the house to place in the case, all the feelings came rolling out. Hubs asked what was going on and all I could say was that I made a mistake through choked sobs and sniffles. He smiled and hugged me and said I was very lucky to have all of these things. He’s right. I know he’s right. I’ve saved some of these things, carrying them with me for 30 years which is really sort of crazy. I think the hardest part was placing my papa’s hat and patch on the top shelf next to a picture of us - him in his uniform shirt and me in his hat as always. I told hubs that the hat has such raw emotional attachment for me because every day he came home for lunch or dinner and he would walk in and pop that hat on my head. It was our ritual. My grandmother fought the police department to keep that hat for me when he passed. Ugh. He and I had a lot of rituals. He took me to Dunkin Donuts and I would order a cinnamon and a coconut doughnut (and I would eat them both) while he drank his black coffee. I have never been able to eat a cinnamon or coconut doughnut since from that place because it makes me tear up just thinking about it. We also had apple eating contests and I haven’t eaten a red delicious since either. A couple weeks ago the girls both wanted Portillo’s for dinner, so I ordered it. About three bites in I paused and looked at Mae who was happily chowing on her Italian beef and I told her I missed gran. She paused and looked back at me. “I miss her too.” I think I officially can’t eat Portillo’s without crying now. I really connect food with mourning. Is that a thing?

On a lighter note…. Mae helped me re-work the colors of the PBK logo. She said those were more “mom colors” as in, the colors around the house, that I wear, etc. I agree. What do you think?

Oddly, I’m really on board with the holidays this year, too. It’s a rare thing for me since I’m normally just stressed out and miserable the entire time. I don’t love commercialism and how inescapable is is this time of year, I don’t love that everyone is supposed to be joyful, I don’t like people griping about snow every single day except Christmas… the whole thing just rubs me wrong. This year I’m feeling the advent calendar and the string lights and the mound of gifts I already have wrapped and ready to go. Bring on the eggnog and peppermint!! Alizah wanted a menorah last year and we never got one, but I think I’ll make that happen for her. Growing up, we never celebrated Hanukkah because both sides of my family just celebrated Christmas together at gran’s.

The other big news of the month is sort of knitting related — but, I got to meet my editor in real life! She is actually from Indy and was home for the holiday so we met for coffee and spent 3 HOURS talking about work and life and all that jazz. This whole book writing thing has been a complete roller coaster and I was hesitant about getting back in the saddle with the second book. Things have been so different this time around though, and I’ve been so different this time around, but you know how it goes… all is well and you wait for the other shoe to drop. Well, I thought it happened when I met my interim deadline, then was up against my final deadline and I still had heard no word from my editor. I thought surely things were going to be a disaster and then, it happened… I got a message from my acquisitions editor that my editor was no longer working on the book (?) or with the company (?) I don’t really remember now, but what I did know for sure then was that I had no editor, right? So, they hired this new lady and she was going to be my person now. Of course, I called my mom to gripe and she said, “But you don’t know… this new editor might be amazing! She might be way better than the other one and this could be a blessing.” And you know what? She was right. This was the biggest blessing ever (and she sent me a sneak peek of the models — hello! These ladies are exactly what I was dreaming of).

One more Between Stitches next month… Maybe I’ll do something special. See you then! xo