Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Whirlwind week... or two!

Well, it's been a little bit since I've blogged, but not because I haven't thought about it!  I just haven't had the time or motivation, sadly.  

Two weeks ago, I had Mohs Surgery in Springfield to remove a basal cell carcinoma from my forehead.  (Don't burn... just don't.  Actually, it's probably too late for you, but don't let your kids burn... just don't.)  It was at my hairline on the right side, and barely noticeable!  Luckily the doctor was able to remove it all with just one layer and 15 sutures later I was on my way to Jo-Ann where I bought my weight in fun new yarn and Susan Bates hooks (love!)!  Then it was off to Chick-Fil-A and I was headed home!  About an hour into the two hour drive home, the local anesthetic wore off and I had to stop and get some ibuprofen... holy headache!  

It was NOT a fun week that followed... it HURT.  Thursday I went to my local doctor to get the sutures out and I was thinking the incision might be infected because of the pain and it was a little swollen on one end.  He said he thought I would be better off going back to Springfield for the sutures (they used clear sutures and he was afraid he might miss one; they were SUPER hard to see... like impossible, actually!).  So Friday I went back to Springfield where they told me it probably wasn't infected because it didn't seem to hurt bad enough and removed the sutures!  I went to Target and got Ikey some of the cutest clothes, then hit Starbucks for a Green Tea Latte (no... FYI), and then on to Michael's where I scored a couple of Caron Cakes (O. M. G!!! ...and with a 50% off coupon for one of them; heck yes!) and then it was another two hour drive back to the office!  

Saturday morning I woke up to an oozing incision site and ...well, I'll just say it was definitely infected.  I called the 24 hour number and the PA sent me in a prescription for an antibiotic.  Everything seems to be all good now, thankfully!  The incision is still pink, but it's hardly noticeable unless you know it's there!  

I'm definitely regretting all those tanning bed appointments and the blatant refusal to apply any form of UV protection... needless to say, none of us leave the house without our mineral sunscreen these days!  

Over the weekend, we went to some "new" neighbors for burgers!  These are easily the coolest people I've met.  They have done so much!  I love how much they have experienced and I hope one day we can do things like that with Ikey!  They have a freakin' GRIZZLY BEAR on the wall for cryin' out loud!  SO amazing.  They also have a 230lb English Mastiff that adored Ike and let him waller all over him!  I wanted to get a picture, but didn't want to be weird so I played it cool.  TOTAL REGRET!  I NEED A PIC OF IKEY WITH THAT DOG!  Next visit I will shamelessly pose them for a photo.  

I made my niece a puff stitch beanie (see previous post for link to the most fabulous pattern ever, by The Hook Nook) and I used Adriafil yarn's StellaJacq!  IT WORKED UP INCREDIBLY!  And it's soooo squishy!  I'm going to mail it to her soon, but I'm building them a jar of Missouri to send with it!  Think: river rocks, ear tags, fishing lures, etc!  FUN!  

We also had a few sick days before my surgery... Ike had bronchitis (again).  I'm convinced it's related to his teeth.  He popped a tooth through and his congestion was gone as quickly as it came.  So weird...

Anywho, that pretty much catches you up!  ;)  Oh, have any of you tried Tunisian Crochet?  I have a hook for it, and started messing with a swatch, but it's so tight.  I read it's best to use a hook that's a couple of sizes bigger than gauge, so that could be the issue!  It's super pretty, though!  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Never ever doubt others...

So last week, I was looking for amazing crochet patterns (as per usual), and I found several I figured I could accomplish fairly well, even with my total newbie badge ablaze!  I bought three from Jessica at The Hook Nook, and one from another source (also on Etsy), but the shop shall remain anonymous.  

Of course, Jessica's patterns were not only beautifully written and, in my eyes, extremely desirable as a finished product, but she proudly thanks you for supporting her family and says go ahead and sell the puff stitch beanies you make, just mention me in the process!  AWESOME!  

So I was pumped!  I felt like I was on a roll!  I finished several beanies and decided to try something different!  This is when I bought the other pattern!  It's also beautifully written and the finished product will appear complex and be totally gorgeous, but much to my dismay the pattern states bluntly "This is for private use only.  You may NOT sell the finished items."  
Whoa.  I wasn't ready for that!  I was a little pissed, honestly.  I felt like I paid for the pattern, and it's not like I'm out to steal her biz, ya know?  Why the hate?   So I immediately emailed Jessica and thanked her profusely because she is so selfless and helpful!  But I never reached out to the anonymous shop owner... I just stewed silently.

Well, friends.  Today I left 5 star review on the other beanie pattern, because I canNOT lie, the pattern was amazing and the beanie is totally adorable.  And you know?  The owner of the shop emailed me back within MINUTES and gave me permission to sell what I made.  

Here I was hurt and disappointed and felt all of these insanely petty emotions over being told "please don't pimp my pattern" and then she just out-of-nowhere says, "hey go for it!"  I wrote her back and thanked HER profusely this time.  I vowed not to sell them on my Etsy page, but I will definitely have them available in my stash for locals.  

Talk about a slap in the face, though.  All of that doubt and assumption of a complete stranger and for what?  She is actually a supremely kind and caring individual that I labeled as selfish without ever even having a conversation with her.  SHAME ON ME!

So the moral of the story:  never ever doubt others.  The goodness is there... go find it.  

Love one another and support, support, support!  :)  There's enough to go around, I promise!  

ALSO... Knit Picks, y'all!  SOOOO in love with this one!

Monday, August 1, 2016

What I did to make the Earth a better place!

So, let’s talk about Grove Collaborative!!!  I’m basically obsessed with them.

I get ALL my household cleaning items from their website, not to mention the majority of our toiletries!  Wait, I lied, I use Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar, and I can’t get that on their website <yet>.  But that’s the only thing I buy “in town”.  (You’ll see me reference going to town quite a bit, because when you live out like we do and it’s ½ mile to even get to the dirt road plus another 24 to get to the first sign of civilization, it’s a big deal!)  J  But okay, so… to put it simply, I love them.  Not only is their customer service TOP NOTCH (Hayyyy Maria!), but their philosophy is incredible!  They offer natural products, free of harsh chemicals and just plain weird ingredients, and they make them easy to purchase and pretty dang affordable!  WHY WOULDN’T YOU WANT THAT?! 

I use Seventh Generation laundry detergent, dishwasher packs, dish soap, hand soap, paper towels, and I even use their pads (sidebar: I gave up tampons a while back after reading some pretty terrifying facts on the chemicals they contain. Check out the article here.  I figured while pads still contain the chemicals, at least I wasn't inserting them into a very important area, ifyaknowwhatimean!  But now I’m chemical- and worry-free!).

Anywho, so I get a shipment once a month, easy peasy!  I joined the VIP so all my orders ship for free, (I think it cost me like $19 to join for a year, but that was a special they offered after my initial order).  I can adjust my shipment dates and I get text and email reminders before my orders ship so I can make any last many changes to my order. 

I use my cart as a running shopping list; as something starts running low, I just add it to my cart and forget about it.  Last month we were planning a camping trip so I moved my shipping date up a week to make sure I was stocked up on Acure sunscreen (just wear the damn sunscreen, y'all) and my coveted Aura Cacia Tea Tree Oil before we left!  Like I said, super easy.

Now, please believe, I’m not being endorsed to write this, (although, I wish I was… is anybody listening?!  Grove?!) but mostly I just wanted to share this company and the awesome thing they’re doing.  I truly TRULY believe that we need to be more conscience of what we put in and on our bodies and also what we are using in our day-to-day lives!  All.  These.  Chemicals.  Grove makes it so easy to make the healthier choice!  …plus, no phosphates in my laundry detergent?!  It’s not just good for my family, it’s good for our planet!  That is what you call a WIN-WIN, ladies and gents!!!  Ow Owww!  <insert Happy Dance here>

Not to mention they randomly put freebies in with my order!  I got a razor that changed my life, the best candle I’ve ever experienced (Sandalwood + Vanilla), and an awesome dish brush!  I even got $5 off an order because I happened to mention that my son broke out after using a body wash I had gotten for him.  I didn’t request a refund or anything (honestly, I wasn’t even complaining about it!); Maria just did it!  I mean, they’re amazing people!

Now the only reason I go into Walmart <shudder> is if I need milk or my fave cleaning vinegar (…and, of course, yarn)! 

So there, and you’re welcome!  Check them out… Google the ingredients in your beloved Tide… you’ll be glad you did.  Or not.  K  (another sidebar:  I haven’t missed my Tide one bit and admittedly I was totally skeptical about changing this one. BUT THEN, I even quit dryer sheets!!!  YESSSS!  I use these wool dryer balls …it seems she’s moving and the shop is temporarily closed.  Worth the wait for these puppies, though!  They’re so cute and with a few drops of Lavender EO my laundry smells magical!) 

It's time to get SERIOUS!

Okay, y'all.  So I'm officially trying to make this blog workout.  Flex the ol' blog muscle, if you will.  ...or maybe not?  That sounds super weird.  Okay, anyway, I'm going to get serious about this blog and I'm going to try to make it work for me while I work for you!

I want to share my thoughts, ideas, tips, tricks, recipes, patterns, you name it!  I want this to be a place for you to come and interact and be a real community: friends and neighbors just doing our thang!  No?  That didn't work, did it?  But anyway, a place where you can come and relax and hopefully get some good information and inspiration, or at least a little laugh!  

So let me introduce myself (again).  

I'm Elise, I live on a cattle ranch in Southern Missouri, with my husband and our beautiful son.  We run a cow/calf pair operation and both work full-time "in town".  We have a passion for the outdoors and leaving it just the way we found it, if not better.  We love to fish and are blessed to live in such a great area for it!  We're surrounded by water and try to get to the river at least once a month for some serious trout fishing fun!  (There just aren't many things better than a day spent on the river with family!)  I have a quiet passion for crochet and crafting, and I'm trying to make this a bigger part of my day-to-day!  It's something I truly enjoy more than I ever dreamed I would, and I have decided to go all-in and make this fantasy a reality!  (FYI, the adorable hat I'm wearing is a pattern by the wonderful, Jessica from The Hook Nook; check her out!)

I struggled to find a good hobby for years, (see <basically> all of my previous blog posts, ha) and I finally did when I YouTube'd "learn to crochet" and watched every video it provided!  It's super amazing to see a ball of yarn turn into a beanie, or a dish rag (check out this link... Alexis and her blog, Persia Lou, are super duper amazing and I made her Color Block Washcloth pattern for a friend's housewarming; see a picture below), or a gorgeous shawl, and I can't wait to share this art with you!  I hope you learn something either about yourself or your skill each time you visit my blog!  

That being said, WELCOME, FRIENDS!!!  I appreciate you stopping by and I hope to see you again very soon!  :)