DSCF2040

Worst Husband Ever….

I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks, even before Thanksgiving, that I have been neglecting my husband. But, he said something today that stung. I was busy knitting and he tried to give me a hug and a kiss. And I foolishly resisted and said, “Not right now. I’m working.” He sulked away saying sadly to himself, “….but, you’re always working.”

I put my needles down and gave him a hug and started thinking back over the last month or so. I have been an terrible husband. Ever so focused on trying to get us ahead, ever so focused on my books and my knitting, that I forget about what matters so much to him, can be a distraction to me. Awful, isn’t it? He just wants affection from me, and I’m so busy whipping up teddy bears and writing that I dismiss tenderness. I try to justify it to him and say that if I didn’t work hard, we’d fall to the wayside, and I can’t have that happen again. It’s easier being homeless when you’re alone, but not when you have a husband and two cats. I work so hard because I never EVER want to be in that situation again. And in the process I forget the emotions that forgive us of our failures. There is no sense in working this hard if I lose the beauty that I have gained: our relationship. He is truly the best thing that has ever happened to me. And in some respects, I work hard and unknowingly avoid the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I knew I screwed up at Thanksgiving. So busy with my own knitting and writing that I made a terrible Thanksgiving dinner. Two pieces of garlic bread with marinara sauce on top. I handed it to him and went back to work. When he asked, “What’s this?” I simply replied, “I don’t have time to cook dinner. I’m busy working.”

And as Christmas quickly approaches and as the ornaments we bought are still in a shopping bag, he asks why we still haven’t gotten our little tree. And I foolishly said, “I’ve just been too busy…”

I know he hasn’t had the best life. And the details of that are for his explaining, and not for me to indulge you with here on this blog. His life is personal, painful, his. He should be the one to tell you those things, not me.

But, there is that part of my soul that reaches so hard into the depths of ambition to give him a better life, only forgetting that what fouled up his life was that he was abandoned, forsaken….dismissed.

I could possibly be the worst husband ever because I work so hard to provide….but, don’t provide what is needed. I went through this as a child with my father. My father busted his butt to become a success. The sacrifice was that I never saw him. And when I did see him it was only to be punished. I don’t like comparing myself to my father. The man made some horrible mistakes….and never owned up to them. He, to this day, will tell you he did the right thing. And I don’t want to have that trait straight line itself into my own life.

(Funny, I can hear him in the other room laughing right now while he watches something on Netflix. I love his laugh. He’s a very forgiving man.)

I love that man more than anything in the world. And I want to give him the best Christmas he’s ever had. Not gifts and things. I want to give him my time. I want to make him a wonderful dinner. I want to restore what his past has damaged. Give him family, joy, laughter and hope. Give him Christmas.

Perhaps, with this, I can redeem myself and become “the best husband ever.”

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every single bit helps! Thank you!

 

The Little Bear Interview (Part I)

img_3042I’m graciously able to say the the little bear from my book has allowed our interview to continue. He had cancelled it once he got wind of my deciding to pull promotion of the book and seemed to be cross with me for that particular decision.  He has been in high demand lately, and receiving an audience with him has been difficult to obtain, despite the fact the I did write the book that hoped to make him a household name.

“You’re not being very brave by quitting like that,” he said in his memo to me. And with some desire to save face with him, I asked once again if we could proceed with the interview. He agreed and we are in the middle of the interview now, he taking leave for a moment for a photo shoot. The interview is going well, and I hope to have it finished within a few hours. He has certain conditions. No video, no tape recording, photographs and written word only. And when asked about the conditions he said only, “Teddy bears are bravely quiet….”

 

teddyfront

Signed Hardcover First Editions are here.

Paperback versions from amazon are here.

Instant download in pdf available here.

 

 

The Last Stitches of the Season

img_3037With Christmas a quick three weeks away, they usually tell you that somewhere around the 15th of the month is pretty much the last day you can mail something priority and it can be guaranteed arrival by Christmas Eve, which is tricky, seeing that Christmas Eve is on a Saturday this year. So, just so everyone gets their packages on time, the latest batch of my knit animals from my book is the last batch I’ll be able to do if you’d like them by Christmas. The first batch I knit up did really well!  These new guys in my shop will be arriving somewhere between the 10th and the 13th, giving us just enough wiggle room. After these guys are sold, I’ll be finishing up some other projects that need to be ready before Christmas. Of course, I’ll still be blogging and Phillip will still be working hard on his Strange Friends, so be sure to look for those. He’s been doing very well at getting at least one finished per day. And people really love them! I’m so proud of him.

We’re looking forward to blogging about our Christmas tree next🙂 Not having very much money doesn’t mean you can’t have a great tree and all the trimmings. We don’t have a tree yet, but we did hit the dollar store and with a $10 budget we were able to get some cardinals, a few figurines, some glass balls, garland, a tree topper and a tree skirt! And they actually look really nice. We’re hoping to get a smaller tree, a table topper; we’re just waiting for Publix to restock them. Once we have the tree, we’re gonna blast some good ol’ fashioned Christmas music, have a sip of eggnog and get to trimming. I can’t wait to take pictures.

So! These knit animals in my shop are the last of the year! Be sure to get one! They didn’t last very long last week. Have a great day everyone!

 

img_3052

….And Dream of Quiche

I first met Nancy about 2 years ago. In the beautiful way the world works coincidences, she had read one of my blog posts that had gone viral, and then when she found out the her son was a friend of Phillip and mine, she asked if she could meet one afternoon. You see, her son  used to be roommates with Phillip. And because of that, Mark was already coming over for visits probably a few times a month. So, getting to meet and become friends with his mother happened pretty naturally.

Phillip and I fell in love with Nancy…and it’s always cool to chide one your friends about being friends with his mom.🙂 As a matter of fact, in my phone, Nancy is listed as “Mark’s Mom.” Just as one of those little nods to when we were kids and we just named everyone “so-and-so’s mom.” Whenever Nancy comes to visit, she brings some of her hand crafted soaps for Phillip. They are for my benefit, too, but mostly for Phillip. Of all the soaps he has used over the years, Nancy’s castile soap really does make his skin feel better, and I get the benefit of that great scent that lingers when he comes to bed after taking a shower. It’s a very handsome smell.

Anyway, back when my teeth were at their worst and food had become an enemy, we discovered certain things I could eat. Mostly eggs, mostly omelettes, especially if I was trying to get more veggies into my diet. A Greek omelette with spinach, red onion, and olives chopped very very fine was perfect. So, Nancy suggested quiche….Well, hell yeah! Who doesn’t love quiche???

Yesterday I got a text from her asking if I was free for lunch. She was going to be in town and she was bringing me quiche.🙂 Hallelujah. How kind! So, when she arrived today, she delivered TWO spinach and mushroom quiche…..which have not survived the day. Awfully funny that she mentioned one could go in the freezer for a later date. After one bite? Uhhh, no. We tore through those quiche like madmen.

img_3052I nibbled on one whole quiche myself just for lunch. As you can see from the photo, there was only one piece left…..and I’m nibbling on it now for a light supper🙂 (Goodness, look at all of the smiley faces I’m using in this post!). Not only was the food delightful and delicious, but the company was enjoyable, as well. We talked about education, the judicial system, the nuances of my children’s book…..It was a wonderful afternoon. And as usual, she delivered a nice bar of her castile soap for Phillip. And that couldn’t have come at a better time. Now, I have to admit that when we run out of soap we pick up what we can at the supermarket….and well, my big man does smell so much nicer after he’s lathered with Nancy’s castile, rather than with Dove or Irish Spring. No, he needs to smell handsome, not like a dainty lady🙂 . So, thanks to Nancy, I’m heading to bed with a belly full of quiche, cuddling next to a man that smells has handsome as he looks.

You should check out some of Nancy’s soaps. She beautifully donates quite a bit of her proceeds to her nearby animal shelter. *You have to love people that make their own soaps, can bake a killer quiche, and love animals of all sorts. That’s “good people” in my book. Man, I wish we had smell-a-vision. A whiff of her soaps would have you hooked. but for now, check out her page here to take a look around.

Oh! And Phillip has a new Strange Friend lurking around our shop. A Salamandandy. Yes, a very elusive creature, which is very ironic, sense Salamandandies like to be looked at.

Hope you’re all having a safe weekend!

Be sure to check out my new children’s book:

teddyfront

Signed Hardcover First Editions are here.

Paperback versions from amazon are here.

Instant download in pdf available here.

 

 

 

img_3027

Story Time with the Knit Animals

img_3027I’ve received a ton of awesome ideas on how to get my book up and moving and I’m quickly implementing as many as possible. Some of these ideas were truly creative. So, thank you! and keep them coming! Having all the animals right there in front of me, did bring everything into focus. As though they had truly come to life and had jumped out of the page. Each of them, with their own beautifully flawed personalities. We did these photos as a sort of promotional concept, of course. I do like the whimsy of writing these posts where I interact with each of them and find out what they thought of my book, but then it started to dawn on me. While taking a picture of me telling the animals the story of my book, I started to see how the book could come to life using these knit animals in a video, a short film version of the book. Maybe it would be done in stop motion, maybe just photographic stills. But, I suddenly was inspired and a big smile came across my face.

img_3037So, I’m going to start working on that in January. I guess with computers as cool as they are now, all I really need is a good microphone to pick up my voice and I’ll be on my way🙂 I also liked the idea people had of having the animals sold with the books, so here you go! You can now either get the book, or the animal, or the book AND animal with one click. I only have one of each now, so when one sells, I’ll knit that one, replace it, and put it back up for sell. So, if you go to my shop and the animal you want is sold out, don’t be discouraged, just come back in a day or two.

I will admit a few weeks ago when I saw the book wasn’t doing well at all, I was crestfallen a bit. It’s hard not to be discouraged when you see your time and effort just fall flat. But, with all of these ideas of yours, and a few shouts of “eureka!” myself, I’m feeling inspired again. So, thank you!

Check out the knit animals here!

teddyfront

Signed Hardcover First Editions are here.

Paperback versions from amazon are here.

Instant download in pdf available here.

 

 

img_2993

The Tiger in the Closet

And you’re right.
I’m reading comments this morning about my last post. Now, I do have to clarify that we had no intention of pulling the book, but had no financial means to continue promoting it. We can’t afford a book tour, or “boosts” on Facebook, or ads of any kind. All we really have to rely on is word of mouth, or perhaps, going viral again at some point. But, reading these comments, we saw a really interesting trend that we simply couldn’t ignore….

(“…and why do you keep saying ‘we?’ Do you mean you and Phillip?” Nope. I mean all of you with me. We’ve been on this path since the beginning, there’s no way I would ever consider you weren’t a part of my life  and my blessings).

img_2993There has been a HUGE demand for the knit animals in the book. And if you read the comments, many people thought that having them WITH the book would cause a lot more interest. I love getting input like this. And I have to give a shout out to both Kathy and Faye who suggested that very idea a little while back. Now, see? I had not even thought of that. I had thought of putting the patterns in the book instead (which ARE in the book). But, every time I see that damned Elf on the Shelf, I see exactly where we lacked in promoting this book.🙂 Those knit animals with the book are perfect. They NEED to be available to go with the book. And as Faye pointed out, “to have their own knit animals to act out the story.” Absolutely! And can you imagine those knit animals being acted out in the Moth scenes????

So, here we go. We’ll do one last ditch at promotion. I’m going to try something else in a few days, but for now, you at least have the Tiger in the closet.  

Read the book to find out why Tiger is in the closet….and refuses to come out.

teddyfront

Signed Hardcover First Editions are here.

Paperback versions from amazon are here.

Instant download in pdf available here.

 

teddyfront

This is Not Defeat

We came to the conclusion tonight, that we had to admit the my children’s book has not done very well. Yes, people do really love it, however, it hasn’t sold. In the first month of it’s release, we’ve sold only about 150 units. So, we had to crunch the numbers, look at the obvious, and realize as wonderful as people love the book, it just isn’t selling.

You win some and you lose some. Now we might have not succeeded with this book, but that’s ok. You have to do your best to try and try again for as many wins as you can. This endeavor wasn’t a win for us, so we try again at something else. We don’t ever give up. Anyone who comes to this blog on a regular knows that we don’t give up. We aspire to the notions of resilience. If we didn’t succeed at this, we’ll try at something else.🙂 This is not a defeat, it’s simply a loss. And that can happen. Sometimes you lose. But, it’s not always the end of the world.

People who hope never falter. They always rise above. Hope is the buoy provided when life tries to sink you. And we have enormous amounts of hope on this end.🙂 Each and every one of you has been my buoy from the beginning. With you at my side, there is no way I could ever sink.

Now, it doesn’t mean the book is going away. We work on a print on demand situation with our printer If you order them, they get sent. So, the book will always be available as long as the internet works. But, we won’t be putting anymore resources nor time into pushing and promoting the book. We’re going to regroup, rethink and find another way to let our creative ways keep us afloat. We’ll come up with something else. And that is the mark of bravery: remembering that because something you attempted didn’t do well, isn’t a defeat. It’s simply a loss, a moment to learn. You can gain from losing. You can learn what you did wrong, what you did right, and how in the future you can do something noble and worthwhile that is loved the world over.

teddyfrontBe sure to check out my new book!

Signed Hardcover First Editions are here.

Paperback versions from amazon are here.

Instant download in pdf available here.