I’m Going to Prove My Husband WRONG

So Phillip just left for work a few minutes ago. The boy is frustrated. I haven’t seen him very much recently, because they’ve switched him to nights. I get up about the time he’s coming home. But, he had to work this morning so I got about an hour of coffee talk with him.

He’s been aggravated that his hours have been slashed in half, while others that don’t work as hard as him seem to be getting overtime. Funny how that happens in life, but it does happen.

Phillip is an assertive person, does his job, and makes sure he does it well. So, he’s been really pissy lately that they aren’t giving him as many hours as he needs, but at the same time scheduling him to work a night shift (home at 3am), then back to work at 10am. The boy isn’t getting rest. He’s cranky. Depressed.

But, just before he went to work he said, “I don’t think we’re going to make it.”

“I won’t have that talk in this house. I’m over at my little work station busting my butt knitting and writing. We’ll do it. I know we will. We don’t have an option.”

“Well, it just seems like everything is back firing.”

“Not everything.”

“Sure seems like it.”

Man….”Sweetheart, the difference between your having a good day or having a bad day is YOU. I’m going to have an amazing day, and do you know why? Because I SAID SO.”

“We’re never going to get that apartment.”

“Well, with that attitude you’re absolutely right….”

Then he took a big gulp of his coffee, kissed me goodbye and headed for work. Then that man of tenacity in me just burst right out the minute he closed the front door. I want to prove to him that we can do it.

I have six hours until he gets home to prove to him a point. If you go at your day feeling like you’ve lost and everything sucks, then that’s what you’re going to get, but if you approach your day with a great determination and sense of optimism, then you’ll reap the rewards.

I want him to come home later today, point at my laptop and say, “Hey! You with the bad attitude. Come here, I want you to see something. I sold like crazy. We did it. You see? WE did it. Not you, not me. WE,” just so I can inspire him into realizing that dreams do come true if you apply yourself. “Now, smile, dammit!”

Someone asked me if I’d make them a pink elephant with all of those shades of pink I have. I said of course! And went to work on knitting the snout. Someone else asked if I would make them one of my tigers. I’m on it. Ordered the yarn a few days ago. I can do this. I’ll knit what you want.

So, if you’d like one of my classic stuffed animals, click here. Or if you’d rather have something else, like a pink elephant, or one of my other animals, send me an email at madmanknitting@gmail.com.

I’ll work for you. I’ll knit you whatever animal you want to get that point across to him AND to finally get that apartment.

Five hours and 45 minutes and counting….Let’s go!

UPDATE! Phillip came home and said, “My day sucked. I’m going to bed. Wake me before Jeopardy.” So, I have one more hour to go!!!

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Knitter on the Verge….

Now, just look at that picture. THAT is a self portrait. I’ve been so busy these last few days, busting out knit this and written that, that I was so grateful to have a rainy day. Obviously I was still knitting, and since you’re reading this, I am obviously still writing. But, there was something different about today.

I needed to relax.

It was rainy, grey, gross….perfect for a Sunday. You know the kind of day. Nowhere you need to be, no one you need to see? So, you wake in your jammies and you stay there, put on your knit socks and find comfort in them. Yes, those are two different pairs of socks. I get great excitement in watching one sock self striping itself, but then get bored doing the color way for the other sock. Everyone “harumphs” and says, “damn….now I have to make two.” Who says? Proudly show your work on both feet.

So, when I woke this morning with rain pelting the window screens, I was pretty much locked in. Didn’t need to change clothes. And even Phillip said, “Why don’t you take the day off?”

Pish-posh. Take a day off? I’ve never heard of such a thing. I wake, I create, I put full pedal to the metal and scream, “I need to do this!”

But, he was right. I really needed to. I have been working so hard to get this new apartment, and I am so close….so freakin’ close to having the money for the deposit and the first and last months rent that you find me packing things up, not buying a lot of food (yes, we’ve been having a lot of sandwiches). You can even find me pacing while I think about what to blog, what to write, what to say that can finally make my name have some value. You can find me knitting through skeins of yarn at record pace. My personal best when I was homeless was three bears a day….I’m currently at two because I now beautifully have a husband and three cats to tend to. (They rely on me, you know…if for nothing other than the reminder that we are a family).

Today, I took a moment to breathe….

And I realized I haven’t fought this hard for something since I was homeless. Oh, trust me. Once you’ve been there you’ll do everything in your power to NEVER be in that situation again. Takes a day to become homeless. A DAY….and can take years to get back out. That situation from before becomes the cornerstone of every little thing you think about.

Today, in my pajamas….I breathed.

You cannot take care of your family if you’re not taking care of yourself. So, I took today to breathe, to let my husband tend to himself, let the cats battle it out on their own without my needing a water bottle to spritz them, and breathed.

And in one breath it occurred to me: Ok, I’ll take care of myself today. But, I will knit and write until my fingers bleed to take care of my family.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can show a photo of all five of us, me, Phillip, and the fur babies, all in our new home….all accomplished with bears and books….and a day of needed rest. I am so close.

To grab my classic teddy bear, click here.

To read my “Madam and Brown” series, click here.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it to continue, please donate to help keep it going. Every single dollar helps! We couldn’t do it without your support!





And That Apartment is Ours

Look at all of that pink. Ladies and gentlemen, this picture is the classic example of NOT knowing your audience, nor even listening to them. Look at all of that pink. Ok, take a peek at that far one on the right. That is TEN teddy bears waiting to be made. That one the middle? A good three. Finally, a pair of socks on the end. I could knit this all up in no time and BOOM! Bears in shades of pink all over the place….And that apartment is ours.

The bad news is, nobody wants pink. Who would have thunk it?

No. They want your classic bear, the one that made you semi famous. Or as my mother says, “I wouldn’t call you famous….But, I would call you notable.” (I love that idea. Makes me sound like the punk hero, the alternative grunge band. Not mainstream enough to be swamped at the supermarket for autographs, but enough attention for people to call you a folk hero. I’m good with that.)

I push and strive everyday to get myself one step closer towards a goal, a goal that lends me to some sort of success. And one may ask, just what is that success anyway? That doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. Because when you get down to brass tacks, it really is about striving for that you want out of life and doing at least something, something everyday to get you closer and closer.

I love the concept of visualization. I go to bed every night visualizing us in our new apartment. I know where every bookshelf goes (which is beautiful, really. I wanna know where my books go first. I have nearly 200 books. Now, you see why I don’t have any money. I love to read, and I love books. BOOKS). Then I think about where to put the big chair Phillip spends his evenings in. (Not fond of stereotypes, but I do love the one of my big husband coming home from a long days work to plop into a big fat chair to rest in….before asking, “When’s dinner?”)

Then there, over in the corner, a potted Mother in Law Tongue. (I like plants that don’t require a lot of my attention. You can’t kill Mother in Law Tongues. They just keep going and going. Hence the name).

I can see it clearly, from something as simple as Phillip’s paintings on the wall, to something practical and strategic as to where to place the cat boxes. I can see it all. I can visualize it….and do every night.

But, you have to do the work. Don’t tell the Universe this is what you want, dream about it, then just sit there. No, you have to actually participate in that dream, you have to get up at 4 in the morning to write, to knit, to make contacts, to expand your empire, to put yourself in the arena. Because if you don’t, no one will even know you exist.

Oh, God, I hope I have inspired all of you throughout these years. I hope I have shown you what beauty there is in hope AND tenacity. Hope is the dream, tenacity is the process. Hope is wishing, tenacity is doing. But, you need both because hope is like one of those “dream walls,” or “mental boards” that successful people place where they can see the manifestation of their dreams coming true. Hope is just the mental version of that. Tenacity is turning that hope into action.

I am so close to turning everything I hoped for turning into something that I actually worked for; something that these hands actually built from yarn or words. (Reminds me of that woman who sent me a message. “I thought this was a knitting page, but you keep talking about writing.” To which I could only respond, “Well, I’m spinning yarn in one way or another, right?” She didn’t get the joke. Only seasoned people will get it.)

I’m only a few sales away from my teddy bears and my latest book series to really make this all happen. That apartment of ours is so close….And yes, I am busting my ass to make it happen. I’m so close to turning my hopes, into something real, but I’m going to need your help to get over the finish line. And that apartment is ours.

To grab my classic teddy bear, click here.

To read my “Madam and Brown” series, click here.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it to continue, please donate to help keep it going. Every single dollar helps! We couldn’t do it without your support!

I Have a Plan….

I have a plan to get our new apartment. I really think this could work. I’ve been doing a lot of math lately, trying to figure out how to take money from here, put it over there, get rid of this expense, slim down that one, so we can get our new apartment.

Finally, “TENANTS” and “DUPLEX” are starting to gain traction. We only sell a few copies a day, but I’ll happily take them. There are far too many people on the internet claiming if you’re not selling 20 copies a day, then you’re not doing well as an author. I REALLY beg to differ. There isn’t a writer out there who wouldn’t kill JUST to have at least one sell a day. Of course, we want more….but, we can’t forget to be grateful for what does come our way. The Universe notices how grateful you are, and will keep supplying more and more love on you.

Which brings me to the first part of my plan. If I can sell 200 more copies of both books this month, then we’ll have a nice chunk we can plop down for a deposit. Why this month? Because, if you’re unaware, royalties payed out from Amazon have a 90 day lag time. So, all of the sales THIS month will be paid to me in July. Sucks, but those are the rules. But, as long as I know it’s coming, and I can watch those sales rise, I’ll be happy as can be.

The second part of my plan involves my beloved teddy bears. They have served me so well, they put food in my mouth, finally put a roof over my head, was finally able to buy a pair of shoes that weren’t worn in the soles. (That was a wonderful day). This the pattern, this is the deign of the bear that brought me closer to all of my dreams and I whisper again into his ear, “I need your help, little buddy. I really do.” Knitting and selling 30 of these would be able to cover the first months rent for our new place.

So, 200 hundred books and 30 bears is not that much really. Not at all. As a matter of fact, I just put up a poll on facebook asking, “Which of these two bears do you like better?” This little guy in the pic was the hands down winner…..with over 30 people commenting within the first 20 minutes the poll was up. So, there is potential for this to actually happen….and fast.

That’s my plan. It’s a good solid plan. And I know it can happen. I’ve already started packing up our stuff in anticipation that this will work.

To read “TENANTS” and “DUPLEX” click here. Or if you’d like my little teddy bear, click here.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it to continue, please donate to help keep it going. Every single dollar helps! We couldn’t do it without your support!

I Have to Apologize…

My property manager called me this mourning….to apologize for not picking up the trash.

“That’s not your job,” I said, “your job is to tell them to pick up their mess.”

“Well, it’s been bothering me. But, it will be picked up today.”

“I tell you what. If I’m out there, I’ll pick it up….just seems when I get to it, the whole clump of cardboard boxes is wet. Gross.”

“No, no. I’ll take care of it.”

Sure enough, I was sitting here a short while ago, knitting and she pulled up, tended to the trash, then left. And as I sat here I could only begin to the think of so many lessons learned that you forget sometimes. Your willingness to stand up for yourself is meaningless if you don’t know where the other person is coming from….because you weren’t listening to them. You were just reacting. (Both sides of the political isle take note)!

I think she and I both did that. God knows I’m stressed because we have to be out of here soon and I haven’t secured anything because….well, let’s be honest, I’m not in the financial position to just drop deposit and first and last months rent on anything. So, yes, I’m pushing teddy bears and my latest book and all in the hopes it will afford us somewhere to go when the lease is up.

But, then…..think about her position, where she’s coming from. It must be incredibly stressful losing all of that income every month, it must be terrifying. I can see that point of view. God knows I live that terror. And she’s doing everything she can and sometimes (like myself) it just doesn’t seem to be working (again, I hear ya), that you snap at someone just reacting.

I did it. She did it. We’re all at some time or another guilty of it. So, I wrote her an email to apologize:

“I’d like to apologize for my email yesterday. Now, I’m not apologizing for sending it, but I think my tone didn’t need to be so rough. I thought about it today, and one of the best accomplishments you can ever claim is your ability to look at the situation from the others point of view. I know it must be incredibly stressful not being able to rent the apartment. God knows the income that an empty flat gobbles up must be astronomical. When I saw you cleaning up the trash today, I was reminded that every situation has two sides…and I imagine I wasn’t seeing it from your perspective. You are committed to your job. I see that. I could have been a little more understanding about how much stress that must give you. So, I apologize and will do everything on my end to ensure that when people walk up to the apartment for a viewing that they are at least met with my kind, clean, floral front stoop, and perhaps they’ll see that the apartment upstairs could be more than a place to crash, but could truly be a home for someone. 

Again, my apologies,
We only have so much time here. Yes, you can take that metaphorically….But in that time, shouldn’t we do our best to make sure that we hear each other and cohabitate peacefully in the time we’re afforded by the Universe?
I’m nearly 47 years old now. And I praise the days that I get to learn something valuable….
I lit a candle for her on my altar, praying she’s able to rent that upstairs apartment soon. I hope she’ll do the same for me….praying I get someplace soon.

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it to continue, please donate to help keep it going. Every single dollar helps! We couldn’t do it without your support!

Tired of Being Treated Like Trash

So, I finally had it out with my landlord. I may have screwed us, Phillip is worried that I have, but I had to stand my ground. I simply had to. Well, let’s be careful about  terms. She is our property manager, not our landlord. Our landlord is wonderful, we love her, but she is no longer in the picture, apparently hiring a property manager to handle the affairs of the tenants. And things just haven’t been the same.

She came by to show the unit above us. She’s been trying to rent it out for an astronomical amount of money. And since it isn’t renting, she has been taking to blaming me for that. Who knows why? But, it’s usually the same, considering where she’s coming from. Look at me. To some I’m an adorably charming guy in jeans and a ball cap. To others, I look like redneck white trash. Won’t take the time to know anything about me, won’t delve into my writing to strip away my wear and look for some awareness I bring with my art. Hell no.

I’m not trendy enough to live here, I degrade the place, I bring down property values. I saw her looking around the yarn truck one day, throwing her hands up, staring into the back of it and obviously shaking her head as though it was some bent up, broke up, piece of trash that was keeping people from renting the apartment upstairs. Look! The friggin’ Clampetts live here. She then took to Phillip’s garden and began throwing her hands around in disbelief again. I could see her from my living room window. Shaking her head and showing such displeasure in his plants….HIS PLANTS! Not the prettiest pots, I guess.

Whenever she happens to show the apartment she makes a point of telling me their occupation. “This one is a cancer researcher and her sister works for NASA!” Girl, that’s not her sister, that’s her lesbian lover, let’s get that straight. “Oh, the people coming today work for the Russian Ballet!” And at one point I finally said straight up, “Well….I guess that makes little ol’ me the low rung on the social ladder, doesn’t it?”

But, today? Today, I’d had enough of being made to feel like I wasn’t worthy of living here, that I wasn’t chic enough, that I wasn’t valuable enough. She seems to have a fondness for renting to young women. I have no idea what that is about. I guess she saw some marketing material that says they’re likely to spend large amounts of money on apartments in the downtown area that is close to craft breweries and food trucks. But, I’ll speak from experience when I say we have lived here for four years and in that time each and every apartment that has been rented by young women under the age of 25 ends up in a rotating door of disasters. None renew their leases, because they can’t get along, or they don’t even bother to stay the extent of the lease because it’s just too much work being an adult.

Case in point, today. The two girls who live next door NEVER take out their trash. We have assigned garbage bins to take to the road. Each apartment has one, they’re all clearly labeled. Now, I know we forget to take them to the road every Monday, everyone does it on occasion, but they’ll fill up theirs, fill up the recycle bin, then start using other people’s trash receptacles. You’d think they would feel bad about that and find the next opportunity to take everyone else’s trash out. Nope. They never. Then they get packages, discard of the boxes off in the corner, and all the plastic wrap and then wait for someone else to clean it up. Oh, yes. They both are Rollins College graduates and work on Park Avenue. The property manager pointed that out to me. La-deee-dah.

So, today she was showing the apartment early this morning. I’m sitting here at my desk, watch her spend 20 minutes showing it, then come down the stairs pick up this big plastic bag that was in the middle of the road, place it on my trash can and look at me through the window. Again, all this trash, this nastiness is my fault. Again, she can’t rent the place because I’ve made it look filthy and lazy. So, I sent her an email, titled it, “Love your message!”

“I love the way you dramatically placed this weird plastic bag in my trash can, prominently displaying “apartment 2.” Allow me to give you some insight: apartment 1 is responsible for that trash, as is the mad cardboard madness they’ve left in this corner for six months now. They don’t feel they have to tend to their own trash, but will fill up everyone else’s receptacles and the recycle bin with their own nonsense then have apartments 2 and 3 take it to the street for them.

“As a matter of fact, Skye took out to the road apartments 2 and 3 to the road yesterday. And left apartment 1. They need to take care of their trash. Not only their own bins. But, the things they do to denigrate. We’ve lived here for four years now. And we love tending to the crown of thorns to hide the blemishes that beset the property. We did our best to make it vibrant and alive with small flowers, but I’ll be damned if I’m to made to feel the trash on the property is my fault, when truly it’s the fault of those who think of this as a stopover, rather than a home. I wish you wouldn’t look on us so unfavorably, because that is what I’m beginning to feel. We feel like we’re being blamed for the problems on the property, when we’re not the ones at fault. I hope you understand where I’m coming from. We loved it here. We really did. But, we’ll continue to do our best to make this a wonderful property for anyone who wishes to live here for as long as we are.”

I just wasn’t willing to play this game with her anymore, that I am too nice to say something back, that I’m willing to be treated with malice because I don’t look fashionable and have a “profession” that someone can be proud of just because she has the power to turn us out and that I could…tolerate all of this.

I hate that feeling. I HATE being made to feel that I’m worthless. Apparently, this trash must be your fault. I mean look at you…it MUST be you.

Our lease is up in three months. I know for certain she is not willing to let us stay that long, not if she could rent the apartment upstairs by getting rid of us. She’s looking for a way to get us out. I know she is. And you know what? I’m willing to give her what she wants as long as I have a place to go. I just have to sell enough books and bears to make it happen. And it can happen.

I just want out. I’m just so angry that I am made to feel every time I see her that I am the reason for her failure. I HATE THAT! That I’m not worthy enough to live here….Fine.

….and now her response. “Please don’t make me give you a three day notice.”

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it to continue, please donate to help keep it going. Every single dollar helps! We couldn’t do it without your support!