Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Crochet and Vultures!

I’m not crocheting any vultures, LOL! I’m talking about the vulture lawyers and chiropractors that have been deluging mine and my husband’s mail and voice mail with phone calls and letters trying to solicit business since his (minor!) car accident! Apparently these places scour the police reports daily (because we received one letter the very next day after the accident), looking for auto accidents, so they can try to prompt the victim? accidentee? (I know that’s not a real word!) to sue someone. Here’s my favorite one: “Dear Mr. _________, We are sorry to learn from the police accident report that you were involved in a motor vehicle collision. This can be a very frightening experience…We have enclosed our Injury Video that contains information about our law firm as well as important information the insurance company would prefer you not hear…”. Or how about this one from a chiropractor: “SECRET REPORT. WARNING: THIS REPORT CONTAINS INFORMATION YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY DOES NOT WANT TO YOU KNOW!”

Apparently these places didn’t read the police report too well, because all my husband did was hit a fence, and get stuck in a snow bank. He didn’t even have to go the hospital! I just think it’s pretty funny. Anyway, my husband is OK. I appreciate the kind comments left about his accident.

My husband is getting nervous now though, because of something else that’s happening – he’s getting “fixed” tomorrow. Yep, he’s getting a vasectomy. He had been planning to get one since our son was born 5 years ago, but never got around to it. We knew during my pregnancy that we didn’t want any more kids, so I arranged to have my tubes tied after the birth, but it didn’t work out. My doctor took me to the operating room about an hour after I had my son, and after cutting me open and poking around for about an hour and a half, told me he couldn’t find my tubes. It turned out they are completely covered with scar tissue from two colon surgeries I had in 2001 and 2002. My doctor told me the only thing he could do would be to bring me back in 6 weeks for a more extensive surgery (laparoscopy), but that he was reluctant to do it (and I didn’t want any more major surgeries either). My husband said he would get a vasectomy, but never got around to it.

After my miscarriage this summer, we decided it was time to finally get it done, so my husband had a consultation with a doctor, and is having the surgery tomorrow. He’s getting nervous about it, but I told him if I could handle giving birth twice, having two major colon surgeries (and a colostomy), and having a D&C (after my miscarriage), he can handle a 15 minute, local anesthetic vasectomy, LOL!

Actually both of my brothers in law had it done, and they said it’s an easy procedure. We had a huge blackout here in Ohio (and a bunch of other states) a few summers ago, and it happened right when my second-oldest sister’s husband was having his vasectomy. The clinic was dark, and they had no backup electricity, but the doctor was able to finish the surgery with the light coming from the window! YIKES! My husband was sure glad it wasn’t him! That sister and her husband planned to stop having kids after my sister miscarried their third child, and her husband had an appointment for the vasectomy, but my sister got pregnant about a week before his surgery, so they now have three kids.

I’ll probably always have a twinge of sadness about my miscarriage, but I’m thankful for the son and daughter I do have, and realize that the miscarriage must have happened for a reason. I can’t handle possibly having another miscarriage if I were to get pregnant again and my husband and I already have our hands full with our two kids, so the vasectomy is for the best. Also I feel that my husband and I are getting too old to start over with another baby – I’m 34, and he’s 42. Now I’m just hoping my husband won’t be too terribly sore after the surgery, because he has to go pick our kids up from school and daycare tomorrow afternoon.

Anyway, I do have some crochet project pictures to show! None are completed, just work in progress. The first is a poncho I’m crocheting for my mother for her February birthday. She saw a poncho I crocheted for my daughter when I first learned how to crochet, and asked I could make her one. I finally got around to it, and am hoping to have it done for her birthday. It’s nothing fancy – it’ll just be two double-crochet rectangles seamed together, and then I’ll crochet a pretty border around the bottom. I obviously don’t have much done so far. My mom’s favorite color is blue, but she didn’t want a solid blue poncho, so I’m using Bernat Softee Chunky in “Nature’s Way”, with a K hook. Hopefully I can get it done in time for her birthday.

The second project is a crocheted cupcake pillow for my daughter Bethany’s 10th birthday on January 29th.
I bought the
for the cupcake from a seller on Etsy. I added a few more increase rounds to the top and bottom though, because just following the pattern, the cupcake was coming out much smaller than I expected. I used the new Lion Brand Cupcake yarn in “Pink Lemonade” for the top. It’s a boucle yarn, and I usually stay away from boucle yarns, because I can’t see my stitches in it, but this yarn was surprisingly not too difficult to work with. The color is much paler than it looks in the picture though. I’m using Bernat Satin (one of my favorite yarns!) in “Lagoon” for the bottom. Are you seeing a trend here with the aqua blue for my projects? I love aqua blue! I guess it's because it brings back happy childhood memories of eating with my dad at a Woolworth diner (remember Woolworth's?!) - the waitresses and cashiers wore aqua blue smocks. I need to finish up the bottom of the cupcake, and buy some stuffing. I was originally thinking about sewing beads to the top of the cupcake, to look like sprinkles, but I hate sewing, so I think I might just crochet a cherry for the top of the cupcake I need to get the whole thing finished soon so I can surprise my daughter with it on her birthday.

The third project is a baby sundress for my pregnant sister in law. She’s pregnant with a girl, and is due January 17th (actually exactly a month before I was due with this last pregnancy). She's gone into labor twice already, and was admitted to the hospital, but was sent home both times because her labor wouldn’t progress, and her doctor won’t induce until she’s past her due date. I hope she has the baby soon, because she's having a really hard pregnancy, and is anxious to get it over with. It’s too bad she didn’t have the baby today, because today is my brother’s birthday, and it would have been pretty cool for his daughter to share a birthday with him. About the dress though, it’s semi my own pattern. The skirt design I got from a pattern in Crochet Today, but the top is my own design. I’m using Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in the discontinued “Sugarplum” and “Strawberry Cream” colors. I’m trying to make it about a 6-12 month size, so the baby can wear it in the summer. Hopefully it’ll fit.

The final project is a hat I crocheted for the Ships Project. The hat looks big, but it follows the group’s hat size guidelines – 22 inch circumference, and 8 inches long, and brimless. I modified a beanie pattern from the book “Crochet Kid Stuff” for the hat. The yarn is Bernat Satin in red and black (the hats have to be unisex colors). I took a picture of myself wearing the hat, because it looks so large when it’s not being worn, but is actually a good size for an average adult.

So, now you finally get to see what I look like! I really dislike getting my picture taken – I’m very self-conscious about how I look, especially about my big ol’ Italian nose, LOL! Yes, I’m a red-haired Italian woman! Well, only half Italian. My dad’s parents were born in Sicily, and immigrated to the U.S. in the 1930’s as adults. My dad was born in the U.S., and was just as Italian looking as it gets – ruddy skin, black hair, and the big Italian nose, which I inherited! My mother’s maternal side of the family though, immigrated to the U.S. from County Mayo, Ireland. Her paternal side of the family immigrated to the U.S. in the mid-1800’s from a country which was then Austria-Hungary, in Eastern Europe. My mother said her mother, my grandmother, had red hair until it turned completely gray in her early twenties. She said there were a few other redheads in the family, guess as a result of the Irish genes. Two of my nieces, my sister Desiree's daughters, ended up with red hair, even though my sister has black hair, and her husband has blonde. Strong red hair genes!

My mother had blonde hair as a kid, that turned brown, and me and all of my 4 biological brothers and sisters (my oldest sister is adopted) actually look different from each other. My oldest brother and sister (twins) have black hair and brown eyes, my second oldest brother has brown hair and brown eyes, and somehow, my youngest sister ended up with blonde hair and green eyes! Milkman’s kid, LOL! Just kidding! My dad said one of his grandfathers had light hair and blue eyes, so I guess that’s where it came from.

I actually had jet black hair when I was born, but it gradually lightened, and was auburn until I became a teenager, and then it turned brown. I never liked the brown, so I’ve been dyeing my hair for the past 18 years or so. My hair started growing in almost entirely gray (sigh…) when I was pregnant with my son, so now I color it religiously once a month to hide all the gray hairs my kids are giving me!

Now you know where the “Red Haired Lady” name came from too! Red Haired Lady is actually the name of my fictional alter-ego from stories I’ve made up for my kids. I don’t have any of the stories written down. I just make them up as I go, and my daughter and I do all the voices for the characters, including several talking animals, LOL! My kids and husband think the stories are hilarious, and my husband thinks I should write them down and look into getting them published. I know I can’t just submit them to a publisher – there’s a special process to submitting writing, query letters and whatnot. I’ve thought about doing it, as I’ve loved to write since I was a little kid, but I’m afraid of rejection.

I’ve had a few things published before though. I had several articles I wrote published in the (unfortunately out of print) Interrace Magazine in the early 90’s (my husband and I are an interracial couple – he’s black and I’m white, and our kids are biracial). One of my articles from the magazine was actually reprinted in a book, ”Just Don’t Marry One: Interracial Dating, Marriage, and Parenting”. I went to the library one day on my lunch break from work, was browsing the books on interracial relationships. I picked up “Just Don’t Marry One”, and was flipping through it, when I saw something that looked like an article I had written. I looked at it closer, and saw my name and my article (“Ten Annoyances Faced as Part of an Interracial Relationship)! The book even had a discussion question based on my article at the end of the chapter! Needless to say, I was shocked, but thrilled! I emailed the authors, and found out that they had reprinted my article with permission from the magazine. So, that was 15 minutes of fame!

I also had a freelance writing position for a year with a mom’s website, I was a “Go-To Mom” writing on Work-Life Balance and Multicultural Families. I really enjoyed the position. I had my own webpage with my articles, and I got a check every month, and ClubMom points (rewards points that you can cash in for gift cards, movie tickets, etc). Unfortunately ClubMom discontinued the Go-To Mom program at the end of 2006.

I had actually completed nearly 3 years of a journalism degree in college, but changed major to urban studies (urban planning) in my junior year, and graduated with an urban studies (urban planning) degree. I had taken a few urban studies classes to fulfill general degree requirements, and loved them so much that I changed my major. I also wasn’t too happy with the journalism program at my college at the time, although I know it’s been improved since then. I love the field of urban planning, but can’t help but wonder sometimes whether I should have pursued a writing career.

Well, I hope you liked my crochet projects, and that you aren’t laughing too much at my photos!


Christina said...

I don't know what you're worried look fantastic. If you hadn't said your age, I would have thought you were in your 20's. Seriously, I look older than you and I'm 27! I love red hair. I used to tell my mom that I wanted to be a red-head, and being as I'm Puerto Rican, she just thought I was silly.

I love your projects...looks like you've been really busy! The yarn for the poncho is so pretty. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for that. Cute cupcake.! I can't sew, so I like your cherry idea. The sundress for the baby is too cute and I hope your sis-in-law gives birth soon. That hat for the ships project is really nice too.

My daughter is bi-racial also. I'm Puerto Rican and her dad (my ex-hubby) is Austrian. She's got light eyes, light hair, and light skin. I've got brown eyes, brown hair, and yellowish skin, so people have asked me who the cute little girl is that I'm babysitting. Funny!

My current hubby is Polish, so when we have kids they'll be bi-racial too. Gotta love mixed families!

Laura said...


Thank you for the very nice comments! I worked with a lady who is Puerto Rican, also with black curly hair, but she gets it colored red, and straightens it. She was pregnant when I first met her, and she didn't want to color her hair during the pregnancy, so she just wore her hair long and dark and curly, then when she came back from maternity leave, she had her hair cut, straight and red, and I didn't recognize her. It looks great red though - nothing wrong with being a red-haired Puerto Rican! My oldest brother dated a red-haired Puerto Rican lady for a few years after his divorce from his first wife, and now he's married to a red-haired Arabic woman (the one who's pregnant), LOL! My daughter is obviously biracial looking, with the tan skin and tightly curled hair, but my son is much lighter, and looks white, so my husband gets a lot of funny looks when he goes places with just our son, that he doesn't get when he's with our daughter.

Thanks again for the comments!

Lesalicious said...

Love the hat oh so cute, sundress cute also. Great colors. Oh tell your sister in law to tell her baby to come a day early like the 16th that's my bday her baby and I can share a bday lol. :)
Now I see how Ms. Red Haired Lady Crochets look. You look nice :) Smile.

naida said...

Hi Laura, your pics look great. I luv the red hair, I dyed mine red for a while, then gave I accepted my naturally boring brown hair instead :P

nice projects, I like the baby outfit.

we've got quite the mix at my house'm Puerto Rican & hubby is Yugoslavian. Our kids are a unique mix. My son looks 100% Puerto Rican and my daughter looks very European, blond haired and blue eyed.

selanda said...

You are a very pretty lady. I never would have noticed your nose if you had not pointed it out. I also collect Cherished Teddies.

Meilynne said...

Finally great to see a photo of you! Your nose is fine - it's as pretty as your red hair. Love the hat, too!

C said...

You have a great nose and you're very pretty! I'm half Austrian and so I inherited a large nose from my father. Mine puts yours to shame! You're sexy.