The Bad Mood to End All Bad Moods

I'm a little crabby.

I don't know why, really.  It's a gorgeous snowy day out.  My family is warm and snug and having fun.  I'm just kind of in a bad mood. It doesn't happen to me that often, really --these bad moods without reason.  I mean, it's not like I hit someone's car or got honked at in traffic or whatever.

It could be that two of my children (out of two) have colds. I may be coming down with a cold myself, although I am still in the denial phase.

It could be that I have been trying to write a post about how I redid Ana's room while she was away skiing last week and it is quite possible that I have bored myself to death.

Seriously, I can't feel a pulse.

Last week was the Winter Break for both of my daughters.  I wasn't familiar with Winter Breaks before we moved to New York because in Texas, we had one break (Spring) in March and that was all.  Here we have a Winter Break AND a Spring Break but we pay for it by going to school through June.

Anyway, my spouse took the kids skiing for five days.  I stayed home because I can't ski anymore and also because of the pets and also?  Because I needed a "momcation." It's funny because Coop and I were talking about it the other night as we were falling asleep --the thing about parenting is how relentless it is, especially when we're single parenting.  I give my husband all kinds of credit because I think it's even harder when you're on vacation with the kids and they are doing something dangerous and athletic.  It seems to be worth it, though.  At one point, Fearless Jane, 9, took her dad down her favorite black diamond ski run. (This is a kid who has been skiing exactly three times.)  "I'm so happy," she said. "I feel like I've conquered the world."

(Most of us thought she'd already done that, actually.)

Me?  I stayed home and conquered some clutter and missed them.  I think it's important to get that kind of distance every once in a while--makes me appreciate my family so much more. It recharges my batteries. I need a certain amount of alone time to think and dream and knit and write.

Also? To do Insane Home Improvement Projects. 

Ana (soon to be 12--TWELVE, people!) and I have been wanting to redo her room. We've been talking about it and talking about it and we weren't really getting anywhere-- mostly because I wanted her help going through the boxes and boxes of clutter she has.  ("WHY do you need a drawer full of rocks?" "Because I DO!") And also because I didn't really have a lot of extra money for a make-over. I would have loved to have completely done the room with new furniture and hardwood floors (guess who has been watching a lot of HGTV while knitting lately?) but it just wasn't in the budget.

Ladies and Gentleman (Hi, honey!), I present to you the (under) $100 makeover. (Click to enlarge and really appreciate my decorating brilliance.)
For once in my life, I tried to do things that wouldn't require me to have a contractor come in when we decided to do something else.  See those six million hooks holding the purses?  They are the REMOVABLE kind. No holes!  Woohoo!
Actually, there would have been even less expense if I hadn't gotten the idea that I wanted to try that paint that turns a wall into a magnet.
I do not recommend this paint because, first of all, it's black, black, black which means it's going to take at least three coats of paint to cover up.  But also?  It doesn't work that well.  It needs really strong magnets to affix anything to the wall. (In the interest of full disclosure, it says on the can (in fine print) that you're supposed to have the paint shaken at the paint counter.  I didn't notice that until about half way through the process. (Let's just not delve into the psychological issues I have with reading directions, shall we??) I took what was left back to the paint counter, had it professionally shaken and then it clumped something awful.  Maybe if I had gone to the paint counter and had it shaken BEFORE I was ready to give up the whole project and go sit somewhere and sip a latte, it would have worked better.) 

(As if.)

Anyway, if you all are still awake, I will now talk about something else.

No, wait, first I will show you the clutter we haven't found a home for yet.

We put THIS into the basement:
Well, okay, in the interests of full disclosure: the water heater was already down there.

And now we have to go through these boxes and find places for all of of the crap stuff in them..  

In her room.  (When I say "we", yes, I realize that I really mean "me."   (Or, you know, "I" if you are reading this and you are my mother.) Because I will probably do it before the cleaners come next time so that their awesomeness is not impeded in any way.)

I would be a little crabby over her non-participation except, well, she CRIED WITH JOY when she saw her room. "Oh, Mom, I feel like I'm on some HGTV make-over show!"

It's hard to sustain a bad mood with THAT fresh in the old memory banks, but I seem to be doing it.

It could be that my husband cleared the driveway for THREE HOURS yesterday morning and was so low bloodsugar when he came back in that THIS is where he stashed the milk.

Except that just made me laugh really hard so I don't think THAT'S the cause of my Epic Bad Moodiness.

You know what I think it is?

I think it's the Knitting Olympics.

I KNOW! How can that be?  What about the thrill of competition and the agony of de-lace??

It's just that I seem to be in this weird shift of the Time/Space continuum where I knit and knit and knit and the ball of yarn NEVER GETS ANY SMALLER.  No, seriously, look.


Now, see if I LIKED this project, I would be ecstatic.  If this were, say, socks, I would just knit the biggest socks ever and be totally delighted the entire time.  But the Olympics are over on Sunday and I'm not anywhere close to being finished. And right now I feel like I keep knitting and knitting and knitting... () (I couldn't find this clip in a shorter format.  Just click on the stop button after you (hopefully) finish laughing.)

and I believe I have mentioned before that this is NOT MY FAVORITE project.  In fact, I do not like it.

So why am I putting myself through this, you ask?

Because it's the (Knitting) Olympics and that's just what is required. See, you have to reach inside and come up with a personal best. (How awesome was it to see the U.S. girls in the Women's Figure Skating skate the programs of their very LIVES right when it counted most?  How about Julia Mancuso having a terrible first run in the Giant Slalom and then coming back out and skiing a great second run with no hopes for medal contention?? How about the heart of those champions?  How about Joannie Rochette --need I say more about THAT? (I was BAWLING, people!  BAWLING.))

So, don't mind me.  I'll just be over here nursing my bad mood with plenty of chocolate inspiring stories from the real Olympics.

Assuming I can find a pulse, I mean.


The Dister said…
Yes but sweetie, none of those heroic, inspiring Olympians skate or ski or curl for 2 entire weeks! Give yourself a break. I definitely think you've earned at least a silver.
ccr in MA said…
It can be very depressing when you hit a knitting black hole.

Give yourself credit for what you've done!
mdeb50 said…
You did an amazing job on your daughter's room! As for your mood, be happy you're knitting. I'm in a nonknitting funk and don't know how to get out of it. I think it's the's gloomy and rainy and I'm ready for warmth and sun! Keep knitting that scarf! deb in CA
Susan said…
Ana's room looks terrific! Kudos to you for doing it on a budget too!

I have learned that I don't want to compete in any kind of Olympics. I hate having that kind of pressure on me and it makes me cranky. Personally, I think that you should consider that maybe knitting lace (for you) is like being in the wrong event. Like finding yourself heading down the run in Skeleton when you trained to compete in curling. Give yourself a gold medal for lasting as long as you have without crashing and cast on a sock already.

Yeah, Joannie Rochette made me cry too. I've lost parents; I don't know how she kept it together to go out and skate, never mind take home a medal. Brave, brave girl.
Yes, the esteemed Yarn Harlot has discussed the phenomenon of the project that refuses to get larger, no matter how much you knit. It's frightening, but the key is to disappear. I think it is like the plateau period in a diet.

Please, please tell me where you found removable hooks!
Barb Matijevich said…
SC: The hooks are these:

I used a bigger one with a five pound capacity for Ana's purse when it's full. It's all stainless steel so it looks very high tech and groovy.
Stefanie said…
Keep on it, Barb! I think your lace is beautiful. And Ana's room looks great!
Miri said…
Oh, oh, oh. Thank you for the laughter today. You are just so gosh darn funny that even your bad mood is amusing. Not that I don't feel your pain. Truly.

And I LOVE Ana's room and I RELATE to her need to have her "shtuff" because I am/have been her and it's painful, sometimes, to let go of the box of rocks. You are such a good mom. Better than an HGTV makeover mom.

Finally, I shall wrap my comments by saying that your Olympic knitting achievement makes my pathetic sock-heel-turning drama seem funny too.
Lynn said…
Well, I was leaving you a scathingly brilliant comment, and then my computer took a dive. Talk about a real bad mood! When I get that way, I hie meself to the YouTube of the Marie Sisters singing "Real Bad Mood". About the third run-through, I start giggling.
LaDonna said…
love Love LOVE Ana's room! You wanna come help me do Paige's next? (By the way, I just registered her for HIGH SCHOOL last week...AHHHH!!!!! Just wait, your turn is coming!)

I'm going through a bit of a Post-Olympics let down today, myself. I love the the Olympics and spend hours watching the coverage.

Joanie Rochette...oh yes, that poor girl had me in tears every time I saw her on the screen. It was so nice to see her at the closing ceremonies carrying the Canadian flag and looking like she was allowing herself to truly enjoy the experience. I can't imagine how she did what she did.

Can't help with the knitting...I tried to crochet once. I was a real mess. I can't imagine how much damage I could do with TWO needles. For what it's worth, I think the lace looks really pretty!