Friday, October 31, 2008

Do Some Good This Friday

I know the young people think the good thing to do this Friday is go Trick-or-Treating! Well, it can be a good time, but also too much of a good thing! :)

On the Some Good for this Friday...

I am a member of Soldiers Angels - from their website:

Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-led 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families. Founded by the mother of two American soldiers, we are an international organization with members in all fifty U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and several friendly countries who support America's men and women in uniform. We were incorporated in the state of Nevada in June of 2003.

There are a number of ways to help through Soldiers Angels. I hope you'll visit their website and check them out.

One of the programs I have been involved with is the Adopt a Soldier program: When you adopt a soldier through Soldiers Angels, you make a commitment to write letters, send cards, send care packages and otherwise let this soldier know someone cares. This program provides a personal connection to an individual soldier for the length of their deployment. There are many soldiers in need of adopting. If you can commit the time and financial resources to this project, I hope you consider signing up.

The Adopt a Soldier program is just one many programs and teams available to support our troops. While this one requires a consistent commitment of time and care package sending, there are 19 other programs with varying degrees of commitment, if you want to give your time, your talent, your financial support to keep them going.

Over the past several years, I have adopted three soldiers. I have been involved with the Chaplain Support group. I am now on one of the Ladies of Liberty teams, supporting deployed female personnel. On the Angels Forum, there are calls for one time needs where you can opt to help fill special requests from various sources.

Currently underway for the 2008 Holiday season:

Wrapped in Holiday Spirit

As with every program, there are a number of ways to help. You can spread the word with the flyer from the site or by linking to them on your blog! You can make a blanket. You can sponsor a package. You can contribute smaller items to be included in the packages being sent. As you wrap a Soldier with the Holiday Spirit, you can warm your own spirit as well.


Another "something for everyone" organization. There are things to be done on a local level. Something as simple as sending cards to veterans, to deployed soldiers, to families left behind - to something as big as funding a voice recognition computer to help our wounded soldiers open lines of communication that have been taken from them.

I hope you check it out Soldiers Angels and find a way to help our service personnel and thank them for their service to our country.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Stormy? Saturday

We were supposed to have a very stormy Saturday.

I woke to winds, but outside my window I saw this:

Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature! :)

We did get some more rain and a lot of wind and one distant rumble of thunder much later in the day... but not anything like what I was expecting!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday's Good Thing

I am getting in under the wire today - too much work, too many errands, can finally relax after 11 PM!!! (that's NOT the good Friday stuff! :))


I love to crochet, to knit, to create. I don't have a lot of people in my life that like to get handcrafted goodies. Even if I did, I make too many things to NOT give things away. So, I do.

Actually, I often see a good cause and say, "Yes!" and then scramble to mail the promised items in a timely manner. Finishing them is generally no problem. Getting them to their intended distributor? Often a problem.

A couple of years ago, I was looking for local causes - well, local to me, even though the reach is far. I had a few motives besides the generally altruistic ones that overcome my sense of the time-space continuum.

I wanted to be able to have 'in person' contact periodically.
I wanted to make some new friends.
I wanted to help others, but not be in charge.

I belong to a number of Yahoo! Groups and the founder of Handmade Afghans for our Wounded Warriors Project wandered in to one of them.

It turned out Deborah lived pretty much 'up the street' from me. I live in a fairly rural area, but I pass her exit every day on the way to work. That's close enough for right up the street! (I looked it up -- that was May 2006.)

The website linked above and to the left does justice to the details better than I ever could. But, to give you a little taste...

Volunteers -- in almost every state and a few non-US countries -- crochet and knit 6" x 9" rectangles in machine-washable, worsted acrylic yarn - all colors EXCEPT pastels and other 'girly' colors. These rectangles make their way to other volunteers in Maryland who sort them by color and store them until a Put Together Event is convened.

At a Put Together Event, even more volunteers (and those local to the event that are rectangle makers and gatherers) assemble at a donated venue and design afghans using the mountains of rectangles.

It takes 49 rectangles to make one afghan the size of hospital bed. Each designed afghan is pinned in precise piles, matched with a skein of yarn to crochet it together and bagged up ready for the next step.

These designed afghans are sent out with still more volunteers that crochet them together. When they are crocheted together, the finished afghans are returned to Deborah for a wash, a photo shoot, and special packaging that honors our wounded warriors.

Finished, washed and packaged afghans are hand delivered to a few locations in the Washington DC area by volunteers. Others are mailed off to hospitals in Germany, Afghanistan, Washington State, Texas, Georgia and more.

Pictures of the designed afghans, the completed afghans, the put-together events and more can be seen at the Shutterfly link on the website.

Yarn workers are needed. Local non-yarn workers can design or store or transport or serve lunch or whatever! Non-local non-yarn workers can sponsor a mailing (postage on mailing afghans can be high!) or send funds to help buy put-together skeins or other supplies needed for everything to run smooth.

This is an ALL VOLUNTEER group. Everybody. Nobody profits from the cause and donations may not be tax deductible. 503(c)(3) non-profit status has not been, and will not be, requested. Again -- you'll find all the information at the website:!

So Good For a Friday!

Monday, October 20, 2008

My third win...

The other day I suggested that, if good things come in threes I should by a lottery ticket. I thought I had won three things, but couldn't remember the third thing. I figured it was a false memory. So, today I bought a Powerball ticket. Yippee!

Oh, but wait, the prize from my third winning event was in today's mail. No false memory. A dollar bill goes fluttering down the highway -- thrown away with reckless abandon on a fool's errand

Well, anyway - on to my win.

I made donation in memory of my father to The Jimmy Fund of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute supporting Carol of Mad for Knit in the 1/2 Marathon she ran on October 12, 2008.

Carol had a contest amongst her donors. I was one of the winners. I won a lovely skein of Bonnie's Bamboo Sock Yarn. The prizes were first announced here. The winners were announced here.

When I opened the package today, I realized this was my third win (though it may have been the first chronologically). But where did it come from? I had tried to find the third bit of correspondence before I posted about winning a few days ago. Yet here was the yarn and I couldn't remember. Well, I renewed my efforts and finally tracked down the messsages -- on Ravelry!

I had been looking in my Yahoo! e-mail account for an message I might have sent to someone that contained my address. But Carol and I corresponded on Ravelry, not Yahoo! Duh! I forget what a great resource that place is!

Do you belong? No? You should join. Especially if you knit or crochet or weave or spin! :) Ravelry

Friday, October 17, 2008

Good for Friday

Shelly at This Eclectic Life has started "Only the Good Fridays" - a challenge to post only good things on Fridays. I shall rise to the challenge to report the good I find, to spread some goodness amid the negativity that is so pervasive in our world today.

I participate in a number of groups whose focus is on providing warmth, providing hope, providing hugs, through hand-made items. Some of this may seem like tooting my own horn, and I do not mean it to be that way. I'd like the focus to be on the groups and not my participation. The pictures will show some of my contributions. The links will take you to find more information if you'd like to participate. Today's focus may be a little repetitious - I posted the mitten picture earlier this month (week?), but I really didn't describe the group well, nor did I mention future projects. So, first up on "Only the Good Fridays" is Macuwita sni.

"Macuwita sni" (pronounced “muh-CHOO-wee-tah shnee”) is a Lakota term which translates to: "I'm not cold"! The Yahoo! Group was founded by Kary (theknottysheep on Ravelry) after she read an article in the Northeastern Alumni magazine. Another Northeastern Almunae is our point of contact. We mail our warm goodies to Peg and she gets them to the places they are needed most.

Last year, I sent a sweater and some hats. In a most gracious thank you from the YMCA, I was told, as were the other group members, that they could really use some mittens.

So, we made mittens.

The goal was 250 pairs and we have achieved that goal. Here are my five pairs:

The elders are the next focus - though hats, socks, mittens and sweaters are always welcome. The next group goal will be shawls and lapghans and items of warmth for the elders, some wheelchair-bound, all living in a cold, cold climate. While their weather looks a little better than mine today -- they will hit sub-zero with negative wind chills for many, many days this winter.

If you are interested, click a link.

There is a group on Ravelry
and a Yahoo! Group

Spread some warmth and do something good!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The winning is good.

The sore throat? Not so much. I've just finished day one of the medicine. Hopefully, the infection, and thereby the pain, will begin to abate soon.

On the winning... Mom says I should buy a lottery ticket. I say, "If good things come in threes, I'm out of luck. I've already won three things" :)

Most recent win:
CELTIC THUNDER! I was one of the four names pulled out of the bowl on This Eclectic Life! I'll miss the fashion show and dinner at Stitches East, but Mom and I will get to see this phenomenal group!

Previously, even though I was a giant fail on completing anything in the Seasons of Lace to qualify for any of the judged or category prizes, I WON a Random Joy drawing -- two patterns of my choice by Melanie of Pink Lemon Twist.

I chose Leda's Dream and Scheherazade, in case you are interested!

hmmmm.... I thought there was one more. Maybe I should go buy that lottery ticket!


Want to win FREE tickets to see this most awesome group?

Check out the contest on This Eclectic Life by NOON Texas Time today. TODAY!!

Celtic Thunder is a Fabulous, Fabulous, Marvelous group of five men. Well, one of them is a mere 14 years old, but Man what a voice. Their voices are phenomenal and their staging is inspired. I watched their PBS show a while back and was mesmerized. My mother was too.

We'd love to go see them when they come to Baltimore on November 7th (though I'll miss some of Stitches East if I do!). Perhaps they are coming to a venue near you? Check out their tour schedule and go enter the contest if you'd like. Or don't, so I have a greater chance to win! :)

From their website:
Celtic Thunder is a new group and concert special featuring five Celtic male vocalists: Paul Byrom (age 28, Dublin, Ireland), George Donaldson (age 39, Glasgow, Scotland), Keith Harkin (age 20, Derry, Northern Ireland), Ryan Kelly (age 28, Moy in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland) and Damian McGinty (age 14, Derry, Northern Ireland). Taped August 2007 at the Helix in Dublin, the group’s debut performance is a celebration of Celtic heritage and men—their loves, attitudes, individuality, power and strength, throughout life’s journey.

I saw it and it was breathtaking! If you can't get to the concert, you should definitely check your PBS listings for re-broadcasts!

Here's a YouTube taste:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Some knitting content

I have been knitting. Here are some projects I have completed in the last week or so.

A knitted Helmet Liner (Ravelry Link; or the non-Ravelry .pdf link. This tan one is finished. I have the 2x2 rib around the face to complete on a blank one and I will have finished two in the last two weeks.

Five pairs of mittens heading off the Cheyenne River Sioux in South Dakota through the Macuwita sni Yahoo! Group project. Two of the five pairs were finished in the last two weeks. The others over the last two months. (Rav link; non-rav link for the pattern) A lot of warm, wooly items are needed. Check out the link, if you are so inclined.

A better view of the brown ones:

Now, I will pick up where I left off on my Secret of the Stole, so I can get it to my sister before Christmas. I am also on the look out for a pattern to make a warm pair of gloves, not mittens, for ME!

In between the stole and the gloves, I'm sure there will be mitten or Magic 28 socks or hats or scarves or beanies on the needles... I seem to be addicted to the quick (except for the scarves!) knits that I send away.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Today was the first day of Patuxent River Appreciation Days (PRAD). Held each year at the Calvert Marine Museum, it is a fun family day. A fun friend day. A fun day.

I brought my camera. I left my memory card at home. No pictures. But, I've been there before ... so you can see some things the bottom picture here and here and here! ;)

At PRAD, the Boy Scouts help you park - and sell you popcorn! :)

The Knights of Columbus solicit donations, hand out Tootsie Rolls and tell you the lay of the land (boat rides every 1/2 hour!).

The 4-H and SMOCS (Southern Maryland Oyster Cultivation Society) help you understand how they are helping re-oyster the tributaries and how they are helping, with DNR (Department of Natural Resources - NOT do not resuscitate), to re-oyster the Chesapeake Watershed.

The Calvert County artisans were out in force. The boat builders were showing off their creations. The Marine Museum Volunteers were tickling our sweet tooth.

And we enjoyed the 1/2 hour boat ride onto the Patuxent and close to the Bay.

It was a good time. Beautiful weather. Lovely friends.

Adjourned to the homestead for movies, wine and cheese! Good times. Good times!

Sue had promised to send me pictures... If she does, I will post some! ; )

Sunday, October 05, 2008

North Beach on a Sunday

Some sights at North Beach in the Fall

Saturday, October 04, 2008

This and That on a Saturday

The first this:

I'd like you to visit (and comment, if you will) on a blog started by a young man I know. This young man graduated from high school last June with my younger son. Instead of going to college this Fall, he headed off to Malawi , in South Africa, to help with the Peanut Butter Project. He started the blog, in part (mostly?), to satisfy his parents' need to keep in touch. I've found it fascinating and I hope you will too.

Billy is Away In Malawi. Please stop by and visit with him.


and a that:

Older son finally got his learner's permit so he could finish his driving class. He finished the classroom portion, but needed his learner's permit to get the 6 hours of instructor drive time to get his certificate so he can get his real license. He finally seems motivated about this. He volunteered to cover two different shifts this week... because he needs money to get a car! :) Yippee! He's slow to the table, but when he gets there he goes for it!


and another this:

This weekend begins my fall clean up (so I'm on the internet avoiding it! HA!). Anyway. Younger son needs some $$ and he can't get a job on campus because he doesn't have a GPA, being a first semester freshman. He can't get a job off campus because his driver's license is suspended for 30 days because of excessive speeding and many points, so he can't drive to a job. I offered some recompense for his assistance this weekend.

He's going to help me organize the Christmas overflow in the basement so I can sell things on eBay or have yard sale or something. He'll get a percentage of the take. AND he'll mow the lawn on Sunday, for the immediate cash incentive. (though I will probably advance something on the take as well! :))


and another that:

I'm also trying to sort and cull the yarn stash. I'll be doing some donating, perhaps some selling, but definitely identifying and organizing.


It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood. Hope it's lovely wherever you are!