Wednesday, December 31, 2008

12.31.08 - the end is nigh

2008 is coming to a close. Couldn't happen to a better year, I say!

Some bad news headed our way this year that will play out over the next who-knows-how-many years to come. I think I've accepted it. Only time will tell.

Good news came our way as well. Younger son graduated High School and started college. Older son seems to be getting his life in better order.

In general, we are healthy and warm and full and that counts for a lot.

In the knit blog world, I see many folks mentioning all the things they created this year. I lost count, so you won't see that from me. I did finish a lot. I also started a lot that I didn't finish!

In the general blog world, I see many listing their reading for the year. I started many and finished only a few books. My ability to attend to the reading I wanted, needed, felt I should do seemed to wander away under the weight of the bad news early in the Summer.

I have been easily distracted. I hope and pray I am on a better track these days.

My sister gave me a wonderful book - Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris - for Christmas. She knows me well and this book I started reading almost as soon as I received it and have nearly finished it. I will re-read as time goes on. I think I will always find something new in its pages for me to enjoy, employ, embrace.

May your 2009 truly shine!

Until next time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

12.30.08 - the end of things (durn near!)

I finally finished my Guinevere stole for my sister. Well... I finished the knitting anyway. I will finding a place over my FOUR day weekend to block it and get it ready to send to Chicago.

My first major lace. It is gorgeous, if do say so, my biased self!

Things due by year's end were completed today.

A six hour work day tomorrow leads to the four day weekend referenced above.

whispering, for fear of a drastic change: All is right with my world.

Until next time.

Monday, December 29, 2008

12.29.08 - Practicing

Practicing for daily blogging in January.

I don't have much to say today. I've been working for the last two days on getting some on-line classes completed for work. I've done it! One more on-site thing to do tomorrow and I will have completed the certification courses required to keep doing my job! :)

I've done the vertical rows on a HAP afghan tonight. I will do the horizontal rows tomorrow evening. If I start early enough, I may also do the border. If not, I'll finish that on Wednesday. I have a few to put together by the middle-to-end of January. More people are needed for this task. Click into the project button on my left sidebar and sign up to volunteer if you like crocheting rectangles together to make afghans!

As 2008 is winding down, I am catching up on last minute things -- hoping to have a clean start for the new year. I have projects I want to start, but I need to finish the current ones before I do. I'm not sure I'll make it by New Year's Day. However, finishing by the end of the first weekend of 2009 should be doable.

Until next time.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

12.28.08 - 300

My 300th post! Woo Hoo.

I spent most of yesterday

-- reorganizing my stash
-- repackaging yarn in ziplocs and Rubbermaid containers
-- putting like yarns with like yarns
-- identifying the projects to begin and the yarn I plan to use
-- As I ran across pattern pages, they were placed in the pattern binder I started.

in between bouts of yarn sorting

-- I uploaded over 50 CDs and put the CD and the jewel case inserts into a case I bought for that purpose, recycling the actual jewel case and freeing up a lot of space in my desk area

-- I did three loads of laundry
-- I did a brief bit of grocery shopping
-- and I started a sock (three inches into the cuff of #1!)

I also started a list of things that need doing around my house. I have a compiled a list jobs - big and small; from vacuuming to house painting - that will take me at least 1/2 of 2009 to complete. I hope I can do most of them myself, though there is a bit of electrical work that I'll need to hire out.

As I type my 300th post, I find that I have more than 300 things I want/need to do in 2009. These are not resolutions. I am no good at keeping resolutions. But, rather, a list created to help develop an organized plan for success. I really need to do most, if not all, of the tasks on my list if my current future plans (how's that for an oxymoron) are to come to fruition. I feel it only fair to note -- to you and to me -- the list would be much smaller if I had done things as I noticed them rather than waiting to be sick and tired of the undone things.

I hope I have the stamina!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

12.27.08 - Traditions

I missed posting this on Boxing Day. I spent the day with some friends, then watched a couple of movies with my mom. It's now after 1 AM, and I'm waiting for #1 son to return home. Not really waiting, but doing a bunch of things and, since he is due home soon, I might as well be up! :)

To the topic at hand. I grew up with a number of Christmas traditions. Some good, some not so good - but traditions nonetheless.

One good one is pictured below.

Mom was given this statue more than 30 years ago she may have bought it, but I think she got it as a gift. Every year, poinsettias accompany the placement of the statue on a tall stand/table. It used to be a marble-topped plant stand. It's current perch is a plant stand, but all wood.

Mom usually buys several small poinsettias to place around the statue. But, it was Christmas eve and she still hadn't gotten even one to place by the Kneeling Santa.

On my way home from work on Christmas Eve, I stopped at the grocery store for two or three last minute things I had forgotten the previous day. This lovely plant was begging to come home to accompany Santa as he gave homage to the Christ Child.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

12.25.08 - Our Christmas Visitor

Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

Mom called to me, "There is a little something on our porch for Christmas."

I thought she meant someone had left a little package rather than ring the bell. But we saw the cutest little bird perched on our step. I quietly grabbed my camera and from a distance in the hall, I zoomed in on the Christmas visitor with my telephoto lens.

It is a lovely little birdie. To see the other few shots I took, including one after the bird was disturbed and flew to the wooden rocker... click on the picture. It should take you to my Flickr where you can see the whole set.

Hope you had a lovely day!

The photos are taken through the side lights on our front door, from about 8 feet into the hallway.

12.25.08 - Unto us a Child is born...

Wishing you all the most blessed Christmas season!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12.21.08 - Another good that could be on Friday

On my left sidebar as you scroll down, you see a number of projects and people I support or have supported. I've added a new one today:

The support can be casual or highly involved. It's hard to order them in a way that my readers can see ALL of them, so I hope some of you scroll down and click into a few that reside a little further down the line.

Near and dear to my heart are causes that support our soldiers. I don't personally know any soldiers among my family and friends, but I felt a need to offer my support, to the deployed, to the wounded, to the families.

There are many, many groups that can help you connect to a service member in need of a lift. A couple that I found and joined are in my sidebar links - Soldier's Angels and These two organizations help connect you to a particular service member or a group or a team or a cause. I wrote about Soldier's Angels on my Halloween Good on Friday post. But, it has been a while since I mentioned

Over the course of a couple of years, before adopting individual soldiers via Soldier's Angels, I sent out care packages to individual soldiers I found on the list. On this site, service members sign themselves up, offer some brief information and, sometimes, suggest things they need or miss or would like to have sent to them.

I responded to a request from Rick Simmons who flew MEDEVAC missions in Iraq. He was looking for supplies to help spruce up a coffee bar that he and other soldier were setting up to offer an oasis in the desert; a comfort zone in the war zone.

They wanted decorations, games, coffee, flavored creamers, and all the other things a coffee bar might have. I sent a box or two. I remember finding some Java-themed wall art at JoAnn's and some other things, besides coffee, cups, and creamers and sending them out. Apparently many people helped because the pictures showed a great place for the MEDEVACs and the other area personnel to relax. The Original Java coffee bar was left in Iraq for the next unit serving in that MEDEVAC area when Rick and his fellow "OJ" founder, Pete Huggins, came home. I hope there are many supporters to keep this oasis available.

Out of their Original Java experience, a stateside business has evolved - an e-commerce coffee shop - The Original Java. Donations from your purchases are made to Operation Dustoff. From the website:
Project Dustoff is a program dedicated to helping wounded service members and their families as they reintegrate into life at home.

The Original Java offers mailing to APO/FPO addresses. So, if you are like me and don't drink coffee or eat anything flavored that way, you can send 5 lbs bags of certain flavors to deployed service personnel. If you don't know a deployed service member, but would like to offer your support in this way, The Original Java knows plenty and would be happy to ship your order to someone they know.

So, drop by the coffee shop at The Original Java.

Friday, December 19, 2008

12.19.2008 - Last "Good On Friday" before Christmas

I don't have any great new donation plans or places. I just want to post some good things!

-- I've been on Weight Watchers for two weeks and have lost 6.6 lbs. Yay me!

-- My immediate office went out for a Holiday Lunch today and I ate the right foods!

-- My supervisor gave us all a lovely bottle of wine. Mom says it's a good brand. I have no idea, but thought it was a nice touch.

-- I have successfully limited my intake of all the lovely cookie gifts arriving at our office.

-- I am finished my Christmas shopping for the most part. Everything I have is wrapped.

-- Both of my boys shopped by themselves for family gifts, with their own money and without my pushing them, reminding them, shoving them out the door!

-- I am on the last few rows of the stole I have been making for some time... Sis may see it before New Year's (due to blocking time, probably NOT before Christmas).

-- Everyone I dealt with today was exceptionally pleasant. The goodness is out there. Seek it and you shall find it. Spread it and it will multiply!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12.16.08 - Gifts

Almost all finished and/or bought. All I have are wrapped. Almost in awe of myself! ;)

I do have some small things to get for the boys. They've grown up from cars and yo-yos to razors and shaving cream!

And I have to pick up two things that are in someone else's possession and wrap those.

Then, mail one more box after my mom finishes her wrapping/card-writing.


And Christmas is still a little more than 8 days away! Wow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

12.15.08 - one down, one to go!

Knotty Left
Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

My Knotty glove for my left hand is complete (well, except for some end weaving and hole tightening). Now to start my Knotty glove for my right hand! :) (after I finish the sister project!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

12.12.08 - Only a good Friday

I guess I should have saved my weight loss announcement as a GOOD thing on Friday. No snarkiness there!

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If you want to know a little bit more about The Handmade Afghans to Thank Our Armed Forces Project (HAP) I have linked on my sidebar, visit This Eclectic Life. HAP's founder, Deborah, is Shelley's guest blogger today! It is good to share HAP information any day!

* * * * * * * * *

My friend sent me a message about our local county food bank. They are serving 350 families at this point and are in dire need of supplies to fill food bags and pantries. I'm sure the local food banks in your area need your help too!

* * * * * * * * *

Send a Holiday Greeting to a long lost friend. Reconnect. Reach out. Be good this Friday!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12.11.08 - Thursday, almost didn't make it!

Weather is icky right now... raining, raining, raining. It is supposed to get pretty cold overnight and I hope that rain doesn't get wintery-mix on us. I could do with no ICE!

I had my first weigh-in tonight. I didn't really officially start the program until Monday morning, though I tried to eat better with what I had on hand over the weekend. TaDa moment - I lost 5 lbs! Just many more to go! :)

I will set my goal according to the guidelines, after I reach my first 10% milestone. I think that might be a bit early in my journey because even when that 10% is reached, I'll still have 75 or more lbs to go. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

I basked in the 5 lb loss with a bottle of water, a turkey sandwich and a Diet Coke. I also restocked some things at the grocery store. I plan to keep on track.

We have our office holiday party tomorrow, but I don't intend to stay long and I will be bringing my own lunch! :)

I swatched for a lacy sweater for my mom, which I will start next weekend... it'll be my first of 12 (hahahahah) sweaters for 2009 and my first Winter Lace project for Seasons of Lace, winter edition! A two-fer!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12.10.08 - this and that on a Wednesday

I mailed a bunch of stuff on Monday and find most has made its way to the proper places! Yay. Makes me feel good when the post works so well.

It's been warm and weird - weather-wise. I even saw lightening in the foggy, drizzly night as I was bringing my son home from work. I really hope the winter is wintery this year. I could do with a break for my sinuses.

Mom is coming home this Saturday after a couple of weeks with her sisters. The house is ready, for the most part, and that's unusual. I good thing, but unusual! :)

Christmas shopping is almost done. Wrapping of purchased presents is 90% complete. Not one decoration has been unearthed. Sunday, for sure, I think, maybe!

Until next time.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

12.9.08 - Move along, nothing to see here. Well, maybe a little something.

Secret knitting happening. Nothing to report, except - I forgot to post after the odd post yesterday. Sorry about that. Sometimes I'm just odd.

What I would have said had I posted again yesterday:

I mentioned last week that I had decided to look out for Number One. I'm still working on that. To that end, I mailed out a bunch of stuff yesterday to clear my house and my mind. I am fervently ignoring the pull to do more and more and more. When I read of a need, I want to reach out and try to fulfill it. Sometimes, I just have to pray, because I really am only one person and I cannot fulfill every request I see that pulls at my heart strings.

Anyway, back to me and last week and number one. I joined Weight Watchers (again and again and so on and so on...) -- bound and determined to do well, to work on me. I knew I really couldn't get started until yesterday because I needed to assess the food situation and plan some things and had to go to the store to get the right mix of food, rather than the boxes of mix in the cupboard!

Weight Watchers has moved away from the "Core" and now is back to just points. I haven't yet decided if that truly disappoints me. I really wanted to NOT count anything, but I also knew I'd miss some things I like to eat if I followed the Core plan.

Anyway, the point of the point counting is... at my weight I have a boatload of points to eat each day. I have not reached the total any day that I have followed the program so far. It's only been two 'real' days, but I have fallen short both days. I'm not hungry, so eating just to eat points seems, well, pointless!

I shall have to ask about this on Thursday, because you are supposed to eat all your points every day. I just cannot reach the total without adding something that would totally take me way over the points. And I don't want to do that because that's how I got in this position in the first place!

Monday, December 08, 2008

12.8.08 - the first

Just wanted to post this picture so I could link to it on Ravelry. Better (different?) post later.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

12.7.08 - Hats and such, ready to go!

All packed up, addressed and ready to post. Ten hats for KnittyBe in Kentucky. Five hats for Deb to send to Kosovo. The secret project, whose recipient is still a secret! :)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

12.6.08 - just made it

I've been a busy bee today.

I dropped my son off at his job this morning and then headed off to Macy's to do some shopping. There was a coupon that expired at 1 PM. I got to the store at 12:15 PM. I was able to use it! This is thrilling, as I am NOT a good shopper. I HATE shopping. But, I had to do it t.o.d.a.y. - because the Angel Tree gifts are due tomorrow.

I did some on-line browsing, so I knew that Macy's had the jeans skirt requested by the 10 yo girl. I just had to hope they had her size because jeans skirts are Spring and Summer wear and any in stock are on clearance racks. SCORE! Tommy Hilfiger, right size, GREAT price ($59.50 for $14.97!) The ONLY size 14 in the entire store - Junior's and Women's.

I also got some gifts for my house and was able to use the $10.00 off coupon that expired at 1 PM. (I was in line before 1:00 PM and they did an override for all of us patient people!)

Then I shopped for a few other things... and then came home and set it all up to wrap... then visited with my son's friend while son got ready for a party... then watched a movie. Now - I'm blogging to get it in on 12/6/08! :)

I also made two more hats for KnittyBe. Pictures tomorrow, in between loads of laundry.

(will return another time to fix any blatant grammar or spelling issues.)

Friday, December 05, 2008

12.5.08 - First Good Friday in December

I'm feeling a little under the weather, but want to share the goodness anyway.

I've made a couple of Medicine Bags for Sherry at This Eclectic Life.

She could use a few more for the children that attend Camp Sanguinity.

It would be nice if you could do a couple of Medicine Bags to help her reach her goal! Or send some small tokens to fill that bags that others make.

Then you'd have a good Friday too!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

12.4.08 - Number One

I thank you all for your loving support of my blankness. I truly appreciate your help, your advice, your commiseration.

I thought about this blankness and realized that I do not take care of Number One. If I do not take care of Number One, Numbers Two, Three and Four all suffer.

I sometimes try to help Number One, or at least I believe that is what I'm doing. I get (overly!) involved in things I like to do - knit, crochet, create. But then I really overdo them. I have to re-learn the art of the word, "No." To truly grasp the sentiment that sometimes No is a complete sentence. To volunteer to help, but not to help with everything or believe I am responsible for more than a reasonable person could accomplish in a given time frame.

I need to work on me and my needs, wants and desires - again. I keep forgetting to think about these things. Mostly because when I think about them, I then think of all the other things I have(?) to do for the other people in my life, whether directly (family, mostly) or indirectly (every worthy cause I think I must help).

I have one more thing to finish that I volunteered to finish in early December... then I'm off to selfish knitting. Of course, some of that selfish knitting will be presents for my family. But that's okay. If I knit them a present, I don't have to go shopping to BUY them one! This is a win for me, as money is tight and will only get tighter in the coming months.

I also joined Weight Watchers tonight. I joined at a place near the yarn shop I like to knit in on Thursday nights. Perfect. WW at 5:30 in the lower level shops, then knitting in the upper level shop until 8 PM! Thursdays will be ME days. If I can't squeeze another complete day, at least I will have this one!

Stay tuned for my creative donation wrap up some time this weekend!

Until next time.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

12.3.08 - blank

I am drawing a blank.

I am making some things... but I can't share.

I am worried about a few things... but I can't share that either.

I am in a sad, mad, stuck place that I cannot describe, so I cannot get out of it.

I generally need to off-load the sad mad stuck stuff in order to release myself, but I am wordless at this point.

Hopefully, I'll crack out of that soon.

I think part of the problem is my ideas, my plans, my 'want to dos' far outweigh my time and resources, both physical and financial

This too shall pass.

Until next time, when I hope the whine has passed! :)

12.2.08 - Moon and planets align

(I uploaded the picture and forgot to publish this post... so much for Holidailies! Oh, well. We soldier on.)

Monday, December 01, 2008

12.1.08 - Holidailies and other stuff

I read about this on I decided since I was SOOOOO good at the November Blog A Day event (NOT!), I just had to sign up for this one. The object is to post once a day from Dec 5 to January 6th. I think I can do that. Of course, I thought I could do November, too, and missed 3 or 4 days.

There are two ways to participate. I'm doing the Holidailies at Home. My blog will be listed on the roll, but my posts will not appear on the Holidailies page. I do not aspire to be a writer and I know I will miss entering the information on the portal there. So, I'll just be here.

Off to get tires for the younger son's car so he can return safely to school without fear of a blow-out on the 65 MPH roads that take him there.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Mary Ann - wherever you are.

P.P.S. Ever the joiner, I joined

The only way I actually do SOME work toward something is to join others in the doing. I often fall shy of the goal, but I aspire to achieve it and receive encouragement from the rest of the crazies knitters that sign up. I have at least three sweaters planned... so that's a start!