Monday, June 27, 2011

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on...

brah!... Lala how the life goes on... (with special thanks to the Beatles!)

And on it does go.  I will soon be introducing a new blog featuring my Mom and our journey together through her ups and downs and the changing world brought on by her breast cancer and Alzheimer's Disease.  I hope to chronicle the journey so others can find the joy of living, loving and care giving as well as the sadness and trials presented by these diseases.  I hope to provide informative links, stories that might help, encourage you or at least make you smile.  Watch for an announcement and a link that will appear in the sidebar.

Now, what life has been bringing me... 

I sent off the elephants I posted in my last missive.  They were well received.  I am working on a few more to send somewhere else and on one for my young cousin.  She helped knit the lightest color one in the pictures and really liked it.  She wanted to keep it, but I told her it was destined for a child with no toys.  Promised her one of her own and continuing knitting lessons if she (and her Mom!) wants them.

Stocked up on food and goodies for a family visit.  My aunt is up visiting her big sister, Mom, for a week.  We are eating well!  Aunt heads back to sunny FL on Saturday and we'll be back to just me, Mom and cousin for a while, until mid-July, when a male is thrown back in the mix (younger son is away until mid-July and he'll be back).  Cousin noted the other day - "Isn't it funny?  You used to live with three boys (note: my husband and two sons) and now you are surrounded by three girls (mom, her and her mom!)"  God does have a sense of humor and a great sense of timing.  I can handle the girls now they are grown.  I'm not sure I could have done that 20 years ago from birth to adulthood!

I was going to add something else here... but my mind has wandered. 

Hope to see you around the new blog when it launches... and, of course, here when I remember to write!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Reviving, Reviewing, Reporting

Hello, my friends and readers - if you are still stopping by to see if have written anything new.  I've been busy with life and haven't taken the time to update.  Perhaps I lacked the energy, or didn't have anything fun to report, and definitely don't want to whine at you.  I decided to share a bit of what is going on and try to get back into keeping this blog going.

Since my last post, we've seen Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Memorial Day... many birthdays and family gatherings... lots of knitting and donating and worrying and caretaking and house cleaning and - you know, life!  :)

I'll just start where I am, if that's okay with you.

My friend, BeLinda, known on Ravelry as KnittyBe, helped her daughter help Joplin, MO by starting a Facebook community page called Elephants Remember Joplin (hey, stop on by and LIKE the page!  It helps!).  Her 8 yo daughter has been knitting elephants to bring to the children of Joplin since Memorial Day.  It has been a Knit-A-Thon of elephants and she made 12 during the stated dates (Memorial Day to June 17th), helped raise over $3000 for the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross, is going to Joplin to personally deliver her herd.  She continues to knit on the lovely elephants and hopes to take at least 14.

To help with this endeavor, I also knit 7 elephants - 4 before Memorial Day (these will be carried to Joplin with the ERJ herd since I already mailed them to BeLinda!) and 3 more since, which I am sending to Little Hands Big Helpers - Empowering Kids to Make a Difference to be distributed along with bears, blankets and books they are gathering.  My three will meet up with the ERJ herd and, hopefully, bring some joy to the children of a devastated town.

My little herd:

herd2 allsmallherd

I watch the videos and YouTube and read the stories on various pages on Facebook and am humbled by the spirit of the people and the breadth of the volunteers.  I want to give and give and go and help.  Unfortunately, I am not in a position - financially or time-wise - to get there and do anything.  So, I knit a few things, send a few blankets, and say a lot of prayers.

I am continuing the great clean-up in my house - I have a two year plan.  First step, a great big truck (thank you, Got Junk people - 1-800-Got-Junk) came and removed all the broken, falling apart things that have been accumulating (futon frames, old picnic table, broken computers and monitors, a recliner and other huge things that wouldn't fit in my trunk!). 

With the help of my cousin, cleared out my son's old room, painted, cleaned the carpets and moved her in!  This will help on many levels.  Provides a room for her, a place to call home, and throws a little $$ into the family budget.  In addition, she'll be a great help with my Mom - keeping her company, having lunch with her when cousin is working from home...  A good arrangement AND the bonus of a cleaned up room and bathroom!

There has been knitting as well. Besides the elephants, I made a shawl, a couple of hats, and several wash cloths.  I also have a couple of different sock patterns in progress..

Unfortunately, this is smaller than I would like - so I'll be unbinding it and adding to it... but it is finished per the pattern!

I have another elephant on the needles, too.  I  just can't stop.  I also will be making several hats to send to Japan.  One is done, one is almost done and I plant to make at least three more.  I am also working on a super secret project that needs to be done before the end of July.

My financial life is getting in order.  Like the great clean-up plan, this is a multi-year plan.  I am budgeting, reducing my spending, and paying off debt.  I have long way to go.  By following the Dave Ramsey plan, it is going!

All right, gonna go for the night.  I had more to say, but I will save that for another day.  It's too late to do justice to my deep thoughts... a light-hearted entry is a better re-introduction to the blog!