Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's the little things....

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the year. It was good. Some are good and some are bad, but this one was good.

We got a lovely new grandaughter. Her brother adores her. He did right from the start.

My husband got a new job that makes him happy.

I had a bad year selling real estate but you'll have this from time to time as the market re-adjusts. It's bad when it happens but it's normal. (Well, usually it's normal anyhow)

We started some long awaited projects on our house which made me feel much better because those much needed repairs kept me up at night worrying.

In retrospect if I had to say what I'd like to change about the year it would be that I was so preoccupied with work and family that I let some things slip with friends and didn't do some of the things that I really enjoy doing for myself. I couldn't find the time to go to knitting night. (ONCE A MONTH!) I rarely called my friends on the phone to say hello. I forgot most birthday cards.

I think I got lazy. It was easier with everything else that was going on to just ignore the things that weren't vital to daily existence.

I have a friend who is amazing. She never forgets anything. And she works full time and pretty much takes care of her Dad since her mother died a few years ago. But I can guarantee you that she doesn't have one friend who doesn't hear from her in some way at least every other week. It might be an email or a voice mail or a quick phone call but you hear from her.

I want to try to be a better friend this year. I want to try to be a better communicator in general. My New Years Resolution is to be more thoughtful. That's it in a nutshell.

I need to be more thoughtful.

Below is another one of my Christmas presents. My (very thoughtful) daughter and son-in-law took Clare for a professional portrait in the baptism gown I made for her. I can't stop looking at it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas and 2009 Knitting Resolutions

Could this be a subtle hint??

I believe my Christmas present says, "Put the knitting down and get some excercise."

Point taken.

Last year at this time, when taking stock of my year in knitting, I resolved to use up my stash in 2008. I didn't. This coming year, I will make a concentrated effort to do just that. I have some beautiful yarn, most purchased with a particular project in mind and some purchased just because I liked the looks of it. In reality, it's wasteful. So I will try. Really. I will. I could make Clare 30 pairs of socks with left over sock yarn and I'd still have some left over.

I'm not sure why I didn't photograph all of the Christmas projects I completed. I think I was out in left field somewhere for the last two months but I will make an effort to get back on track.

The beaded scarf turned out well even though I screwed up the pattern. Michael's fingerless gloves were a hit. I think the girls liked their socks. Denny liked his cashmere scarf even though I think it's flimsy. Something that cost that much to make shouldn't be so non-substantial. Give me 100% merino any day. Lesson learned.

So, I just want to say Happy New Year to all of my knitting friends near and far. May 2009 be a great year for everyone!

(Gratuitous grandchildren photo to follow)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Charlottesville, VA

I just got back from a week in the beautiful
city of Charlottesville, VA.
The countryside is beautiful even in the winter.
And the weather is mild. Much warmer than here.
We saw John Grisham sitting at his desk at the window in
his office. (that was sort of exciting!)
We even got some shopping in at the Downtown Mall pictured
And, of course, we had to hit "The Needle Lady"
Incredible inventory.
Cate had to drag me out of there.

Thanks to this little vacation (of sorts), the Christmas knitting is just about complete.
Colin's sweater is finished. A scarf is finished.
Fingerless gloves are nearly finished.
The blocking board comes out tonight.
It will be good to get back to more leisurely knitting!

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Rant

Times are tough. According to what I've been reading in Time and Newsweek, they're going to get tougher. When times are tough, that means that times are really tough for charitable organizations. When you have to cut back, I would think that one of the first places you look is the money that you give away. So I feel sorry now for the people responsible for raising money for charitable organizations.

Having said that, here's the rant: I'm tired of every checkout person in just about every store I walk into asking me if I want to give a dollar to this charity or that organization. At lunch time, it was for an organization I never even heard of. And, it was the second person today who asked me. The first was at the supermarket before work, and, yes, I gave a dollar to .... wow.. I can't even remember now what I gave it for. But I did recognize that organization. The second time I was asked was at Taco Bell and I have no idea what that money would have supported.

I usually say yes. But it annoys me. It's the principle. If I chose to come into a store to purchase something, they should have the courtesy not to ask me for more money.

I'm not cheap, I'm not stingy, and I'm not a great big grouch. But I prefer to choose who gets my donations. I have pet causes. I can't help it. I'd rather the MS Society get all this money I'm forking over at the checkout counter. Or the food bank. Sure, I know I can say no, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who do indeed say no. But I do not like being put in that position when I go into a store in good faith to do business.

On the one hand, I'm glad they raise a lot of money from people like me who can't say no. People need the money. On the other hand, it still annoys the hell out of me.

Ugh. I'm so conflicted!