Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rowan as Santa Claus supervises present opening on Christmas morning
Rowan's new Christmas outfit from Grandma and Papa
Pop and Rowan open baby's first remote control with buttons that make noise!
Nicole prepares to decorate sugar cookies. The green sugar is particularly popular this season :-)

A great holiday week but I am now officially exhausted! Rowan arrived with a cold and ear ache so now all of us have colds to match his. He has left to go home but his virus remains :-)

The people had a good time but not the cats. Nicole's cats and mine had some serious issues this visit. Although they've been together before, it has been a while. Merry was particularly annoying and slightly stalkerish. Much hissing ensued. Occasional growling and batting took place over the course of the week. Unfortunately Pippin and Micah somehow became entangled and each suffered a broken claw and bleeding on Christmas Eve day. $275 for an emergency vet visit later, both were treated, disinfected and given antibiotics. We won't be trying this again!

The week went much too fast and I abandoned my Weight Watchers log about 3 days ago. The kids all headed home today so the house has become very quiet. Back to reality tomorrow. Hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday too!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Almost ready

My grandson just finally fell asleep and reminded me why having children is a younger person's game! Thank goodness he's so cute.

Cookies are baked and presents are wrapped.

My nose is starting to stuff up and my throat was sore this morning. Sounds like a typical Christmas :-)

Nicole's cats have mostly quit fighting with mine (except for the occasional snarl or growl) I figure they will all be getting along famously by the time hers go home.

HoHoHo and Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Family arrives soon!!!

Sorry for not posting for a while. I got distracted by work and trying to make a dent in my messy house. I decided tonight that I absolutely will not get everything clean and tidy before the kids get in. I'll just keep working at it and do what I can. As I get older I'm looser about such things. After all, my kids grew up in this house and they know my lack of housekeeping interest :-)

The tree is up but only half the ornaments are on it. I can't find the stocking hangers or the rest of the Christmas decorations. Breathe deeply and go with the flow - breathe. . . .

Cards are mostly out and my dad's box is sent. Most of the Christmas shopping is done but I still need to wrap. I've been through the recipes and bought most of the baking ingredients. Decided to wait to bake until company comes. I'm now approaching 25 lbs of weight loss and don't want to be too tempted by all those goodies.

Tomorrow my partners and I are going to lunch and celebrating our first full year of business. We each made low 4 figures this year from the business but we paid the bills and are growing a little. We'll keep moving forward - slow and steady.

So excited to have all of the kids here, including our friend Briana, who will soon be leaving on a plane from Ghana! Rowan will be here on Sunday (with his parents). I bought baby food tonight for the first time in about 22 years. Too much fun.

Off to hang a few more ornaments

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Procrastinating

I could be working on finishing Christmas cards tonight. I could also be wrapping Christmas presents. I don't feel like doing either. Think I'll watch the Phoenix Suns instead and play on the computer instead.

It's been cold in the desert this weekend. That may sound like whining to those who live in snowy country but morning lows in the high 30's are chilly. We finally got to light the fireplace and enjoy the play of flames. The cats like to sit on the hearth and gaze in to the fire. It feels very cozy.

Not much new on the knitting front. Since I decided not to do Christmas knitting this year I haven't made much progress in anything. I might do one more hat for Rowan - one with ear flaps for those frigid Iowa winds.

That's all for now - hope your week gets off to a good start!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Back from 4 days in California visiting family. Daughter Nicole and her boyfriend met us over so we had a great time being together. The Iowa crew including Rowan had to stay home this year and we missed them a lot.

Had a lazy time over the weekend - just what we needed. We all went to see The Blindside on Friday and really enjoyed it. We laughed, we cried and we repeated quotes from the movie all day yesterday. Go see it! Last night we watched The Wrestler - good but kind of a downer.

Tonight I'm preparing for the busy week ahead instead of knitting. The real world sucks.

Hope you and yours had a wonderful time over the weekend.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just me and the cats

It's a quiet Saturday night with Guitar Guy out doing a gig. Sitting on the couch surrounded by sleeping cats - I don't think they miss him a bit :-) I haven't told them yet that we are headed out for a family Thanksgiving weekend and leaving them behind. I'm sure they'll figure it out when the suitcases start appearing.

I think I will finish the socks I'm working on and watch some episodes of Heroes Season 2. Netflix streaming to my computer makes it so easy to catch up. I'm also reading The Lost Symbol. I know, it isn't great literature but my husband bought it and I was bored. I have to read something while waiting for Rampant to get published!
And just to give you a fix of baby cuteness. . .

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I have a plan

Well, since last week I have a plan for the holidays. We have all agreed on a minimalist Christmas since none of us have a lot of money this year. I have a gift list created for everyone and have about half of the stuff ordered.

The new washer and dryer come tomorrow. Tomorrow morning will be spent trying to create a path for the delivery guys to get through. I meant to get that garage cleaned out but, um, it didn't happen. Now I pay for my laziness. On the bright side, I'll have a dryer that doesn't make ghastly grinding noises.

I created my Christmas cards on Shutterfly this week and they've already arrived. Lots of pictures of baby Rowan and his adoring family :-) I even have the mailing labels printed and ready to apply. I might just get those puppies about by Thanksgiving so I can forget about them.

Had a great time in Phoenix last weekend. We ate Thai, Chinese Dim Sum and Nicole's boyfriend made us Chicken Marsala. I am pleased to announce that despite the gluttony, I still lost .8 lbs. this week. I'm at about the 18 lbs point in my weight loss (we won't discuss how far I have to go). People are starting to notice, which is always affirming. I'm happy if I make it through the holidays without gaining and hit it hard again in January.

I got a lecture from my physician today about eating less carbs and exercising more. This man truly believes a life without carbs and sugar is worth living! I already know I won't maintain a lifestyle of chicken, fish and veggies so I'm not going to make myself crazy trying. He's been giving me that same speech for about 20 years and hasn't worked yet. What is it they say about taking the same action and expecting a different result :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

If I blink will it be Christmas?

I've been back for almost a week and still don't feel close to being caught up. Tonight I ordered a Christmas present online and realized how rapidly the holidays are approaching. I have decided not to commit to holiday knitting this year to reduce my stress load. If I get something done - great, if not - great. Did finish another hat for Rowan and worsted socks for my son while I was traveling.

I started a list of all of the things I have to get done around the house before the family descends on December 18. Since we'll have a baby on the floor, carpet cleaning is high on the list! My washer and dryer are dying. How rude to only last 20+ years! The garbage disposal is also making terrible crunching noises (though I can't see anything in it). I haven't read a really good review on any washer under $1000. If you have any experience to share on the washer front bring it on.

This weekend we are off to Phoenix to see Phantom of the Opera with our daughter. She paid for most of the cost of tickets for her dad's Christmas present. Should be a wonderful weekend and we are really looking forward to it. The cats, of course, will be pissed. I just got home and now I'm gone again? I don't listen too much to their complaints. The pet sitter I hired plays with them way more than I do. They do love that laser pointer :-)

The sad news for this week was the failure of our school overrides to pass. That means 1 million dollars less starting next year plus whatever hit the state gives us. I keep hearing that the district needs to learn to live within its means, but AZ is 49th in the nation in per pupil spending and our district is one of the lowest in the state. In my first year on the school board I've seen no evidence that the spending is anything other than well reasoned, conservative and in compliance with the umpteen regulations and laws governing school finance. Our district has made great progress and is considered one of the better districts in AZ with progressive leadership. There is no fat to cut (despite the letters to the editor) and anything from here on out will be very painful. Sorry for the whining but it is so maddening!!!

Hugs to all and may your weekend be relaxing, cozy and filled with fiber.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The perfect Halloween pumpkin



Rowan has had many compliments on his pumpkin hat I knitted him. The fact that he likes to wear it makes me happy :-)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Icey the amazing shaved cat in all her glory. Seems to feel much better with all those nasty mats out of her fur. Not bad for 21 years old!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Real work for a change

Thanks for all of the comments on my last post. Obviously I'm not the only one that likes a little diversity in my neighborhood. Em does have a good point about the garage band though. I don't think upscale retirement communities allow that kind of thing (though they do have a bagpipe group)

Since last week I have been actually been really busy doing work that pays our business (as opposed to work that is trying to produce pay). It is even possible that we might actually get to take a little money out of the business for the first time ever. It still means we are working for about 10 cents an hour but we did it all on our own. A little extra cash right before Christmas wouldn't hurt a bit.

Thank you for giving my a break from all of my client charting. I was boring myself silly.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why I don't want to live in a retirement community

Roxie raised some good questions about what my issue is with retirement communities. The big one we visited is full of beautiful homes, sculptured golf courses, clubhouses and flowers changed out 4 times annually. It is largely populated by people roughly my age (55-65) who retired early and have time to play and socialize to their hearts content. It isn't the "heaven's waiting room" that some of the Arizona retirement communities are.

It isn't the rules and fines or even the homeowners association checking for open garage doors that bothers me. What sets my teeth on edge is the lack of diversity in the population (read no one under 55). I live in a community that originally was advertised as a retirement destination. The people who migrated to Lake Havasu were of a different sort than those who reside in retirement communities. Our retirees wanted to live in a traditional town with children! They wanted to read in schools, help with programs for teenagers, work with young parents, provide their knowledge to new business owners etc. In short, they wanted to contribute to their community.

Retirement communities feel a little too homogenous for me to be comfortable in them. So there you have it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lazy blogger

Yes, I am back home and just being a lazy blogger! We survived the week with my inlaws and got lots of reading in. I have determined that I do not want to live in humid Florida and do not want to live in a retirement community. Guitar Guy agrees so we are good to go on that.

We arrived back home on Saturday after a long day on the road. Daughter and her boyfriend drove back up with us as Guitar Guy had a gig that night. I made it through two sets before my eyes totally stopped focusing and I had to go to bed.

Merry has fully recovered from his gastritis and is happy not to have that awful medicine anymore. He has to go back for a follow up visit this week and his annual shots so won't be happy about that.

All is good. The weather is getting cooler. I'm trying to wade through my "to do" list and am making a little progress. Onward and upward.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Traveling again

Off to Florida this time so blogging will probably be at a minimum. Spent the day with my lovely daughter today. We did pedicures and went out for Indian food. I made a good dent in my Weight Watchers bonus points but it was so worth it.

Our minor trauma for the week was Meriadoc (our youngest cat) getting gastritis. He had diahrrea for 3 days and then vomited all over. After an emergency x-ray (showing nothing but gas) they decided to dose him with antibiotics for 10 days. This meant I had to quickly find someone to wrap a fighting cat in towel twice a day to give him his medication. He already seemed to be feeling better by the time we left.

Life is always interesting!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chinese food and a fat cat

I'm not sure where time has gone, but it hasn't been blogging. I'm sitting on the couch after a full week. I'm waiting for Chinese food to be delivered to my door so I don't have to cook. Pippin feels this is the perfect opportunity to "help" me write my blog so we are having some cuddle and purr time. I haven't told him I'm headed off on another trip soon. He really doesn't want to know. He's already had enough trauma after having to have a catheter inserted for a urine sample this week. Poor guy.

Since getting back from Iowa I've been very busy. You all know how it is when you come back after a trip. Everything you put off is impatiently waiting. I've plowed through most of it and still have a week to finish up before I head off to visit my in-laws. Thank goodness for great business partners who keep things going while I'm flying around the country (plus they take care of my cats!)

Yesterday I got to help make a marketing visit to a physician's office. It was a very strange experience. We got to stand in the hall and wait for the physicians to pop out between appointments and approach us for a 30-60 second spiel. A couple of them asked good questions and seemed to understand the whole geriatric care management idea. Hopefully, we'll see some referrals out of it.

I'm still liking having our own business, but not liking the lack of income. We've decided to commit some funds to advertising and keep moving forward. A true benefit of our slowish start is that I've had the freedom to spend time helping my dad and visit my grandson. That is truly a gift.

I think I hear the delivery guy coming up the walk. Mongolian beef and shrimp with garlic sauce - Yum!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Family photos

Home again from a great trip to visit all of my family in Iowa. Dad and I ran errands every day and got much of his list done. We still had time to eat lots of sweet corn, talk for hours and just enjoy spending time together.

Baby Rowan is almost 4 months old and can finally wear his rock and roll t-shirt we got him. The Guitar Guy wants to make sure Rowan starts out right!

Rowan's new sweater on the model. It fit well and I think he looks very handsome in it. Unfortunately he kicks off all the socks I made him even with the ribbing. If you have a good pattern that really stays on, let me know (Amy - yours stay on!)
Rowan dressed as a shark. It's kind of hard to see the shark on the back but the hat has eyes and a fin on the back.
Here are Rowan, Dom, Dad and me celebrating Dad's 92nd birthday. Had a great time! If you look at the painting behind our heads, the little girl with dog is me :-) A friend of my mother's painted it and included my dog, Fritz, and I from a photo.

I think Rowan and Great Grandpa have a mutual admiration society. There many smiles and lots of love. A great time was had by all!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Don't tell the cats

Today is my last opportunity to get the house in some semblance of order before heading out to my dad's for a week. The cats are already eyeing the suitcase so I think they are on to me! I at least got the family room straightened out! It is where we spend most of our time so it accumulates the most books, knitting, guitar magazines, newspapers etc.
I finished Rowan's sweater to take with me. It's just a basic top down cardigan with matching socks. The yarn is Lorna's Laces sport weight in color Seacoast. Rowan's whole room is done in an ocean theme, so it seemed appropriate. At the rate he's growing it will probably fit him for about a month or two. That just gives me a reason to knit another one :-)
Pippin is guarding my office door so I can't escape without him noticing. Of course he didn't even twitch when I took the picture so he's not much of a watch cat.
Have a good rest of the weekend!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Here are some more pictures of my office, as requested. This is my collection of Depression glass and Elegant glass of the Depression era. For those inquiring minds, the former was sold in soap boxes or given away at carnivals and gas stations. The latter was a higher quality glass usually sold in department stores.







I'm also getting some of the items from my old office out of boxes and setting them up like the blue bottles on the filing cabinet. It feels good to get familiar things around my space. The painting is a watercolor of my mother done by may Aunt Nancy before I was born. It was first in my uncle's attic, then my parent's attic and finally framed and hung.
























I love my ersatz Tiffany lamp (thank you Overstock.com) as I prefer lamps to overhead lighting. The small cabinet is the one that took me 2 long sweaty hours to assemble. It holds all my office supplies and paper. The files on top make it look like an official office!











Last is our booth from Thursday. We had a drawing for a free massage, which made us very popular. Next time I'm bringing cookies or candy though. Those booths were WAY popular.

I didn't get nearly what I wanted done this weekend but should finish my Gryffindor socks tonight while I'm watching True Blood. That's my idea of a good time :-)

P.S. Why does blogger pop some of my pictures to the right? It looks fine in the preview and then I publish and it is out of alignment. AARGH!

Friday, August 21, 2009

More this weekend

I'm just doing a quick post now to let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Hopefully over the weekend I'll get my office totally put together so I can take photos for you. It has been a really busy week which included manning our booth at the Chamber Business Expo all day yesterday. Well worth doing but lots of work getting displays and materials ready!

More to come this weekend.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It happened again!

Just when I thought I was getting caught up on things, I realized I hadn't blogged in a week. Where are these weeks going? The summer is nearly gone and I know what that means - I'm already behind on Christmas knitting!

Rowan got a new polo shirt and jeans from the Baby Gap because his mommy couldn't resist. I've almost got his early fall sweater done (still needs buttons) and one matching sock. These small sizes whiz by pretty quickly. I get to go visit Rowan again at the end of this month when I go to see my dad. Short visits but at least I get a few baby cuddles in.

I got all the glassware put back though wish I'd had KnitTech and Roxie to help me and have some rum to celebrate :-) I'll take pictures one of these days. I put a storage cabinet together for the office today. Two hours of sweating and cursing created a fairly attractive addition to my office. Unfortunately, it won't hold my heavy duty printer so I may have to assemble one more piece.

I'm being lazy tonight when I should be reading one of those seven deadly boring solar energy proposals for the school district. I'll have myself for it tomorrow morning but I just can't focus. Much more fun to play on Facebook and knit.

Hope your day was a good one!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Where has the week gone?

I suddenly looked up and realized it had been a week since I blogged. How does that happen? I spent most of the weekend knitting and putting away glassware (almost done) so that was fun. This week has been a blur!

My partners are both busy this week and suddenly our geriatric care got busy. It has been wonderful getting to help people but totally not what I had planned for the week. Plus I had to get all of our accounting and billing caught up. I never can figure out why that takes so much time for such a small business. On the other hand, everything is entered, reconciled and paid.

I'm spending 18 hours this week evaluating solar energy proposals for the school district. No, I know nothing about solar energy. I was asked, as a school board representative, so that the committee would have people from all levels of the district. Solar is awesome - and I'm all for making our schools more "green" but we have to find a proposal that makes good financial sense as well. It keeps my brain spinning plus I get to eat lunch in the teacher's lunchroom every day :-)

Monday I started Weight Watchers online. I want to get healthier so I can keep up with Rowan. Someone asked me today if Weight Watchers works for me and I said "Yes, all three times". I'm always amazed at how little sense of portion control I have. Measuring food is such a shocker. "That really is 3 ounces of meat?" Um - I've been eating twice that much. We won't even go in to the chips and ice cream.

I've never done the online version but just couldn't see adding in another meeting during the week. I do everything else online (well not EVERYHING) so figured I'd give it a try. So far so good. I'll keep you posted.

Have to go work on Rowan's sweater. I might even get this done before the weather gets cold!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My office is done!

Last week we took a long weekend and visited our children and grandson in Iowa. Rowan continues to grow like crazy and was able to grab a toy for the first time. He and the Guitar Guy spent a lot of time enjoying each other's company (when I wasn't holding Rowan).














The day we got home, Nicole and Pat arrived to finish the office. While I still have a lot of work to do hanging art, putting glassware back and setting up office files, the big stuff is done.














You can see what a difference some paint and new furniture makes! Plus the amazingly decorative Ragdoll really adds to the room. I'm told I might get wood laminate on my floor for next year's present!

In addition to finishing the room, the dynamic duo hung a new ceiling fan in the family room, painted the kitchen ceiling, hung a new chandelier, hung track lighting in the kitchen and took all of their garbage to the landfill!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Part 2: Cleaning out the closet


None of us thought of sealing the cracks in the closet door so the office closet was covered in drywall dust. If you've ever dealt with drywall dust, you know how fine and tenacious the stuff is. It sticks to absolutely everything! All my out-of -season or out-of-size clothing was stored in that closet plus a hodgepodge of "don't know where else to stuff it".






Here is the clothing left after I threw 2 garbage bags full. I'm getting more brutal with my "thin" clothing. Even if I ever got back in to it, the styles are totally outdated.














After I pulled everything else out of the closet, this was some of the mess I had left. I finally pitched 3 paint by number horse pictures my Gramps painted in 1963. They've totally yellowed and I'll never hang them. Took pictures for posterity and in the trash can they went. (I'm currently reading a book called The Boomer Burden which is about cleaning out the mess parents leave behind. It is making me less sentimental and more ruthless with my stuff)














This is all of the glassware that has to be washed and put back in the next couple of weeks. It has taken over Guitar Guy's studio/amp workshop/library. Thankfully he's not building anything right now. Hopefully he doesn't need any of the guitars stuck back in the corner before I'm done














A parting Rowan shot while on vacation in Colorado. I love this one because you can see how long his eyelashes are. My son had beautiful eyelashes too. Why boys seem to get them is one of life's great mysteries!

Now I'm back to work on the bedroom. The painting crew arrives tomorrow - hurray!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Remodel in progress

For your viewing pleasure (and at Roxie's request) I'm documenting the remodel of the office. What a mess! My darling Nicole and her boyfriend worked long hours to get the room ready to be painted. He spent most of Tuesday sanding down the walls since we decided not to retexture. They are now wonderfully smooth.





Step 1 was to remove the wallpaper. The steamer did a great job - much better than the paste dissolving fluid I've used before.
Step 2 involved cleaning up the initial mess and preparing to put drywall mud on all of the walls.














Meriadoc had to check out the crinkling plastic while the workers were on a break.
Step 3 involved covering the walls with the mud to provide an even foundation for the paint.
Step 4 After the walls dried overnight, Pat spent many hours sanding. By the time he was done he was coated in white powder from head to toe.

I didn't get any pictures of Nicole sanding baseboards but there are more still to do! We also had multiple trips to Lowe's, Home Depot and assorted hardware stores for paint and supplies.
We stayed up way to late talking, went out to eat several times and laughed a lot. Hopefully my remodeling crew will return next Sunday to begin painting. I'm so excited!

(If my pictures jump out of alignment it isn't my doing. Blogger is being difficult again!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quick update

Just got back from watching two international soccer matches in Phoenix. The tickets were Guitar Guy's anniversary present since he loves soccer. Got to see our daughter, eat at Red Lobster and spend a relaxing weekend together.

My daughter-in-law posted a picture with her February Lady sweater I wanted to share with you.





She also posted a photo of my grandson Rowan wearing the socks knitted for him by no otherthan Amy Lane. They are so cute! For those on Facebook you can visit a video of Rowan smiling while wearing his new socks on my profile page. We were all touched that Amy found the time to add to Rowan's hand knit collection!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A real grown-up home office

My darling daughter Nicole has volunteered she and her boyfriend to redo my office (her former bedroom). This is what it currently looks like (note the lovely pink walls and teenage wall and ceiling decorations.
They will need to remove the 15 year old wallpaper and may have to retexture depending on the condition of the walls.

My job is to remove everything except the computer desk so they can paint. This wouldn't be quite so bad if I didn't have a 40 year collection of glassware stored here. I'm slowly moving it in to another bedroom. Of course after two years, it all needs to be washed before I put it back on the new bookcases I bought. Someday when I hit the lottery it is going to be in sealed cases!

Let's see - today is Friday and they start painting Monday - yikes! I know what I'm going to be doing tonight and tomorrow. But it will be awesome when it is done. I will try to get more pics of the process for your viewing pleasure.

On the knitting front I've finally finished the first Embossed Leaves sock in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga. While I love the yarn, for some reason this pattern went slowly for me. I started it as part of a Bugga KAL but everyone else finished long ago. And with the new Harry Potter set to open I am rushing to finish some new socks in Sunshine Yarns Gryffindor. Not sure whether I'll make it but I'll give it my best shot! Yes, I am a geek.














And now, back to moving glassware.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Guitar Guy returns

Just arrived home with the Guitar Guy after an exciting week in Virginia. He learned a lot, loved his time there and is really glad to be home. Tonight he has to meet with his band to plan the set list for two gigs tomorrow. So much for spending time together! I'm not planning to go to either gig. Too hot and way to many people in town for the holiday.

Got to spend some time with Nicole and her friend Briana last night and today. Having just returned from India, Briana is off to Ghana in 3 weeks. She'll be spending a year working in communities there and supervising the volunteers working on projects with the citizenry. As we headed back home she was off to get innoculations for Yellow Fever, Meningitis and Rabies. That didn't sound too promising. Nicole is hoping to go visit with Briana is there. I am thinking about it but not sure I want all those shots (I'd need a bunch more). A nice cruise is probably more my speed.

Have an excellent July 4th weekend for those in the US.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Band camp

Thursday my husband and I were driving to Phoenix so he could catch a flight to Virginia. I chuckled to myself about how long it has been since I took a boy to camp! Yes, the Guitar Guy is off to blues camp again this summer. He had such an amazing time last summer and made such lasting friends, he couldn't wait to get back.

We did look at the expense long and hard given the economy and our budget this year, but ultimately decided we could make it work. There are few things he would rather do than sit around and talk gear and riffs with a bunch of guitar geeks. It also means I won't understand a thing he says for the first two hours back home. What they learn is so far beyond my musical knowledge it boggles my mind.

Thursday we got to spend the evening with our daughter and her friends. I had debated about taking the drive with the Guitar Guy, because it means I have to drive back to pick him up next week. When I found out Briana (who some may remember me writing about) was back from India and coming to dinner, I had to make the drive. We met at Byblos, a Middle Eastern restaurant we've been eating at for 20 years and all love. We laughed, reminisced and learned about some of the challenges of living in India that didn't make it in to the blog. Briana made sure we knew how rich we really are here in the US! We too often forget how fortunate we are.

Yesterday, daughter Nicole and I hung out, went to lunch and did some shopping. We ate a very healthy lunch and then splurged on a chocolate chip cookie, ice cream, fudge, whipped cream dessert (to share of course). It was a lovely day and went by too fast.

The cats welcomed me back home last night after a thorough sniffing. Nicole has four cats at her house right now and I obviously had been unfaithful to my feline companions by petting some of those purring lovelies. Fortunately, hunger won out over disdain and I am now forgiven.

Today is quiet and I plan to work on some small projects, knit and generally enjoy myself. Have a great weekend.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's done!

I finished sewing the buttons on my February Lady today and took a few pictures before I send it off to my daughter-in-law in Iowa. I'm pretty happy with how it came out. I just hope it fits!
























Em asked for me to explain a little more about group interviews, for those who have never been through them. My first experience was when I applied for my previous position as Executive Director. There were 18 board members in attendance. More than a little intimidating! During my years as ED, we used group interviews a lot. A manager from each department was part of the interview committee. We each had standard questions for the candidate, different than their original personal interview. More scenarios, role plays etc.

After the interview we discussed answers, but also talked a lot about fit with the position and organization. As a candidate, group interviews are challenging. As an employer, they can give you a lot of valuable information about how people interact with a group and how they handle stress. As a group works together through a series of interviews they get more confident in each other and the process. In a one hour personal interview, a candidate who interviews well can fool you. That is much harder to do with the various perspectives of a group. Hopefully it prevents a bad fit for both parties.

Now I think I need to dig out a nice pair of socks to finish. I love socks - they are quick and not hot to hold on your lap in the summer!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A better week

This week I feel much more "on track" than last week. I appreciated the listening ears and supportive comments. Roxie's observation about taking one project at a time has helped with the feeling of being overwhelmed. I tend to pressure myself to be superwoman and then am disappointed when I'm not :-)

The first three days of the week were mostly spent sitting on an principal interview committee for the school district. It was a lengthy process involving paper screening and extended interviews with the candidates. I've done lots of group interviews over the years and the process always amazes me. The longer the group works together toward their common goal, the clearer the choices become. I think everyone left feeling good about the recommendations.

On the knitting side - I finished the February Lady yesterday! I'm going to wash and block her today and then I'll be ready for buttons. It looks really small, even for my daughter in law. I have faith though, that all the reports I read on Ravelry about superwash growing are true. Should have pictures tomorrow!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I've been remiss

I apologize for my lack of post lately. I've once again been immersed in the world of website optimization and marketing. Our geriatric care business has slowed to a crawl and we've discovered a painful truth - none of us really like the marketing side of the business. It was exciting when the business was new and we couldn't wait to tell everyone about it. We then made the rooky mistake of assuming that our reputation and contacts in the community would bring in business. That doesn't work beyond a couple of referrals.

This week we focused on creating our marketing plan for the next 6 months. We've got some good ideas to work on through July, and then ramp up again in August for another go at it. The problem I always have in the summer is lack of motivation. It is hot in Arizona. Really hot! It is the time we hibernate and watch movies (unless you own a boat or have a pool, which we don't). The days tend to slide by one after the other and before I know it we are at Labor Day. All my good intentions of cleaning out drawers, planning for the coming months, getting my computer cleaned out - all gone.

Thank you for listening to me complain. It always helps to have an ear to bend for a while. On the bright side, Nicole is coming to visit for 2 days starting Sunday. Then in two weeks I go visit her for a couple of days. We have to take advantage of these opportunities before her crazy, breakneck schedule starts again in August.

Enjoy your summer day (unless you are in Australia keeping warm by the fire) and have a great weekend.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The AHA moment

I commented on Twitter yesterday about a conversation I had with my daughter. We were discussing her plans for the future and I asked her some questions. What does she want her future to be? What would it take to get there? How do you begin taking baby steps toward that future?

Being a thoughtful young woman, she already had some of the answers worked out for herself. I admire her tremendously. She has always been goal oriented (except for a relatively brief period of wandering) and keeps her eye on the prize!

The AHA moment came when I hung up the phone. Do I need to ask MYSELF more of those questions? The answer, of course, is "YES". To give myself a little credit, I have been working toward my career and life focus (volunteering) goals for the last year or so. I'm proud to say I've made some progress. What I need to work on more are things like health (diet and exercise) and the environment I live in (as Amy would say - my craptastic house). I'm giving that some thought again - but no answers yet.

I'm having company tomorrow night for dinner and looking at the disgusting hall bathroom. I have a cat that believes the bathtub is the overflow cat box. If someone else is in the box, or it isn't quite up to the standards of his highness, he uses the handy dandy shiny box. Sometimes to show his disdain, he goes on the floor. Other than the evidence, I can't prove exactly which miscreant it is since I never catch him in the act! This makes for decision like "Should I wait to clean the bathroom until tomorrow afternoon for the best chance at keeping it clean through dinner?" Thankfully, you, my blogging friends, have shown me that I am not the only making these kinds of weird decisions :-)

I have very little knitting progress as I've been reading and playing on the computer. I've been working my way through Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It is about the political genius of Abraham Lincoln and the cabinet of rivals he put together. It is not a light read but fascinating nonetheless.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lazy Saturdays are good

I like lazy Saturdays. Slept late, knitted for a couple of hours, read a new book and now am playing on the computer. Giving myself permission to not feel guilty even though the house is a wreck. I did get a lot done this week and mostly got caught up on the tasks awaiting me post vacation.

I pulled out some of my counted crossstitch books and kits today. Think I'm going to start on a Christmas stocking for my grandson. I have a really nice kit that is heirloom quality (translated - many, many tiny stitches) If I start now I should be able to get it done in time for the holidays and still have plenty of knitting time. I used to do a lot of crossstitch and know better than to underestimate the time involved.

Off to do some more knitting and maybe a little nap.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reality sucks

Back to reality after vacationing for two weeks, I've decided once again that reality sucks. As I waded through bills, errands I put off, laundry and work related tasks, I began to wonder how soon I could escape again! The cats haven't totally forgiven me for my most recent defection so guess I'd better wait a couple of weeks.

My son called this afternoon to let me know the pediatrician has decided my grandson is lactose intolerant and that's why he is suddenly having increased stomach pain and crying. And I thought it was because I left :-) I'm trying to get Skype set up on my computer so I can see the little bugger in real time. The wonders of modern technology.

Now that I'm home, I also need to get busy with more knitting. Other than a board meeting tonight, I don't have much going on in the evening for a couple of weeks. Sounds like prime knitting time to me. Besides, my husband is watching baseball. I think baseball is boring. Videos and knitting - home run!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Homeward bound

I am sitting in Des Moines tonight on the last night of vacation. I volunteered to babysit my grandson so his parents can have an evening to celebrate their 5 year anniversary. It is such a hardship to cuddle my soft, huggable grandson :-)

I had four good days with my dad and got through most of his "to do" list. He still isn't driving so saves up chores like banking for when I'm there. Believe it or not, one of the things we did was buy him an Asus 1000HE netbook for his kitchen table. At almost 92, he decided the desktop computer just wasn't enough in his one bedroom apartment. I got it set up for him, we purchased a wireless mouse and he's good to go. Amazing.

Tomorrow I'll be headed home to hug my husband and my cats and enjoy the rest of the weekend. Tuesday I'm back to reality, but I'll think about that later.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A new week

I'm still in the green of Iowa and freezing! The 45 degree drop between Arizona and Iowa is just about doing me in. Plus the pediatrician recommended keeping the house between 68 - 70 degrees as they think babies being too warm contributes to SIDS. At my house, when it is 68 degrees inside, I'm wearing a sweater.

Other than that we are having a great time. My husband and daughter arrived and we've been hanging out watching movies and holding the baby. However, all good things must come to an end. On Tuesday, I'm off to visit my dad for a few days before returning home. I've already heard we have a "to do" list, so expect to keep busy while I'm there.

It has been a great trip but I'm already getting homesick. It has been 7 days since I left and I won't be home until next Sunday. I miss my cats and my own bed. Do you think there is such a thing as too much vacation?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Short and very sweet



At 20.25 inches Rowan is short compared to the rest of us and he's very sweet. A couple more pictures:




Roxie gave me permission to wallow in grandparenthood so I'm taking full advantage this week (then I promise I'll revert to other subjects most of time). Rowan came home yesterday and met his furry housemates (2 dogs and a cat). The are not terribly impressed with him so far, but don't like him being in the way of THEIR mom's lap. He was mellow yesterday but had his first non-sleeping, fussy night for his mom and dad. I got up at 3:30 AM to see if any help was needed but they deferred until tonight. Son is going back to work tomorrow so I'm probably on duty while he sleeps.

Rowan liberally sprinkled my son this morning during diaper change, so I think the baptism of new parents has begun :-)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Off to Iowa

I'm taking off tonight to Las Vegas and catching a flight out to Iowa in the wee hours of the AM. My husband will follow in a couple of days and my daughter will be in Friday. I think my son and daughter-in-law are going to have more help then they need :-)

Since they just moved in to a new place, hopefully we can also help with finishing the unpacking and getting the rest of the house set up. I'm good at opening and unpacking boxes if someone else can direct me on where to put them.

We have a cat sitter lined up for week DH is away. After two weeks, they may not be speaking to me by the time I get home. Have to get going if I'm going to be ready to leave by tonight!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My first grandchild!

Rowan Vincent born 5/09/09 7 lbs. 11 oz. Mom and baby doing fine.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Look on the Bright Side of Life

Those of you who immediately thought of Monty Python would have fit well with the group I met last week. Early on someone spontaneously burst in to this uplifting ditty, and it became the theme song for out time together.

Thankfully my head did not really explode from all the learning, though Knittech's suggestion for duct tape makes a lot of sense. Exploding brains are messy I presume. Unlike many classes I've been to, this one asked us to learn a new philosophy to apply to our work as consultants, rather than new tips and tools. Any time I try to rewire my brain for a new perspective it takes a frightening amount of effort.

Each day we were asked again and again - "What is the highest potential for this meeting/group/project/day/person?" Next came "What conditions would have to be in place for me and the organization for that potential to be reached?" and on down the line. In simple terms we used the example of an upcoming trip. The destination is set. Naturally from there we reverse engineer all of the planning that would be needed to reach that destination (what will I need to take, who has to be involved, how will I get there, how much time will each step take etc.) We do it every day.

The meat of the class was learning how to do that kind of work with organizations. The destination is a mutually agreed upon vision (Our community will nurture the potential of all children) From there we help organizations work back to what that would look like, who would have to be involved, what can this group work on, steps, timelines etc.

The whole goal is ultimately for Community Benefit organizations to change the world by focusing on what we want/dream/envision, rather than getting stuck in trying to problem solve present day solutions. Yes, I spent the week with people who paid good money to go to class based on their values re:making the world a better place. It was awesome. The positive energy in the room brought us back excited every day.

We also laughed a lot, ate way to much and talked until we were exhausted. This explains why I got now knitting or reading done. By the time I got back to my hotel room, I was done. Now that I'm back to reality, the February Lady sweater is calling me. Since I have no meetings tonight, that is what I'll be doing.

P.S. Still nothing on the baby. Waiting, waiting, waiting. . .

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The sound of an exploding brain

Well, ok, it didn't really explode but I am certainly overwhelmed with information. The course this week is awesome and the people amazing. We are talking about ways to ultimately transform our world through our work as consultants to Community Benefit Organizations (because nonprofits are not "non" anything". Just the change in terminology causes a shift in thinking beyond one organization to the whole community.

It is exciting and I feel like I have so much more to learn.

Off to get my mind blown some more.

P.S. The whole class went to see the Soloist last night. Whatever the critics may think, one of my classmates has worked with the LAMP community and was pleased with the portrayal of their work. 500 residents of Skid Row were involved in the filming.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Beginnings

Off to my first consulting class in a few minutes. I feel like it is the first day of school. Of course I didn't get a new box of crayons but I'll survive. Catch you later.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Finally some poetry

I haven't contributed anything all month to the poetryfest and decided it was time. I debated on something by Edgar Allan Poe but in the end decided on the first poem I read aloud for a 9th grade English class. I think the tone appealed to my angsty teenage heart, plus I got be dramatical :-)

"WRECK OF THE HESPERUS"
It was the schooner Hesperus,
That sailed the wintery sea;
And the skipper had taken his little daughter,
To bear him company.

Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax,
Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,
That ope in the month of May.

The Skipper he stood beside the helm,
His pipe was in his mouth,
And he watched how the veering flaw did blow
The smoke now West, now South.

Then up and spake an old Sailor,
Had sailed the Spanish Main,
"I pray thee, put into yonder port,
for I fear a hurricane."

Last night the moon had a golden ring,
And to-night no moon we see!
The skipper, he blew whiff from his pipe,
And a scornful laugh laughed he.

Colder and louder blew the wind,
A gale from the Northeast,
The snow fell hissing in the brine,
And the billows frothed like yeast.

Down came the storm, and smote amain
The vessel in its strength;
She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,
Then leaped her cable's length.

"Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,
And do not tremble so;
For I can weather the roughest gale
That ever wind did blow."

He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat
Against the stinging blast;
He cut a rope from a broken spar,
And bound her to the mast.

"O father! I hear the church bells ring,
Oh, say, what may it be?"
"Tis a fog-bell on a rock bound coast!" --
And he steered for the open sea.

"O father! I hear the sound of guns;
Oh, say, what may it be?"
Some ship in distress, that cannot live
In such an angry sea!"

"O father! I see a gleaming light.
Oh say, what may it be?"
But the father answered never a word,
A frozen corpse was he.

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,
With his face turned to the skies,
The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow
On his fixed and glassy eyes.

Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed
That saved she might be;
And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave,
On the Lake of Galilee.

And fast through the midnight dark and drear,
Through the whistling sleet and snow,
Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept
Tow'rds the reef of Norman's Woe.

And ever the fitful gusts between
A sound came from the land;
It was the sound of the trampling surf,
On the rocks and hard sea-sand.

The breakers were right beneath her bows,
She drifted a dreary wreck,
And a whooping billow swept the crew
Like icicles from her deck.

She struck where the white and fleecy waves
Looked soft as carded wool,
But the cruel rocks, they gored her side
Like the horns of an angry bull.

Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,
With the masts went by the board;
Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank,
Ho! ho! the breakers roared!

At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,
A fisherman stood aghast,
To see the form of a maiden fair,
Lashed close to a drifting mast.

The salt sea was frozen on her breast,
The salt tears in her eyes;
And he saw her hair, like the brown sea-weed,
On the billows fall and rise.

Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
In the midnight and the snow!
Christ save us all from a death like this,
On the reef of Norman's Woe!
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

I was interested to discover on Wikipedia that the Wreck of Hesperus is referenced in Lydia the Tatooed Lady, made famous by Groucho Marx. It also happens to be a song my husband loves. Weird.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I think I'm back in work mode

A realized today that I'm back in work mode, after nearly a year of being sort of laid back. I know I've been getting busy with meetings and all those others little responsibilities I keep agreeing to. That isn't it. I actually feel like I'm getting up and going to work every day. I might even have a routine!

That's probably a good thing, except now I find myself looking forward to weekends. I also resent time taken away from my weekends. That may be why I waited until 10PM tonight to start working on the stuff I need by 8 AM tomorrow. Or it could be that I'm channeling Amy Lane and think writing starts late at night :-)

My Board work should ease up since we hired an executive director for the youth services group I'm affiliated with. There has been a lot to stay on top of the last five weeks. Most of the rest of the Board walk out after a meeting and think, "good -we got that settled". I'm the one thinking, "and tomorrow a letter has to go out on this, we need to order the materials, I need to coordinate with the chair of the committee etc., etc.,etc." Damn my parents for giving me the hyper-responsibility gene!

Now I am really going to bed so I can make my 8 AM tomorrow. Sleep well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I am Twitterpated

I have spent a good part of the last few days trying to learn the various social media used for business networking in today's world. I got a consulting blog started, updated my LinkedIn page and invited a variety of colleagues to join me and joined Twitter.

The blog part isn't too bad except for getting used to Word Press and the fact that it may be months before anyone finds it. One has to start somewhere and if I build it eventually they will come (right?).

LinkedIn isn't the most user friendly for those of us used to MySpace and Facebook but I'm getting the hang of it. I also am able to link it to both of my business websites and the blog. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Twitter doesn't connect with LinkedIn but does link with the blog which is linked to the website also. Most of this is for just the one business - not two. (At this point I start singing about the head bone connected to the neck bone, etc. ,etc.) I'm told there is a purpose to all this incestuous linking that will eventually make me easier to find on Google.

Out of all of it Twitter is the piece I'm struggling with the most. It is very different than the others, with its own vocabulary and shortcuts. Writing in 140 characters is challenging enough. Writing something entertaining and intelligent that someone else wants to read in 140 characters - very challenging. I refuse to write about what I ate for breakfast, though did mention chocolate and jelly beans on Easter. It is fast paced, generates huge numbers of messages, and feels a little like being on an LA Freeway with 6 cars changing lanes in front of me.

The basic concept is to communicate with others (followers) while receiving communications from others (following). I get the relationship building part of this. I get the potential to have something interesting I say shared virally with thousands of others instantly. Beyond that I'm pretty lost right now.

This is straining my brain worse than learning to knit socks!! Speaking of which, I haven't even made a start on my second roulette sock thanks to all of the tweeting, blogging and posting. I have finished the second sleeve on my February lady and am back at work on the body. It looks really small but I've read how much negative ease there is once washed so should be fine.

Now that my brain has exploded all over the page and you are as confused as I am, I'm going to bed. Goodnight.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reading readiness

No, this isn't about preparing children to read or teaching literacy to adults. The title of today's blog refers to the fact that I have about five books I need to read before Tuesday morning. These books are related to the class I'm going to in two weeks. Although I have only had one paying gig doing a little consulting in the last year, I do get asked to share my services for free with various local nonprofits.

Based on that limited experience and my years working in nonprofit organizations, I was accepted to this week long consulting intensive at the Community Drive Institute in Tucson. I am beyond excited to go! The people involved are so positive about being visionary and creating change. I've known for months though, that one of the requirements is to read all of the books and articles published by the group before attending. They want everyone to have a baseline knowledge.

Admittedly, I have read most of what the leader has written in the last 5-6 years so I'm pretty well covered on the articles. I've read two of the books previously, and have used her ideas in my own work with nonprofits. "But you have two weeks left", I hear you say. Not really.

On Tuesday morning I am doing a phone conference to discuss where I am (trying to determine starting level of each participant for this first time course) I would like to have completed the bulk of the reading by then, so I can honestly say I've honored my commitment. Ordinarily reading isn't a hardship, I've just been knitting instead.

I wish I were as talented as some of you who read and knit at the same time, but can envision many dropped stitches and cursing. I guess I will just plug along and do the best I can. Knit an hour, read an hour, knit and hour, read an hour. Oops, I didn't leave room for cleaning in there. Too bad. I guess that will have to wait :-)

I did get the shopping done for dinner tomorrow. We are having lamb roast, broccoli, salad and probably some kind of potato. And deviled eggs. Nothing fancy but still tasty. I only make lamb about twice a year when it goes on sale. Being resourceful, I also picked up a bone-in ham for cheap and a small beef roast (also on sale). I even picked up hamburger and premade a whole bag of patties for future meals. I think I've been inspired by Mother of Chaos to preplan, though perhaps not a whole month of meals!

Now I'm off to work a booth for my youth board. One of the local Rotary groups is doing a fundraiser for us today. Thankfully, after hours of interviews this week, I think we are getting closer to finding a new Executive Director. Keep your fingers crossed that my recent unpaid part time job will go away soon!

Have a wonderful weekend with family.

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's 11PM. Do you know where your cats are?

Actually I do know where my cats are. They are all draped over various pieces of furniture sound asleep. The crazy cat hour has come and gone. Now is the time for total sloth. It is nearly time for me to do the same! Instead I'm watching the last Crocodile Dundee movie. Can you believe I've never seen it? I thought we had watched every sequel that shouldn't have been done.

My daughter in law loved her baby socks. Unfortunately the Phoenix Suns are highly unlikely to make the play-offs so I'll have to make another pair of orange and purple socks in a larger size for next season. Not to worry - I have more yarn in those choice colors.

I finished one sleeve of the February Lady and am about half way through the second. Unfortunately anything larger than about a size 5 needle makes my carpal tunnel act up. I have to knit and rest or my hands go numb. I knew there was a reason I liked knitting socks. Those little needles don't bother me a bit.

Off to bed now. Sleep well.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Following in Amy's footsteps

Here is the Meme (or survey) that Amy posted yesterday with my answers:

1. If you could eat ANYTHING at THIS VERY MOMENT what would you be stuffing your face with?

Scotcheroos (these are the peanut butter rice krispie bars with melted butterscotch/chocolate chips spread on top.

2. If you could warp the space time continuum and start and finish a project in an hour, what would it be (and what color would it be?)

The Arwen cardigan - I want to make it but am a little intimidated.

3. What was the weirdest thing to happen to you all day?

I walked outside to find a huge hole in my front yard and my plants dangling almost in mid-air with roots trailing down. I guess the sewer is really here!

4. What was the funniest thing someone said to you today?

Meow - I've hardly talked to anyone without fur today :-)

5. What was today's songworm?

Don't have one

6. What was the thing you did today you were proudest of?

Got the billing all done for our business and got the books caught up for the month.

7. What was the dumbest thing you did today?

Played egg breaker on Facebook

8. What was the most same ol' same ol'?

The craptacular house (ditto - I can't improve on that)

9. What was the best thing about your region today?

Bright blue sky

10. What color was your day, and would you knit a project with it?

My day was tan rocks, blue sky and a sprinkling of purple flowers. That would be a lovely knitting project.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Over the hump

Thanks for the great advice and encouragement. My head has mostly stopped spinning and we are over the hump and moving forward on a number of issues.

We had our ribbon cutting at the Chamber yesterday for our new business which was quite exciting. It almost made us feel like real grown up business people (at least until someone figures out we are flying by the seat of our pants :-)

I picked up my taxes today and we actually are getting money back for the first time in years. I guess all those business start up expenses did the trick. Of course that means we spent a whole bunch of money to get some back. That almost, sort of makes sense.

I sent the baby socks off to Iowa but forgot to take pictures of them before they went! I got the new DPN's and am back at work on the February Lady. About half way done with the first sleeve. I took the advice of several people on Ravelry and did just two lace repeats on the body and then went back to the finish the sleeves. That way I don't have to keep turning the whole weight of the body for each sleeve. The toddler cardigan I made was done the same way - finish sleeves, then finish the rest of the body. So far so good.

I did get a circular needle to try the Magic Loop for my roulette sock. Not sure when I'm going to start that. I still Embossed Leaves socks and Monkey socks hanging out on the needles. And I have a baby layette set I want to cast on. Sorry Julie, baby set may trump roulette sock in April. Am I kicked out in disgrace if I don't finish my second sock by then?

Now I'm off to spend some time with a friend I haven't seen in a while. We usually sit on the patio and eat frozen pizza but drink really good wine. It works for us.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's 4 AM and my head is spinning

I haven't done this in months. It's 4 AM and I can't go back to sleep. My head is spinning with all of the things I'm trying to keep track of, so here I am talking to you. I used to do this a lot when I was working a stressful job. The wee hours of the morning (of in the shower) seemed to be times when suddenly an idea could work through the usual clamor in my head. If I got up, jotted it all down and then went back to bed I could sleep.

I am beyond frustrated with people who resign from community boards when they hit a rough patch. I've seen it happen repeatedly. Someone goes on a board thinking it is going to be an easy gig - just an hour a month. You get your name on the letterhead and a cool name badge and get to be associated with a good cause.

Then something not fun happens. The money dries up. There is a media issue, a personnel issue, a leadership change. Embezzlement. Something yucky and not fun to deal with. Suddenly there are more meetings, more responsibilities and they are all about things you don't want to deal with. This isn't what you signed on for, so you quit (leaving the rest of the group to take on more!)

I understand the why. People go on a board because they want to make a difference. They want to help prevent child abuse, or save animals, or feed the hungry. They didn't know about the yucky stuff that can be hiding behind the scenes.

I've seen boards turn over as many as half the members when times get tough. It's too bad really. Out of the yucky times can come some amazing new energy and growth for an organization. It can be an opportunity to create and come away stronger.

Unfortunately, I'm in the middle of a shrinking board with a huge community event coming up. The chair just resigned and volunteered guess who to co-chair. Thankfully those who are left are giving this their all and we will get it done.

I need you to help keep me focused on that. I think I've been hanging around some of you for too long. When I get frustrated and overwhelmed my normally politically correct public persona says things she shouldn't. And then I'm laying awake at 4 AM wondering how to fix that verbal oops :-)

Thank you for listening. I'm now going back to bed for another restful 1/2 hour before the alarm goes off. Don't you just love mornings?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Finally Friday

I can't believe it is already Friday and I still didn't get through that list I talked about on Monday. I did get a lot done though (including some knitting!) I had to laugh when I read the Yarn Harlot's blog about missing several days this week. Maybe it is something in the air.

I know I said I started my taxes about a month ago. I did get the paperwork for the accountant out but that's as far as it got. I started in this week and will finish up this weekend. I expect they may have to file for an extension as I have new business expenses this year that have to be completed before our personal taxes can be done.

Usually when I finally sit down to do my taxes, I'm surprised how quickly everything comes together. Not this year. "Write the amount received from the stimulus check". Stimulus check? I vaguely remember that. Thank goodness for the internet. A search on Yahoo showed the IRS has a site just for people like me who forgot the amount. How many miles did I drive to that conference last May? Yahoo Maps saved me again (as long as they don't need an odometer reading).

I'm waiting for a set of Size 7 DPN's from Knitpicks to work on the sleeves of the February Lady sweater. I started with a set of silver ones I got somewhere that have a matte finish. The left side stitches don't want to slide up and it is driving me crazy. I did two pattern repeats and headed off to my LYS. The only 7's she had were 5". Though I could get by with them, but the points aren't sharp enough for me. I'm just never satisfied!

I've finished 1 1/2 sets of baby socks and should have 3 sets by the end of the weekend. My DIL's baby shower is next weekend so hope to have them there before that. I'd like to go but can't really justify the extra expense when I'm going to be there in May. I'm watching the airfares like a hawk though. If they blow out a few seats next week to fill the plane I'm on it.

It just occurred to me that it's 6:30 and I've seen no sign of my husband. Time to track him down and see what we can feed ourselves.

Have a wonderful, restful weekend.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Methodical Monday

I'm having one of those time periods when I feel like there are too many big things on my plate let alone the hundreds of little ones. Spring is often like that for me, pushing to get big projects done before summer and every organization I belong too in high gear.

For those of you who live in the cold country, spring is about gradual warmth, rebirth, color and all those other enjoyments you've been without for many months. In the desert, spring is about getting everything done that you can before the heat slams in again and people head out of town for as much of the summer as possible.

I have marketing calls I still need to make for my consulting business before getting in and out of the car leaves me a drippy mess. I need to do some work in the garage before it is only possible at 6 AM without risk of heat exhaustion. Finishing the paint on my kitchen ceiling while I can still open the windows for airing the house would be another good one.

Instead of doing any of those things I'm writing my blog, drinking coffee and pondering my "to do" list with trepidation. If I'm not careful I have a tendency to procrastinate. Instead of just jumping in and getting done what I can, I put it off until tomorrow or the day after or whatever. Once I start moving, I'm efficient, productive and more self motivated.

That means I need to pick one task and do it. Now. If I take just that one step, I can move through the rest of today's list. Onward.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Half way around the world

I am thoughtful this morning after reading the blog of Briana Jones, a family friend doing her Master's research in India. If you have a few moments in your busy lives, I suggest you read her blog at http://briananjones.blogspot.com/ or just click in the link in my list of people I follow.

Briana is an experienced world traveler, and has been living and studying in Amsterdam since last summer. I am grateful for the time she takes to blog about her life and photos she posts but never more so since she left for India in February. She knows I was concerned about her safety there but she is a courageous and adventurous young woman and chose her course after a great deal of thought.

The reason I am thoughtful today is in appreciation of clean drinking water and flush toilets in my house. What tremendous riches we have that we take for granted (along with air conditioning and electricity that stays on 99% of the time). I am also very grateful for those in our world who choose to work to improve the lives of others.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Day in the LIfe Part 2

I got these photos from the Caffeine Faerie's site The one in the upper left is the Roulette sock she sent. (Had to clarify that I didn't make these!) I can't believe I forgot to take a photo of mine before I sent it. DUH.

Thankfully Julie delayed our completion of pairs until the end of April. I might actually make that.





Had a fun time at the Home Show this AM and now am lazing around ignoring piles of papers, dust bunnies and other assorted house messes. Aren't Sundays great!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Day in the Life

I haven't done the "day in the life" posting so thought I'd give it a try. I like knowing what people do in their everyday lives but maybe I'm weird that way.

Woke up with a cat meowing in my face "Dad is up and he hasn't fed me, Dad is up and he hasn't fed me". Of course by the time I got out of bed and stumbled to the kitchen, they were fed. I've tried having my DH close the door when he gets up but then the old cat craps in the carpet.

Had my morning coffee with a virtuous bowl of oatmeal. Read the paper, checked my e-mail and Facebook. Remembered my son and dil off to visit my dad today. They only live about two hours apart but the kids are so busy they have trouble getting time away.

After showering, putting on sunscreen and makeup, I headed down to the Breath of Life Didgeridoo Health Fair. Our business had a booth on healthy aging with lots of handouts on how to age well. Thankfully no one mentioned that I could stand to lose a few pounds and start walking myself! It was a beautiful spring day in Arizona and people were enjoying the cool air and sunshine. There were several performers displaying their Didgeridoo skills and several artisans who sell them to aspiring Didgeridooists? Didgeridooites?

We talked to lots of people and gave away a basket from Linda's Beef Jerky (http://lindasfoods.com/) She has the best Italian sausage and capicolla around. I buy 4-5 packages of her sausage at a time and keep it in the freezer. Roxie asked before what capicola is and I don't think I ever responded. According to Wikipedia it is a traditional Neapolitan Italian cold cut (salume) made from pork shoulder or neck and dry-cured whole. It is spicy and sliced very thin. It is great with crackers, in sandwiches, or in scrambled eggs.

Yesterday I spent about 5 hours creating handouts, creating a display board, and packing everything up. This is what it looked like today.













After a less virtuous lunch of two Taco Bell crunchy tacos, I arrived home to find 3 surprises! Serenity had arrived from Netflix, my roulette sock arrived from Australia, and my March Wollmeise sock club yarn arrived!

The picture of my roulette sock from the Caffeine Faerie didn't come out well so I'll have to try tomorrow in the sunlight. It is made from Trekking XXL in a muted rainbow of colors using a modified version of the Spring Forward pattern. It is beautiful and I love it. It was done on Magic Loop, toe up with a gusset and heel from Cat Bhordi. I have never done any of those things so I have some new skills to learn. I'll have to hold off until I get the sweater done and I actually have the time to focus on it. Should be fun.

The Wollmeise sock club is always highly anticipated because she does such wonderful highly saturated colors. I am embarrassed to admit I haven't knit with any of it yet as I've had so many deadline projects since last fall. The sock patterns are all pretty challenging for a relatively new sock knitter and I'm not sure I'll try them all. I'm still deciding if I'm really a sock club kind of girl.














After opening my surprises, I check for the second time today to see if my son had played his side of the Word Twist game on Facebook. We are both pretty competitive and fairly evenly matched on this game. He hadn't responded so we sat down to watch Serenity while I knit on the gift sock I'm trying to finish.

We headed out to Mario's (a nice Italian restaurant) for dinner. After staring at the gift basket this morning, I wanted pasta and didn't feel like cooking. We split some clam strips, had a glass of wine and then moved on to the entrees. I like their chicken marsala and had enough to bring home for lunch tomorrow while my DH had veal piccata. I don't cook veal at home so he usually splurges when we go out for Italian. It was all very yummy. Of course my downfall of the day was when he decided we needed to swing by Coldstone Creamery for ice cream to take home. I could have opted for frozen yogurt but didn't. Oh well, start again tomorrow.

The Phoenix Suns played tonight while I played some free hidden object games on the computer. I'm trying not to spend much money right now, so I download them, play for the free hour and then go get another one. I checked several more times, but my darling son hasn't played yet. Facebook is not good for compulsive computer users like me. Can you say wasted hours :-)

Now I need to go to bed as I'm working a booth for Foundation for Higher Education at the Home Show from 9-12 tomorrow morning. I'm not looking forward to another 3 hours on my feet but it should go pretty fast.

That was my day. How was yours?