Sunday, December 31, 2006
2006 - the year in review
It was a good one.

In 2006 I got married.
In 2006 I had two great-nieces born.
In 2006 I got to spend quality time with many great friends and with my family.

In 2006 there were good times, there were great times and there were sad times, but I think that when I look back, the three things that I listed above are the things that will stand out. It was a good year, and I feel very lucky.

I don't really make resolutions for the new year. I look forward to 2007, and want it to be a year of happiness and health and a year of peace. I suppose that stopping just short of making a resolution, my hope for 2007 is that I will live with a purpose. I will live actively, making decisions that work for me, trying to be a good person and trying to give back to others.

Wishing everyone all the best for 2007.

Saturday, December 30, 2006
Scary Ugly
I've been working for days now on an original hat design - my "Surely You Jest" hat.
It was to be a modernish version of a jester hat - 3 colors, with pointy tops and pom poms. In concept is was cute.

I'm almost finished. Put it on, looked and the mirror and screamed "Surely you Jest!!". This is ugly. Scary ugly. Too ugly to drop in a good will box.

I good naturedly suggested to hubby that I self-submit it to What Not to Crochet. It's so ugly that I could even submit my own degrading comments about just how wrong it is. Hubby decided that it would be too humiliating for me to have any public association with this hat. He insists it's too ugly to even drop in a good will bin for some needy child at Halloween.

I can deal with making something ugly. I can chalk up the time spent as a lesson learned, but the yarn - such a waste of good yarn! Frogging it seems too complicated. I will need to hide it on the bottom of the trash bin so that the trash collectors don't see it.

Just say no to Fugly Crochet!

Monday, December 25, 2006
Tunisian Scarf

I just finished my first real project in Tunisian Crochet. Tunisian takes a bit longer for me to work, but I just love the look and I'm very pleased with this scarf. It's light-weight but it has a lot of stretch and it's warm.

This scarf will be donated to the Red Heart Project 2007. This is a charity run by the Orphan Foundation of America.

OFA students rarely receive mail and a Care Package sends much needed support and encouragement. Juggling independent living now that foster care has ended, working multiple jobs, and achieving academic success is challenging for these young people without parental support. Receiving a Care Package is especially meaningful and can ease the loneliness and anxiety OFA students often experience. The Care Package Program is part of OFA’s web of family-like support that helps to ensure graduation and the bright futures of these courageous students.

Anybody can get involved with this effort by donating a handmade or store purchased scarf, or donating cards, gift cards or postage stamps for these young adults.

Merry Christmas!

To all of you who celebrate the holiday, wishing you a wonderful day with your loved ones!

I don't celebrate Christmas, but much of my extended family does, and it was fun buying and making gifts for everyone. Now that Christmas is here, I can post photos of some of the gifts that I gave.

I was very happy to make personalized blankets for the two babies. I made one first for Olivia, and was so pleased with how well it turned out that I rushed to make one for Baby Ava too. Olivia's is made with Caron Super Soft yarn and it really is soft and cozy. The yarn stretches a bit, so it's a bit larger than expected, and it posed a few challenges in the making, but I just love the way it turned out. I'm sure little Livie won't see the mistakes, and I hope she'll find it warm and cozy.

Little Ava's version is made with Softee Baby. It didn't stretch so it kept its shape better and was easier to work with. It's not as soft as Olivia's but it's warmer.

Merry Christmas Babies! I hope your first Christmas is perfect!

I also wanted something special for Olivia's mommy and grandma (my niece and SIL) so I commissioned my very dear friend Lynn to make some bracelets for me. She's an incredibly talented, self-taught beader and jewelry maker, and she outdid herself!!!

The bracelet for my niece features a personalized bead with her baby's name and birthdate on it. It's lovely. The bracelet for my SIL had a "Grandma" charm and features crystals in birthstone colors for her grandbaby, daughter and herself - representing three generations of women.

Lynn did a great job and I know that my niece and SIL will just love these gifts and much as I loved giving them!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006
Charity hat pattern

Vickietoria at Crochetville shared her original hat pattern with a request that one be made for her charity group called From The Heart of Texas. She sent me the pattern and I whipped one up quickly using Red Heart Ocean yarn. I'm going to be sending this one to her for her charity, and will then make more to send to Roswell Cancer Institute. This pattern is so pretty and works up quickly and easily. It's really a great pattern!

Thanks, Vickie, for sharing the pattern! I love it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Happy New You, Worm!
New Years resolutions are great. We make them, we break them. So instead of a New Years resolution, I'm making a New You resolution. After spending the last few months seeing the chiropractor and feeling sooooo much better, I know that I need to make an investment in myself. 5 years ago I was thin and at my fittest. Now I'm at my fattest. It's not about my weight - it's about how I feel and how I feel about myself. I could feel better. I have a closet full of nice clothes that I can't even imagine fitting into. I either have to invest in a new and larger wardrobe, or I need to transform myself. I think that in the long run, working out will be a cheaper and smarter investment than buying lots of new clothes.

So.....despite my general laziness, my fear of hard physical labor, and my inherent thriftiness, I've signed up for 30 sessions with a personal trainer. 3 sessions a week of muscle melting torture. I start tomorrow night. I'm not naive. I don't expect instant results. I expect hard word and some pain. I expect to lose weight, but at a slow and steady rate. I expect to cuss and cry and complain. I also expect to get stronger, leaner and healthier.

So, I apologize in advance to all my family and friends who might be subjected to a grumpy worm during the next few months, but when the initial pain and torture is done, I think there will be a healthier, leaner, stronger and more empowered Worm in 2007.

I just hope all this exercise doesn't cut too deeply into my crochet time!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006
Speaking of inappropriate holiday gifts.....
My co-workers (CCWs) and I generally don't do much for the boss at holidays and birthdays. The boss is a nice guy, but strange about holidays and events - very private. In the past we bought him some nice gifts, but it makes him uncomfortable, so for the last few years we've all chipped in to buy him a nice bottle of booze. Nice token and something he'll use.

This year the CCWs want to do more. I'm all for chipping in on something that he'll enjoy. They however want for us to go to a photo studio. There are three of us and they want to take a Charlie's Angel type photo of the three of us. I'm horrified. I said that this is a stupid idea, but they are into it, and I've learned that it's often not worth the fight. We were going to do this a few years ago, but didn't for various dramatic reasons. Since then, the boss got married. I got married. I can't imagine how this could be much less appropriate.

Never fear - they can. To make this travesty as horrible as possible, they want to make this photo poster-sized so that it can hang in the office. I feel sick.

They want us all to dress "sexy". They even told me what I should wear. First of all, I'm not at what I would call my "sexy weight". Second of all - I don't care how "hot" I am, I don't want to look sexy for my boss!!!!!

The appt at the photo studio is tomorrow evening. Would it be awful for me to wear my new "sexy" black t-shirt? The one that says "I'm Friggin Peachy" on it? I actually would love to find a happy bunny shirt to wear, but I'd need to find it tonight and that might not be possible.

Update:This gift idea has now gone by the wayside. Instead we will be buying a more professional and suitable gift. In the process of me finding my voice, I did buy two happy bunny t-shirts! Happy Holidays, Worm!

Sunday, December 17, 2006
one more

My friend has a husband, two sons, and a male dog. I decided she needs a girly hat - so now I have 4 - one each for the immediate family.

If at first you don't succeed...

crochet some more!

So yesterdays hat was a bit large - like mommy or daddy size.
I made a second of the same hat using a smaller hook, and then I made a different style earflap hat for the baby. So now they have mommy/son or daddy/son hats. I hate to leave out one parent, but I'm out of yarn!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006
Good things head grow
One of my oldest and dearest friends has two adorable little boys.

The little one is going to be celebrating his 1st birthday tomorrow. Last week I was talking to the older boy on the phone and I promised to make hats for him and his little brother.

I finished my Christmas presents this afternoon, so I immediately started on a hat. I found a really cute pattern - one that I haven't tried before. They provided directions for a 9 month old, a 2 year old, and an adult size.

I used the 2 year size. I figured maybe the older boy can wear it, and if not the younger will grow into it.

It looks nice! I think it's rather cute. Problem is - it's quite large for a little boy. It's even a bit large on me! I'm going to send it, but I'll need two more hats. Maybe mommy or daddy will like this one. I think the boys would be lost in it!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Ba Hum Bug
I don't celebrate Christmas, but when I lived in NY I always enjoyed the Christmas season. The lights and decorations, the smell of fresh pine, the cheerful songs, and the extra feeling of friendliness that was everywhere.

Now I live in Florida. The weather is lovely! It's gorgeous out. The skies are blue. We don't need coats - or even socks! It's great to be outside, but BA HUMBUG! The place is devoid of Spirit. I won't speak for the whole state, but down where I live - it's just not a pleasant time of the year. No feeling of holiday warmth.

The snowbirds are here making traffic horrible. The lights on the palm trees are pretty, but not piney. Stores are crowded and people leave there manners at home.

There seems to be a general lack of tolerance. The sense of community that I always felt this time of the year in NY has been replaced by a general sense of irritability. Everyone is rushing to the mall and the post office with no regard to who's toes are stepped on in line or who got cut off in traffic.

I don't care if you celebrate Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza or just New Years. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all feel good will towards human kind and peace on earth?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I'm doing a lot of crochet, but since some things are for holiday gifts, I can't post them here.

The photo above is a scarf that I am making to donate to the Red Scarf project for kids that grew up in foster homes. I'm working it in Tunisian crochet, and I love the way it's coming out. The yarn mixes so many colors - red black, blue, purple white, gold and grey and the way it's "striping" for the scarf is really nice! I got this yarn a while back in a clearance bin at Michael's. Don't remember what it is, but it's soft and warm. It's a sport weight yarn, so the tunisian style makes it light weight but very warm - lots of air between the stitches to capture heat.

Still working on the ripple afghans. It's taking longer than I would like - I usually do one project at a time, but it's going to be nice!!!

I finished one holiday gift project and am working on another.

I just promised my friend's two little boys that I would make them both hats - that should be fun - they're little guys!

Thursday, December 07, 2006
Speaking of Poop
Which came first - the egg or the Poop?

The story that you are about to read is true.
The names have been changed to protect the ignorant.

Today I had lunch with my co-workers. Let’s call them “Dazed” and “Confused”.

Dazed: You can’t eat anything anymore. Everything makes you sick. First it was the spinach and the e-coli, now it’s the chicken.

Worm: What happened with chicken?

Dazed: Someone got salmonella from chicken.

Worm: Well, yeah – that’s why it’s so important to cook poultry thoroughly and to clean up well after you handle raw poultry. Salmonella is always a risk with raw poultry.

Confused: Yeah. [my spawn] laughs at me because I wash the eggs.

Dazed: Ha ha ha – why do you wash eggs?

Confused: To clean them.

Worm: I never thought of that. I guess it might be a good idea to wash them before breaking them, but you have to cook the egg anyway.

Dazed: But you don’t eat the shell.

Worm: True, but it’s like washing the cantaloupe before cutting it. The knife can drag bacteria into the fruit.

Confused: Everyone should wash it – it’s gross.

Dazed: Why?

Confused: Because it comes from the place where the chicken poops.

Worm and Dazed: Ha Ha Ha Ha

Confused: What?

Worm: It doesn’t come from the same place.
Confused: Yes! It comes from the chickens butt.

Worm: You had a baby. Did he come out of the same hole you poop from?

Confused: No. You mean chickens have two holes?

Worm: Yes. An egg hole and a poop hole.

Confused: Really?????

Dazed: All the poop talk – I’m not hungry anymore.

Confused: I always thought it came from the same hole.

Worm: Think about it! The so called “poop-hole” is attached to the digestive system. The egg can’t pass through the digestive system.

Confused: No, but I thought it was like two tubes leading to the same hole.

Worm: Ah – like two hallways to the same door?

Confused: Exactly!

Worm: Um……no.

Another day in the life of a worm.
Think I could make a living off of crochet?

Sadly, it had been pointed out to me, that when it comes to chickens, I am "Dumb and Dumber". Apparently, there are two different hallways leading to one door. I stand corrected and humiliated.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Can you smell that smell?
I can't believe I'm sharing this story! I had NO intention of telling anyone that actually knows me this story - much less post it on the web, but I shared it with the good folks at Crochetville and realized that its more common than I had thought, so....without further delay - here is my disgusting tale du jour.

I do NOT like to get up for work in the morning. I'm NOT a morning person - love my sleep and have to literally drag myself out of bed at 6am for work. This morning I woke up at 5. Didn't know why. Very unusual. I was glad to see I had another hour to sleep - ran into the bathroom and back to bed for my last hour snooze when I smelled something - something unpleasant. I smelled my pillow - then another. Hhm. What is it - it's horrible!

Well, my new kittie that I totally totally love was sleeping by my head. Suddenly I had this horrible realization that I was smelling cat poo! I wake the hubby - what else to do? I didn't have my contacts in and I'm blind as a bat. I say "Honey - I think he has a dirty butt". Off I go back to the bathroom to get a wet wipe and clean him up. "Honey - I need you - something is very wrong".

Poor kitty (this is gross). When we got him he was so so so so sick. I really thought he was going to die. Just last Friday he cost me a fortune at the vet for all sorts of tests. He couldn't breath - he wasn't eating or drinking. Then suddenly he was the happiest most loving cat on earth. Well, I guess his system started working and he got up to use the box. I also guess that I woke up when he jumped back into my bed. Apparently said sweet kittie stepped in his "business" on the way out of the box, and had.....stuff..... mushed between his toes.

Gag!!!! Hubby and I grab him, take him into the bathroom and go to work with the wet ones. Kitty is not loving it, but he's well behaved and put up with the indignity of a sponge bath. Finally we get most of it, but this kitty needs a real bath. Not fun at this hour in the morning. I put in the contacts, hubby puts on swim trunks and hubby and kitty get ready for the shower.

I'm worried that kitty will freak - none of my other cats have ever liked water - so I turn on a bit of water in the sink to see how he reacts. He loves it. He's drinking water. He's splattering me. He's having a grand old time. So we put him in the shower - he didn't love that as much, and hubby bathed him. I blew dry his coat. We wiped down the entire bathroom with disinfectant. Stripped the bed and threw in the laundry. Checked the floors for suspect "footprints" and laughed that we don't have kids so we have to wipe poop out of the cats foot.

I hope this never happens again! On one level it is beyond repulsive - on another - there is an element of humor which I'm sure I'll someday appreciate. Till them, I missed out on my beauty sleep and I'm tired!

Tis the Season
The holidays are coming, and everyone is busy. I'm working on a few large crochet projects that will take some time, so I won't have many crochet items to blog for a while. Still enjoying it and enjoying challenging myself with some new techniques.

I'm not beating myself up for having little to send to my charities for the holidays, but I wish I had more. I'd love to get a box of caps out to the cancer institute before Christmas - what a tiny gesture for sick kids and adults who can't be home for the holidays. I've also heard that the response for the Caps to the Capital project is much lower than hoped for, so I want to make more hats to send there.

If you have some spare time or some spare dollars, think of those less fortunate and do what you can. I can make a preemie cap in a half hour, a chemo cap in 45 minutes. I can crochet a scarf for someone who is cold, and I can donate a dollar for someone who is hungry. It doesn't take much to make a difference.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, warm holiday season!

Monday, December 04, 2006
Happy Birthday, Honey!
Today is hubby's birthday. I had wanted to make the day super special, but things didn't go as planned. On Saturday I threw out my back. This has never happened before, and until it does you don't realize just how much you can't do without a functioning back. Thankfully the pain isn't that bad - so long as I don't try to do much. So, after a visit to the chiropractor, and a phone call to work to say that I won't be there, I spent most of the day sleeping.

Did take hubby out for dinner. I wasn't about to stand and cook, and I wasn't going to have him cook his birthday dinner.

Now I'm trying to catch up on some crochet. I wasn't able to crochet today - somehow it put pressure on my back! Eek.

But I did get to spend the day at home with my honey, and it was a nice quiet, if not active, day. And Mr. Tater was very glad to have us both home pretty much all weekend and today. He's not hiding and he's a snuggle monster.

Here is a photo from Saturday. I just got home from the chiro and was icing my back, and Tate was keeping me company.

So.... Happy Birthday, Honey! It may not have been a super exciting birthday, but we have 364 more chances to make it an amazing year!!!