Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekend?

Where did the weekend go?  Saturday I was up and dressed but didn't do a lot.  I crocheted.  I'm working on a kitchen set for someone.  Friday night I worked on dishcloths - lots of them.  Saturday I worked on pot holders.  Sunday I worked on a lot of different things.

It seems like my weekend flew by but I didn't get a lot of stuff done.  Sunday I helped Vicki in the kitchen with baking, prepping for the week and a few other things.

We're having a rummage sale next month.  I've been working on crochet items to sell during the rummage sale.  I've got a few dish cloths and I had some terry cloth.  Sunday I worked on cutting it up and prepping it so I could crochet around the material.

Once I'm done with the kitchen set I'm working on, I'll work on the dish towels and hand towels.  I think I might have some fleece in the craft room which isn't claimed.  If I do and I have time, I'd like to make up those so I could try selling them as well.

My goal for the rummage sale - make enough to get our dishwasher installed.  We're going to go look at the dishwasher this next weekend - during all the sales.  The hope is we will have a built in dishwasher by the end of June or mid July.

From there, we will tackle other issues in the house.  In the meanwhile, I'm crocheting a lot and hoping the items will sell.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Publishing Crochet Patterns

My day yesterday did not go as planned.  This is not a surprise to me - rarely do my days go as planned.  But last night I was kicking myself for taking a nap instead of getting things done.  Vicki went to bed early and I opted to work on the computer.

This meant the publishing I was going to do in the morning got done last night instead.  I have eight new crochet patterns out.  There are links to them on my website.  They are all on the Crochet Patterns page.

My niece asked me for headbands so I created new ones for her.  In doing so, I took pictures and wrote the patterns.  This means there's a new Half Dozen Thread Headbands available.  She also wanted a bandana which lead to me creating Bandana X.

I had two student workers graduating - one wanted an afghan and one wanted scarves.  The blanket is called Framed Tipped Lattice and the scarves are Climbing Vine, Lattice, Shades of Blue, and Sparkling Squiggle.  I finished an experiment for my daughter which is really a mini scarf - Puff Chain Scarf.

I've got a couple more in the works but they aren't quite ready to be published.  The patterns are done, I need to work on the components.

Today, I'm working on publishing stuff until my niece gets here, then I'll be working on cleaning and organizing my office and hopefully tackling some of the dining room.  It depends on how long stuff takes us.  I'm hoping we can get a long list of things done but I know my plans never work out.  I'm going to go with the flow.  Anything finished is an improvement.  If it reduces the chaos we're living in right now, that's all that matters.  I have two more places to market my stuff.  Then I'll be getting off the computer and start on the other stuff - I hope.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mini Vacation

Ken has flown the coop to visit our daughters in Georgia.  This means I get the house to myself (mostly).  Our middle daughter has moved home so she's there when she's not working.  However, I have the next five days off.  I've got plans, so many plans - too many to get done in a matter of five days.  This means I'll pick and choose which of them I want to get done the most.

I've got household, publishing, crochet, and writing projects all on my list and all screaming at me.  My house is chaos.  I'm going to attempt to get one room done this weekend.  I've gotten through a large part of the sorting but need some help.  My niece is coming out to help so fingers crossed by the end of the weekend my office will be organized and clean.

If we actually manage to finish the office, the next step for me is the dining room.  My dining room table is heaped with stuff.  I'm hoping we can clear it off and maybe get the table out of the room.  It's an old table and too big for the space.  I'll have to see how things go but I'm hoping to get it out of there.

With any luck, I'll get a little bit done in each category.  I also have to pay bills, prep for grocery shopping, and do all the usual pay week errands and chores.  I need more energy and less pain in order to get everything done I want to.

Tonight will be crocheting.  I'm working on finishing projects and making things to put out when we have the rummage sale.  While I veg out in front of the tv tonight, I'm going to work on either a shawl or some dishcloths.

Last night when I couldn't sleep, I watched a show on the Spencer family in the UK (Princess Diana's family) and made 1 1/2 dish cloths.  It will be more of the same tonight.

Vicki's usually up around 5:00 and gets me up around 6:00 so I intend to stay awake and work on several projects.  While I'm alone in the house tomorrow, I want to get as much as I can crammed into the day.  It will be bill paying, organizing the office, and if my legs can manage it maybe some publishing of crochet patterns.  This is my plan.  Now the next question is - how well will this plan go?  I guess I'll see tomorrow.

Friday, my niece comes out.  Since I'll be doing some heavy duty cleaning with her, I might take it a bit easy in the morning before she gets there.  Vicki will have me up at 6:00 though so I could get more work in whether that's crocheting or editing in my recliner or publishing crochet patterns, I don't know yet.

At some point, I'll have to make a grocery list, set up a menu for the next month, and clip coupons.  I've got a lot to fit in over the next few days.  I might end up needing a vacation from my vacation.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Projects - Done and To Do

This week I've finished the scarves and the afghan for my student workers' graduation gifts.  I've given one gift which is why I'm posting the two pictures.  For the afghan, I need to take pictures.  I plan to publish four of the scarf patterns and the afghan pattern.  This adds to my list of crochet patterns to publish.  I have a bandanna, log cabin afghan, and set of headbands to publish.  

The collar or cowl scarf shown on the left turned out gorgeous.  I'm really proud of it because it was outside my normal and preferred type of project.  The smaller yarn and projects like this are hard on my hands but it was worth it to do and redo some of the stitching.  The other scarves turned out excellent and I'm excited to publish the four new ones.  The necklace type scarf I love making.  It uses up small bits of yarn but is stunning and versatile.  

Tonight I'll be working on dish towels and dish cloths to make for someone who is helping me out this weekend.  After I get those done, I'll be back on my other projects.  Currently I have bibs for a former co-worker of Vicki's, a skirt, a couple of afghans, and a few smaller projects which aren't designated for anyone yet.  

This weekend Ken goes off to Atlanta for twelve days.  I know he's excited to visit the girls down there.  It will give him a nice break from work and our messy house.  

Vicki and I plan to play a bit on Saturday.  Sunday we will have help with getting things organized and settled.  Next weekend will be busy with working on the house as well.  

However, I'm taking off work on the 11th and hoping to get some writing stuff done - like publishing patterns.  I'll have two days with no one in the house so I plan to get up and work on anything I have for writing - publishing, writing, marketing, editing.  I have a number of projects in the works so I want to make progress on them.  

Ken may be gone for twelve days but it will be a busy time for Vicki and I.  Hopefully by the time he comes home, the house is better organized.  I'm hoping this will lower everyone's stress levels.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Reader Conference

Vicki and I attended a readers' conference over the weekend.  It was interesting as I looked at it from a reader's perspective.  There were lots of free gifts - post its, pens, gadgets, and so on.  Books of course were high on the gift list.

I wanted to take aside the organizer and say - listen there are some basic things you should have going.  First an agenda of events - either handed out to people or posted in the hall.  Second, a map of where rooms are.  Third, set up early and be prepared for the long lines.

Something I want to say to hotels and conference centers.  I get they make the most money by jamming as many people into one room as possible but let's be realistic.  People are not child size.  They range in size from small to large.  Additionally, handicap people with walkers, wheel chairs, and scooters need to be able to get through.

One of the events was a signing.  In order to get to the signing, we had to go from a lunch to another room.  I told Vicki to go without me because there was no way my scooter was getting through the crowd of people and tables.  Skinny people were struggling to get between tables.

As a writer, I soaked in all the things readers seemed to enjoy.  I wonder if at some point I would do an event like this.  At the same time, I wonder if I would be able to do an event like this with my mobility issues.

My daughter suggested I donate items to one of the reader conferences.  I'm going to see if I can do this.  I can crochet something and add some of my books to a basket for one of the giveaways.  I certainly don't have the funds from my writing to be a guest author at an event but I can start small and go from there.

Small talk is not my forte but is definitely needed at an event like this.  I'd rather have a meaningful conversation than do small talk.  Yet small talk abounded at this event.  Whether it was between fellow attendees or with an author, you have to be willing to talk about common topics which won't offend people.  This is quite a feat for me.

It was good to spend time with my daughter.  I didn't know any of the authors, don't read any of them.  But it was interesting to talk to some of them and to see the event.  As normal for me, I was not in love with the large crowd or the noise.  This is my introverted self screaming in my head to run from so many people.  I like the one on one or small group.  I'm glad I went.  If my daughter asks, I'll probably go again.  I should probably read some of the books by the authors who will be there before I go to the event.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Unexpected Day Off

Registration is done at work which means the stress level has reduced.  My house is still a mess and the next two weekends are full of activities.  We'll do the activities - paint nite this weekend and an author's event next weekend.  We need the down time to reduce our stress.

Ken leaves for Georgia in May.  This leaves Vicki and I hanging out on our own.  I've got a few days off during the time he's gone.  My goal is to get some publishing, writing, and crocheting done during my time off.  However, I also have some household things I want to get done.

This week has been crazy for me.  I had an allergy test done on Monday.  They washed my arms with alcohol which immediately started them itching.  Their solution was to wash them with soap and water.  I let them, though most soaps bother me.  Fortunately, this one didn't.  I didn't really find out anything new.  I already knew I was allergic to the things they told me but these were more specific results.

Tuesday I left work early to see my regular doctor.  He gave me my results for my MRI.  There wasn't anything to stress about - thankfully.

Today I am off to the dietician.  I've been seeing her for few months.  I like her and she has good suggestions for helping me balance out life and food.  I doubt I've lost weight.  It's been a crazy few months with lots of eating fast food while we moved Vicki and a lot of stress eating.  However, I've managed to stop eating out as much which is good for my checkbook and good for my body.

The elevator at work isn't working.  I spent yesterday at work but not in my office.  It made it difficult for me to be involved but the floor was quiet according to my student workers.  Today I'm hoping it will be even more quiet.  However, the elevator is going to be down for the first part of next week.  That will make it difficult on me and a number of my faculty.  These are the joys of working in an old building.

I'm working on two graduation gifts.  I'm creating new patterns for most of the gifts so this means new patterns to publish.  The first scarf I made turned out really well.  I like the design, color, length, and feel of it.  Now I need to take pictures so I can publish the pattern.  I started a second one last night and I'm hoping to finish it today.

This morning I'm spending a little time on the computer but hope to go back to crocheting shortly.  It seems like there's always so much for me to do with a day off and so little time to get it all done.  I have to remember to keep the to do list to a reasonable length and focus on one task at a time.  Part of me wants to get a bunch of stuff done but I'm waiting on things from other people to be able to do those things.  This means I need to pick something completely in my control and work on it.  Today, it will be crocheting and watching movies.  For a couple of reasons, one - it will lower my stress level, and two - it will get things done I need to get done which has a definite deadline.

Considering I have the day off, I was up very early.  I did go back to sleep but was still up by 7.  Ava does not know what to do with me.  She came and cuddled - yup the cat who hates me - with me for a bit.  Sasha always is looking for attention from me but Ava rarely asked for attention.

It's time to hit the recliner, find a movie and go back to crocheting.  Maybe with luck, I'll finish another scarf and start a third.. fingers crossed.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Crochet Savior!

My middle daughter moved home.  March was chaotic with her moving.  April is turning into chaos with getting our house organized - or reorganized and integrating her stuff into our house.

I'm finally tackling my office.  Currently it's in that state of extreme messy because I've been going through papers, shelves, drawers in order to sort out what we need to keep.  There's an ultimate goal in mind but for now, I want to get rid of one piece of furniture and move two others.  These means I'm taking decorations down from the wall as the furniture is going to cover up the wall space.

I'm not certain the way I want to rearrange the furniture is actually going to work so I need to try it before I decide whether it is how I actually want it.  Also all the stuff I want to put on the furniture is sitting around my office making it seem more cluttered.  I swear there is an organized method to the chaos at this point.

I started yesterday and made good progress but today I've spent running errands and prepping for the week.  There are some things I don't want to get rid of.  I look at them and the organizer in me is saying just let it go.  But the writer / mom / creator in me is saying NO!!!  I'm working on it.  I'm also looking at a row of books - reference type - which sit by computer.  Do I want to weed through them?  No but should I?  Probably.  I know some of them will stay.  I can look at at least six of them and know they stay but there's at least three times that many.  So reluctantly I'll look through these books to weed out any.

Then there's the recycle / garbage, sale piles to contend with.  I've got a box of stuff for a sale we're hoping to participate in later this summer.  Also while I remove and rearrange what do I do with all the stuff.

It's definitely been a weekend of chaos.  I'm not sure we're making it any better.  However, at the intermediate phase, it is so chaotic I'm not sure it's getting better.

We're doing all of this while I'm at my most busy at work.  Registration and scheduling for spring 18 are going on.  Lots of changes, problem solving, and stress at work means I need peace at home.  Right now, no peace just chaos.

This is where my crocheting comes in.  I've been working on a number of projects.  I finished an afghan, several headbands, and started a bandana.  This keeps me sane (ish) as it takes me away from the stress of both work and home.  It allows me to escape into my creative mind and work on patterns.  Right now I have several which I want to publish.

I keep telling myself it will get better.  I keep reminding myself it is the first weeks and I need to be patient.  However, the clutter is starting to wear on my nerves.  After I'm done in the office, I plan to hit the recliner and work on another pattern or three in order to calm and ease the stress of life right now.

Weekend?

Where did the weekend go?  Saturday I was up and dressed but didn't do a lot.  I crocheted.  I'm working on a kitchen set for someon...