Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Holidays

The insanity of the holidays always makes me grumpy.  This year I'm missing my girls but I'm trying to make the best of it.  Vicki is home but the other two are in Georgia.  I'm missing them and I'm missing the all day game playing, movie watching, and being together.

Ken and Vicki went off to his family gathering.  They likely won't be back till late afternoon or early evening.  I'm working on the computer for now but then I'll be going back to crocheting.  I currently have two projects in the works for Vicki - an apron which will be a mix of terry cloth and crochet cotton and a shawl which I'm crocheting.  If I could figure out how to work on both, I would.

Yesterday Vicki and I went to Festival and got groceries.  We shopped their sale items and had a ton of coupons.  We spent $250 and saved about $120 between sales and coupons.  Today I was going through the receipt to split up her items and mine.  I noticed several of our coupons didn't take off.  I called them expecting them to say there was nothing they could do since it was yesterday.  Instead they refunded the money and gave us two coupons for a dollar off.

Tomorrow we are going to do as much as possible with the girls in Georgia.  I'm sure there will be video chatting (or at the very least phone conversations) but we are also attempting to go to a movie at roughly the same time.  Saturday when Beth is over, we'll open gifts and have more family time.  I'm also hoping to go see a movie on that day.

Aside from the holiday stuff, I'm hoping to get a number of projects done.  I've pulled out one of Vicki's bags and have been working on the projects in it.  I finished two skeins of yarn to make her hat, wristers, scarf out of one and hat and wristers out of the other.  I'll see how far I get by the end of the weekend.  I may have to shift things to determine what I'm going to work on.  As is normal - I have a LONG LONG list of things to do for her.

I've got classical music on.  I'm babysitting the two grand fur babies - Sasha and Ava.  I'll be going back to crocheting shortly.  All in all, a good day so far.  Just one more day to get through with the holiday silliness and I can put another year behind me.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Cleaned up

My living room has been filled with craft projects and all the accessories which go with the craft projects.  Over the weekend I finished seven projects and got started on an eighth one.  I am hoping to finish this one tonight.  Last night I could barely keep my eyes open to work on it.

I took time to put away four bags of yarn and still have one more to put away though I'm waiting for Vicki to be home so she can check out the goodies I have in there.

Two of the ponchos are for my mom.  She bought the material and I just crocheted around it for her.  Hopefully she likes them.  She'll let me know.

The baskets are for the kids of one of my faculty.  Her oldest son asked me for an orange one and I made it.  Then her other kids asked me for some so here they are.  I'm sure they will enjoy them.

The green poncho and the headband is for Vicki.  I'll see if she likes them.  If not, maybe I'll keep them.  I can already hear her saying "They are MINE, mom!!!"  I have to tease her because I can.  She wouldn't know what to do if I didn't.

I thought I was making progress on the projects and then Ken washed all the material Vicki and I bought after Thanksgiving.  This means I have another large basket of projects.  When Vicki is home, I'll prioritize them and see what she wants done first.  Then it will be a matter of spending time with her while I craft and she reads.

Finishing these projects did clear off a number of things on my to do list but I still have forty or so on my to do for crocheting only but I haven't added the fabric items which need to be done.  I'll be adding those to her list and some to my non-Vicki list for other people.

I like seeing the items get done.  I like accomplishing things and seeing the pretty things done and ready.  It's also wonderful to see people's faces when I give them their stuff and they are delighted.  I just have to balance all the crafting with all the other aspects of my life.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Prepping for Vacation

Four days of work left before my vacation.  I can't wait.  It will be good to have a break and just be at home.  I don't have to shower or dress if I don't want to - though the other people at home might object if I go too long without showering.

My plan - tackle the boxes of yarn for Vicki and get as much done as possible.  I'm currently stalled on the blanket I'm working on.  I'm doing a more intricate border and it is taking longer.  However, I'm hoping to finish it tonight and move on to one of the other three I have prepped.  Two of them are smaller so if I do complex, it still won't take as long and one is a blanket but needs a simple edging.

Once I'm done with these four, I have four more to do - two for my mom and two for Vicki.  Then I also have the basket full of material which needs washing - though I think most of that will be decided on after Vicki comes home.

The semester is winding down.  The work load is easing off.  I'm saying goodbye to one student worker as she student teaches next semester.  Otherwise I'm just wishing them all happy holidays as they finish off their finals and head for home.

My desk at work is getting clearer as I finish up a number of tasks.  I'll be cleaning up some tasks so they can be marked as complete - at least as far as I can take them for now.

It is nice to clean up and clear off before I go on vacation.  It means when I come back to work, I'll have emails to deal with but few URGENT projects.

This year I find myself wishing my daughters could all be home.  I feel a need to have them near for family time.  I know the two in Georgia can't make it home but I am missing them.  We will video chat on Christmas.  I'm looking forward to spending the time with them that way instead.  I think we are all going to try to go to the movies on that day.  It's convoluted but we will all at least be doing the same thing - if not together at least at the same time.

I know part of this is my normal holiday grumpiness.  It's just hit me a bit harder this year.  I'm coping.  My crocheting and meditating help me deal with my feelings.  Crocheting - creating really - helps to lift my spirits.  I know I'm creating things which will brighten people's spirits.

My inner dialog has been rough the past week or so but as I work on a project, produce more, it helps me be kinder to myself.  I can't really explain how or why but it does.  Also, I'm clearing out some of the clutter in my living room with each project.  As the room gets neater, I start to feel better.  I'll get through the stack of projects and then I'll put away most of the yarn except my container of projects.  We do have to prep for the grand fur babies coming home, one of which is a mischievous bugger who gets into everything.  Clear up, clean up, and prep for the visit.  That will be the weekend.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Morning Blahs

This morning I'm on my own in the house.  It's an odd thing to happen on a Saturday but Ken is off doing other stuff.  Whatever will I do on my own?

I've sorted had breakfast, sorted laundry, and checked out my sales.  I've been on Facebook, Linkedin, and Goodreads.  It's surprising how much time this takes up when I get on the computer.  I still have to look at my website and my pagan blog.  From there, I'll work on a cover or two for a fellow author.  After that's done, I'll decide whether I'll continue at the computer and work on publishing stuff or go back to the recliner to work on crochet stuff.

I've got four projects I'd like to get done this weekend - more if I can.  I'm giving myself through the end of the year before I go back to writing on a more regular basis.  I've needed some down time, some time to step away from telling stories and working on publishing.  However, now I have a number of crochet patterns to publish, a book to edit and two novels to finish writing.

I finished watching Veronica Mars last night - all the way through the movie.  I enjoyed it and want more.  Unfortunately, I don't know if they are ever going to do more.  I know the fans paid for the movie to be made.

I've got several suggestions from the girls on other options for watching.  I was watching the old Dick Van Dyke show while I crochet.  However, I have several crochet classes which I want to watch on Craftsy so I may put those on to see if anything sparks an interest for me.  I'll have to see where my mind goes while I crochet.  I could also listen to audio books.  So many choices - whatever will I do?  I'm sure I'll figure it out.  Maybe I'll watch the Harry Potter movies.  I can throw those on and not have to watch them while I crochet.  That's definitely a viable option.

The more I can get done crochet wise, the better.  It will help clean up the living room as it has become craft central with fleece and yarn in piles around the room.  I'm hoping to finish off a number of them so it's less cluttered.

The pictures are of some of the projects I've been working on but haven't been able to show because they were gifts.  I hope you enjoy them.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Finished a number of gifts last night.  This morning Ken helped me get them packaged up for distribution.  I have two more to finish by Friday and then two more to finish the following week.  Then I'll be moving on to clearing up some of the other crochet projects on my list including some for when Vicki comes home to visit.

I've been anti-computers lately.  I think I've gotten an overload at my day job so when I come home the last thing I want to do is be on the computer some more.

Having said that, on the drive to visit Vicki my mind wandered to stories and where I was, what I want to do with them, and progress.  I've been creating a bunch of patterns so I'm going to put them on my to publish list though they probably won't make it out this year.  I've got writing ideas I want to work on but a big part of my brain wants to crochet.

Since I need to keep my stress level lower, I am crocheting.  Stephanie asked me for cat toys so I'm making them during my lunch hour.  People who come in while I'm working on them are just amazed which surprises me.  These are simple little things which are easy enough to make.  Yet they all exclaim over them - go figure.

I've got time off coming up - starting the 23rd.  I can't wait.  Vicki will be home.  I wish I could get Virginia and Stephanie home as well but it isn't possible this year.  My plan is to spend time with her and crochet.  I'll post pictures when I can on what I get done for her.  I have a number of projects which are experimental.  I'm hoping they turn out nicely but we will see.  Plus I'd like to clear out some of the bins she has of yarn in my craft room.

Once she goes home, I'm going back to working on other projects - a skirt, two afghans and a few smaller projects.  I'm also going back to writing after the holidays.  I have several patterns to publish, a novel to edit, and two novels to finish.  After I'm done with those writing projects, I have a non-fiction book I want to work on.  This will take more in depth research and writing but we will see how it turns out.

Christmas is always a difficult time of the year for me.  It stresses me out and annoys me.  Yes, my kids call me Grinch.  This year I feel even more Grinch-like than ever.  Normally I like the lights.  They are bright, shiny, and fun.  This year - I just want to tell all the people who have them out to stop it.  Turn them off and stop wasting money.  I said I was the Grinch.

To be fair, the sun in the morning as I'm driving to work has been annoying me.  I'd prefer the darkness, the cocoon of darkness always feels so much better to me.  It's like if I can't see the rest of the world, I'm wrapped in a comfortable blanket of safety.  I guess my morning grump and my holiday grump are showing.

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...