Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Musings

I am waiting for Dan and Nicole to drop off Justin. The kids are headed to a Phillies game today, and I am going to spend time with my little angel until his parents get home. I can't wait to see his smiling face.

Things have been difficult at work lately. I feel so burned out in my present position, but it could be the blues working on me. I again passed up the opportunity to bid on a job that opened up in another building - a job that would have meant a promotion - but the way I am feeling lately, I don't think I would be able to do it. I have no confidence in myself at all. I'm working on trying to "fix" myself - seeing my physician about changing my medications and talking to someone through the EAP at work. I just hope that, when things are better, this all doesn't come back to bite me in the butt. I'd like a chance to bid on a similar position when I'm feeling better about myself, but don't want my employers to hold anything against me. You know what they say - Once burned, twice shy. All of this started at work 4 years ago, and I can't believe it's taking this long to get over it. It was emotionally devastating.

On a happier note, I am planning another getaway weekend with my husband. It was nice to spend the time alone with him in Lancaster. I've made arrangements for Labor Day weekend in another "secret" location. I'm not telling him where we are going. I plan to plug the street address into the GPS and just drive. I'm even going to have him leave his car at home on Friday (he is working) and I will pack it, so that he doesn't know what we are taking along. I don't think he reads my blog, but I won't reveal the destination anyway. I don't want any other relatives who might read it to let it slip.

My greetings to my cyber friends - Sweet Mama Jones, I hope you are feeling better soon. I keep you in my prayers.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

OK - I Couldn't Wait Until Christmas...

I gave my grandson the blanket I made for him. I was going to make it a Christmas gift, but I went to visit him tonight and he is just toooooooo cute! Dan and Nicole are doing such a great job with him. He is so healthy and happy!

He sat on the floor and I spread the blanket out in front of him. First he caught the fringe with his toes! I couldn't help but laugh. Then he reached over to touch the figures on the blanket and he seemed fascinated with the monkey.

Here's his furbuddy Brody investigating the blanket along with Justin:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Been a While...

I haven't been blogging in the last few days. I'm still trying to get my bearings with a new medication, and I've had some sleepless nights caused by GERD. Some mornings I go to work and would just sooooooo love to put my head on my desk and go to sleep!

Anyway, my cyber-friend Sweet Mama Jones has tagged me and challenged me to post 6 things that make me happy, so here goes:

My husband, who has stuck by me through thick and thin for almost 29 years now (God bless his patient soul!)
My two sons who make me proud every day
My sweet little grandson and his lovely mother
My brothers and sisters, who are so supportive
Our furbabies - 2 dogs and 2 cats. Nothing like coming home from work after a long hard day and having 2 dogs make a big fuss over you. The cats - well, they say "I love you" in their own special way...

I've lost my crochet mojo lately, and hope it comes back soon. I've got lots of projects to do - just haven't found the motivation to get started on them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Grange Fair Started - On a Day Full of Surprises!

My brother and I went to the grange fair yesterday. One of my sisters and her husband are there this week, selling water ice to the crowds. I wish them some great water-ice weather – hot and sunny – and lots of customers!

I stopped in the needlework building and checked out all the needlecraft items that had been submitted for judging. There were beautiful handmade dresses and skirts, afghans, quilts, dolls and toys, table runners and placemats, potholders and purses. I had three crocheted entries in this year. My crochet mojo left me a while back so I wasn’t able to complete all the projects I had hoped to have. I was lucky to have 3 to enter. However, I was pleased with the results. My giraffe-ghan won a blue ribbon. Justin’s “forever pants” with the matching sweater and hat won a second place red ribbon, and the women’s crocheted hat I worked up also won a first place. I’m anxious to pick up my items at the end of the fair. I often find comments written by the judges on the backs of the entry tags. I’m curious to see if they had any suggestions or if they liked any particular attribute for any of my projects.

A second surprise awaited me when I returned home from the fair. I found a box addressed to me from Simon and Schuster. I didn’t remember ordering any books recently, with the exception of a few patterns from Annie’s Attic. But it’s too soon for those to have been delivered and they wouldn’t have come from S&S. So I opened the box to find two advance copies of the upcoming Crochet 2010 Calendar (formerly called Crochet Pattern A Day). Two of my original patterns have been included in the calendar! I’ve been published! I’m excited to see them in print, especially since one of them also includes my original photos. I don’t receive royalties for the use of my patterns, but at least I retain the copyrights, so the patterns will always remain mine. One of the patterns is for a toddler-size ripple poncho and hat, and the other is a Christmas Mouse/Cat Toy (done in a standing position).

Another surprise – my dear husband pulled out all of the dead marigolds in the front yard and replaced them with colorful mums! I love him dearly – he’s so good to me. There are still a few marigolds left with flowers on them, and I will be pulling off the blossoms when they are finished and drying the seeds for planting next year. I really loved those creamy white marigolds and will miss them, but the mums are cheerful and will look lovely!

Since my desire to crochet has waned in the last 6 months, I haven’t spent that much time with hook and yarn. I did complete the 3 items mentioned earlier for the fair, some charity items for my sister, doll clothes for my great-niece, and tried to work on the sweetheart ripple to complete it. I know that sounds like a lot of crocheting, but really – for me – it’s not. I have been known to spend every waking minute crocheting, including my time during lunch at work. And definitely all weekends. But I’ve been doing a lot of reading instead, and I sat down yesterday to figure out how much reading I’ve been doing. 14 novels in the last 6 months! Thank God for the Kindle. That’s 14 novels I don’t have to make room for in my house. The best of the books I’ve read has to be “Nights in Rodanthe” by Nicholas Sparks. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it.

Harry Potter Prize Package!

Beansieleigh sent me a prize packet chock full of handmade items from her recent Potter-palooza posts. Let me tell you, she does nice work! I have a cat magnet, an owl bookmark, a cell-phone caddy, a tissue-holder, tea, lip gloss, a recipe for Butter Beer and Quidditch Players Pie, socks, the cutest tiny doll I've ever seen, some candles and a crochet pattern.

Not pictured is a pencil – like one found in this post:

The reason it’s not pictured is because I’ve already taken it to work and it’s sitting in my pen and pencil mug on my desk!

Beansie, thank you so much for your kindness. I’ve really enjoyed the surprise package!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Starting The Week Off With a Bang - And An OUCH!

I'm a klutz. Always have been. Take the Grange Fair. For years, if there was a hole anywhere to be found in the fields where the fair is set up, I'd find it - and fall in it.

Well, I started off early this year. I didn't wait until the fair was up and running and do my falling on the grass. This year, I tripped over the doorsill when I went to turn my crocheted projects in for judging. Never mind that the door had huge signs saying "Watch Your Step!". Never mind that the doorsill and the bottom of the door were painted bright orange! Never mind that the fair isn't even open yet this year! I pulled open the door, misjudged the height of the step, and fell forward on my hands and knees, then collapsed on my face onto the floor! Talk about humiliation. Nothing is as embarrassing as that. No, wait - I had to have 4 people help me off the floor! Yeah, that is more embarrassing. I was afraid to try to get up on my own, having had both of my knees replaced in the last 3 years. You know, they give you these nice shiny new knees and then you find out you can't kneel on them anyway! So I was stuck there until they could locate a crane to come pick me up. Just kidding - it was 2 ladies and 2 gentlemen. Sheesh! My left knee is a little swollen this morning. Can't tell if it's going to bruise yet or not. I scraped it a little when I landed on it.

I hope this isn't an omen as to how my projects will do.

I will be posting again with updates on my weekend in Lancaster, and with photos of the Harry Potter package that Beansieleigh put together for me! You should stop by and read her blog - she's quite entertaining. There is a link to it on my sidebar.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Poor Marigolds

We used to have a crabapple tree on our front lawn. The crabapple was affected by carpenter ants and was weakening. It broke my heart to see it come down, as each spring we had beautiful pink flowers on it. I was reminded, each time I looked at the tree, of my dear father-in-law, who passed away a few years back. He trimmed the tree back one year for us. I cried when I saw how much of the tree was cut away! He assured me that it would come back even nicer, but I didn’t believe him. But the tree did come back, and it was lovelier than ever! My FIL was right.

This spring, I asked my husband to dig up a circular area surrounding the stump so that I could plant some flowers. I decided to plant white marigolds. My brother picked up a flat for me at the Burpee outlet. I planted the marigolds, added a garden gnome and a solar light to the stump, and watched the marigolds come to life. They were beautiful! Until about 2 weeks ago, that is. The plants stopped producing new flowers, the leaves started to turn black, and now the marigolds look like someone took a flamethrower to them! They are nothing but black skeletons! I could cry. I’m not sure what happened to them, but I suspect that either some kind of fungus or maybe simply too much rain at once brought about their demise. I’ll have to have them cut down now. I don’t know if there is still time to plant something else in their place, and I’m not even sure if that is a good idea or not. But right now, my front lawn looks like Morticia Addams’ flower garden! If I have any gardening friends out there, maybe you can let me know what might have happened to my marigolds. If it was a fungus, can you tell me whether I should add something to the soil before planting new flowers there? It might be getting close to the time when mums might be a good choice. I welcome your comments!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Healing Weekend...

I spent Saturday and Sunday with my dear sister and her husband at their home in S. New Jersey. It was a relaxing weekend, spent in the company of two wonderful people. My sister is kind and caring and spending time with her is special. We didn't have to talk a lot - just being there, away from the workaday world, was enough. I am very grateful to my sister for being there for me. I love her so much!

I am fortunate to have such a caring support system around me - brothers, sisters, husband. A lot of people aren't so lucky.

Last night, I went shopping on Amazon for Kindle books. Found some bargains. Downloaded 5 e-books - all of them free!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bounty From The Garden

I am visiting my sister this morning in S. New Jersey. I picked some potatoes from my garden before leaving the house. One of my plants was quite yellow-looking, signaling that the potatoes were about ready for picking. So I pulled the plant out, dug around in the dirt with my fingers (got dirt under the nails to prove it!) and voila!

That's before cleaning - they look much more appetizing now that they are washed. I left two at home for my husband, in case he wants to try any tonight for dinner. They really are a nice size, and no blemishes! The medium sized potatoes in the photos are about the size of a baseball. Here they are after cleaning them up:

I am surprised and pleased at how many I got from one plant - unless some of these came from the plant next to it? Can't wait to try them!

Waiting for a call from dear Nicole to see how Justin is this morning. I hope he had a restful night, and that his parents got some sleep too.