Thursday, July 30, 2009

Knit one, purl one...

Here's the progress I've made thus far.

The plan? Seed stitch afghan. Nine-inch squares, each bordered by crochet, and sewn together. It's a version of an afghan my mother made years ago, as best I can remember it. She was an expert knitter, and yet this simple afghan was one of my favorite things she made.

She believed that you should always have something to show for your time...and this one is an easy one to work on while watching tv, since you don't have to concentrate on a pattern...much. (I already have about half a row that I got off a stitch on. Oh well, I just knit on...I call it practicing imperfection...that doesn't come easy...I am my mother's daughter after all.)

When Mom started hers, it seemed a strange combination of colors...very un-mom like colors. What I liked about it was that not only did it turn out really attractive, it was a good cover. Though I think lacy afghans are beautiful, I hate the way the open work in the pattern seems to invite drafts to sneak through.

Mom's afghan was gifted away, but I never forgot it. So I thought it was time I try to recreate it. My plan is for this to be my lunch-time afghan. I'm going to leave my knitting bag in my car, so I can knit on my lunch hour. Be productive and de-stress at the same time. Hmmm...I think that's called multi-tasking.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nightie night...and day...

Today my sweetie got home from being away for two weeks. Since I was working today, and he was driving home near the lunch hour, he stopped by the office to take me to lunch.

We went to a nearby restaurant that we have only been to together once before. On our first visit, we were on our way into the building when an older woman called to us from a handicapped parking space near the door. She couldn't get her car started, and was hoping that Carey could help, which is usually a pretty good bet. As he got behind the wheel to try to figure out the problem, she stood beside me on the parking lot looking a little embarrassed and fretful.

I'm talking to her, trying to put her at ease, when all at once I realize that she is wearing a nightgown and bed jacket. I work in a small town, and it's not unusual for businesses to bring something out to the car of an older person. I do it myself in my job. If I know they're coming, I'll take papers out to their car for them to sign, so that they don't have to get out. So I assumed that's how she got into this little spot, and I felt bad for her. Nobody expects to go out to move the sprinkler in their underwear and get locked out of the house. Well, Carey does, but that's another post. (And it's not so fun for me anymore, now that we don't have neighbors.)

So when we pulled up to the restaurant today, we walked by this parking space, and remarked that our little friend wasn't here today. We were inside finishing our taco salad and glasses of cold iced tea, when in she walks, plain as a pikestaff. No bed jacket today...too hot. Just the nightie. She sits down at a table in the middle of the room and waits for service. Which is not long in coming.

So I guess I was wrong in my first assumption. I guess that the restaurant welcomes her inside as is. Come to think of it, I didn't see a, 'No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" sign anywhere. Does a nightie count as a shirt? I guess it does as long as no one complains. I don't know about anyone else, but WE didn't. I don't mind the nightie...much.

I'm not quite sure why I'm writing about this. It bothers me that she was alone. Carey suggested that maybe she doesn't have the dexterity to dress. Hmmm, how's her driving, I wonder?

I've decided that if we run into her there again, I'll walk over and ask her to join us. I mean she kind of knows us...Carey did assist in trying to get her car started that time. And I would just like to get to know what her situation is a little. My new assumption (not an assumption, really, more of a hope) is that she's a Red Hat rebel...not one to conform to the rules of a club of self-proclaimed non-conformists. An individualist who goes big or goes home. Maybe she wears red panties! Now that's a club membership to aspire to.

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Projects...

I love to start new projects. I love to finish projects. It's just the part in between that can get a little tiresome.

So here's a photo of my newest project. The colors look pretty awful in the photo, but pay no attention. I'm posting this as a challenge to myself...and a record.

There will be progress reports...if there is progress. :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Women don't fight fair...

I received a request for a post today from a man who was having a bad day. He said I should write a post entitled, "Women don't fight fair."

Okay. So he's right. We don't.

Now don't get your feathers ruffled...but think about feathers...and how in the bird world, the males are the ones with the bright plumage. It's not fair that they are more attractive than the females of their species. But nobody accuses them of 'playing games.' Same thing. We gotta use what God gave us.

We have natural beauty...

and grace...

and style.

We entertain with natural skill...

and natural talent.

We share ideas with that certain je ne sais quoi...

but we can be direct when we want to...

and will only pout if we have to.

And we always find strength by sticking together!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Top ten pet peeves...

Does this not look like a child who already has a few pet peeves under her belt? Hmmm...Nature? or Nurture?...I'm thinkin' nature.

Back then what bugged me was kids who didn't put the crayons back in the box with all the tips pointing up, or bad hair days and school picture days occurring on the SAME day...come to think of it, that still bugs me...a lot!

But today I'm updating my list. So count them down with me, won't you?

10. Seeing the word 'loose' written, when 'lose' is what's really meant.

9. Shopping in a brick-and-mortar store...what did I do before shopping online?

8. Getting grief about shopping online. (Yes, M, I mean you.) :)

7. Bad customer service in the retail industry.

6. Picking up something from the drive-thru to take home...only to get home and find the wrong order. (Accidents happen, but I'm a LONG way from the nearest drive-thru, so there's no going back.)

5. Alarm clocks

4. Balloon launches (Okay, I know this makes me sound like Scrooge. But these do come down, you know, and then it's just litter. Do you know how long it takes mylar balloons and curling ribbon to biodegrade? Latex balloons are not too bad IF you use raffia instead of that nasty never-degrading curling ribbon...or better yet, no string at all. Picture an inquisitive little calf eating these, or a baby dolphin. I never gave these a second thought before moving to the country.)

3. Automated telephone answering check your balance, press receive a newsletter, press entertain yourself while waiting, try playing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on the number pad.

2. Managers berating employees in front of customers, or employees complaining or gossiping in front of customers. (see #7 above)

And my NUMBER ONE pet peeve...

1. Letting my frustration get the best of me with absolutely no excuse (no hormones, no steroids, no kidding), and dashing off a testy e-mail reply that may have hurt a friend's feelings. Why, oh, why can't there be an 'unsend' button in MSFT Outlook?

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Different Disposition...

Do you have any friends that are SO different, that you can't quite figure out how they made it past your barriers and into the fortress of your life? I have several. I seem to attract the ADD personality.

As a child I spent an inordinate amount of my time looking for my mother's shoes. And purse. And keys. Etc. She pretended we were playing a variation of hide and seek. I wasn't fooled. And I compensated by ALWAYS putting my shoes, my purse, and my keys (etc.) in a designated spot. I very rarely lose track of my appendages.

My mother, however, seems to be having a little joke on me from the other side, by pushing people who constantly lose things into my life. I can almost hear her sing-song, "HA. ha."

Today I spent the day with one of those friends. We started out the day by her crawling around my car to see if perhaps her debit card had fallen under the seat last time she was riding with me. It got to the point that I had to pull over until she would sit still and buckle up. (She never found it, by the way, but that's the beauty of the ADD personality...they're easily distracted.)

We had tons o' fun rummaging around at thrift stores. And having lunch. And laughing. And laughing.

So I dropped her off at home about dark. And if we didn't get our fill of each other's company already, we talked on the phone a couple house later, engaging in a favorite pastime of ours...playing MP3-clip roulette on Tonight we listened to Pat Boone's 'No More Mr. Nice Guy' album. These truly are clips of 'art' not to be missed. (Oh Horrors! You wouldn't think I would recommend having to listen to the full-length version do you?) And reading the reviews had me screeching with laughter. Warning: place a Poise pad in your panties before going there.

So I think I will keep my ADD friends. They ADD some much-needed fun to my life. They are Absolutely Delightfully Different from me. And I need that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Are you acquainted with Roy G Biv?...

(red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)

From Wikipedia: Roy G. Biv is a mnemonic for the sequence of hues in the visible spectrum, in rainbows, and in order from longest to shortest wavelength.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's cloud illusions I recall...

I took this photo a week ago on my way home from the Kamping trip. Clouds have been woefully scarce around here. I needed to carry a photo home with me...a cologne on a visually breathe the memory of their scent.

Filled with the wonder of their beauty, I call to them to follow me home and bless us with their bounty.

The weatherman says maybe this weekend.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Productivity tracking...

MyToDoList on Google refuses to let me add any new chores...too full.

I don't really pay all that much attention to my online to do lists anyway, so I guess I'll revert back to my good old steno pad. I cannot survive without a steno pad, be it at work or at home.

While thinking about this post, I did a cursory scan of the kitchen and den and found these:

What floored me was that in all but one (and it was a fully used one from last year) there was a mechanical pencil tucked in the the ready! I'm such a creature of habit.

My most successful method of listing goes something like this (last year's July list can actually be seen on the top pad in the picture above):

July's monthly goal:
paint the headboard extensions

7/12/09 <---Major Weekly Goals ---> 07/18/09
a. choose and buy paint
b. make girls' pajamas
c. work out 5 days (_x_,_x_,__,__,__)

change bed
wash back door window
order Jared's b'day present

This system has really worked well for me...when I remember to do it.

The idea of listing a big job to finish by the end of the month helps me keep it on my mind along with a realistic deadline.

The major weekly goals usually involves something creative I need to complete, and if I'm trying to form a good habit, I track it here. I keep these weekly goals limitied to three...I can't realistically focus on more.

Under 'To-Do's' at the bottom, I just list the ordinary things that need to get done as they pop into my head. It gives me incredible satisfaction when I can scratch things off the list. And keeping it weekly helps me see how much I really do get done, even when it feels like I didn't get anything accomplished.

I keep other notes on other pages, like measurements I need to take to the store with me, or addresses/phone numbers, etc. Once I'm done with those items, I discard the pages, leaving the goal/list pages as a record. For instance, I see that last July I wanted to mail a package to a friend...I have yet to mail it to her (grrrrrrrrrrrrrr).

I'm not sure where I came up with this system. It's entirely possible that I read it somewhere, but if so, I can't remember where. It works great though, so wherever it came from I'm sending thanks out for it.

So, does anyone have other methods that work well for them?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Smile, little grasshopper..

We've been discussing why it seems we have so many more grasshoppers in years when there is so little grass. We assume they are not neccessarily more numerous, just on the move more, looking for food since it's so scarce.

A week or two ago, I caught one in the house that I swore had to be a mutant. It was HUMONGOUS!

The little fellow above (little is a relative term...he was pretty darn big, but not as big as the previously-mentioned capture) was on the back door window a little while ago. I just had to take his picture when he waved hello.

By the way, that's not a grainy picture exactly...just a dirty window. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The perfect fortune for me...and Scarlett O'Hara...

This was the message my fortune cookie had for me last night.

It cracks me up.

Fiddle-dee-dee. Now, how did the fortune-cookie fairie know I'm such a procrastinator?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kampin' with K2...

I am not a camper...probably due to childhood trauma experienced when trapped in a small camper with feuding parents...what temptation the Grand Canyon presented me on that trip...

But I digress.

My friend, the other Kathleen (hereafter referred to as K2) loves camping. So much so that she recently bought a small pop-up camper. And she somehow talked me into joining her for a few days. I figured, if I hated it, I could always get a hotel room nearby.

Here's K2 in her cute little camper. Yes. Yes, that is a cell phone on her ear. So much for roughing it. Hmmmph. But before you think we got off too easy, I must whine a little about putting up with communal showers and bathrooms. Okay, I'm over it.

We took a day trip over to Hope, Arkansas to visit a friend we share. That was very fun, since she had no prior warning that we would be in her area, and we just popped in on her. That's what happens when you don't answer your phone, Christy!

K2 then made me tour the boyhood home of Bill Clinton. It was okay, I guess, but the best part was that the gift shop was right across the street from a Sonic!

We also had a great visit with K2's Carthage family who drove over for lunch (and for me to finagle an unofficial adoption and wedding invitation).

We packed a lot of activity into our time together, and a good time was had by all. Here you can see it on our faces in the photo we took before breaking camp...everyone is smiling!

Left to right: K2, Bailey, and K1 (me)

ps: on the way home I stopped to visit my cousin and aunt and uncle. that deserves its own post. to be continued...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day...

Wishing a safe and fun-filled holiday to my fellow countrymen. Thanks to all of our servicemen and -women, past and present, and their families serving at home as well.

I'm heading off to see the other Kathleen tomorrow. We're meeting on the road, between her home and mine. I think she took the longer 'half' as I just printed out my driving directions, and it says I only have 400 miles to drive. I can't wait to spend a few days with her. Who knows what high jinks we will get up to where neither of us have to worry about running into someone we know!

Hmmm...what happens in Texarkana, stays in Texarkana? Just doesn't have that special ring to it, does it?
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