January 20-26 2008

This week was all messed up. The first two days, C was home with a cold, and having him home always messes up my best laid plans. But mostly it was all about trying to get ready for J to visit and have a bath fizzy making spree. But the best part of the week was the weekend, not because we did anything particularly fun, but because how we did what we did. The most beautiful thing about being in a long term relationship is being able to help one another cope, to be able to help each other focus, and to be able to help each other accomplish. This past weekend was a practice in just that kind of love- the kind where you give of yourself in order to help another accomplish.

Sunday was the last day in Puerto Rico. We left the hotel and went to a party the families were giving together. We couldn’t stay long because we had to catch our flight, but I did get some good cooking lessons in the process. We brought C’s parents back to their house and then returned the car and flew home. The flight was uneventful and it was a warm and glorious 19 degrees when we landed. Did I mention we left our coats in the car while we were gone?

Monday C was home for MLK day (and because he was sick). I responded to emails, cleaned my desk off, did laundry, and spent the rest of the day balling yarn and knitting.

Tuesday I blogged, got orders sent out, mailed show applications, went to the post office, picked up lunch for C, went to Staples for toners, fixed and printed the sale order form, and e-mailed out my newsletter.

Wednesday- more emails, and more orders (it has been a busy January). I ordered some fragrances I need, mailed a swap box of yarny related stuff, post office (again), grocery store, and started to clean my shop (the really messy part)

Thursday C got J’s ticket to come visit. I sent out more orders (yeah!) and went to B’s for lunch. Upon return I stopped at the yarn store, and then posted pics up on Ravelry.

Friday- errand day: bank, drycleaner, home depot (they didn’t have what I wanted), Wal-Mart (God, I hate that place, but I can almost always find what I need there, so it is a last resort), lunch with H, send order, mail newsletter.

Saturday: this was my day to feel overwhelmed – which means I would rather do nothing than figure out what I should do. C helped me rearrange my workshop, and he put together a book case for me, and he made me start to sort my filing (the pile of stuff from 2005,2006, and 2007, I hope I never get audited). We grabbed lunch at this new deli in town (great salad) picked up cat food, and a post card I need for a swap.


Hits it right on the nose!

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.http://marniemaclean.com
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code


January 13-19 2008

I HAVE TO SAY THAT LAST WEEK WAS AN EXERCISE IN PATIENCE. For those of you who know me, you know, that I am NOT a patient person. I have however, over the years, become more patient, or at last better at not showing my growing inner hostility toward the person/persons being late or slow. I have to admit that over the past year or two this patience level has been heightened by my ability to knit, now very often I bring something to knit, and if you are late, or slow, well honestly I just don’t care because I have something with me to do, and on top of it, knitting is usually something I would rather be doing than whatever I am waiting for.

But this week I was in Puerto Rico visiting C’s family and going to a family wedding. Just thinking about it makes me breathe deep and try to meditate the stress from my bones. And on top of it I don’t being knitting with me as I wait, because it could be considered rude, and I am trying to learn Spanish, and if I bring my knitting, well, I tend to zone out and not concentrate on the conversation at hand, so it sits in the room, and as I wait, I think if how much of that scarf I could have finished….

Sunday was spent packing- packing my knitting, packing the things I needed to get done while I was gone, packing clothes, and packing up boxes of order to mail out before I left.

Monday we had to leave very early in the morning (4:30 am ) to catch our flight. C got bumped to first class because he flies so much and since the rest of the flight is just a sardine can I told him to go sit without me. I almost had an empty seat next to me, but no luck. I tries to start a new scarf but was too tired to pay attention to the pattern, and after the second big mistake, I pulled it all out and just started listening to Wicked on the I-Pod instead. Once we arrived, C left to work and to get fitted for his tux for the wedding. I napped, knit, listened to the ocean, walked around the resort, ate lunch, and generally chilaxed (new word that one of the niece’s taught me- to chill & relax at the same time).

Tuesday I got up and started working. I finished my newsletter, and blogged. Both while having the door of the balcony open, sniffing the fresh air and listening to the ocean. Then I went to the pool and tried to tan a little, listening to a book, and knitting my scarf. After about 45 minutes I had to leave, or risk looking like a lobster more than I already would and grabbed some lunch and a nap. Later that night it was off to the mall with two of C’s sisters to pick up some last minute wedding things and then back to the room to wait for C to get back from the office and the over to his parent’s house for a few hours and some food.

Wednesday I started working again (under the same conditions- beach breeze and ocean within view). This time I updated the web site and worked at the mailing list. Then some more pool, some more knitting, and some more napping. This evening was a dinner with two sisters, a niece, and her boyfriend. It was at a tapas restraint called SoHo and my favorite thing was a sweet plantain topped with shrimp and scallops with a sushi type spicy sauce and some miso. I could have eaten those all night, it was sort of like sushi, but better.

Thursday was spend at his parent’s. We put ribbons on boxes that would hold chocolate at the reception, ribbons on fans for the wedding (in the church without AC) and tags on bags of almonds. OK, so I really only helped with the boxes, but after I finally went to bed all of those other things got done.

Friday we went to the hotel, and to the rehearsal dinner. Unfortunately C had learned that one of his uncles is in the hospital because of stroke, so he and two sisters brought his mom & dad to the hospital to visit. I stayed behind, both because I hate hospitals, and because I didn’t belong in the middle of this family event, and checked out the resort, the casino, the food, and well, waited and knit….

Saturday was the wedding. It was beautiful. There are a few traditions that we don’t have here in the states, starting with some dimes that are passed between bride and groom, and to me the order of everything was different too. The reception was very cool and at the end there was some traditional music, played on traditional instruments, by a traditional band that I can’t recall the name of right now. After the finish of the exception I went to bed and C stayed up with most of the men in the family to watch a fight on TV. Since I don’t follow boxing I don’t recall the guy’s name, but I can tell you in Puerto Rico, the man is almost a god. I think he lost.


January 6-12 2008

This week I tried to get lots of stuff done before leaving for C’s niece’s wedding in Puerto Rico. But alas, I was curtailed by my fluctuating gastrointestinal health. I have been trying to go gluten-free (or at least as close as possible), because after charting my distresses, they tend to come most often after a string of gluten rich food choices. This week’s distress solidifies my feelings on the subject, because once again, after having a string of gluten rich foods, my GI tract went on strike. So, although the doc’s have ruled out Celiac disease, I think there is certainly some sort of intolerance going on in there.
Weigh in: 160 Miles on bicycle: 4.09
Sunday started with B’s dessert day. This is the premier event in the area, with over 30 desserts baked from scratch, all in one location. (A Mecca for gluten you could say). Once again this year I tried to eat one of everything, but could not make it around the table. We had lunch before we went, because honestly, you could go into sugar shock if you tried to go on an empty stomach. This leaves less room for dessert, but you have less of a crash after the event. The rest of the day I knitted, finishing a shell (that I still need to post on Ravelry), and deciding to finish my socks before I leave.

Monday K came to work for a few hours. We got all of my loose ingredients into the boxes they belong in and weighed out ingredients for things to make (so in essence I started making bath salts and bath fizzys- at least the start of the process). We also rearranged my cure room so better hold my new soaps for 2008 and those I have left from previous years too. And we counted and inventoried my organza bags. Now I know what I need to order. (always good to know what you need to spend money on, ehh?). I also called a friend who was going to teach K and I to spin this week, but she was feeling under the weather and had to cancel.
Since I expected to spend the day Tuesday spinning, I got quite a bit of things done that I didn’t expect to. I figured out my show applications and got some sent out, answered what seemed to be a ton of e-mails, labeled boxes in the cure room so I have some semblance of order in there, finished the order form for my upcoming soap sale, and did laundry. That night C and I had a late Christmas with B&M. The dinner was awesome- Chicken Paprikash (I am sure that is spelled wrong) and leftovers from dessert day- yum, moon cake….
Wednesday K, B, and I went to Ikea. I picked up a few bookshelves I needed for the workshop. I have to say this is the first time I was ever severely disappointed in Ikea. They have gone to mostly self checkout lines, and when we were there that is all that they had open. Even when B arrived, with her cane(!!), they did not open a regular checkout lane . Half way through her (and us) fighting through checkout they finally opened one. There has to be an ADA issue in this someplace. I would have been happy to just leave my purchase and go I was so mad, but K needed stuff for school and we just spend 3 hours walking around the joint, so suffice to say, they had us where they wanted us. We went for lunch before we went back home and I had some awesome Guava Lemonade. And then when I got home, it happened, the GI “strike” began….
Thursday I sat on the couch and slept, knitted, and generally was too ill to leave the house. I got a picture sent out for some custom gift baskets I am doing as corporate gifts this year, mailed out a gift for my secret Santa, and got some laundry put away. I knitted my socks too, almost done!
Friday was a whirlwind- groceries, post office, drycleaner, laundry, delivering gift baskets, working on my house journal (more on that in another post when it’s done) and trying to get some things on and off the I-Pod.
Saturday was filled with my least favorite thing in the world- shopping. This was a search for a dress for the wedding. I found one for the rehearsal dinner at least, and for only $3.74 at Boscov’s. We cleaned the house, and I got a box of lotion bar donations ready to be sent out to the lucky recipient. I also finished the socks- just need to graft the toes when I get back. But I hate to assemble, graft, or anything like that….(I’ll post them on Ravelry too soon)


Jan 1-5, 2008

Jan 2-5, 2008

Well I jumped into the New Year with both feet. I started with a huge list of things to do, everything I could think of just got jotted down onto the page, with no rhyme or reason to the order. I started out by arranging my shipping supplies and reordering whatever I needed. 99% of my packaging- peanuts, bubble wrap, etc are recycled from things that C and I order throughout the year, so it can be a little daunting to store it all and keep it organized. The priority mail boxes I order from the post office in packs of 25, so I needed to figure what sizes I needed to start the year off right.

I also caught up on some personal e-mails, they have been sitting around here for too long and needed to get answered. I also sent out some really, really late Christmas presents for my nieces and nephews.

I delivered a gift basket for a raffle at Out of Our Hands, and I sorted through my show files to figure what I want to do again next year. Lastly, with K’s help, I did the inventory for the year, everything I sold at shows. Now to just figure out the orders!

I counted some inventory- washcloths and bath mitts and realized I have entirely too much to knit in 2008. I caught up on bills, and read what felt like a weeks worth of mail and sent out a few lingering orders that got side tracked by the holiday and my days being closed, as well as another gift basket for another raffle fund raiser.

K went through these 4 big boxes of old soaps and things that needed to be either tossed to put away. It was great to get them out of the way. I felt like no matter where I put those boxes they were in the way and now they are gone.

I also try and recycle as much as possible and I use Ziploc bags to transport my stuff to and from shows in. By the end of the year I have a huge pile of bags, some ripped, some pristine and used only once, so we went through them and figured out what could be used again and what really was just too cruddy to save and needed to be tossed.

I counted and bagged sachets, finished labeling show files, did a list of applications and their due dates (which reminds me I need to get some apps done ASAP), and then took a shower to get clean and to relax.

Fridays are now designated “home” days. These are the days I do things for my home and my family and my friends. Keeping a separate list of these things will allow me not to stress about them till Friday, but be sure that I put aside time to actually do them. This week I redid the herbs in the cabinet. I put them into new containers with new labels (which BTW are falling off and I need to redo them next Friday!). I also went to the bank, the post office, the grocery store, CVS, and the drycleaner. I answered e-mails and started my house journal- what needs to be done when, etc. Later C and I went to AC Moore to get some things for a Secret Santa I am participating in and we stopped at Sears so he could ogle some tools. This is something I would typically not do, I missed supper, I went to a store I don’t care about, but I made the effort and we both had fun. Hot date- AC Moore and Sears on a Friday night!

Saturday I picked up a few more things for my Secret Santa, and napped, and knit, and generally did nothing. We were supposed to go to dinner with B & M but C got sick to his stomach after lunch so we had to bail on that. But we rescheduled.

Welcome to 2008

You might have noticed that last year around September, I just stopped blogging. And some of you may actually wonder why. I tried an experiment around then, I had read up on how to become a good blogger, and how to possibly start making money off of your blog, and I started putting some of these things to use: blogging every day, blogging about similar things each week (like a herb of the week post) and generally trying to put more content into each post. Well, after just a few weeks I decided that I am not a blogger, I am a soap maker who just happens to blog, so I stopped blogging. I had gotten tired of “being out there” for everyone to see. I was feeling naked and alone and wanted to turn inward, to see what there was to see inside of me, what I liked, what I didn’t, and maybe how to change a few things in the process. This took a little longer than I thought, it was a road that brought me down a few paths I didn’t like to be on, and it left me pretty emotionally and physically drained… so I still didn’t blog.. Until today.

So I am back, and I am feeling well. The fall was a flurry of tough shows, long hours, weird weather, and a pile of hard life things too. I have made a few resolutions for 2008:

1) I plan on getting in shape and loosing some of this weight that makes me feel so bad about myself
2) I plan on working harder in my relationships with everyone, they are not there like fancy clothes to put them on when I am in the mood, relationships are like sweatshirts, you wear your favorites all the time and take good care of them so you don’t have to try and replace them anytime soon.
3) I am going to read more. I have tons of books and magazines here waiting to be read, and dad has over 200 audio books for me to catch up on. I think I am going to be busy.
4) Organize the house. I have been a FLYbaby before and I am going to try and FLY again, only this time with a few twists. All I can say is that when I get overwhelmed, it is having routine that keeps my head on straight.
5) Work hard. No more ½ days lounging on the sofa, no more procrastination. I am going to put my head down and work harder that I have in quite a few years, and I am sure I will see results.

So what are my immediate goals? A little exercise every day, to get the workshop organized so I can go back to work, and to catch up on some blog entries- I at least need to do a post about each craft show I did, so 5 years from now I have a record of them someplace and I don’t end up repeating one that is just terrible., besides that watch for a weekly update, every Monday, and a few posts here and there about what is going on in my life. If you are a knitter you can find me on Ravelry- PrivetKnits, and I will be posting all things yarny over there as the year progresses.

Besides that all I can hope is for a peaceful and prosperous New Year, for everyone!