Some Summer Gifts

My best friend reminded me tonight that I’d not been doing a good job of looking for blessings during this harried fortnight that included a friend’s unexpected widowhood and my father-in-law’s sirened chariot ride to the hospital. To be honest, I doubted anyone was reading them, not that that would be an acceptable reason for me to be blind to what God has been providing…

#0016 – The joy of being even one of several hundred who were touched by Norm’s life and gathered to celebrate and cry with his family – and the surprise of hearing Kermit the Frog singing Rainbow Connection between the homily and eulogy!

#0017 – The caregivers who made it possible for my father-in-law to go back home again instead of being the central character in my second funeral of the week.

#0018 – Air conditioning!

#0019 – Phlox, which are sweet enough to make me almost like the color periwinkle. 😉

#0020 – Hibiscus pollen dusting petals so fragile they can only survive one day of glory.

#0021 – Cotton buds, which remind me that “unique” can be different and wonderful. 🙂

#0022 – Promises

#0023 – Sunflowers on stilts, a vertical miracle after their storm flattened adolescence. (Not to mention, they are downright hilarious!)

#0024 – Tei Fu oil – because there are mosquitoes…

#0025 – The wheels of my dreams, to fill the treads of my stalwart, but no longer capable Oldsmobile. (Tempered a bit by the suddenness of the event making a loan necessary…) Finding “the” right color (Green Tea)  in the best model I drove with the lowest mileage and a competitive price is nothing short of a miracle!



On Facebook Contests

Am I the only person in the world who finds this extremely annoying?

I don’t belong to facebook. I never WILL belong to facebook. There are a lot of reasons, and I’m not going to go into them all right now, as that’s not the issue.

What’s upsetting me is this current trend, which seems to be ramping up at shocking speed. It seems that now every day or two, I open an email newsletter from a company with which I do business, seeing a subject line about a contest – Win $5000! Win a Free Cruise For Two, etc. Knowing the company to be trustworthy, I open the email only to discover that although there is “no purchase necessary,” it is ONLY for facebook members and includes instructions about how to join if I’m “not already a member.” This growing discrimination is grating on my nerves. I’ve done thousands of dollars worth of business with these people over the years, but since I won’t join facebook, I’m suddenly not good enough to enter their contest? I honestly can’t remember the last contest sponsored by a favorite company that didn’t involve facebook. And in the past several days, I’ve started running into it on blogs, of all things. What is the purpose of having a contest for your blog readers if they have to also join facebook to be eligible?

This whole thing has me wondering just what it’s worth to businesses to be on facebook. Are they getting some sort of kickback or payment based on the number of people they draw in or who follow them perhaps? Inquiring minds want to know…

Published in: on July 19, 2011 at 9:59 pm  Comments (1)  
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Okay, when it takes 4 days to get a shawl unpinned from the blocking mat, I know life is entirely too busy!This is my Pamuya, all finished and ready for duty. I know I’ve said this before, but I absolutely love this little shawl! The biggest reason for my romance at moment is that it is ever so much prettier than I expected it to be. I felt terribly insecure picking colors for it online, and it’s just a little out of my comfort zone to mix colors like this, so that makes a success feel all the more exciting.It was knit with two balls of Fleece Artist Trail Socks yarn, using about 75% of each ball once I rearranged my color plan. The biggest change I’d make if I knit this again is that I would do the Tiny Crosses sections with needles one size larger than the rest of the shawl. Those areas pull in quite a bit even with me consciously working them as loose as I could, and it made blocking a bit more of a challenge. I have some bits of info written out on my Ravelry page to help make this pattern look a bit sharper if you are working it in two colors, so check it out if you are planning to do that. 🙂 The pattern by Alexandra Wiedmayer is also available there. I highly recommend it for a truly fun, interesting, and cheerful knit. 🙂

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm  Comments (3)  
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Camp Loopy: Dealing With a Few Loose Ends

So I’ve been a VERY bad girl – which doesn’t really take a lot, since I’m supposed to be fully focused on my MSP at the moment, a project that is taking many more hours than the predicted 100-150, and doing anything else is naughty. I’ve been trying hard to stay with the homework as much as possible, but there’s only so much “being good” that this person can manage. A few weeks back, I was needing a few minutes of break time and inadvertently (honest!) hit the link to the Loopy Ewe blog, where Summer Camp had just been announced. I temporarily took leave of my senses and signed up for camp, buying the requisite yarn and pattern, then feeling dreadfully guilty – enough so that I didn’t even tell my best friend what I’d done. Before my yarn arrived, she confessed to having done the same a day or two after me – and she picked the same pattern to knit… Pamuya.

Camp started on June 15th, and I could see no reason not to have my shawl knocked out by the weekend, or at least by the end of the first week of camp. Then I could go back to being a good little student, washing fleeces, spinning, writing reports… The yarn came about a week before camp started, and as tempting as it was, I did manage to wait, working hard the entire time to free myself up for some fun. All I wanted to do was knit my Pamuya, but I did such a good job of waiting that when midnight came, announcing the 15th, I realized I’d not even caked my yarn! It’s beautiful, soft stuff from Fleece Artist (a first for me), and the colors are gorgeous. What was NOT gorgeous was the discovery that the skeins were 25m shorter than promised. I called Loopy Ewe the next day, and of course, the color I needed the most was out of stock. However, the Seafoam was still available, and with another skein on the way, I rethought my design and plunged back into my renovated project.I love this pattern! I love the texture and the variation. I love the colors I chose and the yarn and the way the colors play together. And I’m going to confess that I suspect I like my remodeled colors even better than I’d have liked the original plans. I like it all a little too much, and every stitch I put into it was making me feel guilty. Finally I decided to give myself a particular assignment from my homework each day, and once it was done, I could knit. That didn’t work so well, and I went nearly a week without working on it at all! 😦Week two came to an end, and I still wasn’t done with what should have been a quick and easy project.Then I had a birthday… 😀 I had spent the weekend fighting with a part of my homework that wasn’t playing nice, and when midnight Tuesday morning announced the beginning of my celebration day, I stomped my foot and announced to the dog that I was NOT going to fight with silk and merino on my birthday – period! Instead, I knit on Pamuya through Sound of Music, You’ve Got Mail, and finally Titanic, getting tantalizingly close to the end, and loving it more by the minute.

Last night, I reached the edge, revised by the addition of two extra rows, and bound off. I so love this little shawl!Now I just have a few loose ends to deal with… sigh…And if you noticed the change in photo sizes, all the sudden, in the middle of writing this post, WordPress found itself incapable of dealing with the pictures in the normal size. 😦

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