Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day Four – The Last Day

It’s the last day of the year, time to bring things to a close and gear up for the coming year.  The ending of 2009 also means the end of five years of this blog.  In looking back, this site started out to talk mainly about my knitting and has evolved to include all facets of my life.  Because of that, there have been dry periods and times which I wrote almost every day.

So on this last day of year 5, I thought I would talk about some ‘tidying up’ and recap some of what I’ve done over the past few days.  In getting ready for a new year, I am also getting ready for a new semester of classes – a full load.

tree mandala

Did one of those things I always forget to do – back up my files.  I cleaned out documents and pictures and then saved the remainder to a CD.  My computer did completely crash this past year and I lost some pictures and some documents I had transcribed.  The documents are still there in handwritten form for the most part, but the pictures are gone.  I don’t want to lose them again.

One other item I did was to go over my list of “100 Things” I posted back in March.  Here’s how my end of the year countdown is working out.

101.  Keep updating my 1001 things list – haven’t added anything yet.

100.  Review my list every 3 months and update – nope,  but put it on my calendar to remind myself to do.

99.  Knit a lace shawl – well, have one to do, which has been frogged countless times.  Still “studying” the situation.

98.  Learn Tai Chi – N/P (no progress)

97.  Visit all the thrift stores in the area – N/P

96.  Learn to sharpen my knives…. – N/P

95.  Put Savvy’s writing and Texter’s drawings into book form – have them all together in one location

94.  Visit the waterfalls in NC – hopefully will get started this summer.  Did bookmark the site that lists the waterfalls.

93.  Explore my spirituality more fully – doing 108 Sun Salutations on New Year’s Day (more about that later) and am taking a World Religions class this semester and have to write a beliefs statement. 

92.  Put curtains on all the windows – N/P

91.  Join a garden co-op or community garden – did research some CSA groups, but until I can really get behind eating more veggies, will confine myself to trips to the Farmer’s Market.

90.  Plan my menus and shopping lists – work in progress.  This goes in fits and starts, but getting better.

89.  Get a digital camera…. – N/P

88.  Treat myself to new fountain pens – N/P

87. Do some RAK to other artist’s with my unused art supplies. – Does my own daughter count?  She raided my stash for her art class this past semester.  But still have plans for give-aways.

86.  Go on a picnic… – N/P

85.  Set up better study areas for all of us. – DONE

84.  Wear earrings and lipstick every day for a month – N/P

83.  Walk at least 10 different trails – N/P

82.  Create a garden on the balcony for herbs – have 1 tub filled mainly with a sprawling lemon balm plant.  Will do more this summer.

81.  Have a spa weekend at home – N/P

80.  Take Noel (now Sarge) to dog obedience class – N/P

79.  Visit the art museum in Charlotte – actually this should be changed to visit the Jack-in-the-Box in Charlotte on my way to the Stowe Botanical Garden and the orchids there.

78.  Finish my doll, “Luna” – N/P

77.  Carry a notebook and pen wherever I go – DONE - just about everywhere.

76.  Join a writing group – DONE – started this month with the Apex Writing Group

75.  Make a quilt for each of the girls – N/P

74.  Do a craft table at work – N/P

73.  Learn a new technique for my journal every 2 months – rethinking this one as I am getting back to more of straight writing rather than art journaling

72.  Yoga more.  Attend a yoga workshop – registered for  Yoga Mala on 1/1/2010 at Yoga Garden.

71.  Save my old photos – have them gathered into a central spot, so about halfway there.

70.  Take care of my nails for 30 days – N/P

69.  Do a facial once a month – actually have one scheduled for the 5th of January with the girls.  Let’s see if I can continue the trend.

68.  Visit all the botanical gardens in NC….. N/P

67.  Blog at least weekly – pretty much there.

66.  Update my wardrobe to suit ‘me’ – getting there

65.  Do at least 1 challenge a month…. N/P

64.  Get published somewhere….getting closer to that goal.

63.  Reconnect with an old friend – boy, has this happened!  This time last year someone from high school found me on facebook and since them have reconnected with several people, including my first crush and my first roommate (not the same person by the way).

62.  Make a vision board – N/P

61.  Have nice bookshelves in my living room – part way there.  Moved my wooden shelves into there.

60.  Send a card/postcard or surprise to a friend every month – N/P

59.  Get a henna tattoo on my hand – N/P

58.  Stick to my budget and record my expenses. – Not 100% yet, but getting there.

57.  Save $10,000 – N/P

56.  Complete a Nanowrimo – too busy with school this year, maybe 2010?

55.  Have fresh flowers or plant in the house once a month – getting there

54.  Make a will – N/P

53.  Decorate my home with art I know where it comes from.

52.  Wear biking shorts and not be embarrassed – getting there

51.  Do a gift advent calendar for the girls – N/P

50.  Get new living room furniture – N/P

49.  Get a birding book and start a list of birds I’ve seen – N/P

48.  Have my makeup done by a professional….N/P

47.  Get fitted for a bra and have 2-3 good bras on hand. Get some sports. – almost there

46.  Take a watercolor class. – N/P

45.  Meditate more.  Create a space to do it in.  - Have the space, need to do it more.  Signed up for a couple of guided meditation classes at Yoga Garden.

44.  Make a set of Soul Collage cards – N/P

43.  Set up a more functional area for my art and sewing – did some rearranging, so progress has been made.  Really just need to get rid of both daughters!

42.  Set up an altar and have a candle on it to burn every day.  Have a water feature.  - Have the altar, but don’t burn a candle every day.  Have a small, hand made bowl I put water in.

41.  Pick a month and do a picture a day – N/P

40.  Do something active at least 30 minutes every day.  - getting much, much better at it

39.  Offer a giveaway on my blog – working on it

38.  Learn to make illuminated letters and do the complete alphabet – N/P

37.  Have an art-journaling-to-go bag – since I have gotten away from art journaling and more of a ‘written’ journal, I do have a bag with different markers, glue stick, scissors in it.

36.  Scrapbook my high school stuff – pulled it out and looked at it.  Have a Watergate pin in there!

35.  Create a garden area at the new Ren Faire site – that may have logistical problems – we might not be able to plant anything.

34.  Find my “scent” – N/P

33.  Cook a new dish once a week – not quite yet

32.  Finish my family cookbook – it’s out and being worked on

31.  Canoe down the Eno River – maybe this summer

30.  Go visit a new or long-lost friend in another state – N/P

29.  Go to the theater in NYC – N/P – but Wicked is coming to Durham!

28.  Buy a new towel every payday – N/P

27.  Finish up on the family history – N/P

26.  Buy or make a white, gauzy dress – DONE

25.  Attend a goddess workshop/gathering – N/P

24.  Learn more about aromatherapy – N/P

23.  Get Photoshop – N/P

22.  Walk/run a half marathon – N/P

21.  Get a good bike for myself – N/P

20.  Learn to spin wool – N/P

19.  Learn calligraphy – N/P

18.  Get my college degree in Creative Writing, English or History – working on it, enrolled in classes now.

17.  Work on botanical drawing certificate – N/P

16.  Visit another Ren Faire in another state – N/P

15.  Learn to read tarot better – N/P

14.  Go through and index my journals – N/P

13.  Get another tattoo – N/P

12.  Enter a writing contest – N/P

11.  Finish a pair of knitted socks – N/P

10.  Take a fiber arts class – N/P

9.   Have acupuncture done – actually had an exam yesterday and will be having it done shortly

8.   Write everyday – have it on my calendar as an ‘event’

7.  Go on a silent retreat – N/P

6.   Visit Biltmore Estate – N/P

5.  Design my own Christmas cards – N/P

4.  Write the first of my novels – WIP

3.   Learn belly dancing – N/P

2.   Take some art journaling classes. – N/P

1.  Take a writing workshop – N/P

Well, I do have 8 things I’ve finished.  Better than I expected and several are being worked actively, so I’m pleased.

So, that’s where I stand right now.  As a nice beginning to an end one of my orchids is blooming.  There are 3 stems for flower blooms.  It’s going to be a good year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day Three - I’m In Love……

I am so behind the times and probably everyone knows about this already.  But I have fallen in love with Pandora.  It’s a website where you can put in the ‘type’ of music you want to listen to or an artist you want to hear similar music of and Pandora pulls it all together on your computer and plays it for you.

This works really well for my study sessions.  Since I spread out on my bed, I can turn on Pandora and have ‘spa’ music or nature sounds or Celtic playing in the background while I study.


Like true love, it is fleeting.  I can listen, but I can’t keep it (download it to my IPod).   But it makes for a great study-buddy.

And Texter proved she can be a good daughter.  She had an ipod alarm clock with speakers she wasn’t using, even with her new ipod.  Personally, I thought it wasn’t working because I thought Sarge had chewed through the cord, but she found a replacement for it (see keeping all those cords and wires does come in handy sometimes).  So she brought it into me to use.  I enjoy listening to podcasts more than music and am currently hooked on catching up with all the podcasts for “Hip Tranquil Chick”.  I can put on the podcast and fold clothes, clean, etc and listen in.  I know I could listen on the computer, but I don’t like how it seems to slow things down at time.

Today is also my first appointment to check out acupuncture.  We’ll see how that goes.  If I can get some softening of the shoulders it would be wonderful.  Of if my stomach could be as tight as my shoulders it would be ok.

Then it’s off to pick up Savvy and Noel, stop off at the college bookstore to pick up her books and then back home.  Full day all around.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day Two of Vacation

It’s 430am on my vacation.  What’s wrong with this picture?  I am up and about.  Coffee is on.  Dog has been walked……

Wait!  That’s it.  It’s the damn dog!  If I didn’t feel guilty about him doing having gone outside in several hours, I could possibly have slept a little longer.


But, nnnooooooooo. I have to feel sorry for him.  The mad dash down two flights of stairs is an indication he does need to go. And bad. 

Or is it the fact my body is a creature of habit and is use to getting up at o-dark-hundred?  And by the time I retrain myself it will be time to go back to the early rising to get ready to go to school.

I’m on vacation though.  The coffee can wait.  I’m going back to bed!  Move over Sarge.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day One of Vacation

Today’s theme was to get a couple of things done so I have no real responsibilities for the rest of my vacation.

The first one is to get “information” into the health care spending card people for a couple of charges back in APRIL!!!! So it’s a trip to the office to fax information into them.  I need to the ‘unfreeze’ my flexible spending card at the first of the year.  But why did they wait until now?  For April charges?

lichen mandala

This is how it makes me feel.  A mandala made out of a picture of lichen I took.

Then, call the dentist to see if I can get Texter in for a cleaning and a couple of small cavities before February.  Then, I want to see about getting in to see an acupuncturist while on vacation.  I have always wanted to have acupuncture and this would be an excellent time to have it done.

Take some books back to the library.  Need to get my list of books I want to read all together.  Also need to update Goodreads with recent books.  I think I have missed a lot of my reading.

And I want to do some fine tuning on my blog.  Update the listing of other blogs I read.  I had so many I was going through I have been going through and ‘sigh’ being brutal and cutting out a lot of them.  They are all great, but there is only a certain amount of time I have to keep up with them, so some have to go.

Oohhhh…..there goes the dinger on the oven.  My biscuits are done for breakfast.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Over the years I have ‘experimented’ with photography.  I love going on a walk with the camera, although most of the time I forget to take it with me.  Love the advent of digital cameras and you can take 100’s of pictures and not cost you a dime (except replacing those darn batteries….use rechargeable ones).

Here is an update of some recent (past 3-4 months) pictures I’ve taken.


This is from the pathway at the park behind my apartment.  A little low-level fog that morning as I walked with Sarge around the lake.  A great skill to know….how to take pictures with one hand while hanging onto the dog leash with the other.  But he’s slowly learning to stand still for a minute or two while we walk.


I love reflections in water.





This guy was sitting on some contraption the parks department has in the water.  Don’t know what kind of bird he is or what the contraption is used for…other than a bird perch.


I love the jeweled look of spider webs in the morning.

Friday, December 25, 2009

How Not to Meet Your Next Door Neighbor

I have been a single mom for many years now.  And with two lovely daughters, “socializing” has not been on my agenda.  That, and between work and all the other things I want to do, I am selfish enough not to want to give up doing something else to fit anyone else in.

But recently, my thoughts have been turning to ‘what if’.  If watching the couple at Borders meet up for the first time, eavesdropping on their conversation and spilling coffee down the front of my shirt was not enough to convince me to leave things alone, tonight was a prime example of why I should not be allowed to be social.

I am getting ready for bed.  Think knee-length, worn plaid nightshirt (not feeling the best---comfy pj’s).  Texter comes running back in the door.  She had just left to walk the dog one last time tonight and was yelling “quick Mom!  Firemen and police downstairs!” “Hurry!” “I’m scared!”  So, I grab the first pair of pants (after all I might be burning up shortly) and run outside onto the landing. 

Seems the fire alarm in the 2nd floor apartment diagonal to us had been going over for a while and one of the neighbors called it in.  We knew the guy there had moved out about a month ago and no one was there. 

Watched the fireman chop off the lock on the door and go inside.  Met my next door neighbor I had seen in passing.  Shook hands.  Nice guy.  My age. 

Oh, did I mention the pants I grabbed to pull on (and stuff my night shirt into) were a 60’s patterned polka dot in brown, cream and orange.  My night shirt, very faded blue and pink plaid.  The shoes….my fleece lined, olive green crocs.

Nope….not ready to be let loose in public yet!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Dog Ate My Homework

(Started in September, almost ended at 5am this morning!)

Yep….’he’ did.  Yes, I said he rather than she.  See it seems when Savvy left home to go to school, Noel goes with her.  Therefore, Texter, who has never had her “own” pet wanted a dog….

Thus, Sarge…..


Sarge is a lab-mix from the pound.  Comes pre-fixed.  Well, let me restate, he is fixed except for the potty training.  And all the ‘puppyness’.

But he’s a cutie.  Have to get a picture of how he likes to walk.  With the leash in his mouth.  I am sure all those dog whisperers out there would say he is saying he’s in charge, taking the lead so to speak.

One of the great things is every time Texter grumbles about walking, picking up pooh, etc. I get to do the great mommy thing and look at her and go “I want a puppy.  I want a puppy.”



he likes to lay under the edge of my bed.  And I like to put my books for school right behind me on the floor between the floor and bed.  Little teeth nibbled on English.  He’s tasted algebra.  Grrrrrr…….

Noel likes him though.



This is what happens after a couple of hours together.  They are exhausted and retire to separate floors and pass out. 

He likes to play ball and brings it back for the most part.  He likes to lay on the bed and sleep with me, but hasn’t learned to jump yet.  Likes walks in the park…..

hhhmmmm….does it sound like he’s my dog?  Out of 3 weekends, we have been alone together 2 of those and Noel was here on 1 of them.  Two dogs, 1 person, don’t really work well for walking to pooh and pee.  My social life has gone to the dogs.


Had to go into work today for a few hours, and decided not to wake Texter to help walk the dogs, I can do it.  Put leash on Sarge by the front door as usual and drape the end over the doorknob while I put Noel’s leash on her.  I am being a great mom, letting the kid sleep, but that warm feeling on my left foot is not what I was expecting from my kindness.  Look down, and you guessed it, Sarge has proceeded to pee on my foot.  My Crocs with the fleece lining.  Needless to say there is a load of laundry being done with my lining in there.

On the upside.  After you have been peed on first thing in the morning, your day can only get better…..right?

Monday, December 21, 2009

This is a new….

Needed to pick up a couple of extra composition books while they are still on sale from the ‘back to school’ sales.  And found this….


A composition book with lines like first graders use!  I’ve never seen this before in a composition book.  I know I’m probably the only one in the world, but it’s still exciting to me.


I can practice my letters.  Actually I remember back when, in the third grade, you learned cursive writing.  It was a rite of passage.  Next was getting to write in pen.  I practiced and practiced loops and spirals in order to get ready to write cursive.  Don’t think they do that anymore.  It’s a shame.


Can’t wait to use this one as a journal.  There is a blank part at the top of the page, just perfect for doodling and drawing and sticking things.  The thinness of the paper might be an issue, but will give it a try.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

These Shoes Are Made For Walking….

and walkin’s what I’ll do….

because I haven’t worn heels in ages

and I’ll walk real funny….

Ok, so it will never replace the original song.  But I did go out in public in a pair of heels last night.  I have been such a stick-in-the-mud, non-socializer person, I haven’t really had a need for something other than sneakers.  Right now I actually have two pairs of black sneakers and a pair of hiking boots I’m wearing to work and grocery store and anywhere else I wander. That’s it. In fact, I can’t really remember the last time I wore heels, except for a couple of times a year I do dress up and pull out the little 1 inch pumps to wear (we won’t talk about the age of those shoes).  Still the times are few and far between.


one of the girls (ladies) at work bought this pair of shoes and although she liked them, they were just too high for her and just didn’t “work” for her.  She had gotten them on sale at the local department store and was going to return them unless someone else wanted them.  Thank goodness for people with long feet!

I liked the shoes the minute she pulled them out and could see Texter, and especially Savvy, wearing them.  I also suddenly had this yearning to have something other than sneakers to wear with my jeans.  Jazz it up a little (and goddess knows my life could use some jazzing up!)


I brought them home and it was like raw meat thrown in with starving dogs.  The next thing I know there is almost a wearing schedule being drawn up.  But I was first!

Savvy found out about a meet-up with some of her friends Saturday night at a local coffee shop to hear a local group sing.  She had a ride back, but wanted to know if I would drop her off.  As punishment payment for the ride, I was going to come in and listen too.  Didn’t think listening to Christmas Music and drinking coffee was a bad thing to do on a Saturday night.  And Savvy didn’t mind mom coming along.  I can sit nicely in the corner.

I put on my new sweater she had given me.  Put on earrings (gasp, shock).  A little lipstick (the horror!).  And the new shoes!  (See I do remember how to get dressed up to socialize, it’s just I don’t haven’t been.)

New shoes were great.  Felt a little strange, but ok.  Opened the front door and realized I had 2 flights of stairs in these 3 inch heels.  Savvy did good, she didn’t snicker too much as I walked down the stairs one at a time.  After all, you have to think about broken hips at my age!  Texter wasn’t quite as kind.  She just walked on out to the car.

The fun part is learning how to walk all over again.  In sneakers, I can just ga-lump along any old way.  Big, fast strides.  Get to where I need to go.  No effort wasted.  Charge!  These shoes require much shorter strides.  Much, much shorter strides.  You can’t just ga-lump along.

Amazingly, found myself having to stand straighter and taller (with these heels I am now over 6 foot, so don’t know how much taller I want to be).  And I felt good. 

Got to the coffee shop in one piece, even with having to walk up a brick walkway and an inclined concrete slope.  Sat down.  Savvy shared her cheesecake as a thank you for driving her to see her friends (she’s a good kid).  Listened to the group for about an hour and had a great time.  Then I left Savvy and her friends to it.  (Actually them don’t mind if I tag along.)

So let’s see… shoes with heels….out in public when it is not just grocery shopping or a ‘necessity’….oh, my could this be the start of a trend?

2010 – The Calendar

(Written about two months ago)

We just had a shift bid at work which goes through February, 2010.  2010!  When did that sneak up!

Anyway, in recording my new shift I realized I was out of calendar at the end of 2009.  Where did 2009 go?


This is my current calendar.  The back cover is off.  Lost that several months ago.  The front cover is clinging to dear life.


And you can see it’s written in and highlighted. 

Aside:  sorry for the shadows, but it has moved into my favorite time of the year.  It’s cool this morning.  In fact, I’m sitting here typing this with all the windows open and a sweater on over my t-shirt and shorts.  So deal with the shadows!

Back to the calendar…….

Anyway, I took my % off coupon for Borders and trotted (actually cycled) on over and picked up this….



Isn’t it pretty?  My own little Moleskine Week-at-a-Glance calendar for 2010.  Red hot and sexy, just like me!  Actually it’s bright so I can find it in all the crap I carry around with me.  Hopefully it will last a little better than the last calendar with all the abuse it must handle. 

Even has a little tabbed note pad in the folder in the back.  The days are on one side and a blanked lined page on the other side.  This should be just about right for recording shift, Texter’s schedule, school stuff, and all the other stuff of life.  At least I’ll look good doing it.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Two Weeks Until Vacation!!!!!!

…..and 2 days until all my finals are over for this semester.  English, I will take online on Sunday afternoon.  The last portion of my math test will be an Excel exam…of which I will go in, put my name on my paper and leave.  That’s about all I know on Excel!  Excel for Dummies never had any of the stuff we were learning in it. 

But then, on the 6th of January, new classes start and I’m already looking forward to them.


This is what weather is looking like around here these days.  Fall, definitely going into winter.  Highs this weekend are not suppose to be above 50 and the grass is ‘crunchy’ at 5am when the dog(s) is/are walked.  Yep, Savvy is here this weekend and then after Wednesday and all her finals are over, she and Noel will be back for the holidays.  I am just the home base as all her friends will be back in town from all the various college locales.  And they have plans.  My plans for the holidays…..

1.  start on new Ren Faire garb for Savvy

2. work on some of my writing

3.  move slowly from my room to the living room and back again.

4. get facials with the girls

5. do a little of this and a little of that

6. do a couple of day trips I would like to do (both involve a couple of new fabric stores)

7. get the new Wii Active and work out some

Ok, it’s time to go wash the dog hair out of the bathtub so I can take a bath.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009