Saturday, December 14, 2019

Seedy Saturday - Sort Of (Not Really)


Thankfully, I have a wonderful friend who is babysitting most of my plants. The ones I have here with me are divided into 'going to make it' and 'they are giving up'. Mostly because I haven't really given them the attention they need.

Which has a tiny bit to do with my kanban board as it nears the end of the fourth quarter of 2019. 

As it is easy to see, my 'finance' area was worked on big time. As it should be. My 'personal' area was also handled fairly well. Creative, so-so. Writing...not at all. I wasn't in a NaNoWriMo space this year.

I have mapped out 2020 and have started writing up my Q1 stickies for the board. I moved 'creative' over with 'personal' so I can give writing more space and more of a priority. 

Finances will be the major area for 2020 on my board. Right now I am trying to decide if I want separate stickies for each of my budget review dates and my pay bills dates. Or if I want to do them as one sticky and cross off the dates on the sticky. Right now, I think I will do individual ones. Of course, it uses more sticky notes, but it would show progress better. And I need that instant gratification.

Of course, 'water plants' will be one sticky a week. And I have a 'Macrophotography' class coming up in January and the annual orchid sale at the UNC Botanical Gardens is in February. Two things to look forward to.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Fabric and Fiber Friday - Not So 'Covered in Cats'


This is the current status of my 'Covered in Cats' afghan.

It started out as a corner to corner afghan and I didn't like how it was going. So I ripped it out and started again as a double crochet afghan. I need to get a couple more rows into the design to see how I like this method of doing the cats in the afghan.

Peeking through is the yarn for the 'Rozeta CAL' which I have decided to pause while I do 'Cats'. 

Unfortunately, with my laptop back in my possession, I made the 'mistake' of subscribing again to World of Warcraft and catching up on the last expansion. Killing things is so nice after work some days! However, it does cut into my time I should/could be crocheting.

I need to find a happy medium for doing both playing games and crocheting. Maybe one on even days and the other on odd days?

Unfortunately, I also discovered a couple more projects I want to do. So I need to step up my crafting game.

I 'discovered' Tiny Owl Knits. Her "Meow-gona-Cowl' and her 'Moon Phases' scarf are high on my NEED TO MAKE list.

Another project I want to work on is the Kaleidoscope Blanket CAL

Sigh...

But in the meantime, it's off to work so I can afford to buy the yarn for all these projects!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Positive Focus Thursday - 15 Years and Counting

On January 1, 2005 I wrote my first blog post!

That's right, I have kept this up for 15 years! 


If this was a marriage, it would be my crystal anniversary on January 1, 2020. In fact, I am looking for an appropriate crystal to reward and remind myself I have actually done something for that long (other than raising my girls).

Anyway...

One of the things I have learned over the years is while I am terrific at making lists and plans, I am not so great at following through with updates on those lists and plans. So I hoping to change that with the next 15 years!

My first post was about the knitting I was planning on doing. And actually, it wasn't a bad list.


Charlotte's Web - finish up one for Carol and start/finish mine 

I actually finished the one for Carol. I can't remember if I finished mine or not

Several Reverse-Bloom Flower Washcloths from Weekend Knitting 

I made several of these in a chenille-like yarn. They were fun to knit.

Three adult and 2 child size Later 'Gator Mitts from Stitch and Bitch Nation (awaiting 
more yarn from LYS) 

I made the 5 and think I made several more for people at work. 

Participate in the Sockalong group 

Socks! I think I finally finished a pair this year. 

For myself, Gisele from Berroco Sweater Girls #228 

I don't think I even bought the yarn for this sweater. I haven't made sweaters as they take so long, at least in my size. 

Also for myself, Shoalwater Shawl from Fiber Trends 

I started and ripped out and started again so many times on this shawl. I don't think I ever finished it. 

Clapotis for Knitty.com (still have to get the fibers for this one) 

I finished this shawl and actually still have it (somewhere). I love it and might just go back and do another one.

Over the years, the girls have grown up.




Over the years my sewing has improved. If I remember correctly, these costumes were donated to the Ren Faire group at the time to use for volunteers. This was also the start of our involvement with the group for the Faire in Raleigh. I miss the sewing and hectic weekends of the Faire.

So what does the next year hold?

Hopefully, more posting on a consistent basis. Updating my site and maybe getting my own domain name. 

But for now, it's nice to reflect on the ups and downs of the past 15 years and how much life has changed and how far I've come. It hasn't always been nice, but I am content with where I am now. 

That being said, it's time for another cup of coffee!





Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Writing Wednesday - 2019 and 2020 Goals (In Progress)

Today I am off work and I have no plans to go anywhere. Going 'somewhere' usually means I won't get to the tasks on hand. So I'm sticking in place today.

My two main objectives are to get out my Christmas cards and to write out my 2020 plans and see how my 2019 plans went.

But first...


No, it's not about ugly Christmas sweaters.

This is my go-to sweater I have been wearing for years! At this point I might even venture at least a decade.

It's oversized (even for me) and soft and familiar. 

I am sure everyone has that go-to item they wear time and time again without even realizing they are doing it.

With the weather being cool and damp and the thermostat being set low, it is a bit chilly in my room in the mornings. Great for sleeping, but a bit on the br-r-r-r-r side when you need to be up. So I throw on old faithful over my pj's to warm me up.

Now the standing joke between the Texter, Savvy and myself are over my sweaters. All my sweaters are oversized for me, which means they are really roomy for the girls. And they are soft. Soft is a requirement for my sweaters. And Savvy says they smell like me (a good thing in this context). I don't actually have many sweaters in my possession as they all seem to be in other closets! When I die they said they are going to fight over who gets what sweaters. Their inheritance from me.

Anyway, the sweater is on. Coffee has been made and Bailey's Peppermint Mocha creamer added to today's cup (or 3 or 4).  

But, what's in your closet?

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Week in Review - December 1 - 7

Well, my old Mac desktop is officially DOA.

It is sad. I have had it since 2011 with hardly a hiccup. The only issues came after the house fire and were minor at the time. 

Still, he marched along, being used every day, sometimes for hours on end. Unfortunately, when they opened him up his insides were all full of corrosion. So no more desktop. 

Which meant utilizing my laptop which is doable, but I really prefer a desktop. That means a 'fund' for a new computer.

Savvy is urging me toward a PC, but I would rather spend a little extra and get another Mac. 

But...

Texter has a Mac desktop she doesn't have room for or use. It is slightly older than my Mac and also went through the fire, but not as directly in the heat and cold like my Mac. Nor did she use it every day, all day for the past 3 years.

Therefore, she wiped her stuff off computer and reset it to factory settings and handed it over. I guess all those years of paying for her phones and phone service paid off.

Thus, I have a semi-new Mac desktop. Hopefully, it will chug along for a couple more years for me.

And then...

Approximately 49 years ago, at Christmas time, I got my ears pierced at the Piercing Pagoda in Six Flags Mall in Arlington, Texas. Over the last few years, I really didn't have any 'good' earrings and the cheap ones I had irritated my ears. I stopped wearing them on any kind of regular basis. And one of the holes closed up in the back.

I bought myself a nice pair of earrings, only to discover I couldn't get them through the holes. So I decided to get 're-pierced'. And while I was doing it, I could a second piercing.


This time I had the work done at Black Cloud Tattoo and Piercing rather than with a 'gun' in the middle of the mall. Texter had her ears pierced there, but her cartilage for migraines. I am very pleased with the whole procedure and how they are doing. I can't wait for a few more weeks and I can change over to my new earrings.

Also this week, the last 'shipment' of my Hobonichi planners arrived. I ordered a couple of notebooks to go with my main planner for notes and more permanent lists. I have added paydays, birthdays and notes for some 2020 plans in them already.

One thing which did strike me when I got them all set up was I seem to have hit upon a botanical theme for 2020.


But more about my planner plans later.

I hit up the Bath and Body Shop for their annual candle sale. A little more expensive than last year, $9.50 a candle. But they are regularly $24.50 each, so a bit of a savings. And I limited myself to 6 candles. I was able to grab my 3 favorites - Gardenia, Lilac and Rose (2 of those). And a couple of more balsam-like scents. 

There was a bit of excitement at work this week. I was working 9-6 pm and it was really slow on the To-Go shopping. There were a couple of people who called off work in the evening. So I offered to leave at 3:30 and come back at 6. 

The only problem is, as I was driving back to work, the last mile or so was in the dark. As in a huge power outage...all the way to the store!

The parking lot was empty and the assistant manager met me at the door and said to go home. They were without power from about 5-9 pm. An interesting turn of events. 

Otherwise this week...

  • Walked over 5000 steps 5 days
  • Finished 2 books
  • Wrote 3 posts
  • Playing some World of Warcraft

The coming week...

  • Working a tad over 40 hours
  • Lots of planning and plotting for 2020 plans

But for now, it's more coffee and off for an early shift at work.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Tuesday Sundries - Bulb Forcing and Narcissus

I love Paper White Narcissus.

A lot of people do not care for them because of the smell. I actually like it.

Anyway...

We were selling a bulb in a glass at work. They grew, got leggy, and people passed them over for more traditional Christmas/holiday plantings. 

I wanted the bulb glasses!





So before they were dumped in the dumpster (which I can't get into at work), I made a 'deal' with the produce manager for 9 of them.

One I have already given to a neighbor before Thanksgiving. Two are in my bedroom. The other six are still in the box in my car. My car, which now smells like narcissus.

A couple of those glasses and bulbs will go to Miss J. Hopefully, I can stop and see her tomorrow on my day off.

My plan is to get some hyacinth bulbs for springtime forcing. A collection of 6 or so hyacinth in the glasses on my dresser would be lovely. And the smell!




Note: A tip. If you see a plant at the grocery store and it starts looking a little 'ratty', make them an offer. Most of them would rather sell you a plant they will end up throwing away for a buck or two.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Week In Review - November 24 - 30

Well...

Yesterday was a first I must say.

I was at work and shopping an order. I passed my store manager, "T" and he made a comment about one of the Christmas songs playing on the speaker. I said something about "...as long as it's not 'Blue Christmas', one carol I hate."

So what does Mr. Jokester do?

He gets on the personal communicators and tells the Deli manager to put Jack, one of the deli workers on a communicator to sing 'Blue Christmas' to me. You see, Jack is an Elvis impersonator. If you could see Jack, that's the first thing you would think. In fact, when he interviewed, I made that comment to someone. 

Sure enough, Jack gets on the communicator and sings 'Blue Christmas' for me. 

I have been serenaded by an Elvis impersonator now!

And while 'Blue Christmas' will never be in my top 10 Christmas songs, it's no longer at the bottom of the list next to 'Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer'.

Anyway...

Before we leapt into Christmas, I did celebrate Thanksgiving. On Monday.

Savvy and I were both off on Monday and we had out meal then.





We deliberately kept it small, so fewer leftovers to consume. There were a couple of pies I purchased from work - chocolate and pecan.

But it was a nice couple of days off before the craziness of Thanksgiving at the grocery store and then Black Friday for Savvy happened. 

My personal Black Friday spending was confined to purchasing, online, the latest World of Warcraft expansion.

I carted my heavy Mac desktop into the Apple store to see if it could be 'saved'. Right now, it looks like the issue is the hard drive which would be a simple, $200 fix. And then my lovely desktop (although too old to play World of Warcraft on) would be back for maybe another 8 years.

Lady K spent the holiday with her dad and his family in South Carolina. From the pictures the other grandmother sent me, she has been having a wonderful time crafting and playing in piles of leaves.

Otherwise this week...

  • Finished 2 books
  • Wrote 3 posts
  • Walked over 5000 steps 5 days
  • Reviewed my budget for December 
  • Played some of the new (now a year old) expansion of World of Warcraft

This coming week...

  • Receive my last Hobonichi shipment
  • A little menu planning - simple and easy meals
  • Play some WOW (World of Warcraft)
  • Picking up Lady K from her dad today

But for now, listening to the rain on the roof this morning and going for more coffee!




Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tuesday Sundries - It's Arrived!


My Hobonichi order actually arrived Saturday while I was a work. However, I wasn't aware of it until Sunday morning as I left for work yet again.

Luckily, I had a few extra minutes to open up the box.



(Ok, so I'm not into photo editing this morning!)

Anyway...

The flowers on the black is the cover for my desk planner, the Cousin. It stays 'home' for the most part. I have been using the same cover for the past couple of years and decided it was time for a new one. I'll store the old one with 2019 still inside and if I want to change back I can. I debated over a couple of options for a new cover and am delighted I went with this one.

The second photo is my every day carry, the Weeks. I bought the botanical one last year, cherry blossoms, and gave it to a friend as a gift. This one doesn't have the extra pages the one I am using this year has, but I adore the look of it.


So here they are! Complete with one of this year's freebie pens in brilliant red.

I do have another small order coming which will have the Techo and cover (which is in between these two in sizes). I plan on using it as my 2020 diary as the 'daily' pages which are normally dated are undated in this version. I also have a couple of notebooks to go with my cousin for my lists and notes I am constantly sticking into the planner.

Now it's waiting time!

I get a set of stickers in mid-December for January I will use to decorate the pages. I am not sure if I will keep up this subscription, but I wanted to give it a try as they have so kindly in the past given me samples for classes I was teaching. Plus I had won a huge box of their 'stuff' for memory keeping which turned to ash in the fire. So I want to give them some support for their past support of me.

There are a few things I will go ahead and start adding, like birthdays, anniversaries and the ever important paydays.

But for now I am at peace because I have my 2020 lineup at hand.