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January 24, 2009

The music videos we make today SUCK

This is the most fantastic video ever. EVER!

January 20, 2009

I did manage not to cry at work today

This truly is a historic day for many reasons. One of them being the fact that I never thought, in my lifetime, that I would...

quote Beyonce.

"...he makes me want to be smarter. He makes me want to get involved."

I agree. I think that is what makes me most excited about this leader. I think he is going to truly lead us.

Another lady that was being interviewed put it very well, "...it isn't about what he is going to do, it is about what we will do under his leadership." Which is another version of "ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country" but that is a worthy philosophy.

Politician doesn't seem like such a dirty word today.

January 17, 2009

Gifts gifts gifts

Ah, a three day weekend ahead of me. Why am I so excited that I'm going to have time to do chores? Yeah, this is one exciting life!

I have one important accomplishment to share however...I finally finished all my Christmas presents! Yay! I'm just happy I did it by the end of summer.

These are Mom's socks. Before Christmas, I spent an entire, unfortunate weekend trying to sew some gifts. We aren't speaking of it. The disappointment is still too great. But that did mean I wasted 48 hours (because of course, I figured I would have all those hours to work on something) going in the wrong direction. These socks are plan B.

So Merry Christmas Mom! You should be getting these in the next couple of days.

They are the Diagonal Rib socks from Interweave's Knitting Daily. The pattern is free if you sign up for the site. Completely worth it.

I love how the socks look and the diagonal rib is very clever and very easy. A lot of bang for the buck. However, this particular pair ended up making a heavy fabric. I used Blue Moon Socks that Rock heavyweight (it is possible it is medium weight, the label is long gone) in Midsummer's Night. And Mom always wants the socks as long as possible. They were so heavy and dense towards the end that they were getting hard to hold up and work on. I think it is what she will like but I think I would have preferred them in a lighter weight yarn. I'll probably make these socks again.

I also finished my brother's birthday gift just in time. His home office is in his basement and freezing in the winter. So I whipped up these fingerless gloves for him. They are in Patons SWS in the Natural Navy colorway. Which is funny they are called Navy because I don't think there is a lick of blue in my skeins. They are all black, tan, grey and a strip of purple. They look very nice and I think they will fit well. I went through several patterns, and three gloves before I decided I liked these.

The pattern is from Knit Picks. I enjoyed it and they knit up quickly. The yarn is probably too jazzy for my brother if he was going to wear them out of the house. But just in his office is probably OK. He'll think of me.

So now I have to get on the ball and whip up another pair of socks for Mom whose birthday is the first week of Feb.

Work work work.

January 08, 2009

What I did on my Christmas Vacation

I may have been quiet over the holidays but I took a lot of pictures to share.

Anyone who has read any Oregon blogs knows we had a little snow in December. We had three big storms. I was here for the first two (and they were magnificent) but the last one was coming in right as I wanted to be on the road. So it became a bit of a race as I took off the morning the third (and biggest) storm rolled in.

Saturday morning saw me hightailin' it out of town just hours before the storm. And let me tell you what, it didn't look so hot before the storm. I did do a little fishtail when I got on the freeway. *shudder*

Eventually, if felt like I got ahead of the storm and I just had charming farm land to look at.

As I neared the Siskyou pass, I was a little worried about what I was heading into.

I cleared the pass with few challenges and it was smooth sailing from there. The Grapevine, just outside LA had some picturesque snow and fantastic skies.

All the holidays this year were wonderful and very special. I got to spend Thanksgiving with my nephews which was a treat. I don't get to do that often. So it was about 5 days straight of puzzles, giggling, the Wiggles, reading, etc. I loved every minute. We had a wonderful surprise at Christmas when some family was able to come visit from England at the last minute. My aunt is closer in age to me than my Mom so she is really more like an older sister. She married a Brit and moved to a charming English village about 12 years ago (her house has a name. How envious am I?) so we don't get the luxury of just hanging together much anymore.

This Christmas we got 5 whole days. It was great.

Everyone relaxed and enjoyed each other's company. Even all of the dogs (Two of them sharing a bed is a bit rare. But with 6 greyhounds in one house, beds were scarce.). How cute is Kayla's half smile? And she has the biggest, luscious lips of all the dogs. She is the Angelina Joli of greyhounds.

The British relatives were delighted at the winter weather in Arizona. We spent one afternoon out on the back patio yakking all day, noshing on tortilla chips, drinking cervezas (which was finally declared delicious by the Uncle. He admitted that in the sun, the cerveza was what you wanted, not the British ale). We took them out to a fantastic Mexican restaurant. If you are in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend Tradiciones at 16th St. and Roosevelt (actually, the grocery store there is fantastic too!). Terrific food and ambiance and the MOST fun Mariachi!

And finally, a long, over-due shot of the Noro stripe scarf. I wore it about every other day before the holidays. It has warmed up a bit now so all I can do is pet it as I walk by it. I'm a simple girl with simple tastes. And really unruly hair. How is it escaping being wrapped in a wool scarf?


January 06, 2009

Wait...I have a new plan

This is excellent advice for weight loss. Forget all the previous strategies I listed. I'm doing this.

Requisite New Year Stuff

Happy New Year! The travel is over (thank goodness), the vacation is over (awww) and now it is time to get things back into a productive pattern.

I don't make resolutions on New Years. It just isn't a time that makes me think, "what will I do differently?" That is something I tend to do on my birthday. However, for about the past three months I've been thinking seriously about what I would like to do differently. What did not work for me in 2008 that I would like to change in 2009?

I've not given this the serious attention it deserves. I eat pretty healthy but I am not as active as I would like to be. I sit in a cubicle for a living and only have short bursts of activity which results in injury and a lot of discomfort (you just don't weed your entire yard, plant bulbs, and prune all the rose bushes in one day after a week of sitting still and not feel it!). I'd like to ride my bike more so I'm going to find a safe path to work for the bike riding. There are a couple big, busy streets to conquer.

Enjoy it more. Stop seeing it as only a project. Have people over more often.

Stop putting all my eggs in one basket. The place that provides my paycheck is not the end all/be all. They do not give me back what I put into it so I need to redirect some of my energy towards my overall career. Get involved with more industry projects and publish more!

Just do things well
If I'm going to do something, do it well. Put some effort and time into it. Stop putting all my energy into the job. It doesn't pay me enough to hire a gardner or a maid or a cook. So I need to take some time back and take care of myself.

For six months (not consecutive), I will not buy anything other than essentials (food, meds, gas, bills). I think I can redo my kitchen with the money I save.

Live by the budget
I have a budget but I want to sit down, review where it can be improved, get a better handle on the entire budget (I should be able to tell you what my expenses are off the top of my head) and just own the money coming in and out of this family. I want to take charge.