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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SO LONG 2008!! BRING ON 2009!!!

I can't believe tomorrow is a new year. It seems that 2008 was a rocky, crazy, bittersweet year.

There were ups and downs (more downs than ups unfortunately) but each slide down just made me stronger, more determined, and more sure of myself.

2008 brought so many changes to Princess Ivi as well. She matured and grew (almost as tall as me). She learned of heartbreak when the neighbor broke her heart. She made strong friendships which will last for many years. She created beautiful art and wrote songs that can break your heart.

I can't wait to see what 2009 brings for Princess Ivi and myself. I am sure there will be ups and downs (hopefully more ups than downs) but I am sure we will learn a lesson from the downs and use the lesson to make our lives fuller.

I hope I continue to grow (spiritually and emotionally) in 2009. I hope I learn to see more beauty in everyday life. I hope I continue to challenge myself and I hope that I am the mother, person, woman God wants me to be.

I hope that Princess Ivi continues to grow more and more into the woman she is meant to be and I hope that whatever 2009 brings, she continues to weather the ride as admirably as she has so far.

And to all of you, I hope that 2009 brings wonder, joy, happiness and peace to you and your family.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Indifference

I just found out that an estranged family member is dying.

I feel like I am supposed to feel something but I don't. I don't feel sad, angry, upset, nothing. Is that normal?

It isn't as if this person was a fleeting butterfly in my life. She was there for years and years connected to me by blood but with one vile act and several disgusting words, walked away without looking back. And now, when I learn of her fragile health, I can't feel anything.

Should I feel like a monser? Is this something that needs researching or is it something that I should accept? Do I want to feel anything when I think of her and her imminent death? Do I want to feel loss, sadness, regret or am I content to accept that she never changed, never apologized, never missed us?

I am content. In this situation, I am not the monster. The monster resides deep in her soul and it is not up to me to hunt it out.

I am so bad at titles

I hate it when things don’t turn out as expected. But I have long since learned to persevere.

I also seriously dislike it when someone signs up for something with no follow through. Then as the organizer of said event, I am harangued by upset people as if I have any control over the situation myself. Oh well. I can only do what I can do and I have already done all that. But enough about that....

Yesterday, I received some interesting news from the senior partner here. According to him, we are required to bill two (2) hours per day. This is a difficult task in that we don’t have a lot of cases that actually have work to be done. But I will do my best. One worry is that the senior partner also had a talk with my boss and informed him that he was not billing enough. I have been concerned that this would happen and the powers that be would decide that there was not enough revenue to support an additional paralegal (me). So to be on the safe side, I have started perusing the job postings for the area and will polish up my resume to send out to anything promising.

I love my sister. She is amazing. She always has the best ideas for being thrifty. Plus she has great cooking skills.

Well, she has offered to mail her computer (tower, keyboard, speakers, etc.) to us so we can have a home computer. All we would need to do is buy a monitor although if it costs less to ship the monitor than it will to buy a new one than we will go that way. I am looking forward to being able to email her from home when I think of something to tell her instead of trying to make a list and remember to mention it when I email from work. I always seem to forget something.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back to Business....

My Christmas was wonderful. I hope everyone else’s was good as well.

On Christmas Eve, I got home from work and my brother Dan and his three kids were there. We opened presents with them and had chili for dinner. Yum.

My niece Emily picked out a very nice knitting book for me and did a great job wrapping it. The label said “To: Aunt Lennie From: The Family”. She cracks me up.

After they went home, we talked to my sister (in Massachusetts) while they opened their Christmas gifts. It was great to hear my nephew “singing” in the background. He really enjoyed his gifts including the Florida Gators t-shirt I found for him. My sister loved the lemur and the movie. And of course, Rob loved his pistachios and his book. My mom bought my sister a Go Phone so we can all talk to each other for free which is always a good thing.

Then, Princess Ivi and I watched movies (although I can’t remember which ones) while Mom finished wrapping her presents.

We woke up early Christmas morning and opened our stockings (mine was filled with nail polish, cotton balls, remover, nail files, etc.) and then said “what the heck” and opened our gifts. Princess Ivi gave me new pjs, the winter edition of Interweave Knits and Creative Knitting, and a new hairbrush. Mom gave me a pen set and handmade stitch holders (which were beautiful). I also got a new tote bag filled with yarn, lotion, a spa set, and body wash from Pat and Barry. The bag is now my new “bring to work bag to collect all the junk I accumulate throughout the day”.

Princess Ivi liked her keyboard and her Ipod but she really loved The Nightmare Before Christmas. We watched it Christmas afternoon. We have decided that when we find the dog to add to our family, he (or she) will be named Zero in honor of Jack’s trusty pooch.

Later that day, Dan came down to deliver the lawnmower and his plants (weeds, dying plants, etc.) and had dinner with us. Mom made a pork roast with roasted potatoes and broccoli. It was good.

I took advantage of the beautiful weather and did lots of laundry (all weekend actually because it was perfect line drying weather).

We also went to a new bookstore in Palatka and I bought Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Lady Susan all by Jane Austen and The Seven Wonders of Sassafrass Springs. I also bought my nephew some books and Princess Ivi got two books.

I splurged on myself and Princess Ivi this weekend as well. I bought myself two shirts for work and a pair of pajamas. I bought Princess Ivi a new purse. I also purchased Speed, The Replacements, The Da Vinci Code, Stardust, and Stand By Me to add to our DVD collection.

Then we watched movies and I knit.

I am working on the Cranberry Biscotti socks. They are coming along. I have turned the heel on the first sock and will start on the gusset tonight.

I also have a scarf in the works for Pat with the wonderful yarn she bought for me. It started out as a basket weave scarf but I am bored with the pattern already so I thought I would do stockinette stitch and do the same length of basket weave on the other end.

Oh, I almost forgot. I found a wonderful magazine. It is called Life: Beautiful. It is a faith based magazine with no advertisements. There are great articles and wonderful quotes from the Bible. I love it and I am going to subscribe to it. It is $18.95 for 4 issues but with no advertisements and such wonderful articles, I think it is definitely worth it. I think it will add to my walk with Christ.

I just realized today though that I did not take any pictures of Christmas. I think I am not inspired to take pictures because my camera is broken. I can’t see the pictures in the little digital screen after I take them. It really stinks. Sears has a sale on a great Canon camera. It is $179 and I am trying to decide if I should get it or not. I am worried that if I buy it now, I will need the money for something else but I am worried that if I don’t get it now, I won’t find such a good deal. Hmmm.....decisions, decisions.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I hope today is wonderful for you and your family.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Is everyone ready for tomorrow? I am. And I am as excited as a little kid.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Rob H.!

Happy Birthday to a great brother-in-law! Hope today is great!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

What I did this weekend

Saturday -

- Washed car. Cleaned inside too.
- Bought new makeup, sister-in-law’s Christmas present, groceries
- Made up gift basket for sister-in-law
- Made baked Ziti with Italian sausage or dinner (Yum! I haven’t had this in so long, I forgot how good it was.)
- Baked batch of Citrus Sugar Balls. (Sugar cookies with orange flavoring and orange zest.)
- Played National Geographic board game with Mom and Princess Ivi. I won.
- Watched “The First Noel”
- To bed at 10:30 p.m.

Sunday -

- Talked to my sister on phone. They finally have power (they are in Massachusetts).
- Baked double batch of Lemon Cake Mix Cookies, Ginger Snaps, and Pecan Dippers.
- When cooled, packaged up five separate packages of cookies for Pat and Barry and my coworkers.
- Ran the dishwasher.
- Cleaned up baking mess.
- Finished wrapping the last of the gifts.
- Reorganized under the Christmas tree.
- Cleaned bedroom (including putting away clothes, reorganizing, sweeping floor, etc.).
- Washed new sheets. (Will have to re-wash tonight because the clothesline did not get hung up yesterday due to rain so neither did the sheets.)
- Shredded cheddar cheese.
- Made homemade macaroni and cheese.
- Made fried pork chops.
- Emptied trash.
- Delivered Christmas gift (6 hour throw), knit hat, container of Christmas cookies and individual macaroni and cheese to Pat and Barry.
- Watched the Ballet Shoes on PBS.
- Watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
- Knit on the Special Olympic Scarf.
- Realized I am working on the last stripe of the SOS.
- Took shower.
- Went to bed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

100 Things

1. I was born on April 27.

2. That makes my birth stone a diamond.

3. Which is convenient.

4. But makes it so I prefer unconventional gems/stones if someone wants to give me something with significance.

5. I have an older sister.

6. I have an older brother.

7. I have a great mother.

8. My parents are divorced and I don’t know my father.

9. People act strange when I tell them that I don’t know my father and he lived only half an hour from me when I was growing up.

10. It is okay though because I know my Father and I know that He loves me.

11. I have two half-brothers and a half-sister.

12. I have one child.

13. She is the best thing in my life.

14. She was born in Georgia.

15. I have lived in Massachusetts (twice), Florida (twice), and Georgia.

16. I did not learn to swim until I was nine.

17. I have night terrors.

18. I taught myself to knit ten years ago.

19. I am addicted to knitting.

20. Knitting keeps me sane.

21. I cannot sew or crochet.

22. I want to sew.

23. I break electronic devices and pop light bulbs.

24. I wear a size 11 shoe.

25. My mother is an artist.

26. My daughter is too.

27. I love coffee.

28. And chocolate.

29. I never went to summer camp.

30. I was a Girl Scout leader for three years.

31. I had more fun at Girl Scouts than my daughter.

32. I love to cook.

33. I hate to do dishes.

34. I like to be organized.

35. I am a paralegal.

36. I am lactose intolerant.

37. I am seriously allergic to mushrooms.

38. I have asthma.

39. I have not smoked a cigarette in nine years.

40. I love musicals.

41. My favorite is Summer Stock.

42. I love Judy Garland.

43. And Gene Kelly.

44. I don’t care about clothes, shoes or purses.

45. I am currently living with my mom because of a crisis in my life.

46. I have broken four bones in my body - calcaneus (heel bone), talus (ankle bone), pelvis, 12th
left rib.

47. I have been in three car accidents - two rear end (someone hitting me) and one Honda v.
truck with snow plow.

48. I want to go to law school when my daughter goes to college.

49. I want to travel to different countries.

50. I want to go on a mission someday.

51. Not to an orphanage because leaving would break my heart.

52. I hate winter. Too cold.

53. I hate summer. Too hot.

54. I don’t cry often enough.

55. Anne Rivers Siddons is my favorite author.

56. I can’t read murder thriller books because they give me nightmares.

57. I go to the library once a week.

58. I love to sing in the car.

59. I like to sleep late on weekends.

60. I have a super cute nephew.

61. He has Down’s Syndrome.

62. I love him so very much!

63. There are some words I would like to ban the use of.

64. Sometimes I drive too fast.

65. I seriously dislike people who do not use their blinkers when turning.

66. I have had many jobs.

67. I rarely make it to midnight on New Year’s Eve.

68. I have only a handful of friends.

69. However, the friends I have are as dear to me as can be.

70. I think everyone should support their children.

71. I think punishment should be harsher for those who do not pay their child support.

72. I like the name Esther.

73. And Grace.

74. I wish I could go back in time and have one more day to spend with my Grammie.

75. But I know I will see her again.

76. I have one tattoo.

77. I got it for my 27th birthday.

78. My mom designed the tattoo when I was 13 for all of us kids.

79. It is like a family brand.

80. Only my sister and I have it so far.

81. It is on my ankle.

82. It hurt really bad.

83. But I want more tattoos.

84. Only I can’t afford them.

85. I swear too much.

86. Growing up, my mom used to wash my mouth out with soap.

87. Irish Spring tastes the worst.

88. I want to learn to speak Finnish.

89. My ethnic background includes Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Finnish, Swedish, French, French-
Canadian, German, and American Indian.

90. I want to go to every country where my ancestors came from.

91. The only time I have ever been out of the U.S. is when we went to Canada (Montreal to be
exact).

92. I was six or seven years old at the time.

93. I have been to 26 states in the U.S.

94. I will go to all 50 before I die.

95. When I am bored at work, I like to read blogs.

96. And visit Ravelry.

97. And look at knitting patterns.

98. I have a fear of crossing train tracks.

99. I cry when I listen to Christian rock songs.

100. You can learn more about me by continuing to read this blog.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brainstorming...

I recently read a post on someone’s blog and they mentioned creating a list of knitting related things they want to accomplish in the new year. I am the type of person who makes new year’s resolutions (i.e., exercise more, eat less, stay in touch with friends more, etc.) but each year I find that those things don’t get accomplished.

But I think a list of knitting resolutions may be more doable. So I am brainstorming about what I want to accomplish with my knitting next year.

Here is my list so far:

1. Knit the Free Knitting Pattern Holiday Ornament from Lionbrand for each person on my list.

2. Knit a complete pair of socks for my sister. (Either Cranberry Biscotti or Vivace Socks).

3. Knit a complete pair of socks for my mom including a pair of slipper socks.


4. Finish Isaac’s 2nd sweater before it no longer fits him.

5. Knit at least three projects from my Ravelry queue.


6. Blog about knitting more.

7. Make knitted jewelry (like Bijouterie, Chandelier Earrings,


8. Buy Noro Daria Multi and make the Daria bracelet for gifts.

It is a start.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reading

I finished reading The Alchemist's Daughter. It was good. The main character was slightly irritating and at times you wanted to smack her for being so stupid but other than that, it was a good book.

I also read Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottolone. It was okay. Not one of my favorites but it was a nice change.

I just finished Keeper and Kid by Edward Hardy. It was sweet. There were parts that irritated you but the Kid sounded pretty cute to me.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Books

Princess Ivi, mom and I went to the library on Saturday. We got our library card so I feel like I actually live here now. I picked up two books: Follow Your Heart by Susanna Tamaro and The Alchemist's Daughter by Katharine McMahon.

I just finished reading Follow Your Heart. It was very good in a slightly heartbreaking sort of way.

Interestingly, this library had a cat. They left the door standing open and this stray cat came and went whenever it pleased. It was very cool.

I am trying to find someone to give Princess Ivi her school physical. I am looking for a Saturday appointment. No luck yet....Grrrr!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A New Yarn Shop and cooking blogs

I visited Hank’s Yarn and Fiber yesterday. I was shopping for my swap partner in the Rachel’s Knitting Room Christmas Gift Exchange which I organized through elfster. I feel bad. The deadline to send the package is December 7 and I am mailing mine on December 6. However, given everything that is going on in my life, I am surprised I am sending anything.

Anyway, Hank’s is a wonderful little shop that used to be either a photo/camera store or a coffee shop. (I can’t remember.) Now though, it is a shop filled with a selection of yarn that is in the most beautiful colors. I fell in love with so many of them. There is also a nice collection of patterns, books and fleece. Oh, and they have some really nice handmade soap. I bought some.

I picked up a flier for an Introduction to Spinning class. I have decided that since I have all of that alpaca and llama fleece in my closet, I am going to learn to spin. I am hoping I can register after Christmas. If not, I will have to wait until the next class.

I have been working on the Special Olympics Scarf Project. I am over halfway finished. I was working on it last night and I felt very good about my progress and then I noticed a mistake. I had to undo about 6 rows so I could fix it but I will work on it more tonight and hopefully not make another mistake.

On a totally different note, I am in search of a dog. Preferably a smallish dog that would like to sleep with me. See I have been having night terrors for as long as I can remember (at least 10 or 11) and they can get pretty scary for everyone. My thought is that if I had a dog sleeping with me, they may be able to sense when I am having a night terror and will wake me up. Or if not, the dog will be a presence I can sense and it will help with the night terrors. I have spoken to sleep specialists and nothing else is working so I thought that the dog can’t hurt things.

My job is very boring. So on my downtime, which I have a lot of, I regularly visit the blogs listed here but I also search the web for more interesting reading. I have found some great cooking blogs which I have added to my favorites. One I especially like is Snackreligious . I think I like this one so much because I am a big snack food fan. When I think of snack food, I think of penny candy, those "french fry" shaped chips with Andy Capp on the bag, Poppycock, smoked almonds, soft pretzels with mustard...mmm, I am getting hungry.

I also love the variety of recipes on Tastespotting.

Here are a few more that I check out at least weekly:

The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Smitten Kitchen
Simply Recipes
The Good Mood Food Blog

Monday, December 1, 2008

December, already?

Only 24 more days until Christmas. Realistically that is 23 more knitting days until Christmas. Although, I have a much shorter Christmas list given the state of my marriage and relationship with my in-laws.

So now, I am going to knit an afghan for my mom's bosses (who were nice enough to let Princess Ivi and I stay in the house they provide my mom). I am planning on using Homespun and 50 needles so it will work up quick.

I have to finish Hococo for my sister.

But first, I am working on a Special Olympics Scarf in honor of my nephew (who is 3 and a half) who has Down Syndrome. I am sure he will participate in the Special Olympics one day.

With respect to my cooking, I made perogies last night with cabbage, onions, and sausage. Yumm. They were frozen perogies because I haven't yet figured out how to make them from scratch.

With respect to my personal life, it is stil a mess. I am married still and can't do anything about it for six months to establish my residency. I most definitely do not want to go to Massachusetts to get this done. It is cold up there.

Princess Ivi is doing good. She has her first boyfriend. Yikes.

Well, time to go home and knit some more.