A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Saturday, January 03, 2009

2009 - MY year!

I LOVE this template!

This is so ME. So the secret me. The one who, if I did not live in a house full of males, would have a house full of pink-flowered chintz and ruffles and sweet peas.

Christmas has come, gone and left a trail. Everyone seemed to enjoy a fairly mellow day. We had to laugh. At 4:00 am Christmas morning I was on my way out of the bathroom when I ran into DH on his way in, and DS2 was making his way down the hallway, just coming in from watching movies at a friend's house. Major gridlock in the hallway! I figured we wouldn't see DS2, then, until Christmas afternoon, but he was up at 8:00 or so, ready to open presents. About 2:00 the rest of my family started to arrive, with dinner at about 3:25. It all came together perfectly, if I do say so myself. After dinner were more presents, then a "chocolate themed" dessert.

I had spent the five days of winter break before Christmas cleaning (with a few hours here and there for final shopping) so the house is in pretty good shape for the after-break. I really want to start school on Monday the 5th with my room cleaned and the house in decent order. The tree and other decorations will come down slowly (goal is always to have it all down by Valentine's Day) but I'm not touching that tree until I have a sane storage solution for it.

My good intentions pretty well flew the coop for the first three days after Christmas, however, thanks to my Christmas present. DH and DS2 gave me an ipod nano 4g (with 8 gig memory) and I've spent three days syncing a lifetime's collection of music over. Yeah, I know the CD wasn't widely available until the early 1980s and I've been collecting music a lot longer than that, but believe it or not (and I'm having a hard time believing it myself) I've been able to gather up most of the older music I remember on CDs. Gotta love the concept of "greatest hits." I'm still looking for a few really old songs from the 1960s but I'll track them down eventually. I've used about 7 of my 8 gigs and managed to transfer Matt Harding's "Dancing 2008" so now when I need a little pick-me-up I have it.

My blogoversary is in a few days (no, no contest planned) and I took the opportunity to go back through the archives and reflect a little. I have to admit, it was rather depressing. I really don't want to let this year go by and have accomplished so little - again. I decided to start by choosing just a couple of pieces to determine to finish this year. In cross stitch, I think I'll go for this one:

There's not that much to do. Leaves, seed pods and snow on the branch, a cluster of green leaves behind the bird (you can see the start of one) and snowflakes throughout. And the "reward" is a brightly-colored striped stocking hanging from the branch. I have to decide how to finish it. I have some pretty Christmas fabrics with "glitter" that might work up into a pretty pillow, but pillows get thrashed around here so I might just frame it.

I've also packed up (into a tote) my embroidery blocks for the Winter Wonderland quilt by Crabapple Hill. I've done a couple of blocks already.

I will have to sit through lots of meetings for the rest of the year (many of them boring as hell) so want to have some handwork to help keep me awake.

I also have to put together a small kit to have in my purse all the time. I find myself sitting around waiting rooms a lot lately and it drives me nuts. I appreciate that my doctors are willing to give their patients all the time they need, but since I have to take late afternoon appointments they are usually 45 minutes to an hour behind schedule by the time it's my turn. If I always have a little kit with me, I can pull it out for fabric therapy to keep me calm.

Of course, this means I have to buy a new purse, too.

I think I will also pull a couple of incomplete projects to try to finish: The foundation pieced wallhanging I've been working on for three years, now, is at the top of that list. The problem has been lack of a place to work, but I think I've just about got that problem handled. I also have a small quilt that is ready for hand quilting (in fact, I've already started) that is haunting me. I talk myself out of working on it because I've nowhere to put it when it's done, but I think this is one incomplete project that is crippling me so I need to finish it.

I'd also like to get confident about freehand machine quilting and embroidery this year. I have a couple of panels that I could work on to practice (I took a class and - other than having to fight my Pfaff Lemon - did fairly well so I think I just need practice).

Most of my resolutions, though, revolve around getting the yard under control and keeping the house presentable (although it's a long way from being a house to enjoy living in; we're going to have to wait until the economy picks up again and we can unload the "investment" properties before we have any money to fix this place up.)

One thing that has to happen is that this house has to be put into some kind of shape where it's easier to maintain. Toward that goal, I've been sorting and flinging and packing things to donate away. It's a time-consuming process but I do feel a little better. I have a couple of boxes of books to give away Monday (which freed space for the flotsam books that have cluttering the table spaces.) I've also been wading through the stacks of papers that have made it impossible to keep my work area functional. Managed to log some family history stuff into the computer, and all the little slips of paper with people's names and phone numbers are gone (and the information in the computer, too.) I'm going to Michael's today for some 12 x 12 project boxes which will finish up my room. I have two pictures to be framed (have frames and mat board in the family room to finish them up this afternoon).

I'm still dealing with the same "down in the dumps" feelings that I had last time, although things are getting better. It's so unlike me to not be able to rally myself that I started looking for physical explanations and, in that quest, read through the side effects of the blood pressure medication my cardiologist doubled for me just about the time I started feeling so sad all the time. Turns out depression is a side effect of this drug. I'll be talking to him about this on Thursday when I have my follow-up appointment.

I think that 2009 will be another challenging year. I wish I could face it with my usual optimism, but whether it's the meds I take or just being beaten down by circumstances a little too long, the best I can do at this point is commit to "one day at a time" with a goal of accepting what I cannot change.

I do HOPE more for all of us, however!

I need a favor. This is called "Autumn Welcome" and is a Teresa Wentzler piece that appeared in the 1989 Just CrossStitch. I would really love to do this piece but, alas... Does anybody have a source for old (really old) issues? Or do you know if it appeared in a book at a later date? Any clues how to track it down would be welcomed!

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