Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The rush.....

Gosh it's been a long time.....I wish I could fill this post with pictures of all the wonderful things I have been doing. Unfortunately, my camera is on vacation at the Sony repair center to have it's focus fixed. I almost always have my camera with me (at the moment I have borrowed/scarfed a friend's for a few days) and am feeling very lost without for several weeks. My sister was right however, would I rather have bad pictures or be without it for a few weeks?

This week is more hectic than I would like. My friend, KS's baby shower is this weekend in FL. If it were up to me, I would not have chosen Thanksgiving weekend (and yes I am a bit selfish and don't want to fly/buy tickets on a holiday weekend). However, it was a group vote and I lost. KS is a dear friend from college and last year at this time I was preparing for her wedding, so it seems like just yesterday we were trying agree on wedding shower themes. I have honestly planned no less than 5 baby showers this year (and have had 10 friends have babies in the past year) and it's getting exhausting. Anyway, the shower is Saturday and I managed to find a reasonable ticket on this site. I can't say enough good things about the advice they give. KS was so genuinely happy that I was able to come that all my frustration with planning melted away. I worked feverishly over the weekend on this.....

It's a diaper cake. This one is obviously elephant themed. Yes, they are all rolled individually. It contains about 200 Pampers and is a most FUN gift to shop for and to give. It has a great "WOW" factor and I think it's fun to make. You can buy different versions, but I've made a ton now and I love it. So, that had to be shipped to sunny Florida. Picture me with a giant box stumbling into UPS on Monday morning. I'm thinking 4 days (plus 1 Holiday) should be plenty of time right? After much waiting, it's my turn and the UPS man tells me it will be $25 to get there next Monday! NOOOO - I say - I need it there by Friday. When he came back, with a grimace, I knew it was bad news. Well, $126 will get it there by Wednesday. AHHHHH - what? So, apparently, despite their advertisements, UPS takes days off. The drivers are off for 4 days. Oh well. The good ole US Postal Service came through for $30 and will get it there by Friday. I love my mailman.

My schedule includes working until 12:30pm Wednesday, driving with my brother to my little brother's birthday party, then on to CT for an evening out with the cousins. Thursday will bring family Thanksgiving, with my 90 year old grandfather, who is the kindest, most generous man I have ever known. He is a farmer who has worked hard his whole life and thinks nothing of giving what he has worked so hard for to his family. I am so thankful to have him as my sole surviving grandparent.

We'll leave CT Thursday night so that I can fly out to FL on Friday at noon and return Monday am. It will be a lovely weekend if I get something knit for this shower! That is stressing me out, as is the fact that my best friend and godson's mother, BQ is due in 4 weeks with her 2nd baby. Her mother is my aforementioned knitting guru and other mother. She knit my godson a beautiful yellow outfit as his "coming home from the hospital" outfit. BQ asked me to knit the outfit for this baby. I protested my knitting skills were less than stellar. She insisted that she wanted me to do it. I stated that her mom could produce a far superior outfit, but she stood firm. I was honored, but now I am stressing. I have put it off because I am afraid that it will not be perfect, but it must be done, otherwise I will be Overnight Fedexing it to NC when she goes into labor. :)

On the up side, I borrowed a fantastic (and very $$$$) camera this weekend to take some of these shots for another friend.....

Such a sweet baby! :)

And so....the rush begins.....I know that from now until after New Year's it will be busy. I have much shopping done and some crafting and much baking still to do, but the hustle of the holidays will still envelope me. Honestly, I think I love it. :)

Enjoy your family time this Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for my warm home, loving family and wonderful friends.......and that I have enough of everything I need or want.

"Friends are like stars... you don't always see them, but you know they're always there."
---Hulali Luta

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Do you remember pick-a-path books from when you were a kid? I used to love them. They were like the book that never-ended (I might have been a nerd?)! You could just keep changing things up and it was a whole new book.
I'm fairly new to the whole blogging scene, but I sometimes feel as though I am reading a pick-a-path book. I start with one blog, and branch to another from someone's comments, or the blogger's friends on their sidebar and blog #2 branches me to another blog, etc etc. Before I know it, an hour has passed and I am astonished at where I have ended up! People are so interesting! I love to people-watch. Perhaps blogging is a form of that?
I have lurked a great deal because I still am not sure where I "fit" in, although I think the beauty of blogging is that everyone fits in! So tonight, I followed a pick-a-path (one of several) from Kelli's blog to Jen's blog, to Rachel's blog for these yummy cheesecake brownies. Of course, I had to make them. They will disappear quickly tomorrow when my friend brings her 4 week old baby to the office for his first visit with mommy's co-workers.
P.S. I decided to start commenting on more blogs. It makes me feel so nice when someone comments on mine! :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Politics.....and Knitting :)

Many times politicians infuriate me for political reasons. Tomorrow is election day and I really want to vent just for a minute. In the past 24 hours, ONE politician has left no less than 5 (I stopped counting) political messages on my answering machine! Instead of encouraging me to vote for him, he has infuriated me and I will not vote for him on principle. I have just sent e-mailed a note to this effect to his campaign.
I am less politically informed than I should be, although I find myself paying more attention the older I get. I wish I knew and understood more, but at least I am able to peruse the internet and make an informed decision when I get to the polls tomorrow.
Yesterday found me fighting a sinus headache (and feeling a bit like a convict buying Sudafed where you have to show your license etc), but also accompanying mom to a dinner with her old college friend. Joyce was visiting her daughter (a PhD candidate no less) nearby and called my mom on a whim to come to dinner. Mom invited me (really she just wanted someone to drive the 1 + hour with her) and off we went. It really was fun. It's lovely to see my mom with old friends and her daughter was very nice (and belongs to a knitting group!). I've been looking for a youngish knitting group in my area and have been unsuccessful so far. It's nice to know that one exists. It's a bit of a drive, but they said they are always looking for experienced knitters (I would NEVER call myself experienced - just barely intermediate :)). It would just be nice to have some knitting/chat time and meet some new people.
Don't forget to vote tomorrow!!!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday morning....

There's nothing like a Saturday night chat with my friends Ben & Jerry..........and a Sunday morning filled with baking to make you feel like anything is possible.......

"Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week." ~Joseph Addison

The muffins are for my other mom's birthday. She is my best friend's mother, my knitting advisor/teacher, and a woman I could talk to for hours about most anything. As a kid, when I didn't get along with my own mother, I always got along with Mom O. So, some muffins went to her this morning, but I had to sample one of the smaller ones (and yes, I love real butter).

These are the Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins (which probably only means something to you if you lived in the Northeast about 15 years ago). Mine don't look like quite like they did in the store, but they taste yummy. Mom and I pick POUNDS and POUNDS of blueberries in the summer, make some jam, and freeze the rest. Nothing beats blueberry muffins with fresh (frozen) berries in the middle of winter!

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups blueberries*
sugar for top

sift together
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Cream shortening (margarine) & sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and mix until well-blended. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk & vanilla. Add blueberries and mix in by hand. Spoon into 12 well-greased muffins cups. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Cool 30 minutes before attempting to remove.
**If using frozen blueberries, reserve 1-2 Tablespoons of flour and toss with blueberries before adding.
Serve warm with butter!

Happy Sunday morning......
K :)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Getting to the sunnier side......

Here are a few photos of the cute Halloween visitors we had this week.

A horse and an astronaut....

The week started out on a rather rotten note. I avoided blogging because I knew it could be angry and that's not attractive. Several things have happened this week and I sort of wish the week had never happened. Strangely enough, my week was fine. The problem is that I am the kind of person who is profundly affected by what happens to the important people in my life.

A close friend, C's, daughter (less than 6 months old) has a disability. She will live a full life, but it will be a challenge for her and her family. My friend is struggling with this and has told me that her coping ability is almost zero. I, in turn, have struggled with how to help her. I'm hoping that a visit to hang out, and just talk will give her some escape. She has said that she wants to be able to enjoy her baby who is healthy in every other way.

My friend A's mother has been diagnosed with colon cancer. This breaks my heart, as A lost her good friend, Jen to colon cancer (which had spread) at the age of 28. The cruelty of cancer is so frustrating. Jen was a person I knew only through A. She was a young woman of tremendous faith and strength, who I know A misses very much. Although her mom is Stage 1 (discovered through routine colonoscopy) and will most likely do very well, I know that A is frightened for what she knows Jen went through.

My own mother, has recently struggled with some terrible issues at her office. I also used to work there, and have many friends there. Some of those friends are also my mother's bosses. Recently, things have happened which have devastated my mother and angered me. She has been scapegoated and treated unfairly after more than 18 years of dedicated work. Although I am trying to separate business and friendship, I find it very difficult at this point. I have never seen my mother so devastated and I am shocked at how they have treated her. She still has a job, but her spirit is gone.

My friend J is struggling with parenting her baby. Having lots of experience with children and nannying, I think she thought she would be a perfect parent, or at least it would be easier for her. She is shocked at how difficult it is and how she questions every decision. I see her struggle and wish that I could do more than listen.

My friend, AE, is struggling with being a new mom, and possibly working through some postpartum depression. It is difficult to know quite what to do. I know that she is aware and is getting help. Thank god for her family support and vast network of friends that have helped to keep her going.

I guess this post reflects my feelings of incompetence in helping the people I love and care so much about. I know that it will get better. I know that these people appreciate my support and that their strength will help them persevere through this parts of their lives to come out on the sunnier side.

“A friend is someone who helps you up when you're down, and if they can't, they lay down beside you and listen.”