January 30, 2008

Semper Rotans...

Always moving. At least that is what it feels like here. January and February are supposed to be our down times, but alas we commit ourselves to many projects. I looked over our February calendar and I think we have 4 days in the month were we don't have something scheduled.

I've slowed down on the stitching and knitting in the past week cause I haven't been feeling great (and the above mentioned busy schedule) ..... since around Thanksgiving I've been having stomach issues... I finally got to the doctor this week, and am now on meds... in just 2 days I'm already feeling a difference :)

I'm done with my dental work, but Todd still has the big surgery to go...poor thing :(

Aaron is doing fantastic of course, and is now almost up to my shoulder... which isn't saying much since I'm not much taller than most elementary students! He's working hard on his reading, and has become a little mathematician.... he likes logic and number theory... just ask him the importance of "zero"... his new favorite show is CyberChase.

The laptop is still an ongoing saga.... we've gotten 3 conflicting emails as to why it didn't come yet... but still no computer or tracking number. I'm ready to ask for our money back, but Todd is holding out hope that they will come around, get their act together and get the computer to us by next week.... keep those fingers crossed.

While it doesn't feel like we've had time to ourselves, I have managed to read 12 books this month. I've set up a challenge for myself to read at least 10 books a month, and at least one must be non-fiction. I'm also going to try to branch out and read things other than cozy mysteries and romances. Right now I'm reading Eleanor vs. Ike: A Novel by Robin Gerber . It's a "what if" historical fiction... What if Adlai Stevenson died during the 1952 election and Eleanor Roosevelt stepped in as the Democratic nominee.... I'm only a little ways into it, and it's really engrossing. I'm going to have to find a good bio on both Ike and Eleanor, to see what liberties the author has taken (lots of talks of affairs).

Todd has taken up my old habit of starting a whole bunch of books... right now I think he is in the middle of about 5 books (some of which I want to read, so I wish he'd hurry up!)

Another book recommendation is for The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A. J. Jacobs . It's a really fascinating memoir of an agnostic Jew that tries to live as literally as possible, and along the way finds a little faith he didn't know he had. There are some real poignant moments, and some laugh out loud ones (like tying to stone a grumpy old man in Central Park!). One of the books Todd is working on is A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Armstrong, Karen) by Karen Armstrong . This is the first book he's read that discusses Islam (history and theology) in a clear way, and he's fascinated with the religion, as I was 20 years ago.

The title for this post comes from the 37th Transportation Group insignia I am currently working on for Dad :)

January 19, 2008

Dragons, Snowmen & Laptops... OH MY!

I have slain a dragon...sorta. I dove headfirst into my cross-stitch this week, and have finished the dragon portion of my dad's insignia collage. PHEW! For the seasoned stitchers it's probably easy-peasy, but for me picking it up again after a 10 year hiatus it was tricky... First it is on 18 count Aida, which means teeny-tiny holes for teeny tiny "x's"... and there is no pattern. I took a small JPEG and printed it onto 8X11 graph paper, so it's fuzzy and doesn't have many straight lines... so here's a photo show of it's progress, the first picture being the JPEG.

Once this baby is done, then I get to tackle this one (same things, JPEG printed onto graph paper) Oh Goody!... I do love doing this though, and am a tad prideful of my accomplishments on this puppy :)

ATTACK OF THE SNOWMEN! On Wednesday afternoon & evening we had our first snowfall of the winter. It was the great snowman making type, so Aaron and Todd went out and decorated the Dosie Dough patio tables with a little snowman army. The Dosie Dough staff thought it was great and spent the morning trying to solve the mystery of who created them. (Julie guess right- Aaron!)

The Saga of the Laptop... So Santa bought Aaron one of the "One Laptop Per Child" XO laptops. He ordered it the day they went on the market, expecting it to arrive by the 24th as promised... alas on the 20th we got an email saying they were swamped with orders and it would be to us by the 15th of January... it didn't show up that day, so I emailed them. They quickly emailed back and said to email again if it was not in our hands by the close of business.. I waited 2 more days, still no laptop, emailed again on the 17th.. got a lovely auto-reply saying it could be 5 days before they got back to me... totally unacceptable by my account, since I was only doing what they asked me to... got a reply this morning.. turns out we would have had it by the 24th BUT UPS doesn't recognize the address (we technically have 4 addresses, depending on the utility or postal carrier). So it took them 8 weeks to figure this out and contact us???? I'm soooooo tempted to call and offer them my non-profit consulting services, cause that is just basic customer service: Contact buyers in a timely fashion if there is a problem... duh! So... they now have an address UPS will accept, and hopefully Aaron will be logged on and ready to go by the end of next week :)

January 15, 2008

I Bow Down To The Greatness of...


You read that right...Vinegar is tops in my list these days. Todd and I took to heart the list of "green" cleaning products and invested heavily (all of $2) in a gallon on vinegar. Talk about packing a punch. This Sunday was our first day off since Thanksgiving, so our kitchen needed some heavy duty scrubbing... and my man vinegar was up for the challenge. a 1/4 cup in a sink of hot water, and my stove and counter tops were shining in a mere few minutes. My advice? stop spending all that cashola on the super duper heavily advertised products, pinch those pennies and get on the vinegar band wagon (and no my kitchen doesn't smell like vinegar, the fumes dissipated within a minute or two... and honestly so did the shine, since Aaron and I baked Blueberry muffins that afternoon! hehe)
That's the green message today, now onto the crafting updates

I have finished the stitching of the February door hanger:

I'm just going to add a felt backing and some pink ruffles along the sides (take note: that is probably the most "girlie" thing you'll ever see me craft)

Now that I have another month under my belt, it's on to those unfinished christmas presents.

I'm nearly done with one panel of Grandma's table topper (she knows what she's getting so I'm not spoiling any surprises.

Here's what the finished project is going to look like... hopefully!

I've decided to keep one knitting and one x-stitch project here at the store and one of each at the apartment. So I'm also working on dad's insignia collage... right now I'm tackling the 7th Trans dragon:

And lastly... a quick mommy brag. Mr. A finished his phonics and addition units last week and has begun his multiplication tables... so that little 5 year old booger has already surpassed his mommy academically (what is 7x8 again???) hehe.

January 10, 2008

Livin' the Simple Life...

Yep, Me & Paris Hilton!
(like I have ANYTHING in common with her! ha!)

During 2007 I picked up an old craft I had done in high school and college (cross-stitch), and began teaching myself two new ones (crochet & knitting), as well as getting my mom's old sewing machine. As someone who for 10+ years was all about career and climbing up some not-so-corporate ladders, taking time to explore the simple the pleasures of arts and crafts that for many years were a necessity for daily life, has been a great joy. In some ways I feel more connected to the earth (ya I know.. kind of hokey thinking), even with all the additional "green living" I've been doing this past year. Todd and Aaron have been great about giving me time each morning and evening to sit and stitch. Aaron loves to help hold the yarn sometimes, and likes to help with any sewing (he pretends to teach a class while I'm the demonstrator), and has even taken up cross-stitch himself.

Why am I saying all this???... cause "Little Miss Green Jeans" is going to shift in 2008. I'll still be posting about green living, but will also post more about our life and my crafting projects.

So here goes the first 2008 craft project post:

After knitting scarves for everyone in my family for Christmas presents, I took Christmas day to knit a little fun fuzzy one for myself.

I'm also now working on my own reading shawl... although by the time I'm done it will be too warm to want to wrap myself in it :)

I'm also continuing my door hanger series for the store... this one I finished on January 3rd... just in time :)

After I get my hearts and flowers done for the February door hanger, it's back to the unfinished Christmas presents... my goal is that by summer I'll be stitching a little something just for me... of course that's gonna mean a road trip to Reading to go to Stitch'N'Stuff for patterns and supplies! (oh darn! hee hee)