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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Worthy Cause

Hello all you philanthropic locals! (Said in the hope that any locals might be reading...)

A friend of mine is involved with the Walnut Festival in Walnut Creek, CA and she sent out an announcement regarding a really neat project that is going on in Concord. The city will soon be the home of a unique (and much needed, soon to be very appreciated by parents and children) playground for children of all abilities. This will be a playground that has play equipment that is accessible for all children, be they blind, deaf, wheelchair bound or able bodied.

Read about this project, called "Matteo's Dream," here. This playground is being built exclusively by volunteers. If you want to help out, please visit this site. The goal is complete the building by the end of this Sunday. If you can't commit to a time, you can also just show up. They can use all the help they can get, skilled or unskilled. You can also donate in a number of other ways (details in the 2nd link).

Please spread the word about this awesome project. Thank you!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

More Squares for Grandmother Purl

The day before I left for Atlanta, I received one of those pink delivery slips in the mail, saying that the post office had my package from Kristy, containing the extra squares collected from the Knit a Square for Grandmother Purl KAL. Since I live in an apartment (and therefore have a teeny tiny mailbox in one large room with everyone else), the post office didn't leave the package. And, the hours are after I need to leave for work in the morning to before I get home from work at night. At least they are open Saturdays...however, the next two Saturdays I was away from home (Atlanta, then my Dad's doing taxes). I was finally able to make it to the P.O. last Saturday and collected the package. (Okay, today my friend told me I should have had it redirected to my work address. Now, why the heck didn't I think of that 2 weeks ago???)

Yay! A package! Now, how to slice this puppy open without damaging the precious contents? Oh yes, I'll use my usual patented method... It always works too! And check out how well packaged the squares were (artistically, too):
Gracie wanted to help... Here's a peek at the colorful array of squares. There are some pretty neat squares in here. It looks like I got the slightly larger than 8" squares in acrylics. And a lot of circles...must the the batch that Kristy's friend whipped up to make enough for another full blanket. I must say though - I really do like the circle in a square motif.
So, I've started sewing these up already, after much laboring over how they should be laid out for the full blanket. I stayed up until 2am Saturday night laying them out and rearranging. And repeatedly de-catting the whole thing. I am definitely washing this before sending out the completed blanket. (I can't keep it cat-hair-free while it's here, but I can try to remove it all before it goes elsewhere.)
I decided on a light blue acrylic yarn to put this together, with a running whipstitch. I had it in my stash (it was removed from the no end in sight ripple blanket stash, but that project will survive without it), and I think it's Red Heart, so if I run out, I can get more without worrying about the dyelot.
Anyway, this takes precedence over the mystery baby blanket project (sorry Christyn), for now. I hope to finish it this week and get it sent out. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cuteness Amongst the Chaos

With all the recent ugliness in the world lately, it is refreshing to see that such cuteness is being produced. And for that, I will offer free plugs for these sellers:
This cute little fried egg broach reminds me of my alma mater. My fellow college alumni will know what I mean. It would be perfect if it were accompanied by one rasher of bacon. Hehe... You can buy this little guy from magicyam, who also makes soft plushy little pet rocks.
This little boston creme donut reminds me of when I was younger and the family would sometimes buy a dozen donuts after the early mass on Sunday. These were always my favorite. This one, which you can buy Catzilla Crafts,(love that seller name!) is completely fat-free!

More news later.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Quick Note

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. It's been go-go-go since I got back from vacation. And that non-stressed feeling passed rather quickly. I was gone last weekend, visiting my father, and doing taxes (yippee...). Starting this week, we are down 2 employees in my department at work, and naturally, now we're all even more overworked than usual. So, I've been working late again, not that that is anything new. But, consequently, there is less time for me to check everyone else's blogs, let alone my own. So, if anyone is still reading my wee little blog, I'm sorry for my lack of comments. I'll be back, I promise!
And, now that Lent is over, I am free to pursue all my fiber (and other crafty-type) needs...that being said, I've already been to the craft store 2x since Easter. I've stocked up on materials for a baby shower gift, but I can't give many details, because the recipient (you know who you are) reads this and has a definite curiousity issue (okay, so she already knows what she's getting, just not what it's going to look like yet, so I can't post any photos or ask for any public opinions). But, now that I've started this project, I'm spending more free time on that and less in front of the computer at home.
And even though there's probably more that I could update everyone on, I'm really tired and need to head to bed... Isn't my life exciting?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Vacation Recap

Okay, so I've updated you all on the first half of my vacation. Here's the update on the rest.

I already mentioned that we went to the Aquarium on Sunday afternoon. I got some cool photos (or at least I thought they came out cool):

The beluga whales were entertaining. Showing off for the humans, according to the presenter.

I can't remember what these are called. I just snapped the photos without writing stuff down (I'd never be able to remember what was what anyway). I have way more photos, but haven't finished messing with them yet.

The kids were back in school on Monday, so Lilibet, her sister, Kerri and I all went to tour an old plantation home in Roswell. We ended up taking two cars, since Lilibet had to take off at 2pm to pick up the twins from school. We missed the 1pm tour, so Lilibet actually missed that part, but the outbuildings were the self-guided part of the tour, so at least she was able to see those. No one else showed up for the 2pm tour, so it was pretty much a private tour without the extra expense. Since it was just us 3 girls, the tour was pretty informal, and I actually was chatting with the tour guide about the Titanic exhibit before we started. (She was reading a book about Titanic, so I just started blabbing, and she was mentioning that the huge Titanic museum is located in Atlanta. Too bad we didn't have time for that much sightseeing!) Here's me and Kerri with Lil and our godson David on the front porch of the plantation home.

After the tour, Kerri and Roz and I hit a cute little cafe in Roswell on an old street lined with antique-y type shops. It was a cute little spot and I noticed it had a pressed tin ceiling (weird that I notice things like that). Then it was back to the house to spend more time with Lilibet and the kids.

We didn't have much time to do anything on Tuesday morning, so we ran out for coffee quickly before Kerri and I had to leave for the airport. It was a good trip, though it felt like it was too short. (Don't they always?) It did feel great to spend almost a full week free of stress. And honestly, that much time stress-free does wonders for the attitude! I just hope it lasts for a while before the stress takes over again.

The funny thing is that after my WW weigh in (blah - vacation gain), I stopped at the Thai place to get some take out, and the woman that seems to run the place (she is always behind the counter) told me I looked better today and asked if I'd been staying home! (She mentioned last time I was there that I looked tired, and I was, since I'd worked late that night.) She's funny, and always recognizes me and chats for a while. Today before I left with my finished order, she laughed and told me she loves talking to me! I feel sort of bad, since with her strong accent, I only understand about half of what she says, but we still manage to have a decent dialogue. Anyway, she told me I looked fresh and rested today, and we had a good laugh when I told her I just got back from a vacation. Funny how that conversation perked me up a bit after I was getting annoyed at myself over gaining during my absence.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Happy to be Home

Even though I had a great time while on vacation, it's good to be home. But, I got home really late last night, and am still readjusting to the time change. So, I'm off to bed now, but I'll leave you with the happy eggs from Easter night...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

Just a quick post coming to y'all from Marietta, GA to say Happy Easter! I hope everyone had a happy holiday (for those who celebrate) or a great day anyway (for those who do not).

The vacation is going well. My flight out here last Thursday left SFO at 6:15am. And I am NOT a morning person! (Also, I have an irrational fear of getting lost in San Francisco.) So, my friend Christyn graciously allowed me to spend the night at her place on Wednesday night, so I could get up (before God) on Thursday morning to catch the nearby airporter (there isn't one by my house). We found out that there is a 72 hour parking limit at the hotel where the airporter picks up patrons, so my pregnant friend Christyn offered to let me leave my car in their parking spot and drove me to the hotel at 2:30am!!! She may be crazy, but she's awesome! (Yay Christyn! Thank you!) Anyway, I had the pickup time wrong - I thought the airporter to SFO came by at 3am, but it was actually 3:15am, so I was actually about a half hour early for it. But I wasn't the only one.

I made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. And I so love the online check-in option. I may never wait to get to the airport to check in again! The flight was fine, a tiny bit of turbulence, but really almost nothing. I managed to get a few uncomfortable hours of sleep in (to supplement the 3 I'd gotten before waking up at 2am) and a good bit of reading. I was ready to drop by 7pm EST. That's pretty sad, considering it's only 4pm at home. I toughed it out until later though, so I acclimated to the time change pretty well.

The main reason for this trip was to attend my Godson's Christening, which was celebrated at the Easter Vigil yesterday. He was the most animated child at the baptismal font (and in a happy manner - no screaming or fits, though he did seem confused about the onslaught of water over his head.) After the priest handed him back to his mother, he was all smiles and clapping and "yay!" It was just the cutest thing ever. (Though it was about a 2 hour mass...and more singing than I've ever experienced...and normally I enjoy the singing part of masses...but this was something else... I no longer believe that Catholics have the market cornered on tonedeaf singers. The choir, when they sang, were actually good. The deacon, who sang the initial, incredibly long psalm, was abominable. I was literally cringing through half of it, because of the notes emanating from the pulpit.) Even though it wasn't a Catholic mass, I decided that it counted towards my obligatory Easter service. Also, I think it may have partially served as penance. The actual priest was very good though, and aside from the overabundance of "music," it was a very nice, positive service. They had a small reception afterwards for the families of the baptismal candidates, which a few of us attended. (My friend Dan took the 5year old twins home and put them to bed - it was already 9 by the time the mass was completed.)

Today, we colored eggs with the twins in the morning and them had them open their Easter baskets. Ian and Megan were enjoying their new toys and I ended up reading about 4 books (that Kerri gave them as gifts) to them before lunch was ready. This afternoon, we all (5 adults, 3 kids) went to the Georgia Aquarium, which was really cool. I'll have pictures later, but I won't remember what they're of (aside from the basic fish, whale, shark, child, etc.). The beluga whales were really showing off while we were there. Very interactive animals. The tropical fish display was also pretty awesome - I always like those. The colors are just amazing. And, the twins did remarkably well, considering how busy it was there and how chaotic things get in that kind of setting.

Tomorrow, the twins are back in school, and Dan is back at work, so the girls and the Godson will be off to other adventures. (We haven't figured out what those will be yet.)

And by the way - never trust the weather forecast. Before packing for my trip, I had consulted The Weather Channel, which assured me that it would be in the 60's and 70's during my stay in Marietta. Well, it's been in the 40's and 50's, and my wardrobe is somewhat lacking in the warmth area! In fact, Lilibet, her sister Roz, Kerri and I all ended up shopping for clothes yesterday afternoon before the baptism because none of us had anything appropriate to wear that would be warm enough. (Lilibet, who is the one we're visiting, just didn't have anything dressy enough yet.)

I guess that wasn't such a quick post after all. Off to bed for me!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Weekend Work

I spent some time preparing for my trip to Atlanta this weekend. 4 loads of laundry - some of which even made it into my suitcase. That's about as much advance packing as I do. Mom will be proud.

And Gracie wanted to help...

Now, if I could only get her to empty her own litter box...