Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Just a quick note to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

It's time to take stock of what's happened in our life and re-evaluate our hopes for the future. I thank God and everyone around me for the blessings I've been given and those that might find their way to me in the future. I bless my family for supporting me in times of strife and sorrow and the never-ending joys they've given me on those days I needed it most.

It's funny. I never thought about it until my Mom mentioned that she'd been talking with my brother and he said that I'm living the American Dream. I have a wonderful husband who never nags or gets angry when I trip and fall over my own feet. I have two fabulous (and gorgeous) daughters who can try my patience with the best of any little devil out there, but who are generous and caring and have a sense of their place in the world (quite an accomplishment for most teenagers ). They give with two of the biggest hearts I've ever met and I just know the world will be a better place for having them in it. I bless the luck for my friends who are caring and giving of their support and their friendship. Shoulders to cry on when I need it and laughter which can be even more important.

Okay, so no one helped me clean out our pigsty of a dining room, but my family hasn't messed it up either. Isn't that a blessing in itself?

I'm off to get my turkey set and ready for the oven. I've been brining it for the last two days so it's tender and moist and, Lord, I really love a convection oven. Should be ready in about two hours. (Remember those days when we had to get up at 5AM to get the bird in the oven? Ha! 10AM is much nicer... LOL!) Course, I need all that extra time to make the smashed potatoes. I figure 5 lbs oughta do it. My family isn't thrilled with most of the stuff I cook, but they do adore my smashed potatoes.

And I finally have poor Tammy's box ready to go. First thing tomorrow, off to the post office so I can get her her box of yarn and goodies. I tried to plan so hard to get it out early, but that didn't happen... Oops. As long as I get it out by the end of the month, I'll be okay, so I have a few days. But tomorrow is it. I wanted to get it out yesterday, but I sort of went into sloth mode. After all the cleaning this week, I sort of collapsed early each night. Now if I can just find my Thanksgiving tablecloth. I'm sure it's somewhere. Look hard enough and I'll find it...

Have a wonderful day!!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Christmas is coming... Yikes!

The holidays are nearer than either of us like to think. I have a turkey waiting to be defrosted in the freezer and I just got a shipment of yarn and roving that I want to spin for presents. It's funny, but until I saw the roving (some gorgeous stuff from Lisa Souza in Bird of Paradise and Wild Things), I didn't think of attempting to use it for this year. But I think it would make wonderful gifts for my girls. Even if I can only get a scarf for each, this is my goal.

So I have a lot of work to do in the next five weeks... Yikes!

That won't leave a lot of time to run to the store to wrestle and fight with customers for whatever is on the table. Not that I enjoy shopping for anything because I've always hated it. So I have another plan for some of the people on my gift list.

Gift catalogs! Let them choose their own gift and, unlike money or a gift card where you still have to venture to the store to redeem it, these catalogs are easy. They come with an 800 number so your recipient calls in, gives their choice and the gift is shipped directly to their house. No cost to them. The shipping is already figured into the price of the catalog. And there's no price tag anywhere. Comes with a pretty envelope to put the catalog inside and everything.

So where do you find these little treasures? Easy as pie.

Teachers, bus drivers, mail carrier and newspaper boy. There's a nice $20 catalog that has everything from a 2-person pup tent to a 5-pc cookware set. How about that aunt whom you never know what to get? Give her the catalog with a variety of gourmet dinners. Or the catalog of sterling silver jewelry. How about the catalog dedicated solely to handbags? We're talking Dooney & Burke (did I get that right? ), not the latest WalMart special. Catalogs specifically for men and teens. Jewelry and perfumes. Seriously nice stuff at prices you won't believe. How about that perfect baby gift for only $30? Heck, you could even give a 2-night, 3-day vacation for a mere $240.

Yup, I'm off to grab a few myself for those hard-to-buy-for people on my list.

Be back with more stuff to talk about, but gotta prepare well for today. Mandatory overtime and it's supposed to downpour about an hour or two before my shift will be over. Oh boy. I can't wait...

BTW, quick update. Gee, no booth yet. Now there's a "Duh!" moment. Can't wait to see what new brainstorm they come up with. So I'm still sitting in my car all day. Listening to lots of CDs (even started some Christmas music to get myself in the mood) and knitting up a storm. Will switch from socks to scarves as soon as my yarn arrives. I hope that's soon...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thanks, Diane!

Now I don't feel so weird. It does seem like I'm the only one in the neighborhood who complains of mice coming in. Course, with two cats running around, they usually don't last long in my house either, but I do give them credit for trying...

I've just got to share the newest update on the booth for work. The boss drives in the other day and tells me that it's on it's way. In fact, it's on the highway down in Greenwich and should arrive within the hour. Uh huh. I just smile politely and go my way.

Well, for once, he was right. The booth arrived. But the next morning, the facilities guys are down in my area with their measuring tapes. Seems the concrete pad is way too small to put the booth on top of it.

I have seen it. I drove by on my way out from work on Friday. Curiosity was going to kill me if I didn't see what they were talking about. So I drive in to check this out and it actually looks kinda nice. Supposed to have heat and air conditioning. Has a door that slides back like a pocket door. But, the bad thing is that the door is going to face the driveway.

Why is this bad? Because the driveway has a bit of a sharp incline to it. I can see, come winter, some kid driving in full-bore, hits ice and slides down the hill, through the booth and sailing off the retaining wall and into the second floor living room of the unit behind me. Now, with the door being where they'll hit, how am I going to escape when they come aiming for me?

Hmm.... have to do some thinking on this one...

Other news is that I have more fiber on its way to me. Lisa Souza is back from Stitches East in Balitmore and my order for yarn and fiber is set to ship tomorrow. I better get cracking on spinning and knitting or I'll have quite the stash pouring across my living room... LOL!

Good news is that I finished the Cherry Tree Hill socks in Spanish Moss. Wore them yesterday as a matter of fact. I have all the items for my swap box ready to go once I type up the instructions for how I do my cuffs. And then I can mail that out tomorrow.

And I got my new business materials for my IBOship. Wow. Fantastic training materials. All the kind of stuff I've wanted to have in-hand before. And, boy, am I going to use this stuff. I'm going to get a couple of the "first night" packs so I can give them as gifts to anyone I bring into the business. My gift to them to get them started. Then I plan to get the other packs not just to train myself, but anyone I sponsor can also borrow them. This is definitely stuff I'll listen to again and again and again, so I'll let people borrow, but I can't hand these out. OTOH, they can "try before they buy". I'll suggest that they do the same with anyone they bring in. Get them started with a gift and then let them borrow from your library until they make enough to establish their own.

Great stuff and TEAM Legacy is definitely on track and moving. I'm SO excited to be part of this whole Internet phenomena. We're definitely going to change the landscape of American purchasing and a whole new way to earn an income. (Let me know if you want to be part of this, because this is really exciting stuff!!!!)

I have tomorrow and Tuesday off. ('Bout time, eh? ) tomorrow is full of exciting things like going to the bank, town hall and various errands as well as being deposed in a lawyer's office. Oh boy. Doesn't everyone want one of those in their day planner? OTOH, Tuesday I'm supposed to be off volunteering at a pandemic flu drill. I'm still wavering about that one. I know, I know I'm supposed to be worried about my fellow man and be prepared like a good Boy Scout, but didcha ever just need a day to stop and smell the roses? I'm feeling one coming on... Course, then I only have to get through three days of work and I'm off for a whole week. I should really take care of my responsibilities and then relax during that week. But, but, but....

Another thing on my list for tomorrow is pics. I have to do laundry so my socks will be clean. Pics of socks that I've made up in the last couple weeks. Maybe even a pic of the socks/wrist warmers (I still haven't decided on that one yet) actually in-progress. Maybe (God forbid) a pic of me sitting at my wheel and spinning while the world moves on without me for a few hours. Tempting.... ain't it?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More Rain... Oh boy

We've had over 60" of rain this year (that's getting dangerously close to drowning me in height ) and yet more rain today. Heavy rain. Which means I'll spend a lot of time today being wet.

Yesterday was the longest day in creation. I started knitting early. Took a break and worked on a book of Soduko puzzles. Knitted, puzzled, knitted some more and puzzled some more. Then, as I'm driving home, I figured out why the entire day seemed to drag. I'd totally forgotten to drink my XS energy drink around 2PM, which is my usual time. Gives me that gentle boost to get over the hump of late afternoon. No boost yesterday.

I won't make that same mistake today. Lord knows, I'll probably need an XS drink by about 9AM to get through the dark and dismal of today...

The good news is that I finished one of the Spanish Moss socks and I guesstimate that I'll finish the other today. I've started a new one in Lorna's Laces in Summer Sunset, but I haven't decided if I'll keep them as socks or switch them into wristwarmers. My hands get really cold on some days and a nice warm merino overlay might help the hands stay warm. So I'm toying with that, but I won't have to decide until I get down the "cuff", so to speak. Then I'll either do a heel or add a gusset for my thumb. We'll find out when I get there.

Did a little bit of spinning last night before dinner. Am hoping to get moving on that merino with silk noils embedded so I can finish plying it with the Wensleydale. Want to get moving on that scarf of my very own spun yarn. Will be so kewl to point to it and say that I not only knitted it, but I spun the yarn myself.

I'm hoping to get the new training materials for my business today. I did pay for 2nd day business mail and it shipped on Monday, so I should get it today. These materials are meant to loan out to the folks I've sponsored to get them going. Rather than doing it all myself (which makes me self-employed), this stuff is designed to help them teach themselves how to expand their business. More like a business owner who gets a system that does the work for them and frees up the extra time for other pursuits (hopefully freeing me to sponsor more people). I figure, if I get them started and the training materials work for them, they can get their own to train the people they sponsor and so on and so forth. It saves a lot of time in the long run and I'm always one who's up for efficiency...

And the bosses at work have given another date for my booth at work. It's supposed to go up the week of Thanksgiving. (Yes, I forgot to ask them which year this will happen, but we'll see... ) Once that's up, I'm going to post a note in the window facing the bus stop with a simple statement and question. "Okay, so you use the Internet. But does it pay you to use it? If not, I can show you how to earn a commission." Or SST (some such thing).

Oh geez... the cats and dog have a mouse surrounded or trapped or something. One of few things I hate about living in the country. Cold weather sets in and the field mice think they can winter inside my house.... Does my house look like Disney or something?!@?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Alpaca vs. Llama

Okay, I'm not familiar with livestock. I wasn't sure there's a difference, but I now know better. And the alpacas were totally cute. I'm not sure I want to bring one home, but the little baby named Nick was adorable and I definitely could have brought him home.

I went to an Open Day at an alpaca farm here in CT. their website is and I figured I should check it out because it would be fun to see the fiber still on the animal. My instructor was there, doing a spinning demonstration and she had tons of the alpaca that she handspins. Some really, really gorgeous stuff. If I hadn't finally finished the Christmas project for Mom, there was a beautiful hank of natural soft brown spun with a midnight blue/purple merino/tencel, I think. It was gorgeous! $65 for the hank, but there was enough on there that I could have done a stole on large needles with a soft, subtle pattern and I know Mom would appreciate it.

But I've already got Christmas for Mom. I'd love to do something for Mom-In-Law, but even though she does do handcrafted items, hers aren't as labor-intensive so I'm not sure she'd appreciate it quite as much. I'm still tempted to do something for the Aunt-In-Law, but I'm still thinking on that one.

What I did get was a really cute little item for my swap partner. It's the cutest little needle-felted pumpkin. Very New England. Very different. So that will be my special little treat to include in the package. I've gathered yarns and I just have to type up the little pattern that I use. You can add a false cable to it or simply do it straight on. It looks complicated, but it's really very simple, but it gives added texture to the yarn, which is why I like it so much. I'm sure someone out there has named this stitch, I just never bothered to look. It's something I kinda of made up as I went, so I'm not going to bother trying to find a name...

One other thing I found and grabbed before anyone else saw it was a bag of pure white alpaca. 8 oz. for $24. This stuff is totally clean and absolutely gorgeous. When I learn what I'm doing, this will be my treat for myself.

Oh, and Laurie got to sit and try my Kromski. She wanted to try it Friday night, but we never stopped talking long enough for her to sit and spin. So I brought it with me, treated her to a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee and let her sit and try my wheel. She was very pleased with the Kromski. She said it's smooth and really well-balanced.

I'm hoping we can get together again and just sit and spin and chat. It's weird to meet someone for the first time and feel like you've known them forever, but it's like that with Laurie. So I hope she'll become a new friend and not just a teacher, though, Lord knows, I've got tons I could learn from her.

The other thing is that I went to the business meeting on Saturday night and I'm totally excited about the new direction the group is taking. They're now headed exactly where I wanted to go. Think of it something like this... Everyone is standing in a group and I'm waving at them. "Hey, guys! C'mon over here! We should be doing this and this and that." They're kinda looking at me, unsure. Then this other group that's highly successful and really growing exponentially comes along and shoves the whole crowd from behind, "Yo! Get on over there!"

Lots of herding sound effects and whips whistling and cracking, but the herd starts moving exactly where you want them to go. Very kewl! LOL!

So I'm getting some of the new training materials. I want to get together with all the people I've sponsored into the business and get them moving right alongside me. Add to that a couple of students I've approached to start the Gen-Y kids doing exactly where they're already entrenched and I should have some explosive growth of my own in the next year. Wouldn't it be totally exciting if these students never had to get a job like the rest of us in their lives? If they worked really hard right now, they'd never have to. The time they have now could be used to build a business that would carry them for the rest of their life and they'd never have to fall into the job trap that their parents have depended on. Oh yeah, I see potential and a way to fix that problem. All I need is some ears to be open and a brain to engage.

So, my plot for world domination continues...

In the meantime, until I achieve that goal, it's off to work for another week of knitting. I have Cherry Tree Hill in Spanish Moss on the needles. I should be done with that by mid-week, so it's a good thing that my shipment of Lorna's Laces arrived on Friday. I have it wound into balls and ready to go. I just have one more shipment due. I ordered yarn and some roving from Lisa Souza. She was getting ready to run off to Stitches East, so I knew that would take time. But I should be good until that yarn shows up. Lots of projects. Lots of yarn and roving. Not enough time to get it all done.

Ain't it typical... LOL!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Lesson musings...

I invited Mom to join. Not that I expected her to sit and spin (which she didn't), but since she's the one who bought me my wheel, I just knew she'd be sitting on her hands all night to keep from calling, so why not bring her on in?

We had a blast! Yup, Laurie had trouble finding my house (everyone does even though they all admit later that my directions are perfect ), but once she got here, it felt like a Girls' Night Out. Someone who not only understood the allure of making something yourself, but someone who's life really depends on it. She'd never seen a Kromski wheel before and was really impressed with my cute little Prelude. She also checked my spinning (what I've actually done so far) and said I'm doing just fine. Okay, she said even better than fine. I'm doing GREAT for someone who's only been spinning for a couple weeks. I have good tension and even my little bobbin of plied yarn was wonderful. Yes, I really did do that by watching the video that came with my Prelude.

We talked roving and different breeds and how they spin differently and she gave me a little bag of natural cotton for those moments when I get too full of myself and need a challenge...

We talked about techniques like how I'd learned how to spread the roving and work from side to side (fanning it out) to keep it from bunching up and also to direct the colors once I get into the dyed rovings. I'd sort of figured that one out by default, but it seemed a logical thing to do when all the fibers were coming from one side of the roving, just fan it, tip it and let it pull in from the other side for a change.

Yes, it is kinda weird that I spin "left-handed" with my left hand guiding the roving and my right controlling the draft, but then I'd started with my Rakestraw and it seemed natural for me to add the spin with the right since my right arm is stronger and can spin longer. Then I'd park it between my knees and draft out with my left. So it seemed natural to do the same when I sat down at the wheel. OTOH, I do a lot of things with my left, like eating. So it's not unnatural for me to use my left for some things and my right for others.

Okay, I never thought about it... LOL!

Anyway, I got really excited because I told her that I wanted to stop by the farm today (she'll be there all day) and she invited me to bring my wheel and sit and spin for a while. This will be my first attempt to transport my wheel, but I'm going to try it and see if I can do it without breaking my little beauty. I mean, Wow! To get invited by your teacher to come sit and spin with her as she's demonstrating it.

So what was supposed to be an hour lesson turned into three hours in my house. We just kept talking and talking and talking some more. It was wonderful to meet someone for the first time and feel like you've known them for 100 years after just an hour or two.

So that's my plan for today. I figure I can run over to the farm in the early afternoon and then I've got my business meeting tonight. Doug and I are going to carpool. I hope that's as exciting as spinning, which I'm sure it will be, but life just seems TOO good right now. I keep waiting for something to happen. But I can't worry about that when it happens. Sooner or later, the 2 X 4 comes out of the blue to smack me between the eyes and remind me that reality isn't supposed to be this much fun or that exciting. But until then, I'm just going to ride the wave and enjoy myself.

Oh, one more thing. I'm gathering items for my swap partner. (On the Townsend Sockknitting Group, we're doing a swap. Gather some of your favorite yarn, some little odds and ends, a favorite hot drink--without the liquid -- and a favorite pattern and send it to your partner. and they do the same for you.) My partner, Tammy, is in Alabama and she's having a real rough time right now. So I'm going to put together, I hope, some really special stuff to send on down to her. Maybe I'll find something unique and different while at the farm to include in the package. I already have a bunch of yarn. One skein simply won't do it. I like too many different yarns with different colors and textures and weights. So I'm going to put a variety together and send it on down to her. I have a feeling she needs a "pick me up" and since the holidays are all coming, I want her to smile when she opens the package. I think she might need a smile right now, so I'm going to do my best to accomplish that.

More pics will come tomorrow when I have a bit more time. Okay, let's be real. I have no idea where the girls put their cameras. They're still passed out upstairs. Gotta love teenagers. I remember doing the same thing when I was their age, but now I don't want to waste time in bed when I have so many yarns and fibers calling my name. I got up at around 7AM this morning. That was already sleeping in. I don't need to waste anymore time in bed when I could be spinning.... LOL!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I should be cleaning. But that's no FUN!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Wow! People reading...

Thanks for writing. I was so worried that no one was actually reading and I was simply stroking my own ego. (Trust me, it is quite healthy and alive and doesn't need any help. )

Taxes?!?! You want to get me started on taxes?

Naw... we don't want to go there. LOL!

OTOH, great news. I'm having my first spinning lesson tonight. Laurie Sanford is coming over. I enticed her with thoughts of a pot of coffee just for her. Okay, I might have to make two since I'll consume the other.

Tomorrow, I'm going to visit an alpaca farm. They're having an open day so you can come and pet the alpacas and check out what it's all about. This could be dangerous since I have an affinity for animals... any animals. I like them all and exotic doesn't bother me in the least. Maybe I can convince hubby that they could keep the grass cut for him and he wouldn't have to mow anymore. I doubt it since I seriously think he'd balk at the thought of shearing, but it'll be fun to dream for a little while at the farm. If you want to check it out and come on down and see for yourself, the link is and I have no idea what time I'll be there, but it should be fun either way. Laurie got me when she said roving will be available. I have so much already, but no alpaca for myself. Hmmm....

Then tomorrow night is a business seminar for this new business I'm building. New mehtod on how to introduce the concept to people and I can't wait. I already have one or two college students lined up. They already have web lifestyles and use the internet to save them the time and money of running to the store. And I told them, hey, you're already using the Net to buy. What if I could show you how to buy and earn a commission for buying? They interested enough not to be embarrassed to have a woman the age of their mother sit at their kitchen table and explain it. I already intro'd them to a few of the products and they love them. So this whole concept should sell itself. Only need me to show up and put it into words.

I'm excited! My business is about to take off and I'm looking forward to the day I can hand my boss a note that says, "Due to a restructuring of my life, I've discovered that your services are no longer necessary. Take this crayon and color me GONE."

Ain't that a terrific idea?