Update 12-11-18: So Much To Tell

Honestly, I have no idea how time runs away or actually, flies away so fast! It has been well over a month since the last post and much has happened. While the expected and traditional events have taken place such as Thanksgiving, much more has been happening. Depending on how long this gets, you may see more than one post.

Cross stitching has taken a back seat to Christmas knitting and crafting. Despite trying to get a little bit in each day, working on DS’s stocking was not going to see completion this year. As soon as Christmas is over and the last bits of birthdays and holidays are behind, a new plan must be put in place so that the stocking is completed by Christmas next year. I enjoy stitching it, but had to reprioritize my tasks.

On November 3, a pair of scrap toe-up footsies were completed and set aside. These were made from miscellaneous sock yarns collected over time. 20181103_223155Just a simple smash up of yarns. I will probably wear these in the spring and fall as they are shorter than I like to wear during the winter.

My biggest project for November when I was actually able to knit was secret gift knitting. I hope to show it after it has been gifted.

The reason for taking so long to get it done was not so much the size or amount, but rather the fact that I was completing the requirements for registering for college online. I have completed all of the requirements to be able to start Orientation on the 15th of this month and classes on the 1st of January. After financial aid, tuition costs were less than $200 which I am hoping to also get reimbursed for after a scholarship interview on the 26th of this month. This will be helpful as DH has over $1K dental work that needs to be done and we have work on one of the vehicles to see about. This next year is going to be busy and expensive with school, changes in work for DD, potential changes in work for DH if he gets one of the jobs he has applied for to make use of his Masters which he hopes to have complete in January or February of 2019, a trip to see my mom who is struggling with increasing dementia, and a trip back east for an international youth camporee in August 2019. Yes, it will be busy!

November 13 saw the remaking of some rose hip jelly. Unfortunately, it would not jell, so pectin was purchased and after recooking, canning and water bathing, there was jelly. It is so pretty and ever so yummy!

On the 27th of November I cast on a pair of fingerless mitts for my husband’s niece followed by a matching cowl on the 29th. The cowl is down to the top ribbing and does not follow a specific pattern. I liked the stitch for the fingerless mitts so figured out how many stitches to cast on and made my own pattern. Hopefully, the top ribbing will be done today and I will be able to cast on fingerless mitts for her mom. I really need to get this all done as Christmas will be here before we know it.

Speaking of Christmas, most of the presents have been ordered in and just need to be wrapped. We went with more practical gifts for DD and DS this year as they needed some things and have been purchasing their own “fun” items. I hope they will not be disappointed when they see what they have. I am thinking to slip a “fun” thing or two in their stockings. DH ordered a new flat screen TV for our Christmas. When it came in, there was a nice crack behind the main screen that we found when we went to mount it. Needless to say, it was shipped back and we are waiting for its replacement. DH also ordered a new and faster laptop on Black Friday as he needed to upgrade. He had it for about a week when it decided not to charge any more, even when plugged in. After a phone call to a Lenovo tech, he was advised to send it back for either repair or replacement. He sent it back for a refund and ordered an identical one for $20 less. So far it is working fine. We are keeping an eye on it.

I placed two orders for yarn over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The first one was an order from Knit Picks for a variety of yarns, a pair of interchangeable needle tips and two cables at an extra 20% discount. That order came quickly and I cannot wait to cast on those projects. I am hoping to cast them on before I start back to school so that I can grab some of the mindless ones to knit on while listening to lectures. It helps me concentrate.

The second order was from Madeline Tosh (MAD Tosh) at a 25% discount. I have wanted to try their yarn for a long time and felt that this put it within reach. Four different skeins were ordered and paid for from their website on November 26. A confirmation for my order was received in my inbox. This was followed by a note from them stating that orders would be a bit delayed because they had so many orders over the shopping weekend. As of this morning, the site still shows my order as “unfulfilled”. I looked to see what the normal time was for shipping out an order and it is 7-10 business days on a busy weekend. I am going to give them until Friday and then I will send an email asking when I might receive my order. If they cannot fill it soon, I will most likely cancel it and ask for a refund. Then I will have to go look for replacement yarn for those projects. I would prefer to try this yarn out, though as I have heard so many good things about it.

To back track just a bit, this year I did not have to work on Thanksgiving Day so we hosted the dinner. Once again a turkey was roasted and all of the trimmings were added. Family came over and we ate until our stomachs were full. DH did not have to work this year on the holiday either so it was nice to have him home. Unfortunately, he did have to work on Black Friday, but he was still able to take care of his laptop order on that day. I am scheduled to work on Christmas this year and will give my four hours. It is not that long and since the kids are adults now, I do not feel so rushed to make sure I am home early in the morning to open gifts. They prefer to sleep in and we will open gifts with DH’s family on Christmas Eve. My fingers just have to get busy finishing up the last few gifts.

On December 3, DFIL celebrated his 80th birthday with family and close friends at a nearby restaurant. He is still doing well and keeping quite busy between volunteering maintenance and landscaping at church, the elementary school where his youngest granddaughter attends school, and the local private church high school. We hope he has many more fulfilling years ahead.

Father Son Grandson 120118

DFIL, DS, and DH: You can definitely tell they are related!

Quite a handsome group of guys! Especially the one on the right! 🙂

 

If I don’t post again until the new year, we wish each of you a wonderful stitchy Christmas with family and friends close by! May your new year be filled with all that you need and may God be the Center of your life! 20181123_194343

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Update: 10-31-18

Gasp! A blog post?! My goodness! Whatever is the matter?!

Once again the weather has turned cool and while we are trying to finish winterizing everything, I am currently fighting a nasty head cold or allergies. My head is stuffy, nose running, and I want sleep but cannot get there.

Time is still limited but for today, I am ignoring the leaves that need to be raked and trying to feel better. Yesterday I raked over half of the back yard and really wanted to finish today. For my efforts, I have a broken blister on my right thumb and the aforementioned cold or allergies. In my endeavor to rake the leaves, I learned that under the leaves was grass that needs to be mowed very low, also for winter. That will be someone’s project, though that someone may end up being me. Once the leaves are raked into the pile with the wood, DH will be able to burn the whole mess and make a wonderful pile of ash that we should add to our raised garden bed. I also need to make a trip to Harbor Freight to pick up tarps to put over the garden that will be composted with straw donated by DFIL. I am really hoping our garden will be good again next spring and that we will be able to plant it earlier.

In an attempt to ignore how miserable my head feels and braving the “frogs” that may decide to invade my work because of my headache, I have been putting more stitches into DS’s stocking. They say it is good to confess, so I will confess that I am tired of stitching DMC 221, 223, and 3722. These are all shades of a rosy pink. For some reason I had no idea there was so much of it in this piece. Depending on how much more I have in the very top band and the toe of the stocking, I may have to purchase more of each color. Thankfully, I can now move on to 676 on the eventual checkerboard on the top left. It is such a nice change of pace.

The picture on the left is from my last post while the one on the right is where I am at now. You can see a wee bit more at the bottom right and the top section. You can also see the box at the top left that I am filling in the top section with DMC 676. This is the referenced checkerboard.

No other crafting has really happened since last time though I have plans to cast on a pair of socks sometime soon, potentially a hat, and most importantly, pull out DS’s sweater or rather the sleeves and get them moving along or re-cast on. Preparations are being made for having projects on the go that can be worked on while reading textbooks or listening to/watching lectures. Plans are moving forward for classes beginning in January. My second transcript has now been received. Fingers are crossed that the last one will come in soon so that review can be completed and I can learn which classes will be accepted. The missing transcript has a class that is related to my upcoming studies. However, I am not sure if they will accept it since it has been 30+ years. Yes, it has been forever! Time will tell.

I believe that is all for now. I’m off to brave the “frogs” and potentially sneak a nap later this afternoon. Thanks again for sticking with me through this adjustment.

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Update 10-25-18: I’m in trouble now

Where has time flown to? It has been almost a month since I last posted. I truly didn’t realize it had been that long, but then so much has been crammed into the last 30 days that I should not be surprised. Every weekend has been crammed with either trips out of town by DH or both of us, or visits to local churches. Week days have been tossed up in the air between typical chores, new role/volunteer job, and keeping family going. It has been a ride and does not look like it will slow down any time soon. Today I am trying to fit in writing a blog post between laundry, emails, and a new part of my life that will officially start on January 1. So I need to decide if you would like the life update first or the crafting update. I think we need to do the crafting first and then those that are brave enough to read to the end will get the life update OR you can skip it if you prefer.

My crafting calendar for September looked great and most every day was filled with a bit of work on one project or another. Even October started out great for the first week. The hairpin lace wrap saw quite a bit of work and was finally finished except for weaving in ends on October 12. The first picture is when I started crocheting the hairpin lace strips together and the 2nd is the finished, but still needing ends woven in project.

The yarn is Caron Cakes worsted in the Macaron colorway. It was on clearance when I purchased it and sat in my stash for quite awhile before I decided to grab it and use it up. Other than the pictures not truly reflecting the color due to lighting and the time of day, this colorway made up very nicely in this pattern. With the finish of this project, I have also completed the final requirement for the Pathfinder Advanced Crochet Honor.

Two other projects have received bits of work here and there thanks to changes in my life. These are the Toe Up Scrap Footsies – I am working on #2 and trying to knit to the heel, and DS’s Christmas stocking. The stocking takes priority right now because I really want it finished for Christmas. Unfortunately, my crafting time for any crafting has been drastically reduced so the stocking is picked up and put down with as many stitches as I can add each time thrown into the project. 20181025_115103Right now I am stuck in the seemingly never-ending DMC #221 or #223 but I am almost to the end of it in this center section so am trying to stick it out. Unfortunately, I have had to frog a bit of the dark rose color down on the left due to a counting error and will probably have to frog that portion in the lower left corner as well. I am in denial at this point and stitching elsewhere.

Life has been most interesting this month and while some of it was planned, two different things have happened that have changed up how and what I do. On September 30, DH received a phone call from his executive secretary for the volunteer church youth group work that we do. She has successfully completed treatment for a medical condition and was having to evaluate all that was on her personal “plate”. After looking at all that she does – run a day care, heavily involved in her local church, second grandbaby on the way, husband looking for job, plus the secretarial work she did for DH, she realized that something had to be let go. Unfortunately, the secretarial position was what she let go. She will be greatly missed and thankfully, we can still contact her with questions and for advice.

This left DH scrambling for who would fill this role as there is so much that she took care of. On my way home from work after a 12-hour shift that day, I learned what had taken place and listened as DH went through the options on the team. He could pull someone else in from outside the team or move people around. During the last 18 months I had worked closely with DH while completing the planning for last year’s regional Camporee and continued to do some of the work already. DH decided he wanted me to take on this role and he would transfer my coordinator duties to someone else. After considering all of the options and looking at how this would play out along with prayer that this was the right move, I agreed to take on this position, let go of the Senior Area Coordinator position, but retain the Pathfinder Bible Experience Coordinator position. This last one is my real passion when it comes to the youth group work.

The first week of October was spent talking with the Executive members of the team to let them know what was happening and see if they were willing for me to change roles and then the first weekend in October during our Spiritual Retreat, the rest of the team was advised of the changes and asked for their support. The second week of October saw absolutely no crafting until Friday evening as I was busily digging through a laptop and boxes of goodies to get up to speed on what was happening and catch up on work that the prior secretary had not been able to get to. By Friday night I was exhausted, but had a wee bit better handle on how things were going on that end of the spectrum.

Since then, I have still spent over half of each week working on “making this position my own” as she suggested I do. Reports and requests have been solicited and dumped into spreadsheets. Last Thursday I learned that a list of dates were to have been submitted to another party on October 1, so that was quickly dealt with and we are doing our best to move forward. There are one or two more spreadsheets that I need to build to simplify my life and ultimately, DH’s life, at least one order to be made online (and unfortunately, one of the items will not be available until some time in November), and potentially one other order placed, depending on budget. I have had to build a spreadsheet for the budget to help it make sense and am hoping to have it under control shortly. Thankfully, I have a great working relationship with the treasurer at the state church headquarters and she has been extremely helpful on that end.

Long time readers of my blog will probably also remember that I have toyed with the idea of going back to school and finishing my Bachelors. A year ago, this was considered and set aside again. There were too many factors against taking that step at that time. This year has seen DS settling more into his college courses, learning how to drive, and taking charge of his adult life as he turned 18. While he still lives at home, still needs Mom on occasion, he is becoming more and more independent. DD announced last spring that she was done with school and would step it up to finish in December of this year. I was so very happy as she had been dragging this out for long enough. She will have a two-year Liberal Arts degree which will enable her to pursue further education when and if she chooses, knowing that her generals are out of the way for the most part. And lastly, DH will complete his Masters program either in December or January.

Given all of the above, with the exception of the change in volunteer positions, a decision was made last August that I should apply to finish my degree with a start date of January 1, 2019. This month, I prepared DS’s FAFSA for next year. I then entered the information for my FAFSA. This had been done last year, but I had not used it since I had not attended school. My plan was to wait until November to apply to school, and then start in January, however, DH with the support of the kids and the pushing and shoving of my BFF, announced that I had to apply for college at WGU and not put it off any longer. He referred them to me and so began the process. I was very scared and mildly excited because I was not sure we could afford this, not just financially but also for what it might take away from what I do for the family and elsewhere. DH has tried to reassure me that this will not be a problem as it can be worked around everything else, so we will see. WGU’s program is not the traditional multiple classes to be passed over the course of a semester. According to my enrollment counselor, you take one class per month and complete each one before you  move to the next. You are required to complete a minimum of four classes every six months, but can complete as many as you want. The fee is a flat fee per term (six months).

So far, I have applied and been accepted. My FAFSA for the 2018-19 school year has been updated and I have funds for the first six months of 2019. There is a bit over $450 yet to come up with, however I was sent information for applying for a scholarship that hopefully will cover that. I submitted that application this morning and hope to hear soon on whether or not I will receive that assistance. My main transcript has been received and is now being evaluated. The two smaller ones will hopefully be received soon so that they can be evaluated. With my previous degree (AS Legal Secretarial) being received 30+ years ago, I am not counting on too much of that to be accepted against the courses required for a BS in Accounting. We will learn in the next few weeks what they decide.

As you can imagine, this has and will continue to cut significantly into my crafting time. I am hoping that I can squeeze in a bit here and there because my crafting is also for my sanity. You could call it my therapy. I will continue to blog as I am able and craft while I pursue my dreams. Should all go well, I might even consider pursuing my Masters. Right now we are going to take it one step at a time to avoid being overwhelmed.

Wish me luck, and if you are patient and brave enough, stay tuned! 🙂 Next year is looking to be full to overflowing with activities and projects. I definitely will need lots of prayers!

 

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