Sunday, October 28, 2007

UFOs under the bed...

So I pulled my under-the-bed box of unfinished objects out tonight. I like to visit them occasionally, open their zip lock baggies and pet them a bit. It gives them hope that they may indeed see the light of day and be finished at some point in the future. I currently have approximately 14 UFOs -- not including projects on needles that I'm actively working on. (In my defense, everything in my UFO box is not mine...there are some projects my kids started and never finished. Just sayin'.) Tonight I made my UFOs feel extra special and took their pictures, too. I'm trying to get my Ravelry pages up to date, and pictures are essential.

I applied for membership on Ravelry back in early August and got my invite in early October. I've been smitten ever since. It is such a cool site. A great way to keep track of all of my projects, both finished and in process, as well as those that have been relegated to hibernation status (hence the box of UFOs). And, as an enabling tool, you can also queue up projects that you want to cast on in the future!

And I'm slowly working my way through my stash, taking pictures of all of that yarn, too, so I'll be able to easily see on my Ravelry stash pages just what I happen to own in all of those storage boxes and bags. (You'd think it would make it easier to NOT buy more yarn...but no. Ha!) I'm almost caught up with my project pages, but it's going to take me a while to get all of my stash inventoried and online.

Then there is the community aspect of it can connect with other knitters in various groups. There are a lot of well known knitwear designers on the site, and it's very cool to be able to e-mail them and say, "Hey! Loved this pattern!" or ask a question about something you don't quite understand.

Just to clarify...Ravelry (which I was mispronouncing for months as "Raverly" in rave parties or something...with yarn?) isn't paying me for this endorsement. But if you're a knitter and really into your craft and want yet another way to feed the obsession, check it out. It's still in its Beta stage, but you can still sign up and get on the waiting list.

And speaking on online communities...I was going hot and heavy on MySpace for a while, but I've been sidetracked by Facebook instead. Facebook is a warmer, fuzzier MySpace kind of place...more comfortable for me, anyway. There are a lot more people I actually know (versus virtually know or "know" because I follow their bands or other art) on Facebook, so that makes it nice, too. And I can play Scrabulous with my friends on Facebook...what's not to love about that? LOL that ends my infomercial on web sites that allow you to have a fulfilling social life from the comfort of your own chair (or, in my case, exercise ball, which is what I sit on when I'm at my computer). Who needs real life when you can just live it all online? Heh....

Monday, October 15, 2007

The party was great...

...great weather...great people...great food...great fun. Was so cool seeing some of my son's high school friends again. These kids, they're getting older. Doing things with their lives. So, so neat to see life moving on in this way.

Can't have a party without cake...

Some people hung out later and we had a fire and made S'mores. Everyone loves a fire on a chilly fall evening...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So far, so good...

Weather for Sunday: 64 degrees, mostly sunny. Couldn't ask for anything better. Woohoo!

Preparation level: what's done is done, what's not done may not get done, and it just doesn't matter. It'll be fine.

State of mind: Good. I'm excited for the party tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to seeing my son's friends, some of whom I've not seen in several years. I think it's going to be a really good time. I feel like this is the graduation party I never got to throw for him back in high school, and I'm glad for the opportunity to finally do it.

Today was Family Day for the new recruits that will be heading to boot camp soon. I went with my daughter-in-law and grandson to see what it was all about. It was mainly a time to get information about what's going to happen to them during the 13 weeks they'll be at Parris Island. It sounded incredible...impossible...amazing. I cannot even imagine enduring the grueling physical challenges they're put through, but I think my son will do well at it. He's got it in him to do this, I know that.

It was the other aspects that they kept talking about though...the changes on the inside that most captured my attention. More than once, they talked about how the kid getting on the bus is not the same kid you'll see when you go down for boot camp graduation. I so want that to be true. My kid is a good kid...I love him as he is...but I know he can be so much more. I am so praying that this is finally going to be the opportunity that will help him break out of this cycle he's been in of not moving forward. He tries but something always holds him back. Hopefully this will be the thing that will help him break free of that and finally find some success and help him build his confidence and take him places in life. For him and his little family, I pray so hard that this will be the case.

In the mean time, it's finally dawning on me that once he leaves for boot camp, it's not just for 13 weeks, but really, he's gone. It's going to be a whole new experience of letting go for me. Even though he hasn't lived here for three years and he's been married for over a year, there's still been a certain level of dependence on us due to various life circumstances. Between that and the fact that he and I have always had a pretty good relationship -- he's always talked to me, even when things were pretty crappy with him -- this is really going to be a change. I find myself thinking about this and suddenly tearing up. I know it is a good change, a right change, for him to move on and away, but I'm going to miss our closeness. I'm trusting God to take care of that, though. I know he will.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Life --> Crazy

Wow,, in less than three weeks, our oldest son heads to Parris Island, SC for Marine boot camp. I'm still getting used to this idea, as it was only a month ago that he decided to pursue this course of action to begin with. This is a major thing, and he's leaving behind his wife and son, but he's doing it for them, to hopefully improve his little family's life. Totally praying all works out well for them.

In the mean time, I offered to host a going away party for him. Now. Honestly? I am not a good party thrower. I get stressed. I get crazy. I worry about whether or not people will have a good time. The biggest stressor for me is the smallness of our house. Now, I know, hospitality has nothing to do with how big or small your house is, or what you serve and all that. I *know* that. But still...there are going to be anywhere from 50-70 people through my tiny little house the afternoon of this event...I can't help but be a little concerned.

Like...what if it rains? Would it be considered rude to stack my guests up three and four high in the living room? And what if my one toilet in my one and only bathroom picks that day to totally go bonkers and not work, as it it wont to do on occasion? Ordinarily, we function just fine as a single bathroom household, but that day? It would be *so not good* for the toilet to decide to back up.

Food? I can handle. Beverages? No problem. Chairs? We'll solicit them from family and have plenty. Square footage under cover in case of rain? That might be a problem, so my first defense will be fervently praying for good weather.

So now my biggest questions are: can I completely re-landscape my front yard and paint my kitchen within the next 11 days? Ha! You think I'm joking. I went to Lowe's and bought paint tonight....