Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays -- whatever you celebrate -- and will have a Happy and Healthy 2008!

This year was somewhat of a tumultuous one for me -- many life changes and worries about my furbabies. However, life seems to be calming down a bit and I am getting a routine settled into my lifestyle. Going back to work fulltime -- after only working parttime out of the house or fulltime from home for 7 years -- was much more difficult and stressful than I imagined. It isn't the job that is stressful -- oh, it has its moments like all jobs -- but just the change.

I am responsible for 17 counties and work with individuals, hospitals, universities and colleges, municipalities, other local governments, fire companies, etc. etc. It is a good job but keeps me on the road a lot. Fortunately, I work for the best people. I am often exhausted at day's end, and I will say that I would not do this job for any other United States Senator than the one who employs me. I have known him for 12 years and completely believe in him and his standards. I have watched him move through state government and now into the federal government. He is a one-of-a-kind in temperment and how carefully he selected staff.

Sorry I don't have any photos to download. I think I need to update the photo program on this computer because it will no longer download my new photos. I have a new laptop that I keep at the office so I guess it would be just as easy to download the photos onto it and write the blog during my lunchtime. that's a thought....

What I am looking forward to in 2008 and some New Year's Resolutions:

1) We are traveling to Palm Springs, CA in late January for my husband's conference. In 2006 we visited La Quinta Resort and I cannot wait to a return visit. It is gorgeous and there is a yarn shop that I am particularly fond of....

2) Losing weight. Yes, I am going to lose 15 pounds if it kills me. Exercise and sensible eating. Cutting out soda in my diet and adding water instead. Coke is my big downfall.

3) Attending the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling at the end of April. Three days of knitting with others, learning new knitting tricks and making new friends.

4) Growing our local knitting group. Molly, the LYS owner, will be moving into her new shop in early 2008 and we are going to meet there instead of at the library. The library has been so generous to us and we would have never come this far without their kindness. But, it is time to move to a new space.

5) Not fretting so much about my Golden Retrievers and spending that time enjoying them more. They are aging -- as we all are -- and I just worry constantly. I think this summer's health problems will always be in the back of my mind.

6) Cooking more and eating take-out less. The part for my oven has arrived so once the Sears repairman fixes it, then I should be able to keep this promise. But, back to #2, I have to remember to cook meals and not bake cookies!

7) Take more time for knitting and also get back to doing counted cross stitch which was my first craft love. Yes, I do have time for both and need to make myself take the time.

8) To enjoy life more!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

As the pages turn...or 3 book reviews

Recently I had about an hour to kill while waiting for one of my Golden Retrievers to be groomed so I spent some time in the knitting book aisle at the local Barnes & Noble, one of my favorite hangouts.
Three new knitting books caught my eye so here is my uneducated overview of them:
The Knitter's Book of Yarn is labeled as The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using and Enjoying Yarn. This lovely hardback book is written by Clara Parkes. The author offers a wonderfully complete description of the types of yarns available on today's market, describes the spinning process and completes the book with 40 gorgeous patterns. The color photography enhances the text and the author included at least 2 photos of each pattern, one of them often being a closeup. Price is $30 but I think it is well worth the money. Yes, it did come home with me.
Super Stitches Knitting is a guide to over 300 stitch patterns and is written by Karen Hemingway. The pages are bound in a semi-hard cover. Let's talk about those pages...full of many stitch patterns I have never seen before and all shown in a straight-forward way in nice photographs. Patterns are divided into 11 categories, making it easy to find the type you want/need for a project. Actually, the book is so attractive that it made project pop into my head. Price is $19.95 and also worth the money. Ah-hem...yes it too is living at my house.
101 Designer one-skein Wonders is edited by Judith Durant. This is a second in the series...and there is no indication if others are planned. Patterns vary widely and are submitted by yarn shop owners, designers for yarn companies, knitwear designers for magazines, and knitting book authors. The paperback publication is well done and the concept is interesting. All patterns can be knitted from one skein of yarn. This is ideal. Why? Because it makes knitting affordable for almost everyone. That is so important to the continuation of this important handicraft. The paperback book is $18.95.