Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Newsletter

I was reading about Lucia's recent Thanksgiving fiasco (she's prone to breaking ovens, don't invite her over if you have cookies due for a swap this weekend! ha ha ha)... and she said that it was good that she doesn't write a holiday newsletter. I got to thinking... this might be how ours would go...

Dear Friends and Family,
2009 was certainly a year of firsts for PC and Mini. When you last heard from us, we had been remarking how fortunate 2008 had been and how we couldn't wait for Christmas. Two days after mailing the cards, I lost my job. We agreed it was too late to return gifts and after checking with Emily Post and Miss Conduct, it was established that asking for "rent" was not considered "okay" at the holidays.

Keeping with the holiday spirit, PC thought we ought to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday entertaining our local hospital employees. We played a raucous game of 'how high can you go?' with his blood pressure. At 3am, a very kind, sweet, young nurse asked me if I was PC's mom... and that's when I made a mental note to wear more makeup. We went from a very normal 30 something couple to people who worried about salt content. Forever cheerful, we established 'not dead' as our motto.

February, March, April and May.... I looked for a job, tried to remember to shower, interviewed 12 times and got rejected 12 times. PC was spiritual in his daily reminders that 'something will come along'. PC and I tested our relationship by discussing how long I'd look for a job 'that speaks to me' before taking contract work in a lab. Wonder at how strong our relationship is.... secretly hope that like dinner plans and birthday parties, PC will forget our agreement. Smile and wonder at the strength of our relationship. Throughout this time, I developed a relationship with our cat, Pumpkin. Once she realized I was going to be around all day, she stopped hissing and taught me how to give her cookies.

June. We decided to move. Just because I was out of work, getting unemployment, and we had no idea when I'd get a job, doesn't mean we can't move! Moving gave me a project! I cleaned, organized and packed. I searched for apartments on the internet. I called agents and landlords. We met Satan. She owns a lovely 2 family on Middlesex Rd in Watertown.

July. We went on vacation to Niagara Falls. LOVED it. Resisted all temptation to throw myself into falls so that PC could have life insurance money. Remembered: Life insurance disappeared with job. July was also the filing of my first 'extension' for unemployment... cried to state worker over the phone. Very nice man named Brian talked me through the very easy process of "do you need an extension?" question. I continued to cry. Discovered I do have pride.

August. Applied, interviewed and received job offer. Read and re-read job offer letter to make sure they weren't joking.

September, October, and November.... slowly regaining my ability to get up and go to work every day. And just like last year... we're really looking forward to Christmas!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursdays--- Finale

Wow... only 4 short weeks in this month of thankfulness. Today's the day... Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, or Gobble Gobble is what I call it.

I have so much in my life to be thankful for... my home (it's rented), my cat (it's adopted) and my family. I should be stating that I am thankful for my job, my car, my clothes, my bank account, my furniture and even my food today, but I can't.

This past year, I have lost a job, been rejected more times than I can count... and I'm still here. I'm still fighting back. It's not perfect. I love my new job, I am thankful I have it, but it's not perfect. I love our new apartment (and what were we thinking adding an extra $400 to the budget without me having a job????), I am thankful I have it, but it's far from perfect.

What I am thankful for is the strength I had this past year. To get out of bed every morning and shower. To get up and sit at the computer for hours and hours, sending resumes that weren't read, asking for jobs I didn't want and smiling everyday at 4pm, because it wasn't fair to not be happy when I didn't have to work. So many days, I thought about how much easier it would be to stay in bed. To not shower. To not leave the house. So many days when my self-imposed lunch break was eating 1/2 a sandwich and crying to the cat... and then cleaning myself up and pushing on. I was strong this year. Stronger than I have ever been. I received a lot of support (PC, especially), but a whole lot of it came from me. This year I am thankful that I found out I am a strong, creative, generous, kind woman that I always wanted to be.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I've been knitting! This is a toddler sweater (size 4T) for my cousin's daughter, Livvie. She's a big sister now! The yarn is Bollocine that I had in the stash... it's a pattern that you make bigger by upsizing your needles and yarn. I did add 10 rows of garter stitch to each sleeve though.
And, here are all 3 matching sweaters together: big sister and two new baby twin sisters. :)
Why does this woman look so happy? This is a new friend, Val, who I met at my quilting class. Yup, I have been taking a quilting class--- very basic,but it helped reinforce some things I needed to relearn or learn brand new. I loved the class so much, I am signed up for the next one!
This is my quilt from class. I love it. It's the first time I have ever made a quilt that came out square. Everything from the cutting to the hand stitching of the binding was an experience.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Daily dose of reality. This article/post on's very popular "love letters", has proven to be a way to stir up conversation.

The gist: a guy met a girl 1 1/2 years ago, they've been dating... and she gained weight. Now he wants to know how/if he should dump her. He states that she wasn't 'small' to start with, but now it's on the border of restricting their love life. Translation: he doesn't want to have sex with her anymore.

Today's LL got like 200+ comments... about 50/50 women to men. It's mind boggling the amount of good, bad and just idiotic advice that was provided.

And, it also makes me thankful for something today. Thankful for my better half, PC. He's seen my weight go up , go down... he's tolerated it. I know it bothers him, but we are this together and I am thankful each day that he's the yin to my yang.... even if my yang is twice the size it used to be.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful for modern medicine. PC's dad had to have open heart surgery earlier this week and last night, he'd already been through physical therapy, climbed stairs and was off pain medication. It truly amazes me that we have doctors who can literally hold your heart in their hands, fix it and have you home in a week. It's remarkable. PC's dad is, obviously, doing well and he's receiving 1st class care at a local hospital.

Beyond this immediate thankfulness, there is the overwhelming thankfulness for Dr. Zhu and Dr. Ferguson at the MGH who saved my dad from esophogeal cancer... when so many doctors within their own group said he wasn't able to be saved. They worked together, were aggressive to the cancer, lovely to my family, and my dad's watching his grandson have his 1st Christmas this year.

My mom's illness is also tough to treat, but her pulmonologist will not give up on her. She recently entered an experimental treatment that uses low impact exercise to improve lung function in emphysema and diminshed pulmonary capacity patients. An 'old fashioned' treatment of removing a pint of blood has made an amazing difference in her lifestyle and abilities.

Modern medicine, caring doctors and unlimited access to great facilities... something to be thankful for.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The true meaning

...of giving. It's here. In this story. Go read it and then come back. I'll wait.

You back?

Good. So, what does this wonderful human interest story in our 'local' paper tell us? That giving doesn't have to be with all the hoopla. I spent 4 years of college volunteering, and never stating a word about it. I just did it. PC and I give to Lazarus House (please join us, it's in dire need again this year) each year, but while we ask others to participate, we never disclose how much we give.

It's about doing the good thing for the sake of the good thing. I think Mr. Stone is the last of the mohicans... a true standout gentleman who looked around, saw the community where he has a business and said "hmm. they need "X"." and then gave them X. Mr. Stone has the money, the resources and the mindset to do this and I, for one, think it's great.

Nothing is named after him, he's already provided for his children (he owns Sterilite) and I think he might have wanted to see the good he does. A moment of pride. That's it.

So, god bless Mr. Stone... and keep up the good work.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm thankful for....

Imagination, the one I have and the ones that others have. Look down at your cell phone. Your iPod. Your car alarm thingie. Someone used their imagination and said "what if...." I work with a large amount of "what if" people, people who's creativity knows no bounds and who think mine is limitless as well. It has been my good fortune to have a creative lifestyle and an outlet for my need/desire/urge to create. I love watching little children play... their imaginations are so alive! A toy truck can be a telephone, or it can be a baby carrier. The ability to look at something and see not only what it is, but what it can be.... this is the part of my imagination that I love. As knitters, we look around a room filled with balls of string, essentially, and say "i can see that as a sweater" or a hat, or socks.... we imagine the potential. And, it's an amazing gift.

Is your imagination limitless? What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

Well, Carole says I started it, but wow... she really took an idea and ran with it!

My thankfulness comes today from being thankful for my time. PC gives me 'my time' without complaint and I'm not sure I ever really appreciated it until recently. I've always been fairly casual about stating that since PC and I don't have kids (yet), we are free to do whatever we like, whenever we like. But, that is as a couple. As an individual within a couple, I have responsibilities toward the other individual, PC. Years have gone by with me running off to knit night, having shoved some dinner in his general direction and heard the following words "I love you, be careful and have fun *click**click* (makes general knitting movements)" I need this time, he knows I need this time. All the weekend retreats (SPA, the guild sleepover, Rhinebeck)... no complaints. Yes, one or two mentions of being "taken over" by yarn, but I'm learning to keep it in one (or three) rooms... and he looks before he sits. :)

But, it's the time. I need my time to create. To be. To want. To do. In a crazy world with massive economic problems (we were one of those problems, remember? 10 months of unemployment), I am thankful to have a good job that allows me the time to knit and be creative. And I am really thankful for PC for always having known I needed it.

I am thankful today for:
  • the time available to be creative
  • the time to prepare nutritious food
  • the time to listen to leaves crunch
Join the Thankful Thursdays.... you'll be in good company. Add to the comments each week... and let me know if you are blogging on Thankful Thursdays.
Simply Sock Yarn
Crazy knitting fool
Painted Sheep
Danielle (mostly b/c TT got her to blog again)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Babies! Socks! Snot!

Have you ever just been so tired of being tired? I'm there. I'm over this cold... make it go away! I'm tired of waking up with that 'crud in my eyes, mouth, nose" feeling. So, I'm going to focus on the positives: dinner with a friend from California tonight. Work is only 8 hours long. My family has 2 new babies as of Sunday! The twins--- they are here! My cousin Sue had her baby girls on Sunday. Now, I just gotta hop to getting O's sweater done and mail them all up --- I think I can do it by Monday.

I'm thankful today for:
  • hot tea with milk
  • advil cold'n'sinus--- I know it has pseudoephedrine, it's why it works, and it's why I love it. I'm not making meth with it, but if meth cured colds... I'd be first in line.
  • warm kitty sitting on my handknit socked feet. She's purring and it makes my toes tickle.

Monday, November 02, 2009


So, in addition to having a cold, we had some company this weekend! My bff, Sylvie, brought her hubby and son (my nephew), Remi, to go trick or treating! Sylvie, being French and living here for 6 years, had never been trick or treating! So, we took Remi, age 14 months, trick or treating. He lasted 5 houses. :)

A dinner of Chinese take out and chilling with friends was just what we needed.

Sunday day: knitting with Dora, drinking free (shh!) lattes and catching up. Our hours of knitting fly by when it's just us hanging out.

Sunday, it was OUR turn to treat... Celtics! Celtics won, by more than a handful of points, beating the New Orleans Hornets... it was a good game, but not great. Pretty choppy in the first half, with more and more fouls being called. Being me, I noticed that the Hornets used all 5 of their personal fouls before the 6 minute mark each quarter. The Celtics only used all 5 of theirs in one quarter. So, yes... a slower paced game. BUT, I got to see 4 really good dunks--- which I have never seen in a professional game, in person. We walked through the cool night air to Government Center to catch a D train (skipping all the craziness of North Station on a game night)... and I realized just how much I miss being in the city.

And, since it's November and Thanksgiving lands this month.... I'm trying something new. Each day that I blog, I will post 3 things I am thankful for. Feel free to join me in the comments.

  1. my health (even with my cold): I'm overweight, but have been relatively healthy this year
  2. PC, who loves me even when I don't deserve it and who is my rock
  3. my family. Crazy, all of them, but this is the reason I love them most.