Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 283 of 365

Notes to self:
  • Drive your behind down the road to get a good picture of a lunar eclipse if it's happening at 7 AM. It wasn't enough to get yourself out of bed to look at it - the moon was too far away for you to take a picture. Get those darn shoes on and grab those car keys even if it is only 15 degrees outside.
  • Don't wear arthritis gloves when you're cutting fabric. Those soft gloves that make your fingers and hands feel better when you're sewing and typing aren't the best things to be wearing when you're cutting. They'll act like a lint roller and will pick up every stray piece of fabric and teeny tiny piece of thread around. And don't even attempt to pick those threads off the gloves. They'll get sucked right back onto the gloves before you can get the thread to the trash can.
  • Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. If someone offers you an early Christmas present and that present is a new iron, take it. That present just might come in handy when you're sewing up a kid's quilt you want to get mailed out in the next week. Handy because your other iron is still on the fritz. That old iron that will only get hot if you turn it off, unplug it, let it cool completely, then turn it back on. You'll have to do that every few minutes. It'll take you all day to press one quilt top because of the frequent cool-it-down turns.
  • Get some dang curtains in the den window. How many days are you going to have to wear your husband's baseball cap before you figure out curtains are a more effective way to block out the evening sun?
  • Remember at this time of year there are fewer daylight hours. Fewer hours of daylight mean fewer hours of finding a potential picture of the day. There will be some times you'll find a picture after dark, but those will be extremely rare.

The rarity happened tonight. I may have missed taking a picture of the eclipse early this morning, but looking across the river tonight I did get the yellow moon rising through the trees.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 282 of 365

I received an e-mail with the final tally:

* Three post office tractor trailers full
* 1,500 boxes
* 2,500 polar fleece blankets
* Over 49,000 pounds of Christmas goodies
* Over 1,000 knitted hats
* 10,000 personal greeting cards and hundreds of letters of appreciation
* And 10,140 homemade, personalized Christmas Stockings.

Just some of the highlights on the work Stockings for Soldiers did this year. 10,140 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will get to experience just a bit of home this Christmas because of the work of all the volunteers around the country.

I'm glad I was able to participate in a small way. 80 stockings were sewn by me (and some by you, too!) and hundreds of items to stuff in them were collected by a couple clubs at Marsing High School. Next year I'll do even more.

What I can't do more of is think tonight. My mind is fried after another late night at work and I can't figure a way to tie today's picture into today's writing. Being as it was Friday I made sure I left before it was too dark and walked out of the building with the sun going down.

The orange-ish jet trail behind the big, leafless tree looked to be an interesting picture-worthy sight.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 281 of 365

There were lots of opportunities for me to take pictures of things as I worked through the house today.

I considered taking a picture of my bedroom. I now, after months and months of wanting to go with a spa-themed room, have made some changes. As of today I have new sheets, a new blanket, a new down comforter, and new curtains. Months ago we took the curtains down in the den with the intent of putting them up in the bedroom when we were ready. I've endured many, many evenings of wearing a baseball cap in the den because the setting sun in the window behind the computer was blinding. (It would have made a lot more sense to have left the curtains in the den until we were ready to move them to the bedroom, but I wasn't thinking.)

I could have taken pictures of all the Christmas presents we got wrapped today, or the roses we finally pruned and hauled to the trashcan, the organizing we did, or our belated tree-trimming Mexican feast we're finally getting to have tonight. But one shocking sight took priority over the other potential pictures.

In my continuation of the FlyLady way, I worked on my linen closet today. It has been pretty clean and neat all along, but I've been running out of room for one thing in particular.

Used needles.

I use needles for my methotrexate and I have pre-filled syringes of my Enbrel that I put in those red sharps containers when I'm finished. But drugstores around here won't take the full containers, the drug company that sent them to me won't take them, and doctors and hospitals won't take them. So they sit, full, in my linen closet. Mostly full of the big Enbrel shots.

Today I took the Enbrel out of the containers to make room for the other smaller, more dangerous syringes. When I gathered them up it hit me.

This is what $13,000 looks like. Drug companies should be embarrassed.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 280 of 365

Serendipity. Coincidence. Fate. Kismet. Karma. Whatever you want to call it, it happened.

Last night after another consecutive night of me not getting home from work until after dark, my husband and I sat in the living room with the Christmas tree lights on and the Christmas music playing. We talked about lots of things - school things, home things, Christmas things, and blog things.

I was sharing with him how I have less than three months left of this take take-a-picture-every-day-to-see-that-you-have-lived kind of goal. How I've been thinking about what happens next. What happens with everything I've written. With what happens on Day 366.

I've been contemplating just going with a picture a day with a caption - no writing. No life stories would be told. No venting, no frustrations, no exciting events would be recorded. If it weren't for the pictures, I wouldn't know what I did with my life over the past months. Yet, without the writing to go along with it I wouldn't know how I felt about what was happening.

Some days the writing is difficult. There are some days at work when I'm writing for 9 hours straight. Then I come home and write my blog. I've been feeling that my blog writing isn't improving because my brain cells are being used up with work writing. And really, who cares that I get shocked in the grocery store or that the cat bawls a lot?

So the picture a day with caption was what I told me husband. But...

Just a few minutes after that conversation I received a phone call. A phone from someone I know. Someone who has just recently started reading my blog. It was a one-sided conversation, with the person being oh-so-kind about what I'm doing with my writing, my pictures, and my sewing for charity. About the inspiration that the blog provided. Inspiration that despite health issues, I have done something good. It quite humbled me that someone else saw the importance of what I've been documenting.

We all need a boost once in a while. A confirmation that we're on the right track. That the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train.

It was the boost I needed. It made me even more determined to get another quilt finished today for Operation Kid Comfort.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to Make Scrap Fabric Christmas Tree Ornaments - Day 279 of 365, Tutorial Tuesday

I love the smell of a live Christmas tree in the house. Yet we belong to the group of folks who put up a fake tree every year.

It wasn't always that way. We used to do the live tree thing. We would pick out what we thought was the best tree (which also equaled cheap) at the lot. It'd stay up until right after New Year's and then it would come down. The needles would hang around even longer. I once heard someone say that Christmas tree needles never fully got vacuumed up until Easter. Then at Easter the Easter grass would never get all vacuumed up until Christmas. Depending on the time of year, you had either pine needles or Easter grass in the carpet.

But it wasn't the pine needles that kept us from continuing the live-tree tradition. It was the tree itself. The if you don't make a fresh cut on the trunk so it'll soak up water throughout the season it'll dry up and your house will catch fire warning that stopped us. We took the warning to heart and made sure when we got the tree home to make that fresh cut.

That fresh cut we made never was pretty and never was level. We owned nothing but a hatchet and small tree saw so the cutting took forever. And since my husband can't saw anything straight to save his life and my arms never have been trouble-free enough to do the cutting, making that fresh cut was something to dread which then made getting a live tree something to dread.

Now we're in the fake tree world. A pre-lit fake tree. No cutting required.
Homemade Scrap Fabric Quilted Christmas Tree Ornaments Sewing Project

The trees in today's tutorial need some cutting. No saw required.

For this project you will need:
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Looking for something else? 
Check out some of my other Christmas sewing and crafting projects!

Otherwise you can watch the how to tutorial for the easy homemade scrap fabric Christmas tree ornaments right here: