09 October 2016

Here, Mojo... Where are ya, girl?

Have you ever lost your mojo? Be it at work, at home, or in your creative life? Yeah, me too. Actually, I'm currently sans mojo in several areas. I think it is because I am just bone weary and am in desperate need of a break. I won't be getting one any time soon so I have been looking for ways to recapture it. I thought I would share with you what I have been up to in order to find my elusive mojo.
  1. Daydream - Yep, you read that right. Sometimes, when I have lost the juice that gets me going, I daydream about what I would rather be doing and then finish up so I can go do what I've daydreamed about. It may sound silly but it works some days. If I'm at work and I'd rather be baking a lemon loaf, I tell myself that if I can get "x amount" done in "x amount" of time, I can go do what I would rather do.
  2. List It All - I love lists. They help me get things done. If I write a list, I get the joy and complete satisfaction of crossing said thing off of said list. Think I'm crazy? Try it. You will be surprised how excited you feel to look at your list that consists of things such as "make bed", "wash/fold/put away colors", and "cook supper" is completely scratched through.
  3. Plan for Some Day - I do this a lot. I plan for that vacation that I can't take just yet. I order materials online, watch videos, and price out different scenarios. Sometimes, it just feels good to know that your dream vacation can be created even if you can't take it just it. Plus, it gives you a good idea about how much money you'll need which may spur you on in the work front.
  4. Pull a Nike and Just Do It - Oh yeah, I have just grinded through things - chores, crafting, work - just to get it done and over with in hopes that the feeling of accomplishment will miraculously make me feel productive and regain my mojo. It rarely does but when it does, it generally spurs me on to bigger and better things.
So yeah, that is my little list of things that I do to find my mojo. I have tried a few of them this past week to get my sweet mojo back... they haven't worked but I did try. I plan on trying again on Monday because nothing says motivation like the definition of insanity per Albert Einstein.

What all do you do when you're mojo has gone on vacation?

25 September 2016

Swap Etiquette

It's my own fault. I assumed people would put as much pride, thought, and consideration into the box coming to me as I put into the box going to my partner. I should have known better and yet, I continue to hold out hope that one day, I too will receive an awesome tailor made box.

So, I thought that perhaps the best way to do this would be to share my latest experience. This is not meant as anything mean spirited, and those who actually know me will understand this. It is simply informational.

To be a good swapper, you can start by actually reading the questionnaire filled out by the person you have been paired up with. I will use my own answers to help illustrate this aspect so as to not highlight others without permission to use their responses.

1. What kind of yarns/fibers do you prefer? If the person answers that they like items that are soft and squishy, accompanied by examples such as Three Irish Girls, Malabrigo, and Knit Picks then you should take heed. Sending scratchy, course yarn is not what the person said they enjoyed.

2. What are you favorite colors and combinations at the moment? Should the person answer that they love all colors but are really enjoying blues and greys at the moment, try not to send items in a rough acrylic yarn the color palette of animal droppings deep in the forest or poorly circulated appendages.

3. What is your favorite treat to eat? When the person lists two specific flavors - either combined or separate - then get those two flavors. This is cut and dry, whether you know me or not - peppermint and chocolate. It's in my name for heaven's sake. Any combination or separate will work. Hard sour candy in bitter biting flavors is not the same thing... at all.

4. What is your favorite hot beverage? Should the person answer that they love peppermint hot chocolate or decaf black teas, then that is what you should strive to find. French Vanilla is the antithesis of what was stated and herbal teas with flavors of maple (seriously, not kidding) apple cider or spiced cinnamon are nowhere near the mark.

5. Do you have any allergies? This is the most important one. Those of us with asthma and allergies clearly state that we have them. We do not try to be coy because we do not want to be sick. Yes, yes there are allergies. Severe allergies coupled with asthma. It is clearly explained that heavy scents can not be tolerated, as they will make me sick.. and yet, the items arrived with a stench so strong I was physically ill. Essential Oils, moth balls, and cedar are so pungent that the two skeins of scratchy yarn and the bag sent are currently living in the laundry room to "air out". It is doubtful that unskeining and soaking will help at all as the odor is still lingering in my living room even more than 12 hours after the fact.

The box you are creating is not for you. It is for the person who took the time to fill out the questionnaire. You could hate everything that you are putting into the box but if you know that it fits the bill to the person who is receiving it, that is the only thing that matters.

If you only take one thing away from this post, let it be this - a swap is not for you, it is for the person you receive. It is a moment in time where you do something selfless for the pure and simple reason that it will make another person happy. If you run a swap, don't defend the obvious bad swapper. Make it right. Talk to the bad swapper and let them know how they failed so they can be a better swapper in the future. Don't simply dismiss it and tell the person who received the obviously bad box that you are sorry it wasn't want the person had hoped for... all a swap participant should hope for is a box that was carefully created to make the recipient feel loved.

If you can look at the questionnaire and check off a few things that match what was stated by the person who is going to receive the box, then you have done a good job. If you can't, then your heart was not in the right place. As for the box of items I received...

The books are being donated to the library to bring joy to those who enjoy those kinds of books. The yarn is being donated to the Salvation Army stores, as is the messenger bag simply because I can not get the odor out of them. Hopefully, someone else will be able to gain some joy from them as well. The candy was given to my husband to try. The cocoa and teas were thrown out because no one thought they sounded good. The mug is in the cupboard and the deck of torn up cards was discarded. The cowl is being worn by Hobbit though I am going to throw it in the wash momentarily, in hopes of getting the smell out.

This was a disappointing week - both on a professional and personal front - and I was honestly looking forward to receiving a little box with a few treasures to brighten my day. Unfortunately, I did not receive that at all... I have never felt more unimportant or nonexistent. It is a sad but apparently fitting end to the week.

Here's to a better week ahead...

03 September 2016

Interesting week

My goodness, this has been one interesting week. While we did not get a lot of challenges from Hurricane Hermine, our old house sure did! That area was evacuated and was flooded so badly. I am so thankful that we moved further inland. We had some seriously soaking rains, gnarly thunderstorms, and at times a severely blustery day but overall, we came out on the other side with very little to complain about... and I'm extremely happy about it.

This afternoon we are going to drive over to the Magic Kingdom and say our goodbyes to the Main Street Electrical Parade. I am going to miss this event but I am so happy that my kids got to make the same fabulous memories that I have with it. Hopefully, others will think it will be continued rainy and we can have a fairly empty park.

Since it is also the weekend, I'm going to finish this post with excessive photographs.. hehehe...

This is our newest family member. His name is Matthew Liam and Hobbit is raising him for FFA and to show at the fair.

We went to the breeder's last night. He is a Netherland Dwarf with a champion sire for a daddy. It was love at first snuggle.

I came home from knit group to find them on the sofa together. He likes to sit in an apron pocket of all things.

I am almost done with my icord hind off. My only complaint is that it rolls. I don't think blocking is going to help but I will try.
I am up to the five rows of blue section in my blanket. I'm still unsure about the variegated but others have liked it so it stayed.

And KP made us ice cream and coffee floats this morning during knit group. It was a most magical pairing of flavors!

27 August 2016

Progression

Isn't it funny how light changes the color of a project. Same project, shot at several different points in it's life so far, and the colors have changed dramatically. The brightest being the last, shot during knitting group at Barnes & Noble.

I think it's progressing nicely. The yarn is the new Caron Cakes that I bought. This particular colorway is Macaron. While it is made up of 80% acrylic and 20% wool, and has 383 yards of worsted weight to it's name, I don't think it should be priced as high as it is. I think $8 for a skein of acrylic yarn is a bit dear but that is just me. I guess because it has that little bit of wool, they believe it deserves a higher price point - and a  hand wash, dry flat note.

This is going to look super cute on Hobbit. I have yet to decide if it will be tucked away for Christmas if I will give it to her when I'm done. I'm leaning more to towards Christmas but we'll see what the weather does.

Now, I need to continue my search for a rabbit that Hobbit can raise for FFA and show at the fair. You would think it wouldn't be this difficult to find a rabbit but let me assure you, it has been practically impossible. I finally found two options - one at the Humane Society and the other with a breeder. We'll see which responds first and what the pricing turns out to be before we go visit... though I'm leaning to the Humane Society, as the shelter is not a no kill and I'd much rather rescue a creature than purchase.

Oh, my Taco Bake beeped. Time to get supper on the table. I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

19 August 2016

Something a little different

Okay, so not only did I do a podcast/vlog post, I did it all on my phone! If this works out, can you imagine the possibilities?!?

14 August 2016

The last weekend of summer

Some of us are happier than others about this fact but what can you do. I know she's nervous about starting Junior High - where has the time gone?!?! - but I know she will rock it. Currently, she is behind me, playing on her computer. I'm not asking much from her today, her last day of 'freedom', and so she's still in her pjs... at ten minutes til three in the afternoon.

Yesterday, we celebrated like nobody's business... we went to the Magic Kingdom! The PhotoPass is now a part of our annual pass membership so we took advantage of it, in all it's glory. Here are a few of the images they took for us...






It was a great day - even though the heat index rose to 113 in the shade! I did knit on Pokey's Christmas socks for a little while in the queues but honestly, it was just too hot to play with yarn. The whole day was wonderful and I hope that it got Hobbit energized for all her adventures this year in school.

Now, time to check to make sure her backpack is ready and all is well in Junior High world...

28 July 2016

Waiting for the first...

That's when my world will take a deep breath in... and let it out slowly, releasing a whole lot of tension... at least that is the plan/hope/desire. Given that it is "break month", I'm sure everything will according to what little plan I truly do have.

On the first of August, I will have officially stepped down from all of the staff roles I have in a silly little game that I love. I am so torn with the decision but I know it is the right one. I need to find a better balance in my life and that is one of the areas where I evaluated for joy and found it was not as high as it used to be... don't get me wrong, I still love the game very much but I think I need to step away from the responsibilities of it all and just play for a while.

People think being on staff for it is just willy nilly fun - and it can be - but the reality is that it is a LOT of work. Those who are truly dedicated to their positions can put in as many hours as a full time job - an awesome job but a job all the same - and I don't have the time to be as dedicated as I want to be so I thought it best to let someone else have a go.

I'm also going to be traveling, relatively speaking, next term. Things in the current house aren't as they used to be - which is neither good nor bad - but sometimes, in order to rekindle the joy for something, you have to let it go. So I'm going to let go of Slytherin House and see where the wind takes me. I have been focusing a lot of energies on Gryffindor but they have been eaten alive with the whole Pok√©mon GO! movement, and I just can't get in to that. I tried to get comfy in Ravenclaw but it's a work in progress. I have wandered back down into Hufflepuff but most of my friends have traveled on to other houses as well.

I think I may tell Sir Hat to put me where he sees fit - something that will reignite my crafting mojo and love of the game. A change of pace is in order so maybe he knows best... or I could just tell him to put me in Gryffindor and leave it at that. I'm a rising B7, which means I have been a diligent student in good standing since May 2012 - though I did play as a NQFY so the reality is I've been around since January of 2012.

I can go anywhere but the question remains... where do I want to go?
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