Mid Week of Vacation

Monday was all about finishing writing Wayfarer 16.  Tuesday was all about organizing stuff.  Today is all about getting book work done.

Yesterday with help from two people, I got my craft room looking like a craft room rather than a storage locker.  I can find things and get to them more easily than before.  Things are labeled and stored appropriately.  I put several boxes of things out for our sale.  I weeded out some yarns (they went into my remnants crock).

Today I made some calls, paid some bills, and worked on the computer.  I updated my spreadsheets.  It doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s time consuming.  I got my sales spreadsheet caught up with the change in the month.  I have to look at the vendors I sell through and see what sales were.  Depending on the vendor depends on the ease of doing this.

When I’m done on the computer, I think I’m going back to reading.  I started the Wayfarer series and am working my way through them so as I edit, I can make sure the flow is right and refresh my memory on characters, story lines and such.

Many things have gotten checked off my todo list and I’m happy with the progress.  I’ve gotten covers made for some of my novels and I’m working on editing.  Fingers crossed I’ll be able to get Wayfarer Convictions out this week.  Then I start the process all over for the next one.

I have all these ideas floating around in my head for crocheting.  I’m hoping to get to some of them this week.  I’ll see how my time goes.  Tomorrow is pay day for me, so more bill paying and computer work but hopefully not as long as today.

I’m taking it one day at a time.  The progress made yesterday is good, though it did clutter up parts of my house as we shifted.  Now we have to make harder decisions about things.

Three Day Weekend Equals Three Visits to a Craft Store

This past weekend was busy.  It seemed like there was no time to do anything.  I hoped for more progress than I got on my list but I don’t know when we could have done more.

Saturday I paid bills, worked on budget and we went to my sister-in-laws wedding.  Sunday we went to several stores.  The first was Home Depot and after that I sat in the car while Vicki and Ken went into the stores.  Vicki and I did go to Joann’s.  There were Ibottas and coupons.  I got a lot of money back for buying yarn I was going to buy anyways and 10% back.  Additionally I had a coupon for 20% off my whole order.  On Sunday, I had two coupons for 60% off any regular priced item.  I got two lengths of luxe fleece.  This is super soft fleece which is normally $15 – $20 per yard.  I only buy it when I have big coupons or it is on steep discount.  I also found lace I liked for the front window.  Ken had put up an dark blue ugly curtain I didn’t like on our front door.  I looked through the lace.  There was this gorgeous feeling white which I loved the feel of but didn’t really suit the room.  Vicki picked out a color I liked but I didn’t think Ken would.  I’m not sure he likes it but I do.

Monday Vicki and Ken went back to Home Depot to get a range hood.  Ours has been getting louder and louder as well as working less.  They picked up one.  Ken came home and installed it.  We discovered more strange things about how they did things in our house.  The range hood is on the same breaker as our garage.  Vicki and I went back to Joann’s because when we were there on Sunday we picked up some buttons on clearance.  These are the fancy buttons which normally cost anywhere from $1 – $5 each but on clearance for 50 cents.  When we were there on Saturday the buttons had all sorts of prices on them but they rang up as 50 cents.  So Sunday we went back specifically for buttons.  Vicki and I picked over what they had and then found a table to lay them all out at.  We weeded through and narrowed it down.  I still spent over $20 on buttons.  But I got a great deal on them.  Plus I got the 10% back on Ibotta.

All three days we went to Joann’s and I used coupons to save big, bought stuff on clearance, or used Ibotta to get rebates.  I saved over $16 in rebates from Ibotta but in savings from the coupons and in store sales I saved over $85.  I saved almost as much as I spent so really good deals.

As for what did get accomplished, I got bills paid.  That was on my list.  Ken finished the closet space in the family room.  Next step is for Vicki and I to figure out what we want out there.  I did work on crocheting all weekend.  I got six sets of hand towels / dish towels done.  I also prepped five fleece blankets for crocheting.  I crocheted the edging for two of them.  Other items I worked on, I got four pairs of earrings and four scrubbies made.  I organized all the stuff which had been accumulating on my couch.  I’m going to keep working on dish towels and hand towels.  I have three skeins of scrubbie material so I’m going to keep making them up.  All the excess crocheted items are going on the rummage and craft sale we’re going to have.

I got stuff done.  I shouldn’t feel bad I didn’t get stuff done.  I just didn’t get the stuff done I planned to get done.  In the meanwhile, I’m going to keep crocheting and adding to my stockpile for the sale.  I have excess fleece in the craft room which I plan to make up into blankets for the sale.  In my head I have a list of things I want to make for the sale.  I’ll see how far I get in making the stuff.  I’m trying to only use the yarn I have on hand.  I’m trying to use up my stash of yarns and reduce the amount of stuff I have in my craft room.

Ultimately a productive weekend but not productive for my list.  Part of me says to let go of the damn list but another part of me knows I’ll forget things if I don’t keep my list.

Day Off

I should be productive right?  Well my day off has been not overly productive.  I saw Stephanie off this morning and dozed until Vicki called me.  After talking to her while she drove to work, I dozed until 9.  Finally dragging my bum out of bed / sleep mode, I hit the computer to do some bookwork like updating my expense report for my writing, working on the budget and so on.

I had a plan – when don’t I – but it has fallen through the cracks and I’m just winging it now.  As soon as I’m done on the computer I’m going to go pick out some of my “stash” yarn.  Then I’m going to work on a pattern I’m seeing in my head to see if I can actually make it.  If it turns out decently, I’ll work on publishing the pattern.

I was going to put in Downton Abbey and watch the last season while I crocheted.  I don’t think that is happening at this point.  Ken will be home soonish and he won’t want to watch it.

Stephanie and I went to Hobby Lobby and Joann’s last night.  I walked out having used a 50% off coupon on one item and the other items I bought were already marked down.  I spent a little over $20 and saved a little over $30.  I love it when that happens.

Next is for Ken to wash these for me so I can get the projects done.  Two of them are experiments to test out an idea I have.  I have so many crochet projects bouncing around in my head right now.  I can’t get them done fast enough.  At the same time I have a lot of projects on the go so I really need to finish some of them.
I need to remember – one thing at a time.  It’s all I can do – one thing at a time.  I just need to pick a project and work on it.  The one bouncing around in my head wins!  I’m off to pick out some pretty yarn for a small project and hopefully I will finish it quickly in order to move on to the next crazy thing in my head.

Disabled Shouldn’t Mean Unable

First let me say, I don’t like to burden people or even businesses.  Part of the reason I don’t go shopping is because it is too hard in a lot of stores for me to get around.  I use a scooter to move around.

I went to one of my favorite places to shop and I don’t think I’ll be going back there.  This makes me sad.  JoAnn in Janesville is a nice store, carries a variety of items I like to wander through, has a different variety than Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

I have two difficulties.  Their doors aren’t automatic so when I go by myself, I have to struggle to open the door to get in and out.  Now I’ve found that the people who go to craft stores are really nice and I’ve almost always had someone offer to open the door for me.

The second difficulty happened today.  I’m always concerned about the aisle width as I’m riding on a scooter.  Today the aisles were so narrow Ken had to move things so I could make turns and even get down the aisles.

In fact, if Ken hadn’t gone with me (which is what we both prefer – he hates craft shopping and I hate craft shopping with him), I wouldn’t have been able to get to the items I wanted to purchase.

I called the manager and got a “we’ll work on that” and “all you have to do is ask” response.  I felt like she fobbed off my concerns.  If you want my business, you will make it so I can get around in your store.  I can manage the door but I can’t manage or don’t want to have to rearrange your damn store so I can get through to what I want to look at.

I’m not a big shopper in the first place but this just makes it even harder for me to think about shopping.  If I can’t get around in your store, I can’t buy your products.  I thought stores wanted me to spend my money in them.  Apparently not in some cases.

Forced to Craft Shop

Friday, Ken and I drove to Indiana to visit Vicki.  We got there late but I still stayed up until late talking with Vicki.  This is normal for a visit with one of my kids.

Saturday, we ran errands with Vicki and she forced me to go to JoAnn Fabrics.  We wandered for a while.  I may have spread glitter on her from some ribbon she was looking at.  It seems only fair since she forced me to go to the craft store.

Leaving the store, I had three bags of yarn, books, and supplies.  My wallet was lighter by quite a bit but I saved almost $65 which is more than half what I spent.  Surprisingly, I didn’t spend the rest of the day crocheting for her, though she did get two scarves out of the craft store trip.  It was fun to walk through and say “oohh, pretty, nice texture, hmm must have,” and pick up what we wanted.

A huge surprised, I picked up two skeins of yarn specifically for myself.  Vicki has them and is knitting me something.

My new books came home marred with tabs.  Vicki had to inspect them.  Of course during the inspection, she tagged all the things she liked.

The drive down was mostly uneventful.  We saw one accident which slowed us down around Chicago.  At one of the tolls, several cop cars had at least one semi-truck pulled over.  There were three cops at the back of the truck with bolt cutters.  I’d love to know more about that but of course we were driving so could stop to gape at the event.

The ride back was easy and had very little traffic.  This is always a good thing.  Basically I set my cruise and drove.  That makes the trip easy and pleasant.  We listened to a book most of the way back.  I woke up tired which is never a good thing but once we put the book in, it pushed back the tired.

Unfortunately, I got home, showered, and had every intention of working on writing but came to the living room and curled up in the recliner to nap for almost three hours.  Interestingly, I could probably turn out the light and go back to sleep.  However, in my head are two stories that started on the drive down.  I’m going to try to get at least the concepts down on paper.  In my head I have two or three other things I want to get done today.  What’s in my head and what will actually happen may very well be two different things.

Crochet Addiction

I’m going to visit Vicki for a week.  Ostensibly it is to help her with her shoulder – make sure she gets the Tiger Balm on it and isn’t doing too much with it.  However, that is not the only thing I will be doing while I’m gone. 

Our week is going to consist of a lot of me nagging her to stop doing stuff, watching movies or tv shows, and for me crocheting.  I’ve started organizing what I will be taking and realized my crocheting will take up more space (i.e. a bigger suitcase) than my clothes. 

In my defense, we aren’t doing anything other than hanging out in her apartment so I have to make sure I have enough to keep me busy.  Plus I have to take stuff to do when we hang out with her friend who is coming over to craft with us.  Plus I have to have contingency projects in case I get bored with what I am currently working on or if I finish them all.  The hard part will be in narrowing down on the things I have going on in my head for projects.  I have definite ones I’m working on with deadlines but after that I have things I want to experiment with.  For these, it is a difficult question of how much to take.  When I’m at home, it is easy enough to just grab what I want but with going to Vicki’s how much of these possible projects do I want to commit to taking with me and how much space will I have for these types of things.

My daughter suggested I make a to-do list – something I’ve been avoiding because I seem to have an addiction to those as well.  I’ve started one – a bit detailed as is my usual obsession with them.  It is a spreadsheet with different columns for the different parts of each project. 

I’ve got plastic bags with zippers from sheet sets and comforters that I’m using to pack projects together.  This is great for keeping everything organized and preventing damages from occuring while I’m traveling.  I really like these and when I return I may use them for storage in my craft room as well.  When I finish the projects, I’ll be able to put them back in the bags to keep everything organized.  Does this sound obsessive? 

On top of my crochet projects, my daughter wants me to bring down my stuff for the quilts I make for the girls.  Don’t get excited – I’m not a quilter.  Essentially I take large sheets and pin them with batting and then sew them together.  I use yarn to tie them.  I made each of the girls one when they were little and I’ve told all three of them it is time to get rid of them.  They refuse until I replace them.  I’ve had the material for a long while now but can’t kneel on the floor to pin them together.  Vicki says she will do it for me.  This may require a third suitcase. 

People are going to think I’m moving in for a month when I show up at her place.  The good thing about this is everything will be on wheels so should be easy to get in and out of her apartment.  I may have a bit of an addiction when it comes to crafting and crocheting. 

Creative Gene?

My daughters have a new etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/StephanieRoseCustom?ref=shop_sugg).  Skull Scarf
Most of my family are creative in one way or another.  I have a niece who is an amazing artist, another niece who makes amazing jewelry, a sister who knits and quilts, and so many others (if I list them all it will take forever and I’ll probably still forget someone).  More than this generation though, my great grandfather painted carriages.  He was so good he was one of the few people locally who did gold leafing on carriages.  My grandmothers were both very creative in the handcrafts. 

I read (skimmed really) an article that talked about fears being a genetic memory.  My question is for all the big scientists out there – can creativeness have a genetic component?  All of my daughters are good with color and composition.  My youngest daughter oozes with talent with her painting, sewing, crocheting.  My middle daughter crafts a dozens of ways – making amazing ornaments, wreaths, and so much more.  My oldest daughter draws beautifully and her counted cross stitch projects are incredible.  Obviously with my crafting skills and Beth’s crafting skills (family friend) they were raised with crafting days.  I just wonder if it is more than that. 
It also makes me wonder if work ethic / entrepreneurial endeavors are also genetic.  I have my editing business on the side, Vicki has her Simply Natural by Vicki products, and Stephanie and Virginia are working together to build Stephanie’s sewing / crafting business.  I know my father and grandfather had a gun selling business as well as my dad sold seed corn.  My grandparents ran a shoe store.  We descend from farmers mostly (but then who doesn’t really). 
The question becomes is this nurture?  Did I learn about working hard and trying different business because my parents worked hard and then I passed it down to my daughters?  Or is there a genetic component?  That might be interesting to find out. 

Think about it.  My great grandfather ran his business for painting carriages.  If it is genetic memory or a gene then has it been passed down in my family alone it has manifested in a variety of ways and there are tons of cousins and half cousins.  This is the great grandfather who had a dozen kids.  I wonder if talent can be traced back through the generations to an original talent? 
Nature or nurture for crafting and creativeness?  I don’t know but I do love crocheting and benefiting from my family’s creativeness as well.

Nature or nurture for crafting and creativeness?  I don’t know but I do love crocheting and benefiting from my family’s creativeness. 

Done – almost….

Thanksgiving was wonderful with my daughters, nephew and husband.  We had a good time being together, shopping at a craft store, playing games, watching tv.  Nothing spectacular or extravagant went on but we had a good time just being together.
However, this week has been hell for me.  It is no one’s fault, work hasn’t been bad, classes haven’t been bad.  I just want to be DONE!  Officially I have four class periods left, one chapter to read, two assignments for that chapter and a final exam for that class, and for my other class I have one project to finish with a reflective paper.  If I thought I could still maintain my grades I would say – to hell with it all and just let it all go by the wayside.
I can’t do that because my grades would suffer.  Tonight I’ve spent an hour and half working on my final project.  Tomorrow night I will read the chapter and work on the two assignments.  I know there isn’t a lot left to do and I just need to dig in and do what’s left.  I’m just out of energy.
In two weeks I will be done with not only the semester but with the degree.  I’ll be able to go back to writing on a regular basis (need to have several alarms available so I can set them and get to bed at a good time).  I was hoping for a federal grant to assist with the costs of writing but I didn’t get one.  It won’t stop me – I’m just going to move forward at a slower pace and budget out what I can afford to do. 
First though, I have to get through these two weeks and all the assignments.  I know I will but in this moment I feel worn out and ready for it all to be done and go away!!!!  


Bills are paid.  Grocery shopping is done.  I’ve done a small amount of homework.  However, I have two very long to do lists which aren’t getting done as quickly as I’d like.  I know I push myself (sometimes too hard) but I have a lot on my plate right now. 

Went shopping with Kelly yesterday and had a bit of fun wandering around the craft store, this was a good break for me as I was in a slump on the homework end.  It was good to get out with her and Vicki to shop in a craft store. 

Today is a study day.  I have a long list of homework I need to get done.  I also have to get some of my writing stuff done.  I want to finish off my grant and get it submitted so I can just be done with it.  I found another grant I want to work on but the deadline isn’t until June so I have lots of time to work on it.

One of the publications I have submitted to in the past contacted me to ask for submissions.  I’m going to get two or three things done for them this weekend.  Unfortunately the only payment I get is free copies of the magazine but it is publications on my resume.  I have at least one other submission to make today because the deadline is looming.  The articles all need editing and I have final edits on the grant material to do.  The other submission I think is ready to go – I just want to read through it once.  After I get these three things done, I’ll be switching over to homework and hopefully making good progress.

I’m supposed to go to my sister’s house today for a birthday thing for my nephew but it really depends on how much homework I get done.  If I make good progress I’ll go – if I don’t, I won’t be able to as I have so much to do. 

I did finish the capelet I was making for Vicki – I just have to sew the closing on it that we picked up yesterday.  I also worked on Kelly’s scarf that I ran out of yarn for.  I think by tomorrow I’ll have that done. 

I know it sounds like I had a tedious weekend but I had fun with Kelly and Vicki.  I also am getting stuff done which always makes me feel good.  Now if I can get just a few more things crammed into the too short weekend I will feel like I can tackle the week without a giant weight on my shoulders. 


My week of vacation ends on father’s day.  Ken has gotten to talk to all his daughters so that is good.  I have so much left on my to do list but I feel good about the week off.  I got stuff done I wanted to and I feel more relaxed and able to cope with life in general. 

I’m sure that tomorrow will be chaotic and busy.  I’m hoping not to have too many emails and voicemails I have to deal with.  However, today I’m not going to think about it.

Today I’m going to work on stuff I want to – it is still my vacation.  I started two new crochet projects.  One is a sweater for Vicki and the other is a small afghan (large shawl) for Beth.  The yarn for Beth’s is exquisite but very expensive.  So far I’m loving the pattern.  It is working up quickly which is always a bonus.  I’m also enjoying working on Vicki’s sweater.  The pattern is also easy and I think will work up quickly.  The thing with her project though is I will have to work on it only when she is around because it will involve figuring out how to custom fit it to her.  When I’ve done it once I’ll write it up so I know for the next time if she likes it enough to repeat the pattern.

I spent time on Pinterest this morning.  It is definitely an addicting site.  I was also on craftsy.com.  Both of these sites are very distracting.  I could look at crochet stuff forever.  So many great patterns and not nearly enough time to work on them all.