Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Year Almost Gone

Christmas is over, and the celebration of the new year is almost upon us. For many years now, I've not been a fan of this time of year, and I can't say that anything this year helped change my opinion of it. I think the hustle, bustle, and general insanity of the Christmas season have gotten way out of control. I did most of my shopping online this year, avoiding the mall experience for a couple of short forays to get gifts that either couldn't be obtained online or that were last-minute, impulse buys. I plan to do the same for next year's shopping. The less time I had to spend among the crazy hordes at the malls or in Wal-Mart or Target helped make my holiday brighter.

I've put the Christmas stitching away (with the exception of one little ornament) and gone back to working on my "real" projects. Last night I did quite a bit on Emma's Garden (I don't think I'm ever going to finish her hair, though!), and on Jan. 1, I plan to take Flower Power out for a brief spin. I'm going to concentrate on Emma's Garden, though, since it is something my sister more or less commissioned for a friend of hers. As I've commented here before, my sis's good friend, whose only and very beloved granddaughter is named Emmah, lost her home and most of her belongings due to the flooding from Hurricane Ike. The family has bought a new home, but they have very few furnishings or decorative pieces. I'd like to get this piece finished in the next couple of months so that we can get it framed and given to them.

I'm looking forward to the end of the never-ending fall semester, too. As much as I've tried to take a vacation from work, my mind keeps returning to my end-of-term plans. I'm ready to get back into it and get finals given, papers graded, and the semester finally ended. The spring term should go much more smoothly, and then it's time to prepare again for hurricane season.

I don't know why hurricanes are so on my mind right now. I'm already fretting over next year's season, even though I know there's nothing I can do about it. The dogs and the cat are my big worries. It's difficult to evacuate with as many animals as I have, and then when we add my sister's crew into it (an ancient mixed breed, a humongous lab, and five cats), it's hard to even imagine where we could go with such a menagerie. My family and I were lucky with both Rita and Ike with only minimal damage from either storm, but who knows what the next storm will bring. I just need to shake it off and quit borrowing trouble--at least for the next few months.

I hope that all who read this have had a peaceful and joyous Christmas and that the coming New Year will bring much luck and prosperity.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another Sunday Night

We celebrated my nephew's birthday last night, and he seemed pretty pleased with the dragon. He opened it, looked at it, and then took off to find a place to hang it in his bedroom. When he takes a gift to his room immediately, it usually means that it's a hit. Last year, my sister and I did a little scrapbook for him with pictures of his grandparents, who are all deceased now. He really only got to know my mom well; my dad died shortly after my nephew's first birthday, and my brother-in-law's parents lived in Massachusetts. When he opened the scrapbook, he paged through it and then took it to his room before even opening his other gifts. I know the scrapbook means a lot to him, so I hope that the similar reaction to the dragon means the same thing.

On a less bright note, I've got two more weeks of work to slog through before the Christmas break. Hurricane Ike really threw a monkey wrench in the semester. Normally, we would be doing final exams at this point, with commencement this coming Friday. Then we would be out of school until right after the MLK holiday. This year, we'll have two weeks out of school. We'll be finishing up the fall term during the first two weeks of January before beginning the spring term at its usual time. I know I shouldn't complain, but the loss of our usually lengthy holiday is a real drag.

I'm still stitching on ornaments and bookmarks. As always, I think I've bitten off more than I can chew. Luckily, in going through some finished items I found some ornaments I stitched last year but never did anything with. I think some of those will make their debuts this year as stocking stuffers for a few people.

My other big accomplishment this week is finishing all of the Twilight books (I know the last three have different titles, but I can't remember what they are). I can't say that I am in love with them, but I also can't say that I dislike them. The biggest thing that disturbs me is the way the main character, Bella, allows herself to be subsumed by Edward, the vampire she falls in love with. For me, her infatuation and single-minded desire to be with him is too much like the infatuations--sometimes dangerous--that many young girls develop on their boyfriends or boys whom they wish would be their boyfriends. I don't think a healthy relationship operates like that.

Off to watch tv and stitch.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The DRAGON is Framed!!!!

The picture is not great, but here's the framed dragon. It looks great in person. I left the plastic around the edges because I don't want to ding the frame up before it actually gets to my nephew.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wine, wine, wine . . .

Just finished the backstitching and adding the charms to this little piece for my sister. I'm going to take it to the framer tomorrow when I go to pick up the dragon. I don't know which I'm more excited about--finally getting this one finished or seeing the dragon framed. I'll post a picture of the dragon after I get it home tomorrow evening.

I'm off now to work on ornaments and bookmarks. I've got to finish at least two more of each before Christmas. My friends and I at work don't exchange big gifts, but I would like to have a little something for each of them just to show them that I'm thinking of them.