Friday, February 29, 2008

Giving back

One of the myriad reasons I wanted to get a job closer to home was so that I could make some time to do volunteer work, and become more involved in my community. Back in November when I was labouring under the delusion that I would be finished with job #2 in mid-January, I signed up to canvass for the Heart and Stroke Foundation in February, which is Heart Month here.

February arrived, and I still had the extra job, and then I got a sinus infection, and there was a lot of snow, and I am a master procrastinator.

Finally, last night, I went out to ask my neighbours for donations. I expected to be turned away, or told off. I didn't expect to gather $50 in donations from 15 houses, in less than an hour. Today I'll be adding my own donation, as well as one from a co-worker.

Next February, no matter what else is going on, I plan to make this a priority. The H&S Foundation is an excellent cause and it's important to me to help them out, but it also helps me out, because I feel good about giving back.

I'm not a big fan of reality television for a number of reasons. For one thing, I don't feel there is a whole lot of reality there. Even voting shows like the Idol franchises (which I admit to being a guilty pleasure) are stacked by websites that attempt to convince people to vote for the worst contestants in order to skew the results. Mostly, I don't like reality shows because I don't like watching people be mean to each other. I even had to give up on the Amazing Race because of the negativity of one family a couple of seasons back.

Starting on Sunday, Oprah Winfrey ('cause she doesn't already have enough going, my goodness!) will be hosting her own reality show: Oprah's Big Give. The premise of this show is that she will give the contestants some money and they have to turn it into more money, and then give it all away. The person who gives away the most money over the course of the show is the winner. I'm pretty sure that they're all winners, really, 'cause giving back does that to you. I'll be watching the show, and hoping that competitiveness doesn't overshadow the goodness.

Monday, February 25, 2008

And the wisdom to know the difference

I was privileged this weekend to support one of my friends on his first birthday. Saturday night we attended his AA meeting where he celebrated one year of sobriety. It's been a rough year for him, but he has succeeded, and we are so very, very proud of him!

It was much like meetings are portraying in the movies: a church basement, with plenty of coffee on hand and folks introducing themselves by saying "Hi, I'm _____ and I'm an alcoholic". Most people know the part of the Serenity Prayer that figures larely in the AA recovery program, but there was another part of the meeting that really spoke to me. It goes along with the "one day at a time" philosophy, but takes it a little further. The basic message is that you can't do anything about yesterday because it's already past, and tomorrow isn't here yet, so there's no point in worrying about that either. Today is the day that is important; today is where you can make a difference to yourself, to people around you, to the world at large. It's a good way of looking at things, and I'm going to try to add it to the stuff I'm working on.

In other news, I got a prescription for antibiotics on Friday, and my face is feeling better. Things are draining, which brings on a whole new level of ick, but I don't feel full of lava anymore, and I can think again which is nice.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My face hurts!

I think I may have a sinus something going on. The front of my head hurts on the inside and I feel all puffy. And my ears keep popping. Wah!

I got myself a neti pot a while ago, but have been too lazy to use it regularly. When I get home from second job after 11 at night and still have to herd animals before I can fall into bed to get up at 6:15 (although at least it's not 5:15 anymore!), pouring salt water through my head isn't high on my list of things to do.

I have a hard time doing things that I know are good for me. I don't eat as well as I should because I don't want to make the time to make the food. I don't get as much excercise as I should because the few evenings I have to myself, I'd really rather just knit and drink tea. I can't figure out if it's laziness, or if it's that I don't think I'm important enough, or if I'm just too bleeding tired.

There have been inroads. Quietly, with no fanfare or quit meters, I quit smoking on Nov. 25. I can tell that this time it's for good. There is a different quality to it this time, and also the smell of cigarette smoke is making me gag these days.

A friend introduced me to Yoga Booty Ballet, and I love it! A minumum of once a week I am getting a half hour of cardio excercise. I go over to her house right after work (after stopping to let out the dog and feed the cats at home) and she feeds me dinner then we jump around in her living room. I also bought the dvds for myself and jump around in my own living room on days when I don't have to go to second job after first job. I've also been keeping an eye on portion sizes when I eat and have lost a few pounds in the past couple of weeks.

But I'd still rather sit on my couch and knit, and drink tea.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Heh. It looks like I'm swearing up there, but I'm not. That's knitterly short form for Finished Objects.

Like this Wonder Woman set:

And this square for the Pratchgan:

The WW set was made as part of a gift for a team member at work who is moving to another team. If I make another one of these (and I'm pretty certain I'm going to have to) the crown needs to be a bit bigger and the wrist thingies need to be smaller.

The Pratchgan square is called "The Ankh" and is being mailed off to Fife to be attached to a bunch of other squares. When it's all done it will be sent off to Terry Pratchett. This is a project from the Ank-Morpork Knitter's Guild on Ravelry. When the news broke that Terry was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimers, we wanted to do something for him to send our support. What to knitters do? They do this.

I have other things on the go, but can't seem to get them done, so for now they remain UFOs.