Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I've Been to Hell and Back!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 As they say, computers are like husbands: you can't live with them but you sure can't live without them! Since my email was hacked on Jan. 6, I have had a non-stop challenge to get back to working order. I've had so many calls to ATT and Yahoo, that I now recognized the customer service agents' voices! I have learned to work the system and request to be connected to "Tier 2" support because I know I will need it! I still have one minor issue to resolve, but basically, I am back in working order. I pride myself as someone who is pretty computer savvy and if not, willing to learn. For my age, I think I have come quite a long way. That is probably the one benefit of this whole fiasco: I have learned a lot! During the many occasions while I was kept waiting for an ATT agent to answer my call, I was not grinding my teeth or biting my nails. Crochet is my sanity, but by now you know that! Yes, of course, I was crocheting while waiting in line for an agent! Not only have I been to "hell" and back this month, but to Florida and back with my darling girls and Prince Jack as well. Sweet Nicole arranged for my dear friend, Cindy to travel across the state from Plantation to surprise me. What a bonus it was on top of a wonderful get away!
This month has been very busy on the teaching front for me. Last Sat. I started a 3-part series at a bead store. We started with crochet for beaders
Beginning Crochet Coin Purse and it still amazes me as to how little crocheters who say they know how to crochet know!! Two-hours of awkward struggling and as the shop owner said, we had a remedial corner for slow learners. I think the light bulb went on toward the end of the session and they promised to practice! I really look forward to part 2 when I will teach them bead crochet. I am so enamored with beads, I want everyone to love it. This week I embarked on a two-part class for kids
The book I co-authored: Kids Can Do It Crocheting It was at a private school and during this week which they call J-Term, the kids have an opportunity to experience things that they might otherwise not get to experience. I was told that crochet was very well received and that the allotted spaces filled up quickly. The teacher was amazed at how they took practice to heart after the first lesson. On day 2 they returned with greatly improved skills and even began to add their own creative touches to what I was teaching them. Their age, 7th graders, had a lot to do with this. Their motor skills are sufficiently developed that they caught on well. The culture of the school had a big influence too. It is a very nurturing environment and I am sure their confidence comes from being led by supportive encouragement. The room mom bought my book to donate to the school library. Eighteen new crocheters were born into the world this week (17 girls and one lone, brave boy). I am happily confident that I will be invited back for the next J-Term. Here's what I got done while hanging on the phone with ATT, so it's not all bad!:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Holiday Season

Sunday, January 8, 2012 It's time to blog, but where do I begin. My holiday season was interesting, to say the least. From the joys of preparing for the arrival of the whole family and the grandchildren's visit to the downside of having their little germ-infested entities in my space!
They look innocent, don't they? My spirits were buoyed by my honor of being named Awesome Crochet Blog: Free Form Crochet as I lay as a very bland sickie thinking of all I could be doing if I didn't have the stomach flu!! Held together with duct tape and string, I was able to enjoy New Year's Eve with hubby Alan and dear friend Gerry. We went to a Second City performance, "Christmas in the Heights" and laughed ourselves silly! I ate lightly afterwards; it was a strange New year's feast but so be it. Practicality first! Just as I was getting back my appetite, a delightful gift of Fannie Mae Pixies arrived and I was back in the business of eating! We enjoyed our free time and had fun going to several movies. The time wasn't without its pressures with 3 article deadlines looming. Be watching in the Spring for my article on "drape" in Inside Crochet magazine. My article for Talking Crochet e-newsletter was due Dec. 9 and the January issue, currently available, went live on Jan.3. All the while, I was working on my issue of the CGOA chapter newsletter too. January is shaping up to be a good teaching month. I'll be teaching 3 sessions at a bead store: beginning crochet
Bead-Crochet
and Wire Wonders: Crocheting with Wire Later in the month, I'll be birthing some new kid crocheters into the world with two sessions of beginning crochet at a middle school. Thanks to my presence out there on the web, these opportunities came my way! Through it all, my crocheting continued....I enjoyed making gifts for friends and family and stitched between the trays of cookies going in and out of the oven.
I made leg warmers for younger daughter, Bethany and have been consistently progressing through an afghan project requested by older daughter, Nicole. It's a joy to be able to make gifts that people appreciate! I've said that I hope that I don't freeze to death before we can get to Mexico in mid-February because we haven't had to endure a Chicago January in years. We've been spared and have thoroughly enjoyed the temperature consistently in the forties and fifties. Each day with a decent temperature gets us just that much closer to our winter get-away! On top of that, I'm leaving at the end of this week for a girl's get-away with my daughters to Florida!! Yay, very excited and we haven't had a chance to do this in a few years. We'll be accompanied by little prince, Jack, and we are leaving Chloe with her daddy!