Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quick Turn Around

I'm reaching out to the online community because I have a special request...

I recently made contact with a new connection in Russia. This contact works in two villages that are too small to have orphanages but have a fairly sizable populations of orphans and vulnerable children (20-30 children in each village). Each village has a family who has stepped forward to look after and minister to these children. It is an incredible sacrifice and these families have great needs, everything from clothes and shoes to bedding to cots and cooking tools. There is another connection I have made who is going to work with these children over the summer and will be passing through Atlanta in a week and a half. I have already begun to gather supplies for her but there is more that is needed. If you can help with any of the following, please let me know:

a large duffle bag-Needs to be able to hold about 40#s of stuff. This is how we're transporting the clothes
shoes in various sizes
card and board games that require no English skills (ex. chess, checkers, Go Fish, etc.)
sheets for twin or full sized beds
sports equipment

The kids are aged 5-16 so a variety of sizes and styles will work. The most pressing needs are the duffle bag and clothes. I'm hitting some consignment stores and Goodwill to see what I can find but I thought someone might have some things they had put away for garage sales later this year. You will receive a receipt for your donation that will be tax deductible when we get our 501(c)3 approval (hopefully within the next month or so). If you are in the Atlanta area I can arrange to meet up with you to pick up items. Or, if you just want to donate money so I can go buy these items you can use PayPal.

Thank you so much for helping!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Fake Nail Saga

For some time now I have been under the delusion that I would like to have fake nails. I've tried to grow my nails out a few times (and by growing them out I mean you can actually see white nail) but I always get tired of them and cut them. Despite my inability to maintain a long natural nail for some reason I see fake nails as different. They make that cool clicky sound when you touch something and they're like heels for nails. My mom mother always advised me against acrylics saying they will destroy your nails so I decided to get some press-ons at the local Wal-Mart to try. I put them on using the little sticky tabs and they all fell off in under 30 minutes. Then I decided to take the plunge and glue them on.

Bad idea.

Almost as soon as I had them on, I wanted them off. I mean, they looked cute but the minute I tried to actually *do* something in them I was totally incapacitated. Putting on clothes, opening a bottle, typing on the computer, USING MY IPHONE...but the real kicker came when I realized I was going to have to take my contacts out with an extra quarter of an inch of nail. Needless to say I knew they would have to come off.

I managed to sleep through the night with the nails on but I woke up ready to gnaw them off my hand. I'd done a little research on how to remove fake nails the night before. Most had said to use acetone...which I didn't have. Another site (including the official Super Glue website) suggested trying warm, soapy water. I figured I'd start with that and then try rubbing alcohol (also a suggestion) and regular nail polish if all else failed.

So, after breakfast, I began...
Here's my nails before hand:

Cute? Right?

Notice on the left hand that the pinkie nail had already come off in less than 12 hours. I was washing my hands and I heard this little "pop!" I was secretly glad because I was more reassured than ever that these babies would come off with a little soap and water.
Pinkie nail says, "I'm free! I'm free!"
I soaked each hand for 5 minutes in some soapy water (for the record I used dish washing soap which I thought might help due to its ability to cut through oil and grease) and then used the little cuticle pusher that came with the kit to begin prying them up from the back. In just 5 minutes 2 popped right off on the right hand and all but 1 came off on the left hand. 5 more minutes and they were all off.
My natural nails are a little worse for wear but, man, do I feel better!

I don't think I'll be getting any more fake nails. Ever. Lesson learned.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I mentioned in my last post that one of the things I had hoped to accomplish by the end of January was to knit a hat. That was definitely a goal that can be crossed off the list!

This is the Wurm hat in Malabrigo worsted (color: Snow Bird). I've had this hat in my queue for quite some time so I figured now was the time to make it. I knit the small size because I'm donating this to charity and was thinking this would go to a child or pre-teen.
It fits my head but doesn't look (to me at least) as slouchy as the larger sizes. The only thing I don't like about the hat is that I used double pointed needles to make this and you can see the "seams" where I changed between needles. It still needs to be washed so maybe the seams won't be as evident. Also when I was working on it, the yarn kept wanting to slide off the ends of the needles. I think it should really be worked magic loop style but apparently by circulars were already in use because I couldn't find the right size.

All in all I think it's a good pattern but I don't think I'd make it again. First finished object of the year! Let's see if I can keep up the trend in February!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

January Wrap

I decided that this year I would do Crazy Aunt Purl's Total Do-Able 12 Month Plan. I like to make lists and mark things off and I felt like her strategy was practical. With January ended and February beginning I thought I would do a little check in.

First up, my "Looming Life Must Haves":
New tires
Oil change
501(c)3 application

These are all things that require budgeting money. Honestly, budgeting is not my strong suit. I know about how much I have to spend in a month and then I try and stock away a little of what's left over. With my long term unemployment while I finished grad school the theme was "Spend as Little as Humanly Possible." Interesting results but not how I want to live my life. I'm hoping that by thinking ahead this year as to how I have to spend money each month I will end up spending in a more conscious way. Back to The Plan...the tires were actually free because they were a birthday gift from last year. The oil change ended up being more expensive than I originally planned because I also needed to get an alignment but my medication was totally paid for my my insurance so it evened out in the wash. And the 501(c)3 application is sent!

Next up, "Happy Wants":

I guess we can mark this as "done" because I didn't actually have any "Happy Wants" this month! "Happy Wants" to me mean things that make me happy (and sane) but cost money. Instead of spending more money this month I figured saving would be a better idea. Onward!

And finally, "Personal Desires":
Knit daily
Knit a hat
Work out for 1 hr/day
Write letters to 5 kids in Romania

These are my personal wish list items. Things that will make me feel better about myself (and, for my purposes, don't cost a dime). I was able to work out for at least an hour just about every day and I knit a good deal more than I have in the past several months (though not *every* night). I managed to knit a hat as well! The letters to the kids in Romania never got finished though. Which actually makes me feel like a tiny failure because for some reason I equate not writing with not loving my kids. Which is totally not true. I have to remind myself that these are goals and not meant to make me feel like a terrible person. It's a new month so I can always improve.
Firefighters of New York calendar and my 12 month plan.