Sunday, September 23, 2012

Shameless plug for WHCC

Last night I attended a benefit gala and silent auction for the Women's Health and Counseling Center. If you know me, you know that I don't attend these kinds of events very often (I've been to 2-3 basket auctions in 10 years). I had NO idea what to wear and literally tried on nearly every dress I own before I found the one - the dress I bought for a fancy wedding about 11 years ago. I was like Goldilocks... not too fancy, not too plain but just right.

I had heard of The Women's Health and Counseling Center and love the idea of it - a place where women, regardless of income, can get safe, professional medical help and counseling for issues large and small. And they serve many "kinds" of women (and offer limited services for men too). Somerset County has wide socio-economic demographics. They serve plenty of women who have the means.... just not the insurance. And there are many who don't have either.

The baskets were bountiful. I hurriedly put my name on several items (before you enter the basket room, they hand you champagne....) and then, after I realized that I had overextended my budget, I hoped others would outbid me. A newbie move, as I'm a novice at the silent auction scene.

Girl Scouts were selling $20 heart bling. Who can say no to Girl Scouts at a benefit for women's health? I certainly couldn't. Luckily they didn't have cookies! I would have bought a case, for sure!

I met many interesting people who are working (both as volunteers and professionally) to offer basic healthcare for our underserved. In an area with so many hospitals and so much access to top specialists, it is easy to forget that many people don't have access to a basic mammogram and only go once something "isn't right". I believe that basic primary care is a key part of healthy living. But if I didn't have insurance, I am quite sure that most other expenses would come long before an annual well-check.

I'm happy I learned about the Women's Health and Counseling Center and can spread the word through this blog (albeit much of my audience doesn't live in New Jersey).  I hope you will help them however you can. I was an invited guest of my friend who was being honored, but next year... Bridgewater friends, we're going!

Oh, and I got my wish - I "won" a nice item - a night at a local Inn that was within budget. I also own a new piece of plastic bling. But more importantly I bought a flu shot and a teenager can get some health education.

Friday, September 14, 2012

TGIM

Thank God its M-tonight

It's Friday, and in a little while I'll be with MB.

It's literally been more than a year since I sat with my dear friend M and enjoyed time. We used to be neighbors and have stayed friends. I have special place in my heart for this woman. I respect her so much. She's everything I aspire to be: strong, beautiful, smart, with a great career and family as the focus of her life. Oh, and she is funny as hell!!!

Her house is gorgeous, a white picket fence and decorated with warm colors and flowers. (And some of my parents' old books - an old house, with old built-in bookshelves, needs good books with a fair amount of wear and tear). But it's not about what she has - or what she has built for herself - it's about who she is.

She manages all this on her own. Without dependence on a man. Whenever I contemplate the "what ifs" of the world, I can only HOPE I would be a fraction of the success she is if it were just me.

And tonight she is sharing some of her time with me and I feel so fortunate.

She might not see it this way. But I do. Lucky me. I get time with her tonight.

Better hit the shower. She suggested somewhere nice, so a shower is in order after a hard workout at the gym (where she also inspires me to work harder than I have before).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The night before *my* Christmas

I LOVE having kids. I'm grateful that I've been able to be home with them for many years.

AND... I love that tomorrow they go back to school. 

I'm a bit nervous for my son starting the middle school. I'm a bit nervous for my daughter starting at a school with 3,000 students. (Especially all the 17 year old boys....)

But most of all, I'm nervous about the 5:45 wake up. It might not be enough time.

C is getting a ride to school from "one of the neighbor kids" (I know her, of course). I thought that C going via cars driven by teens was several years off. I'm getting nervous about that too.

Maybe I should be more nervous about the Middle School bus?

Best thing to do? Stick my head in the sand (or my softest pillow) and go to sleep. But first, I hope to see what Michelle O has to say first.

Best of luck to all you parents. I'm sure your kids will be fine (and so will mine)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Knit is Right?

My sister chose this yarn
The last few weeks have been overtaken by the kids. My escape: knitting and sleep. I've started so many projects that I am truly beginning to wonder if I have severe ADD, or if I am just extremely creative (but perhaps overly-ambitious)? In front of me I have I have yellow cotton yarn, blue and green variegated hand-dyed yarn (from the Finger Lakes) and several nearly-done projects. All this among papers with "red flag - must do" written all over them! I also have a red, silky ribbon-yarn for my sister. She visited "my store" (The Brass Lantern) and I told her to "pick any yarn" since she asked me to make her a scarf that will brighten dull, black dresses for work. I've started the scarf... and I'm not sure if I love it or want to rip it out (called "frogging" since you "rip it, rip it") or just keep at it and finish it so I can work on the next item on "the knit is right".

In addition, I've been knitting small gifts for other family members.  And I've been wondering if I should make a THIRD hat for my Dad. I've made two other beautiful 100% cashmere hats - and they are both MIA. The yarn is expensive... but it's the best and so is he!

And then just when I thought I was done taking on surprise projects, my mother in law sent me the "rage" in Norway. So popular that you can't even get the yarn anymore... so I should try it asap. I wasn't going to, but then I realized that it really is a beautiful - and very easy sweater - and I have some of the yarn that it calls for... so we'll see.... You can see various images of the sweater here: http://www.strikkeblogger.no/kategori/dorthe-skappel-genser/

The women are taller and thinner than I am, so I'm not 100% sure that I have the bod' to pull it off...

Anyway - my job came about because the previous yarn guru has left to start her own shop. The owner of the store needed someone to take over. The first thing I discovered was that I disagreed with the previous yarnie's yarn purchases. Some of the stuff is really beautiful (and I already owned some) but lots of it I would never have thought to purchase either for a store or for my personal use. I am selling yarns that I've never heard of before, with names like "flounce", "circulo" and "triana" and since people ask me how to knit with them, I've taken some home to try them out. Circulo is more like a big ribbon with holes in it. Flounce is a yarn that I thought was directly ugly until I saw it in Vogue Knitting on a model (the power of marketing), and now I've given it a second chance and will have to try it out, too.

I'm also preparing for next weekend... it will be yarn and more yarn. See my 10 minutes of fame here. I hope I can improve things for the store... and in that my own situation as well.

The list of what I want to do is long. Combine it with the list of "should dos" and it is unending.

And I don't mean knitting.

Knitting is just a convenient symbol for my life. The list of what I want to do is as long as the "should dos" and "must dos". And it all gets mixed up with an un-ending list of "doing even though I shouldn't".

And so it goes. It's Sunday. It's time to unplug from the shoulds and musts. I'm going to draw myself a bath and enjoy some oils from my favorite place: Rain Living. I treated myself: to Eucalyptus oil, peppermint foot bath and a beautiful hand-made box with sheep on it. I don't really need any of it, but isn't it nice to treat yourself when you've spent the better part of the week waiting on your kids hand and foot?

I'd call that money well spent (and it wasn't even on yarn). Friends - school is starting - we have to head to the city and treat ourselves, and Rain is a perfect place!

Happy Sunday all. Happy Labor Day tomorrow. Enjoy!