ACW 289 – We know what we love.

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I love my local library. Apparently so do a lot of other people. I usually get there just a few minutes before they open, and when I do, there’s usually a line of people waiting to get in. We don’t quite stampede through the front doors when they open, but we do get in pretty fast. The librarian is pretty nimble though, so she usually gets out of the way.

ACW Episode 288 – The Power of Yoga!

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So I had a slight miscommunication with the cat last week….

She was messing around with my iPad and some electronics cables while I was trying to do yoga. I told her to “shoo!” but apparently she didn’t hear me, because when I reached down to give her a nudge, she reacted as though I had just shot 20,000 volts through her. I believe she did three and a half somersault in five different directions before landing – claws first – on my left hand. Two claws slashed open my pinky and middle fingers. But one claw managed to puncture not just the skin of my ring finger, but also the blood vessel beneath it as well. And that claw sunk into me so deep that I couldn’t simply shake the cat free of my hand (though Glob knows I TRIED!!!). Instead, I had to roll around on the floor in agony while the cat swore at me and continued to shred my digits. Eventually, she took off, leaving me with a bloody stump where my hand used to be. It was three days before all my fingers grew back and I was able to wear my wedding rings again.

So just remember folks. Never set the cat on fire, and don’t mess with it when you’re doing yoga either.

ACW Episode 287 – It’s all a bit fuzzy to me

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Wow, I finally got a webcomic drawn and posted! It’s been like, forever!

Seriously though, it has been a month since I last posted a webcomic. The reason, of course, is because it was Girl Scout cookie season, again, and I let my life get taken over by Girl Scout cookie season, again.

The problem is partly the organization I volunteer for. Girl Scouts demands a lot from its volunteers, and I understand this. We work with girls who need us to be responsible, keep them safe, and offer them opportunities to do things that are fun and exciting. That requires training, certifications, background checks, the ability to handle finances, the ability to plan and conduct training, and so on, and so on, and so on. Basically, all the things I used to do in the Army Reserves. Only without the paycheck to go with it.

So I understand that, and I agree with that. But…

I’m not sure Girl Scouts understands what it’s asking of its volunteers. I mean, in a way, they do. They know what’s at stake when it comes to working with girls. But I don’t think they understand the demand these requirements puts on its volunteers. I volunteer at least 10 hours a week. And some weeks I volunteer more. A lot, lot more. During cookie season, I could end up volunteering 60 hours a week. Keep in mind that some weeks during cookie season I am also hosting the troop meeting (we have one 5-hour meeting a month), running cookie booths, handling accounting for cookie sales, making deposits of cookie money at the bank, preparing for Scout Sunday, preparing for Thinking Day, attending those events, and more. And doing all that is exhausting.

I read an article recently that talked about the ideal amount of hours to volunteer. And the number they gave was 100-800 hours. Less than that didn’t give the volunteers the same boost of happiness. More than that left volunteers burned out. Now 100-800 hours seems like one hell of a range, but the article also mentioned that there were no benefits to volunteering more than 100 hours. And I’d say they’re right about that. I’d be happy if I could cut my volunteering back to just 5-10 hours a week. That would put me at around 250-500 hours a year, as opposed to what I volunteer now.

But how to get those hours down? That’s where I have to admit that I’m part of the problem.

Yes, Girl Scouts asks a lot. But that doesn’t mean I always have to say ‘yes’ when they ask something of me. I need to start learning how to say ‘no.’ And there may be some folks I work with in Girl Scouts who will be disappointed to hear me say no. But I’m thinking that the organization as a whole will understand. Girl Scouts needs dedicated volunteers; it doesn’t need burned-out volunteers. And so I’m making the choice to step back from some of my volunteering so that I can do a better job at what I still intend to volunteer for, and so I don’t feel resentful about volunteering.

And then maybe  I won’t be so tired that I try to type my emails on my cat 🙂

ACW Episode 286 – An Important Fact About Cats

Webcomic!

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Sing it with me folks. “My cat has fleas!” Or rather, my CATS have fleas. All three of them. Do you know how hard it is to wash three cats? There’s a lot of bleeding involved. A LOT of bleeding.

At least the kitties smell nice when the baths are done. Not that they’ll let me get close enough to snuggle after I’ve dunked them in water, scrubbed them with soap, and dunked them again. But that’s okay. I need the time to clean myself up anyway. Don’t want to bleed all over my freshly cleaned kitties.

ACW Episode 285 – A Belated Christmas

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It took me soooooooooooo long to finish this, and for no other reason that I simply could not get my act together for the last month. And I’m still not able to get my act together, but I’ll keep plugging along anyway.

I should have another Creature Comforts post up tonight. It’s in the works right now!

Krampus Challenge – Day 28, Cross-Stitch Krampus?

Cross-Stitch Krampus in progress

Krampus is looking a little cross...

Yes, I decided to go one step farther with the drawing I posted yesterday. I bought StitchSketch for my iPad and imported the image of the drawing into StitchSketch. It was not a perfect translation from drawing to pattern. I am still learning a lot about the program, and have a lot of cleaning up to do on this pattern. However, I think it has promise. I'll keep working on it over the next few days.

The other thing I need to do over the next few days is figure out what theme I should do for January. I usually dread January and February. Those two months make up the worst part of Girl Scout cookie season, and they're usually so painfully cold and dreary. This year, I want to make January and February more fun, or at least more tolerable. So I'm trying to decide on some themes that I will enjoy the most.

The first option is “Unfinished Business.” I have several projects lying around the house that need to be finished up. Some of these require more effort than others. I was thinking of picking 3-4 unifinished project to start with and knock them out one at a time until they were done, and then finish up more projects until the month is done.

My second option is to spend the month sewing. Pixie has a new sewing maching and she loves it! We went out today about bought a bunch of fleece to make pillows and cozy things with. I have a book on kawaai sewing that I would LOVE to get to work on, as well as several patterns that I've got the fabric for, but never got started on.

Which leads me to my third option for January's theme – “Creature Comforts.” It would in many ways combine options one and two, as I have several unfinished projects that would be very cozy once finished, and I have a list of several new projects that would also be cozy too.

Actually, now that I think about it, the “Creature Comforts” theme would be the best theme. I don't know how cold January is going to be, but it would be nice if I finally finished that granny-square blanket I started last year, and then I could sew a nice kawaii pillow to go with it, and make myself some new clothes, and finish up some unfinished paintings so I have something nice to decorate the house….

Yeah, I think we've settled this matter. Next month, it's “Creature Comforts!” I think we'll all enjoy this one 🙂

 

ACW Episode 284 – No sugar plum fairies for me!

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There really is no good time to make changes to a diet, but taking out excess sugar during the holidays really, really sucks.

But, I really needed to make a change to my diet. I’ve been having problems with joint pain for a couple years now, and it gets worse during the winter. After doing a bit of research, I decided to try removing the excess sugar from my diet. I’ve given up soda, sugar in my coffee or tea, and any store-bought sweets for the most part. I’ve started cooking my meals from scratch, which is a bit of a hassle, but worth it. After a week, my joints, especially my knees, started to feel much better, so yay for getting rid of sugar!

On the down side, cutting out sugar also killed my energy level for the first week. I found myself passing out for hours at a time. I’m still taking little unexpected naps here and there, but it’s not as bad as it was at first week.

Anyway, we’ll see how well I get through this holiday season with a reduced-sugar diet.