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crafterly things

Knitting Kit-Jimin

Knitting Kit-Jimin (Photo credit: nist6ss)

Tomdeads sewing machineLong-armed cross stitch

I am a crafter, and I always have been. Though there have been seasons in my life where I haven’t crafted as much.  My parents would buy me paint-by-number sets, and markers, and eventually I started to cross-stitch. I thought I was pretty hot stuff then. In high school I would cross-stitch once in a while. Hardly ever. Like, I don’t think I even finished a project.  In college, I didn’t work on it either. But, right before I graduated, I went out and bought a HUGE cross stitch project. Well, big for me. It was like 9 x 11.  And, I started it. Then I put it away.

In grad school, I picked up a couple more cross-stitch projects. Then I started to sew. Because I had to. We had to do costume shop hours. So, one summer I spent 4 hours a day in the costume shop. I learned to sew. I learned to surge. I learned a lot!  I loved it!  I felt creative again!

After grad school I got my first sewing machine. It was pretty basic, but it totally worked for me.  I did some cross stitching, some embroidery, and then I started to learn to knit.  I was busy! And, it really kept up from there. My one craft I love is knitting. I love to sew. I am lucky enough to have a little one that loves to do all those things as well. We totally love crafting together. It’s been a joy for us.

I try to do something crafty every day. Mostly knitting, but not all the time. Sometimes I have to forego my projects so I can help her with her little projects. It’s a lot of fun.


Jester reading a book


I am a reader. i used to read a bunch. But, alas, life happens.  For many years, I read TO Atlantis, then when she was first learning to read, I always had to listen to her. But now, she is on her own with reading.  Which means – I can finally read.

I keep my books on this book, as well as another one – which is terribly old. I use goodreads. But, many  moons before goodreads and the interwebs, I kept book journals. I wrote down the start and ending dates of books along with my own little book review.  i still have those darn things. So, I have probably kept track of my reading for at least 14 years. How crazy is that?  Now, I am also fortunate to have to read for my job. So, that is super helpful as well.

But, I am a booklover!  And, I just happen to be hosting an online Usbourne party.  Here is the link to my party!  So, if you love books just as much as we do – take a look and load up for the holidays. Thanks!


I place some blogging demands on myself as well. I maintain three blogs. Let me explain.

I have one blog that is ONLY for my family. You see, when we first adopted Atlantis, we had so much news – every day- what was going on, how the paperwork was going, the phone calls, the visits, etc.  And, it was easier to set up a blog and post ONCE rather than continually update family. Well, six years later, and I’m STILL posting. Every day. Ok, not every day.  But, about 97% of the time I do.  I hardly EVER miss. It’s my routine. She gets tucked in, and I go blog. I blog about the day. Boring things that no one cares about but those of us that love her.

Then, in January of this year, I started a picture-a-day blog.  I have my alarm set for 5:00 on my phone. Then, I just snap a picture of where I am, and upload to Flicker. Then, when I’m sitting down to blog for the night, I just upload that to its own blog. I’ve discovered that 5:00 around our house involves a lot of dinner prep. So, my pics are normally cutting boards, food, the microwave, etc.

Then, there’s this blog. I ask myself to blog five times a week. Do I do that? No. I think 3 is more common for me.

I keep track of how frequently I blog too. I have a little chart, then I kind of know if I should be blogging or devoting time to some other activity.



I can think of “look, momma, look!”  All day long. I am asked to come and Look at something – a picture she drew, a bug she found, a commercial of something she wants, or even how her scrap of bread looks like a duck.  Look. And I do. Ok, not all the time, but I do. I am getting better. It never fails, though. That “Look” comes right when I’m in the middle of something. Right when I have things to finish. Right when I have things to start .

I need to stop. I need to look. I need to find what she finds fascinating. I need to understand that she finds it all amazing, and hopefully I will too. And, not just with her – with my husband.  He comes home from work and has things to share. I need to stop and LOOK at him too.

What about God?  I need  to stop and LOOK at him too. He shows me fascinating things every day. He says – LOOK, Bethanie, LOOK! And, sometimes I notice, and sometimes I don’t.  How sad is that?

I looked yesterday. I looked at the blue cloudless sky and I saw a lone bird flying so far up there it looked like a little moving speck. I saw what God placed in front of me.

I looked when Atlantis showed me some fabric scraps she found – she said they were pretty. I agreed. We decided to make doll clothes from them. We looked. Together. We looked.

I looked when my hubby came home from work with calloused hands. I looked. I loved. I appreciated.

Five Minute Friday


Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Continuing with my organization process, I wanted to share some of my “daily” tasks. First off:  Twitter.  I try to tweet at least 3 times per week. This goes for work as well. There is a work account that a co-worker and I manage. So, when I go to tweet, I try to make sure I’m doing it for both – my personal account and the work account.

The personal account has a few friends following, along with mostly work-related followers.  On the other hand, I mostly follow crafty sites and Christian-bloggers.

Then, for work, we follow alumni and current students – and those people generally follow us in return.  And, maybe a few recruits.

With both accounts, we tweet and upload pics.

I do find that I edit my personal tweets though.  I know too many of the people that are following me, and I hold back.  I don’t know if that’s good or not. I prefer anonymity.  But, I guess we can’t have everything.

I demand an awful lot of myself. And, I’m ok with that. Things are ever-evolving for me. What works for me, may not work for you. And, just as I find something that works for me, things change, and I need to adapt my lists.

Right now. In this season. Today, I find that there are three things that are keeping me organized. In no particular fashion:

  • I use this list from Darlene at Time-Warp Wife. Every week. I like putting down things and crossing them off. It totally works for me.  It allows me to see what I don’t do.  I am very forgiving about this – I don’t beat myself up if I don’t get to something. I know that other things take precedence sometimes.
  • I adore my life planner from erin condren. It’s like a min-journal and calendar all in one. I am drawn to the colors. I like seeing things pop-out on the page with the stickers they include. It has been a life-saver!
  • I have my own house-keeping schedule I use. It’s nothing fancy – I just know that on Thursdays I dust, Tuesdays I clean the bathrooms, etc.  I don’t really think about it. I have done this for years and have adapted my cleaning schedule based on my life. I also have tweaked it during the summer months. I mean, I ‘m home all the time then, so it needs to be changed for those few months.

This stuff works. For me. I am continually reading blogs and advice columns about staying organized. And, that’s all great and everything, but the important thing is to find what works for YOU. See, THIS works for me. It probably won’t work for anyone else.  So, look around and see what will help you. It will take some trial and error. And, it will also mean, that you will need to adapt as you change from season to season.  What worked for me in high school does NOT work for me now. But, that doesn’t mean my organization or life-planning skills were horrible in high school. It just means that things have changed, and we must turn, turn, turn.  Ok, so now I’m singing.

Most importantly for me, I do not live and die by the schedule I make for myself. I allow myself much forgiveness. I know there are surprises that pop-up. I allow myself to work ahead on things, or even let them stack up on another day.  I am not TIED to my schedule. I think we can fall into nasty habits by allowing our lives to be dictated by schedules with no room for wiggles.

I think within the next few posts I’m going to blog about a few of the things on my lists.  Hopefully sharing some advice and motivation with you.

my mojo is back


sleep (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I got it baby! I did the show last night. Got home at 10:15.  And, by the time I showered, did show notes, and checked email – I didn’t get to bed till 11:30. Then I couldn’t fall asleep. It’s hard to turn off my head after a show.

Then, I had a kitten sleeping across my neck at 4:30. And, knowing full well my alarm was ready to go off at 5, that made it damn near impossible for me to sleep. So, I tried for 30 minutes. Then, the alarm went off. Then I tried snoozing till 5:15.  I gave in and got out of bed.  I got to work at 6.  I got so much done!

And, I’m feeling great – not tired at all – yet.  I hope I can keep this up.  My day is not too crazy.  So, hopefully I can crank out some much needed fun stuff.

But first, off to critique last night’s show.

Usually I am a Monday-lover. I know some people think that’s crazy. But, I really do love Mondays.


Sunday (Photo credit: ex.libris)

So, I’m just not feeling it today. I think there are basically two reasons. I slept poorly on Saturday night.  That made my entire Sunday a drag. Saturday night I had Atlantis in bed with me and the kitty. Mark had to go to the couch.  So, I was there competing for my own pillow. And, because I was out-of-it all day Sunday, I took a nap. A GREAT nap. For an hour and a half. I didn’t move once!  Then, I thought I would have a hard time falling asleep, but nope. I was starting to get sleepy around 10. But, I was SO congested from allergies that I took a Benadryl. And those things wipe me out!  So, now, I ‘m a bit of a fog again. And, it’s making me not like my Monday. It’s making me want to sleep.  And not do things on my list.  This isn’t like  me.

I know I will return to normal very soon.Probably tomorrow. But, tonight. Tonight I have a show. Yikes. I will muster up the energy, then I will be drained. You know, that may be what I need.  We’ll see.

Five Minute Friday

English: Athletes at the start of a 10-mile ra...

Five Minute Friday

So, here we go. Race. Uhm, I would dearly love to race. Like a 5K or something. But, I don’t know. You see, I’m pretty private about some stuff. So, I sure don’t want people to know I’m racing OR training. And, I’m in such a small community that everyone know. Because everyone is like that.

Race. I suppose I also think of rat race. But that seems odd.

What about race to the holidays? That is one. I adore the holidays. But, I really try hard NOT to want them to get here too soon. I am kind of afraid of time whizzing past me.

I also think that like can be a race. But, who are was racing against? I have never been competitive. I do care what people think and say. It’s hard not too. But, I also don’t let it affect me. If anything it just makes me stronger.

Racing is something that also stressed me out. I am not competitive. I am laid back. I fear losing. I fear failure. I don’t race. I don’t compete. I am a loner. I suppose running would be the only sport I could really do. I just don’t like being physical around anyone else.

Race. Race. Race. I am struggling because I don’t really RACE for anything.

Ok, I’m done.

again with the awkwardness

English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman

Let me set this up for you.  Yesterday at work we had a big luncheon get-together. You know, they grilled hamburgers, we all got together. Fellowship. So, I head over there.  I sat with a co-worker from my department.  She is 5 months pregnant with her first. Shortly after we sat down, another co-worker stopped by. This woman is recently back from maternity leave after her second baby.  So, that momma had to come over and rub the pregnant woman’s belly.  Anyway, they started talking about pregnancy. I’m fine with that. I listened, I smiled, I nodded, I raised my eyebrows at appropriate times. And it went on and on. I finished my hamburger. I finished my chips. I finished my bottle of water. Then I proceeded to remove the label from my water bottle.

At one point I glanced up and the momma that had just returned from maternity leave caught my eyes. And in a SPLIT second. I mean, seriously – beyond nanoseconds. She suddenly realized she was talking to me about pregnancy. Me!  Then she stopped mid-sentence. She fumbled for some words, then awkwardly sputtered, “So, how is Atlantis doing?”  The pregnant momma turned her head to me – she was very confused. Why in the world did this other woman suddenly stop talking mid-sentence and turn to me to ask about my daughter?  With a scrunched up face she looked at me, and guess what? She caught on suddenly. So there I am with a water bottle wrapper in my hands and two mommas who are dripping with pity for me.  Lovely.

I smiled and said very quickly, “She’s just great.  How are your little ones?”  Then it was ok. Those two felt better. They sighed and went on talking. Whew – they didn’t stress out the infertile woman.  They were relieved. I, however, slowly gathered my mess and mumbled something about a meeting and smiled really big and left.  There was no meeting. I just really needed to get out of there.

Yes, it can be awkward. But, it’s only awkward when others make it that way.  Then I feel self-conscious.  Then I feel like a dork.  But, what can I do?