Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And now for a good cause...

Today I'm hijacking a post from the KnitWitch, Brittany, because I think she's bringing a really good cause to our notice. As you guys know, I love Brittany's yarns and online store, but I also love the fact that she and her husband are really great people who are genuinely concerned for people, animals and our planet. If you don't already read her blog, I definitely recommend it. She always has beautiful pictures, stories of outdoor adventures and really cool details of their renovation of an old house in the woods! I'm just going to cut and paste her post from today, so if you skip ahead and get confused about why I keep referring to "Wayne", well, that's your problem! :-)
Oh, and I'm going to start typing again after the picture of the Morning Glory, so you have to read all the way to the bottom!

So here goes:


Do you ever think about it? For the most part, we never really have to. We turn on our taps or water hoses, flush the toilet, run the dishwasher, wash clothes and there it is - clean, drinkable water. We are so fortunate to have access to such an amazing thing yet many of us never give it a second thought unless we are without it for some reason.

Here are some interesting facts for you:

- 1.1 billion people in the world have no access to clean water (that's 1 in 6 people).
- If we divided all the freshwater among all the people we could allot about 2.5 gallons/person/day. The average person in the US currently uses 300-400 gallons/day.
- Our planet is 70% water - of that 70%, 97.5% of that is saltwater leaving us to divide the remaining 2.5% of freshwater.
- Many communities must have wells in order to access underground aquifers for clean water
- Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease, and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
- Many people in the developing world, usually women and children, walk more than three hours every day to fetch water that is likely to make them sick. Those hours are crucial, preventing many from working or attending school. Additionally, collecting water puts them at greater risk of sexual harassment and assault.
- Children are especially vulnerable to the consequences of unsafe water. Of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation, 90% are children under 5 years old.

Wayne and I have been struggling and looking for a charity to support with Knit Witch. We want to support something that is worthwhile, does good, is necessary and has a reputable mission and goal. There are so many things that we are passionate about that we will probably end up supporting different organizations in different ways. But, no matter what we think about, it all comes back to one thing - water. You have to have water to do anything so that is where we have decided to start. We already run BRAEA and Smaller Footprint and we do work for our local Humane Society so we are reaching out a little more globally this time.

This morning, Knit Witch donated $50 to Charity: Water. I know that isn't a whole lot but it is enough to give 2 people in Africa clean drinking water for 20 years. Here's why we have decided to support this charity:
- Water is the basis for all life as we know it and necessary to support hygienic conditions, medical aid, growing food, raising animals, environmental issues, human rights issues, animals rights issues - pretty much everything.
- This charity uses 100% of donations for their field work as their administrative costs are funded by other means. If you donate, even the paypal fee is funded via their private donor money specifically used for administrative costs - therefore 100% of your money actually goes to building clean water sources. You can read more about this HERE.
- This non-profit works to support other non-profits already working in the field. In other words, they use resources that already exist, organizations who are already familiar with the people, the needs and the language and they work to support people who are passionate about helping others - information on this is HERE
- They have amazing documentation of their work HERE
- They have great information about their organization and their mission HERE

So, why am I telling you all of this? Because I know that knitters are a generous, caring bunch of people. No one knows better that great things are built one little step at a time repeated over and over and over again. The Yarn Harlot supports Doctors Without Borders - another wonderful organization that provides another thing that I am passionate about - health care for those who need it. She has inspired me to give to this cause as I am sure many of you have done as well. Charity: Water gives us knitters another way to make the world a better place.

Knit Witch's Goal = $5,000 - don't you think we can achieve this in order to provide clean drinking water for 500 underprivileged people? I do. I started it off with $50. I don't care if you donate $5 or $500 - whatever you can afford helps. If you skip your morning Starbucks coffee tomorrow you can send that $5 as a donation instead. Send me an email to and let me know how much you donated so that I can keep track of our total - or - you can leave a comment on the blog. I'm keeping track of the progress over on the right hand side of the blog.

Everyone who donates will be entered in a drawing and we will draw some names for prizes. The first drawing will be on October 1st and I'll let you know the prize when I figure it out. If you blog about what we are doing and link to this post I'll give you an extra entry into the pot. Just email me and let me know that you did it -

Let's do this. Let's make a difference in the world around us. Let's make a difference in the life of someone who is less fortunate than ourselves. Let's share our resources. Let's show the world that knitters are the most amazing group of people in the world who can come together to create good in the world.

Here is a picture that I took in our garden yesterday morning. This beautiful flower certainly wouldn't be here without life sustaining water............

Now back to Sarah:

I gotta say, I think this is an amazing cause. It's something that I really haven't thought about until now, but seriously, think about how blessed we are to have such a valuable resource so available to us that we don't even think about it! I matched Brittany and Wayne's donation this morning and hope that you will add to that amount if you are able. Even a couple of bucks helps! Let's help Brittany blow her goal of $5000 out of the water!

On a selfish note: If you are not a knitter or have no interest in a fiber related prize, how 'bout you let the KnitWitch know that your entry is in my name? Just sayin'....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Obsess Much?

Okay, I know I promised like a week ago to catch up my blog on all that has been happening lately, but I guess I must've lied....

I do have a good reason for neglecting this promise and it's name is Sage Remedy Top. I cast on last Thursday and wove in the last end yesterday. I think it's definitely a new record for completing an entire sweater for me, but it was definitely a fun knit with the feather and fan lace inserts! These pictures are really bad, but it's nighttime and the light kinda sucks. I'll try and get a better photo tomorrow.
But, I do owe some stories, don't I?

Ravelry Meet-Up

A couple of months ago, I met Asappa on Ravelry when she posted on the New Orleans Forum that she would be visiting New Orleans in August and was wondering about the local yarn shops. I wrote her back and after a little communication, we decided that I would take her up to the Northshore for a special viewing of a yarn shop that is owned by the lovely, Pam, who I met in Atlanta at the Stitches conference, but had yet to check out her shop, McNeedles.

The day we selected to meet up, Bean and I went to her hotel and picked her up. She was a real sweet person and even came with gifts, which included a handknit kitty for Bean! After a yummy lunch at Johnny's po-boys in the Quarter, we headed out to the shop. It's about a 45 minute drive and I was a little nervous about taking a road trip with a random stranger. I shouldn't have, Asappa was lovely and we chit-chatted the entire way.

Upon locating the store, Pam came hobbling out to greet us. Poor thing came and opened the store specially for us while recovering from knee surgery! And I'm so glad she did! Her store had a great selection and I bought a ton of yarn! She also has an online store, so you should definitely go and check it out.

Meeting up with a complete stranger is not something I would normally do, and neither would she, but I'm so glad I decided to step out of my normal comfort zone this once to meet a new friend and find a great new source for fibery goodness!

A couple of days after meeting up with Asappa, I headed out to Vegas on a girls' trip. This was only my second time leaving Bean for any amount of time (the other was my trip to Atlanta) and it was the first time that I had left her with Hubby in charge!

The trip was so much fun! We had five of us staying in a two bedroom suite at the Palms. Drinking began early, with us starting on the plane out there around 8:30 in the morning. The flight was a blast and the flight attendant was even mixing shots for us! (He also only charged us about 1/5 of what the drinks should have actually cost!)

When we got to our hotel, we quickly ordered room service and then headed off to the pool. It was super-windy that day and ours was the only pool in Vegas that hadn't been shut down. I will admit, it was a little wild to see white caps on a pool! The drinking continued until it was time to get ready for dinner, which was over at a sushi place at the Bellagio. The food was good, (I tried kobe beef) but certainly not plentiful. After dinner, we headed to one of the bars at the Bellagio, but by 10:30 I was struggling to stay awake! 15 hours of drinking will do that to me! So I headed back to our hotel, with two of the other girls, who shortly after that woke me up to let me know they were going back out! More power to 'em, I needed sleep!

The next morning I was up way before everyone else, so I took advantage of the gym at the hotel and got myself some breakfast. By the time I made it back and was showered, some of the others were up and we relaxed until it was time to head down to the spa. Did Imention that Hubby was the most wonderful man in the world? Well, he is! When we checked into our room, a bell hop showed up shortly thereafter bearing gifts from Hubby which included a bottle of champagne, flowers and spa treatments for each of us! I think all of the girls were in love with my husband after we were done at the spa! I got a massage and facial and felt pretty much like putty when they were done.

That afternoon, the rest of the girls headed back to the pool but I took a nap and relaxed (knit) until dinner time. I like taking it a little bit easier than most of my friends on vacation. That night we ate at Simon in our hotel and it was DELICIOUS! The topper on the meal was when they brought out a giant plate of cotton candy for dessert. I love me some spun sugar! After dinner we had planned on heading out to a nightclub at the Wynn, my friend Matt had gotten us on the guest list, but we were all feeling a bit lazy and decided to just hang out at the casino. Once again, I was the first one back in the room, but I did manage to last until about 2:00am. I have no idea what time the rest made it back.

We slept in the next morning, but headed down to the main pool at the Palms for the afternoon. One of the girls managed to talk the pool host into dropping the drink minimum for a cabana (usually about $1000) so we rented one and spent the whole afternoon lounging, drinking mango daquiris, and eating lobster rolls! That's my idea of vacation!

That night we planned on meeting up with some other girls that one of my friends knows. We grabbed a quick dinner and headed over to the Hard Rock to meet up with them. We were totally hooked up that night with a limo, VIP at Tao, and bottle service at the table. I don't even want to know what our tab looked like that night! We had a ton of fun and stayed out until about 3:30, which normally wouldn't be too big a deal, but given the fact that we had to get up at 6:30 the next morning to head to the airport, it was maybe a bit too late!

All in all, I had a great time. The women I went with were so much fun and I loved the restaurants, pool and spa. But even though I had fun at the nightclub and casino, I don't think I'm going to head back to Vegas any time soon. I'm trying to steer the next girls' trip toward a beach resort...
I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to find when I returned home, but I was pleased to see that the house was clean, the child well-cared for, and I was very missed! I do love getting lots of hugs from my two favorite people!
So, now that this post has gotten excessively long, I am going to succumb to my burning desire to start swatching for Sylvi and continue catching up on my blogging tomorrow.

Oh, Alice asked me a question on my last post: Alice, we are heading to Disney on November 5 - 11. Wish we were going to be there when you guys are, but we decided to overlap the trip with a friend's wedding.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Playing Catch Up Part One

I think you nearly every day, Internetz, and remind myself that I need to log on and fill you guys in on some inane moment in my day or another. Or hey, maybe not just the little silly stuff, maybe the big, fun stuff that has been going on as well. But I have been a big ole slacker lately and haven't even mailed out the prizes from my last give-away, or even sent emails that really need to go out to some friends that probably would take me all of five minutes to write, but for some reason, I just can't be prevailed upon to do it.

So, today I am making myself the goal of catching up on all the sh*t I've been neglecting lately. We'll see how that works out!
As for the blog, I have a few things I want to tell you about:
-my awesome Ravelry meet-up
-the girls' trip to VEGAS!
-our cookout last weekend

Blog posts are going to come out in blurbs, so if you don't want to get confused, maybe you should read them in order.

But first, I need to go feed my child. And maybe make a run to the UPS store and ship some things. Isn't that the reason I'm doing the give-aways after all? To get stuff out of my house?