Happy New Year’s Eve!

DSC01470.JPGWhat a full week it has been! A fun Christmas (I have some cute gifts to show you on Wednesday – you might want to put these two artisans on your “future gifts” list), and a fun time in Iowa. We spent a couple of days with WH’s mom in Clinton. (With Iowa being the hot-bed of political focus right now, both Obama and Edwards were in town the day we were there.) On Friday, we mostly stayed inside and watched 8-10 inches of snow fall all day long. Isn’t it beautiful? (Great knitting weather. I have new socks to show you later in the week, too. Finished the Noro sock and am totally in love with it. So much so, that I’m starting the second one tonight. DSC01468.JPGAnd you KNOW that means something. I’m the Queen of the Single Sock.) While we were visiting WH, College Guy set up a laptop for his grandma, and gave her some important lessons. All appears to have gone well with that. (Notice that her office has a RED wall. I liked it a lot!)

DSC01478.JPGOn Saturday we traveled across Iowa (in some weird white fog) to attend the wedding of our godson and his beautiful bride. We’ve known this handsome guy since he was just a few days old, and met his wife-to-be this past spring. Aren’t they a happy looking couple? It was a joyful wedding and we are so happy for both of them. This is the son of our good friends Steve and Janice. Want to see more photos? She blogged some fun ones! “Small World Moment” – when I saw a friend from high school scooting into one of the pews for the wedding. Then I realized that she was a teacher at their high school and must’ve had the bride in class. “Smaller World Moment” – when it dawned on me that my high school friend’s last name (her married name) was the same as the bride’s maiden name and realized they must be related. (Yep – she’s an aunt by marriage.) What a small world.

DSC01479.JPGOn Sunday, we hung around for brunch and talking. Here is a picture of three of my favorite kids. (Only two are mine, but I’d gladly claim the third. She’s Iowa Girl, sister to the groom.) They’ve all been good friends their whole life. Do you have any friends like that, that you have known your whole life? My oldest friend that I’m still in touch with is actually Steve, father of the groom and father of Iowa Girl. (Also father of Iowa Guy, not pictured.) We met in Junior High. (This was before he and WH met and became such good friends, so I get to claim being Steve’s oldest longest friend.) Other than that, my oldest longest friends go back to high school days.

Today is our last Random Acts of Kindness reporting day. I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed reading all of the kind things that you have done over the past month. This contest really has helped me to keep it on my mind and continually look for ways to make a difference to others. One of my plans for tomorrow is to figure out a plan for each month of 2008 and what I can do to make a difference. Please leave your RAK comments (and your other comments!) below, and I’ll do one more drawing on Wednesday of this week. The winner for last weeks’ drawing is Barbara in LA. Congratulations to you! We’ll plan to get all of the drawing gifts out the end of the week. Thank you all for participating!

Sheri noSneakUpthisweekbutthenexttwoweeksaregonnabedoozies!

81 comments

  1. Thanks so much for this whole RAK thing, Sheri. I really want to find a way to keep it going in 08. My last RAK of the year was donating to the veterinary expense fund for the dog in this news story:
    http://www.wgme.com/News/story_detail/story_detail_13.shtml
    in memory of our beloved Fenway, who has now been gone for 13 months, and who I still miss every day. I found out about it on Rabbitch’s blog — she has a link to the vet’s page.

    I do have a couple of friends I’ve known since I was 4 — I’ve taught both daughters of one, and the other is still one of my most important female friends. One of m colleagues says that long term friendships are the least-examined of all friendships & in a way that’s true, but I also feel very comfortable being around people who have known me for so long. There’s so much shared experience/memory.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Happy New Year! I agreed to do some knitting for a friend’s wedding-ballerina slippers for the flower girl. And I just finished 4 pairs of them for Christmas presents! I have the pattern memorized!

  3. I have an RAK to report from last week. I was away from a computer Christmas Eve and could not report at that time.

    I received a beautiful bouquet of a dozen yellow roses at work on Dec. 20th. I took them home on Friday the 21st, but we were leaving town on the 22nd and would not be home until the night of the 25th or the 26th. We ended up delivering them to the home of a friend so that he could take them to his mother who was recently under-the-weather. The blooms were still very beautiful and had not opened much at all.

    Happy New Year to everyone!

  4. Happy New Year to you and the Loopy Elves! I have been knitting mittens – I had never knit them before, and realize that kids mittens are so quick and easy! I have decided that mittens are going to be my charity knitting for this year. It’s a perfect way to use up those odds and ends lying around the house!

    Oh – I was able to sneak in a RAK late last week. I stopped at Starbucks drivethrough for a Peppermint White chocolate mocha (mmmmm….) and was able to pay for the person behind me – he got a cup o’ joe and a muffin. It felt really good to do something like that.

    My best friend and I have been BFs since we were 12 – we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary in a year or so. We have been through middle school, high school, college, marriage, children (hers), divorce (hers), remarriage (hers), children (mine), deaths of our grandparents, etc… together. We talk about 4 times a week. She is my lifeline, and the only person in this entire world who I know will always tell me the truth, even when I don’t want to hear it.

  5. Happy New Year to All!

    RAK – An old computer friend lost his battle with cancer earlier this year, and I’ve tried to help his wife with computerish things whenever possible. She makes gorgeous jewelry, but is not a techie. On Thursday I took her shopping for a new fax/printer/copier. She just had shoulder surgery, so is not allowed to lift anything. While picking out the new fax, she also found a new desk chair. (I love my hatchback. I can get a lot of things in that car!) Anyway, I carried both into the house for her, carried the fax upstairs to the office, set it up for her and boxed up the old one that would be going to a friend of hers. Yesterday, the fellow who inherited the old fax assembled the chair for her. She gets upset with me because I never let her pay me for helping out, but I keep telling her that I’m just paying it forward. She’s good for my karma.

  6. On Friday we had a huge snowstorm. Our office closed early and since I was the first one out to the parking lot, I cleaned off all of the windshields.

  7. I’ve gotten into the habit of cleaning windsheilds on random cars near mine when it’s snowy. It doesn’t take long, and I’m sure it’s making someone’s day. 🙂

    Happy New Year! Can’t wait to see your Noro socks, Sheri! 🙂

  8. Just a small RAK: I pulled the smallest neighbour kids up the hill on their toboggan for a while a couple of days ago. I think they were feeling left out when the older kids were climbing the hill faster and sliding so many more times.

  9. Happy New Year to everyone! I am the high school friend who turned out to be the aunt of the bride.
    I couldn’t place her face – taught too many years and thought she was a former student’s mom – TSK! Brave soul Sheri approached me at the reception and then it hit me – my old lockermate from high school – SHERI! I was stunned. After fully making the connection for me, Sheri and I had a great chat, and I met her very handsome crew. Our one mistake was neither of us thought to photograph the reunion – TSK2!
    Since I, too, am an avid knitter, I shall be checking in. Unfortunately as a composition teacher, I have little free time, but I’ll do my best:)

  10. This past week has left me scraping the bottom of the RAK-barrel. I had some medical stuff scheduled that ate up my time between Christmas and New Year’s. I have tried to be nice to anyone I’ve interacted with, being patient, asking about their holidays in more than the prefunctory way, giving them a smile and a ‘thanks’ that let them know I appreciated their help. These gestures do not feel like RAKs, but this week with everything else I’ve been doing/dealing with, I’m aware of how very important it is that we treat each other like people whenever and how ever we have the chance.

    Thanks Sheri, for this month long reminder that we can be, and often are, kind to each other in big and small ways.

    Happy New Year to you, your family, the elves! May 2008 be full of all kinds of RAKs, by you and to you.

  11. I saw on Ravelry a comment by a knitter that she was out of yarn and had no money to purchase more. I packed a box full (including sock yarn) and sent it to her.

  12. I have so loved reading everyone else’s RAK reports. They’ve given me so many great ideas for the new year!

    In the spirit of the old, we cleared the educational wildlife preserve across the street of canine poop today. Our own dogs were pretty grateful for the “field trip.”

  13. I may be too late, but I’m late in blog reading too. ; )
    A week or so ago I passed this guy as I was getting off the interstate – they are often there, with signs noting they need money, and I usually try to look past them, thinking they should go to the homeless shelter, wondering what they will do with the money if I give it to them, but on this particular day I opened my window and gave him a $10 and didn’t give it another thought and haven’t told anyone I know.

  14. I’m probably late, but it’s been crazy around here.

    My RAKs for the week (actually last week)- I offered to everyone to stay late Christmas Eve as it’s not my holiday so that everyone could go home to be with their families – no one tok me up on it, but the thought was definately there. Also, my girlfriend just lost her mom over the summer, so I took her to dinner also on Christmas Eve so that she ddn’t have to be alone (she has no family here and couldn’t get home).

    I hope that everyone has a very happy new year and that 2008 sees some dreams come true 🙂

  15. My RAK this week was, I read Wendy’s blog about the dog that got hit by the snowmobile, so I went over and contributed some money for its care.

  16. RAK of the week was dropping all my knitting plans for break and knitting my uncle a scarf out of Malabrigo. I’m not done with it by any means, but he’s coming the 5th and I need to give it to him then. He’s been wearing the crappy, ugly camo acrylic scarf I knit for him four years ago!!! As far as I’m concerned, that calls for my first ever Malabrigo experience.

    I hope your year is charmed.

  17. Probably too late to post as an “offical” RAK, but what the heck =) My parents had the two missionaries that serve in their ward over for dinner on Sunday. My mother is an active church-goer and I … am not. However, not only did I hobble downstairs (fully dressed – I had stubbed my toe really bad earlier that day – so bad it still hurts now) and participate in dinner, but when the two young ladies were admiring a bag I’d made for a friend, I offered to make them bags as well. I let them shop from my fabric stash (all quilt-shop quality fabric – I have enough even for the quilts I won’t make til after I’m dead), and I spent all day today working on the bags. Considering that their “message” for us that night was to be charitable to others (and they even congratulated me on preempting the message), I felt pretty darn good about it. I can’t wait to see how they like the bags =)

    The pattern is the Lazy Girl Newport Tote bag, in case anyone else here sews or quilts. A picture can be found at http://www.lazygirldesigns.com/images/products/large/LGD115.jpg. It’s super easy to make (one bag takes me about 3 hrs, including the quilting time), and I’ve made over a dozen so far. Everyone who has gotten them loves them – and they make great knitting bags!

  18. I was witness to a RAK… and got one too.
    Both at Sam Club…

    1. I was in a long line to get my member number because I somehow forgot it at home. An employee, in line for his own reasons, asked what everyone was in line for and was able to get them to help me quick as it was an “easy” thing to do. 🙂

    2. A man in line at the photo counter waited nicely and then when he got his turn, just said “I found these photos in the parking lot outside” Wow, to wait in line so that someone else can have their pictures!!!

  19. I’ve really been enjoying all the different ideas people are coming up with for RAK’s.
    This is not my personal RAK, but a very nice gesture all the same. Every year around Christmas ( this is usually when he has time off) he will sharpen all the kitchen knives, check the handles on pans and cabinet doors to see if everything is tight. Usually my family doesn’t even know he does this unless you catch him in the act. While visiting he will also do this for me and my sibling, and grandparents. It’s amazing what a sharp knife can do! All of those things are time consuming to fix, but things you never think about until you’re using them or they are broken.

  20. My mother every year sends a small package to her surving aunts/uncles. As they all live across the country she has rarely seen them since she was a child. She wants them to have something to open on Christmas and always gives them a call sometime during the day. A small gesture that has continued to brighten their days…especially as they have moved into nursing homes and long-term care hospitals.

    Sheri- Thanks so much for having this contest and reminding all of us of all the little things we do that can help brighten our lives and those around us!

  21. Do not know if it is too late but I will give it a shot. I am from St. Louis but now live in NE Indiana. My husband and I went home for the holiday to visit the sister, brother and remaining parental unit. While there my husband did more than I but we did Dad things. I, of course, wanted to help Dad but more to help my sister and brother who both work and cannot get to some of the things my Dad should not do but still thinks he can do, even at 80 he has not realized that he is not capable. We bought and installed a new TV. Took two old black and white out to the dumpster. Removed old TV to another location and hooked them all up to cable. Replaced his old broken computer with new one. Replaced functioning printer with free one that we got for having bought computer and put the old printer closer to where he spends all his time so he can still use the copying features. While getting the computer hooked up properly, cleaned off some of his ‘good stuff’ (he has hoarders disease) and hooked up a telephone. I think just doing these small things for him took a tremendous load off. Anyone who knows about or has anything to do with hoarders disease knows that they are very fond of their stuff. So for him to allow me to get rid of several old TV’s is really very good of him. I admit he did go lay down while this was going on, but at least he let us do these things for him. He might have been kicking and screaming but these things are now done and not partial projects that he thinks he will get to at a later date. We did several other things but it still felt good to do these things. When you travel hundreds of miles to visit and there is not even a place to sit, doing this sort of stuff really makes you feel like you are helping him. Every time I visit all I want to do is clean, pitch and sort, but I know this cannot happen so having projects that he really wanted done actually made for a good holiday visit.

  22. I am soooooooooooooooooooooo jealous of the snow. I LOVE snow but living in the good ole South we do not see much of that and when we do people panic and act like the world is coming to an end. :0) We did however get some well needed rain this past week wchich is good cause some cities only had like 60 days of water left. So some cities are hurting for water really bad.

  23. Forgot to post this the other day! My RAK thsi past week was small, actually a few small, similar RAKs, consisting of letting people with fewer items go ahead of me in line at the supermarket & CVS, and letting more than “my fair share” of drivers get in front of me when a 3-lane road (each direction, not counting 2 left-turn lanes & 2 right-turn lanes) was down to 1 lane, & of course everyone waits til the last second to merge into the functioning lane. (Plus some drivers went ahead in a turn lane when they really wanted to go straight, so I had them coming from both sides!)

    Sheri, thanks so much for encouraging us to be more aware of others’ needs & to help make “common courtesy” more common. (It seems to be rubbing off on my daughter, too!)

    Your holidays & trip to Iowa sound wonderful! Hope you’re well-rested, re-energized, & rejuvenated. Happy New Year to you & your family & the Loopy Elves!

  24. I read on my spindlers group that one of the members had a house fire and lost many of her material possessions including all of her yarn stash and books. I sent her a large box of fiber to spin, a spindle, a full bag of rowan yarn and some stray balls of alpaca boucle.

  25. And (drumroll please) for the final poop removal count, representing two states (Minnesota and California), two nature preserves, one park, the elementary school across the street, and countless dogs (well, no more than 148, but potentially fewer):

    148 piles o’ unclaimed canine leftovers

    That’s a *&@%load of poop! I’m feeling even more virtuous than I thought I would. Thanks for the challenge!

  26. Wow. Yes, my very best friend has been my friend for nearly 20 years now. Since preschool! She’s actually coming to visit this weekend. 🙂

    RAKs – I tailored a shirt for a friend…apparently Small just wasn’t small enough.
    I helped a friend who was babysitting, and showed her the wonders of the Chik-fil-a playplace!

    And, I have an RAK someone did for me. Two, actually, they happened almost at the same time though. As a matter of fact, at that Chik-fil-a. My middle son managed to get himself stuck in between a slide and the wall of the playplace!! Poor guy was wedged right in. One of the dads helped me to free him, he pulled from above, and I pushed from below. Right after that (while I was feeling embarrassed and silly), a lovely couple told me that they thought I was doing an excellent job with my kids! Which made me feel all sorts of wonderful, being a young mother, I usually feel one or two steps behind everyone else.

  27. Can’t believe its 2008! While I will not be going to the spring fling, I do get to spend the money on a new spinning wheel – yay!

    My RAK – if it could be called a RAK – I acquired an alpaca fleece on christmas day – I chose one that did not have the grass picked out or cleaned, and saved the wonderful lady several hours doing the same thing – I could have picked up a “cleaned” fleece. Now I’m halfway through (ok, maybe a third) cleaning and washing the fleece – have carded about a pound, and am ready to do some spinning!

    I also allowed my parents to stay an extra couple of days so they could drive in good weather back to TX – I was ready for them to leave about 3 days before they actually left, so the fact that everyone and everything is still intact is pretty good. (wasn’t really THAT bad)

    My best friend is my hubby! we are both very introverted 🙂

    Have a great 2008!

  28. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! **dancing around, throwing confetti**

    😀

    I honestly can not think of a single RAK I did last week. I’m sure there was something.
    I did take care of a friend of mine’s cat while she was out of town at her son’s house over the holiday. I’m also looking after the cat this week, as my friend has just had surgery to remove a cancerous spot from her kidney. But that was planned, not random.

    Still…

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! **throwing more confetti** Here’s to a continuation of RAKs for 2008, even without contests! ğŸ˜Ž (Not to mention plenty of knitting time!)

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