Still Life from Quimper

Still Life from Quimper
A shot of an almost-completed still life needlepoint

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So very happy you came to visit. Now, pull up a chair, pour a glass of your favorite beverage, and read on about adventures in needlework.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Peaceful New Year

Yes, there is something about this time of the year. All the hectic Christmas knitting is done (thank you, Atlanta-area Shop Hop!), the packages are mailed, the kinfolk have visited and been visited by, and the overindulgence is finally over. Having had no traffic to drive through to and from work has kept me re-juvenated, too. It's just that time of the year when there's a little extra energy to spend on projects.

Like blogging.

I really, really enjoy blogging. I enjoy planning what stitched/knitted pieces I'm going to write about, taking picture of them, composing a draft blog in my brain whilst I assemble the pieces for picture-taking, and all of the writing I seem to do once I log onto my NNW blog. And I really, really appreciate how y'all are reading these postings and seem to be enjoying them in your leisure time.

So why haven't I posted in a while? Well, September was a busy month, then came October, and all the while I've been seeing my two-week temp assignment become extended and more involved. Which is fantastic - I'm working in areas that I had considered as possible job options while I was in the process of closing the shop, and am working with a terrific bunch of folks. It's interesting, too, to be in the position again of being an employee after so many years of being the employer; I really think I've gained insight into what an employer really expects and how best to do a task that is asked of me.

To bring everyone up to date, after my blog posting in September, Webmaster Bill decided that I needed to have a happy birthday celebration on Tybee Island, so we spent a long weekend down there in a hotel on the beach. I was really impressed with a small wildlife museum that was close by, and all the work they're doing to keep the sea turtle populations healthy and thriving. When we were there, in late September, 10 of the 11 nests had hatched and they were just waiting for the last one to hatch in the next week or so. Yay! Baby sea turtles! They had a couple in salt water tanks in the museum, and they are really so cute and so tiny! It's hard to believe they grow up to be so huge.

Then October I spent learning about wildlife rehabilitation. You see, there was this explosion in the Gulf of Mexico last April . . . oh wait, you already knew about that, right? Of course you do! So I wanted to help save everything, like I usually do, and I went on the website that spring for the Audobon Society to see when they needed me to come down and save brown pelicans and dolphins and everything else that was covered in oil. So I filled out their on-line volunteer form and it asked questions like, "Can you type?" (of course I can type - 120 wpm was my top speed, thank you very much) and "Can you answer phones?" (well, yes) and "Can you file?" (oh, if you could only see me file!). But then at the bottom was a question "Do you have wildlife rehabilitation experience?" and I thought, 'Well, no, but I could get some.' On-line again I found an organization that teaches folks to be wildlife rehabilitators or updates the skills and knowledge of current rehabbers. They have classes all over the US and Canada and some even in Brazil and they were scheduling one for Knoxville over Halloween weekend. Did I let a few invites to a few Halloween parties stop me in my quest to save all wild animals? Oh my, no.

Learning about wildlife rehabilitation was an amazing experience. I read the book, remembered all my basic anatomy courses and cell stuff, re-learned how to do fractions and use a calculator (after all, how much calcium do you feed a growing owl that weighs x lbs. and calcium comes in mg tablets?) after all these years, and it all came back with a loud *wumph.* I took a long weekend and drove up to Knoxville in the late fall (yes, it was a beautiful trip), found my hotel thanks to Mapquest, found a local brewpub for the weekend evenings, and just really learned a new skill. Will I use it immediately? Well, no, but I did find a place near me that has opportunities when I want to take them to assist with the myriad of tasks that must crop up when rehabilitating wildlife, and will take some time this winter to stay in touch with them.

Oh, and before I forget it, here's the link to the organization I took the course from: it's called International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council and their website is here: Talk about a dedicated, amazing group of people; I'm glad I could be a part of their lives and carry what I know back into the world with me.

November and December were Christmas knitting months for all the great-nieces and -nephews. No, I didn't take pictures; I didn't want to post and then ruin the surprise. And I was too overjoyed to finish all of them (well, almost all!) in time for shipping before Christmas. I have asked some of the recipients to allow me to post their baby sweater pictures, though, so we'll see if there are baby sweater pictures in the next few months! Several that I did make were by Roo Designs; their designs are adorable, very versatile, and put fun animals on the front (which means intarsia which also means yarn ends. I really, really dislike weaving in yarn ends.). Their website it here: Roo, and while Sheepish doesn't carry them at the moment, you can probably ask them to order you a few, just to try. I'll warn you, though - they're addictive!

OK, well, here we are . . . at the end of a pretty long blog post (again!). Thank you all for reading down this far, and I hope you all have a happy and prosperous New Year!