But the weather, it's a-changin'.
It hasn't stopped raining. For the past several weeks, heavy rains in the metro Atlanta area have caused school closings, mudslides, and closed roads. People have lost their homes and lost their lives.
But now, to add insult to injury, it's turning cold. Some folks welcome this. I do not. During the summer months, I keep my thermostat set at 80 degrees. Not because I am cheap. On the contrary. I have been told I have a "God-given gift for spending money." Rather, I keep my thermostat set at 80 degrees because I LIKE 80 degrees.
So last night, before I settled in with Nathan to watch the season premiere of Ugly Betty, I was forced to bundle up in fleece pants, a sweatshirt, and two pairs of socks. Because it was only 70 degrees in my house.
But it gets worse. I did acknowledge that it was cold and damp outside during the ten seconds it took me to run from my car into the restaurant and back last night (Nathan and I had Italian for dinner prior to Ugly Betty). Still, so that I could maintain my denial of the obvious trend, I did not check the weekend forecast. So when I woke up at 9:30 this morning, it came as a complete surprise that I was unable to crawl out from under the covers because of the chill in my bedroom. I grabbed my laptop and learned that it was only 45 degrees outside. By then, the indoor thermostat read 61 degrees. Time to turn on the heat.
Now it's a toasty 68 degrees in here. Ah. I guess the days of tank tops and capris and flip flops are past. Where did I put the turtlenecks and cords?
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I have decided to distract myself from all this unpleasantness with plans for the winter holidays.
(1) I have three holiday concerts scheduled for my students at area assisted living centers during the second week of December, so we are already hard at work on Christmas/Hanukkah music. I am thinking of putting Christmas decorations up in the studio and waiting room to build anticipation. Like all the retail establishments have already done.
(2) I had booked a cruise for the boys and me during Christmas week, but I cancelled it. The bottom line is my final payment was due and I didn't have the cash to pay for it. Since I cancelled before the deadline, my deposit was fully refunded, and I used that windfall to buy some new toys for the family. More about that a future blog post. But the point is that we will be home for Christmas. And I am really looking forward to it. I am going to get a fresh cut tree and bake cookies and write cards and do it up right. We have cruised the past several Decembers, and I love cruising, but I also love Christmas. So although it would have been lovely to spend Christmas in Cozumel, it will also be lovely to spend it at home.
(3) Since I enjoy making gifts, I am planning a few special projects for friends and family. I can't really talk about them here, since all the recipients read my blog. But I can talk about a couple of charity events I am going to make gifts for. Maybe some of you will want to join me.
***One is the Red Scarf Project. Each year, thousands of people donate handmade (knit or crochet) scarves to Orphan Foundation of America; these scarves are included in Valentine's Day packages given to college-bound foster children across America. If any of you would like to participate, I will be happy to mail your creation along with mine. The deadline is December 15th. To learn more, click here.
***The other is the Warming Families project. Sponsored by Lands End, the goal is to create 25,000 hats for homeless people of all ages. I am going to knit mine using the FeelGood Beanie pattern, designed by Vickie Howell (click here) and will leave the finished product with Kate Jacobs, author of The Friday Night Knitting Club (click here), when I go to her book signing in Decatur on November 4th. I will be glad to take yours with me, as well. To find out more, visit the Warming Families website (click here).
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In the meantime, I have been working on a Magic Scarf, (click here for the pattern). Mine is made from an acrylic/wool blend worsted weight yarn in a faded denim print.
I discovered this on Laurie Perry's blog. Laurie is also known as "Crazy Aunt Purl" and is the author of one of my favorite books of all time, Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair (click here for a description). Last week, she announced that her second book, Home is Where the Wine Is, will be released just before Valentine's Day (click here). I have already pre-ordered my copy at amazon.com.
Feel free to post a comment here, and let the rest of us know what you are doing to stay warm and/or prepare for the holidays!