Saturday, January 31, 2004

Ask Violet
The new feature where Violet takes questions from recent Seasons of Violet comments, answers them, and then poses a question of her own.

- From KeLee -
My question is this... do introverts always hook up with extroverts?

Since I'm an introvert married to an introvert, I can answer this with authority. No.

On any given day one of us is talking the other out of going somewhere. There are always good reasons to stay home. I'm an expert at giving them. If you need one, just ask me.

When an introvert marries an extrovert, does the introvert get dragged places they would prefer not to go?

- From Monette -
Plenty of provisions, a stack of good books, blogs to read, and email: how lucky can we get? Bring on the blizzard!
We are very lucky - as long as the power stays on.

There's plenty of snow now. Can we skip the blizzard? Please?

- From Carrie -
I have wondered if there is ever a "Blogger Convention" when you guys have the chance to meet one another.
A "Blogger Convention" sounds like fun. If there isn't such a thing, there should be. I'd love to attend technical sessions and learn more about what I'm doing.

How about holding it at the Coeur d'Alene Resort where son John works?

- Another From KeLee -
It also makes me wonder if people have more than one blog, each one for a different purpose?
Definitely. Blogging seems to be habit forming for some people, myself included.

I've been thinking about starting an online Bible study weblog. It would be very informal. Reading and praying and then sharing how the Lord spoke to us through His Word.

Does anyone know of a Bible study weblog similar to what I described?

Leave your questions and/or answers in the comments.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Violet's Top 5 Blogger Idol Posts for Week 2
The religious faith of the Blogger Idol entrants showed itself strong in many of this week's entries on the topic of "Freedom". Contrary to what it may seem to others, Christians find great freedom in their faith.

Those of my readers who are not Christian may be challenged to understand Silent Tribute, Clarity Amidst Chaos, and Thinking, Just Thinking. All three are excellent reads. Story telling written from the heart. Please don't dismiss them because they are testimonies to a Christian faith.

Violet's Blogger Idol Award for Excellence goes to Silent Tribute. The gospel according to J3zz1kah.

Violet's Blogger Idol Award for Creative Expression goes to Cliff Between the Lines. A poetic entry on embracing our chains. Everything I tried to say in my entry, but Cliff said it much better.

Violet's Blogger Idol Award for an Everyday Example of What Freedom Means goes to Clarity Amidst Chaos. Bryan writes about freedom in the bondage of love.

Violet's Blogger Idol Wet Kleenex Award (this is a good thing) goes to Thinking, Just Thinking. Shawna writes a very personal account of how she found freedom from sin.

Violet's Blogger Idol Award for Humor goes to Jaded Angel. A picture essay of people who abused their freedom to dress however they please. If you have dialup, it will take a few minutes to load. It's worth it.

There were many excellent entries and the selection was difficult. Check out this link for a complete list of entries. blogger_idol-1.gif

Special Extra Award
I never really warmed up to the topic of "Freedom". It was just too much like a high school writing assignment. (Wouldn't you think after forty years I'd be over that?) It appears Hamo felt the same way, only he asserted his freedom and acted on his feelings.

Violet's Blogger Idol Bad Boy Award goes to Hamo. Hope this award doesn't encourage him to continue in his untoward ways.

Snowy Thoughts
Snow is beautiful from inside a house - as long as the power stays on and there's plenty of food in the kitchen.

We have about a foot of snow - maybe a little more. The weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow is snow, snow, snow and cold, cold, cold.

I was never one to wimp out on driving to work in bad weather, but it sure is an appreciated luxury to not be working this January. I can't remember the last time in my life I didn't have to brave the bad winter roads. It was decades ago.

It's wonderful knitting weather. Five heavy wool vests and three pair of socks are finished for CIC.

When I take the little dogs out for a walk on the back three acres, they leap through the snow and have a great time. It takes them about ten minutes to get completely exhausted. The snow is higher than the top of their backs. If it keeps snowing, the snow will be over their heads by tomorrow.

Picture of Pappy in the snow

It's fun to feed the birds and watch them at the feeders. I set out some unloved doggy treats and watched the bluejays gobble them down. We have some dog food the dogs won't eat. Wonder if the birds would like that.

Do you feed the birds?

Monday, January 26, 2004

Blogger Idol, Week 2
To correspond with the start of a new American Idol series, Darren of LivingRoom‪ started a Blogger Idol event. In Week 2, over a hundred bloggers are participating.

Each Sunday (Australian time) Darren announces a theme for the week. We have three days to work that theme into a blog post. We post the entry in our own blog and leave a link in Darren's blog so we can read what each other wrote.
If you want to read the other entries, the links are here. blogger_idol-1.gif

I will read as many of the entries as possible. Later in the week I will post links to five entries of note.

This weeks theme is "Freedom".

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
. . .from Me and Bobby Mcgee, lyrics by Janis Joplin Kris Kristofferson

I love to feel healthy and spry. . .
A year ago I had high blood pressure and was painfully stiff in the joints. Then I signed up for Weight Watchers and lost over thirty pounds. My blood pressure is normal now and my joint pains are minimal. I feel so much better that it saddens me to think about the years I wasted feeling awful.

I choose to eat healthy.
I am bound to my new eating habits..

I love my two little dogs. . .
Twice a week I spend two hours at Briarwood Dog Training Academy where we do agility, tricks, games, and obedience. The dogs love it. They get to play with their canine friends, they get too many treats, and they get to have "Mom" to themself for the evening. They know which night is their night and they expect to go.

I choose to have dogs and indulge them.
I am bound to attending doggy school two nights a week..

I love my husband. . .
We've been married for twenty-eight years and intend to stay married until death do us part. We spend our days and nights together. We make our major life decisions together. We are faithful to each other. We support each other during difficult times. We discuss, compromise, and sometimes disagree.

I choose to share my life with another.
I am bound to husband Bob..

I love Jesus. . .
I believe He is God who humbled Himself to come to earth, live the unpleasant life of a human man, and die a horrible death on the cross. I believe that most of my life choices are mine to make, but the Lord has certain things He wants me to do. When His will conflicts with my choices, I alter my course.

I choose to be a Christian.
I am bound to Jesus.

When we choose what binds us, are we bound or are we free?

Would love to read your thoughts in the comments.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Mom's Purple Opal Lollipop Socks are Done
Picture of Mom's purple Opal Lollipop socks.

I cast on a pair of purple Lollipops for myself last night. Hope to sneak them into the sock knitting rotation while I'm waiting for daughter Heather's yellow Opal Magic yarn to arrive in the mail.

My current knitting projects are all very simple and quick, and I'm happy with that for now. There is one CIC vest ready to bind off and one more to knit for a total of five. I will be sending them in next week to count toward the CIC Vest Challenge. It looks like we are going to have over a hundred warm vests to deliver to the Eastern Europe orphans. Just a drop in the bucket, but at least a hundred plus children will be warmer.

Changes to Sidebar
You may have noticed I took away the blog categories under Violet Reads. It was getting difficult to classify the blogs I read into one category. Afterall, it is possible for a knitter to also be an intelligent Christian.

Violet is Trying to Fly
Flylady is a new addition to the Seasons of Violet sidebar. It is an online resource for those of us who need a housekeeping coach because we get easily sidetracked when doing routine, boring tasks.

The Flylady solution is to pick one task, set the timer for 15 minutes, and do only that task until the timer dings. One of her most helpful sayings is, "You can do anything for 15 minutes."

Flylady has strict rules about keeping your sink clean, wearing shoes, eliminating clutter, loving yourself, taking baby steps toward change, and establishing routines. I'm finding her help and encouragement to be just what I need. The internet is so wonderful.

The Expanding Blogosphere
This from the Blogger newsletter I received yesterday.

"Since being acquired by Google, Inc., Blogger's user base has nearly doubled. We hooked up this ambient orb at the office that somehow knows how many new blogs have been created in the last hour and changes color accordingly. Right now it's red, which means three hundred new Blogger blogs have been created in the last hour. Crazy."
Blogging is like adopting a pet. It requires time, commitment, consistency, and love.

How many of these new blogs will last a year?

Violet is Having Fun Writing This. WahHoo!
We learn different things about ourselves at different times in our lives. Even obvious personal attributes can remain unconsidered until they are put into words.

The past few weeks I've been having "aha" moments about being an introvert. Yes. That's me. Why haven't I accepted this about myself before now?

I've spent most of my life fighting my introvert tendencies. There have been times when I've undertaken programs to "improve my personality", "have more fun", or "be more normal".

We've actually had this conversation at our house more than once:

Violet: We need to get out and do something fun.

DH Bob: What would you like to do?

Violet: What I'd really like to do is stay home and read.
Now I think I've finally got it! I'm an introvert and it's OK. My personality type is now a strength instead of a perceived weakness.

For those of you who are introverts like myself, check out Nancy R. Fenn's website The Introvert Coach. She has a very well done, comprehensive site on the different aspects of being true to an introverted personality. (Thanks to Darren at The LivingRoom.)

In order to be true to yourself, you need to know who you are.

For an introvert chuckle, here is The Introvert's Lexicon.

Do extroverts read blogs? Do extroverts think this lexicon is funny?

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Concert in the Church
My church had the King's Brass do the Sunday morning worship service. The King's Brass is a talented group of Christian musicians who put on an entertaining show. It should have been an enjoyable concert but it just felt all wrong to me.

When I walked into the narthex there was a table with King's Brass tee-shirts, books, and CDs for sale. I don’t like to see anything for sale inside a church. One of the few times Jesus got very angry, it was about people selling religious items in the Lord's house. Why would we think He feels differently now?

Then for some reason the congregation decided it was necessary to applaud after each number. This was supposed to be a service to worship the Lord with music. It was not supposed to be a performance for the glory of the King's Brass. Or was it?

I left the service feeling like I had not worshiped and I had not been taught. The whole thing did not feel right. I wished I had stayed home and slept in.

Some Good Reading
Usually I watch a blog for several months before adding it to my sidebar. Cliff Between the Lines is different. Even though I read Cliff Between the Lines for the first time this week, I want to share it right now with my cyber friends. It oozes excellence, intelligence, thoughtfulness, and consistent good writing. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Violet's Thoughts on
It was fun. It was fun to get assigned a topic, write a post, and then read what everyone else wrote. And I did read all of them.

Our next suggested Blogger Idol task is to pick out our five favorites and link to them in our blog. I selected posts where the blogger opened up their heart and wrote about personal experience. Here are my picks.

Violet's 5 Favorite Blogger Idol Posts
Cliff at Cliff Between the Lines wrote two very well written entries. His first entry about an important decision to deny temptation is excellent. His second entry about being very young and naive and finding himself living in a male boardinghouse in the middle of the gay area of Washington DC is hysterical.

Marsha at On a Quest for Joy wrote a heartbreaking account of how she worked through the Eighties and felt she wasn't a good mother to her children. I have some of the same regrets.

Craig at Avoiding Evil writes about a horrible childhood. I could hardly stand the pain of reading it. Very well written, though, and deserves to be on my list.

Megan at Welcome to My World didn't seem to have anything or anyone to help her grow up in the Eighties, but she managed to do a fine job of it anyway. The Lord was certainly watching over her.

Hamo at Backyard Missionary writes about what he hopes to be like when he is in his 80s. Very inspiring to me as I enter my "after work" years. Hamo doesn't want to retire from life, and neither do I.

Happy Birthday to Me!
We keep getting older and we are not amused.

I've never understood why most people are hesitant to tell their age. How old we are is an important attribute of who we are.

Today is my 59th birthday. That means I am starting my 60th year of life. It's important for me to say that, to accept that, and to plan the rest of my life with that in mind.

As for the picture above, it makes me laugh. Here's hoping it gives you a chuckle, too.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

This weeks Blogger Idol theme is 'The 80s'.

Forget the Whales, Save the Working Woman coffee mug

Forget the Whales. Save the Working Woman!
The Eighties is the decade I entered the world of corporate America as a female computer programmer. It was a great decade for women to get established in the workforce, especially in the technical fields. Little or no experience was needed.

My Resume Lacked a Job Experience Section
I have a college degree in Biomedical Science with a minor in Chemistry. In the early Eighties, companies were desperate for people who could learn programming. I scored very high on a programming aptitude test and I had a vague idea what a computer was, so I got hired to be a COBOL programmer. My hiring manager gave me his "Computer 101" book to read over the weekend and told me to come to the office on Monday to start learning COBOL. It was the start of a very satisfying career.

One Point was Better than None
In the Eighties companies were hiring women over men in order to make their Equal Opportunity quotas. A white woman employee was worth one point. A minority woman employee was worth two points. I was only a one point woman. Both places I worked in the Eighties asked if I had any Black female programming friends who might be looking for a job.

The Record
Twenty-eight is my career record for greatest number of men in a business meeting where I was the only woman. There was also one token Black man at that meeting. We huddled together and started a friendship that lasted two decades.

Dress for Success - or Else!
In the Eighties technical professional women wore suits: skirt, jacket, blouse with panty hose and high heels, earrings, and gold chains. Appearance was very important. Managers were evaluated on the appearance of their technical employees.

When I got a problem call in the middle of the night I was out of bed, dressed, and off to the office - in jeans. After all, it was the middle of the night. One time after working all night on a very challenging problem, I was still at work in my jeans when the office opened at 7 am. I was reprimanded. My manager told me that from now on when I was called in the middle of the night, I was to dress "properly" before coming in. He was so upset he forgot to say thank you for fixing the problem.

Working for Pin Money?
In the Eighties my new manager was meeting individually with his people to get to know us better. He was very old school, but I could see that he was trying hard to accept a woman on his team. During our meeting he was nervous and he blurted out, "It's OK that you're working. My wife works part time for pin money."

I was afraid this meant I would never get a promotion or a raise from this man. The opposite was true. He went out of his way to make sure he treated me fairly just because he was afraid that he wouldn't. I ended up being very fond of him.

What Does that Cabinet Do?
By the middle of the Eighties, the computer punchcards were gone and we all had our own terminal in our office. One day a six foot tall maple cabinet, locked and on wheels, appeared in our area. Our manager informed us that the cabinet contained a personal computer made by IBM. We were told to rotate it around our workgroup and get familiar with it because it was the wave of the future.

We rotated it. Noone knew what to do with it, but we obediently took turns having the cabinet in our office. I never did see anyone actually use that PC for anything. I wonder now if there was any software on it other than DOS.

Time Passes, Things Change
What fun looking back on the beginning decade of my technical career. Technology has come a long way since the Eighties. Women in the workforce have come a long way since the Eighties. It's been a pleasure watching both.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

How Did I Ever Have Time to Work?
For my entire working career I watched people retire. Later, when I met up with the retired coworker, almost without exception these two things were true:

  1. They looked younger. The stress was gone from their face, they smiled more often, and they had more energy in their step.
  2. Sometime in the conversation they said, "I'm so busy I don't know how I had time to work."
I don't think I've relaxed enough to look younger yet, but "I'm so busy I don't know how I had time to work" certainly describes my days. It was obvious from the first day that I needed to plan my days just like when I was working. For years I've been thinking about all the things I was going to do after I retired. Now it's time to pick and choose out of that list - and add new things.

Keeping a weblog is a very recent addition to my list of things to do in retirement. Blogging requires consistent writing production and, in my case, the learning of many new technical skills.

Up to this point I've created Seasons of Violet by using a simple blogging tool Blogger, learning a few basic html tags, and borrowing code from other websites. I'm a programmer at heart, and I want to learn more, much more, so I've started taking the html class at W3 Schools.

Now we're back to the "I'm so busy" thread. I only managed to spend about a half hour on the class this week. I had good intentions and a moderate amount of desire, so what was the problem? I got sidetracked. Next week I plan to do better. The class is going on my daily todo list. I'm going to schedule it and we'll see how it goes from there.

If I don't spend time on the class next week, I can only assume I don't want to do it as much as I think I want to do it. Sometimes that happens.

What is something you want to do that you can't find time to do?

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Blogger Idol
To correspond with the start of a new American Idol series, Darren of LivingRoom is starting Blogger Idol. I'm signed up to participate along with about 55 75 other bloggers.

Each Sunday (Australian time, it will be Saturday evening here EST) Darren will announce a theme for the week. We have three days to work that theme into a blog post. We post the entry in our own blog and leave a link in Darren's blog so we can all read what each other wrote.

The prize? Darren says:

"There won't be any formal or central 'judging' process. What you do from this point is up to each person. You may just wish to read each entry or you might want to nominate your favorite post/s on your own blog. There is no overall winner, but instead its about finding and showcasing new blogs, swapping ideas on a common theme and getting your own voice heard by a few new people."
Sounds like the perfect replacement to the Friday Five. And Darren won't be rude to us. (See January 11 post to learn about the rude Friday Five.)

Wonderful introvert fun!

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Introverts Explained
Living Room mentioned an interesting article Marketing to Introverts. I am an introvert. This article describes me perfectly.

Here are the ten main introvert characteristics to consider. The comments after each point are my personal feelings.

If this piques your interest, I highly recommend reading the original article. It's short, fascinating, and oh so true. When you're done reading it, you will understand introverts much better. If you're an introvert, you may understand yourself better, too.

  1. Introverts are territorial. This includes their personal space. Yes! There's never been a time in my life (thank you mom) when I didn't have my own private space and I value it highly.

  2. Introverts love to read. Yes! This goes for more than just books. I love reading other people's blogs and could spend the whole day, everyday, on the internet. Fortunately, I know that this behavior is not good for me (or anyone else) and I limit my reading time and my internet time. Even so, my limits are very generous.

  3. Introverts, despite appearances, are not shy and they are frequently not braindead just because they don't say anything while you are talking to them. An interesting distinction between being an introvert and being shy. I am a very quiet person, especially in a group situation. I am not shy. When I have something to say, I'm perfectly capable of saying it.

  4. Introverts are not impressed by personality. That's for sure. And if the "personality" has anything fake about it, I am offended by it and can't get away fast enough.

  5. The assumptions, guiding principles, underlying beliefs and expectations of introverts are so different from the extroverted majority that you may not even realize you have a bad map to the territory. Yes! Once people get to know me, they are surprised by the way I really am. I tend to keep it hidden from the casual observer.

  6. Introverts hate being rushed. I like to be sure I know what is supposed to happen, when it is supposed to happen, and how it is supposed to happen. However when the unexpected happens I am able to handle it. I am very concerned about volunteering for something or purchasing something I will regret later.

  7. Introverts are greatly afraid of making mistakes in public and of humiliation in public during a learning period. "Greatly afraid" is too strong. I am uncomfortable going through an awkward learning period with people watching. I want to go off and practice a new skill in private. I hate situations where I have to read out loud to people. As a student, I was almost incapable of doing math problems on the blackboard even though I've always excelled in math.

  8. Introverts hate small talk. Yes! I am very bad at making small talk. I especially hate small talk with someone who is trying to sell me something.

  9. Introverts hate phones and especially cell phones. Yes! I don't enjoy talking on the phone. In our house the answering machine answers all the calls and we pick up if it's someone we want/need to talk with. I have a cell phone for emergencies. Never use it for casual chatting. In fact, I don't leave it turned on unless there is a very good reason to do so.

  10. Introverts say what they mean. Why would anyone do otherwise?
Are you an introvert?

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Step by Step
My friend Sherry gave me Strong Women's Journal for a retirement gift. I've enjoyed using it to record my physical status each evening just before I go to sleep. It has a place to easily record vigor, mood, sleep, food eaten, exercise, and a short account of the day.

The journal also has a place to record steps walked. Dr. Nelson, the author, recommends using the Digiwalker Step Counter and working up to 15,000 steps a day. So out of curiosity about how many steps I'm actually walking, I bought a new toy.

Picture of Digiwalker and instruction manual

According to the book that came with my Digiwalker, 10,000 steps a day is the key to better health. That sounds more reasonable than 15,000 to me.

Truthfully, I have no idea how many steps I take in a day, so tomorrow morning it slips on my jeans and I'll find out. My guess is around 5,000. I'm sure there will be plenty of room for improvement.

Friday Five Flunks Manners 101
Friday Five has no sympathy for those of us who missed having questions last Friday. There is a message on the site that says, "There's no Friday Five this week. You'll live, trust me."

Sorry. I don't trust anyone who is that rude for no reason. As mentioned in a previous post, I enjoyed doing the five questions each Friday and I'm disappointed that the site isn't better managed. It pains me to never go back there again, but I'm going to do my little part in discouraging rudeness in the world by staying away.

Bummed Bloggers in January
It seems to be the time of year for uninspired blog writers. I've noticed less frequent and/or shorter posts in many of the blogs I read.

Going Jesus announced that she needs some time off and is not posting at all in the month of January. Real Live Preacher got a book deal and doesn't have time to write stories right now. The Living Room had to send his laptop in for repair and was only able to get online thirty minutes a day at the public library.

Knitting Curmudgeon has a new boyfriend and admits that she is tired of making fun of the knitting world. We're lucky to get a new post a week out of her. When Knitting Was a Manly Art has been having snow storms, ice storms, a tree fall on his house, and power outages. His posts have been very short, but he has posted pictures of it all.

How is your January going?

Friday, January 09, 2004

Report on Week One of Being Unemployed
I like it!

Dumbbell Report
Sunny and Pappy were back at doggy school this week and I had to confess we did not do a little dumbbell training everyday during their Christmas break.

When a dog is learning something new the training sessions shouldn't be more than three or four attempts at whatever they're learning. Keeping the session short is even more important when it's something they don't like - and Sunny and Pappy don't like the dumbbell. It's really surprising how fast a dog will improve with a very short session everyday. But I didn't do it and they didn't improve.

Sunny is taking the dumbbell in her mouth, but she won't hold it. I have to keep my hand under her jaw to help her hold the dumbbell up.

She is working on two things now. First, she is learning to walk with the dumbbell. She takes it, I hold it up with her jaw and grab her collar and guide her about six feet across the floor. She walks ever so carefully with the dumbbell, like it might explode if she moves too fast. She thinks walking with the dumbbell is stupid but she likes the piece of turkey dog she gets after she does it.

Second, Sunny is learning to pick the dumbbell up off the floor. I put the dumbbell on the floor in front of her and say "Take it". She is supposed to open her mouth and pick it up. What a fantasy.

I say "Take it", push her head down toward the dumbbell, and I slip the dumbbell into her mouth. She doesn't look the slightest bit interested in picking it up by herself, but she lets me stick it in her mouth because it earns her a piece of turkey dog.

Pappy, on the other hand, thinks that part of the routine is for me to pry his mouth open.

I sit on the floor and Pappy willingly settles in between my legs facing forward. I say "Take it" and he doesn't take it. I put the dumbbell up to his mouth and he clamps his jaws tightly shut. I pry his jaws open and insert the dumbbell and he happily holds it in his mouth until I say "Drop it". He knows the routine and puts up with it because he knows he's going to get a piece of turkey dog.

The trainer's theory for this week is that if I stand up behind Pappy it will show more authority and he will willingly open his mouth. So far all this theory has accomplished is to make me pry his mouth open from an uncomfortable, bent over position.

So that's how the dumbbell training is going. It should go better now that we're back in a routine of practicing every day.

Friday Five is Missing - Again
I was very disappointed this morning when there wasn't a new Friday Five on the Friday Five website. By afternoon, I was annoyed. Now it's evening and I'm thinking about an alternate plan for my Friday posts.

This is the third time in the past several months they haven't posted new questions. If they're going to have a Friday Five website, there should be five questions on Friday. If they can't manage that, then they should take down the website. At the very least, they should post a little blurb to let us know there aren't going to be questions this week.

I like the Friday Five because the questions get me to write things I wouldn't otherwise think of writing about. With that in mind, anyone have any suggestions for replacing the Friday Five?

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

It is Finally Going to Happen
Tomorrow is the big day that I've been waiting on for a year and a half. I'm getting severed from Pfizer at an official meeting with HR in the morning at 8:00.

The sky is clear, the moon and stars are shining, so I'm hoping the twenty mile drive to the meeting is on clear roads and problem free.

Last week I received my "invitation" memo from HR listing the date, the building, the room, and the time. In very big bold letters, all caps, it says, "THIS MEETING IS MANDATORY". Everytime I see it I chuckle to myself imagining someone who didn't want to get severed deciding to just skip the meeting.

I know from watching other people go to "the meeting" that it is short. Only the people asking questions will keep us there longer than a half hour. As we walk in we get handed a packet containing individualized information on:

  • Final pay, severance pay, vacation pay, and any other payments due.
  • Medical benefits, pension.
  • Outplacement benefits.
  • Retiree benefits for eligible employees. (That's me!)
After this meeting is dismissed, I need to go to the building where I used to work and turn in my badge and parking stickers to my local manager. Then it's over. I leave the company and I can't get back in.

After nine days at home, I'm ready to smile about this. It's quickly becoming a wonderful new habit to wake up in the morning and not go to work. I'm planning on liking my new life a whole lot.

Red Opal Crocodile Socks are Done
In fact, I'm going to wear them to my severance meeting tomorrow. Thanks again for the yarn, John and Anne. They were fun to knit and they're going to be fun to wear as well as warm and comfortable.

Picture of finished red Opal Crocodile socks

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

January in Michigan
This week it's very cold, windy, and snowy. Typical January weather in Michigan. The extended weather forecast shows snow every day through next Tuesday.

Picture of Snow on Pine Trees
The snow is very beautiful from inside a nice warm house.

The dirt road we live on is just on the other side of these pine trees. Someday they will pave the road and the trees will have to come down, so I take every opportunity to enjoy them. Our county has many dirt roads and I hope they all have higher priority than ours for getting paved.

It's difficult to measure snow depth when the wind drifts it. I'm guessing we have about six inches.

I know I have readers with more snow than we have here. I also have readers where there is no snow at all. How much snow do you have at your house this week?

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Even though I had months to prepare, it was a very emotional experience to leave my job, my office, my profession, for the last time on Tuesday.

Thank you to all my family and friends who were there for me with kind and encouraging wishes and words - and even a homemade apple pie!

My mind has not grasped the reality of my unemployment. As I go about my holiday and weekend activities, my subconscious keeps trying to figure out when I have to go back to work. My conscious mind knows that I am not going back to work. Don't the two parts of my brain talk to each other?

I am happy about being severed. I just need to relax and change some thinking patterns. It will happen in time. I'm hoping it won't take too long.

There is also a spot in my identity that needs to be filled. I am no longer an IT professional. So what am I? Those who know me may want to answer that for me, but please don't. It is something I have to answer myself. The answer will come in time, and this is not yet the time.

Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises. . . Elizabeth Zimmerman
The red Crocodile socks are almost done. I may finish them today and will post a picture of the final project so John and Anne can see the beautiful pair of socks they gave me for Christmas. Plus, I had the fun of knitting them.

My CIC sock goal is a pair a month. The next pair of socks I knit will be my January CIC socks out of the green wool that John and Anne gave me for Christmas.

Here are some recent acquisitions waiting for their turn to be knit.
Picture of Stash Yarn

The Opal skeins across the back are all from the Opal Lollipop collection. If you click on the link, you can see what the yarn color pattern will look like once it is knit up.

The shades of violet and purple on the left (#1015) are the next pair of socks for Mother. The middle skein is a pretty mixture of pink, green, and gold (#1010). The right skein is a mix of blues from aqua to navy (#1011). These skeins haven't decided who they're going to provide socks for yet.

The Opal Handpaint in the front is #11. It's very pretty, but not what I expected based on the picture provided by Opal. In my skein the shades of gray are dominate, which is a good thing because the orange and turquoise are very bright. It's going to be fun to knit up, but I'm glad I didn't buy multiple skeins of Handpaint because I'm looking forward to ordering and knitting the new Opal Magic collection which just came out this week.

The Lamb's Pride blue bulky in the lower left is for the CIC Vest Project. I'm just finishing up a lime green vest this weekend. The green is third out of the five I plan to knit. The blue will be the fourth.

It's not my intention to turn Seasons of Violet into a knitting blog. It just happens that this is the season for knitting, so it keeps coming up as a topic.

Post Holiday Diet Report
It's a tribute to portion control that I was able to get through Thanksgiving and December without feeling deprived and without gaining weight. I enjoyed the good food of the holidays, my going away lunches, and Mother's home made apple pie.

This is day two of being back on the diet. I have six pounds left to lose. It is hard to be back counting points. I'm hungry. But I know that if I tough it out for a few days I will get used to eating less again.

Are you dieting this January? Any good diet tips for me?

Friday, January 02, 2004

Friday Five on Anticipation
The Friday Five questions for today are very challenging for me.

I'm in the middle of a giant life change right now and suspect that I have no idea what life is going to be bringing. With that in mind, I will answer based on my life situation and feelings today.

What one thing are you most looking forward to . . .

I've already done it. I shined my sink. I'm a Flylady Flybaby who is starting over, and step one is shining my sink.

2. ...over the next week?

I'm most looking forward to having this severance process over and done. Thursday, January 8 at 8:00 I meet with HR, get my severance papers, and turn in my badge.

The forecast is for cold and snow next week. If it weren't for that one mandatory meeting on Thursday, I would say that I'm most looking forward to being able to sit home each morning and watch the snow fall and not have to slide to work in the dark.

3. ...this year?

I'm looking forward to establishing a new daily routine which does not start with an alarm clock going off in the morning. I want to have the routine boring tasks, like housework, done early in the day. I'm especially looking forward to having peaceful evenings doing things I like to do. It will be interesting to see how my new daily routine works out.

4. ...over the next five years?

Seeing my family mature and change as we all grow older and more and more precious to each other.

5. ...for the rest of your life?

Since the first time I heard that Pfizer acquired Pharmacia, I knew that my working days were numbered and I sensed the Lord's hand in what was happening. I don't know what He has in mind for me to do with the rest of my life. I'm sure He will let me know when the time is right. Whatever He has planned, I know that it comes from a loving Father and I look forward to it.

What is one thing you are looking forward to in 2004?