I have been working hard on knitting in the round. I started with a simple gathered tube, then learned to decrease. I still need to learn to balance my decreases. I then pracaticed cables working them into the decreases and finaly basic fair isle.
 
Today was the largest shopping day of the year. I read in the paper how people were finally spending more on Black Friday again. Many that were cutting back due to the economy, were going back to their old spending habits. I am always shocked at how much people buy. I went up to the store with my mother and sister to keep them company while they waited to get those great sales. my mother kept asking me if I needed any games for Christmas or jeans, etc. She had given us money for Christmas so that we could get those items now. I explained that the they don't put the items I want on sale. I wanted duct tape, spackle, socks, and underwear. I did buy a few Christmas items, I was feeling the pressure. Charles and Alex got a new jacket for the house or to wear under their coats and a pack of socks each. Danny got a sheet to go on his new bed that will arrive next week and a space heater. His new bed is larger, so a starter sheet is needed and he had said he wanted a space heater, his bed is in the basement. I gave them their gifts right away. Charles reaction was, "yea! socks,I need those." Alex has been cuddling in her soft jacket.

Yes they think they need games, but they don't play the ones they have. Thankfully, they have learned to take joy in having those things they need. They will get a few more items and we are planning to get away after the holidays and the busy work schedule. Just quality family time and good food.

When we were involved with Operation Threshold I was going back to school and basically living off assistance. My worker warned me about those predatory loan places and I let her know that I don't go to them. I'm not a big fan on credit. She was surprised, she said that I had nice things compared to some of her clients. The difference is, I pay cash for what I have. I also only buy what I love or need. I don't smoke and rarely drink. I try to prioritize my wants. I often fall short, but I must be succeeding more than not. Now if I could only pay off my debt and clean up my credit, because there is one type of loan I believe in, a mortgage.
 
I am trying to get some work done while I can. Just as we are just starting to somewhat  recover at work, we have a few part timers covering for the staff member we lost, we are down one more person. She is on bed rest then maternity leave. I hope everything goes fine and that the baby waits a while longer. This does mean it is going to be busy.

I did manage to get the windows and a/c covered. It feels slightly warmer. The door is still drafty. The plants are all inside and the patio furniture is mostly picked up. But at this very moment my closet rod has been pulled down and the support needs to be reattatched, so that we can go back to tackling the laundry. Then, hopefully I can finish the squash and pumpkins for winter use. I am trying to take deeep breaths, but still rather stressed. I still need to take Danny home and nee
 
Simple Living blog listed all the things they have accomplished this past year. It helped bring focus on the big picture, rather then on the many things that need to be done. I too am often overwhelmed by all the things that need to be done. Sometimes i just want to hand over the responsibility for all these things to someone else.

Some of my accomplishments for 2010...
1. I had my first successful garden this year. I learned alot, started a journal, and had some food for preserving.
2. I learned how to preserve some produce. I dried homegrown mushrooms, herbs, chilis, and mint tea. I froze many bags of sliced zucchini and baked squash. I also have a gallon each of ripe and green tomatoes in the freezer. I started small with canning and put up a few jars of green tomato chutney.
3. I learned how to make zucchini and pumpkin bread. I also made a sweet potato alternative with baked squash. We also made homemade mushroom ravioli. I found day lily buds really do taste like green beans and cattail shoots are great in a salad.
4. I taught myself how to knit, tunisian crochet, hair pin lace, and macrame. I learned how to make buntings and elf hats.
5. I fixed the front door knob, the kitchen sprayer, holes in walls, bought rear tired and rear brakes, and general car maintenance. I even made great strides in decluttering. I have manged to keep us fed, clothed, and sheltered with a little fun sprinkled in.

My goals are to...
 1.set a budget, cut back on spending, pay off debts, and start saving.
2. get the house organized and get rid of storage unit.
3. front tires, brakes, and bearings
4. set up an etsy shop
5. start cooking more
6. screens and weatherproofing, get maintenance to fix bathroom sink
7. get in chore routine
8. set up dr. appts/ insurance for kids
9. keep plants alive and start garden in spring
10. learn new crafts and recipes

I know I will have to break those into managable bits to accomplish them. The first two will be the most challenging and time consuming. They are also the most important and tend to overshadow everything else. I have to remember to take time for the others as well.
 
Halloween busted my budget this year. Initially we had big plans for a party. I bought supplies started to get excited, then there was a scheduling Hamlet skull which he lost before Halloween. I did find it as I was crawling into bed recently, resting on my pillow. I then had to go shopping again for Danny and my dressmakers dummy. As Charles was waring part of her costume I had to find something else. She became a witch this year burning at the stake. There was a orange flashing light under the sticks. A couple years ago I decided it was more fun to have her wear my costumes. Danny created the graves where the garden use to be.

You can also see the fall bunting I made and the brussel sprouts repotted in th half barrel. I am hoping they make it ok aftr being transplanted. Right when they were just starting to show signs of producing they had to be relocated. I couldn't risk an early snow with the bed in place. It would hamper snow removal. Last year I got the arbor moved just in time. If I had waited another week I would never have gotten the car out from under that mess.