Friday, January 30, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

An unexpected bonus

You know, you kind of just don't know if people like what you do or not. Like Christmas, for instance. It was a rough year, for everybody. Our family put a halt on gifts, but I just wanted to do something. I made up scarfs and hats for my children and their significant others. I made about a dozen soap savers and bought some fancy soaps on sale and made a little gift packet to give to relatives and friends. I made a lot of pumpkin bread . . . . a lot! I made a lot of fudge too, and ate way too much of it! I wrapped them in Christmas paper and tied them with ribbons and gave them away as gifts. I found some placemats on the clearance table and made them into crochet hook holders and even monogrammed them to give to some friends who crocheted. Now, they really like them, and you could tell they appreciated the work that went into them. (Why wouldn't they, they crochet too!) Anyway, I thought I was doing really good. I was giving stuff made with love from the heart with my own wrinkly stubby fingers. So the reactions were . . . . well, not always what I expected or hoped. Everybody seemed to like the food gifts. But the handmade stuff, hmmm, not so sure. I asked one person to whom I had given the soap saver, if she liked it, well . . . yea, I'll find something to use it for. I said, you are supposed to put your soap in it. Oh, she repeated, well, I'll find something to do with it. Ugh. Then another one, after I asked, said, well, I really liked the way the soap smells, I didn't open it yet, but I could smell it. I told her, well, you can put the soap in the holder, and it sort of acts like a washcloth and catches all the remnants of the soap. Ok, so I am realizing, not everybody is enthusiastic about the stuff I make. I was just starting to feel pretty dejected about it. I mean, after all, I did try to give something to everyone, in the spirt of Christmas. And then my daughter's friend stopped by, with her beautiful baby, and he was wearing the set I made for him and gave to her at her baby shower. She told me she adores it, and he wears it all the time. She also loves the assortment of hats that I have been giving her. The picture attached is of beautiful Isaiah laying on his blanket that I made for him before he was even born. I felt like Sally Field! You like it, you really really like it! So I am starting to accept that not everyone is flipping out over the stuff I make. But you know what, there are a lot of people that do. Today, in fact, I reconnected with a former co-worker who moved to North Carolina. She ended her email, with a by the way, remember that little Irish doll you made me. I still have it! I had made her a little dolly to take with her since she was driving alone to North Carolina and I felt she should have a traveling companion. (Ok, now that I read it, it does sound weird, but that's me) I have made and given away a lot of afghans, and every once in a while I get an email or a comment from someone who tells me that it is their favorite comfort blanket. I am sure that there is an equal number that just shoved them into the bottom of their closets! But you know what, I am just going to keep on creating and keep on giving my stuff away. My husband keeps telling me, you are never going to make any money if you keep giving your hats away! Of course, I would love it if somebody actually bought something! But the joy is in the creation, the sense of accomplishment of a task completed, and the sharing of myself. And if along the way someone actually likes what I made for them, that is the unexpected bonus!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Procrastination gets the last laugh at the Crochet Nanny

Well, December 10th, last day I blogged. Where has she been they ask. My friend says, "I keep checking to see if there is something new" . . . New? Yea, there is something new all right! In fact, it rhymes with new, sort of like the name game. The first letter is not the same, replace it and you have the name, new, drop the n, add bl, and you got it. B L E W! My hard drive blew, as in fried, dead as a doornail, virtual mortuary, computer cemetery, electronic crematory. Remember how I said I was a procrastinator? Remember how I was talking about all this stuff I wanted to do, like, SAVE MY PICTURES ONTO A DISK! There are on a disk alright, a hard drive disk that is wrapped in a plastic Walmart bag and sitting on a table down here. I heard the clickety clackety sound. It certainly wasn't Santa on the rooftop. But did I even think to wonder what it was? No o o o o , just kept downloading, surfing, emailing, scrolling, doing my puzzles, playing Hidden Object, everything but backing up. That was something I was going to get to. My son in law needed directions to the NJ Devils, game, sure said I, mapquest, google earth,, msn maps, hey, I have been on them all. Take your pick, do you want the scenic route, or the direct, fastest, or less miles? Do you want me to print it right from their website with a picture of the stadium? I'm good at this I think as I walk over to the computer that is always on by the way. I'm looking at my screen, it says hard disk error. He is still on the phone, so I say, hold on, I have to reboot. He says with his Romanian accent, "I don't think you should do that, you should call someone." Did I listen? You know the answer already. So, control/alt/delete, reboot, hard reboot, trip the surge protector, pull the plug out of the wall, yea that should do it. It didn't, same message. Ok, so not to panic. My friend's husband plays with computers, he takes all our old computers from work, breaks them down into parts. He assures me, "I have a whole closet of hard drives, let me see what I can do." I am sweating a little at this point, my grandson, he is 6, every stinking day of his life is on that computer. Ever meet a first time grandmother with a digital camera? My pictures thingy said I had 3,000 pictures stored on it. That can't be possible, can it? Anyway, I pleaded, "I don't care about anything, just get me my pictures of my grandson" I felt like I was negotiating with a kidnapper. Maybe I should have gotten a SWAT team involved. It didn't take him long to call. My friend was on the phone, he was on the extension, I guess they were going to double tag team break it to me. It was done, there was nothing that could be done. It was dead, he knew it as soon as he turned it on and heard that clicking/buzzing sound. "How long has that been going on?" , not too long, I answered sheepishly, not wanting to admit that it had to be a few (gulp!) months. "Well, I'll throw a new hard drive in there" . Still hopeful, I asked, "what about my pictures, can I get them?" He said best I can do is give you the old harddrive back. They have places that supposedly can try to retrieve stuff from dead hard drives. I picture a dark alley, exchanging cash, sweaty palms, a kid with a mohawk named Moses, saying, what's it to ya, Nanny? It couldn't be that bad. . I asked around, and someone told me that there are places that will retrieve stuff from your driver. I even got the website, and gee, his friend had it done about six years ago and it only cost him $267! Are you kidding me? Anyway, I went on the website. They have a little diagnostic testing thing there. You click on it, and turn on your speakers and it makes all kind of noises and you can identify what is wrong with your computer by the noise. I tested them all, yea, it was the hard drive alright. The website said, if you hear this noise which it then clearly demonstrated, immediately back up all your stuff on disks in case of a hard drive failure. So there sits my hard drive, seven years worth of baby pictures safely locked away for eternity in its sealed tight vault. I guess I could call Geraldo and see if he can send some kind of expedition in to see what he can find like he did with Al Capone's lost treasure. First I took the tower back from my friend and hooked it up. Unfortunately, when I turned it on, it emitted a high ear piercing, usually heard only by dogs, shrill buzzing sound. I tried playing a movie in it, and then a music DVD but it wouldn't mask the sound. It's been a week, my ears are still ringing. Right now my husband hooked up his laptop to my monitor, but it is moving at the speed of, well, slightly slower than a molasses covered snail in January. It just took me an hour and half to download one picture for a new product listing. Problem is, every time I go upstairs, I have to pass that Walmart wrapped tragedy, sitting on the table, taunting me, reminding me of all that was lost. I have tried averting my eyes, but it magnetizes me, like I have a steel plate in my head, my head snaps immediately to it. I can't stop looking at it wistfully, asking, why? why? as if I didn't know why! Stupidity and procrastination have their own revenge. I know you are not going to believe this, but last night, as I flicked off the light and headed up the stairs, I swore I heard it say, "Na na na na na, I told you so . . . . !!!"