Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December Runneth Me Over

I'm not really sure where December went. I have a vague memory of Christmas parties, Board Meetings, Nursing Home concerts and Church Concerts, and brand new and very sick kitten. There was also a lovely stomach virus and computer explosion thrown in there somewhere. I now have a brand new computer and an upgraded internet service so all seems to be better.

Midnight Services were particularly interesting this year when a sudden and violent stomach virus invaded my body. I'm so very lucky that this Church is nice and had no problems with me running out during Communion and never returning. They even fetched my cello from the Altar area and helped me get everything packed up. Although, it might just have been that they took one look at me and just really really wanted me out of there. :)-

I'm gearing up for Tax Season now. Part of me hopes that I'm so busy that I tear my hair out, but the other part just wants me to make enough to pay my bills including the new computer setup. I think I'm going to aim for somewhere in between. Being self-employed has been wonderful yet frightening so far. I have a feeling that this is how it's always going to be, though. At least I get to work with a cat on my lap and music playing the background that's a definite upgrade.

I have yet again failed to take pictures of the baby blanket I finished last month, but here's a picture of another one I made last summer. Just imagine this blanket sans the cat and in teal. I really like this pattern. It's simple enough that I don't cry when the baby tears it up and since I always make it out of cotton the Momma can bleach it to her heart's contect and I still don't cry. I've seen a few of these being carried around by 5 year olds and they do seem to hold together even after being tortured.

Handy Dandy and the Blanket

Now I'm working on a simple prayer shawl for my neighbor. My forever project, a blanket for my sister, has been temporarily put away but will be returning after we've spent some time apart learning from our past mistakes. It's about double this size now after some late nights, but is still only half-way finished. I really need to think these things out better.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

4 am Collie Frolicking

Yet again I started the day at 4am, 5am, 6am and finally 7:30 when I dragged myself out of bed. Rita Mae, my elderly collie has decided that cold frosty mornings are the best thing ever and insists on going outside for hours at a time. Of course, at her age when you wake up you must immediately use the bathroom so she knows that I'm going to put her out no matter how many times she asks. But watching a happy if slightly frosty collie come in is worth it all. Well, my sleep o'meter begs to differ, but most of me thinks it's good.

Yesterday was spent in another seminar. This one was a telecast of a panel of CPAs in Dallas talking about the changes in the tax law. Riveting. However, I did get about 5 inches of my sock cuff knit so at least something was accomplished. I do learn stuff at these conferences, but I really think they would be much more interesting if every so often something exploded or there were death defying acrobatics going on in the background. But the day ended well when a client took me out to dinner to discuss some tax issues. That's a definite perk of the job, although my waistline might not agree.

Today was spent running all over creation. I worked on a client's books, did my nursing home volunteering, shopped at Walmart (joy!), got a letter together to mail to the IRS, took a deposit across town for a client and met with another client in Bossier. I feel like I've spent most of the day in my car or talking to people. So now I'm relaxing with a cup of coffee, my knitting and Burn Notice. Not a bad way to end the day.

Here's Rita the Elderly Frost Loving Collie and my newish kitten, Castiel, enjoying dinner together a few days ago.

Castiel and Rita

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Day for the Rearview Mirror

I made it to Carthage this morning and played for my friend's funeral. It was amazing. A full 60 piece choir, a string quartet, a pianist and an organist showed up to pay tribute. We played Handel's Hallelujah Chorus as the recessional. I've never played a harder "gig" or a more touching one. I started sobbing in the middle of our first piece and finally one of the choir members took pity on me and handed me a kleenex. But, I'm glad I was able to give something back to his family and help create such a wonderful tribute to the life he led.

I spent the rest of the day playing on Ravelry and dealing with the IRS.

Therefore, I have decided that the rest of this evening will be spent drinking hot tea and wearing my footie pajamas (it's freaking cold here). Now I just need to decide what I should watch while chilling out. Tough tough decision. I've got Burn Notice, Star Trek, Stargate and Stargate Atlantis on DVD or I could always look for the trashiest thing on tv and just veg out. No knitting has or will happen today.  I desperately need to finish up a baby blanket, but I have issues knitting on something that should be infused with happy feelings when I'm feeling this tired and depressed.

Tomorrow is another day and another seminar. Woohoo! The Annual Tax Update all as a webcast. So no interaction and lots of bored accountants sleeping, reading the paper, or (in my case) knitting.

I did do one fun thing today and stopped by the Jim Reeves Memorial just outside Carthage. There's not a lot to see, but I love stopping  there and walking over the guitar and saying hello to his statue. I almost feel like I've forgotten something when I don't get to do this. Here's a closeup of the guitar that makes up part of the sidewalk.

Jim Reeves Memorial

Monday, December 6, 2010

Seminars, Funerals and Knitting

'Tis the season for Christmas concerts. I played my first one last night for a large Baptist Church here in town. It went off pretty well except for the finding out that a dear friend had died just as I was going on stage. The conductor thought that I already knew and asked me if I knew when the funeral was. I had to ask him who had died. :( Totally not cool. I knew he was ill and in the hospital, but the last thing I had heard was encouraging. So, tomorrow, I will drive to Carthage, Texas and play his funeral along with other musicians that he performed with and students he taught. He was truly a wonderful man and I will miss him.

So, today I spent my time with the other profession I'm involved with...accountants. Whoo boy, are they a different breed of people. The topic today was "Small Business Accounting and Auditing Update". Isn't your pulse racing from just reading that title? The speaker was pretty good. In fact, no one fell asleep. Yay! Let's just say that the only reason I stayed awake was because of my knitting. I got a seat in the back and put my simple baby blanket under the desk and knit away. So, I learned lots of fun stuff about Engagement Letters and International GAAP Standards and.......  Hey! Are you still awake?? At least I should be able to finish the baby blanket for the baby that was born last week (whoops) if not tonight then tomorrow night.

Tonight I will be eating the Great Northern Beans I made in the crock pot yesterday and some cabbage and trying to get a good nights sleep before hitting the road in the morning. I'm trying to eat healthier and counting my calories. It's not terribly fun, but I've promised myself a season of Supernatural for each 10 pounds lost .Sadly I should be able to collect the entire series by the time I hit my goal weight. So, yay for Supernatural, boo for letting myself get so overweight. However, the chance to watch rather attractive men fight demons, etc is enough to make me turn down the cake and pick up the cabbage. It's a good thing that I'm rather easily bought.