Saturday, May 3, 2008

May Flowers and Knitting

Hello, and Happy Spring! I haven't blogged for about 2 months, due to the difficulty of typing (the rheumatoid arthritis) and my computer trying to fry itself. However, we're now the proud and delighted owners of a new PC system (so fast and nice!), new digital camera (for blog photos and stash purchases, of course). In the RA (aka rheumatoid arthritis) department, I've begun seeing a great rheumatologist, and now a plan's in effect for this sero-negative RA/reactive arthritis and found some meds to alleviate the pain most of the time...about 75% of the discomfort is gone at the present. So...not to bore friends...but I'm back!

Spring took it's sweet time arriving in New Hampshire, and I'm glad it's here, although this past week has been rainy and cool. I've weeded my flower/perennial beds, put down the mulch, and I'm ready for some color! (flower wise, that is). One of my favorite new podcasts is Belle of the Ball podcast, where she podcasts from her garden shed, and mixes knitting with gardening. While on blogging hiatus, I've come to fancy She-Knits, Knittingatnight, Craftlit, Stitch It!, and Barknknit for favorite blogs as well. My old 2GB nano is on the fritz as well, so I invested in the 3rd generation 4GB iPod nano, and I love it! I have some audiobooks, all my podcasts, and music! :) Happy mama I am. I like to listen to it early in the morning, while kids are still asleep (sometime between 5-8 am, and after my quiet time with the Lord and Bible study).

Knitting wise, I haven't much to say. My 2-3 hrs. of daily knitting has morphed into 30-60 minutes a week, due to the hand discomfort with the RA. However, I'm able to knit almost every other day, and I've got a pair of Central Air socks on the needles for a take along project, and my Tangerine Twist sweater is on hiatus, as I left it in Florida while vacationing at my mother's in early April, and I'll be retrieving it from her in a week or two. I'd really like to finish that THIS summer to wear.

So, it seems that it's been a very busy, but very mellow few months for me. My eldest will be in Basic Training (Army) beginning next week when college finals end, and middle son (16) is giving me grey hair, while the 9 year old is like a spring colt outside and enjoying the no-snow season before bug season begins. Hubby is busy tinkering with his Ham Radio.

A good friend, Christine, introduced me to Make and Take Gourmet... a wonderful find for me! At first, I thought she was crazy (sorry, Christine) for the amount of money and time this endevour would take. Oops, my mistake... I LOVE this place! Last Monday, I went there, and in 2 hours (exactly), I created 12 various entrees for 6 people, as MY family likes them, and ready to freeze. Wow, what a great time saver, and when I go again in a few weeks, I'll go ahead and make some of the entrees in smaller containers (which they provide) to stretch the budget even further. Call me silly or lazy, but when the RA acts up in the late afternoon, I know confidently that I already have great and nutritious meals (without all the junk and preservatives) ready for the family dinner. The best part is...they do ALL the clean up. Sigh...a wee bit of heaven on earth. This was a wonderful adventure for me! On their website, it says:

"SAVE TIME!Spend more time with your family and less time in the kitchen. Save almost 30 hours a month. You won't have to worry about making a grocery list and then doing the shopping. No more chopping and slicing and the dreaded clean up of your kitchen.
SAVE MONEY!This is affordable and it just makes sense! You'll have fewer expensive stops for fast food and take-out. At under $3.00 a serving it costs less than a child’s meal at a fast food restaurant. Plus you’ll spend less money at the grocery store every month.
CONVENIENCE!Make most of your meals for the month in less than two hours. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
HAVE FUN!Come in and enjoy. It's a social event. Spend time with friends you bring or friends you meet while preparing your meals together. Bring a bottle of wine or drink of choice. Think of it as a guilt-free night out!
EAT WELL!Make delicious, nutritious family-friendly meals. Forget the processed fast food, frozen or take-out options. We only use the freshest, quality ingredients.
CUSTOM HOMEMADEIt’s easy to customize your meals to your families likes and dislikes. Make it the way you like to eat it."
Well, I had a fun time while cooking. Enough said. :) And, I didn't have to do the dishes!

In other areas...
God has a way of getting my attention when I don't spend enough time with Him. My lack of knitting ability over the past few months, the newly diagnosed RA and accompanying fatigue, and having a very trying teen who's having a difficult time at the present, led me to the following book, which I'm using with my Bible study time and we're also covering at a local women's fellowship group at our church. I find the scripture verses pertinent, right on target, and I'm learning to "Count it all joy"....step by step. Book is below, for those of you struggling through various trials and hardships.

Finding God's Path Through Your Trials by Elizabeth George. As stated about this book online:

"Are you facing a difficult decision? A painful situation? Drawing on God’s Word, her own struggles, and the experiences of others, Elizabeth George reaches out with help. Knowing the Bible says to “count trials as joy,” she shares the vital truths that make that positive approach possible, including:

* Trials are not punishments.

* God loves you and allows trials to help you grow spiritually.

* His grace is sufficient to get you through every situation.

* When trials become too hard, God provides a way of escape.

* Benefits come from trials, such as patience, endurance, empathy.
Finding God’s Path Through Your Trials acknowledges the hard times you face and presents practical steps for experiencing hope, joy, and meaning in your journey."

I am finding that after I go through various trials, that I'm able to help others going through the same or similar circumstances, or at least able to keep them in prayer while they're on their journey! :)
That's about it for now.