Operation Gratitude

I love to knit and crochet.  Seriously.  I’m hooked.  I always have several projects, ideas, or purchase orders meandering through the yarn webs in my mind.  It is what it is.  Lately I have looked around for ways to use my love to help spread the love.  I found Operation Gratitude by way of a tweet from a fellow yarn lover.  Operation Gratitude specializes in care packages for our troops.  Here is a little bit of what they do:

(From their blog)

“Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to wounded warriors in transition.  Our mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face and express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$125 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship.

For safety and security, assembling of packages occurs at the Army National Guard armory in Van Nuys, California. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 660,000 packages to American Military deployed overseas.

Please join our efforts! Sign up for our Mailing List for updates and information. You can visit our website, ”like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch inspirational videos on our YouTube channel.”

Awesome, right???  Guess what!  I can knit scarves for the troops!  What a great way to wrap a soldier in love.  Go check them out and wrap your own heart in a little love too.


Family Outing: Rainsville Pumpkin Patch

This past Tuesday, (Oh my is it SATURDAY already???), we went with Jacob’s homeschool group to the Rainsville Pumpkin Patch.  The Patch is located right down the road, so we didn’t have to spend a lot of money on gas, or long hours in the car with whiny kids.  I was mistaken in thinking that there was going to be some punkin’ pickin and then we would go home so I could nap.  No way.  So busy!  There was an itinerary for Pete’s sake.

There were hay mazes, corn mazes, corn pits, a petting zoo, a faux milking cow, and so. much. more.  It was adorable.  My only recommendations for those headed out to the Rainsville Pumpkin Patch:  Bring a big ol fat wallet.  You will be broke by noon.  Our cost was 6 dollars a person and that was with a discounted rate for a large group.  This ain’t a theme park, so 24 bucks in this economy seemed like a huge amount for all of us to pick a pumpkin.  Then I was gasping at the cost of the food.  4.50 for two chicken strips and some fries for four people adds up.  Half of our group left and went to Burger King for  lunch.  I counted out the money we had in my head about 65 times and told the kids we were just going to get some fries and a drink to share.  Bad mom, I know, but what could I do?  I thought eleven dollars was plenty for food.  (Do they fry those chicken strips in liquid gold?)  Much to my dismay, the food was freezer aisle fair.  (Shoulda went to Burger King, I guess.)

By the time we were due for our hay ride to the pumpkins, the kids were pale and silent.  They enjoyed the hay ride, but didn’t really try to jump off the tractor like they normally would.  We were all dog tired.  They took us to the mini pumpkin section of the field and we each picked a ghoulish gourd.  THEN they drove us back to some tables where we could paint the pumpkins.  I painted my plaid, the kids painted theirs “blob” and we left.  Quietly.

Shortly after this picture was taken, Gideon pushed Levi off the side and his face went into one of the boards.  There were lots of tears. 😦

Yeah, it did leave a mark.

If You Think It’s Righteous Anger…You’re Probably Wrong.

If you read some of my posts from a few weeks ago, you’ll notice that I completely fell apart for a minute.  I was so soured to blogging, tweeting and anything to do with social media, I wanted to puke.  I have come around a little bit.  Now that I have a clear vision for what I want to use the blog for, I feel a little more free.  This blog is mine.  It’s all me.  Every so often, if I feel I am starting to slip into glossy blogness, I have to rein it in.  Much past my faith, my family, and my crafts, I begin to venture into the gloss.  No thanks.

I follow several glossy blogs, and they don’t need me mucking up the waters.  At the end of the day, I gotta be me.

So now I will share the story of what happened so that my ten readers can judge me harshly.  Go ahead.  I deserve it.  I handled it in a really bad, bad way.

Back when I was on Twitter under my old moniker WApharmgirl I was a bit of a lurker, a creep as it were. (Not to EVERYONE!  CALM DOWN)  There was a person I was following that was having a baby, and I didn’t want to be all in her face everyday with “How are you feeling?”  “How are you doing”  “Hey, I wish I was there so I could help you more.”  It was perfectly easy to just pop over and read her tweets, see that everything was a-okay, and carry on with my day.  If something bad was happening, I could tweet a short comment and then, again, carry on.   If that seems weird to you, then it probably is. It was all innocent, I swear!  As I have mentioned before, I am an excited oaf when it comes to babies, pregnancies, and pregnancy related stuff.  The day I am no longer excited about any of it is the day I know for sure that I am done having kids.

Well one evening, I was on Twitter catching up on all my tweets.  In my little feed thingy was a tweet that made me pause.  It was from this person, directed @ another person. The conversation appeared to be about another dear friend of mine.  Thinking I was clearly mistaken, I read her tweets and my gut began to burn.  That drove me to look at what else was being said about the “situation”.  I read everything I could from several different angles and I. Was. So. Mad.  No, I was angry.  Really angry.  Like How-Dare-She! Fired up.  And it kept going and going and going.

What made me so upset was  knowing how hurt my good friend would be if she had heard any of this stuff.  Here is where I messed up royally.  I should have dropped right into that conversation and said what a load of garbage it was.  What I did was this:  I texted my friend in a rage and told her everything that was going on.  Yep, I ended up being the one who hurt her with that information.  I even said something to the effect that I probably should not be talking about it because I was going to say something stupid in my anger.  Captain Obvious flies again!   In that heated moment, I rationalized telling her everything because she NEEDED to know that this other person was NOT a good friend.  I felt righteous in my anger.  I felt justified in gossiping.  I was not.

I SHOULD have handled it so much better.  It’s bothered me ever since.  Mostly because a close friend is hurting from a rift in a friendship.  A rift that I tore open with my bare hands.  Some days I feel that I should have just minded my own business. (The truth has a funny way of coming to light without my help.)  Other days, I feel like it needed to happen, that she deserved to know.  In the end, I just looked like a gossiping boob.   I just hope that this person learned from it and will honor her friendships a little better in the future.

I learned that people are not perfect.  Again.  How many times do I have to learn this lesson?  I think what added to my own hurt was that I admired this person.  I really did not expect anything like that. I felt just as betrayed and stupid.  It knocked down my faith in humanity a couple of notches.

I have learned that when another situation like this arises, I need to take a time out and weigh the situation more carefully before I respond.  I do not like the person I was that day.