Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New beginnings

There, unfortunately, has been a surplus of health factors for myself on top of very recent family crisises that now changes the immediate course of my life. I want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas if I an unable to return back to blogland sooner than the 24th or 25th.

I will announce the winners of the ornament charity & send their prizes after everything has settled down. To those in the Winter club, I am trying my best to send the packages within the next day or so. It is very hard to work among these troubling things, as well as a torn ligament/muscle in my right elbow. I can't even put my hair up in a ponytail at this point. Thanks in advance for your patience, and I promise that everything will get settled that needs to be settled.

Please keep my family, my soon-to-be family, my neighbor friend (Craig, undergoing complications from surgery), and if you have time...myself in your prayers. Thank you.

Monday, December 01, 2008

"Deck out the tree 4 charity" (ends the 12th!) Contest too!

NOTE: This free pattern has been removed 10/17/12. It may or may not return, but if it does, it will be tweaked and pdf’ed and available for an inexpensive $1.99 price.
 
A simple gift of hand-knit (or crocheted or sewn) ornaments to lighten up a stranger's heart.
Please tell your crafty friends about this project & post this to your blog if possible. The charity pattern is posted in the bottom of the post.
The day after Thanksgiving, my whole family gathered yet again, but this time to visit my Grandfather in the nursing home. This is the same grandfather that underwent major heart surgery a while back, didn't recover, and started to deteriorate and have part of his foot removed because he couldn't walk...because he couldn't recover. I know, sick cycle. This was the first time that I visited him in the nursing home, and I was appalled at the sight of these lonely nursing home residents barely doing anything but staring at other people's visitors or falling asleep in front of a large TV in the "theater room" because the nurses are too busy or unwilling to wheel them around all day. The activity coordinator barely provides activities, doesn't even own a keyboard for visitors playing carols during the holidays, and residents are surely bored out of their minds all day. Every day. The loneliness of boredom and the every-day nothingness is seen in their eyes. It's enough to burn your heart.
I watched one elderly woman try to wheel herself in another direction and had trouble doing so. Every time a nurse walked down the hall, she tiredly tried flagging them down with her weak and shaky arm while also giving each the "puppy eyes" look. She craved attention. From anyone. Nurses. Residents. Other resident's visitors. All ignored her, leaving her with all the more heart-broken eyes. I asked one of the nurses why he kept ignoring her as he walked down the hall with an IV stand while she constantly tried to flag him down. He responded in a nonchalant way, "oh, she always does that." Yeah, and? Was my response. She's still a human being, and she might actually need help this time. All of them do.

This whole paragraph will seem a little weird, but I had a dream Saturday night (the day after I visited my grandfather) that I was in some sort of wreck and lost all of my money and possessions and for some reason, barely clothed besides a long shirt. I was very embarrassed walking among all the people in my dream. I ended up begging some people on the subway to loan me a couple of dollars so I could go to a Dollar Tree or thrift shop to buy shorts, pants, pj bottoms....anything to not be half-nude. It was amazing how much I had to plead with these people to donate a just few bucks. I ended up waking up in the morning with tears streaming down my cheeks. I haven't balled in my dreams for quite a long time. The dream was intense. Disturbing. An actual reality for someone around this planet, I'm sure. It reminded me of how cold it is getting now, and how I should be putting more efforts into charity knits. The message that I really need to become more proactive with charity knits was reiterated by the Homily the same morning that I woke up for Sunday mass. It was all about "The least that you do for my people, you do for me" and how you should live your life like the world would end tomorrow and make a difference in someone's life. (Something like that.) Once I got the message that this homily was corresponding to my feelings all weekend, I instantly thought of how I was going to solve my huge Christmas knitted-gift list. I wasn't going to knit anyone a gift. All of these people who were asking for knitted gifts from me have everything. They are loved. They have money. They have a warm house to live in,... and friends. I thought back to these nursing home residents and how they might not even get a single gift in the mail, let alone a card...or a visit from any family members. Even if I could knit them all something small, no matter how insignificant it may seem to the bystander, it would be something hand-made... and for them. Not shared, like all of the amenities in the facility. Something small for them to enjoy that's theirs. I will also spend the other time working on my "prayer squares" afghans, from the other organization I started, and hopefully knitting more scarves and such for PADS shelters.

So, without further ado (and hopefully you read most of above to get the gist), I'm starting a new charity organization that is devoted to knitting each and every single 100+ resident from that nursing home a knit holiday ornament: "Deck Out That Tree!" I am asking each and every one of you to see if you can find it in your time this week to knit some ornaments with the pattern I provided below. If it turned out that only a dozen people sent me just a few ornaments, it would save a tremendous amount of time on my part. I can only do so much, and knit so fast in under a month. Whether or not you do it as a competition, the top 3 people to send me the most ornaments will receive free knitting yarn & goodies (see contest info below). Any other peeps will receive a new free KUAS pattern via email. SO PLEASE LEAVE A STICKY NOTE WITH YOUR NAME & EMAIL ADDRESS in the package so that I send you your stuff. I really feel like I was meant to do/start this project this year. But I know realistically, I'm gonna need a lot of help from you all. I have a small tree in our living room that will be filled up during the week with all of the knit organizations. I hope to fill the entire tree up.



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