Friday, March 30, 2007

Mar 30/07

The folks at the Rotarian, the monthly Rotary magazine must have seen that I would be thinking alot about world issues because this month's issue focuses on environmental projects around the world. I read the issue from cover to cover this evening before I went out to clean out the garbage in a ditch in my sub-division. Now that the snow has melted away and the greenery is still dormant, the garbage is in plain sight. I felt like a dork down in the ditch with my grocery bags, picking out the garbage while my neighbours drove by, but then I decided that I may look like a dork, but I am making our neighbourhood a better place if it means that the leachate from the degrading plastic does not make its way into the water system.

Earlier this week, I read Herizons, a feminist magazine published in Winnipeg. I had been wavering on whether I would continue my subscription, but my personal campaign over the UN Millenium goals convinced to continue on because the magazine has opened my eyes to women's issues that do not get covered in the mainstream media. Plus, it is a women's initiative that promotes women's issues. I do not always agree with the opinions and politics and shake my head at least once per issue, but it gets me thinking!

Yesterday, I e-mailed my Member of Parliament to ask him what specifically the federal government is doing to achieve the UN Millenium goals. I figure that if I do not ask, then who else will? We have to hold our government accountable if we are going to sign onto these agreements.

My cross stitching is barely creeping along because I have been gripped by an exhaustion that I can not explain. I am hoping that the iron supplements I bought today will do the trick because everything is a HUGE effort these days.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Mar 25/07

So, this is what I am thinking about today as I digest the birthday lunch that my brother and I had for my mom. Last night, I stumbled across this site about the UN Millenium goals.
What a wonderful world it would be if the UN could meet these goals:
1. eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. achieve universal primary education
3. promote gender equality and empower women
4. reduce child mortality
5. improve maternal health
6. combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. ensure environmental sustainability
8. develop a global partnership for development

After reading the goals that the UN has set to be achieved by 2015, I started to think about what I am doing as an individual to help the world achieve those goals. One change I made today was to start hanging out my laundry earlier in the year so that I did not have to run the dryer today. Yesterday, I did a thorough walk through of the 10 acre property I purchased a few years to see what was there before the undergrowth springs to life and makes it impassable. The woodland supports quite a healthy group of deer and squirrels and is a rather mature stand of hardwoods which was a pleasure to walk through. For now, I am going to leave it alone until I decide to build either a summer or permanent home there. Next up will be to see what I can do about some of the other issues.

After reading through the UN site, I clicked on a blog that I have been reading written by Janet Scott and her husband. They are working with NGOs in Ghana and I was nicely surprised to see that Mark mentions the UN Millenium goals in his post that I have tagged. It is interesting to see what these goals mean at ground level.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mar 18/07

Tonight, I talked with the board of directors of one of the local service groups and they have committed $1 000 towards my El Salvador project! To say that I am a little excited is an understatement because I was initially quite worried about how I was going to fundraise $5 000 so that I would not take away from any of the worthy commitments that my Rotary club already has on the books. My fundraising campaign so far has consisted of talking to anyone that will listen and so far it is paying off as I have an invitation to speak to one of the local Lions clubs as well. This club often partners with my Rotary club on projects so the house in ES may be the next one in our partnership.

You know, working away at this and spreading the word about El Salvador has kept me motivated in moments when I can feel quite defeated. For example, right now I am staring at 2 property tax bills, a car insurance bill, a VISA bill, my line of credit and a ticket for an expired inspection sticker. There is definitely more month at the end of the money as I balance the payments going out and the pay cheques coming in. Just when I think that a lottery winning may be in order, I remind myself that these things will sort themselves out in good time and that I have the good fortune to own 2 properties and a car. Even though my family was poor, I could still get a university education. Being born in Canada has sure made me a winner in the geographic department and thinking about the shanty town in Panchimalco and all of the people who touched my life there has made me appreciate the life I have.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mar 10/07

So, here I sit waiting for a snowstorm or whatever is supposed to heading our way. A fitting way to end a week that found me speaking at a Rotary club about my El Salvador trip, getting a ticket because my car inspection sticker expired in MAY 2006, my curling teams won on Thursday and Friday night (if you have ever seen me curl, you would understand why that is noteworthy) and my brother is coming home for a break during his course at CFB Kingston. There is a special talent to living my life and by golly, I would love to master it!

The Christmas stocking project is slowly making progress. The needle that came with this kit wore 2 holes in the end of my middle finger on my right hand so I had to switch to the larger needle that I usually use to cross stitch because using a thimble was slowing me down too much. Here is an update:

Thursday, March 01, 2007

March 1/07

Ok. So it has been a while since I have posted some new pics. The digital camera was at my Mom's house so I could not post anything that I have been working on. These towels were completed about 3 weeks ago. The pattern comes from a Leisure Arts leaflet called "More Christmas Fingertips" and they are stitched on towels from a shop in Norway called Christiana GlasMagasinet. The towels are regular kitchen towels, but there is a bit that is a lovely evenweave of something like 32 count. I bought a bagful of them because they were only 24.50KR (about $4-5 Canadian).

Once the towels were completed, I moved onto this pattern that I found on the Christmas ornie SAL. I decided to play around with different whites and sparkly threads to see what effects I could come up with. They are stitched on light blue 14 ct. Fiddlers Cloth. This first one photographs the best. I stitched it with DMC white:

The second one was stitched with one thread each of B5200 and E5200. The contrast between the fabric and the threads is not all that great so it it difficult to see in the photo:

The third one is done with one thread each of DMC white and a DMC silver metallic that was flaoting around in my thread box. Unfortunately, I ran out of the silver and had to finish with a DMC antique silver. The results are probably not so visible in this photo, but I am not excited about how this one finished up.

Here is my WIP of the moment. I have started a very ambitious project of cross stitching a Christmas stocking for every member of my immediate family (6 people!). It has been fun hunting down patterns and kits that suit each person, but now the real work begins.....for the next few years!

Projects 33-37.