Friday, July 31, 2015

The end of The Knitting Nest

Tomorrow is the last day of The Knitting Nest. I have seriously mixed feelings about this. I really liked being a small business owner. But, I was never really the owner. PWM did all the paperwork; I never got around to learning QuickBooks. I liked the customer interactions except when I didn't. On the days when my head hurt - which was a lot - it was hard to deal with customers. And on really bad days - which are unpredictable - I couldn't get out of bed. So, yeah, I'm going to miss being with customers and talking about yarn and patterns. But, I won't miss trying not to be sick when I really am sick.

Something else that's hard for me, though, is that I have a sense of failure. I feel like I should be able to keep the shop open. My conscious self understands that this is crazy talk. I have chronic migraine which is a chronic illness. I can't predict which days I'm going to feel well. Trying to run a small business even a few days a week is an exercise in futility. Instead of doing something that's just going to lead to closing the shop in a few months, we're doing the responsible thing and closing now, in the summer, while PWM can do a lot of the work (especially since I've had terrible migraine and depression for the last month). And I'm going to keep telling myself that this is a good thing and we didn't fail.

And, it's going well. We've sold probably 75% of our stock already and are hoping that tomorrow is busy as well. What's left tomorrow will be given to some carefully selected charities and the rest will be liquidated. We have plans for the building, including a guest bedroom, woodworking space for PWM, and a music room for the kids. I'm excited because we're bringing my grandfather's armoire into the living room for my yarn storage! (Yay! Redecoration!)

So, this is a bittersweet time. We are glad for the four years that we had The Knitting Nest and for all the friends that we've made. (I've had two people give me their phone numbers and ask me to call them for them to come knit with me on days when I feel OK. Isn't that sweet?) We'll miss the shop. But, we're excited for what comes next. PWM loves teaching and is glad to be able to spend all his time focused on his students. I'm going to start off by spending some time resting and then working on some projects at home. After that, we'll see . . . .

Abortion July 31

Abortion and Planned Parenthood are in the news again. Honestly, abortion should be a headline every day. The killing of precious little lives, even if they are in the womb, is unconscionable.

But, what is also unconscionable is what brings women to abortion clinics in the first place: an unplanned pregnancy and a feeling of being trapped. This is where we need to spend some time and money if we are going to lower the abortion rate. Young men and women need to learn about sex and contraception and have access to affordable contraception. For a long time, I was an advocate of abstinence-only sex education, but studies have shown that kids in those programs were getting pregnant at a higher rate than their peers; it wasn't working. Kids in comprehensive sex education programs are the ones getting pregnant later. And, nowadays, kids are becoming sexually active later no matter which program is being used.

Women need access to contraception. Whether or not it is fair, women control the contraception decisions in couples. And women are sexually active these days whether they are married or not. Affordable contraception is important. For working women, contraception is part of normal healthcare insurance. For women who don't work full-time, Planned Parenthood and other community resources are necessary. In any case, without contraception, abortion becomes the back-up plan. And it's a bad one.

Women also feel trapped in their pregnancies because of what happens after they give birth. Women already in poverty know that having a baby almost eliminates their chances of higher education. Trying to work, find childcare, and a reasonable living situation are difficult enough when you already live well below the poverty line. And more babies equals more pressure.

What can we, as Christians, do to help stop abortion? There are lots of things. There is the political route of voting for candidates who will not support abortion. But this post is focused on social issues. First of all, make sure your own children get a full understanding of sexuality and contraception. If you have the chance to help at a school, then do so. If you are a medical professional who can work at a free clinic that provides women's health-care, then do it. Not only can you help provide contraception, but you can counsel women about minimizing their number of sexual partners, preventing sexually transmitted infections, and choosing life. And we can all participate in anti-poverty programs. Giving food to the food bank, giving to Goodwill or other thrift stores, helping with childcare organizations. Anytime we help with poverty, we are giving women a chance to lift themselves a little higher.

These aren't my only thoughts on abortion, just the ones provoked by a Facebook post by Rachel Held Evans. When my head doesn't hurt so much, I'll write more.  What are your thoughts??

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fort Wilderness 2015

We're home from Family Camp! And, as usual, we had a great time. Here are some of the highlights.

  • There was a new music who was great. And, Wild Man got to play bass guitar during morning worship on Thursday!
  • On the morning we left for camp, I woke up at 4am with a migraine. Fun! The migraine stuck around for the first 2 days of camp, so I did a lot of sleeping.
  • On the last full day of camp, I twisted my ankle while walking to the lake for the Loon Float. We ended up not seeing the loons (the first time in about 10 years that Michael hasn't seen the loons!). On the way back to the cabin, I twisted my ankle again, this time pretty badly. PWM and I went to Marshfield Clinic in Minocqua where I got an air cast and some pain meds (I can't take ibuprofen). I have a badly sprained ankle or possible fibular fracture, but they're treated the same way, so I didn't get an XRay done. So, I'm hobbling around.
  • Wild Man won the archery tournament for his age group!
  • Rosie Girl and her friend, Maggie, went on several horse rides.
  • Wild Man and his girlfriend went on the tube float (floating down the Wisconsin River in inner tubes) and were part of a seaweed fight.
  • During the tube float, Rosie Girl babysat a couple of kids for a family who didn't all want to go on the tube float. Apparently, running around after 6 and 4 year old boys for three hours is pretty tiring!
  • Rosie Girl, Wild Man, PWM, and Jenna (Wild Man's girlfriend) were all in the carpetball tournament this year. Jenna did better than anyone else - and it was her first year!
  • The food was beyond delicious!
  • Rosie Girl made a pair of moccasins at the craft shop.
  • It rained all day one day, so we played games and read aloud a lot in the cabin that day.
  • Maggie is the undisputed winner at Sequence.
That was our week at Fort Wilderness. We can't wait to go back next year. And, we're already unpacked with everything put away except for laundry!!