1. Two Saturdays ago, I went with Lori T & Angi E & Pam E up to East Lansing, to attend Relief Society leadership training with Barbara Thompson. The Lansing Stake provided dinner, and then we attended a fireside with Cheryl Esplin (Primary) and Barbara Thompson. Lots of good information and instruction.
I liked Sister Thompson's comment regarding Moses 6:18:
And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.She reminded us that we can be poor in many ways - not just temporally, but also spiritually. We need to strengthen each other spiritually, through our friendships and visiting teaching and our assignments at church. And, of course, we need to strengthen ourselves.
2. I started running again. I'm following the couch-to-5k program (again - I stick with it a little longer each time, it seems). Last week I did week 1, and apparently I've lived to tell the tale. Aside from the back pain that seems to accompany most upright activity, I'm feeling pretty good.
I'm working with a PT on that back pain, mostly strengthening exercises. I now have a contraption (a TENS device) to stimulate the muscles with electric pulses, which is supposed to alleviate the pain. I'm still a bit skeptical, but am giving it a try. Today I wore it while walking Bonnie, turning it on when it seemed the pain was starting. I got home without feeling overwhelmed with the ache, so maybe it did help. Tomorrow I'll wear it when I run; that should be a good test.
I'm also planning to sign up for a yoga class - more on that once I've actually registered and started a class...
3. Marian Hawkins is the volunteer coordinator for the Seita Program at Western Michigan University. She attended our knitting guild meeting last Monday, and talked to us about the program. From the literature she shared:
The goal of the John Seita Scholarship program at Western Michigan University is to increase opportunities for foster youth to access a college education and to provide supports that promote success and well-being throughout the undergraduate experience. Western welcomes students who grew up in foster care to campus and through the Seita Scholars program aims to promote a sense of belonging in our campus community. Financial obstacles that often prevent foster youth from continuing their education are lessened through a full tuition scholarship. Year-round campus living eliminates any worry of homelessness during periods when residence halls are closed for school breaks. Other benefits such as 24 hour support from clinically trained campus coaches, mentoring, academic tutoring, student networking, counseling, and advocacy are all a part of this program to help the students succeed at Western and to make a smooth transition into adulthood.At the beginning of the year, one thing they do is to provide laundry baskets full of supplies for the students - sheets, towels, laundry supplies, etc. I've seen students arriving at college, armed with carloads of supplies. Foster students aren't quite as prepared; Marian told of one foster youth who arrived at college with a drawstring backpack, and that was everything he brought.
Along those lines, I finally finished my scarf for the Seita Scholars.
This is the Shale Pleated Scarf, from Webs. I don't know why it seemed to take so long to finish. It was an easy knit, but not particularly quick or interesting, so I kept setting it aside. But in the end, it turned out pretty well. This scarf, along with the matching hat and mittens, will be gifts at the students' Christmas party in December.
4. I'm making progress on my scarf and rabbit projects; the lace shawl is growing much more slowly. And for variety (!), I bought yarn Friday night, to start a fourth project, an owl baby blanket.
Isn't this yummy?!? It's Dream in Color Classy, in the color "Happy Forest." On Saturday I cast on and started knitting the blanket; I'll post a picture when there's something to see...!