A Follow-up…

I wanted to share the response I have received to The Beloved Novak Djokovic. Most of it has been via Twitter, although the post itself has received a few comments.

I took the time to screencap all the responses I have received. Bear in mind, I am just a little hobby blogger, I do not have a huge platform, I am not famous. My post has gone what I would consider viral, for me anyway!

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CaliforniaAshes

CanaryGabriel

Carol and Cristina

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curlytop18

Daria3

jackiesteyn

justdjoking

kacnyc

kenialachula2

LeeLeeTennis

lilayski

pearlescent48

pilit53

returnwinner

RikaAndAuhtumn

scarls17

SecondServeHack

SholzTalks10s

sportswithcat

Steph73_NL

stephanierich21

suebforever

TheSamsquanch79

whataracket_

YellowTrench

Yolitatennis

MariaRampini1 (r)

nana_blanchard

I actually received a few more responses than these, from those who are not necessarily Novak fans (although they appreciate him), complimenting the post.

Also, here’s a screencap of the number of RTs and Favorites my tweet linking to my post has received (as not everyone who retweeted or favorited the tweet responded to me):

Favorites & RTs

That’s as of this writing. 27 RTs, 42 favorites, which is coming pretty close to my record. (Okay, I don’t actually know my record. So sue me.) This also doesn’t include the number of people who have tweeted the link to my post separately (or favorited the same), nor the number of people who RT’d or favorited the very first tweet that went out when I first published the post.

I have not had to tweet the link to my post again since I wrote it two days ago, because it is continually being retweeted.

I’m not saying any of this to brag, nor are my screencaps meant to say “look at how popular my post is!” I mean, that’s nice, I won’t lie! The point of this follow-up is simply to say, again: Novak Djokovic is beloved. And his fans have been absolutely desperate to have this fact recognized.

Will I begin posting links to this and the original post to any article I see from now on wondering why Novak isn’t as beloved as Roger/Rafa, or why he should be more beloved, etc.?

… I won’t rule it out. ;)

The Beloved Novak Djokovic

There has been an awful lot written over the past 6 months (since he won his 8th Slam title at the Australian Open, I think) about why Novak Djokovic isn’t “as beloved as Federer and Nadal.” Or even, “Why Novak Djokovic should be more beloved.”

For some reason, I keep reading these articles, as if they will ease the nagging frustration in the back of my head and in the bottom of my heart. And while many of these articles make good points, more often than not they still leave me feeling vaguely annoyed and frustrated.

I think it’s because these articles seem to miss a point that I keep hoping (subconsciously at least) they will make.

Novak Djokovic IS beloved.

Here is where certain people whom I won’t name immediately pipe up with “but he isn’t as beloved as Roger Federer!!!!/Rafael Nadal!!!!” To which I can only say, “So what?” I don’t know about you, but I don’t tend to go through life feeling horrifically depressed because I’m not as beloved as someone who is adored by millions, if not hundreds of millions, all over the world.

If all of us felt that way, we would be living in a very depressed world.

But Novak has many very devoted fans. I am proud to count myself as one of them. I follow many others on Twitter. His Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts get tons of replies, likes, RTs/RGs, shares, and so on. If you’ve ever tried to take a look at his Twitter mentions, you’ll see that they move at approximately the rate of Justin Bieber’s. Ask any fan who’s attempted to get a reply from Novak. It’s not easy because so many tweet him.

What’s more, Novak is very aware that he has tons of devoted fans. Why? Because they congregate at every tournament he plays. I like to RT photos and video clips of Novak mobbed by fans and signing autographs and taking photos for hours because I am trying to fight this “Novak is not loved” narrative that is so very persistent in the media. I don’t have to work very hard at it, either.

Many will be quick to point out that if Novak were beloved, he would get more crowd support during tournaments. I would like to be quick to point out that he gets his fair share of crowd support. Is it as large as Federer’s? No. Is it is as large as Nadal’s? I’d say it is, and in fact, if you watch a Nadal/Djokovic match played anywhere but in Spain, you’ll find a pretty evenly divided crowd.

There are even parts of the world where Novak has universal crowd support, believe it or not, like China and Italy. I admit that I have no idea why these two very different countries adore Novak, but I have even less idea why they wouldn’t. Novak is, after all, incredibly personable. I find that the only people who disagree with this statement are those who have a vested interest in maintaining that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are the most popular tennis players in the world, and no one can possibly touch them.

But Novak is good-humored; is humble despite his achievements, yet confident in his abilities and his desire to continue to be the best and win; is deeply invested in fair play (witness how many times he has conceded points to opponents when he feels calls have wrongly been made in his favor); is utterly willing to be goofy; loves pretty much everyone and is incapable of holding a grudge; wears his heart on his sleeve; invites everyone to be a part of his life experiences, both on and off the court; and is also a devoted philanthropist.

Certain segments of the tennis fan community will now say “but…” and bring up some misdemeanor from his past. To which I’ll gladly say: yes, you are absolutely right. Novak Djokovic is not perfect. GASP.

Guess what? Neither is Roger Federer. GASP. Or Rafael Nadal. GASP. All three of them have, at times, not been on their best behavior. And I’ll tell you something else: at times, I haven’t been on my best behavior either. And neither have you.

But if you look into tennis’ recent past, you’ll find behavior that is truly appalling — nothing like the minor misdemeanors that Novak, Roger, and Rafa have committed. Like, truly horrific things. Look at some of the antics of John McEnroe, or Jimmy Connors, or Ilie Nastase, or Ion Tiriac, or any number of lesser-known tennis players from the 1970s and 1980s. They threw tantrums. They cursed out linespeople and umpires. They intimidated officials and opponents.

I don’t usually enjoy playing the comparison game, but I do so now to raise the point that taken alone, the behavior of Novak Djokovic, overall, looks quite good. But compared to the behavior of some of the dark princes of tennis’ past, his looks downright saintly.

Meanwhile, I think one thing is helping Novak become increasingly more beloved: he inspires. I have long felt it difficult to be inspired by a player to whom everything seemed to come too easily. I’m referring to Roger Federer here, although in his twilight years, his struggle to remain relevant (and his frequent success at doing so) have been a lot more inspiring. (Some Federer fan should write about what it means to them to have Federer continue to contend for major titles at age 33. I’d love to read that.)

But nothing has come easily for Novak Djokovic. At times he might make tennis seem too easy because he’s so good, but if you look at his career on the whole, you realize just how remarkable it has been. He came to prominence during a time when Federer and Nadal were gobbling up major titles like they were Pac-Man pellets. Andy Roddick actually put this quite succintly during Novak’s Wimbledon quarterfinal against Marin Cilic: he could have been content to be the number 3 player in the world, recognize that the top 2 men in the game were just too good, make a lot of money and reach the quarterfinals and semifinals of major tournaments and maybe even the occasional final.

No one would have faulted him for this. But that wasn’t enough for Novak. He had a goal when he was a young boy to be number 1 in the world and win Wimbledon, and by golly, that’s what he was going to do. He revamped everything – his diet, his fitness regimen. He made the bad parts of his game better. He made the good parts of his game great. And he made the great parts of his game sublime.

And then he did the hardest part. He learned to control his emotions. Some people in the world have natural emotional control; they do not ever become either very positive or very negative. Then there are those of us who have wildly swinging emotions. I am one of those people! Novak is another. I see my own wildly swinging emotions and know it is very difficult to rein them in, and I see Novak’s wildly swinging emotions and am in absolute awe at how well he can rein them in and redirect them.

I think this is why Novak Djokovic is very well loved indeed, and it’s why even to this day he continues to make more fans.

I know I’m fighting a losing battle here, but could we maybe stop with the “why isn’t Novak Djokovic more beloved?” or “why doesn’t Novak Djokovic get the adulation of Federer or Nadal?” In the long run, it really doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that Novak Djokovic is beloved.

His fans know this. And Novak knows it, too.

Postscript: This post touched a nerve with a LOT of my fellow Novak Djokovic fans! You can find a collection of the responses I received from them here.

All I Want for My Birthday

I probably should have done this last year, since I was turning THE BIG 4-0 and this idea would’ve been perfect then. Oh well. Better late than never…

My birthday is one week away. And I’ve been thinking a lot about how blessed I am. About how blessed most of us are. I know there are a lot of people reading this who are walking through the valley, and if so, I hope you know my heart goes out to you and I am praying for you.

But most of the people I know are pretty blessed as well. We have roofs over our heads, don’t have to worry about where our next meal is coming from, don’t have the threat of violence hanging over our heads. Most of us don’t worry when we go to bed at night if we’ll wake up the next day.

And it’s been hitting me harder and harder over the last year, at least, that we shouldn’t keep our blessings to ourselves.

So if you want to know what I want for my birthday? I’d like everyone who cares about me, if you are able, to donate just a small amount to a charity.

If you don’t know of a charity you would like to donate to, I have one I would like to recommend. It is the International Justice Mission.

IJM works all over the world in violent, war-torn areas, places that are brimming with slavery and sex trafficking. Places with broken justice systems, where the poorest people can’t even begin to think about lifting themselves out of poverty because of the nonstop threat of violence.

This group brings to the table specialists in justice: lawyers, investigators, social workers, activists, and other people who specialize in fighting for the rights of the poor and abused.

Money donated to IJM will help them provide rescue operations, care for victims of violence, investigation of cases, legal services, and the like.

You can read about the work of IJM here and donate here.

If you can’t donate? That’s okay. You can pray, or you can make yourself aware of these issues. You can consider ways to reach out in the future. If not to IJM, then certainly to other worthwhile causes.

Oh, and lest you think I’m just trying to get my friends and family to part with their hard-earned cash, lol…I’m going to donate, too.

Thanks for reading! And thank you for considering what you can do to help change the world.

What Your Favorite Male Tennis Player Says about You: My Version

Recently a writer for SBANation wrote an article with a similar title. It was kind of funny, but being the smug hobby blogger I am, I thought I could write a better one, mostly because I spend entirely too much time hanging out on Tennis Twitter.

So without further ado, I offer you the following collection of what you might learn about yourself based upon your male favorite tennis player. (I’ll post one for “female tennis players” later.)

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You are a drama queen. You live for the moments when you can make everything look like a failure in the making, then fix everything so perfectly that everyone wonders how they ever doubted you. You probably also pride yourself in being a trailblazer, as represented by your declarations that “I’ll have you know I was a Novak fan BEFORE 2011!!!” You are a sucker for a good joke (and have been known to crack plenty of them yourself), bad singing and embarrassing dancing, and you are impossible to embarrass. Much to the chagrin of your friends, probably.

RAFAEL NADAL: You are a drama queen too, but in a different way. You love to suffer. You LIVE to suffer. In fact, you may not be truly happy unless you ARE suffering. Your happiest memories are not your greatest successes, but your biggest failures. Despite all this, you are a blazing success, which might be why you haven’t yet been institutionalized. Also, your body is held together by duct tape and Krazy Glue. You are far smarter than you let on, because you are a Spanish speaker in an English-language world. Only your fellow Spaniards realize just how brilliant you actually are. You are also, needless to say, a cat person.

ROGER FEDERER: You pride yourself on being a tennis purist. Tennis, to you, should be ballet in sneakers with racquets and balls. Your favorite motto is “Never let them see you sweat. Or hear you grunt.” You believe everything should be done a certain way, and anyone who dares to do things differently should be shot. Or at least shunned. You are popular no matter what you do; in fact, you tend to get away with things that other people would be jeered for doing, because you are just that elegant and charming. Or so everyone thinks, anyway. You also like kids. You REALLY like kids.

ANDY MURRAY: You are British (or even better, Scottish). Or, you are an Anglophile. You consider a win for Andy to be a win that bolsters the Union Jack, the Throne, and the holy empire of the United Kingdom. You bask in the reflected glow that the brightness of Andy’s victories cast over everyone close enough to catch it. You have an intense attention to detail. You concern yourself with weather forecasts, medical reports, and gossip. You know that ANYTHING could affect the march of Murray, and so you keep a close eye on all things Murray. You may have even started learning French so you can see what Amelie mumbles as she watches Andy. Especially when he starts cursing himself. Speaking of which, it’s fair to say that you may have a bit of a potty mouth.

DAVID FERRER: You like pretty people with hearts of lions. You’re fond of overachievers, and you may even be one yourself. You pride yourself in giving everything 110% (although you would never actually use the term yourself, because hello, that doesn’t even make sense). You are a gymoholic who would make Pat Cash collapse if he attempted your intense regimen. You are fond of underdogs. You’re also the type who loves to cheer for the one who rarely wins “the big one” because when s/he DOES win “the big one,” you can enjoy one long celebratory night of getting very, very drunk without it affecting your liver.

STAN WAWRINKA: You have hideous taste in clothing, as well as facial hair. But damn, are you buff. You’re used to being overshadowed, but you have used it to drive you to make yourself better. You are proud of your failures because you know they have made you the Man you are today. (Assuming you’re male.) You’d rather not talk about your private life and would prefer to focus on your professional life, though to be frank, it has its ups and downs. Anyone following those ups and downs, in fact, would probably feel like they’ve been on the world’s biggest, fastest roller coaster. You’re also a bit of a hipster who prides yourself in appreciating the “less obvious” things in life.

TOMAS BERDYCH: You’re a handsome person with a goofy sense of humor. But when you’re working, look out. You can be dour and lose focus at the drop of a hat, then will blame everyone for your issues. Of course, you’re usually apologetic after such episodes, and your natural good humor and charm tend to win people over to you again. (Or don’t, but who needs them??) You tend to lose your mind at inopportune times. You don’t mind taking advice from people younger than you, as long as they are attractive. In fact, you prefer to surround yourself with people as beautiful as you are. (And why not? You know everyone would if they could.)

Texts to my Husband: My Thoughts During Novak Djokovic’s QF win over Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros

I knew it was going to be tense. So I decided that, for the sanity of myself and everyone who follows me on Twitter, to stay mostly off of Twitter while I watched Novak play Rafa.

But at the same time, I knew I needed an outlet. So I sent a whole slew of texts to my poor but patient husband, Eric.

In retrospect, I find this kind of amusing. So I thought I’d screenshot our texts (which, let’s be real, are pretty well dominated by me) for the amusement of all.

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And there you have it. Apologies to Rafa fans. But at least now you know the torture he puts fans of Novak Djokovic through. ;)

But  I Turned Out Okay: Some Thoughts about Adrian Peterson, Spanking, and Discipline

Yes, I should know better not to read the comments.

One quickly learns that, when you’re reading a news article on the Internet, the comments below the article tend to come from the lowest common denominator. “Don’t read the comments!!!” has become a rallying cry for many intelligent people who read an article to find out what’s going on, and then make the mistake of raising their blood pressure by reading the comments from barely-literate Neanderthals.

But I was sincerely curious to find out what people thought about Adrian Peterson.

Adrian Peterson, in case you’re not at all a football fan and never watch or read the news, is a player for the Minnesota Vikings who was recently arrested for child abuse. He admitted — please let’s be clear about this — to beating his 4-year-old child with a “switch” — that is, a tree branch.

I have not looked at the photos taken of the child’s injuries, but I have heard about them. He was left with cuts on his thighs and even part of his private area.

No, he has not been tried and convicted yet. He may not even go to trial, choosing to make a plea agreement instead. But seeing that he confessed to doing this, and that photos make it clear the extent of what happened, I don’t see that it’s a stretch to say with certainty that Adrian Peterson beat his child.

Several varieties of comments responding to this news have truly upset me. I’m going to take them one by one.

  1. “Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty???”

This is the kind of comment made by someone who complained first about Peterson’s being suspended from the Vikings originally, then his subsequent re-suspension (after the Vikings lifted his suspension following the team’s loss to the Patriots this past weekend) just today.

It is also a frequent complaint from those who see the discussion swirling around Peterson as a “mob mentality.”

First, I don’t see how you can possibly claim that Peterson is “innocent.” He confessed, and there are photos. I’d like to think that the people who ask about “innocent until proven guilty” don’t realize these basic facts.

Second, “innocent until proven guilty” goes for a court of law. There’s no “innocent until proven guilty” in the world of employment. Employers are perfectly free to do whatever they want with or without convictions. Heck, employers are perfectly free to fire someone without showing just cause, unless there’s discrimination or a crime (such as extortion) involved.

What I’m saying is, don’t feel sorry for Peterson because he’s being deprived of his “due process.” No such thing is happening.

  1. “No parent should be prevented from disciplining their children as they see fit.”

This complaint blows my mind. So… we should be allowed to discipline our children any way we want? No lines drawn whatsoever? Fine. Let’s beat them black and blue. Let’s slash them with knives. Let’s shoot at them. Let’s strangle them. Let’s chain them up and refuse them food and water.

Yes, I’m being extreme. That’s my point. I think all reasonable people would agree that none of the preceding things are remotely acceptable. So, yes. Parents should be prevented from doing terrible things to their children in the name of “discipline.” It absolutely should be against the law to brutalize your children.

I also believe it should be against the law to injure your children. Yes, I know accidents happen. You can accidentally strike your child. That’s one thing. But if you strike your child intentionally and injure him or her, that should be a crime. You should never, ever hit your child hard enough to bruise, raise welts, or cause cuts.

That brings me to my next point.

  1. “We’re going to bring up a generation of spoiled-rotten brats if we keep parents from disciplining their children.”

AAAAAAAAAARGH.

Sorry, I needed to vent. This one drives me absolutely insane. Why? Because it assumes there are two kinds of parents in the world: parents who spank their children, and parents who don’t provide any sort of discipline to their children whatsoever.

Why are there only two choices here? Why is it presumed that parents either spank their children, or they don’t discipline them at all?

I’m not going to claim I’ve never spanked my daughters. I have. But it’s been years, and it was very occasional. Aside from one time, the only time I have ever spanked either of my children is when they were being deliberately defiant: in other words, I gave them a command, and they made it clear that they were not going to do it, even after being given several chances.

The one time I’m referring to came when my older daughter was probably about the age of Peterson’s son. We were on our way to her babysitter’s house, and she was screaming her head off about something. I was so infuriated that she couldn’t behave for the five-minute drive to the sitter’s house that I pulled off, stopped the car, and got in the backseat and spanked her.

That incident scares me because I was filled with such rage. I was pretty close to being out of control.

After that, I never spanked either of my girls when I was that angry again — because I realized how easily I could have crossed the line and injured my daughter.

Also, I never spanked one of my children more than maybe 3 times on the bottom. (Once was much more common.) And ALWAYS with my hand.

But spanking was never a frequent punishment. When it did happen, it was always a last resort.

So, how do I discipline my daughters most of the time? Believe it or not, I send them to their rooms. That is always enough for them. They hate being isolated from the rest of the family.

(I’ve also yelled at them far more often than I should, but I’m getting better!)

These days, merely threatening them with being sent to their rooms, or with the loss of a privilege, is enough to keep them in line.

The thing is, there are so many more effective ways to discipline your children than by striking them. I feel like my daughters learned a lot more from other forms of discipline than from spanking. The only thing children learn from spanking is that you are bigger than they are, and you can hurt them. Therefore, they should not make you angry.

I don’t want my children to behave properly because they’re afraid I’ll hurt them if they don’t. I want them to behave properly because it’s the right thing to do. It’s really hard to teach your children what is the right thing to do if they’re afraid of you.

  1. “I was beaten when I was a kid, and I turned out okay. Therefore, beating your children is perfectly fine.”

Yeah… here’s the thing. If you believe it’s okay to beat children, you did NOT turn out okay.

I don’t think spanking is a great idea. But I do believe there’s a huge difference between occasional spanking and spanking as the first (and only) method of discipline. And there’s an even bigger difference between spanking as the only method of discipline and beating.

To me, spanking is an open hand on the bottom. Period.

Beating is any other way of hitting your children. Using any other object on your child’s bottom is beating. “Switches” (what a nice word for “branches,” honestly – who came up with that??), paddles, belts, or any other kind of object — that’s not spanking. That’s beating. That’s hitting your child to cause injury.

And it is wrong to cause injury to your child.

We believe it’s wrong to cause injury to other people, right?

(I mean, aside from self-defense. But when exactly are we trying to defend ourselves against our children? Only when something has gone seriously, seriously wrong with our children. And this is not always their parents’ fault. Some children are mentally ill through absolutely no fault of their parents.)

Then why does anyone believe it’s acceptable to cause injury to children? I don’t care if it’s in the name of “discipline.” It’s not okay. Ever.

  1. “That wasn’t abuse. I’ll show you abuse.”

My heart cries for people who were abused as children. I can think of no more horrible experience than to have suffered any kind of abuse — emotional, physical, or sexual — at the hands of adults you trusted. I am grateful to have had a childhood where I never had that problem.

And so I cannot fault someone who was abused who hears of or sees the injuries suffered by Adrian Peterson’s son and says, “Oh, that was nothing. You should have seen the injuries I had.”

I don’t want to downplay anyone else’s suffering. Because anyone who has suffered abuse has suffered wounds that I can’t even begin to imagine. But I think we make a grave mistake when we say that because Peterson’s son suffered no gaping wounds, that his scars will fade over time, that he wasn’t more seriously injured, that the beating he suffered from wasn’t really “abuse.”

I think we need to take a hard stance against any kind of injury to a child. Even bruises. Bruises heal and fade, yes. But the memories of what caused those bruises… those may never fade.

I still regret the spanking I gave my older daughter when I was out of control. I don’t know if she remembers it, but I do. Even though it left no bruises or any kind of marks, it was me at my most horrific, and I cringe every time I remember it.

Parents are supposed to nurture their children. Love their children. Even when they’re at their most unlovable. The world will try to knock them down soon enough. Let’s not do it for them.

Marching Band and a Fundraising Raffle

So Kiersten has started marching band this year. This has been a wonderful thing in many ways. The two weeks of band camp prior to the start of school helped her get over her anxiety not only about all that marching, but also about her new school in itself. (This is her first year of — *gulp* — HIGH SCHOOL.)

She has already made a bunch of new friends — a truly big deal for my mini-me, who has almost as much tendency to be socially awkward as I do. And I think she’s even more motivated to do well in her classes this year. I’m excited for her, and I can’t wait to start going to football games and seeing her take the field.

There is, however, one small negative to marching band. It is freaking expensive.

Annual fees alone are kind of scary. I’m very fortunate that I’ve done enough freelance work over the past couple of months that I’ve earned enough to cover that hit to our budget. But it barely begins to cover what will be our biggest expense this year: the annual Spring Break trip.

It is so very cool that marching band has a huge Spring Break trip every year. I know it will give Kiersten some amazing opportunities to travel not only the country but also the world. This year, the kids are going to Disneyworld in Orlando, and they’ll actually get to participate in a recording session at Disney. That’s an incredible opportunity.

And it’s going to cost somewhere between $1,300 to $1,500.

I don’t, of course, believe we’ll have to pay entirely out of pocket for this. There is a fantastic Blue & Gold Sausage fundraiser coming up that should help us cover some expenses. Eric’s coworkers have already let him know they’ll be interested when he brings the brochures to work. (And if any of you Bartians out in Readerland would also be interested, please let me know! It’s yummy sausage – Eric bought some from a previous year’s fundraiser.)

I think this will help. But, I don’t know if it will help enough.

So I’m turning to all of you out in Readerland, not just Bartlesville residents.

You see, I’m working on an afghan. If you follow me on Instagram or are friends with me on Facebook, you may have seen a photo of the afghan in progress. Below you’ll see just a bit more progress.

Beginning of the afghan

Beginning of the afghan

I’m making an afghan-of-many-colors out of the ridiculously large stash of yarn I own. (A lot of it was given to me by very generous folks who had too much yarn themselves, lol.) What you see here is one row, and part of a second row, of what will be 18 rows of multicolored rectangles. I’m already really excited by how it’s turning out.

For a better idea of what this afghan will look like when it’s finished, you can see a photo here: http://www.lionbrand.com/stores/lionbrand/pictures/l20376a.jpg

How would you like to own this? Or maybe a pair of handknitted fingerless gloves? Or a behatted teddy bear? Or a set of crocheted coasters or a scarf?

If this sounds good to you, then maybe you’d like to participate in my raffle!

You may remember that a few years ago, I had a charity raffle to benefit relief efforts in Japan after the devastating tsunami. This will work very similarly to that, except that the proceeds will go toward helping my daughter get to Disneyland with her band.

Here’s what I’m going to do: I’ll sell raffle tickets for $1 per ticket. You will buy as many tickets as you like. You can buy as few as one or as many as… well, as many as you want! Obviously, the more tickets you buy, the better your chances are of winning a prize.

The raffle tickets will sell for one week. At the end of the sale time, I will hold the raffle by drawing numbers using http://www.random.org/, a random number generator. I’ll draw however many prizes I have total (I’ll have at least 4 prizes available, possibly more), and then notify the winners. The prizes will go out as soon as possible. Most prizes will have no more than a week’s turnaround in shipping; the afghan may take a little longer, depending on how long it takes me to finish it.

So what do you guys think? Would you be willing to support a raffle like this? I know it’s not a charitable cause. But it would be an opportunity to help create a great experience for my daughter — and you have a chance to win some fun prizes. (She will be helping with the prizes, by the way; I’ve taught her to crochet, and she’ll be crocheting the squares that will become either a coaster set, a scarf, or perhaps even both.)

Please let me know if you’d like to participate! You can leave a comment here, on Facebook, or on Twitter.