Wednesday, December 31, 2008

12.31 on the 7th day of Christmas...

One last snow storm. It's hard to believe that this was only two days ago.

The weatherman said "2-4 inches (last night) and 2-4 inches during the day". We woke up to 2 and 4 inches - Brandon's tummy was dragging in the snow again. It looks like the day's total will be closer to six more inches than two or four inches.

I need to get K&S up to help me start shoveling what's left and added since J shoveled so he could leave.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

12.30 On the 6th day of Christmas...

We went shopping. K had 3 gift cards and 2 partials to use up - 2 pairs of jeans, 2 tops, a belt and 3 sets of earrings later, she's feeling smug at her haul.

I woke up way to early this morning and have had the headache today that goes with too little sleep. I did get a bunch of stuff done, aside from spindling in the department store while waiting for K to try things on. It was pretty funny when the salesperson asked me if I needed any help as an icebreaker to chat with me about my spindle and went on to tell me about her spindles and trade info about our wheels. She and her husband both spin, but don't belong to guild because they both mostly work on Saturdays.

I amused 2 five year olds for approximately 3 minutes each and gave away one tuft of silk to a small charmer who patted the silk in before and after states and then very soberly said, "Thank you. You're very nice." When I said "Thank you," she said "you're welcome," and skipped off into the dressing room after her mom. A very polite child, who then began piping at her mom, "Mom! did you see that. How did she learn that? Can I learn that? Do you know how to do that?" Mom apparently does not know how to do that, but did know what I was doing, so there is some hope that small fry (if she keeps it in mind) may actually get a chance to "learn that" at some point.

Monday, December 29, 2008

12.29 5th day of Christmas

J went back to work. 9 days off work, 3 days on, 4 days off. Not a bad lifestyle, except that he was trying to fit 6 days of work into one today.

After the high winds yesterday, K and S raked all the leaves off the back lawn today (it was amazing. They went out without grumping, raked cooperatively and steadily until it was all done, and came back in without being silly. Do you suppose they're [shhh!] maturing?)

It was sunny. It was beautiful.

It's now blowing again - but this time from the south rather than the west. Hopefully it won't look like they never did a thing when we wake up in the morning!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

12.28 4th day of Christmas

Shhhh! Be vewy, vewy quiet!

I'm not hunting wabbits, but I am trying to avoid waking the sleepers for as long as possible. One of K's friends has a birthday on the 27th of December, and so she's gone on a sleepover. That seemed to be the perfect time to let S have the all-night LOTR movie marathon with his friend that he's been nagging asking politely about for two months.

I don't know what time they gave up and fell asleep, but they are two sleeping bag-clad bundles on the living room floor and I'd just as soon let them sleep.

Since sleeping in would have been a good thing, I myself have been awake since 5:45.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

12.27b 3rd day of Christmas

Where was I before I got distracted by google search terms?

Oh, yes.

The vest. This is the back - I didn't notice when I put it down in the dark, but I blocked it kind of funny. The measurements came out right, and I think the wave will work out in the wearing, so I don't think I'll worry about it too much.

12.27 Google search

Every now and again I take a look at what brings people to my blog. Most of them I understand - they tend to fall into two categories. Category 1 - people I know, or who know me [not always the same thing] and Category 2 - people who show up from a known set of links to my blog. Even when I don't recognize the addresses as belonging to people I'm sure I know, there's a certain familiarity that comes with seeing them repeatedly showing up - someone keeps popping in from there, wherever "there" is this time.

And then there are the odd ones. Such as the google search for

Magoo Christmas Carol Salad Dressing

I can stretch my brain far enough to figure out why my blog was supplied as an answer to such a query, but why was someone using that as a set of search terms to begin with?

Friday, December 26, 2008

12.26 2nd day of Christmas

The first day of Christmas has come and gone, quite nicely for the most part.

The second day of Christmas has me in a finishing sort of mood. I want to finish all the projects that have been hanging over me, and while I certainly won't finish them any time soon, the effort will do me good.

So... here we have a blocked set of vest fronts (Ruby from A Fine Fleece). This is a dangerous state - the next stage is "sewing up" and then "picking up stitches" which is always a stage that takes me a long time to gather the mental strength to tackle. I'm not sure why, as when I'm done, I say "that wasn't so bad" but nevertheless, it always does. I think the problem is that it isn't knitting, which is of course the fun part.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12.21 groan

I ache. All over. Since Friday morning about 8:30, we have gotten just about 17 inches of snow. The world is a white wonderland, full of cars that have slid off the road, although none recently - most of the sliding happened Friday when people were still trying to pretend that nothing in particular was happening.

On the theory that shoveling multiple times, an inch or two at a time, is better than shoveling once, 17 inches at a time, we have (between the four of us) shoveled the drive seven times in the past 48 hours.

I ache, all over. The pile of snow where S's fort goes is almost as tall as I am.

Friday, December 19, 2008

12.19 Gladys Amedro's Shetland Lace

Susan gave me some of the best knitting news I've had in a while - Gladys Amedro's book Shetland Lace is available once again.

I had a copy of the book when it was published last time. I was working on one of the patterns (repeat 80 of 82 for the border), when the whole kit and kaboodle (knitting, yarn, book and knitting bag [a bag my mom had needlepointed an original design for a panel and then assembled into the bag]) disappeared when our van was broken into one night.* Best guess was that the bag was used to haul off the cds and/or the radio that was stolen from the van, or perhaps items from some of the other 4 cars on our cul-de-sac that were broken into the same night. I cared nothing about the commercially available items - it was the knitting, bag and book I wanted back, dammit!

We were moving two weeks later and I had no time to worry about the knitting. By the time I did have time to worry about the knitting (a couple of years later), I couldn't find the book again. Amazon would search for a copy for me (none were available) if I was going to be willing to pony up $85 for it they found it. Ummm - at that point I was unemployed; no I don't think so. Currently, Amazon will provide a copy if I'm willing to pony up $215. Ummm - someone in the house is employed but a. it isn't me and b. my extra cash is going into paying for school.

I will have to see what Santa brings me - it's going on my wishlist this minute!

*This does seem to be my week for whining about things going missing - I still do have an awful lot of things, handmade by me and otherwise, in my possession!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

12.18 Grief

What are those standard stages of grief again? Denial's one of them, I know. I went through that one in a hurry as I dashed from store to store to find out if someone had turned my shawl in to lost and found. Anger we've already noted - I appreciate the permission to throw things, Freyalyn. I didn't actually do so, but it would have been very satisfying. Despair? Depression? Whatever that stage is, went through that yesterday. It's gone, gone forever.

Today we have acceptance. I woke up this morning plotting the recreation of my dark blue shawl. I have some dark brown Corriedale (from the same source even), that has been combed out and is awaiting washing. I have some Tussah silk top, just waiting for spinning. I have several things already in the queue, but this may bump them.

How soon can I get started?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12.16 Gone!

I wore my navy blue shawl today. The one I knit from my first real handspun, the first time that I actually spun enough for more than just a hat. One ply dark brown Corriedale, one ply tussah silk. Knit in a halfcircle shawl from Martha Waterman's Traditional Lace Shawls. Garment dyed a medium blue, the Corriedale went navy, and the tussah silk went bright blue, little twinkling dots in the dark navy. It wasn't the best spinning ever; I could pick out the underspun and bulgy places if I looked, but it's warm and lacy, and always garners compliments.

I went shopping today (out to the parking lot, drive to the book store, walk through the parking lot, all through the bookstore Christmas shopping, walk through the parking lot, drive to the grocery store, walk through the parking lot, all through the grocery store, walk through the parking lot, drive back to the office, walk back through the parking lot). When I left, I had my shawl. When I returned, I didn't. As near as I can tell, it slithered down my back at some point, squeezed between my slick blouse and the slick lining of my coat. It isn't visible in any parking lot, and wasn't turned in at either store.

Someone (not me) apparently has a very nice shawl.

Can I throw something?

12.16 Teenagers!

I've been trying to decide what my children need or want for Christmas. I've hinted about needing information. I've asked outright. I've directed them to update their wishlists (the relatives are asking too!)

They'll be mighty upset if they don't get anything.

I still haven't got a clue.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

12.13 Christmas list, part 4

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Of course. Can’t everyone?
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning. I’d prefer Christmas Eve now that K & S are older, but I’ve been outvoted.
21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Christmas Muzak.
22. Favorite ornament theme or color? Red gold and green.
23. What do you want for Christmas this year? A turntable with a USB cable. I want to be able to listen to my LPs again.

24. Angel on the tree top or a star? Nothing at the moment. We had an angel at one point, but she vanished in a move. We had an anti-angel-abuse movement in the house (no more trees stuck up their butts!) and went to a spire when her replacement was decided upon. The spire was broken last year and a replacement for that has not been discussed. It will probably be this year’s addition to the Christmas tree.
25. Favorite Christmas dinner? What does this question mean – the particular dinner of some year in the past whose memory I like to bring up and roll around my mental taste buds? Or what do I want on the menu for Christmas?
I think I’ll assume the second and provide you with my perfect Christmas dinner menu:
Crown of roast pork.
Cranberry/orange relish
Mashed potatoes
Gravy (I will concede gravy for those in the family who want it. It doesn’t bother me to fix it or to have to look at it.)
Green beans almondine
Waldorf salad (not that nasty stuff made with mayonaise, but properly made with mustard dressing, just the way I learned at my mother’s knee)
A pickle tray (why we call it a pickle tray I don’t know, but we do; it mostly isn’t pickles) Black Olives, Green Olives, cornichons, tiny dill gherkins, celery and carrot fingers.
Pecan pie
Pumpkin pie

Occasional items that come and go from the menu every few years: Mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar; mincemeat pie; apple pie; cheesecake; fresh cranberry sauce; fruitcake; pickled cauliflower.

Friday, December 12, 2008

12.12 Christmas list, part 3

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? As soon as the last fall birthday shopping is done (i.e. after December 3rd).
We have birthdays that start in July – July – 1, August - 1, September - 1, October – 2, November - 3, December – 2, January – 1, February - 1. The January birthday is the hardest to deal with as it is on the 4th – just at the time when everyone is ready to be done. Planning for a party has to be done before Christmas if it’s going to happen anywhere near the right date, and how often does that happen? Right! S went to having half-birthday parties instead a few years ago.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? You bet. Why give houseroom to something I won’t every use, but which is absolutely useable by someone? Pass it on.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Garlic cheese roll.
16. Lights on the tree? Colored, small, preferrably blinking. I loved the bubblers we had when I was very young, but they make them out of plastic now, not the heavy glass.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Anything on my Bayerisches Adventsingen album.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home if we possibly can. We haven't for several years, but this year, we are going to.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12.11 Christmas.... Aaaaaggh!

This has been your pre-Christmas warning scream.

I looked around the room last night, reminded the family that we have only 14 days to Christmas, and they all dutifully gave a scream.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12.10 Christmas list, part 2

7. Hardest person to buy for? J. Or perhaps his father. My brother? My father? Either of my brothers-in-law? I’m sure you’re seeing a trend here.
8. Easiest person to buy for? It changes every year. It is a commonly remarked upon phenomenon in my family – each year, there is someone who is incredibly easy to buy for. Everything you see would be perfect for that person, and you can’t find anything for anyone else. The next year, someone else will be the lucky person and the previous year’s person will be impossible.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. I bought one when I was in Oberammergau one year, with my Christmas bonus of having worked 120 hours of overtime in a 10 day period. I also bought all my Christmas presents at the same time, which was good as I came back and was sick for two weeks with pneumonia from having overdone things so much and had no time to go shopping.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, of course. If I get them sent out at all, which I often don’t.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Dunno. Whatever it was, it’s forgotten.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Carol. Or perhaps A Christmas Carol. Or perhaps, A Muppet Christmas Carol. Or maybe it’s Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol. I have several different versions, you see, and tend to watch them all over the course of the month…

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

12.9 Christmas list

Carole picked this up and passed it on - I'm going to answer it in pieces.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. I tried to get into making gift bags one year, but lost steam and wound up donating the fabric to the quilting group for Christmas quilts.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. I had a really bad reaction to the last real tree, and while we’re pretty sure it was a reaction to the fungicide on the tree and not the tree itself, a. we have an artificial tree now and b. J isn’t willing to risk me having another bad reaction. Considering that he was the one who had to deal with sealing the room off and with getting through Christmas with me prostrate on the sofa, I suppose he's allowed to have the deciding vote.
3. When do you put up the tree? A week or two before Christmas.
4. When do you take the tree down? The weekend after New Year’s Day.
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes. I did not as a child, but it seems to be a taste one grows into (as so many tastes are), particularly when it’s made with fresh ingredients. Is there anything that isn't better when made with fresh ingredients?
6. Favorite gift received as a child? My plastic-horse-on-springs. I adored my bouncy horse and rode it for years. It would thump backwards across the floor as I rode and then thump-thump-thump again the baseboards, so it was not my mother's favorite.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

12.7 Time for music

Christmas music, that is. I dug out my box-o-CDs (I wish I could listen to my old LPs - I've got a bunch that have never been re-released on CD) and started putting them in order for listening. I can't stand Christmas Muzak, but my favorite CDs? you bet.

I have a new favorite - it's all Sandy's fault. Straight No Chaser's 12 Days: