Friday, December 25, 2009
Our traditional Christmas breakfast of coffee and cookies has been eaten.
The presents have been opened. Even K.C.'s - although she's scared of the whole Christmas experience and won't touch any of her new toys. At least she cowered near the coffee table long enough for me to get this shot of her by the tree on Christmas morning.
Now we're off to my parent's house for more celebrating and feasting! Hoping you and yours are having a wonderful day too!!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Okay, it's an icky, dirty garbage can. But what's inside?
Remember those snowmen I knit last year and never got around to felting? Well, I decided to finally throw them in the washing machine this morning. But it didn't work out so well.
First, they didn't felt all the way.
Second, they developed several holes.
Third, they were lumpy and fuzzy and just butt ugly.
So I chalked it up to bad felting karma threw them in the trash.
It's okay. It's a learning experience. I will cast on some new snowmen - but first I'll go down a needle size so they start off stronger. And I won't put in so much stuffing so it doesn't try to bulge out and create holes when I felt them. And I'll put elastics around the neck and waist so maybe they'll hold their shape better.
And if that doesn't work, I'll just toss some more melted snowmen in the trash.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Okay, I'll admit it. I didn't have a Meme lined up for today. So I Googled "Christmas Meme blog" and found this one . . . ummm, somewhere. I don't remember exactly which blog I found it on. (How very Scroogey of me - sorry!!)
1. What is your Favorite Christmas Movie?
Hands down, it has to be A Christmas Story. But I know that doesn't surprise you after my last post.
2. What is your Least favorite Christmas Movie?
I've never had any desire to see the newer ones, like Santa Clause or Elf or the Grinch one that isn't a cartoon.
3. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Carol of the Bells
4. What Christmas song(s) drives you crazy?
Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer. And Dominck the Donkey. Yuck!!
5. What is your favorite Christmas Drink? (ie. egg nog, hot chocolate)
Sugar Free Gingerbread Latte from Seattle's Best, of course!!
6. What is your favorite Christmas Memory?
Having waffles by the tree while we looked at all our toys. Christmas was the one time of the year mom would make us waffles for breakfast!
7. What is the best toy/gift you've received on Christmas?
I guess it was the little rocking chair I got one year. I still have it in our bedroom to this day.
8. What is the worst toy/gift you've received on Christmas?
Last year my stocking contained nothing but anti-bacterial hand soap. Not sure exactly what Santa was trying to tell me there.
9. What do you LOVE about the holidays?
The shopping and baking and anticipation.
10. What annoys you about the holidays?
The rude people you have to put up with during your shopping.
11. Do you prefer star or angel on top of a Christmas tree? Or something else?
A star!! (See below)
12. What is your family favorite recipe at Christmas?
I don't really have one. But every year at Christmas I make pizzelles, just like Grandma did.
13. Are you a Grinch or a Who at Christmastime?
A Who - although this year I've found myself having a few Grinch moments.
14. Christmas light displays - Love them or Hate them?
Love them!!!!! But I hate all of those blow-up lawn thingies that are getting so popular.
15. Santa's at the mall - Fun times or Creepy?
Really good Santas are fun - but some I've seen venture quite into the creepy.
16. Christmas cards - do you send them, yes or no?
I do. I will. I swear they are going out this week.
17. What is the best thing about Christmas, in your opinion?
Spending time with loved ones.
18. What is the worst thing about Christmas?
It seems to become more and more stressful every year.
19. When do you put the tree up and take it down?
It varies each year. This year, it went up yesterday.
20. Out of the 12 days of Christmas, which day and item would you want your truelove to give to you?
I guess I'll take the Golden Rings. All of those birds would be awfully messy, and the maids and lords and drummers would put quite a strain on the grocery budget.
21. Why do you think that Grandma got run over by a reindeer?
She must have been trying to make time with Old St. Nick. I'm sure those reindeer are very loyal to Mrs. Claus.
22. Who is your favorite reindeer?
I guess Dancer - since I do ballroom. There isn't a reindeer named Knitter, is there?
23. Do you believe in Santa Claus?
I do. I think we all should!
24. What is your favorite smell at Christmas time?
The pine tree - even though I might be allergic like my dad is. And the cookies baking - which I am not allergic too!
25. What would make you happy at Christmas this year?
Spending time enjoying the season with my husband - it's what makes me happy every year! Also, K.C. getting over feeling traumatized by the new decorations and smells and coming out of hiding!!
Friday, December 11, 2009
- Me!!! It seems all of that NaBloPoMo writing burnt me out but good. I felt like I needed a bit of an internet break this week, so I took it. It felt good. And allowed me focus on other areas of my life, such as . . .
- Fat and Calories. I've been working hard on burning these. Which also causes burning . . .
- Muscles. Ouch. Feel the burn. It's good though. Right?
- Money. As in, the Christmas shopping has begun and I'm burning through my budget! My credit cards are getting just as hard a work-out as my body is! But it's been fun. The favorite gift I've bought so far is for a Yankee Swap at my best friend's Family Christmas. One lucky guest will enjoy the softly burning light of . . .
- A Leg Lamp Night Light!!!! Please note: Cat not included with gift!!
Friday, December 04, 2009
A nose that’s stuffed,
A throat that’s sore,
Blood sugars running high.
Chills and shivers
And ears that ache,
Just make me want to cry.
Some stupid germ
Some mean virus
Has nestled in my head
Making me sneeze
And sometimes wheeze
And turning my poor nose red.
Can't clean or blog
Or do laundry
No treadmill for me today.
Will soup and tea
And a nice long nap
Please make this go away?
I'll watch TV
and get some rest
And have plenty of time to knit.
And hope that tomorrow
when I awaken
I no longer feel like like . . . .
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
I should probably have a plan. At least a knitting plan. I should have a list of hand-knits I'd like to gift my loved ones with. I should be rummaging through the stash for the perfect yarns to warm the important people in my life. I should be working diligently on those gift knits every day.
What have I been working on instead?
Yup, those heavy socks I cast on for myself. And as you can see, I haven't even been working on them that much!
I'm beginning to understand that I may be a self-centered, selfish knitter forever. I can find a million knits I want to make for myself. But finding things to knit for others always gives me trouble. What's a knitter to do???
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
That's right, it's December 1st. And that means November NaBloPoMo is complete.
I did it! And I no longer HAVE TO post every. Single. Day. To be honest, when I signed up for NaBloPoMo I wasn't sure I'd succeed. 30 posts in 30 days. On two blogs. It's a tall order, but I did it. Of course many days I used the same post on both blogs. In the end, I wrote 46 posts in 30 days.
Did I love feeling pressured to post every day? No, I didn't. Did I write some lame posts that are just taking up valuable Cyber-Space? You bet I did. Did I still manage to neglect posting about some big topics I need to sit down and write about? Absolutely. I still need to write up a post about Stitches East - and I can't believe I didn't get it finished during the 30 days of constant posting!! But overall, am I glad I signed up for NaBloPoMo? YES I AM!!!
I had become such a blog slacker before November. There were months when I barely posted once a week. Usually I was just being lazy about blogging. I had gotten out of the habit of being on the lookout for potential post topics. NaBloPoMo helped remind me how much I like blogging and how many blog topics are there just waiting to be noticed. I've even had a request to keep up "Sunday Snapshots", so I'll be sure to get a few of those in every month!
Will I post every day in December? Nope, I can tell you right now that won't happen. But I will try to post much more than I had been lately. I'd love to be a consistent Monday - Friday blogger, although I know I'll miss a few days here and there. Maybe more than a few once the holiday crunch really gets going. I'm okay with that, because blogging isn't really about how often we post. It's about the connections we make and the pieces of our lives we share. That is what's most important and that's what makes blogging so wonderful!
Monday, November 30, 2009
If we're going to be honest, I should start by admitting this isn't actually a meme. It's a note I was tagged with on FaceBook. But isn't that kind of the same thing? I never got around to filling this out on FaceBook, so I figured I might was well use it for MeMe Monday.
Can you fill this out without lying? You've been tagged, so now you need to answer all the questions HONESTLY.
1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth? An organic banana.
2. Where was your profile picture taken? It was taken on the beach in Westport on our wedding day.
3. Can you play Guitar Hero? I don't know, I've never tried. What do you have to do?
4. Name someone who made you laugh today? Does K.C. count?
5. How late did you stay up last night and why? I was up until 10:30 wasting time on the internet.
6. If you could move somewhere else, would you? I don't know. I love my little house. But a bigger house in a better neighborhood would be nice. I don't think I'd want to leave New England though.
7. Ever been kissed under fireworks? I don't specifically remember, but I'm sure Pete and I must have kissed while watching fireworks at Disney World.
8. Which of your friends lives closest to you on your FaceBook list? My husband, of course!!
9. Do you believe exes can be friends? I think they can. Although I'm not friends with any of my exes. At least not the ones I was very serious with.
10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper? It's good, but I don't drink it often.
11. When was the last time you cried really hard? Thanksgiving night.
12. Who took your profile picture? My friend Dave.
13. Who was the last person you took a picture of? Person? I guess K.C. doesn't count. Hmmm, this is a tough one. Probably the last time I took a pictures of a person was when I kinneared (it is a real word!!) Nikolai Morozov at a skating show in September. Want to see?
14. Was yesterday better than today? You bet. Mondays are the worst.
15. Can you live a day without TV? I'm sure I could. But why would I want to try?
16. Are you upset about anything? Of course I am.
17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? Of course they are. What kind of stupid questions are these??
18. Are you a bad influence? Probably not. Unless you need someone to talk you out of eating chocolate or buying yarn. Then most certainly yes!!
19. Night out or night in? Night in with comfy clothes and good snacks.
20. What items could you not go without during the day? Probably my lap-top computer, my coffee and my cat.
21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital? My Dad's twin brother.
22. What does the last text message in your inbox say? I don't text. But my last email was from Harry, telling me I should spin K.C.'s fur into yarn. Funny guy, that one.
23. How do you feel about your life right now? Life? What life? I'd need to have a life to be able to tell you my feelings about it!
24. Do you hate anyone? Hate is a very strong word. I am displeased with a few people, but I'm not sure I hate them.
25. If we were to look in your Facebook inbox, what would we find? A message from my brother-in-law.
26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass? Absolutely, unless they were screening for insulin or blood pressure and cholesterol medications.
27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before? My husband, but he's very biased. I am far from perfect, as is any one human.
28. What song is stuck in your head? I didn't have one stuck in there, but when I read this question Brick House suddenly started playing in my head. I don't know why. (You didn't really expect me to link a Commodore's video, did you?)
29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., a secret lover or George Clooney? Couldn't George Clooney be my secret lover? Okay then, I guess no one is knocking at 2 a.m.
30.Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50? That is clearly impossible.
31. Name something you have to do tomorrow? Get my blood work done.
32. Do you think too much or too little? Way too much!
33. Do you smile a lot? I think so. I also glare a lot.
34. How many hours a day do you spend on the computer? Far too many.
35. If you could be anyone else for a day, who would you be? Hmmm, that's a hard one. Hopefully some one really cool!
36. Facebook or Twitter? I like them both, but for different things.
37. Chicken or Beef? Yes please.
38. Mac or PC? I considered both when I needed a new computer. Finances made me stick with a PC. I'm fine with that.
39. Have you ever punched anyone in the face? Not intentionally, but things happen on a crowded dance floor.
40. Last music received or purchased? Eeee, okay, I was feeling sentimental and bought The Rose from iTunes. I'm slightly embarrassed about this. (Also, no one skates to The Rose - so it's Bette in the link this time!)
Sunday, November 29, 2009
It's the last day of the long holiday weekend. And as fun as it's been, I'm pretty wiped out from all of the socializing . . . and eating!! So instead of going out to snap pictures today, I'm posting some of my favorites from my hard-drive.
Webs, meeting The Yarn Harlot. She agreed to hold my sock, and asked me to hold her Traveling Sock!! For a knitter, life doesn't get much better than that!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Well, it's day 28 of NaBloPoMo. And I've got absolutely nothing to post about. Really, I've wracked my brain and I can't think of a thing. So I decided to go back . . . . way back. I'm going to re-run the first post I ever wrote for this blog. I figure most of you have never read it, so it will be brand new. And it will be fun to see how far I've come. Hope you enjoy it!!
The first thing to know about me is that I am a Gemini. This is important to know, because in my dabbling in astrology I have found the following traits linked to Geminis: curious and inventive, but also scattered and lacking in follow-through. That about sums up my foray into knitting.
My grandmother always knit, and would have been happy to teach me . . . but no, I wanted to crochet. (I still don't know how). A couple of years after she passed on, I was with my now-husband-then-boyfriend shopping in Boston and came across a knitting book. I suddenly decided I must teach myself to knit. We bought the book, and it sat unread for about a year.
One day I decided the time was right to teach myself. I bought some double-pointed metal needles (what did I know) picked up some acrylic yarn I had saved from my grandmother's stash and began the first project in the book. The Basic Dishcloth. It was a square done entirely in the knit stitch. My journey had begun . . .
As luck would have it, my uncle came up from Tennessee for a visit. This turned out to be a good thing, knit-wise, because we all went for a visit with my great-aunt Stella - my grandmother's sister. I brought along my knitting for advice and help (little did I know how much help I needed).
The first think Aunt Stella did was ask "Why are you knitting on those needles?". Why? Well, there were an awful lot to choose from at the store and those looked nice. She promptly gave me a pair of single pointed needles. She then pointed out that a dishcloth knitted in acrylic would not be very absorbent. (Looking back now, how could I have been so stupid??) She also attempted to correct my technique, which seemed (to quote her) "ass-backwards". As it turns out, she was right . . .
Friday, November 27, 2009
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, I suppose it's time to look ahead to Christmas and start getting into the spirit. How do I make that happen?
By indulging in my first Gingerbread Latte of the season. It certainly won't be my last! Some how the holiday stresses seem to lighten up when I catch a glimpse of that little gingerbread man dipping his toes into my coffee.
What holiday treats do you look forward to all year long? Have you indulged in any yet?
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The turkey has been eaten. The pies have been served. The thanks has been given. What two things am I most thankful for?
The two loves of my life!! What else am I thankful for? Here's a not-so-serious list . . .
- all my yarn
the fact that while my home-made ravioli were a bunt, my home-made cranberry sauce was a grand slam!Hey, wait, I'm not into baseball, I'm into figure skating. Okay, the fact that while my home-made ravioli were a single lutz, my home-made cranberry sauce was a quad-toe loop!
- the fact that I'm not into baseball, I'm into figure skating.
- my family. Even the uncle who told me today how fat I am. Twice. Really, he honestly did. Yes, I am even thankful him.
- the fact that I didn't cry in front of everyone after talking to that uncle.
- that there are only four more days left of NaBloPoMo. Seriously, any more and I probably wouldn't make it!!
- that both my father's twin and my mother's sister were released from the hospital and got to spend Thanksgiving at home with their families.
- did I mention all the yarn???
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
At least, I hope she would! You see, every year at Thanksgiving, my grandmother would make home-made ravioli. I don't remember having them at any other time, although I'm sure she must have made them more often for my grandfather. This year, I decided to try to keep the tradition. Grammy taught me to make pasta dough, and I've made fettuccine often. But I've never attempted ravioli. So, how did it go? Well, first I made the well of flour. Then I added the eggs to the middle.
The next step is to mix it all together. This part is always pretty scary because the eggs want to run all over the place. I'm getting pretty good at keeping them under control though. Before I knew it, I had my dough.
Next up, roll out the dough into strips. Then place the bottom layer into the ravioli mold. My grandmother bought both the pasta maker and the ravioli molds for my mom. I'm the only one who has ever used them. My mom isn't Italian - and can't be bothered cooking anything too fussy.
Okay, now it's time for the filling. These are just plain cheese ravioli, but I'm looking forward to experimenting with more exotic fillings once my technique improves. Mmmmm, lobster ravioli!! Once filled, the second layer of pasta goes on and the mold gets rolled with a rolling pin to seal and cut the ravioli.
The last step is to break them apart. Oh and boil them up for a taste-test, of course!!
In usual "bad blogger" style I forgot to take a picture of them on the plate before we gobbled them up. So, how were they? Honestly? Eeeehh. Pete thought they were great, but I can see room for improvement. First of all, I need to roll the sheets of dough thinner. I was afraid they'd be too delicate and break so I guess I left them a bit on the thick side. I also need to put more filling in. Neither of these things were much of a surprise. I made 60 ravioli when the recipe was supposed to make 72 and that I had a ton of filling left over. So yes, next time, thinner and more filling!
Are you trying anything new for Thanksgiving this year?
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
At long last, Hypoteneuse is cast off. And blocked. And FO shots have been taken. (Click on any of them to get a better look!)
This took me forever, mostly because I get bored with scarves / stoles. This was well worth the effort though. It's so versatile. I can wear it as a scarf.
I can wrap it around my head on a really cold day.
And if I drape it over my arms, I can even fly!!!
Okay, yes, I may have gone a bit overboard with the pictures.
Can you blame me? After all, this was on the needles for almost two years!! And we found such a pretty spot for the photo shoot. You'll humor me with one more picture, right??
Monday, November 23, 2009
I saw this MeMe over on Allison's blog. It's probably more than you ever wanted to know about me and Pete . . . but it is MeMe Monday. So here we go.
Our first date was on June 26, 1999. We were married on June 26, 2004. Because I'm dorky like that.
How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We met in March of 1999. It's kind of a long story, but also kind of amusing. A friend of mine kept asking me to go to a Singles Group with her. I wasn't interested - I was convinced there wouldn't be any "good" guys there. She talked another friend into going with her. They both used to pester me to go with them. One week, the Singles Group meeting was going to be at a restaurant that made The Best nachos so I agreed to go - just for the nachos. I met Pete that night and decided the Singles Group wasn't that bad. The rest is history. Oh, and those two friends who talked me into going to the group? They are both still single.
Who asked whom out?
I gave him my phone number. Actually, I was too chicken, so a friend gave it to him for me. A few days later, he called and asked me out.
How old are each of you?
Oh geez, you would have to ask. No snickers, okay? I am 41. Pete is 35. Shut up.
Whose siblings do you see the most?
Pete's. My brother is in Colorado and we only see him every few years. Pete's brother was in Virginia. Then he was in Utah for a while, so we didn't see him much. Now he's renting an apartment a few towns away from us until the New Year, so we see him several times a week.
Did you go to the same school?
No. Even if we had grown up in the same town, we wouldn't have ever been in the same school at the same time. Unless I stayed back a few years or he skipped a few grades - or both.
Are you from the same home town?
We aren't even from the same home state.
Who is smarter?
I'm not really sure. We both did really well in school. Pete probably uses more knowledge on his job. I probably have more common sense and a better memory.
Who is the most sensitive?
Most certainly me.
I'm not sure we really have a favorite place. It depends on what kind of food we're in the mood for. We are lucky to have a bunch of really great restaurants in this area.
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Probably to San Diego last February.
Who has the craziest exes?
I don't know. Me? I certainly have the most exes. (That doesn't make me sound trampy, does it??)
Who has the worst temper?
Me me me me me!!!! Poor Pete, I don't know how he puts up with me!
Who does the cooking?
I do. Pete's not a bad cook. But he's a slow cook. And a very messy cook. So I do most of the cooking. He usually makes breakfast on the weekends though. And if we want chicken cutlets, he always makes them. His are a lot better than mine. Not sure why, but they are always so juicy and yummy. (Great, now I'm hungry.)
Who is the neat-freak?
That's me again. He is a slob. When he had his apartment in New Jersey and we were doing the long-distance thing, I used to take a week of vacation time to stay with him a few times a year. I always spent the first few days cleaning his apartment.
I was going to say me again, but he's pretty stubborn too. In a battle of wills, he's usually the one who gives in though.
Who hogs the bed?
Not me this time!!! He constantly migrates to my side of the bed in his sleep. K.C. sleeps on my side too. I have no room!!
Who wakes up earlier?
On week days, he gets up first and I get up while he's eating breakfast. On weekends, I'm always the first one up.
Where was your first date?
Tavern On Main. After dinner, we walked on the beach and sat on a bench and talked. Years later, he brought me back to the same bench to propose. It's the bench I am sitting on in the picture at the top of this post.
Who is more jealous?
I think it's probably a tie on that one.
How long did it take to get serious?
We had been dating for 6 months when he got the job offer in New Jersey. I told him the choice was his, but that I wouldn't do a long-distance relationship again. (I had been in one with my college boyfriend after graduation and it ended in a mess.) Pete decided the job was too good to pass up. I decided being with him was too good to pass up. I think the minute I decided to do the long-distance thing again, it got serious.
Who eats more?
I always give him a larger portion of dinner. So I'll say he does.
Who does the laundry?
Me. But when I was working, we both pitched in and did it.
Who’s better with the computer?
Who drives when you are together?
He always does the driving. We never talk about it though. We usually use my car, and I just hand him the keys on our way out the door.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Today was a good day. It started with a big cup of coffee and time to browse through a new magazine that came in yesterday's mail.
Which inspired me to do a bit of baking using one of the new recipes in the magazine. It was a huge success.
Then there was a walk along the seawall in town.
We all enjoyed the view, especially Chloe, my brother-in-law's dog. (My dog-niece??)
The walk continued along the beach.
Where there was a sign with a sense of humor! I loved this.
We even took some great pictures of my latest finished knitting project. And some not so great ones as well.
I could use more Sundays just like this one!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
A year or so ago, we noticed something going on in the yard next door. At first we thought our neighbor was putting in a garden. Then we noticed some weird box-like things going in. When we saw him out there in a full beekeeper's suit, we finally knew what was going on. Our neighbor was raising bees! I thought it was really cool. Pea wasn't as thrilled. He was stung when he was little and his mother rushed him to the ER. He was fine, but traumatized. And still screams like a girl whenever we see a bee. (But that's our little secret, okay?)
As time went on, Pea stopped being so paranoid about the bees. We really don't see many of them in our yard. After all, they have a bee paradise next door, so why would they venture to the bee ghetto that our yard must be?
As we found out yesterday, having a neighbor who raises bees had a big advantage. That advantage is fresh honey! Our neighbor brought over a jar yesterday. We spread it on our toast this morning and it was the best honey I've ever tasted in my life!!
I can't wait to try baking with this stuff. I already have plans for some home-made granola sweetened with just this honey. And a couple of loaves of honey-wheat bread.
Do you have any good honey recipes to suggest??