Thursday, December 28, 2006

WARNING: Post holiday, picture heavy post PART 2

Hey, alright! Blogger let me add more pics. So, this is part 2, and if you haven't seen part 1, it's below.

Here is Annie with her new Bratz doll and pony set.

And here is Annie with her new Soda Pop girl. It's the Vanilla one, incase you're wondering. She got the Cherry one on Christmas.

Here is the Christmas tree, after *Santa* visited.

Here is Annie, opening her Gameboy Advanced.

Here is Katie, after opening her Nintendo DS Lite box. And I say box. Let me explain. See, in our family, we have a long history of trick gift wrapping. It all started when my mom's brother opened all his gifts one year and re-wrapped them. My mom hid them and told him that she returned them all. Then, when he was dating his first wife, he wrapped a ring box, and then proceeded to nestle and wrap it until it was almost as big as Christmas tree. That was when I was about 9. Then, when I was 12, I over heard that my Grandma got me a 13" color tv for christmas. When we got her house Christmas Eve, I was so excited. I rushed in and started searching for it. But to no avail. Then they started handing me small packages to open, and they were filled with rocks, canning jars and old church hymnals. And after telling me that I had been bad that year (which was a crock, because I was a good kid on honor roll) and making me cry. The moved Grandma 3' tree and the tree skirt to reveal the wrapped tv. So, when I say she opened the box, this is what she found in it:

It's a trashy novel.

I can't remember what Annie had just opened, but she sure was excited about it.

Here is where Katie opened the socks that Annie got for her.

One last pic, I promise.

And here is where Mr. Vincent decided to join the fun. Every time I get a new cat, I always worry that as soon as I put up the tree, the new cat will destroy it. I have been very lucky on the account, as none of my cats have ever touched the tree (but they have always sat under it) until this year. Now, mind you, this isn't his first Christmas, but as I sat infront of the tree, handing out gifts, he walked up and did one of those causal cat yawn things. You know, where he yawned as he leaned toward the tree, so there just happened to be a few fake needles in his mouth. And that being the case, he just had to chew on them. Until I yelled at him, and then he went to sit under the tree.

Ok, I've bored you long enough. Later.

WARNING: Post holiday, picture heavy post

Say that 3 times fast, why don't cha?

Ok, so just to prove that I still knit, and to show what took up so much of my time, here are the pics of *most* of what I made for Christmas gifts. First up is the socks:

From left to right: Nana's, Jeannine's, Cousin J's, Cousin S's and Neice J's.

Next is Mom's IHS and hat:

This is a progress pic, I still need to take a pic of it finished, and of course, that's my IHS laying (folded double) on top for scale. Mom loved it! She was so proud that I made it for her, and preened for the rest of Christmas day. And notice that I made a matched set in Ohio State colors? GO BUCKS!

And, moving on:

Here are 2 of the 3 pairs of fingerless gloves I made. The tan were for dad and the navy for Neice S. I did finish the camo ones for dad, after I burned the crap out or my hands baking cookies, so I still need to get pics of those.

And, now for a few of my favorite shots of the girls opening gifts:

Here is Katie opening the first gift at Nana's on Christmas eve. It was a waterproof watch.

Here is Annie opening her first gift at Nana's.

Here's Grandma Nana.

And blogger has decided that I have reached my limit for this post.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

It almost didn't happen

It started out to be such a good day. All I had to do was finish the second fingerless glove for dad, bake the cookies, bake the Hawiian sweet potatoe cassarole, make the spinach dip, and wrap all the hand made gifts. Not a problem. Famous last words!

I got up, worked a few rounds on dad's glove, then made my way to the kitchen. I started the first batch of chocolate chip cookies, and as I was swapping off the pans in the oven, I burned myself! Not horribly, but enough to stop me from knitting, or doing anything else. I got myself at the base of my pinky, on the side of my right hand, and a very wide stripe across my left thumb. You know, right where the knitting needle sits as you knit. And not just a mild burn that you can force out of your mind and work past. No, it began to blister right away and hurt beyond all reason. Well, from there, Amy finished putting the cookies in the oven, and I one-handedly mixed the 2nd batch of chocolate chip and peanut butter blossoms. After the cookied were done, she wrapped the gifts for me. I then retreated to the Dungeon with a baggie of ice to see if I could knit. I found that if I wrapped a band aid around it tight, then I was able to knit past the pain. But as soon as I stopped knitting, the pain came back with a vengance. I got ready and we headed off to Grandma Nana's. We had a great evening. And when we came home, I was able to finish the 2nd glove. So, here shortly, I'm going to head to bed, after Santa makes his visit. Then when I get up in the morning, I'll weave in the ends, wrap and be done! I'll have pics in a day or two. In the mean time:

Merry Christmas to all & to all a good night!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Almost to the finish line

I have another FO! I am that much closer to being finished with my holiday knitting! I finished the IHS hat late last night, for the second night in a row. Tuesday I was knitting until 1 am, and last night I did finish around 11:30, but I picked up the scarf and worked on it some more. I think I crawled into bed around 12:45. So, that leaves me with:

  • half of the IHS to finish
  • 1 pair of fingless gloves

Then I'm done, done, done! I'll have pics, as soon as I remember to charge the camera. Then all I'll have left to do is bake cookies, and wrap the knitted gifts. And this years cookie selection will be (not that it's changed from last year):

  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Peanut Butter Blossoms
  • My version of Russian Tea Cakes

I usually like to make different kinds, but mom asked for them again this year. Especially the Russian Tea Cakes. Now, when I say *my version* of this recipe, it's because I stumbled across it. The only thing different is that I use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar, and walnuts instead of pecans. The original recipe is the *secret kiss* recipe from my Hershey's cookie book, just no Hershey Kisses incased in the middle. Mom goes nuts for them and has to have a batch all to herself. That's why I made her a batch for her birthday, which is today.

Well, I'm gonna see if I can sneek in some knitting here at work, since it was *supposed* to be slow and it been everything but, and maybe I'll have pics tomorrow.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Getting closer

I have finished another Christmas Knit! Yippee! I finished off cousin J's socks last night. So, my Christmas knitting list now looks like this:

  • 1 pair of fingerless gloves in Lorna's Laces Camo colorway
  • 1 IHS in red
  • 1 hat to match the IHS

I never would have finished those socks if I hadn't sat in my corner of the office, with my back to the room, and casted on, worked the cuff and leg. It helped that my boss stayed in his office most of the day, and it was a small project. I can usually get away with small ones, as all I have to do is drop it in my lap and scoot closer to counter to hide it. And ya know, I have no idea why he has a problem with us knitting in the slow times. I mean, he lets us read about knitting, talk about knitting, blog about knitting, and even work small cross stitch projects, but if we knit, he gets angry. When I asked him one time, he said it was because he was a jerk (but not in so nice of words). But, maybe he'll be in the Christmas spirit today, and I might be able to work on the IHS hat. Ya never know, it could happen. Plus, today is the office Christmas lunch. If not, I'll still try to work on it under the desk.

On Sunday I knitted for as long as I could. At around 10 pm, my hands just gave out. They flat out refused to knit anymore, so I gave up and went to bed. Monday, I was distracted by many other things. Like trips to the gas station for cherry coke and caramel popcorn, phone calls from best friend that is a truck driver (Hi Miss Tami) and then American Choppers. But, I am getting closer to finishing my knitting. And I'm with Lexa, I think I'll start way early next year, like in June.

Oh, and I have have joined the A Cardigan for Arwen KAL . Now I just need to pick out my yarn and color. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know. I was thinking of going with the good ol' back up, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in either Chambray, Rain or Hush. I am leaning more toward Chambray, and maybe the Hush, as I don't really have a sweater that's light in color.

Back to normal... well as normal as I get

This weekend wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But let me start from the beginning.

Saturday, I couldn't sleep in for the life of me. I woke up around 5:30 am, and hovered inbetween sleep and awake until about 7. I watched cartoons with the girls till about 9, then we started getting ready. I wanted to leave at 10 so I could be at mom's by 10:30 and we were leaving at 11. But, as my life goes, mom called and told me to stop at the post office to fill out a form to get her stamps that the machine wouldn't hand over the night before. It took her money, kept the stamps, and the cash return button was broke. I figured it would be a quick in and out. Yeah, right, when have I ever been that lucky? There was a mile long line. I finally get up to the counter, fill out the little slip and asked for the holiday stamps that mom wanted. The guy behind the counter looks at me and said, "I'm out of holiday stamps. I can give you your $7.80 and you can go back out and fight with the maichine?" I told him no, she would have to settle for what ever I brought her. I called her and told her to be ready when I got there, that since I had to drive, I wasn't getting out of the car. When I got there, she came out, got in the car, and when I looked, we were 8 minutes ahead of schedule.

We were doing really well, and as we got to Chillicothe, mom decided that we needed a potty break. So, we got off the highway and I pulled into the Speedway at the bottom of the ramp. Mom and Annie went in to potty, and as I sat there, I decided that I needed a hot chocolate or something. So, Katie and I get out of the car, go inside, flagged down mom when she came out of the potty. We all picked our snacks and drinks, and as I'm capping off my cup, I realize that I don't have my car keys. I look at Katie and asked where my keys are. She looks back at me with a blank look in her face and says, "I thought you had them." I look around, look back at her and say, "Does mom have my spare?" She nods and says, "Yeah...... I think." Well, mom was already paying for her snacks, so we got in line. As mom turns to walk back toward us, I asked her if she had it with her. When she said yes, and I replied, "Good, go unlock the car." She gets this horrified look on her face and says, "Oh My Goodness! You didn't?" All I could do was laugh and nod, and she rushed out to open the car. I couldn't stop laughing, and the lady in line in front of me was looking at me like I was nuttier than a bag of walnuts. I was still laughing when we got to the counter to check out and the guy behind the counter asked me if I wanted a bag. I said, "No, we're going straight to the car with it, providing mom got it open." He just shook his head and laughed at me. When we got out there, she was sitting in the car, and when I got in, she gave me the mother lecture. You know, the one where they go on about how someone could've broke the car window and stole the car (in the 5 minutes that I was actually in the store). I just looked at her as I started the car and said, "Mom, you know going anywhere with me is an adventure."

The rest of the drive to Waverly was uneventful, but we realized that we were way early. So, we found a little store for mom to look for flowers for my sister's grave, and generally goofed off for out a half an hour.

We finally got to the church they were using, as the family church is way too small, and the funeral home isn't much larger. We get inside, and everyone was sitting or milling about chatting. I was glad that no one was wailing or boo-hooing uncontrolably. My Auntie Elaine stood up on the other side of the room and flagged us over. Now, there was a little anxiety about taking my mom with me, as this is my bio-dad's side of the family, and mom hadn't been around them in 30 years. Not that I was worried about anything my mom would do, but I was more worried about what my bio-dad, Jeff, would do. See, he's the black sheep if the family, the bad egg, as it were. But, I didn't see him anywhere, and thought I might get lucky and he wouldn't show up. I hugged all my aunts, Auntie Anita, Auntie Meshell and Auntie Yavonna. As I hugged Auntie Y, my eyes misted a little, and she grabbed and said, "Don't cry, 'cause if one of us cries, we are all doomed." And as I looked around, I realized that I have never seem such a large funeral party, if that's what it can be called. I went and hugged my grandparents, and it was my grandfather's mother that we were there for. Everything went nice. There was the occasional crying outburst as the preachers were delivering the "sermon", as it were. And let it be said that there was never a bad thing anyone could say about that woman. She was always smiling, her door was always open, and she always made sure you ate something from fear that you would get too skinny. The only thing that casted a cloud was when I noticed my father arrived, at the very last second, and I mean just as we were bowing our heads for prayer. And when it was time for the funeral procession to go to the graveyard, it caused some major traffic back ups. It was the longest procession I have ever seem. It was over a mile long, and I was only a quarter mile back from the hurst. When the graveside service was done, most of went back to the family church for a potluck. And in true family tradition, it was louder that all get out, with plenty of good food and good humor. We had a good time.

From there, we went back to Auntie Y's to relax a bit and talk. And we got home around 10 pm.

There was one funny part about my bio-dad (well, at least I found it funny). I'll tell ya about it tomorrow.

And thanks for the kind comments. They really help.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Just because I need Christmas cheer

So, I'm trying to put myself back in the Christmas mood, and I am barrowing the Christmas meme going around.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Which ever one has the alcohol in it.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Everything is wrapped, and I make sure I do it, unlike when I was a teenager and my mom was too busy to wrap my gifts. She would put everything in boxes and have me wrap them. I offered to do the samething this year, but she told me no.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Tree - white, house - colored

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No, 'casue I don't have anyone to kiss.

5. When do you put your decorations up? I have been know to put the tree up during the Ohio State vs. Michigan game, but I usually wait till Thanksgiving weekend.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? My new found favorite - Hawiian Sweet Potatoe Cassarole

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Going to my great-grandparents house and then to my grandma's to open present.

8 . When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was around 8 or 9, and I just guessed.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Always at Grandma Nana's, and occassionaly 1 at home.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? First the lights, always. Then the glass ornaments and then the ribbons, the angel last.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it.

12. Can you ice skate? Somewhat.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My sugar plum teddy bear (remember those?), which was ruined in the basement of my 2nd apartment when it molded.

14. What’s your favorite thing about the holidays? The look of excitement on the girls' faces as they open all the gifts they wanted.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Christmas cookies

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? dinner at Grandma's house on Christmas eve.

17. What tops your tree? An angel.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving - it feels really good.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? White Christmas - the Bing Crosby version

20. Candy canes yuck or yum? yum, especially the cherry flavored ones.

21. What’s number one on your Christmas list this year? For everyone to have a good time.

Due to yesterday's bad news, I didn't get to work on the fingerless gloves for neice S, but I did work it at lunch, I have made it past the little finger on the first glove. And I should have plenty of time to work on them tonight and tomorrow on the way out of town, as mom is going with me, and I should be able to get her to drive. That's a good solid hour and half. So, my goals for this weekend's knitting are to get the gloves finished, and the Simply Lovely Lace socks in light blue done for cousin J. After that, all I am left with is the fingerless gloves in Lorna's Laces, colorway camo, for dad, and the IHS and hat for mom. I'm hopeing that since next week is the slow week in the office (the week before Christmas) that my boss breaks down and lets me knit in the office again this year.

And now for a little randomness. I found this link on KnittingNurse, it's so cute. I can't remeber which blog I found this link one. This guy lives about a 20 minute drive from my house. And I guess he now has almost the whole block sync'd. I may have to make a drive out there this year. And I found this one on Rabbitch's blog. I almost laughed myself sick.

And thank you, Lexa, for the comment you left on yesterday's post.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas time is supposed to be for happy times

It seems that on the years that I have very little Christmas spirit, the Fates see fit to suck away what's left. At about 7 o'clock this evening, I got a call from my Auntie E, and it was not a call just to say hi. It was a call bearing bad news. She told me that my last living great grand parent, my g-grandma Peachie past away at about 2:30 am. All I could do was cry and listen to her as she gave the the details for the funeral arrangements. Now, I do realize that I am lucky to have had a great grandparent last well into my adult life, but it still hurts, because I loved her dearly. And I do realize that she is in a better place now, as her condition was getting worse as time wore on. Also, she had a good, long life. She had 13 children, and out lived her husband by just over 32 years, Grandpa Hayden died when I was 4 months old.

But this isn't the first time I have lost a grandparent at Christmas. In 1997, my grandpa Earl finally succumbed to his Lukemia, and passed about a week before Christmas. Katie was just about 2.

Then in 2000, when I was 9 months pregnant with Annie, and very ill from deep fried turkey, my mom called me on Christmas Eve morning to let me know that my great grandmother Erna, who immigrated from Germany in the 50's to marry my great grandfather, had passed at 2:30 am, from a massive heart attack. All I can remember doing was telling her no, that grandma didn't die. My great grandfather was the one who found her, and after that, he gave up on life. The love of his life died, so he figured it was time to go as well. I remember him saying a few years before that he would rather die first, knowing she could handle the pain of loosing him better that he could handle the pain of loosing her. One month later, we had to attend his funeral. He literally layed down to die. It was a little bitter sweet, that in between, Annie was born. She was the reminder we needed that life does go on and needs to be enjoyed.

So, this evening I rifled through the closet to see what I have to wear that will fit me, as most of my clothes are my skinny clothes. I found my dark brown slacks, but nothing to go with them. So, off to the store I went with Miss Amy. And I embarassed to admit it, but I bought a sweater. But like Amy said, it's not as if I could have made it myself by Saturday morning on such short notice. I found a nice, long, cabled sweater with a hood in a heathered brown, and a tan tank top made of bamboo. I hope it's appropriate.

You know, having gotten that all out, I feel a little better.

In memory of Grandma Peachie 1913-2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Another one down

I'm blogging from the work computer, as I didn't bring my laptop with me. I'm leaving at noon today because Annie has a school holiday play at 1:30, and she has the first speaking line of the play. I'm taking Miss Amy's camera with me to video tape it, and if I can manage to upload it to you tube or photobucket, I'll share it with you.

Last night I finished the fawn colored fingerless gloves for dad. But it was a struggle. At 10 o'clock my eyes wanted to shut so bad, but I only had 3 fingers left to go. I forced my self to sit forward and buckle down as I watch Popeye on HBO Family. And in the little odd moments, I have been plugging away on tha pair of Simply Lovely Lace socks for cousin S, and have one done. So, that leaves me with:
  • 2 pairs of fingerless gloves
  • 2 1/2 pairs of socks
  • 1 Irish Hiking Scarf in red
  • 1 matching hat

Let's see if I can do it. Today I'll cast on for another pair of fingerless gloves, and hopefully I'll have them done Friday night. And let me just say, my wrists and knuckles are starting to really hurt. Once I get my holiday knitting done, I'm taking a break.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A wee bit closer....

Over the weekend I finished 2 pairs of ankle socks for Christmas gifts. I don't have pics of them yet, but will soon. And it'll be safe to post them, as they are for my grandmothers, and neither of them have access to the internet. And that being the case, here is what I got done.

For Grandma Nana (mom's mom) - a pair of lacy ankle socks in Knit Picks Memories color Yukon. I used 1 50 gm ball and just made it, as grandma has a big foot. I started these on Saturday night, got the heel on the first sock and finished them on Sunday.

For Grandma Jeannine (dad's mom) or Grandma Ja-Jean as the girls call her (Katie couldn't say her name right when she was little) - a pair of lacy ankle socks (same pattern as the others) in Knit Picks Memories color Red Hat. I used 1 50 gm ball and had more left over than the other pair, as Jeannine has smaller feet than I do, and I have little feet. I started these on Friday eveing at mom's while the girls helped mom put up the tree, got to the heel and finished them on Saturday.

So, that leaves me with 3 pairs of sock, 2 1/2 pairs of fingerless gloves, a hat and 3/4 of a scarf left to make by Christmas Eve. So, I am off to lunch to cast on for a pair of Simply Lovely lace socks for my cousin Savannah. I'll be able to post picks of these, too, as she doesn't even know I have a blog.

Till later.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm still alive, I think?

I have returned from Death's door and blogger exile!

First, Death's door. Ok, so maybe it wasn't that bad. But, as my ex always used to say, I did lay down and die. When ever I get sick, my body decides that I must shut down to get better. So, every moment I was not at work (and few at work), or driving to and from work, I was sleeping. And even though sleeping is really good for me, it put me way behind in my holiday knitting. I still have 5 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of fingerless gloves, a hat and a scarf to finish by Christmas Eve. I'm insane, arent' I? But, on a positive note, my boss was generous this year and handed out a bonus. And for the first time in my adult life, I am finished shopping and wrapping gifts for the girls. There will be no Christmas Eve shopping for me this year, and I won't be up at midnight, desperately looking for movie to watch while wrapping. The only thing I have left to get is a gift for Miss Amy, but she's easy to shop for, she'll take yarn in it's unfinished state. And thanks to said boss, my girls made out like bandits this year. And, unbeknownst to the girls, they even got me something for Christmas. I bought myself a very plush, micro-fiber robe from Bath & Body. It is now in the possesion of Miss Amy, who will have the girls wrap it, none the wiser that mom knows about it. They'll get a kick out of it. Especially Annie. Katie will probably know what's going on, but that's the price you pay when you have a smarter than average 11 yr old. So, from here till Christmas Eve, my fingers will be flying to see how many items I can get finished. I figure, if I spend every evening in my recliner and every weekend, I should just make it. I already have half of one pair of fingersless gloves done, and a good start on the scarf. The hat should only take me the better part of a weekend afternoon. It's the socks that worry me. For one pair I have to kool aid dye the yarn, but only 2 colors, thank the stars. Oh, and almost all of the socks will be ankle socks. Less time that way.

Oh, and as for the weather here in the heart of Ohio. Let me just say, "DAMN, IT'S COLD!" It was only 12 degrees when I got up this morning. Yikes!

Now for the exile part. It seemed that every time I felt well enough to blog, blogger wouldn't let me. It sucked.

So, from here Christmas, I can promise that blogging will be sparse at best. And just incase I don't get a chance to say it before then:

Merry Christmas

Happy Solstice

Happy Hanukkah

from my family to yours!