Monday, December 31, 2007

Trying Lots of New Things...

Today, I tried lots of new things with my blog--added a few new buttons of places of interest, tried to add a progress bar like the ones used at Ravelry, but my attempt didn't work. I don't want to link my Ravelry account to my blog (or is that vice versa), because blog and Ravelry have different lists--I'm not sure why it didn't work--just that it didn't work. Perhaps someone will answer my questions on the Ravelry forum.

I also made a Tribble today, but that didn't seem to work out so well, either--First, I made it too long, so I ripped part of it out, then the second attempt, which went together "better", still didn't sew up well--perhaps you're not supposed to use the stitches on the side, but rather, like the pattern says, to do a running stitch--meaning to pick up more than just a "stitch" which the result is not so beautiful.

I'll try another tribble another day. Tomorrow, I cast on for my husband's socks. He finally stood still a few minutes to get the measurements. He's got sort of a strange foot, though, and I'm not sure a standard sock is going to fit him. First, he's got a really wide "ball" of his foot, with some really bad bunions--and his heel is quite a bit narrower--I call him my little Troglodite--just between you, me and the fencepost...his feet are quite "angular".

So I'm freaking out about starting this sock, because I want to do it toe up--but the heel/instep measurement is as big as the ball of his foot--which means--what? That he doesn't get a gusset? Seems odd not to have a gusset.

Maybe an afterthought heel would be better?

Cookie and Spyware and Phish, oh MY!

Well, I have dozens of cookies and spyware on my machine, and I am getting a ton of spam because a friend sent me a card from a website, which had a popup, and the popup wouldn't allow me to see my card, so like an idiot, I clicked on the popup.

Not a good idea, because now, I'm getting all these ads in my email.

So I cleared a ton of cookies from my temp files (and there were a ton). My guru suggested Ad Aware and Spy Bot, which I've downloaded--unfortunately Ad Aware didn't download properly, so I'll have to do it at the office next week. I'm not fond of Spy Bot because it takes forever to go through the hard drive to find a handful of junk.

So for now, I just cleared out the temp file, but unfortunately I am still getting the junk email--at least it's not in my INBOX, but is filling up my junk mailbox (for the most part). Frankly I think the spam sifter at my ISP isn't filtering properly.

So my best friend sent me a link to a beautiful free shawl pattern---so I am saving the website for another day.

I'm still fretting over my next project. Hubby won't stand still to check his measurements for a while--and right now, sits at his computer playing his game. I should probably reboot my computer, but I'm sitting on that, too. Not the computer, but the chair in front of it--hehe. Reading email.

I swear. I get so much email! I'm going to have to put a filter in my mailbox just to filter out the socknitters email! I've been reading email all week, and I still haven't caught up! I have a kink in my neck from reading email all day yesterday! Where does it all come from?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Spinning....spinning

All the day spinning...


I filled the bobbin, and now, it has to rest.


Time to cast on another hat. I know I said I was going to work on socks for my hubby, but I changed my mind.


I did run in to the LYS today, and picked up a few things...some Shaeffer "Anne" yarn in sunrise colors, and a little book on finishing techniques.

Good Morning, once again!

I woke up dreaming this morning...about the very handsome, dashing and daring fellow that played the King in Lord of the Rings...no, not the old guy--the YOUNG guy. Only he wasn't a king in my dream--and he played bagpipes! He was single and interested in the recipes at my family's reunion--but he was a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad boy--apparently had committed murder, spent a tad time in jail, and was let out early because he helped get somebody "worse" than he was--anyway, he gives me this tender kiss at the end of my dream--with just the slightest bit of ...wait, maybe there's children reading this....

CENSORED!

So when I am fully awake, I'm thinking about this fuzzy face and soft kiss, and my husband SWEARS it wasn't him.

Okay....

Please tell me that the dog didn't kiss me!

But the way reality intrudes on my dreams, I'm afraid that I might have kissed my dog.

EW! DOG GERMS!

pttui.

ack

COFFEE!

So I got a bit of spinning done on my wheel last night and here's my effort for an hour or two. The bobbin is about half full. The bag is still about 3/4's full. I have a long way to go! This is the chiengora that I'm working on. Very soft, and I love spinning it--for a while.



Then it gets old, but as long as I can get a skein or two done every time I see the owner, he's happy. The dog hair is his late chow--white, of course. He has about 3 pounds of undercoat left. He gave me 7 pounds to spin up with my wool, and it has become the "never ending project".







I also want to make some of these....
This is a Tribble. I can't even begin to tell you where to find it, as I copied the text for the pattern into word. It's not my pattern, and I don't have the link anymore--It's a scrubbie. You can make them out of 100% nylon---or you can make them out of cotton.

They are cute and fast.



Next on my list of "to do's" is my hubby's socks--which I haven't got a pattern for yet--at least nothing is yapping at me. The yarn is ready to go, but I need a manly pattern--because I really don't want to do plain old vanilla stockinette! Sigh. Seems I always run into this sort of problem, but I have time to think about it. In the meantime...the chiengora is calling.


Today's tarot card is the King of Cups reversed. A propensity for overindulgence in sensuality and idleness--great enthusiam for new ideas and projects but no progress toward completing them (that part is so wrong--progress is being made!) Flitting from one idea to another (yes, that's happening). Beware of a well-intentioned but hasty friend--he is not reliable. I asked about my step son, who is hardly the King of Cups, but he is rather hasty, and unreliable--as I posted previously. He may be coming over today to play computer games with my hubby. I should probably make myself scarce and go to the LYS. If the Sprint store is open, I should get a new battery for my cell phone.


Or maybe I should just drift back into dreamland and dream about my sweetheart--hehe, or not.


Cya!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I've Decided!

I'm going to do a bit of spinning for a while. The next project will be a pair of socks for my hubby. The Socks that Rock in Earth colorway has already been halved and balled to begin. I have to get his measurements, and then will begin toe up via magic loop.

I will post a picture of my efforts in the morning!

Another Project Finito!

I finished up the 3 pairs of tenor drumstick covers--it took a while because I didn't like knitting with the 100% nylon "glow in the dark" yarn, but it's another project finished, and I can move on to the next thing...

I don't know what that will be at the present moment--I'm a little torn between another hat and a pair of sox for my husband. Or perhaps I can make a couple of scrubbies? I'm so torn!

There's been some discussion on the Socknitters Yahoo Group about socks for dogs. My dog probably wouldn't put up with such a notion, but everytime she comes in from the muddy outside, I think....

"Really, these 4 muddy feet needed boots today!"

Which got me to wondering if there was such a thing for dogs--Rubber Duckies for Dogs.

So I posted an email about it to Socknitters--how off topic of me! Of course, you know, they would have to have a velcro closure--laces just won't work! :) Leather will get wet--so I don't really want that...so it will have to be something that can be dipped in a rubberized solution for waterproofing.

Ideas....ideas...

After the Fall

Just before the snow started falling yesterday, hubby and I went to the Sleep Doctor. Now, while Mister is having trouble with his sleep for about the last year, we didn’t see the Sleep Doctor for his inability to sleep—this is where we bought our bed and pillows.

You see, I must have misunderstood what happened to his pillow—in fact, the dog didn’t chew it up—the thing fell apart on it’s own. So it WAS defective, and even though we purchased it sometime back in 2005, the store took it back and gave him another pillow.

So I returned the one I purchased him for Christmas for a refund. Now I have to think of another present…ouch. Or maybe not…since he only purchased coffee for my Christmas present and forgot to get me anything for my birthday entirely. Yes, I am still fuming about that one.

So instead I made him a hat—well, the hat was intended for me, but since I still have lots of leftover yarn, I can still make one for me with no trouble, so I just gave him this one. He poses well for the camera don’t you think?

Always the joker! No, there wasn’t anything on my feet at the time other than a pair of store-bought white socks. Yes, I did have clothing on.

He’s a good looking fellow—when he’s not being the goofy nut he can be—but I like his goofiness.

The hat matches his eyes!

I wish he didn’t remind me of Captain Kangaroo with that expression, though. Kind of weird, isn’t he?

I made the hat out of black and Camouflage Bernat worsted. The hat is just a simple 100 stitch 2x2 rib for about 25 rows in black, then 25 rows in Camo. Then I started doing 2 rows of black (in which I decreased a stitch every 9th stitch, IOW, I count to 8, then knit 9 & 10 together in the first row), then 4 rows of the camo. As the hat got smaller, I transferred stitches to dpns. When I had the length I wanted, I decreased every other stitch by sl1, k1, psso then knit 1 row even, then decreased again (by now, I’m knitting just with black). I had 13 stitches at the end, and I cut my yarn and passed it through the loops to draw the hat up into a small circle at the top.

To make the tassel, I wrapped the camo around a porcelain coaster, tied the yarn around the top, cut the tassel off the coaster, and then wrapped the tassel near where the yarn was tied to make a ball. Then I passed the tied threads through to the inside of the hat and tied it there, leaving long strings (in case something came undone). DONE! Hats are so easy, it just seems to take forever to make them.

So after giving this to my hubby I decided that I needed to get on the work of knitting up the beater covers in the green and nylon glow in the dark yarn. I’ve been putting this off a bit, because I wasn’t sure how nice a knit that nylon would be to knit. I was also extremely disappointed in the eyelash yarn, because there isn’t really much “eyelash” to it….see here

This is the eyelash.

This is the glow in the dark nylon.


Together, they make this—the actual beater cover, and I have three of them done. I need to make 3 more. They are a quick knit, but the nylon is pretty rough on the hands.


All they are is 21 stitches, knit 15 rows, with both strands. Sew up the short ends, running stitch through the stitches at one end, tie off and they are done. Stick them on top of a beater (a tenor stick), and do another running stitch at the bottom, leaving a bit longer ends to tie off in a bow so you can get them undone when you need to put them away. These are for when the pipe band does their pub crawl on St. Patrick’s Day. They glow in the dark, so when it’s dark, and the tenor drummers are swinging their sticks in the air, it will give off a really cool effect.

The snare drummers (Ray and I) painted our sticks with glow in the dark paint, which peeled off with use, and I would have much preferred to use lighted sticks that lit up every time you hit the drum head. Yes, there really is such an item! Unfortunately, the company couldn’t make them last year because they couldn’t get the little LED that does the lighting, and so they ran out of stock. I’m not sure that they’re even making them anymore. I’d sure like to get my hands on some. Even if they only worked for one performance, they would probably be worth having.

So I’m drinking cold coffee, thinking about what my plans are for the day. I could certainly get the last 3 of those beater covers done—I could start another hat! I could work on getting the crud out of the bedroom in the basement and putting up a blanket to cover the windows...because hubby is starting to sound like his son is going to move in with us.

Oh, let’s not go there. The last time his son moved in with us, we had all sorts of difficulty—the final straw was when I was moderating a chat room, and he wanted to call his mother. It was a battle of wills at that point and he moved out soon after. I’m not about to go through that sort of situation AGAIN. He’ll just have to make do with his own cell phone, which may not work so well because we live in BFE, and even my SPRINT and Verizon phones didn’t pick up well here.

I tried a broadband card—without much success. If I want a faster internet connection that doesn’t tie up the telephone, I need to get a connection to satellite Direct TV—but that costs a lot more money than I’m prepared to spend…so I have dialup, a good internet provider who is local, and lots of support if I should ever need it (and thank heavens I’ve not needed it—EVER).

Of course, my step son has done a little “growing” in the last 6 years. He’s no longer a teenager, and has been on his own for a while-traveled and lived in California for a while with friends, so perhaps he has learned a thing or three. A girl can hope, right?

Presently, hubby and step son are on the phone, talking about setting up the computer with Ethernet to play games together on the pc. I told hubby he needs a wireless router and both machines set up with wireless internet. I think my printer can also do wireless, and that would make it pretty cool. I know that my laptop can do wireless internet—but I’d have to get hold of my computer guru to work it all out. My old machine downstairs works on Cat5 cable—the really old style. I used to deal with the network, until we got a virus. Maybe having things connected to the internet isn’t so good an idea. It would be different if the server was DSL—but it’s dialup, and slow, even by my standards.

Today’s Tarot Card is the 9 of Wands entitled Recovery. I asked how things would work out if step son moves in—the answer sounds pretty positive, frankly. Release from a worrying situation. Be strong and don’t let anybody drag you down. Maybe we’ll find out that step son doesn’t really want to move in after all!!!! Yippee!

And on that positive note, I’ll close to go work on the other three tenor beaters.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Progress...

Still working on the hat, and don't seem to be getting very far, very fast. So of course, I draw the 4 of Wands reversed for my card today--which says that completion of a project is delayed for several reasons, but it will soon come to fruition--

Now I don't know if that means my hat or my husband, who also seems to be a work in process this year, but I suppose it could be either.

It feels like Tuesday--but it's Friday--and I can't believe how quickly the time is just speeding away. I had hoped for a nice vacation--and I've gotten in quite a lot of time with resting and knitting, but still seem to be working all the time. Yesterday, we picked up corn for the corn stove, and unloaded from the truck into the garage.

My husband thinks that he can return his old pillow (chewed apart by our dog) for a new one for even exchange.

Now, granted, these pillows have a lifetime warranty on them--against DEFECT--but what pillow can stand up against a dog's teeth?????? I mean, that isn't really "normal wear and tear", not even in my book--so I fail to see where my husband is coming from. However, I'd sure like that $90 back--to get him something else, so that he'll have to get ME something else since I don't want to be the wife who got nothing but coffee for Christmas AND her birthday. I still think that was a bummer of a deal.

So, we'll see what happens. I expect that he will probably have to eat it--he might want to trade for the "other" pillow type--since he says that he doesn't think he'll be able to sleep on the spongy one like I have. Seriously--I bought that pillow thinking that it would help hold my neck up, but just like the temperpedic foam in the bed, my head and neck sink down into it. When I get up in the morning, you can see exactly where I lay--because it takes a while for the foam to come back to normal. My bed looks like you could plaster cast me, right there.

So I've been printing off all these little doo-dads off the internet, and found some cute little scrubbies. I'm not even sure of the website anymore, but it was somebody's blog--and were they ever cute! Little round coaster like things that swirled around the center. Knit up fast on 18 stitches. Cute. But I hate to print out websites with a ton of advertising on them--so I usually edit the website in MS Front page, delete all the ads and just print the cool stuff. I do this with nearly every website I visit. If I can't get what I need with MS Front Page, I use SnagIt, and save it as a picture, then edit in Photoshop.

And no, I would never ever report something like this as "my pattern". It isn't my pattern. Just something I found on the internet that I might want to make in that ethereal "someday". I have tons of patterns like this, and not just for knit or crochet, but for spinning, quilting and other crafts. Those scrubbies will make handy dandy gifts next year--for all those people who forgot me this year! Bah! Humbug!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What Part of "Vacation"...

I am very nearly furious.

It's my 50th birthday. It's my vacation.

And my hubby is talking to me about "cleaning the garage" while *I* am on vacation, with the added "well, we can't just sit around the house and do nothing for 10 days, can we?"

In the words of Sherman Klump

"Yes, I CAN!"

Now, you need to know that I came up a little short at this man's birthday here at the house--in fact, I don't remember if I got him a gift, but I'm fairly certain that I came up with something at the last minute. And this year, at Christmas, I spent a lot more money on him than I normally do--a new "special" pillow and a fluffy blanket--the kind he really likes. Things that he can enjoy every day--because he is SO hard to buy for because he has no hobbies or things he likes to do! And he asks me, the woman who tries her hand at every hobby known to man, has definite likes and dislikes, and is so easy to buy for that the issue is hilarious!

He gets me coffee.

COFFEE!?

Granted, it's lots of different flavors, and I'll drink them alone--because he doesn't like to drink flavored coffee. So, in a way, he was thinking about things I like--which is one thing, but I didn't ask for coffee (at least not as my main gift, since we won't be able to share it together)--I asked for a remote car starter. I asked for dinner out every weekend for the next year.

I didn't even get a gift certificate.

To his credit, he took me, my mom and son out to dinner at the Chinese place for my birthday, but even my family seems to have forgotten that it's my birthday!! I asked for pie--did I get pie? No pie. No cake even! But I didn't want cake--I wanted pie!

So here I am at 5:30pm feeling really sorry for myself. So I bake myself a cake. And by golly, I'm gonna eat it too!

I spent hours and hours knitting for my son. He wore one of the sweater vests to dinner...the one that was the coolest--the one with the Martian on the front--but he couldn't even make me a cookie! I am really frustrated. Here it is, my 50th birthday! My husband's family threw him a big party for his 50th birthday! I didn't even get one of those party favors that you blow on and it makes a noise.

My mom made me some doilies. She's great about that. But I really wanted PIE! I ate too much at dinner--made me sleepy, so I went back home and right to nap instead of staying a while and visiting, but last time we went for a visit, we got into a big fight, and I didn't want us to get into any fights--not on my 50th birthday, and since so far things were relatively okay--but now, I'm pretty disappointed. I was sure that my husband would really take care of things--instead, he offers my services up as a manual laborer!

So what part of the word "vacation" didn't you understand?

Next year, I'm saving for a cruise...and I'm going ALONE, because that's how I feel. Too bad for all you suckheads--they even forgot me at work!

I can't believe it.. MY 50th BIRTHDAY. You don't hit 50 every year, ya know?

Jesus.

I'm 50.

Worse.

I'm 50 and nobody gives a damn. Sheesh. Guess I'll go over here ----->
and eat some worms.

It's my Party

Today is my 50th birthday.

Milestone.

I am a half a century old.


My hubby said "you're over the hill now, how does it feel?"


I said "No wonder my back hurts! I've been sleeping on a hill all night!"


Christmas is a fading memory now. My granddaughter was not feeling well, and stressed out from the entire day of travel and Christmas overload (God, do I know how THAT feels), and not much in a party mood, sadly--didn't want the pillows, and wanted nothing to do with the poncho--the clothing was hardly glanced at. I'm a tad crushed, but I'll get over it.





My grandson, on the other hand, while he didn't care for my gifts at first, warmed up to me about an hour later, and we made a fort out of some camo-fleece blanket. He was really happy with the fleece blanket--imagining overnights camping with it, and playing with great-aunt Jennifer a game of "where's aunt Jenny?"


The parent's appreciated the clothing for the children, though.



And everyone else thought the poncho was a wonderful piece of work! My mother's doily--I just couldn't wait to put it on the table, and it went over really big, and looked beautiful on the Christmas table. There was just so much "pretty stuff".



I think I got a lump of coal...me being the Charlie Brown type...no, not really--I got some lovely Satin Sheets. Now, this actually was an idea that I had for my HUSBAND, not really for myself, although I will enjoy them too. But my hubby likes soft, slick things--even if they're cold! But they match the bedroom and the vellux blanket that *I* bought him, so he was pleased, and so was I. Now all I need is that satin nightie that my step daughter got, and my hubby will be all "set". I won't be able to keep his hands off me.



I got a card for my birthday, the family recipe book, a pin and a small red box with a bow on it--my aunt said that it was Monet--inside (and the item is quite small and fits in my hand), it looks like a real pearl--and I suppose I'm supposed to keep some small expensive keepsake inside--but it's not going to hold very much. Even so, it's beautiful. Pictures to come, but no time at the present, as we are preparing to go to my mother's now.

Today, I pull the Knight of Pentacles for my day, today. My hubby is taking me, my son and my mom out to dinner for Chinese. He's yet to get my Christmas/Birthday present, so I'm relatively wondering what's in store for me. I think he's going to get me a remote car starter---oh baby! I can't wait for that!!! If there's anything I dislike more, it's crawling into a cold car! Worse yet is having to scrape the windows (and when the frost is really hard--and when you scrape, it only scrapes an inch at a time sort of hard frost)--but when the car is WARM, the frost comes off quite neatly. So...this Knight tells me that hubby is going to be very handsome and dashing, and just the thing I need for this over the hill gal!


Right now, though, he's going to play video games on his computer. Good luck dear!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Past

Christmas Eve is upon us--and only a scant few hours before the jolly fat guy dressed in red comes down the chimney--what can I say? No cookies for you, fat guy!

We spent most of the morning finishing up wrapping presents, playing video games and reading email--at noon, we set off for JoAnn's fabrics to pick up some bias tape and another yard of the feather trim for the fleece poncho...then we headed for my favorite aunt's house.

We ate good food and snacks and desserts, opened presents--I got a little bit of knitting done on a fair isle hat, but I'm not satisfied with it, so I'll be t'rippin' to the frog pond, then some chatter with good friends and neighbors and family, and then back in the car after an afternoon of good times before the weather turns nasty again. Finally at home once again, and thinking about family, families, and hopes and dreams--mine hasn't turned out so bad, really--and I didn't think it would ever be "good" or "fun" again. This year, somehow, things have been different--even my hubby's noticing that the time of year ain't so bad--he still doesn't like the Christmas Tree business, but maybe next year....

But all in all, looking back, I have to say that right now, at this very moment--this very moment in time--if I think about it hard enough--I have to say that I am not unhappy. Does that mean that I'm "happy"? Well, I don't want to push it or jinx it--but well, yeah...sorta...um...merry. Yep. I think I am merry.

Where's that mistletoe?

So I'll prep the car for the gifts that we're taking in the morning--the best of the party won't be till afternoon, and I might finally find the perfect hat for knitting at my in-laws--I really have to hunt for this one--it's not going to be anything really fancy--in fact, I'm not sure how exactly I'm going to make it. That's sort of why I'd like to have something of a pattern--so I'm heading over to Ravelry to peek about.

The roof of my mouth aches--as if I have a sore throat, but my throat isn't sore--just the roof of my mouth. So I asked why my roof of my mouth hurts and I drew the 3 of cups.

This is a card of happy celebrations--parties and well, what else around this time of year did we expect? A time of success and family and honesty and faith and trust...okay, did I stack the deck or what? Of course, this doesn't answer my question--but it does express how I feel in this particular holiday season--with three straight days of party, party and more P A R T Y--the 3 of cups is pretty appropo...but what of this mouth hurting? So I pull the moon.

Ah, yes, the moon.

Of course, you, as a reader of a blog, might not know what I mean by "ah, the moon"...nodding my head and realizing that this card is the card that drives everything that is woman...I always lose a little of my natural resistance to disease when the moon is cycling...and that is what happens now. I will be much improved in a few days, provided that I maintain my defenses.

Which means, drink lots of fluids, get a bit more rest, and keep my hands sanitized. Where did I put the garlic? HONEY?????

I had to share this....

Just click on the picture to read...my girlfriend sent it to me, and it was so appropriate to my life I just had to share it with anyone who reads my life story...here


in my blog.

Imagine that!


PC240007
Originally uploaded by drapert

Remember yesterday I was bemoaning the fact that the rain and wind had taken all the 8" of snow we had, and left nothing but brown outdoors?

Guess who got her wish this morning?

I know I've posted this gas grill before, but this is not the same picture! REALLY! It snowed last night.

Today, we go to my favorite aunt's house for a Christmas party--she doesn't know it yet, but I bought her a really pretty Christmas present (well, my hubby and I did). It's wrapped, so I can't show it to you, and since she reads my posting, I can't tell you what it is!

heehee! I can't wait to get there. She said I could come earlier, but I've got other things to do...namely to make the glow in the dark beater covers for the tenor drummers....but I'm also pretty hot on making myself a fair isle hat. I'm thinking about 170 stitches should be about right...

Just a standard hat, mind you, nothing fancy--maybe ear flaps to keep my ears warm--those points nearly froze off last year!

The drive there might be slightly treacherous in places, but I'm not so worried about the drive. I will need to take a nap before too long. It takes me a long while to acclimate to vacation--I am still "work lagged", so I'm still waking at 5:00am!!! After 3 DAYS!

I have to run over to JoAnn's again, and pick up some fuzzy stuff. This is a cute idea I had to make a poncho for my DGD--out of the leftover pink fleece I used to make the pillows a bit bigger.

All you do, is this:

1. Measure around the child's head and divide by 2pi--(approx 6.28)
2. Measure from where the neck meets the shoulder, down the shoulder, to about the wrist.

Take a string, the length of #2 measurement plus an inch or 2, put a slip knot in the end, and tie the slip knot around a SHARPIE pen.

Fold the fleece in half, then in half again (so it's folded into 4ths like a piece of paper). Hold the string under your thumb FIRMLY where the 4ths meet at the fold, and draw an arc with the pen, directly onto the fleece. Using a rotary wheel, cut the pie out.

Using the same method, approximate your #1 measurement, and cut out the neck. You do not need to be EXACT here and you can even err on the SMALL side, because you will be cutting a little slice for the opening...but if you screw up and make it too BIG, you can adjust with darts and seam tape...it's not a big deal!!

Now, find some trims--or you can knit, right into the fleece with some eyelash yarn--and either sew it on at the bottom edge, or you can knit it on at the bottom edge...however you prefer.

PRESTO! Instant poncho!

Today, I drew the 2 of pents, reversed. Imagine a guy on a tightrope, juggling two coins upside-down.

Spending money you can't afford to spend--yes, that's me, but what can I do? It's Christmas!! But I am being more careful this year than I have in the past, and I'm trying to make do with what I have--using yarn already in my stash to make my next several projects--the fair isle hat is no exception...I'm planning to use the leftovers from my son's sweaters!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I got them DONE!



And Christmas is all wrapped up and ready to go...even hubby is playing with Christmas presents! Of course he's playing with the present he bought himself!


And I don't usually wrap his present from me--just too hard to keep him out of things! haha! But see how Christmassy I made the pillows look? I'm serious! I got these sewn up, and I just couldn't contain my glee! I am positively shiney with grinning from ear to ear! Christmas came so early this year!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!

Pillows on the way!


PC230005
Originally uploaded by drapert
Almost done, just one more seam to hand sew on each of them, figured I'd do it tonight while watching television.

Aren't they pretty?




PC230004
Originally uploaded by drapert

And the fronts...

I also took a pic of my little Halloween Honduran Milksnake--he's just so cute, and not the slightest bit camera shy.



Today's Tarot Card is the Seven of Wands-reversed. Apparently, I'm giving up, when I should be putting forth my best efforts in order to win!

Win what? So I ask, and I pull the Ace of Wands--entitled creativity--I think perhaps that the cards are trying to tell me to get those pillows done, and done right now!

The weather is so cold today--and far too much wind! The snow is all gone, there is none in the forecast for Christmas, either. It's going to be a brown Christmas.

But at least all the presents are present and accounted for! I'm very pleased to say. But I do have to go outdoors and feed the sheeps...not that they'll likely come--I'll be willing to bet that they would just as soon stay in the barn! If I were a sheep, that's where I'd stay in this wind!!

The hardest part of Christmas

Is cleaning up the house in preparation for wrapping.

Both hubby and I hate to wrap. He's not very good at it, which possibly has a lot to do with the matter, but I just hate spending all that time wrapping something that will only be wrapped for a few minutes/days, only to be ripped open by the recipient--it just doesn't seem quite right to me.

And let's not even discuss the Christmas cards. I hate sending Christmas cards. Even though computers have made the printing out of the envelopes a snap, I still have this aversion to doing them. I suppose it has something to do with the deadline--rather like the deadline for getting presents wrapped and under the tree--or getting the pillows done for my granddaughter--I'm having a meltdown today. I have to shop shop and shop some more. On the Sunday before Christmas. It's going to be a mob scene. I'm not looking forward to it.

Once again, I feel like singing the 12 Pains of Christmas. I am fairly done in today.

But you all have a nice Christmas holiday--mine generally lasts 3 days--Christmas Eve, Day and Day after...and all are rife with travel and gifts...I have only one day left.

I gave my presents for my husband to him, and he was pretty pleased with my choices. That's a good thing to focus on. Next year, he's getting his chair cleaned.

Off to dress for driving! Bye!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sweater #3


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Originally uploaded by drapert
Finished Sweater #3 in record time! See what I meant about the pattern change and not being overly happy about it?

Isn't the plaid part cool?

Sigh.



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Originally uploaded by drapert
Not mine, unfortunately. My husband doesn't like Christmas. This is his mother's tree. We went to visit and play cards. I knit on Sweater #3 while waiting for my turn.

My husband thinks I'm rude for doing it, but he doesn't understand the deadline I'm under. Thank God Sweater #3 is finished.



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Originally uploaded by drapert
And this is a plant that she bought. Beautiful, isn't it?

Sweater #2 est fini!


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Finally got sweater #2 done for my son--

Isn't it cool! I can hardly contain myself.

I start the finishing on the sweater #3 today (Saturday), and perhaps I can get some Christmas shopping done later? Yes, it will be a zoo unless I go early this morning, but I have this sinus headache--

I thought work would never end yesterday, but I got my office cleared out and a fair amount of things completed. I'm even considering looking for another job, but don't ask me why--it's not what I need for all sorts of reasons, and my retirement is tied up in my current job--bah! I'll just stay home and get some A+ relaxation in.

Doesn't that sound wonderful?

Well, it's coffee time, and must get on that last sweater. Later!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

More Pillow Talk


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Originally uploaded by drapert
Here's the back to one of the pillows.



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Another pillow back



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Another pillow front.
I finished the front of the last sweater vest. I bound off too soon, and had to rip back a couple rows, but everything's in order now. This morning, at breaktime, I will be sewing together 2 shoulders and picking up stitches for the necklines. At lunch, I will likely finish at least one, if not both necklines. Then I'll start on seaming up the sides. I should have both done finished, caput this evening--plenty of time to sew up the pillows for Christmas presents.

I seriously need an idea for my nephew who is 10. HELP!

This morning, I found out that my step-daughter's husband (does that make him my step son in law?) has been laid off from his job--maybe until next fall!! YE GODS! That can't happen! I'm not sure what he'll do, but I have an idea that he might need to move out of state for a while, leaving her to take care of the house and children--I honestly don't know how they will cope with any sort of arrangement. The entire idea has me pretty boggled--I can pray about it, but would rather DO something about it otherwise, being that it is my husband's daughter and all--but I've no idea what to do--it's not like I have a job that he could do here in the house--not that I could afford to give him a working wage. My husband might hire him to do some electrical in the basement when we get that far, but again, that's not going to last him for 9 months!

My husband lays this one on me as he's heading out the door, saying that he figures that he will just give his daughter some money for Christmas, instead of a gift, to help them make it through--maybe he should give them the turkey he got from work, too. And when I go shopping, I'll start picking up things for them so they can at least eat. You can't live 9 months on credit and get away with it. I'm concerned. So of course, will do what I can.

The coffee this morning was really good, and now it's time to wrap things up for getting dressed and ready for work.

Yesterday's Tarot Card for the Day is the Tower Reversed. A big shocker, it says. Well, the announcement of my step son-in-law's layoff was it.

Today's card is Two of Cups--entitled Harmony, it speaks to successful relationships and new meaning for those relationships. The card is also about working things out with family and friends, and it might have quite a bit to do with how I'm feeling right now about my step-daughter and their family--that perhaps I'm going to be able to help work things out for them by doing a little juggling/mixing, and keeping my ear to the ground. I surely hope so.

Friends from the Past


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Originally uploaded by drapert
Yesterday, I GOT MAIL. Real mal. The kind that gets sent through the what is now called "snail mail". The following are pictures that my friend Ray mailed me to carry on the history of bagpiping music.

This is Drum Major Duffield Vaughn. He is a Canadian resident who lives part time in the Detroit/Pontiac area. He was in the war, but heaven help me to recall which one. Was it Korea? He is a friendly face and a really nice guy with a bit of an argumentative streak when he disagreed with you.

He lead the 42nd Highlanders in their performances. Drum Major is the position that holds the staff in the front of the band, and leads the band down the street, and tells the drummers (and pipers) when to stop playing. He takes some of his queue's from the pipe major, and together they work to keep the band looking "ship-shape" as far as deportment is concerned. He also led the McLeod of Lewis "BumbleBees" Band and the Glen Erin Band of the Mid-Michigan and Lansing areas.

Ray and I played with his little group of pipers (picture following) on several occassions. Do you remember the song "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"? Well, the 42nd Highlanders used to play in the same church "in a musty old hall" the song talks about--called "The Mariner's Church", which is now shut down, I believe. Every year close to November 11, when the Edmund Fitzgerald went down, "The churchbells chimed and they rang 29 times for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald." I can personally tell you that actually did happen for many years. Gordon Lightfoot, who recorded the song "Edmund Fitzgerald", actually came to Mariner's Church and performed at the 20th anniversary of the memorial. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it that year, but I hear that it went splendidly. The area's tugboat captains who still sail the channel in Detroit would also remember those lost on the Great Lakes over the previous year at the same time.

Lots of pomp. Let me tell you. The brass in one room....it was something. But the Mariner's Church, if it's still standing, sits on a corner across from the Radisson Hotel, and if legislation to make the church a historical monument was not accomplished, it may now be a condemned building. There were many attempts to take the property away for renovations--which the mariners didn't want. The place was loaded with history, but the balcony was in disrepair and the entire place was not "up to code", but renovations would mean shutting down, and maybe losing the property due to emminent domain. I haven't been there in years, but if it was successfully labelled as a historical monument, it's fate would be sealed forever in the anals of time. I have no idea if the administration was successful. If they were, then renovations would support the repair of the balcony and make it safe for the coming generations. In fact, the next picture was taken outside the Mariner's Church--about a block from Woodward Avenue!



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Originally uploaded by drapert
This fuzzy picture, and if you think it's fuzzy now, you should have seen the original.....is a picture of the 42nd Highlanders Pipe Corps. With Duffy in front, if you look to the left and behind, you'll see my friend Dorothy. She and Duffy went everywhere together, very much like Ray and I do today. Everyone expected that someday Duffy and Dorothy would marry--but I knew it would never happen. Duffy being somewhat of a packrat and keeper of the historical documents, while Dorothy was neat as a pin, everything in it's place. I really believe that living with Duffy might turn into a life with one big argument as she tried to make Duffy become the orderly person he will never be. Duff---don't take that the wrong way--I still think you're a nice fella and will love ya forever!!

To the left of Dorothy is Gerald Pierce. Anyway, the guy on the far left, he was Pipe Major for the 42nd, and he could really tell a joke. To the right of Duffy is Vern Matthews and to Vern's right is another piper that played often named Larry.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Decisions...decisions...

I decided to leave the third sweater vest front as is. It's just too close to Christmas, and I still have the "putting together" to do--then to make the pillows for my grand-daughter. Beyond that, if I don't tell him, he'll never know--and even more beyond that, he will likely cover them up with a coat anyway!

I reached the split for the shoulder fronts while at work, and decided to take a short break from knitting to let you know about my final decision.

Tonight, our office is having an office party off site--I invited my husband to go, but he's not interested, so he'll stay home and eat more vegetable lasagna. When I get home, I'll finish up the third sweater and start putting #2 and #3 together. So my evening is full.

I wasn't able to find the earings for my nephew that I wanted. My friend who has a pair said that it was really hard to find one on the internet, and while I did find something very similar, it's for guys who've "gauged" their earlobes to accept it. My nephew is only 10, and I doubt that he knows anything about "gauging" yet. So I have to come up with another idea. It's hard, because he's at a tough age--too young for a stereo--too old for stuffed toys. The earing would have been perfect...so let me describe it...

It's a post earing. The front has the head of a dragon, and in back, the dragon's tail. Silvertone. The closest I could find was this:


And while that's pretty cool, it doesn't come apart.
So off to look for another item of interest. It's really bad of me this year, because it's gotten so late for shipping these things off in order to get them to the recipient in time for Christmas...but they will get there eventually...I hope.
Well, I'm off to knitting again. If you've seen an earing like I'm looking for, give me a comment!

Princess Pillows


Starring...

Cinderella
It's a panel in fleece, Christmas present for my grand-daughter. Isn't it special?

These are the socks

Slipper socks that there was much confusion in my brain over.

Ain't they cute?

And the soap I received--homemade and smells of cinnamon spice (my personal favorite spice). Very mild. I used the oatmeal soap this morning. I smell all cinnamon-y!

3rd Sweater


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Originally uploaded by drapert
The silk roving, hand dyed. Christmas present received from spin night. Yes, it's very beautiful. The color is best under Ott light.

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty okay day. The boss came to me with a special project, and I got busy on it as soon as I finished with what I was trying to complete--once I started, I got it done in half an hour. I'm pretty sure what little she did took a lot longer.

I'm just too good at what I do.

Someday, she's going to figure that out.

And that's what the three of pents yesterday was all about--exposing my natural abilities and getting the job done in record time.

I'm just too good sometimes.



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Originally uploaded by drapert
Roving for Christmas! Picture doesn't do it justice. The top roving is pink, the little ball on the bottom is white, and there's a little baggie of silk inside the box.

The light isn't good in my breakfast nook.



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Originally uploaded by drapert
Look how nice this skein "started" to pool!! A great start, only to find a freaking KNOT!

And instead of cutting the yarn at the side, I decided that I could keep going, but the pooling was decidedly different, as you can see.

I'm torn.

To rip, or not to rip...that is the question...the pooling would change under the armholes and at the neckline anyway...so I'm sort of considering leaving it, but the change is so darned obvious, that it's killing me, and I suspect that at some point today, I will decide to rip back. Darn! I'm so close to the finish line!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ah! There it IS!

Took a while for the page to load, as MS Windows downloaded the files for Explorer 7--so now, the software is 10 times bigger and has to load 10 times slower.

Sigh.

Anyhow, Spin Group had their Christmas Party. I looked for it frantically

on the wrong road.

But eventually, I had an epiphany, and got on the correct road. I was about 45 minutes late, but the food was still warm, and that was the important thing.

Everyone had a great time--the food was wonderful, and after, there was a little bit of gift giving--then dessert. I came home with more than I left with--which really ought not to happen, but usually does at events like this. Somehow, I come home with a box full of roving (some different colors I've never seen before in natural roving), a cat toy and a pin cushion, and a pair of slipper socks that I forgot I'd told my fried about--

really must do something about my memory...fading fast.

In any case, my friend had gone out and bought a pair of those socks for everyone and while I'd given my pair away for a gift, I (smile) came back home with them. They are pretty cute. I just wish I'd not said anything about them to my friend. I hope that she didn't run out and get a pair for herself too, because now she'll have two pair--well, I suppose it's okay, because I got her a little sheepy figurine, too. I hope that she's not disappointed.

Then we all packed up and headed out. When I got home, I just unloaded and went to bed. I'm still tired. No, I take that back..I am exhausted.

I would have taken pics of the treasures, but the battery on the camera gave out--so it's plugged in so as to be able to use it tonight.

I can't quite get the sleep out of my eyes.

Anyway, yesterday, my hubby was late in trying to catch the van pool to work. He ended up having to drive himself, and went into the ditch twice and had to call a wrecker to pull him out! He should not drive anymore. He's pretty concerned about it. But when you only sleep well one day out of two--something is bound to happen! I'll have to contact his doctor. I think that his inability to sleep when he's supposed to sleep might be linked to a thyroid problem (like mine), but that's not handled by the doctor he normally contacts, so I will need to think about this. Somehow, my hubby is out of whack.

Just like me, imagine that? Do you think it's catching?

Well, it's come time to leave the house, and I just don't seem to have the willpower to carry myself to my car...

For a Tarot card today, I pull the 3 of Pentacles--this is the apprentice card--where you're chosing a vocation and working toward the goal. Maybe I will get word that my son has found a new job? I have to tell you, that would be a blessing.

In anycase, it's time to go. Sorry it's so boring this morning, but the body really needs about 2 more hours of sleep before it will really wind up and go. We'll try massive amounts of coffee when I get to work. That might help!

Bye!

Monday, December 17, 2007

In the Saddle Again

The alarm goes off at 4:40am for my husband. He hears it and tells me to shut it off, which I do...then he falls back to sleep. At 5:08, and already late, I wake him again to hear him say "Did the alarm go off?"

I finally get him off to work, and my alarm goes off at 5:30am. I set the snooze for 20 minutes, but watch it for 15, and finally decide to crawl out. The phone is ringing, but I can't get there in time. No message, and no call back.

I start the shower going, and let the dog out. She's getting better about going out in the dark, too. Wonderful. I climb into the shower to get warm again, and prepare for the day.

An odd drive to the office today--most roads are clear, but some people don't remember that we had an ice storm before all this snow happened. Consequently, folks are whipping past me one minute, in the ditch the next. One fellow in a pickup truck, obviously oblivious to road conditions, ended up driving in the ditch, with not one tire touching the ground--the frame is sitting on the ground on both sides of the ditch. He won't get out without a wrecker.

On arrival in my parking space, I find the lot is plowed, but the street is not, and the sidewalks are another story--apparently covered over when the plow blew out the street. It was a salty, snowy, slick mess going up and down a small track. I thought about walking in the street, but remembering the two little girls who got hit that one day several years back talked me right out of it.

I did arrive at the office--a half hour late! Of course, not many people are in the office at all!

Tonight, a Christmas Party, and I will not be home until late. I have to call my husband to make sure he feeds my sheep tonight because I will be very late. Did I mention I was going to be late? Sigh. Time to go to bed, I think.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

At the End of the Day

There is naught much to say--save that I finished the back of my son's 3rd sweater vest AND knit the ribbing and 21 rows into the front of the last sweater vest. My fingers are numb. My shoulders are tired. My feet hurt.

Wait? My feet hurt? Why should my feet hurt? This is an unknown, but my rump hurts from sitting in the same position most of the day.

We got our driveway plowed out. Tomorrow, the plow will come through and plug the driveway again with snow from the roadway. Hopefully, I will still be able to get into the drive when I arrive home.

Well, it's not VERY late, but even though I took a nap, I am still drowsy. My cat is begging me to sit and rock him, but I am tired of sitting in the rocker for a while, and that's why I am here.

Of course, the eyes are a little crossed from looking at knitting all day. Perhaps I'll go into the living room in a bit, sit in my hubby's chair for a while, lean back, and watch the last of the 3rd part of Lord of the Rings.

Goodnight.

Winter Has Arrived!


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Originally uploaded by drapert



Woke up this morning to over 8" of snow on the ground. I snapped a couple of photos just to show you how deep it is.




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Originally uploaded by drapert



And this...Poor little gas grill, shivering in the cold. He really should have been brought in, but his little wheels wouldn't move after we got caught in the ice storm two weeks ago, and the freezing temps just haven't let up a bit!

We knew it was coming, so we went Christmas Shopping yesterday (as I posted yesterday, knowing full and well that my husband would ruin the shopping experience--and tried to go alone--well he did decide to go with me, and he did make it rather unpleasant, but since I knew that would happen, it didn't destroy the experience quite so much)...and I snapped this


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Originally uploaded by drapert
in Meijer's. It's a placemat, but could be transfigured into a table runner. Sorry it's so blurry, but I was in a hurry--husband waiting in the car, you get the idea?

I got a velour blanket for my husband for Christmas.
I got 2 balls of crochet cotton for my mother.
I got an outfit and a camoflage blanket for my grandson.
I got a $50 gift certificate for my step son.
I got an outfit and 2 Cinderella fleece pillow panels and inserts for my granddaughter.
I am making my son 3 sweater vests, but also bought 2 or 3 long sleeved T Shirts at Walmart for him, too.
I am going to the sleep shop tomorrow to buy my hubby a new pillow with temper-pedic foam to replace the one that the dog chewed into little bits of shreaded rubber.
I got a doily for my mother in law's kitchen table to put under the plexiglass.

I think that's the Christmas list.

Hubby still doesn't have his list taken care of--of course, the trip was for ME to get MY shopping done. I did let him know that there were electric remote car starters at Meijer's for only $40. I WANT one of those! I figure that my step son can put it in for me, and figured that if hubby wanted one too, sure, I'd get him another present.


Our old velour blanket is totally worn out. He loved that thing to death. I'm going to salvage it and make home-made teddybears out of it. It's a dark blue, so the bears will need sweaters...are you getting the picture? And while I post this, it's still snowing. They were telling us yesterday that a storm was coming and would drop 10" on the ground--well, it's looking pretty likely that the weatherman was right for our area. Everything is white, and the wind is howling--means snow drifts up to your "you know what". Lots of snow. I bet it takes two days to dig out.

I am nearly done with the last back of my son's sweater vest--I am past the armholes, and expect to get the back done today, plus a good start on the front..



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Originally uploaded by drapert
This is the second front of my son's sweater vests (unblocked, of course). I thought the yarn (Bernat Camoflage) pooled in a really cook way right up the middle of the front.

Doesn't it look like a space invader?

The photo colors didn't stay true in the monitor picture, I'm sure, and the jpg had to be fewer colors to load the pic in the shortest time, but from the bottom, left to right, the colors are emerald green and black, mint green and brown, brown, mint green/black and emerald green/black.. He looks like he has antlers on the top of his round space suited head, and very skinny (can you say "like a stick?") arms. Notice that his, his um...private area...is obscured? Just like it would be on television! hahahahha.

But this one turned out much neater than the first one, which looks simply like a variagated woody area.


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Originally uploaded by drapert
This is the first (finished) sweater vest--see what I mean? Now granted, the yarn did pool, but in nearly vertical strips--like I said "woodsy area". But you do your own comparison.

Today's Tarot card is the 9 of Cups reversed. Entitled Stability, in reversed orientation, does this mean that I'm "unstable"? I didn't need a card to tell me that! LOL!

Well, it talks about spending money I don't have--actually that hasn't happened YET, but it will if I keep buying Christmas presents! It also tells about friends and how they're tiring of my selfishness. Tomorrow night is spin night, and I'm going to another person's house and we are all celebrating a Christmas dinner. I have to pick up a tray of veggies at Meijer's on the way, and I already have the Christmas "pass it around" giftie. I'm prepped for the evening.

Perchance it's my hubby that didn't get his Christmas shopping in? Well he's the one who wanted to go home! I could have stayed out and shopped till I dropped, and it's probably a GOOD thing that I didn't do that. I managed to spend most on the little children who still believe in Santa, but have actually spent more on his son that I have on HIM (so far). I haven't bought for my step-daughter and her husband yet (something simple for their house), but have for my mother-in-law (which was sort of a spur of the moment thing).

I suppose that I should get started on my knitting now, avoid the Christmas rush (grin). Then I can work on the pillows for my grand daughter. Have a good day!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Everything's better with

I swear to you, there is nothing that smells better in the morning than fresh brewed coffee right from the chocolate flavored bean! It's 4am. Even so, the sinuses are awake, allbeit somewhat stuffy, but I can still smell chocolate--even if it's a mile away.



I pulled the Wheel of Fortune reversed yesterday, and expected a really bad day, but it turned out pretty normal--the world didn't cave in and I didn't get into an accident. My husband was home when I got there, we had dinner and I got another 50 rows done on the back of my son's 3rd sweater vest...Yes, friends, I am nearing the end of my RACE TO THE CHRISTMAS TREE.



Today has been designated Christmas Shopping Day. That alone will send even the savviest shopper running for cover, but today--on my "I can do anything today" day, the courage and bravery have overcome my good sense, and I am planning to venture out into the world of "last minute" Christmas gift shoppers.



Not that there's a lot to buy mind you.



My husband's family draws names, and I only have a few in my family. My husband is my biggest (and my hardest) to buy for--then my son and my mother. That's about it. I have a couple of really good friends that I like to get a little something (read that "under $10"), but elsewise, I'm pretty good to go. This year, I drew my step son--who is EASY SCHMEEZY to buy a gift--he's going to school, so I gift card at the school bookstore is the thing for him. My mother gets crochet cotton--as that's her favorite hobby. My son gets some long-sleeved T shirts and his sweaters. My mother-in-law (who I wasn't supposed to buy for, but the item is just so perfect, that I just couldn't resist) is getting a crochetted doily to go underneath the glass on her kitchen table. This thing is a work of art that my mother made and sold to me so she could pay for her eye surgery. But beyond that, there's the grandkids--another easy buy--because little kids love everything, and sometimes you can really get the niftiest things that they just can't keep their hands off--I mean, let's face it, children are happy to sit on the floor and play with rubberbands!



But I have a couple gifts in mind for my grandchildren--none of them are expensive--I just have to FIND them..and let's face it--that's the hardest part of Christmas--finding that elusive gift this late in the "season". This year, there doesn't seem to be a "must have" gift, like there was in the past--remember the Cabbage Patch Wars? Tickle Me Elmo? That talking bear?



If Walmart has anything to say about the popularity of children's gifts, everything would be BRATZ. Sheesh. These dolls don't even resemble reality, and all the glitzy, glammy wardrobe and accessories just set a little girl up to hope for the same sort of items when they grow up. Nothing bratz for my little grand-daughter. She's just too cute to go in for all that glitzy stuff. She's more the big, stuffed, fuzzy dog sort of girl...her brother is a boy's boy. He likes cars and army guys and all that sort of stuff. Of course, my step daughter doesn't want all the toys laying about--and so a toy with "many parts" is not likely to be something SHE wants her children to have. And so it will probably be something that will help them explore their creativity and ingenuity, rather than something electronic. I have ideas...just not CONCRETE ONES.



But my husband is an enigma. He always says "don't buy me anything", which totally destroys my Christmas giving spirit! Or he will go out and buy what he wants, then ask me to put money "toward it". For instance, this year he purchased a flat-screen monitor--and not just ANY flat screen monitor. This one is as big as a television set...well, okay, from when I lived in an apartment--it's 24" wide and 22" tall. We had to take a tape measure to the store to verify it would fit under the cupboard in his computer room! Frankly, I think it's a bit much. He plans to hand down his old computer to his son, and his son's old computer to his daughter. What fun! He hasn't even given any consideration for his grandkids yet. I'm not sure he remembers that he has them!



One year, I had just the perfect idea of a present for him...and this might fit in with this year's gift for him as well. He loves polar fleece. He literally stole my pink and purple fleece coverlet, and wouldn't give it up--even when I bought him his own! I think it may have been that it was the flowers that drew him, but he ended up with the pink and purple, and I ended up with one that had colorful maple leaves on it, which was bigger and longer (of course, meant to fit him), so it was a happy trade, I suppose. So maybe some satin sheets---because he loves to sleep next to soft things. Velour is another favorite, and I might replace the old tattered velour blanket with a new one that fits our decor in the boudoir, and use the old one to make stuffed toys for the grand children!! HEY!



The brain works in mysterious ways, doesn't it? I have this idea in my mind to create a teddy bear (stuffed of course), but made of velour patchwork. Now doesn't that sound cool? I'll have to think about this one for a while, though--as it will take time to get the pattern and stuff around, plus to sew it...what day is it? The 15? Can I do this in 10 days and still get those sweaters done? Probably not. Okay, scrap the idea for a Christmas present--maybe a birthday would be more appropriate at this late stage...



More coffee required..



I remember the year I made Raggedy Ann and Andy for my own child--it cost more to make than it would have cost to buy already made. What did my son love most? This tattered bear I made out of a Jo-Ann's panel and poly stuffing. Called a "Hug Me" Bear. It went everywhere he went. As far as I know, he STILL has it--somewhere. His dad bought him a Hillbilly Bear (stuffed) and he used to drag that around the house by the hand. Pretty soon, the arm fell off, so he dragged it around by the ear. That bear didn't survive. The Raggedy Ann and Andy are no more. I do still have the pattern, however, it's likely that I will never make them again. But a simple $3 panel from JoAnn's made the cut and has lived a long life. It amazes me the choices children make in toys...what they love and what gets relegated to the toybox, often broken, and never again see the light of day. It's not too late to go to JoAnn's and get one of those $10 panels, is it? And I have a 40% off coupon!



The other pain of Christmas--is standing in line waiting to check out. It was, sadly so, left out of the "12 Pains of Christmas" lyrics. This is a song you have to at least read, if you haven't already heard it, it's a parody of the "Twelve Days of Christmas", and right about now, I'm on day 2--rigging up the lights. Yes, that's about how I feel...but the chocolate coffee is helping.



What did I ask Santa to bring ME for Christmas? Well! That's easy--anything knitterly or spinnerly--and I did ask for a couple in particular...



Santa, I would like a real Turkish spindle--and a wrist knitting bracelet--both can be found at the Woolery




So you see, I am very easy to get something for Christmas. Beyond these things, YARN always works...gift certificates to my favorite LYS always works. And yet, when Christmas rolls around, whoever pulls my name always asks "What do you want for Christmas?" I don't get that! I'm so easy to figure out. An entire set of light up needles would work! I mean, just WALK into a yarn shop and buy just about anything off the notions/accessories shelf, and I'd be REALLY pleased! Or perhaps you could stand in line at JoAnn's and buy that fabric panel for me...


I also could use more storage. Anyone can use more storage but I seem to need more than the average person. One day I should show you the storage for my FABRIC stash...my needlecraft book/magazine stash...never mind the yarn and the fiber stash. I don't know how my husband puts up with all my hobbies, but he manages somehow. Of course, putting a Sterlite Container under the tree doesn't seem like much of a "present", does it? People like to think that they've given the PERFECT gift...so IF I get what I asked Santa for, I will need to take yarn and fiber to the Christmas party, so I can demonstrate how to use these handy dandy accessories. The kids will love the show!


Maybe I'll take my spinning wheel along, so that they can ask questions. Kids love wheels--especially boys. Even though space is an issue, it will keep at least one grand-child enthralled for hours trying to figure out how it works. Ah, maybe not. Knitting is MUCH more portable.


Today's Tarot card is the Lord, reversed. This card tells about my inability to accept authority due to a difficult relationship with a father or father figure. Now this is such a true story, it isn't funny, but when I first pulled this card, I thought...hmmmm. I'm going to have to shop alone. If I go with my husband, he will try to direct my coming and going, and he will get tired of all the running hither and thither and yon--and want to go home, and I'll chafe and squirm and feel all bitter, and it will ruin the Christmas shopping experience for me (as if I needed any help considering I hate to wait in line). And just last night he was telling me that "WE" had to do our Christmas shopping this weekend. I can tell by the pulling of this card, that if *I* want to get any shopping done, *I* will need to travel solo. He's not going to like it, but after about an hour of unsuccessful shopping on my part, his feet hurt, he's tired of it, he wants to go home. It would be very nice to take him with me, but he's just not a "shop til ya drop" type. He completes me. I am so superlative in so many directions, but he's so laid back that the tortoise looks fast in comparison! What was it they said about "opposites attract"?


And that's sort of why I chose him. Quite literally, we have nothing in common, except the house and property, and we share each other's family. I did that on purpose, you understand. While it's nice to have somebody to do things with all the time, if they leave you, suddenly, nothing seems as fun. I also chose him because he's the best looking fellow I've ever seen, and he's a good provider and a good man--DEEP DOWN. He had a solid upbringing with parents who have been together for over 50 years and are still in love. He wants the same thing for himself. I hope I stand up to that scrutiny, but 50 years might be a stretch, since I'm 50 now, and have only been married to him for a little over 7 years...no, I don't think we're going to make it to the golden anniversary, but the silver one might be attainable if he can stand my superlative-ness that long. I mean, he grouses about a lot of things, but lately, he's talking to me more--mostly about work and the guys he rides to work with--you know the BIG issues in his life. He's ready for retirement, but hasn't got a direction--I'm at least 10 years from retirement, and I'd like to retire now--I have all sorts of direction for myself, which may not fit with his lack of direction. I don't wish this for myself, but I sort of expect him to die first--mostly from this lack of direction. I'm concerned he will get bored with nothing to do, and sad from a lack of purpose. Those things aren't good for a man with his "old school" beliefs. What he really needs is to discuss this with a counselor or something like that--somebody who can set some ideas on him--perhaps a financial advisor--the man needs to realize his dreams.


Quite a digression from chocolate coffee, isn't it?


So there's the plan. Shop til I drop, and figure out my husband's future for him. Well, I suppose I could knit too, at least until 8am when the stores open...since I just checked the clock, and it's only 6 am. Hard to believe isn't it?


So I asked the Tarot--What should my husband do after he retires? Answer-"The Warrior" from the celtic circle deck. He needs to face and conquer those things he fears--explore and calm his mind and psyche. Evaluate his life, both past and present, to prepare himself and his strength for the future. This card is a strong "build yourself" card-physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically. In short, he needs to work hard to take care of himself, so that he is able to stay the course. Nothing about anything "work" related, but more "adventure" related. The man needs to LIVE and to be ALIVE from within. This doesn't mean adventure that could kill him--in other words, not DANGEROUS adventure, but the things that he needs to conquer. He hates to travel--actually, that might not be true...he hates to DRIVE places. He hates to RIDE to places, but a cruise or a plane flight might not be so bad--of course, I believe his biggest adventure would be to cruise through his own mind--LOL!


For instance, I'm always asking him "What's on your mind?"


Now, men hate this question coming from the women who love them. And so they respond


"Nothing."


Now I have asked this question for several years, and I always get that answer. It hasn't wavered since the day I met him. He ALWAYS looks lost in thought (dangerous territory), but there's never anything on his mind....so one day, I got quite the smart remark to respond...


"Well, for someone so smart, there just never seems to be anything goin on up there!"


Keep in mind, he purchased a puzzle book for himself of the MENSA variety. This man THINKS. God forbid that his wife should know about it. My women friends say "you don't really want to know, because they really only think about one thing." I can't accept that answer, since I think about a thousand things at once (there I go again, being superlative..not to mention slightly exaggerating...it might only be 999 things), but of course, I have a woman's mind. My favorite joke on that line is the one where the guy goes in for brain surgery/replacement, and the man's brain is $100,000 and the woman's is only $1000...because it's used.


And so I prepare for knitting until my husband wakens, and I prepare him for the bad news that I can't go shopping with him..and then head out with my head into the wind. I hope that he's successful, because I intend to be. He might need another day to THINK about it, though.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Queen of Pentacles

She raised her ugly head yesterday for me.

I'm finally getting into the Christmas Spirit. I'm taking a day off today, but the Queen yesterday ruined Christmas like the Grinch stole Christmas from the Who's in Whoville.

Fade out to two days ago when I get a phone call at work "Help me figure out what coding structure to use for this check that's returned, Tenna?"

"Oh sure," I reply, just give me a little time to research---and so I did, right there on the phone, with very little wait time considering....

Two days later, she's forgotten all about how I helped her, never mind the countless other times I've done things of the sort AND how I used to do all the filing for her unit, but you know what? That apparently was just what was "expected" of me, even though she's NOT my boss, NOT my customer, but just because I'm a heck of a nice person! How quickly they forget all the favors you've done for them over the last 20 years.

And so, when at Christmastime, this person decides to stop doing the computer coding so that our office can do the replacements for our payroll on a priority basis, I freak out.

Now I have to tell you, any other time of the year, I probably wouldn't be so *affected* by this unilateral, arbitrary and capricious and meanspirited action, but IT'S CHRISTMAS! The kids who's parents get these funds are dependent on these funds---sometimes so that they can have a roof over their heads at Christmas. So I appealed to the humanity of her staff person who actually does the job, and SHE agreed to do it.

My ignorant move was to tell my supervisor about it.

Who then sent my email to HER superisor about it.

Who then decided that I've done nothing for HER over all these years, and how is it that she owes ME big time.

How quickly they forget.

So now, my plan with this bitc (need I go on), is to funnel any further requests from her office through MY supervisor with the "Oh, I can't do that anymore--I don't do favors for other people--only what MY SUPERVISOR tells me to do."

I seriously believe in consequences for your actions--and then I will make her WAIT for 4 TO 6 WEEKS before I give her an answer, just as she is going to make the parents of the children we serve WAIT UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS to be able to HAVE A CHRISTMAS.

The Grinch's got nuthin' on this woman, and I hope that God is merciful when the Spirits of Christmas' past, present and future coming knocking on her door.

ME? ANGRY? Pfft. She deserves a face lift--with a two by four. I don't care about much, but kids having Christmas on Christmas Day--well, I *DO* care about that. And for her to make a decision like this that affects a child's Christmas--well, that's just meanspirited (I said that before, didn't I?).

In my own ignorance, I surely believed that my supervisor should know the good I'd done--but the Bible says don't even tell your left hand what your right hand is doing--so that was my mistake in the first place. But in the second place, I should not have told my supervisor that this person owed me some favors big time. The supervisor sent a copy of the email to the person who objected to it. So if the supervisor hadn't DONE THAT to begin with, the kids would be getting their checks. The entire thing is that MY SUPERVISOR has decided that she wants to micro-manage everything--make all the decisions about who gets their check on a priority basis--so now, we have two grinch's going. Okay, A grinch and a Scrooge.

So now, today, I have to find a way to counteract these people's effect on my psyche. I didn't think that they really existed. I thought that they were figments of someone's overactive imagination. Let me tell you something--

THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT WILL NOT BE QUENCHED! By God, not if I have something to say about it!

So for the next couple of weeks, my plan is to answer the telephone with a cheery "Merry Christmas!" Because if the caller is about a missing check, there will be no Christmas for that family--and there are more of them than I care to count. Too many.

I need chocolate.

Today I'm putting up the Christmas Tree. Hubby will just love that--he's a bigger grinch than my boss (If that could be possible....), but perhaps I can impress upon him how important Christmas is to me, and how I work for people who clearly don't give a hoot whether kids have a Christmas or not--then maybe tomorrow, I can put up tinsel and decorations--just to irritate the grinch I work for. Then, perhaps MONDAY, I'll take in a loaf of pumpkin bread to the Scrooge in Accounting.

You know what they say "Do good to those who persecute you, and pray for your enemy--for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head!"

Well, about now, I'm all about those burning coals.

Today, however, is not a time for spending thoughts about those who are fruitcakes...I am going to get in some SERIOUS knitting time in today. I'm up to the V for my son's 2nd sweater front now, and then I start on the back of the 3rd. I am nearly done with the bulk of the knitting....I will say about 60% done once I finish the front. I'm taking my mother to have her eye worked on, then we're going to Long John Silver's for lunch, and if I can convince her, I'm going to go to a Christmas/Holiday Decorations place--no idea yet which one--and find something nice to put on the wall in the living room....

You see, I have this big 12 foot space--It's a big space--with nothing on it. I'm thinking a wreath with different colored Christmas lights on it. I'm thinking my White Tree in front of the Window, so the whole world can see that at least *I* celebrate the season.

I'm thinking colored lights all around the deck and sliding glass door and windows that face the main road--I'm thinking Rudolph on top of the roof--might take some doing--since I'm not fond of heights.

Why all these lights? Because I need em. Because I want em, and because I will have em. I've wanted them all my life, and no one--not the grinch, not Scrooge and not the electric company will keep me from having them...well, okay, maybe the electric company will have something to say about it all...but they shouldn't cry much when I turn it on and blow out the transformer.

sigh

Would that I could have that many lights hehe.

Don't worry, out there in blogger land. I've got a plan for today, and it includes truffles.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's in Store for Me Today?

Queen of Pentacles reversed.

Either means I ain't gettin' enuf, or that I am going to run into someone who uses people--which is likely more the story, since I'll be going to work in a few minutes--and everybody knows who's THERE.

There's always one in a group, right?

So we won't think about that, we'll just get on with the rest of life...

I am more than half done with the second sweater vest. This one is a lot cooler, the way the colors pooled, and was the one I thought wouldn't give the best coloration. You will see when I take the final picture, because I don't want all the oooo'ing and aaaaahhhh'ing until it's finished, and that might be a while, since I'm going to work the back and front of the third vest before finishing the second.

Tomorrow, I am taking my mother to her surgery for her other eye (cataracts), and so will have the day off--I will get LOTS of knitting time in, both in the doctor's office and during the rest of the day. I will be set for Christmas if I just keep at it.

The cats are happy. The dog is, well, being a dog.

This morning when I decided it was time for her to go out (directly after my shower, since she will NOT go out the minute I get up), she wouldn't come to me. And she was looking at me very sheepishly from the laundry hamper. I asked her if she'd already had an accident in the house, and she hung her head very low....but inspection told me no accident.

I called her and called her while putting on my shoes. She still wasn't coming, so I looked in on her again, and she was sitting by the hamper still, and wouldn't come--just sitting there, looking hopeless.

Finally, while putting on my coat and getting the leash, she started to howl. Now I figure that something is seriously wrong with my dog, so I go check it out again, and she has pulled herself away from the hamper, but now I can see that she is attached to the hamper by the jump ring on her doggie tags. The hamper is full, so she can't get away--she was literally tied to the hamper.

I loosed her from the offending clothes basket, and she ran as fast as she could to the door. I let her out and she ran like mad to her "potty place", and down she went.

So much for mommy being observant, right? Poor puppy. So while outdoors, I started the car.

Huby and I worked for about a half hour on the slush in the driveway, and then we went to McDonald's for dinner, picking up some salt for the driveway on the way. When we got home, he laid salt down on the driveway. Didn't matter. There was another ice storm directly after the salt was laid, and so the driveway is sheet ice now. I tried to tell my husband that we should lay down the hot corn and oyster shell on the drive to give traction, but he figured it would just get tracked back into the house. I'm thinking it would be a good thing to have on the hill which is just too steep to get up when there's ice on the drive.

But I'm just an idiot, right?

Well, think I'm going to head over to Ravelry and see what Claire is doing, then head to work--I never know what the roads will be like out here.