Thursday, November 26, 2009


The pies are baked. The stuffing is made. The turkey is stuffed. The oldest is home and his son is with him. We're a full house for the next four days.

We're celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, and then we'll do Christmas on Friday since its unlikely we'll see either of them in December. My house is decorated for both holidays right's a little schizophrenic.

I have so much to be thankful for, so much that I tend to take for granted, especially when times are as frenetic as they've been this fall. My hope for the weekend and for the coming month is to slow down and simply enjoy and try to more fully appreciate all that God has blessed me with.

Thank you, God, for my friends and family,
for my husband and children and my grandson,
and even for this dog who is a bit psycho with all the people in the house right now.

Thank you for the food in my kitchen,
and the fact that I have a kitchen that is attached to a house that has a roof that keeps us warm and dry and sheltered.

Thank you for the cars that take us from our house
to the places we need to go,
and thank you that one of those places is my husband's job, which he goes to willingly each day in order to care for us.

Thank you for our health,
and for providing for our needs,
even the ones we don't realize we have.

And thank you for those things we don't need,
Wii and the iPods, and great TV shows and cable with DVR,
and for more clothes than any of us really needs.

Thank you for the ways you enrich my life with simple joys,
with books and words and music,
with yarn and fiber and patterns and spinning,
and with kickboxing and sweat and bruises that let me know I'm doing something good for me.

Thank you for the faith that sustains me,
for your love and provision,
and for the gift of your Son, who is everything.

To all of my friends, wherever you are, I wish you a most blessed Thanksgiving holiday. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's happening?

Well, first, what isn't happening...NaNo. I bogged out early on at less than 10,000 words. There is little hope at this point for a resurgence. Just isn't turning out to be a NaNo year for me after all. On the flip side, my daughter is NaNo-ing tremendously well! I am so proud of her for how dedicated she's been. She's over the halfway point, and while she's running short on time, she is not running short on enthusiasm. Her every spare moment has been spent hogging the laptop and writing like the wind. She's amazing. :)

We're halfway through our second quarter of the school year. I always consider the first quarter a baseline from which the rest of the year is measured and from which I gauge what changes I need to make. I'm pretty pleased with how well the first quarter went, considering it was our first high school quarter. I continue, however, to feel harried by it all. I just have not yet felt like I've gotten this school year in hand. It's like it has a will of it's own, and I'm working to keep up with it. It's not a bad thing,'s just giving me a good idea of how better I can prepare in the future.

Thanksgiving is four days away, and for the first time in 15 years, we will not be hosting it here. We'll be going to my in-laws' house this year, as it will be easier for Kevin's grandfather, who has been battling health issues all year. I'm still in charge of the turkey though, which is fine.

Our oldest will be coming home for the holiday, and our grandson will be here as well, so the two of them will get to enjoy some good father-son bonding time, which will be nice. Since I'm pretty sure we won't get to see either of them for Christmas, we're going to enjoy an early Christmas celebration with them while they are here, too, which will be fun. It just means I need to be even more organized than usual before they arrive on Wednesday. I'm trying not to hyperventilate.

And that brings me to Christmas shopping. I started today, and I got a pretty good bit of it done...woohoo! Must of the remainder will be gift cards (what a wonderful invention those have been!) and some things I can order online. In other words, I shouldn't need to set foot in the mall more than maybe one more time, and I can assure you it definitely will NOT be on Black Friday. Whatever possible sale savings there might be in shopping on that day, it is not worth the cost to my sanity. (Though I shouldn't say never...Black Friday afternoon isn't really too bad. All the early morning crazy shoppers are home by then and taking a nap.)

And I started listening to Christmas music yesterday. I rarely ever voluntarily listen to it before Thanksgiving, but I think the fact that we aren't hosting Thanksgiving here this year is helping me move forward to Christmas a little earlier. I'm even planning to decorate before Thursday. Crazy! :)

On the knitting front, most of my efforts have been on my entrelac shawl, which is so not a necessary item to be working on at this point, but it's fun and easy and makes a good carry-around project, as I've been avoiding more socks right now...not sure why. I really need to get working on Emma's sweater, which is languishing with the back and part of one front done. And then there is the idea of knitting Christmas gifts...hahahah...or maybe not. :}

Friday, November 13, 2009

Five Minute Friday: Things I'm Pondering

After a really, really, really, really, really long hiatus from FMF posts (the last one was in...April!), I'm feeling list-y today so I thought I'd share some of the things I ponder now and again. Beware. :}

1. I wonder what I would do if I ever happened upon a dead body? It seems to happen with great regularity to people on television and in movies, and people are dying or being murdered every day, right? Thus, it seems perfectly reasonable that some time in my life I might stumble upon one somewhere, and I can't help but wonder how I'll react.

2. Why does the cardinal mock me? One of my photographic goals has been to capture that bright red bird against a background of snowy white in the winter. Or against a background of evergreen any other time of year. I'm not too picky. But every time I see one of these guys (and yes, we're talking males only here because the females aren't the bright red ones), he'll sit in one perfect spot forEVER...until I go to retrieve my camera, and he's gone. Every time. Soooo frustrating!

3. How can I not own size ____ knitting needles??? Seriously, my collection of knitting needles is huge. HUGE. While I don't have that many straight needles because I don't use them often, and I have a limited number of DPNs because I prefer other methods for knitting in the round, I have dozens of circular needles in lengths ranging from 9" to 48" and in sizes from US000 to US15. Among those, I have multiples of the sizes I use most frequently, such as US2 for socks and US6-8 for most of the garments I make. How, then, can I not have the correct size needle in the necessary length for the project I decide to start at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night? It boggles the mind.

4. When is my daughter going to quit growing? Seriously. She's taller than me now. Her feet have passed mine already so we can't even share shoes. We have the hardest time finding skirts for her because they all end up being too short. I guess I can only pray that she maintains this lovely, tall, willowy figure throughout her life. It's the least nature can do for her considering the fact that she's the one of my three kids who ended up with braces, glasses and Crohn's.

5. What is it about the midnight hour that says "play time" to our dog? Muffin sleeps. A lot. Most of the day, in fact. (I'm beginning to suspect that she's really just an odd looking cat. :}) Other than her brief waking breaks to eat, pee and poop and occasionally get into something she shouldn't, she seems quite happy to spend most of her time curled up wherever I am. Sure, if we put her on the leash and take her outside, she's happy to be out there sniffing around, but other than that, she's a snoozer. Until nighttime. After everyone else is in bed and I'm the only one up with her, she suddenly decides it would be the perfect time to run around and play. And when I decide to turn in for the night and try to get her to come with me to her little nest next to my side of the bed, she's started playing the "Let's ransack the waste cans" game that now requires me to stash all waste baskets in the house out of her reach before I lay down. Crazy dog.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Knitting updates...

Finally! Some finished objects to share!

First, my Zombie Socks, in all of their zombie-bruise pooling glory...

What I didn't realize until I was done with the second one is that the pooling, while looking pretty random, actually is fairly symmetrical on the socks (not that you can see that here because they aren't facing the'll just have to trust me on it).

This little side-cable patterning I added on the fly while knitting my first toe-up socks makes me so happy. And that I thought ahead to make the cables go in opposite directions on each foot just makes me giddy. Let's hear it for forward thinking!

Look at that happy toe! Love (1,000)!

And then there is my November charity hat. These hats, as I've probably said before, are usually just me whipping out a hat with my usual, plain-vanilla hat pattern and it's assorted mix & match options. This time, I let the yarn guide me. The MC was a ball of handspun yarn I purchased somewhere a couple years ago (tag is long gone) and never did anything with. It's been languishing in my "odd ball" basket. Also in there was a small ball of leftover Kathmandu from some mitts I made a friend for Christmas last year. The two went together nicely, so I decided to give a corrugated rib a try...

I have no idea if I did it correctly. I just knew the basic concept was the knit is done in one color and the purl is done in a second color. I think maybe there is more to it than that (like how the yarn is overlapped in the stranding on the back?), but since it was an experiment, I just went with it. And I was really happy with how it turned out! It makes for a really sturdy brim, not all that stretchy, but it fits snugly (in a good way) and will definitely keep the wearer's ears warm!

The ball of handspun was not very big, and as I got near the top, I feared I was going to run out of yarn before I ran out of hat. So I came back down to the stash and dug out a ball of Plymouth Tweed that was a very close match in color to the Kathmandu (I'd used all of that in the brim) and mimicked the look of the corrugated rib at the top of the hat.

It ended up looking like an upside down acorn, LOL, but I think it's cute!

As it turned out, I would have had enough to finish the hat in the MC, but I kind of enjoy the look of the two-color mock-rib on the's a design element, dontchaknow? ;)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A whole new month...'s November already. Huh.

I'm sorry...I wish I had something more riveting to post about than the ridiculously obvious pronouncement of the date. However. I don't.

Well, wait. Maybe...



Maybe just a few random notes...

Random Note #1: I may be too old to do road trips across the state and back, within 24 hours, that involve staying awake the whole time and driving through the night. In fact, this could account for my current lack of focus in this blog post.

Random Note #2: The oldest child, our son in the Marines, was just home to visit the past nine days. He hasn't lived here in over five years, so it is always startling to me how much fuller the house feels when he IS here and then again how there suddenly feels like there is a huge, quiet void when he's gone.

Random Note #3: Sunday afternoon naps are one of life's treasures. Seven-hour long Sunday afternoon naps are probably too much of a good thing and likely will not bode well for going to bed tonight. (Why did I take a seven hour nap? See RN #1)

Random Note #4: I wish I could read the minds of my teenagers sometimes. It is likely good that I can't, but still, it might make things easier on occasion if I could.

Random Note #5: Socktoberfest came and went without me finishing either of my pairs of socks I was working on. Zombie sock #2 will likely be finished soon, but this year's Mystery Sock pair came to a grinding halt at the same point as last year's the foot section of the first sock. Gah. Hopefully I'll manage to finish them up by the end of November, though, and not wait until next year, like I did with last year's pair. I really could use a couple pair of new socks!

Random Note #6: I have to have surgery in a couple of weeks. Really, it is more of a procedure than actual surgery to my way of thinking, but the doctor keeps referring to it as surgery. And I have to have pre-op blood work and tests done. So I guess it is surgery. I wasn't all that freaked out about it until they started calling it surgery, but now I would like to just ignore it and hope it goes away. And, while I'm not an overly superstitious person, I have to wonder what I was thinking to have scheduled it for Friday the 13th. :::sigh::: What is irking me more than anything about the whole thing, though, is that I've been informed I'll need to take at least two weeks off from the gym afterward. Not happy about that. At all. :P

Random Note #7: I am tired, in every sense of the word. The past couple weeks have just sapped me, though I'm not entirely sure why. Too many things to do and too many things on my mind. But hey! It is November! A new month! My calendar is blessedly open compared to the past two months, so I'm really hoping for some time of rejuvenation. I could use it.