Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I re-started the lace cashmere scarf from my October visit to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York. I think this is the fourth re-start, but as I mentioned the other day, it's become my personal challenge. It's only an eight row repeat, but for me, the challenge seems to be keeping track of where I am, as I usually do most of my knitting while talking to friends and/or family. So I'm marking it off row by row, and only working on it at home. This shows two repeats.
And this is the dog sweater pattern I'm using for a sweater for my mom's dog. I'm using some Mission Falls 1824 wool for it (stash yarn!). She wanted red and this is pretty close, although the color doesn't show so well here.
I spent a lot of time on the couch yesterday, watching Foyle's War and working on it. What am I going to do when the series ends? I think I only have three DVDs left to rent. Steve has finally started to enjoy it.
While blog surfing, I found this great idea about purging excess items. Having a limit may help me actually do it, instead of feeling like I have a huge project on my hands.
Also found this thoughtful post. It's got me thinking about what word I would choose. I know this past Thanksgiving I focused on the mantra, "Joy, Gratitude, and Compassion", so I'm thinking about using one of those. Or maybe all three. I truly believe I have joy and gratitude most of the time, but compassion may be a good one. Or patience. Kindness? Should it be a verb or an adjective?
It doesn't look so bad in this photo but we may have been the only women in the place, other than the waitresses. There are lots of science fiction style murals on the wall, much of it very weird looking. It's a great place to go when you can eat on the patio outside, but M#1 wanted to eat there before she went back home, so of course we went.
She left this morning; she was supposed to fly out at 7:15 a.m. but her plane was delayed until 9, and I just received a text from her telling me she's on a broken down train, so no telling how much longer it'll be until she gets home. At least it seems there were no problems with the bus she had to take from LaGuardia to the train station. Poor baby, she should have been home by noon and now who knows? Guess that's travel on the holidays. At least she didn't have much trouble at the airport.
We're having a quiet day at home. S went back to bed as soon as we got home from the airport, and M#2 and I went to the urgent care for her UTI (finally). The doctor told her it looks like she's getting over it but he gave her an antibiotic anyway. She's not sure she'll get the prescription filled though, unless she feels worse. She and I both went back to bed afterwards and she's actually still sleeping.
I've finally started a Kurt Wallander mystery that I checked out of the library a few weeks ago. Now that there is no Christmas knitting to do, I've got the time. It was such a great PBS series last summer that I decided to read the books. I'm not sure how many there are; quite a few I think.
As for knitting, I ripped out the cashmere lace scarf I had started on my October visit to New York and restarted it. It's an eight row lace pattern and this time I'm going to pay closer attention and NOT mess it up! I know I can do this, for heaven's sake. Now it's personal!
I also need to make a dog sweater for my mom's dog as soon as possible. Will probably start on that today while watching a Foyle's War episode. Isn't it lovely to have so many choices?
Monday, December 28, 2009
I bought four of these Crate & Barrel dessert plates at a thrift store this year; they may have been $1 each. So clean and crisp looking.
This set of Christmas plates were bought at a yard sale (I think) at least five years ago and I have no idea what they cost. I love the bright colors on them. I don't always pull them out but I did this year since we had the feast of St. Stephen!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
It may very well be our new tradition. With blended families, the kids all feel a little stretched, what with trying to visit everybody as it is, so we thought doing our Christmas the day after would help them out. With the exception of the leftover ham my mom brought over for us, the meal was vegetarian. That's a tofurkey in the upper left hand corner that Steve baked.
It turned out very well. Steve and I cooked all day, the kids showed up around five, and we ate, opened gifts, (no idea what was so funny), modeled knitwear, and played a rousing game of Yahtzee, (J loved his Turn a Square hat in Eagle's colors), which Steve won. Here he is in his fresh-off-the-needles hat, contemplating his next move.M2 in her Boho Beret, slouching it up.
Now I have a fridge full of food, so the kids who are staying over can forage to their college student heart's content!
And now, I have to figure out what to knit next! Now that the Christmas knitting is over, I'm at a bit of a loss. The final Christmas knitting count was nine hats and nine pairs of handwarmers/mittens. (The bout of bronchitis was partly the reason my numbers were so high, I think.) I know I could work on the cardigan (remember that?), but I'm not feeling it just yet. Time to pull out the pattern books and think.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Meanwhile, a little photo catching up. Here are some of the Christmas presents my girls made for their grandparents and aunts. M#1 and I went to the thrift store to buy these plates and then she and her sister made cookies. These are the jam-filled tarts; they also made truffles. I particularly liked the two rectangular ones; you wouldn't believe how heavy they were. I thought it was a great idea to use thrifted glass instead of plastic Gladware.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Baking, crafting, wrapping, talking, knitting, eating. Like a pajama party or a dormitory.
I think MB is feeling a little out of place amongst all this estrogen.
Merry Christmas Eve to all!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
First is yet another Turn A Square hat, made out of a solid color Galway Highland Heather and striped with a slightly varigated green Galway. For some reason the main color feels a lot scratchier than the green. I'm whipping up a couple more striped hats for the various men in the family, so I'm not really sure whose hat this one is yet.
And this is the vintage fabric I bought this summer at the Brooklyn Flea. I'm finally sewing up the pajamas I planned for this. These are for M#1 and I think she'll love them. This is the first time I've ever used vintage fabric; it was kind of daunting to me to cut it up, since it's been so long since I've sewn anything, but I like it. It feels great and it reminds me of the trip we took.
I'm so grateful that I have the ability to create gifts for my loved ones. I think at least half of the gifts this year have been handmade by me and that makes me happy.
Merry Christmas Eve Eve!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Now they've gone to their dad's house, but I'll see them again tomorrow. So nice.
Oh yes, and it seems my dad does have shingles, which doesn't really surprise me as I have a cold sore outbreak as well. He got a shot and some medicine that should help alleviate the symptons, plus the preventive shot he received a month or two ago is supposed to help reduce the severity. Here's hoping.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I woke up this morning to a dusting of snow on the ground, just enough to be pretty, but the roads were fine.
This is our back yard,
and this is the view from our front porch.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
My daughter, M2, left B-burg this morning at 4 a.m. and made it to her dad's house around 1 p.m.
That will be good enough for right now.
Thanks so much Rudee and Stephanie for your kind words and thoughts. It really means a lot to me. Now I'm going to go take a nap, for I was out in the shopping madness for a couple of hours and I'm all tuckered out.
Oh and the snow? We are the only area in the state without snow. Bay effect.
Friday, December 18, 2009
My friend L and I went to dinner for our Christmas exchange and had a lovely, relaxing time. We split a bottle of red wine and talked and ate and then we came back to my house to talk some more. She loved the Bella mittens I made her and the brown Fetching mitts, and I love my large bottle of Tia Maria, something I love but never buy for myself.
Meanwhile my poor husband is driving S home through bad weather and bad traffic. They've been on the road since 3, should have been here by 6, and although it's nearly 10, he said it'll be another hour at least.
My daughter in Blacksburg is snowed in with a bladder infection she was too busy to take care of this week, after spending six hours in the car getting nowhere due to the snow. So now she's back in her apartment with her father and her roommate, not sure when she'll get home. And I'm hoping she doesn't have a lot of pain from the infection she should have already gotten medication for.
If this all sounds incoherent, it's because I am. Incoherent. Stressed. It will be better tomorrow. Right?
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Oh, and I just saw these over at PurlBee. So pretty. I do love their project ideas. This one looks like a nice keep-in-the-car project, and it'll help me use some yarn I bought from KnitPicks that I've had no idea how to use. Until now.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The rest of the day went well also; lots of differentiating between classes, trying to meet the needs of all the students. It's something I'm supposed to do every day (and I try) but you can imagine some days go better than others. Today was one of the better ones.
This is a tree made out of construction paper loops; the kids wrote science facts on them last week and I put them up in the hall in the shape of a Christmas tree. You'd be amazed at how 8th graders still love to see their work on display; they stop and point out their loop to their friends. They try and act so cool, but they're still kids at heart, underneath the bravado.
My husband and I went out to dinner tonight to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of our wedding. He and I have been missing connections with each other lately, due in part to my catching up from being sick a week, part due to holiday stress I'm sure. So it was nice to sit down and focus on each other. No matter how strained we sometimes feel with each other, I still am grateful to have found and married this man.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Despite feeling cranky, I had a good day at work. We had shortened bells (again!) but the lesson I had planned was easy enough to accommodate the change in plans. Pep rally in the afternoon and then a short faculty meeting, but I was home in time to wrap MB's Christmas gifts before he came home.
I'm not sure why I'm feeling so edgy; probably still a little tired from the bronchitis. Poor MB has had to bear the brunt of the crankiness.
And speaking of cranky, is it just me or is this just a little over the top? I love the scarf, hell, I love everything they put on their website, but I calculated that it would cost $90 to make and I call that pretty pricey. That doesn't qualify as a last minute gift for me, what about you? Or am I just being cranky?
Now it's off to the couch to knit some more! I'm really flying through some of the handwarmer gifts. No pressure though, whatever gets done, gets done. I've made no promises to anyone, so they'll all be truly surprise gifts. Although I would like to do an easy dog sweater for my mother's dog. . . . .
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Oh, and I bought this flag at the thrift store last week.
But hey, at least they're wrapped, right?
Saturday, December 12, 2009
It's a cold, clear Saturday here in Ocean View. MB and I are planning to put up the Christmas tree today. I'll put lights on it and the presents under it, and that may be the extent of it. It's the lights and the tree smell that I love so much.
I had a great week at school. I can't remember the last time I worked a full week. Between getting sick, Thanksgiving, and the Nor'easter storm days, it's been awhile. I really enjoyed being back though. Did some creative writing things with the kids that I'm proud of.
Speaking of being proud, I received a letter and certificate from the Praxis people about the certification test I took last month. Not only did I pass it, I scored in the top 15%, which entitled me to a special certificate and a high proficiency rating.
Hope you have a great weekend! Knitting photos coming up soon!