Thursday, December 31, 2015

Closing the calendar

Wow!  December 31st, 2015.  This past year sure did fly by.  I've never been one to spend a lot of time reflecting back on the past year's happenings and I don't bother to make resolutions for the coming year.  I used to, but really, why bother?  I know they'll be broken by January 2nd, the 3rd at the latest.  I have to admit though, I do love to close one calendar and open a brand new one.  There is just so much hope and potential in a new calendar.  It's always fun to think about what exciting adventures a new calendar year will bring.

I have no idea what those 2016 adventures will be, but I'm closing 2015 with a bit of end of year knitting.  I finished this octopus button hat just moments before midnight last night.

Octopus button band hat
Octopus Hat

I knit a few button band hats for Christmas gifts and while out button shopping for them, I found about a zillion other buttons for future hats.  

octopus button band hat
Octopus button

I absolutely love that cute little octopus and am so glad he came with two more of his friends.  I've already cast on a new burgundy hat for one of his friends and I'm thinking dark gray or black for the third button.  As cute as he is, this little octopus has proven difficult to coordinate with stashed yarn.

jewel toned sparkly hat
Sparkly Hat

I finished knitting this sparkly hat in the early morning hours today.  This slouchy hat will take the place of honor as being the last completed project of 2015.  As much as I'd like to think I could power knit through New Year's Eve and finish the next octopus button hat, I'm fairly sure that won't happen.

Speaking of New Year's Eve, I've got to go get ready.  And by get ready, I mean take a shower and put on clean pajamas.  Our New Year's celebration tends to be fairly low key which is fine with me.  We stay home, cook a big chunk of meat on the grill, drink a bottle of wine with dinner and nine years out of ten, fall asleep before the ball drops.  Not a very exciting tradition, but tradition none the less.  And it's a tradition that suits us well.

Meanwhile, Minnie is adding a bit of humor to our New Year's festivities by practicing her Harrison Ford imitation.

dog doing a Harrison Ford imitation

I'm wishing you all a very happy and prosperous New Year.  Stay safe out there tonight!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Five by Five

We survived Christmas!  And of course, I hope you did as well.  It was an interesting holiday this year.  We escaped the holiday without having to make a single 911 call and there were no trips to the ER.  This year's drama was centered around the weather.  Well, and the baking.  All I'm going to say about the baking is that my awesome Thanksgiving baking karma did not hold through Christmas.  In fact, it pretty much bit me on the a$$.  Let's just say there were a few problems in the kitchen.  I'll leave it at that.

But the Christmas weather drama....  It rained.  It was hot and it rained.  And it rained and rained and rained.  It was so hot, my son wore shorts to Christmas dinner and the rest of us wore summer shirts rather than Christmas sweaters.  It was so hot we turned the air conditioner on in the house. And then there was the rain.  It wasn't just rain, it was RAIN!  It rained and rained and rained.  It thunder stormed for almost 24 hours straight.  Literally!  The thunder storms started around 10 a.m. on Christmas Eve morning and didn't stop until around 7 p.m. Christmas night.  Rivers, creeks, fields and yards flooded and trees fell.  It rained so hard on Christmas Eve that by late afternoon, you could ride around the neighborhood & hear three out of five houses' septic tank alarms ringing.  We pretended it was Santa's sleigh bells.

But weather & cooking drama aside, we had a very nice Christmas.  I managed to get all the gift knitting done.  Done in time to get them wrapped.  Okay, bagged.  Thank God for gift bags!  Anyway, the gift knitting got done, although not photographed, and I even had a few minutes to  cast on a #ChristmasEveCastOn project.

hat knit with Yarn Bee Dazzling Tropics

Actually, two #ChristmasEveCastOn projects.  The first was a hat.  The yarn is Yarn Bee Dazzling in the Tropics colorway.  I don't remember buying it, but it was in my stash pile and it's sparkly jewel tones seemed festive and I thought it would be a nice break from all that brown & white gift knitting I did.  Why?  Why was every single gift I knit this year either brown or white?  Why?

Even though I was happy to knit a sparkly hat, I couldn't stop thinking about the yarn I'd balled just a few days earlier.

Five by Five cowl

Moment's before leaving to go deliver gifts and getting in the passenger seat of the car, with my daughter behind the wheel, I decided I needed something a little more special to take my mind off my baby girl driving us around in the pouring down, road flooding rain & holiday traffic.  I grabbed those green yarns, a pair of needles and cast on the Five by Five Cowl.

knit cowl
Five by Five Cowl

It turns out, the Five by Five is a super simple, quick to knit project.  I've already finished it and would have worn it, except it's still a little on the warm side.  By the end of the week though, in typical Virginia fashion, the temperatures will crash and it will be back down into the 20's where it's supposed to be this time of year.  And I'll be wearing my gorgeous Five by Five cowl.  Except...

Except this pattern was so easy and so much fun and I have about 1,000 different workable yarn combinations in my stash pile....  I may be wearing a totally different one by this weekend.

And let's not mention how desperately I want to binge watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer now.  Thanks for that, Five by Five.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

TBT - Merry Christmas

For today's Christmas Eve Throwback Thursday, I'm looking back to Christmas's past.

Throwback Thursday, Christmas Eve 1965
Christmas Eve, 1965
I'm not sure why I was looking so sad on Christmas Eve.  I loved that Christmas dress and I always loved going to my grandparents house for Christmas Eve dinner and the reading of The Night Before Christmas.  Maybe I'd lost that day's round of gloating.

throwback Thursday, Christmas 2001
Christmas Morning, 2001
While not very Christmasy, I love this picture of my kids coming down the stairs Christmas morning.   Sarah's look of determination and concentration and Zack's obvious excitement and death grip on Brown Bear.  Poor Brown Bear!  He looks like he's got his hands up in that, "You're choking me!" defensive position.

Merry Christmas to all of you.  I hope that Santa is good to each of you and that you are warm and safe and surrounded by friends and family.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Candy Cane Hell

Yikes!  Ever since Thanksgiving, I've been thinking Christmas fell on a Saturday this year.  I've been counting on Christmas falling on a Saturday.  Imagine my total surprise/freak out/nervous breakdown yesterday when I looked a little closer at the calendar and realized it falls on a Friday. BAM!  In an instant, 24 hours of preparation time gone.  Just gone.  24 hours, gone.  Holy Moly.

So, I'm stepping up, doing everything in double time & basically being a complete be-otch to anyone who crosses my path.  I suggest you stay far, far away.

candy cane chocolate chip cookies
Unwrapping Candy Canes

Besides being in total be-otch panic mode, it's also Christmas Hell day.  The day I have to take the sticky, staticy cellophane off six boxes of candy canes & grind them up to make candy cane sugar.  In other words, Christmas Hell day.

candy cane chocolate chip cookies
Candy Cane Static Cling

Unwrapping the candy canes is a nightmare of a job because the static in the cellophane makes the wrappers stick to you, it's impossible to see the wrapper when on the candy cane so you're never positive you've gotten it all off and after unwrapping the third or fourth candy cane, your fingers are sticky and you are head to toe static cling bits of cellophane but you can't wipe your fingers on a damp cloth to de-sticky them because you don't want the candy canes to get wet.  It's a pure Christmas Hell nightmare.  But, it's so worth it!

If you are up for having your own Christmas Hell day, I highly recommend it.  After you've unwrapped the candy canes, grind them up until they are powdery in the blender or food processor.  Putting a coffee filter over the lid of which ever machine you use helps to keep the candy cane dust from escaping.  I know that sounds weird, but just trust me.  If you try it, use a coffee filter!  Once you have powdered candy cane, you replace half the white sugar in your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe with the ground up candy cane.  The result is Amazing!  Amazing with a capital A!  You not only get peppermint chocolate chip cookies with a slight festive pink tint, but the candy cane sugar does something to the dough to make the cookies softer & chewier.  They are freaking delicious!

As a word of caution, if you want the peppermint chocolate chip cookies without the fun of Christmas Hell day, you can use peppermint extract but the flavor isn't quite as good and the texture is no where near the same.  You must experience Christmas Hell in order to experience the deliciousness of a real candy cane chocolate chip cookie.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Only four days to go

Thankfully both the Christmas Panic Knitting and the Christmas Panic To-Do lists are winding down.  The tree is up and sort of decorated.  It only has about eight decorations on it instead of our normal gazillion but at this point, I'm not sure anyone cares.  Surprisingly, I sort of like the minimalist look.

I've also discovered a photo editing option that blurs out the extraneous junk pile & the fact that my husband is watching a TV show about backhoes.  Yay for photo editing!

hand knit
Princess Cardigan

The Princess Cardigan is blocking.  And taking a lifetime to dry.  I'm hoping to take the sweater button shopping tomorrow so it's now being blocked at a weird angle in a sunny window.

with cabled cuffs
Top Down Sweater 

The tiny little top down sweater with cabled cuffs is also finished & blocking.

yarn for the five by five cowl scarf
Five by Five
And the yarn for the next project has been wound and is ready to go.

bad dog, not excited for Santa

Meanwhile, Minnie is not stressing over Christmas & Santa's arrival.  She pretty much knows how she's behaved this year.  She says there's no point in getting excited.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Little Sweaters

I'm still in Christmas Panic Knitting mode, but I'm not panicking quite as much as I was last week.

top down baby sweater with cabled ribbing.
OTN 12/18/15

The little brown sweater has a sleeve.  It shouldn't take me long to get this bad boy finished.  It helps that it's a small, little sweater.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

TBT - Christmas Gloating

Gloating.  It's one of my all time favorite Christmas traditions.

Gloating, Christmas 1976

As soon as the first packages arrived under the tree, my sister and I would begin the daily gloating ritual.  We'd start at one end of the living room & lay our presents out, end to end, on the living room floor and see who had the longest pile.  It made no difference who had more gifts, just their size.  Diamond earrings?  An engraved necklace?  The book all the cool kids were reading?  No thank you.  Give us a mop, a toilet plunger, a Chrissy or Velvet doll.  To this day, I'm not sure if I begged and pleaded for Chrissy & Velvet because I wanted the dolls or because they each stood almost three feet tall.  I definitely won the gloating contest the year I got both Chrissy & Velvet, but then came the crushing years when my sister got her own apartment and later got married.  I was at the earrings and nail polish stage of life when my sister was happily receiving mops and vacuum cleaners.

Sadly, I could never force get my own kids interested in gloating.  It may have had something to do with always having very hard hardwood floors....  I wonder if my sister's kids gloat.  I wonder if my great niece and nephew gloat.....  Hmmm, Great Aunt Jeannie just might have something to teach them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

On the needles

The princess cardigan has sleeves!

child's sweater, princess cardigan,
OTN 12/16/15

Okay, so the sleeves aren't sewn on yet, but at least they've been knit.  It's just a matter of sewing them on, knitting the button band & collar, then a quick wash & blocking, then sew on some buttons, choose a dye color....

Wait!  Did I say buttons??  Crud.  I haven't bought the buttons yet.  Back to the store I go....

max is worried about what Santa will think.  dogs, pets,
Oh no! What will Santa say?

Meanwhile, Max is a little worried about what Santa will think of his recent behavior.  I bought him a new bed and he refuses to lay on it.  He lays beside it, but not on it.  And when I try to coax him into laying on the bed, he growls.  Bad dog!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A rather exciting Sunday

Things are pretty exciting around here today.  I've made a little headway on the Christmas Panic Knitting,

on the needles, top down toddler sweater,
OTN 12/13/15

I finally took the plastic wrap off the recently purchased poinsettias,

#christmascountdown pointsettia

the Redskins are leading by three and the smoke alarm is beeping it's dead battery warning.  And it will probably get much more exciting around here because, guess who doesn't have any new 9V batteries in the house.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Let it snow

Mother Nature isn't feeling very Christmassy today.

#christmascountdown  snow in the cedars

Instead of being cold and snowy, it's sunny and 68 degrees.  Practically bathing suit weather.  My electric bill sure isn't complaining, but it's awfully hard to feel the Christmas spirit when it's this warm.  It's also difficult to force yourself to get any Christmas Panic Knitting done.  It's hard to feel panicky when you keep thinking how nice an afternoon on the beach would be.  Maybe I'll feel a little more panicky after a nap in the sun.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

TBT - First Timers

Christmas, 1995...

TBT Christmas, 1995
Zack's First Christmas

Zack's first Christmas.  I'm not sure why the Christmas tree was on the coffee table, unless maybe it was so that Zack couldn't reach the ornaments.  I can't even remember.  All I do remember about that special Christmas is that Zack would have been perfectly happy with one empty cardboard box and a bow to chew on.  Instead of giving him a box and a bow, our living room looked like a ToysRUs warehouse on Christmas morning.  Good grief!  Santa definitely over indulged that year.  You gotta love first time parents Santas.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

On the needles

Today's OTN report...

OTN on the needles princess cardigan
Princess Cardigan

The Princess Cardigan has a right side, back and almost a full left side.  I'm having some trouble knitting this cute little sweater, not because of issues with the pattern or the stitch being difficult... but because of the boring white yarn.  I should have dyed the yarn before I knit the sweater.

Good Lord, all that white yarn is boring.  I've been knitting and watching The Office on Netflix.  How is it  possible that I'd never seen The Office before?  It just may be my new favorite TV show.  I may even like it more than Buffy.  Except, that I haven't been knitting and watching The Office.  I've been avoiding knitting by eating while watching The Office.  Good Lord!  I think I've probably gained ten pounds since I started knitting this small little sweater.  I reached new heights of procrastination today when I caught myself washing a load of laundry even though I still have clean underwear in my underwear drawer.  It's a sad state of affairs when I'm choosing laundry over knitting.

In an effort to procrastinate just a tiny moment longer, let's talk #ChristmasCountdown.

Advent candles for #christmascountdown

The Advent candles have always been one of my absolute favorite parts of Christmas.  What's your favorite?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Wishes

What's on your December reading list?  I get a little sappy this time of year and love to read Christmas romances.  Well, Christmas romances & Skipping Christmas.  I read Skipping Christmas every year because it's so funny and so true and laughing at the ridiculousness of the over-spending part of the holiday seems to ground me a little and helps me keep the debit card hidden in my wallet instead of flashing it at every available cashier.

But moving on past Skipping Christmas....  I have several holiday romances lined up on my Kindle and the first in the que is Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale.  I've read all of Jenny's/Mrs. Hale's other books and enjoyed them all.  Jenny/Mrs. Hale is an excellent writer, her books are well edited (it just drives me crazy to read a book full of typos and for some reason, romance novels tend to be) and her obvious love of Christmas makes my sister look like a total Scrooge.  And if you know my sister, you know she is anything but a Scrooge.  Anyway.... if you're looking for a nice Christmas themed book to read this year, grab a copy of Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses or any of Jenny's/Mrs. Hale's other novels.  You won't be sorry.

And yes, I realize it's weird to keep calling Jenny/Mrs. Hale "Jenny/Mrs. Hale"  but there's a reason for it. Her writing deserves respect & I feel I should call her Mrs. Hale.  After all, I wouldn't refer to Stephen King as Steven.  Except I worked for Jenny's/Mrs. Hale's father for years and knew Jenny when she was 12.  I got to hear all about her preteen angst, her first boyfriend, her first prom, her high school graduation....  It just seems weird to call her Mrs. Hale.  So, for the purpose of this blog, she's Jenny/Mrs. Hale.

But what I call her shouldn't matter.  Just go grab one of her books and start reading.  You won't be sorry.

As for knitting while I read, I won't be knitting on the blue striped hat.

light weight unisex slouchy hat for sale at
Blue Striped Slouchy Hat

Because it's finished!  And listed in my Etsy shop.  Yay!  One more thing crossed off the Christmas Panic Knitting list.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Like mother, like daughter

So, I came home from having a play date with my BFF and discovered that my daughter had spent the day decorating the house for Christmas and cooking a Thanksgiving style turkey dinner.  Sarah is officially back in the lead for being the favorite child.

I had to laugh though.  She cooked the turkey upside down.  Oh well.  She comes by her turkey cooking skills honestly.  I can't tell you how many times I've cooked a turkey or whole chicken upside down.  For the life of me, the only way I can figure out which way is up is to hold the turkey up & make it "dance" on the counter to see which way it's little legs are going.  And half the time, I still get it wrong.  It's a good thing I'm a knitter, not a cook.

Cabled slouch hat  at
Cabled Slouchy Hat

The Christmas panic knitting is progressing.  The maroon cabled hat is off the needles, the candy cane hat is a few stripes closer to completion and I made it past the boring stockinette on the cardigan.

smocked cardigan knit for Christmas gift
Smocked Cardigan

I've never done any knit smocking before but I can see lots of it in my future.  I'm loving the pattern.  For something so simple to knit, the pattern creates a complex looking texture.

As for the Christmas photo of the day...

Christmas decorations

Even our bathroom is decorated.  Now, if we only had a battery for that flameless candle...

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Great Aunt Jeannie

Remember me mentioning that I'd finally gotten to meet my adorable great-nephew on Thanksgiving and how my dear, sweet sister and her adult children are teaching the baby to call me Great Aunt Jeannie?  Great Aunt Jeannie with the emphasis on the Great.  Remember how I'm throwing a little bit of a hissy fit about it?  I mean, come on.  Great Aunts are old.  Old and frowny-faced.  Old and frowny-faced and they sit all lady-like and proper while pinching your cheeks.

Great Aunt Susan at Christmas, 1987??
Great Aunt Susan, Christmas, 1987 or 1988

While I'll admit that I've got a bit more gray hair than I like to think about and I do occasionally get frowny-faced, I do not sit like a proper lady and pinch cheeks.  I am not Great Aunt material.  Not yet!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

On the needles

Just a quick OTN post today...

red & white striped slouchy hat looks like a candy cane.
Candy Cane Hat

A Christmasy red & white striped slouchy hat.  The yarn is Knit Pick's Felici in "Cheer."  I'm knitting the hat on US 1 needles so it may be next Christmas before I finish it.  I'm loving the knitted fabric though.  There's just enough pink mixed in that it looks like a slightly sticky candy cane.  In fact, sometimes, I swear I can smell peppermint when I'm knitting.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Let the Christmas Panic Begin

As thankful as I am that November's daily posting is over, it's December and time for all things Christmas.  And part of all things Christmas is making a December mood board.  And of course while I was on Pinterest making the mood board, I came across a Christmas Photo a Day list.  Dammit!  I was so close to going back to only posting a couple of times a week instead of daily.  But a Christmasy photo a day challenge does sound like fun.

Yeah, a Christmasy photo a day challenge sounds like fun until you realize it's December 1st.  and I need a Christmasy photo but I haven't gone into the attic yet to get the decorations and it's pouring down rain so I'm not going outside to take pictures of the holly leaves.  So....

sad little night light tree
Christmas Night Light

Our Christmas night light.  It got set out when I was putting the Halloween decorations away and I never put it back into the attic.  You have to cut the poor little tree a little slack.  It was $2.00 at GoodWill a few years ago.  Some of the branches are five or six inches longer than others nearby.  It sort of looks like it's suffered some kind of nuclear tragedy, but when you're knitting in the dark at 3:00 a.m. because the husband gets pissy about trying to sleep with the lights on and you're still on the summer's work-all-night, sleep-all-day sleep schedule, it's right pretty and you hardly notice it's weird branches or that it tilts to the left.

So, what am I knitting at 3:00 a.m., you ask?

slouchy hat and toddler cardigan
Christmas Panic Knitting

Another faux cabled slouchy hat and Classic Elite's Smocked Cardigan.  The cardigan is being knit for my niece with some very boring white wool but it will get dyed once it's finished.  I can't decide if I should dye it then gift it, or gift it and let the young lady choose the dye color and help me with the dye process.  I guess the answer to that will depend on (1) how close to Christmas it is when I finish it, and (2) whether said niece has dropped the "Great" from Great Aunt Jeannie.

And, just because I discovered this forgotten picture on the camera....
full moon

We had a full moon the other night and it was one of those huge, low-hanging full moons.  It was also incredibly bright, except there were thin clouds floating across it.  And while I was out in the yard taking the picture, a fox, or maybe a ghost, ran across the yard right in front of me.  I'm really not sure what it was.  It was just a low to the ground, gray shape that sped past.  I'm assuming it was a fox because I don't know what else could have been moving that fast, but I'm not counting out some kind of animal ghost either.  What ever it was, it was definite proof that I should be inside Christmas panic knitting, not outside taking pictures.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 30

Giving Thanks, Day 30, otherwise known as thank the Lord it's the end of November & I can go back to posting only a few times a week.  I'm proud of myself for posting daily for a full 30 days though.  Actually, I didn't.  I missed yesterday.  Instead of blogging I cleaned & purged the house and made a giant pile of stuff to take to GoodWill.  And I'm thankful for that.  I was also thankful for Amazon yesterday.  Actually, thankful might not be the right word.  In total awe is more like it.  The fuel pump went out on my car Saturday.  Saturday night, around 8:30 p.m. (8:41 to be exact) my husband ordered a replacement pump from Amazon.  Sunday morning. when I came down stairs around 9:30 a.m., the pump was sitting on our front porch.  Not only did Amazon deliver it on a Sunday, it was delivered less than 13 hours from the moment we ordered it.  I am in awe!

I'm also thankful that the replacement pump works and that my husband was able to install it and my daughter can take my car to school today instead of me having to drive her in the company truck.  (She's not insured to drive the truck.)  My husband is thankful that Nissan's fuel pumps are located under the back seat instead of where ever Chevy puts theirs.  I'm not sure where Chevy places their fuel pumps, but I know replacing them involves a full day in the garage with the vehicle completely torn apart, lots and lots of curse words from my husband and bloody knuckles.    The Nissan's fuel pump replacement took about an hour and a half and no Bandaids were required.  Thank you Nissan!

But that was yesterday.

Today, I'm thankful for a wonderful mother-in-law who wishes to remain anonymous and a terrific brother-in-law who makes my sister very happy.


So, thanks for being you, Irene & Boots.  And happy birthday to you both.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 27

It's Day 27 of this Giving Thanks thing and I have so much to be thankful for.

It's Black Friday and I am NOT out among the crowds shopping.  I have lots of friends who live for the excitement of pushing and shoving and standing in Black Friday lines and I realize they save a ton of money, but you will never ever see me in a Black Friday line.  I try not to even leave the house on Black Friday.  So today, I'm thankful that we came home from Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house with enough leftovers that I don't even need to stand in line at the grocery store today.

I'm thankful that Thanksgiving went well and was drama free.  There were no baking emergencies, no one got sick, no fights or arguments, no 911 calls, the weather was perfect, the food was even better than the weather and I finally got to meet my great nephew.  Good Lord, I can't believe I'm a Great Aunt.  That just makes me sound so old!  So while I may not be all that thankful that they are teaching him to call me Great Aunt Jeannie, I am thankful I finally got to meet him.  He's precious!

I'm thankful that the season of pumpkin flavored everything is over and the candy canes have arrived.

I'm thankful my Christmas cowl is blocked and almost dry.

Christmas cowl
Christmas Cowl

And I'm thankful that I finished all the knitting projects I'd promised myself I'd finish before Thanksgiving.  There's currently nothing on the needles.  It's a very strange and slightly scary feeling.  But that's about to change.  I have just a bit of frantic Christmas knitting to get done.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 26

I'm combining giving thanks with Throwback Thursday.

Today, as America celebrates Thanksgiving by stuffing their faces, I'm thankful for

giving thanks for food on the table, enough to eat and food hangovers
Zack, at peace with a full belly, 1995

full bellies and food hangovers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 25

Today, I am giddy with thankfulness that tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I can not wait!  I'm so excited for the excuse to over eat.  I LOVE turkey but for some reason, I never cook turkey so the holidays are about the only time I get turkey.  And it goes without saying, I love pie.  And I love my daughter's pumpkin spice cake roll and my sister's macaroni & cheese, and my niece usually bakes some kind of yummy desert... And then there's how much I love annoying my family by making them listen to Alice's Restaurant on repeat.

But besides the food and awesome song lyrics, I'm also thankful for Thanksgiving because the next day means Christmas!  I get just a tiny bit excited about Christmas.  I'm like a two year old waiting for Santa.  I don't go overboard with decorating or shopping, in fact I'm fairly low key with both decorating and shopping.  But you can bet, I'll be happily setting that dreaded alarm clock Friday morning so I can get up nice and early to turn on the Christmas tunes, put the candles in the windows & plop myself in front of the Holiday Movie channel with a candy cane and begin the Christmas knitting frenzy.  I can not wait!

Meanwhile, today I'll keep myself busy with accidently dropping pies on the floor and finishing up the blue striped hat

Blue striped slouchy hat for sale at
OTN 11/25/15

and the second faux cabled fingerless glove to match the hat I listed for sale yesterday.  Sadly, I didn't even get the second glove cast on last night.  I'd planned to finish it but never even started it.  Although it doesn't have the nice ring to it that Second Sock Syndrome has, I think Second Glove Syndrome has set in.  I've got to do something about that though because come Friday, it's Christmas Frenzy Knitting time.

Well, it looks like I have a busy day cut out for me.  I have pies to burn, a hat and a glove to knit and I must go que up Alice's Restaurant.  Sing it with me now,

"This song is called "Alice's Restaurant."  It's about Alice, and the restaurant, but "Alice's Restaurant" is not the name of the restaurant, that's just the name of the song.  That's why I call the song...."

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 24

Gosh!  I'm on Day 24 & I haven't missed a single day yet.  That alone is something to be thankful for.  Maybe not for you, because really, besides me, who cares what I'm thankful for?  Probably no one.  Oh well, get over it.

So, besides being thankful that I've made it to Day 24 without missing a beat, what am I thankful for today?  Besides the fact that there's only another week of this thankful nonsense to go I mean, because that is something to be thankful for!  Anyway... what am I thankful for  today?  Well, it may be well past noon as I write this, but noon is still "early morning" to me.  I'm still on the 'sleep all morning, work all night' sleep schedule.  I can't seem to break it.  I may have to resort to setting the dreaded alarm clock.  Yikes!

Okay, refocus.....

Today... what am I thankful for?  Besides large doses of coffee?  Once again, I'm thankful for my daughter.  She may have gotten home from school (in my car) so late yesterday that I missed knitting group, but she did take it upon herself to hit grocery store after grocery store until she found pecans.  I have pecans now!  Thanksgiving has been saved and I'm oh, so thankful for my daughter's thoughtfulness and diligence.  And she doesn't even like pecan pie all that much!  Thanks, Sarah!

Meanwhile, in knitting world....

slouchy beanie for sale at
Faux Cabled Slouchy Hat

I finished another faux cabled hat.  The color is just gorgeous.  It's not really blue and it's not really green.  The yarn manufacturer calls it Fjord.  Which is actually a perfect name for it.  It's the exact color of the water in this picture of a fjord.

example of a fjord

In case you're wondering, the definition of a fjord is "a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, as in Norway and Iceland."  The shirtless guy in the photo is just an added bonus of 
stealing pictures from Google Images.  

gloves and mittens for sale at
Faux Cabled Fingerless Gloves

Currently, I'm knitting a pair of fingerless gloves to match the hat.  I didn't get much knitting done last night.  There was a lot of drama going on in my geared-towards-teens,-Netflix-soap-opera that forced me to do a lot more mindless cookie eating than knitting.  Hopefully tonight's knitting time will be more productive.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 23

Today I'm thankful for my family, specially my sister.

Playing dolls

Even though she's ten years older, growing up, she always took the time to play with me.  I also got some great hand-me-down dolls from her.  Based on their hairstyles alone, you can tell those dolls were well loved.  Perhaps not treated well, but well loved.

Cary & I at Radford University
First day of college

She helped ship me off to college.  And that was more help than you know.  I was one-armed due to a shoulder injury from playing way too much corner tag in the pool.  Have you ever played corner tag?  It's brutal!

bridesmaid dress gone wrong
Peach taffeta

She even wore that peach monstrosity of a bridesmaid dress for me without complaint.  Well, not too much complaint.  But I'll cut her some slack on that because, well, who wouldn't have complained about wearing that peach monstrosity?  Good Lord!

But around the holidays, I become more thankful than ever for my sister.  And do you know why?  It's because, being ten years older, she always hosts the family gatherings.  Family gatherings like Thanksgiving.  So while I'm here, boozing it up over not being able to locate a bag of pecans, she's at her house, scrubbing and polishing and wrangling a giant turkey and fifty other side dishes.  Thank you, Cary!  I am forever grateful for having you as my sister.

Meanwhile, in knitting world, I finished the faux cabled hat from yesterday and started this simple striped hat.

hand knit hat available at
Blue Stripes

The yarn is Patons Kroy Socks in the Singing the Blues colorway.  Have I mentioned how much I love Patons Kroy Socks yarn?  (And no, that's not a type-o/grammar thing.  It's an official name thing.)  For local, pick it up at the big box craft store yarn, Patons Kroy can't be beat!

And now, I'm off to go in search of pecans.  I really need pecans and I will not be denied!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Giving Thanks Day 22

I've got to admit, it was hard to come up with much to be thankful for today.  About all I'm honestly thankful for today is a well stocked liquor cabinet.

It was just one of Those days.  I woke up too early so I went back to sleep, then when I woke up the next time, my back was killing me because I'd been laying in bed too long.

The spouse was between me and the coffee pot and he didn't appreciate my cheerful, "Move!"  His inappreciativeness had us bickering first thing in the morning afternoon.

I had to go grocery shopping.  Thanksgiving grocery shopping.  Thanksgiving grocery shopping on a weekend.  And if that wasn't bad enough, they were out of pecans.

When I went to the grocery store, dear sweet, unappreciative hubby asked me to run by the Verizon store and pay his company's phone bill.  Verizon wouldn't allow me to pay the bill without the company's tax id number.  Never mind that I had both the bill and a credit card with the company name on it.  I drove all the way home, got the tax id number, drove all the way back to the $$@$% Verizon store and the lovely employee proceeded to tell me that the tax id number I had didn't match their records and I still couldn't pay the bill.

I should probably apologize to the Verizon chick but I was under-caffeinated and just a tad bit pissed that she wouldn't allow me to pay the bill.

I got home from the second nonproductive trip to Verizon to discover that the dogs had eaten the brand new loaf of bread I'd just bought an hour earlier.

At least they didn't get into the liquor cabinet.  But I did.

So, tonight, I'm thankful for a very tall, very stiff drink and some lovely yarn.

faux cable hat for sale at
OTN 11/22/15
By tomorrow, I hope to be thankful for another hat to list in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Giving Thanks for Friendship

Today, and every day, I'm thankful for my wonderful friends.  My crazy friends, my almost normal friends, my co-worker friends, the friends I see daily and the friends I only see once every 16 years, my knitting friends and my non-knitting friends.  Where would I be without you?  I don't even want to think about that!  I love you all!

But before this gets too mushy and you begin to wonder where the sarcasm has gone...

faux cabled fingerless gloves
Two-toned fingerless gloves

Okay, so that's for one (or maybe 3 or 4) particular friend(s).

Anyway....  I love you all and am blessed to call each & every one of you a friend.

And, in case you were wondering, I finished the two-toned, faux cabled fingerless mitts.  They won't be showing up in my Etsy shop because the thumb hole on one is a row higher than the other.  Oops.  Not a big enough oops to bother fixing, but too big of an oops to sell.

So yeah, some lucky friend will be getting miss-matched, two-toned fingerless gloves for Christmas.  Aren't you glad we're friends?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Giving Thanks, Day 20 & the Delete Key

Wow!  Day 20 of giving thanks!  I can't believe I've kept up with this.  While I am always thankful for the things (the people, experiences as well as the material things in my life) in past years, I've been horrible at publicly stating them on a daily basis.  Anyway.....

Today I'm giving thanks to the Delete key.  Good Lord!  I don't know where I've suddenly been on the web that's made my Spam folder explode with advertisements for young girls, cheating house wives, virility meds for men, vitamins, ocean cruises and cars but.... Thank God for the Delete key!  I should also thank my Mac.  This baby has always been awesome at spotting spam email.

I'm also thankful for the Delete key after last night.  I had a little too much birthday cake, got a little snarky in a public forums and was able to delete my snarkiness before I ever pressed Publish.  Thank you, Delete key!

Meanwhile, between the cake eating and all that deleting, I've been knitting.

marigold sock  by
Marigold Sock #1

I finally finished the first Marigold sock.  It's only taken me, what?  Two months?  I need to hurry up and cast on the second sock and knit the ribbing before Second Sock Syndrome sets in.  Once I get past the ribbing on second sock, it normally flies off the needles but doing the ribbing..... Yikes!  SSS has already set in.  It's not helping that I oh so badly wish I'd used a slip stitch pattern for these socks.  The yarn just begs for slipped stitches.  I'm not ripping this sock though.  Guess I'll just have to buy more yarn.