Thursday, December 28, 2006

Goodbye Christmas!

The theme for this year's tree is "Silver and Gold", ala Rudolph's Christmas special. Fry and I had fun decorating, while Fry and her dad put the tree together. She was also tall enough this year to put on the angel. My little baby is growing up!

Speaking of the little baby, here she is with one of her presents. She and I had been goofing around in the mall when she found this. Later, of course, I went back to scarf it up for her.

We'd had the little village set up for ages. The little skaters really skate to a little tune. The tune is fine the first few times. It has a volume control or I'd be loony right now.

In the spirit of finding Waldo, find the Bunbun. Bunbun has been Fry's Peter Rabbit since before she was born. He's showing how much love he's been given, and could probably use a bath. Bunbun is being hidden by an assortment of Rowan's Summer Tweed. He's also resting near some Cascade Fixation, a bag of Berroco's Denim Silk, and near something new, Yarn Palace's Graceful. There are also Caps for newborns, ready to go and already gone.

Here's a larger picture of the sale yarn. Also included are some prior yarns, like the Fixation already bagged and waiting for the new stuff to be stored with it. I'm swatching a couple of odd balls of Fixation for a stained glass pair of socks. They're lovely so far as swatched. New in this picture is four skeins of Lamb's Pride in yellow. Toppa wants a bag with a longer shoulder strap than the Elizabeth, plus she wants a happy face on it. I have the black, of course, left over from Chuck's bed, so when I need a watching television project, there you go. Also in the mix is a bag of Lana Gatto's Everest. I'd found some on clearance, all they had, then made up the rest from here, to make a fair isle sweater in 2007. The wool feels wonderful, I can't wait.
Isn't Fry cute, hiding there? The huge box of popcorn is still there from the night before's Fry and Dad movie night.

Jen, Mary, Carol, and I all went on a great yarn crawl. First Knit Wit, then the Yarn Barn. Lots of sales, lots of fun. We have such a great knitting group.

What did I get for Christmas? I'm glad you asked so I can brag. My beloved husband bought me a diamond and emerald ring. The emeralds signal 30 years and the diamonds 60, so he's planning ahead on this staying married thing. Sadly, on Christmas day, one of the emeralds fell out. The most I'd been doing was changing clothes. Considering what else I do while wearing my wedding ring... I was heartbroken, so Hubs took it back to the jeweler, who is fixing it as we speak. Hubs will check on it tomorrow if he doesn't hear from the jeweler. THEN, I can take a picture for all to envy. They're real emeralds, which mean they're small, a bit pale (compared to the lab created ones), and have occlusions. If you click on the above link, scroll down to see the Claddagh. Gorgeous, huh? My father had wanted to buy all of us girls one, a while back, and I remember wanting him to spend the money on him and Mom instead. Not that I wouldn't want one, I'm no fool, but I've got so much and have been able to do so much, that I'd rather my parents treat themselves. Does that make any sense, or does it sound like I'm an ungrateful kid? Who knows? A lot of times I have great intentions and horrible execution of those intentions.

Wow! That was a fun tangent. I also received a lovely necklace from Fry, gorgeous and sweet, plus lots of $25 gift cards from the husband. Yay! Dillards, Red Lobster, Bath and Body works, all the good places. I think Walmart is in there, too, ha ha! Just in case I want beer after all that champaigne.

The native over here is getting restless for the computer and it's 10:44am already.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Yarn, Quiz, and Plans for Friday

Poor Wendy! Who would have thought a bit of a yarn diet could cause such caustic stuff? She's right about the food diet versus the yarn diet thing. There's no grocery stores storming the diet centers. :P

Me, personally, I would NOT be on a yarn diet if I didn't have a yarn ROOM. With that, and the overflow into the living room, there needs to be some sort of using what I've got.

One exception not posted, but is 'assumed' is the yarn for classes exception. I mean, if it's to be used by my students, it's exempt. If it comes from the business account, I can buy it. :D

Fry and I have just been hanging out, doing fun stuff like walking to the grocery store for a free cookie and buying orange juice there. The cookie is an incentive for getting some exercise. Tomorrow, our rounds will include Home Depot, the grocery store, and maybe Hobby Lobby before that. Mainly because Susan mentioned a half off type thing. Fry will hate it, but then, she doesn't like Home Depot, either.

I'm working on a little hat, of course, for the Caps to the Capitol project. I'm also arranging patterns sticky-noted to see if I have the yarn. Planning ahead for 2007, don't you know.

Just for some Friday fun, just in case Fry and I get sidetracked in our running amok, here are a few quizzes.

You Are Bold And Brave

But daring? Not usually?
You tend to like to make calculated risks.
So while you may not be base jumping any time soon...
You are up for whatever's new and (a little) exciting!

You Are 50% American

America: You don't love it or want to leave it.
But you wouldn't mind giving it an extreme make over.
On the 4th of July, you'll fly a freak flag instead...
And give Uncle Sam a sucker punch!

You Belong in the USA

People either love you or hate you
And you really don't care what anyone thinks
Big and bold, you do things your way

Ha! I may not be the best American, but I do belong here. Very reassuring, don't you think?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Hmmmm, here are the Yarn Diet for 2007 rules as posted yesterday:

1. ALL of 2007.
2. NO yarn UNLESS for a specific gift, it's a fiber fest, you can't finish without it, or it's your birthday.
3. Yarn gifts are allowed!
4. You can have as much unspun stuff as you can lift.

I'd forgotten about the possible demise of a yarn store in our area. Not that it will happen, but signs point to yes. Also, one of my favorite yarn stores has a 30% off EVERYTHING the day after Christmas every year. Starts at 8:00am and goes to 5:00pm. It's worth my getting up at 6:00am and driving an hour to there for the sales. Usually, I go with a list, and I've not knitted up the stuff I bought last year, thus, the diet.

However, I think rule 2, because it's the exceptions rule, needs a modification. First is the long version, second is the simple one.

2. We will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:
2.a. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, and we can't talk them out of it, THEN we may buy yarn to knit that gift. No giving them the evil eye and saying they WANT a huge sweater that may not use all the yarn we need to buy.
2.b. Fiber festivals and store-wide sales of 30% or more are exempt because very few of the people I know in real life go to more than one or two a year. There aren't many events in the midwest, not like on the coasts. Plus, our group does a yarn crawl to Yarn Barn once a year. THAT'S exempt. I mean, once a year for a few hours at most?
2.c. If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project. No need to be silly about it.
2.d. Birthday yarn is an exception, emphasis on birthDAY, not birthMONTH, or birthYEAR, or even birthDECADE. BirthCENTURY is right out.

Simply put, it's
2. NO yarn UNLESS for a specific gift, it's a fiber fest or 30% sale storewide, you can't finish without it, or it's your birthday.

I think that should cover the once a year supersales or the store closings. Like Wendy said about the sock yarn, we aren't made of stone. I'd thought about making the rule: When knitters go in groups of three or more (like to possible store closing), all yarn is allowed. Do you see the downside? I'm sure someone in the group has a minivan, and even that won't contain the knitters AND the yarn they'll binge with. The bed of our pickup is covered and can hold at least 6 people in the cab if we all shower. (insert snicker here)

Now onto water softeners. Susan, you are so right! Day one and already we had a toilet act goofy. The upper tank hose thingy started spewing like a fire hose. Poor Fry flushed and ran downstairs in a panic. Just water and clean water at that, so it's good. There is one leak that's going to get worse, but it's a faucet marked for replacement already. We have the countertops, the faucets, so on Christmas break, Hubs and I are going to bond over plumber's tape.

This year's Red Scarf for the Red Scarf project is off the needles. It feels yummy, and was a TV knit, no thought allowed. Next up are Caps to the Capitol.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I said what? What was I thinking?!

Ok, when Chelle commented, I tried to pretend I never thought of the Knit from Your Stash thing from Wendy. Then, Mary jumped on and, thus, I'm hooked. After all, a gal can't brag that she won't live long enough to knit her current stash without having to put up or shut up.

Is that sentence long enough???

At any rate, I'm posting Wendy's rules first, then my own, since Wendy gives permission to do so. After all, we want this knit from the stash to be fun instead of a drudge.

Knit From Your Stash 2007: Guidelines for L-B and Wendy
1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.
2. We will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:
2.a. Sock yarn does not count. What? You think we are made of stone?
2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, we may buy yarn to knit that gift.
2.c. If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project.
2.d. We each get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- we are each allowed to fall off the wagon one time.
3. We are allowed to receive gifts of yarn.
4. Spinning fiber of any sort is exempt.

Knit From Your Stash 2007: Laura's Version
1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through December 31, 2007 -- rather like running through a swarm of wasps, really.

2. We will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:
2.a. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, and we can't talk them out of it, THEN we may buy yarn to knit that gift. No giving them the evil eye and saying they WANT a huge sweater that may not use all the yarn we need to buy.
2.b. Fiber festivals are exempt because very few of the people I know in real life go to more than one or two a year. There aren't many events in the midwest, not like on the coasts. Plus, our group does a yarn crawl to Yarn Barn once a year. THAT'S exempt. I mean, once a year for a few hours at most?
2.c. If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project. No need to be silly about it.
2.d. Birthday yarn is an exception, emphasis on birthDAY, not birthMONTH, or birthYEAR, or even birthDECADE. BirthCENTURY is right out.

3. We are allowed to receive gifts of yarn. Said gifts must not be forced from givee to us.

4. Spinning fiber of any sort is exempt, unless you have too much unspun stuff to comfortably lift in one load.

The reason why I've not made sock yarn an exception like Wendy has, is that I have enough to just knit socks for the rest of the year. She can also turn out a pair in a couple of days, while I can't. Also, she is limiting to nine months due to a fiber fest in October.

So simply put, the rules by me are:
1. ALL of 2007.
2. NO yarn UNLESS for a specific gift, it's a fiber fest, you can't finish without it, or it's your birthday.
3. Yarn gifts are allowed!
4. You can have as much unspun stuff as you can lift.

This is going to be way tough when those newsletters roll around. There's still 12 days to shop for yarn. I'm officially putting me on the yarn diet, just to see if I really won't live long enough to knit my stash. It'll be agonizing at times, but lots of fun, too.

In other, non-fibery news, all my tiles in the kitchen are off!! Woo hoo! There's only one bit of broken skin, too! I know, but really, it is cool. I owe you each 'one'. We bought a water softener system yesterday, installed today. It was nearly 10pm, I'd not had dinner, and I'm blaming the low blood sugar. Then too, the water system is great, they gave us a lot of soap, and the water is like bottled from the tap. I'd always thought filter-smilter, we don't need no stinkin' filtered water, but it is rather good. It's only been one day, so we may still live to regret this.

Speaking of dinner... I need to fix food. :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Essay Questions!

Call me crazy, but I love essay questions. At the very bottom are some answers to a couple of collections floating around in cyberspace. In the meantime, here are some updates.

Dad's present was finished, and when I showed Toppa, she cruelly laughed. Probably because they looked huge off the foot. But then, when I put one on to show how nice, if a bit baggy it fit, she actually paid attention when I explained turning a heel to her. She DID ask, after all. She also didn't know I teach classes on how to do just that. Toppa also liked Chuck's bed, Chuck being our parent's cat. Toppa also liked her own Elizabeth bag I made her for Christmas. I'll have to get pictures of everything eventually and scan them in. I've been so focused on the making, wrapping, and sending, that I've not done the pictures. All the Christmas presents are done, Elisa's scarf, all that. Now, I'm scouting around for what's next.

First off is the red scarf for the red scarf project. That's already a third of the way through. Then, because Missouri's count is disgustingly low, I'm knitting up a few little caps for overseas babies in the Caps to the Capitol thing. Since the entire box set of Monty Python's arrived in the mail on Friday, Fry and I've not done much else besides watch that. The house is showing our sloth, too. Once she's home from the half day of school, we're kicking butt on the house so we can totally goof off for the rest of the day. She cleans her stuff, I clean mine, and we meet in the middle.

To my shame, our tree isn't up yet. There is a little snow village on the coffee table, plus a wreath on the front door and lights out front. Otherwise, nada. Christmas cards aren't out or even written up, yet, BUT, all the fruitcakes, presents, and cookies have left the building.

Now for some personal essays, a bit of a shower, then crisis housecleaning.

The Christmas Meme first:
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Totally Hot Chocolate. Hubs drinks egg nog by the gallon this time of year and I won't kiss him with his nog breath. Ewwwwww.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
Santa is in a hurry and throws those suckers and goes. Besides, the kid(s) need something to play with while the parents drink the life-giving elixir aka coffee.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Yes to both. We do colors currently, but I like the OCD-ness of all white.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Heavens no! We don't have time for any more kissing. Seriously, Fry would get cheek burns from me smooching on her all the time. Hubs, too. It's kinda like Valentine's Day, rather redundant.

5. When do you put up your decorations?
In a normal year, right after the Thanksgiving nap. This year, with all the other stuff, we've not got there, yet.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Asparagus. It's not a holiday unless that's there. Happily, I'm the only one who loves it here, so I could eat the whole thing and no one would mind.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
As a child? Waiting for my parents to wake up as they drank their coffee. Poor kids, they tried to be all 'Wow!' when we showed them the presents 'Santa' brought. Now that it's my turn to deny being comatose, I feel their pain.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I can't pinpoint a time, it was a gradual awakening. :)

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
I don't like to, but can be nagged into submission.

10. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree?
Sometimes, we go with red and gold, then purple and silver, depending on my mood for the year. There are Fry-made ornaments in the mix, which disrupts the magazine effect, but are pretty darn sweet. Then, other years, I do the old fashioned look with tiny wood toys, small trumpets, and other Victorian things.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread?
Love it! Especially since Hubs has a Jeep.

12. Can you ice skate?
I don't think so. I know I can't roller skate since my center of gravity has settled in my torso in a bad way. I'm sure the ice skating is the same.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I probably did 20 years ago. LOL! Favorite gift of all time? Hmmm, I love them all, really.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Getting everything done before Thanksgiving. Why? So that I don't have to deal with everyone else's unholiday spirit in the rush and crush. It's really nice knowing I never really HAVE to be in a store. Makes the crying babies and bitchy people a lot easier to tolerate. :) It also makes me a lot easier to tolerate, and really, that's the most important for my family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Yes. Oh, pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake. Pumpkin ice cream is good, too. I overdid the pecan pie at Thanksgiving, but usually, that's on the list, too.

16 What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Gift giving! I'm not as good as Toppa on the gift selection, but I still love buying gifts for people. Toppa has a talent for the gift thing. I try, but worry a lot over if they'll even like what I've given.

17. What tops your tree?
A star when I was a kid, an angel on our own.

18. What is your favorite holiday book?
The Night Before Christmas.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Jingle Bells because Fry can play it on the viola when I play it on the piano. :D

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yummy?
Ok. Not my favorite, but good when I need a breath freshener.

Five things you don't know about me.
Like, what on EARTH could you not know? Yeah, there are things that are TMI and that no one should know, but still...

How about we do childhood memories? That'll be fun. ;)

1. I could hold onto monkey bars at shoulder high, then lift my feet up and do a reverse flip onto them. The last time I tried that, one of my bones popped. Not in a bad way, just in a loud, "Don't even THINK about it," way.

2. No tree was safe from being climbed when I was a kid. If it could be, I was up there, the higher the better. Toppa and I also climbed counters and large appliances. I still climb up on things to reach the higher shelves, which alarms Fry, a non-climber.

3. This is true for both Hubs and I, and I think it's from where we grew up. We both love grey, rainy days. Cool, foggy, drizzly days are great. It's probably from living in the sunny arid climate of the great plains. Those days are good excuses for eating soup and hibernating indoors. After a couple of days, though, we get a little stir crazy. A day or two is fine, but a whole week is not good.

4. My sister and I could run on caleche roads while growing up. We had tough feet and walked on rocks like they were nothing. I'm sure she's the same as me, now, in that if there's a tiny bit of anything on the floor, we feel it. No more tough toes.

5. What you don't know is that it's nearly 1pm and I'm still in my flannel jammies. Lunch is heating up, Fry is almost due home, and when she's here, I'm showering and kicking a dirty house's butt.

Is anyone else in the knitting world contemplating Wendy's Knit from the Stash for 2007? I'm kicking it around, and certainly have enough to keep me busy. What do you all think?

Friday, December 15, 2006

No Comment

Pleading the fifth and don't mean to? Blogger Beta obviously has issues. I tried goofing around with the comments, myself, logged in and not. There are definitely problems. The best work around I've found is to be sure you're logged into whatever version of Blogger you use, if you want to go that way. If you type, then log in, there's problems.

I could get all technical on you and say it's their on error logic that needs tweeking, but who needs specifics when there's no money involved? There is a nice thing about Blogger Beta's issues. They have their own "We know, we know" website here:

Nothing's more fun than to have a clever little comment typed up, then the section wipes it out with an error.

What's on the agenda for today? Paying bills, mailing the bills, finishing up some UFOs in the knit world, housecleaning, and taking a nap.

Maybe not the nap, although, that is sounding pretty good right now.

Two things I must add to the to-do list are Caps to the Capitol and the Red Scarf project. I've been very remiss on those, and had lots of good intentions. The nice thing is, it's only the 15th, all my Christmas knitting is done, and I don't have to knit black any more. It IS my favorite color, but two things in a row just kills my ADD.

I don't know what we're doing for tomorrow's SSK, for sure. If it's to be a true Christmas meeting or just an ordinary one. Either way is fun. I want to go to both Saturday AND Sunday, but even if gas were free, the hour down and hour back is time I could be wasting by laying around the house, perfecting my boneless chicken impersonation.

But then, in honor of Friday fun, there's this:

Your Holiday Personality is Hyper

Any holiday activity is well suited to you - as long as you keep moving.

Shop everywhere and anywhere. Create your own holiday cards. Make everyone on your list a custom stocking of goodies!

I also defy anyone to NOT take this quiz. I mean, the title lures you in, don't you think? Also, it seems to be pretty accurate.

What Your Bathroom Habits Say About You

You are a giving soul. Way too giving in fact. You often get stuck doing the dirty work that no one else will do.
You spend a lot on clothes, and you tend to be a very nice dresser. (that part is totally wrong and the next is totally right) However, it's hard for you to throw away trendy clothes when they go out of style.
You are a little shy and easily embarrassed. You often wonder if you are normal.
In relationships, you tend to be very romantic and demanding. You'll treat your partner like gold, but you expect a lot in return.

I Rule!

My In-laws love the cookies, my beloved Aunt and Uncle have a free and extra fruitcake, and Dad's gift is done! Also, I'm wearing Dad's gift! Ha ha ha!

I would say he'll get his gift when he pries it off my cold, dead, feet, but then, he just might. ;) Not that I'd blame him, these babies are great! The only thing worrying me (and you know it had to be SOMETHING) is that they're a bit big on my feet. They're a men's medium, so I expect the looseness.

I had to spellcheck that. People spell loose as lose and vice versa so much, wrong is starting to look right.

I'd better take off the gift before they get goofed up or something. It's my bedtime, anyway. :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Taking a chill pill

Not in a bad way, of course. It's nice when I'm expecting a monthly guest, or have a random migraine and can glace at the titles of my blog. Put an X on a calendar and keep it private? Heaven forbid! ;)

Comments are fixed, not that I did anything. Blogger beta is wonderful, don't you think? I'm still not sold on the new template.

Fry's string concert was wonderful. She didn't play a solo, and I saw a few mistakes, but I think she did great. I'm so proud of her, she really is brilliant. As a parent, you always hope your child is better than you, and she meets, then exceeds the standard. Hubs took pictures, which need developing and then posting. :)

Speaking of Hubs, he's taking all the cookies to work tomorrow. The rest are in tins, ready for shipping. I'm calling Mom after this post, to get the Goopa's address. I'm also hoping to link up with Toppa this weekend, come heck or high water. She needs her Christmas gifts, and since she's heading south for Christmas, the parent's gifts, too. :) Hubs is visiting his parents, flying down on a military plane for a few days. For reservists, only the reservist and not the dependants can go, so he wanted to make it before Christmas. I think with his Mom's heart scare, he's anxious to see how she's doing.

Speaking of Moms, I'm calling mine...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

7 Reasons You Don't Lose Weight

Apricot Shortbread
Apple Cranberriy
Pecan Sandie

I could walk from here to knit group every week and would still not burn off the cookies eaten. The tins are all full, the rejects are out of the building, so you know I'm eating the good stuff. To help out my poor waistline, I'm stopping by the store for more tins for the remaining cookies. There's tons left, and I've still not had Fry make Mom the Tollhouses. I'd also like to make another batch of peppermint cookies, just because they're cute and yummy.

Is anyone sending out Christmas cards? I've not done mine, yet, and I've only received two. Not that I'm complaining. As postally impaired as I am, I can't complain. We've put up outside lights, but the inside isn't decorated. I know, not even the tree. Heresy, no?

The nice thing is, most of our presents are being delivered instead of mailed. There's two tins of cookies to mail alone, with little Goopa and Mr. Goopa's presents to mail in a bigger box. Which will be a trick since I don't know her new address.

Ooo, I'm turning bitter and sour. Better go eat a few more cookies....

Not really. Makes for a good excuse to finish off the gingerbread, doesn't it? :D I'll be glad when they're gone, seductive little buggers. They have the most gorgeous icing eyes.

Still working on Dad's knitted gift, and am actually making progress! Wow, huh?

Sadly, Hubs strolled by the yarn room. He's now very anti-yarn buying. I'm sure his attitude will change once he's able to walk INTO the yarn room AND the living room doesn't have any more yarn than the current works in progress. The weather is turning balmy later in the week, making it perfect to work in the unheated basement and organize my stash. Hub's not had new socks or a new sweater in a year or two, so I'm sure that's it, too. Once he can see the floor in the yarn and living rooms, AND has a nifty new sweater, all will be forgiven. I might have to throw in a pair of socks, too.

Tip of the day: Never ever sign up for a drawing at any sort of 'expo'. It's a way for them to get your number and telemarket you. Since YOU gave them the number, it bypasses the "No Call" laws. Does anyone ever actually win at one of those drawings? I don't think so.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fun with faces!

What does a girl do with a blob of dough? Sculpt, of course. This is what happens while messing with butter cookie dough.
Then, when a Fry comes home to a blob of gingerbread, her instinct is to moosh the stuff as well. She had no idea of the Mick Jagger of chocolate butter cookies made earlier in the day. Yep. That apple is hugged up to the tree, it seems.
Once she saw the picture first picture, she wanted me to make another one, so, back to the floured counter. She wanted me to, plus, it's fun!. A nice smooth dough is the best for this, fruits and nuts gum up the complection.

Fry has choir practice with the Northland Symphony today, for a performance tomorrow. Ooh la la, don't you think? Her big performance, both choir AND strings, is December 12th at 3:00pm. She's really good, but needs to practice.

Half of Dad's gift is done, and the other half is started. I'd love to go to knit group today or tomorrow, for the unfettered knit time, but... There are still cookies to make and a cookie mess to clean. The goals are, cook today, pack tomorrow, and ship Monday afternoon. Everybody and their dog will be there Monday morning, so I'm waiting until after the lunch hour.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm Spicy!

Good morning! This is the mess I woke up to this morning:

I totally blame the cookies.

Ahhh, much better. Now I'm ready to make many more cookies. That, and lunch in a little while. Once the dishwasher is done, the cookie factory resumes.

Susan, Cardamom IS pricey, I say, go for the small containers. We're lucky to have store brands in .89 containers. Those are what rest in my spice drawer. Yes, they're alphabetized, because I hate hunting for certain spices.

When a little jar goes 'dry', I refill from the spice cabinet. Sometimes, when I'm in a hurry while cooking, this turns the air into a 'spice cloud'. Ha ha!

Am I in a hurry to finish up the kitchen? Yes and no. I'm not tiling or painting until AFTER all the cookies are baked and packaged. There's no need to worry about splots of paint or bits of tile in the sweets, I absolutely promise. :D In fact, I waited until this late in the month to begin, just to make sure I was over my cold. When it comes to germs, I don't believe in sharing the wealth.

Here is the living room. It currently gives me a bit of a panic attack over its messiness. There a big box of kitchen items to return after the finishing, a lot of stuff needs to go to the basement, and we need to put in the bathroom vanity counter. After that, we can peel wallpaper and paint in there, too.

This room is my refuge. When all the rest of the house has gone to heck in a handbasket, this is clean. Whew. I'd like to leave the wainscotting in the living room bare wood, but maybe paint the walls the same olive green.

Steph, I would 'smack' on the kid, but I don't think she reads my blog. Plus, I'm still very bitter over her not replying to an email of mine. So bitter, in fact, that I'm only giving her ONE hand-knitted present, and ONE tin of cookies. Wait. And a piece of jewelry like the one I gave you. Other than that, though, she gets nothing. Sort of. Probably. ;)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What was THAT all about?

or, "Something funny happened on the way to Blogger."

I was commenting on Susan's site, Red Dirt Knitter, when we were hit with a brownout. Odd, huh? Obviously, everything is fine. I'm thinking it was the cookies overloading the oven's circuitry.

What? Cookies? Why yes, the apple-cranberry cookies are done, the gingerbread is cooling for tomorrow's roll and cookie cutter dance. There's several more on the list, peppermint meringues, tropical cookies, something with orange, shortbread cranberry, and so on.

Dad's Christmas is coming along slowly but surely. I've not broke away to knit anything else, since there is a ever looming deadline. The shawl for my cousin is longer/wider, yes. It's a break for my eyes from the constant black of Dad's present.

Fry and I went shopping at Gordman's today. They had a buy five, get one free, which I'd not paid attention to, so I sent Fry off to get a free thing. She picked out a lovely necklace for me! Isn't that sweet? It's a heart shaped ruby surrounded by diamond baguettes. Most of the things she buys me are red, roses, or teddy bears. Isn't that the sweetest thing? Sadly, she was in a terrible snit the rest of the evening because I didn't hop to and get her a cell phone. I can NOT see the need for an 11 year old to have a cell phone. She's either at school or with one of her parents. Once she starts hanging out seriously with her friends, we'll see.

Anything done on the house? Not really. Laundry, dishes, cleaning in general. Most of my time has been spent scouring Kansas City for Dutch processed cocoa. No, Hershey's won't do, the recipe calls for Dutch, so that's what I must buy.

Another thing is, we've all rebooted our diets. We're following the YOU: On a Diet thing and it's wonderful. Odd, too, because it seems like I'm eating all the time. I usually don't eat until after noon, say, around three pm. The snacks are easy to fix, usually, and the desserts are really good. No counting of any kind. I liked South Beach, but like this better.

Dad's gift is calling me to get busy. In the meantime, I must tease my younger sister by talking smack about her: Smack. Smackity smack smack, Toppa. Smackita smackeeta, smacko. Smacka-lacka smacksmoo. Smacksmack, smackola, smack.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Ok, as soon as I get the tile backsplash replaced and the walls painted, I'm posting a picture of the results.

The counters are better than I thought they'd be. Much better. Holy moly. Gorgeous. Click on the picture to see the countertops installed in a home. Not ours, not until I get the pictures developed. The sink, garbage disposal, and dishwasher are all in place, and WORK! Yay! No leaks, everything has a shut off valve for the water, and it's nice and clean under there.

My husband and I made a great team. I'd start the nuts and bolts, and he'd tighten up everything. The kitchen sink is the hardest, next up are the guest, master, and Fry's bathroom counters. There are three vanity counters and four sinks to do. Nothing has a shutoff valve, so that's going to be fun. Plus, three of the faucets are soldered to the copper tubing. Oh boy.

The secret to any good plumbing job is plumber's tape. Don't leave home without it. Putty is ok, and good for sealing that ring around the drain, but it's the tape that does the trick.

On to the good stuff! Finally, a shawl good enough for my cousin. I'm using three skeins of Lion's Brand Trendsetter's Dune knockoff mixed with an eyelash yarn. Not a fun furry yarn, but a true 'lashy' yarn.

Whenever I go to, this sweater always makes me yearn for its pattern. I love it. There are some other patterns I adore, but the Medieval draws me in every time. Blue or red? Whichever, I love them both. While I'm not fond of blue, (a nice way to put it) in this, it's ok.

Finally, I broke down and bought me a pre-Christmas present. This came in the mail today. You have to have the book to do any of the patterns, the prices are without book, so... I wanted to see if Virtual Yarn's yarns were as good as they looked. This picture does NOT do them justice.

Pebble beach is much prettier in real life. A lot more blue, too. But then there's flashes of red and yellow. Very lovely. It's 100% superwash wool, three ply.

Then, because I also needed to see what the two ply is like, here we have Mara. A very royal blue. A bit heathered, too.

I ordered the Pebble beach because I wanted to see what the color looked like, and the Mara because I'm leaning towards the Medieval in blue. The blue contrasts much more with the yellowish (more like wheat) than the red. 's Peruvian wool and Jaimeson & Smith's DK compare in the color and heft of the yarn. I happen to have a lot of the Peruvian in the stash already... Maybe I should mix and match? Maybe get started knitting TODAY? LOL! I'll knit a few more inches on my father's Christmas, a few more on my cousin's, THEN get busy reading the Medieval pattern. It's so cold out, I NEED a new sweater, right?

I'm going to ignore the purple cardigan and grey sweater for about 10 minutes, then set them out. I'll have to knock out a few rows, just to keep them from 'feeling' neglected. :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Flowers and plumbing

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

You have a sunny disposition and are normally one of the first to show up for the party. You don't need too much attention from the host once you get there as you are more than capable of making yourself seen and heard.

I stole this from Susan at Red Dirt Knitter! It's lovely to see what flower a person is, don't you think? C'mon, Mom, take the test. You know you want to. ;)

Quick update, then I must go to bed.

Last night, we put in shut off valves here in the kitchen. There's no leaks, no one had their feelings hurt, and no one threw a fit. (To family who know me too well: I know! Weird, huh?) Skin was broken, though. It's not a true DIY if no blood is shed.

My hands hurt from the removal of the kitchen sink. Hubs and I traded off on the wrenching of the wrench. Plus, that old sink is made of lead. Good NESS! We couldn't get a grip to pull it from the countertop. Then, remembering all the 350lb leg presses I used to do, I pushed up the sink from the bottom and voila! Everything is ready for the new countertops tomorrow morning. Yay!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

How about a do-over on question 8?

Just sayin'.

You are The Devil

Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession

The Devil is often a great card for business success; hard work and ambition.

Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remember that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Ok, if we back it up and change #8 from "In a world ruled by me" to "In a world where people are nicer, we get this. Whew!

You are the World

Completion, Good Reward.

The World is the final card of the Major Arcana, and as such represents saturnian energies, time, and completion.

The World card pictures a dancer in a Yoni (sometimes made of laurel leaves). The Yoni symbolizes the great Mother, the cervix through which everything is born, and also the doorway to the next life after death. It is indicative of a complete circle. Everything is finally coming together, successfully and at last. You will get that Ph.D. you've been working for years to complete, graduate at long last, marry after a long engagement, or finish that huge project. This card is not for little ends, but for big ones, important ones, ones that come with well earned cheers and acknowledgements. Your hard work, knowledge, wisdom, patience, etc, will absolutely pay-off; you've done everything right.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

No one wants to end up like this:

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving '06!

Oh my gosh! I've been negligent.

Ok, have I mentioned Chuck? The knitting group on Sundays have heard of him. It seems Mom and Dad's cat Audine had a kitten she didn't want and didn't take care of. Mom called Little Goopa, the cat expert, who helped them nurse the kitten to health. He is named Chuck, and loves my Dad. My father is not a cat in the house person, but Chuck has managed to 'cute' his way inside. One night, while I was talking my Mom's ear off, Chuck fell asleep on Dad's Spongebob socks. Clearly, Chuck needs a Kitty Pi Bed. And now, he has one. It's a more masculine version, black to match him, and no foo foo eyelash yarn. Right now, it's drying after being felted to death.

Everyone's Christmas is done, excluding my Dad's. Once I decide on a yarn, I change my mind. Can I get a pair of socks knitted before December 1st? Maybe, probably, I'm sure as long as they're not knitted on 0US needles. :D

The cold is getting better, hugs to anyone who was concerned. I'm sure Nyquil's stock will go back down to normal. I still have coughs when I laugh, but not bad.

The bathroom counters are at Home Depot, waiting for me to pick up. The kitchen countertops will be installed on Tuesday. Am I excited? Oh yeah! Doing the plumbing myself isn't going to be the best, but everything will look nice before being flooded. (Kidding)

I'm going to HAVE to get a digital camera that can handle being dropped. Seriously.

The NaNoWriMo, while no longer an option, has spawned another goal. I'd like to finish the novel by the end of the year. It might be pushed to the end of January, maybe.

Dumb and Dumber is on. Fry and I are laughing, of course. It's not a Thanksgiving movie, but there IS snow in it. Just right for the Christmas mood.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

House of Cough and Fog

Sick. Tired. Sick and tired. Tired of sick and tired.

This is the one cold/flu I get during the year. Right during 'that' time, too, such fun. Whatever scrap of motivation to do anything has been fevered right outta me. Because I'm sick so rarely, of course I think I'm at death's door. Keeping the dishes done, the trash bagged, and the laundry somewhat caught up are major accomplishments. You'd think I'd revel in the computer game and knitting time, but I'm not even up for that.

Countertops are being made, the guy at Carpet Corner needs to get back to me about the floor's cost, and the roof guys dropped off the shingles and things today. Which means I need to find a place to park tomorrow, somewhere quieter than the constant hammering on the roof. Sadly, I won't be able to leave until they put up the plywood, since the stuff is blocking me in.

Fry gets to stay with her Aunt Toppa this weekend, and both girls are excited. They're both a lot alike, which is fun. Little sister, round two.

More later, maybe when the various 'Quils I've taken wear off. :) I think I need another nap.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Running Amok

I have spoken: Enough of the dead animals already. Was it Claude, our sweet cat? Was it Pinky, our male Betta fish? Or was it the frog who'd taken up residence in the pond skimmer?

It was the frog. Our pump was really noisy. Yeah, you already know where I'm going with this. Gagarama. Let's just say the pump, although clean, is still noisy. The pond is cleaner, but not clean. I dunno. I want to dump it all out and have a do-over. It's pretty big and it's pretty cold out there. Something to do on a lovely spring day, don't you think?

Last night was a Knit a Scarf class, today was Beginning Knitting. Not only that, but Fry had a singing program, I had to return some floor samples, and had to stop by Walmart for class supplies, since the students had cleaned me out the night before. I get a little red "How to Knit" book there, since it's a dollar cheaper than anywhere else. Plus, I also like to supply gift bags for the kits. I'd not been to Wal-mart in so long, they'd moved things around. Ordinarily, I'd be fine with it, but I woke up with a headache and didn't want to think.

NaNoWriMo is going slooooow. Nothing yesterday, due to the lovely weather, and nothing today due to headache and not being home. Tomorrow, while the Husband is doing a Veteran's Day color guard, and Fry is busy with her room-Nintendo-Playstation-Television, I'll settle down for a write-a-thon. Sunday, I'm going to the SSK, since the group is now split into Saturday and Sunday meets. Which, is really cool, because some can go on Saturday and some can go on Sunday. It's good for everyone, especially us versatile ones who can pick a day and go. What I'll do is go on Saturday one week and Sunday the next.

Friday Fun:
Star Trek Personality Test Results: ENTJ

This test says you are an ENTJ (Extrovert, Intuitive, Thinker, Judger).* In Star Trek, you share a basic personality configuration with the characters of Q and Quark.

"If you can't stand a little bloody nose, maybe you should go back and hide under your bed." - Q


People like you are generally creative with a global perspective, full of energy, larger than life, and ready to take charge. You're friendly, but strong-willed and driven to show your skills and expertise to others. You enjoy praise, but you're more interested in a direct and fair appraisal of your work. You admire others for their competence, consistency, and honesty. You are sometimes a little too outspoken in your opinions of others, but you return consideration for kindness.

You're very organized, quick, and productive. You're a confident strategic thinker and work best when you're full of purpose. If something is necessary to your goal, you will do it regardless of danger or disgust. This can lead to occasionally rash action on your part.

You can't stand wasting time with people who won't get to the point, but you respond instantly to creative thinking and logical explanations.


Your primary goal in life is demonstrating your competence and making important things happen. Your reward is being given large, important projects to plan and manage.


Your position must involve the ability to control your work. You absolutely cannot stand being micro-managed. You're good at making plans, but unlike many others, you're also good at following through on those plans. You're also good at delegating responsibility, though your own resolution and determination may leave you unprepared when others flake out. You need to be careful not to make everything a "do or die."


You are warm and giving and caring, and friends and lovers will enjoy the way you listen and learn from your relationships. You can scare people off when they are unfortunate enough to cross you, and you sometimes perceive a challenge where none exists. You may have sacrificed more than one relationship to accomplish something, even when such sacrifice wasn't actually required.

Your tendency to focus too much on achieving goals can destroy tenderness and intimacy. You need forgiving friends and a mate who can remind you of needs and goals outside the immediate task. Since you tend to think large, you can overlook basic, everyday necessities.


Good careers for your type include being a chief executive officer, network integration specialist, all-being master of time/space/dimension, management consultant politician, real estate developer, marketing executive, bartender, and judge.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Is it naptime, yet?

When a mom has yet to take the first life-giving slurp of coffee, she does NOT want to hear, "Mom? What are these brown things on Squeeky? They look like bugs."

While I don't know what they were, I do know that Squeeky is on the back deck, waiting for burial. Oh joy.

After a shower and lunch, I'll take care of all the outdoors stuff. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be gorgeous days, perfect for planting bulbs and dead rodents. I'll also 'get' to clean out the pond. Makes raking leaves look good, don't you think?

Speaking of looking good, Chelle, who always looks good, has a birthday today! I didn't know about it until Monday, and she's recently moved, so sadly, there's no card for her. Instead, I'm giving her a birthday shout out on my blog. (Hilarious from a middle-aged chick, don'tcha think?) Chelle is a doll, a sweetheart of a person. She's high energy, charming, and always a blast to be around. I'm thrilled to call her a friend. I'm even more thrilled she calls ME a friend. :D If anyone gets a chance, run over to Hanging by a Thin Thread and wish her happy birthday.

Want to know a secret? I'm in the National Novel Written in a Month thing this year. I've spent the first 7 days racking my brain for a good story to write, but couldn't get this one out of my head. A novelist is SUPPOSED to start with a blank page, but... I want to finish this one. I'm sorry, but THIS is the story I want to write and I'm tired of ignoring it. If you click here, it should bring up my author's page, which gives my current word count and an excerpt. The nice thing is, the first four thousand words are better than I remembered.

I didn't have enough to do, with classes, Christmas knitting, remodeling, that I need to write a 50000 word novel. It's 'only' 200 pages, and as often and as long as I post, should be a piece of cake for me. There are daily word count goals, nothing too horrible. Currently, if I can type 2100 words a day, I'm good. 8 pages a day sound like and is a lot, but, the story has been in my brain for a couple of years, now. I just need to type it out.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Say it isn't so!

OMG! K-Fed and Brittney broke up?! Who would have ever thought it?!

Catty Alert: She's still not as trashy as her future ex-husband. Both her kids are legitimate AND have the same father. Brittney will never be as low as K-Fed on the trailer park yardstick. The yardstick goes from "Jerry Springer has you on speeddial" to "You're only slumming it for the kitch factor" level, by the way.

On to lovely politics. For my Missouri friends: Did y'all know about the minimum wage increase request? Plus, the yes or no to let non-profits and veterans organizations NOT pay property tax? No one thought to protest the new charge for fire safety inspections, those charges based on square footage? Stem cells and higher cigarettes stole the show. Of course the minimum wage needs increasing, but should we let churches and other organizations not pay their property tax? They already don't pay income taxes, and I think they get out of paying sales tax. The 'veterans' is there to throw voters. You can't vote against something with the word 'veterans' in it, that's anti-American! If an organization currently pays property tax, they shouldn't be allowed to weasle out of it. Next, the fire safety inspection money would go to the fire departments. Um, since when is public safety a profit center? Isn't this why we pay sales, city, and state tax? Never mind the unending calls from the associations of police, state troopers, firemen, and any other public servants, all calling with their hands out for our money.

Let's move away from politics and onto dead animals. When one is in a marriage, and one is the 'farm' person, that farm person is expected to deal with the dead things laying around. Not that dead animals lie scattered around our house. (It IS lie, isn't it? They lie there, but I didn't lay them there, right?) Squeeky III is in the laundry room, in, yes, a shoebox, waiting for services later. To be fair, Hubby was at an old fogey's meeting tonight and missed all the fun. If I were truly evil, I wouldn't have warned him of the dead rodent on the clothes washer. Something else that's good, Squeeky's grave will be easy to dig. With Squeeky I, the ground was frozen solid. Hubby, of course, didn't deal with the carcass, being 'on vacation' in Kuwait. The only bad thing is, the weather is way too warm to be happy about a corpse in the house. Squeeky I could have stayed in the garage until spring thaw, no such luck for Squeeky III.

Fry took this latest death hard, but not nearly as bad as Squeeky I or Herbie's passing. Squeeky II, in case anyone wonders, died within hours of bringing him home. Not much attachment there.

Yes, knitting has been done. Not a lot, what with voting, returning items at Home Depot, and tearing off tile in the kitchen. I'm working on... MOM'S Christmas gift! Whatever could it be? I can't tell, although I do know she'll like it. Why? Because she's my Mom! I'm her favorite kid, just like my other sisters. :D

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Yarn Stops Here

I think I might have to give the yarn buying a rest. Hubby came home from drill yesterday, and while we were at the Olive Garden celebrating his birthday, I mentioned the Knitcraft's great yarn sale. Since Fry was there, she gleefully told him how much I'd bought, earning me a wince from him. It wasn't THAT much. :P The boy needs a new pair of socks, just so he'll know I love him.

Nothing fits. Oh yeah, of course not my clothes, that's a given after all the pumpkin pie in the past month. No, I'm talking about light bulbs, 36 cabinet and drawer pulls, and our gorgeous new window blinds. Anyone who's see our kitchen bay windows, tell me, don't you think they're MORE than 29" long? Wouldn't any sane, rational human being know this? For some idiotic reason, I wrote 29" instead of 62" Was I thinking 59"? Surely not 92"? Was I under a migraine's influence? Who knows? At least with the recessed light bulbs, they look the same, just bigger. Plus, the cabinet handles, aren't they supposed to be a standard size? I wanted THOSE pulls and they totally don't fit. What crap.

Two down, two to go. The two sisters' Christmas presents are done, now it's the parents that need theirs. When I make something, I'm always nervous. What if they don't like it? I always think happy thoughts about the giftee while knitting, plus, if it's something they wear, like a sweater, I give it a hug before wrapping it away for gifting.

I'll need to get a little further in the Christmas knitting before committing myself, but here's a couple of charities I'm wanting to cast on and support. First is Norma's Red Scarf Project. I did this last year and had fun with it. Even better? They DON'T want the scarves before January. Thus, this is a great project if you get tired of knitting the same thing. I usually have a big needle and a small needle project going at the same time, just to keep the hand cramps away. Small needle is my purple cardigan, big needle is the Christmas surprise. Even bigger will be a shawl for my cousin, since I'm sure she's bitter by now. She'd admired one I'd made my Mom, and I'd not made something cousin-worthy since. I'm also thinking I need to make her kids some mittens as well. Two of them are Fry's age, while the baby girl is younger. They're all girls, so it'll be fun to find yarns girlish without being girly.

Oh, the other charity project is Caps to the Capitol. While I don't think it'll change our President's mind about helping babies in third world countries, it'll help me to know I did something good. What would I rather have, all this scrap yarn in my stash, or sending my knitted up scraps to a tiny baby needing warmth? Easy choice, huh? It would be nice to commit to a cap a day. Sounds like a good time to sketch up a goal list, huh? ;)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Insert Cute Title Here

Or, "Too stupid to realize that they had been called stupid."

I like it that Keith Olberman has the intelligence and eloquence to say what needs saying. He does this without making fun of the physically ill, calling people traitors, or otherwise demeaning those who don't agree with his point of view.

Countdown with Keith Olberman.

Here's a non-video version.

Then Kerry added more to the frey on the Don Imus show. He makes a lot of sense, whatever party he calls his.

I've watched the video, read the transcript, and have an opinion. (Surprise, huh???) Our administration is focusing on the trivial, and yes, I call a botched joke trivial, when there's so much else to handle. Has no one else ever said something the wrong way? No one ever twisted their words or dangle a participle and had it come out horribly? I'd like to think that it's only the super-brilliant people who do, since I'm rather good at saying the wrong thing but totally meaning the right way. I'm forever calling my Mom and saying, "You know when I said X-Y-Z? I didn't mean x-Y-z, but X-y-z." She always knows what I meant, and I'm thinking our current administration knows what Kerry meant, too.

Here's a newsbit that my Mom (all-knowing and wise beyond all our years put together) had told me about long ago. It's where our President is using Christians as a way to further his own agenda. If I were a true Christian, I'd be highly insulted. Our President thinks that Christians will blindly follow anyone their preacher advocates. He uses religion as a way to manipulate and turns people's faith in his favor. He might actually believe the 'God stuff' he spouts, but then again, he might not. If he's a true believer, then great! I'm glad it works for him. If not, I think Shakespeare said it best, "The devil hath power to quote scripture to suit his own purpose." Does this mean our leader is the devil? No, it means even the most evil can find evil in what is supposed to be good.

Here's video of the worst of the worst of campaign ads. Do they work for the general masses? I know that if I see a nasty ad, I tend to vote for the other guy. Especially so if they don't stoop to the newly lowered level.

In other news, you never really know how messy your house is until a stranger comes over and takes digital pictures of it. Oh joy, huh? That's the negative. The positive is now the counter top measurements have been taken. Next step, installation in around three weeks. :D Just in time for Thanksgiving! Which reminds me, I have no idea what we're doing for Thanksgiving. It'll be something, but I don't know if there'll be driving involved (read: mass quantities of knitting time), or major housecleaning. Either way, I don't care. It's all good for me.

Speaking of knitting, I signed up for Blue Moon Fiber Art's sock club for 2007. It's really pricy, but I love their stuff. Plus, I'll have money from knitting classes to spend on it, too. In fact, I'm teaching a class tonight at Parkville, called Advanced Knitting. Should be fun. Usually is.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Is it just me, or is the politics thing getting old?

What I'm really dreading is the automatic phone calls. Who decided this was a good idea? I hate rushing to the phone only to hear a taped message. If anything, it makes voting for the candidate a horrible idea. I'm not into encouraging bad behavior.

Sadly, you know the Republicans are sucking eggs when our Commander In Chief is dragging the gay marriage issue outta his butt. Winter fuel prices, ending our current war, preventing another terrorist-funded disaster, and respecting the nation's right to privacy while also keeping tabs on anti-American groups have all been huge issues for our government. Families struggling between food and winter warmth, hundreds of people dying in a war over 'possible' WMD's, the joke and money pit that is our Homeland Security, and the joy of knowing someone is listening in on me and my husband's conversation while he's in service overseas are all not as important as limiting the rights of those having the nerve to be gay.

To me, once the big issues are taken care of, then let's worry about how to limit the rights of others. How to punish those who aren't like everyone else. Gay is ok, obviously, and of course fat people are, too, to pick on. Sadly for those who enjoy this, there are actual laws against 'punishing' any other types of 'different' people. (intensely cranky sarcasm)

No fretting allowed. We just had a chocolate taste test, and I'm drinking 4 oz of red wine. Roto Rooter for the arteries and veins. Yes! Hershey's lost the taste test, with the worst being Ghiradelli's. In the front were Perugina and Lindt. Europeans don't care if you use real cream, it's worth it. Whatever bad or cranky mood I may have by all the slurs and mud in the election, it's all being swabbed away by flaviniods. That, and my family being home and carving pumpkins in the garage.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Ok, I started a post around noon today, then ran off to SS&K knit group today.

I've been way busy lately and tomorrow will be wonderful. Carol and I, along with her two friends Susan, went to a Speaking of Women's Health conference yesterday. Lots of fun and rather odd to be at a girls only event. I'm used to sci-fi and computer conferences with an almost all male attendance. Some parts were a bit too gooey girly, but overall it was really fun. Plus, the goodies passed out were worth everything. Makeups, skin lotions, health screenings (oh so bad on my part), and hair color made it fun. We even got free socks.

That little snail above is a liar. Sadly, I'm a bit higher in the weight, if you can call 9-10lbs a bit. The body fat is hideous, as you can imagine. The cholesterol, even including the all you can eat shrimp event the night before at Red Lobster, and that I wasn't fasting, was a horrible 254. Blood pressure was surprisingly good at 138/83. Considering I was sitting next to and anticipating needles, that's not bad. :D

Countertops are ordered for all the countertopped rooms, which is good. I'm currently peeling wallpaper in the kitchen, always fun. We also have a new kitchen sink and it's lovely, too.

Ok, here's our flooring so far. It's from this website. The colors below for the slate are the same name. Tells ya how different cameras work differently. In real life, this is much prettier and matches our counters much better than shown below. On the website, this is Natural Slate.

Here is the shade of wood laminate tiles we want to use. In real life, they're a bit darker, plus, the photo doesn't show how textured this is. We wanted wood, but in the kitchen and bathrooms? I didn't want to take the chance on water damage. On the website, this is Hand Scraped.

What do we want to do with both wood AND slate? This! We really love this and want it in every room on the main floor excluding the living room. I'm certain about this choice. :)

I have emails and comments to address, but... with all the fretting about the kitchen and roof options, the conference, today's knit group, I'm pooped! It's not any of the above, just the driving. Most of the driving has been either in rush hour or in rain. I'm looking forward to doing nothing but cleaning tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Decisions, knitting, and the last of the tooth stuff

This is what I wish our kitchen and laundry room looked like, only with black appliances. Such loveliness. We're probably going with tile in the laundry and bathrooms, Hubs wants wood floors in the dining room and I'm fighting him on that, since the room already has a lot of wood in it. He also would like wood floors all through the kitchen and most of the main floor, but then, carpet IS warm, and newer carpet would be easier to clean. We've been budgeting for a while, so now we just need to make some decisions. Maybe I'll go to Home Depot and Lowes today, just to look at samples. Although, I've looked at so much and at so many magazines, my eyes are crossed. The library at Weston was giving away their KC Homes magazines, plus some other home ones, and I've already torn out what I like from there. I should just combine the clippings, look at the resources, and be done with it.
Maybe for the countertops? I don't know. Everyone at knit group the week before liked this with the colors already in the house. The paint colors stay the same, no changing. I'm not redoing what I've already done. Bleh.

Here's a non-scanned picture of the slate. I like it, but not the border shown. Right now, I want the big tiles for the floor and/or the little tiles for the backsplash. The only thing is they're real slate and will have to be sealed. Plus, I'm not so sure I can do it myself. I'll have to tell my beloved to pay the man already and leave me out of the tile thing.

Here's all our samples scanned in. The scanner's fluorecent light makes everything a bit yellowish. The yellow paint sample is really a warm creamy color. It's the base color for everything and isn't going to change. Everything else is totally up in the air. The nice thing is, all our cabinetry is great, the appliances are super, and I have the paint already. The kitchen is just getting a facelift with the counters, floors, and backsplash. Hubby has a handyman friend we're having help out with it. There's also the basement troubles, molding sheetrock from prior termite feasts, that needs fixing. Since it IS in the basement, next to the bar, I don't think anyone will be sober enough to know we did it ourselves. Ha!

Aren't these pretty?! They're clean, too, and I'm wearing them to the class I'm teaching tonight. I'm such a showoff, but hey, they're DONE! Yay! I can't blog about other things, because they're Christmas presents. Some of my family reads this, so... I can't wait to show off what I've done for them, though. The items are turning out better than I'd expected. :D

We went to Hub's parents over the weekend and had fun hanging out with them. Then, yesterday, I had the dental appointment. I didn't scream OR cry, better than the last time, for sure. Only three shots, too. Last time, my jaw muscles hurt, this time, it's my neck. Ah well, ibuprophen is my friend.

48 Things You Could Care Less About
1. FIRST NAME? Laura
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? I don't think so, Mom just liked the name. So do I, for that matter.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Last week after the dentist, but it wasn't a cry, but leaky eyes.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I would if I could read it. Shoulda been a doctor.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Ha! Have you seen my yarn stash? I'd love me and hang out over here all the time, trying to con the yarn away. Seriously, though, I'd be my friend because I'd know while I'm non-intrusive to the point of being neglectful, I also would never intentionally say something to cause a moment of hurt feelings. It takes a lot of poking to make me mean, and even then, I'll feel bad about it if I retaliate.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? This is it! See the handwriting thing above.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes! Mom fought the doc and the Mom won.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Ha! No. This is as good as it gets.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I do, right up until needles are involved. Then I sprout feathers and turn into a chicken.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Right now, I'm craving Pumpkin. Otherwise, I love anything with crunchies or fruits in it. Butter brickle, peanut butter crunch, black cherry, all those. I never turn away ice cream, which explains why my clothes are shrinking.
14. SHOE SIZE? 7
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My grandparents and uncles. Everyone else is a phone call away.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Um, how about just post your own answers on your own blog. The blogless are free to email and I'll post here, if you like. :P
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? What I wore to bed last night, grey shirt, black gauchos, white socks.
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? A chocolate chip last night as a reward for finishing a row.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The space heater and computer fan hums.
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Supposedly, Sky Blue, but I think their test is flawed.
23. FAVORITE SMELL? My daughter's hair.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Yikes! The librarian helping with my Nov 2nd class.
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Of course. Even though I never win her contests and am highly bitter about it, she's still pretty cool and a brilliant photographer.
27. FAVORITE DRINK? Diet Pepsi.
28. FAVORITE SPORT? I don't know. :P Never thought about it, really.
29. EYE COLOR? Greenish brown.
30. HAT SIZE? No idea.
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Of course I do. Have since 1979.
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Mexican, seafood, Chinese, Italian, in that order. I love American foods, but love the exotics, too.
33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings all the way.
36. HUGS OR KISSES? Lots of both. Even if they're only Hershey's.
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Tiramisu cheesecake.
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Retarded, easy to walk away from ones, like, Scandinavian Phrasebook, Cool Careers for Dummies, A Gathering of Lace (probably overdue at the library), Make Your House Clean Itself.
41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? A wrist rest and what looks like a smudge of chocolate.
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? My Family on DVD, Law & Order CI and SVU, news, last half of a South Park.
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? The front door opening with a crash, things being tossed on the floor, and a "Hi Mom!" from a starving Fry. That, and the garage door opening, then the laundry and kitchen doors, and a "Hello!" from 'the man'.
44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Beatles, even though the Stones are pretty cool.
46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? My ability to write long blog posts about nothing.
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? No one, I stole it from January One.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Woe could be me, but it's not.

A funny thing happened on the way to a post. Blogger is being a bear and not letting me put up pictures. Grr. I've tried the three at once, then one at a time, and nothing works. I really hate that, because it's not like I'm loading 5 pictures at a time several times a day. My Simply Lacy socks are done and on my feet, and you'll just have to take my word for it. There's some other socks needing mending, and a few Christmas things to knit up as well.

So anyway...

There's going to be a knock-down dragout tomorrow when Fry gets off the bus and she doesn't even know it, yet. The Sims 2: Pets is arriving sometime tomorrow. Sadly, our computer chair has wheels, so she can pull me away from the keyboard. Happily, the mouse is wireless. Let's just SEE her pry it from my clawed up hand. It'll be like us fighting over the last Diet Pepsi on Christmas Eve. No stores are open the next couple of days, then, so the fight is a bad one. ;) Noogies, half-Nelsons, wet Willies, Indian sunburns, it's obviously NOT pretty.

What will actually happen is, I'll play the game just to get her a cool little pet store set up in her own neighborhood. Then, when she's home, I'll have her a drink and snack ready, and tell her she needs to play Sims without letting her in on the news. Her bedtime is 9pm, so I'll get the computer again, then.

Why have I not been blogging? Well, I'd been cleaning, seeing the gals at the Sit, Sip, and Knit, signing up for the Studio's knitting retreat (but haven't reserved the rooms just yet), falling down the stairs a little bit, and having my mouth given the jack o'lantern treatment by the dentist.

What was that, you say? Falling down the stairs? Why yes, I did a little bit. I was telling Fry something, standing on what I thought was the second from the bottom stair, then stepped back onto what I thought was the main floor but was really air. Usually, I'm much better at catching myself, but down I went. My foot, knee, and hand hurt. The fun thing was, my Hubs was on the phone to his parents, hung up really fast, and ran over to assist. Sweet, but not so sweet when he called them back later and had me tell them what happened. Not in a mean way, but in a hear it from the horse's mouth sort of way. His mom and I commiserated over how fun it was to be put on the spot and having to admit one's gracelessness. My toe, already dodgy from a childhood horse tank incident, is the only thing feeling the pain, still. I'll pause here to let my Mom finish laughing over the 'incident'. Let's just say that a child should not flail around in a horse tank full of water when said child is a goof. I was going to type 'blithering idiot', but I'm not an idiot. Blithering, yes, idiot, no.

So anyway, the worst bruises are the two on my hiney cheeks. Yes, I know, TMI. They're from bumping into corners and cabinet door handles while running around the house cleaning, painting, and all that. Obviously, I'm not used to this much 'junk' in my trunk or I wouldn't keep whomping it on various obstacles.

Whew. Now, let's go on to yesterday's agony and embarrassment. I'm sure my dentist loves me, especially when I squall out during the deadening shots. Four of them, some of which HAD to be in my cheekbone, and none of them painless. At least they weren't in the palette, those hurt more than anything. He came at me with the needle before I was numb good from the goo, and I squawked, "Not dead yet! Not dead!" I still wasn't dead even after he waited a couple more seconds (but I'm not bitter), so I'm gargling with super strength Anbisol on Monday when I get to go back to have the scaling done on the left side. Yes, I'll drool, but then, that's so much better than the screaming, don't you think? The above website would have you believe that just by brushing and flossing, a person can avoid gum disease. Not true. When I had braces, I brushed and flossed after every meal, avoided food in between meals because it meant more 'tooth' time, and for what? My teeth were perfect, maybe a cavity from the braces, but the gums? They're measured on a 1 to 5 scale, from good to bad, and the best I ever did were some ones, some twos, but mostly threes. I'd waited a couple of years between cleanings, which is why this one was so bad, and will be again on Monday. The best thing was, Fry was home from a stomach flu (oh soooo bad), and Hubs came home to make sure everyone had chicken soup and 7-up. They both hugged on me, particularly since my eyes wouldn't stop watering. I wasn't crying, just had watery eyes. Even now, my teeth are great, the bad tooth doesn't hurt, but the jaw muscles ache like crazy. Tension is a bad thing sometimes.

We were all expecting me to get a root canal, but the scaling fixed the tooth. Hubs was saying all this pain from one shot, and I replied, no, from four. Then, the scraping under the gum line. He and Fry have cavity prone teeth, but fantastic gums, I have the reverse. Too bad for Fry she didn't get the good teeth AND good gums.

I could go into the whole thing about how I've noticed (as have other brainer types) that circulatory problems and periodontal problems seem to be related. The gums warn you for later in life. Maybe they're on the same gene. It's probably time for me to consider heart health instead of using my 'youth' as an excuse to be lazy. ;)

Something fun and true today:

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Shetland Wool. You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a little on the harsh side. Though you look delicate you are tough as nails and prone to intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are widely respected and even revered.

Take this quiz

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Fry Day and new stuff.

Wow! I love my appliances. Mary was right about the noise, the dishwasher is more than I'm used to, but then, I'm used to nothing. Ha! Fry asked to be the first to use it, so she got to load it.

Maybe I'll cook on the stove tomorrow. We had pizza delivery tonight, just to keep everything nice until the Hubs comes home. He's working Bingo night at the Knights of Columbus. Poor guy has Army Reserve tomorrow, too, so it'll be us girls at the Sit, Sip, and Knit tomorrow.

Wow! Lots of comments! I'll answer them all here. The tooth is fine, painful a bit, but fine. The dentist wants me to come back Tuesday to have it closely looked at, plus get half my teeth cleaned. Top or bottom? No, the right side of the mouth and then the left. The dentist mumbled something about 'root canal' which Hubs has assured me sounds worse than what it is. He's had a few. He and Fry have cavities, I have gum problems. Seems the pained tooth has had trauma. I'd bumped it hard a few times while chewing, of all things. I know, I thought, "Wow, dumb butt, chew much in your life?" So we will see Tuesday if I need the dreaded root canal or if the antibiotic will help. The dentist said my Midrin for the headaches will work if the tooth is killing me. I usually take just one with the antibiotic, which is nice. By the time the ibuprophen wears off, it's time for the other pill.

Carol, you amaze me at how little you get by with cooking. I'm totally impressed, but then, I do like cooking every so often. :D The natives around here insist upon it. I can't wait until the countertops, flooring and tile backsplashes are replaced, too. Fry is having difficulty accepting the changes. I'm like, "Hon, the wallpaper is PLAID, and the tiles are WHITE. Plus, kitchen carpet? Uggg. The counters are ok, but as vanilla as a person could get. We've tried including her in on the changes, but she's not wanting to change anything, of course. Oh well! Too bad so sad for her!

Mary, I can't tell you how often I've got my hiney in a bind from speedreading and not paying attention. I'd just thought my writing was unclear, and maybe it was. :P When are you moving, have you picked out colors for the old house? My offer for color hunting still stands.

Susan, I totally understand the bonding reference. I can't deal with Mom's gas stove. Gas leaks worry me. It's silly, I know. All the holiday cooking, done on a new stove!! I'm thrilled.

There's been yarn in the mail, beads in the mail, and even wood flooring samples in the mail. I'll have to share all that later, since the man of the house needs the computer. He rarely does, so I can share. :P

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's in the mail! Oh joy!

I've ordered the first two seasons of My Family from BBC America and they've shipped today. If we enjoy this half as much as we have Alien Nation and My Name Is Earl, there'll be much laughter in the house. We had Toppa watch some of Earl over the weekend and she didn't make a fool of herself with laughing. I try to be cool about it, but tend to laugh my hiney off at Earl and My Family. I've grown up with so much great comedy in my life, it's tough for a show to make me laugh until tears. Usually, the tears are from repressed laughter because I want to hear the next line instead of laughing through it.

My Family - That's Just Weird & Scary.

Nick is my favorite. In the film below, you'll see one of the reasons why.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race