Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Birthday, Lizziebug!

The Blizzard Angel decided that Lizzie should have a very snowy birthday...

So here she is, shoveling snow! Mom (D1) says that they are enjoying living in a snow globe...

This will give you an idea of how much snow they have! (Yes, they have snow goggles, these girls are skiers. They just got back from a skiing vacation--made it down the mountain just in time.)
Happy day, Lizzie! Enjoy the snow and the hot cocoa afterwards!
Meantime I am in the process of giving my house a nice Christmas present: a new garbage disposal! Isn't that just what everyone wants? I sure hope the house appreciates it...
I am almost through the first ball of Encore on the scarf. The deadline is Saturday at 4--must be done, wrapped, and presented by then. Ah, the pressure!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Holiday Happenings

First off, here's what D4 refers to as our Charlie Brown holiday decorations. Two strings of lights on the front of the porch. Hey, it's two strings of lights more than we had last year!

Kind of appropriate, really, since the poor old house (yes, old, it was built in 1921) has been getting a little bit of attention this year. So a little decorating is in keeping with that theme. (Okay, okay, it got a new driveway, new back door, new French doors on the back, a new door from the garage to the back yard, new deck, and a new pergola--considering what it needs, this is a drop in the bucket!) The big decisions are yet to come--whether I'm going to be staying here, and thus making more repairs, or whether I will chuck it all (and maybe SoCal too!) for alternative living arrangements.

The sheer volume of what needs to be gone through, organized, purged, etc, argues strongly for staying put. But then, I always feel much better about living "here" during the winter, when the weather is bearable.

How about a little carroty goodness for the holidays? Here's The Boy with his dad and grandma--oops, excuse me, seems the grandcarrot is going to have a Memere to go with his Lola.

I think his daddy is a cutie too.

And yes, that thumb is a constant companion. Funny coincidence? His mommy was a thumbsucker too. She has nice straight teeth, too, no orthodontia required.

Isn't the little bear hat adorable?

Okay, enough gushing. Honestly, there HAS been knitting action going on here. I'm trying very very hard to finish up the Secret Santa scarf before its deadline. Friday afternoon, when I clock into work, it needs to be finished and wrapped, as Mr. Steve and I will not cross paths on Saturday. He'll be done and off for home before I come in. So today, which is a day off, I can knit away, and have some time tomorrow as well. I am procrastinating on the knitting by doing laundry, bills, dishes, posting, and all that good stuff. I sure hope I can get it done and not have to go to Target to BUY him a scarf!

I'm still looking for buttons for Pea Pod. I had meant to have them sewn on and ready for the dinner on Monday (when the above picture was taken) but of course couldn't find anything suitable. I think I have button issues--I love them, but hate sewing them on. "Asking a quilter to sew on a button is like asking Van Gogh to paint your garage."

Okay, back to knitting the grey scarf. Victory post when it's done!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tagged! Or, Six Weird Things

Thanks to Sheepish Annie and her friends HM and RM, I've been tagged to tell you 6 weird things about me. Here's #1: I can actually work in this mess. Oh, wait, it looks a lot worse than that now... but I'll spare you.

Doesn't everyone keep her shoes on a shelf on her computer desk??

2. I have a phone phobia. I can go for weeks putting off phone calls, just because I dread picking up that phone. That's why I have been able to go for months with my house phone out of order (the computer is connected to a different phone line).

3. In spite of #2, I am obsessive about keeping my cell phone handy. You can always reach me on it, day or night, although when I'm at work, you have to talk to my locker. It's a hoot to walk by the bank of lockers and hear all the cell phones ringing, pinging, or playing music.

4. I hoard stuff--yarn, fabric, books, buttons. By some people's standards I hoard cats, too, but there are only 4 of them, so I don't think I'm in that league. I can toss newspapers, though, and expired coupons, so I'm not quite ready for the little men in the white coats. Or the Got-Junk truck, either, although D5 might argue with you on that point!

5. I often think in French. I have finally, after many years in SoCal, learned to say my prayers in English, but I almost always say the rosary in French. And I carry my mother's rosary in my purse.

6. I love punchbowls. And punch cups. I was married to the Punch Bowl King of Southern California--oh, hell, probably the entire known Western Universe--and I really love all of them. Of course the "kids" and their kids will be getting some, but I'm very fussy about adoptive homes for these precious babies. Not as careful as if I was adopting out cats, but still.

Okay. I'm tagging Mary, Marie, Madge, Jillian, Annette, and Patty. I'll be checking up on you guys--hey, if I can hang my weirdnesses out for the whole world to see, can't you join me??

Simon says, c'mon!
(Want to know 6 weird things about Simon? His whiskers are wider than his body; he can't meow; he chirps; he doesn't mind sleeping on pants hangers (ow!); he picked us out, ran away from home every day and came over till his people finally agreed to let him stay; and he won't touch people-food or cat treats.

There, that's not too hard. If a cat can do it...

Yarn Management and Containment

Hi, I'm mehitabel, and I'm a stashoholic. Knit Devil has posted stash pictures and is encouraging me to do the same, and I had to admit to her that I'm too embarrassed. I mean, I brought 6 tubs of yarn home from the storage unit, and they are in the garage for now. Yes, there is more yarn at storage (but not fabric) and I can get into a nice digression about how and why we acquired the aforementioned SU, but that would divert me from my plan for Yarn Management in the New Year.

Wendy has had an idea and has set up her rules for her Knit From Stash 2007 project. I read them and thought about joining her, but then I quickly realized that a Stash of Epic Proportions like mine can't be managed that easily. (Whether it can be managed at all remains to be seen, but I'm willing to try.) So here are my 12 steps (one for each month of the coming year, though not necessarily to be completed in the months that match their numbers) and I'm posting them here for all the internets to see, so y'all can keep me honest. I'm also planning to post updates frequently and if I don't you're welcome to ask for them, demand them, stamp your feet and make me give them!

1. Assess and organize. Knowing your enemy is the first step, right? Besides, it will be fun to meet old friends and maybe get to play with computer programs--I think Excel will work for this.
2. Purge. Ruthlessly. I don't think this step needs explanation. Maybe it would help to think of it as Sharing The Wealth.
3. Assign. Some things were bought for a specific pattern, so it would help to have the pattern and its source stored together with the yarn.
4. UFO Patrol and WIP roundup. Again, self-explanatory. I'm starting to think that a monthly repeat of this step would be really good for me.
5. WIPs get whipped into shape. UFOs get judgment: they are either going to become FOs or they are going to return to their roots, ie yarn balls.
6. Periodic evaluations. How well is this working??
7. Pattern round up and organization. All those lovely designs printed off the internet, especially the ones in the stack that the cat knocked over and mixed up. I've got notebooks and sleeves, so let's put them to work.
8. Books books books. Lots of knitting books, most of which are keepers. Gotta weed out the ones that aren't, make working copies of some patterns so they're handy for assigning to yarn.
9. Gift and charity knitting. This is one of the reasons I said these steps weren't being assigned to a particular month--I want to do this all year long. If there are going to be yarny gifts for birthdays or Christmas, then I should decide that early and get on with it! And I've sorta let the charity knitting slide, since my knitting time has been drastically shortened, but that's really no excuse.
11. Knit from stash exclusively. For this part I may follow Wendy's rules, except that since I don't knit socks, I won't need the Sock Yarn Exemption. I'm not even going to push for a Scarf Yarn Exemption, since I have lots of yarn that would make good scarves.
12. Review, Reassess, Re-evaluate. Frequently.

Oh, yeah. I am also planning to use this same treatment with my fabric stash. Buttons? Not so much. I've already been going through the "regular" books and magazines and moving along some old pals that are just not earning their houseroom privileges.

I'm thinking that for me, 2007 will be the Year of the Declutter. Oh, and what's with the All In Caps bit? I'm afraid I'm beginning to think in YA titles!