Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of the Year

NOTE: Blogger is not letting me upload pictures right now. So there might be a picture post later, but I'm not going to let it stop me from posting. So there, Blogger!!

Last day of the year. It's certainly been a year of changes, of upheavals and disruptions and lots of new things! I was trying to decide if this post should be about the year just past, or if I should use it to look forward to the next year. 2009 certainly promises to have a lot of surprises, and if it follows true to form, not all of them will be pleasant.

And most of them will be things we as individuals have little or no control over. So here's my list of things I want to see happen over the next year, with a little rambling added for auld lang syne!

One of the things I need to get working on is finishing the organizing and setting up of the house. I know it would have been done a long time ago, had it not been for that last fall back in June, which messed me up in a lot of ways. Of course, that could just be a pipe dream; maybe it would still be in the same state it's in. So:

1. the office needs to be organized and set up so that we have a place to do bills, and mail, and use the computer for fun and "work" without blocking off the passageway and without having to spread everything out on the dining room table.

2. the sewing center needs to be set up and organized. This is going to involve organizing and going through both the fabric and yarn stashes, and the button stash as well. Oh yeah...the buttons. Let's not think about those just yet.

3. the garage needs to be organized and cleaned out, too. There are still a lot of boxes out there that have things in them that we're missing--like the platters to the daisy dishes. Twice now, we've had to improvise on carving and serving the turkey, because the platters are still packed. And the Geo. Foreman is still missing, too. As are the bulb and lamp for the floor lamp. My Ott lights work all right, but aesthetically? well, they don't exactly exude "Craftsman" ambience!

4. There's that extra 30 lbs. I'm lugging around. Yeah, it's time for it to go. Not sure how compatible that goal is with the FMS, but we'll have to see.

5. I'm needing to "get out" more, I think. Why do I sit at home, wishing I had a knitting group to go to, when there are groups meeting all over town if I'd just get up and go? Ditto the Friday night quilting. It will be nice to have my own place to sew, but it will be even better to have people to get together with and bounce ideas around with.

There. That's not such an imposing list, after all. I'm going to sign on for Mission: Possible 2009 (on Ravelry) and also take part in the Feel Like a Floozy GKA this week--not so incompatible, really. Casting on several projects is a good way to get started on winnowing down the stash. I just need to remember to "shop stash first" whether it's a quilt or a knitting project. Or crochet.

What's your take on the whole New Year process? Are you planning to do more/less/change? Inquiring minds want to know!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Stockings Will Hang...

...assuming that I can locate the stocking board! This is an interesting affair that screws down to the top of the mantle, fitted with cup hooks so that we can hang stockings on it. One of my husband's creations from years ago. It was taken down for the renovation, and it's SOMEWHERE in the garage.

'Nuff said?

The tourtiere is baked and ready for dinner tonight. Yes, it looks mildly underdone--it will "finish" in the oven at D3's tonight. She's making a baked pasta dish, and D4 found a "Yule Log" cake which will stand in for a Buche de Noel.

Christmas Eve is going to be fun!

Then of course, there are t he breads for Christmas morning. D5 has offered to make chocolate-chip pancakes, and these are just the supplement. Lemon-poppyseed muffins and cranberry bread. Mmm! Pickles will go in t he fridge once the bird is out; the fixings for pumpkin pie are handy, and those will get made tonight.

Ah yes, there will be baking tonight! Might even have to whomp out a few cookies, although #2 sent us a nice box of assorted cookies and goodies.

My big sewing project--for someone who hasn't sewn much this year, these two were big projects, never mind that they are very quick and easy quilts!

Well, except for the snipping. And the washing. And washing. And washing.

Ragg quilts are made from squares of fabric, with or without batting in between. (Denim ones are too heavy to put batting in.)

So, the blue one with the vroom-vroom squares is for Nate; the pink one for Audrey.

They'll get wrapped and put under the tree, though of course the wee ones are a little too small to open the packages without help. I happen to know that there's a couple of mommies who LOVE opening packages!

Here's sending wishes for a happy and peaceful holiday for you, wherever you are, and lots of health and happiness in t he coming year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

That Time of Year

Little Missy was wearing her new sweater, and we thought it would be a good opportunity for a photo session.

Well, we got great pictures of Li'l Miss rolling around on the floor. She was not feeling very cooperative.

However, she was nice and warm when she went to the store with Mommy. So it's all good. After all, the sweater was made to keep her warm. And also look cute.

She's wearing some big-girl shoes in this picture. They seriously affect her walking--she's used to barefoot, or stocking feet. Big ol' heavy clunky shoes? Well, it takes more effort to pick up the feet in those. What does she know of "winter" and things like that?

I've set up part of my holiday village on the back part of the sink--the bar that extends into the back room. Tuesday night, I had the quilt class members over for a potluck. This display is called "camouflage" as it's designed to attract attention away from the room beyond.

Because, of course, that room is full of boxes. Including the 17 boxes of ornaments, lights, and assorted trimmings that came over from storage.

We aren't going to discuss storage right now. I was hoping to be able to empty the unit, but after looking at it the other day, well, I'd need to build on another whole garage to house it. I think I'll just wait a bit and go through it a bit at a time.

Let's just say, 17 bins of stuff filled the Explorer, and we did leave about the same amount there of Christmas trimmings. I think next year, maybe, come November I'll go through and pare down the collection.

Maybe. And maybe I'll once again be able to use it all.

Hey, you never know!

We do have a tree up, and it's decorated. Not as lavishly as when there were a lot more pairs of hands to do it, but it's looking good.

Some of the bubble lights even bubble. Some don't. No idea why!

Anyway, the potluck was a rousing success, at least from what I was told that night. Everyone came, we had 15 people sitting around the dining room table (3 of us on bar stools, but still...) and it didn't even have all its leaves in. It was nice to share the finished (sorta) house with the people who've heard me fussing and whining about it all year!

This is just a gratuious cute-baby picture. The Ds and my sis-in-law took me to The Melting Pot in Brea for a birthday lunch feast.

Li'l Miss came along--baby makes 6? She was really a very good girl, ate the things that were good for her and wasn't given more than a taste or two of chocolate...

D3 and SIL, aka KnittingTerror on Ravelry.

The next picture is D5, Li'l Miss, and D4.

Some birthday loot. Amazing, really. There were even cupcakes from my Sooper Sekrit Rubberswap partner. I feel very spoiled!

Christmas house. Doesn't look as good in the photo as in real life...well, okay, they're kind of Charlie Brown lights, but at least we tried. And they are rather festive.

And, finally, my "new" temporary sewing area. Gotta get those babies' quilts done in time for Christmas! Well, or shortly after...

Hey, why am I here writing? I need to be sewing...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Still Here!

Just been a little busy and a lot tired from all that effort getting rid of the remainder of the debris from the old pantry.

Took the trash guys a week to take it all, and there is still some left in the back. After the rain today, there will also be some soggy cardboard.

Some of the tired has to do with health issues--no big surprise, I'm anemic again. Low hemoglobin, very low iron saturation levels = a very low energy mehitabel. Not what I needed at this time of year, but paradoxically, just getting the diagnosis has lifted my spirits.

Otherwise, I just feel tired and draggy and lazy and good for nothing, and start worrying that I'm getting too old and maybe I'll never be able to do anything, ever again. Once I know there's a "real" cause for it, it removes all the self-flagellation. Or most of it, anyway.

So, I'm back to blogging, although this post may be truncated since I'm hearing little sounds that tell me that "someone" is awake and playing, and not napping.

I'll start with the quilts. These two finished tops were presented at the last class--Anne's is a "row robin" quilt that her mini-group has been working on all year. Basically, each person did one row and set the specs for her own quilt: Anne's was cats and brights, with black. After being passed around in a brown paper bag each month, the quilts have finally come home to the original owner, ready for backing and quilting and binding. You can see more of these at Amy's blog. Ummm, Flickr page!

Then there was the annual reunion of my "Nursery School Friends." No, we haven't been friends since we were in nursery school, although it does feel like it. Our kids were in nursery school together, and since it was a parent participation nursery school, we all worked together in the classroom and on the board.
Yeah, our "babies" are now in their late 30's/early 40's. But we've been getting together for lunches and dinners, and the kids' weddings too, all those years. Doesn't seem like it has been that long till we look at some of our earlier group pictures.
There is a fifth member of our little "posse" but she moved to Nevada a few years back, and isn't able to come out as often as we'd all like.

Speaking of friends from Nevada, my pal SH came out for a quick visit last week. We took a day trip down to Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach, which was great for getting us into the festive spirit.

I took a picture of these ornaments because they were so unusual, and also because as the proud possessor of many many MANY buttons, it seemed like a good way to use them. Now, these are not hanging ornaments--at all. They weigh a ton each.
(This is where I stopped and put up the post when it was time to come home. Sorry. Now to resume.)

Anyway, if I were going to make some of these, I'd use fancy buttons and probably figure out a way to wire them into a styrofoam ball. Since I couldn't even lift the largest of these--seriously, it was that heavy--I see no need to reproduce them exactly!

I've been trying to get into the holiday spirit. One room is almost ready, and with a little judicious camera-angling so you don't see the boxes in the closet--here's the guest room!

Yes, I do have two more panels to fill in that space in t he window--see the white blur on the dresser? That's them. Just need a little ladder or a tall person to fix it up.

But at least it looks festive and pretty in there! I figure that q uilt ought to be good at least through Valentine's Day, don't you think??

Finally, I had to take this shot of the sky out of the window of my truck. No, we were not moving, it was one of those days when traffic is stalled so at least I got something good out of it.

Even made it home, eventually. Today has been a rainy day and predictably the freeways are a mess. I did make a good choice, though, and took the 210 home since I needed to go to Target (no lights for the tree, oh noes!, and T. has t hem on clearance). Since the 10 flooded somewhere around Baldwin Park, traffic was backed up clear over Kellogg Hill. I would not have been happy about that, since apparently my truck's heater is on the fritz. One more thing to fix!

All right, now my intentions are good. I will blog again. Soon. Promise!!

and Anonymous, thank you for giving me a burr under the bustle...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nov. 30--End of the Line

Just in case you wondered what a dismantled old pantry looks like, here it is!

The boxes are what was inside of it...well, some of it, anyway. A lot of it got tossed. I mean, do we think that 20-year-old shoe polish and fertilizer are still good?

If you think so, you're welcome to come rummage in my trash cans and fish it out. I'm getting so good at this tossing stuff!

I tossed all the old baby food jars with the rusted lids.

I tossed all the plastic flowerpots--the ones that were almost crumbling with age and decrepitude.

Tossed the rusty coffee can that was filled with filthy clothespins, too.

Tossed the rusty lunch pails. Bye, Holly Hobbie!

Tossed the filthy fishbowl, too. No fish for you!

The boxes of jars are going to go to the curb on Tuesday night, along with all those boards. If anyone wants to salvage them, more power to them.

I'm not gonna do it!

We did keep the sprayer and the liquid-fertilizer/bug spray bottles. They might still work.

Kept the Christmas trees, too, including the 7-footer that I wasn't sure about keeping. Turns out, D4 thinks she can make it work. We'll see. I'm game if she is!

Yeah, look at all that. And I was told the cabinet was empty...

Nov. 30--and this is #27!

Don't see how I can possibly do 4 posts today, so I guess I'm going to have to give myself a big fat F for this month's NaBloPoMo. Sigh. Well, I had good intentions, and you know what those are good for.

Today is turning out to be a working day: I have a friend over w ho is tearing out an old cupboard. This monster was, once upon a time, the "pantry" adjacent to the kitchen. It is definitely a home-made, kluged-together thing, with doors that both swing in the same direction. It's almost 8 feet tall. We had it moved to the garage when we did the addition to the house--that was back in, wait for it, 1983.

It became a "garage storage" cabinet, filled with all kinds of detritus and miscellaneous garden stuff. All the poisons, for instance, lived in there--in '83 we still had a 5 and a 7 year old. I haven't had the nerve to crack open the door to this thing for years--ever since the day I opened it, found myself nose to nose with a huge rat, and slammed it shut.

Anyway, D4 and I decided that it made no sense to keep the space filled with a big old hulking thing that we wouldn't use, so it got slated for demolition. The only hitch is that she had told me it was empty--that "the guys" had taken everything out of it when we did the big garage cleanout. Hah! So B. has been emptying it, and has made a lovely big pile of stuff that I need to sort through (again? what's with all this decision-making anyway?) and toss or keep. Most of it will be toss, but some might just go onthe curb to see if anyone wants to recycle it. Tons of glass jars--baby food jars! Have I mentioned that my "baby" just turned **cough** over 30??

Maybe I'll try to get a couple of pictures of this stuff, just so you can feel the proper amount of sympathy for me. And especially for B. He, after all, has been festooned with spiderwebs most of the afternoon.

Why yes, when he's done, I will definitely buy him a steak dinner! After, of course, he showers...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nov. 29--Almost December!

My current project. Must get this square done, and washed and blocked and in the mail ASAP.

It's for an "opportunity afghan" for NETA, to benefit the Ships Project. Hence the anchor motif.

I did this pattern once before, on the front of a little jumper for D1 back when she was about 4. It was wool, fisherman yarn (the itchy kind), and I did one repeat of the anchor with little cables running up each side. I'll have to see if my stitch count on this project will let me add some 4-stitch cables on the side...would be kind of nifty!

One of the nice things about rain is the spectacular sky effects you get afterwards. I took these shots to try to capture the glow of sun behind thunderheads.

The camera didn't get the glow the way I would have liked it to, but all in all these came out better than they could have.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Nov. 28...Post-Thanksgiving Wrapup

Well, some would say the star of the day was the food. I didn't get a good picture of the turkey, although there are lots of other pictures of food up on my Flickr page. (Or there will be as soon as I upload them. Patience, hoppergrasser!)

This is a close-up of this year's innovation. D4 decided, at some point this year, that a potato ricer would be a good thing to have. On a quickie trip to Williams Sonoma, which actually turned out to be not so quick, we found this model. Some deliberating and testing later, it followed us home.

Along with an apple corer (for apple pie, of course) and the acorn cakelet pan. So Thanksgiving proved to be the perfect time to try out all three.
Riced potatoes are smoother and less lumpy than mashed, and with a firmer consistency. There is also the option to incorporate copious amounts of butter, cream, and other delicious additions.

The apple pie was a masterpiece. It was juicy and delicious and is now all gone. She found a recipe in an old Cook's Illustrated for a sour cream pie crust, which she loves to make. In the food processor. Speaking of which, I was trying to figure out how long I've had mine. It's a Cuisinart DLC 7, and it's at least 25 years old--I bought it back when that was a real investment, but it certainly has been a trouper. I replaced the work bowl a few years back--it had cracked and while it still worked, it seemed like it would be a good thing to be cautious about, since t here's a lot of power in that motor. It's also on its second knife blade. But the motor is still peppy and the machine itself still gets plenty of use. I really do believe in getting GOOD tools and taking care of them--my Kitchen-Aid mixer is 23 years old and not so very different from D4's much newer one. Well, okay, hers is red and mine is basic white... and yes, both of them live on our kitchen counter and both get used.

Naters was letting the world know through his T-shirt that this was his very first Thanksgiving! He's one of the reasons we're all thankful this year!
On the other hand, his brother was introduced to a long-standing family tradition: the olive-on-the-finger. The Little Jack Horner updated, so to speak. He also showed a great deal of style in the snitch-the-little-tomato activity, too.

And the hostess with the mostest, after a long hard day of being adorable, bid us all a good night.

Wayyyyy past her usual bedtime!

But oh, did she ever love helping Grandma whip the cream--licking the beater was at least as much fun as birthday cake!

Here's hoping your Thanksgiving was as much fun as ours was!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nov. 27--Happy Thanksgiving Day!

This came to my phone early this morning: our favorite Eager Eater, prepping for the feast to come!
Here's sending you wishes for a happy and fulfilling day with all the ones you hold most dear!
We'll be gathering with the "locals" and hopefully touching base with the rest of the family that's scattered around the country. With any luck, when I get back home tonight (we're getting together at D5's with her husband's family as well) I'll have more pictures and more reports. In the meantime, like little Nate, remember that good things are worth waiting for!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nov. 26...Life in the Cat Zone

There is something irresistible to a cat about new things. Simon is no exception.

He's not really lapping at the marshmallows in my cup of cocoa, it just looks that way. He decided after a few (very loud) sniffs that this was, in fact, not a cat beverage. He's now curled up an inch away from the cup, probably just enjoying the warmth.

Yes, we still have no heat. Not that we really need it right now--at the moment, it's 65 degrees and raining--but it might be nice to have if the temps drop to the predicted 50 tonight.

I can hear everyone out there who lives in Snow Country (or just Cold Country) snickering. Yes, I mean you, Seattle Marie, and Sheepish Annie too.

Simon also likes to be helpful in other ways. Most especially, he loves to help D4 with her projects, since s he's the one who proclaims that he's "not a real cat" and that he's a "fluffy ruffle cat." "Real" cats are like Padua, rough, tough, screen-door-demolishing grumpycats, apparently.
Simon thinks any puzzle is improved by the addition of cat hair and the removal of superfluous pieces.

Last night, after class, I was all prepared to write a really interesting blog post. I was going to discuss quilts, and quilt classes, and what kind of fun stuff goes on there. Well, the plans got changed.

I noticed immediately when I turned onto my street that there was something different--no streetlights. No lights in the houses, either. Except for my car's headlights, it was quite dark.
Not sure what caused the outage, but it was definitely "lights out" in the ol' neighborhood. I arrived home to find D4 lighting candles.
Yes, she who had made fun of my candelabra, and my fondness for candlelight, was taking advantage of the non-electric variety of light.

The fire in the fireplace looks a little less cozy by camera-flash light, but let's just say it was a nice warm glow.
And the candles gave plenty of light to see by.
It would all have had a lovely 19th-century ambience, except for a few modern touches. Like cell phones, which allowed me to get text messages from my friend in Las Vegas, who was able to tell me why our power was out. (Substation in Pico Rivera offline, stolen ground wires. Some thieves really need to get caught and punished! Well, they all do. But these in particular!)
And of course, since there was no power, there was no Tivo recording our two favorite Tuesday night shows. I mean, how could I go to bed without knowing who won Dancing With the Stars?? Vegas Buddy to the rescue! He also remembered where the flashlight was--duh.
So there was the fun of opening a wine bottle by flashlight, and then sipping wine while reading in bed, also by flashlight, which is not nearly as much fun as it's cracked up to be. And then, at 3 am or thereabouts, when the power was restored, my room was lit up like a summer morning, since I'd left the lamp on when I left for the shop.
And that lovely post about quilting? Well, it's gone. Sigh. Maybe there will be some knitting soon though.

Oh, one last thing. This was a "trial run" for tomorrow's festivities--little bitty corn muffins shaped like acorns. The pan is from Williams-Sonoma and the acornlets are just as cute as they can be.
If you'll excuse me now, I need to go help "s0meone" get marshmallow off his whiskers...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday, Nov. 25

So here's a quick peek at my latest treat--a copy of Norah Gaughan's Woodland Gothic, which has some fabulous projects in it, and two skeins of Malabrigo Lace in Polar Morn.
Just in case you suspected that knitting was going to be taking a back seat here. Not gonna happen!
I also got the November Socks That Rock shipment, and I love love love the colorway--it's called Muddy Autumn Rainbow, which is about right. It's all muted darkish tones of cranberry and brown and blue and green. I might need to order another skein so I can make a shawl out of it--the yarn is smooshy soft and squinchy and it would be perfect for a wrap!
Hmmm, maybe I ought to go check the yarn requirements for the Clapotis. Although I did want to do that out of Sea Silk, so more pondering is in order.
Meanwhile I've been trying to get the squares of batting cut for the little ones' ragg quilts. Looks as if there will be plenty from one batt--but maybe I'll cut more just in case. I still have to decide if I want to put one square of batting, or two, in between the flannel.
Class tonight. Maybe there will be some interesting quilts to photograph! Can't believe how close we are to the holidays--Thanksgiving on Thursday, and then the countdown to Christmas starts in earnest! 0

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Post A Day? Or 30 in 30 Days?

That's the burning question here right now. If my calculations are correct (and since I'm dysmathic, there's no reason they should be) this is my 20th post this month. Since it's the 25th day, that would mean I'm 5 posts behind. So if I do two a day for the rest of the month, I ought to catch up, right?

I promise the last one (how many people have my name) is the only "cheater cheater pumpkin eater" one I'll do. This is a real post and there will be 10 more. I do have some cute pictures to share, after all, as well as a couple of adorable videos. And since Thursday is Family Day, I'm positive there will be opportunities for more cute pics.

Here's one for now. Enjoy!

Slacker Blogger
LogoThere are
or fewer people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nov. 18--Quilting Night~

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted these first two pictures? Of the nice soft flannels I had gotten to make quilts out of?

There was the pink/lavender combo.
The one with butterflies and flowers as well as stripes and dots.

Then there was the blue combo.

The one with airplanes and little cars that said beep beep and vroom vroom.

As well as stripes and dots.

Yeah, those.
Well tonight at class, everyone was pretty much settled into a course of action, the kind of night where I don't have to do much except provide some encouragement and maybe a little direction here and there.
So I brought my fabrics, and my rotary cutter, and started in.
By the time I was ready to close up shop, those fabrics had been transforemed into this:
stacks of squares, all lined up nice and neat in my Ravelry tote. (It was a prize in a drawing, thank you HomesteadMom!)

General info: I cut these squares 9" and will cut the batting at 7". Batting is some slightly elderly Mountain Mist cotton--you know, the kind you should quilt every inch or so?? Not gonna happen, but it will be perfect for these as it will shrink about in proportion to the fabrics, and it's thin enough as well.
That remains to be cut. There's a session on Friday night, if I have enough energy, where I could start sewing these together, assuming I can get that batting cut out in time.
Oh, I had 1.25 yards of each of the fabrics (7 in the pink/lavender colorway and 7 in the blue) and was able to get 20 squares, or 10 blocks' worth, from each fabric. If my calculations are correct, that will give me 70 blocks of each, which laid out in a 7 x 10 pattern will finish out to approximately 50" x 70" quilts. Ought to be a fairly good size for a bed or just to wrap up with on a chilly evening.
Supposing, of course, that we ever get such a thing here. I guess anything is possible...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nov. 17--Happy Birthday, D5!

Yes, today was Little Missy's mommy's birthday. Two days after Little Missy's! Makes for a nice weekend of celebrating, at least!

Happy birthday!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nov. 16--Smoky Sunday

So there are wildfires raging all around us, in a manner of speaking. None of them are very close to where I live, nor where any of my family lives, although the Yorba Linda fire is extremely close to D3's store. In fact, there is an evacuation center just behind the shopping center.

She's also run into lots of problems getting to and from work, since the freeways she usually takes are both blocked off.

We all met for breakfast today, to celebrate D5's birthday (which is actually tomorrow) and this is the view of the "Freeway Triangle" fire from the parking lot. (That's the Corona/Yorba Linda/Diamond Bar/Chino Hills area, south and east of the Sylmar Fire. )

You can get an idea of how fierce this fire is when I tell you it's probably a good 5-10 miles south of that line of freeway. Even up in our area, the sky is occluded with smoke, and the air smells like a campfire. There was ash blowing on the cars in that parking lot, although we haven't seen any ash up here.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a Montrose Monday, but with the Sylmar fire relatively close to that area, we're going to have to wait and see if it's feasible to go out in this. Latest bulletin is that the fire in the Sylmar/Newhall Pass area is again out of control. All we can do now is hope and pray that the winds die down, and the humidity goes up, and that the by-now-exhausted and overstretched crews can make some headway with these fires.



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nov. 15, Little Miss Turns One

The traditional hand-in-the-cake pose:

The "I'm walking!" pose.

The "cousin with balloon" pose.
Yes, it was a lovely day and a lovely party. Little Missy was the perfect birthday girl, wore her polka dot dress with panache and behaved like a little angel. (How often does that happen??)
The theme was polka dots, with big felt polka dots on the walls, polka dot favors, polka dot dresses on a couple of the little guests as well as the birthday girl; lots of presents, lots of food and fun and fellowship.
Reminding me of how truly blessed we are to have each other, as well as these little cherubs.
I took some videos and will try to upload at least one in the next post.
And in the meantime, our hearts and prayers are with all the people who are affected by the fires that are raging around us, those whose homes are in danger or lost, and the gallant fire personnel and police who are fighting the good fight to contain the fires and save lives and property.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nov. 14, A Sick Day

...but with something accomplished anyway! Last night, I was so tired I quit working on the sweater with only the two flowers on the sleeves, figuring I'd finish the rest of them today before taking this over to Missy A.

Bet me.

Woke up feeling really sick, and spent most of the day in that horrid place where first you're afraid you're going to die, and then you're afraid you won't.

I will spare you the details. However, after a good long nap with my furry "nurses" standing by, I found myself feeling much better. I've been able to sit up, take a little nourishment, and thanks to the magic of DVR I was able to make 4 more flowers for the sweater. I'm kind of thinking it's done, but I may get creative and make a few more flowers--there should be six more around the sides and back. I kind of think they'd be adorably cute, but not the most comfortable, so I'll have to consult with Missy and her mom, and see what they think.

Now it's back to the couch. Yes, I feel better, and I think that by tomorrow I'll be back to normal. But right now? Not gonna push it!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nov. 13--Full Beaver Moon

Yes, we have a full moon tonight. November ~ The Full Beaver Moon. Time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Beaver Full Moon come from the fact that the beavers are now active in their preparation for winter. Also called the Frosty Moon.

We also have a roaring raging brush fire in the Montecito area, which is keeping me glued to the TV for updates.

Well, I'm also putting a push on to finish the little green sweater for Miss A. I tried it on her today, and it fits, and Mom requested that (if possible) could it be done by tomorrow. Down to the last 10 flowers! If need be, and as tired as I am it's a possibility, I'll make 2 of them to put on (already did the two on the sleeves) the front, and do the rest later.

Film at 11. Oh wait, it's well after that, isn't it? Pictures when it's done!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nov. 12--Another Busy Day!

And, alas, no pictures today! It wasn't that kind of a busy day! Just the kind where there was some laundry going on, a few errands to run...that kind of thing.

Also was a knitting day. Even though there was a small turnout (just me and the Yarn Addict), we had a nice time sitting and knitting. She learned about Malabrigo Love--by the time she was into the second cable crossings on her Irish Hiking Scarf, she was rethinking giving it away! I bit the bullet and seamed up the little green sweater--now all that's left to do is the border edging and the little flowers, which I ought to be able to get done tomorrow if Little Miss cooperates. Pictures when it's done!

We discussed Stitches West and whether we can get there next year. We had such fun two years ago, and I'd love to do it again. The only thing is that this coming year it backs up to my class at Asilomar, which would mean much more complicated logistics. Have to see how things are shaping up by that time next year.

Why, by then, I might actually have the house in shape and be able to think about knitting and quilting at home. What a concept!!

The only other item of note is that I had dinner with a friend. We went to Chili's and I had their sliders (which they call something silly about "bites"). Yummy, and just enough. Now, I'm all tucked up with the laptop and getting ready to sleep fast--early call for tomorrow, as Miss A's mom has jury duty.

Nov. 11--Veterans Day

Remembering the many people who have served our country today. When I was a kid, this was Armistice Day--the day WWI ended. That was supposed to be "the war to end all wars." Not likely!

Not too much to talk about tonight. Long day, kind of busy, class tonight went well and I did take a picture or two, but I'm now upstairs and the camera is downstairs. So please be patient!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nov. 10, Monday

Today seemed very Monday. Maybe it's because I am still tired from the weekend--lots of activity. On paper, and when talking about it, it didn't seem too bad to have a yard sale on Saturday and then work on revamping the office on Sunday.

But in reality, it was a lot more tiring than I had expected. Even though there were a lot of hands to do the work, and I really didn't have to do that much, I felt tired when I woke up and it just kind of went downhill from there. Little Missy was pretty active--she likes this "walking" business and wants to do a lot of it. She still likes to hold on to a finger, for balance, which means I'm walking all over with her. Too cute, though.

Anyway, this is a short post today, going to take it really easy tonight and hopefully get caught up on my rest. Veterans' Day tomorrow, which I remember still as Armistice Day when I was growing up. Musings about that tomorrow!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

More Progress...

So the big project for the day was bringing home the desks, and getting them built and put up in the office.

Yes, I know they look more like tables than desks. I guess, really, they are tables; we had looked at several tables and these were just a little sturdier.

So, we moved out lots of boxes, many many magazine sorters (all my collection of IK, VK, Knitters, plus my favorite quilting magazines), books, and more" stuff." Then the desks came in, got put together, and here they are.

I am not sharing pictures of the rest of the house. "Trashed" kind of describes it. There's all kinds of paperwork on the dining room table, and more boxes and things in the back room.

Plus the next big task will be moving the computer setup to this desk. Now, the phone jack (for the dsl line) is on the opposite wall, so we'll need to make some kind of provision for getting it over to where it needs to be. I think some sort of cord protector, with maybe a rug or a runner over it, so that we don't trip and we don't damage the cord, is called for.

I'll keep the blog updated as we add a little more personality to this room, too. Right now, the beige cellular shades, white walls, and plain wood floor look sort of...Spartan? Blah? (Ok, so those full bookcases kind of have their own personality, especially the one with the office supplies, but that's not exactly what I mean!)

This whole process has really involved a lot of thinking about how we want to work, what we need to do to make things easier, and especially the whole concept of finding places for everything. Places that are easy enough to maintain, so that when we take something out we can put it away again without feeling overwhelmed!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Yard Sale!!!

What's a fellow to do w hen his parents have hauled all sorts of stuff over to Memere's house and are busy selling it off?

Well, he can always color.

And make cute faces at Memere when she brings out the camera!

At least he did better than these two, who spent a fair amount of time in baby jail:

"Hey cuz, what are you so happy about??"

So here's an abbreviated look at some of the layout today.

We had clothes.

We had lots of clothes, although not nearly as much as we've had other times.

There were tables full of stuff.

There were quilts on the fence. We even sold a couple of them!

The massage chair didn't sell. Maybe next time?

Yes, some of the leftovers have been held over for the "next sale." But most of the stuff has been moved on, turned loose on the world to find its uncertain fate.

Hey, it's out of my house, and that's the important element.

I made a rousing $42.50.

Well, I don't do it for the money. I might not have done it (I've just been donating stuff that I have decided to cull) but D3 really wanted to, and my house really is located extremely well for yard sales. D4 and D5 got into the act too. Then Friend Leigh joined in; she even made us some yummy taquitos and flautas for lunch. Mmmm, made from scratch, too. And refried beans, and rice, and guacamole...

So it was a day of camaraderie, and clearing out "stuff" and since the weather cooperated by being not TOO hot, I think a good time was had by all. Even the kitties, who spent the day in my room, seemed to enjoy themselves. I gave them an extra can this morning, so they spent the time in a food coma sunning themselves on my bed! (Their feeding station is in my bathroom, so they had food, water, litter box, scratchy pad, and my bed. Don't pity them!)

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a bathtub upstairs that's calling my name.