Monday, December 31, 2007

Another day of Christmas

Our family gift exchange was great, thanks to Sara (who got me!) I got a new VB bag for my dpns, a Diana Krall CD, and a new Barefoot Contessa cookbook. I look forward to swapping cooking experiences with her, the recipes look yummy! We had some wonderful snacks (almost all new concoctions), and great wine, and of course a great time. Mary did a great job with her photos, so I'm glad to tag onto her posting, takes a bit of work out of the recap. I've done my first mosaic, thanks again Mary!
This gathering has become a highlight of the Christmas season, especially when we don't deviate from the list! I hope even as the grandkids grow up, we will be able to stick with this tradition, and who knows, maybe include their kids as well-but NO time soon.
Look forward to some musings and ponderings for the new year tomorrow, hope to make 2008 fun filled, thought provoking, and totally memorable. One thing I have learned from blogging is that not everything has to be elaborate and over the top to fuse into a memory. Some of the most simple things such as a photo of a favorite flower, or a bird in a tree can bring back very fond memories, and keeping only positive things in the posts (a bit of a challenge at times!) Especially if you can share the memories with family or friends (like with a blog!)
Learning new skills this year (knitting & some computer software)
Seeing things through "new" eyes (blogging)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Spill it . .

This is inspired by a much earlier post by Mary, and by a recent forum discussion on Ravelry, about what is in your bag (purse), and in this case your knitting bag . . . so here's mine:

I've got several dpns, see my new rosewood one's in the lavendar pack! I've got a finished child sock, and a finished adult sock, a partial finished 2nd sock to the adult sock. Pink yarn for the next pair of baby socks, a retractable tape measure, my "spicy" sock yarn that is cast onto 2 circular needles, reading classes, the in progress swatch for the sotsii, a Tupperware spice container that holds my T-pins and darning needles, stitch holders, a pen, stitch markers, Xerox copies of instructions- think that's it. I have several bags that become my knitting bags, this one is lavender toile with my initials on it. It has handles long enough to go over the shoulders for easy handling on the bus (gotta get back to riding it again), and is still small enough to go inside my larger tote bag that I carry to work. What's in your bag?

PS here's a photo of the first 17 rows of the Victorial Lace, I'm loving this yarn (and needles) for lace, very easy to work with, so far!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Just killing time . . .

there's nothing like work after a major holiday-like nothing to do! I'd so love to be knitting right now, I've got three sock projects hanging from my coat rack, and I'm just staring at the clock until I can go home! I did have a nice lunch with Steve. The Chief has ordered all non-undercover guys to wear their uniforms-he's always looked so cute in his :-), so off we go to lunch.

so looking forward to the family get together tomorrow-

have decided to join Kathy in a "square a month" quilting club thingy. I was sold when the colors- turquoise, cream, brown camel-"think Vera Bradley" were mentioned. Kathy has promised to fully support me in this venture-

have spent time planning projects-making sure my calendar is up to date. Boy I wish I could be knitting right now- but I've already said that haven't I?

I've stalked all the blogs, found some new ones. Got a phone call from PJ letting me know the youth group is on it's way home from TN. Dinner is practically cooked, and then I'm off to the grocery store, need to figure out one other appetizer for tomorrow . . blah blah blah . . . now I'm just thinking of stuff to write!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

In a nutshell . . .

. . . . love having the day after Christmas off, got tons done today, so here's a recap of the last three days which have been phenomenal:

C.mas Eve-
♥yummy traditional dinner
♥traditional Italian dinner at the Fitzpatricks: Ann's promised to teach me how to make her homemade sauce, there was pasta of all shapes, baked pasta, and a variety of meat sauces,
this is the second year we've been to their house on C.mas Eve, and it amazes me how many people are in their home on Christmas Eve for this special dinner: friends, family, neighbors, always a warm and welcome feeling.

♥Christmas Eve Service-peaceful and spirit filled

C.mas Day-
♥more yummy food
♥presents- Elvis yarn from Toasty, rosewood dpn and a yarn cutter- thanks Steve!
♥a full day of TV watching new DVD's: To Catch a Thief, Vicor of Dibley (last two episodes); Bourne Ultimatum;
♥early bed time- a bit of reading on Love over Scotland

Boxing Day-

♥drop PJ off for youth trip
♥errands and shopping, bargains galore (Ann Taylor Loft!); a much needed manicure (no polish) and pedicure- aaaah!

then a visit with Grandmother Bowen in Roswell.

Trip to Only Ewe and Cotton Two, and a note about this one: Elyse, who has only met me twice, and has exchanged two emails with me indicating she would set aside two balls of Lacey Lamb--knew me right off the bat and why I was there- wow- the wool is a beautiful shade of charcoal and I think this next SOTS will knit up beautiful.

Elyse also gave me the discount that she was going to be offering next week, so the yarn cost me .41 since I had a gift certificate- thanks mom! Now how's that for service. Oh yeah, I got a gift card from Mom for ATL, and got a cardigan, sweater, l-s T, and a pair of cords for $12.50! Yea keep those gift cards coming-

Now for my most unusual Christmas gift, not something I would have asked for, but considering Steve pulled through at Knitch I'm totally okay with this

- I got a:

yes, your eyes are not deceiving you it's a faucet, and I think a very cool looking one at that- this is for the powder room as the one we have makes a horrid noise that Steve can't seem to repair- love it!

Here's more photos from the last few days.

I said nutshell, but I didn't say how BIG it was going to be!

The soldiers who are willing to serve even though they are away from their families during the holidays

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Spirit of Christmas

This Christmas has become very special to me, I've been able to reflect about the traditions that have been part of our family for several years now. We did most of the old stuff, and have added some new. This year we attended the candlelight service at church as a family for the first time, and it was very special. Our family did the Advent reading and lite the Advent candles, and at the last minute I was asked to help serve communion, which is always a very special task for me.

I was amazed at the number of our congregation that came to this service, which began at 11pm and ended just after midnight. Not only was the music spectacular, but the fact that these individuals came to this service because they wanted to, not out of obligation was a real eye opener for me. We were just there for regular Sunday service the day before it would have been so easy to skip this service!

You could definitely feel the Spirit moving, and a sense of peace resting as we lite our own candles, and filed out of the sanctuary at the end. There were well wishes and hugs by all, everyone seemed "merry and bright!"

Perhaps we are just lucky to be part of such a friendly and family centered church, but I would like to hope that others who attend church regularly and are active can relate.

It is my goal to keep the Spirit of Christmas with me throughout the year. Charity, family togetherness and showing compassion to others should be a goal for everyone everyday.

More Christmas happenings to follow in another post, Santa was good to us this year- what was your most unusual gift this year, I'll reveal mine tomorrow.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I'm ready for a nap . .

i can't believe it's christmas eve- i slept in (5:15), headed out for my walk, and yes, it was very cold. for some odd reason my right hand was colder than my left. i'm thinking i need to either invest in some heavy duty wool gloves, or underarmour, or both. it's 39 degrees now, so i'm sure it was about 20 something then.

i enjoyed the stillness of the early morning, and unfortunately my photo of the stars did not come out, perhaps i'll master the art of night photography this next year.

cooked a casserole and lemon-poppy seed muffins for breakfast, and finished up the last of the holiday treats and did the cooking for tonight and tomorrow. the only thing left to cook are the yorkshire puddings which have to be done right before we eat.

will need a nap today since we have the 11:00 pm service at church, and won't get home and settled in for the night until probably about midnight- hope i can make it.

our christmas eve/day menu rarely changes and it's one of the traditions we stick to no matter what day of the week christmas falls on or how busy everything else gets.

christmas eve dinner:
roast beef, yorkshire pudding, gravy, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, green beans, christmas pudding, and christmas crackers (we have to have our funny crowns!), and this year will have the cookies and treats i've already baked plus ice cream for dessert.

brunch christmas day:
maple-vanilla french toast, potato sausage (thanks to polly), scrambled eggs, fruit salad and mimosas.

after we open gifts, we have brunch, while watching a christmas story, continuously until it goes off for the day, i love that movie!

this is the one day i really get to sleep in, and do pretty much nothing, knit, drink, and eat-that's it! i've got a laundry list of stuff to do on wednesday beginning with dropping pj off for his trip with the youth group at 7:30 AM,

so i really want to accomplish eveything i need to that day, so i can devote saturday to our family gift exchange and enjoying an extended holiday-day.

i'm really loving the holidays this year, and i hope to be able to do some better planning (and executing), so things don't seem so last minute-especially the baking, cards and decorating. i don't mind shopping at the last minute, but i'd like to have my house deocrated before dec 15.


Merry Christmas to All

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The countdown continues. . .

christmas day is 2 days away! see the little calendar- love my vista desktop.

due to a rain delay, i'm enjoying a very quiet house right now, and a relaxing cup of coffee. do hope to get my walk in later, but if not, gilad and i had a nice workout, so not much guilt.

yes, saturday's must-do's are done, and today will be all about knitting, getting prepped for our christmas eve feast maybe some baking, or at least measuring stuff out-i like to do stuff in stages when i can.

our saturday shopping took us to the avenues west cobb, and by luck we found a parking space which i told the boys we should try to sell when we leave. . we didn't but it seemed like a good idea. forgot one gift, but that can be bought on the 26th, and really wasn't 100% my responsibility to remember to buy anyway!

i helped the boys pick something out for me- new sweater from ann taylor loft-they were happy, i was happy, it was a win-win for everyone! our final gift purchases were at barnes and noble (love that store), but don't care too much for the starbucks inside, but needed a "pick-me-up", so we rested for a bit, and enjoyed a snack.

PJ and I- note to self- try to smile more in photos!

okay now i'm off to see what else i can get finished, have to re-cast on the VLace, somehow keep messing up, luckily i haven't gotten past the 4th row, so not much to rip out!

a few more newsletters to print, and get in the mail for tomorrow. enjoy your sunday- although the rain has washed out my walking plans, i am totally grateful for the rain, and would like more over the next few days.

oh yea. . finished the Sweet Revenge, it was okay, if you really want to know what i thought about it, i'll tell you in an email or in person. Not a book i'd invest in- definately glad i got it from the library!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

3 more days and counting

friday's list- done. enjoyed the lights, but didn't take any photos because:

1-i stink at taking night pictures

2-i was doing the driving

i was glad that steve and the boys decided to join us, last year was a bit unpleasant, but we also had 2 more kids with us, so this go around- much better. enjoyed a quick stop at starbucks- my favorite one where i go to do my "alone" knitting.

notice Jean's new specs! picked those up friday afternoon.

have most of the saturday "must dos" finished. this will be our final day of shopping for the family gift exchange, otherwise shopping is done!!

plan to add fringe to the gift scarf, it's already blocked, and i can get that wrapped and delivered tomorrow.

added Christmas Vacation and White Christmas to the holiday DVD collection, will probably pop the CV in tonight.

leftovers for dinner, so that's a snap ♥.

now, as long as the traffic is not too dreadful . . .

Friday, December 21, 2007

4 more days and counting

Thursday "to-do" list complete-while I didn't do any knitting, I enjoyed a couple glasses of wine, 2 cookies from this year's baking, and read a lot of my current read Sweet Revenge, it's way late getting back to the library, so I gotta get it finished-

now onto Friday's. Looking forward to driving around an looking at lights tonight, and then off to Starbucks for a holiday drink and treat. Since I don't usually get anything other than coffee, I might splurge ♥ on a latte. Gave the DH instructions and directions to Knitch for the one thing I really really wanted in my stocking, we'll see if the mission is a success.

Got to thinking about the Toasty yarn at Knitch I saw yesterday, yum. One colorway was "Elvis" and the helpful miss told me it was named so after the fried PB and banana sandwiches he loved, sooooo with that in mind, could anyone really believe that knitters and knitting is boring- we knitters can be "wild and wooly" when we want to- snort, get it wooly?! never mind- the countdown continues- whether you're ready or not.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Making a list and checking it twice

i've come up with a complete, i think, list of what i must be accomplished between now and the 26th (yea, can't sleep in or do fun shopping on this day!). as long as the other shoppers, drivers, and stores cooperate, i'll be right on schedule, and still have some time for a few holiday shows and knitting. am looking forward to planning time off in 2008, probably starting in early january! am getting more excited about the holidays, all of the furniture is finally in, so i think after 19 months in our house we're finally settled.


i'm thankful for each day i make it to work and back home safely
♥each day of exercise
♥having a very small list of people to buy gifts for this year
♥our mail lady, Cindy, who has been delivering our mail for almost 18 years, even though we moved, we're still on her route, she routinely goes beyond the call of duty-like bringing the mail to the door when mom had her knee surgery, when i had my car accident, etc. she has literally watched my boys grow up, how cool is that?! thinking fingerless gloves for a belated C.mas gift or for next year an early gift.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Since the Stole

It has been a very busy week, since the completion of the stole, but not stressful which is great considering the holiday season alone is stressful enough- not much time for deep thinking, but many things have been accomplished and "marked-off"-
first up-
the Christmas cantata at church- wonderful music, the choir and orchestra's hard work was self evident.
cooked cranberry oatmeal and cinnamon almond cookies (some for Steve to take to work)

♥Monday-Thursday was spent transforming our training room at work into a party room for our annual Christmas luncheon- moving chairs and tables upstairs, moving tables and chairs around- pushing and pulling that required many brawny boys!

♥Monday- blocked the Stole at work- took a while-I was warned by Mary, and I was amazed at how the Stole was transformed by this process-

♥Tuesday- the Stole made a tour around the office- PJ got his braces off (no photo), and Mom and I attended the DBE annual Christmas dinner- conveniently located at our neighborhood clubhouse :-) !

♥Wednesday-had Christmas lunch with Steve at his office -more wonderful food, and later the usual "yellow cab" services back and forth to church-got the "light" housekeeping done and coordinated the borrowing and delivery of the warming cabinet for our lunch at work.
♥Thursday-put the finishing touches on the training room, did a double check on the availability of audio/visual equipment for showing movies while we eat.
♥Friday-a tad more stuff in the training room- barking (I mean giving) orders-(directions) regarding food placement, and eating, etc. A totally delicious meal, and a great time was had by all, especially our visit from Santa, yes we have our very own Santa at our office. Later on Santa, Chrystina and I paid a visit to the pediatric facility across the street from our office. The kids, who are very sick, were entranced by Santa, and I'm glad we took the time to visit.

Some knitting in between, cast on the Victorian Lace, seems pretty easy so far, and I'm about half-way finished with my gift scarf.
♥Saturday-got some gift shopping finished- gift for the family gift exchange, baby gift for Beth and Sean, and birthday gift for my secret sister, and a quick stop at the grocery store.
Hanging out until time for the Katnik party- watched Elf and some of A Christmas Carol. Realized that we only have 1 Christmas DVD, and we plan to remedy that very soon! Spent some time in the kitchen getting Sat., Sun., and Mon., dinners together, and stuff for the coffee fellowship on Sunday morning-trying to keep things very simple right now.

Also, this week managed to print out about 50 Christmas newsletters, address and seal the envelopes--these are for folks that I don't have emails for, and will be getting a mass produced letter instead- (gotta buy more stamps!)

♥Sunday, spritz cookies and the gelee candy from this month's Gourmet. Andrew helped on this one- Also, made more progress on the house decorations. I spent so much time and effort getting the office decorated, I'm not sure I want to do any more! I still have to finish taking down those decorations and moving stuff back to the proper spot next week!
Oh well, what gets done gets done. I decided to put a link for the photos at the end along with a snap of come cards we've received, didn't want to do all that cutting and pasting as there are quite a few.

Love hearing the sound of rain on Saturday, and was very thankful that it held off while I did my walk Sunday morning!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Talking Christmas trees

. . . . no it's not the latest thing for decorating your home. i was pondering on my early morning walk last Sunday, as i admired the neighborhood decorations, and the lack of them on my house. . . what our Christmas trees "say" about us-
♥a single color or perhaps two in various forms throughout the decorations- "i like things simple and orderly, and not over the top", or "these are my most favorite colors", or i'm a control freak so don't touch my tree!!!
♥twinkling lights- "i'm fun and festive", or hyperactive!
♥themed decoration-ie NASCAR cars or racers; Disney or movie characters, etc."i'm so into this, and can't get enough"of course sometimes people have this stuff all over their house throughout the year!

there are times when i like themed trees the best; especially if they feature birds, dolls, things in nature, etc., but you can get carried away with the whole thing-as stated above!
also, i like the trees that go beyond just the shaped balls, and garland, but incorporate springs of holly, or feathers, anything unsual and different.

so I was thinking about what my tree(s) say about me and my family. nearly every ornament on the tree was given to us, some we've been using for almost 18 years, as they were the ornaments Steve's mom put together for him when he had his own place. most of them are homemade which makes them extra special; some of our were made by Steve's Grandmother (GG), my mom and the boys.

it wasn't until i came across the knitting basket that I realized how much of our family is reflected in our tree each year- i've been putting this on the tree for years and never gave it a second thought. someone may need to help me out on this one- did GG make this? it's totally cute with nails as knitting needles, and small balls of yarn!

I purchased this the one from recently from Starbucks-- these are just a few of my favorite year round things!

our smaller tree above the foyer has the Wizard of Oz characters, and the Disney ornaments that my in-laws sent to us each year for the boys. The itty bitty in the powder room has the Ga Tech ornaments, hope to do more with this one. another tree in the foyer has blue jasperware Wedgewood ornaments, most signed by Lord Wedgewood himself! a couple sent from Amsterdam, and other bits of white and blue. even Andrew has one that has sports ornaments and some of his favorites.

i now have a new perspective on the ornaments we have- gifts from family travels, characters from our favorite movies, from family abroad, and the homemade creations- nearly each one has its own story.

there will come a day when i have to divide these ornaments between the boys, and i hope they come to value and treasure them as i have, and will pass along the stories that go with them.

what does your tree say about you? . . .


Sunday, December 9, 2007

let the holidays begin!!!!

sing hallelujah, praise the Lord, amen, whoo hoo, double arm pumps, dance a jig, drink a toast, whatever celebratory expression you choose, but the SOTS is DONE that's right after about 8 hours of knitting yesterday, it's ready to be blocked; which I'll do at work tomorrow. I'll leave extra early so I can do it first thing-- Is is perfect? definitely not, but is something I'm very proud of, and can't wait to photograph it after it's blocked, so there will be photos at the end of the week. Will I knit lace again- well yea, I may even cast on the Victorian Ruby this weekend, well maybe not!

Now I can finish decorating the house, and bake some cookies. I even managed to watch an entire episode of Iron Chef America, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Note to self: do NOT knit non-social items from October-December. Must stick with socks, scarves, blankets, or hats during the holiday season!

Thanks to Mary for encouraging me along the way, and for my family for tolerating my obsessive behavior and odd meals this past month!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Bribery . . .

it works everytime. here's the ditty- i'm so close to finishing the SOTS it's ridiculous, and i'm almost paranoid that i'll spend the next few days not making it past a few rows, because of continuous frogging, i'm trying to remain optimistic, but have resorted to bribery, hey sometimes you just get desparate!. . . so since saturday is jammed up with activities from 0 dark 30 until noon, i've made a deal with The Family. once we're done at church i'll head to starbucks for a "few" hours to work on the Blue Thing, and The Family will get . .

FRIED CHICKEN for dinner!

Yes, folks that's how it works at the homestead. Why? because my boys (including DH) love fried chicken, i don't cook fried chicken, or buy it except on very very rare occasions-so this is like a real treat. they also get to have me out of the house which means they can play their guitars and TV too loud, and come in and out of the kitchen without me giving them "the look".
it's a real win-win for me, hmmm- 4+ hours alone with my knitting, no cooking or clean up, well i'll probably have to make a pasta side so i can have something lo-cal, low fat, but how easy is that?

anyway, i've given myself a deadline on the stole to have it finished by wednesday the 12, so i can block on the 13 (at the office so I can use the large conference room table), and it can dry on the 14, and then i can wear it to a party i'm going to on the 15th. sounds like a good plan however; between now and the 15 i have- 3 evening events, 3 lunch events, a yard sale to assist with, decorations to finish putting up, house cleaning (light this week :-), grocery shopping, cooking, baking, an on-line meeting to moderate, excercise, a busy sunday at church, work, and oh yea-- sleep! we'll see what happens!


♥officer safety this week
♥great books
♥not running out of gas because i waited so long to refill!
♥a schedule that will settle down after the 15th!

photo found on-

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Book Review II

I just finished McCaig's Rhett Butler's People last night, totally loved this book. I think Margaret Mitchell would be very proud. McCaig does an excellent job of weaving in scenes and characters from Gone with the Wind. There are lots of surprises making it very unpredictable, and not a cheesy sequel.

This is a must read if you enjoyed GWTW, and would be the perfect gift for someone who loves the original story. Happy Reading, this one gets 5 ♥'s

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The boy's got taste

must get it from me!
i don't know about those with teenage girls, but it seems that with teenage boys, you can't hold onto the furniture you buy for them as a toddler. why??? because apparently as they grow their feet begin to hang off the bed, okay some girls may have this problem, but i know at 5'1", I don't and haven't--such was the case for PJ. we purchased his bedroom furniture when he was a baby in the hopes that that would be it, we even got the twin bed to match.
needless to say mother nature has created a need for round 2 of furniture shopping which began on saturday. fortunately, i didn't have to go on this excursion as i had my knitting (class)group over for the morning. i was completely taken back when i was shown what he picked out, i must say i was actually pea-green with envy, he picked this group, ain't it gorgeous!
and will look lovely with the pale mustardy-gold walls.

the cheeky bugger did have the nerve to ask if he could paint the walls BLACK, um that would be NO!!! then he asked if he could get black bedding, again, No, but maybe we can incorporate the black with the bedding-not sure when we're going to have a chance to shop for sheets, etc. he has been threatened with bodily harm if he mistreats this stuff, can't wait to see it!

BTW, Steve ordered me the end table that matches the coffee table for the living room, so it was a win-win for me.

photos courtesy of