Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's A Brand New Year


I always look forward to New Year's Eve as well as New Year's Day! I love the thought of a brand new year....all the possibilities.....enjoying this last holiday before the new year sets in!

We generally go out with friends for New Year's Eve, in year's past meeting at a local restaurant but this year deciding to meet for a "pot luck" dinner.....which was so nice!!! Lot's of good food and good time spent with the best of friends!!! Of course I couldn't walk in with just my portion of the food.....I had to dig out my favorite "hat" to wear!! LOL!!

The gorgeous shawl is the one that Becky brought me a few weeks ago. We missed our Christmas party this year so I was tickled to have the opportunity of New Year's Eve to wear it!!

I always like to spend the last few minutes before 2007 "officially" gets here by reflecting on the past year, both good and bad and making resolutions for the new year.....which generally contain some of the same ones each year.......get organized, lose weight.....yada, yada, yada!!! I'm thinking maybe this year I should make NO resolutions and see if I have better luck this year!! LOL!!!

I am grateful for so many things, way too many to list!!! I'm thankful for the new friends I have made this past year through this blog as well as others!!! What a wonderful opportunity!!! I look forward to 2007!!!!!


Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas In Closing

Here are a couple of great books my Mother gave me for Christmas! I love the Southern Living cookbooks! I used to collect them yearly but soon discovered they took up WAY too much room, so I donated them among friends and the library and will now limit myself to collect them one every 10 years, starting with the year I was married.

Mother also gave me this GREAT knitting book! (The second knitting book she has given me that I had never seen!).....I love them all!!

I did manage to snap a pic of Max opening his Christmas present.....Gracie always gets a sparkly ball but getting a pic of her would require a video! LOL!!

AND......napping with his new toy!

I know most folks start diets in January.....come to think of it so do I.....but I allow the treat of Saturday morning Belgium Waffles with Maple Syrup (when time allows) I made my annual pilgrimage to Williams Sonoma for their waffle mix.....which after trying every waffle mix on the market have come to the conclusion that it is the absolute BEST.....worth EVERY penny!! The Maple syrup is really good too and I love the bottle! While I was there I picked up myself a snappy red hand mixer!! (On sale!!). I don't know HOW I have managed all these years without a hand mixer!!

I managed to finish the Irish Hiking scarf for my husband's nephew who is in Montreal for the New Year's Holiday....knit with the Cascade 220 Tweed in a great dark mossy green color. I also knit another scarf for his friend in the Cascade 220 Tweed in a great dark tobacco/brown color. I wanted something with a pattern but quick to knit so I adapted a "warshrag" pattern and was GOING to post a pic but blogger won't allow me to post anymore pictures! I'll see if I can post later today. I also bought some really pretty, soft, pink Alpaca to make a scarf for a nephew's girlfriend to wear while walking between classes at Auburn......but I ran out of time so I'll have to get this in the mail as soon as I get it made.

AND.....I have started a pair of socks in some GREAT yarn that Tonni gave me a few months back. I'll also post that later today too......if the great Blogger will allow it!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

WAIT!! Where Did Christmas Go?

O.K............... What happened to Christmas?

WHERE did it GO?

I worked in a constant state of frenzy, choosing gifts,shopping, wrapping, baking, in general just running amok in sea of stress induced "festivities".......running to and fro, multi-tasking WAY too much!!

I didn't enjoy a single leisurely evening by the fire looking at the tree, didn't see a single Christmas movie, everything was too rushed! WAHHH! I want a "re-do"!!!! of may now sit down!!!

Sooooo.......on to more exciting news!!

My nephew won a scholarship to study in Spain for three months. Half way into his visit his girlfriend flew to Paris to spend a long weekend. Isn't that just the most romantic thing???? But to make it even better............he PROPOSED to her...........IN PARIS!!!!

Brent phoned her father a couple of weeks before he planned to propose......(very impressed that he was old fashioned enough to phone for her "hand" before popping the question). I'll have to verify the exact spot and post a pic at a later date. Brent loves the history of all the places he visits and had researched an appropriate place to propose......which turned out to be a particular fountain at a palace of some kind......there was a specific reason for this fountain (again, I was so overjoyed I lost some of the details).......but after a very eloquent speach, he dropped to one knee and proposed!!!! All this from the kid who is the world's biggest "ham".......who's conversations are peppered with "sweet", "dude", and "cool".....but considering how he writes I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised. Check out his blog that he started while in Spain....unfortunately internet service was the pitts so he only has a few entries.....he is going to download his pics and complete the blog in the next few weeks. His last entry is the most incredible one....check it out:

Back to Christmas: Brent brought me back some tea that he purchased at a Moroccan market and smells absolutely HEAVENLY.....I can't wait to try it! He also brought me some sassafrass, which is more per ounce than gold right now!! AND......some sherry from Spain!!

I have more pics to post but blogger is mad at me right now and will NOT let me post additional pictures!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Christmas Mouse!

The Scene: Last night we had a small Christmas dinner party for some friends of ours......what a wonderful evening.....good food, good friends, good bottle of wine! An unusual leisurely Thursday night for us!! All the goodbye's were said, the house was "winding down", everyone was preparing for bed......except for our Cat Gracie.

You see, Gracie is insanely terrified when anyone comes to the house and was outside cowering under the porch (or so we thought) she typically does when we entertain. The weather is very mild here, not even close to freezing at night but still, Gracie always comes in at night to sleep with us. This evening as it had started to rain we assumed she was all snug under the porch and simply didn't want to leave her nest as we had called her for several minutes to no avail.

Unbeknownst to us, she was out front, under the bushes with............a friend. After several attempts to bribe Gracie to come inside she comes TEARING from around the corner of the house and dashed inside the house before my husband could barely get the door open.

Now, Gracie by nature isn't a very loving I'm not sure if her "friend" was one she was wanting to have play time with or had "murder" in her heart......but IN THE HOUSE WITH HER FRIEND SHE CAME!!!! We were just heading to bed as I heard Gracie going nuts in the foyer (evidenced by the incessant ringing of the bell on her collar).....I of course being the busybody that I am went to investigate......what I THOUGHT was one of those tiny little toy fur mice with the little leather tail you buy at the pet store (which come to think of it, I have never bought because of my aversion to mice of any kind) was guessed it........a FREAKIN REAL MOLE/VOLE......and to make matters wasn't DEAD!!!!

Commence the screaming (me).....throwing the mole/vole out of it's I'll play dead and maybe this large hairy beast will get bored and I can make my great escape.......into his OH SH*T let me run for my life mode...........oh....and did I mention he was running RIGHT AT ME??????

My DH, who is always there to save my day (insert sarcasm here) hollering back to see what I your wife is hysterically SCREAMING your name using an inflection that to my knowledge has never been used in this would think it would elicit at least a SMIDGEON of quick reaction.....

After what seemed like HOURS, my DH gets his pants on, calmly walks into the room, throws a towel, (one of my good ones at that) over the stunned little creature who by this time was "frozen" at the baseboard, me dead ahead, large harry beast to his right, large man coming up from the rear.....frozen.....absolutely frozen, probably saying his prayers as he knows death is imminent.

Said husband then calmly scoops "it" up, walked to the back door, into the yard and pitched the furry little, stunned carcas into the woods. He said it was dead but I saw his little ears sticking up and the gleam in his beady little eyes and let me tell you.......all those little Tasha Tudor stories that I USED to think were so cute????? Well Tasha can kiss my foot!!!). I don't care if it WAS a mole and was only about an inch or so my head it was WILLARD and we were going to be eaten alive in our sleep!!! EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

Much disinfecting took place around midnight, Gracie was banished to the outside (probably with glee to go on another "hunt")........I finally collapsed in bed around 1:00 into a fitful sleep.

NEEDLESS to say I didn't get my scarf blocked but as this is a gift for Saturday I'll do this later today and will post pics!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Last Minute Shopping and Gifts!!

What a DAY!!!

I have been busy, putting off shopping for those last few gifts and decided since Christmas is down to "hours" away from being here I would go out today and try to finish up......and TRY to see if I could pick up some Christmas Spirit along the way.

Tonni and I met at the local Williams Sonoma for a few minutes so I could return some needles I had borrowed, give her my swatch and a book I had ordered for her. I was so tickled when Tonni handed me not ONE but TWO presents!!! I wasn't expecting anything and was so excited I must admit!!

Tonni is a true wine connoisseur. I have had some of the MOST incredible wine while visiting her in the past and now I have my very own bottle!! What a wonderful treat and I am going to save it till after the holidays when I can have a bit of time to sit back, relax and truly appreciate such a nice bottle of wine!!

I was SOOO tickled to get this calendar!!! (Whoda thunk getting a calendar would be so exciting?). I bought the same calendar and gave as a fact almost kept it for myself but decided I could always get one for myself later on.......and low and behold I received one!!! I am going to rake off a spot on my desk and look forward to having something new every day to read!! Thanks so much Tonni! I treasure your friendship more than you'll ever know!!!

I also did a bit of shopping at Williams Sonoma, which is my MOST favorite store in the whole world!! I worked part time at WS for a few years and have never had a job that was more fun in all my life!!! Unfortunately I never made a dime.....spent every single penny I earned and then some......but I SURE did have fun!!!! I'll have to post pics of my WS loot later. Merry Christmas to me, Merry Christmas to me!! LOL!!!

Thanks for all the comments on my cable scarf......will block it later tonight and post pics tomorrow.

I ran by the LYS to pick up a skein of yarn to match one I bought a few days back (didn't look at the was deceptively large looking)......I ended up buying quite a few skeins of half price yarn......will post that tomorrow too.

Hope everyone has a GREAT Friday night......hmmmm......what's this???? I think I may accidentally be feeling a bit of Holiday Spirit going on here!!! Either that or retail therapy! LOL!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ahhh....Can You Smell Christmas??

You start with 9 dozen lemon poppyseed cookies, then you make 9 dozen chocolate chip cookies (wasn't feeling the luv by then so no pic), add to that 9 loaves of pumpkin/cranberry breakfast loaves, Pecan/date/cheese bites, and last but not least orange balls (world's easiest, can't screw up, everyone wants your recipe)....goodies and some really pretty baskets (which I'll post one once assembled) and you have the makings for some nice gifts.....OH.....and I always make my sister fruitcake cookies which I'll make tomorrow, right after I finish THIS!

(Please note the scarf is being worked on in between batches of cookies!)....because you know you just CAN'T have ENOUGH stress at the holidays!! LOL!!

Someone had the Irish Hiking Scarf posted on their site and was gracious enough to share the pattern with me.....and I am embarrassed to say I can't remember who it was at this time....Paula perhaps??? I had filed this one away to work on after the holidays until I saw a demo on Knitty Gritty and realized cables were NO BIG DEAL!!!! I am THIS close to Christmas and I am starting projects of the unknown!! Did I mention I wanted some stress in my life???????? ANYWAY........I noticed the edge has this sort of "ruffled" thing going on......and this scarf is for a GUY.......what do I DO?????? I don't have time to start again as I have to make 2 more scarves to be given on the Saturday before Christmas......can someone offer a suggestion? The yarn is Cascade 220 tweed.

Last but not least:

Can someone PLEASE explain to me why these little fellows keep showing up on my front porch???

They aren't just visiting....they are LICKING the mortar and they keep coming back!!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's Beginning To Look A BIT Like Christmas!

Between work did manage to get my tree up....(I hate I can't figure out how to use my digital camera to get a decent pic of my tree)! It really is much prettier than the pic shows....and now has "fallen" out to a really full, nice shape....sort of like me!! LOL!!

I still have decorating to finish.....I'm sure I'll be decorating down to the last few hours before Christmas! Ahhhh.....don't you love the holidays? All that stress just swirling around!! I have NO idea what I have bought or need to buy.....nothing wrapped, house not decorated completely, baking not done, last minute change in gift plans, lose 20 pounds before holiday party season....oh wait, mark that one of the list....too late!!!!!......Fa La La La La, La La La La!!!!

Check out this ornament!!! My dear friend Cindy made this!! She used tiny dowels, actually SANDED down to make the points, and tiny beads for the tips!! I should have taken a pic of the package before I opened it.....presented in a cellophane bag, tied with the same yarn as used in the ornament and a tiny little peppermint stick, dipped in chocolate called North Poles purchased from Williams Sonoma (my favorite store!!) tied to the top of the bag! So tickled to get this!!! She is so crafty!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

WHERE has the time gone???

Sorry I haven't posted lately but I have been VERY busy working on my shawl.......isn't it GORGIMOUS?????

O.K., O.K., I confess......I didn't make it.....Becky did....and GAVE it to me....can you BELIEVE anyone would GIVE away something so beautiful????

I have been such a fan of Becky's knitting for quite sometime, we have been avid emailers and I was absolutely blown away to receive such a wonderful gift!!

Lace knitting is something that I have been fascinated by for quite some time, such intricate details!! I thought this was something that I might try some maybe 20 years or so I might be good enough to tackle such a project! I hate to admit it, but I have been very intimidated by just the thought of lace knitting!!

Becky, dear that she is.....took the pattern for this shawl and re-wrote it in a way that I think that even this "newbie" knitter can figure it out!!! I am so excited!!! I am going to work on this after the Holidays are over and my sanity has returned!! LOL!!

Becky also brought her "big bag-O-yarn" was like Santa opening his pack!!! She has some absolutely incredible yarn!!

I feel like I have had my Christmas!! On top of all this, she let me ask all the knitting questions I wanted to!! I had a pile of "projects" just waiting for her to help me with.....and what great tips she shared with me!! AND she gave me one of those necklace yarn cutters......I have been wanting one of those too!!!

It was a wonderful time for me, albeit a very short one....I'm looking forward to the next time.....we'll DEFINITELY have to plan a get together for 2007!

In addition to Becky's wonderful visit and working I have managed to decorate a bit. We usually spend quite a bit of time looking for "just the perfect tree"......this year it was FREEZING cold....we had no gloves, light jackets so we jumped out of the car, ran to the lot, ran up to the first tree on the lot, which was very poorly lit as they were closing and took it. I do believe it is the most perfectly shaped tree we have ever had!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Vintage Christmas!

I have talked to Santa and told him what a good girl I have been this year......or at least I have TRIED to be a good girl!! LOL!!!

I told Santa I would love to have some lovely sock yarn, (because you can never have too much sock yarn), maybe a gift certificate to my favorite yarn stores so I can look forward to "shopping" the sales, a trip to Tuscaloosa or Montgomery are always fun!!

Who knows......we'll just have to see!

Not much knitting right now....but I DO have a surprise coming tomorrow!!!

I heard Becky is planning a trip and invited her to stop by to break up the know so she won't be so tired when she reaches her destination, and you know there is ALWAYS the possibility of a freak snowstorm in Alabama in early December and she really needed a place to stay just in case, oh and all the traffic....NEVER a good idea to drive after dark.....and....and......then there is that thing with map quest being wrong and me needing to give her detailed driving instructions so she won't end up in Podunk....instructions that just couldn't possibly be put down on an email....well......she finally said YES......oh I can't wait.....I'll have my very own knitting guru as my hostage....I mean as my GUEST.....I have already started pulling out all those projects I need "help" with!! Poor thing.....I better set the alarm before bedtime so she doesn't sneak out in the dead of night!! LOL!!!

And on closer inspection of this pic it would appear I was in my "I can cut my own bangs thank you very much phase"!! LOL!!!