Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve morning.
All the presents are wrapped. The shopping's done. The cooking is pretty much set. I just have to clean the house so Santa doesn't find a mess. We've had winter storms for the past few days. Nathan was off school on Friday and Monday and it was too cold for them to go out and enjoy the snow day (minus wind chill). We got about 2 feet of snow altogether, but the wind blew it in drifts. Jordyn and I walked Nathan home from school yesterday and because some of the sidewalks were not shovelled, had a rollicking good time climbing snow mountains.
It's supposed to rain today, go figure! Although it is then going to freeze. I have two errands to run today: get the great Christmas morning coffee cakes from Walther's bakery and pick up a couple of books from the library, so I hope it's not too icy. Then it's just sit and wait for Christmas, watch Christmas movies and go to Christmas mass at 6:00 this evening.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Five Days Before Christmas

It's beginning to look a LOT like Christmas. We had about 10 inches of snow yesterday that came down all day, closed the schools and really developed just like the weatherman predicted. We were all cozied up not having to go out in the storm. DH wrapped the kid's gifts while watching "Since You Went Away" an absolutely wretching but terrific movie. I finished the Christmas cookies: the last of the Cuccidati (Italian fig cookies), jam thumbprints, Mexican Wedding Cakes and pizzelles. We then watched "Operation Petticoat" after dinner. What a perfect day!

I started Collins "Flame" scarf. I think this will be just what he wanted.

We're supposed to have a lake effect storm tomorrow. Since all the shopping is done and we have no where to go, we'll just hunker down and watch the snow pile up.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.” Robert Burns

With every good intention I wrote the previous post and the next week my computer developed a "bug". Not a tiny virus, but a brain wiping behemoth that caused our hard drive to lose it's mind-- all of it. Of course being the computer savvy couple that we are, nothing was backed up.

So instead of knitting, blogging, reading or sleeping, I have been trying to restore most of what was lost.

One of the most trying things was trying to remember where we put that interesting article, pattern, web site etc. Or getting our home page to look just like it did. Or re-ripping all of our cd's. Or trying to remember all of the various login's and passwords. Ugh!!!! Fortunately I had pictures on Flickr.

So now I have Norton Ghost which my son-in-law says will restore my settings. We are going to purchase a removable hard drive and I have only re-ripped my Christmas cd's until we get that.

It has been a wintry 17 degrees and snowy blowy the past few days and that will continue through the week. I love this kind of weather at this time of year, having the Christmas decorations up, the fireplace on, hot cocoa and a pile of books. It's so cozy. By February I am so completely done with it, however.

I am doing well with the Christmas knitting I wasn't going to do this year. I finished washcloths with different characters on them for all the grandchildren and the step-grand children.
I used free patterns I found on Ravelry. There are dinosaurs, stars, a penguin, a bat, a horse and a sheep.
I still have four pair of slippers to complete for the girls in WV and Jordyn, but I should get them done this week. I am going to start the scarf for Collin that he requested. A "fire" scarf of yellow, red and orange. We shouldn't have any trouble spotting him with that combination. I'll post it here when I have it started.

Our wonderful library site has added videos to the downloadable audio books, so now you can download things like the old "Dick Van Dyke" show (one of my personal favorites) or the Three Stooges. It's great and they all upload onto my Axim. So now I can watch them while I'm in the waiting mode (doctor's, dentist, meetings, boring drives, etc). They have also greatly expanded the amount of books available and you can have 20 downloads at a time. I was able to replace all of the "In Death" series that I had ripped to my computer. This is such a godsend to retired folks like myself and others who are feeling the economic pinch.

DD#1 has added me to Facebook, so now I have something else to lure me on the computer.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Year's Resolution

What have I been doing since the last post?

I have been following the pre-election and post-election coverage on the Internet and doing little else. I now feel re-energized and full of hope (even though our comfortable retirement nest egg is more of a flattened pancake).
So now it's time for some resolutions, even though it's short of the new year.

#1) I have to limit my time on the Internet. DH is in Myrtle Beach the entire week golfing. I envisioned getting tons done while he was gone. However, I found I wasted more time. Have you ever gone on Ravelry just for a minute or two to check out your Groups, go from one link to another as you find great patterns, interesting Blogs, delicious yarns and find that two hours have gone by? Well me too. And without DH tapping his foot waiting for his time on the computer, I have no one to stop the insanity.

Solution: I will try to spend no more than one hour a day on the Internet. That includes reading the NYT and Post and checking out my favorite blogs.

#2) I have to stop buying yarn until I reduce my stash. (Confession: I stopped by Jo-Ann's on my way home from Weight Watchers this morning and spent $40.00 on more yarn.)

I have looked into some of the Ravelry groups that deal with people like me, but none of them seem like a good fit for me and that would interfer with my solution to #1.

Solution: I will only buy yarn for the kid's afghans and the "gloves, hats and mittens projects" for them or if I need a bit more yarn to complete a project.

#3) I have been on this knitting binge in a big way since I discovered all the great knitting resources on the internet and my LYS and have neglected all my other crafts. I haven't crossstitched or sewed, even my reading has suffered.

Solution: I think if I limit my Internet addiction, and consciously use my time more efficiently, I will be able to produce more. I should think of my crafting like a job and be more structured.

#4) Not blogging. I really wanted to use this blog as my on-line diary and I haven't been faithful to it.

Solution: I will try to post twice a week and use the blog as a tool to track family stuff and how I'm doing with keeping to my New Year's resolutions.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back Home

We had a wonderful, peaceful five days at Letchworth State Park . The trees were about 60% turned by the time we left. It was so pretty. The weather was great for hiking and sitting and reading and knitting. Warm and sunny.

On the only rainy day, Wednesday, we went to Hammondsport and visited four wineries.

Have to make sure we have enough wine to last through the winter. We're like the squirrels hoarding nuts. I do the same thing with yarn. Always have yarn for a "Storm Sweater". When the snow piles up and driving is not allowed, I can hunker down in front of the fireplace for a couple of days with my storm knitting.

Had my first class at "Have Ewe Any Wool" yarn shop. Making a lace scarf with beads. Never worked with beads before. Nice group of knitters and lovely yarn. It is so nice to be with people who are yarn crazy. As one of the ladies said, the day was so beautiful sunny and in the 70's, we must love knitting to be inside on such a day.

Monday, September 29, 2008


It is amazing that two weeks made such a difference in my garden. The time we were in WV has seen fall really take over the backyard. The birds seem to have quieted. The three hummingbirds that have had fighting matches over the feeders must have begun their migration. The finches have their brown feathers on, so everything seems a little duller in the cosmos patch. The sunflowers are big seedy heads waiting to be harvested for the winter birds and I miss their yellow smiley faces.

On the plus side, the dahlias and asters have come into their time and are spectacular and the trees are turning. Fall is my favorite time of year and I love the crisp, cool days and the bright edge the sun seems to have. I'm really looking forward to our week at Letchworth starting Oct 6th. It is usually too early to catch the peak of the leaves when we go, but it is nice to see the subtle changes day by day. This year promises great color because of all the rain we had this past summer.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back From West Virginia

Baby Dante arrived on September 6th and we went down to West Virginia to help out the parents and the 3 sisters. We stayed until the 19th and had a wonderful time getting accquainted with the new baby. The girls were good, as usual and Jen was feeling much better when we left.

I knew she was doing better when I went into the kitchen one morning and found she had made a batch of bread!
I brought the two large receiving blankets* I made, the blue and white afghan, the white afghan and the baby kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I made two hats from the cream and navy yarn that I made the kimonos in. I didn't finish the navy sweater until I returned home, so I will mail it out tomorrow with a bunch of 3 month size clothes that I bought yesterday.
The postal person delivered a bucket of mail that had accumulated for two weeks and I received my replacement cable for my Options needles and my latest yarn from Knit Picks. It is the Palette Sampler and the yarn for DH's argyle vest. I ordered the third Palette sampler ( Warm Colors) when we returned. I think that is all I'm going to order until I have some things completed!

Purchase one and a quarter yards of flannel. Wash it. Fold one corner over to form a square and cut off the excess. Hem all four sides with a half inch hem. Makes a receiving blanket that is approximately 40 inches square which is a much better size than the ones you purchase.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I had the unthinkable happen yesterday when I took out my brand new 32" cable needle from Knitpicks to attempt a "magic loop" for a baby hat. The cable came out of the metal end!
I was horrified. I had read about this happening, but never had a bit of a problem with any of the Options needles in the two years I have had and used them. (Is it super grandmother strength from all the barbell lifting I have been doing?) I called the wonderful customer service department who will be sending me out a replacement.

I am on the sixth repeat of the baby blanket for li'l Dante and have to finish up the baby sweater. I think I will sew in velcro for the fastening and sew on a button on the outside. I had a little trouble getting started on the magic loop hat ( I always feel "fumble fingered" when I try a new process) but now find it a breeze. This is the technique I will use when I get around to the socks.

Not looking like I will be making socks for Christmas presents as I planned. I took a realistic look at the items in my queue on Ravelry and have to admit knitting 24 hours a day is not in the cards. I make myself crazy by planning on having things done in a specific time frame and I know it. Two Christmases ago I made all the kids sweaters. I did get them all done but didn't enjoy the process with a deadline staring me in the face (too reminiscent of work). Last year I made them all slippers and had greater sucess and less stress. I would like to make them smocked ornaments with their names on, but I think I have left it to late. I will make one for the new baby and whoever else I have time for.

I will be making everyone afghans, no deadline. I have made one for Amy. I will go through the grandchildren chronologically, starting with Nathan. He has picked out the pattern and yarn and once I get baby knitting done he will be next.

I am ordering the yarn for DH's argyle vest today. Maybe I will actually get this done for him. I have started this project two times and never finished. Third times a charm, right?

I have half a bushel of peaches to put up, weeding to do, organizing what I will take to West Virginia with me, books to return to the library etc. etc. etc. Time to get moving