Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessings

Well, Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. It was a lovely day with good food, good company, close family and extended family.
None of the things I fear going wrong, actually went wrong and I wasn't a stressed out nut who couldn't enjoy the day because too many things were left for the last minute.
In fact I was able to take a couple of hours while the turkey cooked, to spend some time with an elderly aunt.
The only negative was that DD#1 and family couldn't be here with us.
While I prepared the dinner, I was recalling some of the little oops that I have had on previous Thanksgivings:
#1. Is the Turkey ever going to get done? We have had dinner about 2 hours later than expected some years because of turkey miscalculation. I don't know if my oven temp is not accurate or if it is because DD#3 is constantly opening the oven door to "test" the stuffing.
This year I added two hours to it's expected done time and it turned out perfectly.
#2. The year there was no salt. No open stores and the box of salt had only a few sprinkles. I remember getting out every salt shaker, decorative, silver, crystal and finding one that was half full.
I checked over every staple that could possibly be needed and didn't run out of anything.
#3. The year there was almost no mashed potatoes. The mixer wouldn't work when it was mashed potato time. Circuit breakers were checked, cords were examined, no luck. DD#3 pushed the reset button on the outlet and low and behold off we went. I was panicking, but really I have a potato masher. That was the way I mashed potatoes for years before I started using the mixer.
#4. Years of inferior dressing or stuffing.
My grandmother made the best stuffing in the world. A sage and sausage stuffing that I tried to duplicate for years and years. There was no one left to ask for the recipe so I searched through countless recipes for just the right combination of spices. Then one year I saw a yellow box on the store shelf in the spice aisle and the light dawned..... Bell's seasoning! I remembered it on my grandmother's spice rack! That was the secret! I bought a box and my dressing tastes just like I remember my grandmother's tasting.
I buy a new box every year, but keep the leftover boxes, just in case they stop making it. Nothing else tastes the same.
Just Thanksgiving craziness.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving, Already!

Christmas cactus blooming like crazy!

How did it get to be the weekend before Thanksgiving? It really caught me by surprise. We went to WV to visit DD#1 last week from Wednesday to Sunday and had a wonderful time hanging out with the beautiful granddaughters and handsome baby! The weather wasn't as nice there as it was here. They had the rain and cold from Hurricane Ida visiting at the same time we were. Sunday, when we left was promising to be warm and sunny. Doesn't that just figure.

I was able to get some good knitting done on the 8 hour car ride, even though I did my share of driving. I finished another of the Who? hats and am now finishing up the last of the 6, so I will have that knitting done way before Thanksgiving which was my goal. Of course I have hats for the boys to do, also. Don't have the yarn for them yet.

We got back to a pile of mail (don't you love this time of year when all the Christmas catalogs come) and packages. And this came in one of the boxes. That's Nora Gaughan's new men's pattern book and the yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light in white for the Curvier scarf for DH for Christmas. He picked it all out so it won't be surprise knitting. Since we are together 24/7, knitting a surprise for him is difficult.

DH's birthday and anniversary presents had also come while we were gone, so we had quite a collection. (There was also a new knitting book, which I will talk about in another blog.)

I was doing some listening to some podcasts and reading some blogs that, coincidentally were discussing knitting in public and surprisingly were in harmony with what I expressed in my last blog. I was also listening to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off:The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting and she discusses knitting in public's dos and don'ts much better than I. If you like her blog, I highly recommend reading any of her books. For some bizarre reason, earlier this year I requested every one of her books from the library and received them all at the same time! I was all Yarn Harlot all the time for a couple of weeks. Thoroughly enjoyed them but liked Cast Off the least, possibly because it was the last I read and I was over Harlotted. I recently downloaded the audio book and really enjoyed it

Well I'm off to start cooking the vegetables for our Thanksgiving dinner. Sweet potatoes, turnips, squash, brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce should all be done this weekend and in the freezer, then it's on to the pies! Pumpkin, apple, cherry and chocolate are on the menu. Aren't we lucky to be blessed with so much abundance!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Knitting in Public

Hand Knit Socks drying on the line on a beautiful autumn day.

I'm feeling opinionated about all things knitting, so be warned.

The DH and I were at our polling place voting on Tuesday like all good citizens should have. (Don't complain about the government you have, if you don't vote.) It was startling to see the mechanical lever voting booths were no longer being used and paper and pens and scanners were the new method of casting your vote.

The usual gray haired ladies and gents were manning the tables and one lady was knitting to pass the time, since there is usually plenty of spare moments on off, off year elections. As I was waiting, I heard the usual comments when there is a lone knitter in a group , "I don't have time to knit", "I used to knit but haven't for a long time" and the classic "My grandmother used to knit".

It reminded me of the many reasons I don't knit in public. I call it the annoyance factor.

No, let me clarify that a bit. I choose the places I will knit in public carefully dependent on the annoyance factor. That is, if someone is being annoyed, I don't do it.

Subways and buses: Some knitters wax poetic about the amount of knitting they get done while on the bus or subway. I took the subway to and from work for 17 years. Most of that lovely 25 minutes of free time (about all I got in those days) I spent reading. The one or two times I took knitting with me, I found myself actually making eye contact with the other passengers (I don't look at my work and there is nothing to look at through the windows except black tunnel on the subway). And someone would inevitably say one of those above mentioned phrases which would mean I would actually have to talk to them! No, I don't want to interact with the other riders, not at 6:00 am.

Concerts, lectures, theater and movies: Some knitters take their work to events such as these. I don't. It annoys my DH, who is all things supportive about my knitting but it disturbs him if I knit in these places. If it bothers him, it may bother or distract others in the audience. And in the case of live performances, even the performers. I don't like to be distracted by others at events where I paid good money to be entertained and I certainly don't want to be the cause of it. There was a comment made by a certain knitter who was at a lecture knitting and someone chastised her and asked her to stop and pay attention. The response, she thought cleverly, was that she didn't need her hands to listen. All well and good, but here is the annoyance factor. She was a disturbance. That, my dear, is not being clever, it is being rude.

Airports: Yes, yes, yes. I wouldn't be caught in an airport without knitting, books, ipods etc. Everyone is usually in their own little space, inner and outer. I annoy no one, no one asks me ridiculous questions, and I don't implode.

Airplanes: It depends. If I am in a middle seat between two over sized gentlemen, then maybe not. If I can make my own little nest by the window seat, probably. I always take it with me and make the best judgement.

Waiting Rooms: Yes. See Airports, above.

So where will I knit? I always have a traveling item and knit while waiting for the littlest school kid to get out of class, while watching kids after school, while riding in the car, with other knitters at coffee shops or Knit Nights, sometimes at the ball park while watching a game.

When I was in my 30's, it didn't bother me to have people make the "My grandmother used to knit" comment. I felt I was doing my part to change the image of knitting from something only little old ladies would do. Now that I am a grandmother, I resent the stereotype, but feel I am adding to it and it falls on deaf ears for me to protest that "No, no. Many many younger people are knitting these days". So it is better for my blood pressure to just avoid the conversations and not knit. I have nothing to sell, I am not an evangelical trying to convert all I see to becoming a knitter. After all, if they don't knit there will be more wool for me.

I do get my knitting time, however, and have completed 2 out of the 6 Who? hats for the granddaughters for Christmas. At this rate I may have them all done before Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Good, Better, Best

Still lots of color in the backyard even though there was just the littlest bit of snow mixed in with the rain. (Fuzzy picture for some reason)
Thursdays are my running around day. Weight Watchers meeting, grocery shopping, returns to the library, some yarn shopping. You get the picture.
So I returned some DVD's the library and was able to score the next two LOST dvd's in my quest to review all the shows before the final season starts. I am following the discussion in the Washington Post on line at Lost Central and am behind by about 4 weeks what with vacation
and weddings taking up my time. So I was really happy to see the two dvd's that I needed on the shelf. As I was checking out, I looked over at the shelves and there was a volunteer with gloves and cleaning solution wiping down all the cases on the dvd's. The bad news is he was only on the first shelf and hadn't gotten to the ones I took out.
So if I have the flu and get some movies to pass the time, won't I get germs on the inside of the case as well as the outside?
Do you think we are becoming altogether way too paranoid about the H1N1 flu? I do.
I lost half a pound, even though I really haven't been following program this week and haven't been able to exercise as much as I usually do because of the crazy knee thing that was going on. It's okay now, but I want to ease back into my routine so it doesn't get aggravated again.
I went to Joann's to look at some beads for the eyes on the Who? hats I'm making for the kids for Christmas and scored the IK Holiday Gifts magazine. I have been looking out for this since I saw the teasers for it. I looked at Barnes and Noble, the grocery store which usually carries all the IK mags, JoAnn's last week (I was so disappointed not to find it last week that I bought 6 skeins of sock yarn). I was going to order it on-line but then there it was. Actually just a few of them by the pattern books, none on the magazine rack.
I wonder if it is the price that is stopping some stores from carrying this, or if their supplies just haven't come in yet.
There has been a lot of buzz in the internet chat rooms about the cover price ($14.99) and the fact that some of the patterns are recycled.
I had a 40% off coupon so got $6.00 off the price. But I would have bought it at full price, if I had to. There are more things in it that I will make, than items I would not. There are 5 sock patterns! Some people download sock patterns at $5 or $6 dollars each, and don't think a thing about it.
I would have bought it for the You Kiss a Hundred Frogs Purse alone. It is so cute. But the pattern I really wanted was the Ionic Column Scarf made with 1 skein of Kid Silk Haze (or Kid Silk Crack, as the Yarn Harlot calls it). A perfect gift of elegance at a reasonable price. I want to make one for each of my daughters and myself, of course.
Yes, two more skeins of sock yarn came home with me. This is a jaquard called Lavender. Love the purples. You can't have too much sock yarn!

Monday, November 2, 2009


This is a picture from last year of Jordyn and the heads of giant sunflowers. Mainly because I took my camera but didn't take any pictures of the kids with their Halloween costumes. Again! And they were cute. Jordyn was Tinker Bell, which she loudly told anyone who mistook her for an angel. Collin was a three eyed monster, with a big eye in the middle of his forehead, and Nathan was an army guy dressed all in camo, including his new fingerless gloves.

For the first time he wanted to go around with his friends, instead of his cousin and sister and there was much discussion and hand ringing about this. One of the mothers went with them and he was given strict orders to be back by 8:15. The father was on the porch waiting for him when he made his way home by 8:22. Not too bad. But it is only the beginning of missed curfews and anxious waiting.

He slept over and we watched some Ghost Hunters, went to the Pancake House for breakfast and got the hour back that we were robbed of in the Spring.

I started my Christmas knitting and finished the right side of my blue cabled cardi. Hope to get the left side done this week.

We are going to West Virginia next week, so I would like to have the socks for DD#1 done down to the toes, so I can have her try them on for that custom fit that is so nice with handmade socks.

Chili and corn muffins and beer for dinner, wool knitting and cool fall days what could be better! Oh yes, a good game of football to watch. Too bad we just have the Bills.