December 29, 2007

Foggy, Foggy, Foggy

Today is a foggy, dreary day. Yesterday I was going to try to take some more pictures, but it rained all day long. It turned out to be a good day to play Zelda - which L did. Spin on a spinning wheel - which R did. Look over wood carving books - which RL did. Look at new knitting and sewing books - which I did. Some laundry was washed, dryed and put away. A quick trip to the grocery store between the raindrops was made. E-mails and blog reading were the highlight of the day. Sometimes you just need a day or two like that!

Since I haven't gone by Mom and Daddy's to take pictures of Mom's new socks and since I can't find L's new hat, I will have to satisfy you with a picture of my new craft library:
Also, my new pincushion that R made for me.

Since I love Gnomes, this is the perfect pincushion for me!

December 27, 2007

Want to see what Santa brought?

Sure you do! L sure did...note the excited kid on the left. Does he look 17? Nope, not to me either. He looks more like five. Christmas morning does that to a person, doesn't it?
See this wonderful little basket of goodies? RL and R went to JoAnns and found the vinyl container and then filled it with wonderful yarn from Knit Picks and one of our LYS. All of it is SOCK yarn. Can you tell I'm excited? And what was in the little green frog in the basket? This adorable stamp that RL found and these beautiful stitch markers that R made. She made them from some beads she bought at the Gem and Mineral show in September.
Here's a better look...I think the mini crochet hook from Patternworks is a hint! R told me it would help me pick up my dropped stitches. Does that mean she doesn't want to pick them up for me anymore? Maybe she just wanted a neat little crochet hook to pick them up with! Yeah, that's it. Below is a better view of some of the sock yarn from the LYS.

Oh how I wanted these needles! Every time a Knit Picks catalog would come I would drool on the needle page. R was paying attention! She's a good elf! I didn't think I was getting them after all the presents were unwrapped. Then she handed me my stocking and they were right on top. Totally made my day. I cannot wait to use them! They do look a little like lethal weapons, don't they?

This was at the bottom of my stocking. Yarn that was spun just for me! She's really getting the hang of this spinning thang!

Here's a different angle....

And I cannot forget these beautiful fingerless mitts that R made for me under the cloak of darkness! What a warm and great surprise.

Now, don't think L didn't do anything because, believe me, he did! He and RL were so busy going back and forth to Florida to wait for my father-in-law's surgery, that he didn't really have a lot of time for Christmas shopping. The self appointed elf took orders from everybody and bought what they requested. So, L got me my favorite movie, "Music and Lyrics." It was his own idea! I'm very pleased with that! Then he had R order "Pontoon" by Garrison Keillor. I had been dropping hints like lead balloons around here about that book and NOBODY picked up on them. Well, somebody did and he made sure that I got it! L told R to order it and she wanted to know why on earth? He told her about all the hints I had been dropping. What a good and observant husband he'll make one day!

That's not all the loot though! You'll have to wait until I take pictures of all the socks I made for Mom. The hat I made for L. The mittens R made for her grandparents. The pincushion R made for me. Whew! Just tune in'll be worth it!

December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Can you see that Kilroy image of R? L snapped this picture of her hiding behind the couch, but it sums up how we all feel right now. Ready or not, here it comes! You cannot hide! It's finally here...Christmas Eve now and Christmas tomorrow! What could be finished is finished. What couldn't be finished is either in kit form under the tree or comes with a promise of being finished in 2008. Some of those promises will be kept and some will be forgotten, I'm sure. R makes a lot of promises, but then again, she is the creative genius when it comes to the domestic arts and her promises are better than nothing. She did ask what I wanted for Christmas this year and I threw a half knitted hat to her that she started for me two Christmases ago. She didn't jump on it, so maybe next year. L has been sneaky and asking for a ruler. I think he wants to measure a box. He is trying to figure out just what is inside one particular present with his name on it. He's sure he knows what it is. I finally broke down and asked him the other day, after hours and hours of his asking, "Do you really want to know or are you just trying to drive me crazy!?!?!?" Turns out he was going for the crazy part, which is useless because I'm already there!

Here's our droopy tree. I've been trying for days to get a good picture, but this is the best. I opted for the 'no flash' shot. The tree is drooping because R put so many lights on it! When we finally take the tree down, those branches are probably going to spring straight up or sigh with a major sigh of relief!

L took this picture of me hiding behind appropriate fabric for the evening! CAUTION! The extra hand is Rs. She was helping. I think she likes to get her picture taken as much as I do!

Mom and Daddy will be here soon. They have spent the night with us every Christmas Eve since we've lived up here, except for the one we spent with them. We have a nice meal fixed by RL, master chef extraordinaire! He and the kids go for a ride through town to see all the lights and Mom and I have a marathon wrapping session. Daddy is the smartest of the bunch and sits in the recliner to watch television!

So, whatever you are up to tonight and tomorrow, I hope you at least get to talk to one person who loves you, that is if you don't get to see them in person. Be safe in your travels. Remember what Christmas is all about. Last but not least, please pray for our soldiers and loved ones who can't be home for Christmas....that means you - PJ and Sam!

December 17, 2007

There's a Spinner in the House!

Yesterday we all went our separate ways for the afternoon. L had a birthday party from 2:00 to 7:00. RL and R went Christmas shopping. I was all alone. That does not happen very often around here! What to do, what to do!?!?!?!?! I had a book I needed to take to Mom and Daddy, so I went there after I dropped L off. I ended up staying. I have a tendency to do that, but they don't seem to mind. We talked about Christmas, the kids, RL and what all he's going to do on his Christmas break. Did I mention that he's on a two week Christmas break? YIPPEE! It's always nice to have him home. Good news - he's home for two weeks. Bad news - he's going on a business trip three days after he returns to work. Good news - he's going to Ireland. Bad news - it's during Rs birthday. She is NOT happy. Oh well. We'll just celebrate the day after her birthday, when he gets back home. One day shouldn't be too painful. She's going to be 20, so I guess she can act a little adult and suck it up! Back to yesterday - Mom and I went to the bank and grocery store. She picked up basics. I picked up fun stuff - all my baking supplies and Chex mix supplies too. No sooner had I gotten home then the phone rang. It was our friend who had gotten R the spinning wheel. She wanted to 'rendezvous' at our local grocery store parking lot. I got there a little earlier than she did and started looking around the parking lot. She has a new car and I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was! So, I started driving around the parking lot. I was positive somebody would think I was casing the joint and call the cops! Luckily she got there a few minutes later and saved me from an explanation to the local authorities as to why I was looking in vans! Turns out the box, which was about 3 1/2 ft. tall, wouldn't fit in her van and she had to take her husband's truck. I gave her the book "Shall I Knit You a Hat" and the little hat I made for her daughter. She gave me the wheel. I definitely think I got the better end of the deal although she made me feel like she did. People like her at rare. Unfortunately, there was no sneaking a box of that magnitude into the house. RL and R had just gotten home, so R knew what we were up to. Oh well. She got to help put it together, which really didn't consist of doing much on her part. It was just a screw or two here and there. The wheel was just the wheel - which is what Jan suspected - so I had gotten everything extra R was going to need to spin. However, that is for Christmas, so she has to wait a week! She did have some roving she had gotten for her drop spindle, so she at least had something to spin. She did pretty good! I had to ignore the puppy dog eyes though when it came to the rest of the spinning stuff!

Here is her first attempt. I have been informed that now I have to buy some fleece instead of yarn. I made the mistake of asking if I could have the yarn she currently has. Note: NEVER ask a knitter that! Although she has officially added 'spinner' to her talents, knitter is still way, way up there!

December 12, 2007

Shall I Knit You a Hat?

Have you read "Shall I Knit You a Hat?" by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise? It's an adorable book about a Mother rabbit and her little rabbit. There's a blizzard coming and Mother rabbit asks little rabbit if he would like for her to knit him a hat. While he's at school Mother knits it. Then the little rabbit gets concerned about all their friends getting cold and what they can do to help them. On the inside back cover is a pattern to knit little rabbit's hat. R and I bought a copy of the book for ourselves and loved it. Who could we give a copy of the book and also knit the hat? We decided to knit the hat for Kate. Her Mom is the wonderful woman who is giving R the spinning wheel for Christmas. I didn't use the colors it called for, but I was pleased with the end result.I like it better with the points straight up, but they do have a tendency to droop from time to time. Since we have had a rabbit, I know their ears tend to droop sometimes too, so I'm just going to leave it the way it is. I sure hope it fits Kate. She'll soon be six and she has curly, curly red hair. I think it will be adorable!

Want to see something cute?

We went to the World Market the other day to buy stocking stuffers and to check out whatever else they had. While the kids went one way, RL and I went the other. I saw these ADORABLE little ornaments for 25% off. I couldn't decide which color to get....naturally I wanted both of them. I asked RL which one he liked the best. Being the sweet and smart husband that he is, he said he just couldn't decide. I asked him if maybe we should buy both of them. He agreed, maybe we should. So, maybe we did! They were only $1.99 each and that was before the discount. Aren't they cute???? I'm afraid they will have to stay out all year long. Anything that cute needs to be seen as often as possible.

We got some excellent news on Monday. RLs Dad was released from the hospital! We could not believe how quickly it all happened! The power of prayer is quite strong. Even his doctor told him he had never had a patient to recover that quickly!
My Mom and Dad had their fair share of excitement today! Daddy's wedding ring has been stuck on his finger for about a week or so. His knuckle was so swollen we couldn't get it to come off. We tried everything - Windex (yes, Windex. Check Google and you'll see it suggested. Kind of reminds me of the Dad in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding!), ice, pulling, twisting and even Preparation H. Nothing worked! Mom took him to the doctor today who, in turn, called the fire department. When Mom and Daddy were relaying all this to me, it sounded like our doctor was more excited about the firemen coming than a five year old! They managed to get the ring off with a snip of their snippers and his finger is on the mend. I guess it was a mess under the ring. All is well now!

December 8, 2007

The Way We Decorate Our Tree

For some reason, unknown to me, this is how the top of our tree has looked for the past two years. After it has been decorated and it's time to put the star on top, we always realize the tree needs to be trimmed at the top. So, we're not rocket scientists, okay?!?!?! Last year I just let the kids leave it that way. Why argue? They liked it, said it looked 'Seussical' and we left it at that. This year when I went to get RL to trim the top they reminded me of last year. So I guess we are destined to have a tree that is too tall, but still insists on a topper.
R and I (mainly R) decided last year that we would knit a stocking for every day before Christmas - kind of like an advent thing. I think she made one, we had one my sister made years ago and I made about six of them before I gave up. This is one I made.
This is the stocking my sister made. We learned how to fold the stars a couple of Christmases ago. We got a kit for them at Old Salem. They are frustrating until you learn the tricks and then you can't stop making them! I believe R made these and dipped them in wax to make them sturdier.
Since we are originally from Florida our tree reflects that. This little ornament is one of my favorites. We got it a couple of years ago from Ron Jon's in Cocoa Beach.
This is a very blurry and bleached out picture of our starfish snowman.This is Santa Starfish.
I just can't explain this. Every year R and L point the camera at the tree and move it as fast as possible while they snap the picture. It's always a challenge to get the most movement, color and to be the first photographer of the year.

Another Florida ornament from a little craft store we frequent when we go back to Melbourne.
So, there you have some of our favorite ornaments and wacky traditions we have!

We had sleet last night! R was Christmas shopping on-line and heard it. I was almost zonked out - I am not the night owl she is - and she thought she heard rain or sleet. She ran to the front door and flung it up - at 2:00 a.m. - and sure enough it was sleeting. L was jealous. He's in Florida with RL and they have been soaking up sun and 80 temps. L loves dreary, wintery days just like his Granny. He'll be home tomorrow night, so hopefully we'll have some big time winter weather to make him happy!

December 5, 2007

The Surgery Was a Success!

I heard from my boys in Florida a couple of hours ago and my father-in-laws surgery was a success! Yippee! Thank you to everybody who said a prayer on his behalf. He'll be in ICU for up to three days and then in the hospital for about a week. Turns out the aneurysm was quite large and 'funky' shaped - to quote my husband!

R and I are keeping ourselves busy. Every year she likes to wear a different knitted hat to the Christmas parade. This is last years hat.

Some man who was in the parade stopped and yelled, "Great hat!" I think it took her by surprise. This year she is working on a red and white striped stocking cap. At the rate she is knitting, I think she will be finished in time to wear it.

While RL and L were home this weekend, between trips to Florida, we got some leaf raking finished. Wouldn't you know the wind kicked up after we had most of the yard done?
It doesn't look like much, but there are three big piles of leaves on the edge of the drive. To give you an idea of how big the piles are - L is almost 6 ft. tall and he was buried almost to his waist in the pile closest to the road. Of course the drive needs to be raked too, but since the wind, the whole yard needs to be raked all over again! Oh well, it will keep us busy. Hopefully the burning ban will be lifted soon so we can burn all these leaves. Meanwhile we will have quite an impressive burn pile in the back yard!

December 2, 2007

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Daddy (on the left) and his older brother Shannon
Today is my Dad's 75th birthday. He doesn't act a day older than he ever did. I guess you could say he's 'immature' for his age - in a good way! The above picture was sent to us by some family members. I love this picture! After I saw it for the first time, I finally realized who I looked like in all of my baby pictures. I hope you have a great day Daddy and we love you!

As for everything else around here - well, it's a mess. RL's Dad, Mom and Brother, Tim, are currently in Gainesville waiting for surgery. They had a consultation with a doctor there on Friday. On Monday he has some tests and Tuesday they have an appointment with the anesthesiologist. Wednesday is surgery day. So, RL and L are once again headed for Florida. The surgery should take four to five hours and might require his kidney to be removed to get to the aneurysm. They are hoping that won't happen, but they have been warned it could. We just want him to come out of this okay. He'll be in ICU for three to four days and then in the hospital for a week after that. It's a big 'hurry up and wait' situation.

R finally got the lights on the tree. This year I bought as many lights as she wanted to use. Normally we limit her to 1,000 lights. However, she always says, "Well, Martha Stewart says that you should have this many lights per foot of tree. Martha says this. Martha says that." So, I took her to Target to get four more boxes and she put two more in the buggy. Now our tree has 1,600 lights on it. I was amazed it didn't go up in flames when she plugged it in last night. It really looks pretty and doesn't look like it needs one ornament on it. But, since we have been buying Hallmark ornaments since they first went on sale this year and have a ton of ornaments from day one, we will be putting ornaments on this tree! We told our neighbors last night that since the tree had soooooo many lights on it, is next to four bookshelves full of books, is a real tree, is on wooden floors and is strategically placed under a heating vent, if they saw a flame from that corner of our house to immediately call 911. They said they would do their part. It's so nice to have neighbors that care. Of course they also wanted to borrow about five of our DVDs, so they might have been willing to agree to anything.

So, when the tree is finished I'll post some pictures of all the neat little ornaments that are our favorites and the beautiful tree itself. In the meantime.....Have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!

November 28, 2007

What's the Difference Between Chopped Beef and Pea Soup?

You can chop beef, but you can't pee soup! That's the latest joke around this house. Sad, isn't it? Oh well, the kids have had a lot of fun with it.

Not much has changed since my last post. The boys are still in Florida. RL's Dad is still in the hospital waiting for surgery. R and I are trying to get Christmas together in their absence. Although the guys get the stuff out of the attic and then sit and watch R and I decorate the tree, their absence is truly felt. L has never been into all the Christmas hoopla like R is, but I miss his scrooge-like behavior! Go figure.

As for RL's Dad, Popo to all of us, he has finally received word that he will have to go to Shands in Gainesville for his surgery. All of that has to be arranged by a doctor in their home town and a doctor at Shands. Apparently he has two aneurysms, but they are worried about the one near his kidneys since it's so large. RL is quite confused about what to do since he can't sit and wait when he has work waiting for him here. But when it comes to life or death matters, work can wait. We'll know more tomorrow - or at least that's what I'm told every day.

Meanwhile, R and I are busy getting things decorated. We went into L's room since it's the room that accesses the attic. I won't even go into what his room looks like, but I know that more than one stack of papers and books attacked me on purpose. We got all of the boxes down and then set to work on cutting the bottom off the tree we had bought before the guys left. The guy at Home Depot with the chain saw made us look like we live in 1807. After trying several sawing techniques, I was ready to gnaw the bottom off that tree! We ventured out to the shed for the tree stand and other decorations. Oh what fun that was. Did you detect any sarcasm in my typing, because it was there. We got the tree in the stand and it leans. We have decided that since there are lights on the majority of it - we ran out and have to get more - that we are going to let it lean. RL says we'll just say it's an Italian tree, I guess the leaning tree of Pisa. Since R doesn't mind, and she's the perfectionist in this family, nobody else minds! Now to buy more lights and then we can start with the ornaments. I would like to have most of the decorating done before the guys get back.

We had one objection to the tree. Ginger did not like it one bit. She is 12 years old and has been dealing with live trees all her life, but for some reason, she did not like this one. She got right up to it and if we got near her, she would hiss at us. I thought, well, one of them was going to spend the holiday outside and after all the trouble with that tree, it was more than likely going to be her! She finally adjusted and is sleeping in her little fleece cube under the tree.

This was Ginger checking out the tree while it was still in the kitchen/dining area. Here tail wasn't quite as fluffy at this point as it was when the tree first came in.

Knitting is going on. R and I are knitting things we can't knit when the guys are here. I hope we can get finished before they get home. No biggie either way.

If you happen to think of it, and I hope you do, please say a prayer that everybody will have a safe trip to Shands, that the surgery will be a big success and that RL and L will have a safe trip home soon. Thanks

November 24, 2007

Black Friday

I don't ever recall the Friday after Thanksgiving being called 'Black Friday' when I was a kid. I just knew it was a day to avoid the mall. We did avoid the mall today, but ended up going to town. The fabric store wasn't too bad. Of course we didn't go until about 4:00 in the afternoon, so most of the lunatics were heading home with their purchases that they fought for with blood, sweat and possibly tears.
We had a nice Thanksgiving, but it was also one of the weirdest ones we've had. Last year was spent with a house full of family and me in bed fighting off a full plate of stress and recovering from a mini nervous breakdown. I had great hopes for this year. However, things happen and the next thing you know, you are heading in a direction you can't control. Kind of like the year R went down that hill on her sled and couldn't stop. She eventually did stop - thanks to a tree, but that's story for another time. This year was a doozy. RLs Mom and Dad always go on a long trip in their RV from about May to late October. When they get home to Florida, they go for their annual checkups, bloodwork and flu shots. His Dad went and all seemed well. Later in the afternoon he got a phone call to call 911 immediately. He needed to go to the hospital. Apparently a nurse at the doctor's office discovered something 'unusual' which turned out to be a cm abdominal aortic aneurysm about the size of a small grapefruit. Of course he didn't call 911, but he and my Mom-in-law drove to the hospital. That was Tuesday. RL called his mom to find out how their appointments went and found out. What to do - what to do????? He decided Wednesday would be a horrible travel day, but packed anyway. He decided to wait until Thursday. L packed because he wanted to go too. I didn't know what to do. We have a cat and R and I decided we'd just stay here until we knew more. Wednesday night we knew more. He has another aneurysm near his heart and it's about 4 cm. As a result of that they have to check his heart strength before they can operate on the other one. The other one is a time bomb and they have to act fast. Of course they aren't acting as fast as we would have them to, but we understand they have to be careful. So, Thanksgiving morning, my two boys headed to Florida. How odd for R and I to be here without the guys. RL always does the turkey and dressing. He got it started before he hit the road - I couldn't believe he did that, but that's the way he is...a real sweetie. I don't normally do much for the meal because he loves to cook, but R and I stepped up and got things going. Mom and Daddy came over and we had a nice, quiet afternoon. Now that RL has seen his dad he feels better, but everybody is scared. They sit and wait and wait and wait. Nothing will be decided before Monday afternoon at the earliest. He may have to go to Shands in Gainesville, which is about three or four hours away from their home on the Space Coast. R and I are trying to decide what to do about going or staying. Meanwhile we are continuing with Christmas shopping and decorating. It doesn't feel right, but it does give us something to do. Keeping busy seems to be the best thing for us right now.
I heard from my nephew I made the skull - skull cap for. (He sent me a picture of him modeling it, but I don't know if I can share it since he's overseas. There's so many rules about what we can and cannot do. I don't want to overstep anything.) Anyway, he said he was a 'stud' in it and it fits, so I am happy.
R and I plan on crafting if we stay here instead of heading south. If we do, we'll post some pictures. Meanwhile enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers and be careful if you're out there shopping!

November 19, 2007

Total Bummer!

First of all - there are no pictures. Isn't that a bummer in itself? As for the 'total bummer' that I was referring to in the title - someone stole some of our Christmas gifts out of our car last night. L was at a friends house from 2-7 for some role playing games. R was feeling a little restless and wanted to get out of the house. I suggested we all head to Borders and buy a few gifts that we couldn't buy if he was with us. R and RL were game, so off we went. R picked out a few magazines and I picked out "Shall I Knit You A Hat" for her. Such a cute, cute book. I don't care if she is 19 - sometimes a good children's book is just what you need! I also found a book that was on her list and hid it among our other purchases so she wouldn't see it. We found the book L had on his list, a book for the little boy next door and a book for RLs parents. Over $70 in books. I know - to some of you that doesn't sound like much. But since I've trying to be a little more careful this Christmas with cash, I thought it was a bit much. We got out to the car and, as usual, I took Rs magazines and her 'surprise' children's book out and handed them to her. She put them in the seat next to her and off we headed to Target. The rest of the books were still in the bag with the receipt and a small Christmas list I had made of items to pick up while we were out. We got to Target and parked in the 'back 40'. RL doesn't want anybody to ding the new car - and I don't blame him - so he parks way out there. He hit the button to lock the car, but R was slow getting out of the car so he hit the remote lock button again. Now he says he's not sure if he hit unlock or lock. I know how that feels! I've done it plenty of times - think I've locked it and then come out to the car and find it unlocked. It happens. I draped my sweater over the seat and the bag from Borders and we went into Target. We had the best time. We bought chocolate - a necessity - a gift for my in-laws, a gift or three for L and then realized the time. We still had time to go through a drive thru for dinner and to pick up L. We were goofing off as we walked out to the 'back 40' and just having a good time. RL unlocked the car with the remote and opened my door. Hmmmm, my sweater wasn't where I had left it. It wasn't draped over the seat, but in a pile on my seat. The bag was gone. We tore that car apart! The cds were still there. The stereo was still there. The books I had handed R were in the backseat were still there. Get this - her wallet was still under the front seat! However, the Borders bag was gone. Over $50 in books - stolen. Now, who is going to want that variety of books but us? I imagine I will find them at the used book store soon. Insurance won't cover it because we have a $500 deductible. Because I paid with a debit/credit card, Borders won't give cash to the returner without the card. I guess that's good to know. So, we are out $50 and have nothing to show for it. We told Target security, and their security guy was wonderful. He called the police and waited with us even though it was his lunch/dinner/whatever break. He made small talk with us and was genuinely nice. The police came and made no promises but filed a report.
So, I leave you with this little Public Service Announcement - MAKE SURE YOUR CAR IS LOCKED IF YOU LEAVE YOUR PURCHASES IN THE CAR! It apparently doesn't matter where you park because we were parked, well, in the back 40, but under a light. Just be careful! This experience leaves us with a weird, violated feeling. However, I am truly thankful that books were all that was taken and we are all fine. Be careful. Christmas brings out the good, but unfortunately the bad too.

November 18, 2007

Let the Frenzy Begin!

Mom called yesterday and asked if I'd like to check some sales in town. Sure, I said. I figured now was the time to go. We would beat the rush of next weekend - the official first weekend of Christmas shopping. We must not have gotten the memo. Did you? Apparently Christmas shopping started this weekend - or perhaps even before. The traffic was brutal. The parking lots were just as brutal. I do have to admit I have found great joy in driving my HHR. This was the first time I have been able to park in a compact parking space in a long, long time! I was never able to do that in the Expedition. The first store we hit didn't have the sizes we needed, so we headed off to another shopping center. Wall to wall people complaining about how crowded the mall was. I don't go to the mall for anything but panic attacks, so I just took their word for it and decided to take deep breaths and be cool shopping where I was. We headed from there to Target. For a Saturday night it wasn't too bad. I will probably head back there for some more stuff on the old Christmas lists. However, I have decided that the internet is my friend and I will be using it to the hilt! As a matter of fact, I ordered several things last night and some more things this morning. The internet is your friend too!

R asked for a spinning wheel for her big gift for Christmas. She wanted an Ashford traditional - something like that, I can't remember. I know it when I see it, but I can't remember details. I found one on e-bay for an extremely reasonable price. I bid. I was promptly outbid. I bid again. I was promptly outbid again. Someone had set their maximum price and it was apparently more than my mine. This went on for several bids and over several days. I got an e-mail today that my bid did not win. I didn't really expect it would. I wasn't going to end up paying the same amount for a used spinning wheel as I would for a brand new one. I decided to keep searching and sat at the computer to search e-bay one more time. Before I started looking though, I decided to check my e-mail. I received an e-mail from a friend and I am so thankful I saw it before I went nuts and bought a spinning wheel for more money than I needed to spend. My friend bought, yes, she bought, a spinning wheel for R! Can you believe it???? She is an
e-bay mastermind and bid on a used wheel and got it! I think she was as shocked as I was! I asked her what I owed her and she said nothing. Nothing. Can you believe that? All she wanted in return was for R to participate in Old Timey Days at the local elementary school once a year for an hour. One hour a year for a spinning wheel. I was, and still am, in shock. I keep asking what I can pay her and she won't take any money for it. Mom said, "Quit asking! Just accept her good deed." So, I quit asking. I thanked her more than is probably proper. Now my Christmas shopping budget can be rearranged and probably is more reasonable. Wow! We can all use friends like this!

Knitting is still going on, but not anything that can be shared until after Christmas. I did make the little dragon puppet from Interweave magazine. I saw it and thought - gee, I can knock those out in no time and make them for this kid and that kid. I made one. I got it out of my system and I am finished! No kids, besides the two who live here, will be getting one. Since we have been in drought conditions this year and have a burn ban, I decided not to put flames in his mouth like the one in the magazine.

This picture looks like he is eating a store bought sock - and rightfully so! Who brought a store bought sock into this house???????

November 11, 2007

A Hat for Sam

I've been wanting to knit something for my nephew, Sam. He's in Iraq and I try to send him a package of goodies every month or so. I thought since it's probably getting a little cooler over there now that winter is approaching, he might want a knitted helmet liner. I e-mailed and asked. Nope - his helmet fits tight and there's no room for one. Plus it's still too hot for one. However, if I felt like I needed to knit for him, he would take a cap with a skull and crossbones to sleep in. I guess when you don't have much hair, it gets a little chilly at night. I looked everywhere for a pattern. Hello Yarn has a great one, but I didn't have the needle sizes I needed. Besides, I wanted a fast knit - worsted weight - so I could finish it and get it to him soon. Plus, I need to knit some Christmas gifts and I wanted time for that. I looked and looked. I tried to make one up on my own. I am not the knit design wizard that R is, so I was lost. Then I got a life saving, or knit saving, e-mail from Bella Modiste saying I needed to check out this website: . Boy, she was right on the money! It was just what I needed. Another link from that site and some charts from Made By Tess and I was ready to knit. I started last night and today I present to you.....ta da.....Sam's Hat:

No, Cindy Styrofoamhead is not embarrassed. I just wanted to show the whole hat. I'm debating about blocking it. I know, I should block everything you knit, but I don't always do that. Don't tell anybody, but it's also rare when I knit a gauge swatch. I know and I don't want to hear it. Don't judge me! I hope Sam enjoys it and it's close enough to what he wants. Hopefully he'll send pictures of him wearing it.

Also, I want to send our condolences to a family from our church in Florida. The minister, and his wife, who married RL and I just recently lost their youngest child during surgery. Charity was born almost 29 years ago with the umbilical cord around her neck and has had problems ever since. During a recent operation, a mistake was made and she died on the operating table. Please say a prayer of comfort for this family as they suffer their loss and for the days ahead while they travel to bury her in their home state.

November 10, 2007

What will YOU do during the writer's strike?

With the writer's strike in full force, we have taken to entertaining ourselves in various ways. Oh, I realize television is not actually effected yet, but it will be and we are preparing ourselves. What can you do to keep yourself occupied so you aren't staring at a blank screen - or even worse - reality shows?
You can bake cupcakes. R got an order for three dozen cupcakes for a slumber party. Her knitting student just turned 13, I believe, and her mom ordered cupcakes with sprinkles for a slumber party. They invited ten girls to attend. Now, if I was given the choice between baking cupcakes for eleven 12 and 13 year olds or holding a slumber party for them - I would pick baking cupcakes EVERY SINGLE TIME! R decided that half of the cupcakes needed lollipops, so she made those. There were a hit and the mom survived the entire ordeal. What a woman!
You can put your cat on the top shelf of the living room bookshelves and hope your mom doesn't beat you. The innocent victim is on the right and the guilty, guilty party is on the left. She can hardly be seen, but she is there. Oh yes, she is there.
Hmmm, what else can you do during the writer's strike? Well, you can take pity on your cat and knit her a sweater. Ginger is losing the hair on her tummy and our vet believes she has allergies. I casually mentioned that Ginger needed a sweater in the presence of R. NEVER casually mention anything to a budding knitting designer. R took off with it. Not only does she make a sweater, she puts a collar on it and buttons - with button holes!

She modeled it - a little unwillingly - actually very unwillingly. It took all morning to get that baby on her. She couldn't figure out why we were following her with a knitted article and a camera. Here she is giving us the 'devil eyes' look. But also notice how nicely the collar lays around her neck and the ribbing around her 'waist'. Also, that shade of blue is very flattering on her.

Now this picture just sums it all up. She is giving us her 'I really hate this. Please help me." look. Shortly after this was taken, she was released from her sweater bondage. We haven't seen her since. She is either upstairs hiding or doing vile things to her mother's bedroom. My money is on the latter.

So, as you can see, the possibilities of what you can do during the writer's strike are endless!

November 7, 2007

Nothing to Talk About

There's not too much to post about around here. Well, that's not exactly true. I can't show you what I'm knitting for Mom. She knows what it is, just not what it looks like. I can't tell you what we plan on making next because it's for Mom and Daddy and I don't want them to know about it. I can't show you what I've been sewing guessed it, Christmas gift. What can I tell you about? I finally decided on a coordinating fabric for the dinosaur pillowcase for the little boy next door. It doesn't match perfectly, but it looks okay to me. I also decided on the books to go with them - 'How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends' for him and 'Dora Saves Mermaid Kingdom' for her. I think those will go along with the 'theme' just fine.
I ended up returning a Christmas gift already! I ordered the wrong thing for L and had to send it back. While I was standing in line at the Post Office with half of the town, I decided to buy my Christmas stamps. I got the 'Holiday Knits' stamps. How appropriate! Go to to see them. Since it's been in the 30's at night and in the 50's to 60's during the day, it's a little easier to think about getting Christmas cards written. Not so easy that I want to do it right this second, but a little easier to think about!
Our nephew has safely made it to California. Thank Heaven for that! He shared the driving with a friend of his, so it wasn't a looonnnggg, lonely trip. Now for him to get settled and start his new job. I won't worry about him at all where that is concerned. He's a real 'people person' and will do just fine.
So, that's all the 'nothing' I can find to talk about. Have a day!

November 3, 2007

It's coming whether you're ready or not!

Christmas is coming faster and faster every day. I don't know why R hasn't put an updated post-it on the monitor, but she has been keeping me updated on how many more days we have. The Christmas lists are being perfected. I'm beginning to see more of the Fed Ex, UPS and mail carriers. We should all be on a first name basis by the time the big day rolls around. And, to make matters worse, I haven't even put a dent in the shopping. It will get done though - with you as my witnesses, it will get done!

Last night R and I went to our local card store. (I don't know if I can mention their name or not - anybody know?) We LOVE our local card store. The staff is terrific and treats us like we are their only customers, which we know we are not - not by a long shot. I guess if you spend so much there every year and have one of their 'store cards', you can be invited to a special open house. It's always the night before their big holiday weekend sale in November. You feel kind of special because it's by invitation only and you have to show your invitation to get through the door. It was cold - which helped get us into the spirit of the season. We got there, flashed our invitations and in we went. I had to buy some birthday and Thanksgiving cards (yes, I send Thanksgiving cards to some people - get off my case) so I headed there first. R was ready to hit the seasonal stuff, so she stuck with me for a minute or two and then couldn't take it another minute. Off she went to check out the ornaments. It didn't take long before we had to get a basket to hold the goods. She gets RL and I ornaments every year from certain collections and she always gets her Barbie ornament, so they went into the basket. Then I had to get the ornament that L always gets R for a gift. (I am his official elf, so I had to take care of that. R looked away in her discreet manner while I dropped it in the basket.) From there it was to see all the advertised specials and to pick out which ones we wanted to buy. We bought way too much, but did manage to get quite a few gifts that we wanted to get. Then - to top it all off - the goody bags! We get the greatest goody bags from them if we spend a certain amount - no problem there. We never know what we'll get, but it's always great! This year was no exception. We got some special edition ornaments and the cutest little penguin bowl. We went out to the car and started looking at our goody bags, getting more and more excited about our 'first Christmas gifts' when R gets the idea to turn on the radio. Guess what was on???? Christmas music! November 2nd and Christmas music was playing! R is ready! But then again, she starts lobbying for a Christmas tree before Halloween. No telling how she'll celebrate the holidays when she has a place of her own. She'll probably have a tree up all year long. We went by Mom and Daddy's to share our loot and visit for a while and then back home. What exciting thing were our guys doing when we got home? They were watching Lara Croft. I can't say that I blame them. They probably enjoyed that a whole lot more than if we had made them come along with us. Nah, there's no probably to it - I know they enjoyed it more!

I've been trying to make some of the gifts we give at Christmas too. I decided to make pillow cases for the little kids next door. Sounds boring, I know, but I'm trying to use themes they will like. For the little girl, I got some really busy mermaid fabric. For her brother, I got a dinosaur print since he loves dinosaurs. Did I mention he loves dinosaurs? I should have said he loves dinosaurs. I want to include books with the pillowcases, but don't know what to include. Any ideas?

It's time to close for now and put the Halloween decorations in the attic. While I'm up there, I'll exchange them for the Thanksgiving decorations. Since I access the attic through Ls room, he asked if I could just save him the aggravation of cleaning so I can get to the attic and get the Christmas decorations out too. I don't think so! Leave it to a guy to by logical!
Happy Birthday to our nephew in Iraq! Be safe, we love you and try to enjoy your b'day!
Our nephew is moving across the country this weekend. He's been transferred by his company to California. He's very, very excited. I'm nervous, but very happy for him. We should all get to do something we want to do from time to time, right? So, be careful as you travel - enjoy your new job - and know that we love you very much!

October 31, 2007


It's finally here! R has been anxious for this day for the longest time - well since last Halloween. She has been working on her costume for a few days now. Although R and L don't trick or treat anymore, they can dress up if they want to. L doesn't always want to, but R always does and probably always will. One year she was the Bride of Frankenstein and the people at the haunted house told her how great she looked as she walked by! Now that's a compliment! This year she has been working on The Phantom of the Grand Ol' Opry. I left her at Mom and Daddy's a few hours ago to finish the sewing. Her sewing abilities have far surpassed mine, so when she gets in a fix we have to pack it up and go over there for guidance. She got in a fix and off I packed her to their house. It's not dark yet, so there's still hope that she'll get this costume finished in time. We have one friend we only visit on Halloween. She gets into it almost as much as R does. She gets special treats for the kids and we catch up on the past year. So, if R gets finished in time to go there, it will be fine.

I leave you with a picture of Ginger, aka Miss Priss, in a warm spot. Lucky cat!

Be safe and have a Happy Halloween!

October 27, 2007


Blogger decided to cooperate - so I present to you The Hallowig from Cindy Styrofoamhead willingly posed. Everybody has tried it on and this sucker is warm! Well, not everybody has tried it on - L thinks it's creepy, so he won't touch it. If it wasn't for the beard, RL would look even more stunning in it than he already does. Maybe one day I'll get him to pose for the blog. It's definitely something you won't, or is that can't, forget!

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is our 23rd anniversary. Congratulations to us! Last year about this time, I started having some problems due a new prescription I was trying - sometimes the problems were big, sometimes small - but problems just the same. RL has been a real trooper and cared for me when I thought I was losing my mind. Took me to the doctor and sat in on all those boring appointments. He even took time off work on those days I didn't know if I could manage on my own. So, I guess the congratulations is really owed to him. Thank you for sticking in there with me!
We didn't manage a trip to SAFF this year, much to R's dismay. However, a trip to Asheville at this time of year might be a little costly. I imagine the cooler temperatures and the sudden change of leaves would make it a little difficult to find a reasonably priced hotel room for the night. I don't think L was too disappointed. His idea of a fun weekend does not involve looking at sheep, fleeces, spinning wheels or wool in any size or shape. I would much rather spend the money on Christmas for R than taking her over there and not being able to get anything because she has to wait for Christmas or getting it now and not getting anything for her for Christmas. Maybe next year.
Last night we finally took the time to watch 'Transformers' - you know, 'Robutts in disguise'. I wasn't sure if I would like it. I do like Shia LaBeouf, so I knew I could probably manage to sit through the movie. L was half way interested and playing on his DS. RL was sitting next to me on the love seat and R was knitting. Every once in a while L would look up from the old Nintendo and watch. I noticed the clicking of the knitting needles during the quiet parts, and there aren't too many quiet parts either! RL was doing fine. All of the sudden I noticed RLs heart was beating a little faster, the Nintendo was on the couch not being touched and the clicking of needles had stopped all together! Everybody was into the movie - big time. It was pretty good. I was surprised since all I remember of Transformers is my nephews thinking they were the greatest thing. One of their friends even has them tattooed on his legs! And that was waaayyy before this movie was coming out. That's a dedicated Transformer fan!
I was going to leave you with a picture of the Hallowig that R knitted from a pattern, but Blogger isn't cooperating at the moment. I'll just have to show you next time I post. It's a real winner!

October 25, 2007

Whew! October is one busy month!

Around here, October is quite a busy month. I debated about blogging about each special event we have, but that would just be one blog after another and I don't have that in me! For starters, October is heavy with birthdays in this family. If we start with cousins we have Candi, Terry, Heather, Chanin. If we mention friends and neighbors we have Jessica, Justin and Jordan. If we mention birthdays of loved ones who have passed away, we have Debbie and Aunt Lula. If we mention anniversaries we have Randy's brother and his wife as well as our anniversary. We have two extra special birthdays this month too - my sister and my Mom. Let's add Halloween into the mix and we have one busy month! I debated about doing individual blogs for each of these people, but gee whiz! It would turn into a birthday, anniversary, tribute, holiday blog and I just don't have the time for that!

I also thought about giving my sister and Mom their own blog entries for their big days, but decided against it. Since my sister has her birthday on the 23rd and Mom has hers on the 24th, it just seemed a bit much. So, today is the birthday blog for both of them.

Let's see, what can I say about my sister? Well, right now she is officially three years older than me...but that will only last until June. Got to make the most of it while you can! Of course we had to call and wish her a happy birthday. Since she started singing Happy Birthday in 'Marilyn Monroe to JFK' fashion a few years ago it's become a tradition. I HAD to sing to her like that! It's just one of those things you do that you hope nobody else hears! She mentioned that one of her customers called her on her big day to wish her a happy birthday and sing to her. This customer must really like her because she made a repairman who was working at her house sing too! Now that's one dedicated customer! Since she lives in Florida phone calls and cards had to do, but I hope she had a great day. I think she might be making regular treks to the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine because she hasn't changed one bit since she was 19. It's just not fair.

Mom's birthday was yesterday. You don't have to know how many years she is officially older than me - you're welcome, Mom. We had Mom and Daddy over for some North Carolina BBQ, which is a big deal to NC natives, but is BBQ to me. (They won't throw me out of the state for saying that, will they?) We watched 'Meet the Robinsons', which was a very cute movie. She opened gifts and ate the cake that R and I made - chocolate with rocky road icing. I'm glad her birthday comes only once a year because that cake could be a real problem on a regular basis! The weather was perfect for her big day too. It rained most of the day and was overcast. Mom gets into days like that, so it was a perfect present. It was actually a present for all of us since we have been under some serious drought conditions.

Saturday RL and I will celebrate our 23rd anniversary. That is so hard to believe! Seems like we only met yesterday, but at the same time it seems like we've been in each others lives for, well, a lifetime! Since we got married when I was 20, I've known him more than half my lifetime, so close enough.

Since Halloween is almost here, Herman wanted his picture taken. He's kind of shy, but he knows it's his time of year. I made him a couple of years ago. You can't really tell in this picture, but he has stitches on the top of his head and on his chin. I had painted him and decided he needed something more. So, I took him out back and used the drill to make the holes for his stitches. Let me tell you - when something with eyes like that is looking at you while you drill into his plywood skull - it's almost heartbreaking! However, I think the stitches really added to his character.

Here in my messy kitchen are the tissue paper bats that R made. I think she got the idea from a Martha Stewart magazine. Of course there's all the other Halloween junk as well as my day to day junk!

Now it's time to say good-bye and to enjoy the rain and the temperatures in the 50's. BRRRRRRRR!

October 21, 2007

Those Darn Socks and a Cat

Here are the socks. What more can I say about them. They look better here than I thought they would when they were finished. I was beginning to think they were never going to be finished. This is the yarn that got thinner and thinner until it would finally just break. The first skein broke right under the area where the ball of the foot falls - not a comfortable place. So, with great hopes that skein #2 would be in much better shape, I knit on. Nope - this time it broke in the second most painful spot - the heel. Then it broke again about an inch or two from the heel. That's when I put them down and strongly reconsidered just how important finishing these socks were in my life at the moment. They sat there, in time out, for about thirty minutes. What would I do with them if I didn't finish them? One was completely finished. After fussing, quite loudly to anyone who would listen, I decided to finish them. My family let me fuss and had no input in my decision. I guess they are learning. Anyway, I finished them and I will keep them to wear with clogs until they just fall apart. This is definitely one pair of hand knit socks Mom will not want. Sorry Mom.

When RL and I went to the grocery store yesterday, R and Ginger had a photo shoot. Ginger found some sun and when she finds sun - you can get away with almost anything.

Here's another picture R took while we were out. The sky was truly Carolina blue.