Sunday, November 28, 2010

Augh! It's Almost December!

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. We had a nice Turkey Day, though I missed my VA cousin, who couldn't make it because her dog broke his leg right before the holiday. Let's all think good thoughts for Pongo. [Update: Unfortunately the vet's early diagnosis of osteosarcoma was let's hope he's a survivor.]

We got a little half-ham and a small turkey roast from Honey-Baked Ham and my, they were tasty! All neatly sliced, so sandwiches later were a joy. And there was other good stuff...two kinds of potatoes, spinach Madeliene, green beans with mustard sauce, sweet potatoes. And two kinds of pie for dessert. Another of my cousins hosted it. I didn't take my camera with me, because none of us like to have our picture taken, but I had forgotten that she had two new kittens. One of them, the male (by name of Sparky) pretty much vanished for the festivities, but the female (as yet unnamed though she may just stick with her shelter name...Turvy (her brother guessed it...Topsy)) was very sociable and spend some time curled up in my lap, purring and purring.

The rest of the weekend has been uneventful. I've about decided that maybe two-day weekends are better...I kept putting things off. "Laundry? I have days to do that!" "Cleaning the bathroom? I have days to do that!" "Making scones? I have days to do that!":

So I am sort of running around today, trying to get things done.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Whadda Day, Whadda Day!!

Rachel passed her driver's test, first time trying! Huzzah!

Now, honey, just don't be a Masshole.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blah Weekend...

It is very frustrating to actually have some finished knitted objects and not be able to throw pictures up here. But that's Christmas, I guess.

Didn't do a lot this weekend. I had my last Stranded Mitten class and got the thumb started and well on its way. I just wasn't much in the mood for the class, though. In fact, I've been in a pretty foul mood all weekend for some reason...don't know why.

Today we went up to Target and I got a bunch of toys for the toy drive at work. That usually cheers me up and makes me feel good, but not this year. Man, the toys are junky. I finally found some cute stuffed animals and some markers and a big sketch book and a foot ball and some sort of jewelry kit. We went to Borders, too, and I picked out some books for their book drive. That was fun.

So, off to work tomorrow and, hurrah!, it's only a three day work-week. We ordered a half a ham and a little turkey roast for I just have to decide what veggies we might bring. Need to talk to Becca, I guess.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

That Little Reader

As I was rummaging through old Rachel pictures the other evening to put together the post for November 12th, I was struck by how many of them included Rachel and a book...even some really early ones. I mentioned this to Herself and she said, "Hey, put 'em up." So here, in a completely self-indulgent post, are pictures of my sweetie back when she was little...but already into her books.

Even if sometimes she just tried to eat them...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How About Some Pretty Pictures?

It was another beautiful day here today, though a bit chillier than yesterday. Can't complain for November, though. I went out on the Front Porch of Photography to take pictures of my Loop purchases and ended up snapping some pictures of local trees, too.

This one is out in front of our house:

And this one is our neighbor's Japanese maple, which is looking stunning this year.

So, want to see what I brought home from Loop? I thought you might.

My signed sweatshirt is joined by Franklin's calendar, one of the two skeins of Lana Vida's Hannah, and the two skeins of Black Bunny yarn. Carol's colors are so beautiful and range from the bright:

to the softly subtle:
Ella Enchanted

The second skein of the Hannah (which is an amazingly squooshy yarn, springy and soft -- as it should be since it's alpaca, merino and cashmere) was the one I wound in the car and I've restarted the cowl I started unsuccessfully.

And, from the sublime to the ridiculous (not at least not so sublime), Mr. Pointy Sticks and I were in Tuesday Morning the other day and I found these:

The top skein (I got two of 'em) is an Araucania pima cotton and is so-o-o-o-o-o soft! The colors aren't beautiful...but they aren't hideous.

So there are some pretties.

I am waiting to hear from Rachel, with whom I spoke briefly this afternoon. She told me she was having "an adventure" and would tell me about it this evening. She also mentioned that she had been driving on the highway (good) and had gotten the car up to 80 mph (not so good). I told her that unless the speed limit on said highway was 75, that was a little too fast..."But, Mom!" she said, "everyone else was going that fast!"


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Road Trip!

It was a beautiful day today for a special trip, so Mr. Pointy Sticks and I headed off to Philadelphia.

Why Philly? Well, I heard that some pretty special people were going to be at Loop, which I had heard was a pretty nice yarn shop. Who were the people? Well...

Franklin Habit and Carol Sulcoski! Woot!

So I carted up Carol and Franklin's books to get them well as my second "It itches" sweatshirt that Mr. Pointy Sticks gave me for my birthday. (He was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find my original "It itches" shirt in time for the visit.) And I got to meet both of them and chat for a while. And I was able to check out Loop, which indeed is a very nice yarn shop.

And I did manage to find some yarn to buy...quelle surprise. Carol, who is the personification of Black Bunny Fibers, had her entire inventory there. I sort of wanted to roll around in it. I brought home two skeins and am sort of regretting leaving a couple of the skeins there. I also got a couple of skeins of yarn to make this nice cowl that was a free pattern on Loop's blog. And I got my hands on Steven West's book, which has some interesting and lovely stuff.

Loop has Koigu and I went in fully expecting to buy myself a couple of skeins and once again, I was struck by the dreaded Koigu Paralysis...there are so many pretty colors and color-combinations that I just can't decide...I fondle them and find matching dye lots and waffle about..and then put them all back on the shelf and walk away. Just overload.

Mr. Pointy Sticks and I walked around the neighborhood a bit...interesting and nice-looking place.

One neat thing about's next door to Spool, which is a sewing shop, affiliated with Loop. And Spool is managed (maybe both of them are...I'm not sure) by the daughter of my brother's best friend...a guy we've know since I was born. He was born on the same day as my brother, and we always called them the twins. They've known each other since kindergarten, I think, so I've known Don since I can remember. In fact, when I was a little girl I told my mom that I would have to marry my brother when I grew up. "Why do you think you're going to have to marry your brother?" Mom asked. "Because the only boys I know are Don and Wayne [another friend of my brother's] and they don't like me!"

Anyway, long story short...we got to meet Don's daughter (and jeez, she looks like her grandmother...I would have known her anywhere) and she was really nice. Showed us around both stores and gave us directions home.

I actually ended up winding one of the skeins up as I rode home.

And I may just have cast on.

Unfortunately I had to take it apart and then it was too dark to I'll try again later.

Nice day, and I have the best husband in the whole world.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Seems Like...Well, Not All That Long Ago

Rachel asked me specifically to post this picture of here it is. Our old cat Barney thought Rachel's crib was just the perfect cat bed for him. I liked looks as though Rachel is whispering something in his ear...or about to bite it off.

Of course, once I had the album out to find that picture, I couldn't resist throwing up some others.

Barney soon because a plaything and confidant. She was chatting away with him here...unintelligibly, of course.

Love the expression on this one. She had her shirt stuffed with sand.

She learned, early on, that we all tended to read at the dinner (or in this case breakfast) table.

The artist at work.


Another great face...though she was actually coughing.

Happy Veter[inari]an's Weekend

Had to take the cats to the vet yesterday. Duncan was not happy about it. The minute he saw the carry-case come out he lit off for the hills. We were chasing him all over the house and finally had to poke him out from under our bed from whence he dashed back to the living room and then the dining room where Mr. Pointy Sticks finally hauled him out from under the dining table.

Then we had to get him into the carrier...while he spread out his toes as wide as they could go and clung on to the outside edge of the carrier. Finally got him contained and out to the car. We had gotten Giz into his case before we tackled Duncan.

Well, Duncan yowled all the way to the vet. W- w-w-w-w-w-o-o-o-o-w-w-w-w! W-h-h-h-r-r-r-r! M-i-i-a-a-o-o-o-w-w-w-w! Fortunately, it's a short ride. I tried to get a picture of him but every time I turned around with the camera he would just shut up and glare at me.

Once we got there, and into the exam room, he was the perfect gentleman.

He sat next to Mr. Pointy Sticks and waited while they examined Giz.

Gizmo sat on the exam table and buried his head in my armpit (hence, no pictures). I think he feels that if he can't see the vet, the vet can't see him. Nice try, Giz! They had to take him in the back for bloodwork...he's a little anemic but his kidney function is holding steady. We could hear him yowling from the back and Duncan's ears kept reacting...I think he identified the yowling as someone he knew. Sure seemed that way. They carried Giz back in, wrapped in a towel, hissing and growling. He was one angry cat. As soon as they put him down he made a beeline for the carrier...he was ready to leave.

(That's a small pack of Starburst in there with him. Heaven knows how it got there.)

Duncan has put on some weight and should probably lose a pound or two (shouldn't we all?). He's the size of a small pony...After his exam I picked him up and he clung onto my shoulder with all his strength.

It was a quieter trip home and the beasts are good for another year. Duncan was rather anti-social and testy for the rest of the evening. And this morning he jumped up on the bed for his morning skritch but instead of doing what he usually does...patting at me and then letting me skritch his head while he butts my hand and purrs and purrs...he jumped up, patted me awake and then stared at me and very deliberately turned his back on me and sat down. that way!

In the knitting world, I've had some finishing...the first of a pair of socks for Rachel and a I-can't-show-you-yet Christmas present.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Birthday To Morgan!!

Obviously all the best people have their birthdays in November...

This has been a delightful, if a little achy, weekend. See, I got my flu shot on Thursday morning at work (and man, it burned as it went in!) and for a day or two I felt no effects at all. For all it hurt while it was injected, my arm wasn't sore at all...and then last night I noticed that my neck was sore. And today I was sore all over...neck, back, shoulders...the backs of my knees... No fever or anything so I think it's just a mild least I hope that's all it is.

Yesterday my brother and his sweetie came over and I got some nice gifts...a pretty jewelry box from Sherrye and a stack of books and a movie from Justus. One of the books is a pop-up book of architecture that is pretty freakin' awesome. I should try to take some pictures.

Today Mr. Pointy Sticks and I went to Daedalus where I managed to find some treats for me but also got some Nabakov for Rachel (and a cool sketchbook) and some Christmas presents for a couple of people. I need to get into gear with Christmas!

And we had yummy lunch at Atwater's. I took a picture of my salad, it was so pretty. Perhaps I can get it posted this evening.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

What a lovely day I had today...really, this has to go down in the books as one of my better birthdays.

When I went into work today, my boss gave me a box of Rheb's chocolates. Do I have the best boss in the world, or what?! We both adore Rheb's and she said when she was over getting some for her mom recently, she thought of me. She made sure to buy some creams because she knew we had always gotten buttercreams in the boxes we got Mom. What a sweet thing for her to do.

And then this evening we went out to dinner with Katharine Weber. I am not Miss Sociable but Katharine makes being sociable easy. She's a fascinating person and we had a tasty dinner at the Vietnamese restaurant and closed the place! I mean, they were piling the chairs on the tables! Katharine signed my book (with birthday wishes!) and gave me a luscious tin of Valrhona deep dark chocolate that came...get this...from Paris. Swanky, no?!

We talked some about True Confections and I told her how much I had enjoyed it. She mentioned that some people had told her that they really couldn't take the narrator and had to stop reading. And certainly Alice has her issues...but I still found that I liked her. I might not trust her completely but I liked her. The paperback comes out in December!!

Katharine's next book is a memoir about her family. Now, I am not usually a memoir sort of person...but by the time we parted this evening I was dying to read this book. It's going to cover her father's 800-page FBI file, his affairs with known spies (though he was not a spy himself), her grandmother's affair with George Gershwin, her grandmother's grandfather (I think it was) who may or may not have profited from another man's murderous spree in the gold-mining hills of Montana...and more. As she is telling us some of the stories about her family (the travails of her father trying to make a profit from 1,800 East German typewriters had me giggling) I thought, at one point, "Man, if I were sitting in the booth next to us, I'd be listening in just as hard as I could!"

And she had some good news...Caroline Leavitt, an author I adore, has a new book coming out. Katharine said she thinks this one is going to be big. Yay! I have loved all of Caroline's books and I can't understand why more people don't love her. Her books have big hearts and such true and living characters.

She also transmitted greetings from some old Readervillians who she is still in touch with. I know that one of the ladies, Cara, reads here "Hi, Cara!" (I'm a little in awe of Cara. She seems to be both very cool and a very honest person. And she has wonderful cats.)

Mr. Pointy Sticks and I finally wandered home about 10:30 (glad we're taking tomorrow off work!) and I opened my presents from him. Two gorgeous pairs of earrings, Country Weekend Socks, Johannes Cabal the Detective, and (my suggestion when he was panicking a little the other day) a gift card to Borders for more bookish goodness. And last but not least...a new "It Itches" sweatshirt. You see, next weekend we are going up to Philly and I'll get to meet Franklin Habit and I'd like him to sign my shirt. And I can't find it. I'm fairly sure I'll find it before next Saturday, but Mr. Pointy Sticks thought "better safe than sorry" and got me a back-up shirt in case the other one doesn't turn up. He's a thoughty guy.

So, other than the fact that I had my camera with me this evening and took nary a picture, this has been the best birthday ever!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Day After Halloween

I think I am glad that this guy isn't my neighbor...but still...pretty cool:

Courtey of CynicalC