Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm the Girl Your Mother Warned You About

It's the end of the year so that means it's time to update the kitchen wall calendar. Peter is always trying to get me onto a high-tech, on-line, Google-driven organization Master Center, but his method hasn't really ever taken with me. I like my calendar. I like that it's inexpensive, non-electric and easily accessible. The simplicity can't be beat. But mostly, I like the Ritual of The Half Price Calender that happens every year after Christmas.

After Christmas when all of the early birds have selected their calenders for the year and all of the gift givers have purchased their gift calenders I walk into Borders to riffle through the shelves of Fairy, Harry Potter, and Labrador calenders at 50% off. I don't like a lot of choice. I get bogged down as I try to decide if I'm the sort of person who wants tulips on her wall all year or if I'm the sort that likes Arts and Crafts architecture photography. So I wait until the cusp of the new year and I go to see what's left. Last year the only reasonable calendar they had was one of Scenic Minnesota photos. They had a Sierra Club one, too, but I'd done that a couple of years before and I was looking to branch out.

This year there were slim pickings and I walked away with a calendar of Scenic New England. New England beat out Lighthouses of the Great Lakes and another with paintings of leaves each month. I liked the paper, though, so it was a contender.

Peter and I were joking about how dull we are and it occurred to me that I'm the sort of person who has a tremendously good time playing Scrabble with people on my husband's iPhone and that I look forward to buying calenders with seasonal nature scenery. "Really--you're a ton of fun", Peter joked. "I bring the fun--no, I MAKE the fun", I responded. I am a fun girl.

Then Peter told me that a couple we know is planning on visiting 9 bars and pubs tonight. You know, to celebrate. I asked Peter how dull a person has to be before actual "fun" activities sound like they aren't any fun at all. Party? I'd rather polish my coin collection and pick fuzz balls off my knitting.

I was telling Peter how one could make an evening of parties and bars more fun. Before the Big Night, visit all of the bars you are interested in attending. Pick the top four. Then, on the big night, go to the first one. Try to have as much fun as you can in a group of loud, drunken revelers and if it's not a good time try the next one. If that one's a bust, try a third. If you're still not having fun, it might be best to give up and go have some hot chocolate at home. With any luck you'll be able to shower the smell of beer out of your hair and be well rested by morning.

I hope they have a good time, but really I think I have this couple beat. I've already transcribed my appointments for January and February into my new Scenic New England calendar and I'm ready to begin an organized new year. Because I am all about having a good time.

I've never been to New England, but some day I might. And now I know all of the places I'd like to visit.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Before I forget, I wanted to post our Christmas card picture for you all, in case you missed it this year.

Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope you are enjoying all of the trappings of the season as we celebrate the birth of our mighty savior.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Knit Like Lightening

I think I may have developed superpowers.

In just over 24 hours I have knit Anna a pair of those Felted Clogs that everyone's been knitting lately. I have hands like the wind and needles of fire.

Anna had outgrown Thomas's old slippers and I'd been meaning to buy replacements since Thomas is still wearing the next biggest slippers. Week after week there were other things to buy and her slippers kept getting deferred. There was finally snow on the ground and sub-zero temperatures and I realized that these slippers were just not going to happen.

Happily I still had some purple yarn in The Stash that had originally been aquired for a baby sweater that never got knit. Wool is never wasted so I pulled it out, happy that Anna would get to wear these skeins after all.

I had a little fun with Anna last night as I showed her the first finished clog. "Who do you think I knit this for?", I asked. Anna smiled and said, "Me!" but when she put it on she looked at me and told me that it might be a little big. I laughed and told her that it should fit fine and that in the morning I would show her a magic trick.

The slippers are in the wash now. I can't WAIT until they come out!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Another Stocking for St Nick to Fill

Here is another specimen of woolly triumph. Anna's Christmas Stocking.

Bartlettyarn, Fisherman 2-ply, I think. Colors are Light Sheep's Grey, Cranberry, and I forget what the green is. The pattern is from Annie's Woolens. After I finished she told me she wanted one like Thomas's. Again, I will say I deserved it for all the grief I gave my mom over the handmade clothing I (had to wear) wore as a child. I accepted her remarks graciously, told her I picked the pattern out just for her and that she and the stocking would learn to love each other. I have every confidence that this will be true. Quite frankly, when Christmas comes and it's full of nuts and oranges and candy I'm sure she won't care if I'd knit the face of the Loch Ness Monster into the side.

I have one more stocking to knit for Henry, but it can wait until after Christmas. For now I'm going to put the finishing touches on a sweater for a friend's upcoming arrival and then I'm going to knit off a whack of hats and a pair of mittens (or two). Oh, but to knit something that isn't red and green!

I want to knit this hat for Henry. Mostly because he's a baby and that means I can put him into whatever fool thing that strikes my fancy.

I want to knit these mittens for me, me, me. It has been about Freezing Degrees Fahrenheit these days and I have been fantasizing about them as I head off to the gym in the evenings. I have also been having longing thoughts about these mittens, too. Have you ever put your hands inside thrummed mittens before? It's like rubbing dark, warm fudge all over your fingers on a cold day. But less messy and way more satisfying.

I haven't been buying much yarn these days as I've been very focused on getting the baby sweater and the stockings done by Christmas. However, I've snapped twice and bought copious amounts of sock yarn that we totally didn't budget for. It's better than going on a bender, I suppose, but I can foresee some Man Sock knitting in my future as well, mostly to convince certain menfolk that sock yarn is a sound choice for the wise investor. After all, we will never have cold feet again! Which is especially nice since who knows if we'll be able to afford heat. Good thing I have all this wool!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The New Century

My husband has this thing called an "iPhone". It's really his brain, seamlessly integrated with an hand-held device. He uses it all the time, but I'm hopelessly backward when it comes to this new fangled technology. I'm the one in this relationship who thinks the Internet is a passing fad. Like the horseless carriage.

Anyway, Peter has shown me that there are some benefits to this Great Wonder of the Modern World. Online Scrabble. Apparently, you can play Scrabble with strangers from God Know Where any time of the night or day. Amazing. This appeals to my desire to play more Scrabble as well as my deep need to gloat shamelessly. Ordinarily I have to rein in my urges to openly display my triumph, but online, in the anonymous world of the internet I can crow freely over my opponent. After all, he or she can't even hear me! I may be winning against 10 year olds, but hey--winning is winning.

I just trumped some one pretty good. Me: 241, Opponent: 175.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Purple Kitty

Really, I have no idea where my head has been.

This is the result of having the third birthday in a string of birthdays. You get missed a little. About a week ago, someone turned 4.

Here she is, in her handknit hat that Aunt Rachel made for her. She calls it her Purple Kitty Hat.

Here she is, doing some first rate Meowing for me.

Anna is so imaginative, so full of fun and story that I can't imagine my home without her. I am so excited to see her grow and become the person she is going to be. Happy Birthday, my big four year old.