Monday, December 31, 2007

First Words

I did this meme last year, and enjoyed it so much I thought I'd do it again. What you do is to post the first sentence you blogged for each month of the year. Here goes:

January--I've never been one for making resolutions.

February--These people I work with just crack me up sometimes.

March--A variation on one I already did.

April--I suffer from a most unusual malady.

May--After many hours installing and fiddling, I am sort of back online.

June--Stashalong is having a KAL within a KAL for the month of June.

July--Because it's one of those days when I can't think of a thing to say.

August--It all started with the pads.

September--Got any yarn you're not quite sure what to do with it?

October--A very respected friend of mine, who is also a 6th dan in Isshinryu, recently found a website with the following paragraph on it

November--More about this later...

December--But first, let me say that hosting this contest has been a lot of fun.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

One Down

Three to go. I knit the majority of this charity scarf in two days. It was a lot of mindless garter stitch; fortunately I had some good--and some not so good--football games to watch while plugging away at it. And some Journeyman reruns.

I've got one more football game to watch, then regular season will be over. All I have left are bowl games and playoffs. Then it will be over.

Sigh, what am I going to do with myself until August?

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Gauntlet

has been thrown down, and by me, no less. What started as a casual observation yesterday has morphed into a full fledged challenge.

The observation? I only have 4 projects OTN at the moment. They are:

1. Tidal Wave Socks:

2. Branching Out Lace Scarf:

3. Garter Stitch Scarf:

4. One Row Scarf:


The challenge? Complete all four of these projects before casting on anything new. It'll be up to you, dear readers, to help me complete this challenge.

Speaking of challenges, it's time to sign up for Stashalong '08. Now, for Stashalong '07, we had specific plans to choose from. This next year, however, we have a more carte blanche method of choosing our goals. Basically, the rules are 1) Set your goals, 2) Post them, and 3) Update the blog monthly.

I'm going to have to think about my goals pretty carefully. Last year, I'd made the goal that I wouldn't buy any new yarn until I'd finished 10 projects--the exceptions being gift and charity knitting. Though the list got shuffled a bit, I finished 9 of my 10 projects--the infamous Branching Out that I recently ripped being the only incomplete one.

Even so, with all the free days I won in various contests, I ended up with more yarn than I started out with. That kind of defeats the purpose of a destashing blog. I'll have to think on this a bit more, and get back with you.

I'll have my goals up by Jan 1.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Success!

We left the house around 10:00 AM to go on the great guitar hunt. The first place we stopped was Batesville, which is the next town up the road. We drove all over that town looking for a music store, but didn't find one. We even looked at Wal-mart. I know they'd had some before Christmas, but they were all sold out. Yeah, I know, probably not the best quality, but good enough for him to start out on and see if that is something he really wants to do. He can always upgrade later on.

After not having any luck in Batesville, we headed farther North up the road. The plan was to head on up to Southaven, which is the next big town on that road. They have lots of shops there, so I figured we'd surely find something there. We never made it that far.

About 15-20 minutes outside of Batesville is a little town called Senatobia. I've never been there. Or if I have, it's been so long I don't even remember going there. On impulse, I whipped off the highway and said, "Let's look and see what they have here." Lo and behold, as soon as we hit the town, I spotted it. A sign with a guitar on it. A music store.

We went in and a really nice man helped us pick out a good beginner package for Cody. I also got him a book to learn from. When we were checking out, I asked if the package had picks in it. It didn't and the man let us pick out 4 picks and didn't even charge us for them. I asked him about warranty, and he said that any warranty would just cover the electronics part of it. Then he said, "But don't worry. If anything happens, just bring it back up here and I'll fix you up." Good, that.

We got it home, set it up, and everything worked. We got it tuned pretty closely and Cody plucked away at it for a little while.


Then he put his new guitar away and said, "Mama, I wish you would start playing your guitar again." Y'all didn't even know I had a guitar, did you? I do. It's an acoustic one, not electric. I'd always wanted to learn to play the guitar, so several years ago, I bought one. I was learning to play, but then Cody started kindergarten, and time just seemed to slip away from me. I hadn't touched it since.

At Cody's request, I got it back out, tuned it up, and did lesson one in my Learn To Play Guitar book.

Maybe this time, I'll stick with it.

The socks were a success, too. I finished them this morning before we left.

Here's a wild thought. I have three scarves and one pair of socks left OTN. Do you think I can finish all four projects before casting on anything new? I'm gonna try it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas In Pictures

What was in Cody's stocking?

"Do I get a present?"

"Oh boy! A new mousie!"


Cody's loot--except the books, they are mine.

Learning to play the new guitar.

"I'm glad that amplifier doesn't work!"


New sock yarns

And I got this much done on my second watermelon sock while watching new MASH DVDs. I've gotten a little more done on it since this picture was taken. I hope to be through with it in the next day or two.

We stayed home today, but tomorrow we are going to venture out and see if we can find Cody a new electric guitar. The one Cody got didn't work. I suspect it's the amplifier. It's going back to the store posthaste. I told him I'd get him a good one if we have to drive all the way to Memphis for it.

If you are interested, all my Christmas photos for 2007 can be found here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

I stepped on the dog.

My son smarted off to me.

I poked myself in the eye with a pair of scissors.

I overcooked the turkey.

I forgot to cook the rolls.

Cody's electric guitar didn't work.

But...

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His Glory; glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1: 14


0000christmas stables and scenes 1

Photo courtesy of Webshots.

Christmas was good.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Fictional Character I Most Want To Be Like

I think you may be a bit surprised by my choice. It's not Galadriel, or Arwen, or Xena the Warrior Princess or any of the strong, beautiful women out there. No, the fictional character I would most want to be like is

Ebeneezer Scrooge.

Huh? Why would I want to be like Scrooge? He was a

tight-fisted hand at the grindstone,...a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner...hard and sharp as flint, ...as solitary as an oyster.
Aren't there enough Scrooges out there? It would seem that there were. All over blogland and the web I've seen evidence of his presence. Those who've grown hard and bitter toward Christmas, because it's become too commercial, or it has lost it's true focus, or the pressure to buy, buy, buy has grown so great. So these people let society determine how they will, or will not celebrate, Christmas.

Yes, refusing to celebrate because you don't like the societal pressures is allowing someone else to dictate how you celebrate your holidays.

So why would I want to be like that?

I don't. The world has plenty of those. That's the image people have of Scrooge, but it is an inaccurate one. You see, most people forget that something happened to Scrooge.

He changed.

Now, what happened to bring about that change is an interesting story, but it is less relevant than the fact that he became a different person. So what did happen to Scrooge?

He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for...his own heart laughed: and that was quite good enough for him...and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that truly be said of us, and all of us!
That's the Scrooge I want to be. Someone who still finds joy in Christmas. Someone who still loves the lights, and the trees, and the decorations, and putting a dollar or two in the Salvation Army bucket. Someone who still sheds a tear when reading the Christmas story from the Bible.

Someone who knows how to keep Christmas well.

To all my friends out there in blogland, those whom I've met in person, and those whom I've only met online, I wish you the most joyous of Christmases. I love you all, and leave you with this wish:

As Tiny Tim observed, God bless US, Every One!

Merry Christmas Eve!

I don't know if I'll get back on later today. In case I don't, here are some new Strange and Ironic Photos for you to enjoy, taken this morning during Rylea's walk.

Winter Moon

Frosted Wire

Edited to add: Cody calls this one A Frosty Barb

And if I don't see you, Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ornament Tag

While visiting Robin's Blog she posted this Meme; It's the Ornament Tag - so tag, you're it!!
Here are the rules:

1. Take a picture of your favorite ornament and put it on your blog telling everyone about it.

2. Post a link to the person on whose blog you found out about the Ornament Tag.

3. Post the rules.


This is my favorite ornament. I don't really have any significant meaning behind why, I just like it.

Santa Tracker

NORAD







Saturday, December 22, 2007

WIP Update

With all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I completely forgot about my WIP update. Since I know how much you look forward to these (yeah, right!) I couldn't deny you any longer.

1. Garter Rib socks. No progress since last time.


2. A Garter stitch scarf. No progress since last time.

3. Cody's Texas Longhorns scarf. DONE!!

4. Branching Out lace scarf. I've decided to rip this one out. The yarn just wasn't working for this pattern. I'm going to cast on again with a different yarn.


5. Tidal Wave Socks. The yarn is TOFUtsies color 733. No progress--it's getting to be a common refrain, isn't it?


6. One Row Scarf for ME!

That brings my total to 5 active WIPs, if you count the one I'm planning to cast on. That was my goal, and as long as I stick to it, I won't be doing bi-weekly updates. Oh, I'll still update the WIP list in my blog, but it won't be quite so often.

In my post earlier today, I said it had been kind of a blah day. I was referring to the weather, but it's also how I was feeling. I finally got smart and took my temperature. No wonder I've been feeling so bad! I've been running a low fever! I'm going to take it easy the next couple of days and hopefully, I'll feel better by Christmas.

Saturday


It started like this, and didn't get any better. I stayed in and finished Cody's scarf. Poor kid has been waiting over a year for this. It is finally done.

This has been kind of a blah day all around. I was preheating the oven to cook us some lunch, when my heating element burned out. I should be able to get a new one, no problem. There is a guy here in town that carries everything you can imagine. If he doesn't have it, he will get it. Problem is, he won't open back up until after Christmas.

Ack! "How in the world am I supposed to cook Christmas dinner?" I wailed, huddled in the corner quivering.

No problem. I'll just lug everything over to B and J's to cook it. Once I explained the problem, B offered to lend me her toaster oven. What good is that? Well, it's not a normal toaster oven. It's big enough to cook everything but the turkey. That's a relief. Now, I'll just have to lug the 20 lb turkey back and forth. J told us to just come spend the day at their house. (They won't be there. They are going to Texas, but we will be keeping an eye on their house.) Cody is all for that because they have satellite TV, but I'm going to put the nix on that. Christmas is a time for family, not TV.

The bright spot in my day occurred when I saw the first robin of the year out in the yard. I know in some places, robins herald the arrival of spring, but down here, they mean winter is here. And lo and behold, today is the first day of winter!

Since we generally don't get enough of the white stuff to take a decent picture, I borrowed this one.


Firs on snow-covered hill

Photo courtesy of Webshots.

Happy Winter and stay warm!




Friday, December 21, 2007

I've Been Busy

This post will have lots of pictures. If you are dial-up, you have my sincerest apologies.

B and J are going to Texas for Christmas, and since J has to work nights the rest of this weekend, we decided to have our family get together last night.

They ate first, but Cody and I skipped that part because we were at the dojo party. By the time we got there, Brittani was ready to open presents.

"Please, can we open presents now?" she asked her Peepaw.

We gathered around the tree

and Cody and J began handing out presents

while Dennise, Shelbi, and Tammy anxiously waited.

Soon, it was time, and J went first. "Open this one," Cody said. I told him that Cody had picked it out. "Should I be worried?" J asked. But there was no need. He was thrilled with his gift.

J has always been a big Archie Manning fan, so when Cody spotted this card, he knew J would like it. He was also tickled with this hat I knitted in LSU colors.
The hat was a bit big, but he didn't mind. "One day," I told him, "I'm going to measure your head and make you a hat that actually fits."

Next was B's turn. "Oh, wow!" she exclaimed as she opened her Fetchings. "These are great.

Because my hands will stay sort of warm, and I can still hold on to the steering wheel."

Dennise

and Tammy

both loved their washcloths, and the little bath sets I got for each of them.

"Just what I wanted," Shelbi said as she opened her phone card.

"Me, too!" agreed Brittani.

When J took Cody hunting last month, Cody complained about his behind freezing, so he got a booty warmer.

"It works," he said.

"Oh, boy! A Peyton Manning bobblehead! This is going on my shelf of honor," Cody said.

"These are my earrings. You can't have them," Shelbi says to her Aunt Tammy.

Finally, it was time for the annual "kids under the Christmas tree" pictures. First off was Brittani
then Cody

and Shelbi

and finally, the three of them together.

And that was our family Christmas for this year.

Today, Cindy and her family came by for a visit. Cindy and Aaron had come last year, but this time the whole crew was here. Aaron asked to see the snakes right away, and this time Robbie got to see them as well.

Aaron, Cindy, Robbie, and Snow. Fortunately, Show had just shed, and it was a nice clean shed all in one piece. I let Robbie have it, since Aaron had gotten one last year.

Monty and Rob seemed rather taken with each other.

This picture was Cindy's idea. I claim no credit for it, nor do I take any blame.


Cindy, Aaron, Rob, and Robbie.

Cindy, if you want full size copies of these, just let me know and I'll e-mail them to you.

Now, after a very busy couple of days, I'm going to go relax and knit a bit.

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