Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye And Good Riddance

to you, 2010!

This has been a very bad year for me. 

It was a bad year for my Cowboys.


GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 25: (2nd from left) Clifton Geathers  of the Dallas Cowboys looks up from the bench during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 25, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys 27-26. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

It was a bad year for my Longhorns.


DALLAS - OCTOBER 02: Quarterback Garrett Gilbert  of the Texas Longhorns reacts during play against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl on October 2, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It was a bad year for a lot of my friends, and it seems to have been a bad year all around.

Here's hoping 2011 will be better.  I don't see how it could possibly be any worse.

Happy New Year

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just A Thought

I just started watching Jon & Kate Plus 8 via Netflix streaming.


I know the show has been on for a while, and I did know a little bit about it, I just hadn't actually seen it before.  By the end of the very first episode, I understood why they got divorced. 

He can't do anything good enough for her.  She nags him terribly.  She treats him like she thinks he's stupid.  In short, she treats him like he's one of the children. 

No man wants to be treated like a child.

I mean, I was sick of hearing it, I can only imagine what that poor man had to go through living with it.  If I heard her snap "WAKE UP!" at him one more time, I wanted to crawl inside the TV and slap her down myself.  I've heard that she doesn't get any better.

It'd be interesting to see the kids grow and stuff, but I don't know if I can put up with the mom for 5 seasons.  Frankly, I'm not surprised they got divorced.

I'm surprised they stayed together as long as they did.

What's sad to me is that I know far too many women in real life that treat their husbands the exact same way.   I have to wonder why.  At one time, we respected the men in our lives.  What happened?

I've got a pretty good idea.  I suspect it's this feminist movement.  More accurately, the feminazis.  It would seem, if you listen to the feminists, that for the only way for us to feel better about ourselves as women, is to engage in extensive man bashing. 

We can no longer accept --and certainly not be happy-- in the role God created us to have.  As a result, we no longer feel good about ourselves as women.  So, we turn around and tear down the men around us.

We don't feel smart?  We call our men idiots.

We don't feel attractive or desirable?  We accuse our men of being lecherous pigs.

We don't feel capable?  We treat our men like they're incompetent nincompoops.

This is so wrong.  The feminist movement has turned us into a gender of bullies.  We don't need to be tearing them down.  We need to be building them up.  And when we build them up, then they will have the strength to lift us up as well. 

We all win that way.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Here We Are!

The Three Musketeers!


Or the Three Stooges, take your pick.  That's Amy, Kat, and me at Hank of Yarn in Southaven.

My first stop, as always, was at Wal-mart.  The one here has stopped carrying the conditioner and gel I use for my hair, so every time I go up there, I pick up a few bottles.  I won't show you photos of my hair products, but while I was in the store, I did pick up these on clearance.


The trick will be to actually remember to wear them next year.  I was going to let Charlotte model them for you, but alas, she has no ears and I didn't feel quite right about just stabbing them into the side of her head.  So, sorry, but you just have to live without that image.

Then it was on to Hank's.  Kat was there first, and when I got there, we talked, and we visited, and we petted yarns.  Then Amy got there, and we knit, and we talked, and we visited, and we petted more yarns.  And we laughed and we felt like we'd known each other forever.

Before we knew it, my stomach was growling, and Kat was saying, "I'm getting kind of hungry" and it was 1:30 and time to go.  And we hugged, and we clung to each other, and many bitter tears were shed at our parting...OK, just kidding on that last bit.

And we told each other to be safe driving home, and Hank asked, "Where are y'all from, except Arkansas and LSU?"  And we said, "That's pretty much it."  And Kat bought yarn to make a Woo pig hat, and Amy and I didn't say anything...

Yeah, they won.  There wasn't much we could say.

All too soon, the day was over, and we were headed home--except for me.  I was looking for work shoes.  I didn't find any.  I take that back.  I found a pair of Timberlake boots that I really liked, but I wasn't going to pay $100 for shoes that would end up getting ruined in a factory.

On a tip from Amy, I stopped by Lowe's in Batesville on the way home and bought these. 


These were the last two that they had left, and I'm glad I decided to stop. My first thought was that I would come back another day, because I was tired and just wanted to go home.  If I'd done that, I might have missed out.

I also stopped by Joann's and picked up some more yarn for the blankie.


And some cotton for washcloths.  Mine are getting pretty bedraggled, but hey, they're all 5 years old-- minimum.  It's time for some new ones.


Oh, and I got these at Hank's.  Three balls of Regia "fading" color.  They are for the blankie also. 


Amy picked up one of these balls, and pointed to where it says 4-fadig color (which is something in German that I don't know what it means) and said, "I saw that and thought it said 'fading' color."  Just as I took a big swallow of my Dr. Pepper.  Which is how the Buffalo yarn almost got it's bath.  Glad I was able to catch that.  That buffalo yarn is ex-pen-sive!


Hank had some of these square needles in the shop.  I'd heard a lot about them, and wanted to try them.  Kat said she really liked hers, so I bought a set. 



You know what that means?  Empty sock needles need socks. 

I also bought this.


Every cent of profit from these kits goes towards ovarian cancer research.  Hank even donates her cut, so it all goes towards finding a cure.  My pastor's wife died of this two years ago, and when I saw this kit, it seemed like just a little something I can do to help.  I will not be making the hideous sock pattern that is included.  The little symbol for Venus would be eh, but ultimately ok.  The design of the ovaries and uterus is pushing it a bit, but the design of the woman with her legs splayed while a gynecologist digs around in her stuff is just over the top. 

I won't be knitting that.  I was thinking of maybe finding a simple scarf pattern --maybe a moss stitch-- and giving it to Brother Bob.  I think that would mean more to him than a pair of ugly socks.

When I got back home, I found more surprises waiting for me.  The rest of my Christmas presents are here!  A Miles Austin jersey, though if he doesn't learn to hang on to those passes, this might get returned. 


And a cute little 50th Anniversary bear.


Remember how I recently said I needed to start wearing more jewelry? 


Yeah, that ought to do the trick.

Don't you think? 

.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You Can All Sleep Easier Now

I had several boxes in the back of my closet that I'd never sorted through after I moved into this house.  I was sure the gold band I'd been looking for was in one of them, as was The One Ring.  So, this afternoon in a fit of boredom, I dragged them all out and began looking. 

And I began finding things.  I found the dog books I'd looked everywhere for and had accused my sister of still having.


I found the instructions to my bread machine, which includes the bread recipe I'd been looking everywhere for.


I found my senior memories book.


And this certificate I'd won in 5th grade for memorizing Bible verses in Sunday School.


I found the one pinewood derby car I'd managed to rescue before Cody tore them all up.


And I found this cute little critter, though I have no idea who he is, or where he came from.


And I found Treebeard.


Yes, I have a Treebeard.  I also have a Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper uniform, and a DeMarcus Ware.  Because that's just who I am.

Oh, I found lots of things.  I found Christmas cards I'd made my daddy when I was little, and pictures I'd drawn as a child.  I even found a story I'd started to write in 5th grade which I entitled "Adventure At Shark Bay" in which my cousin Diane gets eaten by sharks.  But still no rings.  Undaunted, I pressed on.

I found these photos of old dogs, long since passed on to that great kennel in the sky.  This one is Meika, an American Eskimo I got when I was 15. 


And this one I've written about before.  He was The. Best. Dog. Ever.  This is him when he was just a puppy.


Kindly ignore the No Boys sticker on the photo.  That was something my friend Dee started when we were in college.  I don't remember the details, but it was something about --well, about having no boys in our lives.  At the time, neither one of us figured we'd still be single some 25 years later.  But that's a story for another time....

I even found other jewelry.  This necklace the ex bought me.


And I found other rings.  This was always one of my favorites, but it got on my nerves because the --for lack of the proper jewelry term--  the pretty part doesn't go all the way around the band.  It has the tendency to turn around on my finger, so that the plain part is visible and the pretty part is next to my palm.


Heck, I even found the elusive gold band that started the whole thing.


But still no One Ring.

Finally, I was down to one box left.  I know they say what you are looking for is always in the last place you look, but in this case, this really was the only box left.  If the One Ring wasn't in there, I had no idea what had happened to it.

With naught else left to do, I delved into the depths of The Last Box, and there, amidst old teddy bears and Beanie Babies long forgotten, I found a little velvet pouch.


Inside, there it was, The One Ring.


It had not yet made its way back to Sauron.  You can all sleep a little easier now.
The language is that of Mordor, which I will not utter here.  In the Common Tongue it reads:

One ring to rule them all
One ring to find them
One ring to bring them all,
And in the darkness Bind them.

Gandalf the Gray

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas!

It would seem Christmas has finally arrived at the Fine Martial household.


This was going to be my big present this year, but when I went into the store before Christmas, the electronics department was so crazy that I decided to just wait until after Christmas to get it. Yeah, that meant that there would be nothing for me to open on Christmas morning, which was kinda sad, but it's the choice I made.

Now, I did get some presents.  My older brother and sister in law sent me a gift card.  My sister had already told me that my gift from her would be late, and my younger brother has always been kind of hit and miss with the gifts anyway.  Some years I get one, some years I don't.  Beverly and James had built me the new set of back steps as a combination birthday/Christmas gift, so I wasn't expecting anything else from them.  However, Beverly did call me Christmas morning and told me she had ordered me something else, so I'd have something to open.  She'd even paid extra for shipping to make sure it got here on time.  It didn't.  We're still waiting on that one.  Anyway...

This isn't really the TV I'd wanted. Wal-mart had one advertised in their sales sheet, a 42" Sanyo for less than 500 bucks, but they didn't have any of those in stock. They had some 40" Sonys, these, and some 46" Samsungs. I didn't really want a 46".  Rather, I didn't want to spend the money on a 46", so I decided to just get one of the 40" models.  I thought about getting the Sony, but when I looked at the display models on the shelf, the picture of this Samsung looked much clearer than the Sony, so that's the one I went with.


It was pretty easy to get it hooked up. I only had to move one cable from my old TV to the new one. Oddly, though, NBC won't come in on my new TV. It was one of the clearest channels on my old one. I can't figure out what is wrong.  Same antenna.  Same cable.  Same converter box.  So, everything should be the same, shouldn't it?  But it won't come in.

Well, no matter.  The only thing I watched on NBC was Sunday Night Football anyway.  I'll just switch the cable back to the old TV for the two remaining games.  And it's just until I get cable hooked up anyway.

Please don't try to sell me on DirecTV or Dish Network.  I'd get DirecTV, but I'm in the 6% of Americans who can't get local channels with it.  And of course, that includes the 4 major networks--you know, the ones with all the football games on them.  Yeah. Gotta have those. 

So I'm going with Cable.  I'll start with the basic package, for now.  Before football season starts again, I may upgrade to the package that has ESPN and ESPNU.  Depends on how my finances are.  Or I may just get that cable that I can hook my laptop up to the TV and stream games from there.

That wasn't all the Christmas that arrived today.  

Remember when I said I wanted to learn Latin? Well, what did that crazy girl Kristin do, but send me her Latin textbooks?


As as added bonus, she threw in some Italian texts as well. I'd been wanting to refresh my Italian before I completely forget it.


The hard part will be studying it and sticking with it. I have found that the best way to learn a language is to just start using it. Study a bit to get the basics down, then find a native speaker and start talking to him.

Hmmm, now where can I find someone who speaks Latin?

When the Fed Ex guy delivered the package, Rylea was out in the yard.  He looked at her dubiously and asked if she was going to bite him.  Well, I looked and she was showing curiosity, but no aggression, so I assured him that she wouldn't.  He said, "That's good.  I've already been bitten once today."

Now, if Jake had been out in the yard, I'd have had to go rescue him.  He's already bitten the UPS guy, so that he won't even get out of his truck if he sees Jake. 

He's very protective, and he isn't even mine.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What's This?

Could it be? Is it possible? Has there been a blankie sighting?

Yep, there was a brief sighting of the increasingly more elusive Friendship Blankie, as I got 4 new squares knit into it this weekend.


Try not to notice that there has apparently not been a vacuum cleaner sighting in far too long.

Change the subject...I'm making good progress on the test knit.  Almost through chart A.  


I'm really enjoying this pattern. It was a perfect day to stay in and knit, too. I woke up this morning to another light dusting of snow, and more light flurries throughout the day.


Now that Christmas is over, and gifts have been delivered, I can finally show you my new shirt.


I've been sitting on this one for a month, now, because I'd also gotten James and Cody each one for Christmas. 


Well, tonight's Eagles/Vikings game has been postponed due to blizzard conditions. The Giants and the Jets are both stuck away from home due to um...blizzard conditions. This is the second week in a row that the Giants have been trapped by snow, what with the Metrodome collapsing and all.



I blame global warming.

And since George W. Bush is personally responsible for global warming, I blame Bush.

Apparently, it's the in thing to do.

.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I'm Dreaming Of

Rylea let me sleep until 6:30 this morning. I guess that was my Christmas gift from her. When I got up to let her out, I saw this on the back steps.


And I looked up and the sky looked like this.


And when Rylea came back inside, she had this on her head.


Then the sun came up and I saw that the yard looked like this.


Now, I know some of you may laugh at my paltry little snowfall, but I've waited 46 years for this.  Forty six years I've waited to have a White Christmas, and I finally got one.  Suddenly, the Christmas I had wished I could just sleep through became the best Christmas ever.

I must confess, I cried like a baby when I saw the snow falling. 

After breakfast,


I went outside and took a few photos, because the snow was rapidly melting and I knew it wouldn't last much longer. 


Though the temperature was already above freezing, I was able to capture a few images of this wonderful morning, before it melted completely away.


Though, in hindsight, I think I might have been better off if I'd put on pants for this venture.


Don't get excited.  I wasn't naked.  I had my Snoopy pajamas on.  They just weren't very warm.


Afterwards, I did something that many of you may consider to be a very foolish thing.


As long as I had waited for this snow, I wasn't going to let it melt completely away.  The snow outside was gone by 8:30, but there is a little baggie of my first White Christmas Ever tucked safely into my freezer. 

Later, as I warmed up with a mug of peppermint hot chocolate, I thought about what Christmas really means. 


There were no presents to open.  No family or friends gathered round me, but this was the most wonderful Christmas I can remember.  I had received two very special gifts.  One lay sleeping in a manger so very long ago.  The other was falling from the sky this morning.  Both God's way of showing me how very much he loves me.  And I was filled with Joy.  Joy to the world.

Let Heaven and Nature sing!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Only Me

I never wore a lot of jewelry.  It just wasn't me.  I did wear some.  A bracelet or two, a ring, and a necklace. 

When I started karate, I used to take my jewelry off before class and put it back on afterwards.  Soon it began to be too much trouble going through all this.  After a time, I just stopped wearing it altogether.

Recently, since it looks like my karate days are over for a while--the dojo being closed and all-- I decided to look for some of my old rings and start wearing them again.  I had this one little gold ring that I really liked.  I looked through my two main jewelry boxes, but didn't find it.  However, in my search for the elusive gold band, I did find this.



Then I remembered that I had a more authentic looking One Ring, complete with a certificate certifying that is is an authentic replica of the One Ring used in the movies.  So I started looking everywhere for that One Ring. 

I didn't find it, but I did manage to stab my finger on an old fishhook that had somehow found its way into one of my jewelry boxes.

Sigh, and I wonder why I can't seem to find a husband.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm Free!!!

Well, for the next two weeks, that is.  Today was our last day of work for the year.  We don't have to go back until Jan 4.

My goals for the time I have off:

1.  Finish reading Ronald Reagan's autobiography.  This has not been as easy as I thought it would be.  It was interesting at first, but I've kind of gotten bogged down in the Middle East crisis, the Sandanistas, and Iran-Contra stuff.  But I'm going to keep plugging away at it, and hopefully get it finished.  Then I can go back to Atlas Shrugged

2.  Work on test knitting Tabitha's pattern.


2.5 Take better photos of Tabitha's pattern...  also to find a circular needle to transfer it to, so that I can spread it out better for said photos.

3.  Sort through old photos on my computer and delete the ones that just aren't any good.  You know, too dark, out of focus, bad composition--that kind of stuff.  The ones I should have deleted straight away, but didn't.  Then I want to transfer some of the older ones to flash drives, or some other type of external storage to clean up space on my computer.

4.  Buy new shoes.  Mainly work shoes.  This isn't as easy as it sounds, because safety regulations require that they be all leather.  Most shoes, even leather ones, nowadays have woven nylon tongues.  So, I have to find all leather shoes, that are durable and won't fall apart in 3 months, are comfortable enough to stand in for 8-10 hours a day, and look good.  Like I said, not as easy as it sounds.


5.  If it's warm enough, I may go to the zoo. 

6.  Try to get a life, since I have none.  I've practically turned into a hermit.  I hardly go anywhere any more.  I hardly do anything any more.  Of course, once I'm home from work, I'm usually too tired to want to do anything, but I need to get out more.  I need to be around people.  When your primary source of human contact is Facebook, you've got a problem.  But there really isn't anywhere around here to go to socialize, since I'm not into the bar scene.  Some of my friends at work tell me I should go to such and such bar to pick up men, then they turn around and complain that men are all pigs.  I want to tell them, "Well, what did you expect from men you pick up in bars?".  Good men are out there; they're just not usually hanging out in bars. 

7.  Watch football.  Oh, yeah.  You knew this would be on the list.  The Cotton Bowl has taken on a whole new twist, since LSU's biggest offensive weapon Stephan Ridley has been ruled ineligible for the game.  In fact, I'm not even sure who their second running back is. I guess I need to find that out, hmmm?

Well, that's my plans for the next two weeks.  Sounds exciting, doesn't it?  Boy, don't you wish you had my life?  But the best thing is, it's Christmas, and I'm not going to let anything dampen my spirits.

Bell


Not even the discovery that the cat has indeed been using my Christmas tree skirt as a litter pan.

Stupid cat.

.

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