Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy birthday to me!

Got my package of books from DiTro yesterday. Just in time for my birthday tomorrow! And not a minute too soon, as I just finished reading the fourth book in the Charmed Circle series by Delores Stewart Riccio. Which unfortunately is a library book so must be returned, but I have it for a whole month; so might just go back and read the whole series over again before I send it back to Cassopolis.

Need new batteries for the digital camera already. Why am I actually surprised by this? But at least I found the power-off switch for the electronic keyboard, so it doesn't start playing itself every time it gets barely bumped. Whew, that was getting just a *little* annoying!

Had to frog about four inches of my big cable scarf, couldn't figure out why the cable looked wrong. Then I realized, it WAS wrong. So frogged and re-knit, thrill of my life. Got the freaking cables right this time, though! Will be beautiful if it ever gets finished...

Still don't have the new stove/oven hooked up yet. But Mom baked a ham at her house and brought it over for Christmas, microwaves are wonderful.

Time to sign off already, story of my life. Final words: IT'S NOT A PERSON HANGING IN THE WIZARD OF OZ, IT'S A FREAKING BIRD! Ok, I feel better now!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

363 Shopping Days Until Christmas

In other words, hurry up and finish reading this and get back to your knitting! I found out the hard way that there is less time available than you realize, when you make gifts for the holidays. On the brighter side, I did find the blanket I had started for my brother last year; turns out that all I really had to do was tie up the last end of yarn, it was big enough after all. (Yes, I cheated and showed it to him a couple of weeks ago, and asked him if he thought it was big enough. Since he said yes, and the only reason to make it bigger was because I like to make BIG blankets -- hence the extremely long finishing time -- well, that was one present done). I took a photo before I wrapped it, but haven't developed the film (actually I haven't even finished the film yet...); more on that in a moment.

Also took photos of the ornaments I made. Not ALL of the ornaments, I don't have a wide-angle lens for my good camera; just a composite of the different types. And a photo of the famous Blanket for Rick, two in fact; one has a toy horse from the old swingset next to it for perspective. The film, still the roll that I haven't finished. Got a photo of the crocheted octopus that I made for John more years ago than I care to count (don't want to take my shoes off, ha ha). Same roll of film! Hope that there are still places that develop film by the time I get it finished... again, ha ha.

Now for the incredibly awesome great news: I won't have to whine about not being able to post pix of my "stuff" anymore! Santa and Carole were great to me and the kids for Christmas; I got a DIGITAL CAMERA!!! While it isn't the fancy-shmancy one that I dream of someday in the very distant future, it is good enough for website photos; since that was the main reason I wanted one (along with not having to get film developed) I am not complaining. Couldn't complain anyway, I got to pick it out myself! The only thing I really dislike about it is that there is no preview LCD screen, only a little screen to show mode and flash and number of pix left, etc. So you don't know until you download whether the picture is worth keeping. Oh frigging well, I'm not wasting tears on that! Not since I have a working computer at home (beautiful Eddy) and can sit right down and check them, even have the USB port on the front so don't have to kill myself getting to the back of the tower like I did with Elvis. Yee haa!!!

The only two complaints that I have about the camera are that it is made in China (forgive me, John McCormick and Cliff Parr); and that I have to beat my kids to get it back from them. The girls are having a great time with MY presents; I also got an electronic musical keyboard from my mommy and you can bet that the three kids are partying down with that one! Oh well, at least it is educational. (Mom got it for me so I could try and drown out Alanda's Christmas present; she got her the guitar she has been begging for for the last three months -- or is it years?)This photo is actually of Ruthi, but it shows Alanda's guitar really well...would show it better if Al hadn't been playing with the special effects feature on my photo editing software...

OK, calm down, I don't really beat the kids, you don't have to call CPS. Put the phone down! I did pitch a whiney fit (the nice way of saying I bitched like a crazy woman) and now they at least ASK before they take over my toys. Hey, ya gotta do what works... Too bad that technique doesn't work with irresponsible teachers as well as it does with teens... We won't go *there* right now, I still get itchy mad when I think about the situation.

Anyway, I did manage to get a photo with the NEW camera of my brother wearing the hat I made him for his birthday (which happens to be December 25th, hence the name Chris).

Friday, December 08, 2006

Happy Belated Birthday, and Early Yule!

Just received an email from DiTro that she got her late birthday/early yule package already. WOW that was fast, as I sent it media rate and the nice lady at the post office said it would take about a week... And I sent it like Tuesday or Wednesday! Of this week! Too bad *I* can't get around that fast!

Dusty, I am very glad that you liked the gifts. And since today is your Extra Birthday thanks to mom-in-law, I must say "Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy biiiiiirthday dear Diana, happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuu!" and entirely on-key thanks to the computer keyboard. Har de har har... And now that you have the Nora Roberts quote in LARGE PRINT to inspire you, when do I get to proofread for you???????

Love you, kiddo, you keep me---well, not sane necessarily, because that would be no fun -- but at least you keep me feeling loved in my insanity! Thank you for being the bestest friend in the whole wide world.... which, being round isn't really wide, but the W alliteration sounds better than WRW sounds....

Like I said, not necessarily sane! LOL

Friday Afternoon Ramblings

Wow. Read my fifteen year old daughter's column in this week's FrankTalk; I officially resign from writing anything more complicated than a grocery list! Might actually sign my name to some Christmas cards, too, but don't hold your breath on that one....

Was posting a comment to Dusty's blog and realized that I was typing enough for my own blog posting. So here I am...

I re-organized the yarn in the living room this morning, since I can't get to the old doll cradle that I relined and recommissioned as a yarn basket until we get the new stove moved and hooked up. Then I took donations to the local thrift shop, outgrown clothes and re-read books. Ended up seeing an old buddy from high school at the grocery store on the way uptown, and gave her the books instead. Since our reading tastes are the same (anything except romance), I only had to sort out about three books that I really don't know how they got into my possession. So she went home with a box and three grocery bags of books, and I know for a fact that they went to a good and appreciative home. She was happy because she had just ran out of stuff to read, and now she is set for at least a few days. {grin} I am happy because I have room on my shelves now and know that the books are going to be enjoyed. Happy Yule all around!

Then at the thrift shop, I ended up buying a cool-looking leather coat for The Boy, and --- my mind went for a vacation -- a huge grocery bag stuffed full of "Miscellaneous Yarn." And a size C crochet hook, and #3 sp knitting needles, and a plastic canvas cow face for my neighbor's kitchen... At least I left with less than I went in with! Which is always a good thing!

Ended up frogging the hat I was trying to knit on the dpn, apparently I need longer needles because the stitches kept slipping off the needles. So am going to try again later with regular single-point needles and the funky cool yarn. For the moment am doing another hat for stepdad on the sp, this one a little smaller than the last because he apparently has a small head. (My brother, on the other hand, has enough hair that I don't know why I am knitting HIM hats!) Now watch, this hat will be TOO small for dad..... If so, I will just tell him to go to a psychiatrist and get his head shrunk. Or use hotter water when he washes his hair, see if his head shrinks like my hubby's pants all seem to have done. And the doctor says he's losing weight, yeah right.

Ruthi's Winter Concert (high school band) was Wednesday night, and once again they were outstanding. Closing my eyes, I felt like I was in a symphony hall instead of a high school gymnasium. Plan on getting a copy of the recording the director made, soon as I find a blank CD. Desk-cleaning time again, send in the troops... I won't mention here the typos in the band program... but I did volunteer to compose the program for the Spring Concert. This year had an improvement over last year's concert: last December, the director decided to change "Christmas concert" to "Winter Concert," and the following day we had a huge blizzard that closed school and so forth. This year, in spite of the jinxing title, the weather has held with cold and dreary but no huge YuckyStuff like last year. Good thing, too, or I would have to have a few words with the director about a new name for the concert next year!

Liam wrote out his Christmas Wish List last night; actually, he dictated and I typed it on the computer, he got a kick out of that. Twenty wishes has my little guy; one of my favorites is for another kid on his bus to get coal for Christmas because he is mean. My other favorite is that he wants to meet his great-great-great-great-grandfather who was born in Ireland. Since James Bryans died long before I was born and started climbing the family tree, that is one wish I probably won't see him get. I don't even know if anyone in the family has any photos, am putting out a request to some cousins in an email right now. Be just my luck that all old family photos are in the possession of the Perfect Aunt, who not only doesn't care about family history, she doesn't seem to give a monk's fart about the family present. Yes, I am whining again. Oh frigging well, it's my blog and if I want to whine I will... send chocolate chip cookies! (YES, it is true that back in The Day, at college, I dunked my chocolate chip cookies in wine because we were out of milk. Bring back any memories, Dusty?!)

Have considered not posting anymore, because no one ever comments. But Alanda CLAIMS that she and Bailey read me, so we will see. HEY BAILEY, HAPPY FREAKIN' BIRTHDAY KIDLET!!!!! Yeah, the challenge has been issued, do they really read or are they just trying to get brownie points? Because there are no brownies until the oven is hooked up! Maybe not even then, because the first thing I plan on baking is a cheap frozen pizza; although I did threaten to make homemade pizza. Of course, won't make either until I get a new Pizza Pan! (The old one took an extended vacation to the garbage can after too many dents and rust stains and that nasty black buildup that refuses to come off the pans with less than a power sander).

Ok, that seems a fitting end to my writing "career," a complaint about dirty dishes and nobody loving me.....

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A New Star is Born

There is a weekly free entertainment magazine in our area called Frank Talk. I have been reading it ever since they added Union City to their distribution area, and really enjoy it. Lots of different columnists, all ages and both genders, even some with my "special" sense of humor. And now, there is a new columnist: my daughter!

Ruthi has been reading FrankTalk almost as long as I have, and when they recently added a fifteen-year-old girl to their list of writers, she decided to give it a go herself. She submitted some sample columns, and was beyond excited to get a reply from Jim Frank (the publisher) welcoming her to the staff! Last week was her introductory column, complete with her photo on the front page in Jim's welcoming column. This week's issue is out today, but since I haven't left the house yet I haven't picked up my copy, so I don't know what she wrote about this week. That's right, even though I am her mommy I have to wait until the publication to read her column! (Unless I sneak onto the website, and read it there when it is uploaded on Mondays.) Which I haven't done this week because I have been hiding from the nasty white stuff all over the ground. Yes, in my next life I want to be a bear, so I can hibernate all nasty winter!

So, stop reading this rambling and go to and read Ruthi's column, Right of Passage ! That's where I will be!

The End is Near

Actually, a lot of ends are here or near: the end of the year, the end of my 43rd year on this planet, the end of the school semester, the end of the semi-decent weather, the end of my license plate, the end of my rope.

The weather has ended, the Goddess's Dandruff is everywhere. School was cancelled Friday because of the icy roads, so the talent show and art show are postponed until next Monday. Tonight is the Band's Winter Concert;I need to find a ride because Ruthi shouldn't be walking in this weather in her dress clothes for concert.

The end of my license plate and my 43rd year are simultaneous: December 30th. Since my van doesn't run anymore, I don't have to worry about renewing the plate, and my actual driver license is good for one more year. The end of my rope is extremely near; between the stress of not having my own income, getting no help from local agencies on my gas bill, and trying to find a set of size 9 double-pointed knitting needles, the end is about a quarter-inch away. If I ever did find the dpn, they would probably cost a left leg and four fingers. Because it looks like I would have to make them myself!

Did manage to find a set of dpn that I kept safe in my crochet hook case; pity I will never find my gauger so that I would know what size they are. Did learn an important lesson: don't try new techniques, or rather re-try old techniques, with fancy funky yarn! Haven't knitted with dpn in a coon's age or longer, so what do I do for my first recent attempt, but grab the gorgeous yet bulky yarn that DiTro sent me. If I don't frog it, will make a gorgeous hat, though! If I do frog it, will just try again with the spn; the yarn is that beautiful...

Got the "new" stove at last, now just have to get it hooked up. Too complicated for my taste; it was previously set up for bottled gas, and I have natural gas. (Too many tacos?) Apparently the valves need to be adjusted for the difference. Luckily, while I don't have a clue what to do, I do know who to call for directions, so did that and am just waiting for Buddy John to get over here and do all the shennanigans. Yee ha.

Bought film for the Camera, to take photos of my latest creations. Finally got the blanket for Rick finished, it is really pretty and should look totally awesome on his bed. But he ain't getting it until I get a photo! After all that work and excellent results, I simply must have evidence of it all. And BJ found the crocheted octopus I made for him *many* years ago, so I am getting a photo of it as well. Of course, the way things are going, by the time the film gets developed I will be too arthritic to make anything else, and the photos will be even more cherished....

Well, am home typing this on Eddy (named for the character played by Meatloaf in RHPS; to complement the previous Elvis computer...) and getting ready to get dressed and get to the library and post this before all the kiddies get released from school and hog the Internet Computers. So will end for now, and get going.