Ringing In the New Year… With a Thud

And here I thought I was going to have to write this blog post the old fashioned way, with pen and paper. We left work early today, only to get home and discover that a wind storm had knocked our power out. Oh, man! No lights? No Dick Clark? What were we going to do?

I was disappointed but half of me was secretly grateful for an excuse to go to bed early. Then, the lights came back on about an hour ago, and it was all systems go for our usual wild night of eating too many potato chips, watching the ball drop, and drinking a sinful glass of sparking grape juice. That’s right, no one can say we don’t know how to live it up around here.

I always get mushy every year as the old year passes and the new one unfolds at my feet. 2009 holds a lot of promise for me and I honestly can’t wait to see it all happen. I’m not a believer really in resolutions, because they are a test of willpower that no one ever seems to have, and usually a source of major disappointment in oneself so early in the year. But this year, I really do need to pay attention to my health. I need to find a way to eat healthier, sleep better and move more — three things that I’ve had lots of trouble with in 2008.

Of course, sitting in front of the TV til past midnight with a bowl of onion dip probably isn’t a good start. But hey, I have carrot and celery sticks to go with the potato chips. Baby Steps.

Happy New Year! Stay safe, be happy, and I hope you’re sharing this night with people you love. Peace to you for 2009, and I’ll see you on the other side of midnight.

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Aunt Honey’s Old Reliable

Morning came too early today.

Not even the sound blocking earbuds that cost me a hundred dollars could save me from the snore monster today. At 7:19 when I emerged to the kitchen to find something to occupy myself in a sleeping house, the sky was still nearly pitch black. Oh joy. Another cloudy day.

So it’s been a couple of days since I’ve made time for the knitting. I decided now would be as good a time as any to get it out, what with no extraneous interruptions. That’s a rare thing around here.

I’ve been working on a hat for my daughter for what seems like forever. A couple of weeks ago, I dropped some stitches in the ribbing and did a fairly lousy job of picking them back up. And it’s been bugging me. So I used my quiet time this morning to ladder the ribbing back down and fix it:

closeup of crochet hook on hat ribbing

closeup of crochet hook on hat ribbing

So I pulled out Aunt Honey’s red steel crochet hook and threw confidence to the wind and laddered down. Aunt Honey was my husband’s great aunt, and she was quite the crocheter in her day. When my inlaws were going through her belongings years ago, they brought me all of her crafting supplies, figuring I’d know what to do with them best. There were all manner of dime store variety crochet hooks in just about every color and size, and some sewing needles and embroidery needles, and a bunch of teeny tiny steel crochet hooks for lace. But I keep going back to the red one. It’s my favorite size for fixing mistakes in my knitting, and I am rarely without it. As you can see, it did a fairly good job of re-knitting my columns of ribbing. Even I can almost not tell where the mistake was before.

I used to crochet, but can’t anymore because it hurts my hands. But, I hold on to this collection of hooks for sentiment’s sake, hoping against hope that maybe someday I can once again pick up the hook without pain. I miss making all kinds of shell stitches. Knitted feather and fan doesn’t quite cut it and I can’t quite make it give me the same satisfaction.

Ah well, the house is no longer quiet and I guess I’d best be going if I’m ever going to get anything done today. Off to the showers, and then maybe Starbucks.

What’s this?

sun peeking through the clouds

sun peeking through the clouds

A hint of sun! Maybe there’s hope for this day yet.
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A Merry Knitmas Day

Well! What a day here at our house. I barely slept last night for I don’t know what reason, so when the alarm went off this morning at 6:00 a.m., I was wishing to put Christmas off another day. But of course, the kids would have none of that!

Two happy kiddos on Christmas morning

Two happy kiddos on Christmas morning

Kid playing Nintendo DS

Kid playing Nintendo DS

Steven got a new Thomas the Tank Engine play set and four lego sets. Diana’s favorite gift was a Nintendo DS, with which she immediately adopted an adorable virtual shiba inu puppy, which, thankfully, no one has to clean up after. It was an unusually quiet day at home. Usually we’re busy visiting relatives and such, but this year it was just my mom, her husband and us, so they came here for dinner. It was quiet for sure, but nice to be home for a change.

I had a very knitterly Christmas. It started yesterday when I got this in the mail:

girl knitting ornament

girl knitting ornament

It’s the City Girl Knitter Ornament from Anthropologie. I bought it about three days ago for half price, but I see that as of today they are reduced to $6.00, so GO GET YOURS NOW! I can definitely attest to its total cuteness.

Then today I was the lucky recipient of this:

Rio Bag, eggplant color

Rio Bag, eggplant color

It’s the Rio bag by Jordana Paige. It’s purple (of course!) and I love it. It is very roomy and well made, and looks like it will stand up to the workout I’m likely to give it.

Here it is, all filled up with my junk:

inside of Rio bag

inside of Rio bag

I have two small knitting projects in there, my handy-dandy notebook, my humongous wallet, knitting doo-dads, my checkbook, and other stuff. The really cool thing is that someone gave me a pen a few years ago that looks like it was made to go with this bag. It has a purple leather-look barrel and matches to a tee.

I also received Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s Never Not Knitting! Page-A-Day Calendar 2009 from my kids.

Perhaps the most amazing thing I received today was this:

necklace and pin

necklace and pin

My inlaws went on the trip of a lifetime to Europe this fall, and made a quick stop to Burano, Italy. Boy am I glad they did, because they happened into the shop of a local artisan who makes the most amazing jewelery with Murano glass and felted beads! The shop has a website:

http://www.allafieradellest.com/

But it’s in Italian so I couldn’t really tell if you can order online or not. My inlaws said the lady told them she learned how to make the felted beads by looking at the internet! My father-in-law snapped a photo of the artist who made the necklace and pin set:

Jewelry Artist from Burano, Italy

Jewelry Artist from Burano, Italy

I don’t know her name, but she makes beautiful things, and I am surely happy to be able to wear her work.

It was a great day, but a long one. I think I’m going to go to bed early tonight because we’re having lunch with my brother and his wife tomorrow. I hope everyone had a Merry Day!

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Christmas Spirit?

Bah.

It’s 1:00 a.m. on December 24. I’m as ready for Christmas as I am going to get. The presents are wrapped, the living room has been made ready for Santa’s visit. The Christmas cards are done and mailed, and except for the fact that my house is its usual cluttered self, yep, I’m about as ready as can be.

Except that I’m not. Not at all. I’m not feeling it this year. I haven’t even watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” yet. Or The Grinch. So it can’t be Christmas. Not yet.

A few years ago, my daughter unearthed a dusty yellow binder from a pile of old books in our dining room nook, and asked me with great curiosity what it was. “It’s my diary,” I replied, “and no, you can’t read it. Not ’til I’m dead.” I did write a lot in my teens and twenties. Not so much now, if the mere fact of having a blog doesn’t call me a liar. The diary does contain my first heartaches and other stories that I’d probably shudder if my mother or my daughter read them. But it also contains a collection of stories and poems I wrote as a young teen, back in the days when being in a wheelchair pretty much meant I didn’t leave my house except for school. One of those stories was a Christmas story I wrote as a Christmas present to my father in 1979, at 14. Given that it is December 24 after all, I thought I would share it here. Please don’t laugh. I copied it as was, from my teenage perspective. Perhaps I will read it to my kids tomorrow. Maybe you can read it to yours.

The Christmas Spirit

If you’re celebrating something over the next couple of days, make the most of it, whatever it is. Life’s too short not to try. And now, I’m off, to do just that. I’m going to give this Christmas Spirit thing a good try. Wish me luck.

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