Monday, December 26, 2005

'Twas Merry!

Don't know what your house looked like by midday yesterday, but this is a taste of our den floor.

Did you all have a wonderful day? We certainly did. Briton stocked up on all types of things theatrical, Hannah likewise for all things anime and manga.

As for me, I received a gorgeous silver cuff bracelet from Briton, engraved with the words "Wisdom, Courage, Strength." On the tag, he wrote "'Cause it's a lot like you." (Yes, I almost wept.) Hannah presented Bath & Body Works gardenia products (heaven) and the pattern-a-day knitting calendar, which was my Number One request. A terrific day was had by all.

Today we all slept late, made a run to the bank for Nashville cash, got the dogs to the kennel, and are now just lounging about the house. My mother lives a rich, but computer-free, life, so I'll have no opportunity to either read any of your blogs nor update mine until after the new year. So, may you all have had a happy holiday so far, and may your happiness continue into 2006. See you then!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

And I'm Not Even An Elf!

I did, though, make all this in the last couple of days. Cream socks and two-piece mittens. I am crazy for the mitten pattern, which came out of a kit from Target. Each mitten has a thumbed wristwarmer underneath; if I've said it once, I've said it a lot --- wristwarmers are my favorite things to knit and my favorite knitted things to wear.

This is my favorite day of the year. The hustle dies quickly, and everything is still and quiet --- anticipation in the air. . . No other day comes close.

We will honor a Christmas tradition tonight by visiting a local church's live Nativity scene, where hot chocolate is provided. Sipping that hot chocolate in those styrofoam cups just instantly makes it Christmas.

I will make grilled cheese sandwiches for anyone who is hungry, we'll bake chocolate chip cookies, then watch "A Wish for Wings That Work" and "A Muppet Christmas Carol," each open one gift, and off to bed.

A glorious, wondrous tomorrow to you all. I will try to post Monday, before we take off for Tennessee.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It seems that many bloggers are leaving for their holiday vacations. I wish you all clear skies and/or safe roads. You and your words will be missed.

We will be heading out ourselves next week, for a Christmas After Christmas in Tennessee. 'Til then, we are all lounging about the house, doing little more than catching up on reading and DVDs and video games.

Since I finished the kiddos' sweaters, I've been knitting for myself. Yesterday, I made a pair of mittens, and today I'm halfway through a pair of socks. Don't know what projects I'll be taking home with me; my mother probably has a box of yarn from Warm the World which I could help with. She did say that she's determined to teach me how to use DPNs --- she'll have her work cut out for her. I've been trying to teach myself for years.

Does the Christmas After Christmas Spirit include a big dose of patience?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Moms can do magic!

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Little Verse

To 2005
And all of the friends
I made via keyboard, or paper and pen.
Your words have inspired me, they gave me a lift
Served as an everyday, all-year-long gift.
I wish I could give you the things you deserve
For giving me confidence, giving me nerve
To try different projects --- think outside the box ---
Like, goodness sake, knitted-on-circulars socks!!

Some of us met through those secret exchanges
That the knitting goddess, or plain blind Fate, arranges.
Others were found through the chain of blog linkage
With stories of missed gauge, dropped stitches, and shrinkage.

But whether I found you through luck or through stealth,
Here's wishing you all good knitting, and health,
And happiness, great friends, fine yarn in big hanks
For all that you've done for, and mean to me --- Thanks.
Here's hoping you each have a day that's Just Right.
Joyous Season to all

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Holiday Potpourri

All the ice is gone now, though it's still rather chilly. Kind of a cloudy morning. Lots of odds and ends to attend to. Gifts are wrapped, but not be-ribboned nor officially tagged. And several thoughts are swimming 'round. . .

As she has officially learned my identity, I am proud to unveil my Secret Pal 6 spoilee. She is Heather! Visit her sometime! She is talented, smart, and has a lot in common with Hannah (aka The Secret Daughter.) In fact, Hannah was invaluable in shopping for gifts. I've grown quite fond of Heather over the past couple of months. Again, if you've never participated in Secret Pal, I highly recommend it. You meet the nicest people behind the veil of anonymity!

Briton's The Stripes now has a full back, front and 3/4 of one sleeve. As there is no more school for anyone, and all Christmas things are done, I should be able to devote most of my time to getting it off the needles. And moving back to The Weasley. Oddly enough, The Weasley is about as far along --- an indication of how much I did on the trip. I've scarcely touched it since we got home.

To bring the mood down, word came last night that John Spencer has died. I have been a "West Wing" junkie since day one, due to my longtime affection for Martin Sheen. He drew me to the show, but, once there, I became a big fan of several other cast members, Spencer atop that list. "Leo" is a great character, and, I learned, Spencer was an equally charming fellow. I am physically sad about this. May his soul rest, and his friends find comfort.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

And Schools Are Open!

Sorry for the blur; the camera batteries have seen better days. But, you get a feel for our first ice storm. Normally, a sight like this would have the doors on the school buildings snapped shut. Not today. I suspect it's because tomorrow is the last day of the term, and exams need to be given, et al. Truth be told, the roads aren't all that bad --- I took the children to school, then went to the grocery and the bank without any problems. But I'm hearing pine branches snapping in the backyard.

Hannah is finally back at school today, after being out all week. A hellacious day for her to return, but she seemed ready to go, and she was in danger of falling fatally behind if she didn't get back. I'm glad she's gone, first, of course, because it means she's feeling better, but, second, I needed some privacy to dig out hidden bags of presents and sort! I buy for here and Mama in Tennessee, and I have to decide what goes where.

I'm to the armholes on the front of Briton's sweater. I think he wanted it to wear to school before the break, but it's just not gonna happen. A bunch of his friends are getting together Monday afternoon, though, and I should have it done by then.

Waiting to hear that my SP6 spoilee has received her final package before I reveal her here. I know she's been under the weather,too, plus, she lives far enough away that what seems like a lot of time goes by before she gets whatever I send her. I'll let you know.

Well, this shivery day deserves something warm on the stove --- and I've got a pot of dumplings simmering. They are the only thing I make from scratch. While they get ready, I'll work some more on The Stripes. Stay warm!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Finals are done, grades are posted, but the work continues.

Briton's new sweater is crawling. I've finished the back, and maybe a quarter of the front. Hannah's poor little Weasley has just been sitting alone, looking forlorn. Sort of like Ron on the train in the first movie, when the Trolley Lady comes by, and he pulls out that sad, squished sandwich. . .

Hannah and I are deep down with awful head colds. She has been home from school all week, save for about 2 hours on Tuesday. Gave it a try --- I have to hand it to her --- but simply couldn't stay. And there are final projects and tests this week. She's going to have a mountain of catching up to climb, and quickly, as Friday is the last day of school.

Briton is sailing along just fine, having been cast in yet another play. This is the Spring musical, "Anything Goes." He got the precise part he wanted: Sir Evelyn. It will be his second turn as a Brit (see the "pun"?) with a female name. He's very, very happy.

At least, I think that's what he said. Ears are pretty clogged, you know.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Project Status: Complete

Well, the Deans' halls are decked --- how about yours?

Friday, December 09, 2005

How Time Flies

Do you realize where we were a week ago tonight?

That's right --- making best friends with Hank Azaria! He is really, really nice-looking in person. And, apparently, he loves my daughter. What's not to like?

(Don't worry, I still adore DHP. . .)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Breaking News. . .

Does everyone see the "PinkPurlGrrl" link over to the right there? Well, I've added it this evening, because I found out this afternoon that my Splendiferous Secret Pal has been Elaine! You all must dash on over and read about her; she is a wonderful person who has spoiled me royally. Mostly by becoming a new and good friend.

And if you have never participated in a Secret Pal program, you ought to. May you get as lucky as I did.

And Now, The Not-Quite-So-Happy

In all the trip excitement, I've been failing to tell you that not everything has been rosy.

On Friday morning, I awoke with a very sick headache. It had been stalking me through the night, but hit me like a Mack truck when I tried to get out of bed. Only one other time in my life have I had a headache that made me incapable of movement, one that made me throw up if I dared to even raise my head off the pillow. Need I say more than a white bathroom trash can was a friend to me all day?

Friday was the night of the play, and I couldn't imagine when I woke up that I'd be able to make it. Thankfully, a friend of my cousin's (my cousin does have a name, by the way. It's Dixie.) came over bearing Tylenol 3. I stayed in bed all day long. Missed my chance to visit a positively charming-looking yarn shop in town. But was up to get into the city for the show. And was "healed" by Messrs. Pierce, Azaria, Curry, McGrath, Borle and Sieber. It was dicey there for a while, though.

Now, back home, Briton has decided that he's not happy with the striped sweater. It was being knit on fairly large needles, and he couldn't imagine that it would keep him warm. So now I have to go looking for another man's pattern (and we all know how difficult those are to come across) and re-start and try to get it done by Christmas.

Anyone want/need a red and green striped, long-sleeved "cutoff" sweater?

Finally, and this is happy --- Amanda from ribbityknits was my Scarf Me! pal. She made me a lovely purple (of course) drop-stitch scarf, which I have tried and tried to get a worthwhile picture of. Nothing I've been able to model or stage does it justice. But she needs to know, and all the rest of you, too, that it was the scarf I wore all around Manhattan during our Saturday march, and it is, indeed, the scarf I am wearing in our Christmas card photograph. Thanks again, Amanda!!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Understanding that this is, primarily, a knitting blog, let me give you the rundown on plying my craft during our trip.

Mostly, I worked on Hannah's Weasley, as Briton's sweater, with the color changes, was a bit too much for onboard the plane. I did, once we were at my cousin's, finish it as much as I could. (It turns out I didn't pack the smaller needles for cuffs and collar.) So, many rounds were made on the roll-neck, with plans to really get after the stripes once we got back. Only, we got back, and I cannot find the pattern. Figures, huh? It made it to Georgia --- I saw and used it once we were home --- but I cannot find it anywhere now. Which means a visit to a bookstore today to try and find out how many stitches I pick up around the yoke to knit the bottom of the thing. Otherwise, Master Briton will have a festively striped Christmas midriff.

Of course, the core reason for the NY trip was to see "Spamalot." Featuring the brilliant David Hyde Pierce (adored him for years), the only-slightly-less brilliant Hank Azaria, the intriguing Tim Curry, favorite of Briton's Christopher Sieber, and the fabulous Sara Ramirez. Oh yeah, and to hear immortal Monty Python shtick.

Well, the play was beyond hysterical. And we had wonderful seats (thanks to lots of stars lining up just right for many years, and me getting a particularly remarkable cousin-in-law.) We went backstage after. We saw everyone up close. (Pee Wee Herman was there that night. Fine. Whatever.) And, this happened:

Yes, I realize I look chinny. But I look chinny next to David Hyde Pierce!! And check out Hannah: she had been crying because DHP was the one person we hadn't seen yet. When he arrived, and I pointed her out to him, explaining her tears, he, very sincerely and sweetly, said, "Oh, come here!" Gave her an enormous hug. Could not have been nicer. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but I adore him even more.

He was, by the way, wearing a gray striped hat which looked suspiciously handknit to me. Sara Ramirez, who took an unbelievable picture with Briton (but he doesn't want his photo on the Internet), also had a knit hat on. Several of the female ensemble members, too. Is that the distant clicking of needles I hear on Broadway?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Back Intact

New York was positively thrilling and wonderful!! It may take me several days to tell everything, as "real" life still goes on, and other things will take priority. But it was a remarkable time for all of us, and I do have photos. The best one will be used in our Christmas cards, so I can't unveil it here, but I will leave you with a bit of NY flavor --- my children looking at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree: