Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Toy!

Look who got a new toy!

I love the second picture because Sophie's ears are flying this way and that as she "kills" her stuffed chipmunk. Hopefully, this won't result in an actual chipmunk death in the future-they taunt her everyday though.

It was a quiet Christmas in the McPurlypants house. DH is still recovering from his bout with colitis which meant we had to stay home rather than head to the beach like we usually do. I'm just glad he's on the road to wellness (on his 2nd round of antibiotics)and didn't require surgery or a stay in the hospital. You'd think being stuck at home I'd get a lot of knitting, reading, etc done, but when you're worried sick about someone and tending to their needs, its hard to focus or relax enough to do the other stuff.

Yesterday I went shopping with my best friend to get in some retail therapy and finally started my Fiestaware collection, got a couple 2008 calendars, a new pair of workout shoes, and the latest Debbie Macomber book. Tomorrow we're heading up to the outlet mall for some additional retail therapy!

Finally, I had to post of picture of my new favorite coffee mug:

It's huge!-I had to show the size in comparison to a can of soda and it can hold up to three cups of coffee. Needless to say, I am wide awake and raring to go after a cup of coffee in that tank!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Knitter's Night Before Christmas

Found this on the web a year ago and thought it was worth sharing again!

Knitter's Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
There was unfinished knitting not under the tree,
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'Cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep---he was no help at all.
And the sweater for him was 6" too small.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash.
Tripped over my yarn and fell down in my stash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how far I still had to go.

When out on the lawn I heard such a noise,
I was sure it would wake up both Dad and the boys.
And although I was tired--my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment that it must be St Nick.

Yet what I heard left me very perplex-ed
For nothing I heard was what I expect-ed.
"Move Rowan! Move Patons! Move Koigu and Clover!
Move Shelridge! Move Starmore! Move Spinrite!
Move over!

Lopi, don't circle around, just stand there in line.
Pay attention you sheep and you'll work out just fine!
I know this is hard as it's just your first year
But I'd hate to go back to 8 tiny reindeer."

I peered over the sill. What I saw was amazing:
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing!
And then in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa's big boots stomping on the porch floor.

I rose from my knees and got back on my feet.
As I turned around, St Nick I did meet.
He was dressed all in wool from his heat to his toe
And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.

A bright Fair Isle sweater he wore on his back.
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His hat was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosey red face.

The scarf on his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
On the back of his mitts was an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I spotted a small label:

"S.C." in duplicate on the cuff.
So I asked, "Hey, Nick, did YOU knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was just a kid."

He was chubby and plump, a well dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.

He spoke not a word, but looked down in his lap
Where I had laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He began then to knit, first one cap then 2--
For the first time I thought I might really get through.

He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks,
While I sat back drinking a scotch on the rocks.
Quickly like magic his needles they flew,
Good Grief! He was finished by two!

He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me.
I heard him explain as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year, start your knitting sometime around JUNE!"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Daddy's Girl

This is a favorite picture of both my Dad and I from 1972 (day he received his M.A. in School Administration). It had been sitting on his dresser from as far back as I can remember and he gave it to me-frame and all last summer.

Today he stopped by my house on his way to be with Mom in S. Padre for the rest of the Winter. It was so good to see him. We were worried about him driving by himself from Northern MN to S.A. with the bad weather the Midwest was having, but he made it safe and sound. Cell phones are great (even though he accidentally turned the ringer off and couldn't figure out how to turn it back on-at least he could call us with location updates.)

He brought some gifts:
A bird bath that had been up at the family cabin but didn't really go with their decor. If you look carefully, there's a MN leaf in it I just can't bear to take out.

He also brought the bench to go with the family table I inherited (it'd been coming down in pieces over the last year-whatever parts they could fit in their van). It means so much to me to have the kitchen table handcrafted by my Dad and Grandpa 30 some years ago.

On the table are several jars of locally made jam Mom knew I'd love. He also brought the trumpet I played while in high school (can you tell they're downsizing?).

He only stayed long enough to eat a banana and offer up some D.I.Y. tips. He was anxious to to hit the beach and see my Mom. DH and I will be planning a visit down there in a few weeks.

Some updates:
Remember these funky colored mitts I was worried about?

Well, the recipient loved them-especially the colors! What a relief!

Here's where I'm at with my first pair of mittens:

Not as far as I would like but am hoping with the cooler weather and vacation days I'll be able to spend more time knitting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's the Little Things

Sometimes, it's the little things that make me the happiest..
For example, we have this awesome family at my school that comes and decorates our teachers lounge for each holiday. They usually only leave the decorations up for 1 day and always bring lots of treats for us to snack on all day. Here's what they did for the upcoming holidays:

To my delight, they had these up last Friday so we could enjoy them all this week. You can't help but smile every time you walk in to the room.

Speaking of "the little things," I was thinking about all the stress that goes in to buying people the "perfect gift" and realized how surprised some people might be at the truly inexpensive things I'd much rather open on Christmas morning than the 12th bottle of lotion in a scent I really don't care for or perfume I'll never wear. It's not that I don't like lotions of perfumes, but I really have become picky in my old age.

Things such as:
  • Christmas Captain Crunch-I love this cereal(I'll eat it for any of my meals) in its regular form and eat it til it takes the roof of my mouth off. But for some reason, I can't seem to locate a box of the holiday version. Let me know if you see it anywhere!
  • Post-Its-I'm addicted!! I love different sizes, shapes and colors.
  • Pens-especially with purple ink, or just purple in make.
  • Instant hot beverages (hot chocolate, coffee, tea)
  • Any homemade food item (or those local to the area)- jams, jellies, salsas, bread, muffins-whatever! A loaf of homemade bread with a jar of homemade jam would rock my world!!
What's something surprisingly cheap that you'd like to receive as a gift?

ETA: Please know I really do appreciate the thought in the giving of the gift but am TRULY happy with just a card. I just hate the stress that I see people going through to buy gifts and the guilt I feel if I don't look like I love it enough...ugh...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Recipe for a Great Weekend

  • Painless mall shopping: I went bright and early yesterday(8 a.m.) with a friend of mine. We were done with our shopping by 11:00 a.m. It helped several of the stores had opened extra early. One of my favorite things I bought were these:

My feet feel like they've died and gone to furry heaven, I was thrilled to learn the liner can be removed and washed. I've only taken them off to go to sleep.
  • Lunch at Panera Bread
  • Trip to to a LYS where I picked up some needles, end protectors, and a Sock It To Me card (which I'm not sure was worth the price, but oh well).
  • Do a little holiday cooking. I made 3 batches of Chex Mix. Mmmmmm, love how it makes the house smell. BTW..why is it that the wheat box is so much smaller than the other flavors?
  • Watch a sappy holiday movie. I've DVR'd a few holiday movies to keep on hand for such an occasion.
  • Work in some knitting time. These are the beginnings of my first pair of mittens. I'm really enjoying the yarn !

Keep temperatures cool (32 degrees this morning!). Sprinkle in a nap or two and add a dash of holiday music.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Funky or Not?

I recently finished my second pair of Maine Morning Mitts and am not sure what to think about them. The first pair turned out ok (other than a wonky thumb) in Noro Silk Garden #241:

Here's the 2nd pair:

UGH....These were suppose to be for a friend to give as part of her Secret Santa gift. I don't know the recipient other than she's "artsy" and liked the color purple which is why I went with Noro's Silk Garden Color #37. To me, they are just too different....too funky. I already told my friend it wouldn't hurt my feelings if she decided not to give them. I know some people who would love a funky pair like this, but for others the colors may be too different. It's hard to believe these were knit with the same skein of yarn.

What do you y'all think, too funky-or not?

Up next: Some mittens -Ravelry link-(for previously mentioned friend). I'm excited to try knitting mittens and my friend is cool with any "design features" they may acquire.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Just so you know....

Some days are best concluded with some warm homemade brownies...and ice cream...and caramel syrup...Yup, it was one of those days...Good thing vacation is just around the corner!

In case you were wondering(not related to above)...This is what happens when you accidentally turn on a burner with the burner cover still on:

The good news? I definitely don't smell "skunk" in our house anymore!!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Twelve Pains of Christmas

This cracked me up-especially the "Rigging up the lights!" But I have to say I kind of like the stale Christmas specials though!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Back From the Beach!

I made it back from the beach early this p.m. I'm tired but can still look back on the trip with happy memories despite the hauling of bag after bag up 3 flights of stairs for 2 days (with help from my friend)! Mom is all settled in and I swear does not need to buy anything for 3 months-heh!

Here are the highlights:

The water was a gorgeous blue-green as we crossed the causeway. This picture does not do it justice!

Our first afternoon we enjoyed lunch at Daddy's and had the best Shrimp bisque EVER! It's now become a must-go-to place every time we're down there.

We also stopped and watched some kitesurfers-who happened to be from MN! We learned you use a lot of your "core" muscles doing this and they were hoping for a little more wind that day.

I think the highlight of my trip was watching the Annual Lighted Boat Parade. We ate dinner at Louie's and sat on the top balcony while about 8 local boats all decked out in lights floated by. It was so much fun! Next year I'd like to be on the one of the boats!-I realize these pictures just look like black blobs in this size, but if you enlarge them, it will help.