Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Christmas Getting To Know You

Got this in email today and decided to put it here as well:

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (not forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you......Tis the Season to be NICE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper - I love the ritual of wrapping
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real3. When do you put up the tree? Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas - usually a couple weeks before the big day
4. When do you take the tree down? After New Year (Often New Years Day)
5. Do you like eggnog? No6. Favorite gift received as a child? The wooden kitchen set my dad made for my sister and I. Picture waking up Christmas day to a living room filled with presents and three giant kitchen cabinets. Ok - so I have now learned the room wasn't filled - it was actually one of the leaner Christmas' but to us, it was magic. The best part is the cabinets are still around and my son has had many fun times playing with them. 7. Hardest person to buy for? My mom
8. Easiest person to buy for? Seth
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes - its composed of a bunch of Frogs10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Lately, neither. Used to mail cards but something has had to give
11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? None - I don't remember any gift I did not appreciate. I guess I am a big "its the thought that counts" person
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually Fall, but I keep my eyes out year roung
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Dont think I ever have
15.Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Grandma's Refrigerator Cookies
16. Lights on the tree? LOTS! love looking at them
17. Favorite Christmas song? "Little Drummer Boy" duet by David Bowie and Bing Crosby and anything by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel while we are living in Massachusetts. Always back to San Diego
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yep - even the most famous reindeer of all
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People who don't just ride with it - yeah, I know its commercial, yeah it starts really early in the stores, but it is all a giant sensory experience that culminates in a wonderful day with family and friends. I love all the trappings because it puts me in the spirit. Enjoy it for what it is. You are in control and do not need to spend money to enjoy it.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? We have a whole basket of toy ornaments that I love seeing on the tree every year since I was a kid.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Doesn't matter as long as it with family and friends.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? sleep
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? Diane

Sunday, November 16, 2008

All Things Diet

Ok - so I was going to make some New Years resolutions about diets but I have decided - what the heck. Why wait. So I have decided to start my new year early and get a jump on my resolutions. 2009 is going to be the year of the diet. Or better I like "releasing" or even "transforming" better.
So I have two diets - a me diet and a yarn diet.
Me - I have accumulated more of me than I care for at this time. Combined with the fact that I have also neglected working out and I am just plain unhappy with myself. I have found that I am avoiding mirrors and cameras altogether. To the point of not looking at my reflection in widows. Yikes. Time for a change. Sooooo ..... deep breath here ..... I went back to Weight Watchers this morning and made a commitment. I am giving myself three months to make a change and then see where I am in both head and body. Mostly I was inspired by my favorite spinning teacher and knit designer, Sleepyeyes, who has been bragging about her success. I realize, though, that it is up to me and me alone. I can't blame anyone else anymore. Its all me. The best part was I seemed to have found a nice meeting right off the bat. I stayed after and discussed my personal issues with the leader - my hardest challenge is that I don't cook. DH does all the cooking and he gets creative and not very lowfat. What was so awesome about this leader was that she didn't go down the road of "make him change" but instead she gave me some great tips on working with what he cooks for me. She didn't hold it against me and make me feel bad. It was nice. Its a good sign. At least I want to go back.
On the yarn side, I also have accumulated - but I can't say its more than I care for. Can you have too much yarn? But I have really accumulated this year. I love it all - but now it is time to start transforming it!!! So no more yarn purchases until I get through some of what I have. I need to start a queue and start knocking it down.
Somehow I am going to tie the two diets together. I think I may put some rules in place about earning the right to buy fiber goodies by going to my meetings and staying on points. Hmm - I will think about it then post it so I can be held accountable. I also have some Spring things to look forward to - on the yarn side its the NH Sheep and Wool - maybe I will put aside so much a pound towards my NH Sheep and Wool budget. I also will likely be back in Hawaii a couple times in the Spring and I would love to be able to be comfortable in shorts for a change. So I have some motivation!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quidditch Round 3

1. Who was Tom Riddle Sr.'s girlfriend before Merope gave him the love potion?
b. Cecilia

2. What does Luna say floated into Harry's ear when he was in the train car that supposedly caused him to lose focus?
c. Wrackspurt

3. How much do the primary Apparition lessons cost?
d. 12 galleons

4. What is Professor Merrythought's first name?
b. Galatea

5. What Hogwarts club was Eileen Prince captain of?
b. Gobstones Club

6. Who is head of the Goblin Liaison office?
b. Dirk Cresswell

7. Mrs. Weasley offers Fleur a goblin-made tiara for the wedding with Bill. What family member is currently in possession of the tiara?
a. Aunt Muriel

8. How many points does Snape take from Gryffindor for Harry's late arrival and muggle attire?
b. 70

9. When Profressory Slughorn first meets Hermione, he asks her whether she is related to Hector Dagworth-Granger. What society did Dgworth-Granger found?
d. The Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers

10. Which of these describes Golpalott's Third Law?
d. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separtea components

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I got Mail!!!

I love coming home from work to good mail!
First, Minerva Wood's cat was waiting for me when I got home. Fortunately, DH had brought him in the house and made him a warm place by the fire. He is purring away right now before he heads back home. My package was so wonderful. Minerva "got me" and I couldn't be happier. The pics aren't as great as I hope as I had to use my iPhone but they show off the goodies.
This is the whole shebang. It was all wrapped nicely - but my son went to town immediately. The bag is a gorgeous Yellow and Black felted bag. I will get a better picture once my camera batteries charge. It really is very well done with plenty of room to hold my knitting. 

Minerva made me a dye kit with KnitPicks bare yarn - which I love! And some Lemonade Kool Aid - she must have stalked me well because I love Kool Aid dying. I am going to try handpainting this skein - something I haven't done too much of yet. I wonder if I can pull off the Noro pattern with Kool Aid? Hmmm something to try. Oh - and the cute Hogwarts mug is filled with yummy tea. I am enjoying the Sweet Thai right now - and I totally love it!  Unfortunately the handle didn't make it but the mug is still usuable. 
Here are some knitpicks needles and Cat Bordhi's "Socks Soar on two circular needles" book - I am so excited to try this technique. It looks like I may like it better than magic loop. Oh - and there are some stickers for my young one. He was so excited - he wanted to put them on the walls. We said no. We compromised by letting him stick some on the calender. 
And now - look at this - I was so excited by this!!! Glow in the Dark Yarn!!!!! Ok - SQUEEE!!! So seriously, this morning I was thinking how I wanted to try out the Glow in the Dark yarn I had been reading about on Ravelry. And yes - I tried it and it really does glow. I think I am going to make some skull caps. - there is even a pattern book. Love it!!!!
Oh - and this is the BEST book! We love Goodnight Moon. When I saw this I was psyched! I had never heard of it but I love parodies anyways. This one has wonderful drawings and carries the same rhythm as Goodnight Moon and is a wonderful take off. We read it immediately. My son loved it!!!!! It will become a well loved favorite. 
I just have to say that I have really enjoyed this term at Hogwarts. I adore both my spoiler and spoilee! I can't believe term is almost over - it went so quick!

So on a side note I got a second package today  - it felt like Christmas - and it had a Germany return address. Yep - my Wollmeise!!! I got two skeins of Red Hot Chili, one Dark and one Light. The pictures do not do the color justice. Honestly, it is very difficult to capture the amazing Wollmeise color. These are wonderful and I am envisioning some awesome socks - a good candidate for my new Cat Bordhi technique!
Its been a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You to those who have Served

Today is Veteran's Day - a day to honor and say thank you to all who have served us in the military. Its not about politics - its about people. Regardless of if you agree with the political reasons behind the military actions our government takes, the people who take those orders without question deserve our honor, respect and thanks. These are people who put their lives on the line, who leave their family behind, who protect our nation every day. To these people I give my thanks. 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Enforced knitting time and other blah blah blah

Still sick. I went back to the doctor, got on some more drugs (steroids) and got a chest x-ray. Mostly I am still just tired and the coughing gets out of control when I do to much. So this weekend has been a couch weekend interspersed with naps. Hmmm - not to bad. If nothing else I have made headway on my son's sweater as a result and caught up on some movies.

Speaking of - one of the movies I watched was Jerome Bixby's Man from Earth. What a compelling, thought provoking movie. I highly recommend it to anyone is interested in something a little different. As a warning it is almost entirely dialogue. The whole movie takes place in a cabin and entails discussion among the characters but the content of the discussion is pretty intense. DH was so-so interested in it when I mentioned it but when it was over he was talking about wanting to buy the movie. 

I also have to share how my Young One is taking such good care of me. I was lying in bed the other night exhausted from coughing all day and letting the heavy duty cough syrup take its toll. Young One was lying with me. I mentioned I was thirsty and he went and got me one of his juice boxes. I thought that was so incredibly sweet. 

Finally - my tattoo is healed and I got a shot of it to share. I am really happy with it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More Mythical than Bigfoot .....

More elusive than Wollmeise .......

Its a bird, its a plane, its ......


I did it! This is my first "big" Finished Object since I don't know when. I have finished my handmade items for my swaps, and a pair of socks for a friends birthday, but this is really my first major FO. Its the Foliage Shawl designed by Miriam L. Felton (aka MimKnits). To top it off, this is also my handspun Cormo, which I bought as a fleece last spring. I cleaned it, spun, handdyed it with a natural dye made from Goldenrod, and then knit up into this fabulous shawl. For the most part I loved the pattern. The body was fun to knit - it followed a chart the whole way. It completely kept my interest. However, the border was a small repeat about 42 times. That got a little old but I powered through. Once done it will be wrapped up for Christmas as a gift for my Mother In Law. One present down - many to go!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Holy Grail

I cannot believe I am actually holding in my hand the Holy Grail of Yarn - the infamous Wollmeise. I got my first package from Europe today - the Spina Di Pesce sock kit from Yarnissima. It is so much more than I expected.  The pictures do not do the color justice. The color is really a very vivid blue - in a Sapphire tone and in a deep turquoise/teal tone. Vivid is an understatement. This is heavily saturated color. Its truly gorgeous. The pattern is also more than I expected. I must say, Yarnissima sure knows presentation. The whole package came elegantly packed. I got a little bag with a chocolate, a little back with a Handmade tag and some sea shells, and the yarn wrapped delicately in tissue. The pattern, which is printed on high quality paper and is many pages long with superb pictures and graphs, came in a plastic envelope and included a plastic graph of the main chart. I would recommend this kit as a gift for anyone. I can't wait to start knitting! I am restraining myself from starting only because I have so many things I need to finish before Christmas. Now I can't wait to get my two skeins I scored at the shop update last Friday.  I think I may have developed a Wollmeise addiction. I know I want to eventually get hold of Poison No 5 Lace someday. I just love the color but I have to say, now that I have seen the intensity of the color, I bet any Wollmeise is going to be gaspworthy. 
In other news I am still trying to recover. I did good over the weekend, had a good day yesterday  - so much so I decided to walk on my treadmill a bit last night. That may have been a mistake though as I went to work this morning and soon had trouble breathing. I had forgotten all my meds so I came home, took some meds and spent the day just trying to keep breathing. What fun. The doctor said Bronchitis can take awhile so I am taking it easy, staying off the treadmill for another week or so, and seeing what happens. I did manage to get out and vote today. Quite honestly, I think I was still the last undecided voter. Not saying how I voted. I truly think it is immaterial. The candidates both have pros and cons and I can honestly say that this is one election that I really do not mind having either candidate win. I had a more vested interest in the Massachusetts questions. So I was a good citizen and voted. I will be glad to see the end of the political ads but I will miss the Saturday Night Live humor. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November ALREADY!!!?????

Its been quite a week in the Quality Chick household. I am officially sick as a dog. Bronchitis again but its hanging on something fierce and I see a return to the doctor for my eyes. Why is this you may ask? Well, aside from the stress of travel and working a gazillion hours at site, I only took two days off this week before crisis again brought me back to work. I should have continued sleeping but had to go in. This actually may have been one of those "blessing in disguise" moments those as I had a meeting with one of the dept heads to discuss, of all things, work life balance and the importance of not being a single point of failure, which I sat through obviously pushing my limits, to be followed up by the news that my backup has, well to put it nicely, decided to pursue another opportunity (read bailed) and I was yet again stuck, as I have been for nearly two years, as the only resource on my project. After falling into shock from the news and the thought that I can still not take a day off for any reason I walked out without a word. However, I apparently made some sort of impression on the leadership team and a red flag was raised about the situation. I think the fact that I was sick added the right dramatic flair that I could never have managed on my own. I have been asking for competent help for over a year, to no avail, and my predecessor walked out on the job because of this reason, so my illness may have finally sparked someone to listen. At any rate, I get a new person on Monday. Hopefully this one will A - do work and B - show up and C - show interest. Sigh. 
The other bright side is that I stayed home for Halloween. It was my regular off day and I actually put my foot down and took it off. Usually I end up working my off day to catch up but I was too ticked off at the situation and too sick to care. So no work. But this meant I got to sit in front of the computer for my very first Wollmeise stock stalk. I have heard about this mythical yarn on Ravelry and started half-heartedly looking for some a while ago, but never with determination. Well, I managed to find out ahead of time the update would be on Halloween so I figured what the heck. Go for it. I spent all morning on the site updating my shopping list to be prepared while I waited. Finally I had to give it up to run errands. Well, somehow it was my lucky day because when I came home from errands I checked the page and stumbled right into the middle of the update. I managed to get two skeins, Red Hot Chili Light and Dark, just like that! I was freaking out excited! I love the reds so I cannot wait to see the yarn in person! So somewhere my stars are aligning. This week I had also visited the Yarnissma and was able to get a sock kit with a skein as well (the Spina de Pesci) so now I have three skeins of Wollmeise coming my way. But the whole experience was fun and exciting. I may have to do it again as I really love the Poison No 5 colorway and would love to get it someday, especially in lace weight. A girl can dream right - especially about yarn!
We also have had some visitors this weekend in the Quality Chick household. Traveling Teddy came to visit and my son also got to bring home Buddy Bear from preschool for the weekend. So we have a bear party going on! The bears all dressed up and went trick or treating last night. After the weekend I will put together a blog of the bear antics. 
This weekend I need to wrap up my HSKS6 package. Its almost done. My travel cut into the package time. Fortunately I had most of it completed before I left, but today/tomorrow I have to finish it all up so it can get in the owl post this week. 
I can't believe it is November. Where did this year go?