Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

Well, 2007 is just about done. Not that it's been a horrible year, but I'm glad to see a new year come in. New beginnings and all.

Around here, we've been trying to send 2007 off with a bang.

Saturday night, we went to a Washington Wizards game - The Boy's Christmas present to his Pop-pop (my dad). The week before Christmas, I got an e-mail advertising $10 seats. Yup, that's right, we could touch the ceiling! But we had fun. The Boy was immensely entertained, Pop-pop had his snacks and beer brought right to him, and the Wizards won the game. I will be taking The Boy to another one soon - right now he's working on getting his own dad to take him this coming weekend, when kids tickets are $5.00 when you purchase an adult ticket to go with it. It may sound like we're being cheapskates, but when you consider that "regular" priced tickets go from $2500 to $45, deals are much-needed! Hopefully his dad will think it's a good idea, and they can get decent seats (somewhere not 200 rows above the floor for about $85.

Then, last night we had a gift-dinner. Turducken. Ever heard of it? Quite an interesting concept. My sister's been dying to try it, and she's the queen of the mail-order gourmet foods, so she sent this as a gift this holiday. Apparently, it's a chicken stuffed with a duck, and then the whole thing is stuffed inside a turkey. I think maybe it's just a chicken breast stuffed with the duck meat, cause there's only one set of bird bones. You be the judge:

Whatever the story, it was delicious. I felt very guilty eating it, but it was very, very good! Thanks a bunch!! We all loved it. The Boy wasn't too sold, but he's developing issues with meat these days - I think because they're always so well done. The only thing missing was the wine, but you can bet I'll be having some this evening with the BRANDED roast Pop-pop will be serving up!

More tomorrow on the New Year's Resolutions and knitting plans. I still have some thinking and deciding to do on both fronts!!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Good Times

I love this time of year. I am sitting in my living room, knitting a sock – currently named “sooper seekrit” – and watching The Boy rip and run and play with his friends Tatiana and Jessica. Jessica is the next-door neighbor, Tatiana is a neighbor from around the corner (but she was a student in my class last year, and she’s an AMAZING child!) I love watching him play. He is so very independent. Comes up with the greatest ideas, and loves to have his friends follow along/like his ideas. Just now I looked up at the top of the hill where they were playing. He happened to be just coming down the hill, and I swear, I saw a vision/flash-forward to him, at about 17/18, walking away from a group of friends and towards me. Handsome as can be. He seemed so “grown” and yet still like my little boy. Ah, well, I could go on and on about him, but that’s another post, for another day.

I was checking on my regular blogs today, (actually hoping that the SKC was close to voting – I’m feeling the urge to cast on for something!), and I saw the name “Elinor” on the sidebar. Wondering if it was the Elinor that I’m familiar with from the Baltimore knitting group, I clicked over. Sure enough, it was her. Hi Elinor! Pretty amazing kid – she is very intelligent, and she taught me the correct pronunciation of one of my favorite knitting patterns – the Clapotis (say Clap-oh-tea – apparently it’s French, which I don’t/didn't know, but she does!). I checked out her blog, which is lovely. She did this meme, and even though I didn’t get in on it/get tagged by it, I’m stealing her idea and doing it here as well!

So, here’s the way it works – this is a Pay It Forward meme. Those of you familiar with the book or the movie know that pay-it-forward means you do something good for someone else, and they in turn do something good, and on and on and on it goes! Great, right? Well, in the Land of Knitting, it’s even better! The first three people to comment on this post will get a yummy knitted giftie from me! The trick is, they then have to do the same on their blog, and knit a giftie for three others!

Now, I can’t guarantee a sweater, afghan, or anything substantial like that, but I do love knitting gifts for others (see this year’s Christmas gifties below!), and I’d love to knit something for you! (or you, or you, or you!) :O)

Comment away! In the meantime, pictures!!!

Here’s The Boy opening up his Christmas sweater (“Thanks, mom. . . “ on to other gifts), then later in the week wore it out to dinner with his dad un-prompted. Yay!

And the hat I made him in-between Christmas knits.

My mom’s scarf is, I hope, with her at work right now, since I can’t find it to get a picture. Hopefully soon!

Here's some more Christmas pictures to tide you over until then.

Santa was a busy man this Christmas Eve! How'd he put this all together so quickly??

"I am Optimus Prime." Santa apparently has no regard for the noise level in the house.

My sister sent a lovely Belarussian nesting doll for my mother. There were 16 dolls in all, I think.
I got a cute little nesting doll as well. Beautifully painted. Santa was good to me this year!

Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a pair of handknit socks - these are from my mother to me. They fit perfectly!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Waitin' on St. Nick

Oh, joy - the wonder of a 5-year old trying his best to wait patiently for Santa! Every 30 minutes or so, I hear "I'm so excited for Christmas!" Well, DUH! It's all good, tho. We've only visited the timeout stairs once today. Things are good.

The knitting has been good this year. After saying that I wasn't going to knit anything for Christmas, I've managed to knit a scarf for my mother - which is now wrapped and under the tree as of 10:30 this morning. Sorry! And The Boy's sweater is finished except for weaving in ends. Pictures later - wouldn't want him to see anything on the computer on accident!

I've also gotten pretty far on a hat for The boy as well. Since all my holiday knitting was for someone in the house/family, I really needed a "public" project - so I decided to do the "scarf-rescue" hat strategy suggested by the Yarn Harlot. It's really easy, and I'm loving the yarn to death - it's Berocco's Jasper in that yummy red colorway. I'm thinking Mommy NEEDS that sweater that WEBS did up for this yarn. Expensive or not, it's lovely!!!!

I'm off to put together Santa's leavings, so I'll leave you with part of a meme I'd been tagged for a while ago, but couldn't find time to post in the midst of all the holiday happenings.

Sorry if it's a bit TMI for anyone!

So, Robin tagged me for another round of the "7 Random Things" meme, and, like Jenni, I plan to give mine a Christmas theme. There are ever so many reasons why Christmas is totally and completely interesting in my family, so here goes:

1. My mother has gradually quilted personalized stockings for every member of the family. She puts toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, deodorant, and bodywash in them each year.

2. This butt-ugly creation makes its way to my family's tree each and every stinkin' year. Every year since I was in first grade, that is. My mother has a sick sense of humor. (Please Lord, let me have the good sense to burn it this year before we pack up the ornaments!) Pics soon!

3. If you google "Scrooge" you will see a picture of my ex-husband. Hence, The Boy spends every Christmas Eve Night/Christmas Morning with me.

4. Unfortunate side effect of #3? My ex-husband also spends every Christmas morning with us. Thanks, yes, I know we are a very strange family.

5. Christmas breakfast is always a sausage/egg/cheese quiche-like casserole that is fixed the night before and can go in the oven while the gift-opening commences. I love it to death. It is sometimes replaced or accompanied by a broccoli-and-cheese version.

6. In 2001 (I think), I knit every member of my immediate family a pair of socks for Christmas. I rocked. I have not been able to repeat this accomplishment, nor do I now plan to try, busy as my life is these days.

7. I find it very romanic and sexy to make love in a room lit only by Christmas tree lights.



Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lack of Posting

Due to the forces that I have been ignoring for the past week, I haven't been posting a heck of a lot. Didja notice?

I seem to have forgotten the fact that a) this is the busiest time of the year, 2) for teachers, that fact is multiplied x1000, and c) I have utterly NO organizational skills.

See what I mean? :O)

But seriously - I am officially on Winter Break. That means I have recorded grades in my gradebook, averaged them out (I do know there are online thingies that will do this for me, but I want to do it myself for a while first, and you still have to have a paper backup, so this year I'm papering it all the way), tallied report cards for all 20 of my students (to be only 19 after break - we'll see for how long!), managed to squeeze in "Christmas" into a curriculum where you're not allowed to talk about "Christ"mas at all, had a cookie decorating party for all of them, let them create a wonderful craft for them to take home to their families (5 of them left them behind - lucky you, cause now you get to see!), and cleaned my room - somewhat - got it ready for January 2nd (yay!), came home and passed out! I'm beat! Here's the craft we did. I think it turned out wonderfully.

Now I'm off to finish Zac's sweater, plus another little goody that shall remain nameless until December 25th.

I hope to have some more posts up before then, but you should see the room I'm sitting in right now. Not fit for human residence, I'm tellin' ya! I've gotta get cleaning!

Hope your life isn't as harried as mine is right now!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Not Gonna Be Long

I've come to the conclusion that it's going to be even sooner than I originally thought before The Boy knows more than me. If we're talkin' logical/mathematic thinking, it's going to be even sooner!

I spent my Saturday morning at "Montessori University," finding out about his upcoming year(s) with Montessori education. He moves from the Primary grades to Lower Elementary next year. The icing on the cake, the cherry on the sundae, the piez-de-resistance? Take a look:

This is the way he'll be doing math (make that DIVISION) beginning next year. And yes, if you look closely, they work with numbers up to 1,000,000.

Oh. My. Goodness. I prayed and prayed that the teacher wouldn't call on me to be the gently guided "student" during the presentation, because I didn't want to look like a complete fool in front of everyone!

I sure hope he pays attention so that he can teach me what he's doing!!! No. Clue.

Other than that, I really loved the way the language and Great Lessons were presented. I'm going to ask for a tutoring session on the grammar because it's just too cool and makes perfect sense! I love it and want to use it in my classroom! Why oh why didn't I go into Montessori education? Maybe when I grow up.

Other than that, this weekend I spent a short amount of time knitting on the "Skater Boy" sweater for The Boy. Still don't have any good pictures. Need new batteries for my camera. Either that or a new camera. We'll see what Santa says.

I also started a scarf for my mother. I'm using Misti Alpaca Chunky, and I'm in love! That stuff is gorgeous. But I didn't really need to say that, did I? Misti Alpaca is 'nuff said! I'm doing the "Faux Lace Scarf" pattern from Crazy Aunt Purl. She rocks! I just finished her book "Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair" and I'm really sad. To be finished the book, that is! She's really got a great sense of humor. I was allowing myself a "chapter" a day (more like a blog-post), and when I reached the last chapter, I was sad!

I love her viewpoints and can relate sooooooooo very much. Not just with the divorce, because I feel like I didn't have much of a marriage left, so the divorce wasn't the surprise for me. The end of my last relationship is what I'm still dwelling on, and so many of her points hit home with me. I felt like she was there to commiserate with me, but also to kick me in the pants and say, "OK, finished crying yet? Now pick up your chin and knit, do yoga, take good care of your son, be Teacher of The Year, whatever you need to do to get "you" back, and MOVE ON, DAMMIT!" Thanks for the kick in the pants, Laurie!

For those of you who aren't familiar with her already, go visit her blog. She's hilarious, and she's got a contest going! Good luck!


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Digging Deeper and Deeper (or, What the He&& Are They Thinking?)

Let's address the latter portion of that title first and get it the heck out the way FIRST, shall we??

For some reason, unbeknownst to me, the Good Lord seems to think that I need to be dating at the present moment in my life. Well, I guess I don't HAVE to be, but I am (on and off), and I'm gettin' rather sick of it.

Me: Primp, Prime, up the cute-quotient, put on my best duds.

Them: Turn out to be duds EACH AND EVERY TIME!

Man, can a girl get a break?

The whole time I was out the other night, I kept thinking "Am I really here? I don't want to be here." That just can't be a good thing. Neither can the fact that my "date" took me to see the WORST MOVIE OF THE DECADE. It was "No Country For Old Men" - about a psycho serial killer/hit man! It was awful. The darkest movie I've ever had the displeasure to see. I was scared. Seriously. I almost walked out. I really can't believe that man thought that would be a good date movie! What was he thinking! And to top it off, he actually tried to sneak a couple kisses in there! As if all the romance on the screen was just pushing all the right buttons for me! I don't THINK so!

The one consoling thought I had that evening? Thank GOD I didn't bother shaving for this.

Sad. So sad.

In more enlightening news, I am slowly digging myself into a Christmas crunch knit-wise! Crazy as it seems, I'm actually kinda likin' it!

So far, this is what I plan to knit:

One "loop" scarf for my secret pal at work. (I actually chose someone I'm "friends" with already, so I think I'm safe knitting for her. Plus which, she "asked" for something knitted earlier in the week. You know how non-knitters hint that it would be so NICE if you'd just whip something out for them, too, while you're at it?? Yeah, like that. So, I figured a cute little tuck-in scarf would suffice. I need to have this knit by the 17th.)

A sweater for The Boy. (I'm halfway through with this. It's a raglan sleeved sweater, being done circularly. I'm to the point where the sleeves need to be joined, and I've already knit one complete sleeve, so just one more sleeve, attach 'em and go! I'm calling this the "Skater-Boy" sweater. Hopefully I'll have pictures up this weekend so you can see why.)

Hat (either the Unoriginal or Republic) for my mother. She's really helping out A LOT with The Boy - she gets him up in the morning, packs his lunches, buys him clothes, etc, etc. Not that she wouldn't be going the extra mile for her only grandchild (and a boy at that), but she helps out a lot, and I think she needs an extra little goody. I'll be using some Misti Alpaca chunky that I picked up at Knit Happens last weekend. OMG. Yummy, yummy, yummy!)

Socks for a surprise gift. We'll see if these get done in time. I hope to have these done soon, but if not for Christmas, it won't be too big a deal. I'm sure it's not the only thing on this person's list. They've been pretty good this year!

Also, I'm considering "Square Cake" from the Winter issue of Knitty for my cousin. Her birthday is just after the new year, and she'll be visiting for Christmas. She recently moved to North Carolina, so it's a pretty big deal. That, and she's turning 40. Pretty big deal for a girl, so I'm thinking she needs a handknit. Hope she's not reading!! (Pam, you didn't see this!)

Fun, eh? Top that off with this fact: After the holidays I'm knitting a Clapotis to give to my son's teacher. My mom's doing the one for the assistant. Wish me luck. We're using Brooks Farm yarns, and I'm not going to like giving it away - I can already tell!

So how's your holiday knitting going?


Monday, December 03, 2007


OOOh, looky what my sister sent me: A link to a fabulous swap with a few new twists. Just enough to peak my interest! Hot Cocoa anyone??
Any other takers? Mention me if you decide to post/join.