Can you say "schwaaaaaaaggggg"?

'Waaaaaay back in the summer, when I had time to actually knit AND blog about knitting, I entered crazycatladymel's birthday contest by donating yarn to Interim House in Philly. Well, as a donor, I was also entered in her "little" contest and when her birthday arrove, Aug. 8, mine was the name she chose out of a random, perfectly scientific drawing. Me! I won!

Kathy from Interim House sent me a boffo hooded sweatshirt from Interim House, which I wear every day since, esp. since the house has been getting chilly late at night and early in the a.m., and today, the box of gifties from Melissa arrived. Wow! I had vaguely remembered her saying she "gives good gift." Was she right! It was colorful, sweetly packed, and so much fun to explore.

Here is the resulting schwaaaaaggggg, or perhaps I should say "loot."

Not to gloat, but OMG. I have won so many cool things! Lighted knitting needles, a handmade needle case (I love it! It's so nice!), handmade envelopes (Melissa is so crafty she puts even my stepsister Bia, Miss Craftiness Personified, to shame), an ice cube tray from Ikea, a pincushion, a little lamb finger puppet, samples of Eucalan and handcream, two cool knitting buttons ("Just one more row," and "I'd rather be knitting"), a Chibi, a "bouquet" of button-blossom flowers (those are so neat, Mel!), some crafting stickers and gift tags, instructions for her best washcloth and scrubby, and as if that weren't already a total . . . the "cat-de-grace," some kitty treats for Percy (who has been willing to share so far)--catnip, chicken yummies, and the coolest little poofball made of mylar. It is eminently chase-worthy.(Percy's sister Pippi thinks this is the cat's meow.) Now, how it relates, and what it really promises, I don't know, but Mel has gifted me with a DVD of Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins (Blue Lagoon?) in [trumpet call] The Pirate Movie! Frankly, I'm frightened. I was probably busy having babies right about when this came out, but it promises to be an 80s remake (no kidding! just look at the hair!!) of Pirates of Penzance. Well, all I can say is thanks, Melissa, you are the ultimate gifter.

Tomorrow, I will take some of these items with me on my four day weekend in beautiful . . .Eastern Washington! I took a personal day so I'd have a looooong weekend (we get Columbus Day off, weird) with my sister and her family in Okanogan, Washington. So early early I fly off to meet her at lunchtime :^) in Wenatchee, for the lovely drive up the highway to their home. Yes, I'm taking my knitting with me, and yes, I'm taking stuff to grade too. But I will actually enjoy the grading (they're not essays) and can stop whenever I want to, so I can knit again. That's a vacation! Happy knitting, all.