How to Get Through a Bad Day

Well, it wasn't a terrible, very bad, horrible, no good day (a la Judith Viorst) but it was worser and worser as the day wore on. I wanted to just stay home, get under the covers, and veg. This is probably all compliments of my hormonally compromised state. But before I even left, I put on comfy clothes

which one can do as a teacher (just don't wear jeans and you are probably home free)

and chose something with down to stay warm

and pockets for the special comfort of my favorite "inner teenager" item: my Bonne Bell Lipsmacker in Dr. Pepper flavor.

I did some retail therapy after school ended

came home to a "no-dinner" evening (don't have to cook, we all just fend for ourselves)

took something for the increasing headache

and this too

and got out the knitting.

There, now I think I can deal.

Barb from Alberta is my SP!

Wow, this time of year is already fun with the packages that arrive since I don't do malls much. But yesterday was JACKPOT time--three packages awaited me. The most exciting was from Alberta, Canada, and inside it was a treasure trove!

Several skeins of yarn, various colors that I love love love, some cotton, some wool, some feltable, some striping. I smell a felted purse project, and felted slippers for one of my nephews!


I also found a candle, a tools holder, a holiday wish list (boy will that be useful in the next few weeks!), some lovely scented white ginger body wash and lotion.


You'd be wrong. Those skeins were singletons meant for me to use with some of the best patterns in One Skein.

And then there was this surprise inside the purple "pop top" tool holder--a set of stitch markers that Barb made for me!

Did I mention I am one lucky SPer?

Barb, thank you so much, and I hope to show you the results of my yarn adventures very soon!

Somebody's Birthday is Coming!

I've been busy finishing up someone's gifties!

The poncho is now sewn together,

matching hat is finished,

and the pink slippers have been puffy painted to make them slip-proof. (Thanks to DD3.)

My little niece is going to be two (see below in next post for cute picture), and I hope she will like these birthday presents. She was so cute in the first poncho and hat I made her!

I'm also getting my SP 11's gifts together for the reveal later this week, and am almost ready! Here is my favorite present:
From a Denise Sutherland design, it's a small wooden box for treasures. These are some of the best knitting designs out there--check her work out!

One of SP's kids is really little so I found a board book that has little toddlers with the words to "Jingle Bells" as the only text.

For her older child, I found a story book appropriately focused on a man, Mr. Nick, who knits on the train every day on his way to work.

He has a friend who sits with him on the train each day, Mrs. Jolley, who also knits, but becomes ill and doesn't show up one day. So he visits her in the hospital, taking six balls of pink wool and some needles.

The story has a sweet ending, and Mr. Nick shows himself to be not only a great knitter but a wonderful friend. I hope the little guy will enjoy this story--his mama almost surely will!

You wonder if I'm sending my SP some knitted item or other? Well . . . I hope she won't be disappointed, but I'm not going to. I do plan to send her some great yarn but I think it will work better for her to knit what she likes. I think her skills are about five years ahead of mine!!

My own SP has been really kind. Most recently she sent me some bamboo circulars in my favorite size--scarf size! She said she's mailed something for me--I can't wait! I think she must be Canadian because she said she mailed it on Thursday (which was Thanksgiving!). 8^)

I've finished two other items but can't go into details anymore! Christmas is coming . . . the goose is getting fat! Must keep on knitting and finishing things so I can get everything ready by mailing time.

Happy knitting, all!

Giving Thanks

So much to be glad of and grateful for!

DH affectionately champions of all my endeavors, not to mention happily receiving and wearing my novice-ly knitted items and reading my blog faithfully (are you reading this, Bear?? 8^). He also goes wine tasting with me (and our friends) and watches DVDs with me whenever I can keep my eyes open at the end of a day.

DD1 is a lovely young woman from whom I always learn something interesting, who has already begun to leave her indelible mark on the world, and whom I admire greatly for her many gifts.

DD2 sets the bar for embracing life and rolling with the punches (is that a bunch of mixed metaphors or what??) as she branches out into the wide world (four metaphors in a row!!).

DD3 never ceases to crack me up, and sometimes even succeeds at making me laugh at myself; paradoxically, she takes her own life seriously enough to be headed for great things, without losing sight of what is most important to her.

Sister Kate will always be my soul-deep friend and the one who most totally "gets" me, flaws and all; she is, happily, also one who knows how to enjoy herself with a good drink on a beach in Hawaii!

I am so grateful for BFF Monica, the go-to person for perspective, humor and belly laughs, free therapy, workplace dishing, and honest hits on what I'm thinking or considering, not to mention someone to split a Coke with at faculty meetings. She has also provided me with a model for mothering without obsessing, something I have never managed!

And then there is BFF Barbara, whose erudite and hilarious emails from Europe keep me hoping she will one day soon be back in the US, where I can monopolize her summers and watch her daughters grow up! What would I do without her frank and forthright way of seeing the world?

My beloved stepmom, Leone, has had miraculous surgery and regained a great deal of the world that Parkinson's took from her. I was fortunate to spend a few days with her in October when she was well on the mend, and she's like another woman! One I remember from before.

I have seen my mother truly happy this year.

I have been able to spend time with my father this year.

My sweetie pie niece Leonie ('Onie) has charmed me and reminded me how fresh the world is when you are little.

Lucky me, I share my life with les chats, all of which entertain, comfort, warm, amuse, and annoy me on a daily basis:
Cleo and Kermit getting circular above
Left: Percy in a paper bag
Right: Pippi sees the world differently

I am so grateful for The Locale, our choice for 28 years and probably forever, the One True Paradise (hear that, Girlies? "There's no place like home, there's no place like home" . . . Come home soon! No snow to slog through!).
I am fortunate to have rediscovered knitting and acquiring yarn, the combination of which make me calmer, happier, and more artistically moved than any other hobby has ever done--

Life is good. Happy Thanksgiving.

Totally Stole this from Bells

But it grabbed my fancy and it's Friday night. Woooooot!

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night.
That didn't happen. I guess my family needs to take some comedy classes.

2.What were you doing at 0800?
What is this, the military??? Oh, yeah, international time!
Sitting at the laptop at school, waiting for the teakettle to heat up for Cuppa Numba One.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Ravelry-ing. And 30 minutes before that, and 30 minutes before that!

4. What happened to you in 2006?
I visited a friend I hadn't seen in 25 years, who was my best friend when we were kids. We had a great weekend, even for Louisville, KY.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
"Hey! Quit it!" [to the cat playing at my yarn, which is strewn all over, at present]

6. How many beverages did you have today?
Lordy. OK, Eight. About four cups of tea, a cup of coffee, a little bit of Coke, half a glass of Pinot Noir. A large glass of water. This is such a personal question! Next thing you'll ask me about how many times I visited the bathroom.

7. What color is your hairbrush?
Brown. Zzzzzz.

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
Postage at the PO in Cupertino. I'd mailed my dad a package from work, with my own postage, and it came right back to roost in my mailbox at home, with notes all over it about Homeland Security, blah blah blah. So I had to trot it over to the PO, and they had the gall to tell me I also needed more postage. Rrrrr.

9. Where were you last night?
Where I usually like to be of an evening--at home. I did some knitting, some grading, some Law and Order watching, a little reading, and ordering a Christmas giftie, and then as usual, I crashed before 10.

10 What color is your front door?
Dark green.

11. Where do you keep your change?
Zipper compartment in my (smudgy) off-white leather wallet.

12.What’s the weather like today?
Fall. Overcast, a little windy, 60s, cool-ish compared to early this week.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
I don't live for ice cream, but black walnut* and Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey are both very satisfying. *from Mary Ann's in Santa Cruz. Best ice cream in the world. I had some just a few weeks ago!

14. What excites you?
Having all the girls home at once (next month!), getting in the car with DH to go wine tasting, doing anything that involves my sister.

OK, OK, I admit it: walking into a yarn shop always excites me. I check my willpower at the door.

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
If I cut it now, I'd start to remind people of Sinead O'Connor from the early '90s. It's darned short already!

16. Are you over the age of 25?
Yes, I am so over being 25. Actually 21 times. I'd feel old and agey, but this is the best time of my life!

17. Do you talk a lot?
Depends. At home, not so much. I tend to rejuvenate at home. At work/school, I talk a lot unless I'm behind the 8-ball. Ask my students if I talk a lot and they'll laugh. I ain't shy!

If I'm with Kate, Monica, or Rachel I can hold my own with the best of them. And does cackling over something one of us said qualify as "talking"?

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Yes. Spelled that way. I work with him. He's an esteemed colleague of mine.

20. Do you make up your own words?
You bet. The language is a medium, like oil paints. I have some very useful words: "arrove, arriven," "calendarize" and "ravelry-ing." I love verbing nouns. And it runs in the family. The eldest daughter used to make up words when she was unable to come up with just the right thing. Once at age 4, angry at her little sister, she said, "Molly, don't be so insteperous!" Another time, (to same sister), "Don't get your anker doots up!!!"

21. Are you a jealous person?
No. Just never happens.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter "A."
I guess I need more friends.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter "K."
Keith. 8^) He's my DH. A lifelong friend almost, since we met at age 17.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
Sophi (DD3). She was calling to tell me to pick her up after school.

25. What does the last text message you received say?
I'm not cool and hip enough to text. Don't even know how.

26. Do you chew on your straw?
No. I occasionally get into a bad habit of chewing my lower lip. Lots of lip gloss cures that.

27. Do you have curly hair?
Hah! In my next life.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
Outside the house, somewhere tomorrow--going thrifting with Monica, Sophi, and a friend of Sophe's. Did I mention that I love verbing nouns?

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
On the far periphery of my life is a rude colleague whom I fortunately have little contact with. The rudeness derives from immaturity, so perhaps he will grow out of it. When faced with his attitude I have wanted to pick him up and shake him like a mama dog does a naughty puppy.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Different question. What did I have for lunch today? Nice of you to ask.

Some parents got together to provide a lunch for all the teachers in our school, so we had chicken tikka masala (butter chicken, divine), rice pilau, chaana masala (chickpeas), raita, etc. And then some great Indian desserts made with pistachios and other ground nuts. I'm sure it was a caloric frenzy but it was worth every forkful.

31. Will you get married in the future?
That might offend my present husband. ;^)

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
Most recently it was The French Connection--about a month ago! But DH got a great one off Netflix that I have to revisit this weekend, "Devil Dog, Hound of Hell." I watched this B movie in like 1985 while home sick from school, when there was no real cable, nothing much to do, and not enough brain function for reading. It was hilarious at the time, so I hope it will turn out to be just as campy and silly as I remember it.

A family has a perfect life, with a two story house, two kids, and a German shepherd. Happily doing her thing, the mother suddenly stops, looks at the dog and gasps, starts edging for the door, and the lopey, tongue-lolling thing tilts its head, looks at her like, "Whuh??" and starts to chase her (she did, after all, run down the hallway). It gets better--after a bit the dog's eyes start to glow when he sees the lady. I think he ate one of the children too. I hope it will be as much fun to watch the second time!

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
Well, I am a married woman, so I guess I'd better stick to, "No, except my husband--most days."

36. Did you cry today?
No. That's a pretty rare occurrence.

37. Why did you answer and post this?
As Bells said, it's fun to think about me-me-me for 20 minutes. I flatter myself I'm that interesting.

38. Tag 3 people who would do this survey.

Thanks, Bells for contributing to my delinquency.

May His Head Never Grow to Fill this Hat!

I knitted a hat, and DH liked it, but said it was a bit too short. So I picked up stitches and added 1-1/2 inches to it. I had also made a liner inside (wool/camel mmmmm so soft) and stitched that in too. Now, he looks almost dwarfed by the hat!

He was camping in the Sierras so he really appreciated it each morning, he says, when it was coldest. I love knitting for people who really like what I make. 8^)

I Been Gone

So last week was our school trip to the Southwest, where the weather was beyond perfect all week long. We were sunburned by the end!

Grand Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Zion National Park

Monument Valley

and the Navaho Experience

Did I get to knit anything on that trip? Is the Pope Jewish? (I mean, is the Pope Catholic!) I've been working on a swatch of stitches that my sister can choose from for a spiffy scarf to go with the formal wool black coat she got. Hope she likes at least one of these!