I should be cooking.  I’ve already done one of my self-imposed two per day repeats on the secret lace project, and with any luck, will announce its completion later this weekend.  However, the Knight SNOL’d and asked me to PLEASE confess my TRULY GROSS-ness, so I must oblige.

I love cooked cabbage.  Fried, boiled, with corned beef and potatoes or all alone, I adore the stuff.  Is that really so bad?!  The Knight says it smells like nasty, never been washed feet…

I also keep forgetting to tell you that I’d rather poke myself in the eye than try to follow “words” instead of a chart when knitting lace.  Of course, I had to muddle along with the words until I could enlarge the WEE chart FiberTrends enclosed in my secret project’s pattern.  I am near-sighted as all get-out, and even I couldn’t follow the bitty bits.  Geeze.  If I buy a pattern, is it REALLY asking too much for it to be fully functional, right out of its little sheet protector thingee?!  Once again, I am grateful for a job where my inlaws not only don’t mind, but think it’s simply delightful when I use the office equipment for my personal use, even if it does lead to MJ trying not to drool as she smiles sweetly and says YET AGAIN that gee, she sure would like one of the secret project thingees… 

But back to the topic at hand.  I slipped right through a Rite of Passage just now, and my EggNog tea isn’t soothing me.  (No Cassababe,  I haven’t added a splash of alcohol, but Dae’s bourbon is within reach…)  See, I’m not vain enough to mind telling you that I’m 38, but somehow, having a man with a son ALMOST my age “M’am” me with sincerity just makes me want to… cry.

Well, there’s the rub.  Normally, when I’m “m’am’ed” by a youngin’, I smile, chuckle, and say how much I appreciate their good manners, but please, call me Chan.  Same when I’m called Mrs. Knight.  I even laughed and told my new vet not to call and ask for Mrs. X, because she’d likely end up talking to my mother inlaw.  By the way, MJ still tells folks who call her Mrs. X that her mil was Mrs. X, and she’s been dead for 15 years.  So, imagine my surprise when I realized I’d had a whole, albeit brief, conversation with Fire Chief from the next station over (who knows me, by the way), and he M’am’d away and I never flinched.

So dear readers, at what point does one become a M’am? 

The Knight’s Night

Well, since he’s started receiving presents, I guess I’ll blog about it.  Sunday is a rather significant day in the life of my Knitter’s Knight.  (Shown here at another special party…)  It will be his 40th birthday.  However, because he’s a squirrel as we call very obsessed volunteer firefighters, he’ll be at the firehouse ALL weekend…

Duty crew tonight and tomorrow night, with live burn trainings on Saturday and Sunday.  But, since this man announced to everyone who could possibly care MONTHS ago that he didn’t want a party, and he happens to run crew with his best friend, we decided we’d just have dinner Saturday night at the station.

Um, yeah.  We have two friends flying in from Boston, and at last count, we’re up to 42 people for the Not Secret, Not Party.  Our training room, where I’d planned to hold the fete, only holds 48 comfortably, so I think the Birthday Boy is going to have to quit inviting people to his non-event.

I’ll have to blog again with more photos of the Knight.  (There’s one on a CD from this summer I have in mind, and I’ll have my camera tomorrow night…)  On top of it all, I have a huge Pampered Chef bridal shower tomorrow some 40 miles away, because when I scheduled it, he didn’t want a party and was going to be tied up all day anyway.  Thank goodness for his best friend and his family, my inlaws, LT and his family – his assistant at work, a friend, our dog sitter, a fellow volunteer firefighter – and the fire chief’s wife, because thanks to their help, it will all come together despite my body being three counties away tomorrow!

Maybe that will also be the day I finally give you a cast of characters to follow…

Meme Gross

My blogging friends make me laugh.  And groan.  And roll my eyes.  Cass started it, but Michelle tagged me, so don’t blame me, and don’t read on if you have a weak stomach or a lack of a sense of humor. 

Here we go.  Eight gross things about me you will wish I hadn’t shared:

(I feel like I should be about 20 years younger, drunk, and surrounded by my equally young, drunken fire fighting pals…  However, because I really do respect the privacy of all the patients/victims from my fire/EMS days, those GREAT gross moments are not included.) 

1.  I walked out of the house, going to work one morning, and felt some leftover rain drops fall from the tree, onto my head.  (The wind was blowing.)  I was in the car, en route, before I realized it was indeed a bird, and those drops were ick in my head.  The Knight still laughs and points at my head when he sees bird poop.

2.  I kiss my dog(s) on the nose.  Mugsy’s famous for slipping anyone in range his tongue, but over the years, I’ve gotten good at dodging him. 

3.  One firefighter story, totally unrelated to any patients…  Early in my training, we were still sharing face pieces – for the breathing apparatus – and I grabbed one, headed for the fire.  Imagine my hurls when that first big inhale got me a plug of the previous wearer’s chewing tobacco.  My stomach flips just telling you about it…

4.  I still don’t drink apple juice, thanks to a post-op experience with it that caused some great, adult projectile vomiting, all over my sweet little momma inlaw.

5.  I still love the feeling of that clayish-mud on the riverbottom oozing between my toes.

6.  I actually like horse barn smells.  A little poop, urine, sweaty leather, stinky horse…  it’s all good.

7.  Mugsy sleeps IN the bed with us.  Under the covers.  Head on a pillow if he chooses.

8.  I pick.  If I have a pimple, if the Knight has a pimple, I’ll be bonkers in no time if I can’t pop it.

I’m not going to tag you, but I suppose a #9 could be that I actually find these things interesting.  Let me know if you decide to play along! 

Hobbits, Purple and a Contest

One of the reasons I switched to WordPress is so that I can reply to all of the comments.  That allows me to find new blogs, meet new folks, etc. 

What you might not know is that before Harry Potter, there were hobbits.  In school, my oboes were named Bilbo and Frodo.  Long before some of you were born, in 1979, Mrs. Venning introduced me to The Hobbit and a love affair was born.  So, I’m tickled pink to point you to an  Eleventy-one party, which includes a contest!  Em wants her readers to de-lurk, and I want her to be blown away by the number of comments. 

Be sure to read the whole post, and check out the Purple Purl, which looks like a perfect yarn shop, even for someone not passionate about purple.  (Hem, hem…)  You might also want to grab the link to your favorite blog post too, from anywhere.  If you happen to mention that I sent you, all the better.

Mutually Exclusive

I love that phrase.  Have since 7th grade, or whenever I learned it.  The two topics of the day are definitely mutually exclusive – Mugsy and hot chocolate.  Mugsy is spoiled, even more-so than I’d like, but one thing NO ONE, not even Pop, crosses me on is that not a speck of chocolate passes across Mugsy’s lips.  We had a cocker spaniel in my early years that probably died due to complications from long-term chocolate toxicity, so I don’t play around.

Firstly, bookmark THIS SITE  and then remember to sign up on December 1st.  I’m slammed that day with a big Pampered Chef bridal shower AND the Knight’s 40th birthday not-party, but I’ll sign up as soon as they open registration!!  Who doesn’t love hot cocoa?  The Knight and MJ are crazy about it, so I’m apt to lose whatever comes my way even before I have a chance to share, but that’s okay.  I can also see Mugsy stealing the “buster” away too, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then get thee to the swap’s blog and read the requirements.  (Always a great place to start, I might add.)

Next, is Dogs on Thursday

My little pointer.  You can’t really tell, but he has his left front paw off the ground.  He can point with the best of them, and it never fails to delight me. 

I can’t thank you enough for all of your good wishes, good vibes, and more.  We FINALLY  have the de-wormer in hand, and will begin the three-day treatment this afternoon with his supper.  I sure hope it works, because he really isn’t happy today.  His breathing is labored, he’s restless, and it breaks my heart.  MJ and I have convinced ourselves that it could indeed be a parasite, because recently this dog is ALWAYS starving, even when he’s just eaten, which isn’t normal for Mugsy. 

Time to go record 11 more coughs on our journal.  Love me some Google Docs. 

Preaching to the Choir

“Charity begins at home, but should not end there.”  – Thomas Fuller

Evidently, you already know that.  You introduced to me to some new to me, very worthy causes, and shouted out some I already knew and respected, while Anne and Sharon educated me on the differences between a charity and non-profit.

Of course, the post wouldn’t be complete without a bit about the woman behind the contest.  (Not me.  My grandmother.)  My favorite pictures of her are in a scrapbook I need to get scanned, but here’s one that should make you laugh anyway.  It’s from my college days, I believe…  (No, we’re not surrounded by by fairies… it’s an old photo that was scanned a few years ago!)  Always full of love and laughter, my Nannie was.  She would delight in the charities named here, because she was a nurse, a wife, a mother, a sister, etc.  She also lived on a farm most of her adult life, and loved animals, especially dogs.

Before you scroll down to see who won, please look at  a quick run-down on the organizations your fellow knitters support.  I encourage you to click on links where provided, or follow the comment(s)to a blogger with more information.  Maybe you’ll find a new cause, or feel moved to make a donation in honor of a friend.  Please note that some regional/local chapters were lumped under the parent organization for the purpose of this list.

Girl Scouts

Victory Junction Gang Camp


JW House

Draw Bridge

 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Station Fire Fund

Heifer International

Humane Society

Camp Erin

Old Dog Haven

Partners in the Horn of Africa

Ovations for the Cure 

Rape and Domestic Violence Centers

Make a Wish

Angel Trees

Animal Shelters

Chipman Community Care

March of Dimes

Appalachian Service Project

Hospice of the Blue Ridge / Hospice


Disabled American Veterans

Relay for Life

La Leche League

Literacy Volunteers Chippewa Valley

Ronald McDonald House


Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation

Autism Speaks

Autism Society of America, Philadelphia Chapter

Boys and Girls Clubs

Big Brothers/Big Sisters

Habitat for Humanity

Orphan Foundation of America

Focus on the Family

Family Life Today

Pregnancy Support Group

Special Olympics

CURE – children’s cancer research

Reading Is Fundamental

St. Jude Children’s Hospital


Local Food Bank

Salvation Army

Donors Choose

School on Wheels

Now, for your patience, Megan is the winner, as chosen by the random number generator – I promise!!  The Knight and I will gladly make a donation to the Station Fire Fund, and I’ll be sending Megan a prize package too.  There’s a special match going on through the end of this calendar year, so if any of you are inclined to donate to the Station Fire Fund too, your dollars will go twice as far.

Thanks for chiming in.  You’re obviously a generous, thoughtful group, and the world is a better place for it!

Dish, Dat and de d’uther

There are many things I should and could be doing, but I’m blogging.  It’s been one of THOSE days.  It was a Monday of sorts, since I unexpectedly never made it to work yesterday.  I was supposed to have a dental appointment at noon, but when MJ wasn’t there at 11:15, I called to postpone, especially since Dae left for a site visit and we had an audit at 1pm.  Just too much happening on one day, but despite it all, MJ has suggested I try to get a hair appointment later this week.  (I need it.  Badly.)

Here’s my little sick boy.   Thanks for noting it; I am sure that being out in the leaves (blown on Saturday, not that you can tell it) isn’t a wise idea, nor is throwing the ball (he LOVES his glow in the dark balls), but obviously, you’re not familiar with Jack Russells.  They do what they want, when they want, or as Pop says, “He’s like Burger King.  He has to have it his way.”  Note the heavy “tear” staining; it’s on both sides.  Sure, some of it is indeed allergies, but there’s more.  That’s why I now get to keep a cough notebook.    No SNOLs.  I’m serious.  My kind father inlaw – Dae – has been counting coughs all day, and my blotter is filled with time, number of coughs, and what Mugsy was doing immediately prior to the event.  As soon as I blog, I need to find a notebook for said purpose.  If the broad-spectrum de-wormer doesn’t do the trick, I don’t know what comes next, short of the wee camera into his throat…

However, I do have a finished object, one I can actually share!  I’m stuck on this pattern. 


Pattern:  Doily Style Dishcloth #2

Needles:  2x #5 circs

Yarn:  Sugar ‘n Cream in Midnight Magic.  This one is much prettier in person. 

My next I need a break from the lace thing project is going to either be a cozy for my ice pack or a sweater for Mugsy.  I live an exciting life, eh?  I’m sure I’ll start whatever it is tonight, because in case you live under a rock, it’s House night!  That means I slip out of my meeting early (which is okay, because I’ll be there early to collect money for our endowment) so I can be at home for the opening seconds of House!

This is also your last chance to enter my contest.  I’ll be recapping the most excellent favored charities later this week too, so everyone can learn a bit and maybe find a new cause.  Also, I’ll share the thought we’re “pushing” tonight at our meeting; instead of buying a little something kind of gift (like a bottle of wine or whatever) for a friend, why not make a donation in her honor?  Tonight, it’ll be all about the endowment, but it’s always a great time to support a friend’s favorite cause!

Sorta’, Kinda’, Maybe, but Not Really

Wasted days and wasted…  The good news is, Mugsy doesn’t have any dread diseases in his lungs either.  The bad news is, we have no definitive diagnosis.  It’s not just allergies.  It’s not a collapsed trachea.  It’s not chronic bronchitis, no matter how much it sounds like it.  We spent the entire day in Richmond for that news, and a broad-spectrum de-wormer that will be waiting for us at our primary vet – the one we claimed last Monday – tomorrow, on the off chance it’s a parasite.  The test for parasites (the itty-bitty live in the lungs kind) is expensive and requires anesthesia, and at 12+, Mugsy doesn’t need the risk when the cure has comparably fewer side effects. 

For Anne,  I did get one whole repeat of the secret lace do-whop done while I waited.

Now, we must go to town because the new toilet the Knight installed in my bath needs a longer supply line.  And he needs a new cell phone battery.  The things that make the world go ’round…

Tomorrow’s not looking good for knitting content either.  Dentist at noon, Junior League at 6:30pm.  I don’t know how you full-time moms do it.   I have one dog, with one medical circle-jerk, and I’m craving a full work week with no appointments and time to blog.

Favorite Things

Last night, Anne bought a Christmas CD.  “Favorite Things” from my favorite musical, The Sound of Music, was on it.  Today’s been a day of favorite things for me, aside from hugging Anne good-bye this morning.

(Note to other SoM fans – you NEED the 40th anniversary DVD!  The Knight got it for me, and it has a Karaoke section, along with everything else!)

The Knight had to work today, so he missed lunch with my favorite cousin and her parents, who are conveniently, my favorite aunt and uncle.  We gathered because we never can see too much of each other, but also because we’re in the habit of getting together on the weekend after Thanksgiving to celebrate Nannie’s birthday.  On the way down, I jammed to XM’s Christmas music, and they seemed to be playing all of my favorites, so I sang along, and was feeling rather festive when I arrived.  (In case you care, I dined upon another favorite – a black and bleu salad.)

Surprise!  There weren’t just hugs and food and good conversation.  My aunt found one more of her mother’s jewelry boxes, and there were four items up for discussion.  We’ve been very judicious with my grandmother’s possessions, so all of her remaining children and grandchildren have something that was meaningful to her.  However, this most recent find held some of the greatest treasures.  My mother, a nurse like her mother, had wondered where the nurse’s pin (kinda’ like a portable diploma for nurses, it would seem) was.  It will soon be on its way to her, as a big Christmas surprise.  My aunt had missed their mother’s wedding band.  It now resides immediately adjacent to her own, and will be handed down to Favorite Cousin (FC) in due time.  There was also a pretty little ruby ring, and it is headed to another girl cousin.  Since I’m the one who lives in the shadow of UVA, I was gifted with my grandmother’s nursing school ring. 

Of course, just as the worn wedding band fit my aunt’s finger perfectly, this one slipped onto my ring finger and will stay there indefinitely.   (Yep.  Class of 1927, she was…)  I didn’t inherit my mother’s coulda’ been a hand model hands, but this is important, so ignore my stubby fingers and just look at the ring.  It’s well-worn too, and that just makes it feel better.  It’s ironic how similar it is to my own class ring from high school, but trust me on that one, because I’m not inclined to go try to find it, and taking more ring photos is out of the question.

Here’s another shot.   That ring will make the next week a little easier, as Nannie’s birthday slips by.  I’m so grateful that my aunt is so kind and generous; she knows we need our tangible reminders too, and she’s willing to share. 

Oh – and I got some shopping done too.  Thanks to a great find in a catalog this morning by the Knight, my inlaws are done, and so are my sister and her hubby.  I picked up a few things for my Winter Wonderland pal too.   

Which reminds me…  This week’s question:

What is the ideal setting for enjoying the perfect cup of coffee? Who would be there – or would you be alone? Inside or out? Morning or night? With food or just the steaming cup of joe?

Well…  Since I’m more of a tea girl, coffee is generally a social beverage for me.  Prior to Anne’s visit in June, I don’t think I drank coffee unless I was cold, needed a jolt, or wanted an after dinner non-alcoholic sip.  My favorite coffee memories come around a table at a nice restaurant, with a fine china cup in one hand and a smile on my face.  There’s laughter, and my friends and family are there too.  I also enjoy it when the Knight makes a Starbucks run on our way to the firehouse (which for the record is ALWAYS between home and town).  Again, it’s me at the big round table in the bay, with friends and maybe even my nephew hanging out. 

So, no on being alone, inside – check, and it seems that despite my recent cravings for morning java, my *IDEAL* cup comes at night, either with dessert or in a Starbucks mocha that qualifies as a dessert AND a coffee.  Interesting.  That all kinda’ surprises me…

All we need is just a little patience…

Anyone else groove to GNR? 

Patience.  It takes more than a little to do lace.  I knit.  I frog.  I count.  I frog.  I knit.  I count.  Not necessarily in that order, over and over again, and we’re all of about 50 rows into the lace that cannot be shown here, but is on Ravelry.  (Gee, that’s a hint, huh?  Not for a knitting friend…) 

So, I require a sanity project, which I can pick up and clickity clack through after the lace has tested my patience.  My new favorite easy-peasy is the Doily Cloth, and here’s the start of #2.  Since I can’t find 10 inch, #5 or #6 dpns, I’m trying it on two circs this time.

Also, here are a couple of shots of the gorgeous Alpaca Sox yarn Anne picked up for me on Wednesday.  Yum!!  Can’t wait to knit with it, and of course, it’ll be socks.  I’d not seen it in person before it became mine, but it’s so soft, so very soft.  I’m really looking forward to picking a pattern and creating socks with this yarn.  Thanks, Anne!

One last thing…  Amanda’s doing her part to boost the economy, and my personal spending.  Free shipping!  Go, go, GO to her Etsy store!