So long, farewell…

Yeah, the dogs and I watched The Sound of Music again last night, just because ABC was nice enough to broadcast it.  Y’all know I’m ready to wave at 2007 in the rear-view mirror, although it is managing to end on a high note.  Amanda did a year in review some time ago, and I told her then that on a better day, I’d do the same.  Well, I’ve run out of time, and actually, the last couple of weeks have indeed been filled with better days, so grab a cuppa’ (my recommendations: for the tea bag crowd – Stash’s Christmas Morn – tastes just like the tea my neighbor served, which caused me to love tea so, for the loose tea crowd – any solid, English Breakfast tea with a sugar cube and real cream, and for the coffee lovers, Michelle sent me the most delicious Maple something coffee…) and settle in.  Maybe you’d better see if Devon’s made some yummy breakfast treats too. 

2007 at a Glance 

January – found me knitting scarves with every yarn I could get my hands on.  I also started my first garter stitch blanket for the Knight.

February – I learned that I hate big, slog-along projects, but the Knight got his afghan for Valentine’s Day, and I started the first of several baby blankets.

March – With tremendous cajoling from Anne, I started my own blog at the end of the month, and barely met the requirements for my first swap, and the rest is history.

April – Anne created another monster in my knitting closet when she talked me into doing socks together.  (Did you EVER finish that first pair?) 

May – the sock bug hit hard, and I discovered SWS.  Fred had what turned out to be his last birthday.

June – Anne brought her dear, wonderful mom to visit us.  I knitted my first non-sock garment, and I discovered Tofutsies and Wick.

July – My birthday, a trip to Chicago with some of the best friends a gal can have, the disappointing Deathly Hallows marked the end of the Harry Potter book series, and at the end of the month, Myrtle Beach.

August – Baby Grace came at the end of the month, but was clearly the highlight.  She remains the most well-adjusted baby I’ve ever known.  The tea swap Mary, Devon and I hosted was underway.  Pop also had a birthday, and at his age, every year is a milestone.  This is also the month I joined Pay it Forward, so my gifts are due by February, 2008!  Sadly, Miss Mollie left us for the Rainbow Bridge.

September – NH Knitting Mama Yarns came into my life, and I did my first lace-ish shrug, which remains a staple in my wardrobe.

October – This is the month I’d like to erase.  October 5th was Mugsy’s 12th birthday, and the day we had to part with our beloved Hooey Hound, Fred.  The fact that our 10th wedding anniversary and Anne’s birthday came at the end of the month were of little consequence.

November – the trip to the beach soothed us all a bit, but we remained heartbroken.  The Knight built a beautiful memorial for Fred.  Thanksgiving brought us Anne, and the holiday visit with my favorite aunt, uncle and cousin found me in possession of a very special remembrance.

December – the Knight had his 40th birthday.  For my sister’s not significant year birthday, I gifted her my first “real” lace project, Paws of Remembrance, in memory of her Mollie.   I wrecked, my vehicle was totaled, and my back is still out of whack.  HOWEVER, our fortunes turned with my vehicle, as we found a replacement vehicle we adore, followed by the arrival of Sissy the Imp.  Christmas was pleasant, and we look forward to a nice dinner with friends tonight, and we’ll end the year at home with our four-legged kids.

Wishing each of you a safe, happy New Year’s Eve, and a very special 2008!

Darling Boy

I really am going to give you a cast list one of these days, but today isn’t it.  It’s hard enough to type with one grumpy old pup in my lap licking my fingers and another literally nipping at my heels, the box behind us, the comforter that serves as the dog bed in the study.  Oh, and there’s a cake in the oven too.  I can multitask!

Thursday evening was a high point in our Christmas visitations.  My childhood best friend now lives in Texas with a Knight of her own, and their darling little boy.  Seeing my old friend is always a treat, and I truly adore her husband, but for the last 2+ years, the visits have been all about DB.  Now, mind you, I realize that DB worships his “Uncle Knight” and I am just the name/woman he must smile at and hug and thank when he does get to see his beloved Uncle Knight, but I love him just the same, and eat up those sweet moments when he does pretend to want me. 

This year was especially sweet because since early fall, DB has wanted nothing more than to see fire trucks and firefighters.  As the regular reader knows, that is *SO* within my power, even when the Knight gets caught working late on the worst possible evening.  Many, MANY thanks go out to the paid firefighters at our station.  I knew they were all great guys with big hearts, but they really went above and beyond to entertain my little nephew of the heart. 

As you can see, DB only has eyes for his new friend, even if all of those special clothes are a bit intimidating!

 

If you’ve never tried to take a good picture in a firehouse bay with all of the Scotchlite shining, don’t criticize my photos, but this one is good enough for you to see DB with Uncle Knight’s helmet.  It was too heavy to wear, and I do have a shot with DB and UK together, but I had to promise not to blog it.  (Sigh.  You know blogging is a part of your life when the Knight glares and says, “But don’t put it up on your blog!”)    

For anyone taking notes, you can bet that if this is a year without big, expensive incidents, we hope to find ourselves in Texas, visiting our friends and their DB!

Last DoT for 2007

This is how my furkids sleep these days, under one side of my desk.  The fleece thing is something Sissy bonded with right away, and just to prove he’s the alpha dog, Mugsy began sleeping on it instead of his snuggle.  Not discouraged, Sissy simply slips in beside him.  She adores him, and we’re all chuckling at Mugsy’s big brother instincts.  Shadow and Sissy play hard and well together, but when Shadow “talks” back to Sissy, Mugsy’s hackles go up and he struts over to make his presence known.  One of the humans have to soothe him and assure him it’s okay.  Needless to say, things are going even better than expected here.

Don’t forget to pop over to the Dogs on Thursday blog.   There’s generally a featured dog weekly, and it’s great fun to visit the different blogs and read about dogs and more dogs!

Christmas Eve Deliveries

I’m not one to praise the United States Postal Service, but Christmas Eve impressed me.   Our Postmistress was out delivering, and my mail ran right on time.  The Knight was taking out some trash at 8pm at his grandfather’s, and THAT mail carrier (another lady) was still making sure as many last-minute packages and cards arrived before Christmas.

The first package was from Devon .  I don’t know that I would have EVER turned the heel of my first sock without her!  She spent part of a Sunday afternoon knitting along with me, telling me row by row how many stitches should be on each needle.  A friendship was born, just like that. 

There’s my first Christmas pickle, a lovely ornament that will have a tiny version of the dogs’ Christmas photo placed inside, and a lovely, handmade pin that will look great on almost all of my coats!  Thank you so very much, Devon.  Your friendship has certainly been a blessing this year!

Then, my package arrived from my FFBE pal!  I couldn’t get a group shot because we were heading out as the mail arrived.  I’m already carrying the bag.  I know Karen stressed over the colors, and they couldn’t be more perfect!  The flash made them a bit more vivid than they are, but you get the idea.  I love it!

There were lots of other goodies too.  Look at that Baywood yarn!  Yum!  And honey spoons, a pretty, HUGE tin of assorted teas, and the most wonderful smelling soaps are in that festive box, in a fir scent.  (LOVE fir scents.  Didn’t know I did until I was gifted some fir candles and now, this incredible soap.)  In the upper right is the very yarny card Karen sent too.  It was a lovely package, clearly put together with me in mind.  It certainly has been a grand season for swaps for me.  Thank you, Karen!

I apologize for the delay in getting this post up.  I started yesterday afternoon, and had internet problems at home.  I tried again in the middle of the night when the internet was working, but Sissy wanted to get back in bed; she just whined and fussed and wouldn’t settle on the sofa.  I put her back in the bed, and she stomped up between the Knight and Mugsy, sighed and went right to sleep.  Now, after I get my coffee, I’ll work on a doggy post for the day! 

Mugsy Sismas

Good things do come from working on Christmas Eve.  I just wish I’d remembered to turn Sissy’s cute neck-kerchief around…

From our house to yours, more wishes for hope, peace, joy and love, now at Christmas and always. 

The Greatest is Love

 

Yesterday was the 4th Sunday of Advent.  In our family, the fourth candle represents love.  Ironically, it’s the one I’m apt to forget if I have to rattle off the Advent candles and their meanings.  Hope, peace and joy are words I associate with the season, but love? 

As a rather young child, I learned that the Greeks had many words for love – as did most of the ancient lanuages – and that makes sense to me.  Obviously, I don’t lurvers a great yarn as much as I love the Knight.  I don’t even love Sissy the same way I love my sister, yet in English, the one word covers a broad spectrum.  Still, I think all the varieties of love make the world go ’round, and I wish you and yours a season of hope, peace, joy and love.

Because I doubt I’ll have time to blog tomorrow, I want to also mention that some Advent wreaths include a big, white pillar candle in the center, called the Christ candle.  It is lit on Christmas Day.  Obviously, in the Christian tradition and belief system, Jesus Christ embodies all of the elements represented in the other candles around the wreath.   

Merry Christmas!

The Eve of Christmas Eve

First off, there’s a little seasonal Meme, courtesy of Robin

Ornament Tag

The rules: 

 1. Take a picture of your favorite ornament and put it on your blog telling everyone about it.

2. Post a link to the person on whose blog you found out about the Ornament Tag.

3. Post the rules.

My favorite for this year is the star ornament Michelle and her Littles made for me.  Stars are my favorite seasonal decoration, and how could I fail to treasure such a special star from precious hands?  I still have some of the ornaments my aunt and cousins made years and years ago, although they aren’t on our wee tree this year.  While I love elegant trees with color themed, fancy decorations, what means the most to me are the memories wrapped around my ornaments, many of which are from my childhood.  My father’s sister gave me an ornament every years into my 20s, and my mother has passed along some of my paternal grandmother’s ornaments as well, so this star will become another treasure that I’ll hold for a moment and think about Michelle and her family as I place it on the tree in years to come. 

We had to Sissy-proof our tree, and if you read regularly, you know that even pre-Sissy I wasn’t sure we were going to put one up.  Well, MJ found the perfect tree, half-off, so Sissy and I picked one up earlier in the week, and Mugsy helped me put it together Friday night.  It’s 4 1/2 feet tall, and holds all of the Knight’s firefighter ornaments perfectly.  I’ve said for years that I’d like a smaller tree for that collection, so I suspect that the sometimes Scrooge will be asking for his little tree in years to come.   (Why yes, you do see some swapperly goodness there in the bottom.  I haven’t found homes yet for all of the goodies!)

Speaking of goodies…  Friday night found a stack of packages on the porch, and two more came on Saturday.  On Friday, Mugsy’s prize pack from Nichole of Lapdog Creations arrived, with goodness all around.  The sweet ball had to be photographed separately, as the Knight was opening the boxes for me, and Mugsy was in his lap.  Of course, the prince spotted the ball, and it was game on.  Sissy likes it too, as there’s a bigger version of the ball at the office, but she can play with this one!  Thanks Nichole, and The Princess(donated the doggy prizes)!  There are also bones, both dentibones and some special cookies, made by Nichole, from her furkids to mine, and both are current favorites here. 

For me, there was a very special present from Nichole.  Now, keep in mind that when she bought this, when Mugsy won his prize, and even when she shipped the package, Sissy wasn’t a part of our household.  Amazing, eh?  She didn’t know I desperately needed a keyring for the new key to the Lexus.  (The 4Runner’s remote WAS the keyring I used, but the Lexus’s remote is built into the key.  Handy, but hard to find in a handbag!)  It’s a craptastic photo, but that silver wad in the right corner is a basset hound!  Now, Fred and Sissy Freida will always be on hand to help me find my keys.  Thanks so much Nichole!

Here.  We’ll pause for you to go grab another drink, cookie, whatever.

Back?  Good.  Settle in, because there are THREE more packages to display.  There was actually another one on Friday I’ll just mention in passing – from my mother.  It contained our gift and some interesting keepsakes from my childhood, ranging from Girl Scout patches to the papers she kept from Parents Weekend when I was a freshman in college.  The Knight had a ball poking through all of those, while I opened the sweet box from Mary.  (Yes, I feel very guilty for not being able to get my act together and do cards, much less ship out gifts to my friends and to my mother.  Sigh.  My back hurts, and we lost a whole day to car shopping…)

Put your nose on the screen and read the sweet words on the candle on the right.  Sniff, sniff.  Thank you, Mary.  You are truly a Godsend!  There were also some sweets, some cocoa mix which the Knight has already claimed, and some dog cookies for the furkids!

Saturday’s post brought two surprises.  The Knight quickly opened a pretty padded envelope from Alaska, from Ingrid.  We were so honored and blessed to not only meet Anne’s mom, but we got to spend several days with them.  Clearly, she got to know us too, because her package was filled with perfection! 

Don’t mind my roosters in the background, or the Raisinettes.  (I’m pretty sure the top box is empty, but I’ve been told to keep my paws off!)  There’s a pretty cloth, which the Knight has claimed (see a theme here?), a box of chocolates which is big enough to share, a fun book which the Knight – not a big reader – has already read, and pretty tin of playing cards.  Fortuitous that, as the deck of cards in the pocket behind the driver’s seat on the 4Runner didn’t make it into the box from the salvage job the Knight and a co-worker did.  You might think that without the Page around, we wouldn’t need quick, easy entertainment.  Wrong.  The Knight is a card-counting card shark, and we both love to play Spades, Hearts, Rummy, Gin, and when we have several decks and some clever friends, Hand and Foot is great fun!  Thank you so much Ingrid, for gracing our home and for your delightful gifts!

I hope you’re still with me, because this is big!  My SP11 box arrived, all the way from the far corner of the world.  Sue and I met a while back – I don’t recall how – so like Michelle, she managed to fool me whilst staying in touch as my friend and as a secret pal!  Now, keep in mind Sue had already sent books my way…

Now, you can’t see all of anything in the photo, but there’s a lovely lap blanket on the left, chocolate and more chocoate, yarn (details to follow), tea, great-smelling wax tarts, and a beautiful calendar filled with Autralian Beaches. 

The yarn’s not so electric, but in case you couldn’t tell, the overcast days and indoor lighting aren’t providing the best shots.  My first Fleece Artist, all the way from the other side of the world!  There’s a sock pattern on the label too!  The colors remind me of the water in the above mentioned calendar. 

I had the devil of a time trying to photograph this lovely shawl.  Mugsy insists it is a lap blanket, perfectly designed for my lap and enough overlap for him.  Sissy won’t be allowed near it until her baby teeth move on.  The color is pretty accurate in this photo, even if the Knight’s recliner doesn’t show it off so well.  I am in awe!  It means so much that you invested all of this time in a gift for me, Sue.  Thank you, thank you, and thanks to Latte for such a generous gift. 

I think that about does it for this update.  I hope all of you are off tomorrow and enjoying time with friends and/or family.  We’ll work for a couple of hours tomorrow, and go back to work on Wednesday.  From our house to yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas!