Knit Forward

This isn’t one of those reformative, resolved posts.  I gave up resolutions a few years ago.  At some point in the next few days, I’ll take a deep breath and look back at 2010, but right now, it’s a houseguest who has overstayed her welcome.  You know the kind… she gets up earlier than you, rattles dishes in the kitchen until you stumble in to join her, announces she thinks she’ll stay another day or three…

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My Magi

Hem.  I am looking forward to our annual dinner celebration with dear friends, so at least I can say 2010 ended on an upturn.   In the meantime, I’m packing up Christmas early.  Usually, I’m a 12 Days of Christmas gal and Christmas is Christmas until we’ve celebrated Epiphany.  This year, the Magi are going to have to be their own party. 

I didn’t knit much in 2010.  I read a lot more than I have since the knitting bug bit, but I also spent a lot of time just BEING.  I miss knitting, so I’ve cast on for a baby blanket I need to get finished in the next couple of weeks, and I’ve decided I need a plan.  Sure, knitting should be fun and requires some room for spontaneity, but I felt this year I was just spinning my wheels.

Here’s the plan:

  • More project monogamy.  Sure, baby blankets are quickly too big to be good travel projects, so I’ll need a couple of things at the ready, but I’m going to aspire to starting something and seeing it through.  I seem to enjoy that more, even when there’s some tedium, than having 20 UFOs – unfinished objects.
  • Knit from stash.  I did okay with this in 2010.  Of the 24 projects I completed, 19 were either from stash or yarn I did not purchase myself.
  • Cloths.  I like giving cloths, so this means I must knit/crochet them.  If I do one or two each month, I’ll be way ahead of the game.
  • About those UFOs…  I want to finish them, three of them specifically – my pink cardi, the Mooson shawl, and Miss Dashwood – in that order.  My pink cardi will be the non-travel project of choice, just as soon as the baby blanket is done, then Mooson, etc.
  • A certain lace scarf needs to be finished.  I’ll do one repeat nightly when time allows, once said blankie is complete.
  • Christmas knitting.  I do have one scarf that was meant for a gift this year that is near completion.  That will be the first travel knit of the year, almost sure to be finished over the weekend.  I  have three to do, so it looks like I have great firehouse knitting for a while.
  • Sock yarn stash.  I do aspire to use 12 skeins this year.  I have a pair of Christmas socks I want to do, but I’m going to allow my mojo to have a little freedom here.  It seems at this moment, I’m liking the shawl-like scarves, similar in design to the one Kathy gave me for Christmas. 
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Trust me... it's a lean, pretty shape...

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a baby blanket to knit and a tree to take down… more fudge to make…

I do wish you a peaceful, happy 2011.

An App a Day…

November 2010 003Happy Dogs on Thursday, not so little Friday, Thankful Thursday, and nearly the end of 2010.  Gretchen has a sweet little post for DoT…  Me?  I’m very thankful that Sis is finally feeling better.  Yes, that does translate into a wild and crazy gal, bounding through the house and life, getting into anything that isn’t nailed down, but that’s Sis, and it’s great to see her full of “it” again.

But the title of the post…  I’ve joined the Apple nation, and the apps available are overwhelming.  (And how do you delete ’em?  There’s a yoga one I downloaded yesterday that doesn’t do what I thought it would…)   For those of you way ahead of me, what are your favorite apps?  Just in case they aren’t the same, which ones do you use the most?

And perhaps most importantly, for those of you not living alone, are you an Apple house?  See, the Knight has already downloaded a couple of fishing games…  I really think Cupid is going to bring him an iPad!  (Why yes Bec, it *IS* a slippery slope, and I hear Verizon will be carrying iPhones in our area very soon…)

Outlander

You’ll understand if I close Christmas and move right along, won’t you?  I received some awesome gifts that deserve recognition, but that will have to wait for another day, or week even.

There is a happy update on Sissy on her blog.   Thank you for your kind support!

Courtesy of B&N

It’s hard to knit with a 45 lb. basset in your lap, so I’ve done more reading and less knitting of late.  Yesterday, I rather abruptly finished Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I have mixed feelings about this book. 

Oh – wait – spoiler warnings!  I can’t talk about my up and down “relationship” with this novel without giving away a few plot details.

Continue at your own risk…

I wasn’t sure how I’d like this book, so I put off reading it for years.   I’m not big on science fiction, especially time travel, but I do love me some historical fiction.  There’s a very strong part of my family tree with its roots in Scotland, so the setting did intrigue me, and once I started reading, my Pict-Scot blood was pumping, enjoying the folklore and more. 

And yeah, I loved the whole Jamie-Claire thing… for the first seventeen trials, tribulations and triumphs.  Then, it made me skim.  Yawn.  Yeah, yeah, love always wins, but there’s no happily ever after.  Got it. 

One friend (no links, but she knows who she is!) had warned me that I might not care for the sex.  For the first half of the book, I rolled my eyes and thought that it worked well with the whole character development-plot thing.  Then…  it got to be a bit much.  I’m not talking that whole historical romance flowery descriptive stuff…  I’m talking graphic, porn-type gore that honestly, even a bad nightmare couldn’t have generated such in my wee, sheltered mind.

Was it necessary for the plot?  The author thought so, and maybe if I keep reading in the series, I’ll see why Captain Randall  had to be SO depraved, but right now, I don’t see that happening.  Yeah, I want to know more about the stones and I want to see Frank again (and Jenny… my favorite character by far), but I don’t know that I’ll be up to reading on right away, if ever.

Sure, The Sparrow also had some depravity that was VERY hard to read, but somehow, it seemed more essential to the big picture than this did.  Can someone who read Outlander explain to me why Claire had to pretend to be Black Jack Randall to snap Jamie back to life?  I just don’t get it, and maybe that one scene is the stumbling block for reading on into the series…

I think I’m going back to my cozies for a while.  Then when my mind is read for something with a little more heft, there’s World Without End and the new Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, more historical fiction without all the sexual drama, if Pillars of the Earth is any indication…

Are you getting any reading in with the holiday festivities?  What do you read when your mind needs to rest and your spirit needs to be washed in hope?

In Memoriam

In Memoriam A.H.H.

OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII.

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 

STRONG Son of God, immortal Love,

Whom we, that have not seen thy face,

By faith, and faith alone, embrace,

Believing where we cannot prove; 

Thine are these orbs of light and shade;

Thou madest Life in man and brute;

Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot

Is on the skull which thou hast made. 

Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:

Thou madest man, he knows not why,

He thinks he was not made to die;

And thou hast made him: thou art just. 

Thou seemest human and divine,

The highest, holiest manhood, thou:

Our wills are ours, we know not how;

Our wills are ours, to make them thine. 

Our little systems have their day;

They have their day and cease to be:

They are but broken lights of thee,

And thou, O Lord, art more than they. 

We have but faith: we cannot know;

For knowledge is of things we see;

And yet we trust it comes from thee,

A beam in darkness: let it grow. 

Let knowledge grow from more to more,

But more of reverence in us dwell;

That mind and soul, according well,

May make one music as before, 

But vaster. We are fools and slight;

We mock thee when we do not fear:

But help thy foolish ones to bear;

Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light. 

Forgive what seem’d my sin in me;

What seem’d my worth since I began;

For merit lives from man to man,

And not from man, O Lord, to thee. 

Forgive my grief for one removed,

Thy creature, whom I found so fair.

I trust he lives in thee, and there

I find him worthier to be loved. 

Forgive these wild and wandering cries,

Confusions of a wasted youth;

Forgive them where they fail in truth,

And in thy wisdom make me wise.               

1849.

 

Wedding

Uncle circa 1964

Last  night, my dear uncle, godfather, friend, dragon-slayer and more left this cruel world after a brief battle with cancer. 

Soldier, singer, deep thinker, farmer, philosopher, theologian and so much more.   He’d laugh at me, being at a loss for words.  And what a laugh he had!  It bubbled through every fiber, shining out through his eyes too. 

I’ll miss our soulful chats most of all.  May death bring you the sweet peace this world failed to offer.

Pax vobiscum.

Christmas Angels

I’d save this post for Dogs on Thursday, but I don’t wanna’…

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We’ve had the basset angel since Fred’s death, but the Knight just found the Jack Russell angel when we were at the beach earlier this month.

Sissy’s going to need her brother-angels to watch over her.  Both of them had eye problems at least once in their lives, so they know what she’s up against.   You can read more here.

Crunch Time

Are YOU ready?

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One of my favorite ornaments

I’m not. 

No baking happened last night.  The gifts didn’t arrive, but childhood BFF and her hubby were delighted with the baked treats consolation gifts.  Glad I got free shipping originally, because now I’ll have to turn around and ship their gifts to them when they do arrive.   We had a fab visit and several hours flew by in the blink of an eye.

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Our adogable nativity

Oh – and happy Dogs on Thursday, not-so-little friday, Thankful Thursday, Christmas Eve eve and anything else you might be celebrating today.  Do swing over and read Sissy’s spoof on her favorite Christmas song.  It’s mine too…  I should rip a CD with nothing but that song on it and shove it in the car’s disk changer…

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My favorite Christmas pin

Why yes, I do have new photos for you, but they live in the camera because I literally haven’t had time to transfer the photos.   I’m going to wish you a very Merry Christmas now, because I can’t promise when I’ll have time – or the clarity of mind – to blog again.  Of course, if we get walloped with snow, I might have time, the right state of mind, and no electricity or internet…

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A goofy firefighter ornament

Anyway, I hope your Christmas is filled with joy, a surprise or two and good cheer – liquid, solid or human varieties!  Please remember those working – doctors, nurses, firefighters, medics, police, road crews, and especially the military.  Christmas isn’t a single day, but a whole season, so celebrate early, often and late!

That’s my Thankful Thursday share.  I’m so blessed to have my emergency services brothers, sisters, sons and daughters.  They truly are friendships tested by fire and ice.  (You’ve never been cold until you’re literally frozen in your gear after you come out of a fire, sweaty on the inside, wet on the outside, only to find your metal snaps are frozen, and while you stand there fighting them, your pants and coat begin to harden…)

PS – As one who has often worked Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, etc., I promise that anyone mentioned above would love a sincere handshake and a thank you, and no firehouse in the history of ever has turned down homemade treats!

Seaweed!

Lunch with Amy yesterday was incredible, as always.  I really like Thai 99, and Amy is just fab company, always.  She surprised me with a gift! 

Photo by Amy

I stole the photo from her blog.  This post has more info, and a cute photo of Amy’s darling husband modeling the cowl.  He’s such a good sport.  Thank you Amy; I lurvers it!!  It’s soft, pretty and will assure that I keep with my plan to wear something festive all week.

Oh – and if you didn’t click over, the post title reflects the pattern name.  Spud & Chloe calls the colorway Turtle.  Turtle makes Seaweed.  For some reason, that tickles me, probably more than it should.

Wow!  I’m actually on track for my holiday baking.  One batch of burnt sugar almonds are made and mostly gone, one batch of fudge is done (and living on the dryer in the laundry room, because no laundry will be done in the next few days and that door is ALWAYS shut), but now, the Knight wants sugar cookies.   

However, it appears UPS is holding hostage two packages I needed for tonight – and expected earlier this week.  Grrr!!   If I don’t have surprises on my front steps, I’ll have to wrap photos or the tracking numbers I guess?

What do you do when a gift doesn’t arrive or isn’t knitted on time?  (Why yes, I do know how to avoid that, and maybe next year…)