Archive for December, 2006

Last finished knitting of 2006.

December 31st, 2006 4 comments


Or, more accurately, sock. Singular. I’m calling these my “two year socks” because I did finish the first in 2006, and I’m hopeful that I’ll actually buckle down and make the second in 2007.

This is the Crusoe pattern from Knitty. I cast on 64 instead of the called-for 48 in order to get gauge on size 1 needles, then sized all the numbers up appropriately. I probably shouldn’t get too in-depth so that I actually have something to post on that glorious day when I actually finish the second one. Or, you know, start the second one.

My kitchener stitch on the toe is the best I’ve done, I think. However, there is a small line down the sole where my two needles met. Eh, I’m okay with it. It’s a very small flaw.

And one for my mom: over the holidays at the in-laws’ I finally saw the TV program she’s mentioned to me, “What Not To Wear.” I thought she’d be pleased to see that thanks to her other grandparents, Emily now has a nice structured jacket, which the show says that every woman should have in their closet. She looks quite stylish playing Zoo Tycoon 2!

“Work, work, work.”

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THANK YOU, Starsongsky!

December 30th, 2006 16 comments

I just bought eight bras and six pairs of panties from Lane Bryant for $36.17. SCORE!

I’m sorry to share too much information, it’s just that this is my brand, and I really, really needed some but was having trouble finding the time to get away to the mall to get some. And lo and behold, makes this post about a glitch in Lane Bryant’s shopping cart, whereby it’s taking 30 percent off of the total order, including the free items in the “buy two get two” promotion. Hot diggity! So now I’m set for a good long while. I kind of wish I’d gotten more, but I suppose there’s a limit to how many bras and panties should arrive on one’s doorstep in one fell swoop.

As you can see, I’m personalizing my laptop properly. I need to come up with a catchy name for it on our internal network. “Diana Prince” seems a little obvious. Am considering buying Sims2 for Mac, now that I have this spiffy new laptop. I can probably find it reasonably cheap on eBay now that it’s been out for a while.

Christmas pics! Here’s my husband and daughter making the traditional Christmas ravioli. Every year my husband makes ricotta cheese from whole milk, parsley, parmesan cheese, and vinegar. He does this the night before and we use it the following day as filling. He also makes sauce from crushed tomatoes, etc., according to his mother’s recipe. Then we make the dough from scratch, and it’s a good family activity to roll it out, cut it, fill it, and seal the ravioli closed. Later we boil ’em up and they’re delicious! We brought some to my dad, too. Maybe it’s not everyone’s traditional Christmas fare, but it’s pretty kid-friendly and crafty, so it’s a good thing to do together, which is what Christmas is all about.

This year was the first year that my daughter not only bought a present for my husband that she thought he might like, but she actually looked around instead of grabbing the first thing off the shelf. And her thoughtful choice?

My dad is great,
My dad is neat.
My dad really
likes to eat.

Hee hee hee!

Hats up for: NY, IL, FL

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Happiness is…

December 25th, 2006 8 comments

…a Macintosh laptop.

We’ve talked about getting one for, oh, about ten years now, but there are always more necessary things to spend our money on. Now I can work on weddings AND lie on the couch in the same room as my husband. SCORE!


Futurama for PS2. Gamespot says: “Unless you’re a rabid fan who simply has to be in contact with all things Futurama, this game is playable enough to warrant a rental but little else.” Well, Mr. Smartypants Game Reviewer, fortunately I am just such a rabid fan, and I’ve already had fun testing this out this morning. Yay!

Astaire and Rogers’ Collection Volume 1. I could watch these guys dance forever. That includes the blackface Mr. Bojangles tribute number, God help us. Thanks, Mom!

Inside Job by Connie Willis – autographed, no less! Connie Willis could publish a list of ingredients and I would want it. Also Book of Ballads, hardcover, by Charles Vess. These and a blank journal were gifts from my mother-in-law. Yay! I really wanted both of these!

A book weight! I wanted one of these so that I can have a book lying flat in front of me while I’m knitting, to help keep my hands free. Very handy in waiting rooms and other places I have to be parked for long periods of time. Stylish and practical, just like my mom, who gave it to me!

This gigantic paint can. Okay, I exaggerate. Actually we got a very generous cash gift from my father that let us paint the house. And by “paint the house” I mean “pay someone else to paint the house.” Because I’ve painted those eaves, and I was a teenager then, and there’s no way I could get it done in my current physical condition before 2010. It’s killer on the arms and shoulders. The house really needed to be painted, since it had been at least ten years, and we had a lot of flaking and peeling. This is something we were very happy to be able to do. Thanks, Dad!

I’m so fortunate to have such loving people in my life, and that we all have the resources to be able to do this kind of thing. I have such a sweet family!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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And to all a good night.

December 24th, 2006 No comments

Many thanks to the person who sent me the lovely package of yarn, stitch markers, soap, and a very cute ornament. Who sent it? My Simu Secret Santa? Some other Christmas Elf? I have no idea! I’m leaning toward “Simu Secret Santa” though, as one of the items was some sparkly purple yarn, and an item my GM character wears in-game is “a hand-knit scarf made of glitzy purple yarn.” It was a great treat to have this package waiting for me when I arrived back in town. I particularly like the “heart 2 K N I T” stitch markers. Thank you very much for the whole shebang!

I’d like to leave you with a picture of it, as well as a traditional holiday pic, but is having issues. We’re also having intermittent connection issues all around, and it’s going to be difficult to resolve until after the holidays. At least is staying up.

I’ve got hats done and ready to go out to Arizona, Australia, and D.C., but of course there’ll be no mail service until Tuesday. Next up are Canada and a couple of places I don’t have addresses for.

Time to go to bed. Somehow I don’t think my daughter will let me sleep in on Christmas morning.

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Double oy.

December 21st, 2006 18 comments

“Mommy, I want you to knit me a Bratz doll.”

Did I mention she was killing me? Yeesh.

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Yay, responsibility!

December 21st, 2006 8 comments

Today, Emily has her holiday Christmas party in school. I asked her last Friday what she did in school, and she told me that they were having the party today, and that she needed to bring napkins. I was THRILLED. This is the first time she’s remembered to relay something that I or she needs to do or bring for school. Just to be sure, I e-mailed the teacher on Monday, and she confirmed that yes, every child is bringing something, and that’s Emily’s job. Emily reminded me about it again on Tuesday. Then yesterday evening, she said, “Mom, do we have napkins?” So we looked, and sure enough, we were out. We went to the store and got some.

When we got home, she said, “there are 18 children in the class,” figuring out how many napkins we’d need without me suggesting it. I said we should probably bring more than 18, just in case someone needed extra. We packed up the napkins in a Ziploc bag and stuck them in her backpack.

I could not be more excited about this. It’s the first time she’s remembered something this long, and followed through on a responsibility on her own to be sure it’s taken care of. I guess Christmas parties are a powerful motivator. This speaks to an ability to focus and remember that is very hopeful and encouraging.

She’s at school now, with a backpack of napkins and a pair of unfelted teal Fuzzyfeet that she picked out the yarn color for. I give Fuzzyfeet to the teacher every year, along with a zippered pillowcase and instructions on how to felt them. I think felting is such a neat, interesting thing to do. This year I was so short on knitting time I had to get an assist from prostiturtle. And yes, I did think very, very hard about just claiming I’d knitted them myself, but I’m just not wired to do that, I guess.

By the way, I can put those pages up as .docs if anybody wants to modify them for their own use. It’s just such a fun gift, I always enjoy doing it.

All Christmas gifts are bought and wrapped, all that remains is to get ingredients for our traditional Christmas dinner – ravioli from scratch. I think I’ll hit the breakfast bar at the big Harris Teeter to celebrate.

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December 20th, 2006 10 comments

I heard back from one of the Browncoats who wore her Jayne hat at the Browncoat Backup Bash. She says, in part:

“It was by far one of the superior Jayne hats there last weekend and I was proud to be the owner of it. Nathan Fillion complimented it in the bar when I met him. “That is a very cunning hat!” (ok, so not all that original but hey, he could have NOT said anything!).”

Eeeeeeeeee! Brush with fame! Eeeeeeeee! It was so nice of this person to write and tell me that. I’ve got so much stuff to do today, but my energy level just rose about a thousand percent.

And speaking of Nathan Fillion, looks like he’s got a new show that’s coming out. And Tim Minear is exec producer so that’s another point in its favor. It’s on FOX, so let’s hope that they don’t immediately cancel it as they’re prone to do.

At this point, everybody who I guaranteed a Jayne hat to by Christmas should have received one, and everybody who I said “well, probably, but no guarantees” has theirs in the mail. Woot!

Hats up for: AZ, Canada, and CA

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Well, that was a wash.

December 19th, 2006 12 comments

So someone in posted about how they wanted to knit a beanie because they’d just started to go “no-poo” and didn’t want greasy-looking hair when they started their new job. No-poo is apparently the idea that you should stop using shampoo and start using baking soda and water, and sometimes rinsing with apple cider vinegar.

Honestly, it sounded like a bunch of hooey to me, but what the heck. I decided to give it a shot.

Following the instructions in that post and in the community, I mixed up my solution of baking soda as well as my apple cider rinse and stepped into the shower.

Pouring the baking soda on my hair, I worked it in as much as possible – it was rather runny – and let it sit. I kept my eyes closed because I didn’t want baking soda to run into my eyes. A little did run down my face to my mouth, but no big deal. It smelled like pretzels, and I like pretzels. However, my hair felt only minimally cleaner.

With great trepidation, I picked up the container of apple cider vinegar. I had diluted it, as I recalled science fair volcanos from my past. I had no desire for my skull to erupt. I poured the solution over my head slowly.


I had forgotten how strong apple cider vinegar could smell. I rinsed with water afterward, several times. Finally, when I was down to an acceptable stink level, I felt my hair to determine whether it was clean. Answer: not really. I decided I did need to use a small amount of shampoo, since I was actually seeing people I knew that day. Even after the Garnier Fructis, my hair still smelled faintly of the vinegar. It might have been slightly softer, but then again, I could have been imagining it. I’m not sure.

So, summing up:

Pros: Better for the environment. Possibly slightly softer hair.

Cons: Ineffective. Makes head smell like Easter egg.

It’s possible that this works better with thick, curly, or kinky hair, none of which I have. That seems to be the prevailing wisdom in the community. As for me, I think I’m better off getting a tub of my favorite shampoo, Big from Lush, and not trying to balance bases and acids like a bathroom chemist. Lesson learned.

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Cookies and cousins

December 18th, 2006 No comments

Every year, my mother’s side of the family gets together to bake and decorate cookies. This year, Emily’s Nana sent her a nifty shirt to wear. We forgot to bring a camera to the cookie bake, which is a shame, but here’s a picture of it. This is after the cookie bake, when she was both exhausted and hopped up on sugar, which explains the bouncing.

Her four second-cousins were there, ranging in age from 11 to 3. The older ones went outside to play while the three-year-old kept decorating cookies. Nine-year-old Ava asked Emily if she wanted to come. She did. They all played hide and seek. It’s Emily’s favorite game, even though she’s a little too enthusiastic to be very good at it. Her cousin Forrest walked by where she was hiding, and she called out, “who are you looking for?” Needless to say, he found her. She didn’t care, though, she was having fun.

The cookie bake was held at my Aunt Lynne’s. She has a big spread, just up the hill from her stables. There’s almost no traffic, and I knew that the other three kids played there all the time, so I made a conscious decision not to hover and to let them go out and play without interfering. I played up there all the time as a kid, so I was familiar with the layout and how safe it was. My mom watched them go out and said, “I think I’ll just go out and pet the dog.” They have a Bernese Mountain Dog, the same kind as we used to have, so we do like to pet her and think about our old girl. I think petting the dog was probably just secondary to watching Emily, which is fine.

Emily had a great time playing hide and seek and tag, and then came in to rest. She said, “Hannah and Ava and Forrest are coming in, too.” I said, “no, I think they’re staying outside to play.” She thought for a minute, then turned around and went back outside. This happened several times until they all decided to come in. I love this because it’s the first time that her desire to play and be social has overwhelmed her desire to come inside and decompress and calm down. And from what I saw, she was keeping up just fine. Those are some great kids.

She did very well with the social niceties, and is finally adding “excuse me” to her repertoire when she needs to get past someone. As we were leaving, she turned back at the door to tell Aunt Lynne, “Bye! Thank you for being with us!”

She slept like a log last night, to the point that she overslept and we were five minutes late for school this morning. Oh, well, it was a small price to pay.

We’re looking forward to seeing her other cousins on Friday at Nana and Grandpa’s house!

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Jayney goodness.

December 17th, 2006 4 comments

Am seriously considering moving to a flat $40 price including shipping for everyone in the world, as opposed to different tiers for different places, as of 2007. Still thinking it over. I still wouldn’t be making a living wage, so it’s not like it’s an outrageous price from my end, but there’s also the matter of people being used to spending $5 at WalMart for some piece of third-world-country mass-produced gao se and therefore possibly balking at the price.

I’ve finished all the “you’ll definitely get it by Christmas” orders and am working on those which either didn’t mention Christmas or which got a firm “maybe by Christmas.”

Had a great time at the yearly Christmas cookie bake. Am now, as we say in the South, plum tuckered out.

Will make a better post later.

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