As 2007 winds down….

Hello everyone!  Christmas here was over in a flash, it seemed.  The kids had a good time and they ate a surprising amount, considering they had a huge meal at their dad’s prior to  heading over to my house.  Sam put his hat on and did not take it off… unfortunately, I did not get a photo of it.  There’s some brilliance, no?

It has been quiet this week at my house, welcome quiet!  I have started some time of selfish knitting!  I am starting my third round of “beehive” stitches on my Marie Antoinette Socks.  Oh, I am in love!  They are divine, and a fun knit.  Anne, once again, has created an incredibly brilliant knit.  If you have not check them out, do. 

I have also been knitting on my “Logan River Wrap”.  I am using the suggested yarn, Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran – a blend of merino, silk, and cashmere.  While, I love the brown – green is my “go to” shade.  So, yes, I am knitting this up in a lovely medium green that has flecks of brown through out.  Yeah, enough said.  This stuff is yummy.  I am almost through my first ball, making nice progress.  I will also learn some new techniques in this knit – adding a border.  Yes, that is right, have not done that yet.  I will keep you posted as I begin the borders, so stay tuned!

Knit K-night was interesting this week.  I had some apples that I really needed to use, so I made a big pan of apple crisp and carted that down to feed the masses!  They all wolfed that down in short order!!  And, it seems that the gifts they all knit were exceedingly well received.  All in all, an interesting evening.

I believe I have a plan in place that will have me employed soon.  A good transition for me.  I am eager to get started, and although it will require some education, I have an appointment set for January 3 to start the journey.  New Year, new career. 

I am staying home for New Year’s Eve this year – my kids will be “floating” around – so, I had better stay put.  But, on New Year’s Day – I am heading over to Lansing to visit Threadbear!!  My goal will be to get there early in the morning and head home to watch the last half of the Citrus Bowl.  Michigan plays Florida, it should be a good game!!  Any of you Lansing knitters planning on being at Threadbear on Tuesday???  I’d love to see you all!

Stay tuned for some upcoming news on Blog365….

Have a great weekend all!

I’m seeing a white Christmas!

Hello everyone from White, Wintry Holland!

Yes, we got snow and more snow yesterday.  It was steady all day – with some gale force winds to boot! 

I am most thankful that we did not loose power, although some of my Michigan neighbors did.  I am hopeful that the power is soon restored and that all those without power have a warm and welcoming place to go.

So, gentle readers, if you have not finished your Christmas knitting – you still have some time to accomplish that.  Not much, but still some time!

I have some ends to weave in and a couple of gifts yet to wrap – small things that I expect to be done with shortly!

What I really need to get done today is the remainder of my food preparation for tomorrow!  I will be doing so while I listen to carols (and I assure you I will be singing along!). 

All of the anticipation of Advent has built up to today – and I will be singing tonight with the choir in our midnight candle light service.  It will be extra special this year as me and the kids will be helping lead our opening devotion and lighting the Advent wreath. 

I hope and pray that you all have a most Blessed Christmas with your loved ones. 

I leave you with a picture of the Nativity by Albrecht Durer and the words to a Christmas hymn by Martin Luther. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep;
I, too, must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradle song.

Glory to God in highest Heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.

 

T-minus 2 days and counting….

Hello Everyone! 

So, has the stress of Christmas preparation caused you to boil over?  Have you run out of steam?  Are you chugging uphill and fear that you cannot make it?

Well, take a deep breath – go on, I will wait. 

Another one…. nice and slow. 

Let the calm wash over you. 

Let go of that niggling anxiety.  Yes, just let it go….

It will be okay – trust me!

In all past Christmas’ I have been at a fevered pace in the final days winding up to Christmas day.  Much of the activity was brought on by the determination that I would make Christmas perfect for those around me if I was a raving lunatic.  With the frantic meal preparations, wrapping an obscene amount of presents, demanding perfection from the house, the children, and the weather – there better be snow!  And, what do I have to show for all that – not much but a few additional grey hairs on my head!

What I was missing in all the Christmas preparations was the real meaning of Christmas. 

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is giv’n.

Every year on our Christmas tree, nestled deep in the branches and next to trunk of the tree, we place this little wooden nativity.  You have to look for it, it is sort of hidden away.  I find this little nativity so beautiful, maybe even more so since I have become a knitter.  The little sheep next to the manger is so appropriate.  After all, shephard’s were the very first visitors! 

I believe that we need to look for the meaning of Christmas – it can get lost in all the “commercialism” of the holiday. 

And, if we look – it is there quietly waiting for us, eager to welcome us. 

So, my Christmas wish for all of you is that you would slow down in these last remaining days of Advent. 

Savor the blessings that surround all of you. 

May the peace of Christmas fill your hearts with joy.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Thank you Brian Williams for keeping my seat warm!

Hello everyone!  Well, what a marvelous week we have had here at the Home for the Unemployed!  Each day seems to bring new and hilarious exciting drama possibilities!  I want you all to know that in the dilligent search for gainful employment, there are a multitude of pathways to travel!

 And, am I traveling them!

Okay – in an effort to keep you, dear readers, amused.  I will share with you my “Most Wonderful Adventure” from yesterday!

So, in the State Of Michigan’s unbelievable wisdom – they are determined to find me a “career” not just a job.  Thank goodness they are not trying to find me an adventure – I don’t think the army would be a good choice for a woman of my years!  But, they are trying to find me a “career”. 

So, in order to help me find this new career, they had me take an “Interest Profiler Test”.  They explained that if I know what my interests are, I would be more successful in finding a career that matches those interests. 

Now, this is an online test – so imagine me sitting in a room with other unemployed idiots people like myself!

I have to tell you – I truly felt like I was in middle school during the process.  I had flash backs when the “instructor” began reading each page out loud to us.  Obviously, the unemployed are unable to read.  This must be a skill that is reserved for the working world alone.  Who knew.  I must have missed that page on my termination paper – “… and you hereby give up the right to read comprehensively with your termination of employment.”  Yeah, well… I am just saying. 

And, then the fun began. 

So, I have a test that is not a test with 180 questions that will help me determine what my “interests” are.  They asked me great questions, just brilliant I am telling you.  And, there was not a knitting/fiber question in the lot.  But, they did ask me if I wanted to chop down trees in a forest.  They asked me if I wanted to lube cars.  They asked me if I wanted to balance spread sheets.  They asked me if I wanted to climb mountains.  They asked me if I wanted to haul cargo in a semi-truck.  They asked me if I liked music. 

 Are you seeing a pattern here?

Well, I answered the 180 questions and the outcome was quite hysterical informational.

Drum roll please…. (ba-dum-dum-dum-dum-dummmmm)

The #10 job career for me is – Composer, Musician, Instrumental!  Okay, that is just fabulous.  Did I miss the question about could I play an instrument?  I swear there was no question about playing an instrument.  Does being a ringer in the bell choir count????  Somehow, I am positive that being a “ding-a-ling” does not a musician make!

Okay.. moving on  the #9 career option – Choreographer, dancer.  What????  Okay, now I know for SURE that there was NOT one question regarding dancing on the entire darn test.  NOT one.  Must be if you say you do not want to haul cargo in a semi – you are interested in dancing.   Never mind that I have 2 left feet… Fred Astaire, you don’t have to worry about your day job.

Let’s see if #8 is any better…. Creative writer, poet, lyricist, copy writer, cartoonist, caption writer.  Okay, I don’t think I can make any money with my blog.  Could someone call their publicist and let them know that this was my #8 choice…. thanks!  Keep this career aspiration in mind all of you bloggers out there, the next caption contest I enter, I should win based on the stupidity of this career option!

Okay, surely #7 must be better, right — Producer.  Of what?  I don’t know.  I have produced 3 children, does that count?  I am not sure what good that will do me – last time I checked, they did not pay moms for child production!

Well, #6 is not much better – Editor.  Hmmm, that might have possibilities.  I am calling the Holland Sentinel to let them know that I will be happy to take a position editing their paper.  I surely cannot do worse that the editing they have currently! 

And, #5  Film and Video Editor.  Huh?  I can barely get my photos uploaded to Flickr.  Ummm, did they see the “female” tab checked.  Hello, how can I edit film and video if I cannot set my VCR timer?????

#4 Music Arranger and Orchestrator/Singer.  Huh, see #10.  And, while I sing in the choir – I do so under the guidance of “make a joyful NOISE to the Lord”.  Thank you very much. 

#3 Interpreter/Translator.  Ummmm, I know I have a multi-lingual daughter, but me… not so much.  I could translate that I cannot speak spanish, does that count????

#2 Actor.  Yes, you read that right -ACTOR.  Ummmm, you have got to be kidding me.  Seriously – I am paying taxes for this kind of help for the VAST number of unemployed Michiganders!?!  Yeah, could I have a job, oh I mean career, that I could actually earn a living????? 

Okay… are you ready for the #1 “Career” for me?????  Holy cow, people, I am sure you can barely stand the suspense!  I know I could not….

And, the #1 career choice for me is …… Radio/Television Announcer or Broadcast News Announcer/Analyst.  People, I know, I was stunned.  And, if you think I am stunned – how stunned do you think that Brian Williams will be when I call him to let him know!  And, what about Katie Couric – she’ll move right over and let me in, don’t you think???  Hey, maybe I can call NPR – I am a member after all, and I can tell them that since I have been such a good member all these years it is time for them to return the favor – and I will be happy to take over the morning spot for Renee Montagne.  I am sure they will get right on that.

Yeah…. my thoughts exactly. 

Is it Christmas yet? 

Would it be Christmas without cookies?

Hello Everyone!

Well, in a few short hours my kitchen will be transformed into “baking central”.  I am enlisting the elves kids to get some holiday cookies baking. 

Good things:  The smell of cookies baking, hearing the kids laughing as they are working on them, watching them goof off with each other.

Bad things:  Cleaning up the kitchen after all the mayhem, pondering how many calories are in said cookies, eating cookies anyways!

I will try and snag some photos of the afternoon insanity!  We have Spritz and fudge on the horizon.  I might even be able to convince Heidi to make some truffles!  My mouth is watering! 

My knitting is perking right along, although I am aching to knit for me!  How selfish is that!?!  Only the guilt is keeping me from breaking out some personal knitting.  Are you all having “knit for myself” pangs as well?  I have visions of Fair Isle dancing in my head….

Like this one….

Or this one….

Or maybe this one….

I am telling you, 2008 is going to be the year of Fair Isle here at my house!  You will find me happily stranding along.  And – if all goes well, you may see this show up on this blog!  Stay tuned for my departure to the Fair Isle…. 

I have also started the task of wrapping!  Ugh!  I would like to put the packages under the tree, but I am afraid of what Thing One and Thing Two Noel and Maddie will do with wrapped boxes!  I am telling you, dogs are MUCH easier!  Copper and Penny watch those two cats and I can hear them thinking – oh, boy – are you gonna be in trouble!!!!  And, the cats seem quite happy to ignore the dogs sage advice…. I am telling you, they are not too smart!

Well, I am off to get the kitchen ready for our “Bake-a-thon” and back to my Christmas knitting. 

Have a good one everyone!

It’s a Special Christmas Package!

Hello everyone!

 All year long I have been a member of Lynne’s Special Swap and I have enjoyed it immensely.  Our themes have been original and creative!  I have gotten to know some amazing and wonderful knitter/bloggers. 

And, Lynne ended the Special Swap by doing a “Christmas Swap” and my swap partner was an amazing Knitting Blogger, Sue.  We had exchanged a few emails as we got to know each other and I had so much fun selecting items to send to her to make her Christmas bright! 

This morning, bright and early, the postman rang the bell and delivered a package for me!

It was filled with some incredible treasures just for me!

Sue included some new Santa’s for my ever growing collection!  And, there was yarn!!  In the Santa mug is some appropriately named Knit Picks Gloss – Cocoa!  Won’t this make some “hot” socks?  I am seeing something that has a bit of a swirling pattern – like a nice, hot, creamy cup of hot cocoa!  Mmmmmmmmmmm, my fingers are itching to complete my Christmas Knitting so I can cast on something for me!!

There is also a skein of Sugar n Cream cotton to knit a Christmas dishcloth!  Sue, I think I can get it done before Christmas!! 

She included some great chocolates as well – and she included a Santa Stocking and a sock bag for a take along knit!  Sue, I am certain that you made these – and they are just gorgeous!! 

I love everything in my package!!  Sue, thank you so very, very much!!

The weekend  fairly flew by – we got some snow!!  I tried to get a photo, but my battery died in the camera.  I need to get some batteries today and get a picture or two posted for those of you who will not have a White Christmas!  It is looking very much like a Currier and Ives card outside right now!

I am also in need of a “Kitty Time Out” room.  There was much mayhem last night by Thing One and Thing Two.  I am on the look out for the Cat in the Hat…. I fear he is hiding here somewhere urging the kitties on!  I am wondering how I can sleep through the Kitty Shenanigans….by the looks of the house, there must be volumes of noise! 

Well, I am off to knit on…. have a blessed Monday all!

The bees are buzzing

My Marie Antoinette  kit arrived yesterday from Kim!  I truly tried to not even look at it. 

Really….

Okay, I would not believe that either! 

I still have Christmas knitting to do….

So, I said I would just wind the yarn into a cake…. and read through the pattern….

Before I knew it, I was looking for size 1 DPNs and some waste yarn….

Here are 10 repeats of the cuff lace pattern. 

I know… beautiful, isn’t it????

So, I can work on this again if I get my mom’s mitts done today. 

I gotta go knit… have an awesome day everyone!