Sunday, December 27, 2009


Christmas is not my favorite time of the year; it has lost it's luster in stages throughout the years. It began with the death of my grandmother. Our core family traditions were centered around her - all attempts at continuing these forever seemed contrived. Then came the end of my first marriage in 1996 - that began the cycle of swapping off (aka "sharing") the kids through the holiday. From there, it became less than it once was when the kids grew up and some of the magic was lost. Since I'm not a religious person, the magic and traditions are what held it together for me. Enter the economic issues - it became more important to focus on needs rather than wants, drawing names to minimize cost and other necessary efforts to balance spending. Top this off with being out of touch with my oldest child and you have the perfect scrooge-like storm.

I'm not saying that any of this could have been changed. I'm just trying to trace the path of my current apathy toward the holiday. Isolating the causes feels better than just pointing to overarching bitchiness. (which I will admit to, intermittently)

Here's this year's tree (which I struggled to get the will to put up) and the stagecoach ornament above given to me by my parents - a little barb symbolizing the company that acquired the one I work for last year. Perhaps future events will occur that will unwind or reset the way I feel about the holidays. I can only hope so.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fall Gifts

I realize that I have too much time on my hands, but they're still pretty. I'm taking them to my family at Thanksgiving. Here's me: "What do you mean we don't exchange gifts at Thanksgiving??".

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Basket of Balls

I've been knitting Christmas ornament covers for early gifts for family and Christmas gifts for friends. In the pic there are three of the four lace patterns; the green is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn and the red and cream ones are Brown Sheep Company's Wildfoote. They are really quite a bit easier than I had anticipated - the cagiest part being when you "force" the glass ball into the knitting that is on dpns only a few rows shy of completion. This is the Deck the Halls with Lace pattern. I plan to make a couple more in bright colors for my nieces. I understand that this makes me look a little nutty, but whatever.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Poor Snickers

Snickers is without question the best dog in the world. Well, best for me anyway. She doesn't run agility courses or do any bizarre tricks, but she is very well-behaved. She is my first dog; I found her on PetFinder and adopted her through the Iredell Humane Society. I was interviewed and scrutinized in a way I wish many people would be prior to being allowed to conceive. She doesn't bark unless something is way wrong; smells like shampoo most of the time; sheds only lightly and respects what is mine and what is hers.

Recently, she had to have minor surgery. She has some crazy overactive gum masses that have been removed, but seem to return (though to a lesser degree). She also had a marble-sized cyst on the base of her tail. I took her in to have both removed when the gum issue became excessively large and began to consistently bleed. Poor girl!

The funny parts have been two-fold. 1) They shaved the first 1/4 of her tail, so she looks like a cross between a lion and a swiffer duster and 2) the surgery and meds have her She is so unfamiliar with this that when she farts, it startles her into jumping up and peering around to see what happened. Hysterical.....the amusement is almost, but not quite, worth the $416 bill.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Kitten

I love my car. I bought my car new in 2001. I test-drove virtually every make/model known to man. I was married at the time and could afford to spend more on a car than I likely could now. I grew to love "The Kitten" more every day. It has been kept in pristine condition (spare a few unfortunate parking deck incidences); it has been detailed every four weeks of its life, it has been garaged both at home and work. No one is allowed to eat in the car, but perhaps you can have a small sip of a drink if you are parched. I did allow my beloved Snickers in the back, but only after swaddling the way-back in quilts. The Kitten has 177,000 miles on it; every one of which I have driven myself. So, based on this, you can understand my sadness when some YeeHaw ran into the side of it when Allison went to get a tuna sandwich from the deli. Allison is fine, mercifully. I first rented a Toyota Yaris, which is the chihuahua of cars, graduating to a Nissan Sentra that is very basic. Feel better, Kitten, you'll be home soon.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


The shady side of the house is a soupy, mossy mess (due to the weird sprinkler system coverage) and isn't so good for grass, but great for these delicate impatiens. They're not a sophisticated flower, but one of my favorites.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza

Here is one of Allison's favorites; it's a caramelized red onion and goat cheese pizza. The recipe comes from Allison's friend's mom, Margaret. Allison has never, ever partaken of meat on pizza, so this is a welcomed reprieve from the Margherita pizza for her. The red onions are lovingly caramelized with madeira and thyme for about an hour and a half. The refrigerated leftovers look a little gross, but tastes good when reheated.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

Allison is home this weekend and one of her favorites is sausage gravy and biscuits. I have to say that when I was young, I had no desire to eat what looks essentially like (and must be first-cousin to, chemically) Elmer's glue. I didn't like things that made other things mushy, such as that poor biscuit.

I was always suspicious of foods that were white or "creamed". My mother proudly makes these fresh green peas in a cream sauce that make me shudder to this day. Similarly, I do not prefer my corn to be creamed.

So, based on my previous dislike for all thing white and gooey, I am surprisingly now on board with the sausage gravy and biscuits. I'm thinking it's not doing my ass any favors, but it's ok as long as I only do it when Allison arrives.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Phone!

When did it become such a big deal to get a new cell phone? Not sure, but it has. I previously had the HTC Pocket PC from Sprint. Here lately it's been acting kind of hinky; low battery life, dumping calls, Internet connection hanging, etc. I approached this as a warning shot prior to more insidious failures. My most recent former husband gifted me the delightful Palm Pre. Clearly, this is an iPhone wannabe, but the best Sprint has to offer at this time. I've heard good things about it; that it's actually better than the iPhone, but with a smaller marketing budget. I know one thing for certain; there are waaaaay less apps available than on the iPhone, but you can use multiple apps simultaneously. I'm sure there are geeks somewhere furiously developing new apps for the Pre, so I am going to patiently wait it out. I am vigilantly trying to learn this new thing; the previous phone navigated much like a PC, hence it's name. This, however, does not. Hopefully, by Monday I will have learned enough to make a call or send an email without having a meltdown of some nature.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wraps, Shawls and Stoles (oh my)

After achieving success with Nancy Bush's Lily of the Valley Estonian lace shawl (from Lace Style) I decided that it would be good to have a black shawl as well. I like Susannah IC's Meandering Vines Shawl pattern; it seemed less intense than the Lily of the Valley where I probably experienced eye damage due to being afraid to blink for fear of losing my place.

What I didn't account for is how difficult it is to SEE the stitches with this jet black yarn. I am using the laceweight Misti Alpaca. I'll knit this for a while, then I must to get back to the zillion baby gifts that are in queue. Why do people turn up pregnant in packs? Here are the completed Lily and the yarn for the Meandering Vines.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Inaugural Post

I've been reading blogs for what seems like forever, was an early-adopter of social networking sites, and work on strategy for a corporate Web site for a living. I guess it's my lack of hard-core technical ability that kept me from blogging for so long.

The realization finally hit that if I didn't just DO it, I'd never learn. So, that said, please forgive the rudimentary nature of this blog. Perhaps it (and I) will get better over time!