Sunday, December 31, 2006

Snow Day

North Winds Blow! It's finally snowing here!

My knitting buddy left yesterday and I'm sad. I'll post more later about what a great time we had, but in the meantime, here's a meme I was tagged to do before Christmas.

ABC MeMe - Tagged by Chelle!

The Letter A
Are you agnostic? I am not always a yes or no person, so here it goes. Honestly, there are times that I think I am. I have lots and lots of questions. I have faith, but then again, I’m not sure.
What is your age? Oh no you don’t! I’m young enough not to care if you know but old enough not to say it out loud.
What annoys you? People asking me how old I am.

The Letter B
Do you like bacon? Oh yeah! And that’s why I never have it in the house.
What is your birthday? April 26. Bet you thought I’d put the year, didn’t ya? I’m not that stupid.
Who is your best friend? A true friend wouldn’t rank her friends. But A, T, and RJ are way up there.

The Letter C
What is your favorite candy? I love a really good box of chocolates—not just creams and a combination of dark and milk chocolates.
Who is your crush? Hmmmm. Lately, Gerard Butler, Tony Curran. It’s easy to crush on an actor because there’s no chance you’ll meet him, so there’s no chance of making an ass of yourself.
When was the last time you cried? I am the biggest crybaby. And with it being Christmas, I’m pretty much a waterfall with every sappy commercial.

The Letter D
Do you daydream? To the detriment of getting anything else done.
What is your favorite kind of dog? I love most dogs. My darling Daily Dog was a Petite Bassett Griffon Vendeen (PBGV), but I also love boarder collies and Scottish Deerhounds.
What day of the week is it? Sunday.

The Letter E
How do you like your eggs? I love eggs! Any way you cook ‘em, I’ll eat ‘em. I will eat them in a boat and I will eat them with a goat . . .
Have you ever been in the emergency room? Yes, but not for me.
What’s the easiest thing to ever do? Smile

The Letter F
Have you ever flown in a plane? Yes. I love to fly.
Do you use fly swatters? Well, yeah. How else will I destroy those evil little critters that like to dive bomb me while I’m trying to read or take a nap?
Have you ever used a foghorn? No, but my hubby wants to put one on the Miata. And may I say, that I was a little concerned about what question would come with “F” but it’s all good.

The Letter G
Do you chew gum? Yes, and I can even walk while I chew it.
Are you a giver or taker? Oh, we’re all both, aren’t we? There are times I take, there are times I give. I’m multifaceted that way.

The Letter H
How are you? Fine, and you?
What’s your height? 5’6” but I wish I was at least 5’8” because then I’d be the perfect weight.
What color is your hair? Right now, it’s dark brown with reddish tones. I have no idea what color it really is.

The Letter I
What is your favorite ice-cream? Cherry Garcia and Chocolate and Peanut Butter
Have you ever ice-skated? Yes, when I was a little kid. I’d like to go again, but I seem to be the only one in my little group who does. Party poopers.
Do you play an instrument? I used to play the guitar. I’ve thought about picking it up again but I don’t have those calluses any more. Or the energy to practice. Or the talent, come to think of it.

The Letter J
What is your favorite jelly bean? I like jelly beans, ok, but one too many and I’m sick to my stomach the rest of the day.
Do you wear jewelry? I would if I had some. We saw a commercial for a Kay’s Jewelers and I said, “Diamonds are always a nice gift.” Al said, “That’s not you.” I said, “Yes, it is. You just don’t buy me that.”
Have you heard a really hilarious joke? Ok, I love this one. Angus walks into the Highland bar and orders a double whisky and to keep them coming. The bartender asked him what was wrong, and he said (in Scottish accent) “Ya see that bridge? I built that bridge with me own two hands. That bridge will stand for a hundred years. But does anyone call me Angus the Bridge-builder? No. Ya see that church? I built that church with me own two hands. That church will stand for a hundred years. But does anyone call me Angus the Church-builder? No. Ya see that house? I built that house with me own two hands. That house will stand for a hundred years. But does anyone call me Angus the House-builder? No. But ya f*#k one goat!”

The Letter K
Who do you want to kill? That’s awful! Ya coulda asked “Who do you want to kiss?” Wouldn’t that be nicer?
Do you want kids? No. Sure I seem nice and friendly and all that, but I’m really very selfish, neurotic, and set in my ways. I’d be a horrible mother.
Where did you have kindergarten? I think it was in Harrison, AR. But I don’t remember much about it. Mom says that I always wore a dress because I thought I’d turn into a boy if I wore pants.

The Letter L
Are you laid-back? No, not particularly. I’m a lot better than I used to be, but I’m still pretty tightly wound.
Do you lie? I’d be lying if I said no.
Do you love anyone? It’s all about the love, baby.

The Letter M
What is your favorite movie? I don’t have just one favorite. I like a lot of different kinds of movies, but I’m not a big romantic comedy fan or a slasher-movie fan.
Do you still watch Disney movies? Of course I do. I’m very comfortable with my inner child.
Do you like mangos? Mmmmmm, mangos. Especially in Mango Lassies (like a mango slushy at Indian restaurants)

The Letter N
Do you have a nickname? Kell is my nickname, if you can call it that. I’ve never had a cute nickname. Poor little nicknameless me.
What is your favorite number? I really like the number 3. There’s something really balanced about 3. I always chose 3 and/or 33 on lottery numbers. Of course, I never win . . . maybe I should find another favorite number.
Do you prefer night or day? “You know the night time darling (night and day)/Is the right time (night and day) . . .” Anyone know that song?

The Letter O
What is your one wish? World peace. Wait, I’m not in the running for Miss America! I wish for a puppy. OK, actually, I wish for joy, great heart-filling joy.
Are you an only child? Nope, a younger brother. But you already knew that, probably.
Do you wish this year was over? No because then there’s that whole “what did you accomplish this year” and “what are your goals for next year” and I can’t handle the pressure!

The Letter P
What is one fear that you are most paranoid about? Breaking down on the side of the road.
What personality trait would you look for in someone you wanted to date? Funny and fun-loving. If I was going to have to date again (God forbid), I would want someone I can have fun with. And have a lot of money (kidding!).

The Letter Q
Are you quick to judge people? Yes, and many, many times I’m not wrong. However, I’m becoming more apathetic as I get older, so I don’t care enough to judge.

The Letter R
Do you think you are always right? My hubby thinks I am, that’s what’s kept us together for so long. He’s always saying, *as Eyore* “Kell’s always right.” Of course, I’m not. And he doesn’t really think that.
Do you watch reality T.V.? I’ve watched Project Runway through the whole season, but that’s it. *she says smugly*
What is a good reason to cry? If someone takes your toy.

The Letter S
Do you prefer sun or rain? I love rainy, stormy days. We moved from Shreveport, LA to Pensacola, FL, to San Antonio, TX and I said to Al, “You keep moving me closer to the sun! I don’t want to be closer to the sun!”
Do you like snow? I love snow. Don’t like driving in it so much, but I love snow.

The Letter T
What time is it? 1:30 pm
What time did you wake up? 7:00 am but didn’t actually get up until closer to 8:00.
When was the last time you slept in a tent? 1991 or so when we went camping with friends in northern California. I’m too old to sleep on the ground now.

The Letter U
Are you wearing underwear? Is this an obscene phone call? Yes, I am. Victoria’s Secret. And you can use your imagination for the rest.

The Letter V
What is the worst veggie? Brussel sprouts
Where do you want to go on vacation? Dog-sledding in Alaska
What was your last family vacation together? Mom and I went to England and Scotland.

The Letter W
What is your worst habit? Too many to name, but probably procrastination. I prefer to call it procrastination than laziness.
Where do you live? In my happy place.

The Letter X
Have you ever had an X-ray? Yes. I don’t think that sets me apart from anyone.
Have you ever seen the X-Games? I don’t even know what that is.
Do you own a xylophone? No. But I had one of those little, colorful ones when I was a kid.

The Letter Y
Do you like the color yellow? Yes. My house is a lovely shade of buttery, light yellow. It’s a happy color.
What year were you born in? Oh no you don’t! I’m not stupid! You can figure out my age if I give you that. Ha! Thought you could trick me, didn’t ya.
What do you yearn for most? Yearn? Hmmmm. Yearn. I yearn for contentment and joy.

The Letter Z
What is your Zodiac Sign? Taurus
Do you believe in the Zodiac? Well, there are some pretty interesting coincidences if it isn’t real. I don’t believe in my horoscope, but some of those Zodiac descriptions are pretty close.
What is your favorite zoo animal? The big cats

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Still On Holiday

'Tis Herself will be continuing her holiday break this week while she entertains and is entertained by her good friend and knitting buddy RJ.

Have a wonderful week and a Hap-Hap-Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Merry

This is a really, really easy fudge recipe. It's pretty much foolproof--I swear!

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 (6oz) can evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup water
12 oz chocolate chips (I use a combination of bittersweet or dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Prepare a 9X13 pan. Spray it with nonstick spray. Line with a sheet of wax or parchment paper and spray that, too.

Combine sugar, milk, butter, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it comes to a boil, cook for 5 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add marshmallows and water, and stir to melt (switch to a spoon). Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Pour into prepared pan. Chill 3 hours or until firm. After you take it out of the fridge, let it warm up a little, then you'll be able to take out the fudge, with the paper. Cut into squares and serve at room temperature.

And now I think it's time for a Christmas break. So, warm, fuzzy thoughts for all of you this holiday season. I'll be talkin' to ya soon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ho Ho Hum

Jay tagged me with a book MEME, so I’ll start with that.

Rules for this tag game are:
-Grab the closest book to you
-Open Page 123
-Scroll down to the 5th sentence
-Post the next 3 sentences on your blog
-Name the book and author

I’m not going to tag anyone, though. If you need quick blogfodder, though, jump on in!

“This will be much better than Arkansas,” Felicia said.
“Why’d you leave Arkansas?” I asked, because I just couldn’t help it. Felecia was the simplest vampire I’d ever met.

Defintely Dead by Charlaine Harris.

How weird is that the sentences are about leaving Arkansas. Life is just freaky some times.


I haven’t noticed a headline telling us that Lindsey Lohan hasn’t had a drink for 2 weeks now. Whatever will we do without our “Lohan Update”?


It’s a cold, rainy day today. No snow yet, to my hubby’s joy. The temperatures have been unusually warm this winter. I’m not sure how I feel about that.


My knitting buddy RJ is coming up on the 26th. I’m so excited! We’re going to a knitting workshop at my LYS (local yarn shop) and just going to hang out for a while. She’s had a very rough year and she needs some time to just chill. Al is planning on just sitting down in the pub and letting us yakety-yak all we want. He wonders how we can always have something to talk about. I’m not really sure how we do it, either. It’s the same thing with my friend, A. Talk, talk, talk. And more talking, still.


I’m still reading my vampire/detective/romance book. I had to take a break while I finished off some Christmas stuff, but now I’m back into it. Tell me something, why do feel so guilty just sitting and reading a book. See? Notice how I said “just sitting . . .”? I feel like I should be doing something more productive—I think of all the things that need to be cleaned and groceries that need to be bought and a gym membership that should be utilized. I don’t feel guilty if I sit and knit all day, but then, I knit for other people. Sure, I enjoy it, but I give away almost everything I knit. Reading seems very self-indulgent. I wonder if I’d feel the same if I was reading, say, a biography or the latest political/historical tome. Then I could feel all superior because I was reading something “intellectual” or “worthy.”


Within another year, my hubby will either be accepting another assignment or getting out of the military. I’m a bit panicky about either one. Staying in for at least one more assignment would be a little less stressful because I’m used to that. I enjoy moving around and living in new places. If he gets out, well, that’s a little more uncertain. He could probably get a job here and we could settle here for awhile. I say “awhile” because as much as I like it here, I’m not so sure I like it enough to stay here for the rest of our lives. Not that it would have to be that way, but I think my hubby is ready to settle down some where. But the scariest thing about his retiring is that I’m not sure we have the same idea about where and what we want to do. And although we’ve financially been planning and thinking about it, it doesn’t seem like we’ve been planning and thinking enough. I’ve always just followed along, and now I might actually have a choice. What the hell do I do with a choice?


I took the nerd test on Cynnie’s blog. *Sigh* It’s so typical.

I am nerdier than 38% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

“Not nerdy, but definitely not hip” That’s me—friggin’ middle of the road.


The temperature has finally dropped back into the 30s, so I’m making chili tonight. Might light a fire in the fireplace. Maybe watch a Christmas movie. Snuggle on the couch with my sweetie. Hey! I may even read some of my book!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Christmas 25

I haven’t done a list of 25 in a while. How about a list of 25 Christmas memories? Yeah, I thought you might like that. If nothing else, there will be some funny stories about Jay and Mom.

1. I was in college before my mother asked if she could please put the gifts out before Christmas night so that she wouldn’t have to wait until we were asleep to do so. I hate being an adult.

2. One late night before Christmas when I was about, oh I don’t know 10 or so, my parents’ good friends and their 3 kids came over really late—like I was in bed late. The eldest son, Tommy, *sigh* came into my room and got a board game out for us to play while Jay and the other two kids were in the playroom. That was a pretty romantic night for me. I didn’t quite know why or how, but I knew it was.

3. That same night, the middle son, who was my age and mean spirited, kept telling his little sister that there wasn’t a Santa Claus and we kept telling her there was.

4. Our first Christmas after Dad left, Mom, Jay, and I painted wooden ornaments for the Christmas tree. We sat at the dining room table, and I wished that I was as good at painting them as my mom was. I still have many of those ornaments, and they are on my tree right now.

5. We couldn’t wait to get the Sears Christmas catalogue so we could circle all the things we wanted for Christmas. I circled a lot of things.

6. The first Christmas that we couldn’t go home and no one could come visit, we were in upstate New York and a little homesick. On Christmas Eve, Al and I went to see A Muppet Christmas Carol. When we came out it was dusk and snowing. It was so beautiful and hadn’t made the roads slick yet, so we drove around and looked at Christmas lights. Is it any wonder I love that movie?

7. Jay and I always searched the house for our Christmas presents once we realized who Santa really was and usually found them. They were usually in Mom's bedroom closet.

8. My Nana Ruby (Mom’s mom) caught me trying to peek into Mom’s closet when I young.

9. One of my favorite gifts was a Baby Alive doll. She was so cool because she ate and pooped, like a real baby. But it wasn’t so cool when I asked Mom to buy some diapers for my doll.

10. Mom would start taking down the Christmas decorations the day after Christmas, sometimes even starting that night. I thought that was very sad and too soon to be putting everything away. I think that’s why I leave mine up until after New Years.

11. I actually asked for and got an autoharp for Christmas one year. Our music teacher used one and I thought it was very cool. Did I mention I was very young and didn’t know better?

12. My Nana Creta used to give my cousin and me the same thing for Christmas, usually something she had made. I have a picture of us in matching tutus. Luckily, my cousin is a girl.

13. Jay would get so excited about Christmas that he would be sick on Christmas day and spend it sitting on Mom’s lap.

14. When we were little and our folks were still married, we always went to Yellville to my grandmother’s house on Christmas Day. I really loved that. But when my folks split up and Dad remarried, his new family (wife and 2 step-daughters) got to go instead. But I’m not bitter. (The hell I’m not.)

15. Mom and my dad’s family went out of their way to have a Christmas with us on a different day. They did the best they could with what they had.

16. Once my Dad passed away, all of a sudden we were invited/expected/wanted to come to Christmas. We did, but I just felt out of place.

17. When Al and I got married, my Mom told him that there was a law that you always go to the daughter’s mother’s house for Christmas. We did as often as we could, then because of his work schedule, it was easier for her to come visit us.

18. I enjoy having a full house at Christmas.

19. While living in San Antonio, we were part of a Mazda Miata driving club. Every Christmas we had a progressive dinner, and I always cooked either the main meal or the desserts. The last year we were there, we had over 40 people at our house.

20. It was warm enough to drive with the top down, so Al strung Christmas lights around the roll bar and wore a Santa’s hat while leading the 20 or so cars to our house. It was quite a sight to see.

21. When we were in Florida, we were members of an amazing church with a fantastic choir who stood in front of a stained-glass window. During their cantata, while they were singing “Mary Did You Know” and the song was building—The blind will see/The deaf will hear/The dead will live again…—the wind picked up and the shadow of the trees were whipping around behind them, also building with the music. Then, at the crescendo at the end of that verse, the wind stopped and the trees stood still as they quietly sang the last verse. It was heart-stopping.

22. When Al got me an engagement ring for Christmas, he gave me the clue that my gift acts like a clutch. I had never driven a standard and didn’t realize that a clutch engages the gears. Isn’t he clever?

23. The first year I shipped Christmas presents to Al’s family, I told him that if someone got a gift, I didn’t send that person a Christmas card. Therefore, his extended family got cards and immediate family got gifts. His grandmother was pissed that I didn’t send her a Christmas card. Now, cards for everyone!

24 While Granny (Al’s grandmother) was alive, I always sent fudge because she loved it. After her first mild stroke, she was starting to have trouble talking and getting around, but I was still sending the fudge. One Christmas, my mother-in-law said she got over to Granny’s house and she had chocolate all over her mouth and said, “Kelley sent candy” just as clear as day. I wish I had been there for that.

25. I send out over 50 Christmas cards every year. I’m blessed with many wonderful people in my life.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Making a List and Crossing It Off

I’ve crossed a lot off of my to do list, but there’s still plenty to do. But why dwell on those pesky things like shipping gifts, getting those last-minute things, and vacuuming all those little green “needles” scattered over the floor from putting up the artificial tree.

Let us, instead, talk about what has been accomplished.

Mostly accomplished.

Sort of accomplished.

So, maybe I crossed some things off my list before they were “officially” done, but I can get partial credit, can’t I?

The Christmas cards are addressed. Not all of them because I had to get some more cards. But I got those (so cute with a barn and sheep) and I’ll finish them tonight. Of course, I don’t have any stamps yet. . .

My Grandmother’s shawl is finished, wrapped, and ready to go.

Now all I have to do is take it down to the UPS store and ship it off.

The fudge is made and ready to ship to a not-so-subtle brother I know. And I have all the ingredients for the cookies, I just have to bake them. And pack them. And ship them.

The gifts are all bought and wrapped. Um. Wait a minute. I still have one thing to get for Mom and a restaurant gift certificate for our friends and something for my knitting buddy and her husband. So, I’m really close to being done on that one.

I’m pretty close to finishing something that I’m knitting for someone who reads this blog. But I don’t think I’m going to get it done in time. I’ll be really, really close, but not close enough to get it shipped in time. She’ll understand, but it still makes me sad that I didn’t get it done.

I have groceries to buy for a food drive for our church, but I need to wait until closer to the day it’s all due because one item is a frozen turkey. So, it’s perfectly acceptable not to have crossed that one off the list yet.

So, really, I’m in pretty good shape. Mostly. Sort of.

Oh, and I made an important decision for this season. I’m not going to include the always-anticipated but never-remembered Christmas letter with the cards. It just hasn’t been that a great year. There’s one measly and ambiguous paragraph about the hubby because I can’t really talk about what he does, even if I knew what it was that he does. Then there’s the bit of a shocker paragraph about me being diagnosed with MS, even though I tried to put a positive spin on it. But there’s no way to disguise the sad paragraph about losing our Daily Dog this summer to congestive heart disease. It just gets more depressing the further along they read. And I’ve been a bit combative and frustrated, so I think that comes across in the letter. Instead of funny, it sounds snide. And although I don’t mind anyone knowing about the MS, I don’t want it to seem like I’m looking for sympathy by dropping a bomb like that. I wanna share, but then again, I don’t. Know what I mean?

So. Busy, busy, busy (said as the bad magician in Frosty the Snowman). I’m so ready to be done with all this. I think I need a little holiday cheer—in the form of Godiva white chocolate liqueur in my hot chocolate ;-)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm Not Apologizing

I have a master’s in English. I graduated with a 4.0, and I can write a 5 to 10-page literary criticism paper with my eyes closed. I’m not trying to impress you (I wouldn’t be impressed with that), I’m leading up to something.

I have a library full of Norton Criticals of the literary canon. I admit that I treasure my Riverside Shakespeare from my seminars. And I am grateful that I got over my fear of poetry and actually like it now.

However, I’m not in school any more, and I get to choose what I want to read. And most of the time, I choose not to read anything that will make me think as much as I had to when I was in school. Oh, every now and then I want to be challenged, so I might go to my list of those books that I really should read or something that won the Pulitzer Prize. But, honestly, I’ve found that many times I can’t get through the books that have won those awards. I think I’ve developed some kind of reading ADD. How many times on the third page of scenery or character description have I put the book down with a moan and say, “Get on with it!” I’ve said that with many of the “woman overcoming something” books, too. Lately, I just want to escape when I read.

This is a great disappointment to my friend A (I told you about her, she’s the one I see when I go home). A’s book choices puts Oprah to shame. If she doesn’t cry while reading a book, it wasn’t any good. So when she asks me, “Are you reading any good books?” I wonder if I should lie and tell her I just read the latest Mitch Albom or be honest and tell her I just read another Rebus mystery (because I’m trying to catch up).

Even worse to her would be what I’m reading right now. I put aside Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend, which seems like it’s going to be a really good book btw, because the library called to let me know that a book by Charlaine Harris that I put on hold was in. And this book is, well, it’s its own category, that’s what it is. The Denver Post says it’s “A delightful Southern, vampire detective series.”

Yep. That about covers it. Only it’s not just vampires, it’s werewolves and fairies and shape shifters (oh my!). Plus a little romance thrown in. Apparently, vampires have a voracious appetite for something besides blood. But these aren’t the erotic stuff of Laurel K. Hamilton’s vampire hunter series; it’s pretty tame and kind of sweet, actually.

They’re about barmaid Sookie Stackhouse (I swear, that’s her name), living and working in northeast Louisiana, which is part of the appeal for me because I lived in the Bossier City, Louisiana, and the towns around there are part of the books. Anyway, Sookie lives in a world where vampires have come out of the shadows and are part of our world. There are many other otherworldly creatures, but they haven’t made themselves known, choosing to wait and see how the vamps do first. But Sookie knows they exist and is even friends with some of them. Her boss turns into a dog, she has a fairy who is a kind of guardian angel, she dated a vampire, and her brother was bitten by a werepanther, so now he turns into a panther with the full moon.

You know, I type these things like they are every day occurrences and perfectly normal. But that’s the nice thing about the books. She’s created a wonderful and fascinating fantasy world. And they’re pretty good mysteries, too. There’s usually a few story lines going on at the same time, but it’s not so much that you get confused.

Also, Alan Ball (who wrote American Beauty and created Six Feet Under) has bought the rights to turn the stories into a series for HBO. I may have to expand my cable. *thinks about it* Nah. Cable’s too expensive already, and everything comes to DVD anyway.

So, I’m reading Definitely Dead. Each title has the word “Dead” in it, by the way. The first book is Dead Until Dark, then Living Dead in Dallas, then Club Dead. . . well, you get the idea.

My friend A would be so disappointed in me.


Thanks Jay for the cool banner! I feel so very merry.

Monday, December 11, 2006

One Year, More or Less

‘Twas 2 weeks before Christmas, and Kell cannot sleep.
She worries and types and tries not to weep.

“It’s an emotional season,” her friends tell her sweetly.
They have no idea, not even an inkling.

‘Cuz what they don’t know and what they can’t see,
Is the blog that she writes, anonymity is key.

“It’s been a whole year” she says “since I wrote my first post.”
And she’s finally got the hang of it . . .well, almost.

There are so many blogs that are better by far,
And compared to them, she can’t even make par.

First there’s her brother's and mom's, both intelligent and witty.
She obviously didn’t inherit those genes, more’s the pity.

And her book buddy Newt, whose love of life is so apparent.
With the Hubster and pets, her blog is most reverent.

There’s Peggy and Neil, who live in the home of her soul.
She lives vicariously, using their blogs as a keyhole.

Gary, Murph and JD, so exceptional with their quills,
To attempt the same would just be chasing windmills.

Ch3ll3 and Lisa post photos extraordinary.
And their similarities with Kell are just downright scary.

Susan and Tink blog of life's moments they relive.
They’re funny and frank, making us all happily captive.

Some new blogs to explore and new friends to make.
Her Indoors, MJ, Gracy, Digital Janitor, and Chelle Y are the icing on the cake.

Thank all you bloggers for writing and commenting.
Here’s to another year, with no more personal lamenting.

So, no more worries and no more stressing.
‘Tis the season of joy and the season of blessing.

And before Kell nods off, she has one last thing to write.
Happy blogging to all and to all a good night.

Friday, December 08, 2006

That's Weird

I got tagged by Jay to admit how weird I am. Now I’m sharing the joy with 6 others (listed below). This is dangerously close to those annoying chain do-this-or-have-bad-luck-for-the-rest-of-your-life emails, but I’m gonna play along any way.

Here’s how the system works: Each player starts with the "6 Weird Things about Me." People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you are tagged' in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

I’m usually really good at self-censoring but I’ll let you in on some weird things about me.

1. I’m weird about that big, nasty vein in chicken breasts. When I cook chicken I cut it up so that I can cut out that vein. When I eat out, I rarely will eat chicken because other cooks aren’t as fastidious about cutting that nasty thing out.

2. I’m weird about having things covering in my face. When I was a kid, I got trapped under an air mattress in the pool, so I get panicky if I feel even a little bit suffocated. I can’t sleep under the covers, I have to turn around and tilt my head back in the shower to wash my hair because I can’t have water in my face, and I don’t water ski or go tubing or any of that fun stuff because the thought of falling and being forced under water scares the hell out of me.

3. I’m weird about silence. It’s difficult for me to feel comfortable in a silent house, so I always have the TV on. I may not be actually watching anything, but it’s on because I find the other voices around me comforting. However, I complain about how loud restaurants and bookstores are, wishing they weren’t playing any music, and when I go for walks, I usually don’t even take my iPod because then I like the quiet.

4. I’m weird about the shower. I know it’s supposed to be all erotic and romantic to share a shower, but it’s just not for me. I’m always cold if I’m not under the shower head, and I’m always afraid that I’m going to get water in my face if I am under the shower head. Oh sure, there have been times I’ve been able to go outside myself and relax but usually, it’s better to just let me take a shower by myself, thanks.

5. I’m weird about a dirty plate in front of me. When I finish eating, I move the plate away from me. At home, I put it in the dishwasher, but at restaurants, I actually push the plate away from me. My mother said that when I was little and finished a bottle, I’d just throw it over my shoulder. Done is done.

6. I’m weird about talking on the phone. I have a phone phobia. I get so nervous when I have to make a phone call, that I have to prepare what I’m going to say, then I still ramble and “um” and sound like an idiot. I pray for the answering machine to pick up when I call people. I even get nervous calling people I like. And it drives me batty when my husband forwards our phone to his cell phone when we go out because I know that if it rings, it’ll be while we’re in the car and he’ll hand it to me to answer because “he’s driving.”

I tag







Thursday, December 07, 2006

Catching Up

Busy, busy, busy. Al went out of town Tuesday and I haven’t slowed down since. Usually, I take at least one day to wallow in pseudo-independence and watch Charmed reruns without editorial comments from the peanut gallery and eat popcorn for dinner.

OK, so I have watched Charmed reruns and I have eaten popcorn for dinner at least once. But I really have been very busy with catching up from one holiday and getting ready for the next one. I’ve finally gotten the tree up and decorated for Christmas.

I also am caught up with my quilt blocks for that block-of-the-month club, and thought I’d catch you up, too.

Month 5, Block 1--Old Favorite

Month 5, Block 2--Treasure Chest

Month 4, Block 1--Around the Corner

Now, I’ve gone backwards because I wanted to show this block last. For you puzzle lovers out there, see if you can figure out what is wrong with this block. You might be able to figure it out by comparing it to the others. It's called Crooked Path, but the path shouldn't be this crooked.

Month 4, Block 2--Crooked Path

Do you see a symmetrical pattern? Nope, me either. Know why? Because I screwed up. I guess I wasn’t paying attention when I put this block together. Here’s a close up of the culprit:

Those 2 triangles on the right are backwards. It should match the triangles opposite, with blue on the bottom and flowers on the top.

So, now I have some seam ripping to do. I’m trying to decide if I can just fudge it and only take out the seams around it, fix it, and sew again. I’m also thinking of leaving it in and seeing if anyone notices, but since I’m probably going to give this away, I really should at least make an effort to do it correctly.

But you know, the Amish make mistakes on purpose in their quilts so that they won’t be perfect because only God is perfect. So really, I have a moral obligation to leave errors in. Especially since my errors are organic and natural.

I’m also working on a wreath quilt that will be a wall hanging. Thought you might want to see what a block looks like before it’s sewn together. I’ve sewn the first row together, but you get the idea.

Well, that’s enough for today. What should I do tomorrow? What should I do this weekend? One can only eat so much popcorn.

Monday, December 04, 2006

It's the Most Wonderful Time

It’s December 4th, and I haven’t decorated for Christmas yet. This is unlike me. Usually, at least the tree is up by now. It’s not the end of the world, and actually, I told myself last year that I was going to wait a little into December before I decorated because I didn’t want to get burned out. So, you could say that I’m following through with a healthy objective rather than just being lazy.

I haven’t written the highly anticipated Christmas letter to go with the Christmas cards, either. Come to think of it, I haven’t addressed Christmas cards. And I need stamps. I might actually need cards, too.

I need inspiration.

I decided to go to K-mart. OK, so maybe that’s not holiday Mecca, but I thought I might need a little Martha Stewart infusion. Maybe if I could channel Martha, I’d get in the decorating spirit. Besides, Al is open to the idea of getting another tree, one that’s pre-lit, and I have to strike before he changes his mind. Martha has trees, too, so maybe it could be one-stop shopping.

And do you know what I bought? *drum roll please* Nothing. Not a blessed thing. They’re going to kick me out of shopaholics anonymous. Besides the fact that everything was picked over and strewn all over the floor, making it impossible to find anything, it was all ugly. Well, not all of it, but nothing inspirational.

And you know, our little tree isn’t so bad. I mean, I’m pretty attached to it now. Sure, a couple of branches are missing, and one branch isn’t really supposed to be with this tree, but that’s why you put a tree by a wall or a window and not in the middle of the room.

Plus, I just had bad shopping karma today, so I decided not to piss off the gods any more by staying in that store. No matter where I turned, someone was parked in front of me, stopping me from going forward and someone was careening around the corner, almost running me over. And this store was practically empty. The lack of humanity, however, didn’t stop there from being a screaming child always one aisle over from me. But this is my curse. Practically every store I go to has a screaming child one aisle over from me.

I think I’ll just start decorating and fill in the holes. I’ve pared down the Christmas tasks quite a bit. As I said before, I have realized that it’s not my responsibility to make a perfect Christmas. Most people are just happy to be with family and friends, with maybe a Christmas cookie here and there.

A few years ago, I decided not to go overboard for Christmas. Minimal decorating, minimal baking, no letter with the Christmas cards, no itinerary to follow. And do you know what happened? Christmas came any way. It came just the same. And no one noticed that I didn’t do all those other things. And what did I learn from this? I’m completely unappreciated, that’s what I learned. But I also learned that there can be joy in the smaller things. And that it doesn’t have to be a Martha Stewart Christmas.

So, I think I’ll get some egg nog, put some Kahlua in it, turn on the Christmas carols and prepare for a Merry Christmas. Maybe I’ll bake some cookies and watch A Muppet Christmas Carol, that should put me in the right spirit. Forget channeling Martha, I’ll channel the ghosts of Christmas past and present instead.

Chritmastime's a Comin'

It’s time to decorate for Christmas, so I thought I’d do this MEME from Jay to put me in the mood.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot Chocolate. Although, Egg Nog with Kahlua is not a bad way to drink Egg Nog.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Half the fun is unwrapping the presents. Sheesh! My hubby said he was just going to buy me a bunch of wrapping paper for Christmas since I enjoy unwrapping so much. But, see, that wouldn’t work because the wrapping has to be around something. Preferably, something sparkly.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Both on the tree. I couldn’t decide between them, so I just put both. However, Al’s a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to lights outside :-(

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Yes, for all the good it does. We’ve just gotten so afraid to show any kind of emotion for fear of reprisals that mistletoe is just another decoration now. *Sigh* No more groping under the mistletoe. I miss that.

5. When do you put up your decorations?
It depends on how late Thanksgiving is and if my brother is here to help. But usually, I wait until December. Although, there is a fine line because if you decorate too soon, you’re sick of Christmas before the big day, and if you wait too late, then you run around like a mad person trying to get everything done and then you can’t enjoy it. It’s so stressful!

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
I always make a prime rib at Christmas. Nothing better than a slab of succulent meat for us carnivores. Oh, and we always have mimosas with breakfast and while we open presents. Does that count as a dish?

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
The year Jay got a bicycle for Christmas. He was so sure he wasn’t going to get one that he walked right past it Christmas morning. I had to turn him around so he’d see it.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
What are you insinuating? Santa is watching you, you know. You don’t want coal in your stocking.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
When we were kids we used to open one. And surprise, surprise! It was always new pajamas. Now I’m forced to wait because I have a family that thinks it’s fun to torture me.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
We have a very eclectic tree. I have wooden ornaments that we painted as kids with Mom our first Christmas without Dad and some that Al and I painted our first year of marriage. Plus all the ornaments that I get as gifts. I love getting ornaments as Christmas presents.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it! Especially if I’m inside with a hot chocolate, sitting by a roaring fire. Then I love that first walk outside in the undisturbed snow, hearing that crunch and squelch under my boots. And since I have the coolest snow shovel ever (it has wheels!), I even like shoveling the driveway.

12. Can you ice skate?
When I was kid I could, but I haven’t even tried as an adult. I’d love to go though. But I seem to be the only one in my little circle who wants to go. Oh, poor deprived me. How dare they keep me from breaking my neck.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
When I was a kid, it was a Baby Alive doll. It was such a cool doll. And my engagement ring, which was in a box-in-a-box-in-a-box type of gift.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Trying to just enjoy the season without getting all wrapped up in it. (Wrapped up. Ha! I slay me) Anyway, I used to spend a helluva lot of time trying to make it a perfect, memorable Christmas. Then I realized that I didn’t have to work so hard because the people around me just enjoyed being around at Christmas.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
What isn’t?!? I usually make a platter of cookies for the people in Al’s office and some to ship off to deserving family members ;-).

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I really enjoy those mimosas on Christmas morning. And I watch every version of A Christmas Carol.

17. What tops your tree?
A lovely angel that Al bought in a Christmas shop in the Cotswolds about 12 years ago.

18. Which do you prefer, Giving or Receiving presents?
I love Christmas shopping. I spend a lot of time trying to decide on at least one really great gift. I don’t always succeed, but it’s fun to try. But receiving isn’t so bad, either. Especially if it’s something sparkly.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Snowfall sung by Manhattan Transfer. I love most Christmas songs, but that one is just so pretty. One of those slow-dancing-in-front-of-the-fire kinds of song.

20. Candy Canes Yuck or Yum?
Yummy! And they’re even better if you crush ‘em up and mix them into cookie dough.