Monday, December 31, 2007

Merry Christmas! And Happy Old Year!

When I lived in Italy, I worked with British Naval Officers at a NATO command. On New Year's Eve, they always said "Happy Old Year."

It's been a very full "old" year-- filled with joy, hope, progress, sadness, healing.

We have been blessed with good health, fulfillment in our endeavors, and the joy of being together-- my husband and children, my parents, siblings and their children, and friends.

I went to Hawaii with The Parents last January. It was such a precious time for me-- to have them all to myself in such a lovely place. I love cruising, and the combination of being with them, seeing such beauty (and hey-- those whales!) --the entire experience was simply beyond description.

The Offspring and I spent a week this summer with The Parents, The Sibs and The Cousins on a lake in northern Wisconsin. There's nothing like being together, and I just love the way The Cousins melt into their relationships after not having seen each other for months.

We got together for our annual Cookie Bake in December-- more family bonding, fun and love.

The Husband and I had a great week in Hilton Head. Such great relaxing time!

We experienced the events of last spring, and have begun to heal, although we will never forget.

We had many football weekends in Blacksburg-- met new friends and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. (Even that heartbreaking loss to Boston College in the deluge.)

VT won the ACC championship (against Boston College-- go figure). We had a great time in Jacksonville at the game, and The Son was even able to come. The Hokies are headed to the Orange Bowl in Miami on Thursday.

The Daughter got laser eye correction surgery on Friday, and is happy and healing well, and looking forward to a lifetime of being able to see without glasses or contacts. (They were running late, they bought us pizza, we ended up getting locked in the garage, but that's another story.)

Quite a year, indeed.

Christmas Finally Arrived

Anyone who is married to- or parented by- a nurse will tell you that holidays take on a new and exciting twist. As in-- When will Christmas be this year? Or, Are we celebrating Thanksgiving on Tuesday or Saturday?

I worked the 24th, 25th and 26th this year. The question of when to celebrate became more complicated because of The Son's schedule at the movie theater. He is moving up the ladder, and is taking advantage of all opportunities.

We were finally all together last evening, after I got home from work at 9 p.m. Since we won't all be together on tonight or tomorrow, The Husband prepared our special pork and sauerkraut New Year's Day dinner. (It's a German thing.) And then we had presents. We got nice, warm things from The Parents. It makes me happy throughout the year to put on jammies or a robe or slippers from them-- it's like getting a hug.

The Daughter got a very strange gift from us-- a kitchen knife that she loves. Every time we're cooking together, she comments on one of my knives, and tells me how much she wants it. It's a bit of an investment knife-- so that's what she got, and she's thrilled.

The Son wanted a very specific backpack for his laptop. I ordered it on the 22nd and believe it or not, it arrived on the 24th. I was totally blown away! (and thrilled that whenever Christmas was going to arrive, he'd have his present.)

The Husband got a thing that takes your slides and negatives, and digitizes them. In my unending endeavors to declutter (hey-- it could happen!!!) it occurred to me that the minor mountain of unviewed, untouched during the past 10 years slides might find a new venue.

The Daughter and I had a great time at the bookstore getting just the right things for The Husband and The Son (who helped matters greatly by having a pretty extensive "want to read" list on his facebook.) And we found some books for ourselves as well.

And what do you think I found in my stocking? A VERY generous gift certificate to my favorite place, Knit Happens. The Husband and The Daughter could hardly contain themselves as they told of Rosanna's excitement to see them and to prepare my certificate. She did a LOVELY job-- with pink and green pen. (I'm not in photo mode right now, but tomorrow will bring pictures.)

And to all, a good night.

In Other News

My blocking wires arrived, (HURRAH!) and I'm looking forward to blocking Mom's Rosebud Shawl-- hopefully this afternoon. Pics tomorrow.

I'm making rapid progress on a scarf for my Dad. It's knit with Rowan Cocoon that I got at The Shop-color= slate which is a heathery charcoal grey. It's a design of my own, based on a mock-cable pattern from an Aran stitch book--- (can't remember which book at the moment, but I'll look it up and let you know.) I was thinking of doing some cables in the scarf, but Dad's not too much on "fancy" (dark green is a bit too flashy for him). I needed to keep some texture and interest in the scarf so I wouldn't go bonkers knitting it. So this seemed to be a good compromise. More pics tomorrow!

Catch you next year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cookie Baking Time

I'm in the Chicago suburbs right now, with The Daughter. We flew in yesterday to spend some time with my sibs for our annual Cookie Bake.

It's a great time of the year, and a wonderful opportunity to be together.

I wrote last year about the tradition, but I don't think I mentioned our little Cookie Book.

Sister #1 was able to spend time with my grandmother in her later years, and collected her recipes. Of course there were some ambiguities, but over the past few seasons we've been able to iron out the bugs.

We made little laminated books with the recipes, and included a few anecdotes about our memories of Gramma's cookies.

Tomorrow's the day. We'll start at about 10:00. We're meeting at Sister #2's, and to quote my Austrian Gramma "All day ve bake."

We'll wrap up late in the evening, sorting the cookies into 10 family divisions and carefully packing them up for mailing or transport.

There's nothing like it.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Making Progress

On the Rosebud Shawl, that is. It's actually quite a bit longer now--almost done with the second skein. I had some good knitting time while The Husband and I drove to Charlottesville (the home of another state university) for a meeting.

I like what the stitches are doing. See the little rosebuds? It's not as wobbly as the picture looks, and it will straighten out significantly when blocked.

Late Night was a Great Night at Knit Happens. Here are only a few of the many highlights.

Steph models her gloves which have become an inspiration to many Irregulars. (Not me, yet-- too much stash to work through. But I'm intrigued, and may attempt them. Soon.)
Kel working on a wee cap.

And Holly, being generally amused at all the picture-taking goings-on.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Wow! What A Game

Virginia Tech Beats Boston College 30-16

VT is the new ACC Championship Team.

It was a well-played game,although I prefer it with just a bit less adrenaline. Beamerball was a major factor. Special teams were amazing.

I'm really tired-- need to watch more football, then go to bed.

Flying back to Washington at 7 am.

More details/pictures to follow.