Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Annual Vet Visit

The ELPH and I took the whole pack to the vet today for yearly vaccinations and to get our newest pack member Jaspurr checked out. We find it easier to just suck it up and stuff them all in kennels and get it over with.
Fat Cat Pipurr (Pie-purr) HATES the "box"! She is now so big she can just barely turn around in it. And damn it! I'm not buying a bigger one just for the one trip a year that we use it! Aside from that it's always been a fight, literally, to get her in the carrier. It's like a cartoon! Hide the carrier as you bring it out of the closet, cuz if she sees it it's she's under the bed like a shot! And I'm now too fat to get under there after her!
ELPH stands the carrier on end and I grab the beast. You remember the cartoon where the cat puts all four paws on the door frame and can't be pushed through? Insert that image here... I'll wait... So now I have this 20# cat upside-down trying to get her head first into the carrier only she has managed to get all four paws on the entry door and won't be stuffed in! OK grab the front paws, get them IN the box, now the head is out and back feet are still firmly planted on door frame! GAAAAAAAAAAA! Well we finally managed it but not without me sustaining a gash to the hand. Nothing a little Neo-Sporin can't handle.
So now we're at the Vet and we decide Pipurr will be first. We open the door on the carrier and she won't come out. So I look inside and all I see is Fat Cat Ass. I pick up the carrier and try to dump her out on the table. Nope. Not gonna happen. So the vet says "don't worry we can do this". He reaches in grabs a slab of fur and gives her the shots right there! Easy-peasy! Close 'er up step back and see what she weighs, minus 2# for the carrier and we have....drum roll please.....19#! Pipurr remains the heavy weight in our house, although she has actually lost a coupe pounds, probably in just the last month that we've had Jaspurr. She's down from 22# last year.
Our Skinny Girl, Sparkie, is a svelte 27# and in excellent health! And she was very brave when they drew blood. The pack leader (moi) had to turn away just at the sight of the needle.
And our new boy Jaspurr they estimate at 7 months old and weighs in at a healthy 7#. Doc took a look at his teeth and said "Oh! He's going to be a big boy!" How can they tell that from teeth?? Anyway we left Jaspurr at the vet to um... ahem... have his "ginger bits" removed. We pick him up in the morning.
Now I'm off to join the ELPH in making the house guest ready before our K&T and L&H come to help us celebrate the ringing in of the New Year! See you all in 2009!
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Family at Christmas

Christmas dawned white here in South Carolina. Not snowy white.
Foggy white.


We had a very quiet, laid back day.

Friday we had a couple of neighbors over for a casual dinner and then on Saturday the ELPH and I and the dog drove up to my parents place outside Gatlinburg, TN.

We arrived just in time for a sunset drink on the back deck.
Sunday morning was so pretty we took our coffee on the deck. It was so good to just sit and catch up and relax with my (younger!) sisters. Don't they look great?

Mom was having a good day too. She didn't seem to know us but was happy for the company.
Later she had what my father describes as a "sad episode" and what I would call a full blown melt down. She was in hysterics, sobbing and completely panicked. We have no idea what set it off. It took about half an hour to get her calmed down.

The kids spent most of their time like this.

And the guys spent some time like this.


So we put them to work.
That kept them out of trouble for a little while.
We had a very nice visit. It was short and it's been too long between visits but with these youngsters in the house, the activity and the conversation, never stopped. Just trying to get them all in one spot at the same time was a challenge. This is the only picture of the eight that I took at this sitting that someone wasn't moving or talking or laughing!
It was a great couple days but it's good to be home. Next I need to gear up, clean up and stock up for New Years Eve when we will have a houseful of friends. Should be a great time!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!


From my Family to yours;
Pipurr (aka Fat Cat), Sparkie (aka Skinny Dog) and Jaspurr,
The ELPH and Myself
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Historic? Antique? Nope. Just OLD

Holy Bee over at Knit with Snot for You posted a list of Random Knitterly Things. One of her favorite things that she knit or crocheted was a Ripple orange/green/yellow afghan she made in High School. Holly loves color, lots and lots of color but she really LOVES Orange & Green!

This got me thinking about my Crochet Beginnings. My Mom was quite crafty. She could draw and paint and sculpt clay, knit, crochet and sew. She taught me to crochet when I was 10. My very first project was a lavender & white striped Poncho with a drawstring neckline and fringed bottom. I remember it used a a big hook, Mom probably gave me the pattern. I loved that poncho. I wore it everywhere! I wish I had a color photo of it but this black & white will have to do.

Yes, that's me. Circa 1972 (Told you it was old!)

I don't remember making anything after that but I'm sure there were scarves and hats somewhere in there made from all shades of lovely Acrylic.

In my twenties I made baby blankets for my friends and my cousins and my co-workers. Lots and lots of baby blankets. Usually a pattern called
Reversible Baby Afghan or Shells and Chains Afghan. The Reversible took twice as long to make because you were literally making two blankets in one. I only made this one if I knew long in advance of the arriving baby. And if I knew the sex I could make one side blue or pink and the other white. The Shells and Chains blanket I could whip out in a week, riding the Rock Island train from Blue Island to Downtown Chicago everyday gave me lots of time to work on it. I'd make up 2 or 3 in white and stash them. When I needed a gift quick I could just trim it out in pink, blue or what ever color they were using in the nursery. Clever huh?

When I met the ELPH, OK he wasn't the ELPH then. He was the Hot, Tall, Blue Eyed, College Educated, North Side Guy in the Cool Silver Pontiac Fiero GT!

But HTBECENSG CSPFGT doesn't roll off the tongue like ELPH does.

Anyway he had this great townhouse in Hoffman Estates that was way better that the South Side basement apartment I was living in, so I would usually drive an hour up the Toll Road to spend the weekend at his place. (gasp! say it isn't so!) So for our first Christmas together I decide to make a afghan for his place. You know something big enough for both of us to snuggle toghether under. This Plaid Afghan is what I made. I added a couple extra rows to make it Queen sized.


It's made in strips, single crochet two strands toghether, then whip stitch the strips together. One color is carried throughout the strip. Navy & Lt Blue, Navy & White, Navy & Cranberry, Navy & Navy. Boring, boring, boring and it took forever but easy, easy, easy. And because it's two strands it's thick and heavy! Perfect for those cold Chicago winter nights.

So Holly? Tracyb? All my ZPDK buds? I'll be happy to send you the pattern and material requirements if you want to give it a go. Holly, I think this would look AWESOME in shades of Orange & Green! What do you think?

So there ya go. More than you probably wanted to know about me & my crochet!

A Trip in the Way Back Machine

I grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the 60's & 70's. Recently my sister PJ (who still lives on the South Side) called up all excited, "Listen!" she said. I listened. And waited. I could hear her in the background but wasn't sure what I was listening for. Turns out one of the seasonal cartoons from our youth was playing on the TV and she wanted to share. I was bummed I couldn't hear it.

That got me to thinking about the shows I grew up with. Which reminded me of how few channels we had growing up. Five. We had five TV channels; CBS, NBC, ABC, WGN and the PBS station. We actually had to GET UP and TURN THE KNOB to change the channels! And heaven forbid should you need to turn up/down the volume because you had to GET UP to do that too! hmmm....maybe if i got up off my fat arse to change channels/volume today my arse wouldn't BE so fat? Naaaa!


Does anyone remember The Ray Rayner Show?



He had a big white duck he would haul out every day and feed lettuce to and then let him swim in a kiddie pool. That duck HATED Ray! It would bite him every chance he got!



How about Garfield Goose?
This was one of my favorites!


And Bozo the Clown?

Did you know they had a TEN YEAR waiting list for tickets??

Photo courtesy of http://www.chicagotelevision.com/wgntv.htm)


Or how about Captain Kangaroo?

(Photo courtesy of http://timstvshowcase.com/kangaroo.html)


And one of my very first TV memories...."Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic mirror, tell me today. Have all my friends had fun at play? I can see Scotty and Kimberly and Julie and Jimmy and Kelly and all of you boys and girls out there!" Romper Room!

Well after a little surfing on Youtube I found the two short cartoons PJ was trying to let me listen to. I've only ever seen them while in Chicago so I'm assuming they're a Midwest thing. So for those of you who've never seen these sit back and take a little trip in my travel back machine.....they sure bring back memories for me.


















Bonus points for those who know what this is and where you could find it...


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Past


1968...don't ya just love that Charlie Brown tree?

I snagged this from The Blue Ridge Gal, a blog I just found. She snagged it from someone else, but I don't think she'll mind if I borrow it.


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper. I like to give a pretty package. But I don't mind receiving a gift bag.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
I prefer to cut my own tree, I love to wander the tree farm and I like the smell. That said, I now own two artificial trees. I can put them up earlier and take them down later and not worry about torching my house.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Live trees go up 10 days before and come down two days after Christmas. Artificial goes up the first week of December and comes down New Years Day

4. When do you take the tree down?
See above

5. Do you like egg nog?
I love egg nog! I drink it til I'm sick. Sorry.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Oooo...that was a long time ago. I'm sure there were several lovely dolls and one year I got a guitar but nothing I still own.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
Men in general. Dad always says he doesn't need anything. Brother is pretty particular. The ELPH usually is easiest. He gives me a list of websites and item numbers:)

8. Easiest person to buy for?
Sisters. And the Dog. (Heck, she's happy to play with the envelopes my junk mail comes in!)

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Nope... don't know why either.

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
Mail! And we still need to do them + the letter.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
A too small sweatshirt with a design cut out on the entire front and blue calico cotton sewn on the inside of the shirt so the calico showed through the holes. Yea. I was so happy.

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
The Bells of St. Mary's

13. When do you start shopping?
Throughout the year really but in earnest just before & after Thanksgiving

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Yes, but I knew the recipient wanted it.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Peanut butter stuffed dates, rolled in powdered sugar. Mom used to make these every year.

16. Lights on the tree?
White only and lots of them!

17. Favorite Christmas song?
Carol of the Bells, Trans Siberian Orchestra version

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Stay home if we can. This year were going to Macon Christmas Eve to have dinner with MIL and Saturday after Christmas were going up to Tennnessee to visit my folks.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Yes! Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner & Blitzen and of course Rudolph.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas Eve? Christmas Eve??!!?? How can you open your Christmas presents BEFORE Santa delivers them??????????

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
The Hill People. You know who I mean those people who come out of where ever it is that they spend the other eleven months of the year. And the traffic!! OMG! Do these people only drive between Thanksgiving and Christmas? That green arrow up there? Yea you! That means TURN NOW!!!! Where DO these people come from?

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
Silver & Gold

24. Favorite Christmas memory?
When I was little, less than 6, my Aunts & Uncles and Cousins would all gather at Grandma & Grandpa's, my Mom's parents. They had one of those white aluminum trees and Grandma put only red ball ornaments on it. They had one of those

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
A GPS. I could get lost in a paper bag.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Actual Crochet!

Ta-Da! A Finished project!
(O.K. almost. Still have to weave in the ends and block.)

I LOVE crocheted cables!!!!
I had so much fun making this scarf. I love the yarn. Cashmere Luxuary Aran yarn. It's 45% Merino, 49% Microfiber and 6% Cashmere. The local Tuesday Morning had 5 balls of it and I bought it all back in the Spring.
Like most Yarnies I'm sure, yarn speaks to me. I had no idea what I was going to make when I bought this but I knew the project would find the yarn. Then right around Thanksgiving Lo over at Slap Happy Musings bought the cutest jacket. And as she live in Northern Frozen Tundra Illinois I offered to make her a scarf.

I'll be mailing it out as soon as she send me her address!!!! Lo? Hello?

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Tuesday Night Knit Group (ZPDK)

Zombie Prom Date Knitters!

Back Row: Pat & I. Standing: Tally, Donna, Jackie, Sara.
Seated: Gwen, Beverly, Linda, Robyn, Diana



These are the very fine Ladies I meet with every Tuesday night at the Piddlin' Patch Frame Shoppe here in town.

Sara is the owner of the shop and carries all number of needles, hooks and books and a small corner of yarn. Her store is chock full of all kinds of crafty goodness from cross stitch & basket weaving supplies to decorative candles and holiday decorations. She is so sweet to open her doors to us every Tuesday evening for as long as we decide to stay. She always gets a pot of coffee going and has a few snacks set out for us when we arrive. We are so appreciative of her that we all pitched in and bought her and her husband a gift certificate to a local restaurant. She was very surprised!

She keeps threatening to sit down and join us at the yarn table but she usually is flitting around the shop or in the back framing a special order. Someday we'll catch her!

Jackie is a knitting teacher. Sara invited her come to the Piddlin Patch to teach a class on knitted socks (before I merged my little group with theirs) and she likes our company so much she keeps coming back. Did you know you can UN-knit???? Well I didn't but Jackie can!

She's a whiz at fixing the weird mistakes we bring in. And she's always teaching, always ready to help.


This past week we all met at Robyns beautiful home for a Christmas Dinner and a little knitting. She had several beautifully decorated Christmas trees, one with nothing but Reindeer ornaments on it! Robyns got a thing for Reindeer!

(check out her shirt).










And she has the most extensive Dept 56 snow village I've ever seen outside a store! And this isn't even all of it!


I'm so lucky to have found this group of ladies. They are all so nice. I hope I can get to know them all much better in the coming year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday & Christmas


Today I'm thankful I have a job. Especially after that last call I made. Let me explain something. See all my life I have been in Customer Service. From my very first job as a bank teller, to my Colorado experiences in hotel reservations, front desk and switchboard, to cocktail waitress, retail sales, to office manager. I can guarantee you I've been on the receiving end of an angry, frustrated customer phone call or two (or ten). Today it was their turn. All I want to do is cancel a service. Why is this so difficult? You would think it would be perfectly clear after the last 4 monthly phone calls to cancel said service and the fact that I haven't paid any of the last 4 monthly invoices you've sent BECAUSE I HAVE CANCELLED THE SERVICE FOUR FREAKING TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fortunately (and unbeknownst to me) my boss has had this very same conversation with them as well. So when I blew my top with this imbusil, ignoramus, useless waste of flesh with the job description of customer service rep, my boss just laughed and said he couldn't believe I didn't blow sooner. Huh. Well. O.K. then.



I'm also thankful that this...

and this...



Now look like this....(And the Choir sings "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!")


Jaspurr was VERY interested in the tree. He was all in the box (yes I have an artificial tree. Get over it!) and the packing material and once the tree started to go up he was all up in it too. So I decided to forgo the glass ornaments untill he settles down a bit an can be trusted not to "kill" my tree and all the pretty danglies.


But at the moment he finds every thing about the tree very exciting and conciders it his personal play thing.
You lookin for me?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hi! My name is....

Jaspurr
Well, my new Mommy took all the names that everyone suggested and went out on the back porch and hollered each one out several times. Yes. She did. It was quite embarrassing. Several of the neighbors came out and yelled back at her. But when she called my name, I came a runnin! Miss Sophia has it right. I am quite sophisticated and I purr all the time.
That skinny dog doesn't intimidate me in the least.

And the Fat Cat? Well, I'm so damn cute even she's starting to warm up to me! Look how close she let me get today!
Thank you all for helping my Mommy find my name!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Name that Kitten

Our new boy doesn't have a name yet.

We have several floating around...

But nothing feels right...

Suggestions?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thankful Thursday



I'm thankful for Ravelry.com. Since discovering and joining this online Knit & Crochet Community in May I've "met" so many new friends. I've joined in on charity knit/crochet projects. I've started my very own blog and "met" other blogers across the globe.

I'm so thankful for all the people I've "met" through the Internet.

I'm so thankful I'm not "weird". That there are people out there in the world that have the same concerns and life issues that I do and that I've been able to vent and commiserate and offer advice to my cyber friends.

Thank you all for coming into my life and sharing yours with me.

Visit KD over at A Bit Squirrelly for more Thankful Thursday.