Christmas 2008

Almost as fast as it arrived, Christmas is now over. So much preparation for just a few days of festivities, but it was worth it.

Christmas Eve started out with the exchanging of gifts with my dad, step-mom, sister and favorite dog, Eily, at Sister Catherine’s house where I received my annual new Vera Bradley bag from Sister Catherine and a nice check $$$ from dad. We then went to step-mom’s sister’s house for the big Christmas Eve party where I caught up on lots of family gossip (there was quite a lot this year – that’s always fun). I left that party around 8:30pm to go to my mom’s house to set up for their “after midnight mass party”. Every year my parent’s host a party for church goers that begins at approx. 12:15am and lasts until about 2am. This year, we were (un)lucky enough to have the last party goers stay until 2:45am (c’mon people, leave already!). Then it’s sleep for a few hours and up for exchanging gifts with my mom, step-dad and step-grandmother and two crazy border collies. Mom and stepdad got me this lovely lamp that I requested and lots of socks, yarn store gift certificates and some other fun stuff.

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We had a small family get-together (about 12 people) on Christmas Day at my mom’s house where I got to meet one of the newest members of the family – 15 month old, Bowie (son of my cousin). Bowie and his 3 year old brother were such a treat to be around. What smart, happy children they are and were lucky enough to be able to sit on the lap of Santa Bill.

The day after Christmas, I hosted a German dinner for dad, step-mom, sister, sister boyfriend and nephew. One of the highlights of the evening was watching a DVD of old home movies that my dad compiled. The ABSOLUTE best moment captured on film was of my step-mom disciplining my approx. 4 year old sister on tape (which my sister claims is child abuse). It was a priceless moment. I will try to obtain said video and post the clip in a future post. We also had fun watching video of nephew as a gorgeous little baby (he’s now a rock star) and of my sisters countless hair styles. For this dinner, I was able to use the cutest-ever placecard holders in the world that I bought last year in Northampton, MA. Mini reindeers!
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Saturday night brought me to Cassie & Mike’s house for a lovely Christmas party. JoAnna, Marissa, Leila and Joey also came and we had a lovely dinner prepared by Mike, and Cassie surprised us all with a FROM SCRATCH homemade chocolate cake, complete with candy cigarette “candles” in honor of my non-smoking status. That was super sweet. It was the last hurrah before Cassie starts nursing school in a couple of weeks. One of the cutest gifts that I received this Christmas from Cassie was this night light – how freaking cute! Sock Monkey has a new friend!
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Today I went to lunch and some post holiday shopping (didn’t spend much) with Jayne & Steve, then went back to their house for exchanging of gifts. Jayne always gets me thoughtful gifts along with my favorite William Wegman calendar.

I’m tired and am looking forward to a quiet day at home tomorrow – hopefully being spent on the couch in my PJs!

Published in: on December 29, 2008 at 4:22 am  Leave a Comment  

I think my answering machine is Canadian

When ever I hit the delete button on my answering machine, it says “All old messages have bean erased” instead of “all old messages have been erased”. Do you think my answering machine is from Canada, eh?

Published in: on December 24, 2008 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

You can’t always get what you want

I want this.
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But I can’t have it. It’s sold out. Nowhere to be found. Finished. Gone.

I saw it listed in House Beautiful magazine’s December 2008 issue on a list of 100 stocking stuffers. It won’t be stuffing my stocking this year.

Published in: on December 8, 2008 at 6:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

The First Snow

I love the first snowfall of the year. I know it isn’t much snow, but seeing the first flakes makes me happy. It was nice to wake up this morning with a dusting on the ground. It makes it feel like it’s a little bit more like Christmas. I went with Sue and Jayne to Newport, RI on Friday for some mansion viewing and Christmas shopping and lots and lots of laughing and fun. We went to Marble House this year for a glimpse into the good life. Then we went for a so-so lunch at a new place called the Barking Crab **Insert vulgar STD joke here**. The rest of the afternoon/early evening was spent shopping in Newport. The recession has even hit Newport – there were many empty storefronts and the quality of shopping has really declined. So sad. We did find some great gifts though in a few of the stores, so we can’t complain. I think we’ll go to Northampton, MA next year instead of Newport as the shopping is so much better. The last thing we did was to stop at Starbucks for a pre-travel coffee. This Starbucks is the best Starbucks in the world. They have the nicest staff and go above and beyond to help the customer. It is the second year in a row that we were treated so well there. My favorite part of the Starbucks experience was the holiday decor they are using this year – yarn themed! Check out this wreath:
yarn-wreath

Love it! Since they aren’t for sale, I’m going to have to copy the idea and make one for myself.

Off to finish my Christmas cards… they are the death of me this year. I should have started them much earlier – oh, well!

Published in: on December 7, 2008 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why so serious?

Crazy Cassie dressed up in this costume for the Thanksgiving Day Manchester Road Race. Heath would be proud.dsc00040

Published in: on November 29, 2008 at 1:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy Black Friday!

No, I wouldn’t dream of going shopping today – that would have been the death of me. Apparently, it was the death of some people (literally). A Walmart door greeter was trampled to death this morning by a throng of early birds and there was a shooting at a Toys R Us store between fighting customers. Nice.

In happier news, I had a lovely, small family Thanksgiving with my parents and 4 border collies (two theirs, two borrowed). This Thanksgiving I am very thankful for the recent election results – Yes we did!
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It’s not good to be outnumbered by the neurotic, crazy, psycho pups, but it was so much fun.

*Bronwyn's paws can be seen at the top of photo

*Bronwyn's paws can be seen at the top, center of photo

Being with the dogs has inspired a new Haiku.

Four Border Collies
Two Tennis Balls, One Frisbee
Never Satisfied

I spent Thanksgiving evening with my great dane niece, Eily, as Sister Catherine had to work. I thought it would be a good time for some great dane cuddle-on-the-couch time (as the Border Collies don’t believe in snuggling on the couch), but Eily wasn’t in the mood. Oh well, it was good being with the goofy girl anyway.

I finally got around to taking some photos of my latest completed knitting projects. I’m most proud of the blanket (a/k/a my burial shroud). This blanket took about 100 hours to knit and was my most ambitious project ever. I am thrilled with the results. (Note – click on image for larger photos).

Lizard Ridge Blanket

Lizard Ridge Blanket

Eden Scarf

Eden Scarf

Cowl/Neck Warmer (mom stole this from me)

Cowl/Neck Warmer (mom stole this from me)

Cowl/Neck Warmer/Scarf

Bainbridge Neck Warmer/Scarf

That’s it for now. Enjoying the long Thanksgiving weekend and will spend the rest of it working on my Christmas Cards – got a real late start – uh oh!

Published in: on November 29, 2008 at 4:59 am  Leave a Comment  

It’s time to vote!

Yay, the big day is finally here! It has been a long time coming and I must say that I was a little disappointed that there were no lines at my polling location when I got there. I kind of feel like I missed out on the authentic voting experience. I had even downloaded Sara Bareille’s new live CD on my iPod last night and was hoping to enjoy some music while in line to vote (The CD is fantastic, by the way, and I can’t wait to see her at The Webster tomorrow night – yahoo!) Oh well, the lack of lines allowed me an extra hour at home this morning which brought me to a funny story…

I was watching the Today Show and at approx. 8:30am EST and they were broadcasting live video from Chicago where Obama and his family were voting. It seemed to take a long time for Obama to finish voting and Meredith Vierra said “Why is it taking so long for him to vote?” to which Al Roker said something to the effect of “Well, there are a lot of ballot initiatives this year, like gay sex marriage, er same sex marriage.” I didn’t know that gay sex was a ballot initiative in Chicago this year. That’s a progressive city, huh? Yes, it’s quite juvenile, but I thought that it was the funniest thing when Al said on live TV this morning “Gay Sex Marriage” instead of “Same Sex Marriage” or “Gay Marriage”. I wonder what was on Al’s mind this morning?
Maybe he has the same feelings for Matt Lauer as I do!

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Anywho…What’s worse than a sinus/throat infection that won’t go away? Locking your keys in your car while filling up with gas on your way to getting sore throat lozenges and pizza when you feel like absolute crap. Yep, that was my exciting Saturday night. After a long day on the couch, I decided that I should get some dinner and I needed something for my throat (around 9pm at night). Since I really needed gas, I figured I’d stop at the gas station which is a stones throw away from the pizza place. I just filled up the tank (much cheaper these days thankyouverymuch OPEC), when I realized that I had locked my keys in my car (along with my purse and cell phone). After spending about 15 minutes trying to get an 800# for my roadside assistance, I remembered that I had a pizza waiting. I called the pizza place and explained to them that I may be up to an hour late picking it up because I had to wait for roadside assistance. They told me that they would be closed by then so I offered to come in the next day to pay them. Then they offered to bring the pizza to me. What lovely ambience it is eating dinner by florescent light at the Mobil station. That’s a Saturday night memory I never want to forget!

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Oh yeah, I turned a year older

I’m officially closer to 40 than I am to 30 – ugh. Took the day off and spent it with sister Catherine.

We first went to our favorite crepe restaurant in Durham. Yum, although it took them forever to bring our order out.

Then we had an interesting trip to JoAnn Fabrics in Newington. We had a verbal altercation with a 100 year old fabric cutter lady (which I ended up writing one of my famous complaint letters about). Nope, I haven’t heard anything back. Let’s just say she was a bitter bag of bones (like fabric stores… a dying breed, if you will).

Then we went to get massages, facials & paraffin wax hand treatments. Found out something new about myself that day. I have claustrophobia. Who knew that a facial would bring that out? Apparently, my hands do not like to be bound in plastic and placed in warming mitts whilst boiling hot steam is blowing in my face and up my nose in hurricane force winds. That’s what the first 15 minutes of my facial felt like. I finally asked the the facialist (yes, they do have a name) to please remove my hands from their straight jacket and to get the typhoon off my face. After she did that, I was fine. I had never, up until that point, experienced claustrophobia. Crazy.

The massage was nice, although they kept the room at meat-locker style temps (and I usually run hot, so it actually must have been walk-in freezer temps). My favorite part of the massage was the face/head massage. From now on, that’s all I’m going to request. Yup, an hour rubbing my noggin.

It was also my first time getting a paraffin wax treatment. You dip your hands in wax three times then they put your hands in plastic baggies (more hand bondage) and in a few minutes, your hands are magically 10 years younger. It is kind of cool how your hands look like they are corpse hands after the 3rd dip in paraffin. I miss Six Feet Under.

Sister Catherine and I also went to the dog park again after a dinner of my favorite pizza. The dog park was hoppin’. We saw lots of different types of doggies and little miss Eily had a grand time. My favorite dog there (besides Eily, of course) was a border collie mix with his stoner owner. He was commenting that he’s surprised at how mellow his dog is. Sister Catherine later commented that of course his dog is mellow – he’s being “clam baked” all day in his house. Other dogs of note: A Jack Russell Terrier that needed a swift kick in the barker; A super cute American Bulldog puppy; a super boring, gorgeous mini Australian Shepherd (with, as Sister Catherine pointed out, equally boring owners); a weird guy with his equally weird German Shepherd. I tell ya, dog parks have quite the mix of humans and dogs.

On Friday, July 4th, JoAnna hosted a lovely b-day party for me. It was supposed to be a pool party in Jo’s cool new pool, but the weather didn’t cooperate. It’d be a cold day in hell before I got in a swimsuit anyway, so I wasn’t bothered by it at all. Like usual, Marissa was a riot and taught us that you CAN blow party favors through your nose – who knew?

It wouldn’t be a party at Jo’s without an insult from Thomas though, and he didn’t disappoint. I thankfully shielded him from the near misses from the fireworks though. He should be grateful. Despite Jo’s predictions, no one, including her husband, died a fiery, fireworks death.

Friday night brought me to mom’s house for an overnight visit. I was awoken Saturday morning by a silly border collie sitting next to my bed, her face in mine, breathing stinky dog breath in my face. What a wake up! Mom made a lovely crepe breakfast for me and then I went with Bill to bring the doggies to dog park where he proceeded to launch tennis balls to the dogs using a tennis ball launcher. Their energy amazes me. They never wore out.

Saturday night was the annual 4th of July party at Eric, Jason & Becca’s house – always a good time. Met some new people and had yet another birthday celebration. Nothing like have 3 or 4 birthday celebrations in a row. The weather left much to be desired, but we all had a good time anyway. There were about 20 kids/teenagers there and, once again, I am grateful to be child free.

That’s it for now.

Published in: on July 8, 2008 at 1:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Burst of Creativity & Living Room Update

I’ve been very busy with several different craft/knitting projects. I’m having a creative spurt right now and don’t feel like there is enough time in the day to get all my crafts done – poor me!

I’m just finished square #12 for my barn raising quilt (pic above – only about a million more squares to go). I haven’t decided if I’m going to make the full quilt or if I will make it a table runner for my dining room table. Decisions, decisions.

I’ve finished square #4 for my Lizard Ridge Blanket (with about a million more squares to go too!). My colors are more subdued than the original pattern (my squares above), but still very interesting.

I’m also knitting a super secret gift for a friend. Details to be posted after gift is given.

I also got inspiration from this blog to make a yo-yo garland to drape over my super cool headboard that Bill made for me out of an old door. Above is a picture of the 12 that I have done already. Below is a pic of said headboard. The yo-yos are fun and quick to make.

In decorating news… I sold my Lillian August couch (too cushy for knitting purposes) and replaced it with a more FIRM, clean lined couch I picked up at the Crate & Barrel outlet in Maine (who would have thought that vacation would lead to new furniture?). Since my old coffee table was too tall for the new couch, my lights were too gold tone and my side tables were also too tall, I was forced **ok, not so much forced** to buy a new ottoman/coffee table, lamps and side table. I ordered the ottoman/coffee table/storage bench and the side tables online and they haven’t come in yet. Below are pics of the couch and the items I have on order. Yay for makeovers!



Next week is my b-day – yikes. I’m getting old, but not as old as my friend since 1st grade, JoAnna. Sister Catherine & I are going to celebrate my birth by going out to our favorite crepe/breakfast place and then getting massages and facials. JoAnna is throwing a little b-day party for me on the 4th – yahoo! The 5th will bring me to the annual Eric/Jason (formerly Jayne/Steve) picnic. Fun things to look forward too.

I’ve also been getting much dog love in my life. Between Nando, Eily, Sadie & Bailey, there is so much love to go around. Catherine & I took Eily to the dog park for the first time recently and I think I may have had even a better time than the dog. If I had my own dog, I think I’d be there every day – so much fun!

That’s it for now…

Published in: on June 27, 2008 at 1:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Zoom Zoom Zoom

I got a new car
My third red one in a row
Buh-Bye cursed Honda!

Published in: on June 12, 2008 at 3:07 am  Comments (1)