Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of the year

Yesterday I went to Target for the 75% off clearance sale. Not that I bought much. I went to the nearest store and to the Cedar Hill location. Last year there were some stores that had the sale on the 31st, but mine started on the 30th. I had this theory that it might be a Dallas vs. Tarrant county thing that explained the difference. I should have gone to Arlington to test the theory, but I decided that I wasn't going to buy that much anyway. In fact, I decided not to go this morning either. Even if I found just tons of stuff that I wanted, I don't have much money left, and I can't picture there being tons of stuff that I want anyway.

Still, when the 90% off sale gets here, I will probably have another look, just in case.

So the party is a few hours away, but I can't seem to get that excited about it. I am sure that I will be quite happy once I get there, but right now I'm just really wishing that I could just take a nap. But I am not yet tired, and it is not time for sleep, though right in the middle of the party it will be.

So that sucks.

Truthfully, the thing that I am most looking forward to is giving the completed scarf to Miss Allergies. That is, I plan to give her the scarf at the party, assuming that she will actually make it to the party.

The other scarf, I will have to completely start over tomorrow or the next day. I have set up the machine and sketched out a few changes to the design, but mostly I have just changed to a slightly different color yarn, so that I can be sure of being able to buy more if I should run out of yarn again. It would have been nice to have that scarf done before tonight, as we will all be out in the dark anyway, but it just didn't seem to work out that way.

Maybe it will turn out to be a better looking scarf. And I have about two and a half weeks to work on it before the next time I will see my friends again, so maybe it will get done by then.

I suppose that I will go and watch more Stargate.

Happy New Year everyone.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We are expecting snow today

I wouldn't believe them, except that it snowed on Christmas Eve. Yesterday was a fine day, though we found out it was a bit cool to spend much time in the park after we did not bring our coats. But today it is supposed to start snowing at about lunch time. We must remember to go out and buy a few things first, like lottery tickets.

My husband has bought about five or ten pounds of this gourmet Italian bacon stuff. While I would have no problem eating about five or ten pounds of regular bacon, given enough time, I think that I'm already getting a bit tired of this stuff. It is really good for some stuff, but it isn't what I am used to, so I guess that I would rather not have it for breakfast. Anyway, we will go to the grocery store and buy a few things so we can eat this fancy bacon the way it is supposed to be prepared.

I did not find the matching yarn yesterday, so I will put the current scarf aside and start on a completely new one. I have three skeins of soft white yarn, and if I run out I will keep the label so that I can buy more matching yarn. After all of this practice, I should end up with a really nice scarf, though at this rate the pilot will get his Christmas present for Valentine's Day, which would totally be the wrong message.

Speaking of Valentine's Day, that is when the club usually has a fundraising auction, so it is about time that I start looking around to decide if I am going to put anything into it.

I had better get dressed now if I plan to go anywhere before the storm.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The day after Christmas

As I said before, I don't buy much at the 50% off sale. Most of what I do buy that day is food, or stuff that goes with food, that is something that I would buy anyway or something very much like what I would buy anyway, only it is green and red and now marked down.

Like I would usually go and buy lots of Rubbermaid Takealongs. Only Rubbermaid has quit making Takealongs and replaced them with "new and improved Takealongs" which are the same inferior cheap plastic things that everyone else sells, and not like Takealongs at all. So I did not buy any of the old ones, as they are no longer available, and I didn't buy any of the news ones cause even at half price they aren't worth it.

As I have already said, I bought lots of cookies. Not very useful things, cookies, but I like them anyway. I like them a little bit too much. Now I have four boxes of them.

Correction, I now have three boxes of them, as we have already eaten one. But my husband did eat most of that one. When the gingerbread is gone, that will be my fault entirely, but the cake-like cookies are his favorite, and they are half gone now.

I bought three rolls of aluminum foil. So far as I can tell, it is just plain aluminum foil, but as the package had snowflakes it was half price. So I won't run out of foil for a bit.

I found a few more interesting things and called my husband to ask if he was interested. He wasn't very interested in being woke up, even though by that time it was just about eight o'clock anyway, but after discussing the items I put them back on the shelf for someone else to buy.

My husband is one of those rare people who actually likes fruitcake, so I was looking for half price fruitcake, but I didn't find any. After buying a few more regular grocery items that just happened to be on sale, I went home.

I forgot that we were supposed to see the Sherlock Holmes movie, and after hurrying to eat a salad, we headed out again. After the movie, we usually eat the pizza special, but he didn't want pizza as we had just recently had pizza twice. He wanted either chicken wings or BBQ. I wasn't really in the mood for either, but I agreed. We stopped at another store, where we didn't buy much. And then we were back to the discussion of where to eat, and he said that we should decide after we went to the bookstore.

No way. I've been up for hours. I'm hungry. Pick someplace and let's eat.

He passed up both a BBQ place and a wing place and headed for a taco place. And the taco place is fine, except that isn't what he said that he wanted, and I figured he was just going to the taco place cause I didn't sound interested in either of the other places. We can go to one of the other places if he wants to. I had to point out where they were. So we turned around and headed back to the wing place.

And then we get to the wing place, and he isn't that crazy about it. He doesn't want to spend that much on a few chicken wings. Well, that is how much chicken wings cost. He just isn't usually the one buying them, and he didn't realize. So he figures if he's going to spend that much he would rather go to the salad bar next door.

So we go from the pizza place to the idea of BBQ to maybe a taco place to then actually going inside the wing place and then we actually end up eating at the salad bar.

The problem with the salad bar is that I figure if we are going to spend that much money on food, I need to actually eat something. And I end up eating very little actual salad. So it's pasta and tamale soup (never had that one before, but it was good), and a big baked potato with everything on it, and a few veggies on the side, and a couple of desserts.

So then we head to the bookstore, and after that he asked where else I would like to go. As long as we are right here next to a Walmart, I suggest that, thinking he will try to talk me out of it. But he doesn't, and he says that he was going to buy me a skillet anyway. So we go to Walmart, and he does buy me a skillet.

The skillet wasn't on sale or anything, he just bought it anyway. A while back I needed a new skillet, and I kept waiting for the money situation to get better before I bought one, but it never did. So I had to buy one anyway, so I bought a ten inch so that I could just buy the skillet and use a lid that I already had. And then my husband uses a metal cooking utensil on my new non-stick skillet and seriously scratches it, and then I drop and break the glass lid. Which leaves me back where I started, with a scratched up and lidless skillet.

So now he's bought me a new skillet. And he says that he was going to buy it for me for Christmas, but then he wondered if that maybe didn't look right, so he was going to buy me something else, but he didn't think of anything else that didn't seem just as bad. So now he's bought me a new skillet, and we'll see how long it takes for us to ruin this one as well.

While we were there, we found a few more Christmas clearance items. Usually someone buys him chocolate covered cherries for Christmas, but no one did this year, so we bought that. And I bought some cookie cutters, as I might actually be expected to bake some things next year, and I probably don't want to use cookie cutters that I've been using for ceramics class. And then we bought some extension cords, that are useful and needed, but as they are green that makes them half price. I rarely find the extension cord I want in a color that isn't something ugly anyway, so they might as well be green.

So that was all good.

I bought yet another thing of white yarn in an attempt to match something, but again that wasn't it. I guess that I will try again today, but I'm afraid that I'm just going to have to give up on the idea.

Let me explain about the yarn.

I recently tried to get some of my things organized, and my main goal was to get all my yarn together in one place, in boxes, somewhat organized, so that I could at least find what I was looking for and not just assume that I had run out of a color and head off to buy some more.

While I am still missing a few things and feel certain that more yarn and more scarves will turn up later, what I did get organized turned out to be more than seven boxes (big plastic boxes that are the fifteen gallon size or larger) of different kinds of yarn and finished scarves and scarves that were not quite finished as they were either knitted panels that hadn't been joined together to make a tube, or else they just did not have fringe added yet. So I decided that I should use some of this yarn, and that I should finish up these scarves that did not have fringe and such so that I might give them away as gifts, or at least have them ready to go in the unlikely event that someone should want to buy one of them.

No one offered to buy any. Or at least, no one offered to buy any after they heard the price.

So after adding the fringe, I gave away three of them, and then I was making three more to give away. One of them required that I buy all new yarn, cause I didn't have any of that color, the second I had half of the required color and had to buy some more(but it was good to have the yarn organized so that I could see that I already had half of the yarn and didn't buy too much extra).

The third scarf I thought that I had all the yarn that I would need. This was going to be a complicated scarf, to which I would add a bit of glow in the dark paint. I thought that I had about a thousand yards of a white that glowed under black light, about a thousand yards of white that did not glow under black light, and about a thousand yards of black. Not that I needed a thousand yards black, but I did need some. And not that I needed a thousand yards of white that glows under black light either, but I did need some, and also this was the yarn that I would add the paint to, so I would need some for that as well. But the majority of the scarf would be this white that did not glow, and I had a thousand yards or so and was happy that I didn't have to go and buy any yarn for the project, after having bought some very expensive paint and finding most of it would not work as I hoped.

If you have been reading, you might know that after several false starts on the scarf, I have changed the design three or four times, and then in the middle of the project I decided the scarf would be too long and changed it again. At this point I have spent more than thirty hours on the project (not counting false starts and other mishaps), had sore muscles and such, but the end was in sight, and I thought that I would work on it another twelve hours or so before taking it off of the machine, and then I would work on it at least another six hours.

And then I ran out of the main white yarn that I was using. I thought that I had some more of that color (or close enough to it), but when I put it on the machine I thought that it just didn't match at all. And so I have to go out and buy some more that matches it, only there's this little problem of my not having the label and not knowing what kind it is. But it was one of those real big one pound skeins, and I didn't think that there were that many of them out there. And, from the way the yarn was wrapped, I could assume that it was not Red Heart and that it was not Caron either. So I bought Lion Heart Pound of Love, and I bought some other kinds of yarn, just to be on the safe side, Red Heart soft white and winter white, as I thought that they looked pretty close and I was pretty sure that they would not glow under black light.

So I took the yarn home and waited for it to get dark. And I looked at all the yarn under the black light.

I had made a mistake. The Red Heart soft white and winter white did not glow under the blacklight, and the Lion Heart did, but none of them matched the original color. And now that I look again, it wasn't that the original yarn didn't glow under blacklight, just that it didn't glow as much as the other white, as the other white had an almost purple sheen to it even in the daylight.

So I am in the very difficult position of trying to match a yarn that only glows a little under black light, and I'm just having to guess at it while shopping for yarn during the day.

In an effort to match this yarn (that I was originally so happy to use because I wouldn't have to go out and buy anymore of this color), I have now spent about fifteen dollars. Some of this I can return to the store (except the Lion Heart that I had already taken out of the package), but I probably won't because it just isn't worth my time to go and stand in line to get two dollars at one store and three dollars at another store and so on.

I will go out today and look at some more yarn, and probably buy some of it, but after that if it doesn't match I think that I shall have to give up and start all over from the beginning. At least I know now what color yarn to buy that does not glow in black light.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The seventh day of Christmas

The sixth day of Christmas was yesterday, actual Christmas Day itself. I didn't do anything. While it isn't unusual to do very little on Christmas Day after we've already had our main family thing the night before, it was unusual to do nothing at all. Mom called once just to see that we were okay, and that was about it. Mom didn't invite us to do anything, and no other relatives called to suggest anything. If grandma was up to having visitors, no one mentioned it to me. And my brother did not call to suggest watching a movie.

Which was just as well, as I spent most of the day with a bit of a headache. Other than that I tried to work on a scarf while I watched some of my Stargate DVDs. Before yesterday I hadn't found any serious problems, but now it looks like disk five mostly doesn't work.

I mostly feel better now. The seventh day of Christmas (and the eighth day of Christmas), is a shopping day. So I am just sort of sitting here, debating with myself if and when to venture out. I don't especially want or need anything in particular, and I probably won't get any really good deals for about a week, but I will probably go out and have a look anyway. I'm thinking that a bit before seven would be good. That is when Target will open. And then there is Walmart, which I would avoid today, except that I again need some yarn, and I would rather just try there than head out to Hobby Lobby again. I love Hobby Lobby, but it is a bit far away for what I would like to do today, plus it is right near the mall and I don't want to deal with the traffic. I just want to look at a few things and go back home.

And I am wondering about the ice. There was ice on the 24th, though there did not seem to be much actually on the streets. But I do think that there was probably ice on the parking lots, since there was ice on the driveways and sidewalks. And it hasn't been enough above freezing for it to melt, and since there were no cars driving about to wear it away, whatever ice was there on the night of the 24th must still be there.

If I knew that for sure, I would just stay home. As it is I will probably get dressed as soon as I finish this and go have a look for myself.

Friday, December 25, 2009

On the fifth day of Christmas

Our family will have a tradition for several years, and then it will change, and then we will have a different tradition for years after that, and then later it will change again.

So, after we were not little kids who believed in Santa Clause and all of that, we had the tradition of exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve after we ate dinner at a certain pizza place. Then, that particular pizza placed closed. Soon after that, my sister requested that we go back to exchanging gifts on Christmas Day.

And then she got married, and we went back to the idea of exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve, after we have dinner at a nice restaurant.

So that was the plan for yesterday, to exchange gifts after we had dinner at this certain restaurant, where we would eat oysters and fried alligator and other such things.

We don't get a lot of snow here, and even when we do it usually much to look at. It doesn't stick. Or there isn't enough of it to cover the ground. It usually melts before the day is over, so, if you want to see snow, you had better go out and look at it when it is actually snowing.

What we do have once in a while is ice on the ground. It might rain or snow, or sometimes make that sleet or freezing rain. Most of the time this will either happen at night, or if it has happened during the day it might melt and flow out into the streets, where if it gets below freezing during the night, it will freeze. So we sometimes have this ice on the roads, but it usually seems to be something that you have to deal with in the morning, unless you are one of those people who has to drive around a lot at night.

Yesterday we had various weather conditions happen during the day. First, there was a bit of rain, which wasn't bad, and most of it was gone before I got around to doing anything. We had a free Whataburger for breakfast and went to the grocery store for a few things that we forgot to get. Not anything Christmas related, just stuff that we were going to run out of, and the stores probably won't be open today, so we had to get the stuff yesterday. And then we went home, and it was snowing a bit, but it just wasn't cold enough yet for it to matter much. We had a lot of snow in chairs and planters and such, being just a bit cooler off of the ground that snow doesn't melt as fast.

So it had snowed, but there wasn't much snow on the ground to look at. But according to the news reports, we would probably get more. My brother called to say that we might have cancel dinner.

Well, it didn't seem that bad. There was a bit of snow on the ground, but there wasn't yet ice in the streets. The ground was for the most part wet, not frozen. Still, it might get worse later. It was just too soon to decide anything.

Later my mom called. My sister was offering to cook something if we wanted to cancel the restaurant reservations and just go straight to her house, since the plan was to go to her house after dinner anyway. My mom didn't want to put my sister to that much trouble, so she suggested going to a different restaurant that was closer to her house.

I did not think much of this going to a different restaurant idea. That would still mean that we would have to get out in traffic twice. If it was safe to go to a different restaurant, it was probably safe to go to the one that we had originally planned. What would make me feel safer was to go straight to my sister's place as she had suggested. As for making my sister cook, we could just order a pizza instead.

We went and got another free Whataburger for lunch while we waited to see if anyone had a better idea.

So we ended up going straight to my sister's place, about an hour earlier than we had planned to meet at the restaurant. And then if we heard that it was going to get ugly, we could go home earlier.

The pizza thing nearly didn't work out. As it took so long to figure out ordering the pizza, it was slightly after six, and the first place that we called closed for the day at six.

We ordered five pizzas from the next place. The wait was a bit longer than usual, but not that much longer since we decided to pick them up instead of having them delivered.

While we were eating pizza, there was more snow.

Well, if it is going to get bad, it is too late now. And if it got really bad, we were safe at somebody's house, not at a restaurant that we would have to leave no matter what.

We exchanged gifts. My siblings seemed to like what we got for them. We got a gift certificate to my husband's favorite restaurant and I got DVDs to all of the Star Trek movies. All eleven of them.

This is my year for getting DVDs, and I am pretty happy with them.

When we were ready to leave, there was ice on the ground, but not so much in the streets. The driveway and sidewalk I just could not walk on, and inched along until I could walk on the now snow covered grass or the mostly dry street. Once we were driving home, the ice was not much of a problem, except for the "bridges and overpasses" and the frozen puddles of water that were mostly near the curbs.

So that was nice enough. I don't expect the weather to be much of a problem today, but I don't think that there are any plans to speak of either. I will just sit here and wait to see what happens.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On the fourth day of Christmas

Okay, I skipped the first thing this year, the charity thing with the club. They said that it was the best ever, and I missed it. Whatever.

The thing with my Uncle G was nice. So I don't regret skipping the charity thing, cause I was knitting and doing other stuff to get ready for that. Though I do regret that I didn't get the knitting done while I was out of town, and then I might have had time for both things.

The third day of Christmas was Saturday, and that involved being at three different places to exchange gifts with different groups of people from the club. So there was the official gift exchange at one restaurant after lunch, and then there were more gifts exchanged among five of us at a different restaurant during dinner, and then there was a get together after dinner at someone's house, where I exchanged gifts with two more people.

I got home after three thirty Sunday morning.

Okay, I have now mostly recovered from Saturday.

Today is the fourth day of Christmas, which is no big deal, and we are going to visit my husband's brother. My husband has four brothers, two sisters, and some nephews, but he only cares about the one sister who lives out of state (and therefore we rarely see her and never have any holiday plans with her), and the one brother. We saw less and less of the others over the years, and after his mother died he decided he did not want to see the others at all.

We usually go to see this brother on the 23rd, but we are going on the 22nd this year to avoid seeing one of the sisters and a nephew and possibly one of the other brothers. Which is fine by me, as I have no interest in seeing them either, and now I have a day of rest between the fourth day of Christmas and the fifth day of Christmas.

The 23rd used to be a big deal, and a stressful day for me, but now it is just the one brother. And we usually don't even do anything for the one brother, we just go see him. We usually don't exchange presents with him. This makes me feel bad, a bit, but it is his brother, and he should work out those details, not me. So I don't bother with it anymore. If we are supposed to exchange gifts, someone needs to tell me. Or my husband needs to do the shopping for that, not me. So last year we were given some small token gifts, and we didn't give anything in return. We don't have anything for him this year either, or at least, not that I know about, so I don't expect he will get us anything, but he might again get us something small, or he might bake something for us.

Years ago they used to have the big family gathering on the 23rd, and I wouldn't be told that we were going until a few days before, and I couldn't get ready in time, much less be expected to get gifts for everyone, even if I had the money, which usually I did not. Not counting the sister that was out of state, and a brother and his wife who was out of state at the time, there were three brothers, a sister, their mother, a sister-in-law, a nephew, and two more nephews that might be there or might not, and the wives of the nephews that might be there or might not, and a son of one of the nephews that might be there or might not. And they exchanged gifts, but it wasn't one of those things where you draw names or anything like that, there were gifts for everyone. So that was seven gifts for the people we knew would be there, and then maybe five more if the others showed up. One year I was told that three of the others would be there, so I got them something, but then it turned out that the other nephew and his wife also showed up, and I didn't have anything for them.

The first year we did this I was given about a week's notice, but then I wasn't told there would be gifts exchanged until about the 20th or the 21st.

I think the family had stopped having this gathering a few years before we got married, but my husband forgot and sort of invited himself over, and then they had to do it cause he was expecting it. And then they did this for several more years, and then one year the brother who hosted the gathering announced that he and his family were going on a cruise or something that year, so no gathering on the 23rd. And then there was some other excuse the year after that, and then there were no more of the big family gatherings on the 23rd.

Without the big family gathering at the one brother's house, we still tried to do something with his mom and the one sister and the one nephew and two of the brothers. And then we saw less and less of them, though he did try to see his mother once in a while and he does still like to see the one brother. Then after his mom died he just didn't want to see anyone but the one brother. He avoids the rest of them, unless maybe he hears that the out-of-state sister might be in town, but we haven't seen her either since the death of his mother.

So now it is just the one brother, and people we are trying to avoid.

Anyway, most of my day will be spent either with this brother, or in the car driving to and from the brother's house.

So that leaves Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas with whoever happens to want to get together and maybe see grandma, and then New Year's Eve with my friends. All I have to do is wrap four gifts by the 24th and hopefully finish two scarves by the 31st.

Monday, December 21, 2009

No more Survivor

Last night was the season finale of Survivor, and I did not watch it. I am happy to say that I did not watch any of this season. Not the first episode, not the last episode, not any episodes in between, not one of those "highlights of" video clips, not part of an episode that a friend said I should see, nothing. Zip. Did not watch it at all.

I loved the first season. I loved it so much that if I'd gotten home in time I probably would have made an audition video for the second season. I watched the first season and the season season and the third season and really enjoyed them and I watched and enjoyed many seasons after that.

And then I noticed sort of a sexual harassment situation on one of the shows that resulted in the woman leaving. Not that I'm saying the man really meant to do anything bad, or that he was trying to get the woman to have sex with him, or that he did it on purpose to get the woman to leave, just that there is already a total lack of privacy on the show, and there really isn't anything set up to handle such things if there is a real problem.

And then it happened again, a woman got really upset, and the woman left the show.

Besides the fact that people accidentally see each other naked on the show, if you want to run around naked all day, there's really nothing to be done about that. And if you can use that to your advantage on a challenge, or if you can just annoy other people to death with it, no one will stop you from doing it, and it might even improve the ratings and be encouraged.

And then I started to notice the physical challenges. Some of the stuff used was poorly constructed, and there is no safety equipment. And people get hurt, and again it is good for the ratings.

I was thinking that I shouldn't watch the show anymore, that I shouldn't encourage this sort of thing, but then I still watched the pirate island one and the all-star one. It started to get interesting again, but still nothing was done about safety equipment or people running around naked.

In the all star game, Susan left after getting upset when Richard played a challenge against her naked.

I seriously tried to stop watching the show after that. Not that I stopped watching right then, I watched the rest of that season, but I wanted to stop watching any seasons that followed. But I would see part of show with a friend and start watching again after that.

Okay, so I didn't watch much of the last season, and I couldn't tell you anything about many of the seasons before that. I think that I might finally be over it.

Now if someone comes up with the Stalking the Wild Asparagus show, I would probably watch that. I might even try to be in that. But I'm not interested in Survivor anymore.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gift exchanges

That went well enough, though we did not have all seven of us together at once. Five of us went to dinner, and we saw the other two later. Two of the people at dinner got an IOU, but they didn't seem to mind it that much.

I got baked goods from somebody, though not the somebody I thought. She seemed surprised that we all thought we were getting cookies or something. Some of us got cookies, and some did not. But she still liked the fruit basket.

I received a necklace with a dragon on it. I have several that I don't really wear anymore, but not one like this. And I have this personalized thing coffee/tea thing, and while I don't drink coffee I am trying to drink more tea cause of the whole antioxidant thing. I have some Bath and Body Works stuff and a little digital frame and a really cool watch.

In the official gift exchange I got some DVDs, but after closer inspection they do not quite appear to be what I thought they were. And they are used, which I wouldn't mind so much (especially if they were what I had thought that they were), but these already look used, so now I'm a bit worried that they won't play. My artwork went to someone I don't know very well, but as with the earlier party it made me feel good that what I gave was "stolen." So it seemed to be wanted by someone, and I hope he will be happy with it.

Someone else gave me a DVD of something I like, but I was warned that it might not play on my machine. That's okay, if it doesn't work on my machine I'll find someone else who can use it. This wasn't really a like a Christmas present, this was just, here, someone take this, I don't want it anymore. No problem, I will take it.

Several people left the gift exchange with phasers. Don't mess with us, we're armed now.

I somehow ended up staying out past three in the morning. Most of this year I have tried to stay up til ten and ended up falling asleep at nine or earlier, so I didn't expect to stay out that long, and in fact I had somehow gotten it into my head that it was two hours earlier. Time flies and all of that. Anyway, at some point I thought that it was eleven, and then we watched the new Star Trek movie after that, so I was thinking it was one or so, and then I got into my car and saw that it was after three. So I wasn't in bed until after three-thirty.

Still, I managed to wake up around five and a bit before six I gave up trying to get back to sleep.

Okay, most of the Christmas stuff over for now, except for wrapping a couple of presents. And finishing up the two scarves for the people who received IOUs.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And I still don't know what is going on

I sent out six emails asking what the plan for today was, and I only got one response. With a bit of prompting I got a second response, which I liked even less than the first one. A third person has said that he is open to suggestions, but he thinks that we ought to head out like we are going to dinner as usual, exchange gifts before we eat, and then the people who have to be somewhere else can leave right after that, and then the rest of us can catch up with them after we eat.

And that would have been a really good plan, except that the second response to my email said that one of us isn't going to be at the meeting at all.

I give up.

We didn't have to do anything at all. We discussed this in plenty of time to say, let's just skip it this year. But nobody said that they wanted to do that. So I'm thinking business as usual, and I go ahead with what I normally do. And then it was a ten dollar limit. Well, it is too late, but whatever. Most people got something worth more than ten dollars. Most of them are getting something that I made, and the supplies cost more than ten dollars. And the one person I had bought something less than ten dollars, cause I thought he didn't have money and I would just get him this little thing that he didn't have instead of a card like he would probably give me, but then he went and sold something so that he could have money to spend for Christmas, so I have added something to his gift. Besides, I thought that I would give him something like that next year, only now I'm not so sure that I want to do this next year, so if I want him to have it now is the time.

One of the seven indicated that she would mostly be giving us baked goods. It wasn't quite an announcement, and it wasn't quite asking permission, but I am thinking that I'm getting cake or cookies or something from her. And that's fine, and I put some thought into what I would get her, something that would be an appropriate exchange for cookies but something that wouldn't look cheap compared with what I got everyone else. The fruit basket is done, and while it is not the most impressive fruit basket ever, I think that it looks pretty good. So that's fine, except that now I think someone else in the group is giving baked goods too, maybe two others.

I don't have two other fruit baskets. I will just have to go with what I originally planned for them.

I was thinking about the gift exchange and baked goods idea. What if everyone exchanged baked goods? So, there are seven of us, and one of us has said that she'll probably give us baked goods, so she goes and makes six cakes or pies or whatever. And, expecting to get baked goods from her, the rest of us want to give her something of equal value, like probably more baked goods. So in return we each make a dozen brownies or two dozen cookies or whatever. That might sound really dumb, but people do that. There is this thing called a cookie exchange. People do this. So, in this example there are seven of us, and if all six of the rest of us got her baked goods, she would end up with about 144 cookies, or something like that.

I don't think that is such a great idea, especially since several of us should lose some weight, and we already know that she's attempting a diet. If all seven of us made baked goods for the rest of us, we would be in serious trouble.

Which isn't to say that we couldn't all trade homemade stuff if we wanted, just that we shouldn't all do desserts. If a couple of people did desserts, and then maybe someone could make spaghetti sauce and someone could make salsa and someone else could make cheese balls. And then maybe someone else could make non-foods, like maybe soap or candles.

It isn't impossible to homemade gift exchanges that do not ruin your health, but it does take some planning, which we didn't do this time.

Anyway, I've got to put all of this stuff in the car, still not knowing what the plan is. But I am guessing that it will be an exchange after dinner with three or four of us, and we will just have to figure the rest out later. Two of the people at dinner will be getting IOUs. It's too bad that it didn't work out differently, with the people not at dinner getting the IOUs. They wouldn't have noticed.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The big day is tomorrow, sort of, maybe...

I can't sleep. After several hours of not being able to sleep, I get up and try to do something quiet. If I had the place to myself, I would just watch some TV until such time as I feel like trying to roll over and sleep again. But I don't have the place to myself, so it is either try to be quite in bed and hope that I will fall asleep again, or get up and try to find something quiet to do someplace else in the house.

And for a bit I tried to knit, but as it turns out this early in the morning I tend to make mistakes, and I have now spent more time trying to correct those mistakes than I have spent actually making progress on the piece.

I have run out of yarn. I have new yarn that I thought matched, but now that I have it on the machine I can see a slight difference between the old yarn and the new yarn. Maybe no one else will notice. Before I put it on the machine, it looked the same. Maybe on the finished piece it will look more the same? Anyway, it would be difficult to find any yarn that matched more than this one. I don't know what else to do except keep knitting with what I have.

I am not going to finish this on time anyway. I don't even know why I am still working on it.

And I still have to finish the scarf for Miss Allergies today. I still have several hours of work to do on that. Today I also have to make and wrap a fruit basket.

Other than that, J's gift is wrapped, R's gift is wrapped, and the gift for another friend is wrapped. The gift I will probably give for the official gift exchange is now painted and mostly dry, though it still smells. I will wait a bit more before I wrap that, and I will find something else to take and wrap, just in case I am talked out of giving this particular gift, as homemade gifts are not encouraged in the official exchange.

Anyway, all this stuff needs to be done before about one o'clock tomorrow. At least, I think that is when it needs to be done, but I can't get a straight answer on the exact plan for tomorrow.

In most of the years that this little group has exchanged gifts, we have gone to dinner as usual and then given each other gifts after dinner. Once in a while, this doesn't work out for everyone, as sometimes someone is sick or out of town or something. So maybe the rest of us go on as usual, and the missing person gets their gifts later, maybe at the New Year's Eve party. That has always seemed a bit awkward to me, to give gifts to one or two friends while the rest of the group is there, and the rest of the group isn't part of the gift exchange. Just sort of screams, yes, we are all friends, but I don't care enough about the rest of you to get you a gift. So I would prefer not to give anyone a gift during the meeting or during the New Year's Eve party or anything like that.

So exchanging gifts apart from the rest of the group is best, and we would usually do that after dinner. Except that this year J and R probably won't go to dinner with us, since they have invited the whole group to their place later that evening, and they probably just won't have time for dinner with us.

So, I need to know what we are doing. After much discussion on the subject earlier, we did confirm that the seven of us would be exchanging gifts this year, though if things do not get better, it might just have to be an exchange of cards next year. (I don't do cards, but that's another story.) So I am quite sure that we are all going to exchange gifts, I just don't know when and where. And I need to know that, so I wrote an email, and so far only one person has answered. She didn't really know, but she thought maybe we were just going to dinner as usual without J and R.

I don't like that idea.

It seems to me that we could all be at the meeting place early and exchange gifts before most of the other people get there. Or that we could stay at the place a little later than usual and exchange gifts after most everyone else has left. Or, since J and R have invited everyone over to their place anyway, maybe they can just invite a few of us to come over before everyone else and do it then. But it isn't my place, so I can't suggest that and invite myself over.

Anyway, one of the gifts that I am giving is a fruit basket, and it needs to be given tomorrow, and if necessary I will give it to the person at the meeting and in front of everyone else, cause fruit baskets just don't keep til later.

So I don't know what is going on, and I don't know what to do. And I don't suppose that it is really a big deal to put all this stuff in the car just in case, except that I'd worry about someone breaking into my car in an attempt to steal presents.

In addition to all of this stuff, I was planning to put a bunch more scarves in the car, so that the pilot can pick out one for me to give to his wife. I don't think that I have ever given her a scarf, and if we are probably not going to give gifts next year, I guess I should give her a scarf this year if she is ever going to get one. I just don't have a special one in mind for her. I just have a few that look good, and he can pick which one he thinks she would like best.

Anyway, I wish the rest of them would answer the damn email.

Monday, December 14, 2009

On the first day of Christmas

Okay, so over the years I have found things to do in the days leading up to Christmas, some of which are nearly as important to me as Christmas itself, or maybe even more so.

For a time my family started having more of a big Christmas Eve and doing gift exchanges then instead of Christmas morning or later that day. Then we switched back to having it Christmas day. And now we have switched it back to Christmas Eve, so that my sister and her husband are able to spend some time with his family. So our gift exchange is on Christmas Eve, and then we might still see each other at some point on Christmas, or we might try to spend Christmas with grandma, and whoever else might stop by to see grandma.

In the past five or six years, I have exchanged gifts with certain friends at a Star Trek club. This is in addition to the official club gift exchange. This gift exchange has become more fun for me than exchanging gifts with my family, cause as my family members got older, I have more and more trouble trying to figure out what to get for them. But the gifts for my friends need to be ready about a week before Christmas, which sometimes makes us feel a bit rushed. This year one of them will probably not get done in time, but that will be okay, he won't care. Maybe I can get it done in time for the New Year's Eve party.

And then there is this charity thing that I do most of the time, if I have the time and the money. Last year I had the time, but not the money, and I was going to skip it, but I got talked into it anyway. This year I didn't have the time or the money, and it was a week earlier than it is usually scheduled. I was very busy. I had planned something, but I backed out about a week ago.

So, the first day of Christmas was Saturday, and I skipped it. I was at home. I was busy trying to finish a blue scarf. I guess the second day of Christmas was Sunday.

Sunday there was a party at Uncle G's place. Some years someone in my extended family will try to have all of us over before it gets too close to Christmas, but I rarely get to go. The first year my mother was elected for this, and my mother is just not social and never does anything like have a party. And I missed it. We had had already planned a trip to New Orleans, and we did not think that we could reschedule it, so we went there instead of mom's party, and she was very mad at us. Our plans were made first, and she could have rescheduled hers if she wanted us there so much. And there have been other parties when I had a job and couldn't get the day off, or we were working out of town, or we just didn't hear about it in time, or one of us was sick or whatever. And it isn't something that happens every year anyway, just whenever someone is in the mood to do it.

So Uncle G and his wife were in the mood, and they had a party Sunday. And my mom originally wasn't planning to go, but I accepted as soon as I was given the invitation. My mom kept calling me to tell me not to be early, or some such thing. My mom was micro-managing me, and it wasn't her party, and originally she wasn't even planning to attend. Yesterday she called a fourth time to tell me that maybe I didn't have to be a half an hour late as she had originally told me, just to be a little bit late, and then she was telling me not to bring food in Tupperware and such. I don't have lots of dishes. I have to use what I have. No one else will care about it.

So we got there fifteen or twenty minutes late instead of half an hour late like my mom said, and we were the first ones there. But I had a little bit to do with the food that we brought. When I had finished with that my brother showed up, bringing cookies from mother, though I'm not quite sure why she sent them ahead since she showed up five minutes later herself. Whatever. Anyway, I think that about half of our extended family were in that little house for a bit. Mostly Uncle G's kids and grandkids, and also his wife's daughter and grandkids, but also my mom and family and another uncle and aunt.

One of my cousins I hadn't seen since I was a kid, and another one I hadn't seen except for at Thanksgiving. Other cousins I have seen on and off, and some of them my age or just a bit older have children, and I have seen them, and I have seem them get older, and one of them even had a baby. So one of my cousins (not one at this party) is a grandparent, though I haven't yet seen the grandchild. And I am well aware that I am old enough to have children, and that I am even perhaps old enough to be a grandparent, if I had wanted to have children and had them. But of the two cousins that I had not seen for a long time, they are not that much younger than me, and I had heard that they had children, but somehow I still picture them being children themselves, and I just didn't quite get it. So some of the children of these cousins are teenagers, some of them soon to be off to college, almost grown themselves.

So after we had plenty to eat and played a few games, Uncle G gave his grandkids presents, and then the adults had a gift exchange. This was one of those gift exchanges where people steal stuff. I was very glad to see that my scarves were stolen a few times. My husband got some games, and I have a gift certificate for a restaurant.

So that all went very well.

When I got home, my mom called me again to tell me I had done a good job.

Back to work. I hope the next Christmas thing is as good.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


This month there has been The Twelve Days of Whataburger, during which you can sign up to receive coupons on odd numbered days that you can use to get something free on even numbered days. So on the first they sent me a coupon that I used on the second to get free fries. Down at the bottom of the coupon is a note to your cashier, telling her which number button to use, and next to that is something like FREE FRIES or FREE SODA or FREE PIE.

The coupon we used yesterday was for a free breakfast on a bun. Since breakfast on a bun is a rather long thing to spell out, the notation to the cashier was abbreviated to FREE BOB.

FREE BOB rather amused me for a bit. Sounds like something you should write on a picket sign. Like maybe someone named Bob has been unfairly imprisoned. FREE BOB! FREE BOB!

Anyway, we had a free breakfast on a bun before we headed out yesterday morning, and we liked it so much we stopped at a different location and had another one on the way home.

So far I have bought something each time I've used a coupon, but I don't suppose that I have to if I don't want to. I heard that they tried this same promotion two years ago, and then decided to cancel it after they had already sent out coupons. I haven't had that happen yet, though one day I did have a bit of an argument with someone who tried to tell me I couldn't use the coupon cause I didn't print out the whole email. This is a stupid argument meant to drive away people when they get tired of giving away free food, but I am not that timid, and it does not work on me. I will cause a scene and still get my free food, but I will not pay for anything to go with it.

If for some reason they really want the whole email, they shouldn't have designed it to only print out the coupon, and it should say in writing that they need the whole email and not to cut out the coupon.

Anyway, after FREE BOB and some minor shopping, we came home and I finished the blue scarf, which took me longer than I expected, but it didn't take as long as trying to deal with that Innovations machine. Joining the panel ends together took longer than I thought, and the fringe takes some time, but still, with the sweater machine I can get the thing done all in a day, if I had the whole day to work on it and didn't have to stop because I ran out of blue yarn.

So I have one finished blue scarf and one finish red scarf, and both will go in a gift exchange later today. I just have to wrap them now.

My mother has now called three times to tell me that our hostess does not really want us to appear at the time given on the invitation, and that we should show up almost half an hour later. This makes no sense to me, but even after I've agreed to do this she will call me again and tell me the whole thing again. She interrupts my knitting to do this, and I have not yet started on the food. Without even getting into whether or not she is right about the hostess actually wanting everyone to show up half an hour late, she needs to leave me alone so that I can get ready for the party, and it seems a bit silly to keep reminding me not to be early for something that at this rate I will never be ready for at all. But I am mostly ready now, except for wrapping the gifts, and as it turns out my husband will be doing the actual food preparation, and we did manage to do the grocery shopping yesterday. So all is well, I think.

So I have a couple of things checked off of my list. As for the rest of the list, I need something for a different gift exchange, but at least I have my supplies now. J's gift is finished and wrapped and everything. R's gift is mostly done. The gift for Miss Allergies still needs some work. Another gift is finished but still needs to be wrapped. My sister's gift is here but needs to be wrapped, as is my brother's. I have to get a gift for another friend by Saturday, but as she will probably get a fruit basket I don't want to get it too much before Saturday.

And that leaves the pilot's gift, which will never be done in time, so I might as well forget about it and work on a nice card that says IOU.

Anyway, I expect to have a nice day today, in spite of having a cold and such. And then I have to get some serious work done before Saturday.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A few words about the knitting

I am getting a cold now. I suppose it was unavoidable since my husband has a cold and I spent the last few days with him and ate with him and spent all that time in the car with him, etc... So now I am getting a cold, and I have all this stuff to do and would rather not do some of it. I would rather stay in bed watching DVDs and eating soup. But it isn't that bad yet, so I should keep doing stuff until I really feel so bad that I can't.

So the plan is to go shopping today, and pick up my sister's gift and my brother's gift card and some stuff from the craft store, etc.... Hopefully I will be done with that and can stay home the rest of the time until I have a party to go to.

Okay, so I have said a few things about the knitting and about knitting machines that confused someone, so I am going to try to explain.

One thing that is a problem is the word "new." I use the word sometimes in ways that it isn't meant to be used. Like there is new as in "new to me." I would refer to something that I just got as new, even if it is not new, maybe someone gave it to me or I bought it used. But then I sometimes say "new" when I mean the newer model, and again this could be something used. And then there is "new in the box" which might be an older model.

So that could confuse someone.

The first knitting machine that I bought was the Innovations knitting machine. I have recently said that this is a piece of crap. It is one of those round machines that you turn with a handle. Smaller things like this are sold as toys, and while they look easy enough on the commercials, I have never gotten them to work very well. Still I keep trying to get them to work. I had recently found a video on YouTube showing how to fix a slipped stitch. This is a wonderful video, as it explains the procedure correctly, and the instructions that come with the machine are incorrect and result in making a "rib."

Unfortunately, the machine just has too many slipped stitches and other such things, and even with the correct instructions on how to fix them, it just isn't worth it. But, I had it in my head that after watching the video I would be able to get the thing to work properly, and that it would only take me five hours or so to make a scarf. The machine makes a tube (which if I could get it to work would eliminate the extra step of having to sew the ends of the panel together) and is small and easy to transport, even if you are already working on something. So I had this idea that I would buy a bunch of yarn and take the Innovations knitting machine with me on the trip and make a couple of scarves for gift exchanges while I was in the motel room.

I practiced fixing slipped stitches while we were in the car driving to San Antonio. So I knew how to do it, and I imagined that once I was at the motel and able to work properly at a table, the scarf making would just zip right along. But, it takes time to fix the stitches, and as soon as you fix one another problem happens, and you just spend all day trying to fix things. I spent all day on a scarf that should have taken five hours to finish, and I only got done 120 rows of the planned 450. At that point, I gave up and decided to just make fringe and other finishing touches to some scarves I had worked on earlier.

Okay, so after wasting my money on the Innovations knitting machine (which runs about forty to fifty dollars, and I bought it new, new in the box from a regular retail store, but I had a coupon and probably spent about twenty-five or thirty), I went out and spent more money on The Ultimate Sweater Machine. This machine runs about a hundred and fifty dollars or more, but again I had a coupon, and I think I got mine for about eighty. This is a flat machine that needs a four foot long rectangular table to set up on. Since you don't always have that, I have bought a four foot long board to clamp to tables that either aren't quite four foot long or aren't rectangular, and then I can clamp the machine to the board and then clamp the board to the table. So this machine is not as easily transported, though I do often take it with me, but I can't take it with me when it already has a project on the machine, unless I want to go to the trouble of taking it off and then putting it back on, which is difficult and takes a long time, especially when you do not have a garter bar, and I don't have one.

So, I was already working on a project on that machine, and so I did not attempt to take it with me. Besides, I thought that after watching the YouTube video that the Innovations knitting machine would work just fine, and be much easier to pack.

Okay, then I have this other machine. This is where the word "new" becomes a problem. Last year we were at a place called Thrift Town, which mostly sells used clothing and other used things, but occasionally you find a few things "new in the box" or "new with tags" cause whoever donated the things just never got around to using them. We found a box marked "knitting machine" and decided that it was worth forty bucks. It was another 8mm flat knitting machine, also about four foot long, though it just said sweater machine instead of Ultimate Sweater Machine. Still, I would think that it was made by the same company (Bond). I didn't really need another machine, but for forty dollars I decided to take it, so that I would have extra parts. There are a couple of tools that I am always losing, and it is a hassle to get new ones. So now I had a whole second set of everything, though this machine was an older model.

So the forty dollar machine was "new to me" and "new in the box" but it was not the "new model." See?

The main difference in the older model is that the newer model carriage is plastic, and there is a piece of plastic that covers over the needles as they work, and the older model carriage is mostly plastic but does not have that piece of plastic that covers over the needles, and instead has this metal bar going across, but you can see the needles moving underneath. And the older model has one-sided key plates while the new model plates have two sided plates, so that the new model has sizes two and a half and three and a half in addition to the old one two three and four.

Some of the really older models have the machine all in one piece, which this was not. This was two pieces that snap together, same as the other one, though I have not yet tried to unsnap one once I've put it together. I suppose that having the machine broken down into two pieces would make it easier to transport, but I'm afraid to try it, as I might actually break the thing. And other older models used to come with two and three prong tools, but unfortunately this one did not, but I was still glad to get a second set of one prong tools, as I keep misplacing them.

So, I could have taken the sweater machine with me and I would have taken me about seven hours to complete the scarf that I was trying to make, but I didn't think of that, and I took the stupid Innovations machine instead.

Okay, so now I am home, and there is a not even a third of a complicated scarf on the Ultimate Sweater Machine. So I very carefully take the whole machine and move it a few feet away (with the scarf in progress still on it), so that I could use the space (which is the only space I currently have to work on such things), and then I set up the other sweater machine, and I started knitting the new scarf. It took an hour or a bit more to knit 120 rows, which had taken me all day fussing with the Innovations thing. I knitted a bit more, and then I tried something new with the weights (which I was afraid to try on the other more complicated project, but was now willing to risk on something that had only taken me about an hour or two to make), and then I knitted some more and ran out of yarn. So I have about three hundred rows on it, after working less than three hours. If I hadn't have run out of yarn I would have finished the part of the knitting that is done on the machine, and I would now either be joining the panel ends together or maybe even be working on the fringe.

Anyway, as rushed as I am for time, I still think that using this machine I will have a finished scarf in plenty of time for Sunday's gift exchange. And I have another scarf that I did another time, just a different color, so as soon as I finish the fringe on that I will have a second scarf, and again I don't see any problem getting them both done by Sunday, even with this cold, and even with having to spend a lot of time out shopping today.

It's just that if I had taken this machine to San Antonio instead of the Innovations thing, I would have finished both of them by now. And then I could go to bed and watch DVDs, right after I do this bit of shopping.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A few days in San Antonio

Okay, so I have been to San Antonio many times before, and while it used to be a very special place, well, I've done most of that and usually don't feel the need to spend a lot of money doing it again. I am sure that there are things in the area that I would like to do and haven't done, the main thing that I would like to do there and have never done is go to Fiesta Texas. (I never went to Houston's Astro World, and I regret that.) So while it is nice to go to San Antonio if I have the money and the time, I just don't make a special effort to do that anymore.

But there are a few things that are still very nice if you don't have to spend too much money. Like, if you are going to be in the area anyway, you might as well go to the Riverwalk. Except that they place that we would like to park the car costs ten dollars. But that isn't too bad. And we would like to eat lunch or dinner while we are there, though most of those places can get expensive. But we do like a certain place that is no more expensive than most of the places we would eat at here, so that's alright if we have the money. So that's a not too expensive dinner plus ten dollars to park.

And then there are the little boat tours. Tickets are about nine dollars. We took a tour the first time we were there, but we have skipped it most of the times since then.

So, I have been to the Riverwalk many times, though rarely at night. And I can't remember being there in December. So on Sunday we went there and had dinner and took the boat tour at night, when they had all the Christmas lights. So that was a very pleasant evening, and we spent a little over fifty dollars. The motel room didn't count, as it was a business expense, and he'll get paid back for that.

I guess I skipped over the drive there. It was pleasant enough. We stopped at a bakery in West, and then my husband pointed out another bakery in Waco. The new bakery in Waco is the third (that I know of) Collin Street Bakery. But Collin Street isn't in Waco, it is in Corsicana, which is not even on that same interstate.

If you do not know, Corsicana is the Fruitcake Capital of the World.

Anyway, we did not stop that time. On down the road we went, til we were nearly there, and we stopped at The Snake Farm. I do not believe that I have ever been to the place before, though the husband says that we have. Maybe we have, once, but mainly I remember trying to go there and being there too early or too late or at the wrong time of year, etc.... So we had made good time, and it was a bit after lunch, and it was a Sunday, so they were open. Tickets are about ten dollars each, which is a bit much for such a small zoo, since you could go to a much bigger zoo for the same price or even less. But I was spending the day being a tourist, and I wanted to go anyway. It is a big room with a lot of snakes, and some animals outside behind the building. Mostly average stuff in small cages, but there were a couple of wolves and a couple of hyenas. I tend to go to a lot of zoos, but I don't think that I've been up close to a hyena before. So that was cool.

There was this odd bit with the rats. There were rats outside everywhere, getting into the cages and stealing lunch. But these weren't your average wild rats, they were white with spots, like you would get at a pet store. I am wondering if a couple of them were meant to be someone's lunch, and they escaped, and now there are rats everywhere.

We didn't spend much time there. I found something at the gift shop that I will give my brother for Christmas. Then we got back on the road.

The room was nice enough, but nothing special. The cable sucked. Not even the SyFy channel. And I forgot my pillows. You can't take your bed with you, but you would be more comfortable in the motel room if you remember to bring your own pillows, but I forgot. Lucky for me, this motel decided to go with many smaller pillows instead of a few giant ones. So I did not break my neck on the strange pillows.

One thing with the room was a disappointment, no micro-fridge. I have gotten so used to that being standard that I forgot to ask, so we didn't get one. But it turned out okay, since we weren't going to be there but for a few days. There were plenty of restaurants to eat lunch, and after he went to work I had a dollar hamburger at a McDonald's two doors over. So we ended up not really needing the micro-fridge anyway.

There was one other thing that my husband wanted to do, but he wasn't feeling well one day, and it was rather wet and unpleasant the other day. So that left the day that we were leaving, which was a bit windy, and we decided that we didn't want to walk around in the wind anyway. But since the many point of going to the place was to take pictures of buildings and houses, we were going to drive over anyway and just get out of the car for the occasional photo. Only he didn't make any notes on how to get to the place, and he got lost, and almost an hour later we had to give up and head home.

We stopped at one of those giant sports stores, cause I had heard that they sometimes have glow in the dark paint and small amounts of glow in the dark yarn. That seems a strange place to find such things, but it is sometimes used to catch fish. They were out of the yarn, and I didn't buy any paint. This kind of paint has to be heated, and so it wasn't going to help me in any of my current projects. Still, it is good to know for future reference. We looked at the aquarium and the taxidermy stuff, and then we got back on the road.

I had no special plans for lunch, but with the husband not feeling well we thought Chinese food would be nice if we could find one, and we did. It was a really good one, so unfortunately I ate too much and got sleepy. He got sleepy too, and we had to stop and get him a Red Bull. From there it wasn't long before we were in Waco, were we stopped at the bakery. My husband is one of those people who actually likes fruitcake, but we don't buy any of these, because even the tiny ones are fifteen dollars. Regular and large cakes are in the thirty to fifty dollars range. Anyway, we bought a few cookies and got back on the road. Twenty minutes later we stopped in West and bought some focaccia bread.

So we got home just in time to deal with five o'clock traffic, but it wasn't bad. And while there are all kinds of things that we might have done then, we were tired and decided to stay in and watch TV and such. So that was pretty much it, except for the knitting, which I will write about later.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Maybe we will just call that a practice piece

Okay, so my husband is gone for the week, and I have dreams of getting the house cleaned while getting this knitting done. The piece on the machine is for a friend, and it needs to be done before the 19th.

If R and J are reading, they can either stop reading or keep their mouths shut.

Okay, so I imagined that on Monday I would at least knit 36 rows and get some cleaning done. And I got to work on the knitting right away, as soon as he left the house. And I would get some of it done, realize that I had made a mistake, and then have to unravel the piece back to row 9. I tried again, knitted a few more rows, decided that I didn't like the way it looked, and again unraveled the piece back to row 9.

At this point I decided that diagonals were the problem. I made a new design with rectangles and started again with that on Tuesday.

So that looked better, and by Tuesday night I was at about row 50. I hadn't do anything but knit and watch a little TV while I was eating or just resting. The knitting hurts my back, so my back is killing me. The knitting machine works better if I am standing up, but to see what I am doing I have to sit down. So it is stand up, sit down, bend over and look at something, stand up again, etc....

I make a mistake, and then I have to unravel a few rows.

I do nothing but knit, watch TV, and eat. I haven't had time to clean anything yet. I haven't done the laundry. I haven't even done the dishes. This is very bad. And my back is killing me.

Wednesday morning, I decide that the design is still a bit too complicated, and the glow in the dark part just isn't working. And I see a major flaw at row 9. I take the whole thing off of the machine and start over.

After spending most of Wednesday knitting, I am now at about row 70. I will have to add the glow in the dark stuff later. My friend might be getting an IOU for Christmas.

My back is killing me. I need a break. Today I will probably not knit anything before lunch. I really must at least wash the dishes. I plan to run some errands and watch a movie at the dollar place.

Okay, so I'm at row 70. By now I expected to have twice that done, plus have a lot of cleaning done. It is Thursday. I have to have a lot of cleaning done by Saturday or I cannot go out of town on Sunday, and I will be gone at least until Wednesday, so I can't work on that particular knitting project until probably next Thursday. That was why it was so important to do most of it this week, and I am only on row 70 of a project that has about 470 rows. Plus there is more work to do on it after I take it off of the machine.

I will be doing more knitting when I go out of town. I would usually take the knitting machine with me, but not this time. This piece is too complicated for me to move it. I will work on other projects. I will take almost finished pieces with me and add the fringe. And hopefully I will get the round knitting machines to work and make a new scarf (hopefully two) that I can put in the gift exchange that is on the 13th.

I am not getting enough sleep. And my back is killing me.

I had the strangest dream last night. My husband shot someone, and I was pretty sure that he was going to shoot me too. And then we were hiding somewhere. I had lied about the shooting, but then the evidence just didn't match up with what I had said, but by that time we were gone. I try to help him, but he just becomes this crazy homeless person. I go home and tell everyone that I lied because I was afraid of him. It takes me a while to get that I really was afraid of him. I have to get a divorce, and deal with all the hassles of that, and find out that there additional problems when trying to divorce a crazy homeless person who is wanted by the police.

So that was a pleasant way to start the morning. I sort of feel sick.

So, it is Thursday, and so far no one has called me about Grandma. I expected to hear something about her on Monday or Tuesday. I wonder if the plans were postponed, or if my mom just finally decided to leave me out of it. I should call her and find out what is going on, but I really don't want to. I think that I will have one more day of peace and not call her til tomorrow. I should at least tell her that I'm planning to go out of town on Sunday.

Okay, enough of this. Time to wash some dishes.