Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We're going shopping

Okay, so it probably isn't what you're thinking.

So far, I've not gone crazy with the after Christmas shopping. I bought one thing of lights that I wanted, and I bought this thing of led lights that fits on your head (and I've already misplaced but I'm sure it will turn up), and three rolls of Christmas paper that because of the colors and/or patterns can be used for things other than Christmas. I intend to look for more lights, but I don't expect to buy anymore unless they are 75% off, which might be tomorrow or the next day. Or maybe I'll get lucky and it will be today, but I doubt it.

And I'm not going shopping for clothes, though I might do just a bit of that some other time. The thing that I had to take back was hassle-free (there was no one ahead of me in line) Sunday morning, and I have just a bit of store credit to spend now. But that isn't the plan for today either.

And we're not going out to look for electronic gadgets either.

No, we're finally going to do something about that diet. Or diets. He wants to do this thing where you get rid of stuff in your diet and see if you feel better. I don't want to do that. I want to lose weight and look pretty and such. So I won't be on his same diet, cause as far as I can tell his diet doesn't count calories much, but it does get rid of dairy, which I'm going to try to have three times a day.

But the point is that if he's going on some diet for six weeks, that should be six weeks that he won't be eating out much or suggesting we go get ice cream and such. So that would be a good time to change what I eat for a while.

Anyway, he's got this shopping list, and I've got a few things to get, and so that is the plan for today, after we finish cleaning out the frig. I did most of that yesterday, but there's still a few things to be thrown out this morning.

Well, I'm not officially planning to start anything til maybe the 3rd or the 4th. I've waited this long, so I might as well wait until after the New Year's Eve party. And then I usually don't feel so good the next day, so I don't want to start that day either. And then I'll want a day to practice cooking a few things, so it will be a day or two after that before I'm ready.

Anyway, this is the first time that we've done this major thing of throwing things out together, and I haven't done much of this sort of thing by myself in a long time either, not since many years ago when I had the house to myself for weeks and months at a time. So this does feel like a positive step forward, and this time next week I'll be doing stuff like making and eating homemade yogurt, and he'll be doing whatever it is that he thinks he ought to be doing.

Okay, so it's not as interesting as getting a big screen TV, but I'm looking forward to it anyway.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas is nearly over

Okay, so in my immediate family, the past few years we've done our main Christmas stuff during Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day, for a couple of reasons, mainly that one of my siblings can spend Christmas with the in-laws. So today I don't know what I will be doing, if I will be doing anything at all. The guys are going to spend much of the day playing video games, and when they take a break to eat lunch I am invited over, and if they decide to watch one of the DVDs someone got for Christmas I'm invited over for that too. Other than that I will probably be here cleaning or maybe knitting. And I might go see Grandma, but one never knows if that will involve spending about five minutes actually talking to Grandma, or several hours spent with other relatives who came to talk to Grandma. Either way is okay with me, I just don't know which to plan for.

So, normally, this would be the end of it, except for the after Christmas clearance sales. Well, this year I will attempt to cut down on the clearance sale shopping, with a few exceptions, like if I see any solar powered lights I will get those. I'm thinking that I would like to have several of those, but I'm only planning to buy the one on Sunday, and there probably won't be much left after that. Solar lights would solve my problem of not having an outdoor electrical socket for Christmas decorating, and I also think that the white lights would look good somewhere year round. The office might not agree, so I'm not going to spend that much, and I'm not going to put up anything til sometime next year.

Solar lights are a bit expensive. New and in season cost $20 for a string of 50 lights, so they'll be $10 when I go and look for them Sunday morning, and I probably won't find any left when I go looking for them again at the 75% off sale later.

Ideally, you would have all different colors of solar lights up all year, maybe orange or purple for Halloween, red or green for Christmas, and white for all year long, and then you just cover up the solar panels for the lights you don't want after the holiday has past. But I don't doubt that the office would have a fit over that idea.

Well, a friend of mine got me a purple knitting loom for Christmas, and it is supposed to be the ideal size for knitting adult hats. And it just looked like they were the same as the old yellow looms, just a different color and in a new package for marketing purposes. And I didn't want to tell my friend that I already had two yellow looms somewhere, and that I didn't really think that they were the ideal size for making hats and that I rarely used them at all. But, it's always good to have spare looms, so I just said thank you and something about it being like the ones I made scarves with only bigger, and didn't mention that I already had two yellow looms. But as it turns out, after I got it home and compared it to the yellow loom it is just a bit smaller but has 48 pegs, which is several more than the yellow loom. So maybe it is the ideal size for making adult hats.

Which is not the same as saying the hats are very attractive. Making a baby hat with the red loom works fine, though I'm thinking that they quickly out-grow the hats. This year I also made a child's hat with the green loom, and that also turned out okay. But the loom hats are finished putting a strand of yarn through all the top loops, taking the yarn off of the pegs, and pulling the strand of yarn tight until all of the top loops come together. It doesn't look the least bit round, but on the smaller hats it doesn't look that bad. On an adult hat made with 48 pegs, this makes the top look a bit lumpy, and when it's on a person's head the head looks a bit odd, sort of square.

This is one of those times that I think it would be helpful to know how to crochet or hand knit with regular knitting needles (or maybe in this case circular knitting needles). Maybe someday I will learn how to do that and knit the hat part way on the loom and then finish it the top some other way. But for now the loom by itself will have to do, and I made hats for the baby and Buddy and Buddy's dad.

I didn't think that Buddy would like his hat, and that we would have a hard time getting him to put it on just so that I could see if it fit him. We put on the baby's hat first. Well, Buddy loves the baby, but he's supposed to be getting all the stuff and all the attention, so whenever something is going on with the baby, he tends to interrupt and say that he wants something. So, while mom is putting the hat on the baby, Buddy wants the hat. So when he finds out that he also has a hat, he puts it on. And he keeps it on most of the night. Buddy's dad wanted a picture taken with the three of them in their hats, and then the other two hats came off immediately after the picture. Buddy wore his nearly til bedtime.

I have a sock-loom. I don't know if I mentioned that before, but when I was out shopping Sunday I found a sock-loom I had seen online for $30, and it was $25 in the store. And I'm thinking that I'm going to come back some other day when I have a 40% off or even 50% off coupon and buy the thing. Except that they only had the one, and I'd never seen one in the store before, and they were having an additional 25% off sale, so I decided to go ahead and buy it. I haven't used it yet, and I doubt that I'll be making just tons of socks, but it is something that I have wanted for a while and now I have one.

Well, I still have a few people to exchange gifts with on New Years Eve. One gift is already done (and has been done since last year), I'll have to think of something for K, and I still might make that scarf for the pilot.

But other than that, Christmas is nearly over.

And I still didn't put up a tree.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I still have stuff to do

Saturday at the pilot's house was nice, and the following Sunday dinner with more of my friends was nice, and this past Saturday was also nice, though I did feel a bit rushed with the whole thing of having to be in Irving and then in Arlington and then yet another place in Arlington. Following that dinner some of the group went to see the Interlochen Christmas lights, but not me. Maybe my husband will offer to drive me tonight, since we didn't get to go to that other thing in Oklahoma.


Well, something interesting happened during the meeting Saturday. I was wearing a Slytherin scarf, and I got some comments the nice looking scarf. And one of my friends asked how much I would charge to make a scarf if she already had the yarn for it, and I had to tell her that the scarves are eighty dollars, and if she bought the yarn already it would still be about seventy dollars, cause it takes about seven or eight hours to make one. And she said okay, she'd think about it, which usually means no. And then I thought how this particular person is usually good with crafts and such herself, and I went back and suggested that maybe she could just pay me thirty dollars to do the three or four hours of work on the knitting machine, and then she could do the remaining work that did not require the machine, which still takes about four hours but requires no special equipment and is not brain surgery (or at least for her it would not be brain surgery). And she said that she'd think about that.

So right after that, this guy that I don't know very well was trying to ask me something. And it's a very noisy room with all of us having different conversations, and I couldn't make out what he was saying at first. He was asking if I had a Hufflepuff scarf.

Now, normally, I don't have a lot of scarves just already made waiting for someone to buy them. Normally, if you want to buy a scarf from me, you have to give me the details of what you want, and then I'll make you one and you can pay me when it's finished. And usually, after people hear that it's a minimum of eighty dollars, they lose interest anyway. But it did just so happen that last year I'd made one each of the scarves from the third or fourth Harry Potter film, and that I was going to give two away at a Christmas Party last year, which I figured that everyone would want either Gryffindor or Ravenclaw, but I also had Slytherin and Hufflepuff ready to go just in case someone wanted to trade. And as expected, no one at the party really wanted Slytherin or Hufflepuff, so I had them leftover. And it just also happened that I had both these scarves in the car (along with a few others) cause I had taken them somewhere to show someone else, and I just forgot and left them in the car. So when this guy asked about the Hufflepuff scarf, not only did I have one, but I was able to go out and get it for him, though I figured that he'd change his mind after hearing the price.

He didn't say that eighty dollars was too much, only that he didn't have that much with him. I let him look at the scarf while I talked to other people, and he said that he still wanted it, only he'd have to buy it some other time. And it was not a gift for someone else, he just wanted to wear the scarf himself, so he wanted to buy it before it got cold again. He asked if he could pay with PayPal.

Now, my husband has a PayPal account, and I certainly buy enough things with it, but I'd never before had anyone want to pay me with it, other than on eBay, so I didn't have all that information in my head. It certainly would have been possible, in the room with all those nerds and their smart phones, but I didn't have a clue how to go about it, and I couldn't get my husband to answer the phone (he was at someone else's house playing video games, but I'd forgotten and didn't try calling there). And this guy did not really live nearby, and he would probably lose interest if he had to wait another month to get his scarf. But we did manage to exchange emails and figure out a place to meet Sunday afternoon, and he has his scarf, and I have eighty dollars.

Or I did have eighty dollars. I've already spent some of it.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy about the whole thing. This is only the third time that someone has ordered a scarf and actually paid for it.

Okay, so I've bought some more supplies and will try again to make some ornaments, which will probably be a Christmas gift for K, though we will not be exchanging gifts until New Year's Eve, and it will be too late for him to use them this year. But he'll have them for next year. If that doesn't work I don't know what I'm going to give him, probably some homemade dessert, but he's said that he'd rather not have candy as he's already eaten way too much of the stuff and is starting to feel ill, and G already gave him (and the rest of us) cookies, so that's probably not a good idea either.

I'm still thinking that I might make a scarf for the pilot, but again that is something that won't be needed until New Year's Eve. There's still stuff that needs to be done by Friday. I need to get something for my brother in law (probably a gift card for a restaurant), I'm thinking of knitting three hats, and I need two $5 gifts for the Chinese gift exchange. Also I'm wondering if I should put a gift I recently got in a similar exchange in with my brother's gifts, or if I should just keep it. Cause as cute as it is, I don't really need a Star Wars computer mouse, but probably my brother doesn't either.

Okay, in order of things that need doing: buy gift card, buy two $5 gifts, make candy and maybe cookies, knit three hats, wrap gifts, make ornaments, knit scarf, and wrap more gifts.

I still haven't put up a tree.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Getting close now

Okay, as someone pointed out earlier in the comments to my last post, it now really is two weeks til Christmas. Not even two weeks now.

I'm screwed.

Okay, not really that bad, just it doesn't seem right either. There's still a bit of stuff to do, and I don't quite seem to get it through my head that the deadline for a lot of it is here. Like the day after tomorrow here. And like, there won't be time to do anything for it the day of the thing on Saturday, cause it needs to be done before lunch, and so I don't want to be rushing around trying to do anything then. And tomorrow I have plans for going to a movie and such, so except for shopping that I have put off until Friday knowing that I would be in the same general area, I shouldn't plan on having much time to do anything tomorrow.

Which means that a lot of it needs to get done today.

Okay, what I have done so far is buy and wrap some DVDs for the charity thing, and knit a scarf for the charity thing. I have started a knit hat for the charity thing, but a hat isn't something that I committed to, so if it doesn't get done I won't really worry too much about that. Also, I meant to do some ornaments for the charity thing, but again, that wasn't something that I committed to, so if it doesn't get done it is not really a big deal.

For the official gift exchange, I've almost decided on a Darth Vader ornament and a ten dollar gift certificate to Half-Price Books. The thing is that I'm always going to Half-Price Books and forgetting to get the gift card, or else putting it off on purpose til I'm sure of the amount. So now I've put it off and put it off again, and I need the thing before lunch Saturday, so I'd better remember to get it tomorrow. I could still go by and pick up the thing Saturday morning, but if I do that I'll have to wrap the gift in my car, which is possible (especially if I just put the thing in a gift bag) but I'd rather not. Besides, someone might see me.

That leaves the question of whether or not I'm getting a gift for K, or if I'm just getting him a card, or both.

Last weekend we went to dinner. The pilot had us over. Some of us thought it was just for dinner, some of us thought we were supposed to exchange gifts, and some of us thought that we were supposed to exchange cards but save the gifts for later. I had some of the stuff ready, and some not. So I was going to bring some, and print out IOUs for the rest on this nice holiday paper that seems made for just that purpose. I had a gift for G, a gift for D, and Miss Allergies gift was made last year and she already knows what it is. So I wrapped those and put them in the car. And then I was making cards, but I only got two of them done, so I decided to only give to J and R (who said card exchange only), and to the pilot (cause we were at his house and he made the dinner, plus I'm still not sure if his gift is going to work out). I started another one for K, but I'm having a bit of trouble with it, and it still isn't done. So K didn't get a card, and I found out that the gift I originally planned for him won't really work for this year. So I either need to figure out how to finish this card, or else maybe he can have fudge as a present, or maybe I'll knit him a hat.

Then besides the usual bunch there were two other people at the dinner, and I didn't get them a card or anything. I didn't know that they were coming until just a couple of days before, and I wasn't going to try to make them one of these cards (especially at the last minute like that), and I don't do cards usually anyway.

So it ended like this: the two other people gave me a card, and I didn't give them one, and some of the other people did not give them one either cause they either did not know they were coming or did not know that it was meant for us to exchange cards that day. Miss Allergies did not want to unwrap her gift, cause she hadn't brought mine and she wants us to exchange gifts at the same time, so it remained in the car. I gave D her gift, because while we usually exchange gifts we usually are not together the day we exchange gifts, so the gifts are exchanged through messenger service (the pilot). And I wanted to see her open her gift for a change, so I did. And then G was getting the same gift (a Gryffindor scarf), which I thought that she might want to wear to the charity thing, so I went ahead and gave it to her then. I gave one card to J and R, and one card to the pilot. The pilot seemed to really like the card, and he probably thinks that is all he's getting, so he went and gave me the gifts he'd bought for me, though he's saving everyone else for later. And that left K, and I did not even give him an IOU, cause then I thought that the two extra people would wonder why they didn't get anything, not even an IOU, when everyone else got something. So poor K probably thinks that he isn't getting anything.

I really need to finish that card.

Anyway, everything is weekend is screwed up. The charity thing is supposed to be on the Sunday after the Saturday of the meeting. That way, the people not going to the charity thing themselves can still give things to the charity, and we gather all the stuff together on Saturday. There were two problems with that this year. The charity family is going out of town, and they want to start driving on Sunday morning, so they don't want to wait around for us to stop by Sunday afternoon.

The other problem is the damned Cowboys are ruining my life. We were told that going to the charity family's home would not be a good idea, as they live in a trailer, and there are other problems with that we'd really rather not deal with. So it was decided to meet at the apartment of a relative, and the apartment is on Fielder. The stadium is on Collins. Fielder is a major street that parallels Collins, but there are other streets in between them, like Cooper, so I would have thought that Fielder might have some traffic problems before and after the game, but not during. But apparently people will park their cars as far away as that and walk to the stadium rather than pay for parking, so we were told that Sunday would be a bad day to be in the area because of a noon game, even at 2 or 3 as far away as Fielder.

I am not in anyway someone who helps plan this charity thing. In fact, I'm just not that into the charity thing at all, I just sort of feel bad if I don't participate at all while other people are going out and buying really nice things for them. But I don't see how it gets to be this difficult and this complicated. Find us someone who wants free stuff, but not too much, who wants people in their home for a few minutes on the Sunday after the third Saturday of December. (And now add don't have them live anywhere near the stadium if the Cowboys have a home game that day). Is it really that difficult. Find someone who doesn't have much, likes people in costumes, and wants a little bit of free stuff.

Anyway, that is all the stuff that I need to get done for this weekend. And then there is Christmas Eve. And then there's a bit more for New Year's Eve.

I don't even have a tree up.