Thursday, November 29, 2007

Feels like Ground Hog Day-updated

Do you remember the movie, "Ground Hog Day' with Bill Murray? I think I'm living it, only not with a particular day repeated over and over again, but with baby blankets. When did I develop that feeling? Last week while sitting in my parent's living room I started filling in some of my Ravelry account profile pages. Then I went over to the KEMP database from one of the yahoo groups that I'm apart of, and copied all of the 'Knitting Every Month for other People" list to my computer to compare with the pictures that I've been taking after I finish projects. I THEN had the brilliant idea to start a list in Microsoft Word of how many of each type of project that I've finished this year. (That Ravelry, I tell's going to make me really organized. Too bad it didn't have us all doing the spice racks, the kitchens, huh?)

Now, what did all of this use of time on the computer give me? means with the clipping of the ends off of this, this afternoon:

I can now tell that I've made 18 baby blankets for the year! No wonder it feels like I've been living on the Island of Baby Blankets along with staring in the Ground Hog Day!

Keep in mind, I still have 2 more Feather and Fan Rainbow Baby Blankets that along with most of those 18 were due back in August, AND 2 more baby blankets for family members to complete. One of those babies, came Nov 16th! The last one that I'm 'aware' of, is due on Christmas Day. After I go for a little walk here in a minute, I'll be casting on for yet another blanket. Good thing I'm NOT doing knitted gifts this year. They'd get finished by the 4th of July at this rate, I'm thinking.

UPDATE 11/30/07: The Pattern is once again from, in their crocheted patterns section, called Crayon Ripple Throw. However, I've changed it from a full sized blanket to a baby sized one, but dropping down to an "H" hook, and shortening the number of pattern repeats. Mine come out to ~36" square. Thanks Missy for asking! Oh, and I used Caron's Simply Soft yarn.

How's YOUR list coming along these days?

Monday, November 26, 2007

More pictures from last week.

We got to have a bit of a heat wave after Thanksgiving Day-it went up to 30.7*F one night, yes, that was up from 19*F! For Thanksgiving weekend, that's definitely a bit cooler than I've been used to over the past 30 years.

The day we all arrived, Dad took his Number One Granddaughter (by virtue of her birth order) to the Bay with her boyfriend. Some day I'll get my chance to get out there. I moved there in 1969, and still haven't been where they are in this picture. Can you tell how much he's loving having us there? We all wished the rest of my kids would have been able to make the trip. Some parts of getting older just stink, I tell you. Work, homework, finalys. Those, kinds of things. But my parents just love their grandchildren, and that's a very good thing!

Here is Mom and Dad the morning I left Michigan. This time I made sure to snap a picture of them with the camera rather than just with the cell phone. Despite the fact that he's lost about 50 pounds since his chemo, he's looking pretty dapper-eh? Mom will be 80 years old this Saturday! I'm hoping I'll be doing so well at that age!

Now, remember the Red Wings BSJ I finished back in September? Here's little Miss "B" modeling it for us. Now, is that a cutey patootie? Or what? WHAT A FACE! What a charmer.

Grandma in her 'element'...packing lunches for us to take on the plane. And her famous Blueberry Buckle. I'll have to post the recipe here, soon. I'm thinking...

We offered to help set up Christmas decorations while there, but Mom thought it was a bit too early. I found these in her china cabinet, and just couldn't resist. Therefore, I've added the first out of their hiding places all year. I just had to do it.

Didn't quite get as much knitting and baby blanket making done as I'd hoped, but the end is getting closer here. The Feather and Fan blanket has been ripped-when I went to pack for the trip, I realized I didn't have enough of the dye lot in Navy to finish the blanket, so I had to start over with another dye lot. That's alright. Ripping and frogging are a big part of my knitting. I'm used to it.

Flying into DTW, my suitcase came off the baggage claim belt with a busted wheel. Actually, that's not quite true. The wheel and it's 'bracket' for that corner was completely missing! the 2 days after Thanksgiving found me searching for a suitcase to replace the 'broken one.' Now, being in Michigan where I know many of us travel back and forth quite often, I found it frustrating that the selection was so small to pick from. I did stumble into Kohl's and found a great sale. Happily I was able to get back and begin packing. However, you know how Mothers are...She was sending home some 'extras'. Of course, I wasn't going to say No, Thanks! Nope, the more I thought about it, the more I decided to head on back to Kohl's and pick up a 2nd suitcase. The sale was really good, and I'd be a fool to pass it up. After all, I was able to get everything into both suitcases to bring home, and not have to mail things back. So, imagine my reaction when I went to baggage claim on Sunday night...and found this on my brand-spanking-new-2nd purchased suitcase!

Yep. two suitcases in one week...wheels busted...and you know what? The airlines don't guarantee wheels. But...a suitcase that is less than 24 hours old to me? I wasn't thrilled I'll tell you. I watched the baggage guys on Tuesday last week pulling suitcases off the cart to load the planes. I watched a couple of them get pulled by long handles and let drop at nearly shoulder height. At the time I was thinking to myself, hmmmmmmmmmmmmm I'm glad that wasn't my suitcase. I can see why things get busted like that. Another time I watched 3 baggage guys taking the luggage off of a plane. The belt wasn't stopped when it was too full. They were busy talking and I watched at least 4 bags and boxes drop directly onto the floor. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

However, I think Kohl's might have a new customer. Without hesitation, they exchanged the broken suitcase without a single blink. And I'm thinking that 15 year guarantee might get a bit of a workout though. Now, I'm's too bad that Kohl's doesn't sell yarn. EH?

I'm heading back to the Rainbow Baby Blanket, I've got to get this one finished asap. There are more babies on the way, and a few that are already here, that are without their baby blankets. TISK TISK TISK....I know, I'm knitting as fast as I can! I promise.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I think I can move now...

But I still feel pretty stuffed.

Ono of the things I have missed over the past few years, is the huge amount of food I get to make over Thanksgiving. With my children growing older, and not always at home for the holidays, when the opportunity came to go home to my parent's house came up...I jumped on it. A) I'd have the chance to cook again (I've not made Thanksgiving Dinner in 2 years) , B) I'd have more than just me for being the cook, and C) FAMILY! as in extended FAMILY! Because we moved to California back in 1980, it became the rare event to be with extended family for holiday events. I've missed that a whole lot.

Growing up back in the early years, we didn't always live near family. Most of my cousins lived during their school years within a few moments of our Grandparents. When you have a dad who is a minister, you don't take Holidays off to travel to join in with the rest of the family. Once we moved closer in town to my mom's older sister, that all changed. Christmas time would find us at either of the houses with 30+ people. I really miss those years. Holiday decorations, great food, lots of people around, and my aunts pretty much all did the dishes! Moving away made those days virtually impossible except on the rarest of occasions.

This year wasn't as large as the old days. First of all, only one of my children at the last moment was able to come along. She did bring her boyfriend. The daughter whose brainchild this was in the first place, was denied vacation time by her boss. (BOO HISS). It felt really strange to be coming here without her. The other two live in other states and couldn't be here, either. One for homework/finals reasons, the other for another boss issue. I guess this is the part of having adult children I'm going to have to learn to deal with. But I don't' have to like it, right? I miss having them all around.

Late Wednesday night (or early Thursday morning if you count the actual time on the clock) the pumpkin was cooked down.

We even had enough pumpkin for 2 pies! Mom added an apple and a blueberry pie to the bunch, too! (YUMMMM.....)

I'm thinking that making pies post midnight, isn't so good for the thinking skills. I read the book incorrectly (now that's a shocker-huh?) and made enough crust for 3 pies. So, remembering from my childhood I gave my daughter the chance for some 'baking' like my mommy gave us as kids. When she had too much pastry, she let us roll it out and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar and then bake it up. I don't remember her doing it for a veryyyyyyyyyyy long time.

OK. We'll not talk about her being 26 and a really great cook of all things Rachel Ray and Gourmet Magazine. Somethings just have to be experienced at some point of your life. Right? It completes your childhood, and as a mom 's raising of a daughter.

After sitting up and talking (isn't that also a part of the holiday deal? Sitting up late and visiting?) I headed for bed with my alarm set for early in the am. Guess what I found in the morning?


Notice the rainbow flip flops in the first picture. I ran right out to get pictures, as it was evident that this snow wasn't going to last for long-it melted on the driveway.

Once I ran back inside (it was 19*F after all....) I got right to work making the stuffing. Celery, onions, apples, and bread cubes. mmmmmmmmmmmm good stuff I tell you. (HAR..stuff...groan...Ok, so maybe I'm still hurting from all this food.)

Use a bit of cheesecloth to make removal much easier and then tie it up. And pop it into the oven before anyone else is up. Then I went back to bed for a bit.

And I slept a bit longer than intended. It's snugly warm here in this apartment, I tell you! But the turkey was bit slower than I felt when I got up. It did, however, manage to 'melt' off the layer of skin on the top. I should note here, that I always start my turkey upside down. Years ago I was told that this helps the white meat retain much of it's moisture, and it hasn't failed me yet.

MMMMMMMMmmmm, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy.

Fruit salad, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, relish tray, jellied cranberries....(I'm still feeling full..)

Table was set, and we started in with brother and niece joining us. It might have been a smaller version of my childhood, but it was good. Later on we went over to my aunt's house to visit with a 'few' of her family. These might be the 2 best pictures of the night! The youngest family member in attendance (the youngest in the family was just born on Nov 16th, but wasn't in town) and my mom and her 'big sister.' She's the aunt that taught me to knit!

I did manage to get a dishcloth finished tonight.

We just HAD to spend a wee bit of time at the mall. Mostly it was in the movie theater, but I did pick up a surprise...after all ... Mom's 80th birthday is December 1st. While we won't be there..we're going to take her for a Birthday surprise in the morning. So with that, I'll wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and weekend - at least what is left of it. I have to get some sleep so I don't miss the ride over for candles in the pancake time!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Greeting from the land of...

Greetings to you from the land of colored leaves,

rain and

People who wear wool things!

We arrived before the airport was fogged in yesterday.

the Cranberry sauce has been made and the

pumpkin is baking in the oven as I type. Pies to be made tonight and the rest tomorrow. Can't wait...turkey to be eaten, hugs to give and receive and there's a rumor of a baby to hold if we can wrestle her away from a Grandmother and Great-Grandmother's arms! Oh, and I'll have to be quicker than the daughter, too. Who, by the the first hugs from multiple people yesterday. (OK, it doesn't count that her flights got her here faster by several hours. I'm pretending not to notice that part.)

I've even gotten some progress made on the last crayon ripple throw baby blanket! I just might be able to get a ticket off this Island of Baby Blankets in the foreseeable future! Hope your holiday plans are coming together for you, too!