Monday, December 29, 2008

Santa wasn't the only one with goodies

Auntie Meg also came to town with gifts for the good little boys and girls!

(This picture was totally stolen from Shannon's blog! Thanks for the picture, I love it!)

Kellan finally got his birthday quilt (with a little finishing help from my mom - thanks mom!)

And I finally got to meet Jossy and give her her sweater which her mom promptly put on Jossy - despite the fact that it's a bit big for now. But since she's growing like a weed, she'll be wearing it in no time!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Whew! Another Christmas down to the wire

It was another fabulous Christmas with my family! I cast off on the last gift at 2:04 pm on Christmas day and thankfully, my aunt was running late so it all worked out perfectly!

It was a good homemade crafty Christmas at our house. However, the apple doesn't fall far from the crafty tree in my family as my sister received several "in progress" gifts from my mom....including this beautiful quilt!
Dad loved his socks!

Mom loved the scarf (this is the scarf's first blog appearance as it was a secret!) And Lindsay liked the wrist warmers (also made a pair for my aunt).

And we too had a white snowy Christmas!

I hope your holiday was wonderful too!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The final home stretch

As we enter Christmas week, I have a one little holiday gift still left to create. I'm also reflecting on the two goals I created for myself this year, as this is the time for yearly reflection:

1. Don't give anyone anything wrapped up still on knitting needles.

2. Don't stay up until 2 am on Christmas Eve watching reruns of The Christmas Story and knitting like a mad woman to accomplish goal 1.

We'll see what happens. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow in Seattle!

The big snow storm that I'll admit I was totally skeptical would actually hit Seattle - did. And while it only dumped about 3 inches in Seattle, it completely shut down the city. Although I had to go to work. It only took me an hour to get to work - that was an easy commute compared to most.

Here are some pics I snapped with my cell camera during my big adventure into the snowy city:
On the street to my bus stop. My bus didn't actually stop for us (again). Another bus on a snow route stopped to pick us up. Someone at the stop asked the driver if she was going downtown. She replied, "Hopefully." It was good enough to me because it was really cold.

Here's a bench and the plaza at work. It was a little snowier downtown than at my house, a mere three miles away. Downtown Seattle was like a ghost town. This is how bad it was: at 10 am I trudged across the street to Starbucks and there was NO line.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The return of the Clapotis

With the finishing frenzy that's been going around the Knitting Knot these days, I was inspired to pull out my clapotis. And this is where the confession portion of this entry begins:

You know the part of the clapotis pattern that says you can increase or decrease as you like to reach the desired length? Well, some how, in that special Meg way of knitting, I totally increased during the increase portion. I mean really increased. Without realizing it. The damn thing is huge. In fact, I don't know how huge it is because I'm too scared to measure it. But it's been started and stopped and shoved in different knitting bags for so long now that I just want to finish it.

As I recently pulled it out and start the decreasing section (finally, thank God!) I started to remember why I loved this yarn and this pattern. I'm hoping as the decreasing continues, I'll continue to fall in love with this project again. And that when it's finally finished, I'll love it, and actually wear it.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Now it's done

I finally got some buttons for the February Baby Sweater and they just make it even cuter! I can't wait to see it on Jossy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baking & the chaos that ensues

Around the holidays, I get the baking bug. Big time. And last Friday night was my night in the kitchen. But before I could bake, I had to shop.

So I dug around and found my famous fudge recipe. The fudge recipe that has earned me praises at many a holiday gatherings. I found it, added the goodies on my grocery list and headed out the door with the hubby to grab some dinner before hitting the grocery store. I know, hot Friday night plans.

I came home and quickly got to work on the Cranberry Chocolate bread recipe I found on Shannon's blog. Then with 50 mins to kill while the bread baked, I decided to get to the bottom of the funky smell in the kitchen. First the trash went out. Still had a linger. Then I cleaned out the fridge, because, well, you know how that goes. Still something was amiss. So I took care of the recycling. (And by "taking care of it," I mean I made the hubby take it all out.) Then the sweet smell of baking bread began to over power whatever was causing such a stir in my kitchen.

Now it was time to get to my famous fudge. But there was a problem. My fudge recipe was missing. I frantically retraced my steps and then it hit me. Just like a flash back from "How I Met Your Mother," I saw it all: I had jotted down what I needed on the grocery list. Then I took the list and the recipe and put it on the kitchen table right as we were leaving for dinner. But while the hubby took a few minutes to get ready, I decided to be efficient and clean out my purse. I pulled out past receipts and old grocery lists and just made a little pile on the table instead of throwing them away because hubby was now ready. You can probably guess where this is going. While I was madly cleaning the kitchen, I picked up the pile of crap from my purse and dumped it in the trash. And my famous fudge recipe was on the bottom of that pile.

(The bread tastes great with hot cocoa with marshmallows!)

Lucky for me I was able to find another recipe online. And you know, it's pretty good. I think I'll keep track of this one a little better.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Q & A

I saw this posting on Shannon's blog and I really liked it! Since I love all things Christmas, and learning new things about other people, I thought I'd post my own. Plus, I feel like all I've been posting about lately is how much I hate the condo construction. My blog needs a little Christmas cheer.

1. Color/theme of your Christmas tree: No theme, multi-colored lights and ornaments that remind me of trips I've taken (I like to buy an ornament when I travel) and ones people have given me over the years.

2. What tops your tree? A silver star that I found at Target for like 9 bucks.

3. Favorite ornament: some old silver and glitter balls that used to belong to my grandmother and a few "First Christmas" together ornaments.

4. When do you put up your tree? Personally, I'm ready to put it up once the dishes are cleared from Thanksgiving dinner!

5. When do you take it down? First weekend in January that's after New Years.

6. Favorite gift received during childhood: a Teddy bear from Santa that I still have and my Cabbage Patch Dolls (ok..still have those too).

7. Favorite gift received during adulthood: ??? Nothing is coming to mind...but I'm sure something is out there...

8. Eggnog or cocoa? Cocoa

9. Christmas music: old classics or modern remakes? Old classics

10. Favorite Christmas song? The 12 Days of Christmas sung by John Denver and the Muppets (which is the BEST Christmas CD ever!)

11. Wrapped gifts or gift bags? Depends on the gift, but I do like to wrap them.

12. Do you put out cookies and milk for Santa? Always!

13. Do you open gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? One on Christmas Eve, the rest in the morning.

14. Favorite Christmas movie: Miracle on 34th Street

15. Gingerbread men or chocolate fudge? Fudge

16. Rudolph or Frosty the Snowman? Frosty!

17. Last-minute shopper or organized buyer? I like to be organized and get it done, but I always end up buying last minute.

18. Easiest person to shop for: my mom

19. Hardest person to shop for: Oddly, this year, the hardest people to buy for are usually the two easiest for me: my sister and my hubby.

20. Favorite Christmas tradition: I love Christmas morning. Getting up early and opening our presents while we're all still in our pj's. We open our stockings first, then move (quickly) on the goodies under the tree! Then we spend all day playing with new toys, reading new books, or playing new games and of course eating good food! I also love all the holiday cooking and baking!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The squeaky wheel gets her mail

And so do the other squeaky wheels in my condo. Apparently, I wasn't the only one writing a strongly worded email to the construction people, who then followed it up with a phone call to the Seattle post office.

When I spoke (again) with the postal delivery supervisor today to make sure they knew about the new lights the construction folks installed on Monday, she said they decided to start delivering our mail again, because, "it was piling up in the post office and taking up their space." Gee, I hate to think this ordeal caused them any stress.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Through sleet and snow, but not construction

There was an interesting little letter left for our building from our postal carrier. Apparently, he feels our foyer (where the mailboxes are) is unsafe due to the lack of lighting. The "lack of lighting" is due to the construction. I'll admit, it's darker than normal, but at 3 pm, when the mail is usually delivered, it's fine.

So until this "issue" is resolved, no more pick up or delivery for us. I guess the US Post Office doesn't give a damn that it's the holidays, that some of us have packages that should have been delivered two days ago, or that the Christmas cards we ordered to send out are also sitting somewhere in the postal system abyss.

I've already written a strongly worded letter to our construction people and building management, hopefully it'll get taken care of quickly. Otherwise I'll have to up the "strongliness" of my letters.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Test run results: quite tasty!

Last night we invited a few friends over to be, well, guinea pigs. The hubby and I are making Christmas dinner for my family and we decided, since we were trying a bunch of new recipes, that we should do a test run.

The hubby made a Horseradish, Rosemary and Garlic encrusted prime rib.

(, the wine isn't part of the dish, it's for the cook!)

I was in charge of the other dishes. I tried out the Butternut Squash Gratin with Blue Cheese and Sage in this month's issue of Cooking Light.
We also had spinach salad, rolls and more of my homemade raspberry jam. The guinea pigs, er...dear friends.... decided everything was a hit and they'd be happy to our guinea pigs anytime we wanted to experiment with the culinary arts!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Decked: check

Our place is now ready for Christmas!

The knitted stockings are hung...

And my favorite ornaments are up....

(these use to belong to my grandmother)

Plus, I'm hoping all the pretty twinkly lights will help me forget that I live in a condo wrapped in plastic. With no view. And a hole still in the wall (which is getting bigger I swear. Or the lack of fresh air is making me think that it's getting bigger. I'm not sure.)

Monday, December 01, 2008

The finishing continues

Done: Easy Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Worsted

This pattern was a challenge but I'm glad I powered through. It's a super cute sweater and it's going to a super cute baby!