Thursday, December 30, 2010

She knits!

Betcha thought that I wouldn't carry out my plan from Tues post, but I did.  I started that cute zigzag scarf and here's a pic to prove it.  Yep, it will need blocking, but it's fun to do, and really auto-pilot. Yarn is Knit Picks Palette and very pleasantly woolly.  The way wool used to feel before we all got into merino mode.
Here's an outfit that I did on the fly for Miss P's AG doll:  The colored yarn is one of mine, and the white is an undyed ball of my Benji yarn (100% SW merino; 3 ply).  I did a slap/dash bit of knitting here.  The white top neckline is a bit off balance, but Miss P won't care, and the skirt closure isn't great, but it fits, and if you don't look, then you won't tell.

And here's a blankie for one of her dolls.  My Diamond Modular pattern worked in a ball of JoJo Land something or other.   The safety pin is to tell me how many modules I do this week.  I love to keep track of progress.

Light & Dark Lace Club :  Wow, are we ever getting customers!  People are signing up like crazy, some ordering more than one colorway.  I'm stunned, and very, very happy!  Good thing I found 20 more skeins of the yarn hiding in a tub!  I'm going to close down the sign-ups on Jan 15, or whenever I run out of yarn!  I really am stunned! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oh, dear!

This morning I decided to go through my knitting and crochet book collection. Oh, dear, what have I gotten myself in for? So far, I've checked out 8 books and one magazine, and can't toss any of them. Each one seems to contain at least one project that I need to knit! Or ideas for projects that I want to play with! What's a woman to do? This is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm too embarrassed to count up just how many books and mags I own. Suffice it to say that I have way, way too many.

So, here's my solution: I'm going to bookmark one book/mag at the beginning of each month. Work on a project and then move on to the next one. Right. Sure. The world's most disorganized human being is organizing her knitting. I don't dare call it a New Year's Resolution because that's the kiss of death. I never keep any resolutions. Why bother to make them when I'm setting myself up for failure.

Feel free to call me on this. Sit on my head; yell at me; call me bad names; force me at needle point to actually do this.

Here's the first book: Schreier, Iris - Reversible knits

There's a cute little scarf called Dangerously Chic, and it's a sawtooth scarf. I have a bunch of Knit Picks Palette yarn, totally irresistible because it's pretty, cheap and in lovely colors. 

Here's the deal: If I hate knitting it, or it looks ugly, I reserve the right to frog it and go on to the next project.

Do you think I can actually carry out this plan? Snort. Laugh. Giggle. Snort some more. But at least it's a plan.

In the meantime, I'm accomplishing nothing whatsoever in getting rid of books. They are all so tempting. The trouble is that I can't resist buying them. I've gotten much better; I now reserve at the library and check them out first. Just about all of those books I do not buy. The problem is with the ones that I do buy. Sigh.

So what are you planning to do with all your yarn/books/magazines in the coming year?

Yarn news:  I've put every single yarn in the Etsy shop on sale.  I'm tired of looking at them.  That's it.  Get 'em out of my house.  I love each one, but I have way too much of my own stash.  So, each one is a couple of bucks off.  You get a good deal, I make room and a little bit of profit (to buy more knitting books!), and that's not half bad!

Kitten With a Whiplash - I have no more room for shelves, bookcases or anything else.  It's an epidemic of books, yarn, and the Hubbo's garage sale treasures.  HELP!

CarolynJean - I've decided it's a benign disease!

Scrabblequeen - I saw that.  It's a great colorway.  And now I have room for more yarn.  uh huh. 

KV - You know me far too well! 

Henya - Oh, do I ever hear you!  How can we part with books that have lived with us so long?   

White Stuff

Need I say anything more?

Friday, December 24, 2010


Merry Christmas to all my Christian friends.  I hope the holiday is all that you wish for.

For those of us who are not Christian, enjoy the quiet of the day.  Just think:  no shopping, no malls, no crowds.  Perhaps a good movie, family time, whatever s peaceful.  And if you are Jewish, Shabbat Shalom!

Scrabblequeen - It doesn't get any better than this, does it?  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Still here.

I haven't gone anywhere, OK, we were in MA for the weekend at the Principessa's Nutcracker moment, but that's been it.

I don't have a single picture of projects to show you.  Can't show you knitting.  It's all hush hush, top secret,  Light & Dark lace club knitting.  If I show you, you won't be surprised.  I will tell you that it's all very pretty.

I will show you the mess on the living room couch and on the coffee table.  Such chaos.  Unfortunately, that's how I operate:  in total confusion.  And it's gotten so much worse since I retired.  When I was out in the normal work force, I didn't have the time to make a gazillion projects.  Now I do, and so I have graph paper and pencils everywhere.  Scissors, project bags, books, and anything else relevant to my craft.  What a mess!  But it's my mess, and I sorta love it.  OK, I don't love it, but it is how I am.  And that's my story.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Junk Flows

Don't forget to check out the Light and Dark Lace Club!

That's what the Hubbo says.  What he buys at a garage sale today may be sold later on or donated to a thrift shop.  And then someone else buys it and so it travels.  I tolerate his garage sale mania because he likes it so much.  He has to pick up every single item and check it out.  With his odd engineering take on life, he has to figure out what it is and what it does.  So I get bored and more bored.  And then I start really looking at the junk and I've come to a conclusion here:  there are certain items that move from garage sale to garage sale.  They sneak onto the tables without the owners knowing about it.  You seen them all:  the junky dishes that people got at the supermarket, the really ugly salt and pepper shakers, the bubble-gum pink afghans that someone's granny crocheted. The detritus of life all on tables in driveways and in garages. 

It reminds me of an archeological dig, except that this stuff is visible and on tables.  Do you wonder if 1000 years from now, someone will find a garage sale covered by a millenium of rubble and dirt and wonder what it was all about.  When they pick up the supermarket giveaway dishes, will they say:  "Ah, an example of the local pottery culture"?  Will they think this stuff was our high culture?  What will they think of the 2 conductors batons that the Hubbo owns?  What if they find his Mau Mau hunting spear in the cellar?  Will they think we hunted game with these things.  Will ancient computer monitors become valuable collectors' items.  And what about that afghan that we love 'cause granny made it, but it is ugly beyond words.  What will they say about that?  "Hot pink was an important color for ceremonial blankets."

Will they exclaim with delight over the totally out-of-date chemistry textbooks that someone wants to sell.  The ones they used in college 20 years earlier?  What about the knick-knacks, and the sets of glasses, and the Christmas decorations that should never have been bought in the first place?

I'm not talking about genuine antiques here; just the stuff that appears on top of folding tables.  The stuff that makes the Hubbo drool in delight.  Did you ever notice that the same stuff can be found in many garage sales.  Does it travel at night?  When these things were new, was there a mad dash to buy every one of them? 

On the other hand, I have gotten a warping board, any number of great American Girl Doll goodies, brand-new towels in my colors, cookbooks that I don't ever use but have pretty pics,  so I'm not really ranting here.  I like the idea of buying and selling your tired junk.  I might like it even if you don't.  A few years ago, I bought the nicest hand-thrown mugs at a garage sale.  It had been a wedding present and they had never liked it.  So it flowed over to my house.

It used to be, in the BOD (bad old days), that you didn't go to garage sales unless you were really, really poor.  Now, everyone does it, and good for us.  Don't you love going to a good thrift shop and finding a clothing bargain?  You get to buy a one-of-a-kind sweater at an amazing price.  Or a pair of jeans that fit perfectly at a couple of bucks.  I'm pretty fussy about which thrift shops I'll go to.  We were once in one where I saw a couple of bugs dropping down from the ceiling.  Did I ever drag him out!  So fast he didn't know what hit him.  Nope, I'm talking about Junior League Thrift shops, and various consignment shops, and even Good Will is getting into better merchandise.

So let the junk flow where it will, and just think how the archeologists of the far-off future will try to figure it all out.

Still no knitting pics.  I'm knitting, I'm charting, I'm complaining, but you don't get to see any of it, 'cause the pieces are all surprises.

So, instead a bit of a kaleidoscope moment here.

jlabate - How could I ever forget this?  We drove up to MA on Fri in it.  Really, really great car!  Do you know that he bought the Madison house also at a garage sale?

Scrabblequeen - Way too early for me, too, but the Hubbo gets up around 5-5:30.  Also conks out around 8 PM.  So there you have it.

merrilymarylee - She sounds like a real character! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Still on her bread toot.

I learned how to bake bread by using an ancient Sunset book on bread baking.  I looked at the pictures, attempted to read the instructions, and with a great deal of trepidation, made my first loaf.  I can't stand written instructions; never could.  Neither can my mother.   I remember the kitchen table, the floor, and me all covered in flour.  I remember the sticky mess.  Man, did I hate that sticky mess.  Somehow I produced a loaf of bread.  It took me forever.  Amazing that I ever made another loaf.

At the time I had a lovely cleaning lady from British Guiana.  She came from a poor family where nobody had 2 pennies to rub together.  Everything was made by hand.  Her son was the first person in the family to graduate from high school;  people were lucky if they finished 8th grade.   Her mom made bread for the family constantly.  Her town had a communal oven, and everyone baked her bread in it.  She would clean my messy house every other week, and we'd talk about everything.  So it was time for her to come to me about 2 weeks post-first bread.  I told her everything I had done, showed her the cook book, and she proceeded to tell me how her mother did it.  And she encouraged me, and laughed at my grumps about sticky dough, and I learned so much from her.  She did get her laugh of the year from my description of my mess.

I know a lady from Portugal.  Her English is sketchy; my Portuguese is non-existent, but we manage to chat and understand each other.  We were talking about bread the other day.  Lots of hand motions, guess-work on our parts, and it was so interesting.  She too comes from a place of communal ovens.  She told me that her grandmother used to make the bread for the week in one day.  The entire kitchen table was covered in dough; she and the other ladies of the village marked their doughs so that they would recognize what came out of the oven.  And here I am, across the Pond, and I'm doing the same thing.  OK, not in huge quantities, and I have machinery and a stove, and such, but bread is bread is bread.  And we're tied together by this.

Bread baking goes back to whenever.  Remember the Israelites fleeing Egypt with their bread that had no time to rise?  Maybe we would think of it as pita bread?  As soon as someone figured out how to grow wheat or teff or whatever, someone else figured out how to use it.  Some ground-up grain, water, and whatever yeast was out there, mix it up, work it, bake it.  It is such an elementary bit of food, nothing but flour, water, yeast, and a bit of salt to keep it from rising to the moon.

I love the fact that it ties me to my ancestors.  That someone in ancient times and I could have chatted about it and understood each other. 

Isn't this amazing?  OK, I'm in love with it.

DJNL - I don't dare bake cookies; I'd eat them. No willpower whatsoever.

kv - And there is enough steam build-up so that afterward, you can wipe down the microwave and get it clean.

chemo - I'd love to check your blog, but can't find you through your link.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's the Bread, Ma'am.

I've been baking bread for 35 years.  I started off doing all the kneading by hand.  Ooof, work.  Then along came the Kitchen Aid.  Ah, so much easier.  Then the food processor:  quick as a wink.  And then, the Hubbo, over my kvetching and grumbling, convinced me that we needed (!) a bread machine.  So I bought the Breadman, and the rest is history.  The thing kneads dough better than anything else I own, including my own hands.  Acts as a proofing box, and occasionally I even bake in it.  Not often; I like to play with the dough, but in summer who wants to heat up an oven, or when my day is too full, and we need bread.

Mostly I use it to knead and proof for the first rise.  Then the fun starts.  I shape and get it ready for the final proof.  Here it is, plopped into a heavily floured Brotform.

Here's the schmatta for covering it while in its second rise.  It was once white.   A kitchen towel much loved by me and given as part of my housekeeping set-up by my Gottselige Grandma.  Over the years, the towel has so been impregnated with doughy flour and whatever, that it is now golden brown, and I can't wash it any more.  Too much oil in it.  But it is clean, and kept between risings in its own plastic bag.

My proofing box, aka the microwave oven.  I heat up a bit of water to boiling, put the cup over to the side, and then put in the dough.  Close the door, and I have a warm, cozy spot for the second rise.  No, I don't use the microwave to actually rise it, I just use the thing as a warm place.  My house is much too cold for anything to rise in a reasonable amount of time.

Here's the dough, ready for the oven.  Notice that nice dome on top; it has risen very nicely.  OK, you can't really see it.  Trust me, it's ready.
 Risen!  Not to worry about the messy look.  It's upside down.

Put my cookie sheet topped with my trusty parchment paper, which I will reuse until it literally falls apart, and then upend the dough.  Give it some nice slashes, and bake it until golden brown and crackling and wonderful.

Sometimes, I spritz the oven with water every few seconds a couple of times if I want a very crisp crust.  I used to use a pizza stone, but it is now in 3 parts, and forget it.  Served fresh, the crust is nice and crisp, and the next day I toast it anyhow, so any lost crispness gets toasted into bready heaven.

I have been known to rise the bread forever in the chilly kitchen.  But if I really want to retard the rising, then it goes into the refrigerator, where it can develop that complex flavor not found by regular warm rising.  I like to retard my pizza dough, but in truth, I always forget to make it early in the day, so it just gets a normal treatment.

I love to make biga, and always add about 1/4 cup to the dough in the formation stage.  Adds an undefinable flavor that is so good.  I'm not found of sourdough breads, but I do like that fruity fermented flavor of a biga that's been doing its thing in the refrig for a couple of days.  I use the 2-week biga recipe from Beth Hensperger's Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook, and I swear by it.  I always pull off a little chunk of it to put into the next biga.  Sort of my old dough method.  I have a bunch of bread books, and love to read them.  I don't weigh my ingredients; I'm just too casual for that, but the bread always turns out good, and that's the bottom line for me.  And anyhow, I'm just baking a loaf at a time.  I don't like very dark brown crusts; I like golden crusts.  I love to smell the bread as its baking, and then take it out and admire it and then hear the crust crackling.  And then, when I can't stand waiting another minute, I slice into it.  It's always too warm; I need an electric carving knife and even then it doesn't want to slice perfectly.  I should wait until it's totally cool, but it is irresistible.  

And then we eat way too much of it.  Fresh and plain the first day; toasted with a tad of butter or apricot preserves the next couple of days.  I cut slices into croutons for the Hubbo to add to his salads.  And then I repeat the process.  I can easily make bread 3-4 times/week just for the two of us.  

Bread is healthy, Atkins diet be damned.  It's the staff of life.  It comes from good wheat with rye or cornmeal or semolina, or whatever other grain you like.  You can make whole wheat, regular wheat, combinations.  I know what's in it.  It's cheap.  I mean, I can make a beautiful loaf of bread for a buck or a tad more!  No preservatives, no weird junk, just good basic bread.  And I get to repeat it over and over again.   And I'm in touch with history that goes back to practically the beginning.   What could be better?  (OK, knitting is right up there too.  Well, those ancients needed woolly clothing, no?  It does get chilly at night.)


Kitten With a Whiplash - The truth is that I don't need a bread machine, but it is convenient.  My Breadman with the wonky thingy in the middle, the one that holds the paddle, is dented and that thingy threatens to fall out.   Do I need the top of the line Zo?  Nah.  I could just go back to the Kitchen Aid, but somehow this is so mindlessly perfect for kneading and first rising.

OfTroy - Yep, I've done the ice cube thing also.  The trick is to remember to do it.  Same with the spritzing.  Go, bake a loaf of bread.  Share half of it with a neighbor, and then bake more.  Imagine:  knitting happily while your bread is baking.  The smell, the needles, the yarn.  Talk about heaven.  And then you get to hear it crackle when you take it out of the oven.  And then you get to eat it.  Nothing better.

Wall-to-wall books - If you could just see that disgusting-looking kitchen towel.  Actually it's not dirty, just impregnated with years of flour and some oil.  I tried bleaching it and washing in boiling water.  Nope, it's way past that.

Scrabblequeen - It's so seductive, isn't it.  And the best part is that I can do another one tomorrow, when I'll probably run out.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Good Grief, I've disappeared.

Betcha didn't think I'd ever be back, huh?  Well, I needed to keep the lace club announcement up and in front for a couple of weeks.  But now I can relax a little with it all.

Lots of folks are joining up, and it is the best thing that could happen in my little business.  I'm so energized with this.  Making lists, organizing my yahoo emails so that I can find my subscribers without having to wade through the entire mess, checking in with my poor test knitter, who is suffering the travails of correcting my instructions.  That kind of stuff.  Makes my head spin.

Oh, wait, my head is spinning.  Ah, vertigo, my favorite head spinning moment.  It's back replete with a tummy unhappiness.  At least the tummy is feeling better, but the room wants to move around every time I change position.  I love benign positional vertigo; it makes my day go so well.  NOT.  Eh, who cares?  It'll go away sooner or later.  It's not bad enough for a dr visit, so I just have to ride it out.  If anyone out there wants it, I'll be glad to send it to you for free.  I'll even pay you a couple of bucks to take it from me.  But here's the rule:  once you have it, you cannot send it back.  No backsies!  Nope!

I haven't dyed yarn in about 3 weeks.  Can you believe it?  I'm busy prepping my skeins for the club, and I have enough yarn dyed for my own stash.  I am getting a yen for a violet or purple or grape scarf or shawlette, and need to dye for that, but not until the head behaves.  And then, the big dyeing takes place.  I have to say that this is a great way for me to do business.  I'm dyeing for a purpose rather than playing with colors.  A very different mode and a new business plan, but it's working for me.  Who knew I even had a business plan?  Apparently I did, and now have a new model.  Such fun, indeed.

Knitting and hooking?  Are you kidding?  Every effort is going into the first shipment.  The Hubbo tells me that if I throw everything into the first package, there will be nothing left ever again.   He could be right.  I have more ideas that I just have to try.  The brain is getting a workout, and I can't show you a single pic.

Hooking?  Gone bye-bye.  The mood came and left.  Given that I have 5 blankies in progress, I'm hoping that the crochet mode will come back this summer.  Right now I'm way too busy to even think about it.  I'm knitting and that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I can't leave you without at least a couple of pics.  These will have to be kaleidoscope pics.  Not a hardship at all.

Oh, and the Hubbo bought a gorgeous, fully-loaded Honda C-RV at a garage sale.  38,000 miles in perfect condition.  And he bargained (the Hubs being the Hubs) for an American Girl bed and an Ott light, and who-knows-what-else to be tossed into the deal.   Made my head spin.  Uh, didn't I just go through my head spinning rant?

Off to knit and not move my position.  Oh, and folks not from northern NJ, no, we have no snow.  We've left all that mess for the mid-western folks.  Minneapolis, home of Miss P and family, got 20 inches and she's had no school Mon or today.  Unheard of!  I knew there was a reason I don't live there.

Linda W - If you need something, tell him, and he'll find it.  It's uncanny.  However, I did find the warping board, but that's only because he didn't know what one looked like!

Scrabblequeen - Yes, he's definitely a keeper.  My Honey, the Schmutz Meister!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Light & Dark Lace Club!

Ta Da!  It's here!  My very exciting news!  The Light & Dark Lace Club is now open for registration!  And oh, am I excited.

Come join along with me and Roxanne of Zen Yarn Garden as we take you on a journey of lace inspired by our love for light and dark colourways. Each project will include both a pattern as well as a yarn and the kits will be offered on a bi-monthly basis by either me or Roxanne.

Each bi-monthly kit will include both a pattern (designed by me) and a lovely yarn in either a light or dark colourway dyed by either me or Roxanne. I like to take a walk on the light side while Roxanne likes to walk on the dark side. Patterns will include such projects as shawls, shawlettes and scarves which will be revealed bi-monthly. Until then, it's a surprise!

Included in this month's kit is the following:
1 Pattern (exclusive to the L&D Club for 4 months)
1 Yarn
Each pattern will be revealed in portions as you KAL with each kit. Watch for prizes for those who finish the KAL - we love it when you finish one our projects! The pattern will be emailed to you and you can discuss them and the club in our new Ravelry group.  Need help with the patterns?  You can message me on Ravelry or ask in the group.  Thanks go to my wonderful test knitter, MaryAnn

Cost?  Determined by each of us for our individual shipments.  We use different yarns and different dyeing methods, and that determines the cost.  What's nice about all of this is that there is no large up-front payment.  You decide each time if you want to join.  Roxanne mails from Canada and I mail from the US, and we both do international shipping, so you lovely folks across various Ponds can order too.

We have been talking for a long time about doing something together.  Roxanne is a master dyer, especially of deep and dark colors (or colours as you Canadians spell), and I'm known as the Pastel Queen.  We compliment each other in our methods.

This month's yarn is Benji yarn, 450+ yards of 3 ply superwash merino, soft and wonderful and very very easy to knit lace patterns with. The 4 colors are turquoise, pussy willow, green leaf, and light orchid. They are all almost-solids.  Please tell me the color you want when you sign up, and I'll dye it for you.

The cost for the kit this month is $26 + shipping.  $3 shipping to the US and Canada, and $5 shipping to Europe.  If you are from parts elsewhere, ask me and I'll tell you the cost.  I ship First Class to all locations, which keeps the cost way down.  Like you, I hate to pay for shipping, so I do it as reasonably as possible.

You can buy directly from me:  fritzL234 AT yahoo DOT com
or go through Etsy:

Questions?  Ask and I'll answer!  Roxanne and I are so revved about this.  She's a lovely lady and I'm so honored to work with her.

kv - It has indeed!  I feel quite blessed.  Happy Chanukah to you and yours!  

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stay tuned!

Coming Tomorrow! An exciting bit of news! Here's a bit of a hint:


 More of my obsession.  The Hubbo is beyond crazed about this.  He is now filling interesting round jars (with lids!) with mineral oil and all sorts of goodies.  And I'm taking pics left and right.  I have got to figure out a way to translate this into knitting.  If I were still in my embroidery phase, I'd do all sorts of mandalas with sparkly threads and such.   I did get 20 skeins of sparkly yarn yesterday, but I don't see me doing knitting or crochet mandalas with them.

This last pic is of some jewelry fixings.

Wall-to-wall books - I have another one of an earring I beaded about 15 years ago.  I lost one of the earrings but kept the other one.  And here is the result. 


Monday, November 29, 2010

Kaleidoscope Images!

For your delight and enjoyment. Click on them to get a wonderful picture.

These are from 4 different kaleidoscopes.  Aren't they fun.  Now how to figure out what to do with them with my knitting.  OK, color, but it's those wonderful repeating designs.

DJNL - Do try it.  It's an interesting challenge and fun too.  And since we don't pay to have these developed, free.  I like free.  

Scrabblequeen - Sneaky is who I am.  I sneak, therefore, I am.  Or something like that.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Yarnarian Lazes Around All Day!

Yep, that's what I'm doing today.  *Playing facebook, knitting, reading, munching*, repeat all day long.

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We celebrated my favorite holiday with friends and family.  I'm pretty much done with great big dinners; this year there were 7 of us, and I actually got to sit down and eat while the food was hot.  And enjoyed all the chat and laughter and the joy of Thanksgiving, my very favorite holiday!  I'm so thankful that we have a Thanksgiving Day.  Everybody in the world should have one.  That's it!  I declare Thanksgiving as a World Holiday!

Today's kaleidoscope pics!  

These are all from the same ball, and they are all pics of some Opal yarn I had in my stash.  The brightness is due to a tiny bit of light that was shining on the ball. 

Off to be a lazy bum!  Oh how I love it! And no shopping for me, either!

Oh, and if you want the laugh of the day, check out Attic24's posting! You will howl!

Pammy Sue - I think everybody is out shopping. It's nice to be quiet and peaceful at home. Oh, and the turkey soup turned out to be wonderful.

Linda W - Yep, there will be more because we are so entranced with this particular one.

Scrabblequeen - And I think I'll repeat today tomorrow. 

susieb333 - Thanks for reminding me.  I checked on the website last night.  Looks like lots of fun, especially the cashmere and the merino!  It was grand fun meeting you yesterday.  Fiber people rule! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November and a new passion!

General stuff.  Chat.  Nonsense.  Sort of how I feel in November.  Scattered, gray, looking for comfort.  The best side of Nov are the birthdays and Thanksgiving.  After all the good stuff, Nov is just a prelude for the winter.  On the other hand, in 5 months it will be April, and that's pretty good.  I think I'll ignore winter this year.  Pretend it is not going to exist.  Tee hee.

Birthdays:  the Mommie, who turned 96!  A most amazing woman.  Yep, the memory is somewhat wonky, and her hearing is sketchy, but when she is on, wow!  She quips, she's fast, and she's funny.  Really funny!  Not "I'm mocking you" funny; just plain funny.  You make a comment to her; she comes back with a quick rejoinder.  Who knew this woman lived inside her?  She wasn't that way when we were growing up.  She is, beyond doubt, the person in this world whom I most admire.  She doesn't whine, complain; she's never negative.  She just gets on with life, and has always done so.  On her birthday, I asked her:  "Hey, Mom, guess how old you are?"  "96?"  "yep."  "Hmmm, I may get to 100."  And she just may do that, too.

More birthdays:  DSD and the Hubbo.   My dad would have been 101 on Nov. 19, which is also the birthday of my dear step-daughter.  And the Hubbo's birthday was yesterday, which is my parent's wedding anniversary.

Thanksgiving.  My favorite holiday of the year, especially since I've retired from big company.  I did lots of big Thanksgivings over many, many years, but a few years ago, I stoppedt.  Lots of work, not much cooking help other than the Hubbo, and enough was enough.  So now, we have BFF and her darling Hubs, DD#1, the Mommie, and the 2 of us.  A grand total of 6 people.  Perfect.  Mind you, I make the same number of dishes, but chopping veggies for 6 takes a lot less time than for 20-24!  And I really relax and enjoy myself, and I get to eat while the food is still hot.  I'm still exhausted at the end of it, but it is just a wonderful day.  No presents, no nothing except good food, good friends and company, and thankfulness for all that life has given us.

New Passion!  Kaleidoscopes!  I have always loved kaleidoscopes, and the Hubbo has gotten into the game.  So last week he brought home the most amazing one yet!  This one aims downward, and looks at a ball in a cup.  You'll have to excuse the crummy pics; sometimes cameras and I don't see eye-to eye!  (bad pun, not intended.)

Here it is looking downward, looking at (and through) the aperture.  All those little round balls are what can go into the cup.  This one is supposed to look like a night sky, and in fact, the best viewing is when it's darker in the room. 

This last picture is how the cup looks without any balls in it.  The colors you see at the bottom and along the right side are just how it reflects what was adjacent to the cup.  Neat, no?

Here are more pics.  The first batch is what I took just now at around 9:45 this morning.

This one is taken of a music box in a snow globe with a green, sparkly bird in it.  At night and late afternoon, the images just sparkle!

Here are pics taken much later in the day yesterday:

And here are some pictures taken through a couple of other kaleidoscopes we own.  I'll show you want the scopes look like another day.  I need the Hubbo to hold some of them so that I can grab the camera and shoot.

This little one is about3 inches long.  Try taking a pic and holding it at the same time!

Scrabblequeen - A lot of ours were acquired in garage sales!  Now the Hubs buys 4" ornaments that can be filled with stuff. We put in anything, and even yarn looks amazing through it.  I'll take more pics every day, especially the yarny ones.  As the room gets darker, the images look like constellations and the night sky.  Just gorgeous!

Wall-to-wall books - He's 63!  


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