Thursday, December 22, 2005


A very happy holiday to all, be it Yule, Christmas, Chanukkah, Festivus, Kwanzaa, or whatever winter festival moves you to celebrate!

We've had an adventuresome year in this past one. I wonder what joys and surprises will come our way with the new year. It won't likely be dull, that's for sure. Small-town life may look boring from a distance, but up-close it is richer and fuller of pleasures than I ever imagined in my suburban-sprawl days. Since the dome is running so far behind, we will probably be living in town for another full growing season -- which means a vegetable garden, I think.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Another Irish Hiking Scarf

I'm so happyMike models a newly completed Irish Hiking Scarf made in Elann's Highland Wool (color is Serengeti Sand, which unfortunately is so light as to show almost no detail in this photo.) Thank the gods for the no-cable-needle technique. This one is destined as a gift, so I'll shut up now.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Coffee (Danse arabe)We took the kids to see The Nutcracker today -- the college hosted a production by the State Street Ballet company, who put on a stylish "Hollywood" version of the perennial fave. They used the traditional score, but sets & costumes were all done in a swanky deco style: the army of mice were transformed into zoot-suited Gangster Rats (led by a Norma-Desmondesque evil-queen character), Clara a star-struck teenager asking for the matinee-idol Snow Queen's autograph, Drosselmeyer a studio exec, etc. Fun! I'm not enough of a ballet afficionado to discuss the dancing -- I know the minutiae of the score from my old orchestra days, but that's it -- but the kids seemed to like it a lot. A funny thing -- from the balcony, the dancer playing Drosselmeyer looked exactly like Tim Curry. Go figure!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sam the Snowman

My old gaffer would take on soThe snow is already looking pretty patchy, but it has gotten heavy enough to pack together, so the kids made a little snowman with what was left in the backyard. For reference, he's only about 2.5 feet tall. We named him Sam, the hobbit snowman. He's wearing my grey Irish hiking scarf and Mike's hat. Isn't he cute?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Snow Day

Winter WonderlandThe first big winter storm of the season rolled through mid-MO yesterday and dropped a good six inches of snow over the last 24 hours. O joy and wonder! Our yard is transformed into a winter playground. Best of all, school is closed for a snow day! It doesn't take much snow to close a rural school district, I've learned, just a few inches is enough to make the superintendent nervous about running the buses on all those gravel back roads. (In town, the university is still open, of course, so sadly Mom had to go to work shortly after this backyard frolicking.)
Note Hunter doesn't like to actually put his head down in the snow; as a result, his angels are always headlessWe made some snow angels in the shallow little bank at the back of the yard. The kids wanted to build a snowman, but the snow is extremely dry and powdery; a skier would love it but it's not worth a darn for making snowmen. They'll have to wait a couple days for the fluffy snow to get a little melty & heavy before they can attempt the Great Snowman Project of 2005.
Guess what happened right after this picture was taken!Likewise, the snow was too powdery to pack together a good snowball; the kids worked out that the best technique was to scoop up a big handful of snow & fling it at one's victim at short range. Of course, this didn't hurt one bit & everyone ended up covered head-to-toe in powder.

It really was a perfect early-winter storm, just enough snow to play in but not so much that it's a hassle to drive around & do everyday things. Judging by the forecast, it will probably hang around for a week or two before it completely melts away & we go back to cold-and-dry. For now, we're all enjoying it immensely.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A quiz that confirms something you may have suspected all along

Alpha female
You're an alpha female. You're second best. Basically, you make babies. And there's no shame in that. You are almost as strong as your mate. You keep the rest of the women in line. Anyone who comes near your pups is mince meat.

What kind of wolf are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

No-Fuss Cabling

For a while now, I have heard knitters mention a technique called "cabling without a cable needle", which (as the name implies) saves you the use of a cable needle. For some reason, when I first ran across this about a year ago, I took a quick peek at the instructions & decided it wouldn't work for me. Besides, I can cable perfectly fine with a double-point (my fave method), why bother to learn a new way? So I merrily went along, cabling with my DPN, tra la la. Then, apropos of nothing, I came across WendyKnit's cabling tutorial last night, and something clicked. Dang this is so much easier! I'm about halfway through an Irish Hiking Scarf too, which has about twelve dozen cables. I could have used this technique all the way through if I hadn't been so stubborn about trying something new.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Company Party

Friday was my office's holiday party, which was a reasonably well-mannered event. They had it in the middle of the afternoon, though, and then wondered why spouses mostly didn't make it. Duh. A little food, a little drinking (I walked around with a club soda), a few pictures.

The threesomeDebbie, Dana & Huong do some noshie at the bar. Dana finally gave Huong the red Mule Kicker scarf I finished a while back (Dana had commissioned it for her for a gift, but hadn't seen her for a while.) Huong praised it extravagantly. In the meantime, Dana had been wearing the ultra-warm scarf & fell so in love with it she wants another one. Uff da, I am so backlogged I don't know when I'll get to it. Hopefully Dana won't fire me over it ;-)

Bad SantaRandy grabs a bite to eat in between handing out nametags & such -- he was on the party committee & was manning the table at the front of the restaurant.

Vic, soloMy boss Vic was here seated with his lovely fiancee, Cindy, but I managed to take such an unflattering photo of her that I know she would never forgive me for posting it on my blog. It's a gift, people. I can take a picture of Miss America that would make her look like Quasimodo. Anyway, imagine a very lovely blonde sitting to Vic's right & you'd have the whole picture in your mind.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Frosty Mornings

Jack Frost nipping at your noseThis is what my windshield looks like from the inside these days when I go out to warm the car up in morning.

(Note to Boo & my other California readers: This is called frost. You have to scrape it off before you can see out the windshield, which is a pain. It happens when the temperature goes below 32°F overnight. Cars do not run well when the ambient temperature is under 32°F, that's why you have to perform the arcane ritual called "warming them up" on frosty mornings.)