Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wayne's Surgery Tomorrow

Wayne is a little nervous this evening. His total knee replacement will be done tomorrow. I feel for him, as I was very nervous this last time. But I am positive that all will go well. I made a nice dinner for him this evening, since he won't be able to eat anything after midnight tonight, and his surgery won't be until 11:00 am or later tomorrow. We had leftover turkey and duck, with fresh homemade mashed potatoes, homemade stuffing, gravy and brussels sprouts in tomato cheese sauce. The brussels sprouts are Wayne's favorite Thanksgiving dish. You simply take frozen brussels sprouts, cook them until they are tender, then transfer them to a microwave safe dish. Add a can of tomato soup and some grated cheddar cheese to make the sauce, and microwave them until the sauce is heated through. They are delicious!

My friend's daughter was married last night. We didn't make it in time for the service itself, but we went to the reception. It was beautiful, with a Marine Corps sword drill (the one where they cross swords for the bride and groom to walk under). She looked lovely in her wedding gown, and my friend and her husband were exceptional hosts. We had a lovely time, and I even danced a slow dance with DH Wayne. He was a good sport about it, because I know he was in serious pain last night. I love him dearly! I can't wait until he starts to have some relief from the painful knee.

I finished up the mittens I was working on, and I really like the way they turned out. Not bad for my first attempt at mittens, and using my own pattern to boot! I'll post photos another time - my computer is acting up again!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

It's been a nice day! I woke this morning and the house was filled with the aroma of turkey cooking in the crockpot. I put a turkey breast in last night before I went to sleep. It was cooking all night. Since our plans were to have dinner at my sister's house, I thought it would be nice to have some turkey on hand here for "leftovers" and sandwiches and even some soup. Just like in "The Christmas Story" - when the narrator talks about the turkey hash, turkey a la king and gallons of turkey soup!

We had a nice visit with DS Dan and his girlfriend. I can see that she is good to him, and good for him! Before they arrived, I put two ducks in the oven to roast. DH Wayne just loves duck for Thanksgiving. They weren't quite finished by the time Dan and Nicole left, so we packed up the roaster and took them with us to my sister's, where the ducks finished cooking in her oven.

My sister had a wonderful dinner for us, with mashed potatoes (or masha-tatoes, as her granddaughter calls them), gravy, corn, sweet potatoes, squash, delicious stuffing, turkey, the duck I brought over, and 4 kinds of pie. She sent us home with a little of everything. I am stuffed! We had a nice time together. Wayne and my sister's BF exchanged hunting stories - some of them were hilarious! We had lots of laughs and talked about our memories of growing up with my mom and dad. I miss them. But it wasn't the sad, bittersweet holiday I expected that it would be.

On a crochet note, I worked on the items I'm making for my holiday exchange partner. Then I decided to try some improvising and crocheted a mitten. It didn't come out too bad, considering it's the first I've ever made. I think they'll be good enough to leave in my car for emergencies. I was working on them while visiting with Dan and Nicole, and finished up mitten number one. Now to see if I can make the other one match, as I wasn't writing down what I was doing with the first one! This should be interesting. I'll post photos later, when I have both mittens finished.

It was a nice afternoon and evening with family and friends. I hope you all had the same!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Evening - Thanksgiving Next Week

Thanksgiving is next week! I can't believe it! It will soon be Christmas. Where has the year gone? This will be the first holiday without my Dad or my Mom. Mom passed away 16 years ago, and Dad in January this year. It's going to be a bittersweet holiday. For the first time, my brothers and sisters and I are on our own. They say you aren't really an adult until your parents are gone. But I truly believe that Mom and Dad are once again together.

This week was fairly busy at work. It was the last of my physical therapy sessions. I'm supposed to hear from the therapist in 2 weeks to see whether or not I still have issues to resolve. The back of my knee had been giving me problems and I'll be back to wearing my casual dress shoes instead of sneakers to work. We'll see.

Wayne goes into the hospital on Monday 12/1 for his surgery - knee replacement. I keep telling him he'll be so glad he did it, once it's over.

I finished up a handful of face ornaments for Christmas. Attached is a photo.

There are snowmen, teddy bears and elves. Hope to get more done before our family Christmas get-together.

Dinner tonight was excellent! Stuffed peppers, one of my DH's favorites. We had dinner out the other night for DS Dan's 25th birthday. It was nice to get together with him and with his girlfriend. She is very sweet!

My min-pin buddy is curled up next to me on this recliner. He doesn't leave my side. What a good friend he is! Little scamp!

The scuba shop is planning a trip to the Florida Keys again in February. I can't wait to go, even though I'm not a diver. My sister-in-law will be going with us, so I'll have another non-diver to spend time with. I think that this time, I'd like to take a ride to Key West to see it. Hope we can have dinner again at Sundowners' too.

Earlier in another post, I mentioned working on a round ripple afghan for my friend's daughter, as a shower gift. I had second thoughts on this afghan, and didn't know if the yellow, beige and brown afghan would go with her decor. I decided instead to give her a 2-strand round ripple I did in blended rainbow colors that I entered in the grange fair in August. I had it in storage and thought about using it myself, but hated to put it out where the dogs would want to curl up in it! LOL! She loved this one! I'm glad, as it took a lot of yarn and a long time to finish it.

I popped a DVD into the player today and watched "Elf" - twice! I wanted to also get a head start on the Christmas season with a viewing of "The Christmas Story", which is my favorite holiday movie. But I can't find it! I'll have to put it on my Blockbuster queue.

Well, back to crocheting. I'm working on my gift for my Holiday exchange partner on Crochetville. I hope she likes it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's Been a Busy Week

Last Saturday, I went to my friend's house. She said her daughter-in-law wanted to learn to crochet. So I took a hook and a book with some basic crochet instructions with me, and spent about 3 hours there teaching crochet. I had some reservations, as the DIL had plans to make mittens and hats! I told her it would take more than one lesson to be able to produce mittens! Anyway, she did settle on a scarf for a project, and with her K hook and blue yarn, she was off to a good start by the time I left.

While there, I started 3 (yes, 3!) double-strand afghans for my friend's daughters to work on. I taught them crochet about 6-7 years ago. Neither of the girls can start an afghan off, but once I work the first row in half-double crochet for them, they are good to go. I have to admit - I was a taken aback when they handed me blue and orange yarn to make a "Mets" blanket - while I sat there wearing my Phillies world champs colors! But I was a good friend and started the blanket anyway! LOL!

Sunday was a quiet day, and the workweek was very busy! Coming to the end of the year - we are getting very busy with payroll issues, vacation and sick time off and all kinds of other employee issues. It's also going to be benefits reenrollment time,too. So lots of questions to field. Three days last week I had physical therapy, and managed to bike 3 miles on Thursday afternoon.

Today is Saturday, and I am visiting my sister in NJ. We made a trip today to the T-Fal outlet and I purchased a new set of pots and pans. Mine are in pretty rough shape. I got a nice buy on baking sheets too. After shopping there, we went to Kohls and did some Christmas shopping. I got 3 gifts there. That will make a little dent in my "to-do" list. I think my brothers and sisters and I are leaning toward not doing the traditional pollyanna this year. Things are tight for some of us, so to make it easier on all, we'll just buy for the children in the family. With the exception of my "baby" brother. He is unmarried and has no kids, so we will get a little something for him so that his Christmas is bright. We will probably exchange packages with homemade baked or crafted items with the rest of the siblings.

I have a total of 9 face ornaments finished. I've started on some Santa hats and mittens. Pictures to follow when I get home. No camera here.

It's a nice rainy day today, and we are sitting here looking at paint samples with Mike. He is in the process of purchasing his own home, and I'm so excited for him. He's been renting for the longest time.

Looking forward to relaxing this evening, putting my feet up and doing some crocheting!

Friday, November 7, 2008

MHO and Some New Crochet Projects in Mind!

First - My Humble Opinion
A sad thought crossed my mind this morning, as I was listening to the news regarding the financial losses in the automobile industry. The automobile and its manufacturing process, introduced to the world by Americans, is now teetering on the brink of extinction while the rest of the world is excelling. What is wrong with this picture?

It seems that Americans are willing to settle for "good enough" and "status quo". Instead of producing cars in the same way for the last 30 years, why hasn't the auto industry been looking for ways to make more efficient cars? I can understand the production methods for the first 70 years. Cars were designed to be faster, more powerful and more attractive. No one had been concerned about economy, emissions or conservation. But certainly since the 70's, lots of folks were aware of the need for more efficient and cleaner vehicles. Instead the US has sat on it fat haunches and watched as Japan and Korea have taken the forefront in producing cars with better mileage.

Car company and oil company honchos have been collecting fat bonuses and retirements forever. It's time to set them straight! We need better mileage vehicles and we need them now! Take some of that money from the top echelon, put it into the research so badly needed and crank out cars that get 50 miles to the gallon. They'll sell cars again, believe me. And the person on the assembly line won't be the one who has to pay the price by losing his or her job.

On a crochet note: I am so excited! I received a package in the mail with some patterns I ordered from Annie's Attic. I cannot wait to get started! Plenty of holiday patterns. I am going to make some ornaments and definitely want to make the candy-striped afghan to enter in the grange fair next year. I think it would make an eye catching entry. The autumn potholders are calling me, too.
And I ordered Annie's Attic "Big Book of Animals" in order to make something for my expected grandchild. On the cover is a crocheted tiger, which I took to be a pillow-type of stuffed animal. Imagine my shock when I opened the booklet to find it's actually a cat bed! I wonder if anyone would know??? I really love the look of it and it would fit right in with the jungle theme in the baby's room. I think I'll make it anyway. As long as I don't give it to a cat first, no one would know what it was intended to be. I look at it and I see a sweet little boy lying down on top of it with his arms wrapped around it.

What's your opinion?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Congratulations to the President-Elect!

Congratulations to Barack Obama on his historic win this evening! He was my candidate of choice, and I'm watching Sen. McCain's gracious concession speech. I give him points for that.

Here's to hoping that all Americans will work, live and succeed together. And that our soldiers in foreign lands will be able to come home soon.

God bless America!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Comparing Face Ornaments

Well, I've taken photos of the face ornaments again. The elf has had his eyes moved closer together. I think I like the look better.

The snowman has bigger eyes. A little too big, compared to the "too small" before. I think I'm going to order the 9mm size, in between, to see how they work out.

So my vote is elf eyes closer, and snowman eyes in a size in between the smaller and larger sizes.

I hope to have quite a few of these made up for Christmas gift giving this year.