Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My 100th Post - December 31, 2008

It's New Year's Eve, and we're having a snow squall right now. It's snow showers with a lot of heavy winds. We had a wonderful family get-together on Saturday at the home of my nephew and his wife. They were gracious hosts and everything was wonderful! Lots of good food and good company.
We missed the company of my sister and her children, who are all in Colorado. Hopefully, one day they will be able to move back to the east coast to be near the rest of us!
It was a short week at work - just 2 days and we are off for the remaining three days of this week. I won't know how to get through a full week once I go back.

It's a nice quiet day today, so I think I'll sift through some of my crochet patterns and look for a new project! So much yarn and so many projects! I love to crochet!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day - 2008

First - remember the reason for the season!

The day started out with an early morning trip to the cemetery to leave markers on the graves of my parents and uncle. After visiting there for a while, DH and I took a trip to Wawa, where we stopped for coffee. I decided to pick up some bacon, as I knew I had some at home but wasn't sure if it was enough for breakfast. When I got home, I decided that the bacon I had on hand was plenty, so I threw it in a pan - and burned it! Good thing I bought more!

We opened our gifts. I did surprise my husband this year. He usually finds out one way or another what he is getting for Christmas. This year, he was with me when I purchased a gift certificate for the dive shop. Then he mentioned a Black and Decker level that he wanted to get. So I ordered it online, last minute, and hoped it would arrive on time. It did - in a box clearly marked "Black and Decker Level" - thanks, Ace Hardware! So no surprise there. However - he did not know that I purchased a gift certificate for him to a "Sharks Up Close" outing at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden. Why he wants to swim in a tank full of sharks is beyond me. But he's been talking about it since becoming a certified diver. To me, the best dive is one where you don't see any sharks! My son was excited to hear my husband would be doing this and wants to go along to see it.

Later we received a call from DS Dan and his girlfriend. They were going to stop off so that we could exchange Christmas gifts with them. Just as they arrived, I was finishing up with fringe on Nicole's scarf. Talk about last-minute crocheting! I set it down on the floor next to me, and went to throw away the scraps of yarn I had on my lap. As I entered the living room, and as Dan and Nicole came in through the front door - crash! The front of my aquarium shattered into a million pieces, and 20 gallons of water, fish and gravel poured out onto my coffee table, carpeting and Christmas gifts! I don't know what happened to the tank, but we took every towel in the house to try to soak up the water. It's still a mess, even though we've done the best we could with it. We'll have to rent a carpet cleaner tomorrow to finish the job. I did manage to save 4 fish, although two of them may not make it. Two of the survivors are gouramis, so they will do well in a betta tank.

I received the Annie's Attic Think Pink Crochet pattern book - it's wet, of course. Caught in the flood. I have it drying out in front of a fan. I also asked for an Ipod and got one, and a giraffe patterned purse (tote bag size). That's drying out too. At least the electronics escaped the deluge.

It's been an interesting day so far. We were invited to visit Nicole's mom and have dinner, or at least have dessert with them. So we will head over there. I have some Lindt chocolate truffles for her mom. I've been in touch via e-mail with my brothers and sisters, and most of us with be able to get together for a family gathering on Saturday. Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve - Santa's Visit

I ran around early this morning, picking up some last minute bargains. I think I have everything I need! There is still more wrapping to do before the night is over!

DH Wayne made his "Santa" appearance at my friend's house, for her granddaughters. He won another one over. Last year, Gabrielle screamed when Santa came in and wouldn't go near him. This year, Santa got a hug, AND she sat on his lap and posed for photos. Wayne has been looking forward to being Santa and was hoping that his knee replacement wouldn't keep him from his Christmas Eve visit. He was fine. As you can see, the youngest isn't past her screaming-meemie stage yet! LOL! Next year will be better! "Santa", me and our son Tom in the photo...

Time to get back to work with last-minute wrapping!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bone-Chilling Sunday

We started out this morning with freezing rain and it's cold and raw outside. Brrrr! The min-pins don't stay out long at all! When they come back in, they burrow their way under the afghans to warm up! LOL!

I finally have a nice place to show off my Nativity set. It's set up in my new bay window. I love the way the set looks there.

Every once in a while, I do have to straighten the camel up, because the cat still finds a way to climb onto the window sill. She doesn't stay long, just long enough to knock over the camel.

To think I nearly sold this set to someone about 14 years ago for $100 when I was still on unemployment and money was running out. But the man who was going to buy it for his wife decided he wanted Elton John tickets instead. Thank goodness! In the next week or so I was offered a full time position and I got to keep my set! It's one of the few things I have made that I have kept for myself. I wouldn't part with it now for $500 - it means so much to me. I made it the year after my mother passed away and I nearly went bonkers trying to find the right Nativity set for Christmas. I just had to have one! This turned out to be the perfect set for me.

I had hoped to get out to get a few last minute items this morning, but it's too nasty to go out. I don't want to be on the roads when they're so icy.

I was paging through a new book last night - Crochet Jackets, Wraps and More. I saw a few projects I'd like to try next year. Nothing like planning ahead, right?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Party at the Dive Shop

DH and I just got back from a Christmas party at the dive shop. The shop owner put out tables full of appetizers like cheese and crackers, and there were sandwiches, pizza, stromboli, and so many desserts! I made a pot of pulled pork barbecue at Wayne's request and took that along with some rolls. I do have to say that the barbecue was the first to run out. Not that I didn't make enough - well, maybe I didn't. LOL! I used a pork loin that must have been a good 15 inches long. We had to cut it into sections in order to make it fit in the crockpot. I then made homemade barbecue sauce - my mother-in-law's recipe with a little honey and mustard added to it. It was great, if I do say so myself.

The dive shop was decorated for Christmas, top to bottom. They have a great looking tree, with lots of diving and oceanic ornaments. I took a glittery purple angel fish along and gave it to the shop owner - she added it to the tree. They had a great slide show set up, with photos from all of their dive outings this year. We had a wonderful time.

I heard from my holiday exchange partner on Crochetville. She received her package on the deadline (glad it wasn't late) and she said she liked everything she received. I had sent a hat, scarf and mitten set, along with a sushi scarf and a couple of pretty red decorated chopsticks. She said she can use those as hair sticks to tie up her long hair. Along with those, I sent a pattern book, some yarn, a Christmas tree ornament from Lenox, some perfume, notepaper, and some other little goodies. I'm very glad she liked her gifts. It was a lot of fun to exchange with her!

I accomplished some Christmas projects this morning as well. I had two packages to mail out. One to my sister in Colorado, for her and her kids. The other was destined for Florida. I sent them priority mail, so I hope they will receive them before Christmas. I was surprised to only spent 5 minutes in line at the post office. I must say they were quite efficient behind the counter and kept things moving at a good pace! I was out in such a short time that I treated myself to a stop at the Wawa for a cup of coffee.

I brought some sandwiches home from the party for DS Tom. I don't think I'll be hungry anymore tonight, but I sure feel like I could take a nap! Wayne and I were invited out by a few of the other instructors and divemasters, but we declined. I think we're too old for them! I'd rather go home and grab some Z's. We're partypoopers! LOL!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Sick Day From Work

I hope this isn't a sign of things to come this winter. Again, I have serious head congestion and can't sleep at night. I went to the doctor today, who diagnosed a case of sinusitis. The left side of my face is actually puffy looking, from the congestion. Ugh! Back on medication.

I finally got my computer back on Sunday, and I can post a photo of the mittens I made. I added them to the hat and scarf set I sent to my holiday exchange partner.

The snow is coming down outside, but I don't think we'll get any accumulation other than a covering on the grass and trees. It sure looks pretty! I hope we have snow for Christmas, which is not that far away! I want to make another trip to the stores to see if I can pick up some other small items to add to the Christmas bags I'm making for my brothers and sisters. Candles or lotions - small odds and ends. Maybe Kohls will be open late.

Tonight is Tom's last class before the semester break. I hope he is careful walking from school to the train station. I really hate this late class because he's got to walk almost a mile to the station.

Hubby is wrapping Christmas gifts - I should see if he needs a hand.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday December 13

This is a grand morning! It's lovely outside, with bright sunshine after several days of teeming rain. There was a huge moon in the sky last night. It was at perigee, with its closest approach to the earth in 20+ years. I drove out early this morning to the grocery store to pick up a few odds and ends and there was a huge gray cloudbank in the sky ahead of me. If I hadn't known where I was, I would have sworn there was a mountain range in the distance!

I received my Crochetville Holiday exchange package from my swap partner and she truly outdid herself. I received a lovely afghan in red, white and blue, some scarves, a very pretty feminine wrap, lots of yarn and other goodies.

I prepared Vicki's package for mailing and took it to the post office this morning, to go via priority mail. I hope she doesn't have to wait too long for it. I hope she likes the things I made for her, and other little goodies I added to the box.

Wayne is in so much pain. I'd like to ask his physical therapist why they are pushing him so hard. He doesn't have to work that hard and take pain medication around the clock. That's just wrong...

I heard from the Crochet Pattern-a-Day calendar representative. She e-mailed me to let me know that she received my submissions! I do hope they will publish at least one of my patterns! How exciting that would be!

Looking forward to a bright sunny weekend! Back to my coffee.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours

First, the important news. DH's surgery went well. His recovery so far is a little rough. They are having trouble controlling his blood pressure, and when they try to get him up out of bed, his blood pressure drops drastically. I'm hoping that will resolve itself today, and that tomorrow will be a better day.

Our heater quit working. It's quite cold today, and I have to take off from work to wait for a repairman to come out. I hope it's not going to be too expensive, as we just bought a car on Saturday. Who knew? Finally traded in the gas-guzzling Jeep Liberty (as much as I liked it, other than fuel efficiency) and purchased a Nissan Rogue. It's a four-cylinder engine and all the car I need. It's surprisingly peppy for a 4-cylinder, I must say. Glad it has cruise control, as on the test drive I was up to 70 mph in no time at all! I will miss my Jeep - it was fun to drive and the 4-wheel drive was a blessing in bad weather. But 28 mpg will payoff in the long run.

More bad news - the new laptop I purchased 2 months ago is in for repairs already. Possibly the hard drive or the motherboard. Nice, huh? So my photo of my mittens will have to wait until I take a new photo.