Showing posts from December, 2008

Here's to the New Year!

Hope all of you are having a wonderful time this evening with family and friends. I always feel so reflective this time of year and get very excited about what is to come. It's lovely to know that the coming year is as of now a blank slate to start all over again. Love it!

Warmest Wishes and Be Safe!

And the book goes on - the Kite Runner (Khaled Housseini)

I finally decided it was time to see what the fuss was all about. I have had several people tell me this was an amazing book and that I HAD to read it. So, finally, I picked up a copy at the local library and took it on.

The Kite Runner is a perfect title and the references to "kite fighting" in Aghanistan are fabulous. It is set in Kabul initially in the early 70's and I was able to see the city through the main characters' eyes as it must have appeared then before all the upheaval. What a beautiful place it must have been.

I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised in many ways. I did not think I would enjoy the story as much or that it would be as easy to read. Housseini definitely has a very easy style and inserts alot of his culture into the book, but in a digestible way so that if you are not familiar with the Afghan traditions you can follow along.

That said, the "secret" that separates the two friends from each other might be difficult for som…

Tis the season...

Or it was the season.. the season is almost over. I don't get as excited about New Year's as I do the rest of the holidays. I am thinking of trying to create some new tradition this year and see how that goes.. but, I am still searching for ideas.

Mostly, I avoid the parties unless they are given by close friends and spend the evening with family watching the ball drop (unless I fall asleep) and then wake up the next day not feeling any different. It's rather like a birthday isn't it???

This is a random image from my library from a trip out to Scotty's Castle in Death Valley about a year ago. These are tiles that were shipped in to finish a swimming pool (yup a pool in the desert), but were never used. It's an interesting little place out there.

If you ever make it out that way I highly recommend taking both the above and the underground tours.

Happy Holidays!

Prompts, prompts...everywhere a writing prompt..

Merry Christmas! I just added a badge to the blog and thought I'd direct y'all to a fabulous site - One Minute Writer! I use it primarily for my journaling activities, but it would be great if you are struggling for something to write about! You can also search back through past entries for a little brainstorming.

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and that Santa brought you something lovely!

Merry Christmas Eve!

I cannot wait until a little later today when TBS starts it's yearly 24 hours of a Christmas Story. I have missed a couple of my favorites this year (Rudolph was on during something else I got caught up on) and since I haven't broken down and purchased them on DVD yet that's it for me.

I am hoping to catch a Miracle on 34th Street tomorrow - I think that's when I usually catch it. Naturally, I want the Natalie Wood version.. I mean truly is there any other??

Later this evening, my family and I will be dressing up in our "Christmas Pajamas" and heading out to see all the lovely lights on the houses. I may even take a stab at taking some pics of them this year.

The Christmas Pajamas tradition was started by my grandmother I believe when I was younger. She used to pick out pjs and so we always knew what was in them. Then, one year, she wasn't able to send them and my mom took over the tradition. Some years I have bought them, but we always have a new pa…

Say hello to Feisty!

I don't think I've introduced my crazy little torty Feisty to y'all yet. She's a rescue. She was born under my friend's house as probably a fifth or sixth generation feral kitty. My friend's mom decided one day that she was tired of having all these feral cats (after yet another batch of kittens) and so she rounded up all the kittens (or so she thought).

She is in no way well-behaved. She digs on the furniture (well one chair and we can't figure out why). She knocks EVERYTHING on the floor. She is constantly attacking my crotcheting and her favorite game is to steal anything with fur or feathers on it or stinky, dirty socks and play on my bed with them (usually when I'm trying to sleep).

Originally, I was only going to take her brother, Felix (who was originally known as Tabitha), but just couldn't resist her purr.

Feisty says hello too!

And the book goes on - A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle)

I re-read this recently... It's even more fabulous strangely as an adult than when I was a kid. I think when I was younger, I didn't understand as much as I thought I did. Mostly, I wanted to travel like they did and have cool, strange friends.

If you haven't read, it's nice and short, as it is written for young adults and chock full of all kind off the wall dimensional shiftings and such.

Such a fun thing to have such an imagination!

Happy Reading!

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas

It's strange now that I am no longer dealing with snow everyday how much I miss having it at Christmastime. That is not to say that I will enjoy shoveling it again once I move back to the Northwest, but ya know.. it's pretty and it has already reminded me of Christmas.

Abish, my lab, really enjoyed the few hours we had earlier this last week. She used to run crazy through it on the rare times we had it back in Alaska.

She certainly had a lot of energy the last few days. I think the snow reminded her of being a pup!

Happy Holidays!

Crocheting my fingers off.. and more snow pics!

I so love the snow when I know it's going to go away soon. The two winters I spent in Anchorage, AK were enough to cure me of how much fun it could be to shovel the driveway.

As of now, I am crocheting my fingers off to finish a scarf for my uncle who will be here on Sunday - eeek! I'm not sure why thought this would be a good idea. The yarn I'm using is this cheapy variegated funkiness we found at Walmart. It's all bumpy too and it's a bugger to work with. If you are not super careful with your stitches and the consistency.. it looks like poo - a la my first attempt (pics to arrive when the new one is finished).

Happy Holidays!

My head is cold.. time for a beanie!

After my moderate success with my dish cloths and my scarf (that just needs more yarn to finish) I have decided to embark on something a little more ambitious... a hat!

A beanie to be precise and the instructions are here along with a pretty picture.

Wish me luck and happy crocheting, knitting or crafting! =)

Let it snow! Let it snow!

In my crankiness last night I forgot to mention that we had snow! Lots of snow! Well lots for here. The news this morning said Vegas got about 4 inches which is insane for them!

We had at least 2 inches everywhere when I woke up this morning. Most of it is gone now (stupid sun!) but here are a few pictures that I snapped! =)

Please pass the manners...

Just a little heads up - rant warning! =P

I had the opportunity to go to a community concert tonight. I was a little surprised, not realizing that we had a community choir, but figured it's artsy, cultural and what else would I do tonight??

I had a lovely dinner with my parents and some friends of the family (also not my age, but I've rather reconciled myself to this and it's cool). Then we headed off to the casino for the concert. This really should have been my first clue that something atrocious was a foot, but ya know, in hickville, just about everything happens in the casinos since they are the only ones with the space.

It was a combined concert with the high school choir. Now, again, it is not terribly fair since I was raised in such a talented, artistic community as a kid, but they were okay. The choir director chose a couple of songs that were over their heads and talent level so they were flat, painfully so during one lengthy song. I honestly think time stop…

And the book goes - Brisingr (Christopher Paolini)

I must admit it took me a couple of tries to get going on this, the 3rd in what is now no longer a trilogy (eeeek! flashbacks of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series!). I finally decided the only way to get past the slow part was to sit down and power through, which is what I did yesterday.

It definitely started very slow for me and while I didn't like it as much as the previous two books, there were some very interesting developments. It felt much more like a character book, rather than the adventure I had been hoping for. Admittedly, there was action (they are at war after all), but most of the book was more focused on the characters and their relationships. And, while that was interesting and confirmed some of my thoughts from reading the previous books, I really wanted some action and really, really had been hoping to find an author that would actually stick to their trilogy... oh well.

If you like the previous two, you'll likely enjoy this one. Do keep reading when…

Fun with dishcloths..

Here's my attempt at a simple dishcloth.. crochet style. My mom's friend doesn't have much time until after the holidays, so no knitting attempts until then. This was super simply done with Walmart cotton yarn (I think it was $1.50 or so a roll).

1st row sc 20
2nd dsc (double stitch) until desired length reached. I went for squares.

Then finished with double stiched 2 rows all the way around and 4 stitches in the corner.

On the menu tonight - Leek and Potato Soup (low fat)

As I am really having to focus on getting my weight down - it's back to the low fat recipes for me. So far, things are going rather well. I have been more focused and really obsessing over labels (is it time to meet with the dietician yet???) and every website I can find about nutrition, diet, and on and on.

Anyhow, this is actually on the menu tomorrow, but I've had it before and it's rather tasty. You can certainly up the spice and herb levels to taste (I usually do).

I swiped this one from a Weight Watchers cookbook (Make it in Minutes) I have had for a while. They really have some tasty stuff and most of it is easy to modify (which I love).

It makes 6 servings (generous 1 cup each)

Potato Leek Soup

1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
2 leeks, pale green and white parts only, cleaned and chopped
4 cups fat free, reduced - sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 half and half (I use fat free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely g…

The tree in lights..

I thought it was about time I posted something of the tree with all it's pretty lights. I usually am a bigger fan of the colored and blinking lights, but I am rather enjoying this simpler approach.

It was such a chore to get the lights on that I almost didn't add any ornaments. I was overruled and we have added a few of our favorites from over the years as well as the "kitty bells."

The bells tradition began as a way to potentially distract our critters from climbing the tree and it has the added benefit of letting us know if something is going on in the area as well. They are just a few small bells hung along the bottom of the tree. So far, only Felix has discovered they make noise and he does not seem that interested.

It is looking like the tree may make it all the way to Christmas! Woo hoo!

Finals are over! Where's the toast?

It's a short and sweet post tonight. Finals are over.. my brain is fried and not particularly capable of rational or interesting thought.

Time to celebrate!

O Christmas Tree.. O Christmas tree.. the kitties....

Have not attacked you. So far the cats are just circling the tree and sniffing it. They seem really confused by what it is doing there. Granted, it has only been a couple of days so there is plenty of time for kitty mischief along the way.

They are not really happy with the train we set up around the base. It makes some crazy noise and as soon as we turn it on they scatter to the four winds.. lol

O Christmas tree.. O Christmas tree.. you are in my living room!

Eat your heart out Charlie Brown - my tree is beautiful! There is definitely some speculation on whether it will last all the way until Christmas. The shedding has gone down quite a bit which is fabulous. I do think that the next time I get the urge to have the house "smell like Christmas" I will opt for a real wreath instead.

It took HOURS to get it all set up.. we had to trim it, the stand was a nightmare and of course there was the clean up after we got it in the house.

I will post a pic or two of all the lights when I get a bit more time. Oh it does smell lovely however and so far no fatal cat attacks!

Happy Holidays!

It's not made with yarn but,..

I recently (like yesterday) attended a wire wrapping class at a local bead shop. I had so much fun and was so distressed over the scarf I was trying to make that I changed my focus a bit. I have plenty of leftover beads from back in my beading days - mostly hemp necklaces which were super cool back then.

What better use than to make my Christmas presents and something pretty at that. I forgot to take a picture of the first one I made for my sister. It had garnets instead of the pretty cobalts I used here.

This one is for my mom - she doesn't really get what a blog is yet so this will still be a surprise! =)

Happy Creating!

On the menu tonight - Turkey and Bean Chili

I can't claim the yummy tastiness of this as my original recipe. I swiped it from Martha Stewart .. It is an interesting recipe with things like molasses and unsweetened cocoa powder in it. Things I never would have ever ever considered putting in my chili, but oh it was yummy. I didn't add nearly the 1/4 cup of garlic that the recipe said was a good idea and I used diced tomatoes with jalepenos in them instead of all the fresh, freshness included.

It was still very tasty finished off with lots of cheese and yummy bread!

Happy cooking!

Tomorrow comes the tree... too many hours of crochet..

Tomorrow I get my tree! I have much to do to prepare for it's arrival and that will be a bit annoying, but oh the lovely smell.

On a side note, I also believe I have crocheted so much that I am going to have gnarled and frozen fingers soon. You would think after all that work that I would have a masterpiece, but no not really.. I rather feel that it resembles the proverbial lop-sided ash tray made out of clay in junior high, but hopefully it will still be loved. I'll post a pic or two of it once it's complete.

Happy Christmas and Happy Blogging!

O Christmas Tree...O Christmas Tree...

You really are lucky that you can't hear me singing the above.. it's rather tragic really. Just a couple of days until the real, yummy smelling tree is picked out and I am giddy as all get out. Yes, I probably should be feeling a little more guilt about how very un-green and un-politically correct I am being, but I am not. I just can't get the smell of those lovely trees out of my head, nose, whatever.

No doubt it will be less exciting once I have to take care of it and I know I am just repeating myself from a few days ago, but since I have been basically stuck in bed all week with some crazy malaise fatigue (I think that's the technical term) not much else has been going on.

Happy Christmas!

Going for 31 in row!

I failed rather miserably trying to do the blogging everyday thing last month. Partly, because I only joined mid-month and mostly because of technical difficulties and a relapse of whatever I have that keeps knocking me out. So I have joined the ranks of crazies who are going to try to blog through the holidays. I think I seriously may have some kind of head injury for thinking this is a good idea, but as now I am not terribly mobile, maybe it will be a good thing.

Just so you are not too bored, here is another random pic from the library.

This is from awhile back during my daily obsession with the duck pond and feathers and is still one of my favorite ones to date. Mmmmm...maybe it's time to head over there again when I'm feeling a little less like my doctor's science experiment.

A piece of California..

I just realized that I haven't posted any pictures from Thanksgiving in California. So, I thought I'd throw a couple in here.

I had some fun getting my feet wet in the surf and well half my pants as well. We were also blessed to see some amazing wildlife.

We watched these sea lions for several minutes in the harbor.

It was a fabulous trip! I wish I had a little of that energy now.. so very tired!

'Tis the season to be crazy!

December is here and it is crazy around my house. I have finals next week, I'm trying to finish some handmade gifts for my sister and family (should have started that much sooner, but I'm determined), and there are all those holiday things to get started.

This coming weekend we are getting a real tree (very un-green I know), but I have been dying to have one for years to have that lovely aroma in the house. There will be plenty of obstacles. We have three cats, all of whom have never been around a real tree and I am only allowed to bring in this tree with the understanding that it is entirely my responsibility (eeek!)

Of course I will be cramming hours of study and finalizing of paper writing into the decorations because I am so ready for festiveness! Many of our neighbors already have their lights up and it's making me anxious to get ours out and all the other decorations as well. There will be plenty of cat-related disasters I am sure. They are all very, very snoopy …