wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

South Jersey got an inordinate amount of snow today. It’s been snowing since before 7 AM and is STILL snowing. We have probably close to two feet, if not more, on the ground. What do you when it snows out?

Well. I (foolishly) ran a few errands this morning, but I needed to grab the essentials…

Awesome shirt is awesome.

(Yes, I went out in the snow to grab this shirt. I also bought The Santa Clause on DVD.)

We played with the dogs in the snow…

Polar Bear Snowpuppy

Oh boy oh boy! Catching Snowflakes

I did some baking…

Holiday baking

And I took my little brother sledding on our mom’s 45-year-old Radio Flyer sled…

"It won't move!"

…Even if it was less sledding and more sinking and falling off. It was still fun.

Did you get snow? If you did, what do you do for YOUR snow day?

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

Today was an odd day. It started with very bad news, which I can share, and very good news, which I can’t. (I can tell you that the good news isn’t mine, but it makes me happier than I have words for right now.) The bad news is that my grandmother on my dad’s side, my Grandma, passed away this morning. I’m having a hard time with it, but not as much because of her passing as because of my lack of grief. My Grandma has had Alzheimer’s for roughly the last ten years, and for the last seven or eight of those years, she hasn’t known me. We only saw her once a year as it was because my dad’s side of the family lives so far away, so that plus the Alzheimer’s didn’t add up to a lot of remembering. The last four years or so, she didn’t even know her own name. So in some ways, I let go of my Grandma a long time ago, and I don’t have a lot left to mourn. And in other ways, it’s…I don’t want to say it’s a relief, because that seems wrong. But visiting was always hard, especially for my dad, and it’ll be nice to visit my aunts without our “daily depression” as my dad puts it. And to be honest, living with advanced Alzheimer’s is really no way to live.

I always had a better relationship with my dad’s mom than I ever did with my mom’s mother, even though we see my mom’s parents every week. My dad’s mom was just more maternal, more grandmotherly. She was always happy to see us, always took us to Pizza Hut, and always made me bacon for breakfast when I visited. My Grandma and I are a lot alike, both physically (short, busty, round face, blue eyes) and in personality (always ready to go on a trip, nosy, domestic, and independent). My Grandma is the reason I knit. She always knit and crocheted and made toys and quilts, and I wanted to do it, too. She didn’t teach me, because we lived so far away, but it was a nice surprise for her when I made my first visit after I had taught myself. She was happy that I was knitting too, and impressed that I taught myself out of a book.

Grandma got married at 13 (I know) and had 11 kids (I KNOW), 9 of whom made it to adulthood (she had twins that died at birth), and 8 of whom I’ve met (my Uncle Finley died in Vietnam). So with that kind of a background, she was always after her kids and grandkids to get married. Even when the Alzheimer’s started to set in, in the early stages when she still knew who I was, she would always ask me the same three questions: “What day is it? What year is it? Do you have a boyfriend?” I never had the answer she wanted when she knew who I was, but I always made sure I told her, “And by the way grandma, I do have a boyfriend!” when I would visit, even when she was to the point where she didn’t know her own name. I like to think it made her happy.

Grandma was also awfully smart. She managed and ran several stores on her own, even with really no schooling because of being married at 13. She was loving and fun, but willful and stubborn.  She was a family woman, but still liked her independence. There is an awful lot of my Grandma in me, and that makes me happy. She was a pretty cool lady. :)

Scott and I have discussed baby names, and one of my favorites for girls has always been Isabelle, which was my Grandma’s middle name. I’m glad that I’ll be able to incorporate that into my own family someday. Maybe my Isabelle will be a knitter too.

…Well, okay. Probably my Isabelle will be a knitter. This is me we’re talking about. ;)

Mirrored from winged orange.

Krampus!

Dec. 14th, 2009 10:34 pm
wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

The Holidailies prompt for today challenges us to make up our own iconic character to symbolize Christmas. I thought about it briefly, considered instituting a mythical hippopotamus as the Christmas symbol, and then remembered Krampus.

According to Wikipedia, Krampus (otherwise known as “Krotchus” in America – I can’t make this stuff up!) is apparently a demon-like monster with claws who acts as an assistant to Saint Nick. While Santa makes his rounds, visiting the good children, Krampus finds the bad ones and punishes them. Young men traditionally dress up as Krampus in early December and terrorize women and children with rusty chains and bells. In some myths, Krampus actually carries naughty children away and dumps them in the pits of hell. How this is a Christmas story, I’m not quite sure, but there you have it. A letter opener.

…Oh, those wily Germans. ;) The Christmas pickle, Krampus…what will they think up next! (For what it’s worth, about a quarter of my heritage is German, so my ancestors undoubtedly partook in the Krampus myth.)

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

This was a productive weekend in a lot of ways. First of all, I wrapped all the gifts currently in my possession:

Wrapping, Part One

And created a new gift that needs to be wrapped:

Modified Amanda Hat

It’s getting there. :)

Mirrored from winged orange.

Tradition

Dec. 12th, 2009 10:00 am
wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

I was kind of a slacker the last couple of days with my Holidailies posts, but we are allowed to miss a few days, and I had a good reason. Katie is home! She lives in Washington state, so I only see her once a year. This year (fortunately for me, not so much for her, since her visit home this week was not for a pleasant reason), I get to see her twice! She’s home this week and will be back again on the 23rd for more debauchery. And debauchery there was last night. I only ever really drink – as in, drink more than one alcoholic beverage in a row – when Katie’s home. She bought beer for herself and her friend Rance, and since I don’t like beer…well. She bought me bottled mojitos! Mojitos are my drink of choice, and these were really good; a little rum with a spearmint gum chaser. Mmm.

It was a good night. We watched Moonwalker because Rance and I love it and Katie had never seen it, and I powered through three mojitos in roughly two hours. By the end, it was kind of drunken Moonwalker, at least for me. Rance and I spent the entire movie yelling things like, “Michael Jackson is THE SHIT,” while Katie spent the movie yelling that plus, “Who WROTE this?!” and Rance and I would laugh hysterically. I demonstrated my ability to go up on my toes like Mike, which was fortunately before the mojitos started, and we decided that, “The whole world should take drugs because of me!” is the best line in the history of ever. When Rance started referring to them as “droogs,” that was it. I was done.

Last night was the first time I was the only tipsy person in the room, the first time I attempted to knit while intoxicated, and the first time I had to be driven home in my 25 years of existence. It was a good night.

Today I’m back in the Holidailies swing, and the prompt is one I’d like to answer. :)

Tell us about an odd-but-beloved holiday tradition you or your family celebrate.

Our tradition really isn’t that odd if you’re German, I think, but we didn’t start it because of our German heritage. Every year, my mom hangs the Christmas pickle on the tree, and us kids (who would be me, my brother, and Scott, even though we’re all over the age of 21 and look a little silly) race to find the pickle first. Whoever wins gets an extra present! I’ve won every year for the last four or five years. I’m excellent at The Christmas Pickle game, even though I’m short and have a marked disadvantage. We started doing the Christmas pickle about eight years ago. My ex-boyfriend’s mom did it at her annual Christmas open house, and I loved it so much I told my mom. She didn’t believe me, googled it, and found a pickle ornament of our own. Voila! A tradition was born.

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

Christmas wrapping is going to kick my ass this year. A couple of things had started to trickle in through the mail over the last couple of days, and today I came home to a rather large amazon.com box in my room with even more presents. There are a few more that are still due to come in, but the bulk of it is in. Every day for the last week, I’ve come home from work, looked at the ever-increasingly pile, and said to myself, “Gee, I should start wrapping this” and then…don’t.

Usually Christmas wrapping goes as follows:

  • December 1 – 7: “I don’t need to wrap yet. I don’t have anywhere to put these presents anyway.”
  • December 7-14: “I should probably wrap at least a couple of these, huh? Maybe later.”
  • December 15-21: “These really need to get wrapped. It’s getting close to Christmas.”
  • December 21-23: “OH CRAP IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS AND NOTHING IS WRAPPED.”
  • December 24: “MUST. WRAP. FASTER.”

That last bullet? This is totally where I was last year. My dad and my brother always ask me to wrap the presents they’ve bought as well, because apparently they are helpless when it comes to anything that needs to look nice, so I wrap 2/3 of the gifts for my house. It’s crazy. Last year I was up until 2 AM Christmas morning wrapping, partly because of the sheer number of gifts and partly because of my own procrastination.

Let the games begin!

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

I went out tonight with a couple of the girls from work to get drinks (OHAI, Bahamarita, your mango-y citrus-y deliciousness) and poke around the mall for a bit. I’m more or less done my shopping, except for a few odds and ends here and there. One of those odds and ends was a “Chinese Auction” gift for the work Christmas party. We had a $25.00 limit, so I was just looking for something that might be appealing but was still cheapish. My friends and I wound up in the Kitchen Kapers store because I had wandered in looking for Rachel Ray utensils for my mom. They didn’t have any, but I saw on the sale table this goofy looking thing… it turned out to be shot glasses on a magnetic tray, so they wouldn’t spill. It was on sale for $25. The girls were like, “Buy it, buy it!” because it was quick and easy and universal enough for the company party. And that’s when it dawned on me…

…If I’m out buying the first bullshit gift I see, isn’t everyone else that’s going to that party doing the same thing? And if everyone’s doing the same thing, aren’t I going to wind up with some cracked out gift that someone saw on sale at the “gourmet” store in the mall and thought, “Gee, I can get this for the office party and cross another item off my list!”? And if that’s how we’re buying gifts…what’s the point? Why do we all need to spend $25 we don’t have on some cursory gift that no one wants or needs? Why can’t the company party be more talking and laughing and eating and enjoying everyone’s company? What, no one wants to be there and be forced to socialize with each other, so let’s do a BS Pollyanna and call it a holiday party?

Suddenly I want to go to this party a whole lot less.

/thinly disguised work rant

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

I’m participating in Holidailies this year, which is a pledge to update my blog daily between today and January 6, or as often as I can with holiday obligations, as long as I post 20 entries. There are daily prompts in case I get stuck, but today I think I have things to talk about.

This year, I tried avoid Christmas knitting. It’s never gone especially well for me (although in 2007, I almost “won” and finished everything on my list), and this year with grad school applications, I knew I wasn’t going to have time, so I didn’t even set myself up for the stress and disappointment. Unfortunately, I may have overcompensating by buying a ton of gifts to make up for the lack of handmade presents under the tree, even though I really don’t think anybody misses the handmade gifts all that much. I was going to finish my handspun scarf and my snowflake mitts so I would be nice and toasty for once while I waited outside on bus duty in the mornings.

Then my mom asked for a new pair of fingerless mitts. I whipped one out for her right damn quick; the other is marinating for a bit because I can’t knit two of the same thing back to back, even if the two things will only constitute ONE finished project when they’re both done. The one that’s done looks good, though:

Doe Hill Mitts

And then the two girls at work started asking whether we were exchanging gifts, so to save some money (since I’m sort of bankrupting myself on Christmas), I decided to knit stuff for them. It’s not much – a halfway finished hat, and a simple drop-stitch scarf – but still. I am amazed at how often I say I’m not going to do something (go to the gym, sleep in, knit for people, take work home with me) and then I turn around and do it anyway.

I need to go finish that hat, now. :)

Mirrored from winged orange.

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