Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas was here! The children were all snuggled in their beds, and then Santa came! No toys to put together this year...just lots of "stuff". The kids get bigger and the presents get smaller; Ipods, Nintendo Wii, Wii games, DVD's, CD's and the like. They take up alot less room than the toys, but boy are they more expensive. Here is my mom at our annual Christmas Eve dinner. My whole family was here as well as my wonderful mother in law in from Albuquerque New Mexico. The menu consisted of Southern stuffed ham, potatoes, roast beef, jello salad (you gotta have it, you know), my famous ceaser salad and of course, cookies.

Here is some of the gang out on the back porch. There is Ted (married to sister Erin), sister in law Kim, Dane the spouse, Brant (married to sister Megan), Chris my brother (Kim's husband) and family friend, Brian. This represents just a small portion of who was there, and we all had a wonderful time with each other.
More pictures computer takes forever to upload. Merry Christmas to all my friends!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ok--So I hit the wrong button and the blog posted before I could finish...those pictures you see at the end of the previous post are my two beautiful daughters baking for me. Mary, the older one, LOVES to bake and is good at it...I'll have to share her recipe for "Christmas Crunch". Delia, the younger is a wonderful help as well. You can see by the ingredients that we have alot of baking to do. We love it...I love it, especially since I now have kids that can do it...
Merry merry my friends!!!!!!!!!

A much happier blog post today. Not that things have changed all that much...well, I guess we are now "hopeful". He (the spouse) came home Tuesday and said that after thinking about it, he realized how badly I had been feeling and that he would do ANYTHING to make the situation better. Even "change", I which he responded..."yep, even that". Of course saying it and doing it are two different things...but for now I'll take the stop gap measure and see where it leads. OK--so on to the CHRISTMAS BLOG!
Here is one of my Dept. 56 houses...its Ralphie's house from "A Christmas story". See the leg lamp in the window. I found these a couple of years ago and just love them. In addition to Ralphie's house I have the Cleveland School, Higbees and the Chop Suey Palace (you rememeber: "Its Smiling at me!")

Then there are the trees. The fiber optic tree in the bathroom which is kinda hypnotic if truth be told. Sometimes I just go in and stare at it. A definite sign that I am losing it.

Then there is the "official" tree which to me looks more like a bush. I do not go on this foray to get the tree--that is not the tradition in our family. I stay home, make dinner and get all the trimmings ready. I keep telling my family--tall and thin, guys, tall and thin. They always come back with short and fat, short and fat. Then there is the annual argument over the tree topper. I would like an angel or a star even...but NOOOO, every year the kids take down that beautiful angel and up goes the miniature Broncos helmet. There have actually been tears about this. You can see that I have artfully placed angels around the helmet, but somehow I still think the message has been skewed. Oh well, pick your battles that's what I say.

Then there is the feather tree that sits on top of the piano. This is another "find" and the ornaments were last year's after Christmas 80% off at our local Christmas store.
Then there is the trees that are around the mirror on the mantle. The golden one I got at a local thrift shop--for $1--gotta love it. The other is an oldie but a goodie, filled with those Natalie Silitch angels that I love. Speaking of Natalie Silitch, she did a thing at the White House for Laura Bush and 20 of her closest friends. They are unique and folk-arty and very festive. Yep, you guessed it...make up roses. I will be firm in my decision to re-negotiate my marriage contract, flowers or no...they are pretty though, aren't they. This is my desk with all my magazines and wishlists.

Monday, December 18, 2006

SO, does anyone out there know a good divorce attorney??

Ok, so that isn't the most joyous of blog titles. But is sure is how I feel and not the "I am just so spitting angry at my spouse that I am sick and tired of it" kind of, its the "I really pretty much feel like crap most of the time, and I've tried to tell him what is going on and he has flat out stated that its all me and he's NEVER going to change and this is your life" kind of feeling. So how did this all start...well not sure about that but I can sure tell you when it ended. That would be last night driving home from a friend's house when I (stupidly) brought up (again) the fact that he (the spouse) never does ANYTHING to help with Christmas. This spouse feels that its all unnecessary and therefore I should have NO expectations from him. He went on to further state that he doesn't care if we even have decorations or a tree. He actually gets angry about it and when you try to tell him how you feel, he pretty much tells you that your feelings are wrong.

Ok, so that is pretty much it. When I tried to tell him that I feel very disregarded, his response was to be shocked. "Huh?" I believe was his response. When I cited specific examples he pretty much intimated that I was making it up. So, at the end of the "discussion" he stated unequivocally that he was not going to change, wouldn't even consider changing and that as far as he was concerned life was perfect. I still cannot figure that out. How can one person be fine and the other completely devastated. So, what to do now? Pretty much I guess I have to figure this out for myself. Of course we have younger kids and that makes things even more difficult. I guess its a good thing to truly know where your spouse is coming certainly makes certain things easier, but other things that much harder.

Ok, so that's the depressing blog for the day...........pray for me out there in cyber space...I sure need it now!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

So sorry, its been over a week. I have been busy, as I assume you all are with Christmas and all the attending festivities. I just LOVE this time of year...really I do! I spent all weekend at the Springhill CFD Designer Show House. I was the docent at the main door. The house was just beautiful and the room were incredible. I came home with alot of ideas and started re-arranging furniture right then and there. Of course, my house still doesn't look like a designer walked in and decorated, but it looks a little fresher.

Saturday night was the Annapolis Parade of Lights. This is for all those boaters to decorate their boats and coast around City Dock. We were at my friend's house which is right downtown and we had a perfect view of everything. Of course, like a idiot, I did not take my camera (still a newbie at this blog stuff--you gotta carry that camera EVERYWHERE!) I know someone who did, so here are some pictures of that. Check out her web page:

In the meantime, I have been knitting.....Christmas knitting that is a hat being blocked. I am making two of these for my daughter and her best friend. The star will be appliqued to the front of the hat. The other hat will have a yellow stripe with the orange star. These knit up fast and the pattern is it from Knitting Central in Connecticut. I had trouble with one spot and called the shop. The nice lady walked me through that's customer service.

Will post later...going to give blood. Give if you can.......they really need it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas is coming...check out these vintage cardboard houses I found while "antiquing" on the Eastern shore of Maryland. I went to several antique stores and eventually found these at a Salvation Army thrift shop for.....$1.oo apiece. Isn't that great---I love when I can find a deal like this. They were all spread out in the store so I had to go through a lot of, what I shall call, "stuff" to get to these treasures. Last year in Martha Stewart Living, she had an entire article devoted to these heirlooms. I am so happy they have found a home with me and I think they look beautiful on my mantle. Calling on all green is my fern brought in from its home on the screened porch to my living room--so we have gas forced air heat..and that means..yep, you guessed, very dry air. I have set up a humidifier near the plant and am hoping that this will help. I REALLY want it to survive the winter. Its so BIG--does anyone have any advice about what to do?

Just finished our Fall Production this past weekend. My son was in the show and gave out awards which were pretty funny. This was his first high school show and I think he really like it, even with his mom being the Director.

He was hilarious!
I guess I should get my ducks in a row here. So, I have been planning some Christmas knitting. Not a ton this year. So I have these Star hats for my daughter and her friend. They "disapproved" of the colors I picked out (a beautiful eggplant color with deep green accent) and instead picked these colors. Its all about them, right! Then there is the baby hat I have been "commissioned" to make for a friend's new grandchild. They call this baby the "bean" and so I will adapt this pattern for the little one...will post as that comes along.

And lastly there is the Mason Dixon Knit-a-long which I joined. Its all dishcloths and so much fun...just perfect for those with attention the meantime, I am just letting my fingers do the walking with Christmas shopping, clicking away at the computer. However, I was just outbid on the Nintendo Wii system for my kids...yikes. Gotta go get that thing....HELP!

Hope all is well with everyone. Please keep Ben's family in your thoughts and prayers. As well as praying for all those who are in harms way.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Yesterday was the funeral of family friend and fellow USNA classmate of Mary's, Ben Carr. Ben died late Thanksgiving night when the car he was a passenger in crashed headlong into a tree killing him instantly. Words cannot describe the grief that has taken over our community. Ben was a student at St. Mary's for 13 years and then a stellar Midshipman in his junior year. As the Deacon stated yesterday at the funeral Mass, "there is only love, and we must remember that as long as we love one another, no one ever truly leaves us". I watched in stunned silence at the beauty and pageantry of the Catholic Funeral Mass coupled with the precision of a full military funeral. It was breathtaking. The solemn march from the Naval Academy chapel to the Naval Academy cemetery (about 1 mile) was silent and solemn. His entire company as well as other Midshipmen who knew Ben well were present to honor their fallen shipmate. I would say that there were approximately 1000 people in attendance which comforted Ben's family tremendously. At one point in time, Ben's mom told me "I don't think I know this many people". The most powerful part of the ceremony came at the end, after the 21 gun salute, after the playing of TAPS and after the flag was folded and handed to Patti. As family and friends left the grave site to attend a reception at a nearby home, ALL of Ben's company stayed watch at the grave site in somber silence. Mourners processed passed them and yet they stayed at attention until the casket was lowered into the ground. Only when it was fully lowered did they give their fallen shipmate one final salute and process away. It was breathtaking and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Charles Benjamin Carr, IV
July 1, 1986-November 24, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It is with a heavy heart that I make this post. After a joyful Thanksgiving dinner, a beloved friend and fellow USNA classmate, C. Benjamin Carr (age 20) was killed in an automobile accident a few miles away from his home. Please keep his family in your prayers and HUG your children.

Monday, November 13, 2006

COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG! Here is some of the 7th grade class. I was one of the lucky chaperones on this field trip. We lucked out totally on the weather. It was amazing. During the day it was in the low 70's then in the 50's at night. We did a tour of Colonial Williamsburg that was just great--of course, I stopped to talk to another chaperone and lost my group--I mean LOST--I could not find them anywhere--of course they had kept up with our tour guide and stupid me was wandering around looking for everyone else. Of course it was then that I totally "bit" it on the ye olde sidewalke. I didn't even see the step and down I went. And let me tell you, it wasn't a lady like "oops" it was a wipe-out. My ye celle phone went skittering into the street where it came dangerously close to being stepped on by ye olde horse! I must have looked pretty silly--but the oddest thing was, NO ONE helped me up. I mean, there were like a ton of people standing around and NO ONE helped. I thought that was odd...but perhaps they were just laughing so hard at my clumsiness.
On the second day, we visited Yorktown and then it was on to Jamestown. Here is the lady of the house in Yorktown getting her day started in the kitchen.
The room smelled wonderful! Wood fire, stew in the pot--it was good. All around she had pieces of meat hanging. Of course, we all wanted to know if it was REAL? Let me just tell you, EVERYTHING at Yorktown is REAL--they live for this stuff. Every year on Thanksgiving, they butcher a hog and then cure the meat as they would have done then. See those pots covered with ash? Those are "dutch ovens" and in them are biscuits and pies--they even have their own hens for the eggs. These people worked hard to make it here in the New World.
And then it was on to historic Jamestown. Now, they are gearing up for the 400th Anniversary and as such, they just opened a new Visitor's Gallery that would rival anything I've seen at the Smithsonian. These folks in Jamestown take their history VERY seriously. Trust me, don't bring up the Disney version of "Pocahontas" unless you want a lecture on the historical inaccuracies in that movie. And to be honest, they have a point. The real story of Pocahontas is much more interesting...I won't tell it here--but do check out several websites that will tell the story. I give credit to the good folks down there in Virginia for protecting and honoring our history with such attention to detail.
And finally...
this is what happens to those chaperones who get lost..........that's my daughter Delia with the thumbs up. I think she finally has me where she wants me.
Oh, there is a knit shop in Williamsburg. Its called Knitting Sisters
I really wanted to go, but they told me that all three coach busses would not stop so that I could do a little shopping. What is this world coming to.
Oh, and the Pomatomas socks, yeah, well, let's just say my twisted seed stich heel was completely and totally wrong. And so I frogged and picked up then put down, cause I am frustrated! More on the that later.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ok, so I turned the heel!! Yippee, yee-haw. I am pretty excited about it really. Its the little things you know. I was up late last night--are some people just natural night-owls? I would love it if I could go to bed earlier and wake up chipper; but alas, that does not happen. I inevitably stay up way to late, still get up early (someone has to force the kids to eat breakfast!) and then hit the wall around 2pm--what's a girl gotta do?

I love the heel flap of this pattern. Its a twisted seed stitch (is that really a stitch?) But its cool.
Also, check out this issue of Knitty. I loved the article about the double knitted socks. Its great. The author and inventor of the idea is going to come out with more tips--yeah--for those of us a bit slow on the uptake...can't wait.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Look at that face!! This is my neighbor's youngest, little Sydney. She was really more interested in the candy bowl than in my taking her picture. Smart girl!
Another set of neighbors. These kids were older but they had awesome costumes. I say if you take the trouble to get dressed up, then by golly, you deserve candy!
And, of course, you have the family know them...the cool couple who gets to do all these really cool things (cause they don't have kids) and then they tell you about all the cool stuff they get to do and you don' know who I mean. We all have friends like this...but they are great and funny and generous and fun to be around. So here they are about to go to a few downtown establishments in the hopes of winning a costume prize. The crab costume was a custom job that she picked up at a yard sale. I guess the woman paid something like $1800.oo for it and sold it to my friend for $50. Let me tell you, just wearing this thing is a work-out. It comes with a neck harness--a NECK HARNESS I tell you--that helps keep the weight of the crab costume off your head and neck. It is HEAVY--and HOT. Brian is dressed guessed..."crab shampoo" had some funny stuff written on it. Not sure if they won anything yet.
Oh, and Barb, Mickey redeemed himself and went trick or treating as "Jake Plummer". All is right with the world!

Monday, October 30, 2006

HAPPY ALMOST HALLOWEEN! So, my question is: do I HAVE to carve the pumpkin? I mean it looks just perfect like that doesn't it. The neighborhood kids will know I have candy from the porch light and "presence" of a pumpkin. Is carving totally necessary?? This is what I have to worry about. I have an extremely hectic day tomorrow and I really don't have time to carve, so I am hoping a lovely "seasonal display" out on the front porch will suffice.

Ok, so I am busy on the Pomatomus sock from I have wanted to knit this puppy since I first saw it. It is pretty tough, but the pattern does have a certain rhythm to it and once you know how to "read" your knitting, its easy to pick up and put down. Now, the tough part is that I am knitting it with two circulars not DPN's and as such have to tweek the pattern directions a bit. So, tell me, how do I make this...............
translate into Cat Bordhi's "method". Here she explains it. But after re-reading it about a hundred times, I have decided that I am definitely a VISUAL learner. Please, oh PLEASE won't someone just come over and SHOW ME! I promise that once you show it to me, its mine...I will never need to ask you again. But I really want to turn that heel, and make that gusset and well, I can't cause I can't translate!
Here is the sock so far. This is Fortissma Socka that I got in Germany last year. Between the self striping and the pattern, it is coming along beautifully. I love it and I especially love the funky colors. Won't that be cool, peeking out under my jeans....a little lime green, a little navy blue.
People keep asking me who I am knitting for. When I tell them me...alot of them just "huh, just for you?" I go on to explain that in VERY RARE occasions will I knit for others. It is so time consuming and it expensive and I have (as I know alot of you have) been burned one too many times with the "oh, you made this....oh, uh, great....thanks". So for those of you who admire the knitting, I say grab some needles and let me show you how!
This blog post is temporarily interrupted by precious 10 year old who had to come home from school early today. Headache, nausea, and general malaise. He rested, we did he is laying on the couch, very upset because he missed his friend's birthday party this afternoon...he kept telling me that he was FINE to go to the party. Yeah, right, like I would fall for that again. No way, baby. Of course, I did feel badly for him. The ibuprofen kicked in and he DID feel better...but he couldn't have gone, could he? Am I a terrible mother? Or a really good one? Oh well...Have a great Halloween all you trick or treaters and an even better All Saints Day!

Monday, October 23, 2006

A wonderful day to be outside!Navy Lacrosse! This is how I spent my Saturday--a beautiful fall day, crisp air, blue sky and gorgeous trees. The Navy women's lacrosse team played in the George Mason tournament. They played other Division I teams from the whole country...oh, and the England National team was there as well. They seemed much older, almost professional. What I loved most about them was that when they scored they would shout things like: (in a very proper English accent)
"Well played Lizzie" or "Good on you Jenny" It was all so genteel.

Here is Mary with two of her high school buddies. The one on the left plays for Georgetown now and the one on the right plays for Hofstra. I think we knew someone from almost every team there. It was like old home week. Also quite a tribute to the St. Mary's High School lacrosse program to have girls at all these top schools.
Here she is with her friend Sara (left) who is the goalie at William & Mary and Christian (right) who goes to Loyola. They all looked wonderful and said that they are adjusting well to school. I sure don't remember looking as good as these girls looked--I think the "freshman 15" is a thing of the past. Of course, most of the kids I know are all athletic and so they are definitely keeping in shape in school, so no matter how badly they are eating, they will never show the weight. Ah, what I wouldn't give for that metabolism now!

Here is Delia and Mickey (12 and 10 respectively). Delia loves to go to these things. She simply adores her older sister and also loves the sport of lacrosse. She brought her stick and practiced in between games. Mickey just wants to play catch with the football, morning, noon and night. After Dane had played with him for a while, I noticed that he found another dad to play catch with, and so on throughout the day. It reminded me of that scene in the movie "Spanglish" when the housekeeper is about to throw the ball for the dog, and the mother screams at her to STOP--because she says it will never stop....the dog will never stop bringing the ball back and back and back. I felt that I should warn people about Mickey's penchant for playing catch...and if you start, you're pretty much hooked for a while. All the wonderful men who played with him were happy to do so and I think it made Mickey's day.

Here is Dane with Mary and Mickey. Do you love the glasses on my husband?! I am not kidding you when I tell you that they are 20 years old! He told me that they would come back in style in one day.

Ah--the end of the day...rolling the cooler back to the car...carrying the chair. He is not as surly as the picture appears...I just told him to turn around really fast and I snapped the picture. It says it all. I think he was probably tired of being the "sherpa" of the day. But he does it all with charm!
Not much knitting this weekend. Although I started the Pomatomus sock from Knitty. Pretty complicated pattern, but am going to post tomorrow of the work in progress. Have a wonderful day everyone!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

FINISHED SOCKS!! Just a quick post with pictures of the finished socks. My friend Patricia came over for dinner last night, and then we sat and knit. Well, I knit and she helped Delia (my beautiful 12 year old) with her english assignment. So, here they are. You wanna know the amazing part---I did NOT plan on the stripes being symmetrical! Seriously, it just worked out that way. Except for some of the whiter yarn on the toe of the right sock, they are an exact match! How do they do it? Of course, I would love to take credit for it, but I think it has nothing to do with me.
I did these on circulars and LOVED it! I don't know if I will ever go back to dpn's again. This is the yarn I got in Germany. It is ok, but I am very much looking forward to knitting up some socks in the Cherry Tree Hill yarn I got in May--
Almost done the baby sweater--will post when finished!

FINISHED SOCKS!! Just a quick post with pictures of the finished socks. My friend Patricia came over for dinner last night, and then we sat and knit. Well, I knit and she helped Delia (my beautiful 12 year old) with her english assignment. So, here they are. You wanna know the amazing part---I did NOT plan on the stripes being symmetrical! Seriously, it just worked out that way. Except for some of the whiter yarn on the toe of the right sock, they are an exact match! How do they do it? Of course, I would love to take credit for it, but I think it has nothing to do with me.
I did these on circulars and LOVED it! I don't know if I will ever go back to dpn's again. This is the yarn I got in Germany. It is ok, but I am very much looking forward to knitting up some socks in the Cherry Tree Hill yarn I got in May--
Almost done the baby sweater--will post when finished!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Homecoming, knitting, god-daughter visiting...oh my! What a beautiful weekend here in Annapolis, Maryland! The sky was a beautiful clear (and for those of you who are North Carolina fans) "tarheel" blue! The temperature was in the sixties--I finally got to wear my vintage velvet scarf! Saturday was the Naval Academy homecoming football game. Sadly, Navy did not win and their star QB injured himself--many prayers to him and his family. We had a great visit with our Plebe and enjoyed the festivities from the Superintendent's tent inside the stadium where we ate oysters, ham, turkey and burgers! I did do some knitting--check out this yarn. I got this from Gundel (see previous post about knitting group) and am just knitting up a quick basketweave patterned scarf. Isn't the yarn cool though--kinda gray, kinda blue, kinda thick, kinda thin....I love it.
I don't have much so far---the needles are "rescue needles" I found at my favorite local thrift store. Yes, they were in the middle of a project and yes, I bought the project with the needles for all of $1. I finished the project (I think it was a scarf) and gave it to my daughter..who did not really like it, but smiled anyway and thanked me graciously. She is so sweet! Anyway, I really like the wood, but they are WAAAYYYY too long. Does anyone out there need a set of long wooden needles. I would love to give them to a good home...someone who would use them. Let me know.

It was also my son's high school Homecoming on Saturday. Here he is (looking a bit surprised actually) with his big sis who was home temporarily before heading back to the Academy. Notice the bits of brownie on her lips and hands--she came home and made brownies and then promptly ate them all. Ok, I confess, she had help with the eating part.

Here are some of Mary's friends who are still in high school--they came over to visit Mary and to let me see them all dressed up. There's Kelsey, Liz, Mary and Caitlin...don't they look beautiful. What you don't see is that Mary has on shorts...she did not want to put on her entire uniform and requested very politely that I take the picture from the waist up. Which also explains capturing all that stuff on top of the armiore...think I should put the Easter baskets away?

Here is John walking out for the night....He looked so handsome! I remember Homecoming like it was yesterday. Where did all the time go.
Almost done sock no. 2..will post pictures of that soon. Take care.