Friday, December 28, 2007

It's all winding down

I really need to look into becoming independently wealthy, since that nasty little evil known as a “job” is seriously interfering with my blogging time.

Christmas Eve was my first day back from vacation; I spent it all alone in the office, trying to make sense of the stacks of paper on my desk & the scores of sticky notes everywhere (my boss & so-called backup is on vacation this week). I threw in the towel at 1:30 (we close the offices early on Christmas Eve) & hightailed it to the comforts of home. Chris had baked some cookies, so I started a crock-pot of spiced cider, partly to drink, but mostly to add to the ambience. All three of us have been waiting to see the new National Treasure movie, so we ventured out with illicit snacks (cookies & popcorn, artfully concealed in Chris’ jacket) & warm coats to the theatre (it is always like thermonuclear winter in that place!) The film was great fun, & afterwards, we went to the bookstore for some browsing, then out for dinner at Chili’s.

Christmas was quiet & uneventful- just what the doctor ordered. Sam scored big, with an MP3 player, half a dozen gift cards, & his letterman’s jacket; I received gift certificates to the local yarn store & Chris got a substantial gift card to Sear’s- his second favorite place in the world. We stayed home (other then the guys doing a battery-run to the drug store), watching the Monk Holiday marathon, napping, starting on a puzzle I received as a gift, & feasting on leg of lamb, sweet potatoes, salad & broccoli from our garden, & a pecan pie. Ahhh.

I’m back to logging late hours at work, attempting to restore my balance & routine; I expect this to continue into the foreseeable future, much to my chagrin. One side benefit of this (besides the overtime): I finally getting some knitting done; since I’m bone tired at the end of the day, I land in my recliner chair to rest my wonky foot & pick up the needles. I’ve finished 2 pairs of fingerless gloves,

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a pair of toddler’s mittens,

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& a lovely wool/alpaca/cotton scarf;

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I finally cast on for the bandages that I’ll be sending off to Junie Moon next month, & have started my project for my next “Read & Knit Along” on Ravelry. I’m in a group that will be reading Jane Austen’s Emma & creating items with a “Made for Each Other” theme- things that come in pairs; I’m going to make mittens- one pair for me & another for Chris, since we, too, are made for each other.

Okay, all together now...


Enough sugar for now; let me leave you with a bit of spice- have a great weekend!

Cat Haiku

(author unknown)


I don't mind being
Teased, any more than you mind
A skin graft or two.
Cat face


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Good News

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (21st Century King James Version)

 Star Trinity Circles Dove 2 .

Sunday, December 23, 2007

It goes by so quickly...

Well, vacation time is winding down & I am feeling much less stress. I haven’t got to as much reading & napping as I would have liked, but all in all, it has been a satisfying week of little adventures & rest.

Our vacation started out with the Music Ministries Christmas party on Sunday evening; we had a Mexican Potluck, an ornament exchanges, & then went caroling around the neighborhood (of course- what else does a choir do at a party?)

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We fell into an easy pattern for the week; Chris would get up around 6:30 (that is sleeping in for him- he usually gets up a 4:30  :-P) & I’d have the bed to myself until 8:00 or so; we’d take care of the animals, read the newspaper with breakfast, & then decide how to spend the day.

Monday, we decided to drive up to Amador County in the Sierra foothills, to wander the little towns along Highway 49. We went through Ione to find out what the big red building on hill was; it’s called Preston Castle-

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 a grand name for an unpleasant reality- it was a reform school for over 60 years. We drove on to Amador City & Sutters Creek, two of our favorite holiday shopping areas,

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all dressed up for Christmas. The weather turned colder & drizzly as we reached Angels Camp to poke around the antique shops, & then on to Murphys for lunch & some more browsing.

A big winter storm blew in overnight, so Tuesday was spent at home, snuggled in with soup, movies, & baking, other then one absolutely necessary trip out to the post office & to drop off gifts for the family we adopted thru work. Sam even stayed in for the evening (he usually has karate on Tu/Th) to study for finals & finish a project.

Midweek found us in Livermore & Dublin for Chris’ company Christmas party (a potluck lunch & gift exchange), then onto the nursery to use my Holiday Bucks at the nursery. I picked up some more broccoli plants (we just harvested the first 2 heads from the earlier planting), some creeping purple thyme, variegated licorice plant, & snapdragons for the planter next to the front door, & an English ivy plant in a basket for a gift. Before going home, we stopped in to see our friend Keith (who helped with Jessica’s car misadventures), who has been laid up with kidney stones, & drop off gifts for the family.

Thursday was Adventure Day; Chris & I took BART into San Francisco to go on the Victorian Home Walk, something I had seen on the local news a couple of weeks ago. It was a beautiful day to walk thru the Victorian neighborhoods of Pacific Heights,

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learning about the different styles & the history of some of the individual houses. The highlight was the tour inside the Queen Anne Hotel, a beautifully restored house which is now a bed & breakfast;

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opulent at anytime, it was just stunning decorated for the holidays. After the 2 ½ hour tour, we ended up on Union Street (also known as Cow Hollow), several blocks of shops & restaurants, where we stopped at Perry’s for a terrific lunch.

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We took the bus back over to Union Square & spent an hour admiring the famous Christmas windows at the big retailers & hotels.

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Our favorite is always Macy’s, who dedicate several windows to the SPCA, featuring animals in need of homes. I especially loved this one; she was a real poser, climbing elegantly up the tower & presenting “calendar kitty” postures for the gathered crowds.


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Friday was another hunker-down day, as I was suffering from the results of all the walking the day before. I don’t think I’ve mentioned before, but I have been suffering from plantar fasciitis for several months & it has been getting progressively more troublesome. I haven’t been to the gym or out for a walk in 3 weeks, trying to rest my foot & allow it to heal, as well as popping 600 mg of ibuprofen 3 or 4 times a day for the past 6 months. Thursday night was so bad that I had trouble sleeping, so I went in to see the doctor in the afternoon; after an evaluation (he’s a new doctor) he gave me a shot of lidocaine & cortisone in the heel, & a new prescription of anti-inflammatory medicine. Within a few hours (& a long nap) the pain was virtually gone (yippee!), but I know I have to still take it easy for a while longer & find a new exercise regime, since the walking is just too stressful on the injury. I’m going to give it another week, then try using the recumbent bike at the gym, which isn’t suppose to strain the arch & has the added benefit of not being weight bearing.

While I was sleeping, Chris went over to my favorite BBQ place & brought home some pork ribs & cole slaw for dinner (isn’t he just the sweetest), then took Sam & his friends off to the mall for some shopping. I went downtown to pick up Sam’s gift from my Berkeley family (they pooled together to get him a letterman’s jacket) & went to the knitting shop for the first time in a month for Sock Hop/Christmas Gift Exchange. What a wonderful time! We ate, knitted, & visited for nearly 3 hours; I ended up with some great hand-dyed sock yarn in shades of peach, yellow, gold & ivory- I’m already looking for the right pattern, since I haven’t made any socks in months!

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough; we’re having dinner with my family tonight & I need to head out to Berkeley. Chris volunteered to help chaperon a field trip of the Martial Arts & Anime clubs to Japantown today, so he & Sam are going to leave early & meet me at the BART station near my Mother’s home. My brother’s father-in-law is visiting from Vancouver & we’re getting both families together to celebrate his birthday today.

Hope you all are having a restful weekend, letting the stress & pressure of the holiday float away on the cold breeze.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Giving it up- kindness, that is

There is a lovely trend flowing through Blogland these days; people are looking for ways to spread comfort & cheer to others, & I've been fortunate enough to be included.

First of all, through my friend Mrs. Stagg at A Happy Miscellany I met Junie Moon; Junie has formed "Junie Moon's Bandage Brigade" with the expressed purpose of knitting (or crocheting) bandages for leprosy patients in Africa & Vietnam. Drop by her blog & check out some of the links; it is so sad how dreadfully these people are mistreated & abandoned by all but the kindest of hearts. Please consider breaking out your rusty needles to knit a strip of comfort.

Junie Moon Bandage Brigade

Then, I dropped by Guinevere's this afternoon & she is joining in "Pay it Forward"- here's what she wrote:

"Ok.  Here's how it works:

The first three to leave me a comment wanting to be a part of this 'Pay It Forward' project will receive a small gift from me in the mail...maybe even in time for Christmas!

The only catch is you have to Pay It Forward, meaning you post this same information on your own blog and do what I'm doing.

Thanks, Becca, for letting me in on a very cool idea!

So, Pay It Forward!"

So, if you would like to receive a little something from the Garden & are willing to return the favor to your visitors, be one of the first three to say "Me, please!" & I'll hope right on it...after Christmas Wink 


 Addendum 11:18 pm-

Good Grief! There are days I would like to hang up my apron & turn in my "Mother" badge. I just got off the phone with Robb, my oldest child, who gave me "Skydiving News" [what we call it when he does something he knows I think is dangerous &/or insane, & tells me about it afterwards- like skydiving- which he has done :-S ] He broke his left clavicle Sunday night & figured he'd better tell me before someone else did. He had just finished a test run at the track [have I mentioned that he drag races motorcycles? No? Well, he drag races motorcycles- yes, you are actually seeing my hair turn white as I type] & was pulling into the pits when he has clipped by a truck pulling in off an access road. The good news is that he was at the track, so he was in full protective gear & there were paramedics on site; thanks to the gear, he only suffered a sprained ankle & the broken collarbone.

Physically he is fine, though frustrated with having to moderate his activities & accept help for the time being; he is just worried about whether he'll be able to work while he heals. The doctor has approved light duty, so Robb is going in tomorrow to see if they will be able to accomodate him; if not, he have to go on disability for a few weeks (4 to 6) & make up the difference with his savings. Normally, that would be fine, but he has just registered for classes at UCF & needs to pay his tuition & books in the next couple of weeks. If he can't keep working, he'll have to wait another semester or two to go back- something he rather not put off again.

Please hold him up in prayer, that not only that he would heal quickly & suffer less pain (he was very uncomfortable tonight), but that he would find favor with his employer & would be able to continue working.  

Saturday, December 15, 2007



 painting of woman in green


The reports are filed, the transactions are completed, the shopping is done, the final song is sung- I’m now on vacation & none too soon, in my opinion. A week of sleeping in, puttering around the house, time spent reading or knitting, & maybe a couple of gentle adventures are just what the doctor ordered. I will be dropping by to visit all my sadly neglected friends & promise to get back to my regular posting.

 Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rescue me...

Math question for you.


What do you get when you add:


one office relocation


one semi-functional phone system


an early close deadline


six new daily/weekly duties added to current list of forty-seven


any assistance from anyone


the semi-annual CPA audit


three petulant toddlers masquerading as dept managers


a resident husband to listen to my yelping & administer backrubs


nightly rehearsals for the Christmas Concert to be held Friday & Saturday

all divided by

two days until my vacation starts?


The Answer:


A.   Meg crying in the toilet stall

B.    Weird dreams about filing cabinets, handcuffs, adding machines, & paper cuts

C.   Objects being flung across the room when asked “How was your day?”

D.   Perpetual gas, repeated muttering punctuated with growls, & general snarkiness

E. All of the above

Cat Haiku
(author unkonwn)
Cats can't steal the breath

Of children. But if my tail's

Pulled again, I'll learn.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Big Family Party

Okay~ I figure if I take one thing at a time, I may be able to bring you all up to speed on the roller coaster ride that is my life Smile

This has been a big year for the B family. As I mentioned in January, my mother & step-dad marked the 40th anniversary of their marriage; it was a non-event, not even a dinner out. Within the next 10 weeks, they each reached their 70th birthdays; another a non-event for the masters of denial (Mother will still only admit to being "near 50"- & she has three adult grandchildren Eye-rolling) Of course, you remember that in July, their oldest child, my brother D, married his lovely bride W, in Whistler, British Colombia attended by immediate family & a few friends. And then in September, their youngest child, my "baby" brother B, passed his 30th birthday & entered adulthood (at least by this family's standards) by moving out on his own.

My sister, H, has been here from Kauai since September, working "the harvests" up north to earn money to live on for the next couple of years. She was heading back December 1st, so our parents decided it was time to celebrate the "Big Year" & threw a big party. It was an Open House, that lasted more then 8 hours; people I haven't seen in years wandered through, sharing stories, pictures, & lots of wine.

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Celebration Cake- Lemon, Carrot Cake, Chocolate, & Raspberry

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Mother & M congratulate each other for no felony convictions

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Setting out the spread (Salmon, Veggie & Humus, Antipasta, Bruchetta, Pasta Salad)

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Sushi Selections

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Sister H, Mother, Aunt E, & honorary auntie G

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Yes, it is really me

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My Guys, making plans

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It's pretty late at this point- we're all looking stunned

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The B Family Kids: L to R- David, Wendy, Ben, Holly, Angie (Ben's GF) & Big Sis meg

And finally, the view caught on the way home

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