Friday, December 28, 2007

What I Got For Christmas

In my family we've given up giving big gifts. This year we reduced it even further, to only stocking stuffers. Still, I got some very nice things.

My brother and Carla gave me a tea kettle with apples painted on it. I think that was probably a little bit more than a stocking stuffer, but maybe they were figuring that if each of them had given a $6.00 item it would have made up to that. Anyway, I really like it, since apples are the motif in my kitchen. They also gave me a bottle of their home made wine.

My brother Ross gave me a set of very nice salad spoons from Ikea.

My brother Robb gave me a really good quality can opener. He was over for Thanksgiving and had had to use my crappy can opener. Next time he can use this good one! He also added a few nifty $1.00 sewing toys.

My mom gave me an insulated lunch bag. And a box of flavored herbal tea. And a pair of socks. And $30.00 to buy something I wanted.

I took that money and bought a cute Christmas tea pot (on sale 75% off) and everything I needed to make myself a rag rug for my livingroom.

That's a list of things I got. Material things. The real gifts were the hours I spent with Ross wandering around downtown Fargo looking at the cute shops that have started down there. It's the relief that all the family members got along for 6 hours. It's being sad that Gina, Bill and Abbey, and our nephew Joshua couldn't come because of bad roads in the Cities, but happiness that they were able to get back home safely after nearly going in the ditch several times. It's watching the old home movies from thje 50s and 60s and hearing my mom say "Oh, that's your Cousin Sophie" and "Do you remember your dad's Uncle Joe?" Stange, look how young and attractive my parents were before they had 6 kids. It's the look of interest and appreciation on Carla's face when the kitchen cordial book was unwrapped. Why is it that the least expensive gift is always the favorite? I had debated whether or not to give that little book, since I had picked it up for 99 cents in Canada. Same thing happened a couple years ago when I gave Ross a 25 cent cup with a goat on it. It just goes to show that it's not how much money was spent that makes a gift special. It's how well it matches the recipient.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Dance!

This morning I got an email from SallieMae, the folks who have my school loans, that my last payment would be Jan of 08. Wow, isn't that great? My monthly payments weren't all that high, but even $85.00 a month makes a big difference when the budget is squeaking. Now I can afford a two bedroom apartment. And put a little away each month for a down payment on a new (used) car. My current vehicle, Harvey the Miracle, has 149,880 miles on him. Thanks to the guys at the Car Care Clinic at church Harvey is still going strong. I'd like Harvey to make it for another two years. Then I will have another loan paid off and I'll be able to afford car payments.

Another good piece of news is that I was given an additional $100 bonus at work for the overtime I've put in during the year. So I'm splurging and buying myself a yarn swift and a warping board. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A-Ha! Success!!

I've been working along on my brother's socks, becoming more and more fretful as I drew nearer the end of the yarn. I've searched for the exact yarn online, with no luck, for about a week. I checked eBay on Saturday, and Sunday, but no. I looked at Little Knits, Webs, Royal Yarns, and a ton more online yarn shops, but even if they carried the JaWoll, they didn't carry the JaWoll sport weight, and if they did have the sport weight they didn't have my color, #50. I was frantically wondering if I could use a matching red or blue and have a very long contrasting toe. But today I finally found a perfect match. On eBay. Even the dye lot is the same! I should have it in 10 days or so.

That's the kind of day I've been having. Usually when I use those words there's a heavy depressed sigh at the end. But this kind of day is a GOOD day. Two claims in my desk at work finalized today. After 5 months of figuring and trying to fool the computer system into wanting to let them pay correctly they finally worked. There are going to be some happy Medicare Beneficiaries in a few days when their checks arrive in time for Christmas. And then around 1pm I was able to smell that someone had burned popcorn in the lunch room! And then I was able to complete a task that I've been trying to get to for about 9 weeks! And, then while I was daydreaming on my break it came to me how to write a certain scene in the story I've been playing with.

See? It was that kind of day! Thank you Lord, and could I please have some more like this?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Knit News

Well, my sense of smell is slowly coming back. Sometimes I can smell a little something, faintly, and sometimes I smell nothing. Hopefully in a few days it will be here and strong. I know it's just a temporary reprieve but I'll enjoy it while I can.

I've been busy knitting the past week. I've finished Ceri's shawl. I used Lion Brand Homespun, in a dark rich purple, which is one of Ceri's favorite colors. It's a really easy pattern, just half a dishrag, so it was super easy to make. I really like it. After the holidays I might just make one for myself.
I also got started on a pair of socks for my brother Ross. He chose the yarn himself, a sport weight JaWoll in black with random stripes of red, blue and yellow. I only bought two skeins, which for me would have been plenty for a pair of socks. So I need to hunt up another skein. If I can't match it I might have contrasting toes (actually, half a foot) I bought this yarn in the Cities, and I called the store to see if they had another skein. They don't. So I'll check the Ravelry folks to see if anyone has one to sell or trade, and then I'll try ebay.
The kitties are getting along great. Magic and Masuka have really hit it off.
They are best buds. Poor Merry is getting left out sometimes. But aren't the two of them cute together. And sometimes all three curl up together. I'm a lucky woman.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I Can Smell!

Sure, it's not really there yet. I only got a brief whiff of my hand lotion. But I got a kenalog shot on Thursday, and the other 2 times I got kenalog it took about 2 weeks for it to really kick in, so I figure I'm good. And I hope to be able to smell (and feel pretty good) until the end of january. So 3 cheers for kenalog.