Climb Every Mountain, Swim Every … Swimmable Thing

31 12 2006

Ok. Perhaps some of you remember my spectacular failure (see the mutant red slipper below, it’s the red blob with the purple ring) with felting my mother’s pair of Fuzzy Feet for Christmas. Then I rejoiced with my success. I then finally was able to knit something for myself. All for me, the first thing I knit for myself. Well, that’s what I get for being so selfish. They were a bit too big, so with the helpful advice of some fantastic knittys, I re-felted them. And now my beloved slippers might fit one of my guinea pigs, if she left half her foot hanging out. Uh-huh.  Here they are, pre-ultramegashrinking.  I don’t have to heart to take a piggie footwear picture.


Luckily, I am test-knitting a pattern (Me! Can you believe it? Ok, it has nothing to do with talent or ability, it has everything to do with stalking a particular blog I love so much, stalking the right place at the right time) for SLIPPERS! It’s destiny, fate, kismet, karma, luck, I don’t know. Anyway, back to work.




Oh, and the beans you see around the Yorkshire Pudding below and the general filth, that’s what happens at Chez OLPP when I cook. Havoc.

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

28 12 2006

I’m not sure this is what Pom had in mind when the peel-off label on the glass suggested re-use. But what the heck!

This is my favorite drink lately, which means I’ve had precisely three in a five-week period. Here’s the recipe:

Take an empty Pom Green Tea and Pomegranate tea glass.

Place three medium ice cubes into the Pom glass.

Pour in enough Ketel One vodka so that it almost reaches the top of the third ice cube. Hint: if you toss the cubes in haphazardly, they will stack taller than if you place them in gently. In fact, this entire beverage should be assembled with a devil-may-care attitude.

Next, add enough tonic (I can’t name-drop here, we bought the generic and dang it if the bottle doesn’t explode every SINGLE time. I’m the only one that remembers this, you know) to cover the ice and vodka, but leave about two and a half inches at the top of the glass.

Place a pre-sliced lime wedge along the rim of the Pom glass.

Following the tonic, add a splash of Ocean Spray Cranberry juice. When I say splash, I mean enough to top off the glass.

Now remove the lime, squeeze it in a viscious, kung-fu fingertip grip and then drop it into the Pom glass.

Stir tenderly, with a wistful longing in your heart.

Marvel at the pretty colors!


Next time you serve this at a party, or make one for yourself at home or in a seedy motel room, raise your Pom glass and say “Here’s to OLPP!”

In other news, there really isn’t any.


Chloe Noelle, Her Mama Does Say…

23 12 2006

….is the sweetest girl ever born Christmas Eve day!

Her eyes, so bright!  Her smile, so wide!

It is no wonder she’s my joy and pride!

Chloe Noelle, Chloe Noelle,

She is my girl I love so well!

 Chloe and 1 month

That’s the Chloe Noelle song, sung to the tune of The First Noel.  Like you needed to be told!  December 24, 2006, is her 10th birthday.  I hardly know what to say, beyond happy birthday!  Chloe is my girl.  I remember the precise moment I found out I was pregnant with her.  I was sitting in my little bathroom in Rota, Spain, watching the pink plus sign take form.  I remember holding onto her inside, my little secret, my little bud.  Because of her and the morning sickness she brought along, I had cause to embarrass myself atop Le Tour Eiffel.  She and I, we shared a heartbeat.  Every movement I made revolved around her.  I had her all to myself for nine months, all mine.


When she was born I could not wait to get my hands on her, my lips to her forehead, my eyes on her eyes.  I needed it so badly, and not because she was a humongous baby!  Nine pounds, people.  Nine pounds. 


She’s no longer all mine.  She’s been very much her own person since she learned how to read, and of course there are other people in her life.  But alas.  I knew her first, and we shared a heartbeat.


Here are some of my favorite things about Chloe: she’s very daring.  Chloe is amazingly creative and expresses it in wild and surprising ways.  She’s very sensitive, which means trouble if you cross her on a bad day, and also if you need a hug she’s the first one by your side.  Chloe has a beautiful spirit and a mind intelligent beyond my understanding.  She’s an angel.  She’s a feisty demon.  She’s my girl and my heart.  Chloe is the first person I have ever truly loved.


When she was a baby it was just the two of us.  Her father was gone all the time, and we rather liked having our own little world.  Her Spanish family, the people who took care of her when my maternity leave was up and I had to return to work, made such an impression on her developing personality, I’d be selfish not to mention them.  Carmen, Rosa, Jacinto, Manuel, Pepa, Manolo, I wish you could see her now.  In her first two years she was as much yours as she was mine, and we loved you fiercely.  Someday we’ll go back, visit the city where she and her brother were born, and we’ll see you again.  I know you’ll know her on sight.


Happy Birthday, my sweet Chloe, my Sugar Peeps.  My girl.  My heart!  I love you.  I’m so glad you chose me to be your Mama!

(ok, she got a haircut yesterday with her father, so as soon as she’s home I’ll post it.  It’s gorgeous, I’m sure!)



Hold Me Now, It’s Hard for Me to Say I’m Sorry

21 12 2006

Seriously, Donald Trump, lighten up.  Quit being such a spazz, you big baby.  And don’t bother threatening to sue me, I’ve got nothin’ but yarn.  Then again, you might could get yourself a new weave!


So this has been on my mind a while.  Gay marriage.  No, not because I’m gay, and as far as I know I don’t have plans to get married.  But… come on!  Remember back in the day of segregation when there were separate drinking fountains?  Separate seats on a bus?  Separate sections of restaurants and other public places?  How is the issue of marriage any different?  Why are people denied the right to the social and personal benefits of marriage based solely on the person they chose to love?  I’ve heard and read the argument that gays will ruin the institution of marriage.  Oh yeah?  I’m sorry, but marriage isn’t doing so well in the hands of us straight people.  Take me, for example.  I was half of an absolute marital travesty.  So if ANYone should be denied the right to be married, it should be people who’ve already mucked it up.  But that’s equally ridiculous, and I don’t intend for anyone to take that seriously.  Look, people, love is love, and there is no one who has the right to dictate and regulate who we love.  You know what I find absolutely simple-minded and implicitly mean?  The sniveling little people who say “What’s next?  We’ll then be allowed to marry a DOG?”  Shut up.  If you can’t speak sense, don’t speak.   In any case, at least Arizona got SOMETHING right this November, so hopefully what that means is that one day anti-gay-marriage will be a closed chapter, and laws banning gay marriage will go the way of the segregationist drinking fountains.  Seriously, people.  Get a grip.


‘K.  I’m going knit now, I’m working on a sock for JungleJim out of my new Sensational Knitted Socks book!


Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

19 12 2006

By which I mean, who was I fooling?  Leaving knitting!  As if!

So check this out.  From left to right:

Fuzzy Foot Failure, Fuzzy Foot Success, Fuzzy Foot needing to be felted.


Truthfully, I guess I’m gad the first attempt was an utter failure.  See how much nicer the colors are in Try #2?  Much prettier.  That’s Patons SWS.  I only had one knot in one skein, which is nice.  But I tell you, this stuff is strange to knit.  At some places it felt barely spun, as though they had laid the fibers together and let that be it.  It did pull apart at one point and heck yes was it fuzzy!  But it felt nice and it knit up so quickly.  And it felted nicely, too!  Here, I’m modeling them. 


Now, a peculiarity I’ve noticed is that when normally thin people photograph themselves modeling their socks, their calves/ankles/feet tend to look … humongous.  Maybe it’s me.  However, if this photo makes me look like I have chubby ankles it might be because I have chubby ankles. 

And speaking of socks!

Ok, my upstream Secret Pal should be admonished for blowing the budget.  However, I shan’t complain!  Check this out! I LOVE these books already, and have plans to knit up seven of each item.  I live in a desert, so sweaters and things like that might be fun to knit, but I’d spend eight months knitting an item I’d get to wear once, so these books totally thrill me!  And Peace Fleece!  I had to Google it, because I had to know the story.  Yes, my SP has a warm, generous heart and socially responsible yarn habits.  SO cool!  I really really like this yarn.  Guess what I’ll make!  Thank you so much, SP! 


And por fin, I leave you with this magnificent shot of my sweet Noleander. 

This Is Our Last Goodbye

13 12 2006

Dear K____,

This letter is to inform you of our decision to end our relationship with you. This is strictly a business matter, as we’ve always found you to be cooperative, sincere, and enjoyable company. However, we feel that our interests would be best served by the hands and needles of another. We would be happy to provide a letter of reference for you should you decide to take up, say, stained glass window-making or perhaps chocolate pudding finger-painting.

While we regret that our affiliation with you has come to an end, we sincerely wish you the best in your future endeavors.



Fuzzy Feet for my Mom, whose foot is bigger than that well-worn shoe of mine.


Half Dome for my brother, who head is indeed larger than my son’s, but not this gigantic. Nolan and Chloe wore this hat at the same time.

In Which We Find Ourselves in a Pickle

11 12 2006

I really wanted one of these, so we got one.  Naturally I turned to Google to get the scoop, becuase what do pickles have ot do with Christmas?  Turns out that the Christmas Pickle really doesn’t have any roots in any culture, it’s all a myth.  I can handle that.  It’s still cool to have a pickle on the tree in the midst of so many kid-made ornaments, the best kind!  Seriously.  A pickle.  Ok, and why is everything else in focus BUT the pickle? 


Here’s an update on the Half Dome for my brother, the No Animal Ingredients Vegan Man.  I’m knitting it in the round, thanks to instructions from this very kind knitter.  I like it.  It’s rather big, but my younger sister, who lives in the same town, assures me that our brother does indeed have a somewhat large head.  It’s been almost two years since I’ve seen him, and strangely enough these are details on tends to forget.  Sibling head circumference, don’t’cha know.



This weekend was just marvelous, and here begins my test which I’ve chosen to call “Does JungleJim Read My Blog?”  My goal is to write something he cannot let alone, something he’ll have to bring up later on.  Here goes.


 Friday night we went to his swanky office Christmas party.  His company, by the way, is #12 in the Best Places to Work.  Nice!  It was much fun, until JungleJim became drunk and began acting in a way I recognized immediately as Drunken Nice Girl.  Very touchy-feely, very affectionate, very overly sweet and I wanted to slug him.  But I didn’t.  I was very very crabby, however, the next morning as I continued my cleaning freak-out, since his parents were coming to town for the first time EVER.  I cooled down, though, because look, he loves me, I love him, there was nothing really inappropriate, I just overreact sometimes.  After about four minutes of being Her Royal Bitchness to him, I went back to cleaning and preparing the place for The Visit.

So.  JungleJim’s parents.  If I didn’t want to marry him before (and I certainly did, and have for quite some time!) I certainly want to marry him now so that my kids and I can be part of such a funny, sweet, affectionate family.  His Mom, heavens.  I know how happy B was to see JungleJim, since it had been two years.  She was hugging him and rubbing his arms, it was so sweet.  That’s exactly how I am with my kids, especially Nolan since he’s the cuddle bug, after they’re at their father’s house for the weekend.  Can’t keep my hands off my kids, and it was so sweet to see her joy at being with her son.  And no, this didn’t alarm me and make me think CLINGY MOTHER!  RUN!  It was a tender Mama and Son moment, the kind that warms everyone who is there to see it.  When JungleJim was four his mother married his step-dad, J.  He told the sweetest story that nearly made me cry.  I did have watery eyes, yes.  His dad told us the story about putting JungleJim on the bus for the first day of school, and how it broke his heart when JungleJim got on the bus to leave for Air Force boot camp.  J said after JungleJim’s Air Force bus left they all went home and cried.  Aw!  J tells great stories, just like my Dad.  J and B were so easy to be around, so sincerely fun and enjoyable!  When we met for breakfast before they hit to road to points further west, B handed me a fistful of dollars and asked me to pick up some Christmas presents for my minions from them.  I wanted to cry again, but didn’t.  How sweet!  So yes, JungleJim, I want to marry you for so many reasons, and your parents are now a special part of that.  There.  Just in case you didn’t know how I feel.  Wink wink.

Ok, from Christmas Pickle to begging to get married, this was quite a post!  I’m nearly done with Christmas Knititng, which is a miracle in itself. 

I hope you’re well, loyal reader!

O Christmas Meme, O Christmas Meme!

7 12 2006

Christmas Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends

Welcome to the 2006 Christmas Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Depends on the occasion!  Both.  But not simultaneously.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa does not wrap!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  We have white lights for the tree.  This is our last Christmas in an apartment, so next year we’ll have lights on the house.  And they might be all white….

4. Do you hang mistletoe?  Nope.  I get my kisses for free!
5. When do you put your decorations up?   
The Frightening Four of us went out last night and picked out a tree.  It’s perfect!  We put it up in the stand last night and will decorate it tonight.  Oh, and two days ago I hung a wooden Santa up on our door.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I’m not sure. I make a killer turkey stuffing, but we also had that at Thanksgiving.  I need to get the recipe from my Dad for my grandmother Myra’s nutmeg cookies.
7. Favorite
Holiday memory as a child: I would say the Christmas I got a flute, but I also had the stomach flu.  I guess my favorite memory is driving to Riverdale to open early presents at Banna’s and Boppa’s house.  (They were my Dad’s parents, blame my older sister for the whacked-out names!)
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Truthfully, I think I was about eight and the idea just seemed wildly improbable to me.  Bummer!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No, never.  And Chloe’s birthday is Christmas Eve, so we’re careful not to let Christmas overshadow her birthday.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? White lights and ornaments.  Maybe we’l string cranberries and popcorn this year.  I don’t know.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? It’s nice to see it on the news or movies.  We live in the desert, so there’s no snow.  And that’s fine by me!  I grew up in the Midwest so I’ve had enough snow.
12. Can you ice skate?
Gracious saints, no!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Yes, Chloe Noelle, and she is the only present I’ve had on Christmas Eve.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Being with my kids.  (Joint custody sucks hairy ass during the holidays.)

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I don’t know.  I might have to start some family dessert traditions….
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Opening presents!  I miss going to midnight mass.  I think I might miss being a Catholic, but it’s one of those things to which there’s no going back.
17. What tops your tree?  
A star!
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
Both.  I can’t lie and pretend to be all selfless and stuff.  I appreciate gifts, and I like giving gifts.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
It’s a tie between O Holy Night and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer!
20. Candy Canes… Yuck or Yum?
Well.  Yum.  Not the fruity ones, though.  Impostors! 

This is NOT my calling!

5 12 2006

I tried to be all artsy fartsy, get a nature shot of the Half Dome I’m knitting for my brother for Christmas. He’s my giftee for this year’s Sibling Christmas Swap-o-Rama. Oddly enough I had him last year, too, and I made him a very cool blanket, fuzzy argyle on one side and pimpalicious satiny fabric on the other. He’s a vegan, so no wool or silk or angora or anything like that. Kid gets the GGH cotton/linen blend and by Gum he will love it!

You know, I somewhat stink at this knitting thing and it is precisely for this reason that I dare not attempt any sort of big garment. A sweater, por ejemplo. The hat is puckery in some places, and down near the color change I realized that I hadn’t switched on of the size 3 needles to the size 5 called for in the hat’s recipe. Crappit. However, mark my words! I’ve already got plans for the traditional Christmas Ticket from my grandparent: I’ll be knitting a Clapotis in the indescribably gorgeous and luscious Lorna’s Laces Lion and Lamb. Oh yes. I will. I might even buy myself some fancy shmancy needles with which to knit her. And again, pardon the fuzzy photo. One of these days I’ll figure out that macro setting!

That’s all! I’m off to Gigi’s house for a day of Christmas preparation. Tomorrow we’ll get our own tree, and Thursday it shall be decorated. Pictures to follow!

PS- I love you, Knittyheads. I do. I love you.