Monday, December 31, 2007

Just had to share...


Here's Matt, taking a nap. He likes to cover his eyes to block the light, but this time I think he went a bit far.

Boxcar Cattle





Everyone knows that the real recipients of the giving season are the felines. They get all the boxes. Here's Fatboy in all his cardboard-loving glory.

I heart Macs! And Xmas Pics






I took my laptop in the Apple store to deal with the failing USB ports. They sent it out and back in 2 days, and replaced the logic board. $1100 repair... free under warranty. Plus they upgraded my CPU. :) They even replaced my power cord since it had melted. It's true... once you go Mac, you'll never go back.

Without further ado, here are the belated holiday pics. Matt, Debbie, Girlie & son. NYC: A fabulous Mac counter salesboy. Windows near Penn Station. Blackberry & Peachy enjoying a nap by the radiator.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

How could I forget...

... the most exciting thing that happened this Christmas? Girlie, valiantly fighting the nicotine wars (and winning!!), needed something to do with her hands. She has joined the ranks of the fiberlicious.

I'm so proud!
*sniff*

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Top Ten List for Cooking Christmas Dinner at the Rose Family Estate

By Girlie, who served as Master Chef Extraordinaire:

10. Unless you are MacGyver, perform an inventory before agreeing to cook a meal in an unfamiliar kitchen. A full soda bottle makes an excellent rolling pin, thanks for asking.

9. When the chicken boullion goes missing blame the most distant traveler. And then demand to search their suitcases.

8. Never assume that your cooking partner has enough common sense not grab something hot with his bare hands. Speak up or be ready with the burn cream.

7. If the above mentioned event comes to pass, don't be too harsh on your cooking partner. He'll be there for you when you end up burning yourself three times to his one.

6. When the non-cooks offer to help clean up, let them. We're commemorating the birth of the messiah, not the death of a martyr.

5. Despite long discussions about its pros and cons, canned or fresh, smooth or textured....you'll forget the cranberry sauce anyway.

4. The easiest way to boggle the minds of non-cook friends is to prove to them that real cinnamon buns do not come from a cylindrical container that pops when opened. Real gravy doesn't come from a jar, either.

3. When choosing a wine to drink while cooking, it's perfectly acceptable to choose one with bunnies on the label that with a coupon only cost you $6.99. Yes, it is. YES. IT. IS.

2. Never assume that your cooking partner won't pick the exact moment the turkey is done to have a bath, leaving you with the frenetic task of pulling the loose ends together. Just deal with it and blame him for the missing cranberry sauce, instead.

1. When mealtime is at last upon you, sit back and watch everyone else enjoy. Smile and nod at the praise, blush if you have to. (Then excuse yourself to hide the boullion in the distant travelers suitcase. No one needs to know you stuffed it in the junk drawer by mistake.)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Hunting

Girlie's son (aka Wart, Brain Trust, Boy the Younger) is determined to catch Blackberry this morning. He's given up on flat out chasing, finally. He tried building the presents into a barricade around the tree, hoping to trap her in a dead end. He underestimated her agility and general wiggle-ability. He keeps rebuilding, and she keeps breeching.

Now he's got the wrapped boxes set up in a wall across the living room. I reminded him she can leap about chest-high, but he's convinced she'll be panicked and "forget" she can jump. It'll never happen, but they're both getting some great exercise. I love her insolent binkies every time she escapes.

The Jewess with a fake fir tree in the living room

It occurs to me that my blog is looking a bit odd for someone who considers herself one of the Chosen People. I'm ethnically Jewish, though, not religiously. To me it's a "Roots" thing - memories of Seder dinner at Aunt Joan's, etc. Somewhere along the way I've become thoroughly assimilated into the secular aspects of the holiday season. I sing along to carols on the radio and stick red bows on the cars and generally wander around grinning. Seeing the windows in NYC last night was amazing. Macy's on 34th St still has their old wooden escalators! The big halls had kind of a Harrod's* feel to them... am I the only person in the country who loves the crazy crush of shoppers at Christmas?

Anyway, it's an interesting phenomenon. I got all excited when seeing a mobile Menorah on the highway, but I don't have one in the house. Don't worry, I'm not going to launch into a psychosocial essay on minorities and culture - it's not that kind of blog - but I will make an effort next year to resurrect (sorry, couldn't resist) some Hebrew traditions.

Pics to follow when I resolve some USB issues.

Happy Holidays!

* Matt and I honeymooned in Edinburgh & London in my pre-blogging days. It was the best two weeks of my life. Ask me about it sometime if you have far too much time on your hands.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas is a-coming!



The knitting is done (except for the stuff I gave up on), village and tree are up. My neighbor Carol brought over a red-wrapped tray of yummies. Tonight - Debbie flies in. Tomorrow - NYC! We're going to take in the windows and general urban festivities. It's my first visit (aside from Spin-Out) since I was a kid. I can't wait! Check out the awesome Playmobil Advent calendar Matt got me. It's got toys in it!

Blackberry just decided she can't wait any longer and opened one of my prezzies. I made her promise not to tell me what it is, and Girlie taped it back up.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Finders Peepers!

Somebody left a pair of reading glasses here. Are they yours?

My "Beautiful?" Landy

I love my little truck, but the words that spring to mind are cute, adorable, tough, unique...

Imagine my surprise when a guy chased me down in a parking lot yesterday to rave over and over about how "beautiful" Shaun is. Hmm. Battered, multicolored, spouting clouds of white smoke, he's more Alfalfa than Sophia Loren. But hey, who am I to argue?

Sorry about not posting recently, but aside from all the Xmas knitting there's not much going on. And you either can't or don't want to hear about that.

Patience, grasshopper!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Pay It Forward... again!

I blogged about this once before, but some of the people who signed up didn't leave me contact info. So we'll try it again (thanks, Vorare!)...

Heather & Jenny in Chicago, you are good to go from the last round. I'll take the next three who agree to receive a hand-made surprise sometime within the next year (if I don't know you well, please share your blog / some other way for me to know what you'd like) and Pay It Forward to three more people. If you're not a knitter, make something else! Get creative. Have fun. Share the love!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Garage Day




A HUGE thank you to Tom, Bill, and Jeff. After a thorough inspection, I now have a slightly scary to-do list and a cleaner radiator. It turns out he's a Frankentruck: His cloth-wrapped wiring dates from the early 60's, and his front plate is more like '71. Series II, IIa, and III parts are scattered throughout. That's neither surprising nor bad news, necessarily. His frame is solid and the SPOT fixes (Stupid Previous Owner Trick) are relatively small. Overall, I'm very happy. Pictured: Bill using a Land Rover-type tool, and the guys on surgery consult.

For my knitsibs: Sorry about the lack of fiber content, but I'm working on all of my Christmas prezzies. I can't let the sheep out the bag, so to speak. To appease your need for fluff, here's Figgy, Fatboy, and Blackberry taking a nap at one end of the couch. Eventually the two cats wound up chasing dream mice head-to-head. I was on the other end, knitting on *someone's* surprise. Is it yours?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Fred *is* the man

Fred not only sent me DVDs of the Shaun show mentioned below, but he updated modified a pic to show me driving and Matt trying to escape, er, looking out the back. I love his Simpson hands. Oh, and here's another cellphone pic at the dock with Denise. Check out his pretty silver trim!

The Arrival

We've imported 5 cars now. The first four (Wendolene, Feathers McGraw, Lady Tottington, and Preston) came through the port of Tacoma. It was about a 3 hour process all told to collect, although I once did it in under two hours.

The port of Baltimore, however, had its entry system designed by Rube Goldberg while he was on crack. Trusty roadtrip buddy Denise and I left her place at 9am. We got back to it at 7pm. I won't bore you with the details, but they involved massive semi truck traffic jams, "turn around" passes, and cards that must be stamped before you can leave... but of course they don't tell you that, so you have to dive back deep into the heart of darkness to *get* that stamp.

Anyway, the truck looks great, appropriately battered and utterly adorable, but I had a bad scare when I stopped at a Denise's house on the way back. I was horrified to see an oily water river streaming across the driveway. I was thinking blown gasket, (or worse) and cursing that eBay seller. Then I realized the spare battery he'd put in the left front floor space had tipped over, and was leaking. It went through the drain holes and washed off the undercarriage. Shaun was fine! *whew* Smokes a bit, but don't they all?

High on the priority list:
Seat that's actually fixed to the truck, heater (brrr!), fuel gauge, temp gauge, interior lights.

Tomorrow is Series Garage Day for the Rover Club, so I hope to actually learn something about my new baby.

USB on my computer is down, and Matt's is at work with him, so you'll have to survive with stock footage (thanks, Fred!) video and a phone-video of his oh-so-basic dash, complete with engine sounds.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Woo Hoo! Xmas!

I don't know why I'm so excited this year. Maybe because I expect to actually see some snow this year in PA, or because I'll have the right vehicle to go play in it. Maybe it's the little village Matt & I bought at a January clearance sale and get to use for the first time. Maybe it's the promise of having Debbie and Girlie and son here... I'll be missing Maddie & Gillie and our parents and Matt's sibs, but it's still shaping up to be a heck of a little party. Knitting furiously along on my presents... and I bought Snow Dwarf boots today. Shaun is here next week... bring on the white stuff!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Robesonia 2007




Matt, Girlie, and I made some new friends at a R.O.V.E.R.S event today. Unlike most car shows, where you park your baby and talk about how pretty she is, at Robesonia your pride and joy gets a real workout. There were a series of tracks marked with gates to steer through. They led up slippery grades, down rocky chasms, and across precarious angles. The old battle-scarred trucks fared much better than their modern luxury counterparts (no surprise there). Drivers were aided by helpful guiding shouts. "Left! Left! Straighten it out! Gas! Gas! GAS!!!"

Overheard: "I'll bust the other side on the next run, so it's even." and "Did I hurt the tree?"

My favorite bumper sticker: "Barbie called. She wants her Jeep back!"

Shaun arrives on the 26th!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

1970 Land Rover instructional video

Here are two videos of one of Shaun's littermates tearing up the English countryside. Note that it's not a pickup - it's a regular 88" with the hardtop removed. Love love love the "stiff upper lip" pep talk at the end of the second video about maintaining Rover's rep. Thanks, Fred!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Doesn't it feel good...


... to clothe someone you care about? I went to OCOM with Kate, and she's one of the people I still really miss from Portland. Here's daughter Isabel Rose in all cuteness with her blankie - my first lacey project! She's SO adorable!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

OMG!!! I'm psychic!



I had only seen Shaun in that one short, but it turns out he's got a whole kids show. Unfortunately the DVDs are only available in Region 2 format, so I can't get one, but I did see on the website that they actually use a Rover on the farm. And it's the same one! Down to the color! I am totally wigging out here. They even made a replica "real one" to do tours around English zoos. This is really weird because the pickups are pretty rare. And we primarily called it Shaun because it was the only good W&G name left!

Shaun joins the family


I'm still sad about losing Wendo, but I know she'll be in good hands. Brenda has already started a scrapbook! :)

And the sting was considerably lessened today by the acquisition of a little 1970 Land Rover pick up. He's got that surefooted 4WD, of course, so Matt can use him to get to the hospital when the weather turns. And he used about a third of the proceeds from Wendo's adoption, so we can still deal with our bills.

His name is Shaun, after the sheep in Wallace & Gromit's "A Close Shave."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloweeeeeeen!






None of these guys belong to me - they were culled from Cute Overload and other sources. I promise this is the last of me posting internet pics. Still, I couldn't resist.

Be sure to check out the latest happenings at PRTZL, the Philly Resist The Zombies League, updated by Girlie, the Journalist.

By the way, this morning a black cat crossed my path! S/he sprinted out in front of Gromit (our Jetta) and I had to nail the brakes to avoid a gruesome Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Meat-eating bunny

You guys know that my Blackberry is far from a shrinking violet - she bosses everyone around and is Alpha through and through. She even eats cat food.

Yesterday we ran out of kibble. Being plagued with horrendous microbes, I didn't feel like going out. So I gave them (3 cats and the bun) a can of tuna.

Hoe. Lee. COW!!

That evil rabbit, having had a taste of meat, is now chasing the cats all over the house! We are talking about a 4lb ball of fluff attacking a Maine Coon, a Bengal, and a fat black beastie.

I know you're gonna ask: Blackberry has NO digestive problems with the cat food. Nor has tuna bothered her in the past. Greens give her instant poopy-butt, as do the higher-carb hays. Currently all she eats is unlimited oat grasses and, yes cat food. She gets tons of exercise, her weight is good, she is shiny and happy does binkies and flops.

My life is so weird.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Glamour

We just saw Matt on TV!

The National Geographic channel is running a trio tonight on dwarfism, giantism, and conjoined twins. When we visited Philly last January for Matt's interviews, we went to the Mutter. Lori and Reba happened to be there - in fact the cameraman backed up at one point and bonked me pretty hard. :) It was especially amusing given we were the only people there (It was 2 minutes past opening).

Anyway, you can see Matt peering into the glass cases in the background.

How cool is that? Being a total geek is indeed its own reward.

Just wait til Lovely Bones is out...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Goodbye to Wendolene

A very sweet couple, Tom and Brenda, have adopted her.

I know I should be happy. I've been trying to sell her for a while and we really need the money. So how come I'm crying? It feels like I've been punched in the gut.

"If you're cold, put on a sweater..."








Pics found on Cute Overload and other places.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fall Felted Bag Exchange sent....




My downstream pal Cindy has received my package, so I can reveal its contents now. Are you excited? I sure am!

There were lots of little prezzies - chocolate & yarn & knitting-oriented goodies - but the main event was the purse. Cindy also understands the joy of a sweet ride. She loves her convertible Z, so my first thought was to needlefelt a scene on the side of the bag: A side shot of her roadster going past a colorful tree, her hair and leaves flying around wildly. But she prefers a more understated approach, so I left the loudness hidden inside. Matt helped tremendously with the lining and wire support structure.

I'm probably a little too proud of this bag. :) It was hard to send it off!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Staat your engines!



So... Matt and I were headed home from Rhinebeck (Did I mention that it was his birthday on Saturday? I volunteered to stay home but he wanted to come with and make a weekend trip of it. Fall foliage tour, etc. What a guy! I fixed him up with a rabbit-decorated fudge cake and he enjoyed the leaves from Wendolene's back seat all weekend.) and we saw a bunch of antique cars... of course we followed them, and *bang* wound up at the Staatsburg auto show! This was one of the best shows we've ever attended. No judges, no awards, no entrance fees. Just hundreds of people showing off their babies. They held some fun contests, like blindfolded obstacle course driving (assisted by a passenger), a horn blow-off, etc. Matt actually won a book on historical sites in NY in the costume contest. He happened to be wearing his usual gear of a kilt and balmoral. :)

We had spent our cash at Rhinebeck, so Matt went to the food booth with our remaining $6.30 to see what he could do. As it turned out, the vendors were out of nearly everything, including buns and bread. They had to get creative. He came back with 2 iced teas, 8 cents, and a bowl of nacho chips, cheese, chili with beans, and cut-up hotdogs. Nothing beats a bizarre picnic in the back of a London cab on a perfect sunny day at a car show. Wow. What a terrific trip.

On the way home - cinnamon sweet potato "fries" and more chili dogs at a little place across from West Point. Once again... I am amazed by how wonderful my life is. Thank you, Matt, for being my love!

Rhinebeck Report





Okay, so I spent more than I planned. But I didn't go toooo crazy, and how can you pass up silk at $1/oz? Everything was so cheap... And I should be able to fill my Xmas orders now. I love this first pic, taken by Pam's husband Kris. It represents what the weekend was all about: Showing off your gorgeous shawl, yarn and people everywhere, but mostly connecting with (and hugging) your online knitsibs.
Sheepies! Sorry, Jas, couldn't find one to volunteer to live on your porch. Matt went bonkers touching all the bunnies. So hard not bring them all home!

Kimberly exhibited both practicality and style.The Fairgrounds were gorgeous. I was actually born in this area and it was fun to see names of towns, etc that I remember my parents talking about. Driving around was amazing ... obviously the brilliant colors influenced my fiber buying quite heavily.

I've been lusting after roving to make an autumny sweater. Found it! Didn't have quite enough green so I bought a supplemental bump to blend in. The mohair was Matt's request for a throw (I got a bag full). Also adopted: A pretty ironwood Lucet, white tussah silk fiber, charcoal gray teen alpaca roving, and some purple for Maddie's mittens.