Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Thanksgiving is over, but I am still reflecting on the feeling of gratitude. 
We always say what we are thankful for before we eat our dinner. Usually as we are filling our plates with stuffing and cranberries. I will never forget the year my young niece said she was thankful for pickles. Dinner was running late and pickles were the only thing my Mom would let her have before the feast.
This year, like many others, I said I was thankful for my health and my family. I also mentioned I was thankful for my new table and that you can cook a turkey in a crock pot. 
But, those are fairly generic things to be grateful for. It is like saying your New Year's resolution is to go on a diet. Not that they are bad things to be grateful for, but, with more time and consideration, I realize there are many other things I would add to the list. 
I am thankful for my family. To be able to join together for a meal that we all helped prepare and share laughter is the best thing ever. Only briefly did I worry that next year Lou might not be home for the holiday. We can always Skype. I am lucky to have a clan that calls each other Greg.
I am also thankful for my health. I really don't have any issues and that is a great feeling. I never get sick (knock on wood) and my aches and pains really are minimal, even if I do a ton of whining.
I am thankful for my relationship. I am always striving to be a better person and the partner my darling C deserves. She is my future.
I am thankful for my job. Wow, I never thought I would say that. But I really don't mind it. I am still not a big fan of having to be somewhere at a certain time for someone else's profit, but it could be worse. It was worse for about 4 years. At least now I don't feel my soul being sucked from my body as I cross the parking lot.
I am thankful for all of the little things that bring me pleasure throughout the day and remind me of how rich my life is. Coffee in the morning, a wonderful bowl of oatmeal, the warm feeling of cat snuggles against my legs when I wake up, and greetings from the pups when I come home. Money can't buy those things and I am thankful that I am able to appreciate what they add to my life. 
I am thankful for the time I am able to spend knitting and reading. It feeds my soul. I have been able to make some wonderful gifts of love this year. The novels I have read helped shaped who I am today, the words soaking in and molding my view of the world. It has been time well-spent.
I am thankful for my dog. Maybe she should go in the family section? I think she is in a category of her own. She makes me smile everyday. I have more pictures of her on my Facebook than the kids... I think that might be because she is more tolerant of my photography, though. She is the bestest. 
I am thankful for the wonderful furniture that has come into my life this year. I have coveted the Brasilia line from Broyhill for ages. Never did I imagine that my home would one day be full of it. Living room, dining room, and bedroom are adorned with pieces that make my eyes happy. I feel so lucky that we were able to work things out to have such treasures. I am excited to create the memories that this furniture will witness. 
I am thankful for the recipes that I have found and prepared for my family. I love to try new things and see my skills grow. I appreciate the new pans I got for my birthday and use them with respect for the cook they previously belonged to. It is exciting to taste new flavors and grow our own food. I look forward to doing more of that with C in the Spring.
I am thankful for having the time to live my life. I am thankful for every day and try to make each one count. I am thankful for the laughter that has been the music of my days. 
There are a million other things I could list, but right now I want to be thankful for my bed and the rest I get there.     

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dragging My Feet.

I do not know why these socks are taking me so long to finish. I love the yarn, the pattern makes me happy, and they are my birthday present to myself. I had one done by my birthday. My most recent deadline was last Friday and they are still not ready for toes. 
What is my malfunction?
I love making socks. They make me feel smart. Dreams of the next pattern have already been percolating in my brain. Something with some tricky cables in a solid color. I am looking at either teal or bright red yarn from The Fiber Universe.
I also have some more Madelinetosh yarn from Philly to make a hat for C. It should go quickly, although I have never made an  ear-flap hat before. Maybe that will be the perfect break before I begin panicking about Christmas knitting. 
Last year we started a tradition of giving a hand-made gift to each other. I made us all hats, with mine being a combination of all of them. I loved it. Shorty gave us all personalized pillowcases, C created memento keepers, and Lou made us each scratch board illustrations. I am planning on felted slippers for all of us this year. I know which yarn and pattern I will use for the girl version, but not sure for Sonny's yet. 
Maybe the problem is that I am knitting these socks for myself. It seems that I am usually more motivated when I am knitting for someone else. I didn't have much of a delay in finishing my sister's birthday shawl, even though it was completed at the exact last possible mailing moment. Same with my great-niece's wedding sweater.
It is possible, with the knitting time I get today, that they will be ready for toes. And if there is any time for knitting in Milwaukee, I may be able to finish them up. However, I am determined not to look up yarn stores in Milwaukee. If we happen to encounter one, I will go in though. I shouldn't buy anything, unless it is the most perfectest sock yarn ever....but I could still visit.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

{Oh, What a Find!} - Brasilia Edition/Addition

Halloween night was wonderful. We were finished trick-or-treating fairly early, but the kids had full pumpkins and a lot of fun. We even stopped at a house that had decorated their whole yard and they got glowing bracelets. It was fun to see them running from house to house as fast as they could and taking turns ringing doorbells. This is what childhood should be like.

I had told Julianna that we were going to stay out until we had some Peanut M&M's, because those are my favorite, but she got some at her grandmother's house for me.

The rest of our Halloween evening was spent with a living room full of teenagers. I love it when they come over to hang out. They watched the Blair Witch Project and ate.

At the end of the night it was time for our Halloween tradition called Pumpkin Smash. We always smash our own pumpkins in the street. It was hilarious this year. When Jenny heaved her pumpkin over her head, the lid came off and hit her skull. I giggled at that, but was waiting for the grand finale. We had Trevor (whom I had not previously met) light a random firework I had found and put it inside Charity's pumpkin. It was fairly anti-climactic, mostly just a fizzle and some smoke. Since it didn't explode, he retrieved it from the road and went to smash it to smithereens. It was still smoking from the firework and when he went to throw it, he released too early and it went zinging towards Emily's head. She had to duck really fast and then it almost hit the window. It was the best ever!! I laughed all night thinking about the smoking gourd's flight and the lid plopping onto Jenny's head.

The other Halloween night excitement was finding a craigslist posting for dining room furniture. I had been looking for a new table for years, since my wild birthday party where we broke the table and fixed it up with some 2x4's. There were times when I felt like just settling for anything else, but I knew exactly which set I dreamt of. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would own it. And there it was. The Brasilia hutch, table, six chairs, and three leaves. $500. In Tremont.

I could not believe it. I interrupted the kids' movie to announce the posting. I started compiling a list of things to sell to get money. I tossed and turned all night. I couldn't wait to call about it, but I was also sick to my stomach about calling.
Finally at 10:30 a.m., I felt like I could manage to call and not sound insane. Voicemail. By my lunch break though, I had a return voicemail. I called back and we set up an appointment for Thursday night to see the furniture.

I went on a craigslist posting frenzy. At my knitting group, I sold YARN! I considered selling plasma.

On Thursday night, we drove to their house. I saw it, bargained, begged C, and set a date for delivery. The next Friday, this past Friday, my furniture came home for $400. They even delivered for us.

The furniture had belonged to an Aunt that had passed away. She lived in a big house that sat on ten acres of land in the middle of Grand Rapids, MI. They believe she got it soon after her wedding. She was well-off and gathered the family for Thanksgiving dinners at this table. They had some of her other furniture available too. All of it was of a vintage, ornate style. She had a grand staircase in this house.
I feel my four walls are not worthy of this set, but I know the next place I live will probably be chosen based on how the Brasilia will look in it.
I was so anxious the whole time it was in transport. Not because my oldest child was riding home with craigslist strangers, but what if something happened to the furniture on the road? (I knew E could handle herself) Emily and I moved in the heavy pieces, we let Matthew handle the chairs. I polished the rest of the night.

The table top will rarely see the light of day. I have the table pad on it, with tablecloths. I figure for fancy dinners we will take the tablecloth off and use runners and placemats. The Canonsburg Temporama set looks amazing in the open portion. I had to rearrange it aobut 6 times to get it exactly how I wanted it.

I am in love. It makes my soul happy to see the straight edges, rich wood, and curved details. Even my Loverface had to admit she was happy the next morning to see it in the rising sun. I am a lucky, lucky girl.