Monthly Archives: December 2007

Holy Crappers!

My stat counts are once again sky high with people searching for Gap card complaints and instructions on how to cancel a Gap credit card. One such search was from Moscow.

Yikes!

For your searching ease, here are links to my two posts about the Gap card and Monogram Bank of Georgia. This one describes the beginning of my problems, and this one has instructions on how to cancel your card.

Good luck!

Throwing off all Guises of Working

Ack, whose idea was it to go back to work today??

Fortunately, there’s not much for me to do except draft a blog update (or so I tell myself semi-guiltily).

First, the Knitting
Last night during a very small knit night, I cast on a Headigan using some pretty handspun handdyed yarn. Here’s my progress so far (note: I now have another repeat done, so it’s twice this size:


Porkchop gave the yarn to me for Christmas; she bought it on the Felt Studio etsy shop. The pattern and the yarn are a most perfect combination. (My only complaint is about the tagline on the webshop selling the Headigan pattern. It’s something along the lines of, “Math is hard. Let’s go shopping!” Hopefully that’s a joke.)

I gave Beth her beanie Saturday night:


And, as luck would have it, Katie won the big pink pointy elf cap by having a large noggin:


I gave Katie a knitted neckwarmer, as well, but I forgot to take a photo of it! Darn! Also, I gave my sister a knitted headband/ear warmer for Christmas, but the photo isn’t so great.

Lastly…the interlocking balloon pattern is still going well. I might finish it in January, but I’m eager to buy yarn and start on a Tilted Duster. My biggest wish was to finish my stinking Jaywalkers before the end of the year, but I noticed that instead of buying size 1 metal dpns, I actually bought size 0. I *thought* I was buying size 1s, so the sales clerk must have picked up the wrong set. I didn’t check the set until last week, I bought them in November, and I no longer have a sales receipt. I don’t know if I want to try to exchange them…seems like a hassle. But, they cost nearly $13, darn it!

Trips and Visits

To Columbia

On December 14, Porkchop arrived in STL, and we drove to CoMo for Katie’s graduation. Yay! PhD!

Dinner and the ceremony were nice, but the best part was the reception Saturday morning at the Women’s Center on campus. Katie read from her dissertation acknowledgements, and most of us teared up and cried at some point.

We hung out in the Women’s Center for a good part of the afternoon and then had snacks at Uprise. Porkchop and I had to leave around 6:30 that evening because Porkchop was working the next day at the UPS Store. Unfortunately, we drove in on the tail end of the second snow, and it took us 4 hours to get home! Porkchop did a great job driving, and I did a good job clutching the passenger side door handle and braking with my imaginary brake.

More Visits with Katie and Beth
Katie and Beth were back in Missouri this past weekend for Christmas. We stole them away from Katie’s brother’s house and his Wii for dinner Saturday night at House of India. Katie and Beth also spent the night at our apartment, and then we dropped them off in Cape Girardeau at Katie’s dad’s house.

Yay for Katie and Beth time! We exchanged presents Saturday night, and then I re-taught Katie and Beth how to knit.

To Jonesboro
Since we all got up so early on Sunday, Porkchop and I made it into Jonesboro around 2:30. My mom was waiting and greeted us with home-made spiced pecans, a salmon ball, and other snack items. We, in turn, gave my family biscotti, chocolate-dipped pretzels, and a few magic bars (the rest went to Katie and Beth).

There was a lot of snacking for the next couple of days.

On Monday, Porkchop and I made a Christmas Eve dinner of my favorite cranberry-almond bulgur pilaf and this caramelized cranberry chicken. Yum! My mom provided dessert – gingerbread with whipped cream and an ice cream cake roll thing.

My family loves whipped cream….not that nasty spray can stuff, but the real deal made by beating cream. Here’s my dad with his bowl of whipped cream:


Just kidding! That’s a staged photo. Although, sometimes certain family members have been known to eat whipped cream alone (and one of those members might be me). But, in reality, my dad would be eating some whipped cream with a side of oatmeal or something like that (seriously). [Edited to add: My dad just found out that he needs cataract surgery ASAP. He isn’t taking it so well. He was prepared for back surgery, not cataract surgery. Send the guy some love…he doesn’t have any cilia in his nose, his vertebrae are crumbling, his hips are messed up, and now his eyes have to be replaced.]

This year, my dad asked me to taste test the whipped cream. I warned him that I like my whipped cream not-so-sweet and that he should probably ask my sister. But, since I thought the cream tasted just fine, he didn’t add any more sugar. So, OF COURSE, the rest of my family nearly burned me at the stake as a heretic for approving such low-sugar whipped cream.

Here’s how the conversation went:

Sister: Ugh, this whipped cream isn’t sweet enough!!

Me: Well, I like it less sweet. Whipped cream is supposed to cut the sweetness of the dessert.

Sister: Needs. More. SUGAR!!!!

Brother: MORE SUGAR!! MORE SUGAR!!!

Sister: Don’t trust Carrie, Dad. This needs more sugar.

After that, we opened presents. Porkchop was a great elf and finally got to open her Packers hat:


Besides everything from Porkchop, my favorite present is this:


This is one of the silver dollars that my grandpa gave my mom and her sister after he returned from harvesting wheat in Texas around 1950 (the coins were made in 1921). My mom said that he received the silver dollars in change while eating lunch at a cafe in Texas.

My mom had 3 such silver dollars, so she gave one to me, my sister, and my brother. We’re fortunate that all 3 survived our collective childhood; I know that I played with those coins regularly as a kid.

It kind of makes me sad that my mom has given them to us.

On Christmas morning, I brought back a Freeman family tradition and made chocolate gravy and biscuits. Mmmmmm….


To Rolla
Porkchop decided we should make an impromptu stop at her parents, so we spent the night there Tuesday night and left early Wednesday morning. Porkchop’s mom taught us how to play a new card game, 9-hole, and she made a super-yummy Snickers pie.

After breakfast at a Waffle House on Wednesday, Porkchop and I beat it back to St. Louis.

Whew!

Next Post
I’ll write about holiday baking and post the recipe for magic bars because they are super yummy (and super easy).

Have a great Friday!

Happy Holidays!

Keetah says Merry Christmas, Happy (belated) Solstice, happy gift exchanging, or just have a good day!

Actually, No.

On my way to the restroom, I was stopped, or rather accosted, by a stranger who said, “I need you to make some copies for me.”

Er, who are you and WTF?

Turns out it was a professor NOT from our school teaching a class in our building. I directed said professor to our school’s Service Center.

I’m not your copy monkey.

Also, just because I look like a student, it doesn’t mean you can order me around, jerk-off.

Is this Hat a little Big?

So, I made a pointy elf cap during knit night tonight, and I think it might be a tad big.

What do you think?


It’s so freaking huge, it can’t fit in the camera frame!

It was hard to get it in its entirety…


The problem was that the pattern lists the possible sizes as x-small (6-18 months), small (2-4 years), medium (4-years – adult small), and large (adult medium – large).

I went with the large because I thought my head was an adult medium…

Does anyone need a big pink pointy hat?

Must….Resist…

I’m feeling some sinus ickiness starting….no!!

I started the morning with an airborne, and I’m about to have a Cold-eeze. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time for the neti pot this morning.

Porkchop comes home on Friday, and then we’re off to Columbia for KT’s PhD graduation. I can’t be sick!

Meanwhile…
One of the school librarians sent out an email this morning warning students not to leave laptops unattended in the library….because people come here searching for laptops to steal and sell for drugs.

While I don’t doubt this, the tone of the email set me off a bit. I think it was the matter of factness. What if people are selling laptops to pay for utilities or food? The email just didn’t seem very social work-y.

Also, unrelated, through Ravelry I found the perfect pointy elf hat to make with a ball of very pink Rowan Biggy Print, which was gifted to me over Thanksgiving. It’s bulky pink yarn…what else can I do with it?

It Works!

Oh my gosh, I can now post directly from work again!

YAY!!!

The biscotti was made and is a big hit. Of course, not everyone is here to enjoy them as two people stayed home because of the ice.

*scoff!*

In Other News
In February, I’m going to see Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire in Jonesboro as part of the 2 Worlds 2 Voices tour. With my parents. What? I’m really just along for the ride; my parents really want to see them. Again, what??

Do you want to see a picture of one of my great-great-great-grandfathers? My mom submitted a photo for this website. I think it’s pretty neat. Also, if you don’t know, “I.T.” stands for Indian Territory. I can’t imagine moving from Devonshire, England, to Oklahoma. Seriously, that’s crazy.

More Blahs

The dreary weather has me feeling sad and lonely, or maybe I’m just sad and lonely. At the end of a conversation with Porkchop tonight (who is sick in Albuquerque and sick of being in Albuquerque), I had to cry some.

I’m not feeling the holiday cheer so much.

What I am feeling are the cold drafts from the old windows in this apartment! GRRRRR!

Tonight I covered the windows in plastic and weatherstripped the door in the bedroom that opens to the porch. I’m thinking about hanging curtains over the living room and bedroom windows, and by curtains I mean big pieces of fleece that will look junky but will block the drafts.

I love old apartments but not old windows.

So, here’s what I did today:

  • Woke up and put a chicken cassoulet in the slow cooker (chicken, onions, carrots, white beans, mushrooms, and herbes de Provence (which I made up using various spices that I already have because why pay a spice company for just a mix of spices?)).
  • Took my car in for an oil change. I also had the power steering fluid replaced, which made a HUGE difference in my car’s handling.
  • Went to the Rock-n-Roll Craft Show. It’s in the Mad Art Gallery this year, and it was packed. There were a lot of fun things for sale, but I didn’t buy anything. That’s what happens when you start to do crafty things. For me, anyway, it becomes really difficult to buy other crafts because I’m constantly thinking, I could do that. I could make that and that and that. The things that I couldn’t make – inlaid cutting boards – were too pricey for me.
  • Stopped by Gus’ Pretzels for a garlic and butter pretzel. If I lived in that area, I would go to Gus’ everyday. (Please note that it pains me to type “Gus'” instead of “Gus’s” since the latter is correct. Last time I checked, “Gus” was just one person.)
  • Straightened and attempted to weatherize the apartment.
  • Knitted and started to question life. Also, I snagged a small patch of my Interlocking Balloons scarf on a bit of velcro. Murrr!

On the schedule for tomorrow:

  • Baking biscotti and cookies for work.
  • Maybe going to the Independent Art Market. Maybe.
  • Avoiding thinking about what needs to be done at work next week.

Now it’s the Bananas

During the week, I have a banana and a cup of soymilk for breakfast. This morning, I poured my soymilk, looked over at the spot where I keep the bananas, and through my early morning fuzziness thought, “Good God, someone took my banana. Great. Now what do I eat?”

The flaw in this logic is that I’m currently living by myself. I knew that it wasn’t possible for anyone to take my last banana, but I briefly entertained the thought of a banana thief.

Before it became The Case of the Missing Banana (kind of like last post’s Case of the Missing Needles), I decided to accept that I miscalculated when I bought bananas last weekend and that I had my last one Thursday morning.

I did, however, look in the trashcan to see if I had mistakenly discarded said banana.

If you write banana enough in a post, you feel a bit foolish.

My grandfather exhibited what we later realized was signs of early dementia in his mid-70s. During phone calls with my mom, he would casually mention that someone broke in and stole his cornbread. Or, the other popular accusation was that someone broke in and left old shoes in his closet. No stealing there, just leaving old things.

Also, Speaking of Shoes
I love my new shoes.

After two years of looking for new black leather shoes, I found the perfect pair on Sierra Trading Post – real leather, little or no heel, no fussiness, and 50% off.

They are perfect little slipper-like shoes, and when I wear them, I imagine little elf cobblers making them (alas, they are made in China…but hopefully not in a sweatshop).

Have You Seen these Needles?

After knitting tonight, I was uploading to Ravelry the blue Steam Scarf that I made last winter when I thought, “Where ARE those number 5 Crystal Palace needles?”

It’s official, I’ve apparently lost a set of needles! I keep all of my straight needles in the case Porkchop made for me last year. I have Crystal Palace 10s and 3s, but no 5s. And, while I have a few projects in progress, none of them are on those needles. Murrr!

I’m not happy at all about this and will have to conduct a full search this weekend.

*********
Updated to add:

I Have Lost my Mind
My Interlocking Balloons scarf is living on the 5s!

Ha ha…don’t mind me here…just routing through my knitting box and cursing for the fun of it.