31 December, 2008

New Year's Eve

I wish you all a wonderful New Year's Eve, and a fantastic new year to come. I'm feeling like 2009 will be a good year, and a productive one.

I am so thrilled to be feeling better, finally. This flu completely kicked my butt. I commented to David today, as we had stir-fry for lunch, "It is so nice to have the energy to cook something from scratch again." I even made a start today on the MOUNTAINS of laundry that built up over two weeks of sickness. Three loads down, and six to go.

Our New Year's Eve is going to be lovely and low-key. Lots of nibbly party finger foods, the Looney Tunes DVD set to help us stay awake (small David's idea, after enjoying it so much last year), and then fireworks on the BBC on the big telly. Good times...

Christmas was good - I was still sick then, and slept much of the day, but the kids really enjoyed their presents and David made a lovely ham for Christmas dinner. Kid David's 10th birthday was low-key but nice. He requested Pizza Express for his birthday meal, and we were happy to comply. I cannot believe he is into two digits now. After birthday dinner, we looked at newborn David pictures and squeezed him a lot. He's also grown half an inch this month, as has Lily.

19 December, 2008


Sick, sick, sick. I spoke too soon. After I posted Weds. afternoon, the symptoms came back with a vengeance, and I have been laid out on the couch, shivering and acheing and miserable, coughing. Add to that tossing my cookies violently, after trying to take cough medicine.

Small ones are coughing but fever-free. Both have been angels, and very good about getting their own food, etc. David came home Thursday coughing and shivering, and seems to be 24 hours behind me in symptoms, but without fever. Of course, he got a flu vaccine through work, so we think maybe that has lessened the impact.

Right now, I feel stuffy and achey and nauseous, but that is pretty great compared to before. Thanks to my angel neighbor, who dropped off AlkaSeltzer Cold and Flu on the doorstep after she called this morning to see how we were because I didn't make the school run. I cried tears of joy when David brought me the medicine. I'm not kidding.

17 December, 2008

Easy Christmas Elves for Knitters

The lurgy's on me with a vengeance, but had to struggle up off the couch to share this post with you. Check it out. Wouldn't those make the CUTEST Christmas elves ever?

Also, I totally love my husband, who wrangled dinner and managed to find one of the last two Christmas gifts to be got for kids, in between picking up new uniform items and a ton of other errands. Even as I type, he is upstairs putting Lily to bed so I can moan, cough and blow my nose in comfort. He does it all, not because I ask, but because he's the dad. And a very, very good guy.


This lovely photograph is not icicles. It's the flu virus. Who knew something so lethal could be so beautiful

As the title says, I've been derailed. Yesterday morning, I was fine. Yesterday afternoon, I coughed once or twice. By 5 PM, I was starting to feel shivery. It all went downhill from there. I shivered under 3 blankets, with a lovely fever, aches, and chills. Did I mention chills? Fortunately, by this morning, the fever and its friends were gone, except for a brutal razorlike cough and headache. I don't think it's flu because it's moved so quickly through the stages, to be honest. It sure felt like flu, though. Maybe it's Super(Rapid) Flu...

Sounds like the day's back on track. Right? Not so fast. Small D. complained of feeling cold and tired last night, and went to bed voluntarily at 6:30 PM. He was a bit warm last night when I made it up to bed, but at 7 this morning, he had a good ole fever and a massive headache. I got Lily (still healthy, but for how long?) to school and dosed up David (still wan, in bed) with some Calpol. He complained that his legs were "dizzy" when he got up to use the bathroom, so I've moved him into our bed. Dizzy legs and a loft bed are a dangerous combo. He's feeling less headachey now, but is still happily in bed as of 11:15 so you KNOW he's not feeling well.

So. I have sympathy for him. Believe me, I do, especially after how miserable I felt last night. However, I'm wondering where I will find an extra day in my calendar... I have had to cancel my drop-in at craft morning for Christmas festivity, the meet-up with my girl Chrissie to exchange presents, and the mailroom run to mail off "New Year's" packages (little somethings for my sis and family, etc.). And the purchasing of the last bits (paper goods, snacks, soda) for Saturday's Christmas party at the chapel. And the purchasing of the last presents for David and Lily with money from Grandma and Grandpa (I have put David on the case there, though - we'll get it done!). And the mini-commissary run. And I am sure there are 50 other things to be done.

Instead, I'm here at home curled around a mug of herbal tea, and adding sneezes to my repertoire. All things considered, I'm probably better off here than breathing on friends and the public, but I feel like such a slacker. I could sort and wrap the 30 Santa presents for Monday's Santa event at the squadron, but I don't want to risk David seeing them, even though he "knows" about Santa. There are also, of course, the kids' own Christmas presents still to be wrapped, but the same applies there.

At least I have a festive environment in which to sit and be miserable. I have warm things to drink, blankets to wrap up in, and heat to savor. I have a beautiful Christmas tree to look at, and a stunning evergreen/floral arrangement to dote upon (thanks to the three lovely ladies who will remain anonymous). I must download the pictures I took, so you can all see how pretty it makes the living room.

15 December, 2008

Christmas Cards for Bloggers

Because you know the three wise men were bloggin' dudes. This card absolutely cracks me up.

Go here to see all 11 great geek Christmas cards.

p.s. Twelve days of Christmas gifty update.  Day 1 was icicle ornaments, day 2 was a dozen mini-candy canes, and day 3 (today) was a set of Cadbury milk chocolate ornaments.  How sad will it be if they don't even make it as far as the tree?  YUM!

13 December, 2008

Secret Santas

I like surprises, when they're nice ones, and I got one of the nice kind this week.  Someone from church put together a Secret Santa Sisters bag for me, with 12 days of Christmas.  These particular 12 days started this morning (13 December) and will take me up to Christmas Eve.  The kids and I had a fun time sorting the little packages by day and putting them under the tree before I opened day 1.  Now that I'm a "grown-up," Christmas is about making things special for the kids, more than presents for me, and I generally like it that way.  So I was surprised at how FUN it was to have packages of my own, and a little something to look forward to every day as we prepare for Christmas.  This Secret Santa thing...it's cool.  Very cool.

09 December, 2008

Gratitude, or...When I Was a Kid.

When I was a kid, we had to walk to school. In the snow.  Uphill. BOTH ways.  You know the drill... [Actually, my mother totally won this one with "When I was a kid, the snow came up to the second story sometimes. We had to shovel a path.  We STILL walked to school.   It was so cold we couldn't wear rubber snow boots. Ours were FELT." All true, boys and girls.  Rural Sweden during the World War II years.  She didn't see a banana until she was 9, after the war.  That impressed me, and my children.]

It amazes me sometimes what we, and our children, grow accustomed to.  My friend Sheena sent me this link.  Watch, laugh, and remember to be a little bit grateful for all we have today.

08 December, 2008

Our Christmas Traditions

I've written about the Christmas elf in this post but I wanted to blog it again, for Jenn at Frugal Upstate, who is doing a collection of Christmas posts. This week, she's talking about frugal traditions.

For us, Advent calendars and the Christmas elf mean Christmas is coming.  Every year, we buy a chocolate Advent calendar for each kid  (pound shop or grocery store).  In addition, we have two felt calendars with pockets (very pretty nativity scene on each), and every day there is a tiny gift in the pocket, like a 20p coin, a small candy cane, or a chocolate coin. 

The Christmas elf is a tradition that comes from my family. My mother was Swedish, and the Jultomten are a Scandinavian thing.  At the beginning of December, the elf appears in our house to watch over the children and report back to Santa Claus. Every day, he's somewhere new (usually somewhere up high so little fingers won't grab him).  Ours is a little wooden elf (an ornament from IKEA bought years ago).  He's about 3 inches tall. When I was small, the Christmas elf was made from a wooden spool. He had a red corduroy jacket, a stocking cap, and ravelled wool for a beard.  I can still remember him vividly, although he was lost many years ago.

The kids LOVE the Christmas elf tradition. It brings them downstairs, excited, every morning.  On Christmas morning, he lands in the tree, then disappears until the next December.

Christmas Trivia

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. My little silliness for you....

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper

2. Real tree or Artificial? I love real trees but we have a pre-lit artificial one right now, and I love the lack of shedding needles. I just burn a pine candle and pretend :)

3. When do you put up the tree? Sometime early in December

4. When do you take the tree down? On Epiphany (6 Jan), although there was one memorable year it was still up at Eastertime. That would be why I like to take it down earlier these days.  The shame...

5. Do you like eggnog? Yep, even the kind in a can...

6. Favourite gift received as a child? Many, but I remember the year I got a Fisher Price Little People castle and A-frame. That was a VERY good year.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, plus some on the tree. This year, the nice set and the Veggie Tales set have gone AWOL. I hope I find them this week...

8. Hardest person to buy for? Family gift exchange

9. Easiest person to buy for? Lily

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? E-mail, the past few years. I love, love, love getting mailed cards, don't get me wrong. However, I get overwhelmed at the cost of mailing to all our friends and family, and am trying not to feel guilty about cutting out mailed cards.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? If there was one, I don't know what it was. I don't really care what I get - I just like being here at Christmas, KWIM?

12. Favourite Christmas Movie? Lots! A Christmas Story (you'll put your eye out!), Elf, It's a Wonderful Life...

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually November, although I may find something early and put it aside. 

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't know...I might have at some point, but I can't recall off-hand.

15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? Swedish gingerbread cookies (and anything else in my path)

16. Clear lights or coloured on the tree? I like both - we have clear lights on this tree.

17. Favourite Christmas song? O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, Mary Did You Know?, Silver Bells, White Christmas...all of em.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home, although home is far away from family...

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher-Dancer-Prancer-Vixen-Comet-Cupid-Donner-Blitzen. And himself...Rudolph

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A star. Actually it's a beautiful greenish copper starfish star. Santa brought it when we lived in Monterey.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Pajamas for kids on Christmas Eve, usually, and everything else in the morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The greed in the air, mailing deadlines, feeling guilty about not doing cards.

23. Favourite ornament theme or colour? Exploded Ornament Boxes...I like a LOT of stuff on the tree, and I don't have a color theme. Although we do always have red beaded garlands on the tree.

24. Favourite for Christmas dinner? Ham.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Happiness for everyone

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? I'm not tagging anyone. Hope you had fun reading!!

06 December, 2008

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas...

It's been a very Christmassy couple of days here at Casa KnitFarm.

Last night, we went to the school's Christmas coffee evening. The bigger kids ran games (guess how many sweets, name the bear, etc.), there were cakes and coffees, tombolas, a raffle, and the children's Christmas craft projects were for sale to the parents. 

I love that part :)  They make the projects - we buy the projects...like we wouldn't!!

Lily made a Christmas mug, and some fudge to fill it.  Yom.  David made mincemeat and a candle in a holder.   We all had a grand time, and even won a Chinese-themed food basket in the raffle.  There was also a Santa's grotto. Santa had gifts for all.  Lily got a craft kit and David got a stargazing kit, with a booklet, charts and glow-in-the-dark stars.  Very cool. We've been hearing about constellations ever since.

Today we woke up early, so the kids and I could go to the annual Breakfast with Santa on base (only one parent per family, for space reasons).  It was terrific.  David and Lily loved putting weird toppings like cherries and chocolate chips on their pancakes, there were games and crafts, and Santa himself, of course.  Santa once again had a gift for every child.  Lily got some Blendy Pens (which they both played with all afternoon), and David got a gift card, which we took right over to the BookMark.  He used the gift card to get If You're Reading This, It's Too Late by Pseudonymous Bosch.  Is that not the most amazing title?

Tonight, we put up the Christmas tree.  I'm really pleased with how it looks - we managed to wedge a ton of ornaments onto the tree, even though it is smaller than trees we've had in past years.  Sparkly, sparkly, sparkly...

I'll post a few pictures -  kids with Santa (Lily looks nonplussed, as usual, but also has a cold), kids under tree, and a random shot of somewhere on the tree...

I love Christmastime. That's all I have to say about that!

04 December, 2008

The Movie

To answer the multitudes who inquired about Quantum of Solace, it's almost as good as Casino Royale, which blew my mind when it came out.  See Charming Husband's blog for a slightly more critical (and fairly so), but still positive, review.

Great action sequences, interesting female character, compelling story even.  Really, though, there are only three words necessary to explain why I enjoyed this film.

Best. Bond. EVAR. [Still.]

03 December, 2008

Perfect Day

Recipe for the perfect day
Take one husband, add train ride to Cambridge, sunny crisp weather, a trip to the Apple Store and John Lewis (and many other browsing opportunities), Wagamama for lunch, chocolate, the new James Bond flick, and a birthday present found for darling son. (Check out that link  - very cool.)

That was today, and it was wonderful.  Thanks to our awesome friend, who came over with her daughter to play, make pizza, and babysit so we could come back later than usual.

I feel like Christmas came early!! 

[Not so confidential to David:  I love you, baby...]

02 December, 2008

Random Morning Thoughts on a Wintry Day

D. looked out the window a little while ago, and reported, "It's SNOWING."  It was, too...big fat flakes.  Now, of course, it's raining, but it's wintry cold nonetheless.

Later, we have ballet run and a Christmas evening for me (ladies from church).

Turkey soup is in the works, so the house smells yummy. I have hot cocoa nearby, and I just took the Princess Bride Trivia Test.

I'm Inigo Montoya. Heh.  Try it for yourself...

Inconceivable! You scored ###!

A decent score, but you can do better. You may not have studied swordplay for 20 years, or watchied the movie 20 times, but you have seen and appreciated it, probably more than once. You are familiar with the basics but you need to work on the finer points (pun intended.) Watch it a few more times and try again.

01 December, 2008

To Start Off Your Holiday Shopping...

Happy December, everyone!!

If you're a yarny person, Sonny and Shear's got a nice 15% off coupon for the next 2 weeks, and a good contest as well. This is one of my favorite on-line retailers - AWESOME customer service. Check it out:

Now for December's contest. Who in Cher's life was named "The Bagel Boy" by the press?

Email your entries to contest AT sonnyandshear DOT com by December 27, 2008. Include your name, the name of your blog (if applicable) and, if you’d like, include your Ravelry ID as well. A winner will be selected using the handy dandy random generator and will be able to choose a skein of Blue Ridge Yarns (either one) in the in stock color of their choice.

 COUPON - Have a fiber filled Christmas. Save 15% off your total order*, by using the coupon RudolphTheRedNoseSkeindeer. The coupon expires December 15, 2008. (Madlinetosh is exempt. Coupon does not apply to club registrations, special orders and cannot be combined with other coupons.)