Sunday, December 31, 2017


One of the things I learned during my husband's and my father's sicknesses was the importance of telling people how you feel about them.  I've tried to tell each of you, in private, how grateful I am for having you in my life and as my friends.  You put up with my gripes, my plans that go nowhere, my plans that succeed (often with your help), my peculiarities, my wins, and my losses.  

I wish each of you a happy and healthy new year.

Saturday, December 30, 2017


Has today seemed like a Saturday to you?  For some odd reason, it hasn't to me.  At all.  I had to take Hannah to her Starbucks' shift, but that didn't involve me getting up any earlier than normal.  Who knows.  

If, by chance, you ever get a ride from me, this is what you'll see above me:
(When you're waiting in a parking lot for someone, you try to pass time any way you can.)

The tree is out of the den, which always saddens me.  It means the Christmas lights have been packed away, and I love Christmas lights.  Hannah has them in her apartment's den, because there isn't an overhead light fixture there.  Another odd thing.

I made a quick-like ribbed hat the other day in bright pink, then cast on for this wrap
in this yarn
It's an easy project, with just enough shaping to keep my attention and make things interesting. 

My linen stitch scarf is down to the last three little bobbins of yarn.  I've completed the orange stripes and moved on to a sort of light garnet.  Virginia Tech colors.  Sorry, Twinnie, the white came earlier, so no Volunteers allusion.
There.  Equal time.

Friday, December 29, 2017


When no one gives you a Christmas present except Camille, you order your own.  
Hello, Playmobil Rangers and Predators goalies.

Hey, Twinnie --- look how I'm growing as a person!  I'm putting the orange yarn into my scarf:
(Instead of, you know, pretending that I didn't even get any orange yarn.)

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Just about all of the Christmas decorations are down and put away.  Each year, I try to minimize storage space, and I've gotten everything down to less than a half dozen boxes so far.  Am I the only one who often finds overlooked things after the boxes are put away?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Is anyone else contemplating new cast-ons?  I know Kathy got yarn for Christmas, and I'm assuming others of you did as well.  I will eventually finish the linen stitch scarf, but am sort of itching to put something new on a pair of needles.  The days after Christmas inspire starting over/starting anew in me much more than New Year's ever has.

Forgot to show you the completed Advent Nativity.

The 23rd brought the manger, Christmas Eve the swaddled Baby Jesus.

I also never talked about my Nativity necklace:
I wore it, that red turtleneck and a pair of jeans with my red boots on Christmas Eve for my traditional meal at IHOP.  Have you had the gingerbread hot chocolate there?  I don't like gingerbread, but my waitress talked me into trying it.  It was delicious.

Did you have a white Christmas, and/or are you having a white Boxing Day?

Monday, December 25, 2017


Let's just say Christmas here was "strained," and move on, shall we?  But I do hope you and yours (human and animal) had a great day.
I know a couple of people who actually got puppies for Christmas.  It's taken 50+ years for that to happen.

One thing, though.  Snacking is the order of the day around here on Christmas Day: cookies, finger foods, cookies.  Look at these amazing "Peanuts" goodies:
How could you eat one of these?  Too, too wonderful.

My Advent scarf got a little quality time today.  I discovered a mistake about a third of the way across, but let it go.  Frogging almost 200 stitches didn't interest me.  I'll know it's there, and you'll know it's there, but we won't mention it, will we?

Friday, December 22, 2017

Doors and Boxes and Colors

You've been along for the Advent Nativity this year, so I wanted to show you what "came" today, and give you a look at the tiny, tiny little doors left for tomorrow and Sunday.
"A star, a star. . ."

The latest color turns in the Advent scarf are definitely Christmas-y:
Green to red.  And, oh, look --- another Nativity!  This one is Playmobil, but those of you with children probably recognized that.  Playmobil was a big part of Briton and Hannah's childhoods, so this one had to become part of my collection.  The camel on my chest of drawers (to remind me of the importance of footing) is Playmobil.

A huge surprise arrived the other day.  Look at this pretty, pretty yarn:
Thank you, Camille;  this is my Christmas.

With all my online shopping, there are boxes, boxes everywhere.  Miss Erin claimed one for a nap:
She even cooperated in the photo shoot.

Happy Holidays and Unboxing to all!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


I suppose my love for Nativity scenes began with this:

That's the Parthenon in Nashville, and the Nativity which was featured there every year during the holidays.  As you can see, the scene stretched almost the length of the building.  There were loudspeakers playing hymns, and a stentorian voice reading Scripture.  My parents and I went every year, and my memories of the cold and the music and the "statues" is strong and clear.  Considering that the Nativity's last year was 1967 (I was 7), you can see what an impression it made on me.

I also have a memory of "building" a Nativity scene of my own using my Barbies.  How it came together exactly is fuzzy.  I wish my recall were sharper, because I never had a Ken, and I wonder who was Joseph.  At any rate, I remember shining a flashlight on it, thinking that added drama.

On building a Nativity, here is my Advent one as of today:
The angel was today's addition.  When I was thinking the other day about who/what was left, I hadn't counted on two shepherds.  And the camel on the right, with the green saddle blanket, falls down a lot.  His/her footing is not as sure as one might want.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

And It Really, Really Works

Realizing not all of you are fortunate enough to receive mail from a royal, I will still lord over you the fact that I am:
Thank you, Duke of Calypso, a/k/a Bomber.  Oh, and Tim and Twinnie, too.

The Paintbox Advent scarf goes on.  This is a favorite part of mine:
I like the effect when tying in a new color, plus, it makes keeping up with the pattern easier.  The little skeins are coming out of the calendar faster than I can knit them, so this particular Christmas project will last beyond Christmas Day. 

Online shopping is a boon and a curse for people with depression.  You can do all your gift-getting without having to shower, get dressed, or leave the house.  Which means you don't shower or get dressed or leave the house.

Online shopping is great for people who love getting mail, like me.  Add that to my depression, and it's clear that practically all my buying this year was done via computer.  In scrolling through Google results and various sites, I came across this:
Lavender, chamomile, bergamot, lemon --- you mist it onto your pillow.  I've used it the last four nights and slept like a rock.  It might be coincidence, but four in a row seems to rule that out.  I'm quite glad I decided to give it a try.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Chewy Influencer, December

Giving out treats this afternoon, I realized that I hadn't yet posted my Chewy reviews for this month.  Let's remedy that, shall we?

A new leash for Rupert!  This is Flexi Leash, and may be the most comfortable leash I've ever held.  Now, Rupert isn't hard on a leash.  There's no tugging or straining, so I can't attest to this leash's durability.  What I can say is that, on the "other end," it's a delight.

Second, the holiday treats for the cats.
Temptations are a favorite here, so I was pretty sure these would be well-received.  What interested me was the flavor combination: turkey and sweet potato.  Seeing two colors, I assumed that one was the turkey flavor, the other the sweet potato, and wondered whether the cats would eat something that wasn't meat.  It would seem, though, that the colors are simply for "show," and that every treat is both turkey and sweet potato.  Both colors are being gobbled down is the main takeaway.

Once again, and for the last time in 2017, I am part of's Influencer program, through which I receive products to try out each month.  No money is involved at all, and the reviews reflect my honest experiences with the products.

Friday, December 15, 2017

All Over the Place

My maiden name is Spence.  I really like smoked salmon.  Imagine my delight, therefore, upon seeing this today at Fresh Market:
Yes, I bought it.  Yes, I've already eaten some.  Yes, I'll be keeping the box.  Yes, I've been to the website.  Yes, I'd like to think that is Spence Castle.

Hannah now has a second job, at Starbucks.  She was super-excited after her first couple of days, with all the (quite) remarkable benefits, and her access to all kinds of coffees and teas.  She soon, though, began to be overwhelmed by all of the possibilities, and sort of hit a shaky bottom when she had to work Drive-Thru.  She's always been an excellent worker, brilliant at working with customers;  I've never seen or heard her like that.  I tried to soothe her by pointing out that she had never, ever worked a drive-thru before.  But you know how it is when you're really down on your life and feeling sorry for yourself --- nothing anyone says makes any difference.

I was going to go back to see Briton's play this weekend, but all the show are sold out.  Hurray!

The Advent Nativity is up to a total of four camels now.  Today brought a shepherd for the three sheep.  There are nine days to go yet --- Baby Jesus, three Wisemen, an angel probably, another palm tree?  I can't come up with 9.  Which makes each day fun.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Pictures, and This

When you and your daughter go to see your son and her brother in his play, you want to take a picture of them.  You mention this to them, and one begins to get in frame while the other chats with a member of the audience:

Therefore, you use one of the clearest signals in the Known Universe, the Mom Throat Clear, and, voila:

And on the subject of families, the Holy Family is coming together:

Two weeks from today!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Rainy Night in Georgia

Cold and wet here today, which I say, for the umpteenth time, I thoroughly enjoy.  Some parts of the state north and west of us are seeing the rain turn to snow.  It would be a sincere wish of mine that we, too, would get snow, but tonight is opening night of Briton's play, so it needs to stay traversable to be sure the audience can get there.

Most of my knitting time today has been spent on the linen stitch scarf made with my Paintbox yarn samples:

I'm using the colors in the order they come out of the box, to avoid my sometimes less than stellar color-matching.  Twinnie got all the color talent genes.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Last Minute

There wasn't any news to share with you today, but then I looked up and saw this, and couldn't not share.

Welcome to My Life with Rupert.

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Camel

Today's addition to my Advent Nativity was a camel:

I read once that camels don't concern themselves with how long, or how difficult, their journey is, as long as their footing is sure.  Which made me immediately accept the camel as my spirit animal.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Season

Thinking about what to do with the little daily nuggets of Paintbox yarns, I remembered the Linen Stitch Scarf.  I started one once, but somehow completely lost the pattern and gave it up.  This time, I'll make every effort not to.  Doing this means assuming that there is nothing else in the Advent calendar but yarn, which is fine.  Fine, too, if there are some non-yarn surprises!

Have you begun getting holiday cards?  A few have arrived here, with photos of children who have grown so much I can't quite fathom it.  Yesterday I got one from a friend who'll be celebrating her first Christmas as a mom.  Her son is just old enough to see it all as magic;  is there anything more wonderful than a baby looking up at holiday lights?

On the subject of lights:

I love Christmas.  

Friday, December 1, 2017

Let the Advent-ing Begin!

I get to start turning these little cubes over every morning!  (By the way, there isn't a bite taken out of Santa's hat.  He's against a white wall.)

I also get to open little doors here daily:
I splurged (WAY splurged) and got myself an Advent calendar from Paint Box.  Today's little goodie:

Remember my showing you my teeny little Nativity a while back?  I found a place for it yesterday, and continue to smile over Baby Jesus:
It's the little chullo.  He seems so warm and snug!

That was to be my only Nativity this year, but I saw this one at Bas Bleu and had to bite.  Today is the first day of it, too:

No real surprise that the stable would be the first out of the box:
(It came in pieces.  I felt very accomplished sliding the balsa wood slots together.)

My tree is in and the lights are on it.  No pictures until all the ornaments are on.  This is the earliest it's been up in a while.  I'm usually decorating on the day of the Army/Navy game, which isn't until next Saturday.  There'll be presents under there then.


For some reason, this year I am constantly moving Christmas stuff around the house.  I'm not sure why things are so unsettled, but they...