Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday Madness!

I had a crazy week last week! It's such a blur, that I can't even remember what I did Mon. and Tues. This is going to be a long post - get a snack. BUT there will be knitting pic's and yarn pic's and a recipe!

I was supposed to get a massage on Wed but the therapist I trade with called to say she had vertigo really bad and couldn't do it. I was so bummed! I've had this spot in my right shoulder for 2 weeks now. The kind that when it showed up, I couldn't turn my head properly.

On Wed, I do remember going to brave the post office. I usually use their automated machines - those things are awesome! If there is a line for them, the people using them move much faster then the people behind the counters. But I was sending some books to my friend stationed in Afghanistan and to send to an APO AE address, you can't use the automated stuff. sigh.

I worked on this while I was in line...

It's the Chevron scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I'm using these 2 balls of Koigu that I got on sale years ago...

I never knew what to do with 2 such differently colored, smallish skeins! This scarf is perfect for that.

While waiting in line, I got about an inch done. May not seem like much but it's small yarn smallish needles! When I got to the front of the line, the postal guy who helped me said, "Wow, I wish everyone would bring their knitting! Or a book or something. They get here and see the line and then get all pissed!" Now this particular postal guy is the slowest thing in creation. He's a sweet, much older man and he chats up everyone he deals with. He's got his pants pulled up to his nipples and wears these HUGE rimmed glasses. Every time I'm in line and he's at the counter, all I can think is, "Less talking, more postaling!"

Anyway, when I left, I saw the massage place across the street. One of my goals that day was to buy some Biotone - the preferred massage lotion of most therapists I know. You'd think with the something like 20 massage places in this city of about 40,000 people, I could find some for sale. Not so, my friends. I called a bunch of them to no avail. As I was leaving the post office, I drove across the street, the phone number was on their window, so I just called.
Me: Do you sell Biotone?
Her: No, we don't.
Me (sounding, perhaps a bit desperate): Do you know anyone in town that does??
Her: No, sorry. Why, are you a massage therapist?
Me (pitifully): Yeah.
Her: Do you need topping off?
Me (pitifully-er): Yeah.
Her: Come on up!
Me: Splee!

Her is Sandy. And we scheduled a trade for me for that Friday! YAY!

On Thursday, I had to work on (massage, that is) our accountant. We'd worked out a trade, we'd pay him $200 and trade the other $200 worth! The guy's like 6'4" - a huge juxtaposition from the tiny 14 year old I worked on the prior Monday (someone's daugher - another trade). When we were finished, he tried to tip me. I told him, "There's no tipping with trades!" but he insisted and wouldn't take no for an answer. He said he was going to schedule weekly massages during tax season next year and asked how much I charged. I told him $65 and hour and then he tipped me $30! I told him that was way too much, but again, he was very insistent.

Good thing I took it! I had my hair cut and colored that afternoon and that evening, I took the boys and Rachel's daughter to Disney on Ice with the tickets I'd won. They were great seats! We had a fantastic time and the three children were spectacularly well-behaved. I was so proud of all of them! The show was so much fun.

I was worried, since it was called Princess Wishes that it would be too girly for the boys but they had a tone of stuff for boys, too. The 7 dwarves did a number and Goofy and Mickey came out between every number. As did Tinkerbell. I think Tinkerbell was drunk. Every turn she did and every leap she made had a very wobbly landing! Davis kept calling her Princess Wishes because of her wand that she'd wave around and it would fling fairy dust everywhere. There was even a fire-breathing dragon and at the end, they shot off fireworks! (At which point, Rachel's girl leaned over to me and said, "I thought they weren't supposed to do that inside!" I agreed as I was having my own Great White flashbacks.)

Only one of the skaters fell from a leap. Towards the audience end of the rink, there was a big puddle of water and he landed in it and bit it. It was really cute to see all the little audience girls dressed in their Disney princess costumes. And one strange thing - when we walked through the parking lot towards the coliseum, at the end of it, there were 2 semi-trucks without trailers. I figured they were there to haul the equipment for the show. When we left, I saw a whole family get into the white one and drive away! It was Mom, Dad and 2 little daughters in their Disney costumes. Kind of strange, no? Like they were driving through town after a big haul, saw the sign for the show and just pulled in!

On Friday, I worked on Nate (he's the mechanic we use for Dave's truck and I work on him every Friday morning, building up trade), had my massage (Sandy is AMAZING!!), and that evening Rachel and I attended the PTO dinner. It was so much fun! We were at the house of one of the chairmoms and in the basement, they had copious food and alcohol. We played a game where you put a little known fact (at least to the people in the room) into a bucket. They read the facts and you have to guess who it's about. I told about my kidneys. I also learned that our PTO president won 2 wet t-shirt contests when she was in her 20's and that our Vice Principal Bob was a child model!

Saturday I went for a little shopping and visited the new yarn store in Parker. Dave told me about it (he had to deliver a ton of stuff there!). It's called Purls of Wisdom and it's near the movie theater on 20 Mile Road. The owner is fantastic and the place is beautiful! I know the owner of YarnArts is worried but I don't think she needs to be. This town is growing like CRAZY and there's more then enough business for everyone. Besides, they carry different yarns! There's some really good pictures here.

Saturday afternoon, the boys got to go to a birthday party for the 2 year old across the street. He's a sweet little boy and the parents had a some other boys (ages 13-15) come play. Their band is called First Installment and they play alternative rock. It was lots of fun!

Saturday night, we had the HOA party. It was freezing! Last year, the woman who "organized" it scheduled it for 1-3p. Prime nap time for the kids. This year, she scheduled it for 5:30-7:30p. Dinnertime?? 4 or 5 of us volunteered to make crockpot soups. I made my Zesty Vegetable Beef. Like most of the things I cook, it's stupid easy...

Zesty Vegetable Beef Soup
1 lb. ground beef, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic, minced.

2 cups pre-shredded coleslaw mix, 1- 10 oz. pkg frozen corn, 1- 9 oz. pkg frozen green beans, 4 cups hot-style V8 juice, 1 - 14.5 oz. can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tsp. dried basil, 1/4 Tsp pepper.

Brown the meat with the onion and garlic. Drain well. Combine meat mixture and remaining ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Eat!

Oh, and Saturday night, we had our first sleepover! My friend Kathy's husband's business had their holiday party that night. It was in Denver. I said we'd watch her boys and then when I thought about it, I said, "It's such a long drive to the party and back, why not just let the boys spend the night? That way, you guys don't have to worry about leaving at a certain time and you can relax and have a nice night like adults." So their 3 year old and 4th grade boys came over right before we left for the HOA party. Kathy gave us $20 to get some Happy Meals and we had a great time! Dave dropped me, the soup, and the boys off and went to go get the food. As I said, it was freezing but the kids seemed to have a great time. There was sledding (the 3 yr old got creamed by someone on a sled, riding down the hill, but he was OK) and hot chocolate and cookies and Santa showed up! Also, there was a horse drawn carriage ride. I told the 4th grader he could go on it and he did - without us. He must not have heard me say to wait so we could all go together! I lost Kathy's first born! For about 15 minutes!

When we got home, we fed them and I'd rented Shrek the Third. They watched it, and all went to bed after! Easy, peasy, rice and cheesy! I guess the key to a quiet, successful sleep-over is to freeze them half to death, wear them out with snow and then keep them up until 9p watching a movie!

On Sunday, we fed them all breakfast and let them play video games until their dad picked them up at about 10a. Then I took the boys to see Santa (again!) at the Black Bear Golf Course Clubhouse. They got to do a coupla crafts and get a balloon animal and see Santa. Then Dave and I took them to the grandparents and went out on our own. We had a nice lunch and did some final shopping for the boys.

Whew! 3 or 4 things a day for 5 days straight! Glad that's over! I'm done shopping. I've finished (except for seaming) one of the 2 hats I'm making for the boys for Xmas (they are getting the same hat). Here it is...

I got the chart off Ravelry and the yarn is Paton's Classic Merino. The recipe came with the chart and is just CO 82, rib for awhile, knit 3 rows, knit the chart - then I changed the end of the pattern to the basic hat pattern from the Yarn Harlot - k1, *k6, k2tog*, rep to last st, k1; next row (and all WS rows) purl; next row, k1, *k5, k2tog* rep to last st, k1. Keep decreasing one stitch before the k2tog's (k4, k2tog, then k3, k2tog, etc.) until your knitting 2 together all the way across. Then I purled one row, then k2tog all the way across again (keeping the k1 selvedge edge at beginning and end of each row) then bound off. Now the seaming and the making of the second hat.

This was my first fair isle. It's a bit lumpy and imperfect but I'm making 2 more (one for me!) and I'll give the boys the two best looking ones.

Holy cow, Ruth!


Nell said...

Next time I'm in Colorado I'm trading you yarn for a massage. That sounds just divine today!

kmkat said...

I love that you *work on* people. We say that in the tax world, too, but we don't have the additional pleasure(?) of their bodies right there. During the last couple of tax seasons we have had massage therapists come in on a couple Saturdays to give chair massages. The sign up list fills in about 20 seconds.

Busy times, Ruth! But Christmas with little kids is fun. Not that I miss it...

uberstrickenfrau said...

Cool hat! I can't believe you squeezed all that in a week! You need a break lady!

Me7of11 said...

About that soup...DE-LISH! Thanks for the recipe!

Yarnhog said...

That hat is so cute! I'll bet the boys love it.

Wish I lived near you. There are all sorts of things I'd be willing to trade.