Tuesday, November 29, 2005

All in the genes...

So you know how I got all bragidacious (oh yeah, that's a word) this summer with my "fat ass" watermelons, "monstrous" pumpkins, "baskets" of tomatoes and big bunches of basil? Well, I've been trumped.

My mom, the garden master, and my lifelong green thumb advisor, brought this baby out at Thanksgiving:

Is she taunting me here? Hard to say. She tried to write it off by saying, "Oh hunnie, you know how zucchini just grows and grows no matter how you treat it. This wasn't my doing." But really, folks, she's amazing with those veggies -- this was actually a cucumber! Ok, just kidding, it's not.

The best part is, that her trash zucchini (yeah, this baby went right in the can after the photo was taken) was nearly the same size as my prized watermelon. Hpmf.

Hmmm...maybe next year I grow zucchini? Or perhaps the biggest pumpkins known to man. That'll show her and her Monster Zucchini. It'll be like Rodan meets Godzilla, except it'll be a big orange pumpkin and a skinny ass zucchini duking it out.

Don't lie, you'd watch.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Something bit me

Call it the holiday spirit or utter insanity, but somehow I got the itch to decorate for the holidays and now my house is all "festive-ish" as hubby likes to call it while he purses his lips like he just sucked on a lemon and waves his hands about in an obscene manner.

These things - peaberries, pepperberries, cranberries, pyracanthus berries or whatever -- they're all over my house and for some reason I can't get enough of them.

You remember how I said that I "don't decorate" for the holidays beyond a basket of pumpkins, right? Well, move over pumpkins and make way for the entourage of festive-ness. I've now got a pepperberry wreath on the door, pyracanthus boughs gracing my mantle, a poinsettia on the hearth, a candle farm and pepperberry arrangement on the armoire and a new red throw on the couch. It practically screams holiday festivities in my living room!

Who do I have to blame/thank for all this -- my mother in law. In a good way. She came to town over Thanksgiving and filled my head with visions of sugar plums and sh*t (we're spending Christmas with her, like I said before),got me all revved up for fun holiday stuff and now I'm running wild with the wreaths and berries and my husband is wondering where his holiday hating wife went.

Well here she is, America, and I haven't even had any sugar yet! Afraid? Me too. Here's a photo of the fireplace. Not too festive-y, right? Notice I'm not showing photos of all the decor -- shameful.

Oh, and I finished the dreaded double knit ski hat with amazing results. It is probably one of the nicest things I've knitted. So fully reversible and so fully warm and cozy. And nearly free of naughty mistakes! I broke down and let hubby try it on and, I must say, it came out quite good. Here's hubby modeling it for you -- both sides!

Blue with grey stripe

Grey with blue stripe

It takes some doing, but the results are so worth it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Progress all around

There's nothing like productivity to put me in a good mood.

I made good on my promise (to myself, I know, big whoop) to finish one more of my holiday knitting projects this weekend and start on the next. I would show you the final product of the OSW, which is now finished (and beautiful, I might add), but I wouldn't want to spoil any surprises ;)

However, I would like to show off the progress I'm making on the double knit ski hat for hubby (aka Bubba). This is the first time I'm really using this technique (double knitting) and I have to say, it's pretty friggen cool. Thanks to this pattern by Knitsmith forwarded to me by my good pal AfricanKelli, I stand a chance of making a suitable ski hat for my deserving hubby this season.

Not too bad, right. I mean, it's all reversible and sh*t. Just wait until I add the stripe. Whoa.

Oh, and speaking of progress, the winter garden is coming along nicely despite the invasion of evil underground creatures. Namely, gophers. Are you enjoying the irony? Let us reflect on the recent addition to my vegetable garden:

Oh yes, an impenitrable dome of hardware cloth, closed on the ends to keep all the critters out. When we built it we thought, "oh man, we are evil geniuses" and laughed maniacally while rubbing our palms together and contemplating the lettuce we would soon be enjoying. Well, how appropriate that our gloating has been thrown back in our faces. We came out to the garden a few days ago to find many of our little lettuces gone! Oh yeah, they burrowed in from BELOW. Fat lot of good our dome of doom has done us.

Now I will be employing a much less complicated form of anti-pest device handed down from my grandma -- XLax. Apparently, you jam it in the gopher holes and they, ahem, never come back.


Despite the madness, look at how the remaining plants are coming...





And with that, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

When the hell did the holidays get here?

Inspired by AfricanKelli, I give you my holiday diatribe.

The holidays exhaust me. Every year I try to get ahead of them, and every year I think I'm prepared until something sneaks up on me that I hadn't planned for -- gifts for new coworkers, a little something for the garbage man, some type of dessert to bring for Thanksgiving, getting time off for Christmas travel. You name it.

Well, this year, I may have it nearly nailed. And if all goes as planned, I'll be DONE BY THANKSGIVING. Can you imagine?

I've designed, ordered and addressed all my holiday cards (this now includes all my husbands family and friends). Now all I have to do is wait for hubby to bring home the stamps and they're off. Let us all hold our collective breath. I hope to send these out the day after Thanksgiving.

I've done all my holiday shopping, thanks to the magic of my laptop and trusty wireless connection. I am getting my wrapping supplies this weekend and will wrap and tag all gifts as they come in. Hopefully I will remember where I put them when Hanukkah rolls around in JANUARY (what the hell?).

I've booked all our holiday travel. Mom in law coming for Thanksgiving - hotel, car, flight, etc booked and confirmed. Hubby and I going to Mom in Law for Christmas - flight and activities confirmed (with any luck, will not include a long stay at church).

I've finished one of three handmade gifts and have the materials for the remaining two ready to go. With any luck, I'll get one more of these bad boys knocked out by this weekend.

And, since I don't decorate beyond the basket of pumpkins and gourds on the side table, I feel pretty much done. See, hubby is a major scrooge and I'm a Jew, so I don't have to concern myself with the likes of a tree, stockings, ornaments, fire retardant pajamas and whatever else makes its way into the house during Christmastime. I'll just bust out the old menorah and call it a night, or eight nights - whatever. Mom in law, sometimes fondly referred to as Dorothy or Mama Sue, will be spoiling us with all the Christmas-ness a person could desire as she hosts us this 12/25, so I'm getting off light and plan to enjoy every second of it.

Oh, and it helps that my kitchen is under construction, so I can't bake or cook a damn thing. Sad, but true. There will not be any holiday cakes or cookies in the Finny Knits house this year. With any luck, there will be cabinets again, and perhaps a nice stone countertop. Picture it with me, will you...

Some progress...

Perhaps I shall start planning our winter jaunt to Telluride now...shhh! Don't tell hubby it's a birthday surprise. Oh yeah, and hubby's birthday and one of my best friends' birthdays are right in January. So, just when I think the sh*tstorm is over, voila! Birthdays! Joy.

Bring on the eggnog, buttered rum, Manischewitz and champagne--I need a drink!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Homegrown Jack-O-Lantern

Remember that big ol' pumpkin I've been yammering on about all friggen summer? Well, just a few days before Halloween he finished turning a warm bright orange so I snapped him off the vine and carved him up! The pattern turned out fairly well (for those of you that get Sunset magazine, this might look familiar) and I got a couple great compliments from our neighborhood kids.

How's that?!

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Something new

So, this is a totally random post, but one that I was inspired to write as I was pushing my way through the last mile of my run this morning.

See, I've slacked off of my runs for the last week or so since I came down with a nasty cold and have been spending the hour between 6 and 7am snoozing (or hacking and wheezing as the case may have been) in my warm bed rather than out pounding the pavement in my neighborhood.

Funny thing though, as I hopped off my porch this morning and set out to see the neighborhood in all it's early morning charm, I immediately noticed that something was different. And, different outside of the fact that it was lighter (time change) and that I was now fairly out of shape.

At first, I was focused on breaking back into my old pace and didn't notice the little changes, but then I started to see all the new things that the fall brings to my new little corner of the world.

Up until we moved here I'd always clocked my miles in front of SportsCenter as I pounded the treadmill at the gym. This is the first fall I've spent running those same miles outside, where leaves crunch under my NB's, my breath floats around my face in white bursts and decorations go up on front doors and archways in every fashion.

I have to say, it is a whole different world when your morning routine involves an experience like I had this morning, and I'm hoping it will inspire me to peel back the cozy covers and head out into the chilly morning more often.

Crunch crunch.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

BackTack Received!

I know I promised this photo a week ago, so here it is...

An amazing Amy Butler messenger bag filled with all things embroidery! The best part about this bag is that it exactly matched the outfit I was wearing when I received it. Coincidence? I think not. SplitYarn has a finely honed sense of style :) I love it and will be ditching my regular laptop bag for this one.
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