Monday, September 14, 2009


I'm totally obsessed with Fox's new show Glee. I've watched both episodes (and the web exclusive clip) three times already. I even visited the fan site (I know!) I highly recommend it. Really funny, without being slapstick; and all the characters are totally over the top charicatures. I hope they don't ruin it by making them more "human" as time goes on. I don't know how long it will last, I imagine that it's got to be expensive to produce since every episode has 3 or 4 music videos in it. But I like it. So go watch the episodes and be prepared to discuss at knitting group on Friday night. Speaking of knitting, I'm knitting a toddler dress right now in some (truly) vintage (from like the early 60's) baby wool from my stash. 100% wool and I'm totally digging on the spit splice. Finally I'll leave you with this pic I snapped from my car. I was driving along crying and just looked up at the red light and saw it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lost in High School

I realized today when I saw his picture on the front page of the paper that I don't like the way Ben Bernanke looks. I think he looks entirely too smug and condescending. It's a pretty strong gut reaction. Obviously he resembles someone I've had a bad experience with.
Back to school today, and we didn't get off to a good start. Older Son called me at work at ~1:00 PM (college classes start for him next Monday) saying that the high school had called and Younger Son was absent. What?! I sent the kid off there this morning. Immediate panic set in as I frantically called the school to confirm whether he was really there or not. I told them I was ready to call the police. They found him. Turns out they'd just misplaced him. So now the homework wars start again. I hate school. I've been having nightmares about it for a solid week now.
But there has been some knitting. Unfortunately I can't show it to you because my camera and computer are having a failure to communicate. I want a new camera. I'll edit and add pics later if I can (they were cute baby pics, too!) I got pictures!
I finished this cute little romper for BabeE last week. Isn't it cute? (And not pink?) There's sparkly buttons for the butt too, but I didn't have thread to sew them on so her mom will have to. (Hey, it's not a free lunch, you know?) Pattern is "Florence" from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Collection. Here's the front:

We liked the retro feel of this pattern, and mom's a big fan of the seed stitch. And there's this beauty too:
(I can only take full credit for the sweater. I'll take partial credit for the baby. It was my birthday celebration that put that glimmer in her mother's eye.) April Baby. I subbed out the Gull pattern as I'm wont to do. Can't remember the name of this one, only that it was a six stitch pattern so I had to do some math to make it work out right. And her mom dyed the yarn, so I guess I can give her partial credit on the sweater too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Coming Back

First off -- thanks everyone for your condolences. It means alot to me. I'm trying to get back to the business of life. I told my sisters that I don't know what to do with myself. I've been taking care of my parents for the past 15 years. My sisters were in town until yesterday morning, so yesterday evening and today have been a little hard since it's the first I've been on my own. I talked to everyone today and none of us are sleeping well. Then there's the issues around any kind of gathering, good or bad. Can you believe that one of the visitors at the viewing for my dad gave a family member grief because she didn't feel that she was paid enough attention while she was there?! Just thinking about it boggles my mind. "I was at this funeral home and the grieving family just didn't pay enough attention to me. They're all snooty and stuck up." Sheesh. (For the record, everyone did talk to her, someone was talking to her the whole time she was there, and she left because she said she had to be somewhere else.) Work has been very good, and it's helpful to keep busy. Unfortunately, though, I now have no excuse for putting off the housework I've been neglecting. Well, I did today because it's eleven thousand degrees out, and I'm not moving from my bed because any movement at all makes me break out in a sweat. Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow...

Monday, August 03, 2009

Goodbye Pap

My dad passed away this morning. He slipped into unconsciousness yesterday morning and didn't wake back up.

I sat with him throughout the night and he never showed any signs of distress or discomfort. The last time I spoke to him was after a visit from Celtic Queen. His face lit up when he saw her and he was happier than I've seen him in weeks. It was a blessing.

We were very grateful that his end was peaceful. I imagine that he's enjoying a long-awaited reunion with his "Honey Bea" (his pet name for my mom) right now.

I was also fortunate that the nurse on call was a neighbor who knows me well, and so I knew he was in good hands.

As he himself said, he "lead a good long life and was really blessed."

He will be greatly missed by my sisters and I, (this is one of my sisters, not me in case you're wondering)

And all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Everyone who met him liked him, and I've heard over and over "He was a really good man."

Friday, July 31, 2009

Burn Me

I love Burn Notice. I was just saying to the boys how much better my life would be if I had good looking people with guns and plastic explosives on my side. Those hospital and nursing home people would straighten right up. And then they could start on my boss. The boys say that that world isn't the real world, but whatever! A girl can dream, right?
Anyway, there has been some knitting -- I finished an object, even.
I'm so-so about this sweater. It's Bad Penny from Knitty. I modified by using only one yarn, adding short row bust shaping, longer arms, and waist shaping. I love the mods, but they only went so far. I should have cast on fewer stitches (it's knit top-down) and done an increase after the ribbing for the neckline. My neck/shoulders aren't that much bigger around than someone w/ a 34" bust, but to get enough stitches for my size at the end of the raglan shaping (the distance from neck to underarm is about the same, too) I had to cast on waaaay too many stitches. It's ok at the beginning of the day when the yarn is still tight, but by the end of the day I'm like Carmen with my sweater drooping off one shoulder. Which surprisingly isn't all that attractive a look for me. Also, I've lost ~20 lbs since I started this sweater, so what was close fitting then is a little baggier now. Overall ok, but I may rip and re-knit over the winter for something better next summer. And today? For the first time in a long time I was too tired to knit, or spin, or do anything fibery. I'm watching TV and drinking beer. (Well, one beer and a couple fruity "malt beverages". I have a story about the beer.)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Birthday Link-Fest

It's that time of year again. Time to shop for your favorite forty-something fiberista (Apparently I'm all about the alliteration.) So here's a list of links to stuff I covet. So as to make the shopping easier on you all.

I love Etsy! Here are some of my favorite vendors:

KBShimmer One of my favorite indugences recently has been hand made soap. I am seriously lusting after some of these soaps (love the kaliedo-soap! And Caravan!)
Sparta Soap More handmade soap. I've bought from this seller, and was very happy. This is a local seller, too.

Jazz Turtle (love those batts)
Enchanted Knoll Love the sparkly batts and rovings (I've been looking out for Gold Dust Woman.)
TerraBellaSpun More batts
Butterfly Girl Designs Batts and spindles.
Zebisis Designs More batts and spindles.

Another recent find was varietal honey. I bought some from Bee Folks when I was in Maryland, and loved it! One of my fave "little indugences" is an afternoon cup of herbal tea with honey at work. (But I didn't care for killer bee honey.)

Knitterly Things is a favorite. I love all of Julia's fiber and yarn. (And it's really nice to get stuff from someone I know!)

Also, Amy King, aka Spunky Eclectic has a New Book (buy it from Amy at the link and she'll autograph it!) that I really want. And you know, you could order up some Custom Dyed Fiber while you're there. (For the uninitiated, choose the fiber here then state what colorway you want when you place the order. Yeah, I think it's a little clunky too, but I didn't design the website.)

A gift certificate to Bloomin Yarns wouldn't go amiss either.

A yogurt cheese maker. Homemade paneer! Yum!

And an an immersion blender. Soups and smoothies, here I come!

Whew! Enough choices for you all? I may update with more later.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

TdF Day Two

I wound off the bobbin from yesterday (this wheel has only one bobbin) and started spinning a fresh bobbin of the same fiber for today's installment of the Tour de Fleece. I split my 8 oz. of fiber into two lots and will put each one on a bobbin (the bobbin will hold 4 oz of fiber). The plan is to mix and match the six lots while plying to get a more even distribution of singles.

My other TdF project at the moment is this spindle project with some wool from a vendor I can't remember at MDS&W. They're in one of the barns at the very end closest to the sheep barns, and they have lots of baskets of loose fiber in lots of colors stacked up on the walls. Anyone?

Here's a picture of the whole lot of this fiber, -- I think I have 2 and a half pounds of it or so. It's a wool/mohair mix maybe 50/50? I should have enough of this to make a sweater for myself, if I ever get it all spun up. The spindle is a Bosworth in tulipwood.

TdF - Day One

ONE of my projects for TdF is to spin up this fiber:
purchased at MDS&W in 2006. I had 1.5 lbs of it, and this
is the end of the first 8 oz. I'll start the second today. I also spun some of the blue fiber I bought at the same time on the spindle I bought then too. (It's like a MDS&W 2006 reunion.) Actually, that's just the stash bin I happened to open. Yeah, my stash is stratified by years, so what? Anyways, this yarn is destined to become a 3 ply which I will knit into either a sweater or vest, depending on yardage.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

It's Been a Hard Day's Night

::sigh:: I'm not asking for life to be easy, just a little less hard. I ended up crying at my desk this afternoon at work. Not fun. Not much knitting going on. I forgot, until I downloaded the pictures from my camera that I'd met Ysolda Teague at Bloomin Yarns. She was very nice and charming and now I want to get all her patterns. As soon as I have some money I'm ordering Otto, Elijah, and Sophie. They were unbelievably cute in person. (Birthday alert! These patterns would make great gifts!)
Then at knitting last Friday Terri brought these cute balls stuffed with lavender -- they're for her mom who can't see very well, but she can hold them and feel the nice squishy wool and smell the lavender. What a great idea! I might make some for my dad, who has to exercise his hands for his OT.
And I also taught Janice to spin with a hand spindle. She was going like gangbusters using the park and draft method. Fiber by Spunky Eclectic in the colorway "Eclipse" -- it was a club color last summer. Romney, so super easy for a beginner to learn on.

And finally here's my Brown Penny. I've got the sleeves done. Mods to the pattern so far are longer sleeves, more room in the bust, some short rows for the girls, and some waist shaping. I'm hoping to finish this in the next week or so. Hopefully it fits. (It looks big, but I could just be underestimating my size, which I do frequently. I can always rip and re-knit.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tentatively Hopeful

I did hear back from the VA today and the man said that they have approved my dad's claim! So complaining and stressing out about things really does work! I'm not going to totally believe it (or stop gathering medical evidence) until I see something in writing, but I am tentatively hopeful that this is going to work out alright. I must have sounded sufficiently frantic on the phone yesterday. (I always try to remember how I sounded for future reference, but it never works.) They called me today when I was with my dad so I was able to share the news with him right away. I still have a couple of cards up my sleeve, though, including Dave talking to our State Legislator about it (Dave serves on the church board with him). So I'm less stressed today, and I got to visit Heather too because my work was cancelled due to the severe storms yesterday. I was even destressed enough to knit a little (I hadn't felt up to it for the past couple of days). Hopefully pics tomorrow in the daylight (I'm knitting short rows to give the girls a little extra room).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New -- With Tornadic Activity!

We had some wild weather here in the 'Burgh this evening. It started out with just lots of lightening and thunder. Older Son and I sat out on the front porch and watched it. Then all the local emergency vehicles came screaming down our street and turned at our corner. Except for this big rig, which parked in front of our house for about 20 minutes. OS scampered up the street to see what was on fire (nothing this time -- but there was a fire up there somewhere yesterday) and came back to report that he thought it might be a downed tree or something and that it was really tight space-wise so he thought there just wasn't room for this truck. Eventually this and the other emergency vehicles all left. I was too shy to ask a fireman to hold a sock for me.

On a personal note I'm strangling in red tape. My dad was denied his VA benefit for Aid and Assistance (Geez, he can't feed himself, bathe himself, dress himself, or go to the bathroom unassisted. What do they think constitutes requiring Aid and Assistance??) The letter I got says that he has to be examined at the local Veteran's Affairs facility. Now, I had gotten a call from them a month ago (coincidentally on the day my dad fell and broke his hip) wanting to schedule an exam. I called them back and told them they could do any kind of exam they wanted, but they would have to come to him seeing as how he was in the hospital. They told me it wasn't necessary. Yesterday I got a letter saying that his request had been denied because the medical records didn't substantiate his claim (I'm also suspicious that either the doctor's office or the nursing facility he was in didn't send the records they said they did -- but the VA won't tell me what they have or don't have. Double ARRGH!). So I called them back. The conversation went like this:
Me: I got this letter denying my dad's claim, they say that he has to be examined at your facility.
VA Person: Yes, I see that we spoke on May 18th, and he broke his hip. You don't need to come in.
Me: You don't understand. I got this letter (reads letter) yesterday saying that his claim is denied unless it is substantiated by an exam from you.
VA Person: Well, he can make the claim based on the medical records...But wait, you're saying that the claim was denied with those...
Me: Yes. I need to know when the exam will be scheduled because I have to arrange a wheelchair transport and if the exam is going to require him to get out of the wheelchair you'll have to have someone there to get him in and out of it because I can't lift him.
VA Person: This sounds like it's a hardship...I don't think you need to come in.
Me (frantic): Well, if this is the only way to get this claim approved I'll get him there. I'll do whatever it takes.
VA Person: Well, I don't know what to do...I have to talk to my supervisor and get back to you.
ARRGH!! Needless to say she didn't call me back. I'm frantic. The expense of keeping him in the assisted living facility he's in is just over $1000 a month more than his monthly income. And guess who's on the hook for it all? The facility has been willing to wait for their money until his claim was processed, but what happens if it's denied? I feel like I was taken for a ride by the nursing facility who told me he "had" to go to an assisted living facility, and the director of the personal care home he's in, both of whom told me that there would be "no problem" with him getting this benefit. I can't take him out of the facility because as soon as he leaves that means he'll never get reimbursed for the money he's out so far. (It's taken almost 5 months to get to this point.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

She Who Dies With the Most Stuff....Dies

One of the difficult things I had to do in the past several months was finally deal with all my mother's things. While my dad was still living in their apartment I put it off, but we had to move my dad to an assisted living facility because of the complications he's having. Which meant that we had to empty the apartment. My dad took a few things with him, but the rest...My sisters were here and they were absolutely ruthless. We didn't have the time to pack up and deliver anything to a charity (the Salvation Army had said they would come and pick things up but then cancelled at the last minute) so that meant everything went into the dumpster. My mother wasn't a collector, quite the opposite, so the things she kept were things that she really wanted or used. All I could think as we made trip after trip to the dumpster was that these were the things that my mother had accumulated over her lifetime, that meant something to her, and in the end it was all so much garbage. Very sad, and not a comfortable thought. I keep thinking about all the things I have and love and wondering if they'll end up in a dumpster or sold for a fraction of what they're worth. I salvaged what I could, but still... Maybe it's because I'm a very visual person so seeing things makes me remember. It was like I was throwing away my memories. I tried to explain this to my sister who I could tell was exasperated by my unwillingness to get on with the job and throw everything out. "When I see this," I said, "it brings back my memories of Mom. I'm afraid I won't be able to remember her anymore once it's all gone." She didn't have any answer for me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Knitting Now

Here's what I'm currently working on. I couldn't get the picture to show accurate color (that's what happens when you don't get home until 10 PM to take pictures of your knitting). I posed it on the skirt I'm knitting it to match and since its color is off as well you can see that it matches perfectly. The pattern is Bad Penny from the fabulous Knitty which is now my favorite knitting magazine. (Yay! It's a new issue!) I've modified and am not doing the YO increases and I will have add some shaping in the body (when the arms are big enough for me, I still need 3" for my bust, and I also want some waist shaping.) The yarn is CotLin from KnitPicks. I love this yarn. I'm already considering what other color I can make a summer sweater in and if it would be possible for me to finish two sweaters this summer (they have short sleeves -- that should make all the difference, right?) And I've also knit up something fun and summery in this yarn. Do those colors scream "Summer" or what? (It's a bit brighter IRL).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I'm back! Long time no blog, I know. Let me explain...No, is too much I sum up.

The Good -- we have a new baby in the family! Meet ConMan, my evil twin's grandson. Born March 11.

The Bad -- The little guy was born with severe Spina Bifuda, which required surgery within hours of his birth, and is further complicated by hydrocephalus which has required two brain surgeries so far to relieve the pressure on his brain. On a positive note he has had a much better outcome than expected, he has some movement in his legs and the hydrocephalus didn't develop until after birth so we're optimistic that there will be minimum if any brain damage as a result. Little guy has had some swelling and scarring from the brain surgeries though, so I had to make him a hat. I'm hoping to make him several more. (It's good to be related to a knitter!)

The Ugly -- And this is the main reason I haven't been blogging. My father is dying. It's not tragic, he's 87 (almost 88). But it's sad. And hard and painful (physically) for him and (emotionally) for me. It's been a slow drawn out process, none of which is pretty or uplifting. I'm not really sure how much of it I want to share, and it's a lot of what's going on with me right now. I even gave up knitting altogether for two weeks. But it's come back with a vengeance this week and I'm working on a sweater for ME! (More on that later). I'm trying to find and/or restore some small pleasures in my life and knitting and writing are part of that. So I'm going to try to blog some about my knitting and maybe about finding some good in an otherwise bad time. Because I can't find it if I don't look for it, right?

Monday, March 09, 2009

No Cake For You!

The Blog has spoken -- No cake for the boys. And it's not that bad, Older Son doesn't even like cake. He just wanted it because he couldn't have it. He got the left over icing, which is all he likes anyways. And Younger Son...He's an indiscriminate eater. He should be satisfied with the close to a dozen pieces of pizza he ate for dinner last night.
Did you know that you can watch videos at IMDb? They have 56 episodes of the Twilight Zone, old CBS commercials and all. I watched "Nothing in the Dark" (with an absolutely dreamy Robert Redford as Mr. Death. I hope I get him when the time comes.) So be sure to tell your husband about it (you know who you are). I myself couldn't get the full screen to work, but I'm sure I'll figure it out soon. Makes me wonder what other shows are there. Of course, this does cut into my knitting time, though.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake?

Well, I finally got my cake. I had to make it myself, but there it is. I'm having a party for myself. Seems as though I've finally made it to menopause. So it really wasn't PMS last week, after all. I decided a momentous event such as this called for a cake. Right? When I informed Dave about it, that's what I told him. "I think I need to have a party for this." I don't think he got it. Next week I'll compare notes with my evil twin and find out where she is on this road. Anyways, I'm feeling surprisingly good, and sleeping a bit better so maybe things are finally on the up swing. The big question now is...Should I let the boys have some of my cake?? Younger Son dropped my first one (and the worst part of that? The whole house smelled like cake and I couldn't have any.) Older Son promised to make me another cake and didn't come through with the goods. And neither has done his chores completely. Weigh in in the comments. BTW, YS did not want to throw himself on the mercy of the blog, while OS thought you'd go for him having cake. Finally,no knitting I can show pictures of, so I'll leave you with this. I think the yarn shop should get one.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm a Woman on the Edge

I'm batting about -1000. This week my bank (Dollar Bank, big boo hiss) decided to charge me six (!) non sufficient funds fees and my account was never overdrawn. Even after they sucked out over $200! So yesterday while I was on the phone fighting with the bank I got a phone call that my dad had fallen at the personal care home he's at right now. Then my sister calls and wants me to solve a crisis with my niece. Heather tried to cheer me up last night but I seem to be back in that tunnel today and I don't think that light approaching is the end of it, either. Dave's working out of town and keeps trying to get home, and getting called back before he gets here (this afternoon he made it all the way to the Liberty Tubes.) My dad had digital cable installed because that's the deal right now. But they didn't show him how to use it so I had to go online and download all the setup info myself. Which I left at work. Yeah. Came home and tried to get some fried fish for dinner, and the two places Older Son and I went were not having fish fries this year. What's up with that? When I got home I demanded that Younger Son make me a cake. So after much let's say, "intensive", negotiation he finally got with the program and put a cake in the oven. Which was set on broil -- even though I told him to make sure it was set on bake. I caught that in time, I believe. But then in some monumental teenage moment of spaciness he dropped my cake on the floor. I lost it. Not my finest moment as a mother, but what can I say, I'm a woman with PMS. (Why do you think I demanded a cake in the first place?) Someone come over and put me out of my misery.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Over and Under

I'm still here. Just overwhelmed, or under water, as the case may be. Just about every aspect of my life right now has come to a crisis point that requires some kind of intervention on my part within the past week. I'm overstressed, under pressure, overworked, and under appreciated. Not much knitting getting done, and nothing much to show anyways. I always thought that in situations like this I would knit to relax, but you know what? I have no desire to knit all these bad feelings into something. Maybe things will start looking up tomorrow. I have been visiting yarn shops for the past two weekends, and made some purchases. I'll try again tomorrow.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I am so predictable. Have you ever gone rooting around in your stash and realised that you'd bought the same yarn over and over (and over) again? Check this out. I thought this blue and brown combo would make great guy socks. (Apparently I really thought so.)
Lion Brand Magic Stipes, Trekking XXL, and Shibui. It'll be interesting to see how they all knit up.
And look at these beauties. Bright rainbow yarns are a personal favorite of mine. Celtic Queen will point out (and rightly so) that she gifted me with the Trekking here, but she only did it because she knows me so well and knew I would covet it (which I do).
Hmmm, do you think if I made something like the Spectrum Scarf (scroll down) with the fuzzy yarn and some gloves with the Trekking it would look like a "Set"? (I may have become hyper aware of this matching set issue.)
And did you see what clever Heather did? She kitted up her own sock kits from stash so she has a surprise sock to knit every month that she knows she'll already like! I may have to use this idea myself. Maybe for all the spinning fiber I'm accruing. Speaking of which, here's my latest Spunky Club, CQ. Much different than yours:
Different than each other, too. If you've got a murkier one and want to trade for my lighter bump (on the right) let me know. But organic merino...mmmm soft!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Start

I like New Years. It's always nice to make a fresh start, clear the decks, take stock of things and keep what's working and discard what's not. Sometimes all we need is an opportunity to make a new start to really turn things around. I've made a few resolutions, as it were, this year myself. Nothing I'm going to beat myself up about "keeping", just things I want to focus more of my energy on. I've resolved to work at getting healthy. Exercise more, eat better, take better care of myself. You know the drill. (I've had salad for dinner two nights in a row -- I think my body might be thinking it's the end of the world!) I'm stealing Nike's slogan and making this year's slogan "Just Do It!" My previous slogan was "Try It" and I've tried alot of new things. Some I liked, some I didn't. But trying new things has become a habit (a happy one) so I decided it was time to go with something new. I tend to dither about making choices (way too much) so I'm hoping this will get me to think less and do more. More fiber related resolutions are to knit more stash (I bought it because I liked it, right?) and to spin more. I did spin some over the weekend while I was not knitting (actually I plied up the sock yarn on the bobbin on the wheel). And finally to blog more. Look! I even have a picture today! That's my version of Ziggy which is slated for Older Son.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Have You Seen My Mojo?

I've lost my knitting mojo. I'm embarrassed to say it, but I've knit only one round on a sock since New Year's day. I knit nothing over the weekend, nada, zip, zilch. I haven't been seduced by other interests, I'm just sitting and doing nothing. On the shuttle to and from work, at home, at my mother in law's -- everywhere. Not even the lure of super cute baby knits can get me going. Did I over do with the Christmas knitting? Maybe I just needed a little break to cleanse the palate. Knitting is on Friday so I'll at least sit and hold some knitting then. In other news, Dave is almost home from Erie (again) and may be going to Florida. I'm working lots, and the boys are getting by for the most part.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Holiday Recap

Let's see...
The Sons were a couple of Wise Guys,
We got the tree up and decorated (thanks to Younger Son).
The Sons waiting to come downstairs on Christmas morning. I knit Older Son that hat when he was in 4th or 5th grade, I don't know where he dug it up from.
OS with his knitted gifts (he says the blue flame hat is "lucky"). Notice that Younger Son is now wearing the knit Santa hat.
YS with his knitted gifts (two pairs of socks. Cotton Socks (again) and Vesper Socks Yarn "The Holly and the Ivy".) He's worn them both already.
Dave and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, which was very nice. Even though I didn't get to drink champagne. I still have both bottles in my fridge. I'm a woman in search of a party.
Finally, one of the Sons' gifts was the game Bananagrams and although I didn't win with this play I was very proud of myself for getting both knit and purl in the same hand!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year

Happy New Year! I'd like to do a holiday recap, but it's just too much. I don't even have any pictures today. Just wanted to do a little post to say that I'm still here, just busy (I was off today, but have to work tomorrow.) We had a nice Christmas and New Year, but everything was very subdued this year. I have mixed feelings about that -- In some ways it was good, in some ways not so good. I mean, if you can't go to excess during the holidays, when can you?? Anyways, more tomorrow when I'll have my camera and can give you pictures.