Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the Potato Goddess.

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Ordinary, comforting, and more than a little predictable.
You're the glue that holds everyone together.

Enjoy your food!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday is the new Thursday

I don't watch football, and I don't watch it on Monday nights.
Personally, I don't think I could stay awake long enough to get to the end of the game.
So we watch sitcoms instead, and Monday night has a great lineup.
Remember when "must see tv" was on Thursday nights?
Well now it is Monday.
DH is in South America this week because his grandmother died and he flew down there for her funeral, so I'm recording the shows so he can watch them when he gets back. There is one show on Monday nights that I can watch again and again and never get tired of it:
The Big Bang Theory.
I watched an episode 3 times once over a 2 day period and never stopped laughing.
Have you seen it?
Sheldon, in all his nerdy OCD-ness, definitely steals the show each week.
Here is a clip from last week's episode, and even though this strategy will be quoted most often (I even do it, shame on me, and I'm not a Trekkie), this is not even the funniest moment in the show:

If you haven't seen this show yet, give it a go.
It will definitely grow on you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Shopping Caveats

Apparently you need to be careful about where you shop this holiday season.
Better to do your homework before buying gift cards or giving a gift that might be exchanged.
I've looked on Snopes and found out that some blog entries I've read are relatively true, while some are reporting this list that is circulating as false. There are lots of stores closing, including one of my favorites, Wilson Leather.
Now I would print the lists that I've seen, but I don't want to raise alarm, so I would say check out Snopes and see the real deal.
And then continue to do your homework.
Last year a co-worker received a gift card for The Sharper Image, and then found out that she couldn't use it because the store was not redeeming gift cards while they were in the middle of Chapter 11 filing. She might have been able to use it eventually, but it took a while to redeem it.
You know what I think we should do?
Give to charity, or to a family in need.
Or knit something for a family that is struggling.
Helping others never goes out of style and is always redeemable.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Isn't this what you need when you're 22?

DN1 turns 22 today.
Hard to believe all those years ago that a doctor could actually interrupt his watching of the Cowboys vs. Redskins game to come deliver a baby.
It was a stretch, I have to tell you.
Guess it is a good thing the Redskins won the game.
November 23 Washington Redskins 41-14 Dallas Cowboys RFK Stadium
We were living in Northern Virginia at the time, and the radio stations used to play Hail to the Redskins all the time.
I'm not a big Redskins fan; hell, I'm not even a big football fan anymore, but I'll never forget that particular game.
Who would have thought that 22 years after that fateful Sunday I'd be buying these boots for that particular baby:

She was here long enough to open her presents, and then head back over to her friends for an early Thanksgiving dinner.
Perhaps she'll even watch some football.
After all, she's turned into a Sabres fan since moving up here.
Happy Birthday, Tall Girl.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Really? No Follow Through?

I found this over at the blog of someone who is more of a deep thinker than I will ever be (but I already knew that without reading her analysis).
It is always interesting to have my blog analyzed, and you know how much I love self-analysis (check out my Thursday quizzes if you doubt that -- I guess I'm always waiting to be told that I'm something different yet it's the same me, week after week). According to Typealyzer, my blog reflects my writing/personality as this:

ESTP - The Doers

The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

And it came with this cool picture:

"Action-filled work" that requires my full attention?
Yup, whatever movie is on TCM.
"Problem sitting still or remaining inactive"?
Only in class when I start getting restless legs syndrome, otherwise I can be sitting still so well that I become inert and eventually fall asleep.
Other than those blaring inconsistencies, the impulsiveness, joking nature, and lack of follow-through really define me.
Gosh, don't you want to be my friend?
Perhaps hire me for a job?
Yup, I think I'll head upstairs and start a project I'll never finish!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Quiz - First Impressions

For the record, DH turned the heat on today.
And no, I'm not made of hearty stock (although I do have plenty of extra cushion to keep me warm), I'm just trying to be economical in my penny wise, pound foolish kind of way.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go order some books from Amazon before my next heating bill comes in and I can't afford it anymore.

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.

People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

To Heat, or not to heat, that is the question

For the record, we still haven't turned on the heat yet.
And man, is it getting cold.
I was in bed last night at about 7:00.
Okay, 6:30.
We have little electric heaters in the bedrooms, but it is not enough right now.
I'll turn it on soon.
Especially when you wake up to this:
Feels Like

Oh but wait, maybe we can hold off, because next week it will be back in the 40s!
Let me rethink this heat thing....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hats for the Homeless

Jean over at The Scottish Lamb is hosting a hat drive for the homeless in NYC. Well, it's not just hats, it's any knitted goods, scarves, mittens, gloves, and of course, hats.
If you're interested, check out her blog and send her an email.
Oh, and there are prizes!
And just to get you started, here is a link to some free hat patterns.
Check it out.
I've gone through my yarn, and I know exactly what I can make.
Can I go home from work now and get started knitting?

P.S. We have snow here; even more reason to knit for those who are struggling and trying to survive out in the cold.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mittens and Things

Well, it hasn't been all gloom and doom around here.
My 2nd cousin who is 100 years old will be at my Aunt's viewing this evening, so we are a pretty resilient bunch.
In the meantime, I have been knitting mittens to give away to charity.
I've knitted some up on 2 needles, but have yet to sew them together.

These smaller mittens knit up so quick - I had no idea!
I can definitely use up a lot of my old acrylic yarn on these things.
I'm supposed to be reading Typee by Herman Melville, but on Friday I got this book in the mail. It was recommended by Wendy, and I thought it sounded interesting so I ordered it.
It is a good read, very clever development of a new plot line, and of course it involves knitting.
If you're interested in reading it next, drop me a line and I'll send it your way.
Normally I love keeping books like this, but it would be fun to pass it on, so that you too can pass it on.
Let me know.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sad Times

Some sad times in our family this weekend.
My 89 year old aunt, Auntie M, died.
The first to go of my mother's three sisters.
Auntie M shown seated in this pictured.

This is a woman who had a very, very tough life and who was never a very strong woman, but who continued to maintain even as life dealt some terrible blows.
The worst came one evening when her husband came home and was there for 2 hours when he had a heart attack. She rode in the ambulance with him, and then suffered the indignity of riding home alone on a bus to tell her six children their father was dead at 41.
Her youngest was 9 months old.
She suffered severe hardships raising the children; they never had a lot, and they lived in some awful places, but her greatest accomplishment is that her family is very, very connected and close to each other.

My cousin Jan is pictured here closest to the front.
She took care of Auntie M for the past 7 years. Auntie M suffered from lupus and her kidneys had been working at 15% for the past few years. Two weeks ago her doctor, who has cared for her for 25 years, told her that her kidneys were shutting down and that he wouldn't put her through the painful process of dialysis.
She was philosophical about what her doctor had to tell her, kind of how she dealt with every blow life handed her.
Guess she wasn't the sister without strength after all.
Saturday morning at about 5:30 she passed away.
Although her life was not easy, her death was.
Unfortunately it is difficult to know when the grieving will end because it has been a bad year for my cousin Mike, Auntie M's oldest son.
He had a stroke in June (he's 58), his wife died of a heart attack in August (she was 58), and now his mother has gone. On Saturday after his mother died he had another couple of mini-strokes that put him back in the hospital.
He is out now, but has to go back to the doctor after the funeral on Tuesday.
So as I said, some sad, stressful times around here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Marines

It is the 233rd birthday of the Marine Corps.
Did you know our Service began in a tavern?
It explains a lot about Marines if you stop and think about it.
My friend sent this article to me.
The original can be found at this site.

At dawn in Phila., homage to the first Marine

By Peter Mucha
Inquirer Staff Writer

Once a year, few are the proud who remember:
The Philadelphian who founded the Marines is buried here.
Every Nov. 10 for more than a decade, a simple sunrise ceremony has taken place at the unlikely site where Samuel Nicholas is buried:
The Quaker meetinghouse at Fourth and Arch Streets.
The gravesite is so little publicized, even those who paid homage this morning were unsure where it was.
Having an almost-unknown tomb of a well-known soldier is remarkable for a city that worships its history makers.
About 6:40 a.m., hearty chanting heralded the approach of a contingent of men and women.
"Back in 1775, our Marine Corps came alive!" was one of the lines they bellowed.
The cadence grew louder, as about 48 souls, most of them in sweatsuits, jogged quickly through the Arch Street gates, just a block west of the Betsy Ross House.
Then they stood silently, on a herringbone brick walkway west of the long two-story brick building, under a skeletal canopy of towering trees.
A reading commemorated the birth of the Marine Corps in Philadelphia, authorized by the Continental Congress, 233 years ago on this date.
That it falls the day before Veterans Day is just coincidence.
A wreath of red and white carnations was placed on a wire stand, followed by a minute or two of silence.
Then the group was off, except for Capt. Phillip Peche, 31, who stayed behind to explain.
"I think it's great to introduce the newest members of the corps to the history," he said.
The 48 paying homage - who ran the 3.5 or so miles from the University of Pennsylvania - included about 40 ROTC cadets from Penn and Villanova, as well as three second lieutenants and a gunnery sergeant from Quantico, Va.
The ROTC program he helps manage, he said, is officially a Navy program, but cadets can opt to join the Marines.
The precise whereabouts of Nicholas' remains were a mystery, he said.
Nicholas is believed to have been buried on the east side of building, Nancy Gibbs, the Friends meetinghouse director, said later this morning.
"We don't know exactly where," she said.
Quakers don't subscribe to fancy headstones, and as cemeteries go, it was anything but exclusive, she said.
As many as 20,000 people - including thousands of casualities of the late 18th-century yellow fever epidemic - may have been buried on the property, which was chartered as a cemetery by William Penn in 1701.
Yes, the meetinghouse, finished in 1811, was built atop remains, she said.
"They're still here," she said. "They're under our feet. They're under our parking lot. They're under our walkways."
Nicholas was a member of the Quakers, renowned for their pacifist views, until he decided to fight for the country's independence and started recruiting at Tun's Tavern to form the Marines, according to accounts.
Nicholas was expelled - Quakers call it being "read out of meeting," Gibbs said, but his remains were still buried there - a fact that has remained surprisingly little noted.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Civic Duty

I voted today at 6:45.

For the record, I don't like either set of candidates, however I had to chose because I couldn't find the place where I could write in Pat Paulsen's name.