Lani's household consists of Steve, the long-suffering coding genius and computer security guru; Jim, Lani's tall, red-headed and handsome son, currently finishing his second year of college; Hunter, Jasmine, Himari, Chenault, the miraculous Onyx and the even more miraculous Resk, undisputed feline rulers of the house; and Jesse, the man-hating green-cheeked conure.
Ann's household consists of Don, who is not just a computer genius but a pilot, a builder, and a damn good father; their son Steve, the marathon-running, college-bound, funniest teenager I know; and wonder dog Tater.
Other family members are Laurie, Lani's beautiful daughter who teaches at elementary levels; her handsome son Alex, aka Alexander the Great; Mary and Bo, a/k/a Mom and Dad, and Bud and Ann, Steve's patient and wonderful parents.
I know you are working today, Lani, but I hope you get some Thanksgiving cheer somewhere along the way! We have a full house - Grandmother and Grandfather arrived Saturday, and Laurie and Alex arrived Tuesday. Things are rather busy (as an understatement).
Right now, Alex just got up from his nap and is running around sans pants playing with the dogs, Laurie just finished sewing a million sequins on his stocking, Dad is watching the game, and I have a full time job trying to keep Mom from cooking or cleaning every waking second. Don has retreated upstairs, and Steve is out trying to run away. I think he'll come back after he's logged 5 - 6 miles, but we'll see.
The turkey is in the oven, and I have to go flip it over. I did a new brine, with honey, garlic, thyme and of course salt, and I'm cooking it breast side down first. We have everything else ready until the last minute rush. Here's the menu:
Champagne and then Chardonnay Roast turkey Cornbread dressing Gravy Jellied cranberry sauce with pecans and celery Green bean casserole (don't turn your nose up, I made fresh beans and from-scratch mushroom sauce, and I'll fry onion rings at the last minute to top it) Mashed sweet potatoes topped with caramelized apples Rolls
Followed by pumpkin pie, coconut custard pie, caramelized apples over ice cream, and coffee.
Followed by a nap.
Hope you at least get a cup of liquid cheer if you don't get homemade turkey and dressing. If the menu sounds good, come see us next year . . . .
Around here, we love meeces to pieces (posted by Lani)
We'd like to anyway, or at least the cats would like to. And they'd like to do it quite literally, too. I got back home super late Wednesday night and Thursday Steve and I were sitting here when I suddenly heard him say "Whoa!" "Whoa what?" "Jasmine has a mouse!!" "Well, yeah, that's why I buy them, you haven't seen her play with them before?" "Uh, Lani. A REAL mouse." Whoopsie! Fortunately for that little mousie Jasmine never was much of a hunter, and she was apparently as stunned that she actually caught the mouse as it was stunned to BE caught. I pounced on her and made her drop the mouse, Steve scooped mousie up and repatriated it to OUTSIDE the house, and we had a happy ending (all of us but Jasmine, anyway; she's still pouting). Now we have to find an exterminator I guess. I can't bear even the thought of mousetraps, and I don't want to KILL the mice but on the other hand I don't want them in the house either. Anyone with de-mousing suggestions?
In other news! On the table when I got home was a box. A box addressed to me, no less. Whee, I love presents! And this one was a doozy ... a genuine CAT bag of my very own! See?
Charlotte, I adore it; you outdid yourself. I can't use it in uniform but I can (and already have!) when I'm off duty -- and I love it, every little detail of it. It's just big enough without being too big, the pockets inside are perfect, and ya'll, she tucked airport flashcards inside with the airport codes and names of all the airports I should visit to see my friends and family. Too funny ... Steve and I got a real laugh out of those. Thank you so much!
As for my flying, well, I haven't been. I've been sitting. I'm TIRED of sitting. I'm getting just a wee bit cranky about sitting, in fact. So I spoke to Crew Scheduling and begged and pleaded, and they promised me that I'd get to fly this round. Getting paid to just sit may sound good, but when you're just sitting in a strange city and you're tied to your apartment and can't go out ... jeeze. Let me fly. Please.
On the up side, while sitting I've been knitting (and crocheting, too). At least I've been somewhat productive in my frustration. We had a cold snap in Philly the first week I was there and I needed a scarf to wear with my coat, so I pored through free patterns and came up with the Touch of Whimsy pattern. The company wants you to feel free to exercise your individuality (HA), so your scarf/hat/gloves can be any color you like as long as it's black, navy blue, or grey. With that in mind I rummaged through my stash and came up with some 1824 Mission Cotton in a nice dark grey, and I was off. After a couple of repeats I decided I wasn't nuts about the cables in the middle of the scarf (too bulky with this particular yarn, I think I'd like it better with a different yarn), so I ripped back and started over without the cables and I'm very happy with the result.
My Whimsy is about 5 feet long so I can wrap it snugly around my neck, or fling it whimsically over my shoulders, the Mission cotton makes it snuggly and cushiony, and the pattern, with or without cables, was easy to memorize. I'll be doing more of these. For now though, currently on the needles is a panta a/k/a headband to go with; once that's done I'll be making the Touch of Whimsy hat as well. I mean, why not have a matching set?
While not knitting I was crocheting. Remember this? Last seen at Row 51?
Well, here it is as of last night, at 1/4 of the way through Row 80 of 81 ...
and as of this morning I'm pleased to announce that it's DONE. I'll get it washed and dried when I'm home next, take a final picture, and then wrap it up in pretty paper for Steve to take with him when he goes to see his mom the first part of December. I'm so happy! And despite the seemingly endless rows of single crochet at the end, I do love this pattern and I'll make another of these in the near future, mark my words. For now, though, currently on the hook once again and headed back to Philadelphia with me tonight is ... ta-daaa ... Mom's afghan (aka the 85,000 stitch just-kill-me-now afghan, for those who remember that from earlier this year), at just under 50% complete. See, Mom, I haven't forgotten you!
Alive and well and living in Philadelphia ... (posted by Lani)
That's me, alright. I have a love-hate thing going with my job right now; I love the job, hate the living in Philadelphia part of it. Not that my roommate Veronica (a/k/a Ronnie) isn't fabulous, she is; but I'm not at home, and I miss Steve and the animals and, well, being at home. I did go home for three days last week which was wonderful, and I'll get to go back home Wednesday or Thursday of this week for another three days, but you know, it's just not enough. The transfer back home to Norfolk can't come too soon for me, or for Steve.
Homesickness aside, Philly is a great city. There are some great museums here (the Museum of National History is having a Darwin and the Galapagos exhibit!) and Ronnie's son, who works for the Seaport Museum, was kind enough to get me a City Pass with tickets to all of them. Downtown is great for shopping, and there are also some fabulous malls in the area. Unfortunately I'm on reserve, which means they can call me and require me to be at the airport ready to fly with only a 2-hour lead time, and yes it happens -- it happened to me last week. Scheduling does try to give you a 24 hour notice when possible though, and it's when you have that nice long lead time that you're actually able to leave your house and enjoy the city. In theory, that is; while Ronnie has gotten 18 and 24 hour lead times, mine so far have all been under 4 hours. This means I do a lot of sitting. And knitting. And crocheting. And even *gasp* TV-watching. CNN, HGTV and the DIY channel are getting a workout here!
Ronnie and I have been in touch with most of our former classmates over the past week, and as we expected we've already lost several people and stand to lose one or two more. We graduated 33, and we're down to 28 still flying now with two more saying they're probably going to leave soon. There are various reasons for this, but the most common seems to be a variation on my theme; people hate living away from home (and often haven't been lucky enough to find a living arrangement that works as well for them as mine does for me). Most of us, though, are toughing it out at least for now. We'll see how that plays out.
I had pictures to post today of our house, my knitting, my crocheting, and so forth, but ... the down side of living in two places ... I'm in Philly, my camera is in Philly, my laptop is in Philly, and my camera cable is in Norfolk. Last week my crocheting was in Philly and my pattern was in Norfolk. I figure when I finally get everything where it needs to be, my transfer will come through. My life in a nutshell.
So are you over the sinus infection? How's life in your neck of the woods?
what would happen if you woke up in a hotel room and realized there was a person in there with you? Well, I can tell you what I'd do because I did it this week.
And no, there wasn't a person in my hotel room.
But still - I woke up at around 2 AM and thought there was. I leaped up from the bed, screamed "Holy s*#t!" and grabbed the nearest thing at hand to hit the intruder. That thing was a water bottle, and I dumped the entire contents all over me and the bed. I turned on the light - and there wasn't anyone. I was so convinced I looked under the bed, in the closet . . . No one.
I got my heart rate down again, got on the dry side of the bed, and tried to go back to sleep. After it was dark and quiet for about 3 - 4 minutes, I heard it again.
Then we played this game. I turn on the light, or make a noise, and it goes quiet. I turn off the light and am quiet, and it's back again. A little tip-toe kind of noise. Hmmmmmm.
So I got up and worked since I wasn't going to be sleeping, and eventually about 3:30 AM I decided I could sleep anyway so I went back to bed. At 4 AM, I heard a loud popping noise followed by "Squeeek!". Then dead silence.
So much for sleep.
So here's my conversation down at the desk at 7 AM when I go to check out. Picture me, slightly haggard, and a young female manager. I tell her my story, and here's her response.
"We don't have mice in our hotel." "I never said the word mouse - did I?" "We don't have mouse traps in our hotel, either." "I never said you did."
Pregnant pause, followed by her handing me my statement.
"That's it? I was up most of the night and that's it?" "If you had called us at 2 AM we could have fixed it." "How?" "We could have moved you to another room." "At 2 AM, I would have had to get dressed, pack, move, unpack - I don't think so. That's not a fix."
I won't bore you with the rest of the conversation, but let's just say that Steve, Don and I will be staying at a Marriott on one of our vacations, and I'm now assessing weapon options before I go to sleep. Maybe I could bean an intruder with my BlackBerry. It might even break! Yay!
In knitting content, I give you a FIP instead of a WIP. Fish in Progress. Aren't they cute? I hope Alex will like them, and the sweater overall. It's very slow doing the two-handed thing, so I'm not making as much headway as I thought I would.
Want to see something scary? Here's the wrong side. This week the FIP and I are in Winston Salem. I can't believe I'm travelling on my birthday, but here I am. Seems the past few years Don has been out of town for it, so now it's my turn to be out of town too. Don't feel too bad for me, though, by the time you're 47 like I am you can wait a few days for a celebration.
Here's my favorite birthday present so far. I brought PlayDoh home with me (leftover Halloween), and Steve used it very well. This is on my desk at home.
Lani, hope you get that transfer soon, I know it's really hard to be away from home. Hang in there, you said you expected it by February. That's not so terribly long away, though it can seem that way when you are sitting and knitting in a place that's not your home and waiting for a call. I bet you are turning out some great stuff - remember your cable next week!
It's nice to be home. I know you're off on your own epic journey, Lani, but as for me I'm glad to be home. I finally feel like my body is on the same time zone as my surroundings, and I'm unpacked and things are back to normal. Or what passes for normal around here!
It is not helpful to lose a weekend, I barely keep up with what needs to be done during the weekend so losing one has not helped. I am planning on taking a day off this coming Friday to get some things done. Since it has already snowed, I think I could move the shorts and t-shirts into storage and try to find my fleece-lined jeans.
I came home with what I think is a sinus infection, and Steve has a cold, so it's been a quiet weekend around here. I took a nap yesterday, and one today, which is very unusual for me. I used to be a big napper, but these days I'm too busy to sit down long enough to fall asleep!
We have reservations for dinner tonight at a new restaurant that just opened down the road, and I have high hopes. It's a steak house, and if Don likes it that will be great.
I took Fana to the local yarn shop, and Gene-Ann did some measuring and pronounced that the easiest fix is just to knit it in a smaller size. We did some complex math and once I solved the differential equation I decided to knit it in the 12 month size and it will come out 24 month sized. That sounds about right, but you bet I'll be measuring as I go. Here is a picture of the current status of Fana.
Since I'm not quite ready to jump back into Fana, especially since I had to rip out about 5 inches knit on size 0 and 2 needles,I am working on finishing the pink sweater. My boss's wife is due any day now and once again we think it's a girl, so I'm recycling the gift. I've also started a new sweater for our favorite little guy - I don't think you can tell yet, but it has fish on it. Cute, smiley fish, in a variety of patterns all blue on the cream background. The border around the bottom is geometric, and mostly blue. I loved it, and I'm knitting it in the size 4 - 6 years so if it takes me a while he can still wear it. I made Gene-Ann measure my swatch so I'm sure I don't have a repeat of Fana, and she swears it's right. (Can you tell I'm paranoid?)
In other news, the garage is moving along. We're putting radiant floor heating in, so all the tubing is in place and we're waiting for the concrete to be poured. In the meantime Don is working on lots of other things like electrical and plumbing.
This week, I am not doing too much traveling. I have a trip to NY on Tuesday, and there was a minor crisis when I couldn't find a hotel room. I kept hearing about the marathon, but I can't understand why rooms would be booked on Tuesday when the marathon is today. I did manage to find a room, but I'm still stumped as to why I had a problem. Go figure.
I hope you got everything on the plane to Philadelphia, and that you're settled in. I keep hoping that your transfer to Norfolk will come through soon. Don, Steve and I will be coming to Virginia Beach in February for a long weekend, so warn Steve that he'll have to come out to dinner with us. I'll give you details when it gets closer so maybe you can take a day off to see us!