Sunday, December 31, 2006

Mae West Quotes

When I'm good, I'm good. When I'm bad, I'm very good.

I only like two kinds of men: domestic and foreign.

You're never too old to become younger.

I wrote this story myself, It's all about a girl who lost her reputation, but never missed it.

I've been in more laps than a napkin.

It's hard to be funny when you have to be clean.

When a girl goes wrong men go right after her.

Those who are easily shocked, should be shocked more often.

A man in the house is worth two in the street.

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

Good sex is like good Bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.

He who hesitates is last.

You ought to get out of those wet clothes and into a dry martini.

Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.

Give a man a free hand and he'll run it all over you.

Save a boyfriend for a rainy day -- and another, in case it doesn't rain

She's the kind of girl who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong.

Whenever I'm caught between two evils, I take the one I've never tried.

I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

Mae: "How tall are you ?"
Man: "Six foot seven."
Mae: "Well, let's forget about the six foot and talk about the seven inches".

I always say, keep a diary, and some day it'll keep you.

It ain't no sin if you crack a few laws now and then. As long as you don't break any.

You may admire a girl's curves on the first introduction, but the second meeting shows up new angles.

Marriage is a fine institution - but I'm not ready for an institution.

It's not what you do; it's how you do it.

His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.

Question: Ever met a man that could make you happy?
Mae: Several times.

It don't mean a thing if you don't pull a string.

He's so crooked he uses a cork screw for a ruler.

I'm the lady who works at Paramount all day, and Fox all night.

Ringing Out the Old

OK, first of all, you gals have to check this out to believe it. I mean, I thought I had bad PMS, but this is beyond bad. And it's funny. (And a big thank you to Deawn for the link. Sheesh!)

Second, I will be going to the gym today. I'm meeting my friend Richard at the new 24-Hour Fitness on Cass Street. (It's kind of weird that it's only open 8 am to 10 pm, but I suppose that's because it's new and not fully staffed yet.) I'm going to the gym to begin my "Goodbye to Fat."

Third, I will go to my mom's and play some cards, work on a puzzle, or whatever. I'm not sure when. Probably this afternoon.

Fourth, I'm going to knit. I've got a total of three pairs of socks going:
• a pair in Step yarn (first one past the gusset and heading toward the toe);
• the aforementioned lacy socks in ginger-peach (first one past the gusset and heading toward the toe); and
• a pair in StR Henpecked (first one in mid-heelflap).
And those don't count another pair where I have one done and the other not even started.

I've got at least two sweaters on needles:
• one for Trish in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky (still knitting the body); and
• a t-shirt for myself in Shaefer Marjaana (still knitting the body).
And those don't count a cardigan where I have only to finish one sleeve and knit the button bands before I'm done.

I've got a baby blanket started (about half-way done) and I've got several scarves started with various acrylic/washable yarns that will be for charity. Oh, and there are a couple of shawls, too. Ummmm.... is that everything? Maybe I'd better clean out that room....

None of this, of course, take into account that I have enough yarn to knit clothing for an entire third-world country.

However, if I were to stop buying yarn for even a week there would be sheep, alpaca, goats, and ... (where does acrylic yarn come from?) languishing in the fields with impossibly heavy coats because their fleecy fur would no longer be required. They would be overcome by the weight. They would perish as they were grazing, and then the farmers would be required to leave their other chores to attend to the carcasses, which would mean their other chores (such as repairing equipment and tending the crops and other animals) would fall by the wayside, thereby endangering more lives and leading eventually to the starvation of all humankind. This is why we buy yarn, people -- it saves the world!

(OK, obviously I'm still a little woozy from dealing with a migraine all of yesterday.)

Saint Marcy of the Dust Rag came by yesterday. We bribed her ("combat pay" is how I approached the topic) to clean the downstairs bathroom as well. She's quite brave, you know. She didn't even demand a haz-mat suit to deal with it. Anyway, we are all living better thanks to her ministrations.

If I don't check in until later, please accept my best wishes for a safe and joyous New Year's Eve celebration!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Your Daily Zen

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either. Just leave me the hell alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Sex is like air. It's not important unless you aren't getting any.

5. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

6. No one is listening until you make a mistake.

7. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.

8. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

9. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

10. It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

11. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments

12. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

13. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

14. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat & drink beer all day.

15. If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

16. Don't squat with your spurs on.

17. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

18. If you drink, don't park; accidents cause people.

19. Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.

20. Don't worry, it only seems kinky the first time.

21. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

22. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

23. Timing has an awful lot to do with the outcome of a raindance.

24. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

25. Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side & a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

26. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

27. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your mouth is moving.

28. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

29. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

30. We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I'm Going to Hell....

I just ordered some more of the Schaefer Marjaana yarn - one of Hermione and 2 of Rosa Parks. The Schaefer company has discontinued the yarn, so there are only a few places that have it, and I have taken the last of these two colorways that this shop (Little Knits) had.

If there is a rehab place for yarnaholics, are we allowed to knit there?

La Familia

This photo was taken on Sunday, December 24th. I used Photoshop to get everyone smiling and in the photo.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Ginger Peach Socks

This is my first attempt at lacy socks. They are knit on US 2 (two circulars) with the Ginger-Peach dk weight merino wool from Lisa Souza. I have a little mistake in the lace pattern, but I think I'm the only person who really notices it.

Happy Girls!

All of us had a great day today!

Zipper Purse

From Julie at Village Stationery comes this amazing purse made of one very long zipper:

Presents from Offutt Co-Workers

Among the fun gifts from my Offutt co-workers were a Christmas mug, coffee beans, and a special hand lotion from my friend Amy (on the left), and a gift card to Bath & Body Works from Brian and Kathi Rice. Several people brought in bagels from Panera (thank you, Jesse and Valerie); Valerie and Amy got together and made little loaves of fruit cake for everyone (and I never got to taste it because Ed took one taste and claimed the rest for himself!); Jim Miller and his wife gave us a box of my favorite chocolate melt-aways from Baker's Chocolates in Greenwood, Nebraska; and Trish got us Powerball tickets (sorry, girl, but I didn't win anything); and Bill Steitzer and his kids chipped in for a Gift Certificate to String of Purls. Dave, our site manager, brought in cheese and crackers one day, but his best gift is letting us wear blue jeans every day this week (the 26th through the 29th) at the office!

Oh, yeah, Ed got presents, too!

I gave Ed a new Dremel and accessory set. I also gave him a book on uses for duct tape as well as a roll of RED duct tape (seemed to be nice and festive). I'd have included more photos, but this was the only one where he's smiling naturally. (Ed hates to have his photo taken.)

Louise Does it Again!

Home-made candy from Louise at Village Stationery, along with a lovely card with a sentiment written in it that brought tears to my eyes. I'm lucky to have found this place to work!

Charka and the Snowman Candle

Thank you to Peg at Village Stationery for the snowman candle. It's very cool because the whole candle is a snowman and he's already sitting in a pool of "snow" (white wax). Light him up, and he'll melt like it's a sunny day! (Charka was certain it was food I'd opened.)

Mary Z Wants Me to Relax

Mary Z at Village Stationery gave me a pair of stretchy green socks (very fluffy and soft), a nifty ceramic ornament shaped like a candy cane, a bar of snowman soap, and a chocolate-coconut wreath (which I shared with Ed). And, yes, that's Charka lurking in the background.

A Spicy Candle

Maureen at Village Stationery gave me some great cookies (sugar cookies with cream cheese in the mix -- yummy!) and this nifty little candle and globe. The candle has a spicy scent, and the globe for it is glass covered with translucent tissue paper. Very cool!

Frank Lloyd Wright Calendar

Thanks to my good friend Richard for this calendar of Frank Lloyd Wright designs. Ed will probably use this one the most. He's the biggest FLW fan. Now, if only I could get Richard's present finished....! (Yes, that's Charka hiding out behind me. We never knew when she'd feel camera-shy and when she wouldn't.)

Ed Knows the Way to My Heart

Ed knows I like problem-solving games, so he got me a computer game based on one of my favorite television programs, the original CSI.

And then, the perfect gift for me to use at the office: Noise-cancelling headphones! Yipppeeee!!!

Fun and Yarn from Shari and Mark

Thank you to Shari and Mark for the Wallace and Grommet DVD (Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which we highly recommend), and for the gift card to String of Purls, which helped to purchase the umbrella swift and winder.

An Angel and a Spatula

Thank you to my sister-in-law Deb and my brother James for the spatula (Deb noticed we needed one last time they were here and we needed to serve her wonderful apple pie) and the angel for our tree.

Pistoulet from Denise and Alan

Thank you to my sister Denise and her husband Alan for this lovely entertainment set from the Pfalzgraff Pistoulet collection. (Whole item in the inset.) I love the smily face in the center!

Charka in the Act

Charka wanted to help me unwrap a gift from my sister Marcy, which turned out to be a lovely candle. It's a smokey glass globe into which you put little votive lights.

Greenery from Jodie and Ron

Thank you to my sister Jodie, who put together this greenery to help us decorate for the holidays, and her husband Ron.

Arizona Calendar from Jean and Frank

Thank you to my sister Jean and her husband Frank for the cool calendar with scenes of Arizona.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Mason-Dixon Knitting

I finally bought the book. Oh, why did I wait so long? It's magnificent! I can't wait to dig in!

Also, I signed up for the Log Cabin Knitting workshop on Thursday, December 28th, at String of Purls with Kay Gardiner, one of the authors of the book. This is my first official knitting seminar! I'm a goner!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hermione Yarn

OK, I couldn't help myself. I got two skeins of the following Marjaana yarn (Schaeffer yarns) from Little Knits:

I have no idea yet what I'll knit with it. Maybe I'll just look at it for a while...

Why I'm Tired

I went to my workout at the gym (7:00 to 8:00), then stopped at the grocery store for some things I'd need for the week. I arrived home near 9:00 p.m. only to find:

1. Charka had chewed up some pine cones (from a candle decoration), and those were all over the living room floor.

2. Ed had stepped onto the chewed up pine cones several times, so they were not only more broken up but also in a large area.

3. When I went to toss some of the pine cone mess into the garbage bin, it was overflowing, so I pulled out the bag to change it.

4. When I pulled out the bag of garbage, I saw where something had dripped into the bottom of the bin and was making that awful smell which had been permeating the kitchen.

5. While I was trying to clean up the garbage bin, Ed started bringing in the Christmas tree he’d bought, which knocked over a few things.

6. Then the phone rang – it was my sister Marcy who needed to check on several things.

7. Somewhere in there I was able to put a Weight Watcher’s pizza into the microwave so that I could at least have some supper.

8. I was tasked to decorate the tree, which entailed first figuring out which string(s) of lights actually worked. I was on this task because the hospital called to talk with Ed about some concerns they had for his mother (she went into the ER last night with high blood pressure; they got that under control and all was reasonably well until last night when she was quite disoriented).

9. I think I got to eat my Weight Watcher’s pizza while I put the garland onto the tree.

10. Vacuuming commenced once the tree was decorated and all of the boxes were put away.

I was in bed by 10:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

1 Corinthians 13 — Christmas Version

Someone sent this to me via email, and I really think it's appropriate.

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend myriad holiday parties, and sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. Video games will break; pearl necklaces will be lost; golf clubs will rust; but giving the gift of love will endure.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Finally Feeling Better Today

I woke at 1:00 a.m. on Friday, 8 December, and I've pretty much been sick with "the creeping crud" (translated: a gastro-intestinal virus) since then. Today is the first day I have felt semi-human. In fact, tonight I ate a couple of fried (in a non-stick pan) eggs and plain toast without feeling the need to stop halfway through and wretch.

(Judith's Rule: No one over the age of 12 should ever have to vomit.)

I did some knitting while I was recouperating. I'll post photos when I have some. Until then, wash your hands! Wear a face mask! Don't let this terrible stuff happen to you! :)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Real News 2006

OK, for those of you who got our silly letter with the Christmas Card, here is “The Real News” that is referred to at the end.

January 2006
At the beginning of the month Judith assumed the duties of printer-in-residence at Village Stationery. This entailed rapidly learning new software (which was so old it runs only on the Windows 98 operating system even though it doesn’t work in the Windows environment) and then advising with the purchase of new software and printer. It was a huge challenge, but it worked out.

In the meantime, Ed was in the final weeks of his holiday-only employment at Barnes & Noble. We made the most of it by buying as much as we could afford on the 30% employee discount (plus the additional 10% Reader’s Advantage discount). Also, Ed’s mom was released from her hospital stay just a few days before New Year’s eve. We got to spend a little bit of time with Ed’s sister Mariayne when she was here to visit over that period of time.

February 2006
Just as his employment with Barnes & Noble was ending, Ed got an interview with CompUSA and was hired, so there was very little gap between ending one part-time job and starting up with the other. He’s one of only two people at that store who is over 50. Most of the employees are in their 20s and 30s, most of them are male, and the majority of them haven’t got the brains of an ant when it comes to simple problem-solving and customer service.

At Judith’s Offutt job, her office had been in an older building that used to be a dormitory at the turn of the 20th century. At mid-month she was moved back to the main building where the majority of her colleagues were housed. It was somewhat akin to moving into a frat house just because everyone is packed into a single, large room and the noise level is higher. It’s a room that doesn’t have a window, so there are problems with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. In the winter months there is cold air coming through a wall at her back, and in the summer months the air conditioning makes it so cold that fingers freeze.

March 2006
Ed’s mom had been in and out of the hospital over the past few months with one problem or another. At the beginning of March she’d been hospitalized again as they tried to get her medications in balance. Once that was done, she was released, but it happened to be on the day that a late-winter snow storm hit. Even Judith’s job at Offutt was closed on account of weather! Ed’s job at CompUSA, however, was still open, so he had to go into work. Judith got Anne home and settled into her apartment, and then the weather cleared up enough the next day. Spring arrived a few weeks later.

It was at the end of March that the furnace died and had to be replaced. In the course of replacing it, the installers pointed out that there was corrosion in a piece of the air conditioning unit and that if the corrosive liquid dripped onto the new furnace it would negate the warranty. Thus, we found ourselves spending about $8,000 on a new furnace AND central air conditioning unit. At least the temperatures outdoors were bearable during this time so that we weren’t freezing overnight!

April 2006
Good friends Jennifer and Mike in Canton, Georgia, flew us to their home for a lovely weekend toward the end of the month. They held a “Spring Fling” party at their home on the Etowah River. About a hundred people attended. Their friend Tracy cooked up a Low Country Boil, which is small red potatoes, corn on the cob, sausages, and shrimp (if I remember correctly) all boiled together. The water is then drained and people help themselves to the feast! They had two pots going – one with regular spices and one with hotter Cajun spices. Their friends also brought in desserts. We ended up drinking wine around a camp fire down by the river as stars lit up the Southern sky. It was a magnificent retreat, and we are most grateful to them and their friends for their hospitality and kindness

May 2006
Ed’s sister came to visit at the end of April / beginning of May and started looking into some assisted living facilities for their mom. She won’t be moving into one soon, but the groundwork needed to be done.

At the end of the month we celebrated 14 years of marriage. We’d been through some challenges over the previous year, but we came through them and learned a little more how to be caring with one another. Every year gets a little better, even if the circumstances of living offer us challenges.

June 2006
Other than attending an art fair at the beginning of this month, we don’t remember much about it. We were working and just trying to get by. Judith’s brother had a major birthday bash toward the end of the month, but we both were too knackered to be able to attend.

July 2006
Judith set herself to a self-imposed challenge of writing a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. It actually started on June 28th, and she had 50,041 words by July 28th. It is not exactly readable, but it’s written. If she’s still in love with it, she’ll start editing in March 2007. It was hard work and consumed nearly all of her free time, but she’s glad to have done it.

Ed started in work on a huge woodworking project – a bookcase/entertainment center.

August 2006
About all we remember about August was that it couldn’t be over fast enough. It was hot and humid and all-around uncomfortable.

September 2006
We finally had to admit that the mattresses we purchased 14 years earlier (on the event of our wedding) needed to be replaced. Those wire springs poking through from the box springs were just too sharp to be ignored. So, we decided to go with a king-sized bed. We got the mattress, box springs, and a frame. Ed will build a headboard some time later. Judith was able to find sheets through some discount stores, so we’re OK and sleeping much better!

October 2006
Judith’s sister Marcy started coming over on Saturdays to help with some much-needed cleaning. This was initially in preparation of making the house presentable for some guests who were coming over later in the month, but we threw ourselves into it whole-heartedly. Marcy is invaluable when it comes to weeding out long-standing messes and determining what can stay and what should go. She also paces herself very well for the big cleaning jobs such as polishing the silver and crystal. We cleaned several closets, did some long-overdue dusting, and basically threw away a lot of stuff. She even cleaned up Ed’s woodshop! The whole house has been much more pleasant since she started coming over.

We held a small party toward the end of October in which we invited friends over for stew on a cool Sunday evening. It was great having the house slicked up -- no running around at the last minute to make it semi-presentable! We had a lovely time and hope to do it again when our schedules permit.

November 2006
Marcy came over for one last marathon cleaning event on the first weekend of the month so that the house would be ready for the home inspection on the following Monday. We renegotiated our mortgage, so a home inspection was part of the package. The nice thing was that we got a clean and pleasant living area out of the deal! The biggest challenge was that the water heater died that Saturday morning. We got a new one just in time for the home inspection!

Early in the month Judith attended a dinner for the Nebraska chapter of ASTD (American Society of Trainers & Developers) where she had been nominated for a service award. She accepted the position of 2007 Director of Marketing for the group and is anxious to start digging into her responsibilities there.

Both of us started putting in more hours at our retail jobs with the Christmas shopping season coming upon us. Judith sewed a curtain for a doorway in the stationery shop (it was a real treat digging out the sewing machine from beneath the rubble of that room!) so it would be ready for a special open house in honor of the remodeling that was completed only a month earlier.

Marcy came the Saturday before Thanksgiving and helped us to slick up the place once more. Our guests for Thanksgiving Day dinner were Ed's mom (Anne), Judith's mom (Alice), and Marcy. Ed cook the turkey as well as making (take a deep breath): scalloped potatoes, corn pudding, acorn squash, cheddar dinner rolls, a tossed salad, and two sour cream pecan pies. Marcy brought the stuffing/dressing (from a recipe that Judith's mom has made for years) as well as cranberry relish and a pumpkin pie. We were overwhelmed with food. After the mid-day meal, Ed read a book, Judith and Marcy cleaned up the kitchen, and the two moms had a delightful chat in the livingroom. It was one of the few times they were able to have a discussion without having to deal with a lot of ambient noise coming into their hearing aids!

December 2006
Christmas Cards started coming in the day after Thanksgiving. Judith had started on hers in September -- a necessity considering how little time she gets in November and December on account of working so many hours. She mailed out the bulk of her cards just prior to December 1st, then mailed the remaining cards and most packages on December 2nd (the first Saturday of the month). There are still a few to go, but it all will get done.

As of this writing (December 5th), we're planning to get a real Christmas tree to set up in the living room, although it might not happen until next week. Christmas cards continue to arrive along with best wishes and many smiles.

Merry Christmas / Happy Hanukkah / Glorious Festivus / Joyous Solstice / Cheerful Kwanzaa, and best wishes for all good health and happiness in the new year.