Sunday, December 30, 2012

Knitting at Last

Evidently I’m easing back in with a small project—house socks to keep my toes toasty.  I thought of this before we moved, but I wasn’t sure how slick the floors would be.  Even the tile is not slick at all, so I can wear some snuggly warm worsted socks to keep my toes cozy in the evenings.  Bell Lace Socks, available on Ravelry.  Yarn is Plymouth Encore from my stash.


For those of us of a certain age, the assassination of JFK was THE pivotal historical event.  I was a 9th grader.  I just listened to the audio book of Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.  I found it to be a very compelling lesson, and I think the book does a good job of setting the horrible event in the context of the events of the day.  Because I lived in a section of the country where Kennedy’s policies were not popular, I was aware of that background.  I also think the book endeavors to be fair and not to muckrake about the less flattering aspects of Kennedy’s personal life that have come to light after a number of years.  This is not a book that purports to solve any remaining mysteries about the assassination, but it was interesting.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A No-Photo Christmas

My last post was written in the peaceful afterglow of Christmas Eve lunch—before the gastrointestinal bug hit me and the respiratory virus hit my husband.  Christmas Day was a blur of napping in bed, trips to the bathroom, napping in the recliner, etc.  Yesterday was much better although I had the energy of a sloth.  This morning I’m still not eating, nor do I want to, although I did down a few vanilla wafers with a cup of warm broth.  I do, however, feel a little more ambitious and have emptied and put away six boxes in the master bedroom and closet.  I think my symptoms were somewhat aggravated by too many pain-reducing pills for my knees, which were suffering somewhat from the extra work in moving and the switch to concrete slab from a pier-and-beam house.  Today, I’m going slow and easy with the box unpacking and so far I’m quite comfortable.

Nevertheless, it was still nice having a quiet Christmas in our new home.  My father passed away at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve several years ago, and my husband’s mother passed away a few years later on the 26th.  Some years that makes the holidays hard; this year we had more to focus on and a new place to do it in, even if we weren’t feeling well.  Besides, we have another Christmas still to look forward to with our daughter’s family.  We’ll have it eventually—they’ve been ill as well.  A friend of mine back in Friona, whose daughter’s flight from Ohio was cancelled due to the weather and postponed until Spring Break, is making plans for leaving her tree in place till April.  I have enjoyed looking out the windows at the white Christmas we are having—already more brown than white.  The old house had high windows that didn’t allow for seeing out unless you were standing there and looking.

A highlight of my Christmas Eve was watching A Christmas Carol on the bedroom television.  I had never seen the version featuring Patrick Stewart although I had listened to his reading of the classic.  I thought the movie was outstanding, even through my miserable physical experience.  Had I not been ill, I would probably have been too busy to watch it.

Shortly, I am headed for a hot shower, a warm lounging robe, and KNITTING NEEDLES.  I promised my son a new hat, and I think it must be time for it.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, Everyone!



Today we had our first dinner in our new home.  “Dinner” as in guests.  My son was here with his friend Amber and her son Parker.  Lunch was fairly simple.  We had ham, potato salad, baked beans, broccoli-rice casserole, carrots, and a traditional family dessert.  We did not have out the china and linens.  The china is in place, but I still haven’t unpacked cloths.  Yesterday I bought a Christmas heavyweight plastic cloth at the grocery store.  It is muted red, green, and blue snowflakes on white.  It actually looks good in the space.  Complete with clear plastic disposable plates, it looked very festive.  The two little ones sat at the little kiddie card table.  That much independence is always a thrill.

Now we’re settling in for the quiet part of Christmas.  I had intended to go downtown tonight to Christmas Eve services, but an unfamiliar parking lot in the dark with a storm coming in does not sound like a good idea.  So, after DH wakes up from his nap, I’m going to try to snag him into a trip to top off the gas tanks and get a soft drink before we settle in for perhaps a couple of quiet days.  If the storm doesn’t materialize, I’m thinking about a movie tomorrow.  If it does, we’re all set with leftovers, and I have my knitting needles back, thanks to the generous efforts of my son and his friend.  I had promised him a hat earlier in the year, so now would perhaps be a good time.  Now that the sofa is in the living room and the kitchen is is relatively organized shape, it’s beginning to feel like a home. 

In a few days, we will get together with my daughter and her family.  They are busily passing around a virus of some sort at the moment, so we are sticking to virtual contact.  Then it will be Christmas all over again!

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to all of you!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


In case you’re not on my Facebook list, let me say that packing ALL your knitting needles in one tote when inadvertently hiring a minimally competent short-haul mover is as stupid as packing all your meds in checked luggage.  When you are unbelievably and increasingly nervous because you can’t find certain stuff, your tranquilizer is among the inaccessible.  It is particularly frustrating when the stash arrived, complete with rather sarcastic comments from the movers. 

I did check references with two people I knew who had used this company, and both of them had good results, which, of course, because I am who I am, makes me feel that the failure must be a. all mine because I have done something wrong or b. personally directed at me.  Neither attitude is productive.  In the great scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter, but I hate being taken advantage of when I tried very hard to make all this go smoothly and when the “taking advantage” involved someone lying about me. 

I must get a grip and think about Sandy Hook. . . ..  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

We Are Here

Moving slowly, but here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Tonight I am sleeping for the last time in the childhood home that I first slept in at the age of eleven.  Although we are not quite ready to sell the property because there is still work to be done and items to be sold, after tonight the furniture will be gone to our new home.  The bedroom set we’re taking is the one that belonged to my parents, so in that sense, part of this home is going with me.  I’m not finding this thought as hard as I anticipated.  We are ready to move on to a new phase of our life—we are moving closer to our children and back to a city where we formerly lived and were happy.  Even though I know the Amarillo of now is not the Amarillo of 1984, we have lived near enough and visited frequently enough to keep up with most of the changes, and we are looking forward to it.  I am also tired.  Looking for a place, finding one, and preparing for the move has been almost a two-year process.  We are still not quite as prepared as I had hoped, but on the other hand, we don’t have someone moving in on our heels, so we can take a more leisurely approach to the process of letting go and getting set up.  I think my parents would be happy for us.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Amidst the Pseudocarnage that Is my Home

at the moment, with scattered skeletal remains of packing materials and dismembered cardboard boxes, a brief moment of glory stands out.  Thanks to all the audio book listening that I have been doing the last few weeks and in spite of the fact that I haven’t had the time to read an actual dead tree or electronic book with my eyes—at least without feeling guilty—I’ve finished my 125 books for the Goodreads 2012 Book Challenge!  Of course, this doesn’t get any of our things moved up the road or UNpacked at the other end, but I’m still glad I did it.  Some of the reading was fluff, and some was modern literature.  I may not do this challenge next year because I have some personally designed reading challenges in mind, but I will inevitably try to read in some organized way, probably in a way that contributes to more than just number of books read.  The goals are fun.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Still Packing, Packing, Packing. . .

I’m to the point where I am packing boxes of miscellaneous objects because there’s not enough of anything to fill a box.  I don’t do well with that.  I have never done well with those last loads of laundry with the odd items and the unaccompanied socks because they got left out of an earlier load. 
I am also finding out that packing an organized stash of yarn is nearly impossible!  No matter how carefully I pack, I find that after a box is taped shut, another skein or ball appears.  It’s like trying to herd baby chickens!

I also find that the mess--being surrounded with boxes, having items I need already packed, and dealing with different personalities and people about the move--is getting to me.  Yesterday, I listened to Christmas music on Pandora in an effort to calm down (while swilling down caffeine, of course).  Today, a poem that is not a Christmas poem popped into my head.  It is a reminder that I can go somewhere peaceful in my mind while a busy life is bustling all around me.

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Do We Know How to Celebrate?

Today is our 35th wedding anniversary.  We actually celebrated yesterday by lunching at The Cotton Patch in Clovis and dropping bags of donation clothes off at the shelter there.  Today, with most of our kitchen packed up, we dined on corn dogs and macaroni and cheese.  In a few minutes we’re going to have more wine from our very expensive bottle—the one that came from the title company for the house closing.  Neither one of us actually likes wine, but we sort of feel compelled to drink it for some strange reason, perhaps because it was technically very expensive.

I’ve packed more boxes today, thrown away more trash items, and come up with a furniture arrangement plan for the living room/dining area at the new house.  In case I can’t win a race with the movers to get there on moving day since I want to stay on this end to make sure everything is properly loaded, my daughter is going to be on the other end to direct furniture placement.  As a backup, I’m tagging all the furniture items with fluorescent flagging tape with the room written on it in Sharpie.  If I’m paying to have things moved, I don’t know why I should have to move them all around again.  There will be a tad more furniture than I had hoped in this space, but I am down two end tables, a chair, 2 lamps, a piano, and a large desk exchanged for a small one.  We’re not getting new furniture, although we hope to invest in a new sofa eventually.  There are a couple of items that I could technically do without, but those are family heirlooms, so I’m keeping them.  I’m afraid that instead of the modern more minimalist 2000s look, my new house is going to look something like grandma’s house, but guess what?  It IS grandma’s house.  I know that the look right now has emphasis on mid-century modern furniture used in some new ways, but I remember that period when it was the new stuff—had it in a couple of apartments, as a matter of fact. 

I had a similar discussion with my son over using white appliances in the kitchen.  Let me say that I do like the look of stainless steel.  If I were young and building a great big cooks kitchen for a family and could justify the professional stainless range and Subzero refrigerator and so forth, I might go for it.  However, I’m going for ease of cleaning and cooking.  I may do really big meals once or twice a year.  I have lived through the following appliance color periods—white;  pink or turquoise or white; copper tone or white; harvest gold or avocado green or white; black or white; black or bisque or white; stainless or stainless on black or white.  Do you notice a pattern?  Right now I have a fairly inexpensive stainless sink that I hate.  I am sure that a quality stainless sink would be a different matter, but unless I could justify the real deal in professional-look appliances, which I can’t, I didn’t want to go for the cheaper stuff.  As for black, it’s getting really hard to read the buttons on a black appliance.