Monday, December 22, 2008

One reason to dislike the snow

In general, I like snow. It is pretty, and the whole 'winter wonderland' thing is pretty appealing to me. The main issue I have with it is its ability to bring modern transportation to its knees. It is not quite so bad now that I work somewhere that frequently is closed when the snow is really bad... but the worst part is this: people who are unable to get to their families for special occasions, like, say, Christmas.

For instance, my brother and his wife are going to miss Christmas with us this year. They are snowed in and there is no chance that they will make it here. I am going to guess that it would have been the last Christmas for a while that we'd see them - once their baby is born, I would assume that they would want to stay closer to home and celebrate as a family, much as we did when I was a kid. I'm at least glad that they have each other to be with... and with modern technology, we can take lots of pictures, and maybe even chat by webcam and such.... but still.

I don't always like the snow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We made it to the 21st!

Yep, the days are going to start getting longer now. Most excellent!

So, this past Friday, they called off school in anticipation of a big old grody snowstorm. Right on cue, it started snowing within 20 minutes of when it was predicted by forecasters... next time, try to be more accurate, willya? Sheesh.

Anyway, it snowed Friday. It snowed lightly all day Saturday. And, it snowed all day today - the weather just reported that we got 13 inches here! Dude! I did bundle up and wander outside this afternoon, and snapped a couple of pictures. By the way, one of the most useful Christmas gifts I ever got was a pair of gaiters - my shoes and lower pants region remain nice and dry and snow free - and I can happily hop into (and through) snowdrifts without worrying about frosty ankles. They are the best; observe:

Looky those gaiters - I highly recommend gettin' some for general snow-traipsing purposes, not to mention snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Or looking totally awesome. As an aside, I was sorta falling over while taking that picture - I lifted my leg up in the air to get a good angle, and was sorta teeeeetering over while the camera snapped. What I won't do for a good shot!

Here are a few more pictures I took, starting with a street shot. I imagine that this is about what it would look like 100 years ago - not a car in sight, and the reproduction gas lamps give it an old timey flair... whaddya think? I mean, you have to ignore the parking meters, but...

Here's another festive street shot:

Some pointy snow:

No, thanks, I think I'll stand:

Toot, toot!

Can you see me?

How about now?

You can't tell in the picture, except maybe on my chin, that my face is all wet with melty snow. Also, I took my hood down for the pic, which is why my head is not all snowy. Observe the scarf... that is how snowy I'm sure my head would have been otherwise. :) It's not the most glamorous shot, but it's hard to be glamorous in a driving snowstorm! Under the circumstances, I think I look damn good. (Like that snowflake in front of my eye? That was a lucky shot!)

But speaking of looks, check it out... my age is starting to show... I spy a frowny wrinkle between my eyebrows! I will wear it with pride... my face wrinkles are going to all be related to smiling or making funny faces, which I consider to be a reflection of my personality. I'm sure there are some excellent eyebrow raising related wrinkles beginning to form under the brim of that hat, too! And I'm not ashamed to admit that the ones between my eyebrows are quite pronounced when i wake up in the morning, from my face being all relaxed all night or something. I assume that happens to other people, too, but I don't generally see people immediately after they get up in the morning, so have no frame of reference. Or, is it just a phenomenon that happens to stomach sleepers and side sleepers? Maybe it doesn't happen to people sleeping on their backs! Something to think about... maybe they get mega wrinkles on the backs of their heads instead! hahaha!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Wintry Update

So, I have been quite lax in bloggifying, haven't I? Part of it is because much of my knitting has been sooper sekrit lately, and part of it is because we are now down to 9 hours of daylight per day, which means very little photography time every day. I'm hoping I'll be able to get some good pictures of the secret knitting next week, once the cat's out of the bag.

So yes, we are now at the time of year when the days are their shortest. Every fall/ winter, I look forward to December 21, the day when the days finally start getting longer, slowly but surely. It is fairly depressing to only be able to enjoy 45 minutes of daylight every day! It's not quite so horrible this year, since my office has a window that looks into the hallway, and there is a skylight in the hallway. I can't see outside, but I can see evidence of daylight. Someday, I will either live or work SOMEWHERE I can see the ground or the sky or something!

This part of the world has been experiencing some terribly icy weather. Tens of thousands of people are still without power since last Thursday, and we had more windy, icy weather today. It took me 30 minutes to chip the ice off of my windows after work today - my entire car was encased in almost 1/4 inch of ice! If it weren't so annoying, it would have been pretty amazing. I don't know if I've ever had THAT much ice on my car!

To make matters worse, we are expecting more snow on Friday, possibly 6+ inches. That is not such terrible news for me personally, but for people who still don't have power, the inclement weather just slows down the progress of the power line workers.

Anyway, I have been knitting and crocheting like a crazy woman - I have completed 7-8 projects (or so) since Thanksgiving, only one of which was a one-night type of project. I will share pictures when I can!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Black Friday

Have any of you ever gotten up EARLY on the Friday after Thanksgiving to take advantage of the Black Friday sales? I never had, until this year. There were a few items I found in the sales circulars that were such good deals, it made me believe that perhaps 4 AM was a perfectly reasonable time to go to the mall!

I accidentally woke up at 3 AM and couldn't fall back asleep, partly because I had to take a visit to the lavatory, and partly because I am very, very sensitive and my body was all out of whack - my home is very warm, and I'm used to sleeping in a pretty warm environment. My parents' house is much cooler, and all day Thursday and Friday, I was hotcoldhotcoldhotcold.

I tossed and turned until about 4:30, when I decided to get up and go to Bon Ton, which is similar to Macy's, I suppose. They had this great Pyrex set for 75% off the regular price. I arrived at quarter to 5, which was 45 minutes after they opened, which was evidently too late to get the set - all sold out! Jeesh! It was just as well, because there were lines 50 people deep ALL OVER the store. It was amazing.

So, I drove around to the other side of the mall to Sears, and waited outside in line for 15 minutes, until they opened at 5 AM. When the doors opened, I walked in, grabbed the microwave I wanted (60% off regular price with sale + rebate), paid right away, and walked right out. Easy peasy.

Then, off to Target across the street. They didn't open until 6, so I waited in line outside for 45 minutes. I was definitely starting to get cold by the end of that time. It was amazing how long the line was behind me! Again, I walked in, grabbed the item I wanted (GPS $100 off regular price), paid, and walked right out, as people were still in line pouring into the store. I was the first person to leave, and they hadn't even unlocked the exit doors yet!

THEN, (whew, getting tired) I went to the Verizon store - sale on phones. New phone, free after rebate. Cheaper plan than before. Score!

Finally, Joann Fabrics for some cheap flannel.

I got home around 8 AM, I think. I was very tired. I took a nap, during which I got really cold, and I yelled out, "MOOOOOMMMMMMMM!" She came to the rescue with a heated up rice bag and a blankie... I live by myself, so it is definitely nice to have someone to take care of me when I am cold and sad. Thanks, Mom!

The only downside to the day is that when I went to go fill out the rebate papers, I realized that the doofus at Sears had printed out my receipt and about 14,000 coupon offers, but not the rebate slip! Dagnabbit! I will definitely have to call and see what can be done about that. I want my rebate!

Would I do it again? Well, considering I got $400 worth of stuff for $167 (not including the savings of a cheaper phone contract), yes. I would. Lessons learned: wear long underwear, get to the store before it opens and stand in line, and have only one or two items in mind per store for easy in, easy out access. Between now and Christmas, I hope to not have to enter any stores, and to be able to do my shopping online. Wish me luck, and happy shopping and happy holidays to all of you, too!
A Tiny Bit of Knitting

I can't really post a lot of my recent knitting, as it will be gifted to some very lucky recipients for Christmas. However, I did some miniature knitting for a Secret Santa dolly swap, and since the gift has already arrived to its destination, I can share a picture. The hats, sweater, and scarf were made by me:

Cute, right? I am the most proud of the hat on the right... I came up with the knitting pattern on my own, and made up the crocheted flower without a pattern, and I am NOT the best of crocheters out there! Despite my relative lack of crocheting prowess, I also crocheted a brimmed beanie from a pattern by Amanda of CreativeBlythe.

It would probably look cute with a little crocheted flower, or a button or something... I used some leftover yarn from a super-secret Christmas project. These quickie projects are perfect ways to use up leftover yarn, and they are also very satisfying to make after finishing a long project.

ANYway... that's all I can share right now yarn-wise. I do have a little recap of my shopping experiences from Black Friday, but perhaps I'll share that in a day or two - I need to spread out my blogging a little, since I have been so lax in writing recently!