Tag Archives: giftmas

Stuff happened in the last 2 weeks.

Coolest thing I saw in the month of December: Guy walking down the street, slowly and steadily. He is walking in the same direction as us but a block or so ahead. We catch up to him and notice he is knitting(!) and then notice he is carrying a baby in an Ergo-style carrier WHILE knitting. Go, multitasking guy!

Drink that is tasty: Manhattans made with Knob Creek bourbon.

Best white elephant gift given at my work holiday party: 8-track cassette of Neil Diamond.

Thing I gave Dan: 120 gig ipod (it was on his Amazon list but I got it before he put his Amazon list together!)

Other things I gave Dan: polar bear finger puppet I knitted, pair of underpants with WOO embroidered on the waistband. (by me)

Thing I tried to finish before Christmas and failed: Dan’s sweater, but it’s almost done! I’ll finish it this week.

Things Dan gave me (among others): replacement for my ipod nano, concert tickets, a cool homemade clock, and A CALCULATAH!

Highlight of last week: spending 3 hours with friends that have a 21-month-old. Homemade chai, exciting plans all around, and a little boy playing peek-a-boo.

Presents received from my family: 0 (everything is coming late)

Boxen still to send to various people: 3 (I think)

Exctiting upcoming events: Flobots concert Tuesday night, 2 parties Wednesday night, and in January we go to NYC!

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You can call it faff, or you can call it not so faff.

Most interesting thing I saw this week: (tie)

1. Guy on the free shuttle bus dressed in silver, painted with silver, so I figured he was one of the buskers that does the painted statue thing. As soon as the bus started moving, however, the guy witnessed and prosyletised loudly and with great gusto to the entire bus for about 10 blocks. He was impossible to ignore.

2. Last night, the release party for the magazine Dan’s class has been working on all semester was held. The party was a lot of fun, particularly the part where Ooh La La presents performed. I got to see both dudes and chicks take off their clothes to music. Sweet! This burlesque group is, shall we say, a bit less than traditional (two of the acts included a woman in a straightjacket and a woman in an octopus costume).

Thing I have been thinking about most this week:

The impending arrival of Wombat, who seems to have learned that teasing can be fun (even in utero!). I intend to give him a piece of my mind when he finally arrives. Because teasing isn’t nice, especially when so many people have been waiting to meet him for so long.

Cookies I intend to bake this weekend:

Rum balls courtesy Cil; mocha slice cookies courtesy Sara via Martha Stewart, also possibly some of my family’s traditional cookies, including Mexican Wedding Cookies and Austrian Chocolate Balls. Now I just need to figure out what to do with them all. Who wants me to send them some cookies?

Knitting projects I am currently working on:

Too many to really name, especially since some recipients of said projects are blog readers, and there has to be some surprises left in this world. Photos forthcoming.

Number of angel tree-type gift requests we were able to fulfill this year:

six from the grocery store tree(!), one from my work (an 11 y/o girl who likes historical young adult fiction! I got her Anne of Green Gables, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond).

I would also like to thank Hillary for letting me totally steal the faff thing. She has pretty hair and cute doggies. And faff is such an appropriate word!

Charlie Brown trees

This weekend, in between the googolplex of hours Dan spent working on his final school projects, we decided to go cut ourselves a Christmas tree. We’d both forgotten to do any tree-cutting research on Friday, so Dan headed out to a Panera Bread and figured out what we needed to know, which was that we needed chains and a permit to cut trees in forests (and the permits were all gone for the weekend), and we only needed some cash and a saw to cut our own at a Christmas tree farm to the north and east of us. Our two best options appeared to be located in La Salle and Greeley, up Highway 85, so we put the rope and saw in the car and drove north, land of few colors. This time of year, that part of the state is all wheat and tan and the occasional dark brown of a leafless tree, and bright blue or grey sky. Also, it is full of what Dan likes to call Special Smells, consisting of everything from feed lots to grazing land to slaughterhouses to rendering plants.

The first Christmas tree farm was just outside of La Salle, which isn’t saying much because La Salle consists of one stoplight. The entire operation consisted of a muck-filled dirt road leading toward an even muckier parking area in between a few acres of the same species of tree. They handed us an information sheet informing us that they only take cash or personal checks, neither of which we had on hand, but we decided if we found the right tree we’d go back into La Salle to get cash and come back. We wandered around in the muck, dodging stumps of trees past, and never finding the right kind of tree for us. A few came close, particularly one that was a little twisted and somewhat sparse because it had a bunch of pinecones on it! And then there was the tree with the dead mouse on it.

Dan asked if I wanted to try the other place, which was only a few miles away. I said it was up to him, since he was the one who still had so much work to do. I think we kind of both wanted to go, since we weren’t especially impressed with the trees or the muck. For 40 bucks I’d rather just get a noble fir at the grocery store.

So up to eastern Greeley we went, to the Fern Hill Christmas Tree farm. Now, THIS was a business. They had things all set up; marked and accessible parking, a hay ride out to the trees, a fire pit, cookies and cider inside where you paid for the tree you chose. And you could pay with a credit card. Each tree available for sale was marked with a tag telling you the height and price of the tree. We found a few we liked, and then I saw The One. I knew it was The One because a) I liked how it looked, and b) the tag looked like this.

How could we not get it?

Dan cut it down, with a little help from me, and we had it shaken and baled in some sort of netting to make it easier to transport, and we tied it to the roof of the car. The gordian knot used to secure it amused me so much, I took a photo.

When we got home, the tree came inside and got be-lighted and adorned with a lot of new ornaments that we got for half price at Cost Plus World Market on Saturday. I had also knitted four new ones, so there are eight giant knitted balls now.


The tree-topping pantheon, which includes Devil Ducky, The Frog That Lives Over The Door, an angel, and a poseable Jesus on wheels.

My abiding love for the Charlie Brown Christmas special has been well-documented on this site, and I was especially excited to see it this year because of our fancy teevee. Last night, I got a ride home from the gym with a friend (it was snowing heavily, so this was rather nice of her) and shook the snow off my shoes, ate a snack, and settled down on the couch to watch. And when the kids danced, I danced too. It wasn’t the amazing transformative experience that the Grinch or Rudolph were, because as Dan pointed out last night it’s pretty low-budget animation. But it made me feel like the season was really here, as I watched my favorite Christmas special while sitting next to our Charlie Brown tree.

Variety hour (plus weekend update)

Today, for the first time in more than four years, my coworkers found out what I do. I did a presentation at our staff meeting today, adapting a presentation I do at trainings for new people in the school districts, and for nearly an hour people listened to ME for once. And asked ME questions. And paid attention to ME. It felt really, really good, in a strange way. I’ve spent more than four years attending staff meetings, having to listen to other people’s projects and conferences and such, never having anything to do with my job or my program. Today, it was My Turn, and I got a lot of compliments on my presentation. Woot!

I’m also starting to feel a little better, like I have enough energy to do things like go for walks and work out. Yesterday, Dan and I walked to the ice cream shop (Lik’s!) because it was sunny and over 60F, a rarity for January, so we took advantage of it. His assignment for his photography class involved introducing an element of randomness into two rolls of film. So I got to choose what he shot and when, which turned out to be a lot of fun. We walked around in the park after we had ice cream (which was good, but no gelato) and watched the doggies gamboling and the kids swinging and the people playing frisbee in the rare January warmth. It’s supposed to get really cold again by the end of this week, so I’m glad we had a chance to walk around outside. Today I plan to go to the gym to work off some of the adrenaline-fueled energy I have from giving the presentation this morning. Plus, I’m feeling better enough that it’s about time I get back to my routine. I still want that dress to fit, after all.

Speaking of dresses, this weekend was also full of Getting Wedding Stuff Done. I found a fabric store here in Denver with an Entire Room full of the kind of fabric I need to make the bridesmaid dresses, so I had quite a bit more to choose from than I expected to have. I’m really excited to start working on these; I think they will be gorgeous. And we also met with an independent jewelry designer-type person who will be making our wedding rings. My finger feels nekkid, since she’s got my engagement ring so she can make a wax cast of it in order to fit the wedding ring to match exactly. I’m so excited to see what she comes up with for our rings, which were really the last big thing we hadn’t figured out yet.

Also, we took down the Christmas tree, since it was our first opportunity to do so when we both felt healthy enough to put the effort into it (and it was light enough while we were both home). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tree that dry before. It’s been drier than usual this winter, and the tree sat in our house for a month with no water, so I’m actually surprised it managed to leave the house with any needles intact at all. I took a few pictures of needle carnage with Dan’s digital camera but I will have to wait until he gets home tonight so he can show me how to upload them and I can post them for you all to see. I’m just glad we mostly have wood/linoleum floors!

Thanks for all your comments on my previous post. I found it really interesting how people’s taste seemed to differ in terms of which photos you all liked best. We chose our five favorites (with one alternate that we loved almost as much) and sent the list to the photographer. I have no idea what that means (he just asked for our five favorites), but in case you’re curious, our top five were: 6233, 6292, 6858, 6973, 7000. Alternate: 6896.

Christmas TV shows kind of make me feel like a little kid

While I’m a little annoyed that they played it before it’s even December, I just got more than my fair share of enjoyment out of the Charlie Brown Christmas special. This year I got to see bits and pieces of both the Halloween and Thanksgiving specials as well. I’m not entirely sure why this makes me so happy, but it really does.

I also look forward to How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated one with Tony the Tiger singing the Grinch song), the Rankin-Bass specials (Rudoph, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Frosty the Snowman etc.) and, of course, Ralphie shooting his eye out. Not having cable, there are definitely years where I don’t get to see these things. However, I take the opportunity whenever possible. I’ve still got fond childhood memories of all of these Christmas TV shows and I kind of wonder what adults have been thinking the last 20 years, because I can’t think of any good Christmas TV shows/movies that have come out since my childhood. The live-action Grinch movie (the Jim Carrey one) is OK (I know Dan will rend his garments with rage when even reading the name of the thing), and there are a few movies I associate with Christmas (like A Series of Unfortunate Events), but I can’t really think of any good TV specials or whatnot. Everything I’ve seen has been entirely too schmaltzy (and I haven’t seen Elf or Bad Santa). Kids these days, they’re missing out.

I’m not a huge fan of most Christmas music, but I own a copy of Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack and it goes into regular rotation during the month of December. When the special is on TV, I get up and dance in my living room while the kids dance to “Linus and Lucy” and I totally dance just like they do. I don’t care who is watching.