Monday, December 31, 2007


First, a lovely picture of Bean from the Christmas pageant at church. There are many interesting animal choices in the Christmas pageant. The little ones are sheep, ducks, etc. There is an amazing two-person camel.

Bean was a peacock (they come in with the Three Wise Men - I still prefer Bean's term for them at age three: The Three Surprisemen).

The lead peacock has not only the fabulous headdress, but also a gorgeous full-plumed tail. Really amazing stuff.

I received a little something other than the breaker box from Dr. Pig. Yes, the sheep looks like a bear and he meant swift instead of "wool winder", but inside was a large wooden swift so I'm not arguing.

The package is magically reloading as well. It's a Bean!

Hours of fun were had with the box until it finally expired.

As for the stuffed part, take a looksee.

Yes, we are having a New Year's Day party.

The plastic containers with the blue lids hold the really, really good stuff.

On the bottom is Hattie's Goat Cheese Torta. The stuff of legend. Susan may no longer be with us, but I think of her every time I make this.

The middle layer is blue cheese and walnut dip.

And the top layer is Pan-Fried Onion Dip aka OH MAH GAWD.

You take a couple of softball sized yellow onions and cut them into slices and saute the slices in butter and olive oil on medium until they get a bit soft and then on medium low for about 45 minutes. Add some salt and pepper and maybe some cayenne or Tabasco to season them up.

Meanwhile, mix 4oz of cream cheese, half a cup of mayo, and a cup of sour cream together. Don't bother with any of that low fat crap. This stuff will kill you dead even then so why bother.

Once the onions are all golden brown and delicious, take 'em off the heat and let them cool. Pulse them a few times in the Cuisinart to get them all chopped up and then add them to the sour cream mixture. You may need to add a bit more S&P at this point, but I'd let it sit in the fridge for a while before doing too much seasoning.

Try to keep away from picking at the stuff until the party the next day.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pre-Dawn Manuevers

Excuse me whilst my brain takes a little giggle break to recall the Eddie Izzard riff on Dr. Heimlich and his maneuvers.

Much better now.

And yes, I do mean pre-dawn. As in 5 o'clock am. That's morning am just in case you might be confused.

My favorite yarn store, The Woolie Ewe, has a ginormous annual sale the Saturday before New Year's Eve. When I say ginormous, I mean this is the kind of sale where late arrivals get 30% off. The sale is so good that people camp out for it. You can tell who used to camp out for concert tickets because they all have chairs and blankets and a big old Thermos.

It used to be that, if you got there before the owner, you received 40% of all yarn in the store. I've done it, but it's awfully early and I usually don't need all that much and my brain kind of goes into excess spree mode when confronted with that good of a deal on all that lovely yarn.

This year, from 5am until 8am the sale was 50% off of anything in the store. And I did "need" some lace needles.

I did manage to have some restraint. I bought precious little yarn*, going instead for 5 pair of Addi Turbo Lace needles, a copy of Kaffe Knits Again, an Ella Rae felted bag book that had some really groovy bags in it, and some yarn. I limited myself to buying yarn only for specific projects rather than the "oooooh look at that!" approach I have taken in the past.

Well, mostly. Three skeins of KSH fell into my bag (Marmalade is a really lovely orange), however, I am sure that I can find something (other than Birch or Kiri) to knit with them.

Now, off to recover.

*Upon further review, the three skeins of KSH were joined by enough Debbie Bliss Cathay for a shell and 4 skeins of Lang Silk Dream which I will use to knit Drifting Pleats from Knitting New Scarves. Still, I passed on the very lovely Mountain Colors afghan kit and the stack of Hanne Falkenberg sweater kits, so I feel the very model of restraint!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sleeping it off

Dr. Pig got up considerably prior to the crack of dawn to take his parents to the airport. Because it's really great to schedule your flight at 8am.

He came home and got back in bed and at some point Bean got up and got into bed with us. We spent pretty much the whole morning in bed and have now gotten our various selves bathed and dressed and are preparing to play the family Christmas present - Dance Dance Revolution. I predict alcohol will be involved on the part of the adults.

I'm mentally prepping for the big enormous giant fantasmagorical sale that always happens the Saturday before New Year's Eve. This year, it's everything in the store on sale, not just yarn. The bad news: it's from 5am to 8am for the big discount. The good news: Addi Turbo Lace Needles for 50% off (providing I get there in time for the grab)!

I've spent the past several days battling the Allergies of Death and am now tired and cranky and not much interested in anything requiring effort.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to all

May all your yarnidays be bright! And all the attendant joys of the season and the holiday of your choice.

We're pretty much all set for the holiday festivities. It should be a nice, relaxed Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


So, everyone but me has read Freakonomics by Stephen J Dubner and Steven D Levitt. I've seen Dubner interviewed a number of times including a hilarious section where he interviewed the hamsters on America's Next Top Model (a shameful addiction, but even Dr. Pig finds it an entertaining train wreck). I always thought Dubner looked vaguely familiar but, since anywhere I go someone usually comes up to me and swears they know my sister (I don't have a sister), went to college with me (at a different college), etc. etc., I just figured I was imagining things.

At any rate, my friend Lex posted today about the untimely but strangely inevitable death of David Enloe, the guitarist for one of my favorite bands in college: The Fabulous Knobs. The Knobs did a version of Tumbling Dice that, for my money, beat Mick Jagger half to death. These were the days when REM was just getting bigger than college pubs (instead they started playing college auditoriums).

There were lots of other fabulous bands in North Carolina in those days. My all time favorite was The Right Profile. Reading about Enloe's death made me wonder what ever happened to the guys in The Right Profile. I couldn't remember their names, but I remembered the band vividly. I still have an old cassette tape they gave me that I love.

Google is your friend.

The slightly goofy keyboard player who had a Farfisa organ he would haul around to the detriment of his back, was always my favorite. Lex and I went all over the place to see them.

The keyboard player? Dubner. Stephen J. Dubner. To quote Popeye, "Well blow me down!"

Take a listen. Dubner singing Infatuation. Jeff Foster, who is still in the music biz singing God's Little Acre.

It wasn't just the magic of college. They really were That Good.

Friday, December 14, 2007

And now, pink eye

Yesterday, Bean told me that her right eye hurt when she hung upside down. My response was, "Then don't hang upside down."

This morning, she said it still hurt. I sent her to school and called the pediatric opthalmologist to find out if the surgery she had last January was suddenly going to make her eye explode (OK, I explained it in a vastly more adult manner to them, but that's what I was thinking.) The nice lady on the phone very patiently explained that her eye was not explode, and, had I considered pink eye?

Holy buckets! It's pink eye! And I had sent her to school to inflict the plague on everyone. I called the new pediatrician (LOVE HER!), got an appointment, called the school, picked Bean up and, sure 'nuff - pink eye.

In a fit of Christmas giving, I then took her grocery shopping at SuperTarget. She walked next to me and kept her hands in her pockets. We fast arriving at the point where dinner was going to be dry cereal and mustard, so I had to stage an intervention. Dinner will now be chicken breast, rice, and some sort of veggie.

Meanwhile, the electricity has gone somewhat wonky. We think it's a meter problem, but the electrician is coming in about an hour because the electric company won't. Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Things have been hopping around here. Lots of parties, etc.

And, scary stuff, two break-ins in my small neighborhood just today. Two houses a few neighborhoods over were hit on Monday. Thank goodness we have an alarm system and a very barky dog.

Friday, December 07, 2007


I am a long-time Roches fan.

This is one of their better efforts. An a capella version of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. The Hallelujah chorus is a glorious piece of music under almost any circumstances (including my 7th grade choir class), but just watch how much fun The Roches have singing it.

There is an even better version on The Roches website taken from a Saturday Night Live in 1979. I couldn't figure out how to crosspost it here, so you'll have to go to the site to see it. It's very worth to see Suzzy totally jamming out on the tune. Hallelujah and interpretive disco-dancing!

Sadly for me, they were in town last weekend but I couldn't go.

At least I have YouTube!

Now, go buy We Three Kings - one of the best Christmas albums EVER!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tater tots are a surprisingly effective sedative.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

At approximately 3:30am, my body decided to wake up.

My brain then embarked on a very terse series of exchanges with my body that resulted in mutual "I hate you!" "NO! I hate YOU!"

And then it turned out that my husband had forgotten his breatheright strip and began doing impressions of boat motors.

I never did get back to sleep.

My body, having already messed me up good time, decided that what was really needed was a series of unremitting panic attacks. Given that I had several important tasks to accomplish today, I had to grin and bear it. Deep breathing, people. It did me no damn good during pregnancy, as Bean was sideways with her little feet crammed into my left hip. But, deep breathing.

I am presently freaking out over the following:

Bean's reading assessment. (She's been put in an advanced reading class. I'd like her to stay in the class, because I don't want to have to explain to her about not being in the reading class. The reading class only meets once a week, though so it's not like it's really that big a deal. The child reads all the books with no help. She's just not that great at taking the quizzes that follow. I can't blame her - the books are beyond boring.)

I can't find a check someone gave me. (I can get her to re-write the check so it's more embarrassing than anything else.)

I haven't opened my mail in three days. (But I did look at all the envelopes so I don't think there is some strange, time-sensitive missive waiting to repo the house or something, which would be pretty hard since that bill is paid automatically. But my mind goes there.)

None of this is anything worth getting worked up over. Intellectually, I know it. I'd be a bit happier if my brain and body could cooperate over this.

Dudes, I cannot do 3am. Let's hope I'm sufficiently wound up from today that I can watch America's Next Top Model and pass the hell out. I'm having tater tots with dinner. Nothing like some nice, comforting starch!

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Oops, forgot Dipsy. Or, as Bean used to say when she was very wee, "Mama, dat Sheepy!"

I'm sort of weirded out by the fact that I no longer have to make a post any post to post for posting.

And I'm sort of kind of in love with this bag.

Tell me I'm right because let's face it, how can I resist lime green with red tartan?

And, it would be big enough to take all my stuff, Bean's stuff, and knitting!

Why yes, I am trying to justify this purchase.

So, help me out here!