I’m loving this holiday weekend. I feel like we’ve packed it with the most fun our family is capable of having. Friday afternoon we all went to see the new Muppet movie. I think Joe and I enjoyed it more than the girls because of all the references to the old show – but hey, we all got to eat popcorn, and the girls did enjoy themselves. This afternoon we came home from an outing, watched lunch, and then I showed the girls some more Muppet clips on YouTube. Specifically, we enjoyed the original Mahnamahna song.
In a fit of silliness, the girls and I decided to record our own version, which I have (probably foolishly) posted to YouTube, and am now sharing with you…
The outing earlier was a trip to a local park where we took a bunch of family photos in the hope of getting one for our holiday cards. I love the timer feature on my camera, which takes ten in a row each time you set the timer. It still is not easy getting four people and a doge lined up and smiling, eyes open, but we came away with something passable. Fred was quite excited and distracted by the flocks of geese living in the park, and the girls were quite grossed out by all the goose poop covering the grass and the fact that Fred considered it a gourmet snack. Joe was just unhappy about the cold, and I was grinning and bearing it all while trying to hold it all together.
This was our second choice of photos – a close call with the one we are actually using, but if you’re local, you’ll probably recognize the park in question. That’s an old beehive barbeque oven that was moved to Lilac Park over by the NordicWare factory a couple years ago – it was originally built during the depression, and was restored by a local committee after years of sitting unused next to highway 100.
Yesterday I stole some time in the afternoon to knit a bit on the sweater I’ve been wanting for myself. I feel a bit guilty starting a selfish project in the middle of the holiday madness, but the lace is a nice challenge and a perfect excuse to sit on the couch with the girls while they watched Howl’s Moving Castle.
This is going to be the back of the Dahlia Cardigan that was published in the Fall Interweave Knits. When I saw the pictures, I knew that it was time for the pile of Silk Garden yarn that had been marinating in my stash for the last five years to come out and play. I have a feeling progress on this will be a little slow, but I will squeeze in a few rows when I can and it will get done probably before spring rolls around and the weather warms up.
I should probably also mention what I was up to the morning of Thanksgiving…since I wasn’t hosting, I had time for my normal workout at the gym before preparing my two dishes and taking them over to Joe’s cousin’s house for dinner. We usually swim on Thursdays (me and the awesome group of athletes that I hang out with). We decided to have a little fun since we’d dragged ourselves in on a holiday, so we had a few races. There is a back story, but really only funny to those directly involved. Video was taken, and again, I am foolishly sharing it with the world here…
That’s me in the shark cap, and of course the first thing I notice when I look at myself in the video is the fact that I still have a giant pear-shaped tummy compared to all my lithe athlete friends. I’m okay with that (for now) – and it doesn’t hurt that I held my own in the races – the people who finished first in this IM were college swimmers and incredibly fast. The lady in the lane next to me is my awesome coach, who is an incredible athlete and although I am not all that competitive by nature (especially compared to the people in this group) it did feel good to hold my own in the pool after spending the entire summer struggling to just keep up on the runs.
There has also been a teeny amount of spinning – I pulled out some nice merino roving that’s been waiting around for my attention – I bought it with three other colors of similarly-blended wool, and am spinning them all separately in the hopes of someday knitting up a striped sweater or three. This is another stolen-moment project right now – but I needed something on hand for a moment here or there of quick spinning in between other projects in my office. The spinning wheels always look so lonely when there is nothing in progress on them!
Oh, and backing up to Tuesday, I had the chance to meet a reader from Florida. I got an e-mail a month or so ago from a nice lady named Carole who has been knitting my blankie and was planning to be in town to visit her son. She wondered if I was interested in a meet up, and I figured why not? It would be an excuse to sit in my favorite coffee shop and knit for an hour or so, right? Turns out she was fun to talk to and had lots of questions about various projects. My coach from the gym (who also knits) came and sat with us for a while, and it was very cozy.
Thanks for getting in touch, Carole! (Here she is with her blankie-in-progress and the original blankie, which I pulled out from the storage ottoman by my couch so they could meet up.)
Finally, in case anyone is dying from suspense, I did track down all the Calico Critter pieces I had in mind for Sophie’s presents, but none in the places I’d most expected. Last week I’d gone to local toy store Creative Kidstuff with a coupon for 25% off one item, where I bought the Caravan Family Camper and the Convertible Coupe along with the rabbit family. I was a little horrified by the prices, but I figured I should at least secure the items I wanted before the crazy Black Friday shopping started, and then see if I could do better. Turns out, I was able to buy the car at half off through Barnes and Noble’s website at midnight on Thursday/Friday, but they had already sold out of the camper. Which is why I got up and out the door on Friday morning to try for the camper at an actual B&N store. Unfortunately, the store that I picked has already sold out of that particular item before the big sale.
The good news is that they had a different present I wanted for Julie – a pottery wheel toy. She’s pointed that toy out many times in catalogs, and the catalog I had at the moment sold it for $57. B&N had it for regular price of $27, and I used the Black Friday deal to get it for $13. I wouldn’t have bought that one for her, but Joe’s mom gave me a check at Thanksgiving dinner and asked me to pick out gifts for the girls from the grandparents. I was happy to do that because they mean well but have no idea what the girls like.
Back to the Critters, though. Sophie will get a family and the car as her big presents for Christmas. I need to look through the other things I’ve bought and make some decisions about whether maybe grandma will give her the carrying case/house for Christmas too. We’ll save the camper and another family for her birthday in February. As I was running around shopping for these toys, I started to worry that too much of it at once would not be as much fun as spreading out the collecting over more time. Really, with these “collectable” toys, the waiting part is a good chunk of the fun.
I feel only slightly guilty about having to return the car back to the store where I picked it up last week. While I was there, I spent quite a bit of money on other stocking stuffers, and these toys are more popular than I’d realized, so they will have no trouble selling it in its still-perfect packaging.
Now, off to order Christmas cards, fix some dinner, and plan my moves for the coming week – it’s looking like another busy one!