Happy Thanksgiving!

November 29, 2010

I hope that you all had wonderful Thanksgivings!  Mine was…nice.  Could have been a wee bit better.  I caught some kind of stomach bug the night before.  I had been fine all day and late in the afternoon, when I was getting ready to go out to dinner and a hockey game, I started feeling not so good.  My stomach was not happy.  Of course I still went out, we had hockey tickets!

Blackhawks at Sharks

The Chicago Blackhawks were in town playing the San Jose Sharks, which was perfect timing for my dad who was here for Thanksgiving.  (I grew up in Chicago and we are big hockey fans!)  Anyway, I ate a couple of bites of my dinner (which later turned out to be a big mistake) and tried to enjoy the game.  We had awesome seats and the game was great, but the good guys lost.  I came home and went straight to bed.  The rest of the night…not so fun.

Bill's Turkey

My sweet husband did all of the cooking and baking.  I dragged myself out of bed at 9:30 to find two pies in the oven, and him chopping the veggies for the stuffing.  My only contribution to the meal was toasting the bread for the stuffing.  He did a fantastic job with the dinner.  I felt bad because it’s so much work (and he does work full-time), but I was not up to it.  He and my dad enjoyed turkey and all the fixings.  I had Thanksgiving toast. Actually, I did risk a very small serving of broccoli rice casserole and mashed potatoes.  I couldn’t resist.  I did help clean up the kitchen afterwards; it was the least I could do.  It ended up being a nice day. The house smelled wonderful, the company was great and I have much to be thankful for.

Friday we put up our Christmas lights.  My dad even helped. (It’s not his favorite thing to do.)  I find that Christmas decorations are essential here in CA.  Otherwise, how would we know it’s the holiday season?  This is my second Thanksgiving here, and it’s the second time the holiday snuck up on me.  I think it has a lot to do with the weather and the milder temperatures and the lack of snow.

Watching TV

We’ve had a nice visit with my Dad.  This picture cracks me up. We allow our dog on the couch, but she asks permission before she hops up.  She rests her head on the cushion and looks and you.  Anyway, my dad and I were sitting at opposite ends, and CJ asked if she could hop up and I said, “yes, but stay off of Grampy.”  She didn’t listen very well.  My dad was a good sport. It is his grandpunkin after all.

Dad says good morning to Gracie

And of course I can’t not mention Gracie.  She can be a little jumpy so we weren’t sure how she would take to having a new person in the house.  We needn’t have worried. She falls at my dad’s feet so he can pet her.  She’s also recently learned how much fun it is to snuggle on the couch, and if you snuggle next to someone, they will pet you.  A lot.  And if you sit in the spot where your grampy normally sits, he will let slide over and sit next to you and pet you as he reads.  It is wonnerful.  As I type this, Gracie has just hopped up on the couch next to my dad and he’s petting her.  It is quite adorable.

Life is good.

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Sweatin’ It Out

November 16, 2010


I think that’s been my motto for the last ten days.  This picture of Gracie, hanging out of her nook, is about how I’ve been feeling. I was scheduled for jury duty starting Monday Nov. 8th.  It was the reason I didn’t join Bill on his trip to Nashville.  I thought about deferring my service but was concerned that I’d get called in at a more inconvenient time so I decided to suck it up and do my duty.  The system in California, or at least Santa Clara County, is different from how it was done in Philadelphia and Montgomery County, MD.  You are on call for the week, and you have to check in twice a day on the website (or phone) until you are told to report in.  I finally reported in on Wednesday.  For two hours.  I was put on a panel, called to a courtroom, told the case and then we were dismissed for the day.  Thursday was a holiday so I went back on Friday.  And sat all day while they questioned jurors.  And then was dismissed until Monday. Where I sat almost all day and then was finally questioned but released. When I left at 3pm on Monday, they didn’t seem close to having a jury.  And let me just say that this was not a capital murder case.  It was crazy how long the process was taking.  I was starting to get anxious about how long I was going to be tied up. On the one hand, I have a very flexible schedule because I don’t work, but on the other hand I do do things, and we are having a guest for Thanksgiving…  I really felt for the people who have kids and have to make arrangements for this indefinite period of time, or people who work and have stuff piling up. Anyway, I’m free for at least 18 months.

I was knitting today, and sweatin’ it out at the end of my project. I wasn’t sure I was going to have enough yarn.  I had a plan in case I didn’t, and I thought I was going to have to go with that plan.  For some reason, I can’t remember what, I went into my craft room, and something caught my eye.  Another skein of the yarn.  All that worrying for nothing.

What else?  My writing is going pretty well.  I’ve actually written over 27,500 words.  I was writing almost 2,000 words a day until this past weekend.  I was frustrated by my Friday and then just got caught up with football on Sunday.  I’m trying to put in 2,500 words a day this week to make up for it.  But I was, and still am, a little ahead of schedule so it’s good.  I hope I have 22,500 more words in me.  It’s an interesting process, to say the least.

Hopefully things will return to normal, though with the holiday coming up, I doubt it.  I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week.


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Another Lazy Sunday

November 7, 2010

I have had the laziest Sunday.  Bill has been out of town, so it’s just me and the kids.  I woke up thinking I might try and get a walk in, but it was overcast and rainy.  Eh, maybe later.  So I showered and got dressed and ready for football.  That meant camping out on the couch for the next three hours.  Even though this is my intention every weekend, I inevitably end up doing laundry, picking up… but today all I did was knit.  Bill and I texted back and forth as we watched the game.  CJ doesn’t like it when I watch football.  So much yellingks, and with her papa not here, she has to check on me.

is everything ok?

After the Bears game, which they won, I put on the Colts – Eagles game.  And it made me so sleepy…  So I gave in and ended up sleeping for much longer than I intended.  I woke up just in time for the Blackhawks hockey game.  No time for a walk.  Graciepants had also been napping so I took advantage of her grogginess and put her on my lap.

laps are comfortables

I think she’s saying “this isn’t so bad.”  Occasionally she will climb onto my lap when I’m sitting in the craft room, but I think she’s still not sure that she’s allowed in the living room.  We bonded.  Then I made myself dinner:  a very nutritious spinach salad with totally unnutritious homemade mac and cheese.  It was loaded with calcium…  The hockey game ended (they lost, boo) so I switched to the Sunday night football game which is looking to be a blowout.  I should take it as a sign and turn off the tv and get to my writing.  I am been writing a little over 2,000 words a day and am ahead of schedule.  I’m really thrown off with the time change, my nap, lack of husband.  I still have time to get my 2,000 words in.  I considered taking CJ for a walk, but it’s dark and rainy.

I find that my workouts have been very helpful with the writing. Not my classes on Mondays and Wednesdays because it’s hard to think when someone’s yelling at you, but after class I’ll sit on a bike for 15 or 20 minutes and think about my characters and where they are going that day.  Same thing when I walk on the other days.  I’ve made some voice recordings on my phone so I can remember what I’ve come up with, but I haven’t had to refer to them yet.  Whether good or bad, I’m not planning very far in advance.  I find that my ideal writing time is from 12 – 3ish. We’ll see how the writing goes tonight.  I’m contemplating a beer to loosen up the creative muscles.  Plus, a beer just sounds tasty. One of Bill’s home brews…mmmm!

I hope you have had enjoyable Sundays and that you are ready for the new week.

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On Track

November 3, 2010

Well, it’s November 3rd and things are on track.  As I mentioned previously, I started NaNoWriMo.  My word count is up to 6,520 and I am ahead of schedule.  Granted this is the honeymoon period where it’s all exciting and new, but I am feeling good about what I’ve done.  Had you asked me Monday, I would have told you a third grader could have, and probably has, written something better.  Yesterday and today were an improvement and now I’d say I’m on par with a freshman in high school.  It’s been a long time since I’ve written fiction and dealt with plots arcs and character development.  I have gone into this experience expecting the finished product to be somewhere between bad and horrible, and most likely only to be read by two people.  I’m focusing more on the process, accomplishing the goal, and trying to enjoy myself along the way.  So far, so good.

As I mentioned, I also have other things that I want and need to accomplish this month.  Again, I’m on track.  I’ve kept to my workout schedule (realizing I’ve only had to do it for three days so not the most major of achievements).  And I finished my first set of Christmas presents.  There’s a couple of people we give money or gift cards every year, and it’s a struggle to find cute and different ways to present it.  I would prefer to not just put it in a card or a box, but I also don’t want it to be too elaborate or difficult to make or expensive because it’s hard to know if it’s something that will be used or tossed aside because the “real” gift is the money.

first Christmas gifts of the season

This year, I’ve made these little wallets, a pattern by Valori Wells.  I already had everything I needed and enjoyed picking out the fabric from my stash.  The most time consuming part of the project was cutting out the fabric, and that didn’t actually take very long.    Maybe pushing out the corners and sewing on the snaps was the most time consuming part.  Either way, I think these took me less than two hours from start to finish.  And two hours would include a lot of time for sipping hot apple cider and admiring your handiwork.  We’re going to fill each pocket with some cash and gift cards.

And that’s all I’ve got.

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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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