Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sky over Animal Kingdom Lodge

I took this picture right before we left the hotel to go to the airport. It seemed like a mass of birds circling the moon.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Back from WDW

The weather changed each day we were there from warm enough to wear t-shirts, shorts, and sandals to cold enough to wear a turtleneck, sweatshirt, and hat... but everyday was humid. It was sunny on some days and rainy on others. And on Christmas Eve, through the magic of Disney, there was snow in Magic Kingdom around midnight.

I'm tired... utterly and totally exhausted really. We had a really good time but after five nights of only 4-5 hours of sleep and 57.5 miles of walking, well, let's just say I'm really glad that I took the whole week for vacation. Very little knitting was done, some at the airport and on the plane but while we were there, nothing of note. My favorite hotel is the Animal Kingdom Lodge, my favorite park is Animal Kingdom, my favorite ride is the Kilimanjaro safari, my favorite restaurant is Bistro de Paris in Epcot, and my favorite character is Mickey Mouse. I love all the fireworks shows!

Here's some pictures from our trip.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Something for me

So often, my knitting is gifted away. There are few things I knit this year that are truly mine. Although I have a crocheted acrylic Santa hat with a jingle bell and a tassel on the end from my childhood (that I still wear, the long white brim unrolled to accomodate my now larger head), I have always wanted something better. Something soft and fuzzy and designed to fit my head. And now that Max and I are heading to Disney World for Christmas, well, now is the time.

Christmas hat
The white yarn is Caron Bliss and the red is a cashmere that I bought at AC Moore right before the colour was discontinued. I have high hopes of finishing the hat before I see Mickey. Being able to wear it (when the forecasted highs are between 70 and 80) is another question altogether.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Finished at last

The cambridge sweater was finished on Saturday morning. I woke up early, 7:47am, and althought my first inclination was to go back to sleep but I knew the cambridge sweater needed to be finished and mailed that day. So I went downstairs, Max still asleep in bed, finished the single crochet edging on the bottom of the sweater and the sleeve cuffs. Then the arduous task of weaving in all the ends. I had just finished when I heard Max get up. I think that was at 9:30am, but probably closer to 10am. After a quick breakfast, we drove to the post office and then I stood in line until 12noon while Max stood outside and talked to his brother on the phone. It cost over $50 to ship the large box of presents to my family in Canada via Global Priority Express. I swear that is the most I have ever paid at the US post office. Still, a heavy burden was lifted from my shoulders.

Oh, did I not mention the zipper? Luckily, I did not have to sew it in. My mom offered to do it for me and so I jumped on that. Sigh of relief. Otherwise I think I would not have finished until January. There are no pictures but hopefully someone will take some for me.

I'm still working on one last Christmas knitting item but I'm hoping to finish it tonight or tomorrow. I'll take pictures before I ship it but then I'll have to wait to post them.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday Sky

Last night was my company holiday party. The office closed early and I went to the salon to get a haircut and a colour wash. The party was a big to-do at the Marriott, everyone dressed up (some more than others), there was a drawing for prizes, and an ice luge for chilling green or red martinis. The food was only mediocre but with four drinks spread over four hours, I wasn't even hungry. Plus I got to wear my fancy Chinese red silk chi-pao
from my wedding.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Swish poncho

Swish poncho
I finished this poncho awhile ago but with the shorter days, it took forever to take a natural daylight photo. You can't tell but it was pretty cold outside.

This was a quick knit - once I figured out what the pattern meant. I used Knit Picks Swish in dark navy. The yarn is 100% wool, it's soft and nice to work with - and after a machine wash it still looks great. If I were to make it again though, I would knit it in the around and avoid having to sew seams.

The poncho is a Christmas present for my brother's (long-time) girlfriend. Should be just the thing to keep her warm at work. I'm mailing it on Saturday. Hopefully it will arrive in Canada in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Air hose cosy update

Air hose cosy

This picture was taken last week after I had just started knitting the air hose cosy. The tube is done. It was a very quick knit. There is texture, variety of colours and yarns, mostly in knit stitches but a few purls thrown in randomly. I've started on the mask cover, using Red Heart soft because we're not sure if the recipient is allergic to wool or not - and better to not risk it if it's going to be covering someone's face while they are sleeping, you know? The tube was machine washed last night and tonight I will knit some brown i-cord worms to attach as decoration. Totally weird present, right? Yeah, but I've still received a thumbs-up from Max and Kristina.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Max asked me, "Honey, what are your ear plugs doing here [in the living room]?"
I said, "Ha, ha! Look at them."
"Oh, these are your knitting things."

Specifically, my needle point protectors. He's funny. And cute.

Here's my saturday sky:

Also, I read on the microRevolt reBlog that the Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan has a guide (PDF) on using cloth as opposed to paper for wrapping gifts to cut down on the wasted paper usually used in gift wrap. Sounds like a great idea. Oh, and I'm done my Christmas shopping! Yah! Just need to finish my Christmas knitting now...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

SP9 recipe contest

My Mom emails me recipes all the time, old ones, new ones, stuff I love, and even things I would never make. I chose this one because it was the first fancy dessert I made in highschool and I won third place at the French Club Bake-off. My Mom's note reads, "Delicious flavour of fresh raspberries and creamy custard"

Raspberry Flan
Raspberry Flan

Serving Size : 8

Shortbread Base
3/4 cup butter -- cold, cut into cubes
1/3 cup icing sugar
1.5 cups flour

Custard Layer
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1.5 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup red currant jelly

For the base:
In a food processor combine flour and icing sugar, pulse to blend. Add in cold cubed butter. Pulse on and off until the whole dough comes together into a ball.

Pat into a 10 inch quiche pan with a removable bottom. Take small balls of dough and press into the sides. Use a spoon to smooth over the bottom and sides. Prick well with a fork. Let chill for 15 minutes while pre-heating the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool.

For the custard:
In a heavy saucepan, mix egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together until well blended. Stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. When mixture thickens and boils, remove from heat. Add lemon rind and vanilla. Cool slightly, spread filling into flan shell.

For the topping:
Top custard with rows of fresh raspberry. For glaze, cook cornstarch, orange juice and red current jelly over medium heat , until it boils and becomes clear. Spoon over raspberries, chill and serve.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving: 376 Calories; 20g Fat (48.0% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 153mg Cholesterol; 180mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Fruit; 4 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Disney Christmas

For months now, I've been planning for my parents' visit. Originally they were going to come in March but then they decided that would be too rushed since we were going to Berlin in April - which was okay because they decided they wanted to come stay with us for Christmas. At first I was skeptical... afterall it would be the first time my parents had not spent Christmas at home with the family. But they were adamant, they were definitely going to come. They were so definite about it that I relaxed and started to really look forward to their visit, planning what we would do while they were here, buying food and wine they would like, looking for just the perfect stocking holders to hang their stockings on the fireplace mantel. Max and I hung up some of our Christmas lights on Saturday and the house was starting to look a little festive.

Then my Dad called me yesterday.
They're not coming.

There's a pretty good reason why they're not coming but I can't help but feel sad and disappointed. Over the phone, I was calm and mature and let him know that I understood but then I broke down once I hung up. It's hard to set the emotions aside completely. Max felt bad for me and he did his best to make me feel better.

We're going to Walt Disney World!

He got on the phone after I talked to my parents and called Disney reservations. With some work with the Disney sales rep, he was able to get us non-stop flights to Orlando and we're staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Max is the best! It will be a short trip but we're both really excited. It's been over three years since our last trip and this is our all-time favorite vacation location. Just like the Disney commercial, Max couldn't fall asleep last night because he was too excited. Today I spent some time booking our dinner reservations and planning an itinerary. I'm still sad that my parents cancelled but I'm happy about the silver lining we created for ourselves.

What are your plans for the holidays?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saturday Sky

The autumn leaves are still hanging on as the temperatures dropped to 41 degrees today.

Friday, December 01, 2006

St. Bernadette's Holiday Bazaar

The St. Bernadette School Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday, December 2nd, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the school gym.

Tie dye by Shirley Raybuck. Pick up one of these for yourself!
Tie dyed Tie Dye by Shirley Raybuck

St. Bernadette's Catholic School, 7602 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield, VA