It begins.


October is here.

Watching: well, Gilmore Girls is on Netflix as of today, and I’ve never seen season 7, so it’s going to be verrrrrry difficult for me to talk myself into watching anything seasonal. Let’s see how it goes.

Reading: A Scream Away From Someone by Deirdre Sullivan. Lovely, haunting, just barely horror. My favorite kind.

Making: Grace wants a fox costume, so I am looking over my yarn stash in hopes of some nice orange for Foxy & Wolfie.

It’s amateur night again.

Oh, do I have a blog?

I woke up early today. Sometime not very far past 5:30, and I have a fairly strict rule that I do not get out of bed before 6:00 so I stayed there for a bit, listening to Grace snore. Sam was awake too, up in his bunk bed, kvetching that the fan Will put in the bedroom window (which I loooooooove) is too loud and he was too cold. I got him another blanket, and stayed up. Will got in the shower, and then we had an earthquake.

Earthquakes are loud. It sounds like everything is shaking, though it doesn’t always feel like it. I was worried about Sam, so I stood up to run back to the bedroom, only one really doesn’t do that during a quake. I sat back down involuntarily and waited it out. As I expected, Sam was a little freaked out and Grace was still fast asleep.

It was a 4.7, not too shabby. Over on Twitter, half of Los Angeles was calling it a Shamrock Shake and the other half was fuming because they didn’t think of it first.

We are (probably) not Irish. I am Sicilian, Dutch, Welsh, English, and I think French (possibly some other stuff too). Will is mostly English and Scottish on his mother’s side, and we don’t know his father’s heritage (adoptions were closed in the 1940s and he chose to never pursue it). The red hair most likely comes from the Scotch and Dutch sides of the family.

For Saint Patrick’s Day we will be eating fish and chips for dinner and drinking a pint of Murphy’s. But I will not be wearing green, and don’t even think about pinching me.


I am not Christian–not even a little bit. But I love nativities. Every couple of years I remind Will that I really want a handmade wooden one, but of course they are not cheap.

This year, my in-laws downsized, and they sent us a few things they knew we’d love.


My father-in-law traveled a lot for work.


My mother-in-law accumulated quite a collection of lovely little nativities.


These are nativities too.




Very Merry


We are having a lovely, quiet holiday season this year.

Until Sunday, I had a pretty bad case of the grumps because Will and I couldn’t afford to buy each other presents. I was feeling pretty lousy, especially because I worked my ass off on sewing commissions to pay for Christmas but the children come first, of course. I mean, that wasn’t even a question. But sometimes being the grownup is no fun.

Then my dad’s gift–cash–arrived and we split it up to spend on each other.


We made our traditional Christmas Eve pizza. This year’s came out so good that Grace devoured hers down to the crusts. I use the olive oil dough from Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day (I have the older edition and a case of the wants for this one), and this year I bought Trader Joe’s jarred sauce instead of making it from scratch (I could barely tell the difference). I made Sam a loaf of bread from the same dough, because he is horrified by pizza. (He doesn’t like cheese or foods touching. Pizza is a nightmare.)


Sam scored bigtime, with a new watch, his very own camera, video games, and lots of other stuff. But his favorite gift seems to be the two Jeff Smith comic books we bought him, Tall Tales and Rose. He loves Bone the most of everything on earth and was so excited to find out there are more stories in that world.


This pictures shows Grace’s fifth or sixth setup of the day. She immediately integrated her new toys in with her already-beloved things, except for her new rainbow blocks which CANNOT BE USED TOGETHER WITH THE BROWN BLOCKS, SO DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, BUSTER.

P.S. Not only did Will get me exactly what I wanted, but my in-laws sent us Amazon gift cards so I also ordered a fitbit and hiking shoes. And, um, a ton of baking stuff. Heh.

Dwarven Advent

My friend Liz, who shares my interest in Thorin Babenshield, said there ought to be a dwarf-themed advent calendar, and so I have made one! Enjoy.

(I will activate each link as we get to the day. This is about as low-tech as a digital advent calendar gets, so bear with me please.)

December 1

December 2

December 3

December 4

December 5

December 6

December 7

December 8

December 9

December 10

December 11

December 12

December 13

December 14

December 15

December 16

December 17

December 18

December 19

December 20

December 21

December 22

December 23

December 24

The Meal I Didn’t Cook

So…I cancelled Thanksgiving. I mean, not for everyone else. But I am not cooking.

The main reason is the paramedics who checked me out on Saturday night, and I don’t mean they thought I was cute. (I mean, maybe they did? But probably not.)

I’d worked all day at a roller derby tournament. I ate and hydrated (though I maybe could have hydrated more) but around 10:00 I very abruptly felt like I was going to fall asleep immediately. My friends helped me lie down and got the in-house medical staff, who determined that I had zero blood pressure. Someone called Will, and someone else called 911, and more paramedics showed up. (What up, Dan O’Bannon zombies.) I was hooked up to an EKG, which determined that I was probably not having a heart attack. The dizziness passed and my blood pressure went back up to normal-ish. At that point, I just felt tired, so I declined a ride to the hospital, where I know from experience you can’t get any sleep, and went home.

I feel…not great, but not terrible. I’ve decided to avoid driving or going very far from home without another adult for a few more days. (Grace is angling for a trip to Starbucks. I might try it. It’s only four blocks.)

So, I need to find a doctor. I haven’t had one for a few years. Ugh, what a drag.

I’m a little sad about not making this amazing feast, but not at all sad about not doing the actual work of making this feast, since making rice yesterday was a little challenging. Hi, I need a break. Anyway, I thought the menu was pretty excellent and wanted to share it.

Hors d’oeuvres
Cranberry chevre
Toasted baguettes

Roast turkey
Cornbread dressing with onion and sage
Baked macaroni & cheese
Cranberry sauce
Mashed potatoes
Dinner rolls (I was going to buy these)
Creamed spinach
Roasted Brussels sprouts

Pumpkin pie with whipped cream
Applejack (homemade apple-cinnamon whiskey)

Man, now I’m really hungry.

We are still making mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, and pumpkin pie. Will is going to have a steak and I am going to have macaroni and cheese that I bought at the store. (Actually, Will bought it at the store.) The children can have anything they want.

LOW STRESS HOLIDAYS. Let’s make it a thing.

(Also, there’s more applejack for us this way. Ha.)


Deadlines just about killed me this year. I only missed one, but I really missed it. (And actually, now that I think about it, I also managed to miss a few baby knits I intended to make.)

The worst part (besides the stress and guilt) was that I didn’t really enjoy gift-giving this Christmas. I rushed to finish gifts for my nephews and when they were done I just felt sad and empty. And because I’d so overcommitted myself during the year, no one else got anything.

So here is my 2013 resolution: I am just going to make stuff for people whenever I feel like it. NO DEADLINES. (That includes Christmas. For real, I forbid myself to make Christmas a deadline this year. Let’s see if I manage to hold to that one.)

So if you’re on my Nice list, you might get a surprise in, like, April. Or September. Or something.


(The title of my post is a pun. I feel the need to point that out because everybody knows that pointing out the pun makes it even funnier.)

For posterity, an incomplete list of our Christmas booty:


  • power drill
  • books on leather carving
  • assorted other books including the Batman: Arkham Asylum comic, a cowboy RPG book, and replacements of two favorite anthologies)
  • Lego: Lord of the Rings for the Wii
  • Dracula score by the Kronos Quartet
  • Punisher: War Zone blu-ray


  • Skylanders for the 3DS
  • assortment of Marvel and DC heroes and villains
  • Draw Write Now
  • Hungry Hungry Hippos
  • The Avengers blu-ray
  • Justice League, the complete series (including JLU)
  • Harry Potter movies 3 & 4
  • penny whistle
  • new PS3 controller (so he can play with his dad)


  • toy drill
  • robot building game
  • BusyTown game
  • all of the Playmobil (ALL OF IT)
  • Brave DVD
  • Tiny Toons (first season)
  • rubber stamps and washable ink stamp pads
  • glockenspiel (like a xylophone but with metal keys)


  • yarn ball winder
  • Scarf Shop scarf (in Fog)
  • blue canary nightlight
  • Holga camera
  • The Fall and Lockout on blu-ray
  • immersion blender (I actually got TWO! I’m returning one.)
  • Swiss Army watch (which turned out to be a men’s style and too big, so I’m exchanging it.)

As you can see, it was a banner year. 2012 has been really incredibly difficult in a lot of ways, which makes this bounty extra nice.

Now on to Grace’s third birthday, the New Year, and Will’s 38th birthday!

Merry Christmas! and Year-End Pattern Sale

We had a great day.

Christmas Eve was a blur of homemade pizzas and A Christmas Carol (both The Muppets and Orson Welles with the Mercury Theater), and then putting presents out once the children were in bed. We assembled the tent, and when Sam got up this morning (at 4:30 in the morning) he saw it and said, “I don’t believe it!”

One of my New Year’s resolutions last year was to publish 12 patterns. I didn’t quite make it–the year is closing out with 10 published patterns, but I do have two more completed and waiting for publication (one in a book and one by a yarn company) so I’m not complaining. I am looking forward to my design break and knitting 13 shawls (and a cardigan) in the new year!

To close out 2012, I am offering all of my self-published patterns at Buy One, Get One. Just add any two patterns to your Ravelry cart and the discount will be automatically deducted. Treat yo self! (I really wish Donna and/or Retta was my friend.)