>Things I Love

>Tar Heels Winning Bowl Games!!!!  That was an interesting game, I must say.

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>Things I hate

>I hate that I now hate snow – but I now hate snow.  Too despondent to explain more than that.  Nobody is dead or even injured – but until you have fought your way to a barn more than five miles from you home in order to take care of 17 horses who are continuously in need of buckets of water because their water buckets freeze up within an hour or two of being filled – horses who are on edge because the wind is continually banging the barn doors against the aluminum siding of the barn – horses who may at any time colic because they are on edge and don’t have enough water… until you have done it three times and know that you will have to do it at least two more times – you would not understand the despondency. But take my word for it – it ain’t fit for man nor beast out there and it ain’t no fun.

But I’d walk all the way there and back in this weather if I had to in order to be sure they had that water….

Fortunately the first two trips a friend was willing to brave the roads and this last trip the hub was willing.  Of course, we thought the roads would be better than they were.  Second trip yesterday things had improved over the morning.  Unfortunately between drop in temp and drifting snow things were much worse this morning – now we get to add lots of ice to the mix.  Got rather exciting a time or two.  I hate it when people leave their cars sitting across the road when there are two inches of ice and drifting snow over that on said roads…

 And for any of you who live up north and think it is no big deal – believe me when I say it is different here.  We don’t regularly get enough “weather” to make it economically feasible  to have enough of the right equipment  to totally clear the roads – they do the interstates and the major roads pretty well, but we live several miles from a “major road” and there are no major roads between here and the barn.  We have curves (hard curves), grades, curves going into and coming out of and in the middle of grades      – sometimes curves on grades that empty into a T so that you must curve one direction going downhill into an intersection where you must then turn the other direction.  All that without benefit of  snow plow – salt, sand or cinders.  All the while you have to worry about the people who think they can handle the conditions but can’t.  The people who think because they have four wheel drive they can drive as though the sun were shining and the pavement dry.  Roads here in the ice and snow are not what you Yanks think they are.

OK, I’m going to go start cleaning the Christmas mess and make some potato soup before I have to get out there and do it all over again…  Fiona is whining at the back door because she REALLY wants to go play snow frisbee.  Any of you wanna take her out?  It is too cold and windy for me.  (PS  – 21 degrees – 15 mph winds with 23 mph gusts – wind chill 8)

Oh, yeah, and I hate idiots driving Lexuses ( Lexuss -Lexus’ -Lexusi?) on ice and snow while talking on their cell phones… jus’ sayin’

>I hope it finds you too…

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>Christmas bells those Christmas bells, ringing through the land….

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>Elven activities and Chicklet invasion

>Christmas spirit has been slow to arrive this year.    Oh to be sure the house has been in full Christmas Fairy Barf splendor for weeks now –  the desire to begin making gifts? that is where the spirit has lagged. But it has finally hit – maybe four – five days ago.  So far I’ve felted a dragon, penguin, and pony – made three tote bags from restaurant cast-off Thai rice bags – made two pair of mittens and four bomber hats from felted sweaters.

 To felt a sweater you put a 100% wool sweater in the washer and wash on hot – you know the drill, anyone who has ever owned a wool sweater knows the drill.  Until fairly recently I always figured those sweaters were ruined.  But now I know differently.  You can use the resulting close packed wool felt (Barbee clothes) to make hats, mittens, bags, throws… any number of projects.  So now I troll thrift shops for wool sweaters regularly.  I’m always looking for people to just give me their old wool sweaters (already shrunken or not).  Anyways, I’ve been collecting them for several years without actually starting any projects – needed a good stock pile to get going. At this point the collection was pushing the limits of my storage capacity so hats and mittens are underway.   It’s loads of fun to put bits together.  I have lined all the pieces with fleece from those $3 throws they sell this time of year.  Much cheaper to line with those than to by fleece by the yard.

So here are some of the things produced so far – several other pieces are in progress and of course I’ve already decorated a few dozen glass ornaments, but those have been packaged and many already delivered as gifts.  The penguin is a rock hopper, hence the orange head fringies.

I took the picture of the three blue hats five time and just couldn’t get the them to light well – I’m hoping it is my own monitor that is the problem and that the picture looks ok to all of you.  I know my monitor tends to make things look darker than they are.

So there you go.  Gifting for us is primarily hand made – told you that before.  Within the immediate family gifts tend heavily to books and music.

As for the chicklet invasion – it begins today.  D2 is bringing her boyfriend home for a couple days and on her way across the state she is swinging over to pick up D3 and bring her (and all her instruments) home for the holidays.  Tomorrow D1 and her husband arrive from just outside Raleigh to stay until Thurs – it is their year to spend Christmas proper with his family so we get them before for a few days.  Sunday the fiancĂ©e of D3 will arrive to stay for a couple days (lives in Charlotte when he is not at school) and D2 will take her boyfriend back to the Triangle Area (Durham to be exact).  His car is a rattle trap and can’t be trusted to cross the state – he is a grad student who’s father disappeared very early in his life and the young man takes care of both his mother and little sister so there is no money in his life for a new car.  He works as a manager in the dorm where he lives and has worked there all the way through his college career as well as working with youth in an academic camp each summer (except last summer when he worked as an intern with BCBS of NC – his master’s is in hospital management).  D2 will return sometime Monday afternoon.  Also on Monday afternoon my husband’s family is coming here to see D1 and her husband for Christmas (they all live about 45 min away) then in the evening we are hosting the Christmas gathering for my family.  Normally my mother would do this but her brother (my uncle) is at death’s door and she did not want to try to host the gathering as she may have to head down to Jax at any moment.

Once we get past Monday it will be just us chickens – whew…  But you see why the spirit being late is a problem – I only have until Monday!  And now I need to prepare this house for multiple and shifting overnight guests and loads of coming and going.  Oh, and I need to cook – and do some laundry – and go to the grocery store, and….

Merry Christmas to each of you.  Though I’ll be in and out here, will check in at your places daily – anyways this may be my last post here for a bit.  Unless of course the spirit moves…

>Dragon

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As is my habit from the first very poor Christmas of my married life – I make many of our Christmas gifts.  This one is probably my favorite for this year – the boy wants to keep it.  The dragon is for my niece, and no – I don’t want to make another one so we will not keep him.  I don’t know how well the color shows up on your computers but mine is showing his body as blue and light blue.  Actually his body is bright teal and deep purple.  His face around his eyes, nostrils and upper chest area are golden orange and his nose and lower belly are yellow.  He is pretty colorful.
Yesterday I felted a selection of microbes for my other niece who is getting her PhD in micro-biology. Now I need to find something that will make a reasonably good facsimile of a petri dish.

>Look for the union label…

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giggle

Oh and, for the record – last year we had our first big snow on Dec 18.  Now, it really was a big one – 10 maybe 12 inches – but this year’s first snow is today.  So far we’ve got 3 maybe 4 inches of perfect packing, snowman making, sleding, walk the dogs in it – SNOW!  Still snowing so we’ll see what we end up with here.

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