Monday, December 31, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


To you and yours -- the happiest of New Years. May 2008 be everything you need it to be.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas everyone!

What a lovely day. It's nearly over and here I sit with Rachel (my BIL's daughter) watching the Travel Channel -- both of us are blogging and debating the relative merits of the TC's choices for top 10 food factories in America.

The day started slowly for me, heck for all of us. Witness the dog:
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I figured I was owed some slack for staying up until 3am last "night" trying to figure out NYC options (we'll get back to that). We brunched on divine prime rib sandwiches lounged about the house. Late this afternoon we went over to Arlington to visit Ellis and see the wreaths. The wreaths were lovely and moving, but the Ellis trip was a watch. Apparently the computer kiosks that tell you where your plot is were locked in the visitor's center. Oh well, we'll go back in a couple days. For now -- the wreaths....
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And the view from Arlington is inspirational:
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We headed up the hill to the Air Force Memorial. It's fairly new and towers over the city. I've been fascinated by it for a couple trips now so today we made it over there --
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Standing in the center and looking up you see:
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The Memorial has a phenomenal view of the city. Thats the Pentagon in the background--
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This is part of the etched glass Missing Man piece at the Memorial --
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You can see ***part*** of the expanse of Arlington from the Memorial
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This evening we picked up Tom's daughter and grand-daughter and had Christmas part 2. Apparently the gifts were a hit --
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Mommy's gifts included a box of "treasures" -- ornaments she'd made as a child
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Tomorrow? Who knows. Some walking. Some goofing off. Maybe Arlington. Maybe the Renwick which has a quilt exhibits. Maybe the Botanic Gardens. Tomorrow night we're taking the little one to Zoo Lights at the National Zoo. I predict it will be fun for all.

OK... NY thoughts -- any opinions on Old St. Patrick's? The Empire State Building? The Top of Rockefeller Center? Carriage rides in Central Park? The Smithsonian Indian Museum (it started out in NY log before it got the the Mall here in DC)?

A graceful and peaceful Christmas to you all. And to all a good night.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Live from DC!

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!!!
Oh the fun! Oh the surprises!!!

What a hint?
Yup, yours truly is going to NYC. lol And, yes, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Last place I ever thought I'd go, but my sneaky sister and brother (aka brother-in-law) have made us hotel reservations at their favorite Moroccan-themed hotel near Times Square, gotten us tickets to the Rockettes, and say the rest of or 3 days there is up to me. Decisions! Decisions! Things I've contemplated so far are the Botanic Gardens, Ellis Island, Nero Wolfe's house (although lucky for the family, Rex Stout never settled on a firm address for the famed brownstone so no pilgrimage is possible), Grant's Tomb, Central Park, the famed Christmas windows of the stores, and St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Got any suggestions for me??????

A quick recap of my adventures so far....
I arrived on Wednesday evening via a lovely flight on Virgin America (go on try it, I think you'll like them--- although the lighting is made for media viewing NOT stitching lol) to grocery shop with my sister, and then crash into bed to find:
12/19/2007 Look what was on my pillow
... a box of Jo Jos amidst my pillows. If you haven't had them, hop over to a Trader Joes and pick up some boxes. they are peppermint flavored oreo-ish cookies and they are wonderful. They are only available around Christmas though, so enjoy while you can!

Unlikely as it sounds I spent Thursday all day glued to my laptop doing office battle. I know, I know, I'm an idiot. I'm on vacation and yet I spend THE WHOLE DAY doing office crap. Apparently I'm not so terribly bright. I learned on Friday though-- after a morning spent officing, I spent the afternoon playing at the DC craft and art fair and going through every inch of the Reynolds Center (aka the National Portrait Gallery and the National Art Museum). You really should visit there. Their most recent "big" feature is their new roof. They used to have a central courtyard that was open air, but they covered it for all-weather events with this amazing undulating roof
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Among the nifty exhibits in the Reynolds are:
A current exhibit of John Alexander (through March 2008) who does an amazing array of fantastic paintings. He's modern, and yet I love him -- he must be a miracle worker! For instance I fell in love with these:
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Another current exhibit on WWI Bond posters (through February 2008)-- including my all time favorite:
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The Reynolds is also home to my favorite collection -- The George Catlin Indian paintings. Here's George and a part of the collection in a stairway:
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There are also many beautiful pieces throughout the permanent exhibits:
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"Villa Malta, Roma" by Gifford

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"Woman with Red Hair" by Herter

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What can I say -- I have a Joan of Arc thing -- "Adoration of Saint Joan" by Fosdick

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"Angel" by Thayer

There's this amazing Norman Rockwell portrait of Nixon -- I mean it's an amazing painting. You have to go see it!
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And this hysterical piece of George Bush (the elder) horseshoe pitching -- it's so very him!
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by Oliphant

Saturday my brother installed my sister's Christmas present -- a giant HDTV above their fireplace. It was a most-of-the-day-affair and was fairly entertaining and definitely successful --
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Sunday we went to church, went a bought me shoes (for the NYC adventure) despite my insistence that I had plenty of shoes, had dinner guests, and waited for my nephew, niece, and great nephew to arrive for Christmas Eve partying.

Today we had Christmas. My grand nephew needed to be home so Santa could visit him at his house so we celebrated early. We opened packages, laughed a lot, made cookies and candy, laughed some more, then helped wave the family off to wait for Santa. We also learned a few useful lessons--
he's still not big enough for Daddy's letterman jacket
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chocolate always tastes good-- even if it's red and you stick it on your aunt's nose
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silver platters, even those covered with beef drippings, scare the dog
12_24_2007 4017 Honest, she wouldn't eat the leavings. She just sniffed and snuck around the platter looking confused and skittish.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to convince my brother and sister to go to Arlington National Cemetery. I just heard tonight on the news that they put a wreath on each marker for Christmas, and I want to go see Uncle Ellis'... and everyone else's. This is it from a previous year.
We'll have no snow unless the weather completely turns tonight, but I still expect a moving experience.

In between events I've done a little stitching (side one of my Fair Square for Laura is nearly done), lots of yawning (vacation really takes it out of you!!!!), too much cookie eating, a fair amount of dog walking, and absolutely no reading. Maybe tonight will be my book's lucky night!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I made it.

D.C. is nippy, but nice thus far. No ice. No snow. And I'd like to recommend Virgin America to anyone wondering. It was a great flight, fun crew, lovely plane. Yahoo, an uneventful flight for a change.

Good night now. I'm too tired to think.

Monday, December 17, 2007

This still depressed badger....

... can share some finishing returns -- Note please before barraging me with comments about prolificness that only the first two are mine!!!!!!!

Six Pack from the Charley Harper painting of the same name:
Charley Harper -- Six Pack

Elizabeth Designs Nature's Alphabet (the first one) with adjustments:
Elizabeth's Designs -- Nature's Alphabet with adjustments
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Ad, no, I have no where to hang these so currently they are propped up on my desk. Good thing I kinda cleaned the counter huh? lol

Now here are my buddy Judy's
Judy's Elizabeth's Designs Nature's Alphabet
Judy's Egypt
Judy's Eagle
Judy's Native American
Judy's wreath
Judy's kitchen

Yes, friend Judy sent me to Raleigh with all those rolled in a tube. UPS made a small fortune in mailing them back to us flat -- thanks Chris who facilitated the shipping!!!!!

I have other stuff to show, but I don't have time to hunt the photos after all the time finding Judy's herd! lol

COUNTDOWN TO WASHINGTON, DC -- OMG a day and a half!!!!! ACCCCCCKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!

Thankful for international traveling sisters and BILs who can help me plan my trip to DiscworldCon 2008 in Birmingham, England. Come and join me!

Also thankful for being basically done with my Christmas cards!!!!! Yahoo!!!! It's a frickin Christmas miracle!!!!!! I never finish until 1/1 at the earliest. lol Honest.
Recently finished: Rex Stout's Over My Dead Body -- I love Nero Wolfe! I'd marry Archie in a heartbeat although he'd have nothing to do with me since I wouldn't be one for the Flamingo Room.
Almost done: Green's The Man with the Golden Torc -- honest. The problem is I don't want it to end!!!!
On the pile to pack: Butcher's Storm Front --- and I'm holding out for the replacement copy of Zelazny's This Immortal to arrive in the mail tomorrow.... cross your fingers with me, please.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Terry Pratchett afflicted with alzheimers -- this is so not fair. Gotta go plan my trip to Bringham for DiscworldCon 2008. I am a very unhappy badger.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Guess who's been wrapping!

Yup. Me!!!!
I've been wrapping presents!
I wonder who these might be winging their way to? I still have a collection still to wrap AND I have about 7 ornies that need to be finished so I can wrap them AND I have to find two of my gifts for my BIL, but all things considered, I think I did ok.

Tonight's goals:
1. find the BIL gifts
2. finish the ornies for mailing
3. work on the Christmas cards -- yeah, like I'm going to get to that one!!! lol
4. FIND my Pals convention address list! Sheesh, I had it to make out the card list, but I don't suppose you know where that went? -- Off to look for something else while asking Sts. Anthony and Christopher to intercede on my behalf!
5. watch round 7 of the NFR!!!! Woo hooo -- I do love 10 days of rodeo as a pre-Christmas present to my very own self!

Recently finished: Ursula LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea. Nice. I really like that she just tells the story-- if she creates a food or flower or word, she doesn't feel compelled to explain it to you. I really, really appreciate that. I just can't stand a science fiction book that explains everything it creates-- give me some credit for being able, at the very least to go with the flow if not just plain ole figure it out as I go along. Sheesh. Oh, and Harlan Ellison should win every award out there as an audio book reader.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Found `em!!!!!!!!!!

Miracle of miracles (actually, disaster of disasters..... you should have seen the piles that got rearranged in the process of finding the ornies!)!!!! The ornies have come hoe to roost. Thank you stitchers and Saints. I not only found the ornies waiting for finishing, but I got 2 finished last night:

And I also ... FINISHED HEART #4 !!!!! They're done. They're done. They're done!
ST Fruit of the Vine #4 -- Champagne
I'm done. I'm done. I'm done. Happy happy. Done done!

Guess you know that the choice I had today at lunch was between making headway on one of the projects already started and languishing for attention or starting something new. You did know it had to happen-- I started something new. But in my defense, I started something that *needed* starting -- my Fair Square for Laura. Here's the floss toss on it -- I can't really reveal more....
Laura Fair Square Floss Toss

Oh, did I mention that in the last two days I've gotten half done with my Christmas cards? I guess this perkiness thing is really handy! In which case I wish you all perkiness!!!!!!
Currently reading: Ursula K. LeGuin A Wizard of Earthsea (never read it before-- hoping for hte best); Green's The Man with the Golden Torc
Recently finished: Gaiman's Stardust -- very fun, very quirky, very Gaiman. Definitely an adult fairy-tale.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Progress progress progress

No, I have not found the ornaments. #*($&#()$*#^$#&@ Tonight I am going home and praying to both Sts. Anthony and Christopher (thank you gentle readers for the kind suggestions) and hoping for the best. Please continue to cross your fingers -- after all, your ornie might be one of the missing ones. lol

On Saturday night I went from blank jobelan to:
ST Champagne in progress 12/08/2007

At lunch today I installed some grapes:
Champagne as of 12/10/2007
Hee hee -- Champagne, barring unfortunate incidents, will be done tonite!!!! One more Christmas prezzie done!!! Done done done.... ooo I can hardly wait!

In case you can't tell I'm suffering from near-terminal perkiness. Since Friday I've just been a bundle of perky. I put it down too really good cookies at my corporate visit to Minolta's city headquarters to visit their suggested new machine for the office.... they fed us lunch which included these truly wonderful chocolate chip cookies. Somehow though I doubt the sugar high lasted all weekend. The buzz was almost, but not quite done in by stupidity from one of my offices this morning. What is it about the word "no" that people have such difficulty with? "No you can't do that." Is that beyond the ken of the average person these days? Do you think you're entitled to do/have anything you want just because you want/need it? It's never really worked that way in the long history of man walking upright so what makes you think it'll work for you now? I know, I know. Philosophical waxing never solved anything.

Anyway, I think this weekend's perkiness was do to how very much I got accomplished on the desk. Now, before I unveil the look of the office as of 9pm last night when I left, you should know that some of those piles are new and are replacing piles that I completed over the weekend! lol Honest!
You know, now that I view it from a day's absence, it really doesn't look all that good, does it? Sigh. I got serious piles out though, you have to believe me on that. Maybe this week with be the charm! Heaven knows it has to look better when I get all these Christmas presents that are littering up the place mailed.

Countdown to D.C. Departure: 10 Days!!!!!!! OMG, I've done no planning yet!!!!

Ohhh! Before I forget -- who's with me for a SAL on the new Lizzie Kates for 2008 -- the flip-itty-like "Doubles"----
Come on, you know you love them. I'm figuring I'll set up a SAL blog in the next week or so :) I just love these.