Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sad News: I have just learned that Eartha Kitt died. I never knew her, but I was a fan of her work.

Work has been so boring. Without many people around, I just have a lot less to do. The buses have even been running on time. Ah well, that will change next week when things pick up again.

Thursday, I'll be playing more Living Forgotten Realms. Friday, I'll be shopping again; picking up a few last presents. Then that night, Chris & I are off to the annual party.

Chris insisted I watch Hot Fuzz. Man, I really enjoyed that movie. It was a little slow to start but it was very funny. It's good enough to watch again.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gaming: By the way, Menace of the Icy Spire (Living Forgotten Realms) is rough with only 4 players. We survived, barely. That does mean that it took a little longer. That first fight was the roughest (14 rounds of combat, with only one opponent on either side for the last 2 or 3).

On the bright side, my dragonborn cleric is now 3rd level. On the dark side, that means that she's too high to play Spellguard. I now have 2 third-level characters and three 1st level. Sigh. Whoops. I'd better play a 1st level character to get her to 2nd.

There's some bad news on the gaming front. Lost Goblin is closing its doors Wednesday. It's another victim of the crappy economy.

Family: Breakfast this morning with Chris's parents, and sister-in-law and niece. I felt a little sorry for the niece. She was probably bored silly.

After breakfast, we went to the grocery store. Finally. We've only been stopping by, 'to pick up one or two things,' for months. We got some of the staple items today. Then off to Best Buy for Chris to spend his gift cards.

I bought a game for myself; Polly Pride: Pet Detective ($10, whee). It's another find the hidden items game, with a variety of mini-games.

And tomorrow it's off to work again. I am not looking forward to it.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gaming: We're worried about Diana. She never came to gaming last night & she didn't call or email. That is very unlike her. She didn't answer her cell or her home phone (okay, sometimes she doesn't do that, but still). Hopefully she'll be at the game this afternoon and we'll find out that she's okay.

The game (4e D&D) itself went pretty well last night, but that penultimate fight got kind of rough. Half the group was bloodied by the time it was over and everyone had used their encounter healing. We even took a long rest before dealing with the final encounter. My cleric is 2nd level now and I plan to play her again today.

I'm off to see my friend, Mitra. She's in town this weekend and I'm looking forward to seeing her. We're meeting at the bookstore nearby.

Crafts: I've made another cotton potholder. I need to make another one & I'll be done, for now. It's also blue & white. I suppose I should take a picture..but how interesting is a potholder after all?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas-y stuff: One thing that I forgot to mention about the drive home from Dad's. One of his near neighbor's has those cement deer in his yard, three of them. As I was making the turn, sweeping my headlights over those cement deer, the fourth one leapt away and into the darkness.

Mom got off work early on Wednesday so I drove down to her place Christmas Eve. I still haven't found her present, but she's okay if it's late. We spent Christmas Day watching my Mae West movies, John Wayne movies and Casablanca (which I had never watched all the way through before). We also spent time sorting mom's stuff into 'keep' and 'give away' piles. The give away stuff went out to her car, so it's really ready to give away.

We got up really early this morning and went out to breakfast before Mom went to work. I drove home, unsurprisingly traffic was pretty light. When I got home my smoky stuff went into the washing machine & I washed my hair. I love my mom; I do not love the smell of cigarette smoke.

Instead of baking the Amish friendship bread, I split it up & gave two of the starter bags to my neighbors, along with a woven potholder. I still have two neighbor presents left to give. I have enough loops to make at least two more potholders, thank goodness.

This afternoon, Chris is running a Living Forgotten Realm game; Barrow of the Ogre King at David M's house. Joe is riding with us, saves gas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Movies: The Bachelor Mother is one of my favorite Christmas movies. It's just so funny. I could see it really well because Chris went and got the new tv last night.

We'd been talking about it since the last one died in July but we had a workable one (that Dad gave me last year) so just couldn't bring ourselves to do it. Then a friend of ours had her tv die and frankly, it's her 3rd breakdown (equipment-wise) this year. So she gets the workable tv and Chris bought a new flatscreen LCD 40". It was really eye-opening.

Christmas stuff: Went to see Dad et al on Sunday. I forgot to take dessert though. *sigh* I remembered Friday & forgot afterward. I was late because just as I was about to leave, I dropped an open 2-liter bottle of soda. That took half-an-hour to clean up, it would have taken less if I'd remembered my sham-wow. Chris did remember & when he got home he finished cleaning up the soda. I'm just glad that it was diet. It reduces the stickiness; a little.

The presents that I gave mostly went over well. The block of initial post-it's went over really, really well (much to my bafflement). So did the cellphone charm (hers had just broken recently & the one that I got went well with the phone bling). Hopefully she'll read the copy of Good Omens that I gave her. She needs to read more.

Dad loved both parts of his present. Since I didn't get the information to Mike in time (to have the Koshare album made), I went & bought a photo album with the Marine Corps emblem.

That was part 1. Part 2 is for me to spend the weekend with Dad as we go through & set up the photo album/memory book. He is to pull photos and I'll put the pages together. I got a pad of Marine paper, US emblems and other additives; plus a strip of palm trees. That last is because he was stationed at 29 Palms. I may have to cut the strip to get 29, but I think that it will work.

Kathy liked her pendant, which is good since I've had it September, the same time that I got the cell phone charm. I'm uncertain about how she liked the book of knitted bags.

I need to go get Mike's present & mom's present today. It was just so cold yesterday that I couldn't make myself go out.

I have been reading a lot. I've read the 1st two Stephanie Plum books and about three other books.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Weather: 3rd day of fog. Whee. How very...seasonal. Somewhere.

Chris made me almost squee today. He gave me the final present from him; Manga: the Monster Book of Manga Girls. Of the presents from co-workers, one and only one has not been chocolate-based food. One person just came back from visiting Hershey so that really should not have been a surprise. Actually, I lie, I got 3 non-food gifts. One is a lovely ornament (handmade and dated) and the others were hand lotion & scented liquid handsoap. But the latter came with candy. So I'm undecided whether to really count them.

I gave Chris the tin of ginger cookies tonight (after he gave me the book). He likes ginger cookies and there are at least 6 packages/tubes in the tin. He usually gets a single one from the booth at the State Fair and makes them last a couple weeks.

I gave out the hangers that mom made yesterday. They were a real hit. It's not cheap to get good hangers. Mom takes good metal hangers and then weaves/covers them with yarn. That pads them and makes them quite pretty. She also puts tubing or something similar over the hook. I gave out 3 per person, but Emily got an extra 3, child-sized ones. She announced, last week, that she's pregnant.

Mom called tonight. Thank goodness. I've been trying to reach her unsuccessfully (once was a busy signal so I wasn't worried or anything). I'll be seeing her Christmas Day. All her friends are working (yeah, nurses) so she's free. And I had hoped to see her Monday & Tuesday (go see Dad on Sunday, then spend the night with her Sunday and go home Tuesday) but she's working.

Saturday I go get Dad's present & wrap everything. I really meant to wrap stuff last Friday but just didn't get it done.

Plans are made for the New Year get-together. I'll need to make certain that we have everything for that. I haven't bought Keith's calendar yet. I've been buying him a T&A calendar for over a decade. I'm not certain how he'd react if I didn't give him one. I have most of them but I need to check that I haven't forgotten anyone.

Gaming: I've registered for WuKon. I changed one game; in part so that the game that Chris & Rosemary are playing will make. I emailed one of the organizers and it looks like I will get a chance to play Witch Hunter. He asked for games that I had not played, as suggestions for what to get.

Tatting: I'm still doing snowflakes but Jane, that naughty Jane. She has tempted me. She has a new technique for beaded picots & I soooo want to play with it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Donation: successful! My arm hurts like the dickens (worse than the time that they hit the nerve bed under the vein in my arm) but it's like 2" from the stick site. How weird is that. I wore my I Bleed Carolina Blue t-shirt under my turtleneck. I knew that I'd need short sleeves for the actual donation & the turtleneck is 'cause it's supposed to drop temperatures all day (& has).

Donation went fairly smoothly, no dizziness, bled quickly, etc. Then once I was done, I checked in as a volunteer. I helped steer the people (1 woman, rest were men) who were donation double red blood cells. I'd do that myself but I'm 2" under the minimum height requirement for women.

I saw some people I know (big surprise, right?) and met a couple more. I picked up my free t-shirt & back to the office.

Work for an hour or so & then off to the department holiday luncheon. Really good food again this year. I sat with some of the folks from the Card office. Mike (Department Head) joined us. He's been sick again, poor guy.

Back to the office, where it's really, really quiet. I managed to get one point of a snowflake done today. That's it. It's hard to tat with only one hand and well, I needed to pay attention when I was volunteering.

Oh, but how cool is this! LadyShuttlemaker is giving away one of her fabulous shuttles. She makes the most delicious hand-dyed threads, too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas party was on Saturday. I finally met Rosemary's nieces; they are so cute. We made decorated cookies and ate them. We also exchanged presents.

John & I already gave Chris his camera. I also gave him a Blue Planet t-shirt. I gave Rosemary her "Help, my dice are trying to kill me" t-shirt and Diana her "Pwnage" t-shirt. Alas, Thinkgeek's women shirt sizes are just a lot small (XXL is 16-18? WTF?). Chris gave me a cute little soft plush kitty, couple cute t-shirts, and Rosemary gave me Mae West Glamour Collection and the latest Pink album. David R gave me a DVD of classic Loony Tunes. Chris & Rosemary, together gave me the complete set of Elfquest comics. Mine were destroyed by water and I was devastated. How fabulous that they found the replacements. You can't see me, but I'm squee'ing.

Maya seemed to like chewing on her present, or at least the case. We got her a Backyardigans DVD. David M got FE gift cert & a 4e book for Christmas & birthday.

After the party, some of us stayed and ate supper from Olive Garden. Alas, I fell asleep on the couch (clutching the kitty that Chris gave me). Hey, I was tired!

Sunday we played LFR. David R ran it; his first time ever. He did a pretty good job. He's run games before & that helps a lot. Rosemary & I both wore our new t-shirts.

The weather was very seasonal. Cool to cold at night & almost warm in the afternoons.

Today was very slow at work. But tomorrow I'm donating blood & then volunteering so I'll be out of the office most of the day.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Website of the day: list of shops participating in bookmark drive in 2008. I will look back & see if they participate again in 2009. I have some bookmarks to make.

Okay, winter is back. And the moon is gorgeous. I tried to take a picture but every shot was blurry. *sigh* I also want some steamed milk & honey.

John came by and we gave Chris his birthday/Christmas present. He's thrilled. We gave him a digital camera, extra memory card & batteries. It's just in time to take pictures at the party tomorrow.

We gave John the cd, Gaelic Voices. We got lucky; he doesn't have that one.

I finally got registered & signed up for games at Wukon. I'm mostly going to be playing LFR with one game of Witch Hunters.

I ordered some presents from hungersite.com today and picked up a few things from the Student Stores (today was their end of the year sale).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's almost 70F, 87% humidity, we've had almost an inch (.82) of rain since midnight & yes, this is December. Theoretically, this is winter, no matter what it feels like outside.

Gaming: Mutants & Masterminds tonight. I had completely forgotten, so it's good thing that David sent his reminder email on Monday. Now if he'd just review those changes to Totem, I'd be ready for tonight's game.

David is running his first LFR game on Sunday. I think he's nervous, but he has no reason to be. One) LFR is the closest thing to a pick up roleplaying game that I've ever seen. Two) He's running the game for friends, who will gladly help him.

I found my Palm Pilot. Now to locate my phone & my iPod mini. My shuffle decided to freeze up Tuesday but letting it run down & then charging it up fixed it.

Saturday is Rosemary's annual cookie party. She cuts out the sugar cookies (or these days, just buys the precut ones) and we spend the time decorating, baking & eating them. She serves mulled cider, mulled mead (for those who aren't driving), and soda. It's a nice, quiet party. We often unwrap presents, too.

I've mailed off two cards to Holidays for Heroes, including a small snowflake in each one. Now I need to finish & mail the cards going to relatives.

The contractors who handle the dining/cafeteria had the luncheon for their office staff today. Since they're just down the hall from us, they invited our office to join them. OMG, what wonderful food. Apple & raisin salad with some kind of vinaigrette; pumpkin & something bisque; pork medallions with sweet bbq sauce; mashed sweet potato with honey & pecans; 'mac & cheese' (bowtie pasta) with lobster; greens; dinner rolls with apple butter; and pear tart and chocolate cookies for dessert. Yum, yum, yum. Plus, one co-worker brought in some Danish pastry that someone sent & someone else brought in a baklava platter. I am so full. *burp*

tatting: I've been trying to decide what variation to try next. I may do another Cebelia size 30, but without beads this time.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Facebook kitty

It's warmer today, above freezing all day. One of the ways that I can tell is that I have not needed to turn on the heater in my office.

Bitten By Books is running a contest, 15 Naughty Nights of Christmas. Lots of fun ebooks.

I've been busy all day today. What did I do? I don't remember.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Adopt one today!
I think this should be a dragon egg. I think.

Chris was stroking my arm and commented, 'you're so soft. You're even better than Sears. And they have Craftsman tools!' I still don't know whether to be insulted or complimented.

Very cold last night & this morning. Chris was trying to cheer me up & took me to Kanki's. The water in the fountain outside was starting to get a sheen of ice, at about 7pm. Brrrr.

I saw a woman who works down the hall from me, so I stopped by early this morning to ask how she'd enjoyed Kanki last night. She had the most delightful 'um, how did you know that?' expression on her face.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Should I? Write or Die!
Tatting: snowflakes, all of them are Ribbon Floss snowflakes from Sunderman's Tatted Snowflakes. They aren't blocked or fully finished yet.
perle 5 thread, no beads

same thread, with pearl beads

Size 80 DMC, variegated blue

variegated blue thread, but I've lost the label

size 10 thread; it's from a ball that I picked up at a thrift shop in a bag with others so I don't know the brand.

Same thread, with silver beads

I've made a couple other snowflakes, but I haven't taken a picture of them yet. I've also made some butterflies & flowers from the leftover thread on the shuttles.

Yesterday at work we had the annual Jingle Bell Jog. It was a mile and a half walk (or three mile jog) with snacks to follow. I didn't win anything in the door prize drawing but I did give some stuff to the Food Bank. I don't know if that's why but I was so tired last night that I went to bed at 9 pm.

I planned to get more done, like another Viking wire knitting bracelet, my Christmas cards, or wel, anything. So far, I've done diddly and squat.

Unusual, old style, doll
This is one of three or four that I have that were made at the Harmony Hall Heritage Day
This one is a square of muslin, with the edges cut and tattered. Then tie a knot in the center of the square and reverse the fabric of the knot, concealing it inside. Take a scrap of other fabric and tie under the knot; that forms the head. The rest of the square forms the dress. If desired, tie a knot in two of the ragged strips, to form ~hands.
Okay, this is kinda silly, but there's this game on Facebook and I tried something but it didn't work.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

shopping: I didn't make it to Staples in time. I did get to K-Mart but I should have bought one of those robes on sale. I need a good warm, robe. They were out of the flannel sheets that I wanted. I got a couple new 2GB flashdrives ($7.99). They are kept locked up so the cashier had to page the person with the keys.

The same person also keeps the keys to the cameras, games, etc. Needless to say, she was in high demand. Between her getting my flash drive and getting me to the check out line, she got things for at least two other customers. After I was finally in line, I just stood there, smiling slightly. After all, why not? Being irritable wasn't going to make the line move faster. That really struck her, that I was shopping on Black Friday & looked happy.

Since the other stores that I wanted to visit were on the other side of my house, I went home for lunch. The mall was a little much but Michael's wasn't bad. I had read the sale wrong though & the case I wanted wasn't on sale yet. The thing that worried me is that I as I was parking my car, I saw a sundog. I love my mom, but I didn't want to get trapped in Greensboro by bad weather.

Mom: I had a nice visit with mom....except for the fact that I woke up with a migraine on Sunday. She and I did a little shopping on Saturday. She bought my Christmas presents early; things like very nice earmuffs, a new pedometer, etc. I also have two new, very soft & fuzzy towels. They are so soft they feel like velvet. Mmmmm.

She packed stuff to give away and I helped her sort things. We ate leftover turkey for supper and watched tv. It's pledge week on PBS so her usual shows were not on, but they did have Celtic Women. For that particular show, we both want to have a long, possibly violent, talk with the costumer.

Mom doesn't keep much pain medicine in the house so we had to stop and get some on the way to breakfast. I think mom goes to that restaurant a lot (it's good and inexpensive and real food). The waitress came by to refill her coffee and when she saw that it was not necessary, commented that mom wasn't drinking as fast as usual.

Mom told me more about her teen and college years. I knew some of it; like her dorm had no real doors. It was a hall with the dorm rooms on either side & the hall was open to the elements. The rooms had louvered doors and even the bathrooms had only curtains for the shower stalls. It was built in the early '30's and even though it was in Miami, it still got cold at night. For warmth, she & her roommate put their beds together. The girls in the rooms on either side joined them & all six slept crosswise on the beds, with every blanket that they could gather. Brr. I did learn that my mom worked in a bank until she was old enough to get into nursing school without her parents' permission.

We picked up a couple things at Walgreens on the way back to mom's apartment and my head still hurt. I left a few painkillers, including that bottle of migraine meds, at mom's; for the next time I visit. I get headaches, etc more than mom does. She gets headaches less than a handful of times a year. She's in remarkably good, and pain free, health.

I stopped at KMart on the way home but the robe sale was over. At Michael's I found the case on sale so I got one. I also bought some colored wire and as I was checking out, the woman in line behind me asked about it. She's an art teacher and always on the lookout for new arts to teach, especially that will appeal to boys. She liked the sound of Viking wire knitting; I recommended Lacemakers for the kit.

gaming: Chris was still playing the Living Forgotten Realms game and he didn't get home until late. I finally put my halfling character on a character sheet instead of a page of notebook paper. I think I will add a post-it note with her attack information with all of her weapons and powers. There's not enough room on the character sheet for that sort of thing.

Bus: Monday was the first day of the new bus schedule. My stop is now ten minutes earlier in the morning. Monday, it was on time. Yesterday it was more than ten minutes late. It took quite awhile, after I arrived at work, before I warmed up. At least I had my new earmuffs and I wore my leather jacket.

Tatting: I've made another snowflake. I'm sticking with the same pattern, oddly enough for me. I'm varying thread & beads, though.

Thursday, I'm meeting Dad for supper. I finally found his scrapbook. I really wanted to get it scanned but I don't have the money for that right now.