Friday, December 26, 2008

Joy, pure Joy

Well, even though I opened Santa's* present first... I didn't get any pics of "opening" of presents.

*Actually Phil got it for me, knowing it was on my list & that I was too financially stressed to get it for myself... thank you, thank you... thank you!

Every single gift had to be pried out of the box so that we could play with it for five seconds before the next gift could be opened. I was expected to track down batteries, and cables, and cut tape, etc... and didn't have a second to get the batteries into the camera... the glorious camera; until after the presents had all been opened.

This year was a bit lean; but if either boy noticed, they didn't say anything. "A" wanted a book, he got two, he got a pack of socks, a pair of boxers and mittens. Needs, not wants. A free candy bar in the stocking along with a couple of 29 cent specials. "a" on the other hand got more than a dozen toys, along with a race track, a remote control "tough" truck (around here, it has to be tough), coloring books, markers, and the vTech vMotion video game. Although it's a "learning" game, the controller works like the wii and if you jump, your character jumps, etc. I should have also splurged on the second controller, because as much as he wanted someone to play with him, he didn't want to "quit" playing long enough to let you.

Christmas dinner was intended to be a splurge... unlike most years, this year I did not cook enough to feed a crowd of 20 or more for our little family. But I did buy the "good stuff" and I didn't even use a single coupon (ok, ok, maybe I used one coupon). But, doing the math? I didn't really over-spend even for Christmas dinner when I was trying to. Makes me wonder just how much I spend on our regular meals that I haven't done the math on yet. Ham - pre-sliced... $4.00 a packet (I bought 2); but then again, we've got enough left-overs for two more meals... so less than $3 for the meat. Velveeta Augraten Potatoes... $3.50 for the box. I'm not dedicated enough to make them from scratch; but normally I buy the generic version for $1; and add about $1 worth of velveeta after they've finished cooking. Although these are far superior and definitely ok to splurge on for a holiday (seriously? since when did I figure that $3.50 for a single ingredient of a holiday dinner would be a splurge; times for me sure have changed). But, honestly? For an everyday dinner, the others are fine, not great; but ok. Add a 47 cent can of green beans (plain, the way my boys prefer them) and a free box of Brownies (ok, here's where I used my coupon... to get my freebie). And $7 TOTAL...??? for three for a "special" meal? Seriously? Not counting last year nor my first years.... I'm pretty sure my average Christmas dinner in the past would cost around $50 to $80. I would make three different veggies, a couple of meats, buns, bought a dessert ready-made; and then had leftovers that no one would want to eat. Probably the only thing I didn't make that we would have enjoyed was deviled eggs. But I didn't hear any complaints...

We had ham & left over green beans for supper last night; I froze the rest of the ham for another meal in the future. There's still brownies left. I might try to freeze a couple as I know full well we won't finish the pan in the next couple of days and there's no sense in wasting it.

We all enjoyed the day off, I stayed off the computer, although the same could not be said of "A"... his gift to himself was a video game "hi-jacked" which is more polite than "pirated"... not that I'm accusing him of anything. He beat it by noon... :-) "a" played with toys; colored; used his imagination; played with race track; played video games and started all over again. I got "I love you" and hugs and kisses about every other 20 minutes that passed. (I think that means he was enjoying himself :-)).

I read an old (but new to me) book by a favorite blogger of mine Yarnharlot... her books are a lot like her posts; very enjoyable. And even though I'd put down the knitting needles (finished the last of my gifts on Sunday); reading her book put me in the mood to knit something for myself. And to challenge myself, and to try something new. I'd bought some sock yarn back in the day when I thought I could afford it... it's 60% superwash wool (which means they'll be washable... very important); 25% Mohair (which means that they'll be oh, so soft; not itchy); and 15% nylon (which means they won't wear out in a couple of wearings). Hand-painted yarn - color is Mountain Twilight by Mountain Colors (which means that beyond being uber-expensive ... not really, but it sure seems like it looking back at the price tag); but also gloriously pretty. I wanted "dark" - dark socks I can wear to work; dark socks that won't need bleaching if they get worn on a dirty floor. After finding this yarn; I knew the exact pattern I should use with them. The pattern name is Twilight... in the 2-at-a-time Socks pattern book by Melissa Morgan-Oakes; another blogger. I love her patterns; I love the 2-at-a-time sock method; and the sock yarn was made for this pattern. However, I wanted to try a couple of variations - hence a challenge. I'm translating the pattern so that they are toe-up. Instead of starting at the top of the leg for the sock; I'm starting at the toe. It's taking some doing to convert the instructions from "decrease" to "increase" and following from the bottom of the pattern to the top... I'm relying on Fleegle (another blogger); to walk me through the basics of the sock construction from the toe up instead of relying solely on Melissa's book. And then 'translating' the instructions to fit the pattern in the book. So far, so good. I knit about two inches on both socks before I realized they would fit Bigfoot; tore them completely back and started again. I've reached the instep (from the toe); so have about four inches done on each sock. It's fun & interesting (well, at least it is to me ... grins). And far more enjoyable than the work I'm trying to accomplish while I'm working from home today. But, I've been semi-good so far. Instead of reaching out & picking that knitting back up; I'm blogging. I did say semi-good. Pics to follow - and look, they turn out good instead of dark; or out of focus; or blurry... good pics! Thanks Phil for granting my Christmas wish.


joshua said...

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Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.