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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

So there I was... 4:15 am and knitting furiously!

I finished the wine cozy.... but at the expense of my sleep. I got up at 4am on Tuesday (my eyes just kind of flew open because I was dreaming about knitting) and grabbed the needles. As my alarm went off at 6:30 telling me it was time to get up and start getting ready for work, I was seaming. At 7:00 am (when I should normally be getting out of the shower) the cozy was done! I flew into the shower and pretty much left a stream of soapy water all the way to work since I was brushing my hair and my teeth at the same time. The poor cats... they were tip-toeing around all the wet spots in the bathroom. ;)

I managed to get to work about 5 minutes late but... the cozy was done. Mostly. I still had to do the twisted cord, pull cord. Let me tell you, the design of this cord is genius! And so easy too. I hooked the yarn to a door handle here in the office and made the cord in about 10 minutes total. I got a lot of strange looks though in the process...

And here is the cozy:

I really liked this pattern. Very easy to do. The only gripe I have is the seaming. But it's not the designer's technique. It's mine. I suck something fierce at seaming! Can you see that on the back side there? Tragic. But then, the gal I was giving it to thought it was wonderful so that's all that really matters. Even though I can see all the mistakes pointing and laughing at me.... laughing like I'd come to work without any pants on or something. (Okay maybe that was a bit much... but you know what I mean!)

Well, back to work I go. I'll finally get back to that sweater I started... and maybe those socks. And maybe that scarf. Hey, I've got a hat I was working on too...

Damn. It might be time for a UFO hunt to see where I'm at. *ponders*

Monday, December 18, 2006

Lookie! My neck brace matches my Tae Kwon Do belt!

Yup... that's right. I passed! Yay! I got my orange belt. This is me warming up. Sort of...:

Here I am working on my form. Why I have my eyes closed, I have no earthly idea! Um, er, I mean... look at that concentration and focus... ;)

And here I am showing off what's known as my "one steps":

In the picture above, you can see Master Erik Neill in the black uniform with white piping. His mother Merilee next to him (she's a second Dan black belt) and his father (and my colleague) Jim taking pictures to the right of the kid in the blue uniform.

After all that, I passed! And there I am all the way on the right with my certificate and my new orange belt:

If you'd like to see other pics of the belt test you can see them

So the very next week on Thursday, the 7th, I was on my way to class after work when I got rear-ended. Yup. The Jeep needs rear work now too! And this was not my fault at all! I was sitting in stopped traffic when I saw a car coming up behind me that I just -knew- was going too fast. I realized she was going to hit me so I put my foot on the brake and braced myself. (Yeah, stupid I know.) She hit me so hard that it threw the Jeep forward one full car length into a truck in front of me. I must have looked like a bobble-head doll as my noggin bounced all over the place and hit the headrest at least twice. She was in one of those new, pretty
VW Bugs. Versus the our Jeep Wrangler... I won. She nuked the front of her car! The damage to the Jeep is minimal. Well, $1327 minimal. I can't believe Eric beat me by $70 on the damage to the Saturn. I took it to the same exact body shop to have the estimate done. At first he kind of raised his eyebrow at me when he saw me pull in and then he laughed when I told him, my husband was no where near this car nor were any tacos involved. ;)

So back to the accident, a cop pulled up right behind us and after about an hour of paperwork, my head was just killing me! My girlfriend Maura (the one that made the checkerboard cake) took me to the Emergency Room. Here I am in all my glory!:

And here's that smile!:

No... it's too sexy! *averts eyes* I had to get a CT scan and was sent home with the note to take Motrin and try not to stress my head or neck too much. So I ended up missing about three classes (which was kind of upsetting) but I'm pretty much back to 100% now so it's all good. My neck was killing me the next day and I know it's because I had braced myself.

Not much else is going on. I've decided (because it's painfully obvious that I'm stark, raving mad) to knit a
wine cozy for my my Secret Santa. And I'm knitting it with a sock monkey's face in it because she loves monkeys. And it has to be done by tomorrow. And I only started a few days ago.

Off to my knitting I go!

Did I mention I must be stark, raving mad?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thanksgiving, the sweater and my poor car.

We decided to do Thanksgiving at our house this year. Eric felt he had to redeem himself from last year. See it's a family tradition for he and I to have Chinese food on Thanksgiving Day and then go see a movie. We started this when he was stationed at Hill AFB and we were so far from family. Well last year, all the Chinese restaurants were closed! And the lines at the theatre were loooooooong. We had invited some friends over last year and well, he felt he hadn't given them a "traditional" Turkey Day.

So this year, the heat was on him! :P

I didn't do a damn thing but take pictures, and eat. Well, and help with the cleaning... but still. All during that food prep and cooking, I was doing other stuff. Here's Eric preparing the turkey:

He got a self basting turkey, some poultry rub, and then with spread some vegetable oil on the turkey with a brush and patted on the entire can of rub. We thought it would be a bit much but that it came out sooooooo good! And good looking too. See...:

I had wanted to get a typical "here's the bird" shot but he started carving it before I could get the camera out! *shakes fist* Either way, you can see how golden brown it came out. Juicy too!
He made stuffing (which you can see sitting wrapped in cellophane on the counter in the pic below) and some carrots with brown sugar. (That's what he's working on in the pic below.)

Our friend Maura stopped by and decided to make a checkerboard cake. It was her first try making it and it was really good! But a bit messy to make. :)

It required that you make three layers with alternating flavors of cake and then you had to stack them up to make the checkerboard pattern. To get the alternating pattern, you had to pour the batter into a mould that allowed you to keep the batter separate until you had it all in, then lift the mould out and bake the cakes. Voila! They looked like this:

There were actually three layers total and of course required delicate stacking:

She then came over the next day (Thanksgiving day) to finish making the icing for the cake and it was done!:

When cut it was nearly perfect. The squares were a little lopsided but the cake was moist and yummy! I'd say it's not bad for her first try on that recipe...:

Our friend Justin came over too. He's studying to be a chef so he roasted some hazelnuts then made a quick sugary coating for them and rolled them in it. They were soo good too!:

We then set the table and prepared to stuff ourselves:

It was great having Justin around. He's a pro at cake cutting. Look at him go!:

Once everyone left, I did a bit more knitting on my sweater. It's coming along and I'm nearly done with the sleeves. I should finish this weekend and be able to start on the body. :) Here's a better close up of the stripes:

My sock progress has slowed somewhat though. I have a belt test tonight for my TaeKwonDo so I've been pretty busy with all my free time at work practicing my forms for that. Wish me luck!

Oh , I almost forgot! Right, so on to my poor car. Eric had to work the day after Thanksgiving and on Saturday, decided he wanted a taco. Really, really wanted a taco. He had a two hour lay over in Charlotte (his base) which meant the car was there and he could leave the terminal to get some food. His original plan was to spend under $5 for lunch. He called be right after and said "Um, I think I spent a bit too much on lunch." Yeah...:

Whoooooo! $1397 worth of damage. He more than doubled me when
I destroyed the nose! I only did $642 worth of damage there. Thank the gods for USAA and a small deductible. It'll only cost us $50 to get it repaired. Of course, while we're there getting the estimate Eric realized, "Hey, I'll save $5 on a car wash. Heck my lunch is down to $45 now!"

I love how he can see the good in nuking the ass of the car. Oh by the way, the way he did it was when he got out of the car, he forgot to set the hand brake (and one would assume put it in gear) and while he was ordering his lunch, a man came into the restaurant to ask "Who's driving a silver Saturn cuz it just smashed into my trailer." A homemade, steel trailer that didn't even end up with a scratch on it. You can see what that steel did to our car.

So the grand total for damage on that poor Saturn?

This will be it's third ass (he got rear ended a few months after we bought the car)
It's on its second nose (see above)
It's on its second driver's side mirror (
a dangerous sapling destroyed it many months ago)
It's on its third windshield

Not bad for having 120000 miles on it. :)