Kid Stuff

One of my favorite poems is this one, written during World War II by an African-American poet named Frank Horne. It is simple and yet profound. And very, very relevant for us now.

Kid Stuff

The wise guys

tell me
that Christmas
is Kid Stuff...
Maybe they've got
something there --

Two thousand years ago
three wise guys
chased a star
across a continent
to bring
frankincense and myrrh
to a Kid
born in a manger
with an idea in his head...

And as the bombs
all over the world
the real wise guys
that we've all
got to go chasing stars
in the hope
that we can get back
some of that
Kid Stuff
born two thousand years ago --

Frank Horne
December, 1942

This Christmas, please pray for that Christmas promise of Peace On Earth, Good Will To All. And in the spirit of the season, God bless us, everyone.

I won't be posting for the next week as I will be sans computer, enjoying the holidays with most of my family down in New Orleans. I will be back posting on New Year's Day and hope to have some photos and a report on the some of the lys's post-Katrina (and yes, I will be adding to my stash because how can I do research without buying?).


Weird? Who, Meme?

So in my daily attempts at procrastinating having to return phone calls or do my charting, I was surfing the blogosphere and ran across this fun little exercise from Theresa at Keyboard Biologist.

It's a meme called "6 Weird Things About Me". It's my first meme, and since I think I'm kind of weird, it seemed like a natural. And since I haven't done a "True Confessions" Wednesday in a couple of weeks, this can take its place this week. And since I'm not tagging either, leave me a comment and let me know if you're putting this on your blog and I will come over and visit you!

Why am I weird? Let me count the ways...

1. I like to repeat certain words over and over in my head, for no other reason than because it is entertaining. My current favorite is "monkey" with the first syllable really drawn out. I also like the word "onamotopia".

2. I love to sing to my kitties when I am alone. Loudly. In my best operatic voice (cough). Current favorites: excerpts from "Carmen" or "Everything's Coming Up Roses". I have taught this behavior to most of my nieces and nephews as well.

3. I am the only member of my immediate or extended family (even going back several generations) who was not born in southern Louisiana. Not even born south of the Mason-Dixon line. I was born in Aberdeen, Maryland when my dad was stationed there. We moved back to New Orleans when I was 3 months old. According to mother, that's why I grew up to be so oppositional and difficult.

4. I hate and despise movies in which there is violence and yet, some of my favorite movies are anything by Quentin Tarrantino, especially the Kill Bills.

5. I have postal-phobia. I avoid anything having to do with mailing things at all costs, until it is absolutely neccessary. I have always been this way and haven't a clue why.

6. One of my top 5 goals for 2007 is to learn juggling. I have toyed with this idea for several years now and have finally met someone who is willing to teach me - a 9 year old who is quite skilled already. We started today, with me just working on being able to catch 1 ball that I toss into the air. Oh, I have so far to go...


That Tingly Holiday Feeling

This weekend, I watched a special program on our local TV station. It was about an area business man named Larry Stewart, who for years roamed the streets of Kansas City in the days before Christmas, walking up to strangers and handing them money - sometimes several hundred, even thousands of dollars. He did it to pay back an old debt and then kept doing it because it makes him so happy. He goes to those parts of town where he is most likely to find people who are the most needy, or else hears about people who are having a particularly hard time. He always gives the money with the message "One day, when you are able, do something to help someone else."

You can find out more about this remarkable man at the website Secret Santa. Look under "Media Stories". Mr. Stewart was diagnosed with cancer this year and is undergoing treatment. Now he is relying on other Secret Santas to help him. He doesn't encourage people to do exactly what he did, since walking around dangerous parts of town with large sums of money can only be done safely with a police escort. But he does say that each of us can do a little something to bless others, whether it's giving an extra tip, give someone an extra word of appreciation, or help in some other way. So the goodness just keeps growing and rippling out to more and more people.

I believe Secret Santa has captured the truest meaning of Christmas, which is to give of yourself in order to share the love with someone else, regardless of their social status, race, creed, or even character. To give someone the gift of knowing that someone somewhere singled them out to share the love, to show them that we are all special in God's eyes. And each and every one of us can be a Secret Santa, even in a very small way. And by doing this, we can each share in the perfect love that was born in a manger long ago.

So this year, I'm giving myself the best Christmas present I can think of - the gift of joy! I've signed up to be a Secret Santa. Will you?


The Life Chaotic

The painters descended upon us this week like locusts - very welcome locusts, just lots of them. They are sanding, bondo-ing and repainting every inch of our semi-new house, fixing all of their mistakes and previous sloppy work and FINALLY the walls and trim look like what we expected from our builder instead of looking like a bunch of hyper kindergarteners were turned loose with paint. The correct color is finally on the walls, instead of the pinkish-greyish ghastly color the painting contractor swore was the one I had chosen ("All paint looks different when you bring in your furniture" and "It looks different because of the lighting in your home" were 2 of the excuses I was given). There are no longer streaks of random, strange colors (bright blue? raspberry?) showing up here and there. The baseboards are now smooth and gleaming, rather than looking like a roller derby took place in the final stage of construction. And, miracle of miracles, the blue tape is gone!

Of course, my house has looked like this all week:

And the cats have looked like this:

Where's my sofa?

Give me back my house!

(The dogs don't care as long as they get their walks and treats).

Even with the hoards of painters, they still haven't finished the job in 1 week of hard work and they expect to be here all of next week. Then they will be back after Christmas to sand and refinish the cabinets because the finish is already peeling off in numerous places, as well as several more odds and ends. So I will be living the life chaotic for a while longer, blogging when I can make my way to the computer and getting high on paint fumes. Since it is impossible for me to clean house or cook, all I can do when I am at home is knit and watch TV. How sad is that?


It's Monday and That's My Excuse

Silly Christmas Heads

Worked 12 hour day, too tired to write anything remotely clever or interesting. So I am resorting to my old trick of posting random pictures from my downloads. Enjoy!


Knitting Frantically Towards Christmas

As promised, here is the scarf I knit for one of the SIL's:

It's Sophia's "Go Diagonal" scarf and the pattern can be found on her blog Yarn Over Manhattan. The yarn is Kureyon No. 51. I only had to tweak it a little to come out with a somewhat symmetrical colorway on each side of the scarf.

This brings the number of gift scarves that have finished to 8, with 3 on the needles and at least 1 more waiting to be cast on. I will be knitting my fingers off in order to get these finished on time.

I am hoping the painters, who will be here Monday morning at the crack of dawn, will be finished by the end of the week and I will FINALLY be rid of the blue tape. Then I can move the furniture back into place and have room to give the litle woolies a bath in Eucalan and a little gentle blocking and then get their official portraits before sending them off to their new homes.

On a rather sad note, this is what is left of Teensy Frosty after our warm spell and bright sunshine yesterday. The carrot is gone and my guess is one of the dogs ate it.

Please take a nanosecond of silence in his memory. Ok, that was long enough. Thank you.

Finally, here's a shout out to my new blog buddy, Li over at Life's A Stitch. She has a free pattern for an amazing Herringbone Rib scarf that she was kind enough to share with me and that I plan to make for the Red Scarf Project. Stay posted as I plan to start this right after Christmas. Li knits lots of scarves too, like me, except that she is definitely a better knitter. My flea-sized attention span still won't let me get past the 5th row of Wendy's Feather and Fan without have to frog, frog, frog. Also, she lives in one of the most fabulous places I have ever visited, Vancouver, and she works with kids, too. I have bookmarked her blog and look forward to future stalkings! Thanks, Li!


I Laugh At The Cold!

It's been a cold week! And I love the cold, in fact, I LAUGH at the cold! It's what has allowed this subtropical belle to survive subzero wind chills since first moving to the prairie 12 years ago. The day we left New Orleans, the temperature was in the 70's. By the next morning, moving in day, the temperature on the prairie was single digits, with a windchill of 17 below zero. With the front door open all day as moving commenced, frozen fingers, feet and everything in between, I figured I could cry and whine, or learn to love the winter. And now, after laughing at the cold for so long, I can say that a cold winter is my second favorite season. And it's finally here. No global warming this week, ya'll.

I have been a busy psychologist this week. After being cooped up inside for 4 days, many of the families I work with were about to sell their kids on EBay. Fortunately, they decided to schedule a visit with Dr. Criquette instead, and gain Valuable Pointers for the next bout of cabin fever.Therefore, I haven't been able to post these pix of last week's 2 storms until today. Since there is still quite a bit of snow left on the ground, it counts, right?

Last Wednesday night's ice storm was followed on Thursday by a second storm that dumped 8 inches of powdery goodness on our piece of the prairie. What is normally a 15 minute drive to work took me 70 minutes to inch home. I'm crazy, but I like driving in the snow as long as there's reasonable traction. It was dark by the time I got home, so I had to wait until Friday to take some photos out in my yard.


Blue Spruce

The woods are especially wonderful in the snow. I sit by the window to knit so I could keep watching them throughout the day.

Even the stream is snowed in!

And I finally did something I've never done in the 12 years I have lived here - voila!

It's teensy Frosty! I would have gone bigger, but the snow was too dry and powdery and wouldn't hold together. But I managed to find some of the wet, icy stuff from Wednesday to make this little guy. He is pretty cute and has been living on the porch for a week. Although today, we are having a warm spell, with sunny skies and temps near 40, so he won't be around much longer.(Please note the cute little handknit premie cap that I "borrowed" from my charity knitting bag.)

Party time tonight - our friends are having a Christmas party and are asking everyone to bring a toy for Toys For Tots. Isn't this a great idea? I wish more people would collect items for those less fortunate when having a holiday party. I have resolved to do something similar when my house is finally party-ready (should be real soon!)and challenge anyone reading this to do the same.

I finished the Kureyon scarf for my SIL - it's not yet finished or blocked but it's so pretty I am posting it's picture tomorrow!