Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Reverend Countess Jan speaks...

so you'd better listen up--hehehe.
Okay, so I have enjoyed this title thing a bit much, but I thought that a little name (or title) dropping wouldn't be too bad, so I thought I'd list a few...

Reverend Countess Jan the Surprised of Much Bottom (yours truly)
His Grace Lord Edward the Blue of Longer Interval (hubby)
Sir Ethan the Imaginary of Heffton St Mallet (younger son, eldest has not selected yet)
Baroness Kristin the Venal of Happy Bottomshire (my friend)
Imperial Majesty Annie the Educated of Molton St Anywhere (my Aunt)
Her Exalted Highness Duchess Laurie the Cosmopolitan of Middle Witchampton (my cousin)
Her Excellency Suzanne the Sage of Leighton Buzzard (friend) **NEW**

I just love these and I will give updates periodically.

Post Christmas Update

Okay, between the coughing crud around here and all of the post-Christmas malaise, I am afraid that I haven't had much opportunity to update my blog and put up the pictures that I have taken.

First off, the gifts. This is the most ambitious I have been since having children in making gifts. I was beginning to believe that I have bitten off more than I could chew. Fortunately, the adrenaline rush resulting from the fear of not having gifts ready in time enabled me to finish up with a couple of days to spare. Of course, I was crocheting in my sleep, but I suppose that is to be expected. Here are the fruits of some of my labors.
This photo shows hats and matching scarves that I made for my two nieces and my two boys. The framed images are scrapbook pages that I made with pictures of my boys and a top ten list of what I love about each of them. I framed them for my parents' Christmas gift. I kept a set for me, too. I didn't take new photos of the "big blue blob" for my brother or the blankets that I had completed earlier for my boys. On an up note, my boys were thrilled with the things that their mommy made them. Even a family friend commented that it was so nice to see kids truly appreciate someone taking the time to make something special for them. Of course, I couldn't just leave well enough alone... I had to do something with my left over yarns a couple of days before Christmas. So, I purchased a giant skein of Red Heart Super Saver worsted yarn in black to use to separate the hodge-podge of colors that I have in my left over stash. Hopefully, the black can calm it down a bit. Some of the colors are a bit loud. This is a new ripple pattern that I am trying out from the Winter 2007 issue of Crochet Today. I like how it is working out. It makes soft waves, as opposed to the sharp points on the blanket I completed for younger son. The yarn I purchased was inexpensive and since half of the blanket will be made of left overs, this is truly a frugal project. The picture above is how it looked as I was starting it. It was taken in the morning of Christmas Eve.This is how it looked this afternoon. Since I haven't felt like doing much else, I have made a bit of progress on it. I am not sure what it will become. Maybe a couch throw for home. Maybe a gift for someone. Maybe a charity piece. It hasn't told me yet :-)

On other news, I have been enjoying taking oldest son to his behavioral therapy group since I can meet my friend Kristin for coffee and commiseration. Love that part!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Please address me by my title...

To the upper right side of this blog, you will find my new title. I laughed until I nearly cried at the fanny reference at the end. But, it is appropriate and in my newfound regalness, I will not be ashamed.

As for my new fortune cookie, I will be watching the fruit a bit more carefully from now on...

Her regalness is signing off.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to All!

Well, this last week has flown by like a cyclone! Younger son and I have gotten the "crud," which is basically a cold, but for us, it has become a chest cold. I am trying to have it not turn into bronchitis (like last year) and he has asthma, so it's always a challenge.

This year is winding down fast and I wanted to wish everyone who reads this blog (okay, both of you) a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and productive 2008!

The Christmas carnage is over at our house. It all began last night with Christmas Eve at Granny's house with family. It was loud and chaotic.

Then we had Santa's visitation and gifts at our house this morning. It was loud and chaotic. It was also 4:30 in the God forsaken morning. Ugh.

This was followed by hubby's dad and aunt coming by with, yet more gifts, around lunchtime.
Guess what? Loud and chaotic? You betcha! Whew!

But, the boys have had a wonderful Christmas and are happy. I am tickled that the boys seemed happiest about the few items that I had crocheted for them. It warms a Mommy's heart.

Anyway, I will post pictures when I am able. Love to all.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Well, we made it! School is out for Christmas break and we went to the Staff Christmas party for our school last night. It's always loads of fun to cut loose and relax with friends.

One of my students came and stayed with my boys last night and they had a blast (well, the boys did. Not sure how Morgan fared!). They enjoyed having someone to play with them. My youngest has a huge crush on Morgan, so I am sure that kept things lively. But, she is an amazingly good sport about it. I'm fortunate to know so many good kids at our school that I can find a sitter when I need to.

The Senior class and I went out to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant yesterday for our Christmas party. They had a gift swap and they laughed and carried on. They presented me with a gorgeous royal blue (our school colors) fleece jacket to wear. It fits like a dream and is so soft. I am tickled pink (er, royal blue)!

My youngest son's Christmas play was a big hit. He was the Christmas tree (and a cute one, at that). All of the kids did an amazing job. Too cute!

Older son's class got to go to the local American Pie and gorge on pizza for their party.

Poor hubby had to get up and go to work this morning while we all got to stay home. Hate that part!

I finished a couple more hats for gifts. I will try to post a picture soon. I still have a few more to go....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Do a Good Thing this Christmas!!!

My Senior class and I are sending 50 Christmas cards with well wishes to American Soldiers who are recovering from injuries in Iraq or Afghanistan. We invite you and your family to do the same.
Send cards with well wishes to:
A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20307-5001

Another option is to send cards via email to soldiers who are currently serving overseas. The Xerox Corporation has generously funded this. If you go to the website and plug in your name, hometown, and a message, they will print your card and send it at their own expense to a soldier who is currently serving.

In both of these programs, you can't choose who gets the cards, but isn't that the Christmas Spirit in action? It doesn't matter who they are or who you are--it matters the work that they are doing on our behalf. This is also a way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in folks of all ages.

There are no excuses! Everyone who is reading this can send an e-card (or 20) and it won't cost them a thing. Before you ignore this, ask yourself how many of the freedoms that you enjoy are worth ignoring???

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Stick a fork in me...

I am done! Whew! I am ecstatic to report that I have finished my first ever ripple blanket for my younger son's Christmas. I was really sweating getting this one finished--it just seemed to go on forever. Actually, I had originally planned to have the stripes run across the bed, but even though I followed the pattern carefully, it seemed like the weight of the yarn kept pulling it wider and although I added stripe after stripe, it never seemed to get much longer.

Well, I put it on the bed the other night (the boys were having a sleepover with the suckers, uh, I mean grandparents) and realized that I could turn it so that the stripes run down the length of the bed and it only needed a small border to finish off. Needless to say, I went with it.

On retrospect, I like the stripes running this way; it's a bit more dramatic and different that way.

Of course, the same day, older son told me that he liked it when I made things for him and that he really wanted a homemade hat, scarf, and mittens for Christmas. NOW, he tells me this. Ugh!!!

I have enough left over yarn from the ripple to do a set for younger son, but I don't know if I have quite enough for older son's. But, I might. Maybe I could come up with a striped set so that I can use lots of different colors. At least these projects will go by faster than a bed sized blanket. God knows, I don't have enough to do.... :-)

On the kitten front, baby Delilah has been a wonderful addition to the family. We all love her to pieces. She is active and playful and loves attention. She is curled up next to me as I type this. We have laughed and laughed at her antics. Truly, she went from being an unwanted, starving little thing to a vibrant bundle of blessings for us. Love that!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Meet Delilah!

A Pounding!

I love it when we have a "pounding" at Church!!!

We recently have had a lovely lady and her daugher join our church. Unbeknownst to us, they were living in the local shelter. Well, that wouldn't do. The elders have located a house for them to live in and are helping her to find work.

That's where we come in. As major needs are being met, church members are volunteering to meet the smaller needs (linens, lamps, cleaning supplies, etc.). That's when we start "pounding!" We start bringing small containers of food stuffs (a pound of this, a pound of that, get it?) and fill the pantry. By the time everyone gives a bit, there is lots of good, nutritious food for the family!

Plus, we are doing good while sounding like we are doing something a bit naughty--gotta love that!

Another busy week!

Nothing like running around like a chicken with its proverbial head cut off to make a week just fly by!

The fourth grade teacher decided that she couldn't deal with the class pet any longer (and my younger son was so upset) so we volunteered to take the bunny. Her name is Diva. The boys say that they will rename her, but they keep calling her Diva, so we will see.

Then one of my students who is working toward being a veterinarian one day, found an abandoned kitten who was only 3 weeks old and far too young to be away from her mother. Since she works part time at the local vet clinic, she had access to everything she needed to help to nurse the baby back to reasonable health. Unfortunately, she lives in a family with cat allergies (all except her) and the vet couldn't board the baby forever. So, he gave her until Friday of that week to find a permanent home for her (the local rescue shelters are all full). So guess who has a new baby??? You guessed it, Mama Sucker!

Her name is Delilah, which translates as delicate in Hebrew. She certainly is a delicate little baby. Yes, I know the story of Samson and Delilah, but we don't have a male, longhaired cat named Samson, so that crisis is averted and besides, I don't think she is big enough to use the clippers yet.

She is a calico baby and is so loving and sweet. I will post pictures as soon as I can. Right now, she has just learned to eat from a saucer. For the first few days, we had to spoon feed her which was utterly hysterical.

Diana, our adult cat is not impressed. She pouts and hisses and carries on. She will have to get over it, but it reminds me so much of when my youngest was born and my oldest cried and screamed to see his Mommy holding another baby.

We have been richly blessed this week.