Saturday, November 22, 2008

Syracuse Wins!

Now I don't know why we decided to watch the Syracuse vs. Notre Dame football game on TV, but we did, I was spinning and Jim was surfing, so the game was kind of like background noise. We watched as Syracuse played a pretty good first half but figured they would blow it in the second half as has become their pattern. And sure enough, the third quarter was painful to watch. We ate dinner during the fourth quarter and turned on the TV once when we finished. And there they were, the Orange with a one point lead with 35 seconds left in the game and the ball in Notre Dame's hands. It was too much to hope that they could maintain that tiny lead, but they did and it was a huge upset! The lame duck coach and players were so happy, it was joyous to watch. The Notre Dame players looked like they were in shock! So, congratulation SU-it was fun to watch!

It was a cold, clear day here-the kind you might expect in early February. But it didn't keep us in. We made our trip to the Eastman House to see the gingerbread houses. As a bonus we walked through the photo display of trains, which was interesting and we got to see the Eastman House all decked out in its Christmas finery. The gingerbread houses spanned quite a range- from creations by Girl Scout troops to what looked like professional chefs' entries. Some looked about like the ones I have created:

Others were obvious children's creations, heavy with icing and candy!

This one reminded us of the Cinderella Carriage that took the grandparents and grand aunts back to their hotel after the rehearsal dinner for Michal's and Elizabeth's wedding in Memphis.

And this one had a snow fort in the backyard of the gingerbread house, reminding us of the snow fort that Tucker and Corey built last year. We then hosted a Winter Solistice Party in the fort and had a great time! Maybe we can do that again this year-of course Mother Nature and Tucker and Corey would need to cooperate to make that happen!

The Eastman House did look beautiful, especially the staircase to the upstairs. And for those of you who have never been to the George Eastman House, that is an elephant head mounted on the wall in the great hall-old George liked to hunt!

After our tour of the Eastman House Jim dropped me off at the Rochester Museum and Science Center to check out the annual Holiday Craft Sale. Jim went on to the main library. The Craft Sale is set up right in the museum and it was a bit unsettling to be looking at beaded jewelry with a mastodon looking down at the same jewelry!

I bought a few things-a glass bowl with Christmas lights painted  on it, some Christmas earrings to wear to school, and a Christmas gift so I cannot say anything else about that. I lasted about an hour there when I called Jim for a pick-up. He had just arrived in the museum parking lot, knowing that I am terrible shopper and would not be more than an hour!

Here is a photo of my Christmas cactus. It is so much healthier looking this year since I re-potted it this spring. Corey, go water your Christmas cactus!
It may be time to throw out my white pumpkin. I'm not sure it will survive wearing this white hat!
I spent some time spinning this afternoon and I am using some fiber from a Blue-Faced Leister sheep, which I bought at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in October. It is so easy to spin and I love to see the crimp in the fiber from the curly locks on the sheep.
This will be a long-term spinning project as I bought 2.5 pounds of fiber and I probably spun up an ounce of fiber this afternoon! That's OK though, because I truly enjoy the process.

Tomorrow I will get Jim to take a photo of me wearing my new rayon scarf. I love it!

Both Tucker and Corey called tonight. Both are well and both are looking forward to their trip's home-Corey for Thanksgiving and then Tucker and Corey for Christmas.  We can hardly wait to have them under our roof again too!

Hope all is well.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Finally Friday

Phew, what a week. It has been a tough week at school for some of our students. Child Protective Services were here to see about a child who was being beaten if he didn't earn all the stars on his behavior chart. Two other children (first graders) have been directly related to tragic news stories that have been on the front pages of the Democrat and Chronicle. It is all rather heart-wrenching to watch these young children deal with adult problems. Fortunately these kids have been able to come to Phys. Ed. and play like children should, in a safe, fun and caring environment.

Winter has come to Rochester. It is snowing now and is supposed to snow on and off the rest of the weekend. And cold-into the teens tonight! 

Jim and I were going to go to the George Eastman House tonight to see the gingerbread houses that are on display, but when I checked the schedule, the House closed at 5 PM tonight so we'll try to go on Saturday or Sunday. I hope to get some inspiration for a gingerbread house I hope to make in early December. 

We have a pretty casual weekend planned. There was nothing interesting on TV so we went to the basement for awhile tonight and threw out some stuff. We got rid of many old magazines and boxes. It was a good start, but not too stressful. 

The Christmas cactus is spectacular. Maybe I'll take a photo tomorrow when the light is better. 

Tonight I finished knitting my purple/blue rayon scarf and put it into the washing machine to felt it. I didn't know rayon felted, but those were the directions I got when I bought the yarn. I had to use the dryer (as per the directions) and sure enough the scarf shrunk a bit. The colors are fantastic and it should be very warm because the fabric is pretty dense after felting. 

Today I got my last yarn shipment from my sock club. I am way behind in knitting up those socks but I do have some pretty yarn for "someday!" 

Not sure what Tucker or Corey are up to this weekend, but we'll probably hear from them in the near future.

Time to watch the first season of The Cosby Show on DVD. That is funny stuff.

Hope all is well. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Monday Minutiae

Well, there is nothing earth-shattering to report, but then again, there rarely is. So here is what is happening.

Plant Update: 2 of my 3 amaryllis bulbs are sprouting and the 3rd one is showing potential. My Christmas cactus is blooming and it is beautiful.
My one green, leafy plant, whose name I cannot remember, is going to bloom too. There hasn't been a white flower blossom on that plant for a long time so that is a treat. 

I did finish sewing my bathrobe. I am quite pleased with it and it is toasty warm!I sewed for about 5 hours yesterday only taking a break for lunch. It was getting pretty cold on my sewing porch yesterday (but not as cold as it would have been today) so I would come into the living room to do trimming and pinning work and then go out to the porch to use the sewing machine. I was actually excited about having to go to the basement to press seams opened because that was a warm job!

Jim raced yesterday and he once again won his age-group. This was the last race in the Upstate Cross-Country Series (5 races all together) and he was the overall winner for his age-group. This makes the 5th year in a row that Jim was the overall winner in his age-group, prompting the Upstate XC series race director to call Jim's performance, "legendary!"

Here is a restaurant review for those of you residing in the local area. Last night we went out to dinner with Bob and Sally to a fairly new place in the Corn Hill area, called Virtu. It is right on the river and we had a window table with a view of the river and the new Freddie-Sue Bridge. We all had their house salad which included mixed field greens, blue cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and the house balsamic vinegarette dressing. We each selected a different entree and none of us were disappointed. The service was attentive and personable and the atmosphere was very warm and pleasant. If you haven't tried this place, make a reservation. This is one restaurant we should keep around. 

Sunday I had to go to JoAnn's Fabric and Craft store and all their autumn decorations were 70% off so I bought this wreath for our front door for $8.oo. I like it.
I'm watching DWTS while writing this and my favorites, Brooke and Derek, had their first bad dance. Brooke missed most of her steps, hopefully this won't get them voted out of the finals next week.

We were out of Whitley's honey roasted peanuts so when I got a 10% discount code in an e-mail, I placed an on-line order. The case arrived today so we are set for the holidays when the boys are home.

Yesterday I bought some candy canes at Wegmans and amazingly enough they have not gone up in price in years! I bet that for the last 7 or 8 years they have cost 99 cents for 6 ounces! 

Time to knit.

Hope all is well.