Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Chair is Evil!

Since the chair has arrived, it's been difficult to get anything done around here. Sure, it's empty now, but it took a crowbar and a few degrading words to get Dirk out of it to cut a shelf under the stove top so I could finally stack and sort the cast iron in various phases of restoration. For four days anyone who's posterior has met the red leather finds it mighty difficult to motivate. Laundry waits. Dishes languish, not only in the sink, but around the house. Another dog is forming from the cast-off hair Crystal leaves on the carpet. In short, nothing is getting done. Except . . .




Knitting!

The Monk's Travel Satchel is finis!














And I added a liner. It's an accomplishment.













Perhaps the chair isn't all that evil.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Big-ass Red Chair xmas

This is the new red leather chair and ottoman I received for xmas. Luckily, it's One Size Fits All and then some. It's the chair equivalent of a Cadillac with big fins. Furniture is not an impulse buy for me. Usually, it's art supplies or yarn or the fiber of some recently-sheared animal. Sometimes impulses are found in the purchase of books or the occasional gee-gaw, knick-knack. Big chair and ottoman is most certainly a stretch for me. We were in a furniture store looking for someone else's gift and in a sea of beiges, tans, browns, chocolates and latte's there was this RED leather set ~ sofa, loveseat and the last available chair and ottoman on the floor for half-price. The color has been discontinued and while there are a sufficient number of sofas and loveseats in stock for this particular style, the chair and ottoman were headed for certain furniture manufacturing extinction. The plan is to wait out the sofa and loveseat prices and get those later, but the chair/ottoman set needed a home immediately. The price was right and we have room to lovingly adopt a dying species of furniture.

Yes, we should have looked into getting the Subaru back on the road with a rebuilt engine, gasket snug in its place, motor purring happily. Perhaps the flat-screen TV would have been a better and necessary splurge. (Both Dirk and I think we're having vision problems until we visit a store with TV's and realize, to our relief, it isn't us, but the crappy old TV's we presently own.) However, it was the last chair and ottoman, worthy of salvation. A civic duty in a way. Subaru engines are plentiful, flat-screen TV's more so. And I'm not afraid of red.


So . . . chair for me!














In the meantime . . .

Dirk got his Millenium Falcon with accompanying Han Solo and Chewbacca figures.













Ian got his X-box 360.











Bennie got the American Girl Doll of the Year, Mia.









Tom scored a decent axe, a Fender Telecaster.











If you buy it, they will come . . .

Everyone got to check out the chair











And then it was dinner time: a ham, two ducks, two different types of mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, steamed broccoli and carrots and wild rice stuffing. Dessert was two made-from-scratch apple pies that hitched a ride from Fishkill. Dinner was a blur because it all happened so fast . . .

























The day began with the Big Red Chair and so it had ended.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rockettes and Rockefeller! Oh my!

Yesterday, we took the train to the City. Due to the impending inclimate weather, school was cancelled and we didn't have to call in a "sick" day. The train ride down was filled with anticipation and grumpiness (we left early in the morning without breakfast). After snagging a quick tea and donuts on the run we did . . .






5th Avenue windows . . .




the Tree . . .
and got to our seats in time for the10:00am show at . . .
Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular!
We saw the Rockettes.




Bless their little synchronized hearts and their pearly whites! Honestly, any woman who can maintain a sparkling smile while high-kicking in heels has, on some level, earned my respect.
Oh, yeah. Santa was there.
More synchronized soldier dancing . . .






Christ made an appearance as well.





When we emerged, we were greeted by that impending snow storm.

We did more tree and then went to St. Patrick's Cathedral. I couldn't get back to the Lady's Chapel to visit the Madonna ~ the 12:00 mass was congregating and the chapel was closed. I prefer the chapel; it's small, quiet and She is there.
From there, we went to stores and had a late lunch at Carmine's with Eric. Chronicling photographically was impossible at this point as we were dodging big fat wet snow flakes and had our hands full of bags. The food was good and the $9 glass of Pinot Noir a necessity.



Our trip to the big city ended on Music Row at Manny's, Sam Ash and Rudy's.
Well, actually it ended with vehicular snow removal and fighting to get up the snowed-in dirt road to our home. But it was all good.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Boys Belted Again

Lastnight, Tom and Ian went through belt testing at Jeet Kune Do.










There was punching . . .














kicking . . .













nunchukas . . .












and falling: very important . . .













Even Sifu got a few licks in.







It warms the cockles of a mother's heart to know that, if necessary, ours sons can kick the snot out of anyone annoying. Tears spring forth. They were both awesome to watch. I didn't know Tom could move so fast. Ian got focused in the past year ~ he made all his moves expertly.
Tom is now a Black Belt and in First Level Adult classes. Ian is a happy Brown Belt.

































































Friday, December 05, 2008

Construction

It was gingerbread house construction night at our perpetual construction site. At this juncture in my life, the thought of constructing another house is positively nauseating. However, this particular structure has the enjoyable feature of being edible. Well, not really. In the time it has to sit around for the holidays looking all chipper and cute, the walls will become stale and the icing as hard as concrete. Not to mention the dusty, dog-and-cat-haired candies for added effect.

But, I digress . . . the point is: it was fun. Messy, sticky fun.

Now. Where's the tree?






Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Of Satchels & Shelves

We dub this a blog-ette. Daylight's burning and I have to hold something that needs sanding . . . lucky me.

On my cluttered project table: more pieces of the Monk's Travel Satchel.












In our kitchen: long-awaited open, diner-style shelves.











The Fiesta and Quimper are happy.










In the words of Porky Pig: buh-deet, buh-deet, buh-deet That's all, folks!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Holy crap! I'm on Vigil!

It kind of sneaks up on you when you're not looking.

Anyway, aside from tending Brighid's Flame until sundown today, I've been working this Monk's Satchel thing. Certainly not with a furious intensity, but just picking it up here and there throughout my day when I'm waiting. It's my 'Tween knitting. That's mostly because the knit pattern is so simple ~ Seed Stitch. Thus the practice of knitting becomes a series of mini-meditations for me.

My Inner Monk, however, felt it necessary to practice the art of resourcefulness. I don't know if Tibetan monks have access to local yarn shops where they might purchase Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (80% cotton, 20% wool, 215 yd [197 m]/110g), colors #005, #880, and #930. I'm not a monk and I don't have access to all that right now. My Inner Monk said, "Look. If this satchel were to replicate an authentic monk's bag, almost nothing would match. So don't sweat it. Take that alpaca/Jacob blend in chocolate brown and add the unidentifiable purple-dyed gray handspun when necessary." I like monks.




Sunday, October 26, 2008

Earthly Goods

In these times of great uncertainty ~ economic, political, international, global ~ it's helpful to quiet Monkey Mind with something that seems certain, regular and sublime. After years of holding on to the Monk's Travel Satchel pattern, I'm ready to finally sit down and knit it. I think of my earthly goods. They won't fit into this satchel I'm making. The monks of Nepal and Tibet carry all they own in their large bags. The bags may be large, but I'm sure they still travel light.

Our society doesn't travel light. It wants us to have more. Too much, in fact. It has stuffed us fat and numb. I'm not exempt.

It brought me to tears to see some decent news for once. One woman, site unseen, bought another woman's house off the foreclosure auction block and gave it back to her. The random act of kindness from a complete stranger. That is one less person left homeless. There shouldn't be homeless people anywhere. We all can't live out of satchels.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Well?

Didn't anyone post anything about the Sheep & Wool I'm missing this year? Anyone? Do I really have to wait until Monday?

*sigh* Fine!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ted Wong & The Jeet Kune Do Seminar

This is Ted Wong. If you're anyone who knows Bruce Lee's work and Jeet Kune Do, you'd know it's a big deal to hang out with Ted Wong for one 5-hour afternoon in an action-packed, information-filled seminar. It's not knitting, but it's a big deal. Ted Wong studied Jeet Kune Do with Bruce Lee. Sifu Richard Torres was Ted Wong's student. Tom and Ian, as well as a host of others, are third generation students of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do. See. It's a big deal.

People came from quite a few far away places: upstate New York, Long Island, Holland . . . just to name few. Sifu Torres' class is much bigger than I had ever realized ~ there had to be 50 people of varying ages and abilities present ~ and not all were present.

I was excited for the boys. They were trying to be cool. I was blowing it for them so I didn't stick around long.

Here is Ian working a few moves with Mr. Wong.










And Dirk's favorite posed photos with great personages . . .














Photographically, Sifu Torres is hard to pin down, but here is, to the right of Ted Wong . . .










There's more to come tomorrow, but I think Tom and Ian had a good day today.