Thank you Brian Williams for keeping my seat warm!

Hello everyone!  Well, what a marvelous week we have had here at the Home for the Unemployed!  Each day seems to bring new and hilarious exciting drama possibilities!  I want you all to know that in the dilligent search for gainful employment, there are a multitude of pathways to travel!

 And, am I traveling them!

Okay – in an effort to keep you, dear readers, amused.  I will share with you my “Most Wonderful Adventure” from yesterday!

So, in the State Of Michigan’s unbelievable wisdom – they are determined to find me a “career” not just a job.  Thank goodness they are not trying to find me an adventure – I don’t think the army would be a good choice for a woman of my years!  But, they are trying to find me a “career”. 

So, in order to help me find this new career, they had me take an “Interest Profiler Test”.  They explained that if I know what my interests are, I would be more successful in finding a career that matches those interests. 

Now, this is an online test – so imagine me sitting in a room with other unemployed idiots people like myself!

I have to tell you – I truly felt like I was in middle school during the process.  I had flash backs when the “instructor” began reading each page out loud to us.  Obviously, the unemployed are unable to read.  This must be a skill that is reserved for the working world alone.  Who knew.  I must have missed that page on my termination paper – “… and you hereby give up the right to read comprehensively with your termination of employment.”  Yeah, well… I am just saying. 

And, then the fun began. 

So, I have a test that is not a test with 180 questions that will help me determine what my “interests” are.  They asked me great questions, just brilliant I am telling you.  And, there was not a knitting/fiber question in the lot.  But, they did ask me if I wanted to chop down trees in a forest.  They asked me if I wanted to lube cars.  They asked me if I wanted to balance spread sheets.  They asked me if I wanted to climb mountains.  They asked me if I wanted to haul cargo in a semi-truck.  They asked me if I liked music. 

 Are you seeing a pattern here?

Well, I answered the 180 questions and the outcome was quite hysterical informational.

Drum roll please…. (ba-dum-dum-dum-dum-dummmmm)

The #10 job career for me is – Composer, Musician, Instrumental!  Okay, that is just fabulous.  Did I miss the question about could I play an instrument?  I swear there was no question about playing an instrument.  Does being a ringer in the bell choir count????  Somehow, I am positive that being a “ding-a-ling” does not a musician make!

Okay.. moving on  the #9 career option – Choreographer, dancer.  What????  Okay, now I know for SURE that there was NOT one question regarding dancing on the entire darn test.  NOT one.  Must be if you say you do not want to haul cargo in a semi – you are interested in dancing.   Never mind that I have 2 left feet… Fred Astaire, you don’t have to worry about your day job.

Let’s see if #8 is any better…. Creative writer, poet, lyricist, copy writer, cartoonist, caption writer.  Okay, I don’t think I can make any money with my blog.  Could someone call their publicist and let them know that this was my #8 choice…. thanks!  Keep this career aspiration in mind all of you bloggers out there, the next caption contest I enter, I should win based on the stupidity of this career option!

Okay, surely #7 must be better, right — Producer.  Of what?  I don’t know.  I have produced 3 children, does that count?  I am not sure what good that will do me – last time I checked, they did not pay moms for child production!

Well, #6 is not much better – Editor.  Hmmm, that might have possibilities.  I am calling the Holland Sentinel to let them know that I will be happy to take a position editing their paper.  I surely cannot do worse that the editing they have currently! 

And, #5  Film and Video Editor.  Huh?  I can barely get my photos uploaded to Flickr.  Ummm, did they see the “female” tab checked.  Hello, how can I edit film and video if I cannot set my VCR timer?????

#4 Music Arranger and Orchestrator/Singer.  Huh, see #10.  And, while I sing in the choir – I do so under the guidance of “make a joyful NOISE to the Lord”.  Thank you very much. 

#3 Interpreter/Translator.  Ummmm, I know I have a multi-lingual daughter, but me… not so much.  I could translate that I cannot speak spanish, does that count????

#2 Actor.  Yes, you read that right -ACTOR.  Ummmm, you have got to be kidding me.  Seriously – I am paying taxes for this kind of help for the VAST number of unemployed Michiganders!?!  Yeah, could I have a job, oh I mean career, that I could actually earn a living????? 

Okay… are you ready for the #1 “Career” for me?????  Holy cow, people, I am sure you can barely stand the suspense!  I know I could not….

And, the #1 career choice for me is …… Radio/Television Announcer or Broadcast News Announcer/Analyst.  People, I know, I was stunned.  And, if you think I am stunned – how stunned do you think that Brian Williams will be when I call him to let him know!  And, what about Katie Couric – she’ll move right over and let me in, don’t you think???  Hey, maybe I can call NPR – I am a member after all, and I can tell them that since I have been such a good member all these years it is time for them to return the favor – and I will be happy to take over the morning spot for Renee Montagne.  I am sure they will get right on that.

Yeah…. my thoughts exactly. 

Is it Christmas yet? 

Would it be Christmas without cookies?

Would it be Christmas without cookies?

Hello Everyone!

Well, in a few short hours my kitchen will be transformed into “baking central”.  I am enlisting the elves kids to get some holiday cookies baking. 

Good things:  The smell of cookies baking, hearing the kids laughing as they are working on them, watching them goof off with each other.

Bad things:  Cleaning up the kitchen after all the mayhem, pondering how many calories are in said cookies, eating cookies anyways!

I will try and snag some photos of the afternoon insanity!  We have Spritz and fudge on the horizon.  I might even be able to convince Heidi to make some truffles!  My mouth is watering! 

My knitting is perking right along, although I am aching to knit for me!  How selfish is that!?!  Only the guilt is keeping me from breaking out some personal knitting.  Are you all having “knit for myself” pangs as well?  I have visions of Fair Isle dancing in my head….

Like this one….

Or this one….

Or maybe this one….

I am telling you, 2008 is going to be the year of Fair Isle here at my house!  You will find me happily stranding along.  And – if all goes well, you may see this show up on this blog!  Stay tuned for my departure to the Fair Isle…. 

I have also started the task of wrapping!  Ugh!  I would like to put the packages under the tree, but I am afraid of what Thing One and Thing Two Noel and Maddie will do with wrapped boxes!  I am telling you, dogs are MUCH easier!  Copper and Penny watch those two cats and I can hear them thinking – oh, boy – are you gonna be in trouble!!!!  And, the cats seem quite happy to ignore the dogs sage advice…. I am telling you, they are not too smart!

Well, I am off to get the kitchen ready for our “Bake-a-thon” and back to my Christmas knitting. 

Have a good one everyone!

It's a Special Christmas Package!

It's a Special Christmas Package!

Hello everyone!

 All year long I have been a member of Lynne’s Special Swap and I have enjoyed it immensely.  Our themes have been original and creative!  I have gotten to know some amazing and wonderful knitter/bloggers. 

And, Lynne ended the Special Swap by doing a “Christmas Swap” and my swap partner was an amazing Knitting Blogger, Sue.  We had exchanged a few emails as we got to know each other and I had so much fun selecting items to send to her to make her Christmas bright! 

This morning, bright and early, the postman rang the bell and delivered a package for me!

It was filled with some incredible treasures just for me!

Sue included some new Santa’s for my ever growing collection!  And, there was yarn!!  In the Santa mug is some appropriately named Knit Picks Gloss – Cocoa!  Won’t this make some “hot” socks?  I am seeing something that has a bit of a swirling pattern – like a nice, hot, creamy cup of hot cocoa!  Mmmmmmmmmmm, my fingers are itching to complete my Christmas Knitting so I can cast on something for me!!

There is also a skein of Sugar n Cream cotton to knit a Christmas dishcloth!  Sue, I think I can get it done before Christmas!! 

She included some great chocolates as well – and she included a Santa Stocking and a sock bag for a take along knit!  Sue, I am certain that you made these – and they are just gorgeous!! 

I love everything in my package!!  Sue, thank you so very, very much!!

The weekend  fairly flew by – we got some snow!!  I tried to get a photo, but my battery died in the camera.  I need to get some batteries today and get a picture or two posted for those of you who will not have a White Christmas!  It is looking very much like a Currier and Ives card outside right now!

I am also in need of a “Kitty Time Out” room.  There was much mayhem last night by Thing One and Thing Two.  I am on the look out for the Cat in the Hat…. I fear he is hiding here somewhere urging the kitties on!  I am wondering how I can sleep through the Kitty Shenanigans….by the looks of the house, there must be volumes of noise! 

Well, I am off to knit on…. have a blessed Monday all!

The bees are buzzing

The bees are buzzing

My Marie Antoinette  kit arrived yesterday from Kim!  I truly tried to not even look at it. 

Really….

Okay, I would not believe that either! 

I still have Christmas knitting to do….

So, I said I would just wind the yarn into a cake…. and read through the pattern….

Before I knew it, I was looking for size 1 DPNs and some waste yarn….

Here are 10 repeats of the cuff lace pattern. 

I know… beautiful, isn’t it????

So, I can work on this again if I get my mom’s mitts done today. 

I gotta go knit… have an awesome day everyone!

Santa, Santa everywhere!

Santa, Santa everywhere!

And, you wonder how he “sees you when you’re sleeping”…. In our house, Santa is truly everywhere! 

I thought that I would share with you all today some of my favorite Santa’s… I have been collecting them for years.  And, I truly adore them.  If there was a way to keep them out all year, I probably would! 

Here is “Gardening Santa”  – my kids gave me this for Christmas about 10 years ago.  Isn’t he divine?  He is sitting on an adorable wooden bench.    I love his woolen pants and his denim apron.  After all, Santa only works one night out of the year – I figure he must have some amazing gardens!! 

Next, here is “Nordic Santa”  I got him LONG before I began to knit.  And – Ihave to tell you, I love him even more since I have been knitting!  The mittens and the “skates” are divine!

In front of Nordic Santa is one of the very first Santa’s I ever got.  My ex-MIL gave him to me for one of my first Christmases with them.  I have had him over 25 years.  He normally has a place of honor on the “Santa Tree” – and since that tree is not happening this year, thanks to Thing One and Thing Two Noel and Maddy, I got him out and put him on the top shelf!  I love that he has a shephard’s staff – it seems so fitting for the season.

My absolute best find ever though is a picture I found about 20 years ago in an antique shop.  It is from the 40’s, I think, and it is HUGE.  Getting a photo of it to share with you all was a bit of a challenge!  It is about 5 x 4.  I am telling you all -HUGE!   There are 10 “Santa Elves” surrounding the “head Santa”.  It is my absolute favorite piece.  This is hanging in my bedroom – it fits beautifully over a dresser I have. 

See, “head Santa” has the letters tacked to the tree, he is talking on the phone, and, I am sure, he is getting the scoop on whether or not you have been naughty or nice!

Here is “Ticker Tape Santa Elf” marking off the information coming in… and “head Santa” has good a handle on this too.  See, Santa does not miss much!

Bags of toys are being hauled in – don’t you love the “snowmobile”?  Oh… and in case you were wondering… yes there is a “Sheriff Santa”.   Who do you think orders the coal shipments???? 

There is no artists signature on this piece.  Someone who loved Christmas as much as I do used their creative genius to create this treasure that now graces my humble home.   I have done nothing to this piece – it still has the same rough frame that was nailed on it when I got it. 

What are your favorite things about Christmas…

Last night, my daughter’s Christmas concert did a mother proud!  The evening ended with my daughter’s Symphony Orchestra (this is the zero hour class she takes – the one that she has to get to school at 6:30AM each day for…. Yeah, this is dedication….) played Sarajevo – ala Trans Siberian Orchestra… Holy cow, gentle reader… I cried.  They were soooooo good!  The audience sprang to their feet at the end, giving a rousing standing ovation.  The evening closed with the choir singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus with the Symphony accompanying them. 

Wow.

It was a spectacular ending to an amazing concert.

Here is to the abundant blessings that family brings and to finding joy in each day as we wend along towards Christmas. 

 I am off to get some Christmas knitting done.  Have a great day everyone!

Santa Claus is comin' to town…

Santa Claus is comin' to town…

 …and he is watchin’ your every move!!

So, the Santa’s are all out – for the most part.  I am sad that there will be no “Santa Tree” this year, but the cats are altogether too interested in the tree that I use… I fear for my Santa’s well-being!  And, I am afraid if we have “Santacide” that there will be no visit from that Jolly Old Elf – except from the coal truck!!

So, I have my step-back cupboard filled with my Santa’s and there are a few others standing as sentinels in my family room!

Yes, Santa is watching us, with a multitude of eyes!

Some of my “Tree Santa’s” are watching from the shelves here… I am not sure they like it as much, but it works!

I started my Christmas shopping yesterday.  I got all of one present crossed off my list.  I am certainly glad that my Christmas knitting is having greater success!  I guess I just need to head downtown for a day and get everything crossed off my list – and hang the sales.  What I pay in extra for the items I have, I believe I will save in gas driving from one store to another to find the items advertised. 

Here is some retailer brilliance – they must have ONE object in stock per store from the sale flyers.  There is a way to endear your customers to you.  Phoey on all of them, I say!  Downtown Holland will benefit from my frustration yesterday.  Fortunately, I have only a few items on my list that I need to get. 

I have been enjoying our tree this year a tremendous amount!  How pleasant it is to sit and knit, listening to Christmas music.  The hours of knitting have certainly been a blessing.  Decorating the tree this weekend was also a very nice thing to do.  It was a good reminder to me of how much my teenagers savor the season as well.  I heard some interesting comments from their mouths as they remembered ornaments they made for me.  I was sad to hear that the ornaments they made for their dad that were sent with him do not grace the tree at his house.  I cannot imagine a tree without these tiny treasures.  They warm my heart!

I am off to get a wee hair cut… be blessed in your day today!  Tonight I have Heidi’s Christmas Concert…check here for the review tomorrow!

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