velvetpage: (gromit knitting)
'Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
Was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'Cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
And the sweater for him was six inches too small,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn I heard such a noise,
I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.
And though I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

But what I heard then left me perplex-ed,
For not a name I heard was what I expected,
"Move, Ashford! Move, Lopi! Move, Addi and Clover!
Move, Reynolds! Move Starmore! Move Froelich --move over
Paton, don't circle 'round; stand in the line.
Come now, you sheep will work out just fine!
I know this is hard; it's just your first year,
I'd hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer."

I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing.
And then, in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa's feet coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
And as I turned 'round St Nick I did meet.

He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe,
And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.
A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back,
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf 'round his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable.
"S.C." was duplicate stitched on the cuff,
And I asked, "Hey, Nick, did you knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.

I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair,
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
Where I'd laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two,
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks.
While I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks.
So quickly like magic his needles they flew
That he was all finished by quarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me,

And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year start your knitting sometime around June!"
velvetpage: (Default)
I don't do holiday cards.

This is not because I don't like mail. I like receiving mail a great deal.

It's because I totally suck at getting them written and mailed, and I hate to disappoint people by telling them they'll get something in the mail from me and then not sending it. Even worse, I hate to feel that I've offended people by making them think I left them out. I'd rather just not send anything.

So, while I certainly wish everyone happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanza, Happy New Year, a Blessed Solstice, etc., etc., I will not mail out any greetings of the season. Since I am not confident of my ability to reciprocate, I generally don't sign up to get cards from people on LJ when they put up their, "Give me your address so I can send you a card" holiday post.

If you still want/have my address and wish to send me something without reciprocation, know that I appreciate it immensely.
velvetpage: (Default)
Order of events:

1) Church - Elizabeth's Grace Notes choir is singing
2) Lunch, relaxing, probably cleaning and sorting of yesterday's gifts
3) Church - Candlelight service
4) Buffet at Oma's, including gifts from and to some family friends (or at least, their kids - we agreed not to be blindsided exchange gifts with the adults this year.)
5) Home, and get kidlets into bed. They should be tired after all that, so Elizabeth will try, and fail, to stay awake.
6) Wrapping and arranging for Santa to come. :)

Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas!
velvetpage: (Default)
I got new bakeware, a hardcover Complete Works of Shakespeare, and sheepskin slippers, in addition to a few other odds and ends - TCBY gift certificates that are technically for Elizabeth but were given in careful consideration that Elizabeth would be bringing an adult or two with her. :) Some Friday before i go back to work, we'll head to the West End to spend those with my stepbrother's girlfriend, who works at TCBY.

The girls got lots of clothes, and one toy each. Perfect.

I didn't see most of what Piet got, because we were both kid-wrangling.

Claire was EmoBaby - every time I passed her off to a doting relative, she gave me this pitiful why-hast-thou-abandoned-me look and started to wail. It drove my sisters nuts.

It's now bedtime, in the desperate hope that Claire will let me get some sleep tonight.
velvetpage: (Default)
The white sauce is made, the pudding tied down, the gifts wrapped, the holiday cards with family photos are written up. Now it's time to go eat some turkey and stuffing. (In mom's house, the stuffing is every bit as important as the turkey.)

Ug.

Dec. 23rd, 2006 08:08 am
velvetpage: (Default)
Today is our first Christmas celebration, with my mom. I'm finding it hard to be festive when I'm operating on so little sleep, though. Endorphins and caffeine are not sufficient to replace several uninterrupted hours at a time. I'm not a crackpot philosopher. I don't need to see every hour of the clock to know that they exist.

I just pulled a Christmas pudding out of the back of the fridge. It's been there for more than a year, and it's absolutely fine. It's a testament to the power of cherry brandy and sheer density to keep foods good. (I should have put it in the freezer after it wasn't used last Christmas, but forgot.) There are two more puddings in the freezer - one for Christmas day, and one for New Year's. Next year I need to make more. Puddingfest, here we come!

I have some wrapping to do, and a white sauce to make, and [livejournal.com profile] summerfields to see. They flew in yesterday evening, and other than some missing luggage, all is well. Missing luggage seems like a small thing when they almost didn't get here at all.

In the last twenty-four hours, Claire has learned to point, and travel between rooms. She's heading for the kitchen now, very purposefully. *goes to check that the cupboards are locked*
velvetpage: (Default)
Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground.

I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any colour, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh onth of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan Monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.


If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be also be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of a well organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always, MOM...!

For Lee

Dec. 8th, 2006 09:03 pm
velvetpage: (Chicken potholder)
Dawn was asking about this on her post, and I thought I'd link to it for anyone else who's interested.

What to do with an English Christmas Pudding, from my memories of Puddingfest:

http://velvetpage.livejournal.com/49114.html

http://velvetpage.livejournal.com/37796.html

http://velvetpage.livejournal.com/38012.html

Basically: tie it down with a piece of old pillowcase as described above, and pin the ends of the pillowcase over the pudding mold to form a cloth handle. (This only works if it's in a ceramic, glass, or metal "pudding mold," aka a bowl. If it's not, rummage amongst your kitchen ware until you find something that fits it fairly snugly; a Pyrex bowl will work.) Put an iron or ceramic trivet in a pot with a few inches of boiling water in it, and lower the pudding in. Put the lid on the pot. Steam the pudding for an hour or two if you're just heating it up. Top up the water whenever it gets low, so that there's a constant amount of steam in the pot, but don't let water touch the pudding itself - it will discolour it. Use water that's already boiling to top it up. Take it out of the boiling water by inserting a long handle of some sort into the handle of cloth that you made. Turn the pudding out onto a cooling rack to dry off a bit. Serve warm, with a white sauce, or a rum sauce if you prefer.

Cute.

Dec. 8th, 2006 02:19 pm
velvetpage: (snowman)


From [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi, though I'm sure he got it somewhere else and I didn't click on the link because I'm lazy. :)
velvetpage: (Default)
So I'm starting to think about consumerism and the need to both give and receive, and how that meshes with the rest of my life. To that end, I'm starting to collect links for products that appeal to me as ways to spend my money.

First link: Freedom clothing company makes organic cotton shirts in economically sustainable ways. http://www.freedomclothingproject.com/

Next link: for the person who has everything, buy a heifer! http://www.heifer.org/

That's all for now. More to come in the coming months.

June 2017

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