Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Excuse Me While I Answer My Brick

I have said a fond farewell.

Goodbye

Adios

Seeya!

To my well loved, small and gently aging iPhone 4s. We had been together for 2.5 years, which in terms of phone technology might be equal to a 50+ year marriage. HHBL and I don’t tend to run out and get the latest iPhone when it is announced. We like to think about these things for a while and wait for a sale.

On Saturday HHBL, the most fabulous husband that any girl could have, announced that he had something to ask me. We have been married for 29.5 years so I knew he wasn’t going to get down on one knee but I was puzzled as to what the question was.

He wanted to know if I wanted my Christmas present a bit early. Normally I would demure on this and say that I wanted to wait for the BIG DAY with all the ripping of wrapping paper and exclamations of excitement.

At our house there are exclamations of excitement at the presents but there is no orgy of wrapping ripping. We are so anal about Christmas gift unwrapping that we start with the youngest of the group, who unwraps ONE package, and then move on to the next oldest, who unwraps ONE package and so on and so on and so on.

Strangely anally retentive and overly constrained in the gift unwrapping department? I have no earthly idea what you are talking about…….and we ALWAYS save all the gift bags for another year……but not the paper. THAT would be strangely obsessive.

Where was I? Oh yes, the Christmas gift. The REAL question that HHBL wanted to ask me was if I wanted a new iPhone for Christmas. Target was having a sale which got us money off, gift cards and more data all for the same price we were paying now.

Hmmmmmmmmmm. Let me think about this. Do I want to stay with my 2.5 year old iPhone 4s which was actually the older model when we got them. A phone that isn’t very compatible with anything that Apple does these days and one that is slowly losing its umph. Or do I want to get a new iPhone 6…or dare I dream….an iPhone 6 Plus.

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

I had to wait for 48 hours though because Target was having a sale starting on Sunday so we planned to go on Monday after work. Can I tell you that Monday was the longest work day I can remember. Did you know that you can get a new cell phone at Target as well as deal with all the paperwork for reupping for two more years with Verizon….all at Target? I had no clue. The very nice and extremely young Nick helped us out. We thought it would take oh like 30 minutes or so to get it all done. We knew what we wanted. There wasn’t anyone else waiting around. We were Nick’s sole focus, as well we should be.

And yet it took 90 minutes.

Thank goodness we weren’t trying to do this at the Verizon store. We might still have been there through the night just trying to get the paperwork done.

At 7pm last night I walked out of Target the proud owner of an iPhone 6 plus, or as I lovingly call it…..The Apple Brick. I don’t know whether I should happily watch a movie on this thing or club a Grizzly Bear to death with it. Both are equal possibilities. In actual size, but not weight thank goodness, it is about the same dimensions as HHBL’s long ago Jornada which he had back in 1997. A state of the art Personal Digital Assistant that needed it’s own forklift by today’s standards. I don’t want you to think I am complaining. I LOVE this iPhone with a fierce and maternal passion. I can actually SEE what is on the screen. And the camera is pretty darn amazing.

The thing that I will complain about is all the pain in the buttockishness that you have to go through AFTER you have a new smart phone. You have to get a new case for the phone. In this instance we invested in Otter Box cases because, you know, drop that thing and Apple gives a huge hurrah and says, “Sure we will give you a new phone because you wisely paid for Apple Care but it will still cost you another $79”. You have to take the phone home and have iTunes put everything back on it that Nice Nick wiped off the old one and that you hopefully remembered to back up before you switched phones, which we all know that I did, to my computer AND the cloud because I am a belt and suspenders kind of girl. But before you do that you have to download the latest version of iTunes which you might not have done for awhile. Then you have to play fiddlyface with the email setting to get and receive emails. I got the receiving part down without HHBL’s help….and then the iCloud decided to download to my new iPhone 996 OLD emails, some of which were from 2012. Yeah, just what I wanted to do was to get rid of very old emails. But finally everything was all done.

I want to call myself just so I can answer that thing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Gift to Myself

Oops, I didn’t mean to take a break from blogging. Life is just a bit on the busy side at the moment. Don’t leave me.

Please?

And yes, I know that I owe you a post on the Ornament Exchange. I will get there…eventually.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blather.

SO, I have given myself an early Christmas present. Actually, this may be the first time that I have ever deliberately given myself a gift at Christmas. It just hasn’t ever been something that I thought about doing. Don’t know why. Just is. This little acquisition has been in the back of my mind for some time now. It wasn’t going to be all that cheap, as most of these things never are, and I had to think about it for a time and save some money. In fact, I saved almost all of the money that I earned hanging with my boyfriend. I squirreled it away and watched the amount grow and grow. Then, when it was a nice pile of legal tender I took it and…..

Put it in the safe for 6 months.

No, I didn’t put it in the bank. If it was in the bank I might have put it to a different use. I put it in the safe for a very specific reason. I wanted it to be there and I wanted to have some time to really think about this purchase. I wanted to see if my enthusiasm for “the thing” and what “the thing” might be able to do would wane over the course of time.

You KNOW how that is. You think about something that you are ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that you must have to make your life complete. The world will be a dim and dismal place if you do not have that very thing right this minute. But you don’t get it and after time you realize that you don’t REALLY care about it and aren’t sure why you ever wanted it in the first place. Don’t lie to me and tell me that that very thing has never happened to you.

I will know if you are lying to me. Don’t think I won’t.

So I waited. I went on with life. I thought about “the thing” and my enthusiasm for it never waned. Not one little bit. Zippo. Zero. Nada. If anything it increased.

Today, the thing arrived on my doorstep…….

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Do you know what it is?? Do you??

That my friends is my new Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens.

Oh shivers of joy and excitement that I cannot even convey to you. No, you have no idea how I squealed and jumped around when I came home from some errands and there was the box sitting by my garage door. I knew it was arriving today, I have Amazon Prime so I knew. But still, the excitement was a bit on the excessive side.

I have taken 6 pictures.

I am in love.

Burros Tail aIMG_9626_aYarn of my heart a

You are going to get SO sick of macro pictures of everything in my world. But I really don’t care. Oh my gosh I have always loved macro photography and I can hardly wait to explore.

Now if I can just find the time.

Does someone have a few extra hours that I can borrow…or days.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Add It To The Collection

It’s that day of the year again.

The day where, here at Chez Knit, there is much food and laughter and stealing of the most generous and gentile and kind sort…..

You didn’t really BELIEVE that last part did you? If you did then you must be new here.

Stealing, especially of the Christmas ornament kind, is not all that kind around here. It is rather ruthless if truth be told.

Let’s walk down memory lane shall we….

Stealing and Colusion

Heather Stole My Ornament….Again

Ornament Stealage Extraordinaire

We Need The Ornament Police!

Grand Theft Ornament

And so we come again to that time of year when I have to put my little artsy cap on and think of an ornament that I can produce and then give to all who come to this crazed house of Christmas cheer. And every year I think I am not going to get all of them done. I start thinking about them in September…and then I forget. I remember again sometime around the first part of October…and maybe start on them. Then around the middle of October I start to panic because I know that if I am not fully into ornament production by November 1 then I am in a deep pile of steaming doo doo.

This year…….I was done BEFORE Thanksgiving. All done. All tagged. All wrapped. I am sitting here in a nice haze of self congratulations because I wasn’t up til the wee hours yesterday trying to get them done. Don’t laugh….it has happened before.

And so, as you do every year, I am going to give you a sneak peak.

Red heart

Red heart

Red heart

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These things are so stinking cute.

Red heart

Red heart

Red heart

Red heart

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Red heart

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Hope and Lauren, if you are here and peaking you need to stop right now.

Red heart

Red heart

Red heart

Red heart

Red heart

Red heart

Red heart

Red heart

Red heart

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If I recover tomorrow I will tell you ALL about it.

Friday, November 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Where We Take On The Big City

Here I am again, late. I hate to be late. But I have an excuse, I swear I do.....

And I don't have the usual 7 Quick Takes picture to start things off. But I have an excuse, I swear I do.....

1.

I am late with my Quick Takes..because since Tuesday night we have been here.....

The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps.

That means that it has been all go go go. And eat eat eat eat. And talk talk talk talk.

I need to go home so that I can recover from my little vacation.

2.

We were able to spend some time talking to the nephew who is currently traveling in Eastern Europe. The fabulosity of Skype comes in handy.

3.

I spent a strangely large amount of time taking pictures of the guinea pigs.

They were not all that great in the modeling department. Perhaps it was because I was trying to stick a lens in their little guinea pig faces when they were attempting to eat the Brussels sprouts and their bedding.

4.

We rode the subway...a lot.

On Thanksgiving Day I got stuck beside a fellow who wanted to be Mr. Chatty Cathy. Guys, unless you know a person you do not talk to them on the subway. It is an unwritten but very well known rule. You don't chat with people you do not know and you do not get into a subway car that is empty. It is usually empty of r a very good reason......like the frat party managed to get to THAT car before returning all that alcohol to the rest of us. And after Mr. Chatty Cathy had opined for a while on a number of subjects he pulled a 22oz Coors can out of his pocket and cracked it open. I would venture a guess, based on certain things I observed, that it was not the first bit of alcohol that he had consumed that day.

And I saw my first subway rats, which seems strange since this isn't the first time that we have been in the subway.

All I can say is they are not of an insignificant size.

5.

I might have stopped abruptly in the middle of Times Square so that I could snap a picture of The Naked Cowboy.

Oh FINE! I might have snapped more than one picture. So sue me. It is the first time that I have actually encountered him. Now if I could have also encountered Brandon Staunton of HONY fame my stay in the Big Apple would have been perfect.

6.

I might have eaten a lot of things that I don't normally eat including overpriced pretzels and pie and cookies and Froot Loops and turkey and stuffing and salad and cheese and gravlax and gyros.

My intestines have taken out a contract on my life.

7.

We hope that all of you had as fun filled and great a Thanksgiving as we did.

Does anyone have some Alka Seltzer that I can have.

 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

If Not For the Safety Latch

HHBL and I are visiting NYC for the Thanksgiving holiday. Don't tell anyone else OK? We wouldn't want there to be crowds of people. And no, we are NOT going to the Macy's Day parade. I will tell you THAT story another day. We tried that once and it didn't go as planned.

We were supposed to drive from Chez Knit to the big city today, Wednesday. It had been long planned that way. Then some time on Monday I began to see little stories about what the weather was shaping up to be on Wednesday. There were phrases like, "big winter storm" and "snarled holiday travel" and "6-12 inches of snow". That didn't sound all that good. But sometimes I will admit I get freaked out by these things and make a mountain out of a mole hill so I just went about my work.

But the stories kept popping up. So when HHBL got home I mentioned the whole winter storm aspect of travel to him. We sat and discussed and looked at hour by hour computer models and perused the Weather Channel and sought higher counsel. Or something like that. And finally, around 10:30p, we made the decision to drive out a day earlier. HHBL got on the interntz and extended our reservation at the hotel while I ran around like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to get done all the things that I had planned to do on Tuesday evening. Life is busy at the moment. Looking at the weather that is currently happening outside our hotel window I would consider us geniuses of the very first order for making the decision to go early. The only problem was that we couldn't leave until later in the day. Both of us had to be in the office in the morning and then I had to leave to go and pick up the CSA turkey.

Just as an aside it was a bit on the chilly side picking up the bird. The whole operation was set up under tents at Brunty Farm but still outside and I had to wait in line for 20 minutes or so to pick up the 18 pound bird....which if I had just been paying for it on the spot rather than pre-paid through the CSA......would have cost me.....

Wait for it.......

$91.45.

It had to go into the freezer but once we do cook it that had better be a pretty damn good bird.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blather session.

SO, we couldn't leave early because even after HHBL got home from the office, around 3p, there was still a company board call for which I had to take minutes and HHBL had to participate in. We were going to do that while on the road but decided just to do it at home. Which meant that we didn't actually walk out of the door and get in the Prius of Love until about 5:30p.......

Which meant that we wouldn't get to the hotel until early on Wednesday morning....very early.....

Which turned out to be true especially since we needed a potty stop at around 12:04a but pulled off into Podunk City, Somewhere USA where the gas stations and all other conveniences closed at 12 midnight and it was already two miles off the highway and we had to back track. I was reminded of the John Denver song....Saturday Night in Toldeo,Ohio. ( I was going to put a link in but you will just have to go to YouTube and find it). 12:05a and the doors were locked and the lights off.

Did I just digress?

SO, we rolled into our favorite low budget Best Western at around 1:15a. Checked in, got our room key, schleped up to the designated Chez Knit NYC, put the key card into the lock, opened the door.....

Or should I say TRIED to open the door.

Oh, the door opened alright but it didn't open all that far before it was stopped by the heavy metal safety latch which was flipped. You know, the metal bar that we all use to prop the door open when we go out to fill the ice bucket but we never actually use for what it is intended for...to stop someone actually getting into your room when you are in it.

Yes, that bar.

HHBL tried to open the door several times before I said, in my sleep fogged travel confusion, "I think there must be someone in our room." But we didn't actually hear anything even though we were making a racket and no one confronted us as we were trying to get into the room. We stood there for a bit and scratched our heads in best Laurel and Hardy fashion before HHBL quietly closed the door and we reassessed. There was no way that we could actually get into that room so he zipped back down to the lobby to talk to the guy at the desk. Mr. Desk Man was insistent that there wasn't anyone in that room and that most likely what was going on was that, "Housekeeping had let the door slam too hard and it had flipped the safety latch."

Ummmmmmmmmmm, right.

He gave us new key cards for the room next door, we stumbled in, got situated and HHBL stepped out to get some ice while I did my nightly ablutions. When he came back in he laughing said to me, "There really WAS someone in that room. As the maintainence guy was trying to pry open the saftey latch someone in the room said HEY what are you doing!" We looked at each other and thanked our lucky stars that that safety latch was actually on the door because if it hadn't been we would have blithely walked into that room, flipped on the light switched, and scared some poor person half to death.

And then this morning, as we were sitting having breakfast down in the breakfast room, GUESS who I discovered was sitting right next to me? Our next door neighbor! I heard him describing this wierd incident that had happened the night before when the maintainence people had tried to get into their room. I twirled around in my non-twirling chair and said, "Hey! I think we are next door to you and did you realize that it all started because the desk gave us keys to your room!" Which then evolved into talking about where we were all from etc.

You just never know what is going to happen when you travel with us.

And thank goodness for hotel room safety latches.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Where NaBloPoMo Is History…Sort of

7_quick_takes_sm1

Someday life will slow down…..someday.

Blather that might just get me through til Christmas

1.
HHBL looked at me last night at around 10p, just as we were dialing up 20/20 on the TV and said,

Did you blog today?

And it was then that I realized that I had been so busy running around and trying to get so many parts of so many different things accomplished that I forgot to blog.

And it was FRIDAY!

And it is NaBloPoMo month!

Sigh.

So here I am, a day late and a blog post short.

2.
Folks, I do not ever remember a colder November. This week we saw temperatures in the single digits overnight. I kept thinking I must have somehow missed Christmas and popped right into January and February. It is absolutely, positively no fun to be walking the dog as 6 dark thirty and have the wind howling up the hill and blowing in your face. All you can think at that moment is…

Hurryup! Hurryup! Hurryup! Hurryup! Hurryup! Hurryup! Hurryup! Hurryup!

Then as an extra special thing we had freezing rain this morning.

Good times.

At least we do not live in Buffalo. Actually my bro-in-law lives in Buffalo…but he has been stuck in D.C. since Tuesday!

3.
All the Ornament Exchange ornaments are DONEDONEDONEDONE!

But I am not showing them to you yet. That will happen on December 1st.

But don’t peak!

4.
I tell you, my iPhone hates me.

And I am frustrated.

What is taking up so much space on this thing!!

And why will it not let me send some music back into the cloud.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

And let us not even talk about how I am still holding off on upgrading to iOS 8.1.1 because I have a 4s and I don’t want it to just go kaflooee on me.

5.
Cartoon Girl and NYC Guy are visiting for about 48 hours. They came in for a wedding and they are going right back out again tomorrow morning. But it isn’t like we aren’t going to see them again in, oh let’s see, three days.

And again at Christmas.

They are going to get sick of us.

6.
This is the heavy lists time of year. I have lists that are broken down into smaller lists with little component parts of the list that have to be done before the next phase of the list can be moved onto.

Where you life be without lists.

7.
Instagram. Because, you know.

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