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Archive for December, 2011

the Christmas Plague

We had a Christmas like no other this year.

First we opened gifts.

And shortly thereafter is when the Plague overcame Chad. He spent a majority of Christmas on the bathroom floor.

No picture of that. That would have been mean.

So here’s a random shot of Ping on top of some lovely Christmas loot.

Our socks made by Aunt Ramona (mine’s blue).

And a platter of various Christmas cookies. It’s a good thing Chad sampled a bunch before Christmas.

On the 26th I had to leave Chad in Palmyra to be taken care of by his Mom & Dad so I could return to Morgantown and go to work the next day. That was the plan anyway. I managed to get to Morgantown all right, but by morning the Plague struck me down.

Merry Christmas everyone.


chris on December 31st 2011 in Family

Tiffany Blue

December has rolled around again and that means a slew of things are going down. Around here at least one of those pressing matters is picking out my dress for the annual company Christmas Party (or as they call it nowadays Holiday Party). Typically I am so on the ball (you can really stop laughing now) that I’ve either been working piecemeal on a new dress or have been altering a vintage dress dug from the depths of a grandma’s closet.

Not so on this occasion. This year I thought I’d just wing it. And to be honest it isn’t that big of a deal to wing a formal party when you’ve got a closet full of fancy dresses like I do. Honestly, if you looked in my dress closet (yes, I have a closet for fancy dresses, what’s your point?) you’d think Chad and I lived a life of high society and formal soirees instead of tromping through the thorns and driving in the mud on old rutted out roads.

This year I had three dresses plucked from the aforementioned closet that were in the running. Chad was in charge of deciding which dress was the winner. And I’m guessing you will be able to decipher from the title of this post, which one was the winner.

Number One was a lovely green dress I’d made quite a few years ago.  It was made out of complimenting green materials and had lovely gold cording.  Also, judging by the fit when I tried it on this weekend, at the time of sewing I was either: drunk or quite a bit bigger than I currently am. Although it could also be that it was from a store bought pattern and as I have aptly demonstrated, I really stink at using a store bought pattern to produce a dress that fits me properly. VERDICT: Chad liked this one, but the dress was going to be a challenge to wear in a crowded room.

Number Two was a funky vintage number that had been my mother-in-laws. It was off the shoulder and floor length. Aside from the mirabeau around the top and bottom, it was pretty straight forward. This dress has been on the back-up list for numerous occasions and has yet to rise to the first tier.   VERDICT: it fit and it wasn’t offensive, but Chad seemed unimpressed.

Number Three was a Tiffany Blue dress with lots of pleats. So many pleats that when I claimed it from my Nun-nun’s closet I took it straight to the dry cleaners. Not because it was dirty, but because no way was I even attempting to iron those very sheer pleats.  I’m not sure the age of the dress, as I can’t locate (of course) the dated photo of Nun-nun wearing it, but it’s been around a while. VERDICT: Chad kept calling it “cute” which wasn’t really what I was looking for when it came to a formal dress, but he liked it so much that it was the clear winner in his eyes. So I grabbed a pair of over the elbow length gloves with rhinestones sewn on them (Yes, rhinestones. Which, according to Chad, hurt his hand when he attempted to hold my hand.), a pair of shoes that kind of worked and away we went!

P.S. The images are in a slideshow, be patient.

chris on December 12th 2011 in Galleries

Tree #2

We have three Christmas trees at our house. The first one sits proudly in the big window in the living room, it’s billion lights acting as a beacon to aircraft seeking a safe harbor (ok, maybe it isn’t quite that bright).  The third tree is in the attic, perched happily in the dormer overlooking South Park. As of late it is the horse themed tree. But it’s the second tree that, while being the smallest of the group, is the one that makes me smile the most.

A short little tree clocking in at 4 feet tall, and not much to speak of quality wise.  It’s a cheap tree with limbs bent back on themselves to give the illusion of being full with some garland being wound in to sort of fill in the gaps. Heck, I don’t even remember from where the tree orginated.

But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it is covered in ferret & cat ornaments. The cat ornaments are a heck of a lot easier to come by than the ferret ones. In fact, all the ferret ornaments were either made by crafty ferret friends or me.  (We used to have an awesome group called Creative Weasels a few years ago. We did all kinds of craft exchanges.)

The topper is a stained glass ferret made by a talented ferret owner in Australia.

One day the ferret ornaments will probably overrun the cat ornaments. (The cats won’t mind, they think we put up Tree #1 just for them.) And one day maybe I’ll get a proper tree for the ornaments. (Hint, hint Santa.)

Merry Christmas Everyone!



chris on December 8th 2011 in Animals, Galleries

Dunedin – our last hurrah

Our last day of vacation dawned bright and warm with a forecast to get hot. Hot as in 77 degrees. Yes, that’s right. Hot. (I’m going to cry when we go home. I pretty much despise winter in Morgantown where it’s always grey.) We’d figured we’d head over to the land of more delightful sandy goodness, so Chad picked Dunedin. Our original idea was to rent bikes – you know take advantage of the super long and very nice bike trail which would get me my geocaching fix and work off some of the delicious food I was planning on having for lunch – and then catch the boat parade in the evening. Well as luck (or Karma) would have it, the bicycle place was out of rental bikes and Chad had noticed there was a brewery nearby.

As you can see, we were swift to change plans when it became apparent that:

1. Lunch time was approaching

2. Dunedin Brewery offered food

3. And a patio on which to enjoy food & beverage

By the way, fried cheese curd rocks.

Even Ping joined in on the fun (although we had to cut him off a little early).

Sooooo, having satiated our thirst and hunger, we grabbed the geocache that was (inevitably) across the street and then headed out to explore the town.

I was having a hard time not just falling over laughing at all the Christmas decorations on the lovely green grass, tied to palm trees and proclaiming things like “Winter Wonder Land” (and I’ll refrain from mocking the folks that I spotted wearing puffy coats when it was full on 60 degrees the day we arrived in Florida). It was very much a bizarro world to me. That being said, yes please may I stay here a while longer and enjoy that blazing orange globe in the sky?

Anyway, it was a lovely day and we lost the car. But not really. Chad just remembered TRYING to park it in one lot. But what he forgot was that it was full so we had to park elsewhere. Surprisingly this did not for an instance freak me out.  Good God, I must be learning how to relax after all (Dad would be proud).

We encountered, although not up close and personal, a pelican that was rumored to have a very bad attitude.

And lots of other birds which were, we assumed, pretty much as common to see to the Dunedians as deer are to us.

And then it was time for the boat parade. Only we managed to stake out a claim on the pier at the end of the parade.  Also I learned that boat parades  (or at least this one) do not have boats grouped as closely as say…parade floats. Still, we saw some very cool stuff.

So, that’s it for my stream of consciousness narrative. We had a great time.


chris on December 8th 2011 in Travel