Sunday, December 30, 2007


Time to catch up on what's been knit this year. In no particular order:

This sweater was fun to knit. I finished it in September, but decided I didn't like the way the button band hung, so I ripped that off in October. It sat in a knitting bag until this week when I pulled it out and finished it again. Much improved! I am looking forward to wearing it often.

I knit a Baby Surprise Jacket for my cousin Nina's baby, Benjamin. It is an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern, and is called a surprise because you can't really tell what it is when you are knitting it. Elizabeth Zimmerman was a genius at designing knitwear. The sweater is knit all in one piece and the only seams are at the top of the sleeve. I own four of EZ's books, and have just ordered a fifth. I also ordered yarn today for an Aran sweater that I plan to knit in January. One of my resolutions (more like a goal) is to read/knit my way through "Knitter's Almanac, Knitting Projects for each month of the year," and the Aran sweater is the pattern for January.

I wanted to knit something for each grandchild for Christmas and a few months ago my friend Christy posted a blog about a backpack she knit for her daughter. It was just the right thing, especially since the pattern included four variations, so I had a different backpack and finger puppet for each grandchild. No worries about lead painted imports from China!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

God Bless Us, Every One

We made it through Christmas 2007! There really was not much doubt that we would, but it seems like an accomplishment. I have not really felt well since Dec. 8, so each day seemed like kind of a chore to get through.
We did a fair amount of entertaining at our house, but the big event was on Christmas Day and was held at our daughter's home. Our son-in-law made prime rib and also some pheasant, rolls and a mint cake. The rest of us chipped in with potatoes and salads and cookies. I think there were 17 people including 5 kids and it all worked out beautifully. Bob, Rob and Tom, Liz's neighbors, were invited at the last minute because they had no other place for dinner, and were an interesting addition.
The four Neeleys from Omaha (Dan, Jill, Maggie and Shelby) were there, the 2 girls from Texas (Mary Ann and Nette) Great-grandma Eleanor, Great Aunt Marge, the 4 Neeley-Schroeders, Dave and me rounded out the guest list.
We opened gifts later in the afternoon and had a great time. I hope you can see the slide show to get an idea of what happened.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The boots

It was a snowy day a few weeks ago when I realized that Marge had no boots to wear. I looked everywhere, sure that I had packed them. I apologized to her for losing her boots. Many, many times over the next day or two I heard about how her boots were just inside the closet door. (I am not sure if it was the closet in her home, or the closet in the assisted living place.) She could picture them in her closet. Also in the closet were some Christmas decorations. Did we bring those? Um, sorry, no. That was a shame. There was a particularly nice Christmas decoration made by a friend of my mom's, purchased at a boutique and cared for all these years. I thought to myself, "How could you be so callous as to not bring along the Christmas decoration?" And, forget the *&*!@! boots?

I checked at Wal-Mart, the only place in Seward that would have women's boots since Kroger's Shoeland closed a few years ago. I bought a likely looking pair of Dr. Scholl's and brought them home. They didn't fit. Marge has "difficult" feet. I took them back.

I heard several times about the boots, now described as overshoes, left by some uncaring person in the closet. Or, maybe the boots were taken by someone who also took the Christmas decoration. Hmmm. . . . overshoes. I looked on line and found some overshoes, literally shoes that go over your regular shoes. I am old enough to have experienced overshoes. Everyone wore them when I was in grade school. They buckled or zipped, and you put them on over your shoes. The overshoes I found online were called "Neos" and the description said they would fit over any shoes. I followed the instructions for figuring out what size to get and ordered them. They arrived 3 days later and they fit just great! Marge was kind of excited about them, even though in the mean time I found out that when she said overshoes she meant snow boots that you wear instead of shoes, not over them.

I thought I had done something right! Wrong. Two hours later she came marching out of her room with the offensive Neos in her hand and told me they were ugly and she absolutely could not wear them out of the house. After a lot more discussion we put the box back in her closet, just in case we might need some overshoes. No good. The next day she brought them out again and was extremely disgusted with them and me, so I took them. They fit over my shoes and I intend to wear them. We had a long discussion about cultural differences between Nebraska and Minnesota and how people in Minnesota would not wear these overshoes. She was sorry she was so negative, but she just wasn't used to life here in Nebraska where one might encounter overshoes. I explained several times that I had never seen anything like these Neos before, and that the whole thing was a misunderstanding about the word overshoes. I, however, like the Neos and I would keep them, and if she ever wants to wear them she may.

We will have to go shopping in Lincoln to find some overshoes, er, boots, I guess.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Cards

I spent a large portion of the day working on Christmas cards, and I can say the cards are done except for the stragglers. Dave started the process by writing our annual Christmas letter a few days ago. I edit, he edits, I edit, we let it sit for a day or two, and then it is done. I wanted to dress up the letter this year by using a great picture as a watermark on the page. Dave took a picture looking southeast from our house one day last week when everything was covered with ice.

I thought the watermark idea was brilliant, and I still think so, except that I couldn't get it to work. When the picture looked good you couldn't read the text, and when you could read the text then the picture was way too washed out. So, I will show the picture here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's about time

It has been 2 weeks since I last wrote, because here it is "TV night" again. Probably not much TV watching, at least of the usual variety, at my house tonight because Sammy and Austin will be here. In fact, I am leaving to get them from day care soon. First I will go through McDonald's drive through for supper for the boys, myself and aunt Marge. I will get an Asian salad for myself, but everyone else gets junk food. I should feel bad about that, but Marge eats really great meals all the time and never gets any french fries, so she is looking forward to supper. I am also getting a strawberry shake for her. Two-year-old Austin will eat most anything I fix, but 4-year-old Sammy is quite picky. He will eat a McDonald's cheeseburger, however, so that is why I have picked Mickey D's. Grandpa is giving 2 final exams at Southeast Community College tonight so he doesn't get to eat at all.
We have been having quite a time with Marge since Tuesday morning. She thinks she lost her balance on Monday night when she was getting out of the big chair in the living room. She thinks she fell backward and twisted her right arm trying to catch herself. She really can't remember. On Tuesday a.m. she complained of a sore arm, just below the shoulder. I called for an appointment at the clinic--her docs day off, so I made one for Wednesday. Marge was very upset that she had to wait. Wednesday her arm hurt and there was a small swelling below the shoulder joint. We went. Had an x-ray. Nothing broken. Rx for physical therapy. Went home. Lots of moaning, complaining, grimaces, could not get comfortable. Dave and I rolling our eyes. Well, this morning she got up after a great night's sleep, and there is a bruise-colored baseball- sized knot just below her shoulder joint. Back to the doc. He determines the swelling is due to the coumadin (which I fortunately did not give her Wednesday night or it would have been worse) and declares her to be coumadin free from now on since we can find no record of why or how long she has been taking it. Her arm feels better, but looks worse. Tomorrow we will try PT. And I will remember to be more sympathetic.