Sunday, December 23, 2007


Every year my baby sister and I have a cookie marathon. We plan all year, talk it up for weeks and then finally we bake until we are too tired to stand and make plans for less cookies next year.

This year we had trouble working out a full day so we spent two 1/2 days BAKING and singing out hearts out to Christmas music.

We made:
**Cut outs
**Ricotta cookies (my MILs fabulous recipe)
"Mary's Cookies" (my husband's Paternal Grandmother's recipe)
***Mandel Brot (MY Paternal Grandmother's recipe)
Ginger Spice Cookies (from our Divine friend Kate)
Chocolate Crinkles (Betty Crocker)
Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookies (new recipe this year, it has Amaretto, Chocolate Chips, Almonds and Coconut....AHEM!)
**Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
Peppermint Bark

** Double Batch
***Triple Batch

We packed up the cookies into 8 lovely containers for delivery and kept some for nibbling. Last year we kept too many and many cookies spent their last days in the was so SAD. So this year, we gave them away with reckless abandon (hence the additional batches for freezing and later consumption).

But, fear not baking and cooking are not complete. DH made Chili for dinner this evening and we are cooking for Christmas Eve dinner at our house. Brisket, Sweet Potatoes, Cabbage, Salad, Corn Bread and Pioneer Woman's BACON treats. There are days I wish I had not read PW's blog as she makes me want to bake and cook and EAT way too much!

I have started the Gathered Pullover sweater so I am knitting a bit here and there, but the weather is cold, the tree is up, family is in town and I just want to BAKE and EAT! It's only for a few more days...

Eat and be Merry!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fiber Resolutions:

My friend Dawn started a trend and I didn't want to be left here are my knitting resolutions for 2008:

1) Knit and wear a sweater for me from my Brooks Farm Yarn
2) Knit and wear the "Escada" inspired sweater with the Knitting Fairy (this is a cheat because I am already signed up for this class...but I will have to finish it in the next 12 months)
3) Knit with my Socks That Rock yarn (I joined the club this year and have not knit a stitch of it)
4) Knit more from my stash than I purchase in new yarn (Okay, so I am being bold by adding a stash statement but it's really a ratio, not a diet. Because it's all about balance).
5) Try Entrelac knitting

Okay, that should keep me busy for the next 12 months. :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tonight is Blogging night....I am getting somewhat caught up.... except for knitting content (but that is all on just look me up: KnittingAunt). The following post has been marinating in my brain for months, I am not sure it's ready yet but it's time to get it at least started:

Planned Parenthood:

Many couples become parents overnight, either with joy, uncertainty, terror or a mixture of all of these and many more emotions. It's a completely different ball game when pregnancy doesn't surprise you but you have to work at it, or become a mother via foster or adoption.

I spent YEARS not wanting to become pregnant. It wasn't that I didn't WANT to become a Mother or have a family but it was the wrong time (too young, in school, family issues, moving, new job, etc etc etc.....LIFE). Then finally we wised up and realized there was NEVER going to be a "right time" and we were not getting any younger. So, we began to "try" to become pregnant. And after three years discovered that we were going to have to do MORE if we wanted to have a family....

Hubby and I have discussed, ad nauseam all of the options for becoming a family, how we feel about becoming parents, what skills are needed to be good parents, how badly we want children, how far are we willing to go emotionally, physically, financially to have them etc etc etc. There are days we want to throw in the towel and just stay a happy, healthy, adventurous, satisfied COUPLE...but of course there are far more days we dream of having a little one of our own. I feel a bit bi-polar because I wish every parent had to go thru the self evaluation that we have gone thru about our ability and desire to become parents BEFORE they became parents and yet I wish we had been able to become parents with surprise and ease.....SIGH

About 2 months ago we began our Subfertility Adventure. Our doctor doesn't call it infertility because strange things happen. Women with polyps, endometriosis, cysts, one ovary, tipped uterus etc all become pregnant without intervention and women with no biological or scientific reason for infertility are never able to conceive without intervention.

So we have had several rounds of testing....some simple and some PAINFUL! So the results are in and there is still HOPE for us to conceive on our own....YEAH! We don't feel we are candidates (emotionally and financially) for artificial implantation so we are really happy about the results so far.

The down side is that I will need surgery. So a few days after Christmas, I will go in for the first surgery of my life. It's a hysteroscopy and laproscopy, which are both short day surgeries. I am totally FREAKED OUT! But getting better day by day. I really do want to know what is not working right now and if there is more that can be done to help my body function at it's highest potential. It feels like an extreme step but as a lovely friend said (and I am paraphrasing) "thank your body for preventing pregnancy when the time was not appropriate, have the surgery so that you can start the next phase in your life and your body can work properly for this next phase". She is wise and it made me feel so much better to accept that there is not something "wrong", but that I am moving into a new phase.

Sure, we'll miss our "couple" days of freedom and fun but I know we are ready to share our lives with a child. It's an exciting and emotionally THRILLING time....
For Dawn:

I have been meaning to write this post for a long time. My friend Dawn always asks me about my camping trips and especially our pop up camper.

So Dawn, this is just for YOU:

We have a Coleman (now called Fleetwood) Carmel. It's not the smallest Pop up out there and by no means the largest. It has a king size bed on one side and a full on the other. The mattresses are pretty thick. We have added the "egg crate foam" to our bed and it is quite comfy. We also have a dining table that easily seats four for eating or playing games. A sink, small fridge and three burner stove. hubby bought me a porta potty and now LIFE IS GOOD. (The newer models have potty and shower built in.) Under the seats is lots of storage. Our little pop up has power outlets, running water, lights and A/C built in. We have added a table lamp for evening reading and crafts, fans, space heaters for winter, an alarm clock, portable shelving and some throw pillows to make it feel more like home. Outside we add some lights, recliner chairs, patio cover (so you can go out in your bare feet,), and solar covers on the bunks (emergency tarps from Cabellas that reflect light/heat).

This first photo is our adorable camper all set up in our site. This is Thanksgiving weekend at the Thousand Trails campground on Lake Texoma, so yes, it's a bit dark and bleak but we had a WONDERFUL time.

Next is the camper in Pop-down mode. It usually takes us about 45 minutes to get completely set up/take down. But that includes loading the car, cleaning out the camper, and putting everything back in it's place.

Now we are wrapping it up. Hubby and I each have our jobs with set up and clean up. Sometimes we forget and get in each others way but most of the time we work like a "well oiled camping machine".

And finally the camper is all popped down, then we hitch it to the truck and we are on our way....

So a bit more enlightenment for you non-campers....a typical weekend goes like this for us:

I start to pack and plan meals on Wednesday or Thursday. We load up the truck as soon as we are home on Friday, then head out of town. I used to travel, set up and cook on Friday nights....but now we grab food on the way....sometimes I am smarter than I look...

As soon as we arrive we unpack, set up and get the heat or AC on, then head out for a walk or I sit and knit while Hubby gets a bit of fishing done before the sun goes down. We usually go to bed early on Friday nights. If we camp with other folks we'll sit around a campfire or sit outside for a bit before turning in. If the skies are clear and Hubby has packed one of his scopes he'll head back out for some Astronomy....I don't usually join him as I lack the patience and interest in millions of "little white dots" (except when visiting the National Observatory...WOW). But if he finds a galaxy or planet, then I come out and have a look.

Sat morning, we wake up EARLY, Hubby goes fishing and I stay in my Jammies with the dogs. We cuddle up and watch movies on my computer (in the photo, the dining table is down and the computer is up on the cooler which is how we watch movies together. When it's just me I sit at the table and watch) and knit or listen to podcasts and knit until he returns. Then we go out to breakfast, make coffee etc while I hear all about the fishing adventures. My husband is a great storyteller so this is usually the highlight of my day.

Next we work on crafts, chat with other campers, take a walk, play boardgames/cards or go visit the town that we are camping in. I love to go to small town shops, play golf, or sample local cuisine. Occasionally if the weather is bad we'll go walk around wal-mart (there is always one close by and many campers say you are not camping if you have not made a trip to walmart). Then it's time for a nap.... This is my next favorite part of camping....'nuf said.

Sat evening we'll cook, go out to dinner or just snack. Hubby returns to the water for fishing, I knit and watch another movie and then more astronomy, visiting neighbors or just going to bed early.

Sunday we wake up, repeat the Sat morning routine and then pack up to get home.

It's BILSS! Pure and heavenly bliss.....