Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Santa Saturday

I belong to a great online knitting group, Lone Star State Knitters.  Every year, anyone who chooses can participate in a Secret Santa exchange.  I've opted in for the last few years and I've always enjoyed it.

My package came to our new house the day before the ice storm hit, but I wasn't able to go get it.  I spent the week living vicariously through others, as they told about and showed pictures of their goodies.  I asked one of my neighbors to check the porch and retrieve it for me when the conditions were safe enough for her to walk over there and do so, but I never heard back from her.  I didn't know if the package was ever really delivered.  Luckily, I was kind of busy; so, I wasn't stressing too much about it. 

Yesterday, I got my package and the box was big.

There was a package inside wrapped in Christmas paper and a card.

There were lots of goodies in a basket.  A basket of fun, if you will.

I know my SS is a spinner and I think she may have spun the four hanks of this beautiful PURPLE yarn (that my camera captures as blue).  I cannot wait to figure out what to make with it. There is some fat free chocolate Chai mix and a beautiful china cup and saucer in which to drink it.  I got chocolate flavored, no scented body lotion, hand lotion and lip balm.  My SS also plays the harp and she sent me a CD of Celtic harp music.  I got a beautiful set of stitch markers and the most clever necklace.

Here's a close up of the stitch markers:

Here's a close up of the's a yarn ball:

Many, many thanks to my lovely Secret Sister.  I love, love, love it all!!!

MK out. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

FO Friday - 12/13/2013

OK, I can show y'all an FO today, because it has been gifted.

It's the same pattern I made up to make the other ones for my friends. They are an adorable family. I used Ella Rae Classic Wool and Cascade 220. 

The Husb took me out yesterday to run a few errands.  I was nice to get out of the house.  My entry is still problematic today.

I hope this mess clears up soon, because I have just about had enough of it.

MK out.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

WIP Wednesday - 12/12/2013

I don't really have anything I can show today.

I still haven't decided what pattern to make for my December socks or even what yarn I want to use.  The SKA challenge choices for the month are: Stashbusters/Leftovers or Entrelac for the featured techniques OR General Hogbuffer or Laura Jenkins for the featured designers.  

I cannot decide if I want to choose one of the above and participate in the SKA challenge or if I want to just take one of my stripeys like this one

and make a plain vanilla sock.

Decisions, decisions...

All I know is that I must finish two Christmas gifts before I add anymore new projects to my list.

Speaking of Christmas...we are in Bah, Humbug mode around here.  The tree is not up - it is in the living room, still in the bags, but it is not up.  I'm thinking that's a record for Chez Merry Karma.  I suppose the challenges from the last three years have finally caught up with us and we are just not feeling it...or...maybe the fact that we are moving may be a teeny part of it...or both.  None-the-less, I need to get my act in gear and start feeling Christmassy.

MK out.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Movie Monday - 12/9/2013

I had great plans to see some movies at the end of last week and over the weekend...but then, we had that little weather issue, and I wasn't able to get out of the house.  

I did watch a movie on Netflix that I don't think was for my demographic.  Violet & Daisy is a dark comedy about two girls who hire themselves out for murder.  They want to take a break after their most recent hit, until they see a dress they'd like to buy and realize they are going to need more money.  Their next victim turns out to be a challenge in ways they didn't anticipate.  Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel and James Gandolfini star in the movie.  It wasn't my cup of tea.

I had to watch The Hunger Games to get ready to see the second one when The Kid comes home for his semester break.  The film is adapted from the first in a trilogy of novels about a dystopian society written by Suzanne Collins. I waited to see this first film until I had read the books, but since I have not yet done so, I scrapped that idea and jumped to the movie instead. The film is set in North America in the fictional nation of Panem, controlled politically by a wealthy and advanced central district called The Capitol.  Once a year, one boy and one girl is selected to represent each of the districts surrounding The Capitol in a fight-to-the-death game.  Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks (playing a very quirky and fairly disguised character), Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz are among the many, many characters in this film.  It was very good.  I am looking forward to seeing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. 

Barbara is a German film with English subtitles.  It is set in East Germany (aka the German Democratic Republic) in 1980 - before the wall came down.  Barbara is a physician in an affluent hospital in East Berlin, who applied for an exit visa from the GDR.  Such an act is highly frowned upon and her punishment was incarceration and then transfer to a small town pediatric hospital where the Stasi can keep an eye on her.  Her desire to leave is not thwarted and she continues with plans to escape.  It was good.  I liked it...especially the fact that it was a German movie not about the Holocaust.

Through the last few years, I have caught up on the Up Series.  I've written about this collection of documentaries in which Michael Apted interviews a group of British people every seven years, starting when they were seven years old to reveal their hopes and aspirations and examine how they measured against the realities of their lives.  The original premise of the documentary was that people were born into their classes and rarely deviated from them.  This class immobility hypothesis doesn't seem to hold up in all cases as the documentaries progress.  I liked the latest installment, 56 Up, because I like to know the rest of the story.  Since they have me hooked pretty well, I am looking forward to the next one. 

MK out.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Souper Saturday

It doesn't look much different around here today.  There have been some accidents, some road closings and - tragically - even a run into the lake death.  I'm just going to stay inside and cook and knit.

I'm so glad that I picked and froze the turkey breast carcass from Thanksgiving.  We are going to have my momma's special Avgolemono Soup tonight for supper:

I defrosted some of the turkey pickins for the soup and thought I would make a turkey sandwich.  There's nothing like one - just turkey, mayo and gummy white bread.  Yummy!

Is that Bloody Mary mix in the background, you ask?  Why, yes.  Yes, it is! 

My friend Lorette would be so proud:

MK out.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sleet Day

I have no FO to show today. I'll be inside knitting though. I can't get out for all the sleet:

It looks like it has snowed, but it sleeted all last night and early this morning.


Y'all stay warm!

/MK out.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WIP Wednesday - 12/4/2013

Hey, hey!  How's that Christmas knitting coming at your house?  I finished one of the projects from last week on Saturday, but y'all won't get to see it until Christmas.

I've worked on my November socks a little since then:

I am really liking this colorway!  It's the first time that I've ever worked with Hazel Knits Artisan Sock. I bought it a couple of years ago from The Loopy Ewe to give it a try and I really like it.  

I need to start my December socks, but first, I have to decide what I want to make.  I am in the mood for plain vanilla, considering this time of the year.  It won't qualify for a Sock Knitters Anonymous challenge if I do, but the goal is to use some yarn and make a pair of socks.  So, we are all good.

MK out.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Movie Monday - 12/2/2013

There are so many good movies out there.  I've been trying to see as many as I can, but life at Chez Merry Karma has been hectic.  My list just seems to keep getting longer and not shorter.

I did manage to see a recently released movie.  Philomena is based on a true story - also chronicled in a book - The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, by Martin Sixsmith.  The movie begins when Philomena decides to find the son she was forced to give away after fifty years of thinking about him.  Her daughter puts her in touch with Sixsmith, who at first feels the story is not worthy of his time.  He soon changes his mind, and the unlikely pair are off on the adventure. Judy Dench plays Philomena, and Steve Coogan plays Martin Sixsmith.  It was very good.

I generally like Woody Allen films, but I have to say To Rome with Love is not one of my favorites. There were some witty and funny moments, but something that bugged me right off the bat was it seemed to me that almost all of the characters had adopted Allen's neurotic way of delivering their dialogue. Another annoying thing was that a person really had to pay attention to follow the four vignettes.  Besides writing and directing this movie, Woody Allen also starred in it. The ensemble cast also included Judy Davis, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Roberto Benigni, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Alessandra Mastronardi, Ellen Page and Allison Pill. It was alright.

The Real Housewives of Aggieland, aka the friends from college with whom I get together every couple of years, chose to read The Elegance of the Hedgehog for our book selection at one of our reunions a few years ago.  It was made into a movie - The Hedgehog.  The movie is in French with English subtitles.  It opens with Paloma, an 11-year-old girl who lives in a luxury apartment with her family in Paris, deciding that adulthood isn't all that it is cracked up to be.  She declares she is planning her suicide by her 12th birthday.  She starts filming the last 165 days of her life, during which she gets to know the building superintendent and the new resident - a very elegant Japanese gentleman.  Soon, she starts to see that grown up life doesn't have to be all bad.  It was a poignant and elegant story.  I liked it as much as I liked the book - which was quite a lot.

I went to PA school at UT Southwestern in Dallas.  Parkland is the hospital affiliated with the medical school.  I watched the movie Parkland with great anticipation because of my connection.  I was rewarded with scenes of what appears to be actual hallways downstairs in the hospital.  The movie deals with the minutes and hours following President Kennedy's assassination in 1963.  My pathology professor shared with us that he was a resident when JFK was shot. I didn't know, until I saw the movie, that the chief of surgery  when I was in school - James Carrico, MD - was the resident who received the injured president in Trauma 1 those fifty years ago.  The subject never came up in surgery rounds, or ever, while I was in school. Zac Efron played Dr. Carrico.  Also starring were Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti, Colin Hanks, Marcia Gay Harden, Jacki Weaver, Jackie Earle Haley and Ron Livingston.  It was very good.

MK out.