Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Meme from Mama D. Here's my version, or vision? for 2009...

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Went face to face, and championed my past!!!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't make any for this year. Maybe that's why I was so successful in all the areas of my life that I made changes! I am not making "resolutions" so to speak. I have made a list of the things that I will try to accomplish to better my world for 2009. It's not so cliché as making resolutions, lol!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Oh yes. My Julie gave birth to a beautifully perfect baby boy!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thank goodness, no, no one close to me. Please, God, let it keep!

5. What countries did you visit?

Um, does the US count????

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

A greater feeling of financial security, which would mean, of coarse, less debt!!!

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

There are many. It was a momentous year.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Maintaining the courage that it took to confront the demons, (literally) of my past. To maintain composure at my trial against the demons.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Falling off the fitness wagon and returning to unhealthy ways.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I was diagnosed with Illeitis the year prior. I have suffered from it regularly. Does that count?

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My own, in my opinion. I could have gone on a downward spiral while reliving all the pain of my childhood. I didn't.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Some of my girlfriends.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Good question! Where did it go? What money???? Oh right, GAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Getting my car got me pretty revved pun intended!!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?

I'm happier every year, because it's another year that I get to celebrate my life, my family and my accomplishments.

b) thinner or fatter?

Fatter. That doesn't make me happy :(

c) richer or poorer?

Poorer :(

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I would have to say I wish we, as a family, had done more camping/cabin living.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Less sitting around wonder what to do.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas morning with the kidlettes. Christmas day, boxing day with FIL and family. I cooked a traditional Ukrainian feast and fed 14 hungry Ukrainians who all said I did a fabulous job!!!

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

I fall in love a little more every day with my boys. All three of them. And my 4-legged children.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Again, this year, I do not have a favorite show. Sorry. Too busy knitting. LOL!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is a pretty strong word. I've learned to let go of people that I would normally hang on to and hate.

24. What was the best book you read?

There were many. The Poisonwood Bible, Drowning Ruth, The Secret Life of Bees, The Road

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

26. What did you want and get?

Another year with my FIL.

27. What did you want and not get?

A cabin.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I'm sure it would have been Twilight, if I had of seen it.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Is it terrible that I don't remember??

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Having my own cabin to escape to.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Meh, $#@! it, it is what it is!!!!

32. What kept you sane?

My hubby. He always keeps me sane. Thank God for him!!!!
Also knowing that I have incredible friends that stand by me and believe in me. No questions asked. I love you guys!

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Adam Levine. Yup.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Watching the Obama election in the states.

35. Who did you miss?

My mom. My mother-in-law. My big brother.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

My boy's teachers. They are truly incredible people!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Don't take it personally.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"If everyone cared and nobody cried, if everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride, we'd see the day that nobody died
And I'm singin Amen, I'm alive."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Traditional Ukrainian Christmas

This year, as always, we will be celebrating Christmas with my FIL up north. He has been ill for some time, suffering from COPD, and there have been a couple of times that we have almost lost him. This Christmas, I have decided to make it extra special for him. I have pulled out all of my Ukrainian blood, and spent 3 days (solid), cooking up a storm in the kitchen. I have made buckwheat holobtsie (cabbage rolls), rice holobstie, Nalysnika, and my traditional cabbage rolls. My hit this Christmas was this:
Yup. Braided bread. My first attempt at bread, at making anything with yeast in general. It turned out fabulous! I had lots extra, so we have been able to sample it! MMMMMM, warm home made bread with butter. Is there anything better? As much as I say I would love a bread machine (and I still would!), this was a whole lot more fun than I had anticipated. I got to knead it for 1/2 an hour and it was pure therapy! Crazy, I know, but I have spent the past 2 days rolling cabbage rolls, so this was such a treat!!! I can't wait for everyone to get together and celebrate. I am so excited!
Merry Christmas to you all. I wish you an abundance of health and happiness this Christmas and all the year through.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Making a List and Checking It A Dozen Times

Well, I have been knitting up a storm of projects for Christmas gifts this year. Therefore, my fingers have not been very available for other things, such as posting on my blog. Today I thought I would share some of the gifts that I've made, as most people have recieved theirs. (I like to give early gifts, so that the recipient doesn't feel obligated to give a gift back. This way it's less like a "Christmas" gift and more like a "just because" gift ;) )
I have recently become friends on Ravelry with an amazing knitter who is originally from Iceland! She has the cutest little earflap hats ever, and when I asked her if she had a pattern for them, she kindly wrote it up for me! How awesome is that?! Knitters are so nice!!!
So the first picture is of the earflap hat that only took me a couple of hours (here and there) to whip up. I made it for a very dear little boy that I've known all his life. He's very special to me, therfore, he needed a very special hat. He has been very patient with me, too, because he has been waiting since last winter to recieve his hat! Yikes. He LOVED it!!!
The model is not the recipient, fyi!! And although it's not the best pic of the hat, it's such a cute pic of R that I had to post it!!!
The next project is one of my absolute favorites so far! It is for my supervisor and friend who doesn't like to wear hats, but this year at our staff gift exchange, one of the staff made a hat and scarf set that she won. We were playing a game that you could "steal" another person's gift, and because this was an absolute hit, it was quickly snatched up from her! She was visibly upset, as she had put this hat on, just like you would a beret and it looked amazing on her. This inspired me to make my second mystery beret, fondly referred to as Meret on Ravelry, for her. I hope she likes it just as much!

I made this one for another of my girlfriends that just loves berets. There were a lot of firsts involved with this hat!! It is the first knit along (KAL) that I have ever done (and it was sooo much fun), it is the first beret that I've ever made, the first lace pattern that I've ever followed, and the first time that I have ever blocked anything that I've made. I have also, for the first time, felted a project!! I made a cute little flower to attach to it, just because it will suit her so much more with a little bit of bling on it!! I don't have a pic of the flower, but here's the hat:

It is the same as the white one, so I posted this picture so that you could see the incredible lacey pattern and the beautiful star on top! The white one, when stretched out like this, looks just like a snowflake! This is a beautiful pattern and it can be found on Ravelry under "Meret".
Hmmmm, what else....? Oh crumb, I deleted the pics off my files for the hat that I made my co-worker/girlfriend. She complained that her ears were cold when she was done swimming and she asked me many times when she was getting a I made her the most adorable cabled brim hat and matching mittens. She just loves it and tells me that her hubby makes fun of her because she never takes it off! Now that's a present that you can be sooo happy to have given.
This year, for me, it's all about giving gifts from the heart. I have started this about 6 years ago, and every year I get more and more creative. I sewed an amazing something for another special friend of mine, and I can't say because I haven't given it to her yet, I made a beautiful table swag for another very special girlfriend, but don't have pics of it :( . Homemade gifts are just so, so my opinion anyway. I hope that all of the people recieving my gifts this year feel just the same!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Meditation in the form of Rice Pudding...Sans Raisins

Oh wow, I just finished creating a rice pudding masterpiece! I borrowed the recipe from my girlfriend, who swore that it was the pudding therapy from start to finish and boy was she right! It was hands down the best rice pudding that I have ever, ever tasted and I happen to be a huge fan of the stuff!! The 1/2 of stirring was time enough for me to slip into deep meditation. Stirring while smelling the sweet, starchy goodness put me into a trance. Who would have thought? I am so incredibly impatient and don't have it for stuff like this, typically. However, because it was rice pudding and I haven't had it in years, I wanted to get it just right! As I was stirring, I was thinking of all the incredible things that I was going to write on here about it...I should have written it down, though because as soon as I was done licking mine and my son's bowls clean, I snapped out of my trance and totally forgot all the heavenly things that this therapy pudding did to me. :(
You'll have to take my word for it, or better yet, try some yourself. I promise you won't be disappointed.
I have copied the recipe from my girlfriend, I hope you don't mind! The only thing different that I did to mine was I used my vanilla sugar grinder while it was cooking so that I could get the real vanilla deal!

Heat just over two cups of milk in the microwave until scalded.
While that is cooking, melt a tablespoon of butter and a couple of spoonfuls of white sugar in a heavy saucepan. Add 4 tablespoons Arborio rice and stir to coat. Add the milk, a splash at a time, stirring all the while. Keep the mixture at a brisk simmer. The pudding is done when the rice has absorbed enough milk to be soft and creamy. That takes at least 20-30 minutes of stirring. Add a splash of vanilla extract at the end and more sugar, if desired.

Jen, I must thank you for your amazing, incredible recipe!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Meme repost from NotJenny

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

I do wrapping paper for the little kids and gift bags for the "big kids" :)

2. Real tree or Artificial?
Begrudgingly artificial.....
3. When do you put up the tree?

Always after remembrance day...but no date in particular afterwards

4. When do you take the tree down?

Usually before new years...tho my hubby would like me to leave it up for Ukrainian Christmas

5. Do you like eggnog?

Oh yes...the thick, creamy goodness of it.....

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

My cabbage patch kid, my first teddy bear

7. Hardest person to buy for?

My husband...he never wants for anything

8. Easiest person to buy for?

Me!!! hehe...does that count??

9. Do you have a nativity scene?


10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Mail them...when I send them

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

Every Christmas gift is special...I would never say any gift is bad!!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

Not really sure that I have one...I like the cartoons

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

The beginning of December

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?


15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Chocolates, my turkey stuffing

16. What decorations are on your tree?

Red ornaments and gold beads
17. Favorite Christmas song?

Silent Night

18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home?

Both...we're home on Christmas morning, of coarse, then we head to the in-laws
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?


20. Angel on top of tree or star?


21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Christmas Morning!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

The commercialism of it all and the cranky shoppers!

23 What theme or color are you using when you decorate?

Red and gold

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?

My turkey stuffing

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?

To be with my family in happiness and good health!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Dumbwaiter really wouldn't be that dumb....

As I try and conquer mount laundry, I look around me and see 5 baskets of clothes, folded neatly, and waiting patiently to be brought upstairs by my hubby. He has been axed off of laundry duty as it was getting far too expensive to keep replacing the articles that he destroyed while he tried his stint at the job. His job now is simply to haul the full baskets up to the 2nd floor so that I can proceed with putting them away. He is slacking on his duties. 5 overflowing baskets worth. To say that I am annoyed would be putting it mildly. He hauls the dirty stuff down, so why is it that he can't see the CLEAN stuff awaiting pick-up?? So as I am downstairs folding yet another load of laundry, trying to figure out where I am going to keep this stuff until I have empty baskets, I have a great idea come upon me! A dumbwaiter! Wouldn't that be awesome? If I had one, I could simply place the basket inside, press #2 and up it would go! I am typically the type of person who does things for myself (partially due to my undiagnosed OCD), so this would certainly fit the role of do-it-myself. Now, the question in the world would I go about doing this? It's just a far-fetched dream that will never really come true, at least not in this particular house, but I tell you, thinking about it sure takes my mind off of the fact that I STILL have 5 overflowing baskets of laundry....STILL awaiting pick-up.........