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Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Kazillion Days of Christmas
What do you do when you have three families to spend the holidays with?

Have four Christmases, that's what. We hadn't done the Smith Holiday Road Trip in two years (John's graduate school schedule made for a good excuse difficult scheduling), but now that his MLS is in the bag, we took the holiday show on the road once again this year.

Our first stop was Stockbridge, MA - the Red Lion Inn, where my mum was stopping over Christmas with our friend-family, a lovely group of fun folk. The inn is also very dog-friendly and we enjoyed walks and communing with the inn's mascots.

John and Mac by the Housatonic

Mac and one of the Red Lion Inn Lions

I also finished John's Ribby Cardi in time for him to wear it over Christmas week, though the zipper will have to be reinstalled by someone whose sewing skills do not suck ass:

John and the Ribby Cardi

Stockings are the order of the day for this crowd. Big stockings, that get filled with everything from post-its to jewelry:


On Christmas morning, we loaded everything and everyone (human and canine) into the car and headed for John's family in eastern Connecticut. The Smith men demonstrated their usual dignified reserve:

The Smith Boys, less David.

And knitwear seemed to be appreciated by all and sundry:

My father-in-law, JimMy brother-in-law, DavidStacey - her hat, and her mug (

After a couple of days there, we once again re-packed the car (if you are getting the idea that this is not exactly a restful holiday, you are getting it right) and cruised down to my dad's for a couple of days. He lives in southern Connecticut, so at least we didn't do any backtracking in our schedule for this year. My stepbrother Brian was there, 50 pounds lighter than we had last seen him and looking fantastic (a fine example for us all here in the Smith household...)


My first cable-patterned design, a hat for my dad, went over rather well:

Dad's hat

Brian gave me a fantastic photographic toy, a "Lensbaby" - it lets you create very trippy blur effects. We took a walk one morning and played with it extensively:



Brian - day after day after boxing day walk


Ethereal, almost

Brian also proved his professional skills by taking a photo of me unshowered and sans makeup that makes me look better than I have any right to.

Day after Day after Boxing Day

"But wait," I hear you cry. "Didn't you say you had four Christmases?" Yup. Aside from John's cardi, we had left all our presents for each other at home. We had the last Christmas last night, where the usual mix of books was graced by my big prezzie from John. A spinning stool. What an enabler I married...

Hope your holidays were merry and bright, and hope you were able to stay put for more than two days together.

ETA: The real Christmas miracle this year? Almost zero traffic the entire trip. Bliss.

Friday, December 29, 2006

We're Back.
....and I'll be doing a data-dump at some point, but in the meantime, I hope everyone has had a happy and safe holiday season so far.

We don't send physical holiday cards from Chez Writingortyping (though we are awed and humbled by those of you who manage to get them out each year). We do wish all our loved ones very merry, though, at this and all other times of the year.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy (or at least Funny) Holidays to You
I'm going on blog-vacation (I know - how can you tell?), but I leave you with this - a comedian (and former cellist)'s rant about Pachelbel:

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Oh, Lord - the Time that Can be Wasted on the Internet
I'm loving the "ho ho ho" easter eggs in flickr.


(Full set here: since they're deployed via photo notes, hats and beards can only be viewed at the actual, individual photo pages).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Er... Yes, I Would Appear to Have Knitting ADD...
...Why do you ask?

I mean it wouldn't be that I have two sweaters currently on the needles (both Bonne Marie patterns):

John's Ribby Cardi
(John's Ribby Cardi - yarn: Manos del Uruguay, resizing due to larger-gauge yarn courtesy of my local LYS and some amount of handwaving and possibly magical thinking)

Ariann - body
(An Ariann for me - yarn: Valley Yarns' "Stockbridge")

As well as a silk stole:

Current lace stole
("Shelby's Stole" kit purchased from the Yarn Barn at Stitches).

In addition to holiday knitting (not shown yet for obvious reasons), and also in addition to a sock (not pictured here - I almost always have a sock nowadays, because it's so portable. I actually got several inches of stockinette sock done as we listened to Handel's Messiah at the National Cathedral. I really need to go back there with my good camera, or better yet, bring brother Brian. It's just too beautiful. This little photo of one of the outbuildings doesn't even begin to do it justice.

National Cathedral Outbuilding

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Very Important Viewing for Consumers of Sushi
The Japanese Tradition:

A test will be administered at a later date. I can't tell you what will be on it, but pay particular attention to: imparting information as to the number of people in your party, what to say when pouring a beer (or having one poured for you), and how much soy sauce to apply.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Tale of Three Trees
Once upon a time, there was a prince and a princess who lived in a suburban tower. Outside the tower were two tall trees. Over time, the prince and princess realized that the trees were dying. This was a sad day for the suburban royalty, because they liked the trees, especially the one that grew up right through the deck of their tower.

They asked a few local knights about the cost for tree-slaying. Sadly, the costs were high.

Finally, they consulted a prince from a nearby kingdom. He knew of a knight who could slay trees at reasonable rates.

So the tree-slayer was employed. He brought a mighty steed:

The crane was as wide as our house...

The knight and his men and the steed did great deeds:

It's a Bird, it's a Plane.  No, it's a big mofo tree.

A large hole was created in the tower deck:

Big hole in deck, big stump.

The prince worked hard, and patched the hole:

Completed deckmending

And since it was December, the prince and princess replaced the two very large trees with a rather smaller one and had a celebration:

Tree celebration

The prince, though it was his year, decided that the lovely little tree was best served by the princess' favorite lights:

The lights

Charms were added to make the tree especially magical:

Pickle!Frank Lloyd Wright ornamentGlass ball

It was a lovely tree, with enchanted creatures snug in their walnut-beds:

The Nursery

And as it glowed, the prince and princess were happy.