First lesson learned in 2006: Don't go looking for blog fodder where none exists, or it will surely come to find you in the worst karmic way possible! There I was, smug as could be, anticipating tales of the fam and the outhouse, totally unaware that I would become the subject of my own blog, thanks to my vanity. Now, I'm not a very vain person by any stretch of the imagination. As far as physical appearance goes, I'm a low-key Gap/Old Navy on-clearance, touch of lipstick and newly black roots courtesy of Loreal Excellence kind of gal. As a mom, I don't have the patience for fussy routines; that said, as a mom, I do have a few new "needs" that seem to have come part and parcel with the mom territory. For example, sneezing and laughing have now become mini-Russian Roulette games. (All you moms out there, can I get an amen, please!) And after three years of nursing two children, the sisters don't revel in anywhere near the glory that they used to. Having literally had the life sucked out of them, they need a little assistance to achieve A minus status. (And why is it that the same status used for school grades doesn't apply to bra cup sizes?) Assistance presented itself in the form of leftover Curity Nursing Pads remaining from my nursing stint, so I figured, why not? and took a little help in the form of....well...stuffing. This was not the stuffing of middle-school yesteryear, but rather, the dignified post-partum alternative to plastic surgery. (Justification, clarification, denial, whatever.)
Anyhoo, Fredo, Mercenary, Bossy, Stinky and I were at the Hilo Airport, making our way through security. I'm grateful for all the security measures, but lemme tell you, going through the whole rigamarole with kids SUCKS. Breaking down the stroller, wrestling 3 tickets, taking off 3 pairs of shoes, trying to send scared kids alone through the security device while simultaneously having your diaper bag searched for embedded bombs is a little tricky. We finally made it through security when I was accosted by one of the TSA guys regarding the number of people in our travel party. I was flustered and a little worse for wear after all the hustle and bustle, but I tried to answer him as politely as possible. It was then that I noticed his furtive glances at my neckline. Not my chest, mind you, but my neckline. You know that sick feeling you get when you've eaten sushi and you start noticing people staring at your mouth and you just know that you have gobs of green nori stuck to your front tooth? I started to get that same sinking feeling as I saw the guard repeatedly looking and eventually, outright staring at my neckline. We cleared up the "travel party" matter and I walked away quickly, head held high, as I sensed the inevitable humiliation that was to follow. For as I glanced down, there, proudly displayed on my collar bone, was my handy-dandy nursing pad stuffing hanging in plain view out of the top of my t-shirt for all the world to see. Beam me up, Scotty! I had a momentary altercation with myself as I tried to determine whether stuffing it back in my shirt or sticking it in my bag would be the lesser of two humiliating evils. I opted for the former, deciding that walking around half A-/ half B- would only add to the jackass factor.
So, instead of starting 2006 with outhouse lore, it seems that self-deprecation is the name of the game here at Bits of Knits. Thankfully, that doesn't apply to the knitting....yet, at least. As promised, here are pics of some Christmas gifts given to family. My baby brother, Bozobana, modeling the ubiquitous Irish Hiking Scarf in Austermann Naturwolle from Elann. Knit with Clover size 8 circs, 7 inches wide and 65 inches long, post-blocking. He seems to like it, though I don't know how much use he'll get out of it in Seattle. The Naturwolle is a tad rougher than the Peruvian Highland, but not overly unpleasant to work with. At less than $2 a skein and 4 skeins total, I really can't complain. And here's a pic of The Mercenary, modeling Lelah. As it turns out, she likes it as is without straps (thank goodness!), and I'm quite pleased with the fit. Here's another pic of her posing with one of the paintings she did last summer. Did I mention she was disgustingly talented, too? Yep, I hate her. :-)
Time spent with the fam was wonderful and it flew by entirely too fast. No knitting was accomplished at all, but I know it's a good thing when you're so happily involved with life that you don't have time to knit. I'm sure it'll take me a couple of posts to recount those two weeks, but I'll try to give you the highlights now. Bozobana and Bossy bonded, and Stinky got very attached to Fredo, as you can see. My dad is a fantastic cook, so my body has reaped the lovely blubbery rewards of overindulgence. But they were certainly delicious pounds!! Kalbi (Korean style short ribs), shrimp scampi, sushi night (you can bet your suction cups that there were tentacles involved!), ozoni (traditional mochi soup), barbecue spareribs, seafood salad...the list goes on. And that was just dinner!! The snacks deserve a post of their own someday. Homemade hummus and salsa, cookies up the ying yang, Filipino desserts like cascaron and suman (he may be Japanese, but my dad's a Waipahu boy through and through!), and these ono-licious Mrs. Prindable's candied apples that my mom ordered from QVC for our reunion. So. Darned. Good!!! We celebrated a belated Christmas and New Year's Eve on the same taxing day, which rendered only my dad and I conscious at midnight to watch the proverbial ball drop. We rocked in the New Year the way we always did growing up, with Dick Clark and a bowl of soba noodles at midnight.
We (Fredo, Mercenary, Bozobana and I) surprised our parents on the 2nd with a belated 35th anniversary celebration, complete with a surprise vow renewal ceremony and anniversary rings. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Fredo was in charge of everything and she really pulled out all the stops with the Martha Stewart decor and place settings. We even had our family portrait taken at Sears, which really deserves a post in and of itself. Imagine getting 10 people to smile at one time when everyone's annoyed, hot and hungry. Definite blog fodder, but for another day, once I get over the sting of my Are You There God, It's Me Margaret incident.
The semester began again for me tonight, so I'm glad that I managed to squeeze in a little knitting yesterday after arriving back in Honolulu. Along with my sight, hearing and ahem, other parts, my circulation is slowly going south, so my poor toes and fingers are always freezing. Yes, it's the tropics, but darn it, it's getting pretty nippy these days! So I set straightaway to work on a pair of anklets for myself. I opted for some Knit Picks Geranium, not wanting to screw up the beautiful sock yarn I was gifted with at Christmas. One of my knitting resolutions this year is to be more adventurous in trying new techniques. Although I finally threw out the big hair Aqua Net spray and blue eyeshadow, I still tend to get stuck in ruts, like knitting socks from the cuff down. Having failed at toe-up socks before, I decided to give it the old college try once again...this time to success, much to my delight. I'm thrilled to have finally done a short row toe and heel! With one down and one more to go, I hope to have a finished pair to show by the next time I post.
Whew!! If you made it all the way through this interminable post, I thank you for being a true blue blog pal, indeed! I promise to get this long-windedness under control by next time. See what happens when you deprive a gal of internet access for 2 weeks?? Hilo was wonderful, but it sure is good to be home. And in the spirit of Jack Handy (thank you, Olga, for reminding me of how much I love him!), I leave you with the moral of this post and my new personal proverb: Dont count your outhouse stories before exiting homeland security!
BTW, it's De-lurking week, so if you've been lurking in the shadows, it's high time to come into the light and give a holler! I'd love to "meet" you!