Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas

Per usual, we came slamming into Christmas. Although in truth, we were more ahead of the game than usual. The cards had been sent, all the shopping and some wrapping was done and cookies were distributed to the neighbors. Now, all the presents have been unwrapped, the games have been played, most of the cookies have been eaten and it's time to get serious again about running! Only, we got socked with a wicked snow storm today. Pretty to look at, fun to play in but not conducive to hitting the pavement!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why I love knitting

I got to go out with my girlfriends tonight for some fun frivoliti and a good old fashioned Yankee Swap. Me, being the creative type, whipped up a quick, cute little felted bag, labled it "emergency kit" and filled it with chocolate. One night of knitting using yarn on hand. A close friend picked it and was over the moon. How awesome is that. My gift was just as fun but more in the unmentionable category...

forgot to take pics, but here's the pattern link:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It is Christmas

I've decided I need a change in attitude. I've been feeling a bit holiday overwhelmed. Sort of like heading toward a wall at 102 miles an hour with no breaks. Can't get it all done fast enough and I want to just sit back and enjoy Christmas instead of running so fast I can't soak it all up. Then I realized - Christmas is here. I'm not preparing for something, I'm in it. This is it -- all the shopping, writing Christmas cards, wrapping presents, making holiday school bags, visiting Santa, making sure a little elf moves every night ... we're here and I can either savor it or let it fly right by me. I feel like there is so much to do to get ready - but "getting ready" is Christmas, not something to be rushed through.

The harsh reality is that my regular life is so busy that you throw something like Christmas in and it seems nearly impossible. I wasn't wasting time before so how can I fit anything more in? Be that as it may, here we are - trying to make this season special.

According to my Christmas philosophy, it's already half over :( But, it's been good so far - we went to cut down our own tree, I've gotten together with cousins in Boston, we've saw the trees lit in our little down town center, I've gotten private shopping trips with each of my girls and I've already gotten a few holiday cards.

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Pine Mouth"? Really?

This morning I swigged down a cup of milk my dd left on the counter and I nearly gagged it tasted so spoiled. It was vaguely troubling because it was fresh milk and hadn't been out long. Then the cracker I ate to get rid of the taste was bitter. So was the clementine. So what is the one thing that has to taste good when nothing else does? Chocolate of course. The sweet taste of chocolate on my tongue was a relief for about ten seconds until it too turned bitter. Same thing all day no matter what I ate. Allergic reaction? Fatal illness? Fearing that I was doomed forever, I turned to the Internet to find that there are others like me with this sudden bitter mouth onset. The culprit?
Pine nuts apparently. I had a few the other day when I was trying to decide if they would go with salmon.
This is just one of the many articles I found:

It's a chef's worst nightmare: to wake up one morning to find that food has lost its flavor -- that every morsel to cross your lips tastes bitter, metallic, and inedible.

Pine Mouth
Virtually undocumented before 2009, "pine mouth", a bizarre taste distrubance, has been brought to... Expand
(Getty Images)

This was the fate of San Francisco-based chef and food critic Jenna VanGrowski, 30, who suffered from a bizarre taste disturbance last month known as "pine mouth."

Though she didn't know it at the time, the bitter aftertaste that came with anything she ate was due to a rare and seemingly random reaction to eating pine nuts. She snacked on some two days before.

Various "palate cleansing" foods failed to get rid of the metallic aftertaste, known medically as metallogeusia.

When even the taste of toothpaste was "almost unbearable," she says she started to worry.

"I'm a chef, so I started getting really scared and frustrated because I need to be able to taste to do what I do. I had no idea what the heck was going on."

Van Growski works for ChefsBest, an organization that judges food products.

But as she soon found, she was not alone.

A quick Google search uncovered dozens of others on blogs and Facebook reporting her same symptoms and calling it "pine mouth syndrome."

The cause? It seemed the handful of pine nuts she snacked on days prior was the unlikely culprit. (the rest of the story.....)

I share this first because I want a pity party - it's the holidays for crying out loud. This is the time to be eating all sorts of scrumptious things. (Then again, maybe this is a blessing?) and second just in case it happens to you or anyone you love, you can assure them that they aren't dying and that it will (most likely) go away.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Internet Shopping bleh

I love the idea of Internet shopping - no crowds, no parking, no stops for OMG priced gas, BUT, then I get the message from Littleknits that they aren't shipping the orange yarn I ordered more than a week ago after hunting through bunches of stores both land and online until Friday. The cousin for whom I needed it to make a scarf is coming on Saturday to celebrate Christmas. Hmmm. Without a time machine, I am obviously not going to have the present done on time!

Then another package I ordered to be sent to my mother in Wisconsin for her birthday arrived here, in Massachusetts. So much for the free shipping, which lured me in to ordering it in the first place.

Still, I know she will love it - no spoilers though, mom!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Hats R Fun

Maybe it's just the cold weather, but I have an undeniable urge to knit hats. This is my first of the year. I finished it during an overnight stint with DD17 in the ER while watching an endless loop of Wizard's of Waverly place. I loved the color, loved the concept, but on my head it looked more sloppy than slouchy. The yarn just didn't have enough stretch so it just sort of plopped on my head. Not wanting to frog and not having any other brilliant patterns in mind, I came up with an alternative - a fleece lining for the headband part. It's now stretchy and warm. The pattern is based on a formula from Crazy Aunt Purl.

The photo was taken by DD17 having recovered from the infection that sent us to the ER. We were out chopping down the Christmas tree that is now sitting rolled up tightly on our porch because we haven't had the time to put it up. How sad is that - we cut a tree so it will be fresher and then let it sit. Deep sigh.