Wednesday, January 03, 2007

...back from my alien abduction

OK, so I've been missing from the blogging scene for a little while. Funny how life gets in the way of things. My last real entry was sometime in late October. A lot of yarn has flowed over the needles since then ... and do I have spectacular pictures to show for it, excusing me for being so neglectful of my blog? Of course not.

Here's a quick summary of my life over the past 2+ months...

Early November: trip to Vermont to celebrate Meredith's 21st birthday

AMAZING dinner at Butler's Restaurant in Essex (The New England Culinary Institute)

Along with some spectacular scenery along the Kancamagus Highway...

It is a wonderful weekend, even if it seems as if only yesterday that this was my Meredith:

How can she POSSIBLY be 21? There is NO Way!

Mid-November: I am back in Burlington to pick her up for Thanksgiving Break, a luxurious full week at home. We also start bringing some of her things home in preparation for her Spring semester Abroad in Italy. We have a great time with her that week, including our annual Mother/Daughter "Black Friday" 7AM run to the mall. Gotta love the adrenalin rush beating back the sale-crazed masses. We hit the motherlode as we look for dressy grown-up clothes for my little pookie to wear during her stay in Milan since word on the street is that jeans and t-shirts aren't going to cut it. She's thinking Manolo Blanick... I'm thinking bankruptcy court. My Meredith is a fashionista shoeaholic. Sending her to the fashion center of the universe is a bit like sending a hardcore alcoholic on a five month pub crawl.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving has me back on the I-95/101/I-93/I-89 loop up to Burlington and back to bring her back for the final push. I think her RA is beginning to think I've moved into her room. God forbid... those days are but a hazy memory although I love her room!

(By the way, in case you missed it, the Yankees are her life. Pinstriping her room walls with ribbon was the ultimate homage.) Dorm rooms sure have come a LONG way since my undergrad days in the Stone Age. Kinda makes me want to go back to those days...ok, maybe not. I value sleep and peaceful evenings far too much to survive in that world.

Early December: back to Portland for the wild ride that is the holiday season. ("I AM being jolly, dammit!") Time spirals out of control, the "to do" list just keeps getting longer and longer and I have to fight back the urge to get in the car and drive off into the sunset as far as my gas tank will take me. I start to envy people in the Witness Protection Program. They don't have a triple digit Christmas card list to finish. Scrooge has nothing on me as I grouse and grumble. The annual craft fair at work is a chance to showcase (and sell!) some of the knitting projects lying around. Mental Note to self: start building inventory a lot earlier next year (instead of working feverishly the two weeks before!) The Maine-made products baskets are prepared for the out-of-town relatives. I write the annual "year in review" newsletter for the pile of Christmas cards. Errands, lists, parties, decorating the house, baking cookies, delivering cookies to friends, craft fairs, shopping for the family... by mid-December I've developed a nervous tic and the inability to finish a complete sentence as my mind races out of control.

Mid-December: It's time for the final pilgrimage to Burlington to retrieve my finals-weary darlin' and her roomload o' stuff for the final trip home. We schlepp like nobody's business and shoehorn everything into the car for a wild ride home. ("Mirrors? We don't need no stinkin' mirrors!")

It occurs to me that poor Isla still doesn't have her own stocking for the mantle. (We guiltily used Lady's old stocking last year.) So, having so little else on my agenda, I decide to knit her a Christmas stocking. (WHAT was I thinking!?!) Amazingly, I do it and here is the result:

Such a beautiful receptacle for the coal she is on track to get from Santa. The dog has some serious listening issues. Of course, Santa ends up relenting and brings her bags of snacks and toys. What a sucker the old fat man is.

It's now late December and Christmas is breathing down our necks. The Christmas cards are sent off with a sigh of relief. We make our trip up to the Christmas tree mountain to cut down the tree we chose in October. Things start to come together at the house. Here are some pictures to prove we pulled it off:

<=so many cookies

Isla wonders where the coffee-table snacks went. It was such fun to bury her nose in the chex mix =>

<= sideboard splendor

Meredith's "shoe" tree =>

I manage to knit one of the socks I had planned to give Brendan for Christmas. He looks a little puzzled when he opens the package with only one sock. I reassure him that the other one is on its way (I finished it the next day). When Holiday season 2006 went into the history books, we survived another Christmas with only a few ruffled feathers. We took pleasure and comfort in the traditions we have developed over the years and ushered in 2007 with a new tradition: the New Year's Eve Sushi making party! Good times!

Now it's on the next adventure, Meredith's departure on January 14th for a semester in Milan Italy. You have to know there will be some "interesting" posts as that chapter in our lives unfolds. Stay tuned...


phyllis said...

thank you...i need something to look forward to now and then. sad when i live vicariously thru others.


Yay!!!! A new post - you are still alive and well after the holidays. So glad it all went well - and now with Meredith going off to Italy. I wish you well in the days to come. It is hard enough to send them off to college but to a foreign country? Sue

Janet said...

I missed you!!!