Thursday, December 26, 2013

Did I mention I got a new job?   A better job!   Downtown … I can take the light rail and everything.  

My first week there was a party or lunch out almost every day.  Starting a new job in December has it's advantages :-D

The year started out pretty weird, but it's ending fabulously. Who knew?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Some Photos to Go With the Previous Post

The cookies

The tree (yes I could have taken a better photo but I ended up liking the effect)
The gifts
The music
The cards

It was supposed to snow today but I don't think it's warmed up enough yet :-(

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Things I love about Christmas:

1) The music.  Now that I have a compact house with a compact sound system (iPod Touch with Bose speaker) I can listen to my heart's content.  Certain songs make me smile more than others including, but not limited to, Nat King Cole's O Tannenbaum.  My mother's Norwegian grandfather thought the funniest thing he ever saw was an Irishman speaking German (that would have been my father), so listening to NKC's version of the German classic especially warms my heart.

2) The tree.  I broke down and purchased an artificial tree this year.  When I went to the store I almost asked for a "fake" tree but amended my vocabulary to say "artificial."  They call them "permanent" now.  Can't keep up with the terminology.  I once broke into a conversation about Christmas trees at the office saying, "I love the fact that it's been a tradition since pagan times…" only to find out that one of the co-workers was a Jehovah's Witness.  Oops.

3) The cards.  There have been very few years I have not sent out a card.  I gave in to the annual letter in the early years of having small children.  Lately I have been sending letters with outrageous news (last year's divorce and move, this year's wedding which was a bombshell for my Catholic relatives).  Still, I love receiving cards and hearing from everyone.

4) The cookies.  I still bake a lot.  While I eat a lot fewer cookies than I did in the old days, I still make four kinds and give them as gifts to a number of people, including Milton.  Milton was a friend of my father's who took me under his wing when I was a teenager; he is like a father to me.  Boy-child calls Milton his Jewish grandfather.  Milton happens to love spritz cookies so I either mail or deliver a tin of them to him every year (for the past … 35 years).

5) I used to love to shop but that's not as intense now.  The Girls are anti-consumption, Boy-child is no longer into Legos enough for me to purchase big sets and spend the night putting them together.  I do, however, still love to find a bargain and I've found a couple of clever things this year.  Everything is on a much smaller scale though.

6) Snow.  Not too much of it yet, but I haven't lost hope.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Boat

"It doesn't look any bigger than the Mauritania!"

That bump on the far end is a whirlpool.

The children's pool was pretty amazing.

The shopping area was decked out for Christmas.

There was a really weird bar with a medieval theme that was called The Catacombs (WTF?).

Rose the Gypsy made me drink in the middle of the day… such a bad influence.

We decided that next time we'll schedule more balcony knitting time.

Yes, we plan on there being a next time.

I call this one, Still Life, Poolside:

Rumor has it there's a person on the ship who carves watermelons - s/he doesn't have any other job tasks.  Just carve watermelons.

Does the humidity make my hair look funny?

The gal in charge of keeping our cabin tidy made us a dog out of towels, and then the next day a monkey.  She said the dog is great 'cause he doesn't poo on the bed, and that to care for the monkey you just have to give him a banana.

I love the ocean.

It's nice to have mail when you get home too.

Did I mention we saw an aerial show, an ice show, a comedian, we went to the piano bar and also saw a stage production of Saturday Night Fever?  It was tons of fun.  All of it.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Although there were tons of shore excursions offered, we decided to skip Belize City and go into Cozumel on our own. There's a charming little museum that covers the island's history, so we started out there.

Pre- and Post-Colombian houses are displayed.

I'm practicing selfies but I'm not very good at them yet.

There were Christmas pin~atas.

The town we were in is nice but not without it's neglected corners.

Most of it is well maintained though.

This young performance artist is very brave (I hate pigeons).

Here's some fauna I prefer over pigeons.

I get a real kick out of Christmas trees alongside palm trees.

The main square is a nice place to hang out.

There were some weird elves out decorating.

The roofers in Mexico are Mexican too.

I'm dying to know what tourist police are all about.

Cashola - get it?   Cash and hola.  Kind of sad that you don't even have to get pesos.

Lunch was good.  We got the table with the best breeze.  It was very hot.

I liked Cozumel just fine, but I prefer Mexico City.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Knitting Part

Did I mention that there was a yarn shop on board the ship?

There was yarn and books and cool silk scarves with felted (wool) motifs.

Ken diligently kept the shop well-stocked and tidy.

For classes I took Look Ma, No Cable Needle! (cabling without a cable needle) from Melissa Leapman and History of Lace from Franklin Habit.  For some reason I don't have a photo of Franklin except in his knitted Victorian bathing drawers (those pictures will not be shared here - very private showing).  What I really wish is that I'd taken his photo on dress-up night when he was in a tux … he looks great in a tux.  Oh well.  Next time.

We had a cocktail party in the Sphinx room which was lots of fun even though I drank too much champagne before dinner.  That was Melissa's fault.

Did I mention there was an awesome goody bag?  And door prizes every night?  I hardly had room for it all in my suitcase!

Although I did not purchase yarn (no room) I did buy a scarf:

And a book.  Melissa's latest.

I already own a signed copy of Franklin's book.  The big surprise was that we got a "sneak peek" reading from his new book at one of our evening gatherings.  But my lips are sealed.  I will only say that it will be fantastic.