Saturday, December 26, 2009


So what, you wondered, have my knitting needles been up to these past few months? Tea cozies! There are several people I owe a huge debt of gratitude to, for I have never had such a relaxing, rewarding holiday season - and it's all thanks to those babies pictured above, and several more just like 'em.

A year and a half ago, I had never picked up a knitting needle, nor did I have any desire to! Then, in my blog wanderings, I stumbled upon Eyes of Wonder, and found this cozy, made for Jewels by a blog friend in Tazmania, named Jenny. I remember thinking that it was so darn cute, it almost made me wish I could knit. Not long after that, my sister-in-law and her daughter-in-law were here for Thanksgiving, and they were both working on baby hats while we sat and visited - one knitting, the other crocheting. I told them I was kind of jealous, not having anything to work on myself, 'cause it seemed like they were having more fun than me. Before I knew what hit me, Jessica had me knitting and pearling! Turns out it's not all that difficult. The hard part came the minute she left, when I ran into my first problem - and had absolutely no clue how to fix it or get around it. "Well," I thought, "that's the end of that!"

But then Lexie came home for Christmas, re-taught me, and stuck around long enough to see me through the completion of my first scarf. By then I was pretty well hooked. A few months later, I stumbled upon a blog called Little Jenny Wren, and whilst browsing through her photos of all the precious Waldorf-style dolls she creates, and the darling wee outfits she hand-knits for them, it suddenly hit me. "I think this is the same Jenny who made that adorable tea cozy for Jewels! I wonder if she'd share the pattern with me?"

I left her a note, and the next thing I knew, I was up to my eyeballs in cozies, and having the best holiday season of my life. So thank you Jess and Lex, for being such kind, patient teachers, and thank you Jewels and Jenny, for being the wonderfully generous, sharing, creative, inspiring bloggers that you are!

Next, (as soon as I nab some good photos of them) I'll be sharing with you some of the amazing hand-made gifts I was on the receiving end of this year. Then, it's your turn - I want to see what you got, or gave, that was handmade. I need ideas for next year! You can email your photos, along with a brief explanation, to me at: becky.lane(at)vownet(dot)net

Thursday, December 24, 2009




I can't believe it. It's finally Christmas Eve. I guess some things never change. Just like when I was a kid, I still spend most of the month thinking "Will it never arrive? Isn't it time for the kids to be out of school yet, so we can start having some fun? Is John ever going to start his vacation, and get his butt to Wimberley, so we can get this party rolling?" Then all of a sudden, BAM! It's here! And then I'm all, like, "Whoa, hold on a minute! I'm not ready for it to be over with yet! Can't we please drag this out a wee bit longer?"

So, this is it. BAM! It's here! Which is why I was reaching over to jiggle John's shoulder in the wee hours before dawn, saying "Psssst! John! Wake up! It's Christmas Eve! We've got to make every minute count! You don't want to waste it away just sleeping, do you?" Apparently, he does. He just groaned, gathered the covers about him, and rolled to the far side of the bed, forming a cocoon as he went. Sheesh. What a waste!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Ya think maybe we're wearing the poor guy out?


Normally, I walk the trash down our very long, very steep driveway. Good exercise - especially the coming back up part. However, when we have more trash than one person can handle, or if it is especially heavy, drippy and generally skanky, we employ this method. Coming up with the bags-out-the-window method was easy. Figuring out how to then get out of the car, without dropping the bags and risking explosive spillage, was a bit harder.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Like John's sci-fi family outing, Austin and Alexis each have must-do Christmas traditions as well. Yesterday, we did both in one day. For Lex, it was the annual excursion to the gargantuan Whole Foods store in downtown Austin, where we all split up to shop for our individual contributions to Christmas dinner. I'm doing the main course - beef tenderloin with smoked-paprika mayonnaise, John is in charge of beverages and appetizer, Austin is doing side dishes, and Alexis shopped for bread and dessert. The place is such a feast for the eyes during the holidays that I became mesmerized by all the displays and tidbits to be sampled, and completely forgot to take any pictures for you, until it was too late. So sorry!

For Austin, it just wouldn't be Christmas without tubas. He played tuba all through high school (and was definitely the star when it came to tuba-dancing, in my completely unbiased opinion), using a school-supplied tuba, since tubas are priced a bit on the exorbitant side. Every Christmas they allowed him to check it out for a few days, so that he could join a couple of hundred other tuba-players in whatever city we happened to be living in at the time, for Merry Tuba Christmas. This year involved a couple of firsts for us all: the first time to attend the one held on the steps of our state's capitol building, and the first time for Austin to be in the audience with us, rather than performing, since he no longer has access to a tuba. I think the poor kid must be suffering from withdrawal, because mid-show he pulled out his i-phone and started looking up "used tubas." Feel free to let us know, if you've got any leads!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Poor Austin. He had just enough time, after he arrived here yesterday, to unload his car and gulp down a bit of lunch, whilst we loved on his puppy, before we threw him back into the car and headed off to Pflugerville to see a movie. Why Pflugerville, which is somewhere north of Austin? Well, because that's the nearest theatre with digital projectors - the only kind John felt were worthy for the ultimate 3-D viewing experience of this particular movie, Avatar.

Now, I'm not near as crazy about sci-fi/fantasy as John and the kids, but I must admit, I loved this movie. All three hours of it! It's kind of a futuristic version of what happens to native populations each time white men invade a new land - only this time, Whitey gets way more than he bargained for! The imaginary world they created for this movie was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and the colors? Simply orgasmic.

From there we went to try a Chinese restaurant that had been recommended by some foodie friends. It's next to an Asian market, and I knew we'd hit the jackpot the minute we entered the place and took a couple of breaths. Almost simultaneously, John and I turned to one another and said, "Smells just like Singapore!" It looked just like our favorite cafes in Singapore too, with lots of large families grouped about big round tables with lazy susans full of food in the center. The other sure sign that we were in for a quality experience? We were just about the only anglos in the whole darn place! There were so many yummy sounding choices that we ended up ordering way more than we could eat. Guess we will be having Chinese for dinner again tonight, but that's OK. We don't mind one little bit!