Friday, December 31, 2010

Phoenix or Duluth?

Happy New Year!  Let's talk about the weather!

Why?  Because I had to pop over to Walgreens just now and when I walked outside I got frostbite on my ears.  A woolly mammoth escorted me to my car.  I passed a group of Norwegian cross-country skiers with snot icicles dangling from their noses.  And then the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse trotted by as a sure sign that the end of the world is nigh.

Because it's 3 in the afternoon and only 50 degrees outside. 

Somebody pass me a parka.  I am living in the tundra!

I know, I know, I KNOW.  There's a whole contingency out there to whom 50 degrees right now would mean shorts and flip-flops.  And to you I say, the cold weather has addled your brains.  Your judgement cannot be trusted.

The other night I was out with my sisters and Val and Annie (Knechts!  Appels!  Party!) and we were standing around in the parking lot of Miguel's, blissfully stuffed on chips and salsa, talking about the weather.  Don't think that I'm the only 80 year old out there, folks.  The question came up:  would you rather live in a cold place or a hot place.  And suddenly it was like Sophie's Choice.  My mind couldn't fathom either.  Because I was once standing in another parking lot, this one in Phoenix, and across the street was a bank thermometer that read 117 and I could feel the bones in my legs catching on fire.  But on the flip side, I just made a joke about the tundra.

So I opted out of the question because both seem like an impossibility.  I am weak.  But happier for it.

What would you choose?  Phoenix or Duluth?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nine things about Christmas '010

1.  Nephews
2.  The most stress-free family photo session of all time, which generated this gem of Gina and Chris auditioning for a Calvin Klein ad.  Oh how we have laughed and laughed over it.
3.  Sisters Christmas Eve Pedicures!
4.  Lindsay, who is a legit massage therapist, set up her massage chair by the fire on Christmas Day (even though it was only about 65 outside.  We like to be cozy.  Okay, scratch that, I like to be cozy.) and worked us all over.  Here's a tip:  if you're sister comes to you and says, "I'm thinking about going to massage school," chip in for her tuition.  Worth it!
5.  Did I mention the nephews?  Because Holy Cats, they are the Best Thing Ever.  Seriously.  I said the phrase, "That's enormous!" to Ben and he said, "Is that a fat joke?"  I mean, come on!  The kid is 3 and has better timing than most people I know.
6.  I should also mention that my entire family was in town.  If you have spent any amount of time with my family you know what this means - lots of jokes about our heads.
7.  I didn't get out of my pajamas all day.  It was my reward for...
8.  Finishing all of my felt projects at 5:30 pm on Christmas Eve.  I sewed the last stitch onto Kylea's stocking and then did a victory lap.  I made everyone high-five me.
9.  Earlier this month I was commissioned to do this:

Yeah, it's the entire A-Team in felt on a pillow case.  It is as rad as it looks.  Nothing says, "Merry Christmas" more than Hannibal in a scarf.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas

(You know the tune, and, as with all things, it's better if you sing out loud and dance to it, preferably in public.)

On the 12 Days of Christmas this blog gave to you.

12 angry letters to my congressmen
11 mishaps on the organ
10 awesome giveaways
9 concussions from my nunchucks
8 rambles on how much I love books
7 Mr. T Bookmarks
6 Sing-alongs
5 posts about Tyra
4 months of Elegant Leisure (unemployment)
3 months in Tunisia
2 Flat Rachel Adventures
And the World's Largest Felt Collection!

I am all about the giving.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!  I love you all.  Let's be best friends forever!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bedazzled gloves make everything better

You may recall that my sisters and I do a dance routine every year at the Knecht Family Christmas party.  It is a long and glorious tradition.  We like to mix it up so this year we did a drill team number.  It was exceptional.  Mostly because we had fancy gloves.  Have a look.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


The felt.  Oh, the felt.  Oh, the hours and hours and hours I spend looking at the felt.  And cutting the felt.  And stitching the felt.  With my fingers that are now nicked and ripped by needles.  This is what the felt makes me look like at the end of the long nights of work.

(Side note:  Isn't Camille's head gloriously large in this picture?  I'm a little jealous.)

But all the cross-eyed-ness has paid off because there have been a few masterpieces from the felt.  I can only show you this one though:

Remember Bob?  How he won a bookmark of his choice?  Yeah, he chose Yoda.  Which instantly makes me think he is a man of Taste and Wisdom.  Speaking of Bob, did you know that his brother has also won a bookmark from this blog?  If I were you I'd start formulating conspiracy theories.

In unrelated news:  I feel like we had a very healthy debate on the merits of certain Hershey's Miniatures.  Using my scientific super brain (or, you know, a pen and some scratch paper) I crunched the numbers and came up with the following data:

You like

1.  Krackle
2.  Milk
3.  Mr. Goodbar
4.  Special Dark

Hm.  Weird.  But we can't refute the data.  Feel free to mail me any left over Special Dark you have hanging out in your candy jar.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You know you love it

Some of life's most pressing questions seem to arise at my family's Sunday dinners.  Tonight was no exception.  This one was heavily debated and we came to no real conclusion so I proposed I'd bring it to the masses.

What is your preferred order of Hershey Miniatures?

Mine goes as follows:

1.  Mr. Goodbar
2.  Special Dark
3.  Krackle
4.  Milk

I know, I know.  There is better chocolate than Hershey's.  But that is not the debate.  And you know you have a warm spot in your heart for it.  It's the chocolate of your youth.  And when presented with an assortment you instantly go for one particular variety.  I want to know what that is. 

If you're one of those people who doesn't like chocolate (freak) then you may put what your Starburst preference is (pink, orange, red, yellow).  And if you're one of those people who doesn't like candy (alien freak) then don't bother commenting because I couldn't handle not respecting you anymore.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tales from the Pod

1.)  The Pod (yep, I'm back) is located right next door to a hospital that my grandpa was admitted to yesterday.  I tell you, the convenience.  He's okay.  How do I know?  He's telling corny jokes and war stories and he's flirting with the nurses and hassling the physical therapists.  Oh, Grandpa.  Anyway, I walked over to the hospital to visit him and I passed by a nurse who was eating lunch on a bench outside.  There wasn't a back on the bench but there was a wide but low arm on the side so she had her lunch sitting on the arm and was leaning over to eat.  Here is where I should tell you that scrubs do not have a lot of give to them.  Meaning when you sit in them they don't stretch out to cover your butt.  They instead migrate south of the border.  So here was this nurse, leaning way over to eat her lunch and wearing scrubs that had headed so far south that were her butt a globe I could have pointed out the Cape of Good Hope.  This was compounded by the fact that she was wearing a thong.  There was a whole lot of flesh.  But she was just munching away on her salad, by all accounts intent on fully mooning me, the 10 construction workers in the parking lot, the 10 people out on smoking breaks, and the flock of children walking into the hospital.  You would think that the draft alone would have clued her in, but no.  I felt like it was my duty to at least bring it up on the chance that she was in some kind of tragic butt numbing accident, but as I made my way over I saw someone else beat me to it and whisper something in her ear and motion to her exposed backside.  And what did the nurse do?  She shrugged and shift down her shirt a little, which only succeeded in covering the very top of her thong.  Classy.

2.)  One of the girls at the Pod called an insurance company to verify coverage of custom shoes and shoe inserts.  She was told that under the patient's plan those items are only covered in case of an amputation.  Which means that in order for the company to pay for either inserts or shoes that are specifically measured and molded for his feet he would have to not have feet.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Things that I am loving lately

1.  All the custom felt orders that I have in the queue.  All of them are gifts so I can't show you until after Christmas but we've got some fun and creative people out there and they've turned the World's Largest Felt Collection into a party.  Also, a sweat shop - because oy, the time I spend hunched over it.

2.  The movie Enchanted April.  I rewatched it tonight and wept all over the felt.  Some people have told me that it's dull.  But some people have told me they like vanilla ice cream.  Which is to say we cannot always trust some people's judgement.  I will recount that once I got a screeching phone call from Amanda that went something like this:  "I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU NEVER SAT ME DOWN AND MADE ME WATCH ENCHANTED APRIL BECAUSE IT'S WONDERFUL AND I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!"

3.  Shiny produce.  For the last 2 weeks, every time I've been in the produce section of the grocery store, I've been mesmerized by how shiny it all is.  The produce in Tunisia looks exactly as it does in its natural state - dirty.  This is a good sign and it almost always tasted amazing.  I know that shiny fruit equals pesticides and wax and mediocre flavor.  But gosh it's pretty.  I spent about 5 minutes yesterday just gazing at the celery because I couldn't get over how sparkly it was.  And don't even get me started on the apples.  It was like the Vegas strip - all aglow.

4.  Mint truffle Hershey kisses.  Knights of Columbus!  I've eaten my weight in them in just 3 days.

5.  The giant disco ball ornament on the top of my Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I didn't realize dinosaurs were in Bethlehem

My stake has this nativity festival every December with over 1000 nativity scenes and lots of community choirs singing and it's one of those things that simultaneously makes me love Christmas but also makes me want to check out the Catholics.  Because my soul fights against giant church productions like this.  I get exhausted just thinking about all the work that goes into it (of which I do practically none of).  And I whine and whinge about how many times I have to drive the whole 2 minutes to the church to help with this or that (4 times so far).  And why can't I just stay at home in my jim-jams and also, wah!  Until I get there and see how lovely it is and how so many people enjoy it and every time I go I see people I love and end up chatting for hours and then I change my scroogey attitude and let the Christmas Blue Bird of Happiness nestle in my heart again. 

Last night the primary kids were singing so I headed down and when I got there I walked into the room where they were waiting to go on to see if I could help and ended up playing hall-monitor/circus clown while they were lined up.  I have every good intention of teaching children the importance of reverence in church but kids are just so entertaining.  For example:  they do funny things on demand.  I had them pretend that they were spies lined up against the wall.  I made them practice singing with feeling and we flailed our arms about like we were opera stars.  I high-fived them all as they walked into the chapel - and then told them to fold their arms.  I am no good at being an example of saintly reverence.  But I certainly know how to have fun with them.

And now for a note on nativity scenes:  There are A LOT of them at this thing.  Over 1000.  Some are beautiful.  And some are made of teddy bears.  Or moose.  Or cats.  Or puppy dogs.  One had dinosaurs in it and a halo made of a gold candy wrapper.  I realize that some of you out there may have a creche that fits into this whimsical category.  It is well documented how much I love the whimsy.  And I certainly don't want to get all judge-y about the myriad and, I'm sure, very personal ways people bring about the Christmas Spirit.  And I love you and we're friends.  But really, a moose? 


On an entirely unrelated note:  we had a special occasion this morning (which included so much laughing that Laura barely managed to say, "I'm about to pee my pants!!!").  It called for Special Occasion Orange French Toast.  Folks, you need to make this.  And then you need to get a good cardiologist.