Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

A festive house for Christmas in Connecticut.



I set the table with a "white Christmas" theme.




Fun with the family!














Aunt Geraldine and I talked about the flowers for the wedding. Tablescapes are the idea for the reception.


Here are some of the flowers that will be in my bouquet and my bridesmaids' bouquets.


I also started a new project.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WooHoo!

It's done! Knit time: June - Present



Friday, December 18, 2009

Mid-December Already

It's December already. Seth and I have been enjoying the holiday season. We have the Christmas tree/Chanukah bush all set up in the living room and our snowman and candy-cane Gel Gems on our slider. It's very festive.



The most recent week of December has hit me hard with a rather unpleasant cold which has made me miss some inconvenient days of work. I am just now feeling well enough to be vertical for more than a few seconds. It has been seriously blah. Seth has been taking very good care of me. So has Lily, who has made sure to spend at least three of the hours during the day (and all of the hours during the night) sleeping on my knees and shins just in case they were a bit chilly.



One of my holiday gifts from Seth is also helping with the cold. It's bath items from Lush, my favorite place for bath and body items. Among the many cool things he got me from Lush is this gift set filled with bath bombs (Lush's exploding bath salts), themed for Chanukah. Check out the neatness!


(We kept trying to take the picture with the gimel showing but the gift box would not cooperate.)

On the plus side, for those who have been following the story of the cable and electrical, I have good news. WMECO will be reimbursing us in full for all of the expenses we incurred as a result of the problem with the line. I am very happy and looking forward to their check for $388 arriving in the mail in the next two weeks.

Before my cold started, I was doing a bit of spinning.


I've been working on this roving, which I got from loop.


It's turning into some neat yarn.


On the wedding front, Seth finished designing the Save the Dates. They are very, very cool and done with a neat motif in navy, which I will say little about, so that it can be a surprise.

We're planning to have the invitations, place cards, and cake (!) match the design. We are going to order the paper from them from Paper Source and then print them at home. We were thinking of using a local printer/copy place, but everyone was none to helpful in getting back to us, and we determined that paying to buy ink for our printer was cheaper than paying a copy place anyway. We didn't want any fancy engraving or raised printing and our at-home printer does a very nice job when set to it's "best" setting, so we should be all set. We plan to order the paper soon once we see the samples, which should arrive in the mail any day.

The save the dates will be going out in January. The only other wedding "to do" items for January are: register, get tuxes for the men (which will be in grey so as to look good with the ladies' dresses), and order the cake. Seth, the cake master, has decided he wants to get the cake from Atkins, a local country market with a bakery. They have pictures of cakes they've made online here. Seth already knows what he wants the cake to look like, so we just have to go an get a quote and place the order.

Now, Seth and I are off for two weeks, until January 4. Party time (once this wretched cold is over)!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gift Baskets

Our office put together a pair of gift baskets for the winter prize drawing that we're doing this year to benefit the Sidney Smith Toy Fund. My co-worker, Maddy, and I put together two baskets:


A coffee and tea basket and


A crafting basket. I am bringing in some hand-spun yarn for the crafting basket, which I spun from this roving.


Here is it spun-up.


All in all a very fun holiday tradition!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lily's Picture at the Art Exhibit

Here are pictures from the exhibit of staff's pet's at Smith. Lily's photo was included.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Saga of the Cable is Complete

It appears that the saga of the cable is complete. As many of you know, about three weeks ago our internet started acting up. When Comcast arrived, our cable line was frayed -- there was amperage being feed back along the cable line. We called Western Massachusetts Electric Company. They sent out a person who pulled out the meter and said, "Nothing is wrong here. It must be something in the house."

We called the electricians. The representative from the cable company had said that amperage feeding back into the house was very dangerous. It was also damaging the line and they would be turning off our cable (all dozen channels of it) and internet.

The electricians came the next day and stayed for about an hour and a half. They could find nothing wrong. We called Comcast back and when they came back, they found that there was still amperage on the cable line. We called the electricians back and still couldn't figure it out.

Day three: We had the electricians and Comcast come at the same time. At this point, we thought it might be a problem with the Comcast line. Turns out it was neither the electrical work in the house, which was fine as the electricians said all along, or the cable. It was WMECO's problem -- something they did not diagnose three days prior. (Note: To be honest, I was very glad it was not in the house. We moved in less than a year ago and the inspector looked at all the electrical and said it was fine. I would have been disappointed if there was something overlooked.)

Eventually, right before Thanksgiving, WMECO came out and ran a temporary line (all the electrical lines in Echo Hill are underground). This fixed the problem. They still have to come out an bury this electrical line, which is throughout the trees outside our row of condos.

Comcast came to look at the cable. The back-fed amperage had melted it completely.


At this point, we are in discussions with WMECO to get compensations to cover the $388 electrician bill that we incurred because the problem was not diagnosed as an external problem on day one. Seth talked with someone there today, who was very helpful and told us about the claims process WMECO has. We are going to have to fill out some paperwork and see if we get approved to get the money back. I should think that we should, but we'll have to see. At least we are done with having everyone running in and out of the house.

In unrelated news, the bridesmaids dresses are all picked out. Everyone decided on the dress I posted most recently -- the A-line with the pleating along the bosom. I think it should look very nice. Everyone is also getting the shoes I posted recently. I am thinking to getting them to go with my dress too, as I think they should look nice, although it's hard to tell having not seen my dress yet. (Note: I tried on the sample in a different color than the dress I am getting and they didn't have a large enough swatch to really tell what the actual dress will look like, although I am sure it will be lovely.) Next up is working on the invites, which Seth will design and deciding on the cake. Keep checking things off the list!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dresses

Yesterday, Sarah and I went to the David's Bridal in West Springfield to try on some bridesmaids' dresses.

We ended up trying on the two dresses I featured in a post earlier this month. These dresses were quite nice. I especially liked the strapless one, though the other dress was lovely -- I just thought it would looked better on others. We also tried on this dress, which Sarah really liked and might get.


There was also a shocking moment, when I realized that the color I had been looking at for all the dresses and thought was a teal (online) is actually a navy. To make matters worse, David's Bridal discontinued their teal. Now Seth and I aren't 100% sure what we're going to do with the color. We probably will go with the navy because I have picked out the dresses pretty much already. Maybe we'll have the guys in tan suits, which would be very fun and non-traditional and good for the summer, just how the navy will be good for an evening wedding.

Sarah and I also looked at shoes online. I like these silver ballet flats especially, although there were some other cute silver ballet flats at Payless too.

So, things are coming together once we finalize on the color. Seth and I plan to look into that more tonight, and then we should be all set for my friends to order their dresses!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Goings-on with Lily

Lily has been the most wonderful girl lately. She has been doing all sorts of things I never thought she would. I feel that some day in the future, she might turn into a real lap cat.

Lily used to never share furniture with you. In fact, originally, she never sat on any furniture except her special window seat, which she continues to adore, and the disk chair, which she has deserted of late. Lily loves to spend time sitting with Seth and me on the couch. This is especially desirable when Seth has the star quilt out. Indeed, Seth and Lily take up so much space that it is sometimes difficult for me to get a spot at all. Lily also spent a lovely night, curled up on my lap for over an hour. This from a cat who never used to sit with me for more than ten minutes tops. She also spent about fifteen minutes on my lap while I was surfing the web last night. (I had to remove her from Seth's laptop -- a new favorite spot.)


Lily does love her little enclosed spaces. She spent some time in Seth's hamper last night.


Lily is such a good girl. I like to think that we are doing right by her and taking care of her in ways that accommodates for her rather special personality and nervousness. Again, I feel she's been doing very well with this. I think she's been happier since we moved to Echo Hill and got the condo where it is so much quieter, recent difficulties with the electric (company -- not the electrical work in the house which is apparently fine), which has resulted in a lot of people visiting, aside.

I am very thankful that Lily (via Missy) found us. Her Mommy and Daddy couldn't love her more!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Anniversary and Twist

The Fall Phonathon ended Thursday with a great deal of success. This made me quite happy. I was also excited to sit down to a dinner with Seth for the first time in two weeks. A special bonus - it was our anniversary!

The celebration actually started on Wednesday when Seth had flowers sent to my office to celebrate my last Phonathon shift (Maddy worked the Thursday shift) and our anniversary.


He sent carnations - my favorites!

Thursday ended up being such a crazy day. We were having trouble with our internet and then Comcast said it was an electrical problem and the story, as of yet unresolved, continues for annoying length the result which promises to be a very expensive electrical bill. Although it is to note that the problem is probably not our electrical system at all which appeared fine to the electricians but something created by the cable company. This is no 100% certain but is likely. Even though we spent all of Friday dealing with the situation we'll have to wait until Tuesday for likely resolution. But I digress.

Thursday, after Seth dealt with the craziness all day and I spent the day at work, we decided despite our worry about the cable situation to go out as planned. We went to Tabella, a lovely restaurant in Amherst, where we had somehow never been. We had a lovely dinner. We shared some chickpea fries to start, then had a great risotto and some duck with a chutney. We then had dessert - pumpkin pie for Seth and a wonderful bittersweet chocolate creme brulee for me. It was a wonderful time, and I was delighted to get to spend time with Seth after such a long time without getting to share a meal with him.

Friday we dealt with the electrical/cable problem during the day. But in the evening had a great time going to the Twist craft fair in Northampton. Maddy went with us which was lovely because I have hardly gotten to see her at work what with our crazy schedules trading off evenings at the Phonathon.

As per usual, I got some cool stuff at Twist. Seth got me some soaps from Bunny Butt Apothecary, my favorite hand-made soap place.


He also got me an adorable little stuffed pig for my desk. Lily is already obsessed with the pig, and you can see a bit of her fuzziness and wiskers in the picture.


Finally, I go myself a neat magnet. The picture didn't come out that well -- the button says "Knit Nerd." Funny!


I've actually been doing more spinning than knitting, as I have been working on spinning up the yarn for the craft basket The Smith Fund is putting together for the Development/AASC annual winter charity auction.



I finished plying the first bit earlier this afternoon and am in good shape to have it all done by December.