Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Just a couple of more hours (we get our present on Christmas eve - HA!) and only one hour before we go to church (eek still need to get dressed and get all the glue off my hands from wrapping presents). Merry Christmas to all of you!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Just a few more days

Just a few more days at work, and then M. and I both fly to Germany to visit our families. We have booked our flights onto the same dates, so that we can brave London traffic together and have a coffee at the airport before we each get on our plane (sounds a bit like we own a plane each.. on the contrary! After a few telephone calls with Ryanair, I am not sure they will take my luggage on board, never mind actually offering some customer service - every year I swear I won't fly with them again, but they are now the only ones flying directly from London to Bremen, which is where my parents live).

My Christmas-gift-scarves/shawls are all finished and being blocked as I write (pictures hopefully before I leave for Germany). I have decorated the gift boxes and now there are only two or three projects left to knit before Christmas..... :-) I just don't want to brave loosing my needles to security at the airport, but I'd so much like to take them onto the plane.... maybe my bamboo needles..... Any hints or tips?

Well, off to work now - have a great start to your week!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Coffee Swap Three (the first one)

For St Nicolaus Day I got two packages of goodies. Every now and then it seems to be my day - I remember, I passed my driving test with a pretty nasty instructor on that day (ages ago) as second and last one out of ten. My Mom always sends my sister and me something on St. Nicolaus Day - I got a book and some homemade cookies. Thanks Mom! Later this morning the postman found our house to deliver the first of our Coffee Swap Three packages. G's still waiting for hers from Munich and so I conclude that, in postal service terms, South Carolina actually is closer to us than Germany... strangely enough.
Anyway, back to my Christmas-comes-early-package content (sorry the camera is not working, these are the only pictures I managed to take) Two skeins of Ultra Alpaca (the red one is called Chianti, the darker one Lobster Mix - very promising names!) Can't wait to start knitting with it! The Holydaze Sampler from Caribou Coffee which I only heard of - I'll wait until Saturday morning to try it out. I need time to enjoy it. I also got a new mug to try out the coffee with. Some yummy Coconut and Kiwi scented body butter (how did she know that I love Coconut?) A pretty snowman and a scented candle to brighten my loooong dark evenings trying to finish my Christmas knitting. :-) Thank you Cheryl! A report of tasting the coffees will follow shortly....

Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy 1st of Advent!

The first of Advent (Advent Sundays = 4 Sundays before Christmas) has come around, and with it the real count down to Christmas. This weekend, apart from both J. and M. having a lot of pain in their necks (no, I am NOT their pain in the neck.... at least not this time), we welcomed the season by making some glitter stars and listening to Keith Jarrett. M. and I had to chase through London on the search for the right kind of glitter, glue, cardboard, paper cutter with self-healing mat, etc., but once we got going in the late afternoon on Saturday it was great fun. I managed to ram the butt of the knife so firmly into my thumb for such a prolonged period of time, that the tip of my thumb is still a little numb today, but have a look at the stars! The instructions can be found on the Martha Stewart website.

On Sunday, my friend H. and her son D. were visiting us for a session of Christmas cookie baking. Oh, the fascination of being allowed to sample the chocolate, cookie dough and cookies, as well as J's famous Brazilian cheese bread - I'm not sure whether D. had more fun or I did! Since neither M. nor I can have sugar in any quantities, we revised all the recipes and used some no-sugar-added-jam and made up the volume with some ground almonds and/or oatmeal. Also, we used lovely sugar free Rococo Chocolates. Here are a few (visual) samples of our achievements.

Almond & Pecan Sandwiches (German Recipe)

Classic Mürbeteig Biscuits (German Recipe)

To round off this Advent weekend, M. and I finally started knitting our Christmas Gnomes (Alan Dart). I have to say, the initial verdict is that they both still look a bit like Barbabelle at the moment... Barbabelle with one giant foot.... But I'm sure we'll get there in the end ;-)