The Christmas Report

Tuesday the office was pretty quiet. Even quieter/more deserted today.

On Tuesday Ron and Robin went to Games Plus to replentish the supply of Robin’s business cards on the bulletin board. He did need to leave some more, but no business has been garnered yet. However, in a bid to try to drum up some business, Robin got a set of miniatures for a fantasy/SF football miniatures game, which he’s going to paint and then put up for sale in the store’s display/consignment cabinet.

Tuesday while I was at work Ron cut, folded, and printed some little to/from cards/tags for gifts. But I forgot to get pictures.

Robin’s Christmas presents arrived Tuesday, two kilts from UT Kilts (“Wild” model), who are significantly cheaper than a lot of places, but only do off-the-rack waist sizing. I’d ordered based on the waist size I’d supplied Alt Kilt for his other ones, which turns out to be too small, especially across the hips. Exchanged mail with the UT Kilts proprietor about the proper size kilt for his hips, and will be sending the too-small ones back and ordering the correct size tomorrow. I’ll probably also get one or two for Ron.

Opened presents after breakfast yesterday (a tradition that has driven some of my family members up the tree in past years, as did letting toddler-Robin take his time and play with his new toys instead of hurrying him on to the next presents). My stepmother thoughtfully sent Ron shirts in several sizes, and me fabric to make one or more new dresses (one piece of fabric, haven’t checked yardage, seems like more than enough for one dress), as well as gift cards to Kohl’s.

After opening presents, we got even more dressed and went to Brookfield Zoo. I’d weighed myself in the morning, and surprisingly have lost weight in the last week or so – I’ve been trying to be restrained with holiday treats, but I didn’t expect to do that well. I’ve lost enough weight that I can comfortably wear the jeans I have again. Ron says I look strange in pants, its been quite a while since I last wore them.

I ended up over-dressed (cotton leggings under jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt, coat, scarf for my ears, and heavy gloves), as did Ron (cold-weather motorcycle jacket). We visited The Swamp, Birds & Reptiles (used to be the Perching Birds), the big cat row, The Fragile Rain Forest,  and Pinniped Point. We weren’t quite the only people there, but it was a very quiet day.

Since we last went to the zoo, over a year ago, several of the exhibits in The Swamp are of South American species instead of just North American. Not complaining, just a data point.

Most of the big cats (and the spectacled bears) were hiding from the cold, and the tiger was sleeping. The young snow leopard and his mother, however, were active, and right in front of the viewing window.

We arrived at The Fragile Rain Forest just before the keeper started working with the binturong. First she called the squirrels to their crates for treats and to not steal the binturong’s treats. The binturong was feeling lazy, and wouldn’t do all the keeper wanted her to do. Then the keeper let out a pair of asian small-clawed otters and gave them their lunchtime fish.

Got home and had a late lunch. We’d tried the restaurant at the zoo by the dolphins, but it was closed (not surprisingly).

After lunch I creased more to/from cards for Ron, and sorted cards and To/From cards that Ron had printed, to give to various family members as gifts, while he printed the to/from cards. IIRC he did 4 different designs – three Santas, and a Christmas tree.  He may start printing the interiors (“To:” and “From:) tonight. This batch will be for sale, so I should probably figure out how much they cost, at least in paper, to make (ink is harder to quantify, as the 1# cans we got are going to last a long time).

Got the mittens I’m working on almost done. I have half of one thumb to go, and then the yarn ends from the thumbs to darn in:

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The pattern is from “Selbuvotter, Biography of a Knitting Tradition” by Terri Shea. Selbu mittens (Norwegian) use a modified peasant thumb, which has a subtle thumb gusset. The yarn is Claudia Handpaint Fingering, the purple is “Last Night’s Wine”, and the light multicolor is “Crocus”, obtained at Stitches:

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I also dug out the wave mittens and orange, purple, and gold Komi mittens I made earlier this year. Turns out I still have a bunch of ends on the Komi mittens (from the thumbs down through the cuffs):

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 The plan is to finish both pairs of mittens off at lunch/this evening, and pack everything (including kilts to be returned) up and get postage/mailing labels on tonight so they can go out tomorrow. The kilts won’t fit in the mailbox, so I’ll have to either drop them off at the post office, or the outgoing mail at work.  I also need to invoke plastic and dispatch gift cards for some of the relations.

For dinner last night we had beef tenderloin and popovers. I’d cut a section off a whole tenderloin for dinner, just about the perfect size. Ron and Robin took care of the leftovers, and I don’t mean to imply that any made it to the refrigerator (or dog tummies, to their disappointment).