aka: Shannon's Shananigan's (Since there seems to be less & less knitting and more Shananigan-ing going on as of late and well, let's face it, she's just going to always be a techygeekgirl!!)

Friday, December 30, 2005

But I've Been On Vacation...

So I've been slacking in the blogging department...but I've had a really good excuse! I've been SOOO busy this week doing, well, not much of anything, but still being busy!

Christmas was fun, though I had a meltdown...and I don't mean the chocolate for fudge type either. It really hit me that morning that I was single again and it bummed me out BIG TIME. (That and if I hear anymore about iPods, I'm going to scream) Of course as usual I was exagerating a bit on the melodrama and snapped out of it pretty quick...I'll be happy when all of the holidays are done and I can get back to "real life"....

Christmas Eve was fun...Matt did his best "Lounge Lizard" imitation which was quite entertaining.

And we opened gifts from each other and hung out for awhile. Everyone went to Midnight mass at Chaminade again this year...I didn't go because 1. I wouldn't get back to my house until after 2am & 2. I had to read at 10:45am mass at my church (which was entertaining with THE organist and the irredescent fiber optic flowers tucked behind the crucifix on the least the chaser lights weren't up this year!) On Christmas Day, Matt & I played Boggle and then got smoked by Mom in Scrabble. Yahtzee was a little better, though Matt threw a Yahtzee every game! Later when Ali & Jim came by, we played Loaded Questions which was a riot...Questions like: Rap Music makes me want to ______. And then the asker has to figure out who answered what. You must be creative to play this game!

Monday was swimming and returns to Target. I left the house at 4pm and walked right into the Service desk at Target and had it returned and on my way in 20 minutes. (The Home Cafe Pod coffee maker that Matt gave me had been used, so I exchanged it for a new one) Tuesday was house cleaning and then me and my neighbors had a progressive dinner which was a blast. It was fun to hang out with everyone and their kids and see everyone's house. The 4th house we went to is identical in layout to mine, but they have done so much to it that you wouldn't even KNOW it was the same - it's so cute too! So I got some great pix of everyone at my house and of my neighbor Joe, holding the basket, that would kill me if I knew I posted this picture of him carrying a basket. He aslo made the lighted gift block AND TIED THE BOW himself...

On Wednesday I met Dad for lunch and we went to the MAC. Yeah, I can see Ali having a wedding reception there someday...This place is BEAUTIFUL. And Dad ran into a couple of guys he knew and we kept saying we recognized people down there too...Anyway, one of the guys we ran into is a father of a kid Matt (21 - this is important!) went to high school with. So they were talking about the boys and school, etc. and I was introduced as "this is my daughter Shannon". The question from this gentleman was: "So where DO you go to school?" Answer: "10 years ago I graduated from TU..." I know I should be thankful that I look so young, but I hate being thought of as younger (happens at work ALL THE TIME) because most of my colleagues over the years equate young age to "inexperience and don't have a clue". Um, not true, thanks!

I made more hats on the Knifty Knitter this week...One for Matt and a couple for babies.

I love the chunky yarn on it...goes so fast and is so cute! I bought the "bar" version of it too to make scarfs and that on it...will have fun coming up with new projects! Made a trip to Knitorious while I was in the city and got a 25% discount on my purchase, so I stocked up. The stash is now in 2 baskets...Anna & Robin would be so proud! This afternoon Betsy and her daughter are going to stop by to do some stamping for a fund raiser for her trip to DC. I have my open house for the new CTMH Catalog next weekend, which should be fun. I think I am going to get a website through them too, so people can order without waiting for a party. We'll see how that goes...that will be a project for Monday probably!

Oh, and for those of you that noticed...that is the countdown for NEXT Christmas, to start those Knitting gift projects early! And that's a "diet" tracker for me...I joined the Master's Swimming program today, so we'll see how that goes....

Anna has made a suggestion that I make some lists for New Year's and they are in process and will be posted sometime this weekend! Until then...have a happy last couple of days of 2005!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

LLBean/FedEx Watch: No package yet...LLBean says it will be here today. I'm on the phone with the post office now and they still haven't seen it yet. They said to call back by noon... (The photo copy is ready if need be!)

The scarf was finished Thursday night and looks cute. I hope she likes should go with her black coats...

The princess came over Thursday night to ice cookies. She is of the school of thought that "if some sprinkles are good....lots of sprinkles are better!) Her birthday was yesterday, so it was fun for her to come over and do that. Chaser X was sick, so he didn't get to decorate this year... (Let me know if you can identify any of these shapes...)

So I had lunch with Anna yesterday, who desperately needed a break from work...A couple of days off will be good for her. After lunch, we went to the yarn store - Chris'. Now that I know what I'm buying at the yarn store, it's really dangerous for us to go in there together! I did find yarn for the cabled scarf that I want to try, but we found some new gadgets....

I never thought in a million years that I would be interested in the loom knitting, but the hats from the Knifty Knitter are so cute and so easy, that I couldn't resist! I bought the looms at Michael's, but got the Plymouth Jelly Beenz yarn in red, blue, pink & purple because they had a sample there that was SOOO cute. Anna got the little one too and some Debbie Bliss cashmerino (I think) in baby pink to make some baby hats for gifts for friends. We also bought the pon-pom makers that were so cool too...

So I broke out the Knifty Knitter last night while watching TV at home...I just wanted to see if it was as easy as they said. After finally figuring out how to wrap the yarn and the correct tension, I set out to make a hat. 2 hours later, I was finished, complete with a pon-pom. I ended up making a second hat and starting on a third before going to bed last night. They are SOOO EASY TO MAKE! I don't know if I will ever knit a hat on needles again! The design is ribbed and has built in rim, so it can't be much easier than that!

In other news...I was watching the local CBS news last night and they were running a tag line for the stories coming up and I could have sworn I saw my aunt on it, but didn't hear the entire thing. My aunt and uncle are very active in an organization in St. Louis called Santa's Helpers that collects toys for needy kids, then delivers them on Christmas Day in a Santa suit. They were on the news last night because their house had been broken into and they stole some of the Santa gifts, along with electronics and valuables in the house. I hadn't even heard until then that it had happened and I had even talked to Alice that morning to get a recipe from her. So I got a hold of Mom & Dad and they were buying replacement gifts. I just talked to my uncle and he said that they have had an outpouring of donations of gifts, toys & money and so much that they were able to sponsor a family that wasn't referred until late yesterday afternoon! The people of St. Louis are soooo generous! (Just to note, the organization is having a "matching gift" drive right now for any new donations that come in for next year. For more information, click on the link above for the phone number.)

So I bid you Merry Christmas for the rest of the weekend. It will be fun to spend the days with family and friends and enjoying each other's company.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

T-3+ Days and Counting...

'Til Christmas... You know, that holiday that everyone seems to have gone insane over.

Like all the nutso people in line everywhere that are so freaked out that they aren't moving...Um, there are 20 people in's going to be a little bit and none of the other lines are any better and it would be best if you CHILLED OUT and laughed about it as there's not much else you can do....

The wrapping is done. Well, most of it is done...I have a gift that is MIA. It shipped from LL Bean on the 12th and is somewhere between Hazelwood, MO and Sullivan, MO via the post office. (Is that not a recipe for disaster or what!) If it doesn't come tomorrow, I guess I will stop by the post office after I leave work and ask if they would call me if it comes in, as the plant is closed on Friday and Saturday. Worse comes to worst, I will give the recipient a picture of the gift and deliver it next week when I retrieve it from the USPS. LLBean says it should be here tomorrow, so I'm not giving up yet! All other gifts are done, though I ran out tonight for some last minute stuff and found tons of cute stuff I could have added...Alas, the finances does not allow, thank goodness!

So tomorrow afternoon is cookie decorating with the Princess. It was downgraded from an all day baking/decorating affair on Friday to decorating only on Thursday night. Chaser X is sick and Mom needs some time to clean, so this will be best. The cookies are made and icing ready to go! Today I took in my "world famous" (ok, ATI famous) sugar cookies to work. The recipe is NO secret and is here. I've even made the icing this year, which was sooo good and sooo easy in the KitchenAid mixer!

As for the knitting....Ah, the knitting. The latest score is one scarf dangerously close to completion and another one planned for my sister's boyfriend. I'm found a pattern for a cool cable knit scarf, so we will attempt. It doesn't look too tough...but ask me again after I start it! Mittens are still at the gusset and the hat is at the crown (top down), so no progress there. And incidentally I am planning on going to lunch and to the yarn shop with Anna on Friday, so there you go. And I don't really have a plan for that, other than worsted weight in a cream/khaki in about 300 yards. (No, really, no plan...)

So tomorrow is my last day of work for 2005. It will be the end of a good year. I have written and gotten 76 SOPs approved, which is more than 1 a week since I've been there. And I'm getting things changed, which is good too. I am looking forward to new changes in 2006. Hopefully my job will remain challenging and exciting. And I would love to meet great new people (especially potential dates - HINT) and expand my business and my social circles....

Anyway, to those of you who I know personally and for all of you that stop by on line....I wish you a joyous and safe holiday season...and I will be checking in next week...

Monday, December 19, 2005

She Has A Plan (But Seriously...Are Y'All Really That Surprised???)

So some things while I was swimming tonight....
  1. I really like swimming. I swam competitively from age 5 until 18 and I was kind of least good enough to go to State a couple of years (on a relay team...). Since then I just use it as exercise.
  2. This is good works the WHOLE body, is low impact and gets the heart pumping. The best shape I ever was in was when I swam for Dad at SJA.
  3. I joined the YMCA and pay $41 for the sole purpose of it having a pool. I could have joined other gyms for less, but I loved that they have a pool and it's hardly EVER crowded. I should be taking more advantage of it.
  4. I know....I should start training to swim in the Master's meets! Everyone I know seems to be training for marathons and I can't run to save my life...shin splintz, slow, etc... but this is something to work towards and I can actually do it.

So that's the plan. I called Dad tonight and asked him to put together a workout for me to start training for the Master's. I may never ever swim in a meet, but the training will be beneficial. Right now I swim 2-3 nights a week for about 45 minutes and I go about 2000 yards (80 laps). Since the ultimate goal is ALWAYS to lose weight and tone up, this would be the way to go. And if I am working towards a goal other than losing weight, then I am more apt to get it accomplished...So that's the plan for now!

This weekend was fun, though I had nothing planned and did a lot. I'm just about ready for Christmas, though I'm just not into it this year. I don't know why, probably because it's just me and there really is no high drama like last year and I'm not expecting any "big" gifts or anything special (like big toys or jewelry, etc.) this year. It will be low-key at the Winters' and I will probably go see the Rodeo kids on Christmas. We aren't even doing a Nafziger Christmas because of the way the holidays fall, so that will be strange. I am looking forward to the week off afterwards though. I have some stuff planned, but I'm going to play it by ear. Probably see friends for lunch, maybe do some freelance for MoDOT and visit Dad at the shop.

So here's my Christmas countdown...1 scarf 2/3 done for Christmas Eve...3 types of cookies left to bake...1 pan of fudge to make...1 more gift to buy to send to Bloomington...5 gifts to wrap...1 gift coming in the mail hopefully by Christmas!...1 house to clean...and I think that's it. Not as much as some people, but still a busy week! And the Rodeo kids are coming over to bake & decorate cookies on Friday, so I need to have some ready by then...should be fun!

Do I have a plan to get the stuff done for the holidays? Surprisingly no...and it's really not bothering me too will get done!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Happy Harley-Days

This is how Santa gets around Franklin County.

Monday, December 12, 2005

It's All About MEME

I have seen this on several Knitting Blogs and loved it, so I thought I should do one. (And Laurie aka Crazy Aunt Purl tagged everyone in the world to do one!) And anyone who knows/has met/heard of me knows that I LOVE a good list, so here goes...

TEN Random Things You May Not Know About Me...

  1. I am the shortest person in my family (by ALOT!)
  2. I sleep with a blanket, or something to snuggle with
  3. I can't stand to have a messy kitchen
  4. I have a place in my heart for a good looking man in boots, Wranglers & a good hat. (As long as he meets the Rules)
  5. I love to sing in my car and at home to REALLY loud music
  6. I have always imagined being married to or closely related to someone famous
  7. I really do like to go shopping, but only when I am in the mood to go
  8. I love to travel, especially by plane
  9. I miss being married sometimes, but NOT the person I was married to
  10. I cannot drink wine and then switch to Rum & Cokes without getting sick

NINE Places I Have Visited...

  1. South Korea
  2. Montreal
  3. Cancun
  4. Chicago
  5. Washington, DC
  6. Oregon
  7. California
  8. Florida
  9. Phoenix

EIGHT Ways To Win My Heart...

  1. Tell me I am smart
  2. Tell me I am beautiful
  3. Appreciate me for all the things that I am
  4. Appreciate me for all the things that I am not
  5. Be on time
  6. Remember my birthday
  7. Clean up after yourself, especially at my house
  8. Love my dogs

SEVEN Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  1. Be a parent
  2. Visit Rome & Vatican City
  3. Have & enjoy my 15 minutes of fame
  4. Visit Ireland
  5. Go to a great musical on Broadway
  6. Finish my scrapbooks, so I have a legacy
  7. Learn how to spin

SIX Things I Am Afraid Of

  1. Being buried alive
  2. Unsecured heights (the big fall & sudden stop)
  3. Severe Thunderstorms/Tornadoes
  4. Poisonous Snakes
  5. Poisonous Spiders
  6. Rats/Mice

FIVE Things I Don't Like

  1. High gas prices
  2. Rocky Mountain Oysters (yes, I tried them by accident in college)
  3. Stupid drivers (on the phone, weaving in & out, slow, not paying attention, etc.)
  4. Being hit on by married men, especially at work
  5. People taking credit for work I have done

FOUR Ways To Turn Me Off

  1. Lie to me
  2. Disrespect me
  3. Be constantly late
  4. Break my heart

THREE Things I Do Everyday

  1. Take a shower & wash my hair
  2. Read the comics in the paper
  3. Check my e-mail

TWO Things That Make Me Happy

  1. Friends/Family
  2. Finishing a project (any kind!)

ONE Thing On My Mind Right Now

  1. Do I work on making Christmas Cards or knitting Christmas gifts tonight?

Feel free to do this MEME yourself and send it to me if you want...I'd be curious to see the's much tougher to complete than it looks!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Blondes Do ATI Christmas...

More on the party later...The pictures of "The Blondes" just needed to be posted...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Rules?! I Don't Need No Stinkin' Rules....Or Do I???

Anna and I were discussing my dating life today. (I think I am ever so close to "getting back out there", though Anna & Wayne think "not quite yet...Probably after the new year...but I digress!)

So during the conversation, the list of requirements/rules came up. Me, being the organized list taker from Hell had to write them down, so naturally I could put them on the blog, so everyone will know what they are and torture me with them when I fail to listen to them...Feel free to do read along:

  1. Cannot be married. (No pending divorces or "we're married only on paper" allowed!)
  2. Cannot be anyone I work with. (Been there, done this, got the divorce to prove it. It doesn't end well, too messy and too many people involved. Relatives of co-workers MAY be Ok, but avoid if at all possible...)
  3. No pending legal charges, felony records or Parole Officers. (This one should be obvious...)
  4. Must have a full set of teeth. (I am 33 with no health is important)
  5. Some education beyond HS diploma/GED. (We qualified that a degree was not necessarily required, but some further study beyond that at an accredited college/university was. MOHP school DOES NOT count...)
  6. Must be gainfully AND LEGALLY employed. (no meth labs, "import/export" business or telemarketers please...)

The following are my additional rules...

  1. Must be over 30 and closer in age to me than to my father. (I'm 33 and he's 55...for those of you slow at math...that's age 44. And I don't know if I want to be dealing with guys under 30...)
  2. Occupation could be a factor...while being an "adrenaline junkie" and carrying a weapon can be considered cool, there may be an element of unbalance present. (This will be judged on a case by case basis...and will have to pass #5 above)
  3. A previous marriage is Ok, though 4 marriages before age 38 is going to be a red flag. (I have enough baggage to carry on my own, thanks...)
  4. Drinking is OK, though mostly on occasion and in social settings ...downing a 12-pack every night alone in the garage is a NO. (Slurred speach is NOT ATTRACTIVE)
  5. No Smoking and especially NO DIP....YUCK! (Sure I LOVE spit cups as decor!...)

I think that about covers it. I hate to be picky, but hey, you have to draw the line somewhere...

If you find a guy that fits the criteria listed above, let me know...I'm always up for meeting new people!

Monday, December 05, 2005

But Occiffer...I Didn't Think I Was Speeding....

It happened. The universe is getting me back a bit for being a little bit too cocky last week. (But I'm not taking any of that back, so BLAH on you Universe!)

And I've been dodging speeding tickets for the last couple of years. I think I've been pulled over about 6 times over the last 2 years (all after midnight, I might add!) and I've always gotten a warning.

Tonight, my luck and apparently my cute blonde facade ran out!

I got stopped by MO Hwy Patrol on the way home from work. I was going 67 in a 55 (My speedometer showed higher, but I'm not arguing!) along hwy 47. (So I was a little wired on Dr. Pepper, singing to the radio and a bit excited that today marks 19 weeks since I broke up with Cowboy Bob, which incidentally the same amount of time we dated...yeah, see ya LOSER!)

I was told that I would have gotten a warning for less than 10 over, but no, I was going 12 OVER! (Truth be told, had this been a county cop, I probably would have gotten a warning, but this was State and those guys can be tricky...remember, I dated one of those MOHP guys for awhile...I know!)

Since this wasn't a "Hey, do you know Cowboy Bob...we used to date" moment, I took the ticket with a "Thank You" and headed home. It's a mail-in ticket for $108...Merry Christmas Missouri!

I guess it could have been worse...It could have been one of the officers I had met when I was with him and that could have been awkward...

"Haven't we met?"...

"Yeah, I used to date the psycho at C2...couldn't I get just a warning for having survived that??"

Um, No...

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays??

First and foremost...thanks to all of you who came to my Open House. It was very fun and I can't believe I fit that many people in my house! I still haven't fully cleaned (don't tell anyone that I have all the food still on trays in my fridge!) and the beer is still sitting out on the deck! (It's actually colder out there than in the fridge...) Hopefully the teenage boys that live behind me don't catch on to that...

So it was an ecclectic mix of people at my house... All my brothers were there, with Stacy & Diane, Mom & Dad and Alice & Mike. They are a fun group and camped out in the kitchen most of the night. Anna & Wayne were there, which was cool to have my parents meet them, as they can put a name with a face. My parents really enjoyed them and Matt may be convinced to be a roper this next year! Wild Bill came by after his date and talked tech with Anna and apparently laughed at me for being a self-proclaimed geek. (Truth be told, Anna actually came up with the name of my blog...don't worry, I have a couple of blog names for her too...just kidding!) A couple of friends from Church came by and got their new CTMH about excited! Then all my neighbors came by later...they closed down the party at about midnight! Can't wait for this summer and parties on the deck. We were talking the other night that we could have a great bash in the corner of all of our yards! (No, I don't have any pictures...even had the camera out, but forgot to actually use it!What a slacker I am!)

I worked the Delta Gamma Center Christmas Tree lot yesterday and it was cold. Yeah, I know my last name is Winters, but that's about as far as I get for this cold crap! I did meet a local St. Louis celebrity - John Carney. He's a radio talk show host on KMOX at night, with a very distinguishable voice. It was neat, though uneventful. Sold lots of trees though!

This week is pretty quiet. I am currently at work, again, for today. There was some issues with some guys we had come in on the off shifts to train, so I wanted to make sure they were all set up and doing what they need to do. They are doing well, so I'm not going to stay long... It's actually interesting coming in during the off shifts...everyone looks at you funny and it's a whole different atmosphere. It's very different without all of Management here! I'll be bailing here in a minute, though will be up for awhile - I took a 3 hour nap today, then drank 2 Dr. Peppers before leaving the house, so I'll be up for a couple more hours!

Started my Snow Country Mittens last night. I'm up to the thumb gusset and Anna already talked through it for me. I need to stop trying to figure it all out on paper and just work it through. I freak myself out reading through it, instead of actually working on it! I'm using Plymouth Outback Wool in a bright multi color, which will be fun when felted. I need to get to Knitorious and pick up some yarn for Stacy's scarf for Christmas...I have something really cool in mind for that. Not sure what I'm going to work on after that...

20 Days until Christmas...AHHHHHHHHHH!