Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolved.

Here's the obligatory new year's resolution post. Only, resolutions mean you are going to do something. (Or stop doing something.) Exercise more, eat less junk, less time on the computer, knit from stash, knit every day, knit something every month, whatever. The thing is, despite the fact that I whinge (a LOT) about not having enough time or enough laundry done or whatever, last year was a pretty damn good year. I met a new love, got a new job, moved to a new city. Ran a 5k. Survived having a kindergartener. Survived having TWO talking children. Survived combining a 5 bedroom house and a 3 bedroom condo into one three bedroom condo (plus a coupla storage units). Survived moving towns in the middle of the hottest month of the year. Lost weight, gained weight. Tried new things that I loved (helloooooo sushi) and not so much (goodbye, mushrooms). Went to a mall and neither died nor killed anyone. In short (yeah, I know, too late), I had a grand year, and I hereby resolve to keep on keepin' on. Cuz really, what else is there? Catch you on the flipside, my lovies.

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's here, y'all

Merry Christmas, or happy Saturday, whatever you choose. If you celebrate a holiday around now, I hope it's magical with moist turkey, perfect wine, and everyone genuinely happy. If you don't, I hope the rest of us keep the noise to a dull roar and you have a relaxing and joyful Saturday. I'll report back, assuming I make it through the next 36 hours unscathed. (Or even partially scathed.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Smacky with a Side of Grown Up

Cuz baby boy is this many today:

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Go Time.

I think it's safe to say that your schedule is out of control when you need to color-code it.

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It's go-time here. Supplied are ordered in bulk to do Christmas projects with the kids for their grandparents, aunts and uncles. They're still little so there will be a great deal of directing by T and me. Schedules are made indicating what needs to be mailed and hence what must be finished/purchased first. I'm down to counting down how far I need to be on what day in order to keep a schedule and get things mailed on time. It sounds a little insane, but once I get the schedule I feel a little more relaxed knowing that nothing is falling through the cracks. Poor T is probably going to wonder where his relaxed, somewhat low key (SHUT UP SQUISH) girlfriend went. He saw a hint of it at Thanksgiving, but turkeys got nuthin' on Santa. Christmas card photos have been snapped, snowmen and chrismooses are displayed, plans are made for the procurement of a Christmas tree. I even went to his office Christmas party, where he was employed as the photographer and therefore spent most of the time roaming about while I fended for myself, and I didn't say or do anything that might get him fired. (I think.)(The boss's wife was WAY more drunk than I.)(Also, whoever invented the Ruby Slipper is my new best friend.)

I think one of the drawbacks of making my own Christmas presents or decorations is that I start early enough to give myself time to finish, but slack because I think I have all this time, and then I feel far far behind just as the season is picking up.
Anyway.

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So, the shawl is blocked. Two dropped stitches (urgh) need to be dealt with, and ends woven, but I am still happy with it. Perhaps a photoshoot will be forthcoming for the weekend. The required scarf is being knit now, with plans to exchange it for one of the same pattern, similar color, not-as-nice-yarn that was in my OFA box if I don't get it done. (If I resort to that, the OFA box will get the finished gift-scarf instead.) One mitten to finish for Smacky, with ends on the first mitten and matching hat to be woven. Still need to bind FIL's quilt. Two parties this weekend and the possibility of driving off to Tucson to attend the 4th Avenue Street Fair. (If I'd gotten that watercolor I liked for Aunt C in April, when I bought the one for Aunt H, I wouldn't even consider it, though 4 hours of car knitting time might be lovely). Something like 16 tshirts to be stamped this weekend by the children. I have 48 whole hours if I forego sleep. If someone would hurry up and invent a Star Trek transporter I'd have an additional week to craft. (And think about it - insta-delivery on internet and catalog orders!)(But there would need to be a blocking option on unannounced visits.)(Hmm, I seem to have gotten off topic again. This will be a surprise to you, no doubt.)

It's so much harder to live in denial when I insist on trying to stay organized.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tis the Freaking Season

Know how I know? Cuz the drivers on the road this fine December morning were even more insane than usual. Prepare to drive your armored tanks for the next 30 or so days until the furor dies down.
And speaking of holiday furor, I'll not be eating between now and...oh... 1/15/11. I ate enough over the past weekend that, in addition to my normal reserves, I could go on a hunger strike for six months before anyone would need to worry about me. (As a point of reference, we expected 20 people. We cooked 35 pounds of turkey. o.O)
However, the holiday was a good one, filled with family and fun. T's parents were in town and helped us cook dinner, and then we puttered around all weekend. Friday was the train park, Saturday was the symphony, Sunday was the local park and some turkey soup and mulled wine. Fun, low-key, lots of stuff for the boys to do to burn off energy (they were with Aunt Nan while we were at the symphony) and no one killed anyone else.
Since I couldn't be finishing the last rows of the shawl, I dug out a hat I'd started for Smacky last year and finished it. Then we went to the park and it was coldcoldcold, so I started some Smacky mittens in the same yarn as the hat (Jojoland Melody) only held singly for the mittens. Baby mittens are freaking hilarious. Exhibit A: Smacky-mitten cuff.

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I have just the bind-off on the shawl, and may even dye it tonight, or see if I can't finish a tiny mitten. Eensy mittens are super-satisfying, but dyeing the shawl means it would be pinned out tomorrow night. Dilemma!

Update! That thar shawl ain't touching them thar needles.

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Still need to dye and block the beast and weave in the ends.

It's been darn cold - unseasonably so - here the last week, even getting to freezing last night and tonight. May have to make T some mittens, though by the time I finish them, chances are it will be toasty warm and springlike outside...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Hangover

The whirlwind of turkey day is over. Today is about drinking up last night's sangria, putting away last night's dishes, and eating pie and cookies for breakfast. Slow, relaxing knitting will happen as soon as I have the energy to think about knitting. US friends, I hope it was a good one. International friends, I hope your Thursday was extra special, what with the waves of turkey-induced coma emanating from our shores.
Now we start the graceful slide into the High Holy Days of Glitter. My favorite season of the year, in fact, due to the unusually high concentration of sparkle, glitz, and too-tacky-for-Vegas light displays in this country. (Yesterday, watching live TV for the first time in months, I saw a commercial talking about how buying an Audi for Christmas made it the "season of reason" and it meant you didn't have to go overboard for Christmas.) Bring on the shiny, yo, and peace out.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Progress of a sort

Last week I was bored, so I wrote the post about how my shawl was done, I dyed it, it was beautiful, etc, intending to add the photos as they happened. From the moment I did that (which coincided with the moment I started the border) it was FRAUGHT with problems and issues. Not to mention the fact that no matter how loosely I do my nupps, give that there are so many YOs around them, they stretch and the looseness goes away, causing a purl-back row to go from 30 minutes for a nupp-less row to 2 hours or more for one with nupps. (Cuz there are like 60 nupps in most of these rows.) That being said, I am approaching the end. This last row had a few errors that I fudged, rather than pulling back two rows (or more) of nupps.

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Later when I get the thing out to work on it, I'll pseudo-block the area to see if it's noticeable, but I can't really believe that it is. (In most cases it was an extra stitch, likely caused by missing a k2tog or knitting one of the loops of a nupp separately, a few rows previous.) I couldn't be chuffed to care last night, though. I am near the end of this monster, and it IS a monster, for all that I think it will be lovely and it will be a wrench to give it away. I have been 100% monogamous to this puppy, and I'm looking forward to a nice cabled scarf for a change.

Otherwise, life goes. I have been doing Christmas shopping early, in an effort to make this Christmas as relaxing and lovely for myself and for T as it will be for the children. Bug is super-excited and loves the glitz and sparkle of Christmas as much as I do, and Smacky has taken to saying "Oooooh" when he sees pretty things, in his tiny little voice, and it melts my icy cold heart all over again. If I can keep the cats and the Smackster off the tree, I will consider it a success. (Anyone know how to anchor a live tree to the wall, in any case?) In the meantime, though, we're still purging and working like crazy on the house to get it ready for Thanksgiving. T's parents are coming and my family is descending like locusts. My brother promised to make a Thai dish, we're making spicy chili cranberries in addition to the regular, and a few other non-traditional dishes that T wants thrown in. Can't wait. I love making T-day dinner. Now to decide whether to make a pumpkin cheesecake, or a milk-chocolate kahlua one. The shopping for this dinner was epic.

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The cats are adorable, smelly, finger-biting, yarn eating monsters too. Yesterday I got out some yarn to show T, who's helping me figure out what to use for his dad's scarf. I left the hanks on the bed and went downstairs. A few minutes later, George came down skulking, and hid under my desk. Little jerk had one of the hanks of yarn and was carrying it like it was his latest kill. I rescued it (there was no noticeable damage) and the little bastige went up and got the second one. Then I noticed Smacky's hat out of the knitting basket, and one strand of the yarn stretched over the chair, mostly because George went over to bat at the strand in consolation. Icicle seems to have no interest in yarn or knitting, and will happily sit on my lap and purr away, so long as the yarn doesn't tickle his ears.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankful Thursday Saturday

Okay, so I missed Thursday. And last week. Be thankful I'm doing it at all. (heh, see how I tied that all in?)

Anyway, today, I am thankful for too much. Too much to do, that is. I whine (an awful awful lot) here and to Lynn and others about how much there is to do and how I don't have enough time and blah blah blah. What a luxury. Think about it - I have a job which provides me some measure of income, and I have a little home to maintain. And I have knitting I want to do, and not enough time to do it. I have a stash of yarns and patterns waiting, and a whole brainful of creativity that is nearly spilling out my ears. And because I get SOME of it done, it means I do have at least some time at my leisure. Time to do with what I will. It's not enough - never enough! - but I have it. Today I'm happy and thankful that my list of things to do for the weekend includes a selection of wants, chores to maintain my little house that I love, playtime with my kids and T, and a whole lot of creative pursuits vying for my time. Instead of whining today about how there isn't enough time to do all the wonderful things I want to, I'm going to celebrate how there are too many wonderful things to do.
How sad, to be someone with all kinds of time and no enjoyable way to fill it.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Progress

Halloween has come and gone. This weekend is our (likely) final trip to Tucson for my remaining stuff. There will be furniture shifting at the house and boxes moving and appliances exchanging, but I think we've broken the back of it and we're well on our way to having a nice, functioning home again. (I'm consistently surprised when I remember that "nice, functioning home" requires LESS stuff, not more, but that is probably something most of us struggle with, and I'm not yet willing to sell it all and live in a caravan or a 200 sq ft apartment under someone's stairs.)
This weekend I managed to clean the kitchen - REALLY REALLY clean the kitchen - and it's wonderful. T came in and saw it (he was volunteering at the Autism walk) and said, "WOW! Now what's our plan for keeping it like this?" lol He liked it so well he actually cleaned up after dinner and left nothing out! (We both have the habit of not quite finishing the tidying, so each night it gets a little more cluttered, until finally there is no room on any countertop and we are forced to eat out for a week. Forced!)
Anyway, in the course of cleaning and tidying and shifting, I have been knitting AND sewing. The shawl is a loooong slog (enjoyable, still, but a slog). I was berating myself over the weekend for being unable to finish it, since I only had 20 rows left. Then I did a little math, upon the realization that one row is averaging 15-20 minutes. Yeah, not this weekend. I'm nearly to the edging (perhaps there, by the time I publish this). I feel good about that.
(See the Christmas counter, people? It's bearing down. It's coming. It's already November, y'all. For those who knit for Christmas, get on it.)
The sewing is my FIL's quilt. Started in 2004, when my MIL fell and broke her neck. When she woke up in the hospital, one of the first things she asked for was the quilt Gramma had made her. I realized FIL didn't have a blankie of his own, so I set out to make one. As per usual, I petered out when it came to the quilting of the thing. I have made a couple stabs at it in the past, but this time I'm finishing the puppy and sending it for Christmas. Assuming I can find the fabric I'd planned to use for the binding, or indeed, if I can even remember what that fabric IS, I'll be in good shape.
Next up, a (nominally) twin sized blankie for Bug, based on his beloved Green Blankie. Said Green Blankie is minkee on one side, satin on the other, and he's carried it with him since Day One. I have four colors of satin for one side, one color minkee (in that same mint green as Green Blankie) for the other side, Big Alice's tutorials, and I'm going to get Joan on speed dial. Save me. (Sitting here typing this it occurs to me that I should make one for Smacky, who has few blankies of his own, given the crazy number Bug received as gifts. It's starting to get a little crazy around the edges of Christmas already...)
T tweeted before trick-or-treating that this was his first Halloween dressed as a "dad". It was excellent. My neighborhood seems dead most of the time (in fact, it's so rare as to be notable when we see someone walking about in the complex) so we went to my dad's, where my sister, her kids, my other sister and husband and a couple friends had gathered. Dad's neighborhood has TONS of kids so we had high hopes. It took a bit for Bug to get into the groove of the thing, and truly, the nardos who leave their outside lights on but don't answer the door? SUCK. We must have been the first out in the neighborhood, and went around the corner and fell in with a large family, which was fun for a bit. We parted ways and wandered up the next street, and when we turned the corner to go back to dad's street, it was a sea of humanity. HUGE groups of people wandering the streets. One family had a fire pit, some were sitting outside waiting - one tween boy was nice enough to remove his scary mask so Bug could go up and receive candy without fear. Smacky toddled along in his giraffe costume - I really thought he'd fight it but in fact refused to take it off for some time after we were finished. (It was a little short in the torso so the hood pulled down over his eyes a bit, but he still wanted to wear it all night.) He had a great time, Bug had a great time. When Bug got tired, he said, "Can we go back to Grampa's now?" and he ate a bit of candy and some dinner and passed out candy with his uncle while the rest of us ate pizza and drank beer and wine and chatted on the back patio.
(Clicketty Biggity)
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Weekends are settling down, and we're enjoying some relaxing time. Knitting in the afternoons while the breezes waft in through the windows, bike riding on the local path, baking muffins with the boys (Smacky on the chair on one side, Bug on the chair on the other, each taking a turn stirring and tasting...) Almost don't mind the mountains of laundry and sticky spots that appear on the floors 12 seconds after I've mopped... Happy Fall, y'all.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More of the same

Yup, fall is slipping away like sands through the hourglass these are the days of our lives. This time of year in the valley is a reward for living in Satan's armpit through the summer. Windows are open all day long, and the songbirds heading south are happy little critters as the sun rises in the morning. Kittens are happy and chirpy and snuggly (and I don't want to end them now that I have rigged up a way to keep them from destroying the carpet under the door of the bedroom, begging to come in and snuggle and bite our ears at 4am). Knitting happens not much at night, but nearly daily on the patio of a restaurant at lunch. I'm making decent progress on my shawl, in spite of the number of times I like to forget YOs or accidentally knit the flower-stitches in the wrong order. (Blocking for this puppy will be super-duper involved in some of those spots - I didn't realize why it looked like that until about the 8th repeat, so I'll need to fix those stitches individually. Oy.) Anyway, it still looks like boiled ass, as lace is wont to do, but I'm still mostly enjoying it (don't ask me about the purlback rows after a row of flower stitches - I might be a little tetchy.) So, no pictures. Go look here, and imagine it slightly larger, but still mottled and lumpy.
The rest of the time is spent trying to beat the house into submission, and we're making progress without killing ourselves. I realized a little while ago that much of my frustration came from not having places for everything like I did in the Tucson house, but I should suck it up because I had TEN YEARS in that house to find places to stash things. We're still rearranging in this place. (I'll probably get it just the way I like it, the week before we find a bigger place and move there.) Last weekend we had a day of errands and cleaning and general suckage with parents and children having bad attitudes, and Sunday morning we woke to beautiful skies and pancakes for breakfast, and a fantastic bike ride where Bug only whined a couple of times about being tired (allowable, as I figure we exceeded five miles on that trip). There was wrestling and playing (T and Bug), playing alone in the play kitchen (Smacky), and knitting (me), there was a barbecue with my family, there was the best day we've had in a long time. Ahhhh, fall.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Smacky-speak, take 2

shishfish
shooshoe
zhujuice
mooany farm animal that is a cow, could be a cow, or stood next to a cow once
maocat
Mommyo.O
Pop-PopPapa
BubbaBug
cah!Mommymommymommymommycah!oh look, Mother, a vehicle
arpla!Mommymommymommymommyarpla!oh look, Mother, an airplane
beeeeeeeeeeeeee!birdie
momore
no nono no
uh-ohwith the shrug
oh-noo.O
puppapuppy
ni-nibed time
poo?poo?poo?poo?I have desecrated my diaper and you need to take care of it at this time or I will drive you mad with my relentless monosyllabic repetition. (That's totally what it means.)

Funny things Bug still says:

That taxi is lello.
We're driving on the threeway.
Daddy Rick was from Meh-ontana.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christmas is in the bag

I am totally cruising on my shawl, have plenty of time to finish it and the other (already well in progress) projects I want to gift - the scarf, the hat, the slippers... I have a plan for baking cookies and freezing them to frost later. I have the Flylady to organize my Thanksgiving dinner, and I sit in my car at lunch with the windows open, feeling the beautiful soft breezes and knitting away.

I'm totally going to get there this Christmas.

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Oh. Damn mail.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Feels so good...

To be knitting lace again...

First, though, thanks for all the kudos for doing the run. I feel pretty good about the whole thing, and will likely keep it up (though I have given some thought to switching out running for biking). It's easy to think about in the light of day, but my resolve wavers when the alarm goes off at 4:45am...

Anyway, as I suspected, I hate the way this yarn is knitting up.

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(Kindly ignore the boiled-ass look of the unblocked lace and commiserate with me on the boiled-ass look of the variegation.)

It's lovely and soft and I think it will make a beautiful finished product, but I deeply dislike variegated lace, or really, variegated knitting of any type, with the exception of socks. Mottled, shaded yarns based on one hue? (what do we call those? kettle-dyed?) Lemme at 'em. This stuff? Not so much. (Before you ask, the store I visited had a limited selection, due to a recent move. The solid colors they did have were either not the recipient's favorite colors, or were superwash. I knew I could work with the greens in this yarn to come up with a nicely shaded, medium-to-dark cedar green with a light over-dye.) Lovely Echo Flowers (from here out, "Effie") will be having a bath in the dyepot when I've finished knitting her. The knitting of this shawl is interesting, too - the '2 into 9' and '3 into 9' stitches, which sound vaguely Borg-like, make these cute little flower-like spots throughout (though they are a monster pain to work), and I can hardly wait to get to the edging. (I'll have to, I have only 4 or 5 of 13 repeats of the flowers done.)

Truth be told, I still have Madli on the go, and while I still love that pattern, I won't likely be getting back to it any time soon. It requires the presence of a tray of beads, and with four little boys in the house (the happy pitter-patter of 12 little feet, as T puts it) I don't see myself working on it in the near future. I have procured a water bottle for the training of the four-leggeds, though, so maybe that will help. (I wonder if the water bottle can be used to train the two-leggeds?)(Update since I started this post - nope. They giggle when you spray them, then squint their eyes and grin and wait for the next spritz.)

Two Sundays ago, the four of us did the AIDS walk in Phoenix, and afterwards, all four of us, feeling under the weather, came home and napped for hours. It was indulgent and luxurious. I woke up to T unpacking boxes, and the boys bright eyed and rosy-cheeked (which later turned out to be fever), and we all had a lovely, restful evening. The rest of the time, though, we feel like we're on a hamster wheel. So much to be done, so little time and/or energy. The quickening pace of the fall... I've written about it before. I think the people who feel it still feel the urgency of the harvesting in their blood. The need to get it all done, all the food put up, all the wood chopped, all the ground turned, all the everything, before the dormancy of winter sets in. School starting, holidays bearing down. Daylight fading. No matter that I don't farm, that here in Phoenix the dormancy happens in the summertime, that I've never needed to put up food or chop wood or turn the fields... I still feel the urgency of the impending winter. I have a few limited projects I want to get going this month, plus the general care and feeding of home, children, partner, pets. I'm trying to attack my to-do list like I do my running: no matter how slowly I go, I'm making progress if I just don't stop. Unlike my pioneering forebears, no one will starve or freeze if I don't get it all done. (For which I am profoundly grateful - I am FAR too lazy to be a pioneer of anything but cookie-consumption.)(The flaw in this plan is that we dirty things and untidy things far more quickly than T and I can clean and tidy them again. Small bursts of desecration are apparently more efficient than small bursts of cleaning and tidying.)

This weekend is, of course, packed full of delightful engagements that will see us getting further behind in the home maintenance department. Sunday night will hit, and I will say, where the hell have all Smacky's socks gone, and why doesn't anyone have clean underwear? (The answer: no one knows. he takes them off at daycare, hides them or throws them away, and puts his shoes back on. and also, dunno, should prolly buy us some more.) But it will all be totally worth it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bouncy, healthy ta-tas, and some ass-kicking.

Cuz today, I ran my first 5k race.

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Before. (Feeling like a poser.)(Note: I normally do not wear lipstick to run, but it was the only Burt's Beeswax I could find in my purse.)

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During.

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After. (Feeling like a million bucks, and also dead.)

Many thanks to T (and all YOU, and particularly LeeAnn) for the support, and also for catching Mr. Pecs in that last pic. More later - today, I am glorying in accomplishment. And limping.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

October. Huh.

I'm not sure how it got to be October. I suspect I was around for June, July, August and September, but it all went so fast I'm not sure I can remember details. We got all of T's stuff moved over, and a very small portion of it put away. We need bookshelves galore, and that requires a trip to Ikea, which requires steeling myself in the most profound way. (Last time I was there I was 8 months pregnant with Bug, and told Rick that if he didn't find me an exit NOW, I was going out the second-story plate glass window. He didn't find one, but I did. And no one had to die, which was the miracle of that story.)
Anyway, it's October. (For those of you in the cooler climes, you should know that I just signed Bug up for his second set of swim lessons. The pool's heated, but it's outdoor.) That means I have actually started thinking about Christmas presents. (I know, but I'm not going to stop using that language just because some of you have delicate eyes.) I have picked out a pattern for the shawl and the scarf, and have purchased shawl yarn. Behold:

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Alpaca with a Twist, romantically named Color 9005 (and it's far less spruce and more cedar than my picture shows), for the Echo Flower Shawl that I loved after I saw Cheryl's.

The cats are settling in just fine.

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Dream and Icicle, or as I like to call them, Trouble and The Other One.

Since I finished the little snowman last week (it looks the same as last post, only it's actually officially done fer reals now) I got out another WIP, the Palindrome scarf for Norma's Orphans.

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And for today's moment of cuteness, T just put his fedora on Bug and took him in to the bathroom to look in the mirror. T said, do you look cute or super cute? Bug said I look SUPER cute!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Get in, sit down, shut up and hold on.

Cuz it's fall, and that means it's time for the crazy bidness of life to resume. I have said before that our fall is like the spring after a long, nasty winter. Everyone wants to get outside, to plan things, to be active. You snow-dwellers come out of icy hibernation in the spring; we desert rats emerge from heat-induced torpor to crisp fall days. (Note: not yet - we have another week of 100+ at least.) Add to that school, lessons, activities, friends, and the impending holidays (denial will only get you so far, people) and I can't actually think of a single weekend between now and November that doesn't have SOMETHING going on. Of course, if we recognize that we're really only about five weeks out from November, my busyness seems less worrisome, but more worrisome is the question of WHERE THE HELL DID THE YEAR GO?

Ahem.

This weekend T emptied his old place and we're officially combining residences. He kinda stayed here when I moved in and never left, which is rather how we liked it, but we've had the other place to pay bills on as well. His lease is up Oct 1, so last weekend we haule arse all his stuff out. We have lots of duplicates, so storage-unit sales and Craigslistings will be forthcoming. (BTW, you know how I hate shopping? I hate garage sales and such even more. DE. SPISE.) Especially since there are still things left in my house in Tucson that need to be removed and dealt with. (I hate "dealing with".) Yeah, I know, big problems, I have too much stuff. (I've been assaulted by the juxtaposition of headlines lately: obesity on the rise in America, children in flood-ravaged Pakistan starving to death. The observation of drowning in "too much" while so many have too little is coloring my attitude these days. I feel spoiled and bloated and disgusted by the fact that I'm complaining about it. That doesn't stop the complaining, though - it's what I do.)

Ahem. Again.

Lookie! Finished projects!

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(In the interest of full disclosure, it's not totally done, but I had this condo to move...)

Ignore the parts that look like they were done by monkeys on crack, mmmmkay?
Mostly done by hand (the green-and-black border was machine-pieced), and I loved it. Applique soothes me, and hand quilting was loads of fun, even though I felt like I wasn't doing it right. Classes coming soon, once the household stuff is taken care of. I'm still working on finishing a quilt for Rick's father and grandmother, each, that were mostly pieced ages ago. I'm feeling the urge to knit once again, though, so it will be a matter of fitting in all that I want to do. Christmas is coming (yeah, I know, shut my filthy mouth) and I have some scarves to knit. (Someone told me I was not to buy them gifts so I am using the handmade loophole. Oh yes I am.) Suggestions for a manly scarf for a smaller, older gentleman who lives in a damp-but-not-freezing climate are appreciated. Preferably patterns that won't melt my brain from the boring.


So, since I have too much stuff and too much to do, I decided to get some more.

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Meet Dream and Sickle (Icicle). Two 4 month old boys, my newest babies. T has never had pets, and I never had indoor cats (and no cats at all for 20 years) so this is an adventure. To say the least.

I'll leave you with a video of Bug, from a recent party for a friend. I lament the loss of the old standard party at the house, with some games and chips and homemade cake - now you have to rent jumping castles or trains or go to a facility with kiddie-sized roller coasters. (I swear, by the time Smacky is ten I'll be sending him on birthday trips to Disneyland for him and his 100 closest friends.) However, we went to Amazing Jake's last weekend, and he is the perfect age for it. He had a blast, and I loved watching him. He's a generally happy kid, for sure, but sometimes he radiates joy and happiness in a way that's palpable. It was the kind of Mommy moment I live for.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I know it's hard to believe, but when you subject this

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to a five-year real-time aging test, you get this:

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Happy birthday (yesterday), big boy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Who are you and what did you do with Carrie's cheesecake?

So, I've been cooking lately.

I'll give you a minute to get up off the floor after that revelation.

Yesterday, I made this.  We pronounced it TEH YUM.
Tonight, I made this.  We pronounced it TEH YUM, AGAIN.  Even if I had to tell Bug it was pasta-chili-with-cooked-lettuce.

I mentioned recently about the reset button.  While I still hate cooking, it's gratifying to try new things and feel like I'm actually eating a variety.  I am an uninspired cook when it comes to making things up, but my recipe Google-fu is strong.  While I'm doing recipes, I should point you to this one.

*****

Something else I need to remember about the boys.  Smacky has a shoe fetish, and Bug still says "This is yours, and this is mines."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Knittas rockin'.

Last time I mentioned I was running the Komen race in October and asked for donations.  Less than 48 hours later my (modest) fundraising goal was achieved, and I felt all warm and fuzzy and supported and loved.  And recommitted to training, so I ran 3.25 miles on the treadmill (well, 0.25 miles of that were warmup and cooldown) to make sure I could do it. Well, and because I was behind on the training program I was supposedly following and was supposed to have upped my run to 40 minutes by now.  Which I did.  Oh yeah, I did it.
Anyway, don't avoid donating, if you're inclined to do so, because you reached my goal.  (In fact, my goal was to finish the race, and I feel confident that I can do that, now.)  Iffin you wanna, do go donate.  In honor of someone you know who has had breast cancer, or in thanksgiving that no one you know has.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Shameless begging.

Yup. I'm asking for donations. Oh yes I am. Because I just signed up for my first-ever 5K, which I will be running with T and two of my nieces (with the possibility that others will join too). This was the goal I set for myself in February, when I confessed to LeeAnn (after years of teasing her about sitting on the couch eating cheesecake while she killed herself running up mountains in the icy cold) that I had this urge to run. I think her response was something like
BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha now go get this book, read my treatise on good running shoes, find a good bra or six, and get your ass in gear, woman.

Yes, I think that's about how it went.

Anyway.  I did it.  I have since been running fairly regularly, first with a walk-run program, and more recently with a timed running program.  I am slow as molasses, I listen to audiobooks and laugh out loud whilst on the treadmill (causing nearby gym rats to look askance) and I turn bright purple while I do it.  But I do it.  (Except today.  I skipped today.)

So, pretty please, even though money is tight and there are floods in Pakistan and New Orleans still looks like hell and there are miners underground in Chile, won't you throw $5 at Susan Komen for me?

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Return of the Random

Yeah, who am I kidding? It's all random, all the time.

*****

For those of you lamenting the last days of summer before the crisp fall air brings color-changing leaves, frost on the punkins, dying grass and wool sweaters, I invite you to visit.

forecast

Ain't no fall here any time soon.
Sigh.

Fall is my favorite time of year - primarily because it's rare. On average, we get about 12 minutes of it, each year. (I suppose you could look at it a different way - we have several months of fall and no winter to speak of.) Fall is when we plant our flowers and seeds, open up the windows to the beautiful weather, sit on the patio with coffee and a book, go to the park with the kids and play. Summer sucks, my friends. (I swear if I had a job that allowed me to telecommute I'd leave town for 5 months of the year and go someplace with one of these mythical "nice" summers where people enjoy the weather and leave their houses.)

winter_clothes

Nora? Joan? Bev?

*****

Turns out that the vague memory I had, about not putting pyrex dishes directly on the burner? Was something I should have listened to.

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Bright side! The counter is spotless. And that pan I was trying to boil water in? I don't gotsta clean it anymore. (Note to self - when roasting something with a sauce, use Pam in the dish, for the love of little green apples.)

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It's really dramatic when a 13 X 9 glass pan of soapy, greasy water explodes.

*****

Still loving the appliqué. I'm almost finished with the snowman - I only need to find a scrap of orange for his little carrot nose, embroider the eyes and mouth, and it will be time to quilt him. This will also be my first attempt at hand quilting. If I like it and don’t suck at it, I'll be making that other bed-sized one, light greens in the background, appliquéd fall leaves, hand-quilted. I should finish it in, oh, 2014. (Hahahahahahahaha that’s funny. Try 2044.)

*****

Still have no knitting mojo. Have some cleaning mojo, but not much. (I don’t spring clean, I fall clean. Same reason – it’s the first time after a long season of being cooped up inside that I can open the damn windows and get some fresh air in.) I’ve been enjoying cooking more. T has a more varied palate than I do did, and before he got involved, the choices were pretty much grilled chicken or pasta with marinara. Since T came along I have tried new veggies, new recipes, new ideas, including allowing him to add stuff I would have sworn in the past that I hated. Mushrooms in the stir fry? Not my favorite, but it’s fuel and vitamins, so down the hatch it goes. Asparagus? Yum. Veggies on my pizza? Bring it. It’s like a year ago, someone hit the reset button on my life and suddenly I like all new foods, drink wine, exercise… Sometimes I don’t even recognize myself. In a good way. (I think the “reset button” was the level of grokking about life and its fleetingness I received that one ugly August day. A hard won lesson, that, but one that I managed to listen to. I don’t have to like the way that happened, but I can appreciate the results.)

*****

Got word yesterday that T’s parents will be flying down for Thanksgiving, which I believe will be at my place this year. That’s pretty awesome, methinks. If I start cleaning now, the place *might* be respectable by then. But I doubt it.

*****

Happy now?
(Added in response to comments: he's happy to be in the box, unhappy at having that &(*)@#$ camera in his face again.)

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August is the time for not-knitting. Since I can’t access my own blog from work (am writing this in a word processor) I can’t go back and look for info, but I vaguely remember late-summer doldrums in many of the past years. I know that last year at this time my knitting was stalled out and I picked up an appliqué kit I had stashed. Well, I think there’s something going on here:

· First, it’s nasty nasty hot out there. (Forecast for today, 113º + 40% chance of storms = Teh Yuck.)

· Second, it’s all Elizabeth’s fault with the quilting.

· Third, I should have known better than to tell Lynn about it, cuz she offered a bit of encouragement, and then hearty laughter when I broke down and ordered a block-of-the-month appliqué kit. (It’s amazing how effective she is as the shopping accomplice even when she’s 100+ miles away.)

· Fourth, this is the time of year I start thinking about late fall and winter and wishing it was cold enough to need a blanket. For a reason I can’t determine yet, working on a blanket and wishing it was cold enough to need a blanket is better for me than working on a scarf and wishing it was cold enough to need a scarf. (The frustration of the B-Side sleeves is still fresh and taints the knitting of the OFA red scarf I have OTN anyway.)

I was having fun with my little snowman last year at this time anyway, but I put him down because I didn’t have the right color thread to do the stars and moon. Yesterday I stopped off at JoAnn’s, and $20 and some fall decorations later, out I came with my thread. Which turned out to be too light which didn’t matter because I had the right color after all and I dunno why I didn’t use it.

So, I am back to the snowman, and later in September I will begin to receive the blocks for the kit I ordered yesterday.

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Now I just need to find a decent thimble.

And we won’t talk about the plans I have for the bed quilt…


Oh, and SOMEONE decided Smacky-In-Basket was insufficient. These will have to do - my phone camera is slow and the lighting was bad (and the kid never. sits. still.) so they're blurry, but you get the idea.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

You asked.

I couldn't find or get one in an actual box recently (not for lack of trying - mostly for lack of photographic talent, and the fact that the family member who HAS the photographic talent has decided to stop shooting photos until he cleans up all the photos from our trip a few weeks ago).
He pulled this basket-drawer out of the stack for the express purpose of sitting in it, though. I dunno how long he was in there before I went to see why he wasn't making any noise.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Smacky, 20 months

Things I need to remember about Smacky, 20 months

A translation of Smacky-Speak
Smacky: English:
YaaaaaaaayYay!
Bah!Ball, Grape, Any round thing that I can throw
BeeeeeeeeBird, Puppy, Flower, Airplane, Daddy
MaaaaMama
MaaamaaaMore
Meh Meh MehI want whatever I just chucked on the floor and woe betide you if you do not get it for me, knowing full well I will chuck it on the ground again in 9.2 seconds


When I come in and open the blinds in the morning, you sit up, grin at me, then fall over on your face and pretend to be asleep again. I pick you up, get you dressed, and tell you, "Give Bubba loves." So you toddle over to his bed, throw your arms in the air and flop over on him, climb on him, snuggle on him, until he gives up and gets out of bed.
There is no music you can listen to without dancing. Sometimes you get so excited dancing you knock yourself over.
There is no box you see that you don't sit in. Sometimes for half an hour, contentedly looking out the window, sitting in the cardboard box with your puppy.
After I pick you up from daycare, if I leave the house to get anything else from the car, you scream bloody murder until either I come in or Daddy picks you up. Bubba stands there and tries to calm you by telling you I'm coming right back, and sometimes it works. I love to hear that little voice say, "See? I told you she'd come right back" and see you both standing at the door grinning at me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

um, what?

How is this possible?

IMG_5063

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Back to life, back to reality.

Sigh.
Back from Seattle, where it was warm and humid and sunny (DAMMIT) for days, only getting cold and rainy this weekend.  Loads of fun.  Prolly not going to give the rundown because there is too much to splain and I am too lazy to sum up.  Met T's family, though - lovely people.
Didn't finish the sweater.  Sewed one sleeve while there and discovered that while the body is actually larger than I expected, the sleeves don't fit at all.  One of three things:
a) I knit the wrong size.
b) I am freakishly proportioned where my arms are concerned.
c) The designer is freakishly proportioned where her arms are concerned.

I am going with c, myself.  I can't decide whether to:
a) Rip and reknit (AGAIN).
b) Knit a strip and sew it in.
c) Make it a B-side vest.

Bleh.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happiness is...

  • making visible progress on my second sleeve.
  • seeing the gazillion year old dude lifting major weights and running on the treadmill at the gym.
  • heading upstairs to see where T went, having gone up to tuck in Bug 20 minutes before, and finding them both asleep with Bug's arms around T's neck.
  • heading to the gym here after 6 weeks or more away, and finding that I didn't lose any of my progress.
  • the running euphoria that is coming back, that makes me want to giggle for no reason.
  • the way that Smacky enjoys not only the taste, but the smell, the feel, and the sound of the cream cheese on his morning bagel, judging by the way that he gets it EVERYWHERE.
  • the fact that, even when both kids are overcranky and it's hot and we are in the middle of shopping and everyone's a little snappish, T helps me keep my sense of humor and I really do love every minute of it.
  • that for every afternoon like the previous bullet, there are 10 or 15 that are filled with giggling, laughing, wrasslin', dinosaur rides, castle building, book reading, baby-cheek snorgling, snorting, tickling, and general happy chaos.
  • trees.
  • leaves on trees.
  • wind in leaves on trees.
  • dappled light on ground from wind in leaves on trees.
  • shade around dappled light on ground from wind in leaves on trees.
  • the soothing sound of sitting in shade around dappled light on ground from wind in leaves on trees.
  • rain.
  • thunder.
  • lightning.
  • homemade sangria.
  • store-bought beer.
  • wine sales.
  • emails about eggplant baby hats and HowIsItThere'sANeedleSizeIDon'tOwn?
  • old friends.
  • anniversaries.
  • new friends.
  • milestones.
  • my big boy talking about going to kindergarten.
  • my little boy, talking. o.O
  • my love, talking, laughing, snuggling, sleeping, or sitting in companionable silence whilst (Hi Annie) engaged in our respective hobbies.
  • making a friend snort milk out her nose with my low-brow humor.
  • laughing.
  • smiling.
  • grinning.
  • smirking.
  • new favorite music.
  • new favorite artists who play smartass songs.
  • music that not only makes me sing along and dance, but that inspires me such that I realize I missed the details of half a set because I was daydreaming about fabric and quilts.  (It would have made a better story if I'd been in the mosh pit while I was daydreaming, but I'm only just doing the concert thing, so gimme a break, mmmkay?)
  • the fact that T not only doesn't groan when I (or mostly Bug) mention Christmas, but he actively engages in the conversation and now we know where the tree will go, that the fake tree will be on the patio, and that there are all sorts of details I've wanted to do but never had time for, that I will now have aid and abetment for.
  • baklava.
  • hummus.
  • green chile.
  • snow.
  • rocky road ice cream.
  • iced coffee.
  • chocolate milkshakes with bailey's and kahlua.
  • good books.
  • good music.
  • good people.
  • good food.
  • good combinations of the above.
  • new perfume.

Monday, July 12, 2010

This title intentionally left blank.

Sleeve #1 is done (again). During the increases, I continually thought it would be too short. The sleeve cap always surprises me with its length, and whilst knitting that I was sure it was going to be too long. Holding the unblocked sleeve up to my arm, it is long, and a touch too narrow. Blocking commences at eighteen-thirty tonight (aka, 630pm, aka, 12 seconds after I walk in the door from work). Assuming no major gauge changes when the sleeve hits the water (as I recall I washed the swatch and was okay) I think I'll be able to finish the other sleeve with enough time for finishing prior to our trip. Who knows? Maybe the bit of collar I plan to do will be my plane knitting. (Yeah right, like there will be plane knitting with the chillens around.)

0712002017

(The picture was taken this evening - it is a touch long and a tad wide, but not so much that I can't work with it.  Better slightly large than slightly small.)

Anyway, the weekend was more or less lovely. There were some power struggles over food with his royal highness, Bug. Kid convinces himself that he doesn't like something, and even though he's eaten it (with abandon) before, he is so entrenched in the idea that it's yucky that he actually throws up upon taking a bite. Seriously. (Of course, when I pointed out that last night's dinner - a bastardization of stroganoff - was something his dad used to make him, he ate the requisite bites and no further vomiting ensued.) Smacky occasionally refuses food, but his technique is less subtle (yes, less subtle that vomiting) - he just chucks what he doesn't want on the floor. Sigh. I'd try a roomba or a scooba running under his chair during mealtimes, but I think I'll have to wait until such time as someone invents a robotic shop-vac.
Several of you commented last time about how Bug looks like such a big kid, and it's true - Thursday I went down and signed him up for kindergarten. Because he won't be 5 by September 1 (he misses it by a couple weeks) they had to evaluate his readiness, and listening to him answer the woman's questions about counting, animals, colors, etc...sigh. He was so big and grown up, and so little teeny boy at the same time... I can't believe my eensy baby is going to school.
Beyond that, not much is happening. The complex finally finished the pool remodel and the landlady got me the key last night, so we might actually get through this week of predicted-112-highs without melting or killing each other. I signed up for a gym here in town and will start (tomorrow) my next 10-week running program. I thought I'd have time to get in two programs before my intended race, but I looked just now, and it's just over 12 weeks away. That means that Christmas is coming, people. (I dunno why, but I always start thinking about Christmas in July - I think it's a combination of wishing for cooler temperatures, and the grudging recognition that here we are AGAIN in the latter half of the year and wherethehelldidthelastsixmonthsgo?) Saying it's July, Christmas doesn't seem that close. But the fact that a mere 10 weeks and we're at the end of September? We'll be roasting turkeys and singing Jingle Bells before you know it. Consider this your reminder that you're gonna wanna start thinking about your holiday knitting.
(And stop throwing those rotten tomatoes at me. I'm just the messenger. Besides, Lynn, your chickens need those.)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Last day of the first half.

Hey, I remember this stuff!

It's knitting, right?
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I can't tell you how long it's been since I had a picture of knitting on this here blog.  (Well, I could, but I'm too lazy to go back and look.)  I actually got to do some of that this weekend whilst ignoring the still-unpacked boxes lying around the house.
Saturday morning after a leisurely, loooooong breakfast...

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...T went outside and gathered the bikes.  With the "help" of the chillens, he fixed them up, pumped up the tires, tidied everything nicely, and got us all ready to go.
There's a lovely park near the new place, with a bike path that goes for miles and miles, past xeriscape gardens, ballparks, duck ponds (we saw a TURTLE!!!!!!! MOM DO YOU SEE THE TURTLE?!  THERE IT IS MOM DO YOU SEE IT? MOM! MOM!!! A TUUUURRRRRTLLLLLLEEEE) and it had been calling to me.  We helmeted up...
 

...strapped Smacky in the seat, and headed off, in the middle of the hottest part of the day.  It was a bit shady, which was nice, and we all remembered water and sunblock.  We didn't go far, as Bug's little legs and hard-used bike tire easily, but it was a high-point, for sure.  After a grocery-shopping trip (during which we discovered there IS a limit to what a diaper will hold, and it was actually SMACKY leaking from the cart and not any of the groceries) we got a babysitter, and headed out to the Rhythm Room for a CD release party.  We saw Chris James and Patrick Rynn (part of the Rhythm Room Allstars) who were joined by Big Pete Pearson.  Big Pete looks like Redd Foxx and BB King combined, and in his early 80s, he can still sing the blues and shake it.  Live blues? Rocks my socks right off.  (We bought the CD for Chris and Patrick, and Big Pete; I have only listened to the first one, but really, live blues has something intangible that is lost when you put it on CD.)
Sunday involved the boys playing camping outside (cuz nothing says fun like wrapping up in a sleeping bag in 108 degrees)...

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while I tidied up the kitchen, mopped the floor (hooray for no-longer sticking), and discovered that my Dyson sucks, cuz it no longer sucks.  There was chocolate cookie baking, too.  (Chocolate crinkles, to be exact.)

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After I ensured there was no heat stroke and finished my cleaning, I sat on the couch with a beer and my knitting, and people?  It was OH. SO. GOOD.  Sometimes I forget to relax when I know there are boxes to unpack, dishes to wash, floors to un-stick...  I will have to do a better job of taking time to have fun in the evenings.
Since it has been several days since I wrote most of this, I'll add a little more - yesterday we bought our tickets to go to Seattle for T's birthday.  We'll be gone for a whole week (in the hottest part of the summer, OH YES I'm getting out of dodge) visiting T's parents and celebrating his mumblemumble birthday with his family. 
Since we'll be heading to someplace that has decent weather and actual moisture in the air, I figured I'd better finish B-Side.  I'd knitted the better part of one sleeve and discovered that the gauge I'd used to recalculate the increases was suddenly no longer the right gauge, and 15 inches of (sport-weight) sleeve had to be ripped.  I ripped it out and threw it aside in a fit of rage and it's lucky I didn't tear it to bits with my teeth set it aside, but thought yesterday I'd like to have it done for Seattle.  Whaddya think - two sleeves, a button (zipper?) band and the making-up in a month?  (I'm not doing the shawl collar.)

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We'll see, I s'pose.  I'll be giving it my best effort.  (Which is good because even though I bought more size 5 Options tips to replace the heinous, awful, OMGIhatethemsomuch Zephyr tips I was using, I can't find them, so the red Palindrome scarf is on time-out until I get bored with B-Side again finish B-Side.) And why no, I haven't been thinking about buying the extra beads I need to finish Madli.  No, not at all, and I haven't even been googling the website for that bead shop near work to see if I could get the seed beads I need.  Nope, cuz I'm focusing on B-Side and not even thinking about those other projects...  And under no circumstances was I thinking about destashing the brown Beaverslide I bought for Linden and getting something in red like I'd originally planned.  Nope, focused, that's me.

(Need to point out that all photos that are a) good, b) not of knitting, and c) don't actually contain T were actually TAKEN by T, and I had the audacity to post them without editing them in any way.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chapter: The Next

We are officially moved. Unpacking has been in earnest, cleaning has been undertaken (damn, how could I have forgotten my mop and ALL the myriad brooms and dustpans in Tucson?) and we are learning to use our new place to its best function. T showed Bug where his trains were, in the playroom, and sat with Bug and built a track together. Bug generally prefers to be where we are in the house, but now he hears the call of the trains, and he will go up and play alone for a while after dinner. The playroom? Best idea ever. His tracks are spread all over hither and yon in the room, it's a minefield of small trains and toys to step on, and I close the door and suddenly the upstairs is all tidy. LOVE. I just REALLY need to make sure that door is shut before I expect him to come downstairs to eat breakfast before school, lest I have to fetch him multiple times. The trains are strong in this one.
It's a smaller place than my house in Tucson, but there is more storage and less to take care of, and the master bedroom is HUGE by comparison. I have my whole fabric and yarn stash in the master closet and there's still room for clothes and shoes. Seriously, I am not much of a clothes/shoes person, but adequate closets have moved to the top of my List of Turn-Ons. I am nearly orgasmic over the storage space. (Yeah, I really am very excited about it. People, I have places to PUT THINGS now.)(Pictures later. Too lazy.)
Due to some things I don't want to talk about, and a case of food poisoning (mine) and strep (Smacky's), it was a rough first week, but the weekend made up for it a bit. We rode the light rail through town, went swimming at Grampa's for Father's Day, grilled salmon out on the patio, and generally enjoyed the first low-key weekend in ages. (When we opened up the packet of salmon, Bug saw it and said, "I don't like that!" I let him get away with it for a bit, then it occurred to me - he used to eat it all the time. I forced him to eat one small bite before he could have any more salad or corn, and he announced, "I LOVE THIS." He ate four more servings.)

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On the train.

Work is going. I am still in the beginning stages - introductory projects, lots of reading SOPs, training, organizing. I think I will like it, though Ravelry, blogs, Facebook and messenger are all blocked from work. This whole working-all-day thing is TOTALLY overrated, especially when working = reading lists of FDA acronyms. Truly painful. My ability to keep up with blogs is severely curtailed, but I will be trying hard to catch up. I know you will forgive me a bit of skimming while I try to make a dent in the 150+ blog posts I have to read...

Still, nominally, a knitting blog, so I will point out that I live a scant few miles from Knit Happens, and I am currently knitting Palindrome for OFA in Swish DK. There, yarniness covered.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Hurdles

Are falling, one by one. I got the call tonight that the place I liked best last weekend has accepted my application, and I'll be meeting the landlord to sign the lease on Sunday.
Google Maps has this nifty application where you first search for a path or a location, and then, if you enter a business type in the search box, it finds all businesses of that type in the zoom-range of the map. I entered the address for my new place and my new job, then searched daycares, and found a list along any number of routes I can take. This Saturday I will be checking them out and finding the appropriate spot for my little princes. Besides my beautiful friends, the boys' daycare will be the hardest thing to leave in Tucson.
Today has been a crappy night, with the Bug acting weird and saying unusual things, the Smacky having a crappy fever, and my stomach in knots worrying about this move. I am excited, thrilled, looking forward to it, and terrified to step out of the cocoon that has been my comfort zone for 10 years. How do you explain to someone who hasn't experienced it, that sometimes you just need to cry out the toxic feelings? And how do you get the tears to come when they've been locked up for so long so they don't freak out your babies? I'd feel much better if I could remember where my copy of Steel Magnolias is.
(Incidentally, this is not me being maudlin or wanting you to comfort me. This is just a straight up report. My emotions have filled me to the brim and they need to spill out my eyes. No worries about me, really.)

***********

I have had this song stuck in my head all day.

And I'm glad the light still hits your face
And I'm glad every time you answer the phone.
For you, life and home have never been an easy place,
But I'm glad to be part of your own.


Sung by John Gorka; I'm sure you've never of him. I'm not entirely sure how *I* got one of his CDs, but I like it. This particular song is for his mother, and it has this air of melancholy about it that strikes me today. Beautiful, content, but a little sad. I think that's where I am today. Content with the choices I'm making, happy to be moving in the direction I've chosen with the people I've chosen, but still, a little sad. A huge chapter in my life is closing soon, and I would be a big ol' liar if I said it didn't sting a bit.
Fortunately I am close to The Fiber Factory so I know Lynn will be visiting...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sparse.

The last weeks have been sparse, it's true. I haven't been on Rav much, haven't knitted much, haven't even commented on blogs much. I purged a whole list of them too, just in the effort to stop the demands on my time.

I can tell you my news, though - a few weeks ago, when I asked for some harnessing of the knitterly good will and cosmic power you *know* we wield? I had an interview for a job in Phoenix. I wanted the job, because I want out of Tucson, I want more time with T, my family is in Phoenix... a whole host of reasons. Then I had the first interview, heard more about the job, and the job itself moved to the top of the list of reasons why I wanted the job. :-D A few weeks ago, I had a second interview, and the following week (last week, in fact) I was offered the job.
Eep!
I accepted, I did a quiet happy dance, I waited a few days and gave my notice at work here in Tucson. I have one week left here, a week to pack and sort and purge and toss, and I start my new job on 6/14. (Seriously, the sorting and purging and tossing? I may have to rent a roll-off dumpster.) This weekend the boys and I are heading to Phoenix to hang with the fam and T and look for places to live. Keep your fingers crossed that we can find a place - I'm looking to rent for a while (so someone else is responsible for the unclogging of the drains and the fixing of the appliances) but finding a place that will accept my two remaining mutts is challenging, to say the least. Whether I find a place this weekend or not, next weekend will be about finding a daycare, and the following week, the one I have off, will be about packing up the house.
Eep!

Anyway, things are really wonderful here, I am happy, I am excited and looking forward to the challenges of the new job and getting to know my old city again (and having access to a nearby pool ROCKS ohyesitsoverymuchdoes). The Bug is excited too - he loves T and is excited to see him more often, and Grampa, and Uncle Monkey Butt and Tira Karen and the rest of them. (Smacky too, but he has no clue anything new is going on, other than the fact that Mommy is tense in the house and there's a lot of trash and interesting stuff to mess with everywhere.)

I doubt I will post again until after the move, or at least after the first day of work if I don't find a place right away. Don't worry about me, though - life is good. Thank you again for all your Vibes of Knitterly Goodness.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Gentlemen, we can rebuild her. We have the technology.

AKA, rebirth.

(Woo! More navel-gazing! Awesome! And to head off the comments before they start, no I DON'T knit anymore. I navel-gaze.)

Nine months ago today, Rick died. In the time it takes to grow a new human, I grew...myself. This post will be full of cliches and crap like that, and will include uncomfortable admissions. Prolly no rants, though Cookie and Joan and Nora have a lock on those this week.
Nine months ago today, my life ended. The life I knew was gone without so much as a gasp. It left me and my young sons and we were bereft. It was a Friday. There are whole hours missing from that day, but the images in my head of Rick, both before and after he was gone, will be with me forever. He was a strong, vital man who withered away before my very eyes, and the universe saw fit to take him away completely, for whatever reasons it felt like. Assuming there were any reasons at all.
Nine months ago today, this life I have now began. It started out with a great deal of pain and anguish, but also lots of love. Friends and family made sure I was taken care of, that beer magically appeared in my house, that the boys were fed and watered and exercised and taken to school, that the laundry was done. Having given birth once with no drugs (thank you very much stupid nurse who didn't talk to my midwife before countermanding the order YES I'M STILL BITTER) I can say that giving birth to my new life was more painful and took so much more labor. (See? bad clichés, I has dem.) Railing against it didn't help. Accepting it didn't make the pain stop. Avoiding it was only temporary. My friends, it sucked.
And then one day, it didn't. Not the whole day, anyway. I got a new job. I got some new friends at the new job, ones who weren't associated with any pain because they were part of the new life. (Not to say that I'm not blessed by my old friends, but avoidance is so much easier when no one around you knows you're avoiding, yanno?) I bought some new clothes, I took the boys to fun places, and I started to live this new life. Friends continued to make me feel loved and to let me know they were around for me. I had a few dates. I had a one night stand with a crazy Jesus freak. I remembered why dating sucks. I met someone wonderful and fell in love. I started going out and experiencing things I hadn't done before. I started running (yes, Nora, you read that right) and got new goals in my life. I took my babies and my husband's ashes and together we let him go. I came home to find my new love waiting for me at the airport, and realized with great relief that having love in my new life was fitting and right.
It's hard to admit this due to the implications of what I'm not saying, but here it is: it has been nine months, and in that nine months I have grown into a whole new person. I still have the occasional pangs, because this birth was different than others. But as Lynn said when I was wondering to her about how great I felt, "It's called grace, and when it shows up, you welcome it." My new life makes me happy. Not the same - never the same - but amazing, nonetheless.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Land of the Lost

Yup. Welcome to AZ, where you don't need a permit to carry a gun, but you DO need one to be Mexican.
ANYWAY.
Here is a list of the random crap that has been happening since I got back.
1) First of all, thank you for all the kind words about Rick's trip, and Peaches. To be honest, both were a relief and took a load off my mind. I fulfilled my promises to Rick and his family, and to Peaches too. Peach always did like Rick best. ;-)
ii) The rest of my time has been crazy busy. I know everyone says that, and it's mostly true - life quickens its pace in the spring and suddenly there are gazillions of things to do, even if (like me) you don't garden or do housework or any of those things. Bug is now playing T-ball, which is totally hilarious. Teaching these kids the rules of a complex game like baseball is hit-and-miss. Last game there were kids fielding the ball when they were supposed to be running the bases, one kid refused to hit the ball toward the field and instead hit it toward where the catcher would have been, and Bug decided he didn't want to run the bases unless I was in the field and challenged him to a race. Which I had to do whilst holding Smacky. The Three Stooges had nothing on these kids.

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c) I recalculated the increases on the sleeves of B-side. I did this because my gauge was 8rpi and the pattern called for 9rpi. (I think - when I calculated it, following the increases as written would have resulted in a sleeve that was like 23 inches long.) I knitted to the end of the recalculated increases, prepared to knit a bit to reach 19 inches, and realized that my gauge had changed and was now spot on with the pattern, and my sleeve was now 4 inches TOO SHORT. 12 of the 15 inches of sleeve, ripped. Sigh. Took me a whole week to admit I'd done it. Haven't touched it since.

IV)I have big things happening this week. Nothing I can share just yet, but if you wouldn't mind, please harness your knitterly powers and send good thoughts aimed at me, that whatever is for the best will happen.

5) Please tell me when my kid got big enough to start learning to write.

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six) Fear not, Smacky's still little enough to be weird. (This is pretty much where he spends evenings, waiting for dinner. He is NOT eating the dog food, just chucking it around the kitchen. I swear he has a stash of it somewhere.)

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G) This is where my free time goes anymore.

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