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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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Nora? Joan? Bev?

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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.

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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.)

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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.)

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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.

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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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