Monday, December 31, 2007

The Flaw in the Plan

I forgot to allow for eating room when I bought the dress.

I'll breathe tomorrow.

Sent from the iPhone.

New Year's Eve Preparations

I don't think I've ever been out on new year's eve. Oh, I've been to friends' houses for little get-togethers, but never for a big party or event. This year is different, Dan and I are going to the Ramshead Tavern to see Billy Price Band. I secured a sitter back in November, AM's niece home from college. My sister-in-law helped me pick out a dress a couple weeks ago when we visited there, a fun, flirty little black and white number. I found shoes that will do. I even bought a pair of stockings. Now, I have to figure out what I'm going to do with my hair.

You all know me, I'm not a girly-girl. I fix things: I install car stereos, I drive a lawn tractor, I change showerheads (Oh, I found my channel-locks, by the way, they were in the back of the van, no tellin' why), I don't wear much make-up, I don't polish my nails, and I don't do hair. I just don't know how. I'm a wash-and-go kinda girl, no hair dryer, no curling iron for me.

I haven't had a hair cut since March when I made my last trek to New York to see Nick. He's raised his rates a couple times since I first saw him, but he grandsfathers his clients so they always pay their initial rate, not the going rate. Thank goodness. But still, it's not trivial to take a day or two off work and get up there to have my hair cut.

Dan often tells me there are other people who cut hair. I have a real hard time "breaking in" new stylists. I can't stand to have "product" in my hair, I hate the way it feels. I admit I have tactile issues. It drives me nuts if I can't run my fingers through my hair, I hate the feeling of curl cream or mousse sticking up my locks. Yuck. It always takes about 5 visits for any stylist to remember not to put anything in my hair, but I've never been so bold as to march back over to the shampoo girl and have them wash it again right after a cut and blow-dry. Although that might get the point across, maybe I should do that just once. Which is fine with me, because I don't like to have my hair blown dry.

Anyway, back to tonight. What am I going to do with my hair?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I did it!

I've been planning out my husband's Christmas present for almost a month. I was so excited about it but couldn't post anything because Dan reads my blog.

One Sunday a while back I took his car for an oil change. The place I took it just happened to be next to a pet store so I had an excuse to buy more fish. *wink-wink*

On the drive to the shop I couldn't hook up my new iPhone to his tape deck adapter because it wasn't working. It hadn't worked for quite a while. If you've ever wandered over to his blog, you'll know he loves music. His iTunes library is well over 11,000 songs and he loves to play his iPod on random all the time. Except in his car. Where he can't, missing out on about an hour of listening time a day.

Aha. A great gift idea! I was thrilled. He's the kind of guy who thinks gift-lists are stoopid and believes you should be able to come up with ideas on your own. He's also hard to buy for because he has two hobbies: music and golf. He's at the point in his golf game where he'd need to pick out his own equipment and gift cards are right up there with gift lists. I've gone to the "golf shirt" well a lot. So, needless to say, when I thought up a fancy new car stereo that plays iPods for his big gift, I was excited.

I started doing the research on-line and quizzed Phil a lot, the young, I'm-old-enough-to-be-his-mom, techno-whiz kid in my office. He pointed me to a couple sites and a couple good brands to look at, told me it wasn't hard, and even did a bit of research about Dan's car for installation. After a visit to a local stereo store, I found a good model and had a price for comparison. $x. They wanted $y for installation, $z for the installation kit, and $30 for the iPod connection cable. And don't forget state tax. Back on-line I go, find the same thing, free shipping, free iPod cable, free install kit, no sales tax. All for $x-$10. Whoohoo!

Phil and I went out to Dan's car at lunch one day and opened up the stereo compartment to scout out the ease of installation. The next thing to think about was when would we do the installation with Phil's leave schedule to work around. When the stereo arrived in the mail we examined all the parts and the directions and discussed the wires that needed soldering together. I had to wait for Dan to go to one of his Wizards games so I could solder the wires myself with a soldering kit I bought. I only burned my finger once.

We didn't get it installed before Phil left for Christmas so I wrapped up the faceplate, the part you take off for security, for the gift-giving. Dan wasn't sure what he was looking at and wasn't sure I could do the installation after I explained what it was.

Ha! I had a blast putting it in myself. I did it last night, Phil will be so proud. It was easy since the wiring was already soldered and ready; the hardest part was finding a place for the grounding wire and getting my hands back in there to bolt it down. I should have taken pictures, but the camera batteries were dead.

Dan called me this morning to tell me thanks, he liked having his ipod playing on the way to work, and he was impressed with my ability. Now he has to figure out how it works.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

There wasn't any winter break daycamps for Kevin this week so Dan and I are splitting the work day to save our leave for our big trip in March. The kids slept in, well past 10:30 so I had an easy morning.

The guys came to start on the last phase of the kitchen. If you don't remember, we remodeled the kitchen last summer and the new fridge fit "on paper" in the space between the pantry and the cabinet with room to spare, but it didn't in reality. So the pantry wall is being rebuilt with thinner drywall and 2x3" instead of 2x4" studs. The result should be more space and I'll be able to open the drawer next to the fridge without it bumping.

Then Dan called from the office this morning to arrange "the swap," and he told me he got an email about a former colleague of mine who died last week and the funeral will be Friday. Wow, that came outta nowhere.

This young woman, Minda, was the secretary in my office for a while about 10 years ago, divorced with a son. She was friends with Kerri, the woman who replaced her. I changed jobs and left the division where my husband and Kerri work about 6 years ago so I'd kinda lost track of Minda, just heard snippets here and there from my friend who still works there. I called her to let her know she should check her work email (she's in California with family). She told me she already knew and it was suicide last Thursday night with her 9mm. Wow. That came outta nowhere.

Needless to say, I'm in shock, and feeling kinda empty. My friend said Kerri had had lunch with Minda Thursday and nothing seemed wrong. Kerri's pretty shaken up, my heart goes out to her and Minda's son.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winter Solstice

I'm feeling kinda depressed today.

I hate the new shower head a lot. It takes me so long to take a shower now, so long to get the soap off, so long to get the shampoo out, and even longer to rinse out the conditioner. Kinda defeats the purpose of a water saver shower head, doncha think? My back and scalp feel like they are starting to break out as if I'm not getting them clean enough. I feel like I'm at summer camp, all that's missing is the sulfur smell, too. Sheesh.

My husband pointed out a recipe on the label of the can of condensed milk: Magic cookie bars. The Girl and her friend, Hermione, helped me make them. Here's the recipe:

1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
.5 cups butter melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups chocolate chips (12 oz)
1.3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F for glass dish).
In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter, mix well. Press mixture into a 13x9-inch baking pan.
Pour condensed milk evenly over crumbs.
layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with a fork.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature.

Sounded easy enough. Hard to mess up. Right? They look pretty good coming out of the oven. But they are not "bars," they are crumbles. Taste OK, but don't hold together. They turned out like a chocolate chip cobbler.

Can any of you cooking types figure out what is wrong with this? Can you help me out and make my day?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Year in Review

I'm not ashamed to admit I steal good ideas. This came from Lorraine where she posted the first line (or two) from the first post of each month.

Here's my year:

I finished Something Dangerous over the weekend and started the third book in the trilogy, Into Temptation and the children out of wedlock count is up to eight, but there is a mystery about one so it could be only seven. Still.
Here are my blue-greens after the first rinse.
Misheard or misunderstood song lyrics are part of life.
Yesterday in the mail I got my box of seeds.
I guess whatever falls out of the freezer when you reach in for frozen microwave lunch is what you're serving for dinner.
Saturday was a gorgeous day. Hot. It hadn't rained in a while so I set the sprinkler out for several hours. Sunday it rained, over an inch. Now the lawn really needs to be mowed. I coulda mowed on Saturday.
I'm back to work after a two-week vacation and I have a boatload of email to catch up on.
My eyelashes are sticky with dried tears. I've finished Harry Potter.
One shelf of the spice cabinet before I put it back in the new kitchen.
My husband called home on Saturday from Colorado, evidently having read my last blog entry, "Did she really say that?"
We had about 20 beggars to the door last night dipping into the family stash. Fern and Hermione went out together around our neighborhood.
Why are mammogram technician's hands always so cold?

Maybe it wasn't such a good idea?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Controlling the Flow

Have any of you seen my Channel-locks? I think our hot water heater is circling the drain. What else could it be? Every couple weeks I have to take the kitchen faucet head off and clean out the little white crystals that collect on the little filter screen because they build up and block the water flow. These little buggers have wreaked havoc on the shower head too and there is no way to clean them out, no filter. Water squirts out where it's not supposed to. sheesh.

So Saturday I went to Home Depot to buy another shower head. Now, I like a shower with a lot of pressure, not some mamby-pamby trickle, but enough force to actually rinse the shampoo out, not just water it in. I picked out a $40 shower head, very pretty, "euro design" and removed the water-saver feature and installed the head. Had to use the adjustable wrench since I couldn't find the Channel-locks. OK, they are really Craftsman groove-joint pliers, but "Channel-locks" is easier to write. Sunday morning I take my shower and I was in there for-ev-er because there was no pressure. Sheesh. I hate that. So I box the fancy new head back up and return it to the store. After church, not right then with a towel wrapped around me. It turns out the head had too many nozzles so the water was distributed too much and the pressure drops to nil.

This time I pick out a smaller $14 model and install it. And the flow is marginally better, but not good enough to keep. Maybe I'll put it in The Girl's bathroom. The guy who made up the 2.5 gallon per minute regulation on all shower heads must not have any hair. I guess I need to get one from Canada. Before you tell me to get one like the model I had before, I need to explain it was part of a set, not sold separately. Might still be under warranty, I'll have to check on that.

In addition to the shower drama, sometime over the weekend I have to clean out the filter on the kitchen faucet again and I'm reminded I might need to address the washer again. About a month or two ago I had to pull the washer away from the wall and clean out the intake filter. Man! that's no easy task and it was full of these little white particles. This is driving me nuts! Is this a symptom of a dying hot water heater? Maybe I should call my dad and ask, he'll know.

I wonder. My Channel-locks might just be on the shelf above the washer. I'll have to look when I get home.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Answers to Study this Photo #3

If you haven't played along, scroll down a couple posts, it's not too late!

1. How many water bottles are there?
2. How many coffee/tea mugs are there?
3. What time is it?
4. How many cups/containers of writing implements?
5. What ocean is showing on the inflatable globe?
6. Are the reading glasses perched on the nose?
no, they are in the after picture.
7. Radio, beaker, or both?
8. What am I having for lunch?
A trick question. Sometimes I leave my lunch on my desk all morning instead of putting it away in the fridge. This day it's not there. However, if you scroll back to the day I originally posted this photo, you'll see in the "after" photo a picture of a Taco Bell wrapper torn into a snow flake on the monitor. So the answer is: Taco Bell.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Note about the picture below. Mark and AM and Dan and I attended a surprise 40th party for one of our neighbors. Mark asked if I'd figured out how to get a photo from my iPhone to my blog and I, of course, showed him.

The party was held at the temple and the rabbi played a part in getting the birthday girl there, some ruse about dinner and "I left something at the office." The band, local favorite The Crayfish, took the stage after all the toasts and opened with Please Come Home for Christmas. Nice sense of humor.

Silly party tricks: Look, take your picture and now you're on my blog.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Study This Photo #3

My "before" desk last week:

Click to enlarge and study this photo for 30 seconds. Then answer the questions in the comment section. No Cheating!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I deliver chocolate milk to The Boy's room, he likes a glass of frothy goodness before bed. The Girl's door is cracked, I see the blue light emitted from the TV, Gilmore Girls flickering into the air. Her head's on the pillow, her eyes are closed. She likes to fall asleep with the TV on, "it helps her." sheesh. I know she's faking it, there with her eyes closed, much too perfectly. I want her to know I know she's not asleep. I whisper: "You want $20?"


Saturday, December 08, 2007

My husband announced to me he has finished his Christmas shopping for me. I'm very excited, especially after the cool birthday gift I got last month.

And you can read all about it on his blog.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Need Gift Ideas?

Blue is edgy and electric. In this wig, Chicken sports some serrrrious attitude – she’s thinking saxophones, smoke and snapping fingers.

Blue gives your kitty a sharp look -- jazzy and totally copacetic.

Blonde is a magical mix of bashful and brazen. Fern shows off the many moods of a natural blonde: sweet yet catty, smart yet batty -- where life is alluring and coy. Now all she needs is a bikini and a Swedish accent.

Blonde sets off your kitty’s eyes and makes your kitty look tan.

Get yours here.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Photos for Thursday

First, a note about yesterday's post. It seems a lot of folks were confused about my goal, so I apologize. Maybe I needed to be more clear. My goal is to post a photo from my iPhone directly to my blog without touching a computer. Yes, I can download my pics to the computer and then upload to blogger, where's the fun in that? If I have this gadget that can do it all, I want it to do it all.

Am I right?

Edited @ 16:04: The following are from my collection of regular camera photos.

In September I posted this picture from the office window:

And in October it looked like this:


Today I forgot to bring in my knitting to keep myself occupied while my computer booted up. So I worked on my desk. Before:

After lunch:

Notice the photo on the computer screen. Thanks to Lorraine for the inspiration. I found myself folding and tearing my lunch wrapper. I didn't have any scissors in my current tote bag. Sheesh.

Lastly, lunch at The Old Siam last week:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I still can't figure it out, but here's another try

I've been trying to figure out how to post a picture on my blog that I took with my iPhone, and this is the closest I've come.

I took this picture at a Chinese buffet a couple weeks ago. Then I remembered I could email in posts to blogger. So I emailed in the photo which was saved as a draft message.
Now I'm editing the draft with this explanation on the computer because I hate typing a lot of text on the iPhone. I am constantly getting a 'P' when I touch the 'O' and an 'R' when I want an 'E.' The lady at the Apple store told me last night it will learn my touch and get better at knowing what I meant to type. Really?

Anyway, I'd like it to be a smoother process, but it'll do for now.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Question of the Day

Why are mammogram technician's hands always so cold?

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Oh no, you didn't!"

"Yes, I did."

All eyes at my end of the table were on me. I was enjoying this rare time in the spotlight. My I-type personality doesn't afford me many times like these, I'm usually being a bumbling klutzy blond. My dining companions were roaring with laughter.

Let me back up a bit. We were talking about pets and I was asked if I had any.

"Not any with legs." Laughter. "I have two tanks of fish now; we had birds and hamsters, but they are all dead now."

Maybe I should back up a little bit more.

I was in the middle of a 15-year reunion luncheon, and we were swapping stories of what we'd been doing for the past decade and a half.

It was the reunion of the class of PSDP-32. PSDP was the Professional Skills Development Program, affectionately pronounced as "pzdip" for new professional hires at my agency (as opposed to clerical hires). The program lasted six weeks, four in a classroom setting at HQ and two weeks out in the field putting our new-found knowledge into practice. The course was designed to learn about and demonstrate all aspects of the agency's missions.

Even though I'm an introvert, I like some attention. When Kevin turned 15 last month I remembered being pregnant with him while I was this class, so why not have a 15-year reunion? I'll plan it, everyone will love it.

What was the world like 15 years ago? I got a class listing from the only instructor remaining here at the agency. It was a xerox of a early word processing machine-printed list with hand written corrections. Email hadn't been invented yet. We've since moved into a new building so none of the office addresses were correct, nor were the phone numbers, we got a new phone system and new numbers about 5 years ago. Thanks to our intranet, I found most of the class of 25 and sent out invitations. Thank goodness we have email now.

Since I only spent six weeks with these people, this reunion was unlike a high school reunion where you might have spent up to thirteen years with your classmates and can remember a whole range of things about those people, like the hideous outfit she wore on picture day, this reunion was like remembering a sidestep in your life.

Ten members of our class showed up at the restaurant, I had a hard time recognizing a lot of my classmates but my memory was jogged sufficiently. The then-young, new hires are now older, softer and grayer. A glitch in the system left out the converted interns so I'd been at the job for 8 years, which was unusual in the class demographic. As the lunch moved along, stories went from remembering our field experience: driving around on the narrow mountain roads near Charlottesville and having the designated driver making three trips bring people back from the bar one night because the rest of revelers were too drunk to get back on their own and how some almost got kicked out of the hotel because of something to do with swimming and a closed pool, (being older and pregnant "saved" me from a lot of these antics) to our current jobs, lives, kids. And pets.

"Do you have any pets?"

"Not any with legs. I have two tanks of fish now; we had birds and hamsters, but they are all dead now."


"Our first hamster, Charlie, was Fern's dwarf Siberian hamster. Kevin, at that time, well he still doesn't, ask questions to know or want things, like 'What's for dinner?' or 'Can I have a Wii for Christmas?' but to state what he's just done. One day he came in and asked us 'Why did you put Charlie in the plane in the pool?' I bee-lined it out to the wading pool and pulled out the plane and the wet limp hamster, dried him off and cuddled him up in a towel, and gave him mouth-to-mouth."

"You did mouth-to-mouth to a hamster?!"

"Yes, and he lived for about another week after that."

"Oh no, you didn't!"

"Yes, I did."

"I'm going to remind you of that in another 15 years."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Still running low on ideas

Tuesday night I finished pair #9 of the flurry of socks I've been knitting over the past two months. And now I'm taking a break from socks and I've picked back up on the green sweater I'd started in early September. All the socks are pinned up over the fireplace for display, but I'm just going to leave them there for a while. I'll know where they are and they won't get messed up or dirty there.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What's for Dinner?

I'm running low on blog topics and I don't want to disappoint my vast readers so I'm posting my dinner menu.

No, I didn't mean to imply you are vast, sorry for the misunderstanding.

Inside-out peppers served with Asparagus

I call this inside-out peppers because it's a traditional stuffed pepper recipe but the peppers are on the inside of the mix instead of the out

If you're not on a low-carb diet you can add cooked rice to the mixture halfway through the simmer

Preheat oven to 425, I've set mine to convection roast.
prepare asparagus stalks (I just snap the bottoms off, but you can peel the lower half if you want to take up the time)
Put the asparagus stalks in a shallow pan and drizzle with olive oil, set aside until the oven is hot. Roast for 12 to 20 minutes depending on how thick the stalks are. Optional: toss in slivered garlic cloves halfway through, I forgot to slice some up tonight

Brown a pound or two of ground beef (depending on your family size, of course)
While that's cooking, chop one or two green, red, or yellow bell peppers

drain off the fat if you need to
add the chopped pepper
pour in a half jar or so of spaghetti sauce (flavor of your choice)
and a cup of water
crumble in a palm-full each of oregano, basil and marjoram
add in a healthy slug of worcestershire sauce (aka: "what's this here?" sauce)

simmer with the lid off until it's nice and thick about 10-20 minutes
salt and pepper to taste


Friday, November 23, 2007

It's the day after Thanksgiving, I did nothing, I got nothing, so I'm trying to push the envelope on iphone by doing an entire post with it including inserting a photo.
No luck uploading a photo. Dernit.

I'm on my to a Wizards game, I'll try to post a photo during halftime.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

House and Home

I've lamented the difficulty in buying pants for my ever-growing son in the past. And it's still true. I had to buy him two new pairs of pants with adjustable waists Sunday night. Men's small jackets are the right length in the sleeves but he isn't close to "filling it out" and boys' large or x-large fit better but are too short around the wrists.

I measured him again on Sunday morning and he's 68.75" tall and still only about 100 lbs. He's nearly as tall as his father now having grown another inch in the past month. The dear boy went to school today in "floods" because he didn't want to change into the new pants or zip off the legs into shorts.

Sunday, I took him to Five Guys for lunch after church. (Is that 4 or 5 Sundays in a row, I've lost track.) He ate his burger and the rest of mine and all his fries. Last night his after school program had Thanksgiving dinner which he ate, then had salmon, broccoli and couscous when he got home. I figure any mom with an autistic son with food issues should just wait until they are a teenager and they'll eat anything. This teenager is going to eat me out of house and home.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ta Daaah

notice the pattern is reversed on the other foot.

Friday, November 16, 2007

On This Day...

Today is my birthday. I used to hate my birthday when I was young and single and alone. I'd be very anxious about it, would anybody remember? Would anybody care?

Now, I'm not anxious about them at all, I kinda even would forget about it until the week before. I think having a husband and family and friends makes all the difference.

I'm typing this from my new iPhone. My husband surprised me with it this morning when I got back from my walk with AM, who is doing fantastically, by the way. I walk most of the route by myself then pick her up for the last bit. Her pace and stamina are increasing. But I digress. My husband gives the greatest gifts. A couple years ago, sit down for this Lorraine, he flew me and my mom to New York and my friend B came too. He booked an appointment for me to have my hair cut and colored by Nick from "What Not to Wear" at his studio in SoHo.

Today I get this shiny new iPhone. OK, I quit typing on it and I'm back on the laptop, it's much too hard for a lot of typing and the keypad is small, but it's cool. It picks up the WiFi network in the house so I can surf the 'net when the other computers in the house are occupied. I've had Nokia phones for years so I am facing a new learning curve with all this new technology in my palm.

Thanks Honey! But I'm not looking forward to moving over all my phone numbers, I'll do a few at a time. Anyone want their number in my new phone?

PS, check out my husbands blog for my song of the day!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Vocabulary Test

Lorraine refers to our blogging world as "Blogopia." I and think she's just plain wrong.

Let's examine the words myopia, hyperopia, and presbyopia . These words with the 'opia' suffix relate to how we see, nearsighted, farsighted, and needs reading glasses. (Do all Presbyterians need reading glasses or is that just me?) Blogopia therefore would mean how we see our blogging world.

Let's examine the words utopia and dystopia. These two words with the 'topia' suffix describe the places where we live: well, Utopia, obviously, and its evil twin, the land of doom (characterized by an oppressive social control).

Therefore, our little blog world should be Blogtopia. Right?

I'm sure Lorraine will disagree, anyone else?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The smallest possible bribe

I have to bribe Kevin a lot to get him to do things he wouldn't prefer to do. Brush your teeth if you want to go to Great Wolf Lodge; or go to bed so you can go to Swim-n-gym tomorrow, etc.

I select my bribes carefully, I don't want my offer to be too big, I'd never be able to back it up or offer it again; or too small, he'd never go for it. The promise of going to Great Wolf Lodge can work for about six months, and it works great when there is a specific date attached, this time January fifth. I often need a bribe that has immediate payoff like first we'll go shopping at Target then you can have fries from Chick-fil-A. The past several weeks I bribed Kevin with mini golf and Five Guys Burgers so he'd go to church. This week my husband is out of town and I wanted to go to church so I'd been racking my brain thinking of something I could use as a bribe that didn't involve a lot of calories (more fries), or spending time out in the cold (more mini golf). The bribes are a sacrifice on my part, what I'm willing to do or give up to get the desired behavior out of my son.

This morning was no different. I wanted to go to church and take him with me. I wanted a quiet compliant child, but what did I have to offer? Then it struck me.

"Kevin, will you go to church with me?"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I can see clearly now...

...the algae is gone. My 55 gallon fish tank in my bed room with South American fish had gotten so scummy, the algae was so thick, I couldn't see anything. I finally cleaned it out a couple weeks ago, again. It took me more than a week this time. I used lots of bleach to kill the algae and let the tank come back up to speed before I put the fish back in. I even had the garden hose up the side of the house into the bedroom so I didn't have to haul buckets of water back and forth from the bathroom. I swear that stretches my arm 2 inches. Probably explains tendinitis, too. And I just hate hefting the buckets up on my shoulder so I can not pour the water on the carpet, but into the tank. The hose makes it so much easier, but it takes a while for the temperature to stabilize.

Today I bought 12 new fish, six black neons, two cory cats, and four Columbian tetras. I already had a surviving black neon and a surviving Columbian tetra and these guys are monsters compared to the new tank mates. Ohmigoodness, I never realize how much the fish grow until I get new ones from the shop. I'm not sure what of this purchase is left, probably two of the cory cats and one of the neons.

I did a search for my previous post on the same topic and was surprised to find I did the same thing last December. Boy, does time fly. Maybe I'll be a better fish parent this year and not have the algae problem again. Either that, or find algae eater fish that live in the soft Amazon acidic water with a pH of 6.5.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fighting Self Doubt

In the last week, I've gotten four more Girl Scout vests to work on. I'm proud of my work, and I think it looks good, but I'm starting to think about (or maybe obsess about) quality and customer service, and what if the moms don't like what I've done to their daughter's vest. I tell myself if they could have done a better job, they would have done it themselves and not have hired me. But still, I set up this business without a reputation, I am just someone who could and would do the sewing. Anyway, only time will tell, I guess — will my clients come back for another year after this one? Will I be swamped beyond belief? or just be a sad memory of an old bat who tried?

Fighting Boredom

I finished the seventh pair of wool socks, AM's pair, wasn't available for the group photo, but here are the rest of the gift pairs. I still should make another pair but maybe I'll take a break for a while. I've picked back up the pair of corn fiber hibiscus-colored socks I've been making for myself. I have made real progress in the last week and only have the toe to work and I'll be done. Whoohoo!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The air is rapidly escaping from the sock balloon. I'm working on pair number 7 and I'm finding it hard to be excited about its progress. I'm halfway done with the foot on the second sock and I'm not really looking forward to starting another pair. I still should make at least one more pair. And Kevin will be skiing this winter so I should make him a pair of wool socks too.

There is a five-week skiing program for special needs teens (no parents!) this winter which we'll be signing Kevin up for. He's never done that, so I'm nervous and excited for him at the same time. I can't ski, I fall. Ice skating is more my speed as long as I have at least one foot on the ice at all times. (No jumps!)

Kevin learns by observation. He rode a two-wheeler two days after we took the training wheels off his sister's bike. Fern didn't like Kevin riding her bike, so we took the wheels off his bike. I'm sure he'll see the others skiing and go for it. It's kind of cool he doesn't take the whole fear thing into consideration, fear of failure, fear of falling, fear of falling in front of peers, the usual adult things.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Snapshots of a Weekend

I shot a 55 on the back nine at Glenndale. I had some good drives, almost had the green in 3 on several holes but hit the beach instead, and made par on 12, par 3 130 something yards, long putt for par.


I got an email from a neighbor who is traveling this week to Arizona to visit a retired colleague:
If for some reason I don't make it back my car will be in the long term parking at bwi- license is xxx xxx. 2006 honda accord black
Car keys are on the mirror in the hallway.

You can keep it. Needs an oil change.


My daughter is a funny bird. She was the liturgist again Sunday morning for the 8:30 service, having had fun when she did part of the Youth service in September. This time, she did the whole service, didn't share the duty with any one else. She did great, spoke clearly, didn't rush through the readings. Many people came up to me after the service to tell me how well my daughter had done. I'm sure a lot of people told her the same thing. I asked her if she'd like to do it again. "No." Her point of view is: it's over, don't dwell on the past, just move on. She's uncomfortable with the accolades and doesn't want to be subject to acclamations if she doesn't have to. I wish she could be more graceful in accepting praise. How do I help her with that?


My husband heard the click click click of the starter on the gas stove.
"What are you making?"
I peered around the corner to see a look on his face that was reminiscent of a child given a plate of brussels sprouts.
"I have a hankering for something and I don't know what it's for."
"It's not for spinach, ice cream or cheese cake maybe."
"No, it definitely not for ice cream or cheese cake."
I plop down in my chair in the sewing/computer room.
"Chips and dip?"
"I could have a hankering for chips and dip," I said, paused, then said, "you could pick some up when you go get the girls at 8:00."
"You beat me to the punch."
"Yes I did." He usually gets me to make trips like this.
"I'm already in sweats."
"I have slippers on."
"But you have pants on."
"Yeah, but I'm not wearing a bra."
"If I didn't notice, no one else will".

The chips hit the spot.
And I didn't have to leave the house.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Trick or Treat

We had about 20 beggars to the door last night dipping into the family stash. Fern and Hermione went out together around our neighborhood. Don't they look smashing!

Hermione is wearing a dress I made for Fern a couple years ago, by the way.


I'm so proud of myself: I've gotten up in the dark 3 mornings this week and walked by myself. Yay Me!

We had a fire drill here at work a couple weeks ago. I work on the fifth floor so I took the steps up after the all-clear. Oh my goodness, I got to Three just fine, was huffing and puffing by Four and blown down by Five. I tried again a couple days ago with the same results. Now I've vowed to take the steps once a day until it's no longer hard, then I may do twice a day. It's exactly 100 steps to the fifth floor from the lobby. I guess my 1.75 mile walks in the mornings haven't been hard enough for my heart.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Alphabet Soup

Report card time: Two kids, eleven A's, one B and one D, two honor roll students.


Down Hill Slide

I hate this time of year. I'm not talking about the visual delight everywhere you look, the sharp blue sky contrasts wonderfully with the crisp yellows and reds of the maples and oaks. Today I'm talking about the number on the scale.

Kevin's birthday (carrot cake and cheese fries) is followed by Halloween (almond joys and butterfingers), which is followed by my birthday (more carrot cake unless the girl picks it out, then it's cheese cake), which is followed by Thanksgiving (lobster bisque, cherry pie and stuffing) and Christmas (more cherry pie and more stuffing). Food and candy everywhere (not counting the box of full-sized snickers dark bars in my desk). And on top of all that, it's so dark and cold in the mornings now making it so hard to get up to walk by myself.

Next weekend daylight saving time ends so it'll be light in the morning again, AM gets her cast off today, and L is recovering well from her mastectomy of last Monday.

Things are looking up.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Quick Question

Do any of you ever look at my progress chart over there in the right sidebar?

Do you care?

Sorry, that's two questions. Does that bug you?

Darn, that's three.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Aye Yi Yi

I had a doctor's appointment this morning to have a pain in my neck checked. No, not Fern, but I will discuss her later. I have pain in a gland on the right side that I've had for a long time. While I was there I got to donate blood for routine lab work. Except the donation part was not routine. The first lab tech finally found a vein that she could use in the right arm, but it kept rolling and she couldn't get the needle all the way in so she tried a vein in the back of my hand, again with no luck.

At this point I'm feeling very faint, after all, this is for fasting tests. The first vampire leaves and a second vampire comes in. More tourniquets, more prodding and she finally finds a usable vein on the left arm.
The lights are almost out in the room, it's very dark and I'm not sure how she could see to get all three vials of blood. After a short nap, the lights are back on and I prepare to leave. But, wait, that's not all, can you leave a sample in there, too? sheesh. How much more do I need to give here for a pain in the neck? In addition to the referral to the ENT guy, I asked for two other referrals, one for a beloved mammo and one to a psychiatrist so I can get meds for my ADD. My doctor doesn't know which doctor to send me to because a lot of them are not taking my insurance anymore. I guess psychiatrists don't want to help people who cannot pay to see them.

Before my trip to the doctor's office I had time to fold up a load of laundry that was partly a load I started mixed in with a load the princess started (princess said with the utmost contempt, by the way). There are three baskets of clean unfolded laundry around the washer. The princess, it seems, will start a load of her clothes for school and, when it's time to put them in the dryer, will move anything already occupying the space in a basket and leave it there, cold, wrinkled, and unwearable. Three baskets full. Sometimes I can fluff the unwearables back to life in the dryer along with a wet towel, sometimes they are just too far gone. I gave the princess a piece of my mind, you have to fold what's in the dryer, now I have three baskets to deal with, you can't just leave it there..... sheesh. Think she'll remember next time? I doubt it, too.

I don't have to worry about clean pants for a while. I got my order from LL Bean the other day. I have a hard time finding pants that fit me because my hip-to-waist ratio is so big and my legs are so long. If I find a pair of pants in a department store that seem to fit and seem to be long enough, they never are after washing and drying. on LOW heat mind you; they're 2" too short. sheesh. I need to gather them all up and give them to AM, her legs are shorter than mine. LL Bean sells long pants and promises they won't shrink. I ordered four pairs. Yesterday I wore the cotton chinos in "soapstone" and promptly dropped food on them. This, of course, is after I spoke to the aforementioned princess about wearing pants more than once before she puts them in the hamper. sheesh. Today I'm wearing "rosette" Adirondack jeans. And look! no spots!

How is your day?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fifteen Years Later

I need to plagiarize Mom's post from Monday. It's a great post about being a new mom.

Today my first born is 15. Fifteen years ago today I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep. I got up and watched trashy TV for a couple hours, you know those shows that are on at 2:30 in the morning, the infomercials and slutty match making shows. The contractions were about 10 minutes apart and I could still talk through them, although I only had the cat to talk to, so I wasn't freaking out. About 4:30 I tried to go back to bed, but the contractions were worse and I woke Dan up. He made coffee and read the paper for a while and I probably knitted, I can't remember, maybe he can. He kept track of the intervals and we walked around the neighborhood for a while.

About 6:30 we drove to the hospital and settled on a name. Mike Devereaux had had a fabulous season with the Orioles in 1992 and because Devo was my favorite player at the time I thought Devon would be a good name for a boy, (Fern had already been chosen for a girl), but upon further consideration, we decided it was too "out there" and picked Kevin instead.

My sweet boy was born at about 5:30 in the evening with a loose knot tied in his cord, weighing in at 7 pounds 6.5 oz, 21" long. The L&D doc speculated he'd be a surgeon because of his early knot tying ability!

Now Kevin is 5'8" and about 95 or so pounds, and handsome as ever.

My digital photos only go back 5 years, so here's a shot from 5 years ago. (I'll have to find a baby picture to scan in later.)

And here's a recent shot:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Photos for Tuesday

Fern's costume is almost done, here she is trying it on. The pattern was designed for a very buxom 12 year old. I'm going to have to make some alterations to the bodice! I feel like a contestant on Project Runway. She still needs to find some wings and legwear before the weekend.

The other day I had to leave work early and found this in front of my car in the garage.
The key was not in it but I was able to put it in neutral and roll it out of the way. I'm kicking myself for not rolling it back, or even into the parking space. Oh well.

About a month ago I posted a picture of landscaping efforts within the view of the window near my cube:

This is what it looks like now:

I should have taken a photo every day for a "flip book." Oh well.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Visit to the National Arboritum

This last one is for Lorraine.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Long time readers of my blog know I usually walk about 2 miles with AM about 6 mornings a week and have been doing so for the past several years. Long time readers of her blog know she severely broke her ankle while on a photo assignment a couple weeks ago.

Over the years, I've invited my across-the-street neighbor, L, to join us a couple of times, but the timing was never right because of her long recovery time from the chemo and radiation because of her breast cancer. Now her energy is back and she's ready to walk with us. She tells me this Saturday afternoon, the 15th of September, coincidentally, the very day AM broke her leg. I was able to continue my exercise routine with companionship. It's hard to get out of bed at 6 in the morning when you don't have to get up until 7, but knowing someone is waiting for you helps, it's what I need.

A week ago L had her routine mammogram and some abnormalities were found, Monday was the biopsy, Wednesday the results came back, and the mastectomy is scheduled for this coming Monday.

I've spent some time recently looking at my life and my friends' lives. One day you're walking around on two good feet, the next day, you've got ten screws and two plates in your leg. One day you're walking around with two good breasts, the next day you've got one. Yikes. How would I take care of my family if I couldn't take care of my family?

I'm trying to be a good friend and will try to be there for them however I can, I'm trying not to be selfish, but I'm going to miss my friends and my daily time together, it will be a long time before either one of them can walk with me again, to motivate me to get up in the dark and stay in shape. I've missed AM this past month and I'm going to miss L, too for the next several months. And I'm going to have to do this walking thing on my own for now.

Another Question of the Day

To avoid "popcorn lung" you pop popcorn the old fashion way, in a big ol' pan on the stove, with oil and a handful of kernels. If you pop said kernels in corn oil, is it suicide, homicide, or genocide?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Question of the Day

If you go into your spouse's or child's closet to collect empty hangers for future loads of laundry, are you harvesting or poaching?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I get oodles of spam emails in my spam folder every day and I scan the subject lines before I delete them just to make sure the spam filters didn't tag a real message. I see the usual collection of offers for watches, software and enlargement. Today I got a new subject I hadn't seen before:

Breast Enhancement Gel is only $62.65


Quilting Woes

Friday I bought some Pellon fusible quilter's grid with preprinted 1" squares for the challenge quilt I'm working on. I thought it would be easier to use than sewing oodles of squares together by the pair because you iron your fabric squares to the grid then sew the seems

I asked for 4 yards, paid and left the store. I didn't touch it again until Sunday at 7:00 pm. I opened the bag to a piece of 3 yards. The store closed at 6:00.

Last night I took it back to get the right sized piece. I was waited on by the cutting clerk. Her nametag read "Joy." I should have known right then to come back later.

She took for-ev-er to measure my original 3 yards, then cut another 4 yard piece for me. I was trying to hurry because my husband and son were waiting in the car. I unrolled the bolt for her in attempt to help speed things up. "Don't do that, I can't cut that way." She wrapped it back up on the cardboard and did it her way. I asked her for an extra inch because I was going to cut it half for two 2 yard pieces and I needed every bit of those 72 inches. It was as if I had asked for the rest of bolt for free. "I'll have to charge you for it." Aye yi yi. I'm thinking my original piece was 3 yards and a few extra inches cut in this very same store, why can't you give me ONE extra inch?

I get back to the car and apologize for taking so long and get home. I cut the 4 yard piece in half and start to lay out my fabric squares. They are 4" squares. The preprinted 1-inch grid squares aren't; there is about a 1/4" difference between the grid and the edge of my fabric, and, yes, I measured my squares again.

Now I'm going to have to adjust the way I lay out my square and the way I sew them up. And I don't know how to do that without messing up the whole project.

Monday, October 15, 2007

How was your weekend?

My weekend was busy. I wrote a post the other day about Kevin but had to save the draft and run off to something.

I missed work on Friday and spent a lot of the time working on the living and sewing rooms, getting them so you could walk around. (I still owe Lorraine a picture of my miscelaneous kitchen stuff I haven't put away yet.) It was just as well that I missed work, one of our servers is not functioning properly so I wouldn't have gotten a lot of work done anyway.

I also got most of Fern's pixie costume constructed; I just need to attach the lining to the skirt and attach the fringe on the bottom. Oh, and put grommets on the corset.

I got my sock knitting needles I ordered off the 'net and I finished another pair of socks with one set and started working again on the corn fiber Hibiscus socks (remember those?) using the other set. You can see them in the picture. These are 4" (10 cm) size 1 Addi aluminum needles by Skacel of Germany, which is very short so I'm still getting used to how they feel in my hands, they are almost like knitting with toddler needles, if there was such a thing. The other set I ordered was for the socks with the thicker yarn, size 8 5" Bry-Flex plastic needles by Bryspun. Both needles have a higher drag coefficient than the longer metal ones I had been using, so my stitches were snug and I've had to adjust my tension. I hope it won't be noticeable in the results. In the picture the green socks are for my daughter (normal woman's sized foot) and the brown socks are the first pair of Christmas present socks I've finished.

I now have 14 badge sewing clients (including my daughter) with the promise of two more. I got a lot of badges sewn on this weekend too, several clients are done. Several bags of vests are catch-up work: badges and patches earned in a previous level of scouting but neglected so I have years of things to do. Ugh. I've decided to charge extra for this, especially when it's a lot to do. On the happy side I raked in over $140 for my services.

Check my to-do list in the margin for my progress. :) But don't look for finished laundry, I didn't do any this weekend.

And now, here is the post I about my son I didn't get to publish when I started it. I must confess I stole Maddy's writing style from over at Whitterer on autism when I relay Kevin's conversation. She has such a great style of writing about her family with two autistic sons, I love reading it.

I've been spying on my son. Sort of. He will go out for a bike ride around the neighborhood and be gone for a long time. He can't tell me where he goes specifically. So I bought a bike computer and installed it. When he comes back from his rides I check it. His rides are 2-4 miles long. OK, I realize it's not really spying, but now I know how far he's riding.

He's been packing for our trip to Great Wolf Lodge. Since he has little conversation skills, he'll enter a room and just start in on what's on his mind. Like his packing list.
"He packed two pairsezez ov babing suits, and two pairsezez ov shorts, and free pairsezez ov socks, and free shirts."
"Where are we going?"
"Great Wuf Wodge."
"When are we going to Great Wolf Lodge?"

Sometimes he even puts the suitcase in the car. Every now and then I have to find and empty his suitcase so he has regular clean clothes to wear. If he sees me touching his bag he goes ballistic, so I have to be stealth-mom but whatever he's been reciting, is in the bag.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I've agreed to make a halloween costume for Fern. She wants to be a "woodland pixie." She picked out a pattern, one with multiple possibilities. She wants her outfit like the green one in the center of the picture, but with short sleeves.

I study the pattern guide, everything is lined with lots of pieces, bias cut skirts and gathers. Yuck. Fern watches me nervously. I explain some principles of garment construction. She sees it's not going to be easy and is afraid I'll back out. She asks how I learned to sew (as her friends are amazed I made her halloween dress a few years ago). I tell my 7th grader and she is shocked. I first learned to sew in 7th grade Home-Ec class. One third of the year was spent cooking, one third sewing, and one third in crafts, although I can't remember what else I learned except knitting. She's jealous. She wants to have Home-Ec. She wants to learn to sew. She also wants to be able to help with my badge sewing business. (I should have 5 more clients by the weekend, yay me!) She wants to learn to knit, I'd love for her to knit her own socks and sweaters.

I guess Home-Ec and shop got cut from schools when money and scheduling got tight. No child left behind. I wonder what kind of long term repercussions will result in this. The kids, theoretically, will be able to read, but will they know what a healthy meal is? CNN had a bit on a few weeks back saying people think of food as ready to eat. Is the lack of cooking skills leading to overeating of fast food alternatives? Is the increase in childhood obesity a result of no Home-Ec in schools?

Just wondering.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Yesterday was a true holiday. Schools are open and government is closed. Husband and I played golf together for the first time in a while. I did ok, 120 for 18 holes. My drives were a lot better with the new driver, most longer and straighter than they had been with the old one. I still need to learn to get more of my body into the swing for more speed and power instead of just swinging with my arms; use those large muscles.

I surprised Fern when she asked if she could skip Girl Scouts and I said yes. As much as I think it's a great program, I still need to remember not to push her too much and let her cut out if she wants too. She found out her friend is a scout, but inactive. I told her her friend's membership was only good until the end of October. Fern panicked about her own membership and I was secretly very pleased when she was relieved to know I'd signed her up for another year.

Last night at Bee meeting I got my challenge quilt fabrics ironed and cut out, so now I have no excuse, I must sew it together. I have to have it done by November 14. Pictures to follow.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Greeny and Lorraine wanted to know about my cheese recipe. I use this one from I bought their beginners' kit.
I'll post a picture of my first batch when I find it.

found it! This is a slice of fresh cheese with tomato and olive oil.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Everyday when I get home from work I check my box on the front porch, the box from which I run my business. Everyday it's empty. As much as people tell me it's a great service, I'm still disappointed when I'm not serving anybody.

Until last night when I got home from the local Six Flags, which is a horrid horrid place, by the way. It was the first time I'd been all year, hadn't been there since the fight last year. There was yet again another fight this time and a roller coaster got stuck. Anyway, there was a bag in my box with a vest and badges ready for my attention. In the words of London Tipton, "Yay me!"

The youth group at church went to Six Flags yesterday and I went as a chaperon, mostly beacuse I'm continually trying to get Kevin acclimated at church and Church with Kevin. Seven or eight years ago he was "kicked out" of Sunday school because of his autism, nobody knew how to deal with him. And the pastor didn't want to try or work with me for a solution. That pastor (why can't you accept my son, Christ does?) has since left and the new pastor, not so new now, he's been here over three years, is very accepting of all kids, he even lowered the age of junior church which meant if you were older than 7 you were welcomed in regular worship, noise and all. Back then I tried Kevin at a special needs Sunday school at a different church, but I didn't like their service, so it didn't last.

Now that Fern is of middle school age and participating in youth activities, I'm trying to get Kevin involved too. But not where it'd be stupid to try; I try to pick appropriate events. The other junior and senior high youth group kids at the park last night were very welcoming to Kevin and he would have been just fine without me there, but since I went to chaperon, he hung out with me and we rode rides together.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Facing Reality

Do you watch reality TV? Top Chef had its season finale Wednesday night, with Hung, the least appealing chef of the three finalists, winning the title. Now I'll start to feel the effects of RTVSFDS (Reality TV Season Finale Depression Syndrome).

However, Survivor is on this fall. That's good, RTVSFDS averted, but as my husband said to me last night, Survivor's starting to jump the shark with all the extreme physical challenges they've been having this season. It's a turn-off. The contestants have to fight one another to win; the fighting takes many forms: tackling, pushing, pulling and knocking someone over. I still watch it, but it's getting to the point where I probably won't miss the show if they quit producing it. It's getting too old. It's the same thing again and again.

The only thing that I can think of which might save Survivor and attract viewers for another season would be an all-female cast. It's not been done before. Most men would like to watch 18 scantily-clad women for a whole season, duh. And women would watch to do what women like to do, talk about other women. (Do we?) And and all-women cast would be much more interesting to watch than all men. And also they'd be without the men to attract and manipulate. I think it'd be an interesting dynamic.

I could be wrong.

What reality TV show would you like to be on?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Status Report & Follow-up

Status on knitting: I've finished socks number 4 and 5 (socks nos 3 & 4 shown). Number five was the toe cover for AM's new cast. It looks a lot like a preemy cap found in a NICU. Silly me, I forgot to photograph it before I sent it off for delivery.

I want to get started on the socks for Christmas presents so I don't run out of steam on this knitting frenzy, but I don't know how big to make them given the recipients have size 13 boats for feet. So, I could start on another pair for myself out of this new yarn that I bought (see above, pink for me, brown for gift) or wait to get foot measurements and run the risk of running out of steam with the socks. Or, I could go back to my sweater I had been working on, or the pair of hibiscus-colored corn fiber socks waiting for my attention and forget about the Christmas stockings altogether. Or I could work on the challenge quilt. Or I could sew on Girl Scout badges.

Status on Kitchen Remodeling: nothing new to report, still waiting for a space in the painter's schedule. He's going to rebuild the wall around the fridge so it fits better and so I'll be able to open and close everything nearby, like drawers and doors. The living room still looks like a yard sale. The longer I wait to move stuff back into the kitchen, the more evident it becomes: which things I need and use and which things I can get rid of. But therein lies the problem, I can't wait that long to finish the living room.

So now we come to that portion of our show where you get to vote via comment.
  1. What should I work on next? (knitting, quilting, or sewing, etc.)
  2. Do you want to see another memory game photo taken of the left-overs in the livingroom?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Not counting the Hibiscus socks I'm making for myself, I've finished 3 socks in the last week and have 6" of the cuff done on number 4, the second of the pair for Fern. Hers are shades of tweedy green. I make a lot of progress knitting during our weekly staff meeting, it tends to be boring when the boys are talking systems stuff so I knit to stay awake. When we get around to the stuff I work I'm ready to spout off the status of my assignments. (When I have client meetings, I leave the yarn at my desk, in case you were wondering.)

I finally got some clients for my home business last night. A fellow Girl Scout mom brought two vests to me for my sewing service for her daughters and a check for $50. (Yay!) She also brought large bags of badges to sew on, of course, it'd be silly not to, but it's several years worth! For each daughter! I'm not complaining, I like to have paid work to do, but this is seriously going to cut into my knitting time.

Monday, October 01, 2007

My husband called home on Saturday from Colorado, evidently having read my last blog entry, "Did she really say that?" (Referring to the last bit.) I think he thinks my readers will think he does nothing while I'm gone. But in reality, my girl just misses me and there is nothing to worry about. I've gone many days without touching the dishes or laundry. And she'll start a load of her own clothes.

Husband got away to Denver for the weekend to hang with some high school buddies and play golf. It was pretty uneventful while he was gone. Well, there were plenty of events, but none bad.
The girl had a sleep-over Friday, the boy went to an open house at the community center.

I took myself out to the new restaurant in town for supper. Saturday, the boy went to Swim-n-Gym and the girl had practice at church for Youth Sunday. Which went well, by the way. She did the opening announcements and the call to worship. The boy handed out bulletins.

He did fine, but there were a lot of kids at the doors too. I was secretly disappointed he didn't get to shine more than he did. Saturday afternoon was the neighborhood block party and Sunday afternoon I vacuumed the garage.

Somewhere in the mix I bought another gallon of whole milk with the hopes of making another batch of cheese, but kept myself busy knitting instead.

I finished the regular sized socks for AM and I'll make a cast sock for her when she gets her new cast tomorrow. My ADD kicked in again and I found myself thinking I could make more pairs of socks for Christmas presents since they work up so quickly. Let's just see how many pairs I can actually get done before I get bored.

I also got my hand-dyed fabrics rinsed out, washed and dried and I've been trying to work out a pattern for the challenge quilt to use them. I have six weeks to get the quilt done.

Socks. Quilt. Quilt. Socks. Kids. Kitchen. Laundry. Socks. Quilt.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

I promised more stories about my weekend in Ft Lauderdale, so I'll take time to backtrack from my current day-to-day and recall them.

After I left the Holiday Inn Express (you know, you get a lot of services there that other place charge for, like free local calls and free breakfast) I headed down to Miami Lakes and Don Shula's Hotel and Golf Club. My husband found a weekend package there for me: two nights lodging, three rounds of golf, $50 voucher for Shula's Steak House and $20 voucher for Shula's2 all for about $260. I just had to pay the cart fees for golf. I booked the package anyway after I found out the course was closed on Mondays in September for maintenance which meant only two rounds of golf.

My first round of golf was pleasant. I played by myself, which I like, no one to get exasperated with my game. The front nine was nice, the back nine was wet and soggy, had to keep the cart on the path. The course was more difficult than my "home course" so my scores were higher than at home. I saw lots of critters, even iguanas. Did you know they swim?

Then I checked into my room and got the day's humid golf game off my body. Next stop: cash in my $50 voucher for dinner.

Pros and cons of printing your menu on a football: it's fun and different for sure, but what about storage? a whole pile of footballs take a lot more space than the flat folder kind of menu. The walls around the entrance to the restaurant are lined with plaques listing members of the 48oz club, those hungry folks consuming 3 pounds of steak in one sitting. Current price: $85. yikes. I opted for the petite filet, only 8oz. Only $35. Good steak. Very beautiful space, dark woods and fireplace but the walls are lined with pictures of football. I guess I'd be more enthralled if I knew who Don Shula is.

Sunday I woke up to more rain, ate breakfast with my $20 voucher, and it finally cleared up enough to play my second round of golf around 2:00, again by myself. This time I played the front 9 twice. If you take all my best scores from the front it's a 56, but in reality they were 64, 64, & 62 (and another 62 from the back 9 on Saturday.)

If I'm going to travel a lot with golf clubs, I need a travel cover with wheels, those dern things are heavy! I got checked in to the airport without any problems, found my gate and settled in. After a while I got thirsty, asked a fellow passenger to keep an eye on my bag and headed off for a bottle of water. When I came back there was a young guy sitting in the seat next to mine. I plopped back in my seat and resumed my knitting.
"Do you sew much?" This is knitting, you moron.
"Yes, I'm making a sweater."
"What's it gonna look like?"
I pull out the pattern and show him.
The conversation goes on for a while. He's probably under 30, wears his cap backwards and never takes his sunglasses off even though it's dark out. I didn't look for heavy gold chains, but wouldn't be surprised if there some under his over-sized gangsta shirt. He tells me about clubbing in South Beach for the weekend. I have strain to understand his mumbles over the din of travelers and then:
"You go clubbin' in DC?"
"How old are you, about 35?" Quite the "playa," this guy.
"No, but thank you."
And later still he leans in close to my ear. I can smell his last smoke was not a legal variety.
"If I give you my number, will you call me?"
"No. I'm happy with my husband."
"Tell your husband I can take his place."

Seeing that I was a lost cause, this guy proceeded to hit on and fail with at least 4 or 5 other women over the course of the evening, even walking out of the terminal with one chick before coming back to baggage claim empty-armed. Poor guy.

Tuesday morning when Fern got up she was mad. "Don't abandon me like that again. No one did the laundry, no one did the dishes."

Obviously I wasn't gone long enough.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Knitting with ADD

This is what happens when you have a hobby and ADD. (Compare this with last Thursday's picture.) As with my quilting, I start lots of projects and bounce around between them a lot before I finish anything. The second sock of the red pair is two inches along the length of the foot out of six inches total before I start to work the toe. The sweater body is about seven inches done out of about 14. And now I've started the new pair of socks. The cuff is almost done and in a few more rows I'll start to work the ankle and heel. I could write a litany of unfinished quilting projects, too. Remember the quilt for Fern I wanted to finish in June. Still not done. That's the tip of the iceberg.

I had been seeing a psychiatrist for my ADD, but she left that practice, which didn't take my insurance any more so I was paying out of pocket, and I never went in to see her replacement, nor did I follow through with a new doctor referral from my primary care doctor. So, I've been off my meds for a while now, maybe two years, I've lost track. And my primary care doctor won't prescribe the psych drugs.

I should probably think about going back on the meds. Trying to think without them is sometimes like waiting for a sticky bicycle chain to engage when you're shifting gears. It takes a while for the message to click through, to comprehend it, form a reply, and actually speak the reply. I lose my train of thought easily. I often grasp for words that were just on the tip of my brain. What was I saying? Oh, yeah, I can picture the process in my head, the gears clicking, but I can't get the words out in a timely manner. I know it irritates the people around me and without meds conversations can be hard. Are hard. Maybe that's why for any given conversation with my friends, I do about 80-85% listening and only 15-20% of the talking.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's 7:00 am I'm sitting here at the laptop in the TV room, home finally, after getting in late last night (this morning) after a 2 hour delay flying home from Ft. Lauderdale. I'm not munching on any breakfast (yet) and I need to wake up the kids to get their day going.

(It's 4:05 pm now when I add more to this post.) OK, I'm obviously back from my trip south to rain country, USA. It rained on and off so much yesterday I didn't even try to get a round of golf in. I ended up trying out some drivers at a golf shop and hit the equivalent of an extra large bucket of balls under the swing monitor. When I hit the ball well it was going about 140-150 yards and my swing speed was over 60 mph. (slow, compared to the pros, but I'm not Tiger.) I don't normally hit the driver in my bag that well at all. When I hit it poorly in the monitor, well, um,lets just say I didn't memorize those stats. I could definitely see differences in the results of each driver after hitting 30 or more balls with each. I had fun, even though I was tired after a while. I probably ingrained a bad swing pattern into muscle memory. Oh well. I hope I'll get to try out my new club soon.

Then I hung out at a yarn shop for a couple hours and knit and chatted with the wonderful women there. I showed off my socks (they were impressed) and bought yarn for a toe cover for AM whose toes are getting cold sticking out of that cast.

Then I headed back up to the airport for my flight home. Instead of dragging this post on forever, I'll post the rest of my adventures tomorrow.

Ft Lauderdale airport at sunset.