Wednesday, December 31, 2008

so much for one liners

All day long I was thinking that I'd make this final post a one liner, and I couldn't narrow it down.


* Happy New Year.
* Sayonara.
* So long, and thanks for all the fish (if you didn't read the book, that will make no sense at all).
* It's going to be strange not posting tomorrow.
* Maybe I'll just keep going.

Thanks to all who followed along this year. I promise, I'll be back regularly.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

not much for resolutions...

...but I do have a few intentions, it would seem.

Has nothing to do with it being January 1st, though.

Just some things that are on my mind as wanting to do, and I can never seem to get anything productive done during the holidays, so I put it off until MyFavoriteKid is back in school.

* I intend to spend less time and money on "body work" and divert that same amount of time (and money, if need be) on "working my body". Less PT, more exercise, basically.

* This is connected to the above in some way: I intend on cleaning out the garage. There are things I brought with me when I moved up here that I haven't used since being here (18 months now). They are getting donated. So I have room to park a bicycle. Since it will be a trike, I need the space.

* I intend to learn how to use my spinning wheel. I finally figured out that I hesitate even trying because I am afraid of ruining the fiber. It has finally dawned on me that I can just spin, and if it turns out to be a whole pile o' crap, well...I can just knit it up and felt it. Then it wont look like crap anymore.

* I intend to replace my daily blog-posting (Oh My God...only 1 more) with READING blogs, which I rarely do anymore, and I miss everyone, and I cannot wait to catch up with what y'all are doing 'cuz I am sick to death of listening to myself. But you'll still see me around ;-)

Monday, December 29, 2008

knitting update

The knitting isn't going so well.
Okay, take that back.
The knitting just isn't going.
What I mean to say is, if I was knitting, it would probably be going fine.
But I'm not knitting.

It's not for lack of desire, it's for lack of time. At times like this I am usually happy to squeeze in a row here and there, you know, a few minutes at a time. I'm always surprised just how far along I can get knitting that way. But for some reason, I am not content knitting intermittently. I think I must be waiting for a long stretch. Sadly, I don't see that happening.

It's funny, but I always forget that when MyFavoriteKid has a break from school, that does not mean a break for me. In fact, it's the opposite. I spend more time with him (which is good), but it's usually too active to be knitting.

Lucky for me one of his new pastimes is a team sport (basketball). I think I see one hour practice pockets on my horizon.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

snaps on saturday (on a sunday)

my winter snow globe

Saturday, December 27, 2008

if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all

I was about to type, "My grandfather said that all the time." But now that I really think about it, what I really remember is my mother saying that her father used to say that all the time. I'm not sure if I ever actually heard grandpa saying that! I'm not denying he did....I just can't pull up any actual images in my head of him saying that, or the sound of his voice saying those words (he's long passed).

Whatever. Anyhow.

Today has not been so great, so I am going to keep my mouth shut. It's my new anti-complaining tactic. It probably won't work.

Friday, December 26, 2008

quick check in from date night

Ya' know, MyFavoriteKid was to be off with TheEX for one week of his three week vacation, and somehow turned into only 3 nights. This is the last night, and so that means TheMostImportantGuy and I are trying to squish in all the movies we wanted to go see into a mini-marathon.

This afternoon we caught a Benjamin Button matinee, grabbed a little dinner, stopped back home to check on the pets, and went back out again to see Doubt. I think tomorrow we are going to catch an early showing of Seven Pounds before MyFK gets dropped off. Then it's mommy-mode for the rest of the winter break.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

short one

Short one. Very cold. Out in the van with TheMostImportantGuy and RileyTheDog, filching someone's wireless. Christmas was good. Out of town visiting TheMIG's family (MyFavoriteKid is off with TheEX for a couple of days. Gifted a few handknits, plus some items purchased either from etsy or local artisans.

Must put on a wool hat now, tuck in, and snuggle :-)

Only 6 more posts after this...
can hardly believe it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

and to all, a goodnight....

Here's a little holiday story for you :-)

When MyFavoriteKid and I were in Las Vegas, we were returning to our hotel one night, and this is what to place in the lobby.

Me: Santa.

Me (again, getting over excited): SANTA!!!!!!

MyFK: No, Mom.

Me: Oooh, and Mrs.Clause, too!

MyFK: Mommmmmmmmmm, I don't want to say hi to Santa.

Me: So what.

Me: (yelling) Santaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!

Santa: Ho Ho Ho!!!!!!!!

There is no one else in line to sit on Santa's lap. I make a beeline towards him, pop up out of my wheelchair, and throw out my arms for a big fat hug. Santa pops up out of his chair, greets with me with a hug, and the (don't you just know there is money involved) photographer pops up and takes this picture:

Which of course, I buy. 'Cuz I loooove Santa (and 'cuz I'm a sucker), and 'cuz I kinda like to think it's an awesome photo that really captures my love for the jolly ol' man ;-)

Me: (overpriced photo in hand) Santa!! Look!! I bought the picture!! (bringing it over to him). Look how cute we are!!!

Mrs.Clause: Oh, can I see it to?

Me: Of course!

Mrs.Clause: Do you know who I am?

Me: Why, yes! Of course! You are Mrs......ohhhh....MRS. Clause.

Mrs. Clause: Yah. You're darn tootin' I am MRS CLAUSE. And don't you forget it!!!!!!!


XO to all, and Happy Holidays, whichever you celebrate (because I celebrate more than one myself!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

very busy. elfing.


fyi: I need to give proper credit. That dolphin pic yesterday was taken by MyFavoriteKid ;-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

saved by the cuteness....?

I should have posted earlier in the day when I still had some steam left in me and the laptop battery wasn't complaining to be plugged in.

I am hoping with this post to be saved by the cuteness.

dolphin from the Secret Garden at the Mirage in Las Vegas

Sunday, December 21, 2008

jiggedy jig

Home. Hooray. Today's leg of the drive was the easiest by far, and that's with rain and high winds. Nothing compared to snow. If this trip was anything, it was a crash course on all weather driving in the van.

I would love to say something about Winter's Solstice.
I would love to say something about Chanhukah.

What I am going to say is that it's 11pm and I'm beat. I'm home, the pets are home, I have a mountain of laundry and unpacking to do, not to mention quite a bit of "elf-ing" (ie wrapping gifts and whatnot) before I take off again for Christmas.

It's good to be home. Merry winter & light the menorah. XO

Saturday, December 20, 2008

halfway home & a couple of shout outs

We left Vegas early this morning and stopped for the night halfway home. The drive out was far better than the drive in, to be sure...but being that I could actually see farther than a few feet in front of me, blinded by snow, it was like a whole different drive.

A couple favorite moments from the day?
We stopped in Baker, near Area 51, and popped into Alien Fresh Jerky.

Maybe 10 different flavors, included Whiskey Jerky, a spike with caffeine jerky, and my favorite: Abducted Cow Jerky.

Another favorite moment of the day was the hay ride with Santa, here, through the RV park. Yes, I know. I find amusement with the oddest of things. I love it when people who travel full-time decorate the dashboards of their RV's. Makes me happy :-)

So in response to a few comments (all appreciated):

Yes. I did look up the local yarn stores. Before I even departed--hahaha. Didn't make it, though. Probably for the best. There should be several skeins of yarn waiting in the mailbox when I get home ;-)

I had to reread my own post because I cannot believe I actually wrote that flayed open bit---heeeheeee!).

Before even seeing the NapkinSupportComments, I did do the grossed out napkin thing. I grabbed a chocolate mousse at a buffet, and made sure to make a big smoosh on my napkin, and then set it on the table. MyFavoriteKid was completely squicked by that, and has had his paper serviette on his lap ever since ;-)

He still wiped his mouth on his jacket sleeve the other night when he was walking around with an ice cream cone and hadn't thought to grab a napkin. Yay me. More laundry.

Yeah, Vegas wasn't high on my list as a place to visit---especially with a kidlet in tow. It was MyFK that begged me to go!! Turns out we did just about every possible thing there was to do that was kid friendly, and there is quite a bit, actually. One of these days I should post a single list with links just in case anyone else wants to go.

Ok, I'm off to bed. I'm hoping we get an early start tomorrow so we can get back quickly. The kennel only allows pick-ups until 6pm on Sundays, and I'm hoping to spring Riley, Gaara, and Mr.Darcy tomorrow rather than Monday morning. It would feel strange to be home without them!

Friday, December 19, 2008

morning update & myfk-isms

It's our last day here. Internet access has been problematic this morning so I am posting now in case I cannot get back online later. I think today we are heading over to the "Bodies" exhibit at the Luxor (it's that flayed open plastination thing). Then maybe a tour of the M&M Factory, and I have no idea what after that. We have hit everything kid friendly, I think. I had wanted to do a day trip over to Hoover Dam, but the road conditions have just been too poor to trust going. I have only gambled once---I plopped $2 into one of those gargantuan slot machines just for giggles.

I'm a wee bit concerned about my van. When you are taking it into freezing temperatures, there are things you need to do to winterize it so there are no plumbing problems, and I did none of those before coming, because I was not prepared for the "most snow in Vegas in 30 years". There was nothing to be done about it once we were here, because it's illegal to drain the thing in a parking lot. Hopefully the pipes didnt freeze. I'll have an inspection when I get home.

The plan for tomorrow is to drive up over the mountain pass again, and spend the night in Bakersfield again, as we did on the way in. Then do the last leg of the trip home on Sunday.


MyFavoriteKid-isms while on this trip:

"If gambling in Las Vegas is for adults, how come most of the machines look like kids games?"


"I think kids should be allowed to play slot machines. I mean, they only let us play stupid arcade games here, and if I played a slot machine, at least I'd have a chance to win my money back."


(while watching the hotel's Vegas Today channel, the dining and shows advertisements ended, and it switched over to a segment about the best swimming pools with, bikini clad girls dancing around with cocktails...before I could switch it off):

"I think I like my boobs medium-natural."


(while at the buffet at the MGM Grand Hotel)

"Mom, are you suuuuuuure you are supposed to put your napkin on your lap?"
"Yes. Positive."
"I think you are lying, and just want me to do it."
"No, I am positive."
"Well, how come no one else is?"
(and sure as shit, I inspected the laps of...oooooh, I'd say 50 adults within a 20 table radius...and not ONE SINGLE ADULT had their napkins on their laps. Help me out here people!)


"Hey, mom. What rhymes with orange..."
"What about door hinge?"


Thursday, December 18, 2008

ok. fine. let's try alpacas.

Clearly you guys are not one bit interested in my vacation photos.

Here's some alpaca for you fiber folk. Taken at Sigfried and Roy's Secret Garden at the Mirage Hotel. We also saw dolphin and various tigers. I am so homesick for my own pets that I walked out of the gift store with stuffed animals.

Since I know at least my mom and dad are keeping tabs here, this is what we have done in the last two days:

* Statosphere and lunch at The Top Of The World (food = really good/money's worth)
* Circus Circus (lots of tickets and MyFK won a souvenir pillow to bring home; saw circus acts, too....then also did the coaster inside the AdventureDome, which was a bit of a dud)
* MGM to see the lion habitat and to have dinner at the buffet

* Monorail to the Mirage to see the gigantic fish tank, the atrium, the secret garden and another buffet (our favorite thus far)
* a cruise thru Caeser's Palace
* back to the Mirage for the new volcano show (very cool)
* and then on to see Ka, the Cirque du Soleil show (mindblowing, amazing, even got a little teary eyed it was so magical)

Today was supposed to be a trip to Hoover Dam, but the road conditions are still poopy from snow. Schools here were closed today even! We might try that tomorrow. It's our last day and we head out Saturday.

The end.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

quick, while i can

Have more to say than this, but I must squeak this in while I can as I am having much difficulty with the internet connection tonight. Perhaps it is because everyone is in their hotel rooms and on their laptops rather than cruising the strip because IT IS STILL SNOWING ON THE LAS VEGAS STRIP. The news is saying the valley floor got 3-6 inches. Gah!

Snow on palm trees. Seems so silly.


From our hotel window.

The lions at the MGM Grand are not impressed, however.

Hopefully more tomorrow, if the internet connection is more available. XO

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

today's version of vegas

Arrived on the strip yesterday, and it was too cloudy to see the mountains...but this morning we pulled the blinds and saw this:

It's supposed to snow again tomorrow, we decided to get a couple of outdoor things out of the way.

We rode the coaster at New York New York.

I loved it. We tripped around inside the casino/hotel area where it's all set up to look like New York. Had a snack. Found the arcade where MyFavoriteKid and I earned tickets for little arcade crap gifts. I scored though. Look what I "bought" with mine:

Bubble Gum lipgloss. On a key chain. Shaped like a toilet.
(I only got one; that's just a pic of the pile)

Then we hopped a tram over to Mandalay Bay and went to the Shark Tunnel.

I know that aint a shark, but the shark pics came out all blurry.
You know, the whole Shark thing is geared towards educating folks about over fishing, and endangering species....the problems with wild versus farm-raised, etc etc....and why you buy the shark tunnel tickets, they offer you a really killer deal to eat dinner at the buffet inside the hotel.

Which specializes in seafood.

Kinda crazy.

Anyhow, that's where we had dinner and it was delicious and most excellent...

....and then we went on to see Criss Angel "Believe" at the Luxor, which is him in cahouts with Cirque de Soliel. Good show. A little too much Cirque and not enough Criss, but that's okay. Cirque is great. It's just that we paid to see Criss Angel (and we're seeing a Cirque show later in the week).

Kinda creepy photo. Sorry. But that was in the lobby, and there were no cameras allowed inside of course.

I am so tired. Lots and lots of miles in a wheelchair today, and on casino carpet (which sucks ass---difficult pushing). I am getting a callous on my left hand, and that's even with gloves on.

I'm going to bed. Can't wait.

Monday, December 15, 2008

first part=drag, second part=fun

My apologies in advance, but this is a photo-heavy post. It's almost midnight, and it's just going to be easier to do this in photos.

The weather only got worse. Way worse.

It was like that almost the whole way here. I know that driving in snow doesn't mean that much to those of you in other parts of the world. I mean, I DID grow up living in snow, but never during my driving years. My driving years are all California based, and even though I have driven in snow a couple times as an adult, I have never (until now) done it in a RV.

It sucked the life out of me.

Anyhow, we made it. Finally.

We checked into our hotel, changed clothes, and hopped a cab to The Venetian:

The real reason for going there was to see the Phantom of The Opera, which I have seen before in San Francisco, but it was pretty mindblowing to see it Las Vegas style in a theater built specifically for the show.

Sadly, I have no photos of that, because cameras are not allowed, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Anyhow, while waiting for the show, we ate dinner, checked out the magic shoppe, and took a gondola ride:

After the show, we cruised the strip a bit. Got to see the volcano erupt over at the Mirage:

And then we headed on into the Bellagio:

Canopy of giant glass blown flowers in the lobby....and the conservatory which is set up with a holiday display:

Those flying reindeer are made out of some sort of nuts. Maybe pecans.

We also caught a couple rounds of the water show outside.

Hopped a cab back to the hotel, grabbed a late night snack, and now here I am trying to get this post in, but feeling like I might just pass out from exhaustion.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

are we having fun yet?

Nope. Not exactly.

We're half way to Vegas. The drive was reallllly difficult. It was extremely windy and rainy, and passing semi-trucks totally freaked me out. The mini-maison is a little wide, and it also catches wind like a sailboat.

I'd hoped to arrive at our mid-way overnight spot before dark, but that didn't quite work out.

That being said, there is a restaurant here in the RV Park, and although I was leery, the food was actually quite delicious and within walking distance. MyFavoriteKid and I are snuggled up watching a dvd now, and I'm hoping to sack out early so we can get an early start.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

snaps on saturday

For every complaint, there's a moment where I want to take it all back

I've been complaining about the kitties lately, as y'all know. But today was the day I check them all in to the "pet resort" so that we can take off on vacation tomorrow morning.

Leaving them there made me sad :-(
And the house feels realllly empty right now.


Snaps On Saturday

Not a pretty picture:

That dumpster belongs to a McDonald's.

Mindblowing, if you ask me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chiming in here from the hotel where TheMostImportantGuy's company holiday party is being held. In addition to being a guest, he is also the PA rental/sound guy, so he's the last one out, basically. We knew it wise to get a room here and spend the night.

I honestly don't have a single thing to say. It might be because I'm exhausted...? Tomorrow is busy, too. Helping the co-dance teachers in the morning at the studio with a duet they are working on. Then getting all the pets to the "resort". Then packing up the mini-maison (my conversion van) for our trip to Vegas (yayyyyy!). We leave on Sunday.

I'm going to sleep. I love this hotel. They give you a clamp for the curtains to make sure no light gets in, lavender spray for the pillows, an eye mask, ear plugs, and a cd to listen to full of relaxing sleepy time meditations.

XO & nighty night

Thursday, December 11, 2008

not a good time for a glaring computer screen

Woke up with a migraine...the kind where ya' feel nauseous and bright light hurts. It this point it has dimmed to just your standing pounding f#$%ing headache, but it still hurts to look at the screen for too long.

I do want to THANK YOU ALL for the kitty tips.

I have always had two cats my whole life, and never have had this problem before. I had two kitties while growing up at home with the folks, and later when I was living on my own, I had two then as well.......but both times I have had two kittens they were a brother and sister pair from the same litter.

Very different than having two stray male kittens.

Oh, and dog that (if left unrestricted) will eat cat poo.

My house is not huge, and being in a wheelchair, I'm a big fan of floorspace, so I hadn't really wanted two cat boxes. Also, the dog and his craving for A-Poo-Tizers (Ahahahahahaha---I just cracked myself up), meant that I needed to find a place where the dog could not get to it.

What I did was move the cat box into the Master Bathroom, then I put a chain on the door. This way I could chain the door, but leave it open "a cat's width", and the dog couldn't squeeze through. I'm not a big fan of having the catbox in my bathroom, but whatever, it was working. Was.

Being that it is in the master, I cannot close my bedroom door. If I do, they have no access at all. I might go looking for crunchy bed coverings if what I did today doesn't help.

Today though, I went out (migraine and all, because dammit, I needs me a clean place to sleep for crying out loud) to the pet store. I had tooootally forgotten about Feliway, which is something I had heard about when I was researching stuff like this for TheMostImportantGuy and his kitty situation. Anyhow, I bought the plug-in kind and got that all set up, and also bought the spray and hit the tagged spots. I also bought a second cat box to put in the den, down at the other end of the house (the end that Mr.Darcy tends to favor, because that is where he lived for a few days when he first came here). It's domed, and I'm hoping that how I have it set up makes it easy for the cat to use, but difficult for to dog to root around in.

I have washed all the bedding. Again. And now I lay me down to sleep....

I love you guys. Thanks so much for all your support :-) Sometimes I wonder why I even bother keeping a blog, and there are days sometimes where it feels like I'm typing into a vacuum, and then there are days like yesterday where y'all come and save my ass, and it just makes me so danged appreciative and grateful. Hugs and smooches to all :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

please read this before you report me to the authorities

*in reading this, please know that it is dripping with sarcasm & frustration*

There is a reason I had to cram all of my duties into one day yesterday.

I am having kitteh problems. One of them, and I can't prove which one, is choosing to pee all over anything that looks like bedding in my room. The dog bed at the foot of the bed has been hit three times now, the CAT bed (sometimes near my nightstand, sometimes at the foot of the bed) has been tagged twice now, and MY bed??? Well, I have lost count.

I can't prove which one is doing it, so one at a time I sick both of their noses in it and put them in the cat box as a friendly reminder. More importantly, I can't figure out WHY they are doing it, because I can't figure out the timing. It might be Gaara getting even for my squirting him with the squirt bottle when he shreds my curtains. It might be Mr.Darcy who seems to be struggling with being allowed to sleep in the bedroom with us all at night. It might be that one can't hold his whizz while the other one is using the litter box (which is currently in the master bathroom---and yes, I am trying to think of where to move it, but it has to be in a place where the dog can't get to it, because he's a fan of kitteh flavored "almond roca").

But whatever. Meanwhile, while I try to figure it out, I have to deal with bedding. Now, the king sized comforter?? It doesn't fit in my washing machine. Well, it sort of does. But barely, and I have already flooded the laundry room once trying to force the issue. So I have to go the laundromat.

Just imagine me, in a wheelchair, with a king sized, white comforter, covered in cat pee, going in and out of a laundromat.

I did that Monday.

It is Wednesday, and I am doing it again today.

In my "can't quite reach the button to pause the angry" moments, I consider returning them both to the wilds from whence they came. Or putting them outside for the day. And leaving them to the hawks that I see circling a couple of times a day looking for a snack on the hillside behind the house.

No, I won't do that.
But I feel like it.

Advice welcome.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

rules the day

Things are super chaotic over here.

MyFavoriteKid's last day of school is this Friday, and he has a 3 week holiday break. I've booked us an out of town trip for the first week of his vacation.

Thursday night I teach, Friday night is TheMostImportantGuy's company Christmas party. MyFK visits with his dad on Saturday before we go out of town. I pack the van on Saturday, get the pets to their various kenneling locations, and we head out Sunday. We come back the eve of the 21st (the first night of Chanukkah). MyFK is home the 22nd and 23rd, then starting Christmas Eve, he's off with his dad for a chunk of time (how long is still to be determined).

What this means, of course, is that the bulk of the holiday crap-o-la all needs to be accomplished this week ('cuz there is no way in hell you're gonna see me braving the crowds doing last minute shopping). I'm trying to get at least some of the gift wrapped up before we go, I've just taken care of the gifts for the teachers at school, and....
well, I am certain I must be forgetting something important.

Additionally, I have had all sorts of bureaucratic bullshit to contend with.

Today??? I went to:
the social security office
the department of motor vehicles
the garbage company to set up auto-pay (they don't take payments online--lame!)
the county assessor's office
the bank (and I had to go inside, I needed an actual live teller)
the yarn store (that one I just tossed in for my was around the corner from the bank....but it really did nothing for my sanity AT ALL...I really dislike that store...she organizes the place by COLOR, not by weight or fiber)
and the post office

I also had to hit the dry cleaners and the market.

It was glorious.
At least I had a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
Now I have to go and see if I can get that same feeling out of my deadline and holiday knitting.

Monday, December 08, 2008

which circus act should you perform?

You Should Walk on Stilts

Your biggest talent is your ability to make people laugh.

And like most comedians, you'll do anything to get a people roaring.

You know how to work a crowd. You are witty, but you are also great at physical comedy.

But you'll leave the daredevil stunts to other people... you don't need them to get your applause.

Yah. Me. Stilts. That will be the day.

This post has been brought to you by one extremely maxed out with a huge to-do list, half crazy lady.
(not sure what the other half is yet)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

no complaints at all

Ok well, maybe one tiny complaint. Only because I cannot retain my title of QueenOfComplainers if I do not ;-)

My tiny complaint is that I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked with TheMostImportantGuy this past week, and next weekend I'm taking off on a trip with MyFavoriteKid for a bit. But it's barely a complaint at all, because the time that I did get to spend with TheMIG was good.

Really. A nice weekend :-) :

* Took MyFK and his buddy to family bingo night at the Middle School. I didn't win at bingo, but I did win TWO door prizes. One was a middle school mascot t-shirt. MyFK had tried to win that with his own raffle ticket, so I asked for the shirt to be in his size, and I gave it to him. The second prize I won was a wovn mexican blanket, which this little girl sitting in front of me had tried hard to win (she'd even spent her allowance money on extra tickets). She was genuinely happy for me that I had won it, but once I found out she had tried so hard to win it herself, I gave it to her. So I ended up with no prizes. Hahaha.

* Hosted a little study group (ok, group of two, but hey..whatever) for MyFK and his buddy so that they could work on a project for school they have due next week. It was an interesting thing for me to watch them work on, because they were writing papers about what it might be like to have a disability.

* Successfully cast-on for a toe-up sock. This will be my first success. I tried a few years ago with a different type of cast-on, got frustrated, and gave up. This one is looking great. And I really needed a portable knitting project. The PayItForward project and the shawl can no longer be easily toted along.

* A few trips to the dog park (Fri-Sat-Sun), making Riley very happy (and very tired).

* Met up with the San Francisco Sock Knitting Group today, and both Donna and I brought our kids, who we were thinking might hit it off. They did. Bit of an age gap, but it still worked for them to hang out. The knitting group was fun for me. I really need to get out more often with fiber folk.

* Watching a Storm Chasers marathon tonight (love shows about tornadoes, and yes, I am sure I would feel differently if I lived in tornado territory....but you can't really chase an earthquake)

* Finally got past the tricky bits with the PayItForward knitting. This is very good news. The rest is a walk in the park, plus a bit of fiddling with finishing. But the tough part is done. Yessssssss.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

snaps on saturday

Changing out the seasonal decor today.....


I love this time of year :-)

Friday, December 05, 2008

focus. elsewhere.

What a week TheMostImportantGuy has had. A blow up on a project at work caused him much stress, lost sleep, and many extra hours at the office. We even had to completely skip our regular mid-week visit.

He's here tonight and tomorrow, so I'm-a busy pamperin'.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

the best medicine

The next time I'm in one of those emotional "it's all about ME" modes...?

THIS is what will pop into my head.

And I will laugh.

So, the question of the day is:
Is laughter the best medicine? Or is it the internet?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

today's patience report card:

That's my grade today using the PatiencePauseButton.

In all fairness, though....

It happened while I was on the phone with a supervisor at X-Box regarding the repair they need to do. The box is under warranty, and it is a problem they are plenty familiar with (it even has earned the name "Red Ring of Death" --woohoo!). What XBox does in this situation is to have you package up your system, and they email you labels to print out and bring with you to the shipping place.

The problem? The have tried to email me the labels twice, and I haven't received them. So they emailed them to TheMostImportantGuy instead, and still no dice. They have tried to snail mail them to my physical address. Twice. No dice again. I have now phoned in 7 times over 4 weeks, had 5 case numbers, and have spoken to 2 supervisors. I still have no satisfaction. I have to call back tomorrow to give them another physical address to attempt to ship labels to. I would have called them back today with that, but I was too busy sending an email to the guy from the local news station that has the segment where they resolve crap like this (I have no idea if he's interested, but it sure felt good writing that email, dammit!).

So, ummm. Yah. Pause Button: F-A-I-L
Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day.
At least MyFavoriteKid and I are doing noticeably better. Hooray for that.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

let me add to that.

I have more to say about cultivating patience.

I think when I write something about parenting and patience in the same space, it comes off as if I am needing to learn to be more patient with my child or something. That isn't it, exactly. I am certain my child would benefit from my being more patient, but let's take MyFavoriteKid out of the equation for just a moment, because this patience business has to do with my whole-self, not just my parenting-self.

What I'm trying to shift in my life right now really, is not patience, but my anger response. I am now going to attempt to (Hey, Rocky! Wanna see me pull a rabbit out of my hat?) to use patience as the practice for shifting my anger respsonse. So really what I am talking about here is an internal type of patience practice.

See, something happens when I get irritated. It spins. And it typically spins fast. The next thing I know, it's no long irritation. It's rapidly on its way to anger. And even worse, it is often displayed as anger.

I am deeply committed to the practice of watching myself as I get spun, and I am deeply committed to the practice of sitting with my irritation or anger (or anything else I might be feeling, for that matter), and not letting it spin into something it is not. I am deeply committed to sitting with the anger, no matter how uncomfortable, and just....well....sitting with the anger! Checking it out. Not getting sucked into the spin. Not reacting. Not acting. Not brooding. Just sitting. Being.

I'm having a really difficult time putting this into words, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is not so much like getting impatient because the bus is running late. This is more like figuring out how and when (maybe even more importantly at this stage) to HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON.

Right now I have no pause. I just blurt. It sucks for everyone around me, especially the people I love. I really see what it does to my kid. The interesting twist is that in the end, I hurt myself with my anger response as much I hurt others.

I'm on a mission right now. To observe myself. And hit pause.

Monday, December 01, 2008


The last 24 hours or so have been exhausting.

It started with MyFavoriteKid coming home last night from his long holiday weekend away with his dad and that side of his family. Let me tell you--- re-entry was a bitch. Not for me. I actually missed him terribly (our first Thanksgiving apart). But for him. He was having to leave the party parent and come home to the one that makes him wash his face and do his homework. It was not fun. And it carried over into this morning.

Once I got MyFK off to school this morning, I loaded up both kittens for an early morning trip to the vet. See, Gaara, the older one, is ready to be snipped. Darcy, who is 6 weeks younger, was due for a booster shot in his series. So I went in with both cats this morning, but only came back with one. This, of course, is freaking the dog out, who is sulking. Darcy on the other hand is being far friendlier than usual, I think because he's worried I'm going to give him away, too.

After the vet, I brought Mr.Darcy home and then headed over to TheScarDoc's for another glorious day of having my scar tissue cracked into smaller shreds. Lovely.

And my afternoon/evening was spent with MyFK, working on a little relationship rebuilding. It went well, actually. We had a really nice talk, and I think we're on the right path. Even if he isn't, I think at least I am. I did some thinking today on the drive to/from the city, and I could probably write an essay about the whole thought process, but it really boils down to this:

I am cultivating patience.

Not quite sure how I am going to pull that off yet, but that is the direction of my focus right now.

Here's a couple of photos, 'cuz I feel like it.

Gaara & Mr.Darcy, bird watching, taken the 29th

Mr.Darcy, taken tonight, presumably missing Gaara and drowning his sorrows,
as usual ~ I swear, he nips when I'm not looking


On another note, early this morning I flipped my calendar to December. Usually the thought crossing my mind would be, "Where did this year go??!?!?"...but instead, my first thought was, "Only one month to go."

I cannot believe I have made it this far with Blog365.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

missing people i never actually "knew"...

....although when I listen to their music over and over (and over), I sort of feeeel like I knew them. Somehow.

A million years ago it seems (I'm thinking almost 15 years ago??), I was driving alone along the coast of Half Moon Bay for a solo weekend stay at a youth hostel, and I heard this song playing on the radio. As the song played, I distinctly remember the sensation of not actually "listenting" to music as a way of hearing it, but it was more like feeling the music swirling through in my head, like a breeze. Or like breath. It was like I heard music differently in that moment.

The radio didn't announce the artist at the end of the song, and I completely flipped out because I didn't know who it was and I had never heard it before and was certain I'd never hear it again. I pulled over to a pay phone and called the radio station to find out who it was (I didn't have a cell phone back then). Then I pulled into the little town and found the little new/used record store and bought the one copy they had in stock. I listened to it all weekend long.

Not quite sure why he and his music are on my mind today, but it is.
I miss Jeff Buckley. I flipped out when he died.
And the music still feels like breath in my head.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

snaps on saturday

Today was the annual pilgrimage to Wendy Addison's Theatre of Dreams in Port Costa. I have some loooovely photos of the interior that I took last year, and if I can dig them out, I will post them. I totally forgot to pull out my camera this year, but here are a few of things I purchased.

Wendy is one very creative lady that works with vintage materials and makes some of the most marlevous and magical things. Port Costa is this wee little town nestled next to the Sacramento River, and I swear to you, it has not changed in decades. Wendy has a workshop there, plus her store front, which she only opens a couple of times a year. People come from all over to shop there. My mom first found out about here because she appeared on Martha Stewart.

ETA: She has no website, but she has A BLOG!!
Do click and see some amazing photos of her goods, her workshop, plus the hours she will be open for this holiday season.

Friday, November 28, 2008

pay it forward, 2 of 3

Felted Project Bag (my ravelry project page)

Pattern: totally filched from another knitter's project page on Ravelry.
CO 34 stitches, knit about 40 rows.
Pick up and knit stitches all around the rectangle.
Knit in the round until piece measures about 12 inches. Bind off.

Knit for: Donna (of The Chaos), as part of Pay It Forward

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (#56 Olive), 1.5 skeins

Needles: US #11 (Knitpicks Options)

* Well, I'm not sure if this was a mod or not, but I did bind off the bottom of the bag before picking up all the way around. I picked up a couple of extra sts in each corner. Both of these things caused the bag to come out rectangular, rather than round like the original. I didn't plan for that, but I do like the final result. I blocked bag over a plastic babywipes box ;-) Oh, and I also knit 11" of the bag body in stockinette, and the last inch in garter, to avoid curling while blocking.
* I added metal grommets after punching the holes, I used black cording and a slide instread of an i-cord drawstring, and I fashioned a wrist strap out of jewelry hardware and belt webbing. Tinkering with this stuff was my favorite part of the project.

Started: 11/9/2008
Finished: 11/21/2008; This could have been a weekend project, no sweat. A couple of days to knit, felt, and a day to do the hardware, and there you have it. Took me a bit longer because I ran out of yarn and had to get back into the city to pick up a second skein!

Notes: The strap for the bag and the inspiration for the goodies inside, came from a favorite sock bag that I purchased for myself awhile back from JulipBags.

What I tossed into this bag was hand lotion, a crochet hook for picking up dropped stitches, a hair elastic, addi sock needles, and a tin fashioned with a magnetic strip, a tape measure, folding scissors, a darning needle, a long pin for holding stitches, and stitch markers (from PaperAndYarn).

The sock yarn I added was one of the shipments from Sock Yarn Cinema from Knit! (and I did not part with it because I didn't like it, just in case you are thinking of ever joining in on the fun over there---I am just behind, and I was pretty sure Donna would like the themed yarn thing). This yarn was based on the movie Gone With the Wind, and it came with a letter addressed to Scarlett, plus some hand balm, and a lemon verbena sachet.

I have a hunch there are more of these in my future, maybe some striped ones as a way to use up some of my odd balls of feltable wool. I'd love to have one for myself (of couse. selfish me.), but I think they'd make great gifts, even for the non-knitter. But then again, being a BagLady, I suffer from the notion that everyone needs many, and can never have enough :-)

Now, onto PIF item number 3, which has been frought with all sorts of problems: underestimating the complexity and time required of the project, not being able to find the correct quantity and colors of exactly the right yarn, and well....then there was the kittens getting at the WorkInProgress, in which their shredding then called for an entire frogging and restarting.

It is going to be late, but I have advised the recipient, and she says she's okay with it.
Still. I suck.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

'cuz everyone deserves a warm scarf

Happy Thanksgiving
Happy Knitting

~~holiday card from mom & dad~~

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

do this for me and you'll be rewarded with a funny kitteh foto

No, I am NOT just filling in here with another kitty photo. I really do have an actual post tonight, and it's a favor to ask of you.

I have a good friend that just received some not-so-good news today. There's "something interesting" popping up in her breast exams, and she went in today for some more detailed looking around. Now they want to do a surgical biopsy.

Not the news one needs at any time, but especially not during the holidays. Ugh.

So she has asked if I would post and request that y'all please send out vibes for an anonymous special someone. You all know that I'm all about focusing the mojo directly to the intended recipient, but she hasn't told her family yet, and she probably won't tell them until...well until she is good and goshdanged ready. Anyhow, point is, they don't have the information yet, and well, you know how the internet can be. Just a few clickety clicks and then there you have it.

So, yes...please send out some love for my friend.

And then, as promised, here's another funny one of Mr.Darcy, who when he sleeps, I swear always looks like he has just come home from a night on the town:

I must double check his water dish. There's gotta be some Maker's Mark in there or something.

Thanks gang :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

my morning

I had a pretty nasty clog in my kitchen drain that I needed to call in a plumber for this morning. I got a peek at what they pulled out of the p-trap and my best guess is that a wooden chopstick fell into the drain and got chopped up into slender 3" or so sections that couldn't make the curve of the pipe. The wove themselves into a sort of a "basket" that basically caught anything else that made it down the pipe. Had no choice but to cancel everything that needed to happen this morning and wait for my appointment window.

The drain is fixed but these guys that showed up were pretty danged stupid. One was in training, and the second he was left alone in my kitchen (while the senior employee went out to his van for a tool), the apprentice decided to pull off the p-trap. With nothing underneath. Making a mess. Then SeniorEmployeeGuy comes in asks ME if I have a bucket.

A plumber. Without a bucket.

So I get a bucket, some microfiber towels and express the importance of not allowing water to be left standing on a real wood floor to seep through the cracks until the end of the job.

Anyhow, as much as these two seemed to completely lack common sense, they were nice, so I was nice, and the drain is fixed, and they cleaned the place up before departing.

But I have to share this one last parting conversation with y'all:

SeniorEmployeeGuy: "I feel so bad about using your bucket and the water and all, that I am going to give you a free degreasing service."

Me: "And what exactly does that mean.?"

SEG: "I'm going to pour something down your pipes to strip it out..."

Me: *raises eyebrow*

SEG: "...but don't worry. It's economically safe!!"

Me: *mouth opens to either correct him or giggle, not sure which was going to come out first, but before I could do either*

SEG: "It's so safe, you could pour it on your lawn and it won't kill it!"

I was going to tell him that he meant environmennnnnnnntally safe.
But I guess being that it was a commmmmmmplimentary service, it really was economically safe after all.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Sorry it's just another photo, but it was a ScarDoc daytoday, and I am just flat out trashed.

Not quite as trashed as Mr.Darcy, however:

Talk about down for the count. Sheesh.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

because after six loads of laundry....

....and several rounds of cooking and washing dishes.... get too many ellipses and a photo of too many birds.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

snaps on saturday (and then some)

two guys fishin'
(taken Saturday afternoon, while we lunch at Moore's Landing, Napa/Carneros)

Here's a few extra from earlier in the week:

Friday: Mr.Darcy & Gaara (presently happy together)

also Friday: the hat I knit that didn't fit me so well fits Bridget perfectly
(antique button added for fun & sparkle)

taken Thursday night in dance class:
The Spine
(as seen looking from the pelvis, inside the ribcage)
the skeleton is real, and his name is Todd ;-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

what's in my cd player

I don't often talk about the music I listen to around these parts because it's almost freakishly diverse. I mean, if you look at the stack of cd's nearest at hand (and most recently played) and you'll find Nine Inch Nails next to James Taylor next to Public Enemy next KD Lang next to some classical music, some heavy metal, some pop, some Beatles, some Middle Eastern music, and some ambient stuff for chill-axing.

I have me some mooooods, ya' know??

Anyhow, the last few weeks I've been playing this one particular CD to death. I picked it up a few weeks ago on a whim. It was for sale on a display rack in a coffee shop. I absolutely adore the whole album, which doesn't happen that often for me. I'm not even sure how I'd describe this stuff. It kinda feels like skipping through an old english country side holding hands with a pop band. Or something. I dunno. Give yourself a listen if it pleases you.

The first two clips below are a couple of the tracks that have been getting stuck in my head for the last couple of days. For those who can't tolerate watching a video that has no video, skip them. But the 3rd link there is a cute little ditty that has lots of tiny handknit sweaters for you knitters out there, and that last one has some damn cute barn animals ;-)

These are the Fleet Foxes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

i'm rambling, grab yer favorite beverage and stay awhile.

Sorry to have been so vague last night, but when I have that much going on, and I am that tired, that's about all I feel like typing. Betcha y'all can't wait until this Blog365 thing is over, because then I'll just shut up instead of posting really bad one liners ;-)

After I posted last night, TheMostImportantGuy said to me, " We need to get you back to feeling just 'whelmed'." Hahahaha. Yah. No kidding.

Here's what is that I think is going on with me. Because honestly, the things that are coming up in my day to day life do not seem all that much different than usual.

I think it's the work I'm doing with TheScarDoc. It's AMAZING. It's bringing me so much relief and release, I honestly do not think I have invested in any other sort of treatment that has been this effective for me. It also has a way of pushing just about every emotional button for me--sometimes while the treatment is actually happening, but often in the days following when I'm not quite paying attention because I'm....whatever....folding laundry and helping MyFavoriteKid with homework.

The technique this guy specializes in is called Myofascial Release. Now, I had a wee bit of this done on me right after the car accident. Like a few minutes of each physical therapy session. The PT's would teach me how to work the scars a bit so that the scar tissue would not become so dense. Helpful, but this guy's version of the work takes it to a whole new level. See, the notion is that the fascia (the layer between your skin and your muscles) is one continuous sheath. He acutally uses the image of it being like a sweater (and not just for me because I am a knitter--lol). When you tug on one part of a sweater, it shifts on the other side. The fibers are connected. So in his work, there is big attention paid to how one part of the body plays into pain in another. This is quite different from regular massage where the treatment is applied to the muslce tissue directly. The actual stuff he does feels like he is sort of tugging on one side of my body part to get release from the other side. Not sure if that makes any sense.

So I went to this guy several months ago because my right arm (the one that has 3 plates and 16 screws in it), was starting to go numb. I would have sworn up and down and sideways that it was coming from the forearm. The screws are irritating some nerves down there, and I was positive it was radiating up the arm. He swore up, down, and sideways, that it was coming from my neck and going down my arm...and probably a bit the other direction as I suspected...but that most of it was my neck. And then he went so far as to say that the problem with the neck was tied into the scar that runs down the center of me, from sternum to pelvis.

(for those who don't know, the car accident left scars on every part of my body except my left arm....which really deserves and honorary tattoo or something!)

Anyhow. A few weeks after working with him? The numbness was gone. I have not experienced numbness once. That being "done" (not that it wont need the occasional tune up), we decided to work on the abdominal scar. See, the part up near the top, at the sternum? The scar tissue has affixed itself to my diaphragm. It makes it very difficult to take a full, deep breath.

Now here is where the "over" in "overwhelm" starts to come in. See, unlike the hospital PT's, TheScarDoc's work also really factors in the reality (imho) that there is a mind/body connection. The logic is that body remembers. In the very same way that one can remember a scent from childhood that can cause them flashbacks, the logic goes that scar tissue probably stores some memories, too.

I know about most of these. Most. And let me tell you, some of them I could never have imagined. Every once in awhile TheScarDoc gets in there and something happens. It can happen while he doing it, and/or it can happen in the days following. I remember stuff. And I don't actually mentally remember it. I'm not even sure if I can describe what happens. It's like a total cellular recall, though. And it can be intense. One time when he was working on the abdominal scar near the sternum, I could swear to you that it didn't feel like his hand was on top of my skin outside of my body. It felt like hand inside. And along with that feeling rose an immediate panic in me that if I could attach words to it, felt like, "NO NO NO NO NO! I didn't say you could do that!!"

Now, I have no idea what the f*&% happened that day in the Emergency Room, and I might be making some of these body memories up. I truly believe that the mind/body is amazing and powerful and can store all kinds of truths....but I also know for a fact that if you lie about something long enough, you'll believe it ;-) Know what I'm saying?? So I have no frickin' idea how much of what comes up during this work is real or imagined....but over the weeks I have come to realize that it really doesn't my matter. My body/mind is holding on to it, and it is due time to let it go.

Ok, so weeks have gone by, and TheScarDoc and I have worked on the arm, and the abdominal scar. I have homework in between weekly appointments, and his goal is always one of helping people get the release, but then setting them up for self-care, not dependency. It's going great. As sure as I sit here I can tell you that my arm is no longer numb. I no longer have constant neck pain. I am breathing (I am breathing!!) again (this is HUGE). I used to notice that I was sitting with poor posture, and when I would go sit up straight and would be stiff and tight---now it hurts to slouch. I actually am now naturally and unconcioulsy sitting up straighter. I am doing my exercises now how to treat myself if I pull something or move the wrong way.

But now? I've decided to have him keep going. We've moved down in to the leg in the past two sessions.

Oh. My. God.

It's hard. It's really hard. It's difficult when it's being worked on, and it's been really difficult afterwards. I have not even processed the hows and whys of it yet. I can tell you that from the physical side of things, I am already noticing greater range of movement in my thigh socket on the stump side (in addition to the amputation during the accident, my pelvis also separated in the front like a book. I have a plate there that holds it together now. Yay me. LOL). But there is a whoooole bunch of stuff going on inside the bowl of my pelvis where that tissue got pulled out of shape, and no massage therapist or PT is going to ever be able to palpate all that. But his work? Well, you pull on one side of the sweater, and it adjusts on the other. I can home Monday afternoon and it felt like the bottom of my pelvis was falling through. Crazy.

And that's what overwhelms me. I need to sit still for a freakin' minute and just BE with it sometimes, and it's almost like I cannot find the time! I am not trying to avoid processing things (been there, dont that)....but it's like my day to day responsibilities plus life's other mini-dramas all seem to get in the way of me "me time" and then all of those feeeeeelings that TheScarDoc and I are working to release? They just sort of "steep".

It's unnerving.

Okay. So I just sat down and typed away for awhile, kind of like stream of conciousness writing, and I'm not going to go back and reread it now, or edit it, because if I do, I will take half of it out and besides, I need to go do laundry and feed the cats and let the dog out and go to the market and stop by the school to meet with the music teacher, and get ready for dance class and and and and....

...and maybe find a minute for myself ;-)

And THAT is all have to say about THAT.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

pardon my forrest gump imitation please

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

mysteriously knittin' along

Ok, so here's the hat I was fiddling with when I should have been gift knitting instead:

Mystery Beret, aka the "Meret"
(my ravelry project page)

Pattern: Ravelry Link (this free pattern was offered as a KnitALong via Ravelry), designed by Woolly Wormhead

Knit for: me ...except that I might need to pass it along to someone with a bigger head and knit myself another one. Read on.

hat pre-blocking

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, #20-Cypress

Needles: US#8, dpn's and a 16" circ

Size: Medium, Extra-Slouchy (which netted me something more like a regular slouch---my stitch gauge was correct, but my row gauge was off, and I planned accordingly)

Mods: The pattern called for either a ribbed or a rolled brim; I wanted both--the look of a rolled brim, but the grip/stretch of the rib, so I did both. I did a stockinette roll for about an inch then a few rows of rib after that. Everything else I kept to as written. If (ok, not if, but when) I do this hat again, I will probably add an extra lace repeat to make it even slouchier.

hat post-blocking

* I could have sworn that this yarn was black when I bought it. It wasn't until knitting on it in direct sunlight that I learned it's really a very deep forest green. The true color reads like the top photo,though. It's quite dark. It's a nice color, but I really wanted me a black beret, so I'm a little disappointed. A little. I mean, c'mon. It's Malabrigo for crying out loud.

* I first blocked the hat over a plate by steaming it with the surge on my iron. The lace really opened up nicely, and I was certain I did a thorough block (it was quite damp). I let it dry thoroughly, took it off the plate, and within an hour or two, it had snapped back to it's pre-blocked blobby shape. I then soaked the hat and did a full on wet block, and when while positioning it onto the plate, I sadly stretched the brim out a bit. It did fit perfectly, and now it fits so-so. It's loose, and if I bend over, it will fall off. I have a feeling I am giving this Bridget. Her head is like 3" bigger around than mine. If it's not her style, I'll either gift it elsewhere or maybe sew in some elastic thread and keep it.

* I will totally knit this hat again.

* This was my first Mystery Knit ALong. It was a total blast to see everyone's works in progress and to be part of the fun, and to not really know exactly where things were going. I really enjoyed the whole KAL process as much as the knitting and the finished hat!