Saturday, December 31, 2011

another lap around the sun

Another year of Blog365 = complete.

Many other goals this year = incomplete.

This has been a year chock full of one unpredictable thing after another, hasn't it?! I set out this year with well thought out and attainable intentions, along with what felt like a very solid strategy to attain them. The biggies on my list were to blog differently, to spin more yarn, and to work on my relationship to food.

I didn't get very far at all. In fact, I only got as far as January 2nd. hahahaha

That was the day TheMostImportantGuy and I saw the house that we decided to set wheels in motion to purchase, and at least 50% of my energy has been spent assisting in the renovation of said house (and renovations will not be completed until next year, at best). The other 50% of my energy this year was spent helping MyFavoriteKid transition into high school, helping my dad deal with a first (and now a second) life affecting illness, nursing two dogs for an entire summer after a dog attack and various surgeries, dealing with my own hand injury and booby-lump-scare, and finding out that working on my relationship to food was also going to include dealing with having to grapple with the oddest grouping of food sensitivities I could have ever assembled in my wildest imagination.

While this year really has not been all that bad, it has been no picnic. Nothing this year went quite as I had planned. The blog suffered, and I think my goal to spin a pile of fiber once a month lasted into mid-February.

I've spent most of this month of December trying to figure out what to do with the blog here in 2012, and whether or not to continue posting daily. I really don't care much for the quality of writing I did here this past year, and it really feels like I need to spend a day or two or three writing and editing one single post, rather than shoving something together late at night when I am too tired. That being said, posting every day is probably the only thing that I make myself do every single day, and it's an anchor for me that I am not sure I am prepared to part with at this point.

I'm not exactly sure where I am headed yet this next year, but at this point, I think that this is the direction I am pointing myself towards:

* I've been saying this for years now, and I really want to follow through: I want to learn how to use the features on my camera, and how to use photo editing software, so expect to see more photos.

*I'd like to write a few entries that are more like essays or short stories. I have so many of them in my head, and I need to get them up and out.

* I know I want to knit more (spinning too, but I am on a knitting bender right now, and loving it), so there will probably be more yarn stuff here.

* My relationship to food is changing whether I like it or not, and there have been revelations that I need to pursue more deeply, and that I need to write about, because I have been keeping them to myself, and it is not working.

* And.....I need to read more blogs. Because I haven't been. I am sick of living in the hermit-hole. Part of my hope for this year is to read more about you and write less babble about me.

Thank you, all of you, for your comments, your advice, your support, and the laughter you brought to the table this year. It has been soooo appreciated. I wish I could have you all over for a cup of tea so I could give you a hug in person.

If you have a blog, please please please email me your blog address (AmpuTeeHee~at~hotmail~dot~com) or pop your blog address into the comments so I can add you to my blog-feed-reader-thingy. Do it for me even if you think I have it, okay? I want to make sure I'm not missing anything. I'm making a new reading list! Thank you thank you.

I hope all of you have a splendid New Year's Eve, and know that much mojo is being sent out for each and every one of you to have a joyous and prosperous 2012.

Much love, and much light~
bonnie (aka AmpuTeeHee)

Friday, December 30, 2011

all is calm

Our new home's little downtown historic shopping district at night.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

a random photo from the weekend....

...because I am already too tired tonight to type much.

We were pulling up at a stop light next to this ol' kit car, its rims a-spinnin' and the music pumping. As we got closer, I was dying to see who was driving. It ended up being an older dude in a Santa's hat, and his passenger...

...Wile E Coyote.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

the story of our new tree

Once Upon A Time.....

I wanted a Christmas Tree.

Truth be told, I really do prefer a real "live" (well, once-was-alive) Christmas tree. My love of having a real tree in the house mostly has to do with the scent of the tree wafting about the room, but I'm also a little attached to the memories of the tradition of going to a lot somewhere and picking out a tree and getting it home (as I get older, I find myself less and less attached to that sentiment).

I have a real interesting relationship with Christmas. I was raised in a household where we celebrated both Christmas and Channukah, even though my dad was Jewish and my mom had converted to Judaism before they were married (although in the long run, it was discovered that my mother was Jewish all along, because her mother's mother was Jewish, and had only pretended not to be Jewish to escape the Nazis. Crazy, eh?). Anyhow, I've always felt more closely connected with the Jewish holidays, but throughout my pagan-esque 20's, as I had moved out on my own, and was establishing my own traditions and links to the holidays, I discovered I felt less and less connected to the commercial and religious aspects of the holidays. My holidays, for me, became more about celebrating seasons, and it has carried through to today.

Basically this means that what I am reallly am linked to, and what I have been celebrating for decades in my own way, is Winter. And that is why I love having a tree, especially the smell of a tree, in the house (what you will also find in my house this time of year is lots of Christmas music from the 50's and 60's, smells of holiday foods, and many decorations relating to snow).

Here we are, with the new house this year, and this gorgeous vintage-y looking living room with a fireplace, and....

...I don't know about you, but I think the room just begs for a tree in that window next to the fireplace there, which also happens to face the street.

But now I'm older. And I'm busier. And I don't like killing trees so much. And even less, I like dealing with disposing of them. And I'm not living at this house full time yet, which means watering would be a pain. And I get really sick of cleaning up needles. And who needs a fire hazard anyhow.

So I started looking for a fake tree. A pre-lit tree, at that (whee! even more old and busy, am I!).

I found a couple I liked, and that was right around the time that we were given the estimate of what it is going to cost us to remodel the kitchen and bathroom here next spring, which kinda makes my stomach flip a little bit, and it also makes me see every $100 purchase as, "Wait. That's one-fifth of a dishwasher." I decided we would not have a tree this year (*pout*) but that on December 26th, I would go out early in the morn' and snatch up a tree at 50% off and store it for next year (what I did do this year though, was go to Hallmark and buy a "2011 -- New House" ornament, which we stuck on the mantle of the fireplace).

I saw the tree I wanted. It was at Target, and it was $230. There are 5 Targets on highway 80 down a 30 minute trail from here to Berkeley, and I was determined to hit them all until I got the tree I coveted. We got to the first Target only to find that their holiday section had been completely revamped, and that they had removed every single tree and large lawn decoration. In fact, I saw lights and things in that holiday section that I will swear on my grave had not even been set out as regular stock just a few days earlier. It was very odd. Well anyhow, we bought an on sale storage bag to store the fake tree that we didn't even have yet, and we bought some icicle lights so that next year the house can look a little gingerbread-ish, since the hooks for the lights are already in place anyhow.....

...and then, after finding out that all Targets had pulled their trees, we headed on over to K-Mart.

I don't even know the last time I have been in a K-Mart, but I swear to you, K-Mart smells like a K-mart in a way no other store can, and it totally blew my mind that some things like a particular smell never do change, and it made me realize that if I am going to get a fake tree, I should probably also invest in some pine scented candles or something.

So at K-Mart, we found a tree we liked.

It wasn't as great the Target tree, but it would do. It's 7.5 feet tall, with white lights, and it had originally been $229, but was now marked down by 50%. Woot! When we moved from the display section to the stack of boxed trees ready for sale, we found that the tree we wanted was only available still with colored lights, and we wanted clear. But the display model had white lights. So we asked Mike, TheDudeOfTheHomeAndGardenDepartment, if we could buy the display model. He said yes, and it would even be another 20% off. WootWoot! Our lovely little display model, however, was fully (and I do mean fully) decorated. He would arrange to have someone take it apart and they would call me to pick it up that night or the next day.

I went back to the store the next morning to pick up the tree, and MikeTheDude rolled out a shopping cart containing the tree and huge box. I asked him if it was the stand that was inside the box, and he said, "No. That's all your ornaments, and the garlands, plus the tree skirt. That's how we roll around here." WootWootWoot!!

So for $100, including tax, we scored our tree, the skirt, and an a$$load of (very nice, actually) ornaments.

AND, if you total up the tree and the ornaments, this means we saved about two-thirds a dishwasher :-)

The End.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

i should start cataloging the evidence

Our house was previously bank owned, and we find lots of evidence as to why the previous owners failed so miserably.

We can add that to the pile o' crack pipes and various other things we find stashed in the walls and attics.

Monday, December 26, 2011

we're a little addicted over here....

We're boobin-out on way too much serial television this holiday vay-cay-see-ohhn.

We've plowed through season one, and now we're ripping through season 2 of Dexter right now. Viewing with a vengeance. Which makes us serial television viewers obsessively watching a serial killer who kills serial killers.

And we're only watching so much Dexter yesterday and today because earlier this week we also plowed through season one of Game of Thrones (that we've watched via OnDemand though).

Brain is mush, but entertained.
And I'm also getting lots of knitting done at the same time :-)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

happy holidays

TheMostImportantGuy and I had a very nice day up at his family's opening gifts and sharing a meal. I tried to do the whole, "let's give each other hand made gifts next year" thing, and it was met with resistance. The niece said she'd made most of her friends gift this year, and it was too hard and took to much time. The sis-in-law wanted to put on the restriction that all materials had to be source from a thrift store or be used or from a garage sale (not a bad idea, if done right), but she suggested that because her idea was that each person was to aim for the most craptastic gift possible.

Oh, well. At least I tried. I think next year I'll just make them all something nice and thoughtful, and with a little love put into it, and show 'em how it's done.

I leave you with a crazy arsed ghost pic taken of me and TheMIG at dinner last night.

Crazy, eh? Not sure quite how that happened, but I find it quite interesting.

Hope you all are having a good holiday season!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

snaps on saturday

Christmas Eve Dinner with my folks at the local Italian Restaurant.
We've been doing it for enough years in a row now that I believe we can call it a family tradition :-)

Friday, December 23, 2011

what i did today

My Day.

I got up much earlier than I wanted to (especially considering I should technically be on "vacation" time this week), because I realllllly did not want to miss the meeting of a new knitting group I joined a few weeks ago. The knitting group meets at 10am on Friday mornings, and it's about 30 minutes south of me.... and I really do need to write an entire post about how I ended up in this group and what trying to "fit in" has looked like, because there is definitely some meat on that bone.


I got up early, and even after prattling around for a bit and preparing for departure, I still found myself realllllly not wanting to leave because it was freezing cold outside (literally - 29 degrees here last night) and because TheMostImportantGuy was having a lazy morning here today as it was his first day off for the holidays, too. But since I reallllllly did not want to miss the knitting group, I pushed on through, got myself all dolled up and festive looking by wearing a red hand-knit sweater and some holiday earrings. Then I dragged myself out of the house even though I really wanted to crawl back into bed, and I got in the car, and along the drive, I picked up a soy chai latte at Peets, and I drove all the way down there to the knitting group, and I parked the car, and that's when I noticed that the street parking was way more open than it usually is.

And then I looked at my calendar and saw that I had entered, "NO knitting group" in today's little box.

So poor little dolled up me and my soy chai latte drove home. And I knit alone.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

vintage me.

Too tired to check and see if I have posted this photo once before (last night was another RassinFrassinShimShammin night of leg spasms, DangNabbit...and I am exhausted).

Hopefully I have not posted this one before and it's "a freshie".

Vintage me in headgear.

If I had to wager, it might have been my first night with it.

(and check out my mom with the Charlie's Angels hairdo!)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


And you thought that snare drum was somethin' eh???

Whaddya have to say about this?!?!

THAT would be TheEx's (early) X-mas gift to MyFavoriteKid. Which he purchase but will be kept at my house (I thought that sort of noisy gift-giving was something grandparents do, not parents!! Sheesh!).

Nah, in all seriousness, I was totally on board.

It was TheEx's idea to get a drum kit for MyFK, and it was he that shelled out for it...but it really was a team effort on some level. It was TheMostImportantGuy (being a drummer himself) who offered to help look for a really good used kit on Craigslist, and it was also TheMIG who set the drums up while TheEx had MyFK out of the house for a couple of hours. That way it was a full on wonderful surprise. My role in this? It was me who cleared out the den to make space, and I also gave up my living room carpet to go underneath it (I'd be wanting to change the color of the living room Flor tiles anyhow, so it was the perfect excuse.

But my real contribution?? I agreed to tolerate drumming in my house.

Sometimes I want to run around the house pretending to be MrsBennet from Pride and Prejudice...."No one knows what I suffer!!" Or maybe, "You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves."

All I can say is, at least I was smart enough to only allow an electronic drum kit and not an acoustic one!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

simple holiday meal.

Possibly a little too simple.

First night of Chanukah, and it was a very simple dinner at my house with both my parents and MyFavoriteKid. The dinner was so simple that I served a store bought whole roasted chicken that came already cut into pieces. What a slacker (and to believe I went to culinary school). Hold yer horses, though. I even bought the latkes. They were fresh and handmade, but certainly not by me.

My only honest contribution to the meal was roasted vegetables served warm on a bed of greens and tossed with a citrus vinaigrette (at least I made that myself).

The truth of the matter is that when I think about the meal that accompany the Jewish holidays, what usually comes to mind as being the most enjoyable part of them is that my mom makes all the family recipes with the traditional foods. I don't know "family recipe" it is though, when I am her daughter, and I can't even make them. And I used to be a chef. It's not that I don't have an interest in learning, I'm a foodie, for crying out loud. Actually, when I was in culinary school, and had to do a project that included and essay for an ethnic foods class. I did a full report on my mom's Matzoh Ball Soup, and I got the best grade in the class. But I still have never made a matzoh ball myself. It's almost like somewhere in me knows that if I learn how to make the family recipes, mom might stop making them! hahaha *sigh* I laugh, but the best part of holidays themselves sometimes is looking forward to these recipes we only get sometimes once a year.

As I was setting the table tonight, and getting ready to reheat latkes and roasted chicken, I felt like such a poser. I get that feeling every once in awhile. Where I realize I am 44 years old, but feel like I am faking, or playing house or something. Drives me nuts, that feeling.

At dinner, MyFK stood up and made the toast before the meal. He toasted me, saying I was such a great mom and took such good care of him and how appreciative he was of me. It bowled me over. And I had a hard time absorbing it on some level, because there I was being a half-assed Jewish mom who bought the latkes. Hahaha. Laugh, but it's kinds sad, really.

It really is my turn to start hostessing these holiday meals. Which means it's finally time to grow up and learn how to make da' foods.

(pardon typos on nonsense...I don't have time to edit. Sleep calls!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

(non)walking zombie

I was up all night last night.

Every once in awhile, I get this sharp pains in my residual limb. My little leg o' left-overs. I wouldn't call it phantom pain, because phantom pain is when you feel pain or sensation of or in the limb that isn't physically there anymore. I had that sort of stuff happening during the first few months after I lost my leg, but I worked very hard having tactile conversations with my leg about where my leg was, and where my leg was not. I taught my brain to understand where the leg now ends. And sometimes, like when I am in dance class or need more balance, I can play with the energy of where the leg used to be and use it to my advantage.

Anyhow. I get these sharp pains that are not phantom pain. They are actually in what remains of my leg, and I am pretty sure that it starts from discomfort from my low back. It's as if there is pain in my sacrum that shoots down my leg like sciatica or something, except that there is no place for that energy to go. The nerves do not exist. Wherever it comes from, whatever is causing it, I swear it feels like I am being electrocuted, or tazed (not that I know what either of those feel like, I am just guessing). It's this horribly painful sharp current zapping my leg and causing me to almost double over in pain, or for my leg to cramp up, and if it goes on for a long time, it also induces a bout of cursing ;-) The pain is short and fast. It hurts like crazy when it happens, and then when it is gone, it is completely gone. It's sort of crazy.

Sometimes this happens once or twice and then it goes away. And then once every few months or so, it happens, and it happens, and it happens some more....lasting countless hours. Last night was one of those. It woke me out of my sleep around 1:30am. I'd doze off, and then it would come back again. The frequency increased, and the intensity increased, and then the muscles in my leg and hip started cramping up from the overwork on top of it all. Around 3:30am I decided to take something for the pain. It dulled it a bit, but it didn't go away. I didn't fall asleep until about 6:30am, and then I had a phone call come in at 7:30, and I had to get on with my day by 9.

I am exhausted, and I have been testy and cranky and over-emotional all day as a result. The good news is that this is usually a one night thing (it was gone this morning, by the way), and I am going to keep my fingers crossed that the one-night trend continues. Because I could use some sleep!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Today was the day to get the last of the holiday shopping taken care of. TheMostImportantGuy and I ran around all town (several towns, actually) getting it all done, and I am soooo glad it's over. A couple of years ago I started the shopping so early that I finished it in early November, and then all of December I just sat back and watched everyone else go nuts while I sipped eggnog. That was a much better way to work it, if you ask me.

Every year, this feeling I have gets stronger and stronger:
why the heck are we bothering with gifts??

Every year, I promise myself that "next year" I am going to make arrangements with family for us to do a no-gift thing. Or maybe a let's-give-gifts-only-to-the-kids thing. Or maybe we should do the let's-draw-a-name-out-of-a-hat-and-gift-only-one-person gift exchange. Or maybe we could to an everything-has-to-be-homemade thing. Or how about a let's-just-donate-to-charity thing.

All great ideas. The problem is that every year, I forget to have these conversations with family until it's too close to the holiday.

I think this year I might try putting it out there over the holiday dinner or something. For me, the holidays have nothing at all to do with this sort of gift giving.

The running around all over town(s) was a drag. Not at all what I would call a "good time". And so when we took a break to have a late lunch/early dinner, I made sure to have a "good time". In fact, I had an "effin' good time".

Tastier than eggnog anyhow ;-)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

snaps on saturday

Luncheon. With ladies that knit. In a restaurant. On the water.

Sent from my iPad

Friday, December 16, 2011

just across town...

....someone went a bit bananas with the holiday decorations. Including covering their "trees" (?) with tinfoil.

I think I am going to need to drive by and see it at night and when all their crazy-huge "inflatable thingies" are running (I think I spotted at least a half a dozen).

Just because one can always us a ho-ho-ho sort of belly laugh every once in awhile ;-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This week is finals week for MyFavoriteKid, and as of 1:58pm tomorrow (I know--what an odd time) he is officially on vacation for 3 weeks.

The band teacher let the Winter Drumline kids take their instruments home for winter break.

You just let that sink in for a minute.

And then I'll just let you write the rest of this post for me in your own head.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

let's face it.

I do not see any opportunity on my horizon to have someone take decent snaps of me in that new sweater I finished last week. So here are the photos that I do have: one taken with arm stickin' out holding the camera, a couple taken into the mirror in the bathroom, one shot from behind taken by one of the senior knitting ladies, and one of it laying out on the counter (not necessarily in that order).

Not great, but it's all I have ;-)

Here's the details on Ravelry.

Oh. And I just whooped that little lace thing into submission.
She's blocking now ;-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

slightly defeatist

I'm sorry that some of you had a craptastic day yesterday, too...but thanks for telling me that I was not alone. Sometimes that just helps.

I really thought today was going to be a repeat. My day started by reaching into my purse for something only to discover that a tube of muscle rub had exploded all over the inside of my bag. Yay, me.

I did rip back the knitting. I don't ever mind ripping something back to might it just-so. It was just that this project was lace, and I had already picked up and knit along one long edge, and then I had also unzipped a provisional cast-on and picked up and knit through that, too. If you don't knit, I'm speaking Greek, but the translation is: it wasn't just simply undoing some yarn. Anyhow, I got 'er back to where it needed to be in order to make the silly thing longer. But then I sat there staring at it, threw my hands in the air, and then cast-on instead for a big fluffy super bulky scarf in an overly simple stitch pattern.

Because sometimes you just need simple.

Monday, December 12, 2011

can i have a do-over?

Nothing has gone well today, and I'd really like to do it over.

The highlights of my suck-ass day were:

* repeatedly falling asleep during mediation practice at the zen center (not exaclty the point).

* going to visit James at the convalescent hospital but never getting to see him because right as I got there, he asked me to wait outside as he needed to be helped to go to the bathroom. Once the CNA's finally got him on the can, they got so caught up in other business and didn't have time to get him off the can for forty-five minutes. So after over and hour for his potty adventure, and then my time up with him was over.

* while James was doing his "thing" and I was sitting in the hallway, I had to listen to this poor old man foreverrrrrrr yelling from the shower area: Help me. I want to lay down. Help me. I want to lay down. Help me. I want to lay down. I'm cold. I'm cold. Help me. I want to lay down. Help me. I want to.....

* so I went down the hall to visit Martha only to find out that her roommate had passed away last week.

* I got home and tried to make it all go away by finishing knitting the body of the lace neck warmer thing I am working on. After I knit the body, I picked up around the edges, and was almost entirely finished with the whole damn thing, when I realized that the body of the lace neck warmer thing wasn't really knit long enough in the first place and wont sit comfortably around my neck. It fits. It's just not a flattering fit. And now I have to find the balls to rip all my work back out.

~~~The kicker was that I didn't catch the length problem sooner because I was too busy pondering the worst thing that happened today (which took place between falling asleep at the zen center and James being stuck on the crapper):

There was a very distressed looking seagull walking down the middle of a very very busy frontage road running alongside a very wide and busy freeway interchange. He was wandering around, and cars were stopping, but some were very close to hitting him. It looked like his wing was broken. As I got closer, and I saw that he was wrapped up in holiday curling ribbon and fishing line. I pulled over and tried calling the emergency services number and animal services and I was getting the total run around, and all the while PoorMrSeagull was getting closer and closer to being run over.

So I got out of my car, got in my wheelchair, grabbed the stadium/picnic blanket that I keep in the trunk, and my mini scissors from my knitting bag. I couldn't imagine him letting me get near him, but what else was I going to do, because animal services said it would be a few hours, and I was freaking out that he was going to get hit.

When I got not even a little bit close to PoorMrSeagull, he freaked. And he tried to fly. Even with wings all tangled up. And he cleared the chain link fence between the frontage road and the freeway. And then a car and truck hit him. And he was kaput.

I have cried about it off and on all afternoon, and it tainted my day in ways I never thought possible. You can try to say whatever you want to say to soothe my nerves, but I've probably said the same things to myself, and I'm not feeling any better at all.

It was dumb. I'm not animal services. I hate that I freaked that bird out so much that I made him do something worse than what he was already doing. I know it was probably just a matter of time and I did the best I could do and blah blah blah.....but I am the person who always rants about how irritating it is when people offer help that is even remotely helpful.

And I love birds.
I love them.

And I am very very sad.

And now I get to go top my evening off by frogging my project. Woot.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

never enough knittin' time

I have not had enough knitting time this week. I've been around plenty of knitting, sure....but I just never had the chance to work on my own knitting, is all. I was either teaching people how to knit, showing them how to fix mistakes, or in a few really intense cases when they couldn't wrangle the repair themselves, just fixing it for them.

When I finally did have some free time for my own knitting, I chose to spend it over at the new house photographing yarn, entering it into Ravelry (for the uninitiated, some of us do this so that we have a spreadsheet of what we have on hand), and then putting the yarn away into the cabinets in the craftroom.

I finally had some time tonight to work on actual knitting. A little lace thang, a neckwarmer, basically. And a whole whopping 3 rows into my session, my cat decided my lace chart was the purrrfect place for him to park his big fat kitteh arse.

That would be MrDarcy.
I've moved him 4 times.
And he keeps coming back.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I failed to get the camera out during the light of day (dang these days are getting short!!)

So here's a pic of a scarf that I am considering dissecting and knitting...

....because apparently I am in the holiday spirit...?

Friday, December 09, 2011

still no pics of the sweater, but how about this?

Tonight's moonrise through the trees, shot through the front window in the livingroom.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

is there a photographer in da houuuse?

I finished the brown sweater last week, and today I decided to add some clasp onto it...

...but I still don't have any decent shots of me wearing it. I tried doing that stick-your-arm-out-as-far-as-you-can thing, and I couldn't get the whole sweater. I tried the shooting-into-the-mirror thing, and that also looked like crap. Since I had it on for today's knitting classes, I passed the camera to the high school kids, but the lighting was goofy, and then the shots taken by someone at the senior center weren't zoomed in.

I'll try again tomorrow at the knitting group I knit at (rather than teach...yay!), or I will ask TheMostImportantGuy to take some shots over the weekend during daylight hours.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

phase 2

Marching band season might be over....

...but concert band is just beginning. Tonight was the first concert of the year, a holiday themed sort of thing.

In other band news, MyFavoriteKid auditioned for the winter drum line, and was selected for the position he'd been practicing for weeks for: snare drum. I'm so so proud of him.

And now we're back to getting up at 6am because his practices are before school starting at 7am.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

something that made me happy today

I ran into a post on Ravelry in the Mindful Knitters forum:

Hi everyone,

Here is a link to a short film (six minutes long) I made as part of the fall ango (intensive training period) in the Mountains and Rivers Order, where I am a student. Each ango, we have an art practice assignment, usually coming out of a text by Dogen. This time the assignment was to work with this:

In stillness, mind and object merge in realization and go beyond enlightenment. Nevertheless, in the state of receptive samadhi, without disturbing its quality or moving a single particle you engage the vast buddha activity, the extremely profound and subtle buddha transformation.

Eihei Dogen, Bendowa (The Wholehearted Way), 1231AD

And here is my project, titled Spinning/Nonspinning.

Hope you like it!

Spinning Nonspinning from Robyn Love on Vimeo.

(hint: I loved it)

Monday, December 05, 2011

just so you know who i'm dealing with....

MyFavoriteKid says that I blow "everything" out of proportion, and he insists that I make an annoyingly big deal out of things that he believes to be trivial. (Like say, a missed homework assignment. Lo, the gap between parent and child.)

For weeks he has been trying to build a case for how out of whack I am, stopping me mid-sentence anytime I say anything that sounds even remotely exaggerated.

This is an actual conversation that took place between me and my 14-year old son in the car at 6:45am on the way to school:

Me: " can you please close the lid on the box of band-aids so it doesn't explode all over the place?"

MyFavoriteKid: "See what I mean??!!!! MOM, you exaggerate about EVERYTHING!!! A box of band-aids does not explode!"

"Well, I disagree. I mean sure, it wouldn't be like a bomb went off or something. But have you ever seen what happens when a box of band-aids gets turned upside down and 48 band-aids go "*spwloosh*" all over the place??! It happens to be about as exploded as a box of band-aids can get."

"It's still an exaggeration.

"Well, you call it an exaggeration, I call it using colorful language. "

"WELL, should
really call it a hyperbole. And the definition of a hyperbole is EXTREME EXAGGERATION. So therefore....



And that is the teenager I am dealing with ;-)

Sunday, December 04, 2011

could do this all night. seriously.

I don't have much to say tonight, because I'm too busy watching hours of dance videos on YouTube, specifically Les Twins (blame TheMostImportantGuy...he started it by sending me the first link).

They're the 2nd up to dance, and they uh....
look like twins ;-)

Blows. My. Mind.
And reinforces to me, once again, that while dance movements are the meat of the thing, it's the transitions between movements that make dance magic.

I love these guys. I could watch them all night.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

snaps on saturday

So many things I haven't written about, owhich once again points to my needing to be a different blogger once this round of Blog365 is over.

TheMostImortantGuy's mother went into the hospital the day after Thanksgiving. She had thought he had food poisoing from the meal (the whole family ate out together at an elegant buffet this year). It turns out that she has diverticulitis. She was released on Monday, but as we live an hour and half (at best) south of her, we left the in-person visits to TheMIG's sister wo is local.

Well, I spoke to TheMIG's mom Friday and asked how she was doing and if she needed help, and she said yes, so today we drove up and spent the day up there with her. TheMIG vacuumed her house and pulled out some holiday decorations while I took her to the grocery store (she wanted to get out, but felt too loopy to drive).

We spent the evening at the new house playing "pretend kitchen" (that's where we prattle around pretending where the sink might go, and the stove might go, etc we're now looking at the kitchen design plans being thrown our way, and quite frankly, none of them are working out so far). I suspect Sunday is where I spend the day reinventing the wheel. I do have a culinary background (I used to be a chef/caterer), and I did take a semester of restaurant design layout in culinary school, so I should probaly be making more use of my skills than I am.

Friday, December 02, 2011

electronics piggy

For starters, let me just say...thanks for all the tips and sympathies about the Kindle. It was a first generation Kindle, I'd had it for ages, and it was well beyond warranty.

I did not know about the 20 second depress the button thing (so thanks for that, played with that JenAnderson!), but when I depressed my button (and I tried it several times) the screen started spazzing and flashing and having more lines across it.

(formerly) no-blog-rachel, you are correct. I do have an iPad, and I do have the Kindle app on it already. I know I am going to sound like a spoiled-friggin-brat for saying this, but I dont really dig reading at night before bed with the back-lit screen. I can do it. But I miss the Kindle and it's pretty-damn-close to the printed pageness.

And because of having an iPad already for everything but reading, and the fact that I don't like reading a book on a back-lit screen, I probably wouldn't get the Kindle Fire (sorry, Judy....but I have tried one, and you are right, it's awesome. If I didn't already have an iPad I would totally consider it, and *looking up at the heavens* this does not mean I am wishing for my iPad to die LOL).

I've ordered a new Kindle.
Happy Holiday to me.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

in mourning....

...over the death of my kindle.

I have no idea what I did to it, but the screen is all wonky. Line and streaks but no words.


Yes, I know I can read a regular ol' book. I can do that, and I will. But I have lots of pins and screws in my right hand, and it actually hurts to hold a book up and read for any real length of time. I kind of think of the kindle like a physical therapy tool in a way.

Plus, I was in the middle of reading something and had just gotten to the juicy parts.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

an ode to my new camera

Ohhhhh, how I love thee, my darling new camera, with your mighty zoom lens.
Ohhh, how I love thee, let me count the ways....

Those are some wild turkeys that live in some open space behind the strip mall where my vet's office is.

I hope they all survived the holidays.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

like a fiend, i said. like a fiend.

I am knitting like a fiend, to keep away the crazies.

I finished the sweater tonight, and will try to get some photos taken tomorrow. I have some other languishing projects that I am going to work on completing, but instead if pulling them out of the knitting bag, I have decided to cast-on for a very quick little lace project.

And that's because right now what my brain needs is to be knitting nice little organized lines of holes.

Monday, November 28, 2011

mom's new hat

I know that what I am about to tell you is going to make me sound like one crappy excuse for a daughter, but the reality is: I am a selfish knitter, and I rarely knit for other people, and that is why my mom has been asking for me to knit her a hat for awhile (years, in fact), and hasn't gotten one.

Well, I guess I wouldn't exactly say she has been asking. It's been more like very strong hinting, including her reminding me regularly how cold it is outside...and if she only had a HAT. Stuff like that. A couple of years ago, when she was shivering and whining, I gave her a hat I had just finished. A very warm hat, at that. And she wore it (or at least she says she did), but she always made it very clear that she was really just tolerating it, and that it wasn't the hat that she really wanted.

A few weeks ago, I started knitting a hat for her. It was yarn and a matching pattern that came in a club kit from Knitspot, and it had enough yarn to make a hat plus matching mitts (which she had also been "hinting" about lately). I started the hat, and was going to surprise her with it, but about half way through the hat I got worried it might not fit or be to her taste. It was my buddy James at the convalescent hospital that urged me to check in with her before continuing. Sure enough, when I showed it to mom, she didn't like it. And the poor hat is now staring at me from the WIP (Work In Progress) pile waiting to be completed. *sigh*

The hat she really wanted, she told me, is the hat in the vintage photo I posted not too long ago:

I had yarn left over from the scarf that TheMostImportantGuy had claimed, and over the summer when I was dealing the dog attack crap, Lorraine/MaidInEngland had gifted me the purchase of a pattern, that I swear, matches my mom's hat old hat almost to a T.



I'd say I was pretty damn close this time.

And now mom has already ordered another pair of socks. LOL

Ravelry link to Mom's Fenimore.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

reminding me of spring

Ya' know, the late spring this year was intense. The new house was way deep in the early phases of its renovation, and dad was in the hospital. On the heels of that was the dog being attacked.

Now here it is, almost winter, and except for the weather being a whole different story, it is beginning to feel like spring all over again.

Tomorrow, we start another phase of renovation at the new house. We're taking care of the drainage issues this time, so at least it's work being done on the exterior of the house, but I imagine it is going to be quite the thrill (*ahem*) to see how much of the yard and driveway are still in tact once it's all over. Meanwhile, he whole time the drainage is being worked on, we are knee deep in the planning phases of fixing our sad little kitchen and bathroom.

Meanwhile-Meanwhile, my dad has a new medical condition to contend with (cryptic, I know...sorry...but I'm not ready to jinx things by writing about them just yet). I'm going with my folks tomorrow to meet with a specialist about his course of treatment, and once I can wrap my brain around the details, I swear I will get it all out here "on paper".

Meanwhile-Meanwhile-Meanwhile, TheMostImportantGuy's mom has spent this past weekend in the hospital with her freshly diagnosed case of diverticulitis (and she was so sure that what she was dealing with was food poisoning contracted on Thanksgiving. Nope.) She seems to be doing just fine, but it is definitely affecting my mood, and that is an understatement.

So, is indeed a season other than spring now. But it sorta has that "same shit, different day" aroma to it, if you know what I mean.

My strategies for dealing with it all this time?
Ask for help often. Rest more. Meditate regularly. Eat clean. Spend less time with fraternizing with the cookie jar and more time talking with real live people. And knit like a fiend.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

snaps on saturday

Evidence of knitting (details soon--I need to snap a photo on the recipient to go with the post).

Today was gathering #2 of the knitting groups. This time it was myself, 3 high school kids, 1 gal from the senior center, and 2 neighbors that both brough crochet projects. Everyone got along just fine, as once again, knitting proves to break down all age barriers. There were many stories told, laughs, and fun moments, but the highlight for me was when one of the students finished off her very first hat. Woot!

I love knitters.

Friday, November 25, 2011

so here's the problem.

I have nothing to say.

I have nothing to say because I actually have too much to say, which seems to be happening a lot lately actually....and it's stuff I really want to write about. Just not late in the day and once a day every day, which is how I've been blogging. For years.

I'm going to finish out the year. I committed to Blog365, and I'm going to finish. For sure.

But I'm trying to figure out what to do about next year.

It's feels like 2012 needs to be a year of longer, more thought out, more important, writing. Essays, if you will. And in 2012 I'd also like to blog less so that I can blog read more.

Those are my thoughts right now.
But January 1st is still a few weeks away.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

something i've never done before

44 years old with a 14 year old kid, and I've never in my life made pigs in a blanket.

Ours had cheddar cheese.
They tasted just like they looked.

Like we haven't been missing much. LOLOL

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

ok, so it wasn't a party of one. it was a party of.....



The first (and only) person to be there (for a loooong time) was one of the kids from the high school. It was TheCheerleader. She is also one of the co-presidents of the knitting club. I was so happy to see her. She has picked up knitting very quickly...and she was also one of the very first of the group to in and teach when the wave of new kids (tsunami, actually) kept showing up week after week. She's awesome.

I hope she wasn't too uncomfortable talking to just me (the stodgy ol' grown up!) for the first two hours when it was just us, but as we all know, talking about knitting has a way of making age differences slip into the background a bit. Anyhow, I had a good time just kicking back and knitting with her. She told me stories about how some of the kids have been knitting in their classes. She said one teacher (chemistry) got angry about it, but another (language arts/humanities) thought it was awesome the kids were knitting during lectures as she knew that knitting helps kids focus. TheCheerleader has also taught herself to crochet too, and quite frankly, she has inspired me to give it a try (again--I gave up the last time I tried). Maybe TheCheerleader will have to teach me!

About 2 hours into the meet-up, one of the senior center ladies showed up, and there we were, teens, 40's, 60's....hanging out and knitting, and from my perspective, we were all having a good time. TheCheerleader and I exchanged emails this afternoon and she said she had a "fantastic time" and that she's going to come on Saturday and learn how to purl....but since I had showed her how to search Ravelry for free crocheted beanies patterns on Ravelry, she was at home working on a hat. Makes me so happy.

I'm hoping more people show up for Saturday, but I would also be just fine with a repeat of today.

Monday, November 21, 2011

party of one?

Tomorrow is the first of the two knitting meet-up things I am hostessing. I am notoriously known for throwing parties of all types where only 1 or 2 people show up, so I will not be surprised at all if the only thing I have really done is to make arrangements for myself to have some focused knitting time alone in a big empty space...hahaha.

Oh, well. At least I'll have snacks (I went shopping today). I'll bring a dvd or something, too. There's a big screen tv up there. And maybe I'll finally get my sweater done! I'm on the last sleeve!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

snaps on sunday, too?

Looking out the zen center window...

Sent from my iPad

Saturday, November 19, 2011

snaps on saturday

knitting on a break while at a 3-day meditation retreat at the zen center

Sent from my iPad

Friday, November 18, 2011

want to come to a knitting party? or two??

While working on getting approval for the high school kids to join the knitters at the senior center during Winter Break (which we got--yay!), I got to thinking: Why are we waiting for December?! Why not do it now, over Thanksgiving break?!
So we are!

And you are invited!**

I've decided to host two knitting meet-ups during the Thanksgiving break. The meetings will be in American Canyon, which is between Vallejo and Napa (SF Bay Area, North), in a large clubhouse with lots of couches and tables. There is plenty of room for knitting and crocheting and spinning, too!

There will be folks from my other knitting groups and classes there. Some of those people know me as their knitting "teacher" and so I expect that some of them will be there to get some help from me, but's a party! Just a casual gathering. Some nibbly-foods will be provided, but feel free to bring a lunch for yourself. There is a full kitchen with a fridge if you need to store anything. You could also bring snacks to share if you'd like to bring something for the group...but that's totally optional, not required ;-)

party #1 Tuesday, November 22nd, 10am-2pm
party #2 Saturday, November 26th, 12noon-4pm

If you would like to come, I would love to have you!
Send me a PM on Ravelry, or email me here through the blog, and I will send you the knitty gritty of how to get here.

If this ends up being a good time, I will probably do it again in the new year.

** Sorry to not invite y'all individually, but this was a very spontaneous plan on my part. I just arranged getting the clubhouse yesterday afternoon....and this Fri-Sat-Sun I am doing a 3-day meditation thing at the zen center, and I can't email back and forth with everyone and stare at the floor at the same time! LOL

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I'm am super happy to report...

....we have survived the 7-year itch.

AND, I might add, during our 7th year together as a couple, TheMostImportantGuy and I even tossed in 2 family health crises, 1 home purchase, and the huge major remodel of said home (which is still in progress). And we're still making oooogly eyes at each other (most of the time)!

I like to think we've passed the test :-)