••• Friday, July 25, 2008

Fricasse Friday 

This Monday past, early morning, I uploaded pictures for this post, with every intention of completing said post. You see, after last week's Betty Cracker Woe Cake* Bake off, I was feeling a bit on the upswing. Cabana's car was out of the shop on Friday, fixed up all perty, minus the nail the shop manager found in a tire which was fixed yesterday.

Monday my replacement credit cards came in the mail, which meant I was once again Real. As was my Paypal account. Having new account numbers in hand also meant I could access my account on line and print a copy of the fraudulent charges for the detective to investigate.

And now that I had a car, I could transport myself to the nearest DMV and get my stolen driver's license replaced. And maybe visit the nearby mall to buy a purse.

Also, this Friday (today, actually) was to be the first day of a week long vacation at the cottage. With the scheduling restrictions of Not-the-Cabana's new job, we've been very eager to get up there for longer than a weekend.

In sum: This Monday past, early morning, I was feeling a bit full of my Inner Optimist.

The post in question was to be brimming with the joy of a brand new day, in a brand new week, complete with two brand new FO's. And then I put it off for a few hours. The writing. To get some chores done. Once the chores were done, I thought I could write with wildly blissful, giggly abandonment. Yeah. It was that good.

Then Monday past, I learned some valuable lessons, as follows:
1) If you wait too long to write about how well things are going, things will change.

2) Only a person blogging from an alternate universe** and/or from the hole in his/her own hind end*** would ever consider writing a post about optimism in relation to a visit to the DMV.

3) Same as item #2. Replace visit to the DMV with any dealing with a credit card company.

4) Considering items 1-3, you have no right to be surprised when Not-The-Cabana calls from work to tell you that the boss misread his vacation request and thought he was only taking Friday off and all freakin' H is breaking out at the shop and it is the worst possible time to take a vacation, but if he works all day and all night at home (without compensation, he's on salary.) and maybe commutes one day from the cottage, we can still go.****


Happiness, Thy Name is an Effin O
I made a skirt for Cakers. It's called Skirtsicle

I made it out of recycled Den-im-it, and it is one of my designated tasks for Mission Possible '08. It looks really cute on her and this picture doesn't do it justice. I did take a much better picture of her in it. I took it just as we were leaving for the movies that Sunday. Then I put the camera in my purse. ::I hate that I lost my camera, and hate even more that the bastids have a picture of my sweet girl.::

I Be the Effin' O Ho'.
This is a hat I started a couple of years ago. It's Aquarius, from the Knitter's Stash book.

This too was a Mission Possible designation. The yarn is Classic Elite Alpaka something. And yes, the cables don't line up. I guess it's not a good idea to let a project simmer for two years, without related notes.

I don't care. It's done.

Today's Eye Candy is a tribute to my lost camera Baby Hewie, whose time in my grasp was far too short. I miss him every day.

The following shots were taken over the course of several walks in the neighborhood.

Good-bye Little Buddy. Fence in Peace.

*It's a Ravelry Rubbernecker's thing.

**I'm at the cottage right now. On High Speed Internet. In-laws got a special deal. It's faster than home. It's like surfing with Astro-Glide. w00t! ::I can't believe I just typed w00t.::

***Please see item **

****Not-the-Cabana cranked it all week, day and night. No commute is necessary for our vacation, although he may need to work a few hours from up here and send in his work via the high speed internet. w0...erm, never mind.

••• Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pissmas in July 

Sunday afternoon, Cabana, Cakers and I headed out to the local movie theatre to see Wall-E. After the movie, we returned to our vehicle to find the passenger side window smashed and my purse was gone.

I know. I shouldn't leave my purse locked in the car. In view.

Well, I didn't think it was in view. My husband's vehicle is a big, fat hate-inducing SUV. With tinted windows. It was broad daylight. In a busy parking lot. I left it in the car because I had recently read about people having their purses stolen in movie theatres, slipped away from their rightful owners from behind. Under cover of darkness and popcorn munching.

Anyhoo. The purse was gone. Along with my new BFF, my Hewlett Packard camera. And my credit cards. And my only tubes of perfect pitch lipstick. And my only blusher. And my driver's license. And insurance card. And all my good earrings which were in a pouch, left in there from the 4th of July travels. All the good ones. And a cut-out heart my Cakers gave me last summer, decorated with multi-colored stripes, then sealed with a kiss. She asked me to take it every where I go. So I did. And whenever I rifled through that part of my wallet, I'd touch it briefly and smile.

The police were called and we waited impatiently for over an hour for them to show up. After a review of the security tape, it was determined that the heretofore unidentified assailants were looking for a target such as we, in that just minutes after we left the vehicle, a car pulled in next to ours and left 20 minutes later. Obviously they had waited there for the perfect moment to strike. The quality of the video was so poor that they could only determine the car was neon green.

The police officer was nice enough, and of course it is his job to remind us that that a purse is never safe in a car, unless locked in a trunk.

"But in the light of day...I thought it would be safe." I said.
"Crime is a 24 hour job, ma'am."

Yeah. Yeah.
Public Service TV, much? I says to self.

By the time we got home and called the credit card companies, there had been four charges made on each card, with one card being used three times at the same gas station. And one charge at Wendy's for 7 bucks.

I really was doing okay with it all until our insurance man called. This guy is a longtime friend of my husband. He's a quick-witted, scathing smartass. The kind of person with whom any conversation feels like an ego smash a la Comet the Insult Dog. As soon as I answered the phone, he started giving me shit about leaving my purse in the car. It's just not done. Blah, blah blah.

Obviously I now know this. About the purse. In the car. Then, quite lamely, I attempt to joke myself around the almost immediate urge to cry in response to this unexpected scathe. Of course with a personality like his, my lame remarks end up as further Insult Dog Fodder.

In retrospect, I find it interesting that at the time of this "playful" conversation, neither one of us thought to cast any blame toward the fuckers who took a screwdriver to the safety-glass window of our car, while we enjoyed a movie together, as a family. And it's not like I left my purse on the hood of our car, or in the back seat of an open convertible.

After I passed the phone to my husband, I quietly lost my religion. First I started beating myself with the blame chain, for bringing my family into the public spotlight of shame and nearly driving us to ruin.

My next punishment came in the form of an intrusive visual of me playing myself in one of those identity theft commercials. In said commercial I am sitting in a rocking chair, lip-syncing the voice of the 49-year-old menopausal woman who steals my identity and maxes out my good name by charging herself a dee-luxe hysterectomy and tummytuck at the local women's health center. Next, she buys enough Cashmerino and Playtex Pearl Supersuck tampons (Apparently, she wasn't the longest tampon string in the box) to fill a U-Haul semi-trailer, and heads off to Las Vegas to find herself a new boytoy. But because she is a little brighter than initially believed, she eventually realizes that said boytoy should have custody of a post-pubescent daughter who has issues of heavy flow.

From there I moved on to mental eavesdropping on a totally imaginary phone conversation between my husband and Insult the Insurance Man, which included a few yucks at my brainless expense. ::My husband has yet to blame me for leaving my purse in the car, or for any of the other related crap that has since ensued. Uh yeah. You might wanna scroll down a second, just to see that we are no where near the end of the tale.::

After being washed over by a second tsumani of guilt and responsibility and stupidity, it finally dawned on me that My Purse Was Gone. Forever. And I missed her. And this missing was not at all about function. But about emotional attachment. And loss. And worry.

I started to wonder where she was.
And how is she being treated?
Did she end up in a garbage heap or passed on to a lucky girlfriend?
Did she miss me?
Was she scared?
And worst of all: Did she blame me?

I get into my purse every day, even on days I don't leave the house. In fact, I only now realize that a daily rummage into her dark leathery goodness, around the perfect balance of pads and tampons, through prescription bottles and old receipts, until my fingernails graze the loose sunflower seeds and raisins resting at the bottom had been an integral part of my daily existence.

For, like my mother and grandmother before me, I am a purse rummager.
Like hamsters. With better stuff.

Monday: Fail
My husband's car was not drivable and needed to be taken to the body shop for repairs. So Monday, during husband's lunchhour, I'm going to follow him to the shop to give him a ride home.

But since my purse was stolen, along with my driver's license and the remote entry keys to my car, I was feeling kind of vulnerable. Like, they know where we live and have a key to my car and maybe they want some more of my shit,'cause that first sample was soooo so good.

We seldom lock our doors during the day, but with my heightened sense of vulnerability, I decided that this was going to change. I gave my husband one house key, then found the extra one. Because we hadn't used that one in awhile, I wanted to be sure it worked on the deadbolt. With the door open, I stuck the key in and turned. Sure enough, the deadbolt popped out with the speed and velocity of a 7th grade bulge in health class.

And much like said bulge, it would not go down, erm, back in.
After much twisting and pounding, followed by gentle shaking and sweet talk cajoling, it still wouldn't go down. It was stuck. Out. So not only could we not lock the door, we couldn't even shut it.

Cabana was already in a hurry, so quickly dismantled the deadbolt, with the hopes of finding a switch or a groove to get the protusion back into its rightful pants.

No go. It was broke.

With no time to go to hardware store for a new lock, we had to make do. With duct tape. Please meet our new security system: Deadhole.

The news at the shop was not good, in that they don't have any windows on hand for our particular model of car. ::Ahem. We're at the dealership...:: We are warned that it could be as late as Thursday before the car can be fixed.

Tuesday Cabana takes my car to work and we are stuck at home. While I have the option of driving my husband to work to have the car for the day or the afternoon, in my current emotionally beaten down state, it sounds like too much work. Besides, I have no where to go, what with no credit cards or picture i.d. to back up a written check. But, stuck at home is not so bad, I knit and get laundry going.

Wednesday is the day my emotional mettle gets tested. Every potential playmate on the block is either gone on vacation or at Vacation Bible School. Cakers' makes several phone calls for playdates. With the understanding we can provide no transportation. Every call is a dead end and every call seems to further drive her increasingly frenzied need to have contact with anyone else except her visually and olfactorily unkempt, emotionally edgy mother. And it's about 90 degrees, and humid.
And she starts to cry. I want so hard to do the right thing and be empathic. She had already declined all my "as-is" offers to do something together. Once she sensed my sympathy, she tried to milk it.

Then I started thinking about wishing we could go to the cottage. With Cabana's new job, the frequency and duration of our cottage excursions have been significantly curbed. I have experienced some sorrow with this necessary development, but have so far handled it while wearing my big girl pants. Wednesday , the pants came off and the pity party began.

Earlier in the summer we agreed that when the weather turned hot, and especially if the in-laws were up there, I would gather the Cakers and head up there, as needed. To be joined on the next weekend by Cabana. This is exactly what I wanted to do right now. But had no car.

And just as Cakers was overfocusing on the unfairness of having no playmates, so I began the brood on my currently denied entitlement to cool northwesterlies on the beach and evening swims. And it was all my fault.

By the time my husband got home, I was a fully baked and frosted box of bitchcakes. Poor guy. He had no idea what he was coming home to. Then the dealership called to announce they couldn't find a window for his violated, so we had no idea when it was going to be done.

Cakers needed pajamas, so after dinner we went on a family excursion to Target, with the plans of hitting a nicer place to replace my purse. After Target, however, storm clouds were brewing, so we headed home, to find the power out.

It is rare when our power goes out, so in that, we are lucky.
Yesterday the timing could not have been worse, for this unlucky strike.

I did get some alone time before bed, knitting cables by candlelight, while watching Jay Leno on my b/w, battery operated T.V. Cakers had never heard of B/W T.V. and was kind of intrigued, until she found out it didn't have cable. Come February, my little buddy will be worthless as tits on a bore. But I digress.

The power came on around midnight, just in time for me to find my jammies in the drawer and go to bed.

And Along Came Thursday
Cabana gets up this morning to go to work. The power is on. He is up on time. Life is good.

I hear him messing around in the kitchen, then leaving the house. I hear my car start up and apparently I fall back to sleep. Likely moments later, I am awakened by the sound of my name being called from the garage, and a gentle rapping on the door.

He must be locked out, I think.
He must have forgotten his key to the deadhole.
Had I not heard the car start before I dozed back to sleep, I would have been sure that the thieves had finally come for my car. A fear that I have been expressing and Cabana Poo-Poohing, since Sunday.

But no. The car has not been thieved.
It's been thusly this-sed:

Actually, the above flat tire was the spare replacement from an earlier flat, which has not yet been fixed.

So the plan is for Cabana to call in to work to say he'll be late, then call Insult the Insurance Man to get temporary insurance coverage on the Cobra, pull the tire off, put it in the Cobra and drive it to the Discount tire for repair.

Except the lugnuts are too tight. And two of them don't fit the lug-nutter thangy.
And the Cobra won't start.

So he calls a wrecker.
Who gets lost.
And shows up 2 hours later.

The wrecker guy plumps the tire and follows Cabana to the tire store, where the tire is fixed.

I just now drove to the store to mail a package that should have went out yesterday. And I was so stricken with fear that something else was going to happen, that I could hardly pay attention to street signs and oncoming traffic and even forgot where I was going and turned down the wrong street.

Once we get our car situation back to normal, I'll get my license renewed and buy a new purse to put it in. I wasn't all that enthused about buying a new purse initially, seeing as how I still wasn't over the cruel loss of my last one. And until purchasing a lipstick and emery board last night, I had not a thing to put in a new purse anyway.

But my new insurance cards showed up today already, which gave me an odd sense of hope. Between the insurance cards and a tube of perfect pitch lipstick, I am feeling almost encouraged that the worst of the shitstorm is behind us.

The Good News
One day last week, Cakers yells to me from the other room: "Mom! I have good news!"

"What!?" I yell back, with rapt enthusiasm.

"I just found out that when you're done wearing a Poncho for a Poncho, you can wear it as a skirt!"

And wear it she did. All day.
There is still goodness out there.


••• Friday, July 11, 2008

Life is a Box of Fridays 

After a long muggy day of housework drudgery (me) and neighborhood negotiation (her), there's nothing like twirling the twilight at the playground.

The Swing Cam
Clever me, thought to shoot pictures while swinging. Initially I tried to aim and focus, but quickly I realized the danger. So then I just kind of hung on to the camera and the chain with the same hand, and clicked with wild a-random.

And then there is was the enchanting ride home. For some reason, watching my girl ride a bike puts the pedal to the mettle of my heart.

That's all I have. And I'm okay with it.

••• Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Say Goodnight June: The Conclusion 

But first, this message from our imaginary peanut gallery:

Sunday, June 15: Father's Day. I served him.

Monday, June 16: Cakers the Flower Girl needs shoes for the wedding. The bride expressed preference for brown Maryjanes, but also was clear that anything but flip-slops would be fine.

I was soon to learn that when it comes to finding girls' dress shoes in a size 2, in the summer anything but flip-flops can mean nothing at all.

First, let me say, my daughter has bricks-for-feet. And it's not so much that her feet are big, as it is her feet don't fit the current definition of any shoe size, within the 1.5 to 2.5 range.

That first time out we went to two bridal shops and five shoe shops. Nada. Shoes that fit in length pinched in width. Shoes that didn't pinch, flopped off the heel. Three or four pairs into this exercise, I could recognize within two or three steps into the try-on, that the shoe didn't fit.

By the last stop of the day, I could recognize the futility before we even got out of the car.

After dinner that evening, Not-The-Cabana and I flew recon over a few more shoe stores, sans The Cakers, to narrow down the field for when I would have to drag her out again. Again, we found nothing.

Tuesday, June 17:
Allison Krauss and Robert Plant concert at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.


Not-The-Cabana had bought these tickets months ago. We have the CD and it is currently our favorite listen. But between all the wedding busyness, Not-the-Cabana's new job and the thought of a six-hour round trip on a weekday night, I didn't wanna go. And even though I didn't say anything to him about it, (because he was the one who had worked all day and would do the same the next day) I whined about it all day, in my head.

But damn, I'm glad I went.
What an amazing thing, it was.

I cannot do it justice with words, so I won't even try. Well, Except to say that music and artistry such as what I experienced that evening, reaffirms my belief in God, because there can be no other explanation for that level of soul-enhancing beauty.

And I need to tell you about the warm-up act: Sharon Little. Not only an amazing voice and accompanying sass, she sexed this black and red flouncey skirt like nobody's biz. Four months ago she was a waitress. Now she's released a CD and is on tour with Robert Plant and Allison Krauss. We bought her CD. It's good.

Wednesday, June 18:
Cakers' flower girl dress needed some alterations, but I had been holding off until we found shoes. With the clock ticking, we needed to get her done, and told the tailor to set the hem length at "bareboot." When he asked about the shoe height I told him we couldn't find any shoes and were planning on painting her feet bronze for the wedding. He didn't laugh. He didn't speak English very well, so maybe he didn't get it.

Anyway. After the fitting, we went out again, for some shoes. This time we stopped at Shoe carnival, where the only pair of shoes that fit her had a 2 inch heel. They looked like hooker shoes. She loved them, of course. I said "no" and the foot paint idea was sounding more and more reasonable.

At shoe Carnival I did find a pair of running shoes for me, so it wasn't a complete loss.

Once home, I started to panic on the shoe issue. Through the yellow pages I followed up on a couple of leads I had received from a neighbor, who had to outfit both of her young daughters as flower girls, last summer.

One of those stores, I learned, had closed but still operated on line, so I took a look. I found a couple pairs of shoes that looked good, but without trying them on, it was a crap shoot. I called anyway. She told me that they had them in stock, so I ordered the shoe in two sizes. Then she tells me it will take a week for them to get to me. Because she had to order them from the supplier. I thought they were in stock? I asked. Well, the supplier had them in stock, in Maryland. That was one hour of shoe shopping time I'll never get back.

I also called the local dance supply shop, in search of some nice, flexible leather ballet slippers I could have dyed off-white or brown. They only had black and pink. And they were currently the only dance shop in town.

The ballet slipper idea had been my last resort option and having just played it, I was starting to feel pretty hopeless. A quick google lead me to a dance supplier on line, who was selling gold leather ballet slippers at half price. I ordered two pair in different sizes, as a back up plan, with the intention of continuing the search in real life. Without her trying the shoes on, I was not getting my hopes up anyway.

Thursday, June 19:
Ran laundry and packed for the family for a long weekend at the cottage.

Friday-Sunday, June 20-22:

Monday, June 21:
Went to another bridal shop, T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom Wrack to continue the search for shoes. I left the bridal shop very discouraged after three different sizes of ballet slippers didn't fit (remember, I have some coming in the mail, on the wings of low expectations).

Nordstrom had about six pairs that would be perfect, but not in her size.
I was suddenly feeling beaten down. And poor Cakers...Not a word of complaint, either. She actually got pretty good at the convict shuffle (walking in shoes tied together.)

One last stop at an uppity shoe shop was a bust, as well. I was even prepared to buy to a pair of leopard print gold shimmer ballet style shoes, but they were out of her size.

Tuesday, June 22:
My sister, and mother of the bride, called to tell me that she found a pair of shoes at Target, for Cakers. The bride had found another pair at another store and all were at her house. After dinner we headed over there to try them on. One pair was too small, the other would fit with a pair of socks. We took them. They weren't perfect, but would get her through the day.

Wednesday, June 23:
The ballet slippers I ordered online showed up with the mail and one pair fit perfect. One day ago I had no shoes, today we had two viable pair. Life is good. With the shoe situation now taken care of, the next order of the day is a dress for me. While looking in my closet, I spy some fabric and patterns on a shelf. And for the next two hours my plan is to sew a dress. For the wedding. In three days.

And I'm dead serious. It's a genetic thing, I tell you. When under stress, add some more, by choice. After I confirm that I have enough fabric and pull out the instructions to double check the swift doability factor, I realize that the fabric is too sheer for a dress.

I have to admit, I was more than a little relieved. Genetic coding can be a bitch.

We have to pick up Cakers' dress from the tailor and am meeting my mother-in-law there, so she can take Cakers for the afternoon.

The dress is perfect, and now I'm off to buy one for me. But first I have to return my running shoes to Carnival, because the top of the toe ripped away from the shoe last time I put them on. Unfortunately they don't have another pair in my size, and I don't have time to try on a new style. ::For the record, when it comes to me and running shoes, I gots Cakers feet.:: The clerk calls the other store on the other side of town and they put a pair on hold for me. Erg.

I had a pretty successful dress run at T.J. Max, and actually found two that would do, so bought them both.

Thursday, June 26:
Drive across town to pick up replacement shoes from Carnival and a prescription from the doctor's office. About 3:00 in the afternoon I'm back home and get a surprise visit from my brother who lives in California. He's in town for the wedding and I haven't seen him since Uncle P00t's funeral, three years ago. ::Uncle P00t lives to this day. It's a miracle.:: It was great to see him, but the house was a mess and the dog had just sprayed diarreah on the carpet, so I was more than a little stressed. Then my other brother stops by because he saw my first brother's car in the drive. At 5:00 I have a cut and color, so make my apologies and leave.

At my hair appointment I get ideas from my stylist for hair adornments for Cakers' appointment on the day of the wedding. Instead of going to Michael's to follow up on her recommendations, I stop at Rite-Aid for wine ::They close at 8:00. Inside joke.::
and go home. I'll get the hair stuff, tomorrow, because I know just what I need.

Friday, June 27:
I need shoes and Cakers needs hair adornments, so we head out after lunch. I find shoes at Talbots in less than five minutes, so am feeling confident that the rest of the afternoon will go as well, so I kind of put off going to Michael's until a little later.

Once at Michaels's, I cannot find the item my stylist told me to get. Rhinestone hair applique stick-on thingies. Evidently the store is preparing to relocate and many shelves are bare. I can't find a person to help me. When I finally find one, she tells me it is her first day. She knows nothing. I ask another clerk, who also is new.

After 45 minutes of searching the aisles, I ask for a manager, who tells me they are all out of the item I seek. She tells me to try David's Bridal. By now it's 3:30. Rehearsal is at 5:30. And we all need showers. I buy a rhinestone headband and head home. Then I worry that the headband will hurt her head ::She has big noggin too.:: so turn around and head to David's Bridal for rhinestone hair pins. Not stickers.

We make it home just in time to get clean and dressed and to the church on time.

The wedding is being held at the same 120 year-old chapel where I last got married. I haven't been in it since my wedding almost nine years ago, and was very surprised to find myself tearing up upon entering, and almost all the way through the rehearsal.

Between the rehearsal and dinner, we didn't get home until 10:00.

I took this picture at the rehearsal, and made it into a wedding card for the couple.

Saturday, June 28:
Cakers is up at 7:30. I send her back to bed, then go lay down with her. The wedding is at 4:00, with pictures at 2:00.

Cakers' hair appointment is at 1:00, with permission from the bride to be a little late.

The wedding, of course, is beautiful.
My Cakers almost stole the show with her somber professionalism.

Of course I have a gazillion more pictures, but probably only of interest to family, at this point.

Sunday, June 29:
My niece is throwing a birthday party for her one year-old daughter. I'm totally peopled/family/talked out, and I don't wanna go. But I gotta go. But I'm going to be late. On purpose.

As a stress reliever, I clean the nearly empty refrigerator. ::That genetic thing again::

At 3:00, I'm about ready to leave for the party and my California brother stops by again, 3 hours earlier than previously arranged. I'm much later to the party than I had originally planned and had to buy a gift from the neighorhood drug store.

I'm more than 1.5 hours late for the party, but still get in my fair share of cake and talking small to a fresh set of relatives.

Monday, June 30:
I sit and stare at the wall for hours, and find myself wondering what Skip and B.J. are up to.

And I finished a pair of socks.

Goodnight June.

P.S. I wrote this between laundry and packing for a long weekend at the cottage, starting this afternoon. I'm not checking much for grammos or typos. Oh-no.