••• Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Give Me a Break 

It's the last day of my midwinter break and I am, of course, lamenting all that I didn't accomplish on my list of to-do's. ::I realize that it is still early in the day, but I also am intimately familiar with the dysfunctional nature of my relationship with the day-off-time-space-procrastination continuum: Abusive.::

The main thing I wanted to accomplish this weekend was post my New Years Ides of February Some Time in 2009 intendments post, including a personal review of 2008.

Why bother now? You ask.
Because I need to.

Even though I didn't write an intendment post of 2008, I did have my good intendments, and remembered them, and attempted them. They are still a work in progress, however. And I think I do better when I put a font on them. And the primary reason I keep this blog is because it helps me be better at, well, living me, better.

Meh. So much for giving up contemplating my navel, for lint. ::say it out loud, with a alternate spelling, it's better.::

What I have accomplished during my break. So far:
1) Laundry.

2) I stuffed the freezer with three home cooked meals. While this activity doesn't sound much like the hallmark of a relaxing weekend to you, it really is to me. First, I love to cook, as long as I have means, motive and opportunity. ::If you could see my kitchen after I make a yum-cooked meal,you would see the connection to a crime scene.:: Secondly, a well-packed freezer is a huge stress reducer in a hectic work week, and we were freezing on empty. This weekend's menu items included a baked turkey breast, with my favorite Thanksgiving gravy and mashed potatoes. In the freezer: Chunked turkey in gravy.

Another freezer-friendly favorite accompli was Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti . It makes a huge batch anyway, and I double it. I hit a big sale on chicken breasts last week, so used those, but my favorite chicken choice is a rotisserie chicken from the grocery in that it's easier and less expensive.

Meal number three was Black Bean Cuban Stew. It's a very simple recipe, but the combination of flavors and textures (cilantro and lime are musts), makes it oddly addicting. I puree about 1/3 of the beans for added texture.

3) Cottage Cleaned the house. I invented the Cottage Clean for the house a couple of months ago, when I realized that between the consorted efforts of Cabana and me, we could clean the cottage, top to bottom in less than two hours

4) Knitting.

I finally started my Ingenue (Ravelry link), which was supposed to be knit in conjunction with Kristi knitting hers via a mini-knit-along. I fell behind. Her kids fell sick, which allowed her fall ahead, via midnight fever vigils.

The yarn is Dream in Color worsted. Ruby River (or something) is the color. That first picture does not represent an accurate potrayal of the colors.

This picture is more accurate, and was taken in the car en route to visit college boy, a weekend back.

This shot, well, it makes me think things. You?

I knit on this for several hours yesterday, which was wonderful. Last night I finished up the last shoulder/sleeve increase. A final count of stitches revealed a few a-num-olies (I was short three stitches total), which was fixable merely an extra round of increases. Unfortunately, I also found a blooper of the significant variety: A stitch marker had somehow jumped a stitch, so one of my raglan increase trails kind of, well, trailed off. I typically prefer to rip at the end of the day, so when I pick up the piece again, the pain has been moderately assuaged through the aid of sleep and the Memory Arrangement brain feature.

Today, I kno knit.

Today, I Ascend Maslow's Hierarchy of Beads

I have kind of figured out a workable rhyme and rhythm to making the stitch markers. Through several rounds of trial and error, including a couple faulty, impulsive internet purchases, I have learned following:

1) Don't make faulty, impulsive internet purchases.

2) A cool bead does not always make a cool stitch marker.
3)If you pay $2.00 for a 2 pound bag of random furnace beads, marked "as is", don't expect the beads to possess typical, bead-like attributes, such as symmetry and wholeness. Or holes.

4)If you pay $2.00 for a 2-pound bag of random furnace beads, expect a 2-pound bag of colorful, chipped, tube-shaped marbles.

5) Rubber gloves killed the Superglue Stupid.

6) Remember to lock Bella out of the office when I'm working with the glue. She is cat, therefore, she Must Sit On It. No matter what It is.

I brought some samples of my markers to show at work, and ended up selling about 20 of them. One woman tried snatching the last of one design straight out of another woman's hand. "I'll take those..." Before it came to blows, I promised to make another batch, just for her. She paid up front. Now that I've lazily saturated the local market with product, I should probably seek further marketing horizons. Seeing as how I've not much time and neither am I much of cold call solicitor, I'm going to have to get clever.

Effin' O

My first FO of 09. Socks for a friend at work, who special ordered it through Buy It Now, Get it Later feature at a charity auction.
Yarn: Lana Grossa something.
Pattern: My own, using a 2 stitch cable pattern.

Comments: The cable shows up better in person than in photo. Even in real life, the cable gets a bit lost the marly-ness of this yarn. I will use the pattern again, on a plain colored yarn. And will probably cable every third row instead of every other. This yarn is pretty and the recipient likes it. The pattern was kind of ruined for me when I noted that between the grays, reds and pinks, it brought to mind the insides of freshly imploded road kill. You're welcome.
Oh, Fur Cripes Sake
I found this shot in my camera when I dumped my last picture load.

Just goes to show that we all have our burdens to bear.

Speaking of burdens, the other day Cheddar chewed off another Barbie foot. This time, instead of presenting his usual M.O. of selecting from the daily Pile-O-Barbie on the floor (I mean, they practically ask for it, under those circumstances), he hunted his prey directly from the toy shelf. As punishment, he received two separate verbal chastisements from Cabana and me.

I don't know if it's the steroids he's on for his arthritis, or maybe the consumed Barbie ankle took a bad turn, but after the consecutive tongue-lashings, he went into a full blown, pre-pubescent female snit. First, he refused to eat his "welcome back to the house" treat after his potty break. Rejection of food? Unprecedented.

Usually Cheddar goes to bed with me, after I close up the downstairs. The second that the TV goes off, he moves to the bottom of the staircase and patiently waits for me to lock the door and turn off the lights so I can scoop his butt up the stairs (He has taken a couple bad falls and requires constant supervision on the stairs.)

On the night in question, at about 11:00, with the lights still glaring and T.V. still blaring, he walked to the stairway and scooped his own butt up. When I heard the usually thump-thump-thump of his lame-ass bunny hop, overhead, I thought the house was under seige. When I realized it was him, I was kind of scared to go upstairs. He NEVER goes to bed without me. Ever.

When I walked into the bedroom, his eyes were black with full blown bitch. When I spoke to him in my special Cheddar voice and approached him for a pet, he did not look at me, or assume the Pet Position or wag his tail. Although I did observe a brief quiver in the very tip of his tail, which I immediately feared as a signal he would be lunging for my jugular any moment.

I'm happy to report none of us were mauled, gnawed or angrily humped on our sleep. Well, at least not by a dog.

P.S. I hear California is sending us a possible Snow Day tomorrow. Can you imagine...?

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••• Friday, February 13, 2009

My Girl (Eye Candy) Friday 

Last Tuesday was the annual community-sponsored Daddy Daughter dance.

Minus one Daddy.

A couple of months ago, said daddy bought tickets to an allegedly important college basketball game,also scheduled for last Tuesday. ::Spartans. Love. .::

Initially I was suspicious about his claim that the schedule snafu was an accidental oversight. But I changed my mind after he reminded me that when our daughter was yet a Wee CupCakers, fresh outta the oven, he was already taking note of the annual announcement of the dance in the community calendar. And every February after, until she was old enough, he would announce how many years there were to go.

When he realized the scheduling mistake, he apologized to Cakers muchly, then gave her three choices: 1) Tell him to sell the game tickets and take her to the dance, 2) Tell him to have fun atthe game and she'll invite her Goga or, 3) They would skip the dance this year and go to the game together.

Her initial response was to add a fourth option: Go to the dance with College Brother AND daddy would buy her one new Webkinz a week, until her 13th birthday, at which time, details of the apology contract would be renegotiated, at the whim of the offendee.

We went with option 2.

Working up a Blather
For the past two weeks, I have brought work home every night, with the exception of one, and that was only because I needed to cleanse the cognitive palate, between reports.

In looking at my calendar for the next few weeks, it appears that from today until February 25, I should be enjoying a dearth of deadlines. However, between the 25th and 28th of February, four evaluations are due. Therefore, according to my calculations and based upon The Delineative Theory of Social Work Impetus and Plausibility,* I should already have two of those reports done. Yesterday.

But I'm not going to think about that, today. Instead I am enjoying the anticipation of a 4-day weekend, courtesy of the district’s mid-winter break.

Unfortunately (or not that much), Winter break for Cakers starts the Wednesday I return to school.

That gives me two days home alone.

Q: What ever will you do?

A: I'm glad you asked. For starters, I hope to finish The Annual New Year’s Ides of February Post, and there will be knitting, playing with beads (and related adhesives) and seeking a remedy for Cat-Walks-Across-Super-Glue-Infested-Desk-And-Gets-Stuck-On-Keyboard-But-Nobody-Notices-Until-Following-Day-When-Hungover-Momma-Tries-To-Check-Her-Blog-For-Comments-But-Finds-Angry-Cat-In-The-Way.

You know, just in case.

This Public Service Message was brought to you by Mammals Against Drunk Glueing.


P.S. You might notice a bit of discoloration on Cakers' chin. It's the result of an injury at after-school care, wherein she fell in the gym and hit her chin on the wood floor. The next day in school, she soon tired of telling the story when anyone asked her what happened, so she shortened it to "Wood floor. Chin first." My cute little wordie.

*The Delineative Theory of Social Work Impetus and Plausibility= Number of reports multiplied by the hours in the week, divided by the number of clients on caseload, squared to the perpendicular obtuseness of teachers seeking consultation, subtracted from the number of people who have my work phone number, multiplied again, by my work phone number, rounded up to the nearest address of the nearest Rite-aid, then divided by two, only if that Rite-Aid closes at 8:00. For all other Rite-Aids, divide by 8:00.

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••• Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Thursday in February 

39 years ago today, my father died.

It was 1970.
On a Thursday.
He was 41.
I was 11.

He had been sick for several months before dying of lung cancer. But when you're just 10 or 11 years old, and measuring time to the end of life as you know it, those days, they fly.

The weather that winter was much like the one we are having this year. I remember lots of snow as I walked home from school that day. And Uncle Snooky's car parked in front of our house.

Where it didn't belong.
At 3:30 in the afternoon.

And it was cold.
A Thursday in February Cold.
The kind of cold that can stick with a girl, say, seven or eight years.
With residuals.

In the years after he died, there were times when I lashed out at him, for leaving me at the mercy of his grief crazed widow. A woman who knew nothing about caring for a grief-crazed child.

But mostly I was afraid
Of falling.
Any thing.
Any where.

Mostly always,
I was afraid.

It is February 5, 2009.
A Thursday.
He was 41.
I am 50.

And very much not alone.
So very much not afraid.

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