Sunday, January 31, 2010

The food was good

There are times when blog posts come gift wrapped.  Little experiences while they maybe poignant or funny, are clearly stories.  They have a beginning, a middle and an end.  They aren't a cobbling of various events or thoughts, they are in themselves one complete tale.

Friday night we attended the First Grade Shabbat dinner.  In an attempt to create relationships, the temple organizes these dinners.  Three or four families gather together and have dinner together, say the prayers and celebrate Shabbat.  Sounds innocuous enough.

When we fled left the event, I looked over at Bob and said, "sometimes blog posts come gift wrapped."  But, now that I am home, and looking at the computer screen I don't know where to start.  I don't want to tell the story and god-forbid have someone who knows these folks read it and tell them about it.  If the shoes were on the other feet, I would be horrified if I knew that this story was on the internet.

You see the hostess told a funny story about a trip to the hospital with one of the kids.  She left to start to coffee and check the kids, and her husband proceeded to tell us more than we needed to know about their marital relations.  It wasn't completely a digression, it was more stream of consciousness.. yet, now, burned into my mind, is that story.  When the hostess returned to the room, my eyes were the size of saucers and in an attempt to stop the insanity, she heard me saying, "that is too much information, I need to cleanse my brain now."  Seriously, brain bleach was in order.

At temple today, I SAW them... I kept thinking about what he said, picturing it.  It is like a train wreck, you don't want to look but you can't stop yourself.  She has no idea what he said.  No idea that I know this detail of her life.  No idea that when I see them, I can't stop snickering.  Face it, if I didn't snicker about it, I might poke my eyes out with knitting needles so as to erase the memory.  I am sure it will fade, as all scars from traumatic events do, but it won't be fast enough.

So, when asked about how our dinner was, I respond, the food was good.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dizzy Sheep Arrives!

The Sheep has arrived!  We were very happy to be entertaining a sheep.  He arrived in his custom carrying case.


I love, love the fabric that his carrying case is made out of.  I have to find that, figure out how to make a project bag and create one for myself!!  If anyone out there sews, I would love a project bag made out of sheep fabric... my birthday is relatively soonish.

Dizzy sprang out of his case, and began to wreck havoc on my house.  But we will fill you in on his adventures once he leaves.  For now, he is here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Random thoughts

  • Mixed feelings about the mailbox.  I have some goodies coming, Dizzy of course should be here too... But the is always the risk of death socks
  • 8 days, no sun.  No wonder I am suicidal.
  • I thought Saturdays were your day off.
  • Seriously, talk to me... tell me.. don't tell someone else.
  • Rude people suck
  • It is a gauntlet every morning... I should be in better shape
  • Should I or shouldn't I?  
  • Just say no.
  • Roasted Cauliflower is the new potato chip, bet you can't eat just one.
  • Another day of battle
  • Oink, Oink
  • Three day weeks go by VERY fast.
  • Shake your hiney repeaters.. gotta love 'em
  • Lorna's again!  Yeah... 
  • 2 pairs of death socks done... yeah, there is some knittin' goin' on.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mice, no Rat, no Monster Rat

Today, I was sitting peacefully at the table planning out our meals for the week, making a grocery list and getting everyone moving towards leaving the house for school.  Mac come tearing down the stairs, "Mom, Mom, there is a mouse in my room."

Great.  There are somethings that are man's work.  I usually get stuck handling them because Bob is NEVER home when man-things go wrong.  When we had a dead mouse in our recycling bin when we lived in Connecticut, I had to deal with it.  I had to deal with the dead rabbits in our backyard.  I usually have to deal with the trash.  Hmm, Bob has been home for some of the more recent man-thing issues, and I still end up doing them.  Makes me wonder about that.  I will have to be more aware for the future.

Mac told me he thought the mouse was dead.  This was a relief, because at least I didn't have to deal with the rabid fangs of an errant mouse lunging out at me.  As the story went on, our simple dead mouse morphed into a rat, granted the beast stayed dead.  I went up to inspect.  Mac says that it is living in the box spring of his bed.  There is a tear in the fabric that covers the bottom and something was curled up in the far back corner.

This is where I start to get worried.  I am not totally convinced that this furry thing in the bed is a rodent, but I am also not convinced that it isn't a rodent.  Bob is home, so I will ask him to investigate this issue.  I hate rodents, more than spiders, ants, but probably not as much as snakes.  Bob is on the phone and won't get off the phone to look into the situation.  So, I get stuck doing more man-things.

I call the dog in for backup.  At least if I have to do arm to arm combat with a mouse/rat, I want to have the scales tipped to my side.  I put my shoes on, grab a broom and a dust pan.  If it is dead, I want to be able to remove it without touching it. 

I poke around on the bottom of the bed in ratland.  Nothing moves.  I feel that it is probably more likely that this is maybe a sock and less likey a dead rodent.  The dog is looking at me like, what am I doing up here.  I also felt that if something had been dead under Mac's bed she might have noticed.  But, it was Mac's room, so that dead animal smell is sort of normal.

Back to the topic at hand, I poke the lump, it doesn't move and it really does not feel heavy enough to be a mouse/rat/sewer rat.  The tails on those things are so gross.  Anyway, I feel confident enough to try and pull it out with the broom and deal with what ever it is.  As I start to pull it towards me, it starts to break up a bit.  So, that means it isn't a sock, but it most likely isn't a monster rat either.

Turns out it was just a piece of stuffing from the bed.  NO signs of rodents living there.  This was a relief, but I still think the kid needs to clean his room, because it could totally support a family of mice without a problem.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sock Wars, Part 2 cont.

Part 2, a view to a kill.

I got my socks yesterday, and I finished them yesterday.  Monday morning they will head over to the UK.  I emailed my target to let her know they were coming, in the hopes that she will finish her socks and get them to her target so that my new socks can stay in the US.  But, we will see!  I really don't want to wait for the socks the come from the UK... chances are too high that I will get killed before she gets them here.

Anyway, the new socks are:

I enclosed the following message, the names are everyone's Ravelry Ids.  So that is why they are sort of "strange."  Can anyone guess who mshmom is??  I know, big stretch.

The story of your death…. One lovely Friday afternoon a stealthy woman, SarahBee, started some socks for you. She chooses a Knit Picks yarn, in the colorway of Eggplant. It is 75% superwash wool and 15% nylon. You can toss it in the washer, but at your own risk.

But this is not a tale of yarn, but rather a tale of a cold hearted assassin, SarahBee. Her reputation for ruthlessness preceded her, and the bounty on her head was high. With top dollar offered for her death, SarahBess killed SarahBee, just before she offed her target. She was 75% of the way done… but close doesn’t count in Sock Wars.

This was good for you, Sassyass, because you lived another day. As in all gang wars, SarahBee’s death was did not go unnoticed by her fellow knitters. SarahBess had to pay, and pay she did. Mshmom took her out.

Don’t let the fact that she is a mom make you think she is weak. Mshmom has killed SarahBess, she has killed you dear Sassyass. Of course you would expect a mommy to be sweet and kind, but MSHmom wrangles preschoolers and school-aged kids… she is as ruthless as they come. How will it end? Only time will tell… you may watch from your grave. mmmaaawaaaahhhaa

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sock Wars Part 2

Sock Wars Part 2, in which I start work on my second kill.  My next target is in the UK, Wales to be more exact.  I believe that this will be my last kill, as my assassin is most likely going to mail my socks off Monday. 

I sort of hope she will be killed before she finishes.  She wishes for her death, because the pattern is very slow going for her. 

My target finished her socks before her death, so I am awaiting my socks in progress from her target... but she shipped them directly to me, and did it priority mail, love her!  According to the usps, they are in IL and hopefully will get to me today.  Because Monday may bring me both my death AND my sips.  That would make me sad, because then I would need to send them out.

I will keep you posted as this progresses.  Hoping for a second kill!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Skinny Chicks at the Gym

At the gym the other day there is this woman complaining about how she HAS to take the step class because she has gotten sooooo fat.  She, being the alpha mom, then had all of her other friends who normally take pilates at the same time take the step class with her.

You know the type, perfect hair at the gym, makeup on, boobs all lifted and in the right place, oh, and skinny.  I was in the office at the school one day and I over heard the secretaries talking about one of the moms at the school.

#1:  You know Frank's mom, the skinny one
#2:  Which Frank?  All these moms are skinny.  I think that is why they are all so crabby all the time, they are all starving.

I had a good chuckle about that.  But, you know the type I am talking about.  They are dress prefect, hair done and perfect, make up,  boobs, the whole package is perfect, at drop off.  I don't know about you, but at drop off I generally have just rolled out of bed and haven't showered yet.  I have mixed emotions about this type of female.  1) They make me look like a slob and 2) who has time for all that?

So anyway, she is complaining about HOW fat she is and all that.  I am thinking, ok chick, you just want someone in your posse to tell you how cute you look.  There is general mouth noises being made by the group and then the other alpha mom walks in, and listens to this and then she says, "Well it is because you drink too much wine."  The other mom stops mid-complain and looks at her. The OAM (other alpha mom) says, "Yeah, your right, you have been hitting the treats a bit much lately too, you are looking a bit bloated."

I almost wet myself.  Because OAM was cute and all, but not as skinny and perfect as the alpha mom.  To see OAM agree with alpha mom was awesome.  I loved it.  It solidified a couple of things for me, 1) I don't need friends or enemies like that and 2) it is hard work to be pretty.  I looked around at a couple of the other people in the class who were watching all this go down, they were all smiling a bit about the situation.

You see, when I was in 7th grade the pretty, cool girls pants me pretty much every day.  They teased me and laughed at me because my body was less perfect than theirs and my looks less pretty.  Today, in the gym, I realized something, that at 40 some years old, I don't really care about looking like that.  I go to the gym because it is good for me to move my body.  I try and eat good things, because I want to see my babies have babies.  Sure, I like to look cute, and have my husband feel happy that he married me, but what I have that that alpha mom doesn't have is confidence.  I don't need to be perfect, I realize that I am not perfect.  I am more than a number on the scale, or a cute outfit.  I am happy with my life AND the way I look.  I wish I knew that when I was in 7th grade and the pretty, cool girls were pants-ing me. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

8 Things

Generally speaking, I like to lists on Wednesdays, unless something better comes along... Something better did happen at the Gym recently, but I will save that for another day.  So, here are my lists.

It was a challenge presented by throwing quarters.  I don't know the guy from Adam, ooh, wouldn't it be funny if his name really was Adam, but he lives in Cleveland, and I like to read about the old 'hood.  Besides, he is funny AND he said he would read my blog if I did this AND posted a comment.  So I am going to pop my throwing quarters cherry, post a comment and wait an see...  If you want to play, I will give you the rules at the end.

8 TV shows I watch:
Ok, no kid shows, I will only list the ones I really watch. No order other than the one which they pop into my head.

  1. Iron Chef -- I like all that cooking stuff
  2. Survivor -- been watching since the beginning, I feel like I have to now
  3. Greys Anatomy -- I have to keep up on medical stuff you know
  4. Two and a Half Men -- we all need a laugh
  5. How I Met your Mother -- see above
  6. Big Bang Theory -- see above, and has folks from Western Chi-land.
  7. Chopped -- Again with the food, I love to see what they will do with tomatoes for dessert
  8. Phineas and Ferb -- I know I said no kid shows, but I actually watch this one.  Cracks me up.  Besides it is good to bond with the kiddos.

8 Places I Eat or Drink

This is more difficult, because we are poor and have kids and don't eat out much.  I am always amazed when I hear about all the places other people with kids go, but we just don't eat out much.  So, there will be very few places with say, menus on the list.  It is a very pathetic list, especially given that we live in freakin' Chicago.  But, what can I say, when you have no funds, you don't eat out much.
  1. Panera
  2. Corner Bakery
  3. Baja Fresh
  4. Red Robin
  5. La Campana
  6. Jakes
  7. That Thai place we like... would help if I knew the name...
  8. Our house

8 Things I look forward to:
Again, no particular order... but here we go...
  1. Bedtime for the kids. Absolutely my favorite time of day.  LOVE it.
  2. Knitting on Sundays.. again, notice the theme, no kids?
  3. Going to Cali on vacation... I love to hang in the sun with my family.  They accept me for what I am and don't get upset about the things I am not.
  4. Summer Vacation... I know, sounds odd, but I love not having to be some place every second of every day.  We get to swim and play and it is fun.
  5. Going to the Gym.  I like the way it feels when it is over.  
  6. Eventually figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life
  7. All the kids in school all day.
  8. Having enough money that I don't feel like this whole move to Chicago was a big waste

8 Things that happened yesterday:
  1. They were out of pasta at Meijer
  2. Hannah had school, boys did not
  3. Storytime at the library, with the boys along (sort of harshes the storytime buzz when they are there)
  4. Beat Sam at Mario Kart... I am the bomb
  5. Went to Aldi, because they actually had the food I wanted
  6. Got my club yarn in the mail... yeah!!! :)
  7. Boys got haircuts and we lost the giftcard for the haircut place
  8. I did not do laundry.  Noteable only because I do it every day.

8 things I love about Winter

Ok, I can not, will not, am not able to come up with 8 things I love about Winter.  I love nothing about winter, so I am changing this to 8 million things I hate about winter, but will only bore you with 8 of them.
  1. Below zero temperatures
  2. People who don't clear their own freakin' sidewalks, I have to walk the kids to school, clean them meanies (I had more colorful language in mind but contained myself)
  3. Snow and ice and wind, all at the same time
  4. Getting dressed to go out side with three kids
  5. Putting the car on my neighbors lawn because someone pissed the township off and now they don't plow
  6. Lack of Sun
  7. Freezing my ass off in the house because I am too cheap/poor to heat the house properly
  8. Cleaning snow off the driveway, sidewalks, my car, etc.
8 Things on my wish list
  1. A Cleaning lady
  2. A night out without the kids, BUT with Bob... can not remember the last time this happened.  I miss dating my husband.
  3. A new laptop... so the kids don't keep using mine
  4. A new car so we can stop sinking money into the money pit of death we have.
  5. Peace on earth, ok just peace at our house
  6. Enough money so I can stop fretting about bills
  7. A spaceship, seriously, who doesn't want a spaceship?
  8. More time
8 Things I am passionate about:

  1. Christmas is a christian holiday and does not belong in schools, nor does Santa. Had to start with that
  2. Knitting
  3. Yarn
  4. My kids
  5. Bob, I realize he is part of the family thing, but I think he deserves his own line
  6. My friends
  7. Reading/writing
  8. Doing something for the greater good
8 words I often use (they might also be phrases)

  1.  Stop hitting your brother
  2. Do we need to go the hospital
  3. Clean up your stuff
  4. Seriously
  5. You have got to be kidding me
  6. Crap monkey
  7. Skedaddle
  8. It is time to get ready to do x
8 things I learned from the past:
  1. It ain't over till the fat lady sings.  My Dad always said the house isn't sold until the escrow closes.  I try and live by that, when ever I don't I tend to get into trouble.  Can we say Chicago? 
  2. Don't argue with anyone who is out of control.
  3. History repeats itself, so try and pay attention
  4. Don't microwave metal
  5. When you are pissed off it is a wise idea to not throw spoons, just sayin'
  6. Do not buy a house over the internet
  7. You can not control anything except your reaction
  8. It is a good idea to wait until you are calm to speak, or throw spoons.

8 Things I want/need  (
Somehow this seems a lot like my wish list, so I will try and focus on needs)
  1. A new car, have you seen our money pit of death?  It amazes me it is still here
  2. Money... would solve a lot of problems, not the least of which is how I am going to pay the tax collector and the mechanic.
  3. New underwear, still, I know
  4. My insurance situation to be sorted out
  5. Everyone to just get along for even just one day, read that how ever you want, globally or locally
  6. To be accepted into the family, I know, it has only been 13 years.. but still
  7. A friend with a 4 year old girl that lives near by and will go to PH.
  8. All the unemployed people to find jobs, soon
Whew, that is done... I bet you are tired from reading it... but here is the situation, if you want to do this too, then comment in the comment section and let me know, I will come to your blog and read it.  So, lets see if that Adam from Cleveland actually swings by and reads this boring non-sense... it will be interesting to see.  I will keep you posted!

Tomorrow, tales from the gym and a sock wars update (I keep typing cock wars.. makes me laugh).  So, rush right on back!

A Traditional MLK Weekend.

It is the end of a long weekend.  The kids did not have school for 4 days.  I feel like a bad mother, because we didn't do anything for 4 days.  The other kids went on vacations to the Dells, Florida, skiing, etc.  It seems like everyone left town to do something with their extra time. 

This got me thinking, Martin Luther King Day has always been about hanging out in the house for us.  3 1/2 years ago, I seized the opportunity to potty train Sam.  We were going to be home and in the house for 3 days, might as well potty train the 2 1/2 year old.  I have an internal time clock about potty training.  All my kids need to be done with diapers, during the day, by 3.  I know some folks don't even start till 3, more power to 'em, but for me, I always felt late to the potty training party.  But I digress.

One year their was a blizzard, so staying in was "expected" and we weren't looked at strangely.  But, usually, when asked, where did you go?  We make up stories.  This year, I think I am going to tell the truth.  I stayed home, I knit a pair of death socks, I went to the grocery store and we played a lot of wii.

I am not upset that we didn't do anything interesting.  We go on a big trip at the end of December, and this break is a chance for us to recharge our batteries, and just be together as a family.  Sam and I won a lot of races in Mario Kart.  To the point where, usually, my biggest competition is Sam, not the other players.  I understand Sam's friend J, is even better than him... can't wait to challenge that kid! 

We watched movies together, and cleaned the house up a bit.  Not that it looks so clean right now.  Mac made food for the smaller kids and the smaller kids learned how to appreciate their brother.  We sleep in late, go to bed late and generally don't leave the house.  We had thought about going sledding, because it was sort of warm, but sadly, when it is sort of warm the snow melts and the sledding hill becomes a bit grassy for sledding.

The kids played with friends, but just enough for it to be enjoyable, not so much that it was a burden.  It was just enough neighborhood interaction that we didn't feel like hermits, but not so much that we felt like Grand Central Station.  Sometimes, the bonus of living in a neighborhood, with kids coming in and out all the time, can begin to feel over whelming.  This weekend, most kids were gone, so it worked out great!

So, we had our traditional staycation this year.  I hope that in the light of the economic downturn, this won't be so strange as it has in past years.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dizzy is coming, Dizzy is coming

We are expecting a celebrity in our house next week.  Because Hannah is so excited about having him come and visit, we are the first stop on his world tour.  She has arranged a whole itinerary of activities for him. 

There is a lot of discussion about where he will sleep.  Mac wants him in his room, Hannah wants him in hers.  But both are a little nervous he might keep them up all night.  You see his friend Fred, indicates that he likes to eat clover all night and stay up late watching movies.

Since it is the frozen tundra here, we have specially ordered some clover, complete with dew for him.  I really hope he has a good time. 

Who is coming you ask?  Dizzy, from the  He is the mascot for the daily deal.  There is a cast of characters that support Dizzy in delivering a daily deal, but Dizzy is the star of the show. He is going to go out and visit his fans, see the world and generally party it up.  If you want more info on how this is going to go down, check out dizzy sheep

I realize that this is the 2nd post in as many days about some crazy knitting thing I am doing.  I realize that this might border on obsession, and I might be a bit crazy.  Winter is a hard time for me, and I have to do what ever I can to distract myself from the gloom and cold. 

We are all very excited about Dizzy!  Well, except maybe Bob, he tolerates my brand of crazy, but he doesn't participate in it!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sock Wars, Part 1

Part 1, in which I make a kill.

As of the present time, I am not dead.  OF course, our mail has not been delivered and thus I could be dead at any time.

My death socks were almost the death of me... at the end I literally had to force myself to do it.  I allowed myself a break every 8 rows.  Even with some fun tv and plenty of support from Bob, it was still a challenge to make a massive pair of socks in 2 days.  But here they are!

I used a yarn that I died especially for the "event." It is called Purple Death. The colorway was inspired by a coral called purple death. I originally was looking for green death, because green is my favorite color. BUT, in 1918 there was an influenza epidemic, called purple death. Purple death caused you to bleed from your eyes, right before you died. It seemed fitting my target should die with a yarn named after a flu that makes your eyes bleed, especially given our contemporary H1N1 scare. All kidding aside; Purple death is a rare large polyp death coral, and it has the most gorgeous colors. While my yarn is no where near as awesome as this coral, it was inspired by these zoas.

Anyway, I am excited to be finished with this round of Sock Wars. Now I await my new target and/or my death. More as things progress.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


The measure of a person is how they deal with the bad things that happen in their lives.  Do they choose to believe that they are the only person who copes with bad things, or do they recognize it as part of life and get on with the business of living.  While it is a horrible cliche, we only have one chance at this thing life.  Yeah, just one shot at it all.  Don't waste it on being unhappy.

Happiness, as defined by me, is not that super excited feeling that passes through our lives periodically.  But, rather a state of contentment with the overall drudgery of our daily lives.  Bad things happen to all of us, and it belittles the bad things that have happened to me to assume that your bad stuff is worse than mine.  Really, at the end of the day, we all have problems and issues.  Everyone has had to deal with traumas.  Who amongst us hasn't shaken their fist at fate and said "why me?"  But you see, it isn't personal it just is, and until we realize this, we give a whole lot of power to circumstance.

In life we get to choose how we react to things.  Choice comes with responsibility.  When we choose to do something and we don't like the outcome, we have to own that choice.  We are ultimately responsible for our situation.  We choose to be were we are, based on how we react to the circumstances of our life.  We get to decide how much power to give circumstance.  Because remember, circumstance is just that, circumstance, it isn't personal.  Where you are, how you feel, what you think, those are things in your control.  So, at the end of the day, when we take stock of our lives, we have to look at the choices we made, did we choose to be happy or sad?  What did we choose for today, for yesterday?  What will we decide for tomorrow?  It can be a bitter pill to swallow when we realize that we have chosen to be unhappy.  I think of all the years I wasted worrying about totally worthless things.  I used to be really unhappy.  I used to cry myself to sleep on a pretty regular basis.  I was not in control of my choices.  I am sure that in 10 years, I will be better able to make better choices, but for now, I try and do the best I can.

When I reach the end of my life and I am asked, Did you have joy in your life?  Did you bring joy to others lives?  I want to be able to answer yes, without hesitation.  So, while I am not perfect, I hope that today, I make better choices and am just a little bit happier than I was yesterday.  I hope that you choose to be just a little bit happier today than you were yesterday.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sock Wars V

Competitive knitting.  There are several kinds of competitive knitting.  The kind at county fairs, there is a master knitter certification and there is sock wars.  Sock wars is like assassin for knitters.  I get to knit a pair of socks for my target.  When they get my pair of socks they die.  This of course assumes that I do not get my death socks first.  When I receive my death socks, I send the project I am working on to my assassin and am out of the game.

I pretty much assume that I will die shortly.  I hope to have my socks completed before I die though, thus getting one kill in!  But, this is complicated by my recent spoon throwing injury.  My hand is still black and blue.  It doesn't hurt too much, but what will many hours of knitting on toothpicks do to it?  I hope all is well, but I have a bucket of ice at the ready.

So, as you are reading this post, I am knitting furiously on my death socks.  I have written the weekends posts in advance, so I won't have to worry about managing the blog while I work on my socks.  I will update you on Sock Wars, once I come up for air!

Till then, my yarn, purple death will kill!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Don't throw spoons

I seem to be having some anger management issues this week.  Let's just say, things haven't been going my way and I have been upset and hurt by a number of things this week.  Maybe I am being too sensitive, or maybe the universe is out to get me. 

Since things have taken a turn for the better, I had forgotten about how much the universe likes to dance the funky chicken on my spleen.  You see, I was starting to assume, every little thing was going to be alright, and I let my guard down.

"WAAAHHHAAA," laughs the universe, "I have been practicing with the River Dancers, now on to your spleen."

Wednesday, was a particularly bad day.  Kids yelling and screaming and having eighty five thousand fits.  If I had been on my game I would have been on the look out for the universe, but... alas, I was not.  So, after a long day of temper tantrums, some mine some the kids, it happened.

Hannah had a bed time meltdown, that made nuclear meltdown seem like a better option.  Then, once she had settled down and was tucked in bed, Mac joined in.  It started with not finishing the yogurt he promised me he would finish.  I was already cooked, and I lost it.  It wasn't pretty, and rather than have a fit, I decided to take my rage out on the kitchen sink and a spoon.  I hurled the spoon into the empty sink with such force the bits of yogurt on it sprayed the window, and I pulled a muscle in my hand.

That will teach me.  I pulled a freakin' muscle in my hand, and now I can not knit.  This is like a total complete tragedy.  Stop the presses, call 911, I am disabled.  This is made worse, as on Friday evening I am engaging in a little competitive knitting.  Yes, there is such a thing as competitive knitting.  I am already on the DL and we haven't started.  I will share more on Sock Wars tomorrow, but lets suffice it to say, it is bad to start out injured!

I have been icing my thumb/hand all day.  What was a small redish bruise is not a massive black/purple bruise all over my hand.  While it looks horrible, it hurts less than you might imagine.  I am guardedly optimistic about Friday.  But, since I plan to go to the gym Friday, I hope I don't re-injure myself.

All of this from throwing a spoon into the sink.  Hat's off to you universe, you out did yourself.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thirsty thoughts on Thursday

* If you are going to keep on keepin' on, make sure you have a green light

*  If you think the light is green, get a second opinion

* The week is still young

*  It is a tragic spoon throwing injury

*  I can't knit

*  It's the end of the world as we know it, and I am not fine

*  Samac Monster

*  Pie, or pi?

*  It is all about your mom, you don't matter

*  Mareep, light errand running

*  Why does it smell like poo

*  The Sheep is coming the Sheep is coming

*  If I didn't make the appointment I would have needed it, so I made it and didn't need it, interesting how that works out

*  Why am I the only one who cleans?

*  Knitting would make it better, but I can't

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Twelve days back at school

On the first day back at school, my teacher offered me, one Geography test.

On the second day back at school, my teacher offered me, two books to read, and one geography test.

On the third day back at school, my teacher offered me, three language arts pages, two books to read,  and one geography test.

On the forth day back at school, my teacher offered me, four math problems, three language arts pages, two books to read,  and one geography test.

On the fifth day back at school, my teacher offered me, five falling grades,  four math problems, three language arts pages, two books to read,  and one geography test.

On the sixth day back at school, my teacher offered me, six words in Hebrew,  five falling grades,  four math problems, three language arts pages, two books to read,  and one geography test.

On the seventh day back at school, my teacher offered me, seven days of Get It Done club,  six words in Hebrew,  five falling grades,  four math problems, three language arts pages, two books to read,  and one geography test.

On the eighth day back at school,  my teacher offered me eight state capitals, seven days of Get It Done club,  six words in Hebrew,  five falling grades,  four math problems, three language arts pages, two books to read,  and one geography test.

On the ninth day back at school, my teacher offered me, nine brain teasers, eight state capitals, seven days of Get It Done club,  six words in Hebrew,  five falling grades,  four math problems, three language arts pages, two books to read,  and one geography test.

On the tenth day back at school, my teacher offered me, ten diabolical spelling words, nine brain teasers, eight state capitals, seven days of Get It Done club,  six words in Hebrew,  five falling grades,  four math problems, three language arts pages, two books to read,  and one geography test.

On the eleventh day back at school, my teacher offered me, eleven more days to complete my video project, ten diabolical spelling words, nine brain teasers, eight state capitals, seven days of Get It Done club,  six words in Hebrew,  five falling grades,  four math problems, three language arts pages, two books to read,  and one geography test.

On the twelfth day back at school, my teacher offered me a twelve page book report, eleven more days to complete my video project, ten diabolical spelling words, nine brain teasers, eight state capitals, seven days of Get It Done club,  six words in Hebrew,  five falling grades,  four math problems, three language arts pages, two books to read,  and one geography test.
Where do I find a homework pass?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Flying Yarn

At this late date in my life you would have thought I would have learned not to do things that require any skill at all when I am upset.  When we found out about Bob's first pay cut, I decided it was a grand time to replace all the switches in the house.  It didn't go well.  I haven't taken the time to actually finish that job, but let's just say, all I did was frustrate myself further.

So, yesterday, after I was summarily dismissed as not worthy to speak to, I decided to wind yarn.  I thought that this would ease my mind and make me happier.  Usually yarn solves all my problems.  That was not the case tonight.

I put the yarn on the swift and began to crank away at a steady speed on my KPC ball winder.  The KPC ball winder and I have reached an understanding, most of the time.  KPC means Knit Picks Crap.  Not all Knit Picks products are crap, but this ball winder is not worth the savings.  It is junk.  I sometimes wish for it to die, but a new one is not exactly in the budget.  So we spin on.

Back to our story, everything was going swimmingly.  The winder was cranking along and not skipping.  It wasn't getting tangled or anything.  I was starting to feel better.  Ok, I was whining to Bob about the situation, but still I was starting to feel better.  Anyway, I was cranking along a quite a clip, thinking about perhaps starting a new project in spite of Sock Wars, and the ball flew off the winder.  It was a projectile ball of yarn.  It hit the wall and bounced.  It is never good when sock weight yarn (it looks like think string) hurls across the room.

Since half the hank was still on the swift, this was well, not a good thing.  The feed end had tangled back on to itself.  The ball had become a horrid mess.  It took me a hour and a good deal of effort to untangle the mess and rewind the ball, which I did at a snail's pace.  I was not going to have it fly off the winder again.  The ball was wound, but I was not any happier than I was when I started.

No, I was frustrated about the whole flying yarn situation, and my feelings were still hurt by the way I was treated.  I have mixed feelings about making socks with this yarn... I just hope the yarn and I can kiss and make up.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Family, what to do

There are so many things spinning around in my mind I can not seem to come up with a cohesive post. Everything that has happened with Chris has made me think about my sister.  She was my favorite sister, and she was very involved in raising me.  My parents asked to adopt a little girl, because they knew my sister would like that.  I was her baby doll.

When we were growing up, I went every place with her.  She took me to the mall, to parties, out with her girlfriends, etc.  I worshiped her.  When I was leaving for graduate school I spent part of the summer with her.  I got to see what was really going on, and it wasn't pretty.  I think my parents sent me to recon the situation.

Many of you who know me well, know the story.  I am not going to go into all the details, but I left Mississippi with a vow to never return.  So here is the issue, Chris is being buried in Mississippi, at, from what I understand, a very blinged out funeral, and I am expected to go.  There are so many reasons why I can not do this... 1) What to do with the kids.  2)  How to pay for it.  3) My mom does not want to go.  4) It is in Mississippi, and I refuse to go there.  I have 4 very valid reasons.  But, for some reason, my mother, the voice of reason is wavering.  She is bending like a blade of grass in the wind.  I hope her weakness does not some how implicate me.

I miss my sister.  I wish that we had the kind of relationship we had when she was sober.  I wish that she was still alive and healthy and was able to take proper care of her son.  But that was not in the cards.  It is a sad situation, but I am in a good place with everything and I do not wish to undo all of this by going back to Mississippi.

I think I am going to say my feet are frozen firmly in Chicago.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Good news/Bad news

The bad news:  The torsion spring on the garage door broke.  (If you don't know what a torsion spring is, it is the thing that helps the door actually open, it is sort of important.)
The good news:  The cars were both OUT of the garage.

The bad news:  Mac ripped his snow boots.
The good news:  There were 8 pairs of size 4 snow boots at Target
The bad news:  They were all pink

The good news:  I had no problem returning the 5 pairs I bought him hoping one would be mis-sized and would fit.
The bad news:  There was a woman in front of me who had 75 things to return ALL on separate receipts.

The good news:  Kids want to attend my knitting class at temple
The bad news:  There are 10 of them and NONE of them know how to knit and there is only 1 of me.

The good news:  I almost finished the project I was working on
The bad news:  I lost the needles I need to finish it

The bad news:  Bob forgot to tell me we were out of bread
The good news:  I learned about this BEFORE Aldi closed

The bad news:  The trash/recycling cans are locked in the garage
The good news:  My trash cans are warm and cozy in the house now.  Not only is it easier to dump the recycling in the can, it is a new art installment in my entryway.

It has been a long day.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Call

When my father died my mother wanted to wait until it was a more "humane" time of day to tell me.  I understand her perspective, that there was nothing I could do, so why not let me sleep a little bit longer before telling me.  Of course, she forgot about the time difference and I ended up finding out at work. 

It is this philosophy that motivated her most recent phone call.  It is never good when she starts a conversation with, "I have some bad news."  I know the tone of voice she uses when she is about to tell me someone has died.  She has made a number of these calls to me over my lifetime.  It is a tone she only uses to convey the passing of someone.

Yesterday, I got the call.  She asks me when I am leaving to get the boys at school, which was about an hour from then.  She then uses the tone.  I start running through my head who it could be.  It is interesting, how now, I can come up with a lot of people who it could have been, but at the time I was like ok, who?  I really had nothing.  For the most part my family is pretty healthy and with the exception of my mother, we are all pretty young.

The 8th of January was the birthday my sister, who died from alcoholism.  She passed away 15 years ago on Mothers Day.  She drank her self to death that night.  She left a son, Christopher, who at the time was 14.  On the same day his mother was born, we found out that her first son had also died.  While he did not die on the 8th, this was the day that his father chose to tell us. 

No one really knows how or why he died.  But, my guess is that he died due to complications from drugs and alcohol.  They may not have played a part at the exact time he died, it is my belief that the played a roll in deteriorating his health to the point where is body failed him.  We will know for sure once the Coroner does the autopsy.

I remember when Chris was born.  I was so excited, and looking forward to being a part of his life.  I was in 7th grade.  He was the first grandchild.  He never really had a chance.  His mother was so screwed up and his father didn't know how to handle the situation.  Sometimes life does put us in a place where we can not handle it.  He found his mother dead, at 14, after spending a childhood cleaning up her messes, he had to call 911 and his father one last time.

The last time I saw Chris, was 5 years ago.  He left town after that visit, in the middle of the night after stealing money from my mother and brother.  He never contacted us again.  My mother tried to track him down, and was never able to.  We were happy to learn that at the end of his life he had a relationship with his father and his brother and sister.  He got to know his nieces.  That he was with his family until the end.  He was still with his girlfriend, or maybe his wife, that we met when we last saw him.  She was a nice girl, I hope the rest of her life is a bit more smooth.

I am sorry that Chris's life was so marked by sadness.  I hope that he is at peace now.  He deserved a better chance.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wisdom from the Sheep

I follow a blog about a sheep named Dizzy.  He has lots of friends, Alpaca and Fred to name a few.  The purpose of this blog is, aside from being wickedly clever, to sell yarn.  They promote one yarn a day at a price that makes you think they are well, dizzy.

They post a little story everyday.  The folks that write this are very funny.  You can tell they really enjoy doing it, because the whole story line is so well done.  Anyway, Dizzy was lamenting all the work he had to do because of a big sale over the Christmas holiday.  He wished he could clone himself.  He talks about how it would be nice to have someone who was just like him, who understood him.

This is my question.  My understanding is that you take dna from one being and create an embryo out of it, implant the embryo and birth a genetic copy of that being.  So, if someone is a genetic copy of you, does that mean that they will be just like you?  You would be separated in age by how every many years.  Is your personality more a result of your experiences or genetics?  That is the question. 

Assuming a clone was made of me right now, that child would grow up in a world vastly different than the one I grew up in.  Can we say 8-track players, cassette tapes and records?  Would they know what a VHS tape is or try beta?  Floppy disks and apple IIe computers are things that dotted the landscape when I was a kid.  We didn't have cell phones, i-pods or portable dvd players.  Our lives were different when I was a child.  A child today is going to have a vastly different set of experiences than I did.  How would that impact their basic personality?

Not that I would want another Me running around.  Seriously, one of me is enough, but I don't know that a genetic copy of me would have any better understanding of my personality and decisions than anyone else would.  I guess I think that part of what makes us us is part and parcel with our experience of life.  A genetic clone would not come from the same place I did.

So, while we might have the same dna, I don't think we would be the same.  I look at my kids, and sure they are only 1/2 me, but still, not one of them is really like me.  Sure, they might look a little like me, but they certainly are not 1/2 copies of my personality, and the certainly do not understand me.

Would a clone of a person be just like that person.  I don't think so.  What do you think?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Days?

Snow Days.  The seem to be a right of living in the vast white arctic tundra.  California kids dream about having school called off unexpectedly.  It is like a gift of childhood.  Have school canceled and spend the day playing in the snow and watching tv, when you are expected to be chained to a desk at school is like chocolate ice cream for dinner.

I never had snow days, I went to school every day unless I was sick.  So, when we moved to a snowy climate I got to experience snow days for the first time.  When Mac was little I dreaded them.  A day in the house with a toddler or preschooler who needed consistent attention and activity.  There was no lounging by the fire reading a book when he was small. 

As he has gotten older, my willingness to let him play computer and video games all day has increased.  As long as they do something active and something moderately good for their brains for at least a total of 2 hours, I am ok with the electronic diversions.  It becomes a day of watching movies snuggled under the blanket, and making snow forts.  Our last year in Connecticut netted us about 10 snow days.  I loved them.  It was a mini vacation from our lives and was an opportunity to relax and enjoy each other.

Here in Illinois where we live now, it basically needs to be white out conditions or REALLY, REALLY cold out.  I am talking 20 degrees below zero cold, before they close the schools.  Today, it is snowy, there isn't any plows out and the roads are bad.  I don't want to drive on them unless I have too.  I am not a sissy either, but there is a point to which risking life, limb and personal property is NOT worth going to run errands or go to preschool. 

So, I walked the boys to school and Hannah and I are having a snow day.  The problem with this, is that while it is nice not to have to have to boys around, I still don't get that snow day feeling.  I still had to go and help in Sam's class and take care of other things.  I had to get dressed, there is no fire and I still have to do house work.  Sometimes I think we should let the kids have a snow day or two.  It is good for the soul. 

ps the kids have to go outside for recess today too!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oh the smell of diesel in the morning

I walk the kids to school both ways.  Bob says that they are old enough and I don't need to do this.  But Sam is very scared to go by himself.  Not because he is afraid that he can't do it, but because he worries about his brother being mean to him.  This is another problem entirely, but I walk them.

It is very cold.  I seriously thought I was a little sick when I thought, hey it is 20 out, it feels kinda warm.  When we walk the kids to school, I am assaulted by the smell of the buses.  The smell of diesel fumes in the cold is different than in the warm.  The way the buses smell in the winter time reminds me of skiing.  That is the smell that surrounded the lodge.  I am sure it is because there was a billion buses bringing skiers to the slopes.

This smell brings back memories of skiing with my Dad and all the ski trips I took in college.  I warm myself with memories of my Dad and I skiing.  My Dad didn't like to loose me on the slopes, so he bought me a neon colored hat, it is hideous, but he could pick me out.  I still have the hat. 

Using that same logic, my Mom bought me some boots.  They have red trim on them, so when I am buried in snow I can be found.  It makes me laugh.  I am an adult but my Mom still worries about loosing me in the snow.  I guess you are a parent until you die.

Anyway, the buses remind me of the good times that we had skiing.  My feet are warm, downside to this is that I am more aware of how cold the rest of me is.  Looks like the year is off to a good start.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Some times half is good!

Today I am going go on and on about gas.  Not the type of gas you put in your car or the type that emanates from Sam's butt.  The kind from Sam is so stinky that really, I am not up for posting about that.  But I am going to talk about the kind that powers my furnace, my hot water heater and my dryer. 

My brother is a meter reader, so I know a thing or two about having your meter read by the gas company.  Sure he read meters in Santa Barbara, and I live here, in the arctic tundra, but seriously meter reading is the same worldwide. 

My meter has not been read in two months.  While, I generally do not care about that, there was a situation with the electric company where they didn't read my meter for about 3 months and I got hit with a bill that looked like my portion of the national debt.  I was not so keen on that happening with the gas company. 

What had me REALLY concerned is that my usage for December, according to their estimate was less than half what I used last December.  It has been about the same coldness and we have indulged ourselves and cranked the heat up a degree this year.  I have decided that my old body needs it to be at least 65 in this dang house for me to be happy.  Bob is thrilled.

Small digression, I left for the weekend when we lived in Connecticut and came home to find the thermostat at 70 degrees, up from the usual 62.  Oil cost about $2.50 a gallon, so I was a bit pissy about that.  Seriously, does my skinny, thin skinned husband think oil grows on trees?  Did we find a heating oil vein in the backyard?  I do not think so. 

Ok, so Bob is happy, the house is a little warmer.  He goes on and on about how that 1 degree really makes a difference.  I might kick it down just so he stops going on and on about it.

So, during my little chat with the gas company, I learned that they read my meter in December, just not in time to have it hit my bill, and lo and behold, it was almost exactly what they had estimated.  I was stunned at that news.  My house is warmer and my bill is half what it was last year.  The big change that drives this is that we put new windows in this house.  While the change in our heating and cooling bills will not really pay for the windows, it does off set that cost modestly.  The cost of windows, the time spent with the house open in January and all the scrimping, saving and begging that went along to pay for them was worth it.  I love my new windows.  I am not to unhappy about the gas bill either!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Random thought

  • Electronic Cigarettes?  I don't understand what that is all about.  They compare them to video games, but you still get your nicotine buzz?  Apparently you only get the vapor of the nicotine some how.  I am not sure I want to smoke something that is connected to a power source.  We need to thin the herd some how I suppose.
  • Flat sheep tours the world.  We can't wait for the flat sheep to come and see us.  We will read Sheep In a Jeep to him, take him places, and do fun things.  Yeah for the flat sheep.
  • If I can drive a car, then why is it that I can not drive the cart in Mario Cart?  If I drove like I do on Mario Cart, we would be in a much different insurance bracket.
  • I made her apologize.  She was wrong and I got her to admit it.  Yeah!!  It is always dangerous to be snotty with someone, because if you end up being wrong it sucks.  
  • I wonder why the gas company can not read my meter?  I see them walking around, but for some reason, reading my meter is too hard.  Can't they scope it?  If they can't read it, then they need to move it.
  • My brother called to ask me about pajamas for his almost 9 year old son... he wants to buy in size 4.  Hmm, don't think that will work.  But oh well.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mistaken Identity

My whole life everyone has known someone that looks like me.  I have one of those faces.  When I was working in retail, people would ask me if I was related to so and so, because I looked just like someone in that family.

Being adopted, when this first started happening I thought, maybe these people are my "real" family.  As it happened more and more and more, I came to realize that the over all blandness of my features makes me look like someone else.

In the airport on the way home I was stopped by a woman in the airport.  "Are you famous," asked strange woman in airport (swa)?

Me: "Not on TV.  But my blog is read and loved by millions."

SWA:  "Are you sure, you look just like the woman on that TLC show, the one with the 12 kids."

Me:  "I am pretty sure I don't have 12 kids, just the 3 you see here."

SWA:  "Oh, well you sound just like her."

I have no idea what this woman sounds like, but I imagine she yells at the kids a lot?  Cuz I was a yellin' at the kids while we were waiting to get on the plane.

The woman in question is Betty Hayes, in Table for 12 on TLC.  Her picture is below, let me know what you think, do I look like her??

Anyway, I am used to being the face that everyone knows.  Sometimes this is good, it puts people at ease.  Sometimes it is bad, I would like to be me!  I guess yesterday I was famous.