"Whatever shall we do in that remote spot? Well, we'll write our memoirs. Work is the scythe of time." --Napoleon Bonaparte, on his way into exile.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Saugatuck Sunset

One of many gorgeous Saugatuck sunsets. Oh, and I don't know why my profile has sunk all the way to the bottom of my homepage. I hate it and I keep trying to trip it back up to the top but nothing's working. Don't even ask me about my Archives. Maybe I'll change my template in October and things will shake out. Posted by Hello

Poker Night

Everyone should be arriving in about an hour or so. Not as many people as I thought, though, which is okay. One night we had 9 (!) people at one table (should have split it up), everyone quickly folded under high pots and it was impossible to get a good feel for individual players' styles.

E's feeling tired and just went to lie down. I didn't tell you he's having surgery Tuesday, did I? I probably didn't even tell you last year when he was hospitalized with tonsillitis just before Thanksgiving. What a sucky holiday that was. I finally convinced him to get the recommended tonsillectomy ("I thought you didn't want me to get one," he explained, and I had to laugh heartily at that, since it was the Guys at Work who freaked him out with horror stories about having this surgery so "late" in life).

Seriously, he barely sleeps 4-6 hours at night (and never consecutively) due to breathing issues, so I've convinced him that getting his tonsils out will help him get a good night's sleep. AND perhaps he won't get so deathly ill this winter as to be hospitalized again.

The weather has chilled considerably since getting back from Saugatuck yesterday. We had gorgeous weather while we were there, in the high 70s/low 80s with glorious sunshine every day. Couldn't have asked for better weather. Unfortunately, my body REALLY let me know I wasn't pregnant, and in addition to (you can stop reading here if you hate this sort of talk) one of the longest periods EVER, I also had a wicked migraine nearly the whole week.

The Headache from Hell is gone now, though, and I even got to the scrapbook store this morning and bought paper & embellishments for our vacation layouts. I printed out the pictures yesterday when E went to play tennis (sigh). I should have the pages done tomorrow before Tess gets home. That will be my quickest turnaround for scrapbook layouts EVER.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

On Vacation

Ha, I post how I'm going to continue writing then I stop. Welcome to Deniseville!

We're at a public library in Douglas MI and E is sitting right next to me, so this will be quick. No, he still doesn't know that I'm blogging. He never knew about bookwhore as far as I know. Hee, I'm thinking about the time Karen D was over for a BBQ and someone asked how we met and Karen very deftly answered "online book club" without blinking an eye. It's good to have internet buddies that know not to out you, y'know? Even though E knows Karen & I met through my old journaling site, Last Girl Scout.

Anyway, rough night Sunday night. My mom came over in the afternoon and E took care of Tess while Mom and I went to the Fiber Fair over in Chelsea. I have to learn how to spin. Not only is the wool cheaper, it looks very soothing.

I only had a couple of hours with my Mom and I could not shut up. I even stopped myself at one point and apologized for zooming from subject to subject. My Mom understood, she knows Tess isn't napping (and still took her for the week!) and knows I have no adult company all day long (sometimes into the evening hours, too, but outdoor tennis season is almost over) so she knew I needed to unload. I did not seem to have enough time to say everything and felt scattered when I did talk, but I had a lot on my mind.

By Sunday afternoon it was quite obvious that I was not pregnant, and while I was somewhat relieved (knowing I would be able to enjoy our vacation that much more), I was surprised at the intensity of my disappointment later that evening. I left my job with plans to be pregnant by September, baby in June (look, it's even in my profile!), now a big wrench has been thrown into those plans and I came to see how much I believed it would all happen just as I mapped it out.

Best laid plans, pawn of the universe, however I look at it, I'm trying to relax and go with the flow. Sorry for the cliches. I only have a half an hour here and we want to get out and enjoy some beautiful weather. Not to mention lunch.

Friday, September 17, 2004

The poncho I'm working on. Posted by Hello

Some days I just give up.

Hiding spot Posted by Hello

Like today. I woke up and realized that Rosie STILL has not sent me the $30 for the album she ordered (and had delivered) at the beginning of the month. Two phone calls and a couple of emails later, maybe I've been had. It's not the first time and perhaps not the last, but I give up.

I called E since it's cold today and our (semi-)decision to stay at a resort on Lake Michigan for our upcoming child-free getaway suddenly seemed unwise. I didn't make the reservation yesterday when he started hemming and hawing about it, and I haven't called any place yet today because -surprise- he STILL can't help me make a decision ("have you checked the weather out west? what's coming? any other places (besides the 3 perfectly good ones I've weeded out?) we could consider?")...I give up.

Tess played with the bedside lamp while I tried to get a few minutes of shuteye this afternoon (she's only ever joined me once, but can't hurt trying). Click - on. Click - off. Click - on. Downstairs, sound of glass breaking (second one today). I give up.

I've been roaming around other knitting blogs and have discovered a TON. No surprise. But I'm not going to link to any of them or start that whole round of "I'm reading them why aren't they reading me?" whine-fest. I've sunk my own ship too many times down those locks. I give up.

But I'm going to keep writing. Even when I'm having a crappy day. Because there's always something to make me smile. Like Tess wanting me to join her in her new hiding place, even though I've explained that I'm a grown-up and too big and that is her own special hiding place, why doesn't she keep it to herself like everything else in the house?

Mineminemine! Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 16, 2004

You call that a 2T?!

 Posted by Hello

Tess is tall for her age, too. I can't believe I have to roll up these pants 3x (don't think they STAY rolled up, oh NO SIR). Of course, haven't washed them yet. They were cheap enough that I'm sure they'll shrink up to her size.

Disney Princess PJs and Dora PJs were $24.99 and $21.99 respectively. Insane, considering Tess would be too excited wearing them to sleep. I was happy to settle for a Minnie Mouse outfit at $12.99 with 25% off. And purple, the color she will someday have one of everything in -- car, dog, cake, you name it. She wants it PURPLE. "I don't like pink!"

I found a forgotten knitting project today that was just the ticket for a rainy morning of knitting. A scarf and hat combo in a cozy pattern stitch. Will share soon. Tess wants to go "outside!" Gotta get while the gettin's good.

Oh, and just a note of taste: when mixing your own jelly bellies, no matter how much you love the licorice ones, do not, REPEAT, DO NOT mix them in with the fruity ones. Like brushing your teeth & drinking orange juice. Blech.

And if you don't like the licorice ones, send all black jelly beans my way...mmm...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


I've moved on from scarves and baby hats (although I'm making a watch cap for my honey for Xmas, hope he likes it). People magazine, I see, declared long scarves "out" ("remember Isadora Duncan," they said, under a picture of Lindsey Lohan wearing a long scarf earlier this year, which made me laugh). Mom & I saw cheap fuzzy scarves being sold in a bead shop (!) in Frankenmuth. Knit in the round, they were thin fun-fur things and looked highly flammable, somehow. $12.95 -- about what you'd pay for a skein of decent yarn, which would look 100 times better.

I'm working on a poncho, which I predict will have an even shorter shelf life than scarves. That whole retro-factor cancels out modern coolness (bell bottoms came and went again, didn't they?) A least this poncho is quick to make (from Family Circle's Easy Knitting and Crochet, Fall 2004), and the turtleneck will only increase the warmth factor.

poncho -- from the neck down. Posted by Hello

If I am pregnant (that's my current mantra: if, if, if...), I know over the winter my internal furnace will be stoked to the max, and a ponco will just do it for an outer layer for me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Count twice

Leave it to my Mom and her distrust of the internet; she called Rapunzel's yesterday and found out they ARE open on Mondays. Although the trip was inspiring, I found their yarn (and everything else in Frankenmuth) 10%-20% more expensive than here in Ann Arbor, so nothing tempted me. Plus, being in a tourist trap town, they only carried the fuzzy, sparkly stuff that makes up quick scarves and shawls. Projects for people on the road.

I moved on from the ribbing in my poncho with some help from my Mom. She admitted that the way she does increases is not as good as the method I found in Vogue Knitting. Good thing she heard me counting out loud, and heard me put in a stitch marker at 10 instead of 14 in one section. I had 4 extra stitches on my first increase round, and I couldn't for the LIFE of me figure out where they came from. Count twice, knit (and unknit) once.

We're off to grocery shop. Exciting, I know. Seriously, I love cooking, and will soon figure out a way to include my recipes in this blog (or perhaps a separate one).

Monday, September 13, 2004

Who knew?

E at Oktoberfest Posted by Hello

Who knew I was a morning person? And we have daylight savings time yet to come (or does it end? I never get that straight. Spring forward, fall behind, no problem, whether we're going into it or out of it, I just don't know).

I've been waking up well before six for the last few mornings (well, except for Saturday morning, when I woke up still tipsy at 2:00 a.m. from the two and a half beers I had at Oktoberfest, and fell back asleep until 8:30 a.m.). Which means I've been getting Morning Pages done, hurrah. (Yes, even on Saturday.)

Tess has been waking up early too, though, which means I don't get to update this site until she's amusing herself, which she rarely does for more than 3 minutes at a time. There should be some kind of support group for moms whose toddlers don't nap. At the very least we should get some free childcare.

E is tennis-obssessed for the summer, which means he goes off to play 3+ times a week, leaving me at home with Tess, even on the weekends. His parents watch her on Sundays but not this past Sunday as they have major plumbing repairs going on in their main bathroom. At least E took her yesterday for a few hours out to the lake while I sat at home trying not to do housework. It's tempting, but it's not what my free time is for.

I managed to make one card -- that's it -- near the end of my free time. Before that I fixed Tess's tutu (the ratty thing she insists on wearing everywhere that I can't believe she left with me yesterday) and got online -- always a deadly activity. It's complete inaction, despite how busy it seems.

And I'm doing it again, when we have GOT to hit the road. Going up to Frankenmuth to see mom. Going to meet her at Rapunzel's. Knit shops -- another time-killing (and budget-slaying) activity.

Oh, the glories of the web. I just found out Rapunzel's is closed on Mondays. Saved from myself yet again.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Breakfast with Nemo

Good morning Nemo! Posted by Hello

Today is our 4th wedding anniversary. Last year we forgot completely. We were lying in bed, talking, and E asked, "hey, how long have we been married now?" And then simultaneously we said, "Didn't we have an anniversary last week? Whoops!" We're too young for that kind of thing to be happening already. Tonight we're celebrating by getting a babysitter and going out to Ann Arbor's Oktoberfest. Yes, I'm aware it's September. Welcome to Ann Arbor.

As for our trip to Livonia (see yesterday's post), a $25 gift certificate doesn't go far, even with 15% off. I blame it on Tess's love of stickers. Big, $2 sticker sheets with licensed characters on them. Nemo (that's a prize from the Saline Community Fair, eating breakfast with her) and Disney Princesses (there's Ariel and Cinderella by her cup of strawberries). I was able to get refills for my glue dispensers (permanent and repositionable), even though I'm at my wits' end with those things. I think I just need to check my application angle and they MIGHT stop gumming up on me. They really are wonderful tools when they work right.

So I was only able to get myself two fun stamping tools: a stitching guide from Lasting Impressions, and stipple brushes from Judikins. They didn't have ANYTHING that I really wanted, none of the "special effects" from last night's class or Brilliance metallic ink pads or PSX templates (those are getting hard to find).

Now, if I just had some creative time. As in a daughter who naps. Sigh.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Nothing like a blanket in the sun

I finally cleaned out the back of my car. Sad, that I left my job at the end of April and STILL had two boxes & one bag of crap from my office in my car in SEPTEMBER. Queen of denial, that's me. I also found out yesterday (strangely, after I cleaned out my car) that they've FINALLY hired someone -- not quite my replacement, since my job was ELIMINATED (not that corp would admit to that, no unemployment bennys for me, no, I "quit because they wanted me to go to 40 hours," that's what the letter from HR claimed but I was railroaded out of there...bitter, moi?). It's funny that the person they've hired is everything my former boss (who's still there) would not want -- pregnant, and working remotely, from another STATE. To paraphrase John Lennon, karma gotcha. I knew it would eventually bite her on the ass.

No, not bitter at all.

Anyway, one of the things I now have room for in my wayback (does everyone call the back of their station wagon that?) is an old blanket. That came in handy this afternoon when Tess wanted to be outside. She's got a swingset in the backyard and can handle most of it, although she doesn't like the slide. Her first experience, to dad's horror, was when she was about 14 months old and flew down it (while he turned for a second), landed on her butt, and bit her tongue. Short slides, no problem, big slides, still a little gunshy.

So I spread out the blanket in our semi-sunny, semi-shady backyard, and hung out there while Tess grabbed some toys and threw them down on the blanket and ran over to her swings and jumped on my back and found red-orange Fairy-Lanterns (yay! another mystery garden find) and poked sticks in our mole holes (E hates the squishy tunnels but won't put down anything to get rid of the grubs they're after, on, Mr. Mole!) and generally got her ya-yas out, even though she STILL doesn't nap, despite all that fresh air.

Then tonight I had the first of my Special Effects classes at Stampeddler, kind of a haul for me but it's fun to sit and stamp and NOT BE INTERRUPTED. We used Crystal Lacquer (still drying), Fun Flock (with Crystal Lacquer as a base) and Liquid Applique, which I still need to get a feel for (heat drying it makes it puff and raise, almost like embroidery, but makes great hair for your rubber stamp people, fur for your RS animals, etc, I think CTMH sells it, GREAT I DON'T EVEN KNOW MY OWN CATALOG).

My sister-in-law got me a gift certificate for my birthday at the OTHER stamp/scrap store in Livonia, they have a sale going on (15% off everything) so I'm going to check there tomorrow for Crystal Lacquer and Liquid Applique. Since I take Special Effects 2 next Thursday, if Scrappin' and Stampin' doesn't have what I want, I can go back and get my 10% class discount next week in Northville. That allowance thing again...

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Flowers as big as dinner plates

Anybody know what these are? I'm so glad I didn't weed out my garden this spring. Seriously, I have three long raised beds (what, 120 feet EACH?), two along my driveway invaded by bees and wasps (shudder) and one along the length of my backyard. Also a rundown rose garden along the back of our house and a mixed perennial border alongside our garage. I am so not a gardener (and I'm terrified of bees) that everything looks like crap. But occasionally I'll get a pleasant surpise, like these unknown beauties. TIA.

Oh, and does this photo posting program ROCK, or what? Posted by Hello

Morning Pages

I really suck at Morning Pages. To me, sleep is more important to my creative recovery than Morning Pages, especially considering I keep a daily diary and I've been very consistent with that. I write down daily events and insights just before going to helps me sleep. So if I let Morning Pages slip, I only have myself to blame, and I'm choosing not to blame myself for any perceived "lapse" in perfection this time. It's perfection that's killed my creative joy in the past, so I'm not inviting her to the party anymore.

I'll probably go to Junior Consultant status in October; it's what happens when you don't meet your $300 quarterly sales requirement. I could meet it when I was working, but no longer. My monthly budget -- for books, stamps, yarn, needles, anything "fun," even my beloved mochas -- is $70. I've blown through September's already and it's only the 8th. I try not to think of it as my "allowance," but that allows me (ha! great pun) to wallow (a spelling pun: "w" + "allow," look at that) from time to time. Wallowing is occasionally invited to the party, but I ask him to leave early.

Junior Consultant means less communication from corporate, not a bad thing, and only 10% off instead of the base 22%. Lisa might have a party at the end of the month but I should have supplies to do a couple of projects with her guests. I like to do gift items instead of cards -- everybody's excuse is "I don't do cards!" -- things like post-it note holders and mini comp books. I bought so many large comp books for a craft show that went bust last year (didn't sell a THING, my first and LAST craft show) that I'm using them for my own diaries, journals, and morning pages. I could even use large comp books for Lisa's party. That always wows them. If Lisa's show goes well (and she might do a catalog party instead, easier on me) I might even stay full consultant through the end of the year.

I took Cameron's "Sound of Paper" out from the library (again) yesterday, not that I ever have time to do the exercises (my daily diary is my prime writing outlet right now) but her narrative is interesting to read. I've had her "Vein of Gold" out from the library for a while now (I keep renewing it), and I LOVE the idea of doing a narrative time line. There's something in writing an autobiography that appeals to our ego, isn't there? And it will be great to make sense of my childhood from where I'm at now -- I'm at peace with my parents, my marriage (except for finances, which we fight over regularly, natch), and my role as mother. Totally different from where I was in 1995 -- before my ex-fiance, my dream job as editor, my move out of the suburbs where I grew up.

I'm very intrigued by NaNoWritMo and may give that a try this year. A creative goal, of sorts.

Well, I tried to upload this several times, thought I lost the whole damn thing; must be a common frustration because Blogger automatically saved it as a draft. Between that and Tess playing with the keyboard, I about had a meltdown.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A First Entry

Just testing my capabilities here...

Baby hat, knit in the round Posted by Hello

Knitting is the ideal craft for someone like me, with a toddler around. And knitting in the round is a no-brainer. I finish one of these hats in about two days.

Today Tess and I are going out to our former childcare provider to get a recipt signed. Joyce works out of her home in the small village where I used to work. She's very chatty, which means Tess will sit in the car while I catch up with Joyce about her son (I think he's still working for a mortgage company and Big Boy, after spending 6+ years getting his degree up north), her 4+ cats (including one who looks exactly like my dearly departed Pudding, and has lived -- so far -- to the ripe old age of 17), and bringing Tess weekly so she "gets used to being in daycare" (not that she needs to, thanks, but we'll discuss it).

Then it's off to the library to sign up for storytime again. I adore our children's librarian; she's a bit hyper but handles the children well, politely dismissing the interruptive ones and keeping her program moving along. I've really missed taking Tess there once a week. I'm learning there are other, more wonderful children's books than the tedious, fact-filled ones I used to edit.

The only other thing that we are not signing up for again is the music & movement class; while I think it was "good" for Tess, she obviously wasn't enjoying it. Also, it was way out in Ann Arbor and I didn't meet up with Moms I'll deal with in the future, when Tess is in school. There's a community ed program for parents and toddlers this fall -- totally new -- there I should meet Moms I will run into regularly.

Oh, and I have to call Kara about her neighborhood playgroup. She's a Mom from the new parenting group Marilyn formed to "join" two groups together; oddly enough, I'm the only one from my original group to "merge," since Bev moved to New Jersey with her twins and Lora is too busy with her Bikram Yoga business to schedule a new group with her twins. It's actually refreshing to be in a group with singletons -- my group was all about twins, obviously, and I didn't qualify. I did enjoy getting to know Bev and Lora, though.

Well, we've got to run. Tess has been VERY patient and is still playing quietly upstairs (I can hear her chatting, to whom or WHAT I don't know) although there may be a mess for me to clean up. I heard the cereal box get turned over, never a good sound from a small child.