"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.

Sunday, November 28, 2004


Ten years ago, I took a friend to the airport in Toronto (the reason why is a whole other entry, but it's not the point of this story, so, onward). On the way home I rounded a curve in the 401 and came upon an eerie sight.

A Mercedes sedan had just overturned and was sitting in the middle of the oncoming lanes. I know it had only just happened because there was no traffic backup yet and its tires were still spinning, slowly. The car was resting on its roof and there was glass and luggage and belongings spread out in a trail behind the vehicle.

I kept going because I didn't know what else to do. I did not yet have a cell phone. There was more oncoming traffic, so I knew someone had probably already called the police and they were most likely on their way. The whole scene was like a snapshot, taken on a beautiful sunny day, locked in my mind.

This whole week has been like that accident. I started bleeding on Sunday afternoon and after two frantic conversations with the on-call doctor, I realized there was nothing I could do but wait. Wait and keep on going.

The doctor was only reassuring in that she told me it was nothing I had done, but her tone was such that -- while she never used the word "miscarriage" -- I knew what was happening. It was only a matter of when. "Could be tonight, could be next week," she told me. I feel lucky that it finally happened Monday night. The physical part was over, but I've been dealing with the aftermath ever since. Like a car crash, sometimes I'm pinned under the wreckage, sometimes I'm wandering around on the highway, looking for my stuff. But I'm alive. We've got Tess, and she has been a comfort and delight.

Thanksgiving was spent with my family up north, and I needed that. Last night was my 20-year high school reunion, and that also helped in its own weird way (the open bar did its part, I'm sure). I'd like to share photos of the event with you, but it probably won't be until next week. I know you understand.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Me, the Disney ride

The Mark Twain: A leisurely paddle steamboat
navigating the Rivers of America in the 19th
Century! A venerable Disneyland institution,
you date to opening day in 1955 and respresent
stablity, tradition, and a healthy dose of
Americana. You never make your passengers
seasick (in part due to the fact that you role
along your secret underwater track) and always
offer some great panoramic views of a Frontier
mining town, New Orleans, and back woods
glimpses of wildlife and injuns straight out of
a Samuel Clemens tale! Small children and old
folks like you best, but that doesn't mean you
don't know how to get out and enjoy the
nightlife, you play "Steamboat
Willie" in the nightly production of the
Fantasmic! Spectacular. Just one question,
just how is that you are always managing to be
headed "down river"?
What Disneyland attraction are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I so wanted to be a Pirate of the Carribean. Instead I'm from 1955. Great.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Afghan strip 1

It's useful to have a mermaid help with blocking. Posted by Hello

And of course, they get a big kick out of it. Posted by Hello

I'm well aware of the fact that it is November 17th, and Tess is back in her mermaid costume. Forgive me, she hasn't been feeling well, so I gave in and got it back out of the costume trunk. Yes, I really have an old trunk I keep costumes in!

I have no idea if I'm blocking this afghan correctly (and pardon me for the saucy entry title). I haven't woven in the ends yet but figured blocking it a bit first might save me the frustration of dealing with The Curl. It's on a very luxurious cotton sheet I have; I realized a flannel one would be even better in helping hold down the knitted piece. Spray some water, fold the sheet back over, and lightly iron. Sound right?

Tess got nowhere near that hot iron, BTW. In case you were worried...

Oh, and this pattern is from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits. Funny, can't find a picture of the project at their site. Looks like they are all over publicity of their new book, and have let projects from their first book fall off the site. Oh well. Lookie! A baby bunting pattern! Given that 002 (as I've come to name the baby) is due in July, I don't think I'll be needing that right away. Still, another project to line up...

Speaking of 002, went to the doctor's yesterday. She actually did an ultrasound and I got to see 002 in its little sac. No heartbeat yet; the doc was all concerned, but as they've seen fit to add on an additional week (on top of the two they already calculate due dates from), I told her I was really only 7 1/2 weeks to their 8 1/2. Hey, I ovulated late. I'm sure of it. So, no sweat. I have another ultrasound in two weeks just to prove myself right.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Back to business

I am part of the Knitting Blog ring now, so I've got to behave. First, I go off on my NaNo tangent, then I don't update weekly as I am required, so now I've got to update you on my knitting projects. Alas. I have many. Too many.

Weaving hell Posted by Hello

This one is really the only one that matters. The rest of my projects are to amuse me, when I get bored with all the alternating stripes on the afghan (above) that I am making for my in-laws for Christmas. You got that right -- Christmas. Which is why I don't really have time to be amused. As soon as this strip is done (and all those *#%$! ends woven in!), I've got to block it to take out the serious edge curl going on and make two more strips.

I've managed to calm the curl down (on my ugly, dirty carpet...who even THINKS of putting in white carpet in their home?!), and there's a crocheted edge all the way around which is designed to help, but I may just do a garter stitch edge on the other strips to save me the pain of watching it curl as I go...

Deep breath.

"Sockas" Posted by Hello

Check out the quarter for dimension. Self-striping yarn is fun, but the tiny needles may make my eyes cross yet. I'm dreading the start of the second sock, but then again, I won't have a pair unless I face up to the chore of (again) casting on to size 1 needles. Gulp.

This is the sock yarn with a silver thread running through it...Fortissima Colori. It makes me smile, even if it is Italian.

Damn Italians.

Bulky scarf Posted by Hello

NOW check out that quarter (can you even see it?)! These are the size 35 needles (Mom calls them "fence posts") I knit up the OTHER Italian yarn with, combining chunks of Brown Sheep's Burly Spun in black. It's actually super lightweight and a lot of fun to wear. I know, the blue stripes aren't evenly spaced. I started to realize I was going to run out of Burly Spun about half way through. However, the long section of Burly Spun fits across the back of my neck, and when you toss one end over your shoulder, you can't count up the blue sections anyway. They're just there for a bit of decoration. Like a beautiful Italian sports car.

Cup cozies Posted by Hello

I picked up these two skeins on my trip up north to get Tess this past week. There is a great little shop in Tawas - Tawas Bay Yarns - and my Mom has made friends with the owner. Peggy (the owner) helped me find a replacement for the suggested Daletta yarn (which didn't come in very fun colors, as far as I could see!) in this pattern for cup cozies. I would like to try and make one for my sister for Christmas, but, well, see that afghan up there? That's a lot of knitting to get done by December 24th.

So, that over with, back to NaNo News. There is none. I stopped writing last weekend. I'm at a great point in the manuscript and I've really enjoyed the process of turning off my internal editor and just writing, but my plan to either stay up late (after Tess goes to bed at 8:30p) or get up early (say, 5:30a), have been completely wracked by my utter exhaustion in my first trimester of pregnancy. That's right, my dream came true, I have no nausea but it has been substitued by extreme tiredness. I sleep from 9p to 8a, then try and sneak in a 1 to 2-hour nap in the afternoon, while Tess enjoys her quiet time. It's a twilight sort of nap, since I can't really sleep - I have one ear cocked for alarming noises. But she's a good kid, even took her Leap Pad up to her room and closed her door on a couple of occasions. When I asked her why she did that, she said "I don't want to wake you." Is that sweet (and frighteningly advanced, for a 2 1/2 year-old), or what?

I'm feeling so good I went with E last night to play at least one game of doubles in the league where he's a replacement. However, the klutziness of pregnancy (without the bulk, yet) has already begun. Within 2 warm-up strokes (with a partner who did not know the meaning of "warm-up strokes" - he was hitting them at me, instead of to me, from too deep on his side of the court), I swung, missed, and clocked myself in the face with my racquet.

Okay, now that you're done laughing at that image (ask any tennis player, they've all smacked themselves at some point in time) would have been no biggie (just a major owie), if I hadn't tucked in my upper lip for concentration, and cut a hole with my tooth straight through my lip. Good lord, that bled like a mother.

I was ready to spend the evening in ER, but E calmed me down. I rang up our GP's office and the doctor on call let me know she could do something with a kind of "super glue" (instead of stitches) on Monday, that if it were infected, all they could do was give me oral antibiotics once it got red and puffy. Which it didn't. I woke up with an enormous scab this morning, which fell off in the shower, and right now I have a jagged sort of 1/4 inch scar that I'm hoping will heal up neatly (and soon). I have my 20 year class reunion in two weeks. Lovely.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

What's For Dinner: Spinach Lasagna

We didn't go to Duelists* camp until Saturday afternoon -- Saturday evening before we got down to Pokagon State Park in northern Indiana. I am still feeling suspiciously good. A little heartburn if I'm not paying attention, but I wake up each morning feeling glorious and that is a good GREAT thing. I'll be more reassured if I'm still feel well in about 2 weeks...I think "morning" sickness (read: it lasts all bloody day) snuck up on me more than I am remembering from my first pregnancy. That time, anxiety about being pregnant so soon, not feeling mentally ready for a child, and working 40 hours a week only added to my problem. Those factors are not an issue this time.

ANYWAY, I baked out lasagna before we went (thus saving myself from having to use the camp kitchen, which is built for cafeteria-style cooking) and made an ordinary Greek salad, forgetting that there were plans to make a turkey. Well, the organizers had said they might not do that this year, but they did, so we had a LOT of food.

So, a recipe. Although I'm getting really tired of this one. It's too easy to make, and I've made it once too often in the past year. Or rather, the canned spaghetti sauce is just not a favorite. I've yet to find one I like. However, making sauce to put in this only adds days to its preparation.

So, really, this is TOO easy to make. Dinner in about an hour and a half from start to finish. Which is why I make it in a (frequent) pinch.

Mix together: 16 oz. ricotta cheese, 1 C shredded mozzarella (save another cup for top), 1 egg, 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed & drained (I blast it for about 3 minutes in the microwave, on cook, not defrost), dash each (to taste) of oregano, salt, & pepper.

Layer in 9x13 pan: 1/2 C sauce out of 25 oz. jar, 3 lasagna noodles (UNCOOKED), 1/2 of cheese mixture, 3 noodles, rest of cheese mixture, 3 noodles, rest of spaghetti sauce, rest of mozzarella.

IMPORTANT: Pour 1 C water around layers (this is how you can make it without boiling the noodles ahead of time).

Cover with foil, sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour + 15 minutes.

*No fencing actually occurred. Everyone wanted to play Texas Hold 'Em instead. I lasted to the final 4 (out of 8 of us that started) but went all in because I was tired and wanted to go to bed. Not that I would've lasted that long even if I were awake. I had a never-ended streak of bad cards and only played to see what might come up on the flop.

E, BTW, is a wicked, wicked player. Ruthless. I fall for his high bets every time, thinking he might be bluffing (after all, I watch - and listen - to him play on all the time, so I know he likes to scare people off with big bets on NOTHING...although he always plays with "fake" money there, so the stakes are lower, technically). I need to follow my instincts better, because if he KEEPS betting big stuff (in a "real money" game), he's really got something. I can FEEL it, and I witnessed it (to my dismay) at least twice last night.

Which is why he won't ever be tempted to enter the World Poker Tour.

NaNo news: nothing this weekend, shame, shame on me. I'm up to 5,818 words right now, with my last record writing day (Friday) bringing in 2,500+ words. At the moment, according to my Excel NaNo "Report Card," I need to write 1,841 words a day to hit 50,000 by November 30th (god bless Erik Benson, the inventor of that report)!

I might stay up tonight (took a 2-hour nap when we got home tonight), but I'm not in it to "win" it. Just kick-starting a 12 year-old novel idea. And I like what I've come up with. I finally introduced a favorite character, Ariel, based heavily on my friend Kris, with whom I used to haunt (ha!) the streets of Detroit. Ariel and my lead character, Lydia (who is a DUD so far) just went out to breakfast at Denny's, although not late at night/early in the a.m., as Kris and I used to do, after she got off the late shift at Xochimilcho's or Traffic Jam & Snug. Sigh, I do miss those days. Especially the free food, heh.

I'm not the only one who has a city taking center stage. Found a fellow local WriMo who's book sounds very intriguing, set in my other favorite "haunted" city, New Orleans. Cool. And Bob continues to encourage me, even with my low word count (so far). Thanks, buddy! Now I've given you something else easy to cook ;-)

And since y'all lasted through THIS long of an entry, time for your daily dose of unbearable cuteness. You're welcome!

My little mermaid Posted by Hello

She's sticking her tongue out. Mom said, "NOW she looks like you!" Phbbbt!

Friday, November 05, 2004

NaNo Day 5

Yeah, you noticed that big jump in days too, huh? Had to pick up Mom on Wednesday - no writing got done. Then she was HERE all day yesterday, so, no writing yesterday, either (but an amazing, luxurious 2-hour nap for myself in the afternoon, whoo-hoo!!) Finally, took Mom and Tess up to Bay City to meet Dad and then, FREEDOM. I've been writing since I hit the door this afternoon. Okay, well, I stopped to empty (and fill) the dishwasher. And call E about leaving for Duelists tomorrow morning instead of tonight (more writing time!). Oh, and I ate a late lunch. But I'm writing, I promise!

Saw the nurse yesterday. She took my history. She said, "Not to be mean, but worst of your morning sickness is still ahead of you." I assured her I was feeling strangely fine, hardly having heartburn, but then as I went to bed last night I remembered, remembered the awful feeling of not wanting to eat ANYTHING, of the mere smell of food doing me in, how I wished they would make an UN-scented shampoo, even, because everything was making me sick. For 8 weeks. And that business didn't really start until my second month, which is mere moments away.

I'm avoiding caffeine in all forms, even my Wild Berry Green Tea that I was so addicted to with my first pregnancy. I eat every couple of hours. I take Tums for any evening heartburn. So far, so good...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

NaNo Day 2 and NEWS

You know, they really shouldn't allow pregnant women to test themselves. Because either way, we're a nervous wreck and we're likely to read a single line as a negative, when we need to be looking at whether it's VERTICAL or HORIZONTAL.

In other words, took the test again this morning and YES, I'm a doofus. But I blame it, as always, on the hormones.

I'm only about 4 weeks along at this point, so I'm not shouting it from the rooftops just yet. Waiting to tell my mom in person when I pick her up in Bay City tomorrow. We'll have a nice celebratory lunch there and then we have a stamping class tomorrow in Northville. Glitter! Just what a girl needs.

Speaking of glitter, I finally bought some sock yarn yesterday. Fortissimo "Disco," in muted shades of purple, green, and beige, with a SILVER thread running through it. And yes, I realized I'm behind on sharing projects with you. There's the afghan for my in-laws (curling up horribly in stockinette stitch) and now, the socks. Oh, and that baby hat to finish.

Meanwhile, back at the laptop (on which I am struggling to type my NaNo novel, urrgh, tinystupidlaptopkeyboards !!), I'm blaming today's low word count (1,137) on the equipment switch. But at least I can carry it with me when we go to camp this weekend. And I'll have 4 child-free days to catch up and surpass that 2,000 words-a-day goal of mine and get back on track.

Which reminds me, gotta find a hotel. Sleeping on a mattress in a main cabin with everyone else is no struggle for me, but people may not appreciate me tripping over them on my way to the bathroom oh, 7 or 8 times a night...

Monday, November 01, 2004

NaNo Day 1

Well, I dashed off my first 1,692 words this morning; after waking up nice & early, only to find E sleeping in the lower level (where our office is). He gets too hot upstairs (even though he re-set the thermostat; tri-levels SUCK at heat distribution) so he usually ends up on the living room couch, but for whatever reason he went all the way downstairs. Probably just to thwart any attempt of mine to get up TOO early and start clacking away at my novel. Yes, writerly paranoia has set in already!

Still, I had about a half hour while he showered, then bits of time here and there while Tess ate breakfast (with a break to read several stories, and cry for her binky, which I guiltly gave to her, just for some PEACE). I could probably crank out the other 400 words I need to reach my personal daily goal of 2,000 words (gives me Thanksgiving off, and 4 other days this month, if I reach it), but we have playgroup in about 10 minutes, and it's a 15 minute drive. Oh, she's playing so quietly, though!!

Man, you can tell I've turned off that ole Internal Editor, just by that run-on sentence/paragraph up there. Sorry.

Oh, and the latest p. test (as I've come to call them, since I've started to dread The P Word) is still negative. I'm thoroughly confused. My sister had some encouraging words for me (although the day I start taking medical advice from my sister is the day I need to be committed), that even a negative result can still mean "maybe." Seems there's only two definitive answers to the question: your period starts, big fat NO, or a positive result on a p. test.

So, still in limbo. Getting very anxious about it.