"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 24, 2005

Yarn Tasting

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

I think I have had way too much wine & chocolate to write anything resembling a coherent entry tonight, but, here goes. Big thanks to Lynne for hostessing!

Start at bottom (just like a -hic- pattern!)...

Jo Sharp...strange hand, kind of stiff, but soft (cashmere, anyone?)

Rowan Harris Tweed DK...not an orangey-red person, but this reminded me of the "junk food" offering I brought tonight: (FRESH) candy corn...mmm...

Nashua...I couldn't help but think of the B&N in Nashua, NH that I used to coordinate book signings with...until we sent them Psycho Illustrator (who never did turn in his receipts for that trip) and rejected their Event Coordinator's manuscript...ANYWAY, this yarn was very soft, beautiful color changes. You can tell I liked it, I worked the longest with it!

Peruvian Alpaca...very, very soft. Loved it.

Rowan Summer offering for the evening. Hmm...a little stiff, but warm (okay...don't even go there with that...sorry...I told you I had too much wine...)

? nose started to itch pretty quick. I also hate how this stuff catches on itself but my, my, it's pretty. It was much more turquoise IRL.

Ibiza...linen, cotton, acrylic. Lovely hand. Kind of a dull color for me, though.

Carla brought her mini-skeins from Threadbear's recent yarn tasting (Lynne swears they stole the idea from her...) I LOVED GGH's Soft Kid/Kid Soft (whaaaevah...)...Warren, are you reading?! I will do swatches!! Projects!!! Even if it is mohair...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Today was Tess's first day of preschool. I was prepared for tears -- hers, and mine, but there was a very young 3 year-old there who distracted any of us from the idea of out-crying him. The teacher impressed me with her handling of the situation. She merely said, "C'mere, buddy," in a very sympathetic voice, then firmly but swiftly extracted him from his mother. Kicking, screaming, nearly tearing the sleeve on mom's T-shirt...who wants to compete with that?

Tess had gone in just ahead of him, so I beat a hasty retreat just behind the Screamer's mom; much sympathy for her ensued and all of us moms high-tailed it out of there, in a group.

Freedom! Two and a half hours of me-time. Something I haven't had in the middle of a weekday for a year and a half, since Tess stopped napping altogether when I stopped working last April. I already had plans for my "time off." I call it the "Apply Seat of Pants to Seat of Chair" School of Writing.

When I participated in NaNoWriMo last year, I made it through the first week before I quit. I just could not find the hour and half needed to get in my 1,667 words per day for 30 days to get my 50,000 word novel finished as required. My first miscarriage and 20-year high school reunion in the same week finished me off. I hadn't returned to the novel until last week, when I realized the enormity of having such a block of free time at my disposal.

"I'd better not come home and mope around the house," I thought, "Or -- GOD FORBID -- start cleaning. I'd better prepare myself for the time" -- two short years from now -- "when Tess is off to school full time."

Do I want to go back to some draining assistant's job in my early 40s? Because even associate editor jobs are hard to come by in these parts. The answer was no. Do I want to apply what I learned last year at NaNo and regain the momentum I had with my writing, before life intervened in such a cruel way? You betcha.

So I have made a promise to myself to fire up the laptop and Get Thee to a Coffeeshop, every Tuesday and Thursday, to warm up to NaNoWriMo 2005.

I'll have to go with a different novel idea, since that's The Law of NaNo, but my "old" novel will do the warm-up trick until then.

1,677 words today in 1 hour and 45 minutes...503 squeezed out yesterday in two 10-minute breaks between toddler tantrums...

>> sound of my knuckles cracking in anticipation <<

Wordiness? Bring it.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Here's my good buddy Christy, doing her acting thang out in Portland, OR. The show? "Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief." She played a Cockney character. This is a great "Christy" face. Looks like her mom, heh.

Found this site today. One worth watching, since I'm a serious caffeine addict, but I rarely indulge in Starbucks.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Recovering (slowly) from my first migraine in about 6 months. I don't get these often, but when I do, I know they are coming. I had a huge mug of coffee this morning (believe it or not, a little bit of caffeine usually helps...see Excedrin, below...), then some dark chocolate-covered espresso beans (curse you, Trader Joe's!!), so I hesitated to take Excedrin (65 mg of caffeine per dose), but finally I was forced to, around 6:30p. Severe headache + nausea + the world swimming in green flashes = MIGRAINE ALERT! Warning Will Robinson. So, I will be up late tonight.

What better time to update my book blog? I've given up on uploading book covers ( is being cranky anyway; most of my previously uploaded book covers are not showing up right now) and Amazon links (teh, look it up yourself!), just to get my reading list up to date.

Perhaps The Migraine was brought on by my mother's recent visit. She was a bit ticked to begin with, having offered to come down and watch Tess for the week (while, it was assumed, E & I would get the heck out of Dodge), but alas! we could not make up our damn minds as to where we wanted to go. Funny, we almost picked New Orleans about a month ago...sigh.

We also realized we'd be needing a new roof before the first snowfall (which could happen in January, or next week; this is Michigan, after all). So, we decided to stay put. E took off a morning here, an afternoon there, we met with roofing contractors, yet still invited Mom down for a couple of days. She is very isolated living up north, not good for a former real estate broker and general social butterfly.

My mistake was in describing my week, and how my evenings are affected by E's tennis schedule. It's enough to make anyone's head swim. I will spare you the details, since they will all be changing soon, but I will say he has been getting away with murder...he plays EVERY STINKING DAY of the week, either early in the morning or in the evening (on Wednesday he manages BOTH). As long as he does not make me put Tess to bed on my own more than two nights running (and I get my Tuesday nights, Friday nights, and Sunday afternoons in), we're golden.

Mom hit a snag when I described our Sundays. "'ve wiped church right off your calendar?" Icy silence, followed by a 20-minute sermon (pun intended) that displayed every reason I avoid church:

1) "You have a wonderful opportunity to bring someone to the Lord..."

Not if he's not interested. Believe me, I tried.

Apparently my effort was "not good enough," which sums up my experience with (some) people who do make it to church every week. And that, in turn, proves my point, that most people who go to church every week and "give their all" are only in it to show others how it "should" be done. Forget praising the Lord. It's all about punching the holy time clock, and making sure your co-workers notice.

2) "You are depriving your child of her chance to know the Lord..."

Did me a lot of good, didn't it? On the upside (for my Mom, at least), is the knowledge that your children usually behave in a manner exactly the opposite of you; thus bleeding liberal hearts beget young Republicans (I call it "the Alex P. Keaton effect"), and non church-goers beget fundamentalists...gee, I'm so looking forward to Tess's teenage years...

3) "You should be thanking the Lord for all the wonderful things you have in your life."

And I have to suffer through church every week to do this? Thanks, but no thanks, Jesus (see my rant under point #1). Oh, and I was a good, church-going girl when He put the wretched ex-fiance in my life. I only got the Good Life when I met a man who had never been to church (thanks to the policies of the former USSR), and finally quit going to church altogether myself. Do the math.

Also, my FIL is terminally ill (and my mother knows this). So, instead of letting Tess get to know him by spending Sundays with her grandparents (the ones who live near us) before it's too late, she should be wasting half of the day at church? More math.

And my all-time favorite attempt to induce guilt:

4) "What if God wiped you off of his calendar?"

Um, I think He has, and we've both been better for it. After all, he has fanatics like her to make up for it.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that pretty much summed it up for me: "Dear God, please protect me from your followers."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Circus Socks

Circus Socks
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

These socks were made with yarn (Artful Yarn's Circus) from my Secret Pal 4...well, one of two that bailed out my failed SP4. Thanks again to Cece! These knit up fast (I did one of them in a day). I should have used #11 DPs but all I had on hand was #10s, and since I started these last month...ahem...when I couldn't leave the house, I had to go with what I had. OF COURSE, they turned out small, too small for me, but my MIL's birthday is this week, and she has really tiny feet, so, there you go.

The finished stuff just keeps on coming...although I may just work on my Gryffindor scarf tonight at Knit In, instead of my second disco sock...Gotta keep up with Karen, who is quickly (very quickly) catching up with me on her (cough) Slytherin scarf, and I only got her started Saturday! The race is on...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Helping Out

I don't know why I can't fix my sidebar. I'd like to add this graphic there, but the whole sidebar is dropped to the bottom and I can't seem to add anything. So, here's my plea, if you're a knitter and you haven't yet donated...although I think everyone's covered it by now.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My heroes

To answer your question, YES, I have been knitting along as usual. Finished the second sock for Lora and Joe's next baby (due sometime this month, but this whole project, hat and socks, turned out HUGE so I'm not worried about giving it to them before he or she is born...). Note how I artfully arranged one sock over the other, so that you don't notice that one sock is longer than the other. Oops. Let it slip. Still, you can't see it, right? So maybe I'm lying.

These were made from Knit Picks Shine yarn, which is incredibly soft. Perfect for baby stuff; I just needed to get the gauge right. Oops.

I got a haircut today and my hairdresser, the fabu Charlie at Salon XL, just got back from the New Orleans area last night. They drove down on Friday, carrying 50 gallons of gasoline with them, as they were advised there are no open gas stations within 200 miles of NO. She and her husband have friends down there they helped out. Favorite item they brought? Tiki torches, and extra fuel for them. Who knew?

We were talking about pots (as in, L'Oreal's "pots" of conditioner that Charlie has me addicted to - thanks a lot, Charlie) and Charlie joked that she really wishes she could have brought some of that herb down for her friends, "Because they need some serious relaxing down there." We talked about how stupid people were for stealing plasma TVs, "like they're going to let you take that on the bus to Houston," but that some folks could forgive those who stole necessities such as diapers, food, water, even liquor, with a "whatever gets you through the night," kind of philosophy.

I finally gave up my fairy socks tonight. Made a little card to go with. I tied them to the journal Jonathan left (there's a journal at each fairy door location; I only did socks for the Sweetwaters' door). If they sell well in the fairy store at Peaceable Kingdom, perhaps I'll just have to make more.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Peaceable Kingdom

Peaceable Kingdom
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Our first stop on the Ann Arbor Fairy Door tour...can't believe Tess didn't see the door just down to her left on our way out.

Fairy Windows

Fairy Windows
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Peaceable Kingdom is the only location with a complete fairy store built inside a window seat. There's the viewing windows...


Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Who knew my lanky, PhD brother (physics, natch) would get so into our expedition?!

Fairy Room

Fairy Room
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Notice the pennies lined up by the door. Kate said they had little construction signs up before it was finished.

Door #1 - Peaceable Kingdom

Door #1 - Peaceable Kingdom
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

We had to go back to see the door - I didn't realize some were on the outside.

Door #2 - Gallery

Door #2
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

I can never remember the name of this gallery...Selos? Sevlos? They make it confusing by having two names to begin with. Tess is knocking at the door. Hee.

Door #3 - Sweetwaters

Door #3
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

This is where the Ann Arbor Knit-In meets, and where I am going to (eventually!) leave my fairy stockings.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Can't stop blogging today. E should have never given up the 'puter tonight. Karen shouldn't have posted her thoughts on the disaster (just kidding, Karen!). Newspaper headlines are frightening right now. Found this while looking around the web instead:

Satellite map of New Orleans after flooding.

My beloved French Quarter is at the top of the bend in the Mississippi, lower right of photo. I love my history, but my heart is in the present and all its attendant horrors.

"We are losing this city."

Live VideoCam from Bourbon Street? The site is still titled Mardi Gras 2003, but someone at Vieux Carre Life claims it is live. Fascinating, frightening reading on that last forum.

Finally, a local NO band has already written a tribute song. I'm not saying it's good, I'm just saying...

I have family coming in tomorrow (from Philly, not NO), and they will be sleeping where the computer is, so perhaps I'm just writing ahead of myself. See you on the other side of the weekend.


Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

This concept is so much more cheerful than my entry below. Thanks, Susan! She always finds the coolest stuff...

I've already got 3 addresses (the maximum you can get at once), now to find the postcards. How cool would it be to send handmade ones?

Now, can anyone tell me how to add a link to a Flickr image? Grr...

More physical woes

As if I didn't have enough crap going on in the last month. Now I have a mystery pain somewhere under my right ribcage (below it, not under it, does that make sense?). At first it only hurt (a stabbing pain) when I moved a certain way (bending over straight, twisting to the right, or squatting down and crunching up those non-existent abs). Naturally, I avoided moving that way. Now it hurts when I pick things up (34-pound toddler, anyone?), and my back is starting to hurt. Very strange. Otherwise, no symptoms - no nausea, at least, so that rules out appendicitis. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure what side your appendix is on, so what the hell do I know?

Thanks to our new (cough) "insurance," I had to scout around at the beginning of the week for an area (NOT Grass Lake, NOT Manchester, NOT Jackson) doctor who accepts said insurance. Since this took a few days (and finally, a personal recommendation from someone E works with), I don't have an appointment until next week (in Chelsea. Close enough).

I think not knowing what the hell it is (should your liver be sending out shooting pains? Would you feel a bleeding ulcer that far to the right and north of your belly button? Can't you feel a hernia poking through? Is it something even worse than that?!) is making it worse than it actually is. That's my hope, anyway. Yet another factor is that I haven't experienced PMS in three months, when you think about it.

I'm going to a male doctor for the first time in YEARS, and also hoping I don't come across sounding like a hysterical female when I have my appointment next week. All it takes is for me to keep my mouth shut. I tend to analyze every little ache and pain I've had in the last year, especially when seeing a new doctor. But as a patient, I also need to speak up. It's all about finding the balance. Hard to do when you're panicking.

Oh, and a final factor is my swimming. I've been trying to get in a mile (36 laps) every couple of days. Maybe my body is just saying "WHOA! EXERCISE?! What fresh hell is this?!"

Yeah, right.