Thursday, May 25, 2006

Feeling blue

Got my car back yesterday! Funny how a two day repair took ten days to complete. Things finally went through with the insurance and everything. They took my car and gave me a mini-van in exchange so I wouldn't be without transportation while I was waiting. It was a Grand Caravan. Chrysler, I think? It had those Stow-and-go seats that disappear into the floor, which co-incidentally are made at the factory where DH works. The first thing he did was feel up every seat, then put them all 'away'. Nice, but where is DD going to sit? So he unfolded one seat for her. Thanks. Everybody kept congratulating me on the van - "Thanks, but it's a loaner until my car is ready". It was like being accepted into some kind of secret club. Very odd. I had people trying to convince me to BUY a mini-van now that I had driven one for 10 days. "Boy, I bet you are glad to have that thing. Maybe you should get one?". "You are going to be so sad when you get your car back, and miss that van". "I never thought I would like driving a minivan and resisted as long as I could and not I don't know how I lived without it". They were scaring me. Though the Caravan drove more nicely than other minivans I have driven (namely Ford Winstars), I am not rushing out to get one tomorrow. Most times when I drive it is just me, or I have only DD with me. I don't really need this huge thing to bring DD to school or get those four bags of groceries. And in ten days of typical driving, I used more gas than I do in TWO MONTHS of driving my Escort. TWO MONTHS. This "free" loaner cost me forty dollars to drive for a little more than a week. The only really nice thing about it was being able to bring home that gazebo box without having to make special arrangements. How many times do we buy stuff like that? Oh, about once in ten years. Just can't justify the gas for once a year. I was so excited to get my "dinky car" back! I had to take DD with me, and she hates being schlepped on errands so there was a bit of whining going on. We returned the rental (I hate how they make you stand there while they go over the vehicle with a fine toothed comb) then they drove us to the paint shop. Which was nice, but the person who drove us was kind of chatty and wanted to talk to DD and DD wasn't having any of it. She was tired from school and hot and thirsty and hungry and whiney and just wanted to be left ALONE. When we got to the paint shop, we saw an escort parked out front. DD said "Look mommy, a car like yours". Not "your car", a "car like yours". I said "Gee, it must have been a bad year for Escort owners!" and we all had a bit of a giggle. It wasn't until we walked past the car and saw it from the other side that it hit me. This was MY CAR. Only, one side was blue and one side was green. WTF???? The new door and that side of the car are now BLUE. Okay, teal. But the rest of the car is GREEN. Sure, you can't see both sides of the car at the same time but when I am used to seeing and putting my key into a green car and now it is teal, I feel all discombobulated. If you go in front of the car and look at the hood, one side is decidedly bluer than the other. Not enough to really stop you in your tracks - it could be a trick of the light or a shadow at first until you actually LOOK at it. There is no definite line you could point at and say "here is where the two colours join", but there is a difference in the finish of the new paint as well. I knew they were going to do some blending to make sure the paints matched, but I never considered they would use the WRONG COLOUR. The receptionist took one look at the expression on my face and immediately called in the "paint technician". Odd that she didn't have to ask what was wrong. And before I could even say a word to him he got all defensive and said that it was the best he could do and it was the same colour and I must be colourblind if I could not see that. So we went outside and argued some more. Now, let me say again that since you see only one side of the car at the same time you would have to be looking to notice the difference in the colour. But the point is that I did not ask for a two toned car and I am not happy with the result. It is too blue, it is too metallic (refractive I think he said) and the clear coat finish is not the same. The insurance company has already had an adjustor look at it (another sign something funny was going on...why would an adjustor look at it before I even called to complain about it?) who said the colour is fine. DH didn't see a difference in colour until I had him walk around and look at the OTHER side. Then he shrugged his shoulders and said "nobody will notice". An hour later we were getting the mail and a neighbour we have seen twice in ten years came out to ask if we knew one side of the car was bluer than the other. Not sure what we are going to do about all of this. I'll keep you posted LOL. No pictures today. I don't FEEL like it. ROFL.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Some lessons are hard to learn

I love tomatoes. Big, little. Red, yellow, orange, striped green. Pear shaped, round, heart shaped, fluted, you name it I love them. Well, I did once try some that were fuzzy like peaches and wasn't too fond of them, but otherwise I haven't met a tomato I didn't like. I have a particular fondness for tomatoes that taste "real" - meaning more like a home grown jewel rather than a mealy pink hard plastic thing (although those do have their place. Namely in a salad made from iceburg lettuce and dressed with Thousand Island type dressing). Grape tomatoes were made for a person like me. They are small. They are cute. They are delicious. And they can be popped like peanuts while you are on the computer and don't get the keyboard greasy. Yes, I am drawn to a snack food based on whether or not it messes up my peripherals. Sue me. Remember that gourmet market? Well I was there again. And look what I found. It's hard to see it, but I've already gotten into these. I've had one of each kind. Not IN something, just eaten out of hand like an apple or a grape. So far the yellow ones are my favourite. Okay. So in order to make it "okay" to eat some of these I had to finish off the container of grape tomatoes and two full size "on the vine" cluster tomatoes I already had in the house. It would not do to have four dollars worth of tomatoes rot in the name of trying the newest thing. So. If you count the fact that for supper we had tortellini with tomato sauce, that is a heck of a lot of to-maters. And in the interest of sharing way too much information, did you know that if you eat too many tomatoes with the skin and seeds, that your body pretty much rejects them? Well, just the skins and the seeds. And not right away. And when it does happen, it happens all at ONCE. The rest of the tomato miraculously and mercifully seems to have been "used up". I should have remembered this lesson. I discovered grape tomatoes while I was pregnant with DD. They were very new in our area. I think I ate two containers in one sitting. Since I had such bad morning sickness and heartburn, finding something I could eat that would not make me ill was a big deal. And the fact that they tasted so good made it even better, right? Whoa, was I wrong wrong WRONG. Those two containers of grape sized time-bombs announced themselves in the middle of the night. Poor DH thought I was in labour. I assured him I was NOT in labour - and "Please go back to bed" - through the bathroom door. It was a horrible experience. You would think I would remember it and avoid having the same problem again. Well you SHOULDN'T think that. Do you even know me at all? So last night, as I was getting some unexpected reading time in the middle of the night, I was reminded of why it might not have been a good thing to force myself to finish off the tomatoes I had in order to then eat the tomatoes I wanted. But they do look good to start off with, don't they? In other news, we got a new chandelier. I think I forgot to tell you. It was a couple of weeks ago. We liked our old one, although it was shabby. It came with the house and it turned out the builder had it in the back of his truck for a long time. I was dented and crooked and they had touched it up with wall paint, but for some reason I liked it. I decorated the bare bulbs with shades from the craft store, to which I had hot glued ribbons and beaded trim. It was to chandeliers what a velvet Elvis painting is to a Rembrandt. And I LOVED it. But it was starting to short out and scare us and it that meant it was time to put up a new one. We replaced the overhead light from the other part of the kitchen (again, it was a used fixture put in the house when it was built, touched up with wall paint and also starting to short out). While replacing them it was apparent that they had BOTH been wired incorrectly. I won't get into all of that, it gives me a headache. But I am quite proud that we were able to recreate what I loved about the old chandelier without having to whip out the glue gun. No picture of the other light. It is a beautiful pressed glass and antique bronze cieling hugger. Every single picture makes it look like a great big breast with a nipple on it. You know, the whole PG thing. Speaking of breasts, mine are fine for those who have asked LOL. No infection, healing fine, steri-strips are off. They were worried about it's "redness" but it seems that they are used to people with flesh that has colour other than fish belly white and pink. DH has been keeping himself busy building "the thing". Some call it a sun shade, or a pagoda, or a screen tent. Not sure what the official name is. It's one of those cast iron frames with a canvas top and screened sides that sits on a patio. This thing is gianormous. I don't get quite where it will go once it is completely assembled, but since we need four people to lift the roof and place it on the pillars, that will never happen so we don't have to worry about it. We'll just leave the fully assembled roof on my poured concrete patio so the neighbours can think we have royalty camping out in our yard. The dog finds it suspicious and refuses to walk past it to get to the grass. So I have to BRING the dog out each time, sidling past this tent and along the flowerbed carrying what is essentially a bowling ball that squirms. Then repeat the trip backwards. Now, we KNOW four people. But not four people that are sound enough to lift this three hundred pound thing over their head and rest it on a six foot tall pillar. The ones that are healthy enough are not nearly tall enough, and the ones that are tall enough are falling apart. One more trip to the lawn gripping a living cinder block that snorts and I will be ready to start knocking on doors and begging the neighbours for help. That is another lesson we will do well to learn. Stop buying stuff that needs more than two people to build or get more friends. Well, more non-imaginary friends anyway *waving at the KT!*.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Touch it again and I will stab you with my fork

I don't like people touching my food. Being a mother I have gotten used to SHARING what is on my plate, from my very own fork even. But still, I don't like people touching or taking food from my plate. I don't know why, that is just the way I am. There is a relative that does this constantly. I am reminded of a scene in "Hellen Keller" where the untrained child goes around grabbing food from each plate, and her teacher insists there is no reason for her to live like an animal! She teaches her in one session to eat with a fork out of her OWN plate, and fold her napkin when she was done. I am not sure I have that kind of resolve, but I do find myself trying to sit as far away from this person as I can. She thinks nothing of poking her finger into somebody's ice cream sundae to taste it. Or pulling part of your burger filling out and eating it. Or stabbing an item on your plate with her fork from across the table. Drives me BATTY. At a luncheon over the week-end she was seated across from me (fatal error, I stopped to help DD with her coat and that was the seat that was left). And despite ordering the exact same thing I did, she reached over and stabbed items off my plate no less then FOUR TIMES. I don't think she was doing it specifically to bother me (I wasn't the only victim) but for heavens sake! The last time she reached over, I blocked her and said "Do it again, and I will stab you with my fork". She was shocked and speechless for a bit, then started laughing and apologized. And her husband said "Now you know why I am sitting over here where she can't reach". I know that I have habits that must bother people. I have food issues that make me kind of finicky (not that I am a picky eater, no no no. Just have food issues). If something is "soiled" in my eyes no amount of scrubbing or soaking in bleach would make it clean enough so said items are tossed into the trash. This includes containers left to mold in the fridge or backseats of cars, dishes that were washed in the bathtub, toys that fell into the toilet, cutlery in a restaurant that is placed on the bare table rather than a napkin. Okay, those don't get thrown out but I need new silverware. Yes, I know they touch worse before I even see them but I would like to SLEEP at night every once in a while so I don't think about that. I am loud. I talk. A lot. And maddeningly enough, I am at the same time too quiet. Figure THAT one out. I would rather read than watch tv but I won't read if I know I will be interrupted at all (except for magazines). I can knit and watch tv at the same time, but if I am counting-as in counting stitches for the pattern - SHUT UP. If I keep counting over and over again getting louder and louder and you keep talking then I STOP counting suddenly and stare at you...RUN. I am a thrower. When something frustrates, angers, or upsets me I fling it across the room or out the door or out the window. My neighbours barely even flinch anymore to see this happen, not even when the offending object is a vacuum cleaner and it is still plugged in. I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve. DH said to our therapist that I expect him to read my mind, and he can't tell how I am feeling unless I tell him outright. This man, a virtual stranger, leaned forward in his chair and looked my husband in the eye and said "Are you KIDDING me? Are we talking about the same person?". I sing in public even though my singing is very bad and very loud. I could go on and on and on (and usually do ;). It would take a saint to withstand all of that and never be annoyed. If I do something that annoys you to no end, I would rather know so I can stop doing it, than have you sit and seethe and spend the time on the edge of your seat waiting for it to happen again. Although I cannot guarantee that I won't do it six or seven times in a row just to get it out of my system (tee hee!) once you've told me. But that is not how we work, right? We DON'T tell each other these things. We just let our social relationships fall apart and start avoiding each other when it gets too bad to bear. Too bad we can't be more open and honest with each other, instead of letting these things fester. MIL is a close talker and constantly touches my arm or taps me to get my attention even when I am LOOKING at her. Sometimes she taps for the millionth time and I want to punch her in the nose. A few times I have even cringed or jumped. I admit that anticipating this invasion of my personal space and unwanted touching often ruins any chance of a pleasant encounter - and we all know there are too many other issues with that relationship, it's not like I need another reason to be uncomfortable and unhappy while we are together. She is a cheek kisser too. I am expected to kiss her hello and good-bye. Other than my child, my husband, and my animals, I don't go around kissing willy-nilly. I have to give myself a pep-talk beforehand. Damaged, I am DAMAGED I tell you. Maybe this is why I like knitting and even do it in public. People don't try to advance on you or invade your space when you are holding pointed sticks and muttering numbers under your breath. Oh, they make loud comments or bad jokes about old spinster ladies, or point out that it is cheaper and easier to buy things than make them, or feel free to comment on your choice of colours. Odd that a stranger will tell me she thinks the green I chose for the sweater I am knitting is ugly, but my own husband won't tell me that he hates when I wear pajamas as loungewear. Yes, I know he hates it and I do it anyway. Comfort takes priority in certain cases. I hate his rock shirts and don't say anything so we are even. I am scared and excited at the same time. This is "Andean Silk". Superfine Alpaca, Silk, and Merino wool in a colourway called Cinnamon. It wasn't "expensive" because I ordered it from Knit Picks - though after shipping and stuff it isn't exactly Red Heart Super Saver. But it will be the first time using "the good stuff". It is to make a wrap/poncho for my godmother as a christmas present. I want to finish one project of the three I have going before starting this, which should be soon. This is "part two" of the wrap I am making out of sock yarn. I have one more lace repeat, then stockinette until the ball runs out. After that the two pieces will be grafted together in the middle. In case it isn't long enough (I only have two balls of that yarn) I bought some ivory/white sock yarn to go in the middle if I need it. Then I can use the white to finish the ends. I used a provisional cast on. Once the waste yarn is zipped off, the loops are freed to be placed on the needle again. Then you knit on an edging. I have never done that before, so another first. That's a lot of firsts in one wrap! This is my "living room" project. It's a crochet wrap. That yarn is fluffy and soft and warm yet light as a cloud. The only problem with making what is essentially a big crocheted rectangle is that after a while doing the same stitch over and over again almost lulls me to sleep. I am about halfway done and can only stay awake for ten minutes or so. It is sitting on my "living room" book. I read so fast that in order to pace myself (and to keep my reading budget from reaching mortgage proportions) I place books in each room. I am only allowed to read that book in that room. This is one of the latest by Stephanie Pearl McPhee (Yarn Harlot). I have one of her other books in the bathroom (tee hee, Meditations to pee by anyone?). I have a cooking magazine in the family room, and a new cookbook in the kitchen. No books in the bedroom as of yet. If I didn't do it this way I would sit and read them through the minute I get them. Not only does that make them go way too fast, but I don't get anything else done and tune out the world. Hey, that is another annoying thing about me! There ya go.