Friday, July 21, 2006

Return of the Jedi

Or it would be, but I refuse to call him that. He can call DD "Padwan" all he wants, but I absolutely refuse to refer to him has "Master" or "Jedi". Because that is just TOO odd. And he
would never be a Jedi anyway. He can't focus for long enough to remember the names of the people in a three hour movie, how can he focus enough to have the force? Some smart aleck suggested that I cover the flash with my finger when taking the picture. Now do you understand what I mean, when I say for a reasonably intelligent person I am not so smart? It never even
occured to me that I could cover the darn thing. The pictures turned out much better.
This morning we woke to DD sitting patiently in her room - fully dressed, hair brushed, teeth brushed, face washed waiting for us to show signs of life. She got up and got ready on her own, hoping that she and her father could have a light sabre battle before she left for day camp. I am
a little frightened by all of that, just so you know.
I had my appointment yesterday with the Hair Artiste. When I tried to get in he was fully booked, but they had a cancellation. They seemed rushed, usually it takes two hours. I went from brown and mousey to blonde bombshell in a record one hour last night. His assistant was downright dangerous with his comb - rip rip rip! I was like HEY. I would like a hair left for you to colour, if you don't mind. The results are worthwhile however. And it isn't just lovely daughter came and patted my hair and said "Oh, it is so nice and YELLOW" roflmao. She likes when I have yellow hair the best, she informed me. Dh liked it too, but we won't discuss his reaction. I've never claimed this blog was completely safe, but I do like to keep it somewhat PG13. *Now let's all sing the "TMI" song together* So now I have bought new clothes, done my nails, paid way more money than a person should ever pay to get my hair coloured, and bought new songs for my ipod. These trips are getting too expensive, and DH is getting suspicious. "You never colour your hair for me. You don't do your nails for me" and so on. I told him that he doesn't have the power to promote me or give me a big fat juicey raise, so shut up and deal LOL. And DD echoed "Yeah daddy, just deal". Tee hee! Perhaps I should watch what I say while she is in earshot. So short blog today, I have a lot to do to get myself, the house, and the rest of the occupants ready for next week. I am relatively sure I can blog while on the road, but in case something happens and I cannot - have a wonderful week!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Even babies and dogs spit it out

Ruby had a rough night. While I was reading DD her bedtime story, Ruby was busy biting her toy squirrel (and biting that squirrel is rapture for her. She closes her eyes and sighs and you can tell she just loves it). Sometimes she gags on her toys, and she did, and threw up on DD's bed. PANDELERIUM. And to make it worse, it was DD's favourite bedding. Upset is not the word for how despondent she was last night. Of course, she wanted the dog nowhere near her after that. Later in the night she threw up two more times, but was fine after that. Now, I've had a lot of dogs in my life time. And dogs throw up. Often. Sometimes they eat grass. Sometimes they eat something wonderfully stinky that does not agree with them later on. Sometimes they gag on toys. And sometimes they just throw up. And usually, they go on about their day like nothing happened. They sort of look at the mess, and kind of go "What the heck? Where did that come from?". And Ruby does that surprise thing too. But of all the dogs I ever had, when she gets sick she LOOKS sick afterwards. Ears down, face drooped, tail limp. She sort of skulks around with her head low, and batts her eyelashes at me to get sympathy. Sometimes, if DH is home, she will come to me and hide behind my legs or jump on my lap and hide her face. He has never yelled or punished her when this happens, but she gets so ashamed and hides with mummy. Poor thing. So that was our excitement for the night. DH is not impressed with the light saber photo. He said you can't tell by looking that they glow. So, like idiots we went into the downstairs bathroom and turned off the light and tried taking another picture. Giggling like nutballs. Anybody have an extra stamp? Good. Mail me a life, will ya? The result, well, not exciting and no sense posting. The flash lights up the room like daylight and you would never know the lights were off. If anything, the saber glows LESS. I fiddled with the camera for 10 minutes trying to turn the flash off before giving up. They have idiot proofed this camera so well that this idiot can't change any of the settings. All automatic. Who'd-a-thought that would be a problem. Took a bit of a stroll around the yard today. This is one of my favourite bushes. It isn't VERY special at first glance. It is nice enough. It has coloured branches which add interest when the leaves are off or small. The leaves are a nice shape and a good, bright green. But it is the flowers that I love love love. Not day-glo in colour. Not the size of a dinner plate. Just graceful white butterflies perching on the tips of the branches. There is something so clean and graceful about it. Like one of those studio apartments with white walls and wood floors and one or two things in it - and you are surprised that it feels warm and welcoming, not cold and sparse like you would expect. The red mulch and the grey stones are good counterpoints. You can see my lavender peeking out behind it. Just missed the blooms, which is a pity because they are so lovely. Let's just say I wasn't kneeling in the hornets in 95 degree weather to grace us all with a pic. I need a camera with a telephoto lense. This is a named variety rose called "Krystal" that was a christening present for DD. We almost lost it due to black spot and a poor movement decision, but it seems my coddling and new protected spot might have been successful. Believe me, teasing two branches out of that dead rootstock is a victory for me. I am hoping that next year it will continue to grow and gain strength, and return to the glory it once had. The full bloom is about three inches across. In the melee I lost three other roses. Two named varieties and one a custom hybrid made especially for me by a friend. It never did bloom for me, and the black spot was just too much and did it in. The guilt - the GUILT. But he is working on a double old fashioned rose that has a creamy center with yellow and red streaked petals. It smells divine, and produces gigantic hips. Alas, it may be years before it is ready for me. After all, it practically has to be bullet proof to survive here LOL. Don't let me forget to go and check for zuchini today. They were just two inches long the last time I looked, but it has rained since then. I don't want to find any monster zuchini lurking the garden, poised to seize unsuspecting children and dogs as they walk by. My inch long cucumbers are.....still an inch long. I am convinced they will spring to full grown the moment I am on the plane to Chicago. I will come home to bloated, orange, overripe cucumbers not fit for man nor beast. I wonder if I still have that bread-and-butter pickle recipe that calls for "over grown" cucumbers. There are more little green tomatoes out there, which gives me hope. And lots of new blossoms. I don't think there is much risk of all my tomatoes ripening and falling while I am gone. I am a good few weeks away before they start to blush. Darn our growing season! Dh has promised to check every day while I am gone, but we all know how that goes. He can't find the ketchup on the fridge door. There isn't much hope he will find a camouflaged zucchini hiding under the leaves. Plus the plants are picky, so the first time he gets scratched will be the last time he goes back there. SOMEHOW I managed to miss the newest episode of Project Runway. I just can't figure out what night it is on. TV Lineup challenged I am. If the fate of the world rested on me remembering what night my programs were on, we could kiss our collective butts goodbye. I found out by accident who was voted off though. The tv is on in the background and he was just interviewed on a morning talk show. I covered my ears and went "la la la" so I wouldn't hear too much. Maybe I can find a rerun somewhere. In other news, I have managed to fanagle a hair appointment with my hair artiste, Vito. Not sure what I am going to do with DD while I am there, but even if I have to hire a nanny I will not miss that appointment. I can't go to Chicago with GREY ROOTS, no sirree. Sheesh, no more business trips. Between clothes and hair and airport magazines and new knitting projects for travelling I can't afford it ;).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Shopping is hard work

Whew. Why do I always underestimate how much time it takes to go clothes shopping? One store, one sale, how long can it take? Two hours, that's how long. Then I had to do some actual WORK before blogging. Life is hard, eh? A piece of advice I want you all to remind me of the next time I go clothes shopping. Wear my slidey underwear. That's right. Slippery underwear is the key to efficient donning and doffing of outfits in the changing room. Clearly I was not wearing the right undies today. I would also appreciate if you would kindly and gently take anything out of my hands that has a back or side zipper. It is physically impossible for me to zip a side zipper on pants. I can twist, but then I can't make my arms and hands work right. It is quite a sad sight. Sort of like a beetle on it's back only more pitiful and just slightly less flailing about. The pants fit so nice and were such a good price that I considered having 'miss-size-two' come in and do them up for me. But then I figured it would traumatize her past the 'worth-it-for-minimum-wage' threshold and damage her for life. Plus, who will do them up for me at home? Back on the hanger they went. Back or side zippers on a skirt are okay. If you are wearing slidey underwear. And I was not. Too bad really. The clothes at this store fit me like a glove for the most part. But I am noticing a new trend in the shirt department. A lot of their shirts have sort of an elastic gathering under the neckline. I suppose it is to combat "uniboob" - a problem many of us curvey ladies experience when purchasing tops. But for some reason, that gathering never sits in the right spot on me. It sits like two inches too high for my chest. Either my breasts are sagging at an incredible rate or I need a new bra. Or every other woman in the world is built wrong and everything is two inches higher on their bodies. Yeah, that is the choice I like. Let me have my fantasies, alright? I managed to find three full outfits and a few bits and pieces to stretch what I already have. And a totally impractical green stripey tank top that was so horrific that I couldn't resist it. It fits absolutely perfect and the pattern is bright and bold enough to raise the hair on the back of your neck. 'Miss-size-two' told me I was the very first person to be brave enough to buy one. You just watch, next week they will be on clearance for 25% what I paid. But I had to have it, I tell you. If you see a fluffy person walking around the Chicago area next week in a hideous green striped tank top, it just might be me. Come on over and say HI! As for shoes, I have convinced myself that nobody is going to look at my feet or care that I wear the same shoes every day. If indications point to otherwise, I will pull out the big guns. Not THOSE big guns (and cleavage never really hurts you know). I have a big chunky necklace that borders on atrocious that I love to wear for business. You can downsize an entire branch office and they will go right along with it, staring hypnotically at the homely thing. Sometimes other departments are willing to give me whatever I want, so long as they can get out of the room and away from the horribleness of it. I have a brooch as well that works for the same purpose - it's ugliness reaches almost impossible proportions. I think I am the only person I know that can see an accessory, then exclaim "That is the ugliest thing I have ever seen in my life. I. MUST. HAVE. IT.". Shoes, costume jewelry, purses, fabric patterns, you name it. It is a blessing that I am not into hats, at least for DH's sake. While I was out I also picked up some nail polish (everything I have looks so 80's. Probably because that is when I bought it), some orange yarn to make a pumpkin hat for a baby shower gift, and of course knee highs and trouser socks. I am lucky to get one use out of such things. I am a stocking run waiting to happen. I must be the only person in the world that can sit completely still and manage to pop a ladder in my hose, which goes from the top of the thigh right to toe-tip in seconds. It's like I chemically reject the filmanents they are made from. And you would understand the insult of that if you ever saw what gyrations I go through to get pantyhose on and off. Even my own husband is not allowed to see that happen. Knee highs and trouser socks are certainly not immune to the destruction, but at least I don't have to get in touch with my inner yoga to put them on. I remember a friend once telling me in great detail how she washes her hosiery (by hand in the sink, carefully squeezing dry and never wringing, and hanging over a sweater rack). All I can remember thinking is "other people can wear them more than once?". I think I might bring the supplies for the hat for the airport and flight. I don't know though. I've never had trouble bringing straight needles on an airplane. But working with dpns...well...your WIP looks so threatening with all these sharp things poking out. People and dogs eye me warily when I work on a small project with DPNs. It's like any minute they expect me to start swinging it above my head and use it as a mace or something. If I pack all that into my checked bag and work on the wrap it is less threatening, but requires more counting. Which is fine if I can sit in solitude and knit and sip coffee. But if somebody strikes a conversation with me, well, I am doomed. I can knit and carry on a conversation, but I cannot count and do anything other than breathe. And sometimes that is a stretch. I have two other scarf projects (one on the needles, another waiting patiently in line for it's turn), but the length of such a piece makes it unweildy in no time flat. And in this heat, I don't want to have a wool scarf flung around my neck to keep the completed end off the floor. Oh well. There is still time to decide. If you ever wanted absolute proof that I live in a parallel reality, let me tell you this. Not only do we have THREE working light sabers in our house, but they are used regularly. That is right. They are used for such things as scaring the child into her bed, harassing the dog (which no longer works - dwell on the fact that our dog is SO OVER the light saber thing that she no longer even reacts to them), harassing the cats (which still works), scaring the fish (sad sad sad), and much much more. No more need for a flashlight, when a light saber is so handy. And if you do happen to find the bogey man under the bed, you have your handy dandy light saber at the ready to run him through. Save me. They light up, and when you turn them on the light starts at the hilt and works it's way up, just like on the movies. It makes the same start up and shut down noise, and they crackle, hiss, and sizzle as you move them around and touch things with them. They are way cool. But do we really need three? Which will be five, if he can find Ben Kanobi and Mace Windu. Did I ask you to save me yet?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Auntie Em! Auntie Em!

Last night the wind really kicked up, and our sunshade/gazebo/screen thingy took a beating. I was worried the sides would rip so we tied them back with extra rope. The wind was MOVING IT ACROSS THE PATIO. It took four grunting, sweating, and swearing adults to move that thing one inch over. That wind moved it like it was an empty cardboard box. And it came up very fast. One minute it was breezy, the next we were hanging onto that thing like a bucking bronco in the middle of lightning and a down pour. More of that sideways rain that goes right into your ear. Getting wet is bad, getting wet inside your ear is just icky. Like an environmental "wet willy". The wind calmed down once the really heavy rain (!) started, and the thing stopped galloping across the patio like a skittish pony. I was glad for that. Of course, this reinforces the fact that my darling husband has still not attached this thing to the concrete and it could just as well have ended up on my car. But we won't think about such things. So I have to travel next week for work. Chicago. And it is going to be hot. Every time I go there it is either hot enough to steam steel or cold enough to stick to it. Just once I would like to go there in TEMPERATE weather. You know, the kind where you can wear your nice business clothes without sweating through them or having to wear a parka on top and change from your mukluks to dress shoes a hundred times a day. But I guess I can't be choosey ALL the time. Well, I can be choosey but I can't always get my way. Did I just say that? Pretend you didn't hear it. DD is NOT pleased that I have to go away for an entire week. Not at all, no sir. And I don't think Ruby will like it much either. How is she going to sleep, without my head to rest her chin on? Poor thing LOL. DH is not impressed either, but this is part of my job so he has to accept it. If I want the perks of being able to work from home and make my own hours, I have to travel from time to time and sometimes for extended periods. Tonight I have to try on my "good" clothes and see if anything still fits. Cross your fingers for me, will ya. In fact, maybe it would be better if we all collectively held our breath and sucked our guts in. Every millimeter helps. Do you think they will notice if I wear the same shoes every day? I only have one pair of summer dress shoes. They are nice and relatively new, but do people notice these things? Perhaps I should think about employing the "dazzle them with excess cleavage" routine to take the attention off my shoes and the straining waist band on my pants. But on to bigger questions. What knitting shall I take with me? ROFL. I like to knit/crochet in the airport, on the plane, and in quiet moments after work. No cats to taste the yarn, no dog to lie on my WIP (work in progress), no daughter performing feats of danger and whimsy to get my attention. No husband picking at me about the balls of yarn and scrap ends and piles of DPNs all over the house. In northern areas, where there are vast expanses of land, water, and ice - and few people - nomads made small piles of rocks called inukshuks to show where they had been, and tell other roamers the way. It was their way of saying "I was here" without spray paint or brick walls. I like to think of my little piles as my personal inukshuks. A few scraps of various yarns, some DPNs. A tape measure and maybe even a cup half full of cold coffee. A few folded and faded pages of a pattern I printed from the internet. These are the things that say DANCES WAS HERE. They are proofs of my existance in this household and are unmistakeably mine. When others come this way they see these piles and know for sure that I was there. Or.............. I am a slob. But the other thing is much more poetic. Besides, if we can have barbie dolls (DD) and working replicas of light sabers (DH) in every room, then what is a bit of yarn here and there? It just popped into my mind, so I better get it down before it percolates back into the recesses of my brain and is lost forever.....what the heck would posess my cat to poke my toe with her teeth at precicely 6am four days running???? Not BITE my toe. A toe bite I could understand. Wiggly feet under covers make dandy cat toys. But to press her face to my foot so that her protruding fang can POKE my big toe. Always the same foot, always 6am. Once I am awake, she dances away in typical Xena fashion. She is just so odd. We don't "get" her most of the time. But she seems to enjoy herself, which is, I guess, the important thing. Wouldn't want a cat to be BORED would we? DH says to start sleeping with my feet UNDER the covers. Insert eye roll here. Men just don't get it, do they? I told him that all whores sleep with their feet out of the covers, which shut him up pretty quick.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I am no longer allowed to make decisions

This is what my husband has decided. You see, yesterday one of DD's little friends called and asked to come over and play. And then DD asked if she could stay for dinner. Then I figured because they both went to the same day camp this week, heck, why not have her overnight. It was a spiral of death into the depths of hell, really. My mind said "how bad can it be? At worst there will be a lot of giggling and a pile of barbie dolls in every room". When will I learn that if one voice in my head has to try and convince the other voices that something is a good idea, it rarely is. Now, the child that came over was wonderful. A little piece of angel food cake. She said please and thank you, was relatively quiet, ate what was on her plate (and asked for seconds of salad and veggies), brought her plate to the counter when she was done, and told me that I was nice because I cut the crust off her sandwiches for her lunch today. It was our daughter that was the problem. She was bossy. She was mean. She wouldn't share her toys. She cried and screamed and ranted and raved and made her friend feel bad and unwanted. I was furious! It made for a very long night, because I had to referree a lot. Finally I took DD aside and had a very stern talk to her (and she got a bit of a spanking, which is laughable but it worked). After that she was all smiles and politeness and was gracious to her guest. She was just over stimulated, I think and needed a bit of a break from "togetherness". She needn't worry, she will have a nice long break because I won't be stupid enough to do this again for a while, voices be damned. Another thing I think that helped cause her melt down, is that Ruby absolutely loves this little friend. She constantly sneaks over to give her kisses and wag her tail at her and give her a good roo-ing. She lies on the floor inches away from her feet and gives her adoring snorts and sighs of contentment. Ruby loves DD too, but they have this whole "mommy rivalry" going on which kinds of gets in the way some times. But with this little friend, there is none of that. In fact, after getting them both off to day camp this morning, Ruby was positively crestfallen. I keep saying "Stop looking like I killed our dog. The kids are at DAY CAMP. We didn't eat them!". Ruby is not so sure. This is the child that seems to get hurt standing still in a padded room. The last time she was here she slipped going down the stairs and scraped her back. Then she banged her head, and managed to fall more than once - just right off her feet. I threatened to wrap her in bubble wrap until her mom came to get her, lest she hurt herself more LOL. And of course, this time, she is not unscathed. DD got her just under the eye with the corner of a book. It was an accident, but I can tell you my child has gotten ME more than once with book corners. She's what we call 'a little flingy'. Doesn't have a real awareness of things and people in her proximity. Her eyes have been checked and it is not her eyesight, and truthfully DH is the same way. He has dripped hot coffee on me walking by, stepped on me millions of times. And when he smoked I used to get SO MAD because he would bump me with the heater end and burn my clothes or flick ashes without watching where they went - not fun getting ashes in the eye on a windy day. But a little ice and a 'boo-boo kiss' and she is none the worse for wear. I think DH nearly had a heart attack when she started crying though. Amidst all of this insanity (and more changes of clothes than you can shake a stick at - what is it about girls of that age and constantly changing their outfits??) I managed to felt my purse! One trip in the washer did it. I am sure it would have shrunk more, but I wanted it to be a certain size and am quite thrilled with it. Now I have to wait for it to dry, and it might take up to a week. I am not good at waiting. This could be very much bad.

The handles are a bit shorter than I wanted, but they will stretch (especially once I put weight in there). And if I made one more inch of cord I was surely going to commit damage to myself in some way. The handles are just pulled through and knotted, so if it really does turn out they are way too short, I can change them later on. I would really really really have to hate their length to do that though. Five feet of cord nearly did me in, for sure I would lose it after making ten. Pray that the handles are long enough...for my own good.