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Showing posts from March, 2009

Whodunit?

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Someone is in big trouble around here. I found granola bar crumbs all over the floor of my brand-new minivan. Hello? Can't we even go 2 weeks around here without defiling our expensive new purchase? I think whoever committed this crime needs to donate his/her college fund towards the car payment. Larry thinks that's too harsh. I'll bet you he's the one who did it.

Hey, I just thought up a whole new version of Clue. Sort of a mom's version - instead of someone being murdered, there will be a mess to clean up somewhere in the house, and no one will admit responsibility. So, instead of it being Colonel Mustard with a candlestick in the library, say, it would be the teenager in the car with the granola bar...or, the 8-year-old with the Legos in the living room....or, the toddler with the open jelly jar in the refrigerator...

The possibilities are endless - feel free to contribute your own ideas in the comments!

The Knitting That Time Forgot

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Knitting not only relaxes the mind, it can also do strange things to the space-time continuum. If you will recall, I started this baby surprise jacket almost 3 weeks ago. You see, I'm doing a sort of knit-along (sort of, because everyone else did it last year sometime) for the BSJ: someone rewrote the instructions and divvied it up so that it would take only 12 days to finish the jacket. My friend who participated in the knit-along sent me the instructions (and all you copyright fiends, don't worry - I do own the original pattern, I just couldn't make head nor tail of it, all right?).

Anyway, I started on this 12-day project, oh, 20 days ago. I just finished Day 4. Meaning, I've got 40 days to go - sort of like the ancient Hebrews wandering in the desert for 40 years, only shorter, and with some cheerfully-colored Lion Brand CottonEase. I don't know how they managed all that time without CottonEase.

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Oh, joy! Larry has agreed to designate …

As The Food Turns: Special Collections

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Ta-da! Fridge pictures! Thank you, RobinH! I had no idea that by taking the little card thingie out of my camera and sticking it in that other thingie on the computer, I could make my pictures magically appear on my screen. I had a bad moment there when I couldn't figure out how to find them again to put them on my blog, but hey! Here they are!


Please note the empty bottle of apple juice standing by itself in the center of the picture. Because what could make more sense than putting a complete empty container back in the fridge? Rinsing it out, maybe? Naaah, let Mom do it.

It sort of bugs me.

And can anyone tell me what the container on the top left has in it? I have no flippin' idea, so any and all suggestions will be considered. Those fingerling potatoes on the bottom left are from St. Patrick's Day - how fitting, considering they are turning sort of green at this point. The middle container on the right is a rare sight - uneaten IKEA meatballs with pasta. I bla…

Still Trying...

My tech support (aka Larry) is attempting to fix my photo downloading problem. Isn't he nice? I couldn't get to it today, what with important things to do such as haircuts for the boys and an afternoon nap for me so that I wouldn't kill anyone. The nap was counterproductive, however; I managed to have a nightmare (I know! In the daytime!). I dreamed that I had a cute little 2-year-old boy who I had totally forgotten about and hadn't hugged in a year.

Let's not analyze that one, okay?

So, I woke up feeling awful and staggered downstairs to count my kids (no 2-year-olds, I checked) and start some dinner. And here's where something good happened. I found a whole bag of fresh(?) brussels sprouts that I had bought over 2 weeks ago, and they were still okay. So I managed to feel like a good mom feeding my children fresh green vegetables for dinner. Whew.

Does anyone live on a guilt rollercoaster like this? You'd think, after 17 years, I'd be past all t…

As The Food Turns - Not!

Darn it! I had some great pictures of my fridge clean-out today, and I can't manage to get them from the camera to the computer. Which means I'll probably spend all my spare time tomorrow attempting to figure out just what is wrong with the photo-downloading software...

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Well - I really have nothing else to talk about today. Oh! Except that the woman who I accused of making me feel pathetic was kind enough to comment on yesterday's post. And it turns out that English is her second language, for heaven's sake. Don't I feel bad for calling her out on what she said? Thanks, TL, for bothering to join the discussion; I was just trying to reassure myself that not everyone was feeling sorry for me.

Sheesh - now I really do look pathetic.

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Okay, so I can't get the photos (and it's a real shame, because I was going to show you all the special collections we have in the refrigerator right now); so maybe you all could ju…

Death And Faxes

I enjoyed reading everyone's suggestions on what to say to the tactless funeral home employee; but I must say that threeundertwo's contributions took the prize. What do you say next time a funeral home worker complains of being busy? Either you can express empathy:

"Yeah, my freezer at home is full, too."
Or, you can go the vaudeville route:

"Gee, I hope nobody STIFFS you!" (Ba-da-bum)***********************

Okay, I know it's not a good idea (impolite, even!) to listen in on someone else's conversation; but I think I unwittingly did the blogosphere version of that. I visited the blog of someone who linked to me this month, and in the comments someone mentioned that she reads my blog too, and that she feels sorry for me.

So now I feel downright pathetic.

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The BBC is apparently eight light years behind the times. That is the only way to explain how they could publish this article which informs us, with an almost breathless astonishment, tha…

Baby, You Can Drive My Car...

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...because I am going to sit in the passenger seat and knit.

My friends, let me introduce to you the ultimate in knitting transportation, the 2009 Toyota Sienna. Not only is there this:


...this meaning ample room on the passenger side door for both a work in progress and the Yarn Harlot's all-important instructions on how to turn a heel (I always forget) and kitchener the toe (ditto).

But there is also this:



room for yet another project...the handy purse hanger being perfect for holding my little sock-knitting bag.

And as if that were not already enough, I show to you the piece de resistance:



...the convenient and spacious storage contained within the passenger-side armrest! Never again - half an hour into a 3-hour car trip - will I find myself lacking a needle gauge, spare DPN, or frequently needed tape measure. Oh, joy!

I do not understand why Toyota fails to emphasize these all-important features in their advertising campaigns. They have apparently not yet discovered the influenti…

Makes Me Wanna Holler

I have written a very informative post that demonstrates the unique yarn-holding capacities of the Toyota Sienna, but Blogger won't let me upload the pictures that are an essential part of this groundbreaking piece of journalism. As soon as the Blogging Goddess allows me to insert my photos, I will post my potentially Pulitzer-winning essay on the knitter-friendliness of a Toyota minivan. Until then, a question:

A friend of mine's mother passed on last Thursday, so my friend was at the funeral home the next day making some arrangements. There was one woman working with her who was very rushed and brusque. "Sorry!" she said, by way of excusing herself. "The past couple of weeks have been so busy here! So many people dying!"

My grieving friend was at a loss with how to respond to this rather inane (if not downright insensitive) statement. I'm thinking a vague "So, business is good, then?" would have sounded a tad too callous for this partic…

Caveat Emptor

We've narrowed down our car search, and a purchase is imminent. So imagine my dismay when I read this post of the Yarn Harlot's today and realized that I never once thought of checking out the yarn-holding capacity of the inside passenger door. Here I was, obsessed with inconsequential details - you know, minutiae such as having enough seating for our 6 kids and being able to adjust the driver's seat so I can see the road; and all the while I forgot the importance of knitting supplies storage. And no wonder - why, this issue is not even addressed in those shiny brochures they give you at the dealership. I just checked.

I need to call Larry and tell him to hold everything. Fools rush in, you know...

Post Without A Title

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Okay, the stress of new-car buying has pushed Larry over the edge. After manning the phones all day, I warned him when he got home, "There will be a few car salesmen calling you tonight."

"You mean," he said (or, rather, intoned), "I will be called by 3 spirits? Like, the salesman of Honda past and the salesman of Toyota future?"

I am so worried about that man.

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The fridge post has gone missing. I know, I know....this Saturday, I promise! The expired leftover situation isn't too serious, however; we've had a couple of the neighbor girls over to dinner the last few evenings, which has helped cut down on wasted food. Maybe that's what people mean when they say "More is less."

No, wait - that's "Less is more." Never mind.

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A friend had a movie night at her house this evening, and we all watched Fireproof. The acting left quite a bit to be desired, but I still liked it. In my book, an…

Obsessions II

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You may recall that several months ago, Larry expressed discomfort with my habit of knitting while he talked. I claimed that I pay better attention to him when I am knitting than when I am giving him my undivided attention, but he did not believe me. This disagreement was never resolved.

Well, I believe that we should just look at the scientific evidence. Recent studies have shown that people who doodle while listening to someone speak retain more than the people who only listen. Meaning, they are paying more attention, not less, than all those sycophant-type listeners who make eye contact with the speaker the entire time. In other words, I'm right! He's wrong! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Vindication is sweet. Now, hand me that knitting bag, will ya?

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Susie (not yet 4) likes to play UNO. Likes, as in, someone has to be playing with her at all times throughout the day or risk her vehement UNO-less displeasure. So we've been taking it in shifts.

At least she&#…

Comfort Knitting

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So. Anna lost her coat last week. At least, we realized last week (when the temps plunged again) that it was missing. "I can't find my coat," she said. "And it has my bus pass in it. Can I have a dollar?"

"Did you leave it at ensemble rehearsal? Laser tag? Youth group?" I went down the rather long list of possible places.

"No, no, no....and I've looked everywhere!"

Mothers of teen girls will recognize that the above conversation has not only been abbreviated for less painful reading, but also was repeated numerous times over 3 or 4 days. The coat was gone. Vaporized. No longer existent. That happens, you know. Why are you bothering me about it?

Several days later I entered her room (scary, I know, but I'm a brave woman) to get some pillow cases out of the bag of sheets in her closet (pillow cases, by the way, that she swore were not there - are we detecting a pattern yet?). I opened the door and spotted the missing coat on th…

Trying Times

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Well! Car-shopping has impeded my ability to post here - who knew that destroying our last gasping remnants of personal financial security could be so time-consuming? Not me.

Our marriage is surviving this ordeal, but barely. What with quarreling over how to act toward the car salesman (can I help it if I like to make friends with everyone?) and disagreeing on how many seats we actually need in the van (Larry says 8, I say 7 because Theo is almost out of here) and holding spirited conversations about whether the Smith's light green Sienna is pretty or a color you wouldn't be caught dead driving in, it's a miracle we're even speaking to each other anymore.

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Anna is angry at me. I knew you'd be surprised. Suffice it to say, it was necessary this evening to reiterate the basic tenets of personal responsibility and how it's not all about her. Anna regarded this mini-lecture as an unpleasant experience best to be ignored, especially as the inf…

Doing Our Part

It's difficult trying to prepare for and entertain 20 people while your husband keeps trying to get your attention:

The garage called; they want 4000 dollars to fix the '96 Odyssey.
Are those your boots? Can I put them away?

10 minutes later:

Should we buy new or used?
I didn't know we had any money. Did you make the decaf coffee?


20 minutes later:

The Smiths got a Sienna, Greg said.
His wife told him to. Can't you get the kids out of here?


Let's review our personal stimulus package, folks: new brake rotors, impending new furnace, computer repair, a laptop computer, a truckload of topsoil, and (any minute now) a new stove to replace our 26-year-old kitchen range whose burners heat up when they darn well want to...all in the interest of helping out our moribund economy. You would think that would be enough, wouldn't you?

But, no - the Dow is still floundering and unemployment rates continue to rise. Without our help, the entire country could sink into a morass so dee…

Can You Say "Passive-Aggressive"?

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I have 20 people coming over tomorrow for a curricula meeting. Believe it or not, this is how homeschooling mothers have fun - we all get together and discuss the learning materials we use and get to see everyone else's fun learning toys. A big event, complete with snacks! If this doesn't sound fun to you, you probably shouldn't homeschool. It's that simple.

20 people, probably 20 cars - and not many parking spaces available in our townhouse lot. Most people will park on the road, saving those precious close-in spots for mothers with babies. Which is why it is hard to understand why my husband had a man with a dump truck deposit a full truckload of topsoil in two of the available spots yesterday. You know, for his ongoing alienate-the-neighbors backyard project?

It was a lot of dirt. And most of it is still there.

Of course, this behavior may be part of a pattern. I mean, remember the Pampered Chef party incident? I told Larry I'd be holding a Pampered Chef …

Sleepless in Wherever

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I should be sleeping. I even fell asleep early (8:30!). Good thing - because at 10:30 Brian woke me up - he "felt funny." Now he's finally asleep on the couch (what was wrong? I'll never know) and I'm wide awake.

It kills me sometimes, reading the blog of someone approximately my age who is freaking out because, oh my goodness, she got woken up by some noise the previous night and didn't get her usual 8-10 hours of sleep. Doesn't she understand that over the past 18 years, I've turned sleeplessness into a varsity sport? That there were chunks and chunks of time when, if I managed to get 3 hours in a row of sleep, I was good to go? And if I managed to sleep 5 hours, well! Look out, world, here I come!
What were these people doing the past 2 decades with all that rest? They weren't staggering around sleep-deprived, their entire beings focused on when to grab the next 15-minute nap. Why didn't they manage to find the cure for cancer or som…

A Slippery Slope, Indeed

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Monday night, I wandered into the kitchen, intent on getting a drink of water and then settling down for a nice half hour of pre-bedtime knitting. Reality - in the form of a sinkful of dirty dishes - smacked me in the face. I had forgotten that I promised my husband (who had had a bad day) I would do those after Bunko (yes, sometimes I do do some work around here).

Darn.

Keep in mind that it was 11 PM, and I had just kicked Anna off the computer (after her earned 20 minutes of Facebook) so she would get to bed at a decent hour. Because, you see, I am a good, conscientious parent, who wouldn't dream of letting her daughter stay up too late socializing via the Internet.

Anyway, Anna came into the kitchen and suddenly I had an idea. An awful idea. A terrible, awful idea. An idea, I must admit, which I did not even hesitate to act upon.

"Hey, Anna," I said. "Do you want some more Facebook time this evening?" (Hey, little girl, want some candy?)

"Oh! Sure! Ye…

Under Construction

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Our personal stimulus plan continues unabated, with an expensive computer repair for a virus that slipped through all of Larry's safeguards. The stimulus effect was magnified by our purchasing a $350 laptop to tide us over while the computer was in the shop.

Just doing our part for our country...

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Regular readers may recall a backyard construction project started last spring; you know, the one which involved a mud pit large enough to lose the neighbor's twin boys in. "Started" is the key word here. We left off somewhere in the middle, with large pieces of flagstone scattered in and around our property, leaving several dog-walking neighbors more than a little perturbed by the unsightliness and inconvenience of it all. I must say, our lack of stick-to-it-iveness seems to have cemented our position as the neighbors from hell.

Well, I am happy to announce that Larry has decided to finish up the patio. I'm sure his decision has nothing to do with my …

Why Blog? Why Breathe?

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Knitting isn't just a hobby, you know; it can also be educational. Why, just this evening I learned (after much trial and error and cursing) that 34 plus 34 plus 86 does not, in fact, add up to 160.

I think I know why it's called the Baby Surprise Jacket: it will be a big surprise if I ever manage to get past the second row.

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Octamom asks today, "What inspires you to blog?" Well, the episode recounted above is a good example. If I had not been able to hope that my wasting an entire hour counting to 160 would make another knitter (or two, or three) laugh (at me, with me, who cares?), I might have impaled myself on my (surprisingly sharp) size 5 Harmony needles.

Instead, I lived to discover that 34 plus 34 plus 86 plus 3 (sk2p) plus 3 (sk2p) equals 160. And then? I went to bed. At half-past midnight.



No, half-past eleven.

No, half-past midnight.

A pox on Daylight Savings Time, I say...





Things My Parents Never Fought About

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Today's conversations:

Larry: Well, the computer's fixed; but we can't recover the files from your account. Good thing I saved them all onto this thumb drive!
Me: Oh. I thought you only saved my document folder...
Larry: Yes!
Me: So...are the photos...um...okay?
Larry: Weren't they in your folder?
Me: No. They're jpegs, not documents.
Larry:
Me: The computer puts them somewhere. I didn't know I was supposed to move them.
Larry:
Me: You're kidding, right?Right?

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Larry: Where's the cellphone?
Me: Which one?
Larry: Mine.
Me: Last time I saw it, it was on the counter.
Larry: It's not there. Yours is there.
Me: Oh. Well, you must have put it somewhere.
Larry: Forget it - I'll just call the number.
Me: Good!
Larry: What's the number?
Me: You mean you don't know your own number? Sheesh. Here, I'll call.
Larry: How am I supposed to keep track of all these numbers?
Me: Well, why am I the one who keeps track of everything around here? I…

Hypochondria Unleashed

Well, my Knitpicks order arrived (oh, joy!) and Larry attempted to de-activate my credit card while saying things like, "I was wondering why you didn't go to the commissary this week." He exaggerates - the cupboard isn't that bare. Why, we have old eggs, don't we? And why should I waste good money on food when no one even appreciates it around here? At least I appreciate the knitting supplies, right?

Of course, I'm right. Don't even answer that.

My hypochondria has been getting a workout lately. First there is this article about a freaky incident of toe amputation - and guess who has a pinky toe with a strange callous (sp?) causing a bit of pain, just like in the article? It figures. Then there are my ongoing spasmodic chest pains that are supposedly non-cardiac in nature, but my tendency toward melodrama won't let me believe that. Oh, and don't forget my deep-seated conviction that one day I will be felled by deep-vein thrombosis, because…

Spending the Egg Money

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Well! Who knew that so many people would share the floating egg trick with me in the comments to yesterday's post? The kids and I put the eggs in a pot of water today and they didn't float. So I hard-boiled the eggs and fed them to the kids for lunch. No one died.

Experiment successful. Oh, and let's check "science" off the homeschooling to-do list for the week...

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We hosted clubs this afternoon. That means, my house is clean and my children are traumatized by our typical crisis cleaning this morning. I guess I shouldn't have threatened to throw out all their possessions, but I was feeling desperate. The threat of public shaming will do that to you, you know.

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I am anxiously awaiting my Knitpicks order...you see, my top-down baby sweater has remained unfinished because I have not been able to locate the four size-2 DPN's required to knit the sleeves. I didn't want to order new ones, because I managed to find 2 o…

A Whole Lot Of Nothing

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The weekly fridge post has to wait - I took the pictures, and then I realized that my photo program is loaded on the computer that is in the shop. I don't want to risk overwhelming our new little laptop here with that stuff. But I do have a food-storage-related question for all of you: today I found a dozen eggs whose carton's "sell by" date is 19 February (of this year, wise guys). So - do I cook them or throw them?

The font suddenly got larger while I typed - I don't know why. Magic, maybe?

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I went to Knit Night tonight for the first time in months. My best friend (who has 5 kids) reports that last week someone new showed up -a child psychologist who happens not to have any children of her own. So my friend said to her (and this is why she is my best friend), "You have got to be kidding me!"

Being from New York, she can get away with this sort of behavior. I envy her.

Why am I telling this story? I don't know.

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Odds And Ends

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Um...is it my imagination or is the world sort of falling apart?

And will buying more Girl Scout cookies fix it? At least, temporarily?


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After 10 years of trying, tonight at yoga I managed to stand on my head without using the wall for support. Who says middle age isn't exciting?



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Anna's being nice to me again. Something's up. Nothing in life is free.

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A friend and I took our kids to ChickFilA for lunch today. Rachel came out of the play area to inform me that someone had peed at the top of the climbing equipment. And guess what? It wasn't Susie!

Whew. I mean, not that that's ever happened to us...





Snow Job

The comments on my Love Story post from 2 days ago have opened my eyes to just how strongly we women feel about our household gadgets. My confession of infatuation with a French-door fridge (ooh-la-la!) produced an outpouring of passion about the sleekness, the usefulness, and (yes) even the betrayals (who knew that stainless steel was so hard to keep clean?) of assorted household appliances. One anonymous commenter went so far as to call me a hussy for coveting what she claims is her one true love. Ladies! Let's be civilized here. We can share.

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Anna took to her bed after being forced by her cruel father to clear the snow off the windshield of our minivan. Larry was lucky enough to witness the one-armed imbecile routine himself, and he was not amused.

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Rachel screamed for half an hour (no lie) over a paper cut. I am not going to be there for her when she gives birth, I can tell you that right now. I felt it necessary to go outside and explain to ou…

All The Good Post Titles Are Taken

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To the person who Googled

Does wearing a girdle every day help shrink waist?

Don't you wish! In a perfect world, maybe...

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Hard to believe, but Larry and I actually managed to make it to the movies! Hooray! We saw Slumdog Millionaire. Maybe you've heard of it? It was amazing. Bursting with raw energy, it transports the viewer to the slums of Mumbai in the blink of an eye....

Sorry, channeling my inner movie reviewer there...


Unfortunately, not everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. Apparently Salman Rushdie is shocked, shocked, that a hit movie had an unrealistic plot. I can't imagine how disgusted he felt after the original Die Hard. Has he even seen Sound of Music....Casablanca....Mary Poppins....?

Maybe he just doesn't get out to the movies much.

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Hear ye! Hear ye! Let it now be a matter of public record that my teen daughter Anna (aka What-Have-You-Done-For-Me-Lately) was graciously allowed to attend the movie Shopaholic yesterday…