Monday, November 12, 2018

Yarn Is Complicated

Deb, a long-time reader (I'm talking 10 YEARS here), messaged me on Facebook, asking if I had any yarn organizing tips to share with her. Once I stopped laughing (I mean, really, she asked ME for organizing ideas), I decided that yes, I do have some ideas. They're just not well executed, is all. Apparently, the road to knitting chaos is paved with good intentions.

For example, there was my project bag organization idea, which got sort of, um, out of hand. And then there was the yarn dresser approach, which worked for a few months, anyway. And, of course, there was the day I bowed to the inevitable and purchased under-the-bed storage bins for my worsted and bulky weight yarns.

But, as devoted readers (there must be one or two of you) will recall, I now have an entire ROOM in which to organize my yarn, because Brian was kind enough to go off to college a few months ago. And I won't lie - I envisioned a beautiful set-up in this room, a sort of working studio, as it were, with the added benefit of a bed to sleep in if Larry were snoring too much.

I know I've asked this before, but where DOES a dream go when it dies?

Not very comfortable to sleep on

So, yeah, step one of yarn organization is to leave a lot of junk on the spare bed, because you're going to get to it some time. Are you taking notes, Deb?

I do still have the yarn dresser. I moved it into the closet of my, ahem, studio. Unfortunately, it's full. Full of yarn? Well, sort of...

The, uh, miscellaneous drawer

Spinning supplies, because I'm delusional like that

Drawer for sport weight yarn, but other stuff sneaked in

No idea what all this crap is

I also still have the two under-the-bed storage bins, now under the bed in my wannabe studio. It is nice to have them out of my bedroom, so I can Swiffer under my own bed more efficiently. But they are also full.

Worsted yarn I'm gonna do something with. Someday.

Bulky yarn, ditto

Oh, and I have this three-drawer rolling thing-y that Susie no longer wants. I shoved most of my fingering/sock weight yarn in there. That's organized, right? Tell me I'm right.

Totally gonna knit this. Soon. Really soon.

Let's not forget the cotton collection! Attractively arranged in a pretty hatbox I stole from Anna...

This used to be full, but I gave some away. See? Organized.

Organizing my knitting needles was definitely a challenge. Used to be, I never knew what I had, so I would just go out and buy a new set every time I started a project.

Look, I'm not proud of that, okay?

But then I came up with the idea of sorting them by size into those plastic zippered pencil cases that go into three-ring binders. It's like I'm a genius or something, you know? So now I have two binders full of needles, and I'd say that I can find the size I need at least 50% of the time. That, my friends, is progress. In my world, anyway...

This actually works. Yeah, I'm surprised, too.

Complete with needle gauge and template of someone's foot...

To round out my studio, I have one of those cube things, to store books and needle binders (see above) and such on. There are supposed to be a few blue storage bins in there, too, for odds and ends, but Susie confiscated them. The bins, that is. That's okay - I would have just filled them with junk, like my dresser drawers.


Surprisingly empty, but we know it won't stay that way, right?

And I have a regular bookcase, too, that I use to store my sundry knitting bags and baskets filled with unfinished projects.

Can you spot the sweater I was going to finish last week?

Look, I'm an artist. You can't expect me to operate in a linear fashion. STOP STIFLING MY CREATIVE INSTINCTS.

Oh, and speaking of unfinished objects (UFOs, in knitter parlance), here's a basket of sock yarn leftovers that are slated to be used for a blanket I started knitting, oh, 2 years ago.

My pretties....

I believe the project bag holding the blanket is in that first picture, lying on the bed under the purple yarn that is waiting to be knit into a school-colors scarf for Brian. No rush, people, I've got 3 1/2 more years to get to that scarf. More, if he does grad school there...

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Ticket To Ride

Hi! It's November! It's raining! IT'S NOT HUMID!

Excuse me, I'm a tad giddy. It was an awful summer, meteorologically speaking. "Summer," as in May all the way through October...

Anywhoo, here we are, enjoying fall weather and then a knitting friend of mine up and buys a beach house. OH, YES, SHE DID. So 5 of us are setting out tomorrow to inspect the house and make sure it is fun to knit in. Everyone's schedules fell into place perfectly (Larry has some days off this week!), because miracles can happen like that.

Not-yet-knitted Christmas presents

Except, I just realized that Theo's birthday is this Friday. Sure, he's turning 27 and probably doesn't care if I'm there or not; but this is the first time in years he's been here on his birthday. It feels sort of rude to abandon him, you know? Also, he's the oldest, so his birthday is always special - it marks when I first became a mom and less of a callow idiot.

Gonna finish this sweater, too...
But, hey, I'm leaving anyway. We'll have cake on Saturday, I guess. I think Theo's moving out this weekend, so it can be a farewell cake, too. Don't worry, we won't be too lonely - Anna is moving back in early next month. I need a revolving door on that guest room, I'm thinking.

I applied for another editing job (a job I've already done as an independent contractor, so HIRE ME ALREADY) at the company Theo just started working for. Good son that he is, he submitted an internal referral for me. That means my resume might make it past the recruiter to the hiring manager's desk. Woohoo!

Of course, if I do get an interview, I have no idea what to say. Anyone have interview tips for a middle-aged woman who hasn't had a real job in, oh, 27 years?

I need to go pack now. You know, all the yarn and the leftover Halloween candy and whatever else I think to throw in my bag. Clothes, maybe? Yeah, those too, I guess.  And, for those of you keeping track, this will be the THIRD time I've gone away this fall. I'm telling you, after a quarter century of not going anywhere much, this being able to get away is really novel. Seriously, there used to be entire years when I wouldn't leave town, aside from a weekend trip up to my parents' house, maybe, or a day trip to the beach with 5 or 6 kids in tow.

I'm reveling in my new-found freedom, is what I'm saying. All those years listening to people talk about frequent flyer miles and getaways with their girlfriends and weekend excursions to fun cities, while I nursed babies and cranked out 3 meals a day, every day, and thought it would never, ever end?

It did end. I'm going to the beach in the middle of the week with my friends, and everyone here will manage just fine. See? If you wait 27 years, anything can happen.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sugared Up

Only 35 trick-or-treaters tonight. I have no explanation for such a paltry showing, as it was beautiful weather out. I had 75 treat bags prepared, so, yeah, I'm pretty disappointed. But I'm sure all Brian's college friends will be thrilled when Larry and Rachel drop 40 of those off with him on Friday. Because, yes, Rachel (she of the decapitated animal heads and clogged toilets) is going on college tours the next two days. I don't know how that happened. Seems like only a year or so ago, she was four and we were sleeping with the car keys under our pillows because we were convinced she'd try to drive our cars.

No lie, people. No lie.

We decked out the house (well, the kitchen, anyway) in honor of the holiday:

We don't get to use these place mats much

Both Theo and Susie carved jack-o'-lanterns this year. Susie was thrilled she wasn't the only one doing it. It's hard being the youngest (I mean, aside from the fact that she's spoiled as heck).

A witch and a cat - we're very original

The friends we invited over (their daughter went trick-or-treating with Susie) brought me GORGEOUS flowers.

Blood roses - perfect for Halloween!

And I am so buzzed on Almond Joys and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I can hardly see straight.

So. Much. Candy.

Friends of mine handed out activist treats:

There seems to be a message here...

In non-Halloween news, my part-time editing job has been keeping me busy, because it's college application time and apparently everyone's kids but mine pay to have their college essays professionally edited. I've always railed against the whole college application brouhaha (12 or more applications? REALLY?) and the way that upper middle class students have an edge in the process, but now that I'm profiting off that? Hey, it's totally cool.

I got to use the word "brouhaha." That makes me happy.  That, and approximately gazillion Almond Joys. Excuse me, I'm going to go see if any are left...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Of Hikes And Hauntings

Larry's birthday was the 10th, and he had the whole next week off (during which he had such scintillating activities planned as watching someone install storm doors in our basement), and Susie and I said, "Oh, heck, no, it's still 80-something degrees and humid here and we can't figure out what to get Dad for his birthday, so let's give him a vacation!" We Googled "houses for rent in Bar Harbor," which turned out to be quite cheap the third week in October, and we called Auntie Kate to see if she were up for meeting us (since she lives up that way), and next thing you know, Susie and Larry and I are in the car and heading north.

I mentioned this plan already, but it was so long ago, I'm giving you a refresher. And let's just give a big shout out to Theo, who returned from Israel just in time to be Rachel's chauffeur and chef so we could pull this whole thing off.

Now, something always goes awry on our family vacations. I accept that. Nothing is ever as great as we hope it will be, right?

WRONG. This week broke the mold. The vacation was perfect - I mean, aside from the fact that Susie was convinced that the house was haunted, but I don't blame her. The rental was a hundred years old, with the requisite dark wood moldings and claw-footed bathtubs and ROCKING CHAIRS IN THE BEDROOMS, which Susie and I refused to look at at night, because we were both sure they would be moving.

Also, there was the locked door in one of the bedrooms, which we assumed led to a storage closet for the owner's use, until we looked up at the side of the house one day and noticed there was a window we couldn't see from the inside. So we refused to look at that, too, because we knew a face would appear there, and then we'd have to use our phones to alert anyone inside that they should GET OUT, but when we'd open our texting app, there the face would be, staring back at us.


Our imaginations sort of ran away from us, I guess.

But, aside from the time spent worrying about spectral beings from another plane of existence, things were awesome. We went hiking every single day, and - as is Acadia's wont - we were treated to breathtaking views everywhere we turned. Just like what we had seen during our summer camping trips there, only now there were splashes of fall color making the scenery even more scenic. And it was less crowded, so we didn't have to worry about finding parking. And the air was magnificent - cold and brisk and downright rejuvenating after all the incredibly soul-sucking humidity we had suffered through since May.

Only the best photo I will take in my entire life

Oh, and did I mention? We weren't camping. No watching Larry get stressed out about pulling the trailer, no having to go hide while he attempted to back the camper into our spot, no hoarding quarters so we could have hot showers, no trips to the laundromat every 3 days. It was WEIRD. Is this how normal people vacation? I LIKE IT.

Here, have some more scenery, why doncha?

I climbed up here.

I feel sort of bad, because I don't have any funny stories to tell you, because nothing went wrong. I know, weird, right? These normal-people vacations could be very bad for my illustrious blogging career, I guess.

I can live with that, though. Really, I can.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Traveler, Know Thyself

People were commenting "Amazing photos!" on my previous post and I was all like "Huh?" I went back and looked and thought, "Wow! I actually saw that stuff!" Which, well, you'd think I would have already realized, but no. Because here's the problem with traveling in the Middle East: there's too much to see.

This stuff is EVERYWHERE
Seriously. You're walking around and by the time you've viewed your gazillionth stone wall from antiquity in the space of an hour, you're all, "That's nice. But where CAN I get some coffee here?" It's just too overwhelming. You walk up a modern-ish city street and realize that the building you're standing next to is pretty darn historic-looking, and hey - so's the one on the next block! And over here! And pretty soon you've got a camera full of pictures of stone buildings and you have no idea what they all are.

Look, I never said I was good at traveling, okay?

Theo rented a car a few different days and drove us all around. We saw I don't know how many interesting stone villages perched on the sides of mountains. But it was enough that we stopped noticing them. We saw mile upon mile of breathtaking desert hills (I've got the photos to prove it); but, sadly, we got used to those, too. So what stands out is the weird stuff, like the Chinese restaurant menu printed in Hebrew (we ate there in Be'ersheva):

At the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, what caught my eye was not the stone manger where the Baby Jesus (supposedly) lay in swaddling clothes or the centuries-old paintings on the walls, but the thoroughly modern vending machine just outside the old stone walls of the building:

Baby Jesus never got a soda, I'm pretty sure 

Food took on an overarching importance during this trip. Yom Kippur, we inadvertently fasted, because I was trying to act like a savvy traveler by purchasing food at a deli counter in the local souk (market) the day before. That evening, after the sun had gone down and all the stores had closed, Susie and I sat down with great anticipation to our little feast, a variety of salads and pickled vegetables and some bread. "We'll have enough for tomorrow, too!" I announced happily, proud of my ingenuity.

This is what disappointment looks like.

Reader, we hated it. All of it. Nothing tasted right to our American palates. And now we were staring down the barrel of an entire day with NOTHING TO EAT (except for the hostel breakfast, which Susie was becoming sick and tired of). To add insult to injury, 2 youngish guys sat down next to us at this point and pulled out their own dinners: a pint of Ben and Jerry's each, and also a bag of chips.

I repeat, American ice cream and potato chips. People, this was the equivalent of waving a juicy beefsteak in front of a couple of very hungry puppies.

They both enjoyed their repast as Susie and I tried not to stare too longingly in their direction. We were both thinking the same thing: Why hadn't we done that? After all, there was a convenience store right next to the hostel (closed now, of course). But no - I had to be trying to act like Miss World Traveler and shop where the natives shopped.

And that, my friends, is when I gave up trying to impress myself and Susie with how to be a traveler. Because, really, I'm not. Not a good one, anyway. I don't know what half my pictures are of, my stomach was dying for American food halfway through that trip, and watching me try to figure out the Israeli money was enough to erase Susie's last shred of confidence in me.

And, yes, as soon as that convenience store opened the next evening, Susie and I were in there, buying some Ben and Jerry's. It's a good thing to live without pretense, right? Tell me I'm right.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Jerusalem, Mostly

Let's see, where to start? First, I've been pretending that it might someday (SOME DAY) be autumn, with brisk breezes and cool frosty nights. Else, why would I even try to knit anymore, in this 80-something heat with its mosquito-laden humidity, on what should be a refreshing October day?

It's difficult to even imagine needing these.

But, see - I am knitting. Because someday (SOME DAY) the mercury will drop below 70 and I will remember what it's like to love the outdoors again.

Until then, however, I'm outta here. Larry had some leave to use up and Theo came home from Israel yesterday, willing to drive his teen sister Rachel where she needs to go while Larry and I (and Susie) escape from this poor excuse of an autumn by driving north. All the way to Maine north, that is - if the cold won't come here, we'll go find the cold.

So, yeah, I get to go away AGAIN - that's twice in 2 months, which is some sort of record for me. Wouldn't it be nice if I posted some pics of the last trip before I go gadding about again? Yes, yes it would.

Nachos - Susie and I pretty much licked that plate clean.

You weren't expecting that, were you? We ate this on our last day in Israel, in Tel Aviv, and it was EXCELLENT. I guess, after almost 2 weeks of hummus and felafel and weird-tasting cookies and cucumbers (for breakfast, mind you), we just needed a little taste of home.

Oh, we tried to be adventurous foodie travelers, we did! All the hostels offered the traditional Israeli breakfast of hummus and cucumbers and yogurt and tomatoes and bread with too-sweet jam (all sweets there are too sweet) and olives. Olives for breakfast! We held up for about a week, and then I noticed Susie (who really had been trying her best) wasn't eating anything in the morning and that really affects her energy and cheerfulness levels, so I caved.

Which explains why, on Day 8 of our trip, I was faced with a fellow hostel-dweller turning to me at our communal breakfast, where everyone was chowing down on healthy Middle Eastern food, and saying, "Ben and Jerry's ice cream for breakfast? Really?" after my daughter left the table.

I had some, too. I'll admit it.

Hey, she was happy. And energetic enough to walk the ramparts of the Old City that morning, too. Where I expected to take lots of photos of very old-looking, picturesque buildings, given that I would be getting a birds-eye view of an ancient metropolis, right?

I don't know about you, but all those satellite dishes really ruined the "ancient" vibe for me. Also, the solar panels. Oh, and the Little Tykes set:

Antiquity meets modernity

But walking through the Old City itself, with Theo and his girlfriend a couple of days earlier, we managed to pick up on that feeling of antiquity. Didn't hurt that we were stumbling over ruins everywhere we turned:

A lot of stuff like this

And this...
And we saw the Wailing Wall, but we didn't even try to approach it, as it was the day before Yom Kippur and all. Popular, is what I'm saying. Think Times Square on New Year's Eve. Only, uh, less profane...

This is as close as we got
Besides, Theo needed to get some coffee. Which he found at a shop in the Armenian Quarter where the owner said, "Strong coffee? Yes, this is strong. My friend, this coffee is what resurrected Jesus!"

Everyone's a comedian, I guess.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Job Security

[Cautiously cracks open door, peers around]

Hello! Anyone still here?

Really? Well, just let me move these suitcases over a bit and, uh, dust off this chair, and...let's see...hang on a second while I vacuum up this spider colony on the keyboard...

So! Yes, I'm back. And I know I'm supposed to write all about the airplane ride and the trip and Susie and everything, which is probably why I haven't managed to do so yet, because OMG overwhelming...but first. FIRST, I have to tell you about last night. Because my mind works backwards, I guess.

Obligatory travel photo - Jaffa on the Mediterranean Sea

Knit Night is Wednesday evenings. And I often arrive much later than my friends because they don't have kids at home and I do and I have to cook dinner for my family before I leave the house. Because I'm a great mom like that.

Actually, I just feel guilty and I don't want Larry munching on peanuts and nothing else after a hard day at work.

But a knitting friend who shall go unnamed (but it is she of the iPad-dropping fame) said, "WHY are you cooking dinner on Wednesdays? You were gone 2 weeks. Did anyone starve? Didn't they manage? You can skip making dinner one night a week!"

So yesterday (Wednesday) rolled around and I thought, "You know, they did manage. Badly (think, yeah, peanuts), but still...and I've cooked dinners the last 3, yeah, I'll drop Rachel off at work and go straight to Knit Night. They'll be FINE."

Seriously, there was rotisserie chicken I had pulled off the bone and left in the fridge. There was a piece of leftover frittata I had whipped up on Tuesday. There were leftover boppies, from the night I had made meatloaf. There was even some apple crisp from the day before. I'm telling you, I've really been rocking this meal preparation gig lately.

All in full view in the fridge or on the counter...

And there was also bread, and cheese, and eggs. PLENTY OF REAL, EASY-TO-PREPARE FOOD. Food that Susie makes every day. But there was also, left on the stove to cool a bit before being put away, a pot full of just-made chicken stock, with the bare bones from the rotisserie chicken and the old (and now very overcooked) celery and carrots and onions still in it. "Larry will know to put it in the fridge," I thought. "I can strain it tomorrow and then make some matzo balls to go with."

So I left the house, secure in the knowledge that I had provided sustenance for my family and could hang out guilt-free with my knitting friends.

Good lord, I'm stupid.

Turns out, Larry got home and asked Susie what was for dinner. She said, "I dunno - I think Mommy made you some soup." Whereupon they both went into the kitchen and stared down at the unstrained broth with the CHICKEN CARCASS floating in it, along with the limp veggies, and decided that, yes, that was Larry's dinner.

You know, words fail me at this point. I just want to say to my knitting friend, "You were wrong. They can't manage. And it's a good thing I didn't leave a pot of wool soaking in Kool-Aid dye on that stove instead."

Monday, September 10, 2018

Up, Up, And Away

The last time I was on an airplane was 1994, when we did a military transfer. Larry drove the car cross country, while I got on the plane with 3-year-old Theo and 1-year-old Anna for a 5-hour flight. Larry actually came on the plane with us, to get us settled. Imagine that - his being able to accompany us to our seats. It was a different world, for sure.

And then we sat on the tarmac for an extra hour, because they had to switch out an engine. I remember asking the guy sitting behind us, "Is that, uh, normal?" And he just shook his head and said, "Everything's gone to hell since they deregulated the industry."

THAT was reassuring.

The 24 years since then? Well, more kids came along and any trip we took was within driving distance and who the heck was going to pay for all those plane tickets, anyway? So, yeah, no flying for me. The kids eventually all flew, as they got older and went to camps or college or whatever. At this point, it's only Susie who's unfamiliar with the miracle of human flight.

SO. What could make more sense than for me and Susie to get on an airplane tomorrow and fly, oh, 10 HOURS, all the way to Tel Aviv? That's a good way to introduce someone to the miracle of flight, right? Especially someone who refuses to even get on an escalator? What could go wrong?

I guess we're about to find out. Being that I'm such a rookie, Larry's been putting me through TSA dress rehearsals, as it were, showing me how to pack things (knitting!) and which things I need to pull out at the checkpoint. Luckily, I experienced a bit of the TSA magic a couple of weeks ago, when I accompanied my daughter's friend (the one who came to the beach with us) to her gate for her flight back home. So I think I can do this. I think I can, I think I can...

Susie wasn't too sure about this whole scheme of visiting Theo and Anna overseas, I must say.  But then I showed her a picture of the amazing Israeli breakfast the hostel serves its guests every morning. And Theo keeps sending her pictures of lunch. That girl's very food-oriented, is what I'm saying. Just...keep your fingers crossed that this flight (2 flights, really) goes smoothly. Because I don't know what I'll do if she freaks out. Also, I'm not sure I won't freak out myself.

24 years is a really long time.

And yes, we're staying in hostels again. Because I like feeling like Grandma Moses while I'm vacationing. Also, I spent all my money on those plane tickets.

Anywhoo, I won't blog while I'm away, but I'll take my usual copious (and cryptic) notes. And I WILL be posting photos and comments to this blog's Facebook page, so follow/like that page if you want to stay updated. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to spend the rest of the night on Duolingo, trying to revive the Hebrew that has been lying dormant in my brain for over 3 decades. That should work, right?

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Back In The Saddle

Hello! I was shaken out of my knitting slump this week by the arrival of 2 boxes of (you guessed it) yarn:

It's like Christmas in my mailbox!

Knitcrate had a special offer where a new member could get 2 boxes for the price of one, and hey, what makes more sense than ordering new yarn just when you are considering giving up knitting altogether?

So the boxes arrived on Friday and I opened them and then left them sitting out while I left the house to talk to some neighbors, which means they were plainly visible when Larry came home from work over 2 hours early.

You know how often he comes home from work early? NEVER.

I'll give him credit, though: he didn't say anything. I think Larry's just glad I have a room to put all my yarn in now, is all. And, to prove I needed it, I used the worsted yarn to start a pair of fingerless mitts  and I think that's cured my knitting lethargy:

Colors aren't true here, for some
complicated photography reason

I've got socks going, too, as always. So, yeah, I guess I got back on that horse and things have returned to normal. Whew! I really didn't want to have to find a new hobby.

It's summer, in case you didn't know, and - instead of our region's normal heat and humidity - this year we've had EVEN MORE heat and humidity. When it's not super-hot and humid, it's raining. Or, it's super-hot and humid AND raining. It feels as though we're living in a rain forest. I stick my head out the door and expect to see monkeys swinging by on trees and parrots flying around.

Do monkeys live in rain forests? Must check.

So, to say our yard has been neglected would be a generous understatement. I can't recall just how long ago I said, "I'll wait until we get a not-devastatingly-humid day to pull those weeds," but "those weeds" have now grown big enough to make our house look abandoned and maybe just a little haunted. So this morning I bathed myself in bug repellent and pulled out the gardening gloves:

What were the odds, people?

The first five gloves I pulled out were all left-handed. Or right-handed, I can't tell. I almost gave up right there, but instead I persevered - because I'm an adult and also because I didn't want our neighbors calling the HOA on us - and managed to find an entire pair. I went outside and weeded for 20 minutes, by the end of which I was covered in sweat and dirt and bug bites, because the evil mosquitoes we have here are out all day and they bite right through clothing.

See? I tried.

The garden on our back deck looks similarly neglected, but I waded out there, too, and brought in the harvest:

Yeah, I don't know what's up with that cucumber, either.

There's also some basil growing, but I was too sick of summer to deal with it. Instead, I drove a couple of friends to a yarn store that was having a 20% off sale, where - you guessed it - I bought MORE YARN.

Winter is coming...

I know, it's a sickness.

And, yes, there ARE other people around here, but I'm ignoring them. Actually, our household is now smaller than it has been in over 20 years: only Susie and Rachel are living with us at this point. It feels really weird. And Rachel just picked up a job at Best Buy (following in her brother's footsteps), so - what with that and school and Civil Air Patrol - I don't know how much we'll even be seeing her.

That leaves just Susie, who got dragged along to the yarn store today (we promised her ice cream) and then (back home) ended up listening to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me with me while I lay on the couch, fending off a migraine. She's essentially an only child now, poor girl, but she doesn't seem to mind (because, hey, there's that ice cream).

Make sure to look for my next book: The Grandparent Method - An Essential Child Rearing Guide for Older Parents. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Exciting And New

Ignore that title. The theme song from "The Loveboat" popped into my head and I had to share.

What am I doing? Oh, nothing much, just missing my college kid and working 3 part-time gigs (how did this happen?) and cooking meals for whoever happens to be living in my house on any given day and trying to put the upstairs back together, which is hard to do because one kid (Brian) moved out and dumped the stuff he didn't want on my bed and then another kid (Susie) moved into that kid's room and dumped the stuff she didn't want on my bed and then I tried to move all my yarn from my bedroom into Susie's old room and OMG it looks as if the entire upstairs threw up on itself.

It's been hot here.

Yeah, that was my week. And now I'll be working at the yoga center all weekend - I sit at the desk and smile at people and try not to charge the wrong amount on their credit cards when they sign up for a class. True story - I charged someone $2000 once. He wasn't very zen about it, either, I'll tell you that.

(It just occurred to me that the owner of the yoga center reads this blog. Don't worry, we fixed it!)

And the elderly client I drive places had 2 doctor appointments this week and she still needs to go to the grocery store tomorrow to stock up on Lean Cuisine. In case you didn't know, the entire Lean Cuisine business model is dependent on senior citizen women who live alone. And with the aging of our general population, I'm thinking buying stock in that particular company might be a really smart move.

Is that insider trading, my telling you that? I'm not sure.

That's 2 jobs. The third job I have is relatively new - I'm working as an editor for an online editing company. It's not bad, insofar as I work as much or as little as I want and when and where I want; but it does make me feel a bit like the editor version of an Uber driver: I make less than I think I'm making (after taxes and such), and I never know who is getting in my car, as it were.

But, hey, FLEXIBLE. You can't beat that when you still have kids at home who need rides and meals and such. Did I mention the 2 orthodontist appointments we have this week?

And then there was the monthly board meeting for our HOA tonight, which I had to host and therefore clean up my house for. Susie helped a lot with that, luckily, or I think I would have cried.

I did cry over my knitting this week. I was making a perfectly lovely lace scarf in lace-weight yarn (think really skinny, like thread, okay?) and I messed up and went to fix it, because I'M PRETTY GOOD AT KNITTING, if I do say so myself, only I messed it up more and now I just have a tangled alpaca mess of broken purple dreams.

This is what disillusionment looks like, people.

It serves me right, really - I KNOW that lace-weight yarn can turn on you like that. Only...I thought this time would be different, you know? Apparently I'm nothing but a yarn-struck fool.

So I considered giving it up. ALL OF IT - the laceweight and the bulky, the sock yarn and the worsted. Only, I couldn't figure out what I would do instead. I mean, what do people DO who don't knit? How do they wait at the DMV for a new driver's license? How do they survive the pre-Christmas rush at the post office? How do they fight off feelings of existential angst without using a pair of sticks and some woolly fiber? 

Beats me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

If Life Could Just Slow Down A Sec...

Oh, hi! Yeah, it's me. I got back from the beach 4 days ago and it's been crazy ever since. Got home, unpacked, grocery-shopped, cooked dinner (oh, yes, I did, because there were 7 hungry people in the house), unpacked some more, did laundry, took a walk - I felt as if I had run a marathon by the time I fell into bed Saturday night. Did I mention I had gotten up at 5:30 that morning so we could clean the beach house and head home early enough to beat the traffic?

Chicken bought pre-cooked, because
I have my limits, people.

I don't know why people say vacations are relaxing.

BUT we had great weather and many days on the beach and ice cream cones whenever we wanted, so I would call the trip an overall success. Here - have some seashells:

This is supposed to look artistic.

For reasons beyond my comprehension, the owners of our beach house rental saw fit to hang the following sign directly above the master bath toilet:

Um, okay...

Here's my failed attempt at capturing the morning sun shining on the waves:

But all this - beach and ice cream and travel - was eclipsed, I'm afraid, by the fact that Brian, he of the awesome tech skills generously shared with his confused parents, left home yesterday. He's at college now, in fact, living in a dorm and being an artsy design major. He allowed his dad to take a zillion pictures of him putting spiffy new linens on his dorm room bed, and Brian himself even sent me a few photos of the amazing food ("Tastes awesome!") at the spiffy new dining hall on campus.

Really, college? You couldn't even let him miss my cooking?

He's gone, and I swear to God, it's (again) as though 18 years of my life walked out that door with him. Remember the tornado costume? The dumb accidents? Oh, and look - here I am worrying about Brian turning into a teenager! How...quaint. Because now I get to worry about his turning into a college student.

He was up late packing the night before he left, so I decided it would be a good idea to walk into his room and impart my wisdom about drugs and alcohol and sex. Oh, yes, I did. And yeah, that went as well as could be expected, given my eloquence at such things. I ended with, "Look, just don't be stupid, all right? And if you realize you're being stupid, remember, you can stop being stupid at any time."

I should write a parenting book: How To Talk So Your Kids Will Squirm. I think I have the technique down by now.