Friday, June 29, 2007


Eric: I have to use the baffroom!

Ryan: Don't flush. So do I!

Eric: Do you need to poop or pee?

Ryan: I need to poop

Eric: Me too!

Eric: Is yours going to be big or small? Mine is big.

Ryan: I don't know. Let's see.

Eric: Wow! Yours is big too!

At least they finally found an activity they can both share without bickering.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I Got A Facelift

Big changes around here! First of all, you can see that my blog has gotten a facelift! That is courtesy of my dear dear friend Leah, of My Pink Toes. Leah is very savvy with all things internet-y and I am not (which should be apparent to any one who has ever read my blog). In fact, read her post I Am A Maven. It will explain it all. (Leah, I just need to point out to you that I finally figured out how to do a hyperlink without actually typing out the entire URL. Something I'm sure you knew how to do since you were 5. But I'm quite pleased with myself that I can actually link to your site and do it like a professional blogger. Of course, I feel a little dumb that all it took was clicking on a little button right in front of me...). Leah has been my biggest cheerleader for, not only my blog, but also my knitting and knitting business ventures. She is encouraging, knowledgeable, helpful, and honest.

So apparently, unbeknownst to me, Leah has been dreaming of ways to take my blog to the next level. The other night Mike emailed her to ask about the RSS thing and how he could subscribe to my blog. That was the opener Leah had been waiting for. She very politely asked if she could make a few changes to my blog. My response? HAVE AT IT!! I gave her my login and password (you know you have a true best friend when you can give them your passwords and not even think twice about it!) and what you now see before you is ALL LEAH. She did that cool Flickr thing at the top, made the font for me, RSS'd me...anything you see that is different and better--Leah. I've been telling her she should take her show on the road. If you agree with me, let her know!

In knitting news, I heard from Venue today! Ok, so they don't hate me. In fact, they rather like the baby hats and I have an appointment with them on Tuesday to bring my stuff in to be inventoried and officially consigned to them. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the boys yet. Venue doesn't want my plush cupcakes. I was kind of prepared for that because Mike had warned me that another artist was already selling some. But what really surprised me is that they don't want Cinderella! I specifically asked the owner about it because Cinderella was not mentioned in the email. Nope, not really their thing. Hmmmm...I'm going to bring it anyway. Perhaps they won't be able to resist her charms once they meet her in person.

Other exciting knitting news--I'm going to the yarn store today! I know that seems strange to be that excited to go yarn shopping, but it actually is kind of a big deal. Yarn is expensive. Yarn accessories are expensive. I don't let myself go to the yarn shop very often because I don't often have yarn money. And now that I have the kids with me all day, going to the yarn shop during the week day is not an option. At all. That would be a mistake of such monumental proportions.....But today I have the money, a husband who is giving me time before my pastoral search committee meeting, and a list. A triple threat. And now that I'm depleting my Etsy stock, I'll need more yarn to to make more inventory. It's a vicious cycle.

And lastly, I just have to mention a new blog that I learned of through Leah (Leah the Maven, that is). It is called Looky,Daddy! and is written by a stay-at-home-dad to a 7 year old and 2 year old twins. I have had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. You just have to read him. Leah sent a post to us the other night and Mike and I laughed so hard, we then spent the next hour reading more Looky,Daddy! posts. The next day I put my kids in front of the tv so I could read more. He's that good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Julia Roberts Does Not Clean Her Own Bathrooms

I'm cleaning 4 bathrooms today. I hate to clean my bathrooms and I have 4 of them. When I complain about having 4 bathrooms, I'm not secretly bragging "oohh look at me--my house is so big and fabulous that I have 4 bathrooms!". We have a 30 year old house that is still a bit too small and is in a constant state of remodel and repair. BELIEVE ME when I say I am NOT bragging.

We're not suppose to have 4 bathrooms. About 3 years ago we remodeled our house, to make it livable, and part of the remodel included adding a new master bedroom and bathroom to our upstairs. We already had one full bathroom upstairs, but it's pretty small and we use it for the boys. Our old master bedroom is now a playroom for the boys (before this playroom, my living room was the playroom. That was becoming a one way ticket to the looney bin for me) and we cut the old master bathroom in half. It is now a much smaller and the extra space is now a small office that Mike and I share. That office is home to The Knitting Queen's blog. The old master bath is currently in shambles--there is a huge hole in the ceiling because we had a leak from the new upstairs master bath, and we never painted the drywall or replaced the trim from the remodeling job 3 years ago.

That brings us to bathroom #4. We're on a septic system and our house is not zoned for 4 bathrooms. We know that and have always planned to gut our little powder room in the laundry room and turn it into a utility closet. When we got our permit we were told we can't have 4 bathrooms and we had long talks with our plumber about this (when we got our final inspection we took our plumber's "don't ask/don't tell" advice and just never showed the inspector that part of the house). It is truly our intent to remove that bathroom, but it means a new laundry room floor, and a utility sink, and repainting the laundry room, and new trim, and some cabinets, and it's right next to the kitchen and we need a new kitchen floor about as badly as a new laundry room floor, and I really want to paint our kitchen cabinets and get new hardware, and we REALLY need new counter tops and a sink, and, well, you get the picture...

So, I was cleaning all 4 bathrooms today and I got to thinking that Julia Roberts does not have to clean her own bathrooms. She may tell People Magazine she is just like the rest of us, but we know she's not. She may take care of her own kids, some of the time, and she may have simplified her life by moving to New Mexico, but we all know that Julia has a housekeeper. As much as Julia wants all of us to believe she is just like a normal person and she is so much more "real" than other Hollywood stars, there is NO WAY she scrubs her own toilet. Oh, Julia may wipe up the occasional spill, after calling the housekeeper who is on her way home after a long day of cleaning up after the Moders, and asking where the paper towels are again, but I guarantee that Julia never has to walk in to her kids' bathroom (which I'm sure is bigger than my entire master suite) and wonder how long it has been since it has seen a sponge while she begins to chisel toothpaste off the sink. All the while noting that the rest of the house will suffer because today is BATHROOM day.

Julia is so blissfully happy with motherhood because SHE DOES NOT HAVE TO CLEAN UP AFTER THEM. I could be blissfully happy with my kids and spend the entire day playing with them if that was ALL I HAD TO DO ALL DAY. I just sometimes have those thoughts while I'm living my own Hollywood-style life.

In knitting news, I'm plugging away at Gordon's hat:

And Cinderella's twin sister is coming along:

I have a long long list for the yarn store. I've been compiling it over the last several weeks. Mike--brace yourself--I need to arrange for some ME time (i.e. JUST me) and make a trip to the yarn store in the near future. For your sake, we might want to plan this sooner than later before the list gets any longer.

Monday, June 25, 2007

My Husband The Music Hypocrite

Mike and I "fight" about music a lot. Mike claims to have very distinct taste in music, and to a certain degree, I agree with his claims. Mike definitely likes edgier stuff than I do, but every so often we are able to meet in the middle.

We have been to a handful of concerts together that we have enjoyed. We've seen Sting three times because, well, EVERYONE loves Sting. Even if you don't like Sting now, you have at one time liked Sting. Personally, I don't much care for current Sting, but there is not a person alive who at one point did not love Nothing Like The Sun. So Mike and I can agree that Sting was once Da Man. We both have a extreme fondness for Annie Lennox (Diva should be right next to your Nothing Like The Sun cd) and a couple of year ago we saw a Sting/Annie Lennox concert in which she kicked his musical ass. We both love Paul Simon because his Negotiations And Love Songs cd was released when we were dating and we listened to it so much, I'm surprised it still works 20 years later.

But here is where Mike is a big liar liar pants on fire. He says he hates country music. Now, I'm not debating his true hatred for Toby Keith/Alabama/Reba McIntyre/anything with a banjo. But he does like country music--he just won't say the words out loud. Country music has developed a broad spectum which he refuses to acknowledge or accept. I grew up with country music and, well, I like it. It's part of my childhood and it's a lot easier to listed to than The Cure (Mike!). A couple of years ago I bought a Keith Urban cd and, if I were not legally bound to the people in this house, I would have bumped off Nicole and become his personal stalker. I decided that if he ever came to town, my husband would have to take me to the concert and enjoy it. First of all, I have the goods on him--Mike has a secret crush on Lindsay Lohan (Oops--I guess it's not a secret anymore. And at least my guy is of legal age). Second, Keith is an exceptional musician, which Mike would completely appreciate if he would just take the fingers out of his ears and quit chanting "la la la country music la la la". But, while Mike claims to hate all things with a country music label, he listens to country music.

Mike likes Lyle Lovett. He owns Lyle Lovett cds. According to Mike it doesn't count because they play Lyle on The Mountain ( The Mountain is known for playing GOOD MUSIC, and is not loyal to any particular genre. So they play Sting, Los Lonely Boys (country!), Toad the Wet Sprocket, Norah Jones, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Allison Krauss (country!), Wilco, Sheryl Crow, Jackson get the picture. They play old and new alike and are often introducing their listening audience to new music. Mike is so loyal to The Mountain, you could play The Wiggles on that station and he would listen to them.

Mike likes Johnny Cash because his grandmother liked him. Mike likes Pasty Cline. Mike likes The Eagles. MIKE LISTENS TO COUNTRY MUSIC. When I point out that Elton John plays country music Mike will dismiss it as a crossover. Bon Jovi has a new country inspired album (not that Mike is a huge Bon Jovi fan, but it furthers my point). Crossover. Lucinda Willams? Crossover. Bonnie Raitt? Crossover. If they play it on The Mountain, it is worthy of Mike's ears. If the exact same song by the same artist is played on a country music station, then it is country and therefore banned from the soundwaves hovering around Mike's ears.

Now it's starting to get funny because in Mike's new office there are a couple of young girls who work along side of him. One of the girls recently won a radio contest and was given Stray Cats concert tickets. She's not going because she's too young to know who they are! A little piece of 38 year old Mike died inside when he heard that. But she does listen to a country station on the radio at her desk and he can't change the station, like he tries to do to me. So he is held hostage every Tuesday and Thursday by her radio. He mentioned the other day that he is taking me to the Keith Urban concert in September and her response was "oh, I LIKE him!"

So come September 15th Mike will be attending the Keith Urban concert, with the tickets that he purchased with his hard earned money. I'm going to take a picture of him actually enjoying himself. And I'm going to buy him a t-shirt. If only Lindsay Lohan were opening for Keith....

Sunday, June 24, 2007


I called Venue on Friday to check in on the status of my application. It turns out they have "jury meetings" on Tuesdays and review all of their new applications, so I should be hearing from them later this week. This should be good news, but it is not. First of all, I have competition. I don't do well with competition. So if they are limiting their spots, clearly they will take one look at my amateurish attempt at creativity, with my sloppy application with photographs taped to printer paper with my explanations scrawled along the side, and laauugghh while comparing me to the other true, accomplished artists who have clearly lowered themselves to Venue's standards because they just don't know what to do with their rejects and perhaps they can make a few bucks while taking up some of Venue's valuable space. The fact they don't hate me yet means there is still plenty of time to hate me. It is only a matter of time before I don't receive the phone call telling me they hate me, because they can't be bothered to phone people they hate because they are too busy calling the true artists and begging them to please please please grace them with their presence. But I think my attitude is improving a bit, don't you?

All cupcake sales have come to a screaming halt. In fact, all cupcake viewing is apparently over for the season. So Gordon, it looks like is game-on again for your hat. In fact, everything involving my relationship with the World Wide Web seems to have died. I received no emails this weekend. Zero. Not-a-one. Not that I am sooooooo popular or anything like that, but I actually am expecting emails. I have several items I have just reposted on Craig's List (apparently Craig got the memo from Venue that, despite the fact that I think I have good stuff worth selling--Legos, a desk--I mean c'mon!!--I am kidding myself and no one should attempt to try to purchase anything from me), I have emails out to friends, I have my wildly successful Etsy store, I have a woman on the east coast who wants to buy hats for her children's boutique....surely SOMEONE should have emailed me this weekend.

But I guess I should look at the bright side. With all of this new found free time since no one in the entire world wants to communicate with me, I have plenty of time to get some things done around the house. I mean, I have all of my bedding to wash and sanitize today since Alice peed right on top of our bed at about 1:00 a.m this morning. And now I have time to put away every video and dvd we own, since they are currently in stacks all around our tv, separated from their cases, because, well, apparently my kids have been watching a little too much tv lately and they are varying their interests and it seems to have been a while since we've tidied that area up. So as soon as Ryan is done watching Zathura, I'm on it! Unless he wants to watch something else and frankly he's been so volatile lately that I'm apt to let him do whatever he wants as long as he keeps his yap shut.

And did I mention that tomorrow is the last day of school? And school ends at 11:00? So I have to pick Ryan up, which means I will have to get there 30 minutes early to grab one of the 6 parking spots available, which means I will have about 2 hours to get anything done, which is such a complete waste of time. At 11:15 tomorow morning life as I know it ends forever.

Maybe I can get a job as a motivational speaker.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Is It September Yet?

It has been very eye-opening to watch each of my boys react to the end of the school year. 4 year old Eric never really embraced his first year of preschool. It is the same preschool Ryan attended, it is at our church...I had assumed that Eric would be so excited to finally get to participate! Could not have been further from the truth. Each day was a struggle for him. While he did make a few friends, he often played independently. Academically he could probably do Pre-K next year (he can count to 50 and somehow he knows to write almost all of his letters. He is a pristine colorer and is already starting to ask a lot of pre-reading questions...) but socially there is no way he could handle school 4 days a week. I know I will need to ease him in to the school experience, so Eric is enrolled in the older 4's class for next year, attending 3 days a week. Eric has been classified as a highly-spirited introvert and it is a description that suits him to a T.

But now that school for him has ended, he has sprung to life! He loves the days without structure. He loves to wear pajamas all day (my firm rule is that he must wear clean underwear) and would never leave the house again if he had his way. This week I have been babysitting our friend Jacob while his mom finishes up her school year as a teacher and Eric has thoroughly enjoyed it. Eric carries on animated conversations with Jacob and, although he is a year younger, has been taking the lead in their playtime. Clearly a burden has been lifted from Eric and he is loving every minute of it.

For 7 year old Ryan, it is clearly a different story. Ryan is a child who, like his dear sweet mother, needs structure. Routine is important to him and he has never done well with free time. He's getting better, but he is a child who is often bored and generally wants me to entertain him. Ryan has always loved school and all-day Kindergarten, in many ways, was a very good decision. Now that he is about to finish the 1st grade, he is already talking about being a big 2nd grader.

The end of the school year has become stressful for Ryan. He has always been my temperamental child and the end of the year has brought out the worst in him. This last week he has been moody, belligerent, argumentative, and just down right hard to be around. It's like Sybil has come to live with us and we've seen all 16 personalities. I am trying to be understanding about how the end of the year changes are hard for him, but as some point, when he starts to yell at his little brother that he is coloring all wrong, I have to tell Ryan that if he wants to continue to act this way, he can do it in his room. Then he will burst into tears and ask me why I'm being so mean to him. And I start to wonder when a 13 year old girl came to live at our house.

And then I become temperamental, moody, belligerent, argumentative......and to top it all off, the warm weather means DIRT in my house. The kids are in and out 100 times a day and, despite all my precautions (taking wet swimsuits off outside, laying old towels down on my new carpets, etc...) the outside starts to take over the inside of my house. This morning my feet were sticking to the kitchen floor. I don't say that figuratively. They were literally sticking to the floor. And even though Mike swept the kitchen floor last night, I had to sweep it again this morning. And Mike, before you get too defensive, you know I love you, but I was sweeping up dried spaghetti noodles. And we didn't have spaghetti for dinner last night...

In another week or so Ryan will snap out of it and I he and I will come to terms with summer break and embrace it to the best of our abilities. But I don't think anything can stop me from longing for the cool fall weather and counting down the days until Labor Day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Super Soakers

Did I mention how much we love Emily the neighborgirl and her family? Last evening the boys were running around on the deck and they were suddenly blasted with water from the other side of the fence. And Walter was practically cackling over there. He had bought his kids these giant water-blaster things that apparently they needed to try out. My boys sprang into action with their super soakers! Eric was already in Superhero mode, wearing his Spiderman costume, so he was ready for action!

In Etsy news, I made another cupcake that was purchased by the same person. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic...and plan to make some more cupcakes! Gordon, you won't need your hat until November. Apparently it's cupcake season!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Glass is Half Empty Because I Drank the Beer

I sent my application to Venue a few days ago and have heard nothing yet. So in my mind they hated all the pictures I sent and never plan to contact me. That is just a small glimpse into the mind of a pessimist. I haven't even brought this to Mike's attention yet because talk like this makes him crazy. I just sent it, the owner is busy/out of town/has it in her to-do pile etc.....I can hear his exasperated voice as he explains to me for the 3979879832 time in 17 years that there is actually another way to look at things. But in my mind, until the owner of Venue calls me, I'm a big fat failure. It's not easy being green.

On the flip side, I just made 3 plush cupcakes, listed them on Etsy this morning, and sold one in about 7 minutes. I was so excited by the sale that I plan to make another one just like it this afternoon and list it as soon as I can. See, I'm a very complex person.

I have the same tug-o-war going in in my mind about summer break. In just 4 short days, life as I know it will change. Ryan will be out of school and it will be all Ryan and Eric, all the time. The thought of it frightens me. I like routine. I like the 1:00 nap time for Eric. I like the preschool schedule and how I can order my day. On the other hand, it will be really nice not to have to be up, showered, and ready to go before 8:00 am. Of course by 10:00 am, I may be ready to lock both of them in the closet. But it will be nice to hang out on the deck and read a book while the kids play in the sprinkler. Until 10 minutes later when then are done and I have a pile of wet clothes and towels and the boys are bored and start to fight over the Game Boy again.

I was all gung-ho about finding a vet to make a house call and tend to Alice, but it's not going well, so I've lost energy for it. However, the other night when Mike and I were changing our bedding AGAIN, I had a sudden revelation--what if I removed the comforter each morning. If it's not on the bed, Alice can't pee on it! Of course there is always the risk of her taking her anger out on our sheets, but it's a lot better than washing a huge down comforter every other day. But I was so proud of myself for finally finding a "solution".

I can apply this crazy mixed up emotional logic to just about any area of my life. If I don't have something to worry about, I will worry about that. It's amazing that Mike has been able to put up with me for so long. But then again, I'm not sure how he would make it through the day if he didn't have me to worry about all of the details of his life that he feels are not worth thinking about. See, I'm the glue that holds it all together!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Take 2

My Etsy store is dead as a doornail right now. I am getting no traffic whatsoever. None. Zilch. I know these things come in waves and, with the end of school and the change of seasons, for whatever reason, it affects things like Etsy and Craig's List. Regardless of the reason, it is very discouraging for me.

So I'm trying something new! I'm of course keeping my Etsy store (although apparently no one would notice if it went away), but I'm going to consign some of my things at this great new shop in Ballard called Venue. It is a work studio and boutique and is a place for artists to sell their wares.

I love Ballard. It is an old scandinavian community located in North Seattle and it is where both of my parents were raised. My sisters and I were raised just a few miles to the north and we have always spent a lot of time in Ballard. My dad was born in Ballard Hospital and attended Ballard High School. His family belonged to Ballard First Lutheran, which is also the church where I was baptized. When I was growing up and in my college years (my alma mater, Seattle Pacific University, is just a couple of miles south of Ballard) Ballard was considered the home of the "newly wed and the nearly dead". But in recent years it has gone through a resurgence (as many Seattle neighborhoods have. Which is why no one can afford to live there any more!) and Market Street and the surrounding side streets are full of fun and funky shops and boutiques. Venue is one of these shops.

My sister, Emily, told me about it a couple of weeks ago and I sent Mike to check it out the other day (he does a lot of business in the Ballard area). He concurred with Emily that Venue just might be the right "venue" for some of my things and he brought home an application for me. I spent last night printing pictures of items I would like to sell there and hope to work on the application today. Mike is seeing a client in Ballard again tomorrow and I'm hoping to have the application ready for him to drop off. So I'm going to try and peddle some of my hats, cupcakes, felted pears, java sleeves, and Cinderella. And perhaps I'll make just enough money to replenish my yarn supply and start all over again!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Great White Hunter

I have talked in previous posts about Emily the neighbor girl and her parents, Walter and Shirley (and despite their names, they are not 75-year-olds, but rather, 40). We do love living next door to their family. About a year and a half ago Walter was laid off from his job and Shirley went back to work full time as a first grade teacher. Walter works 2 days a week, but is the primary caregiver to 7 year old Emily and 2 year old Daniel and is generally the one home during the day. Shirley and I have a fun and easy going relationship, but, as the primary caregiver myself, it is with Walter that I have most of my interactions these days. Walter is the one to call about playdates and childcare and he and I swap picking the older kids up from the bus stop.

Because Walter and I interact so frequently, our relationship has lost much of its formality. Walter sees me in my sweats, sees me when I'm sick, sees me with my retainer, is witness to me losing it with the kids in the calls begin with "Hey...". You get the picture.

So it was Walter I turned to yesterday when I was being held hostage in my home by a squirrel. It was naptime, Eric was asleep, and I was sitting on the couch in the living room reading Suite Francaise (which, by the way Bookgroup People who dissed it, is excellent and you are missing out!) when suddenly a squirrel came out of the playroom and ran right by me. In my living room. And then zipped off into the laundry room.

First I called Mike at work. I'm not sure what I expected him to do about it. So I said "I'm calling Walter" and hung up. And Walter came sprinting over armed for battle: a broom, loaf of bread, gardening gloves, and the baby monitor. He poked all around the laundry room, all over the playroom, the bathrooms (we figured it came in through the giant hole we currently have in our bathroom ceiling--that story is for another day), but we found no sign of the squirrel. I checked upstairs, where I found Alice sitting very calmly on my bed, not reacting at all. The one day she would have true reason to freak out on me--nothing. We figured that it ran out the back door I had flung open when no one was looking.

So he went back home and I went upstairs to get Eric. Eric and I came downstairs to find the squirrel sitting on the kitchen table eating his leftover lunch. I called Walter again and my only words were "he's back!". Again, Walter came sprinting across the yard with his gear and I told him that I know for a fact the squirrel is in my laundry room. He climbed my drying rack! Walter finally figured out that the squirrel had found a hiding spot under a tall cabinet. He moved the cabinet away from the wall and this squirrel went berserk. Walter and I both were armed with our brooms, Eric was laughing hysterically (it was the best thing to happen to him all week!), and the squirrel was racing around my kitchen table, trying to escape through the closed windows. It finally found the open back door and ran free. Walter grabbed his broom and baby monitor and headed back home while Eric and I rushed off to get Emily and Ryan from the bus.

That night, while I was at my pastoral search committee meeting, Walter, Emily, and Shirley called Mike and serenaded him with a song about a squirrel with a bushy tail (as the mother of 2 small boys I should probably know that song but, sadly, I don't).

Do you want to know the really funny part? This is not the first time a squirrel has unexpectly appeared in my house. If only Walter had been my BFF 2 years ago when the boys and I were holed up in the playroom forcing Mike to come home from work because a squirrel had come down the chimney!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Mondays Just Keep Coming...

This is the best thing I have accomplished since my last post. It is a baby hat for Ryan's pregnant teacher, who is due in October. I thought it would be a better end-of-the-year gift than another World's Greatest Teacher coffee mug. Seriously, this is my only worthy accomplishment this week. Oh yeah, and I did give Leah her coffee sleeve, and I believe there was a bit of squealing involved...

But after discovering that the neopolitan socks and everything associated with them were possessed by the devil (I broke another one of those darling Lantern Moon sock needles. Now I only have 3 and they are therefore useless. So not only did I spend $46 on a pair of socks, but I have wasted $46 on a pair of socks. Socks that will never exist), things just went downhill. I have been saving a skein of All Things Heather handpainted sock yarn that I bought months ago. I decided to reward myself and wind the yarn and knit a new, non-evil pair of socks. Now here is the part where all knitters will cringe: I don't own a ball winder or a swift. The set costs $100 and I generally can wind a skein of yarn myself. But the fact that I am taking up blog space on this should be a good indication that I need to rethink that $100 investment. The whole thing ended up in a big tangled mess that Mike and I worked on for hours. It is now in one large ball and 2 smaller balls, with an unidentifiable chuck of it from the middle cut out of it. However I am currently knitting sock #1 and so far it's going fine....

Alice: She is a peeing machine. And continues to have a normal appetite as well as regularly use her litter box. She clearly hates every member of our family and feels the need to act on that anger daily. I have made several phone calls to at-home-vets have so far have had no luck. 2 of them won't come to Renton (although the website said that one of them did...) and another has not called me back. There is a 3rd one to call, but his voicemail said he is on vacation so I didn't bother at the time. Clearly I need to give him a 2nd chance.

I spent all of my Monday morning cleaning bathrooms (can't even remember the last time that happened), changing sheets, putting laundry away--generally making this a save and healthy enviroment for my family. As I was changing my sheets there was a part of me thinking "why bother"? Eric and I had spent quite a bit of time in my bedroom where we made all kinds of racket, such as talking, and walking around. Alice is going to come unglued that we spent so much time in "her" room. Before the day is out I'm sure she teach me a lesson for cleaning my own bathroom and changing my own sheets...

Craig's List: Of course now that I've flaunted my Craig's List mojo, it's gone. I have tons of great kids things for sale and no one wants it. Seriously, great things. I have a darling Step 2 toddler desk that is in perfect condition. Not one inquiry. I have a ton of Duplo Legos that I've broken up into sets and they are all really cute. The only person interested is this strange woman who emails me once a week but then always forgets if she contacted me or not. I did sell a couple of baby gates this morning to a questionable woman who was missing some teeth.....

I did finish our bookclub book, so now I'm trying to decide what to read next. I have 3 books I would like to be reading. Right now. So maybe I will! I clearly have some time on my hands before my knitting mojo returns!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

That Darn Cat

I am sanitizing my bedding for the second time in 24 hours this morning. Truly, I am at my wit's end.

Yesterday I put our waterproof pad on the bed and Alice was able to find an unprotected spot and peed on it. Everything was finally washed and we remade the bed at 11:30 last night (I'll give credit where credit is due--I was asleep on the couch and Mike remade the bed). This morning Eric came in to snuggle a bit and then told me that my bed was stinky. I woke up enough to determine that, sure enough, Alice the 15 year old passive aggressive neurotic cat had struck again sometime in the middle of the night.

Mike and I had a brief conversation this morning, which involved me ranting "what are we going to do?!!? I can't take this any longer!!!!" and Mike falling into a complete panic over the thought of wrestling Alice into the car and transporting her to the vet ("she'll pee all over my car!" This is true). We had a moment when we talked about making her an outdoor cat and then got a good laugh out of that. Mike did a pretty good imitation of Puss N Boots from Shrek, pouting at the back door with his huge eyes saying "what the hell?....." And then he instructed me to research her problem on the internet. Research what? Any sound advice I'm going to get will tell me to take her to the vet. Mike is in such denial of this, but it's true. She has been a very healthy cat up until now and has not been to the vet for years (judge all you want, but I'm not going to take a perfectly healthy indoor cat to the vet knowing the mental and emotional damage all involved will suffer). And any vet I call is going to tell me that the first step in solving this problem is a visit to the vet. I do not disagree with this. In fact, I whole heartedly agree with this. It is convincing Alice of this that is the issue.

I firmly believe it is Alice's wish that our entire family move away and leave her the house. I have such fond memories of Alice in her younger years when she was a sweet and lovable companion. It is that memory that is keeping her alive right now. If she were human she would be one of those cranky old ladies who orders everyone around and points to things with her cane while telling all of us that we're too loud. If she were human we'd be researching rest homes.

Instead I researched at home health care for animals and found a vet who makes house calls. I have left a message and am hoping we can make an appoitment with this service. I fully expect this to cost an arm and a leg, but can we really put a value on never putting Alice in the car ever again?!!

*******Recent update*******Alice just peed on Ryan's floor. I discovered this around the time I discovered that I've been knitting that damn neopolitan sock with 2 different sized needles. I am no longer knitting that sock. I also discovered that I actually do own a pair of size 2 16" circular needles. Would have been good to know before buying a pair to start on Gordon's hat. And the size 3 needle I've been using with the size 4 on those socks--the rest of the 3's are missing. I have 1 size 3 and 4 size 4's. It's like there is a knitting needle black hole in my house. I think I may take that one useless size 3 needle and implale my cat.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I need some JuJu

I seem to have lost my knitting mojo at the moment. Although I have a list, nothing is inspiring me and the things I am currently knitting are not working right. Last night I decided to knit Leah's java sleeve. I could whip it up in an evening. I'm seeing Leah on Saturday night so I wanted to get it done in time for Dinner Group. I had some leftover chocolate brown yarn (her request--to be adorned with pink beads) and started knitting. It was coming along beautifully until I realized that I didn't have nearly as much brown yarn as I thought. Her java sleeve was going to be one inch wide. I got so annoyed that I tossed it and decided to get going on the neopolitan socks again (a.k.a the socks I will never ever knit again). Once again I ripped some of it out (although not that much) and the yarn pattern is looking kind of strange where I am decreasing from the heel. You would think I had never knit a pair of socks before. Seriously, I'm sure I've knit 25 pairs of socks--this should not be that hard. It is still my goal to get Leah's java sleeve done before Saturday, but it's clearly not going to happen tonight.

I've started another Cinderella that I'm planning to give to Mike's mom for Christmas, or her birthday, or something like that. She will love it and it is quite satisfying knitting for someone who will truly appreciate your work. But her little bald head is just sitting there in the basket...I have a couple new ideas for my Etsy site, my mom wants a new pair of socks (I wonder if she'd like neopolitan?), I've begun Gordon's hat....believe me, I have things to do, but the mojo is missing.

So, what have I been doing with my time? Well, my garden is coming along fabulously! I love this time of year for the reason that you can literally see things grow before your eyes. I'm out there almost every day and it truly is satisfying. I've been selling stuff like crazy on Craigs List (you need some serious JuJu to be successful with Craig and for some inexplicable reason I've got that right now), and I've been reading.

I've never talked about reading before because, well, it's just a part of who I am. For me, reading is like breathing or eating ice cream. I need to do it every day or I will wilt. Every so often I will run across someone who is not a reader and it truly baffles me. I was the kid who sat up at night with the flashlight. I was once accused of cheating on a test in the 6th grade because I was bored and reading a book in my lap. I always have a book in my bag. I always have stacks of books on my "nightstand" (they are on my nightstand, and the floor around the nightstand). I sometimes
have a hard time decided what to read next because I have so many choices. So often I will have multiple books going. I leave my books all over the house and we have bookshelves in the living room, office, and our bedroom. Mike and I both have plans for more shelves in the living room after we become rich and famous (and replace our garage door and finish building our barn. And replace our kitchen sink. And kitchen floor. And finish painting the trim in the house....). To say that books are important to our family is like saying fish need water. It just is.

My kids are becoming readers and I could not be more proud. This is Ryan's bookcase:

And considering the way the rest of my house is decorated, it comes as no surprise that his books are literally falling off the shelves. My Library Catalog on the side of my blog is such a small representation of my reading life. I could make a full time job of cataloging my books. So I decided to start with the present and move forward. With my new Etsy venture I have had little time for reading, so I've been staying up too late reading because I cannot and will not go to bed without a book.
So, how will I get my mojo back? I'm sure it will come. And I'm sure it will be soon. But I'm trying to take advantage of the other obsessions in my life and enjoy them while I can (and you probably thought I was going to say I would spend more time cleaning my house! ha!). Maybe all it will take is a good trip to the yarn store. And there just happens to be one of my favorites around the corner from Barnes and Noble!