Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Three Questions

1. How did that Darth Vader underwear get up there?

2. How long has the Darth Vader underwear been sitting in my built in bookcase?

3. Am I truly the only person to have noticed a pair of little boy's underwear sitting in my living room bookcase?


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This week sucketh

So, last week I was going to post a picture of Leah's birthday sock and I had started writing a posting about it, but it was looking a lot like George W. wrote it himself--that is how bland and incoherent it was. And then I still had nothing interesting to say, and still yet nothing interesting to say and, well, if you wanted to hear George you could have turned on NBC this morning, thinking you were going to see Day 2 of Where In The World Is Matt Lauer, and instead you get to see George having it out with a reporter who tried to cheat and ask a 2nd follow up question in the surprise press conference when apparently that was against the rules....sigh....

And I thought about just rewriting that posting using the same picture, but the date on this post would have been wrong, and that is unacceptable in my eyes, and it would mean reimporting the picture and, even though in the time it has taken to type all of this I could have done that, I just didn't. So you get a post with no pictures today.

This week. This week I have A TON of hats to knit. Miya from Willow and Bloom called last Thursday and said all of her hats were gone. All of them. She needs more--stat! Fine. I can handle that. This week is also the week I need to get ready for the garage sale Shirley and I are having on Saturday. At first it was going to be just me and Shirley. And then it was me and Shirley and her mom. And then it was me and Shirley and her mom and her friend, Julie. And now it is me and Shirley and her mom and Julie and half of our street. Which is great because a 6 or 8 family garage sale is much more appealing to the general public, but it also means I really do have to do this garage sale. So on my calendar I designated today as Garage Sale Set Up Day to force myself to do it. Which is why you are finally getting a new post. The first of many attempts to avoid the garage.

I also need to garden. It's spring, it has been raining, and things are finally growing like weeds. Including the weeds. I have spent the last few years putting some serious time into my garden and I refuse to let it go by the wayside. Which means I need to get out there. Also, after having our septic tank pumped last fall, there is some damage I need to repair and it is just taunting me everytime I look out the kitchen window. The birdbath is crooked and there are some serious holes that need to be filled and smoothed over. I also have some pavers that need attention. Could I do this next week? Or the week after? Will my garden disintegrate if I don't get out there this week? Well, technically, no, but....

And I'm out of coffee. So I'm drinking tea purely for the caffeine. I hate tea. And I could drive to Starbucks to get a latte, but that would mean getting in the car and driving to Starbucks. So I'm drinking tea. I hate tea. Did I mention that already?

Where am I on the knitting front? I'm almost done with Leah's 2nd sock. I presented her one completed sock on her birthday, which I think she is excited about, and have been working hard on sock #2. I just love working with the Pagewood Farm sock yarn. It's yummy. I was also able to present Leah with her completed convertible mittens and am now working on a matching hat for her. My sweater is still in a big scary heap and I have another class tomorrow. I'm knitting like crazy for Willow and Bloom and I have a couple of new ideas for Venue that I'd like to get started on. In my spare time.

I ripped out the Tilli Tomas scarf. I didn't like it. If I am going to knit and wear a scarf from the beautiful coveted Tilli Tomas Flurries, I am going to love it. And I was not loving this. I did a little research on Ravelry and found another pattern, that I just happen to have in my brand new Louisa Harding Knitting Little Luxuries book, and it was adorable. Using my exact yarn. So I ripped it out and have it "resting" for a bit.

I need a haircut, I have nothing to wear, Eric keeps taking toys out of the garage sale pile, and Ryan has already earned himself Wii restriction for being a total and complete snot.

Let's see--the bright side? Hmmmm....if it does not rain in a torrential downpour this Saturday, I hope to have my garage cleared of much crap after the garage sale, my customer loved her strawberry hat, so I guess it was not as evil as I had imagined, and season 2 of Robin Hood started this week.

Must go now. Laundry, pricing, and weeding awaiteth.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Word to the wise

Don't EVER call Ryan Tinkerbell. Not even when you are joking around. Not even when you have just finished reading another two exciting chapters of Peter and the Starcatchers and you have just finished talking about what could possibly be in that secret trunk aboard the Never Land. And even when Ryan has speculated that Tinkerbell might actually be in that trunk and he is in a funny, jovial mood, completely enraptured with the story, don't even think of calling him Tinkerbell.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Before I get to the reason for today's post, I just have to shout out a big HA! to my little football helmet skeptics out there. It sold. IT SOLD! Hee hee--she wants more. It sold!

Now back to our regular programming. I went to the Wednesday night sweater design class to sit in and hopefully soak up some knowledge I may have missed the first time around. As an employee, one if my perks is the option of sitting in on classes at no charge. Given my complete and utter lack of confidence in my ability to complete this sweater, auditing this class felt like the right thing to do.

So I sat in the back of the room, keeping silent and not wanting to take up valuable question-asking time that the other participants were actually paying for and at one point Shiori explained how each sweater you design and knit has many fine adjustments to make it just right. She spent a year at the Nihon Vogue institute becoming certified in sweater design. Apparently in that course the students knit 8 sweaters the Nihon Vogue way, perfecting their designs.

At the end of class I finally piped up and asked the question I am now very sorry I asked. If she knit 8 sweaters during this course, how did her very first one turn out? She laughed and told us that it is hideous and unwearable, but she keeps it to remind her of the many mistakes she made. Are you kidding me?! You are a world-class knitter, you were being trained by Nihon Vogue, and your first sweater is unwearable? She just confirmed my biggest fear. My sweater is going to end up looking like it came right out of Episode #63 of I Love Lucy.

I have been entrusted with $125.30 worth of yarn with the expectation that I will proudly display it in the store when I am finished. We need to take a picture of my creation and send it to the Sublime distributor, who will then reimburse the store for the way I so beautifully knit with their yarn.

Just how much money do you think the distributor will want to send us after seeing a picture of my Lucy Ricardo original? Imagine how it would look if I wore the sweater with that hideous wretched strawberry hat? Not only would they not pay us, they'd probably charge the store extra for pain and suffering.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Just when I thought I had nothing to blog about today.....

This morning, around 6:30, Eric showed up in our room and, in his most important big-guy 5- year-old voice informed us that there was a mouse in our living room.

"A what?"
"There's a mouse in our wiving room!"
"A mouse?"
"It's sitting by the pwayroom door!"

I froze while Mike ran downstairs with Eric. I mean, of course it wasn't really a mouse. Alice probably threw up a hairball or something. So I lay there, not moving, and then I heard Mike open the back door and quickly shut it. The sound of a mouse quickly being tossed outside.

Sure enough, it was a mouse. It was actually pretty cute. A little furry black thing with a twitchy nose and tiny little tail. It clearly had already dipped into the rat poison we have placed around the perimeter of the house because it could barely move, which is how Mike was able to grab it and toss it outside on the deck.

Eric than ran upstairs to grab Ryan and show him the mouse. Ryan came staggering down the stairs and the first thing out of his mouth was "did Alice find it?". I looked him straight in the eye and told him that Alice is useless. Alice is the only being in our house who does not know about the mouse. Ryan nodded in agreement.

The whole time, Eric is jumping around in his NASCAR underwear, spouting off more very important 5-year-old boy things in his most big-kid voice:

"I think it was looking for cheese"
"Maybe we should kill it and then let Alice play with it"
"I hate mouses, becept Jerry"

This is the second wildlife creature Eric has encountered in as many days. Yesterday he spotted a deer in our back yard, standing by our deck. As this is just the beginning of spring, we've only skimmed the surface of the variety of creatures we will encounter in and around our domicile this season: frogs, possums, raccoons, snakes, bats, more deer and, although we have yet to see for ourselves, there are actually bears in the area. Being 34 years older than Eric, I just don't get as excited as he does when I find a squirrel sitting on my kitchen table eating our leftover lunch.

I think I know where the mouse came from--same room as our last squirrel visitor. Our unfinished-many-openings-into-the-bowels-of-our-house-bathroom. Although we did patch the big hole in our ceiling, I clearly see how a little mouse can squeeze his way through the gaping hole where the drywall does not meet the floor and has been waiting ever so patiently for molding.

You have to admit, this posting is much more refreshing than listening to me whine incessantly about my piles of unfinished knitting, the sweater class I'm going to audit tonight, and that horrid wretched strawberry hat that I finally finished only to discover that it didn't fit me very well, so I took it apart again and threw it on the coffee table where it remains in a big bloody half knit heap. I may use it to strangle the next mouse.

VERMIN UPDATE: Since this posting, we have witnessed a giant raccoon trying to break into our shed. We're sitting at the kitchen table, having lunch, watching this humongous raccoon. Seriously, is this some kind of cruel joke? Are one of you dropping these animals off when I'm not looking just to watch my reaction? Some kind of twisted candid camera?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring Break Q & A

Q. What day is it today?

A. Why, it's Day 5 of Spring Break. The end of 5 long days of no school. The very last day.

Q. Don't Saturday and Sunday count?

A. Not if you're working all weekend.

Q. Going anywhere special today?

A. Oh, we have big plans. I promised the boys a trip to the library. And we also have to go to Michaels to buy some Tacky glue for the solar-system-in-a-shoebox project.

Q. How many times do you think Eric will ask for a candy bar, conveniently located at each checkout aisle at Michaels?

A. Oh, about a million. The part I'm really looking forward to is the ride home when he laments the loss of the candy bar opportunity as if he is lamenting the loss of his only child. Eric is a world class lamenter. Honestly, Eric took lamenting lessons straight out of the Bible. His goal is to learn to rent his clothing and wear sack cloth.

Q. After gluing the planets into the solar-system-in-a-shoebox, what are your plans for the day?

A. I need to finish knitting that horrid wretched evil adult sized strawberry fruit cap that a customer special ordered and that refuses to be knit.

Q. Have you ever knit a strawberry fruit cap before?

A. Only about a million times.

Q. So what is wrong with this one?

A. It's possessed by the devil. I hate it. HATE IT. HATEITHATEITHATEITHATEIT Thunk (sound of hat being thrown across the room). I've tried knitting it 3 times and it's not working. My tension is off, the "seeds" looked is. evil.

Q. What are you going to do?

A. I'm thinking of calling the customer and explaining that the cost of yarn has gone up and now the hat will cost her $15497613.00. She'll either pay me or cancel the order and either way I win.

Q. Any other plans today?

A. Well, since today is the first day all week the sun is actually shining and it's warmer than 24 degrees (you think I'm kidding. Our spring has been non-existent), I may go outside and pull 6 more weeds (at least that's how it feels when I'm done. I'll weed for an hour, dump about 12 buckets of weeks, and will have barely made a dent). And then I'll find the boys who have become lost and disoriented in our 4 foot tall grass and feed them something while I try to knit 4 additional cupcakes, one bunny hat, and some vikings for Willow and Bloom, who just placed another order last night.

Q. What about your housework?

A. What about it?

Q. What are you going to do about that strawberry hat?

A. Perhaps a glass of wine would help. It sure can't hurt at this point. In fact, a glass of wine may solve several of the above issues. Excuse me, I need to go....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring Break Day 4

Here is a list of what has been accomplished during this highly productive Spring Break:

--I have knit 4 cupcake hats, part of a convertible mitten, and several inches of Leah's birthday gift, while watching House of Mouse, trying to watch Martha, and trying not to watch the boys argue over who gets to be Green Goblin when playing Wii Spiderman Friend or Foe.

--I have helped Ryan make his solar-system-in-a-shoebox for his Spring Break homework project. I really appreciate the childless 2nd grade team at Ryan's school coming up with something productive for the 2nd grade parents to do while the 3 of them actually enjoy their spring break.

--I have done more laundry than I thought possible. It seems to be growing. I don't know where it is all coming from, but it has clearly become a lifeforce unto itself.

--I have weeded approximately 1/100000000 of my garden during the 4 hours it has not rained during Spring Break.

--My boys have created several comic books, eaten me out of house and home, morphed into both Spiderman and Indiana Jones, reached a new level of Spiderman Friend or Foe, kicked each other, shot each other with the guns made out of the clay that was suppose to be for the solar-system-in-a-shoebox, and are currently, blessedly, happily eating a pancake breakfast during Pajama Day at Emily and Daniel's next door.

--Mike and I finished watching a completely hilarious-laugh-until-you-cry Season 2 of Arrested Development and are now watching the bizarre I-can-see-why-they-canceled-it-because-clearly-they-lost-the-magic Season 3.

This is what I want to know: all those kids who are in Disneyland for Spring Break--who are they hiring to make their solar-system-in-a-shoebox?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Spring Break, Day 1

Day 1 of Spring Break. Day 1 of 5. The first day of 5 long days of quality time with me and the boys. We are only 1/5 of our way into an entire week of togetherness. 5 whole days which have begun with rain, whining, wet sheets from Ryan's room, all of the bedding from our room thanks to Alice, the 15 year old passive aggressive neurotic now non-peeing cat who peed on our bed last night for some reason, and 4 dirty bathrooms. 5 days of no school and no plans. Well, we're having lunch with a friend today, but after that, zilch.

My weekend was much more interesting than anything I have going on this week, so we'll review that and take our minds back to fonder, gentler times.

On Friday Mike took my UW Husky hats to Venue. I threw in the football hat just to get Diane's opinion. My instructions were: if she likes it, put a tag on it. If not, bring it home. Apparently she loved it. She loved all of them. It seems there was squealing in the store and rumor has it one of the employees may have bought the girl hat. So I have some work to do. Mike also brought my cupcake hats to Willow and Bloom and I now have to whip up about 6 more. I would so rather be working on other things but I'm not really in a position to complain right now, am I.

I worked that afternoon then went to Leah's for corndogs, drinks, and chocolate birthday cake while we chatted for a couple of hours.

On Saturday morning I woke up at o'dark:30 and went to my 8:00 a.m sweater class. Apparently this was our last class because now we have received all of the instructions we need to complete our sweaters. After I finished sputtering and stammering and wiped the tears from my eyes, I told Shiori to clear her calendar because I'll be stuck to her like glue until this thing is finished. I also think I may audit the Wednesday night class which can only help me. At one point Shiori said something to the effect of "if you remember from your high school calculus class when you blah blah blah blah blah blah.....". I told her that the only thing I remember is the decision not to take high school calculus.

From there I went to Jack's 4th birthday party. From there I went to my sister-in-law Tiffany's baby shower and generously partook of the champagne punch while gorging on the incredible food. And from there I brought Mike's cousin Wendi home with me for a visit.

Wendi is the daughter of Mike's dad's twin brother. Gene and Jim are the best of friends, and they married Linda and Rose, who were roommates and also the best of friends. So the two families have always been very close. Wendi also has twin boys who are 18 months old and one of them looks exactly like Mike did when he was their age. Wendi lives in Vancouver now and we haven't seen her in a few years so I just knew I had to bring her home with me or Mike would never forgive me.

Listening to Gene and Jim tell stories of their childhood is a riot. They were born to Mike's grandmother in rural Spokane when she was just 18. She somehow survived these two and went on to have 4 more kids. Every story from their childhood seems to end with one of the twins falling in a well or trapped in the hog pen (until they were older and the stories are about the thing they were hauling with their car coming loose and passing them on the highway).

10 minutes with these 18 month old boys and I turned to Wendi and Mike and said "I now understand why every story about your dads ends with one of them falling into a well". The 3 of us could not control these little boys. They seemed to have a divide-and-conquer philosophy and each ran in different directions. Just as we would rescue one, the other one would be eating the cat food. Or playing with my computer. Or the washing machine. Mike's mom and sister then arrived and, you would think with 5 adults in the house we could manage these 2 little boys. But no--on our watch one of them managed to order a pizza through our satellite with the remote control. We weren't even aware of this feature until Joshua and Reagen showed up. I was really wishing for more of that champagne punch.

These little maniacs are completely adorable and we spend the entire time laughing, but we were all exhausted after just 2 hours with them. We looked at Wendi and said "what does your house look like?!".

Needless to say, I did not knit on Saturday.

Yesterday I worked all day, and well, now that puts us back to today. Day 1 of Spring Break. It's only 10:00 in the morning and the 3 of us already hate each other. Ryan and Eric seem to be incapable of doing anything that does not require my involvement. I have asked them repeatedly to stay out of the office we'll be leaving in just a little bit please just let me finish my work (it's just a blog but what to they know) you don't need any rubber bands and now that I know why you want them you really don't need any rubber bands seriously the more you bug me the longer this is going to take ok that's it you two go upstairs and play I will let you know when it's time to go.

Just 4 1/2 more days of bliss.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

So now what do you think?

Alright, alright--I asked for an honest opinion and I got it. A very lukewarm reception to the football helmet idea. To be honest, I wasn't sold on it either. Mike loved it and still thinks I should try to make more, but something about it wasn't right. So I came up with this instead. I do think these will sell and Mike is bringing them to Venue for me tomorrow. We'll see!

I'm back to being a knitting maniac after hearing from Miya at Willow and Bloom the other day. First she emailed me to say she needs 3 more cupcake hats. She then emailed me again to say all the cupcake hats are gone and she now needs a total of 6. Then she called me yesterday in a panic. Apparently this customer came in the other day and looked at the cupcake hats, but didn't buy any. She then came in again yesterday and was really upset that they were all gone. She demanded to know why there was no backstock and Miya tried to explain that they are not mass produced, but rather hand knit (and I guess it was all she could do not to chide her for failing to buy the cupcakes when she saw them the first time). So the customer asked Miya to call me and ask me to knit faster. Miya and I got a good laugh out of that and I told her I would get right on that. I told Miya that I would have 4 hats for her on Friday and that I would keep working on the rest. And now the order is up to 8 cupcakes because this wacky customer is coming in on Friday to buy 2 of them.

And besides this cupcake and Husky hat business, I only have one of Leah's convertible mittens done, I've spent very little time on my sweater (and class is on Saturday morning. At 8:00 a.m.), and I'm trying to get my pink lace socks done. I love the Pagewood Farms hand dyed sock yarn so much I want to marry it.

Seriously, in the last week this is all I have been doing. My house is dirty. My cupboards are bare. I took the kids to McDonald's for dinner last night. And I knit while they played the video games.

I need to get into the garden. My garden is so weedy and, well, it's that time of year. I have done a little preliminary gardening, but I have some serious work to do out there and I just don't have the time right now. I think I was the only person in this entire city who was excited to see our surprise March snowstorm. It was my excuse not to garden! It was God telling me to stay inside and knit. There is no gardening guilt during a snowstorm! I know it really sucked for Meghan and Cori because they got snowed on during Opening Day of the Mariner's game, but it was working out nicely for me.

And as if I don't have enough to do, I've decided to knit something for Leah for her birthday. Her birthday is on Sunday and we'll be celebrating on the 19th. What Leah will most likely be getting from me on that day is a bag of yarn and an I.O.U., but it's a little project that makes me happy. And I don't think Leah is a Viking Hat kind of gal.
Sorry, but I don't have a lot of witty banter in me today. My mind is all twisted up with yarn. I may have just enough time to see the pregnant man on Oprah, and then it's back to work! I'll let you know what Venue thinks of the Husky hats!