Thursday, May 28, 2009

Q & A with the Queen

Yep, it's time once again for Q & A with the Queen!

1. How was Ryan's party? I will say, out of all those kids you see there, Eric (the only kid who refused to turn around and be in the picture, the little booger) was the loudest. Eric is the consummate little brother: "guys guys hey guys listen to this guys!" Ryan has a nice group of friends, and he adores his cousins, Ellie and Jack, so it was a good group.

2. How was the movie? We saw Night at the Museum II. Which contained 2 monkeys, rather than just the 1 from the original Night at the Museum. And if you are are 9 year old boy, 2 monkeys are always better than 1.

After seeing this fine film, which I'm sure will go down in the annals of movie history, we came back to the house where everyone played soccer with Ryan's new soccer ball. And alienated all of our neighbors.

3. What's new on the job front? Oh, my favorite topic. Thank you for asking. Mike actually has another interview a week from today. So we are very excited about that. And we continue to apply for jobs, along with 59080923 of our closest friends in the greater Seattle area. Our city currently has a 9% unemployment rate. How encouraging is that!

4. What is that gray post in the middle of your garden? Oh that. Yeah, that is what is left of my bird bath. I'm sure a deer took it out. They are out to get me. I bet one of them dared the other to sneak up to the house and tip it over. Actually this part of the garden is not as appealing to the deer. I didn't take a picture of my roses or tomato plants because it would make you too too sad.

Today a friend gave me some deer netting. I've been toying with the idea, but let's face it--not attractive. But since I didn't have to pay for it, I've decided to give it a go. So my rose garden, which is directly outside of my large living room window, is now surrounded by a wall of deer netting. So pretty. Pretty pretty. It does cause much less emotional damage to my children than waking up to a dismembered deer carcass and seeing their mother trying to get bloodstains out of her pajamas, so we'll try this solution first.

5. Knitting anything lately? I'm in the home stretch of Caroline's socks and Leah's socks are becoming pretty darn adorable. I tried to do a couple of fun things with Leah's Lilypad socks, but nothing looked right. In the end I decided that the striping was just perfect as it was. I did leave the picot cuff because it is just too precious. So, sorry Leah. I still want to make you those Biological Clock socks, but we'll have to pick a solid color yarn for that.

6. Whatever happened to those Sonata Mittens? Oh, those. Well, I was right. Knitting them on 2's was not going to work. My stitches looked too uneven. Cascade Heritage is really meant to be knit on 1's, so I started over and that is what I'm doing. I know Kristin and/or Meghan is wanting a pair, but I think we'll have to do them in mail-ordered Lorna's Laces to get the gauge right for your man-hands.

7. Have you abandoned Mike's Town and Country sweater altogether? I know it looks that way, and for a while that was the case, but I did pick it up the other day and knit several rows. In all my spare time.

8. Please tell me you haven't started any other new projects. Well, I did begin a Koolhaas hat for my niece, Ellie. Ellie is 11 and loves light blue. And hats. I had this Cascade Superwash just doing nothing in my stash, so I selected several patterns for Ellie to choose from and this is the hat she wants.

9. And speaking of new projects, have you seen Susan B. Anderson's Knit Chickens? Oh my word. You have no idea. Actually the regular old chickens from the pattern are cute, but not terribly compelling to me. HOWEVER. I then saw what someone did with them and now I MUST knit this chicken once I rejoin society. I know. I've said that about a rather long list of projects. This blog is full of projects that I plan to knit someday. Someday....people, when I am rich and famous, I will knit all of these things I keep telling you I plan to knit.

10. Say, isn't it about time for Bob's Mom's Funeral Salad again? Yes indeed, it is that time of the year when I start making vats of Bob's Mom's Funeral Salad. About 35 years ago my dad's best friend's mom died. The friend being Bob. Story goes, at the funeral, there was this fantastic pasta salad that my mom couldn't get enough of--shrimp, pickles, olives, celery, sliced boiled eggs...not knowing who brought this salad, my mom replicated it the best she could and made it every summer when I was growing up. And we have always called it Bob's Mom's Funeral Salad. When we were dating Mike had some that my mom made and it was love at first sight. The salad, not my mom. He affectionately just calls it Funeral Salad and his eyes light up like a kid on Christmas morning when I have THE BIG TUPPERWARE sitting in the fridge, ready for him to dive in.

Well, must run along now. My children have been especially, shall we say, challenging (i.e. evil) this week and I'm starting to get the vibe (i.e. yelling) from their father that things are starting to disintegrate again. Ta ta for now!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Apparently eating all those apples and Frosted Mini Wheats without milk paid off!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sometimes it's hard to be Queen

I'm currently reading The Other Queen, by Philippa Gregory. Historical fiction about Mary Queen of Scots. You know, things don't seem to be going well for her, either.

Ryan and I are also reading Peter and the Shadow Thieves, and Molly and Peter have just arrived at the Tower of London. Where I believe my dear friend Mary will be a guest soon. Molly tells Peter about the Bloody Tower and I ended up giving Ryan a little history lesson on Richard III, Queen Elizabeth I, and the song London Bridge is Falling Down, which is a sweet little nursery rhyme about the beheading of Anne Boleyn. All this to say, as far as queens go, there are others who have had it far worse.

Back here in the 21st century, Mike and I continue to tag team the job search. I spend a fair amount of time searching the job boards and Mike spends all of his time applying for those jobs, contacting people he knows at those companies, and driving around looking for help wanted signed to earn cash while we wait for the perfect job to come along. Or the not-so-perfect job to come along. Honestly people, we're flexible! And in my spare time I knit hats, do laundry (I keep forgetting that the warmer the weather, the dirtier the clothes. Apparently my boys have a pact with the neighbor kids and they are all digging a giant pit in my back yarn. Have you any idea what 5 small children look like after they've been digging for and hour and a half? Unrecognizable.), and I'm rediscovering the joys of Mike's Hard Lemonade.

And how are we surviving all of this? God. Seriously, God. He's apparently not quite ready to give us a job yet, but is continuing to provide us with very random ways to pay the bills and eat. Miraculous ways. Mike and I just look at each other in disbelief, unsure of how to react to anonymous gifts of cash and gift cards. I'm telling you, if you don't believe in God, come spend the day with me. We're becoming the Miracle on SE 137th Place. We pray and pray and pray, and somehow, some way, God takes care of us.

And now it's time for a new segment in my blog called Random Things This Week:

1. Ryan played Mordecai in the play of Esther at church this week. This was a much bigger part than he has ever had and, I have to say, he memorized his lines beautifully. Now if he can just work on delivering them with more inflection than a robot...above is a picture of my little pipsqueak, on the right, next to his buddies Ben (King Xerxes) and Paul (Haman).

2. On Monday Ryan turned 9 years old. We celebrated by taking the boys to see Star Trek after school. The monster on that ice planet was just about the freakiest thing I have ever seen.

3. Dear sweet Jane gave me more sock yarn this week. This time it was the beloved Pagewood Farms, one in purples, and one in springy greens. My friend Kristin will be getting some purple socks in the near future.

4. I've started on Leah's birthday socks. I had planned to do the Biological Clock socks from The Eclectic Sole, which has a strand of DNA down the sides. But this yarn is just to variegated to show it off. So instead I'm doing this sweet heart pattern down the leg, from last year's Stitch 'n Bitch calender. I LOVE the picot edge and the striping is perfect. I think these socks are going to be quite adorable when finished.

5. Mara was mean to me. Yesterday she called me at home and left a message telling me she ordered some new sock yarn that I would love. She strongly hinted it was cashmere. She had me seriously thinking about this luxurious new sock yarn and I was so excited to see what it was. The yarn is evil and I honestly truly with every fiber of my being can't understand how this yarn, by Austermann, sells enough to justify remaining in stock. She was sent the color card and, rightly so, thought it was so offensively atrocious, she decided to have some fun with me. I told her she has lost my trust forever. But this yarn, I must share with you because it is, in a word, horrific.

6. Eric has his first loose tooth and it is becoming quite wiggly. He has declared that he can only eat crunchy foods, in order to loosen it more. He refuses all soft and squishy foods because they are counter productive and do nothing to help him achieve his goal.

That's all I have for you. Random musings. This Monday, Memorial Day, we take Ryan and his buddies to see Night at the Museum II for his birthday party, after a chicken nugget lunch at our house. There has GOT to be a blog post waiting for me in that event.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

There is a method to my madness

I was right. No News is not good news. It is the news that someone else got the job. And not Mike. But look at how prepared I was. When I was given the news, I was already miserable, so it was a very short trip to the lowly state I am in now.

I'm actually not going to write more--I'm on my way to work. But there are 3 or 4 of you waiting for this news, so here you go. It's ok. You can say it. You are free to tell me my life sucks. I won't hold it against you. I say it all the time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

That Old Adage Is a Crock

"No News Is Good News" my ass. Know what No News means? It means NO NEWS. It means we know nothing. It means I have oodles and oodles of time to allow my brain to fill with thoughts of Why?! Why haven't they called? What are they DOING over there? They said we would hear this week, which means I was expecting a call first thing Monday morning. Because I know that if I were wanting to offer a job to someone as perfect as my husband, I would want to call AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. It is now Wednesday. Clearly they have given the job to someone else and we will wind up jobless and homeless, living in a tent. Perhaps they found out about his inability to sweep. Maybe they caught a glimpse of the inside of his car. I know that would scare me off. This job is now dead to me. Thinking that will allow me to go on.

People, welcome to my brain. Enjoy the preview into the workings of an anxious, glass-half-empty, neurotic, fear-based 40 year old. A little sneak peek into my constant conversations with God, in which I ask, beg, plead, cajole, bargain, reason, and pretty much drive myself crazy with my inability to understand why we have been living our own mini version of the recession for the last two years and why it will never ever ever end and I will be forced to spend the rest of my life as a basket case because I wasn't suppose to spend this much time with my husband until he retired. And the day he retires I plan to get him a lifetime supply of golf lessons. WHICH I CAN'T AFFORD TO DO WITHOUT A PAYCHECK. So you see my dilemma.

To recap, Mike has applied for 489084989890284938787598043 jobs. He adds to that list daily. He has "networked" and "connected" and "Linked In" and "Facebooked" with every person he has ever met in his life. Think I'm kidding? This is a guy who connects with people he knows from elementary school on Facebook. And communicates with them regularly. There is not a person in his life that does not know that Mike is looking for a job. Any job. A way to spend 40 hours each week making money. So we can not only continue living in this cracker jack box we call home, but we can replace our dead garage door, our broken front window, and replace our disintegrated gate to keep out the deer that continue to eat my roses and tomato plants. I would shoot them but I can't afford a gun.

And then here comes a fabulous job. Really. This job is fantastic. This isn't just a way to kill 40 hours each week. This is not only a job for which is well qualified, but it is a job he would like. A lot. And he actually gets an interview. And it goes well. He is pleased with how he did. He thinks he has a shot. And I actually start to dream of the day I can purchase my own bb gun and pick off those rat bastard deer that suddenly think my back yard is an all-you-can-eat buffet. And then, because my brain has the special ability to always look for the absolute worst case scenario, that is where I have taken up permanent residence. I am a lot of fun to be around right now.

I know that in the whole scheme of things and the entire spectrum of problems I could be facing, this is manageable. A lost job can some how, some day be remedied. My next door neighbor just learned that he has Parkinson's. My 46-year-old-father-of-2-neighbor has Parkinson's. They are waiting to get in to a specialist, and while they wait he is getting to experience a whole myriad of symptoms that involve the inability to use half of his appendages. To put it mildly, they are freaking out. As well they should. So I do recognize that things in my life could actually be a whole lot worse. But people, I am done. DONE.

There. A picture of something I knit. Now, back to me. Today I will spend the entire day staring anxiously at my husband, who has this illness that causes him to remain calm in the face of danger and adversity, I will probably clean something, I may knit a baby hat, I will once again curse Dish Network for continuing to withhold ABC from their paying customers (well, mostly) on Lost night FOR NO GOOD REASON, and then I will go to bed in pretty much the same frame of mind in which I awoke this morning. And this is why wine was invented.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

D Day

I planned to throw you off and blog on Tuesday. I took these pictures on Tuesday and thought HA--I'll surprise them with two posts within a week! Tuesday came and went. Yesterday also had blogging possibilities, but then I got all wrapped up in laundry and parenting and baby hat knitting and freaking out about my husband's interview, so Wednesday was a bust as well.

And so here we are, back to Thursdays. Well, you can't say I'm not reliable.

Today is my husband's interview. Today at 3:00. Pacific Standard Time. 3:00 pm. I have an entire army of people praying. Mike got a nice haircut and beard trim, so as to not scare the people interviewing him. He has clean shirts from the dry cleaners. This morning he started to put on his interview clothes and I looked at him and said really? You're going to wear that all day? And eat lunch in it? My point was well taken when Mike dropped a can of Diet Coke in the kitchen before heading out the door. He will be back at lunchtime to change. People, I've done all I can do. If I thought it would help, I would pace outside of the building with a sign reading HIRE MY HUSBAND, but something tells me that may be one step over the line. At this point, the best thing I can do is work myself up into a small panic and eat an entire bag of cookies. I promise to hold off on the drinking until after dinner.

As promised, here is a picture of the Sonata Mittens. Pretty darn cute, if you ask me! I'm frustrated because they are laddering a bit. I'm using size 2 needles, when I think I should be using 1's, but I honestly think they would end up too small on 1's. I hate this--I can have perfect tension for too-small mittens, or perfectly fitting mittens with wobbly tension. And I don't even know what I'm going to do with them. They were just too cute not to make. But I haven't decided if I'm a pink and brown girl. I may auction them off to the highest bidder.

I've also started on my sister, Caroline's socks. This is some yarn she picked out from Jane's stash. Lorna's Laces called Glenwood. I have started these socks about 5 times, each with a different pattern. I wanted to do something fun for her, but each pattern just looked weird. Lorna's Laces has a reputation for pooling badly if your gage is not perfect and I was finding all kinds of strange color patterns as I knit. I finally gave up and decided just to do a K3 P2 rib. And voila! Perfect striping! Who knew?

And these are some Lorna's Laces socks I just finished for me. I love the colorway (although I don't know what it's called), but I think Jane was sent two different dye lots. Look at the striping on each foot. And look at the pooling on the gusset. Not uniform at all. It's fine. They are for me and I still love them. But that Lorna is sure finicky!

That's all for today, people. I have Junie B. Jones to read, hats to deliver, 7968 cookies to eat, and, if I don't stay organized I won't have time to start my nervous breakdown . My life is so full.