Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ten on Tuesday- Resurrecting Musicians

10 Musicians You Would Bring Back From the Dead.

Interesting list for this week. Not something I've really pondered before, or at least in depth. I think we've all had that moment of "Oh I wish I could have seen them perform" in our lives. But I've never really sat down to make a list....until now.

  1. Mozart- One of my first musical loves. And one that never fails to touch me.
  2. Freddie Mercury- I was in my freshman year of high school when he died and one of my first thoughts was sadness that I would never be able to see him in concert.
  3. Buddy Holly- someone we lost too soon
  4. Kurt Cobain- Yes. Nirvana was the music of my 'coming of age' years. And I still love it. No matter what you think about his life and his death, he had so much more to say musically that is lost forever.
  5. Johnny Cash- He didn't die young, and I don't think he every expected to live quite so long. Despite my aversion to country music, I grew up listening to The Man in Black and I love his work. Just not the Christmas album (oh all the gods in the pantheon...NOT the Christmas album). His covers of NIN's Hurt and U2's One just tear at me heart and soul. In a good way. That is what music should do.
  6. John Lennon- who is to say what would have come next for him. But there was no reason for him to go the way he did. 
  7. George Harrison
  8. Jimi Hendrix- I'd would love to see what he would create in his older years. 
  9. George Gershwin- another with so much more to say and do
  10. Beethoven- another composer who never fails to move the soul

Monday, November 17, 2014

Manic Monday

Oi! Can one exist in a state of manic lethargy? I'm not sure how else to describe life of late. Struggling with depression and the lassitude that comes with MS in a world steeped with deadlines, school meetings, homework, housework, tantrums, and holidays. The last week has been additionally trying due to problems with procuring my narcolepsy drugs from my mail order pharmacy. I really think they have based their customer service model on Time Warner's less than stellar despotic practices.

At work I have moved beyond an intensely involved interior drop (of my own design so I only have myself to blame)

into a world of trees and forthcoming stone.

Magic Flute is an ambitious design to say the least that includes an involved build (lots of curves that are not true circles or ellipses) and a potentially elaborate paint treatment (random stonework and ethereal clouds). All of which must be, for the most part, completed before leaving for the Christmas break. This is a season that is not giving me a lot of down time. In between all of this, I am trying to crank out more Nutcracker upgrades.

The colder weather is upon us (we even had our first dusting of snow) and it became imperative to pull out the winter work socks.

The winter work socks of which not a one is fully intact. I must needs ramp up sock knitting production if my toes are not to freeze and fall off this winter. I am still searching for a yarn that meets my needs of durable, warm and inexpensive...the last being necessary due to the number of socks needed and the fact that they will end up with paint on them. The Knitmore Girls have planted the idea seed of a sock machine in my little holy brain. I will be watching Jasmine's adventures with her machine with great interest. Especially since Little Miss has great issues with sock toe seams, and I can't seem to knit her tube socks fast enough.

The lack of sock knitting is partially due to babies being born all around me. There were two that I felt inclined to gift with knitting. One I managed to finish before the birth (by 2 days!) and the other not so much.

The first was for Little Dude's kindergarten teacher from last year. We gifted her the sweater just last Monday for her new little girl. My minions picked out the yarn from options in my stash and helped pick out the buttons as well.

The pattern is Harvey Kimono from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms by Louisa Harding. Yarn Moda Dea Washable Wool (now discontinued) in Raspberry. The teacher was amazed when I told her it was machine washable. I never gift baby items that aren't machine washable. I know how much time and mental bandwidth an infant requires and would never willingly add to it with hand-washing.

The second sweater is  the boy's version of the above sweater for a nurse at the MS Center. This one is knit out of Bernat Organic Cotton, also discontinued. This one is nearly done. It hit a snag or two along the way. Last night I discovered the greatest of them. Apparently I somehow missed two rows of the border on the front and didn't catch it until I was seaming the piece last night. How I didn't catch it while blocking should attest to my mental state of late. If I hadn't already picked up and knit the neckline border, I would have just re-knit the whole front. Instead I knit a new border, picked back the offending front edge and will graft the two together. Hopefully this evening.

The minions' school work has become a larger part of our lives lately. Little Dude is only in first grade and homework expectations at times seem a bit much. He is to do 20 to 30 minutes of reading a night, in addition to math work on the computer. One of his math programs is only 10 minutes a night. The second can take much longer. I was glad when his teacher clarified that out of the two, she would rather they do the first every night and the second when they can. But when you consider that we often don't get home until 6pm or later, and then have dinner and a shower/bath (as needed) trying to get to bed at 8pm is quite the task. Especially on the nights my Geek-boy is working late. Throw in Little Miss either being clingy, throwing tantrums, or both and you've got yourself a full evening.

Dishes are no longer a priority in my book.

And I am desperately in need of a new repertoire of weeknight meals that are fast and varied. I feel like we eat the same six meals all the time. I know the Geek-boy and I used to have a whole variety of dishes that we cooked. I'll be damned if I can think of any of them though. Then when you add in his burgeoning acid reflux, I am limited further.

I feel like I just need to take a few days off to set the stage for things to run a little smoother. Some alone time to clean and set the house. Time to reconfigure the pantry and freezer and to prep some meals. It just constantly feels like I am running two steps behind at all times.

And now the holidays are upon us. *sigh*

Well, after reading over that no wonder I've been depressed. For some reason this week feels like a turning point, as if it were a new month or a new period of time. I am hopeful that I can pull it all together the days and weeks ahead. As I have been withdrawing further and further into myself and pulling away from nearly all activity and social interaction, I am beginning to realize how much my art and crafting mean to me and my well being. I am trying to carve out time in all of the chaos, even if it is a half hour of knitting before bed, or drawing on my lunch break. Just a little oasis here and there to try and retain a little of my sanity. To hold onto a little of myself. I feel as if I can do that, I will benefit enough to gain some footing that will allow room for a little more.

Let us hope I am successful.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ten-ish on Tuesday- Cars

I am days away from having my life back (sort-of). The HUGE show that I am painting loads in on Thursday. So that means I have two days to finish everything...well, everything that needs to fit in the truck. I'm going to be be awfully close, but I should make it.  But that means everything else has suffered....writing, knitting, eating...I work straight through and then collapse at the end of the day, hopefully after the kids are in bed. But I see the light at the end of the tunnel and we'll see if it is a train or not. Eitherway, I'll have a paintbrush in my hands.

Anywho...Ten on Tuesday. Cars we have owned. Mine is a short list being I am only on my third car.

 1989 Plymouth Reliant
My first car. 4 cylinder, two door, tan exterior, maroon interior. (looked like the one pictured but two doors). Manual locks, manual crank windows (remember those?) Tape deck. Bought it from my Grandfather who lived with us at the time. We had been sharing it and somewhat continued to do so, but he wasn't really at a point where he should be driving. This was an old school car. The bumper was metal covered in rubber. There was no computer could work on the thing yourself. The thing was so light I would have to put sandbags in the trunk in the winter, even though it was a front wheel drive. But it was a good little car. I named him Norman after Norman Bates. That front grill smiling at you on a misty morning totally brought to mind the last scene of Psycho, and thus he was named. He was traded in for my next vehicle.

 1998 Oldsmobile Achieva

This car was a graduation present from my parents when I left college. Norman was not going to make the trip down to West Virgina where I was working the summer after graduation. And so Sophie came into my life. I had requested that my next car have 4 doors and air conditioning....and she has it. As well as 6 cylinders, power locks and windows. Not a bad car but there were several design flaws in it. It has a tendency for the doors to freeze shut in the winter. Since the back seat does fold down I could climb in through the trunk....and often had to. The trunk is designed so that what every might be sitting on it (snow, leaves, what-have-you) is dumped right into the trunk when you open it. There have been various issues over the years: the driver's side window has problems getting back into place, the spoiler on the back leaks rain into the trunk, various electrical quirks. She is still limping along, driven by my husband for the last 6 years. Well, not at the moment...her exhaust system kinda fell apart on the drive home the other day. Now she's just sitting in the driveway.

2006 Saturn Vue
Six years ago, a week after my son was born, we took another new addition into our beloved Saturn Vue. For some reason, I've not named this car yet. It hasn't revealed its name to me. But I love this vehicle. When it goes, I don't know what I will replace it with. My heart was broken when Saturn went under. We specifically were searching for a Saturn Vue when we got this one. The only thing I did want and didn't get were heated seats. Next time. This car easily handles the car seats. The back fits all our luggage when traveling. Mine unfortunately has lost all its hubcaps due to overzealous mechanics using the air ratchet on the plastic nuts. I don't mind. Between that and the car seats, the car just screams "Nothing to steal here". It has a few bumps and dings...a scrape and small crunch on the back bumper from a woman turning her mini-van too closely at the gas station (and almost pinning a very pregnant me between the cars!)....multiple divots on the roof from the hail that accompanied the tornado that hit our town. The inside is graced with multiple tea stains, countless stray goldfish crackers, and a patina of dirt from the garden. But it's my car. And I love the thing. 

So there it is. And that being said I will pray that the divine trickster that haunts many of my adventures sees fit to overlook this post and not kill my current vehicle.*

*Edit to add: Apparently my prayer was headed but in the twisty way of trickster gods a loophole was found. I got pulled over on the way home because Geekboy failed to renew the registration. I knew posting on this topic was going to tempt fate.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Ten on Tuesday- Books that stay with you

10 Books That Have Stayed With You Long After You've Read Them

  1. 1984 by George Orwell- I hated this book when I had to read it in my senior year of high school. And I mean ha-ted! this book. With a passion that would have brought down the thought police on me in nano-seconds. Now it is one of my favorite books. We own several copies of it. I have one that is high-lighted to death because every time I read it, I'll use a different color. It is fascinating to see what I found worthy of noting at different times of my life. I do remember how shortly after 9-11, at the height of the Patriot Act and the Bush Regime I picked it up again and had to put it back down. It was too raw and real. Part of me sees this as our future...just replace the governments with corporations in your mind when you read it the next time....and then let me know what you think.
  2. Bleak House by Charles Dickens- Dickens is one of the those authors that I forget that I completely love. I picked up this one after watching the original run of the mini-series with Gillian Anderson and a whole host of wonderful actors. It quickly became my fall back when I just needed a book to kill time. Dickens is a master craftsman of character, and this one has them all.
  3. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult- I'm not one to read popular books. I'm not even sure why I picked this one up, but WOW. I was crying for days after I finished the book. Meaning, I would just randomly burst into tears seemingly for no reason. I think the Geek-boy thought I was insane.
  4. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden-A beautiful novel that draws me in so well that I forget that it is fiction. And written by a man. I don't know what about it strikes me so deeply, but it is a book I refuse to part with. 
  5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- Being a 'plain Jane' myself, I always felt an attachment to this story. There are so many times she could just give up, but she stays true to herself and takes the harder path. 
  6. The Lady or the Tiger? by Frank R. Stockton- A short story but one with deep impact. I still don't have an answer.
  7. A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury- Another short story but one that has lived within me. Even the smallest action has widespread potential. And the Simpson's spoof of it was pure genius. (From Treehouse of Horror V; perhaps one of the best episodes. Worth watching the whole thing but Time and Punishment starts around 7:20)
  8. The Dark Angel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce- I read this back in middle school after I had found the first book in the school library. This was the first story that I remember reading where I didn't get the storybook Disney ending. And it blew my mind. Yes, I had read Han Christen Anderson fairy tales but those were different for some reason. They didn't quite have the same impact of a trilogy of books I had invested myself in. A trilogy where I had to seek out the second two books. It really struck me and as stupid as it may sound, for someone who was 13 or 14, shook up my world view.
  9. The works of Charles de Lint- Too many books to list. I'm mostly referring to his Newford series. He is the master of Urban Fantasy. I use to be a fantasy purist...I liked my fantasy with a medieval flair with no machines. De Lint showed me that there is still room for magic and fantasy in our everyday mundane lives. He brought the magic back for me. 
  10. Shakespeare- I'm a Shakespeare Geek. I admit it. I adore The Bard and I don't care. Those who think it is pretentious and out-of-date are grossly misinformed....and should listen to ChopBard. Ehren Ziegler will show you that Shakespeare is pertinent to our modern lives, our sense of beauty....and full of dirty jokes and innuendos.

I love to read...and with technology today listening to books while I work. Here are a few podcasts to get your literary mojo going:

CraftLit- Heather Ordover's fabulous podcast described as books with benefits. She takes us on a wondrous journey through classic literature and shows why these books have lasted. And why we need them.

ChopBard- Read above. Has made me love The Bard even more.

Forgotten Classics- Julie takes on classic tales that have fallen off the radar, but are worth rediscovering.

Librivox- Free public domain audio books. Read by the public. Fair warning...some readers are less than stellar, but it is free.

And always check your local library. I download audio and ebooks from my library for free.

So what books have impacted you???

Monday, August 11, 2014


It has been a weekend of letting go.

In the spirit of Fifty Things I had a garage sale. I have been pulling items and tossing them in the garage with everything that didn't sell at last year's sale. Again my Stepmother and Dad came out to help. She's a whiz at organizing these things and did all the pricing for me. But there was a big difference in this year's sale. I was determined that what was left wasn't coming back in the house. A few things did. My parents left a few things that wouldn't fit in their car, to pick up when they return. There is a pile leaving the house when the Geek-boy can make use of a larger vehicle. I have a small collection that is going to get posted for sale on Craigslist. The rest??? I posted a Curb Alert on Craigslist saying anything left today was going to Goodwill. And lo and behold today it is all gone. And there is room in my garage. And my basement. And the clean-out isn't done yet.

But I had to endure an even bigger episode of letting go. My parents weren't here solely to help with the garage sale. They had an agenda. Little Dude has made a big step into becoming a Big Boy; his first trip without Mom or Dad. He's off visiting the Grandparents for the week. I am back on contract at work and he's not in school yet so this is a big help. He spent three days at work with me and I love him, but he was driving me nuts. When first we broached the subject he said he didn't want to go without us. Gradually he has gotten used to the idea. First he thought he could go for a day or two. Then for a few weeks he thought three days might be nice. Lately it has been five days. Which is good because that is how long he will be gone. He'll also be spending time with my mother and little brother while gone.

I didn't cry. I almost cried, but I didn't. The person who is having the hardest time is Little Miss. Within two hours of him leaving she began asking where he was and when he was coming back. In fact, in the morning she stated that he couldn't leave because she loved him. (Total Awwwww moment) And when he was getting into the car and we were saying goodbye guess who came out of the house wheeling her suitcase behind her expecting to climb in the car beside him. It will be an interesting week.

I've already noticed that the house is much quieter.

But we are not resting on our laurels while he is gone. Within two hours we had cleared out much of his room and I was painting the walls. The color is the same; I've just been staring at it for the last year thinking it really needed a third coat.

 And now it does. We are moving into Phase II of the Super Hero Room Makeover. The walls are the blue he picked out of the swatch book. The Scenic in me is twitchy about the straight color on the walls. I can't just roll some color on and let it be. Of course not! Why would I do that? The finish on the walls is an eggshell. I'm thinking of doing some sort of pattern in a glaze, no color change just something in a different sheen. I just don't know what to do yet. We're considering  making it look like comic panels or doing the 'kapow' bubbles. You know these:

I'm hoping inspiration will strike me in the night.I'm working on some panels for the walls with various characters on them. Ultimately I'd love to have them done and up before he gets back. His  loft bed won't be done before then. It's still in the drafting stage. The Geek-boy was pricing the lumber today.

I also tackled the playroom/mancave. The Geek-boy hung as much drywall as the intrusive Sewer-Pipe-That-Must-Be-Moved will allow. I finally convinced him that I should just mud what I can and do the rest when it is up. So after Little Miss went to bed it went from this:

 to this.

I know. So exciting. But it is progress. And progress is good. 

And now I'm going to fall asleep reading Game of Thrones.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Plugging back in

Oh hello.

I finished my big painting project before the end of my contract (barely) and then I decided to unplug for a while. I just needed a break.

And take one I did. From most everything. If it didn't have to do with my immediate project at work, my kids or the disaster known as my house...I pretty much didn't have contact with it. I've barely touched Facebook in the last few months.

But don't think that means I've been just lounging around eating bon-bons....though I will admit to a day or two where the MS had me bedridden. My MS has been the current that I have been struggling against the last few months. I feel like I've had to fight like hell for every inch of ground I've gained. Today was infusion day, and boy was I ready. But it seems I'm not the only one feeling this way. Whether it is the alignment of the planets or just this bloody heat, the rest of my infusion-mates had a rough month as well. I've said it before and I'll say it again. MS sucks!

This was the odd summer out in the last few years where I have actually had some steady work. And luckily for me it was on my own schedule. But you can read about that adventure at Footprints in the Sky.

When I wasn't working, or wrangling the Minions, my focus was on continuing the downsizing of the clutter. And to make a few things in the process. I've somewhat amended the Throw out Fifty Things idea to include a companion project: Create Fifty Things. When it all comes down to it, I am an artist and I love having a finished product at the end of the day. That was one thing that made my retail career so frustrating. Well, that and stupid people. I would work all day and have nothing to show for it. Even if what I do sucks, at least I can point to some scenery that looks different than it did in the morning and say "I did that today."

So what have I done the last two months?

I started by attacking my sewing corner that I had carved out for myself. I unearthed it and jumped in on a few projects.

 Little Miss has a few new dresses

and another waiting in the wings.

I made a bed rest for Little dude.

I'll have reviews of the all the patterns in a future post.

I pulled out my entire fabric stash. All of it. I kept finding fabric....some here...some there. Where was that cotton I had gotten for pajamas??? Oh here it is....with 4 other boxes of forgotten fabric. I washed much of the stash and was sorting it into Keep/Donate/Toss piles. I had started to assign fabric to patterns. And then....

the wall came down.

My husband. My...lovely...husband decided it was time to start the work on the hallway/livingroom renovation. And he ripped out walls...walls that when ripped out created a lot of dust. Dust that covered my recently unearthed fabric stash.


Yeah. I nearly killed him.

Instead I set about rewashing and ironing my entire stash. I packed them into ziplock bags before sorting them into Rubbermaid bins, knowing the renovation mess was not over yet. And that bit has stalled. I still have a laundry basket of fabric left to iron and put away...but it safely resides in our bedroom. Completely in the way, but away from the drywall and saw dust.

And in sorting the fabric stash and all of it's bins, I continued the can of worms that my yarn stash sorting had become. And in the time between when I first dumped all that on my living room floor and when I finished sorting, I made a lot of cuts. Some figurative and some quite literal. (Screw wasting any more time on this huge tangle. cut your losses, cut the crap yarn and save the one you will use) I felt like Homer Simpson as the football coach.

Of knitting I've done very little...if any. I'm stuck on a project. I started the Medusa shawl while on my trip to Texas. I love the pattern. I love the yarn; Ball and Skein Glissade, colorway Elderberry. I love the shawl but I'm in a debate with myself whether or not to start over on a smaller needle. I tend to knit losely, but I am right on gauge. It make be the silk content in the yarn throwing me off. I just don't know. And it is sitting off in the corner while I decide.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Ten on Tuesday- Waiting Game edition

Now here is a topic I can relate to. Multiple Sclerosis means a lot of doctors' appointments and that means lots of time spent in waiting rooms. Having kids also means a lot of waiting room time as well. What is really irritating is when you spend more time in the waiting room than you do with the actual doctor. But being the savvy preparded woman I am, I am rarely bored in the waiting room. Here's a list of 10 suggestions to occupy your time.

  1. Knit- Obviously. Waiting rooms are a great time to pull out a sock and get a few rounds done. Just don't bring a project that requires charts for it is in Murphy's Law that they will call you in the middle of a row. Vanilla socks are best. And expect some questions and comments (oh the Grandmother ones are soooo original) but you might make a few converts along the way.
  2. Crochet- again...simple projects are best, but it has the advantage over knitting that you have only one stitch to wrangle when they call you instead of enough to make you cry when your needle falls out.
  3. Read- I always keep one of my books in my bag or purse in case I didn't grab my knitting. Paperbacks are great for that reason. The problem is is when you get a chatty person in the chair next to you who doesn't respect the nose in the book as a sign of 'leave me alone, I am reading.'
  4. Sudoku puzzles- keeps your brain active and away from watching the clock.
  5. Angry Birds- or any other game on your phone...if you are lucky enough to have a smart phone. 
  6. Newspaper- perhaps a little old fashioned, but if I have an early appointment I'll grab my paper and do my news perusal in the wait room. I'll often hand the sports section so someone who looks bored, since I never read it anyway.
  7. Talk to other people in the waiting room- I've had some great conversations with people I'd never have contact with otherwise in the waiting room. Just don't do it if they are reading.
  8. If you have kids I usually bring their LeapPads and/or books and crayons. It's a good time to get some reading time in with the little ones.
  9. Writing- sometimes I'll bring a notebook and get some thoughts out, whether it is free-form stream of consciousness or to-do lists for work.
  10. Filling out the endless forms- More often then not, I have a new batch of forms to fill out and that will take up much of the wait time these days. 

And just remember if you have a long wait at the doctor's, don't get'd like the doctor to be as thorough with you on your turn. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ten on Tuesdays

For me the summer is officially here since I am off contract now. It's time for working in the garden, playing in the backyard, grilling on the patio, and working house and other miscelenous projects. And all of that fun and productivity makes one thirsty.

Therefore 10 Favorite Summer Beverages

  1. Water- Start with the basics. I've always been a big water drinker. And I drink it right from the tap. None of this bottle crap. (Unless I'm out and it's that or soda) Occasionally, I'll toss in a little lime, but I'm happy with some straight ole water. 
  2. Frozen Strawberry Lemonade- Throw some lemonade, ice and frozen strawberries in a blender and go to town. Vodka is optional. 
  3. Gin and Tonic- Classic and one of my favorites.
  4. Rum Punch- I have a wonderful recipe for a delicious rum punch that is very addictive. 
  5. White wine- Nice and dry. None of that sweet stuff for me. 
  6. Mike's Hard Lemonade-Love this stuff and it comes in a handy variety pack. The Black Cherry is my favorite out of all the flavors. 
  7. Beer- Even though beer is getting pushed off my personal menu for various reason, I always seem to crave one when doing phsiycal work in the heat. It's just something on a cellular level that manual labor plus sun equals beer.
  8. Cosmos- My boss makes a mean one of these. 
  9. Margaritas- prefer them on the rocks but wouldn't turn down a frozen one. 
  10. Hard Cider- a nice alternative to beer.
Hrm....a lot of alcohol on that list. I'm not a big soda drinker...nor do I drink milk. So that leaves me water, juice and booze. As big a tea drinker as I am, I don't do iced tea, unless I brew some of my hot teas and chill them. Traditional American 'iced tea' is heinious, and 'sweet tea' is just an abomination.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Catch a glimpse...

I've not a lot of time for writing at the moment but you catch a glimpse of what I am working on and thoughts therein on my Twitter feed and on Instagram as well. You can find me on both under Gothknits.

Come see the pretty.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

Ten Things (Or Subjects) You Wish You Knew More About

This is appropriate as there are a bunch of projects before me that would go far smoother if I had some more knowledge. So here goes....

  1. CAD (Computer Assisted Drafting)- I learned basic skills in this back in college but had little need to keep up on it. And with my 15 year reunion in a few weeks, that should tell you how rusty those skills are. In the various directions my career is going, I am finding that I really should know this and not rely on my husband to do all my CAD for me. 
  2. Projection Technology- We are being asked more and more to do projections for our productions. It is becoming a standard in the industry and we just aren't set up for it. A coworker and I are going to be working together on this. 
  3. Photoshop/Illustrator- I can do some basics but I am finding that I really should have some training to help when I need to design something or adjust something for work on the fly. 
  4. Gardening- it is garden time again and I just feel so overwhelmed some days. 
  5. Painting- there is always something new to learn.
  6. Cooking- I'm a fairly good cook, but I'm stuck in a rut. I think learning more would expand my culinary concoctions. 
  7. Pastry- This is an art all of its own. And a skill I am rather dodgy with.
  8. Electronics- so I could do all my own gadgety stuff without having to wait on the husband's skills.
  9. Sewing- I can never find what I want to wear, nor do I (currently) possess the skills to make such a wardrobe. Quilting falls into this category.
  10. Spinning- My wheel languishes with my lack of knowledge. Need to rectify that.  

 I am neck deep in a design project, complicated by a medication hiccup, therefore the writing has been sparse. The drawing and producing on this end has been plentiful....but the knitting/sewing/writing has been sparse.

But there should be news soon.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mommy and Little Miss days...

 [author's note. I wrote this earlier in the week and for some reason it didn't post. So I'm posting it now. And then going to bed. Because Migraine. Enough said]

because Little Miss has a fever. We spent the morning yesterday in Mommy's bed watching movies and I introduced her to the joys of breakfast in bed.

I have been wavering between getting things accomplished or just resting with her and knitting and doing research for my upcoming design project. She tends to be rather clingy when not well, so I have a feeling that she will be deciding just how much I can get done around the house during her convalescence.

Sunday was the MS Walk and after doing only the 2k I was completely wiped the rest of the day. And then yesterday I a bad way. The only reason I went to work was because I had a few show notes and an important meeting. 

Now that I'm back and "settled" the cleanout continues.

I did a little rearranging. I'm slowly cleaning out the attic room, hoping that it leads to progress in it's completion. Even though we are somewhat halted on the mancave/playroom (damn that stupid sewer pipe!) we are using the space. We've put up all the drywall we can. I may start doing the joint compound work next week during Little Dude's vacation week. We are still deciding on material for the wainscoting. We keep eyeing the PVC beadboard for it's obvious benefits in a basement setting but the cost is so much more than our other choices.

In rearranging the living room we did away with the large (ugly particle board) entertainment center.

We moved it downstairs instead. Here is the 'couch' Little dude made for himself out of two chairs and a tiny gym mat. Gotta love that innovation.

I also brought down a work table from the attic and set up a little station for working on models and miniatures.  (I'm pushing the Geek-boy to finish his Warhammer 40K unit and go hit the gaming tables).

This weekend I emptied out this file cabinet to store the minature sets. It also was a great place to shift the drawer units to and give more work area on the table top.

 The drawers were acquired when a local yarn store went out of business. They were for embroidery floss. I love them and use them all over the house. Little Dude has one dedicated to his small Lego bits.

We just brought down my drafting/drawing table as well so that I can have a place to work on my designs.

We already set up the kids' train table and bean table down there as a good play area in the depths of winter.

We had also re-purposed Little Dude's old Ikea dresser for dress-up clothes after The Big Bedroom Switch-a-roo. Geek-boy has his desktop set up down there as well so it's turning into a nice little area. If we can just conquer the moisture issues down there and move the waste pipe, we will be all set. It will make a nice get away in the heat of summer, without wasting energy running the air conditioning.

I'm continuing to weed through my yarn stash and hitting the art supplies as well.

We're doing a similar clean-out at work and I find myself writing Craigslist ads for tools and items we could never use on stage.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

10 Foods That Belong Together

Hmm...interesting topic. Why do I think I'm going to be hungry after this???

  1. Dark Chocolate and Mint- whether in the form of patties, squares, or these fabulous chocolate mint brownies, they are perfect for each other.
  2. Chicken Wings and Blue Cheese Dressing- true Buffalo wings made with Frank's Red Hot.
  3. Mashed potatoes and Gravy- chicken gravy, turkey gravy, pork gravy, beef doesn't matter it just needs to be there and in copious amounts.
  4. Tortilla chips and Chile con queso- this doesn't last long in our house.   
  5. Potato chips and French onion dip- But the dip has to be Heluva Good
  6. Fresh Brussels sprouts and Bacon- Either halve the sprouts and oven roast with the bacon or completely pull them apart and lightly saute in the drippings and add the cooked bacon back in at the last minute.
  7. Kielbasa and Pirogi-Yes. I'm a good little Pollack.
  8. Chocolate pudding and Whipped cream- I may or may not have been indulging in a pudding cup from a hidden stash and the can of whipped cream after the minions went to bed last night. But I'll never tell.
  9.  Eggs, hash browns, and bacon/sausage- the perfect breakfast to me.
  10. Tomatoes and Basil- together fresh paired with cucumbers or fresh mozzarella or blended together for the perfect sauce. They are even beneficial to grow next to each other. Now that's a perfect pairing.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

After the con.....

I have returned. I spent most of last week off at the USITT annual conference, which was in Fort Worth this year. I've not been to one of these in 15 years. It was quite different from what I remember. Back then I was still in college; now I am a professional in the field. I had gone to the one in Pittsburgh in 1997 and again to Toronto in 1999. We always kind of laugh when people talk of a work conference as a 'vacation'. Maybe for other fields, but we're an industry that works from sun-up until the wee hours. Why would our conference be any different?
Every day is filled with discussion sessions, teaching sessions, hands-on workshops, commission meetings, showcases and xxxxxxxxx . And then there is the Expo floor filled with booths from vendors, organizations and schools alike giving out swag, demonstrating new products, drumming up business, conducting interviews mixed with the chaos of friends new and old meeting. It's fun to put faces to the voices on the phone you order from, or play with a new fogger or automation system. Programming is scheduled from 8am until 7, 8, 9pm or later. And there are no meal breaks scheduled in, so you often have the dilemma of "do I attend this really interesting session on XXX, or do I eat?" Sometimes you might pick a session where they feed you. This is not kind of conference where you go to a meeting or two with a catered lunch and spend the rest of the time at the pool.

And I loved it. Even though it dang near killed me. There was a lot of walking. A LOT of walking, and even with my cane it wore me out. Luckily we booked the hotel that was right across the street. I made some new friends, finally put some faces and face-to-face time with people that I have corresponded with for years. I learned tons. Was inspired even more. And somehow I ended up chairing a session for next year's conference. (And I was totally sober when that happened. But then again, it was an 8am session).

Texas was lovely...for what I saw of it. I didn't wander much further than 4 blocks from the convention center, and that was to hunt for food. The weather was much nicer....86 in Texas in March is nothing like 86 in Hartford in August. Especially when I come home to be greeted by a freak snowstorm the next morning.

Things I learned from this conference:
  • Have business cards. Even if you aren't looking for a job. It's the best way to pass along your information.
  • Have a portfolio handy....both online and a brag book in hand. Again, even if you aren't looking for a job, people are going to ask to see your work. 
  • Take pictures and write everything down. You will be so inundated with information that you will never remember what happened 5 minutes ago.
  • Bring your own tea if you are picky about what you drink. (so glad I did this)
  • Powerbars/granola bars are your friends. Have lots of them on hand.
  • Talk to everyone you can. You never know what may come of it. If you like someone's work/idea/project, tell them. Everyone likes positive reinforcement. 
  • Don't be bitter. (at least out loud) There were a few Debbie Downers that ruined a good moment or two. 
  • Remember this is a small business. Everyone knows everyone whether you realize it or not. 
  • Drink More Water. 
  • Ask the locals where they eat. 
  • I hate iPads (borrowed one from the University library for the trip to use instead of my laptop.)
  • I can out eat a bunch old techies and a Army veteran under the table where all you can eat ribs are concerned. (Sorry Riscky's. You didn't make any money on me that night.)

And now I am back. Dealing with paperwork, waiting for a designer to arrive, cleaning/organizing the shop, and researching/writing up ads to see extraneous shop possessions on Craigslist. You know the budget is bad when you are selling things just to fix/replace your other things.

I did get knitting done on my flights. And I only had one schmuck ask how TSA let me through with my (circular) needles. I told the guy (who had an uncanny resemblance to George R.R. Martin so I didn't want to be rude in case it was him and he decided not to finish the books because of some snarky knitter) that TSA discovered that we knitters were far less dangerous with our needled than without them.

This is what I managed to get done while flying and waiting in airports. I did knit a little in sessions but I often had to take notes, and with the cane knitting while walking was out of the question. The yarn is Glissade from Ball and Skein. (I swear I'm addicted to her stuff) in the colorway Elderberry. The color perfectly matches the new color of my hair. (What you expected me to go to Texas looking like a normal person?) What you see is slowly becoming the Medusa shawl by Amanda Muscha. I originally fell in love with this pattern because the lace is more geometric than flowery/frilly looking. So far both the yarn and pattern have been wonderful. The beginning section of this is perfect airplane knitting paired with an audiobook. (Bleak House by Dickens via CraftLit).

Otherwise I returned to a perfect shitstorm of a friendship imploding and new and scary health issues. One is the usual waiting game of doctor's appointments, tests, and more doctor's appointments. I'm doing my best not to dwell on the horrible notions that keep drifting across my brain. There's nothing I can do until I know more. And as far as the other one....who knows.


Back to reading about reed organs and band saws.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I should be in bed...

but I'm not.

I'm packing.

Well, I was packing. I've been side tracked by Twitter and hunting yarn shops in Ft. Worth.

Yep. I'm heading to Texas for a work conference. Without the family. I've never been away from the kids more than 2 days. This is going to be interesting. And the Geek-boy has his load-in week while I am gone. I think his work is going to learn 1. just how much he does and how much they rely on him to ditch everything else for them and 2. just where is priorities really lie. Meanwhile I'll be hobnobbing with people in the industry and possibly hitting the spa in the hotel. Just think. I will have almost a whole week where I will be allowed to us the bathroom on my own. I won't have to do someone's hair every morning while they steal my breakfast. And I won't have to wipe anyone's butt aside from my own.

This is my first real trip since being diagnosed. I'm slightly (very) anxious about it. Especially since the Geek-boy won't be there to help me and keep me calm. I hate flying. I'm stressing about going through security with all my meds. I'm worried I won't have the stamina to do all the walking around the convention. 

And speaking of diagnosed today was the two year anniversary. Woo hoo? With two major treatment changes over the last year I can't say it has been a fun ride. Part of me kicks myself for going off the infusions when I did. Had I hesitated a little longer, we would have had the study in our hands and known that it was safe for me to stay on it. And in those months of going off that and onto the pills and back again I know I lost some of what I had. And I am beginning to doubt if I will ever get it back again.

Enough of the depressing stuff. Packing has been insanely helpful in the Fifty Things project. I'm not sure if it was my tendency to procrastinate or the OCD, but my forays into The Closet of Doom led to a huge clean out. What is The Closet of Doom, might you ask? It is a strange anomaly in our house created by half-arsed renovations by the former owner. It used to be a part of the kitchen. It someday will be a part of the bathroom. But now it is a tiny space (about 4feet wide and 10 feet deep?) with open stud walls, various forms of flooring, and a bare bulb that serves as a linen, medicine, cleaning and catch-all closet. After this weekend, it is far more organized. Between that and my clothing closet I was able to add a bunch more to the list.

Tossed this time:
  • Travel sized toiletries we will never use
  • Old expired medicine and product
  • Travel alarm clocks (cell phones do this now)
  • Ace ankle wraps (too small and elastic cracked)
  • The disposable underwear from the hospital acquired when I had the minions. (Done with the baby making here. Don't need them)
  • Fake nails bought for a costume.
  • Old eyeglasses (going to the donation bin at the library)
  • Numerous scented lotions, body washes, bath extras and fancy body scrubby things. (Toss what's bad and donate what isn't)
  • Inflatable bath pillow. 
  • Stretchy skinny jeans (I don't even know how I got these)
  • Pull over fleece jacket (not to my taste. It can keep someone else warm)
  • Shoes
Fifty Things Total: 15

Not bad so far. I expect to make some huge progress when I return from the trip. And now I must to bed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fifty Things: the journey begins

I have been reading Throw out fifty things : clear the clutter, find your life by Gail Blanke. It challenges you to take a hard look at the clutter in your life, both mental and physical, and assess if it hinders or helps you. I've decided take up the challenge and blog about it.

It's not a big stretch. Over the last year I have been attempting to pare down our clutter and simplify things overall. I cleaned out a lot. Donated a bunch. Even had a tag sale. But there is still so much to do. I figure by documenting what goes, I'll have a tangble way to see my progress. When you have so much to toss out, it often feels like you aren't getting anywhere, when you are. It's just like knitting (see it all comes back to the knitting). There are times you knit and knit and knit and the project doesn't seem to be getting any bigger. I've adopted the tip of placing a marker where I start for the session so I can actually see how many rows I've knit, even if it feels like it's all going into a black hole somewhere. I'm hoping blogging about it will do the same. And maybe some others will join in.

About the book itself...I borrowed it from the library. I suggest you do the same. Some people might find it worth the money but honestly aside from the initial premise in the first chapter, I found most of it fluff and not very instructive. Much of the book is anecdotes and chatter about going through and tossing things. That might inspire some people, but not something that keeps me hooked beyond the first read. What really hooked me was the idea of a challenge with a definitive goal. "Decluttering" or "simplifying your life" can get to vague and overwhelming, but "throw out 50 (or 10 or 110) things" is a solid task. No question on what to do.

The basic idea of Fifty Things is to throw out 50 things over a two week period. Things that weigh you down and don't fit your life and the person you are hold you back and need to go. The items can be tossed, donated, sold, recycled....whatever. Just get them out of your life. Similar items count as one item. Therefore 75 magazines are one item. I won't give away the secret sauce of her rules (read the book) here, but it was enough to give me a push.

And with that in mind I did something I did something amazing and frightening and almost unheard of this weekend. I attacked my stash.

This was my yarn stash. (We won't discuss the fabric at the moment)

I set up several piles. One bin is what I am keeping. One bin is what I think is worth trying to sell on it's own. The third is for a person whom I found on Craigslist who wants all and any yarn and will pay for it. To her will go the lot of odds and ends and 'old lady yarn' I've inherited over the years.

I hit a snag in the process though. One in the form of a tangle that has taken up several hours of my life. I should probably just throw the whole thing out but there is some yarn in it worth keeping. I might just toss the rest tonight when I have the last bit extracted.

Before I waded into this quagmire, I tacked the box of jewelery from my husband's grandmother who passed away last year. I have a rather large collection of costume jewelery from my own grandmothers and great aunts. I decided to start documenting who the pieces belong to for future generations. Some of it will be saved for when my daughter is a tad more responsible, some will go into the dress up collection and some into collection of pieces that I wear.
Here are a few of my favorite items:

 I love the shiny.

 I love the dancers on each link.

 This pretty item had a lovely surprise inside....

 a beautiful gilt fan. If you look closely you can see that the flowers are tarnishing a touch on the folds where the are exposed. I'd love to display this but fear further tarnish.

I had hopes for the jewelery box that much of it had been kept in. It wasn't anything lavish. Just a basic inexpensive jewelery box, but it would be perfect to put on Little Miss's dresser and safe-keep the few items she does wear. But alas, too much time in storage meant that it acquired a musty odor that I just wasn't comfortable with. Frankly my throat was bothering me through the project and most of the evening. Out it went.

For now the jewelery was wrapped and packed away until I have homes for each category. (My own jewelery box is bursting after the death of my own grandmother).

Tossed this time:
  • 1 jewelery box
  • several broken pieces and odd earring backs
  • several rusty corsage pins
Fifty Things Total: 3

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

10 Things You Do That Your Spouse/Significant Other Could Do But Doesn't.

Well I guess I jumped the gun on this one a bit last week. Oh well, here we go.

  1. Paint- That's my job. I don't think he'd even want to attempt it because there would be lots of critiquing and 'helpful tips'. Just stand back and let me do my thing. 
  2. Drywall finishing- My father taught me how to hang drywall and finish it when I was young. And when I say young I mean like 12. I'm particular and a perfectionist so it's just easier to do the finish work myself.
  3. The sewing- I cringe when he touches my sewing machine. Not that he can't sew at all, he'll often do a bunch for work but that sort of sewing is completely different. And it's not on my machine. 
  4. Some cooking and all baking-(biscuits not included.) Again, not because of complete lack of skill but more due to a more detailed and finer understanding of things. Plus he just pairs the weirdest shit together sometimes. 
  5. Assembling outfits for important events- Love the boy....but he can't match colors for anything. If we had a dress code that resembled anything old English sumptuary laws, the boy would be in the stocks. All the time. I used to joke (with a hint of seriousness) that I was going to make stickers to put on the kids that said "Daddy Dressed Me Today". Turns out I didn't need to. The teachers could always tell. 
  6. Grocery shopping- This is a task that just wears me out but I won't relinquish. It's always a mistake when I send him. I know our stock better and will remember things that I didn't put on the list. I also know what to get or not get when they don't have something on the list. I also don't come home with bags of junk food. (Remember this is the man who constantly has a hidden stash of Little Debbie in his car). And I'm a much more savvy shopper when it comes to keeping the cost down. I just wish we had Wegmans to make my alone time at the grocery store more of a delight.
  7. Cards/gifts/birthdays/holidays- This apparently is mine to deal with and not exactly by choice. If I don't do it, it doesn't get done. This is a task I would gladly share. 
  8. Social/appointment calendar- I'm the one that knows when the kids' doctors appointments are and when it is movie night at the school and when the library books are due. I have a binder just for my own medical appointments and information. I've basically told his co-workers to notify me if there is an event because he won't remember. If it isn't directly related to his job it is a hit or miss with him. And with the kids having more things as they get older I see this becoming a bigger task.
  9. Planning outings- If I didn't I don't think we'd ever leave the house. 
  10. Kid maintenance- Don't get me wrong. He is a very hands on kind of Dad. When they were infants he was the one changing them in the middle of the night because I was the one doing all of the feeding. He bathes and feeds and dresses and reads to and potty trains just as much as I do. But...I'm the one who knows what size they wear, and what they are eating/not eating, and all the little quirks of their routine, and that you have to remember to make sure Little Dude has a belt on with his jeans and the jeans have to be snap instead of button if it is a school day or that Little Miss is a lot more cooperative in the tub is washing is done via The Hokey Pokey. I even know which pair of underpants is their favorite. Doesn't mean that he loves them less or cares for them less than I do. I just means what use to be Shakespeare and history in my brain has been replaced with He-man/She-ra characters and who has better prices on applesauce cups and mac&cheese. 


Friday, March 14, 2014

Just weird

I don't know how else to describe the past week other than the above. Just weird. It has been a mix of the delightful and the just plain awful. Our weather is a fine example of the range of things. On Tuesday it nearly reached sixty. Yesterday it struggled to get out of the twenties. And tomorrow back into the mid to high 50's. With weather like that, not to mention Daylight Savings schedule disruptions, it was bound to be a bit odd.

One odd thing was that I got this in the mail.

Yep. That's baby formula. Nope. I'm not pregnant. Actually I was very much in the throws of knowing I'm not pregnant when this arrived. I know that Target has a fabulous algorithm for predicting pregnancy. Even before the people know it themselves. (Read the article. It is fascinating and scary) That's why I just chalked up all the new Target Baby coupons I've receiving lately to my shopping for baby shower gifts. But this was a surprise.  All I can assume is that now that Little Miss is 3, and we had her two and a half years after Little Dude, they've just assumed that I'm going to continue the trend. What really throws me is that I've never bought baby formula. EVER. Both kids were exclusively breastfed until they could go onto cow's milk. Though I have to admit the initial look on my husband's face was priceless. (Have I mentioned he had a vasectomy last year?)

Much of the week has been a downward spiral into the murky depths of depression. I'm sure the weather has much to do with it. My cycle is probably contributing as well. Instead of dwelling on it, I've decided that tomorrow is the day to yank myself out of it. I usually reach this point when feeling like this. I realize that I have to do something and force myself up and out of the hole. Temps should be back up tomorrow and I hope they are wrong about the cloud cover. I know I could definitely use some sun.

Despite everything else this week, my Monday started off kick-ass. How does one make a gloomy Monday simply fantastic?
Here is my simple recipe:
1- cityscape set (about to be struck)
1-5 year old in a Godzilla costume

Mix and sit back and enjoy.


(I did get some video as well but that will take some time editing.)

Is that not awesome, or what?

I should to bed. Actually I'm in bed and my husband's snoring is distracting me from my writing.

Tomorrow we journey back up the spiral. Come hell or high water.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

10 Things You Can Do Yourself But You Get Your Spouse/Significant Other To Do

This is an interesting assignment this week. But considering my husband never reads this I have no problem confessing many of these.

  1. Oil Changes. Or anything car related. Frankly it's because I don't like dealing with the people who think my ovaries and breasts make me an idiot and someone they can fleece. I don't have time to waste on morons like that, so I send him
  2. Litter Box. This started when I was pregnant and couldn't clean/change the litter box. And I've just continued it on. The fragrence in the litter these days wreeks havoc on my allergies...even the 'unscented' ones. I always feel like I need a shower after cleaning the box. Besides he is down in the basement all the time. So it's not so hard to walk over, scoop some poop, and then wander back to the man-cave.
  3. Dealing with the corpses of various rodents. We have lots of chipmunks and squirrels around as well as the occasional mouse that sneaks in. When they die I don't deal with the corpses. A dead chipmunk once resided in our hatchway until load-in was done and my husband could get to it.
  4. Laundry. He has wonderfully taken over this task because the up and down the stairs is taxing with the MS. I do it if he's not around, but he typically does the bulk of it. Besides he is usually down there in his man-cave anyway. 
  5. Dishes. I spent half my day at work washing brushes and buckets. The last thing I want to do is go home and wash dishes. Espeically in the winter when my hands are already cracked and bleeding.
  6. Weed Wacking- I will mow the lawn. I love to mow the lawn, but the weed whacker vibrates so much it really hurts my hands and therefore I refuse to do it.
  7. Electrical or Gas. I should learn more of these things but my rule is I don't work on anything that will electrocute me or blow me up. It's kept me alive and our house intact so far.
  8. Drive. When we are both in the car it is assumed that he is driving. I have no problem with that. It means I can knit and manage the minions.
  9. Microwave popcorn. For some reason I can't get the timing on it right. I either stop it too soon and have a bag of un-popped kernels or scorch the shit out of it. 
  10. Any major penis related issues with our son. I left the ultimate decision on circumcision to him with the argument that I don't have a penis and my opinion is lacking in first-hand knowledge. I deal with issues as they arise but somethings I really feel are his to handle. I'll be dealing with Little Miss and her periods, he can teach the boy to pee standing up. 
As a bonus here are the list of things I won't let him do (in case you think I'm a lazy git):
  • Any painting in the house. 
  • I'll reluctantly let him do the foundation layers of mudding the drywall. I do the finish work. 
  • Anything related to the sewing machine. 
  • Much of the cooking. He's not a bad cook and often makes dinner, but when he starts to experiment it can get a Yeah, that's the word I'll go with. Unusual.
  • Assembling outfits when it really matters. Love you, honey...but yeah. Those don't go together. 
  • Grocery shopping. I always regret it when I send him instead. Always. 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ten on Tuesday - The Oscar Edition

Ten on Tuesday - The Oscar Edition

This week's Ten on Tuesday topic is 10 Thoughts On This Year's Oscar Show. Or, if you don't watch The Oscars, 10 Reasons Why You Don't Watch the Oscars or even 10 Things You Do Instead of Watching the Oscars. Really, I just want to talk about The Oscars and I hope you all will, too!

  Awards shows. Yeah. I don't really do award shows. I'll watch the Tonys, if I remember, just because it relates to my work. But I find these things to be rather ridiculous and the commentators make me yell at the TV more than hockey does.

So here are 10 Things.....

Honestly I can't finish this today. We got the call from the vet and found out that our furry little evil genius has a rather aggressive form of really the Oscars mean nothing right now. 

Monday, March 03, 2014

*sigh* Monday

First of all....screw you Monday. There. That being said, I can move on.

The morning mainly consisted of the hunt for my son's green rock and roll shirt. Yesterday was Dr. Seuss' birthday and there is a week long celebration at school. And Monday is Green Eggs and Ham day....and the wearing of green. I've discovered that as a household there is a large lack of green clothing. Shirt is missing....5 year old is distraught. 2 year old won't wear her Cat in the Hat shirt. I go into attic and dig through the clothes that don't yet fit the minions and find a Hulk shirt and a very kelly green Spiderman shirt (yeah, I know). The shirt is a hit but we're upset that we're not in all green. (Can we say 'artistic temperment') We get to school (he's on time but I'm rather late) and what is sitting on the top of the Lost and Found pile. The friggin' green shirt. 

And that was how my Monday started.

And it has continued as such. Our show floor lumber has finially arrived but it does me little good when we have no clue where the paint is. We ordered it a month ago. Didn't come with the other paint. They say it is back-ordered but they also show they have seven gallons. Supposedly it was sent out last week. Apparently it is in transit....maybe.  I could have had 1/3 of this set painted last Wednesday if I had this gallon of paint that has crossed into the ether somewhere.

The worst part of this Monday is waiting for test results. And for once they aren't mine. I mentioned in the last Ten on Tuesday that our older kitty was having issues. We discovered last weekend a lump in her chest. A lump the size of a golf ball, at least. We don't know how long it has been there. Isis isn't a touchy feely kind of kitty. And woe to you if you touch any of her underside. So we somehow missed this. Last week was spent lining up visits with a new vet as the girls haven't been in a while and we no longer care to use the old ones. Long story's not a cyst. They took some cells and we're waiting for the results. She doesn't appear to be in any sort of pain.

The upside of this with the cat is that I have convinced the geek-boy to relent on their nightly incarceration.Shortly after the birth of Little Dude we realized that the night time activities of the baby had somehow convinced the cats that we were up to feed them. At all hours. The only way to get any peace was to keep them in the basement during the night. I never saw this as a permanent arrangement as I love to have them snuggled in bed with me. The geek-boy is less thrilled because they still think that 4am is an ok time to start begging for food. When he complained that they had kept him up, I pointed out that he had been keeping me up more than the cats had. I think I made my point. The quantity of hairballs in the basement has also greatly diminished and all but confirmed my suspicions that they were retaliatory.

And now the kitties are back upstairs.

Other fun happenings.....the 1-2-3 punch of storms we had a few weeks ago created a lovely water feature in our home...aka the roof was leaking again. A lot.

The only really good thing I can mention right now is that I finished another pair of socks. But I don't think I want to pair that up with this post. Here's my salute to a crappy Monday and I'm going to start a separate post for the knitting.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

It seemed like everyone enjoyed it a few weeks ago when I changed from a subject to a writing prompt for our weekly topic, so let's do it again. This time, I invite you to write 10 sentences that begin with the words "I feel. . . "

  1. I feel...tired. The alarm went off while I was deep in dream-state and I'm still struggling to pull out of it.
  2. I feel...worried about our older cat. We've discovered a large lump in Isis's chest. I know cats are prone to fatty tumors, but at her age surgery will be rough on her.
  3. I feel...annoyed about work. I wasn't expecting an on-stage day. It's nice to get back in a day earlier than I thought but it messes up with my plans for the day.
  4. I feel...pleased that the designer seams happy with the set. I had more on my list of notes but she's happy to leave it as it, until she can see it under lights.
  5. I feel...conflicted on the next show. We're printing the drop. Part of me is relieved because it will cut down the work load in a shortened build schedule. The other part is somewhat offended that the designer would rather have it printed in painted. It always feels like it is a slight on my skills.
  6. I feel...lonely.
  7. I it is time for winter to end.
  8. I feel...sick of the rollercoaster I am on regarding my health.
  9. I it is getting time to start taking some mental health days and so some things *I* want to do.
  10. I another cup of tea. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Enough already!

How does one end a craptacular day that included such joys as:

  • Starting the day literally (and I am using it in the truest sense of the word) having had no sleep
  • A breakfast consisting of two left over dino-nuggets and a perigoi
  • Stupid traffic
  • Being so tired you swear the city bus said "Zombie Express"
  • Unrealistic expectations at work (you gave me the fucking wall yesterday. NO it won't be done today)
  • A lunch consisting of a yogurt, a tangerine and the dregs of a bag of potato chips
  • Impending snowstorm made worse by the knowledge that your spouse's employer booked them hotel rooms next door in lieu of closing
  • The two year old experiencing a poop-splosion in a public venue that ends up thwarting a trip to the store for snow day essentials (thank the gods I hit the liquor story first)
  • Completely wiping out on ice in the driveway and sustaining minor injuries (luckily not carrying the bottle of booze)
  • and the unexpected arrival of your body's 'scheduled maintenance' 

One ends it in bed with some sock knitting, hot tea, two purring cats and the DVD of Shaun of the Dead your fabulous sister-in-law got you for your birthday and the knowledge that you don't have to go anywhere tomorrow. Unless it is to get the craft supplies to keep the minions busy.

Yes. Other people storm prep with eggs, milk and bread. My shopping list consisted booze, contact paper and glitter paint.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

10 Favorite Things that are RED

Tomatoes- I'm Italian and I make my own sauce. I (attempt) to grow my own tomatoes. How could I not love them. Nothing quite like a fresh ripe tomato with a smattering of salt. Mmmmmm

Berries! All of them. Sweet on the strawberries and tart for the rest. Is there anything more wonderful than fresh produce? Honestly I'd be happier with a bowl of fresh berries than cake any day. That being said....

Cherry pie is a fine mix of fruit and pastry. I have been craving one of these for a while. Note to self: buy cherries/pie filling before impending snowstorm

Pomegranates: I love these things. And though I might look like Daenerys with the heart of a stallion while eating one, I think that just makes me like them all the more. 

Northern Cardinal (the bird, not the team)  In my family they are somewhat of an omen or reminder of those who have left us. Whether that is true or not, there is nothing quite so heartwarming on a cold winter day as the sight of that brilliant plumage.

Red- the movie. I love this movie. It re-established my love affair with Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren once again proves how wonderful she is. (She still is my top choice for a female Doctor, but then that's a discussion for another day) This is a movie I have no problem watching over and over again.

A red dress- There's just something about a red dress that just makes you feel fabulous. And that is one reason that I wore one for my wedding rehearsal. (The other is that I just couldn't pass up the chance to walk down the asile of the church in a red dress and purple veil. Even if the priest did give me the stink eye. I know my old priest was looking down from above and laughing his arse off)

And with a fabulous dress you need fabulous shoes. I know that in the book they are silver, but these are so iconic. And I have been lusting for a replica pair to sport around town as long as I can remember. I have a supplier for the sequins and the schematics on the shoes....I just need to find a shoemaker (and apparently a winning lottery ticket) If I ever end up in a wheelchair, I will get these shoes and they will be on my feet.

And last but not least.....

a favorite thing of mine that is red.....

because...well because it's frigging DEADPOOL and he's awesome. Don't believe me??? Here are a few more examples.

    So there!

    Anywho, back in my realitiy things are almost to the point where I can start writing again. Work has been crazy busy with the build of Thoroughly Modern Millie, and I've not had much time to think....let alone eat lunch or blog.  And numerous snow days means I've gotten further behind by working being shut down or having my 'assistant' with me. But load in starts tomorrow and we will challenge the age old question of "Can the scenic paint faster than the carpenters can truck things to the theatre?" Also known as I was given a 35' foot wall today that has to get painted before it is trucked over sometime before the end of the day tomorrow. After that, you will be hearing from me again.