Allow myself to introduce... myself


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Obsessive Knitting

It’s been in my head lately that Christmas is right around the corner and I have **NO** presents for any member of my family or friend circle bought, made, picked out, or budgeted for. I’ve been entertaining fantasies of finishing up my sewing room move for some time now, and I still have yet to replace the broken chair that I need to sit in while sewing that some of you may remember from my blog several months ago. I console myself with the fact that I’ve been nudging my way back toward my creative endeavors, albeit somewhat obsessively, by picking back up my needles and knitting away...

Unfortunately all I’ve been knitting lately are black hats.
I haven’t dissected this yet with any of my panel of advisers, but I’m pretty sure they’ll call me on my wackiness. And the reason for my manic knitting spell? One of the Great Loves of my Past(insert melodramatic hand-to-heart gesture here) has been sent off to Iraq in the last couple of weeks, and this time I’m determined to be the dutiful friend sending off well timed, appropriately astonishing care packages full of the perfect items that he doesn’t know well enough to ask for. That was the aim of course, but somehow I’ve been sidetracked into maniacally knitting black hats. This one’s too soft, that one’s too itchy, this one’s not machine washable… you see the point? And yet I’ll be just finishing up with what I SWEAR will be the last black hat, and another yarn combination will pop into my head and I think I simply MUST try it out. Cotton, wool, cashmere, bamboo… I just know the perfect fiber combination to keep someone immortal is out there. For some reason all the fear and paranoia I feel at having one of my oldest friends over there has manifested itself in this incredibly impractical way. I mean honestly, how many black hats can one man own?
I am grateful for: text messages from Iraq, growing kittens, visiting Sedro next week with Tif, getting back in the creative spirit, and two amazing kids who can just be kids. Life is wonderful.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Practicing Random Acts of Kindness (for selfish reasons)

There's a story here, but I suspect before we get to it that the path might meander a little. Bear with me Dear Reader(s), there might be wisdom to be had (um... but I'm not making any promises).

The thought has occurred to me that 80's television may had an adverse affect on my upbringing. In the 80's we had a neighbor that had kindly rigged us up some cable television (with Showtime!), which we promptly sat in front of for hours on end. When we moved out of that house we didn't have cable again until I bought it as an adult a year and a half ago. I was thinking about this last night while watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids on my own modern day cable. I remember watching the movie when it came out at the movie theater, and having fantasies of my own that some errant scientist-invention-gone-awry would shrink me and the neighbor down so we could fall in lust with each other. No wonder I have problems with relationships... I grew up on a diet of Knight Rider, Mr Belvedere, Small Wonder, and Who's the Boss. Let's not even discuss the damage that years of watching Cheers and The Cosby Show back to back caused me. I think somewhere along the line I must have figured I could have it all... and I've spent my life looking for that perfect combination of Sam Malone and Cliff Huxtable in one man. Ugh! And let's not even discuss the irony involved in finding out that apparently in real life Ted Danson is a much better husband than Bill Cosby. This will take me years of therapy as reality and fantasy get mixed up in my mind, and I think that a man like Sam Malone can change into a man like Ted Danson with the right love of a good woman... Because the day I realized that the "allegations" against Bill Cosby and his sexual proclivities were true, I felt like I'd just found out there was no Santa Claus.Are you still with me, because I promise I'm getting to the story...

Eighties TV sitcoms were big fans of the dilemma plotline. A crisis of conscience in which our beloved main character has a choice between doing the right thing or the wrong thing... in the first two acts it looks like they might choose the wrong thing... but then... whew! After the last round of commercials they would pull it out of the hat and claim victory over temptation. What I believe I picked up from this story arc is that we usually don't want to do the right thing in the beginning, but that if we do it eventually, we'll still get the karma points. Given any tough decision, I have about 22 minutes to figure out the right way to go. And so it was yesterday while waiting in line at the Starbuck's drive-thru. With a full day of cleaning to go before the arrival of the ex (long story), the kid's and I needed a pick-me-up at coffee mecca. After telling the speaker my order, I pulled my gigantic SUV (if I could afford a Ford Escape HYBRID I would have one) as close to the car in front of me as possible, in order to make room for the gigantic SUV behind me to pull up to the speaker and shout their order. APPARENTLY I wasn't able to pull forward far enough to suit the yahoo in the Yukon, because the driver honked at me. Now because of the angle the driver may not have been able to see how I was almost touching the bumper of the tiny car in front of me, the driver may not have even been ABLE TO SEE the tiny car in front of me... but to my way of thinking, honking at another car in the Starbucks drive-thru in the middle of sunny happy latte land is definitely bad form. I won't lie, I looked through my rearview mirror into the pouring rain to see if the driver was big enough for me to open a can of Whoop-Ass (patent pending) on, but I couldn't see through his or her tinted windows. Seeing my wonderful children in the backseat though caused me to pause for reflection (a seething reflection, but I DID at least pause). When Boo asked why the car behind honked at us... I actually answered "maybe they're having a bad day". And then something happened... I actually started to believe what I had said. I thought to myself that even though I in all my infinite wisdom would never DREAM of taking my own bad day out on an innocent caffeine addict, perhaps their bad day was bad enough to cause them to display such a complete an utter lack of decorum. I wasn't going to let completely go of my own anger yet, but I thought maybe there would be a way for me to turn the situation around, and thus be a Hero Mommy. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to get to the altruistic moment though... I sized up the SUV behind me and noticed it was much newer, bigger, and shinier than mine. And since the median income of the households in my town is $80,000 with only 7% of the houses run by single mothers, I had a feeling the person in the car behind me had WAY more money than I did. BUT in the interest of being HERO MOMMY, I paid for their drink order. By doing so I was able to release all the bad energy inside me, and either help them with their bad day.... or make them feel guilty they were such a schmuck. Is that so wrong?

Of course there's always the chance they just bumped the horn with their elbow, but then what would I have to blog about?


Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Sucker for Strays

And the day started thusly: one kiddo wants to ride the bus, the other wants to be dropped off at school so he can sleep in a bit... not too much of a problem there as I have an appointment across from the school at 9am. So 5 minutes before we have to be out the door I decide to scoop the litter box which is now in it's new location, without the benefit of a door to shut it behind. Let me just tell you folks, when I bought this litterbox I went for the absolutely supreme deluxe model. The litterbox not only has a dome over it to hide kittywaste, it also has stairs going up into it, so I don't have to see the kitty poking it's head out making grunty faces. It takes about forty pounds of litter a week, but it's well worth it (or so I thought). So I ask Baby to get me one of those little plastic grocery bags so I can change the litter, but when I lift the dome I see that kitty #2 has been ripping the plastic liner with her wee bitty kitty claws. So I make a split second decision to change the bag also, which means lifting the forty pounds of SOILED litter out of the litterbox, and squeeze it (for security) into the plastic grocery bag. All went well with nary a grain of spillage, so I prepared to heft my load down the stairs, out the door, and into the garbage bin. Luck of all luck! On my way down the stairs (2 minutes before needing to leave the house) the bag broke and about twenty pounds of soiled litter and CLUMPS (you cat owners know what I'm talking about) went merrily rolling themselves down the stairs. With Baby standing not two feet behind me I'm ashamed to say that all I could do was stand there and say SHIT! about a hundred times while the mess unfolded itself in front of me. Now here's the good part; all I could think about while cleaning up this mess was that I finally had something worth blogging about.

Now THAT my friends, is healing.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween... And then there were POP TARTS

I haven't been the best Mom when it comes to Halloween (I've been told by well meaning adults). First of all in Alaska where the kids spent their early years it's too darn cold and dark to go trick or treating. Then there's the fact that I'm not a big fan of candy gorging, and that I hate the idea of begging at the houses of strangers, and then you'll get to why this is the first year the kids have ever gone trick or treating. It started when my Mom had the kids last weekend, and called me asking why they don't have any costumes. I do believe she was horrified when I admitted that I was trying to let Halloween pass by unnoticed. So two costumes later...
It was up to me where to take this beautiful "I don't know" and her gallant knight. So during work on Wednesday I did a google search and realized that everything fun had happened the weekend before Halloween. Just imagine how happy I was as the candy-hating-Mom to see that Whole Foods was handing out things to kids in costume. "I can kill two birds with one stone!" I thought, always trying to do just that. So I raced out of work and dressed the kids up, then tore over to the Whole Foods to parade them around with their free Whole Foods Trick-or-Treat bags. But midway through something happened. I started to feel guilty at trying to short-change the kid's Halloween experience about the time Boo took a sample of grapes from the omni-present Whole Foods sample dome and Baby said (with a mouth full of sample pineapple) "Mommy this is the Best Halloween EVER!". So we went trick or treating in the neighborhood of my dear friend Sara, who actually had troops of trick or treaters tromping around everywhere. I hadn't seen that kind of Halloween activity since I was a kid, so I know I must've hit upon Trick or Treat mecca.

So now we're at today. I've arranged a delightful and healthy breakfast (cherry pop-tarts count as fruit, right?)
Hey... I had to bribe the kids for a day spent moving the sewing room into the office and the office into the sewing room. Hold on kiddos, mama's gonna start sewing again!

It has to happen now, because the kitties are taking over...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Progress

If there's a new motto to be had, it would be something along the lines of "Do it Yourself Instead of Waiting for Others to Do it For You" or something more poetic but essentially the same. And since that is the new motto, I thought it only right if I re-evaluated my Christmas wishlist to see what I could do for myself... and would ya just LOOK at the results!

  1. Treadmill - it's okay Santa, I got this one myself on MONDAY. It's a rickety starter treadmill from Craigslist, but I figure if I have 3 months of walk/jogging on this thing at least 4 days a week without using it as a clothes hanger then I owe it to myself to upgrade...
  2. Truckload of Partylite Winter Solstice scented candles of all sizes - not much to be done here since the Partylite people saw it in their infinite wisdom to discontinue this scent sometime between now and when my son SOLSTICE was born. Darn it all anyhow! I did try an Ebay search, but then decided that might be a tad bit crazy to become so obsessed with something I was just going to burn. Call me kookie but.... well no, you'd be right. That's kookie.
  3. A trip to Tahiti - Okay, this one can stay on the list. Let me also interject that a trip ANYWHERE WARM would be welcome Santa, and I already have two weeks of vacation scheduled at Christmas with no place to go. Not hinting or anything, just... well... trying to make things easier.
  4. An intelligent, funny, sexy man who does not drive a Hummer for pleasure purposes or wear hats made of straw, and would never DREAM of saying "Good Luck finding a man who loves your kids as much as I did" after he has cheated on me. - Yeah, well a girl has to have her standards...
  5. Enough snow to build a proper snow man, but not so much I can't safely get to work - Take or leave this one Santa, if it doesn't snow I can convince the kids that it snowed inside by ripping up tiny bits of paper and strewing them all over.
  6. Someone to organize my sewing area, so I can make up for lost time - Yeah, I better not wait around on this one and just tackle it myself. How else can I get Christmas presents for other people done? So I've decided I'm going to take over the former office and turn it into my sewing area. That's my own little gift to myself: that out of a three bedroom house that I pay ALL the rent on I deserve TWO of the bedrooms. Me, mine, NO SHARING. And if one day I meet a man who would like to WOO me away from all of this he will have to prove to me that I can continue to live in the luxury to which I have accustomed myself. Do you hear that futureman? MY OWN SEWING ROOM!
  7. That all my knitted presents fit everyone they're made for (without me having to fool with knitting a gauge swatch first) - I give up, I've started (after 11 years of knitting) to make gauge swatches. It's a whole new world.
  8. World Peace - Still on the list
  9. Hillary Clinton in the White House. NOW! - Still on the list, but I'm considering downgrading to the much more urgent "Just get that man out NOW!"
And so there you go, progress can be good for the soul.

I'm grateful for the old friends that keep popping up out of nowhere - first Kyle, then Kristy, Mick, and now Khumokins. You know nothing has been in vain when the boy you had a crush on in 5th grade calls you up out of the blue because you've always been great at talking to each other; the boy you had a crush on when you were 15 wants you to believe you and he can live happily ever after; you hear from the one you never really got a good chance to know because the timing was wrong, and to top it all off you have weekly chats with the best sister-friend that listens to you talk about them all and can laugh and snort and cry and lift you up all the same. And that's what it's all about.