Friday, March 27, 2009

Let's Do the Time Warp Again!

Well, hello there stranger. Long time, no see.

I've been busy this week. That whole thing about March going out like a lamb, what does that mean? That's a temperature thing, right? It is mighty pleasant here, but only lamb-like (lamby, lambish, lambitous...we'll stick with lamb-like) if lambs are awfully busy little creatures.

Maya is doing better again. We have to go soon and have blood work done and buy more pills. Ya know, I don't want to though. I don't want her on pills anymore. I don't know that they are the right thing anymore. I mean if they were totally what is working for her, then she wouldn't have any days where she pees her pants, right? The other day I came home to find her pressed against the door to her crate, and her crate was filled with pee. It was such a copious amount of pee that I could only conclude that she tinkled because she couldn't hold it anymore. And I believe this is caused by the pills, since I know that I have told you that a very convenient side effect of them is dry mouth, increased water intake, and increased water output. Also, BF will be arriving in just a few weeks. He is bringing Lilly, Maya's new sister, with him. I think that the company of other dogs is better to her than pills, judging by how she behaved when we were visiting my mother. It's just so hard to say, ya know? The path to mental wellness is so tricky- there are meds, therapies, meds and therapies, meds that aren't the right meds, adjusting to meds, and so on. Adding in the fact that she can't talk further complicates things. Sigh.

I am still loving The Gentle Art of Domesticity. So, so much, in fact. i love it to bits. Every night I read a little- just a little. I stare at the pictures, i read and re-read the passages that appeal to me. Just the other night I caught myself closing it ever so slowly and then hugging it to my chest before setting it down. How funny is that? i just really like the book- originally i was drawn in by the talk of things I like, and the pretty pictures. But now the thing i love most about it was my original biggest fear of the book. i was afraid that it would make me feel like Martha Stewart makes me feel- slovenly, inadequate, and piss poor at making things pretty. This book does quite the opposite. Unlike Martha, the author fully acknowledges that sometimes someone may (gasp!) not have an unlimited amount of hours to spend on somesticity and The Gentle Arts (i just love that they are called The Gentle Arts.). Really what matters is doing what you can, when you can, within your own personal means, so that you fill your home with things that make you and your loved ones happy- the finer things in life, which are coincidentally the most simple. Anyway, it's a glorious book and it's added even more joy to the things I like doing. Not so much joy that I actually finish something, but that's okay. Maybe there's a section later on finishing things.

I love knitting socks, and I expect to show you a whole pair of them by the end of the weekend. that I finished. Won't that be something?

Also, somehow it turns out that I have a big vacation in the works after all. Originally BF and I were going to take a trip. Then we decided that it was a Bad Idea. then I changed our minds by getting each of us some tickets to see Phish at The Gorge in August. This will be the culmination of our trip in which we go to San Francisco, Washington, CA, two days of wandering up the coast, then George, Washington, then finally Seattle and then home. I'm so excited. Apparently I lived in California for a year when i was little, but I don't really remember. So, this will be my first REAL trip to the West Coast, and it has really become something to look forward to. Hey Other Southerners: out There, In The West, even in summer at night time they wear jackets and stuff! In August! Can you imagine? The thought of that alone will get me through the month of July, when it becomes sweltering hot. Have I mentioned that I am excited? Also, is it wrong that as soon as I started to arrange this trip, I thought right away of all the time I would have for knitting? And that this presented me with a place to take my knitting needle case? It may not Make The Most Sense Financially, but you know what? You can't take it with you. Did I tell you i am excited?

Finally, I suggest wholeheartedly that you rent Milk if you have not done so thus far. It is a beautiful movie. I loved every second of it, and I cried and cried at the end.

Well, I hope you have a fantastic weekend! Practice the Gentle Arts. Or the Martial Arts. And Crafts.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Gentle Fart of Domesticity

I'd like to tell you a story. Gather round, children.

It's barely lunch, and there is already a story to tell. This morning started way too early. BF is on a business trip, and so he thought that I too might like to get up at 8:15am to chit chat. As this was a horrible error in judgement, I was too aggravated to go back to sleep at 8:30 when he finally let me off the phone with promises of blueberry pancakes once he moves here. Anyway, I got up, watched some tv, hung out with the dog, and decided that I should go get an uber coffee drink at Starbucks, and maybe wander around Barnes & Noble. Whoever thought to team the two up is an Evil Genius.

So I get my coffee and I wind up purchasing two books with the money I earned (but have not received yet) by cleaning a newly vacated apartment owned by some clients at work. Aren't I clever? I was going to blow it all on yarn, but these books called to me. I bought Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. It's splendid. It's not intimidating, has cute projects, all easily (or so it would seem) completed and all were things that I totally wanted to make. Love. I looked at sooooo many books that I had my eye on because of the blogosphere hype of them all, and they sort of left me feeling kind of meh. But this one, oh this one had me wanting to run home and sew all sorts of things. I like that- I think that's the mark of a good, no, great book. There's a difference is a book that's nice to look at and makes me say "oh, that's a nice...thing" and one that makes me say "I LOVE that, that, that, and that and I need them in my life and feel inspired to make it so." That's how I feel about Heather Ross' book. It's neato.

Then. Oh, then I found a book I have coveted from afar but never actually held in my grubby little hands. It's The Gentle Art of Domesticity. It's beautiful. What little I have read has been sweet, thoughtful, accompanied by gorgeous photos, and just generally enthralls me. I had already planned to leave it out on the coffee table with my other Coffee Table Books (Spirit Dancer and Bitter With Baggage Seeks Same- what can I say, I am a varied and complex young lady.) So I pull up at the house with visions of cleaning a little, opening the doors and windows, planting some foxglove seeds, perhaps a little NPR, and practicing the art of domesticity, ever so gently.

Then I walked in the house and smelled shit.

Yup, Someone could not stand the thought of me having fun without her and shit her pants. Er, crate. Then i let her out of her crate, to discover that she stepped on turds with her back feet. They made these sort of Turd Hooves that thankfully didn't get on the carpet (mostly) while I chased her around the apartment. By the time I caught her she was so frazzled, I had to carry her to the bathroom. Now at this point, i will say that there is an upside to the fact that I frequently have to wash her own bodily...whatEVERS off her. That is that this dog delights in baths and has perfected her own Gentle Art of taking them. She waits for her collar to come off. Once it does, she hops in the tub on her own. She stays at the back end of it waiting for the water to be the right temp before walking into it (the tub drains sort of slowly. I bet there's two dogs worth of fur down there.) and then she stands very still while you lather her up, except for maybe giving you a kiss or eleven while you are on eye level. that's about the point where it's useless staying mad at her. So then when it's rinsing time, she puts her front paws up on the edge of the tub, so that you can make sure you get all the soap off her, please and thank you. Then she steps back down and lifts one leg at a time so that you can rinse those as well. Turn off the water and she will shake off once, hop out of the tub (more slowly and carefully than hopping in- wouldn't want to slip, now would we.) and waits to be towel dried. Again, with the Show Pony style leg lifting. She gives one thank you kiss, and then heads out to resume laying on the couch. How this civilized little doggie still insists on crapping herself, I will never know.

So yeah, this sort of sums up my life, and the constant fuckery that accompanies my attempts at crafty goodness and a lovely surrounding. I have the grandest intentions of perhaps ogling my hostas (still not over the wonder that is a plant that dies and then just decides to come back without a seance or anything. Amazing.), cleaning, working on the great kitchen makeover, knitting a few more rows of the second sock, and reading my books over and over and over again. But does that happen? Nope, not till the dog's Turd Hooves are removed, and the remaining little shit nuggets in her crate are ever-so carefully removed, the surrounding area cleaned, the room aired out, and disinfectant sprayed. Hey, we share a bedroom, Maya and I. i don't want Eau de Dookie in my room. Aromatherapy, it is not. Actually, I have started having a Pavlovian response to it almost and my blood begins to boil immediately upon smelling it. So yeah- cute tunics, vegan muffins, neatly stored balls of yarn, the quiet and thoughtful feathering of one's nest- not happening here at the Stupid house. Nope, but the gentle art of poop cleaning is in full fucking swing today, friends!

Oh and in the way of Confessional Sunday, unless you count books (which I do NOT; books are our friends and they are always allowed to be purchased and loved- AWAYS!) I am guilt free this week, and last week. I am also sadly Finished Object free, but hey- see above.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Oh man.

I am starting to wonder if it is Spring Fever, or if my spring break did me more harm than good. Maybe it's allergies. Global Warming? Maybe?

O, People Who Read This Blog, hear my cries! Or rather, read them! For I have lost my mind. Really this time.

I can't find a certain prescription medication that is rather important. Well, it would be more important if A Certain Someone did not live 700 miles away, but still. It's just gone! How does that happen? I also was literally 4 miles from a yarn store in a totally different town (and looked it up online and it looked great) and didn't go! I didn't even go in! Part of it was because I didn't want to leave the dog in the car and have her fret over me while I shopped for Stuff I Don't Need (again, I dispute the validity of that word), but the rest of me was just sort of uninterested. I have more than I know what to do with as it is, and plenty of other projects to attend to (like the two day assembly of the Scadanavian Furnishing (is it right for that to be singular? seems strange. anyway). I finally bought journals that I wanted to try out, and was ready to begin the practice of devoting some time to journalling (which I know Ricë would have been proud of) and now I can't find them. How will I make lists and get it all back together? I can't go back to using napkins and empty envelopes. I can't. I can't. I can't. Please don't make me.

Everything is so out of hand right now that I have had no choice but to do what The Old Saying says: when the going gets tough, the tough pretend it isn't happening and knit socks instead. So I have. i've almost finished with the first sock, and it's been magical. Boring, but magical. I think it would be more fun if I had trusted my abilities a bit more, and not started out with something in plain stockinette. But I will tell you this: I have tried that sock on, and although it is not finished, I can tell you that the one foot lucky enough to enjoy that sock rejoiced. There are few things more simple and wonderful than handknit socks. I am sure of it, and so is my right foot (although the toes on that foot remain skeptical). I can't wait to let the other foot in on this.

Am I the only one? I have a black belt in Procrastination, and I am using every bit of my skills this week. I find myself staring at the tiny little beginnings of the return of my hostas for way too long, forcing the dog to linger under the camellia trees with me for longer than either of us need to, and just generally pretending that there is nothing else that I need to be doing.

For shame.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some Assembly Required, My Ass

Hello, I've returned. I returned home with a very dirty and Georgia red clay covered dog, who had a splendid vacation, and was greeted by the tiniest nubbins of my hostas coming back up out of the soil. I also returned home with the Spoils of War.

I fought the General Public, and went to Ikea. we don't have one here, so this was a new and different experience for me. And wow, do I ever love reasonably priced Scandanavian furnishings! Who knew? So I purchased a few things, and the Few Things includes a lovely little multi purpose table thingy that so far I could use in the kitchen (where it is now), on the porch, or as a tea cart kind of thing, assuming one day I get some friends and start to like to entertain in my home or whatever. I digress.

Anyway, this thing is held together by tiny wooden dowels and prayers still I get to step 6 of the booklet that states that these 3" wood screw things must be driven into each rung on the frame, so that the resulting shelves are held in place. I can tell you that while I now have been moving the kitchen all around, but my right hand is a gnarled claw. Do you know what they give you to drive those screws in? An ALLEN WRENCH! A fucking bent up piece of metal, that's right. It took me two days of holding the wrench in a (new, purchased at Ikea) dishtowel and running laps around the damn thing for two days.

But it's done. And I will have you know that it would not be done were it not for my spiteful nature. See, when I commented to BF that I was putting it together he said, "Hee hee! You're a GIRL! Girls can't put things together! You are going to have extra parts!" Now he was (mostly) kidding, but it was that innate desire to get it right despite his rudeness that kept me going...for two days.

Now if you will excuse me, it's time to go home and reclaim my life from the clutches of Ikea. And perhaps do a little microwaving.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This Week In Sewing

Told ya I was sewing.

These are nothing to shout about, but they are made from materials on hand, useful, pretty, and appeal to the tiny part of me that thinks she's the Queen of England. they are reversible, so they feel good and think and heavy in your lap. And, during these times that feel like we are all on the Hades Express, all in this little hand basket bound for hell, it's nice to start your day with a pretty napkin, and a pretty place mat, and feel that there is still some sense of order and joy in simplicity to be had.

I'm still working on the place mats, although they should be done any time now. They are more time consuming than I thought they would be, but hey, what isn't?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Future Vampire Bunny Slippers

These are the slippers I finished like two weeks or so ago, and I don't think I showed them to you. How they came to be:

Pattern: Malabrigo Loafers
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, Damask Rose
Needles: US8 circs

Cute huh?

They will be even cuter soon. They look sort of goofy when I walk, because my feet are just a bit too narrow for them. But they basically feel like heaven. My plan is to eventually get some of the suede slipper bottoms so as not to either wear through them immediately or slip and crack my skull open in the kitchen.

But I have even better plans for them. Right now I am making some ears to stitch on, and planning to do a bit of stitching on them this week, and a face and some fangs and all that. But for a while I had cold toes and I was sick to bits of the pink Malabrigo, so I just let them be till I had the energy to make them good and funny.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Generally In Lieu of Blogging

I figured I would just sort of neatly summarize why I have been so terribly absent. Lots going on here presently, but none of it interesting enough to warrant its very own post. So we'll just list and then move on.

  • Maya. She is peeing in her crate again. Sometimes peeing and pooping. Nothing has changed; I am not sure why this started up again. Maybe her meds aren't right anymore. I had this whole bout of melodrama where I wanted to shake her, and felt like I was failing her somehow, and why me?!?, and so on. I am over it, and I am determined to keep trying, keep loving her to bits, and dwell on the improvements she's made, and not the puddles.
  • Um, hello- Spring?!?! Yeah, I have actually been out in the sun and fresh air, enjoying the warmth and neglecting the computer. This has done wonders for my general outlook, despite what my sinuses may tell you.
  • Consequently, spring has me feeling sort of wound up and domestic. I think that the impending arrival of BF has something to do with it too, but spring cleaning has started around here. You can't really be present at the computer when you are scrubbing baseboards, windows, and cleaning out and organizing drawers, can you? And no, I will not come to your house to clean your windows and baseboards.
  • I've discovered sock knitting. Things will never be the same.
That's really it. Not such an impressive list now that I think of it. But hey, at least you know now that it hasn't been all crappy reality tv. Some, but not all.

I am now beginning my mini-cation. I took a few days off work to form an extremely long weekend. During this time, I need to make half a closet in the bedroom, make at least some space in the bathroom, and find some way to share the office- that part hurts my heart just a little. Anyway, there's that and then there's a trip to see my mother and some friends and then home for more feathering and fancifying (shut up, I don't care if it's not a real word) of my little nest here. Perhaps I will have a whole sock to show you when I get back?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring Is Here, Nanny Nanny Boo Boo!

Yes, I am now officially taunting people. We have spring, you don't. HA! That is right, I am laughing while I can. Especially since you will be laughing when you have lovely breezy days in the high 70's and I am laying on top of my air conditioner, covered in sweat and cursing this Southern Existence of mine. But for now, I play in the dirt.

I live in a shady little spot. For the most part I like it quite a bit, but it makes having plants difficult. All the super pretty colored ones seem to want sun. I don't have any to really spare, so I went with some low light stuff for the front porch. I wish I could take this little pot with me everywhere; I love it so much.

Here's the very under exposed back porch. The picture is good in that it shows you just how quickly it's dark back there. I sort of love it that way though. As you can see, the cat, Buddha, and The Best Rocking Chair Ever make it all nice and cozy. The calla lillies, my second favorite behind tulips, don't hurt any either. I don't know how well you can see it from the pic but that rectangle planter is holding my most favorite arrangement. I had so much fun putting it together. I have no idea what the plants are in it, but when the Nursery Lady was writing up my ticket, she went nuts over it and said that I must be artsy or have a background in plants. Since I consider myself neither, this made me feel good.

And finally, the terrarium that I made a while ago needed some new inhabitants. I have a hard time with this thing- I can't seem to find anyone who gets along with the lone survivor, the guy in the 6 o'clock position. Everyone else wants all sorts of water and sunlight and bedtime stories and all sorts of botanical coddling that I am not prepared to give. so I snatched up these little succulents when the label on them basically said "likes total crap for soil and doesn't give a shit about water." I mean I am paraphrasing, but I feel the same way. Now I just need to switch out the critters, and do a bit of re-staging. I finally found a T-Rex like I wanted, and I have a blue stegasaurus that would look fantastic in there. Wow, when did I turn into a 5-year-old boy? I guess sometime around when I realized that "scrotum" is the funniest word ever, and farts are the funniest sound ever.

So yeah, spring has sprung here in the Awesome house! And this is one of the many reasons I have been sort of non-bloggy lately.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Confessional Sunday #3- Already Absolved!

For this confession in the Use Me Up Challenge, I am absolved, because I was utter Don't-Buy-That Perfection!

Funny how not spending money for (OMG NOOOO!) One Whole Week is such a source of pride for me. Kind of says a lot about the Consumerist Mentality that we (okay I) have.

Also, I am catching up in fits and starts here, so I promise not to be so absent hopefully. Actually I can't promise that. But I will be thinking of you while enjoying this amazingly wonderful spring weather. I can't promise that either, actually. Who are you again?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Confessional Sunday #2- I Am But A Slave to Pretty Things

I fell off the wagon. Hard.

I could give you the reasons leading up to it, tell you about the Woe To Me-ness that I felt prior to my fall from non-shopping grace. I could tell you why it's my duty as an American citizen to buy what I don't need (I think "need" is a relative term when used in conjunction with any sort of art of craft supply, but that's just me.) in the hopes of stimulating the economy, or perhaps I could tell you to shut up and go away and stop judging me. But I won't.

I fell off the wagon and it felt so good. If it's wrong, I don't want to be right. Which is a good thing, because it was totally wrong. And here's what it is:

6 skeins of sock yarn
Like 5 different sized sets of DPNs because they were on sale. and also because I needed them. I really did, I promise. Again with the relativity of the word "need."

I also bought what equates to something like 4 yards of fabric. Now this was totally not all my fault. It might be a Fat Quarter Pack, and maybe I was feeling really inspired since Fat Quarter Month ended over at Sew, Mama, Sew! and I really felt like a small re-do of my kitchen would be lots of fun for spring. And it will be, I know it.

Then there was the ball winder. I am not sure it counts at all, since it's not really a supply, just sort of a...thing. What was I supposed to do? Stupid Joanns and their stupid 40% off coupons. Enablers, that's what they are. I needed it for my sock yarn and I am sort of sorry, but mostly just excited.