Thursday, February 28, 2008

you are my friend, you are special....

I'm going to do Things Around My House Thursday a day late. I'm too busy wiping up the EmotionalVomit from yesterday.
Sorry for making a mess, kids.
*hands y'all a towel*.

Well, if you didn't understand the Romper Room reference the other day, you probably won't understand this one either.

I loved Fred Rogers. I actually had a little cry-fest when he died five years ago. What an amazing man. Sometimes I wonder how I'd have turned out without him telling me how special I was (am) in my most unusual ways.

March 20th is Mr. Rogers birthday, and a Pittsburg group is organizing an event. They are calling for participants worldwide to wear their favorite sweater that day. It doesn't have to be like his (a zip front cardigan), it just needs to be one that makes you feel special.

For those who never watched the program, every episode began with Mr.Rogers returning to his home, where you were waiting for him. He would enter singing, and he would go to the closet, take off and hang up his suit coat, and put on a cardigan (his mother knit the sweaters for him, it turns out...and one of them hangs in the Smithsonian Museum, by the way).

Then he would sit on a bench and change out of his dress shoes into tennis shoes (As an aside, TheMostImportantGuy changes his shoes as he goes in and out of his office, and it is one of the many things about him that makes my heart melt. That, and the time he told me that when he was a little kid he always wanted to grow up to be Oscar Madison).

Read about the event here in this article.

There is a Ravelry Group you can join (go figure) here.

Here is the Mr.Rogers link at PBS (my favorite part is the song list).

Oh, and best?? Here's Mr.McFeely spreading news about the event on YouTube. Watch it an have a little flashback with your morning coffee:

At the end of the clip, it tells you where you can send in a photo or video of yourself making your tribute in your favorite sweater.

Now please excuse me while I go have a "snappy new day"!
I woke up at 3:30am and wasn't able to get back to sleep, sore in many places from dance rehearsal yesterday (it was all about the abs...Oy! Do I need to work out more often!).

PS...thanks to Snarkland for pointing me to the event. I saw the icon for the Ravelry group last night and a smile broke out on my face, but I didn't click through to see that there was an associated event. So thank you!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

robbing peter to pay paul

The title pretty much sums it up, so don't bother yourself with reading on unless you have been missing my StreamOfConciousnessEmotionalVomit style of posting....because that is what you are about to get.
No censoring, no editing, no retyping, onto the page it goes.

I am learning that 365 day of blogging will sometimes require this. Otherwise I have thoughts and emotions but not enough time to really flush it out and write something that is more of a conclusion of my process. What I'm about to do is more suited for a personal journal, but since I haven't kept one in awhile, this is it.

If I don't start posting this way occasionally, well.....see, it is days like these that I end up posting quizzes and crapola. While that occasionally has it's place, it sure feels like a cheap way out when I am hardly feeling fluffy.

So here we go. Finger to keypad.
One. Two. Three. (deep breath)....

Robbing Peter To Pay Paul

I'm not sure who in family used that expression, but it was probably my parents. It is completely fitting with where I am at right now. I feel like every. single. thing. i do. is at the expense of something else. If I wash the dishes, I spend less time with my kid. If I do laundry, I dont make it to the market. If I write a blog post, I don't get knitting time (think of that as time to decompress). If I visit folks in the convalescent hospital, I dont get to cook as good a meal (both important to me for the health as well as the craft of it). If I get involved in a new dance project, which feeds me on so many levels, then I don't have time for friends. If I read blogs (some of whom belong to people I actually have become to care about as friends) then I don't have clean laundry.

And the point is not in the pairings. I can mix this all up in a different order. EVERYTHING in my life right now takes time away from EVERYTHING else, and every single stinking one of them are things I don't feel I can let go of. I mean, I could perform less, but that is what keeps me creative and alive. Why would I not allow myself that? I could skip volunteering at the convalescent hospital, but is 2 hours out of each week to do something charitable, which ALSO feeds me in so many special ways.

It is driving me fucking insane. There have been times in my life where I have had a similar feeling, and I could actually look at the items on my plate, and I could see what needed to go. I could see that something could be removed, and that it was good to let something go because it wasn't actually feeding me in any way. But every single thing on my list right now feels neccessary.

And I dont know what to do about it.

I am frustrated because I can't find the root of the problem here. I mean, I used to do all of those things on that list AND go to a weekly knitting group AND go to school full time AND work part time AND AND AND....I mean SHIT!! I AM NOT EVEN WORKING RIGHT NOW. WHAT THE FUCK. How did I do all that before??? What is different????? Is it that I am getting older? Is it modern technology (everyone I talk to about this says it is modern technology, but I dunno). Is it that I have a disability now? Is it that I have less immediate support with MyFK than I used to???? Is it something about the new house? The new 'hood?? WHAT DID THIS??? BECAUSE I WANT TO FIX IT!!!

So I spend my days, not plodding along, but rushing along, and never ever feeling done, accomplished, or having a feeling of completion. Horrible things for me, because I have a history of being an over achiever....but I mean, we're just talking about taking a shower and not eating something out of a box sometimes. If I do one, I can't do the other. Or if I do a little bit of everything, then everything around me feels totally half-assed.

Let me get back to that feeling bit, that must be the key here. Never feeling done. Always looking around myself and never feeling at peace. Never feeling like I am done. Never feeling a sense of accomplishment. Or pride. Feeling like I am failing. Myself. Failing myself. And that doesn't even get into the feelings of failing other people.

Sigh. I just don't know. I am frustrated. I feel good when I am in the process of DOING the thing. I drive to rehearsal? I curse my life the whole way there because I now don't have time to be doing what else needs to be done. I am AT rehearsal? I am so in my body and so digging being creative with other movers, I am loving the work and my contribution to it. I am driving home?? And I am thinking about all that needs to be done for myself and others and I know for a fact it wont all fit into a day, and so I sit there having to decide who the hell is going to get the short end of the stick today. My son? My boyfriend? My family, my friends, my art, my time for myself?? (that last one is usually it)

I have no answers, only frustrations and questions and doubts and fears and inadequacies. And I need to stop typing now because I have 14 other things to do.

Maybe I should have just posted a quiz after all.
No, dont reread this, girl. Just hit "publish post" because if you reread it, you WILL post a quiz today.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

why is it that i always buy one more thing than what i went in for

I joined in on (yes, John...I have joined something ELSE) Larissa's call for dishrags.

Today I finally made it over to the big-box-craft store to buy a skein of ecru kitchen cotton so I can whip one up for her project.

The extra thing I walked out with is an Easter egg. I'm not even into Easter (spring fertility symbols, I guess it's close enough).

I just couldn't stand it.
Bunny secrets.
Giggly bunny secrets.
Too danged cute.

At least I hope that is what it is.
Heck, up until a few seconds ago, I actually saw this as a Boy+girl bunny (which clearly it aint.)
I might be seeing it wrong.
Maybe they got food poisoning from something in the garden.

Monday, February 25, 2008

stitches 2008 (catchy title. i know.)

If you didn't grow up with Romper Room, this is going to make no sense at all.

I see...KarenTheDancingLurker, and MissSharon, my dancing buddies.....
I see Carolyn, and Hollis, and Morgaine, some of my favorite proprietresses ever....
I see NoBlogRachel and BeanMama and Jennie....some wonderful friends old and new that I am wishing to spend more time with (I must organize a knit-in soon)....

Seriously, kiddies.
Seeing people at Stitches was the best part of it all.

Heavy Bags, Light Wallet

I actually didn't do too much damage this year, suprisingly. I went with a list, and I pretty much stuck to it.

1) Plain Sock Yarn.
An inspection of my stash last week revealed to me why I haven't been knitting many socks lately. I want to be knitting complex cable patterns, and all of my sock yarn is variegated. The colors will detract from the pattern. So Saturday I went looking for a couple skeins of solid colors and decided on these:

ShiBui sock yarn from the Artfibers booth, in purple and green (the blue is something else). What I love about this yarn, besides is squishy goodness, is that even though it is dyed a solid color, it isn't "flat". It is ever so slightly variegated which I think will add a lovely quality.

2) Summer Suitable Fiber
My stash was also devoid of anything that I would knit up for summer wear. I need that now that I have moved to a part of the Bay Area where it's cookin' in summertime. Underneath that sock yarn up there is the blue stuff. It's Bonsai Bamboo from Argosy. It's a silk/bamboo/merino blend. They had it sampled in a modified version of the Beaded Cami, and I'm going to try my hand at adapting the pattern to get a good fit on my frame.

3) Buttons
I wanted to find a couple of buttons for Juliet (the cropped cardigan I am working on right now). Instead, I walked away with this, from the "Button Lady":

A big ol' vintage lucite button. I just adore it, although it won't be for my current project. Juliet needs at least two, maybe three, buttons. I have a couple of patterns I am looking at that all have one closing the front though, and this will go on the one I finally decide on.

4) A Shawl Pin
I joined a shawl/lace knitting club that starts in a couple of weeks, and we will be making 4 shawls this year (yes, you can laugh now). I actually have quite a difficult time wearing shawls (long drapey items don't typically jive with crutches and wheelchairs). So if I hope to actually wear any of these shawls (which may have to all become gifts), it would definitely help if I had decent a shawl pin. I wanted something that would go with all four shawls, and that's tough, because I don't have a frickin' clue what any of them look like yet!!
So I chose this:

This ended up being my biggest splurge. It's real silver though, handcrafted, and even better? It's reversible:

Even if I don't keep the shawls, the pin will look great on a sweater or scarf, maybe even a hat. I love it.

5) Goodies From Ravelry
I bought tote bags and buttons, some for me, and some as a gift. I also bought these... I can turn the ripping out all of my UFO's into a drinking game.

6) A New Knitting Bag

I bought one of those Bagsmith Bags. I think I like it. I think. It sure seems mighty functional, but it's so non-chic, I'm not feeling the love yet. What I bought it for though, is road trip knitting in the van, and for that, I think it is going to be the perfect bag. Don't you see me by the campfire with it?

I bought the black version.
Ya' know, now that I think of it, I had a flimsy wood and plaid fabric version of this when I was knitting back in my early 20's. That must have been part of the appeal. Sentimental me.

7) Suede Slipper Bottoms for Felted Fuzzy Feet
No luck. The only thing on my list I didn't find, and of course the most needed. I do know where to order them online, though.

Of course there were a couple of items not in the list, but I didn't stray far:

Two patterns
, one for a summer tank, and another for teeny tiny socks small enough to become earrings (although that is not what I intend do with them...I have something else in mind).

Knitting needles for MyFK (in hopes it would inspire him to take up knitting again):

Oh. And a bumper sticker.


Tour complete.

I'm a bit behind on replying to comments, but should be caught up by tomorrow.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

blogis interuptis

I should have posted earlier in the day, but I spent it knitting. *yay*

I should have posted in afternoon, but was visiting with family. *yay*

I should have posted this evening, but got sucked into the Academy Awards (okay, can I toot a little horn for Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova?!! Oh, I was so happy for them winning best Original Song...I just loved that movie). *yay*

And I should be posting tonight, but MyFavoriteKid has come out from his bedroom 3 times now. He's scared to go to sleep. Last night he had a nightmare about one of his dogs (the two dogs that now live at the Ex's, his dad's). The dog was coughing and making a horrible sound and had to be put to sleep.
I knew the emotions of putting down of the cat were going to squirt out somewhere. *boo*

I'm going to have to be on high alert MommyDuty tonight, rather than showing you my shopping bag from Stitches and whatnot.
In fact, he just called me again wanting a hot water bottle. Oy.

See y'all tomorrow.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

snaps on saturday

Ravelry Passport
Stitches West

Friday, February 22, 2008

how much is that doggie in the window

This is "Rusty". We met him on the way to the campground last weekend. His mommy told us his tongue is always sticking out. Apparently he makes all of those funny pug noises,too. Just thought you might wanna know all that.

I laid in bed this morning deciding that I was going to skip going to Stitches this weekend. Lord knows I don't need anymore yarn (and no need for the fiber folk to redefine need for yarn me...preaching to choir). But there is a big storm rolling in tomorrow. Up to 2 inches of rain in my neck of the woods, a 60 mph wind warning, and it's at least a 2 hour drive to get to this yarn party.

But then I got my ass up out of bed only to determine that MyFavoriteKid needed to miss yet another day of school...and by 2:30pm or so, I realized that if I don't get out of the house and DO something (even if it's braving hurricane level winds), I might stick my head in the oven for entertainment.

So I WILL be at Stitches Saturday, and if you see me, please stop and say hi.

It's not like I don't have "identifying features", but just in case:
one leg
blue wheelchair
red crutches
cute smile ;-)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

things around my house thursday, 8 of 52

We're doing okay. MyFavoriteKid has been sans fever for 2 days, but he still has a hacking cough, so I kept him out of school for another day. I'm not sure about tomorrow yet, or the weekend, either. His illness might prevent me from going to Stitches West, I am sad to say *sigh*. Especially if I end up catching his cooties, which I am doing everything in my power not to (c'mon, chant with me: Airborne-Lysol-Airborne-Lysol-hey-yah-ho-yah).

As for the cat mourning process, today I managed to finally tidy up all of his KittyAccoutrement. That was a little hard. Most of his things (litter box, food bowls) were in the laundry room off the kitchen, and as a result of not putting them away, I was avoiding going in there to do laundry. That wasn't going to work for long.

I have only heard the GhostKitten meow 3 times so far. And I'm not the only one that heard it (MyFK heard one of the meows, and we weren't even in the same part of the house when it happened). So shut up. I'm not nuts.

I'm taking the easy route with the Things Around My House post this week. Nothing super special, like the objects on the altar I've been writing about thus far, but I thought I'd share this.

This is a bumper sticker that I have taped to the mirror in my bathroom.

I try to keep my budding little buddhist practice peppered with humor.
I'd like to think that being present doesn't always require such a serious effort.

Most of what I see when I ''stop seeing" makes me want to laugh anyhow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

thanks guys

Thank you all so very much for the condolences. It has meant a whole lot to me, and to MyFavoriteKid, too. He read the post together with me, and then we've been keeping up with all of the comments as they have been coming and it has been really helpful for him to read that he's not the only person that things like this happen to.

MyFK stayed home sick again today, but it was kind of nice for us. He's been fever free all day, and I'm pretty sure will return to school tomorrow, but for today we just relaxed and watched movies together.

Meanwhile, I've been knitting along. Not quite comfort knitting, though. Double stranded cotton blend in boxy garter stitch--ugh. But this top will be awfully cute when it is done, and it feels good to be productive in a way, as this is working up quickly.

I'm going to go now...we're watching a total lunar eclipse right now. Slow excitement. Perfect. Just what we need around here.

Thank you all again, from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

empty collar, no more kitteh

MyFavoriteKid is home sick from school.
It is raining out.
And I just had to put my cat down.

I'm so incredibly sad, and I don't feel much like eulogizing. I also know how I am about getting back to posts that I avoid in the first place because they are too emotional, so maybe I'll say at least this much for now:

Tramp just turned 18 last week. He'd been with me since I was 23. I'm 41 now. We go way back.

He was acting a little strange over the weekend, but he wasn't acting like he was in pain. My plan was to bring him to the vet first thing this morning after dropping MyFavoriteKid off at school. That didn't happen because MyFK stayed home sick, but by 1030am or so, Tramp's "acting a little strange" became acting a whole lot strange. Within an hour, it was a rapid downward spiral, and his state progressed from bad to worse while we were at the vets.

MyFK decided to come with me, even though I gave him the option of staying at home by himself. My parents were unavailable to babysit, and TheMostImportantGuy offered to come up and either stay with MyFK or take the cat in. We had actually decided to do some version of that. I had just made a 330pm vet appointment, giving TheMIG time to get here, but like I said, it became clear that cat was not going to make it that long. MyFk agreed we should just go, and that he would come, too.

Tramp just sort of fell apart while we were there in the office. He had a tumor, and the vet wasn't at all confident that he'd survive the treatments they would offer. He was just really old, and really really weak. It was an extremely difficult to decision to make to put him down, but I just couldn't see him being poked and prodded in his last hours by strangers only so they could re-determine that he wasn't able to withstand surgery anyhow.

MyFK and I were both with him when he went to sleep, and it was really hard, and really sad, and I'm crying about it now, so I should probably quit typing. This is the first pet MyFk has lost (besides a Beta Fish, not that a fish doesn't does...but this seems bigger), and Tramp had been with him since he was born. We'll be getting his ashes back in a couple of weeks, and we'll do a proper ritual when we bury him in the yard.

Tramp was a cranky old cat, and I used to call him NuisanceKitty, because...well, he WAS a NuisanceKitty. But I loved him so very much, and life without him after so long is going to be very strange.

I will miss you KittenHead.


I'll try to keep up with Blog365, but please forgive if you just see a bunch of FillerTypeCrap here for a few days.
I just need a little time.

Monday, February 18, 2008

talk about boring

what I did today:

* Tended to a sick child. Fever, plus hacking cough. Lovely.

* Kvetched about one of the pitfalls of being a single mom...feeling like you need things from the store for the sick kid, but not feeling like you can leave the sick kid home alone while you go to the store.

* Made chicken soup 3 times.

* Said, "Cover your mouth when you cough, please" 87 times.

* Washed and folded 6 piles of laundry.

* Spent far too much time getting lost on Ravelry.

* Cast on and knit half the yoke of Juliet (would have knit more, if it weren't for getting lost on Ravelry...such a time sucker...but a fun one).

* Felt lonely and left the cooking channel on for background noise for 11 hours.

* Pondered joining the "Mission Possible 2008" a-long.

* Spent a couple of hours in the closet untangling unused yarns and UFO's (UnFinished Objects, for the non-knitters).

* Photographed 17 items I would consider putting on the required list of 12, and didn't even make it through the whole closet (this doesn't count the yarn outside the closet, either). Pathetic. Hand me a garbage bag. Or a blowtorch.

* Contemplated the fact that trying to complete my UFO's as part of this challenge is probably insane considering I have Pay It Forward still to complete, plus a year of knitted lace starts being delivered March 1st (four lace shawls: March, June, September,'s the "Change Of Seasons" subscription club by Wooly Wonka Fibers).

* Went to look at the blog of the designer of the first shawl in the lace club, and started to freak out.

* Started thinking that maybe if I'm going to do Mission Possible, I'd best go revisit the stash and pick yarns that I am willing to set on fire.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

hon, could you grab the camera? this seems blogworthy.

The first overnighter in the van was last night.

Oh, I was so proud of myself.
* I found a place within an hour and a half of home, so that we could focus less of traveling, and more on learning how to operate the various components.
* I found an RV park that was willing to take us for only 1 night (there are so many that have a 2 night stay requirement on the weekends!).
* I found a place that still had available space on a 3-day/holiday weekend.
* And I found a place with a great view.

Pretty plush, eh?

We had just pulled in and spent about 30 minutes hooking up this cord and that hose, etc. Only one mishap, too! I hooked up the water and didn't understand that I was filling the holding tanks rather than hooking up the city water direct to the plumbing. So the tanks overfilled. Oy. But we caught it pretty quick and fixed it.

Anyhow, we had just gotten all settled in, and had just decided to pull out some folding chairs so we could set them out on the back there, and enjoy the view.

What's wrong with this picture, though?

why are there all these firemen outside our door??

and is that a rescue helicopter those people staring at? and what is that news guy filming?

hmmmm, and that DOES seem like a pretty abrupt drop off, now that you mention it...

Well, you see folks...we were parked right on the edge of a 90 foot cliff. Just as we were pulling into our spot, a section of the cliff had become a landslide, and it buried a girl up to her neck.

filched from the local news

Some wonderful guy started digging her out with his bare hands, and meanwhile the fire department was arriving on scene to complete the rescue and cordon off the area.

And there is me, all the while trying to figure out how to properly operate a hose.

I am at least that.

It was then determined by the fire department, that our vehicle (and I think about 23 others), needed to be evacuated.

I didn't get to see the slide itself until just now as I was looking for a link to it to add to the post here. It's proximity to the van is pretty impressive, to be honest with you. This video has some nice shots of the slide (click on "2 of 2" to see the video). And then lookie here at this video--you can even see my van in this one! That's my shiny silver little rig there, right at the end of the clip.

I was surprised that the rv park had another space to move us to, given the busyness of the weekend. I was thinking we were probably either heading home, or maybe being brave and trolling for add odd roadside place to kick it for the night.

The second space was nothing at all like the first one, though. It was just a row inland, but it had that concrete jungle feel to it. We were crammed in next to some other folks quite tightly. The neighbor on our immediate right had about 6 or so children that sounded as if they'd all been just pumped full of koolaid and pixie sticks. Oh, and the family had decided to set up a portable firepit right outside our bedroom window, and sit around chuckling all night. Lovely.

What to do?
Cut out and make way for the local dive bar.

And when I say local, I mean loooocal. We don't go out to bars much, but when we do, this is just the type of dive we look for. I now have a half dozen new friends in Pacifica, and I'll know just where to find them should I ever go back LOL.

I spent most of the day with a hangover. Please please remind me that I can't mix alcohols. Gah.

Well, since I'm always trying to look for the brightside:
1) hey, because we had to relocate we got extra practice hooking up!
2) TheMostImportantGuy got to learn how to drive the van today because I was too busy holding a barf bag.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

snaps on saturday

How does your garden grow?

Quite frankly, I have no idea how it grows!! I am enjoying my first full year in the new house, watching the seasons turn, and it has been full of surprises.

I had a shiny-happy moment when I saw these daffodils the other day, because I had know idea bulbs were planted there. When I moved into the house in the summer, these had already been spent and cut down.

These are near the landing for the front door. Since I park in the garage, I enter my house through the door between the garage and the den. I hadn't paid much attention to what was happening near the front entry way. What a treat! It's been nice having so many peeks into spring this past week.

Friday, February 15, 2008

mail call

A couple of treats came the mail this past week.

Goodies from TheBon!
She called them BirthMas presents (Birthday/Christmas). Hey, any day is a good day for goodies :-)

Fantastically orange measuring cups, to match my fantastically orange kitchen.

That girl has got my number, I tell ya'. She also knit me a big stack of orange and brown dishcloths as a housewarming gift.

Also in the package, a handblown glass ornament made by a local student/artisan. And for MyFavoriteKid, and his grand collections, a geode and a cluster of amethyst crystals. What is special about rocks, is that they were found at TheBon's Nanie's when they were clearing things out after her passing. Super special gift. Really, click that Nanie link back there and read the eulogy. It is beautiful.

Also, some yarn just sort of strangely found its way into my mailbox this week, too.

Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, color cw-935 Salmon Berry Red

Not that I need more yarn right now, that's for sure...especially before going to Stitches next weekend...lordy. But I am really feeling the itch to knit me a garment, and I would just LOVE IT if I could make something that is actually going to be IN SEASON when I finish it. As it stands, I think I will be finishing the scarves and felted slippers on my needles just in time for MayDay. Just dandy.

With this new pile of goodness, I am going to knit Juliet (the longer version), so I have a little short sleeved something-something to toss on over tank tops.

I bought a little extra yarn "just in case", but I am hoping that there is a skein left over to make ViolinJodie's Saturday Market Bag. I plan on making it with two shoulder straps instead of one though, like this one.

I did actually finish knitting one of the two scarves I have been working on. It's the process of being shibori-ized, so I won't bother you with half-finished photos just yet.

I'm hoping there is one last cold snap before spring so I can actually wear the danged thing! It's been feeling like an early spring here all week (not that I'm complaining).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

things around my house thursday, 7 of 52

Still touring the Wall O'Boxes, we are....

Things Around My House Thursday

Do you keep a little box of sentimental things from your sweetheart? I bet you do ;-)

This is my box full of trinkets related to TheMostImportantGuy. Newspaper clippings, movie stubs, matchbooks, love get the idea.

I grew up a tomboy and hated pink and purple, but here I am, a grown woman, with a Sleeping Beauty music box. I even know that Sleeping Beauty is Aurora aka Briar Rose, and that her hero is Prince Phillip. I didn't know that when I was seven, but there I was at thrity-seven knowing it when I bought it.

DisneyCheesy, I know.
Shut up.
To me, TheMIG is a Prince.
What else is there to say.

My fun today was taking out the box to photograph it, and then taking some time to go through its contents. One of my favorite things in the box is a birthday card, given to me by TheMIG in 2004. This was just a couple of months after we met.

It was a HORRIBLE day. I don't remember exactly what was going on, but I know I was at work, and I know that things were going very poorly. I am certain it was female poltical drama, as I supervised a bunch of gossipy girls that just loved to make my life miserable. Not one single person at work had remembered it was my birthday, and birthdays to me are hugely important. I don't care much for most holidays to be honest with you (oh---Happy Valentine's Day, btw---hahahaha), but for me, birthdays are important.

Anyhow, at some point during the early morning that day, I got in touch with TheMIG, either by phone or online. I admitted to being sad and miserable, and it not even feeling like it was my birthday at all.

Just a little while later he showed up at my work.

He took an extended lunch break and drove, I dunno, 45 minutes each way maybe (?) to bring me this card.

I already knew I adored him, but that moment sealed the deal. I felt very loved and understood, and it really did feel like he rode up on a white horse (okay, his little white car) to save the day.

Oh, and it made the gossip girls jealous.
Bonus. ;-)

The little box is pretty stuffed full now, and this winter, TheMIG gave me a new box. I love little boxes. This one is much cooler.

It's from BornLippy, and is a hand-crafted one of a kind treat.

It even has a guy on a white horse inside---teehee! (my favorite thing is the little bottle cap that says "sausage teapot" on it, though).

I cannot wait to fill this box up, too.

Going back up to the photo up top there at the beginning of the post, if you look to the right of the box, there is a little red book with handmade paper in it. This is a book of secrets.

When I met TheMIG, I found myself wanting to tell him things about myself that I had never said to anyone before, and things that I was too uncomfortable to say out loud. So I'd write them in this book, and I'd leave it out for him, and then he could pick it up and read it at his leisure.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"c" is for...


Thai young coconuts, to be specific.

Purchased by the case at the asian market, it works out to about $.78 each. It was this past December that I finally got over my fear of cracking them open by learning an easy technique.

I put the coconut on its side. Using an inexpensive (but heavy duty), butcher knife (under $15, also from the asian market), I scrape away at the top of the coconut, to remove the fibrous exterior.

Then I set the coconut back up on it's flat bottom, and give it a solid whack with the heel of the knife, at an angle, about an inch or two from the top.

Twist, plus a little leverage, and the "lid" pops right off.

I have been told this is the "girlie" way of opening a coconut. Most folks don't scrape off the excess fiber first, they just make five whacks around the top in the shape of a pentagon, and there you have it. Doing it that way scares me so much it is what kept me from ever trying to open one myself. So all hail the girlie way.

Now let me say this: I am not a huge fan of coconut. Sure, I like me a really good fat macaroon from time to time. Perhaps the occasional Almond Joy if it calls to me (which it often will) from the bottom of the Halloween bucket. But I don't like coconut in much of anything else.

Fresh coconut, however, is NOTHING like it's dessicated-in-the-bag-distant-cousin, though.

What do I do with all this coco goodness?

Well, the coconut water I use in smoothies, or if I am feeling really crafty, I ferment it into a kefir. Most the time I can't wait that long though, and I just stick a straw right into the coconut and drink it. If I am opening a whole case at once though (to make a recipe out of the coconut meat) then I put the coco-water into mason jars. It will keep for a couple of days. It also freezes well, as does the meat. It's not a bad idea when buying a case to just "go coco" and process them all at once. They take up too much space on the counter and don't hold up forever.

Interesting factoid: the water is very nutritious! It has ZERO fat (it is the "meat" that is fatty, but even then, it is a healthy source of fat. Coconut "milk" is not the same as the water...milk is a blend of the meat and the water together, typically). The water ends up being naturally filtered and sterile. Rumor has it, that it was even used as blood transfusions on battlefields during World War II when supplies were low. Coconut water is very similar to plasma! Drink up! It is good for you!!

After I deal with the water, I scrape out the insides, also known as the "meat", using an ice cream scoop. This is also great in smoothies (makes it rich and creamy), and it also fermentable with a kefir starter to become a vegan yogurt.

But my favorite thing to do with he meat is to make lemon pudding out of it.

Into a blender (or a food processor) goes:
2 cups coconut meat (about 4)
the scrapings of a vanilla bean (a good extract would do)
a few drops of a food-grade lemon essential oil (lemon extract would work, too)
2 T lemon juice
a pinch of salt
some sort of sweetener to taste (for me it's either agave syrup or liquid stevia, but honey would probably work just fine).

Puree and chill, or if you want to eat it right away, add in some ice cubes when you blend it. If it is too thick, you can thin it with water, or some of the coconut water.

I don't really taste the coconut in the finished product, just the lemon. I keep threatening to try this again soon with grapefruit oils and juices. I might even make one with fresh ginger. Yum! But I am so happy with the lemon, I just keep making it that way.

Oh! And if you stick it in the freezer, it makes a great frozen "ice cream". Just let it thaw for 5 minutes or so before you try to dig into it.


"c" is also for....'s

This is a minor representation of my collection.
Very minor.
I have over 1200 of them.

Most of them have been in boxes since we moved last summer. Having no desire for the visual clutter of a wall o' cd's in this new home, I just sort of didn't deal with it.

I am now in the process of ripping them all onto that tiny little silver box on the left there. I can't even wrap my brain around the notion that all this music is going to fit in that little thing, but TheMostImportantGuy assures me that it will.

The project is sort of taking over my life right now....not to mention my dining room table.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

this is post is strange because i am

I'm just in a mood. The closest I can come to describing it is, "dissatisfied."

* My house is a wreck, it is making me uncomfortable, but I don't feel like cleaning it.
* I would like to be knitting, but I'm not enthusiastic about anything on the needles right now.
* I'm tired of spending so much time alone, but I'm also sick of dealing with people.
* I'd like to write about the dancing of two weekends ago, like I have said so many times that I will, but apparently I have enough feelings about it, that I can't get it out.

I'm just sort of itchy funky not-comfortable-in-my-own-skin and nothing feels quite right, if ya' know what I mean.

possible contributors:
* I finally went to visit James, my convalescent home buddy that I volunteer visit. He is temporarily at another facility. It just so happens that it is the same place that used to visit his wife at while she was there dying. Come to find out, she died of a brain tumor. Guess what? It is also the same hospital the my dance teacher spent so much time at. She also died of a brain tumor. Needless to say, James and I both aren't really keen on the place.
* I came off the raw foods cleanse diet thing only to take up eating like crap with a vengeance, and it is making me feel horrible, both physically, and emotionally.
* I might not be able to participate in the performance in March with the bellydance troupe I co-direct, due to some scheduling conflicts and communication problems. I'm not sure how I'm going to feel watching them perform without me. It already doesn't feel so good just thinking about it.
* I'm being irresponsible about tending to several household matters (mostly of the paperwork kind) that need to be tended to.
* My life is. Way. Too. Scheduled. It does beat chaos, I do believe. But I feel like there isn't enough room for creativity and spontaneity.

I hope I'm not headed for funk.

Maybe I need to knit lace again?? Last time I did that, it made me feel much better. Like I could see the holes in the fabric I was creating, and it helped me to find quiet empty spaces in my brain.

Suggestions welcome.

Monday, February 11, 2008

pet peeve

It drives me insane that to open the packaging of newly purchased scissors, it requires scissors.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

a peek inside

I behind on some posting I promised myself I would do.
Tomorrow I will (I will I will I will) post about the dance shows last weekend.
For now, here's some photos of the inside of the van...

From the front looking towards the back...galley on the left, bathroom on the right. Once you put down a little wooden platform and rearrange some cusions, the power sofa in the back converts into a queen sized bed.

From the couch facing forwards.

The little loo.

We took the van on a little jaunt today up into the Napa Valley for a picnic, the plan being to get a little bit more comfortable driving it. Next weekend will be the maiden-overnighter-voyage-test-run.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

snaps on saturday

Shots from last night's show......


Their myspace page describes themselves as "Punk / Grunge / Healing & EasyListening" (hahahahaha!). Hmmm, well let me see....I could only audibly make out one line of their lyrics the whole set, and that would have been, "Who you calling a faggot, faggot?!?" In context of the music and the stage show, that was actually quite funny.

Their music was described to me as being "post-punk"...not what I would choose to listen to driving down the street, but I totally enjoyed their show. The singer was super fun to watch. He was sort of twitchy. MyFavoriteKid and I decided he looked like he had to pee.


Scar Tissue

Everything I try to write about my boyfriend's band makes me sound like a friggin' drooling groupie, so I am going to spare you the gushing.

I will say, though, that they were impossible for me to photograph (I'm not using a fancy camera, obviously). The lighting was dim and TheMostImportantGuy was glowing in the dark. Not so compatible with the flash.



Great fun, as always, but what a night for MyFavoriteKid.

It was an all ages show, but MyFK was clearly the youngest in the crowd. When Babyland went on, MyFk couldn't see over all the tall folk, so I grabbed him a chair for him to stand on, and got him set up in front of the soundboard. At some point during the show, the singer made super duper direct eye contact with MyFK and waved to him to come up front. MyFK looked at me with a shy smile, and I told him to go for it, so he off he went. He stayed right up against the stage, just to the left of the bouncy-dancy-but-not-quite-a-mosh-pit people. And then MyFK started bouncing and dancing and not quite moshing. He had a blast.

Later on in the set, the singer announced to the audience that he was dedicating the next song to MyFK. It was great. The singer came down into the crowd and moshed around with him. After the gig, they got a chance to talk with each other and the singer gave MyFK three cd's.

MyFK saw it as his brush with fame, for sure. I think he'll be talking about it for awhile ;-)