Saturday, April 30, 2011

(no) snap on saturday

...because I didn't manage to get the camera out while anything interesting was happening.

What would really make for a great picture right now if the lighting weren't so dim, would be a close-up of my blood shot eyes.

The start of my day was waking up at 5:15am so I could make it to the zen center on time, and the end of my day was a couple of hours spent at various home supply staring at walls full of light fixtures (all turned on, of course).

Because we are re-wiring all the outdated electrical in at the new house, we now have to bring all of the fixtures up to code (and that would be California's new tight arsed energy efficiency standards, I might add). Now, I have noooo issue with choosing fixtures that will reduce the amount of energy we use. What I DO with is that since it is only California with all these crazypants rules around what kind of fixtures can go where, no national manufacturer is bothering to produce fixtures that meet Title 24 and still look good. VERY few choices.

Lots of other interesting things happened between the zen center and the wall of lights, though. TheMostImportantGuy's sister, brother-in-law, and niece came down to look at the house. The neighbor on our right came over and visited on our back porch for a bit, and we got to meet the people who belong to the house on right, which we just learned has actually been sneakily vacant (the mom died, so the dad moved to a senior village apartment, and the adult kids were by today to check up on the place). Then, someone hit and ran another vehicle right in front of our house, and ALL the neighbors came out to help....and I hated to benefit from something so dreadful (the diver was okay)....but since the neighbors all came out, I got to meet the rest o' the 'hood. Convenient.

I'm going to go tuck my tired eyes into bed now. G'night!

Friday, April 29, 2011

freebie friday

Oooo, I'm getting to this A LOT later in the day than I intended....but that's because I spent a good portion of my day over at the new house trying to make it feel cozy. Kind of ridiculous given the fact that the electrician is still opening up the walls, but whatever. It felt good. I moved some stuff around, swept, straightened a few things up, watered the plants, picked up some garbage that had blown into the front yard (very windy here!), and worked on the curtains in the sun room.

So! The winner of last week's freebie (the meditation book and cd) is: ~Donna~ !!
Shoot me an email, with your snail mail addy! I'll send it toot-sweet!

Next thing! As with all of these items, they are all things I have, use, love.

This is one of those handy little bags that holds a cake of sock yarn or laceweight quite nicely, and it has a strap so that you can hang it from your wrist while you work. I've been using one often when I teach knitting at the senior center so that when I bounce around the room, I always have my project tagging along for the ride. I also use it just by setting it on the table in front of me or on the floor, and it keeps the animals (and their hair) out of my yarn.

What I dig about this bag is the way the flaps at the top snapped closed. I can get the yarn in and out easily, and the opening for the working yarn is big enough that it doesn't add tension.

Anyhow. That one's mine.

This one would be for you ;-)

bag by DianaCouture, btw

If you are interested, leave a comment!
I'll draw next Thursday night and announce the winner next Friday morning.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

okay. maybe not so bad.

So it turns out that my dad's doctor's appointment was not with an oncologist. It was with a hematologist.

See, my dad had some blood tests a couple of weeks ago that showed him to be showing signs of anemia, so they were going to refer him to a hematologist. What happened next though, was that they did a few more tests on Monday before the hematologist's office called, and then the next morning, after the tests, he gets an automated call to go in to see an oncologist toot sweet!! (scary!)

But as it turns out, the hematologist is part of the oncology department, so it was a bit of mix up. Even though Oncology called him to schedule an appointment, it was for something else.


Damn you Kaiser!!! *shakes fists in air*.

So. The hematologist says:
No signs of cancer. *phew* But signs of kidneys not pumping out enough of some protein or another, so their gonna do a couple more tests and get him over to the kidney specialist.

Not great news, true....still more testing to be done and things to be sorted out....but not neeeearly as bad.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

vintage me. and dad.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

best / worst

worst: Hearing that my dad had some medical tests done yesterday and that today the doctor's office called to make an appointment for him in oncology. For Thursday. Eep.

best: TheMostImportantGuy texting me to tell me that he'd just been promoted to the position of Vice President of Operations. Raise included. (but it's his title that makes me school-girl giggly)

Nice mixed bag, eh?

Monday, April 25, 2011

holy crap. me?? an fo??

I've been knitting more and more over the last few weeks, even with my right arm being in so much pain, and I do believe it has been actually helping my hand not to hurt it (I've also booked several weeks in a row with a physical therapist, which I'm sure is key, as well). My arm is at about 90%. I've figured out how to avoid the activities that trigger it, and now that I'm on the mend, I've gotten the go ahead to start some mild strengthening exercises so I can slowly get back to doing everything again.

Anyhow, with the increase in knitting, I have finished something for the first time in awhile!

Using my friend Merrily's pattern, I turned this ginormous skein of thick and thin wool yarn.....

...into one huge squishy scarf of awesomeness.

Quite the "fashion statement", eh?
I loooove it :-)

All the details here on the Ravelry project page.

I'm still chugging away at the cream colored guernsey wrap/scarf (I'm about halfway), but this morning I took some of my handspun and cast-on for some fingerless mitts that I am whipping right through.
Very very happy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

snaps on saturday (that were taken on friday)

There's a giant sycamore at the new/old house.

She sits just to the left of the driveway, close to the carriage house ("carriage house"?! cute!'s the city that refers it is the carriage house, and I'm fine with that! Way cuter than calling it the "in-law unit")

JimTheTreeGuy doesn't use a cherry picker.
He's Ol'Skool.
He climbs.

Very fun to watch.
A sort of crazy combo of Spiderman meets Grizzly Adams meets Ax Men.

Also from yesterday:

Passover dinner at my mom's (and yes, our seder is casual enough that I got away with knitting at the table).

Three observations I made this year:

1) Fourty-four years, have I been on this planet, and probably fourty-four seders have I been to, and never once have I moved beyond my ignorance to ask what "murrain" was when we read the list of the 10 plagues. I only looked it up this year because I had the iPad handy.

2) I don't know how to cook this meal, and I need to learn, so I can be a grown-up and take over for my mom.

3) MyFavoriteKid brought his buddy with him to the meal, and when the kids got up from the table to hunt for the afikoman, I asked my dad where he hid it, and he didn't answer me...but instead looked at me with the face that let me know that I was still one of the kids that should be looking for it. Once a kid, always I kid, I guess. Hahahaha.

Friday, April 22, 2011

freebie friday returns!

Ahhhh. I got all the past due goodies to the post office on Tuesday, so I am almost totally caught up. I am only behind on shipping one item, as I have still yet to hear back from Barb.

BARB! A SHOUT OUT TO BARB! You won the knitting bag from a few weeks back! Please send me an email with your mailing address (a link to my email address is in the sidebar). Thank you!

And now for this week's Friday Free Thang!

I've been really making an effort to restore my sanity this past week, and it's been quite successful. I've been many of the things I can that I know help: more sleep, less tv (especially the news), more knitting, eating less crap, asking for more help, listening to more music, practicing more mediation, and listening to more dharma talks (buddhist teaching lectures).

So when I went digging through TheBoxOfThingsToBeGivenAway this week, and I came up with this, it felt perfect.

This is a small book that includes a CD by one of my favorite buddhist teachers. Seeing it in the box inspired me to pull out my copy this week and listen to it, which was part of my mood improvement plan.

If you would like to toss your name into the hat for this book, just leave a note here in the comments. No need add extra pretty-pleases to win (unless it pretty-pleases you), because it's a random number generator that will pick the winner on Thursday at noon. I will announce the winner's name here next Friday.

If you have something to say, but do not want to be entered, you can always do that, too, Just say so.

Om ;-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

i got nothin'

Long day. LONG day.
Lots of teaching (knitting class, then dance class), plus a whole buncha other stuff in between.

All I've got is a whole lotta stupid for you today...but come back tomorrow for Freebie Friday ;-)

Your Drag Queen Name Is: Lois Carmen Denominator

You go girl!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Last week, after the duct and furnace guys finished up their work at the new house, their "scheduler" called me to arrange for their boss to come down for a final walk-through.....partly to make sure we were happy, and also to pick up the cash, of course ;-) The scheduler told me that the BossMan would be bringing a little thank you gift with him, one she was sure I would like.

I had images of him arriving with a box filled with a chamois cloth to dust off our shiny new ducts, or maybe some stainless steel polish to buff up the rocket-ship sized furnace, probably a "Thank You For Business" card, and perhaps a discount coupon for ordering replacement filters or something.


Today TheBossMan shows up at the door with a big thank you, a big grin, a big bill to pay, and a big ol' box... OF THESE:

Seems to me that if you eat them all you become padded enough that you no longer need to turn on the heater.

But what do I know...hahahahaha.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

breathing room

Wellp, today was the first day in a good long time, that I felt some sort of inner calm (all hail the mighty power of TheDateNight!), and that's saying something, 'cuz Tuesdays are always a bit nuts.

On Tuesdays there's lots of driving, more than the average day's worth of errands and to-do's, and lots and lots of convalescent hospital stuffs.

I feel like I accomplished more than is reasonable today, and I didn't even flip out on anybody in the process (not even the twit that almost ran me off the road). And the things I didn't get done I'm not even worried about, because hey....tomorrow is another day.

a special "yay" to Hyperbole and a Half for sharing artwork!

Monday, April 18, 2011

makin' myself scarce tonight!

I am being treated to a very impromptu visit from TheMostImportantGuy, so it's an extra date night that I hadn't planned on and I am outta here! Woot!

xoxo kids!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I just spent the evening cleaning up the embarrassingly LARGE FreebieFriday mess I ave created. Pass the Bloggy Ex-Lax, please. Sheesh. Talk about being backed up!!

I just scrolled through all of my posts since I started the Freebie at the beginning of the year. January went pretty smoothly. I listed things, people won, stuff went out. Huzzah. But things shifted very quickly in February (hmmm, fancy that---that's the same time the rest of my life got sloppy...can you say escrowwwww??).

I only did 3 out of the 4 Fridays in February (took one of the weeks off for my birthday), and NOT ONE of the three people that won in FEBRUARY has had their stuff shipped out them yet (that would be Karen, theyarnstashisattacking, and notsupergirl). I am full of shame, ladies. But I also just spent the evening wrapping and addressing your packages (after going through about 18 pages of emails to find yer all's addresses), and I have tucked extra goodies inside your boxes in an attempt to make all of us feel better. I can't go to the post office Monday, but I CAN and I WILL go Tuesday.

*(Jodie: thanks for mentioning the priority mail pick-up. I'm going to look into it. I've heard about it, but never tried it, but only because I have been assuming that they won't pick up in my neighborhood. Where I live we don't get mail to our door, it goes to a centralized cluster of boxes. I'm going to ask the mailman, though!)

Then March rolled around, and I posted Freebies on only 2 of the 4 Fridays...and then never drew for them. Neato, eh? LOL Well, with the help of the RandomNumberGenerator, I just took care of that:

The winner of that knitting bag from wayyyy back in February is Barb (please email me your mailing address...I have your package already boxed up. It just needs your address on it!)


The winner of the
skel-animal kitty all tied up in yarn (the one I still cannot believe more of you didn't fall in love with LOL) goes to NoBlogRachel (and it sure does seem like I should already have your address girlie, but if I do, I can't find it. Gah. Please send!)

In April, I didn't post any Freebies at all, even though I still have quite a stockpile of things to be given away....So come back this Friday, will ya'?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

snaps on saturday

One of the many fun/interesting/odd things found on the property of the new house.

This was found by our handyman. There is a huge barn-like storage shed/workshop in the rear of the property. It's huge. Left inside is a huge and heavy workshop table that has a ton of little apothecary style drawers, and the handyman found this rubber stamp inside. Green ink around the edges.

I think I mentioned this before, but someone at the historical society told us that in the mid 50's-70's the house was owned by an orthodontist who had a daughter with a disability, and he put the swimming pool in for her therapy.

I have a hunch this is related ;-)
Although I'm not quite sure why there'd be a rubber stamp in the house!

Friday, April 15, 2011


Fridays. I usually love them, and I loving them even more than usual when I was giving goodies away. I have many more goodies in the pile yet to be given, actually....but I haven't done the FreebieFriday thing in awhile because I am still behind on the last few giveaways.

I have a few packages that should have gone out weeks ago that have yet to be mailed (I'm sorry kids, and I'm not just sorry, I'm a bit ashamed, too). I honestly have not had a spare moment to get inside of a post office.

There are also two drawings that I never drew for and announced winners (how lame is that).

My grand plan was to catch myself up today, but clearly, I did not. Today I was scheduled to meet with inspector so the permit for the heating system could be signed off, and then I also dealt with the gas/electric guy coming out to look at the metering system for the rear unit. Neither of those were on my to-do list until 9am this morning. I thought the inspection would be next week, and I didn't know the power company was going to have to come by at all.

What I did have on my to-do list today was to drive by a few homes to check out their exterior paint jobs, as they were "the references" given to me by one of the painters who has bid on painting our interior (why he couldn't just give me a few names and phone numbers or show me a few photos, I will never know).

Tomorrow I am going to sit the one-day retreat at the zen center, but Sunday the plan is that I have some freedom (oh please, oh please), and I will take care of catching up this freebie-business then.
You can hold me to it ;-)

For now: G'night.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

toasty and warm

Well, we have half of our hall closet back (it was a miscommunication between the project manager and foreman...all is good). Woot.

And when they fired it up for me, I actually felt heat coming through our new house for the very first time since we became owners.

Just in time for summer LOL.

This is the first time in my life that I've wished for just winter to rear it's ugly head and send us just one more whopping storm-blast of cold air. Just so I can play with the heater.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

see. this is what i mean....

...about why I feel compelled to take things like old shirts and turn them into useful hand sewn dishtowels.

Here are the guts and bowels of our house, spilled out all over the place. It's as if the house had too many jello shots and threw up all over the patio:

Here's another angle (please make note of my feeble attempt to keep things even somewhat lovely on the property by doing things like planting strawberries):


The killer-fun part of our new heating system that is going in?? It's not at all what the contractor described or how we envisioned it.

TheMostImportantGuy says it reminds him of the ducts from the movie Brazil.

Another fun thing is that they were to install a "chase" (like a vent/tube/box/thang) that they were to build inside of the hall/linen closet. I had the option of having them install it in the closet off to one side, or in the center rear of the closet. So I'd still have room to store linens and towels.

It is filling the ENTIRE closet.


And I do mean ENTIRE.

You open the door of the closet, and blammo! Wall to wall metal boxes. Neato.

So I guess to tomorrow's to do list I can add dickering with the contractor, yah??

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Out the door at 7:15am and not home until just after 8:30pm, driving all over the place and sucking up a half-tank of very expensive gas, going to three volunteer commitments, plus I ran about 18 errands in between. Tuesdays are loooong.

Worst: Arguing with my co-dance teachers during our weekly conference call about how to this week's class should be taught, and not having a resolution because I melted down.
Best: Making a quick pitstop this morning at the fabric store for a few spools of thread and finding that all the thread in then store was on sale 50% off (although discovering the "Animal Fries" on the secret menu at In-N-Out Burger was a pretty close second, though).

The thread I bought was so that I can do some hand-sewing on fabric cut that I will cut out of these old men's dress shirts:

I feel ridiculously compelled to cut these shirts up and turn them into hand-hemmed kitchen towels. Ridiculously compelled. I told Bridget about this plan of mine (Bridget is the lady at the convalescent hospital that has a walker-basket jammed full of yarn and she knits hat after hat after hat). I just knew she'd understand me. But she told me it seemed that I should just go buy a towel at the store.


I think what is going on with me is that I feel driven to take something vintage and cast-off and make it into something new and lovely and personal and unique.

Kinda like OUR HOUSE. Which is going at a snails pace. Towels I can make in a day or two.
In my spare time???? bwahahahaha

Monday, April 11, 2011

Early morning meeting at the new/old house to let the heating guys in. They're working there for the next three days putting a new furnace and moving around the chases and returns (I really am learning a new language....but it's going to be like learning how to ask where the bathroom is in Swahili: I'll use it for a week or two and then forget it because I'll never need it again).

I went to the zen center, ran a couple of errands, went to physical therapy (going weekly to get this arm thang under control), and all of these things were about a 45 minute drive apart from each other. Raced home and fed the bottomless pit of a kid a late lunch, and then at 5pm TheMostImportantGuy met us and we all drove an hour in the other direction to see TheMIG's mom do a dance performance during half time of a professional basketball game.

That's not her, though. LOL
That's the soft drink mascot track race between quarters.

Whooped. And Tuesdays are the crazy day of the week, so I'm off to bed.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

new house math

As the fix-it list deepens, widens, extends...whatever maneuver it's's now appearing that the joint wont be move-in ready until mid-June.


That's a whoooole lotta more weeks, and even once we're "in", there will still be construction happening on the rear in-law unit (yes, we stopped freaking out about it, and we are moving forward), plus we will still be planning a kitchen and bathroom remodel on the main house.


Not a complaint. Just a statement of fact. Not whiny. Just concerned.
Maybe need to go buy some more extra-strength multi-vitamins and a big stash of chocolate.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

snaps on saturday

This first one was really taken yesterday, and it's just a shot of my teevee, but hey...


Yesterday was the SF Giants home opener...woooot!!!

And this is one of two knitting projects I have going right now:

Do note that the knitting is getting smaller and smaller (read as: tighter and tighter) as I progress, and it's not just the angle I photographed from.
It's a tension problem. Due to my tension. A tension-tension problem?? LOL
Funny, because I typically get more loosey-goosey as I get into a project, not the other way around.

Friday, April 08, 2011

noticeable absent...

...playing with a ginormous ball of super bulky thick and thin yarn. As well as many less pleasurable tasks.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

run away! ('cuz i'm kvetching)

The situation at present:

I have 2 houses to tend to, plus 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 1 very high maintenance teenager. I have 4 volunteer commitments, plus 1 class that I teach that has such an inconsistent turnout that I actually pay to teach the class LOL (the studio rent's gotta come from somewhere, kids). Today I spent close to 4 hours on the phone to 4 different sub-contractors, emailing 3 others, updating back and forth about everything with 1 very tolerant ImportantGuy, and then I went to 3 different stores to purchase maybe 1/2 of everything that is needed to run the aforementioned 2 houses.

I am still reassessing the 4 commitments I made to myself for this year (another year of daily blogging; monthly spinning; daily meditation practice; healthier eating), all of which were achievable at the beginning of the year (before I realized I was to be buying a new house), all of which I was happily achieving through January, none of which are happening now...except the blogging....but it's kinda been half-assed, let. us. be. real. (but I also can't imagine not doing it anymore, I have been doing it so long).

I know that I'm at least 1 person sick to death of hearing myself complain, so you guys (the 2 of you that are left) must have been sick of it weeks ago.

And I have not 1 single idea what to do about it.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

vintage me

MyFavoriteKid was in Washington DC last week on spring break, but hey! Look what I just ran across!! Me in DC!!

Monday, April 04, 2011

best / worst

I'm sure I've written about this before at some point over the last several years of blogging, but when MyFavoriteKid was little, we used to play "best and worst" every night at bedtime. Even if the day was average, there was always a high spot and a low spot, and of course, some days there were extremes. It was always interesting to me to hear what he thought constituted a best and a worst.

I wish we still played. Today he had a worst, but he won't tell me what, because he says he's a teenager and it's none of my business...but he rated it a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, and he says it's not school related, it's social related, and that he's feeling a mix of angry and sad, and that he didn't do anything wrong that I'll be getting a call about, and can you tell I tried to play 20-questions with him??

I think something went sour with his girlfriend. Not quite sure what, because he won't tell me, but I'm pretty sure that's it.

So here's my best and worst today (and actually, we always used to list the worst first, so we'd end on a note of gratitude):

My Worst: Spilling a blender full of freshly made Pear-Chocolate-Ginger Smoothie all over the kitchen cabinets and floors and onto my lap and all over my wheelchair (go team!).

My Best: Stopping by the new house tonight to make sure the guys locked up after working today, and to turn lights on to keep the place looking occupied....and looking out the wall of windows that will be the dance and meditation space that overlooks the pool...and finding that the place still feels so consistently peaceful and clear.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

big stack o' papers

I know I am not taking very good care of the blog here, but we are ever so close to figuring out what we're doing with the rear unit and who is going to be doing it for us (hallelujah)....and that is where all of my time is going.

We spent a huge portion of the weekend having the last of our meetings with contractors that are bidding on the in-law unit, and then laying out all the bids and contracts and comparing them and weighing out all of the other pros and cons not related to money....because there are many. We went from six bids to four, then four to three, then down to two...and by tonight I think we have nailed it. We have a couple of final clarifying questions, but it sure looks to me like we are ready to head into a contract.

So. Close.

TheMostImportantGuy and I did spend quite a bit of time at the new place this weekend. We had a couple of nice morning mediation practices, but mostly we cleaned. TheMIG worked on vacuuming up the layer of dust coating the entire interior of the house; it was left behind by the electrician who didn't do very well in the "dust containment" department. While he did that, I borrowed my mom's power washer and I did a deep clean of the patio tiles, especially working on the area where the old broken down dilapidated jacuzzi had once lived. We moved the patio furniture from my house over to the new house, too....because we just don't use it here. I think we've sat in it twice in two years. Together TheMIG and I planted a miniature wysteria tree into a huge pot-on-wheels to set out on the deck, and we also planted some strawberry towers. Small things, and none of what we did got us any closer to living in the place....but it still felt good.

One of the things that we both notice every time we are there is how "clear" the property feels. It's sort of like this empty but full, all but none, clear but reflective, sort of feeling. Not quite sure how to describe it. But I like it. If I am there and feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work I can see still needing to be done, it's like I can spend a moment or two being, or even just looking outside, and it's like hitting the cosmic reset button or something. And then I'm back at pleasantly neutral.

Sorry again for the blog being so blah and for being behind on the freebie stuff.
Sheesh. Maybe I should bring the laptop to the new place, and blog there! Heh.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

he's baaaaaaack....

UberLateNight kid pick up....

He's too exhausted to even talk about it. Maybe tomorrow I'll get details.

Friday, April 01, 2011


more tomorrow.