Monday, April 30, 2012


I just spent a huge portion of my free time tonight cleaning up a huge mess.  There was an unopened jar on the kitchen counter, and I knocked it over, and it hit the floor into a shattered mess, it's contents pouring out everywhere.

Wanna know what was in it??!

Gefilte fish.

And MY jar was "Gefilte Fish packed with Gel".  Ewww!

So there's me, in a wheelchair, try real hard not to puncture my tires with broken glass, wiping up gel covered fish cakes, all the while swatting away two dogs and two cats that are circling me like vultures and smacking their lips. 

Took me awhile to mop up (understatement).

I am feeling some relief today. The performance is over, the wedding is over, and we finally have figured out who we are going to use for the cabinet installation, so the kitchen project is starting to get back on track.  Tomorrow I am taking my dad to an appointment, and then I am freeeeee (well, except the mountain of laundry, plus doing some cooking for the week ahead).  But freeeee!!!  Free enough to finally get out that final chapter, and that is exactly what I am gonna do ;-)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

In regards to yesterday's post, Janice in GA commented:

Your wedding?? :) 



Dudes, there is no way we'd have set ourselves up to plan ANY sort of party, let alone a wedding.  We're in the middle of a house remodel!  Right now I think both of us would be thrilled just to have a place to rinse out a coffee cup!  Forget throwing a wedding!  Hahahaha!

So no, not us ;-)

The happy couple was some friends of ours from the zen center that, as the zen master put it, "were very economical," in their party planning.  Yesterday was their wedding, and their baby shower, and their moving away party.   Interesting, and fun!  It was a really good time, actually.  It was a very beautiful ceremony. I had never seen one like this....the vows were my favorite, they had the zen twist to them, and they made sense to me as far a commitments go.   And then at the "baby table" you could contribute to an art project that I believe will become a wall hanging in the nursery, or you could iron on cute things and messages onto a pile of baby clothes that were provided.

And I knit a baby beanie ;-)


Saturday, April 28, 2012

snaps on saturday

wedding today at the zen center

Friday, April 27, 2012

something funny....

....compliments of TheMostImportantGuy.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Don't throw a tomato at me (but if you do, I'm already ducking anyhow!).  I just cannot seem to get this friggin' Part 2 out the door!

I am so exhausted.  Every night for a week now I have woken up in the middle of the night worrying about some detail or another about the remodel, now that we are acting as general contractors.  Last night/this morning I woke up realizing that TheMostImportantGuy and I were really misunderstanding how the installation of the cabinets was going to be laid out, and because of our confusion, we had not arranged to have the floor being prepped properly.  Our handyman had only patched a portion of the floor where the wall was taken out, and that really it needed to all be done, not just a portion.  And the issue has to be rectified today, before the subfloor and underlayments crew would work on Friday. 

Nothing like realizing that at 4:30am on Thursday morning.
And that's what I mean. I wake up like this all the time now. Go team.  (hey, I caught it before it was too late, right??)

I also have a performance this weekend, a class on Saturday, a wedding to go on Saturday that I am supposed to bring food to, and a baby shower gift that I am scrambling to finish knitting by Saturday as well. 

And I feel like a zombie.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

avatar du jour

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

all talk, no action.

Actually, I remember some boys in high school saying that about me. And look! Now you can say it, too! LOL This is STILL not Part 2, and I know I know I know! I SUCK! But today was my first time taking me turn driving my dad to his radiation appointment, and then after that I spent far too much time down at the post office trying to figure out how to get approved to fix our mail situation at the new house.

We have one mail slot next to our front door, so the mail gets deposited right into the house. It's old and cute and vintage...

(note to self: get off that old sticky tape from where I left 
anote for the postman that the old owner had moved..lame!) 

but a) it is smaller than what is allowed (and far smaller than a skein of yarn!), and b) it's where our tenant in the carriage house would get their mail delivered, too! That is lame!!

We need to add a post somewhere on the property that has two good sized mail boxes (or some other solution) and you cannot believe (well maybe you can) how disorganized the United States Postal Service is about having a process to apply for a change. There is nothing on their website other than how to choose a mailbox and that you need to get permission to change your box from your postmaster. I called the USPS toll free number and they had no information whatsoever.  They only gave me the number of the branch I should call.

I called all day and got no answer or a busy signal. I went in to the office and the guy at the counter asked me if I had completed the application, to which I said no, but of course, I asked for one. Then a supervisor appears and says there is no application.  She goes through my whole request with me, including my showing her several photos of our property, our mail slot, the tenant's rental unit, the access issues, and photos of the mailboxes I saw at Lowe's that we'd like to use.

She then tells me that I just need to write a letter and mail it in an envelope simply addressed "Postmaster" and with our zip code on it.  And that I should include everything I just showed her (like, could ya have told me that before I spent 20 minutes with you??) and she says I shouldn't hope for much.  Neato.

Anyhow.  I spent my available blogging time doing all that, and then I made a little detour to the bakery.

 See, I'd know I could stay home and blog tonight, but it's our local knitting group tonight and it's SincereSheep's birthday, so.....

Monday, April 23, 2012

i know, i know...not what yer lookin' for

It's not part 2 of the story. But I'm really out of it today. Last night I was out late because TheMostImportantGuy had a show, and I was busy being a groupie.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

the story of how our contractor walked of the job

Grab a cuppa something, pull up a chair, and I'll tell you the story.

Once upon a time, there was a GeneralContractor that we probably should never have hired in the first place.  Seriously.  As I have been running through this mess over and over (and over! gah!) in my mind, I realize that I should be more ashamed of myself than I am for letting things get to where they did with this guy.  On TheDayItAllWentToShit, and I could taste the very distinct flavor that this whole experience had left in mouth.  The flavor was vaguely reminiscent of something I hadn't tasted since my early 20's.  It was the same flavor left in my mouth after a couple of realllly bad dating experiences.  You know the kind (well, maybe you don't LOL). I'm talking about the kind of dating experience where you ignore your own better judgment?  Like, when  you meet a guy, and he seems to be a genuinely good guy (uhhh...because he's trying to screw you?), and you do notice that the guy is a little quirky, but that's okay, because it's sort of charming, and anyhow he's creative and artistic and interesting and hey, you've already decided you are fine if this ends up being a short term thing anyhow (you just really didn't want to be dateless on the night of The Big New Year's Eve party), so what the heck.

But your friends eyes are sort of wigging out on you because they see you making a poor choice. And then you meet friends of the guy, and they are sniggering at you in that "you have no idea what you are in for sort of way."  And then you start to see the little red flags everywhere, the ones that you have seen out of the corner of your eye all along but were trying to ignore, because you don't want to break up with him this week, you want to break up with him next week, after The Big New Year's Eve party.

Anyhow. THAT is what it's been like with this General Contractor since the very beginning.

Before I tell you the story, let's give this guy a nickname.  I don't want to use his real name here (I'd say, "because I am nice like that," but really, I will indeed be being "not so nice" by reviewing him online and with the state board), but let me tell you, flag number one should have been that this General Contractor goes by a pseudonym.  His nickname for himself is a type of bird, and it was not, but should have been:  Turkey.  So that will be his name for the rest of my little story here ;-)

Here we go:

We find Turkey (and his business "Turkeyworks") on Angie's List, where he has glowing reviews.  After interviewing him in person, we still call several of his referrals, and his not just is loved by his former clients, but almost adored. Most of them call him back for more work.  Turkey is not your average general contractor, he is an artist of sorts (visible in his portfolio of work), and we know that he is going to be able to create the couple of custom pieces we are looking for in the design, all while maintaining the 1930's aesthetic of the house. He's on budget for us. He barely sub-contracts out anything, and he comes as a two-man crew (he has one guy that has been working for him for years...note that I said for). At the interview, he attempts to get a deposit from us, but we refuse to commit.  Instead, we take the time to check first check out Turkey's business license (filed not under his real this a red flag alert?...but in his business name of  "Turkeyworks"), and we also check out the better business bureau and everything else we can. All is good. No complaints.

So we decide to hire Turkey.  He has a big job he is just finishing up, but while that is happening he will be meeting with us a couple of times to get the design rolling and the permits filed, etc etc. It is at that first real planning meeting where money is to change hands and the contract will be signed.  This is the meeting so full of red flags that I should have made plans to put on my big girl panties and just show up to The Big New Year's Eve party stag.  Sometimes it's just better to hug yourself at midnight.

I notice almost immediately, that now that Turkey feels confident that he has secured out business, he's a little more hyper and wound up when he speaks, and he has a hard time staying on track with a conversation unless he is the one that initiates the topic or controls the course of the conversation.  If you take the conversation in a different direction, he can listen, but it feels like he is spending more time processing feeling out of control than really listening.  He puts on this face that looks like he is contemplating what you are saying (what I learn later is that he is really disconnecting himself because he feels out of control).  It's as if Turkey is this odd mixture of at one moment being extremely wound up, but the next moment being sort of "over relaxed".  I remember saying to TheMostImportantGuy very early on that while Turkey  does not at all seem to be on drugs, he reminds me of people I have met that used to do some sort of speed or methamphetamine, but are now in some rehab or 12-step recovery program.

But oh well!  Turkey is such an artist! With such glowing reviews and no blemishes on record!! And artists are quirky and misunderstood!

But then we get to the point in the conversation where we are to give him a deposit sign the contract.  "Contract??," says he?  Why, he has never needed one! (??!!!)

Well.  We will not work with any contractor without a contract (and we have hired a plethora of them remodeling the rest of the house), so no contract Turkey? No job.  Turkey says if we want to write up a contract ourselves (?!) he will agree to sign whatever we put together, which TheMostImportantGuy does, and Turkey goes over it and signs it (all the while, TheMIG is pointing out to Turkey that a contract protects him as well, so why would we never work with one?!).

Now, of course, all along, as part of  the interview and contract negotiations, we are discussing the total cost of the job....otherwise known as OurBudget.   Now, Turkey is a "time and materials" guy, and is not bidding the way other contractors we have worked with before have bid, where they throw out their total number for the cost of The Job In Its Entirety.  But Turkey does give us a range of where he thinks we will land, and most most importantly to OurBudget, he gives us a high number that he is certain will not be exceeded.   He negotiates how he is to be paid.  He says every Friday he will leave receipts and a description of hours and how time was spent, and we are look it over, and leave a check (note, I said a check) by Monday morning.

It is also at this meeting, almost a month before our start date, that he announces that while he is there, he'd like to demo one of the walls (?!).  A month early!  With no advance notice. To which I advise him that I don't care for that sort of surprise.

So we end this meeting with many loose ends, but a few days later there is another one, this time with a contract being presented.  Red flag alert:  it is at this point that we are requiring him to sign using his legal name, not "Turkey", to which he says, "You mean I have to put my real name here?"  "Yes, we cannot have a legally binding contract with your nickname.."  "But if I tell you my real name, I might have to kill you!"

You can believe that even though we gave him a very small deposit to secure our start date, we then went and checked out his legal name every which way come Sunday.  We find no problems.  And even though I don't want holes in the walls for a month, Turkey is allowed at that meeting to make them so that he can see what is lurking behind them.  The kitchen now feels like a war zone to me.

A month later, the official start date approaches.  The Friday night before Turkey is to start we have a final prep meeting, and Turkey announces that he has pushed our job out for a another week....and he is sure he communicated to us that the start date was flexible.  (??!!)  It is also at this meeting that the discussion of giving him a key for access takes place, and turns out to be....well, whatever can be redder than a red flag.  You see, Turkey does not want a key. He doesn't want to be held responsible for it (?!).  He wants the key left out somewhere, like under a rock, or a doormat, or on the trim over the threshold of the door.  TheMIG flatly refuses, because in our mind, you may as well just leave the doors unlocked and put a "steal from me" sign out on the lawn.  TheMIG and Turkey spend a good five minutes out in the backyard agreeing to a secret hiding spot for the key. The first night of real work, TheMIG comes home and the key is not in the secret hiding place, it is over the door jam.  The next morning, TheMIG confronts Turkey and tells him sternly, but calmly, that this is unacceptable and that if he needs to be micromanaged this way, we need to know it now.  To which Turkey responds by warning TheMIG, "I don't handle aggression well."   (??!!)

The first week into the job, I decide to downscale the scope of work.  Our old house has lovely original arches in the kitchen, and Turkey's design plan is to unify the space with the rest of the house by expanding on that theme and adding more arches just outside the kitchen in the dining room and on into the sunroom/dance studio.   I finally come to my senses when I realize that the whole house could end up looking like the Taj Mahal, not to mention that the arches add a lot of expense and structural work, so I take them out of the design (and save OurBudget!).  I also take out a few other big ticket items: I reduce the amount of cabinetry, and I remove this custom rolling barn door sort of contraption that Turkey wants to build between the laundry room and the kitchen (more savings!!). 

It is after this first week of work that TheMIG reviews Turkey's receipts, and leaves a check for the total.  Monday morning of week 2, Turkey calls to state that we are supposed to leave two checks.  One for him, and a separate one for his guy....and Turkey is positive he communicated that to us.  Well, he's wrong, and I can tell you why.  1) TheMIG were both there for the one check conversation, and that's two against one, and although occasionally have wax in my ears, collectively TheMIG and I are not insane.  2) The second point is that the moment we heard the words "two checks", TheMIG and I completely flipped. If we would have heard those words earlier, we would have flipped out earlier. You see, two checks means that his guy does not for him.  Two checks means that his guy works for us.  And we have no contract with his guy, which also means we haven't screened  him in the same way, and which also means that there are insurance implications if there is an injury on the job, etc etc.

 So that week, week 2, we do not write two checks, and Turkey and his guy and TheMIG spend a good portion of the week sorting things out, which amounts to Turkey having his guy a business license and our making sure we are not responsible for him as if we are his employer, because he is not our employee.  He is supposed to be working for the General Contractor we hired, who is...A Turkey.


2nd week on the job, Turkey informs us that the project is already set to run about 10% over budget.  Over the MAX number on his sclae.  We ask for an explanation as to how this could be happening, especially since I have removed so many costly features from the design plan, and he says something much longer than this, but it basically amounts to "well, projects ebb and flow."

Also, early on, we start shopping appliances. Now, there is a line item in the Turkey's budget for the cost of appliances, but being the former chef that I am, I know that what I want is more than what he has budgeted for.  So we all agree that the amount for appliances will be pulled as a line item and be take out of Turkey's budget, and it will be put into my own pocket, basically.  I will shop for what I want, using that amount and paying anything over that separately, myself, outside of the construction budget. To be clear, I ask what appliances we are talking about.  I am given the list, "fridge, stove, dishwasher...and washer and dryer since the laundry room is part of the kitchen remodel."  I ask if anything else is included in this amount like sinks or faucets? No. Sinks and faucets are in the line item for plumbing. Okay. And should I be shopping for the hood for the range?  No, because that is going to be a custom thing, and Turkey says, "So hood range is all on me."
Week 3, and the Turkey is having another budget meeting with us, and now his is claiming that the hood is part of my appliance purchase amounts, not his budget.  I should have known that because one shops for a hood range at an appliance store (?!).   I must tell you, a hood range for a 36" fancy stove is not a cheap thing.  Even more importantly in all of this, Turkey is once again making the case of, "That's not what I said."

It is also during this time that Turkey is sending us out to material houses to choose things like countertops and flooring.  At every location we go to, places he sends us, when the salespeople ask us who our contractor is, we get those sniggering looks (and comments!) I was describing earlier on.  The ones you get from your friends and his when you are sleeping with a dufus.

People. I could go on. And on. And on. There a more of these stories, several more, but you are sick of hearing it probably as much as I am sick of retelling it, but I really felt the need to give background to you because I am about to describe TheDayItAllWentToShit.
You ready??

Well, hate me, but...
I'm going to leave you with a cliffhanger.  This post is way too long, and I'm going to post what I have now and spend some more time today editing the rest.  Hang tight!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

snaps on saturday

all taken from my seat at an outdoor cafe table....

That's my afternoon snack at Le Bateau Ivre (The Drunken Boat), where I was killing an hour while TheMostImportantGuy was attending the zen center's board of director's meeting. Every moment today prior to this afternoon snack was spent driving around for hours checking out multiple sources for materials and sub-contractors.  We've got to figure out cabinet installation (for the cabinets are arriving in a week and a half an there is now no one to install them), flooring, countertops, and a custom built range hood (among other things).

Note how our day of research affecting my food order. Next to my knitting and that delicious cheese plat is my beverage: a russian coffee made with vodka and kahlua
(because hours of sub-contractors will do that for ya')

Friday, April 20, 2012

uhhh ummmm

Here's what I got when I logged onto blogger/blogspot today:

Blogger has a new look!

Introducing the completely new, streamlined blogging experience that makes it easier for you to find what you need and focus on writing great blog posts. 

I wrote up the post about the contractor, but I need to re-read it and edit it before I can feel good about posting it (it's epic)...and I ran out of time because I was trying to figure out where I was as I was simultaneously having my new (not so streamlined) blogging experience.

Saturdays are for photos, but come back with a cup of coffee or tea on Sunday and a good long story should be waiting for you ;-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

copping out...

....with a cute dog pic.

Teeny's all time favorite toy is this stuffed duck that is larger than she is. She both abuses it and cuddles up with it.

I am exhausted from dance class and trying to get ready to perform in a couple of weeks after being idle for so long. Rusty! It is totally true: use it or lose it!! Anyhow, I should have posted earlier in the day before I was so wiped out. I owe you guys the contractor story, for sure. Let me take a crack at it tomorrow afternoon ;-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

mink-y bread

When life feels like steel wool, it's time to whip out some fuzz.

I use that avatar on my chat screen sometimes, and today I realized it's load of B.S. some days. Like today. When I knit and I still kill people. !! (not literally, of course)

Today I washed and blocked a scarf and a hat project I have been chipping away at for awhile.

The pattern is called Monkey Bread, but this is knit with 70% mink and 30% cashmere yarn (ohhhh the love!), and so as far as I am concerned it is MINK-Y Bread.

It's an "infinity scarf", and for the non-knitting muggles who come here, that means I started the project by doing what is a called a "provisional cast-on". I knit up the scarf, and then when I was done I didn't bind them off. I went back to the cast on where I had started, and I have "live stitches" at both ends so that I was sew the ends together invisibly.

For the knitters out there, this was the project I was referring to the other day when I wrote that I was trying to learn how to graft in pattern. I succeeded, and here's the tutorial I used to get me through it (I watched a whole bunch of videos, and read some very long tutorial with lots of photos, but in the end, this little short-n-sweet tutorial is what saved me).

Anyhow, this is my first time wearing an infinity scarf. I can either leave it in a long open loop or wrap it around twice for a cozier fit.

hey look ma! Here's a close up with me and no make up.

Because what's the point in putting on "a face" when I'm just going to rub it all off by banging my head on the desk while we sort out this contractor crap.

Here's a link to my project page for the details.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

just when you think things can't get any worse...

One more night (at least) where I don't have it in me to write a blogpost.

I'm too busy reeling from the news that the contractor that is remodeling the kitchen walked off the job today. In the middle of the job. We have a completely demolished kitchen with most of the electric done, most of the plumbing...but not all...and a ceiling and some walls.

We are screwed.

I know it's too good of a story for me to leave you hanging like that, but I honestly do not have it in me tonight to write about it right now. I am just now getting the news at 9:30pm after a day of worrying about issues with him, and I am just flat out of steam.

Monday, April 16, 2012

because i am exhausted...

...not to mention feeling a little kicked in the ribs by life ...this is all I've got today. My cat on a our fence.

Whoopdeedoo, I know. LOL

Sunday, April 15, 2012

distracted by something new

Forgive the short post, but I am working on learning something new tonight. I am trying to kitchener stitch a seam in pattern (so I am grafting both knits and purls).

If you're a knitter you'll know that means I gotta go focus.
If you're not, then I'm speaking gobbley-gook and there's not much point in explaining other than to say it basically just means that I am trying to sew the invisible seam of perfection!

Sent from my iPad

Saturday, April 14, 2012

snaps on saturday

big ol' whisk

On the patio of the restaurant we had brunch at.
There was a giant cheese grater, a tea stainer, and a slotted spoon, too!

Very yummy food and one of the best patios for dining ever. You'd never know it from looking at the outside of the place, though....I popped in on a whim the other day for a cup of tea to go, and once I got inside was blown away by the cuteness.

Friday, April 13, 2012

oh yes i will !

If you have a license plate that is interesting enough to me....

...I will indeed stalk yer arse ;-)

(well, okay. I wont literally stalk you. Like, I'm not going off my route of travel or following you home. But I will try reallllly hard to get my camera out and be ready for you at the next stop light!)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

crazy day, happy ending

Alrighty, friends. Raise your MagicMojoWands for my dad, will ya'??

If you have been following along here for awhile, you may recall that last year my dad was diagnosed with a crazy rare blood disorder called vasculitis. Well, it's looking like it may be rearing its ugly head again. He's been having difficulty breathing and yesterday I brought him in for a chest x-ray. By this morning the docs were calling my mom and telling her to get him over there toot-sweet, and by the afternoon he was having more lab-work and they drained his lungs. I was told they pulled of a liter and a half of fluid, and when they followed up with another x-ray there was still fluid left.

I think the next step is to wait to hear back after the biopsy the fluid, and until all the various players on the medical team can have a pow-wow.

Which they need to do, because on Monday my dad is scheduled to start radiation for prostate cancer (when it rains it pours, right?? shessh!). I think I gave a nod to this cropping up late last fall, but I haven't really gone into it here on the blog. Forgive me.

Anyhow. Mojo. Prayer. Light. Whatever it is you do, if you have any extra, please send it this-a-way. There is a distinct need. Thank you so much.

On a lighter note, I am just getting home very late from dance class, and guess what happened while I was gone?! MyFavoriteKid totally cleaned my kitchen!! (and it was a wreck) Without my asking, I might add! A total surprise. And when I thanked him, he told me to go get some sleep, which I think is a mighty fine idea.

And I will go now and do it! :-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

maybe i just need a new look

Another hectic day. The kind that I swear is making my hair turn gray really really fast. Kind of like...if you remember....when President Obama won the election and his hair looked one way, and then he came out of those few first days in office when he had all those briefings, and he had gray streaks at his temples? Like, overnight?? Do you remember that??

My every-few-months appointment for a color job would have been this Friday afternoon, but my lovely teen just informed me tonight that I will have to cancel it. He needs me to pick him up after school at 3:30, help him get home super fast so that he can get eat a 4pm dinner, get into a tuxedo, and then get right back to school to board a buss by 5pm for an evening band field trip. And it's mandatory.

If it wasn't a tuxedo he'd be wearing, you can bet yer arse I'd tell him to deal with this himself and ride his bike, because I kind of want to ring his neck for not giving me this information sooner. But it turns out, honest to goodness, that the band teacher was slow to release the details. I have proof. The guy did it on facebook. Tonight.

Anyhow, no hair appointment for me, that's for sure. And rescheduling with her is going to be a bitch....she's a busy one. I'm too paranoid and uncoordinated to feel comfortable dying it myself (unless I can do it with Koolaid, like wool...?). I've never dyed my hair myself before.

Maybe I just need to go gray.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

little snippets

from today:

* I got the kitchen sink out of my car. Woot! It was returned to the appliance store because we need a different model. The new one will come in a couple of weeks.

* I spoke to a friend today (was it KarenTheDancingLurker??) who said she read yesterday's post and imagined that my car looked like the family car in the Febreze commercial. I can't find a photo of that exact commercial, but it's in the same style as this one:

(and no, my car was not that bad! LOL)

* Since I was at the sports bar knitting group when I remembered to take them, I washed down my vitamins tonight with a beer and a jello shot. Seems a little counterproductive.

*MyFavoriteKid wants to get rid of his older game systems and get a PS3. A couple of days ago he said he didn't have enough money and asked if he could pay for half and if I would spring for the other half as an early birthday present (2 months early!). I said I think about it. Today he was all lovey dovey and nice and sweet, and when I realized he was buttering me up, I told him I was going to milk this as long as I could. He came home, counted his savings, and realized he has enough money saved up and doesn't need my help at all, and then he dropped the lovey dovey routine so fast I thought I had whiplash. Then he realized he needed me to drive him to go purchase the game system, and the lovey dovey behavior returned. I did not take him shopping tonight. I call times like these a teaching moment LOLOL.

Monday, April 09, 2012

making the painful more pleasurable

Ok, maybe cleaning out all of the crap that accumulates in my car on a weekly basis is not a "painful-painful," thing. I am exaggerating. But dudes. My car can get pretty. Damn. Messy. Shamefully so, really. This is actually a bit embarrassing to go into in public in a way, but I trust y'all won't judge me too harshly. Besides, I am just so pleased with myself for finding a way to clean out my car and be happy about doing it, that I must write about my silly little moment of triumph.

First off, let me explain how it is that my car can get so cluttered each week, and why it is such a challenge to fix it.

I do A LOT of driving, and I am in A LOT of different roles every week (sometimes each day). Each role I fulfill comes with "stuff". My life requires a whole different pile of associated crap to be hauled from thing to thing. For example, the things that I bring into a convalescent hospital are not the same things I bring to a dance class are not the same things I bring to teach knitting. Every role I fill has a bag.

Add to this a folding dog crate that gets used a few times each week, leashes, a portable water dish, and bottled water. Then there is the teenager that has clarinet stuff in there on some days of the week. And add to that the stray clothing that seems to multiply due to the strange weather we've been having for months where it's t-shirt season one day, and then thick sweater weather the next.

There is more. Because we are remodeling right now, you will often project related paperwork and supplies. For example, right now in my car is a sample cabinet door, all sorts of flooring and tile samples, glass samples for cabinet doors, paint chips, etc. Oh, and right now? A sink. (Hey! I just realized! My car has everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink! HA!!). Anyhow, it's all there for us as we go from shop to shop picking out other kitchen elements.

Also, my mail is not delivered directly to my house. It comes to a cluster of mailboxes that I make a pitstop at when I am driving home, so sometimes (ok, maybe more than sometimes) my mail stacks up in my car. Lastly, because I'm on the road so much, I tend to eat my lunch in the car. Not always while I am actually driving (although often enough), but sometimes when I am sitting for a few minutes, like after the zen center and on the way to the convalescent gig.

The car gets messy. Fast. And actually, as I type this up, it's amazing that it's isn't messier than it really truly is, because that sounds....BIG.

Alright. So. The obvious thing would be to bring everything back in the house every day, wouldn't it?
Well, yes, you say! Of course it would!

But OneLeggedChick over here (me) pulls into her garage and there is a flight of stairs to get into the house. The wheelchair I use for running errands around town stays in the trunk once I get home (it's also interesting to note that when the car is in the garage, I cant roll in the wheelchair all the way around the car anyhow, making it really hard to work on cleaning the car out even in my own garage, because I'd actually have to do the tidying while balancing on one leg and holding onto crutches!). When I leave the car and enter the house, I ascend the stairs on crutches, and then wheelchair #2 is waiting for me inside the door.

So understanding my mobility issues now, look back up at the big ol' list o' crap, and perhaps you can now see how things never make it back in the house. Sometimes I'm too tired to carry it all in. Sometimes I'm only home for a minute, to say, drop off groceries, before I'm needing to be heading right back out again. And sometimes, I just don't wanna unload the car (hrrmph!!!).

So here's the fix that ends up happening once I get sick enough of the mess (which was a fix I used to employ weekly, but with the stress of the kitchen remodel, this timeframe has begun to extend itself. When it was weekly, it never got too too bad. Fridays sucked, but then I'd have some help from my peeps on the weekend).

Ok. The fix. So what I do is I find a little free time, I find a place where I can park my car that is flat, a place where I can wheel freely all the way around my car and not get run over (important!), and a place that has a garbage can. This sort of location is almost always somewhere ugly. Like a big parking lot. Or a side parking spot at a gas station.

I park the car, open up the doors, get out the wheel chair, and go around from side to side until I whip the car into shape. I throw out any garbage or junk mail, I consolidate any peeled off sweaters or hats or scarves into one tote to bring back in the house, and I also wrangle and reorganize teaching supplies and get the things I no longer need into another tote to go back in the house.

It's fast, really. But it's a drag. And I must look like TheCrazyGimpLadyWhoLivesInHerCar, which in a way, I guess I am.

Anyhow. LOL

Today, however, I tried something new. MyFavoriteKid had his private clarinet lesson this afternoon, and I usually just sit in the car and knit and listen to an audiobook. But it was gorgeous out, and it's supposed to rain for the rest of the week, and there I was sitting in my crapped out mess of a car that I did NOT clean out this weekend while help was available to me and so....I decided to drive down the hill towards the water just so I could park there and get out of the car and get away from the messy car and get some air.

But guess what I found:

Waterfront marina parking with a gorgeous view and everything else I need to complete the messy task at hand, too. A flat parking space, room to maneuver around the car, and a garbage can that nobody cares if I use. And it's PRETTY! Birds chirping and calling, and water lapping against the rocks. Oh!! Lovely! :-)

And so here I sit now, back at home. The totes are back in the house and unloaded, the car is tidy (well, except for the kitchen stuff, and the sink I need to exchange at the appliance store tomorrow). And I had a much nicer time today that I would have had hanging out at a gas station.

Even though I am sure I still looked like TheCrazyGimpLadyAtTheMunicipalPier ;-)

Sunday, April 08, 2012


I am guilty! Of watching wayyyyy too much television tonight!

I watched Game Of Thrones as it was aired with TheMostImportantGuy, and while we were watching that, I was recording the 2nd part of Great Expectations on PBS.....and so I watched that next! Now it's almost midnight and my brain is stuck in several different eras and stories and periods of fashion!

I kind of needed to veg out. Today was rough. TheMIG and I went to several different places (whomever was open on a holiday) to look at countertop options for the kitchen. It's honestly so overwhelming to me at this point. The amount of tasks and research that need to be done, the decisions that need to be made, the financial factoring. The conflicting information that we get from contractors and salespeople and the internet. It's just too much sometimes. And we've been remodeling almost non-stop for a year. I just kind of had an itty bitty breakdown today. We pulled into the driveway of the house so we could go inside and measure this and that (and that and that and this and that)....TheMIG went inside to start, and I was getting my wheelchair out of the car and took a second to just rest while sitting on the tailgate, and since I was alone I just started sobbing. I just needed to. The poor MIG came back out, I guess to see where I was because I was supposed to be recording down the numbers he was measuring out, and he caught me there having "my moment". Oy.

Well, it was short lived. Back to the task at hand, and we still have more scouting and shopping and researching to do.

Thank goodness for chocolate and too much television though. Right??!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

snaps on saturday

She has the bottom half.
I have the top.

As seen while having a very fun time in a Novato stained glass shop. We were there looking for funky glass options to insert into the kitchen cabinets at the other house. The owner of the shop was totally awesome and creative and after this damn remodel is done, I swear I'm going to go back and take some classes from her.

Friday, April 06, 2012


I will be putting together a post this weekend about learning how to prepare passover dishes from my mother, but as for tonight, now that we've eaten...

...I'm recovering from all the egg (I'm allergic!).

Thursday, April 05, 2012

stiff as a board

Wow, I haven't bellydanced in ages! We took the last couple of weeks of December off and shut down class for the holidays. In January, I injured myself, so I took myself out of the role of performer for the March dance event, and instead put myself more in the role of witness, director, and quasi-choreographer.

What this means is that I have sat on my butt during dance class for 3-1/2 months until tonight, and holeeee moley, I am stiff as a board!!

(but NOT light as a feather. Nope! Just stiff!!)

I hope I'm able to work out the kinks and get my groove on by the end of the month because we're performing this piece again for a National Dance Week event, and I am going to take the place of another dancer who can't make this performance.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

more kids in my life to be proud of

The young ladies and gents of the high school knitting club I teach are completing squares for blankets that will be donated to a charitable organization that gets the blankets to kids in Africa that are orphaned by aids.

(just some of the many)

They worked out everything from choosing what they wanted to knit and for whom, to getting the yarn donated to them, to helping the newer members learn how to knit, to creating a system for getting the yarn distributed amongst them, to tracking who did how many squares (they are earning some of their required charity hours by knitting---woot!), to getting the appropriate paperwork for that signed off by their guiding teacher, to fundraising to get the postage money needed to send the blankets sent to the organization that then delivers them to the kids.

In other words, I show up and do pretty much nothing! Basically, I just show up and help when asked, and they do everything else it takes to run their own campus club.

I think they're awesome :-)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

no one wants to

That's right. No one. No one wants to go to the vet.
Not me.
And definitely not Teeny.

But I don't use flea meds during the winter, and I didn't get them onto Teeny fast enough for the arrival of spring, apparently. I mean, winter was odd, and things were blooming in February, and I knew that...but I guess I just didn't put it together in regards to pets and those little pesky critters.

The poor dear chewed herself up but good last night, and it was a little beyond my repair. She had to get a patch of butt shaven, and a shot of cortisone, and now she's donning TheConeOfShame for a few days.

I saw a lot of wacky shit today at the vet's office.

First, there was the lady at the counter ahead of me. She was old enough to be my mother. She was holding a puppy and telling the counter staff that she thinks her dog must have herpes or something, and so she gave it some of her son's left over antibiotics (so much for him taking the full course, I guess), and now her dog just didn't seem right. All the while, I'm trying to ignore the fact that she reeks like marijuana and a baggie of it is hanging out of her open purse.

Then I see a poster on the bulletin board advertising in home pet care. And part of it says:
* I have 1 dog and 1 cat.
* I am very good with pets (ask my dog!)


And then, while Teeny and I are in the exam room waiting for the vet, I hear another customer being brought in to the room next door with what sounds like a really big dog. I hear the vet tech tell him someone will be right with him, and then she shuts the door, and then I hear the guy, say to his dog:

OOooooo!!! Look Buster!!!! The table! It's so shiiiiinyyyy!!! Want to get on it??!?!

(I was betting that Buster did not. Even if he did understand that the table was so shiny.)

Alrighty. Pardon me. I must be going now. Spring has sprung and I need to go deal with getting meds on the menagerie.

Monday, April 02, 2012


Because it's late. And because I'm tired. And because I'm proud of MyFavoriteKid. And because his drumline troupe took 1st Runner-Up in the regionals. And because I want to be able to find this video easily next time I need it.... is their winning performance from Saturday's competition (the set-up ends and the performance begins at 3 mins in exactly....the set-up was video taped because they are timed and cannot run over their allotment, so they film the set-up as a diagnostic).

MyFK is a freshman, but his high school is only 2 years old. Last year the school had only freshmen and sophomores, this year it's freshmen, sophomores, juniors (so the drumline squad is younger and less experienced some of the other schools that have seniors). Last year MyFK's school drumline was placed in the novice division and even though they did well throughout the performance season, they weren't set up to perform at the regionals.

This year the drumline placed so high in their first competition of the season that they were moved up to advanced for the balance of this year's season....and now here they are, taking 1st Runner Up at champs (with 9 groups competing in their category), and it's their very first time out at regionals! And this is MyFK's first year with the drumline! In fact, he just started drumming in late October, early November!!

Like I said:
Because I am a proud mommy!! ;-)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

there really is a kitchen back there somewhere

The contractor dug holes into a few walls just "to see what was going on in there" sometime in February. Construction officially began (a week late) the 2nd week of March. It was quoted to us that this would be about a 6-week, a working kitchen by the end of April.

Now, thanks to a delay with the cabinet order, that plastic will probably not be coming down until late May.

Not an April Fool's Joke.