Thursday, May 31, 2012

another tidbitty sort of day

Many things today felt broken or twisted.

~ Construction on the new kitchen has been at a dead halt for a week, and next contractor in line that we've been waiting on (to install the counter tops) just notified us today that they are pushing us out further.   More on this soon...I have stories. Well, okay. Rants. LOL

~ TheMostImportantGuy sent me a copy of his will.  Important. But creepy!!

~ I ordered some vintage glass plates from an etsy shop over the weekend and they arrived today. Poorly packaged. And in pieces.

More on these plates soon, too....I have stories about them as well!

~ I caught the chihuahua eating a bar of soap. A bar of soap!! It was lemongrass scented. Maybe that's what did it. She dug it out of the shopping bag while I was unloading, but by the time I found it, she may have been at it for hours.  What a dork.

~ I spent the entirety of my teaching time at the senior center knitting group fixing someone's lace mistakes. Oh okay. Not the entire time. I spent two minutes ripping out my current knitting project and putting it back into balls of yarn.

I love this pattern. It's a simple garter stitch shawl made up of short row wedges....and I love the brown yarn paired together with the gold yarn....but with the yarn and pattern together in the same project, it's going to come out looking like tiger stripes.  And no-can-do.

And hey look! I had to wear readers to fix the lace (I am getting old!!).  I do have to say, I kicked some serious butt on those lace repairs. I even amazed myself, fixing something I was certain I could not.

I might not have control over contractors, but at least I have control over yarn ;-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

tidbits from today

I arrived at the high school today a little early because the kids asked me if I could come help set up for their party. When I got there I found out that their knitting club end of year party had been scheduled at the same exact time as the party celebrating the release of the yearbook. I honestly thought no knitters would bother showing up, and I almost packed myself up and left. Good thing I didn't because 35 kids from the knitting group showed up, and they brought food and music. And a very sweet card ;-)

It's nice to be viewed as amazing, but it's even nicer to see high school kids knowing how to use contractions.  LOL   

The rest of my day was spent climbing the highest peak in California: Mt. Laundry. When I announced my expedition on forum board that I frequent on Ravelry, someone chimed back saying that she was, "ascending Mt. Foldmore." Totally cracked me up.

The other fun thing today was watching the dogs go completely berzerko over squirrels. 

It looks like we have a mommy squirrel teaching her three teenagers how to navigate the neighborhood. I spotted them several times today while coming and going between here and errands, and they were tear-assing all over the place.  When they finally showed up in the tree right outside my own window, I thought the dogs were going to pass out from the excitement.  They were running from room to room to get a better view, and running outside to sniff at the fence. A couple times they were running so hard they crashed right into me and my wheelchair.  Kookie dogs!

I haven't been knitting very much the past few days.  Just a row here, a row there.  I think what's happening is that I don't have anything on the needles that is compelling me to focus on it.  I have a sneaking suspicion that it's because I am really wanting to spin.  Unfortunately, the wheel is here but all the fiber is over at the other house!  (don't ask me how I managed that, because I cannot begin to explain it)   I will try to remedy that tomorrow or Friday ;-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

my little assembly line project

Tomorrow is the last meeting of the high school knitting club, and they are throwing themselves a little party.
I am supplying the party favors.

These buttons were made by the wonderful Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios.  She made 50 buttons for us that say, "I knit because I am smarter than you," and another 50 that have a ball of yarn plus the name of the high school and the knitting club (ACHS Hands-In-Motion).  I don't know if she did this on accident or on purpose, but Laura even made that second button in the school colors. Woot!

Anyhow, yesterday was my little assembly line project of packing up one of each button plus some candy its own little bag.  I also made 3 gift bags that the kids are going to raffle off tomorrow. Each bag has a couple of skeins of yarn, light up knitting needles, some stitch markers, and some really really cute scissors and tape measures that all look like little cartoon-y japanese animals.

I am really proud of what the kids accomplished this year.  They set up everything up and got themselves registered as an official a campus club. They elected officers, they collected donated yarn, they held fundraisers to cover expenses, they knit for charity and tracked their time doing so as community service hours, and they taught each other to knit.  Most of the time I was just there to fix mistakes, or to bring in things I had knit for inspiration. I also showed them how to use the internet as a learning resource....because honestly, there is no way I could ever teach all 62 kids during just our weekly 30-45 minute club meetings.

The kids rocked it, and I am really proud of them and all they have accomplished, and I hope they continue next year.

Monday, May 28, 2012

learn to...knit?

So when you take that knitting class at the big box craft store....

have an especially great time learning to knit that purse you liked so much...

because it is crochet ;-)

(I know the muggles can't tell the difference between knit and crochet, but I guess I have higher expectations of whomever assembles the class marketing poster)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

smallest of small town parades

Marching down the street of the new house this morning....

....a wee tiny Memorial Day parade!

I didn't know it was scheduled, I wasn't even there to take these photos. TheMostImportantGuy caught it only because he was mowing the lawn out front. 
Next year I promise to be prepared and waving a flag out front.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

snaps on saturday

Gardening class this morning (Napa Valley Master Gardener's Vegetable Class, a series of 9 classes, once a month, January through September).

Today's topics: pests in the garden, and saving seeds.

Loved the comments yesterday. ladies :-)
Janice, I am totally Bilbo! Or butter.  hahaha....
And Jen, ohmygosh!! What a story. Thanks for the chuckle! 

Friday, May 25, 2012


And I wish by thin, I meant "physically thin"...but that would be far from the truth.

No, I mean "stretched thin".  I feel thin, energetically and emotionally.  It's due to the convergence of...of...of The Great EVERYTHING.

There's just a whole lotta crap going on.  It's the last week and a half for school for MyFavoriteKid, which is always a bit of a thing. The knitting kids at the high school are having an end of year party, for which I have a several things I need to tend to for them.  My dad has 3 more weeks of radiation treatments.  TheMostImportantGuy has a birthday, my mom has a birthday, and MyFK is having an early birthday party. We have activity happening within the dance troupe including some extra rehearsals for me.  There's some drama going on at the convalescent hospital, drama enough that the therapist I started seeing a couple of months ago (out of complete necessity) says that what I really need to do is quit. 
And oh.  We're managing the kitchen remodel.

It is the remodel that is completely driving me over the edge right now.  It is exactly why I hired a general contractor in the first place.  A project manager. Someone who could get all the ducks in a row. 
We. No. Haz. Dat.
And it's tweaking me out.

People, I have no problem managing a job.  I am capable of managing a job that involves lots of people, lots of variables, and lots of chaos. I was a professional caterer.  If this were a wedding and I had to deal with "sub-contractors" like a flower guy, a cake gal, the tent, table/chairs and linen rental people, an officiant, pestering guests, and a bride of all things....I'd be FINE.

But there are two differences (for me) between a wedding and a kitchen renovation:
1) I know all about cakes and flowers and chairs and brides. I don't know crap about sinks and outlets and inspections and cabinet doors. This is a very steep learning curve, and it is stressful.
2) Sub-contractors like florists and bakers are a whoooole different beast than sub-contractors like plumbers and tile guys.  It would appear that sub-contractors that build things do not give one single crap about timelines.

Exhibit A: 
Wedding sub-contractors:  The wedding. It's today. The venue is available at 12 noon. The bride and groom say "I do" at 3pm. And those chairs and linens better be in place with flowers on the table, and the food had better be hot but not wilted at 4pm. PERIOD. And if the bride needs to take 10 minutes to wipe the drippy mascara off her face before the formal photos or Aunt Marge is holding up the food line, you, as the wedding general contractor, had better be willing to be on your customer's timeline.

Kitchen sub-contractors:  Have no freakin' idea what date or time they are going to start their portion of the job until it's like, ohhhhh....right before it starts. They can only estimate their start date. Why??  Because they do not know for sure what day they will finish up the day job before the next one. I'm not sure if they can't do it because they are incompetent at time management, or if they just are just being cocky about being told when to work or not work.  Maybe I am just stupid and this is the way it goes in the world of building things...but I doubt it.  If this really was "just how it goes", then how on earth does an actual this-is-what-I-do-for-a-living general contractor schedule the sub-contractors comings and goings?  How does a general contractor manage their subs when every single one of them doesn't know what date they can come in because they want to leave room for errors on the current job??  But the subs also do not want to build in a day for errors because it might just leave then with a dry day with no work.

Honestly, I do not know how a GeneralContactor does it, but you know what??  I CAN'T STAND IT.
I have a strong hunch that a GC does it by also being cocky, and I am pretty sure they do it by telling their subs that if they cannot show up when they are needed, the GC will find someone else.

We do not have that power.

Right now I have 4 subs not knowing exactly what date they can start. They have each given two or three day windows of what days they think they can start, but nothing firm. We have spread each of the sub-contractors and their jobs out far enough apart so that they wont run into each other if they start or end a day or two late, but guess who's kitchen is taking twice as long to build due to all the dry days?? Answer: Mine.  (And would a GC run project this way? Answer: No.)  And guess who cannot make a single plan for the rest of her life and make arrangements to tend to the other things in life she is responsible for??  Answer: Me.   I have to meet with these guys every time a new one starts to let them in, or give them a key, and to discuss job details.  Each one of these cocky mo' fo's has me holding two start dates open them. Wide open. No date, no time.

And they are all converging the week that everything else is happening that I mentioned in the first big paragraph. 
I might need to refill a prescription for happy pills.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

because i am sooo tired.

Engrish for you....


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

one more



And hopefully by the end of June, an "after" shot :-)  

That big opening in the lower cabinet there is where my convection/steam oven is going.
I kind of miss the charm of the original kitchen. I really am into kitsch enough that I loved the wood, the hardware, even that gingerbread trim around the window!  But I know that what we are doing is going to be gorgeous...and I am so excited to see the end result!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

more kitchen details

A few people who know me live and in person (and also follow the blog) talked to me about yesterday's kitchen photos when they saw me today. Almost every one of them asked what our flooring was going to look like. So here it is....

...along with a few other things.  From left to right, the paint strip (we've painted the rest of the interior of the house in the top 5 lighter shades).  The subway tile there will be our backsplashes.  There is a sample of the gray quartz countertop that will go near the sink and stove. All sitting on top of a sample of the flooring, which is a gray and brown swirly sort of thing in marmoleum.  The swirl reminds me of Super Elastic Bubble Plastic (which must date me, for sure LOL). The grays in the flooring pick up the countertop and wall colors and the brown in the flooring ties in with the oak floors in the rest of the house. 

Several people have asked my why I'm going with marmoleum instead of tile, and as a person who uses a wheelchair, crutches, and stands on one leg to reach upper cabinets, I'm just not a fan of tile.  Standing or crutching on smooth tile is risky, and if I add texture to counteract that, it's harder to clean and harder to push a wheelchair on it. 

And besides. I like the marmoleum. It's grooooovy ;-)

Monday, May 21, 2012

before, during....(no after)

I so hope there are "after" photos of our kitchen sometime soon, but here is at least enough progress being made at this point, that I can see my beauuuuutiful kitchen beginning to emerge.  Whee!

Our house was built in 1932 when kitchens were enclosed and appliances moved with you like furniture. There was a formal dining room just outside our kitchen, there was also a very small room off the kitchen that was a breakfast nook, and then there was another wee room off the breakfast nook and dining room  which something like a "drawing room" (or some sort of casual family room type space). 

In the late 1950's or possibly very early 60's, the new owners (the orthodontist whose wife did a lot of entertaining, town historians tell me), blew the kitchen open and remodeled it into the kitchen that we purchased:

(note that the futon is only parked there because we were about to dismantle it and store it and sell it; we never used this space as a living room....and also note that we normally would not keep a torche lamp in a kitchen...but the old knob and tube wiring had been cut at this point, and that was our only lighting for awhile!)

So what you are seeing here is what you'd be seeing if you were standing in the original 1930's dining room. An original 1930's kitchen would have been completely separated from the other living areas. What TheDoc'sWife did was to add a pass-through that had bi-fold or tri-fold doors on it so that the kitchen could be open and closed as needed for entertaining. She also added a very square doorway cut open (maybe it had a swinging door?), but it's right there at right angles to what was an existing arched doorway between the kitchen and the original breakfast nook.  When she added that new doorway, it created a sort of odd angled post right in the middle of everything (and the post had to stay because it holds up the house!).

So like I said, the breakfast nook was just through that arched doorway to the right there over by the tall curtains, and the drawing room was just right off of that (it would be just to the right of where I was standing when I took the photo). Both breakfast nook and drawing room where probably about 10 feet by 10 feet, originally.  What TheDoc'sWife also did at that time, which I don't have a clear photo of, was to remove the walls between that breakfast nook and drawing room. We believe that was probably her formal dining area....and hey, as far as we are concerned, that is where a formal dining table should go. 

But that leaves the original 1930's dining room used in the 1960's as...I don't know what!  A big giant hallway?  I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how she may have used it. It may have just been a big open space, because as it turns out, the doc and his wife had a daughter with physical and developmental disabilities, and this maybe have been where she sat in her wheelchair so she could visit with mom while mom cooked.  We may never know.  What I do know though, is that the people who owned the house right before us used the original 1930's dining room as their dining room (I can tell by the light fixtures they put in), and they used the old breakfast nook and drawing room that had been blown open as some sort of office area (because we can see the old modem hook-ups).


Here is peek at what we have done so far.

We opened up the old pass through, widened it, then took out the square doorway, and made it one big opening, then an arch was added to mirror the other original arch in the back.  Maybe I should point out though, the the original arch back there aint so original anymore either, because we had that doorway widened to be more wheelchair friendly.  Anyhow, opening the arch and adding cabinetry to it to make a bar area help anchor the post and help it make more sense and not just be some free standing thing to stub your toe on.

The pass through has dropped down from being bar height to counter height, and then we let the kitchen sort of ooze out a bit into the old 1930's dining room by way of adding a counter height seating bar on that side. 

 Let me show you from the kitchen side:

So TheDoc'sWife may have sat at this side of the counter on a barstool shelling peas or something and looking out into the old 1930's dining room / 1960's mystery room.  In fact, off to the left there, you can see what was the old drawing room where we are putting our dining room table. 

Anyhow, look at the kitchen side of the bar now.

So when I cook, I will prep on the kitchen side, while people will sit and hang out on the bar side.  There will be a little prep sink going in there on the far right of that counter top too, and that counter will be bamboo.

I guess in this last shot you can sort of see more where we intend on putting our dining room table there, over where that chair is,  and I don' t know if you can see it, but if you look on the floor there you can sort of see some darker brown stripes in the wood.  Those are original 1930's decorative wood inlays in the floor, and where those lines are, that's where the 1930's wall was separating the breakfast nook from the drawing room.

Can you handle one more before-and-during?

This is taken from where the original breakfast nook would have been. I'm standing just under the arched entry into the kitchen, right next to those tall curtains. To the very far left of the frame you can see the futon for sale, and beyond that, the formal living room. Dead ahead there is the 1960's bar and pass through with a sort of butler's pantry next to it (it was all fitted out to hold wine glasses and bar stuff. Kinda cool!)   In between the butlers pantry and the double ranges (neither one functional, and one with completely shattered glass...yay, repo'd homes! LOL), is a doorway leading to the stairway to the second level, plus the hallway leading to the downstairs bedrooms and bath.

Let me give you a better shot of that range area. It's classic.

HolyRetro,Batman!!! Right??!!!  You must know that there was a part of me that almost just refinished the cabinets and put in a drop in range and kept the dual ovens.  I mean, as fracked up as this kitchen is, it's pretty damn cool in it's own charming sort of way.

 I mean, I am charmed to death by stuff like this.

Even though it's pretty beat up and  I know it would suck ass to cook on this beast, my heart has a soft spot for the old stuff.   Well, even if I had wanted to keep all this, the whole house wired up on knob and tube, and we have even seen evidence of where the wiring was starting to show signs of burning through the studs and beams. Scary!!!!  And even though having two ranges is a cool thing, have two tiny ranges is not.  These ovens weren't even big enough for a standard sheet pan or a good sized turkey.

Okay, so here is where we are at as of today in the stove area:

Where the butler's pantry used to be, the fridge is now going.  The stove stayed in the same place, but what I have coming in will be a 36" duel fuel range (and it's very fancy...but the former chef in me could not resist).  Foodie that I am, there is also a second oven being installed over in another part of the kitchen, in a lower cabinet, and it is the home version of a professional steam and convection oven...but I'll have to tell you more about that another day because my fingers are starting to hurt from all this typing! hahahaha

So there ya' have it! Those photos were taken today just after the ceiling was primed for painting.  The cabinets were shipped primed, but not painted, but are being painted in place all during this week.  The counter top guy came today to template for the counter tops near the stove and sink area....and I haven't even shown you that side of the room yet.... jeez! Another time (I also need to write about the hood, because our good friend and handyman designed it and built it and it is awesome).  Anyhow, the stove and sink areas are getting a dark gray quartz surface, even though the bar area will be bamboo.  We are fans of mismatched counter tops.  Also happening today, the tile guy came to look things over so he could create a bid.  It was a busy day full of meetings with 4 different subcontractors!  Cabinet, paint, tile, counter top! Woohoo!!

Things are moving along!  We're well beyond the original mid-April projected completion date, but we're back to having a ball rolling, I think the bad energy TheTurkey contractor left behind has finally cleared, and as I sat there meeting with subcontractors today, I started to get really really excited.

I am falling love with my kitchen :-)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

snaps on sunday, too?

Oh, the life of a daily blogger LOL I aint got nothin'. And I'm exhausted from the retreat. So here is another photo of the same danged thing as yesterday.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

snaps on saturday

with love, from the retreat....

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

what am i thinking not thinking?!

Today's schedule was a tight one.  MyFavoriteKid off to school by 8. An 8:30am to 9:30am meeting with the cabinet installer and the painter to make sure all was understood (because the cabinets arrived only primed and need to be painted...and the cabinet guy needs to finish by Sunday because the painting starts Monday).  Depart from the meeting to pick up my dad before 10am to go to radiation.  Straight to eaching at the senior center until MyFK gets out of school, who then gets taken for a haircut. Home for a minute, but then off to go teach dance class.

When I met with the installer and painter and they asked me how I was, I told them that my day was going to like a shit-storm of falling dominoes if one single thing fell out of place.  They laughed, and then my phone rang, and there you have it:  another domino.

James, the main guy I see at the convalescent hospital on Mondays, the guy whom I have been seeing weekly for, what....7 years or more now?....he called me from the hospital.  Not the convalescent hospital, the hospital  hospital, and he was confused because he woke up there and wasn't sure how he got there, except that the nurses were telling him that he blacked out Wednesday evening.

So I spent every single free moment in between all the other stuff I had to do, dealing with talking to nurses and his doctor and getting permission to help him from the administration (since I'm not family, but I'm all he's got).

And guess what I am doing this weekend?!!  I am going to the zen center for a long overdue 3-day mediation retreat!  Just in time to not be able to help with the hospital stuff, and just in time to not oversee the completion of the cabinet installation (even though we are now the general contractors). 

So instead of doing what probably really needs to be done....I'll be staring at the floor and meditation to "save all sentient beings"....rather than saving my own kitchen, my own friend in the hospital, and my own sanity.  In other words, I'll be staring at the floor thinking about why I am trying not to be thinking about the things I should be thinking about.

Seems kinda stupid.
But I'll send photos.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I am feeling melty. (melted?? whatever.)

Too many details to keep track of, between coordinating the kitchen remodel, dance class, MyFavoriteKid's end of year activities, etc etc etc (etc etc??)

My brain is so melty that I had to abandon my current knitting project (temporarily) for something even a complete beginner could knit. Seriously.  (or as MyFK would say, "srsly".)  I cast-on for a garter stitch shawl.  One that I know I will wear to death, so I am happy to knit it. But it is the most basic, meditative, back and forth pile o' knitting.

I am thrilled. 

I am using two skeins of yarn that have been sitting in a yarn bowl in my livingroom for way too long (years, I am sad to admit).  I was just waiting for just the right pattern. I am knitting this shawl/scarf/thingy in a dark chocolate color as the main, and a golden color as the contrast.  I can already tell you that I will wear it to death.

In other news, if you are following along, I haven't been able to make it to the hairdresser because I am slammed with too many things, and gray hairs abound.  Today my neighbor (the mom of MyFK's best friend) came over and cut my hair for $10 and helped me get a box of over the counter hair color onto my head.  $16.99 instead of I-am-afraid-to-admit-to-how-much.   Do that a couple of times, and it will pay for the fancy kitchen sink I picked out!! LOL

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

maybe this is why my tummy is feeling ooogy today

During my morning check-in on the kitchen at the new place, I discovered that a chunk of the cabinetry was about to be installed incorrectly. No fault of the guy installing. He's been operating off of TheTurkey's plans, elevations, and notes...which "ebb and flow" in such a way, of course, that they are not exact representations of what actually needs to occur to get this damn kitchen built. As he would have said, "You can't know what's going on in my head." Oy. Anyhow, new cabinet guy is awesome, and once I saw things were askew, he totally got it and things were re-set, but jeeeez...had I not been there sooner, it could have a been a lot of undoing. I have such a tummy ache tonight. It's probably just stress (well, and maybe because since I have been feeling stressed lately I haven't been making the best of food choices, either). When this kitchen is done, I swear the first thing I am going to make, as simple as it is, is a pot of pint and chammomile tea to calm my nerves!

Monday, May 14, 2012

One of my Mother's Day cards from yesterday:

Well, aint that the truth?!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

a different kind of mom's day this year

There are two things on my mind this Mother's Day that is setting it apart from all the other Mother's Days I have celebrated.

For starters (and I really do worry about sounding like a shit for saying this, so do let me explain).....this is the first Mother's Day that what I have wanted as a gift is time with my kid. 

I know. I sound like a complete jerk and even saying it here out loud on the internet has me worried that the MommyPolice are going to show up and revoke my card.  But hey.  Most of my years spent mothering have been spent as a single mom, and even when I was not single, I was still pretty much THECaptain at the Helm of the Household, especially in the parenting department, and I would not describe myself as a slacker when it comes to parenting.  From the very beginning of my being a mother, what I always wanted for myself for Mother's Day was a day off.  A spa day. A break.  Please. Help. Tired. Alone time. Please.

Anyhow, a few weeks ago, I was starting to think about how Mother's Day was going to spent this year, and rising up out of my gut was this very different feeling for me.  Fourteen years of spa days (most of them without the actual spa, but hey...I am good at pretending LOL), and this is the first year that rather than craving a day off, I am totally craving that my kid spends time with me.  I guess the key to all of this are the words "fourteen years," and the fact that as MyFavoriteKid gets older, he's spending less and less time with me.  And I miss him.

So we're going out to lunch today with my mom (and my dad, too), to a casual place where we can eat  but also catch the Giant's game at the same time.  Should be really nice :-)

There is one other thing on my mind this Mother’s Day, and it has nothing to do with my mom or my being a mom.

Once upon a time, I had a “dance mom”. She was more than just my dance class teacher, she was my mentor.  She taught me things about dancing that have oozed over into so many other areas of my life that I am a changed person.  Seriously, I would not be who I am today if I had not know her.  She taught me bellydance, but because she herself was also a modern dancer (in addition to her being a bellydancer), her style of bellydance was really about using the movements as a form for creative self-expression. In other words, she sort of approached bellydance like modern dance, in that she used it to tell stories. With her as my example, I have created dance pieces over the years to mark deaths, births, celebrations, and to work my way through some very complex emotions.

Jamie passed away from a brain tumor in 1999.  Her tumor affected her speech center, but that didn't keep her from communicating: she danced right up to the very end.  She was 57 years old. After she passed, a few of us (her more advanced troupe members) began teaching her class, and I have now taught (a variation, because it will never be the same) her method of work for 12 years (twelve years??!! is that possible??!! gah!!).

In 2004 I lost one of my legs in a car accident, and I still teach and perform…. but I so often wish that Jamie could pop into class even if for just one single moment.  I wish I could have Jamie’s perspective on my dancing and feedback about how my one-legged body moves, because I know should would have had plenty to say about it (she was ridiculously outspoken LOLOL....and I laugh because that is an understatement!).

 Here’s a pic of Jamie:

And here’s a pic of me dancing, post accident:

Jamie’s was born on May 13th, so this year her birthday lands today, on Mother’s Day. Had she lived, she would have turned 70 today. I know she would  have still been dancing and teaching in some form or another.

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking about Jamie more than usual this year. I miss my teacher, and even though I love being a teacher myself (and I am learn something every single class from my students), I miss being taught.

At Jamie's memorial I acquired a card that was given out that day.  I keep in my bedroom on my little altar full of things that are special to me. The card has a photo of Jamie posing in one of her dance costumes along with the following poem by Marge Piercy:

When I dance I forget myself, I am danced.
Music fills me to overflowing, and the power moves
Up from my feet to my fingers, making the leaves as sap does.
Taste what is in your mouth.
If it is water, still taste it.
Wash out the cups of your fingers,
Clean your eyes with new tears for your sister.
We are not worse revolutionaries if we remember
That the universe itself pulses like a heart;
That the blood dances within us; That joy is a power.
Treading with hoofs and talons on our flimsy bodies;
That water flows and fire leaps and the land gives strength.
If  you build on it with respect, if you dance on it with vigor,
If you put seeds in with care and give what what is leftover;
That and ritual of unity makes some of what it pretends;
That everything is a part of something else.

Happy Mother's Day to the Mothers out there who are "moms" in others ways than just the traditional.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

snapless saturday

I always post a photo on Saturdays, but if I did that today, it would have been the same shot as yesterday!

I got up at 5:30am to be at the school volunteering by 7am.  It was a really fabulous event, and except for two things, it went pretty seamless. 

1) One of the band directors felt faint on stage, and almost passed out. I got him some water, opened the doors for some air, and he conducted the second half of his group's performance. Then I sent him to the hospitality room for some more water, fruit, and juice.  When I checked on him a few minutes later, he was very flushed, and 15 minutes after that, when his next group (his older kids) were about to go on, I found out that an ambulance had been called.  He looked okay as he was leaving, laughing that he had too much coffee before the show and not enough water on the bus ride in, and his kids still performed and the whole day just progressed forward.

2)  While the bands were performing in the theater, the choral groups were performing down the hall. At one point as a band was about to start, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" started leaking out of the sound system in the theater.  It sent me on a bit of a scramble, and it turned out that the soloists mike down the hall (cordless) was on the same frequency as the system in the theater. Who woulda knew.

Those both sound like big things, now that I type them up, but honestly...the day went really really smoothly regardless, and I sure hope our school gets to host again because it's worth some bucks to the music department if we do!

Now I go, and pass out from exhaustion!

Friday, May 11, 2012

band after band after band after band

Oh my gosh, being the announcer took more out of me than I thought today! I didn't even have time to stop and knit in between! 
Just home now at 10:30pm and I have to be back again at 7am.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I have a busy couple of days ahead of me, so my daily posts oughta be interesting! (well, or really boring LOL) Maybe I'll try to queue something up for tomorrow ahead of time...hmmmmm.

Anyhow, Thursdays are not hectic, they are just quite full. I have been taking dad to his radiation treatments every Tue-Thu (he goes with mom Mon-Wed-Fri). After that we run a few errands, then I teach knitting at the senior center in the afternoon, then I teach dance class at night.

And then this week Friday and Saturday are quite full! On Friday my goal is always to make it to the Friday morning knitting group, and then we become "Ladies Who Lunch" afterwards. We'll have to see if that works out for me this week, because this Friday is the day the kitchen cabinets are delivered and the new sub-contractor starts. I might need to be on-site. We'll see.
And for the record, I'm kinda freakin' out.

Whatever I end up doing for the earlier part of Friday, the second half of Friday is shot.

I am volunteering at MyFavoriteKid's high school Friday and Saturday. His music program is hosting a national music festival. It's a first time thing for his school.  This festival is usually hosted by the neighboring high school, but they somehow dropped the ball. Our Band Director has scrambled to pick up the slack and put this whole thing together in 3 weeks!! It's a big deal because apparently the National group that organizes this program is looking for a new host school, and if our school gets it, it could mean a huge chunk of money each year for the music program.

 I'll be there working from 3pm to 10pm on Friday, and then on Saturday my shift is 7am (gah!) to 3pm. I will be the official theater announcer for both days, which is a pretty cush job...and I think I'll be off stage enough that I might be able to get some simple knitting done. I am going to cast on some new socks in a light colored yarn just in case.

Once this whole thing is over at 3pm on Saturday I am supposed to take a dance class with live drummers after that from 4pm to 6pm, but I believe that to be highly unlikely, the more I think about it. I feel bad about it because the class is being hosted by one of the members of my dance troupe, and also because when I went to the last one, I had so much fun!!   But I think I might be so exhausted, and drumwork is quite hard on my leg....I'm worried about injuring myself.  Which is not something I have time for.

And then Sunday. Sunday is Mother's Day, of course... but I DO have a few things to say about Mother's Day this year, so if Friday and Saturday are scant here on the blog, look for something on Sunday.

Have a great weekend y'all!! xoxox!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

a yarn bombing of olympic proportion

Do click through on the have to see the rest of the photos! The close ups of certain sections are the best :-)

Even the paralympics were included! Woot!

I sure hope it's not treated like graffiti and stripped away in a day like most of the yarn bombing in Berkeley.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Ohhh, I had forgotten how much I liked visiting


Monday, May 07, 2012

things i ponder

You know, I'm not a huge fan of the Price is Right....I mean, I don't seek it out and turn it on. It's just one of those shows that I catch out of the corner of my eye while I'm doing housework if I've left the television on too long. Or if I'm sick in bed with a cold. And I enjoy it. And I shout out my guesses from the sideline and my eyes water if just the right person wins a whole pile o' goodies and all that....

 But even though I have only just caught it out of the corner of my eye or watched while sick in bed, I have been doing that since I was a wee little tyke, like way back in the Bob Barker days, and it's been years now that I have been asking myself (in a very agitated tone):

Am I tripping out on furniture polish or dryer sheets or cold meds??  Or have I really never seen a disabled person on the stage of the Price is Right??  I, personally, have never seen one. Have you?? (hint: NO. Well, at least not a person in a wheelchair. For some reason I do believe I saw a military version of the show once where the entire audience was made up of folks in various branches of the service, and I sure seem to recall seeing a prosthesis in there somewhere....but I also mighta been on Nyquil and may be entirely making this up in my head).

I mean, I guess the issue is that disabled people aren't so great for marketing, right? Or for making sure you hit your commercial break on time, which may not happen if our gimpy selves are going to take to long to get from point A to point B.  Is that the issue??  Or is it that we can't jump up and down like a game-show-fool or drive away in the car or RV they have won without adapting the vehicle first ....but is that really even the point when we cant even get up the stairs if our names were called?!?! (not that you are pulling names out of a hat or anything though, are you...hrmph).

ANYHOW. These things I ponder.

But apparently, I am not alone.
Like, I am really not aloneNopeI am definitely not.  LOLOL

Sunday, May 06, 2012


I just woke up on the couch with the tv on and knitting in my hands.  I fell asleep knitting! hahahaha
I couldn't take a photo of myself, but imagine I looked something like this...

...because this was my couch crashing partner in crime.

Sorry so blurry, but I was/am half asleep!  Off to bed now. The real bed!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

snaps on saturday

Knittin', snackin', sippin'.....what a super wonderful afternoon it was :-)

MyFavoriteKid is off at his dad's this weekend and this is the first Saturday in a very long time that TheMostImportantGuy and I have not had to go look at appliances or tile or countertops or flooring or meet with potential contractors. Yay!  We got up early and went for morning practice at the zen center. We went out to breakfast with the zen center peeps.  We looked over the wedding photos I took with last weekend's bride and groom.  On the way home we stopped off at the home of the wonderful Kimberly (from the Friday knitting group I go to) as she was hostessing a little party. I figured we'd be there a from noon until 2-ish....just a couple of hours.  We were there for SIX HOURS and it was fabulous and I might have had to spend the last hour or two waiting for my cocktails to wear off (best rum I have ever had). Anyhow, lots of fun, lots of laughs.  And lots of doggie cuteness!

Friday, May 04, 2012


Sad news.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

oh my gosh...down to the wire!

Blogging 365 and having a meeting after dance class that runs until after 11 just does not cut it sometimes!  It's 11:59 and I just opened up the window here to be begin typing.  And I have an early morning!! 

So here's a brief check-in!

I am feeling more like myself these past few days.  Less stressed. Lighter.
People that know me in real life and see me fairly regularly are telling me that I am looking more like myself. Less stressed. Lighter.

Indeed this is a good sign :-)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

i coulda been in pictures....

A nice well rounded day.  Too bad I didn't take a single snapshot. I would have been much more fun to share this by way of photo.
Here, try to visualize:

a morning doctor's appointment
a bit of time at home to catch up on housework
teaching knitting at the high school
cocktails and dinner with a friend, it was her birthday :-)
then on to a trunk show at a local yarn shop

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

part two

Finally.  The second part of the story about how our contractor walked off the job.  It's all rambl-y and messy because even though I have tried to edit it, I just keep rewriting it because I am trying to type it up the same way it would come out of my mouth if you were sitting here with me over a cup of coffee. Or a beer. Or two.

Here's Part 1 if you missed it ;-)


Okay. So, as previously described, TheTurkey of a contractor had indeed proven himself to be A WorldClassTurkey, but none of the prior offenses were big enough pieces of straw to break the proverbial camel's back.

Here is what finally ended the sick and twisted relationship.

The cabinet order was going to be delayed by 3 weeks.  TheTurkey came to me and said, "You know, there is going to come a point where I will have done all of the work that I can do here until the cabinets arrive, and I cannot afford to have days with no work.  I have several smaller one week jobs lined up for after your kitchen, but the people are flexible with the start date. I can arrange to do one, two, or three of them while we wait for the cabinets to arrive, and then come back to finish."

Fair enough.  I ask TheTurkey if he can give me two weeks notice, he says no, but he can give me one and we agree to that.  The following Wednesday he declares that he is hereby giving a one week's notice. As of that following Wednesday, he will have done all that can be done and he will be at a stopping point until the cabinets arrive.

Ok, cool.

That next Monday, the Monday before the Wednesday that is to be his last day for awhile, TheTurkey texts me says:
It appears we will be working here through the week and gone next week. 
(except he misspelled "through" and "week", but hey....)

Now, being that this guy is billing or job as time and materials, it seems fair enough to be that I should asking myself, "Hmmm!!  So, did TheTurkey really find two more days worth of stuff for he and his guy/crew to do?? Like really?  Another 32 hours with of labor?? Really?? After he was so sure he'd be out of things to do by Wednesday??  Or is the problem really that his 'other flexible job' was really not that flexible and he really could not start working there in the middle of the week?  Is it possible that he is just killing time on our job so that he isn't off the clock for two days?"

Doesn't that question seem legit??  I sure think it does.   I mean, he really could have things to do on our job, but how do I know if I don't ask, right??
But I sit with myself for a moment, and I realize that as legit of a question as it is to be asked,  I am not the one to ask it.
I am punchy.  I am overwhelmed, crabby, worried about appliances and fixtures, worried about my dad and his health stuff, I have had a week or so of being manipulated by my teenager, I was busy thinking about and preparing for performance stuff, I wasn't sleeping well....I mean, I could see where this train was gonna go, and I wanted off.  I KNEW that if I asked this seemingly legit question it had the potential to go wrong.

So I called TheMostImportanGuy and related to him the text message I had received and my concerns (and he joined me in my concern), and told him that I did not think I was the best person to follow up with TheTurky and why, and he said he would do it. And he did.  Well, he tried to.  He texted TheTurkey and asked him to call.  TheMIG did not get a call back from TheTurkey that afternoon or evening.  So the next morning, TheMIG left a written message for TheTurkey on the jobsite that asked him to call first thing.

Well.  TheTurkey did not call TheMIG.  Instead, he texted me:
Goodmorning. Call or stop by. Thanks.
Now, I don't know why I did what the text said to do.  I have ran this over and over in my mind, because it was my biggest mistake.  But I went.

I got to the house and TheTurkey started to apologize that he wasn't giving me the one week's notice on what day he was going to start or stop. He has said Wednesday, and now he was changing it Friday, and he hoped that wouldn't be a problem.  I told him that the concern with the change was that we were concerned about how Thursday and Friday were going to be spent, since he had told me he would be out of things to do by Wednesday.  I told him that TheMIG had left messages for him to call to discuss that, and that he should call TheMIG and be prepared to itemize how the time would be spent.

This is where the conversation declined rapidly. First TheTurkey told me that he'd never said that.  He insists that he never told me that he'd have run out of things to do.  I might have believed him had he not told me that more than once, and if he had not already proven himself a highly poor communicator.  But I knew he had said it.  I could bet my life on it.  Then TheTurkey proceeds to tell me that of course there was more work to do and that I just didn't understand how things were working because (and I kid you not, this is verbatim):
"all of these details are inside my head, and there is no way you can seeeee into my head, and well....projects just ebb and flow."
(when he said this, he sort of waved his arm around like making undulating waves in the ocean, like a surfer dude).

Now, I do not doubt for one minute that projects ebb and flow duuuude (I know that on a remodel there are always unforseen items), but Turkey, you told me you were out of things to do and now suddenly you have 32 hours with worth of things to do and you are charging me by the hours, so uhhhh.....NO, that aint workin' for me.

And, I could see where this was going.  I was gonna rip this guy a new asshole, because if it isn't coming across clear enough in my retelling of this story, what has also been going on here between TheTurkey and I was that he was treating me like the stupid chick that shows up at the autoshop and doesn't know where her dipstick is and is about to get screwed royally by her mechanic.
Except that I know where the dipstick is, muthah fuckahhhh.

So I was standing there, listening to him ramble on about what it is that he was going to do for the other 2 days, and most of it were things I was not real clear would take that amount of time.  And I was tired.  And emotionally rubbed raw from the whole host of other things going on in my life.  And so I come to my senses quite quickly and realize that I should not have even come to the jobsite, and I tell TheTurkey, "Look. I did not want to have this conversation with you. I am stressed.  TheMIG texted you to discuss this with you, and you did not return his call. He also left you a note. I am leaving now.  I will call TheMIG and have him go over this with you."

I said it with a level of civility that I was so impressed with that, I shit you not, I practically pat myself on the back and gave myself a gold star.  Yay me! I left!  I did not escalate!  I did not start an argument! I recognized my limits! I took care of myself by asking for help!  I am walking away from drama!! Yay me!!!!!

Until TheTurkey followed me out to my car.  So I reiterated, "I do not want to discuss this with you. I am stressed. I will have TheMIG call you."    Assertively, I said that!  Not yelling!  Just holding my boundaries! Yay me!!! I rock!!!!   And so I get in my car and shut the door.   I call TheMIG to relay the situation and to have him call TheTurkey.  TheTurkey comes back to my car, and pulls open my car door and starts shoving his phone in my face to show me that he did not see a text from TheMIG to call him.  I respond by telling him that I was not going to look at his phone, but even if he didn't get a text, he was left a note to call TheMIG, and all of this was done because I did not want to have this discussion with him in the first place, and that once again, I was stressed, and that I was leaving, and that TheMIG would call him in a few minutes.

Irritated, I was. Clearly. But not enraged.  And quite proud of myself for holding my ground but not blowing my top. And I pulled shut my car door and wrapped up my call with TheMIG.

But as I was driving off to leave, TheTurkey was circling my car and preventing me from leaving.  He finally walked towards the front of the car again waving his arms around the whole time, but because he was out of my way, I was able to back out and leave.


So TheMIG tries to get a hold of him, and cannot get an answer for quite some time.  They finally have a brief chat and they agree to have a discussion later that evening.  That night they end up having an hour long discussion about the day and what happened.  They talk about how the two mystery work days in question are going to be spent (and every time TheTurkey lists what he is going tor work on for those two days, the list changes...odd, that).  It is during this time that TheTurkey is saying things like, "You guys shot me today!" over and over,  and TheTurkey is also telling TheMIG that I attacked him (?!!).    (yah, that's what I was doing...attacking I was fleeing the scene and trying to get him to let go of my car door. hmm!)

 It as at about 45 minutes into this phone conversation where TheMIG is trying to resolve things, that TheTurkey says, " whoever does your cabinet install should..."   and TheMIG says, "What?!?!"  and TheTurkey says, "Oh I guess I haven't make myself clear. I am no longer going to work on this job,"  and mind you the whole 45 minutes worth of conversation prior to that comment, he has never said a thing about walking off the job.

Clearly TheTurkey had made his mind up about quitting much earlier in the day. In fact, at some point (probably immediately after blocking my car in),  we have learned that he was down at the city offices trying to get himself taken off of the building permits.  He was also clearing out everything he had onsite as far as tools and equipment, and it was gone by the time TheMIG had even had a chance to phone him to discuss anything!

Yah, well.  Goodbye.  Good riddance.

Except that you Turkey you, you have left us with a huge hot mess to deal with, and we have been cleaning it up for weeks.  
 And that is another part of the story, and I dont know if it is one I will ever tell or not, because a) you all know how I am about finishing posts that I promise, and b) I might just choose to forget the last two weeks in an effort to move forward.

So for now, I am signing off. This is your ContractorAttacker "shooting you" a good night ;-)

(and  PS, can bet your bippy I will be rating him poorly on Angie's List where we found him. I'll be filing complaints in a few other places, too.  I'm just waiting until the kitchen is done, because at the very least, TheTurkey has agreed to speak with the incoming contractor to explain where things were left off, and I don't want to screw that up as it might be useful. But when we're done?  Watch the frack out!)