Wednesday, October 31, 2012

happy halloween

From our house to yours....

new decorations at TheNewDiggs

Hey, cool thing about that banner?  I made it myself!  I took a serging class at Stitch Sewing Lab in Berkeley, and followed that up with a project class where there was also some applique work done on their embroidery machines.  Put the two together, and now I have Halloween bunting to add to my decoration stash!

Hope you all had a great Halloween.  It was soggy here, so I opened my home (YeOldHouse) up to a gaggle of teenagers.  I kept throwing food at them to counter-balance the candy, and they watched flopped on the couch and watched Shaun Of The Dead and answered the door and handed out candy when the little ones came by.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the veil is thin

Monday, October 29, 2012

things that happened today

~  I had jury duty, and made it all the way to the juror's box for extensive questioning about whether or not I could be fair. I was finally excused by the defendant's attorney late in the day.  It was a civil case where a kid who broke his femur in a car accident was suing another driver for damages.  It would appear that my losing a leg in a car accident perhaps makes me biased.  (every once in awhile this gimp thing works in my favor, just like when I get good parking...but most the time it doesn't)

~ While on a break at the courthouse, I went to grab a cup of chai at the corner coffee house. I was in my wheelchair, crossing the intersection, carrying the coffee in one hand and pushing myself with the other.  A yelled at me from way across the 4 lane intersection, "Hey!! You need a cup holder for that thing!!"  Not wanting to match his assness, I raised my cup to him in a toast, to which he then responded by yelling, "I love seeing people like you doing okay!!! It makes me realize I'm not so bad off after all!!!"   (*ahem*.  So happy to oblige. *ahem*)

~ MyFavoriteKid, who felt a little bit of a lump in his throat last night, called my mom from school today while I was at jury duty asking to go home.  Thankfully, she brought him to the doctor, and we are now awaiting strep throat results.  This could make the rest of the week interesting.

~ So I went to the market for more flavors of herbal tea and some chicken soup for MyFK.  Once again, I was in my wheelchair. While I was unloading my groceries onto the belt, the lady behind me pulled up in one of the motorized shopping carts provided by the store.  She was missing the same leg as me, and it was the same length as mine, too.  Aside from her being 20+ years my senior, we were a matching set.  She had sent her bi-pedal shopping companion (daughter maybe?) back to pick up something she forgot. She unloaded her motorized cart completely unassisted. By the time the companion came back, I was done checking out and just waiting for my final items to be bagged, so the companion waited at the exit of the checkout stand rather than trying to squeeze her way down the register past her partner's motorized cart.  As I was leaving with all my groceries, the companion said, "Don't you need help with that?"  I said, "No thank, I've got it."
To which she says (loud enough for her disabled friend to hear), "WELL AREN'T  YOU AMAZING. BLESS YER HEARRRRT."  (gag me)

~ I ended up on the Craftini blog....sporting a beard, no less.   Eep!! hahahahahah

~ I came home and made lots of soup and tea and watched PBS and Dancing With The Stars and caught up on Ravelry threads and knit and knit and knit (and finished a headband/earwarmer for TheMostImportantGuy).


Maybe this list sort of explains why some days it's just easier to stay home than it is to go out LOLOL.   I've said this before, but I'll say it again:

The only times I remember that I am disabled is when you remind me.
I don't like being a hermit, but you can see how it happens.  Even though I have gotten to a point where I am no longer shocked and actually find it pretty still makes me want to stay home some days, so I can just sit tea and knit and be normal for a cotton pickin' minute!! LOLOL

Sunday, October 28, 2012

and that's all i have to say about that.

Ok, maybe I do have to say one little thing "about that":


(and if you don't know what the photo of the broom is for...well, you just nevermind LOL)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

snaps on saturday

Friday, October 26, 2012

playin' around with the fake foliage

I had a little fun today at the big box craft shop...

Fake black fern and poinsettias and oak branches, all studded with glitter...and some springy sequin thingies with glitter spiders and webs on them.  Silly(!), but I picked up this old plated silver vase last week, and I just had to put it to some use! 

 I know they are supposed top be spiders,
but they sort of remind me of ticks...ewww!  hahahaha

I'm thinking after this weekend I'll exchange this for some fall foliage for Thanksgiving, and then I'll swap that out for some evergreen branches for the winter holidays. I betcha in spring the vase will look lovely with some daffodils, too.  Time to put that thrifted vintage find to work!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

now i need a bug book, too

As if identifying the birds in my area was not enough, I'm now beginning to get drawn in by The Bugs In Da' Hood as well.

Weird little guy.
Off to do some research!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

that. cat.

Here's yet another view of the feral cat that trolls the neighborhood (YeOldHouse) and aggravates my dogs to no end.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

post performance let down

I am seriously feeling blue today.  MyFavoriteKid (who is not really quite so favorited today) has been a teenage pain because he isn't getting his way, and that is not helping my mood any.  When he doesn't get his way he like to remind me what a crappy parent I am being, and while I know for a fact that isn't true, it still hurts to hear.

Anyhow, I seem over sensitive to his little drama, so what I think is really happening here is Post Performance Let Down. 

I have performed enough to know how this goes.  Creating a show is laborious, the "day of" is sort of like "the push", you birth the show, you instantly forget the pain, and then....
Well, then you are faced with dirty diapers and a huge shift in hormones that gives you the blues. 

I was going to say more about this and add an image, so I googled "post performance let down" as an image search, and I have to say.....I'm not so blue any more.  It's pretty friggin' hilarious!  I love it when the internet is good therapy :-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

go giants!

My San Francisco Giants (yes, I said "my") are playing Game 7 of the National League playoffs right now .  It's the top of the 5th, and we are winning 7 - 0. 
If we go to the World Series, prepare to see more posts like these for a couple of weeks!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Just a little list of what I did today....

A more relaxed than usual morning with TheMostImportantGuy. 
A run to the doggy-daycare (and overnight care) to pick up the pups (I had left them there so I wouldn't have to worry about the crazy neighbor and an open dog door, since I was gone all day for the show).
A trip out with TheMIG to pick up his PA system that he had rented out for the weekend. 
Lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant.
Lots of clean-up at the house (several days of neglect, plus unpacking and airing out the dance costumes).
Watched the SF Giants kick some 7 tomorrow. Woot!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

snapless saturday

Great show tonight.  I really had a good time performing, and the show felt very full and well rounded.  Lots of positive audience feedback. 

But I have no photo taken today!   It was all work-work-work, set up to tear down, and the camera never made it out of the bag.  I did see lots of cameras being used, so maybe at some point soon something will appear and I will post it here....of course!

Friday, October 19, 2012

meet the new dance partner

At tomorrow night's concert, I will be performing a solo from deep inside this mask....


Here are my program notes:

Golden Being 
"You Are Beautiful", Helen Money; "Sanvean (I am your shadow)", Lisa Gerrard 

Sometimes life's events cause us to overprotect the light within us that we brought with us when we were born. This dance explores reconnecting the core of Self and creating space so that the light may shine through. 
The third in a trilogy using masks to explore archetypes, Golden Being was preceded by "Another Version of The Truth" (Quan Yin) performed in 2007, and "Open Spaces" (Pele) performed in 2009. A evening length performance of the trilogy is on the horizon. 

If you'd like to come see our show, please do! Details here (click on photo to embiggen). It's an evening length concert with two troupe bellydances, a number of solos and duets, and a few musical pieces, including a grand finale with a percussion ensemble. Fun times :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

dress rehearsal was tonight....

....and I am. Utterly. Exhausted. 
And that's all I have to say 'bout that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

sometimes i just think it's "the way"

I know I am notorious for must just be my nature....but this in not a complaint at all, it is just a recounting of what is going on over here this week!

We have our big concert this Saturday, and for me, the week and a half leading up to any show of ours finds me busier than usual.  There's a tech rehearsal, a dress rehearsal, and solo rehearsals of my own piece(s).  There's usually costumes coming together or being tweaked, and as co-director of the troupe, there is a whole host of production stuffs that I also need to keep track of.  Again, I'm not complaining about any of this.  I signed up! I'm just noting that it's a busier than normal week.

What's happening though, is a few more things I did not sign up for!  Like losing power in the kitchen for 6 days and needing to host an electrician for two visits.  I also did not sign up for a dental issue that is bad enough that I had to go to the dentist today, and he is now referring me for a possible root canal.

I have no time for this, people!!!

Again, not complaining...I swear!  I am actually even laughing a bit over here, because this always just seems to be the way things roll around here!  When it rains, it pours!  None of this surprises me at all anymore, and there is something about knowing this that makes it all the easier to accept.  But it's gettin' kinda a hectic!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

chalk one up on the parental score card

MyFavoriteKid has resisted watching any of the debates by using any excuse or strategy possible.

Tonight I fed MyFK his dinner on the coffee table, right in front of the television.   He watched while he ate, and I figured as soon as he'd gobbled down his food, he'd make a mad dash to his bedroom.  Instead he hung around.  When I asked him why, he said, "This is interesting!"

(hate to say it but....*ahem* ....TOLD YA'!!!)

Monday, October 15, 2012

patio party (poco)

The set up for a little "party on the patio" at the convalescent hospital today.  It was a Hispanic Heritage celebration, complete with Mexican music on the boom box, "margarita flavored" Crystal Light, and actual-real-thang pollo y carnitas tacos.  James loved them; had four. 

I just sat in the sunshine and knit and watched the papel picado blowing in the breeze.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

sort of like camping

There's a bit of kitchen camping going on at YeOldHouse.  On Thursday, I lost power to half of the kitchen outlets (the most important half, of course!).  There is no power to the stove, the refrigerator, and the section of countertop that holds the coffee maker, the toaster, and the microwave.

My neighbor from two doors down at this place, who is also the electrician who did all the work at TheNewDiggs, came by the afternoon that it went out to take a look.  We were both thinking that I'd burnt a fuse at the box and it would be a quick fix. He was just stopping by on the way home.  Turns out it was not a quick fix at all.  And while he was using his little tool to test the GFI's around the house, he popped off the outlet in the garage, so then there was no power to the garage, either.

Now, all that really needed to happen was to push in the little GFI button on the outlet in the garage, but guess what?!  We couldn't find the outlet!!  We ripped apart the garage and all the crap stored in there looking for it, and couldn't find it.

Two hours later, my electrician neighbor had to go, and I had crap all over my garage so I could no longer park in there, and extension cord connecting the garage door opener to an outlet inside the house, and then to "treat" the original problem, another extension cord was run so I could plug in at least just the refrigerator.

Neither I or my neighbor had time to deal with any of this on Friday or over the weekend.  Today TheMostImportantGuy at least found the danged GFI outlet in the garage. It was hiding behind the post of one of my storage bookcases. Sheesh. We ran a bunch of the junk to the donation station, and cleared up the rest.  So yay! I can at least park in the garage (which really isn't about parking in a garage, it's more about having a handicapped accessible way to get things into the house!).

The fridge however...lordy!  LOL  I have to unplug it to run the microwave, which I sort of need because I have no oven!   Tomorrow my schedule is at odds with the electrician once again, but I he should be able to come on Tuesday.  And tomorrow I'll order a pizza or something.  Oy!

I now modern conveniences are awesome, but sometimes I just long for an icebox.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

snaps on saturday

Seems like whenever we're entertaining at TheNewDiggs and I'm trying out new recipes, I always forget to take a pic of the food until it's over and done with. Oh well!  Tonight our friends brought some craft beers, so I started off by setting out some olives and then the best friggin' candied nuts I have ever made.  What made them so great??  BACON.  Oh my god. Awesome.  I made a vegetarian version too, for TheMostImportantGuy, just added some extra salt and used butter for the fat. 

Then I made a salad and a couple of pizzas. I did a Greek pizza that I have made once before and loved, and then I tweaked this recipe for a mushroom pesto and fontina pizza by using a grill pan for the mushrooms, and then just doing the pizza on a standard crust in the oven.  

The fun part of the evening though was making sundaes. 

My friend surprised me by showing up with baked gooey chocolate cookies, so we through those down in some mugs, topped that with ice creams and gelatos, and then I had a chocolate sauce and a burnt caramel sauce. Whipped cream and toasted pecans.

Dang, fun times and food.
I am really really enjoying the new kitchen :-)

Friday, October 12, 2012

a bit of a crafty explosion

knitting and snacking and sipping and beading and looking at travel pics on an ipad
a full table!

The regular hostess with the mostess of our Friday morning knit group was unavailable today, so I had offered up my place (TheNewDiggs).  Not everyone could make it, but there was a half dozen of us, and speaking for myself, I had a really fine time. 

I wasn't actually sure any of them would come.  I live the farthest north of everyone (including a bridge with a toll), so it's a bit of a trek....and there is something about that bridge that typically keeps people from coming more often.  But come they did!  It was really nice to give them a tour of the house they have been hearing me complaining about remodeling for so long....and I just love bringing more vibrant energy into the place. Something about knitters, I guess. They left behind a nice warm fuzzy feeling!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I was in the bathroom prepping to paint my toenails.  I realized I was down to the last few drops of polish remover.  As I poured it onto the cotton pad, I actually said to myself in my head, "Oooo, save some for the other foot!"

Funny, that.  I don't have another foot.  And I have not had another foot what...coming up on nine years now?? Sheesh!

An elephant never forgets.

Here's why I was changing my polish today, by the way.

As part of getting ready for dance concerts, we often show our works in progress and get feedback from the other dancers. A few weeks ago I showed my solo and one of the comments I got was that my toenail polish was over attracting attention to my feet (pardon me again, my foot).

Maybe this is why.

L to R: Dark purple, so burgundy it's almost black, pepto pink,
robin's egg blue, forest green, a shiny sort of iris purple thing, 
lime green, and ink blue with sparkles.  

Not exactly neutrals, right??  My first (internal) response to that feedback came from my very rebellious inner teenager, who was like, "Well, good! Fuck you!!" (it's important to note that my rebellious outer teenager in real life said that very thing, then wore spandex pants and had really big hair).

But the choreographer in me knows that it's a legitimate observation. 

I cannot tell you how many dances by other people I have seen, but not really seen, because I was too busy staring at the wrong shade of lipstick or the wrong jewelry or something.  The details do matter.

And when I looked around the dance studio, I realized that I was the only person in the troupe wearing color on my toes.

So here's what I tried on today.

Total frickin' snore-fest, and when I look at my foot, it doesn't even look like my own---my foot looks all nekkid and my toes sort of blend in with the floor!  But I'll take a hit for the team and sacrifice beauty for art and all that....hahahahahaha.

I might go shopping for one more shade darker...maybe with a hint of taupe in it. Or I might not. It seems a little silly to buy one more bottle of polish that I won't ever really wear!  I think the day after the show I'll repaint them that lime green :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

bigger hammer!

My poor iPad has been on the fritz.   A couple of months ago, I had two separate episodes of red streaks showing up on my screen in certain sections, then mysteriously going away.  The iPad worked fine for a few weeks after that, and then 4 days ago, I got neon green streaks instead of the read, and they were not mysteriously going away, and rebooting wasn't helping any either.

Tonight TheMostImportantGuy came over (Wednesday date night) and said he would google the issue to see if there was a fix for my green screen problem.  He found a thread where a whoooole mess of iPad users said they had gotten rid of the green by dropping their iPad on the floor. They dropped it onto a specific corner of the iPad, and they dropped in onto carpeted floors.  He wanted to try it, but I asked if he could first check to see if this floor dropping routines worked for red screens as well as green, as I had experienced both...and what if the fix for one created permanent damage for the other!  I was in the kitchen getting dinner together while TheMIG researched, and at some point I heard him laughing hysterically.  When I went to see why, he was watching this video:

Then he got out the hammer, tapped my iPad very gently 4 or 5 times, and viola! The green splotches lines disappeared.

Take that, tech support ;-)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

put a bird on it

This guy was making a racket today in my yard, hanging out in the cherry trees.

I know I owe the neighbor update, but the neighbor makes me nervous and causes me to lose lots of precious sleep, and I am exhausted.  Additionally, the next week and a half are crunch time for me with the dance concert coming. I spent most of today looking over and repairing costumes and props, then emailing all parties involved details about the upcoming tech rehearsal this Thursday.

I will tell stories soon, but I just gotta prioritize, and the concert has a much firmer deadline!

Monday, October 08, 2012

my killer find this weekend

I cannot believe I found about $500 worth of All Clad at the thrift store. Deal of the century!  The interior is in perfect condition, and just a couple of minor scratches on the outside (nothing bad, and certainly nothing that will affect performance). I'm about the give the whole set a scrubbin' with Bar Keeper's Friend.  I'm stoked, because with this purchase I now have enough cookware at TheNewDiggs to pull of Thanksgiving dinner. Woohoo!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

new addition

Every year I invest in one new Halloween decoration. This year's might just be my most favorite ever!
She's peeking out the front window of TheNewDiggs.

She's life sized and super-eery-creepy AND I LOVE HER  :-D

Saturday, October 06, 2012

snaps on saturday

A little pit stop today at Moschetti'sCoffee, an indie roaster in our neighborhood that hosts a little community gathering every Saturday morning at their roasting plant.  Coffee tastings (best danged coffee I have ever had. Seriously. And I was a tasting trainer at Peet's at one point in my life.), local artisans, musicians, and general good cheer.

Friday, October 05, 2012

side tracked

This is not the post I intended to write today (I know, I know...what else is new)....but something has come up.

The back story:
In February, one of my neighbors (in the neighborhood of YeOldHouse) passed away.

I filched these pictures during the slide show at the funeral.  I could swear I wrote about him somewhere on this blog, maybe not right away, but somewhere...and I could even swear that I wrote a secondary post later about his wife who knits.  I can't find them anywhere.  So let me re-cap.

This guy was like the mayor of our little community here.  We have cluster mailboxes up near the front gate, and his house was positioned very close by.  He would sit every afternoon in his garage at a little table right near the edge of the driveway, drinking a can of Coors or iced tea, and he watch people picking up their mail.  As for me, he'd always he'd always wave as we as you went by. Well, he'd more point. Like bang-bang, like he was shootin' at ya', with a wink.   I'd stop and talked to him from to time to time about all sorts of things.  He was a sweetheart of a man. 

A couple of years before he passed, the community was having a garage sale, and his wife Anne had all her vintage knitting needles out for sale.  She said she just didn't have time anymore. I snapped them all up. I keep most of them in a vase in my bedroom.

The first week after Mr Cray died, Anne accidentally locked herself out of her house, and she came to my house and sat for awhile until we could figure out how to get some spare keys to her.  We talked then and I invited her to join us at the the senior center knitting group.  I would invite her every time I would see her walking to and from the mailbox.  She say she wasn't quite ready yet, but soon. She was also worried she might have forgotten.  At one point, I think a month or two ago (time is playing tricks on me) I left a package on her doorstep with some yarn, and a pattern, and a few pairs of her old needles.  I included a note again about coming to the senior center, as I really felt she'd enjoy the company of the ladies there.  When I next ran into her at the mailbox and she asked me when I'd come over and sit with her and knit.  Every time I'd drive by her house I'd remind myself that I needed to do that....and then I'd get too busy.

And today she passed away :-(

MyFavoriteKid says he thinks she died of broken heart, and I agreed, because the first words that flashed through my mind was "Where the Red Fern Grows".

There was a photo of Anne posted at the community mailboxes along with a note that said she passed while visiting her sister in Florida, and that there would be new about funeral stuff. 

She was very involved in her local church here, so I'm sure we will be going back there soon for another slide show.  

I have to just say, it's sometimes a really horrible feeling to see these things posted at the mailbox.   Often times the notices at the mailbox are things like a list of the birthdays happening this month in the community, or like this month, that we are having a neighborhood potluck.  But then every once in awhile, things like today happen.

We pulled up, I was still in my car, I looked over to the mailboxes, and saw her photo from a distance, and it was like, "Oooooohhhhhh nooooooooooo."  A bit of an arrow through the heart.

Three weeks ago (and I suck for not even blogging this) another neighbor of mine, Tom, passed away due to coronary issues....totally out of nowhere.   He was only in his late 60's.   I saw heard an ambulance that morning, and the next day, there was the note on the bulletin board.  It was a horrible shocker for me. He was a big giant of man, and he and his wife had had me over to see their kitchen remodel, plus he'd been into YeOldHouse here to help me figure out some ideas for adding a wooden deck.  His stepson cleans my gutters every year and helps me weed the garden.

It's rough.

On the other hand....let me just say I am super duper grateful to live here where so many of us know each other. I've lived in places where hardly anybody knows anybody, and this is not even remotely the case here.

The fact that I have friends here is one of things that has me feeling a wee bit safer as I deal with my actual next door neighbor (the dog shooter). And that is what I had intended on writing about tonight.  I will do it.  Soon. Hopefully over the weekend...although it's a busy one.  If it doesn't work out, then Monday...because I definitely have updates.

have a great weekend, y'all
and Love They Neighbor

Thursday, October 04, 2012

guilty pleasures

I was so proud of myself tonight. I got to the dance studio an hour before class started and was going to spend some time in the space.

And then I realized I didn't have my studio keys. I was going to have to wait until my co-dance teacher KarenTheDancingLurker showed up to let me in. *sigh*

I thought about sitting in my car and knitting while I waited, but then my stomach grumbled and I remembered that Juan's Place was just around the corner.

Mmmm, margarita and guacamole tostada.

TheMostImportantGuy and I had many many many of our early dates there, as we shared an artist's studio around the corner.  Now that we live so much farther north, we rarely go there.  There's a bunch of awesome older gentleman waiters there, and several of them stopped by to say hi and ask me where we've been...and then one of them brought me a second drink on the house.

Not necessarily the best idea to show up a little loopy and with a belly full of Mexican food before going to a belly dance class...but hey.  I'd say it was a good thing.

It's been a remarkably stressful week here at YeOldHouse, thanks to my wacky dog shooting neighbor.  Much drama, and as a result, all on my own, there has been much mental crazy making....
I really owe you guys some stories.
I'll make that my priority tomorrow.
For now, it's beddy-bye time.  This getting home from dance class at quarter to midnight (because we are rehearsing for the big show), is for the birds!


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

house party

I'm not a Taylor Swift fan or anti-fan, but sure get a smile out of the wallpaper featured in her latest video...

I get an even bigger smile out of the dancing animal party band, silly as it is.  Makes me giggle!
You can check it out here ; -)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

drumroll please!

And the winner of the 2012 blogiversary raffle is:

Viki said...
I'm pretty new to your blog (less than a year) but I love that you post regularly. It keeps me coming back for more. Congratulations on the anniversary. I look forward to reading more and learning more about you. Maybe I'll even comment more.
Send me an email at AmpuTeeHee {at} hotmail {dot} com ...and I will shoot the goodies in the mail to you!

Monday, October 01, 2012


Here's what I made Sunday night, and the leftovers were even better today!

Goat cheese, lentil, and brown rice rolls...recipe found here.

My riffs:
I substituted a brown and wild rice mixture, I used brown lentils instead of green (it's what I had on hand), and I used one very yummy herbed goat cheese instead of plain. I also cut back a bit on the salt, and I don't think it was missed at all ;-)

I am having a very good time cooking in the new kitchen.  I'm working on making extra stuff on the weekends so I have leftovers to bring back to old house during the week where the kitchen is far less exciting.

edited to add: OH HEY!  I just realized that I forgot to do the end of th blogiversary drawing last night! Oy!  I promise to do it first thing tomorrow morning and add it to tomorrow's post. Sorry gang!  If there are any late entries get them in now over here!  Nighty night for now.