Friday, September 29, 2006

It ain't Kansas, Dorothy

I woke this morning earlier than I really wanted/needed to in order to help hubby get the oldest ready and off to school with a minimum of hassle. While in the midst of packing the boy's lunch at 7 am, hubby came in and told everyone to hurry and put their shoes on and come outside. In the cold. Rain. At 7 am. Reluctantly, I put my Adidas flops on and went out sans jacket, and was treated to this sight:

How could my day possibly go bad when it starts out this beautiful? I nearly ran across the street to see if the pot of gold was in the neighbor's front yard, as the rainbow looked like it truly ended there, and well...I could use the cash. Happy Friday all!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A reason perhaps for my absence

Ugh. I just woke up from a nap which should have been restorative, but instead has me frazzled and feeling like perhaps I've sent myself a reminder that I need to take a step back and evaluate. When your brain gets in the middle and sends you a message like this one, perhaps it's because you need to take a time out.

First, I woke up realizing that it was daytime, and I panicked because I thought I'd overslept, and therefore we'd be late getting Liam to school. Liam is at school already. Because it's 3 in the afternoon...and I took him to school this morning. Check one.

I woke up with my heartbeat doing flip-flops from sheer frustration. Why, you ponder? A dream. A dream in which I was so frustrated with anger that it was making me physically sick.

So what happened you ask? This is the beauty of Blogger...I can tell you all my dream and make it all better. Just like I used to tell my mommy my bad dreams and then I could go back to sleep. Only I don't think I'm going to go back to sleep. Another solution will have to do. Anyway. Back to the dream.

So I'm at school. And each of my professors has given an assignment that is due this weekend. And each of these assignments involves a boatload of research and/or prep work. So I meet up with a few of my friends in the hopes of working on it. My friends happen to be some of the girls I used to go to school with at the local university who are now enjoying further education while I am enjoying a third pregnancy. Naturally, we haven't seen each other in a while and we're feeling a bit chatty. So why study at the library? Someone has the brilliant idea to study at the mall. Where there is a ton of distraction. And I can't get anything accomplished. And deadlines are looming, and I'm starting to panic.

So I decide that maybe I might go and find a quiet table at the library. Only someone interrupts me. A boy that I don't really know, but I do know he has a crush on me (funny, that, considering I'm now approaching my 7th month of pregnancy and round as a soccerball). So he lures me away for a few minutes filling my ear with sweet nothings, and then I remember. Oh yeah. Got studying to do. So I escape and return to my friends at the crowded mall and realize that my backpack that was carrying my things has now morphed into several large plastic bags stuffed so full of papers, clothing, and other stuff that I now have to get back to my car...because it all needs taken care of. Assignments to be done...laundry to be folded...

I come to the realization that nothing is going to get done with all those people and noise going on, so I grab my plastic bags stuffed with stuff and bid my friends adieu while they protest that I'm a party pooper. On my way to the car, I decide that I need a bathroom break (I am pregnant after all), so I drag all my things to the bathroom. While there, the cutie pie who wanted to lick my ear off earlier decides that I need a little more help being distracted, and he's snuck himself into the bathroom, which is more like an old shower you might find at the beach with concrete floors and heavy vinyl shower curtains around the toilet stalls. Water begins to seep from around the potties with me none the wiser. I was brushing my teeth or doing something else and looking in the mirror (narcissistic much?) until I realize that the bags that contain my belongings are becoming waterlogged, and how will I get my homework done if it's wet?

So I realize the boy is behind it, and I give him a good verbal lashing and drag my things out of the bathroom. In the meantime, my oh-so-friendly friends have decided that I really don't need to leave and have somehow confiscated my keys. So I'm dragging my wet things across the lot and can't find my car or my keys.

I get on the phone with my hubby who is conveniently at home making dinner (which I usually consider a very helpful thing), but since my friends are being a pain in the butt, I'm begging him to come and rescue me and my wet things. He refuses, because, well, he's cooking, and shouldn't I just listen to them for once?

So I track down my friends and am basically wrestling with them to see if I can find my keys in their purses. I grab one friend's set and frantically hit the lock button hoping to locate my car, but no luck. I repeat the process with two other friend's sets with the same result. Finally, I tackle the boy and wrestle my keys from him. Bingo! I can hear my car's horn beeping from somewhere in the lot. I drag myself to the car and realize that my friends have hijacked my things and are now stuffing the wet stuff into the van willy nilly. Of course, they are coming to the realization that the plastic bags which once held my things but have now grown to the sizes of cars themselves will not all fit in my van. It is at this point, I think that I start crying in my dream. Someone (a woman, but I'm not sure who) sees me crying and starts laughing. "It's not funny, I say." "Of course it is," she responds. I am finding it hard to find the humor in the situation, so I call my husband again crying. He mentions that he's still making dinner, and I need to cut it out. But I'm never going to be able to finish my work, and it won't all fit in the van...and I'm losing control...It's at this point that I become hysterical and begin screaming, crying, thrashing about, and pitching "the big one" nelly, when thankfully, I woke up. Only I woke up in a panic. Because I thought it was morning...and I was late...

Ok, Freud. So what's this all mean? Oh, I could analyze this bad boy all day long. Could be that I've finally hit critical mass with the amount of things that I really need to do and feel like I have no way to get them all finished by the stated deadline? And that I feel like no one can help me, or that everyone is, in fact, being a hindrance? Could it all be so literal?

Take this upcoming weekend for example. A couple of weeks ago I went to Michigan for our annual birth network meeting and conference. I came away feeling pretty jazzed about what we could accomplish this year, as did our other NEO chapter leader. So I came back home and started making lists and working on tasks to get a few things done. Like our much desperately needed membership drive and resource guide. Which we've finally set dates for getting out. Which come very soon. Eeep!

In addition, this weekend is a baby fair, so I need to get things ready for that. Which means a lot of printing, brainstorming, etc.

And I've got a mountain of prep work to do for my final session of teacher training for K**aplan which is on the same day as the baby fair.

And I've got three months left until the baby comes, so I've been trying to get the house purged of excess crap in the hopes of making it easier to keep clean once the baby gets here (well, and because it really needed done anyway), and that has been an enormous task considering the amount of junk we've accumulated in the 8 years that we've been here, and the fact that neither of us is really great about pitching stuff. Well, one of us really has a hard time with it. And it ain't me. No room for that in this house, though...not with 3 kids, that's for sure!

Oh, and there's Sock Wars. I don't want to get assassinated right out of the starting gate (one sock down, one to go), on top of the fact that knitting is therapy! So I've got to get on that, too.

Thing is...I know I've got a ton of help. Hubby is FANTASTIC about helping with the kids and stuff so I can get my prep work done. He's pretty much had the kids every Sunday since I started teacher training, and some Saturdays, too, since I've had a couple other things on the weekend. The man does indeed cook dinner. More frequently than I care to admit, as he's the one working, and I'm the one who's supposed to be at home. He's also in the midst of trying to get an abstract sent off in the hopes that we might be able to go together to a conference overseas (oh please, oh please, engineering gods, make it so!) next spring. And he has a dissertation that needs to be done some time this decade so he can be Dr. Hubby. Poor guy. It's no wonder he doesn't have dreams like I do. Or maybe he does...hmm....

My in-laws are also fantastic about offering to help if we ask. They frequently take the kids if we're in a pinch on child care, and I know they enjoy every minute of it.

So what's my dealio? *shrug* Dunno. Perfectionism, perhaps? Because if any of you knows me...(and I know that some of you who are reading this truly do) I am a horrible perfectionist. I can do it all...and my way is the only correct way. Ugh. Really, I do need a good thumping.

Maybe it's time for me to call in the troops and delegate a bit. I've done that a little these past couple of days. The neighbor girl was BEGGING for some babysitting time, and knowing that hubby really needs to spend time working on his stuff, I agreed to let her come hang with the boys for a couple of hours so I could hide out in the den and work on stuff. Like this totally unecessary post. Okay. It is necessary. Needed to vent. So I could move on. And be productive. Right?

And this weekend I'll be rallying the birth troops to help with some of the other stuff. For now, I think I just need to hang. Thanks for listening. And if you've read this far...really, thanks.

I've got two other posts sitting in the queue with pics detailing some of my organization craziness so far. And more pics of the new insane kitty girl (still no Sundae...truly, I think she's disappeared for the long haul), and other things. It will all time...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A trip in my UFOs

Like many knitters, I commit project polygamy, which in turn often means that there are a few unfinished items gathering dust (fuzz, pet hair, you name it) lying about. Some are in my knitting bag, some were in various baskets, some in bins, and some in the cedar chest. This weekend, in the process of the Great Stash Reorganization, I went through and distributed these to two bags. One for frogging and repurposing and another for finishing. So what has the Bunnie been working on for the past, oh, say 5 years or so? I keep hoping that actually putting this stuff into cyberspace will somehow give me the motivation to actually stick with the plans to either rip or finish. I'd go in chronological order as to when I started these, but I can't remember exactly when, and some were cast on almost at the same time!

Starting with Fuzzy Feet, started when Crazy Aunt Purl had some going...only I ran out of yarn to complete the knitting and couldn't find more in the same color. To be frogged.
Mama Halter from Little Turtle Knits. I decided I didn't like this in the variegated cotton, so it's to be frogged.
Baby blanket from Debbie Bliss pattern. Done up in acrylic, I hated the way it felt. I will redo this one in cotton probably...or washable wool. This was actually relegated to the circular receptacle. Not worth frogging.
Ribby wrap from LTK. Enjoyed knitting the pattern but I ran out of steam when it came to the finishing, and I didn't like how it turned out. Love the handpainted yarn I got from her, so this will be frogged and repurposed into something else.
LTK soaker. Loved knitting it but I made a mistake and didn't do the short row shaping, so it wouldn't fit anyone's fanny. I might redo and this one properly.
Checkerboard intarsia purse from a Bernat pattern. Can you just say ridiculous number of ends to weave in? I lost steam when I realized I was going to have to do all that weaving in of ends. Blech. That and I could never keep track of what row I was on because of the texture of the yarn.
Cardigan from Debbie Bliss pattern that I reworked the gauge to use alpaca yarn. Love the yarn (except for the pilling and that it breaks when you try to sew with it...but soooo soft and sooo warm). Just needs me to finish the hood and sew in zipper. Oh, how I hate finishing. Can you tell?
Sophie bag in Manos del Uruguay that I realized partway through that I didn't have enough yarn to complete. Which sucks...because I love the yarn and the pattern. I really want to do something with this Manos, but I don't think I have enough to do much more than a hat or scarf.
Vegan fox from Knitty. For a friend. I made one in red, but I never found a home for it, and I think it scared people. I may just frog and redo as a plain scarf.
Butterfly purse from Debbie Bliss pattern. I made a few of these as Christmas gifts, but they really need a lining and zipper, and I'm not so good with that finishing thing. I used the bottom of this purse to practice some embroidery stuff for a hat that I did, and that needs to be taken out before I can seam this one. I do think I'd like to finish it...and do a zipper in it. Really, what I need to do is pay someone to do the finishing that I don't enjoy.We'll see how long these hang out in the unfinished and TBF (to be frogged) bags. Tune in later!

Obladee Obladah

Post created Sept. a little while ago, but I thought you'd like to see my stash organization project...

Life has just been going on for the past week or so. Been trying to get caught up on things while at the same time not getting too far behind on others. The house is out of control (which is to be expected somewhat when the space is small and there are two small boys around), and I'm feeling the fall urge to purge.

The one thing that needed some serious attention was my yarn stash. Last April Fool's Day was "Flash Your Stash" Day, and I have to say, there were some stashes that I was quite envious of.
Mine has been languishing in the cedar chest downstairs for as long as I can remember now, and despite having gone through it several times and weeding out UFOs that will never be finished, my stash has never been neat or organized. Which means that when I'm looking to see if I have a particular yarn that will fit the substitution bill, I seem to come up short pretty frequently. Which means more stash enhancement. Which means more yarn in the chest.

So with Sock Wars looming and my having to find a DK weight yarn to use (ugh...and I'm finding that most of what I have is either acrylic or cotton/something not good for socks blends), I bit the bullet and forced myself to actually put some organization to the stash and the accoutrements to go along with it, as I have been having a hard time finding needles lately.

I apologize for all the rotten pictures with flash, but the downstairs is really just a nicely finished basement, so natural light doesn't really exist down there unless you're in the laundry room or the utility room.

I've noticed that most of my stash is actually worsted acrylic blends. Most likely because I have children, and I'm not good at washing wool. I do love to knit with wool, though. I've also realized that for as much as I enjoy knitting socks, I don't have nearly enough sock yarn.

One bag has projects to be frogged, but I don't own a swift or a ball winder, so doing that is kind of a daunting task. I also have plenty of work that needs to be finished. One of my resolutions that will need addressing some time.

Monday, September 04, 2006


My hubby has recently said to me, "You're going to be one of those crazy cat ladies when you get old, aren't you. When people see you, they'll say, hey, that's the cat lady. She's got like 40 cats living in her house." Now why would the love of my life say something like that? Because it's probably true.

Some people are just not animal people. Some are animal lovers without a favorite species. Some are definite dog people, while others are most definitely cat people. Now, while I consider myself a general animal lover (I made a pet out of an inchworm as a kid), it has become completely obvious that I am a cat person. Not to say that I don't like dogs, I do. Even have one that has me pretty well trained. But it's something about those 4-legged quadrupeds of the feline persuasion that I am just not able to resist.

So I went to the shelter Thursday to look for Sundae, and met a buff-colored tabby that had the sweetest disposition. After reading her description on the side of the cage ("loves to cuddle...will probably want to sleep with you...purrs if you're just in the room with her"), and rubbing her while I waited to see if they knew anything about Sundae, I fell for her. I went home thinking of Sundae, hoping she has a warm bed and that someone is feeding her well, but I also couldn't get that little kitten at the shelter out of my mind. The kids were with me and thought she was pretty sweet, too. So Friday afternoon after getting Liam from school, we drove out to the shelter to see if she was still there. Sure enough, there she was. I give kudos to the shelter for making sure that we were a good fit. The gal who fostered the kitten since she arrived at the shelter at 4 weeks of age asked me a ton of questions and wanted to see the kids with her to make sure that Neely, the name she was given at the shelter, was going to a safe home. After holding her and having her snuggle right into my shoulder, I knew I had to bring her home with me, so we signed the adoption papers.

Liam wanted to be the one to help put her in the carrier and haul her to the car. I was sure we were in for a long ride home with lots of yowling, but the kitty didn't make a peep the whole way. Once we were home, she made herself right at home. The other two cats don't think much of her, but the dog has welcomed her right in.

She very closely resembles my Pound Kitty that I've had since I was a kid

Jonah plays string games with Neely

She is every bit as lovey dovey as the description on her cage mentioned. It's fun to have a playful kitten again, as our two older cats don't play as much these days. She loves plastic bags, snuggling like a baby, and perching on my shoulder, particularly when there's food around. She is completely fascinated by the toilet and pretty much any other water source she's managed to find in the house. If she hears the toilet flushing, she will run in from rooms away to get a peek into the bowl before we close the lid.

How she sleeps like this is beyond me...

We're still holding out hope that Sundae will be found. I'm planning on going door to door over this holiday weekend to see if anyone has seen her.