Thursday, September 28, 2006

You Can Take The Grrrl Out of the Small Town...

Even though I've lived in Atlanta for 16 years (!) now, there are still aspects of "big city living" that surprise me - and, in tiny ways, thrill me...

Like blimps.
I still get a big kick every time I see a blimp up in the sky. It's not an everyday occurrence, by any means - but there are enough big sporting events and even conventions here so they aren't a real rarity either... When I do spot one, I get all smiley inside and I must admit I think to myself that if I still lived in a small town, I could probably go my whole life without looking up and seeing the Goodyear (or the Fuji, or the MetLife...) blimp.*

Other aspects are striking in their surreality (is that a word?) Like tonight, for example. I was sitting at a stoplight when I realized that the car in front of me was a Bentley. And yes, my first thought** was "Cool." Because in my small town, I'd probably only ever see these in movies...

Please don't misunderstand me - I love my hometown, I really, really do. And if it were even remotely economically feasible, I would have us move back there in a flash. But since it looks like I'm here in the ATL for a bit longer anyway, it is kind of fun to enjoy these random acts of "Gee Whiz, I'm a BigCityGrrrl now..." (which in my head is said in the most hillbilly accent ever. It's just funnier that way....)

*In addition to that thought, I must confess that a tiny little voice in my head squeals delightedly "A zeppelin", just like Randy in A Christmas Story. (One of my favorite movies of all times....)

**Then my second thought was that it was obscene that that car probably cost more than my house. This was promptly followed by my third thought which was went something like this: "don't hit the Bentley. don't hit the Bentley. that stupid car costs more than your house. don'thititdonthititdonthitit...." and continued on like that until it was time for my turnoff, about a mile later. Actually, quite stressful...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Oh, Happy Day...

It is a good one indeed!

I got my hair cut today, and got new bangs*. I actually have been quite sick of my bangs, and was thinking about growing them out. Again. Which is a stupid bee in my bonnet that I seem to get every five years or so. I decide to grow 'em out, it takes a year or two. The, when they finally are all grown out, I live with them for about two weeks and decide that I hate the way I look without them, so then I cut them back, and the whole cycle repeats.

When I suggested to Jessica, the fabulous, what I was contemplating, she reminded me that we've been down this road before, and that it never has a happy ending. Her suggestion was to cut more bangs, and get rid of my wispy ones. Seemed a little counter-intuitive - I'm tired of my bangs, so let's cut more??? - but, hey, I am not the trained haircare professional here. Besides, at the end of the day, it's just hair, right? It grows back...

Anyway - I've got lots more bangs now, and I think I quite like it!

The other big exciting news - well, that's assuming that new bangs are exciting to anyone out there. Which they probably isn't :) - is....

The. Bathroom. Is. Finished!

Yipee, skip, Hooray! It's too overcast to get any pics right now, but that gives me time to assemble the "before" pictures - so you can see what I was dealing with! I know, I know - it sucks that I don't have the pictures to show right now. But I was just too excited to wait until I did have pictures to announce that the SF** bathroom is done!)

Happy Happy Joy Joy...

*Can I be all British and refer to them as "fringe"? I think that sounds so much cuter....

**Ask Capello, she'll tell you!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Random Nibbly Things

I told myself that I couldn't/shouldn't/wouldn't blog until I answered all my email - and I'm still working on that, I swear! - but there were a few nibbly bits that I wanted to follow-up on.

  1. It's a girl! (our adorable new panda, that is!)

  2. Gilmore Girls season premiere tonight...
    I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high - mainly because last season ended on such a down note (who am I kidding - that was no "down note", that was Amy Sherman Palladino and Dan Palladino scorching the earth on their way out the door....) However, I can't help myself, I'm so excited, I'm vibrating....

  3. I'm also excited that several of you have expressed an interest in trying the cookie recipe for yourselves! Please, please, please do - and let me know how they work for you!
    I've got to take a dessert to a school function on Friday, and am thinking about making another batch of these for that. Also, my latest issue of Southern Living came over the weekend, and they had an article which said that you can freeze pretty much any kind of cookie dough. I may make an extra big batch of the batter, and then freeze small scoops of it. (Have I mentioned how much I love my cookie scoop?) Maybe if I only bake a few at a time, we won't eat all three dozen in a matter of hours...

  4. I was working on the final little piece that needs to be done before I can say "I'm through!" with the bathroom (ooooh, mysterious!) and I had the tv on, listening to some sort of daytimetalkshowtripe. A commercial came on - and totally cracked me up. It was for some sort of bread, Sara Lee maybe?
    The thing that just slayed me was the music: Happy Happy Joy Joy*. From the old Ren & Stimpy show. I used to love that show in the early 90's. At any rate, never did I dream that I would hear "my old pal, Stinky Wizzleteats" shilling for bread. Or really any product, actually. Seriously, I can only assume that the decision makers at Sara Lee (or wherever) never actually bothered to listen to the lyrics for the whole song....
    (and now, I will be thinking "I'll teach your grandmother to suck eggs!" for the next few days....)

  5. Uh-oh. Are things looking bad for Grandpa Jim????

And, seriously?, I am trying to respond to all the emails and comments I've gotten in the last little bit. I'd love to get back to each of you on all of them... Please know that even though I may not respond to all your comments. etc. in a timely fashion - I do read them; and I do appreciate them greatly! You all are the best...


*It's official now - YouTube has now joined the list of thing that "I remember what my life was without this, and I don't ever want to go back". It joins iPod, Google, and TiVo...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Uh-Oh... Those SkinnyGrrrl* Jeans Aren't Coming Out Anytime Soon...

The Cub Scouts are having a Bake Sale today, and Schecky and I are off to help man the table in just a bit. But I did want to share this cookie with you. And to get some naming help with it...

I don't really know what to call this cookie - I guess, technically, it's an oatmeal cookie. Except, as a rule I am not a big fan of the oatmeal cookie, and I do love these. They're a little bit crunchy and a little bit chewy and totally addictive.

Packaged for the Bake Sale
Notice the attempt to name them...
Around here, we jokingly refer to them as "breakfast cookies" - in honor of the "secret" ingredient - Frosted Flakes. Also, we decided that if we call them that, it's OK to eat them first thing in the morning. (It's a lot like that old Bill Cosby "Chocolate Cake" routine...) We all three love these cookies and can not be trusted when they are in the house.

Anyway - I give you my recipe for "The Best Darn Chewy/Crunchy and Addictive Oatmeal Cookie. Ever." Please try it. And then please tell me what these should be called...

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar (and I know I don't need to tell you that this means the dark brown kind!)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla (although, remember that I am a well documented vanilla whore. You may want to half this...)
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
2 cups Frosted Flakes

Preheat oven to 325°

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and shortening with an electric mixer (low speed) untilmixturee is light and fluffy looking. Increase mixer speed to medium, and gradually add in the sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture, incorporating well. Mix in the oats, then the corn flakes.

Drop cookie dough by tablespoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes - cookies will still look a little puffy, and only slightly golden. Cool for a minute or two on the baking sheet, then remove and allow to cool further.

Makes 3 - 4 dozen

  • You will need an electric mixer for this - the batter is pretty stiff.
  • I use a Silpat mat instead of greasing the cookie sheet. I love the Silpat mat.
  • I also love my cookie scoop. Before I got this, I usually got around 2 dozen cookies from this recipe - now I get between 3-4 dozen, and they are much more evenly sized. Really love the cookie scoop....

*And I did want to clarify that "Fatgrrrl" and "SkinnyGrrrl" jeans are such relative terms - my so-called-SkinnyGrrrl jeans might be the same as your worst FatGrrrl pants! Just wanted that cleared up, as I did NOT want you all thinking that I'd gone all "I'm So Damn Hot" on you...

Although, if I ever wear the "IncrediblyOptimisticAndTrulyThinGrrrl" Jeans - I'll be bragging about it. For real. They are the only item of clothing that I've ever bought that I needed to lose weight before I could wear, ala Cathy (ugh - I hate that strip...) Suffice to say, I've never worn them.
Still, a girl can dream....
Just not today. Hand me a cookie, please...

Friday, September 22, 2006

It's a Peter Gabriel Kind Of Day...

Don't ask me why- the MusicGods obviously decided; as I was running errands this morning, I heard three different Peter Gabriel songs, on three different radio stations. Now that I am back at home (yay! too many errands make me cranky as all hell...) I decided to just stick with it. I do love PG... I highly recommend him if you're looking for someone to listen to today.

He fits nicely with the kind of mood that I am in - surprisingly laid back, for all the activity that has been eddying about me. It's just been one of those weeks - too much to do, too much running around, etc. Too much stuff I hafta do; not time for the stuff I wanna do. Usually, that has me cranky as all hell - but for some reason, I'm just kind of rolling with it.

This, I believe, can be directly attributed to the weather. I don't care about the official Autumnal Equinox not occurring until tomorrow - we're having a much-needed and long awaited cool snap here. This morning, I actually dug some jeans out of the bottom drawer**, and still had to come back in the house for a jacket. Additionally, saw the first red leaves appear on the dogwood this morning. I swear, these weren't here yesterday...

I'm not getting my hopes up too much - I know that this is just a teaser, and we'll get several "Indian Summers" that'll heat things back up again. But for now, I'm just going to enjoy it...

NOTE: I've really been away from the computer a great deal the past few days - partly because of aforementioned errands, etc, and partly due to some asshattery on the part of my ISP. Who blames it on the phone company, who in turn blames it on the ISP, ad infinitum. Sigh...
I've got lots of email to return, and lots of blogs to visit and comment on - looking forward to getting caught up!

**As a somewhat incredulous aside, I grabbed for, how do I put this?... fatgrrrl jeans this morning. You would think that I was gearing up to hibernate the way I've been eating lately. So, fatgrrrl jeans seemed the order of the day. Lo&Behold - fatgrrrl jeans are loose??? Sweet.

Not feeling confident enough to reach for the skinnygrrrl jeans just yet - but nice to know that I'm not bursting out of the fatgrrrl ones. Which would have been my guess... < / overly girly discussion >

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mystery Solved...

Click on either picture of the mystery fruit below - and the answer will be revealed.
As will my oh-so-very-scientific research method!

Is It Smart To Eat Something, When You Don't Even Know What It Is?

Particularly if it looks like this?

I was in Publix today - looking for some fun fruit to put in Schecky's lunchbox (I don't know about him, but I'm tired of the same old watermelon,/strawberry/apple that I've been putting in there lately...) I was reaching for some raspberries (on sale this week!) when I saw these... things! What in the world?

There was no sign, no sticker, no nothing to give me any information about them. So I gingerly picked one up and took it back to the produce associate and asked, basically "What in the world?" Very helpfully, she replied "I don't know. You want to try it? I'll give it to you as a sample."

Honestly, my first thought was a "Hell to the no" that would have made Whitney Houston proud. But then I remembered, Bubba and I are always telling Schecky that it's important to try new foods. You don't have to like it, you don't even have to finish it, but it's important to try new things - how else will you know what you do and don't like...*

Still, I am hesitant. Face it, whatever this thing is, it's U-G-L-Y. And frankly, it looks a bit scary. I ask the produce lady if she's tried it, and she looks at me as if to say "are you kidding?" I decide to bite the bullet, or rather, the scary fruit...

She gets a knife and splits the rind. (peel? husk? I don't even know what to call it) Oh my God - it gets weirder. Nestled inside is this squidgy, gooey looking sphere. It's definitely slimy, and very gelatinous looking. It looks like nothing so much as a big gross eyeball. Is it too late to back out now?

Inside the Mystery Fruit

I realize that now all three produce ladies have gathered around me, and are anxiously waiting for me to try it. Guess it's too late. "Remember," I think to myself, "It's important to try new things..."

I slurp the orb up out of its shell, and I bite down on it very carefully. I'm glad, because there is a big old fibrous pit in the middle of it. The flesh is very juicy, and yes, a little slimy. It's not as off-putting as I feared. It's sweet, and it tastes a little bit familiar...what is it???

Then it dawns on me - it tastes a lot like a grape. A green grape, that has been peeled so that you're left with just the sweet gooshy inside part. Really, it's kind of nice.
Also - upon reflection, it seemed a perfect treat for an eight year old boy. I mean really - you start of with this evil looking spiked thing, and then you open it up and there's an eyeball inside? And you can eat it and it tastes good?

So I bought a handful**, and brought them home. And they were every bit the hit I hoped they would be! Schecky was every bit as grossed out and excited as I had thought.
Schecky Examines the Pit of the Mystery Fruit

But the mystery remains... does anyone know what the heck these are?

(And Schecky's shoes are not usually up on the counter. I had announced at the beginning of the school year that after a summer of no-sock-wearing, his Keens were too stinky to wear anymore. Today I was being all domestic goddess-y and I was thinking what a shame it was that he couldn't wear them anymore. I threw them in the washer with a big load of towels and bleached the heck out of everything and hoped for the best. (But I figured, if I ruined them, no big whoop - they were too stinky to wear anyway) Anyhow, they came out intact, and are now stinky-foot free! I set them up on the counter to dry, not realizing just how unappetizing shoes on the counter look. But, for what it's worth, they are really, really clean shoes. And once I saw this picture, I moved them to a window sill to finish drying....)

*As an aside, I have to say that Scheck is a fantastic eater. He is very interested in food, and where it came from. I take for granted how great an eater he is, but when I think back to my days as a kid, I am sure that I wouldn't have tried half the stuff that he not only has tried, but likes! Don't get me wrong, he loves his Mac&Cheese and FrenchFries as much as any other kid, but how many kids do you know list "cuttlefish" as one of their favorite foods?
You'll be glad to know that since it's darn near impossible to find a restaurant in America (or at least the Southern states) that serves cuttlefish, he has decided that octopus is an acceptable substitute. Would you have eaten that as a child? I wouldn't have...

**The checkout process was long and somewhat funny. Turns out the cashier really hates it when you try to buy food that no one can name. Turns out that after they call over not one, not two, but three managers - that third manager will get fed up with the whole process and announce that the weird fruit is free... WooHoo, free weird fruit...

Capello, This One's For You...

Because you've had a hellish long weekend...

And because you're the only other person who will admit to reading FBoFW on a regular basis...

I now present for your reading enjoyment: The End of the Foobiverse*

*I read this this morning, and laughed so hard that I sucked my morning Diet Coke up my nose a little.
So have a little fun with it, 'cause kiddo, you've earned it...

(And, it goes without saying that non-Capello readers are welcome to enjoy this as well!)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Thing Of Beauty????

It might not be gorgeous, but that represents 8 or so hours of my life right there.
(And I know I don't want to examine the toilet as a metaphor for my life, so I'll just stop that train of thought right there...)

I went to put away my tools, and grab the camera so I could take a picture of the new toilet seat in all its glory - and when I returned to the bathroom, I found ThingTwo* inspecting my (not-so-)handiwork. Cats are so funny... the minute you bring anything new in the house, they just aren't happy until they sit on it.

(There's probably a metaphor in there somewhere, too. But I don't feel like exploring that one either.
What I feel like is exploring a big old margarita, and checking out some of the new shows that are coming on TV tonight. What I will be doing, instead, however, is attending a Cub Scout meeting. The fun just isn't stopping today...

Good thing I'm Southern. Tomorrow is another day...)

*Also known as "Mean Little Thing"...


I've got some stuff that I want to blog about, really I do.

There's the trip to Barnsley Gardens from last weekend, with a few accompanying photos. There's the Turq Trunk Show that I managed to get to Friday. There's even the "before" pictures of the sf bathroom, which I'd like to get posted before the "after" shots are ready.... And would you believe it, I am starting to think that the end may be near. I am going to need help with "window treatments" - and have even got a few fabric swatches to run by you all - but aside from that, the end is in sight! Yippee!

So why am I not doing any of these things?

Because life keeps getting in my way.
Not in a bad way, nothing like that. I just seem to have fallen into some sort of weird TwiLightZone-ish kind of place where everything is at least five times more complicated than it should be. Which isn't leaving me the time that I would like to post about the aforementioned stuff.
Heck, it's not leaving me much time at all! I've gotten some good reading done (see, another thing I'd like to share - I've got some good book recommendations!) but no knitting in days...

What do I mean, "weird place where everything is way more complicated than it should be?" Take today as a perfect example. Ask me what I've done today. G'head, ask...

I started to say "I changed out the toilet seat" - except that would be an untruth. I'm in the middle of swapping out the toilet seat; I started this morning at 8 am and I am still not done.
I told myself that I could take a quick break and blog something quick-like-a-bunny, so as to settle down a bit. I was beginning to froth at the mouth...

How can it take 8 plus hours to change a toilet seat? It goes a little something like this:

  • Go to Home Depot to buy a new toilet seat.
    After much browsing, purchase the one that you think is the right size.

  • Get it home, and realize that it's not the right size.

  • Mutter exasperated things under your breath, and return to Home Depot.

  • Return wrong size toilet seat.
    Purchase correct sized toilet seat.

  • Return home.

  • Attempt to remove old toilet seat. Since the bolts which attach the seat to the porcelain are totally corroded, this will involve a lot of WD-40, a hack saw, and over an hour of time. (oh, and the muttering is becoming more omnious...)

  • Finally get old seat removed. Take new, correctly sized seat out of box.

  • Yell out loud "Seriously?" in your best Grey's Anatomy voice.
    It's OK - no one else is home to hear you...
    The seat is broken in half, lengthwise. How is this even possible?

  • Engage in some mild cursing, and return to Home Depot.

  • Stand in incredibly long line with cranky people and one even crankier cashier (who, ironically, remembers you - and cracks what is perhaps his only smile of the day when you finally get to the front of the line and show him the damaged seat.)

  • Return seat.
    Buy new one.
    This time, you check the seat before you leave the store.

  • Return home.
    Start to install new seat.
    Realize that the nuts that they have given you to attach the new seat to the porcelain part have this large kind of thumb grip on them. This is nice, as it means that it will be easier to hand-tighten. In theory.

    In reality, the stupid thumb screw means that the nut is too big, and can not turn around. (The bolt is very close to the toilet bowl, and the nut must be smooth sided in order to rotate around.)

  • Contemplate using the nuts off the old toilet seat.
    Remember that you had to use hacksaw to cut them off.

  • Curse.
    Use the "good" curse words - because you are still the only one home.
    (That reminds you, what time is it? You've got a kid to pick up! Crap...if you run out of the house right now, you'll get there only a few minutes late!)

  • Run out of the house right now. Pick up kid, only a few minutes late.

  • Take hardware-storing-hating kid to the hardware store.
    Notice you are NOT going back to Home Depot. You just couldn't face it one more time today.

  • Wander around hardware store for stupidly long time looking for new toilet bolt nuts. (The 12 year old in you snickers at the thought of toilet nuts...) Finally find them, pay for them (after waiting in yet another seriously long line)

  • Return home. Look at toilet. Think "I just can't deal with you now..." Help child with homework. Compose long (and probably whiny/uninteresting) blog post about the day.

Sad, huh?
And, people - it seems like everything has been going like this as of late? Does this ever happen to anyone else? This housewife stuff is not for sissies....

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Geeky Thing I Am Excited About...

Today in the mail, these came: a complete set of Childcraft books from 1990 that I got from eBay.

These make me happy for a number of reasons - the first of which is that I had a set of these when I was a child. Mine were way out of date, too (maybe from the early 60's?) - but I loved them. I remember how I would grab a volume, and build myself a nest at the top of the stairs and settle down and pour over it for hours. I was feeling nostalgic about that the other day, when I realized that I was probably about Schecky's age when I fell under the ChildCraft spell. Hmmm - a quick call to my mom informed me that she had given the books away, probably 20 years ago. No worries - that's why eBay was invented...

I stalked various sets for a while - sets of varying completion, various vintage years. The biggest stumbling block for me was the shipping rates! Some sellers were charging $30 and $40 for shipping, a little steep for my blood.

After some serious and somewhat patient (for me!) looking, I found this set - which I got for right at $25. Including shipping. (Yet another thing that makes me happy.)

But the thing that makes me happiest of all? How excited Schecky was when he got home from school and saw them! He immediately selected a volume (#2 - Stories and Poems) and we spent a fantastic hour snuggled up on the couch, reading from "The Wind In the Willows". That was my money's worth, right there...

Geeky Thing That Is Freaking Me Out A Little...

First thing you should know - I take the comics very seriously. Very seriously indeed.

They are the very first thing that I read in the paper. Some days, it's the only thing that gets read in the paper.
(But, no matter how busy the day, the comics get read and the crossword gets done. )

It's the way that I was brought up, I guess. We all read the comics, and we actually talked about them at dinner. (When we weren't playing Jeopardy, but that's a story for another time.)
Turns out that's how my mom's family always did it, too. I come from a long line of comic strip readers. I guess I thought that absolutely everyone was that way - it wasn't until I went away to college that I realized that lots of people have no interest in the comics.

But not us - my parents sent me a subscription to my hometown newspaper for all four years of college, just so I could keep up with all "my" strips. To this day, they are still comic enablers - my dad cuts out my favorite strip* for me every day, since I don't get it in my newspaper. He sends them in a packet every two weeks like clockwork, and we (Bubba, Schecky and I) anxiously await their fortnightly arrival.**

Anyway - I'm getting off topic here. What I am trying to get to is the fact that I love the comics; Bubba and Schecky love the comics; we all read them religiously and discuss them. I also enjoy reading critiques of the comics***, and getting additional commentary.
So - I occasionally visit the official site of "For Better or For Worse". This has long been my mother's favorite strip, but it wasn't until the last few years that I have come to appreciate it. Anyway, I went to the fborfw site yesterday, and realized that something just wasn't right. It took me a few minutes to figure it out, but when I did, it kind of creeped me out...

What the heck am I talking about? Go see for yourself. Go visit this strip (or pretty much any strip in the archive)... Look at it for a minute or two. See if you can figure out what is just so, so wrong...

The answer will appear in the "Comments" section of this post. And tell me if you don't agree with me....

*This is the funniest strip I've read since "Calvin and Hobbes" and I just love it. Everyone should be reading it, and more papers should be carrying it. I think that the AJC Comic Page Editor has had my phone number blocked, because I've called and left him so many voice mails telling him so...

**Isn't this one of the sweetest things that you've ever heard? And yes, I know that I could just read the strip online, but he doesn't know that. And my dad and I, well - that's a tough relationship, always has been. This is the first father-daughter thing we've ever had. So there's no way I'm going to blow it by telling him about "the internets".

***My latest find, which delights me to no end, is The Comics Curmudgeon. Imagine Television Without Pity - except with snarky comic strip recaps. I'm in heaven...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Will The Dishcloth Madness Ever Abate???*

Well, not any time soon, it would appear...

My mother's birthday is rapidly approaching, so I took a self-declared "personal day" on Monday and sat down and cranked out three dishcloths for her newly remodeled and absolutely fabulous kitchen. At first I was not excited about the mocha/cafe au lait color scheme, but I must admit that the more I worked with it, the more it grew on me. It seems kind of grown-up, and maybe a little bit chic??? (I mean, for a dishcloth!)

I struggle with how to package these. I am pretty pleased with the washcloth packaging, but am still not quite sure what to do with the dishcloths.
Also - I can't decide if I set of three is too many, or if I should be grouping these in sets of two (maybe each using the same color scheme, but each the inverse of the other...) I'd love any input that anyone has on that!

Since I decided to keep the lovely little bird stitch markers for my selfish, selfish self - I stopped by the most amazing yarn store today and picked up a few little goodies for my mom: some nice bamboo needles, a few notion-y doodad-y things. If you are ever in intown Atlanta, you've got to stop by Knitch - it's totally fabulous.
Seriously, it is the most beautiful yarn shop that I've ever been in. It's also the most well-stocked; the sheer amount of yarn is breath-taking. And it runs the gamut, too - for every super-duper luxe high end pricey yarn, there was a nice economy equivalent as well. Lots of Cascade 220, and even Peaches & Creme... And don't even get me started on the book selection!

All of these things are wonderful - but the thing that will have me going back is the people working there! Such a friendly, welcoming and interested bunch of ladies - quite a contrast to the other two yarns stores that are somewhat geographically convenient. At one of those, the employees are too busy talking to each other to acknowledge you - they make it seem so clique-y that it takes some of the fun out of it. The other, well - the dragon lady who must own it (since she's the only one I ever see there) acts as if she hates every customer who walks in the door. (I only ever go to that shop if I am totally desperate and need something RIGHT NOW - trust me, if you treat me as if I am the biggest annoyance in the world, I'll gladly take my business elsewhere...)

Anyway, great space, great merchandise, great people - I've got nothing but rave reviews for Knitch - my new LYS of choice...

*Even though this is just another boring dishcloth post, aren't you all excited that there are pictures again? I've been hit-and-run blogging for the last several posts. You all really shouldn't let me get away with such behavior!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Newest Shiny Thing to Catch My Eye...

Even cooler than a sock monkey dress, if you can believe it.

I want it.
I don't need it, so I'm not going to get it.
But - boy oh boy, am I feeling all covetous and lustful and stuff...

Edited to add: Bubba just pointed out that I could clip it to the sock monkey dress. The only thing that could make this any better would be a purse full of candy bars...

Friday, September 08, 2006

How Much Am I Loving This?

Sock Monkey Dress

I. Totally. Want. One.

WIP Friday...

Well - originally, I had intended for this to be yet another boring post about working on the bathroom. And I even got so far as to start it, and I realized that I am so over it right now that I can't even/don't want to talk about it. The short version is that it's not finished.* I'll update sometime next week when I'm excited about it again...

There has not been much else done around here this week - very little reading, very little knitting, and absolutely no cooking.
We've been living on cold cereal and Lean Cuisines. Maybe it's not the painting that is making me cranky as all hell, maybe it's the food!

Despite the time-sucking vacuum that is the all-consuming painting project, I do have a few things on needles...

I am working on some dishrags for my mom's birthday next week - brown and beige. Not the most exciting sounding color combination, I know - but it will match her newly renovated kitchen, and I think it's kind of quietly sophisticated?

I also am working on a Scribble Scarf - from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book.

I'm using the gorgeous "George Bailey" Cinema yarn that I got from the lovely and generous Bekka.
It is amazing that I still think that ribbon-yarn is gorgeous - because it is a big old pain to work with. It keeps getting twisted up in these crazy spirals and twists. With this pattern, I am not sure that it matters or not if the ribbon is twisty - however my ObsessiveCompulsive personality, coupled with my fear that to look right the "scribbles" need to be loose have kept me frantic. No exaggeration - for every hour I've spent knitting on this, I've spent a half an hour untwisting/untangling the ribbon.
I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture or not - but I've actually spooled it around a cone and, using a high-tech system of rubber bands and binder clips, I only release a yard or so of ribbon at a time. It's a pain, but at least I'm not untangling...

Something that is inspiring me to start more knitting projects came in the mail today: these adorable BlueBird stitch markers from GoodToBeGirl. Aren't they the cutest? I am now itching to make something that will require me to use them. Seems like I owe 3 people some little bears - I'll have to get back to those!
These stitch markers were purchased with the idea that I'd give them to my mom as part of her birthday present, but I'm rethinking that position. Look at them! I'm smitten, and I don't think I can part with them. She won't miss what she didn't even know she was getting - will she???

*And it's not getting finished this weekend - I am taking a break from all things painting. Bubba and I are taking a belated anniversary trip here this weekend.
In an odd twist of fate, Schecky will be attending the anniversary weekend too. He is so excited to be included, and keeps asking about "our big anniversary trip". It ought to be nice, in a family-friendly kind of way, although not the nice romantic weekend we had originally planned upon.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I've Got To Admit, It's Getting Better...

Slowly, but surely, progress is being made...

We Had a Panda!

Another quick hit here -

We had a panda!!!!

And by that, I obviously don't mean that I personally had a panda - LunLun at Zoo Atlanta had a cub yesterday afternoon!

I am strangely excited by this.
Earlier in the year, there was a series of "is she/isn't she" pregnancy articles in the newspaper- and then they just kind of tapered off. And I guess that I just kind of forgot about it. But when I brought in the paper this morning, there it was - front page news*.

Bless her heart - 36 hours worth of labor? There may be more to this story, as it turns out that pandas have twins about half the time - so if we get another cub, I'll let you know...
Or maybe you can see for yourself on the PandaCam!

*Which was a nice change from our recent front page headlines, which lately have consisted of:
* how bad our schools are
*how fat our population is
*some sort of horrible/tragic/bizarre death/hostage situation/drug deal gone awry
*or - last but certainly not least - one of our state's fine politicians just generally embarrassing him/herself and the rest of the state as well.
(and yes, Cynthia, I do mean you. Although, unfortunately, you are not alone in acting as an embarrassment...)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Good Free Thing Alert...

The iTunes Music Store "Free Download of the Week" - Los Angeles, by SUGARCULT - really rocks.

What has become of me?
I want, I want, I want everything

If I were a clever grrrl, I'd give you a link to directly to the song, but no one's ever accused me of being terribly clever, and I just can't seem to make it work.
Just go to the iTunes Music Store, and you'll see the free download link about halfway down the page...

It's Still Very Much A WIP...

Thank you to everyone to took the time to reassure me that we're not the worst home-owners ever - although, I still suspect that we should be in the running!

So, believing that the homeowners do all the work on those shows is like believing in wrestling. Good to know.
This explains why I didn't catch on - I was in college before I knew that wrestling was, ummm, "scripted".
And I didn't figure it out on my own, someone had to tell me.
I can be quite slow to catch on to things... I like to think that that is one of my more endearing traits...

Still hard at work on the bathroom painting project. I will post some pictures when it's done. Which is totally embarrassing. You know how you get to where you see something so often, you don't really see it anymore? Yeah. That's where we were with all the things that were wrong with the bathroom.
Also, have I mentioned before that this interest in the house is very, very, very new? Up until very recently, as long as it was reasonably clean, and we could shovel a path from room-to-room, I didn't much care what it looked like. Which you will see for yourselves soon enough.

Just to give you a taste of the loveliness - there's a picture of where the shower enclosure is attached to the wall. Nice, hmmm?

Back to painting. I'm working on the wainscoting now.
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun....

Monday, September 04, 2006

How Do They Do It On Those "Trading Spaces" Shows???

We started work on painting the bathroom at 10 am Saturday.
(As luck would have it, the 16th anniversary is the "help your wife paint the bathroom" anniversary!)

We have done nothing but work on the bathroom all weekend. No getting dressed up, no going out for a fancy dinner and a movie, nothing but work on the painting project. So, it should be done, right?

I wish.

I totally wish.
We've got the ceiling painted. And we just finished all the cutting in work on the upper half of the walls (the lower half is beadboard wainscoting and, boy howdy, I'm looking forward to that!) and I am getting ready to roll the first coat of paint on them.

How do those people on TV do an entire room, top to bottom, in less time than this? How inept are we that it has taken us two-and-a-half days, and we are maybe halfway through?

To paraphrase my friend, Capello: stupid flipping prep work...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Crappy Anniversary!*



(you can click on either picture to learn a little bit more about it.)

*'cause that's how we've always said it around here.
We're just all witty and clever like that.
Also, neither of us is really the sentimental type...

That having been said -it's been a great 16 years, and I'd do it all over again.
In a heartbeat.

Crappy anniversary, Bubba...