Tuesday, January 29, 2008

On Blogging...

This past week, I've either felt like I don't have anything to say (which makes it hard to blog) or that I have too much to say (which in many ways makes it even harder...)

Yep - I've been oscillating wildly between the extremes.

While I'm trying to find the balance between the two, however - there was one thing that I did want to mention...

Today, Bad Fortune Cookie turns:

I've started to write the following paragraph at least half a dozen times, and each time it comes out more sentimental and treacly than the one before...

So, let's just leave it at:

I am quite grateful to BadFortuneCookie, mainly because it has allowed me to make so many amazing connections with some truly wonderful people that I would never have met otherwise.

So thank you - thank you from the bottom of my heart...

Now - you know what to do.
Leave me a message after the beep.

Thank you.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's the Little Things, Isn't It?

As I was folding/putting away laundry, this little scene caught my eye, and made me all happy for a just a moment.

Sometimes it's just the silliest things that catch you off guard, and make you smile..

Don't Forget to Wash Your Face!

I mentioned that I've been making washcloths again, right?
Lots and lots of washcloths.
I can't help it - they're fun (and dead simple) to make, and I love the final product.

I decided that for the New Year, I wanted a completely fresh set.
Starting the year off on the right foot, I suppose.
How decadent to have a fresh cloth for each day of the week. (If I were a more clever pup, I'd embroider "Sunday, Monday, etc..." on each one!)

Only wrinkle in my plan? I ran out of ecru colored yarn.

Eh. No worries, just use what you have on hand, right?

Which explains the random blue/purple/teal ones thrown into the mix.
(It's funny, they obviously work exactly the same as the natural colored ones, but I don't like them quite as well. Except for maybe the teal one - because it's all matchy-matchy with the wall color in the bathroom. Which also makes me inexplicably smiley.)

So, yeah. I guess today is one of those days where I'm just in an easy mood.

It's not such a bad place to be...
In a shiny happy mood, and with a clean face, too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Looking Forward...

You've got to love me...

Because here it is - more than *halfway* through January, and I'm only now finding the time to sit down and write about resolutions/intentions/goals/whatever you want to call them.

But just because I've not written about them, doesn't mean that I haven't been thinking about them...

I started to say that I've been mulling them over, and thinking really deep thoughts about them. But that's not how it is. I've more been reflecting on this upcoming year, and where I want it (and me) to go. Looking for the diamonds in the rough, more like it. Focusing on the shiny happy stuff...

It will be interesting to see if this post is any easier to write - having dwelt upon the subject matter for going-on-three-weeks now...

So. As promised. Looking forward...

Ha - I'm such a tease.

Because before I can look forward, really I need to take one long last look backwards. At last year's list of intentions.
(And I've got a bad feeling about this one, not so sure that I did all that swell with it...)

For 2007, I wanted to:

  • Make something of my own design
    My initial thought on this one was - "ooops, didn't do that." But in looking back at the year's photos, I actually did.

    Admittedly, most of "my" stuff was an interpretation of an existing pattern - but I did make a panda baby, and the information architect scarves with my own twists. So that's some nice baby-stepping there... (Can you tell that I've been watching "What About Bob" again?)

    The UT scarf I made for Bubba's cousin was probably the most "mine" - as I completely made up the striping pattern, etc. after graphing it out in my beloved Excel. But since I never took a picture of it - so ugly! - I didn't know if I got credit for it...

    And, oh yeah - I made Valentine Cards!

    (So maybe I did better at this than I thought???)

  • Make something for myself
    Again, started to say "ooops." But I made washcloths for myself. So, technically, I guess I met this one, too.
    Although, that wasn't really the spirit in which I meant this...

  • Actually list an item for sale in my poor, empty etsy shop
    Yeah. This one? Didn't happen.
    I'm still trying to figure this one out. Every time I start to make something to sell, it just doesn't feel right, and I usually end up giving things away as gifts. On one hand, I love the idea of selling on etsy - on the other, I'm not comfortable with it. (I'm SO GLAD that most people don't have this problem, as I love to browse/shop there!) But for right now, I'm OK with not having met this goal.

  • Meet another blogger face-to-face
    At the risk of sounding all boastful - I rocked this one!
    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You and Thank You!

  • Write a will
    OK - this just makes me mad. Bubba keeps saying that he's got the software, and that's we're more than halfway through, etc. I think I need to pitch a fit and make sure that this gets finished so that its not on the list for a second full year...

  • Learn enough crochet to crochet in the round and make an amigurumi critter
    Meh? I made a granny square or two - but then lost momentum. May need to revisit this if the urge strikes again.

  • Simplify and declutter
    I'm giving myself another "meh." on this one. Made HUGE inroads, but it's still not done. Must keep reminding myself that we've been in the same house for almost 16 years now, and this has never before been attempted. If it took 16 years to get to this point, I probably wasn't shoveling it all out in a few short weeks.

So - final analysis? I wasn't great, but I didn't totally suck either. I give myself a good solid "C" - maybe even a B- ('cause, thanks to y'all, I really was an overacheiver on that "meet other people" thing!)

And you know what?

I'm OK with that grade. I really am.

And that, my dear readers, kicks of the resolution/intention/goal for 2008: to be OK with it. With life, and stuff. And with myself.

Which is awkward - it's not measurable, it's not quantifiable, etc. And I do love me some metrics. I guess I'll just know it when I get there. And when I'm OK with it...

There is, however, one measurable and quantifiable portion to this though. (sigh) My weight.

Yeah, I said it. I've got to get a handle on this issue.

It's the one area of my life where I've just never been able to have any real, lasting success. And that is reeeeedonkulous.

Don't worry - I'm not going to turn BadFortuneCookie into a weight-loss blog. For starters, there are already so many of them out there, and they are far more fabulous at it than BFC would be. And secondly, when have any of you known me to focus my efforts on just one topic for any length of time here? :)

But I did feel the need to put this out there.

2008 is the year in which I need to lose 20 pounds.
And I need to still have it off at the year's end.

And that, my dear readers, is the part that always kicks my ass. I can lose it (or at least most of it - I tend to lose focus as I get closer to my goal) - but keeping it off? Not so much.

So - there it is, in scary black and white letters. Out there for everyone to see. I don't know why that's scary, but it just kind of is.

Some of you out there may be thinking, "20 pounds? Big whoop. I just saw some guy on The Biggest Loser lost that in a week!" Well - and trust me here - 20 pounds isn't going to make me sexy or hot. It's just going to make me healthy. To even approach the sexy/hot stuff, we'd be talking closer to 40 pounds. Which, given my success rate in the past seems as insurmountable as Mt Everest at this point. So, healthy it is. Also - I suspect that the heaviest part of this is going to be the looking inward to figure out the "why" of it all. So, that's why it's scary....

Anyhow - I'll try to spare you the worst of the amateur-hour self-analysis. Unless I figure it all out. Then I'll write a book, and become a bazillionaire overnight for uncovering the magic secret... :)

So here's to having a 2008 that I can be OK with.
And hopefully, maybe even a little proud of.

Because really, don't we all deserve at least that???


Monday, January 21, 2008

Baby, it's COLD outside....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tiny Snow Creatures

Tiny Snow Creatures, originally created by Schecky.

Do these make anyone else think of these?

Guess What????

It's Snowing!!!!, originally uploaded by lla.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Isn't It Ironic...

I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about when I allude to the "domestic perfection blogs" - 'cause I'm sure you've stumbled across them, too.

You know the ones that I mean - the ones where you stop, and you inwardly sigh. The blogs where the homes are so gorgeous, and the recipes and the crafts always turn out perfectly, the decorating is impeccable, and the children are darling and adorable and never burp in public*.

In case you haven't noticed this yet, *this* is not one of those blogs...

Yesterday, I wrote:
And really, when you think about it - sweet and fun (and squeaky clean)?
It's not a bad way to start off the year...

And I wrote it in all seriousness.
Because I do believe that.
It's just that the reality around here? It's a little bit different.

Let me tell you how yesterday shook out. (Please see "Editor's Note" below)
Dig if you will the picture....

I'm getting Schecky ready for school. He's fed. He's dressed. His teeth are brushed, his shoes are on. All that stands between us and the door is combing his hair.

Which I do.



Yup. The Scheckster has head lice.
(His school has had a horrific problem with them this winter, and so far, he'd dodged that bullet. Our luck, it seems, had run out. GAH!)

So I jot an email to his teacher letting her know not to expect the boy, and race out to the drugstore to buy some de-bugging stuff.

That was Thing Number One.
(Not to be confused with ThingOne)

Thing Number Two -
(Not to be confused with ThingTwo)

I return home from the drugstore, to be greeted at the door by Bubba, bearing bad news. His father had just called: Gaga, Bubba's last remaining grandparent, had just passed away.
(This was sad news, but not wholly unexpected. She was doing fine when we saw her at Christmas, but in the first week of the New Year contracted pneumonia, and deteriorated shockingly quickly.)

I come in the house, throw Schecky in the shower to get him started with the debugging process, and walk Bubba to his car.

When I notice that my car - which was FINE for the trip to the drugstore - now has a flat tire. This is my car which I just got new tires for in November. This is my car which we need for the drive up to Tennessee to be with family.

This is Thing Number Three - the thing that threatens to send me over the edge.

I indulge in a moment of self-pity: "It's hard trying to be an optimist when life keeps kicking my ass," I inwardly grouse. "It's not even Nine Freaking O'Clock!"

Then I tell myself to snap out of it.
I remind myself that none of these things are earth-shattering.
Frustrating, yes. Some of them emotional and sad, yes.
But none of them are devastating.

I remind myself of one of my favorite pictures on Flickr - and I carry on.

And I spend the rest of the day making travel plans, dealing with the tire, and de-lousing my child. (and let me just say - that's a WHOLE LOT OF LOVE right there.)

And there is a light at the end of the tunnel, you know?
Bad things really do tend to happen in threes - so there was none of that pesky "waiting for the final shoe to drop" nonsense.

And there's this:

Many of you already know about my so-called luck with fortune cookies. Those that don't, you can educate yourself here.

This was a nice one to get today.

And it's particularly apt. I'm notoriously bad at asking for help, and even worse at accepting it. So this is a good reminder for me. I might even have to frame it.

And now we're off to Tennessee.
Be back soon...

***Edited to add:***
I told myself that I wasn't going to blog about this. (Which just goes to show how much my word to myself means...) But I think I'm already in a position to laugh about this.

And so please know that this is how you should read this.

I'm not looking for sympathy, or to whinge on about how bad I've got it.
It's just a somewhat wry reflection on life here at the House That Crazy Built.
(And would you look at that? It's the bossy little voice! Now it's telling you how to read my posts. Gah! Stupid bossy little voice...)

*And yes, I know, I know - those blogs are every bit as much a fantasy as the Pottern Barn Kids catalog. It's just the face that these bloggers choose show the world. I know that. But sometimes I do buy into the fantasy that somewhere, somehow, someone has managed to achieve the wholly, truly gracious life.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Tiny Diversion...

It's not all introspective navel-gazing, and forward- and backward-lookingness here at the House That Crazy Built.
(Although there is that...)

There's also been knitting.

In trying to make concrete my thoughts about the upcoming year, I have made one big decision. I've sworn a vow to myself to make sure that I'm carving out a tiny bit of time for me each day*.

And thus far, I've been using that time to knit.

Mostly, I've been making washcloths - firstly, because I love them so (both making them and using them) and lastly... well, there is no lastly, I guess. I just like making them, and I like the idea of having a fresh new set to start off the year.

But it's not been all washcloths all the time.


'Cause I also made this little guy:


Isn't he dreamy?

He's a free pattern from MochiMochiLand.

So sweet.

So fun.

And really, when you think about it - sweet and fun (and squeaky clean)?
It's not a bad way to start off the year...

*And how weird it is that this seems to me to be an incredibly selfish thing to do? As if my family (or anyone, for that matter) would begrudge me 30 minutes to myself, to do whatever it is I want to do? (Not what I feel I *need* to do, or I *should* do.

It still feels selfish, and wrong somehow...
Well, as least it does according to the bossy little voice in my head.

But I'm telling that bossy little voice to shut the hell up.
And I'm taking the time for myself anyway.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Looking Back...

I'm smiling as I type this, because it is just so typical...
It's taken me 9 whole days of the New Year to get it together and write the first post.

The holiday was spent largely out of town, and almost wholly off-line. And once we returned, I thought that it would be nice to focus time/energies/etc. on the boy before he returned to school.
(and I was right, it was nice.)

But now he's back, and instead of diving back in the way I thought I would, I realized that I'd let a whole lot of stuff pile up here at The House That Crazy Built that needed dealing with.

But stuff has been, by and large, dealt with.
So here it is - the first of two posts: one looking back, the other forward.

(And might I just add my belated wishes for a very Happy New Year for us all???)

2007 - the year in review...

First Lines of the Month:
January: I woke this morning to a brilliant blue sky, decorated with the wispiest, laciest, and whitest of clouds.

February: It doesn't seem like there has been a whole lot of "Work In Progress" this week.

March: My heart is breaking for the families of the Ohio college baseball team whose bus plunged off an I-75 overpass this morning.

April: Happy Easter!

May: It all started on Saturday, over a week ago.

June: Since I seem to be a big fan of both being a tourist in your own town and the pursuit of the free thing lately - this weekend I managed to combine the two with a trip to the High Museum.

July: Let's begin with the possum...

August: Too. Damn. Hot.

September: At one point, when I was still in my 20’s, I briefly considered continuing pursuing my Psychology degree further, perhaps going into the realm of counseling.

November: At Least *SOMEONE* Around Here Is Being Creative...

December: I swear, sometimes I feel like my kid is Calvin...

There was craftiness in 2007. Not as much as I would have liked, perhaps - but more than I thought I had done!

2007's Craftiness

There was also cooking and eating in 2007!
(Lots and lots of eating... that might be a topic best discussed in the part II of this post, in a few days...)
There Was Much Eating in 2007, too...

And, of course, there was Schecky...
Wow... look at the difference between the pics at the beginning of the year,
and at the end. It's amazing how much kids grow!

It wasn't all gumdrops, and lollipops here at the House That Crazy Built, though. There were some rough times too. Things like:
  • Bubba spending the first four months of the year in Albany
    (New York, not Georgia)

  • lots and lots and lots of broken crap
    (dryers, and toilets, and footstools, oh my!)

  • not one but at least two very obvious depressive periods
    (Funny that I wasn't wholly aware of them at the time, but in going back and reading? Man, oh man...)

  • chemical burns

  • SF killer viruses that wiped out my inner ear
    (and most of my summer.)

  • Home invasions of the mammalian and avian kind
I originally started off linking the above bullet points to the appropriate posts in this blog, but you know what? I'm not going to do that.*
I'm really glad to have this blog - to have a source to go back and review upon the year as a whole: both the good and the bad stuff.

But I'm not going to dwell on the bad, not even to revisit it.
I got through it, and I'm moving onward now.

Onward and hopefully upward...

Which is a nice segue for the eventual Part II of this post, to be titled "Looking Forward."
(and it hopefully won't take me 9 days to write!)

*OK, actually I am going to link to the possum story.
'Cause that was even funny at the time...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Bubba, Schecky & I wish you and your families a very Happy New Year...