Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Scrambled Eggs

I spent a large portion of my day at work today trying to figure out how to use Photoshop .atn files in GIMP. This is waaaaayyyy above my head. I want to be able to make my pictures brighter and prettier without having to understand all of the nonsense that digital photographers do in their evil little software laboratories. And there's a set of free actions that I really like.
So I found this little plug-in (I think that's what it is) called GIMP# or GIMP sharp and it is very complicated, but one of the things it can do is help you to do just what I was wanting to do. See? So, I wandered around in forums and plugin registries and things and spent hours doing what felt like trying to translate Geek Greek into my native tongue to no avail. Possibly. I can't be sure.
My brain is addled. Addled is a word that I like a lot. It sounds like it means Scrambled Eggs. Which, I suppose, would be what I should actually write if I was wanting to say that my brains were Scrambled Eggs.
I got pretty far with it, for someone who has absolutely no business trying to figure out things like this. I got it all installed and downloaded my little actions and updated my version of GIMP. And figured out where to put what files and opened it all up and everything was in its place. Then, when I went to use my fun little tool, it crashed. Somebody else on some forum's GIMP thread had the same problem. But the answers and the questions are out of my reach.
Ah well. I should probably spend more time at work actually working.

DAILY BLISS: Emma had to wear her beret to school. All the other moms wanted one for their girls, too.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

En Français, A Beret

Fraises et Crème
Too many cute pictures to choose from, so I will show you (almost) all!

Pattern: La Parisenne by the Sock Pixie
Yarn: Bernat Soy in Rice and Sugar Cane

Changes: I knit the band with size 2 DPNs for a little tighter gage/kids' hat

Good For Me

Since I was on such a productive streak coming off the weekend, I decided to amp it up a bit and exercise.
I know, I know. This is really a shocking admission. Most of you know that I do not like to sweat. You know how some people get a healthy exercise glow? Not me - it's blotchy redness and sweat. Adrenaline rush? Ha. Not so much. Aching regret usually hits me straightaway after I've cooled down and my breathing returns to normal.
But I know it's good for me. So I try to make myself do it. You know how some people are yo-yo dieters? Well, I'm a yo-yo exerciser. I get all optimistic and start a new regimen and give it up within three days or so. Sometimes it lasts longer, but so far, nothing has ever stuck. None of those "lifestyle changes," thanks.
But I've been feeling guilty about that little Monday Hour that I have between work and picking up the kiddos from chess club. Knitting is great, sewing is fun, and even the occasional stop at a Starbucks is a satisfying way to kill some time and feed my soul, as it were. But are there any lasting benefits? Not so much.
So it was my Monday Hour and I thought I'd better get my ass off the sofa and do something about all this guilt. So, I exercised.
It wasn't that bad, really.
But the best part? It only took 30 minutes, so I was still alone in the house. As I was still a little too, uh, dewy to put my work clothes back on, I just sat on my bed in my, well, undies and knitted on a little beret that I'm making for Emma. If you have never knitted in your unders, I can now highly recommend that you try. As a matter of fact, just about anything is more fun if you do it in the skivvies during daylight hours. Washing dishes might even take on a new appeal. Hm...
So the beret is super-cute, but I don't have pictures just yet. It's almost done. It's pink and cream striped and is going to be adorable on my dear Emma, the artist. I think I will call it the Strawberries and Cream beret, only it's a beret, so that should be in French. Mindy Sue? How do you say Strawberries and Cream in French? I'm too worn out from all that exercising to Google it.

DAILY BLISS: a big bowl of fresh cantaloupe

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Oh man, did we do a lot of stuff this weekend! I don't even remember Friday, but I do know that on Saturday, my parents took the kids to see the Royal Lipizzaner Stallions, which mean that Chris and I got a lot done. Yard work and such, I mean. My burly lumberjack chopped and pulled and dug out the last of that stump and planted my citrus trees and he finished mowing and we got the old washer and dryer that have been broken and on our back porch out to the curb because there was a special pick-up for that sort of thing in our neighborhood. Whew! That was a really long sentence. I offer sincere apologies, but I'm not sorry enough to edit it.

And here's one for Nana:

I was productive in my own right and finished a dress. This is one of the first ones I started on when I wanted to Frankenstein stuff and make up skirts to go onto tops I liked. The skirt didn't exactly work - too much fabric - so I cut it. But the cut wasn't right either. Then I decided that if I cut off part that I had messed up, I could turn it upside down and have a little empire waist top. Make sense? I didn't think so. But it was too long to be a top and too short to be a dress. What I really wanted was a dress, so I decided that I could just add a long ruffle at the bottom and make a dress. And it worked! And I love it! Every picture of me in it proves that the camera indeed adds ten pounds, and since this blog is all about painting me in the best possible light (ha!), here are the carefully selected, best-of-me-regardless-of-how-well-you-see-the-dress photos:

And today, I spent an awful lot of time organizing our summer camp schedule (which makes me want to curl up and take a nap, it's going to be that crazy) and the rest of the awful lot of time making invitations for my grandparents anniversary party. I do like to use decorative scissors and brads and glue and stuff. So, I aged a scanned copy of Edelweiss sheet music (it's a German-themed party, remember) and added a vellum sheet with sparkles in it over the top with the party info, and put a cute photo of the happy couple on it and fastened the whole thing together with pretty little flower-shaped brads. I like these a lot:

And I also made a big mess:

Actually, I've made lots of messes this weekend because I've been a very busy maker. I made a dress and invitations and charts and schedules and even some of my famous scones. For you biscuit dough fans out there - I ate an extra pinch of it in your honor. It's my favorite biscuit dough ever.
So, as I always say: With great creativity comes great mess, and with great mess comes great happiness. Or something like that. I never actually say that. But maybe I'll start.....
I find I did not accomplish nearly what I had expected to this weekend, but looking at it all here, I think I can rest in the knowledge that I've done all that I could.

DAILY BLISS: my ticking wall clock on a quiet Sunday afternoon and my silly, noisy birds

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Little This and A Little That

Thank you all so much for the hair love! You've made me blush. I think it will be great, Alli, if our haircuts match. It would be a grand excuse to get together and take pictures. And Amy? The whole easier-to-see-the-tattoo part? That's totally part of the plan!
Yesterday was Administrative Professionals Day and I got this nifty little coffee mug from my Julianna(AKA: I laughed so hard I almost cried):

Made by CoolCupsandStuff.
Pretty much sums it up for me.
Today was Take-Your-Kids-To-Work day. Emma went with Chris and I took Drew. He and I had the quieter of the two days. Though, he was happy with all the free computer time my job entails. Emma greeted everyone very politely and got to scan some merchandise at a store with Daddy. I think they went to check up on an inventory or something. She has been planning this for more than a year now - she ended up being sick last year, so we had to skip it. Lunch at Subway has been on the agenda for that long, so that's what they did. She even got a little mini-me work shirt and totally planned out her khaki shorts, since Daddy wears khakis to work. It was super-cute.

I'm off to bed. Tonight was Emma's stretch class in ballet. Her teacher always invites me to stretch along with them because my "extensions" and "turnouts" are apparently very impressive. I'm short and squatty, but I'm very bendy! And now I am very sore.

DAILY BLISS: laughing with my boy and a new knitting project

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I cut off my hair today. It's not as short as I was prepared to go, but I'm really happy with it. My hair guy is the best. I think I'll keep it short a while and let all my new hair (growing in after the health crisis hair loss) catch up with my old hair. So, is it vain to post multiple photos of oneself? I think it's probably OK if someone else took them, right? Mindy stopped by and I asked her to take some hair pictures to share....she's great behind any lens - even behind my point-and-shoot 4 megapixel old camera!

I really like it.

DAILY BLISS: two boxes of records from my brother to rifle through and pick what I want - already I see Pink Floyd, Chicago and Bob Dylan!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Good Neighbors

By now, all of you know that one of my neighbors keeps chickens. This often soothes my unfulfilled desire to live in the country. But did you know that my other neighbor keeps bees? I've probably never mentioned it before.
I came home from a little crafty run (needed one last thing to finish up Becky's gifty) and heard my hubby mowing in the back yard (as it is Earth Day, I feel I must mention that we use a manual lawn mower - the rotary kind) and as I walked around the corner, he said, "Honey. You're never going to believe what's on the kitchen counter." This could really mean anything - good or bad - because he'd been alone with the kids for a while and things can get a little crazy around here when that happens. So I said, "huh?" "You will not believe what's on the kitchen counter," he said, "just go look."
And there it was. My very own, very large jar of real, fresh, raw honey.

All of its enzymes and pollen bits and antioxidants are intact. I am very excited. I have even read that raw honey contains a unique antioxidant that improves brain function. I might eat the whole jar just to see if I get smarter. I think I'll be able to tell.
So, here in downtown Lakeland, I get fresh eggs and raw honey from my next-door neighbors. I might have to get a goat or something, just to feel like I'm doing my part....

DAILY BLISS: Finishing a pretty knitted something and a good hair day which, incidentally, is the only one I've had in a good month and it comes on the eve of my big hair-chopping appointment. I got sick of it and decided to cut it all off, just in time to get a good hair day. Go figure.

A Few Awful Photos

For Mary, the Almost Skirt, as seen through the lip gloss-stained ballet mirror in Emma's room:

I love, love, love this print - it was a Jonathan Adler Home duvet cover! This skirt started out as a dress that I kind of made up. I soon discovered that I have no talent when it comes to making up dresses, so I cut off the top and added a zipper. My first zipper - and it wasn't too bad. But the fabric kind of folds in at the sides. I think the waist needed to have more of a dip in the cut, if that makes any sense at all. But it's wearable and I do not want to spend more time with this skirt.
For Mindy, the baby bird, as seen from inside my laundry room:

This was after he realized that he was in my hand and flapped as hard as he could to get to the light.
For Nana, the lumberjack:

The answer to your question is, of course, yes. I did take photos. But they weren't great and didn't quite capture the hunky brawn of a man in action! But here is what I do have, for your viewing pleasure, you dirty old lady:) You can look, you can even pinch, but that is all mine.
Fun question: Who was your favorite Monkee? I heard "Daydream Believer" this morning on the radio and, as it always does, it made me smile big and heave an involuntary, deep sigh. I always thought Davy was sooooo cute, but the truth is, I knew I'd have lots more fun with Peter.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


It's been a nice weekend. They always go by too fast.
Andrew had a friend over for a sleepover. It went well, I guess. There are few problems that we've encountered, being a family of limited means and sending our kids to a private school. Here's one of them: his friend, in all innocence, said, "Whoa. Your house is small. I guess I'll have to get used to that while I'm here." And he really didn't mean anything by it - yet. So I'm not offended or hurt - yet. In a year or two, we shall see who means what. But they stayed up late, late, late and played video games and did other guy stuff. I think there was a Robosapien and Roboraptor battle at some point, but I was trying to sleep. I'm not sure.
I spent a lot of time this weekend working on my grandparents' anniversary party invitations. A lot of it is in German, so it took some time. I was stuck between a couple of fonts and I ended up asking Chris if he liked what I'd picked. Emma was in the same room and came over to have a look. She said, "Is that Chicken Basket (the name of a font I bought from" And I had to say that, yes, she was right. Just being silly, I told her I liked Cocktail Script a lot too, but I thought Chicken Basket was better for these words, since it was a little more readable in German. She asked if I had thought about trying Edwardian Script. Or Blackladder. She said she liked both of those two.
My word. I have replicated myself. I certainly left that conversation scratching my head, full of strange, fonty pride and chuckling just a bit.
We were out in the yard a little bit later, stalking our baby birds and I heard something moving between our fence and our neighbor's fence. It's hard to explain the set-up, but there's a little space in between then. I thought it was, maybe, one of those evil neighborhood cats who have also been stalking my baby birds. So I sent Chris over. Turns out, one of my neighbor's chickens had dug out of their coop and she couldn't figure out how to get back in. Not real smart, those chickens. This one is Goldie. She's actually very sweet and let me scratch her neck a bit. She lays the cutest little brown eggs. And she was very glad that we helped her get back home. Emma and I may have to write another story - Goldie's Big Adventure, in which she doesn't get very far, but doesn't really know the difference.
The Papa of our little baby birds has been singing very loudly over the last couple of days. I went out on the porch to have a good listen and recognized the songs of a couple other birds, which gave me a clue, which led me to look it up and now I know that they are mockingbirds. Mama and Papa have been teaching them to fly in our yard. Yesterday, we went out the back door and I was talking to Chris, then noticed that Maimie (our harmless poodle) was very intent on something which turned out to be one of the babies. The baby got scared and went under the house. I know this to be where cats like to hang. I was panicking. Since we have a raised foundation, we were poking sticks in at all locations trying to scare him back out. Andrew finally found him. He had come back out between some of the cement blocks and wound up in the laundry room. By now, this little baby was very scared and confused. I had to rescue him. I started toward him, trying to contain my excitement, when the Voice of Reason cautioned me in its deep, be-dimpled voice to get a pair of gloves first. Of course. Brilliant. I did put on some gloves and the baby bird got into my hands and I took him out to safety. Hooray!! He started crying at his Mama who scolded him with a series of "chip"s as they went through the fence into the back alley.
My man picked up his axe and started swinging it at a tree stump for me. That was pretty hot stuff. I want to plant my orange tree (yeah - it's still in the pot from when we bought it, what, a month ago?) in a certain spot of our yard, but the stump is still there from a tree we lost back in the hurricanes of '04. So he is working on that stump. There is something about watching your man be a lumberjack that makes you want to....
cook him some dinner, no?
He does deserve a back rub, though. He's pretty sore today.
Sigh. It's so much work to be me.
Okay. Where was I?
And then Chris saw a black cat leap out at the Mama and baby mockingbirds in the alley. And then, my strong, quick, amazingly limber husband dropped the axe and in one fluid motion, charged, then jumped over the fence (there was no climbing ladies - this was a manly leap) and scared the bejeebers out of that cat! Yay, honey! Hoo boy, these baby birds had better grow up and fly soon. We are getting tired.

DAILY BLISS: good coffee, first thing in the morning, still in bed

Friday, April 18, 2008


Since I haven't much to say, I thought I'd post some great photos of my grandparents that my mom took the other day. They are preparing to celebrate their 60th anniversary and we'll be throwing a German-themed party. Thus the dirndl and lederhosen...
The photos of my grandpa made me laugh out loud! I hope they give you a chuckle too.

DAILY BLISS: Coffee Friday (that's our "meeting" we have on Pastor's day off at work) and music - because I finally remembered to charge my iPod. I'm awful about that.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Birds and Bees

Both of my kids were in the school's spelling bee today! I'm all puffed up and proud. They both wound up in the top two for their classes and today's bee trimmed it down to a top speller per grade.
This was Emma's first spelling bee and one of her first times to be on a stage in front of everyone. She's great in living rooms and at parties, of course. She loves to be the center of attention. She just freaks out in front of a crowd. So.....she went down in the second round, but at least she was not the first one eliminated. There were bitter tears. But she eventually calmed down and was able to watch the rest of the kids spell their hearts out. At the end, as the classes stood up to leave, Chris and I were totally cracked up by the swarm of little girls that clustered around her within seconds. Chris said, "It's like she just got dumped or something!" There was back-rubbing and arm-locking and hair-stroking. This, of course, started the waterworks up again. Estrogen at work. At least she is loved. And, I'm really proud of her for getting up there and giving it a go.
Andrew, on the other hand, came out on the top of a one-hour death match spelling smack-down. Seriously - once it got down to two kids, he and the other guy spelled for nearly an hour. I never knew that spelling could be so intense! So, he moves on to the regional bee. Again, I could not be more proud!
In other news, the second clutch of baby birds has left the nest. I came home from work and heard their little voices in the trees - separate trees. I have spent most of my afternoon and evening craning my neck and trying to find them. We did find one casualty, but it seems that two of them have made it this far and are stretching and trying out their new skills. They are very cute. I love that they seem to be trying out their grown-up calls, which sound kind of like "chip, chip, chip," but as soon as they catch sight of Mama, they revert to their hungry baby sound, which sounds a little bit like a penny whistle. I tried to catch a can kinda see the baby here, right in the middle:

The kids were really happy to see the babies too. They have short little tails and fuzzy little heads. I love them.

DAILY BLISS: cheering on my boy - we don't do soccer or basketball, but once in a while I get to play cheerleader anyway

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

With Apologies

Sorry about all the dead air here.
I just don't feel like writing.
(pause for the collective gasp)
Nothing dire or drastic going on. In fact, nothing's going on.
I'm one of those girls who usually has the whole mountains-from-molehills thing nailed down, but even I am having a hard time finding the stories in my day-to-day right now.
That sounds sad, I know. But it's not.
Just wanted to check in and let you know that I'm still breathing, anyway.

DAILY BLISS: joking around with Andrew and Dove dark chocolate, baby

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

An Invitation

Hey bloggy friends, Emma is now set up with her very own blog! Due to safety concerns, of course, I have set her blog as an invitation-only one. Most of you have already gotten an email from me with a link that allows you to be a "reader" of her blog. If any of you are interested and haven't heard from me, just drop a comment here with your email address. I won't publish it, I'll just email you the "invitation." She is already 100% addicted to comments, as we all are, and will enjoy hearing from you, to be sure :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Birds and Birds and Monday Stuff

We haven't seen any more of our baby wrens since they flew the coop, but I've heard Mama and Papa singing around the area. They can't have gone far. The nest in the front yard is now our birdly focus. I don't know what kind of birds they are, but they have not built their nest in the best spot. It is in the Spanish bayonet (a.k.a. the Death Plant), so it probably does deter some predators, but the neighborhood cats are all slinking around the bottom of the plant and just waiting for the babies to try to fly. It's a little disturbing. I run out the front door and chase the cats every time I hear the parents scolding something. Usually, once the cat is out in the open, they dive-bomb it. I don't suppose there's a lot of hope in it, but I can't help hoping they make it anyway.
Speaking of birds, funny story:
I went to pick up the kids from chess today and before I knew what happened, I was in charge of a bird habitat demonstration for Celebrate Creation week at the kids' school tomorrow. I'm not exactly sure how it happened. There was chaos and desperation, and a kid or two talking at the same time and - BAM! - I had a big bag full of educational materials and stuffed birds. I'm doing some research, because actually this kind of thing is super-fun for me. We shall see how it goes. Had I more time, there would be recordings of bird calls and appropriate food/beak tool demonstrations and probably a take-home activity or two. As it is, we will be building nests with tools that simulate different birds' beaks. Yay! And it will be lovely and chilly outside, too.
Speaking of chilly and lovely:
I enjoyed my Monday knitting spot at the lake one last time. It had been a little too warm as of late, but we got this nice little cold front and I could not resist a breezy hour with my friendly size 10 needles and a skein of Lion Brand homespun. Becky? Your gifty is taking longer than I thought, but it's getting there. I'm soooo excited!

DAILY BLISS: Earl Grey tea, handed to me by a barista (if it's a guy, shouldn't it be baristo?) who said "Earl Grey" with a Scottish accent. He asked me if I needed any honey or sugar. I said, "not after that!"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Glorious Saturday

We launched into Friday knowing that we wouldn't stop until we all hit school and work on Monday. It was one of those non-stop schedule things. Birthday parties? Two. Errands? Yup. Those too. Checkbooks that needed balancing and a long-overdue trip to the grocery store were on the agenda. Have you ever noticed how not having food in the house complicates a full schedule?
But Saturday night was my reward. Saturday night, I got to go with my best girls to the ballet - Swan Lake. We all dressed up and Emma wore some shiny clip-on earrings. The performance was just beautiful and I was happily surprised at the presence of a live orchestra. I have actually bought tickets to a ballet before and arrived to find them dancing to a CD. I always check now. But I didn't buy these tickets, so, it was a nice surprise.
The performance was just breathtaking and my little ballerina was enchanted. She fell asleep about 15 minutes before the end, though. Granted, since it started at 8:00, it wasn't over until somewhere around 10:30 or 11:00. We all laughed and enjoyed each other so much.
I was talking to another mom at one of those birthday parties this weekend about our girls and how they're so different from boys. It occurred to me that, as I grew up, I was a girly girl, but was never really comfortable with it. My mom was such a tomboy and didn't understand that side of me. That's not a complaint, Mom. I only had brothers and all my closest friends were boys. I remember worrying about what I'd do with a daughter. How would I relate to her? Boys I understand. Girls? I didn't even like 'em much.
But my girl, who is girl through and through, has given me such a great opportunity to understand myself and explore all the girl stuff I can handle - ballets and princess stories and fairies - and it's so much fun!

DAILY BLISS: one last, slightly freakish, chance to wear flannel jammies tonight. lows in the fifties? in April?

Friday, April 11, 2008


Well, our little wrens have left the nest. I got the report from Chris last night when he went out to switch the laundry.
Actually, Chris has been totally obsessed with the birds. I get regular reports of when the parents are feeding them and lots of information on Carolina Wrens when he feels the need to Google them. Did you know they're monogamous? Also, they have to feed the babies every 15 minutes after they hatch. Mama and Papa Wren, as we call them (they never did tell me their names), have been so busy hunting and flitting in and out of the laundry room.
So, they left the nest yesterday and we spent a large portion of our morning watching the little ones stumble around the yard and flutter and flap. They are absolutely adorable.
Sadly, that's the most interesting thing about my week. Hope yours were eventful - but only in the good ways!

DAILY BLISS: I think it's gonna be when I finally go to bed tonight. I really do love my bed!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's A Good Day To Be Me

Why is it a good day to be me, you ask? It is not because we overslept by one hour this morning. It is not because my children were actually smacking each other around in a store this afternoon. It is not because I still haven't made a dress that's quite right.
It's because we had a picnic with our old friends today. Mary and Kris came to town. Kris has been my friend since 7th grade (no, I didn't have many friends that were girls - I can count them on one hand). I found myself wondering at this: my circle of girls is composed, in part, of the wives of the men who used to be the boys that were my circle of friends when I was a kid. Isn't that really amazing? It probably helps that I never dated any of them, I guess. It's a great thing to sit with people that you haven't seen in years and just hang out. There doesn't have to be deep, earth-moving conversation. There doesn't have to be re-telling of old stories. We can just "be." I like that. Their boys were beautiful and I got to snuggle that new one a bit. That sweet little guy almost made me wish I could have just one more. Alas, I cannot. But that makes it infinitely more fun for me to hug other peoples' little ones. Mary would kill me if I posted the photo I took of her, so I will resort posting one that contains Kris:

Mary started this whole pay-it-forward thing, where you give and get handmade goodies to people. She brought me my goodie today and I could not be more thrilled (insert squeal of delight)! It is the most delicious, shabby chic, wonderful little apron I have ever tried on. Girls, don't ya sometimes wish you could get away with wearing a few ruffles like you did when you were little? Well, getta load-a this:

Could you just die? I know. I know. I'm actually still wearing it. Confession: I might sleep in it. I'd bet that my rhubarb crisp will taste even better if I make it while I wear this apron. It's a rhubarb crisp kind of an apron, don't you think? Of course, it will make all other sorts of baking even better than before, too. You need to know that the black and white part is the dress I'm wearing, not some oddly mismatched bit of apron - blame the photographer for that visual confusion, but just don't tell him.
So, old friends + easy conversation + tons of cute kids + amazing apron-y goodness + brie cheese and blackberries = good day to be me.
The end.

DAILY BLISS: I'm gonna have to share this, because it's sooooo funny and made me laugh really hard, and it's particularly something that Alli will like. Emma was having some imaginary game going on in the back seat today and I tuned in just in time to hear this line, spoken in a scandalous, catty tone:
"Oh. So, I see you brought your dead wife."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sigh. Real Life Starts Tomorrow.

I took last Friday off and it was wonderful. Amazing. It was the (insert your favorite superlative).
I need more of it, though. Sadly, I must return to real life, real schedule, real work and real motherhood tomorrow.
As it is, I have spent much of this weekend in frustration at the sewing machine with very little to show for it. I have an almost-skirt that started out as a dress and a pair of pants for Emma that she doesn't like because the finished seams are scratchy on the inside. Oh, and they're not hemmed yet. Sewing would probably be easier if I could just stick to a pattern or two until the idea is sort of second-nature to me, but I never do take the easy way out.
It rained today, though. All afternoon it has rained and it is still raining tonight. And I love it. We spent quite a bit of time with our Transformers Monopoly game and our children. Monopoly is much more fun now that Emma can add and subtract.
Chris' birthday was Friday and it hurt his feelings a little bit. The realization that he is now in his mid-thirties was a little tough. But there was a Shaving Incident, so now his chin is quite bare and he looks young. That is small consolation. It doesn't console me much either.
Pop Quiz:
I never can get enough of:
A. dessert
B. making stuff for my friends
C. men with facial hair
D. Beatrix Potter
E. all of the above
Yes, of course, the answer is E, with C being the surprising twist. It's probably 'cause my dad always, always had at least a moustache, if not a beard. Chris tried leaving on the moustache, but it was a little bit Earl Hickey and Andrew laughed and laughed. I chuckled a little bit too, but much more stealthily than Andrew. I just think moustaches look friendly. I do not claim to have good taste.
I think I'm going to hit the sewing machine again. I don't know if I could sleep tonight without having finished something to my satisfaction.

DAILY BLISS: afternoon coffee

Thursday, April 3, 2008

News and Stuff

Boy, do I need to dump out my brain. I skimmed the top off of my brain soup the other day, but I need to get all of it out. I will now subject you to way too many words and even more photos. You have been duly warned.
I left work a little early today to kick off my long weekend. I'm really looking forward to hanging out at home with the hubbo and kiddos.
Also, I had plans to meet up with Alli and visit the chapel of Florida Southern College. It's a Frank Lloyd Wright building, but she can tell you lots more about it than I can. All I can say is that it was a beautiful, intimate space and what's more, the company was wonderful. I got to give her the first of my pay-it-forward objects - that shawl that I finished yesterday. It was still a little damp from blocking (I used a blow-dryer to speed it along!), but I was really excited to pass it on, as I really felt like the pattern and the yarn both were really well-suited to the recipient. It's funny how hearts connect. Ours have connected mostly in the blogosphere, even though we knew each other in high school

I managed to pull off a weensy bit of shopping. I found a duvet cover at Ross last weekend that I decided would make a fantastic sundress. It was only fifteen dollars for the queen-sized one and there's no way I could find that much fabric for that price (unless it was on the one-dollar table at WalMart and, let's be honest, that has its place, but not as a swishy summer dress). But I don't have enough dresses yet to start up the No Pants Summer and it will take me a long time to finish one at the rate I can go these days so I bought a dress too. I saw it and wanted it. It was reasonably priced. I put it back on the rack. But then I had to go back to it and look one more time. You know how that goes - I decided to try it on because usually, dresses off the rack are not as cute on me as I hoped they would be. Then it's easier to leave it at the store and feel smug about not being fooled by a sly little lying sort of a dress. But this dress actually was telling the truth. It was just as cute on me as it whispered it would be, so in the interest of instant gratification and not rushing through the dress I'm going to make, I bought it. Can you tell I feel a little guilty?
We also went out for pizza. I would like to point out that I have not had a slice of pizza in a year and a half - possibly more. Due to the health problems I'd had, dairy was a no-no. But Dairy and I have been joyously reunited, though we're taking things a little slow this time around. And I had pizza. It was fabulous. And while we were in the little pizza joint, the afternoon rain started up in a glorious fashion.
We've had some summer-like gullywashers this week, which I love, but they also signal the seasonal change that's coming, which I don't love. You can have our summers. I don't like them.
Tomorrow is Chris' birthday. I'll be making him a special Birthday Breakfast, so on the way home from shopping, we ducked into Publix. Upon exiting, Emma and I were treated to the most amazing rainbow that I have ever seen. Ever. It was a bright and full arc and you could even see the violet clearly! What's more, it was a double rainbow. A full double rainbow! I tried to catch it with my camera once we got home, but this is all that was left:

In leftover news that hasn't made it to the blog yet.....
1) I would like to point out that my sister-in-law and I met up for coffee and a little bit of Public Knitting this week. It is so great to have a sister-in-law that may as well be my real sister. We even look a little bit alike. Seriously. My very own grandma once mistook her for me. She's so creative and has such a great sense of personal style. We're both really aching for some creative direction and it was nice to explore some ideas with someone who understands. We're going junking on Saturday. I can't wait! And there may be a photography class in my future.....
2) Mom's sweater:

3) We found out that Andrew is far, far down the waiting list for the choice school we had decided was a good option. Private school is getting pricier and pricier and while we were not comfortable with our public school options, this one had a couple of soothing bonuses. One would be that he would be under the care of my former youth pastors, who would be his teachers all through middle school, two was that another friend's mom is also a teacher there and I know she'd keep an eye out for him too and three was their technology extras. At any rate, this has been a huge stress factor for me. But he is not getting into that school. Which means he'll stay right where he is and I trust that it must be right where God wants him to be too. We prayed that God would open the doors to the best possible environment for our boy. And I think He did.
4) We've been looking at adding on, but that's not going to happen. I had hoped to spread out a little bit and find some breathing room, but it looks like we will have to get creative and rework the space we already have. Sigh.

Most of these things could be entire posts in themselves, but it feels better today to just dump out the facts than to explore the details.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Break Fun

We decided to take a life-detour today and went to the beach when I was done at work to catch the sunset. Chris is home with the kids for the rest of this week and we wanted to make sure we did something fun over their spring break.
I wove in the ends of a huge, huge thing I've been knitting and that felt really super good. Finished it right there on the beach! Here it is getting a beach hug. Now it's sitting on my living room floor blocking. That should really open up the lace - I'm so excited to see it all finished!

Emma and I went for a long walk down the sand and I taught her the word "perambulating" and she liked it a lot. She directed me to giggle and dance in circles so that we would have more fun. She was utterly charming as she danced splashy circles around me, walking up and down the shore. She also told me I was the most magical mom ever. Here's some Emma fun:

Drew spent his time building a castle with a moat, then he carved a TV and a Wii into the sand and spent his time fashioning a remote control out of wet sand and a stick. You can take the boy away from electronics, but he'll find a way to play with them anyway! Boys don't like to be still and have their picture taken. Here's the best I could catch of him at work:

I really needed this evening out. The beach is such a restoring place for me. The thing is, I'm not sure whether it soothes my aches or feeds them. But I know that I feel better when I leave. But I'm not a baking-in-the-sun beach person. I prefer to be there as the sun goes down and the light is buttery and warm, and the breezes cool off just enough to give you goosebumps now and again.
As I haven't been swimsuit shopping for a couple of years and I don't own a pair of capris, I decided to start No Pants Summer a little early and wore a skirt to the beach. That was absolutely fun. I highly recommend wading out into the shallows and letting the hem get wet.
The kids took over an abandoned sand-hole and made a little living room (the site of the aforementioned TV and Wii). Emma's sitting in the armchair below taking in the last of the setting sun.

DAILY BLISS: the glassy clink of perfect shells in my hand

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Mindy, Becky, I think I deleted your comments! My most sincere apologies to you both, especially considering the nice things you had to say. If you would like to re-comment, please feel free.
Otherwise, just shake your head in wonder at the fumbling mess I am when it comes to clicking on buttons and such.