Sunday, December 23, 2007

One Down, One to Go

Jessica Sprague, thank you SO SO much! What a wonderful free digital calendar kit! I was able to crank out my mother in law's calendar in record time.
Now to do my mom's. You'd think that, going onto year 5, I'd start these things before the 20-something of December. Seriously. One layout a month, Holly. Or all in advance, and plug in B&W pics!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

AEP workers and friends, we love you!

Thank you to all who came to bail us out in Oklahoma last week and this week. We had a record-breaking power outage due to an ice storm two weekends ago, leaving us all (well, almost all. We won't talk about the lucky ones. Snobs.) in the dark for days. Literally. I was apparently among the fortunate ones when our power came back on Friday evening (it went out Sunday night); oy! My sister's family stayed with us until theirs came back on Monday evening, and I talked to a friend who just got hers today! Those without damage requiring an electrician are all back on now, but hundreds (thousands?) are still in the dark and the cold because of boxes and meters coming away from the house and other issues.

So there are thousands of wonderful men and women here from all over the country, sleeping on who knows what at the fairgrounds, helping our local men and women to get everyone back into their homes safe and sound. A big, huge, warm THANK YOU to you all! I wanted to bring you hot chocolate (the gas cooktop and the gas water heater were our lifesavers) when you worked on our street, but apparently I wasn't home at the time, or you didn't need to be on our actual street to fix our neighborhood. So thanks anyway!

Now, to the not so nice people at AEP, the higher ups: When there's a huge ice storm that knocks out the power for hundreds of thousands of people for days, even weeks, have a heart! Don't send out the monthly bill in the midst of everything! You'll get your money in due time, but next time, hold that stack of bills and emails for a week or so. Talk about insult to injury Friday morning, receiving a bill from a company whose utilities I was currently unable to use. Not that the outage was their fault, but the billing? Tactless and just plain mean. Especially to a mother who was at her wit's end, crying in Barnes and Noble while her two children who were supposed to be at school in the ideal world were fighting over books and accidentally knocking porcelain plates full of rice krispie treats (seriously, who was the nimrod who gave my 3 year old a real live plate, a rice krispie treat, and a PLASTIC fork??? Disaster waiting to happen as he insisted that he could cut the dessert with his fork. Yeah, uh huh.) onto the floor, shattering the plate, of course. Yeah, a few extra days would have been nice.

Last week we were all united (well, most of us. We've already mentioned the lucky ones who were out of cable for a day or so. Did I mention my temporary dislike for them yet?) as we tried to keep warm, feed our families, keep them occupied, and find them shelter of some sort. This week is another union, this time made up of moms who are scrambling to throw together tomorrow's or Friday's homeroom Winter/Christmas parties so the kids have something to do and eat; and the rest of the town trying frantically to make some sense of cleanliness and order in their homes again, Christmas shopping and mailing, and preparation for guests, travel, or both. Last week was "So is your power back on?" and "So are you guys braving the cold in your house or did you get lucky and get into a hotel before they filled up?" and "I hear there's still room at the shelter at ... church." This week is "You too? As long as the class has sugar and a goodie bag, they'll be happy" and "Oh, I know! I don't know where to start! Bills, shopping, cleaning, all of the above, all before Johnny gets out of school in an hour. You too?"

My sense of priority, lacking as it was before all of this, has taken a serious nosedive this week. NO idea what to do first! What a bad time of winter to have had all this happen! Why not in January, where all we'd be doing this week was cleaning up, sending our kids off to school each morning, and spending evenings eating soup and curling up with a good book, movie, or knitting project?

But at least I'm warm. And online. I kept telling myself all week that it was going to make for great stories later on. NOT all that comforting in the midst of it, though, I can tell you that! Lots of crying and freaking out lately. Serenity now!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

On the needles....

Here's my eternally long project, the Rowan butterfly dress. I bought the dyeable yarn from Knit Picks in the spring, had to reorder it when it never arrived, dyed it and hated it, overdyed it with red and like it, and then promptly realized that I was very incompetent when it came to lace. They say this is a hard pattern, the fringe, anyway. I'll stick to that story. Anyway, I'm finally on to the dress itself after knitting two layers of fringe lace. It's not nearly this pink, but I have decided that it will get another dunking in the red dye when it's done. That'll make the overall dress a darker salmony red, while the fringe lace that you see in the lefthand corner will be more like the dress color is now. Don't dye only half a skein of yarn for a camisole then decide to switch to a dress instead. Recipe for disaster, or panic at the very least.

Here's my second attempt at knitting something out of the luscious Suss Love yarn that Brad bought me for Valentine's Day. I started on the Simple Knitted Bodice Sweater and ripped out the WHOLE thing when I realized it wasn't my cup of tea, and I wasn't planning on gaining 20 pounds anytime soon. When a sweater seems too big, don't keep knitting! Get out a tape measure and measure the thing! So this is a typical bottom-up raglan with slightly flared sleeves. We'll see how it turns out eventually.

Then we have the baby socks I'm knitting out of the super soft merino/silk blend from Knit Picks. I dyed this, too. Don't ask what I used; I already forget. Some combination of Koolaid and Wilton dyes. It's really pretty, though. Very shiny with the silk. The rest of the skein was a pair of socks until last night, when I frogged them because they were too big. Trying again now.

And then comes the pair of socks I'm knitting for Brad. I hate the yarn, but one can't just go out and replace it for free, so I'm still plugging away at them. I used Cascade Fixation, a cotton and nylon (?) blend. Nubby, cottony, not my favorite. Oh, well. I'll make him some wool ones next. He wanted socks, and all the LYS had was girly sock yarn or ugly sock yarn, so I took a chance on the Fixation. Nah.

Note that the top sock has a significantly shorter length of toe. Yeah. Great. I thought I was all done, grafted the toe, and looked down, and lo and behold, they were two different sizes. Crap. More to do on the hated yarn.

Knitting WIPs

Seeing as how this is a knitting blog first and foremost, maybe I should get back to some knitting posts. I've got several works in progress and several more in my mind. I tried so hard to stick to just one thing at a time, but it really helps to have different things going at once. It breaks up the monotony of hundreds of rows of stockinette on a single-colored sweater. It gives the hands a rest from the thousands of tiny stitches in a sock. It gives the brain a rest from the frustrating memorization (0r lack thereof) of a lace pattern. Yep, multitasking is great.
Okay, I'll take some pictures today of my knitting. Although, the Christmas presents will have to remain enigmatic or absent from the photo lineup. You know, in case the two people who read my blog are recipients of any said presents.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It just needs a little paint...

1.) When you walk in your front door, which room do you enter?
Entry hall.
2.)Do you have a dishwasher?
Yes. I wish I had two, though.
3.) Is your living room carpeted or does it have hardwood floors?
Carpet for now. Laminate wood when we update the kitchen/living room next fall.
4.) Do you keep your kitchen knives on the counter or in a drawer?
On a magnetic strip on our wall. I love it!
5.) House, apartment, duplex or trailer?
6.) How many bedrooms does it have?
7.) Gas stove or electric?
8.) Do you have a yard?
Yep. Good thing our next door neighbor has a lawn service. We splurged this summer and are so glad we did!
9.) What size TV is in the living room?
Um, 32"? Or the next size up. What's that, 36"?
10.) Are your plates in the same cupboard as your glasses?
11.) Is there a coffee maker sitting on your kitchen counter?
Well, there are two French press pots and a burr grinder. Do they count?
13.) What room is your computer in?
Mine's in the dining room in an armoire of sorts. The boys have a new one (which I'm on) in the living room because is so addictive. I had to share with the boys until this week, and it was literally survival of the fittest each day. It pays to have an IT guy for a husband. We get all the old hand-me-downs from his office.
14.) Are there pictures hanging in your living room?
Hmm. Two framed pics on the piano and TV cart. There are empty frames hanging on the wall in our entry hall, which you can see from the living room. Hey, they've only been there for over a year. I'll get to filling them with pics eventually.
15.) Are there any themes found in your home?
IKEA? Modern, clean (the lines of the furnishings, NOT the house), minimalist (in aspirations, at least. How minimal can you be when there are four people and a boxer in a 1300 sq. ft. house??)
16.) What kind of laundry detergent do you use?
Usually, Tide with Febreze. I'm trying out their new baking soda one now. So far I'm not liking the scent.
17.) Do you use dryer sheets?
Yep. Bounce.
18.)) Do you have any curtains in your home?
Yes. Don't tell my allergist.
19.) What color is your fridge?
Black, huge, with a bottom-mount freezer. I love it.
20.) Is your house clean?
Ha! Does it count that I at least am frustrated with it not being clean?
I've decided I need to start hosting parties every weekend. That way, I'll frantically clean each week and at least have some semblance of clean. Again, four people (two preschooler boys!!) and a boxer in a 1300 sq. ft. house. 'Nuff said.
21.) What room is the most neglected?
Our bedroom. I know, I know. It's supposed to be the nicest room. It's next on my list.
22.) Are the dishes in your sink/dishwasher clean or dirty?
Sink, dirty. (Amen, Kellee. "Why would you have clean dishes in your sink?") Dishwasher, dirty. The second load for the day. When we redo the kitchen, I'm seriously putting in a second dishwasher. It's all the craze now. Okay, maybe not in a 1300 sq. ft. house, but it can't hurt resale, can it?
23.) How long have you lived in your home?
Six and a half years. I was so scared and sad when Brad said we might have to live here for 10 years or so before moving on. Now I love it. Well, not the house, per se, but the neighborhood, the close access to highways (one factor that is convenient but a detriment to resale value), etc., are cool. I'm good now with redoing the kitchen and living room and then staying for another 5 years or more....Unless we were to inherit or win a million dollars. Then all bets are off.
24.) Where did you live before?
In an apartment. Now that I drive by, I think they look like the projects. Were they then? Was I just a lovestruck newlywed?
25.) Do you have one of those fluffy toilet lid covers on your toilet?
Uh, no.
26.) Do you have a scale anywhere in your house?
Scale? No thanks! I'll just gauge things on how my clothes fit, thanks.
27.) How many mirrors are in your house?
28.) Look up. What do you see?
Cobwebs? Bambi paint. (You'd have thought I had brought in the weirdest paint swatch in the world when I had Sherwinn Williams match Walmart's "Disney Bambi" khaki paint. Hey, I didn't name the dumb thing!
29.) Do you have a garage?
Yes, and one of our cars actually fits in it! Not bad these days!
30.) Are you planning on moving anytime soon?
Again, only if we struck it rich. Otherwise, I've come to terms with my little starter home. With some alterations, I'm good for a few more years.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fall 2007 Soccer in a Nutshell

Yeah, this pretty much sums up our soccer season. After a series of lectures about quitting in the middle of something, we quickly became tired of dragging our two sons to two different soccer games--at the same field but of course never around the same time of day(is that deliberate??)--we finally quit ourselves.

I don't know what the deal was for Aric, since he just LOVED soccer last spring. But this fall was certainly another story. After a couple of weeks of hauling him and his brother to their games only to have them sit on the sidelines or hang from the goal in the next field over, we decided it was pointless to keep trying. It was more than just a "I don't feel like it today" issue.

Now at least we have our Saturdays back. For now, until they discover hockey, football, swimming, karate, violin... Ah, parenthood's fun, isn't it?
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Hole is Full

Wow. I've got to send this one in to Letterman or Leno. What's the most hilarious is that it's on the edge of this massive valley. It's anything but full. Not full of dirt, of backfill, of garbage, of dead leaves, of ping pong balls, of popcorn, of anything!! Just looks like your average valley with a sign on the hill. Until you read the sign on the hill. I wonder what it looked like before it became "full" 15 years ago.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yay! Fall is in the air!

Okay, maybe not literally. Maybe it's still hot (it hit 97 degrees again today), but the temperatures are gradually dropping (ever so slightly), the boys are back in school and loving it, and I have time now to overhaul my home's closets and stashes, and I have time to develop my company binkwaffle more than I've been able to all summer. I'm excited!

I'm fighting the sharp pain just below my shoulder blade as I move my mouse and type this, trying desperately to get some more cards done for the site, trying to ignore the sign that I should be in bed instead of working. Alas, I can ignore it no longer, so the rest will have to wait. But I'm excited about getting the word out about binkwaffle, and I've come up with some products that will cater to everyone (well, almost everyone), not just pregnant women wanting to announce the birth of their babies. Broadening my customer base, I am! So stay tuned for more products the next couple of weeks.

If you know anyone having a baby or with kids or who even know kids, let them know about binkwaffle for me! Free shipping on the announcements, and they're fun and modern, something that's surprisingly hard to find. Good for me! :-)

I leave you with two new cards; the first is my style. The second is a stretch, but I'm trying to stay modern yet out of my own personal taste, in order to appeal to more people. Variety is the key, right?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

One theory never considered...

Me: Man, Madison, I asked Oma for an Easy Bake Oven and never got one. You're lucky.

Evi: (other niece) Did she hear you? Maybe she was on the phone.

Never thought about that one!

*My niece Madison just got a new Easy Bake Oven for her 6th birthday. I asked my mom for one for years but found out as an adult that she had thought that I'd be happier using a real oven, so she just let me help her bake. NOT the same in a little girl's mind. Those cute little packets of mix? The freakin' light bulb??? LOL It's okay,Mom, how were you to know the illogical mind of a child? Hope I don't do it with my boys, too.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Summer Shots

As much as I'm not a fan of summer, it sure makes for some awesome pictures. Here are a few from this summer:

Now, I've got enough pics for a while. Where's the cold snap?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

How to Raise Money for a New Car, Idea #112

The PGA tournament is here in Tulsa this week. As we're driving along next to the golf club, dodging the pedestrians walking through the August Tulsa inferno to the country club entrance, Aric (fixated on buying a new minivan/SUV so that we can carry more of his friends around with him) asks me this:

Aric: Mom, what's that?

Me: It's the golf tournament. The best golfers in the world come here and play against each other. The one who wins gets all kinds of money, prizes, etc. And he gets to say he's the best golfer in the world for a year until someone else beats him.

Aric: I want to do that someday...(long pause)...Mom, is Dad a good golfer?

Me: (picturing Brad's dad's dusty golf clubs in our garage) Uh, no.

Aric: (sigh) I wish he was. Then we could get a new car.

Good luck on that one, buddy! I think we'd better come up with a better plan for a car!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Technology, how do I love thee???

Oh, my gosh! What an awesome thing technology is! On our trip to Seattle, the boys were mesmerized by Dora, the Wonder Pets, and Diego as we flew in the plane, drove all over creation, and waited in the car for Mommy to run into a store or two. The Nintendo DS's are at the top of the "to buy" list now that their new friends August and Hazel introduced them to the modern-day answer to the handheld Atari games I had as a kid. Three of those games kept five kids quiet and in their seats for an entire rehearsal dinner, at least an hour and a half long. And during the reception, too! If only we'd remembered one of the two for the wedding ceremony, then Brad would have gotten to see his brother get married.*

*Note to wedding planners: when you have out of town guests, especially, plan something for children who don't know a living soul in the city (or state, for that matter) whom we can hire (and trust) for babysitting!!! I had childcare at my wedding and have NEVER seen it since. What gives? Brides, take note, too! And if you don't provide anything, don't shut the door on the groom's brother when he has to take his 3 year old just outside the door partway through the wedding.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Benadryl and Babysitting Don't Mix

Sunday afternoon, I took Aric with me to the Y and to Barnes & Noble to let Brad and Aidan take a nap on the living room floor. Brad had taken Benadryl for a rash he developed from a medication he was on, and apparently he fell asleep but Aidan didn't. When we got home two hours later, Brad was asleep in the living room and Aidan was hiding under his bed munching on a half-eaten cucumber. That meant that he'd gone into the kitchen, dragged a chair over to the refrigerator, climbed up to reach the produce drawer (our fridge has a bottom mount freezer), gotten back down, put the chair away (merely to cover his tracks, not to put things back where they belong, of course. Clean up? What's that?), climbed under his bed in his room (a feat in itself, since the thing is only about 8 inches off the floor), and ate away. All while Daddy snored away in the living room.