PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: Rambling (page 1 of 3)

A Tale of Two Christmases…

Growing up, Christmastime was always a mixed bag. Because my dad’s mother passed away before Christmas, and he would, shortly after Thanksgiving, go into a very dark depression.  I don’t remember my grandmother – when she died, I was maybe two? And we had plans to go to Florida to visit her, but instead, as life will do, plans changed. My father would retell the story of flying from Florida to Chicago with his mother’s ashes in an urn in a package on his lap, the elderly lady next to him cheerfully chirping, “Christmas present?” And in Dad’s typical biting dark streak, he replied, “You could say so.”  He would then describe clawing at the frozen ground, attempting to spread her ashes, not realizing what the urn ultimately contained. I’ll spare you the vivid description, but it galvanized me as a child, and basically drew a line around my father, his dark moat, he was not to be messed with in December.

So every other year was my Mom’s “Year” for Christmas. A huge tree, loaded with lights and decorations, geegaws and ribbons and red velveteen everywhere. The off years were Dad’s. I would string popcorn and put it on the ficus tree. We had this really old, and to me, AMAZING, three-dimensional ornament that unfolded from two sides of cardboard, revealing accordion-folded beehive-like tissue paper that once the little metal tabs clasped over the other side of cardboard, displayed a two-foot Santa Claus. That was it. That was his concession,  a ficus tree decorated with ornaments I made from colored paper and popcorn and an ancient santa that grew more delicate each year. His darkness got its turn. We tread lightly around him no matter what, and there was always a sense of relief when the holidays were over, when January arrived, bringing with it a new year and the darkness receded.

I felt that deep dark current come forth this week, as someone was trying to excuse another person’s terrible behavior, trying to justify their actions, that they were sure the holidays were hard for them, given some of their life circumstances. I tartly countered, “Is it a competition?  Both my parents are dead. Nobody gets a pass at the holidays and everyone ultimately has to behave.” I regretted it, albeit fleetingly, but it ultimately summed up in five words what’s heavy on my mind, and contributing to a feeling of isolation.  Both my parents are dead. It sucks. I’m alone. My party of three is now a party of one, when you look at all those formative years of Alternating Christmases.  But I also tell myself, I’m not a Syrian refugee, either. I’m not being raped or beaten with my own baby. I’m not suffering through chemo treatments or in an abusive relationship. There are lots of worse places to be and lives to be living.  But I have my own dark current (god, could I sound more like Dexter? Don’t worry, I’m not ordering rolls of plastic sheeting and dressing in three-button henleys) and I know the holidays are challenging for most people, whether they’re trying to measure up to a societal projection of perfection, or are coping with all the things that hobble our lives.

We never had big gatherings – my father shunned them – and weren’t close to other family, whether it was geographically or emotionally. Basically, I’m wired for small gatherings and being the best hostess possible. I was talking to my therapist about this – he pointed out that for some people, it’s not a true celebration unless there are hordes of people gathered.  Obviously for others, smaller gatherings are more valued.  Not having any siblings, I’m kind of out of my holiday traditions, even if we’d stopped getting together, there were cards and gifts and emails. Strands of connection.  There are so many variables, you know? As you blend new families together, as you go home to your parents, the dance steps and conversations and expectations and all that … history. It drives the bus, it plays the music, it conducts the orchestra. We have expectations we don’t even realize we have until they don’t happen, or the plan changes, and then we still don’t necessarily know what those things were, we just know we’re unhappy. Or angry. Or sad. Or all of the above.

All I can say is, be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. If you have a dark moat that rises this time of year, don’t pretend it doesn’t exist, because that only makes the moat angry.  Angry moats want to rise up and drown you with lies and destruction. Acknowledge your moat, even sit with it at times. Because it’s just part of the whole thing. Say some of the things that hurt the most out loud. When I finally said, “I miss my mom,” it was like the dam broke. And it hurt and I cried, and I felt confused, because we had our issues with each other, but those fine strands of connection I maintained are gone, now that she is gone, and this year more than last year, I feel the holes they left behind, and what those holes are connected to inside of me, my expectations, my dreams, my sadness, my history.  And even in my loneliest moment, I am trying to say, over and over, until it feels true, “I am enough.” My heart is not there yet, but I know in my mind, I will be ok. If you have any of this in your own heart or head? I hope you are ok, too. I have faith that you can find it. We are enough.

 

Reclaiming One’s Youthful Spirit

Yeah, that’s what it’s called. We went out to The Brick last night, had a blast – caught the tail end of Howard Iceberg & the Titanics, saw our friends Hillary & Tommy perform in their band, “The Hillary Watts Riot”, and then our friend Camry was in the last band, “The Sexy Accident”.  Since the first band was slated to start at 9:30, I knew we had plenty of time to get there, so we went out to dinner at The Beacon on the way there. It’s weird to go out to dinner at 9 pm in the Midwest, and while I’d been pining for Chai Shai, their kitchen closes at 9. In any event, we had a great meal, headed down to the Brick, saw people, were seen, made new friends, had a great time just listening to music, sipping a beverage, people-watching. I also did an amazeballs job of parallel parking, if we’re recounting ALL the wins of the evening.

At one point, I leaned over to James and said, “OK, wearing a kilt is cool. Very cool.”

pause.

“But if you’re also drinking PBR when you’re wearing one, does it make you a hipster?”

He laughed, and while he couldn’t say if that particular formula was a hipster recipe, he did observe there were a number of hipsters around us. (In the wild! I felt like Jane Goodall.) I said, “Am I a hipster?” and he laughed even harder.

“No.”

“Why not? It’s because I’m fat, isn’t it. You can’t be fat and be a hipster, can you.”

Maybe part of being a hipster is caring a little too much about how you… present oneself, all the way down to what you drink and the brand of shoes? I dunno.  I did feel like I really needed about 3 large tattoos to “blend in”, that’s for sure. And the dogs were completely perplexed by our atypical hours – what is this, 2:30 a.m. and you’re just going to bed?

Well, they sure didn’t hold back at 6 am, 7 am, and finally I gave up around 8 am and hauled my un-hipster ass out of bed to let them out, make coffee & head to the garden to collect a basket of veggies to whip into a mega-breakfast scramble. Now, I bet on the cooking front, I can outpace any damned hipster there is. I sauteed home-grown garlic, onions, kale, peppers, tomatoes & tossed in some potato, eggs, spicy beef sausages & cheese for a smashingly flavorful, vitamin-packed breakfast.

Oh, and I had to take a two-hour nap before we could even go out. Definitely not a hipster.

If It Weren’t For Handguns, We’d Still Be British Subjects

I always think of that line on the 4th of July. Our local nutjob in the small town in Iowa where I was raised had hand-lettered it (with electrical tape) onto the back of his very long trenchcoat.

A tall, imposing silhouette, children ran from him or taunted him from a safe distance. I knew of three classmates who waited until he left his house and then dared each other to go in. Apparently he was a hoarder long before they made TV shows about them; piles of newspapers and magazines created a path (and only a path) through the two rooms they dared to enter. Nowadays, I wonder what Marvin’s story really was – was he one of our lost veterans, abandoned to live in their own haunted minds? In any event, he still crosses my mind, thirty-plus years later.

Freedom is an interesting thing. A friend posted on Facebook that the First Amendment was her favorite and worthy of celebration. I couldn’t agree more, though the true definition of Freedom of Speech can be very subjective.  I ponder why I write on this blog, I ponder why I don’t write everything I want to say. I ponder what would be in a book, if I wrote one. I am always excruciatingly aware of how easily it is to fall into the trap of passive-aggressiveness when you want to scream out at people who’ve fucked up, insulted you, abandoned you, all that shit. Then I think, is it worth it? I already gave you fuckers some rent-free space in my head, now I’m giving you bandwidth, too? And is it really what you wanted in the end, to “make the blog”? LOL!

Anyway. I always ruminate as my birthday approaches. What will the next year hold, what triumphs may come, what heartaches, there’s no crystal ball, so we reflect on what has passed. People we said goodbye to, whether with sadness or in anger – the new opportunities that have come along, and the doors that closed.  I realize this is more typically done at New Year’s, and I suppose I do so then, but it’s always different, more intense with birthdays. Maybe more so now, as you realize the older you get, that there are only so many you get. And it’s important not to waste time on the things, people, projects, emotions that hold you back.

I realize it sounds darker than it feels; introspection is like that, I guess. I’m looking forward to the new chapter ahead, and even without the crystal ball, I know there are going to be some awesome things in store for me. As for anything else, well? I just have to trust in my own wisdom and experience to get me through it! I know I wear my heart on my sleeve sometimes, but much like Marvin and his trenchcoat, I guess I’d rather have people see me coming, know who I am and how I feel, than to pretend to be anything else at all.

 

 

Busy News Day

Good News: Most of the recycling had already been taken out by my husband, leaving me with one bag of trash and some recycling I had in my car.

Bad News: Asshole people walking their dog(s) didn’t pick up their dog’s shit, which I squarely stepped in, as I took out the trash.

Buried News: I did not notice I had done this.

News with Foreshadowing: I returned to my car, and as I started to drive to work, I thought I smelled something. Something very bad. Very very very bad. My brain puzzled perhaps it was a skunk. The one part of my brain that was apparently functioning on all cylinders puzzled back why we hadn’t smelled it when depositing the trash.

Newsflash: Shit on my shoe. Had to be. Oh god, there’s a big leaf also stuck, and it can only be one thing gluing that to my shoe: shit. Shit shit shit shit shit shit.

Feature News Piece: I am driving, and it’s trash day. There are people out and about, and I hang a sharp right into the northern part of our neighborhood, desperately looking for a spot to pull over, exit my vehicle and rectify this HORRIBLE SITUATION. I didn’t want to pull in to a driveway, and I needed to pull over, but not in front of a house where a car was in the driveway, or where someone was walking out to put out their trash. Commence mouth-breathing. Drive by friend’s house, discover I have not gone this way in a long time. Finally find a suitable spot, get out, start scraping and hopping about in a generally disgusted manner while waving arms wildly that can only be accentuated by the bell sleeves I’m wearing..

Breaking News: The beep of a car horn sounds behind me. Oh fuck, what now? Oh hai. It’s my friend Robyn, with her daughter. They slow and ask if I’m ok. (of course I’m ok. but I’m NOT ok, oh, lord.) I stammered something about dog shit and bodily harm to those who don’t clean up after their animals and after determining I was only crazy in the sense I’m always crazy, they went on their way. I grabbed Wet Wipes from the back seat, and attacked my shoe, as well as the pedals. GAH.

Slow News Day: Arriving at work, I could only splutter. I then spent ten minutes washing my shoe, five more minutes washing my hands, and went on with my day.

Headline of the Day: Sushi lunch. Yum.

Leisure News: Get out of work a bit early, come home, turn on television, and five minutes later, something is definitely wrong with the tv.

Bad News: The tv is fucked. Internet search turns up a common problem. Holiday tomorrow, no options.

Good News: Said tv was purchased from CostCo, prior to the change in their television return policy. Locate scanned receipt. Note to self, somewhat smugly, this is why giant box has been in storage. Call store and get confirmation that television is, indeed, returnable for a full refund.

News Wrap-Up: Collapse in heap. Revive, pull out tiny flat screen tv and hook up to various components. Band-aid, at best, but it will do. And a whole lot better than the dog a-poopeh on mah shoe.

New ‘Do

Well, I’ve got one thing going for me, at least!
Kickass haircut

I Would Shoot This Week Like I’d Put Down A Rabid Possum, If I Could.

Hey, didja all enjoy the full moon this week? Beautiful, bright, havoc-wreaking full moon that it was? Good god. The Crazy ratcheted up pretty high this week, I must say.

On Wednesday, I met a couple friends for an impromptu lunch at Red Snapper. Upon leaving, I thought my back tire looked low. Indeed, it was. As in almost flat. Yikes! So I hustled across the street, got air back in it, skipped my errands, and came home. It stayed inflated pretty well and looked good the next morning, so we assumed it was a temporary seal thing, hitting a pothole, etc. But now I’m paranoid. So I left work yesterday with paranoia in my heart, looked at my tire, and decided it looked lower. Not like the first time, but lower and something must be wrong. (One thing to know about me: I go from blissfully ignorant to OMFG WE’RE GONNA DIE AND LOSE ALL OUR MONEY FIRST in about 8.2 seconds flat.) So I’m worrying. And as I start to drive in the parking lot, I hear this crazy noise. OMFG! I pull over, spanning four parking spaces, and put the car in park, frozen, listening. I’m quite certain this sound is coming from my tire. Except the sound continues, after I’ve stopped. I finally realized that it was a plane flying overhead. Yay! I’m losing my mind!

Get home, the Wo takes a look, agrees it’s low, and we come up with the game plan: tomorrow at some point, I’ll go in to Firestone, get the thing fixed, get an oil change, and be on my merry way. We refill a bit with the pump he has. He checks it this morning: pretty low again, so now we accelerate the time frame, and I’m heading up there for an 8 am appointment so they can get it taken care of and I can be in Westport by 9:45. Everything seems fine, I’m hanging with Mr. Magoo in the waiting area until he’s finished, then I switch seats so I can keep an eye on things, and get called to the counter around 9. Lookin’ good. Except for one thing. They can’t fix the tire. It’s all shredded on the inside, he says. And my two front tires have wear on the insides of the tires and you can’t see it unless the car is up on the hoochymomma thingy, but it’s really bad and I need four new tires, he gestures at wildly circled numbers on a sheet of paper and can I hang on a sec because he has to run something out to some manager in the parking lot.

I get out the phone, and call the Wo. Tell him briefly that I’m being sold 4 new tires and could he talk to the man when he returns. Which he does, at that moment. I hand the phone over, he goes through the spiel again, and hands the phone back to me.

Now. Here is where, for me, it really broke apart. I can be blissfully clueless and unaware at times. But the rest of the time, my antennae are set on “11”. And so, as I take the phone, and as most people do, my head tilts down to listen and talk. But I am still watching the employee – who is looking at the computer, and I see, in this short second, he rolls his eyes. So as I’m hearing my husband in my left ear “THEYARETRYINGTOSELLYOUTIRESYOUDON’TNEEDYOUNEEDTOGOSOMEWHEREELSE” I’m thinking, “You motherfucker. There are two people standing right here, and the only one who gets to roll their eyes at my husband? IS ME.” So I’m pissed. He’s pissed. The Wo’s pissed. I hang up. Store dude looks at me and I say, “OK, this is why I let him handle these things. Can we just fill the tire with air and I’ll pay for my oil change?” And he says, “Well, he sounded really angry, I’m just saying, if you don’t replace all four tires, you have AWD, you would void your warranty (I’m still puzzling that one, as the dealer’s warranty expired a year ago), and let me take you back in the shop and show you this wear, you can’t see it unless the car’s in the air, so you can explain it to your husband,” and I’m all, “NO, that’s fine, let’s just settle up here.”

Because if I go back into the garage, it’s another point of sales pitch to wear the little lady down, I suspect.

So I wait, and then another employee comes in and tells me all about her morning and how she was t-boned on her way in and blah blah blah, and then a new dude comes in and says it looks like I need to be helped. I decline, saying I’m just waiting. But here’s what I think is interesting. First dude has now gone back into the garage, and never comes back out to interact with me again. New dude is now “handling me” and feigns shock and awe at the numbers on my tires and that I’m going to drive off the lot with my car in such a state, even, but is all smiles and polish and tells me they will give me their recommendations and an estimate, should I want to return. Now, I’m not all-knowing in the world of auto repair but I felt like this guy’s appearance was definitely a planned move and part of the whole schtick. (I heard the schtick given by the t-boned employee over the phone, all the dreadful things they found and how much it would cost.)

I pay, collect my key, my receipt and go. In my car, I look at the price tag: just over $1,100. Yes, eleven-hundred. Dollars.

The Wo is already regretting having sent me there, but he wanted me to have a nice place to sit and wait, but now I’m going where he wished he’d sent me in the first place, to Larry’s Wholesale Tires on Wornall.  Larry, or his other cousin Larry, comes in from the shop to see what I need and sends me down the road to the U-Haul place (which he also owns, and I ponder this, thinking how unassuming he is and he probably is quite well-off), because that’s where they fix tires. Honestly, I don’t know why I ever thought I’d be incapable of driving a car in NYC, because if you can cross two lanes of Wornall without a light and make repeated left-hand turns while you’re on it, I’d say you could take on just about any traffic situation in this country. I get down to the U-Haul spot and for whatever reason, I am instantly reassured. I’m greeted, there’s no problem, just back it in here, okey dokey, the guy finds a 1.5″ metal shiv that’s in the main part of the tread, he extracts it, does other manly things to the tire (including patching it), tells me he doesn’t see any shredding, but at some point I’ll need A new tire, because the side seam looks a little worn, and they all blinked when I told them what their neighbors up the street wanted me to spend.

So then I ate some Indian food at Chai Shai with Beth and knitted and decompressed (and wished I’d gotten the mango shake instead of the iced chai, because o.m.g. is it good,) ran into Dan of Gone Mild there, always nice to see him and say hello.

Then I came home, and discovered the breezeway was filled with bits of foam and bright red maribou feathers. Because Tripper had GONE INTO THE CLOSET, removed one slipper, and systematically shredded it everywhere. Then he took JWo’s old shoe he’d already done a number on, and completely chewed off the toe. That fucking dog isn’t getting out of his crate until he’s 12.

Next on my list? Re-installing software on my laptop that was rebuilt on Wednesday. I told you, this week has just been from hell! TGIF, indeed!

That Reign of Terror is Over

Let’s talk about office bathrooms. No, I’m not going to go there. Though the fact that our office is located on the first floor of the building, we do get a fair amount of SecretPoopers(tm) who come down to use our bathroom, so they can sustain the impression in their own office workspace that they NeverPoop(tm). Eye roll, please.

First of all, the facilities were remodeled to make them ADA compliant, and in losing one bathroom stall, we have one stall that is a Toilet Suite. Of course, the toilet is still smack up against the wall next to the other stall, and there’s just a giant expanse that even goes around a tiny corner, where a very slim, mean-spirited person could hide and give someone the surprise of their life, if they were to leap out screaming at the right moment. Let’s hope that never happens. I’ll even admit I give it an extra eyeball just to be sure nobody’s back there.  However, I’ve often looked at that space and thought about how you could put a chair, ottoman, reading lamp and accent table, and still leave the stall feeling roomy and quite at home. The cleaning lady does kinda use it for her office, sitting in there, talking on her cell phone.  (I say that jokingly, though she will just sit in there and yap, and I always wonder what the person on the other end thinks as the other toilet auto-flushes.)

But the reign of terror I’m referring to is the paper towel dispenser. When I started there, I found myself instantly at odds with the machine. It was an automatic one. You’d wave  your hand under it, and sometimes, if the sensor was feeling generous, you’d get a towel. A small shred of a towel that was barely sufficient to dry one hand. Not two. I don’t know about you, but I wash both my hands as a general practice. So that necessitates a second hand-wave, which would often be more resistant than the first, because OMG no WAY you are OVER USING the TOWELS and you’d have to keep flailing your hand about until you got your second half-sheet. Or not. And for whatever reason, the effort to get the second towel would usually result in the machine jamming. Often times,  the first attempt jammed, too. The small print on the machine told you to use the manual feed button if the machine malfunctioned. Oh rilly? What manual feed button? Because all there is on the side is a dummy button that has been put over the feed, to prevent the Johnson County Paper Towel Insurgency from stealing your precious paper towels by the yard.

Frustrated, one day, I discovered that I could just pull the whole front metal piece up! and pull down and tear off the towel amount that I needed. I felt scandalous and vindicated all at once. (Lookit me! Tear that mother UP!)  Eventually, the machine malfunctioned so much, often a roll of towels would sit on the counter, for you to tear off. (Let it be noted that I never took anything APART, I just used my noggin to get at the towels.)  While I was annoyed at this situation, it wasn’t until some maintenance was being done and the bathroom was closed, that I discovered on the second floor, the paper towel dispenser was NOT flawed, it distributed a generous amount of towel, and it had a working manual feed, and I felt that it was truly the curse of the first floor location and the higher traffic.

Finally, I asked my female co-workers if they carried the same annoyance level that I had towards the paper-towel machine, and that’s when I learned that we were actually getting a NEW machine in a few weeks. This one works so well, it often spits out a second towel for the next person. I haven’t even had to investigate the manual feed.

So, that reign of terror in my life is over. It really is the small things, sometimes.

Many Methods of Measurement…

When I lived in Minneapolis, I worked for a small ad agency that eventually tumbled and crumbled and closed up shop. While I was there, I made some friends, worked on some interesting business, and got some good funny stories (always important.) One of those was sort of snarky, if only because it was brought on by the target of our snark. One of our co-workers (public relations) always behaved as though she was working ‘just to keep busy’, as though she existed on this ethereal plane above us, even when she walked among us. She loved to recount her days spent in New York City, and her favorite line was uttered with dripping nostalgia: “Life was measured in Hermes scarves….” I had to ask my compadre in snark what in the hell that even meant. “Oh you know, Jennifer. They just scrimped and saved and skipped meals so they could afford to buy a Hermes scarf. They’re like, $500 apiece.” Safe to say that was a different life, and definitely a different plane from mine. But my co-worker did a spot-on imitation of her, complete with the wafting of her hand and fluttering of her fingertips, and I could almost see the brightly-colored silk streaming in the breeze.

Since my unemployment started, I’ve measured time differently. It’s odd, and strangely emotional, as I tried to explain it tonight at knit night. Each day that I wear makeup, I take it off in the evening with one of those makeup-remover wipes, the kind in a plastic bag with a seal, to keep the moisture in. When I first lost my job, I wondered if I could continue to afford to buy them. (They’re like, $5 for a package of 30.) After the terror of financial ruin faded, I did continue to buy them, and as I removed one each night, I wondered where my life would be the next time I needed to replace them. Unlike the previous 10+ years, I don’t have the illusion that when the calendar page turns, and the makeup-wipe wrapper is tossed in the trash, life will be the same as it is today. In some ways, certainly, I don’t want it to be the same. But we are creatures of habit. For the most part, we have routines. For 90% or so, that routine includes getting up and going to work roughly 5 days a week. Now I work part-time and cobble up freelance as I can, and wait. And wipe. And wonder. Where will my head, my heart, my creativity be when I wheel my cart down the beauty products aisle at Target, and toss another Boots 4-in-1 Makeup Remover wipes into the cart? Not knowing, in some ways, is good. It stretches you. It pushes you into new perspectives, new paths, as you restructure your New World Order and check your budget and reflect on what you enjoy doing and what you’re rid of, too. In some ways, though, my heart aches to the point of tears for the comfort of knowing. Let me clarify. The illusion of knowing, because none of us really, truly KNOW. We assume. We hope. We wish. We trust. That things will remain relatively the same, because they are comfortable and they provide and they are The Way, where work or goods are exchanged for money or services. So when people say things like, “Let’s plan to do X, I think it’s the third week of April,” my mental calendar is a mystery. I used to know immediately if I could participate or not, what was on my schedule and what the future purportedly held. Now I assume very little and just wonder… where will I be?

That said, I can pretty much guarantee that I won’t be buying one of those silly scarves.

Weekend Roundup

So far so good on the Diet Coke withdrawal. I had one zinging craving last week, and I told myself I was just thirsty. It seemed to work (consuming some water) and my caffeine dependency seems to be maintained by a couple cups of coffee/day.  I haven’t noticed any miraculous changes, sadly, and the sale ads for it still catch my eye – but like I said, so far so good!

We saw Alice in Wonderland yesterday – I loved it. I guess there have been a number of reviews that ding it for this or for that, but whatever. I literally adored the two books as a kid, and thought Tim Burton’s movie was a great tribute to the imagination those works inspired. The room where Alice finds the door key, the “Drink Me” bottle and “Eat Me” cake? was such a match for what I imagined as a child, it took my breath away. There was one dorky bit – a dance – that I thought was totally disjointed, but such a tiny fragment of the overall movie. And let me just say that those CineSuites are the BOMB. It was our second time going to them, and they really are a treat. We don’t go out a whole lot (frugality!) and we’ve contained our movie-viewing to our Netflix + Roku, and premium cable channels, but the suites are enjoyable. The service has been top-notch, we both feel like we’re getting a good value and the food is good. Plus free refills on popcorn and drinks! (And I went with iced tea…)

James has been a gardening and working machine this weekend – he’s planted the lettuce and spinach seedlings in the garden, plus some French Breakfast radishes and snow peas. And? He’s putting in a small deck at the foot of the small deck on the back of the house. I took a two-hour nap yesterday and he had torn out the mint bed, the straggly rose bush and had the deck half done!  Me, I’ve been knitting. 🙂

Speaking of knitting – I finished my first Wollmeise project as part of the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling KAL on Ravelry. I made WendyKnits’ Talisman shawl, out of a skein of Indisch Rot, and loved it. The pattern, the yarn – and I love blocking lace.

Talisman Shawl
Close up of the pattern:
Talisman Shawl

Because I finished the shawl before the end of the month, I knocked out the rest of my Drifted Pearls scarf (pictures to come). It’s very soft and cozy! Now I’m working on Hemlock Ring Blanket, published by Brooklyn Tweed, as part of the March KAL. Because I have several other things I need to knit (sample cables for the Knitting in the Heartland cable class, for one!) I am churning through this – on the fifth ball of yarn out of ten.

Today is for muddling in the kitchen, running some errands, and trying to finish some laundry. This week is going to be pretty busy, between work projects and life projects, and something tells me things are only going to get curiouser and curiouser…. as she smiles like the Cheshire cat…..

Shout Out

Today is NOT my friend Beth’s birthday. However, she did just return from a vacation. Yay! Beth! I am so glad you are home. It IS my dear friend friend Staci’s birthday, however, so keeses to her.

Beth is my bestest friend in the world. She shares a space in my inner circle with some wonderful people, and I must say, she is the most constant presence among these people, and we email and chat so regularly that I began to flounder when she took a vacation last week.

(Thursday)

Me: “I miss Beeeeeeeth.”
James: “When does she come back?”

Me: “This weekend but not ’til Sundaaaaaaay, oh my god she’s been gone so lonnnng.”

James: silence

Me:”NNnnnNNNNNYYEErrrrrrrrRRRR!” with dramatic flailing.

Me:”I mean, she doesn’t have internet so there are all these THINGS! She is not caught up! Like, like, does she even KNOW about the iPad? We would have talked about that. The world is moving along and THINGS are happening and we discuss those THINGS.”

James: laughs at me

I will say this, though, I had one giant rant-er-iffic meltdown with my husband over the week and he handled it fantastically.  He’s my best friend of all, of course, but we also know that girlfriends listen differently than husbands do. Bless his heart, he didn’t try to fix anything or tell me what he thought I should do, he just agreed that it was crazy, and (as always) offered to slash their tires. And he bought me some dinner and made me hot cocoa with Kahlua in it.

I’d take James and Beth into a knife fight any day.

(don’t worry, there are quite a few of you I’d bring to the party. Beth, however, would remember the tourniquets.)

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