The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Simple Woman's Day Book October 29 (for me)



Outside my window... cooling, rainy...leaves falling all over the place...beautiful...

I am thinking... that sometimes healing does not come, no matter how hard one tries...

I am thankful for... my children, my home, my hope...

I am wearing... my orange night shirt and brown house sandals

I am remembering... that the Feast of the Dead is coming and I have not yet prepared...

I am going... to continue to sort things out for packing

I am reading... Water Witches by Chris Bohjalian

I am hoping... things around the hearth improve soon

On my mind... the pink elephant

From the learning rooms... isometric exercises to boost core strength

Noticing that... I need to repaint my toenails soon

Pondering these words... love heals all wounds

From the kitchen... a pot of hot dark tea

Around the house... slowly working on packing things for the move

One of my favorite things... snuggling deep beneath layers of cotton and wool, deep beneath the blankets, so warm and comfortable and not having to get out of bed until I want to

From my picture journal...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pushing Away The Malaise

Monday we were at R's house all day.  I don't really do much other than work when we're there.  Except read.

Tuesday I took off darn near completely.  It takes a lot to recover from spending the night w R.  It sounds so bad, but it isn't.  It's very hard to go from sleeping that well in his arms to having to sleep's a whole different world.  He says we are addicted to sleeping w one's true.  It is also so much more than that. Neither one of us has ever been this comfortable w anyone else in our previous relationships...

I watched Bones season 4 all day yesterday.  I started Monday night after R went home...I didn't even make it through half of disc one then.  But E and I had such a blast hanging out and watching it.  Bones is E's most ultimate hero ever...and watching the show together enables me to get a great many points across to E when I least expect it.

Today--I woke up to take calls.  And then I went back to sleep.  I slept til E crawled into bed w me when she got up, which was about noon.  Yes, I let her stay up to watch the episode before the very final one of Bones season 4 before shuttling her off to bed last night...

It's Wednesday.

The Pink Elephant wore her ballet slippers yesterday and danced around for me.  She has a set of hiking boots sitting ready by the bedside.  When I woke up this morning, I was not at all surprised to find her knitting.  Elephants have no opposable thumbs, just a trunk.  I am a huge Babar fan from way back, so I know elephants can knit.  This one was using big needles, but nothing bigger than a US 19 or so, working a blanket in bamboo stitch.  It's a bit funny.  Wooden needles.  What looks like to me the white bamboospun yarn from hobby lobby.  The bamboo stitch.  My mind works in the weirdest of ways sometimes, really.

Not only do I have a plethora of housework to catch up with, but a whole new realm of let's pull stuff from the attic--because I did save some boxes from the first move (the one where there was no accident--as the boxes that went through the accident held too much bad mojo for me to deal w), but I have so much online to catch up with as well...Manic Monday, an article I have had in my head since we went to WV for the Halloween Blog Party...Talkative Tuesday...and today is Wednesday, so I have to make a wish and wish for and with others as I go to get started....


Oh, one last caveat...keep a candle lit for us...we're making a bid on our house today.
In case you thought I was joking about the carpet or the wallpaper (R took very little T pictures; he took the practical R pictures :-)  but I did have him snap the one bedroom wall...)

Here's the basement:

And here is the one wall in what will one day be E's room:

Part of our new backyard:  

Yes, it is even bigger than it's terrific.  There is another tree on the other side of the yard as well....I can't wait to actually be able to start planting things....but that just me....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Update

Also called, how I tortured my kids this weekend…or rather--how they tortured me...

There will be pictures, those that we have, later on…

We went to Millstadt Eckert’s and their Fun farm this Saturday.

I was actually very impressed with N, he of the most obstinate and bull-headed. The whole trip there, he didn’t want to go. He wanted to go to dairy queen’s playground. Until we made a turn and were getting really close to Eckert’s. I guess about the time we started to see the Fun Farm This Way signs….then he wanted to go pumpkin picking….and we could not get there fast enough for him…

First, there was parking in the muddy field. And walking to the gate to get in. Nik dragging me this way and that to get there faster…faster…

Then, we’re all together and standing in line to get in…and he has to pee…so after we pay to get in, we consult the map, find a bathroom and go.

The bathroom’s are port-a potty’s. Apparently, N hasn’t seen these before. He goes in, opens the door and looks at me—is this where I’m supposed to go pee? And I tell him yes. The door closes. Then the door opens. His pants are unbuttoned, but thankfully, nothing is hanging out. He needs his jacket off. Ok. He goes back in. he opens the door. He needs his sweatshirt off. Ok. He goes back in. He’s in there. For awhile. There is singing. Not at all unusual. A crowd is gathering. As is the wont in places like this. He comes out. His undies are up, thank goodness. His pants are down around his ankles. He can’t button them. So I scootch him over so the one lady can get in…and he scootches us in front of the other port-a-potty. I am trying to zip and button him and move him forward, out of the door’s way, when the lady tries to come out (luckily she was standing there during the jacket/sweatshirt process, so she was understanding) –he didn’t want to go much farther until he had his jacket on…but I got him to move enough that we weren’t in anyone else’s way.

Now, T had told me N doesn’t like rides. Really? The kid nearly killed us all to get from the bathrooms to the spinning apple ride. And he screamed in line because he had to wait. There were only 4 apples…you can fit maybe six people in per apple, but it was more like three or four…they weren’t overloading them or anything…the lady felt so bad because of his crying to get on that she let us go twice…N was maniacally laughing…until we spun the apple too fast and then he just looked down til it slowed again.

After that, it was the swings. You know the swings. It’s like the airplanes for the little kids. One kid per swing and all it does is spin around in a circle. He demanded to ride the swings. I kept telling him he wasn’t going to like it, was he sure. He was determined. I told him if he got on he had to stay on the entire trip. He said fine.

So, we are standing in line, and my loving gracious none-to-small son, starts saying in his very loud voice, my butt itches, my butt itches, and he’s doing the my butt itches dance while trying to take his pants off and get his hand down his pants….one of the other mother’s in line spewed soda out of her nose on that one…her kid was a baby in a stroller…she has no clue what awaits her. I drew N aside, trying to hide him behind a big planter, while he itched his butt and I kept him mostly unseen by the crowds…then all was well and we were back in line.

He was the very last kid on. He almost had to wait another time, but he lucked out. There was one swing left. He was so thrilled and so proud of himself. Until they helped him get in. And they tied him in. There’s the bar that goes down over the lap. And a seatbelt looking thing, so there is no way the kid can slide out under the bar…there’s the loop for the lap and one that clicks between the legs….he was trapped. He HATES that. He started yelling. I found a spot where I could yell over at him to try to comfort him as best I could…

He was near tears before it started. The guy told me he could stop it at any time if we needed it to, but I told the guy N knew if he got on he had to ride the whole ride. N and I both cried through the whole thing. That boy was never so freaking happy as when he got off that ride. He actually cussed me out—I was supposed to save him and I didn’t….(the cussing thanks to Shaun of the Dead…does anyone else question why a 5-6yo AUTISTIC child is permitted to watch Shaun of the Dead…I own the movie…but I am the only one who watches it…the only reason N saw it at my house was because T told me to put it in for him….I’ve talked my way out of having that movie on for N before…although I find it strange that the beatings and mutilations and the eating of humans does not bother N in the least…although scary jack-o-lantern faces scare him into silence and hiding….E refuses to watch Shaun at all…too gory and yucky) . E and R were playing putt putt golf when N and I found them…we had to follow them around while N calmed down—and yes, I carried the poor guy the whole time—this is one of those times when he definitely earned being carried…

Then N got to play on the wooden castle thing with all the other kids, climbing and running around. There was a sandbox after that, which helped ground and settle him a bit. I left R and N in the sandbox to take E to the animal petting part. There were zebu and baby camels and an antelope of some sort…E got to pet that one, but not the camels. There were some really stupid kids (older kids, like teens or pre-teens) there too and E and I worked hard to avoid them. There were goats and a donkey looking thing too. E was upset. She couldn’t get in, past the stupid kids, to pet the camels.

There was the corn maze. N was not impressed with the dried ear of corn, but he had a blast dragging me around to find his sister. His sister took off in the beginning, nearly giving me a bloody heart attack…I was raised by a mother who was afraid her kid would get kidnapped and, in her estimation, I was….it’s true. So I have an inordinate amount of fear about these things. Then, outer limits and twilight zone freak that I have always been, stick me in the bleeding cornfield and let me lose a kid…wah freaking hoo there, bucko. I could have killed her. R found her. Then since E took off, N took off—and he ran—only N has the Knack…he ran through the maze right out into the crowd again….so, I could have killed them both…

E and I then got to ride Barney the camel. Our handler was Jeff. This is where things got kinda …bombastic…between a small boy who wanted to be ornery and act up and a man who absolutely would not tolerate that and who desperately wanted to make the camel ride memorable for E and for me by taking pictures…we got a couple pictures…but none were really good…and you can almost see the camel in them….E and I still had fun. It is very difficult to take a picture while pinning a small very strong child who is trying to run off in one place….

Riding a camel is not like riding a horse…there is a whole other motion. Do you know what that means? It means—I get to have camels when we get the farm. I already have plans for llamas and their mamas, goats, sheep, alpaca…camels produce a very nice wool too…and I can ride the suckers…I like this idea…not that I have given up the rescuing of mustangs or other endangered horses either…..

There was then the mineshaft slide…which R and E loved…N stood in line but right before it was their turn to go, he decided not to—I don’t blame him—it’s a tube underground….in an enclosed tube, under the ground…I was proud he at least tried…N and I got to sit by the campfires while R and E did the slide. R took video of going down the slide—that is so cool…yes, I will figure out how to post it for you once I get a copy of it….still…you could not have paid me to go down that thing…an open air slide, sure…an enclosed one…R is still trying to get me to go down the enclosed slide at the dairy queen playground by our house which we know is large enough for an adult—I just cannot do it…they are all very lucky I go up in the play area as high as I do…

Next was a hot dog for the boy to curb some of his grouchiness. E had Doritos. R shared his brat with me…and I had several bites, with mustard and relish, so there, I tried something different…and it didn’t suck too bad (mostly cause I missed the mustard for the most part and R for some reason has convinced me eating green things like pickles and relish is ok….gross…)

Then, we stood in line…for the HAUNTED HAYRIDE! N was actually pretty excited to be standing in line. He liked riding the wagons pulled by tractors at apple picking. I kept telling him we were going for a ride. He was not interested in apple picking this time. But he was going to make darn sure he got his turn and he wasn’t left out of these rides. Thank goodness, 1 we got in line when we did so we didn’t wait that long and 2 that Eckerts had about four or five tractors and wagons ready to go all in a row….one would fill up and head out and they’d be filling the next one before the first one was gone…I think we made it on the fourth one…

We had a screamer in our group…and lucky N and me, we sat right across from her. N loved the view of the city, but as soon as he saw lights and heard the banging of the cage door, he hid inside his hood. He really liked when the combine came after us though—and boy, did it really come after us. The screamer scared N more than the ghouls chasing around the wagon. After the combine, I had him off my lap and wedged between R’s back and my stomach…so he was pretty good for the rest of the ride…despite the screamer…then came the very last scare…the dude with the chain saw…that scared N to no end…then he started shaking…but that was the end and it was all over and N was great when we got off the tractor…

I asked him if he had a good time on the ride and he honestly said it was nice. I asked him if he wanted to do it again and he said no thank you. R was very disappointed w E though—she never flinched once the entire time. So we are planning to take her to a haunted house here soon, just to see if we can scare the snot out of her.

After that, there was picking out the pumpkin. We got a nice big bumply one….E picked out a green and orange squash that looks like a pumpkin…and we got a smaller regular more pie baking type pumpkin as well…and to show you how very off I was at that moment, when E asked for some of the cookies there, I said sure. When we got them home and I saw the price…$7.49 for a dozen pumpkin iced cookies….I think my heart stopped…I hadn’t seen the price on them when we bought them…I figured they’d be a dollar or more than what we’d pay at a regular store…but $8!?!?! They were good cookies, but not $8 worth of good!  I don't care what E says about them!

After buying our stuff…we had to hike it back through the dark to the car…and N was so ready to go. Anytime we go somewhere all he wants to know is…are we going back to your house? He doesn’t want to go back to T’s house…he’s ok going to R’s house so long as we aren’t spending the night there…did we go right back to my house?

No. The grown-ups were starving—and so was the girl, in her own picky way. We went to O’Charley’s by my house, which we love…and not just because kids eat free…but because of their terrific dinner rolls…N had fallen asleep in the car on the way back from eckerts…you stop the car and the boy is awake though…he laid his head in my lap at O’Charley’s, popped up when his food came…then he had to go potty, w R…and that woke him up….but at least he ate. And he even wrote everyone’s name on their take out containers….I was very impressed w this…

Once home, I put in a movie for R…To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar….R had never seen it before. Oh my goodness, I had forgotten how very funny this movie was….Wesley Snipes as Auntie Noxi, short for Noxema….oh my oh my oh my…but Patrick Swayze was utterly divine and so perfect as a woman…he was a true lady….N and E went to play on the computer…but both would come out wearing my 4 and 5 inch heels and strut around a bit….

That is the great part…it was a terrific day. R and I got to camp out on the couch and actually watch tv. We got home so late and the man still stayed to watch a movie w us…

Now…we only have a few days left til Halloween…to get E into a real haunted house…she loved the haunted hayride, but the screamer bugged her too…but she enjoyed it…we just need something…scarier for her….

Mwahahahahahahaha…does she live in the right household for that……

Join others as they scared themselves and their kiddies at:
The Domestic Withces Halloween Blog Party

The Week of Risk--Late But here

Again, I can use all sorts of excuses for not reading the chapter til late in the week, but as all things seem to do with me, the lack of reading did not stop me from implementing things I had no clue I was implementing.

Risk. Do one frightening thing a day.

Like force things to where the pink elephant had to be discussed with R. Despite my complete wanting to do anything but that.

I hate when he is right about things; if I had continued to try to keep it from him, it would have eaten me alive. The talk we had was always … exactly what I/we needed…and made me look at a few things…but until I can either saddle up the pink elephant or send it out to other pastures…there’s not a lot I can change at the moment.

Like drag my loving son out to the fun farm for the day (Eckerts, to pick pumpkins, etc), with R and E. If ever you want to know if your man is ready for the entire fatherhood relationship angle of your relationship, my beautiful boy, with his cheeky little self, and his propensity to pitch fits and to run willy nilly all over the place…well…this sort of thing will definitely do it...I will not say it was the most perfect day…but it sure could have gone A LOT worse than it did. R held up a lot better than I would have…and N is my kid. For some reason, I have a much bigger patience streak with N than with E. I always have. N is special. No doubt about it. You can say ‘autistic’ all you want. It’s something else. And he has always been this way. As I told R in the beginning w N, I am far more protective and more prone to interfering in order to protect N more than I am with E. I also give in to N way too much—as in the boy is heading over 65 pounds and I still give in and carry the little monster…and the only way to cure that…is to carry through with my threat of when I get pregnant there will be no more carrying N…that’s why I stopped carrying E, because we had baby N…although it was more because E has these long giraffe legs (like her mama) and we would get tangled while walking and it wasn’t safe to carry both—but ya can’t really tell a toddler that and get away with it. So, yes, I blamed it on her brother....

I also learned this weekend that at eight years old—pre-pre-puberty SUCKS! As if I didn’t know, but it seemed a lot more obvious this weekend, after taking N back to his dad’s. It’s getting to the point where I have to bribe N to get in the car to take him back to his dad’s. There are minimal issues once we are at his dad’s, but getting to that point…sheesh…talk about risk…I nearly had to climb into the McDonald’s playground thingy to drag the boy down and out of one on Sunday—I am claustrophobic and I have never liked those things…

A 150 pound six feet tall amazon like me does not need to be billowing around through plastic tubing to catch a small ornery cuss like N.

Talk about risk? We looked at houses yesterday. We found two we liked, one is a maybe, one we are definitely making an offer on. I was sick to my stomach for roughly half an hour after we got back. If that last house we saw had not been in such terrible shape, it might have been worse. That house—it had SO MUCH potential, but it should really be torn down to the foundations and rebuilt…it’s such a shame….I won’t even go into it.

But, we did find a house. We are putting a bid in on it. I heartily thank the Mother who showed up to make sure I knew this was the house. You want weird? It’s me—you have to expect it from this point. The numerology was right on the money on the house number—although R is still baffled at my methodology. Three fours in the house number….444…the number of the angels (according to Doreen Virtue, and I concur) …although the house number is NOT 444—444 is derived from said numbers, only one of which is a four….I don’t want to give out the house number…sorry…there were three rose bushes planted in the backyard, right off the patio. It has all the things from the first house we moved into when we moved to the St Louis area in 1999 that I liked (and there wasn’t much about that house that was really cool either) – namely the eat-in kitchen and the walk-out patio…except that this yard is very big and nicely flat, with established trees (so Ken can still chase her darned squirrels—and in this town, rabbits are rampant…so the dog will be happy) In one of the bedrooms was a three foot (maybe two and a half foot) statue of the Virgin Mary –and yes, that means A LOT to me—plus, all sorts of other religious icons in that room, scattered about as if someone had taken them down and jsut pretty much chucked them into that room until it was time to pack them up and move them along. In another bedroom, there was original from the 70s Raggedy Anne and Andy wallpaper—and yes, that means something to me too. In the living room, the blue and silver and white wallpaper with the French design really caught my eye—if I can salvage it, it will be the only wallpaper that survives. Although E loves the wallpaper in the master bath—think 70s here, daisies, in pink, white and yellow. It’s so psychedelic. I think I might keep that paper too—but I’ll paint over it so that the pattern still shows through, just a different color…we’ll have to see on that. I am not much for ‘pink’ myself…but if we get it in a deep enough shade to where it is so much closer to red than pink, then I can manage….

And that red but not red pink was what I have been planning to paint my bedroom ever since we moved into the house across the river….

So many opportunities…

Otherwise, right now, my only real risk taking has to do with waiting until the first week of November passes to find out about an elephant.

I have a lot of plans in the pre-planning stages…and I keep picking up things here and there that add to them…we’ll see where they go.

Oh, speaking of risk…risk doesn’t have to be huge, right? R took us to this amazing restaurant last night, called Ryce. It is open seven days a week. Monday through Thursday from 11a to 9p, Friday and Saturday from 11a to 10p, and Sunday from 11a to 9p.

Oh, I cannot say enough about how very GOOD this place. The food, the service, the lay out, the atmosphere…if I were to rate it on a one to five star range, with five being the best, I would honestly have to give it no less than a seven.

The address is: 12710 Dorsett Rd, Maryland heights, MO 63043.

The phone number is 314 878 8288.

I tried all sorts of things I would never normally try. And it was all good. They had octopi three different ways—I can’t touch them. I just can’t. It is far too like cannibalism for me. I tried many things from the open kitchen, the Mongolian bbq, sushi, desserts, you name it. I don’t much care for crab rangoon, but I always try some wherever we go because N LOVES crab rangoon—this place has the hands down best crab rangoon I have ever had—this crab rangoon I would eat every single day…amazing. They even have lemon chicken on the buffet. I tried it—it was good, but too sweet for my taste. There was a fruit salad bar, a regular salad bar. So much food. we have to go several times for me to even try something off of every bar, much less a little of everything. There were also things like pizza, salmon, butter potatoes (which my dad loves)…

I ate sushi there. Well, other than the salmon on rice, the sushi wasn’t that hot. But the other foods made up for that. I am impressed by how much E ate while we were there. Talk about risk—she tried about a half dozen new things…R is rubbing off on her the right way. At least he gives us both space for our picky eater—hood—but hers is really starting to worry me. So when we can get good stuff into her, it means a lot to me.  It didn't hurt that he helped push her into eating quite a bit too.

My only issue with the whole place the tea…of all things…I found it weak…keep in mind, I’m Irish and my tea needs to be thick enough for a mouse to trot across (I cannot remember where I picked that saying up from), so as I say this tea was too weak, I am sure others will look at me as if I am mad….it was hot and it was plentiful…so that was a plus in its favor…they had a selection of hot teas to choose from…three teas, one of which was chrysanthemum tea, which as it is a flower tea I cannot drink very often nor in copious amounts…but the thought that I could order it…or that E, who absolutely loves flowery teas, could order it, made me happy.

Ok. Enough risk. I have plans laid and written out for other things. I am in incubation mode until this weekend. I’ll be clear this weekend. The final confirmation is the first week of November. Keep your fingers crossed on that.

Light a candle for us for the house. I am really looking forward to this.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

BackTracking Through 8 Things

It's been awhile since I have done these--I always got caught up and forgetful on Thursdays--now i have something to remind me every day of what I want to accomplish--we'll see how long it works....

The first one is about Fall:

1. the trees turning their colors
2. rain (I'm a Pisces, born in the Year of the Water Rat--go figure!)
3. chilly weather is a great excuse to snuggle
4. no semi-naked boy running through the house--now he's semi-naked and under a blanket cape :-)
5. apple picking
6. pumpkin experimentation
7. soups and stews with fresh bread, oh my
8. perfect excuse to wear hand warmers and wrist warmers all day, without the 'normal' funny looks I get

Past Lives and Alter Egos

1.  Mermaid
2.  Chinese Princess w the Golden Lilies
3.  Boudicca
4.  Lucinda, of the Grey Mantle (think Avalon and Court)
5.  Satine of the Moulin Rouge (minus the TB)
6.  Priestess of Nut
7.  Pablo Picasso's lover
8.  The Green Fairy

now--you get to decide which are past lives and which are alter egos.....

Enormous Time Suckers

1. blog hopping
2. checking email
3. staring out the window watching something--I watch bugs and stray dogs and leaves blowing--what can I tell you?
4. worrying, and more worrying
5. planning for the future
6. trying to find where I put a particular book
7.  yarn stash diving
8. trying to find anything in the storage room

I was going to do more, but the girl requires attention...and I am in a mood for some movies sans child tonight...while I knit away on a doll for a 1yo little boy.....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Have To Mention

There is a pink elephant in the room.  Not a pale, washed out pastel pink.  But a deeply blooming rosy pink, hovering somewhere between mauve and mulberry and magenta.  This elephant, wonderful creature that she is, simply walked into my bedroom the other day.  She walked in, pulled herself up a chair, set up her easel and her inks and started to paint these incredible black on white landscapes.  I am left wondering if she will go back later to add color to them.  Will she be around that long?
            I know why she is here.  I know what she represents.  I have already broached the subject with the other person involved in this situation.  It is quite difficult to ignore something so large in the room.  Even if I cannot come right out and say, hey, this is why she is sitting there, all patient and calm, waiting for me to be able to say this one thing to you.  At least I made certain to mention her presence, so when the time comes to say, hey, doesn’t that elephant paint the prettiest of pictures, I will have already laid the groundwork.
            Not that that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  It is hard to want something so very badly, knowing the other person doesn’t.  But then again, that is me. 
            Pray for us, and our lovely pink elephant…
            She really does have an exceptional talent with these landscapes she paints.  It’s amazing…

Wishcasting October 21

Jamie has gone and done  it again....asked a question that was dancing around the outskirts of my brain, teasing me to answer it...

I will offer one warning hand is giving me issues--there are a vast variety of reasons why I am having these issues and for some interesting reason I feel like tracing the origins of this matter back to SBC operator services--now AT&T operator services--AT&T now--but worse than it was when it was SBC--if such a thing is even humanly possible...uh huh, uh huh...
Sorry... I am having a very interesting day today.  I have music and dialogue from 'Osmosis Jones' playing through my head at the moment.

I would ask if you have time for a story today...but I'll put it in a different post to keep things more linear and focused...

What do you wish to say yes to?

I wish...
I wish...
With all my heart...

(here, the rhyme from Dragon Tales...)

To embrace and revel in the Pink Elephant in the room (story forth-coming, later...I don't just get an elephant in the room--mine always come in a rainbow assortment of fabulous hues....)

To openly embrace my more wild and intuitive side

To throw all caution to the wind and face off the ravening hoards who love to surround me...
     ok, so maybe that sounds somewhat melodramatic so let's put it into perspective....the ravening masses--they are the fears and terrors in my mind that attempt to feast upon the bones of my soul every day....the Inner Critic and its 1000 other split personalities....

To opening my own business --more than expanding my current business--and making a real go of both things...and then some

To finding that house--buying the darn thing--and moving in--and getting over my worries about moving trucks during the month of November -- (as you recall--last year in November was the accident)

To doing more than settling in to the relationship w R, but really exploring it on every level and moving forward in some very dynamic ways....and to including the entire family in that exploration (just not at every level)

To exploring the computer tech venue that keeps popping up before me...which given my aptitude with all things computerized and/or technical should be nothing if not entertaining....


Tuesday Update

Today was not a complete loss.

I decided today I am tired of watching scary Halloween-y type movies for little kids--I watch to see some real horror movies--only to figure out that I should not be watching horror movies alone at night I watched the Love Guru much to say there...and yet...I think I'll leave it to another time.

So--not a wasted day today...My kitchen was clean for a few minutes.  Then I made soup in the crock pot -- didn't want to make pie out of the blue hubbard squash.  I wanted soup.  I improvised...I had forgotten how enticing the smell of browning onions and apples could be...that's all I will say for now...

I sewed together the one faery doll that's been lying around here waiting for me to get around to her...She's a bit lopsided and off-kilter, but that doesn't take away from her beauty.  I discovered it is easier to seam this doll without turning her inside out--adn the seams look so much better this way too.  Imagine that.  I improvised on the dress completely.  My hands did not really want to cooperate w knitting--so I crocheted the dress--which made me remember why I don't normally crochet w caron simply soft--it splits very easily...but I did it and I am proud of the way everything turned out.  Right down to the scarlet panties the doll wears!

I also finished the much anticipated fried egg ear muffs--which is now technically the fried eggs head warmer.  It turned out so nicely that E has requested one as well.  At least I did learn...if I am going to make fried eggs, I need to work the white in worsted weight yarn if I want them to turn out the same size, or even anything remotely close to the same size.  I improvised the headband part as well.

I started a birthday doll--it's late--I know--but that won't make it any less loved.  It's the red heart baby cloud yarn--which is a snot to knit w --and thank goodness I am not crocheting w it or I'd go mad-- but I decided to knit a doll w this yarn--the doll will last longer than the blanket--and the doll won't unravel...I am currently debating on whether to put eyes on the thing--since i have safety eyes--or if I want to leave it completely faceless...I kinda like that option myself....we'll have to see.

I am now officially ticked and needing to make socks.  :-)  My favorite pair of wool/cashmere socks that I bought ever so long ago are now officially worn at the heels ... they may be store bought socks--but they have everything a knitter could ask for--and ever since the first time I have washed them, they have fit my feet perfectly...I mourn my socks--and yet I revel in the fact that I can indeed knit more.  :-)

Pictures are indeed forth-coming.  Only half the issues w the pc have been fixed...apparently I have to find a few more install disks to make it happy--or jsut buy a completely new system...which sounds good to me--since I can reformat this machine, turn it into a linux machine and actually play til my heart is content w a great many things...weird, I know--but appealing to me in a vast number of ways....

More later...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Manic Monday # 186

Today's Questions!

How do you define honesty?

truth--even if it only your version of the truth--but your truth

What is the main thing that makes you unique? 

other than my quirky personality?
other than my weird sense of humor?
must be the whole-I live for me and not anyone else thing I have going on....

What is your biggest fear or worry?


The Simple Woman's Daybook October 19



Outside my window...darker skies, but sign of the recent rain...a bit of's pretty nice outside...

I am thinking...things are looking up, slowly but surely..
I am thankful family--those who are close, those who are farther away, those who consider themselves on the outside...

I am wearing...jeans, green long-sleeved, black socks

I am really good things can be when I let go and just..believe...

I am going... to work on developing more plans to find a new house and get us moved into it asap...

I am reading... "The Shy Writer' by C Hope Clark

I am hoping... that these thoughts in my head are really true...and I will be able to prove it very quickly...

On my mind... clearing out more unnecessary stuff to make room for new energies to come...

From the learning rooms... more indoor gardening possibilities...

Noticing that... my little girl is really growing up, mentally and physically...

Pondering these words... we'll figure it out...

From the kitchen... looking forward to pumpkin spice lattes later...daughter was very happy w French toast this morning...

Around the house... need to get into the storage room to clean it out as best I can pre-move...among other things of similar...

One of my favorite things~  yesterday w the kids and R and all of us wrestling...the whole connection and acceptance thing...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

This Was The Week Of ... Creativity....

Jamie Ridler leads us through The Next Chapter of The Joy Diet by Martha Beck.

Since I procrastinated all day--and I have good reason--I finally figured out where Outlook 2007 was hiding my email--which led me to play with Outlook all day--which led me to actually having all my emails sorted and filed and in their proper files--and I was AGHAST at the emails that had gotten--sorted via gmail and thereby becoming totally lost to me....  The way gmail links threads often causes me to miss emails....but I had a field day today with Outlook--which does so many more things than just email.  R has been telling me I need to set up a calendar to remember things, like certain did! :-)  And because I did, I stopped and read the updates on the TNC blog first rather than just writing willy-nilly and leaving it at that.

So, the first post I saw was Jamie asking about last week's, do keep in mind, in order to keep my own perspective clear here, I haven't read anything about anyone else's week yet...

I am choosing to respond to Jamie's questions first.
here's what she had to say:

""" I noticed that many of you knew your desire but didn't name it in your posts and I wondered why. Did it feel tender? Private? Scary to share? What would it be like to proclaim your desire, to say out loud, "I want...."? What's going on in there? I'd love to hear."""

I had to go back and re-read what I had written.  We had been at R's that day, preparing to load a truck and drive to WV that night.  I didn't really put much thought into anything, other than wanting to make sure that I participated in the group...
I did not name my desire...but so much of my blog has been about my desires...perhaps I was thinking that I had spent all too much time spelling out my desires this past year...if not longer...

My desires?

Right now, finding a new house.  Major number one on the agenda there.  It's not the 'house' that I am so concerned with or for.  I am more concerned with Home, finding and creating and maintaining Our Home.
Even without another house, we are in the process of doing that.  R and I  have become addicted to sleeping in one another's arms.  I have only had this experience with one other person in my life.  According to R, he's never had it.  For us, it's a blessing.  Just to be able to sleep in one another's arms.  Nothing more than that.  We fall asleep snuggling; we wake up still snuggling.  No one retreats to the other side of the bed.  No one pushes the other person away.  No one has trouble sleeping because of the other person in the bed.

Next on the list is writing that 50000 word novel, that horrid rough draft of crap, come November and NaNoWriMo.  My character is the same as she has always been, although a bit older now, since when I started she and I were both teen-agers.  I threw out all the old drafts and outlines and started a new one (outline).  She and I are ready to go.

This is only the first step.

I want to set up my own online store.  For my knitting, my dolls, my whatever I have in mind.  I want to paint more, draw more, get better, get better again....

I want to knit socks, knit dolls, knit sweaters, knit hats, knit hand warmers and wrist warmers...all objects currently requested by well-meaning family members.  Even the fuzzy willie warmers.  I'll leave the description alone...but still...amazing what you can get a man to wear under his kilt if it garners him a laugh or two...more-so if he gets compliments for it...

I am expanding my counseling business.  There are a number of directions I am touching there.  These I am not discussing until they are more fully-formed and being put into practice, especially since I may or may not do everything I am looking at incorporating at the moment.  

I bought my pressure cooker last night, so I am that much closer to canning and preserving foods that we grow ourselves.  I have the man to build the greenhouse now--it's only a matter of time.  I still have the thing I inherited (? if that is the right word?) from T's family to use while canning....some sort of strainer/presser/ squisher thingy (aren't I ever so precise at this hour?)
When I utter the words self-sufficient, it means a great deal more than just being able to take care of myself and my kids.  I want to be as off the grid as possible.  R won't let me go as far as I want, but he is the key to my balance, so I don't knock it too much.  He gives me a great deal of rein to go pretty far as it is, without hurting myself or my is a very good thing....

Now, we have pumpkins growing in the front yard, as well as watermelons, if the weather hasn't killed them off.  The pumpkins keep flowering.  No, we didn't plant them on purpose (just the pumpkins).  It's parrot food gone to seed there.  What Cricket doesn't eat, I toss out in the front yard.  I like to watch the birds.  I like to watch the neighbor's dog who likes us better chase the squirrels.  Here's my start on herbs and flowers and veg...among other things...

Here's to paying someone to do all the heavy lifting when we move...which is my other big desire.

I don't want to be famous.  I don't want to be well-known.  I don't want to be Britney...or Madonna...or anyone else at all.  I want to be me.  I want my writing and my art work and whatever else I do to be known.  But me, I would like to remain behind the scenes as much as possible.  I will not be the one out on book tours.  I will not be interviewed.  I will not pimp my ride (sorry, had to say it...) I am infamous enough in my own way as it is.  

I have other desires that have to do with my children, the ones who are here and the ones that will be coming in the future.  Sometimes I don't like to tempt fate by saying some things out loud.  
The return of the Lost One (not what you think--has nothing to do w this year).
Another girl.

I still have designs on my animal rescue sanctuary.  With R in the picture, I have had to adjust a few views, but, oddly enough, we have found that we can do what I have always planned to do, within the same area we are currently in right now, and he will still be close to work, and live in the country, all at the same time.  I love N. County some days.  Ever since I saw N County, it has been my favorite area in St Louis.  

Do you need more?  Or is this enough?

Moving on now, to creativity.
I shall confess...since we did the trip last to WV last week-end, I didn't read the chapter til we got night and this morning....and yet...even so... I still tried to keep an open mind and to allow my creativity to roll...

Reading through the chapter made me think, yet again, here she is taking me through the steps I have been taking myself through for how long now...

Despite the fact that I can be an extreme perfectionist, I gave up long ago trying to be 'perfect'.  Now, I take this weird perverse joy in screwing things up.  There is so much freedom to be had when you know you are going to screw something up no matter what you do--then you can just screw it up and be done with it--because after you do it the wrong way, the way you should have done it, the right way, or the more right way, or maybe the less wrong way, is clearer to also gives me a great deal to go on to help other people when they go through things..since I know all too well the path not to take, I can give them my perspective and see if it benefits them at all...if not, my travails may at least entertain them.

I love the exercise about your enemy...this exercise is/was my entire relationship w T.  If it weren't for him, for me watching him and hating the way he did things, the way he acted, the fact that his words and actions don't match, the fact that he is one of the most non-communicative people I know even though it can be hard to get him to shut up (I have never seen another man so gossipy, like an old hen.  And not to stereotype, but still, I apologize now--but even gay men aren't this gossipy--none I have ever known--and I have always been a HUGE fag hag....)  I still watch what he does and if it bothers me I make myself do the direct opposite.  Because of him, you cannot shut me up most times--but I am really speaking when I talk.  I totally over-share now.  I don't gild the lilly.  I used to be a lot more tame, which people who have know me for years are gonna gawk at--because I have always had a mouth--but when it comes to me, to my personal life, I have not always spoken up.  Even when I shut down on R, I always come back and explain things.  It might take me a bit, but I do.  I face every fear.  I follow every word with a corresponding action.  If not for T's complete .... inanity...the facade with which he surrounds himself...I would still be stuck in some battered depressive state, a little hole in the ground, mourning the loss of an ex-husband that everyone from the get go, when we were only dating, everyone, including complete strangers, told me was far too beneath me to bother wasting my time on....that says alot, huh?  Now--hear that angle--how I was always warned against that one...and hold it up to the light of my current relationship, where everyone, including total strangers, have always thought we were a couple--even when we were both married to other people, and we make--have always made-- a darn good couple at that!  I think I am on the right track this time.  No--I am sure I am on the right track this time.  If it weren't for those tragic mistakes in the past, I would never have allowed what is going on w R to happen...not like this....I would probably have allowed my predatory nature to take over...but I wouldn't have allowed the emotional content to overwhelm us...I actually still have to be careful...because I still to this day have the tendency to bait the man, to see if he is genuine, to see if he means what he says, to see if he really is who and what he says...heck, just to see if he'll stick around when I am at my coldest and meanest.  It's not always a good thing to date your best friend, when you have all sorts of information to use against them....I have a cold streak that doesn't stop and I don't always realize how mean i am being til after I do something or say something.  This man is what he says he is and does what he says he will do.  And he is absolutely not going anywhere.  The benefit of dating your best friend is that he knows all your foibles and idiosyncrasies --an puts up with them all anyway.  

Again, I didn't have any issues in the 'my creative life' box--I had more issues with the 'my dichotomous life' box.  I have never believed I couldn't be or do more than one thing at a time, even if they were direct opposites.  I can play the male and the female role at the same time...I can play the dominant and the submissive at the same time...I can play the warrior and the slave at the same time...I can play the mother and the child at the same one ever told me not to do two different things at one ever told me not to.  They said things like it can't be done.  They told me I couldn't do things, because I wasn't good enough, talented enough, creative enough, blah blah blah...but never was I lead to believe that it could never be done by anyone...which to me meant it could be done and should at least be tried to see if I am one that can do it...
If I want to be a hard-core drag-queen ballerina in the middle of transgender surgeries who dances on Broadway--or Skid Row for that matter-- I darn well can and will be.  The only reason I wouldn't be is because I don't really want to be that person.  
It started all too long ago when I took a look at the Virgin/Whore complex--and decided the Whore was so much better to portray...and then I knew in order to be 'accepted' I would also have to play the Virgin....everything else falls into place after that....

I do not follow the guidelines that society places upon people.  I am that one step outside the box, looking in, pretending to walk along, but completely out of step with everyone else.  I am teaching my children that as well.  Don't think about the box; don't think think outside the box...BE outside the box, live outside the box.  Understand what goes on in the box, because this is still a society and you must be accepted on some levels in order to achieve what you want to achieve in life...but don't let that be a trap that swallows you whole.  Had it been me in the Garden, I probably would have beaten the serpent to the punch and taken the apple anyway.  I might not have shared it quite so quickly though, because if I am going to get into trouble, let it be me and no one else.  Unless they are really sure that's what they want to be doing....they make their own choice, without me pressuring them, and it's not my fault, even though I handed them the apple....

Above all else, I am really loving menu item number four.  
Talk about opening up some interesting may not be up to me to put all of these ideas into action, but I can sure hit the man with a great many more thoughts and concerns and queries...that makes a lot of things much more fun...if nothing else.

It's good to be happy--it's good to be fun--it sure does open a lot more doors than just creativity....

and now...I shall promise to be more diligent during the coming week of 'risk'....I am looking forward to risk...I keep wanting to take a few risks these days and I need a little help convincing R that these are good risks and if we take them our success is assured....

I know it is...but I am the emotional one...and my emotion must comply with is I will find the logic necessary to break into those compartments in his brain and show him the light of a different kind of matter what it takes....

Have a great night from here on out...more to come...quite soon.....

So, I'm Late

I do not always read every blog I want to read every time I want to read it--otherwise, I would be reading all day long and doing very little else.  Some days, that is a good way to spend the day.  But not every day.
I frequently go to a favorite blog and scan posts to see if something hits me, if something resonates with me.  When I find something that does, I read the entire post.  If it really resonates, I work with what I find in the post. one way or another.
There is always something to be found at Jamie's blog.

Tonight as I went looking for things, since I decided to opt out of Wishcasting Wednesday this week, I found something else.

Here are some questions that Jamie posed on this day...and though I am late, I wish to post my answers as well.  Perhaps in lieu of my wishcasting this past Wednesday.

  • What is something you’re grateful for?
    • I am grateful for R, for putting up with me, for loving me, for being there, for supporting me, in all so many ways.
    • I am grateful for E and for N, for all they bring into my life.
    • Today, I am grateful to my Dad, for giving us three little black mollies, along with two small fish-tanks--which caused us to set up said tanks--and buy more fish--as three male mollies alone in a tank will soon give you one lonely sickly molly all by himself after he kills off the other two.  I hadn't realized how much I had missed having fish, until today.  
  • What is something you’d like to acknowledge yourself for?
    • I am better, stronger, more talented, than I give myself credit for--than most people give me credit for...and I am slowly accepting that power...
  • What abundance would you like to celebrate?
    • My family, small, battered and slowly becoming integrated and whole again.  With the love of my life here, and my children, way too many dogs, and now plenty of fish too...our homes, our hearts, our connection.  The love we share and the love we bear together--it is the one thing I have searched for for so long--and now I finally have it at hand...I am blessed--and I know it...
Many thanks to Jamie for posing these questions.  I am very grateful for her continued presence in my life as well.

A word about this past week's Wishcasting Wednesday.  
I chose to opt out of the wishcasting this week for a number of reasons.  
First of all, it was a really busy day for me.  I was still trying to get a handle on everything that I had let slide from the week-end while we were gone.  I am just now starting to find my footing again this evening.
I didn't think I would have enough time to visit anyone else's blog to make sure they knew i was adding my wishing power with theirs...and that made me sad.
Plus, on top of everything, I have been doing so much letting go of things of late, it seemed a shame to sit and catalog anything more.  
I don't want to focus on the things i am letting go of--I just want to let go of them and be done w them.  I have too many things these days that I want to focus on, focus on incorporating into my life, focus on re-aligning within my life, focus on connecting in my life...that the thought of having to focus again on what I need or want to let go just didn't sit I let go of wishcasting Wednesday this week.  I still added my unheard and unseen wishing power to all the others; I simply didn't go blog by blog to let anyone know.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Halloween Disturbia

Today, I got tired of waiting for my daughter to get the urge to go through the Halloween boxes that have been sitting in my kitchen right in her way—which is where I put them ON PURPOSE—for over a week now.
Yes.  We were gone last weekend, from Thursday night to Monday night.
Yes.  We were gone Wednesday night and came back last night (we stayed at R’s house at his request—it is only because of the fish we returned before today…)
Not once did this kid even peek in the boxes.  I asked her.  She said she’s seen the boxes, but hadn’t wanted to start pulling anything out at that time.
Hannah Montana more important?  (let me NOT start on Hannah Montana and why she is now officially a dirty word in this house—give me Elvira…sheesh at this point, give me Traci Lords—at least she’s honest!)  Gag me with a goose—then gag the goose!  Hannah is the real horror there!
Anyway—I got tired of waiting for her…so I started to pull stuff out on my own.  As soon as I touched the first box, the little Inquisitor came over and took over for me.  She decorated the whole house.  She even took down her ‘the witch/vampire/girl is in’ sign so she could put up her skeleton!  I was impressed.  We have ghostly window clings (from my dad) that actually glow in the dark – we are very much looking forward to seeing how much glow they have.
My darling little boy is here today now…and after being SO very consistent for weeks now on wanting to be the incredible Hulk for Halloween, the little snot surprised everyone when his dad asked him (because we must ever be sure) what he planned to be for Halloween…and N came back w: Frankenstein! 
We’ve had a mish-mash of Halloweeny impact of late.  We still need to hand E her ten dollar option to go hog-wild at Dollar Tree and get whatever she wants.  It’s become a Halloween tradition.  Halloween gets $10; December holidays gets $10; other holidays, depending on my mood, usually get $5.  Unless stuff for Valentine’s Day is really cool.
We still keep up the scary movies, and scary tv shows, when time prevails and I have no desire to be up til midnight watching stuff…there have been scary books galore.
Level 26 by Anthony Zuicker is a very cool concept.  Except.  Except.  It’s pretty interesting premise—an interactive book—where there is a website and there are videos that coincide with certain areas of the book…I didn’t go much farther than that.  The videos are television appropriate…which means the ultra-violence is all implied—but the one video w sexual content went too far into the sexual realm…another time and that would have been a great tidbit—but in the midst of an unstoppable serial killer?  And we aren’t even seeing the least bit of actual violence….nope.  Not my cup of tea.  I stopped watching the videos early on.  Not to mention, none of the acting scared me—it was the killer’s eyes that did it for me.  Except…that the eyes in the book and the eyes on the screen did not jibe—which was a big letdown.
The book …well…it tries…except … it’s a pretty big let-down, especially for someone like me who has done nothing but study serial killers and abnormal psych for twenty plus years…again, the ending is not jibing…well, the killer’s ending was not jibing…although the actual ending of the book was visible by the middle of the book….
I think Level 26 is a good beginning for this series…there is a great deal of room for improvement…I look forward to more…but…overall…it wasn’t the greatest thing in the world.
The Child Thief by Brom—now that is a hellacious good read. 
Other Halloweeny type things going on?  We are planning a trip to the pumpkin patch soon, hopefully this weekend, depending upon R’s schedule.
If you are out and about, my friend Kerry will have a booth at arteast in Alton, IL.  You should stop by.

Otherwise, don't forget to hang out with the rest of us at the Halloween blog party....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Updates Ready

I am not sure how much of this I can do right now.  My hands are bothering me, my left especially.  I can say old war injury, and mean it.  Mostly, it has to do w SBC operator services…you know, the things I don’t like to talk about, so heinous are they.  I will do my best, but no promises.  I reserve the right to babble until my hands no longer twitch—and then continue on at a later date…

First thing, I love to travel w my boyfriend.  Not just because he lets me sleep in his lap most of the time, but because he makes things so easy on and easy for everyone around him, all the time.  Not just on trips, but all the time.  Since I am on a detonation timer when traveling, as in my fuse gets wicked short, any kind of concession and thoughtfulness booms large.  Second, I am not much for traveling anymore.  Long distance, short distance.  Nah.  Not my thing.  Let me stay home.  Give me a horse.  Seriously.  Or let me walk.  Otherwise, I am not really much for it.  I am too worn out from it.  Trips here in town.  Trips across country, where time stands still as you fight to get from point A to point B in order to reach point Z before nightfall…drives me bonkers…

I am glad we did it though.  Even though I am a shop-a-holic, it was good to see Dad.  Very good to see Dad.  Although I feel like a complete schmuck for showing up, going shopping, loading a gorgeous motorcycle and then …splitting….but that is pretty much what I did.  E got to spend some quality time w Granddad.  I got to go shopping at my favourite stores, which include Ikea, the half priced bookstore, and Gabriel brothers. 

I learned not to use the Enterprise rent a car facility in Florissant on Lindbergh.  They have great customer service, when they are talking to you, but if you are waiting, you are pretty much non-existent.  We were lucky we made it out of town Friday night.  I won’t go into that right now, because it makes my head hurt too much to care about—and since everything worked out ok, why bother?

I learned Fords are not such bad vehicles as I was lead to believe, me being a die-hard Chevy girl.  I have to abandon Chevy utterly now that Ed Whiteacre is in control—he ran AT&T into the dirt—now he’s going to do the same to Chevy—and oh yes, as a former employee I am doing nothing more than expressing my true heart-felt opinion there—he could care less about anything than the all-mighty dollar. 

I digress…

I learned that Fords draw blood, as effectively as any knife.  Few is the blade that will pass up my blood.  This 2010 Ford F-150 was no exception.   I went to adjust my position in the seat and somehow reached in between the center seat and the passenger seat—and the truck punctured my thumb—rendering me incapable of knitting for the most part—although I did make a stop at Joann’s and bought some yarn and a crochet hook—seven though w the other issues w my hands I wasn’t all that able to do much….

I did manage to get R addicted to Ikea, so I am very happy.  Once the move is managed, we are getting a bed from there.  Which means I get to do some finagling w the beds here, as we have one more than we need—we just need a mattress and box spring for it.  Not to mention, the kids want bunk beds…so there is that to ponder as well.  We’ll see.  The other house is coming now, as we have nothing left to use as an excuse.

We have decided, it seems, to wait on moving in together, only, in my estimation, because of the way things went in his past.  He seems to feel moving this fast this soon with us somehow negates things that happened in the past w the last girlfriend.  He couldn’t and wouldn’t move in w her—and here we are, ready, willing and able—and I come w an entirely different set of baggage than she.  I will not say I have more baggage—and I mean the kids here for me—than she carries—because from what I know of her personally, her baggage far outweighs mine—and she has no children ……….we can conveniently blame the issue here on the older dog who has incontinence problems though….

So, we are looking for a house in the same area as R instead.  Anything other than this house right now.  Even before the trip to WV, the driving back and forth was wearing on my nerves.  Now, as I sit here, listening not only to the rain hitting the roof, but to the leaking of the water through the roof, that drives makes me grind my teeth….I have already told R I am on a mission now to find that other house.

Our deal stands at…the kids and I get our house close to him…we use both houses as leverage for the next, bigger house, once his job is more secure…and once he gets that better job…bigger house, more land…no holds barred.

It really sucks to live this far away from him, since he and I both sleep so much better in each other’s arms.  That is a really big issue.  Our insomnia without one another.  Living closer together will change that.
Snarf—it’s not as if we haven’t had keys to one another’s houses for years anyway. 
I learned…lady bugs can be tenacious.  We had one in the truck w us on the way home—it didn’t want to leave.  E says she found it (or one just like it) crawling on her arm after we got home last night.  Not the first time, but the whole we are done for the night time.  Maybe the lady bug or bugs just needed a change of scenery and we were a good mode of transportation there. 

Let’s see.

E wasn’t too bad, considering. She actually stayed awake most of the trip there and back.  Luckily, the front seat obscured her view, so keeping R up and attentive was not an issue.

Ford F-150s have lots of head room, lots of leg room.  Plenty of room for a nearly 6 feet tall woman to lay down with her head in the driver’s lap.  It made the drive much more interesting, when I wasn’t actually asleep in his lap.  And gods bless the man, R did let me sleep, in both directions, going there and coming home. 

I learned I am moderately competent and confident at driving, on roads I know well, in a vehicle with which I am comfortable, so long as traffic is not asinine.  And so long as the weather is clear. 

However, I also learned, I do not need to be driving for more than 20 minutes or so at a time.  I do not need to be driving if there is traffic, more than a very mild set of traffic.  If it rains, forget it.  Anything more than rain, you’re lucky I am riding in the car.  

So, I technically CAN drive; I just should not be driving with my children in the car.  It’s far far too stressful for me.  Put me in a vehicle I don’t know—and pray gods above and below that traffic behaves itself and I don’t have to do anything that makes me the least bit uncomfortable, like pulling out in a big truck around lots of construction equipment…I can’t do it.

YET—note—as soon as we got the virago, I sat down on it, and I swear that bike was made for me.  I cannot drive.  I do not know how to drive a motorcycle.  Traffic terrifies me.  And yet, I sat on that bike and knew she was mine.  All I have to do is get over my fears, learn how to drive a bike and get my license…and I am good to go.  She’s heavenly.

On the trip, we went to half priced books.  Oh boy—did I blow my spending limit there.  BUT—I did buy a bunch of movies---I made it to the clearance section, most of it anyway—I made it to the writer’s books—I made it to the knitting books—and then I was dragged away kicking and screaming, more or less…R and E were hungry…I even managed to grab a cd while we were being checked out…and, thanks to R, I got the teacher’s appreciation discount as well…which was good, since they over-charged  us on a couple books—and I bought 2 copies of one book (although E is very happy because it was a knitting book and she got the second copy…)….I did manage to procure one fiction book…thanks to the clearance section….the rest I am very much looking forward to reading.  I found one book and as soon as I saw the author, I didn’t even open the book.  Eric Maisel.  Boom, in the basket.  E got some very good stuff….R got some very cool stuff…N even got some neat stuff out of the deal, even though he didn’t go w us.

E got to eat at her most favourite Cracker Barrel—and they indeed did have the fire lit…although we sat too far away to see it.  She was still happy.
Gabe’s was an experience for me.  Never got to find N a pair of shoes.  Forgot to drop the fringed purse in the cart.  BUT—bought eight pairs of awesome jeans that are not just long enough for me, but are over-long for me.  I have a thirty-four inch inseam…well, fine, thirty-three and a half, roughly.  Finding pants that are just long enough is an issue.  Finding anything over long…a miracle.  I got some skinny over-long jeans.  I got some wide-legged jeans—which I absolutely adore for some reason—also over-long.  I bought a bunch of shirts, although not all at gabe’s.  I have all my basics covered for now, except maybe nice thick fuzzy socks—which I am planning to be making myself here soon…I bought clothes for N, because he has no pants here, and T is not known for sending much w him when he stays.  Since we are going more places these days, N needs to have more clothes here w us, and T doesn’t approve of sending much w N here, or much decent well-fitting stuff at all, so I took care of that.  I need to find him shoes, but we’ll wait and see what he is wearing this week-end when he comes.  It was too cold for his sandals when we saw him the week-end before this last week-end, but we’ll see.  That was the only response I got today when I emailed T to let him know we were back and what we got for N—that T had bought him shoes last week.  Gotta love that ability to almost communicate w that guy.

E got the coolest pants, black with all sorts of red and pink roses all over it.  She also got some adult t-shirts to wear as nightgowns.  If someone can explain the one-eyed monster called Norma Jean, I’d really appreciate it. She also got some scary skully shirts.  And a vampire t-shirt. 

I bought granny boots  And some cool high heeled moccasins.  And of course, clearance for Frederick’s of Hollywood lingerie and sleep shirts.  Awesome, awesome time.  Everybody got a little something.  From R, to me, to the kids, to the dog…everyone…

It was actually terrific today, except for the whole doing laundry, unpacking, sorting, shifting stuff outside of this—I got to clean out my closets again.  Which is actually a very liberating thing.  It’s kind of disturbing , how much I love to buy new clothes as I shift styles and lifestyles…and how much I love to throw out the old stuff that just sits here reminding me of days that will never come again (because I won’t let them).  If I had to work in an office atmosphere, I do have the clothes to pull it off….but not like I used to have.  Even with all the stuff I bought, which is all much more me than the stuff I tossed today, I still ended up tossing more stuff than I bought—not to mention—I still have WAY WAY less than I had when we moved in here…the whole hoarding instinct is going away…even though I am not giving up my pack rat status.

I had so much more to say.  It’s late.  I’m tired.  I had a very long day.  My day today covered most of the trip costs, except the shopping sprees. 
Oh, we inherited fish.  We have three male mollies hanging out in a bucket here in my bedroom.  Dad gave us the five gallon and the ten gallon tanks.  What’s funny is just how good a thing it was he told me he was planning to give us the tanks…because I was contemplating buying a tank.  I was thinking just a small five gallon tank for the beta, and a ground crew for him.  But the betta, well, the betta passed.  I think we can safely say the waters grew too cold…although technically it wasn’t that cold…but that’s the excuse I gave when the kid found out that we no longer had a betta, so that’s the one I am sticking to about this.  What I wanted was more along the lines of a twenty or twenty-five gallon tank.  Some tiger barbs of various colours.  And bottom feeders as well.

So, here we are, with three male mollies.  Waiting for the waters to cycle through so the boys can find their new home, which is technically their old home, all redone. 

Originally, there were four fish coming home with us.  Originally, there was Big Boy.  He was a leopard botia.  The last remaining fish from MD.  He had grown large and fat.  He grew this way by eating everything else in the tank, except these three rather traumatized mollies.  He had his own bucket for the trip.  We never even pulled him out of his cave either.  I picked up the cave, out of the ten gallon tank.  He refused to budge.  I dropped him, cave and all, into the water filled bucket.  He did fine the first part of the trip.  He was alive and perky when we got to the hotel in Dayton.  There was a mighty splash the next morning.  When we checked the bucket later, there was dead fish.  I would like to say I was saddened by this, but I cannot.  All I could think of was, oh good, now I don’t have to worry about him snarfing anyone up as his dinner or anything.  Now, I am missing him a little more, now that I have discovered that botias eat snails…and we have snails….my quandary now is…do we buy more botia and risk another Big Boy who eats everyone and everything…or do we find something else that finds snails appetizing and try our luck there?  Hmm.  We’ll have to see…I haven’t decided yet. 

All I know now is we have to buy some female mollies.  Now that the boys are not running for their lives, they are going to start running after each other in the whole dominance play they have.  Too few females and the boys will run them ragged.  Will literally kill them in their over-zealous approach to reproduction.  So, two girls for every boy, just to keep things fair. 

But, we also need bottom dwellers, snail eaters of no.  And a single solitary plecto.  Yuck.  I am not a huge fan of the plecto.  Although they do serve their purpose.  We have live plants in the tanks, so algae is not a problem.  The plants take care of that.  But E must have her plecto…so I shall give it to her.

The five gallon tank needs a new light bulb.  E wants guppies.  The original plan was to keep the mollies in the five gallon tank, and let E breed her guppies to her heart’s content in the ten gallon.  No light bulb means no fish in that tank, even though we are going tomorrow to get a light bulb.  After R gets off of work.  Now, I have many ideas wandering through my head about that five gallon.  No reason not to get a couple corey cats and a betta for that tank.  The betta would be a happy camper.  We’ll have to see what strikes me the right way tomorrow in the pet store.

Any recommendations for online aquarium places would be greatly appreciated.  I do fresh water only.  I don’t care for buying fish sight unseen.  I just want a good place to get decent equipment without paying an arm and a leg.  I wasn’t planning to set up aquariums in this house, especially not with the move so close to happening right now.  But since we have tanks and fish, I am letting my inner aqua-fiend loose.  I have ideas.  They were working fairly well in other tanks, long long ago, but I was never able to really let go of everyone else’s pre-conceived notions about things and do things my way…I can now though—and I am looking forward to it.

The ex has friends who are raising discus fish, if anyone is interested.  Let me know if you are and I will get you contact information for them.  Don’t look at me for discus though.  E gets her mollies and guppies—live bearers.  Sigh.  Once we move, I am getting a larger tank.  I want a tank for my tiger barbs.  I want another tank for my angel fish.  I will be more than happy to give mollies and guppies away.  But then again, I am not against having an Oscar raised up on guppies and mollies either.  I might not have had tanks for awhile, but I am still my Pappap’s grand-daughter—I have no problem having many many tanks all around.  Although mine will be full of lots of different things….

Ahh, the planning stages of things…

I have to remember to ask Dad what the plants are we inherited.  I know the duck weed.  But there is a fern and another frondy thing too.  I’d like to know what the frondy thing is.  All the plants are free-floaters at the moment.  The frondy things have roots that seem to want to be planted, but after the cross-country move for everyone, I have no desire to plant things.  Let them acclimate for awhile and we’ll see afterwards.
I spared a glance around my room, as it is late and I still have a lot to do.  I caught sight of those high heeled moccasin shoes…and all I could think was…it’s so great to be a girl.  Those shoes.  One certain pair of jeans and any top I want…killer….I love it….

Alas, I have so much to do … just to be able to get into bed….much less the other things I need to do tonight to post things….

I have to get busy.

This is my trip update.  I reserve the right to re-visit things as they come to mind.  Not to mention, all the issues I had typing this up tonight.  I think I did rather well.

Thanks for listening….