Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Are we DONE yet?

Noob is 25 weeks 4 Days

As you can see, the timer (known to the uninitiated as a belly button) now sticks out. Shouldn't this mean this bird is ready to fly?

Friday, December 21, 2007


Ever since I read The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, I've had a desire to see Newfoundland. So, when I ran across some mention of Screech and discovered it was connected to the island, I was intrigued. Apparently, there was an exchange back in the day between ships journeying south to the Caribbean with loads of salted cod and returning with barrels of molasses and rum. A thick sediment of sugary stuff would collect in these barrels over time, so it would be heated up, fermented, and distilled to create a form of rum unique to Newfoundland. It's still bottled and sold today, though I hear the very best (and most potent) stuff is home brewed on the sly.

What really intrigues me is the fairly recent practice of holding Screech-Ins. Custom dictates that visitors are made honorary Newfies by doing a shot of Screech, kissing a cod, and reciting some Newfie verses or sayings. I thought this would be fun until I read the middle step. Anyone who knows me knows I'm deathly phobic about fish. I hear that some even like to single out a few people and insist they tounge the fish. I'll be having some nightmares tonight. Dude-would you put your tounge in this mouth?

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I've been inspired! I just watched the neatest video on Furoshiki-the Japanese art of cloth folding. Before the advent of the plastic shopping bag, it was quite common in Japan to see a large cloth skillfully folded around an object or gift. The practice has died out in more recent times, but seems to be making a come back, in part due to the Japanese ministry of culture which has begun to advocate it as a more green practice. It makes me want to wrap all my Christmas presents this way. I've always taken special care to wrap my gifts-I am always in love with the ribbons and the bows. Well, until the end, when I'm out of the special gew gaws and sick unto death of wrapping yet another item. Check out this poster, which has guidelines for creating everything from beautiful wraps for bottles, (as pictured above) to handbags. Wouldn't you love your knitting in one of those? I wonder if you could wrap a baby in those bags to make a sling? I'd have to figure out what to do with the knots...

Monday, December 10, 2007


We have a new occupant of the household. Perkins was found in the parking lot of the Mitchell Perkins restaurant Thanksgiving weekend. He put some seriously lovey moves on Lizzie and I when we discovered him. At first I felt bad, but hardened my heart-we can NOT keep 4 cats, one dog, one five year old, and a baby in a 16x 80 single wide trailer house. It simply cannot be done! But oh how he loved on Lizzie …cats don’t like little kids THAT well, no matter how well behaved the child is. Lizzie was so charmed with him! He was so scrawny. It was so cold! It was about to get even COLDER.

We gave him some of the chicken we had left over from lunch. He horked it down. I opened the door to the van to let out the dog for a pee… The cat jumped in the van. I scooped him out.

Josh put Lizzie in the carseat and strapped her in. The cat got in AGAIN. Josh looked at me. I sighed in disgust and said- "OH just close the damn door!" “Perkins” laid in my lap and purred and nuzzled me for the WHOLE 6 hours home and never cried once about being in the car or showed any fear of riding. We let him out twice at rest stops to potty (the cat farts-SERIOUSLY.) He made sure to say DAMN close so we couldn't leave him. It’s weird to have a cat you can let out at rest stops, eh?

He's so GREATFUL to be with us. The vet agrees with me that he’s under a year- but he’s close to it-he was probably an early spring kitten. He needs neutered and has been in some scuffles-a torn ear, various small scabs about the body and a big scratch across the nose. But he is the most PERSONABLE little man-cat I've met in quite some time.

We’ve finally been allowing him out of the bathroom where we kept him until we could make sure he was free of any communicable diseases. He’s a whole six pounds. He’s still got about half the house to explore. He’s been really cautious about leaving his safe places. Simon takes special joy in beating the ever living CRAP out of him-or at least rushing him. This shouldn't be so bad- since my poor little white cat is the biggest dufus on the planet and couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag. BUT, Simon outwieghs Perkins by a good....12 lbs probably, and I'm not sensing a lot of fight in the poor kid. So, for now, he tends to stay in "high places" around the house, where he can see Simon coming, like the back of the couch, the windowsills, and the top of the litter box bench. Meanwhile, Simon lurks under the furniture and in dark hidey holes and delights in ambushing Perkins. He doesn't even really have to unsheath his claws-just give the poor scrawny thing a good scare and Perkins is howling and spitting as he hies it back into the bathroom to his "safe place" - the space between the toilet and the bathtub where his bed is.

It's like some feline soap opera I tell ya.

Friday, November 30, 2007


I read recently, about a five week old baby boy who died of SIDS. He and his parents were at a holiday party being thrown by members of a birthing class he had attended. He nursed at his mother's breast for awhile, fell asleep, bled from the nose just a bit and then stopped breathing. That was it. He was gone. All efforts to revive him were made- another father at the party began infant CPR right away, and he was life flighted to a hospital nearby. But, he wasn't breathing on his own for several hours. By then, he'd suffered irreprable damage and his brain had shut down. Within a few days, his parents had said their goodbyes and made the choice to turn off life support. His organs were donated to others in need.

Incidentally, I know someone who was able to donate her sons eyes, and I can't tell you how healing it is to think of Cody's baby blue eyes gazing out and really seeing the world for the first time.

What really strikes me about this case is the timeless quality of it. Mothers today are haunted by the specter of SIDS. We're told to lie our infants on their backs to sleep-then NO put them on their sides-fluffy bankets increase the risk-sleeping in a family bed increases the risk-NO it decreases the risk-smoking mothers have increased risk of SIDS babies-breastfeeding mothers have a decreased risk. Sometimes the information is conflicting, sometimes it seems downright crazy. The truth is, we have no idea what single or multiple factors cause it. All we can do is follow the instructions of our "experts" and hope the specter is warded away by our practices and the totems we use- such as side sleepting pillows and thin blankets.

I watched a program once about a Roman era archeological site in Britian (the name of the town I've long forgotten and some serious Google-Fu didn't turn up anything to supplement our discussion.) There were an unusually high number of infants buried there, ranging in ages from pre-term to 3 years of age. With burials found in the floors of homes, to just outside the doors and even in the cemeteries, it's not uncommon to see evidence of infanticide in Roman towns. Most often these babies are unwanted newborn girls-but in this town the sex ratio was fairly equal. Additionally, in many cases these were not discarded children, but clearly loved, as small tokens such as a hair brush or a necklace were often buried with them. Further analysis revealed high amounts of lead in the teeth and bones of these children-pointing to the true cause of their deaths-lead poisioning. Lead was common in Roman times, used in everything from cooking utensils to face paints to water piping. While literature tells us they were at least somewhat cognizant of the dangers of lead posioning, the entire population of this Frontier post shows elevated levels of lead in their bodies. Imagine knowing a silent spectre was creeping about in the night, killing the most innocent and helpless of your loved ones. You cling to the words of the most wise of your people, keep small trinkets and feed special morsels that are said to help ward from death. Sound familiar?

In the end, the reasons are different, the methods are different, but we still experience the same fear and the same pain of loss as millions of different women down through the ages. We often elevate ourselves due to our own apparent understanding of science and our modernity, but in the end, motherhood is the same no matter where or when you live. From the moment you discover you are carrying life inside you, you become a member of a timeless sisterhood of women-who have all loved, hoped, prayed, and suffered for a child. We are linked with all the women who have ever placed a gentle hand on the chest of a child to make sure they were still breathing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

baby names?

So, I was convinced I was having a boy. We've had a boy name, Isaac Zachary, (yeah, I know his nickname would probably end up baby Zach Zach) picked out since before Lizzie's birth and consequently, hadn't really been too concerned with finding a girl name. Anytime I considered it I couldn't think of anything that really tripped my trigger. I've got a couple of rules of thumb:

1. Kids should have the chance to have cute nicknames
2. Adults should have names that has some dignity to them
3. Variations on spelling are just stupid and trite
4. "Unique" names just end up looking like pathetic attempts to nuture the individuality of your child
5. Following a theme when naming your kids-such as making them all start with the same letter-you know it makes you wanna gag!

Chances are, it's the old traditional sorts of names that really make me happy. I've looked back through the abundant records of Josh's family tree (and what we have of mine) but I'm still not seeing anything great. Josh's family goes back quite aways on the East Coast, and has some GREAT old Puritan names (and noteables in some cases) like:

Hepsibah Fruit
Cotton Mather
Increase Mather

Only one' is a girl's name, but you get the idea, right? Somehow, I just can't quite make those work. Surely you see why? So I'm sending out the call- got anything you love? Here's a few I've toyed with:

Katherine (mostly cause I wanna call my child "Kat")
Bodhi (Yeah, I know-it totally violates that whole unique rule- but it's got this cool meaning and tomboy sorta vibe going for it)
Murphy (My mom's idea-but a bit too mannish for me)
Belle (Lizzie's idea, short for Isabelle, which I happen to really like, but many people think it's awfully close to Elizabeth in sound)

So- let 'em rip!

Monday, November 26, 2007

chicks-we digs 'em!

chicks- we digs em!
It's a girl!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Disturbing baby clothes..

So I was looking for some cute baby clothes on cafepress.com and found some seriously disturbing t-shirts. Cafepress is good at suppressing image stealing (*sniffle*) so I can't show you pictures... but here are a few slogans...

#10. Daddy drinks cause I cry
#9. Mommy drinks cause I cry
#8. I drink 'till I pass out, just like my Dad
#7. Proof my Mommy liked the drummer
#6. I just did 9 months in the Hole
#5. Daddy's little tax deduction
#4. Still sore from the Bris
#3. Dingo Bait
#2. Mother Sucker

annnd the ABSOLUTE WORST thing I saw?!?

#1. Hung like a five year old

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sometimes I wish I could crochet!

Now, I'm a terrible crochetter- or "crotch-et-er" as we say 'round my house. As a little girl, I used to chain strings to make halters and bridles for my Breyer horses or when I really had my mojo working, I'd make saddles (squares with little straps attached for a girth) and stable blankets for my trusty steeds, but this was the extent of my abilities. Knitting anything larger meant I made a triangle-because I was forever dropping stitches at the end. I gave it all up in disgust once I'd grown out of playing on my knees and making little horsie noises. Puberty hit-and I was forced to face the facts that I was a rotten crotch-et-er.
Fast forward almost 20 years and patterns like these make me ALMOST itchy to pick up a hook... Amigurumi means "Knitted or Crocheted Toy" and man are they cute. What do you expect from the Japanese-who afterall, have perfected the art of Cute.
Wiki says "The simplest designs are worked in spirals. In contrast to typical Western crochet the rounds are not usually joined. They are also worked with a smaller size hook in proportion to the weight of the yarn in order to create a very tight-looking fabric without any gaps through which the stuffing might escape. Amigurumi are usually worked in sections and then joined, except for some amigurumi which have no limbs, only a head and torso which are worked as one piece. The extremities are often stuffed with plastic pellets to give them a life-like weight, while the rest of the body is stuffed with fiber stuffing.

The pervading aesthetic of amigurumi is cuteness. To this end, typical amigurumi animals have an over-sized spherical head on a cylindrical body with undersized extremities."

Mr. Manatee

A Fishie and his Dad

Oh My GOD look at those little pink CHEECKS!

*splat* (head explodes)

Oh look! Happy Pills!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Knitters! Get Knocked Up!

Here we have a classic example of why it's so important that we suck more knitters into having babies. I've ranted before at the hideous and totally impractical baby accouterments out there people have proudly knit for poor unfortunate new souls. This is a really innovative idea that would only come from someone intimately connected to daily life with an infant. Seaweed is a cover that buttons over your coat and baby (who is presumably riding in a carrier or sling) to protect the wee munchkin from the cold winds of winter. It's simple, yes-but a MARVELOUS idea. Way to go Anna-Maria! I've always wondered how to negotiate life with a sling and winter!

Now in all reality, I probably won't knit this-despite how tickled I am with it. I figure I'll have far less cause here in vehicle friendly SD to spend time walking with a baby than in pedestrian friendly Vienna. Most of the time I'll be out will be with Bebe' in a car seat. But I really like the idea, nonetheless!

Honestly, I think if we had more pattern designers out there who were actually knitting items out of a real need, rather than a desire to just "make a baby sweater" we'd come up with some really outstanding patterns. So often something I run across is cute- but totally impractical, either due to the way it's put on, the thickness, the washing care needed... I dunno, maybe I'm just a utilitarian sort of knitter. Up with practicality!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A sobering fact for the day

There are 23 counties in SD that offer Labor and Delivery services-that's 23 out of 66. Check out this handy dandy little map. Click on it to biggify and or visit http://www.sdsafebirth.org/ for more info. That is a sobering image, is it not? Now, the geographer in me must be fair and compare this with a population map.

Click on this one to biggify too.
Obviously we DO have a correlation here. Birthin' facilities are reserved for population centers. The majority of our population can safely drive an hour or less to encounter trained staff to assist with their birth. But what about all the people who can't? Sure they're a minority, but doesn't the need for medical treatment and safety apply equally to all people? I'd like to know how many people in these counties without services DO birth at home? How many people need to drive more than an hour to reach delivery services?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Maybe this is why...

Maybe this is why I keep getting the dry heaves. THIS is what I have to look forward to. This is me, in ALL MY GLORY, two days before giving birth to Lizzie.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Well, I tried the ginger ale! It doesn't look so yummy from here, does it? The ginger in there was mashed with my Pampered Chef garlic masher, and I added lime zest. There's honey drizzled over the whole thing, but what are those green leaves in there? Lemon Balm! After growing it for about 4 years and admiring the smell, I finally actually used it in something! If you've never had lemon balm, I would describe it as a lemony Pledge smell, minus all the nasty chemicals. It's a light and lovely lemon scent-not sharp like the real thing, just very homey and relaxing. As a relatively mild herb, it's safe for pregnancy and is used most for relaxation-especially those with stress related stomach troubles. It was a GREAT addition!
Just after this picture was taken, I added approximately 2 cups of boiling water and allowed it to steep. Oh LA! It is GOOD! It took me awhile to figure out the proportions for the final concentrate. Our recipe doesn't say anything, but I've decided I prefer it a bit weaker than I originally made it. If you are using a short tumbler, I'd say you need approximately an inch of concentrate to a full glass of seltzer. I also didn't add enough honey-but that's what you get for not measuring!
For me, this is guilt free soda. I don't mind drinking honey-I don't feel so bad about my body processing something that is a much more natural material than nasty old white sugar. Plus, there's still much LESS sweetener in this than in a real soda. Last but not least, there's no caffeine! So, I get a break from plain water AND get something fizzy-which is what I love and miss most about soda. Two thumbs up from me!
I dunno if it does anything for my nausea, but today wasn't so bad...

I got a 7

Think you have a decent grasp of dining etiquette? What about international etiquette?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Real Ginger Ale

2 tablespoons fresh ginger grated
2 lemon rinds
honey to taste
1 cup boiling water
1 quart seltzer
Put the ginger and lemon rinds in a small bowl with the honey. Pour in
boiling water, just enough to cover. Let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and chill. When ready to serve, add seltzer.

Sounds damn yummy! I can't wait to try it, but thought I might as well share the wealth. Perhaps it will stop my dry heaves. Remember when your parents plied you with ginger ale when you were sick? I wonder if that was just to keep you hydrated, or if there were once health benefits to the ginger? If I weren't so damn lazy, I'd look it up. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

And now for something completely different..

and far less whiney. Today we promised the rugrat much kite flying after the dungeon that is her room was cleaned. There was much whining until the kite bribe was dangled. It's all about the leverage, ladies and gentlemen.

It's quite windy out today-maybe as much as 30 mph at times. We've had a few gusts that moved items on the deck. At one point we actually snapped the line on the kite and had to chase it through a few neighborhood yards. The wind wasn't constant, and the gusts made the kite do crazy and unpredictable things-like dive bomb us, or attempt to clothesline Josh. Good fun! But our kite is quickly becoming ratty. We've had it for about 10 years. It was the first kite I ever owned that wasn't crappy plastic-purchased at the Mall of America while I was in college. It's given good service, considering we've done ludicrous things like fly it out the windows of moving cars. But the poles have worn holes in all the support flaps. It may be time to buy a new kite.

Kites aren't really a big thing in the midwest. I suspect the constant breezes at the ocean shore make for a far more devoted following on the coasts. You don't really see many out flying-but who doesn't smile when they do? In any case, I had no idea there were such outlandish things flying the skies out there (or that kites could be so darn cheap!)

I mean, I knew kites came in shapes- but who knew there were 3D clownfish with 70 in wingspans for under $30?!? Or tall masted ships with rainbow sails? There's one star shaped kite that spins as it flies for $18?!? My kid is SO getting a kite for her birthday!

But the thing that made my jaw drop are the kites and fliers out there who purposely have designed kites so big, and with so much pull, that they literally pull their fliers off the ground. People ride around in buggies, or ski through the snow with these puppies. I can't imagine how much fun that would be!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thy name is Mud

Time for a maudlin interlude, girls and boys...courtesy of an over-hormonal pregnant woman.


Once upon a time, there was a girl. The girl loved dirt. First the girl discovered hidden things in the dirt. Dead people. Dishes. Remnants of people from long ago. Clues to stories about every day lives and every day struggles in worlds long past. And the girl went to college. And she studies ways to tease out more of those stories. And it was good. For awhile.

But the girl grew unsatisfied. She felt the physical gap between herself and the those people in the past. She could see their dishes, and their cast aside tools, but she didn't know them. And she realized she never would know them through the dry science that is archeology. The dirt would never yield the real measures and stories of their lives. She would always be starving for something she could never have.

She required something more visceral to feed her soul. The girl remembered clay, which is just another form of dirt. She remembered the sensual feel of it, the hypnotic quality of the wheel. She took a class. She took another class. When she threw on the wheel, she felt the clay move beneath her hands at the slightest touch. When she threw, she must be centered to center the clay. She must throw with her whole body, not just her fingers, or her hands, or her arms. When she threw, the whole world melted away. As with most things, she threw her entire self into this new process. It became her whole identity. She was a potter.

When she left college, she simply went to a different sort of school-to an apprenticeship. To a studio in North Carolina, where she learned about economies of movement, about the Zen of creating the same thing day after day. She learned to judge the temperature of the kiln by the cherry red of the pots inside. The girl built her own humble wood kiln, and listened to the crackle of brick as it shattered in the heat, and heard the roar of the flame as she fed a dragon ever more wood through a long southern summer night. She imagined the ash as it flew out of the fire box-landing on the shoulders of her pots to melt into a beautiful gray glaze.

She returned to the plains, convinced she would find her way in the world as a potter. Finding studio space was hard, the wheel cost more than her paycheck, the kilns just lucky finds bought second hand for a song. She squeaked along, working full time, throwing when she could. She bought a house with a shed she converted to a studio. She learned to wire it for electricity, insulated it as best she could. The credit card bills mounted. Still she persevered, though the obstacles now gave her pause, made her wonder how she'd ever do it.

The studio had only a dirt floor, and $1200 worth of gas could be gone in a month during the winter, but the clay had to be kept thawed, or the work would be ruined. The kilns were electric, the glazes cold and sterile. The girl learned to let go of impractical ideals, to live within her means. She threw while it stayed above freezing. She learned to work around the sterility of an oxidation firing. She found places to sell her work, from galleries in the Black Hills to Norwegian church bazaars.

But the obstacles continued to mount and new frustrations began to creep in. Work schedules became less flexible. Her glaze wasn't performing right. The color was wrong. It crackled and wasn't food safe or crawled off the pot in firings. Her sense of two dimensional design was pathetic and the awful little brushings on the sides of the mugs and bowls at looked tentative and tight. She began to hate herself for her inadequacies. At some point the obstacles just got to big.

I quit. I let go of that identity, though I wondered who the hell I was and where the hell I was going. I couldn't face my own perceived failures. Being a shitty potter wasn't good enough, though it broke my heart to let it go. I hated myself for not being able to fix all the things I saw that were wrong. The bad handles. The shitty decorations. The intractable glaze chemistry. It was all a direct attach on my own self worth. When I moved from that house and that studio, I took an aluminum baseball bat to hundreds of mugs and bowls and plates that were still in there. I sort of liked the idea that an archaeological investigation some day might reveal the discarded pieces of someones presence-though it wouldn't really tell the story. I sold my kilns to a nice guy who needed the same break that someone once gave me. But I couldn't sell the wheel. You wouldn't sell your baby, would you?

But now I want to throw. And, I have an opportunity to do so. But it will never be the same as it was. I have other responsibilities now, other identities too. I'm not sure I can give everything I have to it again... and clay does not forgive. It won't wait for you to spend quality time with your child or your husband. It's got it's own timetable. It's own path. I'm not sure if it's worth it.

I'm not sure if I'm in my right mind making such a big deal out of it! LOL! I'm not even sure if I'm in my right mind posting such overly dramatic juvenile drivel in a public forum!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Baby Got Back!

Who knew babies had buttcheeks at 11 weeks?!?
Tell me you don't want to just pinch it?!?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sleeping Beauty and the Spindle

Okay, bear with me people. I didn't get my so very necessary pregnancy nap today, and, despite the fact I was able to sleep in till the blessed time of 9:30, I am now fading quickly... zzzzzzz....

Tonight before bed, we read a couple of traditional fairy tales to Lizzie. Oh wait-let's qualify that. We read some Walt Disney fairy tales. These are only traditional if you are a red blooded American. I'm not sure if I ever had the chance to watch Sleeping Beauty. It seems to be out of production on video. I've never seen it for rent. Yet I know some of the scenes, from commercials and television shows. I know the basic story...

A King and a Queen want very badly to have a child, and when finally a baby girl is born to them, they hold a great celebration and invite 3 fairies to bless her. One gives her beauty, one gives her...erm... something else, but before the 3rd can bestow her gift, another fairy crashes the party. This one is livid about her exclusion, and as payback, curses the baby to die from pricking her finger on a spindle before her 16th birthday has passed. The third fairy quickly steps in and amends the curse to stipulate she will only fall asleep until she is awoken by a kiss of true love. The fairies whisk the child away to a forest home, where she can be protected and where she grows up in ignorance of her true heritage. On her 16th birthday, she chances across a serious hunk of a man and returns to the forest cottage and her three "aunties" to tell the tale of her new love. The fairies come clean and explain she is already betrothed and then take her to the castle, assuming that since the kid hasn't cacked it yet, she's safe from the curse. Poor Sleeping Beauty is having a pretty hard time dealing with this sudden change of events and has a meltdown at the castle. The fairies give her some time alone to pull it together, and wouldn't you know, the silly twit is lured to a lonely castle tower where she discovers a spinning wheel. The minute she reaches out to touch the spindle, her finger is pricked and she falls into a deep sleep. The fairies do a little damage control by putting the whole castle to sleep, and then set off in search of this hunky forest dude, in hopes he can break the spell. Armed with a sword, shield and something else, the Prince defeats the evil fairy (who has turned herself into a dragon) and fights through the brambles about the castle to break in on his true love, slip her a little tongue and miraculously, the whole castle awakes. And, they live happily ever after.

Okay, I'm getting to my point finally...What the hell is up with pricking your finger on a spindle? How the hell is that even possible? When I've done spinning demos, people have asked about this. There IS no part on a spinning wheel that is a spindle. We've got bobbins, a distaff, even strange things called mother-of-alls... but no spindle. A spindle is an alternative tool to spin with... Old Walt really needs to get his poop in a group. So again tonight, I began to wonder about this tale, and the errors it had picked up in it's sanitization for the American kiddees. Remember, Snow White's evil stepmother was punished by dancing away in slippers of molten lead in the Grim version. Grim indeed. I recalled that there seems to be an inordinate amount of necrophilia in the old versions... that little kiss to wake the Sleeping Beauty began to take on a more nefarious tone for me. So! Here's the real version, which is actually older than the Brother's Grim-how did their own sanitizing for the kiddees... We can trace this one all the way back to Giambattista Basile (1575-1632), an Italian who undoubtedly simply recorded a common story told by peasants.

A king has his daughter's future foretold. He learns she will die from a sliver of flax. Naturally, he has all hemp and flax removed from his castle. Wouldn't you know it, the girl chances on an old woman spinning flax and she immediately is intrigued by the texture and sits down to spin the fiber with a spindle. A sliver of flax chances to work it's way under her nail and she immediately falls down dead. The shattered father arranges her as if she were asleep on his throne, and shuts the castle up-never setting foot in it again. Many years pass and another king chances upon the castle while out hawking. His hawk flies inside and he enters to retrieve it. What he sees is a fetching young woman seemingly asleep on a throne. She's apparently pretty hot-even if she is dead. Much rumpity pumpity occurs. Later he leaves and forgets all about his dalliance with the dead girl. Nice huh? Well, despite her corpse status, the princess is apparently incredibly fertile and gives birth to twins-a boy and a girl, who suckle from her breasts while she slumbers. At some point, one of the children has some difficulty reaching a nipple and instead finds the finger with the sliver in it. The child promptly sucks it out, and the Princess is revived. She cares for the children and time passes. In the meantime, the King finds himself remembering the girl in the throne room and returns, only to find a living girl and his two children. He stays with them a bit, but later returns to his Queen and his kingdom. The Queen finds out about the mistress and children and orders the cook to bake them and serve them to the King. The cook takes pity on the kids and hides them-serving the King to goat kids instead. The Queen schemes to have the Princess thrown on in a fire, but the King arrives in the nick of time and gives the Queen a taste of her own medicine. He marries the Princess and THEN they live happily ever after. So I ask you, would you marry a dude who raped you when you were dead?

Wanna see a bit more? perhaps some analysis?


So, there was no spinning wheel in the original-nor was a spindle even the real culprit! ...and, didn't I tell you there was a lot of necrophilia in these old stories?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

It's my Party!

It's my burfday! In honor of my 31st year, I bring you random fiber related art!

"Knitting Practice" - Helen Arcker Farmer
Boy, this woman looks strong and full of grace.
That's my birthday wish for the next 30 years.

1879 - "Tricoteuse" - Adolphe-William Bouguereau
This girl smolders, doesn't she?
I'm going to try to cultivate a smoldering look as I knit.
She looks jaded, sarcastic, and sexy as hell!

1869 - "The Knitting Girl" - Adolphe-William Bouguereau
I do love this guy's work-especially his use of light and shadow.

2003 - "The 26,000" - Shane Waltener
"26,000 knots suspended above the knot garden at St Mary’s Churchyard, one for each of the 26,000 bodies buried there"

2005?- "Tree Cozy" - Carol Hummel
Holy shit! That takes a whole new level of spatial planning and forethought!
How did she know when to start another branch, unless she was sitting in the tree while she knit?!?

Had to leave you with a stunner.
No name for this one.
Check out the rest-I'm especially fond of the pink unicorn!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

This is just how I feel too!

what i do now?

Did ya catch that snazzy house those babies have? I think we'll be living in something similar when daycare goes up to $885.00 each month.

Monday, August 6, 2007


photographed lying where I dropped it.
For those of you not familiar with procreation, this indicates conception and pregnancy within the said urinator-said urinator, of course, being me. Now, before you begin viewing this as the perfect opportunity to try out that cute new baby pattern-I have had a history of non-committal babies that decided the womb just wasn't as comfy as they thought it would be, and who decide to split. Wait till we hear a heatbeat to get too excited. We wouldn't want a permutation of the boyfriend sweater curse to take root!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

How many brains are in ma buket?

Hold the phone people, we're havin' ourselves a contest!

Friday, July 27, 2007

I scream You scream

There's a new ice cream store in our town - "Sweety's." They sell Fjord's Ice Cream-a locally made hard ice cream that's been around for at least the past 25 years. Its located in an old garage attached to a local take 'n bake pizza place. We checked it out last night. My family chose Mint Chip, Oreo Cheesecake, and Mango something or other. My mango did not taste like a mango, as I had hoped, but was still a damn good ice cream cone. The mint chip was quickly devoured, but the apparent star of the evening was the Oreo Cheesecake, which was passed back and forth from father and child until it disappeared.

Here's what I really like about this place: All ice cream is served with a cherry on top. Even if you don't like maraschino cherries, you gotta admit its a neat and old fashioned touch. All ice cream is served with optional sprinkles-at no extra charge. They've got that rainbow confetti stuff, crushed oreos, Reece's peanut butter cups, you name it. You can opt for a waffle cone-again, at no extra charge. Cones are a bit expensive at $2.50 for a single dip, but worth it for the quality of the ice cream and the atmosphere of the place.

But the most endearing part about this place is it's shoestring appearance. The sign at the entrance is small and obviously homemade. It makes no effort to hide the fact that it is an ice cream store set up in the mouth of a garage. The store front is open to the weather and cobbled together from old fence boards and rough cut wood that has been painted cheerily. It blocks the garage entrance and provides a counter for folks to order at. Inside, the garage is bare, except for a freezer, a preparation counter, and some Rubbermaid boxes to hold cones and supplies. On the concrete in front are two cheap patio sets for folks to enjoy their ice cream and some sidewalk chalk for the little people. Everything is clean and tidy, but one can't be looking at an investment of more than $500.00. It's marvelous!

I feel like I am witnessing the birth of something special-because it is beginning from such humble origins. I feel so proud of this person for not taking the easy road out and dumping loads of money into a new business just to give it a highly commercial and polished feel. I understand that temptation and pressure! Instead this place feels much more honest and real. I hope she makes it! Huzzah to the underdog!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Phobia: pho·bi·a (fō'bē-ə) n.
1. A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.

2. A strong fear, dislike, or aversion.

I can NOT explain how incredibly facking frightening I find fish. Any fish. Leetle itsy bitsy minnows. Nasty pasty bellied catfish the size of your aunt Bertha. Bubble headed goldfish. Any fish. They all make my blood run cold. Sauntering past the aquariums in a local store, I can suddenly levitate five feet in midair at the sight of an anomaly on the carpet-sure that what I caught out of the corner of my eye was a fish that jumped from the tank and is now stuck on the rug. It's a major hassle to locate and position a store ladder near the ceiling light so that I can then climb down.

It's not the idea of being somehow eaten by them-I never really bought the whole Jaws thing. It's the concept of touching one. It's staring back into that flat dead gaze. It's watching those gills gasp for breath. Pardon me while I pull off my shoes and check for minnows. I sincerely wish that I could explain the feelings they incite for me. At first I thought, perhaps it would be the sort of feeling one might feel if they saw a chainsaw swinging towards an exposed leg- but nah-that's just pain, and infinitely more preferable. The only analogy I can make is that, the closer I get in proximity to that magnificent trout you are proudly showing off, the more it begins to resemble this fella....

Growing up in an avid fishing family with such a phobia can be quite a hardship. Fortunately, it took very little for my relatives to understand the depth of my fear and the actual cruelty of tossing a fish into the front of the boat with me. Either that, or their eardrums suffered permanent scarring from the involuntary string of filth that emanated from my mouth. However, such a close association with fishermen also afforded me a bit of an education about proper fish habitat-and in some ways, made it possible for me to swim in lakes.

My swimming was based on two practices:

1. Never go deeper than you can safely haul your booty out in 1.5 seconds if a finny creature is spotted.

2. OR Swim only in waters at least 40 feet deep, with no submerged structures (i.e. trees, cliffs, stumps.)

You see, fish, just like you and me, don't really care to be exposed and vulnerable. They stick to rock piles, or sunken trees where they can hide from predators. All of the fish in my neck of the woods tend to abide by this psychology, so in 40 foot of water, one can generally assume they will be safe from the revolting bastards. But this also means that I don't get much actual swimming done-just paranoid wading.

Last weekend we visited a spot on the stream that flows through our town that I refer to as "The Swimming Hole." The swimming hole is a wonderful place. It has a rope that swings out over a deep hole in the creek (which generally isn't more than 2-3 feet deep.) Just off the stump you see pictured here is a hole over 6 feet deep. The water is very clear and bone achingly cold at a 63 degrees. Twenty feet away, you find gravel banks that are just perfect for letting little people dip their toes in an inch of water. It's a major stopping point for happy tubers drifting down the creek on a summer's day. There's something for everyone here. We love it!

On this particular visit, the creek was very busy. Tubers were drifting by every 10 minutes or so, and three brave little boys were caroming through the air on the rope to splash into the "hole" or leaping off the stump, only to surface with gasps and yells in reaction to the cold water. Now, I'll have you know, when the "hole" gets active, the fish that "chill" there, move to quieter parts. The biggest fish I've ever seen in the creek came outta that freaking hole.

It was 102 F that day. My family and spent the whole day outside. We were hot, but wading through the water was incredibly refreshing. But those boys.... there was such glee in them. Such JOY. I was so envious. I loved the obvious thrill they got from the jump into the icy water.

Here's the view from the stump. Those fish are in there.... I know they are. But guess what? Those boys were absolutely justified in their glee. I shrieked like a bleach blond in a horror film when I surfaced. Damn that water is COLD! Man that felt great!

But I still can't carry a bag of fillets from the sink to the freezer.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

a simple summer lunch

Here's my answer to an outstanding summer lunch. It has everything I enjoy in a meal: it's quick, it's easy, it involves my two favorite tastes -tangy and sweet. This is so good it makes my eyes roll back in my head and leaves me licking my fingers when I'm done.

Fresh whole wheat or seven grains bread
One fresh tomato
Large crystal Celtic Sea Salt
Lemon pepper

*Slice the tomato up into 4 thick slices. Eat one of the ones from an end. Cut the other end slice in half. Slather two slices of bread with mayo. Pile your two full tomato slices on one slice of wheatey goodness. They'll only go on if you put one in the top right corner and the other in the lower left corner. Use the last two bits of tomato to fill in the exposed corners of bread. Sprinkle with salt and lemon pepper to taste. Smash the 2nd slice of bread on top.*

* * repeat until sated.

Feel free to add cucumber slices or bacon for some curl your toes summer goodness. This, dear reader, is the epitome of good summer cooking. Oh the rapture! My dad taught me to make these and as a child, we only used Grandpa and Grandma Wood's 'maters. There have never been any better. There's something about a ripe summer tomato, so fresh from the garden it's still warm from the sunshine....

Oh, and FYI all you readers from my hometown- Gages on Evan's has picked their second day of fresh sweet corn! PAR-TAY!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bad worker = Good mother OR Good worker = Bad mother

Well, it is my third day on the job, and guess where I am?!?

Not at work.

About 10 minutes after I settled into my desk, daycare called to tell me that "Goober" had just emptied the contents of her stomach all over her shoes. So, with much embarassment and much apologizing, I picked up my stuff and exited the building. There was no warning-she hadn't been sick at all that morning-which is just as well, because I would have felt even worse calling in to say I wouldn't be there. Still, nice impression, eh?

But what's a mother to do?!? My husband is fabulous-and more than pulls his weight in the sick duty department. But over the Fourth-as I was putting in my last two days at at the old job after quitting, Goober was sick sick sick-and he elected to stay home. Between nursing her, getting sick himself and a wedding we had to attend, he ended up missing 5 freaking days of work! I couldn't very well ask that of him again.

I wish with all my heart that life was more simple and DH made more money at his job. I could really deal with being a stay-at-home mother. I hate being so conflicted between my responsibilities as a mother and my responsibilities to my employer. I'm sure we'd frequently want to murder each other by the end of the day, but I could make sure we were doing things like story time and parks and play dates to break things up. My god, I'd even cook dinner each day! The DH wouldn't know what hit him! Let's not talk about the control I would have over who my child interacted with and what she was/was NOT exposed to.

Beware having children. These are the things I never anticipated worrying about. The desire to stay home with my child was like a gigantic slap in the face. I always styled myself as a working woman.

Until those baby blues first gazed up at me.

Monday, July 16, 2007

All Work and No Play

I have officially transitioned BACK to the working world. Sigh. Its a good job-for the area. You make certain sacrifices to live in the region I do. I should be quite pleased. I could be at Wal-Mart. After my first day on the job, I find that I am not particularly pleased, however. I am working within the local university as a secretary.

But I have had a taste of the good life. I have had a taste of teaching and research. I have been ruined for secretarial work, apparently. I have plenty of good skills in this particular career path. But I find that I have no interest in processing other people's projects. I take much more satisfaction in my OWN.

I have nothing to complain about. Most people around here will kill for a state job. The benefits are killer. I am going to have to do my best to just take satisfaction in a job well done until something better comes along.

I'm just an ungrateful, spoiled bitch who thinks she can do better!

I just need to keep thinking... at least I won't have things hurled at my feet by this boss... 8o)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rayelle! You're a married woman!

Actually, this picture was taken the night of her Bachelorette Party. She wasn't married yet, so technically, she could hug any "Dick" or "Peter" she wanted to.

I also have a few photos of flaccid Jello Jiggler penis eaters, but they're horribly out of focus and you can hardly tell what you're looking at. Alas, I was already pretty drunk by the time those photos were snapped.

No Work and All Play

I've been busy! More stylin' sock yarn for pampered toes!

Meet (L to R): Cloud Peak, Glacier Bay, Alabaugh Canyon, Neapolitan, and Mixed Berries

I have no idea why I must name them for you-I'm not sure what that little conceit is all about. All my names are dippy, fru-fru things that anyone would come up with, but what can I say, I am driven to do it. I spend the whole time I am skeining them up into the final product brainstorming and testing out proper little titles for them. I should go with obnoxious ones like Rabbitch. I've seen things on her site called "Dead Rat." Aw, what the hell, here are the alternative names: (L to R) Blue-balled Zombie, Witches Tittie, Manslaughter, Two-Ton Tessie, and Black Eye. Vote for which set you like better!

There's more to come, but "Ouidah" (a rusty red, brown, and orange) needs some touch ups, and this (whatever it gets named) is too weird looking, and must be overdyed to something more suitable:

I think I've finally gotten down a system for wrapping so that the final product isn't a tangled mess to skein up, and the wrapping itself now only takes about 20 minutes if I work hard. YEAH! I might someday be able to bust out more that five skeins in 8 hours!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Gainful Employment

I recently quit my job, due to several inexplicable announcements my director made:

1. She doesn't "beleive in addressing problems as they start...[instead she'd] rather allow them to become large problems..." at which point she "will have one meeting to address them..." and then you are out on your arse if things don't shape up. To do otherwise is "micromanagement."

This was my first inkling that I should run like hell, as fast and as far as a I could. A few weeks later...

2. She stated that she "has a license to snap at and be mean to her employees [namely, ME] because [she] is the boss, and is under a great deal of stress."

I politely disagreed and asked if she would like my vest right then, or if she would prefer that I stay out the week. This is unfortunate, and I feel a bit disloyal to the organization and facility. This particular museum is quite a gem and has a number of important stories to tell the world, but is really hindered by it's current director and it's lack of administrative continuity. (I am told I was the 9th secretary in 3 years.-you can imagine the state of things, eh?)

Nonetheless, I was quite gratified when I came home that day to find a message on my machine inviting me to interview for a secretarial position at a local university where I moonlight as an adjunct professor. They snatched me right up, and I start on the 16th!

Here's the rub-an hour after I was offerred the job AND accepted, I ran across an opening for a museum director in the town 1/2 hour away where my husband works. It's a tiny county museum-probably not much more than a jumped up closet where people dispose of the old stuff they don't care to keep anymore. BUT, it would be much more the sort of thing I would enjoy, and because it's so small, my lack of management experience probably won't hurt me. It's a good stepping stone for other options in the future. I applied. The arrogant person inside says they'll snatch me right up as soon as they see my application. My pie in the sky dreams have me hired by Friday, and never working at the University. Am I a bad woman for applying for a job after I've already accepted another? ESPECIALLY since I can't afford to burn bridges with the University since I'd like to eventually be a full professor there?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

summer evenings

I lived in a trailer for the first 18 years of my life. Does this make me white trash? After a 10 year hiatus, I'm back in one again. I live in a trailer court. There are times I feel self conscious about this. After owning a nice home, it's disheartening to step back down into renting-especially renting a trailer.

But as far as trailer courts go, this one is decent. We aren't smashed on top of one another here, and my daughter has a fenced-in yard. The trailer isn't terribly old and it has a shaded deck. Tonight the rugrat played in the sandbox, and I rocked in the yard swing and knat. The breeze was nice, the bugs were non-existent, the neighborhood was quiet, and life... it ain't so bad.

Who needs more than this? really?


I broke down-couldn't handle it anymore. Started my own blog. Sigh. I'm such a sheep.