Saturday, March 31, 2007

On clutter and space

I just read Phantom's post (which is, btw, brilliant), and was inspired to write about this:

Yesterday I went to look at a model home in a new development near my house (the development is called Moreland Estates, which I think is to try to get people to not notice that they can pass a cup of sugar out the windows of their palatial homes to their neighbor's windows).

In any case, I visited and looked around. This particular model features 5! bedrooms and 4 baths on the top floor. The master bedroom has a living room in it (called an "owner's retreat"), one of the possible bedrooms was open to the hall and was made into a living room, the main floor has 2 living rooms ("family room" and "formal"), and the finished basement had yet another living room.

All that space for sitting around on couches and yet...very little storage space (if you don't count the closets in the master bedroom).

Basements in these homes are always finished*...where are the root cellars and box rooms of the past? Where are the butler's pantries? Where, for that matter, are the medicine cabinets?

The answer I got from the sales lady? Butler's pantries don't sell. Well, I'd buy one.

We live in increasingly bigger and bigger houses with less and less room to put the supplies of living. Is it any wonder that we end up using the unused third living room (or in my case the dining room) as a storage shed?

*Our basement is not finished and we are using it for storage, but we also have a HUGE number of large tools down there. The table saw alone takes up a kitchen's worth of space.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Internship by the numbers

Hours I've done so far: 119

Hours I needed to do: 135

Weeks I have left to do the remaining 16: 4.85

Calls I've entered into the database: 102

Double-side, hole-punched copies I've made: 4 Billion.

People I've personally made feel better because I was where I was: 3

It's all been worthwhile, people.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share

I've done some redecorating over in the links--->

I've added quite a few folks and want to give them all a shout out.

I've also removed some folks and put them into my favorites folder on my computer. The folks I removed haven't posted in over a month or let their sites go defunct. I miss you all. Let me know if I've removed you in error.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Dark Chocolate

I just ate a piece. Slowly. Letting it melt in my mouth and coat my tongue. Noting the sensation of sweet and bitter, feeling the silken texture. I've wrapped up the rest and hidden it, my own hoarded treasure.*

*While my husband hates dark chocolate, MM would expect me to share.

Backstory: I went to the campus bookstore last week to buy a chocolate bar, but all they had were milk chocolate and fruit-flavored which is so not what I wanted. Filled with sadness, I bought a cheap-o candy bar from the convenience store. Two minutes after I'd eaten it, I saw that there was a theater-arts guy selling candy bars to raise money for some theater-arts club or other. And he had dark chocolate. But I'd already eaten an inferior bar. But it was for a good cause! But...

Anyway, I bought the bar of solid dark chocolate-y goodness and I put it in my backpack and went home and...forgot about it.

Which makes me an idiot, because I got my period the next day and I could have used it. And I only rediscovered it tonight.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I Feel Like Crap Or Explaining to a Five Year Old Why Mommy Doesn't Need a Bandaid

Even though there is blood all over the place.

Me: "Do you remember how I said that babies come from inside of mommies? Well, part of what makes a baby is an egg that is inside of a mommy. And if the egg isn't made into a baby, it comes out -"

MM: "With some blood?"

Me: "With some blood."

MM: "Does it hurt?"

Me: "Not like a boo-boo, no."

MM: "Okay, but your pajamas look really gross."

Me: "I know. I hope it washes out."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I'd have left my head there if it weren't attached

Went to the mall today to buy socks and underwear for Muffin Man, and to return some items I bought online from Land's End last week (did you know you can return stuff from Land's End to Sears?). So, we return the items at Sears, and we head into the mall on the lower level to see if there is any chance we can get MM's hair cut at Cartoon Cuts (right next door to Sears). No chance, the line is out the door. So we head on over to Penney's and on our way we pass a watch repair place. Now, my watch and MM's watch are both in need of new batteries and, miracle of miracles, I actually had both watches with me. I KNOW! THAT NEVER HAPPENS! So we leave the watches and promise to come back on our way out to pick them up.

Finally, we get to Penney's, we buy the socks and underpants (Superman, if you're curious), and we make an attempt at buying flip-flops for him too. They don't have his size, so we decide to hit Old Navy (on the upper level) on our way back to Sears. We do so, we find flip-flops that fit and are Five! Dollars! Less! than at Penney's (which makes me think we shoulda bought the socks and undies there too, but c'est la vie), and we go back out to the car through Sears.

Two hours later, I look at my wrist and think, "I AM SUCH A DOUCHEBAG!"

At that point, MS is on his way to a meeting, so MM and I hop back into the car to go back to the mall to pick up the watches. We get them (and get a couple of extra holes punched in his wrist band while we're at it), and head on back towards the car but we pass Cartoon Cuts and notice that this time there is no line, in fact the place is pretty empty, so we get MM a haircut. So it wasn't a total waste of time after all.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


It looks crappy in the yarn I'm using (grey and blue twist). I'm going to rip it out and start again using a solid color (probably white). I have any white sock-weight yarn? No.

Can I justify buying white sock weight yarn when I have a whole blooming box in the closet including some excellent silk wool begging (for more than a decade) to be knitted into something pretty for me? Mmmmm...probably not. But I want to knit these socks! I don't know what I want to do with the silk wool yet - it's a beautiful brown-grey tweedy flecky slubby soft wool - probably needs to be a vest (due to the fact that I don't have enough for a sweater), but will a vest look good on me? It wants to have cables, but do I want the bulk of cables added to the bulk of the bodacious tatas?

Decisions, decisions.

Please stand by

I am knitting the March sock from "...And a Time to Knit Stockings". Many cables. Much CNB and CNF and reading small print while knitting. And many droppings of double-pointed needles when knitting from the cable needle with only two stitches left on the main needle.

I'll be back soon if I don't strangle myself with yarn.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

So, enough of me shouting. Let's turn up the volume in a totally different way, shall we?

Felted slippers. Knitted 10 years ago (or more) and felted this past week (7 times in the washer, small load setting, hot water, mild detergent). Yes, it's that yarn again. The button holes disappeared in the felting process, so the buttons are just for show. I'm going to sew velcro closures on.

They are for my sister, but are a bit wide. She'll need to wear thick socks with them.


And shoved one paragraph up with another so I didn't notice. GAH!!!

I will now edit the offending post and make it read like I wanted it to.


Thanks, guys! I'm blushing! Plus random items EDITED TO MAKE UP FOR HAVING BEEN FIREPLACED

Truly, thank you all for the birthday wishes!

We went out tonight to see Mr. Stinky Feet at our local library. He was tons of fun and is going to be performing Saturday at Jammin' Java. Hint? Hint? Anyone local want to go see him and have a playdate (coughAPLcoughGenevievecough)?

I've been tagged by Eva (thank you!) and will have something responsive to that by the weekend.

Anyone in this area know where the heck VCU is? Their website says they have classes in Northern Virginia as well as their campus in Richmond, but they don't seem to say where. (THANKS GENEVIEVE!!!)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Thirty-eight. Special!

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Books and teacups and mushrooms, oh my!

And a special gift of childcare from my SIL, who took MM overnight last night.

And chocolate cake.

And a gc from Land's End (already spent).


Friday, March 16, 2007

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth...

So, the answers.

1. True. I am older than three of my professors (Abnormal Psych, Western Civ., and Biology Lab) and am just 4 years younger than my Biology lecture prof.

2. False (eva wins!). I actually sleep under a down comforter folded in half and a hand-made king-sized quilt folded in quarters. I think I'm channeling Giles Corey.

3. True. I love keeping the actual edition (and especially the actual book) I first read a book in.

4. True! Ha ha! Got a few of you! The winner of our category was truly amazing. She won several other awards as well. Our second-place finisher was phenomenal too. Really impressive. Both of them had great science, good research methods, and had really thought about what they were testing for.

5. True. But not as true as when I did the meme, since I cleaned out my closet today.

Thanks for playing!

The bullet-proof sweater

You remember how I said I knit a tight gauge? Here's what I'm talking about:
This sweater, which I knit while working at Murder Ink, formerly the world's oldest mystery bookstore (now defunct), is water-proof, wind-proof, and indestructable.
The picture above shows the sweater being stretched over a hard-cover text on using Visual Basic.

Here's a picture of the yoke, and a smidgen of the cuff. That yarn keeps showing up! The sweater was knit in Lamb's Pride turquoise, black, grey, and fuscia.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Five Things Meme

Four are true, one is false. Which is the lie?

1. I am older than two of my professors this semester.

2. I can't sleep under heavy blankets, no matter how cold. I currently sleep under a just a flannel sheet.

3. If I somehow get a duplicate copy of a book I already have, I MUST keep the older copy, even if the cover is falling off and the pages are crumbling. The new one is given away or sold.

4. I judged a regional science fair this week. I was on the side of the Scientific Method and against the proponents of Creativity.

5. I will happily spend hours organizing a master copy of a book of group handouts for my internship, but cannot get to the back of my closet because the floor in there is such a mess.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The beautiful and completely useless sweater

A long, long time ago I knitted a sweater for my niece. She was, what?, three? at the time. My sister had given me a huge bag of gorgeous hand-spun and -dyed yarns from the sheep farm nearby her house and I decided that the perfect use for that wool was to knit a sweater for her smart beautiful daughter. I used a pattern from a book of Norweigan sweaters, and the yarn that my sister had given me, plus a bit of the yarn my son is so enamored of. Plus some other Lamb's Pride (black and purple).

Now, this yarn is all dense to begin with. None of your wimpy worsteds here! Also, the wool is kinda itchy. In the way that a mild case of poison ivy is kinda itchy. And I knit a very tight gauge. So the sweater ended up weighing in at three pounds.

Let's sum up this work of art:

  • three pounds

  • starchy stiff

  • irritatingly itchy

  • For a pre-schooler.
But, Lord, it was beautiful. Don't you agree?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Crafty Meme

As seen at Quinn the Brain's

March is National Craft Month.

What do you do? I knit.
Who taught you? My sister's sister-in-law (UsesDifferentCommonNickNameForOurMutual FirstName).
What was your first project? I think I knitted a scarf first (there's a picture of that scarf somewhere around - I knitted it while on vacation in Mexico with my family).
What are you working on now? I'm making a pig for Muffin Man. He found some yarn in my stash that he wanted me to knit into something for him. I was willing to use it to make stripes or polka dots along with other colors, but he remembered he hates wearing scarves or sweaters. So, a pig.
Future plans? Make something pretty for myself, and a hat for MS to match the scarf.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Note to self

MM needs to eat an afternoon snack. I may not get hungry mid-afternoon, but boy howdy, he sure does.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Blogging the scarf

5 feet long, knit up of Schaefer Yarns hand painted Celia (99% Merino Wool, 1% nylon - totally not itchy). Started Tuesday night* and finished a half-hour ago.
*Actually I bought the wool over ten years ago to make a sweater for the hubband. I knit on that sweater while my dad was getting and recovering from a triple bypass. When he was fully recovered, I stopped knitting. I only knit sporadically after that, mostly on baby hats. When MS lost a scarf recently, I picked up the sweater, ripped it out and started on a WAAAAY too big scarf - really more of a shawl. Tuesday night I ripped that out too and knit this instead. MS is completely thrilled and I think it makes a much better scarf than it did a sweater. I still have tons of yarn left. Perhaps I'll make a hat and then...who knows?

Hang on...I'll be back soon

Craziness...exams...internship...reflection paper...more internship...and knitting. I'll post the fruits of my labor when it's done. Until then...much lurking, little posting. Hard to type and knit at the same time, alas.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A recipe for take out

In a small bowl mix:
1 5-year-old check-up
A dash each of goofiness and showing off
2 immunizations
1 TB test
1 finger stick for a blood lipids test

4 minutes of wailing

Stir until combined.


Put into a sunny, friendly daycare to simmer for 6 hours.

Meanwhile, mix one Daddy with a late-afternoon coffee meeting and one Mommy with a Biology class and an internship. Set on a crowded highway for at least half-an-hour.

Serve hot.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Muffin Man earns some money

Chores done by my 5-year-old:

Putting one load of laundry into the washer and another into the dryer (with help from mommy). He really wanted to do it all himself, but he couldn't reach the clothes on the bottom of the washer. And I wouldn't let him touch the detergent.

Putting his own clean clothes away (no help from anyone). "NO! I CAN DO IT!"

Choosing an item for dinner, and helping to load groceries into the cart.

Choosing the cookies being sold by the cute Brownies outside the grocery store and paying for them.

Carrying some of the groceries into the house and putting away the items in his bag o' groceries.

Helping to put together a new headboard for the parental bedstead (handing out hardware and tools as needed).

Total: 75 cents.

His opinion? "I have a lot of money, don't I Mama?"

On the school front, things are good, but I'm exhausted. Another (brief) paper due tomorrow. Bio Lab midterm Tuesday.

See you all on the other side.