Monday, November 29, 2010


I've become one of the many statistics in the US. I was brought in to an office today, door was closed, and I was cut from 32 to 16 hours a week. I was barely making ends meet before this, now I'm at a loss. I don't even know where to start, how to become a resourceful New England-er, how to stretch a nickel into a 20 dollar bill. And because I live in NH, unemployment benefits suck. Even though I qualify, the benefits won't pay my groceries every week. It might have actually been better had they laid me off 100% instead of 50% so I qualified for full benefits.

The holidays will certainly suck this year. Not because BL isn't going to get the sewing machine she wanted, but because the stress level will be at an all time high. The holiday will be special for BL because it will be sparkly and exciting and she's not a greedy, materialistic little girl. There will be a tree and Santa will fill a stocking. Tension and tempers will run rampant, and I'll probably stop eating normally due to stress. On the plus side, I bet I get back down to 102lbs. I'm going to have to keep it together, smile, and laugh. Santa doesn't like cry babies.

I was told this is temporary, "probably" 6-8 weeks. My money's on this being a permanent cut. Funny too, cause I'm the 2nd lowest paid person in the company and of course, I need the money the most. People at work are talking about buying their kids iPods and laptops for Christmas, season passes to ski, and I'm wondering how I'm going to keep warm.

So far, 35 sucks. November sucks. Why wasn't I born in July? I bet people with July birthdays don't have these problems 'cause they get to have fireworks at their birthday parties and it's warm outside.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Eh. Doldrums.

I'm trying not to be jealous (because I know that's ludicrous) & I'm missing certain places/times a lot right now. Decided quiet, lazy Sunday afternoons are not for me a long time ago. Too much introspection, too much meandering down memory lane. I'd much rather be in the company of friends, being lazy together, laughing, joking, maybe enjoying a beer or two, perhaps getting a little loud now and then. Not that I'd change my life right now (well, not much anyway) but it would be nice to have some spontaneity back. I miss having friends pop over for dinner unannounced & unplanned who knew they'd get a good meal-even on the fly, getting that call-"hey, whatcha doin'? let's go..." I've always know I am not someone who does "alone" well. I can if required, but would prefer to be surrounded by a crowd or just a few who let me connect to them.

Have I mentioned that I HATE fall? It's my least favorite season. I can't stand the cooler weather, don't like the sun going down earlier & earlier each night, barely tolerate the leaf-peepers, and generally want to tell the world to go to hell. I avoid scraping the frost off my windshield for as long as possible by using gallons of washer fluid & running the defrost at full blast. I miss my tank tops & skirts, my bikinis, my bare, painted toes. I miss salad and grilled chicken feeling like a great meal. I miss meandering and drifting, driving with the windows down.

I do not think I am depressed. I think I am just a little melancholy. I think I need a swift kick in the ass. I think I have to create the life I want and stop waiting to get it back. I need to remember that many out there have it so much worse than me. And I will remember that...tomorrow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


If you knit, please go to BikerChicKnits and take her poll in the right sidebar:
"Have you ever lost a FO?"


It has barely started and fall has been busy. Yesterday alone we had swimming lessons, a welcome-back-to-school picnic (for which I made 50 pumpkin whoopie pies), I made 50 birdseed hearts for a wedding and I attended a friend's bachelorette party. I've decided I'm too old to be up until 2:30am.
Sunday...ugh. 5 hours of sleep doesn't make for a productive day. Made 60 more birdseed hearts. They have to be delivered on Wed and I want to make sure they're completely dry. Grocery-shopped (that is it's own special kind of hell.) Attempted laundry and vacuuming. Didn't get as far as I'd hoped.

Even Zeep felt a little pitiful today. I guess he didn't get his beauty rest after being awakened at 2am.

Dragon threatened to eat all the deserts at the picnic. Deserts were saved by BubbaLou. Photo is slightly deceiving...dragon back is about 6' tall. It's a great feat to be able to climb up to the top of the dragon's tail, back & head because if you can't get down by yourself, you can't go up.
Next weekend, wedding. Weekend after- VT sheep & wool. Weekend after that- Warner Fall Foliage Festival. Weekend after that- birthday party season officially starts. I 'owe' two women baby sweaters. I think I'm gonna have to knit 12month sizes at this rate.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hounds and the dog days of summer...

I have officially begun the search for another wolfhound. Preferably an adult in need of a loving home. And a little girl who will call him a little brother, like Zeep-y. Zeep's human 'Mama' just let me know they're hoping for a spring litter...there may be a baby in my future.

Now for the dog days of summer...kind of. School is about to start, the tourists are going home and I get to enjoy the warm, sunny days of September sitting on a quiet beach and swimming in water that's still pretty warm (compared to what it was like in June.) And BL will have all the beach toys to herself (if they haven't been locked up yet.)

I love where I live, but when I visit a 'tourist town', I sympathize with them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stand Tall

We Are Great!We Are Strong!We Are Giant Dorks!

We also know how to have more fun than Bubba Lou at the new local playground.
Seriously...they have these super-duper spinning things...just asking for a group of tipsy "adults" to play on and be video taped for youtube.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pin Drop lll

BL had a hearing check up w/ the specialists on Friday.

Her hearing couldn't be better. No more fluid at all.

Now there's no excuses.

Let them eat cake...all of it!

I've spent the last 5 days making what felt like hundreds of 6", 10" & 14" cakes, and tons of Swiss Meringue Frosting. Literally tons of it. My arms will vouch for me. And I cannot thank 'Sis enough for letting me borrow her Kitchen Aid (hers-red, mine-blue...very patriotic.) Saved me hours of washing out the large bowl to beat egg whites into submission.

I do not own a turn-table. My creativity kicked in...what does BubbaLou own that spins? She's got to have something...think, think, think.
The infamous Sit-N-Spin!Flip it upside down, place over two chairs...voila! Instant turntable.
And if you accidentally bump the "top" of the red part, it plays a jaunty little tune.
Damn near lost the cake the first time it went off.

Final result:
Not as perfect as I would have liked, but over 80 degree temps and no A/C in the reception hall was not very kind to the frosting (all that butter.) Touch-ups were almost impossible, especially with no running water (cold or otherwise) in the place to be able to cool the spatula down. Groom and Mother of the Groom were very pleased (not as type-A, OCD, perfectionist as me.)

Very happy to be done. Tomorrow will finish cleaning the kitchen and mopping up the floor (scraping up dropped frosting & dried bits of cake trimmings.) Will also throw away any leftover cake so I don't eat it all. The thought of eating cake & frosting kinda makes me sick right now anyway.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bee Balm

Close-up of bloom in the afternoon sun.
The bloom on top is actually coming out of the center of the lower one.
It's like fireworks.

An unopened bud.

This one just opened yesterday.
No fireworks yet.

Last summer my Mom gave me 2 Bee Balm plants that came from my Nana's Bee Balm plants. I have a huge patch this year over 6 feet tall with so many blooms in the most wonderful shades of hot pink, plum and frosty green. Wherever my Nana is, she's smiling. I don't see or smell these without thinking first of her, then my Mom, then BubbaLou.

I love how the pictures came out. I have a new camera (Canon SD1400) that I've been playing with. I'm no expert (not even a good amateur) but I'm quite happy with how the close-ups came out. I've also managed to get some cute shots of BL and Zeep. One of the neatest feature is being able to shoot the whole picture in b&w except for one color. Very neat with BL's pink lips standing out in a picture I took against a pretty white, bright background.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

These boots are make for walking....

Well, actually they're sneakers.

I've started walking to work and home every day that I don't have to take BL to daycare. One tiny step for the environment and my wallet (haven't even started my truck in 4 days), many giant steps for my rear end. It's only 1.5 miles each way, but the way to work is mostly uphill and the way home mostly downhill. Each has it's own 'challenges' and uses different muscles. Muscles I forgot I had in my rear end, lower back, thighs and calves. Did I mention I carry a pack (Gregory- My "I love it so much I'll cry when it falls apart" pack) with my shoes, change of clothes, small toiletry bag, calendar, wallet, and lunch? It's motivation not to gain any more weight and loose the 10 I've put on (and several inches in multiple places that have gotten soft and squishy.)

Today is Day 3 in a row. I'm pretty proud of myself, especially since if I didn't walk I could leave the house 45 minutes later (and sleep later.) The walk takes me a half hour right now, but I'm hoping to get it down to 20 minutes by the end of July so I can leave a little later and still have time to freshen up at work. This morning was the worst so far.

What keeps me going is the hope that tomorrow will hurt less if I just keep working through it.
I'm optimistic.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pin Drop II

BL's surgery went very well and very fast. We had to be there at 6:45am, and were home by 9am. It took more time for BL to come out of anesthesia and settle down than anything else. She was well behaved, loved the pulse/O2 monitor on her finger. She wasn't scared and Sy said she was staring with the mischievous look that only a 5 year old has at all the lights and buttons in the OR (wondering how to take over the place, no doubt.) BL should be hearing normally by the end of summer (her eardrums need a chance to soften back up so they can vibrate properly.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pin drop

Bubba Lou goes in for surgery in June. Tubes to drain the fluid in her ears & removal of her adenoids so they stop blocking her eustachian tubes so the fluid can drain on it's own. According to the ENT, we've taken a step backwards since she last saw us and BL's hearing loss in the left ear is significant, right ear moderate. Her hearing should be normal by the time school starts again. I've been assured the loss isn't permanent.

I know it's routine surgery these days, but I'm still nervous. Who wants their kid put under anesthesia? (Well, you know what I mean.)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Heat Wave & Slush Cup

Wow! I went skiing today w/ no hat, no goggles. Short sleeves, sunglasses. Hard skiing...we called it mashed potatoes when I was kid. Otherwise, conditions were good.

Today was also the Annual Slush Cup at Mt. Sunapee. 200 people register to ski/snowboard down the hill and attempt to get across the man-made pond. Don't make it? SPLASH! Most people dress up in costume (whether you're attempting the pond-cross or not), I saw 2 Easter Bunnies and 2 Elvis impersonators, a few pirates, a few (too-young) girls in bikinis, a doctor, and the man in the bear-skin coat that's been there every year since I was 10 years old, among others. The main snowy thoroughfare in front of the parking lot becomes the 'beach.' Bring on the beach umbrellas, grills, coolers and music. When I was a kid, we always showed up early for a lakeside parking spot and grilled lunch while sitting in beach chairs. Dad was usually in a mis-matched leisure suit from Goodwill, Sis and I were in layered jeans and shorts and layered t-shirts.

By the way, it was over 75 degrees on the mountain today. With the sun reflecting off the snow, it felt like 90. I was cooking, my boots were soaking wet from the inside out. I don't think it's ever been that hot when I've skied before. Couldn't have asked for more (could do without the sunburned ears...forgot I didn't have a hat on!)

Next week is the Annual Intergalactic Cardboard Sled Race. We won't miss that one unless it's raining. Always fun, and another excuse to grill on the snow with a bunch of friends you don't know yet.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It went like this...

Daddy said
"If you argue too much when you're 5 years old, when you turn 6 your hair will turn yellow."

Bubba said
"No it won't."

Daddy said
"Yes it will. I saw it happen to a girl."

Bubba said
"Oh yeah, what girl?"

Daddy said
"A girl I used to know."

"What was her name?"
"That's a made-up name. Where did she live?"

This would have gone on for hours had Sy and I not started laughing so hard we cried. You cannot pull the wool over Bubba Lou's eyes. No matter how hard we try to convince her chocolate is made of broccoli, or blueberries are just big rain drops, she never believes us. And I mean NEVER. It's impossible to fool her, she has a natural, built-in bullshit sensor (and she's happy to call you on it.) She knows what she knows and we cannot convince her otherwise.

She's going to grow up to interrogate prisoners. People will beg her to stop. They will confess all their sins just to shut her up. I can only imagine what's going to happen when she turns 13.

Sy and I have said (as I'm sure any parent of a girl has) that all you need to do to get prisoners or terrorists to confess is put them in a locked room with a few pre-teen/teenage girls (friends or not, doesn't matter) and only give one of them a cell phone. Set it to receive only, text only, no calls. People will give up anything to get out of that room.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sheep in Rabbit's Clothes

Baa, Baa black sheep
Have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir
Three bags full.

One for a sweater, one for a hat
One for an intrelac, felted door-mat.

(Hence the reason I wasn't busting into them for a little sheep marionette. We made due with cotton/angora leftovers.)

Isn't he cute? Started this morning. Finished this afternoon (with lots of laundry and visit from Dad in between the knitting.) Love instant gratification.

Ivory cotton/angora friend has already been requested. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Sitting on the sofa last week (?), knitting-check, snack-check, blanket-check, correct channel-check. I was much anticipating the new Discovery Channel mini-series, Life. I was imagining the greatness I saw during Planet Earth, the rich, melodic voice of Sigourney Weaver describing things more amazing than any special effect.

Oh, the horror and dismay when the opening credits of Life finished and Oprah Winfrey's voice fell over the images that flowed across my screen. Really? Discovery couldn't do better? I'm not knocking Oprah, but she's a talk-show host with a talk-show host voice (and I usually like her show.) However, her voice is not what I would call resonant or rich and melodic. I found it distracting. Ruined the show for me, tried watching in mute, couldn't get Oprah's voice out of my ears, had to turn it off. Damn it. I guess I should have paid more attention to the previews.

I don't know what the critics are saying (don't care) but when you spend that much $$ and that much time on filming images that, while they speak for themselves, need a little pick a voice that doesn't take away from your film. You pick a voice that flows with it.

Imagine Morgan Freeman's (yeah, I know he did March of the Penguins) voice instead.
Lovely, mesmerizing, captivating, adding a subtle dimension to the stunning imagery.

But maybe I'm wrong and everyone loves Oprah's voice-over.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bubba's Ears

Sy and I have been a little concerned about Bubba Lou's hearing. Well, I'll be was Sy more than me. I just figured BL was being a 5 year old and not listening to me. By her choice.

Brought our concerns to her 5 year check up (and to her teachers.) She "failed" the hearing test. I was told I could wait a year and see if it changed. Thankfully, followed my maternal instincts and said "no, I want to see a specialist. She's starting to read and loves school, I do not want even a slight hearing issue to affect that. I want a more exact exam and diagnosis."

Once I mentioned it, BL's teachers noticed that when they called the class to line up, BL didn't always seem to hear them unless there was direct line-of-sight. They started making a point to get her eye contact and found it helped immensely. We do the same thing at home. We've been making a point to get her attention and make sure she's looking at us...ears pointed at us tend to hear much better. Her teachers are so very helpful and supportive.

Saw the specialist 2 weeks ago. One of BL's eardrums was "amber" colored, a sign that fluid had been built up in her ear for an extended time. I was also informed that her pediatrician should have seen it and recommended treatment (BL's dark circles are also a sign of extended congestion in the sinuses and ears...not lack of sleep.) BL's hearing was tested by playing games in a sound-proof box through a head set. They also by-passed the fluid in her ear to measure nerve movement (normal in our case, which is what you want.) One of BL's little ears has mild hearing loss, the other moderate. They told me it's like people are whispering at her all day. Can you imagine? Add that to the single-mindedness of a 5 year old, and of course she doesn't hear me.

BL will see an ear/nose/throat specialist in early March to determine the best treatment. Could be medicine for allergies, could be tubes. At this point, I'm just so happy this is reversible, I'll do whatever they tell me to. I wish I could get in sooner, but that's the earliest they could do.

The specialist actually thanked me for listening to my own instincts, since left untreated, the hearing loss could be permanent. How many kids out there are labeled as "stupid", "unmotivated", "distracted", that teachers say are a problem and don't pay attention, that have trouble learning to read simply can't hear at a level that is considered normal?

BL has only had 2 ear infections in 5 years. Caught and treated. No high fevers, no complaints of ear pain, none of the typical signs that say "ear infection." Just chronic fluid build-up that seems normal to her, doesn't cause pain, but doesn't go away or flare up so Mama and Daddy go to the doctor.

Even if you think it's silly, or you think your kid just doesn't listen...get their hearing checked. And see the specialist, the test they do doesn't rely on knowing right from left, or coordinating the sound you're hearing with the correct hand. By Easter, BL should be hearing a pin drop, sleeping better, and shouldn't have dark circles under her sweet little eyes.

I guess I'll really have to start watching my language.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Been awhile

The holidays were busy (as usual.) I cannot begin to describe how happy I am that they are over. Less than 365 days before I have to do it all over again, unless I decide that holiday dinner will not be at my house in 2010.

On a more fun note, check out BL's new hat:Soft pink, lavender, dark pink, cream. Makes me think of taffy, or frosting, or sorbet. Fluffy, girlie colors. 100%wool, OnLine is the manufacturer, lost the label so no idea what the name of this yarn is, my own pattern, size 10 needles, super quick knit. I think I cast on 60 stitches and it fits my 5 year old perfectly with a little grow room. BL gets to channel her inner Elmer-Fudd with the earflaps up. She's also very pro-pompom. Have I ever mentioned how much I am anti-pompom? Especially when you take the time to make the shaping of the crown of a hat spiral around and close tightly.It's hard to see, but I also have a purl stitches spiralling around the hat to give a little extra interest, especially while knitting it.

Next, please check out my little snowshoer:Yukon Charlie metallic pink. These will fit her for several years and I love that all the straps are adjustable with big, easy to use with mittens, buckles. I was lucky enough to pick these up at OR last winter. She only got to use them a couple of times last winter and went around our property like a pro yesterday. She loved not sinking into the soft snow like Mama. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up some snowshoes for myself this trip to OR.

The sunglasses are by Julbo. Another OR luck-out. I think I just saw them on the LLBean site. These are truly the best kid's sunglasses I've ever encountered. They fit well, actually protect her eyes from UV and bright light, and are pretty flexible (meaning she can't break them as easy as the cheap ones.) I must say, I also love the pair I have from them.

Next is my little figure skater:
BL's 2nd day on the ice this year, and her 2nd day on single blade skates. Day one she used milk crates to help her balance, day two no milk crates in sight. The warming hut (with all the free skate rentals) was unexpected closed, but another family had an extra pair of skates in BL's size we could borrow. Very nice of them and greatly appreciated. The warming hut finally opened and Mama got skates. Yesterday I took a hard fall on my left knee-cap (skating for the first time in over 20 years), the bruise is just starting to show up tonight and the swelling is going down. Got right back on the skates today, but the ice was very rough, bumpy and chopped up due to our January thaw this weekend. I skated very slowly and carefully. Temps have been in the mid-high 30's since Friday, so ice conditions today are pretty bad.

Perfect snowman snow now. I hope to have a snowman in my front yard tomorrow, carrot nose, red scarf and all. BL and Sy are both home from school for Civil Rights Day (that's what they call it in NH.) We're expecting 5-9" of fresh snow tonight that's supposed to be snowman snow also. My yard will finally look clean again!