Monday, July 30, 2007

Tenth anniversary...

Today is the tenth anniversary of my first legal alcoholic beverage. Yep, I'm 31 today. I celebrated by renewing my driver's license, which I could have done a month ago, but, let's face it, everything's more fun if you have a time crunch, even if it is self-created. Plus, I firmly believe that your license picture is better if you have that birthday glow. It worked the last two times I went. Not as much today. It's super humid and my frizzy hair didn't quite photograph well. I totally lucked out timewise, though. We were at my in-law's house and the DMV near their house was empty. I didn't even wait in line.

So this is the big day I've been dreading. Thirty sounds cool, right? It's even, it's like a big deal. 31? Blah. I'm in my thirties. Dude. I am IN my thirties. I am in my THIRTIES. I was hanging out with my teenaged to early twenties cousins and couldn't remember the time passing from when I was their age to now. I mean, I am aware of the things that happened in there (you know, a wedding, a couple or three kids, etc.), but time is a funny thing. I always used to think I'd be so completely different when I was 30 (or in my thirties as I must say now). But I'm the same person I always was, just happier with myself, more confident. I can't honestly complain about this aging thing. Plus, I totally got carded buying wine last week. I almost kissed the guy.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Gender constructing...

Back before I had kids and was stuck in post adolescent idealistic phase (post regarding quoteable movies, like Clueless, to follow), I thought that all you had to do was buy your kids all the boy and girl toys and they'd like everything. I truly believed that we made girls like babies by buying them babies. I had major moral objections to the girl aisles being pink and boy aisles being full of violent predators. I questioned my grandmother on the choice of a toy broom set for one of my cousins. "Why don't you buy that for one of the boys?"

Turns out sometimes boys really just like boy toys. The gender constructing thing is more after the fact than a marketing ploy. My girls are into babies. My son is into cars and trucks. And since I have both male and female children, we have ALL the toys (it feels like a freaking toy store most of the time). They could choose anything. Sometimes Miss G likes to play with cars and dinosaurs. Sometimes Mr. T likes to take care of a baby doll (only for a minute or two, though).

And so now both Miss G and Mr. T are playing with Barbies. Oddly, Miss G is Ken and Mr. T is Barbie/Mom. Barbie/Mom thinks they need to leave their baby with its aunt, but Ken thinks they should just leave it home alone.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Surreptitiously Stashbusting...



Well, first I'll start by confessing that the Bamboo yarn is new, and rather contrary to the spirit of stashbusting. Okay, so it's out and out the opposite of stashbusting. But it was at Joann's and I was so excited to see these cool new yarns (they also had Alpaca, Cashmere, organic cotton and...okay, I just blanked.). I had to buy a skein of the bamboo because it's just too soft to believe. You have to feel it. I NEEDED this in my stash. And I had a 40% off coupon that was burning a hole in my pocket. Everything else I was buying was on sale, so I couldn't use the coupon.

The second picture is the blanket I just started knitting for my brother-in-law for Christmas. I've been wanted to make a log cabin afghan and I've been wanting to use this yarn from my stash that I bought to make a sweater with and have since decided it's just a smidge too bulky for a child's sweater (after having made each of my daughter's a sweater out of it in other colors). I think it's going to end up being blue, yellow, white and black. He's color blind, so putting red or green in there would just be mean of me. Not that I wouldn't do it on other things, but the amount of time I put into knitting something is out of proportion to the amount of fun I'll have teasing him about being color blind.

So the stash-busting. I've been working mainly from my stash all summer. I've been trying to avoid calling it stash-busting because, well, that's a little too much pressure for me. I did that for Lent - no new craft supplies at all. And after Lent I went on a yarn-buying spree that has left me with a supply that currently allows me to stash bust. Nice, huh? I was at the craft store, was it yesterday? Maybe the day before. I can't exactly remember these things anymore. But while I was there, an employee was putting skein after skein of a lovely pale yellow yarn back on the shelves. An older woman asked her if that was what she'd just returned. It was. She returned it because she couldn't get gauge with it. What? I've never heard of such a thing. I mean, I've heard of gauge (although I don't get too hung up on it unless I'm making something wearable), but returning that which does not match gauge? Wow. I'm sure she has a fixed income, so I know that it makes sense to return the old before buying new, but I have a hard time using yarn to make something. There is some pressure implicit in the act of beginning a project - will it live up to the pattern, my vision, my gift-giving standards? This has often prevented me from doing anything at all. I'm what they call a failed perfectionist. I know that real life will not live up to my expectations, so I don't even attempt some things. Other things (like the awful lace hat I knit) I just embrace the imperfection. I don't know why the distinction. I"m sure further investigation would reveal something deep.
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Thursday, July 12, 2007

I finished knitting stuff!

A rare thing for me. First we have the ballband dishcloth that I've been working on since April (okay, I worked on it for three days in April and then never touched again until two weeks ago).

Then while at my in-laws, I started and finished (in two days! My record of being the slowest knitter in the world was in jeopardy for a while. Don't worry, I've reclaimed it. I haven't knit since we got back) the hat from Knitting Daily's Peapod Baby set. It probably would have looked better if a) I hadn't used blue (kind of negates the "Leaf" part of the Leaf Lace, but I had this Cotton Tots that I wanted to use. I also have some Cotton Ease in a really pretty sage that I will probably use next time) and b) I had understood how lace charts are to be read. I read left to right (I'm American, that's how we read) and later found out knitting charts read right to left. But the pattern is almost visible, so I'm not too upset.

We're not going to talk about how many new projects I started that are not finished. I'm almost done a lace knit hat (it's in the car - I should probably go get it and finish it since it is almost done). I started a crocheted dishcloth (hey, I remember how to crochet!) and a knit dishcloth. I must say I found lace to be much easier than I thought it would be. You just follow the pattern and it happens. It's way cool.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


A word that I continually struggle with, strive for and dream of. Right now, I'm the closest to peaceful that I've been in a long time. It's not completely there. But I know that it's up to me to get it. And by peace, I don't mean that all is perfect in my life. I just mean that no matter what mini-crisis or stress I dream up (and trust me, I have a particular talent for dreaming up stress), I know how to deal with it, either in action or in thought. Sometimes it's a matter of getting up and doing something. Sometimes it's just peaceful mantra that I've learned over the years. It goes something like "Worry about what I can do today or tomorrow, not what next week or next month is going to be like."

I tend to keep myself up every night worrying about money and the kids and Tom and all the teeny, tiny, highly unlikely things that could go wrong in our lives. Actually, I should say that I used to do that. It was especially bad when my first child was born through our second child's first birthday or so. For about three years I was sleepless and not just because I had little kids. I worried. Constantly.

I'm not saying I don't worry now. I just know how to keep myself from focusing on the irrational stuff. And I know that I can't let myself worry about things I have no control over or things that I can't change - and knowing that some things are going to require a change.

Tom recently asked me why I've been so happy lately. It comes down to this. Peace. I haven't felt this way in a long time (the year he first met me, in fact). Now I know why I missed it so much, why Peace is the thing I wish for the most.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

It's been a while...




Those are some pictures from the past two weeks. DH and the kids and I have been staying with my in-laws, something we do most summers. It was like living in 1985. No cable. No Internet access. They have a computer, but it's basically a giant calculator to them. I got some knitting done, caught up on my reading pile (thanks to PaperBackSwap, I actually have a pile for a change). But believe me, not having access to the Internet - at all - is serious deprivation for me. Especially me. I love all the information, the gorgeous photography, the creative projects, the community. I realized during my hiatus that I'm seriously addicted. I'm going to work on that. Later, obviously. Right now, I'm catching up on two weeks worth of Internet usage.

It's a strange thing to have in-laws. You have an intimate look at someone else's family. You are at once an outsider and part of the family, even more so I think when you have kids. Somethings I couldn't care less about pre-kids, now are important to me for their sakes. Tom's great-great grandmother who was once kind of irrelevent to me is now my children's great-great-great grandmother. Whole different thing. I try very hard not to judge my in-laws. Honestly, I do. As in-laws go, mine are pretty cool. Not too nosy, not demanding or domineering in any way. My MIL is a little less than subtle about her wish for us to move closer, but she's not petulant about it. There are just some little things that are completely different from what I've known that I just can't even wrap my brain around them. I want to understand why they are the way the are and why they do the things that I can't comprehend. Tom says he doesn't even know and he's got 25 years of knowing them on me.
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