Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Har dee har har

Busted up my right ankle yesterday, just as the left one was finally back to normal after my injury in May. ouch.

Mom's cat, who had adapted to his thyroid issues, stopped being able to climb the stairs well, wouldn't jump up on her lap, and started missing his litterbox. Turns out he's severely arthritic (he's over 14), so they've given him a cortisone shot to try and manage his pain. If that perks him up, he can keep on keepin' on. If it doesn't... :-(

And, I just got a call from daycare - N. misjudged a distance on the jungle gym while playing this morning and cracked his nose. Luckily it was a crawling-under thing and not a falling-off thing, but he had a tiny nosebleed. It stopped, he's fine and happy and playing, but I have an incident report to sign later today.

I get it, universe. You're funny. I'll stop complaining so that I don't end up being handed something to really complain about.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Monday

I wish I had fun things to talk about... but it's more of a neutral day, after a neutral weekend.

N. was frigging awesome on Saturday, perfect behaviour, ate everything (including fruit), napped well, etc. Then on Sunday the pod people snatched him and left me with a demon. No nap, no cooperative eating, nothing. I'm calling it a wash.

I'm also starting to freak out about the job situation... I got a forward which included a whackload of emails about my contract extensions... it turns out that the admins in three unrelated offices have decided that they won't renew me anymore even if there's funding, for some arbitrary reason. Which means I'm most definitely unemployed by the end of next month, unless I go crazy on their asses and point out that they can't change the rules after I've been doing this crap this way for three years.

And, I finished a hat. A sockhead hat, and it looks like ass. I made it 8 stitches bigger, and used slightly bigger needles, because I have a huge head, and it's still tight. it's too floppy to be a touque, and too tight to be a floppy hat. The yarn is super pretty, and I even made pompoms, but I don't like the look of it. I haven't decided if I'll rip it, or put it in the gift pile, because while I look good in proper hats (with brims, bucket hats, etc etc), stocking caps, touques, and their illegitimate children all look like hell.

So I'm going to continue on Hubby's scarf, make a hat for N., and figure out what fun thing I want to make for myself next. I need to have something colorful and pretty going, otherwise I get depressed ;-)

More pics later, hopefully; the camera battery is misbehaving again, and I can't for the life of me find a place to buy a replacement (it's too old).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Like a brick wall.

Fall is definitely here, and it's usually a little bittersweet for me. The idea of having to bundle up, shovel snow, worry about the heat in the house, these things always weigh on my mind. On the upside, there's that first crisp morning walking to catch the bus, when I flash back to all those 'first day of school' mornings. I always loved the little thrill I'd get, waiting to see who was in my class, what teachers I'd have, where would my locker be. New notebooks and backpacks, new school clothes, the potential for a great year.

At home, fall also meant that the cooking would change; less grilling, more roasting. Things in the oven, with onions, making the house smell delicious. Baking resumed in earnest, and we'd spend more Sundays over my grandmothers, where she'd make fricot (an Acadian soup/stew that's so simple it should be illegal, and so good that you'll never forget it once you've had it).

This morning, the lunch carts were setting up outside the lab, and someone was cooking with onions and bean pork. And it smelled like my grandmother's kitchen, with fricot on the stove on a Sunday after our first few days of school. It felt like I'd run full-tilt into a brick wall.

And I cried.

We still have the house. My brother is settling in, and I hope someday his girlfriend will move in too. But it won't ever smell the same. We'll never have a dinner there again in the same way. My grandmother is settling in well in long-term care, and it's so obvious that she should've been there ages ago, but it kills me.

When I went to the house over the summer, to check things out before J. moved in, things had been cleaned up and organized, but most of her possessions had not been taken out. They'd rounded them up so we could go through them - she had lots of sewing and needlework items, and some beautiful vintage dresses.

Everything fit into one room.

Her entire life, almost 50 years in that house, could be reduced to one room.

How does that happen?

I'm trying to create new traditions for my family, and we're realizing that we don't all have to live in the same city to be close, but I wonder sometimes - by creating traditions, am I just making things harder on everyone else down the line? It's a no-win situation, I guess.

*sigh* Sometimes I wish I was fifteen again, worried about the perfect hairstyle for the fall dance, and how I could convince my parents to let me go to the movies with boys, and whether I'd be able to go to the movies on Friday.

And then I look at N. and think, yup. This is all worth it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My mother now has flights booked to visit us next month... all it took was talking to a person one level up within the Airmiles hierarchy. Turns out the 'blackout dates' were a direct result of a new computer system. Dude put the info in manually, and voila! Flights on the original desired dates.

I also have a new bungee cord for my keychain (my last one broke months ago, and I just found them for sale at Walgreens), my ID magically works today even though my appointment is still 'pending' in the computer system, my rainbow hat is coming along, and Hubby's scarf is 55% finished.

(I do wish it was further along in the week than Tuesday, but I guess I can't have it all.)

Monday, September 13, 2010


I am employed for at least another 7 weeks.
The ID center didn't get the memo, and erased me from the system, so I can't get into any buildings, including daycare.

N. woke up happy and cooperative and polite.
He very politely requested cookies for breakfast, and couldn't understand why I wouldn't pony up when he did everything right (sat down, asked nicely, said please).

I've gotten a full day's worth of experiments done.
Nobody is paying me to be here today, and it's raining, so it's not worth it to go home before the busses start running.

I bought my Rhinebeck tickets, and I can afford to a) stay at the campground and b) buy a little bit of something.
I have only a month to get a high enough antihistamine titer to make the whole thing bearable, and it's never a guarantee.

Little Bro, Little Bro's girlfriend, and Grandpa are coming down for a visit at the end of the month.
My mom was going to fly down at the end of October on miles, but the whole damn month is blacked out.

It's light scarf/shawlette weather.
I still haven't finished Hubby's scarf, or N.'s hat/scarf, or Little Bro's hat.

I started a hat for myself out of very cheery rainbow-y yarn.
Might never wear it in public ;-)

Had a productive cooking weekend, roasted a chicken, made a big pot of pasta sauce, and a chocolate loaf-cake.
Nothing bad, because there's chocolate involved ;-)

Friday, September 10, 2010


After not showing up to one meeting, I got a PFO email about this job. I'm taking it as a sign. When someone is 'desperate to hire' but refuses to meet face-to-face with a qualified candidate, something's got to be wrong.

Onward and upward!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Boogity boogity.

Yesterday, PHL didn't show up... but I didn't knit because I was afraid she would, and I didn't need the stress. Today, she showed up while I was going gangbusters... and just looked. Didn't say a word.

Which is just fine with me. The scarf is now 35% done because I worked that much faster by not looking up from my needles.

No news on this job thing... I'm remaining cautiously optimistic that we can set up a meeting.

Also, tomorrow no one is paying me. No one paid me on Monday when I came in either. So, tomorrow afternoon if the weather is good, I'm going to the movies, dammit.

I'm also trying to realistically think about what things are going to get made in time to be mailed off for Christmas. I'm doing my brother a hat if it kills me, because he's been waiting years, and I want something (even if it's small) for my niece and my Goddaughter. That, and the hat/scarf sets for N. and Hubby. Anything else is gravy. Although since I won't be driving to/from Rhinebeck, but will be a passenger, I'll have time to knit then. I feel like such a sheep (heh) for being so excited to go, but I figure there are only so many years I'll be a short car-ride away. If it's too overwhelming, I won't go next year.

The only remaining question... what's my budget? ;-)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Good juju please

a non-interview type job interview today... theoretically... although it's not certain. internal position. think good thoughts.

ETA: except when one doesn't have a set time to meet... then one might not end up with an interview... or non-interview... or anything except a migraine.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Two by two

Photobooth sux

There's something very comforting to me about 2x2 ribbing... I've started this project for hubby and it seems to be flying (relatively speaking). The hat is done, and the scarf is probably somewhere around 1/4 done. Hours of 2x2 can be tedious, but the result feels refined even in the heavier weight yarn.

I just can't wait to work on it during lunchtime, and make PHL think I'm progressing enough that she'll make it to the top of the list. Ha.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Why is it...

... that I can have the best behaved child whenever we go out in public, but on a Saturday when he refuses to nap for over 3 hours, I feel like a failure?

Friday, September 3, 2010

I am not making you a damn hat.

I don't know how much I've revealed about this woman who I've affectionately dubbed Psycho Hat Lady, or PHL, but she's driving me insane.

Many moons ago, I was pregnant and knitting a tiny rainbow cardigan for the baby that would become N. PHL was, at the time, just a nice lady in the cafeteria who complimented me on my work.

I started doing bigger projects, most significantly the Shipwreck Shawl from Knitty... and she (and others) kept on coming to watch my progress. They were all very sweet until one day she said, "I bet you could make me a hat." To which I replied, "I've never made a hat, but knitting is all very similar."

FOR THE RECORD: I never said I'd make her a hat. Never told her to buy yarn, never asked what style she'd like, never discussed colors. N.E.V.E.R.

She's gotten it in her head that I"m going to make her a hat. Some days she stops by with a quick, "You're ready to do my hat yet?"... some days she stops by for longer. I told her that I was backed up with projects for my family, and she said, "Oh, that's fine. Just let me know when you're not backed up."

I think she thinks that we have some sort of verbal contract, and I'm afraid she's going to take me on Judge Judy or something. One day I brushed her off, then later that same week she went all passive aggressive on me. Her friend stopped to chat, but PHL ignored me, and then later on she actually shoulder-checked me at the soda fountain. That was the day she earned her PHL title.

Today was really awful. She came up and was all buttery and sweet, saying how I was so talented and that kid of crap, and out of nowhere she started telling me about this headband with a flower on it that she'd seen somewhere in Philly, and how it was magenta, and so pretty, and not even a full hat. Of course, I was knitting on a hat for Hubby (my first hat EVER), and it's been going very fast. I thanked her for being so nice and appreciating my work, and she said, "you'll be done that hat and scarf by Christmas, so you can make my headband."

I tried a different tactic today, though; I told her, in a very tired and pitiful, overworked voice, that she was "at the top of my non-family list" after explaining I had Xmas gifts for family to make... she replied, in a very snarky voice, "I should be at the top of that list, I've been there over a damn year."

Sigh. I like where I eat lunch. My dear friend L., who I crochet with, works in that cafeteria. We only see each other at lunchtime, and I don't want to go anywhere else. I'm just sick of PHL making me feel guilty for something I never promised to do, because along with feeling guilty, I'm angry at myself for even feeling guilty. I knit things that I enjoy knitting. My family knows not to expect much, they might get something, they might not. Every once in a while my knitting enjoyment intersects with someone else's request, hence Hubby's hat and scarf, but if it doesn't, I don't stress. I don't knit for payment/on deadline, because when people pay you, they have expectations and I don't want the extra stress.

Maybe I should grow a pair and tell her I'm not making her a hat, that I don't knit for pay, and that she should do what the rest of the non-knitting world does and buy a damn hat at Walmart.

Thursday, September 2, 2010





Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Crafting ADD

Originally uploaded by Dr. Ellen
So. I'm sitting here at work, theoretically working while my bacterial cultures grow... and my baby is in the big kid room at daycare for the first full day... which sucks and is great all at the same time. He knew something was up when we brought him in and we didn't stop off at the "infant" room first, at which point he turned mountain goat and tried to climb to the very top of Hubby's head. We left after about 10 minutes, he wailed for about 2, and all was well.

Of course, a transition means teacher gifts for the ones we're leaving behind :-( I'm not fond of buying clutter that will just clog up their houses, and I often think about how teachers must dread the end of the year when they get a zillion apple/blackboard knick-knacks... so, I made them cards and baked cookies.

The cards are done with paper quilling, which I dabbled in a bit in high school and decided to take up again... because, say it with me now, I needed another craft to do. Not really, but I did it anyway. I'm enjoying it, and for some reason, I don't like to knit much in the evenings right now. This seems a nice option - I can do a couple of cards quickly in an evening. I'm hoping to do some for Christmas, but we all know how well I do with deadline crafting...

Time to check on those cultures... and drink some coffee... and think about my big boy all grown up!