Saturday, October 18, 2008

Still No Eggs

Let me be very clear: This post is pure randomness and has not been planned, thought out, or edited. I just need to talk to myself and make a few notes for posterity... I had to check this one, because I thought for sure I was referring to the "posterior." Never mind.

Many thoughts are coming to me at once, so in no particular order...

Geoff is home from Hawaii, safe and sound and very melancholy. At least he lost the bad cold. He insists he was not contagious, but I would still like to offer our apologies to the passengers and crew of flight 123.

Have I mentioned that Alex and William's progress reports were mailed home? Picture me with a proud glow, a satisfied grin. They are both doing very well, and there were many good remarks about each of them as scholars and gentlemen. Well earned grades, and well deserved praise.

Doesn't Chango look cute, and kind of ridiculous? He was caught napping in the dolly bed, with a beanie baby pillow. Maybe someone can suggest a caption, because it seems like he has something he'd like to say.

I made another scarf and 2 more hats. Thank you for all the nice comments about my crocheted creations. I am not always sure about my own skills and it helps to have second (third, fourth, fifth) opinions. I am thinking ahead to Christmas and my good intentions to avoid malls and gift cards. If you typically get gifts from us during the holidays, but don't actually like homemade and/or crocheted just start leaving me subtle hints... like, "I am allergic to wool." "Scarves make me look too young." "I can't wear hats, because of my religion." "Gosh, I sure do love books." Anything along those lines will help me avoid any unfortunate (mis)giving.

Here is Maria playing with one of her all time favorite toys. She can nail wood shapes and figures in to the cork board, making little scenes or designs. No one has, yet, stepped on a nail. This was one of her Christmas presents from last year, and it has not lost any of its appeal or play value.

Alex has been asking me to make chili and beans, and cornbread. He finished his culinary arts class, with an A. I think he and I can make the chili together and then we can take it to his grandmother's house for Sunday dinner. Our first Sunday dinner in Tutu's new home, since today is the day she moves from Hawaii.

I think we should roast a pumpkin for pie, or maybe Alex will make his pumpkin dump cake instead.

Alison has been sending me adorable pictures of her adorable children. My niece is getting full cheeks. My nephew has a cutie-pie face... they both look so sweet and dear. And Bill and Alison look young and fit and capable, like happy parents of 2 beautiful children. It's killin' me not to be close enough to drop by and hold those babies, eat some burrtios, share the load. Sigh.

Last week we were invited to a surprise party for my aunt. OKay, "surprise" was what she said, but she was the one inviting us, saying "Isaac is throwing me a surprise party on Saturday..." It was a fun party with lots of food and beautiful music. Maria had the most fun, maybe even more fun than the birthday girl. She and her birthday aunt know how to have a good time.

It was nice to be with family, enjoying the light of candles and stars. It was almost relaxing, except that Maria remembered her impending birthday...err derpday, and she earnestly (re)commenced her announcements and general invitations. She launched into her description of the lavish banquet, the decorations and activities, the hopes and dreams of a 3 year old girl anticipating her "Princess Derpday," where we will swim and play in snow and then enjoy watermelon topped with bean-a-rinas (ballerinas.) Not counting every bank teller, cashier or postal worker, her guest list is swelling to about 99! That's a lot of cupcakes, pies and brownies, watermelon and bean-a-rinas. I know she has made elaborate plans, I know she has visions of princesses, fairies, dancers in tutus and glitter butterflies, and I know she's invited absolutely everyone in the western hemisphere... and I know that she will be tickled pink with whatever scaled back, mellowed version we come up with, but her enthusiasm and zeal is infectious and I am getting a little overwhelmed thinking of how I will manage to accomplish some satisfactory version. Most of my anxiety and reluctance is housing related and so now I will stop.

Time to get dressed and do laundry and wash dishes and feed the chickens... check for eggs. Chickens lay eggs, and so I am still questioning their true gender. Time to start the chili and find a good corn bread recipe... not sweet, or chunky, not dry or bland. Time to rush to the post office and drop off gifts. Time to get Geoff to work. Time to quit writing and start doing...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An OCYD Update

Did everyone see Anna Banana's comment? She found a link to a TP cosy, and I swear I thought it was a top hat! I was staring at it for the longest time and humming Putting on the Ritz. I know that art is subjective... do I need to post an apologetic disclaimer, in case I am hurting anyone's feelings? I have to say though, this is the line, for me, where art and craft parts way with aesthetic beauty, function and form. I am also uncomfortable with coconut monkeys, googly eyes on seashells and this.

There were a lot of good and funny comments from the OCYD post. Sara, I don't know why I suggested that knit hats on chickens would be too much... the very idea is gaining favor with me by the hour. And some mini croissants would be good too. And I see Nikki appreciates the possibility that the chicas might look spiffy in hats and knit accessories.

Hello River, of Australia. You are so right: I wouldn't want to send out homemade gifts that are not unique. In my post what I meant by "unique" was that they might be a bit unpolished or a little too amateurish, or less gently put... ugly. I am laughing, when I say this, so no worries.

I think Mtn. Child is right to suggest I try Afghans. I am not disciplined or ambitious enough to try anything as cute as this dress from "Oiyi's Crafts." But I really, really want to try my hand at a ripple blanket, like the one I saw at "Cats and Quilts."

I finished another brown hat last night. I love it. But I am not unaware that it may resemble a toasted acorn. Now I am working on another scarf... same brown with flecks of orange and lichen green. I am laughing again... I've been so drawn to this color palette, the seasonal browns and pistachio green, deep oranges and golden ambers, and I wasn't even aware how drawn I have become until I looked at my picture. I am wearing the same brown with orange and green as I am crocheting, and I may even try to fix a dinner to match.

And the owl is my other crush. This summer Max and I read a wonderful thrift shop find, called "Owls in the Family" by Farley Mowat. We absolutely loved this book with its adventures and suspense, and it's rather politically incorrect narrative about boys, nature, bullies and life's hard lessons. I like its open and honest approach to describing the good and bad antics of these children's lives. And I have become fascinated with the beauty and charm of owls. I miss hearing the pair of owls that called to each other when we were perched high up in the home we called the Tree House. I miss seeing the collection of dear owls Grandma Eunice kept in her home... she has an owl crush too... she might like to read that book.

Last year I added this tiny owl to the Halloween decoration I made.

So far we have 3 costumes ready for Halloween this year. Max gathered articles from different closets so he can be young Indiana Jones. He looks really good, ready for an adventure in history and archaeology, like Henry "Indiana" Jones. Alex has been preparing to portray Dex of "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow." Alex was born to this role, an inventor in a steampunk world, with a high moral code, impromptu skills and a ray gun. Maria consistently tells everyone she is going to be a pumpkin for Halloween. She wore this costume last year, the same one I made for William's first Halloween in Minnesota, 1991! Maybe I can crochet some kind of pumpkin hat to cap the pumpkin suit...
Lawsie Mercy Miss Scarlett
I want to win This dress from the Shenandoah Costume GIVEAWAY!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Obsessive Compulsive Yarn Disorder

There are at least 42 imperative, really, really important things I could or should be doing right now. Geoff is in Hawaii, with Holly and Paul, and they are helping Ruth with all the last details of her move. He calls several times a day to let me know that it is beautiful there. We still have that yearning to make our home in Hawaii. Sigh. Yeah, so I am utterly useless, back here on the Mainland, riding the housing roller coaster, getting children to and from school, cooking, answering the phone, scooping kitty litter, and crocheting. If crocheting could solve any crisis or ease frustrations, if crocheted hats and scarves could bring all the best choices to light, then we would be in great shape, because crocheting is about all I have been doing since Friday. I have 3 hats and 2 scarves to show for my efforts, and while I am still working without the benefit of patterns, at least I can honestly say they are one of a kind.

Yesterday I finished a snowy blue hat for Maria and I lined it with snowman flannel. It buttons under her chin, and if we go anywhere with frost or hints of snow, then she will look cute and be snug, and my efforts will pay off. Then this morning I made this little green cap, that is a very elf in the forest collecting acorns kind of style. I accented the edge with a home made button, and sweetly enough Maria is very excited about giving it to her cousin, Izzy. "It has to be for Izzy, because it fits her and because Izzy likes hats." I agree... it should be for Izzy.

I am tempted to find an instructional book or take a class, so that my homemade gifts will have a little more polish and be a little less... uhmmm... unique. I keep telling myself that all of this sewing and yarn work is more affordable than therapy and could result in a lot of suitable holiday gifts, but I know that neglecting the big jobs and real chores cannot be a good idea in the long term. And even as I resolve to put down my hook and yarn, I am keenly aware of the 40% off yarn coupon I just slipped in to my pocket. OCYD... if I start blogging about crocheted toilet paper cozies or crocheting hats for the chickens, please call my friends and organize an intervention.