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Twenty days later, and nothing to report.

October 29th, 2014 · 11 Comments · Daily

Well, would you look at that? I just took a three week break from Fluid Pudding without even realizing that I was taking a three week break! And the best news? The world kept spinning for (nearly) everyone.

Actually, I *did* manage to stop by here a few times and I found myself typing sentences about the washer and dryer we purchased a few weeks back and then I looked in the mirror and asked myself who I want to be and if singing songs about a top loader will get me there.

I haven’t slept for more than two hours at a time in over a month and it’s making me cranky and weird, and although All Women Are Beautiful Without Makeup, I’m choosing to use heavy-duty scar-covering spackle to reduce the appearance of the cavernous gray semi-circles under my eyes. Regarding the sleep thing, I’ve tried Melatonin. I’ve tried Magnesium. I’ve tried Xanax. I’ve tried exercise during the day and deep breathing in the evenings. The only thing that works for me is my meditation CD, and it works for only 53 minutes, because it is exactly 53 minutes long. Did I mention that we got a top loader? My jeans smell fresh!!!

Our 13th wedding anniversary sort of came and went because Jeff had to fly to New York on short notice.

I finished a cowl and then finished another cowl.

Sochi Honey Cowl

Bee Mice Elf Honey Cowl

I scored some freelance and will be able to continue scoring freelance because I was hired by the group who provides services to the company for whom I was already providing freelance services. This means: Because I passed the background check, even more people in the world know that I have never been charged with a (serious) crime; and, I will no longer need help with figuring out taxes because everything I owe to this great nation of ours will be removed and distributed for me, Toby Keith.

Twelve days ago, we were able to hang out at a place that looked like this.

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Last weekend I watched an amazing musical based on Bonnie and Clyde. I had my hearing checked on Monday. Jeff went to Topeka yesterday. I hit my goal weight at Weight Watchers this morning.

And now you’re all caught up, yet yearning for more…

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Exploring the Fronts and the Tops

October 9th, 2014 · 36 Comments · Daily

This morning I walked into the kitchen and was presented with a flyer from Sears. (Please know that this post was not sponsored by Sears.)

Jeff: This weekend is the weekend I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time.

Me: I don’t understand what’s happening right now.

Jeff: Huge appliance sale. Washers and dryers. I’m thinking these might be good.

He then pointed to a front loading washer and its dryer partner, so I threw the flyer down and kissed Jeff in a way that only a woman with hopes of a new washer and dryer would understand. (Our current washer and dryer are 12 years old, and their most recent performance evaluations were not very positive.)

It has occurred to me that many people have very strong feelings when it comes to front loaders vs. top loaders, and one should probably be familiar and comfortable with oneself before making such a crucial decision.

Because I’m still waiting to hear if I’m able to continue doing freelance work, I have a little bit of time to explore my identity before deciding my washer style.

According to the Buzzfeed quizzes:
I’m attracted to boys who eat Froot Loops in the bathtub.
I am not a stoner.
I am Chow Mein.

You helped me with the slip cover. Do you have any words of wisdom regarding washers? (I know you do.) Wait. Before you tell me what we should choose, please know that I prefer lasagna to spaghetti, and my spirit Beanie Baby is Patti the Platypus.

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Always choose fresh starts.

October 6th, 2014 · 21 Comments · Daily

Last week at around this time, my mom was being sewn up after spinal surgery. A few hours later everything went batty and she ended up in an intensive care unit, but five more days have passed since then and now she’s home and may be able to ditch her walker by next week.

Last week I had to submit 19 forms to a firm who will hopefully hire me so that I can continue to do exactly what I do right now, which is freelance editing from home. The company for which I’ve been doing the bulk of my work has decided to hire this firm to control their freelance population. (As I type this paragraph, someone out there is performing a background check to make sure I haven’t Squeaky Fromme’d anyone in the past ten years.) The 19 forms made me a cranky mess because “Why can’t I just keep rolling the way I’ve been rolling?” but deep down I know that things change. If for some reason it is decided that I’m not worth hiring, I’ll need to hit the streets to see if I can find another gig.

Last week I finished reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I have a tricky time expressing just how much I loved this book, so I’ll just say this: Radiant and sparkly and warm and perfect. If you have a chance, try to score a copy of the audiobook along with a hard copy. Jim Dale is the perfect narrator.

This morning I joined Weight Watchers again, because now that it’s cooling off outside, I’m finding that the pants that fit me last October no longer do.

Weight Watchers Lady: Do you want today to be a fresh start or a continuation?

Me: I’m glad you asked that question, but I don’t understand what it means.

Weight Watchers Lady: Do you want today to be considered your first day, or do you want your booklet to reflect the nine and a half pounds you’ve gained since your most recent visit?

Me: Um, let’s go with Option Number One.

Please know that although Weight Watchers works for me (when I’m actually doing it), I don’t recommend it to anyone else. We’re all beautiful just the way we are. Radiant and sparkly and warm and perfect. (I’m going to need those pants to fit if I have to look for a job.)

The house is still great and it’s SweeTango season.

I’m participating in the Honey Cowl knitalong sponsored by the Lighthouse Buddies.

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Finally, because you’re so helpful, our main couch is now wearing a slip.

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Cover Me, Bruce Springsteen.

September 25th, 2014 · 26 Comments · Daily

I own a 700 page book that was supposedly written by Martha Stewart and it contains nothing but helpful advice on how to clean and fix every single item in your house. EVERY SINGLE ITEM. (Except for maybe a Schnauzer.) Anyway, I’m a little confused because she has taught me how to handle an unruly avocado tree, but she will not even MENTION slip covers.

We have two couches. I guess one of them would be called a love seat, because it’s 2/3 the size of the big couch. What is the difference between a couch and a sofa? (What is the term for someone who falls two notches below plebeian? There I sit. On the Plebeian Sub-Notch-Two Couch.) Our couches were purchased eleven years ago, and they are looking rough. The cats have scratched them. The dogs have chewed on them. The girls have (probably) thrown up on them. (They have. I’m just trying to spare your feelings.) I have spilled coffee on them. (Also, salsa. More than once.)

What I would like to do is spend thirty dollars to extend the life of my couches by two years, and I think that can be accomplished with slip covers. BUT, because Martha Stewart doesn’t discuss them, I’m starting to wonder if I have any idea what I’m talking about.

Jeff mentioned that Martha Stewart doesn’t cover (no pun intended, really) slip covers in her book because she believes slip covers are déclassé. With that said, please know that I wear my makeup exactly the same way that I wore my makeup in 1985, which was the year during which I began to wear makeup. Old dogs and new single trick ponies and such…

What I need to know is this: Do you have a passionate opinion about slip covers? Will you share it with me?

Please know that I don’t want to start a slip cover war. I just need to know if, because I am completely unarmed with information, I am doomed to repeat the mistakes of my reclining ancestors.

Yesterday I spun in the house for the first time.

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“I could cover it in Bougainvillea,” she whispered during the throes of sleep-deprived madness.

September 15th, 2014 · 15 Comments · Daily

Because the past few nights have been spent not sleeping well, I’m starting to think about a television and whether or not I need one of them in the room where I sleep. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I’m really great at falling asleep during television shows and movies. Something to consider.

Three months ago I would never peg myself as someone who would Google, “Talk to me about pergolas.” or “What’s that thing on top of a pergola called? Canopy? Awning?” or “Where can I get a pergola cover for ten bucks?” (There is no such pergola cover.) Also, “DIY pergola cover?!”

I finished my February Lady Sweater, and I finally blocked it on Friday. It’s still slightly wet, but I’m wearing it anyway.

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I like the length, but I wish it was bigger around so I could wrap it a bit. BUT, I’m unwilling to compromise length for width, so it’ll do. (I’ve decided to NOT put buttons on the sweater because I sort of like how it looks without. SO, it will be a sweater with buttonholes, but nothing to fill them. It will be my metaphorical sweater.)

(For all of you knitters out there, my friends Tempe and Chrystal have started a video podcast. It’s called Lighthouse Buddies, and if you knit while you watch, it almost feels like you’re in the living room with them, although their living rooms are about 875 away from each other.)

I have registered to be a Girl Scout so that Harper and I can attend a troop meeting on Thursday evening. This will be Harper’s first run in the Girl Scout rodeo, and I’m not quite sure if I’ll laugh or cry when/if the word Camping is mentioned. (A friend of mine once gave me this luggage tag, and it really was the perfect gift.) I’ll keep you updated.

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All talk of circadian rhythm.

September 13th, 2014 · 7 Comments · Daily

I know I said I would write every day this month. I KNOW I did. However, now that I’m 44 1/3, I’m finding that other things tend to pop up and I lose track of time and all of a sudden I’m sitting on the couch and knitting or reading or I’m working on freelance, and absolutely nothing notable has happened. (Notable things have happened, but not to me. Also, they’re singing songs of love, but not for me.)

I *did* find my old Rubik’s cube a few days back and last night I (ate a bunch of pizza and) solved it with the help of an online manual. That felt like something.

Meredith has a friend over and the friend just read us a news article she’s working on. It’s about Ebola. I love watching kids who spark each other.

My plans for today include walking to the library to pick up a book for Harper, registering Harper (and myself, apparently) for Girl Scouts, and purchasing a switch plate to replace the Thomas the Train plate currently hanging in Harper’s room. If I’m feeling brave, I may switch out our back porch light for something a little more bright. Also, I might finish the second side of the cardigan I’m working on as I join Jeff for the Mizzou game. I’ll probably eat apples and almond butter. I’ll definitely listen to some R.E.M. Unplugged, because I can’t get this song out of my head.

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Judas was a Shih Tzu.

September 10th, 2014 · 16 Comments · Daily

When I was in junior high, we had a church camp that involved spending the weekend at church members’ houses. My age group went to Pat and Dave’s house, and the weekend was filled with activities like reading the Bible, staying up late to see if we could make anyone pee in the bed (by dipping their hand in warm water as they slept), and washing each other’s feet. I was mostly good with all of this, except for the feet thing. If you know me at all, you know that I’m not really a foot person. I don’t want to see your feet, and I don’t want you to see mine. There. Now we can be friends.

Anyway, as we sat in our evening circle, the camp leader started reading from John 13 and because he had asked Pat for a basin of water, I knew exactly what he was getting at.

Leader Guy: Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.

Me (to myself): No. Please, no. I don’t want to take off my shoes.

Leader Guy: Because we are all disciples of Christ, I think we should take this opportunity to go around the circle and wash one another’s feet. As you wash the person next to you, please feel free to tell them that you love them in Christ.

I honestly felt one of my very first anxiety attacks coming on during that circle. Watching my friends (who 18 hours earlier had been trying to make each other pee) suddenly appearing somber and taking off their shoes threw me over the edge. When it was my turn for a washing, I just shook my head and said, “I can’t.”

Leader Guy: We’re all friends. This is a special moment at camp. I wish everyone would participate.

Me: I’m wearing tights. I can’t take them off.

Leader Guy (eyeing me suspiciously): Oh. Well, can Julie wash your shoes, then?

Me (clearly wearing Tretorns with those pom-pom ankle socks and no tights): Um, yes.

Julie (whispering): You are NOT wearing tights.

Me (whispering): I’m also not having my feet washed with a washcloth that has touched everyone else’s feet!

When Julie was done washing my big stinking liar shoes, I jumped up and went to the bathroom so I wouldn’t have to wash the next person’s feet. (I’m crafty like that.) I killed enough time in the bathroom to make sure that all washing was done by the time I returned to the circle.

Thirty two years later:

This morning Scout went outside in the rain and began digging a hole in the pond that is forming in our back yard. (We’ve had some crazy rain.)

Me: Noooooooo!!!

I quickly ran out (with a grocery bag over my head and I’m not really sure why, other than the fact that I’m always trying to make a good impression) and grabbed her. We ran back up the stairs and into the house where I placed her in our utility sink and began to wash her feet. And as I washed her feet she licked my nose, which was her way of telling me that she will soon betray me. Again. Because that’s what she does.

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I hear it may snow in Nebraska. Time to knit.

September 9th, 2014 · 13 Comments · Daily

I purchased some pretty amazing yarn at Stitches last month. Because I won’t allow myself to begin a new project until I finish two current projects (that’s a new rule I just made up, and I may or may not abide by it), I’ve been working on a few oldies but goodies. (I hate the word Goodies.)

I started this scarf in July of 2010:

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I know. I’m finally nearly halfway finished with it, which means when Christmas rolls around I’ll finally be able to NOT say, “I wish I had a red scarf.” (It will eventually look like this, except it won’t because I messed up a little and I’ve decided to continue my accident throughout the scarf which means it’s not really a screw-up, but a MODIFICATION.)

I started this sweater in September of 2012:

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I’m a half of a front, two sleeves, and some finishing away from it looking like this, and I picture myself wearing it with a white t-shirt, faded out jeans, and my black fabric Mary Janes. I also picture myself with a sloppy ponytail and I may or may not have chopsticks or a paintbrush holding the ponytail together. I’m drinking hot tea. With Rainbow Rowell. This sweater sure as hell better deliver.

Did I tell you that I bought this shirt while in Chicago last month?

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It seems that I’m becoming more and more okay with being the lady in her mid-40s who wears funny t-shirts. (After having my frozen lemonade order taken by not one, but TWO teenagers with pierced noses a few days back, I returned home and removed my nose ring. Five minutes later, I put it back in. I’m afraid I’m going through one of those things again where I feel old and I’m not very happy with the fact that my shape has changed a bit since the hysterectomy in May and my journey to lose the ten pounds that I gain every year begins tomorrow. (If all goes well, my sweater will fit just in time for Thanksgiving.))

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Riff-Raff is a 1947 black-and-white film starring Pat O’Brien, Anne Jeffreys, and Walter Slezak.

September 8th, 2014 · 9 Comments · Daily

The people across the street from us are moving. All I know about them is that the man of the house is often shirtless, and I was told (by a different neighbor) that they’re downsizing because all of the kids moved out, yet there is definitely a kid living there. In other words, what I think I know about them is probably not true (except for that whole shirtless thing).

Wait. Here is an actual photograph that I took this morning of the man of the house. (Let’s keep the publication of this between us, because he hasn’t signed a model release form, and I definitely can’t afford a lawsuit right now, as moving is very expensive. Like, putting a cap on a sewer costs $269 and this I know is true because I wrote a check to a sewer place less than six hours ago for a cap that’s apparently made of crushed up Fabergé eggs.)

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Anyway, two moving trucks pulled onto the street this morning and the moving guys jumped out and immediately started packing the trucks with stuff from Cranky NoShirt’s garage. They packed and they packed and they were total horses and at around 1:00 or so, I heard yelling. I decided to stay where I was because we live in a house of windows and I didn’t want to be seen. BUT, yelling. Lots of yelling.

When I left the house at 2:00ish to pick Meredith up from school, I noticed that two fairly large pieces of furniture are broken and lying on their sides in Cranky NoShirt’s front yard. Sad Dresser’s drawers are hanging out, and Dismal Bookshelf doesn’t have the strength for any more arguments (or Danielle Steel novels, if you know what I’m saying).

When Meredith and I returned from the school, NoShirt was in his garage yelling at someone I couldn’t see. All of this to say: When the new neighbors move in, I believe I will present them with a loaf of pumpkin bread and a sprig of sage with instructions for smudging.

(Did I tell you that we smudged sage before we moved into our house? We did. And, I won’t tell you WHY, although I WILL casually look up to the right and mutter something about differences in where we get our news…)

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We prefer noodles.

September 7th, 2014 · 12 Comments · Daily

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