A dear friend of mine mentioned bread pudding yesterday, and: Saturday. Let’s put some time aside on Saturday for bread pudding. I’ll be taking Meredith to see Catching Fire with some friends that morning, and baking in the afternoon. Join me.
This is what I’m thinking about:
1. Christmas cards. (I know. 17 of you are SO ANGRY THAT I MENTIONED CHRISTMAS BEFORE THANKSGIVING!!!)
2. The latest Bridget Jones book isn’t sparking me the way I had hoped. It’s a bummer, because the latest Dave Eggers book didn’t spark me, either. I have high hopes for you, Still Life With Woodpecker. Don’t let me down.
3. My immersion blender saved my soup last night. I soaked the beans, I boiled the beans, I put the beans (and potatoes and onions and vegetable broth) in the Crock pot all day, yet they were still too firm at dinner time. Immersion blender. Bang.
4. I ran to Teavana last night while Harp was at Matilda practice. Two pounds of German rock sugar and four ounces of White Ayurvedic Chai. 30% off coupon. It really doesn’t get much better than that. (The 30% Friends and Family sale ends today. If you need tea, get out there!)
5. Freelance deadline. Seven chapters in six days if I don’t want to work over Thanksgiving. Challenge accepted. Reluctantly.
6. Meredith is really getting into the rainbow loom thing. I love when my kids get sparked, even if the spark is fueled by tiny rubber bands.
I haven’t spent much time knitting lately, and it’s sort of a bummer because knitting is to me what running or reading or drinking vodka is to many. I’m heavy in freelance work right now, and my only complaint is that a lot of people think Working From Home is the same as Doesn’t Work. Also, I am a Freelance Editor, which many people think means Lady Who Lunches.
I used to set goals with knitting. Knitting goals are safe because missed deadlines affect no one. What I would LIKE to do more often in the next few months (or years) is to knit with my handspun. I finished these handspun mitts last week.
(Please trust me that there are two mitts. The other one is warming the hand that was holding the camera.)
This sock has been without a partner for five years. Five years is enough time to figure out who you are (a sock) and what you enjoy doing with yourself (hanging out in a shoe). It’s now time to find someone with whom to share your joy, Sock. (I’m within four inches of finishing the second sock. I’m also within fourteen days of missing a big deadline with my freelance job. The job will get done before the sock.)
People want nice things. They want tiny celebrations and they want to see fireworks every now and then and they want to hear music and they want to feel special.
This is the cuff of a mohair blend laceweight sweater that I wanted to finish before Thanksgiving. Sadly, there is no chance that I’ll be wearing this thing next week. (I’m fine with that. There will be more cold days, and I will never not love orange sweaters.)
I’m slowly starting to realize that although people want a parade, it seems that not many people are willing to put on marching shoes or paint a float. People want to go to a party, but not many are willing to make sure there is enough food for everyone who attends. Only 10% of people tend to step up and make things happen behind the scenes. (Eventually, those 10% get to know each other pretty well. Because they see each other during the planning stages of Every Parade. Every Party. Every Everything. Some of my favorite people in the world are part of the 10%.)
I’m making an infinity scarf out of some yarn that I spun over the summer. It may or not be a really great scarf. I won’t know until I graft the ends together and see how the stripes work with one another. (I need to spend more time spinning so I can figure out how to make my yarn consistent.)
I’ve been part of the 10% in many areas of my life, and it has always worked out because I’m pretty good at juggling. Figuratively. (Reluctant Tooting of the Horn: I used to be a pretty good bean bag juggler when I was 12, which is a very uncool time of life to be pretty good at juggling bags of beans.) Lately, it’s becoming a bit more tricky to juggle (figuratively and literally), and I’m finding that my 10% time occurs in unpredictable fits and spurts.
This will someday be a beautiful silk blend shawl. I started it four years ago, and I picture myself wearing it on a spring day when it’s still too cool for short sleeves, but much too warm for a coat. There will be tulips. Perhaps an Easter brunch.
Please know that I completely understand that some people in this world feel as if they have no time. None. To me, it’s sort of a Working Mom vs. Stay At Home Mom vs. Conservative vs. Liberal vs. Vegan vs. Omnivore sort of thing. I’m convinced that everyone is doing their best with what time or information they’re willing to give up or buy into. I also know that when you (I) spread yourself (myself) too thinly, the results aren’t good.
This wool has been sitting on my wheel for three months.
A friend of mine once created an amazing sculpture out of fruit, and she posted a photo of it on Facebook. The very first comment she received was from a woman who said, “You have too much time on your hands.”
I started this cardigan over a year ago. When it’s finished, it will be my favorite cardigan ever.
We all have 43 days until January 1, 2014. All of us have 43 days (unless some of us don’t, but I don’t want to think about that). Some people will spend time baking, and some will spend time eating. Some will spend time working in an office. Some will work from home. Some will create amazing sculptures out of fruit or concrete or wood. Some will read a few books. Some will go to concerts and some will perform in concerts. Some will plan an amazing holiday party. Some will get all dressed up and go to that party. (Some will complain that the food at the party wasn’t so great, and some will try really hard to not say, “Oh! The food wasn’t great? Did you offer to HELP WITH THE FOOD?!”)
We all have 43 days. My goal is to do what I can, try not to create work for others, try not to complain when I’m feeling inconvenienced or overwhelmed, try not to take criticism personally, and let others know when I appreciate what they’re doing or how they’re helping.
My goal is to meet my freelance deadline without losing my sanity.
My goal is to finish these mittens. (I meant what I said and I said what I meant. There WILL be tulips.)
When you are (and when I say You Are, I mean I Am) suffering from feelings of inadequacy (long story, work-related), the best thing to do is eat fig marmalade with a friend and treat yourself (i.e., myself) to a butter keeper, also known as a keeper of the butter, also known as a butter crock. (Crock isn’t a good word for me today, as so many things could be described as being A Crock, and suddenly we lack creativity.)
It’s true that the vegan side of me rarely uses butter. (The clean eating side of me doesn’t mind it in small doses.) It’s also true that I’m intrigued with Little House on the Prairie stories of butter sitting around in a house all day and not getting nasty, where nasty = rancid, Miss Jackson. Anyway, in an attempt to rid my house of unnecessary things, I decided to purchase something that I won’t use very often! I am a walking contradiction (with soft and spreadable butter).
(You’ll have to cut me some slack. The whole Feelings of Inadequacy thing that I mentioned up there at the top has been weighing heavily all day. Lucky for me, I have a marmalade loving friend who presents worry stones with perfect timing and another friend who presents me with frequent knitting challenges. Also lucky for me is the fact that I don’t have to work in an office, so I can pepper my day with canine Wubba tosses. All is well.)
I visited a brand new book store in St. Louis this afternoon (before I became the owner of a butter keeper), and I’m in LOVE with it. Their journal selection was incredible, and they carry a really great blend of heady and quirky. Most stores in this particular location don’t last very long. I hope they are the exception. If you’re a local, please visit STL Books on West Jefferson in Kirkwood. Often.
We’re slowly coming to the realization that although we often talk about moving, nothing is going to happen unless we actually look at houses. (I would do just about anything to have someone send us to Jackson Hole for a week and then tell us that they’ve moved us into a decent three bedroom house. Honestly. I WOULD DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING.)
This afternoon we went to see a house that’s less than three miles away from our current house. It’s about 50 years old, has four bedrooms, and I immediately fell in love with it because it was clean and it smelled good and the back yard was fenced in.
This is a crooked photo of the staged master bedroom bed.
I love seeing beds that are made. (We don’t make our bed.)
This is what I loved the most about the master bedroom:
It’s a super soft rug that looks like grass. If we were to make an offer on the house, this rug has to be included.
As we explored the house, Meredith yelled, “MOM! You HAVE to check out the soap in the bathroom! Does the soap come with the house?!” The girls would love to have their own rooms. They would also love some nice soap.
I know we have a LOT of work to do before we can move. (Honestly. A LOT OF WORK.) I really wish it was possible to buy a house and move in at a rate that allows us to clean this house as we go. So much clutter. So much stuff to be donated. And because the thought of it overwhelms me to no end, I never even begin to fill up the very first bag.
Our five year house has turned into a ten year house and we’ve outgrown it. BUT, my next door neighbor is right. I’m lazy. Also, completely lost on where to start.
I don’t have much to report for today. Drank coffee, finished some freelance, took a shower, baked a sweet potato, watched The Hunger Games with Meredith to prepare her for the release of Catching Fire next weekend (She’s read the books.), ate some pumpkin pie, folded some laundry, and decided to pinwheel the hell out of some puff pastry.
I took that pastry out of the freezer, thawed it, spread a bunch of pesto over the top of it, and tossed on some stir-fried mushrooms. I then rolled it up, sliced it into wheels, and baked it at 400 for 15 minutes. Dinner.
I ate three wheels before making eye contact with this guy:
I’m sure he’s delicious, but as all of the cool kids say: I Just Can’t. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. (I Just Can’t is in a heated competition with the inappropriate use of the word So for number one on my List of Overused Annoyances. She was SO FIRED. I JUST CAN’T.)
In my mind, Francis Pinwheel has spent many years driving a smelly cab in New York. He speaks with a lisp, he doesn’t take crap from anyone, and as soon as his youngest kid moves out he’s going to pack his bags and try to make it work in Seattle. (That’s where his internet girlfriend lives with her cat, and she likes Al Pacino movies just as much as he does.)
Today was a No School day for the girls, so we spent it doing what ALL kids wish they could do on a No School day: We went to meet my new gynecologist! Wahoo!!!
Good News: After spending the past two months wondering if I’m dying or going batty, I finally have a possible (completely tame) diagnosis. Adenomyosis! In other words, my uterus is sort of turning itself inside out (not really, but sort of, but not really) and because it’s all huge and swollen (enjoy your dinner!), it’s invading my bladder’s personal space.
You don’t want to hear any more details, so let me fast forward through the No Pants stuff and just say this: I now have a prescription for birth control pills. (I had my tubes tied back in 2011, so I’m hoping that the two forms of birth control don’t cancel each other out. (I don’t have any more love to give right now.)) I also have a prescription for Vicodin, and the fact that I mentioned Vicodin means that I just brought in some traffic from junkies who are looking for Vicodin! Welcome! (Note to junkies: I will fill the prescription only if necessary. In other words, do not come to my house. There’s nothing to see here.)
Side Note: Another big welcome goes out to all of the curious parents from our elementary school who have noticed that my e-mail ends with a fluid pudding dot com. (That’s what I get for volunteering!) “What is fluid pudding dot com?” you may have asked yourself before coming over. And now you’re feeling a pinch of regret. (It smells like cloves.) I really need to get a professional e-mail address. Please don’t think less of my daughters. They’re good eggs.
After the doctor appointment, the girls and I traveled to Fizzy’s for a chocolate soda, a wedding cake soda, an orange dream soda, and burgers (dead cow for them, veggie for me). Two of the local radio stations are playing Christmas music and that jazzed us to no end and led us to purchase a pumpkin pie on the way home from lunch. It’s a good day to be a Pudding, for we’ve grown a little leaner, grown a little older, grown a little sadder (not really. don’t worry.), grown a little colder…
Before this evening, I had never used a ramekin and I had never fiddled around with puff pastry.
Tonight, on my parents’ 49th wedding anniversary, I made beefless wellington potpies. In ramekins. With puff pastry.
(The recipe is in Betty Goes Vegan, and my only alteration was to leave out the wine. No regrets.)
Because I was able to scratch Ramekin and Puff Pastry off of my imaginary life list, I’m feeling all fired up to do a few more things that I’ve never done before.
1. Wear a mini skirt with ripped up tights to a giant spicy pickle hunt at the grocery store.
2. File a restraining order against Corey Feldman.
3. Knit a tiny scarf for my neighbor’s naked goose statue.
I hope your Thursday is going well. I almost bought a wax tart melter, but then I didn’t. That pretty much sums it up.
(If anyone has opinions on wax tart melters, I would love to hear them. I sort of made my own out of a teacup and my oil burning tiny stove, but I’m not completely sure that the teacup is lead-free. In other words, I’m compromising my family’s health to make our house smell like something called Winter Dutch Apple Wreath. Oh, the things we do.)
As I type this message to you, our mail carrier is driving around with an envelope addressed to me and inside that envelope is a hemostat. Imagine how my world will open up when I remove the hemostat from its packaging! Suddenly, when a surgeon looks at me and says “Clamp!” I can do more than stare at my shoes! I can remove a hook from a fish who has been searching the streets for a compassionate hemostat owner! I can crimp tubing on a shoddy homemade water filter! Most importantly? I can remove my nose ring when I don’t feel like wearing a nose ring. (Actually, the fish thing is the most important. I don’t want you to think that my nose opal outranks a needy fish!)
Here’s the thing. I’ve been listening to Roderick on the Line. When John Roderick expressed his fear of becoming a parody of himself (cool dad musician guy galavanting around Seattle in skinny jeans), my eyes opened wide and I looked (down and to the right) at my nose ring and then my gaze drifted down my left arm to the new tattoo and then I received an e-mail from ModCloth suggesting that I purchase some sort of Rockabilly dress and then The Decemberists shuffled on the iPod, and: Yipes. I’m 43 and so terribly unable to carry off the entire collection. Therefore: hemostat, arm warmers, and no more floopy dresses. Moderation is key. (The Decemberists can stay, mainly because I can’t get enough of January Hymn, which shuffles most often.)
I don’t think I will ever not love that song. And although several of the smartest people I know cannot read my tattoo, I don’t think I’ll ever not love it, either. AND, because I know a few of you are curious, please know that the vet shaved my cat this morning, and that is NOT a euphemism. Poor Ramona is walking around looking like she’s not wearing any pants. (I’d take a photo, but something about dignity and respect keep me from pressing the button.) The vet has assured me that people cut their cats all of the time.
Me: Not THIS person!
Vet: Believe me, it happens. She’s going to be just fine.
Me: Does someone want to give me a hug?!
Me: I feel like I need to be punished and consoled all at the same time.
Meredith had to be at school at 7:30 this morning.
My headache doctor appointment was at 8:20.
Jeff took Harp to school at 8:30.
I had an ultrasound at 11:45.
I accidentally cut Ramona (the cat) while trying to clean up her matted fur at 1:25. (She’s fine. I’m much more rattled than she is.)
I have a meeting at school tonight at 6:30.
Ramona goes to the vet tomorrow at 11:00.
If November was 36 days long, I would be roughly 1/3 finished with NaBloPoMo. It’s not tricky to stop by and write something every day, but I do feel like I’ve been horribly boring.
I cut my cat. Argh.
It makes me sad because our cats’ quality of life is not good. Because of the dogs (specifically, Henry), the cats tend to cower in the basement. (It’s a finished basement with couches and blankets, so they’re not exactly suffering when it’s time to nap.) Sidney (the old cat) hasn’t seen actual sunlight since August. I know. I KNOW!
Before we got Henry, we felt pretty good that all living things could get along upstairs.
I’ve heard stories of people who had to relocate their cats after they adopted dogs. I never really understood it until now.
Insert sound of a heavy sigh. Perhaps we need a trainer to work with Henry. Any advice is (mostly) appreciated. (We won’t get rid of the cats.)