The past week was terrible for so many reasons. Boston. West, Texas. One of Jeff’s favorite people in the world met death. A friend of our family lost their parent. Another friend heard some bad news at the doctor’s office. (Don’t get me started on the Senate.)
On Monday evening, as the girls took their piano lessons, I finished the shawl I started in February. I took the final stitch off of the needles as I listened to the woman at the next table talking on the telephone and puking out lines like, “I’m just glad *I’M* not in Boston right now.” Honestly.
(The shawl is Annis from Knitty, and it will be auctioned off in May. I’ll keep you updated.)
Yesterday afternoon the girls and I planted lettuce and tomatoes and peppers and peas and sage and basil and dill and cilantro and strawberries. Shortly after the lettuce went into the ground, Scout took it OUT of the ground. Less than an hour later, Jeff took measures to ensure that would not happen again.
Sadly, we tend to discriminate a tiny bit when it comes to four-legged friends. This little guy, who is currently hanging out behind our main fence, can have all the lettuce he wants.
This morning I lost my head in a Fit of Cranky. As a result, my family went to church without me, and I sat on the couch and stared at the wall for an hour. Afterwards, I finished cleaning off my bookshelf.
It bothers me a bit, because it’s starting to not hold as many books as a bookshelf should. (How many books should a bookshelf shelve if a bookshelf could shelve books, etc.?) My top-shelfers are still there, mainly because most of them are signed. As far as the knitting and spinning books go, I kept only the ones that I pull out fairly regularly. The remainder? Journals, address books, books I’ve marked up, Gilmore Girls DVDs, New Yorker stuff, and a basket of yarn.
Speaking of which, this arrived in the mail on Wednesday.
A few weeks back, I went out for coffee and nose rings with a friend. As we waited for our switch-outs, we contemplated gelato but stuck with coffee and my friend said something that I’ve thought about every single day since. She said, “I eat well and I exercise. I could obsess about getting down to a certain number on the scale, but I think I would rather know that I’m healthy, and maybe this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.”
(Don’t be scared. This is NOT going to be another one of my freakout Fluid Pudding things where I go all batty about my pants not fitting. I promise! Just stick with me, because things are going to get really crazy in a few minutes and I want you to be there.)
Anyway, yes! I am less than a month away from turning 43 (Natalie Wood and John Candy died at 43, by the way. That’s weird.), and I’m tired of counting Weight Watcher points and giving space in my closet to snotty little dresses that no longer fit. And this is what I’m going to do about it.
I’m going to drink green smoothies because I love them and how can you NOT love drinking spinach and pears and apples and bananas and lemons in the morning?
Do you want to know what ELSE I’m going to do?
I am going to take time out to eat waffles from the side of a truck. Because life is short! TRUCK WAFFLES! (I recommend the pumpkin, but please know that I’m also planning on trying the apple cinnamon and the banana.)
On Saturday morning, my mom and the girls and I embarked on Meredith’s Purplification Adventure at Bouffant Daddy. (In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, Meredith has wanted purple hair FOREVER, but I didn’t want her to bleach streaks into her hair. HOWEVER, I’m totally fine with bleaching her tips and she’s turning ten in a few weeks, and what a great way to celebrate a decade!)
As Meredith sat in the processing chair, Mom, Harper, and I walked down the road to Foundation Grounds to grab a snack.
Okay. Do you remember earlier when I said that something crazy is going to happen? Yes. It Is Time.
My mom ordered a mocha and a biscotti and Harper ordered hot chocolate and I ordered a soy chai with a molasses cookie.
We sat down.
A woman walked over to our table and stood there and I looked at her and she looked at me and she said my name and I looked at her and I YELLED her name because it was my very best friend from college whom I haven’t seen since my wedding night which was nearly twelve years ago! I won’t even begin to tell you our stories but please know that we were inseparable and she is one of the main reasons that I stayed (mostly) SANE in college.
I hate that life sometimes gets crazy and people get caught up in different things and then days turn into weeks and months turn into twelve years.
We stood there in the coffee place and we talked as if no time had passed. And I had the biggest goofy smile on my face and it got even bigger when she mentioned that the molasses cookies are her favorites and that the day started out great when she scored a pair of vegan Danskos.
And then we discovered this:
We all left Foundation Grounds together and walked over to the salon where I was able to introduce her to Meredith and once again, I am so lucky.
The first time Jeff met my grandma (less than a month before she passed away), he said something to her about how fortunate he has been to be able to weave incredible people into the tapestry of his life. (It sounds corny out of context. At the time, it wasn’t corny at all. At the time, I wanted to kiss the hell out of him for calling my grandma “Grandma.”) Anyway, yes. On Saturday afternoon, I was able to tuck an amazing thread back into my tapestry.
And we walked away with purple tips and huge smiles.
So, today I flew off the handle and ordered an orange maxi dress because I’ve never HAD a maxi dress and when in St. Louis live like the St. Louisians do, which typically means just eating a Gus’ pretzel and washing it down with toasted ravioli and a Ted Drewes at the Cardinals game. An orange maxi dress doesn’t seem THAT far removed.
Shortly after I went all Hey Ho, Maxi Dress!, I continued to shop around, and I ALMOST got this skirt. Because it’s One Size Fits Most. Because I think I could wear it with a white t-shirt. Because it’s 1995 and my belly button is freshly pierced and my ankle is tattooed and wait a minute. That can’t be right.
I’ll stick with the maxi dress. (I hate the word Maxi. Years worth of unreliable feminine protection will do that to you.) I’ll step back from the hippie skirts. For now.
I once picked up the phone and some guy asked me what I was wearing and I said, “Byron?” and he said, “Yeah. It’s Byron.” and then we talked and talked for about twenty minutes because it had been a long time since I had spoken to Byron. As we spoke, it sort of started feeling like Byron wasn’t himself, so I decided to see if it really WAS Byron.
Me: How is Andy doing?
Byron: Oh, you know. Andy’s fine. Same old thing.
Me: WE DO NOT HAVE AN ANDY IN COMMON!!!
Byron: So, what are you wearing?
Me: SWEATPANTS AND A T-SHIRT GOODBYE!
So, what are you wearing or wanting to wear as your weather starts to do that whole seasonal change thing?
It rained this morning and I had the windows open and a candle burning and the kitchen and bathroom sinks were clean and the jeans were in the washer and the dogs had been taken out (several times) and I’m without freelance until next week which excites me for one minute and then bums me out the next.
I’m drinking tea called Weight to Go! and I no longer care if it “works” because I’m finding that it tastes sort of delicious and that’s really all that matters. (Also, and this DOESN’T matter, but the tea is just so PRETTY. Apples and strawberries and they plump up in my tea thing and what a Wednesday.)
This entry is not sponsored in any way, although I would get the Teavana logo tattooed onto my rear if they would offer me an unlimited supply of tea for a few years. I had a fun chat with a woman yesterday about ads and knitting and sponsored posts and bloggy ugliness and I really do wish it would be easy just to get all of my favorite people from the internet together for lunch. (Three of us met for lunch a few hours back. We had been trying to make this work since 2012. Schedules are tricky, but weird tofu soup and fun friends? Worth the wait. 100%.)
I keep getting these online coupons for cleaning teams, and I’m about an inch away for asking for a cleaning team for my birthday. What I REALLY want is to go away to a cheap hotel for a weekend and come back to find my house completely clutter free. So many paper piles. So much stuff. I know we’ve talked about this many times before, but now I’m actually considering pulling out that ridiculous Fly Lady book and doing the fling thing that everyone seems to love.
I’m not happy that spring is here. I know that’s weird, but I absolutely love the fall and the winter, so seeing the buds on the trees and feeling like it’s too warm for a scarf is starting to get under my skin. I’m back on the Zyrtec and I bought a stick blender and I’ve been trying to learn how to give myself manicures and all of this is to prepare myself for the next six months of heat. It’s not making me any happier. (I really suck at the whole manicure thing, by the way. I have no idea what I’m doing.)
Yes. I know how ridiculous I sound. Spring and I have a complicated relationship. Don’t even get me started on summer.
This evening I’ll be knitting with Tempe and tomorrow I’ll be seeing a friend and Friday is being kept completely open and Saturday is a Big Day. To celebrate her upcoming tenth birthday, I’ll be taking Meredith (and Harper, and perhaps one of Meredith’s friends) to a salon where Meredith’s tips will be bleached out and dyed purple. She has been wanting purple hair for quite some time, but I refuse to let her bleach a stripe. Tips are different. Tips can be cut off when they start looking not so great. After the purple hair, we will walk down the street and eat pie. When we return home, Jeff and his dad will have filled my raised garden bed with soil, which means it’s time to start thinking about kale and cauliflower and radishes and tomatoes and basil and pulling out the juicer and spring.
I went to a meeting last night and they offered NUTTER BUTTERS as a snack (vegan!) which means I was definitely at the right meeting, and during the meeting we discussed some ways our school district can save money and I sometimes COUPON (as a verb!) which means I was definitely at the right meeting, and on the way home from the meeting two of us made a detour for fried pickles and the last time the two of us had fried pickles together I ended up getting my NOSE PIERCED (honestly!) which means I was definitely at the right meeting with the right friend. (I have no new holes this morning, but my friend IS having her nose manipulated in a few weeks, so tomayto tomahto!)
Why was Ryan Lochte given his own television show? It takes a LOT for me to feel like we’re failing as a nation. The Ryan Lochte show pokes a new potentially dangerous hole through my eclipse-viewing shoebox.
For lunch today, I’m cooking up some spicy Indian food (from a box, but still) for Roger Ebert. Celebrity death doesn’t typically affect me (exceptions: Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix, that girl from Poltergeist, a few more), but I’ve spent the past day reading Ebert articles, and yes. Indian Food and Root Beer with two thumbs up.
The chocolate store next to my hair place is having a bunny sale, and I’m leaving here in an hour to attend.
I recently read a ridiculous article that told me that my website will fail if I don’t put a photo up for each entry (???) (!!!). I thought we were doing pretty well, but I’m one of those people who knows a little bit about a lot of things, yet I am an expert at nothing. (Don’t even say the words Social and Media around me, because I’ll immediately fall asleep!)
Um, this was the first photo I puked up onto Flickr. It’s Harper and it’s 2005 and SUCCESS!!!
(Edited to add: Oh, Dear God. The ads running in my side bar are completely annoying and flashy and one of them contains a cockroach and the other just started playing sound without my permission and damnit! I’m really thinking about returning to the old days where ads don’t exist.)
I’ve been to the doctor three times in the past two weeks, and today I hit the jackpot where jackpot equals a bunch of blood taken out of my arm and put into some tubes and a prescription for steroids because it’s about time I FELT SOME RAGE!!!
(I felt so badly on Friday evening that I actually had The Talk with Jeff during which I told him that if I die, two of my possessions need to be thrown away. Once those two things (or maybe three) are tossed, all of my stuff is up for grabs.)
Back to spring break. We didn’t do a whole lot—lunch at the American Girl Bistro, a trip to see The Croods with friends (it was terribly funny), a trip to a cupcake shop near my parents’ house, a sleepover for Meredith, a garden planted by Harper, and coffee and knitting with Tempe who surprised me with the most beautiful shawl.
It’s silk and it’s lovely and it’s the perfect blend of orange and red and my bathroom is very green. It is. All of it. I’m lucky to have amazing friends and the ability to see colors the way they were intended to be seen in my world. (I won’t be the arrogant one who presumes your world looks like mine. Harmony. And a lingering Nyquil haze.)
Do you remember a few years back when I said something like, “I’m the PTO treasurer!” and then about a year ago I said, “I’m pleased to report that I’m no longer a PTO officer!” and then a few months later I was all, “So! Guess who’s the PTO treasurer again!”? Do you remember? Less than 48 hours ago, I became next year’s PTO secretary. It seems that this is how it works and I’m slowly working through the anxiety associated with sitting at a table in front of a bunch of people. (It’s so much easier when the realization is made that this bunch of people are mostly working toward the same goal. I’ve never felt the urge to jump up and throw a chair across the room during a PTO meeting. (Wait. Once. I felt that urge once.))
Yesterday I had lunch with a friend and tonight I have a meeting and tomorrow my hair will be cut. Somewhere in there I’ll throw some time toward a freelance project and maybe do some laundry and a little birthday shopping for Harper’s friend.
Some People (including me): Love and Equality! Little Pink Equal Sign on a Red Background!
Some People: What is this, this little pink equal sign?!
Some People: Love! Marriage! Equality!
Some People: GOD SAYS NO LOVE AND MARRIAGE FOR YOU!!! THUNDER!!!
Some People: God also said ‘Don’t eat pigs.’ How are you doing with that? God said ‘Don’t get divorced!’ God said you have to marry your brother’s wife if he dies! Et cetera and on and on and spitting with anger, which is never a good idea!!!
Some People: BIBLE!
Some People: YES!!! LEVITICUS!!! ALL of it!!! Changing times!!! Thomas Jefferson!!!
Some People: UNBORN BABIES!!!!
Some People: What?
Some People: God hates what you’re doing to the world.
Some People: Um, actually? I’ve talked to God a lot about this and He encourages me to love and to be kind.
Some People: UNBORN BABIES!!!
Some People: Honestly, not all of the folks who want their gay friends to be able to marry also want babies to die.
(Side Note: Seriously. I know this to be true. Also, you can be a Christian and still vote for The Democrat, and just because you vote for The Democrat doesn’t mean you should have to spend the next four years defending your church/religion/etc. (not that I don’t WANT to defend my church/religion/etc.). It’s just that I would rather talk about knitting or spinning or tea when we’re out enjoying lunch—unless you’re truly interested in my church. Oh. Wait. Back to Fluid Pudding.)
Some People (including me): Psst! Love! Equality! Changing equal sign to a heart now to remind myself to love EVERYONE despite how much they throw rocks at each other. Telling myself that I’m glad my name isn’t used the way God’s name is sometimes used. “ANGELA says a man should refrain from sex during a woman’s period!”
Comments off. Because I’m taking the kids to get cupcakes today, and my mind is not changing and neither is yours and we either agree or disagree and I see trees of green and red roses too, and I see them bloom for me and you.
As I sit here at my computer in the kitchen of our tiny house, my oldest daughter is watching a human growth and development movie at school. This is The Movie. (I saw my version in 1981. Girls went into one classroom. Boys went into another. We each saw our gender-specific movie, we returned to our normal classrooms, and when it was all over I knew that vagina is NOT pronounced Va-GHEE-nah. (Similarly, penis is not PEN-iss, as I had originally thought. Please know that the PEN-iss was NOT covered in our girl movie.))
Last week I was able to screen the movie that Meredith is currently watching, and I was a little shocked. Although the girls and boys will be divided, they will be viewing the same video. The video is presented as a call-in radio show titled “Puberty Week with Brad and Janet!” and I have no idea how the obvious Rocky Horror Picture Show tie-in made it past the original reviewers.
This morning Meredith left the house as an innocent almost 10 year old. She will climb into our car this afternoon with the line drawing of an erect boy part fried onto her brain. She will know about wet dreams. She will know that a sperm is 50% of what makes a baby and that an egg is the other 50%. She will NOT know how those two parts hook up, and if she asks it during the Q&A session, it will not be answered because it wasn’t directly discussed in the movie. (I know.) It wasn’t directly discussed in the movie, yet I know my kid and I know how her mind works and this evening I’ll probably have to lay it all out for her. And I guess that’s fine, but I also think that 10 is young, but I also know that kids are growing up faster now, but I also don’t necessarily think that arming them with this knowledge at 10 is going to prevent teen pregnancy.
I’m a bit flummoxed and I *did* consider letting her skip the movie. (This morning she told me that she was going to eat a light lunch just in case the movie turned her stomach. Heh.) BUT, kids are kids and kids will talk and I would rather she see it than hear about it at recess.
I can’t remember if it was the fourth grade movie or the fifth grade movie that said something like, “Just because you’re now CAPABLE of making a baby doesn’t mean you’re READY. You need financial stability!”
Here’s a photo of me when I was a 19-year-old sophomore at Mizzou. I’m wearing a bolo and a vest, I’m drinking a wine cooler in my dorm room, I’m getting ready to attend my very first (and also very last!) fraternity party, and I had no concept of Financial Stability.
In other words, “Just because you’re now CAPABLE of making a baby doesn’t mean you’re READY. You need blah blah blah blah babies are cute!”
(By the way, I’m pretty sure this song was playing as that photo was taken, and I was using a lot of aerosol hairspray in those days. The jeans were NOT mine, by the way.)
Anyway, the kids are growing up and the kids are alright and I’m sort of a prude and I’m getting ready to bake Snickerdoodles for a priest and I wish I knew where that bolo went because I’m suddenly feeling the need for some honkytonking.
Once upon a time I knit a bunch of socks and because I really loved knitting socks, I decided to see if I could fund my trip to BlogHer ’08 by knitting socks for anyone who was willing to pay $50. It worked. (I was shocked when it worked.) BlogHer ’08 was weird and amazing and dramatic and wonderful. I haven’t been back since. (I do miss it and I would spend some time talking about it, but I feel like I’ve already beaten my Dead Horse o’ Neuroses into the ground. I’ll let you off this time.)
So, socks. After I knit a bunch of socks for the BlogHer gig, I quickly learned the following two things about myself: 1. I don’t really like to take orders for handknit items. So much pressure! (I will make rare exceptions if I’m given a LOT of time.), and 2. Socks really aren’t that much fun to knit. (For me. If you love to knit socks, we can still hang out, of course. I used to eat feta cheese and chocolate chips mixed together as a snack. We all have bags full of wacky, don’t we?)
In September of 2009, I finished these socks for myself:
Because socks really aren’t that much fun to knit (for me), this particular pair took exactly two years to complete. (When I was knitting socks for BlogHer, I had to finish one sock each week to keep up. So, although I can knit a pair of socks in two weeks, this pair took 104 weeks. Heh.)
I love these socks. They’re made of Koigu which is squishy and shows stitch definition really well and I find myself saving them for special occasions because they’re orange and warm and leafy and the toe construction is all crazy and nice.
Last week I wore the socks to a meeting, and then I came home and changed my clothes in the family room. (That’s where the laundry baskets are, and right now they’re filled with clean clothes. When in Rome!) I stacked the clothes I had been wearing (including the socks!) on the piano bench (as you do) and walked into the kitchen to check e-mail.
I soon noticed that Scout and Henry were playing tug-of-war with an old towel but it wasn’t really an old towel at all. It was one of my Koigu socks, and I didn’t realize that until it was entirely too late.
And then I was very sad, but I knew it was my fault for leaving the socks out and socks and towels are pretty much the same thing when you’re a dog, so no one was punished, although both dogs WERE put in their crates for ten minutes or so because I needed some time to mourn.
(It’s impossible to be mad at Scout and Henry because sometimes they reverse spoon each other on the couch and it makes my blood pressure drop.)
Tomorrow is the first day of spring. I have a weird feeling in my throat and when I walk outside, it feels like November. The good news? I’ve had my eye on this ring for over two years, and now it’s off of Etsy and on my finger and if you can’t have spring in the air, you may as well have it on your hand.
A friend and I went nose ring shopping over the weekend and as a result, I now have the ability to run faster than ever before. We have so much to talk about, don’t we?
All it takes is for one person to say, “Tea is for Healing” and suddenly I’m drinking one and a half quarts of hot tea each and every day. (I’m not exaggerating.) Apparently, I need some healing. I’m cranky and a little stressed and my skin is all sucky and my stomach has been in knots. Although the tea is delicious, the whole Healing thing feels like a mug of crap, but at least I’m fake-healing with tea and not Crown Royal.
(Side note: I held a side plank in Pilates last Friday for the first time EVER. It had nothing to do with tea and everything to do with me refusing to be the only person in class who can’t hold a side plank. (Every time the instructor calls us into a side plank, I think of this dinosaur and how we’re more alike than different.))
The latest chapter in my tea obsession? This stuff. (I have Tempe to thank for this. She does RESEARCH.) Because I once again have the skin of a 14-year-old girl who doesn’t take hygiene seriously, Jeff and I found ourselves at Whole Foods last Friday to browse their Yogi teas and their meatless meats. The Skin Detox tea is supposed to clear me up and make me GLOW (like Edward in the sun, not that I have any idea what I’m talking about). ((This is the guy who develops the Yogi tea. I’m not sure we could hang out at a doughnut shop, but I think I can trust him with the whole tea thing.))
Right before I leave the house to pick the kids up from school, I brew a 16 ounce tumbler of the skin detox tea. I then take the tea bag and put it in a tiny cup for later. Before I go to bed at night, I wash my face (with Purpose cleansing wash because I’m not going to leave out any details here) and then I run the hottest water I can stand into the used tea bag before rubbing it all over my face. Sometimes the bag breaks and suddenly I’m Martin Sheen from Apocalypse Now and I’m frantically pushing old cardamom seeds and dandelion roots (and hibiscus flowers and rose petals et cetera!) into my pores and the hot water is dripping down into my mouth and I’m a disaster but I’m a disaster for the right reason: I’m trying to achieve The Glow. I’M HEALING.
I actually got a manicure last weekend before the mouse races. (I will NOT talk about the mouse races. In fact, I never again want my world to include the word Mouse anywhere near the word Race or else I may begin screaming the F word and sending out fake invitations for people to join me in my kitchen for a bit of accounting! It’s a long story that involves me being a little sensitive with a tendency to overreact!!! Where’s my tea?!?!) Anyway, I went with this color and I love it so much that I bought a bottle (50% off!) today. I don’t EVER get manicures and because of that, I tend to keep my hands below the table. Because of French Quarter for Your Thoughts, I hereby proclaim the remainder of March to be known as The Eighteen Days During Which I Gesticulate Flamboyantly!!!