We’ll go out with a bang some other time.

The girls and I picked up a friend this morning and journeyed out for the Rock-n-Roll Craft Show. If you’re a local, tomorrow is the last day, and I do believe you will love it there.

I try to go to the RRCS every year, and every year I try to find a log pillow crafted by Scissor Scouts in Springfield. I just noticed that they’re on this year’s artist list, but I didn’t see any of their log pillows today. A log pillow WILL be mine someday. This just wasn’t my year. Again.

My score of the day? An ounce of Cup of Love tea from The ReTrailer. (You know I’m a Teavana hound. It’s nice to have a local tea master who isn’t holding hands with Starbucks. PLUS, The ReTrailer has partnered up with Tree House, which is my current favorite place to eat so ride a painted pony let the spinning wheel spin, Kevin Bacon.)

Retrailer Tea

After the show, we hopped over to Panera where Meredith ate a baguette into a mask and then employed three napkins to hold the mouth art bread mask onto her face.
We’re now getting ready to watch the Mizzou game. And when I say “We’re now getting ready to watch the Mizzou game” I mean that I’m about to grab some knitting, the girls are practicing the piano, the dogs are outside, and Jeff is getting ready to watch the Mizzou game. It’s a big game.

Thanks for stopping by this month. I always love hearing from you, and I’m sure I’ll be back soon. In fact, I’ve heard we may get our Christmas tree tomorrow, and I know you’ll need proof of that. Isn’t the Internet fun?

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Boots and Stuff and Nonsense

Meredith got some boots (hers are black), and Harper got some boots (hers are brown), and I got some boots (mine are grey).

None of us really got the EXACT boots we wanted, but sometimes you have to make compromises (My compromise saved $150!) and sometimes you do what you have to do to get in and out of a store quickly so that you can enjoy a quick root beer before the sun goes down.

We also looked around for Christmas trees, but we haven’t committed to anything just yet. We still have time.

I made Five Star Friday this week, and I think this is the third time I’ve made it and it always makes my day.

I picked Tempe up this morning at 5:15, and before you tell me that I’m part of the problem, please know that even if no stores were open at that time, it would still be fun to do what we do: Grab a coffee and hang out to watch people. (Of course, if no stores were open, we would probably be watching people through the windows of their homes, which might stir up trouble. With that said, I’m always a little bit in the mood to stir up trouble.) We were out for five hours, and during that time I saw only one person with whom I could never be friends, and her only fault was that she was unable to commit to a check-out line so I let her carry on in peace with her indecisiveness and her Hello Kitty hat.

Tomorrow is the Rock-n-Roll Craft Show and it’s also the final day of NaBloPoMo.

Is there anything you needed from me before we shut the month down?

I didn’t make a video this year, but the one from three years ago still works.

Another Day in the Life from Angela D. on Vimeo. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Wednesday, Actually

Thanks to all for your comments yesterday. You’re appreciated more than you’ll ever know.

Today I met my freelance deadline, I shopped for the ingredients to make green bean casserole and roasted veggies, and I sat on the couch and watched Love, Actually. (I always fall asleep during the same part of the movie. Today was no exception. I still have no idea if the married guy cheated on his wife with his cute-haired co-worker.)

This scene gets me every time.

And this scene destroys me.

And although I know I’ve shared this before, I just sort of need you to know that it’s one of my favorite movie scenes from all time. (You may want to switch it to full screen so you can read the subtitles. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to see them properly here.)

I hope your Wednesday has been a good one. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Mondays with Meredith

This afternoon during the drive from the grocery store to piano lessons, I tuned the radio to one of the two channels currently devoting all of their time to Christmas music. Sadly, instead of Christmas music, they were playing some sort of commercial for a product that helps one deal with bowel incontinence.

Me (changing the station): You know, when I’m in the mood for Christmas music, the last thing I want to hear is a story about bowel incontinence.

Meredith: It IS the oldies channel. And sometimes old people have those problems.

Harper: I don’t even know what bowel incontinence IS!

Me: It’s when you go to the bathroom in your pants, but you’re not peeing.

Meredith: You know, life is full of surprises, and sometimes those surprises are in your pants.

A few minutes later, Meredith remembered that a woman at the grocery store almost hit her with a cart.

Meredith: Did you hear her tell me that she almost rammed my bum?

Me: I did. Yipes.

Meredith: Why is it called a bum?

Me: I think different people call it different things. When I was a kid, everyone in my family called it a bom bom.

Harper: Are you kidding me?

Me: I’m not kidding. Aunt Boogie says we called it a bom bom because Grandma D called it a bom bom. BUT, I have no idea why Grandma called it a bom bom.

Meredith: Why don’t you ask her?

Me: Because she died.

Meredith: Oh. I’m so sorry for your loss. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words, William Faulkner.

This evening after Meredith’s volleyball game, the four of us went out for dinner with my mom and dad to celebrate my dad’s 71st birthday. (Feel free to wish him a happy birthday. 71 is a big thing. 71 means that you pay for dinner and deliver rice krispy treats to the granddaughters, even though it’s your birthday. 71 means that even if you hurt your back earlier in the day, you still venture out to watch a bunch of fifth graders play volleyball. 71 is good.)

Dad & Me

As we were eating our salads, my mom looked at me and said, “You’re showing a lot of Cleveland.”

Me: What?!

Mom: Cleavage!!!

Me: Oh! Yikes!

Mom: Yep. You’ve been showing cleavage all night.

Me: Sorry about that. I haven’t worn this shirt in over a year, but since it’s getting cold outside, this afternoon I decided to pull out my shirt and my boots.

Mom: Boobs?

Me: Yep. Boobs.

Mom: Hey! Yesterday I went to the makeup store, and when I put my stuff on the counter, the girl working the register said, “Nice bras.”

Me: What?!

Mom: Brows. Like, eyebrows.

Earlier this week, I told Meredith to drink water with her soup so she doesn’t get aphrodisiac. (Clearly, I meant Dehydrated.) A few years ago, I spent five minutes telling a story about a woodpecker, and throughout the entire story I referred to that bird as a peckerhead. On accident.

Apparently, my baking skills and sense of humor came from my dad, and my craftiness and inability to speak coherently came from my mom.

I wish this photo was better. My mom and Meredith were totally into the parade.

(Maybe someday I’ll tell you the story about that peckerhead and how he kept me up all night.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Bread pudding? Yes? Yes.

In 2009, we made bread pudding together. 

 We did it again back in March.

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.

Hibiscus! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Stitches In Time

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.

Handspun Toast

(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.)

Anniversary Socks

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.)

Cia Cuff

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.)

Handspun Infinity

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.

Waves in the Square

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.

Stagnant Wheel

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.

2013 Cardigan

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.)

Tulip Mittens! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Oh Butter! My Butter! Our fearful trip is done, Walt Whitman.

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.

Let’s talk about knitting tomorrow! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>


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:

Francis the Pinwheel

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.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>