Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Holi-daze!

Well, I think the family and I have written, starred in, and produced our own version of "Surviving Christmas" this year and all have survived intact. Not that anything usually goes wrong around the holidays but with my barely functioning brain cells on overload and high-alert during these weeks they just never know when I may either lock myself in the bedroom crying or run screaming from the house, never to return.

Neither event took place this year although it was quite touch-and-go during the "do-I-or-don't-I-buy-a-fake-tree-before-or-after-Christmas-and-I-am-obsessing-wayyyyy-to-much-over-this" weekend. Which was ultimately solved by buying a beautful fake tree that we will enjoy for years to come without mopping up spilled water, then forgetting to water the tree resulting in vacuuming a bizillion needles for the next six months. Whew, it was a close one, though.

Christmas has come and gone and in retrospect it was a wonderful day. We spent the day at home while various family and friends visited and we ate, played, and enjoyed a great day together.

Now all that's left of the celebrations is New Years. It's only a few days away but I can already hear 2010 banging on my front door yelling "I'm here bitch, and I've got some 'Alli' and a work-out dvd! Get your fat ass off the couch!" Is it too late to turn off the lights and hide behind the door?

Harley ate her present.

Kathleen loves her laptop.

Shelby asked for, and received a camera.

The aftermath.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Already a loser...

...but moving on. November is NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month, in which you strive to post to your blog every day. I've already messed that one up but since I didn't feel well last night and Kathleen had the computer for homework I'm gonna excuse myself and let it go. I'm sure you all have forgiven me already.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Fall colors

I do a lot of complaining about how much I hate to see summer end each year. A. Lot. But I guess when the time comes around I spend as much time marvelling at the beautiful colors of the leaves when fall arrives in full bloom here in my little corner of the world. Disclaimer: I still hate the fact that summer is gone, but the leaves are pretty. Okay.

Shelby and I walked to the library last week and I grabbed my camera as we left the house. Here are some photos I took along the way.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tha bitches at Stitches!

On Saturday Misty and I went to Stitches East in Hartford. "Stitches East?? What in the world is that??" you say. "Who got stitches?? Are they okay??" Well, in fact Misty DID get stitches on Friday night trying to be freaking Martha Stewart making Halloween cookies (WHO makes cookies for halloween??), but that's not what I'm talking about.

Stitches East is a convention for people who knit, crochet, spin...anything to do with yarn and fibers. The Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford is pretty damn big and it was just about full of vendors selling yarn and anything to do with yarn. There were classes for beginners and advanced knitters and all kinds of knitty stuff.

I did not have anough money to buy everything I wanted at this thing, but then again, if I did buy all that I wanted, I don't think I would have the time to knit it all. I DO think I touched it all though!!

I did buy (clockwise from top right) a long-coveted set of Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles. (Love them already!) Two skeins of Stardust merino yarn that has a strand of nylon throughout that makes it shimmer, an 'orphan' skein of handpainted Ambrosia (alpaca, silk and cashmere!!!) that I got just because I loved the colors (ooohhh), and pink and blue Shui Bui mohair and merino wool yarn to make a couple of Christmas gifts. Not too bad, ya think?

I also got to kit on The Big Sock! I saw this on the Stitches website before going and was determined to contribute. The story is on their blog but in short, someone wanted to make the biggest sock in the world and it is going around the world to different venues and a lot of people are contributing to it both by donating yarn and by knitting on it. It will eventually end up back in the UK to be formally accepted into the Guiness Book of World Records. There. I hope I am at least semi-accurate. After I knit a few stitches i gave my spot to another knitter and signed the log and got a pin commemorating the momentous event. Sorry, lame, I know, but I'm a sucker for stuff like this.

It was a fun day. We took our time wandering and we sat in Starbucks for a while on a funky little couch relaxing and talking to other strangers who knit.

I am already planning on going next year and I'll wear my fabulous new shawl made from this year's yarn and maybe I can pretend I am from far away and stay in the Marriot there at the Convention Center. Maybe, just maybe...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

This and that...

I've had a lot to write lately but have not taken the time to sit and blog so hopefully in this teeny tiny moment of quiet I can get something accomplished.


Instead of planting hundreds of dollars of annuals this year I invested in vegetable plants instead. Besides the whole "going green" idea of planting and harvesting our own food, living off the land, saving money and teaching the children to rely on the Earth's bounty - I like plants and gardening. Oh okay, so it's just the plant thing but give me a break, it sounded good for a minute. I planted three types of tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and a bunch of herbs. The tomatoes are going a bit slow. At first the plants were so puny but now they are ginormous with tons of green fruits just weighing them down. But hardly any reds to be seen.

This is an example of a daily harvest. The green beans don't usually make it into the house - they are garden snacks. Just wipe off the dirt and munch. And if I send Shelby out to gather (I just love sounding like Caroline Ingalls tonight.) the tomatoes don't even make it into the house. I just may have to grab a bunch of green tomatoes off the vines and let them ripen on the sun porch.

One LESS remaining brain cell...

I had to get up at the crack of dawn this past Saturday to have an MRI on my brain. I hear you laughing. Yes, there IS a brain in there. It is prone to migraines and tripping off-line occasionally, but it is still nestled safely within the confines of my skull. Here's proof.

There's no reason for the MRI scan other than the fact that the last scan I had was a CAT scan about ten years ago; well, that and the fact that I, personally, am questioning it's existence lately. I've been suffering from M.A.J.O.R. anxiety lately and I didn't know if the fact that I am getting close to the age my mom was when she passed away (from a brain tumor no less) is getting to me or what so we just wanted to eliminate what could be one source of my recent (and hopefully, temporary) insanity.

So on Saturday I am a bit nervous about this MRI thing since I can be just a little claustrophobic at times, inopportune times mostly. They had asked if I needed to be sedated but they don't sedate anyone on Saturdays - hello...someone needs a day off, I guess. I had one out-of-body experience right when she put me into the machine when I pushed the button and INSISTED on being let out. That wonderful tech let me out for a minute, talked me down off the ledge and for the remainder of the MRI I was blissfully lounging on a beach in Bermuda. Or maybe that was my broken brain cells playing games with me...

Bookstores and Blogging...

Also on Saturday Misty and I stopped in at Borders (I picked her up and took her to EB to get her house key after her son locked her out and for those of you familiar with the area, Borders is not too far out of the way - well, maybe 6 or so miles, but I digress...). As Misty and I are apt to do when we are in public we act accordingly and appropriately and like perfectly well-behaved adults who have been in public before, NOT and we ended up making quite a scene in the knitting/sewing/craft book aisle. The two xanax I had taken before my MRI had FINALLY taken effect and I needed to sit - on the floor - and that got me laughing and Misty snidely throwing comments out of the corner of her mouth and pretending she didn't know me. After a particularly funny comment about my "magnetically-shaken brain syndrome" I said I needed to remember to blog about, we apologized to the nice woman standing next to us who was obviously just trying to find a book and get out to enjoy the nice day. Come to find out, she is a blogger too and has introduced me to her blogosphere of friends through her blog here. Please stop on over, check out her blogs and leave a comment for me.

Well, I think that is it for now. I have to hit the hay as I have a job I have to get up for in the morning. Wouldn't want to sleep in and miss it, would I?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

You need a license to catch a fish... drive a car, to sell real estate, to practice medicine, to sell liquor, blah, blah, you get the idea. But you do not need a license to have a baby and raise that child. Any idiot can do that. And most do.

Case in point, the woman I saw today at the lake on the Subase. She walked onto the sand carrying the usual paraphernalia: beach bag, blanket, toys, and a car seat/baby carrier. A young man/teen was accompanying her holding the hand of who I can assume was her son, a very small child, probably 2-ish. Nothing out of the ordinary yet. The young man took the little boy into the water and they played while the woman watched from the shore. The baby stayed in the car seat. In the sun. The woman went into the water and swam. The baby stayed in the car seat. In the sun.

Finally she took the baby from the seat. This little one could not have even been a month old. She was so tiny, with little chicken legs waving. The mom held her in one arm while she sprayed her, front and back, with sunscreen. Then rubbed some on her little face. I was in shock, and commented so all within earshot could hear me. No one else seemed to care or notice.

Once "mom" deemed her child was safe from the sun, she took her into the chlorinated lake, splashed her around, dunked her once or twice (now into the sunscreen-slick surrounding them), and then put her back into the car seat. She didn't rinse her off, change the chlorine-soaked diaper, or dry her. I just stared. I wanted to approach her, and I know I should've - I am ashamed I didn't - but I could predict the outcome and was not up for a confrontation. In the mood I have been in I am sure I would be writing this from jail.

I know this mom was not beating her children and it could have been worse, perhaps she does not know any better, and it was obvious she loves her kids. My only hope is that these two children grow up to be healthy well-adjusted adults despite their naive or incompetent mother. I hope it is the former and she learns right from wrong soon.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Paper and Yarn and Patterns, oh my!

Spent Saturday buying myself a little happy! :) Misty and I went to Old Saybrook to our favorite yarn shop and had a little fun feeling up the yarn and deciding what we just could not live without. I bought some Noro sock yarn on sale, some more sock yarn in variegated blues that I hope to make into a shawl, and some Flat Feet Yarn! I have wanted that for a long time and am so excited to get started on that. Flat Feet yarn is sock yarn that has been knitted into a flat rectangular panel and then dyed. To knit socks from it you knit as you unwind from one end and the dyed pattern knits into a random pattern in your socks. Each flat makes a unique pair of socks - so exciting! (I know, lame to you non-knitters, but that's the extent of my happiness lately so give me a break, okay?)

We also went to a new-to-us scrapbooking store in Clinton and browsed for a while. Well, I can hold out for a long time until I find that one piece of paper I have to have and then it's all downhill from there. All in all I did okay, just $13.00 so I am proud of myself. But not proud that I will add this bag of paper to the previous bags in the scrap area just waiting to be used! I just need to get down there but it's not on the top of my list right now. What is? knitting.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Okay, okay.... I said I would be updating regularly showing my progress completing my many creative projects. Well, yeah, it's been like this - I have started knitting a sweater but the gauge was off so I had to start over. I have not been scrapbooking nor painting nor making jewelry. I have been taking TONS and TONS of photos off the old desktop (which takes about 20 tries to finally boot up) so that's been taking up some of my time. I will be buying an external hard drive to back up those photos and the 1500 or so I have on this laptop. Then I will begin sending them to be printed. I actually feel safer with them here in boxes than on the hard drives.

Anyway, here is a preview of the sweater I am knitting. This pic is actually of the one I had to rip out, but I haven't gotten to the pattern on the new version and that's no fun to look at. The color is a little off - it's more of a blue-green - and the yarn is a super soft "eco-blend" of cotton and acrylic. Knitting has not been at the top of my list of things to do lately but I want to get back to this before I totally lose interest.

So, to the few of you who read this blog, expect to see some creative progress posted soon, or at least a few more excuses why that's just not happening 'round here.

Monday, June 08, 2009

An (un)creative moment in time

I am a creative person. I not only 'like' to create, but I NEED to. It keeps me sane, relaxed and happy. If I do not take the time to knit, paint, scrapbook - anything creative, I get tense. And grumpy.

Well, lately I am feeling very grumpy. And one reason I am grumpy is it's all my fault - nobody keeps me from being creative, it's all me.

I just don't take the time to do those things. I feel I need to have my 'work' done before I can 'play.' Therefore I have paintings half-finished, baskets of yarn waiting to be made into socks and scarves, and tons (literally, TONS) of pictures to be put into scrapbooks.

Now, you may think: "Denise, the time you are wasting on the computer blogging about being un-creative could be better spent being...uh...creative!" Yeah, well, I know that. I really do.

So I am making the commitment to blog weekly about something I have created. A half-knit sock, a few pages scrapped, a brush stroke here and there. Promise.

Stay tuned. And please feel free to send an email or comment 'kick in the ass' to keep me focused.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another Not Me! Monday...

Well, it's another Not Me! Monday (you can see the original here).

I most certainly did not take a three hour nap today after work. I only had four hours of sleep last night but now to get to sleep tonight...

After this alleged nap, I did not let the girls just eat boxed mac and cheese and fake mashed potatoes for dinner. In my defense, it's what they wanted...

One good thing is, while writing this and simultaneously watching the dvr'd end of The Bachelorette I am getting sleepy. Now to avoid yet another game of Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook and actually hit the sheets.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Not Me! Monday is a wonderful thing that happens every week over on MckMama's blog. Each week she confesses all the 'not me' moments of her week and asks her reader to do the same. The results are raw, honest, and wonderful for all of us who think we are the 'only' moms to do these things. So this week I will join in and I invite you to do the same!

Yesterday I did not stand in front of my new-to-me washer and actually watch the first load run for about fifteen minutes.

This morning I did not give Shelby nighttime cold medicine in the hopes she would take a nap.

I, myself am fighting the cold that is going around the house and on top of that I've had a migraine since Saturday so I plead the fifth on every other thing I did not do and just don't remember. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


President Obama has given me hope. Again. By signing the bill to reverse the ban on stem cell research, I have even more hope that a CURE for Type 1 Diabetes is imminent in my daughter's lifetime. I realize that stem cell research is an emotional, ethical, and moral battle for some. I know that those little clumps of cells have value as a human life - but they also have value as a potential cure not only for diabetes, but for cancer, parkinsons, alzheimers, MS, etc. I'm not asking anyone to agree with me. Just have hope for my daughter and the many other children dealing with type 1, no matter where it comes from.

Here's what Kerri from dLife has to say.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Shelby!

Today is my baby's 11th birthday. I know, not so much a baby anymore so I guess I shouldn't refer to her as one. But as all moms know, it's hard to give up on that idea of the youngest being the baby and in my heart she will always be "my baby". (I'll stop now as I am beginning to sound like the old mother in the book "Love You Forever" - you know, the one where she climbs into her grown son's bedroom and rocks him to sleep?? yeah.)

So, as I come to grips with the fact that my 11 year old can stand next to me and look me evenly in the eye, wears a larger shoe size than me and can probably take me out with one swing if she is so inclined, let me wish her a very happy birthday.

Shelby, I hope that your eleventh year is the best one yet!! I love you!
Love, Mommy

Monday, February 16, 2009

Say cheese!

I bought myself a new camera. My Fuji has just about bitten the dust after having some hot cocoa (accidently) spilled on it a few months ago. It still takes pictures, but don't try to view, erase (or push any other button) without some major Japanese-technology resistance.

So, I have a new toy and am loving it so far. I went the point-and-shoot route this time around just because it is easier to stash in my purse or pocket. AND I got a great deal on it. I've tried out a few of the features but haven't printed any photos yet. If they come out as good as they look on the touch-screen display, I will be totally happy.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My First Blog Award

"I would like to thank the Academy and Shari for presenting me with this award."

If you've been presented with this award, this is what you need to do...Thank the person who gave the award to you, post the award on your blog or in a post, nominate 10 blogs which show great attitude/gratitude, link to the people you chose on your post, and comment on their blogs to tell them about the award!

Here's who I am passing the award to:

Karen at Karen's World
Pamela at My Place for Attempted Creativity
Stacy at the little things
Carla at Welcome to Uno Acres
Jessica at The Life, Faith and Creativity of Jessica Turner
Angie at Bring the Rain
Gretchen at My Daily Balancing Act
Kristie at Not Quite What I Had Planned
Mama Belle at Mama always said
Karen at Bitter Sweet Diabetes and Musings of a (mostly) self-taught knitter

These are some of my favorite blogs and I encourage all of you to check them out. And pass on the Award! Believe me, it's an honor even if you're only nominated (but I do wish there was a cash prize as well!!).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

'Twas the night before... new job and what else is new?
The girls still aren't sleeping and I'm about through.

Some laundry is drying, the rest folded with care;
So tomorrow I won't be wonderin' what to wear.

No money has come in yet but some has gone out;
It costs some to make some, my husband's found out!

I bought some new pants and new shoes for my feet.
A thermos for soup, and some good snacks to eat;

Right now I'm exhausted, but I can't close my eyes;
There's no more sleeping in, so early I must rise.

I've dreaded this day; staying at home's a good fit;
I enjoy being home; I scrapbook and I knit!

But good things, they say, must come to an end;
I'll contribute in a new way; to the bills I will tend!

So I should be excited, I'm starting a new phase;
I'll have a new 'purpose,' and a "real job" that PAYS!