Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A definition

I'm only going to say one thing on the subject.

Phil Robertson is not being persecuted for being a Christian.

People all over the world are actually being persecuted for being Christians (and other faiths). Right now, as I type this, people are dying for their faith. They are being tortured. Their homes are being burned, their families killed. Children are suffering. THAT is persecution.

An old guy getting suspended (not even definitively fired yet) from one million-dollar job is not persecution. Especially not when said old guy already has another multi-million dollar company under his belt. Companies refusing to sell products advertising his television show is not persecution. Phil Robertson and his family are safe. They are well-fed. They have a warm home. Whatever you may think about the situation, he is not being persecuted.

What a blessing that we live in such a perfect little bubble where a celebrity getting trash-talked and maybe fired can be equated to torture.

There's your reality check.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Amy's Guide to Making Homemade Bread Crumbs

Step 1:
See the half-used bag of hot dog buns on the counter and get annoyed at your children because when you don't have hot dog buns, they insist on having a bun with their hot dogs, but when you do have buns, they won't eat them.

Step 2:
Decide that you are not going to throw away any more hot dog buns ever, but since you're not mean enough to make the minions eat stale buns, maybe they'd make good bread crumbs. Because, hey, you just wrote those on the grocery list. If you make some, you can cross that right back off!

Step 3:
Turn on the oven to the lowest heat it can go. Nobody likes burned bread crumbs. Open up all the buns from the correct side except one, because that one is a little smooshed and it's really hard to see which is the "right" side,  and now that you've started ripping open the wrong side you might as well finish the job. Mangled buns make good crumbs too. Put all the buns on a baking pan thing.

Step 4:
Wonder how long you should leave them in the oven. Shrug your shoulders and say, "Eh, I'll wing it." Put the pan in the oven.

Step 5:
Get involved doing other stuff and completely forget about the fact that you have bread in the oven.

Step 6:
At some point in the afternoon, hear the oven's thermostat click off and have a little freak-out because ZOMGTHEBUNSARESTILLINTHEOVEN.

Step 7:
Retrieve the pan full of buns from the oven, and marvel over the fact that they are not burned, and hey, they feel kind of crunchy and crumbish! Put them in the food processor and make lots of noise and scare the guinea pig half to death. Then pour the crumbs into the old bread crumb canister, and only cuss once because you spilled some on the floor. Of course you did. OF COURSE.

All done!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sewing for idiots

I wanted to make Claire a tote bag for her dance shoes, since she didn't have anything for them. Found this tutorial: http://www.home-ec101.com/make-it-this-weekend-basic-lined-totepurse/ But the step where you have to put the pieces all together wasn't super clear, and I was confused. So after picking and redoing the same top seam twice, it's finally done!

 It's fully lined, and it has a box bottom so it's nice and roomy. Of course I didn't do the handle like she said, because I thought that was boring. Mine looks better. And the part that I improvised ended up being the easiest part for me. Whatever. And it's far from perfect, but she likes it, and that's all that matters. :D

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What we say

My friend posted this on Facebook: http://hopeave.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/how-to-talk-to-your-daughter-about-her-body/ Go read it and then come back.

Did you read it?

So my first instinct was, "YEAH! Right on!"

But then I thought about it a little more.

Yes, it's important to tell our daughters (and our sons) that they're strong and smart. It's important to encourage them to be active for the sake of being active and healthy, not for vanity. It's important to encourage them to try new things, but not to force them to do things they hate. Those things are all far more important than outward appearance.

But the truth of the matter is, we all do have an outward appearance. Ignoring it won't make it go away, and it won't instill more self-confidence. You can't just wish it away. And while I want my children, both my daughter AND my son, to know that health and strength and kindness are far more important than outward beauty, I also want them to look in the mirror and like what they see.

So I tell my daughter that her hair is beautiful. And I tell my son that his smile is amazing. And I tell them both that they have lovely eyes. And I ALSO tell them that they're strong, and smart, and kind, and loving. And I ALSO tell them when they're being mean, and when they're making bad choices, and when they're acting beneath their maturity level, because part of a positive self-image is being able to see oneself in a realistic light. Their appearance is not their self-worth, but it is part of their self-identity. It's not invisible just because we don't talk about it.

You can't just ignore an entire aspect of a human being and expect it to go away. Our children have faces and bodies, and there are beautiful aspects to those bodies that they need to appreciate. We don't get to pick and choose the things that we'll talk about and just assume that they'll have a positive self-image if we don't ever say anything about what they look like -- that's not how it works. Because OTHER PEOPLE are going to say things about what they look like, and what other people look like. Good and bad. Every single day. So we can't ignore it. But we can show them how to appreciate what they have, how to love themselves on the inside AND the outside.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Check it ouuuuut

When Claire was a baby, she used to say that all the time. "Check it out!" But she'd say it like she was trying to do a really bad Chinese accent so it would sound more like "Chahk aht aaaaahhht!" Hilarious. One of the many things I wish I'd gotten on video, but didn't.

Anyway, look what I made!

This was *supposed* to be Matt's anniversary gift, back in May. And I did give it to him, but it was not anywhere close to complete and I ended up having to redo about 75% of the seams. So I just got Mario's face done today. Still need to crochet a border on the thing, but that shouldn't take nearly as long as putting the squares together. 256 squares, dude. Each square took an average of 20 minutes to make, not counting the time spent joining.

I'm so excited about how it's turning out. :D

Friday, June 14, 2013


It is summer. People aren't supposed to get sick in the summer. So why do I keep having to do pukey laundry?

I just realized, just now, that my right hand is more tan than my left. Which makes no sense. I usually have a driver's tan on my left arm. Why would I be more tan on my right?

Crocheting is a lot more fun when you're not under insane pressure to get something done before a deadline. Especially when the deadline passes and it's still not done. Yay.

I'm on a re-organizing kick. Or rather just an organizing kick. You can't "re"-organize something that wasn't organized to begin with. And since I'm organizing, nothing is organized. The house is a disaster. But I kind of don't care.

Matt says I'm officially old. Because I crochet, and I wear glasses, and I like to go to bed at 8, and I eat Fiber One bars and prunes. I say, if I'm old, that's ok with me, because prunes are delicious, crocheting is fun, my glasses are cute, and sleeping is awesome. So phthbt.

My Clairey turns 7 on Wednesday. SEVEN. That's ridiculous.

Oh crap, I have to bake a cake.

Monday, May 27, 2013

And this is why jocks shouldn't be allowed to design things. **

Because this is creepy. And a terrible idea, no matter how you slice it.

Message to people who make trophies: This is not ancient Greece. Or Rome. People don't run around naked at sporting events here. Also, a bunch of disembodied heads does not equal awesome. It's the stuff nightmares are made of.

**  (No offense meant to the jocks of the world. I'm sure there are lots of jocks who are quite aesthetically skilled. So to those jocks: please step up and take the trophy-designing away from the meatheads. The world will thank you.)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Helicopter parenting

I posted about this on Facebook this morning, but I gots more to say. So I'm saying it.

Last year Claire's school taught me a valuable lesson. Claire's class had library day once a week -- I think it was Wednesdays, but I can't really remember. It's not important. For about two months straight, Claire forgot to take her library book. So for two months straight, I took it up to the school. I figured, she's 5, it's my responsibility to remind her of things, and since I forgot, I should fix the situation. Sound logic for the helicopter parent that I thought I wasn't. So one time, I took it up there well before library time. Claire came home with no new library book. I was shocked. The secretary hadn't given it to her before library time. And then it hit me: it wasn't my responsibility. And it wasn't the secretary's. Claire was 5 years old, more than capable of remembering things like this. And, wonder of wonders, she didn't forget her library book for the rest of the year. Imagine that! She learned the lesson that she had to remember her own book if she wanted a new one.

But while her lesson was important, I think mine was even bigger. My child is no longer a baby. I am not responsible for every little thing she does. She is capable of remembering things like homework and library books and show-and-tell stuff. So I backed off a little. I still remind her when she comes home that she has to do her homework first thing, because that's the rule in our house. You don't get any screen time or outside play until the homework is done. But I only remind one time. And if it doesn't get done, or if she doesn't pack it into her backpack, she misses recess and works on it then, and it's her responsibility, not mine.

I don't want to raise children who blame all their troubles on other people. I don't want to raise the child who cries that a teacher "gave her" a D in math -- I want her to know that she earned that D. Because in the same token, when she earns an A, I want her to know that SHE earned it, and she can be proud of her success. If he's struggling, I want him to be able to think through the problem and come up with a solution without falling into despair and begging other people to fix it. And when he solves that problem, I want him to feel empowered in his own life.

No parent wants their children to suffer, even for a minute. When Claire came home earlier this year and told me that she'd missed recess because she didn't take her homework to school, I felt bad. But I didn't tell her that. I helped her see that it wasn't the end of the world, and that all she had to do to prevent the situation was remember her homework from now on. And of course, the situation came up several more times during the course of the year, because she's still learning that lesson. But it wasn't the end of the world, so I kept trying to help her learn it instead of just swooping in and fixing it for her. Am I perfect in this regard? No. I know there are some situations where I take charge too much, with both kids. I'm controlling by nature, and I don't like waiting for a situation to resolve itself when I can jump in and fix it faster. So I make mistakes. But I'm learning too.

What is that saying about fishing? "Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and he eats for the rest of his life." That's what I'm trying to do. Teach them how to fish. The only thing I'm trying to give them is the fishing pole.

Monday, May 6, 2013


I'm on drugs.

Without getting into my whole background and how I've been depressed forever, since most of the people reading this already know about that, let me just say that I finally went to get some help last fall. And it was determined that therapy is all well and good, but I have a brain problem and need drugs. So I'm on drugs.

And they are wonderful.

I feel like a normal human being. I can't say I feel like myself, or "back to normal," since I've never felt this way. But I feel like this is how I *should* have been feeling all my life. I'm not overly happy -- well, there was that initial period when I ran around with a Joker smile and felt kinda floaty, but I've since evened out. I still get stressed. I still get sad. I still get grouchy. But I feel those things in a normal, tolerable way. I no longer get overwhelmed by little things, and I don't have that broken record in my mind replaying every horrible or embarrassing thing I've ever done in my life.

I still maintain that it is better to try to come at depression from several angles, and that medication shouldn't be the first thing to do to the exclusion of therapy and other treatments. But from where I stand, having tried every other option I could find -- from exercise to dietary changes to talk therapy to cognitive behavioral therapy to plain ol' positive thinking -- there's a time and a place for anti-depressants. Some people need them for a short time to get through a rough patch. Some people need them for a longer period. And then there's me. I'll probably never get off this medication. And that's ok with me. I'll still keep doing the other things I need to do to keep myself up. But I finally feel like a normally functioning human being, which is something I have never felt in my life. And that's priceless to me.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Best parents EVAR.

Do you have to say "spoiler alert" when it's a movie trilogy that's been out for decades? Whatever. Spoiler alert.

We watched the original Star Wars trilogy today with the kids. It was awesome. So much fun to relive those moments through their eyes. When Darth Vader told Luke, "I am your father," I thought Claire's jaw was going to fall right off her face. She was completely stunned. And then Luke is screaming, "NOOOO! NOOOOOOO!" and she was mouthing it along with him. Her little mind was blown.

And then at the end of Return of the Jedi, when Vader saves Luke and then dies, Zach's heart was broken. He was so sad because "it was his father and now he's dead." He couldn't stop crying. Poor baby. He wanted him to be a good guy and live happily ever after, and that didn't happen. During the whole movie he kept asking, "Why isn't he going to live with his father?" Because in little boy land, fathers and sons belong together, no matter what. He's such a sweetie.

And apparently he just thanked God for the people who made the Star Wars movies when he was saying his bedtime prayer. My children are Teh Awesome.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Three weeks.

That's how long I've been at my job now. And I still can't get into the rhythm of things.

The job itself is pretty ok. I do just fine getting everyone ready and out the door on time, and I haven't gotten too flustered or stressed while I'm at work. But home is another story. I can't seem to keep up with everything. I keep forgetting to do things like pay the rent and the babysitter and show up to appointments. It's like I can be on the ball at work, or at home, but not both. I can only have one ball. Somebody tell me it will get better and I'll stop feeling like I'm losing my mind. Because seriously, I have been doing a TERRIBLE job at keeping my life together since I started working. And if my boss increases my hours, like he said he might want to do, Heaven help us all. I'll be screwed. And I'll take the whole family down with me.

Bright side! I got paid today! Which means I can go to the chiropractor without feeling guilty about spending money on myself. :D If I can ever get my act together, I'm really gonna like this whole bringing-in-a-paycheck thing. If we need something, I'll know if we have money for it because I made some.

And on a completely unrelated topic, Zach's preschool picnic is tonight. It's supposed to be outside, at the park. Right now it is 50 degrees and windy. If they don't move the party indoors, we will not be staying. I'll go long enough to drop off the things I need to distribute and leave. I'm tired of freezing.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I have a love/hate relationship with the tv. Love it because sometimes I find good shows that don't include animated animals that are learning to count. Hate it because I really don't have time to watch tv as much as I do. Plus, it's really hard for me to find good shows. Thank goodness for Netflix. There's always something on tv when you have Netflix.

So right now I'm watching The Following, because Kevin Bacon. The Bacon is awesome and I will always watch anything he's in. Except that Wild Things movie, because I've heard it's pretty racy and I'd probably get all embarrassed. But everything else, I'm there. BACON. I'm really concerned about what they're going to do for the second season. If things keep going the way they are, that'll just be annoying because I really don't want to watch a cop go season after season not catching the same guy. That's just poor work performance. If they catch him, then they no longer have a villain. If they kill The Bacon, I'll have to set the tv on fire. I can't see how they're going to work it out. But I hope they do. I kind of love that show.

The Good Wife is pretty decent. Sometimes it's dumb, and I get tired of the whole "will they or won't they" storyline. Get over it already. Plus, if she goes full-on and has her affair and leaves her husband, they'll kind of have to change the name of the show because she will no longer be a wife. So there's that. It annoys me. I like actual drama, not high school crap. 

We decided to give Breaking Bad a try since it's on Netflix. I'm unsure how I feel about it. Walter is a compelling character, I'll grant you that. But... I'm just not sure if I'm down with the whole meth scene. So we'll see.

This blog post has absolutely no point and it's basically just an exercise in procrastination because I don't want to fold the laundry. Basically my life is one long series of things that I'd rather be doing instead of laundry.

Monday, April 22, 2013


The weather. Seriously. It is freaking APRIL. Shut up with the winter already.

School is letting out 15 minutes early today due to the weather. I'm not really sure I understand the point. It's only 15 minutes. Do they really think it's going to get that much worse in the space of 15 minutes? And if so, then when can I move to Texas? Because this is getting silly.

Today I decided to dismantle the ceiling fan and clean it. I felt like a BOSS. And the water was all brown. I had no idea the fan blades were supposed to be clear. Ok, kind of translucent-ish. But still. Not tan. hahaha

My new job is great. Low-stress, nice people to work with, and there's a big giant window right behind my desk so I can sit and look outside and watch all the college students scurrying to and fro. And the squirrel. The squirrel in the tree is fat, and he likes to perch on the very tippy ends of branches where they can't really support him. It's entertaining.

I've asked this before, and I'm sure I'll ask it again, but HOW do families function when both parents work full-time? That's not a judgmental question or anything, I'm genuinely curious because with all the running around and cleaning and cooking and making sure everyone gets their baths in the evening and everything, I really don't know how parents do it when they're out of the house all day and then have to come home to chaos. My hat's off to you people. Working half-time has already crunched my schedule a bit. I can't imagine trying to get it all figured out if I worked 8 to 5 every day.

I am still crocheting. But I haven't completed anything so I have nothing to show for it. I want to make myself a big shoulder bag for summer, but I have to buy yarn for it and I haven't decided yet what color I want to use. So by the time I figure it out, it'll be done just in time for winter probably. That's how I roll. I started making myself a cowl in March, people. How ridiculous is that?

I guess I'd better go get ready to get the girl child since school is getting out early and all. Blargh. Maybe I can get a parking spot in front so I don't have to get out of the car. It's freaking cold, dude.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Workin' girl

A job got me.

I can't really say "I got a job" because it wasn't like I was looking for it. The job found me. Right now it's only half-time, and I may or may not be working through the summer, and I may or may not take on more hours in the fall -- kind of all depends on what's in the budget, but the boss wants me to have as many hours as possible. I'm gonna be a secretary! "Office assistant" is the official term. Office Ass.

So I'm kind of a little worried about how things are going to go with the kids. I had fully planned on going back to work when Zach started school, but this starts in just over a week, so I'll have to deal with the rest of the school year and maybe summer too. And I'm just not used to leaving the kids with babysitters. I know people do it all the time and everything's just fine, but I'm not sure how *we* will handle it, you know? I have a lead on a good daycare lady, but I'm a little unsure how we'll handle the days over the next couple of weeks when he gets out of school at 11:30 but I'll be working until noon.

It'll all get worked out, I know. And I'm not SUPER worried, I just don't have the answers yet. I don't like ambiguity.

Also, I need a haircut this week, because I don't want to start a new job looking like Chachi. Which I do right now. It's not a good look. It's a shame because it's almost as long as I wanted it, but whatevs.

I gotta get some new pants. My "nice" pants, which really aren't all that nice, are too big. Boo. But that means I get to go shopping! Yay!

Monday, April 1, 2013


I cannot crochet. I have crocheted so much that my body is rebelling. Right now when I pick up the hook and try to make a stitch I get this nasty cramp across my palm. So I'm not going to crochet today, and when I go to Walmart tomorrow I'll try to get a hook handle thing that's big and makes it easier.

So since I can't crochet, I have to do other stuff. Like rambling about random thoughts I have.

My kids are hilarious. Seriously. I feel so bad for people who don't have funny kids. I feel even worse for people who do have funny kids and don't realize it. I mean, really, kids can be so annoying. They get up early, they wake you up in the morning for stupid reasons like they can't reach a certain toy and "need" you to get it, they run around shrieking like crazy people, they make messes, they fight. If they don't make you laugh, how do you survive parenthood? Truly. I can't understand it. I think kids should be funny in direct proportion to how annoying they are. That seems to be true for mine.

Zach's room needs to be painted and re-furnished and all that happy crap. And I am so not looking forward to it. Claire's was fun because I know how to decorate for a girl. I don't know how to decorate for a boy. I think it'll end up cool, but it's harder.

I think naps should be required by law.

Holiday food is my favorite because I always make a ton of it and then I don't have to cook for several days. Doesn't even have to be particularly delicious, you know? But holidays are the rare time when leftovers seem to be just fine with everybody else, so it makes me happy.

I'm done now. Gonna go try to grab my lawful nap. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

En garde! (finger guards)

When I'm doing something, I like to be in complete control. You might call it "uptight." But I wouldn't. No, I'd call it "precise." Crocheting is no different for me. I keep my yarn tight so my stitches are tight and even. There have been times that my yarn has gotten a little looser, and I have to frog those stitches because I don't like it. (This is why I can't knit. The yarn is too tight and I can't get the needle into the loops.)

But being so precise takes a toll on my hands. I am rubbing a raw dent in my index finger where the yarn wraps over it. Since my stitches are so tight, I have to use my middle finger to push the hook through the fabric, so I'm getting a nasty callus there. And my pinky is getting so raw from where the hook handle rubs that the skin is splitting in the knuckles. Hooking is not for wimps, y'all.

So in order to save on Band-Aids and hand lotion, I decided to make some finger guards. I had some of this vinyl stuff left over from when my mom made the kids cowboy costumes a couple of years ago, and I figured that would be thick enough to protect my skin but not so bulky that it would get in my way and make my stitches loose. So, armed with my trusty hot glue gun (which again reminded me that hot glue is HOT), I proceeded to make some really fugly glove things.

Which did not work AT ALL. I'd show you, but I already cut them all to hell trying to make them work.

Anyway. So on to the next idea. I remembered that I had some mateless "one-size" knit gloves (which have never fit me properly because I have giant alien fingers) in the glove bag. So I proceeded to cut some fingers out of them and make something that worked. I couldn't leave them whole because then I wouldn't be able to feel, and plus it would make my hands hot.

So this is what I came up with. 

(Shut up about my manicure.)

Yay! I'm going to look for some cheap ones with grippy palms, because I really need a grippy pad for my right thumb but the only grippy glove I had was a lefty. So right now, as you can see, the thumb pad is not connected to anything, which means it's going to get lost, so I'm going to cuss, and really that'll just ruin my day.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Things I have learned from The Big Bang Theory:

1. When using a pumice stone on your feet, you should go with the grain.
2. Astronauts need special toilets on the space station.
3. If you have a laser that's powerful enough, you can bounce it off the moon.
4. There are LOTS of Spiderman comic book series. You can't just go to a comic book store and pick up the latest issue of "Spiderman."
5. Wil Wheaton is freaking hilarious.
6. If prepared improperly, the root from which tapioca is extracted is poisonous to humans.
7. The capybara is the largest member of the rodent family. And it eats its own poo.
8. Depending on when the comic you're reading was written, Green Lantern can be defeated by either wood or the color yellow. Which is stupid.
9. Engineers typically don't need anything beyond a Master's degree to be super-successful.
10. Nerds are awesome. Which actually isn't news. I already knew that. :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bag lady

I finished my little bag!

Like I said before, it's smaller than I thought it would be. But as it turn out, it's the perfect size to hold one ball o yarn. And the right single crochet stitches are great for holding my hook and needle. I just thread them through a couple of stitches and they stay put. So this is now my "take it with me so I can crochet while I wait for people" bag.

It won't hold a large project, but for what I'm working on right now, it's pretty perfect. It could use some kind of coordinating trim at the edges, but I don't have any yarn that I want to use for that right now, so I'm leaving it as is.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Just a moment for some serious business.

I've been thinking a lot lately about "good moms." Seems like a lot of parents I know feel like they're failing in one way or another. Or lots of ways. I know I do. I feel like a failure because I get so frustrated by behaviors that never change, that seem ingrained into the tiny personalities that I've brought into the world. And they're my kids, so I should love everything about them, right? And if I don't, then I'm a horrible parent. Right?

But this morning, after an email exchange with a friend who's struggling with some of those thoughts, I realized that we DON'T have to love everything about them. My kid is prone to angry outbursts. Sometimes he gets violent. He screams often. I don't have to love that. I can be frustrated with that, I can wish he didn't have that aspect of his personality. Sometimes I can even wish he would just chill out for two hours so I could drink my coffee without having to hear any yelling, or without having to argue with someone about why I don't feel like cooking a five-course breakfast at 6 a.m. And sometimes I can cry and think, "WHY ME?!" And that doesn't make me a bad person, or a bad parent.

The trick is remembering that they're people. Kids are people. And people are flawed. We don't have to love their flaws. We don't have to love their behaviors, or their morning breath, or the choices they make, or the friends they hang out with. We don't have to love the boyfriends and girlfriends they bring home. We don't have to love the way they sing at the top of their lungs in the pre-dawn hours, or the bedtime arguments about every little thing. We don't have to love the dried toothpaste they leave on the bathroom counter, or that super annoying baby voice they've recently discovered. We don't have to love it when they throw toys, or scream, or hit their siblings. None of those things require our love or acceptance. But we do have to LOVE THEM ANYWAY. It's not about loving all of who they are or what they do. It's about loving them anyway, regardless of who they are or what they do.

Our kids don't need our acceptance for everything they do. And if it's something that needs to change, by all means, we need to tell them, and try to help them change it. But they do need to know that thought everything, we love them anyway. That's all that matters.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's not a sale or anything

Feeling a little grouchy this morning because of the ridiculous amount of misinformation about DST this week. 

Daylight Saving Time. Not Daylight SavingS Time. There's no coupon here. And I don't know why it's even called "saving" when it doesn't save a thing. It just changes things.

It's also not "normal" time. Setting the clocks back in the fall is when we go back to normal time. People in Arizona live on our "winter" time. That's why setting the clocks forward in the spring has a special name, and setting them back in the fall doesn't. If you grew up in Arizona and then moved to another state, DST is actually the new thing you're having to get used to.

It doesn't actually "save" anything. There's not "more" light. It just lasts later into the evening, because it starts later in the morning. Which people would realize if they were used to getting up before dawn, but I understand that most people don't have insane children who think 5:30 is a perfectly acceptable "good morning time." There are still the same number of hours of daylight in the day. It's just the number on the clock that's different.

Some people prefer DST, and that's ok. Everybody has their preferences. But I do wish more people understood what was actually happening. You're not getting more of anything. Use a little logic. Our clocks do not dictate the spinning of the earth or its rotation around the sun.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hobbeh Lobbeh

What does $40 get you at The Lobb?

A whoooooole lot of cheap yarn. And a thing of Sticky Tack.

Sad part is, all this yarn is already spoken for. And I don't get to use any of it for something for me. Don't you feel sorry for me, using all this yarn on other people? :P

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Run like the wind, zombies!

Just a short random thought for the morning:

I hate it when the wind rattles my living room window. It sounds like the zombies are trying to get in. But then I remember that there's an egress window right below the one in the living room, so zombies wouldn't possibly be able to reach the living room window to rattle it.

No, they're much more likely to try to get in through the basement.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Waiting for spring...

I'm so tired of all the germs. Seriously. Somebody has been sick in this house almost constantly since December. And Claire has been waking up in the night throwing up every two weeks on the dot. Seriously. It's always Thursday nights, meaning she misses school on Friday, and she's fine by Friday afternoon. I'd think she was faking it except, hello, who would want to MAKE themselves throw up in their bed and then do it again? Nobody. I'm considering doing a craft project where I made a pretty puke bucket for her room. 

Also, I want sunshine. And warm breezes. I want to be able to take walks again. I miss doing that. And I want to open the windows (on days that the neighborhood doesn't smell like hot poo) and not feel so penned-in. And I want to see if my flowers grow back this year. And whether or not I killed my hostas. I think I might have.

I am really glad that winter got one last hurrah though. We'd gone two winters with almost no snow, and the one good snow we did have this year was all melted by the time we were over the flu, so the kids didn't get to play in it at all. But now that's it's been here for about a week, and it's all crusted over from melting and re-freezing, I'm ready for it to go away.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's hip to be square (har har har)

Who even sang that song? I bet they're sorry now, since people are always quoting it whenever they reference a square and are trying to be cute. I wonder if they come across it on blogs like this one and roll their eyes. "Oh, that's SO clever, never heard that one before."

I decided I needed to understand the granny square concept. But I don't like most granny squares. They're holey and frankly, I can't understand how you could get warm under an afghan with holes the size of Texas. I like my blankets to be more solid. Little holes, ok. Big holes, not so much.

So after a little bit of looking, several failures, and an afternoon spent trading pictures with and asking stupid questions to my friend Cindy, I settled upon this pattern: http://www.angelfire.com/mi/givinghands/simplesolid.html I think I probably got there from Ravelry, but who knows at this point? Anyway. It took me a while, but I finally came up with a square that looked really freaking great:

I like that it's not super girly, it doesn't have any enormous cavities, and best of all, IT'S A SQUARE. *I* made a square. Actually, as of now I have made 11 squares. And I only have about 200 more to go to make the size afghan I want! :P This will be an ongoing project. Thankfully I ran out of white yarn so I had to move on to something else for a while. The whole thing won't be white though. I'm not trying to go all bridal or anything.

Making these squares (and all the ones I screwed up before this one) has given me some insight into how granny square patterns are made. I'm tossing around some ideas for new patterns in my head. We'll see if any of them come to fruition.

This bag is not what I thought it would be...

For my second project, I thought I should make a bag to keep all my yarn and stuff in so I would stop leaving it all over the house. Yarn gets messy. Also, it's verrrry tempting for curious fingers and they make spectacular knots. So I did some searching and found this pattern: http://www.beginner-crochet-patterns.com/crochet-bag-pattern.html  The bag is super cute, and since the website is called "Beginner Crochet Patterns," I knew I could handle it. I don't like brown, so I decided to use this pretty purple variegated yarn I'd bought when I got the kids some craft stuff. And then I got to work. At first it was going all right, but then I realized that there were ridges going in a spiral on my circle bottom. The lady's circle bottom didn't have any ridges. So I did some Googling and realized that I was going through the back loops only when I did my stitches, and I was supposed to go through both. So it all got frogged and I started again, the right way this time.

I swear to you that my bag is not Day-Glo. It's actually very soft and pretty. My iPod doesn't take great pictures when it's dark and I'm sitting under a lamp.

Anywho, I began to realize that this bag was not going to be nearly large enough to keep my yarn in. It's more like a little purse. I don't really carry purses, especially ones that don't close tightly at the top. But whatever, I got this far, might as well finish it, and I figured if nothing else I could use it to carry around my current project when I take it out of the house, since I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot of crocheting at the park when it gets warmer.

I got the sides of the bag done, and then started on the handle. Look how far I got!

See? Pretty colors. Not neon. And it was going along so well, and it was pretty easy. And then all my yarn got tangled up because that's how my life goes and I had to cut the knot apart, and now it's all in short pieces and I'm probably going to end up needing a second skein because it was already going to be cutting it close BEFORE the epic knot. So. This one is remaining unfinished for now. But I'm going to Walmart tomorrow, and that's where I got this yarn the first time. I'll get another skein and finish it up soon. But since I don't really like to follow patterns, I'm of course changing this one a bit. I probably won't add any flowers, or the bow on the handle, because I'm not a flowers and bows kind of girl. I'm just going to make the handle meet in the middle and join it flat, and then add an edging in dark purple. I mean seriously, can you see ME carrying around a bag with a bow on it? I think not.

Mah first project

I made this a while ago, but I'll go ahead and post it because really, it was the beginning of the downhill slide into chaos. :P

One day I went to ShopKo on a whim. I bought myself a crochet hook. I bought myself a ball of yarn. I looked up a tutorial on how to make a starting chain and do single crochet. And then I decided to make a scarf for Claire. Things were going pretty well at first, and I was making it like you would normally make a scarf, with my rows running along the short side and adding rows to make it longer. But since the yarn I bought was different colors (self-striping? variegated? I don't know) it was looking like blocks that weren't even at the edges:

Which is kind of ok, and would have been perfectly fine for a first crochet project. But I don't like blocky things. And it was a little too wide for her little neck, and not long enough. So I frogged the whole thing and decided to switch things up. I made my starting chain the length of the long side, and added rows to make it wider. That changed how the colors looked:

Which I liked a lot better. Experienced crocheters might notice that I was not in fact doing single crochet the correct way, since I was going through the back loops only instead of both. It made a cool texture though, and I didn't notice what I was doing wrong until I tried to make a bag and it looked nothing like the picture in the pattern I was using. Anyway. Here's the finished scarf:

I think it turned out pretty sweet! Claire loves it. I'd post a picture of her wearing it but she's at school and I know I'll forget later.

So this is what happens when you have no idea what you're doing and you decide to make something willy-nilly without a pattern or any concept of how to make what it is you're making. But it was a good learning process, and I think the finished product ended up pretty cool.

Going rogue! (Thank you Sarah Palin for ruining that phrase for everyone.)

I just started crocheting, what, three weeks ago? Maybe a month? And already I think I can go off-pattern. Or just forget the pattern altogether and just make something. Pattern shmattern. I cook the same way. Who needs a recipe? I'll just throw stuff in a pot and see what happens. What happens is usually fabulosity on a plate, so I'm good with that. Maybe it'll be the same with crochet! This method does not work with baking, since I don't know enough about the chemical process of baking to be able to go off on my own. Stuff doesn't rise right if you don't use the right ingredients. It's going to be similar with crochet, so I'm trying to learn more about the basics of shape and construction instead of just "I'm going to make this bag." Hopefully if I can learn how all the pieces work together, I won't have to worry so much about finding patterns to start off with.

So anyway, I decided to start this blog because a) I can't stop giggling about the notion that crocheters call themselves "hookers" and I wanna do it too, and b) because... um... I guess only the first reason. Since I snagged such a rocking address, I thought I should use it. I'm probably not just going to post about crochet, because let's face it, I'm slow at making things and also I would get bored with myself if all I ever talked about was yarn. Not that there's anything wrong with blogs dedicated to yarn work. I love and read several of those. That's just not my thing.

Later taters! Happy hooking!