Saturday, December 27, 2008

What she does on her days off

I'm a woman possessed.

In preparation for the new year, I'm organizing...not my closets...not my stash...not my home.  I'm organizing my Neopet's stuff.  I'm busy clearing out, selling, auctioning, and demolishing my house so I can re-build now that I have mega amounts of neopoints.  They have new neohomes in beta form, but I don't actually like those as much as the classic, so I'm re-modeling and getting rid of crappy furniture that I don't really like but bought because it was cheap and available.

Similar to how I've furnished my own home:  early garage sale.

I did a lot of knitting last night.  I'm using the Plush in red to knit a prayer shawl.  Actually they're more comfort shawls since I mainly watch movies or tv while knitting.  This one is in the baby fern stitch, which looks pretty good in Plush.  Not as sculptered as in Vanna's Choice, but nice, nonetheless.

Tom is off at his family's Christmas party.  I didn't go, of course.  He asked me several times but the closer we got to the date, the less interested he was in going himself.  Yesterday as I was bringing the groceries in the house after shopping, he informed me he was suppposed to bring something.  I fixed up a pizza casserole for him to take although it was a bit light on the mozzarella since I hadn't gotten anymore.  He was appreciative.

They didn't draw names this year because no one could agree on whether they wanted to or not. One sil wanted to donate money toward Tom's nephew who is being treated for cancer.  Other sils didn't want to do that so sil 1 was a bit miffed (deservedly so, in my opinion) and another sil wanted everyone to just exchange ornaments.  But that idea kind of fell through, too, so they're just getting together to nosh and get caught up.  Since they always talk about things that matter only to them and about people I've never met or heard of, they're better off if I just stay home.

Which is where I am.

Fortunately Zach is working tonight until closing so I had a ready excuse not to attend.  

It seems odd to be home alone.  It's not something that happens often so here I am clearing out my Neopet's home. 

I should be knitting.

It's nasty weather out.  Very foggy with people driving without their lights on.  It never ceases to amaze me that people don't know that when it's foggy, you turn your lights on.  It doesn't matter that YOU can see.  WE can't see YOU.  Why is that so difficult?

I've heard that three more inches of snow is coming but that can only help because the snow out there now is black and brown and yugly.  A light frosting to freshen things up would be nice.

But it was nice that the furnace didn't kick on all night.  I did like that.  In fact, I was stripping off layers of clothing all night and throwing back layers of covers as the night wore on.

I don't feel like spending my time alone cleaning the kitchen but I suppose it has to be done. That's the thing about cooking I don't like:  cleaning up.  But if I don't do it, it won't get done.

Off to watch Midsomer Murders and knit on my shawl for a while.  I seem to be knitting more and more monogamously of late.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa was pretty good to us this year

We did okay in spite of it all.

We got Tom a butchering kit that he's still raving about and Zach got him a Winchester knife set that he keeps fondling.  Must be love.  

Zach got a Zelda t-shirt.  I think the picture is from Twilight Princess, but I'm  not sure.  He also got an insulated hooded sweatshirt, Wall-E, and Prince Caspian.  Plus, I finished his sweater last night.  I was seaming at 1 a.m., but it was under the tree when he woke up.  Or when we woke him up.  I swear that kid has only gotten up on his own one Christmas, and that was the one with Tom out to sea and I was up until 3 a.m. wrapping presents because Zach didn't go to bed until 2 a.m. And at 6 a.m. he was ready to open the gifts.  Otherwise, we've always had to wake him up.

I got Buffy, season 6 and Love, Actually.  Truthfully I bought Love, Actually and gave it to Zach to wrap for me.  He's been putting his money in savings and I didn't want him to spend any of it on me.  I told him to take some money after Christmas and spend on himself.  Not a large amount, but he hasn't bought himself a video game in nearly 2 years so I think he's entitled.

Stephen called first thing.  That was such a wonderful gift, to hear from him.  He's doing well and is establishing himself as a father to his kids again.  Plus, he's doing well professionally.  Heaven knows he's paid his dues.

I'll call my parents later on.  I don't call when the party is going strong because I always have to compete with everyone else for anyone's attention.  I'll be talking to someone and they'll suddenly answer someone else.  Makes me think they weren't really listening to me at all.  So I'll just wait until it quiets down.  I'll mail Mom and Dad's stuff after the first of the year.  I'm just going to get a care package for them instead of making it Christmas gifts.  

I've got a chicken roasting in the oven and some baked potatoes for Tom.  I want mashed so I need to get in there and start peeling.  Stuffing for Zach and me.  Tom won't eat it.  And then corn for everyone.  No dessert.  We've got some fresh fruit left over and if we get peckish later on, I'll make a cobbler or something.  I have some frozen fruit that I use with a muffin recipe to top it and use splenda instead of sugar.  It's pretty good.

And crackers to pull before we sit down to feast.  I started that a few years ago and we still have 6 left so we'll make it through next Christmas and then decide if we're going to continue since I doubt if Zach will still be around.

Off to do the cooking and then we have to get outside and shovel the sidewalk.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

To those of you who celebrate it.

I'm trying hard to be positive today but Tom didn't get his bonus this year and I was counting on it to help pay the property taxes.  This is going to be a very lean year for us, even leaner than the last one.

Still, in spite of all the snow on the ground and not being able to make the Christmas Eve service at church, I'm going to try to put on a happy face for everyone.

I'm even going to attempt to keep the negative out of my blog from now on as well.

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas has a great one and I'll see you on the other side of the holiday.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm not dreaming of a white Christmas anymore

Zach and I just came in from shoveling 4 inches of snow (and drifts) from the sidewalks and driveway. Apparently there is much more coming, depending upon which station you listen to, of course. I think I can safely say we're going to have a white Christmas. Pretty darn sure, anyway.

I vented a lot while shoveling, particularly about how we make sure Tom can get to work, yet he won't lift a finger to help us get to church. Perhaps it's not the same though.

I bought us all some warm hats and gloves yesterday. Zach was really happy. We're the ones who are outdoors the most, shoveling snow 2-3 times a week, so we needed them. I hate feeling guilty for spending money to keep warm.

It is a bit warmer outside though: in the 20's, I believe.

The hats are the fleece, earflap kind we used to see lumberjacks wear. I can't tell you how warm I felt out there.

When we came indoors, it was snowing again. And it was picking up momentum so I'm figuring we're going to be out there again tonight so we can clear the driveway again.

It doesn't look like we'll make it to Christmas Eve service either. It's supposed to be putting down about 4-6 more inches of snow tonight with another 3-5 inches tomorrow so I don't think I'm up for driving at night on roads that are a bit slick. I'm a pretty good snow driver. Heaven knows I got a lot of practice last winter driving back and forth to Fond du Lac, but I'm not going out unless it's necessary.

I do have to walk to Kwik Trip to get some stamps though. I have a bill due in a couple of days and while I know it won't get there on time, it will at least get there sooner than if I leave it sitting on the dining room table.

I'm almost done with my Secret Sister's scarf, although there seems to be no rush now that I won't get there before Sunday, although I can sneak it in the church Friday when I go to the library. I never shop on the day after Christmas. Never. But the library is a pretty safe place to go.

I need to wrap presents tonight and vacuum the living and dining room. Today I'm doing laundry and scrubbing the bathroom down. I worked on the kitchen last night but it wasn't a huge undertaking. I do manage to keep up with it. The bathroom isn't dirty so much as it's cluttered.

I'm thinking I need to get a job after the first of the year. I don't know how we're going to cope otherwise. Plus, I'm tired of being cold. I try to put up a good front but 58 degrees is just too darned cold for the house during the day. And 48 last night was miserable so I kicked it up to 50. Still, I'm not sure how I'm going to manage the bills without me getting a job. I'm afraid gas prices will rise after the first of the year and we're barely making it with all the trips to Hartford and Fond du Lac as it is.

It doesn't look like Zach will graduate until the spring of 2010. He's only managed to get 16 credits this coming semester and there will be no way he can fill up the fall semester with about 28 credits. And he has nearly all his core classes and that's all that is usually available in the summer term. Still, it's better he takes both degrees now instead of trying to do it later. But I've told him he'll need to work on getting his license because I can't put my life on hold for another year. He's okay with that. If he takes 151 up from Beaver Dam it won't be much of a problem because it's almost a straight shot, but if he tries to take the country highway route, he'll have difficulties, especially in inclement weather.

I'm off to knit on the scarf for a bit then finish Zach's sweater. I think a shawl out of the Plush will be next. Then who knows. If I manage to get a job, I doubt I will have a lot of time to knit anymore unless I do it while waiting for Zach.

Why can't I get in the Christmas mood?


Monday, December 22, 2008

Enough of winter!

I've been frantically knitting a scarf that wasn't happy with the pattern I was using so I frogged it when I discovered we weren't going to make it to church Sunday. Now I'm working on my Creeping Fern Pattern and the yarn is pretty darned content. Nothing worse than yarn that doesn't like the pattern it's becoming.

Now, the reason we didn't make it to church was because we got about 4 inches of snow. Make that four more inches of snow. The snow plow comes through out street in the wee hours of the morning so I was going to have to get up about 5:30 a.m. to clear the driveway because they always block it and with a car that sits low to the ground, ain't no way it's going to make it over a 3 foot wide, 2 foot tall snow barrier.

The predicted temp for Sunday a.m. was a minus 8 or so with wind chills of -33 degrees Farenheit.

No way was I getting up out of my warm bed into a freezing cold house (set at 48 degrees for your nighttime sleeping) and hop into several layers of clothing to go out and clear the driveway in 5 minute intervals (which is as long as we managed to stay out when the temp was a minus 5 and wind chills at -22.)

So once again I missed church. I feel like we're under a curse or something. First...yeah...we played hookey from church. Doesn't happen but once or twice a year, but we did it. The next Sunday, I had a flat tire. The Sunday after that, I was up all night with acid reflux having been aspirated into my lungs. And then a snow barrier.

I swear they must think we quit coming to church. But I have altar guild for Christmas Eve services so I'm waiting to hear from Betsy to find out just when we'll be doing that. And I do plan on coming to the Christmas Eve service.

But anyway...We're expecting more snow in the next couple of days. About 4 more inches. But it will warm up to a whopping 20+ degrees so we'll hardly need coats for that. Okay, yeah we will need coats but I won't have to wear four layers of clothing.

I'm off to the library because Torchwood is due back and I can't renew it because there is a waiting list. Besides I need to stock up on videos for the coming week since I won't be going back to the library until Friday at least. I finished Hamish Macbeth season 3 last night. I think I'm needing some Midsomer Murders 'cause I'm suffering withdrawal in spite of re-reading the books.

Hope everyone has a great week leading up to Christmas. I don't know if I'll post before then because I've got knitting, present wrapping, cleaning and baking (yeah...I don't do that much) to do this week.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, Happy Holidays to everyone!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Settling in cozy

Depending on which channel you listen to, the snow will start at 6 or 10 p.m. and we'll get 4-12" of the lovely white stuff. Fortunately, Zach's class was canceled so I won't be getting stranded in Fond du Lac, but Tom runs the risk of getting stranded in Hartford tomorrow morning after work. So I got him some cash and have a blanket and tea candles in case he decides to nap in the car for a bit. He can go to George Webb for breakfast but if he tries to stay awake for a few hours and drive later, he'll be a wreck. With three blankets, a pillow and access to a bathroom at work, he should stay warm. And those little candles do help heat up the car.

But I figure by the time his breakfast is done, the roads will be passable if he sticks to the major highways.

I got the weekly grocery shopping done today because I'm not going out tomorrow except to get Zach to work and that's just a few miles down the road from us. Unless they call and tell him not to come in. I don't expect a lot of people will be out tomorrow if we get a foot of snow. We've got snow predicted for the whole weekend and some of next week as well.

Great. Just great. It's like a rerun of last winter.

On the positive side, we've got brand spanking new tires on the car and it drives like a dream. Apparently it was the truck that got new tires last summer. We put new tires on the car two years ago. Still, they should last longer than that.

And I'm not being monogamous with my knitting anymore. I've been trying to find a $5 gift for my secret sister at church but everything that costs $5 and is Christmasy looks so cheesy so I got a $5 skein of yarn and am knitting a scarf for her. I'm using Vanna's Choice in a variegated denim color and using a dishcloth pattern because I think that's the best place to find scarf patterns. This one is the Lacy Mock Cable Cloth by Vaunda Rae Giberson. It looks really good with the yarn. There is no striping to compete with the pattern yet enough variation in color to make it look really interesting. When I get farther along, I'll take a picture of it.

So I was wondering if I'm a yarn first/pattern second type of person. I do tend to fall in love with yarn more than I fall in love with patterns. I get the yarn and then find a pattern to go with it. Not all the time, though, but often enough that I think it's more representative of who I am as a knitter.

I have some red Plush in the armoir waiting for a pattern as well. I had intended to knit a sweater with it but I think it wants to be a shawl.

And I'm having some serious sock withdrawal, but that will have to wait until way after Christmas. I've got some potent bill paying to take care of the next couple of months. But there is light at the end of that wicked tunnel. Our property taxes didn't go up this year. That's the first time in 13 years of living here that they haven't. Not that they are reasonable by any means, but at least they didn't go up.

I got some lovely sleep last night. I left a note for Tom telling him I was sleeping in because I didn't want to drive back from Fond du Lac in bad weather and be sleepy as well and he was very nice about being quiet. And the new curtains kept my bedroom very dark so I got to sleep in a couple of hours extra. I guess that was my reward for sitting in the automotive equivalent of a waiting room for nearly an hour and a half last night and getting out in the bitter sub zero (with wind chill) temps and getting gas so he could get to work.

I was watching Mission: Impossible (the series) last night and fell asleep in the last five minutes of the show and it was an episode I didn't remember. And of course, once I woke up I was awake for a while, so I watched Hot Fuzz from OnDemand and fell asleep in the last five minutes of it. But this time I had the timer on the tv so it shut itself off and I didn't wake up again until 10 a.m. So I got about 8 hours of sleep. And I'm not used to more than 6. It was lovely.

Well, I am off to do some marathon knitting so the scarf is done before Sunday. I've got the rest of Torchwood, Top Chef and Leverage on tape, and the third season of Hamish Macbeth to watch in addition to HBO/Cinemax On Demand. Now I remember why I love winter. Sitting cozy in the house while it snows like the dickens outside.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Did I really say I liked winter best?

I was so pleased with myself yesterday for buying some lined curtains to help with the heating bills but Tom's reaction was that we can't afford it since we have to buy all new tires for the car. I pointed out the savings involved and he seemed to be okay with it after that.

He had to make the appointment at a time during which he will be asleep so I'll be taking the car in. Zach and I just dug the car out of the snow (at least 5 inches, if not more) and lo! and behold! the right front tire was really low. Enough so that I took it and put more air in it now instead of waiting for this evening when I'll take the car in. I'll be holding my breath until I get it to Fleet Farm.

After which I will go and buy the remaining panel for the living room and a set of lined curtains for Zach's room as well. His room has no curtains either and is one of the coldest rooms in the house. And this is a wise investment since I don't know if I can get those curtains again in the future or even get them at the price they are now.

I'm so close to finishing Zach's sleeve that I should be done with it tonight. Then seaming and hiding ends. I love the seaming but hiding ends...not so much. Then I intend to start on some of the UFOs I have lying around the house. Like the neckwarmer and the mittens. I blew out the fingers on my store-bought gloves from last year so I'm wearing the wool gloves I knitted last winter. They are warm unless it's bitterly cold and then nothing seems to help. Stranded mittens might be warmer since my individual fingers can warm each other up.

More than halfway done with Torchwood season one. I've reached an episode I haven't seen yet since we had to give up BBCA midseason. Now everything is new to me.

Zach has one more class on Thursday unless it gets canceled. We're expecting 9 inches of snow then and I'm not sure I want to get stranded up in FDL so I'm hoping they decide it's not a good idea to have people on the road. Oh, heck. I know I don't want to get stranded up in FDL.

Off to play some more Animal Crossing with Zach. We take turns on it and it's my turn now. I just paid off my mortgage and had some construction work done on my home so now I've got another loan to pay off. Why on earth is this fun? is.

Oh, and a by the way...yesterday the hits on my blog really went up so I checked and I've gotten a lot of hits from people googling ravelry rubberneckers. No idea what's going on someplace that they're talking about it but someone somewhere is. And people seem to be curious about it.

Don't you hate it when you can't find out the why?


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The shelf life of snow

Lately, anytime I'm at the computer I have a puppy in my arms and since I can't type with one hand (not to be confused with the sound of one hand clapping) I don't blog as much or comment on others' blogs.

As you can tell, I'm puppy-free for now. But my fingers are also pretty darn cold in spite of the mitts I have on.

And's snowing again. We're supposed to get 5 inches tonight. Yeah...that's what I wanted for Christmas.

So I was wondering the other day, before I knew we were getting more snow, about the shelf life of snow because it looked absolutely cruddy out there. It had rained, the snow had melted and of course, the icky black stuff and leaves and other crap that left the snow looking less than picturesque made me think that the shelf life on this particular crop of snow had expired.

So now we're getting a fresh batch. It's not exactly what I meant, God. I was just musing, not asking for a better view.

And speaking of views, I got some room-darkening curtains today for the living room. Of course a dark room wasn't the major thing on my brain. But thermal and lined were. I had to throw the curtains away over the summer because they were falling apart. I'm sure they had been there since the sixties, at least. And they were rotten. So are the ones in the dining room, but I'll get to them later.

Anyway, I found these at StuffMart for $20 a panel and since each panel covers one window perfectly, I only need three. Of course, I only bought two because I wanted to make sure first. Tomorrow I'll go back and get another one so I can take the blanket down from the other window. I can't really afford all this, but it's an investment. We have pretty new windows but the frame still has some air seepage and that does get frosty. Anything I can do to keep the heat in, I will do. Within reason.

I haven't been knitting much at all. I worked a bit on Zach's sweater and am halfway done with the last sleeve. I should finish up by the weekend and he can wear it to church, which we haven't been to for three weeks for one reason or another.

And just to let you know that we still are having more than our share of bad juju, I looked at the tire on the car yesterday before leaving the college and the right front tire (remember the left front tire blew out the sidewall a week or so ago) has a chunk out of the sidewall and a bulge and split as well. So I'm not driving the car until Tom takes the car in to the place where we bought the tires less than six months ago and has it fixed.

I'm off to play Animal Crossing (Zach and I are playing it together) and then to the basement to haul a load of trash out since tomorrow is trash day and the bin isn't anywhere close to being half full. And then a few loads of laundry to help heat up the basement while I'm working down there.

And tonight, I'm wrapping presents, including the ones I bought for myself. *cough* to watch Torchwood and hopefully finish it before Friday when it's due back.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lazy Saturday

I put my bed back up last night and I am so sore and tired. Fortunately, Tom woke up while I was in the midst of it and helped me with it. I was a bit surprised but he said he "gets it" now as to why I need to rearrange things. If he keeps this up, I might stick around.

He did some of the heavy lifting but Zach and I moved the armoir into the dining room by ourselves and I think I blew out a knee. It doesn't hurt today like it did last night, but it feels a bit "loose" and I think I need to baby it for a while.

It warmed up today and some of the snow melted a bit. Good thing I got the bed out of the basement. Plus, it was nice to just pull the covers down and go to bed. Although it was a tight fit with all the critters in bed with me so I couldn't move at all. I woke up pretty much in the same position I was in when I fell asleep. But it was soft and it was warm and it was my bed.

I fixed a huge supper tonight because I'm sick of casseroles and sick of eating out. Now I'm sick because I ate too much. I feel like an addict with food. I need to sort that all out.

I'm feeling better emotionally. The depression doesn't feel as bad today. Life isn't as bleak as it's seemed in the past. Zach has decided not to go to that party in FDL on Wednesday. Mostly because of the atmosphere. He doesn't like being around people who drink. He's only been around a few people like that but it makes him incredibly uncomfortable. Another reason is the smoking. It makes him ill to smell cigarette smoke. He keeps incense in his room because it wafts downstairs from Tom's room whenever he opens the door and Zach just can't abide it.

But also, he is worried about me sitting somewhere in the car for two hours and the traffic in the downtown area.

But he invited me to his New Year's party for work. I told him he didn't have to do that because it's just in Mayville and I can drop him off and go home until he needs to be picked up again, but he wants me to go with him. He's a good kid.

I know I'm jumping around all over the place but I'm just going where my mind is leading me. I happened to think of another advantage to having my bed back in the living room. More seating. We only have the couch in there and whenever Tom gets there first, he tends to sit in the middle and spread out so no one else can sit there. So if he's in there, I'm in the dining room or at the computer. Not always comfortable.

And on weekends, he has occasionally fallen asleep on the couch and slept there until midnight or later and I've had to wake him up or just tough it out until he finally wakes up on his own. Now it doesn't matter. I've got my own bed.

One day I will have my own room.

I'm off to bed. It's way early but I want to work on Zach's sweater and watch Torchwood and maybe some of the stuff I've taped. I still haven't watched Leverage so I don't know it it's any good or not. PBS is having yet another pledge drive so all my shows won't be on until they're done.

One of these days I'll have something interesting to report here. But for now...boring, lazy me is all you get.

And sore and stiff and whiney me.


Friday, December 12, 2008

I must be invisible

I must be.  In the past three days, I've had three drivers pull out immediately in front of me, one while I was driving 55 mph on the freeway and I had to stomp on the brakes and swerve into the next lane to avoid a collision.  I'm grateful there was no one in the next lane because I didn't have time to look.

And today I was following a huge city truck out of town and when he slowed down to turn left, I was going to go around him to the right but a semi flew past me and I had to slam on the brakes because I couldn't even go forward because he was moving back into my lane.  And he had five cars behind him passing me on the right as well.  

I said a bad word.

A really bad word.

I was stuck in that lane until I could get in front of the line of traffic that was illegally passing me on the right.

I always drive with my lights on but I know these people could see me.

But I did manage to almost finish my Christmas shopping today.  Of course, I only started shopping today.  I'm giving Zach a bigger Christmas than he usually gets.  The past few years we've spent a lot on Tom and Zach has gotten very little.  To the degree that he's not particularly interested in Christmas anymore.  So this year I'm spending more on him and less on Tom.  I rarely get anything for Christmas so I already bought myself the vcr/dvd combo, which cost more than I've gotten for the last three years for Mother's Day, birthdays and Christmas combined.  And it cost a whopping $60.

Yeah...I get a lot of appreciation here.

I still got no knitting mojo.  I think the problem is I'm not in love.  I don't have a pattern I'm in love with.  I don't have yarn I'm in love with.  And I don't have any sock yarn.  That must be it. No sock yarn.  Maybe after the first of the year, I'll mosey over to Loose Ends and get me some of that sock yarn.  I haven't actually been there since they moved down the street.  I'm way overdue.

I'm thinking of moving my bed back into the living room.  It's supposed to warm up this weekend and with a foot of snow on the ground, that means water in the basement.  And that's where the bed is and I really don't want that bed ruined.  Of course, that means a lot of heavy lifting and I'm still so very tired from shoveling.  Or just having fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

But I miss my bed.  I miss being able to sleep sitting up (acid reflux) and I miss being able to just pull the covers down when I want to go to bed instead of pulling all the bedding out from under the couch, pullling the couch out, fixing the broken post in the center that holds the bed up, making the bed.  Then the reverse the next morning.  And the futon is a pain to fold back up again.  You have to attack it from the sides and pull both sides up together and then heave at the last minute to get it to catch so it will be a couch again.

Still...I think it looks like crap to have a bed in the living room, but it's not like I have company aside from the cable guys anymore.  And which is more important:  comfort or impressing the cable guys.

Give me a minute on this one.

Well, if I'm going to do it, I need to start now while Tom is still asleep.  He gets peeved whenever I move furniture.

Not looking forward to all the rain and sleet this weekend and I'll most likely have to go out and shovel the snow away from the house or it will get deep in the basement.

I love being the family dray mule.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Do I really look like a homeless person?

I cut my hair.

I told myself after being bald for several months due to chemo that I would keep it long forever, but enough was enough.  Post chemo hair has been very thin.  So thin that I have to dye my hair blonde to keep my scalp from showing through too much.  So thin that I could wear one of those baby sized rubber bands to put my hair up in a ponytail.  And wrap it twice.

And with all the hat wearing this winter, it's been tangling badly, which is absolutely no fun and I was sleeping on my hair which would wake me up if I tried to move.  Feeling your hair being pulled out of your head in the middle of the night isn't pleasant either.

And it just plain looked bad.  It had no curl to it at all...even after putting in a perm.  Board straight.

I cut it about chin length and surprise! surprise!  I like it this length.  I think I look younger although it does make my face look fatter.  And it's such a breeze to take care of.  Plus, because it is less heavy, it kind of poofs out on the sides, making me look like I've got thicker hair.  Ish. Thicker-ish hair.  I think I'll keep it this length.

Another reason I cut it was because yesterday I mentioned to Tom that sitting inside the college waiting for Zach has made me more visible, of course, and people seem to stare at me.  He made the suggestion that maybe they thought I was a homeless person.

Can't begin to tell you what that did for my self-esteem.

So I dressed for indoors instead of sitting in the car clothing, put make-up on (which I rarely wear...only to church or special occasions) played DS part of the time and read a book the rest of the time.

They still stared.

But at least they won't think I'm homeless this time.


I have a dog shivering on my shoulder but he doesn't like to wear his sweater.  He wants to wear my sweater.  He tries to crawl under it if I'm sitting on the couch even though he has two blankets:  one on the couch and the other in front of the heat vent.  Not to mention his pet bed in front of the other vent.  But he likes the body heat and my sweater has the body heat.  But only when I'm wearing it.

I woke up this morning with a puppy curled up next to my side and cat on my neck.  I must be the hottest thing in this house.

Zach is almost done with school this semester.  He has one class in Beaver Dam and might possibly be done with all the FDL classes.  One instructor is having a party at a Joe's Fox Hut in Fond du Lac.  I have no idea where I'm going to park for the time they're having the party.  I guess I could drive all the way to the campus but that's a ways away.  And I don't know where I'm going to pick him up either.  Where do people in FDL park?  I've only been downtown twice and that was a drive through and traffic was so heavy it was all I could do to watch my lane, let alone what was going on around me.

Still, I don't want him to miss out on college fun.  I'll figure something out.

Well, I'm off to make up the bed and curl up with the remote and watch Rick Steve's travelogue around Great Britain.  I live vicariously.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The sound of me laughing hysterically

Ten inches of snow.  Rather...ten more inches of snow.  Or at least ten more inches of snow.  I'll have to wait for the total tomorrow since it's still snowing.  This is the fourth snow in two weeks time and I'm hereby calling a halt to it.  No more.  No more snow.  I quit!!  Please tell me we won't be having as much snow as we did last winter.  Any more of this and I will be ready for the lovely white coat that ties in the back.  While laughing hysterically.

At least Zach doesn't have school tonight so that's a relief.

But I must say that it was breathtakingly beautiful last night and I wish I had taken a picture of it before we went out there and shoveled it.  Now it looks rather shabby with 5 foot tall mountains of snow where we shoveled the driveway.  And a 3 foot wall of snow where we shoveled the sidewalk.

We were out in it yesterday all day but we had only gotten about 4 inches by the time we got home. I loved the feeling of coziness when we got out of our coats and I shut the curtains and curled up on the couch to read with a puppy on my lap under a throw,  knowing I didn't have anyplace to go until Wednesday evening.  I think that might be one of the best feelings in the world.  

I got season one of Torchwood at the library and am looking forward to watching it after I finish the stuff I taped this week.  Mission Impossible is on ALN so I tape it every night.  The old MI, not the one with Tom Cruise...yuk.  And I taped Leverage Sunday night and will tape it tonight as well.  It looked really good.  I hope it measures up to the previews.

I am making slow progress on Zach's sweater but I can't seem to stay awake once I make up the bed.  I don't think tonight will be any different but it's not like I'm under any kind of time constraints to get it done.  Really I have nothing that needs to be done any time soon.

Sigh.  Still no knitting mojo.  Maybe I need deadlines in order to perform at peak efficiency.

Sorry...laughing hysterically again.   

I finished the Hamish Macbeth series again.  Always a letdown when I do because I do enjoy them.  There is a new one coming out in January.  Maybe I should put my name on the waiting list now.

I've got the first book in the Midsomer Murder series, The Killings at Badger's Drift.  I love the cozy mysteries best.  And doubly best when they're set in Great Britain.  My mind must be coming back because I'm reading a lot more and loving it almost as much as I used to.  I do seem to be reading familiar books but I'm also reading a lot of non-fiction as well.  Something I never used to do.

I'm off to fix supper.  I'm a bit amazed that, while my back was really hurting while I was hurling snow over 5 foot banks, it's not bothering me at all now.  Maybe those muscles are getting toned up a bit.  Heaven knows they've had enough practice of late.


Monday, December 8, 2008's Monday

You get one thing working better and a dozen other things fall apart.

But...just when we have a chance to catch our breath financially, something happens that threatens to drain us again. This time it's the car. Again.

I went to pick Zach up Saturday evening and the left front tire was flat. Flat. We had been having trouble with the tires losing a bit of air and had to check the tires every time I got gas, but it's never been too bad. And the air loss has always seemed so random. Rarely the same tire each time and never consistently the same tire. I got gas Friday and checked all the tires and that one was fine. It was the right front tire that was low. So I was totally shocked to see the tire completely flat.

We had a can of stop-leak stuff, so I used that and drove very slowly to the gas station three blocks away, holding my breath that I would make it without any damage to the sidewalls. It took several cycles of the air thingy to fill it up but I finally made it. I checked for any leaks and didn't see any so I drove off to Mayville to pick up Zach...about 5 miles away.

I checked the tire when I got there and it was was down 1 pound of air pressure. By the time I got home, it was down 5 pounds. I should have switched vehicles so I had the truck last in the driveway but I wasn't thinking so Sunday morning had to skip church because the tire was flat again. Tom took it to the gas station this time but the sidewall on the tire had a gaping hole this time.

And this is where my frustration level goes through the roof. He can't get the tire off to put the spare on. I don't know why everything in our life has to be such a struggle, but nothing on this car is ever easy to fix. When he had to replace the starter, which is one of the easiest things in a car to replace, he had to lift the engine out to get to it. Now the wheel seems welded on. Or was welded on. Tom just came in and...success! The wheel is off. But he worked on it all day yesterday until he had to quit and get some sleep and this morning for a couple of hours instead of sleeping.

So now we can get the car to the shop where we bought the tires less than a year ago and get something done about the remaining tires. For a while we were beginning to think someone was letting the air out because it was so random. I hope our warranty will cover this because otherwise new tires is what we're all getting for Christmas.


I had a chance to put some money in savings this month.

I almost feel like we're being cursed or something.

Anyway...on the knitting front. Still no knitting mojo but I've been working on the hooded scarf and Zach's sweater. My problem is I don't have time to knit until evening and I'm having a hard time staying awake to do it. I fell asleep twice while watching Pirates of the Caribbean I before I had the bed made up. After I made it up, I completely fell asleep during POTC II so I just gave up and went to bed.

It's good that I'm sleeping though. I won't complain about that.

I convinced Tom to start using the space heater in his room. There is no heating vent in that room and he's been toughing it out but the cold has gotten to him this winter like it hasn't before. He said he slept so much better with the heater on...very low...but on. It will add a bit to the utilities but not all that much. But I went to put the plastic on his window and can't get the tape to stick to the window frame. I don't know if it's because it's glossy paint but it just won't stick so we need to do something or all that heat is just going to go outdoors.

Well, I need to get Zach to school much earlier today so I'm off. Since I've got the truck, I don't plan on sitting out in the parking lot but lately I've been going indoors anyway because the cold is getting to me, too. I have errands to run first but I'm just taking the DS and a book to read because I don't want to drag my knitting around in this weather.

Oh, and we're in a winter storm warning now with freezing rain today and 4 inches of snow tomorrow. I'm not as fond of winter as I used to be.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Time flies whether you're having fun or not

I can't believe so much time has passed since I last blogged. And pretty much nothing has been going on in the meantime. I've been flirting with several projects but remain largely uncommitted. I decided I needed a hooded scarf and started one but then I needed to get back to work on Zach's sweater, and then there are the mittens I started and a hat I found in the drawer that is less than halfway done.

And I really want to start on that beaded scarf kit I won from Joan, but with zero concentration at this time, now wouldn't be the best opportunity for starting that one.

And I'm trying hard not to whine about my circumstances on this blog so sometimes saying nothing is better than incessant toddlerhood.

We've had snow here. And I don't mean a light dusting although the weather guys seem to keep underestimating what we're actually getting. Lying liars. Zach had to work today and when I woke up and saw the snowplow had blocked off the driveway and he had to leave in an hour, I got up, put the couch back together, dressed warmly and headed out. Fortunately I didn't have to do the neighbor's access (we have shared access) because Mrs F stuck her head out the window and told me not to worry about it, that they would take care of it. Good neighbors to have, honestly.

Still, it took me the whole hour to get our side done, the driveway and unbury the car. I got Zach to work and then did the sidewalks before I came inside. I didn't want to get warm and then start all over with the cold and the bitter winds again. Still...I didn't do the other neighbor's sidewalk this time. Last year we did hers every single time except one when her son did it. And considering we had already done over 100 inches of snow so far, it really rankled me that he stopped at the property line. And he had a snow blower. We did it with shovels.

So this year, I did hers the first snow but because of Zach's schedule during the second snow (and yes we've already had three snows) didn't get our sidewalk done until the next day but her son came over and stopped at the property line yet again. The guy lives across town, which in this town of less than 3,000 people, isn't very far away. So from now on he can haul his butt over here and do hers every single time it snows this year. I'm totally burned out. Not loving the snow this year at all.

Professor wouldn't go out earlier for Tom but once I shoveled a path for him he went out and wee'd for a long time. The snow was taller than his belly and I'm sure he couldn't find a spot to hike his leg when it was all under snow.

I'm still struggling mightily with the depression. I do tend to withdraw a lot when I'm in the midst of it so I've not been in touch with my family at all. I plan to rectify that this weekend though.

Some things are becoming clearer and clearer for me and others have become so muddied that I don't know that I will ever see the bottom of them again. You would think that at my age I would have gained some wisdom by now instead of being more and more unsure of what is or isn't truth. Maybe if I let my real hair color grow out instead of this blonde thing, it would help with the old/wisdom thing. I'm sure there is enough gray there to at least assume the appearance of a wise old woman.

After all that shoveling this morning I have tons of laundry to do and some vacuuming and the kitchen floor and bathroom to scrub. I love having days off.

And then later on, some Black Books season 2 and the last sleeve of Zach's sweater.