Friday, October 31, 2008


Trick-or-treating is ridiculous. Especially when one in your pod has really short legs, and he's trying to brandish his pirate's sword. Pics have to wait till I get to the shop tomorrow, as camera cord is still hiding. That "deep clean the haus" thing needs to get done soon... preferably before I lose one of the chirruns in the chaos.

Feet and back are screaming. I need a date with the Percocets. Sadly, nothing 'adult bev' to wash it down with (it slows the weight loss, anyway... Gaylen, you were right). I do, however, have some rockin' cool costumes and hats to store away. No-Amy's 'hood is a lab rat's paradise. Not being from 'Suburbia', I was completely turned around and bewildered. The entire time. That's about as freaked out as I want to get on Halloween. Now I'm off to rid myself of the scent of fast food and get horizontal in a medicated sleep. Boo.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Linky-dinks, memes, and the question of the week

I was all set to show you a bangin' cute bundle of Amy Butler fabrics that are being raffled off when the ASG meets in Indy on Saturday, but Picasa ate my photo, and won't burp it up at this time. I then realized that while my anti-Socialist rantings were fun, I was getting behind on my obligatory blogging, so I'll leave you with a nice link list, until I resume my brief stint as political blogger. I figure it has to be short-lived, because the freedom of speech act will be the first one repealed, and an Islamo-fascist bastard isn't worth jail time. (See, I can be reasonable. I was actually considering using a derogatory term for him.)
Here you'll find a charming Canadian, although Rachelle rocks, too. Go see her new 'baby' and say hey.
Go here for a bit of snarky fun humor.
Stop here for pee your pants funny. (Good stuff, youbetcha.)
And finally, for the person in your life who blames Bush for everything... feast your eyes and get a belly full. These are just a few of our favorite sites, because we don't watch... what was that funny French word again? Faux? Right. We don't watch "fo", or any other, broadcast news. Reading. That we are guilty of. National Review. Go get you some. (p.s. Someone owes the citizens of France an apology for screwing with their pronunciation.)

The Melly meme :
4 Things I Did Today:
-Made sammies to take into the shop for myself and the girl-pals.
-Took on (and won) a delivery battle with Fed-Ex for my new knitting patterns (and they are gorgeous).
-Dropped off the test-drive for a visit with our mechanic... he loved it.
-Spent time deciphering the children's babble/drawings/miscellaneous projects and fielded a knitting help-line question from the jail. (Knitting cops are fun to have around.)

4 Things on My To-Do List:
-Switch out every one's summer and winter wardrobes. Seven people. One free day a week. (Better put your money on a different horse.)
-Deep-clean the haus, including vacuuming out the sofa, thereby evicting all the Playmobil free-loaders.
-Bathe and blow-dry Jemima Brown Dog, because she smells like butt and has to be kenneled in the dining room at night. Blegh.
-Get the damn newsletter out. Fer realz this time. I mean it. No kidding.

4 of My Guiltiest Pleasures:
-Monday night television on NBC. Yup. I'm a total freak for "Chuck", "Heros", and "My Own Worst Enemy". It's the only television we watch. Srsly.
-Chili chocolate, especially in truffle form. Creamy dark chocolate with a little pain laced into the ganache. Mmmm.
-Reading British mystery novels. It's criminal, I know.
-Clove cigarettes, and the brief time spent out on the porch to smoke them. A few moments of solitude.

4 Random Facts About Me:
-I can't stand shopping unless it's for yarn, fabric, or make-up.
-I love animals, but am allergic to every darn one of them. Except fish.
-I refuse to die until I get a chance to cruise Hitler's Autobahn. He got one thing right and I want to drive on it.
-I don't actually quilt, though I call myself a quilter. I guess the technical term for me is a "topper". I make quilts to be used and abused, and hand quilting seems terribly 'heirlooms only' for me.

I'm going to be a pain and actually tag a few of you... Marie, Miss G, Jess, Annalea, and the sister-team of D-Fly and Typhoid Tif. Happy tapping. I'll be watching for answers. Feel free to play along. Y'all know I'm prone to prowling the blogs at all hours of the night.

Now to my final task, the "Question of the Week". I'm supposed to tell the other swappers what I think of when I think of Halloween. I have five children. I think it's a lot of hullaballoo for some globbed-up Milk Duds and those weird peanut butter taffys (though I'm strangely hungry now). I used to love Halloween when I was little, but we moved to northern Wisconsin and suddenly the candy-grubbers special day was most usually accompanied thick snow and bitter cold. I don't view it as the beginning of fall, but rather as the end, for in this neck o' the woods, the wind is stripping the hickory leaves from the trees and the bleakness of winter is nearly here. My five costume-requiring chirruns love this Day of all Days, however, so my husband and I dutifully take them to nice neighborhoods to beg candy from strangers. Last year we made notes of which houses gave out the full-sized candy bars. Now those people know how to treat. We don't carve pumpkins most years, because having hollowed-out squash on your porch is an open invitation to possums and raccoons. (Ask me how I know.) Instead, we make luminaries out of brown paper lunch bags and watch the lights dance in the wind (through the windows, in the warmth of our haus).

Geez this ran long. Go take a pee break and stretch your legs. I'll be here tomorrow, before taking my little witches and motley assortment of superheros out begging. If the election goes poorly, we'll need the practice.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Ahhh, some good discussion in the comments. I applaud all the clear thinkers, and 'anonymous' was fun, too. If you're a fan of "Chocolate Jimmy" (just my pet name for Barry, since he's pretty much running Carter's '76 campaign, but with a little help from his terrorist friends) you don't need to worry. I'm sure your boy will get into office no prob, what with all the dead and/or fictitious Democrats who are poised to get out the vote on Nov. 4th. That being said, and it's been proven in at least twelve states... follow the ACORNs if you have any doubts about the validity of my statement, I too am puzzled why only liberals/Socialists are allowed a political opinion. As they are purportedly so 'broad-minded', it's enlightening to see true colors coming through.

The fact that my husband works for the Feds has no bearing on our personal politics. He's worked through three different presidential administrations, and his pay was frozen about three years ago. Controllers do an incredibly difficult job, and the training is no bit of cake. Of all the Government's employees, the air traffic controllers are by far the smallest group, and aside from our military, have the greatest job stresses. There are some controllers who are comfortable with the idea of Socialism in this country, because they are certain they will be the 'elite'. These short-sighted individuals don't recognize the dangers such a world could effect upon their children and grandchildren, and they blissfully welcome Obama's messages of Hope and Change. The change will come and it will be painful to all of us. For every one's talk of how broad-minded they are, how European nations have it so great, and how bass-ackwards the US is, I'd like to point out (just for the record, in case anyone cares how broad-minded Europeans actually are) that civil unions aren't recognized anywhere in Europe (and in fact will get you killed in Arab nations), Belgium kills premature babies with lethal injections of morphine so their society won't be burdened with 'problem children', and the old and infirm are being euthanized in the Netherlands. Oh, baby, sign me up. (Yes, 'anonymous', I know you're trying to already.)

As for sucking the government tit, er, teat. My husband actually goes to a job, five days a week, puts in his hours on position, and is paid for his ability to keep airplanes from smacking into each other. For this he is paid a wage. We receive no government assistance of any kind, and my business is not being assisted in any way with an SBA loan. In fact, I didn't qualify, since I hold no degree in business, and the myth that if you have ovaries you get 'special help' is nothing short of a joke. My business exists because I have a loving husband, great friends who pitched in with labors of love to help when things got sticky, and the trust of my customers who know that when they step in the door, they are welcome no matter what their party affiliation, and they get the best deal on the best fabrics and yarn I can bring to them. As Clementine's grows, so does the list of wonderful people I know, and I'm proud of what we have accomplished in only fifteen short months. Starting a business from scratch has been the toughest thing I've ever done, and my voicing my concerns that the government could come in and crush my dream before it's fully realized is not unfounded. I watched my dad's business die during the Carter years, because, as an electrician, there wasn't any work to be had. The high mortgage rates of the mid to late 70's effectively killed the housing market. He did odd jobs and we became homeless. If you haven't lived in a tent, and scrounged your food, shut the hell up.
It was a crappy existence, but we fought through it, and Ronald Reagan had a lot to do with getting this country back on track. He got the economy going again, and my parents could put a roof over our heads and food on the table. I hadn't even tried the "GOP kool-aid" yet, but even as a girl of thirteen, I knew who had it right, and it wasn't the left. Besides, I'm actually a conservative, not a Republican, but given my choice, I'll take a centrist GOP dude over Mr. "Hopey-Changey" any day. Btw, Sarah Palin is a freakin' rock star in my book, and for all the liberal feminists out there not supporting a woman who has proven herself to be a powerful and effective Governor, shame on you. You're just pissed because she's not some fat chick in ugly shoes. (And I'm a fat chick in ugly shoes, so bite me.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I'm just trying it out. Taking the title out for a little test-run. The United Socialist States of America. Hmmm. Descriptive, short, and for the older generations, the Beatles flashbacks aren't all that unpleasant. The block-long lines for Estee Lauder lipstick will be a pain, but so will shelling out a months' wages for the same.

I realized yesterday that a fair portion of the voters in the upcoming presidential race were spawned after the wall came down in Berlin, after perestroika, after the threat of nuclear war was (temporarily) out of our constant thoughts. I don't send my children to government school, but I don't hear from Other Mothers that kids these days have bomb drills or 'how to survive a nuclear winter' films presented to them as a matter of course. Even for the early thirty-somethings, the misery of the Carter administration is something they weren't conscious for, so the threat to our freedoms and our way of life that the Democrats pose means little to them. Socialism has been chipping away at our American way of life since the 1930's, but it has never been so close. Ignorant people who would rather punish others for achieving success rather than push themselves to obtain higher goals now stand poised to deliver the killing blow to our society. Re-distribution of 'wealth' (a number quickly dwindling down, even in Obama's own speeches) will make our country shrivel and die, for the producers will soon be drained and we will all get to live a life of dictatorial, communal agony. Does no one remember how the Polish suffered? The Romanians? The mess that was the USSR and that plagues modern day Russia still? Memories are short where the mind has not wandered. Apparently, it is now a free-for-all in politics, with empty-headed children at the helm of the government machine, ready to throw our liberties away, so long as they feel someone else is having to take it in the ass financially. Punishment for achievement. Wonderful. Dems are fuckin' brilliant. I'm so going to enjoy my belated retirement. I'm certain by then that there'll be a "next phase" for "oldsters", with a tiny cot and a lethal injection so we don't use up precious resources or increase the carbon footprint of mankind with our useless geezer-breath. Just remember you'll have to own your vote, you might be to blame, and universal karma (because real religion will have been phased out by 2020) is a bitch. Keep your head and arms inside the ride at all times... it's going to be a helluva ride.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Plumb happy

Okay. New plumber-dude is a keeper. He is a soldier, and was in Korea when they pulled their little 'nukes test' deal. (Spine? Check.) Dude is also a problem solver. Upon discovering previous plumber's faux-pas, he was able to rig up a suitable fix with a surgical cut and re-fit, thereby saving me from having to order another Bosch drain hose. (Brain? Check.) And he didn't flinch upon entering the Sunday morning disarray at Becher Haus. (Nerves of steel? Check.) 'Justin Dorsey Plumbing' is getting a big thumbs up for hiring this guy. Now that I know to ask for him by name, I may not need to dose quite so heavily for the next plumbing disaster. (Also the words 'power-vent water heater' didn't send him into cold sweats. I don't know how they found him, but they'd be stupid not to give that man a raise.)

Tonight was the Tosino's annual Halloween party, otherwise known as 'Ron's annual spring-roll fry-up'. I ate eight of them, and Herr Becher had twelve, plus chicken wings and a Philly steak sammie. It was not small. Tomorrow is WW weigh in. I'll be getting on the scale, but I doubt any weight was lost this week. I've packed it on with salt and grease. Totally worth it, though. (Hello, plateau.) Since the damage was already done (and I've been such a goodie-goodie thus far), I had Herr Becher take me past Starbucks where I ordered up a decaf mocha with extra whipped cream. Now I have only to deal with the resultant gastro-intestinal distress and it'll all be fine. Back on the healthy, high-fiber, points-tabulating track tomorrow.

Over-stimulated, sugared-up three year old to deal with. Tomorrow is also sweater class at the shop, I have no clean underpants, can't locate any bras except the one I'm currently wearing, and my roots need touching up. Hmmm. Guess who doesn't get to go to bed till Monday? Yep. I'll be in the laundry room if you need me. C

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bits and Pieces

The blocks of the baby quilt are finished. Now to assemble them, but Herr Becher has to be up for work in a mere five hours, so I can't commandeer the bed to play around with block placement. I suppose waiting until morning will be sufficient. *Sigh* I thought the project was doomed to failure, especially as I went to iron the strips ("press after every pass, or your blocks will look like ass") and the bottom of my practically new-out-of-the-box iron was falling off. Somebody has some explaining to do. I suspect it toppled off the fridge, where it lives so curious Master Eli can do likewise. The boy is a bit obsessed with portable, plug-in-able appliances.

All the 'goodies' for the American Sewing Guild's conference are ready to go, including a lovely bundle of Amy Butler fabrics for one lucky door prize winner. Somehow, I even managed to tie a triple bow... with double-faced satin ribbon. I know. It's been a freakishly productive day all around. Miss Rob dropped by and pinned the last eighty-five or so fat quarters to their cards. What a load off. Thanks, Blondie!

I have another plumber coming out tomorrow (yes, on a Sunday... it's that bad) to re-fix the $332.oo drain hose replacement on the dishwasher that took the previous "plumber" five hours to accomplish. I am not kidding. But at least the leak is in a different place now. That's progress, right? I'm refraining from any snarky comments about how Sears can't service what they sell, how no one seems able to do simple repairs on Bosch appliances, or how I'm not medicated enough to prevent myself from removing my shoe and beating the next useless freak about the head with it, so I'll just go collect the toddler from his continuous loop of "Tom and Jerry" cartoons and head to bed.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wild Turkey

This gentleman and his 'harem' of hens (there were three) came by the house today for breakfast. Right under our bedroom window. (Sometimes living in the woods doesn't blow.)
The aforementioned teensy-tiny ribbons on bitty pins. I've spent the better part of the day attaching business cards onto the fat quarters. The task is nearly finished, and it's time to start another box.
This one has 180 in it, which is over halfway. All fabrics are cut and folded; given my history with the Becher family laundry, this is amazing. Huge. Unbelieveable. But almost isn't all done, so I have to get back to work. The work of many hands. (A huge thank you to Mandi and Robin... you guys rock!) If I work this right, I can be done by tomorrow, with time enough to cut the raffle quilt kit. I need to go bask in the glow... right after I pin 120 more cards to fat quarters. *sigh* C
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

little bits of nothing

Define tedious.

Try tying wee snipets of ribbon to miniture safety pins. For three hours.

I'd show you a photo here, except the spawn of Satan Becher children have removed my camera cord to a remote, undisclosed location. I'm going on a cord hunt. Then I will sit and continue to tie wee snippets of ribbon to miniture safety pins. Back later. C

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Because my family are computer hogs

Posts are pretty skimpy lately. It seems a girl can't just come home and expect a turn on the ol' computer anymore. Last night it was Herr Becher music shopping on itunes until after midnight. Arrgh. The night before was WW night (lost 2 lbs. last week), and I got home late, exhausted, and famished. There was also the matter of some laundry that was so out of control that I wanted to cry. I'm back now though, because I couldn't let the day go by without saying a big Happy Birthday to Miss G. I'd insert a snarky comment here, but her reach is long and her temper is mighty. She's not old in dog years, I can tell you that much. Have a great b-day, G. Eat cake. Drink your g&ts, and sleep the sleep of the drugged. You don't have to have another birthday for a whole year!

I am supposed to do an obligatory post for the coffee-swappy-thingie. (Strangely, this is linked to Gaylen as well.) The topic o' the week is "what makes a 'fall day' for you?" and I am instructed to answer here, in the blog. (Swap rules.)

*ahem* (insert more sounds of throat-clearing here)
Autumn has always been my favorite season. I love everything about it, except the shorter days, because who doesn't need more hours to play in leaves, pick apples (okay, okay, we buy them at the orchard already off-tree... but if I weren't afraid of ladders I so totally would pick them myself), and listen to the hickory nuts falling, hitting our haus roof on their way down. I'd say that's what makes a fall day. The kids playing out in the leaves, coming in with cold noses for hot chocolate, and the jumble of sweaters and caps falling out of the hall closet. The mornings are cool in the haus, and it makes me laugh to see all my children who normally don't want to be anywhere near each other all lined up with their backs against the cooker to warm up. It's hysterical, and one of the reasons we keep the haus at sixty-six degrees for the winter months. Well, that and I love being buried down in the down comforter in a cold room, though it's pretty hard to willingly leave such a warm nest to get up and about for the day.

Well, that's all I've got. I have to secretly e-mail my swap partner to make sure her addy is correct and then I'm closing up shop and driving 'Justice' home. Shoes off. I'm pretty sure that was illegal when I took driver's ed in high school, so I get a thrill from "breaking the law". There I go, being all Rizzo again. (That's for Melly. Just 'cuz I'm not a fan of the musical doesn't mean I'm not interested.)
Latah, knittas. And any coffee-swappees who drifted over. You have my sincerest apologies... I usually try to at least be witty. Today was not my day. Perhaps tomorrow. C

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Day of Rest

Bah! I tortured That Crocker Woman till the devil came up out of his hole. It started innocently enough. I had Bigrrrl, five Becher brats, and a free day. Melly wasn't scheduled for much, so off we went to trash her house and go out to lunch. The restaurant we chose for it's proximity to a quilt shop where I'd hoped to score some 'Minkee' fabric was closed. No matter. We went in for burgers and left hopeful that we'd find other entrepreneurs who would have their doors open for commerce... and after failing miserably, we found ourselves braving downtown Indy, at the only open shop we could locate. A yarn store. Sigh.

First Child and I both came outside after making our yarn purchases only to find Melly and the younger Bechers engrossed in what appeared to be shooting craps. That's right. Squatted down in a corner of the parking lot, dice in hand, the children were playing like their lives depended on it. For the record, and in Mrs. Crocker's defense, I believe the game is called "Left, Right, and Center", but as I've never played... I dunno. They looked for all the world like vagrants in an alley by a Greyhound bus station.

That Crocker Woman continued to chauffeur us around in Bigrrrl, and my Xanax started to make me sleepy and a little whiny. At some point, when I realized all the diet Coke I'd had with lunch needed out, she started finding potholes and a sudden, unquellable urge to stamp on the brakes repeatedly at red lights. I may have smacked her a little. The ride got smoother, at any rate. Thank God she has a toilet right inside her house from the garage entrance, or my bladder-after-five-kids would have come unglued.

Tomorrow is another day for getting things done. Tuesday is dentist/dishwasher repairman/knit-night, and by Wednesday I will have come unglued. I just hope I have a suitable audience. C

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Scenes from a shop

As seen behind the shop sofa: the latest quilt top to grace Clementine's, courtesy of Miss Sheri's fabulous sashing and assembly. It's bright, happy, and polka-dotted. What's not to love? (And do note the perfectly perfect corners. That Sheri is a marvel.)

As chatted up a few posts back: one of the pupa-stage Clapotis. This version is by Miss Karen, who kidnapped a pal and spent the day with me in the shop. Thanks for the very good company, ladies. Her friend Mary may still be wondering what hit her... she left with her First Sock Ever on needles. I believe a 'woot' is in order. (Taking over the universe, one sock knitta at a time. Heh, heh.)

As rumored: the table top in the knit-pit. Robin may pass out when she sees this, but never fear, pretty lady. Horizontal surfaces and I have a history, you see. Or won't see, by the end of the day. I just thought you might like to know I 'straightened' and 'picked up' and didn't explode, though it did make me a bit headachey. A good bit of bourbon would have helped.
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That's all for now. My laundry room awaits me. Thank heavens for the auto-post option. G'night, y'all. C

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kicking and Screaming into the Swap

I blame Gaylen for this. Making me a joiner. Bah. Actually it sounds like a good time, even for a decaffeinated cow such as myself. Big deep breath and in we go:

About Your Yarn Passion
1. Do you knit, crochet, or do both? When did you first learn?
I'm a knit-only girl. I know how to cr*ch*t, I just choose not to, unless it's critical to the structure of the knitted garment (this eventuality hasn't happened yet). I began in college, knitting the world's ugliest, scratchiest scarf for my future husband. He wore it until it mysteriously dissappeared in 1995.
2. Do you like using a particular type of needle or hook? (wood, metal, straight, circular) Is there something you've been wanting to try, or a particular size you always seem to be short on?
I do love my Crystal Palace dpns, but lately have enjoyed the Harmony wood dpns from Knit Picks... though I don't have a full set of either 2 or 2.25 mm, due to the laminates separating. Bummer.
3. What kind of projects do you enjoy making? Any types you just haven't ever gotten into as much as others?
I'm sock-obsessed. I have at least nine pair going right now, and three of those are toe-ups, done together on magic loop. I also enjoy knitting seamless sweaters, and after making scads of them the 'traditional' way, am looking forward to making another one top-down.
4. What's on your needles\hook right now? What's your oldest UFO (unfinished object)?
Socks, socks, socks, a "Taos" sweater, and socks. Oldest UFO would be the sweater kit I bought in 1999, knit all but the sleeves, and bagged it up for the frog pond.
5. If you were going on vacation tomorrow, what project(s) would travel with you?
Um, socks. If it were a long journey, I might start another "Clapotis" or a simple scarf, just to keep my hands busy while I watched scenery go by.
6. What are your favorite types of yarns? Any you're allergic too, or just hate working with? Anything in particular you've been dying to try?
Mohair is not my friend, and I am terribly allergic to angora rabbit hair. I don't like synthetic anything, and alpaca is usually too hot for me. I tend to stay away from most 'crunchy' yarns... anything with twigs or burrs in it is probably not going to find it's way into my stash. Sock yarns are my favorite, especially self-striping.
7. What sort of colors do you love in yarns? Brights? Pastels? More muted colors? Variegated? Are there any you can't stand?
I love all handpaints, even purple, which is probably my least favorite color next to black. I do like a clever mix of colors, the more unexpected the better. Pink and orange together? You bet.

Your Coffee Passion
1. Do you prefer caffeinated or not?
Sadly, my tender heart requires decaffeinated.
2. Whole bean or ground? For what type of pot or press?
Whole bean, though if I find a good ground decaf, I stock it for mornings when I don't want to alert the children that mom's up. A regular old drip pot is how I brew, though sometimes the press gets pressed into service. I try to avoid the silt, though. My all-time favorite, Starbucks decaf 'Breakfast Blend' is being phased out (or so I'm told), so I'm in a bit of a panic.
3. What types of roasts do you enjoy? Are you more the light and lively or dark and robust type?
Light and bright. I worked as a barrista in college and the smell of French Roast kind of gags me. Too many bad ones out there, I think.
4. How do you 'take' your coffee? Creamers? Sweetener? Other add ins?
A third of a Splenda packet (yes, really... sometimes half, but it's almost too sweet) and some 2% milk. I'm a Weight Watcher, after all. Weaning off real creamer was hard, but I'm getting used to it. I practice drinking black coffee once in a while, but that really requires a donut.
5. That first morning cup - is it about the taste, or the caffeine?
It's about the perfume, and the ritual.
6. Do you enjoy going out to coffee shops like Starbucks? What are some of your favorites?
Iced decaf Cafe American from Starbucks, roomy, so I can add skim to it myself.
7. You've just made the perfect cup of coffee - is it in a thick mug, or a thinner cup? Where would you sit to drink it?
It's almost always in my 'Fruit Medley' Longaberger mug. I only had the chance to buy two, so they aren't shared with the general public. My other fav mug is a Valentine's mug from Starbucks. Brown and pink, with the word 'sweet' on the inside. Turrble cute. Coffee is had at table or, if I get to stay home that day, on the love seat in the living room, with a book in my lap.
8. You're enjoying that perfect cup, and have a magic cabinet in your kitchen - when you open it, magically, your favorite treats will appear to enjoy alongside the coffee - what are they? Are they sweet? Crunchy? Soft and flaky?
Toblerone chocolate, chilled to perfection. Dark chocolate, again, cold. Perhaps some home-baked chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and a good lemon poppy seed cake. All good with coffee.

All about YOU!
1. Do you have other hobbies like spinning or scrapbooking?
I'm a wanna-be spinner, but the Louet wheel is still kind of kicking my rear. Drop spindle is fun, too, but I'm lazy and my arm gets tired. I enjoy patchworking, but of course if I want my quilts quilted, I have to send them out.
2. Do you collect anything?
Snowmen Christmas ornaments. Copper cookie cutters in weird shapes. My two 'best' are a bat and a pig.
3. What is your favorite part of Autumn?
The colors and smells of fall, the cooler weather, the excitement leading up to Halloween and Thanksgiving. Carving jack o'lanterns and roasting the seeds. Deciding to make marshmallows to have in our hot chocolate. Buying bags of store-bought jet puffed to eat instead.
4. What sort of scents do you enjoy? Any difference in what you like for your house versus what you like for your body?
Spicy, herb-y smells are best. My inner hippie comes out in a big way in fall, with patchouli scented candles, soaps, anything I can find. Woodsy scents are a big favorite, too, and a bit of cinnamon isn't frowned upon, either.
5. Are you allergic to anything?
Strong florals and vanilla scented things are head-achey, but all I'm really allergic to are small, fur-bearing animals.
6. Are you on Ravelry? What's your ID?
Of course. Camillaknits. I hardly ever go there. It's a time-suck that I never seem to have the luxury for. Sad, but true.
7. How would you spend an ideal fall afternoon/day?
Reading an engrossing novel without interruption, the windows of the house cracked open to let in the sounds and smells of fallen hickory leaves, drinking coffee, and lounging around knitting a sock, or sketching out an idea for a quilt.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Benign Neglect

This has been a crazy week. Even as I planned and presumed to have everything 'under control'; the appointments remembered, schedules kept, and went about my dailies, something had to give way. Son-the-second's oral surgery was so uneventful it's almost as if it never happened (well, aside from the thousand or so dollar bill we got as a cool souvenir). He declines to take any medicine for the pain, insisting to me it ruins his "appetite". Yes, this from the child who lives on pop-tarts and bun- less Kosher dogs. Appetite. In a pig's eye.

The dishwasher is still fritzed, but I'm told if I sacrifice another day of my life to waiting on the A&E repairman, it will be fixed. So, what does a perfectly sane girl do with her standing manicure appointment on Wednesday mornings? Yup. Toes. In the photo above you can see a bit of Miss Vickie's handiwork. If you click for bigger, you can even spot the rhinestone 'spiders' on their webs. I heart me some Vickie. Also, there is a spooky milliner at work in the burg of Franklin. (You can find Miss Susie at "Victoria's" as well.) I may be a bit smitten with the witch's hats. Number 3 is on order. Need to see one on? Melly caught me and stuck me here.

Second Sunday was a fairly productive day at the shop. I love special days at the shop. This month it was extra special because Miss Rob's daughter and her man came and turned the ugly beige walls a clean and decent white... all the better to display bright yarns and pretty knitted things. There is a bit of trim work to do still, but a trip to the lumber mill for trim isn't in the cards just yet. Next week has already gotten stuffed with more stuff to do than I can even fathom. I just have to keep one eye on the list and one on my watch.

Sorry about my bloggy-neglect. I'll try and remember the camera tomorrow for the new quilt photos. That Sheri is a wunderkind at making quilts happen. And it has polka-dots. (insert happy noises here) C
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Baby Steps

As the Great Procrastinator, it's my solemn duty to delay as long as possible, then work like a madwoman at the eleventh hour to whip something up. My baby quilt making has been on a two-year hiatus, as one of my quilts (oh, the sorrow of the ill-fated paper-doll quilt... sigh) was not well-received. Nothing like a kick in the gut to take you out of the game. It has been so bad that I've even left a dear friend's baby and a darling nephew out of the quilt-recipient's line. I just didn't feel safe enough to be creative. But sometimes you catch a break. Someone with absolutely no pre-conceived, Pottery Barn bland, matchy-schmatchy notions gets pregnant and you suddenly feel like playing around again. In fabric. Gutter-heads.

This quilt has been in my idea file for probably seven years... at least. I spent yesterday cutting strips, last night I managed to conquer half-square triangles (we hates them, we do), and with another two passes of fabric around each block, I may be able to call it done. Still behind schedule, and I need to call the quilter to beg for another day, but this 'quilt-of-wild-abandon' has been an absolute joy to play with. Now to ready myself for knitting class. A shower may be in order. Latah, crafty mommas. C
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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Big Whoop(s)

Because, apparently, I cannot be taught to look at a calendar. Tomorrow the knit-pit is getting painted. It is also the second Sunday of the month, the day I designated two months ago as "the one Sunday a month you can get you some" at Clementine's. It's gonna be a helluva day. But, with a little luck, the shop will make enough to pay the piper painters and the fumes may prove to be a big draw.

I now need to go set up the sewing machine, because a certain baby quilt has a date with a machine quilter and she doesn't assemble, dammit anyhow. Also, how important is a monthly knit-night? I'm trying to fit one in this month and pretty much for the next many months, it just isn't looking good. Perhaps I'll host them at Becher Haus. I have a guest room for the long-distance knittahs, and how fun is it to go, map clutched firmly in hand (all No-Amy got was a pencil drawing on a paper plate), out to the woods (cue the "Deliverance" score), to knit in a comfortably cozy, decidedly lived in, aw, hell, now I'm just using commas like they're free, ,,,,, ,,, home for craftiness, good food, and bad jokes? You mull it over, and lemme know. Must sew. Babies wait for no lazy girl. C

Friday, October 10, 2008


There's lots of them standing around here. I may be at the end of my rope, where fabric is concerned, because the bolts aren't pulling their weight. I've tried reasoning with them, pleading with them, and re-arranging them until they seemed to be pleased with their neighbors. It's just that if they don't start bolting (snark)out the door, I'm going to have a nervous breakdown. Yarn is so much easier. I totally get why no one prior to me was willing to take the plunge and carry cool fabrics in this wee burg. It seems there's just too much of a sweetie-granny image to overcome when you are a 'quilt shop'. Obviously, I'm going to need a drastic campaign to get the word out. Ann designed a cool ad to run in the new 'Stitch' magazine. I have my crossables crossed.

Two more 'Clapotis' were unleased into the world today. Did you feel the disturbance in the force? That pattern will never die, even with it's intimidating pfbs. And I've recently encountered some knitters who didn't know about Knitty or Ravelry. Are you okay? I thought you might have bumped your noggin there. Breathing back to normal? Good. Anyhow, I told them both to keep snackies and a bev next to the computer, as they would not be surfacing for awhile. (Hey, I'm a responsible enabler.) Just doing what I can to further our fibery cause. Now to enjoy the relative quiet and knit some on Herr Becher's socks. Or, I could cast on some 'air kiss' and see how it knits up... hmmm. Stay tuned. I might be having a productive streak coming on. C

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Blink and you'll miss it

Here are the winners of the dye-off. Left is the blog color, and since it hasn't been referred to as anything else since it arrived, it's "Smooches, Pooches", and on the right you have "Air Kiss", the shop colorway. I hope to be able to offer these very soon. Pre-orders to commence immediately.
More Lorna's Laces fabulousness. I love new sock yarn. The second one from the top nearly sold out the first day. I put them out yesterday and there's only two left. Cool, huh? I may love me some serious stashers, too. (All hail Susan the yarn-squirrel!)
Oh, and in case you didn't already know Clementine's was a little different, here's a pic from today. Aside from the jumble on the table, what you're witnessing is No-Amy plucking some one's virgin eyebrows. And yes, I got mine done to. That No-Amy is a tiny bundle of cleverness with the Tweezerman's.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just Imagine

Yarn. Supposedly due to show up here today. Oops.

Yes, gentle reader, I got too busy (yay! I can pay the insurance now.) being a shop-keep today to remember the taking pics task I'd set myself upon. It was a lot of upping and downing, but I wore good shoes, and there's knitting on the sofa for this evening. I did risk my manicure to dye up some yarn for a certain blogger's spouse and his football-mania. In fact, I can tell you that it takes leaf and kelly green, sky and royal blue, and a smidge of black to make teal. Like gangrene, but with fewer letters. I need to go hang it on the AGA to dry. And make myself a note to friggen' remember to be a better blogger tomorrow. *smooches* C

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Truly, madly, deeply

Insane. That is pretty much the gist of my morning. That whole 'dishwasher repair' that I called Sears about, the one I endured twelve minutes of haranguing with young Mr. "Engleesh ees almohsst me seecund lahnguweej", during which time I carefully and clearly explained that the repairman would need to bring a new drain hose for the dishwasher, and any other Bosch fittings that may not be standard and on the truck at all times. Repair-dude just called. He doesn't have the proper anything for the Bosch. A second appointment will be required. I already gave up my haircut for Mitchell's crown this morning. Apparently it is my lot in life to be a hostage.

Yesterday definitely had it's ups and downs, too. After narrowly avoiding being flattened by a dually truck and trailer on a blind curve (he had the whole friggen' road... I was run of and barely missed eating the Luther's bricked mailbox), I then blew out the rear right tire a few miles down the road. So much for getting to my knitting class on time. However, once I got there, Monday Mandi surprised me with the Lorna's Laces box. New sock yarns for the shop (currently on sale, btw), and the custom color samples were in there. I chose the ones I liked best, and here is where I'd show you all of them, except in all the turmoil of yesterday, I forgot to bring home the camera. We're rarely in the same place simultaneously anymore. This photo-lacktivity should not surprise any of you. Tomorrow is another day, one in which I hope to have the baby car back, a sun-shiny day to drive top-down, and, if I can stick to the main roads, stay flat-free and alive . One with pretty pictures of yarn in it. If this ass of a day doesn't have me hunting down a good, stout train trestle first.

I'm going to go knit and hopefully chat up my Melly. She's up to some wicked cute crafty goodness. Or badness. Depends on how you view obsession. It rocks, at any rate. Go knit. Then come back. *mwah* C

Monday, October 6, 2008

Manic Monday... again?

So, apparently I am incapable of the 'daily post' lately, and this disturbs me to no end. Will try and reform my lazy ways this week, though I may have to settle for five of seven until Becher Haus runs more smoothly. The dishwasher has been broken for over a week, and the ensuing piles, nay, massive mountains of dishes this family generates has both overwhelmed and consumed me. I'm not a hand washing kind of girl. My sanity dictates that I have the proper tools for the job, which, up until two Fridays ago, was the damn dishwasher. My nerves and manicure are shot, and the repairman is supposed to be here tomorrow. Regular postings to resume once I'm free of dishpan hands.

The October newsletter is getting sent off today for tweaking. Sadly, the photos I'd planned to put in aren't going to be available, unless the UPS man pulls off a miracle and shows up with not just the new 'Harry Potter' Opal sock yarns, but the shipment from Lorna's Laces, as well. There is a special surprise in that shipment... the custom color samples for both the shop and this here blog. Yep. I may have completely slid out of my tree, but the custom colors idea totally grabbed my attention back at the start of summer when I ordered them. Now, I'm agonizing over names, because, while I could just call them "CamillaKnits" and "Clementine's", I thought they should have cutesier names like "smooches, pooches" (for the blog), and "air kiss" (for the shop). At any rate, this leaves me with a big, fat 'fingers-crossed' for the day. I go in to teach the sweater class at 2:00, so I'll know by tonight if I have photo fodder for the newsletter.

Today is also weigh-in day for WW, and according to my bathroom calendar, where I've started writing down my weight daily (I blame Herr Becher for this OCD madness... he started it), I have lost 5.6 lbs this week. I know. Nuts, right? I'm just following the program, not cheating, "writing before biting", and just generally making a nuisance of myself. I have also instituted a rigorous exercise regime this past week, called "watch Cami hitch up her pants repeatedly". I discovered flipping the waistband down would allow me to walk without the crotch of my jeans slipping more than three inches lower than it should, but srsly, I'm sick of my fat pants. They're exhausting. Dog is barking. Must go see what's what in the yard. *smooches, pooches* (See, that totally works for me. What say you?) C

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My favorite things

Above you will see the cuteness herself, HRH 'Justice', aka 'Just Us', in her new digs. She got to go to work with Herr Becher today, as the Fall Festival is in full swing, and there wasn't a parking spot within three blocks of the shop this morning. I even came in an hour early, hoping to beat the mobs and hoardes. No such luck. Ah, well. At least I have good knitters to soften the blows of everyday life. A darling woman sent me a Starbucks card earlier this week (Thanks, G!), and in yesterday's mail, well... see for yourself...

This, my fibery-friends, is a sampling of Stephanie's latest endeavor. She's just opened an Etsy store to market her beautifully dyed fibers and yarns, and soaps. Oh yes. The 'citrus sparkle' wool wash bar she sent is incredible. It actually smells good enough to eat, though as a child I ate an awful lot of soap, so I may be more of a connoisseur than most people. Just trust me, you want some. Go, now. You won't be sorry. Buy lots. This is seriously stashable stuff. Srsly.

More photos of yarny-goodness. I think I have them named, though the plan to give them all 'Halloween-y' names didn't work out as expected. I blame the yarn. It just isn't spooky enough. So, from the top left, clock-wise, we have 'Strawberry Macaroon', 'Sweet-Tarts', 'Chocolate Cherry Kiss', 'Harvest Party', and 'Hydrangea'. I know. They refused all other monikers, even as I warned them they could wind up a "one of", never to be repeated again. Still, they are all currently available, until the next batch of superwash shows up for dyeing. I make no claims or promises what may happen next time.

Well, I'm ready to sit down with my breakies and knit, since it's crickets around here. Call me if you need anything. I'm trapped in festival hell, so I'm at your disposal. C
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Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall, y'all

The fall festival is upon us. Officially, the 'festivities' begin tomorrow, but Governor Daniels is in town today, with all that implies. Streets cordoned off, men with bippies in their ears being all stealthy in the alley as the Governor prepares to speak, and an air of general deadness in all the shops no one can get to, with the news trucks sucking up all the parking. Luckily, I drove Da Baby into work today, and was able to execute a snazzy, illegal parking maneuver (man, is she a teensy bit of cuteness!) to finally get a parking spot. It's not the first time I've ignored a one-way... probably not the last, either.

I neglected, in my rush to the ENT appointment, to pack the camera, but there'll be car photos aplenty tomorrow. For today, I just have to concentrate on not gagging every time someone opens the shop door and lets in the fish-fry fumes from the Lions Club tent across the street. This twice-yearly ritual of stinking grease is to be borne with smiles and the knowledge that I am a Weight Watcher, and it's sooo not not worth the points. Just a little positive spin on the stinky fish.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Melted Down

The past forty or so hours have felt like years. The plans for Monday night's movie with Red, No-Amy, and Melly got sidelined by me getting a touch of Herr Becher's illness; by two Monday afternoon I was exhausted and nearly a blubbering mess. A hot shower and crawling into yoga pants with my knitting cured some of it, as has going to bed much earlier than usual this past week. I guess I'm not such a comeback kid as I thought I was... geez, is this what getting old is? Piss. Just piss. And an f-bomb in there, too. I'm OLD, so I can swear. For fucksake, Norma.

Tomorrow the man and I sign the loan papers for my midlife-crisis-mobile. I'm hoping he'll go with me to pick it up Saturday, and we can ditch Lurch, the Jeep the same day. The best laid plans. So far plans have been kicking my arse all over the place.

In other news:
*The throat seems to have halted it's healing process. It got bearable, and then stopped getting better. Seems like the earache would go away at some point, too, but this transference of pain is considered 'normal' and is 'to be expected'. So you'd think maybe they'd expect to throw more meds my way. I've taken to hoarding my percocets and calling them "Precious"... yeah, in the creepy, hissy voice.
*I found a terrific source for fabulous knitting patterns, and they do trunk shows. Now, you may be thinking "why, I thought all pattern companies do trunk shows", but that's the weird part. This resource (for lack of a better word... could I call them magic, sweater-providing faeries?) does it without all the rigmarole. No "buy thirty bags of ass-ugly yarn and put down a $1,500.oo deposit to get the goods six months out of season" crap. Just an honest, achingly simple "buy six patterns and keep the model for three weeks" program. I almost wept for joy. More about them in the October newsletter.
*Yeah, about that. Oct. newsletter to publish this week. I might be slow. Or old. See first paragraph, above.

So, all of a sudden I am a curmudgeon. I was already a larval-stage misanthrope, styled after one of the highest order (Florence King is a goddess). But tonight, I was treated to an evening of Melly, and she cooked dinner and folded laundry and made my kids vacuum and put their things away. Relaxation happened. My brow unwrinkled, the frown and stabbing eye pains abated. I ate her most delicious meatloaf and Pioneer Woman's crashed potatoes (just Greek seasoning with the olive oil... excellent stuff, that), and order was restored to Becher Haus. Thank you, friend. You have put the sun back in the sky for me, and made me notice the fabulous sunset we had this evening. I didn't wind up a melted down puddle after all. C