Monday, June 30, 2008
It's been a rough and tumble week for all the chirruns at Becher Haus, but Little Man Eli has taken some of the worst wipe-outs I've ever seen where training wheels are concerned. This is him, passed out a few nights ago. The elbows are healing nicely, but the ego is growing out of proportion to his wee body. He is determined to keep up at all costs... or at least at the cost of some skin.
Today the older three got their new rides as well, and when I hopped back into Biggrrrl to come in to fix a computer glitch (I just call a number and get talked through it... don't go thinking I'm gettin' muh geek on, or anything. I'm not Wonderwoman, or even That Crocker Woman), they were already riding like maniacs around the driveway.
Okay, the Sopranos and a night with Herr Becher await me. Photo-heavy post coming up on Wednesday... and hopefully a decent-looking rhubarb tart.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
You can plainly see that Eli is a executive
You can plainly see the empty shelves behind the hip-skirted "belly dancers"... today was 'floor move' day, and it didn't get all done. Dusting shelves and moving six hundred or so bolts of fabric around the store is exhausting. I think I'll have plenty to keep antsy chirruns busy until that daddy comes to get them.
The cycling boy has conquered the bike, btw. He started 'really riding' last night, and has been hard at it ever since. He makes it look like so much fun, and even when he wipes out, he doesn't fuss near as much as I know him to be capable of. He's too busy having fun to bother with whining about scrapes. I do think the Bactine helps, though... it's how seven-year-olds 'self-medicate'.
Many of you wanted to know about the gift yarn Rob gave me. It's labeled 'Sheep Shop Yarn Co.', and is of a chunky weight (3 to 3.5 sts/1") in the oh, so plainly named colorway of 'E123'. She got it at Susan's yarn sale up in Indy. Mostly because I complained so bitterly that she was knitting a fulled wool project with it, when it plainly wanted to be mittens (or a scarf) for me! What was that woman thinking? (Buying the crazy woman yarn so she'll shut up, was what she was thinking.) Thank you again, Rob... I am still fondling the yarny-goodness.
Okay, this post has run long.
Up for the "weekend"... finish the store's floor move, dissolve in exhausted puddle on said floor. Make rhubarb tarts on Sunday, re-start diet on Monday. Laugh more, sleep more, knit more.
Maybe buy a 'big girl' bike and ride with the kids.
Buy more Bactine and band-aids...
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Storms are moving through the area now, so I'm shutting down the computer. I was supposed to remember the camera today... oh, wait, I did. I'll post a yarn pic and sugar pigs. 'No-Amy' brought me some back from the Stringtown Grocery, in Kalona, Iowa. Okay, lightning bad, and too close. Type at y'all latah. C
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I also discovered if you just wipe the dust off things, it sorta looks clean. (Squinting and dimming the lights helps, too.) I'll be starting the 'clean kitchen quest' soon. It's an annual event, which begins with me cheerfully washing the window screens and doesn't end until I either a.)develop the perfect organizational system for rubber spatulas with removable handles or b.) pass out from over-doing the adult beverages. This annual chore was way more fun the one year I got to do it with my ADD meds. I was on fire that year. Wish I'd made a chart of the baking dishes cupboard. I haven't been able to shoehorn them in nearly as well since.
Today was so much more relaxing than a 'regular' Wednesday. Robin brought me goodies (yummy yarn), Red brought cookies, Phyl is starting another hat, and I got to fondle and grope fabrics from Blank Quilting (new rep, totally nice, think I'm going to like her just swell). I'm going to go knit on the 'Clap' some more tonight. It's almost ready for ball #4 (of 5), and progress appears to have been made. I know. Crazy knitting black holes. I might have to faint from the shock of it all. Go be lazy, or sleazy, or cozy...dizzy, woozy, fuzzy... if it ends in 'zy', you have my blessing. *smooches, pooches* C
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Bicycle Garage Indy and our salesguy was super. Too bad Joe didn't opt-in for the training wheels. We are currently running low on band-aids and Bactine spray, and he's more than a little frustrated at his lack of balance (actually, it's more of a 'not-peddling-fast-enough' problem). But, a snappy new Trek bike when you're seven is probably a lot like being handed the keys to a stick shift at age 14... if you want it bad enough, eventually you get it out of first gear.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Yep. Took a big ol' stupid pill this past week, and time stopped moving at the proper speed. A busy day at the shop, and it's four in the afternoon before I even think to glance at the clock, but with the decreased foot traffic and some cantankerous children and an hour feels like an eternity. Truthfully, since Eli came along, time has felt like a mortal enemy. He just turned three two weeks ago, but I swear I've aged at least ten years since he was born. Hell, all of a sudden, just stepping into my panties (such a cute word for something so large) is a frustrating yoga exercise. One slip and I'll be breaking a hip.
Tomorrow I was supposed to go rescue a sofa, with the intent to have it recovered in the newest Amy Butler home dec fabrics (August Fields collection rocks, btw), but we have decided to go bike shopping for all the kids, and let Joe pick the restaurant for dinner. My gastric wellness is in the hands of a newly minted seven year old. I'm begging off knit-night for the first time that I can remember, and taking it down to just the third Tuesday of every month; no one has the gas to blow on extra trips anyway. Feels like failure, but is actually just a sanity-saver. And now my sleepy-time concoction has kicked in fully. Tomorrow I start stock-piling Nat Sherman "Mint Natural" cigarettes, because the FDA is pulling flavored smokes off the market. Clove smokes, too. Get 'em while you can, because the safety-nazis have decided you aren't allowed to have them. I don't even smoke, but I also reserve the right to start again at any time, so the sock yarn in the freezer will have some company. You never know when a Rizzo-moment might strike. Us bad girls have to be prepared with our upscale smokes. I'm buying a birthday cigar, too. never had one, but Diane Keaton sure looked cute with hers...
I'm off to terrorize Herr Becher with my snoring. Thank you for all the calls and encouragement about Saturday's post. And my apologies for skipping Sunday... it was a lost day, spent eating chocolate and reading all day. Really lovely and rare for me. It felt naughty and decadent, and the kids behaved beautifully, mostly because I took the lazy 'let them play games all day' approach to parenting. It's actually been two days of total mental collapse, and I really do feel better now. I'll be back tomorrow, with a few balloon pics, and Joe with a chocolate ring around his face. Latah, knittas. C
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Or was it? We'd scanned in the photos to Picasa and there they still were, on the computer. She had tears in her eyes this morning when she realized that she still had access to those old family photographs. True, it'll be quite some time before she'll be settled into a new apartment (a hot commodity, with all that's been condemned), and she's currently without sewing machine, but the emotion in her voice was strong and her eyes glittered beneath the tears... the memory quilt will come to be, and it has some new memories tagging along. As I gathered up her purchase into a bag, she flashed such a beaming smile at me. The normalcy of picking out fat quarters and rebuilding her stash made her feel good, like anything was possible, that her world will return to a pattern she recognizes. Today I was privileged to offer her a listening ear, and some encouragement. Today, hope looked like a bag of cloth, a spool of thread, and a smile.
Perhaps all that we can ever really have is hope.
Today started off weird/bad. Since the flooding happened, the whole town is edgy and weary of the mess, the work, and the confusion. Affected government offices are squeezed into odd places; one office is housed on the top floor of the county museum, another in a bank. The business of life is on hold while entire communities try to rebuild basic necessities like hospitals. I cry every morning as I drive into town, arriving tear-streaked and hiding behind my 'rehab-shades'. This has to be PTSD, which, true to form, I am unable to take medication for. Plotting my own escape hasn't helped either, and today, in a moment of absolute clarity, I had to accept the fact that there is no "out". I can be tracked down anywhere, as I cannot live without my plastic 'money', and vehicle safety standards being what they are, I cannot even be assured of a quick and dirty death. Damnable airbags. So, I, and other small business owners like myself will continue to soldier on. You'll know us when you see us. If the morgue-humor isn't a give-away, the darting eyes and various nervous tics should tip you off.
I'm going to med-up and hit the rack now.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Susan has started her 'Modern Quilt Wrap', and, well, you know a stitch marker is required. What better way for a cafe owner/baker/candlestick maker to keep her place?
(these bolts are just here to asssist someone in the decision-making process... it isn't much, but it's most of what I have in aqua blues/browns.)
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Liesl allowed me to 'cop a feel' of her patterns and I'm in the process of making a shop model. I tried to pawn the job off on StuntStitcher, but that woman is going to be busy making some crazy cute skirts soon, so it's best if I struggle through a real sewing project on my own. Not that these are a struggle... they are so well written and easy to follow, I'm pretty sure I won't even shed blood or be tempted to slam my own head in a car door...
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
I'm going to take a nap and then knit more on the Clapotis. Ball three is starting to look a wee bit smaller. There is a light at the end of this knitting black hole, after all. Now, braggart that I am, I will be given a smack-down by the knitting fates, but I'm too tired to care. It's a day of ennui. Reading sounds nice, but the book is too heavy to hold. Knitting will be great, when my hands don't feel like clubs. Thank heavens for the bed. Type at you later. I'll put a pic up for your scrutiny tomorrow... another patchwork idea has hatched. But now, you go be crafty. *smooches, pooches* C
Sunday, June 15, 2008
A quick trip through Taco Bell, where the scar-faced man with the prison tattoos always flirts with me (he likes Biggrrrl, and would probably carjack me if he could fit through the drive-thru window), and we were set to chow down in the parking lot of Best Buy. This is where the music lives, and is the
Last stop for the day's crazy train was SuperTarget. Normally, I don't get to go to Target, with having to keep hours at Clementine's, but today was special. I got distracted in the sniff-the-candles aisle, the examine-this-cheap-but-cute stationery aisle, and was just getting to the ponder-fifty-kinds-of-toothpaste aisle, when Joe, who had complained of wanting to go home, and then of having a stomach ache (yet he declined a trip to the restroom...thrice) blew beefy taco bits all over the floor in front of the pharmacy (former home of the 'family toilet'). It was all I could do not to bust out laughing. Or crying. Maybe a little of both, I think. It took four attempts to get paper towels out of the pharmacy dude, plus I had to beg them to open the door to the former 'family toilet' to wash the mess off everyone's Crocs (God Bless Crocs. Can I get an Amen?), and when, finally, someone came with the stinky sawdust/barf absorber, we'd been ten minutes into getting it cleaned up ourselves. Those dudes are quick...like sloths... sleeping sloths.
I'm just hoping it's a stomach bug and not food poisoning, because if I have to endure this with four more kids (and myself) today, I will be a singularly unhappy, and slightly green about the gills, momma. Herr Becher is busily trying to rustle up dinner. I don't have the heart to tell him I'm just not that into it.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I calmly explained what had happened when the lightning struck yesterday, and told him exactly what "computer" had told me... that the Internet connection was disabled due to a "socket failure". I asked if he thought a technician could come and check the wiring, and have a back-up modem ready to install, if that was what had fried.
Well, don't you know he had to 'run a diagnostic' first to tell me exactly what I told him, then asked me if I couldn't just go to "the Embarq store" (wherever the hell that is) and swap out the modem myself.
Oh, sure, cupcake. That's precisely why I pay the super-expensive BUSINESS phone rates on my bill, bought the back-up line insurance, and wasted twenty-three minutes of my life this morning with your horse-ass...
They're coming to fix it on Tuesday. "Tim" couldn't say for sure if the repair man would be equipped with a replacement modem or not. I almost can't take the anticipation.
eta: the Boris has again posted. This proves two things. 1.) He does sometimes pay attention when I tell him a humorous anecdote, and 2.) Drunk-dialing is always funny, though it can become someone's blog post title.
Friday, June 13, 2008
basic flour/lard/kosher salt (oh, the irony)/water pie crust (I measure none of it, instead throw about a cup of lard in the mixer bowl, add in about 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour, and several Tbsp ice water, and start mixing. It'll become granular; you may have to give it as much as half a cup of water, but you want it to still be in little bits, not smooth. Once you can squeeze it and make it stay together, you're done. Throw it in the fridge for later.)
Okay, the good stuff: three cups (round UP) cut rhubarb, mixed in a bowl with 1 1/2 cups sugar, three Tbsp flour, big pinch of the kosher salt, grated nutmeg (about ten passes on the grater), and a smidge of Saigon cinnamon (that's the hot, perfumey stuff). Toss it all together well, and then add in the wet gunk of 2 eggs beaten with 2 Tbsp milk.
Anyhow, you mix all the wet gunk in with the rhubarby, sugary goodness, and put in into your pie dish, which you've remembered to line with that bangin' lard crust you made. You have to smooth out the taller bits of rhubarb, and make sure the custard-goo is fairly even, then you dot the top with 1 Tbsp butter, cut into eensy little bits.
the best custard pie. Ever.
I'm off to feed the pooches, the chirruns, and the washing machine before the next wave of storms take the power out. Be well. C
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Melly took this photo yesterday of the sock re-do. I actually spent most of the day shoveling in plates full of her home made fried rice. It was fantastic, and I'm not a bit ashamed to say I'd do it again. I sure do like that crafty girl. Her blog is busy being weird now, but keep an eye peeled for blogging action from her soon...
Time for me to haul everyone out of the shop. 'Socks for Scaredy-Cats' begins on Saturday. You comin'? C
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
And this one here is 'Tuscany'. Gorgeous. I have about twenty colorways made into these skeined trios. As always, e-mail or phone me if you need a fix.
Jill. Click and prepare to pee yourself at her structural engineering. This dress has built-in boobs and I feel like I should have my shoulders back, balancing a book on my head, every time I so much as glance in it's direction. It is like channeling Audrey Hepburn right into the store. I am so blessed to meet all these talented, wonderful people. The fact that they offer to make samples is just so much icing on the cake. Or maybe it's gravy. It's time to go home... before my low blood sugar sacks me onto the floor. Latah, crafty chicas. C
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Alas, what actually happened was this: As I sat with my second mug of decaf (the morning had gotten off to an early start with a backache that drove me from my bed), Lillian came downstairs wailing that the upstairs toilet was running over. As I tore up the stairs, I shouted for Madeleine to grab the bleach and rubber gloves, Lilly was to get towels, and the boys were to tell me if it started leaking through to the dining room. I stompered the toilet, mopped up poop-swill, bleached and scrubbed the toilet, floor, and surrounding walls, and after gathering up all the cleaning apparatus, came down the stairs to find...
a steady stream of water leaking from out of the woodwork onto Eli's chair, soaking the rug, and pooling into the kitchen.
So much for the plans of mere mortals. I screamed at my heedless children about their excessive wadding of toilet tissue, their lack of respect for having their own damn bathroom (which I would have given an eye for as a kid), and about the general disarray of the upstairs, which I've decided is no longer tolerable, even if I do refuse to haul myself upstairs to look at it. We will be ripping out our downstairs bathroom soon, due to a faulty bit of tile work that has created a much larger problem with the sub flooring, and the upstairs has to be better. I'm not letting the little shits force me into a heart attack over their bad bathroom habits. That's my morning in a big, bloggy nutshell. I'm off to check the dripping woodwork and start another bleach load of towels. Have a better day than me, please.
p.s. A beautiful deer just walked right past our front windows, across the driveway, and into the blackberry brambles that separate our front yard from the neighbors. It would seem the 'no-mow' treatment has additional benefits, besides the bounty of bunnies in the yard, the foxes out back, and the wild turkey who walked right up to our back porch last week. Ah, wilderness.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Plans for later today include (after a quick phone to police see what back roads are open) possibly trying to get back to the shop, to unload the yarn from the bowels of the Jeep. Stuck at home in the meantime, as Herr Becher had to take Bigrrrl to work. A fifteen passenger van is starting to look better and better, as I keep finding myself in situations where I need maximum transport volume, plus seating for five kids.
Today's immediate plan of action is rearranging the pins in the felted pincushions I bought yesterday. One was to be a gift, except I can't decide which is prettier, so I've been moving the 'sample pins' from one side to the other, making them model (they don't get the whole "pout, turn, pose" thing... but it's early and I haven't had my pseudo-coffee yet). I now also see the folly in using my personal skeiner at the shop, because I want it and it isn't here. Ugh. I haven't heard from Mandi or Rob yet to know if they're okay, but it's still before nine in the morning and calling them now would just be mean, if they got any sleep at all. Pictures later, though I didn't take any good ones at the festival... I'd been charging the battery and decided Saturday would be better (thinking more people, more activity, more more) and then all we had was the flood. Shit. I will show you the loot, and do a link list so you can go see for yourself some of the coolness that was around, for tomorrow's post (meaning, I have to find the camera in all the mess of my shopping bags). Until then, stay dry and out of trouble, k? C
p.s. Spellcheck refuses to believe 'skeiner' is a word and this pisses me off greatly. Muggles.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
I couldn't get back to the kids at the shop, because the area around the court house was being emptied. Robin was upset, with a migraine, no less, and so Herr Becher was called to come rescue the chirruns. It took him over four hours to navigate what should have been a forty minute operation. Franklin is a mess, day two of the festival was a bomb, everyone spent the day shivering in wet clothes with no way to leave, and a general pall was cast over the event when the building's floor began to seep and puddle water. The nice lady in the booth next to mine had over eight hundred bucks worth of goods damaged. The day was spent hovering, worrying, waiting. When I was finally able to work my way out of town, it involved driving so far in the opposite direction, I had to lie to myself and pretend I was driving to the mall so I wouldn't have a panic attack. I made it home, and we're all fine, but the extent of the damage I saw in Franklin was sickening. Cars completely submerged, houses flooded up to the first floor window sills, people being rescued in bass boats by good ol' boys. You can always count on a redneck to be prepared. They're the ones with the cold beer stowed in the truck. The hospital was able to move the E.R. up a floor, but the streets leading to the hospital were closed. I have no idea what condition to expect the shop to be in when I can get back. Not yet sure when that will be, as we're being asked in this county to please stay home, so as not to interfere with rescue efforts. Bridges and dams are crumbling, and the main storm sewer burst it's guts in town. I think tomorrow will be spent just fondling my yarn and roving (yes, I'm a spinner again...well, soon, anyway) and counting all the ways I am so very lucky have such great friends.
Calm thoughts for RedRhonda, who's (posh, finished) basement took a beating today (six-ish inches of water), and for Melly, who braved driving rain and huge puddles, both of whom came today to take in the gorgeous fiber-y goodness, even though we had to slog through shin-deep water to go see Diane's booth. (And I scored her MB5 and MI sock yarns.) I'd been a bit sad about missing TNNA, but the people I've met the past two days more than made up for it all. Now, I am exhausted, still worried that Mandi might not have made it back home, and wiped from the Xanax (it was a multi-dose day) and the ice cold beer I slammed in minutes upon arriving home. Tomorrow will be better, but I hear it may rain on Monday... *groan*. C
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I just checked... it starts in less than fourteen hours. I still have kits to assemble, fleece packs to label and price, and sometime in those hours, I have to get all the yarn, etc. to the fairgrounds and set up prettily. No prob. I've factored in the five hours of Zzzzzs I need, some time for minimal-cuteness-hygiene, and transit into town and to/from the shop to fair grounds. Allowing for getting stuck at traffic lights all the way across town (adds ten minutes), I think I can even squeak a trip over to Burger King for breakfast, because I think Mandi and I will be a couple of hungry (and possibly cranky) booth keepers if I don't.
I actually didn't blog yesterday because of the storms and power outage. Dinner was by candlelight, the house was quite close and the storms were fast and just dumped water in huge sheets. Trees snapped, a few twisters were reported, and some of the roads to 'home' flooded out, but aside from suffering a temporary lack of air-conditioning, we were spared any damage. And you were spared a quippy post about how wonderfully prepared I thought I was for this festival. I will have a decent photo-post tomorrow... got to charge up the camera battery. Good thing you reminded me. Latah, knittas. C
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The other thing we did for fun, besides eating super-yummmm peanut butter cake (omfg) and chocolate bars with chocolate and peanut butter icing (omfgX2) was gigglesnort at No-Amy because she was being tormented at a house with no air conditioning, during these terrific storms with oppressive heat and humidity... and she didn't take her knitting. Yep, it sucked to be her. I hope there was beer. We missed her.
Anyhow, I'm going to go wash my feet (really, that is not code for bum) in the 'new' bidet. Then it's off to bed, because the festival is just days away now, and I'll be doing a run-through tomorrow, which already is making me exhausted. Latah, knittas. C
Monday, June 2, 2008
The new parts are Moen, and I'm told that, as American Standard no longer makes the replacement parts for my seven year old piece of crap, this new one is all that can be found to fit, unless I wanted to spend even more cash on another American Standard faucet set. Hmmmm, let's see... the upstairs bathroom has already been completely overhauled (toilet guts, lav faucets, shower diverter... all American Standard, all crap), the downstairs has had it's share of difficulties (photo below is just the latest tribulation)... again, all American Standard. I'd say, if you're building or remodeling, you know who to avoid, now don't you. Unless this looks like a fun way to kill a day and several hundred dollars:
Sunday, June 1, 2008
eta: She's back!
If you want to see the "rules of engagement", pop over here. I've just finished wiping down the kitchen and fondling the last of the frozen rhubarb (you have to admit, it looks pretty tasty in my mosaic, no?), so little man Eli needs to be swooped up and hauled off to bed. Herr Becher has to be up for work in less than five hours, but the kitchen is (sorta) tidy and the coffee pot is on standby. Maybe later today I can get the flickr thing to work. I think it turned out pretty swell. Take a crack at it... I'll come look. C