Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Holla 'Gaters, SLPs, & Parental Figures

I finally told most of my friends and family about my blog, so welcome to them! (And, of course, welcome to anyone else who stumbles upon my humble, bloggy abode.)

The big news of the day is that my pattern book arrived from wee wonderfuls...yay! Oh, wait, still no sewing machine. Nothing I can do with the pattern but stare at it, abandoned, lifeless and useless on my desk. What a waste. Oh, the humanity.

See guys? See the excitement in wait for your reading pleasure here at feather nester?! I know, I know, you wait with bated breath for the next installment.

Alright, smartypants, I defy you all to start your own, more compelling blogs (no, seriously, start one! I firmly believe it's sharing the minutiae of our days that maintains the feeling of intimacy with friends. Join up!).

'Til then, my cyberfriends...

Monday, June 26, 2006


Better day at work today. Mainly because at the end of the day, just as I was about to leave, my supervisor asked for feedback on how they were doing training me, if I needed more or less supervision in various areas, etc. I took that opportunity to mention that, no no they were supervision goddesses with nothing to improve upon except, perhaps, not blinding me with the golden sheen of their professional wisdom (gag, gag), but that I was maybe-possibly-just-a-little-bit-kind-of-sort-of feeling like I might not be progressing as fast as they would like me to be. To which she answered that, in fact, they think I'm moving quite fast and that they are actually very impressed with my writing skills. Yay! My linguistic strengths have somehow camouflaged my clinical weaknesses. JK, but it felt really good to get the positive feedback.

DH and I decided it was an ice-cream-for-dinner kind of night so we had our usuals: Starbucks Mud Pie for him, Ben & Jerry's Body & Soul Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for me. I feel ill now. But satisfied. Trying not to think about the fact that I missed my spinning class today (don't usually work on Mondays) after not going to the gym for a week.

New copy editing job in today, plus I'm feeling exhausted (why am I sleepier now that I'm out of school? Or am I just noticing it more? Exchange with DH on the way to pick up ice cream tonight: "I notice that I consistently get tired at the same time of day, every day. From about 4:30...on."), so not much productive done tonight. However, I did get four scrapbooking pages done last night (this is impressive as I am not really a scrapbookin' sort o' girl; it's also really intimidating to me that it's taken me three years to get through the engagement party section of what is intended to someday be a giant wedding scrapbook) and some seedlings planted, about which I'm very excited. My tentative hope is to plant a bunch of cat-friendly plants in one section of the imaginary garden so that maybe they'll leave whatever else I plant alone. Because all my gardening research has informed me that I can't really plant anything outdoors until September, and because I happened to already have some catnip and oatgrass seeds (from 2000; do seeds go bad?), I decided to try to germinate those indoors for transplantation outdoors in the fall. I can't wait until their little green heads peek through the soil! Oh, and of course I also had to make little ID stakes for each pot, so if they get lost people will know their names.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


This morning I realized that yesterday was my 13th post. In honor of that, I thought I'd give a little Colgate University tribute as 13 is a very auspicious number to us 'Gate alumni.

In case you didn't know, Colgate University in Hamilton, NY was founded in 1817 by 13 men with 13 dollars and 13 prayers. Recently instituted Colgate Day occurs on every Friday the 13th that occurs during the calendar year. The Colgate 13 are the men's a capella group, who my friends and I followed religiously as undergrads. The 13 would serenade some lucky woman at almost every concert and my friends even got them to sing to me on my birthday one year.

To round out this little mini-tribute, here are 13 things you may or may not know about me:

1. I'm a Sagittarius and pretty much fit the bill.
2. I'm an only child.
3. I can't stand to clean food off dishes once they've been in the sink, even for a second.
4. I was only 18 when I met my husband.
5. I was a rower in college.
6. I've never met a chocolate chip cookie I didn't like.
7. I'm a very good artist when given a pencil and something to copy, but have come up with maybe two original sketches in my life.
8. My right iris has a reddish birthmark in it that some people notice within 10 second of meeting me and some 10 years.
9. I'm quite tall. You'd better start buying some season tickets. I like wearing shorts. Dunk, dunk!
10. Sometimes I like to quote movies (but not as much as some of my friends, who quote movies like it's their job. Seriously, ten minute conversations.).
11. I didn't know what mayonnaise was until sophomore year of college because my mom spent my whole childhood calling Miracle Whip "mayonnaise."
12. I love jam with cheddar cheese. Some people seem to find this strange.
13. I like animals to be fat. Not so much pets because I don't want them to have health problems (although the fat ones are the cutest), but all animals in artistic renderings must be a bit husky in my book.

A little eye candy before I go to bed:

These adorable owl notecards are from boygirlparty. I got them as a gift for someone, but am so unbelievably tempted to keep them for my own!

These little mirrors are from My Favorite Mirror. These I was smart on: two for gifts, one for me (the first one, the snowy owl)!

Yesterday Was Plain Awful...

(you can say that again)

Yesterday was plain awful!

I think I actually spent about 75% of my day at work yesterday on the verge of tears. I'm just so frustrated with the learning curve. It gets discouraging to be corrected all day. It's all part of the continuing student atmosphere, and I know it will be good for me in the end. I respect and like the people I'm working with. I'm just having a hard time finding the balance between developing my own style as a clinician and learning to do things the way they want me to do them. I have no problem taking constructive criticism for the things that I don't know how to do. But the few things I actually feel competent...those are the things that are upsetting me because then the criticism is so unexpected. I'm sure next week will be better.

But that's not now, that's then!

Last night was our last night housesitting. It will be soooooo good to sleep in my own bed tonight! The cats will be happy, too. I love Joe, and I actually don't mind walking him at 6:00 am when I've gotten enough sleep, but I could not sleep well at their house. Part of it was that DH has been so busy with school that he was usually out studying at a coffee shop and going to bed alone in a strange house is a little scary. Also, I needed their ceiling fan on to stay cool enough, but it has this arhythmic ticking noise that was driving me crazy. Today I napped for about three hours. I haven't been able to sleep during the day for more than an hour in at least six months, so I knew I was exhausted.

I also learned Quicken today. That is, after I spend an hour and a half trying to get the user manual printed out on both sides of the paper. That's not something I've done before with our printer (and it's a slooooow printer), so it was a battle, but I won in the end. I only set up the basic cash flow functions, but I think it will be useful now that I'm taking over managing the finances--trying to give DH less to worry about with school getting so busy.

So yesterday was made up for by a relaxing day today where I actually managed to chill and not overschedule/overplan myself. Tonight we went to watch a friend's soccer game and DH agreed to fill in for them at their next game when they'll be short three players. Yay! I think DH would love playing on a team. He loved it in high school, it would give him great exercise, and get him meeting some new people. I'm not sure why he's resisted it so far; I suspect shyness. Anyway, maybe he'll have enough fun to make him take the plunge.

We also went bowling with the same friends. I got one strike, which is decent for me, pitiful bowler that I am. And we have tentative plans for a pedicure tomorrow morning, followed by "The Notorious Bettie Page" and some wine in the evening.

Kudos to whomever is able to correctly identify the song quoted above.

BTW, I feel soooooo lucky that I was able snag one of the wee wonderfuls pattern books before they sold out! I actually had to devise a delicately-executed plan with my husband in order to place the order as I had to be in the car en route to work when they went on sale. He, of course, came through 100%. I can't wait until my machine comes back!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Antsy Pantsies

My week of housesitting is nearing an end, but I just couldn't stay away from the blog another day, despite the fact that this is cutting into precious sleep time. You have no idea how protective I can be of my sleep time. Try living in a 9-hours-per-night body in a 6-hours-per-night world. It can get ugly.

The principal duties involved in sitting with this house involve sitting with the dog, Joe. Also, walking, feeding, and otherwise loving Joe. This is easy to do as I have mentioned before. His family comes back Friday morning so my time with him is nearing an end.

As much as I enjoy him, I am eager to get back to my own personal pursuits that do not revolve around sniffing every blade of grass in the park. Another key part of the house sitting is the watering of the plants. These people have a beautiful backyard. I may be easily impressed, given my lack of gardening experience; although, my mother is quite a gardener, so I like to think I know something good when I see it. However, all this horticulture is giving me ants in the pants regarding my own green thumbery. I've been doing much basic (very, very, oh-so basic) reading on container gardening, but then I started to think that I wanted to start with a cactus in a container and some catnip in the ground. I'm considering doing a whole little cat garden in a corner of our tiny backyard. So I did some research at Barnes & Noble and uncovered the horrifying truth that this is simply a disastrous time of year to be planting much of anything in Tucson. It seems that 105-degree temps are not loved by many plants. Go figure. So I am supremely frustrated that all my gardening mojo has to continue to be put on hold.

My current revised plan is to visit a local nursery and ask them if they don't think I could just start a little barrel cactus in a container, maybe with a little shade? And I already have some oat grass seeds (also for cats) that I could maybe try to germinate indoors. By the time it's ready to be planted outdoors, it may be fall, and I may be on a transplanting spree. Of course, this is poor, poor timing because that is just when I expect my hours at work to be picking up. I need to get all my projects in now!

This is why I'm always struck dumb when my friends ask what I am possibly doing with all my free time now that I'm only working two days a week. No one seems able to imagine how I could manage to fill all the long, lonely hours. It is unsurprising to me that I have proven that I could spend the rest of my life in non-occupational activities. I have no problem filling a single minute. I suspect this comes from the only-child upbringing. I've never had a problem entertaining myself. It's not too hard to get my interested in much of anything. This can make me a little ADHD. I often find myself walking into a room to do something, only to become distracted by something else in my line of sight that needs doing. This tangential task invariably involves relocation to yet another room, where I stumble upon yet another task. You'd be amazed how quickly this can fill a day. My other major talent is compiling more and more projects to add to the looooooong list of things I want to do in life; although, I seem to spend most of my life planning rather than doing. But I so enjoy the planning. And one plan leads to another and must be thoroughly researched and charted before execution...this is where I also get a bit OCD.

So, in the spirit of doing, I am sad/glad to report that my sewing machine is now back on track to be repaired; I will not be purchasing a new one. I'm glad that negotiations between the shop and DH have reached amicable conclusions (they knocked $30 off the fee), but they haven't even ordered the part yet, so I fear at least another couple of weeks sans machine. Like the gardening, I yearn to sew, but not so much that I'll resort to hand-sewing. In the meantime, I'm keeping busy with other small projects.

Two years ago I had three knee operations in three months. They were minor, but required a lot of time off the feet and my mother gave me a little embroidery project kit. I never got to it during my rehab because I was doing so much copy editing at the time, but I rediscovered the kit during The Great Craft Reorganization of 2006 and decided to give it a go. It was just a simple little design, but I like it and it came together quickly. It came with a hideous mat to mount it on though, so I've decided to make my own out of some fabric scraps (again, waiting for the sewing machine) and will frame it (and quilt it?). Not sure whether I'll keep it or give it away. Not sure I have a place in which to keep it, but I like it's connection as a thistle to my Scottish roots.

I've also spray-painted some tins for probable office desk use. There are actually four, but the biggest round one still needs one more coat. I also bought some paint to add a little something to their lids, but I'm not sure what yet. I have some design ideas of my own in mind, but I don't think I've painted anything since high school, and I was never very handy with a brush. I considered stencils, even looked at some at JoAnn's, but I wasn't happy with any of them and I'm kind of liking the idea of the challenge anyway so I'll try some sketches and see what I can come up with. I'm supposed to be trying to drag some of that dormant creativity back into the light of day anyway, right? From whatever recesses grad school beat it into?

One last yearning I will address today, but don't anticipate even trying to do anything about, is taking some dance classes. I'm not a horrible dancer; I can keep a beat. But I can only do some standard white-girl moves, nothing remotely impressive. I'm not one of those girls who seem to have natural dancing ability and control over their bodies, but I don't see any reason why I couldn't attain that. And the delusions of grandeur swell with the current "So You Think You Can Dance?" season on air, which I am as ridiculously addicted to as I get to "America's Next Top Model" (although, I personally don't think this is nearly as shameful as an ANTM addiction, for which I have no excuse or explanation). Watching all those brilliantly gifted people for two hours straight makes it start to look like anyone could learn it, then I get in front of the mirror and...I've got nothin'. You'd think the seven years of tap I had would have left me with some skills. Okay, maybe you wouldn't think that, but I would like to think that. Regardless, they haven't.

DH and I were given the very generous wedding gift of about a dozen private ballroom dance lessons before our wedding. They were great fun (yes, even for him! Or at least so he said), but we weren't exactly on even footing (no pun intended) given that it took him half those lessons just to learn to "hear the one," the other half to tear his eyes away from his feet, and he never quite got over the tongue shoved into his cheek (a classic sign of DH concentration). In hindsight, I think he was rushed by our instructor, who, understandably, just wanted to give us some fun choreography for the wedding (which he did). So, my point is, I would like to take more dance lessons, but I'm not sure DH would be up for it at the level I am. Never minding the fact that there's no way he has time for dancing of any kind, given that I've seen him for a total of maybe two hours this week. Perhaps I'll start with the cardio dance class at my gym and see what happens from there.

Just a little eye candy for the road...

Some killer notecards I just got! I love the girly pink with the tomboy bugs!

The Father's Day card I sent my dad last week. I just really liked the image.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?

Well, the house is in better shape than it was...but that's not saying much. It's amazing how disorganized this organization spree has made me. I'm ~90% done with the craft bookcase. Now I've pulled all these piles out from under my desk, where I'd shoved them during finals or some other such stressful time, and am sifting through that mess, trying to make sense of it and convince myself that it can all be trashed. It's getting there.

Tomorrow we start housesitting for some friends for a week, so that will tear me away from the mess for a little while. I'm actually looking forward to it; they have the sweetest dog, Joe (pit bull/lab, I think). I can't wait for a dog of our own. We've been planning for quite a while now (years?) to get a golden doodle or two once we have a house, but that's at least a year away, so for now I will just borrow Joe. Golden Doodles are a mix between a pure bred poodle and golden retriever. The idea is that they get the coat (more of less) of the poodle, so they don't shed much, if at all, and are pretty hypoallergenic. They come in all sorts of colors and sizes, depending on the sort of poodle that is bred. And they're quite smart and are excellent family dogs (per the goldens). Also, if you get a first or second generation (i.e., pups from the poodle/retriever mix, or pups from the mix of a golden doodle with a poodle, respectively), you get the best of all genes so they're very healthy, bright, and beautiful. It's a fairly new breed (1980s, I think...) and not yet recognized by the kennel clubs (no matter to us), but we're hoping that by the time we're actually ready for the pups we'll be able to find one at a shelter. It's hard for us to think of dealing with a breeder, being raised as hardcore shelter supporters, but we know our personal limitations in regards to dog-rearing. In order to be successful puppy parents, we really feel that we need to know what we're getting. I'm sure it will all work out when the time comes.

Slept through spinning class today...oops. Usually I can take little power naps and my body just wakes up when it's supposed to. I cut it too close today. Will have to make up for it on Friday. Maybe a little pre-yoga cardio?

No word yet on the sewing machine. DH is in class tonight (network engineer by day, MBA by night), so I haven't heard whether the repair shop called him back yet about ordering the gear for him to try to install himself. I worked more on my reused Christmas card gift tags though.
Some of them came out quite nice, if large. I didn't do anything fancy with them, but I think they'll be fun to use at holiday time. At any rate, it used up a long-growing envelope of cards (there have to be over 50 tags), not to mention much construction paper, so it was a decent stash-reducing activity. It also inspired me to consider using more media in the future (e.g., fabric scraps, glitter, rick rack, etc.). I've never been much into paper crafts, but even this limited excursion into that area was fun.

I've been reading about lots of bloggers out there making commitments to use what they have for a month or so, prohibiting themselves from buying more fabric, yarn, etc. in order to force themselves to use what's already in their stashes. I'm doing my own personal version of this now. I'm trying not to spend any money on anything (save gas, medications, emergencies, postal costs, other absolute necessities) for one week, including food (unless, e.g., one ingredient needed to complete a recipe--anything that gets me to cook is a good thing), clothes, fun stuff. Just a little exercise in budgeting. You'd be amazed how hard this is. No, scratch that. It's not hard in and of itself, but two days feels like it's already been a week. I feel like I'm thinking about it constantly--like a diet! But I like that it's forcing me to entertain myself with things I already have to do around the house (witness the Christmas cards). But, my Container Gardening for Dummies book came, and I want so badly to run out and buy some pots and plants to start my first, true gardening experience ever. This little spending-halt is forcing me to plan out exactly what I want to get, though, so I think it will be beneficial to the garden in the end. I'm hoping that this experiment will also result in a noticeable reduction in the bills this month, but I realize I could just end up spending more than usual next week in compensation. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I also made my first student loan payment today! Yay! This is exciting as it is yet another reminder that I am no longer in school and (thank goodness!) actually have a job again. Oh yeah, another small thing, my diploma finally arrived! Nice tangible reminders all around.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Baby Steps to Productivity

Trying out a new font today. How do we like it?

I think I've finally got all the storage components needed in order to whip the craft bookcase and, at this point, the whole office back into shape. And none to soon for DH, who has been more than patient. My patience is wearing thin, too. I want to get back to actually making something! Not preparing to do, doing!
To that end, last night I gave up on the mess and sat down in front of the TV to the very soothing activity of cutting out Christmas cards I have saved over the last, oh, I don't know, roughly five years, in order to make gift tags, more cards, bookmarks, ornaments, etc. Even DH got into the act! Who knows how many more years it will take to actually assemble these trinkets, but the first step is accomplished and it felt good to do something even remotely right-brained after all this left-brained activity.

I also used some of this newly purchased scrapbook paper (I didn't mean to be buying anything new, but I couldn't help it when I saw this paper, and it quickly filled a need, so it's hereby justified) to make pencil holders for my desk.
The one with the colored pencils is made the old-school kindergarten way: from a cleansed pea soup can. The second one is a holder I already had but didn't like. So they both have pretty new outfits and will live in harmony among my other office supplies. They are now the spruciest things on my desk. Perhaps I have more organizational devices that can be prettied up with a little paper and glue...? Or maybe DH will let me at his pen holder!

I watched two movies over the past two days, neither of which was terribly good. The first was Hitch, which was cute. And I do love Will Smith. Still, kept thinking about other things I could be doing. The second was Closer, which I was warned would be upsetting and not a happy movie. It definitely was not a happy movie, but I honestly didn't find it that upsetting because I couldn't bring myself to actually care about any of the characters. I found them all utterly unlikable and thought they were all silly for putting up with each other. Maybe I was having suspension of disbelief issues, or maybe I'm just lucky enough not to know people so lacking in integrity and self-control and lots of other values I hold dear. Anyway, I'd been meaning to see both for a while, so at least they're off my list.

And now I must to bed as tomorrow is a workday. By the way, apparently speech-language pathology is now the 38th best job in America, according to CNNMoney. But software engineer is number 1, which always seemed rather dull to me, as explained to me by DH. But I think they look at things like stress level, flexibility, creativity, and opportunities for advancement, too, so maybe it makes up in other areas for what it lacks in variety (my apologies to any software engineers who find their jobs more exciting than I imagine them to be).

Sunday, June 11, 2006

There'll Soon Be a Method to the Madness

Alas, almost a week with no posting. After the big to-do I made last time about finally being able to post pics again, too.

As you know, the sewing machine bug hit our house and it's been at the repair shop all week. The estimate was ~$100, but the machine (White 1740) is only worth ~$150, so I'm trying to decide whether to repair it or upgrade a bit. I haven't had horrible problems with it, but the problems I do have, I expect are going to bother me more as I become more skilled at sewing. Also, what if it breaks down again? I've had it for about three years, but those were the three years I've been in grad school, so really it's been used very little. Probably less than a year's worth of weekly sewing. And, the gear that broke was the stitch pattern selector, probably the least-used feature thus far. My husband wants to ask them if they'll order the gear and let him try his hand at the labor. This makes me wary.

I've also discovered that I think I have an emotional attachment to the machine. I've been looking into others (Brother CS6000t), in case I do decide to spring for a new one, and found one that looks better for about the same price as mine. But I hesitate to take the plunge and bring this strange, new machine into my home. What if it doesn't like me? My husband finds it amusing and has reminded me of the old Prelude he used to drive in college and how it hated me and yet I loved it still and was sad to see it go. Yes, I know this is crazy. Welcome to my head.

So, without the sewing machine, I shifted my attention elsewhere and it landed on the abominable mess that has been my craft bookshelf these past three years. I began a massive overhaul of it's current structure, much to the chagrin of my husband who could barely make it across the floor to his computer, which shares the same room, due to the sprawling wreckage of what I had unloaded from the shelves. I told him that he needed to work on his flexibility, both physical and mental.

I am nowhere near done yet, but my fabric is now sorted into large, medium, small, and tiny pieces, by color and/or theme: All stored in U-Haul file boxes, which I covered with contact paper (you can, unfortunately, still read the logo through the white paper, but less so). I now seem to be spending our life savings on various sized plastic organizers from Michael's and JoAnn's for the various notions, stamps, paints, pens, paper, etc. that also need homes. I had had them in baskets. The baskets looked nice, but they soon became overstuffed dumping grounds when I didn't know where to put things. The baskets will have to find new homes. Perhaps for bathroom towels?

Today was a day of tedious errands, still not yet complete. Grocery shopping exhausts me, so I was happy to find a sale on at Aeropostale while the watch people were putting a new battery in my watch. Then it was off to JoAnn's for aforementioned plastic storage bins. But, upon arriving home, I have discovered that the shirts I bought DH are too short for his long torso, and when the JoAnn's clerk swapped out my ArtBin for one with a UPC code at the register, she gave me a broken one. So off I go again for multiple returns. The idea of more errands is almost heartbreaking, but I have fortified myself with a Godiva Double Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and some blogging, and so I am ready to face the world again.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Success with Firefox!

(Ali, thanks for the sweet comments! You're my lone reader until I get around to alerting friends and family to the fact that I'm doing this. Want to make sure it sticks first.)

Aha! After two days of no image posting capability, I finally followed someone's recommendation of trying to go through Firefox...and it worked! So if any readers are having the same problem, give that a go. Also, Blogger is apparently working on the situation, so we must be patient. I know, not always a virtue of mine either.
Impatiens (he he!). Yes, I know, now I'm just showing off my image upload abilities.

Nothing else doing here. Am home from the day job and swamped with copy editing. Bought my first scrubs. Didn't realize they came in such a wide variety these days (they even had tall sizes! In the store!). I'm off to play with the red pen now...

Monday, June 05, 2006

"Cat" Bowl

I dropped the poor sewing machine off as planned this morning. I had no idea they kept those things so long, being lucky enough to need no previous repairs. The first place I called said two weeks! The second said one and I went with them. Already I don't know what to do with myself.
What I did do with myself was hit the second-hand bookstore. No, no, not to buy, to sell. We're now up to more than $150 in credit there, so maybe we should start buying. But I've cleared two whole shelves from my bookcase, which is refreshing and happy. I feel all clean and organized. And now hubby has a shelf for his school books, instead of having to heap them all on the floor.

I also went to Petsmart in pursuit of a bigger and better food bowl. Now that we have three furbabies we've been finding ourselves refilling the bowls at least once a day, which we are too lazy to tolerate. These cats are grazers of dry food, a blessing for the couch potato owner who doesn't want to do the twice a day planned meal thing (pretty much true for how we feed ourselves as well). It was driving husband especially batty, so off I went to Petsmart. Turns out, all cat bowls are pretty small, so I meandered into the doggy aisle and--low and behold!--a food bowl bonanza! They make some really attractive food bowls these days, by the way. I brought home a couple of nine-inchers; will return one, couldn't make a decision in the store. This is the one I think I've settled on:

It matches my new blue/black/white color scheme for the kitchen, and it's fun! If hubby hates it (he of low tolerance for "busy-ness"), I also got a pretty solid blue one, so I'd be happy either way. The thing is mammoth! The cats could probably stand in it as they dine. I'm hoping this will encourage less food competition as they could all eat out of it at once. For now poor Lita won't eat if she thinks anyone is even looking in her general direction.

I did some cutting of apron fabric last night. I really think cutting is my least favorite part of sewing; although, I finally got the guts to use my rotary cutter on some long, straight, and gently curving lines last night and met with success. That made it go a little faster. All this advanced cutting has forced me to come up with some storage solutions to keep everything organized so I'm stowing all cut pieces and necessary notions in labeled Ziploc baggies for now. This sewing machine repair hiatus may force me through the most dreaded part for several projects, giving me a little jump start once it returns. Or so we hope...

My gym is finally starting their summer classes today, so this will by first spinning class in at least six months. My head is excited and my booty a little trepidatious. Those first two classes are doozy on the seat. But I'm all set with my heart rate monitor, so it should be a good workout. Of course, I haven't bought my summer session fitness class pass yet, the line for which is generally miles on the first day of classes, so I'll have to arrive 50 minutes early and pray. Maybe I'll bring my Sudoku for company. Wish me luck!

p.s. Wrote this entry hours ago; have not yet posted because I was having trouble adding pics. Situation doesn't seem to be improving, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow. Sorry for the pictureless entry!

Sunday, June 04, 2006


That's Sewing Machine ICU. My sewing machine got a little overexcited when we were about to embark on our first buttonhole together, and it went kaput. And that was all that was standing between me and one finished romper: 2 buttonholes and 2 buttons. C'est la vie. My poor little machine will make its first trip to the machine doctor tomorrow morning.

With all this unexpected free time on my hands I decided to finally get to Crate & Barrel to return all the dinnerware I received from my dear friends and family at graduation in order to cash it in for more goodies by rebuying it in sets. So I rebought everything they'd given me, plus 4 salad plates and 4 bowls, for only $70. What a deal! Thanks to my SIL who taught me that trick with our fine china after our wedding. Here's the pattern, which I love:

So I now have 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls, and 4 mugs (latter 2 not pictured). I also have a serving bowl, serving plate, creamer, and sugar bowl. They all make me very happy; however, they're making me happy from the confines of the box they came in for now. I think I'm going to wait until we have at least 8 of the basics before I pack up our old workhorses for the Goodwill and replace them with these. That old set has served us well; hubby bought it in college. But it's time to move on, and these I love.

Now I'm off to cut pieces for those aprons. Before I go, a few happies:

Would love to know what flower this is, but I have no idea (remember the pale green thumb? It's currently still blank). I picked them up at Costco, but the sticker didn't want to identify itself.

These I know (only because there was an identifying sticker on these): the reds are gerbers and the yellows are chrysanthemums.

Bob in a Box. Her avant garde Dr. Seuss tribute.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Travel Bug

To my dismay, I got no sewing done yesterday. Met my copy editing goal, did some grocery shopping, made some dinner, did some cleaning, had a friend over (which was lovely), and went to bed late. Am about to start the cycle over again and have a party to go to tonight at 7:00, which should be great fun, but I probably will run out of time for sewing today, too. It'll get going eventually.

In the meantime, I found this cool website (through domesticali) that makes pictures showing all the countries or states you've visited:

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

According to the website, that's only 7% of the world and I must admit, it looks much more meager than I expected. This is inspiring me to get going with some new travels. Europe clearly isn't enough! I'll have to think on that and how/when it might be possible financially.

Now this one is looking much more respectable, but I seemed to have severely neglected the Midwest and the south. I'll have to get on that, too.

create your own visited states map

Apparently, there I've at least hit 39%. Great, a new goal. Just what I needed. As if the long list of things that I'm dying to do in life isn't overwhelming enough as it is! It's nice when all you have to complain about is too many fun things on the horizon. :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Portrait of a Murderer

Our one and only free range cat brought us home a "present" yesterday. My husband caught her trotting toward the back door with a dead bird in her mouth. I know it's just her normal can instincts, but I had no idea we were harboring a killer.

Bob showed up on our back patio in December. We have lots of strays pass by, so we just commented to each other on how small and pretty she was and assumed she'd move on. She camped out for a week straight--all the while mewing and pawing at the window, looking longingly in at our two housecats--before I broke down and put some food out. The next day I went out to see if she would let me pet her. She was all over me with the purring and the canoodling. The next day she came indoors. She's the only one of our brood who can and who is allowed to hop the wall out of our enclosed patio. I'm sure she's hunted before, probably for survival, but now it just seems a little greedy.

My husband picked up the dead bird with a plastic bag, doggie poop style. He then proceeded to tie the handles in a pretty little knot and throw it in our kitchen garbage. ?!?!?!? He seemed put out that I asked him to put it outside.

Anyway, here's Bob's mug:

By the way, we named her Bob before we actually met her. She has no tail...hence, Bob. By the time we found out she was a she, there was no turning back.

And just so the other two don't feel left out, here's Lita (doing a little hunting of her own; in pursuit of the wild camera cord):
and Puck:Those are my furbabies.

Second day of work today. Very long. Very tedious. Very long stretches of new learning with no breaks. These people are speech-language pathologists. They're supposed to understand the physiology of learning. I need a 10-minute break every hour. I got one 15-minute break all day. And I still didn't get my paws on a single patient. Nor did I learn how to gingerly insert a scope into someone's nose and have it come out in their pharynx so I can watch them swallow green-dyed milk. Apparently that takes innumerable workshops and competency training courses. I only got to squint at the software from too far away. Ah well, next week. I know observation is important, I just want to jump in and get my hands dirty. But not my clothes; barium stains like a mofo. I'm happy to explain the intricacies of fiberoptic endoscopic examinations of swallowing to all interested parties. For now, I'll assume you're not interested and ramble at my leisure.

I also found a big fat copy editing job when I got home today. I used to work in publishing, before making the switch to speech pathology, and I still do freelance work for them. Hooray for the money, boo for watching my weekend go down the drain. However, I now have all supplies (except possibly for appropriately-hued thread, for which I haven't yet checked) for all five (God, what is wrong with me?!?) of Jonah's rompers and the three aprons. So maybe I can split up my time tomorrow between sewing, copy editing, and cleaning. And I'll consider a workout if I'm feeling very good.

I haven't been able to face the gym in weeks. After an entire semester of swim, elliptical, lift, swim, elliptical, lift, repeat, I can't bring myself to set foot in there until classes start, which is, fortunately, Monday. In the meantime, my butt is turning to lard before my eyes. My hips runneth over. It doesn't help that I ate a huge meal from Panda Express the other night (that's right, double orange chicken and most of my steamed rice). It was very disconcerting to note that my husband and I were the only two non-morbidly obese people in the place. I'm not remotely making fun of overweight people; I'm saying you'd think I'd make note of the cause-and-effect implication and high-tale it out of there. But no. Instead, I ordered an egg roll. Likewise tonight: you are what you eat? I'm a Grande Burrito.