Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I've had it. I'm done. I need to sell my pool, any ideas?

This morning, with my morning coffee, I go out to the garden to enjoy my lilies. They are in bloom and their fragrance in the morning air is delicious.

As I approach the yard, I'm always a bit hesitant about where I step since those hawks have taken up residency here. I'd hate to trip over any more bunny heads. Once I've established that all is well in the garden, I have to peer around the deck to look at the pool and hope that all is well there too. Two years ago, a pipe to the sprinkler system blew over night and flooded the pool. Water poured everywhere, out of the pool and flowed like a waterfall down the garden steps. What a mess that was.

With my coffee in hand and the perfume of my lilies still fresh in my mind, I pushed those disaster thoughts away and just enjoyed the fresh air and beautiful morning. But then, I notice, there's something floating in the pool. That &%$# dang pool...

I thought that it was a squirrel. A black squirrel. I've never seen a black squirrel in New Jersey least of all in my yard. Mary Anne over on Miss Woolly Knits always features black squirrels on her blog and I just knew that's what must be floating. Until...

Y'all remember that skunk I had a problem with last summer right??

WHY ME???!!!

My soon to be 16 year old and recently employed teenage son took care of the disposal details. Except when he pulled it out, the smell caused him to drop it in the bucket and flee. What a wus...

Needless to say, I no longer smell the lilies.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

...now back to the regularly scheduled program

This is a blog mostly about knitting after all. I do get sidetracked, now and again. That list in my previous post is just a portion of my job description. With all that crap that has to get tended to, it's a wonder that us domestic working girls could ever dream of a hobby.

My yarn diet is still going strong (since December, thank you very much). Unfortunately, I've still not overcome the other dreaded ailment - Startitist. I was telling you previously that I had tried to tackle the 'ol stash. Impossible. The only way to deal with stash is to sell it, give it away or knit it. I created several piles on my bedroom floor. Here's a peek at one of them -

There's bags of Lamb's Pride, Noro and Debbie Bliss. Once when a local craft mega store went chapter 11, I nearly did the same when I bought their entire stock of Lion Brand something or other. Why??

Ok, on to the WIPs (works in progress for all of you newbies stopping by).

Featured here are the sad few rows I've finished for my bedroom sofa's afghan. The idea was to have a nice snugly throw for when I'm lounging in my room. It is now 9 months old.

You all know this one, my son's going off to college vest. It was scheduled to be finished before June 19 but with my son's post graduation social schedule, I couldn't hold him in place long enough to measure for the length. What did you say? I was suppose to do that before I started? Yeah right.

Ok, this lovely is from last summer. When I was 135 pounds. I'm now 145 pounds. 'nuff said.

Same story with this tank, although I love the yarn, Rowan cotton braid I think. It is basically finished but alas, I don't like how it looks. I think it has a frog in its future...

Ah, yes, this I started in October. A toddler sweater for my cousin's first baby. The baby was born in November and I was allowing myself 6 months to finish for when the baby became a toddler and he could wear it in the spring. Well what month is it now?

So I put everything else aside (including today's laundry) and got to work.

DONE. Just have to weave in the pesky ends and package it up and send it off to Philly before he starts kindergarten!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

When the neighbors are dumb

Ok, so I've told you about this family of hawks using my backyard as a hunting range. The other day, I was just about to pull off in my car when one of the baby hawks scored a squirrel right on the front lawn. I pulled out the camera, put it on video mode and right from the safety of my car window, I shot a small clip of the feast, yuck.

Then my dumb neighbors come out for a walk. The mother is jogging. The father and the 5 kids, ages 3 - 11 along with the family dog, a huge lab being held on the leash by the 4 year old, see the hawk on the lawn. The jogging mother goes up to the bird and inquires of me, "what kind of bird is that?" The father gives the 11 year old his camera phone to go right up to the hawk and take pictures. If that wasn't enough dumbness so far, the father never takes control of the leash. While I'm filming from the car, I see the dog dragging the kid getting ready to bolt after the hawk. Could have been ugly...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


UPDATED - July 12 - thanks Phyllis for reminding me about hair drama, and thanks to the John McCain drama for reminding me about the being president part.

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes. There is no fast food or hair dresser. Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, do hair and pay a list of "pretend" bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week. Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time. Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment.

He must also get the wardrobe together (and do hair) for any number of birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs and communions PLUS purchase gifts for each event and have them wrapped uniquely.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Emergency Room (weekend, evening, on a holiday or right when they're about to leave for vacation).

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for all social and school functions.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times. The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done. There is only one TV and computer between them, and a remote/mouse with dead batteries.

Each father will be required to know all of the words to every stupid song that comes on TV and the name of each and every character on cartoons.

The men must shave their legs, do their hair and wear makeup daily, which they will apply to themselves either while driving or making three lunches.

Each man will have to make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, and get a 4 year old to eat a serving of peas, at the same time, all while doing another child's hair.

Each man must adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep their nails polished and eyebrows groomed.

The men must try to get through each day without snot, spit-up or barf on their clothing.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties. They must try to explain what a tampon is for when the 6-yr old boy finds it in the purse.

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

He will need to read a book and then pray with the children each night without falling asleep, and then feed them, supervise bath/shower time, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair each morning by 7:00. They must leave the home with no food on their face or clothes.

They must clean up after their sick children at 2:00 a.m.and then spend the remainder of the day tending to that child and waiting on them hand and foot until they are better.

They must have a loving, age appropriate reply to, "You're not the boss of me."

The men must never feel inferior even when others suggest, insist or otherwise try to control and develop markets/laws regarding your every thought, bodily function and/or station in life. You must also be content to live on an island where you are never president, vice president and are cloned into a weird robot yes man (with a tan) to be secretary of state.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes sizes and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor; each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up and when and if they had chicken pox. A pop quiz will be given on each child's teacher's names, subjects and when the next book report is due.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance. The last man wins only if... he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice. If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years...eventually earning the right to be called Mother!

Is this what I really did for the past 18 years??? DAYUM, I'm tired...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Boys, books and balls

What is it about raising boys and getting them away from balls and into a book? My first son, I think, I gave him a book before I gave him solid food. The same with my second son. Both of them turned out as pretty good readers. My last son, what did I do wrong? It is a battle to get him to finish a book. Today, case in point, what do you think I did to get him to go from these joyful moments -


I took him to a book talk. Harlan Coban lives in the neighborhood and he is always doing something with the library. Today, to encourage middle school aged children to continue to read for the summer, he along with a few dozen boxes of pizza, gave an informal talk about writing, reading and whatever else the kids wanted to talk about.

Little did I know, tonight was the Homerun Derby. It was as if I spoke heresy to the child when I told him that HE WAS GOING TO THE LIBRARY EVEN IF I HAD TO BEAT HIM WITH A BASEBALL BAT.

There, do you see my child down at the end of the table SUFFERING?

Well, I had the best time. It was delightful even. I wanted to kiss Harlan right on top of his bald head for being such a sweetheart to do this. Instead I had to barrel out of the hall and get home before Sammy Sosa or somebody hit a home run. Fortunately, as we drove home, the child did say that it wasn't so bad, just too many girls. I told him him to give it a few years and home run and girls will have a whole different meaning.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

When your friends move...

You remember my friend Phyllis? She is moving to another town. She says that it is only minutes away. I know that we don't spend a lot of time together but there is something about proximity. I pass her house each time I have to go to the High School. I see her big picture window and I say to myself, "that's Phyllis' house." I tell my sons, if you are ever sick, go to Phyllis' house. Sometimes as I drive by her house, I remember a project that I have to ask her about. Driving past her house, seeing her walk her dog is a thing where proximity makes you feel closer to someone even when you don't spend a lot of time together.

It was raining buckets after my son's graduation. After the ceremony I walked back to her driveway that she so graciously lent me and my sister's vans. She offered us towels because we were drenched. Only friends do that kind of stuff.

Today Phyllis and I are going to hang out in Montclair, a few towns over. I'll bring along my son's going-off-to-college vest so she can help me with the shoulder decreases. I have no spatial sense at all and I always get crossed eyed when I have to do weird stuff with my knitting like measuring, grafting, decreasing for necks and other things that you have to do to garmets. It is amazing that I was ever able to knit a pair of socks.