Monday, April 30, 2007


I need a vacation.

Let me say that again.

I need a vacation.


I talked to my mama this weekend and we discussed what this month has wrought; she has had one hell of an April, full of too much work and taking care of her sick mama as well as getting sick herself. Me, I'm just feeling overwhelmed by the daily grind and the stack of household fix-ups that seem to be growing bit by bit. She suggested we hop a train to California. I had been thinking about waiting until August, renting a little place at the mountain lake for a few days, but California. California. That's my mantra today...California. This is sounding more and more tempting every second.

I'm outta here!

Ok, slow down...deep breath. You at least have to spend an hour or two on the internet checking motel rates and making lists. That's half the fun.

An aside...can I tell you how much I dig flickr (again)? I posted two photos and two hours later, I've heard from a contact in Spain and a beloved contact here in my town. How cool is that? Local and global, smiles across the miles.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Twas All About Me (more or less)

Yesterday, I took off because it was it was slow at work. I decided it was going to be "Me Day... all me, all the time". After dropping off the Kidlet, I grabbed a cappucino to go and began the meander to over to the thrift store. Since it was early, I stopped the car, got out, and took photos. I always had thought, "Oh, I don't have time to stop and take a pic of (whatever wonderful, weird, interesting thing)". Well, I learned it takes about 2 minutes to do. Easy. This is a very good thing. Maybe I will learn how to use this camera after all.

And the rest of the day in short...

--Went to the thrift and got a stripey dress for Kidlet ($1.50) and a light cotton button down shirt for me with embroidery on the shoulders ($3.99).

--Went to the fabric store to buy two patterns, (Simplicity 7229 and Simplicity 4123). Would someone remind me I don't know how to sew?

--Raced over to get sushi with the hubs. It was a bit of a stressful lunch as the waitresses were weeded (totally overwhelmed, in waiter speak) and we had the super slow sushi service by our chef. But damn, it was tasty good.

--Went to a kid's resale clothing joint and got Kidlet 3 more dresses and a skirt for cheap and dropped off some clothes in the hopes that I can get some credit over there. big excitement for the day...the yarn store. I had seen a pattern in my Rowan 36 that I believed would make an excellent Xmas present. I spent about 45 minutes trying to gather up the yarn. Ummm, small problem. The Rowan Magazine is from 2004. Half of the yarn is discontinued. I came home and spent some compy time on the swing under the tree trying to figure it all out (ebay, translating into different yarns). At least it's only April and I have time to decide if this project is going to be worth the work (and the money, ohhhhh the money).

And here you see me in the photo above about to knit about 4 rows on Daisy, eat a bunch of Haribo Raspberry candy and officially end my Me Day by picking up the Kidlet. I think I need about four more Me Days to even start to catch up with myself.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules." --Anthony Trollope

Monday, April 23, 2007

Earth and Evil

The weekend was cool and rainy (although the sun did come out for a few hours during this photo). I tried to drink in that wonderful air every chance I could.

The weekend was full of ups and downs. The Earth Day festival was a yummy food stands, no music, and a meltdown at the adjoining play park as we were getting ready to leave. There was another little girl on the slides and Kidlet wanted to go down too. The little girl was attempting friendliness but Kidlet bursts out with "I don't like her!" followed by a pout. I dragged Kidlet away, who was screaming and crying the whole half mile back to the car. This is a newish thing (not the screaming and crying, that's old skool--actually, she's really pretty good, I shouldn't sell her short). When she comes across someone who shows a little interest in her (child or adult, she's not particular) she says loudly "I don't like them!". I'm trying to teach her that that hurts people's feelings and if she's feeling shy or nervous, she can either say nothing, or try and break the ice with "Hi". However, she did go to the park the day previous and had a great time playing with another little I-don't-like-yous so maybe that little girl had devil horns hidden amongst her blond ponytails and Kidlet was just trying to protect us all.

Got some new seeds to make up for the ones that the birds absconded with and planted them. We've got peas, lettuce and nasturtiums coming up already. I'm usually one to buy plants, but I'm really enjoying planting from seed this year. First off, it's cheap. Second, it's so much fun to see those little green heads poking out of the ground after waiting and waiting.

My Earth Day pledge: to start a compost heap.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Of Mountains, Mist and Memory

Ok, I can hear it now..."Memories, misty watercolor memories..."but that's not what I'm talking about (can't stand that song, BTW).

It's another morning with mist hanging about the mountains. I love mornings like this. My mom and I talked about it recently and it reminds us of Colorado days. The air was fresh, damp and cool. Full of energy, but not the buzzy busy kind, just clearheadedness and renewed will. I see snapshots in my head of those times...

--up on Fall River Ridge Road, running about in the grey clouds
--hanging out on the Snake River in Keystone with a friend, behind the German restaurant she lived atop
--racing around the forests that surrounded our home, sweetpeas and columbines tangled underfoot, all covered with dew

Right now I'm in mountain-mode. I love the desert (of course), but right now my head is in the forest, lush and green. Maybe this weekend I'll try and dig up some photos from the past and try to post them. Maybe I'll just dream about those times. But I will definitely try to soak up the cool air and gather its energy.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Few Things Noticed...

while driving to work today.

I don't like the spot I noticed on my pant leg.
I don't like spilling gas on my fingerless gloves that I've grown quite attached to.
I don't like spending 36 bux on gas (granted, I was running on fumes and had to fill the whole tank).

I like cloudy days.
I like birch trees swaying in the breeze.
I like silence and deep breaths.
I like following up the silence with Bags and Trane.
I like the unpredictable weather...snow? rain? Who knows what will show up this afternoon?
I like that I'm about to go get a fancy coffee.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Schoolwork Avoidance Tactic #1

Get photo from camera and post about the snow. Yes, this photo is from tonight. One minute it was reasonably warm but you could see the clouds gathering over the mountains. The next minute...this. Here's one without the flash and the groovy snowflake effects.

Schoolwork Avoidance Tactic #2...dig in the fridge for the last chocolatey cupcake from the weekend and enjoy it with a sip of wine. Of course my school books are open in front of me.

Schoolwork Avoidance Tactic #3...boy, I'm mighty tired. Maybe I should just go to bed and try to finish reading my overdue library book. It is overdue, so I'd be doing a public service if I finished it.

Cupcake first, and well, I'll give this schoolwork thing a shot but I can't guarantee anything.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Just what I need...more craft ideas

I am now the owner of a bunch of super sweet fabric. Do I know how to sew? No. I do have a sewing machine that I've used once, only to try it out. It is gathering dust at my mom's house. Yesterday, I found myself perusing 'very simple' patterns online, mentally creating a new wardrobe of skirts and floaty tank tops. I bought these fabrics just because I thought they were rootin' tootin' cute but already my mind is creating little creatures with wardrobes, quilts and the aforementioned skirts.

Why can't I just stick with a couple of projects, get good at what I'm doing before diving into yet another medium? This has been part of my mental noodling the past week or two. How do I carve out more tiny bits of 'free' time to work on projects? Is sleep really that important? Do I really need to go to school? These questions and more are politely requesting an answer of me. It's my biannual funk, but I think I just ignored the questions long enough that they are now slinking back into their dusty corner in my mind to reappear in the fall.

So, it's Friday, my friends. Are you ready? Oh yes, I am. The weather promises to be chilly, possibly even a little wet. I'm thinking that's my ticket out of yard work, don't you? If my yard would take care of itself, that'd buy me a little more crafting time. Anyway, not sure what we have up for the weekend aside from playing with 'Butter Biscuit'. That's Kidlet's new nickname. She said she does not want to be called 'Kitten' or 'Bunny' any longer because "I'm a GIRL." I call her 'Butter Biscuit' and she calls me 'Jammy Cakes'. Hmmm, biscuits and cakes...maybe a baking urge is starting to well up. Wherever your weekend takes you, hope it's warm and full of belly laughs.

BTW I'm listening to WWOZ (the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage radio station) and they are broadcasting live from the French Quarter Fest. Man, what I wouldn't do to get some crawfish bread right about now. And yes, French Quarter Fest is a far cry from Jazzfest, but it got me daydreaming, so let me dream.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sorry there hasn't been much activity here in pancakeland. I'm still feeling 'blocked' (ha ha, I know you are laughing, hubby). Silence is good, it just doesn't make for good blog-fodder. I feel like I need to figure out where I'm going with...everything. I want to figure out the camera so I can expand my skills. I want to find a way to squeeze in more knitting time. I really want to learn to sew as I've got yet another 500 ideas in that arena. I need to start a meditation practice. Figure out where I'm going with this whole school thing (this one looms large for me right now).

Maybe I'll do some list-making and get back to y'all. When in doubt, make lists. And be sure to make lists with a few super easy things to do (like make a cup of tea) so you can cross them off and feel like you did something.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter, Happy Spring

If Easter wasn't associated with all things bunny, I don't know if I would have ever finished knitting and putting together this thing. Pattern, my own. Yarn: Rowan Soft Baby with scraps.

And for the record, Kidlet could have cared less about it. It will live on my desk in a prominent spot (next to Starkitty), as I like my wonky creations.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Still in daydream land around here, not much to say. If you could be anywhere, doing anything, what would it be?

For me...

1. I'd be back in New Orleans. I wouldn't be living the drunken life anymore but the family life with lots of trips out for crawfish, the park and the zoo. I'd want to be working in a library.

2. I'd be living in a small town in Northern California (Nevada City/Grass Valley, perhaps?). I'd be a grower of organic herbs, open a bakery or a yarn shop.

3. I'd be right here.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Plucking chrysanthemums along the east fence;
Gazing in silence at the Southern Hills;
The birds flying home in pairs
Through the soft mountain air of dusk--
In these things there is a deep meaning,
But when we are about to express it,
We suddenly forget the words."

--Tao Qian excerpted by R.H. Blyth in A Modern Buddhist Bible, ed. Donald S. Lopez, Jr.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Spring has Sprung

...but you can never be too sure of that around here. It never fails that we'll have a warm spell and then BAM! A sudden swirl of snow flurries descend from the mountains. But for today, it is warm. Skirts and capris are what we are donning around here. The weeds already have a good head start and the seeds, well, they are still sitting in their little seed packets--nowhere near the ground.

Snot rules the day around here, still. Hubs has the crud in the very worst way. Kidlet has abated with her "tissue, please" mantra and is down to every 10 minutes or so, a great improvement over every 20 seconds. You think I jest. I do not. She still coughs like some evil frog king has moved into her lungs and set up housekeeping. How have I managed to escape this? I bet it will attack me next week when my co-worker is out all week and everyone else is feeling better and has that crazy energy that one gets after one has been really sick. Maybe it's just been sheer willpower since if I were to get sick too...perish the thought.

Feeling very caught up in my head lately. Tons of ideas and inspiration are all bundled up trying to unwrap themselves into something that I can actually use. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, April 02, 2007

"Tissue, please"

These two words resound in my head whether I'm awake or asleep...over and over and over again. Sometimes it's "I need a tissue" or "TISSUE!" (mentally, I put a "DAMMIT!" behind that one) but wiping a small snotty nose until it is red and raw has been my calling this weekend. Every 20 seconds. Really. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. This child of mine refuses to be one of the snot-nosed toddler set. She is horrified by the thought of snot tricking out her nose and if it means wiping it until it is red and about to fall off, then so be it.

Despite this fact, I had an ok weekend. I made raisin bread, ciabatta, red beans 'n rice. I didn't really knit but I worked on finishing the bunny. Remember that bunny that I used to kvetch about? Well, I'd call it 85% done. Face is done, arms are embroidered (much to Hubby's dismay, he wanted to see "little stubby arms"), pom pom tail is made. I just have to do a little more sewing and then I think I may do a little decorative embroidery and then...voila! An Easter basket filler-upper we shall have. Kidlet probably won't care about it and it will end up sitting on my desk, just like the starkitty I made. No big deal. I really make them more for me anyway.

I also took a few TTV (through the viewfinder) shots. None were particularly spectacular, but at least I got the camera out. I need to work with my camera. There are a few things I dig about this new one, but I sometimes just want to pull my old Nikon back out. I got more consistent results and the photos were purdier. I give you "Baby with a Beard". Kidlet likes to say (when she sees these gnomes) "Babies don't have beards". No, Kidlet, they don't.