Thursday, January 29, 2009

the dangers of home improvement

Bart had a little surgical procedure done this morning. We had to be at Beaumont by 6:30 am, which in general is just no fun. He is doing well, and resting.
Let's flash back to late 2007/early 2008........
We were down in the basement for one reason or another when he noticed that a few of the ceiling tiles were askew. They were really crappy to begin with, so we try to not add to the crappyness by having them hang out, or have balls thrown at them by children (and when I say children, I generally mean Evan).
Bart was fixing the tiles when he felt something fall into his eye. It hurt like a mother, but I couldn't see anything in there. He flushed it and moved on.
His eye began to get increasingly watery since that time. He wouldn't even know it was watering until he felt tears on his cheek. He finally went to the dr (or I should say a fellow dr in the practice. Our dr is becoming increasingly harder to see) who said he had pink eye and gave him drops. Didn't help. Went to an optometrist. Not pink eye, but we don;t knnow what it is. Take some drops. Went to an opthmologist, and a specialist, and finally determined that his duct was blocked and he was going to require surgery to open it.
Flash back to today. The surgeon opened the duct and created a new hole as well. And lo and behold-there was a large foreign body in the duct!
So today's lesson is wear safety goggles or they will need to drill a hole thru your nose.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How do you like my Hummer now???

George Carlin once said "Anyone who drives slower than you is a moron, and anyone who drives faster than you is a maniac."
This wise sentiment is never more true than driving in Michigan in the winter.
We got about 3 inches of snow today and people lost their shit.
I was seriously pissed off by the end of running around today and I need to vent!
I will limit my rant to driving related offences.

1. Did you not take driver's ed? Do you not remember the part about keeping to the right lane except to pass? Just in case you forgot (which could happen) there are road signs to remind you that this is a law! Move the f*%#@ over so people who want to drive the speed limit can.

2. When it snows, please take more than 5 seconds and a one gloved swipe at clearing your windows. You have windows in your car so you can see other cars. I don't like getting stuck behind your sorry ass because you pulled out blindly into traffic and your snow is now flying off and blinding me. You are an asshat. Do us all a huge favor and stay home.

3.If you pull into a parking space and you are very very crooked, back up and straighten out. We went to the ice festival the other day and some idiot in a foreign car was parked so crookedly you would think his pants were on fire. When his back seat passenger opened their door, they slammed it into our car. While we were standing there. His excuse to us? the baby was crying. And it's not that serious. Needless to say we were pissed. Have some f*(@ing respect.

4. Get off the phone. Seriously. I know we all do it, but since I started watching other drivers, I try not to do it at all. No one is so important that they need to be on the phone all the time. Unless you are like, a brain surgeon or something. Driving takes all of your concentration, or it should. And if you are a brain surgeon guiding a resident through his first solo surgery, pull over. The dude at the end of the scalpel deserves your full attention.

5. Just because there is a little bit of snow on the roadway, the lanes of traffic haven't changed. Really, they are the same lines that were there yesterday. Just because they are a little obscured you do not have permission to drive anywhere you want or make right turns from the far left lane. If you are facing opposing traffic, you are in the wrong lane. Not safe people.

6. If Michigan roads are under construction approx. 8-9 months a year, how come all the roads I travel on look like they belong in a war torn country??? I know there are many places around the world with more severe weather, more snow, more ice, and their roads don't need to be replaced every six months.

7. Do not give me a dirty glare or honk at me because I am driving 30mph when you are driving 10mph. I have a f$#@ing four wheel drive vehicle, and I know how to drive in the snow. I see you clutching the wheel with white knuckles, and my primary goal, other than to arrive at my destination safely, is to get as far away from you as possible. You are nervous and I don't want to be anywhere near you. See that open road up ahead? That's where I want to be. I don't want to die on my way to CVS.

8. Engineers- can we stop with the superfluous third or fourth wipe every time you spray the windshield? Two is enough to clear the gook. The next one just smears the windshield, making you need to spray again. It's annoying as shit.

9. slop. I've really had enough with the slop. I hate trudging thru parking lots 4 inches deep with sludge. And I can't stand my car doors being covered with it.

10. I live on a fairly busy and well travelled intersection. Twice this winter it took 3 days before it was plowed satisfactorily. Not acceptable. I know it's hard to keep up with the snowfall, but it pisses me off when I see parking lots plowed and not the damn street.

Oh I feel so much better. How many days until spring?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the halftime show

Haven't blogged in a long time. I've been in a funk and everytime I wrote out a post I felt self indulgent and whiny so I decided to keep it to myself and get the hell over it! I'm going to chalk it up to tween drama-PMS-frickin' cold weather-kids that are on my last nerve-too much togetherness-and lack of anything getting accomplishedness.
So on that note...
Evan got to do something really cool today! He played during the halftime of the Detroit Ignition at Compuware. (I don't know that much about them, but they play extreme soccer). It was only a 7 minute game, but he was seen by hundreds of people and he got to run. A lot.

These are the best pix I have..action shots, you know. Ev didn't actually score any goals, but his team scored 2 and he assisted in setting them both up. It was good.
I'll be more talkative this week, I promise.
happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I got the fever

Cabin fever, that is.
Three days of frigid temps. Add in home-from-school kids & 6 more inches of snow today and you get one family who is getting a little sick of each other. At least I have Fat Squirrel for entertainment!
We have 2 rather portly squirrels that hang out in our yard to toment the dog daily. But on the squirrel 'cool' scale, they are at the very bottom. My Dad has ninja squirrels at his house, while mine won't even attempt to get at the birdfeeder. They are fat & lazy.
During today's snowstorm, FS decided to go way out on a investigate the windsock? we'll ever know. Here's a close-up of him-
At this point the branch is waving madly from his girth and he'd probably be safer to just bail, but he hangs on for dear life. Little did he know that Emma & I were laughing hysterically at him and waiting for him to fall headfirst into the Santa windsock.
That would have rocked!
Bart spotted this huge hawk in the tree behind our house. Literally paces away from where Buddy pooops on a daily basis. I have never seen such a large bird in our yard before. He may hang out there often, for all I know, waiting to pick off FS.
Now it's dark, and the entertainment has left for the day. I can only hope for a rogue possum or raccoon to liven up the night!

Friday, January 16, 2009

{not} home alone

It's a Friday in the middle of winter in Michigan, so therefore there was no school today!
Emma came into the bedroom at 6:30 to make the announcement "Looks like you're stuck with us today, Mom" Yeah! Nothing I like better than a unplanned long weekend when it's too cold to go outdoors. And don't think for a minute they didn't try!
Instead of learnin' we played iCoaster, video games, dr. Dreadful, and baked cookies.

Fortunately they kept fighting to a minimum.
Unfortunately, room cleaning was also minimal.
Stay warm!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

crazy cold

my thermostat on the Hummer read -5 degress this morning.
That is freezing butt cold in my book!
And much to the chagrin of my non-Ugg boot owning 11 year old
school was NOT cancelled. As if.
Stay warm!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

fire and ice

when we lived in Dearborn, we had an upright freezer chest and we used to make ice candles in the winter and put them on our porch. I forgot all about them until my friend Sharyn posted pictures of hers, and I knew I wanted to make some. Good timing, considering it's going to be Artic temps around here!
I ruined the first set, trying to remove the plastic bottles I had in the middle. This time I didn't put anything in the center, and dumped the buckets before they were all the way frozen. This method left a hole in the center, which was way easier than my first try.
My ice candles are in my backyard, right next to the back door where I can actually see them. Their  beautiful glow makes me happy.
Tuesday out!

Monday, January 12, 2009

home improvement

home improvement, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

We had a busy weekend taking down every last remnant of Christmas
{ shut up. when you have an artifical tree the urgency to get it down is gone. Don't judge } and generally improving the ol' homestead. Which is saying a lot, because we have been talking improvements for a long time and we never seem to have the resources to complete said projects. Here are some baby steps we took this weekend, preparing for the big momma re-do.

1. Bart removed the kitchen table last month in an effort to confuse everyone who walks through our front door. (not really, but it's a fun side-effect). Until this weekend, the kitchen had a big hole in it. Now we have a little breakfast nook. A gathering place. Totally temporary, but if we like the general nook, we may make a permanant one.
2. Ugly ass bookshelf gone! Replaced with an Expedit bookcase. When we bought it, we intended it to be used lengthwise to mimic the brown sofa at the other end. Who knew we would like it better upright? We may go back and get another to place directly across from this one.
3. Our new table! It's actually old, and Bart has been trying to refinish it forever. He finally was able to do it over the break and now we have a larger, nicer table than we had before. Of course, the chairs don't match. Another problem for another day.
4. This is a long view of the living room. Both 'halves' are fine, but all together it's still a bit off balance. The main problem is the giant brown antique chefrobe (?) in the left rear corner. It's huge and takes up a lot of space and doesn't want to play nice with the table right now.
5. FINALLY we re-hung the 'e's in Emma's room. It only took us 8 months. She also inherited ugly ass bookcase to house all her books and knicknacks. It's conventiently tucked behind her bed and doesn't draw any attention. Hopefullynow she can keep her desktop clean and use it like a desk??? Is that too much to hope for?

All new products are from IKEA (excpt the table, which is old). We got the swedish meatball jones and went there during the massive snowstorm, mind you. I am liking it. Everything feels less cluttered and cramped right now, and that's a good way to start the year off.
Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

let it snow! let it snow! let it snow!

It has snowed all day today to the tune of 12" or so. I took these pix this afternoon and we've easily added a few more inches since then. The birds were busily scarfing down birdseed, and our yard was bright with every cardinal in Northville.

Evan, ever the optimist, attempting to sled down the miniscule 'hill' in our yard.
He also dug an igloo and is hoping it will still be there tomorrow.
A little self portrait in the front yard. I believe the snow was going into the tops of my boots at this point and I was getting crazed.  Yeah, that must be why I have a crazy look on my face.

Other than the drone of snowblowers, it is peaceful and lovely and still. The best that winter in Michigan has to offer. Aren't you sad you're missing this, snowbirds?

In other equally fascinating news, I was a big winner at Bunco last night! Or I should say a big LOSER...I had the lowest score and took home the booby prize. But a prize is better than no prize, and I am happy with my chocolate fudge brownie mix and polka dot pot holders.


Friday, January 9, 2009

FO-Cindy's skinny la Novia scarf

This beauty is finished and on it's way down south as I type this. I love the way it turned out. The pattern from Knitspot is wonderfully written and I loved how fast it flew off the needles.

The yarn Is Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, and I used almost 2 skeins on size 5 needles. The finished scarf is about 6" long. Emma is modeling it wrapped twice around her neck.
Hey there, cute girl!
it's been an altogether weird week for me...having a rough time getting back to my normal routine. For some reason I can't fall asleep, so I have been napping during the day and not getting a thing done. I was so tired last night I thought I would have no problem sleeping, and I still had to take a Tylenol PM and it still took me 2 hours to fall asleep. I hate that. My internal monologue has a lot to say, evidently.
I'm going to play Bunco tonight, and let's hope I finally win something!
The snow has been steadily falling all day and we are supposed to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-8". I'll believe it when I see it! It does look pretty though.
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

good stuff

italian wedding soup, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

After the hustle and bustle of yesterday, I didn't get a lot done today. And that's ok...I don't expect everyday to be filled with projects.
I did, however, make some delicious italian wedding soup from scratch. It was good stuff.
More good stuff for the day-
-all new episodes of Nip/Tuck, the Biggest Loser, & Scrubs. three shows! I must be dreaming!!!!!!!
-finishing Cindy's scarf
-putting away Christmas decorations at my own pace
good Tuesday to you all!

Monday, January 5, 2009

WIP's- Clapotis & Cindy's skinny la Novia

It's officially the new's Monday and the kids are in school. All is right with the world. Evan was actively begging not to go to school today, which is funny because he is not that kid. I, being the sympathetic parent that I am, told him to get his back-pack and suck it up.

I am empathetic to your plight, but not enough to let you stay home after 18 days of being home. Too bad, so sad.

It wasn't all party time this morning; I also had to go to the dentist, which ranks in my top five things I hate to do the most. Since my last cleaning (which was embarrasingly long ago) they have come up with new implements of torture! They use a tool to measure the pockets between your teeth and gums (I didn't do well, I'm afraid...) and she cleaned my teeth with a water pik, which was only slightly less annoying than a drill. I need to get a crown, and she suggested that I have a few of my fillings replaced. That sounds like a great time! Maybe I'll schedule it for my birthday.
And now on to some WIP's. I have many more than 2, but these are the 2 I am actively working on.
This is a long & skinny la Novia scarf for my Aunt Cindy. I am using Ultra Alpaca, and it is soft and warm. I figure I'm about halfway done...she wants it really long. The pattern is beautiful and I really enjoy it.

Here's a close-up of the texture. It's nummy. The color is very deep brown; deeper than in the photos.
This is my first ever Clapotis- a scarf knit on a diagonal. I am doing a KAL on Ravelry that started Jan. 1st. I am only working on it a little at a's not a priority right now since it's just for me, but having the group for encouragement and to answer questions is priceless.
I'm using my very first skein of Wollmeise in Indisch Rot. The color is too gorgeous to be believed. It's hard to photograph, it looks different in each shot. It's definitely more red than in this close-up. I love the feel of this yarn and am starting to see what all the fuss is about.
Check out my new needles- they are glass! I got a duplicate ball winder for Christmas, and I exchanged it for these lovely needles in a size 5. I figured a special project called for special needles. They are so smooth and make a satisfying click as I work.
Happy Monday!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

FO-Dad's Dumbledore socks & Bart's Christmas hat

You know that commercial where the Dad is skipping through the store, throwing school supplies into the shopping cart, while the kids walk 10 paces behind with their heads hung low as "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" plays over the loudspeaker?
That's how I feel today.
I love my family. We had a very nice holiday and lots of quality time together, but it's time for everyone to go back to their respective duties. Me included.
Happy 2009! May it be better than 2008, or at least not worse.
(how's that for a ringing endorsement?)
And now I have a few FO's from the holiday that I never got around to posting...
Dad's Dumbledore socks! The minute I heard that Opal was coming out with a line of Harry Potter inspired sock yarns, I knew I would have to make some. My Dad is a huge HP fan, and I hadn't made anything specifically for him yet, so he was the lucky recipient!
They are a basic 2x2 rib sock. I kept the pattern simple becasue the yarn is so colorful.

And this didn't quite get finished in time for Christmas, what with all the 'whisking away to Vegas' that happened, so it was more like the week after. No worries! Evan got duplicate Speed Racer hats and Bart has claimed one for himself. Men.
This is the lacunae hat pattern from Knitspot made in a very nice tweedy and soft yarn. I can see now that it's done where I made a few mistakes, but they are of the 'no one but I will notice them' variety. Next time I make this hat I will slow down and make it perfecto.
I hope you are all enjoying the winter break and the New Year!