Things that Go BUMP in my Mind

Knitting, stitching, reading, gardening, cooking--I have no time for any of it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Dead Penguin Walking

Andy and I went to see "March of the Penguins" on Saturday. It would appear that even though we were in the same theater, sitting right next to each other, we saw completely different films. I saw a beautifully photographed film about the lengths these penguins go to in ensuring the continuation of the species. I saw love and loss, joy and pain, survival and death.

The movie Andy saw, evidently, was all about different ways penguins can die. The poor kid wanted to leave after the seal showed up (there were several lingering shots of sharp seal teeth), and I totally had to lie to him about the bird incident ("They scared him away, honey. It's okay."). We ended up leaving before the end--he just couldn't take any more.

Word to the wise: Sensitive five-year-olds and nature movies do not mix well. Just so you know.

Friday, August 26, 2005

1, 2, 3, 4...

Our vacation, by the numbers.

2280 Approximate number of miles traveled (Greenville-DC-New Hampshire and back, with a side trip to Cape Cod).

11 Number of days in our trip.

4 Number of days devoted exclusively to travel.

8 Number of family/friends visited.

4 Number of beds slept in.

0 Number of times Chuck and I slept in the same bed.

3 Number of nights I shared my bed with my two year old.

8 Number of times said two year old kicked me in the head while sleeping.

5 Number of tourist attractions visited (Pamplin Historical Park, National Museum of Natural History, Davis' Farmland, Cape Cod, and Hershey's Chocolate World)

1 Number of tourist attractions that actually interested and entertained my children for more than 5 minutes.

9 Number of meals eaten in restaurants

7 Number of times the restaurant in question was a fast-food place

0 Number of times I ever want to eat fast food again

4 Number of frappes (milkshakes to non-New Englanders) my mother-in-law fed my children during the 24 hours we were at her house.

5 Number of times my MIL offered my children a frappe before noon and/or before any actual food had been consumed.

2 Number of Owen's loveys brought with us.

2 Number of Owen's loveys lost within 12 hours of arrival in DC

1 Number of replacement loveys obtained from the really super cool two-story Target.

I think by now, dear readers, you get the drift. There was agony ("Mommy, make him stop!", there was ecstasy ("They're both asleep."), there was wonder and amazement, there were cousins (who, after all, are way cooler than Mom and Dad). We had a great time, and we are glad to be back.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Things I have learned recently.

(1) 3/4 of a canister of baby powder is enough to thoroughly coat one five-year-old, one two-year-old, and the entire upstairs of our house.

(2) Butterflies of all kinds love Mexican sunflowers. Love. Them. Will dive bomb you if you get too close, because they think you're stealing the nectar, or something.

(2a) Your average five-year-old (based on a sample of two) cannot be depended upon to be impressed by this fact.

(2b) Your average neighbor (based on a sample of one) can.

(3) When the upstairs bathroom floods, water leaks through the fan in the downstairs bathroom.

(3a) Your average two-year-old (based on a sample of one) likes to celebrate pooping on the potty by flooding the upstairs bathroom.

(4) Alpaca & silk=yummy and soft.

(5) The amount of food a child will consume in between playing in the tubes at Chik-Fil-A is inversely proportional to the number of other children present in the tubes.

(6) The amount of time a mother gets to spend knitting while at Chik-Fil-A is directly proportional to the number of other children present in the tubes.

Fascinating, yes?

And now, dear readers, I am off to the mythical land of "vacation." See you in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

So cool.

Scene: Books a Million. I have just settled in with the new Cast On magazine while the kids ransack browse the children's department. Beloved hubby comes over.

Him: Do you want to go get a coffee from the cafe?

Me: No, I'm fine, thanks. (me thinking: Who are you, and what have you done with my husband? You never encourage me to buy overpriced coffee drinks.)

Him: Are you sure? Because there's kind of a group of knitters over there. I thought you might be interested.

Me: See ya!

Knitting in hand, I scurried over to the cafe where there were, indeed, a number of women gathered around a table, all with knitting in hand. I was warmly welcomed and encouraged to have a seat. I chatted and knitted until Owen came over, grabbed me by the hand, and literally dragged me out of there. He's quite strong for a two-year-old.

Anyway, they meet there every week because the once-a-month guild meetings are just not enough for them.

In other news, I finished the baby sweater last night, and blocked it. Seaming tonight, buttons tomorrow or maybe Saturday. Pictures thereafter. I'm working on another chemo cap for my mom--the first one I made her was a little tight around the edge. (The one Patti made her fits great, of course. Patti is a goddess of all things knitting.) Mom's hair has fallen out, but she is still feeling fine after two chemo sessions (her third was yesterday, and I haven't talked to her yet). Her oncologist assures her that this will change, but for now she's making the most of the time she's got to work in the garden.

We are finalizing vacation plans for next week (by which I mean that I have ordered the yarn for the projects I plan to work on in the car). We're heading to New Hampshire via DC, where we will stay with Chuck's brother and his family, including the newborn who is the soon-to-be owner of the sweater. This week, they are on a camping trip. With a 6 year old, a 3 week old, and a 4 year old who is learning to walk again after brain surgery this spring. I love my sister in law. She is totally. insane. however. This makes us a good match, since we are taking two adults and two boys in a car on a 17-hour car ride. We're breaking it up into two days, but still. It is quite clear that when it comes to vacations, we are a family that is a few books short of a library.

Remember that hand on my heart thing from a few weeks back? Well, much like Rafael Palmeiro, I never knowingly promised not to work on anything else. For instance, how was I supposed to know that my best friend would finally get around to scheduling her wedding, meaning that I actually have to stitch the wedding sampler I'm making for her? It's totally not my fault, I'm telling you. The gawd-awful afghan is going to have to wait. I feel terrible. Really.

Monday, August 01, 2005


This is a good news, bad news kinda thing. Bad news: our favorite thrift store is closing. This is very, very bad news. We love the Sock Exchange (albeit, apparently not enough), and we will miss it.

The good news is, because they are closing they are practically giving away clothing--as much as you can fit into a plastic grocery-store bag for $10. Andy and I popped in there on Friday to scavenge see what they had, and they had just put out some winter sweaters. I looked through them and found a couple that I thought I could recycle. Cool. On a whim, I asked the owner if she had any more sweaters in the back that I could scavenge look through. Turns out, she had two more big boxes.

I came home with a number of sweaters:

They are all piled into that wagon. Owen looks like he does because he has just intuited that maybe, just possibly, the sweaters were not placed there solely for his enjoyment, and that maybe, just possibly, Mommy is not going to let him douse them with the hose.

While I will not torture you with treat you to pictures of the whole lot, there are a couple of particulars.


I got that one so I could play with the different colors of yarn (Owen thought y'all needed to know that Thomas approves of this sweater). It will likely end up as some kind of afghan sqares, perhaps mitered squares or maybe I'll try some intarsia colorwork (scroll down a bit--you will know 'em when you see 'em).

This baby doesn't know it yet

but it's going to be sitcom chic. It is *exactly* the type of color I was looking for--a dark, heathery blue. Perfect.

And this last one is just drool-worthy:

That's a 50-50 wool-silk combo. Yummy. I have no idea what I'll make with it.

The rest of the sweaters (other than the couple I bought with the intention of actually wearing them, if you can imagine such a thing) will be used for various charity projects.

Here's a little of my actual, current knitting:

That's the front and back of the baby sweater. I've also finished one sleeve, and I'm about 1/3 through with the other. I'm expecting/hoping to finish it tonight while I watch the last episode of "Hell's Kitchen."