Saturday, May 31, 2008

Waiting for Summer

End of month smorgasblog:

It's the last day of May and after that crazy heatwave I just sort of expected summer to launch, but it's been overcast and cool for days. I could really use a little sunshine. I'm also a little worried about the party next weekend--since our house is so small, we're counting on most of the guests to be out of doors, and I hope they won't be uncomfortable. I may need a plan B for that sundress I'm planning to wear.

I made plans to visit my grandma at the end of June. (That reminds me, I need to call the motel…) I'm really excited about the trip. I'm flying out of our local airport, something I haven't done for years, mostly because it was closed for quite a while after 9/11, but I also because that airport was involved in one of the worst flights I've ever had, though in fairness it wasn't just the flight. (Having to land in SFO after all because of fog after it was too late to catch the shuttle, finding out that the bags hadn't come with us from San Diego, then running out of gas in the van we'd all banded together to hire on the highway home at 2:00 a.m. cuz the driver was new and didn't know how to read the gas gauge…That was a special trip, I tell ya. But I'm sure that won't ever happen again!)

While trolling Cute Overload at work (it was the end of a very long day, OK, and I really needed a break) yesterday, I came across a cartoon I'd been wanting to see for a long time:

It's notable for me because it makes me cry. Every time. Even just thinking about it makes me cry. I didn't get to watch the whole thing in while at work, but recalling the scene where the mom hands the dog the cookie as I walked over to another office, my eyes started welling up. I made M watch it with me last night before bed and I just wept. And laughed too. And I did both again just now while embedding the video. I'm a little humiliated that my emotions can be so manipulated by a cartoon…but maybe I need a cry or two. The only bummer is that M's graduation dinner is tonight, and redness and puffiness must be avoided at all costs. (Did I tell you I'm very pleased with the new dress I purchased for the occasion last weekend? I'm curious to see how his classmates will interpret "semi-formal.")

Voila, les sandals:

My uncle sent some photos he came across while visiting grandma last weekend, here's one of my favs, of me with my big brother:

And now, I really should get a little work done. It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow, and I don't want to be stuck inside.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


That sound you heard last night? It was the craft fairies' cry of astonishment as I put the last stitches into the lining of the purse I had felted, oh, ages ago. Those adorable little red sandals I purchased last week needed a matching bag. Well, OK, I actually also purchased a petite matching bag over the weekend. But the sandals were motivation enough to finish off my felted bag so I could carry more or less depending on my mood. Thank goodness I received several compliments on both accessories today--including from my podiatrist who said she really shouldn't approve of such footwear, but they're so dang cute!

Just be glad I spared you the shot of the purse with my big ol' flabby tricep in the foreground. It had a nice angle otherwise and after downloading I found out Rex had managed to sneak into the frame, but you very well may have been blinded.


Many tense conversations at work today, but balanced by a lovely lunch with a couple of former workmates I don't see nearly enough. I'm hopeful tomorrow will be better. And now, off to watch "Ugly Betty."


Oh, one last thing--was this Randy Old Guys Day? I had a couple of gents (well, OK, maybe one was my age, but well, that's old) smile and wink at me today while shopping at Whole Foods after my visit to the foot doc and I was beginning to think my makeup had gone terribly awry or someone had slapped a sign to the back of the thrift store dress I was wearing that I often wonder if it's actually PJs rather than public attire. Maybe they had some sort of twisted bet going? Or maybe it was the sandals...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

This is one of those holidays that's become more about celebrating summer rather than our war dead, hasn't it? I don't know many actual war vets, which is sort of a relief, because that has to be a horrible experience and I'm grateful not many close to me have had to go through it. M and I watched a bit of "Halls of Montezuma" last night, which featured what looked like WWII footage, or at least training film of that era. How is it that we're not all pacifists by now? The most solemn Memorial Days I've ever spent were with Grandma in Wilbur. As part of her side of the family's reunion, we'd visit the cemetery (the one with the beautiful trees) and put flowers on the graves of relatives who had passed on. It was good to gain a bit of familiarity with the names of ancestors. And not to be morbid, but also just to have that nudge of death as a part of life. Not violent, unnecessary death, or as little of that as possible, but just the regular realization that it happens, will continue to happen, and of course will happen to me, hopefully later rather than sooner.


Not much to report. It's been cold with a dark sky almost all weekend, which I'm sure had the movie producers cackling and rubbing their hands together with glee. It didn't rain enough on Saturday to moisten the earth at all, but we'll take it.

M returned home last evening. He was away for two days at an examination workshop, which he felt was extremely worthwhile. I spent the two days in bachelorette hibernation heaven, shopping, Chinese take out, a chick flick on the tube, sleeping in with both furry creatures snuggled up with me.

Rex had a great walk the other evening. He couldn't see the doe I tried to point out to him, but a few moments later he was after the turkey scurrying up the hill to hide under an oak. After he reached the tree, I heard an indignant gobble and the hen shot out of the oak branches in full flight and landed on the next hill to continue her evening stroll unmolested. As we continued up to the water tank, I saw another brown creature making its way through the grass. At first I thought it was another turkey it was so large, but then I made out the ears--it was an enormous rabbit. Though bunny was obviously much faster, Rex gave chase but turned left when he should've turned right and was really left in the dust. Because of the synagogue fences we don't have so many critters in the field behind our house, but at least they're not completely gone.


M and I recently returned home from a working stint at Starbucks followed by an impromptu visit to the local multiplex to see "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," finished by a digestif of a dog walk. Maybe a bite of ice cream then a forlorn glance at our bookcase before bed--I don't think I'm in the mood for reading any of our current holdings, sigh.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Degree Conferred

The mail arrived late yesterday, but the notice was there: M is officially in receipt of a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude. He was excited about it yesterday, but the Bar specter loomed early this morning. He's in my office building as I type this, studying away in a little cubicle two floors down.

And the Monster Mobile's AC is fixed, yay! Can't wait to move through space enveloped in a contained cloud of cool air.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Catch Up Blog

Welcome to my 400th post! Travels and giving my brain a break from the ordinary have both contributed to my lack of posting lately. It's mid-afternoon on a Sunday and I'm too lazy to properly organize this post (I'm obviously ignoring the best practices urged by the authors of "Practical English Handbook" that I've left in the bathroom to read gradually, or grab at bedtime if I need a soporific--small chunks of reminders about how to make my prose better).

This has been the most domestically productive four days I've had in years. Most of it was spent on major spring cleaning--our annual tradition is to pull as much out of the house as we can, wipe, wash, and dust walls, pictures, windows, have the carpets cleaned, then after the carpets are dry, clean everything off before bringing it back inside. And evaluate whether or not it should even go back inside. I'd packed up about four bags of clothes to give away a little over a week ago, and that trove has been joined by most of the past four years of my Sunset magazine subscription as well as several bags of books that will go to the Friends of the Library--which we will probably end up purchasing back at the book sales. Sadly, the Friends do not take magazines. It was a blazingly hot weekend, which helped the carpets dry more quickly, but activity in such weather has its challenges and ended up taking us longer than we'd hoped, but was so worth the effort. The upshot is: It's now safe to visit!

Found during the cleaning: the other one of a pair of favorite earrings and a lace bookmark purchased in Brussels. And enough dead bugs to provide protein for a small third world nation. Lost: a pint glass and a very special lead crystal champagne glass I've had since high school. Not cleaned: the closets. I tell myself I can tackle one per weekend--even just one shelf per weekend--but that's been a six-month discussion I've had to no avail.

M is officially done with teaching. Which has freed him up to be my chauffeur as my mechanics continue to chase down the cause of the Monster Mobile's lack of AC, an issue that hopefully will be resolved later this week. He'll receive his grades on Tuesday. Thanks to his school network, he knows he passed, but he's hoping to graduate cum laude. It's been downright odd spending so much time with M lately. More may be in the works as I'm hoping to secure a study cubicle for him at my office. The proposed desk is in my building but not on my floor, so I wouldn't run into him unless we make plans for lunch or something like that--not that I usually have time for lunch. He's made me promise not to give him the password for the wireless network, which is a wise move.

Work continues to be very challenging, and that's all I'll say about that.

My uncle sent me a digital copy of the genealogy project he and my grandma have been compiling for many years--photos, his recollections of growing up on the family farm, scanned documents and the like. I'm in awe of so much work over so much time, and also so grateful of the time and thought he's put into the project.

Putting my craft room back together after the cleaning project was also really good. I feel like I've reclaimed it from the dust and cat hair and clutter that had pretty much kept me from opening the door except to sort laundry and plunk another half-finished craft project on the work table. But the only project on the table now is the red felted purse I've been procrastinating on for ages. I finished sewing the lining yesterday (not up to my Virgo standards, but Good Enough) and now just need to slip stitch the lining into place. It will look so cute with the groovy red sandals I purchased at Ross last weekend during my hunt for the new dress to wear at M's graduation dinner later this month. I also had the incredible realization that I don't have a craft project in the works. This is a very strange state of affairs for me.

I've also tried to do some health spring cleaning this last week. My teeth have been scraped, and I am firmly resolved to call the podiatrist and dermatologist for appointments. I was supposed to call the podiatrist over a year ago, but I know he's just going to want to slice that pesky lump off my toe, and make walking problematic and/or painful for a time, and who needs that? I also had my hair trimmed and a demo of how to use the hair dryer with the comb attachment. I realize hair isn't really health-related, but as the saying goes, to look good is to feel good.

Happy belated birthday, Bro'!

And now on to the last of the hand washing and the hand sewing of the purse lining, to take me out of this weekend feeling triumphant in my organizational skills. I'm going to need it.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Getting Back to the Blog

More roses
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
Hi there! I've been too tired to post and not feeling like I've had anything interesting to share lately. But I've missed you. Here's what new with me, in no particular order:

The big April conference is over, thank goodness. We're leaping on to other shows now of course, I'll be in Burlingame in just over a week, but work has ebbed from the edge of freaky.

I finished my glass fusing class and picked up the last of the projects today--I'll post pics later. I'm pretty happy with the way things came out. An artist friend had given me some smaller pieces of glass to use, including a piece of "striker," meaning that it completely changes color in the kiln, in this case from clear to pink. On my last project day, I started working with it, but lost track of which pieces were the striker and which were the regular clear stuff, so some of the colors that came out were a bit of a surprise. I had intended to make mostly jewelry, but dang those little pieces of glass are hard to work with. I definitely want to take the class again, though I'll have to wait til fall.

I've signed up for Twitter, mostly in a professional capacity. I've decided it's blogging for people with ADD.

The car has been in and out of the shop lately, which has been a bit of a hassle, but a sneaky way to spend more time with the hubby since he "gets" to chauffeur me around. It's so sad to have a luxury car where half of the stuff doesn’t work--part of the fun of having an older luxury car. But now the passenger seat can be adjusted again, and I've been assured that the brakes are in good condition. It's just that dang AC. It's going to be a long hot summer, I can feel it, and I'd really like that to work. But the box was damaged, so they're having a hard time pinning down what's wrong. I'm not looking forward to the bill for this last round

I've been working a little in the yard and around the house, motivated mostly by M's upcoming graduation party and by the fact that it's now or never for our annual carpet cleaning chore--once he starts his formal Bar review study, I won't see much of him. (He's contemplating sending out a note to everyone letting them know that he won't be interacting with anyone until August and to not take it personally--it wasn't until later that I realized it was a big hint for me, too.) I've emptied most of the wine half-barrels of soil (only found one of Rex's bones, that was a surprise) and dragged the planters-nee-water troughs into place. There's some yard leveling to do before they can be permanently sited, which seems like it will entail a rototiller. And I'm going to have to buy another trough. And then there's the filling with dirt part--that will be a process! Dang they're big. But I'll have plenty of space to try out more flowers and little garden things. I guess I should take it as a compliment that M insisted on the larger ones. I saved a few of the barrels that hadn't been chewed through by the gophers to repot the redwood tree sprouts in--they're going to have to spend another year in containers since I didn't get them in the ground in time during the rainy season. I also came across a few dahlia bulbs that the gophers hadn't gotten to…and in fact, I should probably get out there and container them up before they dry out.

I leave you with a photo from friend who is traveling in France and Spain this week: