Saturday, March 27, 2010


More backyard
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
It's Saturday morning in spring, probably my favorite regularly occurring time. I think ahead happily (perhaps because I'm a Virgo) to my chores--sweeping the kitchen floor, opening the house to the clear air once it warms a little, laundry, clearing the accumulation on my craft room table. I've already watered the plants, tended the furry children, and balanced my checkbook. We're toying with the idea of clearing out the side yards today--not sure how they've accumulated so much crap, but there it is. I don't think M will have to try very hard to talk me out of my hare-brained idea of creating some sort of art with the leftover wine-barrel-planter hoops that have sat for a good year now. What do to with the slabs of granite leftover from the kitchen re-do? One would make a fine (long) shelf, but the other pieces are rough-edged and oddly shaped. The old fencing from the annexation project squats rusting on our patio, and that really has to go too, and soon. There's also the possibility of purchasing a peach tree to plant in the back yard, and I think our window of opportunity on that is narrowing quickly. But…it's a beautiful day. Seems a shame not to do it a little homage by reading on the back deck in the afternoon. Maybe it will be a grill-focused dinner this evening. We received our 2009 Best Recipes edition of Cooks Illustrated yesterday, I'm sure we'll find something inspiring amongst its pages. What a fine chore that will be.

Just typing that all up has made me feel like I've already accomplished a great deal today!

I think my other favorite time is towards the end of day like today--closing the windows and doors, turning the lights on, starting dinner. I'm not sure what about that is so comforting. Maybe just the nesting instinct welling up?

I'm dreaming more lately, and I'm not sure what that's about. Or maybe just more vividly, and therefore remembering them. They haven't all been pleasant, but for some reason I really enjoy them, cat warts (poor Veronica, she was covered with them!) and all. Maybe it's just pleasure at squeezing one more creative experience into the day without any additional conscious effort on my part.

M and I treated ourselves to a really nice dinner out last night. We do a horrendous amount of take-out, far more than we should, but haven't actually had a real restaurant experience in a while. And this one was very satisfying--good service, which we're becoming very picky about for some reason, good food, and not outrageously priced. It was a little loud, but we sat together on the banquette side enjoying being close, admiring our many dishes (we were very hungry, so that may have contributed to the satisfaction level), watching the ebb and flow of staff and patrons. I do love people-watching.

Knitting report: I've finished a couple of booties to match the devil hat, but they're very different sizes since I was experimenting with that, so will have to whip up two to match in time for the shower next month. I've also got to continue to make headway on the dress. After a false start with the fancy border--I didn't convert the pattern right to take into account that I was using circular needles, which was going to be fine until I discovered after it was completed that I had twisted at the join, resulting in an interesting but unusable moebius-strip-like creation--I got it mostly right, and now just have to buckle down and get through the monotony of stockinette for a bit.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Spring!

I'm in the Applebox, waiting for writing pals to join me. There's a young couple across from me meeting with a somewhat older woman (she's probably my age), she mentioned something about her "services" and she's asking them questions about their "story"--maybe she's going to officiate at their wedding? Nice to think about.

I've had a hard time adjusting to the time change. I've really been enjoying the lighter evenings, but that means that dinner gets started later, pushing back the nightly TV watching ritual, making bedtime later, making it harder to wake up in the morning. And I seemed to have more activities than usual after work last week. On Tuesday, M and I went to a community meeting about a project that's proposed for the fairgrounds, just a couple of blocks from our house. It's a semi-permanent farmers market, kind of like the Pike's Place market in Seattle. M is very excited about it--I think he thinks that he'll never have to cook again, much as he enjoys it when he actually does it.

I also got my hair trimmed after work on Wednesday, something I normally do on weekends. My hair gal left her one-woman salon and opened a new place this month with many more stations--she's bringing in other stylists and a nail gal. It's the kind of place I never would have walked in to--too intimidating--but I'm devoted to her, so I'll continue to go. I toyed with the idea of getting a whole new 'do, but didn't. Maybe next time. Maybe I'll even get a pedicure soon, I really liked the one I got at the Luxor in Vegas over Christmas. Sandal weather is coming.

I think our fence efforts are paying off--Rex is not escaping anymore, as far as we know. M mowed the "annexed" area yesterday, and it looks really nice. I think we should plant a peach tree back there. It's my favorite fruit, and I think it would be the right size to screen the fences from our backyard view.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Suddenly It's Lighter Later

Devil hat, complete!
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
I was too embarrassed to post this on Facebook, but I trust you with this TMI:

You know you're a hypocrite and/or bad bachelorette when: you wander through the lowbrow supermarche with a six-pack of beer and frozen pizza in your basket mentally criticizing the tweakers and other challenged shoppers (I witnessed a woman hauling her skirt out of her pantyhose in the pet food aisle while another woman declared "...I just hate it when noone tells me, so I thought I'd tell you!") while wearing a tshirt and socks you haven't removed in the last 36 hours and two dog-walks.

And Hello! My name is Suzanne and I'm a knitaholic.

I should be getting ready for the gym tomorrow and bed, but the late sunset has thrown me off. Chocolate chip cookies are almost done, so back to Bleak House and the stockinette stich in purple cotton.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Of Powerlessness and Fences

Have you ever been in that situation where you really really need something from someone and they just…ignore you? It's work related so I won't go into tedious detail, but that was my situation a week or so ago. An important meeting was looming, a meeting that included people who make up a big part of our business but are not technically part of our company so have a huge incentive to make nice. I asked several times for meetings, to collaborate…and nothing. Finally my boss stepped in and the collaboration happened, but I felt superfluous at best. It weighed on me for days, both the dread of the big meeting and the frustration around the process. And of course I didn't feel very good about the big meeting when it did happen. It's over now, though it's a recurring event, so the dread is looming once again. One of my vague New Year's resolutions was to do some sort of public speaking and I tried to take comfort in the thought that the meeting was some sort of preamble to public speaking, but that didn't help. I just got nervous and nervouser. But the situation got me thinking about power, and the ways I've used it over others or been at its mercy. And about how power is conferred--or not--in the first place. Was there anything I could have done to defuse the situation? Or taken control? After all, it's not like anyone designated them as having the upper hand. Um, unless that was me. Could I have just not cared about it, perhaps? I do wish I could flick that caring switch off and on at will. Well, looks like I'll get more opportunities to work on it.

Rex has continued to regularly escape his vertical restraints to roam the neighborhood, much to our chagrin and concern. On Sunday, M spent some thoughtful time at the home improvement store and came home with new fencing we intended to reinforce the back fencing that's been here for much longer than the decade we have, the one section we haven't replaced since moving in, fencing that seemed to be made for creatures low to the ground, and later layered with chicken wire for extra "security." These layers sit several feet in front of the ugly 10-foot chain link barrier the synagogue folks installed a few years ago. Also much to our chagrin, making us feel like we skirt some sort of prison compound. As we pulled the new green-painted wire fence across the old sagging rusted incarnation, I suggested we pull down the old stuff, the green version being so much less visible. And as it came down, I suggested we not replace it, but rather do away with it altogether, extending our side fences to tie into the back chain link fence. Which is not exactly legal, but it's not like the synagogue folks maintain that narrow spit between fences. If they wanted it, they would have installed their fence right up against ours, right? So we ripped up the old where it had become entangled with the tall spring grasses, yanking up the metal fence posts from the spring muck--if it had been August, I'm sure we would have been more like pretenders trying to extract Excalibur from the stone, but they came up without much effort. Though we probably would have procrastinated this "honey-do" for months if we had thought about it, it didn't take us long once we got going. We didn't poke out any eyes or other organs with the uprooted fencing that seemed to flail around with a life of its own at times. No poison oak so far. Best of all, apparently the dog didn't escape today, though we'll have to confirm with the neighbors. And suddenly we have a little more yard and a little less visual litter to contend with.

A note of karma: way back in late January, I finally found that perfect shelf/media console for the TV and the last of our books. We picked it up in early February, and I've been enjoying how the door to the bedroom where we put it just barely slips by, and how it holds the music CDs and DVDs and the last of the books. Maximizing space, baby! I kept and eye on the mailbox--I had reluctantly purchased it from Macy's, they of the usurious credit card charges--I didn't want to miss the bill and pay a late fee and the outrageous interest fees. Nothing was forthcoming in January, the month I ordered it. Nothing in February, even though we had taken delivery the first weekend of that month. Was my bill filched? Accidentally on purpose lost by the mail carrier whom Rex had laid teeth on? Just a few weeks ago I trepidatiously opened an online account to check my balance. Zero. $0! I told myself I would have paid that balance if I could have, but we had long ago recycled the packaging and I had ordered it on the phone so didn't have any paperwork. What was I supposed to do, march into Macy's and demand to give them several hundreds of dollars they had no record of? I made financial atonement by taking friends out to a pricey dinner and moving a little into savings and paying off a little more debt on another credit card. My heart skipped a beat when I received a message in my Inbox from Macy's a couple of days ago, but it turned out just to be a thinly veiled invitation to continue shopping. So of course, just as I'm convinced that I'm free and clear and would have done the right thing if I could have, today the paper bill arrived, presenting me with the right thing in black and white. No extra or late charges, but I do indeed owe every penny. Ah well! I have no regrets. It's all been money well spent.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Devil hat in progress

Devil hat in progress
Originally uploaded by suzipaw