Sunday, January 30, 2011

Off to Santa Clara

Cloche avant felting
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
I'm sure I look pretty silly now. I'm sitting in front of the laptop in my cloche, which I made on the spur of the moment this weekend, while it dries to the shape of my noggin. It smells faintly sheepy, which of course is not entirely pleasant. I think it was a procrastination project--ostensibly it's for my trip to New York in a couple of weeks, hence the urgency, but the roses languish unpruned and I have yet to pack for our first conference of the year, a sojourn that begins bright and early tomorrow. I just had to finish it! Not. But I did and I am fairly happy with it. My last felted cloche attempt just didn't fit right and I now employ it as a cozy for the French press, which is not dishonorable, but still...

I'm also wearing the shrug that I FINALLY finished after months of sucking up 2x2 ribbing in front of the TV. My yarn stash has diminished a bit and once I finish the daisy scarf-y thing I started last week, I won't have any pending projects. Ack! Better think of something soon.

As I leave tomorrow, M returns home. He's been wanting to take a motorcycle road trip for ages, and did it late last week, riding all the way down to the seat of his ancestral home in Orange County. If all goes well he'll be able to stop off at my hotel late in the afternoon for a brief visit. It would be heartening to see him. It's been very busy at work lately, what with the show next week which has sold out and the show in NY starting on Valentine's Day which will sell out shortly. I'm very glad that they're both going so well, but it will also be a relief to wrap them up.

Speaking of Valentine's Day, I was transported when I saw the February issue of Martha Stewart Living that featured a Valentine making party article. Ah, those were the days! The cards we made at my parties weren't nearly as sophisticated, but they were wonderful, heads-down-glueing-as-fast-as-we-can kind of afternoons, and the glitter never did quite vacuum out of my carpet, a nice year-round reminder. I do miss them.

Among all this work is happy visiting time. My aunt and uncle are coming out from Rochester in just a few days, so at this time next week I'll be seeing them along with Mom, brothers, and families. For the NY trip, I've decided to stay a few extra days after the show in order to see friends and family. And perhaps I'll have time to take the subway down to Poets House and a yarn shop or two. I dropped my overcoat at the cleaners this weekend--I suspect I'll need it.

OK, time to pack. Santa Clara ho!

Roxy Update PS--It's definitely better. No blood has been drawn lately and inter-canine growls are at a minimum. She's in the swing of our little rituals, so is following direction pretty well. She seems to be losing a little weight and getting in better shape. The one big downside--her fur is everywhere, though I comb her regularly, softening the corners of every room and darkening the tops of the baseboard. Guess that's just the wages of a large dog. A Roomba purchase may be imminent.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Weekend So Far

Rex fleury
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
While I worked most of yesterday, which was supposed to be a day off, it was still pleasant since I wasn't actually in the office. After weeks of rainy, gray, chilly weather, it turned absolutely gorgeous. I did meet M downtown for lunch at a Japanese restaurant and took les mutts for a long walk. The grass is juicy and the daisies and mustard are starting to bloom. Unfortunately, the new owners of the unfinished development are starting to work on the site again, so there goes a great place to walk the dogs in the winter.

Today was equally lovely weather wise and M and I took care of a dream chore I've been talking about for a while now: planting a peach tree. I know they're finicky what with the leaf curl, but dang it I love them. There were so many to choose from at the Urban Tree Farm!

We couldn't decide between a Rio Oso and a Suncrest, so I flipped a penny and it came up heads--so we got both. We also picked up a couple of violet trumpet vines to plant against the chain link fence. I hope that will help make the backyard seem less incarceration-y.

After the planting exertion, we had a very late lunch at Willie Bird, a dive-y Sonoma County institution that has been featured on cooking shows to watch the Ravens-Steelers playoff game and take in the local bar scene. Quite entertaining. I walked the dogs when we got home and now we're enjoying a quiet evening. I'm trying to make the most of this break in the gloom, and a few extra days break from work. It's going to be hard campaign from now til June. What will my adventure be tomorrow?


Here's a photo of two of my Not-So-Secret Santa gifts--I must have been a very good girl last year because I really scored. Thanks, Glo!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Happy Birthday

Birthday Boy at breakfast
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
M turned 40 today. I'm hoping it was a good day for him. And a good weekend. I know it's a milestone and I should have thrown him a party, but well...I have a hard time socializing with people en masse and frankly he really shouldn't have married a crowd-hating introvert if he wanted parties. I figure I have ten years to work up the energy to have a party for his big Five-Oh. But wait, I'll be nearly 60...forget it!

Last night we went over to a friend's house for dinner--I suspect they were pretty shocked that there was no party and had us over to compensate. They have two lovely daughters, one of whom sang as part of the evening's entertainment, as well as a large, affectionate dog and five cats, two of whom took up post prandial residence on our laps. How I miss daily feline affection.

Today we had a very tasty brunch where the waitresses sang "Happy Birthday" and several other patrons wished him same on our way out. We raced go-karts and played mini-golf and air hockey. We took a quick motorcycle ride through the late afternoon chill, admiring the countryside of Bennett Valley and Crane Canyon. And we just got back from a most excellent and gut-busting dinner at Stark's steakhouse where every course was Just. So. Good. Even the cheesecake at the end almost rivaled Mom's, which is saying quite a bit.

Any while it's not a milestone, Happy Birthday, Jay! I hope to see you in just a couple of weeks, dear brother.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


Originally uploaded by suzipaw
It was date night last night. M called me at work and asked if I would be up for about a two-hour activity after dinner. I said yes. I asked after my attire and he said just comfortable clothes was the only concern. It was very pleasant to not know what was coming but just be along for the ride. We ate swanky pizza first. At the the Double Decker Lanes (which as far as we can tell has only one story), we shot pool while waiting for a lane to open. It was very crowded, and very diverse too. I think the common thread was folks with not a lot of money. We had a grand time. My only disappointment was the bowling shoes. While the new fabric style certainly is more comfortable and retains its clownish appeal, they're so cheap as to be beneath stealing. Which is probably the point.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy New Year

Damp at Coppola
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
And so far it is happy. I'm sitting on the couch in front of the tube with my beloved human and my two favorite canines. Life is good.

The rest of our visit with Christin and Scott was great fun. The Coppola winery was fairly engrossing--a lot of movie memorabilia and awards to admire, and inside places to roam to stay out of the rain. The food didn't live up to its surroundings, but there could be worse things. We spent a few hours at the Indian casino after lunch--Luck was a lady to the men, but not her fellow ladies. Well, I did not venture a roll with the bones, choosing to sit in the bar with a beer to take in some televised football while the others wandered among the smoke-wreathed one-armed bandits, insistently chiming like colorful blinking sirens. I had forgotten how hard it is for me to be inside where smoking is allowed. One highlight was the collection of baskets from the late 19th-early 20th century on display. It was a great illustration of how feathers are used in weaving.

My cold waited until after our houseguests left to visit. Between the chill, gloomy weather and my sniffling, the rest of my vacation was just a scoche anti-climatic, but it was still good to sleep in and take long walks with the dogs and indulge in lots of movies with just a little productivity thrown in. I did have one other "first" experience of note: on Saturday night as we were settling in for a long winter's nap, M pointed to my eye and said "You better go look in the mirror." And there it was, a subconjunctival hemorrhage. Not pleasant to look at, but otherwise not an issue. I was only half-heartedly hoping it would be a reason not to go back to the gym, but the eye doc disabused me of that notion. So tomorrow the last of the holiday afterglow will dissipate when the radio sounds in the dark hours of dawn summoning me to my long neglected exercise ablutions.