Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Have Met My Match

I will admit that I have some natural artistic talent with knitting and most other fiber and fabric crafts. My mathematical mind is a surprising asset for most of these and I have always viewed my hands as my best feature.

Therefore, when I started spinning on my drop spindle, I was not completely surprised to find that it took me less a week (less than an hour?) to master it. My yarn is smooth and even. The twist is regular and there haven't been any breakage issues while knitting it.

Then I went to my Tuesday night SnB at the yarn shop. Being curious, I asked the owner to show me how to use a spinning wheel. She willingly obliged (how else would she make a sale?) and I had my first spinning wheel lesson.

I must admit, I knew I should have expected the resulting yarn that I produced: Thick as robe, fine as floss, slubby, fuzzy, extra twist here, no twist there. It was the saddest yarn I had ever seen. This was what my usually capable hands produced? Ugh!

There was this part of me that hoped, no, expected to have beautiful handspun coming from the spindle. Just call me Rapunzel. But no, it seems I am only an average spinner.

Not a prodegy, not even a savant. Only average.

I must find a way to change this.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In Vino Veritas

In case you haven't noticed, I've been waxing sentimental. It happens. I pop in to I poke through the photo albums. I eat the last box of girl scout cookies.

I like Colorado, but I loved Seattle.

So I must write about one other thing I miss.

You could buy decent wine in the grocery store. Heck you could buy it in the 7-11.

I'm not saying there isn't access to wine here, you just have to go to a liquor store to get it. But, there is definitely a difference between buying your weekly staples: milk (skim and whole), eggs, bread, diapers, WINE and taking your kids into a dusty liquor store with the cigarettes prominently displayed and the signage telling you that you too could have a bikini clad model. It just feels shadier.

But go I must. Our supply of Washington wines is dwindling and Summer evenings are coming. If there is one asset our new house has (besides my closet), it is our deck. The perfect place to sit and watch the kids at the playground and sip a glass of wine.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ode to Trader Joes

Oh, Trader Joes, how I miss you. Yes I have found a reasonable repacement, but I am still planning that road trip to Sante Fe just so I can walk your aisles again. What will I get? How have you changed since I left? I must get a case of the Three Buck Chuck everyone outside of Colorado is raving about (Two Buck Chuck in California). I hope you still have your chocolate clouds. My 3YO loves your clouds. I would indulge in your macadamia delices. Do you still have the ginger lemonade? How about those unsweetened banana chips? And your frozen entrees? Do you still have that fabulous Greek salad? Or the chocolate tea. I'm on my last box of tea and I'm afraid to open it.

Oh how I miss you. Please come to Colorado for a visit. You'll like it here. Maybe you can settle down and have a couple branches. I would willingly sacrifice my husband's hard earned cash if you would just do that for me.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Twilight Years

My computer is sick. It is a fairly inexpensive laptop that I have had for almost three years. It has served me faithfully but I will need a new model sooner than later.

For one thing, I dropped it on our Pergo (I refuse to call it hardwood) and the CD Rom popped right out. This is the only disc drive which means I can't back-up, install new software, or import music.

It's getting sluggish. In a drastic moment I went through the install/uninstall command to see if there was any software I didn't need anymore. This is when I doscovered that RealTek is not photoshop software like DH suggested, but all audio and video controls. There is no speaker or video functionality. No YouTube, no music, no iTunes preview before I buy, no free movie watching from netflix...

And I can't reinstall, because I have no CD Rom.

And it's soooo sluggish.

So should I break the budget and buy a new one before the final death throes so I can back-up all necessary info? Do I buy a cheap CD Rom for now, knowing I will still need a new computer sometime in the next year or so? Do I sit and do nothing?

What to do? What to do?

It's Raining It's Pouring

It's raining!

Most people would look at this day as a huge downer, but I love it!

Granted I spent six of my favorite years in Seattle, but I don't remember enjoying the rain. I know I didn't really mind it (until months eight and nine). But I am thouroughly enjoying this.

I am a natural homebody and I like the idea of being forced to stay in the house with my family. There are no obligations and we might even be able to get things done around the house.

Well, I do have one obligation. A friend of ours has published a magazine and I offered to help canvas a neighborhood, but this is Colorado and I fully expect to get a call to postpone. Coloradoans are not rain loving creatures and it really wouldn't make sense to drop off magazines on soggy doorsteps. Seattle, on the otherhand, cannot afford the luxery of cancelling due to rain. Were this the Pacific Northwest, the magazines would be printed and wrapped in plastic.

But I ramble. It's raining and we get to stay home and work on the honey-do list. And maybe go to Starbucks for old time's sake.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I had lunch with my mom this last weekend for her birthday and saw some people I knew in the restaurant. I don't know them well enough to go over and chat, so I didn't.

Me: I know those people
DH: You should say hi
Me: Nah
DH: Why?
Me: Because their son (who lived in Fort Collins) is cute and he helped me use his cuteness to get even with another guy I was dating in highschool and then I dated him while I was in college and he may still live in Fort Collins and I don't really want to accidently on purpose run into him.
DH: Um, we met the first week of college...

awkward pause

Yes, but by October I knew I wanted to date you exclusively? I love you.

This conversation actually only occured in my head. Of course I have told my husband about this guy, but like most men, he chooses to forget such things.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Because I Need Another Hobby

I knit. I sew. I can crochet. I'm crafty. I can do Origami. I read. I do just about all the needle arts. I walk and hike and rock climb. I cook.

However, until two weeks ago "I toil not, neither do I spin."

Well, now I spin.

It all started at my knitting group. Almost all of them spin, and my LYS specializes in spinning fibers. But I was able to convince myself that there was plenty of yarn out there and the last thing I needed was another hobby.

Until I watched the store owner spin some fiber. It was mostly pale blue, with some yellow and pink. As fiber, it looked a little bit like a tie-dyed sheep gone bad. As yarn, it was beautiful.

The yellow would spiral around the blue and hint at green, then it would change to a soft pink with a hint of lavender spiraling around it. Just gorgeous.

The next week I got a drop spindle (if you get a spindle, make it--it's easy and cheap) and I let my 3yo chose a color (Red merino with accents of yellow silk and orange camel).

And I was off. Once I managed to get a fairly even, slub-free yarn, I started to look for a pattern that could utilize my handspun. I found one in Vogue Knitting (really, do I look at any other knitting mags?)

I haven't figured out why, but I naturally spin a lace-sock weight yarn. When I try to make it thicker it get very slubby. I found out a week later that people can spend years trying to acheive an even laceweight yarn, which leads me to believe that were I to try a spinning wheel, I would have no problem achieving sport or worsted. I may have a spark of natural talent, but I don't think I could produce professional quality in a week on a drop spindle.

And no, I will not buy a spinning wheel. I have sources I can borrow from and if I were to buy one now, the only way to advance is to buy sheep. Which means I would need a llama to keep out coyotes, which means I might as well have alpaca, and an angora goat...

No no no, I do not need a spinning wheel.

The Elusive Cardigan

A few years ago I lived in Minnesota. Between the bitter winter and the brutal A/C in the Summer, I was always freezing at my desk at work.

My mom sent me a care package (it was my first place out of College). In it was a very pretty wool cardigan. It was a soft, pale green with white, blue, and brown fair isle motifs on the sleeves and around the hem. I loved that sweater even though it was--dare I say it--readywear. Mom found it on a clearance rack for less than $10.00. What a deal!

I kept it at work and wore it almost every day. The color coordinated with almost everything I owned and it fit just right.

I brought it home about every two weeks for a washing. Then, tragically, my newlywed husband decided to help out with the laundry. The honeymoon was over.

The fair isle bands shrunk so small I couldn't even get my hands in them. It had become a shapeless, horrifying thing.

I have spent the past seven years trying to find the cardigan that will replace it. I have a WIP that may suffice, but I'm not sure.

DH hasn't washed a sweater since then.

Spring is in the Air

It's now officially Spring--per the groundhog and the astronomers.

Typical of Colorado, the weather is very warm and sunny. People are digging their gardens, bare legs are everywhere, joggers and cyclers are finding their favorite trails.

It almost makes me want to put away all the Winter clothing.


Colorado is very good at bringing a whopper of a storm this time of year. Four years ago, in mid-March, there was a glorious weekend of warm and sunny weather that was immediately followed by a snowstorm that shut down the state for a week. My parents had six feet of snow. What good are linen pants and cotton tank tops in six feet of snow?

So I am patiently waiting for the real Spring to arrive.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I feel the need to clarify something.

When I started this blog, I really thought the only people who would read it were friends from other states who might want a quick peek at what I was up to. I am now realizing that other people have been perusing. Of course this doesn't bother me--I wouldn't blog at all if it did--but I must admit one small transgression:

I reserve and have exerted my right to enhance the truth a little. The basic jist of my stories are there, but sometimes I enhance or omit things to emphasize the humor.

My husband was not a complete ass while I had the flu. He cooked and took care of the kids and made my week as easy as he could. He himself started a new job that week and we both agreed the need to prove himself superceded the desire to have him more involved on the home front that week. Even when he was sick he went to work because he had to.

If you know me and chance to meet my husband, he is not the scum of the earth. I am very happily married and very much in love with him.

Oh, and also, the Ciabatta from Whole Foods didn't really talk to me either.

My Closet

I have a thing about closets.

I think all standard closets are useless. What good is one pole for hanging and a small shelf that is usually to high to be servicable? I also feel that if the doors are always open, the walls should be painted (I get this from my mom who actually wallpapered my closet). My mission in every house I've moved into is to redo ALL the closets.

It's what I do.

This has been on hold, like so many other projects, because of funding. However, we paid the piper too much last year, and he sent us a nice little check to make up for it. So I splurged on the smallest room in the house that I spend less than 15 minutes a week in.

I went to Home Depot and checked out their laminate tiles and paint. When DH came home I showed him my swatches and told him my vision. He approved thinking this might be my five year plan. He came home the next day to the carpet ripped out to the subfloor and all the junk hardware removed. In for a penny in for a pound.

I trekked though the project. I painted and refloored and installed really pretty Closetmaid organizers. All that's left is the floor molding and a couple power saw strokes on some shelves. There were a couple snafus--HD no longer carried the closetry I have always used and one of my drawers doesn't quite slide in all the way--but it's done and it's gorgeous...

...and now the rest of the house looks a little ghetto. We must now fix up the rest of the house to match the beauty of my closet. At least I didn't redo the bathroom only to have the rest of the house aspire to be as nice as the toilet.

Oh and to give my DH his credit, he did help me. He cut the edge around the light fixture with paint so I wouldn't have to take it down. And he carried the boxes up the stairs.

Household Status

We are all healthy again. It took a full two weeks for the bug to complete it's tour through each of us but we are all feeling groovy. DH spent the second week mad at his body because a "cold" shouldn't last that long. I tried to explain that colds don't last that long. We had the flu and the sooner he admitted it, the sooner I could feel sorry for him.

Ah yes, we are back to normal. DH loves his new job. It's amazing to see the difference it makes. We still have the same income, even less because now the taxes are pulled before we get the check, but his happiness makes penny pinching easier. Now we just sit back and wait for time and talent to adjust things accordingly.

Spring has entered Colorado. I'm sure there are still a few Winter tricks left, but the residual snow is gone.

This means, I need to start Spring Cleaning.

What is it about this phenomenon? I look around my home and every speck of dirt and clutter (more of the latter than former) disgusts me. I would love to have the kiddo's sent to a relative for the day so I could do a good and thourough job of it. As it is, I must do my de-cluttering during naps. With this schedule, I won't be done until next Spring.
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