Writing about the day to day mysteries of life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Where is Chummi Bear and Squirrels

First off, I want to say that birds do eat the stink bugs.  Yesterday a flock of birds flew in and went nutso eating all of the bugs.  It was weird!  A million stink bugs are still around.

Ian wants to know where Chummi Bear is, does anyone know what he is up to?  He seems to be lost somewhere in the pacific northwest.  Hey Chumster keep us posted.

My 2011 monthly quilt project is going to be squirrels.  I really enjoyed doing monthly small quilts, but don't want to do events again.  I got a cute pattern of a squirrel and will vary it every month.  Would anyone else like to join me? I will send you the pattern, the rest is up to you.  I may make a sample to show off.  This year I have not been buying fabric.  I have done existing projects or used scraps, but for "Squirrels Gone Crazy" I am going to buy some fabric in Houston!  I NEED NEW FABRIC!  I am so excited for Houston.  Teri is going to go also - whoohoo.  I will meet up with Cheryl and hang with my quilting pal, Amanda.  Anyone else going? 

I am off to pick Ellen up, she has been camping with the 7th grade for the last two days.  I bet I will have an exhausted and cranky child.  I am sure they had a great time!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Asking the Right Questions

I am going to go talk about misunderstandings on a small scale, nothing like religion or poliitcs.  I am talking about the day to day misunderstandings that make life confusing and that ALL people experience.  This makes it easier than assuming it is only me that misunderstands all of the time.  Maybe it is working in a preschool or having three crazy kids, but the answer you get doesn't always answer the question you are asking.  For example, "did you change your underwear?" is not the same question as "did you change your underwear today?"   Or another example, "did you read?" is not the same as "did you read your assigned book." Even another example, "did you throw away your gum?" is not the same as "did you throw away your gum in the trashcan?"  I think asking the right (unless it is left) or correct question is not easy.

At the grocery store I witnessed the "Right Question Phenomenon" in the parking lot.  I parked by a small sedan with it's hood open.  Sitting in the car were two women, an older one and a younger one.  Parked in front of them was an enormous F17000+6 Ford pick up.  The thing was big enough to haul a movie theater.  I hopped out and asked the older woman if they needed a jump.  She said they were waiting for roadside assistance.  I asked again if she needed a jump.  She said yes, but didn't know how to do it.   She had jumper cables, but didn't know how to use them.  I told her I would give her a jump, no big deal.  I walked over to the monster truck guy to ask him if he would mind moving.  This tiny little man hopped out and snippily informed me, "they told me they needed roadside assistance, I asked if they needed help!"  He proceeded to get their car started in two minutes.  I think he wasn't specific enough in his question and they weren't specific enough in their answer. 

I did tell the younger woman to come out of the car with her grandma to learn how to use the jumper cables.  It isn't hard and everyone should be able do it.  

We are having a mass invasion of those brown stink bugs. They are everywhere. We have never had them like this - gross.  No birds seem to be eating them, they must taste like ear wax.   One of the window screens reminds me of an aquarium, the kitten is riveted to it. I wonder if a praying mantis would eat them?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gooks Balore

I haven't posted a book entry in awhile and it isn't because I haven't been reading.  I have been reading a lot actually - mucho time in waiting rooms.   I read two fabulous books this summer and so keep thinking about them in my head.  The first book was "Cutting for Stone", I was amazed by this book.  I was expecting depressing, because it is about Indian characters doing missionary work in Ethiopia.  A beautiful book.  It was sad definitely, but not oppressively so.  I really suggest this book, it brings up many issues of kindness, faith, love, compassion, care for the sick, human frailty and strength.  I will go so far as to say this is one of the best books I have ever read.

The second book banging around in my brain is "Handling Sin" by Michael Malone.  My friend, Amanda, gave it to me.  I was daunted by the 800 pages, but got sucked in quickly.  It is a series of events that happens to the most boring, banal, set-in-his-ways, small town guy.  He is basically sent on a scavenger hunt by his dying father, it is a comedic genius of a plot.  I won't and can't even tell you all the situations that befall.   I would like to hear how the author kept it all straight.  The beauty of it is the surrender to faith and family, even in a cruel, unpredictable, illogical world.  The author is southern through and through and really turns a phrase. This is an excellent read.

I have the following on my nightstand:

The Lost Book Series 1-4, Ted Decker
Silo, Leif Peterson
Missing, Leif Peterson
Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace, Ayelet Waldman

Ellen is reading and loving the "Red Pyramid".
Ian is reading and loving the "Lightning Thief".

A high-five to Rick Riordan for both these series!

Ned was being bothered by Ian, that sibling thing.  Something along the lines of  "you can't read, you aren't really reading, tell me what that word is, etc..."  Ned with quiet dignity tells him, "I am reading the pictures."  Ned was "reading" his favorite book "Nubs".  Yes, Ned could almost read the book word for word from memory.  Learning to read has many levels!  p.s  Ned can read, just chooses not to unless under duress.  "Nubs" is a very cute book!

Crazy People and a Cat Quilt

Yesterday, I went to BJ's.  I was going to label BJ's as my heading, but that sounded too racy. As I was standing in line with the crazy people, I wondered why am I here.  Why did I do all this for pretzels?  I of course got all my stuff loaded on the conveyor when the checker had to dash off for a price check.  A price check in a warehouse takes forever.  I didn't realize a woman was standing behind me until the checker told her he was closed.  She started yelling that she had been waiting forever and had been in this line way too long.  Now the african-american woman in front of me starts yelling that she just lined up and hadn't been there long at all.  The woman behind me yells really loudly, "I ain't talking to your crazy ass!" Oh man, the fur is flying and there I am standing in the middle.  I am trying to look inconspicuous, when the woman in front says, "if anyone should be complaining it is this woman and she ain't saying anything" and she points to me.  OH, I so don't want to be involved.  I shuffle, nervously laugh and hope for a hole to swallow me.  I probably looked mentally deficient.  The woman behind me finally moves off with a lot of muttering and grumbling, but the women in front don't let it go.  They are "talking under their breath" loud enough for every other aisle to hear.  The best line was, "she over there with a cart full of shit, talking trash."  I have to look up to see what she is buying - toilet paper.  I get the giggles.  The sentence could just have easily been "she over there with a cart full of trash, talking shit." T  Do the rest of you have these "crazy ass" situations?

I got inspired to do my September quilt.  It turned out fabuloso and the front of the refrigerator is filling up. 
Tiny Cat is doing well, she just spent the last 45 minutes chasing her tail. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quilts and Cookies

I put the finishing stitches on my August quilt, yes I know it is September.  I had the idea in August, but did not get it done.  I finished it up at chemo, my friend Eileen gave me suggestions.  It is cute.

I finally got two quilts mailed off to the longarm quilter who lives in College Place, WA.  She won't be able to work on them for a couple of weeks.  She is busy with the Walla Walla Quilt Fest, so if in that area you should go.  I don't need my quilts until our quilt guild show in March.  I also got the binding attached to two quilts, I am hoping to finish them on my fly fishing weekend.  We will be sitting around in the evenings and the quilts will be the perfect projects.  I have one more to bind, it would be crazy if I got that one finished also.  I haven't gotten very far working on UFO's this year.  I think I may finish "Raven's Tale", but that is it.  I also set a goal (as did my friend Amanda) that we would buy no new fabric until Houston.  I can't wait to see all the vendor boothes-whoohoo!!

Last night Ellen got home from school and asked if we could make cookies.  I told her no, because of chemo/vaccine fatigue.  She tells me that her writing assignment is to do something she has always wanted to do and never done before and then write about it.  She wants to make cookies???  As you all know I love cookies, we make cookies all the time.  Maybe when she is standing there helping, in her head she is doing something else.  I look like the worst kinda mom, the kinda mom that never makes things with their kids.  I have many failings, but that is not one of them.  I asked what the other kids were doing, thinking they might be backpacking, mountain climbing, feeding the homeless.  Her best friend has always wanted to make pizza.  I guess to a twelve year old, the little things really are the big things.

Ian comes in an hour later and says, "mom, you have to make cookies.  I am going to raise money to build a skate park at school and we are going to sell your cookies!"  After dinner I heard Ian on the phone telling his friend that he was going to buy plywood and spray paint first, with the money from the cookies.  How many cookies would Ian have to sell to raise enough for a skate park?  Ian doesn't even do skateboard. Because I am right on top of this, I am lying on the couch blogging about cookies instead of making cookies.   I do wish I had a cookie!
cookie from farmer's market in Madison, WI

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Misc. Merriment

Ned got off the bus yesterday and shouted, "I was so good at school today that my teacher gave me two days off."  I asked him if he gets Saturday and Sunday off and he so excitedly shouted, YES!"  Today we are off to McDonogh to do some fishing, check out the secret stream and pick some tomatoes.  It is a perfect fall day.

Ned got a tent for his birthday and so last night we slept in the tent.  Ned made it until 9:30 and then got so scared he had to come in.  Ellen flat out refused to join us in the tent.  Ian was so tired he was sound asleep at 9:30.  So, I took an Ambien and crashed in the tent.  Besides a backache this morning it was sort of a non-event.  It was a great night to be in the tent, the weather was cool and dry. 

I got Ellen a cell phone last weekend.  According to Ellen she was the LAST kid in middle school to get a phone.  She is generally accurate  on personal slights and injustices, so I will take her word for it.  Ellen couldn't figure out how to change the ringtone, so took out the batteries and sim card.  I was able to get the phone fixed, but the phone has been grounded until she can make better choices -- like asking for assistance first.   If it all wasn't so aggravating, I would be laughing.  

The ONE day before all that happened, Ned came in to tattle that Ellen was texting while riding her bike.  She told me, "but I pulled over to the side of the path."  I guess PSA's really do make a difference.

Thursday night Ian was tired and grumpy, he snapped at Ned to be quiet.  He did this while Ned was in the bathtub. He also went in and flipped off the light, so of course I was summoned by the shrieking.  I got Ned out and into bed and he told me how scary that was because, "a Lego shark was in there with him." 

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Cherry On Top

I was given this bloggy award by Cheryl of Muppin.com!  Thank you Cheryl!  The word "bloggy" does make me cringe though.

1. Answer this question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be? 

I would change getting a breast cancer diagnosis, no one should hear that they have cancer.  So many things in life each individual can take responsibility for, but not cancer.  I can apologize for bad behavior, decisions, mistakes, lapses in judgments, but cancer hits indiscriminately and without reason. 

2. Secondly, pick 6 people and give them this award. Make sure to inform the person that they have gotten this award!

1. Cheryl Sleboda at http://blog.muppin.com for all her creative endeavors.  She is always busy doing something creative.  She has great tutorials, ideas and cheerful thoughts.  She sent me the award, but I would have her on my list.

2.  Chris from  http://chris-alt-del.blogspot.com writes about his Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  I have never met him, he is a guy from Detroit.   He doesn't just write about his cancer, but how he lives his life around it.  It is interesting for me to see other cancer survivors just getting on with things; not glossing over pain; being who they are with a diabolic illness.  He always has a great playlist as well.

3. Allie from http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com is awesome to read, her dialogue and drawings are hysterical!!  I laugh out loud over the drawings and situations.  Ian was hysterical over the cartoon about bike riding.

4. Teri from http://yetiak.blogspot.com when she posts has insightful tidbits.  She is my sister, lives in Alaska and just has a different way of thinking.  It is hard to predict what she is thinking.  Teri is a much nicer person than I am, she isn't always having evil thoughts.

5. Heather and Megan from http://quiltstory.blogspot.com are two sisters that post quilts and the corresponding stories.  It is a fun, interesting and great way to see a variety of quilts from all over.  When I get brave enough and can figure out all the technical instructions, I want to post my breast cancer quilt.

6. Nannette from http://nanettesthoughtfulspot.blogspot.com  writes about her life in Montana.  She is my cousin and lives a life so different from my own.  She home schools, gardens, hikes and lives an extreme un-urban life.  Us city-dwellers think of the "country life" as idyllic, but is she honest about her triumphs and struggles.  Life has ups and downs no matter where you live.

3. Be sure to thank the person who gave you the award.  
Thank you Cheryl for thinking of me.  See you in Houston. 

This was fun! 


Sunday, September 5, 2010

All Good and No Bad

Last post was about things we didn't want.  This post is about the things that we have wanted or that were good. I have entered them in no particular order.

A labrador pillow from my friend Carly.
Our new cat, Minnow.  Shhh, the kids will meet her tonight!
Ian's poison ivy is healing.
The Maryland State Fair (excluding the barfing).
A nice quilting day yesterday with my friend Amanda.
A smooth start to the school year.
I have read some great books in the last two weeks, the "Hunger Games" series and "handling Sin" by Michael Malone.  I had a great summer of reading!
Almost finished with my August quilt, I am proud of myself for consistently following through on the project.  I haven't had my usual project ADD.

September is here and in full swing and I wasn't finished with August yet.  It is stunningly beautiful weather this weekend, but feels like fall.  It feels like the kind of day to buy a mum and a pumpkin.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Things I don't Want That We Have Had

1. The last day of summer.
2. Ian to have ringworm.
3. Ian to have GIANT blisters from poison ivy.  I took him to the Dr. and he "popped" them.  Internet says to never pop them - arghh!!
4. A mosquito in my bedroom.
5. Foot scrubbing, because boy's feet were black.  Eewwwy gross!
6.  Two revolting slugs mating on the house.
7.  Repeated projectile vomit from the friend we took to the State Fair.
8.  Ian to have had a "foreign object" removed from his foot.
9. Having drinks with a guy and having him discuss his colonoscopy.

I have repeated this many times, probably ad nauseum, but someone told me "if you go from the premise that children are gross, then you can live easier."   I totally agree, but sometimes it just gangs up on you.  A whole lot of yuck lately!