Why Sarah Shouldn’t Be Allowed In Craft Stores

A friend of mine is trying to pare down her stash of craft supplies.  My punishment for snickering at her pain (in sympathy, sheesh) was a bagful of gorgeous embroidery floss and a roll of 14-count Aida cloth* metaphorically let on my doorstep with a note saying, “You know you want to.”

I do and this was the perfect excuse to make time for a project I’ve been thinking about off and on for a while now:  I wanted to make a framed cross stitch of one of my favorite poems.

The poet is a very-much alive friend (hi, John!), so I asked permission and he immediately granted it, because he’s a nice guy.

Last night, I sat down with a calculator, a ruler, the back of an official-looking envelope that I should probably look at more carefully once I finish this post, and this nifty little online program.

An hour (or two) later, I had a basic pattern and a problem.  Because this other nifty little program told me I didn’t have enough Aida cloth, unless I skipped the border and the framing margins.

Luckily, it’s my day off today, so I had time to run out this morning and buy a bigger piece.  Unfortunately, the only place that sells that stuff . . . is the craft store.

You don’t send an alcoholic to the liquor store.  You don’t send a compulsive shopper to Rodeo Drive.  You don’t allow Sunny near FAO Schwartz, Jane within visual distance of an Apple Store, or any member of my family by blood or marriage into Jo-Beth books without a plan, a cash-only budget, a megaphone, physical restraints, and possibly a trained therapist to provide aftercare.**

I know this.

But I still believe I can  zip into the craft store—by which I mean any craft store—and buy the single item I need without trouble . . . and I still automatically pick up a cart at the door, like that isn’t a blatant, if subconscious, admission of defeat.Aida cloth

This morning, I spent a ridiculous amount of time debating whether one of the several other available items is better than the one I was determined to buy.  One was, and I bought it*** and avoided the scroll frames, because my friend Grace gave me a perfectly good one before she moved last year.^

I could have left.  I should have left.

Craft NeedlesCraft glassesBut then I caught sight of the needles, and I couldn’t remember if I had the right kind or where I would have put them, if I did.  But I did remember the trouble I had the last time I tried to thread a needle, while simultaneously ignoring the fact that I’d been trying to even shove the end of actual invisible thread through the eye of a tiny sharpie.

I’m talented that way.

Alarms were dimly ringing at this point, possibly from the direction of my credit card, but I remembered that Jane had asked if we had any fabric scraps so she could practice with the sewing machine.  So I decided to swing past the quilting stuff to check the remnants, which was just past the bargain bins . . . which is when everything went a bit funny . . .

Craft Yarn

. . . I don’t know, the last thing I remember is a random thought about Christmas and scarves and the kids, who don’t like wearing scarves.  Then next thing I knew, I was at home with a big bag of stuff and a receipt that was a lot longer than I’d anticipated.

At least I came home with the Aida cloth.  It’s on the frame (thanks, Grace!), center-marked, and ready to go.

As soon as I can decide on the colors . . .

Scroll frame

Onward!

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*The stuff that looks like rows of tiny squares, for cross-stitch.  The count means how many squares there are in a linear inch.

**You’d think librarians would be immune to the lure of literary acquisition, but we really, really aren’t.

***The project isn’t this big, but stores don’t usually carry sizes between 15″ x 18″, which is what I had at hand, and this.

^Along with four garbage bags of her stash.  I have a theory that craft supply stashes are a single, gestalt being that shuffles itself around from place to place as needed.   My husband has a theory that I’m a sucker in need of professional help.  I don’t see the conflict, here.

Random Thursday: Erinaceinae Emeritus, Suckered Sandalium, and Monomorium Moratoriums*

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

Sorry about skipping Tuesday’s post.  I was too busy avoiding anything to do with writing—like a boss, might I add.

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 Ahem

Hedgh og

I certainly understand why this might make someone a bit prickly . . .

I see what you did there

 OOOOOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOOOOO

Candy Ants

Candy AntsSo.

The ants came marching one by . . . one thousand . . .  into our kitchen last weekend.

Our regular exterminator is out sick and his sub couldn’t get here until this afternoon.

Which means I’ve been phantom itchy for days.
I’ve been scratching and slapping at hordes of absent insects
like an imaginative hypochondriac with ants crawling all over her kitchen.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate all the things that ants do, like keeping the termites from moving in and breaking down the soil and upholding the matriarchy and all that.

But I’m ready to take a flamethrower to the pantry, just to make sure . . .

 OOOOOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOOOOO

Pure Mashy Brilliance

My only complaint is that we can’t get a clear look at Hawkeye.

I’m betting if we could, he’d be Toto.

 OOOOOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOOOOO

Octopodia

I’m Gonna Need Seven More of These . . .

Octoshoe

 . . . and a Chiropractor.

 OOOOOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOOOOO

Nope, Nope, Nopidy, Nope, Nope.

Bringed you a fly

Unless he eats ants.

Then I’d totally give him the run of the kitchen
and fond thoughts from my nearby hotel room.

  OOOOOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOOOOO

Tying it All Together**

Kev:  You Thursdayed up?

Me:  I need another video.

Kev: What do you have so far?

Me:  Well . . .

Five minutes later, in my inbox:

Well, played, Earworm King.  Well played.

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* Hey, if I had to look all of this up, you have to look it up.

** Except the other video.  But that’s where the random comes in, right?

So . . . Here’s What Happened . . .

Yesterday, was my day off. I’d planned to use the gift certificate I received for Mother’s Day to get my nails done and then maybe blog about it because I know how much y’all adore every detail about my nail care routine.

But I also  had to buy a birthday present for Sunny’s friend, dishwashing detergent, pumpernickel bread, a specific birthday gift for my husband, balloons for Jane’s science assignment illustrating static electricity.  I needed to make dinner for a friend who just had surgery (which is why pumpernickel bread is mentioned in the previous sentence) and deliver it.  I then had to pick up the kids from school—because my husband graciously agreed to take them to school that morning—and get them home in time for my husband to take them to their respective music lessons.Dancing Cake

Piece of cake.

I perhaps slept in a little more than I wanted to but I did get on the exercise bike without too much whining.  Showered, dressed, and sufficiently caffeinated, I set off.

The first store had Sunny’s friend’s gift and the detergent,* but no pumpernickel, specific husband gift, or reasonably priced balloons.

The second store had reasonably priced balloons (plus the gift bags and birthday cards I’d forgotten to add to the list), but didn’t carry bread or gifts my husband would appreciate.

I zipped over to my nail appointment, by which I mean I followed at minimal safe distance a series of other drivers who seemed to be unclear about where they were going and how quickly they needed to get there, but were adamant about leaving their turn signals on to save time.  But I did make it with minutes to spare.

Say what you want about the frivolity of manicures, but it’s always lovely to have someone hold your hand for half an hour, add a little color to your life, and then massage pineapple oil into your sore writing muscles.  My nails are now a shade called “Imagination”, which might look beige under artificial light, but sparkles gold in the sunshine.  I like that.

I only wish I’d remembered my gift certificate . . .

The third store had my husband’s birthday present and every kind of bread I could have wished for, as long as I didn’t wish for pumpernickel.

The fourth store had pumpernickel.

I went home, hid some of my shopping,** and started scraping carrots, de-stringing celery, and denuding spuds for a vat of baked potato soup (this one with smoked sausage bits added to the onions—and yes, the cat still considers himself a key ingredient) to feed my friend’s family, plus enough for my family the next night.

Halfway through, my stomach demanded to know what I was going to do about its state of impending implosion, so I made lunch, ate it, and continued making soup.  Once soup had been achieved, I let it cool and called my friend for directions.  Her husband, who is a jwonderful man who fully intends to take on his beloved’s work load but had no idea she did quite this much, answered and gave me detailed directions that depended on landmarks that haven’t existed since well before we moved up here, so I secured the street address to their town house complex and dug out the GPS.

I love my GPS but its suction cup mount and I have a non-aggression pact, which it violated by popping free just as I reached the part of town I knew nothing about.  Figuring that GPSing from one’s lap was worse than texting, I pulled over and got my own back by licking the suction cup and slamming it onto the surface of my windshield, where it stuck . . . upside down.  I pried it free, tried again, and we all went on our way.  I don’t believe I was imagining the disapproval in the GPS’s voice, but I didn’t start it, so I didn’t care.

I delivered the soup, bread, a box of Godiva, and hugs to my medication-goofy friend and her exhausted husband, and went to pick up the kids.  While waiting in the Parental Line, I checked my e-mail and found that Jane’s Humanities teacher had cc’d me on an e-mail that supplied the four assignments Jane had missed that month, all of which were due the following day at 3:30.  To her credit . . . pun woefully unintended . . . she fully acknowledged that she needed to do them and told me she needed my computer.

I agreed, because legitimate excuses for writing avoidance are not to be ignored and I’m not interested in providing her with a scapegoat for her lousy grades, thank you.

Brain FailWhen we got home, my husband had put the potato soup in the fridge, which would have been perfect, except he’d inadvertently unearthed the roast I’d bought, which I’d meant to slow-cook Monday but had instead ended up dropping it into the black hole I have where other people keep their memory centers.  The date label suggested that I either cook it by the next day or lose it in the black hole we keep where other people have freezers.

So instead of spending the kids’ music lesson time doing a post on my busy day, I prepped the roast for crockpotting (it’s a Real Verb, Downith, I swear), and began gently reheating potato soup.

The kids came home, told me they didn’t like potato soup and would prefer Campbell’s, please, and dispersed to deal with their Humanities backlog and top up their RDA of cartoons, respectively, which may well have saved their lives and the state of Illinois the cost of a trial.

So I opened cans and heated things and kissed my husband good-bye . . . I think . . . and ended up burning the bottom of the potato soup, because of course.  But everyone was eventually fed and homeworked (she says) and showered, so I made good use of the dishwashing detergent, and sat down to write a belated post about I don’t even know.

And then my MIL came upstairs to complain that her toilet was bubbling, and the last time it did that, the sewer line outside the house had backed up into her back room.

It did that this time, too.

So that’s why my regular Tuesday post is being posted today and also why there will be no random Thursday post tomorrow.***

Because life is being random enough at the moment.

Time Flies

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*Which was so well-hidden behind a young man examining a bottle of drain cleaner and his full cart that I made three passes down the aisle before I realized he was blocking the shelf I needed.  When I finally stopped and said, “Excuse me,” he smirked and said, “Sorry, I have a girlfriend.”    I gave him Sunny’s best unimpressed look and said, “I’ll forgive you if you move so I can get that green box right there.”  Wait for the pitch before you lob it back, gentlemen.

**Not because my husband doesn’t know exactly what he’s getting, but to prevent the kids from opening the bag if front of him, pulling out the gift and saying, “Mom?  Who is this for?”  Bother birthdays and parenting often depend on plausible deniability.

***That and Sunny’s Girl Scout bridging ceremony Thursday evening.  And I just remembered that I have to iron all her badges on her vest.  And that the ironing board is in the back room of my MIL’s apartment . . .

 

 

 

Quarantined Until Further Naps, I mean, Notice

We’re not even one month in, yet, and 2015 has already gone viral.

Two Saturdays ago, poor Sunny went uncharacteristically lethargic, lost her dinner,* and spent Sunday sleeping.

That evening, Jane experienced a non-triggered panic attack. I know that’s not a virus, but the symptoms looked a lot like sudden-onset pneumonia, especially with her history of bronchial mishegaas, so my husband took her to the hospital, where she was given a Xanax and several tests to make sure her heart and lung were clear, which they were.

On Monday, she fell asleep in the middle of math class—in the middle of giving an answer in math class, according to the school—and came home to sleep off the residual effects of the adrenaline spike and/or benzodiazepine.

I had a blinding sinus headache on Wednesday, but powered through on Advil, caffeine, and hope until all three gave up on me around lunch on Thursday.

We enjoyed a day and a half of relative good health.

Then on Saturday, Sunny developed a mild fever after swim class and voluntarily slept through the day. She went downhill on Sunday—her fever hit 103F just as the medical clinics closed—and started bark-coughing between refusing to eat anything “scratchy” and complaining that her empty tummy hurt.

She and I spent a miserable night—she trying to breathe, me making sure she didn’t stop—and when she woke up Monday, she swallowed twice, tried to say “ouch!” and burst into tears. So instead of spending our day off at the museum (or writing), I took her to the pediatrician. He said she had nothing more dire than a severe sore throat and gave her a prescription for steroids to soothe the throat swelling.We also went the homeopathic route with chocolate pudding, Gatorade, and the final two episodes of The Librarians.Unfortunately, either the steroids or the chocolate made Sunny just a tad manic, so none of us could catch up on some much-needed sleep.

We all went to bed last night—from my text history, I was asleep an hour or two before I hit the pillow—hoping that the Time of the Virus was finally behind us . . .

. . . and then, about ten-thirty, Jane threw up.

If this continues, it’s going to be an interesting year.

How’s YOUR health?

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* I cannot overemphasize the sincere joy of having children old enough, and savvy enough, to clamp their own hands over their mouths and run for the nearest acceptable receptacle.  It’s right up there with pitching out the last plastic potty and retiring the diaper bag.

Let it Snow, my blue, frozen @$$

hate-snow-Lucy

You know why this post is so short?

Because five inches of snow and a 20 minute commute that took and hour and twenty, that’s why.

Because EVERY WINTER, certain owners of big vehicles tell themselves that other people—presumably everyone in front of them—can’t drive in snow and then end up doing some asinine tailgating-passing-too-close-snow-isn’t-slippery-when-I’m-driving-on-it-engine-gunning-mine’s-bigger maneuver that ALWAYS ends up with their beloved behemoth and three or four other cars turned the wrong way at the end of a mile-long bridge, with bumpers and headlight pieces strewn all over the place, blocking the whole works.

That’s why.

At least the kids weren’t in the car with me when it happened and a Terry Pratchett audiobook was, so my tension levels were nearer Eye Twitch than Defcon.

I don’t like driving on snow. And I especially don’t like braking while driving on the packed stuff—which I did for three miles and forty minutes this morning.

There is hope that the roads will be clear of both snow and idiots—Karmic Darwin* to the rescue—because Jane’s birthday is tomorrow, and I would like to pick up a couple of things on the way home, in case her school closes due to “extreme cold”.**

And if you have it worse—and many people do or did or will, this winter—all I can say is that your pain and frustrations don’t negate my pain and frustration.

But if you’d like to share your Winter Wonderland horror stories below, I’m listening.

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*Best superhero name ever!

**It’s supposed to be -30F with the wind chill, and many of the kids have to walk outside between classes.  It’s one of the hazards of having a school that outgrew its original historical landmark building.