February 28, 2008

Tickling My Funny Bone

I'm listening to NPR and I just heard "The overnight forecast? Get out a quilt..." Hee, hee. I have a few of those now!

(I must be feeling better. Or I'm absolutely slap happy.)


We're not going to talk about the week I've had. Suffice it to say I started off today tired, cranky and achey - thinking that I might need to leave after I finished preparing for tomorrow's hearing, so that I didn't take my bad mood out on anyone else. I left at 4:50 and considered it a great success that I managed not to behave inappropriately despite great provocation.

So, it was with some relief I remembered that Alex has an event tonight, one that he is doing me the great favor of not taking me to. I went to the repair shop to pick up my newly cleaned and tuned sewing machine, the dry cleaner who has patiently been waiting for us to pick up our clean clothes for a week, and then straight to the bathtub where I ran a hot bath. 45 uninterrupted minutes of soaking in the tub with a nice glass of wine and my book, and the headache is almost gone.

Since wine and quilting don't mix for me, I am switching to tea and then I'll have the rest of the evening to work on the baby quilt. And if it turns out I don't feel like it, I won't. Gwen has already figured out its best not to ask things of me tonight, and I have turned off my phone.

Peace, at last.

ETA: One block. I have a night free to quilt and I make one block.

February 24, 2008

The Photo Shoot

My parents stayed the night last night, a lovely treat. This morning Mom suggested we take the cameras and the dogs to Mead Gardens. It was a perfect morning (sunny but slightly overcast), and the dogs spent over an hour running and playing while we took pictures of flowers. They are great photo shoot companions, never bored. Pippen did eventually wear himself out. He was following Mom about and dropping down at her feet. Gwen toughed it out while we were there, but she's been sound asleep for hours now.

Thanks to their ability to entertain themselves (and the fact that you can rely on them to stay close), I had a chance to really play with the camera and try out some of the manual settings that always intimidate me. I'm pleased with the results.

February 23, 2008

Diapers and Bunnies

(There are so many things I've been meaning to tell you about, but I keep getting behind. So, I think I'll just toss them in here, timely or no.)

We're having a bit of a baby boom at work. The first baby was born last October and I gave her Mama sling to carry her in and big sister a doll sling from Close2UBaby. But, that gift didn't seem quite right for the next baby, due any minute now. (Literally, Mama is 2 cm. dilated as of her last trip to the doctor on Wednesday.)

After a little research, I
decided a portable changing station, since Mama will now have a 2 year old boy to keep an eye on while she changes the new little girl's diapers.

I originally saw the idea on line, but I haven't been able to find it again. So, (after recruiting a few people to go in on the gift with me) I just went shopping for a nice basket and everything you'd need to change a diaper in the middle of the living room.
  • diapers (naturally)
  • butt paste (they registered for it)
  • wipes
  • powder
  • a folding diapering pad
  • a toy with which to distract her (again, chosen from their registry)
I packed it all in to the basket with strong handles, tucking the receipt in to the bottom just in case they had brand preferences I hadn't followed. And then, since figuring out how to wrap this thing was not in my plans, I covered the whole shebang with this bunny hooded towel (I couldn't resist it when I saw it on their registry) and wrapped a bow around the middle.

A few plastic bags stuffed in to the hood to give the bunny a real face, and it was a very presentable gift. It was one of my favorites - imminently practical, very cute and oh so easy to do. I think I spent an hour total on it, and that includes the shopping.

February 22, 2008


It is the legislative season. I had two (count 'em two) conference calls to debate pending bills and the nuances of language ad nauseum. Fortunately, I packed my knitting.

February 17, 2008

Spring Serenade

The birds are singing their little hearts out in the early morning these days. Its a lovely way to wake up.
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February 14, 2008

Enjoying Valentine's

I've decided one of the great advantages of being married is having a week filled with lovely little scenes like this, the tableau that greeted me when I came home from church on Sunday. Living with my love, having these moments that seem just perfect on a random day of the week, means I feel perfectly free to tell him that the last thing I want to do for Valentine's Day is exchange gifts when we're still feeling the effects of the extrvagance of Christmas or sit in the midst of a crowd at a restaraunt. Tonight I plan to come home from work and make shrimp scampi over spinach, and then to spend the evening hanging out together on the couch. And I have no concern that there will be anything missing.

Valentine's wasn't always such a low key affair for us. The first several years we were dating, we were in law school. Preparation for exams began at Halloween and typically ended a day (two if you were lucky) before Christmas, when we each flew home to spend a precious week or two with our families. So, we didn't celebrate Christmas together and most years didn't even bother to exchange gifts. Instead, we made Valentine's our big celebration with flowers hand-delivered to my work, gifts exchanged after class and dinner out. It was lovely. But, I like this better.

Last year, our first Valentine's Day as a married couple worked out pretty well, too. Alex showed up at my office in the early afternoon, and I came back from a meeting to find him waiting for me. With my bosses blessing, he 'swept me away' for an afternoon together. We went out for a late, lazy lunch, when the restaraunt was all but empty and then made it home to watch movies together before the crowds descended. Our schedules won't allow for that this year, but its the same idea. No worries about how Valentine's is 'supposed to be' and taking complete pleasure in just being together... without the crowds.
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February 11, 2008


There will be a brief postponement of Photo Monday. The photos are all on the camera still, and it just ain't happenin' tonight.

I'm a fool whose first day at the VITA tax clinic is Wednesday, but put off starting my re-certification until today. I've just finished the Basic Test. They tell you to give yourself 45 minutes. It took me three hours. I still have to do the Intermediate tomorrow. I am dumb.

So, I'm not messing with the pictures tonight. I'm going down for a cup of tea and a conversation with my husband that is somewhat longer than
I'm still doing the tax certification. (barely glancing up from computer)
Uhm, okay.
Besides, I can hear him watching The Simpsons.

February 10, 2008

Sunday Morning Show

I came upstairs to the office this morning to check the news for any discernible reason our house would be filled with the smell of smoke. (I can't find any.) Sitting here, I suddenly see dozens of legs passing by the window. A quick twist of the shutters confirmed it - a race, maybe. Definitely lots and lots of women - and a few children- running, trotting, walking down our street at a quarter to eight on Sunday morning. It lasted for ten minutes. Sitting here, I can hear the laughter, the chatter and the squeal of children chasing each other. It was lovely.

And it makes me feel a bit lazy sitting here waiting for the coffee to brew.

I feel a little sorry for the women who just went by, walking far at the back of the pack and just feet in front of the police escort.

February 08, 2008

Morning Quiet

The clock radio will start reading the news in a few minutes, and I've already had my first cup of coffee and read a bit more of This I Believe in the dawn light of the house. I'm not a morning person or a night owl, more of a 'a good eight hours of sleep is a minimum suggested amount' kinda girl. When I wake in the early morning, it is almost always a symptom of anxiety over some current challenge in my life. Today it appears to be simple circadian rhythms, and I've enjoyed being relaxed in the simple quiet of the morning.

My neighborhood is rarely quiet. Its a mix of retirees, professionals and college students - someone for every time of the day. We live near the railroad tracks and across the street from surprisingly busy tennis courts. The path to the local schools is right past our street, and there's a lovely playground at the top of it. Even for an urban neighborhood, we have more going on than your average residential area. I love this about where we live, but it also means I expect background noise.

Today I was up before even the retirees and the diehard tennis players are out. The trains, though they come past at 2 am, apparently do not at 6. Even the birds were slow to wake on this cloudy day. It was luxurious - soft light, quiet house, plenty of time to sip my coffee before getting ready for work. It makes me wish I was a morning person.

February 06, 2008

An Old-fashioned Horse Race

Last night was Super Tuesday and, in a lovely old fashioned twist, we spent the night gathered around the radio. (We found the TV coverage annoying and switched to NPR.) This allowed me to fulfill my politics craving and still knit lace. I finally managed to knit a few rows that I didn't have to tink because I'd gotten distracted.
It allowed Alex, on the other hand, to more easily watch the real time results and choose his own political analysts.Maybe not so old-fashioned after all, come to think of it.

We are definitely part of the excited Democratic electorate who finally has candidates that inspire us, though. Its an awful lot of excitement. Think we'll survive until November?

February 04, 2008

Choices, Choices

I'm not much of a joiner when it comes to my crafts, but I'm up for the Block-along for Quilting Month at Sew, Mama, Sew. (So far, at least.) This week's block is the nine patch. The plain nine patch isn't interesting, and I've already done an entire quilt of the crazy nine patch. So, I decided to try the disappearing nine patch. Only, I can't decide how to re-set them now that it's sewn and sliced.

Option One - This reminds me of a window pane.
Option Two: It's funky, but it makes me a little dizzy. If I were making an entire quilt's worth, it could turn in to a neat effect. But, I'm not. I kind of like it anyway...
Option Three: And this one still seems a little funky, but not quite so wild. But, is it funky enough to be interesting?
Opinions? 'Cause I'm going to sleep on it.

Photo Monday

Morning coffee, a lovely ritual