the hustle

i can’t believe it’s been a full week since i was here last. the boy called me yesterday wondering where i was and why i hadn’t been posting updates on the birds. hmm. good questions.

to start, let’s start at the beginning. easter? we stayed home and i cleaned and we ate food but nothing fancy and it was a real “scotts” kind of holiday celebrating in that my mama and step-dad don’t do holidays because they are hard working people and the best holiday is the uneventful one.

there were eggs of course and easter cookie house decorating.

and this past week, there was knitting (duh)

this is the fastest little sweater whipped up in a day! find the pattern here

remember the yarn i spun… here? i spun it into 3 color ways by plying the light and dark together, then the light by itself and the dark by itself. i really had no idea what to knit so i decided a circle would be it. good round midnight moon. it’s small having used size US 6 needles and measures only 24” in diameter, but i lalalalalove it. you can find the pattern i followed here. i didn’t do any sort of edging though, just a few rows in garter. ta-da!

and there was even a date night! we went out for first friday to see the wonderfully talented sweet heart that is maryanne who had some work in the primary colors exhibit. then we ran into all of our friends that we only see when we venture into the city for events such as this.

we even ran into hubbie’s carl and went out for drinks. we were really getting crazy. ha!

and there were early morning painting parties

a busy week, yes. but on top of all of this - i’ve been on a massive cleaning spree. each day i tackle one or more rooms. the downstairs bathroom, lovingly referred to as “the kid toilet” got a good scrub and painting. there were muddy dog scratches on the walls, kid doodling, scrapes and marks of all mysterious sorts and painting was the only suitable option. then, i emptied the kitchen and filled boxes of unnecessaries, cleaned, and rearranged. a marvelous thing happened after that. with such a stunning kitchen and bathroom, the rest of the house looked a lot like a shit hole. the play area and toy closet were next. i plowed through there the next day. i cleaned out the laundry room a while back, but it got a touch up, too. yesterday was my work area and the kid’s room. granted, the kid’s room was such a disaster it ended up being more of a cleaning for sanity spree than cleaning for clarity spree. the work area on the other hand was the most profound transformation.

i had so much that i held onto because i thought i’d hem those or fix that zipper or transform that stained shirt into something... someday. but, as time went on i realized someday never came and finding fabric i bought soon after having alizah (11 years ago) was the final straw. drawers of remnants and scraps and bits of yarn and JUNK got dumped. goodbye. i tell the kids before each holiday that they must clear out the toys they no longer love to make way for new ones and i realized i need to do the same. i mean, not with yarn of course, but you know… other stuff.

the last room is our bedroom and the real issue is laundry - like, when is it not? and that feels pretty damn good. we’re reusers for sure but i suppose there’s a fine line between reuse and hoard and i’m feeling that out. slowly. there is a lot more painting that needs to be done (like the whole house) but i’m totally ok with waiting for the next big push of energy. no forcing. no fighting. it’s counter productive anyway.

now, for the birds. our birds are crazy. they lay a lot of eggs, you see. they sit on them for a couple days, then ignore them for the most part. every time we get ready to dump the nest, there are more freaking eggs. we tease them that they’re bad parents, but i don’t think they understand. as with most things around here, we’re just gonna feel it out and when the time is right - the nest is outta here.

and finally, for the biggest news here in the strangehower home… we got our little mae registered for kindergarten. she’s so excited - bounding with joy actually - and she got alizah’s kindergarten teacher which nearly sent her into a baby heart attack. her happiness is nudging my gloom aside. but, still. bittersweet.

so, with that, i believe we’re up to speed. boy? are you out there? xo




i’ve had a few revelations recently.  i’ll share.  this way i won’t soon forget.  right?

1. tv is the root of all that is evil in this country.

seriously, i realized this last night when my mother-in-law was asking what the girls want for christmas. mae wants a sewing machine.  alizah wants tech deck ramps.  “what else?” she asks.  “nothing.  mommy says we only get one present this year.”  then i got “the look.” but sort of a hybrid of “is this a joke?” and “are you evil?” so i explained that each girl would be getting one SANTA present, one present from mom and dad, and what ever the aunts, uncles, cousins, and army of grandparents got for them.  i know… they’re totally neglected.  i was mentally patting the girls on the back for being so modest with their requests and thought that perhaps our really fantastic parenting had finally taught them some important life lesson.

after some prodding and additional explanation on the part of dear old mom, the girls added lalaloopsy with style hair and hex bugs.  hmm.  suddenly it hit me!  we don’t have tv any more!  the girls are no longer watching “kid” shows that are about 15 minutes of commercials for shit we don’t need in our house.  they’re asking for pretty much the same stuff that they were into last year.  crazy!

then today on my way to pick alizah up from school i was still thinking about it a little and i realized it’s not just the selling to kids that was nagging at me about the whole thing, it was the emptiness it creates in the kids (and us, too)  if we don’t have tv to tell us about all the really awesome crap we’re missing out on, we don’t feel like we have a void to fill.


2. the best thing a mom can teach her girls is that no task is too big to at least try conquering.

hubs let me sleep until 9:30 today.  he made coffee, he took alizah to school, he played with mae, and he let me be.  it was sweet.  after i was up and about he got himself ready and out the door.  not long after i realized there was a bunch of gray water standing in the sink so i felt around with a knife to see if there was a kid cup stuck in the disposal or something (it’s happened before so…) ok.  no cup.  i flip on the disposal and all the water runs down - into the other side of the sink where the clean dishes are drying.  woah.  crap.  ok.  i call hubs.  first i try making him feel bad for leaving me there with this disaster by asking if he noticed the clogged drain before he left, like it was his fault.  no?  oh.  ok.  so, what the heck am i to do??? he suggests plunging it.  he ran into this once before and a good plunging took care of it.  “plug one side and plunge the other”  ok.  i get the plunger and plug one side of the sink and get to work.  the pressure from the water shoots the plug into the air sending a spray of water out of the sink.  hmmm.  at this point there is gray sink water with bits of lentils and fat stuck on the front of my shirt.  mae and i called a time-out and went to get alizah.  now, all the while, hubs was supposed to be getting a hold of our plumber friend so i thought there was still some hope.

we got home and i just couldn’t stand to look at it.  i had dishes that need to be washed, floors that need mopping, and if mae asked me if i’m gonna have to do dishes in the little (bathroom) sink now one more time… so, i do what any normal woman would do.  i pulled everything out from under the sink, grabbed a pot and began removing pipes.  the first part came off with little spillage and for some reason - oh ya, ‘cause i’m not a plumber - i didn’t realize the other pipe was the one with all the fun waiting to be unleashed.  of course, the girls were standing behind me waiting in anticipation as i unscrewed the connection.  suddenly there was water spraying my arms, my rug, the entire underside of the sink!!! so i yanked as quickly as possible and realized the water was under so much pressure it was pouring out like a fire hose.  then i realized the pot wasn’t big enough.  i scrambled for a bowl and suffered minimal overspill.  both girls went runing in opposite directions with their hands over their mouths because it was the stench that hit them first.  they sat at a safe distance to watch the rest… just mom sitting in wet stinking dish water scooping goo out of the pipe.  no cause for alarm… 

but, it’s done.  i got it done.  the girls were proud of me, too.

notice the floating goo in the silver bowl?  ya.  i touched all over that.

alright.  i think those were enough revelations for one day.  

OH, by the way! i finished the 5 hour baby sweater for those fantastic hoffars, too.  it’s some of my hand-spun, hand-dyed merino.  super snuggly soft!  oh, i hope they love it.

a dab will do ya.

carve, carve, carve… i’m working on another project for mare’s mom and i decided to carve a block rather than draw lots of little mason jars.  i usually like the looks of the block more than the prints!  i’m having a hell of a time typing this with my fingers all wrapped so i’ll keep it brief.  yes.  i gotta gouge my hands up a bit.  the blood adds flavor!  

for the knitty bits, this is about it in the way of stuff on the needles AND getting attention.  babysitting a lot this week and it is keeping my work at a snail’s pace.  hopefully our knitting group tonight will kick start me!  oh, and my mother-in-law is joining us (squeal!) so let’s see if we can’t kick start her while we’re at it!