Word of the day

November 20, 2011

Aawww, freak out! It’s a KNITTING POST! Woop, woop!

Hold on to your cats, spinsters, we’re gonna get wild up in here.

It’s that magical time of year, again. It starts with the leaves changing colors, and it ends with me rocking quietly in a corner and vowing that we’re going to celebrate Christmas like Buddhists next year. (We will all stare at a wall and contemplate the freedom of not wanting, having, trying or doing. And come December 19th, that will sound like the best bloody Christmas miracle.) But it’s still pre-Thanksgiving November, which means that I haven’t yet hit the wall. The wall, you ask? The wall that is that crushing realization that once again, I will not succeed in making hand knit gifts for everyone I know; I will fail to make the 7 kinds of Christmas cookie that define the season in the Martha part of my brain; I will forget how long it takes to write Christmas cards, resulting in dashed signatures or late arrivals, or both; I will struggle to find the time and Rockwellian enthusiasm for decorating the tree, knowing that every ornament we hang is just one more I have to pack away in a few weeks; and I will develop a Pavlovian response to the ringing of bells. Of course, instead of drooling, I will involuntarily lower my eyes and move furtively away from the Salvation Army volunteer.

But I digress.

A lot.

Hey! New word: digracious. Adj. Easily distracted. Talkative, but without focus. Also: possessing the tendency to overshare. Also, also: probably what I should have named this blog.

Whoops! There I go again. Getting all digracious  on you guys. You’re welcome for that word.

So, it’s that magical time of year, when the holiday spirit has gripped me, but is not yet squeezing the life out of me. And I am knitting. Furiously. Do I know you? I probably have a little project that I’d like to make for you. Socks, felted slippers, thrummed mittens, a hat, scarf, or if you’re really special, a sweater. (And by really special, I mean Jesus and midgets.) (I haven’t the patience to knit large garments.) (Dan lacks a sweater, and a number of sock mates.) (Around here, it’s never the same sock twice!) (ba-dum bum ching!)

As a result of this neurotic urge to knit gifts for everyone I know, I have half-finished knitting projects covering my desk. It is a miracle I can even reach the keyboard, and my arms are resting on 5 needles. Of different sizes. (Non-knitters, this means I need a damn intervention.) I am taking a break from knitting to write this. And consequently, I probably won’t take a pee break until Tuesday. Maybe Wednesday.

Must. Knit. All. The. Things.

Furthermore, the weather is not playing around anymore. It is getting what we in the South call “cold as a snake’s legs*” (and what everyone in the mid-west calls “almost too hot, where are my shorts?”), and my child needs a hat. I knit her a dah-arling hat last winter. I purposely knit it two sizes too big thinking that I’d get a pass on knitting a hat for her this year. Behold the cuteness of a six month old (gloriously non-motile!) baby:

7 months old!

And behold my little Stewie** in her hat this winter:

Uh-huh. (These pictures stink, but my kid won’t stand still for an instant, and my needy dog was attempting to apply his body to mine in almost every shot.)

For comparison, here is a random adult’s head wearing the same hat:

The heck, kid? You’d better be growing enough brain in there to solve the world debt crisis AND climate change. That is what hat knitting costs in this house. Be glad I buy your sweaters. (Dan, you want your sock-mates? You owe me a teleporter.) (People, that is called LEVERAGE.) (You can thank me in person for the teleporter.)

Next post: The “toddler” hat I knit for Ivy. Followed by the “bucket-sized” hat I knit for Ivy. Followed by a detailed account of Ivy’s birth story, including the part where the OB told me that she was literally holding pieces of me together when the head was crowning! It was awesome.

I’m exaggerating, of course. With all the knitting I have to do, I won’t have time to write a damn thing.


*I made this up. But it does sound rather Southern, doesn’t it? Promise that if you ever say “colder than a snake’s legs,” you’ll say it with a thick southern accent? And really, I don’t think inserting a ‘hoo-doggie’ would be going too far… Granted, I’m fake-southern. But gen-yoo-winely digracious! Hoo, doggie!

** Fellow cave-dwellers, this is a ‘Stewie’:



November 15, 2011

Dan: Dinner was good. You know what would go really well with dessert? That cheese…what’s it called?

Steph: Oh, yeah….it’s….

Dan: Elderberry?

Steph: What? No, it’s–

Dan: Erkenbrand?

Steph: Erkenbrand?! What is wrong with you? No, it’s–

Dan: Exthilion?

Steph: Gah! Stop saying words! I’ll think of it, just–

Dan: Ettenmoor?

Dan: Entwash?

Steph: Quiet! You are making this hard.

Dan: What? I’m waltzing around it.

Dan: Etonwall?

Steph: Wensleydale.

Dan: Wensleydale!


September 27, 2011

Here’s part of a conversation I had with Dan last night:

Me: Dwayne was here this morning.

Dan: [pauses] Wait. Who’s Dwayne?

Me: You mean you don’t know Dwayne??

Dan: Are you trying to be cute?

Me: [blinks innocently] (this is somewhat difficult for me.)

Dan: So, who’s Dwayne?

Me: Well, every night, I leave the sink clean and empty, and Dwayne visits in the small hours of the night and fills the sink with all kinds of crusty nasty dishes and puddles of mystery liquid. Honestly, I’m surprised you’ve never crossed paths with him, given how early you wake up.

Dan: Oh yeah, I know Dwayne. He’s married to Tina, the used tissue fairy.

Touché, Dwayne.

To my future self:

September 24, 2011

Dear Future Me,

Someday, perhaps someday soon, you will have a brand new babe in your arms again, and you will be delirious with lack-of-sleep. I am here to remind you of a few things, because you are not one of those people that deals well with little sleep. Some people in this world function perfectly well on 5 hours of sleep. You are not on that team, my friend. You are a champion sleeper. In fact, you are better at sleeping than you are at many, many other things. Like sports involving motion. Or sneezing.

So here we go:

1. Do you remember that first time you gave Ivy a bath by yourself, when Dan was working a night shift at the hospital? You couldn’t figure out how to get her into and out of the tub without dropping her, or possibly drowning her, and she wouldn’t quit screaming? Remember that? Okay, if that scenario should repeat itself in the future, do not, I repeat DO NOT get into the tub with the baby. At least, don’t do it with your clothes on next time. It really won’t make anything better. I promise.

2. At some point in time, all babies resist the carseat. And babies, especially older babies, love keys. Baby keys and fake sets of keys might as well be dog toys. No, I take that back. Dog toys are also fascinating. Fake keys are more like, oh, I don’t know, that $74 developmental toy that your baby couldn’t care less about. Your keys, your really real keys, are where it’s at. I’m sure there is a valid developmental explanation for this, but as far as you’re concerned, it really doesn’t matter. The keys, they’re so handy, they’re right there in your hand! And so you might be tempted to give your keys to the squirmy thing in the carseat that looks more like a screaming paperclip than your sweet bundle of love. And if it gets you out of the Target parking lot without stares and whispers or calls to Child Protective Services, great. Do it. Those keys are hers if it gets that kid strapped in and properly oriented. Bonus points if all her clothes stay on. What you should NOT do, however, is close the doors to the car without snatching those keys back. Because! Ha ha hahahahah. Because, moron, your baby is 100% guaranteed to lock herself in a sealed car on a hot day. She couldn’t get a spoon into her mouth if she starving, and she can’t do jack with that $74 developmental toy, but those buttons on the electronic keychain? She was practicing in the womb for that shit. So, yeah. Now is when you  should really worry about CPS coming to take your baby away.

3. And speaking of CPS… Don’t leave a full beer bottle in the same room as your toddler, mmmkay?

4. Okay. This probably isn’t something that you’re going to need reminding about… but then again, you really function poorly without sleep. So I might as well remind you that to check a suspicious diaper, you should gingerly pull back the uppermost margin of the diaper. The outside uppermost margin, if at all possible. What you should not do is stick your whole hand down that sucka like you’re looking for eggs under a chicken. Because there aren’t any eggs, mamacita. Best case scenario, your hand will be moist and smell like low tide. Best. Case. Scenario.

 5. And while we’re on the subject of poo… an infant not pooping for three days does not necessarily constitute an emergency. But should you choose to go the suppository route, you might as well put the kid in the bathtub to start with. Also, I wouldn’t frown at goggles and a nose clip. At the very least, be ready to aim, duck, and dodge. Sorry.

6. Baby teeth are effing sharp, dude. And if you can’t remember what I’m talking about, you should spend five minutes imagining that you’re nursing a furious chipmunk as a mental preparedness exercise.

7. And speaking of wildlife, perspective is important. It’s one of the first things to go when you’re in the blur, so I’d like to remind you that you do not have to forage or regurgitate to feed your offspring. Also, you don’t have seven at once, every two years. Right?! If we have 15 kids in five years, you are totally on your own. And my parting words will include “spay and neuter.”

Of course, it occurs to me that you will have two children when you read this letter. And I have NO IDEA! what that’s like. But considering your performance with Ivy, I’m pretty sure we’ll be in way over your head.


(2011 vintage)

PS: I am not pregnant, y’all. Not even a little bit. Unless you can get pregnant from eating reese’s peanut butter cups. This is just a brain dump of  infant stuff before it all becomes a warm fuzzy glow.

A love story.

September 16, 2011

It’s been a long time.


I can’t even remember the last time we were together like this.


And I have missed you so, so much. Thoughts of you have permeated the entire summer. And now…


The feel of you on my skin, and around my waist: warm, comforting, and like we were made for each other.


I don’t care if people think you look dumpy, cheap or lazy. In my mind, you are perfect.


It’s 55 outside today, grey and a cold autumn rain is looming.


Get over here, fleece pants, and gimme some lovin’.

Handsome is way into old literature. Like, “olde” literature. Olde English tales, Olde Norse Myths. The olde-r, the better. He’s actually working on a Master’s degree in Dusty Tomes in his spare time. As part of his course work, he’s re-reading Beowulf. Did you know a new translation was just released? This is quite exciting and blahblarghblah we now own yet another copy of Beowulf. Like you care!

Anyway, this afternoon Handsome was in the playroom with Peach, and I overheard the following:
“Peach, you wanna read a story with me? Ooh, let’s read Beowulf together! This is a very good story, it’s about a warrior! And it’s written in alliterative verse! Doesn’t that sound like a good story? Yeah? Ok! Let’s read Beowulf!
‘Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long, he hears ‘Click, clack, moo…'”

Meet Slick.

August 27, 2011

When it comes to social grace, I fall somewhere between Miss Piggy and … well, no, that’s about right, actually. My mouth often gets ahead of my brain, and I end up lying in bed hours later reliving my awkward blurting again and again. And again. Marlon Brando? Did I really say your baby looked like Marlon Brando?

Shut up, mouth. What. Was. I. Thinking.

Yeah, I know. I was thinking your baby looked like Marlon BrandoAnd the little station agent that sends these thoughts back up to my brain for retooling apparently agreed. Jackass.
So last week, I met this kid. We will call him Slick. Because it is almost, but not, his actual name, and I’m not sure what government agency will knock on my door if I talk about minors by name on a blog without parental permission. (The internet wasn’t invented when I took Civics.) (And now, according to anyone under 25, I am older than God.) (And, according to anyone under 15, “What is ‘civics’?”) Slick is this 8 year old kid that hangs out at our new neighbors-to-be’s house (got that? new house, next door, meet Slick). He’s a cute, skinny little fellow who kind of reminds me of that kid from the Rascals? Bean sprout? Pigpen? Tipsy? You know, the kid with the freckles and the swoop of hair on top. Errmm… Wikipedia says the Rascals were a band (what the heck, brain?!), so nevermind. Anyway.
I was hauling another armload of our worldly possessions junk across the street, and I heard a voice shout “You’ve been moving that stuff all day!” To which, I replied that he was correct, and that I evidently have too much stuff. (Ha, ha. If you only knew, kid.)
Two minutes later, Slick is at the door holding one of Peach’s dresses that must have fallen on my way across the street.
“Here,” he says, “I think you must have dropped this.” Then he  introduces himself.
“I’m Slick,” he says, and we shake hands.
He tells me about himself, where he’s from, why he’s visiting at the house next door. He introduces his older brother, and we have a very pleasant, rather adult conversation. Slick is charming. Utterly self-possessed and polite. He’s not shy, but he’s not obnoxious, either. He’s just… slick. And I notice he’s got a twinkle in his eye that makes me think that he knows exactly how to talk himself out of a jam. Next thing I know, he’s offering to help me move. Now, I’m not a big woman, but I tower over this kid, and I could carry Slick upstairs in one arm with a load of laundry in the other. He could probably have handled my yarn. Or my boxes of unspun fleece. But I’d already moved those boxes, and I was working on boxes of kitchen items that were big enough to hold two Slicks, plus my dog.
“That’s a really nice offer,” I tell him, “but I don’t think I’m organized enough to have you help me.”
“That’s okay! You could just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it.”
Who raised this kid, and can she please give me lessons? While she’s at it, maybe she can teach that jackhole in my head a thing or two?
As it turned out, while we were “negotiating,” Peach’s babysitter came by to tell me that my time was just about up. So I told Slick that I really appreciated his offer, but it looked like I was done for the day. At this point, he puts both his hands on my arm, leans in, and says earnestly,  “But just because you’re done moving, doesn’t mean have to be.”
Slick, I hope we see you around.

Fur Purse

August 18, 2011

Note: Huge, huge thanks to Handsome, who worked his tail off today so that I could steal a few minutes in front of the computer before it’s disassembled and we are rendered internetless. (sob!)

Lucky me, I got to take Peach shopping to look for a new purse! And I came across the most disturbing thing I’ve seen since I cleaned under my stove. And it is my expert opinion that ALF died under there. About 12 years ago.

Anyway. I found this. These. Furry purses. More than several.

And now, I can’t stop saying the words “fur purse” in my head. Which totally sounds like a euphemism. But in this case it’s not. I don’t know if that’s better or worse. Let’s leave that alone, shall we? (You’re welcome.)

This one looks like a jaguar enchillada. AUGH! Euphemisms are everywhere! Run away!

And this one felt the need to clarify that its fur was faux. But I’m not at all convinced that this one isn’t ALF’s second cousin, Doug.

And if fur isn’t your thing, here’s one to carry your rainbow space cats!

Wait. Unless the furry ones are for cats?? Which purse do I buy if I don’t have any cats?

Nevermind. The moral of this story is purse shopping sucks. Unless you’re a hooker.

The End.

Tri’in my patience*

August 17, 2011

My husband, a newly minted triathlete, is completely obsessed with all things Tri.

MerryWife: How was your day?

Handsome: I saw a great bike on my way home.

MerryWife: What do you want to do this weekend?

Handsome: Speedy Rollins is from Greensboro and he biked down the entire Appalachian Trail unassisted in eleventy-four hours.

MerryWife: What’s my name?

Handsome: I want to cut my bike time by 10 minutes.

MerryWife: You’re sleeping in the garage tonight.

Handsome: Gymwad McIronman recommends eating his All Natural ChondrotinHydroxyUltraMacroProtein Sliders.


Handsome: What about garages? Oh, that reminds me, I was thinking we could build a workout room for me in the back yard.


[*In all honesty, I’m very proud of his hard work and dedication, and I’m hoping he’ll be able to push my wheelchair around really fast when he’s 90.]

A moving story.

August 17, 2011

I hate moving. HateHateHateHateHate it. The chaos, the losing of things, the needing of things that are in one of 200 boxes, the lifting (31 boxes of books, folks.), the shoving, the accidental breaking and damaging of Nice Things, the sweating (why is moving always an August activity?), the swearing, the contemplation of moving to a monestary, the unpacking and finding NEW places for things, and then the months of only being able to remember where something went in the last house.

Thus, it is with no small amount of emotion in my voice that I declare: We are moving! We are going to live somewhere different very soon. Peach is about to move into her third house. She’s 15 months old. Because we are moving to a NEW! HOUSE! It’s kind of a lot similar to our current house… And it’s…


Across. The. Street.


Oh, yes. We are moving across the street. Which I think should come with a little card that drops down from the heavens on a string and says “You’ve qualified for a free divorce! My, that was quick!” Of course, I’m really quite fond of my husband, so I would probably just laugh and kiss him on the cheek and then repin my chignon and adjust my apron before I fix him a cocktail. But I might also tuck it in my pocket because WE’RE MOVING!

So last week, I was a bit harried. Not sleeping much. A tad frazzled. I was racing around, trying to pack boxes, pick up paint for the painters, clean the new house, on top of all the other things on my normal to-do list (laundry, facebook, groceries, facebook, housework, facebook, inserting or removing objects from Peach’s oral cavity, facebook, TUMBLR!, facebook). You get the picture. I was busy.

I must have left my purse in the car, the doors wide open and a big lighted arrow pointing to a sign that announced “FREE! TAKE ONE! SUPPLIES LIMITED!” because my purse and our GPS gadget have vaporized. And consequently, I have learned a LOT this week. For instance:

You know what you need to set up utilities? A credit card.

You know what you need to find the utility company? The GPS!

You know what you need to have something notarized? Picture ID.

You know what you need to buy food? Yer wallet.

You know what you need to buy a really big bottle of wine? YOUR DAMN WALLET.

But! The best part? You know what you need to get a new Driver’s License at the DMV?




And finally, you know what you need to report the theft of your license to the DMV? Two forms of ID.

And $10.