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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Guilt at the Grocer...." Paper or plastic... Ma'am?"

Items from actual grocery list in cart? Check.

Decision made about brand of toilet paper? Check. (why is this so hard? side note- my guys have only one request--- no recyled paper product TP... they KNOW it isn't actually recycled Toilet Paper- but paper that's been recycled and made into TP... but they just can't get over the hint of recycled-ness in this case Takes a LOT to gross out my guys--- but this does it. ;)

Coupons remembered, and used? Check.... (Well ,I remembered I had a couple in the bottom of my purse- I get credit for those;)

Child not permanently harmed due to parental paranoia and desire to avoid purchasing 500 candy bars...(PUT THAT DOWN!) and same child still in possession? Check.

Debit Card located, and ready to use? Check. (I can't be the only one with a weekly panic attack because I can't find my debit card... can I?)

Major impulse purchases avoided? Check. (well... mostly.. I think I may have a problem with magazines....)

Just when I thought I'd safely navigated through a trip to the grocery store without incident... it happened........

"Paper, or Plastic, Ma'am?" Asked the boy at the end of the lane...

We shall, for now, ignore the entire "Ma'am" portion of the statement. (It deserves it's own post) For now- let's focus on the guilt inducing question: "Paper, or Plastic?" As in bags. For what felt like forever- I stood, mouth agape and debit card in hand.... In shock and fear. My mind went 1,000 directions at once.

"Paper? Is it recycled? How many trees will I destroy? Plastic? Is it recycled? Is it recyclable? From what source? What chemicals were used in it's making ???? Is this a trick question?" It feels like a set up.

The pressure and weight of the decision was crushing my brain. I felt like a character in an old cartoon.... a giant vice squeezing my head--- it's handle being cranked by a teenaged grocery bagger--- his cartoon voice echoing maniacally as he asks over and over...."Paper or Plastic, MA'AM??????"

All I could think of was why didn't I bring my big blue Ikea bags... perfect for toting so much.... or the cool handmade morsbag I'd been gifted. But, no, I was all worried about toilet paper grocery lists and coupons. I was more concerned about keeping from killing my clepto-kid, (Hey- he doesn't ASK me to buy things--- he PUTS them in the cart... isn't that stealing?) than the good of the Earth... "Can I phone a friend? " I wondered if 411 would have Al Gore's number....

I must have mumbled plastic...Because that's what I got. But- even now..... I'm stressed over the results... it takes 1000 years for a plastic bag to break down??????? and 50 years for a tree to grow to harvest size???? Trees produce oxygen..... I like breathing.... Sheesh. The guilt. Either way.

Next time- I'm taking my own bags... (If, I remember) I don't need the stress;)

So- how bout you? Paper or plastic... or whatever they got? What do you say????

I personally believe (now I sound like a beauty pagent contestant) we should be good stewards of the Earth- as God created it and has given it to our care... but what does that mean? Does it mean Paper? Or Plastic? I couldn't find either one mentioned in the bible.
Genesis 1:26-31 (NIV)

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

For now- for us...it means paperbags--- or bring my own... I think. Trees seem more renewable than plastic is degradable...

I also think it means I need some chocolate.....to recover. ;)

PS---- The one thing I have no guilt over- is having used disposable diapers... I'm just that selfish! Besides- they probably saved my guys from watching their mother have a total breakdown over washing and soaking diapers... just sayin;)

Sheesh- can't I just go to the grocery store without drama? Apparently, not.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Matrix Mom saves the world from toilet paper extinction.... and knitting updates;)

"Noooooooooooooo!" I screamed. Time slowed down- as I - with Matrix like Mom- moves- spun and dove for the toilet paper. I had to rescue the earth from toilet paper extinction. The last roll of toilet paper (here, anyways) was being sucked at the speed of light into the evil vacuum cleaner. (Gotta love a Dyson) The sound of the roll, still attached to the holder, spinning like a gangsta's wheels, was deafening. Sheet after sheet was eaten by the Dyson monster, before the carnage even registered in my brain. I had to act fast.

I just went in there to clean the floor- not save the world's toilet paper supply. But- alas- I was called upon to serve- and serve I did. I have no reason why it didn't cross my mind to shut off the vacuum... I just remember feeling... so much... At that moment- I felt betrayed by my long time, trusted friend- I feared that evil entities were dwelling inside...hiding behind the pink and grey plastic. I knew I had to move fast- to rescue- then later, I would consider conquering the enemy. That- or my brain froze like an over heated lap-top and all I could do was grab at the toilet papaer as it flew off the roll. Either way. I win the prize for domestic dufus;)

I will not yell at the vacuum. Out loud. Any more. Today, anyways... We will work through the boys and the beagles' new fear of vacuum cleaners this afternoon... I think the trauma of my tortured screams can be healed, with time and love....

So- let's talk about my knitting- now that you've been assured of my psychotic break. Bird in Hand Mittens and Hemlock Rings BlanketApparently I was wrong---Hemlock isn't just a poison.. and it totally IS contagious! Fortunately- unlike most virus' you CAN catch this one repeatedly;) At least when you're knitting...The Hemlock Ring Blanket, that is;)

This is the third Hemlock Ring Blanket, (pattern recipe found at BrooklynTweed). that I've finished.... It's in Moda Dea Silk n Wool. (Joann's) It's about 65" across. A nice lap blanket size. I knit it for the new living room sofa/loveseat that I don't own yet...it's my motivation to save up $ for it;)

Then there have been mittens. These are called "Bird In Hand" by Kate Gilbert. Being knit in Berrocco's Ultra Alpaca in Navy and Natural. US size 2 DPNs. They are basically turning out HUGE. (I firmly believe they are in cahoots with the vacuum, but I digress) I am going to finish them anyway--- because I think they will be adorable- tied together and hung on my front door!

I have to thank Kasiaiscarly and Kat for nominating me for this:
you make my day award



AWWWWW ;) Thnx ladies....


And now--- for just a few of the (Way more than this) people who make my day:


Iris- who inspires everyone who clicks...

Cara - who makes me laugh and who's header makes me click.. repeatedly

Kaymac- even if she hasn't posted in forever

and Heather- who's courage and grace is awe inspiring!

And of course- Kasiaiscarly and Kat as well;) (links above)


The internet- a great place for people to make your day...(even when you lose a battle with toilet paper and a vacuum cleaner) who 'da thunk it?


PS- going to do laundry- if you don't hear from me in 48 hours- send in the Marines.....I may be going after missing socks in the dryer....



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sleeping Ninja, Crouching Mom

10:55 p.m. - Arrange covers, 5 year old and dog on bed. Tell everyone to SHUSH. Turn out all but reading light. Wait for the soft tell tale snoring sounds to emanate from the bed. (they are the dog- not the boy.)

11:18 p.m. - Turn out light. try to re-arrange covers after using feet and legs like a lever to move hefty beagle.

12:02 a.m. - Wiggle lower in the bed to attempt to cover shoulders. Notice 5 year old laying sidewise in bed, decide not to risk waking him by moving.

12:42 a.m.- Move to outer third of bed- recognizing that size does not determine need for space.

1:15 a.m.: Wriggle, wriggle, scootch, scootch. Hope that arm dangling from bed may provide a counter-weight and keep you from falling out altogether.

1:53 a.m. Sense presense on edge of bed. Tell myself not to freak. Open eyes. See glowing cat eyes staring back at me. Carefully, push cat from bed. When cat whines. Blame dog. (a Mom's gotta have boundaries.)

2:08 a.m.: Shuffle, shuffle. SHOVE. SHOVE. Move dog and child. Pull up covers to not quite shoulders, turn over, close eyes.

2:49 a.m.- Feel a small foot kick Ninja style into the small of my back. Flip child over and tuck very tightly into blankets. Consider getting up to search for pajama's with straight-jacket arms and leg shackles online....

3:03 a.m.- Wake up realizing my arm has fallen asleep because of the strange contortions I must make to stay on the bed. Decide sleep is worth loss of blood-flow. Go back to sleep.

3:27 a.m. : Dream I smell feet.

3:27 and 15 seconds a.m.: Realize it's not a dream.

3:28 a.m. : Realize that I smell feet, because feet are in my face. Turn over. Plan on having Ninja child wear socks to bed tomorrow. (Somehow, a bath never seems to solve stinky foot boy problem)

4:04 a.m.: Smell something worse than feet. Realize the Beagle's breath smells like....... something worse than feet. Push beagle to foot of the bed. In sleep deprived state, apologize to dog for making her move.

4:51 a.m. Pray for alarm to ring.........

You would think, that when the husband travels- I could at least enjoy the extra space in the bed. Not so. When Daddy is gone- everyone vies for his spot. The dog. The child. And- this week, the cat. I keep thinking I'll get a bigger bed- so that the night time visitors will have more room, but I know the truth. They will conquer any space available.

Tonight... everyone is in their own bed.... (I swear!) at least until they wake up to pee... or hear a noise... or are lonely.....or cold..... or can't find a stuffed toy....

Then, it will be me- Crouching Mom on the edge of the bed- while Sleeping Ninja Boy and his beloved sidekick: Bad Breath Beagle battle me until the sun rises.

I can't wait for the Daddy to return... at least he is big and keeps the Ninja and his sidekick limited in space.....besides... He's quite a nice place to warm my feet;)

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Friday, January 18, 2008

North American Auto Show Charity Preview... Panic- the final countdown, and therapeutic sarcastic humor for all!

Here's the updated check list-(scroll down to my previous post for the original plan) ***If you happen to read- and see me there- (pudgey red-head- in either a dusty deep lavendary rose-ish- long strapless gown...(or a long black one from the closet- or a short black one.....I can't decide...sans glasses due to my extreme vanity and excitement over the once a year wearing of false eyelashes...) Say hi;) Told ya- panic has set in......

1) Nails- done. (not much stress there... except I'm always somewhat paranoid that the nail techs are talking about me in Korean...totally my own paranoia. I hope.)

2) Roots- (Hair- not tree) currently undergoing their chemical transformation from gray(ish) to red.

3) Shoes?- done- they meet the requirements afore-mentioned- black, high heeled (small platform as well) and beaded. Comfort level? May be able to avoid a visit to the podiatrist next week- (see post below) ;) However- never really can tell until they've been worn indoors and outdoors (WHY is this event always one of the coldest days of the year?) over hill and dale....

4) Dress--- well- let's just say I have options. (yes- I know what day it is... and yes- it really IS this hard for me to decide)

5) Bionic tummy-tuck underwear? Purchased. I will breathe during the day- but asphyxiate by night. If you don't hear from me- Look for my body under some random car-where I will have been swept by the cleaning crew-- think: The Wizard of Oz witches death by house---but without the striped hose and with higher heels.

6) False lashes? Purchased.... Twice- accidently bought some glittery ones the first time... NOT the look I'm going for. (you would love to see pics of my trying to affix these anorexic caterpillars to my eyelids. Picture something akin to agility training the same anorexic caterpillar.)

7) The epic shaving/plucking of all things hairy? (I'm Italian- this is a long-term project) This shall begin when I sign off. (insert horror movie music here. And- be very glad that I am not posting a *Blair Witch type video of this event- but- know--- it would be an appropriate venue. Trust me, it's scary. )

8) Accessories: Panic has set in- I can either: no longer bear to carry or not locate any of my (too small to carry anything I need) handbags-I'm running out after the chemicals are rinsed and dyeing is complete. It's quite possible that I de-cluttered/ gave them away in the great house cleaning saga of 2007. Crap.

9) Steel myself for the quizzical looks and conversation stoppage when people ask what I "DO" and I tell them I'm a stay at home mom......get emotionally prepared for the small percentage of people who do not know how to respond to this- and who choose the following options for response:

a) Completely ignore me for the rest of the conversation

b) Feel like they have to justify their own decision to work... I don't judge someone elses calling- choice or situational need to work...I'm just doing what I (we) feel is right for us;)

c) In-advertantly invalidate the choices and sacrifices we've (my hubby and I) made for me to stay home... by saying "I wish I could ..."

d) Try to engage me in "appropriate" topics such as---Marth Stewart's imprisonment/ subsequent release, Which mini-van hybrid I prefer or drive (I don't, seriously my dream car would be convertible and red...but I digress;) and "How I can stand just being home all day"....

FYI- I am fully aware of my over sensitivity here.... I know, I know....which leads us to:

10) Attitude- God and I will be working on that, for the rest of the day. (OK- the rest of my LIFE;) I will have a good time. I will get over myself.... (mostly)

I don't actually hate this event- because

a) A number of local charities benefit.

b) It is a valuable networking event for DH.

c) The cars and stuff are all actually quite cool....

d) It really IS fun to play adult dress up once a year....

e) God always grows me (as you can tell there is a lot of room for growth here) through this event....

SEE YOU ON THE OTHERSIDE.....

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Monday, January 14, 2008

North American Auto Show Charity Preview 101: From a wife who knows the woes....

1) Dye roots so as not to expose the true age/ hair color of said exec's wife. (Although brilliant people will quickly figure out that our 20 year marriage leaves me well over 20) Also- search for a way to grow hair 10" by the end of the week in order to achieve the grecian -goddess type style most desirable for this once a year event. (I only wish my hair was long one week a year- and this is it. Hmmm what to do... Wig? Hairpiece? Or deal with it- and work the short- mom hair cut?.. Look for me, I'll be the one working it;)

2) Attempt to lose 30 lbs in 100 hours. (So NOT, happening) which leads us to...

3) Purchase extreme underwear that will remind the breasts where they belong and will keep them there for the short-term. Preferably something that will do double duty as a tummy/thigh eraser if possible. (giving birth kids in three different decades seems to confuse the breasts as well as the brain... it apparently makes the run south to escape the chaos) Preferably, said underwear will contain the steel undergirdment of a small city- go with that, it will also assure good posture- although diminished lung capacity could limit your activity.

4) Visit every local (or not so local) store that carries formal wear, to search out the perfect gown. Keep in mind that the perfect gown does not exist, and if it does- it looks like the one you wore last year and the one before that, ad nauseum. FYI it will be Long (to cover cankles) black (always sooo slimming) and matte (we do NOT need a satin shiney hiney- trust me) jersey (a bit of stretch may make the difference between survival and death from asphyxiation) with various necklines and accessories (some of which will be lost between the car and the door.)

5) Spend too much time compensating for your lack of creative choices in gowns, by searching for the perfect shoes. They will be pointy, high heeled, over priced (but, ON SALE) and uncomfortable- quite possible hazardous. But hey- shoes fit. They will however, take forever to find, leave you in pain but, and be beautiful. Unforunately, no one will see them see # 4, above. (Bring comfy slippers for the ride home, you'll need them.- and, if you're really the pro-active type- go a head and schedule a podiatrist appointment for early next week- after traipsing around in 5 inch heels climbing in and out of cars and walking around downtown in the freezing cold....you'll need it. But- your feet will be fabulous;)

6) Purchase yet another set of false eyelashes, (way long, black and crazy curled) which you will promptly rip off in the car on the drive home. (Hmmmmm... we recently got a new(er) car.. I hope a CSI investigator doesn't buy the old one.... they may be intrigued by the eyelashes and broken fingernails left on the floor...

7) Schedule an appointment for fingernail torture session- I mean a fill or new set of acrylics..... they never break- but surely will do so on Friday- go ahead and schedule the fix now;)

8) Understand, that although decades past puberty, your body will manage to produce a pimple THIS WEEK, that could rival a senior-picture nightmare. Stock up on clearasil (or better yet Retin-A) now. Worst case start a new trend- carry a decorative fan.. this could help with the whole underwear induced lack of oxygen thing...

9) Consider a few tanning appointments, but, remember you live in Michigan, and, although slimming and offering a healthy glow... this ALWAYS looks lame unless you have actually been on a Carribean cruise since Christmas. In the current economic climate in Michigan.... If you have been, I probably wouldn't admit to or draw attention to it.... you could be targeted for an executive stoning.

10) Unless you have a dramatic flair (why, thank you for noticing, yes, I do) Schedule an appointment with a drama coach to practice feigning interest and a knowledge-base in cars and the surrounding industry. (OK- this one I have covered- while not really caring about cars-- Oh the tragedy---I do care about and have an interest in the automotive industry- because my man does;)

I know- I know- every year we go, (you can click every January's archive for some ridiculous post in regards to the Auto Show) and every year I stress and complain. It is rarely as bad as I think it will be... and, I have even sensed God in the middle of it reminding me of who I really am, and the opportunity to meet people I wouldn't have otherwise.... all of which I've learned from, and enjoyed... but really--- just once I'd like to not spring a pimple and be able to find a gorgeous (cheap) gown that fits and shoes that are HAWT but comfy....maybe next year I should send a letter to Santa Claus;)

The truth is- this night isn't about me.. it's about being there for my hubby... and- since he's my date.. it's all good, well- except for the shoes... they HURT.

For something less whiney and more inspirational- You can click over to my post today at Laced With Grace- the group devotional blog I also write for;)

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mothering as Mixed Media Art

art gridCrayons, pencils, glitter, fabric, papers of all sorts, scissors, staplers, paints, pens.... the supplies, the process, I was in love... with art. From elementary school, art of all sorts was "it".

Art classes were never "missed" not even in high-school.. when, well--- let's just say that "class" was sometimes "optional" between chats and hanging out with my friends;) But art classes? those were never missed.

There were classic "general art classes" with pastels on black construction paper, perspective drawing with pencils and tools, painting with various paints, (tempera to watercolors to acrylic) soft sculpture, sewing, (this was back in the days of home-ec and home arts) architecture and pottery.

Then- there were the "other" fine arts. Music. (violin, guitar and year after year after year of choir) Drama. (Not just the drama between classes either- the real stuff- like playing a wench in "Princess and the Pea" and tiny parts in Fiddler on the Roof and some random play where I had to actually choreograph a "Can-Can" and then dance it.. complete with ruffled skirt!) As a side note...drama- is also where I met my husband, in highschool) Then- there was Dance. (Yes- with a Capital "D" Dance 1, 2 and 3.. all of which I was mediocre in, but loved. Then, Literature. I read ever big fat classic book I could find. And Writing. I still love writing. OIf it was creative. I was there.

Somewhere in my heart- I always knew art would be a part of my life.... but what would be my "medium?" I never could draw with style... Oh- sure- I could recreate "stuff" in pencil so it could be recognized, mostly. If you squint and turn your head just right. I just couldn't find "my thing." But, I sure tried it all.

I always desperately WANTED to sing like a star. (This was the age of "Fame" and I spent WAY too much time spent singing in the basement to my parent 8 tracks then cassettes.... yes- I'm old, get over it) But, I was much more of a "fill the choir rows, second soprano, can hold her part, but not sing solo" type. (However- it took me years to figure that out. (Smart? Maybe.. but quick, I am not) In 1st or 2nd grade I took my "Fisher Price Record player" up in front of the whole school and sang "Jack and Jill" in a talent show.

Violin? We can suffice to say that I was never that "First Chair Girl". Guitar? In 3 or 4th grade I wrote a song (Summer Days, how original) and played it/sang it with my guitar, leg braces (lovely pigeon toed gal, that I was) peeking out from under my long, red and white checked 70's skirt in front of the whole school.... it was awful. And wonderful. I loved it. Even if the rest of the school didn't.

And then, I grew up. Classes had to be paid for. Not skipped. (Well- except for breakfast.. ocassionally) My plans became "realistic." My search went from "From what do you love".. to "what will make money?" (I eventually settled on a husband for that;) Kidding..... Kidding. Classes became "part of the track". Choir was for church, and art? Art was too messy, a waste of time and you know...for nut jobs.

In my early 20's I became a mother. And somehow, along with stretch-marks, morning sickness and poop cleaning skills, art, snuck back into my life. Songs were sung for tiny ears that loved every off-key note. Fresh green peas were steamed and whirled into fingerpaints. I mean dinner. Eventually, the scent of crayolas' came back into my life. Watercolors came out of hiding... afterall... I had to SUPERVISE these activities... didn't I? Music of all forms came back. Music I made, music they made (my 3 boys) and music we shared. (Although I still don't like "Queen", much ... umm... my oldest went through a PHASE... which is motherese for something you hope and pray will END) . It did. They always do.

There was lot's of dancing. Crazy, wild- abandoned dancing to Sesame Street or 80's tunes. Singing of songs we made up and songs we heard. (My husband often is our song writer..."the cheese danish song" is truly, a classic!)

There was art in everything.... on the paper bits in the bottom of my purse, crayons at restaurants, mashed potato sculptures and Lego architecture. Stuffed animals had to be re-molded into their original shapes with a bit of soft sculpture artistry. Somedays even nail-trimming was a feat of artistic ability as I told adventure stories to distract them from the snippers. (Which ,they were sure were really, legal ways for mommys to kill their children.) As a Stay at Home Mom... there has been plenty of art and creativity in meeting the budget. It's amazing how many things one can doodle from all those zero's in a checkbook... especially when they stand alone in little columns.

There has also been glue. Lot's of it. Glue to make things, glue to fix things. Even glue to suture things.. (and stitches too- but not recently- gotta love Derma-Bond!) All the art bases. covered. Daily.

Looking back--- I can see- art never really left my life.... it's always been there.

Mothering... is mixed-media art. Art isn't about perfection, it's not always pretty. It doesn't even have to make sense to others. It is creative, unique. It is a process of discovery experimentation and expression. Art is shared. And so, is mothering. I finally found my media.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

A (near) Christmas Catastrophe...When Partylite goes bad...

partylite damage asfter clean-upThe house was clean, the candle wicks were trimmed and the candles were carefully placed in their holders on the mantle, (safely out of reach of the little ones to coma) and then they were lit. Christmas music was playing from the TV (closed & behind the armoir... we don't have a stereo:( I pods however, we have;)

The ham was in the oven baking away and all was ready to go. My knitting basket was snuggly placed out of the way of the food and chaos- (with projects both in process and gifts ready to be wrapped) next to the fireplace. The Stockings were hung by the chimney with care- in hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there...Sorry bout that... but, it was a picture of Christmas party readiness;) Our family arrived. The kids were anxiously playing upstairs, asking every two minutes, when it would be "present time." All was Happy Christmas chaos and bliss;)

Until, I was taking the ham out of the oven and heard shouts from the living room. Adult shouts. "Tracey! The candle is melting all over!" I ran into the living room to find an absolute WATERFALL of vanilla scented wax dripping off the mantle onto the floor, a longaberger basket full of knitting, wrapped gifts that were placed on the floor (that could have been kindling) the woodwork, wall and the fireplace tools. WHAT A MESS!

Several already finished squares for my Mitered Square Blanket were ruined. 2 Christmas gift- ready headbands (knitty's calorimetry) and a number of skeins of good yarn. Hours and hours of work all ruined. In the 40 minutes from candle lighting to dinner prep, the candle (a large square pillar) had melted through the side, smoked from the top- (leaving soot on my wall) and flowed hot wax like lava over the mantle, down the wall and into my knitting basket and onto the carpet..

Our picture of Christmas bliss had almost become a Christmas inferno. I'd estimate $400 in damages- counting the work involved in the property damaged and the clean up. The knitted objects were a complete loss. The basket is wood- the wax was easy enough to remove but the waxy oily residue will now be a part of the "finish" permenently. Diminishing the collectible value. (yes- I collect them.... I know.. Iknow) How sad. I won't even mention the upset this caused during our Holiday!

I can't tell you how many Partylite candle parties I've been to. I have always found them the highest quality, and best burning. I've never had drip problems and have most certainly NEVER had a lava-flow of dangerous wax before. But this problem? This one has put a damper on my candle use. Quite possibly- a permament one. (They remain out- but unlit. Pretty, but pointless when it comes to candles.)

The pics are all from post clean-up. The waterfall o'wax and most heavily damaged projects/yarn had to be put out to the trash in the middle of the party.

I am posting in hope of saving my readers from a similar potential catastrophe.

Potential- catastrophe because:

1) I never leave candles unattended, or lit, in the reach of little ones. I am so thankful there were observant family members in the living room! Which probably saved us from a house-fire. I'm also glad no little ones wandered over to the wax dripping from the mantle- I was dripped on when I went to clean it up- not an awful burn, but on a little one, it could have been terrible!

2) I take fastidious care of my candles (wick trimming, centering, etc) and rarely use anything but partylite... (which I've always counted on for safety and quality in the past) But even with care- candles can be dangerous and damaging.

3) Compared to what could have been- the damages are upsetting, and a loss, but minimal when you think of the damages a fire would have caused.

So- as you're re-decorating for the new-year, lighting candles you've been given as gifts or getting ready for your next gathering... BE CAREFUL. Candles are fire. Fire is dangerous. (yeah, I know you know.... but you know- I'm a Mom... I have to say it;)

FYI- (mostly on the urging of my mom- a retired insurance adjuster and Grandma supreme...) I've contacted Partylite and am waiting to hear back from them. I will post an update when they respond. Also- as previously said, Partylite Candles have been my absolute favorites.... I hope this was a sad and messy fluke.

But- ladies- (and gentlemen)

Be Careful!

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Random knitting, SpinOut Prize,MommyCastPrize and avoiding taking down the Christmas Tree....

noro striped scarf knock off

Bad knitter- bad wife. I looked at my husband's coat the other day and realized he's wearing a scarf I knit the year I learned how... ummm garterstitch brown ugly....blah.

So, I cast on a "noro stripe" inspired by (ok- copied off of) Brooklyntweed. I'm using Plymouth's Boku in a brown and a green/brown colorway. US size 7's. To match his green hazel eyes;)

Also still working on the Hemlock Ring blanket: Somewhere on row 91 I think....
hemlock ring blanket

Filed under More exciting news- (read: less boring)

I participated in the Heifer International fundraising drive via Cara at JanuaryOne.... and I won a prize! A big prize!

Behold, the new Lexie Barnes Lady B who resides with me!

spin out prizeThe bag is a wonderful size, big- but not bulky. Fabric is coated canvas and ballistic nylon (I believe) pretty and durable. Perfect.

It is loaded with inner and outside pockets- and is in beach happy colors... (perfect for michigan in January) INSIDE the bag were 2 skeins of gorgeous Sundara yarn! One of her most awesome silk lace in "sunshine" and one of herw coveted sock yarn in Pine over sunshine... lovely! Top it all off with a bit of soak in Citrus and some lovely crafters balm... and I say Merry Christmas Happy New Year to me!

A HUGE Thank you to Cara for organizing and doing all the work involved in SpinOut-and the giveaway... she's preggers and working- so this was an especially hige undertaking- THANKS SO MUCH!

OK- I'm nearly embarrassed to say, that after a methodic and obsessive stalking of the MommyCast website- (one of my favorite mommy- podcasts) I won a number of fabulous prizes from their holiday giveaway! You can click through to see all that I won... suffice to say- shoes for the boy- and me) (haven't arrived yet.. will post pics when they do) turkeys, (ok, turkey gift certificates...) a CD (Alvin and the Chipmunks... which was a very cute movie;) and a new digital camera for my purse were all involved!!!!

(I enter contests all the time- but never win anything!- can't say that anymore!) I'd like to thank MommyCast and their sponsors for all of the goodies- it was really overwhelming and exciting! Looking forward to the new boots and shoes for my guy.... gotta love packages that arrive in the mail... for free!

And- yes- I meant the title- I'm avoiding taking down the tree.... I love Christmas... but hate that naked feeling when the tree is gone... no matter how much I fuss with furniture... it's just not the same.

We generally try to make the tree stripping as fun as the tree decorating--- popcorn, movies (Underdog on demand) and cocoa.. but you know- taking down is just not the same!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Knitting, Writing and Resolutions

Finding Grace in a Chinese Carry-Out Calendar, Is my post at Laced With Grace today.(the group devotional blog I write for) . Please click over and give it a read!


carry-out calendar pic

hemlock ring blanket

I have been knitting... I started another Hemlock Ring Blanket in Moda Dea Silk'n Wool Blend. (This one is to match the new living room furniture I have not purchased yet;) I'm using US size 10 Knit Picks Harmony Interchangeable needles. The colorway is called "Latte" which is probably the reason I bought it;)

As for resolutions.. I only have 3.

1) To submit writing weekly (articles and 2 potential book proposals) and either be published or have 100 rejection letters by the end of the year. (I'm calling either one a win.....it's rejection desensitization therapy;) It's time to stop talking about it and start doing it;)

2) To participate in and post about my family's experience with "Every Monday Matters" (Introductory post next Monday on that one)

3) to lose 25 pounds. (Hide the cookies... it's time to take better care of Mommy)

Have you made resolutions? What are they? And why???

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