Thursday, February 26, 2009

WANTED: A Good Home for Bronco

This is Bronco.

He is Jake's wooden rocking horse. He is approximately 34" long, 29" high, and his seat about 19 1/2" high. Jake's outgrown him. He is free to a good home, you would only need to pay for his transportation. The downside is that I looked up shipping costs with the post office, and it seems it would cost anywhere from $60 - $120 to ship him, depending upon your proximity to me. You could look up your own approximate shipping costs at You will also need to know that the package would weight about 20 lbs, be about 36" x 30" x 12". You would also need to know my zip code (and your own). I do not want to give my zip code out on this blog but if you know me you know what state I am in, and you can pick any zip code in that state to use the calculator.

If you are interested, please let me know, but I totally understand if no one wants to take me up on it, seeing as the shipping is much more than I anticipated. If no one bites, I will find someone around here to take Bronco in.

Two more things:

1. This offer is not open to strangers, only to my regular readers/friends.
2. If you have another, cheaper, way to transport Bronco, I'm open to that.

Oh, for fuck's sake!

We put The Boy in honors math this year. Because of the faster pace, he usually needs some help with the homework, and I usually help him with it every night (I don't do the work for him, but I figure out how to do it, then I explain how to do it, and we both do it independently, then compare answers to make sure he's got it right; if he's got it wrong I explain to him where it went wrong so he understands it). Tonight he was extra stressed about it and in an all-fire hurry to get it done before DF arrived to pick him up for the night. I held off asking why until we finished.

Now that we've finished, here's why: Because DF feels he's mentally superior in math to me. (1. The Boy's words, not mine; 2. It's true: I'm good at math, but the furthest I've gone is algebra, and I'm a bit rusty; while DF knows calculus and has an engineering degree and everything.) If DF finds out that The Boy had MY help with his math instead of DF's help, he would not like it. Apparently he is taken to saying, "If you ever need help with a math problem, come to me, I'm much better at math than mom".

But here is why The Boy prefers my help with math instead of DF's: whenever DF is explaining something, it seems that he is just talking to hear himself talk. (This is true of all things, not just math.) It's like pulling teeth to get an explaination out of him, because you have to listen to 20 minutes of shit you don't want or need to hear in order to get the explaination that you understand. When I explain something, I strip it to the easiest form to make the explanation easy. It's probably my "lack" of sophisticated mathiness that makes me a better tutor. I get straight to the point instead of going on and on about it. It's probably also in my favor that The Boy and I share one brain, so I know what kind of explanation he is going to understand.

So now The Boy has decided it's easier to hide the fact that I help him with math, and let DF think he did it all on his own. Which means he has to be sure to finish it before DF picks him up so the subject of math homework does not even come up.

I asked him if he couldn't just explain to DF that "I understand the way mom explains it better", which is, in fact, the truth. But The Boy said he knows DF's personality enough that he can anticipate 20 arguements that DF will have if The Boy says that.


Friday, February 20, 2009

New Room

It was time for a change. Back in '02, we had designed The Boy's room like a castle: castle walls, castle themed bedspread and curtains, coat of arms/family crest, 'drawbridge' closet doors, lantern-like lights, and hammered "iron" drawer pulls. I even made sure that I painted smaller "stones" around the window and doors, and included keystones at the top of each. We also included a purple door, requested by The Boy, hooks for his various swords, and a sky blue ceiling, complete with clouds. I am not clear, now, why I felt that a castle room would have no ceiling and be open to the sky. As with all the other rooms in my home, I never asked my landlord for permission to paint. I just went ahead with it. I made sure to choose all light colors so that it would not be difficult to paint over down the line. I had a lot of fun creating that room, and we were all very pleased with the results:

At the time, I did not plan to be living in the same apartment 5 or 6 years later, and thought we would only change the room when it was time to move out, and that change would be to slap some primer over the walls and ceiling, so that the landlord could easily paint over it. But here we are, years later. The Boy is 12 (nearly 13!) years old, attending middle school, and in the midst of becoming a young man. We outgrew the castle room. I had been thinking about it for a while, and when The Boy brought it up in January, we decided we would repaint his room over February vacation. A few weeks ago, I made a new quilt for his bed. Toward the end of last week, we moved everything we could out of the room. Last weekend, while he was with DF, I prepped his room and bought all the supplies. And this week, we painted his room:

Removed light fixtures, curtain hardware, etc from walls, and patched the holes. Some things we were not going to remove, and I just taped over those.

I also decided that removing his large shelves and everything they contained would be far too much work, plus I have very limited space in the rest of the apartment for it all, so I just covered them in plastic, and we painted around them. I would have had to take the bed apart to move it out of the room, so that got covered and stayed, too. But it served a purpose, as I used to to put all my tools and junk on.

More wall repair and covered, taped shelves.

Then, we painted the ceiling and covered everything else with primer.

Next we painted the walls in a lovely sage green, and the doors and trim in white. (Not shown.)

The finished room:

As you can see, in addition to the new quilt, we've also added new curtains and new light fixtures. The dresser is different from the 'before' pictures too, but this is something we aquired a few years ago, it is not new now. We also finally hung his Star Wars autographed pictures from Dragon*Con, and the State Quarters map which was a gift from his grandparents.

We worked hard together on this room, and we're both very happy with the results. It's a teenager's room, now!

Friday, February 13, 2009

12 of 12 - February

It's that time again. 12 of 12 is the brainchild of Chad Darnell. Please check it out, it's pretty cool.

6:45 am - living room computer
Checking the weather report before sending the boy off to school. 51 degrees is heavenly!

6:55 am - front doorThere's the bus. Notice that you can see grass? We've had a lot of snow melt in the last couple of days. W00t!

9:30 am - living room
Making a list while having my coffee. I'm bringing dessert to a dinner party tomorrow, and I've decided to make a trifle.

I completely forgot to take my camera when I went to the market. Figures.

12:30 pm - kitchen table
When I got home from the market, I found a couple of packages had been delivered. These are little China dishes I got off of Ebay. They are for the cat.

12:31 - floor
I also received my new wireless printer that I'd ordered on Monday. Yay!

12:35 - bedroom
While at the store, I also got this candy and card for my son, for Valentine's Day. He will be with his dad this weekend, so I'm going to give them to him tomorrow after school.

2:35 pm - front door
The boy, coming home from school. Sorry for the blur.

3:00 pm - kitchen table
I brought home a million paint chips the other day, and now we've finally decided on what color we are going to paint the boy's room next week.

5:00 pm - the boy's room
During school vacation next week, we'll be painting the boy's room. He's outgrown the castle motif that we've had for several years now. At this point, I've just finished clearing everything except his bed and bookshelves out of the room. Since he'll be with his dad this weekend, I will use that time to buy the paint and prep the walls.

7:00 pm - kitchen
Chopping up cabbage to cook for supper (along with pork chops).

8:55 pm - kitchen
The finished trifle for the dinner party tomorrow.

11:20 pm - bedroom
"Come to bed, Mommy!"

11:25 - bed
Ooh, look! Serenity is on the Sci-Fi channel! (Ok, I know this makes 13 pictures. I just had to throw this one in here.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mapquest clearly does not understand the concept of a cloverleaf interchange.

I'm going to a little dinner party tomorrow night with some old work friends. I've only been to Judy's house once before and I'm not crystal clear on how to get there, so I just looked up some directions on Mapquest. And something struck me as very, very wrong.

This involves getting from an overpass onto a highway. In these parts, we have cloverleafs. Very easy. But here are Mapquest's directions:

3: Turn SHARP LEFT onto ramp.

That is the COMPLETE opposite of the way to go. That will send me veering into oncoming traffic, and then either onto the WRONG WAY into traffic, or else flying right off of the exit ramp and into the woods.

Here is the correct flow of traffic:
And here's another view of the way Mapquest advises people to go:
If someone is not familiar with cloverleafs and tries to follow these directions, someone could seriously get hurt.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Well, that wasn't so bad...

I had my mammogram today. Thank you all for your input, and you were right, it wasn't bad at all. The technician was awesome and made me feel really at ease, she wanted to know if I had any questions, complimented my tattoo :), and was very easy to chat with, which is important in order to stop feeling so self-concious about standing there with one's boob hanging out in the open like that and getting handled by a stranger. The worst part was for the side picture, the skin under my arm and over my ribs was pulled pretty tight. But even that didn't exactly hurt, it was just uncomfortable.

My appointment was at 4pm about 20-25 minutes away. I left in plenty of time to get there, but I was a little concerned with how long it would take me to get home. The ride back would most likely be in rush-hour traffic, and I also needed to stop at the pharmacy and the grocery store on the way home, and I wasn't anticipating getting home until after 6 or 6:30. BUT the appointment was really quick. I was out of there by 4:15. Traffic was better than I anticipated, I was back in my town, through the pharmacy, and parking at the grocery store by 4:45. When I left the store to go home at 5:15, it was still light out!

So, over-all, today was pretty much better than I thought it was going to be.


Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm out of control

I planned out my next quilting project yesterday. It's going to be made of Mary's Triangles with scraps from my fabric drawer, and it's going to have some reds in it, and it's going to live on the sofa. And even though I know I can't even start it yet because during February vacation we're going to be painting The Boy's room and that will turn the whole house upside down, I just now decided that I HAVE to make this quilt, too:

This is a postage stamp quilt of pastels and creams that I just fell in LOVE with. I would probably use 2" squares, where the one pictured uses squares just over 1". And I had planned on working on the quilt of Jake's baby clothes, but pushed that to the back burner. Plus my sis and I were talking about a photo-quilt for our grandmother's 85th birthday this summer.

I need to be stopped.

Boobie pancakes

I have my first mammogram scheduled for Monday. And I'm nervous. I'm not nervous about what they might find - I don't even want to think about that can of worms - but I'm nervous about the procedure itself. Am I going to feel really weird with my breasts exposed to and being handled by strangers? (Although it has to be better than an internal exam or that ultrasound I had over the summer, right?) Will it hurt? (I had a friend who was an x-ray tech and performed mammographies, and she had said it was all about how the tech did her job, whether it would hurt or not.) Am I going to faint while I'm standing there with my boob clamped into the machine, and then just be dangling by my boob? (Why do they make you stand, anyway?) Doesn't that smushing damage the breast? And why did I explain EXACTLY to The Boy what a mammogram is?

Also, why am I reading on the Web that I shouldn't wear deodorant for the test (it can cause shadows), but nobody at the doctor's office told me that?

Does anyone have any positive mammography stories they wouldn't mind sharing? And if you've got a horror story, please don't share it. At least until Tuesday.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Scene from two minutes ago:

Boy: Today in Spanish class, I heard a word that I swear sounds like "fee-cee-less".
Me: No shit?

Jake's prediction for Joss' movie "The Cabin In The Woods":

"There will be 2 sweethearts going on vacation. An axe murderer attacks them. Joss will get the audience to love the boyfriend and then kill him off. Heartbroken and seeking vengeance, the girl proceeds to kill the axe murderer."

I've posted this to save it, so we can see how he did once the movie comes out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Last night we were standing in the kitchen so I could give him some medicine. As I reached on top of the microwave, something fell. We watched it crash to the floor and saw that it was my little Christmas mouse figure, now broken into three pieces. Together, we paused for a beat; and then, at the exact same time, and in the exact same tone, said, "Awwwwwwwww".

And then we broke out laughing.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jake's quilt

Jake's quilt is finished. It is a rag quilt made of denim and dark green flannel. It was sewn very quickly, but the finishing took a long time. First, the snipping of the seam allowances took several days, including most of yesterday. Then I had to wash and dry it to get it to fray. I almost thought I'd have to take it to a laundromat, but I finally determined that it was not too big or heavy to do here. So that's what I did today. First I put it in the dryer to try to get a lot of the lint off. I had to literally go downstairs to the laundry room every 10 minutes to empty the lint trap. Then through the wash. I was surprised by the tons of lint (wet lint, no less) that I had to clean out of the machine after. Then I put it through the dryer two more times, both to dry it and remove the excess lint. Again, I had to go downstairs every 10 minutes to empty the lint trap. But then it was finally done!

And now, pictures:

Jake's old jeans, cut to pieces and ready to iron and cut into 7" squares.

Some of my tools: cutting mat, square, long ruler, scissors, cutters, iron, squirt bottle, and sewing machine.

Beginning the stacks of denim squares. I needed 144 total.

All 144 denim and 144 flannel squares.

Those stacks have now been arranged into sammiches of
then stacked back together.

I sewed the squares into strips of 12, then started pinning the strips together. Each square is a denim square on top and a flannel square on bottom, with the seam allowance on the "top" denim side, which is the opposite of where you'd usually put it.

Close up of pinning.

Sewing the strips together went fast, but it got trickier as it got more together and heavier.

I didn't take any pictures of the snipping or the washing/drying. I thought about it, though.


Close up.

This was a lot of work, and I don't think I want to make another denim quilt, especially a denim rag quilt, but I'm very glad I made this one for my boy. He's sleeping with it tonight. :D


Awesome, awesome, awesome Buffy/Angel fan vid:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Shhhhhhh!!! It's a Secret!

Last week, I overheard my sister tell our mom that it was cold where she works, and she really needs a lap quilt. So I decided to surprise her with one. I am 99% sure she does not frequent this blog. And Sue, if you lurk and don't let me know, then shame on you, and you've ruined your surprise!

I put the denim rag quilt for The Boy on hold and made a (cotton) rag quilt for my sis. The sewing itself was very quick, since you sew all three layers together and it's self finishing. But then you have to snip along ALL the seam allowances to make it fray, and that takes FOREVER. (Although not as long as it's taking for the denim one, because the denim one is three times as big and also made of DENIM.)

After I finished snipping sis' quilt, I washed and dryed it twice to get its fray going on. Here is the finished quilt:

I'm going to mail it to her tomorrow. :D

The instructions for this quilt are here.