The Rolling Stone

Sorry not the Band.  A very good friend of mine has often described me as a rolling stone.  Today I felt like one.  I got so much accomplished I think I might just be able to take the weekend off. (I wish).  Today indeed was a much better day.  Emma, if indeed that is the name of this alter ego, was actually happy.  We were driving to the park at 8 am (desperate times my friends), where we were to meet some friends.  Emma says, "Mom, i just love this time of day.  Everything is new and fresh.  The day is full of possibilities!"  OK, WHO ARE YOU?  The kids played at the park with their friends... Wait for it.  I got to talk to a grownup and knit!  I know! 

Emma and Rachel on the jungle gym.

Jack and Ian in a tree.

The park was great for us.  Mom needed a breather and so did the kids.  After the park we had lunch and friends came over again!  Can U believe it!  I was able to get several boxes packaged for shipping.  I was able to finish a washcloth for the washcloth exchange i am doing with the ravelry website. (check it out knitters!)

I also was able to quilt for 3 hours.  Awesome.  After a day where i got nothing done i was super excited to get to everything i wanted to do and then some.  ooh, ooh check out these cute. onesies i got for my cousin Tara's baby shower.  How cute are they?
The little person will look ADORABLE! 

Tomorrow we embark on our first camping trip in over 4 years!   The kids are super  hyped about it.  I think Emma has packed just about everything, for everybody.  Give the girl a task and she is all over it. We are headed to Purcha Dam State Park in NM.  It is supposed to be shady!  We can only hope.  Camping in the Desert doesn't sound like much fun and it is supposed to be in the 100s all weekend.  Sounds like a good thing to blog about, I'll let you know Monday.

Awaken the Harpy

Yesterday was less than pleasant.  I had to get the kids up early to accommodate all of our plans.  When say early i mean a full 30 minutes before they normally pull themselves out of bed.  (I told  you I am a meany.)  Jack popped out of bed as usually.  He is my morning person,  rises out of bed with a smile and starts talking almost immediately.  Mark woke, with some difficulties, but he got up and got ready without to much fuss.  Then came Emma.  I always wake her last.  The princesses subjects always arise first, you know.  I got Emma out of bed, carried her down stairs and set her down.  She starts yelling as soon as her feet hit the floor.  I watched the transformation in disbelief.  
Someone or something had taken my beautiful, albeit sassy little girl and transformed her into a screeching harpy.   I swear even her eyes were glowing with a red tint.  The claws came out, the teeth were bared and she didn't stop screeching until 10pm last night.  Of course, when i asked her what was wrong i got a different answer every time and it was always my fault.  She went to far as to say, "Mom,  I just don't feel like part of this family.  That is why i need a chihuahua.   So i can have someone who loves me."  OMG!   I'll let you know if today goes any better.


Ay chihuahua!

Emma has been campaigning for a Chihuahua.  She really was attracted to them when we go visited shelters looking for a dog to adopt prior to Ginger.  The smaller the better.  She would say things like, "Aren't they so CUTE!" and " Mommy look at the Little thing"  She backed  off ever so slightly when we  brought Ginger home.  Of course, Ginger was 4 lbs then.  And since she has grown, and grown and grown. Now she is 40+ pounds of puppy who stands about 20 inches high at the shoulder.  According to the dog whisperer we  are seeing Ginger has about 2 more inches to grow.  So we have been working with the kids on trying to play with Ginger in a safe way and teach her that they are the boss.  Jack and Mark, understand what we are trying to achieve.  They are working with Ginger and are developing a good relationship.  So much so that Jack will stare Ginger down until she turns and runs.  Emma however, is another story.  She has decided that Ginger is too big.  She says that she cannot get Ginger to listen to her and she doesn't understand why i am making her do this.  (Because i am a big MEANY).  So this weekend she started back on the Campaign Trail.  
She started off with a little speech that went something like this...
"Mom, can i have a Chihuahua? I would love it. And take care of it. And clean up its messes.  It could sleep with me. and Everything!!!!! PLEASE (lots of whining here at this point)."
I responded 'NO'
not to be shot down at the first try she kept going..."But, why not?  You wouldn't have to do anything."
"Because Ginger would eat it."  i respond blandly
"No, I already told you I would keep the puppy in my room, and it could sleep in my bed and i would never, ever, not ever, ever let Ginger get it!"  she begged
Trying reason i said, "Emma we just got Ginger.  She is still a puppy.  We need to devote our time to helping her learn how to behave."
Mark decided to help and says, "Emma you don't want a dog.  You want a fashion accessory."
She dropped it.  I should have known that it wasn't the end of it.  She simply turned and walked away.

So every day since then she has brought it up always with the same reasoning.  Tonight she kept it up.  
"Mom?  when are we going out to get my chihuahua?"
stunned I said, "WHAT!"
"Remember, you said once Ginger was bigger I could get a puppy!  Well Ginger is bigger (4 days bigger). "
"I never said that Emma and you cannot have a chihuahua."
Her response was to drop to her knees, hold her folded hands up over her head and say, "Mom,  I am down on my knees begging you!  PLEASE!"

Ay chihuahua!!!   
(may i should send her to theater camp)


And so it goes...

The rains came and went yesterday.   Here is a storm that came through late evening from the north.  so far much of our rain has been from the Hurricane that came through south Texas.  We are all still dry and the back yard is no longer a lake.  
Yesterday was a melancholy type of day.  The rains kept the kids inside for a while and board games were a favorite way to pass the time.  Mark, kept the couch warm watching the NASCAR race and giving us all play-play.  John continued to try to stop the leaks, which i have to admit are diminishing.  We spent the evening at a Good-Bye party for friends of ours.  Here is Emma hamming it up in the sweater i just finished for her.

Very theatrical of her.  

The party was very nice, but very touching at the same time.  The family who is moving is a Former Delphi family.  (former after this move.)  They were one of the first families here to welcome us.  Although we didn't get together much, it is just one more connection here that is gone.  We have another family moving away soon, with kids who were about the same age as ours and who played together nicely.  I know it come with the transient nature of El Paso, and I know the families who are moving have bigger and better things in store for them. But let me just take a moment to say..."WHAT ABOUT ME!"  OK i feel better, truly it was bittersweet to say good-buy to good people.

On and up note here is the joke for today:

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.  The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though a whale is a very large mammal, its throat is very small.  The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.  The teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human, it was impossible.  
The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah."
The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to Hell? 
The little girl replied, "Then you ask him!"

The school year begins in just 15 days, but who's counting?  Today we start the dreaded back to school shopping.  Now i pride myself on being a great shopper.  But i get so annoyed at the back to school shoppers.  For those of your who don't have children, it compares in  a lot of ways to Christmas.  "I want. ... I gotta have....Please..... My friends all have...."  Mark needs 6, one inch binders.  what is up with that?  how can any child possibly carry anything else in their book bag with 6 inches of binders?  What happened to spiral notebooks and Trapper Keepers? Not only do we have to get the supplies for the kids but we stock the class rooms as well.  4 boxes of Kleenex per child,  2 rolls of paper towels,  Ziploc baggies,  construction paper and much, much more.  Thank Goodness we go to Catholic schools and wear uniforms.  I think back to school clothing would only give Emma and I another reason to express our opinions loudly to one another (yeah OK argue).  I have a feeling that Hannah Montana and Camp Rock will be high on our list today.  I think i better stop at Starbucks before we go and take some Motrin with me, something tells me i may need it.  Wish me luck. 


?Time to build the ark?

Last night was a wonderful night to sleep.  The breeze was cool and the sound of rain patted gently on the window.  For those of you who don't know July and August is Monsoon season.  This is when the desert gets all of its water. It reminds me of June in Ohio.  Rainy and Humid.  Now humid is a relative term.  We usually maintain a humidity of less than 10%, so low in fact we don't get dew on the grass in the morning.  So all month we have had a humidity of around 50% , shocking I know.  Anyway, this am Ginger woke me up at 6:30 and it was raining.  Now Ginger loves to be outside and she loves to play in water.  Perhaps you may be able to see the problem in this. One hyper puppy, a sand box and muddy grass doesn't make for a happy mama.  So Ginger and I went for a walk.  We'll i discovered something that i have never realized.  The sidewalks here are not textured!  And they get darn slippery when they are wet!  So after slipping 3 times up the hill we walked in the gutter.  We could have walked out in the middle of the street for all the cars we saw (2).  We past one other sorry looking dog owner who commented that my dog must be as stir crazy as his.   The walk was beautiful, peaceful and very relaxing.    After breakfast I decided to take the kids puddle jumping.  This is an activity they love, or used to but we haven' t had the opportunity to do it in 2 1/2 years (yes, we live in the desert.)  Needless to say they were super excited.
 Here we are walking down the street.  The problem was that from the time Ginger and I went for a walk to the time I went with the kids it started raining harder and the wind was gustier.  (Can i say gustier?)  There was much whining, several inside out umbrellas and very, very wet kids.  We only managed to make it to the end of the street before the whining started and I knew we should turn back.  By the time we got home, which was a feet in itself we had Lake Hoog in the back yard.   Dont worry we don't need an ark...yet.  John had 5 hoses siphoning out the back yard.  Don't worry the kids loved it, yes, Ginger too.
So it rained and rained and rained today. And i had 3 bored kids and a wet smelly dog in my house!  John on the other hand spent most of the glorious day on the roof trying, yet again to fix the leaks.  And he was so happy about it. This picture below is right at the door way to the family room the mat is butted up against the door.  Ahhhhhhh!!

 The good news is the OSU socks are done and so is the tangled neck cardigan i started in January.  It had to go away for a little time out.   It was very bad.  But it is finished and i cast on for a new  sweater, hopefully a much less complicated sweater.  

 I was also able to do laundry during the day.  Why is this important?  
Well, mommy always said wear clean undies every day.  Oh, laundry during the day.... well our evaporative coolers work well to cool the house in low humidity.  But when the humidity is high (higher)  it doesn't do much good.  So the house gets hot and the dry and the oven make it much worse.   I have been doing laundry at 11 pm-1am to keep the temps down and i have been getting creative on the grill.  Grilled Portabello Mushroom Pizzas anyone?



Look what arrived yesterday!  This is Ian, my nephew.  He is Danielle's youngest.  I can't believe he is one.  (yes that is why he is holding the giant number, we'll that and probably to get him to sit still for the picture) It seems like only yesterday i flew out to Virginia beach to see him just after his birth.  Of course  reminiscing over Ian's growth this past year lead me straight into thinking of my own kids.  I cannot believe Mark will be in the sixth grade!  Wasn't it just a few weeks ago he started Kindergarten?  This kid who is only a few inches shy of being as tall as me, is growing up.  The signs are all there, but  i feel like somehow i missed a step.   I mean look at the face below.  He wouldn't be happy about taking this picture if I gave him a number 11 to hold. I think not.

Ok so maybe i have acne, instead of diapers to change, i have science projects and term papers, typed term papers, instead of board books, and i have the prospect of kissing girls in the near future instead of biting girls.  But the fact remains at 11 1/2 he still needs his mommy.  It is comforting that this boy on the verge of sixth grade still needs me.  He still likes me to read him books and still puts up a fight at bedtime and yes, he still occasionally kisses and hugs me goodbye, although not in public.  So i know i have a while yet to enjoy this period of boyhood, but it is nearly half over.  When my cute nephew is 11 1/2 mark will be 21! off at college, (
God willing) have a girlfriend (God forbid) and will have been on his own for nearly 3 years (Oh God!).  But lets not think of the future and only enjoy that for now, i may have graduated from Mommy  to just Mom, but i am indeed still MOM.  I think I'll go knit Ian a sweater while his mom still gets to decide what he wears.


Why Blog? (Good Question)

Well.. the obvious answer is because i have so much free time.  heehee.   I have thought about this since John asked me the same question this evening.  And since "because I want to."  Wasn't the answer he was looking for I spent some time thinking about the reasons.  I have come to have some very good friends here in El Paso.  And being the transient city it is, they all are moving away.  I have some great friends in the midwest, many whom I speak with only once a month (ok maybe twice if my Verizon bill is accurate.)  We have family spread out all over the continent.  I have had many a person say, " I always think about calling you early in the morning when the kids are busy.  Then I realize it is 5 am in El Paso!"  I'd like to thank all of those people for not calling at 5 am.  As I am sure ya'll (Texan lingo)  appreciate my not calling when I am up at 10 pm here.  So what I really need is to come up with a way to keep in touch with everyone.  AH-HA   (a good reason).   So I started investigating the Blogging World.  And presto. a new blog.  So I decided to call it The Crafty Quilter's Closet.  Why?  Because that is where I stash all of my Craft Supplies.  Not just my Quilting but, the sewing, knitting, the cross stitch and the fabric paint.  Some people have craft rooms, I have a closet.   So whether I will be good at blogging, only time will tell.  Lets just hope so.  

Toe up socks

OSU Socks
So for those of you who don't know i have  been trying to master socks knit from the toe up.  So i had a friend teach me her method.  Well unfortunately for me she has been knitting for over 30 years so most of her patterns are in her head.  I knit the first pair with her with me, so it was so simple... or so i thought.  By the time i got around to starting another pair i had remembered the pattern, mostly.   So as you have probably figured out they were less than pretty, more like swiss cheese with all of the holes.  Out to find the error of my ways I searched the internet for the perfect pattern.  I found a pattern, if it perfect is yet to be determined.  But the first is done and the second is on the needle.  With luck I may have a pair in the coming week.  I honestly don't know how the women of histories past knit socks for their family...and with everything else they had to do!!