Friday, April 27, 2007

Veni, Vidi, Vici

Between work and personal deadlines, my week has been extremely crazy again. I've been working long hours and have had a few late evenings at home. I've outsourced meal preparation to local restaurants, all house cleaning to either Italian or a service, and taxes to Italian. I have even sent those super short emails. I'm sure you have seen them. They are fragmented messages missing nouns, articles, and verb: messages that are limited to:
Busy. Send more later. Lunch?

Little Clover has responded to my busy schedule and stress by stepping up and becoming a little gentleman in a pint sized body. After a long and stressful day at work, I came home late the other night and hit my limit within 15 minutes of walking in the door. The dinner Italian had called in for me to pick up on my way home was not ready. In fact, they had not even put the order back to the kitchen. The washing machine had forgotten its purpose in life was to clean clothes, and my favorite hair clip broke. I was stressed and tired. Little Clover took one look at me and said, "Mama, I'll fix dinner tonight? How about a grilled cheese sandwich?"

I smiled and said, "That would be lovely."

Since he is still little and not allowed to use the stove, I asked if he would like for me to cook it. He said, "Yes, please," and we had a wonderful dinner.

In an effort to meet my pending deadlines, I've eliminated sleep from my schedule. Other than the bags under my eyes, my new twitches, and a propensity to be a bit edgy, it's coming along swimmingly. You can get a lot done, like a Wedding Shawl.

Yes,sirree bob! The shawl is blocking! The knitting was finished late Tuesday night and the ends were woven in yesterday. I made three mistakes while knitting but only one is really visible. I hope The Engineer loves it. I also hope the off white of the shawl doesn't clash with the off white of her dress.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Don't Drink the Lemonade

Water for Elephants

First, a confession:
It took me well over two months to finish listening to this book. The story is very good and the narration was wonderful, for some reason though, I wasn't engaged enough to continue listening to it. Other things seemed to be more important. I think one thing that made the book difficult to finish was the subplot of Jacob as an old man.

The book is really two stories in one. The primary story is that of Jacob Jankowski as a young man who ran away from his life and found himself in the Circus. The backdrop of the Circus is as large of a character as any of the living breathing characters and Sara Gruen is a talented writer for being able to pull this off. I love stories where the setting has such prominence. Jacob must resolve what his life is and who he is as he travels from town to town. His journey with the Circus train chronicle's his journey from a sheltered one life to one that is more worldly. He finds himself on that train.

The sub plot of the story is about Jacob on the verge of losing himself. He is old, 90 or 93, he's not sure which. His not knowing is a very strong theme of the subplot. The subplot of the book was the true point of the book. It made me think of what I want in old age, how I view those who are old, and how I have behaved around those who are old. I felt regret for my behavior and I felt great sadness for what Jacob's life is like in the nursing home. If nothing else, this book grants readers amazing insight into the mind and emotion of the aging. I don't know what Gruen's experience is, but she is gifted. Not only does she have a depth of understanding for the human experience, but she can communicate it in a way that builds bonds and empathy.

Oh, the ending was superb!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Eenie, Meenie, Mighty, Mo

A new phase of Project Spectrum has begun and I am way behind. I knew the shawl would take me into April, but I was hoping to have a Picovoli done by now. Sadly, my plan didn't work out exactly like I had hoped. The Picovoli is moving at a quick pace though, and I have a feeling it will be done before the warm weather arrives.

Since I'm a stickler for finishing a project before moving on to the next, I will finish the Picovoli before I start my Pink Project for Project Sprectrum. My green project may just fall to the wayside and will have to wait for another day. For my pink project, I need some help. Which one do you guys like?

I will make the short sleeve version for either one of these.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Last night I knitted

I spoiled myself last night and shut myself away when Little Clover went to bed. I didn't do any of the laundry that was lingering, waiting to be folded. I didn't even work on the documents due this week for work. I certainly didn't check my email. Instead, I sat in bed with a small bedside lamp shining softly next to me. My iPod was speaking the words of a book in my ear and my hands knitted. I stayed this way for over two hours, knitting in bed. All the tension in my shoulders that had built up with the stress of the last few weeks began to melt and I felt revived. After two hours of knitting, I had a renewed sense of self and the second panel to the wedding shawl, which I stitched up today.

I owe belated birthday wishes to a few people. Every year, the beginning of April is a time for celebration as I am fortunate enough to be a part of four very wonderful lives.

Firstly, my brother in law had a milestone of a birthday this year. He is now officially old :) Happy Birthday, Brian! Remember, I have a whole year to give you little gifts to help you with your new old age.

Next, I have to give a huge gigantic cyber hug (for now) to my best friend. Happy Birthday, Tlee! I miss you much. Please come down in May for some fantabulous Canadian music and food wrapped in bacon.

I also owe a belated birthday wish to the Godfather. Thank you for welcoming me into the Family. May you have many more happy years, and I can't wait to see the garden.

Finally, Italian deserves a gigantic birthday wish. I love you and love celebrating the day that you came into this world. Happy Birthday.

Although I didn't plan any huge party for Italian's birthday, we did celebrate in our own special way. We had a very nice dinner with his family. Xavier Guy was even in town for the Easter break. Friday, we bundled up with hats, sweaters, winter coats, scarves, and gloves. We were ready for the 30 F weather and head out to the baseball game. Yes, we watched a baseball game wearing clothing that was remnicent of a football game. At least the beer stayed cold.

And you can't have beer at a baseball game without a nice helping of
BBQ Nachos, which also stayed cold. Trust me, they are wonderful hot.

The game was quite fun. The home team won. The crowd was extremely entertaining. Little Clover left with a bat. Yep. He got a bat from one of the players. We were sitting in the stands by the dugout when one of the players walked up to the wall, reached over, and handed Little Clover his bat, complete with ball marks. Little Clover, being the baseball fan that he is, was in heaven. Oddly enough, the one picture I took of the game was actually of this particular player battting. The heavens must have been aligned that night.

Now we have yet one more reason to like the Cardinals. As a Cubs fan, I'm still holding out hope that David Eckstein will be wearing Cubbie blue one day.

Oh, how could I forget? What says Easter better than a Darth Vader decorated Easter egg?

Monday, April 02, 2007

On your mark, get set, go!

My crazy life is starting to slow. This past week, I finished up two of my neighborhood events. Every year, my neighborhood hosts a landscaper who will give general landscaping tips. If you bring a picture of your house, he will look at it and give you specific suggestions on what to plant and where. He was very good. Next year, I may be brave enough to bring a picture of my house.

Then, on Sunday, our neighborhood had an Easter Egg hunt. This is the only event without a chairperson, which meant that I had the lovely job of running the Easter Egg Hunt. I spent the last two weeks stuffing over 600 eggs with goodies and candy, finding a person to make an appearance as the Easter Bunny, and making treat baggies. We had torrential downpour on Saturday, which left me worried that Sunday would be too muddy. Fortunately, the park was dry and perfect for hiding all the eggs. The kids arrived, ran around frantically,

and left with baskets full of candy and smiles on their faces.

Now with my big event over, I can focus on a few other things, like watching the mama and baby birds at our house,

or my roses bloom.

The first rose of the season.