So, um, hi. It’s been a while.

October 1, 2014

Well, this is awkward. It’s been what? Over two years since I last wrote. I guess it will come as no surprise stuff has happened. A LOT OF STUFF.

I guess the biggest news is that The Hubs and I had a baby. I know. A baby. A girl in fact. After so long.

It’s both wonderful and terrifying and sometimes even a little bit awful. Don’t get me wrong, I love her to death, but there are some days when the Mister walks in the door and I hand her off even before he says hello. And I miss adult conversation. I don’t want to talk about poop and barf and diapers and cracked nipples and sleep habits all the time. I miss having discussions about politics and human rights and places we were going to go.

But all in good time. For now, most days anyway, at least those days I don’t immediately hand her off to her dad, I am savouring her little fingers and toes. And her fluffy, fuzzy baby chick hair. And how her nose scrunches when she laughs. And how her eyes widen when she sees something new. And how blowing on her face makes her laugh her baby belly laugh.

I’ve got six more months of being a stay at home mom and time flies.

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In this instance fantasy is much better than reality

October 18, 2011

So I’ve mentioned before that the Hubs and I live live in a 2.5 storey house.  Which is now 75 years old.  So it needs some work.  Ok, it needs a lot of work, mostly cosmetic.  But house work is house work.

Our bedroom is in the attic.  So it’s nice and big.  The attic was “finished” in the early 90s, either by the people we bought the house from or the people before them.  I’m not sure.  I suspect it was the previous owners though because of the stairs.

See, the previous owners had “interesting” decorating ideas.  We’ve painted over most of them, although the chicken wire wall in our kitchen won’t be replaced until we renovate.  The front porch had a god-awful ugly sunburst in purple, navy and yellow.  One bedroom was eggplant, navy, British racing green and burgundy.  So you see what we had to contend with.

The attic stair case though was appalling.  It was glossy kelly green with hundreds of silver frogs stenciled on.  The Hubs HATED it.  Which is kind of interesting since he doesn’t usually hate much of anything.  But he hated these stairs.

Last summer we bought brown paint to repaint them.  A nice milk chocolate that’s not too dark.  It’s the same colour as our porch, although this sample looks grey and it’s not grey.  But anyway.  We had plans to paint the stairs in the summer.  Which didn’t happen for various reasons mostly to do with the fact that I loathe painting and the Hubs “wasn’t in the mood”.

But the biggest reason they didn’t get done, stairs are a pain in the ass to paint.  Especially if you have to use oil paint.  Which we did.  As a primer.

Now, years ago I saw a staircase I fell in love with in a decorating magazine.  It kind of looked like this one.  I love the way the step colour contrasts so starkly with the riser.  And I knew that if I ever had to repaint/replace a staircase this is how I’d do it.

I lobbied hard for the main floor staircase but the Hubs wasn’t having any of it.  He has no art in his soul.  And besides, we agreed we wanted a runner so the two-toned stairs would be pretty much lost anyway.

But the attic.  Oh yes the attic was perfect for this.  It’s a very narrow, two flight staircase with a small narrow landing.  The bedroom is white and will pretty much always have to be white given that the windows are so small and there is no decent light in the fall/winter.  I figured that a white riser would lighten the heavy brown and since we don’t wear shoes in the house anyway, it would be easy to keep clean.  Well, ok, easy-ish.

So the Hubs agreed, even though he’s grumbled that it will “look retarded”.  And on Sunday he broke out the palm sander to scrap off the “texture” on the side of the stairs (no idea what that is called –  the moulding?) and after the green dust was cleaned up, he primed the entire thing.  It looked great white.  Really really great.  But white, even though I love love love it, is a “retarded” choice for a floor.  Even one that doesn’t get walked on in shoes.

So then I stepped in.  Since I want the stairs to be two colours, I agreed to paint them.  Holy Mother of God I must have been drinking when I agreed to this.  This is going to be a 47 step process.  I just finished painting the side mouldings.  I still have a second coat to go.  Then, on Thursday, I’ll paint the actual steps and the landing (twice) and likely on Sunday I’ll paint the risers white.  Twice.  Maybe three times depending on how they look.  And of course, during all of this I’ll have to plan ahead and shower/change clothes on the second floor because I am working from the top down and even though it’s latex paint it still takes a few hours to dry.  And I’ll have to keep the cat away.  She’s a big believer in Feline Supervision and I’m a big believer in not having small brown paw prints all over my hardwood.  And let’s NOT talk about how much painter’s tape I am using and how small I have to rip the strips and how picky it is to tape off risers.

So.  It will look amazing when it’s done.  But I think maybe, I should have let the fantasy remain a fantasy and just have painted the whole shebang one colour.  It would have taken two days, next to no taping and I could spend all my extra time knitting.

 


Partypooper

October 7, 2011

It is no secret that I do not care for my in-laws.  I have not-so-affectionately nicknamed them the “outlaws” and I frequently wish they’d drop off the face of the earth.  She has a special talent for annoying the snot out of me with her passive-aggressive behaviour and him, well, he’s just a jerk.

And it’s also no secret that holidays are angst-filled for us.  And likely for most couples.  Where to eat the holiday meal and who to eat it with causes all sorts of anguish.  Christmas and Easter never fail to elicit huge battles that last for days.  But not Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving has never been a problem for us.  For one simple reason.

It’s our anniversary and we made it very clear to both families that we’d celebrate it how we wanted to.  Which meant, with each other and far away from both sets of parents.  My parents have been ok with this.  His parents, well, his mother at least, connives every year to get us to have Thanksgiving dinner with them.  And every year we’ve managed to avoid it.

This year is different.  We had planned to go to New York City for an extra-long weekend.  But, with me being laid off, New York being expensive and money not as free-flowing as it could be, we decided to give the Big Apple a miss.

So, we thought we’d head up to the cottage for a weekend of romantic bedroom painting.  Which is not a euphemism.  We were planning on painting two of the bedrooms up there.  But the couple who is currently renting the place, decided to stay up there instead of going home to their families.  Which means they probably don’t like their in-laws much either.

For the first time in five years we had a conundrum.  Each family celebrates on Sunday.  We knew from our first Christmas as a couple that two turkey dinners in one day was not going to happen.  Where would we eat turkey?  And who would we eat it with?

Because the Hubs had invited his parents up to the cottage last month and I had the distinct displeasure of spending three days with them in a small house (that’s a wank for another post) and I’m still harbouring violent tendencies from that time, I decided that for everyone’s safety (and my sanity), we’d each spend Thanksgiving with our own family.  I was fine with it.  The Hubs was fine with it.  My family was fine with it.  I figured his would be too.

I knew it would just be me and my mom since my sister and her family will be celebrating Thanksgiving with her on Saturday.  But the Hubs doesn’t know this.  He thinks, and I’m not dissuading him of the notion, that my entire family will be at my parents’ house on Sunday.  He does know that my dad will be at work though.  His entire family will be at his uncle’s house and while I really enjoy his aunt and uncle’s company, I’m still having some trouble suppressing the urge to kick my FIL in the head.  Which is why he’s going alone.

Or he was until yesterday.  Last night the Hubs went to his parents’ for dinner.  He mentioned the holiday plans to his parents and his mom told him that married couples should be together on the holidays so he’d have to go with me to my family’s dinner.  WHAT?!  The dinner which my mom was making special for me?  (Her breaded chicken breasts that I love more than any other food in the world.)  The dinner that was just going to be me and my mom?  The dinner where I didn’t have to cook or clean up or watch what I said?  The dinner where I was planning on gossiping and complaining about the outlaws?  The dinner where I was going to laze around afterwards and knit to my heart’s content?  Yes that very dinner.  And afterwards he wants to go to see his family for coffee so I still have to see the outlaws.  CRAP!

So now we’re in damage control mode.  We’ve concocted stories as to why my sister and her family won’t be there.  We’ve changed the menu.  We’ve basically made it no fun.  I keep telling the Hubs he’s more than welcome to go on to his family’s dinner.  That no one in my family will hold it against him for not showing up.  But he’s not listening to me.

Way to go MIL.  You’ve managed to poop a party you weren’t even invited to.  And once again you’ve guaranteed that I continue to be not thankful for having you in my life.

 


Again with the drama

March 14, 2011

It’s been a while since the outlaws acted up so I guess I was due. 

Let’s go back to Friday shall we?  After some annoying (yet thankfully still under warranty) car trouble and a very very VERY long week I was exhausted and fell asleep, without dinner, at 6:30 pm on the office futon.  With the cat.  Around 9pm I went up to bed (sans cat) and slept until midnight.  And of course, after sleeping for nearly six hours, I couldn’t fall back to sleep.  After lying in bed and listening to the Hubs snore and groan and mumble I got up, went downstairs, knit a while, read a while and purged some recipes and patterns that I’ve had kicking around forever, before going back to bed at 4am.

I woke up around 9am Saturday morning and came downstairs for coffee.  I’m still more tired than normal given my weirdo sleep the night before but I spoke with the Hubs for a bit and then settled in the living room to knit a dishcloth while I waited for him to leave for the day.  Along with his parents, he was going on a visit-ALL-the-cousins-north-of-the-big-city trip and would be gone all day and for much of the evening.  The outlaws were told to arrive for 10am and the three of them would leave post-haste.

As an aside, for the past few years I’ve refused to go on these jaunts as a) I don’t want to give up my Saturday visiting his family b) I don’t like many of these cousins and c) figure if I’m going to get insulted or told what to do by virtual strangers I’d rather have it happen at work where I’m both getting paid AND not giving up my valuable free time.  Yes the Hubs was a little pissy he had to go “alone” but he’s finally figured out how far he can push me when it comes to non-command performance family events so he was sucking it up.

At 9:25 I heard a soft knocking on our door (we don’t have a doorbell and the Hubs hasn’t been “in the mood” to put up the door knocker yet) and I told him to answer it as I was in my pj’s and I couldn’t be arsed to get up or put aside my knitting.  Besides, at that time of the day it’s likely someone we didn’t want to speak to andI’d rather he give the Jehovah’s Witnesses/door-to-door marketers the brush off.

How right I was.  It was someone I didn’t want to talk to…it was his mom.  She’s standing on our front porch, telling him that they’re here (35 minutes early) and that they’ve parked on the next street (instead of in our empty-for-this-reason) driveway since they didn’t want to “inconvenience” me.  WTF?  Hubs tells his mom not to be silly and to come inside. She refuses.  He raises his voice and tells her again to come inside.  She once again refuses.  She then asks him if he’s ready to go.  He’s standing in the doorway wearing warm-up pants and a sweatshirt and he tells her no, he’s still eating breakfast and has to shower, shave and get dressed, all of which he was expecting to do in the next 35 minutes before they were supposed to arrive AT 10 AM.  She tells him she’ll be in the car with the FIL.  From my seat in the living room I do a mental eye roll and keep knitting.

Hubs comes in and we give each other the WTF look and he proceeds to finish eating breakfast before getting ready.  He leaves 10 mintues early, kisses me goodbye and tells me he’ll be home around 10pm.  Which is fine with me since I’m going to my sister’s house to help babysit my nieces and don’t expect to home until then either.

My day progresses nicely.  I knit a bit of a pair of socks I’m making, I sort through some yarn, I look at some patterns in myqueue, I eat a leisurely dinner.  It’s a delightful day.  Then I drive off to my sister’s house, get greeted like a rock star by three little girls, proceed to have two of them “help” me knit and play some Angry Bird on my sister’s iPad.  It’s a nice night all around.

Turns out the Hubs came home much earlier than anticipated and I got home much later than anticipated but whatever, we had no plans and neither of us was particularly put out.  We go to bed and I sleep and sleep and sleep.  DST always knocks me for a loop..

So, we’re sitting around the living room later in the morning on Sunday and I ask Hubs what the hell was up with his parents yesterday and why didn’t they a) park in our driveway and b) come into the house and wait.  Not that it was super cold outside but why wait in a car when you can sit on a comfortable sofa and drink coffee?  He tells me that his parents didn’t want to inconvenience me.  What?  Again with the not wanting to inconvenience me business?  Yes, seeing them is an inconvenience but really, they couldn’t sit in my house for half an hour?  Sure it’s not super tidy but whatever.  There was fresh coffee and I could have scraped up bagels or cookies or something to nibble on. 

Nope he says, they didn’t want to bother you.  Which is weird.  This is the second time this year they haven’t wanted to come in our house.  Clearly I’ve done something to annoy them, but in her classic passive-agressive fashion the MIL won’t tell me what it is and now I’m being “punished” by not seeing them.  Which is ironic and hilarious but whatever floats your boat lady.

Then, and here’s where the real drama starts, Hubs tells me that I should ask them tonight (at our twice a month scheduled dinner) to come to our house for dinner. 

I’m surprised you didn’t hear the F#CK NO! in your town.  I reminded him that we asked his parents over not so long ago.  Together.  At their house.  His parents refused.  Several times.  He argued with them and they dug their heels in and said no.  So we left it.  For whatever reason they didn’t want to eat with us in our house.  No skin off my nose. 

Now Hubs says, they don’t feel comfortable coming over (despite having been over for coffee AND dinner several times in the past three years) and need to be invited over several times before they say yes.  Umm are they vampires?  Is this is a scene from The Lost Boys where Max the Head Vampire has to be invited to cross the threshold?  Can I expect my inlaws to want to suck my blood the next time I see them?

So the Hubs tells me to just ask them and I tell him fine, seeing as how I’m not going to win this argument, but if his mother says no, this is THE VERY LAST TIME EVER that I will invite them to our house.  He can invite them but I will never again issue an invitation.  Ever. 

And since we’re scrapping I figure hey, I may as well make this a full blown fight, and tell him that I’m actually insulted that they preferred to sit in a cold car rather than come in our house and talk to me.  And he says ok, tell my mom that.  Fine.  I.  Will.  And you can bet, with his blessing to let it all out, I won’t be subtle about it either.  Six years of slights and passive-agressive BS is coming to an end.  Either she backs down or I do.  And I’m not backing down.

At the very worst, they  accept and come for dinner….in June which is the next time we have a free Saturday.  And at the very best she says no and I am forever off the hook for cooking for them ever again.  Best of all though, the Hubs will be sitting there watching.  I’ll mention it over dinner.  Captive audience and he can watch his parents squirm when I ask them if my house is not good enough to sit in and my coffee is not good enough to drink. 

Oh my darling husband.  Be careful what you ask for.  I didn’t work with a thousand lawyers in my former life and not pick up a few tricks.  Cross your fingers for me.  And watch the news at 11.  Hopefully the lead story isn’t about a 30 something Librarian who has gone postal.  I don’t look good in orange.


So that was Christmas

January 6, 2011

Christmas is not my best season.  I haven’t liked it for years.  I find it stressful and disappointing and far too busy for my liking.  I wish I could go to sleep November 30th and wake up on January 1.

Christmas lost its allure for me at a young age.  I think was 7 when I realized that my mom’s handwriting looked an awful lot like Santa’s.  And his boots, which left imprints in the ash of our fireplace, were exactly the same size as mine.  And had the same sole.  Also, Santa for some strange reason, liked to leave his presents for us in the linen cupboard…which was accessed regularly by us all and right between my room and my sister’s.  So yeah, Christmas lost a bit of sparkle when I was young.

It became further tarnished when it became obvious I never got what I wanted.  One year, I think I might have been 15, I fell in love with a floor-length black velvet skirt.  Emminently practical for a 15 year old right?  Not so much.  I pined for that skirt.  Never a day went by when I didn’t mention how I would die if I didn’t have that skirt.  I pictured myself floating down the 6 steps separating the bedrooms from the main floor and into the dining room in my fancy new skirt on Christmas Day.  Didn’t matter I didn’t have a top to wear with it.  Didn’t matter that we never dressed for dinner in my house.  And it totally didn’t matter that within seconds of sitting down half my dinner would be in my lap.  No, I wanted, nay I NEEDED that skirt.  Instead I got a gold necklace.  And likely that’s why I don’t wear yellow gold to this day.

I still don’t get great gifts for Christmas.  Mostly this is my fault as I don’t ask for much.  Out of consideration for other people’s finances, I try to keep my present requests under $50.  Which you would think would be plenty of money to buy a nice gift.  Sure, if you like getting towels and sheets every year like the MIL buys me.  This year I requested steak knives.  And lo and behold….eight steak knives.  The Hubs’ family is literal and unimaginative.  If you tell them you want something one year, you’re likely to get it for the next three or so.  I can’t imagine what I’ll do with 24 more steak knives.  Perhaps join a travelling circus or carnival as their new knife thrower?

The SIL enjoys buying us things she picks up on her travels.  I shouldn’t complain as I got a Gucci scarf one year…that’s white and beige.  I’m blonde and fair.  It makes me look dead whatever colour side I choose to wear.  Plus it’s scratchy.  I probably should sell it on eBay so that someone can get some enjoyment out of it.

This year was extra special though.  She brought us all back marble eggs from her trip to Morrocco.  Marble eggs.  I’ll let that one sink in for a bit.  Marble eggs.  I put it next to the sand rose she got us last year.  Sure it’s an interesting conversation piece, but it leaks sand all over my display case and I suspect one day it will just fall apart and I’ll have big mess to clean up. 

Other family members have bought me hideous serving dishes and knicknacks (glass purse anyone?), ugly picture frames and appallingly awful kitchen linens over the years.  Goodwill gets a lot of business from me in early January as you can no doubt imagine.

What kills me is that the Hub’s family knows what I enjoy doing….reading, cooking, knitting, sewing, gardening…yet they refuse to buy things that I will like or use.  I suspect like many people, they buy me gifts they’d like to get or they just buy stuff and don’t care one way or another if I like what I get, my name is checked off a list and they feel good about getting their Christmas shopping done early. 

And the Hubs is no better.  For our first Christmas together he bought me a space heater.  I think I’ve complained about mentioned this before.  He later told me he thought I’d like it because I’m always cold.  I can’t fault him for having a good heart but I can fault him for having poor judgement.  Like this year.  I told him for months I wanted something sparkly.  I even pointed out sparkly things I liked when I saw them. 

Granted I don’t wear a lot of jewelry but I do like it.  And he has ready access to my jewelry box so he can see what I do like and see what ring size I wear.  And, best of all, he knows I could care less if the sparkly stuff is fake.  In fact, I’d prefer fake so that when I lose it, it’s only $29 down the shower drain instead of $329.  Not that I speak from experience or anything.

So even though he was armed with some pretty explicit instructions for what I wanted, I unwrapped a 19 piece set of Pyrex this Christmas.  Under a certain light, yes it does sparkle, but it’s frigging hard to wear around my neck, in my ears or on my wrist.  Thank you my darling husband for giving me more casserole dishes, which I needed, but also thanks for an epic-ly disappointing Christmas gift.

For 2011 I’m taking charge though.  I’ve had it with craptastic gifts.  I’ve started my list early and I’m putting on it all manner of things I want and damn the price.  And unlike previous years, I’m not buying things off this list when I see them so that all I can offer as a gift suggestion is a set of steak knives.  No siree.  I want board games and Ravesburger puzzles and books and yarn (if someone else buys it it doesn’t affect my going cold sheep this year) and pretty, sparkly things that are not cookware.  Of course, I can’t make people buy what I want but a list should help minimize the chance of getting crap.

Same goes with the handmade presents.  This year I killed myself.  I made one pair of felted clogs, three pairs of socks, one shawl, seven Saroyans and two shrugs.  I was knitting since May 2010 for his family.  Not this year though.  Nope.  I will likely still make them something but it’s going to be sewn.  Probably placemats.  Maybe market bags.  Socks for the men, but out of worsted weight yarn so they go fast.  In fact I may dedicate February to making gifts for his family and then I’ll have the rest of the year to knit for me and my family and anyone else I care to make things for. 

And as for being too busy, especially visiting his family.  That will also end.  This past Christmas we started holiday visiting on Dec 21 and it didn’t end until New Year’s.  To be honest, the Hubs will still visit family well into February but I won’t be accompanying him to see those family members.  Don’t like them enough to give up my weekends sitting in their houses listening to them moan about how tough their lives are. 

There is a plan afoot in my family to move our celebration from Dec 24 to Dec 25.  Which will conflict with the Hubs’ family but I don’t care.  This Christmas was the first time in my ENTIRE life I did not see my parents and that really bothered (and still bothers) me.  It’s a new year, a new decade and new traditions are going to start.  Hubs and his family can suck it if they don’t like it. 

Also afoot is a plan for us all (on his side) to stop buying gifts for each other and instead take that money and have an “experience” like meeting up in Vegas in the fall.  This has many benefits.  Yes we’re still spending money but at least we’ll spend it on something we like….travel.  I will not have to feign delight over weird things my SIL brings back from her trips.  I will not have to find places to show off (but not really) said weird things.  We get to hang out together, for a few days, enjoy each other’s company and we’ll always have those memories to fall back on over the years.  Everyone seems to like the idea but now someone (that’d be me) has to organize it.  Sure it’s a lot of work but I’d rather spend my time organizing something fun than knitting the same damn scarf seven times.  Ahem.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens.  I’m hoping to have a more relaxed and restful Christmas season in 2011.  And if it doesn’t work out that way, well my mom always includes a bottle or two of wine in my “stocking” so I can at least self-medicate and blot out the parts of the season that didn’t live up to my expectations.


Why

November 4, 2010

is it that even though I start my Christmas knitting in May I’m still way behind with 50 days to go?

is it that I keep doing Christmas knitting for a group of people, many of whom I don’t particularly care for?

is it that I am dead tired at 6:30 pm but get my second wind at 10:30 pm and stay up way too late and thus perpetuate the cycle of exhaustion?

is it that deer WILL NOT stay off the highway?

is it that everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in the world irritates me right now?  Oh, wait, that may be due to that whole exhaustion thing.  Maybe.  Or maybe I’m just super crusty right now.  Both are perfectly logical answers.

is it that I keep re-living something over and over and over that I can’t change?  It’s my own personal Groundhog Day.  Or version of insanity. 

is it that I can’t remember anything anymore?

is it that I keep having these ugly red freckly spots come up all over me and they refuse to go away? 

is it that I hate all my shoes?

is it that I have so much freaking yarn but not enough of any of any one kind to actually knit a garment?

is it that after 2 years of living in the Money Pit we STILL haven’t unpacked or hung up pictures?

is it that we ALWAYS have to spend Christmas Day with the outlaws?

is it that every year I dread Christmas more and more and wish that I could skip it entirely?

is it that I look like a wizened old crone on 4 hours of sleep yet the Hubs looks fresh as a daisy on the same number of hours?

is it that Canada Post has mysteriously lost my Sock Club shipment and the yarn store is not all that interested in tracking it down yet they want payment for the next installment?

is it that both of my sock clubs this year have sucked rocks?

Honestly.  It’s been that kind of week.  I want a do-over.  Or maybe go to bed tonight and wake up on December 26th.  Both options work for me.


Here’s to four more and then some

October 8, 2010

Chuck Palahniuk said that “Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning”.  Four years ago today, on a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend, I married the DH. 

Yes I complain about him (and his family).  Yes we argue and fight.  Yes he makes me cry and drives me insane.  But he also makes me laugh and sing and dance and be a better person too.  As the sitcom song said, you take the good, you take the bad.  And so far, the good far outweighs the bad.

DH gives meaning to the word love. 

I’d do it all again big guy.  Here’s to four times four times four times four more years.