Under the Quilt

I'm here. You're here. Let's talk amongst ourselves.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Who wants to join?

I just made arrangements to meet a woman whom I met on a knitting/crocheting website, this Friday. We are starting our own informal group (just the two of us so far) to get together and share patterns, chat, eat goodies, and teach each other skills. I'm so excited! From our emails, I think this is an older woman. I think I've mentioned here before that I get along with older people better than those that are closer to my own age. I'm not sure what it is. And not that I don't like hanging out with younger people ( I don't want to get myself uninvited to Bearette's disco ball). It's just that there's none of that comparing and catty behavior. I can handle talk about hot flashes and Depends anyday.

She said she knows how to knit and is more than willing to teach me. I didn't even ask, but this may be the push I needed to get past that first step in all my knitting books. I get stuck every time and immediately go back to the crocheting. I guess you could read something into that if you wanted to. I just find it very comforting and relaxing to do the familiar. If I'm getting myself frustrated and confused while trying to do a pleasure activity, then what's the point?

Now I need to go find a good recipe from something yummy to bake. I don't want to show up empty handed!

***By the way, we're meeting on Friday nights. I suppose we'll have to come up with a name other than "The Friday Night Knitting Club". ;)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Do You Like It?

If I must say so myself, things are looking pretty snazzy around here. I think I may have finally found a template that I like. Well, without searching for one that blogger doesn't offer and then figuring out how to use it for myself.

Profile picture to be coming soon.




And just because I can, I will be changing Bobby's name. Not his real name in real life (duh), but his fake name in bloggy land. Mostly because it doesn't feel like it fits him. So from here on out my son is going to be Nate.

I Can Crochet

While searching for some hat and scarf patterns I found a few that rather amused me. Let's see what you think.

I'll start off with the one that was probably my overall favorite. Anyone want me to make this for them? It's all the rage. I'll never be able to eat spaghetti the same way again. Although I do like how the girl's hair matches the color of the meatball.

How about this one? I guess if you're a Lord of the Rings fan and can't think of anything else to be for Halloween. Or want to keep your head warm while grocery shopping. Either way, you'll look like a freak. Cuz you ARE a freak.

Now here's a cute one. Who wouldn't want to have this atop their head?

This guy does not look like he should be wearing this hat. Anyone want to disagree with me?

Even though this girl looks like she's probably cute and the scenery in the background is rather beautiful, noone, NOONE can pull off this one.

I'm actually thinking of making this one for Bobby. Don't laugh. This is a serious one.

If you're a parent and a bank robber and want to have your kids be accomplices, you might want to check out this one. Don't you love the poses?

Check out this dude. Doesn't he look happy to be modeling? Yeah, I didn't think so.

And now, you have to read the story that goes along with this one. How cool is that?

***As for the prize for the blog naming contest, I have some actual patterns that you may want to choose from. Or if you want to google and find one for yourself, feel free. Or if you find one of the patterns I posted here to your liking, don't be embarrassed to ask. ;)

**Pssst....I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm willing to make anyone else a hat, too. I promise I won't come stalk you if you send me your address. Sadly, I can only offer to make you a hat, since Bearette was the real winner and she was offered a hat AND a scarf. Gotta keep things fair around here.

And the winner is..........

Before you can stop holding your collective breaths, let me indulge you with how I came up with the winner.

Thank you all for your contributions. And for those of you that only commented but did not have any ideas, I would like to at least thank you for your comment. No need to mention the non-effort. :P

I thought I might combine a few of the entries, but soon decided against that. Is this any indication why: "Under the quilt in the Midwest: meatless and loving it! Come play with our business....I mean purple bunnies"

Moving on.

Liz's emoticon contribution reminds me of something. Although I have mostly gotten past my fear of the emotional icon (I found out that's what emoticon meant by googling it the first time Liz used the word. That's how much of a non-computer geek I used to be.), I still do not know what most of them mean. Some are self-explanatory. Others I look at and turn my head from side to side like someone viewing those 4-D pictures where the picture is supposed to appear from out of nowhere. I have the same amount of luck with the emoticons as I do with those dumb pictures. So, if any of you have extra time on your hands, would you inform me of the meaning behind those little faces? I promise I'll pay you back if you have any questions about quilting or crocheting or kids or living in an emotionally charged house. It would be kind of nice to use something other than these :) :( ;) :P at the end of my comments. And I prefer to know what the heck I'm saying before I start throwing these little guys around willy nilly. I'd hate to offend someone.

Onto the naming of this silly little space.

The winner and the reason why:

Under the Quilt

I liked it as soon as I read it. It's just a touch mysterious. Who's under the quilt and what are they doing? It also reminds me of why I like to make quilts. You know that safe, warm comfy feeling you get when you're under a quilt? Especially one that is handmade (for those of you lucky enough to have a handmade quilt). The simple action of someone laying a nice, warm quilt over the top of you, whether when you were a child or now as an adult. Under the Quilt also represents my anonymity. Even though I've shown you my face, I still remain mostly anonymous and plan to keep it that way so that I don't feel like I have to change what or how I write. Because who really wants that?

So, Bearette, if you are ok with emailing me your address and feel like you would benefit from having a hat and/or scarf from moi, go ahead and do so.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Put your creative caps on. I need a little help.

Change is good. Since I was just kind of wingin' it a year and a half ago when I started this thing, I never really liked the title of my blog. Is that all I could come up with? Pretty lame.

Anyone have any good suggestions? The winner will get a handmade, crocheted hat or scarf. I've got some pattern ideas for you to choose from coming in a soon to be posted post.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

For all you David Letterman fans......."It Ain't Oprah, til it's Oprah!"

For the first time in over 37 years, there will be a reunion of two hearts, two souls. They spent 9 months together not knowing one another, but there was still a bond. One that will finally have the chance to grow.

I am so excited. Probably not as excited as the person who is coming to visit us in a few mere weeks. I don't think that would be possible.

She already informed me to not worry about cleaning the house too much before her visit. (Yay!) I told her we'd probably mop the floor and run the vacuum. Of course, Ron knows I'll be cleaning like a mad person anyways. I always do that before anyone visits. I think it's nerves more than anything.

I now have an excuse to visit the Amish again. Quilts. Yay. Homemade pies. Yum.

I cannot wait. Let the sharing of pictures and stories begin!

She finally told her mom and sister the news of finding him. She was hesitant for a multitude of reasons. Mostly it was because she didn't want a repeat of her first announcement years ago. (hey mom, I'm 16 and pregnant....probably didn't get a very nice response). Luckily her mom and sister were ecstatic. They only live a 12 hour drive away and already want to visit and/or plan a family get-together.

While I was on the phone with her the other night, she was asking the kids' shirt sizes because she has some t-shirts from her office. She then asked me if Ron would be okay with me telling her his size and I said I wasn't sure. He was listening to my half of the conversation and said, "Sure, bring it on. As long as it's not Oprah."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Getting Down to the Root

I think I may have finally figured out a recurring theme, or rather person, that always shows up in my dreams. I believe that this person represents my inadequacies. Anytime I am questioning myself, this person shows up in my dreams.

In dream life, I am very aware of her presence but not afraid of it either.

In real life, I am very afraid of her presence.

In dream life, I am always able to have a conversation with her.

In real life, I am intimidated by her.

In dream life, I am able to stand up to her and she is the one who is uncomfortable.

In real life, I will probably never be able to be comfortable around her (if we are ever in the same room again).

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bearette made me do it

I will dare you to cook seitan for your family! :D

I found this recipe at www.theveggietable.com. It sounded like it had both yummy and 'hide the secret ingredient' potential.


2 1/2 T olive or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 large tomato, chopped
6 cups mixed vegetables, finely chopped
some possibilities:
-bell peppers
-green beans
1 cup vegetable stock or water
1 t soy sauce
2 to 2 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
Garnish ideas: paprika, minced parsely, sesame seeds

Heat 2 T oil over medium heat, add garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Add onion and continue sauteing until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomato and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. (If you need to make the mashed potatoes, start them now). Add stock and vegetables, bring to boil, lower heat, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5-10 minutes. Add soy sauce and pepper, taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use remaining 1/2 t oil to grease pie plate. Arrange vegetables in it, then cover with a layer of mashed potatoes. Garnish. Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Notes: For a more substantial dish, you can add/substitute things like pre-cooked tofu, lentils, or seitan.

The presentation, as you can see (besides the blurriness of the photo), was impressive. It received rave reviews until the first spoonful was extracted. The "meat-like" substance was revealed. Jesse asked, "What is this?" and amazingly she tasted it before I had a chance to respond.

"Well, do you like it?"

"It tastes like poop. But I'll eat the mashed potatoes."

I personally thought it was o.k., but I'm not sure if I would bother cooking seitan again. Maybe I'll try it in some barbeque sauce or something. Does anyone have any favorite recipes to share?

Bobby was not home this evening to give his opinion. My guess is that he would have inhaled it before realizing that it wasn't actually meat. He is a teenage boy, after all. Everytime I've cooked tofu, he thinks it's meat. Did I mention that he's a teenage boy and eats pretty much anything that's placed in front of him? I especially like his technique of stabbing his fork into whatever large object is on his place and just gnawing away at it. The last time he did it, I told him that we have evolved a bit since the caveman days. I think we need to send him to etiquette class where he'll learn the proper use of a knife (or the use of one, period).

Ron's plate quietly revealed his opinion. Everything was consumed except for that meat-like stuff that tastes like poop.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Deep Thoughts at the Gym

I always find my mind wandering from random, shallow thoughts like what I'm going to cook for dinner or who's birthday is coming up next, to deep thoughts. The deep ones are what get me into trouble or rather just cause me to get strange looks. Like the time that I started crying on the exercise bike right next to some guy. Luckily it was just a few tears and not great, big sobs. Most people choose to sit alone in their car or in the corner of a darkened room to let it all out. Not me. As soon as I get on the treadmill, I start thinking about life in general and then it always leads me to everything that's wrong with the world.

A few days ago was a lighthearted day. Thank goodness. Thanks to Adam Sandler, too. Whether you appreciate his humor or not, I would highly recommend listening to his song, "Ode to My Car". When I first got my MP3 player a couple years ago, we didn't have that many songs downloaded on the computer. This was one that chose to put on there and it has remained ever since because I think it's on my actual player and not the memory card. I always keep my player on shuffle and every once in a while it pops up. AND CRACKS ME UP! Of course when you are briskly walking on a treadmill with people on either side, it may seem rather strange to start busting up laughing out of seemingly nowhere. The other reason I love this song (and especially listening to it while people all around me have no idea what's being blasted into my ears, including old, crotchity men) is that it is jam-packed with cuss words. And being someone who thinks that she will get struck down by lightning or at the hands of God if a mere bad word exits her mouth, I feel like I'm getting away with something. I know, I need to get a life.

Did you know that some treadmills will incline to at least an 11% grade? I didn't until just the other day. Usually I just put it at about 4-6% to get a good stretch in my legs. Then I felt daring (ooo, look out people). So I decided to keep pushing that "+" button. I chickened out at 11. Plus, I didn't think I could stay on the darn thing if it went up any higher. I also had the speed set at 3.8 miles per hour (no, I'm not converting it to km. for those of you in foreign countries). I finally lowered it back down to 0% grade once I felt like my legs were going to fall off. Guess what? It has a negative incline, too. Would that be a decline? Who cares. Luckily it only went to -0.2% because I was fully prepared to test my ability to stay on the thing without smacking my face into the front of it. Next time I am SOOO pushing the limit and I will, of course, report back here to let you know if:

a) I have fallen and I can't get up
b) I broke the darn thing and got kicked out the gym
c) It reached 20% grade and I received cheers from everyone in attendance
d) All of the above

Thursday, February 08, 2007

He's just so cute!

"What if this is just a dream? What if I wake up and we're really not going to his concert?"

We braved the bitter cold, wind chill below zero temps, but it was soooo worth it. Jesse was able to contain her excitement better than all of the young, hip college girls that we were sitting amongst. The majority of the crowd were Kent State University young women who were more than willing to voice their opinions of the "just so cute" Ryan Cabrera. I think I heard that phrase more than a few times even though he had the grunge look going on. It was such an intimate setting that he was interacting with the audience on a personal level. At one point, he was asked, "Will you marry me?" in which he responded, "You can stop stalking me now" in a joking manner of course. The request came from one of about 4 males in the whole audience. I think the guy was making fun of the fact that his girlfriend forced him to be in attendance. He also received a request to remove his funky knit hat. You know, the ones with the brim on them. You can only wear those kind if you're actually hip, which he is. He eventually did remove the hat, revealing very long, totally out of control locks. Screaming ensued.

The performance itself was very entertaining. He sang all of his hits that made it to the radio along with other crowd favorites. Jesse kept a tally of everything, even writing down (from memory) the number of each song as it appears on each of his two cd's. I had to help her out with "Call Me Al" by Paul Simon.

He did a totally awesome guitar jam (acousitc, which is quite impressive) in the middle of one of his songs. At one point he was talking about how people try to act so cool when really we are all just dorks inside this shell. "You can't tell me that you didn't cry when Zack and Kelly broke up (from Saved By the Bell, I'm 10 years older than the rest of the crowd but I'm a big enough dork to know what he was talking about because I used to watch the show as a young adult). And you know that when you're flipping through the channels and run across Full House that you pause for just a little bit longer than you should. I loved that show. Uncle Jesse was my inspiration. I used to watch it and think 'that's going to be me someday'. Uncle Jesse, this one's for you (laughing)".

I wish I had a picture of Ryan from the concert, but my daughter wouldn't let me break the rules. They announced a few times that anyone using flash photography or video would be escorted out of the building. Well, of course there were flashes here and there throughout the concert and a few people were sternly told to "put that away". On the last song I was planning on getting one quick snapshot of him, but my dear darling child said in no uncertain terms, "No you won't!" I guess I should be setting an example for her, but really the picture would have been for her anyways. Honestly. I wasn't thinking of my internet friends at all. ;)

So, here you have an ugly close-up of me. I should have asked one of the screaming girls to take it for me so my face didn't look like it was swallowing up the camera. Oh well. By the way, don't let the expression on Jesse's face fool you. She was just as excited as I was.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Aaaawwwwww!!!!! He's so cute!

OH MY GOD! Like, I can't believe it. I'm totally gonna freak out! I get to go see the cutest singer, like, ever!
-Jesse, tomorrow when I tell her where we're going

Ron was scanning the net for upcoming performances in our area. First, he was checking what the ticket prices were for Billy Joel. Too rich for our blood at the current moment. And after seeing him perform the Star Spangled Banner at the Superbowl last night, he may be crossing that threshold of "please retire while people can still respect you".

Lo and behold, he came across Jesse's absolutely most favorite singer. He will be performing at a local university auditorium (which means it will probably be one of those semi-intimate settings) tomorrow night. Tickets=$10. I volunteered to be the one to take her. Secretly, I was as excited for me to go as for her (Shhh, don't tell). Hey, he's a decent singer and if he were about 10 years older or I was 10 years younger, it would be appropriate for me to have a crush on him. Oh yeah, I guess I didn't mention who this mysterious performer is.........Ryan Cabrera. Wish me luck. I'm sure there will be lots of pre-teen screaming. Of course, I may just have to join in also. ;)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Suzy asked for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

So for your truth... Do you ever wish you'd stayed in CA or do you think moving to OH was the right decision? Or do you wish you all had moved somewhere else entirely?

For the most part, I am happy that we moved. The one thing I regret is being so far away from family. If it wasn't so expensive to fly back and forth it wouldn't be so bad. As it is, we pretty much drained all of our resources with the two trips the kids and I have taken. I think it really helps to keep in touch by phone. It's definitely not the same as being there in person, having our weekly quilting class, the cousins being so close by. That's the part that still bothers me.

Now that the kids are well adjusted and each have a really good group of friends, the guilt of ripping them away from everything familiar is starting to dissipate.

I love where we are in particular. The house and piece of property we found. The weather here. The community in general. People here seem to be genuinely nice. I do miss the beach though. That was my one place of serenity. Even on the cold, foggy, drippy days on the coast, I loved to go to the beach.

I'm still happy that we live near enough to the east coast and a lot of different places we've never been to, even if we can't afford to vacation just yet. Hopefully that will change soon. I'm glad that we live near enough to family in Wisconsin and Michigan to get invited to family get-togethers. I've always wanted to be closer to my mom's side of the family and now I have the chance.

I don't wish that we had moved somewhere entirely different. This area has proven to be everything that we were looking for. Even though we still get asked, "Why Ohio?" from people when they hear we moved from California, I'm satisfied with everything so far.

I still have dreams (or maybe nightmares?) that we are selling our house and finding a different "better" house in this same town. In the dream, I'm arguing with everyone that this house if perfectly fine and I DO NOT WANT TO MOVE AGAIN! No one will listen to me. It's like I'm invisible. When I wake up, I'm relieved to find that I'm in the same house with no "For Sale" sign out front. Our plan, so far, is to live here at least until the kids are done with high school. Hopefully by then we'll have convinced my parents and sister to move out this way. :)

Friday, February 02, 2007

All in a Day's Work

I've decided that caring for other people's children is both good and bad for me personally. It's mostly good in that I receive some really great rewards and satisfaction knowing that I get to be that special person that families can rely on. Such as running to the store for formula because mom forgot it at home and will be late to work if she has to drive back to pick some up. Or getting to see a child's "first", may it be a word or step or cutting with scissors, and purposely not telling the parent so that they get to be the one to witness that first while with their child. I could go on and on about the good parts. The bad part is when I hold a newborn and all those familiar smells come back....baby powder, Dreft detergent, spit up. And it makes me want to jump a certain someone's bones when he gets home. And then I remember that it won't get me the results that I'm thinking of right now. Besides that fact, my job is the best one that I could imagine. Now that I am firmly back in the swing of things, I can finally admit that there was probably a very good reason why I had such a hard time getting back to work. If it hadn't been this hard to start back up again, I wouldn't be able to appreciate every dirty diaper I change and runny nose that I wipe. There's way too many positive things throughout the day that by far outweigh the negatives. Of course, I haven't gotten strep throat yet. ;)

****There's a prize (TBA) for the first person to correctly guess which thing in the above pictures could be an event for both children and adults. Look very carefully.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Stu dared me to do it......

....and I finally got around to it. Your dare: Use the word the phrase 'Vikings are Invading' in a normal conversation with out telling the other person why you are saying it :p

I didn't want to cheat and tell a story to the kids about vikings. I was trying to come up with some way to fit it into an adult conversation without looking like a total idiot. Of course, I already come off as an idiot most of the time so why worry?

Today, one of the three year old girls that I care for enticed me to play act with her. Hmmmm, could this be the opportune moment I've been waiting for?

She had the polar bear and I had the horse with the wild hair. This is sorta kinda how it went:

PB:I'm going to eat you up!
H: Oh no! I don't want to be eaten. Let's be friends.
PB: Ok. But I'm still going to eat you.
H: Well, I'm just going to run and hide. (horse gallops away under the blanket)
PB: Ok. I won't hurt you. You can come out.
H: (hesitantly peeks out from under the blanket)
PB: Roooooaaaarrrrr!!!!!!!
H: I think the Vikings are Invading!
PB: No, I'm just going to poop and pee and fart on you. Pfffttt!! Heeeheeeheee!
H: (hiding under blanket again)