Friday, October 28, 2005


As luck would have it, last night as I was drifting off, I had this sudden thought "Self! You need to go into your OpenDiary account, and write down the addresses of all those folks who have given you their snail-mail addresses in private notes. You owe a CD to Mollie, and yarn to Jen, and Joy could really use some more Snapea Crisps, and you've had that Starbucks card for Christina in your purse for over a week..."

But then I drift off to sleep, knowing all will be well in the morning.

But it is not well.

Opendiary is non-responsive. My browser times out before reachign the site. And their uptime monitoring site has "suspended monitoring". That can't be a good sign.

So I silently curse my foul luck while I sit here, wishing I'd followed that little voice last night that urged me to go online one last time.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

When we were up in Death Valley last month, I discovered that my little point-n-shoot digital camera was WAY cooler than I thought. By accident, I was fooling around in the settings, and discovered that for the last year, I'd been operating with the 'digital zoom' turned off.
No wonder I couldn't really get all that close to things. I was only working with the optical zoom.
The next thing I know, a whole new world of CLOSE UP stuff is opened up to me.

And it didn't hurt that we had about a zillion and twenty two insects on the door of our room every night, just TRYING to get in. Oh yeah. Take this flash, you pesky critters. And don't you dare think about flying into my hair, lest you perish for certain.

Behold, my first EVER Praying Mantis in the wild. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bohemian Scarves

So here's my latest obsession. I scored some great 'Bohemia' yarn when we were up in Canada in August, and I've been a knitting fool with these loopy scarves ever since. This is my first foray into dropped stitches. The three stitches on either end of the rows are not cast off at the end of the knitting, and then, once you drop the needles, the fun is to make those stitches run like a bad pair of stockings. I wish the picture showed the plush loveliness better. I also wish I had even HALF a clue about how to turn the photo so it was portrait rather than landscape. Alas.

The boutique is coming up in a little over a month. I don't have nearly the stock of scarves that I had last year, although I've branched out, and have some fleece ponchos for kids, and a handful of silk and cashmere baby booties that I'm hoping will go like hotcakes.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Sparky couldn't get away in time. Posted by Picasa

This is just a random shot from the week in Death Valley. Poor Sparky. You'd think that he would've noticed the herd of elephants charging up Mosaic Canyon. But perhaps Sparky is a deaf Gecko. He sure didn't run very fast.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Migraine B-gone

Migraine B-gone

(A little something from Wednesday)

Oh, to have a little spray-bomb labelled Migraine B-Gone. It'd be like those Raid foggers, except it'd take away the headache, rather than give you one.

Hooray for Skip, though. I got the kids home for lunch (Wednesday is minimum day), and said "here's lunch. Can you be in charge?" and he took right over. Sometimes I think he's just turning into a sullen entitlement-minded teenager like his peers, and then he has days like today where he really steps up to the plate, and is The Man of the House. I felt completely at ease with going upstairs and sleeping for an hour and a half, and now feel much less desire to drive an ice-pick through my left eye.

Another perk of New Hip Co.

Ken went to a cookbook signing in the cafeteria the other day.

Brought me home a lovely copy of Boulevard. It's a coffee-table sort of book. Beautiful pictures, drool-worthy recipes, and large format. He hands it to me, with the explanation "This is NOT your REAL gift, now. It was free to me, but it was just too cool to pass up." Makes me wonder how he can top it. It's a pretty cool gift, if you ask me.

And better yet? It's signed by the authors with "Happy Birthday, Kemma". (Of course, best of all would be if it was signed "Happy Birthday, Kemma. Please come to our restaurant for a free birthday dinner". But I'll settle for the book.)

Skip went for his final requirement at Ragazzi on Monday night. The last hoop he had to jump through before becoming a Full Fledged member of the Mucky-muck Look-we're-Aled-Jones-without-the-ruffles Touring Choir was to sing a solo in front of the chorus founder.

I made all the arrangements last week, and waited for confirmation of the appointment.

It came at 4pm on Monday.
For a 4:50 appointment.


I don't know, but for some reason, I was just incredibly fragile on Monday afternoon. All the way to the appointment, I was thinking "They have that much respect for me that they wait until 45 minutes before the appointment to confirm that they'll give him the audition? Sheesh. They're happy to get my money, but they're just sweeping Skip under the rug. He's getting NO personal attention in this place. It'd just serve them right if I pulled him Right Now. Yeah. And then think of all the free time we'd have as a family. Oh yeah, baby. Who needs the Crested Blazer, anyways?"

But then a little voice in my head says "Come on, now. It's not really an audition. It's the chance for Skip to have a free voice lesson from the Chorus founder. All the other boys say it's a really good experience. Give them a chance."

So we pull into the venue at 4:45. And rush to the appointment in the piano room...

Where the Chorus Founder is busy. Busy coaching two boys who are getting ready to sing with the SF Opera company.

And we wait. And we wait.

And I get more worked up, and more worked up.

Good grief, I'm practically in tears when I screw up the nerve to poke my head in the door and say "We *DID* have an appointment today, right?" at 4:55.

So she gets him in, and his "half-hour voice lessons" turns into a 3 minute audition, where she muffs up the piano part for his piece, and tells him his pronunciation is wrong in three places. I turned my back to read something on the bulletin board, and when I turned back, she was working with yet another boy who's going to be singing with the Opera, and Skip had vanished.

And that's it?

I had to run into the bathroom and splash water on my face, I was so close to tears. Fortunately, I was able to feign "I was cutting onions for soup before we came here, and accidentally touched my eye" as an excuse when I ran into a friend a few minutes later.

No kidding, I was ready to pull him Then and There.

And then I went looking for him, and found him upstairs, wearing his Crested Blazer.

And he looked so proud.

He'd passed the 'solo audition' with flying colours.

Who knew? I sure didn't.

But man alive, did he look good in that blazer.

I guess I'll be giving the choir another chance.

(And then I got home, and realized that my period had started a few days early. Um, yeah. No WONDER I was fragile as eggshells. Duh!)

Kelly's class is "The Seahorses".

You know how hard it is to find seahorse fabric? Egads.

I told her she'd have to stick with the pink floral fabric Kitty-Head quilt that we're making. Though if you happen to have seahorse-themed anything that you were going to toss out, feel free to toss it at me instead.

One thing at a time. This is my new motto.

Though you'd never know it from what I did yesterday. After depositing Nate in Mollieland (the free childcare at the local chi-chi grocery store), I spent a few minutes with my Starbucks Double Chocolate Chip Blended Creme Frappe in front of the magazines.

Get thee behind me "Get Crafty"! That went in the shopping cart, after I realized it was either do that or take out a pen and paper and start copying out some of the instructions.

And from there, I had to hit Michael's to use my 40% off coupon.

And look at all the cool novelty yarns on sale!!!! And I needed a few different kinds of yarn to make my new project (out of Get Crafty! of course.).

Seriously, the pile didn't look THAT big, but I nearly had a coronary when the (AFTER all the sale discounts) price rang up at $90+.

I hope the boutique next month is a BIG success. It'll have to be to justify THAT expense.

Of course, I partially justify it by saying "Now that Ken isn't going to Starbucks twice a day (like he was at his old job), we're saving nearly seven bucks a day. That's $150 a month that I can put towards, um... myself? OK, that didn't sound that great. But I'm sure it won't be happening again. For a long time.

Apparently, I'm just a girl that can't say no.

Say "Hello" to the new sight-word flash-card quizzing class mom. I'll be there on Wednesdays (after screaming back from my song-leading gig at the Ladies' Bible Study in Not-My-Town), and Fridays (seeing as I'm at the school anyways for Kelly's class library time). And someone shoot me, I told Miss Farthing that if nobody signed up for Thursdays, that I *COULD* come in then, too!

Please remind me that I need to put a giant brightly coloured post-it note on Kyle's Scholastic book order (they came in today) so that his parents (who are new to the area, and I don't have their phone number) will know that I paid the $3 that they shorted me by accident on his order.

I am || <- this close to taking pictures of all the furniture-moving and re-organizing that I've been doing.

Kelly and Nate just came in from the front garden. I finally got around to opening two big bags of top soil (I think I bought the things LAST spring), and put them to work spreading it over the irises. Their reward is orange kool-aid and sliced olives. Their request.

Um... yum?