the covered button says, “I LOVE YOU”

Local class: I teach you how to sew a cup cozy at Grays General. The class is in one week and registration is due today. This cozy can be used on the trendy Cuppow/Mason/Ball jar, on your favorite mug (or an ugly one you want to cover up!), and even as a sleeve on disposable cups. The design idea comes from Ashley, although I winged it & wrote my own instructions etc.

Cup Cozy

Cup Cozy

Sew a Coffee Cup Cozy
December 4th @ 5:30pm
$20 Registration Fee
Instructor: Kelly Hogaboom
This easy-to-sew coffee cozy works on the Cuppow, on to-go coffee, or even at home with your favorite mug. All materials provided including an instruction booklet to take home. Coffee, tea, and biscuits served! Signups due one week prior to class.

then I got to listen to a lot, a LOT, of Lowellian cursing

Brrr!

By the time I’d walked a mile in an absolutely wet, windy, and rainy blizzard through piles and piles of snow, and waited and waited and waited for a bus, and given up after making phone calls and texting and other plans, while huddling wet and cold against the icy brick contemplating a plan, and realized I’d be unable to make my meeting, and finally gave up and headed home,

I admit, by then I felt a few tears rise in my throat. I mean after all the whole business was about two hours exposure without relief (yes, in light of certain anniversaries today, I know I am whinging, big time). And what was funny is to think as I first set off through the snow, I was wondering if maybe taking a few hours out of my day to make one meeting where a solid half the clients are nodding out from Suboxone, and I thought maybe I’m a fool, maybe I’m wasting my time. Well it seems the Universe was beating me into humility because after all that I didn’t even make it. Well, the Universe isn’t so unkind, I guess – it was my choice, I could either re-learn humility or just be pissed and cramped. I elected the former.

But at the beginning of the “adventure” I had a nice walk with Ralph. Our gonads were frozen solid by the time we got to the barren comfort of overhead shelter:

FROZEN

(Given GH Transit wait times the “No Loitering” sign seems a bit… ironic.)
(Actually, as previously discussed, I’m unsure what “irony” really is. Yes, I’ve looked it up.)

Ralph ran across the way to grab me a coffee; he went by himself in case the bus came by and I missed my opportunity. This was back when I had a backup plan of sipping the coffee and holding it close for warmth, while I waited. Back before he’d left and I’d gone on to wait an hour before a bus came, a bus that wouldn’t have gone near my destination, meaning there would be no time for me to make my appointment, and I had to give it all up. Yes, back when I was so naive. I had a lot of growing up to do.

Ralph Ventures To Get Me Coffee

I was bundled up well but the rain had soaked my jeans and that was my downfall. Wet jeans. Holy Shit.

So I eventually went home and the exercise, plus the high of dodging scary drivers sliding on ice, worked off my aforementioned upset.

And then after I got home it took a long, long time to warm up. I watched Reel Injun while waiting to feel my face again.

 
Then I watched The Fighter (although I’d already seen it a year ago) while finishing up the details on the last homesewn item for the upcoming magazine spread.

Several kids came and went, wet and getting fed and getting re-dressed in dry clothes. We washed and dried and hung things up. Ralph made a lovely dinner of turkey sliders on homemade buns, yellow tomato and avocado dressing with lemon, carrot sticks, and potato chips, and we fed whatever children ran through the house.

Then we set up all the outdoor stuff to dry in time for more snow adventures tomorrow.

Boots Upon Boots

Not Sure If They

desperate housewife

So I got stuck in Olympia with the kids at a late hour. Don’t ask me to tell you why or how, it’s a dull and yet painful story. I thought we’d have to stay (overnight or at least a long long time) and I was kind of panicked. I called people we knew in Oly but couldn’t get a ride. I kind of agonized and wondered around and bought things at Target and got the kids food while I went totally Flyhead about my predicament and couldn’t think straight. Let me tell you, those who know me probably perceive me as level-headed in person most the time, even when things are intense or when people around me are falling apart, but when it’s down to just me and the kids are involved in some way that seems unsafe or weird there can become a point where I get Crazy-Eye and my brain stutters and shudders. I’m surprised I wasn’t arrested on suspicion of shoplifting, I mean I was twitchy as hell checking out (with, I’ll point out, a credit card I wasn’t entirely sure would go through). Kids and I ended up boarding the last bus downtown because, where Target is, there’s nothing there you’d want to spend time with.

Lakefair downtown, things were a bit intense. The bus flew down the hill and I perceived the wondrous lights of a large carnival (large by my bumpkin standards anyway) so I knew where to take the three of us, for the Now anyway. I had only a few dollars cash – otherwise I would have dropped my rent money on two bracelets so they could go on every ride they qualified for. As it was they still had fun; watching a breakdance group and running about while I phoned some more. I sat by the lakeside vicariously enjoying their fierce little lives.

After finally getting ahold of Ralph and arranging a meetup I had enough cash for one carnival “ride” for the kids. Understand this was like, seven dollars I think, for the kids to go in this kiddo funhouse (their choice). The local who’d been hired on was amiable enough to conversation, or was rather a captive audience, to be more accurate. Turns out he’s a musician and living like a sardine can in a rental with others, trying to get by, thinking about going to school, not sure what he’ll do next week for employment. We talked music for some time and my feelers went up, as Ralph is still trying to get connected with Oly musicians and the fellow sounded talented or at least versed in many interesting instruments.

The kids played and played (bless this young man for not being a dick) but soon it was time to go. I sat my bundles of Target Fuckery and a McDonalds bag and my purse and whatever in the grass, and took out my card and wrote down my husband’s name and circled a number and wrote “Music / Helsing” (the latter re: the K Records festival each year). By this time two huffy carnival pros – that is, the fellows who travel with the outfit, not spareboard – were all over the young fellow and hustling him to close up. One of them was yelling into a walkie talkie, “I have some real important stuff going on,” and then proceeded to shout-command the young man in a brusque and not-entirely-thorough way. And shit, I get it, these people work hard, I’ve worked in that kind of scene, so I just slipped the card into the young man’s pocket (unobtrusively enough, or so I thought) and said, “Good luck,” (meaning, with everything) and then –

the guy who’d been yelling into the walkie talkie jerked his head at me and said, “Jesus,” with all the disgust you can manage mustered in a voice. I seriously wish you could have heard it. You’d think I’d taken a shit on the green. I am not sure what he meant but, I haven’t been addressed with that much vitriol and hate for quite some time. It was pretty busy and I had no immediate response to being perceived as A Piece Of Shit For Reasons Mysterious so I merely bundled up the kids and the bags and gently floated across the grass, trailing the final partiers fleeing off to bars (Oly was rowdy tonight, for reals).

Our rendezvous was with Ralph was scheduled for Sizizis (which, I found out, is closing down Sunday – boo!). Walking up 4th it was so many people and shouting and cutting eyes and the smell of booze and cigarettes and weed and all kinds of amorous behavior and fights and weird energy. And yes. A few people who returned my smile. The kids were great, of course, because they are tiger cubs running on sidewalks. We got to our coffee shop eventually (it really was a nice night for a walk). While I waited in line for my drink the kids got something cold from the cooler, grabbed a table, and set up chess. I stared a bit and wondered where they’d learned to play. I was feeling more collected, or so I thought. So I’m standing there and an amiable large man turns around and says to me, “Hey, do you remember the name of the boat from Moby Dick?” and I respond, “Uh, the Minnow… the S.S. Minnow.” then to my horror I realize my mistake and shout, “No! The Pequod!”

Oh good sweet baby Jesus in his golden fleece diapers.

At about 11:40 PM Ralph rescued me and I gave him the americano I’d purchased him and I got my ass out of Dodge. –

but, the kids had a glorious time.

Not Sure If They're Having Fun

hoeden

I’ve sewn a few quickies since my last slightly-ambitious project. Including: two hats!
On The Sly

The green was entirely designed by myself; the blue, only slightly helped by a six-gore hat pattern. YES on the blue bunny I totally made those circular hand-stitched tucks, and the bunny ears, and HELLS YES do both kids love the results! (More construction detail if you’re clicking away and looking for it.)

Knotty!

Detail

Close-Up; Lined

My kids are all busy growing up and it kills me.

Grr!

Proud Of Her Papa

(Shoutout to Ralph for the above-pictured Hoquiam tourist brochure, which he designed. It’s making its rounds out in the world today… here Phoenix is looking it over approvingly (and adorably, if I do say so!) at the new Tully’s)

what a life i lead in the summer

I know I don’t want to live in the city – but visiting Olympia I get a small taste of the kind of freedom I’d feel, hauling my kids about during the day and seeing hardly anyone we know and getting to do almost anything I want within my cash flow restrictions.  We walk on the waterfront and look at boats and sand sculptures and find some delicious pizza with a pint of delicious organic amber draft beer and then walk a couple blocks for the cup of coffee so wonderful it’s the most special thing, and then wash our hands and faces and get a drink from the artesian well that flows downtown.

Later, miles away at the music festival on Helsing Farm, a few women approach Ralph and tell them how beautiful our daughter is: they’d noticed her in Olympia earlier that day. Ralph keeps the conversation short; Sophie is holding a hand bleeding from an injury on the hay-bale pyramid the kids are all gamboling about on.  We walk across the road and the kids swim while I catch up with my friend S. and her son, naked, throws rocks in the river.

Back in time for the music; it is great family fare but also funny, a full two bands with the word “Pine” in their monikers, a lot of pseudo old-tymey stuff, each band with a young hipster girl sitting on her knees playing some minor instrument: tambourine, washboard. That said the sound is perfect and the venue is wonderful.  The number of festival-goers feels right – a well-behaved gathering, cozy yet festive.  My kids eat tamales and fresh vegetable stir-fry and drink juice spritzers and alternate between our laps and playing with the other children.  I sit and talk to S. and her husband W. and feel no rush to go anywhere.

We’re home at 11:30 and the kids are asleep in the back seat.  In cases like this I haven’t the heart to make them take their evening baths – I wash their faces gently with a warm washcloth after lying them in their bed and we tuck everyone in for another very busy day tomorrow.

adios la mer

Today we say goodbye to the yurt, to the park, to our little vacation town(s), the surf, the wildlife (I saw two snakes on my morning mile walk), the unexpected and dazzling sunshine. I sit in a cafe / roasteria in lower Long Beach – a coffee shop that, besides plenty of seating and free wi-fi seems oddly discourteous and annoying. My husband bought an americano here but I snuck next door to the Organic Market for their superior brew. And yes, to answer your unspoken question, much of this trip has been coffee-centered.

We have a few pictures I’ll be uploading tonight – camera phone, unfortunately. Ralph is chomping at the bit – so sayonara, vacation!

respite

I was up late last night. Anxious, upset, possibly my choice of a post-dinner cappucino wasn’t a good choice. Who knows? I couldn’t sleep and there was no one to keep me company. Eventually, yes, I even DID CHORES. Chores, hey – what I do every day, most of the day. And even late – 2 AM – I wasn’t tired. I had two glasses of red wine and read and finally fell asleep in the bed next to my children at about 3:30. Only to wake up four hours later and get up, get the kids ready, cook breakfast, make up some food for a preschool party, blah blah, you get the drill.

Today I (sadly, very sadly) gave up coffee after 2 PM. I am now trying not to think about a drink. Instead I need water, natural, deep sleep, a calm book. I need to quit running my ass ragged. For now: a hot shower with Sophie, pajamas, blankets.

let’s get physical!

Vignettes from this morning’s chapter in my quest for a kick-ass bod. Yeah, I’ve been working out. Did you notice? Check out the ass. Actually, I need more of an ass. This flat, yet broad, expanse of corduroy could use a little ghetto.

So anyway, a local gym is offering free membership for those willing to supervise their daycare mornings. My loverly friend Steph is taking advantage of this great deal and asks me along to her workout this morning. Excellent! I know the gym has a trial membership, but I’m not sure this trial will also include the daycare option… So… I’m a considerate woman (read: schmuck); this morning an hour before Steph picks me up, I call.

I get some pipsqueak on the other end, making powershakes or whatever. I can tell she doesn’t “get” the daycare arrangement. She’s acting vapid. I continue to press my point, thinking, For heaven’s sake, I shouldn’t have called! Finally, she breaks her slack-jawed silence: “Are you looking to get free daycare?” she accuses. Vomity little tart. I almost hang up. In a cold fury, I ask if there’s someone else I can talk to. She puts a manager on and in two minutes I am off the phone, issue resolved (“Sure! Come on in!” the seemingly more sensible manager chirps).

[Sigh!] OK. Time to get The Girl out of bed (sleeping in, the little sodder), off to preschool, gym bag packed, hurry hurry. 8:45 AM, Obstacle #42 of the morning: I have no athletic shoes (the closest thing being my least butch pair of docs). Aha! The neighbor girl’s Vans she left with me – at a 9 1/2, a full two sizes too large. Fuck it. Nothing, not rabid children or bitchy gym-counter girls or the fact I am wearing pajama bottoms, my hospital socks, and clown shoes – will keep me from pumping iron!

We get there. Throw the kids in the childcare room. Flaunt our “personal sweat towels” (Steph’s old burp cloths) and my iPod. I do a little time on the elliptical machine. My ass screams in protest. I flail off to do some stretches so I won’t be crippled tomorrow. I flop on the mat next to an older black man who is rolling an exercise ball into position. He is at least sixty pounds overweight yet I noted he spent over twently minutes on a stair machine kicking ass. Wearily he settles himself on the ball and picks up a large staff-like object across his shoulders. “Is that your Jedi saber?” I ask him. He sasses back, “More like Friar Tuck!” Giggle, giggle.

It’s a good workout and we end up in the steam room (me and Steph, not me and the older dude). My towel is tiny and I am reminded of the locker room scene in Starsky and Hutch. A short shower and a kid pick up, then we’re on the road for blessed, blessed coffee.

I feel great. I don’t even hate my life for the rest of the day.