Monday, June 29, 2009

Looking For My Calm

Usually I love homeschooling; these days I'm rethinking my position.

The princess is screeching, the smiling child is in tears, the middle child is questioning everything I say.

It's HOT and we're pretty much stuck inside for most of the day. It's too hot to take them to the pool; cause the pool has no shade, and like I said, it's HOT. We'd all be burned to a crisp within minutes.

The man I married suggested just throwing in the towel and going to the movies. That would be great except for the fact that I can't reward the awful behavior that's going around. We're in a quandary.

The teen (bless his heart) says that I need a trip to Starbucks. Now, lest you think that the teen is being supportive and sensitive; he just wants to drive me there. He could just as easily suggested going to buy dog food - either way he wants to drive.

So, if you see me around, don't comment on the bald spots on my head. That's just where I've pulled out my hair in quiet desperation.

Monday, June 22, 2009

There Oughta Be A Law

So I decided that the root of all that is messy in my house is the pantry. If the pantry is disorganized we don't put things away; if we don't put things away they end up on the counter; if the counter is cluttered things get dumped on the table, and so on and so on.

Today the mailman (yes, it's a man) brought one of those coupon packets and inside was an advertisement for a storage/organizing/shelf building place. I decided to see what magic they could perform on my pantry.

Here's an example of what they can do. Jeez, if I had that much room in my pantry, I'd put a rocking chair in there, call it "mom's room" and close the door. Organization problem solved.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Socks, Yarn and The Heat of the Sun

I finished the socks that I've been thinking about for two years. The picture doesn't do them justice. The colors are so rich, and it was mesmerizing to watch the colors change. Each time a new color would show up I thought it was the best color there was; then the next color would show up.

Since I spent more money on this yarn than on any other yarn, I waited to find a perfect pattern. Pablo Blue proved to be just about the best pattern. It's easy to memorize (and very easy to figure out where you are) and looks wonderful. I may even break my rule, and make another pair with the same pattern.]

Also, I got some Wollmeise yarn in a swap with a fellow Raveler in Germany. This yarn is highly sought after here, so I am very lucky. Now that I've seen the yarn in person, I think that it prized because the colors are so rich. I know it will be a while before I find a sock pattern for this new acquisition.

And, may I say, it's HOT, HOT, HOT!!! All of these beautiful wool socks and the only shoes I can bring myself to wear are flip flops.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When You're Hot, You're Hot

Between this insufferable, stifling heat and my hot flashes, I spend most of the day and night wilting. Staying inside with a bunch of active kids doesn't work for long, so I need to find some creative ways to keep cool and give the kids the energy buster they need.

I keep looking at the neighborhood pool, but it has absolutely no shade; so is not much of an option during the heat of the day. We just put in some new grass (to fill in the dirt patch left from taking down the derelict playscape), so the kids can't run in the backyard through a sprinkler.

What happened to the summers of my youth? I used to spend most of the day outside. Were the summers cooler? Probably - California is not as hot as Texas. Also, there were actual trees where I grew up - we're not so lucky here. Our lone tree is still a relative baby. It's an oak tree, and they grow pretty slowly.

Will the summer memories be happy ones for my children? As homeschoolers we tend to do more schoolwork during the hot summer months, so I worry that their memories of those 'lazy days of summer' will be full of math equations and grammar.

Yesterday we watched "The King and I" because the middle child and I had just finished reading "Anna and the King" and I'd promised to watch the movie when we finished the book. I've seen the movie before (or so I thought) and it wasn't at all like the book. Guess that's a good lesson to learn. We agreed that the book was much better.

Oh no! Time for the smiling child to listen to patriotic songs for school - something about a boll weevil. In the meantime, the middle child is practicing his guitar (the song is totally unrelated to boll weevils); the teen is doing calculus - even though I told him he didn't need to do any math this summer; the princess is waiting for me to do music flash cards, and the dog is trying to find a cool spot to sleep (it's his job).

No wonder I'm loosing my mind.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Socks and Such

I finished my Anni socks for the month - Lazy Leaves. The pattern was leaves, and since I had green yarn, I went with it. Love the socks, but since it's heading into the depths of summer, I won't be able to wear them for months. The one and only benefit, as I see it, to the extreme heat is that my lovely wool socks will last a lifetime.

Also, Saturday was Knit in Public Day, so we went to Yarnorama because they had advertised that they were going to set up for sock yarn dyeing. Well, the princess chose colors for me (red, blue and green) and I set to dyeing my yarn. As I was the first guinea pig, all of the ladies wanted to watch; then they wanted to "help". Soon I had additional colors added: Yellow and orange.

The yarn is colorful, to say the least. The middle child thinks it looks like clown yarn, the princess says it looks like lots of rainbows. Me, I think it looks like an explosion at the sno-cone factory (or, more accurately, it looks like the easter bunny threw up).

I've started knitting socks from this wacky yarn. No blobs of color like I expected; more like teeny confetti sprinkles. The man I married says they'll probably end up being my favorite socks. We'll have to see about that, but they are quite colorful and bright enough so that I can knit on them in the dark.

Haven't started the pattern yet (I'm almost done with the toe), but I think that I'm going to use the Waterfall Socks pattern from WendyKnits. It looks like a perfect "carry around" pattern - easy to memorize, not too boring, and looks pretty. Just hope she doesn't cringe when she sees what I've done with her pattern.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Choose Your Colors Wisely

I admit it - I'm a sock knitting junkie. I always have a pair of socks going at home, and also like to have a pair of socks to take along with me so that I can knit when I'm waiting.

Take along socks have to have an easy to memorize, yet fun to knit pattern. My current take along pattern is Pablo Blue. The pattern is great - several rows of pattern, but it makes perfect sense and is easy to remember.

The yarn, on the other hand, is problematic. It's beautiful, but the colors are so dark that it's hard to see what I'm doing. I sat waiting for the middle child to have a guitar lesson, and the room was dim, and I made a mistake that required so much frogging that I just decided to start over. This is against the concept of a "fun, take along" project.

So now the Pablo Blue socks have been moved to home knitting and I'm on the lookout for a new pattern. I'm going to use pink yarn - that oughta be easy to see.

Monday, June 8, 2009

How I Came To Be 31

For years I told my kids that I was 29. It was a joke, they knew it, I knew it; but somehow it made me feel younger. That is until the princess learned about birthdays.

Two years ago, the princess realized that on birthdays you become a year older. Until that time, this concept had eluded her; but after her 4th birthday she knew.

On my birthday that year she announced that I was now 30. Being as how that's a bit younger than my actual age, I accepted this new fact of life. Then the next year, I became 31.

All was well until my boys started trying to confuse the situation. How could mom be 31, they'd ask the princess, if the eldest child (aka Thor) was 25? For a while I was able to distract her with shiny things, but I knew that could not last.

"Mom is 31 and Thor is 25?" Her little brain works diligently at this math problem. Her beautiful, trusting eyes look up at me.

"Time was different when I was little." The answer seems to have quieted her for now.

In the mean time, the boys have been threated with dire consequences if they bring up my age again.