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lpl's Journal
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Date:2008-08-24 21:37
Subject:Haven't written anything forever.

Not much has been going on, so I haven't written anything.

My fabulous project that I finished recently is this sweater:

I made it for the baby of a college friend--mostly because I was in the mood to make a sweater, and baby sweaters are fast. I have also finished a pair of socks, but haven't managed a photo yet.

I have decided to start sketching every week, but so far I have only sketched two things, and neither is worth showing anybody.

I am relieved that traditional schedule school is starting tomorrow, because it's getting a little insane having the younger two kids in school, and the oldest at home bored. He thinks he likes to be alone to work on projects, but the second the other two are gone, he wanders out and can't think of anything to do. And yes, now all three kids will be in school, which is a little weird--but having one home for a month after the other two started has also diluted the weirdness a little. It's not like my baby is starting school now--he's been in school for a month.

And my other time eater is that I've started working again, just a little. I just can't say no when the spouse begs for help on a project, darn it. But a little more money will definitely come in handy. And I'm trying to decide if the reason I've been sick of doing specs is that I don't think its glamorous enough. Specs are sure a more manageable workload than whole projects, and anything you do is going to have its boring parts.

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Date:2008-06-29 22:05
Subject:I'm Proud of My Garden
Mood: pleased


I am proud of my garden because it's the first time ever that I actually tried to get it to look nice, and I think it kind of does. Also, I picked two zucchini today, so I think it's officially summer. I happen to like zucchini. We cut the size of the garden in half and moved it away from the neighboring horse field in hopes of keeping weeds under control this year. We will see how that goes. Right now the yard is kind of schizophrenic--half of it looks like the picture, and the other half looks like a construction zone. We don't seem to be able to stop rearranging the yard.

I'm also proud of my daughter. She has learned to weave this summer.

It has taken a long time to get the loom set up, but the kids are all taking turns weaving, and I think they're doing a pretty good job! The Pea picked out all the colors herself (from the random yarn stash donated by her grandmother), and she's keeping track of the pattern herself too.

The cat also likes to help. For some reason, this makes it feel like a much more historical process.

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Date:2008-03-09 20:24
Subject:Still Alive
Mood: sleepy

Ok, so it's been a hairy couple of months. I'm recovering from surgery right now (although I'm basically back to normal). It went from "you've got some kind of lump here, we'd better check it out" to "ok, you can have surgery this Tuesday or next month" in a matter of three weeks. The mystery lump turned out to be a great big cyst, but they were able to get it out via the laproscope, it didn't have any scary stuff in it (that is not to say that it wasn't DISGUSTING stuff--look up mature teratomas online if you want some really gross pictures), and my whole family was extremely kind and took care of the kids for me continuously. I figure I'm pretty lucky. I'm also glad it's all over with.

Before all that, we had a pretty uneventful winter. It was long and cold. I did a lot of tile work. I have pictures, when I get the right computer connected to the internet again. We got the basement finished (more or less), only a year after we started it, and it's great to have the space now. Now that I'm feeling human again, I'm actually kind of excited to get things organized. I may have to hurry before the DH gets too excited by the warm weather and decides to redo the whole back yard.

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Date:2007-11-04 22:05
Mood: productive

Some people knit socks as a quick break from their big projects. I’ve been making a hat as a break during my socks for the P. Yes, this is my first fabulous hat design. It started out as a simple earflap hat (pattern borrowed from the knitting guru of the family) for the patient spouse who never gets hand-knitted items, but it gained some design inspiration from the Survivorman episode set in Southern Utah. Besides, it’s knitted in wool; useful in survival situations because it’s warm even when wet and is flame resistant. Hopefully nobody I know will be testing this. I like the wool, anyway. Part of the yarn is my prize from the above-mentioned knitter's blog contest, and the rest is one I dyed in a class using some kind of native plant material (rabbitbrush, maybe?). I'm excited when I use up things that are sitting around in my closet.

Other than knitting, October has been busy. We finished up with the garden. (We got more than 20 pumpkins!)

We tie-dyed silk scarves with Kool-Aid. (Lots of fun—I’ll have to try it myself sometime, I was a little too busy putting things in and out of the microwave to get very creative.)

We carved pumpkins. They were kind of small, but hey, it’s so cool to pick them out of the backyard! (Besides, they were free, right?)

We decorated 3-D Halloween cookies (Thanks to Grandma for making them).

And I made one Halloween costume. Plus a set of paws for the store-bought costume. (We have one who hates to wear a costume, and one who picked the first fuzzy pink thing she found in the store.) Mine is the black Halloween cat. Can’t you tell? I know the ears are wrong. Tough. He didn't wear them most of the night anyway, because he said they were too hot. The pink cat forgot hers too--I don't know what the neighbors thought they were.

In the meantime I finished one more set of specs (yes, I know I keep saying I’ve quit working. This time I really have!). And I have been project managing the finishing of our basement. For some reason the spouse thinks he’s doing all the work. Sure, he did the framing. And the plumbing. And the electrical work. And ran a few speaker wires. And fixed all the bizarre things the builder did wrong the first time around. But I’ve been collecting drywall people, and people to finish the fence in the backyard (we have a neighbor’s pet who has adopted our backyard as its private toilet), and people to put in insulation, and people to put in a patio cover, and people to put in a fireplace. And tracking down tile and carpet that we can afford. (Basically, we decided that since we can’t afford to move, if we put in all the things we want in this house, we won’t notice that we sometimes get fumes from the PVC plant down the street and that it’s annoying to get the kids to and from two different schools. And it will be much cheaper. Hopefully we’ll still be able to afford it. I’m still kind of working on the final budget. :P)

It’s going as expected for a proper construction project. The drywall has been quickly and reasonably neatly hung, and then the taping and sanding guy showed up for about an hour. About a week ago. He’s kind of vanished since then. I assume he’ll show up at some random time next week, and then want to be paid lots of money. And the materials for the patio cover are backed up at the factory. But I'm really excited to have it this far along! I noticed that at the beginning of this year I wrote that we were about to have the basement finished...eleven months later, here we are.

Oh yes, and I have officially entered the twenty-first century! I now have access to the internet at a rate faster than one byte per hour. Hooray! Of course, this being me we're talking about, there are still some bugs to work out. My computer still isn't talking to the wireless stuff, so the only place I can plug in is in the basement next to the litter box. But ah, the intoxicating speed! I can download webpages without having to wake myself up when they're done. I am the queen of the Internet!

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Date:2007-09-05 20:59
Subject:Busy Week
Mood: tired

It's Labor Day in Utah. What's a tourist to do? Why, visit the Sham Battle in Wellsville, of course. Begin the day by taking in the parade. (Best haul of candy all year, hands down. It's like a cross between Halloween and Mardi Gras.)

My great-uncle-in-law is Wellsville's oldest citizen this year--99 years in November. I don't know of anywhere that I have more connections, even if they are all through my inlaws.

Then you wander over to the main event. The Sham Battle recreates the history of Wellsville. It's not exactly politically correct, but you can tell they have a lot of fun with it. First the settlers move in on Indian Territory, causing tension over land.

Tension mounts, but the details are lost because there was a problem with the loudspeaker, and the settlers are a little enthusiastic with their shotguns. Livestock are stolen, settlements are burned, although this year the White Men seemed to think they needed to help with this. (The kids were a little worried about the fire--they thought it must be bad for the grass.) And eventually you get the Battle.

The squaws were enthusiastic this year too.

And finally, the cavalry rides to the rescue.

Locals wander around and catch up on old friends. I had fun taking pictures of running horses. Then you finish off with a picnic and fill up on homemade root beer.

It was a nice break after last week, which was a little hairy. We had a spouse quitting his job (another one lined up, thank goodness), first day of school at a new school for one kid, and the first sick day home from school for the kid who is still in year-round school. On top of all that, my smallpipes came, and in arranging to pay for them I discovered that my drivers license had expired three months ago.

In better news, my smallpipes finally came! Hooray, hooray! They are very cute, and I can almost play them. It evidently takes some coordination to play bagpipes with bellows instead of a blowpipe. But I'm making faster progress on them than I expected, and they sound really pretty when I can get a tune out of them.

At some point, I also finished a baby blanket. This is momentous, because it is my oldest running Unfinished Object (well, almost--I think I have blocks from a quilt I started as a kid and never finished, and there's that cross-stitch I was working on when I started college), and now it's finished. I wove it, and it was started for a baby who is now ten years old. I'm not sure he ever actually got a gift... The really sad thing is that it's actually been off the loom for about three years now, and I just took this long to finish the edges. But the less said about that the better.

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Date:2007-07-08 23:00
Subject:Hooray Bagpipes!
Mood: excited

This has been a very bagpipe-intensive week. Three parades in nearly 100-degree weather, and then a band competition yesterday. Whew. BUT we finally won something--we took third in both the march medley and the timed medley--for the first time since the band split three years (? or so) ago. And, most importantly to band politics, we beat the band that used to be the other half of our band in piping. Of course, they took first overall, but hey, we can only go up from here!

Then, to top it all off, I got an email that my smallpipes are nearly done. Yippee!

Ok, I've got that out of my system now. Here are pictures of the bonnet inhabited by its baby. It's the spouse's little sister's baby, her second. But the first one was a boy, so he just got a wall hanging. Which I guess I didn't take a picture of, but it was just a copy of something we saw somewhere, so it's no great loss.

And no, I haven't been antisocial lately--my internet just wasn't working for a while. Again. Supposedly we are getting a faster version from somebody else tomorrow. We will see how this works.

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Date:2007-06-16 22:22
Subject:I Finished Something
Mood: accomplished


Deadline sewing at its best. I finished this today for a baby blessing (my neice's)tomorrow. Perhaps tomorrow I'll have pictures of the baby in the bonnet.

It's been a hectic month this month too--lots of relatives visiting. We had a baptism today (a nephew), so with Father's Day this weekend as well we've spent the whole time visiting and eating. Ugh. The kids are having lots of fun seeing their cousins, though.

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Date:2007-05-28 22:27
Subject:May is Really Busy.

It started with the Kaffe Fassett class. And the month hasn't slowed down yet. Last year, I thought I was disorganized. This year I realized that May is just incredibly busy.

Here's the result of the Kaffe Fassett class--Tan's is on the right, and mine is on the left. I have to finish O's bedspread before I can sew this, though (and lay out all the rest of the quilt) so he can have a blanket like the big brother and sister. I'm not sure how long this will take, since the class was six hours long, and this is all I got done. The class was fun--it reminded me of design class, except that the teacher was much more polite. Nobody told me anything I did was "Crrrap", although I was informed that my fabric looked like minestrone (evidently not a good thing). Mostly, the class (and the lecture before it) was a good inspiration to get back into art. I want to make cool things and have people want to buy them. I have actually even started a painting now--it may show up here if I ever finish it.

The main thing that's busy now is end of school year stuff for kids, but that doesn't make for very thrilling reading. This is the last week of school, whew.

The other fun thing we did this month was spend a weekend at Yellowstone. We had always wanted to stay here

so we did. It was great to be able to step out the front door and watch Old Faithful go off. P in particular loved the geyser and insisted that we watch it as many times as possible. We also discovered that steam heaters in old hotels make really loud noises when adjusting to different temperatures--which they evidently do all night. It's a very cool old hotel, though, so it was worth it.

We saw lots of animals and lots of geological features, so everybody was happy. I had fun taking pictures.

(Yep, that's Old Faithful in the background.)

We've been home for a week now--I'm about ready for another vacation. Need to pick another good park.

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Date:2007-04-10 22:47
Mood: sleepy

Well, I finished my big project. Here it is:

Ta-da! Thrilling, right? (Ok, so it's not the exact one I finished, but it's basically identical. And I didn't so much finish it as go on vacation and leave it for somebody else to finish. But it's done now, so there.) And I've officially told them I'm not doing any more. For a while, anyway. Till I get really broke, or somebody gives me a really good sob story. But I'm working on the budget and practicing saying "NO," so hopefully this will last a while this time. Now I just need to catch up on everything else I haven't been doing while I was working and then enjoying spring break.

One of these was the yard. I have discovered that I am having a black thumb year. First it was the frozen bulbs. Now a rabbit has found the garden.

On Friday, I planted a dozen cute little broccoli plants (broccoli being one of the few things that people at my house will actually eat that comes from a garden). The next morning, this was all that was left. Of all twelve plants. The rest are just nubs at ground level. It's apparently a large, white rabbit--the people at the metal shop across the street say they've seen one wandering around their yard, and think it's somebody's escaped pet. There's got to be an Easter joke in here somewhere, but I'm too sleepy to come up with it.

We did have a great spring break. We have started the year off with one hiking day trip (To the Golden Spike park--kids had fun even though the trains were not available that day. They chased lizards instead and looked at rocket engines at Thiokol.) and one camping trip. (To Arches. Very beautiful; I'd never been there before and the scenery was absolutely amazing. The weather was great, the hiking was great, and we came home early due to kid barf on the sleeping bags. It was still fun, I was just sad that I didn't get in more knitting time. I also felt a little silly for having packed a week's worth of food for just two days of travel. Not that the original trip was going to be a week--I'm just not very experienced at planning camping trips.) I did, however, manage to finish these lovely socks in the car:

Yes, they look almost exactly like the last pair of socks, so the boys now have nearly matching pairs of socks. The intended victim is currently sleeping in these socks, so I think they were a success. But I'm ready to branch out in my sock knitting now. I may scream if I have to knit any more plain old plain old rib in the near future.

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Date:2007-03-18 20:25
Subject:Deadlines and Birthday Parties
Mood: mellow

So I didn't quite finish the project that's due tomorrow. I think I can just take a couple more days, and then hope there aren't many redlines--I was just trying to get it done in enough time to be able to fix any problems they find before we go on vacation the week after this one. So if I work hard next weekend, everything should be fine. Hopefully.

I also didn't quite pay off the visa. Somebody put $20 on it the day I paid it off, dang it. Automatic payment, probably. But then, of course, we had to get something fixed on the truck. How is it they can always tell when you've gotten paid? Still, it's a lot better than it was. I still have some more hours left to bill. At this rate, I may even be able to pay for the smallpipes. Oops, now I jinxed myself. Something else is going to break on the car.

So far this year I've earned almost half what I made in the entire last year. And since I bill hourly, that means I've worked six months worth of hours in the past two and a half. Whew. No wonder I'm sick of deadlines. Definitely time for some time off.

What I really wanted to do was post the two things I got done before I got swamped with work again. The first is the un-baby blanket, which has proved to be a hit.

It's currently on O's bed, and he has been demanding to sleep with it every night.

The other thing was this fabulous work of art:
This, in case it's not obvious, is a kangaroo. It's also the P's birthday cake--she had an animal party this year, and picked the pattern out of a cake decorating book. Okay, so she may be a little spoiled. Or maybe overbearing is the right word. But it was a lot of fun to make. Plus the very kind spouse cleaned the whole house while I was decorating it, so it got me out of that too.

The next project is to pick out fabric for the quilting class by Kaffe Fassett. (Rave, rave--I love this designer, from the old sweater patterns, to the recent quilt books. See this website: http://www.gloriouspatchwork.com/merchant/store.htm) There's a trip planned for tomorrow; they've got some of his fabrics in at the Elaine's quilt store now. I'm a little intimidated--the instructions from the class don't make a lot of sense. But hey, we can't go too far wrong. If all else fails, we'll be AT the fabric store for the class, so if I have all the wrong stuff I can always find more. But can I stand to wait for the middle of May for the class?

In the meantime, I need to finish the hot pink and orange baby quilt and start (finish too, hopefully) an heirloom bonnet for an upcoming niece due in April. I'll wait and put pictures up when there's actually something to show there. After the deadline.

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Date:2007-02-14 10:31
Subject:I hate projects that won't die
Mood: determined

It's a mistake to give the project manager time to actually look at your work before it's due. Remember that project I turned in way back at the beginning of December so I could take the month off? It's due for real now. Oops. The whole project is completely different. Add glass stairs? No problem. Were we really supposed to use recycled materials on this all along? Why not. Research half a dozen products for us while you're at it. Grumble, grumble. I guess the upside is that I"ll be able to pay off the rest of the credit card sooner than I was thinking. If only I didn't have two other projects I was really supposed to be working on right now... It may be time for another month off here soon. Or maybe longer. Like a few years. I'm thinking seriously of quitting and spending my spare time drawing up cool house plans to sell on a web site instead. Probably wouldn't make much money, but no deadlines and it would be much more fun.

The fun projects are going better, though I haven't had much time to work on things this week. I've got a couple of things almost done; I'll have to actually take pictures now.

Daffodils are starting to come up in the yard--I think they're going to beat the bulbs I tried to force indoors. I may have let them get too cold; they've been inside for two weeks and no sign of growing. I kept them in the shed this time instead of the garage.

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Date:2007-01-19 15:08
Mood: hopeful

Well, I did it. I just officially ordered a set of Scottish Smallpipes in A with a separate D chanter, made in blackwood with silver plated metalwork and alternative ivory mounts. Whew. As it turns out, this is a little intimidating. These things are dang expensive. How expensive? Let's just say I'm hoping for an economic downturn in Great Britain in the next 9 months to a year while they're being made so the exchange rate is good enough that I can actually afford them.

The other intimidating thing is just how complicated the world of unusual folk instruments is. What key should the thing be in? A? B flat? (etc., etc.) Is an A chanter actually in the key of A, or does it just have an A somewhere on it? And is a bagpipe A the same as everybody else's? (The answer to that one is not usually, although that varies too...)

I want to be able to play with the guys in the pipe band, and with the spouse who plays viola. Every person I asked told me a different key; sometimes the same person told me two different keys in the same week. (Or more often the anwer was "Gee, I don't know--hey, what key do you think we're playing in?") I set some of my more musically literate family members on the problem, and I think it just got more complicated. But in the end, my researcher and the guy making the pipes ended up suggesting the same things (see the final order above), so hopefully this will be right. I do think I understand the issues involved...I just have to concentrate to do it.

All that said, I'm excited! I've been wanting a set of these ever since I knew they existed (about 15 years or so now--wow, I've been playing in this band a long time). They sound a lot like highland bagpipes, except quieter and prettier. (Prettier than highland pipes? Yes, it is possible, honest.) You can play them inside and your family will still speak to you the next day. So now I have to wait a whole year....sigh. Time to start saving money.

(Here's what smallpipes look like, should anyone be curious: http://www.scottishsmallpipes.com/ This isn't the guy making mine, but it's all about the same thing.)

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Date:2007-01-09 15:20
Subject:101 Uses for an Unfinished Basement
Mood: chipper

I realize there is probably a proper way to do this, but I had all the parts already there to do it this way. It's probably dry by now; I should go see how it turned out.

I have discovered that it's not only at work that I hate all the nitpicky things involved in finishing up a project. Unfortunately, nobody makes me finish the fun projects. The scarf above was knitted during swimming lessons last summer, and it took me this long to weave in the ends and figure out how to block it. While I had that tricky yarn needle out, I also wove in the ends on my first two pairs of socks ever. Pair number one was finished before I started the scarf. But who wears wool socks to swimming lessons?

Number One:

I included a sock belonging to the intended recipient for these socks as a scale object. My three-year-old says, "That's ok, they can be Christmas stockings." I may need to find a small family of Goths to donate black Christmas stockings to. Pair number two fits the intended recipient perfectly, though. (The same three-year-old, actually.) I'm proud of these, not only because they fit, but also because I dyed the yarn for them, and now I actually finished something from it.

The other almost finished project in process is still the cat purse. It's all felted now. I've just been looking unsuccessfully for cat eyes for it. Everyone has bear eyes, but no cat eyes. I got some green beads today that are just going to have to do.

The basement won't be unfinished for long, though. We just got the building permit today to finish it up. Well, once we get all the stuff that's piled up down there out now.

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Date:2006-10-19 20:43
Subject:Works in Progress
Mood: sleepy

Now that I've got pictures, I can show off what I've been working on a little. The big time hog, as usual, is the yard. Things need to be moved, and pulled up, and planted. Because of end of season sales, of course, and I also finally ordered the plants from High Country Garden with my Christmas gift certificate. This is the view from the front window, including the big lavander bush that seems to be surviving its move:

And the gaura has started blooming, only a week after it was planted:

Now I just need to figure out where to put the other one. And the rest of the strawberries from the garden. And...you get the idea.

The fun things to show off are the quilts I've been working on for about three years--one of them is finished now, and the other one just needs the binding sewn on. The next project is a quilt kit that has been sitting around for almost three years waiting for its turn. Tan is mocking me for this one, which I think is unfair. Granted, I'm making a "baby" quilt for a three-year-old, but it's not baby colors, and blankets tend to get heavily used around here. If they're not part of the fort in the living room, they're part of somebody's nest upstairs, and everyone drags their favorite around the house with them all day to have it handy.

And there's also the almost done sock made with the yarn from the dyeing class. From the second batch of dye, the one that didn't mysteriously turn out red.

I'm also almost done with my felted cat bag, but it's not assembled or felted yet, so it's just a pile of gray-and-white circles so far. The Pea has commissioned a second mouse, though, because she liked the one from the cat bag so much, and she thinks Destiny needs one too.

So this is what I get for being a slacker and cutting back the architecture to an hour a day. Whether or not the project will get done at that rate is yet to be seen, but it's sure a lot more fun. And I have till December. And then I'm taking all of December off! No specs at all this year. Hooray! Though I may have to tell the people at the office that I'm going out of state to convince them not to call.

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Date:2006-09-26 15:03
Subject:Trying out the picture thing
Mood: calm

Look ma, I updated my blog!

Just thought I'd see if I can stick a picture in here.

Ok. That looks like a picture. This is the picture of me in the very attractive hat I made at Allison's hatmaking extravaganza. It is only significant in that it inspired the following artistic endeavors with the leftovers:

The models are much cuter on these two hats. Their big brother wasn't home when we decorated hats, and we were out of leftover hats, but we did get him his very own at the craft store. It's still undecorated thus far.

Now I just need to streamline the process of getting photos from the camera to the computer, and I'll be in business. The camera I got for Christmas was on a very good sale, but it happened to be without packaging, and therefore had no battery, cables, or software for downloading the pictures. I haven't gotten around to downloading something yet, and so far the camera only speaks to the computer with the printer as its interpreter. And this computer isn't usually in the same place as the printer. Yes, I'm disorganized.

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Date:2006-06-27 15:16
Subject:Gardens and Feng Shui
Mood: stressed

Ahh, summer is here. The weeds are blooming in the garden, and I'm preparing to spend an entire month marching in hot parades playing bagpipes. We even have a family reunion this year, on the spouse side of the family, so it can be an official summer.

I'm always interested to see what actually survives in the garden, since it seems to be so different every year. This year, aided by volunteer plants and family members getting rid of extra plants, we are flooded in tomatoes. Tomato plants, that is--there's maybe one small green tomato on all twenty of the plants combined. And I'm the only one in the family who will eat tomatoes. The corn, on the other hand, is doing so badly that I finally replanted most of it last week, and that's the thing everyone will eat. Luckily, the peas are doing fine, so it's not a total loss. And I got two or three ripe raspberries!

Other than the garden, it's been mostly work. We did take a break to go to the national Architecture conference in LA a couple of weeks ago. It was an odd experience, but the lectures were very interesting and it was fun to get out of town with no kids. It's been a while. My current favorite reading topic from the convention is Feng Shui--combination of about half things that make you say "well, maybe..." and the other half a lot of interesting design ideas that usually get overlooked.

Kids are adjusting in various ways to being out of school. I've decided I may need to come up with some sort of drastic scheme to keep up with the darling daughter. It's just evil for anyone to have that much pure energy. She wakes me up at 5:30 in the morning by putting her face right up to my nose until I'm startled awake, and then she doesn't stop talking until she collapses at 8:00 at night. She's just fine if you're reading to her, playing with her, and drawing her pictures, but that gets you about to 9:00 in the morning, and forget trying to get anyone else out the door to school at the same time or taking a shower or anything.

Ok, better go sweep the kitchen before it's time to go up and visit the cousins who are here for the reunion.

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Date:2006-03-29 22:06
Subject:new member of the family
Mood: calm

Well, we finally got a "real" pet. The Princess Pea is beside herself. We got a cat about a week ago now, and the Pea has been gleefully hunting for poops in the litter box ever since. She has some odd hobbies. But I suppose it's consistent for someone who always runs up to check out her little brother's poopy diapers. Of course, she's been enjoying the cat itself, too. For such an energetic little creature, she's made friends with the cat quite well. The little brother just likes to chase it.

The cat came, third hand, with the dramatic name of "Destiny." The Pea wanted Diamond. Her dad wanted Bob. (We really wanted Lord Flashheart, but the cat's a girl. So there's about only one good girl name in the Black Adder show, and that's Bob.) So she's staying Destiny so far. "Destiny" doesn't lend itself to good nicknames, though.

I have been fighting off the urge to buy random equipment. I signed up for a glass bead making class last weekend, not because I need any glass beads, but because I think glass is really gorgeous, and I want to know how to make things out of it. And the class turned out to be way too fun. I still don't need any glass beads, but I would really like a little torch so I can sit around (when??? this is not a hobby that would work while you're sitting on the couch watching TV.) and melt glass and make it glow and play with it. It was really fun. Of course, all my beads looked like little aliens with deformities, but that's what practice is for, right? The last thing I need is another hobby.

We've been going through the springtime process of selecting a track for the kids for school next year. I am still too much of a wimp for home school, I have decided. And it's been kind of a so-far-so-good situation at school, so if things stay how they are, maybe we'll be ok till the first-grader (to be second grader very soon) can get into the "gifted" school in third grade. Or maybe I'll give in and try a "Charter" school; those are the fad around here, but my impression is that they're being run by a bunch of confused busibodies who know nothing about running a school, even though their advertising blurbs sound good. I've given up on trying to get people into a class with their friends--the first person I called to try and coordinate with was switching to the non-year-round school so it wouldn't cause problems with her work, and the second one I called turned out to be moving in a couple of months. And the sad thing is, the first day of the new school year, in our lovely year-round school, is in the end of July! What kind of summer vacation is that?

Well, back to work. Deadline the day after tomorrow. As usual.

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Date:2006-01-25 12:59
Subject:This week so far...
Mood: sleepy

Hmmm… exciting things that happened this week…not much is coming up.

We did paint the wall in the kitchen—a nice, rich, bricky red. This marks the first thing we’ve actually done to the inside of the house (aside from the bathroom I painted, but that’s not a very public area). Basically, it means we’ve given up on our contractor actually fixing any of the things he was supposed to, so we won’t worry about him messing up our new stuff. Now if only we can get him to refund the value of the work he didn’t do…

I’m stalled on my only current creative project—the quilt I was trying to make for Mike for Christmas. I guess subconsciously I’ve decided that since I missed my deadline, there’s no rush. Besides, it was really just finishing up a very old project that I’m kind of sick of—I pulled out some old quilt blocks from a class a few years ago and put them into a bigger top, and I’m kind of sick of the colors. But it’s a month late now, so I guess I’d better get it done.

Been working on potty training the little O, in a rather relaxed manner. Definitely the best way to go. He is not interested in wearing pull-ups or real underpants, but he develops a severe need to use the bathroom whenever anyone mentions the word. And he’s even having some success, and the continuance of diaper use definitely cuts down on the messy aspect of toilet training. Now if we could only convince his big brother to aim… (In my next house, I’m making it so you can just hose out the bathroom with hot water, and Lysol the whole thing afterwards. I’m sick of stinky bathrooms. And what idiot designed a toilet anyway? Have they ever tried to clean one, with all those weird bumps and cracks?)

Finished a set of specs last week, and started a new one this week. Due at the end of the week to the other architect in the household—thanks a lot for the relaxing project schedule. But it’s a pretty small remodel, so it shouldn’t actually be too bad. If I don’t spend all my work time writing journal entries. Speaking of architecture, I finally got all my hoops jumped through for my own architect’s license—I just need to fill out their open-book law exam, and fork over the fee. Then I can hopefully give myself a nice, substantial raise and cover some of the costs involved in getting the dang thing. Maybe I’ll have to print myself up some business cards too, or something. Anyone out there do cool logos?

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Date:2005-10-13 16:25
Subject:I have to try it sometime
Mood: busy

Well, since nobody will read this, it probably doesn't matter what I write. But I wanted to see what the page looked like with some text on it. Next I will figure out how to put pictures on too so I can show off all of the things I am not getting done lately.

So, off to start dinner and take care of sick kids.

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