Still Alive, I see...

on 20 December 2012

Do you ever play this game?

You're watching something...TV, movie, miniseries, whatever...and every actor/actress that comes up you glance at them and say, "Where do I know them from?"  And the fastest (and most correct) guess wins?

It's less fun when you're playing it alone because your hubs is working late, but oddly, it's still fun.

I've been watching Julian Fellow's Titanic and playing this game with Molly.  Of course, Molly is a dog and only 8 months old, so she's not great competition, but I have to say, Titanic stumped me on a couple.

And I am VERY good at this game, so stumping me is worth bragging about.

Sadly, I was playing alone when I watched the truly excellent Call the Midwife.  And there were quite a few that I had never seen before, so that was really fun.

And in case you were wondering, it also works with animated movies, but it's harder because it's "Where do I know this voice from?" 

If you haven't guessed by now, this is what my December evenings look like.  Lots of knitting and lots of plowing through various visual programs.  "But M, why do you watch anything at all, aren't you looking at your knitting?"  I'm glad you asked.  Not really, no. 

See, I usually have 2 (or sometimes more) projects going at once.  At least one of the projects is really simple, plain knitting.  And that's usually what I work on in the evenings when it's dark.  Yes, I could turn on a lot of lights and have ample illumination, but all that light keeps the babies from sleeping so well, and of course it costs buckets of money.  So I turn ONE light on, and do simple knitting while I watch/listen to something; and during the day when I have abundant light (for FREE) I work on the more detailed project.

For example, I am working on my Girl's birthday dress for her first birthday (coming up in two weeks, someone pinch me please) which is all plain knitting (until I get to the end and then, my goodness there will be RUFFLES and a picot hem!).  But I'm also working on an elaborate and beautiful project for my sister which I can't say too much about because she reads my blog (Hi, Susie!), but just know, once she has these in her possession there will be Pictures!

So that's what we're up to...not too much that's exciting happening, which is also nice in its own way.  I was sick at the beginning of this week and now the babies have it.  It's nothing too harsh, just annoying.  We have Hogan again through the holidays and the usual festivities which are liberally laden with delicious sugar cookies.

Chris and I were talking about our Christmas traditions on Sunday.  We try different things every year and not too many things are set in stone.  But one thing that is constant is that Christmas time is when we embrace the imperfections.  We are imperfect people, the world is imperfect, our lives are imperfect; and at Christmas time, that's ok.  Because imperfect can still be fun and happy and have it's own beauty.  And as we continued this conversation this morning, we both chuckled over the inevitable outcome that some years our Imperfect Christmas blows our mind with it's awesomeness and other years it's just a bit of a dud.  I suppose if our traditions were more fixed then we'd have a more predictable outcome.  But I like the comfort of feeling like things are the way they are and whatever happens, it's ok.  It won't be perfect, but it will be ours.  And maybe that's the tradition that really counts.

This Christmas

on 11 December 2012

I thought last Christmas would be the end of me.

What with all of the doctor appointments, and the needles and the blood sugar tests, and the fetal non-stress tests, and hassle getting ready for my Girl's imminent appearance.  AND all the holiday stuff on top of that, I just thought it would be the end of me.

But I was wrong.  It's THIS Christmas that's going to be the end of me.

I finished Chris' Christmas socks in, what can only be described as, a FUROR of knitting.  But they're done.  Washed, dried and ready for wrapping.  I've even finished my shopping.  I have pile of wrapping to do, but that's fairly easy to accomplish.  I'm working furiously on Other Knitting (a hat for my boy, mittens for me, a birthday dress for my girl, and a pile of small projects for my Sisters' birthday which will, in all likelihood, be LATE).

The end of me is being wrapped and delivered in Other Stress.

Chris had a job interview yesterday.  A job for which we had HIGH hopes, a job which did NOT require eleventy billion years of experience, a job which he could have done with his eyes closed.  He had worked his network and had physicians and educators alike contacting the people in charge to sing his praises.  And all to no avail.  There was an Excel "test" administered by a fellow analyst who, if he was displeased with any part of your person or the way in which you chose to accomplish the task he had given you, could and would fail you without explanation.  And this he did to Chris.

Chris came home understandably deflated.  He hadn't even had the opportunity to MEET with the managers, let alone TALK with them.

I'm trying to let it go.  Whatever.  They all suck, but life goes on.  Chris is having a harder time letting it go.


We've all had some sort of mild stomach bug, which hasn't been so bad for Chris and I, but has hit the kids...or rather their behinds in a hard way.  Which means that it's grossing me out beyond measure and I spend all the time I'm not cleaning up bums, in soaking and washing laundry.  Will someone please tell the Tummy Fates that I do not need this right now?

Also, send cookies.  (For ME, Rice for the children.  Please?) 


I had a lovely round of friends to visit last week, which was so fun catching up with them.  I've been really blessed in my life to know some amazing women.  And this week is my only down week to catch up on things before we start back with Hogan next week.  Which, I'm really grateful for given then expenses of this month--will someone please tell the Shoe Fates that it was not nice to break my last pair of Danskos in DECEMBER?


It's been the longest week...and we're not even halfway through.


My Girl fell off of our bed again on Sunday.  It was the third time.  I've been torn between lunging to catch her and just thinking, "Fall.  You need to LEARN."  But I lunge every single time.  This time, I wasn't in the room.  I was loading stuff in the car to take to church and Chris was getting dressed and she was in the middle of the bed when he went in to the closet to get a shirt and tie and when he came out she was screaming on the floor.  We think she bummed up her leg because she hasn't wanted to crawl on it and she adamantly refuses to stand on her leg AT ALL.   We were freaked out enough that we called the doctor and he said to give her a few days and some Tylenol and call him if it doesn't clear up.  Will someone please tell GRAVITY to leave my girl ALONE?!


I think I have seasonal depression, but in the reverse.  December is supposed to be cold and dark, cloudy and chilly.  And instead we have 4 days of cold followed by TWO WEEKS of 70 degrees and muggy.  My hair is inflating and what Christmas spirit I had is DEflating.  It is impossible to feel like Christmas when you don't even need to wear SOCKS.  I've reconciled myself to living in the South, being married to a very Southern man, so Snow is a dream and only a dream, but can't it at least be COLD?  Will someone please tell Jack Frost to swing back around and stay a while?


I keep listening to that song "River" covered by James Taylor, you know the Joni Mitchell  

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on

But it don't snow here
It stays pretty green
I'm going to make a lot of money
Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene
Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on

I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
I wish I had a river I could skate away on
I made my baby cry

I'm so hard to handle
I'm selfish and I'm sad
Now I've gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had
I wish I had a river I could skate away on

Oh, I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I made my baby say goodbye

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river I could skate away on

 I feel like that...I wish I had a river I could skate away on.  To somewhere cold and snowy and devoid of worries and cares, but really, it feels like a song about Chris.  And I don't know if it's some sort of sick compulsion, but I keep trying.  I keep singing Christmas carols, and reading Dickens, and wrapping presents in the hopes that somewhere in the midst of all of the stresses, I'll find a little bit of happiness.


on 03 December 2012

I have less than structurally perfect feet, so I buy (and wear) really good shoes. I don't have many pairs, but the few that I buy are really good, quality shoes. More to the point, I wear Danskos almost exclusively (in the summer I wear Birkenstocks).

Back in 2000, just as I was starting at the University of Washington, I knew I would be walking on concrete a lot, so I invested in 2 pairs of clogs (1 black, 1 brown) and I wore them exclusively for the next 3 years while I was an undergrad, and then the next 3 years as a grad student, and then the next 2 years as a professional. I wear them at home, out and about, at church. They are, quite literally, the only shoes in my closet.

Ok, I have A pair of running shoes and 2 pairs of Birkenstocks. But otherwise, I only have Danskos. I have 3 more pairs now (mary janes in black and brown and a lovely pair of cardovan professionals). I had bequethed the brown pair to Chris when he started working at the hospital because he was walking so much for work and we couldn't afford to buy him any new shoes. He wore them until they literally BROKE in HALF.

We then ordered him another pair of Danskos in a different style and of course, he doesn't like them as well. But that's not the point of this story.

I got up this morning and started making breakfast for all of us. I got dressed because I needed to go grocery shopping, and it was cold outside, so I put on some wool socks and my black Danskos, and walked back to the kitchen.

While walking, I noticed that they felt really funny...squishy and unstable. So I got the kitchen and shook it off, picked it up, turned it over and oh! Oh my HEART!

I have completely worn through my beloved SHOES. They are also broken in half, but worse than that, the HEELS are completely demolished.

I immediately showed them to Chris, who was unsurprised, and asked him if it was bad of me that I was really sad about this. After all, they're just shoes. It shouldn't be a big deal...

Except these were the shoes that I wore all over Seattle. And Germany. And Ireland. And New York. They were the shoes I was wearing on September 11th, and when I met Christopher, and all through my pregnancies with the Boy and the Girl. So yes, they're just shoes...but they're also a walking history of most of my adult life.

And when you think about it, 12 years and thousands of miles, it's not a bad life for a pair of shoes.