Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tag: Snakes And Schnapps

magnolia tagged me, and I love being tagged. All I have to do is list seven random things about myself and then tag some other bloggers to do the same. So here's my tag: if you want to do it, do it. If not, I don't care.

My list!

1. In the dream I had last night Scott and I were at the pet store, which for some reason also happened to be the liquor store. We were visiting our pet snake (apparently we owned the snake but kept it at the shop for some reason) and we were feeding it. First we gave it two baby rats (which, in the real world, would have been plenty) ( I used to have lots of pet snakes, so I would know). After it ate the rats we gave it a guinea pig, which a boa constrictor could have gotten down, but not our snake (too little). But somehow it ate it anyway, so we decided to feed it a King Cobra, but we didn't want it to have to fight and get hurt, so I was going to reach in really quickly and cut off the Cobra's head with one of my really super sharp kitchen knives, but all I could find was my crappy knives, so I had to whack the Cobra with a spoon really hard to get it to pass out before I cut it into tiny little pieces and fed it to our snake.

At that point the pet store portion of the dream was over and we moved on to the liquor store portion of the dream. I was wandering around the store deciding what I wanted and a guy was offering free samples, so I tasted this amazing peach mango schnapps sort of thing, and I loved it so much I bought a bottle, and stuck it in my pants pocket (I was wearing those giant pants with the giant pockets that were so en vogue in the 90s), but I wanted more flavors so I was walking around trying to decide what I wanted and I came across a counter that had snacks as well as booze, and there were these amazing looking crab-stuffed mushrooms, and I was going to get one but it was $11 so I decided not to.

At this point my alarm clock went off for me to get out of bed this morning but I kept hitting snooze to see if I were going to pick another flavor or not but I didn't and finally it was 6:35 and I really needed to get going so I gave up.

2. The switch to new birth control has been...interesting. I'm having some crazy intense cravings and I still feel like I'm not always in control of my moods. I feel like I've been kind of a jerk, even at work, and I'm worrying that someone is going to notice and fire me for being a jerk and I really love my job so I really hoping I'm not being as mean as I think I am. That being said, I've been trying to just keep my mouth shut so I don't say anything stupid that I don't really mean. Do you ever notice that when you're in a bad mood it's so easy to think badly of everyone around you, even though you don't normally feel that way? I feel like that, and I feel like my filter is malfunctioning so the things that would normally stay inside my head are actually coming out of my mouth sometimes and I am a jerk and deserve something bad.

3. Buster likes playing prairie dog in the almost-finished den:

For the moment we have the treadmill and extra TV set up in there so Scott can exercise. When we're ready we'll move stuff from the basement up to this room to store while we start construction down there. The den hasn't turned out perfectly, but it's definitely a huge improvement and will be a nice, cozy room when we're all finished.

4. Kwiddens is going to come over this weekend and we have spa appointments and we're going to do fun girly things and just relax and eat treats and watch movies and play with Nyah and such. We don't get to see each other nearly as often as we'd like, since we live 40ish miles apart and she has a baby. Babies infinitely complicate travel plans, did you know?

5. I've been working on the gorgeous, complicated socks for a while now and I had to stop because my pinky went numb, but the feeling came back after about a day. So I started back up on them, and now my pinky has been numb again, for two days this time, and I'm a little worried. I'm hoping that my pinky is just swelling and it's pressing on the nerve. But if there were actually a problem, there's probably nothing a doctor could even do about it. I'm contemplating the ramifications of spending the rest of my life with a numb pinky. I'll let you know what I decide.

6. I've felt really binge-ey lately, but I'm not depressed or anything. Usually I want to eat when I'm upset, but I'm perfectly happy for the moment. I'm pretty much at my baseline. There's probably something going on inside my head that hasn't surfaced yet, and chances are, talking with Kwiddens this coming weekend will pull it out, and then we can sort through it together. Kwiddens is very useful for things like that.

7. Work is fine lately. Fine and easy. Things are so smooth that even when there are problems, it's no problem. I like it like this. Unfortunately, this usually happens when I'm bored. Fortunately, the end of the month is coming up and I'll be loaded up on outside testing to get things closed out before February. I'd much rather be busy and have the day fly by!

So there are my seven things. I suppose it was supposed to be seven facts, but I cheated, and now it's a catch-up post with a bonus Buster picture, so I killed two birds with one stone. Thanks, magnolia, I think you're a stylish blogger, too!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Text Time 12

Kwiddens: Rachel and Nickie have this habit of making mediocre food and then complimenting each other repeatedly on it.

Em: I decided that "That's what she said" isn't shocking or inappropriate anymore.  So instead, when someone would normally make that joke, I say "That reminds me of my father".

Scott: I am so tired
Me: Me too. How much snow did you get?
Scott: Like 9 inches...it is your snow too
Me: Sorry I meant to text that to Mim lol
Scott: Oh. I see how it is, rather talk to her. Don't worry I will just go curl up in the corner and die. LOL
Me: I love you so much, dork
Scott: Ho
Me: Ass
Scott: Jerk

Kwiddens: I hate when people say "all of the sudden"
Me: Oh me too!
Kwiddens: I worked with a girl who claimed to be a grammar buff and she said it all the time.

Me: I've eaten nothing but chocolate today.
Kwiddens: Wow.
Kwiddens: You made me want chocolate.
Me: Lol Sorry
Kwiddens: It's ok. I had a double chocolate chip blended ice cream and now I'm good

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Warm, Soft, And A Little Bit Girly

I got the urge a while ago to take a break from the blanket and make something small, such as socks. Then, I pulled out my sock-knitting bag and there was already a whole sock done, so I only had to make one! So I did! And here it is!

They're the nicest heathered algae green, which you really can't see in this picture. I made up the pattern myself (don't be impressed, it's really the simplest thing besides a plain vanilla sock). I learned how to do a picot cuff, which is cute, but not worth the extra work, so I probably won't use that technique again.

These are just wool, and they turned out very soft and comfortable. I really can't recommend having custom-fit socks enough. It's freaking amazing.

Now, since these were finished, I felt justified in starting another pair.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Green Room, Part 2

So when I left you we had a giant pile of mess down in the ex-Green Room. We cleaned that all up, and now we have a giant stack of drywall in the garage, and for a while Scott couldn't fit the Mustang in the garage so it had to be in the driveway, so in the cold mornings it wasn't happy and refused to start, so I've been driving Scott to work sometimes.


Once we got everything stripped to the studs we had to do some electrical work. Ok, a LOT of electrical work. Before there had been only one (ugly) light in the ceiling, and we kinda have a thing for can lights, so we wanted to install some in this room. We bought six, but when we were deciding where to put them we decided to just do four (which turned out to be plenty bright), so we have two for when we finish the basement. We had to do some fancy wiring, because we have two on one switch and two on another switch, so there are three ways to light the room, and you can have less light or more light for whatever you're doing.

Here's Scott working on the switches:

At one point while Scott was sorting out all the electrical weirdness that was already in the walls, we came across a bundle of wiring that was for...? It was a giant bundle, and we couldn't tell where it led or what it was for, so we had to turn off all the breakers for the entire house to work on them safely, so Scott had to work by flashlight for a little while:

Here's a shot of one of the can lights:

Obviously, it will look nice when it's finished. The four are in a perfectly symmetrical grid that fits perfectly in the center of the room. We love this.

Remember that giant mess of wires we found in the wall that had been taped together? Fixed!

So here are a few shots for a view of the room all ready for insulation and drywall:

Note the Buster sighting.

Here's when we started to get the insulation put back in:

Note the Buster tail sighting.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Almost 20 Questions

Magnolia tagged me, and I needed something to write, so here you go!

1) If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family?
Since we're not planning on having kids, Buster is a member of our family. He's our baby. And we spoil him accordingly. Lately I've been giving him meat trimmings while I'm cooking (sort of) and now every time I go into the kitchen he follows me and looks at me expectantly. I also give him too many treats without making him do tricks. He doesn't want to eat his regular food as much anymore, so maybe this is a problem. He's not starving, so I think I'm good.

2) If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
There are a lot of things I would like to see happen, and most of them I actually wouldn't want to happen because they would change fundamental things in my life that I'm extremely happy about. For example, I would love to own my own yarn/craft store, but that would mean giving up my job, which I love, and giving up chemistry, which I really love.

3) What is the one thing most hated by you?
"easy. willful ignorance." I copy this. If you don't know about something, that's fine, because you can learn something and rectify the situation. But there are so many people who are content to be ignorant, simply striving for mediocrity, and that, my friends, is the real meaning of stupidity. The worst part is, most willfully ignorant people despise those who would learn and grow. Almost my entire extended family on Mim's side are like this. It makes family reunions so interesting.

4) What would you do with a billion dollars?
Pay off my house and Mim's house, buy Kwiddens a house, set up trust funds for Em and Jorg and Nyah, buy everyone cars, start my own business (and one for Scott, too), etc. I'm sure I wouldn't be able to use up even a million of it before I ran out of ideas.

5) What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
Scott can usually pull me out of a bad mood, but if not, there's always yarn. Unless I'm having a panicky sort of bad mood, in which case I take Klonopin, then use the yarn.

6) Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
How about both? It sucks to be at one end of only one of those. On one, you feel hopeless that the other person will ever love you, and on the other one you feel like you're being creepy-stalked.

7) What is your bedtime routine?
Take medicine and brush my teeth, change into pajamas, turn on my electric blanket and climb into bed with my lappie, surf the internet while Scott surfs the internet on his side of the bed on his lappie, or maybe read a bit of a book, then I start trying to fall asleep while Scott drinks his chocolate milk and eats his crackers.

8) If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?
Hot Or Not. No joke. We were both on there just for funsies and we said hi and started talking online here and there (this was my sophomore year of college) and then we started talking like every day in November of my Junior year, and then he came out to Utah for a funeral (he had been living in Colorado) and while he was there we met and had a great time together, so when he got back to Colorado he packed up and moved back here (he was originally from Bountiful) and that was that.

9) If you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?
I don't like watching people come up with things. It takes time. It's like watching paint dry. I'd rather see the end result.

10) What kinds of books do you read?
Knitting books, my favorites over and over (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Leven Thumps, I know I'm one of those dorks), and sometimes I make it to the library and check out a classic, like something by Jane Austen. I used to read a lot more, but I find that I enjoy knitting more lately.

11) How would you see yourself in ten years' time?
Probably roughly where I am now, but older and richer.

12) What's your fear?
SPIDERS. I hate them. They're gross and creepy and scary. I'm also afraid of losing people, and losing my sanity.

13) Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?
Space isn't cool; all that's out there (within reach) is space junk. BORING. I love ice cream too much.

14) Would you rather be single and rich or married but poor?
Married and poor wasn't too bad.

15) What's the first thing you do when you wake up?
Hit snooze. And again. And again. Then I let Buster outside.

16) If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner, what would it be?
I wish he recognized his brilliance and potential. He's down on himself a lot of the time and I wish he had the same amount of faith in himself that I have in him: a TON.

17) If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
Don't wanna.

18) Have you ever been betrayed by a family member? What did you do to get through it and go on with life? What made it better? Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
Well, I've touched on this in the past. I have been betrayed. I'm still in the middle of it with someone. Getting through it involves getting together with people that understand the need to trash talk and trash talking the crap out of this person. I don't really mean it (well...most of it) but it helps to rant. I can never forget, but in other cases I've been able to forgive. The thing is, I'm going to have a hard time forgiving if the person would never even admit he's done anything wrong, let alone apologize for it.

19) If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
My first instinct was ice cream, but then Magnolia said salad and it hit me: there are so many more varieties of salad! And I wouldn't feel like crap all the time! I had some salad at a great salad bar the other night with Kwiddens, and it always hits the spot.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Green Room, Part 1

Recently we've been talking a lot about what we want to do with the basement and the downstairs room, and we decided that for the downstairs green room, we wanted to either keep it as a bedroom or turn it into a family room/den. We needed to re-do the drywall in the entire room, anyway, because there had been water damage before and the drywall looked AWFUL. You could see the seams through the paint. Absolutely terrible.

So here is a view looking down the stairs from the kitchen:

On the right is the door to the basement and on the left is the door to the green room.

Here you can see the inside of the door to the green room:

Whether to make it a family room or not depended on a few things. One was whether the wall around the door frame was structural (so we would be able to knock the wall out) and the other was whether the weird little ledge around the room was part of the foundation.

First up we pulled up the wood shelf that was on top of the ledge:

It was, in fact, part of the foundation, so we were stuck with that, but we were able to take the wood shelf off and that made the ledge only a few inches deep. We can deal with that. As to the wall, we ripped it open to see if the wall was structural or not, and it turns out it wasn't, so we had both options open. A quick call to Mim, who is very good about these sorts of things, and we decided that it would be better, real-estate-wise, to have a family room there than a bedroom, since we're going to build another bedroom into the basement.

We only intended to open up that wall and the ledge and start making decisions and brainstorming, but Scott felt like he was on a roll, so he just kept going on the demolition! We also decided that we should put off buying flooring for a while and do this room instead, since it would cost much less and we could continue saving our money for a while and paying off the Home Depot card.

Scott knocked out the closet, making the room much bigger, and knocking out the wall with the door made the room seem much bigger as well, and made it flow up the stairs into the kitchen/living room. It was a very nice effect.

Here's the funny thing: as you know, our house was apparently built by half-trained monkeys. Every time we rip something open we make a bet about how many things are not to code, or just weird, or dangerous. This time, I bet 3 and Scott bet 4. But every time we pulled something out, something else was wrong, until we started keeping track of how many, just because it was funny!

Here's one, for example:

This is one place where the "electricians" cut a ton of extra Romex and instead of trimming off the extra and doing it properly, they TAPED IT TOGETHER and then just stuffed it into the wall. Scott actually got very angry about that one, because not only is it not to code, but it's downright dangerous and it could have started a fire. Lame.

Here's another one:

We found this series of holes inside the closet, and we were trying to figure out what in the world they were...and Scott figured it out and just about fell over laughing. The people who built this room apparently didn't know how to find studs, so their method was to pound in nails all along the wall until one stuck, and that meant they found the stud! Holy stupidity, Batman!

Anyway, there were so many things: things not to code, things made of the wrong materials, things that didn't make sense and several things that were just absolute WTF were they thinking things. Scott started making notches in one of the walls:

Yep. We got to 16 before we just stopped counting. When ripping it all open, and taking a look at what had been done, it became painfully obvious that the room has originally been a den and someone had turned it into a bedroom, but this someone definitely wasn't a contractor, or even a monkey. It was definitely some sort of slime mold, because WOW it was weird.

So here's part of the mess:

And here's the view down the stairs:

More to follow!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pictures To Catch Up

I hate Blogger with an unbridled passion. I hate centered text, but it won't let me use left alignment because it's a piece of...never mind...just got it to work...

First up is a picture of the lovely Em, who has changed her hair once again. It's a very very dark blue, so dark that you can't tell it's blue until you're right up on it. I love it.

Nyah is starting to eat solid foods! Here she is trying sweet potatoes for the first time. Only babies are adorable when they spit food out; anyone else gets dirty looks.

This is Mim's deck. This is only one of the snow storms she's had this winter. We haven't been so lucky; we get a bit, then it melts, then we get a bit more, and right now it's staying but who knows for how long?

Poor Kwiddens finally got her wisdom teeth taken out. This picture is not flattering at all, but she said I could put it on the internet so here you go. She was miserable not being able to eat regularly, and at one point she got dry socket and had to go in for extra care. She hated the clove oil they packed them with, but remembering back to when I had mine taken out, I loved it! It smelled so good and the pain was all but gone!

A long time ago I posted a picture of a pair of lacy gloves I had made, but I never posted about the scarf that matches them:

It's a wool/cashmere blend, so it's super soft and surprisingly warm.

Here is my Christmas tree skirt. I made it myself.

Here is my Christmas tree, all decked out with my handmade ornaments. I can't decide if I'm sick of them or not. Part of me wants to just get new, store-bought ornaments and make it look more put-together, and sell the old set. There's a lot there, and it's all handmade lace, so I might be able to get at least $100 for it. Maybe.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

If You're Uncomfortable...

...with menstruation, skip this post.

A little while after Scott and I got married I was having stabbing abdominal pains (which turned out to be IBS, which means they couldn't figure it out), and first we thought it might be reproductive, since it felt like my ovaries were being skewered with a hot poker. A dull one. So fun. I went to see a gynecologist, and she was mean to me, but she did find some cysts on my ovaries (which weren't the cause of the pain), and to get rid of them she switched me to Lybrel. It was brand new on the market when she prescribed it to me, and I LOVED it. It's a continuous dose of hormone with no breaks ever, which means...drumroll please...NO PERIOD. EVER.

Here are the reasons I loved this:

1. Periods are gross. I don't need to elaborate on this.
2. PMS went bye-bye. And when you're bipolar, you don't need the added hormonal fluctuations for a week every month. I'm not fully functional anyway (see #3), so I don't need to be emotionally screwed as well.
3. I used to be the one girl who got cramps so bad that I had to take narcotics to be able to get out of bed in the morning. These cramps were literally debilitating. Sucko.
4. I didn't have to take a week off of sex every month. Sorry if that's TMI, but it's the truth.
5. Periods are gross.

So, anyway, I was in birth control heaven, and then a month ago we had to switch health insurance.


Our new insurance sucks lollipops, so the copay went from $13 for these magical pills to $70! Yikes! Now, Scott made it quite clear that if he had to pay $70 a month to not have to deal with PMS, that that would be totally fine by him. TOTALLY FINE. However, I decided to go see if there were another option.

I got to the gynecologist, and I had a new one this time, and she wasn't awkward at all, which was AWESOME, and we discussed birth control options. It turns out Lybrel is completely unique. There's nothing like it, and it will be something like ten years before the patent is up and someone can make it generic. The next best option was to find another continuous dose pill (a.k.a. not a cycle of monthly doses) and just take it back to back with no breaks. With this I would have to have a period every four months, which is better than every month, so it's not a total loss.

So new, $15 birth control. Ok. Dealing with it. Here's the problem:

In between the Lybrel and the new pills my doc said I needed to let my body have a period. Oh joy. So this past weekend, for the first time in almost four years, I had a very special sort of week.

Poor Scott. I had forgotten how bad my PMS was before. Scott and I always joke around that even though I'm nuts, he still has it better than all the other dudes because he doesn't have to deal with PMS. Well, now he does. He hid from me. I was AWFUL. I was trying so hard to just keep my mouth shut, but I wanted to cry and laugh and scream and just sleep forever all at the same time, and just for kicks you can add in an uncontrollable craving for cheesecake. Everything was irritating me. I would say something, and not even realize it was mean until after I had already said it, so I lose. LOSE.

The worst part was that I felt completely out of control. I felt like I was in a car with a terribly drunk driver and I kept telling him to pull over and let me drive because he was all over the sidewalks and hitting pedestrians and speeding and running red lights and he WOULD. NOT. PULL. OVER. Worst feeling ever.

So it's over, and I don't have to deal with it until...April.

I think it's going to be a challenge keeping my cool at work during those special weeks, though. Is this how all women feel once a month? No wonder men make so many PMS jokes. I finally get it. I turn into a freaking monster. I don't want to be that woman who loses her cool and has to say to her (male) boss, "Gee, sorry I'm a total ho this week, I'm on my period!" and get a totally embarrassed look in return. I don't want to be weak and emotional just because I was born with a uterus. Sucks to be me, apparently.

I did get my cheesecake. I went to Marie Callender's with my sisters and Mim, and I had some there, but they were out of cherry cheesecake, which is what I really really wanted, so I settled for caramel. It was amazing, but not what I was craving. No good.

I still want cheesecake, but I'm back to dieting (I let myself eat whatever I wanted while I was...out of service) and I'm not going to cheat until I hit a ten pound mark, which will be 153 pounds.

OH! That reminds me! I almost forgot to tell you!

The gyno said that Lybrel makes it harder for you to lose weight, and that switching might help me lose it and keep it off! HAPPY!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Too Tired To Deal With It

I can't get blogger to do what I want, so screw it all. Here are some awesome pictures of Nyah.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Reverb 10: Core Story

December 31 Core Story

What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

Let's think. What could be a common thread running through my reflections for the past month (and before that, too)?

FOOD ISSUES. Weight issues. Etc.

I share it with the world here on these pages. It helps me get it out. It helps me sort through it. And it helps me look at it in a (slightly) more objective manner. Also, it makes me feel like I'm accountable to more than just myself.

This is the last prompt. I reached my goal! I didn't like some of the prompts. I really related to some of them. But I was glad to respond to all of them, just so I could say I did. Maybe I'll do it again next year.

Reverb 10: Gift

December 30 Gift

This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What's the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

I put this on my Amazon wishlist, then told Scott not to get it because it was a little expensive (and he had already gotten me like ten things...). Little did I know that my "earring organizational system" just wasn't cutting it for him. Apparently it was bugging the crap out of him, with the earrings scattered all over the place...

Well, no more!