Tuesday, August 29, 2006

excuses, excuses....

I love summer, but there's always too much to do!
Living in Maine, it's important to run around and store up as many fun summery experiences as we can to get us through the looooong winter. It's the time for walks on the beach, bonfires, flea markets, outdoor parties, sailing (ok, I haven't gone sailing in several years, but this would be the time for it!), and all that other vacationland stuff.
The problem is that it's also the season when your employers want you to work more (living in vacationland means tourists are responsible for much of the area's income). Summer, too, is the time to try to pull your house out of its state of decrepitude - when you can have the windows open while painting, do outdoor tasks without getting frostbite, etc... With all this going on I feel that I should be exempt from laundry, grocery shopping and vacuuming, but this does not appear to be the case.
I do want to assure you that there has been a fair amount of both thrift-shopping and crafting in the past week, but I just need to have some time to photograph stuff (and some sunshine wouldn't hurt).
In the meantime, here are some pictures from the county fair last week. I thought the three little pigs were just adorable - is there anyone who wouldn't name them all Wilbur? And on a similar note, is there anyone who doesn't eat too much at the fair and find themself singing "The fair is a veritable smorgasbord, orgasbord, orgasbord..." while imagining they're dribbling their belly like a basketball?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Reunion Report

So the hair came out just fine (or no wackier than it usually does), and the eyebrow dying went well too (didn't I mention I was doing that at the last minute?). The bright red volkswagon that parked itself on my chin, however, refused to drive away. It was too large to be disguised as a beauty mark (a trick I have been known to use on occasion), and its placement precluded the use of hairstyling and/or clothing to cover it - hmmm, maybe a decorative bandaid? I finally just caked on the concealer (which looked like crap but at least made it so the vw couldn't be spotted at a distance of more than 12 feet), and tried to draw the eye elsewhere with my use of accessories. I don't know if it really worked, but it at least made it so I had the confidence to walk in the door.

I'm happy to report that the reunion was pretty fun. It was super casual and relaxed (having it at the Beaver Lodge* was instrumental in that, I'm sure), and as unlike Grosse Pointe Blank and Romy and Michele's High School Reunion as anyone would want. I really don't think anyone cared about how much money you made, how glamorous your job was, or what your marital status might be - it really seemed like people were more interested in the person you had turned into. After the initial thrill of seeing what everyone now looks like, that is.**
That's the classic-Maine-looking Beaver Lodge on the left and a shot of their equally classic kitchen area. I'm sparing you the pictures of the animal heads on the walls in the main hall.

*Kristin pointed out in the comment section of my previous post that the Beaver Lodge used to be a girls camp. Wow...I don't even know what to say....
Readers, if you don't know why this is hilarious, you have a far cleaner mind than I do.

** Fine - I'm shallow. I must admit to being fascinated by that part. After the initial shock wore off, though, they started to look the same if not better in a carrying-themselves-with-more-confidence kind of a way.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Good Sense Is For Sissies

It's the evening before my high school reunion, and I'm sitting here with tinfoil-wrapped globs of bleach in my hair. What could go wrong?
I thought this might also be a good time to give myself a facial and really work on any blemishes that were troubling me.
The up side to this lapse in judgement is that if I show up with splotchy skin and ridiculous looking hair, people will be able to honestly tell me that I look the same now as I did back then.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Over-the-Counter Stress Relief

The over-the-knee socks are coming along nicely, and I have to say that sock knitting is once again proving to be a wonderful stress reliever. After doing some research, I can't decide if I should call the effect Luvsox or Tranxene K. I will hereafter be calling my knitting needles Klonopins, though.
The fact that I was drawn to such verrrrry looooonnnng socks made me feel a little Like Water for Chocolate-y, but so be it.
I generally don't just knit without having some other form of entertainment to occupy my mind, and I have Gina to thank for my latest amusement (actually obsession is rapidly becoming the more applicable term). It's Project Runway. I'm not usually a fan of reality shows, plus I had somehow confused this with America's Next Top Model, so I never would have discovered this one on my own. That would have been a tragedy, because this show is great! The contestants have talent beyond my comprehension - they can design and make amazing outfits in a matter of hours under some rather challenging circumstances. The show is also not designed to be the parade of evils that most other reality shows promote - it's about the designs not the drama. And I can't even begin to express the love I feel for Tim Gunn (I consider him the show's host because I try to ignore Heidi Klum). I can't decide if I want him to be my neighbor, my mentor or my uncle, so I've decided I'd like him to be all three rolled into one. I'm sure he'll be fine with this plan.
So how obsessed am I? Well, I'm not only watching the current season, but I'm also watching the first season that aired a couple years ago as well as the current British version of the show, Project Catwalk (I was surprised that this wasn't as good as the American version - it has too much of the soap opera/catfight elemtent that I try to avoid). And of course I'm listening to Tim Gunn's podcasts.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Goodbye Sweet Isadora

I'm afraid things didn't go well with Isadora. As the days passed, her condition worsened. She slowly lost the use of her front legs as well as her hind ones. We had to hand feed her and give her little bunny baths since she could no longer clean herself. To be honest, I would have continued taking care of her like that, even if there was no hope for improvement, if I could have convinced myself she was happy. However, by the end of last week it was clear that she was suffering, and we had Isadora put to sleep on Friday afternoon.
I've never had to do anything like that before, and I hope I never have to again. I'm sure it was the kindest thing we could do for her, but it was incredibly hard.
Before things got really bad, we took Isadora out to enjoy a day at the pond. She thought it was quite fabulous - so much to listen to and look at! I'm glad I remembered to bring my camera (the picture on the right looks like I superimposed her onto a bucolic landscape, but I think it's just the flash).
When it came time to find a place for her, we brought her back there. Her spot is marked by a wooden rabbit that is reminiscent of her better days. The figure used to hold an Easter egg, but that has been repainted to represent something far more important to Isadora - a raisin. Hey, she was a simple gal.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Selective Hearing

There are few things I find more relaxing than mindlessly knitting while watching tv. Since I've been wound a little tightly lately, I thought I'd revisit this time-tested stress reliever.
I love knitting socks - they don't take up a lot of space in the knitting bag and they're fun. When I'm knitting stockinette in the round I don't need to pay much attention to what I'm doing, and I've even trained myself (finally) to knit in the dark for better tv viewing. Looking through my stash for something sockish, I found some yarn that really spoke to me. It said, "I long to be made into those adorable Irish Fisherman stockings that are in your vintage sock booklet." It went on to mumble something else, but I was too excited to listen.
How handy, I thought, to have yarn that was so helpful. The yarn had obviously also been thinking that I needed to watch less television, so it chose a pattern with cables and popcorn that was written as a flat pattern.
I sat down and did some swatching, followed by some rewriting to change the pattern to work in the round, and then a practice cable or two. Something was nagging at me though (shut up yarn, I'm not listening). I only had one large ball of this yarn in a color that had long been out of production. It was so very pretty, though, and the ball seemed oh so large that it HAD to be enough. Finally the yarn stopped its mumbling, looked me in the eye, and said in a voice that could not be misunderstood, "Take your blinders off you silly girl. My length is clearly written on the tag, and only someone who failed second grade math would think I could make anything more than one knee sock." I spent a little while trying to convince myself that I'd be happy with two different colored socks (I know! I'll do the heels and toes of each one in the mate's main color!), but finally gave up the idea (for now anyway).
I have since bought some new yarn (so much for stash-busting!) and cast on for the over-the-knee socks in Melanie Falick's Handknit Holidays book (it's kind of an unfortunate title, in my opinion, because it conjures up images of reindeer sweaters and knit trees, but it has some really cute patterns in it that don't seem at all holidayish to me). Judging by how tall these are, I think they're going to be relieving stress for a loooong time.

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