Archive | October, 2009


30 Oct

Another “productive” day yesterday. Yay! Unfortunately though, productive in this case means I “produced” something (well, one thing), rather than accomplishing lots of things (big or small). And the thing I did? I put together a flat pack bookcase that has been sitting on the landing for three or four weeks. Out of the box. Just sitting there. Annoying me, morning and evening. But boy was I sorry. The bloody thing had my heart scalded by the time I had finished. Sadly I’m one of those people who won’t let things get the better of me, no matter how mad I get or how long it takes. I would still be there if I hadn’t gotten it finished, cursing like a fishwife and sweating like a pig. Pure bull headedness. Bull headedness that means I’ll get it done come hell or highwater. Ass backwards if need be. And woe betide anyone who criticises my method or indeed the finished product. Thankfully though, the bookcase seems to have ended up as the manufacturer intended. Ready and waiting for the hubby’s book that need a new home, away from sticky fingers with a penchant for tearing things. The expected date of completion for the entire project – oh, Christmas I’d say, if all of the hubby’s first editions and whatnot haven’t been eaten by then. For now, I don’t want to look at the bookcase for more than the few seconds it takes me to pass by it.

Next time, next time, we are buying already assembled furniture. And it will be delivered. Put in place by professionals. While I drink coffee and eat cake. Perhaps laugh.

Unless, my anger at an inanimate object metamorphoses into pride at my “accomplishment”. Picture 008

Look what I made!!!

28 Oct

I have been revisiting the old to-do list sporadically, while I have “help”. I haven’t been making the progress I had envisioned though. So rather than get disheartened, here I am, jubilant with my successes. Little crochet Christmas Tree ornaments. crochet 004Courtesy of Roxycraft. I ❤ Roxycraft and her designs (it would seem the turtle I made is one of her designs too). If only I had a child who liked cuddly toys, I could be crocheting little creatures and things to my heart’s content. He’s not though. And there are only so many turtles one small boy could possibly need. Christmas decorations though, everyone needs Christmas decorations. I intend to send them a couple of weeks before Christmas to my parents the in-laws and my sister. With a note that will say “Sorry we can’t all be together for Christmas. We will be thinking about ye/y’all” (hint hint, don’t bother us). The exact wording has yet to be figured out. The underlying (subtle?) message will definitely be “Leave us alone!” This will be our first Christmas together as a family in our own home. So hopefully Santa (Santy) and his wonky hat (I’m still a beginner when it comes to patterns):

crochet 007Rudolph and his cheery nose

crochet 008And Frosty (and his inside out head!)crochet 006will help us have a peaceful Christmas, all by ourselves.

Fingers crossed I get another three “sets” (one for us too, of course) done in time.


23 Oct

I’ve been frequenting these things for the past few weeks in an effort to “socialize” one of the few small boys in the world who probably doesn’t really need it. And also to make friends for myself because I know no one. No one but the hubby and the little turtle. So now these things are akin to a new religion for us. We’re devoted. Mainly because the little turtle loves them. There are usually a lot of “Hey baby!”s. And hugs for “babies” who don’t want them. A lot of blathering. And running around like a little lunatic. Brilliant!

Me? What am I doing? Well, I always seem to end up playing with other people’s children.  My fella amuses himself. And I play ball or peekaboo or sing with other children. Like an eejit. I don’t know. I can’t ignore a small child when they want to play. Or talk to me. So now I do have friends. More small children.

I don’t understand the laws of these places. I’m there to get out of the house too. And talk to “grown ups”. I’m not there to ignore my child (except to randomly shout “Share!” Sharing’s great and all, but ALL of the time? How can I teach him that he can’t have everything if everyone hands him everything because they’re told to “SHARE!” Rant over. For now!).

I would like to think that if someone spent a half an hour showing the little turtle how to put coloured blocks into corresponding holes, I’d at least say “Hello”.

Oh well.

I’m going to try one more group. And talk to a “grown up”. Even though it’s the small fry that seem to be making more sense to me these days!?!

I wonder…..

22 Oct

Do you ever wonder who your child will be?

At the moment I have a small boy who loves animals, singing , dancing, talking and people. All small children are greeted with a “Hey baby!” and a little wave (said in a lower tone of voice than anything else he has to say). He smiles at everyone and will walk up to people and “talk” to them. Blathering away to his heart’s content. Turtles have to be greeted too. And chatted to. For ages. Water has to be splashed. He can spot Elmo and Spiderman from miles away. They get a wave. And books? He loves books. Loves, loves, loves them.

Music, water and books. That’s all we need in this house. Maybe that’s all anyone needs.

It will be interesting to see if his love of these things will follow him into adulthood. Will he still be an outgoing little flirt? A chatterbox? A bookworm? A musician? A water baby? All of these things?

I wonder…..

Who will your child be?

Words, words, everywhere!

21 Oct

We’re having a vocabulary explosion over here. Explosion. Even a sentence or two. His favourite? “Don’t do that!” (accompanied by some finger pointing and head shaking, followed by laughter).

It would seem that Granny is better at interpreting what the turtle says than Mammy. She’ll figure it out, repeat it to him, properly, and he’ll clap for her. Then the two of them will practice the same word/phrase all day. It would seem that Granny has more patience for that kind of thing than Mammy does. He’ll be telling epic tales (filled with turtles) by the time she leaves.  A right little chatterbox.  I’m hoping this means we can sidestep mad tantrums (of course we’ll have some), but if he’s able to communicate he won’t  need (?) to tantrum (as much!)

So he’s having the time of his life. And I’m getting to shower everyday. Life is good. I’m off to Miami this weekend with the hubby, a “mini break”. Bliss.

Time to breathe….

19 Oct

…I now have some. And I don’t know what to do with myself! My mother and aunt are here visiting and they’ve hijacked the little turtle. Dancing around like lunatics. Laughing like hyenas. They’re having a great time. And from time to time I get to sit around. Relaxing. When I’m not joining in. But today I found myself hoovering. Hoovering! Instead of taking the time to sit. Read. Crochet. Study. Anything!

There will be no hoovering tomorrow.

I will take the time I now have and use it for myself. Shower everyday. Go to the loo with the door closed. Revisit my to-do list. Enjoy some one on one time with the hubby. And not care if the house falls down around my ears. Of course I will also spend some time with my visitors.

Fun will be had by all.


14 Oct

The funny thing about family is that they’re usually either so close you want to strangle them or so far away you miss them. There doesn’t seem to be a happy medium. Not in mine, at any rate. I was lucky growing up, my extended family, for the most part, lived no more than 30 miles away. And Ireland being Ireland, even the furthest flung of the clan were no more than 4 hours away. We didn’t live in one another’s pockets but you always knew they were there, willing to make tea and sandwiches or mop the floor in an emergency. The little turtle won’t really have that. Everyone is far, far away. (Except my mother, she’s arriving tomorrow for a month!!!!! Waaaah! Yay!?) I still want his family members to be familiar to him. For him to be comfortable with them when they come to stay. Or when we go to visit. This is all the more important because we’ll be moving around and I’m not sure how much “community spirit” and rapport we’ll be able to build up when we’re moving all the time. So the best way to foster familiarity is, I think, with photos. Not the kind we had in our house: “Don’t touch that, you’ll break it”; “Hold it by the corners, the corners, I said!!” but photos he can play with and touch. So I put this together.Picture 006And I even managed to hang it up before the little turtle grew up and moved out of the house!Picture 007He sits and looks at it almost every day. Pointing things out in the pictures that I hadn’t even noticed.

So my plan was, to take these:turtles 019paint them nice vibrant colours and put the same photos in them so that the little turtle could have them in his room and play with them. However, the project took so long I forgot that I had intended to put the same pictures in these frames (until I came across the copies the other day and spent a good five minutes scratching my head wondering why I had another set of them!) So I put in different pictures. They didn’t come out too badly I think:Picture 005(Sorry for the blurriness, batteries were going in the camera.)

So now he can sit and chew them and slobber them to his heart’s content. I scrubbed them with a ball of tinfoil to “weather” them, well, more to get the excess paint off really. Still though, I like how they came out. Not perfect. Just so. Of course next time (hah!) I’ll buy stencils and stickers and all the mad things I’ve seen at the craft store for exactly this kind of project. And when I take that photo it won’t be blurry! 😉 It’ll be more like this one:Picture 004This one came out the best I think. Because there was no paint involved. Just variegated wool. Wrapped round and round.

Small things

13 Oct

Isn’t it funny how small things can knock you completely off kilter?

On Sunday I went to get some new bras, as excited as a small child going to the fairground. I went to Victoria’s Secret. One of the sales assistants asked if I needed help. I said “No, thanks, just looking”, she looked me up and down and replied “Well the sales rack is over there, that’s probably what you’re looking for anyway.” Completely burst my bubble. Ok, so usually I am looking for the sales rack, but not that day. That day felt like it should be a rite of passage. Like buying your first bra. A special day. Not a sales rack day. So that comment made me cry. I didn’t break down in the store. But I did shed a tear or two walking down the mall. It took me half an hour to gather myself together before I could go back to the hubby and the little turtle. No bras were bought that day.

So the whole bra-buying expedition was a little tainted after that. I did go to JCP yesterday and pick up some nice bras that seem to fit just fine. I didn’t have the heart to get measured or look for advice or anything like that though. Maybe another day. When it’s just something ordinary again. When the shiny glittery feeling I’d bestowed on it can’t be tarnished.


10 Oct

I think I may say I have well and truly arrived in America. I spent last night putting some Halloween “decorations” together and this morning weeding the garden so I could put them out. And the results are, well, abysmal enough:Halloween 1Halloween 2I had great intentions of making little ghosts myself out of plastic bags – we have so many, we’ll drown in them soon, before I can crochet anything out of plarn – so I went to the Dollar store to get some black markers or construction paper or something to do the faces. And I came across some plastic bags with the faces already drawn on. For a dollar. So I had to buy them. To assuage my guilt somewhat about buying what are essentially plastic bags, I stuffed their heads with some plastic bags from the cupboard. So a bit of a recycling project. Not a great one. But a bit of one. Of course, if I had my wits about  and thought about it a little bit, I could have made them out of old tea towels and pillowcases. A proper project. To be proud of. And bring with us when we move across the country. Oh well. I’m still a bit of a novice. Not just at craft-y business, but at this whole “decorating” for Halloween malarkey. Halloween may have its origins in Samhain but I wouldn’t have said either of them were a big deal in Ireland now. They’ve been given over to the children (at least in the north west, where I’m from). Here, it seems people throw themselves into the entire thing wholeheartedly – a Halloween shop just opened in the Mall, and people, in this neighbourhood anyway, have had Halloween decorations up since October first!! (One neighbour has a six foot by six foot inflatable pumpkin/Jacko’lantern in the front yard!) So I was shamed into putting up decorations. There’s going to be a street festival on our street for Halloween, so I thought we had better “get into the spirit”! We need to buy candy too. Can’t give out home made stuff. People will think it’s poisonous or diseased or something, I’m not sure on the details of that but how sad, to be that suspicious of your fellow human beings! I suppose you have to be. And when the little turtle is old enough to go Trick or Treating, no doubt I’ll be down at the police station getting his little bag of candy x-rayed, along with everyone else.

I must go now, and get ready for a barbeque. And check on the mac and cheese I have in the crockpot. See, I am becoming “Americanised”! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!! 😉

Friday Five

9 Oct

Five things I miss about Ireland:

  • I actually miss the cold and the wet weather. I know, I live in Florida and I’ve no right to be complaining, but God the sun gets on your nerves after a while. It’s October. There’s no sign of Autumn, never mind Winter. There’ll be no snuggling up in front of a fireplace this year.
  • Footpaths. Whatever about the rest of the country, Florida just doesn’t seem to be a pedestrian-friendly place. Footpaths just stop in the middle of nowhere. Without warning. Usually just a few hundred yards form wherever it is I want to go. Cue the mad foreigner trying to push a buggy through grass/sand/dunes/water trying really hard to get to that place, just there.
  • Washing machines with temperature settings. Even Farenheit would do, I’m bound to figure it out eventually, surely? But this “Warm”, “Hot”, “Cold” business just isn’t cutting it. Your “warm” and my “warm” are not necessarily the same. The “warm” on my washing machine seems to be rather “hot”. I want temperature settings!!
  • Bathrooms with the light switches outside the door. Yes, they can be annoying when you have brothers and sisters who insist on turning off the light as soon as you go in there, but you don’t have to worry about being electrocuted when you’re at the sink! Not that I’m worried all of the time, it just pops into my head sometimes. I must have seen some mad safety video when I was a kid. It’s still working!
  • Bread. Just ordinary, every day, not the most nutritious thing in the world, white sliced pan. I would covet brown, but there’s no point trying to get my hopes up! Yes there is white sliced pan here, it’s just laced to the gills with sugar. To the gills. The best I’ve found has 1g. Someday I’ll make my own. Until then though, the quest continues!
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