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quiet at home

Pete took Moon and three of her friends to see Nightwish in Mokena, IL, so it’s just me and the boy tonight. They’re crashing with Sister #3’s family because it’s only 1/2 hour from the concert as opposed to the 3+ hours it would take to get back here. Right now they’re about 50 minutes into the first act. I can’t wait to hear the stories tomorrow.

This morning, I walked in the Race for the Cure with Patti and her friend Cathy. Both of them are survivors. Patti’s sister Jeannie usually walks with us, but she’s very sick at this point and isn’t expected to live through summer. We each pinned a photo of Jeannie to our t-shirts so she could still be a part of the day. I’m still sorting through the shock of hearing about Jeannie’s condition. I’d like to see her again, so I’m thinking about a drive to Eau Claire with Patti.

We are all so fragile, really.

Right now Peter is happily playing a newly purchased video game. We ordered carry-out from India Darbar for dinner, and we’re settling in for the night. I’m planning to be lazy and decadent in the morning.

special day

88888No, not just because the car turned 88888 and I’m a big enough nerd to capture it on camera. The big day was our 22nd wedding anniversary. Pete and I celebrated by going to the Farmer’s Market (where we bought a hanging flower basket, two tomato plants and a jar of raw honey) and then out for lunch at Maharaja on Odana. We ate way too much, and I fell asleep in the afternoon after we planted our tomatoes.

It was a lovely day. Our wedding day was rainy, but nearly every anniversary has been filled with sunshine. (Like my days with Pete, awww.)

ALF’s birthday was yesterday, too. Which means mine is coming up, and I’m going to be closer to 50 than to 40. Huh.

I didn’t take many pictures at the market, but they’re here.

a mother’s day gift

Mother's Day presentHere’s one of my Mother’s Day gifts, in its new habitat. (Also known as my cube at work.) Moon picked it out for me to honor my birdlike nature, i.e. my love of shiny things. She found it at A Greater Gift, which is a fair trade store on Monroe Street in Madison. Lots of cool stuff there.

She also gave me some mint chocolate, a stone penguin figurine, and a pair of elephant figurines (mom and baby). Peter gave me a gift certificate to Lakeside Fibers, which is always appreciated. Pete played a role, too, so I feel very blessed that my whole family conspired to honor me.

wedding of the decade

I realize I didn’t post after the wedding, but suffice to say that it was lovely and we are all very happy. The newlyweds are on a cruise to Hawaii (actually, they are in Hawaii right now), and have been emailing updates. I had a bad cold that lasted more than 2 weeks, so during the reception I did my best to hide my many used facial tissues. Yeesh.

AckBut I still had my triumph, as both of my kids were dressed appropriately for the blessed event. Both of them. I mean, I expected Moon would clean up well, because she’s cooperative about things like that. The surprise was that Peter willingly had a haircut and wore a suit and tie for the first time since he was about 3 years old.

A few more wedding pictures are here.

In other news, I finished knitting my chevron scarf and just need to weave in the ends and block it. I started some socklets out of leftover sock yarn, and I think they’ll be pretty cute.

we drove, we saw, it’s her #1 choice now

I’ve been sick for the past two days (longer, if you count when my sore throat actually started, which was Sunday). Yesterday was a blur, but today I’m a bit more coherent. A week ago today, Moon and I were in Minneapolis, visiting the U of M Twin Cities. We drove up the night before, stayed in a Radisson on campus, and spent the whole day looking around, hearing presentations, talking to people, etc.

Oh, and the morning we left, Moon developed a creeping red itchy rash on her legs, torso and arms. She insisted on going to school, so I dosed her with Benadryl and called the doctor as soon as their doors opened. I had left the car at the shop for a quick oil change (and, it turns out, 4 new tires and scheduled maintenance to the tune of $640 total, ugh)—so of course the doctor insisted on seeing Moon ASAP. Fortunately, the office is a very easy walking distance from Moon’s school, so I called and had her paged. She wasn’t thrilled, but she obeyed orders. Diagnosis: viral rash. At least it wasn’t a drug allergy as I had feared.

Happy FaceLong story short, it stayed itchy and red until Sunday, despite Zyrtec and Cortizone cream. I’m glad she had the university visit to distract her. The U of M made her very happy, as you can see.

And yes, we bought merchandise. Two t-shirts and a sweatshirt. Not only is the campus beautiful and (to Moon) the perfect size, the school colors rock. That’s always a good thing.

I’m just relieved that she no longer has her heart set on Washington state, because a 5-hour family car trip beats having to buy plane tickets. Now let’s just see what I do when she studies abroad. My fingers will be fused together from all the crossing.

More photos here.

in the form of a question

The four of us scored VIP tickets to the taping of the Jeopardy! College Championship semifinals, so this afternoon we clapped and cheered through three back-to-back shows. I learned that there really are APPLAUSE signs that flash on and off so we know when to pump up the enthusiasm. And Alex Trebek is a very funny guy. We were in the third row, right behind the contestants who had already finished competing. I’m pretty sure we won’t be on camera or anything. The UW Band got lots of well-deserved screen time, as did the audience members who had brought signs to wave around.

It was almost like a sporting event, actually.

Yesterday I took Foxxi to the vet for her yearly exam. Third time’s the charm — the doctor was finally able to give her a real exam and get a blood test from her. Of course, they had to give her morphine to accomplish this without being bitten. (Which is why the first two visits failed miserably. Foxxi turned into Cujo when anyone tried to handle her, and it was impossible to put a muzzle on her. I even tried using the cat gloves to do it, but no go.)

I picked her up at noon, and she was pretty out of it the rest of the day. I was glad that I had let Peter stay home from school. (He had missed Monday and Tuesday, but had gone back Wednesday and Thursday.) Moon went back to school Friday because the antibiotics for her ear infection had kicked in. After lunch, I called Peter’s doctor because he’d had an especially nasty coughing attack when I was home. And I brought him in a few hours later.

He’s on antibiotics now, too. Because he has a bit of pneumonia in one lung. Neato.

This is so weird for me, because I could count on the fingers of one hand how many times my kids have needed antibiotics. Both kids. We’ve gone years without needing to see a doctor for anything but regular checkups. What’s with this winter?

Nonetheless, Foxxi was the most expensive by far. She’s also mad at me. She wouldn’t look at me yesterday, and nipped me if I reached over to pet her. I tried to tell her that hey, none of this would have been necessary if she would have been a LITTLE cooperative, but she’s not listening.

Category: Moods
Answer: The vet wrote this next to “disposition,” but it could have described the human as well as the dog.
Question: What is “Grumpy”?

there’s a first time for everything

So, Moon has missed three days of school this week. Turns out she has an ear infection, which was unexpected since she’s never had one until now. In fact, she’s only had antibiotics maybe twice in her life. It’s actually a relief to think that she might feel up for going to school tomorrow.

She’s much more conscientious than I was at that age.

In other news, I’m knitting a Chevron Scarf, and I’ve been working on my YogAhh Pants. And I’ve been trying to figure out what to wear to Sister #3’s wedding in a few weeks. Not to mention the kids, who don’t own a whole heck of a lot of formal wear.

Oh, and Moon and I will be going to Minneapolis for a college visit next week. Let the excitement begin!

next up

I went back to work today, and Moon is starting to show symptoms of the crud. I suggested that she stay home tomorrow, and she argued that she has a presentation to do, her project partner is depending on her, etc. My response (that the teacher would probably grant an extension or something) fell on deaf ears, but I convinced her that I could drop off the materials to her partner before 1st hour tomorrow and the sky probably would not come crashing down upon us.

So she’s finishing up some final touches before heading to bed. I do admire her dedication and her work ethic. I just hope she can keep from stressing out over school. Today’s regret is that she managed to get a B in health class freshman year. I told her she WILL get into the college of her choice despite the mistakes of her youth.

I don’t think she believes me. Aren’t I evidence enough that these things work out?

Anyway. Pete has eight (count ‘em) deadlines to meet tonight, so he’s at work until they’re done or he passes out from fatigue, whichever comes first.

Huh. A tad bit of similarity, much?

little shop

We just returned from the best high school musical production I’ve ever seen: “Little Shop of Horrors.” I thought there might be some mishaps and mess-ups because it was opening night, but the performance was perfect.

Moon was one of the set decorators, and worked many long hours helping transform the auditorium into a skid row flower shop. (Brooke was part of the crew, too.) She’s at the wrap party, and I’m sure there will be much giddiness and celebration.

I can’t think of a better way to start a weekend.

happy birthday elvis (for moon)

Elvis mosaic

winter has arrived

ThinkingSome of us are still cozy despite the heaps of snow covering the ground outside. The kids should have had a snow day on Tuesday, but the school district didn’t agree. When I came home for lunch, I couldn’t get into our driveway, and at least an inch of snow fell while I was eating. Brooke’s mom called and we decided to give permission for Moon and Brooke to miss their last few class periods. The girls arrived while I was still home, and were generous enough to clean the car off for me.

Teenagers can be so awesome.

Tonight Peter had a band concert, which is always enjoyable for us because it’s the only time we actually see him play his instrument. His section sounded pretty good, and he provided much entertainment for us by blowing kisses to the crowd during the applause, etc. And of course he was wearing shorts with his band t-shirt.

dressed to impress

Have I mentioned that we’ve had over a foot of snow in less than a week? This morning it was zero degrees as Peter and I headed out the door for school and work.

And what was Peter wearing? Shorts, gym shoes, a t-shirt and zippered sweatshirt. Same as every other day so far this school year. I’ve been hinting that we should go shopping for some cargo pants, but he continues to insist that his legs don’t get cold. I did manage to buy him a heavier sweatshirt with a fleecy lining, which is an improvement over the raggy one he’s been wearing. The one that’s missing the lower part of the sleeves because he’s ripped them off in a fashionable manner.

He reminds me of his paternal grandfather, who enjoyed making sandwiches out of overly fragrant, nasty-sounding ingredients so everyone would go “ewwwwww.”

I’m almost kind of curious to see how long he can keep this up.

guitar heroes

As I predicted, Peter didn’t last long. He pooled money with his sister (and me) to buy Guitar Hero II and a controller. His Christmas list has been revised, with Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero Rocks the 80s newly added.

Moon and Peter have been taking turns with the controller most of the day. They stopped for dinner (turkey soup!) and to watch Hairspray on DVD. I’ve had a few turns using the easy level. My stage name is Fluffi, and my band name is Earwaxx.

Moon thinks she’s going to be dreaming about colored dots floating by on a modified staff.

rolaids time

I didn’t overeat. Really. But the variety of rich, delicious food overtaxed my stomach a bit.

Same thing happened to Foxxi. (For your sake, I won’t elaborate.)

We had a fun time with my parents yesterday and with Pete’s family today. The kids are plotting about pooling their money to buy Guitar Hero. Peter put it on his Christmas list, but he doesn’t think he’ll last that long.

turkey turkey

Tomorrow I’m cooking my very first turkey, and I’m a little nervous. Twelve years of vegetarianism made Thanksgiving pretty easy, especially those holidays where a Tofurky was the featured dish. All you have to do with a Tofurky is thaw it out, baste and bake. (And if you forget to take it out of the freezer, you just bake it longer. No sweat.)

I picked up my fresh turkey this morning, compliments of my awesome-but-unnamed employer. It’s nestled in my refrigerator until tomorrow morning. Over my lunch hour, I picked up a roasting pan and a carving knife/fork set, along with a popup thermometer thing and a string-and-pins mechanism for sewing up the turkey’s opening after stuffing it.

We’ll also be making mashed potatoes and green bean casserole with produce from our CSA farm, and my mom is bringing pies. I need to figure out a stuffing recipe. The kids want Pete to bake his oat and honey bread.

Uh-oh, do I need to get a giant platter for the turkey? And where am I going to store all this stuff the other 364 days of the year?


Today we had parent-teacher conferences, first with Turbo’s homeroom teacher, and later with each of Moon’s teachers. Lots of running around the school buildings.

We didn’t hear anything new, of course. Turbo’s theme: super bright, tests well, doesn’t turn in the homework. He needs to get a handle on it before high school, so he can get through the system and go to college. I have a feeling he’ll do well in college, just because he picks up knowledge so quickly and effortlessly. But first he needs to achieve a good enough GPA to get accepted.

Good thing he’s still in 8th grade.

As for Moon, she’s awesome and has great ability, and needs to speak up in class a bit more. Two of her Bs would have been As if she had her hand in the air more often. Her teachers in general were highly complimentary. Three of them suggested she should consider pursuing their subject after high school.

All in all, not bad. This must be one of those good years.

dancing heaven

All four of us have been dead tired today, but the SYTYCD show was well worth the extra fatigue. First of all, dinner at Mader’s was most excellent (and not overly filling, because SpiritMan and I split an entree). We all chose filet mignon, and we shared a crab cake appetizer and two desserts (cherry strudel and a rich chocolate fudgy cake thingy). Our show tickets were outstanding. Moon took some terrific photos, and the dancing was every bit as good as I expected it to be.

The only down side was that a weekday concert meant we had to hightail it out of Milwaukee without trying to find the tour bus. We just didn’t have the extra hour or so to spare waiting around. As it was, we didn’t get home until 12:30 a.m. Moon still had her contacts in, Turbo wanted to sleep, and they were both borderline crabby.

Moon and I succumbed to the tour swag, though. I have to say, the merchandise was wayyy improved over last year’s. Especially the cute silhouette t-shirts of each of the top four. I bought Moon the Neil shirt and photos of both Neil and Danny, and we also picked up a show program. I’m hoping to post photos if she cooperates.

Next year, I hope they schedule Milwaukee for a weekend date.


ElfLooking pretty good in pointed ears. Halloween was fun.

Blogged with Flock

elvis, rendered in yarn

Knit ElvisIt’s true. Someone has come up with a pattern for a knitted Elvis. (And a knitted Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn …)

Carol Meldrum is the author of Knitted Icons and I have a feeling I’m going to have to get hold of this book so I can help Moon complete her goal of an Elvis-infused bedroom. Seriously, how fun is that?

Of course, I’ve got many other projects queued up first. My nephew admired the socks I made for Sister #1, so I’m going to try and make him some for his birthday. I’m already working on a scarf, I’m planning socks for SpiritMan and Moon, and I was thinking about trying to knit a sweater this month. If only I had a day every week to devote completely to knitting and only knitting. Tomorrow is Moon’s master class at Good ‘n Loud, though, so I should be able to accomplish something while I’m listening to the kids and SpiritMan rock out.

nightwish concert

House of BluesWe made excellent time going to the concert — only 2 hours and 15 minutes from our house to downtown Chicago. The line outside House of Blues was quite long, because security was checking IDs and scanning everyone coming into the building. I didn’t have my ID ready when it was my turn, but the guard took one look and gave me a wristband anyway. I told him I would try not to be too offended.

So, the concert was sold out and standing room only. The kids went up toward the front, and I decided to wander around trying to find somewhere decent to hang out. My feet were tired by the end of the night. Lots of good people watching, though.

Nightwish was quite good live. The new lead singer did a great job and is a terrific performer. Moon thought the guitarist was gorgeous. All the guys have very long hair and look vaguely like vikings. The kids bought t-shirts and are planning to wear them to school tomorrow.

None of us slept on the way home. We were back by about 2 a.m. I’m totally not used to such late nights. The people of Chicago obviously are, though. As we were leaving, we saw many costumed people walking through the streets. There were many slutty girl costumes, a Shrek, and a group of penguins, among others.

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