Help This Knitter Please!

Yesterday I actually chased a woman down on the street to find out where she got the pattern for the scarf she was wearing. I swear, it was the coolest scarf ever. It had cording woven in and out of the sides, allowing you to scrunch it up and adjust the length as needed. And the pattern on the scarf itself was beautiful. I just had to have it.

After getting over the shock of being virtually attacked while sipping her coffee and waiting for the light to change at a crosswalk, the woman very nicely told me that the pattern was available on the Bernat website for free. I raced home to look only to discover that it was not in fact there.

I have considered laying in wait at Starbucks for hours on end everyday in hopes that she returns and I can beg a copy of the pattern off of her, and I have considered trying to recreate it myself. But then I thought I would throw it open to all of you and see if anyone has any similar patterns.

So please, for the sake of the poor woman who just wanted to enjoy a cup of coffee in her nice warm scarf, help this knitter out!

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Overheard in front of the TV

M: “I think we need a bigger TV. I can’t read Tivo.”

Chichimama: “I can see the TV. Have you considered the eye doctor? You ARE at the age that people need bifocals.”

M: “I think we need a bigger TV.”

Explain this to me

Why is it that I have made five cups of tea today and I have not sipped a single one of them nice and piping hot? Two of them had to be tossed because they had steeped for too long and were bitter. Another two got sipped at lukewarm, but quickly forgotten and scattered around the house (one of them still in an undisclosed location). The last? I have it here, reheated in the microwave, but not nearly as satisfying as a cup freshly brewed. And now, it is cold. Yet again.

I think the Today Show should do a piece on Mommies who Drink Cold Tea. Because I am trying to find “a healthy way to relieve stress,” but clearly the hot tea thing is not the way to go. In fact, I volunteer to be their mommy blogger. But I want to go on with Dr. Phil.

So where is the line?

Apparently I missed the mommy moment of the week on the Today Show last Friday, as it was cold and the kids didn’t feel like getting out of their pajamas and so I skipped my bi-monthly trip to the gym yet again. But, never fear! I was soon brought up to speed by several friends and many, many blogs. Apparently, the whole “mommies who drink at playdates” thing is back, and Meredith Viera equated stay at home moms to babysitters. Clearly, I didn’t watch the piece as I was putting together 100 piece puzzles and being cheered by my adoring preschooler public instead of plodding along on the treadmill, so take my summary with a grain of salt (or, considered it stirred, if you prefer your martini that way). But I have to assume that having heard the same story from multiple sources, it has to be at least somewhat accurate.

I must admit, I’ve always been a bit hesitant to have a cocktail when it has been offered up at a playdate. And I cringe at the rumors that flasks of margaritas get passed around the stands at weekend baseball games. But I’ve always been known as a bit of a stick in the mud, and just because I generally choose not to imbibe on a playdate doesn’t mean that I judge those who do. Hell, if I did that I wouldn’t have any friends. Seriously. I just generally choose to feed my Diet Coke addiction instead, and save my glass (or two) of wine for after the kids are in bed and I can actually sit down and relax. Because no matter how many glasses of wine I have, pushing swings and chasing kids around someone else’s house is never going to be relaxing.

However! There is always a however! Let’s assume for a moment that drinking while playdating is bad. Fine. But then where does the line get drawn? How about after the kids are in bed? Can a mommy have a drink then? Or how about at an evening party (say, a wedding or New Year’s Eve) when there are children in attendance? How about with dinner? Are moms allowed to have a glass of wine with dinner?

And where, dare I ask, are the men in this equation? I don’t see any segments on the Today Show about men who have a beer while watching a football game with their kids. Or a dad who has a drink while grilling up some food at the BBQ. Why is it socially acceptable for a man to have a drink but not a woman?

What do you think? Have you had a drink since your child was born? Did you, gasp, do it while they were awake? Or did you arrange for a babysitter to come and watch the children while you had your glass of wine?

Menu Week of 1/27

Saturday – Stir-Fried Vegetable Moo Shu Wraps

Sunday – Baked Ziti (you can ooh and ahh now!)

Monday- Barley, Black Bean and Corn Burritos (these never actually got made last week due to a scheduling error…)

Tuesday – Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia

Wednesday – Random Meal out of the Freezer Day (otherwise known as “too lazy to walk out to the garage and check what is in the deep freeze right now” day)

Thursday – Enchilada Casserole

Friday – Leftovers

Khutspe

I never discovered what Dumb Cat was after the other night. Eventually he gave up his prowl and began whining for more food, and that was that. But as M and I were watching Sea Biscuit last night (we’re only a few years behind in movies), we heard a scratching at the now sealed cat door. “Dumb Cat” we said as we rolled out eyes, and then noticed that Dumb Cat was accounted for on the chair. M headed over to the cat door mumbling “It isn’t the NEIGHBOR cat, is it?”

But, indeed, it was. There the cat sat, scratching at the door asking to come in to a house that was not his. M wanted to open the door so he could pet the cat (who’s the softy here, huh?) while asking if the cat was nice. “How would I know? I’ve been mean to it. I don’t want another cat thank you very little,” I replied. Then M started wondering if it had a home. “Maybe it’s a stray?” “That cat is too fat to be a stray,” I insisted. Eventually, I went to the door and gave it “Mommy Angry Face” and it took off.

But this morning when I woke up, it was sitting on our porch furniture. You don’t REALLY think this is a stray cat, do you? I mean, it is FAT. Not quite as fat as Lazy Cat, but much fatter than I would expect from a stray….

I am NOT getting involved with this cat. I am just not.

Vindicated

Apparently, I am not the only one who set her sponge on fire. I feel so relieved.

A flick and a growl

Dumb Cat is currently growling and flicking his tail in a very focused manner in the middle of the family room. Clearly he is hunting something. I am just very unclear what it is that he is hunting. And it makes me a bit nervous. After the mouse incident, and then the visiting cat hubbub, can you blame me? Now Lazy Cat is in on the action, but I am unclear on whether that is because she is curious as to what Dumb Cat sees, or whether I am missing the giant rabbit in the room somehow.

Sorry Ducks

In a fit of desperation today, the kids and I headed to the playground. Yes, it was 38 degrees. No, I could not find a matching set of hat and mittens for anyone. Yes, my God, it was cold. Yes, we were the only people running circles around the jungle gym and swinging the tire swing as far and wide as it could swing. And yes, every. single. person. I know in town drove by, rolled down their windows and laughed. A lot.

Anyway, at one point, when I could not possibly push the tire swing one more time, I suggested that we take a short hike to the pond to see if there were any ducks. Was I expecting ducks? Not really, it was 38 degrees and mid-January. Any self respecting ducks should be sunning themselves in South Carolina or wherever they head for the winter. But yet, as we plopped down on a bench and cringed at the cold on our tushies, they appeared. First two ducks, then four, then a loud-mouth gossip announced the arrival of small children, and the flood gates opened. All around us were ducks, hungry, hungry ducks. Ducks used to the constant summer fodder of bread and bagels and leftover picnic lunches.

The kids were enthralled. There were ducks on the land, ducks in the pond, ducks overhead. “Look at all the ducks! Look! Look!” They thought the ducks were all there to say hi. “Hi ducks! Hi!” All I saw were hungry faces, begging for a meal, ducks who in the summer heyday would head as far away from wee ones as they could as their tummies were full and the risk of a stick landing on their heads was high. But in the winter, a human face brought hope. And as we slowly got up and followed the siren’s song of the tire swings, the ducks one by one headed back to their hiding places, calling the soulful cry of the hungry.

Can you tell that I’m a bit snarky tonight?

What is the Republican obsession with red dresses? I’m just saying.

How does he plan to balance the budget without raising taxes? Is he cutting defense spending? That would be lovely.

Really, John McCain shouldn’t wink. He looks a little scary in a “lecherous uncle” type of way when he winks.

Don’t even get me started on the No Child Left Behind Act. Just don’t. I will personally write letter upon letter against its reauthorization.

He can’t say tax deduction. It took me a good five seconds to figure out what he was talking about. Or maybe it was the accent. Or perhaps is was the disconnect between the link between tax deductions and health insurance.

I have an itchy pimple on my face. Do you think I should put some money aside in my health savings plan for that?

I’m sorry, I missed the link between health insurance and immigration. Holy lack of transition Batman.

Yeah, doubling the border patrol will do wonders for building that human chain across Texas. But yet, we are a big melting pot of love…

Wait, now we are on energy. There is not a transitional sentence in this whole speech. I should have been a speech writer.

Clean coal? Nuclear power? Yeah. And it is not VeHIC-cule. It’s just not. But I am all for improving fuel economy standards.

Nancy Pelosi is licking her lips quite a bit. I think she might even be biting her tongue.

Whoops, on to the judicial system now.

And, on to homeland security. I think I have whiplash.

Cheney needs to work on his posture. Maybe it is all that time huddled in an undisclosed location.

Still on homeland security. And Iraq. I’m tuning out a bit here, forgive me.

I think McCain is falling asleep. There seem to be a lot of sleepy faces in the audience. Or maybe it is just me.

Still on Iraq. I’m not going to comment. See? I can hold my tongue. Really, I can.

People in Iraq do want to live in peace, I am sure. Which is oh so possible with hundreds of thousands of US troops wandering around. Sorry, I was supposed to be holding my tongue.

How many times do you think he is going to invoke the memory of 9/11?

Still on Iraq. Clearly, this is a speech on domestic issues.

Baby Einstein? In the State of the Union? Kudos for all her good work, but really, not very relevant to the running of the country.

Go forth with confidence. The State of the Union is strong.