Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Switzerland and The Sad Girl

Most normal, well-made American girls would be pleased as a pickle to be spending their 16th birthday on a whirlwind trip around Europe and she was pickly pleased until just 20 minutes prior to this point in time. Right now at this remotely viewed moment she's sitting on the side of a giant bed with a ridiculously fluffy white comforter. She's got a notepad filled with numbers in one hand and the hotel phone in the other.

Her head is down and she's sobbing gently, working up to a more substantial weeping. She's still wearing her traveling clothes from earlier that day, a boys' navy and baby blue striped polo shirt and a pair of baggy jeans. She has a thermal shirt wrapped around her waist carelessly and is wiping her snotty face on one sleeve. Our girl finally raises her head and flicks her thick chestnut hair off of her shoulders in a mindless head cocking motion. She hangs up the phone, distracted by some commotion outside.

Not impressed by the huge glass french doors, the striking wrought iron balcony or the amazing mountain rising before her in white majestic grandeur, she gazes out at the group of her fellow students frolicking in the village many floors below her. They're all participating in a delightful, laughter-filled snow ball battle, American voices raising up to her on the balcony, echoing off the walls of the gothic cathedral flanking the mountain-side.

The phone rings and she scuttles across the room in a clumsy sprint.

"Hello!?!?" She's so breathless with excitement, it's comical.
"Hello Erin! Happy Birthday!" It's her Mom. Not who she was hoping to hear from, but pretty damn good.
"Oh Momma. Thanks. I was feeling weird there for awhile. I miss you guys."
"But not too much, right Erin? Having a good time? "
"Yep! Having a wonderful time, Momma. Just feeling homesick for a minute. I feel so much better now that I talked to you."
"It's strange not having you here for your birthday, we'll have cake when you get home. Michelle and Mindi should be calling you shortly, I gave them all the numbers."
"Oh! Thanks Momma."
"Love you, Erin, be good. Please."
"Bye Mom, thanks again."

She waded through two more perfunctory conversations, two that made her feel so much better, but not the one she really was hoping to get. She hung up from the last phone call, thinking she could definitely go and join her group, finally. A smile was creeping over her generous mouth thinking about the journey she was on and how silly she had been acting earlier.

Before she left the room she checked her international calling card minutes one more time. 6 minutes left. Tensing up immediately she decided to try calling him one more time. She went through the annoying process of dialing out the calling cards numbers, the international dialing codes and finally, checking and double checking his number, she slowly pushed the buttons that would very hopefully connect her with him. On the first ring, her very self-absorbed mind she imagined him waiting by the phone, expectantly, hand poised above the receiver. On the second ring she tried to imagine what he might be doing instead of waiting by the phone for her call...skating with friends? Flirting with some girl? Not thinking about her, for sure. On the third ring she realized it was almost 11 pm in Pennsylvania. Was she calling too late?

"Hello?" A gruff, tired voice answers.
"Hi, Is Jeremiah home?"
"No, no he's not. Can I take a message?" Gruff, but polite.
"No!...No, that's okay. I'll just see him when I get back, I think." Click.

She grabbed some necessities and ran, clumsily again, out of the room. She tried to clear her head so she wasn't consumed by embarrassment or some other basic emotion. Leaving the hotel, she forced a smile onto her face like shoving an ill-fitting piece into a near finished puzzle and ran to meet her group.

The rest of her trip was wonderful.

She didn't talk to Jeremiah again for almost 8 years.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Summing Shit Up Yo.

Recently Miss Yvonne from Yo Mama's Blog asked me if she could interview me for the Questions for a Blogger section of Studio 30 Plus's website. (As a side note, I am not 30 until April. Jerrod and Jules run the site and happen to think I'm the best thing since sliced pumpkin seed bread, so I'm an honorary member....) Because I knew that this might bring at least a couple more people to my blog I decided to take a little look see around the site and spruce the ol' girl up a little bit.

You know, wax her hairy bits, brush her groady yellowing teeth (groady isn't a word?!) and put on something other type of clothing rather than her usual waffle-knit leggings, giant mohair sweater and knee high sneaker slippers.

I gave up trying to do anything new with her after about two minutes.

I was then distracted by an amazon email and spent a half hour filling my cart with books about Teddy Roosevelt and not actually buying any of them. I finally got up from my work area (an area in our front room on a couch where I pile up all of my work on the side table next to the couch) and started to make Max and Elijah some lunch.

While I was piling chipped chopped ham (disgusting), string cheese and grapes on their lunch plates my mind wandered back to posts I wrote in the past, when I was first filling my proverbial blank pages here on the interwebs. I have been writing fiction and other works since I was a very small child and had been previously only shared my work with a handful of people before I started writing my personal blog. I had submitted some of my work and have had positive results and have worked for a few websites as a freelancer, but mainly in a editing and informative capacity. My daddy has read some of my work and has praised it. A few professors and a couple friends have been subjected to my endless questioning after they read some of my work.

After I had children I was lucky enough to keep getting freelances jobs, and have appreciated the feedback I've received from readers here at Blogging is For Dorks so very much. This thought made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I might write a few more posts before the end of the year, but in this post I wanted to add links to my personal two favorite posts from Blogging is for Dorks (It felt weird writing that sentence, I sound like a douche!) and take the time to thank a few people (don't roll your eyes!!!) who have made this last year better for me.

I wrote this post during a particularly sad night for me and it felt so good to get feedback on it: This Night Rather Than All the Other Nights

The ups and downs I've experienced with my five year old daughter Maxine Jane over the course of her lifetime have been some of the most intense, sometimes horrible, sometimes incredible experiences I've ever had, this post embodies one of the better ones:
Max's First Thunderstorm

My Kids: Thanks for not being assholes. All of the time.

Jeremiah: Thank you for helping me be a better person. I look forward to growing with you and watching our children learn and love together.

Beckerino: I have no idea why I love you so much. You are a dirty slutty whore and you have all of those gross dogs but I appreciate you so much. I am glad we can have our therapy texting sessions and I hope someday I can sit on your face. I meant that in a totally non sexual way. Totally.

Aly-Bear: As much as I am like Becky I am opposite of you. That sentence brought back horrible flashbacks from a particularly awful SAT prep class. It seems like you live in a different world but yet we can talk for three hours straight. Thank you.

Mindi: We barely ever talk but it means so much to me that there's someone out there in the world that shares so many experiences with me. Someone who has seen me in the worst and the best of lights and still wanted to call me their friend through it all. I like to think you saw something in me from the beginning and that's why you've put up with all of my shit. Or maybe you moved far away to get away from me?

Once upon a time there was a me who wasn't a very good person. I am glad that I get the opportunity to make up for all the crap I've done. It make take me many more years of mucking shit, but someday I might have a clean stable.

If that last sentence made any sense to you, or if you thought it was a nice normal statement, you are a huge fucking dork!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Christmas Tree Blogging Introspective

It seems this blog has morphed into a introspective about Christmas Trees.

Last post I talked about our familial patriarch and his lack of christmas tree building motivation.

This post I will show you a duo of trees, paired with a background of ugly wood paneling and a super humanly cute group of children that happen to be my own.

Our first Christmas with Elijah at our first house:



Three Christmas's later at our current residence:


What a difference a couple years and an escape out of rental/bad landlord hell will make!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pre-Pre Christmas Napping

This is the space where the Christmas tree should go:


A sadly empty space.


This is the man who should be putting the tree in that spot:


See anything wrong with these photos? Mmmmhmmm. I thought so!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Preventable Diseases (have nothing to do with this post)

You may or may not have noticed that my blogging has not been as prolific lately as it has been in the past. I blame lots of things for this sad lack of blogging.

1: My Damn Kids: You'd think it was my job to take care of them or something!? Elijah demands ridiculous things like food or help getting dressed. What's up with that! Last night I had to make dinner, clean it up and then actually watch a movie with them. I mean, HELLO! It's disturbing how much pressure I'm under from these mini-beings.

2: My Jobs: I love making warm winter accessories for people and I love writing, but do I really have to do things like write invoices, edit, take photos and advertise!? So Much Work. If only I could make enough money to pay something to take care of the kids and advertise for my business. Have you seen my new items?! There is still time to make your custom order for Christmas! Check out Ultra Cute Crochet and help a brother out.

Already have the crocheting thing in the bag? Check out my day job at Crochet Spot for patterns, tutorials and fun crochet related posts!

3: Taking Care of the House/Laundry: Yesterday I washed, dried, folded and put away 7 loads of laundry. 7 LOADS! I also scrubbed the tub, toilet and sink in the bathroom, washed four loads of dishes (no, I don't have a dishwasher...and it's not from lack of funds...there's literally no room for one in our kitchen), cleaned Max and Elijah's room and dusted in the front room. Today I hope to ignore all the house work so tomorrow it will be such a mess that I will cry from the overwhelming nature of it all.

Ok, that's it. I guess it's not as much as I previously thought AND is a bit more sad rather than funny.

Oh

4: This Recent Illness: I guess I shouldn't complain because I've only had this cold since Sunday night. BUT FOR GOD'S SAKE! My eyes are constantly watering, my throat aches, I can't breathe out of my nose and worst of all; I CAN'T TASTE ANYTHING. Eating makes me feel better and this illness has taken away my only joy. My only joy ever in the history of the world. Eating. Well, fuck that, I'm going to go stuff my face anyways.

I'll leave you with this photo of me so you can share in some of my wretched pain:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rosey Vs. My Piano Man

Rosey received an MP3 player from her Dad LAST CHRISTMAS and last night brought it home from his house unopened.

She then proceeded to annoy us until we figured it out and uploaded songs onto it. And by 'us' I mean she proceeded to annoy Jeremiah until he figured it out and uploaded songs onto it. It turned out that the brand she had was the same as Jeremiah's old MP3 player and he didn't have to upload a new driver etc...etc...and we were all spared from hearing a few choice swear words during his inevitable frustrations.

"WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!!!" is his favorite exclamation.

Regardless, I was upstairs 'working' in my 'studio' and was listening to Rose and Jeremiah search through my music on the home computer.

Sadly for all of us, out of hundreds of songs, Rose could only pick 20. 20 songs out of all of my songs!!!!!

She loves The Killers and I happened to have a few of their songs, so that saved the day. Two Britney Spears songs (leave me alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), one Evanescence song and some other 'pop' songs that I didn't even know I had.

The conversation was pretty funny to me from upstairs though. Jeremiah was paging through my songs and it pretty much went like this:

"Rose, I'm not sure if there's anything you like on here..."

"Just keep looking."

Jeremiah sighs very deeply and continues, "Ok...Ben Folds...Ben Folds....Ben Folds....Cake...Ben Folds...Bob Dylan....Ben Folds..."

Rose yells up the stairs:

"GEEZ! MOM! You don't have much variety here!" She's so whiny it hurts.

"ROSEY! I wasn't prepared to have a ten year old looking through my songs. MY SONGS being the imperial words."

Jeremiah laughs, loudly,"Erin, you're using imperial incorrectly in that sentence."

"Look it up, Mister Smarty Pants. Imperial is one of those words that can be applied in any sentence, really..." I am obviously certain that he is right.

"Ok ok ok." Rosey begins to acquiesce, "I like a few Ben Folds songs, I just don't know the names of them. Can we play through them and I'll tell you which ones I like?"

Jeremiah is a pillar of strength and patience here. After sorting through five or six Ben Folds albums Rosey picks two songs.

"I'm sorry I didn't pick more...Mom just listens to the rest of them over and over again...I'm so sick of Ben Folds."

I can't hear Jeremiah's response, but I assume his curly crowned head is bobbing up and down in solemn agreement.

So here I am first thing the next morning, searching through Amazon's free MP3's for songs my 10 year old daughter would like. Yes, I'm cheap.

Oh! Look!

There's a deal on the download of Ben Fold's new album! Score!

I guess Rosey is just going to have to learn not to be sick of Ben Folds anymore.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Maxism for the People!

Max is on from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to sleep.

And she is constantly and consistently at odds with someone or something. This morning I woke up before sunrise to her freezing cold hands on my back.

"Mom! My hands are cold. Will you hold me?"

Thanks for the newsflash and the delightful wake up, Maxine.

Later in the morning we're getting ready for school and I'm pouring her cereal into her favorite bowl and I already have her favorite spoon in the bowl. She dives into the cereal and eats, then looks at the spoon and starts to whimper, first softly and then slowly the soft whimper began to morph into a low, but very loud wail. The huffing and puffing, the coughing and the gagging soon followed. I tried to calm her but couldn't understand what she could possibly be upset about. Rose finally calmed her by distracting her and pointing out the giant crow that had just landed in the backyard.

"HOLY COW! I thought they only had crows that big in Texas!"

Later as I was walking them out the door to the bus stop I asked her what happened at breakfast.

"I know you think that's my favorite spoon MOM. But it's not. And it hurts my feelings that you don't know the difference between my favorite and the one that just looks like my favorite." (Max proununciations: foon for spoon, fweelings for feelings, fave-o-wit for favorite, wooks for looks)

"I'm sorry Maxine, when you get home from school you'll have to show me the difference."

"You can bet your pretty panties I will MOM!"

What!? haha.

Did you notice I'm having a 'free shipping' sale!? Go and check out my site Ultra Cute Crochet for deals and sales on the warmest, awesomest handmade accessories this side of the Mogonoghalawawa! (Another Max-ism)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Walk with Pappy

There aren't many times in my existence when I think, "This is just perfect.". I have a hard time enjoying myself because of this. I am always worrying about things that have to be done tomorrow, of what might happen if I do something incorrectly in a certain situation, what could be done to make whatever I'm doing better for not just myself, but for everyone around me. It kind of sucks.

A few weeks ago I had a wonderful experience with my Daddy and Elijah. It was near perfect, except for the fact that it had to ever end. We took Elijah on a mini nature walk, and had to walk some distance from my parent's home to get to the woods, but it was wonderful. Elijah was a real trooper and walked most of the time, but Daddy did bear the brunt of Elijah's weight more than I did, which was nice!










Thank you Daddy, if you ever get a chance (or the inclination) to read this. You're a paragon of patience putting up with me and still wanting to hang out with me after 29 years.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Politics and Facebook

Today I decided to have a little socio-political experiment on The Book of Faces. I wrote a status that was mainly based on a inside joke Jeremiah and I have here at home. He likes to call me a 'Damn Hippy', 'Tree Hugger', calls Obama 'my man' etc...etc... as a joke.

We also have a joke about his mom and some other people we know who have been known to vote 'straight ticket'. So I combined the two things and was curious to see where it would end up.

Me: "I just voted- straight ticket democrat. What do think about that?"
about an hour ago

Dr. Monkey Muck likes this.

Un-named friend of Jeremiah's: it all makes sense now

Un-named friend of mine: You got a sticker anyway.

Un-named friend of Jeremiah's: I think you're 19? Or a liberal arts student?

My lovely cousin: Retard

Jeremiah: I knew it.

My momma's cousin, my second cousin?: sorry to hear about your accident, must have bee a terrible blow to the head

Un-named Friend of Jeremiah's who also made the first comment: what did your kids ever do to you?

Lovely Cousin's husband: I think everyone's entitled to their own opinion.

Although my status was a joke and I had intended to respond within an hour or so and give my actual opinion and political stance, I decided to leave it as is and not just shoot off pithy comments back at my commenters on facebook, which was my first inclination.

I grew up in a home with parents that had often opposing views on a plethora of different areas ranging from health and home to politics and religion. Neither one ever called the other one stupid or idiotic, neither one told the other that they were wrong or retarded. Even when my Dad begrudging admitted to voting for Ross Perot my Mom kept her giant mouth shut. When I told my parents I wanted to vote for George W. Bush in 2000 my Momma didn't protest. She was pushed to her limits though and later cutely elbowed me some time during in 2004 and said 'I told you he was a dickhead.'.

If you prevent someone from fleshing out their own opinions based on what they themselves come up with after investigating all the facts and options, you're no better than those 'Damn Commies' I read someone bitching about on facebook earlier today.

I have never voted a straight ticket. I have never voted because I was bullied, coerced, bribed or tricked. I have never voted based on someone else's opinion, on who looks the nicest, on who served in which war or on which candidate might own the nicest house or has the most cars. I have never voted without researching my candidates and being aware of what each one was representing themselves as.

Have I mentioned that I've never actually voted? Which is also my right.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm Raffling Off Children. Get a Ticket.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before...but I have a lot of children.

Four.


That's a lot.

My parents had five and I still feel like I have many many more children here at this house then were ever at my house growing up.

I suppose that's because I'm in charge and responsible for all these beings here, when in stark contrast I wasn't responsible for shit growing up.

(I didn't know how to do laundry or how much tylenol cost when I went to college. I was the butt of many jokes.)

Also not helping things is the fact that all of my children have such different and complex personalities.

Rosey is uptight and brighter than a ten year old should be. She's nosy, interested and an excellent conversationalist. She's also dramatic at times and takes everything WAY to seriously. Between school, soccer and shared custody, I rarely get to see her.



People have told me Olivia would be trouble from the day her white hair turned red. I suppose redheads have a bad reputation? She was a late talker and then when words started actually flowing from her mouth, the flood gates were permanently flown open. She sings, she flits around like a flighty lanky flamingo, she cries foul at her siblings thousands of times a day, stays up too late, laughs incredibly loud at funny movies and is afraid of the dark. Oy vey!


Maxine Jane is the most difficult, temperamental, awe inspiring, incredible, dichotomous person I've ever met in my life. I think about her all the time, she's embedded into my brain like a poem you loved as a child or a scene from a movie you've seen a million times. She loves animals, loves movies, loves everything...until she's not getting her way and then she hates the world and will stop at nothing to make everyone around her as miserable as she is. Ah. Max.


Elijah is the child of my heart. I've never loved anyone as much as I love Jeremiah and I'm in awe of the fact I get to raise his son. He was an easy baby, a great sleeper and a great nurser. At three years old ("I'm going be free!" as he would say) Elijah is a strong bodied, strong willed boy. He jumps and climbs and conquers.


Ok. So now that you know a little bit about each one...which one do you want to take home with you!?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Super Fly

Jeremiah has been annoying me lately with his excellent coolness and his busy-ness.

I feel the need to retaliate by posting photos of him he would not want me to post.

I just have to do it. And he's at work.

So he can't stop me.




I just 'previewed' this post and he still looks cooler than me! Why oh why!??

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Be Aware and Be Cautious. Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

I am always floating above serious conversations, waiting to lighten things up with an inappropriate joke or a snide remark. It's my protection against bawling like a baby and telling my secrets to someone who might judge me. I don't want to burden them with my problems, don't like to seem like a dramatic mess, etc..etc...

I am, despite all appearances (and my big freaking mouth), a good listener. I 'listened' to Tara's story I'm a One in Four at Bite The Bed Bugs and felt the bile rise up in my throat. I want to be as brave as Tara and tell a story to make any girl out there do the right thing and run far far away from any man who might hurt her.

I also know that if I were 15 again and I was reading this post I would be callous and unconcerned. Even though I had experienced the terror of abuse first hand, I would have assumed that it was my fault and that my experience was completely separate and unique compared to anyone else's. I felt it was my fault because I messed with a practically grown man who was obviously unstable, even though I didn't really have much romantic interest in him.

I was in love with a man who didn't love me on and off for most of my teenage years. I thought we would eventually end up together when I was older, thought he treated me badly because he was so much cooler and adult than I was, thought he loved me as much as I adored him underneath it all. I treated people badly in response to his treatment of me, boys who gave me their hearts, friends who trusted me and most of all my family, who I lied to and used in order to be with this man. He used me and abused my trust, but he never physically hurt me.

Ironically the person who ended up bruising my body and mind was one of the boys I mistreated in response to my mistreatment.

I met him at the record store I worked at from time to time as a teen, which was owned by one of my friends. There was a tattoo studio upstairs and James worked there. He was lean and of middle height, covered in tattoos and spikes in every place it every place possible to be pierced. He had a very gravely voice, clear blue eyes and long dyed black hair with blond roots peaking from underneath. I admired his looks, liked his strong jaw and perfect teeth, thought that there was something underneath all the trappings of his outer appearance.

He drove a white convertible with as many metal band decals as he had tattoos and a sound system that shook the cement around us. I could tell from the first time we met he wanted to take me out, I led him on and teased him embarrassingly. Looking back I realize I was longing for attention but I have no idea why.

After weeks of leading him on, I finally let him take me out to get coffee after the shops were closed on a Friday night. We walked to the coffee shop and afterward he walked me up to my Dad's pharmacy and said goodnight. He was so polite and so gentle. I was starting to feel a bit more for him than I originally thought I would. The next day I was excited to see him and after work we drove around our small town with the top down. He dropped me off at home, this time kissing me very softly on the mouth. I skipped up the walk to my house with my fingers tracing my lips and the tiny pricks James's lip piercings had left there.

I spoke to my on and off again boyfriend later that night and learned that I was again in his good graces. He wanted to spend the next day with me, all day after school. I quickly forgot James.

I didn't go to the record store after school the next day, or any day for the next few weeks. I gave all my attention to my boyfriend, who was being so much more wonderful than usual. Later I learned someone had told him I had started to see another boy.

I didn't return James's phone calls, ignored him when he yelled at me out his car window (how did he know where I was all the time?), didn't pay any attention when I noticed he was parked outside my parents' house.

I went to a concert with some girlfriends a few weeks later and he unexpectedly cornered me outside a bathroom. He put his face inches away from mine and although the band was incredibly loud, I still heard every single word he spoke to me.
"You fucking bitch. I told everyone I know about you and then you ditch me for no fucking reason. I love your face so much. I wish I could rip it off and wear it all day long." I wasn't as afraid as I should have been and wondered how long it took him to come up with that speech...

He punched me in the gut and pushed me through the door of the bathroom. He kissed me and pushed his tongue through my pursed lips. I could feel his hands all over me rough and hurting. I yielded and began to cry. He stopped his assault immediately and stared at me, head cocked to one side like he was trying to figure out a puzzle. I think he was surprised I didn't fight back.

Just like Tara, I never said one word. One of my friends saw me with James and saw him being 'weird' with me. When she persisted and continued to ask me what happened I said he was a 'total freak of nature' and that we needed to 'stay the fuck away from him'.

I became wary of my movements, over thought where I was going and who I was with. I had a bunch of much younger siblings and didn't want them to get hurt, especially since James continued to follow me and park outside my house. But I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone. I didn't want to get blamed for the way he was acting, didn't want my boyfriend to know that I was such a colossal child, not able to deal with some random metal-head.

Eventually James 'gave up' and things went back to normal. My boyfriend started ignoring me again (later I learned he was dating someone his own age) and I was going out with a boy who I went to school with. He was taking me out for a coffee before I had to work at a teen center concert (I worked as a barrista at a teen center during my high school years). We pulled out of my parents driveway and started down the bouncy brick street when I felt my legs quiver and the seat start to vibrate. I can remember that exact feeling to this very day, the real terror that swept through me at that moment has never been replicated.

To make a very horrifying story shorter and less painfully cliche, he chased us downtown, right on our tail and yelling at us out the window. All of your classic psycho phrases plus one extra frightening one, "I have a fucking gun, you fucking bitch!".

My poor date was shaking and afraid. I suggested we park outside the teen center and make a run for the door, which I could immediately lock behind us. Plus, we always had security for the teen center's concerts and they would already be there setting up. James parked madcap directly behind us and because he was scrambling in his car (for what I at the time assumed was a gun) we made it inside and locked the doors. Security called the police and James stalked the outside parking lot until moments before the police finally arrived.

Once again, just like Tara, I refused to press charges. I made it seem like it was not a big deal. With the adrenalin gone, I was just embarrassed more than anything else.

He left me alone after that.

A few years later I was home from school on break and attending a party at a good friend's house. James walked in the house a few hours after me with some mutual friends and although it was clear he was not there because of me, I panicked. But instead of leaving I just smiled carelessly and said hello to him. He smiled at me every time I met his eyes all night long, but left me alone. I was creeped out but drunk enough not to be concerned for my well being.

Later that night, everyone was sharing stories about teenage love and he told our story. A very strange and twisted version of our short relationship. He even told the whole group about the car chase and everyone in the room became super uncomfortable. I laughed to lighten the mood and said, 'Holy Crap James! I thought you had a gun, that you were going to kill me!'

He looked right at me, serious as sin and said, 'I did. I was going to.'

After a few moments of silence he laughed heartily and said, 'Oh Geez, Erin! Lighten up, I am just kidding!'

And everyone believed him, except for me.

This month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Please be aware of the seriousness of stories like mine and Tara's. We walked away but very well might not have. Listen to the women and girls out there and help prevent tragedy from happening. Share your stories and reach out.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Joy

The other day Jeremiah and I bought Elijah a new set of sheets. When we came home I ran them through the washer and dryer. At bedtime while Jeremiah was dressing Elijah in his PJ's, I made up his bed with his new sheets, white with multi-colored stars.

When Elijah was finished being dressed and spied his new sheets, his whole face lit up with a giant grin. His tiny toddler fingers came up to his mouth and garbled Elijah language flew out of his perfect toddler mouth:

"New bed for Lijah!?"
"All for Lijah?"
"Not my berfday!"

He settled down in his new sheets, pleased as a plump round peach. How could such a simple thing as new sheets bring him such joy? Where do I get some of that?

I have been thinking about it ever since.

Today while listening to my usual rainy day songlist something hit me in the back of the head with a strange violent blow. Lots of things bring me joy, I just don't realize it. I'm too busy looking for the next bit of excitement, wonderment or entertainment to appreciate the bits and pieces of perfection I'm getting everyday.

Joy came into my heart listening to my song list, Ben Folds singing about a sad man, maybe himself, maybe not. Bob Dylan singing about the simple way his woman has brought out the real man inside of him. A melancholy girl singing about a melancholy boy, his mouth, his eyes, his body.

Joy came into my heart laying in a shadow filled room with a man with dark hair and an easy smile. His warm fingers on my bare hip. His warm breath on the back of my head. Quiet.

Joy came into my heart this morning when Elijah said 'Thank you Momma' as plain as day.

What do I have to complain about? Nada. Niets. Rien. Nichts. Niente.

Nothing at all.

Also bringing me joy; finishing Steam Me Up Kid's order. See it at my new site Ultra Cute Crochet!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mizzle the Flying Cat

Once upon a time there was a sad cat named Mr. Mizzle. A little boy told me he was named this because he looked grey like a rainy day.

Mr. Mizzle was poorly cared for and often abused. I knew a tall blonde boy/man who got joy from launching Miz from his high hilltop porch into the traffic below. I saw this happen many times, much to my own chagrin Mizzle would run back up onto the porch after his near death launch.

I would sometimes consider stealing the cat away and giving it a nice, clean, happy home. But I was too young and too careless to give it any real thought. If it were me today, the grown up me, I might have done something. The little girl me, the teenage me, watched in terror as Mizzle suffered abuses from uncaring 'owners'.

And sadly, a few times, I may have even laughed at those random porch launchings.

Mr. Mizzle was murdered in a horrific manner at the hands of two dumb, drunk, coked out men on a windy rainy October night 13 years ago. I'm not sure how Miz's owners felt about this. They may have laughed, internally processed it, felt sad or remorseful. I never asked.

Thankfully I didn't witness the cat's death, but it did mark the last time I set foot in that hilltop house.

R.I.P. Mizzle. You were a real characterization of one little boy's grey view on life.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Erin, Sex and A Trashy 80's Novel

Warning! This blog post is about sex. If you do not want to hear me talk about sex or are uncomfortable reading about blatantly unnatural sexual positions, please do not read on.

There. You have been warned.


This post isn't really about blatantly unnatural sexual positions. Sorry for the build up. It is instead about the book I am currently reading for the fourth time (the first being when I was 12, way to drop the ball Mom and Dad!), Lace by Shirley Conran. I have no idea why I insist on reading this book, which is essentially a romance novel, when I would usually make fun of anyone who would read anything from this genre. (Except for Wuthering Heights, all the Bronte homeys get a free pass).

I don't particularly connect with any of the characters, four women with various intertwining backgrounds who all met at a Swiss boarding school (I have, however, visited Switzerland...but not to go to school there, just to visit and walk around a village, tormenting the locals with my brash colloquialisms). But there is a lot of sex in this book and therein lies the rub!

The men in this novel are characterized as either rigid and horrible in bed or smooth, wonderful lovers who also happen to be tremendous assholes. Oh and there's also a slimy obese porn director as well.

And a transvestite husband.

And an Arab Prince (who was trained for weeks in the art of lovemaking).

What is repeated over and over again is that women aren't satisfied if they don't have an amazing partner who can expertly make her come every single time they make love. It makes me mad that intimacy is so trivialized in this book when it could be capitalized on in so many excellent ways.

I like some of the sex 'scenes' in this novel. But as soon as So and So's french paramour is a two pump chump, she's given up on him completely. She cries, blames herself for her dissatisfaction, and he tosses her to the wayside because she's frigid. It happens several times in several different sections of the book. So she 'gets revenge' later in life on men by using them for gratification and not giving them any (is that even possible?).

I don't know about you and your sex life but I wouldn't be satisfied if Jeremiah and I were making love and only I came. And I'm sure I can speak for him as well.

Do women really want the same thing men supposedly want? To have satisfaction sexually without the attachments? Does it really really feel as good when you're not in love?

Or am I thinking entirely too much about a bloody Shirley Conran book published in the 80's?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Horrendous Parenting Revealed!

My writing/humor mojo has been smashed to pieces by a visiting force I can barely compete with...

My ex mother in law.

Now now now. My mom is literally shitting her pants right now because I'm actually talking about this in a public forum, but Beta Dad has given me the balls to do this and doing it is what I'm best at.

A month ago my ex husband called me and asked me to take any videos of our daughters off of my blog, especially one in particular you might remember of Olivia dancing to 'All the Single Ladies' but also including their piano recital videos. After a short phone conversation where he stated his position and I promptly disregarded them, it all came down to two final points:

1: His parents were very 'upset' upon reading my blog. They think all videos and all photos should come off the blog.

2: They think I'm exploiting my daughters for my business, Ultra Cute Crochet.

After throwing a tremendous fit in my kitchen after speaking with my ex about this, calling my daddy and cry baby bawling for a half hour (while he was busy at work, Sorry Daddy!),calling Jeremiah at work and bawling at him for another half hour (Sorry Jeremiah!) and then finally writing a very scathing post and then not posting it, I decided to take down the 'All the Single Ladies' video of Olivia and leave it at that.

(If you're interested in reading aforementioned scathing post, let me know. I'll send it to you post haste!)


I wrote that super small so my ex mother in law wouldn't be able to read it! I am incredibly clever.

Now all the time I feel like there's a shadow looming over me and my keyboard. I feel unable to share stories and photos of my very delightful children, who I am so proud of.

The truth is, I'm pretty sure that I will never be able to do anything good in my ex's or his parent's eyes, so fuck it! Here are some images with examples of my horrendous parenting:

I'm letting Jeremiah pummel Maxine Jane with balloons! Oh the Horror!


Max and Elijah are eating lollipops AND are about to devour cake and ice cream as well. At Elijah's third birthday party! Shame on Me!



Yes, those are chips. AND both my Mom and Jeremiah's brother Craig have their elbows on the table! We're all going to hell!


Olivia's life is surely at stake... Call in The Marines (or the State Police)!


Once again, I'm taking a photo while all of my children are precariously balanced on top of a PLAYGROUND APPARATUS! For Gosh Sakes!



Did I mention that my shop now has it's own blog?! Please go check it out: Ultra Cute Crochet! There's a pretty swell October Sale going on there and there will soon be updates on the custom orders I'm doing for Steam Me Up Kid and Angela from the Eat Here Eatery.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ultra Cute Crochet

After much cajoling and procrastination I have finally set up a separate site for Ultra Cute Crochet! Instead of being bombarded by sales here at Blogging is For Dorks, go be bombarded with them over there:

Ultra Cute Crochet


Look at the "They Love Me!" page to see if you're included. If you're not, please tell me so I can include you!

If you promote me on your blog and tell me about it you get free shipping!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Elijah!


This is a repost from last year's birthday post for my son Elijah. He turns 3 tomorrow and the story below is the story of his birth. It's not gross, don't worry.


Painfully waddling down the hot city sidewalk I finally reach my destination and entered the airconditioned Dr.’s office. My abdomen is swollen with my son, my first son, Jeremiah’s first child, my fourth and final baby.

I’m still a little sad that people were staring at me while passing by. I supposed they just wondered if maybe I was carrying multiples, which is becoming more and more common. I'm bigger than any person I've ever known carrying one baby, my whole stomach shakes when Elijah moves.

I’m weighed by the nurse, she smiles and pinches me. I’ve gained 2 pounds in one week.

The Dr. checks me, grimaces. 2 cm dilated. I’m only 36 weeks.
I worry, my face flushes and I glance at Jeremiah beside me. He’s calm, unworried…

The day before I had an ultrasound. Today the Dr. is telling us our son is already 8 pounds, but it’s most probable that his lungs have not developed. The Dr. wants me to keep my feet up and rest as much as possible.
We make a date for induction. Sept. 25th. 38 weeks gestation..

At 26 weeks I woke up early in the morning with contractions. We went to the hospital and the nurses could not stop the labor. Finally after hours, medications and threats of life-flighting us to childrens hospital my labor stopped. All was well.

Things go smoothly for the next few weeks after the Dr.’s 36 week visit. I rest, the girls are anxious and want me to play. I’m tired of being pregnant, of not being able to lift anything or play with my daughters. I’m tired of people staring at me.

I want to meet my son, my first son, Jeremiah’s first child, my fourth and final baby.

Jeremiah is anxious, but sweet. He loves us and shows it everyday.

The night before the scheduled induction we take the girls to my mom’s house, visit, then tuck them into bed and head home. I get into my P.J.’s , Jeremiah tucks me in (because I insisted and he couldn’t say no) and then the contractions start.
They started low like menstrual cramps and then spread in warm circles across my abdomen. My whole body started to react. I felt flushed, nauseous, then full of frenetic energy and finally as the contraction ended, surprisingly calm. I had pre term labor many times and assumed (for some odd reason) that’s what was happening.

Jeremiah became amazingly excited when I called for him from across our home and told him about the contractions.
Practically bouncing off the walls, he told me, “This is it, Baby! I can just tell.”
I got into the shower and after a few minutes smugly told him that the contractions had stopped. I guess regardless of my physical status, I always have to be right.
He waited for me and handed me a towel as I got out of the shower…and the contractions began again.

We got ready and went right up to the hospital. The nurse checked me and confirmed that we were indeed in labor. I was 4 cm dilated. Then she asked me if I wanted an epidural.

I looked at Jeremiah and he said, “Whatever you want, Baby.”. And for some odd reason I said yes. I’m not against epidurals and had even had one after laboring 12 hours with Maxine (it went on to last 26 hours total)…but I’ve never been a fan either and had been assuming I would not have one.

The Dr. came in, did the epidural and then Jeremiah and I spent the next five hours watching t.v., talking, relaxing and drifting in and out of sleep. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than with Jeremiah, as long as he’s in the room with me I’m good and good we were.
The lights were low, just us and the occasional nurse. I was in labor, but it seemed like a surreal blur. A picture in time playing back slowly and smudged with cloudy marks…

Any calmness was abruptly ended around 3:30am. I was on my side and all of the sudden felt like the baby was coming out. I asked Jeremiah to look and he didn’t see anything. He went and got the nurse and the Dr. (who was just about to come into the room and check me). They rolled me over and Elijah just started coming out. I was scared, afraid because of the urgency of it all.
No stirrups, no set up, no ‘tools’…the Dr. was just putting on gloves as Elijah’s whole head was out. It was messy and I was sitting upright and could see everything.

Jeremiah was flushed and I could tell he was worried too.

The Dr. was laughing when he told me to give a little push.

Elijah was born on the sheets in front of me, close enough to touch and caress at 3:55am, September 25th, 2007. The nurse and the Dr. were loudly giggling and talking about how big he was.

To me he looked tiny.

And blue.

Despite the lack of concern from the Dr. and the nurses, Jeremiah and I panicked a wee bit. We kept asking if he was okay, looking anxiously at the nurse suctioning his mouth.

He was fine. More than fine, he was 10 pounds 14 ounces. 20 inches long. He had dark brown hair and those classic dark blue newborn eyes. He looked at me briefly the first time I held him and anxiously nursed with no problem for a few moments before the nurses took him away to clean him up.

Elijah Christopher. My first son, Jeremiah’s first child, my fourth and final baby.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dead Chipmunk Revelations

The other day my momma and I were cleaning (i.e. throwing out and donating tons and tons of stuff) my house. We have a habit in my family of doing a very thorough 'fall cleaning' instead of spring cleaning to get ready for the colder winter months. It's horrible being cramped in a messy, cluttered house with four children all winter long.

We were taking things out to her minivan and the curb when we came upon the corpse of a freshly deceased and very much intact chipmunk lying about three feet from the curb in front of my house. The chipmunk was splayed out on it's fluffy stomach and all it's adorable limbs were spread out around it in an almost comical, but still very poignantly sad fashion.

About an inch away from it's tiny outstretched right paw was a peanut, still in it's shell.

The many possible death scenarios are all perfect for an after school chipmunk special extolling the dangers of abusing nuts and running in the busy streets amuck.

My momma and I argued about what we were going to do with the sweet 'munk for a few minutes before getting busy with our current tasks and promptly forgetting all about our deceased rodent friend.

Later that day I looked out the window to see if the bus was coming around the corner (it passes our block to go around to the next street down first, giving me time to run out and watch the two older girls walk home from the bus stop) and I noticed that the chipmunk was no longer on the street. I walked out to investigate and couldn't find a trace of it or the nut anywhere. Figuring someone must have cleaned it up, I went on about my business again.

About an hour after this I looked out again to spy a small squirrel sitting on the curb, directly in front of where the dead chipmunk had been lying.

It was just sitting there, staring out into the road.

I immediately began to have thoughts of the two rodents being friends in life, perhaps an inter-species couple...maybe even a sad Romeo and Juliet type scenario with the chipmunk taking it's own life out of frustration for not being allowed to love his dear squirrel companion. Or even better yet! A angry jealous squirrel lothario had murdered the chipmunk in broad daylight in a fit of rage!

Ahhh, young rodent love. (You're probably doubting me and my reference to chipmunks and squirrels as rodents. Yes, I looked up to make sure that squirrels and chipmunks are in fact, part of the rodent family. You learn something new every day.)

Weirder still, the next day another squirrel (or perhaps the same one!) was sitting on the curb again. Same spot.

I am now certain that this is the place where they meet their nut-dealer for illegal nut transactions. Something must have gone terribly wrong for our dead chip, he may have even gotten greedy or messed with the wrong nut-thug

Go ahead, look up rodent nut abuse. It's prevalent in suburban areas like ours. Horrible stuff, really.



I googled 'chipmunks doing drugs' to get this photo. Yes. I. Did.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Life Lessons with My Momma

Yesterday was my Mom 40-something-ish birthday. I'm not being smart trying to hide her age like she's bothered by being old, I just don't know how old she is. Older than 46, younger than 50.

Today's post is going to be a homage to her, of sorts.


LIFE LESSONS FROM MY MOMMA:

  • Scott toilet paper is the only toilet paper you should ever buy.
Every once in a while I stray from the preferred brand, looking for something softer, a better sale. But those brands never last as long and always clog up the toilet. Oh momma, you are wise.

  • Don't talk about bombs in the airport.
This piece of advice was left for me on a piece of paper positioned strategically so it would be the first thing I saw upon opening my carry-on before one of my trans-atlantic flights. This was before 9/11 but after the bombing of several airports in France and Germany. After reading this it took all of my might not to talk about bombs in the airport. I did, however, show everybody that note. And we all thought about bombs and my mom for the rest of the morning, I'm sure.

  • Make your bed every morning, it's a good start for your day.
Organization of the mind and of your surroundings is very important to my mom. Starting your day by straightening up the place you spent all night making a mess of is an excellent way to start your day on the right foot.

  • Shower at night, then sleep-in in the morning.
I don't sleep-in anymore, but I always shower at night (when I actually shower at all...). I feel like it cleanses your body from the yuckiness of the day and you're all clean when you get in your jammies. When I was a teenager, however, I slept in until 8 minutes before my bus would come, get up, brush my teeth, grab my bag and run out the door. I didn't eat breakfast until I was in college. If I hadn't showered at night then, I would have never showered.

  • Do as I say, not as I do.
My parents have made mistakes in their lives and I'm sure they'll continue to do so, just like all of us do as human beings. My mom wanted us to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them.

She also didn't want us to swear. Which she did, fairly often. My mom has a dirty mouth.

  • Think about what you're going to say before you say it.
There are soooo many times I wish I would have listened to this piece of advice more often. I can't even begin to count how many times she told me this while I was growing up. I had a big dumb mouth and got myself and others into a lot of trouble with it. I lost friends, hurt feelings, took advantage of others. I work really hard now at giving all of my thoughts and spontaneous actions a hard once over before I act on them. Being a more thoughtful person is something I really aspire to.

  • Breastfeed your baby, no matter how hard it is.
My mom had five children and nursed four of us. My brother Joshua was born at 26 weeks gestation, before she had produced enough milk for him. She gets teary eyed just talking about her inability to nurse him. When I had problems nursing Rosey, my first child, she told me to stick to it and I did. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done and one of my greatest accomplishments so far in my life. I was able to give my babies all of their food, helped them grow and excel right from my own body. And that brings me to my last piece of advice via my mom:

  • If it's not at least a little bit hard, it's not worth doing.
My mom spoiled us rotten, so this very important lesson didn't really make sense until I was a parent and homemaker. Easy tasks come and go and usually don't teach you a lesson or have any lasting value. Breastfeeding, learning to be a better mother to my children, partner to Jeremiah and daughter to my parents have been my hardest life lessons so far. And as my mom would say, "Some things just suck, so get it done and you won't have to do it again for awhile."

Things that my mother taught me that are not true:

  • Tom Cruise is hot.
  • Patrick Swayze is hot.
  • The Other Sister, Radio and I Am Sam are the best movies of all time.
  • My pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are gross.
  • It's smart to vote straight ticket Democrat (or straight ticket anything for that matter).
  • It's ok to be a fair weather Steeler fan. (We should all bleed Black and Gold all season long!)
  • Lifetime movies are awesome.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Smooth Sailing and Saling

The kids' first whole week of school has come and gone. They're already not perfectly groomed or up and rearing to go each morning before they leave for the bus stop, but that's ok. I'm slowly starting to cope with Maxine Jane's daily absence, Olivia has so far not annoyed any teacher enough to warrant a phone call home (the last two years have featured one phone call and one note home within the first month of school beginning) and Rosey hasn't over-analyzed her homework to the point of breaking down in tears, yet.

I have already started working on Christmas orders and my new job at Crochet Spot is keeping me pretty busy. Angela at Eat Here has ordered a bulk order of Boxer hats (see her lovely husband rocking their previously custom order hat here). And here are some other things I've been working on:

This shawl (worn here wrapped around like a cowl) is available in hypoallergenic acrylic yarn for $40 and luxury merino wool for $70. The shawl in the photograph is available for sale (and quick shipment) for $45 and is made of the merino wool.


This cowl is so warm and chunky. I can't wait to make one for myself in raspberry or some funky ass yellow! It's available in hypoallergenic acrylic yarn for $30 and luxury merino wool for $50.


This cabled headband is made of a cotton/linen/silk mix yarn and can also be worn as an earwarmer! It's $25 and available in an awesome array of colors.





These washcloths are made of 100% organic cotton and are completely all natural. They come in sets of 5 for $20, but can also be purchased in bulk at a discount.



Remember all of these items can be ordered in any color! This goes for the star washcloths as well, if they are ordered in a color I will use organic cotton that has been naturally dyed. Contact me at oliverosetree@yahoo.com with any requests, questions or ordering info. I'm a prompt responder!

Don't forget to check out this SALE if you're interested in ordering for this holiday at a discount!

Monday, August 30, 2010

From Oddity Grows Sincerity

Everyone has a few strange catch phrases and odd cliches that pour out of their mouth from time to time. I had always considered my grandma Jean the Queen of Strange Quotable Nonsense with her perennial favorite:

"I haven't see you since Hector was a Pup!"

And no, I have no idea where that phrase came from, who Hector the Dog is or if he is actually even a dog.

But the other day I was listening to my Dad play with my children and I realized that is actually he who should be crowned as the Royal Strange-One.

"Olive! Get thee behind me Satin Sheets!", he jokingly yells at Olivia, who is playing too rough with him in the gameroom. I immediately recognize this phrase and at first don't think anything of it. Laughing, I leave the room and it hits me.

That's a weird thing to say! I know that it's a play on 'Get thee behind me Satan!' but I also know that it gets weirder than that. The phrase '...satin sheets and pink pillowcases...' is where he gets the last part from and it is from some random song he heard in the late 70's.

Other gems from my family's vernacular:

"Okay, we're off like a turd of hurdles!" Which is a twisted version of my another one of my grandmother's sayings, "We're off like a herd of turtles!".

We all call showers 'shou shou' or 'shou shou shou'.

We sometimes refer to my Daddy as 'Dadda Wuv' courtesy of my sister's childhood name for him.

The nicknames my Dad has for some of us are generally strange, most of which we still use.
My babiest sister Hannah is known as 'Hambone', 'Hambone Legbone' and my favorite 'Han, Shan and Abednego' which is (I guess) a take on 'Shadrach, Mehach and Abednego' from the Bible?
My babiest Brother Benjamin was known as 'Ben's Jammin' ' or 'Log Jammer'.
My brother Joshua was 'Jehosophat' and the shorter 'Fats'.
My sister Kate was "Katelynn Screwloose' or 'Screwloose' because I called her my 'Twisted Sister'.
I had a very boring nickname that barely stuck through adolescence, 'Sweetpea'. As a young couple my parents' favorite movie had been the Robin Williams version of Popeye. My mom would sing me the Olive Oyle songs from that movie all the time and they called me 'Sweetpea' after the baby in the movie.

I'm sure there are a million more to sift through and write out for you, but for the time being I'm done here.

I feel that it is a sort of homage to my Dad to be odd at least 40% of the time. Oddity (within some confines) is something to be loved and embraced. It makes clearer experiences and more unique memories, secret strangeness that knits families and friends together in a tightly wound fabric.

For more of my Dad and our family quirks read Here and Here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Plastering Photos on The Interwebs

I told myself that I must not rush home from the bus stop and immediately plaster photos of the girls' first day of school all over the interwebs...but I just couldn't help myself!!!

I came home, poured a cup of coffee, went upstairs with Elijah and we made the beds together. I came back downstairs, set him up with coloring books and markers and sat down to work some work that is soon due.

Before I knew it my memory card was plugged in and I was uploading like crazy onto the Book of Faces. Then I realized that there were lots of friends and family not on facebook that just HAD to see these photos!

Elijah usually hates having his photo taken, but this morning he wanted in every photo.
He kept repeating "I say cheese for Poppa!", which is what I say to him when I'm trying to take a photo of him to send to Jeremiah on the phone.




Maxine wasn't nervous, but she did hate me constantly taking photos all morning long.


Olive seems to think she's a supermodel, I tend to agree. I can't believe Max is wearing a backpack and off to school!


Three little girls walking to the bus stop and then finally, my baby girl getting on the bus and going to Kindergarten. I know she'll do fine, but I have this fear in the back of my head that she'll be bullying everyone at school. I guess we'll find out soon enough.


So Jeremiah is off the hook this week. Embarrassing photos of him have been replaced with lovely photos of my lovely children.

Monday, August 23, 2010

For the BirdDogs

As you may well know, I'm not a fan of animals. I respect everyone's ridiculous need to be covered in dog spit, cat vomit and loads and loads of animal hair...

I just don't roll like that. I'm from the school of, 'If I didn't give birth to it, I'm not going to clean up it's shit'.

Of course (because I am Damned), my children adore animals. Olivia writes little essays about how her life is not complete because she does not have a pet. Maxine literally convulses with delight every time we see a dog or cat on a walk. We visited a pet shop the other day and Rose pouted for hours afterward from being denied her request for, 'an animal for her room, any animal'. Elijah is a little more nervous around dogs than the Olivia or Max, but he's constantly pretending to be a puppy, complete with panting, butt shaking, licking and barking.

Jeremiah also loves animals. And because I am Damned, like I mentioned previously, he loves cats in particular.

Which means I am eventually going to have to add 'care for an animal's needs' to my already bursting at the seams list of chores and duties. If I have to take one for the team (There is No 'I' in team, but there is an 'I' in dogshit), I would prefer getting a dog.

I know you're thinking this is a crazy speak, but I grew up with a lovely dog who was in my life for 18 years. I have never liked another animal as much since, and although she was a huge pain in the ass at times, she was really a part of our family.

So here are my criteria for the type of dog I would be kind of sort of okay with.

  1. Big enough to withstand my offsprings' youthful enthusiasm, small enough to pick up, sturdy enough for outside activity.
  2. Little to no shedding. And I know that there is no such thing as a hypo-allergenic dog, but the closer to that impossible status, the better.
  3. A smart, easy to train dog, but not too smart that it's constantly going to get away with sneaky things all the time. Like Max.
  4. Cute. Very cute. It really has to be worth the extra effort and I want to show it off on walks etc...etc... Like Max.
  5. An even temper. My kids will be all over this thing. All over.

Any suggestions? Salutations? Ideas for a more efficient way to make my life a living hell?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Me and Kiefer Down By the School Yard

I'm ashamed to say that I've been ignoring my friend Kiefer's network efforts for many years. About nine years, actually.

I've never seen 24.

I've seen a lot of the movies Kiefer was in since 24 aired on t.v., so I'm not altogether a disloyal bitch.

But mostly, I am.

Sorry bud.

Last night I redeemed myself by staying up to 3 a.m. watching 24 on netflix instant. Now I'm trying to figure out how I can keep Elijah busy so I can watch 24 all day today as well. I'm sure he won't appreciate the awesomeness of Jack Bauer. Especially if it took me, one of Kiefer's biggest fans, almost ten years to watch even one episode.

So instead of bogarting the t.v. all day long I've been trying to come up with reasons I haven't watched 24 before now.

  • I'm a big fan of instant gratification. I kind of wish I would have waited to watch Lost on netflix instant instead of watching it week to week and wincing in pain at the 'Duh-Duh' noise at the end of every aggravatingly vague episode. Then again, I probably would have spent a whole week in front of the t.v.
"Just one more episode, kids...I'll feed you after, I promise..."

  • I saw some commercials for 24 throughout the years and I remember being so pissed off at how much Jack's wife and his 'girlfriend' at work, Nina, look exactly alike. That was such unfortunate casting and as much as I really enjoyed watching hours 12a.m.-5a.m. last night, I was still super pissed at those women and their similar appearances.
  • Jeremiah and I weren't together in 2001 when the show aired. I wasn't all that interested in watching much t.v. before Jeremiah and I were together (except for the X-Files!). Don't get me wrong, I watched t.v., just not loyally or with any great interest. When Jeremiah and I started seeing each other we begun to watch shows together and watching a series seemed so much more worthwhile. Mainly because we could rip apart every episode and talk about it for hours. We've seen Lost, The Wire, True Blood Seasons 1 and 2 Dexter Seasons 1-3, Stargate: SG1, Stargate: Atlantis...etc..etc...
Speaking of Jeremiah...today is Thursday, which means I must (I must!) post embarrassing photos of him. Hmmm...Let's see.

Last week I posted this lovely photo of my adored lifepartner.

This week's photos:


And my personal favorite, "Shoot-Ah!":

Monday, August 9, 2010

writing

Sometimes words fly freely through my fingers, as messily and inelegantly as they flow through my fat mouth.

Sometimes they lie in weight near the tips, hovering with tingling magnetism and expectant power.

I wish my thought process was up to the obvious need I feel for writing. I'm not blocked my any means, I write for an occupation and do it well and often.

But when I look back on all the fiction I have written over the years and tucked away in folders and forgotten desktop icons, I feel a shameful flush come over my body from the heels of my feet up the back of my legs and rush into my mid-section. The center or my body and my weakest link, my stomach, begins to ebb and fall in waves of emotion. As is usually the case, I begin to feel nauseous.

Disappointed in myself and my inadequacies I sulk. I read contest entries and look at all the packages for magazine submissions I have accumulated over time.

Time to get back to work.

Now I'm even more disappointed. After reading this short post, I have realized what a whiny turd I am.

More sulking will commence forthwith.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Know it's Not Thursday...Thanks.

Does everyone remember when I used to post embarrassing photos of Jeremiah every Thursday and we all had a good laugh at his expense?

Yes?!

No?

Just what I thought. Well here's a recap just in case you forgot:

Tomb Tainting Thursday
Too Much Tofu Thursday
Throw Up Thursday
and the reason I started posting these posts in the first place
"You Wouldn't Dare"

I haven't had any really excellent specimens to share until recently, when I took this gem:


I love him.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Christmas in July (till September)

Just like a very wise and withered sage once told me:

It's never too early to start your holiday shopping, especially when they holiday prices are so very discounted!

From now till Sept. 1st all of my custom order prices will be marked down considerably.

All custom adult and kids hats will be $30. Custom baby hats (12 months and under) will be $20.

Here are some photo examples of hats I've done in the past:








If you prefer luxury yarns, the prices will vary. Luxury yarn mixes include cotton/silk/linen blends, merino wool, peruvian wool and bamboo.

Baby Gift Sets are great not just for the holiday, but are also a wonderful option for a baby shower gift. Definitely a unique idea for a special baby. Baby gifts sets are completely customizable and can include anything from a baby hat with matching blanket to baby stuffed bunny and blanket...any baby items combined in any color or style!
Bunny and Blankey: $120 ($140 for luxury yarns)
Bunny and Baby Hat (baby hat matches bunnies hat): $90
Baby Hat and Blankey: $80

Here are some baby sets I've done in the past:


Custom Baby Blankets on their own: $60


My newest custom offering is full sized throws. I've been making them from very old vintage patterns and it's been a real challenge...
I'll be debuting some of the patterns at my new job here: CrochetSpot

If you can't crochet, buy a blanket from me today! Here's a peak at one I'm working on right now for a customer very into the retro look:


She requested acrylic yarns as her daughter is allergic to wool so her custom throw was only $85.
Luxury and all natural yarn throws are $120. For more information about pricing and styles that are available please contact me at oliverosetree@yahoo.com. I'm a prompt responder.

Everyone who mentions my store on their blog, facebook or twitter gets free shipping. Everyone who puts a ultra-cute crochet button on their blog like Aly or Becky or Jules gets free shipping and discounts.