Of All the Deadheading in My Life…..

This phase is my least favorite.

Deadheading phase number 1 took place in my high school days.  Back when I used to like to draw dancing bears, wear tie dye and rock out to some Uncle John’s Band. The peak of my deadheading days was probably along about junior year when my then boyfriend and I went to see the Dead play at the Knick in Albany, NY.  (It’s since been renamed something banal like Pepsi Arena or something, but it will always be “The Knick” to me).  That was several years before Jerry died and we were young and fun and loved all things hippie.  I was also crazy insecure back then  because I also was heavy into The Cure and Depeche Mode and I loved New Wave Punk, and I thought I couldn’t possible do both, that I had to pick one place to fit into and couldn’t be a “multi – genre” teen.   How glad am I that I have grown up and realized I can like all sorts of different things that don’t fit together, and that’s OK.  I can wear a chic designer piece of clothing along with something old and vintage.  I can make a mixed cd with some Dead, The B52’s, some great 80’s Brit rock and some Hindi music.  Why not?

My second phase of deadheading was my favorite.  That was in my bus driving days in college.  Deadheading was when you had no passengers on board and you got to drive off route to whatever your destination was.  Not that deadheading specifically was my favorite; the bus driving itself was.  I never thought I could learn to drive a transit bus.  I didn’t even like big  cars let alone a 35 foot long passenger vehicle.  Navigating those badboys around the University was some of the best times I’ve had, and I still feel a great sense of accomplishment for having done it.  And it really proved even more that I could be more than one thing.  I can be feminine and frilly and still love the smell of diesel at 4 in the morning.

Which brings me to the current deadheading phase.  The one I don’t like.  Hint: it involves petunias and geraniums.  Getting outside every day to pick the dead flowers off is one big pain in my butt.  I don’t so much mind the watering, because when it’s 800 degrees outside (like today), I can always water myself, too.  But the deadheading requires standing in one spot reaching over my head picking out the dead stuff from the hanging baskets.  Last year it was a real pain, because I was pregnant with Oona and largely having to stay off my feet.  This year it’s not as bad, except that now I am one handed and there’s a 20 lb baby hanging off of me the whole time.  But, at least my efforts are rewarded with nice full plants.  And who can argue with that?

Sew Hot In Here

Well I’ve been husband – less for the better part of the month, and as we prepare for his imminent return I’ve been taking stock of how things have held up over the past couple of weeks. I think I’ve done pretty well, if I do say so myself. The house looks pretty darn good for only having one responsible adult and 3 small children (plus all the pets).

I’ve gotten a lot accomplished as well, given the circumstances. I painted the play/craft room and moved all of my “stuff” into it. I even got some stick – on “stained glass” for the palladium window over the kids’ toys:

Check out that color!!!

I’ve gotten the kids to the pool twice – I would have gone every day but it costs $20 every time we go. Each time when we left I had 2 screaming girls who wanted to stay in the pool “forever or at least every day”.

I’ve managed to feed them all decent meals and I’ve gotten to do yoga on Wii Fit every day (I make Emily help with Oona….)

And I’ve taken a break from knitting to do some sewing. Yep. I’m hot into sewing right now. I made quite a bit recently, including an orangey shirred – top dress for Neve:

And I had to make one for Oona to match:

I’ve also made a few things for me but I have no pictures yet. 8 and 5 year olds don’t make the best photographers unless you want a more “abstract” theme. I also have a quilt I am working on with some awesome fabric that has cute little VW buses on it. It’s perfect for us, of course.

In other news:

The vegetable bed has exploded in the last week, since we’ve had tons of humidity and rain:

I have a few yellow squash coming in, and the tomatoes are budding like mad. Unfortunately the japanese beetles are also back, and swarming like you wouldn’t believe. One of them traveled into the house in my hair yesterday and nearly gave me a heart attack. Speaking of which – we seem to be working on a 2 spider per day average. Happily they have not been too large, but they have been quick and I don’t like them either way. They’re probably after the colony of fruit flies that has taken up residence in my kitchen sink, despite all efforts at total cleanliness.

I’m happy to see that Ice Road Truckers is back on. The only disadvantage to being up in the craft room all the time is there is no satellite up here. I will be needing to remedy that. Can’t miss my Discovery and History channels, after all.

All in all things have been busy and active despite the lack of going anywhere much and pulling in all the spending reins to save cash. Gas and food prices being what they are has had me budgeting much tighter lately. I don’t go to the grocery store without a list and a full out plan for how we can eat well yet cheaply for as long as possible. It seems to be working fairly well – today was the first day I did a big grocery shopping in two weeks and we were still in decent shape. It does mean eating hot dogs for lunch and spaghetti for dinner more often than we’re used to, but hopefully we’ll get a bumper crop of squash and tomatoes this summer to throw on the grill!

Trying Out A New Shade of Happy

It’s been pretty busy around these parts lately.  School ended May 30, and Neve turned 5!!!  We had a big party for her on the 31st and invited all of her friends (and some of ours) over to play on the big inflatable waterslide and have ice cream cake (mmmm Carvel!).  I can’t believe how big my middle baby has gotten!

But little peanut or no, she’s going to kindergarten in the fall, and let me tell you how happy that makes me!  With all 3 kids at home all day now there’s a lot of referee action on my part, and when she’s here, Maddie’s.  But it was a fun day either way, and I now have to remember to get the thank yous out to everyone.  And then there’s the obligatory “sad doggy” picture.  Pippa was sequestered to avoid puppy induced insanity, and when we let her out after everyone had left, she lay forlornly under the table, snout strategically placed next to a tootsie roll.  In fact, I found that little tootsie roll later (I apparently forgot to move it after snapping the picture) and found two fang marks in it.

Just look at those puppy dog eyes.  She wants it bad.

Anyway, craziness aside, I’ve been pretty happy lately.  Happier than I’ve ever been, I think.  There’s a certain contentment that has settled in lately.  There’s a combination of things helping that to happen, I think.  Maddie’s been around a lot to help out with Oona so I don’t feel so totally overwhelmed every day.  I’ve been able to keep the house fairly decent lately.  About 2 notches above absolute pigsty, which is a huge improvement over my former 8 notches below “should be condemned”.

Also, I got Wii Fit, and I have been practicing the yoga, aerobics, and etc. that it entails.  I basically have my own virtual personal trainer, and thanks to Mads once again, I have been able to work out for 30 minutes every day.  It’s given me a lot more energy and I feel pretty good.  Thanks to that extra energy I’ve been able to stay up past Oona’s bedtime and work on some projects.  I am this close to being done with Em’s socks.  I also have been sewing a lot.  I made Emily a nice skirt and scarf:

Please ignore her scraggly hair and the fact that she’s wearing Maddie’s flip flops which are WAY too big.

I made Neve a dress for her birthday party, and I made Oona a cute little dress and bloomers set.  I have a bunch more projects in mind…..and knowing that I took steps which have greatly added to my happy state of mind.  I re-did the play room, and it is now half play space, half my “studio”.  I can’t even tell you how much I am loving it.  I even got a nice shade of fuschia for the walls that I am love love loving.

So, I have my own space, my veggies in my raised beds are growing by leaps and bounds, and we’ve been eating fresh blueberry gateau.  How can you not be happy?  Even with the day I had today:

1.  Couldn’t get any A/C people out to the house until tomorrow.  Playroom is literally 850 degrees.  I may hurl.

2.  Went to Lowe’s with Oona to buy heat blocking window tint for playroom.  Went to open van’s sliding door, and it broke.  Will.  Not.  Open.

3.  Lowe’s didn’t have exactly what I needed.  Bought only 2 boxes left, and after getting home found that one had been cut already.

4.  Spent $20 to take kids to the pool.  Swam for 5 minutes, then they blew the whistle and made us get out for a 15 minute “rest break”.  After 15 minutes we swam for 10 minutes.  THen they blew the whistle and said we all had to get out because they heard thunder and the pool was therefore now closed.  I drove home with some very unhappy children.  Most expensive 15 minutes I’ve had in a while.

5.  Tried to apply window tint.  Decided after one pane that I’d rather pull all of my toe nails off with pliers than continue.  Will wait for husband to complete the job.

But I am not complaining.  I will instead eat the last piece of this:

White chocolate raspberry tart with chocolate crust.  Yum!!!!

Amazon’s Customer Service Number

So I have experienced some pretty terrible customer service from Amazon.com recently (more on that another time) and since Amazon.com does not post its phone number anywhere it is pretty impossible to get any kind of satisfaction. There’s a long email chain process you have to follow and then you have the option for them to call you. That’s right – they don’t want their number revealed that badly.

However, there is a site devoted entirely to this problem here, and in that spirit I am publishing Amazon’s number here for anyone who needs it. It’s:


I can’t promise that will help much either, since they’ve outsourced their customer service to somewhere in Asia (and I have nothing but respect for the various peoples and cultures over there but it is very frustrating when you can’t solve your problem because you keep misunderstanding each other).

Happy Amazon bashing!

btw: to be “Amazoned” refers to being totally screwed with no chance of “comeuppance”