Dixie Peach: July 2005

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Give it to me straight

Tell me the truth. Really. I can take it.

I'm going to hell for eating pepperoni pizza Hot Pockets and liking them. Right?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday Shuffle - Luuuuuuuv Edition

As Sunday is our sixth wedding anniversary I'll go to my lovesong/ballads folder and dedicate this shuffle to the love of my life.
  1. Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him - John Lennon
  2. Lovin' Each Day - Ronan Keating
  3. Tupelo Honey - Van Morrison
  4. Call it Love - Poco
  5. You're Something Special to Me - George Strait
  6. All I Want is You - U2
  7. Here, There and Everywhere - The Beatles
  8. Longer - Dan Fogelberg
  9. I'd Love You All Over Again - Alan Jackson
  10. Ice Cream - Sarah McLachlan

I picked the perfect guy for me to marry.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Nicked from a queen

Welfare Queen to be exact. I find she generally has some of the more high quality memes to swipe. Plus it's an ordinary Thursday, the most exciting thing I've done all day is buy yogurt (I know I bought some yesterday but...), and it's either this or I swipe another one of her ideas and do Thursday Refrigerator Blogging.

She may beat me if I do that. However, you would get to see my wide variety of German yogurt. I wonder if y'all would look at the stuff in my refrigerator and think "Dang! German stuff!".


Three things I've done today
Buy yogurt (I sorta killed the suspense on that one for you already)
Refill my tea tins
Water my geraniums

Three things on my desk
My Cool Princess Coolball
The handbooks to Sacred and Sacred Underworld
A Baltimore Orioles bobblehead figure

Three people I've thought about today
My mother
The bastard from Deutsche Telekom who called this morning at 8am and woke me up.

Two truths and a lie (and you guess which is which)
I called a woman in the main Corinth branch of the Bank of Mississippi a bitch.
I called the guy who woke me up this morning a bitch.
I am a bitch.

Three books I'm reading
Murder on a Girls' Night Out: A Southern Sisters Mystery
A Stillness at Appomattox: Army of the Potomac, Vol. 3
Mental Floss Presents Condensed Knowledge

Three places I've been

Three places I'm going
To the lobby to get my mail.


Mmmm...lemons. I love lemons. Lemon yogurt, lemon candies, lemon cake, muffins, pie, ice cream. Just lemons themselves. I have been known to eat a lemon or two on occasion. Chilled first, of course.

I don't love them as much as I love peaches but close. Damn close.

Someone needs to come up with some lemon/peach blended things. I could call my life complete then.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Blogging: This

Dining: Tuna steaks seasoned with Tony Chachere's creole seasoning, rice and steamed mixed vegetables.

Shopping: Low fat milk, vanilla chai teabags, white peaches, Jagdwurst, Gouda cheese slices, dog treats, no-sugar-added yogurt (peach and strawberry flavors), Dove body lotion, above mentioned tuna steaks.

Watching: Previously recorded episode of Lost.

Snacking: Special K Bars.

Drinking: PG Tips

Knitting: Wavy. Still.

Cleaning: Both bathrooms.

Laundering: Load of towels and load of lights.

Napping: 20 minutes sitting slumped over the sofa arm, head propped up on left hand.

Calling: My sister and my mother. No answer from either. Voice-mail left for both.

Laughing: It Came from the 1971 Sears Catalog.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Are you threatening me?

Should I take it personally that the old man passing me on the street farted so loudly it scared my dog?

Tagged by a thief

Zoe tagged me and being that she's an honest lady she freely admitted that she stole this meme from someone else. Eh. If she couldn't remember who she swiped it from their blog is likely not memorable enough to credit anyway.

Three names I go by:
1. Kimberley
2. Dixie
3. Bibbs

Three screen names I’ve had:
1. DixiePeach
2. Spätzchen
3. StrickLiesl

Three physical things I like about myself:
1. My eyes
2. My fingernails
3. My ears

Three physical things I don’t like about myself:
1. My boobs
2. My stomach
3. My teeth

Three parts of my heritage:
1. Scottish
2. Welsh
3. English

Three things I am wearing right now:
1. Pink silky pajama pants with a champagne glass print
2. Matching pink cotton t-shirt
3. Navy blue Birkenstock Arizonas

Three favorite bands/musical artists :
1. The Beatles
2. Blackmore's Night
3. Bruce Springsteen

Three favorite songs:
1. Badlands
2. Norwegian Wood
3. All Because of You

Three things I want in a relationship:
1. Trust
2. Humor
3. Friendship

Two truths and a lie:
1. I failed most of the courses I took in college.
2. I was ticketed for driving 115 mph in a 65 mph zone.
3. My first husband is nearly 20 years older than me.

Three physical things about the preferred sex that appeal to you:
1. Smile
2. Arms
3. Shoulders

Three favorite hobbies:
1. Knitting
2. Reading
3. PC gaming

Three things I want to do badly right now :
1. See my family in Mississippi
2. Eat red velvet cake
3. Have a pedicure and foot massage

Three things that scare me:
1. Dying before my husband
2. Fire
3. Falling

Three of my everyday essentials:
1. Tea
2. Lipstick
3. Jewelry

Three Careers you have considered or are considering :
1. Speech Therapy
2. Teacher
3. Customer Relations

Three places you want to go on vacation:
1. Australia
2. Scotland
3. England

Three kids’ names you like:
1. Carsten
2. Charlotte
3. Sabine

Three things you want to do before you die:
1. Ride in a limousine
2. Sail on a yacht
3. Fly to Australia first class

Three ways I am stereotypically a boy:
1. I like soccer
2. I swear a lot
3. I can burp loud

Three ways I am stereotypically a girl:
1. I love make-up
2. I like to wear dresses
3. I like old movies

Three celeb crushes :
1. Colin Firth (I know Sal, I know!)
2. Vince Vaughn
3. Johnny Depp

Three people I am tagging:

Monday, July 25, 2005


It's been an excellent twenty-four hours around here.

Last night B and I went to see Blackmore's Night in concert. It's a group headed by rock guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore (you know, the guy who's responsible for the opening riff of Smoke on the Water being the first thing a budding young rock guitarist learns) and they perform a fusion of rock and Renaissance music. B and I discovered them three or four years ago and they grew to be our favorite band. And it doesn't hurt that B's totally in love with this face. He thinks Candice Night is the human form of an angel.

Let me first say that getting B to a concert is a daunting task. First, it's very difficult for him to sit upright in his wheelchair for more than a couple hours. Three is usually is max. Four is tough. Five takes a near miracle. The only time I've seen him sitting for longer than that was the day we were married and it truly was a miracle. Now add to that the transportation problem. The concert venue was too far for him to just drive to with his wheelchair and streetcars late at night are unreliable as they don't drive very frequently. So we had to call the handicap transport service we use on occasion. They don't normally drive on weekends or at night so we were prepared to beg and pay them lots of money but as they adore B (and honestly, who doesn't?) they were glad to drive us. The owner of the service did, actually - on his wedding anniversary, no less.

We had fairly good seats at the concert. It was open seating and we were about twelve rows back - me in a seat and B in the aisle. He loved being right in the center of everything and was convince that not only did Candice Night notice him but at times she was singing right to him. Could be true - I'll not burst that bubble of his.

The show itself was wonderful. Two hours of the best songs and mind-boggling guitar work from Ritchie Blackmore. The audience was thrilled - everyone up out of their seats (well...not everyone), clapping, singing, dancing. At least 100 people were dressed in Resaissance garb and it only lent to the atmosphere. Now B's sold on the idea of dressing in Resaissance garb should they come to Magdeburg again.

The best part of it was seeing B. The sheer joy and happiness on his face was like nothing I've seen. It was like for those two hours he was transported to another place where there was nothing that stopped him from being like everyone else. He sang. He clapped (as good as his twisted hands will let him). He shouted at the end of songs. He was having the time of his life and I feel so lucky that I got to see it. Not only was I entertained by the band but seeing my husband so happy was a thrill for me. I actually teared up at the end of the show because the time was over.

So we went home and talked about the show for a few hours. And I'm thankful that we have a DVD of them in concert so I can keep fresh the memories of last night's show.

Check out their music. Go see them in concert. Pray that they come back to Magdeburg next year.

My other good news is that I have a real live permanent residency visa. No more shall I have to fill out paperwork and cut through red tape in order to reside in Germany. I am even allowed to stay even if B dies (not that I would at this point). I can even work without having to beg the work bureau for a permit so should I get a wild hair to go down to the Berlitz school and teach English, I'm all set.

More happy things: On the way to the immigration office I saw a brand new (since May anyway) yarn store. While walking back to the streecar stop I went in and fell in love with the collection of yarns they had on display. Lots of cotton and ribbon yarns - summery stuff - and I assume that when summer is over they'll have their winter wools out. I was with my MIL at the time and didn't have loads of time to hang out there but I'll go back again and look at their stuff more fully. I wish I could knit better so I could take advantage of such gorgeous yarn.

Good, good things. I must be holding my mouth just right for so many good things to be happening.


A comment that Ashley made (and why haven't you read her blog yet? she's fabulous!) got me to thinking more about what we pass down to others. What sorts of things do we give to others that proves to at least someone that we were once alive and living here on earth.

Ashley was saying that if we lived closer we could share a happy time with tomato sandwiches(extra Hellmann's please) and me teaching her how to knit. Now you can learn to knit from a book or a video and do just fine but there's something special about learning how to knit from another person, even if that other person is a stranger in a yarn store giving lessons. (Quick detour - I found a brand new yarn store today with a sign in the window that they'd teach anyone wanting to learn the basics of knitting in a 2 hour lesson for 5€, lessons given any time the store is open. Now in two hours you can definitely learn to at least cast on and do the knit stitch and bind off. Smart idea to get in yarn buyers - basic lessons for cheap!) Learning how to knit from another is passing down knowledge in the most basic way possible. They show you and you imitate them and they correct your errors and soon you're doing exactly as your teacher has taught you.

My mother originally taught me how to knit and purl - nothing else. I don't know who taught her; I should ask her some time. And while I taught myself a lot from my well thumbed copy of Stitch 'n Bitch other tricks (plus some half successful attempts to finally learn Continental style) have been taught to me by my MIL. My MIL, an only Continental style of knitting sort of lady, is a fabulous knitter. I've seen lots of sweaters and shawls and table covers and so on that she knit years ago. When B was growing up my MIL knit for people. They'd bring her the yarn and say what they wanted and my MIL would knit it up for them. Baby stuff, sweaters, blankets, skirts, jackets, scarves, hats, mittens, name it, she knit it. She eventually used a knitting machine to get big stuff done faster. She knit so much that she won't do it any more and only picks up the needles when I need her to teach me something or when she has to fix an especially big screw up of mine.

I once asked my MIL who taught her to knit since I knew her own mother crocheted and didn't knit at all. She said she learned from her cousin, Gela. Gela learned from her mother, Tante Emmi. Tante Emmi (B's grandfather's sister) learned from her mother, Oma Charlotte.

I obviously never knew B's great-grandmother but some of what she knew has been passed on to me. Some day I may teach another one of the tricks (and Continental style once I finally get it down) that my MIL has taught to me and a little bit of Oma Charlotte and Tante Emmi and Cousin Gela and my MIL will be passed on. In a way it keeps their memory and who they were alive even if their names is eventually forgotten.

So if you know how to knit and you know someone who wants to learn, teach them. You'll be teaching them a craft they may love for a lifetime and a little bit of who you are will go forward.

Friday, July 22, 2005

1/3 Wavy

Here's my Wavy scarf about a third finished:

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I'm using 5mm needles instead of the 4.5mm the pattern calls for and on this project I seem to be knitting slightly loose so it's got a chunkier sort of feel to it. Good though because B's laid claim to it and he needs a good, chunky sort of scarf.

It really is an easy peasy project. Not quite mindless knitting but enjoyable.

Friday Shuffle - All Bruce Edition

In honor of the 30th anniversary of me seeing Springsteen in concert for the first time (I don't remember that it was this date but it was summer and it was 1975) I'm dipping into my Springsteen folder, shuffing, and dumping out these ten...

  1. Racing in the Street
  2. It's Hard to be a Saint in the City
  3. Out in the Street
  4. The Promised Land
  5. I Wanna Be with You
  6. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
  7. Atlantic City
  8. American Skin (41 Shots)
  9. The E Street Shuffle
  10. Born to Run

And that's why he's The Boss.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Who you gonna call?

My phone just rang.

I suffer from the same malady that plagues a lot of people - the malady of getting the shit scared out of you if the phone rings after 11pm. My mind immediately jumps to "Ohdearlord. Someone has died!".

It was Mollie. And she knows me well enough to know that she's probably scared the wee out of me because the first thing she said was "Am I calling too late?". No! Of course we're still awake but you know that a ringing phone at this hour is like an electric shock.

And naturally it's okay that she called. It's not a problem at all. She was angry and upset about something and had to get it out right away or burst and who do you call when such a thing happens? Your best buddy. Doesn't matter where your best buddy lives or how many hours time difference there is between you, when you're upset that's the voice you want to hear.

Story told, empathy given, frustrations vented for the moment. In short, a telephone success.

Makes me feel loved to know I was trusted to be the understanding voice on the other end that she wanted to hear.

Two weeks pass...

...and we have more bombs in London. Thankfully with less damage and victims but still frightning, especially to those who live there. I'm so sorry to any Londoner who has to endure this fright.

CNN International and my German 24 hour news outlets were covering the story all afternoon and well into the evening news time. Speculation as to what happened, what it means, who's responsible, comparisons to the events of two weeks ago - they had it covered from top to bottom.

Between these two bombings in London there have been suicide bombings in Iraq. In one the victims were mostly children trying to get candy from American soldiers. In another there were sixty fatalities when a bombing occured at a gasoline station. Were they covered by the news? Yes. For a couple of minutes and it was done with the sort of "...and there was another bombing in Iraq" attitude that sounded quite "same shit, different day".

Hours stretching into days of coverage has been devoted to the London bombings. Outrage expressed by world leaders, moments of silence held, websited started and dedicated to establishing the stance that we shall not be conquered by terrorists. Bombings in Baghdad are treated like a blip on the world consciousness radar.

Am I saying that we need to devote less time and concern and coverage to terror strikes when they happen in London or Madrid or New York or any other western society target? Treat them with less concern? Not letting our hearts be wrenched by the stories of the victims and not have sympathy for those trying to keep living under the cloud of fear? I'm absolutely not saying that. I don't think it is too much and maybe it's really not enough. I don't begrudge a minute of the coverage nor a single tear shed nor one line of sympathetic words. If anything I'm saying that we need to get as concerned and as outraged and as upset and as heartbroken over the Iraqis being terrorized on a daily basis as we are when those who live in Europe or the US are. Maybe we need to hold moments of silence for them every day that it happens and dedicate hours of new coverage to those people. If we do then maybe the rest of the world will be reminded to see the victims of terror in Iraq as more than just blank faces that flit onto our TV screen for a couple seconds and we'll remember that they're people with families and lives just like the people in London. Maybe then we'll get more dedicated about fighting it in both places.

The devil you know

It's crap weather here today so I indulged myself by sleeping in an extra hour. While sleeping I thought I heard kids hollering and playing but knew it couldn't be from outside because of it puking rain. I later chalked it up to perhaps dreaming it but later when my MIL came by she told us we're getting new neighbors in the empty apartment under us. A ha! That must be what I heard and they evidently have a passle of kids.

I was right. They do have a passle of kids. My new neighbors are my old neighbors - the same people who moved out a couple months ago. They'd moved to a house about 5 or so miles outside of the city and it was supposed to be the perfect arrangement for them - plenty of room for their zillion kids, a big yard, no traffic, etc. And I guess it was perfect except for the plague of field rats that have invaded the house and yard and the leaking roof. Their landlord was supposed to take care of this but has done nothing and they've had enough and are moving back here to their old apartment. Sounds bad but it sounds better to me than the Wobau possibly renting to loud university students.

They've got seven kids - five of them being toddler to grade school age - and those kids are a lively bunch. Lots of crying, lots of playing, lots of hollering just like kids do. And with all the noise they make they still don't bother me like the Loud family living above me. Come 8pm it's quiet down there and with the exception of a child waking up and crying once in a while during the night, I hear nary a peep from them. Even during the day when they get a little wild and I hear the strained voices of the parents hollering "Stop it!" it's not as bad as one time hearing Herr Loud taking a crap. Double that when the crap taking is occuring at 4:30am.

And speaking of crap taking (just call me Mrs. Smooth Segue), a lady who lives two down from our building ran into my MIL and said "You know last week I had to take my little dog out during the night. It was well after 4am and when I passed your building I heard the most horrible, frightning scream coming from the third floor. Every light was blazing in that apartment there and the screaming sounded like a wounded animal. It scared me to death. For a moment it reminded me of some sort of devil worship thing".

Try having a front row seat, sister.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I was once asked to give one word that would describe my childhood and I believe at the time I said something like "hectic" but thinking back on it I would say either "chaotic" or simply "loud".
Last November when I last visited my sister I asked her the same question and she also said "chaos". It made me feel better that she had the same sort of memory.

I don't want to imply that my childhood was bad. Compared to the shit vats some of my acquaintences and friends endured during their childhoods I would say that I got off fairly well. And when I really think back on my childhood there seems to be a lot of things that I've forgotten or don't have clear memories of. I think that's supposed to be a bad sign when you forget chunks of your past but I'm not exactly sure if it's outright forgetting or if it's just that the chaos and the constant noise ended up masking a lot. What memories I do have of my family life revolves around some antic of one of my brothers, squabbling to the point of outright screamfests between us, uproar, tense moods, raised voices and if it ever did get quiet we were usually waiting for the chaos to begin again. Even holiday meals were an exercise in wondering how fast my oldest brother would piss off my father and they'd be at it. Screaming and name calling. So tasty with the cranberry relish.

One thing I thank my parents for is allowing me to have my own bedroom. Up until the age of six I shared a room with my older sister and this was not a good match. She's seven years older than me and a neatnick. There are few four year old neatnicks in the world and I wasn't one of them. Not having my sister scream at me for meddling in her belongings or for leaving my toys all over did add a bit of harmony in my life.

Having my own room allowed me to get away from the chaos going on in the rest of the house. And when I got away, I really got away. Not only would I hole up in my room but I'd hole up within my hole. I had arranged the furniture so that my dresser stood away from a corner of the room wide enough for me to fit in a straight back chair in the nook it created. It's there that I would sit, hidden by the tall dresser, and I'd read. My books were stacked beside me and I'd whip through them like a fat man goes through a bag of Lays. I'd even taped a piece of notebook paper to the side of the dresser so I could make a list of the books I was currently reading and make a check when the book was finished.

It was in my corner where I traveled with Stuart Little in his tiny convertable that could become invisible. It was there that tagged along with Nancy Drew as she solved mystery after mystery. In my corner is where I reveled in the quiet of the Zuckerman's farm and watched Charlotte spin her web. My hidden spot is where I became a pioneer girl and traveled from Wisconsin to Minnesota to the Dakotas with the Ingalls family and wished I could live with them because they were quiet.

Had Harry Potter been written when I was a kid I may have never come out from behind the dresser.

I've never outgrown my craving to hole up and be left in peace. It's easier now because I have married the world's most quiet man. I no longer wedge myself between a wall and a dresser but I still seek out the quiet places in my mind.

And truth be told, there are times when I miss the chaos my family has to offer. It can still be a loud, hectic experience to be with them but it doesn't seem so threatening now.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I am guessing that if I were thirty years younger...

...Harry Potter would obsess my life more than he does now. And topping my current obsession is really saying something.

Knitting has stopped. Kitchen - the room that I formerly petted - has slightly scroogy floors. No coffee in the house - not that I personally drink it. Tea is in the house - I haven't completely lost my mind. Can't think of what to cook for supper the rest of the week.

Oh wait. That last one is completely normal for me regarless of my current obsession.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Little obsessions

For a few days summer weather will be on hold here. Wet, chilly weather will be with us and that's probably going to be a blessing for me because bad weather gets me in the mood to be all housewifey. I'm in dire need of catching up on some neglected housekeeping but I've been pretty glued to reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I read and read whenver I get the chance then in the late evening I get online and play Sacred for a couple hours. Both my forest elf and my seraphim are starting to kick ass.

So let's sum this up. I am having to force myself to get the housework done because the new Harry Potter book and a fantasy role-playing adventure computer game are taking up too much of my time and if I don't get my housework done I will be in peril of running out of clean clothes and the dog hair will up and carry us away.

Yep. It's official. I am a certified nerd!

Pass those Doritos, will ya?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Shut your eyes until it's over

You know that anxious, tense feeling you get when you're in a situation that makes you extremely, extremely uncomfortable? It's exactly how I feel whenever I have to drive my MIL somewhere.

I like to drive. And while she can be somewhat of a backseat driver I like driving my MIL places when she needs it. To a point.

When we're in the city, I'm completely relaxed. We seldom go more than five miles in any one direction are aren't going more than about 50kph (about 30mph). It's when we have to get out on the Autobahn that I get antsy.

I'm not afraid of driving on the Autobahn. I have complete confidence in myself as a driver and in the nearly 30 years that I've been driving I have yet to be in an auto accident as a driver (knock wood). What creeps me out is the idea that someone else could cause an accident and then we'd be in a world of shit. All it takes is a Mercedes going 200kph (about 120mph) getting tangled up with some other dork shuffling along in the left lane and one of them comes careening over to me for us to have one hell of an accident.

I don't have this fear when I drive alone - it's only when my MIL is with me that I have this sort of anxiety. I can't wait for us to get to where we're going so I can dump her out and I can relax because it's only when she's not in the car with me that I can stop the worry. My fear stems from the idea that if we're together and there's an accident, not only can we be in a world of shit, the world of shit will extend over to B. If my MIL were hurt, I can take care of B. If I were hurt, my MIL could take care of B. If we're both hurt at the same time, there's no one to take care of B. No one.

My greatest worry isn't over me. It's about my husband and any remote idea that I won't be able to care for him. No one wants to take on a quadriplegic and if I can't care for him and my MIL...can't care for him then he'd be put into a nursing home. And frankly you may as well count on him not lasting long there. My husband having no one to care for him is my greatest fear in life. I wish I could make a bargan with God that B would have to die before me.

I suppose there's logic in the idea that I shouldn't worry about something I can't control and I take longer drives with my MIL maybe three or four times a year but I can't shake the anxiety it gives me until we're separated. I'm starting to think that maybe we should be like the president and vice-president and never travel in the same vehicle.

Selling the car is looking like a better idea to me now.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I do appreciate the point... know the point of Dove using regular women in their advertisting. I can appreciate their making all women feel as though they too can look good and be considered beautiful.

However, if I could be so bold as to give them a suggetion, I think it would serve their customers a bit better and put their product in a better light if in their commercials for Dove hair care products they didn't have women in the ads with hair that looks as if rats had been sucking on it. Some of that shit those women have sprouting out of their scalps looks uglier than homemade sin.

Friday Shuffle - Super Shuffly Edition

Turn on that music maker, set to shuffle, tell the first ten it spits out...
  1. Dimming of the Day - Bonnie Raitt
  2. Orange Crush - REM
  3. Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile) - Van Morrison
  4. Spanish Harlem - Aretha Franklin
  5. One Way or Another - Blondie
  6. Turn Up the Sun - Oasis
  7. Whatever Gets You Through the Night - John Lennon
  8. Sing - Travis
  9. Rebel, Rebel - David Bowie
  10. Brimful of Asha - Cornershop

Very shaken, not stirred.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Just a damn good day

Best day I've had in a while actually.

Everything fell into its proper place for getting B outside today. The weather was warm - hot really - no rain predicted, no one coming to visit and I had someone to help me get into his wheelchair. Plus he just felt really good.

He's been needing a new pair of glasses for ages. His prescription has only slightly changed but the glasses he has are terribly uncomfortable for him - they pinch his head and nose - and he simply needs something good to wear. I also need a new pair of glasses and so we were off to the optician.

B got a nice pair of blue steel titanium frames - very thin, groovy looking frames. And it's not the frames that are expensive, it's the lenses. 350€ later and he's all set. And I felt lucky that I found frames that I like (it makes me crazy if my glasses touch my cheek even if only slightly) rather quickly. Mine are titanium as well, very light and I got murdered on the cost of the lenses. Age has caught up with me at last and at the age of 43 I am now getting my first pair of bifocals. I am simply getting sick of having to take off my glasses to read or to knit or do any close handwork. So 700€ later finds me all set for lenses myself. And they threw in free prescription sunglasses (not bifocal ones though) for B and myself.

Honestly, after giving them over 1000€ I'm thinking dinner and an orgasm should have come along with the deal.

I'm not really complaining about the cost. I wear my glasses most of the time now. There was a time when I wore contact lenses nearly exclusively but when I stopped working and began being more of a homebody I cut down my contact lens wearing to the point where I just wear one-use lenses...cheaper that way. I'll pinch pennies on a lot of things but I don't like to go cheap on glasses.

But the shopping wasn't yet over. I've been wishing for a new digital camera for a few months now. The slowness of my three-plus-year-old Olympus combined with its bulkiness has made me wish for a small, fast, metal case digicam. I don't need a huge amount of pixels since my photography consists mostly of standard snapshots but I do want speedy. Waiting nearly ten seconds between pictures was unacceptable.

And while I don't buy cheap eyeglasses, I didn't want to spend more than a few hundred on a camera.

So we bought today a Canon Ixus 30 because it has the right combination of speed, metal case, small form and 3.2 megapixels - plenty for me - and if fit our budget. We thought about the Ixus 40 but with the 100€ I saved by giving up 1 megapixels I could buy a bigger memory card and an extra battery. We're happy with it and it's making a wonderful wedding anniversary gift for us.

Goodie buying aside, it was just a great day. Being out with B made it so much more fun and I'm so excited about him finally getting comfortable glasses. I couldn't be happier with how our day turned out.

More interview questions

Questions for Miz:

1. Did you ever during your childhood treat a peer badly and wish you could apologize to them now? Were you ever mistreated by a peer during your childhood and wish you had an apology from them?
2. What's the most unusual mode of transportation you've ever used?
3. How much did you earn per hour or earn for a salary at the first job you ever had?
4. Which day do you remember most vividly: your first day of school, your high school graduation, your first date, your 21st birthday.
5. What's your favorite way of spoiling yourself?

Questions for beege:

1. How do you feel when people say that organized religion is bad and people don't really need it?
2. How did you decide upon your daughter's name? (I think it's gorgeous!)
3. Do you miss the person you were ten years ago?
4. Pick the thing about which you are the most extravagant: jewelry, clothes, food, wine, electronics.
5. How many people in the world would you literally trust with your life?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Questions - check here if you're wanting an interview!

Questions for Kara:

1. You are required to serve jury duty. What sort of criminal case would you pick?

2. If you needed to cut out one indulgence to save money, which would go?

3. Did you ever accidentally call a teacher "Mom"?

4. What's the most outlandish thing you've ever done or said in order to get out of trouble?

5. Pick a year of your life that you'd like to relive and tell me why.

Questions for the Barefooted One:
1. We know your dislike for footware. What place would you never consider even for a moment to go barefoot?
2. Did you ever have the standard Catholic girl fantasy of becoming a nun?
3. Corky's or The Rendezvous?
4. Would you rather do forever all your shopping online only but always find exactly what you want or would you rather do all your shopping in regular stores only forever but only find what you want 50% of the time?
5. Have you ever called your huband by another man's name? By accident, of course...

Questions for Katya:
1. What childrens book could you read and enjoy today?
2. You're going to be in an isolation chamber for one year. You can have either an endless supply of CDs or an endless supply of books. Which do you take?
3. What do you believe is the most important mechanical invention in the last 1000 years?
4. You have to make a road trip from Mobile to Dallas in August - pick your travelmate: A hairy man with BO, a colicky baby, an old woman who must stop to pee every 25 minutes.
5. Which movie have you seen more than all others?

Questions for Zoe:

1. You are going to live in a foreign country for two years. Which country will you pick and why?
2. Jose Mourinho has asked you to dinner - strictly platonic of course. What will you wear and what sort of restaurant will you choose for dinner?
3. If you were forced to pick a career for your son, which would you pick for him?
4. You get to follow a band around for the duration of their European tour dates. Which band are you following and will you make an attempt to actually meet up with the band?
5. You are given the opportunity to do one of the following - which do you pick? A Saturday morning lie-in, lunch with one girlfriend, a night out with your best friends, or a facial and a manicure.


Here's how it works:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions -- each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Here are the questions I got from shaymo and my answers:

1. what (besides mayonnaise) do you miss the most about the u.s?
My family and friends. I never thought I could live thousands of miles from them but I've learned to adjust. And I miss Mississippi - the whole of the South, really. Miss how I share a heritage with them, miss the landscape, the culture, the food. I miss how people speak with a familiar accent and perspective.

2. what's your favorite animal?
The koala. They're my kind of animal. They hang around in trees, nap, eat and make little koalas - I can't beat that for a lifestyle. And they smell like big cough drops.

3. what's the most exciting thing you've ever done/seen?
There are a few things I could pick but one that jumps to mind is the first inaguration of Bill Clinton. I was down in the crowd and I remember there being such an electric feeling of hope and optimism.

4. what's the most outrageous thing you've ever done for love?
Quit my good, steady job, packed as many clothes and non-fragile belongings as I could get in five suitcases, left the rest of my things - computer, CDs, furniture, other clothes, home accessories, etc. - with my sister and I moved to Germany. I didn't speak more than a few words in German and I'd only spent a total of twelve days with my then boyfriend that I'd met online but I made the move anyway. And in two weeks we'll be celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary.

5. when you shower, do you sing?
Oh sure. Mostly showtunes and old standards. Today I was singing How About You?.

I like New York in June
How about you?
I like a Gershwin tune
How about you?...

Monday, July 11, 2005

Sweetheart, I love you...

...but could you please stop yapping while I'm knitting? It's not like I haven't talked to you before about this. I've asked more than once that you not talk to me when I'm knitting and to please at least wait until I'm at the end of a row. I've made it simple for you. I've told you what to look for. When you see the needles waving and hear them clicking and see yarn flowing through my fingers, don't talk to me. When you see the movement stop, then you can talk. Talking while I'm knitting is allowed when you're sick or bleeding. And it had better be a lot of blood.

I had time this afternoon to really get going on my Wavy scarf. It's not complicated but you have to pay attention to the pattern. This scarf is all about the pattern so if you mess it up, forget it.

And so of course this is the time that B thinks we should chat about trivial things. I'm trying to see if I should be knitting or purling the next stitch and he's rattling on about whether our characters in Sacred should try to take on the big dragon in the desert and that he's found this sword and that piece of armor and we need to tranfer the weapons our characters have found and blah, blah, blah. I'm trying to be attentive and listen to him. I'm trying to follow a knitting pattern.

I am not gifted enough to do both.

More rambling from him, more "uh huh, uh huh"-ing from me and I realize that I've gotten off pattern. Now I have to listen and pay half attention to this fairly unimportant conversation while I'm trying to unknit a couple rows and that's when it all goes to shit. I drop stitches, I twist stitches - the whole scarf turns into an unholy mess. Makes my Zeeby's bag look like textbook knitting.

I hate to fuss at B. He's a good man and a sweet person and to holler at him or even get a little angry with him is hard. Jumping in his shit about something is akin to kicking a puppy, however, at that point I wanted to do painful things to him with those 5mm knitting needles.

Instead I glared at him, pulled the needles out of the work, frogged the scarf, wound up the yarn, put the point protector and row counter back in the pouch where I store them, folded up the pattern, shoved the needles into the skein of yarn and left the room, all without saying a word.

He definitely got the hint.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Maybe it can be a giant dusting mitt

After weeks of work (read: days of work that I spread over weeks) I finished the Zeeby's bag. It's pathetic! Really, for the most part it's not that bad but there are some pretty big flaws in the construction.

  1. I measured carefully - at least I thought it was carefully - and determined that I'd knit the sides slightly larger than the pattern called for. I also determined that both sides were, as best I could tell from measuring them both, identical in size. This meant that I had to knit the gusset's length to fit the length and width of both sides.
  2. I knit the gusset a good two inches too long. I'd figured that much out when I'd completed sewing on one side of the bag and had a flapping tab of gusset left over. However I was considering unbinding it and unraveling it down to the proper length and rebinding it off. This didn't happen because
  3. After sewing on the other side, I found out that one side was higher than the other. A good inch higher.

In short, this bag is ridiculous looking. I should probably take a picture but don't wish to create undue hysterical laughing at what I've created and I also don't want to embarrass the shit out of myself.

All I can figure that that I should in the future:

  1. Measure even more carefully than I am currently doing.
  2. Knit both sides before knitting the gusset. Skipping around simply isn't cutting it.
  3. Get lots and lots and lots of safety pins and pin together the entire bag before sewing instead of just pinning and sewing one side at a time.
  4. Be sure I'm not stretching the sides as I pin/sew them together. I think I stretched one side at least some.

Will I frog it? Probably not. It wasn't super great yarn and it was dirt cheap. Will I attempt the bag again? Sure. I'm not going to have taken all this effort and let it go to waste. It's an ugly ass attempt at a bag but it's also a learning experience.

In the meantime I've started knitting the Wavy scarf. Maybe I should try the bag again but I hate to plunge into knitting the same thing again right after completing a project plus the scarf has the added advantage of having me get used to a wavy/swirling rib before I launch into knitting Aibhlinn. I am not going to screw that up again after doing the bobbles for a third time.

I should really take a picture of this wad of yarn that I laughingly refer to as a bag, shouldn't I? At least I didn't bother to sew on the straps. I can keep the straps for the time I knit the bag again because I have more of the same yarn. Luckily, lots more.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Friday Shuffle - Rolling Edition

I don't love them as much as I love The Beatles, but I love me some Rolling Stones. I have a memory of being seven years old and hearing that Brian Jones had died and being sad about it.

You gotta admire grown men who've done the same thing for forty years and never seem to get tired of it.

  1. Paint it Black
  2. Mother's Little Helper
  3. Miss Amanda Jones
  4. Street Fighting Man
  5. Waiting on a Friend
  6. Emotional Rescue
  7. Love is Strong
  8. Beast of Burden
  9. Get Off My Cloud
  10. As Tears Go By

I'll dedicate this shuffle by these Londoners to the people of London as they heal.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

God bless us, everyone

The fear that clenches your heart when you hear of yet another terror attack never lessens. It's still as powerful and aching as it was on 9/11 or when you heard of the attacks in Bali or Tunesia or Madrid. And today with the bombings in London the fear that gives way to anger is as fresh as ever.

I am so grateful that those I know who live and work in London are safe and whole and their families are as well. Once again I am blessed to have those I care about spared.

May our fear and anger change to resolve and strength. Resolve to fight these murderers in a truly effective manner and the strength to do what is right and necessary even if it's difficult.

Blessings and peace to those in London and in the whole of the UK who are grieving. May blessings and peace be given to us all.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

We're back in the Land of Dull

Just a cloudy Wednesday here. My day consisted of:

1. Watching Le Tour de France. I watch this every year. The whole race, every stage, every day. I watch a lot of cycling throughout the season actually. I have learned more about French geography and goofy Le Tour trivia by doing this.

2. Knitting. I'm finished with both sides of the Zeeby's bag, plus the gusset and the inside pocket. I've also finished sewing in the pocket and I did the constrast stitching on the other side and all that's left is to knit the straps and sew the whole thing together.

It's not bad but honestly it's hard to tell how the whole thing is going to be until I get it sewn together. I'm really looking forward to getting it finished so I can start again knitting my Aibhlinn cowl.

3. Walking the dog. A lot. I don't know what was up her wazoo today but she wanted to go outside every couple of hours and she was sniffing the sidewalks like she was looking for the Lindbergh baby.

4. Scrubbing the soap scum out of my shower. If I'm going to have painters in my bathroom right over my shower I don't want them seeing soap scum.

Wooohooo! I'm so overcome with the non-stop thrills around here. Time to celebrate with an ice cream sandwich.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

It never ends

As I was fixing to go grocery shopping I heard a gawdawful banging from the apartment above me. I can understand that everyone needs to do maintenence work in their apartments so I wasn't angry at the Louds for that particular noise. This is nothing but normal apartment life.

My irritation began when I looked up towards the ceiling and noticed a huge water stain on the ceiling above my shower. It's about two feet long and maybe ten or twelve inches wide at the widest point.

Oh fuck me! I can't believe I have to deal with them about something else!

Switch to me all flustered, jibbering at B to call his mother and have her go over to the Louds' to tell them that their leaky plumbing has damaged our ceiling. I'd have gone myself but unfortunately I don't have much knowledge of plumbing vocabulary in German.

My MIL came in a few minutes later to say that due to some shoddy plumbing work done by the previous tenant (the one I hold fully responsible for getting the Louds in that apartment in the first place because they took his lease) they had water leaking into their hallway and the plumber was there and blah, blah, blah. Okay. Just as long as they know that they're going to pay for my ceiling repair.

I was getting my grocery sacks together so I could leave when Frau Loud herself showed up at my door. This is an event because she normally makes one of her daughters do her dirty work - much like I make my MIL do mine.

She had a scared shitless look on her face and began blathering about how she was sorry about the water leak and the plumber was there and that's when I stopped her and invited her to come in and speak with B about this. And may I say that I was very friendly to her.

Frau Loud came in and told B pretty much the same thing that she'd told my MIL but said that she'd also called the building superintendent to come look at this and she'd send him to look at our apartment too. She thought that maybe the Wobau would pay for this but if they didn't she had renter's insurance that would and B said "Okay. Just send the building super down to see us."

Let me stop at this point to bring up a few things.

1. She was barefoot. That sort of weirded me out. I'm not that fond of the idea of a stranger being in my house barefoot. Hope she walked out with the soles of her feet covered in dog hair.

2. She's got some serious BO. Body odor yargs me out so much I can barely discuss it.

3. She started crying for pity's sake!!

Frau Loud is famous for turning on the tears whenever she's confronted about anything. Every time my MIL has seen her and mentioned the noise problem, she's started to cry. The tenants in her previous apartment building have said she'd cry if they talked to her about the noise problem there. The woman at the Wobau (the proper one, not the fuckwit my MIL last spoke with) said she tuned up there as well when she was called in.

I was very polite and friendly. B wasn't friendly but was more civil and polite. Sort of neutral, just-the-facts-ma'am. Neither of us showed any irritation towards her, told her she was at fault or tried to intimidate her in any manner. All we wanted was to let her know that we had water damage from her so she could get things straight with the Wobau and her insurance.

We got entertained with welling eyes, a trembling voice and pleadings over and over for us not to blame her.

Alright already. Enough with the crying. We don't blame you. No pins will be put in the Loud Family voodoo dolls over this. Just send over the building super.

And uh...wash your pits, okay?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Any other answer would have been unthinkable!

Swiped from Marybeth - über Southern Goddess.

find your inner PIE @

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Packing a secret

While eating supper, B and I watched Madonna on the London stage of today's Live8 concerts. I turned to him and said, "You know there's something about these baggy white trousers of Madonna's. I don't know exactly what's going on with them but sometimes it rather looks like Madonna has a penis.".


"And now that I've noticed that I have to say that were I to pick up a newspaper tomorrow and read that Madonna has a penis, I wouldn't be surprised. I don't mean reading it on the front of a copy of the Sun or the National Enquirer. I mean reading it on the front of a reputable newspaper. With a photo. A pantsless Madonna sporting a johnson. Wouldn't shock me in the least.".

"I can see that."

"I'm not saying that I secretly believe that Madonna actually has a wiener. I'm not even saying she's masculine. I think it's just that there's nothing about Madonna that may be revealed that could be shocking. I'm not even sure there's anything left to reveal about her that could even be thought of as interesting.".

"Oh yeah there is. Just one thing."

"What's that?"

"If she had a schlong and she were uncircumcised."

Good point.

And speaking of the Live8 concerts, get involved, okay? People around the world are counting on you.

A tip for the uninitiated

Too much nobbly and oaty makes one crampy and bloaty.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Rule Britannia!

I slept in late this morning and didn't get started making breakfast until after 11am. I'd just put the kettle on to boil when a package was delivered. And by God I was excited because it was from Sally.

A couple weeks ago Sally had asked me to pay for an item bought in Germany and send it to her and to cover it we worked out a trade - I get her the package and she sends me goodies from England.

Sal really outdid herself. First of all she saved my mayonnaise loving butt by sending me two squeeze bottles of Hellmann's! Cue up the BLTs this weekend! And I'm so pleased to know that Queen Elizabeth buys Hellmann's too. Says so right on the bottle. My Hellmann's would not lie.

I'd asked that Sally send me some PG Tips. I just love PG Tips. I like the tea I can get here - Messmer is good tea - but I just like PG Tips the best. I can get it here but to do it I have to go downtown to the British shop and that's just not always possible for me. Now I have plenty to carry me over until my next venture to the British shop because Sal sent me two huge boxes, one being the limited edition special blend. I actually let out a squeal when I saw that! And I'm especially blessed that it arrived just in time for me to brew a pot for breakfast.

And if that wasn't enough, there were the packages of milk chocolate HobNobs that I'd also asked for. Much more than I deserved! Now tell me, what's better than a cup of tea and a few chocolate HobNobs? Nothing, that's what! I'm so in love with these biscuits. And don't call them cookies because they're so British they practically have three lions on them. They're nobbly and oaty! Nobbly and oaty! Only something from England can get away with being described as nobbly and oaty! By God, if I were pregnant and delivering twins I'd name them Nobbly and Oaty in honor of fabulous HobNobs! Why aren't you British people out right now stuffing your faces with chocolate HobNobs and washing it down with PG Tips until you positively burst? I would! I'd figure out a way to subsist on tea and HobNobs were it possible. Screw your fascination with Krispy Kreme - by God you people have tea and delicious nobbly, oaty HobNobs to live on!! You need nothing else!

So thank you, Sally. Thank you for making this little peach so very, very happy. You're just fabulous and I adore you. I adore England. I am shunning my Welsh and Scottish genes for a moment and for today I am only acknowledging my English genes!

I'd better stop before I start professing undying devotion to David Beckham and my tongue snaps off its roller. And I get deported.

Friday Shuffle - British Invasion Version

In honor of my "I love England!" day, today's shuffle is pulled from my British Pop folder.

  1. Tumbling Dice - Rolling Stones
  2. Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying - Gerry and the Pacemakers
  3. Glad All Over - Dave Clark Five
  4. To Sir With Love - Lulu
  5. New York Mining Disaster 1941 - BeeGees
  6. I'll Be Back - The Beatles
  7. She's a Rainbow - Rolling Stones
  8. Magic Woman Touch - The Hollies
  9. I Don't Want to See You Again - Peter and Gordon
  10. Itchycoo Park - The Small Faces

It's almost like watching Top of the Pops.