What in the world was I thinking??

So last night I was crocheting along with high ambitions for a shrug for my daughter. I was really enjoying the artsiness of this novelty yarn:

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And then about half way through the skein, it all suddenly turned into this:

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What? What? It turned from a nice ball of novelty yarn into a matted, knotted, maddening clump of string and lint. Maybe I should have pulled the yarn from the center instead of unrolling it from the outside of the ball. It quickly disintegrated into 15 minutes of untangling, 1 minute of crocheting, then more untangling. Yikes!

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So…now I have finished my scarf!  And I have a clump of string and lint available for anyone that wants it…

What to do with this weird yarn…

I picked up a couple of skeins of mystery yarn at Big Lots a couple of years ago. It’s Gala yarn, which seems to be a hodgepodge of (maybe) big name brand yarn that is slightly irregular, or discontinued..or something like that. Sometimes Gala yarn is weird and sometimes it is gross and sometimes it is nice. I’ll classify this as weird.  🙂

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It’s a light yellowish color (or maybe a very pale lime green) and it looks like cotton crochet thread with caterpillar-like clumps of sparkly fluff. Does that sound weird? It might be a little weird. The thready part does not feel like cotton. It feels like acrylic to me. The fluffy parts feel like polyester, and I suppose the sparkly bits are nylon.

I’ve played with it a bit and decided to crochet a big double crochet rectangle.  Very complex, I know! And then I’ll turn the rectangle into a shrug or something. My daughter is into shrugs right now because her school does not allow tank tops. With a shrug, she can wear her tank top but have herself technically covered. It’s a bit of a dance because we live in North Carolina and it gets hot long before the schools are allowed to turn on the air conditioning. So she needs to stay cool, but covered.

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I’ll keep working on this as a just-before-bed project. So far, I’m having trouble deciding if this is fun and artsy, or if it looks like a cat mauled it and then rolled it in lint. Maybe a little of both.

DIY to encourage good manners. Well, improved manners anyway.

Why yes, as a matter of fact, I do get tired of talking about going to the bathroom all the time. But I have children. One of my children in particular has issues. Issues with anxiety, issues with language and communication, issues with knowing when it is not appropriate to talk about one’s issues with anxiety regarding digestion…

So I thought I was clever when I introduced the idea of referring to poops as victories, because that just sounds better. I now understand that we will probably never get through a day without talking about pooping. A more achievable (but probably still unlikely) goal would be to talk about pooping in less graphic detail. Or at least to reduce (but not eliminate, sorry for the pun) our frank and graphic discussions of pooping while some people are trying to choke down their dinner without gagging.

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I printed up this nice little encouragement and sealed it with clear Contact paper. I could have used the glass that came with the frame instead, but glass in picture frames is a no-no at our house.

Since I’m an optimist, I used a dry erase marker to fill in the zeroes. A realist would probably have used a Sharpie, but I try to keep it positive around here.

The cardboard at the back of the frame was mangled, so I fixed it with cardboard, a soda can tab, and a blob of hot glue.

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I am expecting wonderful things!

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At our house, “victory” is the code word for “poop.”

 

I don’t know why, but I crocheted a little hat for my bird.

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I had about half a skein of pink variegated embroidery floss left, and I figured if I used it all up, I wouldn’t have to bother putting it away where it belonged.  Plus, Porky needed a hat.  Sorry about the flash.

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Just a list… Music Which Requires the Use of Elbows

Whenever we go on a family outing, there are a few things we need to do that are a little bit other-than-normal.  One of our favorite items is listening for background music.  Whenever one of these songs comes on, we run over to our eldest and remind him, “Watch the elbows!”  It happens more often than you might think, and it’s always good for a laugh.

Stereo Hearts

Cotton Eye Joe

How Bad Can I Be?

The Voo Voo Vah Song

The Oooh, and I Play with the Plunger Song

Who Let the Dogs Out

The Sign

And one more that’s never on the radio, but sometimes it’s coming out of my youngest’s mouth.

There are many more songs on this list.  I just can’t think of them right this minute.

How about you?  Any songs which require the use of the elbows?

More freestyle amigurumi – Lucky, our pet muscovy duck

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Shhh!  Christmas present for my hubby!  He says he doesn’t want anything for Christmas.  I’ll bet he changes his mind when he sees this.  His office is very professional and professor-y, which is nice I suppose.  But maybe just a little bit, he needs to lighten up and make it cozy!

I used a bulky black scrap to make the body, then switched to a scrap of some kind of zigzaggy lightweight yarn for the neck and head.  Then another scrap of red for the caruncles around his eyes, and a little bit of gold for his feet and bill.  I used the same black and white for the wings and sewed it all together.  I didn’t use a pattern.  I just winged it.  Get it, get it??   Her-her-her.

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Freestyle crochet amigurumi owl – “interesting” update below

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No pattern this time.  Just using up some extra yarn!

My youngest came home from school feeling miserable.  I’m afraid he’s sick.  No more blogging just now – my mothering skills are needed!

 

UPDATE all is well.  Sort of well.  My son is fine.  OK here’s the weird part.  He was feeling terrible, terrible, terrible, so we drove him over to the urgent care clinic.  There was about a 1-1/2 hour wait, which was not so bad, so we checked him in and then went to wait in the van.  After about an hour, he needed to use the bathroom, so we started walking towards the clinic.  All of a sudden, he collapsed in the parking lot, but don’t worry.  He crouched to the ground and I was afraid he might pass out.  But he thrashed around for a minute or so and then got sick to his stomach, and then he felt a lot better.  Sorry, I know this is kind of gross, but there was cheese and maybe some chicken and corn or something.  Weird part’s still coming.

Next it was his turn and the doctor checked him out and gave him an antibiotic for a sinus infection.  No flu!  Just a sinus infection and then the nausea from the accumulation…never mind.  I don’t want to be gross here.  The weird part is next.

I fessed up to his horking in the parking lot because I thought they might have some sort of procedure involving a bucket, some disinfectant, maybe some of those little rubber gloves they wear, something.  But the doc said not to worry about it because they have a lot of raccoons at night.  “They’ll clean that right up.”

Remember, there is no food so bad that a raccoon won’t eat it!

Ridiculous Cabbage Patch Kids Snow Globes

I stopped by a rummage sale the other day and picked up the most awful pair of earrings I have ever seen.  Here they are: CPK earrings!

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They were completely dirty, maybe a little bit chewed-on, and one of them was broken.  But they only cost me a quarter.  I bought them just for the experience of it!

My daughter and I decided some crafts were in order.

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I cut the top off the earring that wasn’t already broken, and that left a little white spot on top of her head.

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A little red nail polish took care of that.

You’ll have to (please) excuse our blurry photos.  Were were laughing so hard, we couldn’t hold the camera steady.

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All better!  Well, not exactly all better, more like a little better.  After the polish dried, we scrubbed the dirt off.

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We had some cheap little containers we bought at the dollar store.

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We put some contact cement on the lids and on the feet of the dolls.  Then we waited a few minutes so they would get tacky.  Tacky like sticky, I mean.  The CPKs were already tacky like cheesy!

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Then we stuck the dolls onto the lids and let them dry for a few hours.

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We put some nail polish tiny glitter into the cups.  It didn’t look tacky enough, so we also dumped in some regular big glitter.

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Then we filled the cups with water.

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We put contact cement around the edge of the cups…

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…and around the lids too.  We waited a few minutes until they got tacky.  Same joke, but I’m too lazy to type it again.

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Then we stuck the lids on and waited for the glue to dry.

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Wow!  How glamorous!  How exciting!  How…interesting.

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But look what happened a couple of days later.  Looks like the glue holding the dolls to the lids dissolved in the water.  Now we have Cabbage Patch Glitter Snow Globes with Unconscious Girls, how excellent!

My daughter’s girl scout service unit is decorating a tree at the mall tomorrow, and she is supposed to bring a couple of homemade ornaments.  Do you think these look homemade enough??

Porky’s “Bite me!” Birthday Cake

We have a couple of pets at our house.  You can see Lucky the duck all over the place around here.  But today we are celebrating our other little bird’s birthday.

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Porky came to live with us thirteen years ago today.  It played out like this:  Some kind people called our local SPCA to tell them there was a bird on her neighbor’s garage roof that had been hanging out up there screaming for at least three days.  She was worried about him.  They went to check out the situation and saw that he was a conure.  Conures are pretty tough little birds, but they definitely should not be living outdoors around here in the fall and winter.  There are no wild conures around here, so this little green sweetie must have gotten loose and lost or something like that.

They took him back to the SPCA and cared for him there while they tried to find his family.  They normally care for only dogs and cats at this SPCA and they weren’t sure exactly what a bird needed.  One of the workers there happened to be a student of my husband’s, and so she asked him about it.  One thing led to another, and now Porky lives with us!  We love him like crazy, and we are very glad to have him as part of our family.

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That being said, Porky is a bit of a problem child.  🙂  When he first came to live with us, he liked everybody and so we let him fly around the house all he wanted.  He was friendly.  But then over time, he came to prefer my husband.  Then one day, I made the foolish mistake of kissing my husband in front of the bird.  Uh-oh!  He decided to defend his relationship with my husband by fighting off the intruder.  But hey!  I live here!

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Ideally, I would have increased my time with Porky to make sure that he bonded with both of us.  But his behavior got worse and most of the time I was hanging around the house, I was also caring for one or more babies, so it seemed safest to let my husband handle the social concerns of Porky.  And over the years, our children have grown up with Porky and loved him like nobody else.  I love him too.  But…Porky hates me.  Every chance he gets, it’s bite, bite, bite.  He gets hold of my neck and goes for the blood.  It’s quite shocking, really.  Around me, he’s four ounces of perky green fury.  It’s become one of our family jokes.

Porky does most of his living now in my daughter’s bedroom.  He gets to fly around and socialize with anyone who dares to enter.  He sleeps in his cage at night.  And when he needs to come downstairs and be with others (like me), he has a travel kennel.  That’s his little Hannibal Lecter setup, just like in the movies.

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A couple of years ago, I couldn’t decide how to decorate Porky’s birthday cake, so I just wrote “Bite me!” on it and threw a bunch of sprinkles all around.  The cake was a huge hit, so we have continued the tradition.  This year, my daughter did the honors.  I baked the cake, then gave her full access to the cake-decorating area.  She went to town, as you can see.

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Porky’s beak is normally a pinkish-tan color.  She made it red from the “blood.”  I like how she made Porky say “Bite me!” as he contemplates the blood – my blood – dripping down his chin.  Aww, how sweet.

Porky came downstairs for the party and we all had a blast.  Happy birthday, Porky!