Worth fighting over

Claire and Anna were arguing Tuesday night.  I could hear Claire upstairs, sick yelling, arthritis “Anna!  Stop SAYING that!”  She came stomping downstairs, in high dudgeon (for a three year old).  I asked what she was so upset about.

“Anna saying what cows are made of!” 

“You are arguing over what cows are made out of?”


“Well, what do you say cows are made of?”

“I DON’T KNOW!”  Claire stormed back upstairs while I laughed until I turned purple.

The next morning I asked Anna about the debate.  It turns out they weren’t arguing about what cows are made of – that would be silly.  They were arguing about what carrots are made of.  Anna claimed they are made of vitamins, and Claire disagreed.  That makes much more sense. 

In related news, we had cauliflower with dinner again last night.  Anna asked me why it doesn’t glow like the moon does.  Naturally, I told her, it can’t glow when it’s brought down to earth because the sun is no longer bouncing off of it.  Then she said, “So.  This is what astronauts walk on.”  I agreed.  I’m going to have some explaining to do someday.

Marvelous hooters

No luck yet on the fix-the-munged-up-yarn experiment.  It’s sitting in a heap in the kitchen, click mocking me with its garish yellow pools.  It makes me want to just chuck it and start fresh.  In fact I was going to use some of my precious Sunday afternoon free time (between church, cost lunch, cleaning, and a birthday party) yesterday to spin, but instead had to venture forth to procure foodstuffs.  Mr. Unreserved wrenched a muscle holding a door for someone and was rendered gimpy.  The continued decline in the quality of the offerings of the cafeteria at work serves as impetus for me to keep bag lunch supplies in stock.  And the girlies like their string cheese.  They may have conned me into getting ice cream, too.

I’m frequently amazed at the variety of wildlife we have in our suburban back yard.  It’s wooded, and adjoins a larger wooded area that is part of our municipality’s community park.  The summer we moved in there were murmurs of coyote, though we spotted none.  There was a fox living in the cul de sac last year.  I’ve documented the dozen doe, and now and then a buck or two.  I’ve been using WhatBird to help me identify the visitors to our feeder as well as my garage nestlings.  This fall we’ve been providing color commentary for the battle of the red squirrels vs. the grey.  Yesterday I looked out the kitchen window and saw something huge in the locust tree. 

I thought it was a hawk, but we grabbed binoculars and could see that we had an owl for a visitor.  Probably a barred owl.  The song birds were keeping their distance, except for an angry blue jay who had the guts to swoop down and pop the owl on the shoulder.  The owl didn’t flinch.  He sat there for about ten minutes, ignoring the jay, until Mr. Unreserved got his owl call out and tried to chat.  He looked around, seemingly startled, to see where the other owl was, then flew off into the woods. 

One morning a month or two ago the crows were kicking up a fuss, and I thought I heard an owl out there.  I guess I wasn’t imagining things.

This is the part where I attempt to refrain from apologising for not posting in over two weeks.  Because I am sure that there are people out there madly refreshing this blog, health tearing at their hair and rending their garments shouting, “Why?!  Why hasn’t she updated?!  How will I ever know what mundane things Sarah has been up to in January?!  I can’t live without knowing!”

I have spent three weeks of January being relieved that Christmas is over.  The effect is just starting to wear off.  I know it is wearing off because last night I started laundry, hand washed my sweaters, hand washed the Christmas dresses, walked two miles on the treadmill while knitting six rows on Anna’s hat, and dyed more yarn for Claire’s sweater.  All after the girls were in bed.

The dyeing, it did not go so well.  The first batch of yarn (I honestly thought I’d have enough for a bitty cardigan) I dyed with a packet green Dylon warm water dye.  The blue struck, but not the yellow.  I over-dyed it with two packets of lemon Kool-Aid.  I tried to replicate the conditions on this latest batch, but the stupid Dylon dye went and worked the way it was supposed to.  Sort of.  It wasn’t as blue as the first batch, but still wasn’t completely green.  And the two packs of Kool-Aid didn’t seem to change much.  I added diluted food color while the citric acid from the Kool-Aid was still in there, (that way I wouldn’t have to add vinegar to the smells of wet wool and artifical lemon flavor) and it didn’t disperse the way I had hoped, and now there are ugly yellow blotches on the yarn. 

Tonight I’m going to hit them with blue food coloring, and if that doesn’t work, well, Mom’s got me well supplied with Reiland’s wool/mohair (I love Reiland’s!) so it’s back to the spinning wheel.  Which makes me wonder if I should scrap the unfinished sweater (body is done, sleeves, button band, and collar need to be knit) and start a new one from newly spun and dyed yarn. 

The other reason for my radio silence is that the free laptop my dear brother procured is giving up the ghost.  My desktop needs more sheep.  Many more sheep.  It takes 20 minutes to boot.  Note to self:  order sheep.  If I win the football pool at work, I’m buying a new laptop.  Go Steelers!


Anna Peanut has gone and turned five!  After I specifically forbade her to become another year older!  Kids these days.  *tsk tsk tsk*  Pictures of the dual birthday merry making to follow.

My children are convinced that various things are going to blow up.  I don’t know where they get this idea.  Maybe they’ve been watching too many cartoons.

Last Monday, health system in lieu of a birthday cake (since the coveted monkey cake was slated for Saturday) I put a lit candle in Claire’s milkshake.  Yes, cure Mr. Unreserved pointed out that I am weird.  The girls both freaked out and took cover under the table, shouting that it was going to blow up!  Stop singing! And put that candle out right now!!  And don’t EVER do that AGAIN!!!

Sunday in church they broke out the thurible (yes, I could have just written “incense burner,” but thurible is a cool word) for Epiphany.  I am still waiting for the state to declare liturgical incense a violation of the clean indoor air act.  I have a right to worship in the absence of second hand incense.  Claire watched the smoke curling up to the valuted ceiling, and whispered loudly, “It’s gonna blow!”

I kind of wish it did.

This reminds me of a story about my brother and the aquarium

Yesterday I paused in my painting (nine hours worth) to eat lunch.  Since I wasn’t climbing all over the stairs like a howler monkey, erectile I got chilly.  I put on a sweatshirt.  I was still cold.

Me:  Do you think it’s cold in here?

Mr. Unreserved:  Maybe a little.

Me:  [checks digital thermostat]  It says it’s 66 in here.  It’s not just me. 

Mr. Unreserved:  [looking at thermostat]  It says it’s turned off. 

Mr. Unreserved and I ponder why the furnace would be turned off.  Mr. Unreserved goes down to the basement to see if anything is obviously amiss.  I feel an all too familiar sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and flashback to the very expensive furnace repairs we had in the other house prior to replacing it.  (Completely my fault as it turns out – never cut the power to the blower on a milivolt system when the gas is still on and it’s cold outside.  The heater runs without the blower on, ed toasting the thermocouple.  LIve and learn. (in a perfect world the blower wouldn’t have been wired to the same circuit as the dining room I was wallpapering))  I hit the “mode” button on the thermostat and it kicked back on into “HEAT” mode. 

We went back to eating lunch, brainstorming what could have made the furnace decide to stop spontaneously.  We asked the girls if they touched it.  They denied it.  At first.  Then Claire piped up, “I did it.” 

“Did what?”  (Claire has been known to cop to things that she didn’t do; the truth is a flimsy concept for her yet.)

“I push button.  I like green light.”

The display on the thermostat lights up green when buttons are pushed.  She wouldn’t have known that if she hadn’t actually done it, so I believed her.  Mystery solved, followed by a lecture on not pushing buttons on the thermostat, pretty green light or no.


When I die (I started this with “if I die” and realized that few things in life are so certain, myocarditis sorry if that’s a morbid thought with which to start the new year) if I do end up in some version of hell, it will, without a doubt, involve painting an unending row of balusters.