Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekend Warrior

Inauguration Day! Yea! Go-Bama. Don't make me wish I voted for Nader.

I was feeling the need to accomplish something this past weekend (“accomplishmentey” Z would call it). Sometimes I think I'm an accomplishment addict (as opposed to a compliment addict) if I go a period of time, especially at this slow time of year, without something to show for my day (housework doesn't count), I can feel myself sinking toward a deep abyss of misery.

Deodorant—Friday was a mostly wheel-spinning day, but I did manage to whip up a batch of Angry Chicken's homemade deodorant cream. I used tea tree and rosemary essential oils instead of the ylang-ylang and orange that she used, just to be like that old Scope commercial when they were like, “how can it work if it doesn't taste mediciney?” And also that's what I happened to have. Mine came out more like a solid than a cream, so application's a bit complicated, but after a two day test I would say that it works very well and has such a nice smooth, non-chalky texture.

Fuzzy Pants—I've been wanting to make E and Z some fleece pants for about a year, but have been stymied by the fact that I hate cutting out patterns. In fact, to be honest, I don't really like sewing all that much period. I love the dreaming, imagining, planning and assembling of materials, and I love the sense of accomplishment (see above), but the in-between stuff—the work—not so much. I'm totally about product, not process (but I'm working on that—my mindfulness resolution), and the more instant the gratification the better.

I decided that rather than wrestle with a fussy tissue pattern and the incomprehensible instructions, I would try making my own pattern from an existing pair of pants, as is espoused by many Internet craftistas. I have been nervous about this technique, because in high school I tried doing the same thing with a pair of Hawaiian shorts, and the results came out less than desirable (and instead of trying again knowing where I had gone wrong the first time and correcting for it, I mourned the waste of fabric and gave up). I also tried doing the same with my favorite skirt last summer, but I was unaware of the concept of “ease” (that is leave some extra fabric so it's easier to ease it over your big butt) and I failed to notice that my skirt had two little tucks in the back...so my finished product while cute was a little, er, snug, and now with my extra eggnog and chocolate truffle pie pounds...let's just say it's a good thing it's waaay too cold for skirts.

Anyhoo...with temps dipping to 24.9 degrees below zero Friday, I decided these boys need more fuzzy pants. I made a pattern from a pair of bright orange fleece pants that are plenty big on the twins, whipped two pairs out in two hours (including the dreaded cutting) and they turned out great (if a bit heavy in ease)! I used this buttery soft fleece that I bought at the Malden Mills factory outlet many, many years ago (even before M was born)...super soft, super cute.

On The Road
After the boys headed out for a birthday party, I drove to Rockland to visit with two dear friends whom I see all too rarely. We had a great time chatting, gossiping, eating lots of cheesy fried food and drinking Margaritas. Things started to go downhill, though, when the dog started barking in the middle of the night because my car was parked on the street during a snowstorm. My friend JM very kindly went out and moved it to a neighbor's house (I didn't know what happened until the next morning when DB said, "Where's your car?" We passed a pleasant morning, eating, reading, watching J's cute baby O, eating more and then going out into the wet heavy snow for a walk. By the time we returned the snow had become wet heavy rain, and I retrieved my car, bid my adieus and headed home. Once in the car, I peeled off my soaking wet coat and jeans, realizing that if I went off the road they'd find me wearing long johns.

I'm not a huge fan of snow driving—I don't rush out in the middle of a snowstorm for fun like my brother-in-law—but I don't freak out about it either. This was hands-down the worst driving conditions I have ever had to drive through. Despite driving on state roads most of the way, clearly nothing had been plowed recently, if at all—I was driving through six to eight inches of snow the whole way. Thank you state budget cuts! Twice I got stuck on hills and had to back down to the bottom to get back up again. I had to get out frequently to de-ice my windshield wipers, once cracking the windshield with the corner of my scraper. Finally I made it home and got irretrievably stuck in my own driveway.

I walked the rest of the way, thinking, “Why in the f-ing f do we f-ing live in this f-ing god-for-f-ing-sake f-ing state.” Fortunately when I got inside everyone was engaged in turning the crank on the pasta machine so I crawled into bed and waited for the tears and/or vomit which had been threatening for the last two hours to come. I had to question my judgment in attempting such a journey, and in not turning back when I realized how truly bad it was out, in addition to question my judgment in living here.


  1. Did you say 29.4 below zero? Can humans actually do that? Wow. I'm sorry. I'll be holding you in the light all through the winter (and through your springtime which would probably count as winter for me.

    I do think you sound thrillingly accomplished though. Marmee would be so proud.

  2. Ugh! What a drag. That was a weird storm. When my friend Kate told me it had rained in Damariscotta, I was shocked.

    I remember a night not quite that bad--bad enough--coming back from Bangor at midnight.

    I couldn't decide if I was glad that there was no one on the road so I wouldn't hit them, or worried that if I went off the road no one would find me until spring.


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