Ask Poops, Please

Putting my two cents in.

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Location: Belmont, New Hampshire, United States

Born and bred in a small New England town, I am convinced that I know something about everything, and that my opinion matters. If only to me. Well, you'll see what I mean. And I love to knit, so you'll see what kind of things I'm doing when I should be vacuuming the living room.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What is this "Spring" of which you speak?

Honestly, I'm starting to despair of ever seeing grass again. It snowed night before last all night and on and off all day yesterday. We got another foot or so. Right now the snowbanks on either side of the driveway are so high that from the front windows you can only see the very top of the car. And there's more on the way on Friday.


You know you've had a lot of snow when your 7-year-old tells you she's sick of snow. And as of right now, she's going to be in school until June 25th.

Anyway, I've got a cold and haven't felt much like updating these days.

I've been back at my spinning. I haven't done much in quite awhile, but I got the urge the other day and have been trying to spin a little every day. Plus, I got a new niddy-noddy for Christmas that I'd like to try out!

I also made Dave a nice cotton sweater for coming home and for the summer months to come.

If summer ever comes, that is.

Oh, yesterday was Bobo's fourth birthday. No fanfare or anything, not that she knows the difference at this point. Her party is next Sunday when Tanta and Baboo are back from their cruise, since we have it at their house. And after some setbacks of carpet-staining proportions, she's caught on to using the potty all the time. Not the "tiny potty" either, but the Big Potty. She has yet to keep a pair of underpants dry though. She seems to think that if her butt is covered, she's free to wee at will. Don't really know what to do about that one. Baby steps, baby steps...

I promise some pictures, but I'm just not feeling up to it today. And I have to take off to the dentist in half an hour or so, and have yet to begin getting ready to go.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

What Do You Make of This?

Yesterday, one of the top news stories on my home page was about the Childhood Obesity Epidemic in America.

Later that same day, a commercial came on TV for America's Second Harvest, an organization that is committed to ending hunger in America, especially in children.

I have my own take on what this means.

What do you make of it?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gobble, Gobble

Here's the newest addition to the neighborhood. Five rogue turkey hens are roaming the area and enjoying the fine morsels provided at local birdfeeders.

Father Albert seems to think there's at least a dozen of them, but they stay up in the woods behind our houses. These five (could be six) gals come out and roam around. They seem to be quite un-shy and have used their sharp claws to warn an inquisitive cat to keep her distance.

I like them. Father is sure they're going to wreck the garden this summer. I told him I was going to Agway to get some feed corn and some turkey pellets so I could scatter them in his backyard and make sure they stay.

He's building a snare. Here they've wandered down from my sister's kitchen window and crossed through my front yard. Then they headed up to see what was good for eatin' up the other end of the street.
Aside from turkey watching, I have been doing a spot of knitting. I made two tiny baby gowns and a bigger sweater for Christopher's Angels. The pink and blue gowns I made very small, intended for babies like Christopher who were only about 20 weeks old or so. The sweater is larger and should fit a baby born early to nearly full term. I have one more bunting to finish, but I couldn't find the zipper I bought for it. So I set it aside like a bay leaf and sent out what I had finished. You would know that as soon as I put the package in the mail, I found the zipper.

Of course I did. I'll finish it up today probably and send it out this afternoon. *sigh*

I also made three hats from some washable wool I had kicking around in the stash. Those I'm giving to the lady in our choir that works for Baby Threads, an organization that outfits babies in need in our area.

I also made a baby hat from some red CotLin I had leftover from Christmas presents that was planned for Dave, but I think it might be too small. I do not birth children with small heads, nosiree.

But I did finally use my Knitpicks gift cert. that Sister gave me for Christmas and I got some of their interchangeable needles and some of their Shine Sport to make Dave a summer-weight sweater and cap. Oh, those needles are lovely! I'm going to get some of the dpns as soon as the budget allows. (Be sure to visit my etsy early, shop often!)

They're like buttah, friends. Pretty too.

We had a two hour delay again this morning. It's creeping up on 40 degrees now, but it was raining and freezing rain overnight into early morn and now everything is wet and icy. Mostly driveways and yards. The roads are great, I have to say. We have the best road crew around. Our roads are the best for miles. You can tell when you've crossed the town line into the next town. And our road crew chief just said in the paper that we've got plenty of money left in the winter budget, and plenty of supplies to go the distance. He said that his guys were tired, but he also said that they don't stop until the job is done. Well, they're doing a great job.

The neighbor got his van stuck in his driveway this morning. I got up and looked out the window hoping it wasn't Mr. Poops. It wasn't. So I went back to bed. Nothing I could do to help, really.

I'm not sure, but with all the cancellations I think we're going to be in school until June 24. Or 25th. I guess they can't go into July because of the teacher contracts. I wonder if the snow is just about done having its way with us or if we're going to lose some of April vacation. Again, it probably depends on the contracts.

And finally, Girl Scout cookies are in. Every year I think what a ripoff it is that they're 3.50 a box. And then I eat 2/3 of a box of a Samoas in a sitting and realize that I'd pay 5 bucks a box for those babies.

God, they're good.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Don't Know If I Should Show This or Not...

Since I started this blog, I've never really given much thought to posting pictures of stuff I've made. That was the point of the whole exercise. I started the blog so that I could share with my knitter friends all the things I've been making. It's why I read their blogs, after all.

This past week, the Yarn Harlot posted the finished pics of a pair of socks she's been working on. Long story short, 800 of her fans gushed about them, and two people said, "Meh." And the Harlot picked out the two less-than-complementary posts and addressed the issue of "why you would comment just to be mean." What purpose does it serve to look at something the poster is obviously proud of and say "I don't like it"? Or worse yet, "Those are the ugliest socks I've ever laid eyes on. What a friggin' waste of time and yarn that was!"

Opinion seems to be divided on the issue.

On the one hand, a blog is public forum. Anyone can read it, though it my case, it's not likely they do. And everyone who comes to visit is entitled to leave a comment, because as the bumper sticker says, "Opinions are like assholes; everyone has one." (And despite all the hits my "Tiny Pussy" post got off of google searches, not one disappointed porn surfer felt the need to call me names. Pervs are people too!)

I guess I don't think of this as being "public" because I myself am not a public figure. People aren't googling my name. I know, I've checked. Unlike the Yarn Harlot, I've never written a book. I don't have legions of fans. When I show off my stuff, I'm lucky if a handful of people even see it here, much less comment on it. So for me it's been kind of like hanging projects I'm proud of on my Virtual Refrigerator Door.

Now, should I get a volume or two published or have my own reality show, things would likely change. My blog, if it still existed, would likely get a lot less personal because presumably more people would be reading it. And where there's crowds of fans, there's going to be a handful of critics and even a few flat-out douchebags in there for good measure.

I guess I think of blogs as being only as private as the life of the blogger in general.

Of course, it could be I've been lucky. Maybe my knitting has passed muster and is generally approved. Perhaps my kids are as cute as I think they are. Or most likely the people that read my blog know me from the Knitty Coffeeshop or in real life and are inclined to come by and check out the stuff I've hung on my Virtual Fridge. And being Knittyheads themselves, they remember to play nice and treat others with the respect they themselves would like to receive.

It's the Golden Rule.

I personally don't visit someone's blog or website and criticize their work, ever. I believe that if you can't say something nice, just don't say anything. Unless your critique is asked for, that is. If you say, "How does the back of this look? I think it might be kind of wonky in you notice it?" I will tell you. Because you asked. And I'd be sure to find something about it I did like and point it out. Yeah, the back is wonky in a couple of spots, but no one really sees that part and I love the colors you used.

I think it's a direct response to being from a hyper-critical family. My mother's family has a tendency to tell you just what they think of...well, just about everything. These people think nothing of telling you that you look like you've put on weight, that your shirt looks like you slept in it, that spending the weekend at a fiber festival is stupid, or that they can't see why you'd spend that much time knitting something that looks so handmade.

They're not much with the praise for things they actually like, either. Not a gushy group. They've done some damage over the years, too. I know my self-esteem isn't what it could be, that's for sure.

Genetically speaking, I know that I have an innately critical nature, but I also know that with practice I can find something good about most things. So I would never tell you that I hated something you made, especially if you made it with your own hands and were obviously proud of it. If I couldn't find something to say, I would navigate away quietly. (Then again, I might do that anyway. I'm very lazy with my comments. You should know that about me. Some days I feel like reading, not typing. It's just how I roll.)

Do I have the right to expect to be treated the same way?

I guess I do expect it. It never occurred to me not to. I've never known different. I think if people came here and told me they hated my knitting, I'd stop blogging about it. I'm not the type of person that can keep putting myself out there to be rejected. I wonder if it would take the enjoyment out of knitting altogether?

Come to think of it, maybe having a blog is a bad idea in the first place...a major blow to my ego just waiting to happen.

I think the Yarn Harlot expected to be treated differently on her blog. Perhaps she is confusing fans with friends. She certainly wouldn't be the first celebrity to do so. Maybe she doesn't understand about the critics that lurk in any mob of fans. Or the douchebags. 'Cause they're out there.

Then again, I don't know her. I don't read her blog on a regular basis. I don't read any celebrity blogs. Perhaps she's one of those celebrities that expects everyone in the world to bow low before her. Again, she wouldn't be the first.

Perhaps as a writer and public figure she should grow a thicker skin.

Perhaps as a blogger I should toughen up too. Maybe there's no room on the internet for sensitivity.

I just don't consider myself in the same blogging strata. I'm not a celebrity and I don't have fans; ergo, I don't expect critics. I think of myself as having friends that stop by from time to time to see what Poops is up to these days.

I do expect the occasional douchebag. Those bastards are everywhere. *snerk*

Did I tell you about the time I completely flipped out the editor of our town newsletter? I can't prove it, but my emails back and forth to her might be the reason she quit and we no longer have a newsletter. I was in a battle of wits with an unarmed person, poor well-meaning dear. I hope she's doing well saving the earth with her organic farming and drum circles. As long as she's not editing a public newsletter. *shudder*

But I digress.
I finished a sweater for the Bug last night. She likes it. I like it. And now I'm hesitant about showing it off. Pride goeth before a fall.
It's a basic top down raglan in TLC Cotton Plus, color "Kiwi", with a lace insert panel down the front. You may (or may not) remember that I made a similar sweater that has since been sold at a craft fair. That one had a ruffle at the bottom and on the sleeves with a simple moss stitch collar. Bug's has a moss stitch hood and I omitted the ruffled cuffs and hem to streamline it somewhat.
I actually had a friend from church admire the one in the craft fair and request it in a larger size. Usually, people don't follow up on such requests and I find myself making something that I didn't feel like making only to have to try to sell it to someone else. But she asked about it at a later craft fair, so I figured she was still interested. I ordered up the yarn posthaste and emailed her to double-check the size she wanted...which is when she decided she'd changed her mind and that she'd finished her Christmas shopping and didn't want it after all.

So, now I had four balls of the stuff in the stash. I thought Bug would look cute in it, so last week I cast on and bashed this out for her. She's outgrown most of her handknit sweaters as it is. She was due for something new from Mama.

I should have taken the pictures outside in the sun, but despite the sun it's only 8 degrees out there with a wind chill below zero. You will have to think of them as artsy-type photos and pretend I meant them to look that that.

Before I sign off, I should clarify one thing. I didn't give up the computer for Lent. As a family, we are sacrificing the great joy of restaurants and takeout during Lent. (Except on Sundays which are feast days and one never abstains on feast days.) I only gave up the computer on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday because they are days of fasting, and being pregnant exempts me from that. So I fasted from the computer instead, since Dave needs nourishment.

So that's all for today. My contribution to the fray.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fat Tuesday

Is different from Fat Monday how, exactly?

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. In case anyone is looking for me tomorrow, I will be offline.

It's a day of fasting and abstinence, which means no meat and only one full meal, with the other two meals being distinctly smaller. I am exempt due to pregnancy, but in the spirit of the thing, I'm fasting from the computer. I might still get dizzy and faint, though. Oh, the withdrawals!

The whole family is giving up eating out and take-out during Lent, and I make an extra effort to get to mass on Monday before choir practice.

And tomorrow, while I fast from the 'puter, I'll be working only on charity knitting. I shall put away Bug's new sweater for the day and buckle down and finish three little gowns and buntings for Christopher's Angels. Maybe make some hats or something. Or I might start another something else. I don't know yet. We shall see what the spirit inspires.

I'm inspired to pray extra hard for lots of people lately. Would you think less of me if I prayed for Britney? I feel really bad for her.

I have a headache today that would kill a normal person. Just thought you'd like to know.

And I still have to teach religious ed tonight. I was really hoping beyond all hope that it had been cancelled, but no such luck. At least not so far. I didn't prepare for it, feeling quite certain that it was cancelled. Then I decided that the students don't prepare for it, why should I? So I'm going to wing it. They won't remember any of it anyway.

We had another snow day today due to snow that turned over to sleet and then to rain. I think tomorrow we're supposed to have rain turning over to sleet and then to snow.

Great balls of fire, Melly, is it spring yet?

Speaking of spring, Fr. Albert told Bug on Sunday that on Groundhog Day, Jesus comes out of the tomb and if he sees his shadow it means six more weeks of winter. Fr. Albert is an evil genius and I'm learning at the feet of the master. He assures me he's going to be tending bar in hell. But no's an open bar.


With my luck, I'll be pregnant in hell. That would figure.

It seems Dave might be a bass. Whenever the basses in choir are practicing their part, he kicks. I think it's due to the rumbliness of the low notes. Whatever it is, he seems to like it. And yeah, we're going with Dave. David Something. I'm pulling for Letterman, but can't quite talk Mr. Poops into it. Though my aunt tossed out Hasslehoff and I laughed for ten minutes.

In reality the two frontrunners are David Joseph or David Erik. We also mentioned using my maiden name as his middle name since my dad didn't have any boys to carry on the name. We're not sold on any of them yet. When the right one hits, we'll know.

I really do think of him as Dave. A baby named Dave is actually pretty funny when I think about it. A grownup name for a tiny baby.

Well, I have to go make some pancakes for supper. A vote was taken and that's what won.

Laissez les bon temps roulez!

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