it’s still cold

February 27, 2010

It rained and then the sun came out today.

I’ve been seeing a bit more of the sun despite the rain for a few days now.

But it’s still cold.  In my Californian mind.

Clara was telling me that she hasn’t quite thawed out from the winter without heat in the haunted house.

I’ve been getting by with hot baths, my electric blanket and some lovely hot drinks – not all of which are alcoholic.

I’ll wait while you all stop being shocked.

Here are my two favorite “just add hot water” drink mixes…

I got the ginger tea stuff at Ranch 99 market and it’s got a spicy sweet ginger taste that feels fabulous going down.

And the Emergen-C is something I had always drunk cold but Patti taught me to add hot water and I must say it’s a treat especially if you feel like you might be coming down with something or are working in an office with someone who has already come down with something.

Now let’s all enjoy the rain because drought sucks and then get on with the warmer weather.



When I was going to college… back when dinosaurs ruled the Earth… everyone tried to get you to sign up for a credit card or get on a mailing list or sell you something with the lure of a free t-shirt.

I ended up with quite a few.  Not that I needed, wanted or even wore them.

Anyway – today I was a the Play Green festival thing in the Pauley Ballroom and I noticed that instead of t-shirts the new must have give-a-way prize is the reusable shopping bag.

I must say that I’m collecting them myself but this time I use them.  I keep several in my everyday bag so when I run errands I don’t need to take another plastic bag.  I keep them around the homestead for when I loan things to other people.

As a promotional gift, I must say that I think the bags are genius.  You can’t really escape them.

The one I got today is my favorite shade of green.


Tales from Craigslist

February 25, 2010

Clara’s cleaning out the haunted house and emailed me to ask for any tips about selling things on Craigslist since I did quite a bit of it in the last few years.

She bemoaned the sense of entitlement that leads to someone emailing saying they want the $5 item but only if you will drive to downtown Oakland and give it to them in person.

And let’s not discuss the fact that you are obviously trying to sell something but the person who just emailed wants you to hold it for them and they may come and get it in three weeks.

Argh.  Personally – I told her to call the auction house and have them take it all away and deal with it for a cut of the final prices.

The next day I was talking about the chair I want to get as soon as I have the cash in hand and someone asked me why I’m not just getting a chair on Craigslist.

The person that said this to me get a thrill from the chase of finding something she wants for a song.

I just want to buy the one perfect thing.

And this from the girl who goes to the auction every month.

Which is not to say that I haven’t bought things on Craigslist.  It serves a purpose.  But I’ve gotten to that point in my life where I only want the one right thing.

one perfect right thing

that I have the money in my hand prior to buying


They get you with the smell

February 24, 2010

I had to ask Edgar if I had angered or insulted him in some way.  Why was he torturing me with the smell of chicken mcdeadlettes?  I smelled those things and suddenly I had a most unstoppable desire for french fries.  Those damn mcpeople and their psychological programming!

Edgar says just the sight of red and gold make him want fries.

Personally – red and gold make the think of Jesuit High School which then makes me think about Into the Woods which then has me thinking about Sondheim and suddenly I have “Send in the Clowns” stuck in my head.  But that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway – I had fries for lunch because I had to.  And while I was eating my fries I started thinking that I hadn’t seen any of those obnoxious fast food ads during the Olympics.  That thought cycled through my head and then was quickly replaced with the realization that I don’t watch TV and I haven’t seen ANY of the Olympics so how on earth would I see a fast food commercial claiming that Olympians eat mcfood?

These are the things I think about… what do you think about?

So I’m teaching myself to sew clothes… and as is my fashion I’m teaching myself by slowly working my way through some projects and allowing myself to make really dumb mistakes along the way.

The first thing I made was a cocktail apron.  I had some problems figuring out the pattern but in the end I made it through.  The final product had some issues where the straps meet the waist and it’s far too long for my tastes.  But I learned a lot about patterns.  And all in all I’m okay with final product in spite of its flaws.

Then a couple of days ago I decided to attempt to recreate my favorite sleep shirt.  The thing is BEYOND ancient but it’s so perfect for me.  It’s huge and has a big v-neck so even when I turn in my sleep it never seems to twist around me.  For years I’ve been looking for another one but nothing has come close.

So I got some knit fabric on sale at Jo-Ann’s and cut it in the generic shape of my sleep shirt.  I sewed it together and used some double fold biased tape at the collar.

All in all it’s not bad but I made some mistakes and I learned a whole lot.

The grain of the fabric is going in the wrong direction – I didn’t think about it because the fabric is all one color.  And doing it wrong taught me why it’s wrong.  And I won’t make the same mistake again.  But the shape and size is so perfect that it doesn’t matter.  I learned about the importance of clean lines to make clean seams.  I also learned that I need to work on my sleeve sizes.  And I got to practice my French seams which are very fun.

So I learned things and I gained skills.  And I have a new sleep shirt that I really like.

Things aren’t so bad.  Even with all the mistakes.


file this under: just my luck

February 22, 2010

So I get to take Spring Break for the first time in my life.  Work mandated spring break.

I’m working with the Ranch Hand to figure out where to go but mostly we are just playing it loose.  This is not to say that we won’t be doing something because we will.  I need a vacation and I’m going to take one.

Anywho… I got home from work and there was a jury summons in my mailbox.  I took a quick peek at it and discovered it’s in Oakland and I don’t have to worry about getting to some strange out of the way place that would take 2 buses and a BART train to get there.

I go off to Pilates where I learn that my instructor’s nickname in NYC was Cruella DeVille.  Yeah – that works.  She’s a vital part of my life and I also feel a lot of hatred towards her.

When I returned to the homestead I actually read the summons and wouldn’t you guess – I’m called for the Thursday of my week-long vacation.

I will be calling in the morning to see if I can push it back a week.

Spring Break will not be ignored.  The Ranch Hand does not abide.


in search of a look

February 20, 2010

I think this concept of a look or at least a guiding aesthetic has been floating around in my subconscious for a while but it really came to the front of my brain when Peter started talking about it on his blog.

What with the dressing like a grown up and starting pilates I’ve really been thinking about how I present myself to the universe.

I’m not trying to impress anyone but I would like to at least look good if only for my own self awareness.

This morning as I went about my errands I tried to classify my own look and realized it’s a series of concepts warring with one another.

You’ve got Mod Retro Chic duking it out with Bohemian college slob.

Californian yoga nerd fighting the good fight against L.L. Bean preppy with a touch of 80’s Gap.

I don’t have a style icon which is a damn good thing because most of the standards look NOTHING LIKE ME!  What’s the point of wanting to look like someone who’s body type doesn’t match yours.  It’s just going to be a disappointment for everyone.

This whole look thing has become a little more focused by the idea I have in my head that because I have a sewing machine I should try to make some clothes for myself.

Which means I need to pick patterns and then fabrics to use with those patterns to make clothes that I might actually wear.

This should be interesting.

When you buy clothing you are presented with pre-made choices and you decided to buy or not to buy.  Now I have to pick the style, the cloth, EVERYTHING!  Oh the humanity!

Right now I’m just thinking about sewing, I’m not actually doing anything.

But that doesn’t stop me from looking at patterns and thinking…. ummmm no.  yeah, no.

Who knows, it might all work out.

Or I might decided that I was right last year when I decided my dream outfit was a v-neck wool sweater, black yoga pants and J Crew flip-flops.