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Archive for January, 2009

I found this convenient guide to boycotting all Israeli products here on youtube (and figured out how to embed it into my blog – yay me!):

Back to the socks!

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Sock fun

Back in September, I posted a photo of a toe-up sock I had started to knit. It then sat there, just a toe, until a couple days ago. Last night, I figured out the heel, thanks to a great video on youtube. So I’m in the home stretch. It looks like this right now:

sock-toe-up

(I took this photo with Photobooth, which I adore, using Jasper as a background.) I’m back into full sock-obsession mode, mostly because my nephew’s bat mitzvah is coming up in the summer. My nephew loves socks.

This didn’t just occur to me on my own. I had to be hit in the head with the idea, from my nephew himself, who watched me knitting all winter holiday and suddenly said, “Hey, do you knit socks? I love socks.” I told him I did and he suggested a pair of socks for his bar mitzvah. So at least I know the gift will be appreciated. I plan to knit him not just one pair, though, but as many as I can get done in that time.

If I had nothing else to do, that could be about 1000, but since I have Maya’s bat mitzvah coming up, and work that requires my hands on the keyboard, and a house that is a disaster, and children to drive everywhere, it’ll be slightly fewer than that.

When he asked for this, his mother suggested that he should ask for a sweater for his bar mitzvah, which did not amuse me, because knitting a sweater for a 12-year-old boy in a different city is way more complicated than socks, but he barely glanced at her in that marvelous adolescent dismissive way and said to me, “Can you make them really colourful?”

Colourful, interesting socks. These socks above are not colourful enough for him, but they are my test socks to figure out this toe-up thing, and next I’ll start in on socks for him.

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I like Juice

We’ve been kind of preoccupied around here with the situation in Gaza. I have some pretty strong opinions on the topic, but in truth nothing new or likely interesting to anyone else, so I’m not going to rant. I’ll just post a couple of editorial cartoons that appeared in our city paper, and a photo going around that I found very amusing. This guy must really hate mangos.

cam2

cam

deathjuice

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I love my husband. I think he ranks right up there as far as husbands go. The man is a saint, putting up without (serious) complaint, with my illnesses and scatterbrainedness. He strives to see the good in everything and very frequently succeeds. Even though he knew it would mean more work for him, he got a dog because he believed a dog would be good for his children (and found out that he loves the dog probably more than they do). He doesn’t love cats, but he allowed me to get those for the kids too.

But he hates rodents. And snakes. If I were creating the perfect husband, I’d take J and make him more animal-friendly. But he isn’t. I didn’t realize this before I impulsively bought a tiny cute mouse with Maya when she was 3 years old. Cheapest pet ever – $10 all in for animal, cage, food, etc. He was horrified. It never ocurred to me that something so small could horrify a grown man. It was nothing compared to the horror he felt when our ‘baby’ mouse had her own babies about a week later.

He shuddered through the mouse’s short life cycle and it was clear, once she went to mousie heaven, that I was never ever to bring a rodent into this house again. I already knew about the snakes, since I’d told him about my pet snakes I’d had as a teenager and in university and he’d made it very, very clear what he thought of that idea.

So I’d love a pet rat or two. I was surprised by how taken I was by the ones I met the other day. And I’d love a snake. They have all kinds of pretty and interesting ones available now, not like the garter snakes I made do with when I was a kid. But I love my husband more.

If he ever snaps and leaves me, though, I’ll go out and get another cat and a couple pet rats to keep me company.

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Small cute things

beau1Part of my job – the most enjoyable part – is putting out a weekly e-newsletter to all the parents of the school I work at (the grammar geek in me wishes to write ‘the school at which I work’ but I’m afraid that sounds all pretentious).

Anyway, I just discovered that a grade four classroom is the temporary home to a pair of rats, borrowed from one of the teacher’s kids. The rats are there to teach kids about animal habitats, etc. (I know – wow, smart rats. Okay, they are there to help facilitate the teaching.)

I popped into the classroom at recess to get photos. The teacher opened the door and let the rats come out to visit me and – awwww, so cute! They are both female and very friendly. They came out and wandered around the desk. The brown one crawled around in my sweater and cuddled up in the crook of my arm. The teacher told me that some kids were nervous about them at first, but now all love them and many are begging their parents for their own. Forget the kids, I want one. They really were so cute. I so don’t get why people don’t like them (okay, I get it a bit with male rats, because their testicles are about a third of the size of their bodies, blech). I’ve heard people say it’s the tails, but they seem incapable of explaining exactly what it is about the tails. I guess you get it or you don’t.  Anyway, they were very sweet, and I wanted to keep them.

I could only put a couple photos in the newsletter, and it was hard to chose. So I made myself fell better about that by posting them all here, instead. This is Nesumi stealing bandaids. She collected all of them, one at at time.

nesumi11

The rats trying to steal lesson plans:

rats2

Nesumi:

rats5

Teamwork:

rats1

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Funny how I wait until life is all hectic again to start posting.

Things are going well, except that I developed this bowling ball of fluid in my lower abdomen, filling up a cavity left my when my guts where stuffed back where they belong. It was really uncomfortable and pressed on my healing incisions.

I was referring to the thing as my ‘fluid fetus,’ but this bothered my kids and nephews, so I opened the floor for a new name and one of my nephews came up with “Duncan.” So now I call it Duncan.

Anyway, Duncan was so annoying that if I’d been able to get my hands on a needle, I would have tried to drain the thing myself. But I didn’t have a needle, so I put up with it.

I did, however, have needle-nosed pliers, so I amused myself by removing most of my staples. By the time this occurred to me, the incisions were well healed, I’d like to point out. In a couple places, whoever stapled me up got a little slap-happy with the staple gun and didn’t do such a great job, so the staples were so tight that the skin was tearing. Ew. Of course, those were the bits Duncan made it impossible for me to reach with the pliers.

Finally, Duncan has begun to shrink and I saw my surgeon and got the rest of my staples out, so I’m beginning to feel human again. I even started back at work a bit.

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In other news, we took Asher off his ADD medication, Strattera, over the holidays. He’s been on it for 1.5 years, and while it appears to have helped him significantly when it comes to concentrating at school, it seems to be taking a bit of a toll on his health otherwise. In that time, while he continued to grow taller, he gained virtually no weight, maybe one or two pounds at most. He frequently had low energy, stomach aches, looked tired and had big dark circles under his eyes. He didn’t have much of an appetite and has been busily removing foods from his list of acceptable edibles left and right.

In the 2 weeks he was off the meds, he gained 5 pounds. He’s added another one or two since he’s been home. He’s got more energy too. He doesn’t want to start taking the pill again (he hates pills), so we’re giving school a go. So far, his teachers have only noticed he has more energy, but it is only 3 days. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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Random photos – Roxy got to enjoy Hanukkah too. She had fun with the gelt bag.

roxy1-dec08

Poker! My nephew’s friend was playing with the settings on my camera.

poker1-dec08

Boo had big fun tubing.

tubing8-dec08

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