Saturday, June 30, 2007


Your opinion matters

Remember this?

It's part of the "surprise" project I mentioned last post. I dressed up the little clutch bag with a cute, handmade pin I picked up at BSG.

Sorry for the crappy photo. The pin is a little "ram" of pearls! A lady by the name of Nickie Williams made the jewelry. I don't think she has a website. But she had awesome pewter sheep and crystal sheep, too--I wanted to buy one of each. Hopefully she will be at Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival this September, so I can buy more stuff from her.

Anyway, then I added these:

...so now we have a darling little ensemble.

A felted clutch and matching lace-up opera mitts! I have been dreaming of offering this for sale in my Etsy shop. The box full of Patons wool is for making several more of these sets in different colors. Now that's where you guys come in--do you think I should list these items now, or wait until I have a few made and put them all up at once? I've discovered that the more you have for sale, the more you tend to sell. I won't sell the pin, though--it's way too cute.

I finished the Twizzle socks, and they're up on the blockers in the shower. I won't bore you with a photo, that would be redundant. But I am having a great day today--my family is out of town! That's right, while they're in Spokane over Fourth of July, I've got to work Monday and Tuesday, so I'm batching it. I stayed in my jammies till noon, watching pay-per-view ("Blood Diamond," pretty raw but a good film) and finishing the socks. Then I did a little light housework and went to the salon for a couple of hours, getting a pedi and haircolor. La de da. It also helps that the weather is gorgeous. J. will be home Tuesday afternoon, but Michelle is staying with Grandma until July 8th. No, I didn't really do a happy dance. For all I know, she might read this sometime--hi, sweetheart! mama misses you! (actually I do--the house is kinda creepy-quiet. Maybe I should put on some 80's "hair metal.")

The Lolcat Phenomenon

This week, I've been over at Yarn-a-Go-Go reading the saga of Rachel's cat Digit who came home after having vanished for four months. Poor kitty is in rough shape, and I hope he'll be OK. A friend made a picture of Digit into a "lolcat," the like of which you may have seen going around in e-mail. Basically they are kitties in a funny pose--or not--with abbreviated, mis-spelled text (I won't get started on how text messaging is killing spelling as we know it, I've always been a good speller) or just bad grammar over the pic. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I love the lolcat, and I wanted to put one on my blog too:

I guess I'm just a very silly woman. It's a continuing source of amazement that anyone reads my blog at all.
Have a great rest of the weekend--I'm being methodical about finishing projects, and must finish at least two more before I do any casting on. Time to make with the knitting!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Will you look at this?!

My first award--bestowed upon me by Ellie Bee. Thank you so much--I had no idea I was among your favorite bloggers, and I'm blushing the color of this truly marvelous button! Now I get to pass on the rockin' thing to 5 of my favorites.* My ladies are:

1. Kay at By Hook or By Crook. The first time I saw Kay's blog, she had posted a pic of a crocheted gingerbread house that had me amazed. She also crochets ethereal snowflakes--the only thing I can make with a crochet hook is a mess--so Kay's creativity and talent keep me enthralled and a regular visitor to her blog. She rocks! And she knits too!

2. Kathleen at Quail Hill Knits. Knitting, spinning, gardening, raising a beautiful family and equally beautiful Schipperkes, and did I mention she is also an attorney? My stars. Thinking about all that makes my blood pressure start ratcheting up. The afghan squares Kathleen makes are breathtaking. Her artistry inspires me every time.

3. Fancy Pants at The Write to Knit. She's a writer, a knitter, and an idea person. The Summer Stash Swap was her concept, and I'm excited about participating in it. She is also the first blogger I've ever known who likes to take pictures of her feet--I think that is adorable--and, if I can say this without sounding creepy, she has nice feet!

4. Mrs. H at I Like Yarn. She comes up with the funniest post titles, knows where the yarn deals are, and her blog has great pics--for example, "Pomatomus cuff in a cave." Now that's boldly going where no sock knitter has gone before!

5. Mel at Aspire to Knit. I love visiting Mel's blog. She knitted fabulous kilt hose for her husband as a birthday gift, swapped socks-in-progress with the Yarn Harlot, and has the cutest little boy ever. Stop by and leave a comment!

(*in no particular order)

These are just a few of the blogs I look forward to reading on a regular basis. Now I must sip some iced tea and attempt to finish a surprise project before I turn in, but before I do, here's some color-distorted, but still colorful, yarn pr0n.

"Greed is good." --Gordon Gekko, Wall Street

The Peaches & Creme are from a recent visit to Fabric Depot--I've lived in the Portland area for going on 30 years, and hadn't been there yet. And I took advantage of a recent sale at JoAnn.com and stocked up on Patons Classic Wool. If my hare-brained scheme--er, "experiment" turns out to be a winner, I'm going to be doing some serious felting this summer!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Shower cam

I realize that by using a title like that for a blog entry, I'm opening myself up to a bazillion pervy Google hits, but I didn't know how else to show you my spiffy new sock blockers in action. (If you ended up here by mistake, please click here as quickly as you can. Buh-bye.) These socks now have a name, and an owner: they are Jen's socks, and fortunately, she loves them. Of course, I'm hypercritical of my knitting, and to my dismay not only did I have the devil's own time with the second sock, but they don't match!

First sock, on the right: a fairly regular stripe pattern. Second sock: color pooling like mad crazy. I know it doesn't really matter, but....rats. Anyway, the blockers made the socks come out all evenly shaped and professional-looking, so I love them. Since I got them, my sock production's booming:

This sock practically knit itself. The yarn is Mountain Colors "Twizzle"--it's heavier than the usual sock weight, and very soft. I lost the ball band so I don't know the exact fiber content, but I think it's got mohair and silk in it. I knit them from a very basic pattern where you use size 4 dpn's and cast on just 52 stitches. I am delighted with the colorway.
Got an eye exam scheduled today, and work is slow, so I'm home doing some TCB. And knitting.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Enchanted weekend: last thoughts

Dewd, if you've gotta be on a leash, it might as well be attached to a super-cute puppy or koala bear backpack.

Before the Monday-Friday drudgery that is my life begins again, I have a little more to share about Black Sheep Gathering. I'm finding that over the past couple of years, I look forward more and more to the fiber festivals I attend regularly. Used to be that I'd swoop in, do my shopping, and split. But this time, I willed myself to slow down a little, to chat people up--and I'm glad I did. The next event is Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival in September, and my goal (besides scoring more luscious yarn and related goodies) is to make the acquaintance of even more attendees--because chances are pretty good that no matter who I talk to, the person will also be a blogger!

Spin Control

I don't spin.

I am not a spinner.

Now I've absolutely nothing against spinning, or those who enjoy it--I'm all for making your own yarn, exactly the way you want it, and I get that it's relaxing, much the way knitting is for me (unless I'm doing socks and they won't "do right," as my mom-in-law says). Nope, I gave spinning the old college try not once, but twice, both on a drop spindle and a wheel. Fiber arts people tend to be more patient than most, and my spinning teachers would have sat with me for hours if I'd let them, determined as they were to help me learn how. I was the one who gave up, and I'm OK with not mastering spinning, because knitting keeps me happily busy and then some. But if you're me, and you happen to be around lots of people spinning roving, beware of saying "I just couldn't get it" because someone will try to teach you.

Warning: I will now attempt an anecdote, so before you take that Ambien, read on. While roaming all sections of the exhibition hall--3 big rooms of wonderful stuff--I started to get hungry, but for the past week I've completely avoided sugarbreadricepotatoespasta, and couldn't bring myself to stand in line for a (mediocre) burger and curly fries from one of those booths like they have at the county fair. Lunchtime came and went, but still I shopped, not wanting to have to leave to go find diet-friendly (and more palatable) food. At this point you may be wondering, "if she's on a diet, why didn't she plan for that and bring something?" All I can say is, I'm all about spontaneity, which makes me a lousy dieter. Aaanyway, I happened by some ladies using drop spindles, and when one (spindle, not lady) clattered to the floor, I quipped, "guess that's why they call it a drop spindle." Oh, I'm a caution, I am. The lady who dropped her spinning smiled and said something like, "It's a challenge."

My reply, as I eyed some handmade jewelry, was something along the lines of "I tried it but can't do it."

Lady #2, decked out in handspun, hand-dyed, handwoven and handknit colorrific riot, piped up "That's because you haven't tried the draft-and-park method."

At this, I began an inner dialogue which seems long but really wasn't.

My brain: Oh God.
My stomach: Get me a ham sandwich. Without the bread, we're on a diet.
My brain: Shut up. Keep smiling. Watch, you might learn something.

The spinner sat with the drop spindle between her knees, fiddled and diddled with the string (which I know is called a "lead"), patiently coaxed the fibers apart and commenced to show me her spinning mojo.

Me: Oh, I see. That's really cool.
My stomach: Ham.

Spinner: Just don't let the twist go up into your fingers.

I thanked her for the demonstration, left, spent a bunch of time driving around Eugene looking for a place to eat, and found an IHOP just in the nick of time. The spinach salad with chicken wasn't bad.

Have a wonderful week--here's an eyeful of gorgeous lace shawls, and enticing roving.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Fiber paradise

I'll have to make this a quick photo essay-type post, because I'm just inches (literally) from finishing the evil twin of my Lorna's Laces plain-vanilla sock. But I know you're eager to see the haul from Black Sheep Gathering, so I won't make you wait one bit longer.

Here's the hardware:

A classy set of sock blockers from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, with a crescent-moon stitch marker to boot! And check out their merchandise bag:

I have, yes, indeedy.

And now for the software:

Doing my best to support local fiber retailers and producers, I picked up some Opal sock yarn, which is like crack to this yarn addict, from Woodland Woolworks. A friend of mine who is a talented knitter and spinner works at their booth every year, helping out with spinning wheel demos and sales. I enjoyed seeing her there, and I also met Janel from Chameleon Colorworks at lunchtime--check out her colorful blog.

The confection at right is 200 yards of handspun, hand dyed merino, gorgeously done by Shelly of Butternut Woolens. Think Manos, just locally produced. The hardest thing will be deciding what to make with it.

And finally:

Two ounces of handspun tussah silk from Nebo Rock Textiles (couldn't find their link, sorry) of California. I'm thinking a diamond lace scarf.

I made a couple other small purchases--some jewelry and greeting cards--and all in all, had a wonderful time at BSG 2007. Now to finish the socks, wash them, and have a "block party"! Oh, you don't know how long I've been waiting to use that. Sorry, I've done a lot of driving today.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


My faith has been restored

...in the felting process.

Ruffled clutch bag, before its Whirlpool bath:

and after:

I used a great felting yarn, Patons Classic Wool, and since this came out so well, I'll definitely be making a few more!

Don't Pollute the Blogosphere

I spend a lot of time reading knitting blogs, so maybe I take what's said on them a bit too seriously. However, there's been a huge to-do this week over knitbloggers-turned-successful authors being trashed on certain knitting blogs. There's one in particular which has a substantial readership, has been around longer than most, and whose owner has a particularly nasty way of writing. I've been reading her for several years and was linking to her blog. I took down the link some months ago when she wrote something that hacked me off, then forgave her and put the link back up. Well, I've taken the link down permanently, (and replaced it with a link to a blog umpteen times more popular,) and will no longer visit her blog. What essentially happened was that she took aim at the recent wave of knitbloggers who've secured book deals and are now blogging about their success, and a huge number of people thought she was gunning for the Yarn Harlot. Whether she was or not, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was her gracious self, and addressed the issue both in the offender's comments and on her own blog indirectly by stating an unassailable truth: we don't have to always be nice, but we can't assume anonymity! We may think nobody reads our blogs, but the truth is that this is a public medium and we shouldn't put out there anything we don't want someone to see. And especially, we can't assume that the person we're writing negative things about will never see our words, because it can and does happen, and friendships have ended and jobs lost because of it. That truth hit home for me. Not only have I made thoughtless wisecracks on my blog about well-known designers, but I've kvetched about co-workers and even members of my extended family. It's true what they say about the Internet being "forever," and I've learned some valuable lessons. I could elaborate further, but this paragraph is already way too long.

And perhaps my learning something was what was supposed to happen, because it's my blogiversary! Chickenlips Knitting is one year old. Amazing--the year went by in a flash. What a ride it's been--and check it: I've got loyal readers, regular commenters, and friends who knit, crochet and blog! I love this blogging thing, I've gotta tell ya. Makes no sense to me why any knitting blogger would want to use this fantastic contraption to sit around and take pot shots at people, when there's endless fascination to be had surfing blogs, seeing what other knitters are up to, and getting inspired.

One Last Thing

A commenter mentioned that she liked my banner. I can't take credit for it--it was created for me by the fabulous Flutter, who isn't just a writer--she is an artist who paints with words.

Black Sheep Gathering in less than 36 hours! I'll post again sometime over the weekend, and "show you the money," if you will.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Fubar felting

I had a dream.

I was going to make this beautiful bag, with my own stash yarn, in my own preferences of colors and stripe order.

But alas, it was not to be.

(Go ahead and laugh. It's OK.)

What, you may be wondering, went wrong? Let me count the ways. First, I forgot to sew the bottom gussets, resulting in those "fins" at the bottom. Second, I have no freaking clue--the pattern didn't specify yarn type, so I used different brands, but all worsted weight, either 100% wool or wool/alpaca. I used the recommended needle size, cast on the correct number of stitches, measured the length carefully--yada, yada, yada. It shrunk plenty vertically, but it also shrunk way too much in width, giving it funky, non-utilitarian elongation. It just looks plain ol' dumb to me, which mightily frosts my behind, and I want some answers, by golly! I understand that Ms. Radford in fact lives in Portland. Perhaps I should pay her a visit. (Not really; I'm not weird. Well, I am, but I generally don't stalk people unless I really hate them.) I stuffed the bag full of plastic bags to enrounden its shape (did I just coin a new word?) then hung it up on one of my wall sconces to dry. I am supremely annoyed by this failure--I'm not going to try to sell it on Etsy, who would buy it?! But I am not completely discouraged. I'm making the felted clutch, and we shall see.

Something That Made Me Happy

I absolutely love this, and even though it was a spoiler, I can't wait to see the real thing next month.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


We who are about to felt...

My monster Stash Bag, knit up so dang big it's folded--so you can't see all the stripes. I guess that'll be part of the surprise when I post the done pic. Even though I'm not new to felting, I tend to have mishaps with it--like, say, knitted bag handles getting tangled up with the agitator and stretched out of shape. I'll have to watch this project in the washer like the proverbial hawk, because I'm very picky about the results. I'd like to be able to offer it for sale in my Etsy shop (since my dog sweaters are languishing, and I'm paying every month to keep 'em listed). If it turns out badly, it will just be absorbed into my felted bag collective, and I'll start on that adorkable felted clutch pattern I recently found.

My Dream Project

Last year at Black Sheep Gathering, J. bought me three hanks of gorgeous cashmere laceweight from Skaska Designs. Skaska is owned by Galina Khmeleva, from whom I took a lace workshop last Feb. at Stitches West, and her husband. These people know from cashmere. However, until I took the class, I didn't know diddly about making lace. I wondered why my attempts at even the simplest lace patterns never came out looking as they were supposed to, and it's because I never learned to do a proper yarnover. So, thank you Galina for showing me the way--and because of this, my confidence has been bolstered enough to try Eunny Jang's Print o' the Wave shawl. Her tutorial for getting started with the provisional cast-on was invaluable, and I am a happy knitter, because a) I am actually making real lace, and 2) that beautiful yarn is no longer sitting there on the shelf of my yarn hutch, laying a guilt trip on me. Booya!

A horrible pic--but at least it shows the handpainting of the yarn. Now that I think about it, a solid shade might work better with the pattern. Then again, the variegation will help camouflage the myriad mistakes!

Speaking of BSG, it's coming up next weekend. Eugene is a bit more than 100 miles south of here, which makes it a nice little day trip. This will be the third year for me. I must resist the urge to buy more laceweight, as I already have enough of the stuff to keep me busy until at least 2012, and it's likely I'll come back with not much at all. Mostly I'm looking for felting yarn, as the big bag has depleted that essential component of my stash--and I'm liking JoAnn.com for Patons Classic Wool, which happens to be on sale (online only). Also, there's always Knit Picks for inexpensive wool. As much as I like supporting LYS's and local fiber producers, I'd have to raise fifty bucks to be broke right now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Everything must go

...so to speak. Odd-balls of yarn, stubborn excess body fat, you name it--I'm cleanin' the hizouse!

Was going through my stack of knitting books, and in Leigh Radford's AlterKnits I found simple instructions for a ginormous felted bag. Since I've got feltable stash up the wazoo, I started playing around with colors and mixin' it up:

This is the body of the bag, a little less than half completed. I've got another colorway of that "127 Print" that I love so much. Ah, I forgot how much fun it is to stripe. (that's stripe--not strip--although at the proper time and place, that's fun too. Hee.)

Just For Kiki

Cantonese Lemon Chicken, a la Chickenlips

For the chicken:

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 2" pieces

  • 2 egg whites

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • Canola oil for frying

Beat egg whites in large bowl with wire whisk until foamy. Mix in enough cornstarch to make a medium-thick batter. Add chicken pieces and coat evenly. Chill 30 minutes. Heat oil in deep pan over medium heat. Fry chicken pieces in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm.

For Sauce:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • Few drops yellow food color, if desired

Heat 1 cup chicken broth in medium saucepan. Add minced garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice and honey. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer gently. Mix remaining 1/4 cup broth with cornstarch in small bowl. Add to broth mixture. Cook and stir until sauce is clear and slightly thickened. Stir in yellow food color if desired. Pour sauce over chicken.


For some reason, I'm beginning to get really comfortable with jettisoning what doesn't work in my life, whether it's actions, people, behaviors, whatever. Riding the crest of the wave in firing that therapist, I continued this housecleaning of sorts by firing my M.D. too! I found a new doc, who is much more conveniently located AND has done me perhaps the greatest service I've received in the past few years: she re-evaluated my depression (backstory: I've been on antidepressants for a long time) and determined that a new medication was in order. I just began the gradual process of switching over, and I'm excited! For a long time, I was resigned to taking something that really wasn't working, just making life more bearable than if I took nothing, and now it's great to feel like there just might be a new "me" on the horizon. I'm not severely depressed; I've got enough mojo to work, love and nurture my family, and knit--but there's always an impetus to do more. And what that BS therapist would never tell me, I realized, is that I need to feel good enough to tackle my physical issues!

You know, maybe it's no accident that I named my blog "Chickenlips"--because, as the Belle of Amherst said, "Hope is the thing with feathers."

Sock Saga

If you're reading this, bless you, because it's around midnight and I'm rather droopy-eyed. Hope I'm making adequate sense.

Here is Thing One:

Fairly passable. It's another basic, flappy-heeled lightweight sock, in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. However, Thing Two met with disaster as I was standing in the Yarn Harlot throng last Friday night, trying to fit in by nonchalantly knitting the second sock, chatting with my neighbors, and then laughing at Stephanie. I don't have to tell you what happened. At the gusset, I discovered a dropped stitch waaaay back at the heel, and other messes. I'm going to have to frog it. Feh.

Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors are wonderful things, but they can't fix a bitched-up sock!

Friday, June 08, 2007


I gave in to the pressure

There it was, on page one of the Living section of today's Oregonian, and also in a banner at the top of the front page. And there it was again, announced on Portland SnB, one of the Yahoo! groups I belong to. When I got home from work, wouldn't you know, there was a message from my friend Jenny of the UU Shawl Ministry, telling me the same thing: The Yarn Harlot is coming to Powells bookstore tonight.

I really wasn't going to go, even though I was intrigued. I tend to avoid anything that smacks of hero worship, especially in knitting, and because Stephanie has this huge following--not that she doesn't deserve it--I didn't particularly want to be among the fawning masses. But even though Jenny's phone message was relayed to me by my daughter, I could hear her charming English accent: "Sharon, the Yarn Harlot is at Powells tonight--you must go!" Well, I couldn't very well refuse Jenny, so I went. By the time I arrived, the room was packed, and it was SRO. I found myself relegated to "Sock Corner," which was what everyone in my area seemed to be working on, so it's a good thing I brought my sock project. The excitement in the room was palpable. Naturally, I forgot my camera and my cell phone died on the way, so I have no pictorial proof--but I swear to you that tonight, I saw the Yarn Harlot.

Stephanie was her funny, honest and brilliant self, and she won me over within moments. I was among those who applauded loudest and longest. As much as I enjoyed her talk, I didn't hang around for book signing--she spoke for an hour, and I was getting tired of standing, but I am very glad I went.

It's a Southern Thing

My first attempt at Red Velvet Cake--but I must confess, I tried a different recipe than Flutter's. I will try hers for sure next time. This one came out tongue-staining red, to be sure, but the texture wasn't as velvet-y as I'd hoped, even though I sifted the dry ingredients. Probably should have used cake flour. Or, maybe the key to making a perfect red velvet cake is, you've got to be Southern. I was born in New Jersey and grew up in Boston, which makes me (gasp) a Yankee! But I'm sure that's not it. I mean, I'm not Chinese, but I make a pretty killer Cantonese Lemon Chicken. Since it's pretty late, and I'm too tired to type it out, I'll save my lemon chicken recipe for next post. Hopefully I'll have some knitting to show off as well.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Cheap thrills

Nope, it's not that Big Brother and the Holding Company album from 1967 which launched the career of Janis Joplin, (CAN YOU TELL I'M OLD?!) --it's also what I'm having with my inexpensive yarn! Here's a taste of what I've been up to:

Fetching Around

Because these little fingerless mitts are such an underground hit where I work, I turned out another pair for a chilly-handed co-worker. I used Bernat Satin, an ackrylic which squeeked *only a little* on the needles, but is a nice Aran weight and feels very soft. That's my own hand doing the modeling. I cropped the pic so you wouldn't have to look at my forearm with its dense crop of freckles--get me some fade cream, stat--and I also put on some nail polish, just for you.

Love Those Cotton Blends

Being a big girl, I'm a devoted fan of this book , which touts the use of natural fiber blend yarns in making plus-size fashions. The synthetic added to the wool, cotton, alpaca or what have you lightens the weight of the item, keeping it cooler, which is nice when I constantly have the 21st-century version of hot flashes (e.g. "power surges",) and also keeps the garment from sagging and/or stretching. That said, I'm happily stitching away on a comfort shawl in cotton/acrylic which I am enjoying so much I Just Might Have To Keep It:

Woohoo, extreme closeup! This is TLC "Cotton Plus" from Coats & Clark in "Jazz" colorway. Just doing double moss stitch. Perfect for a mindless, TV-watching stitchathon. I'm not one for prime time viewing, but I did treat myself to a pay-per-view last night--"The Queen." Loved it--just the portrait of a strong woman I needed to see.

No, No, Ten Times No

I was raised to be a "good" girl--which means compliant, not making waves, putting being liked above all other concerns--and of course that way of living never got me anywhere. I'm still in the process of reprogramming my thinking, and learning to say no when something isn't working for me. The problem is, sometimes I go overboard, maybe because I was invisible as a child and sometimes I still think I won't be heard.

In early February, I put myself in therapy for support and assistance in dealing effectively with my teenager. As the work went on, however, even though things have settled down considerably on the home front (despite the behavior I described in my last post) it became clear that this is not the therapist I want to work with long-term, or in fact ever again. Now, I put it to you: what kind of therapist is so inattentive that she has to be constantly reminded of the particulars of your deepest, darkest life trauma? That and other incompatibilities made it overwhelmingly clear to me that I needed to end the association. I tried to. Several times. But each time, her arguments that she was a good therapist and I had to give her a chance would win out. So today, I mailed her a letter in which I gave her an unequivocal no, No, NO:

June 5, 2007

Dear Dr. _________:

This is to notify you that I have decided to terminate therapy with you. I will not be returning to your office. Please accept this letter as my stated refusal to pay any further missed appointment charges. In the interest of protecting myself, this letter bears the seal of a notary public.

I have been trying to tell you for some time now that you simply are not the right practitioner for me. Other than a few, negligible improvements in my personal and family life since I entrusted myself to your care, the benefits I expected to receive from your counseling have fallen far short of my expectations. As your client, I put my utmost effort into the success of our work by continuing to attend sessions, being as honest with you as I possibly could, and voicing my concerns to you. However, your consistent failure to be mindful of key specifics in my life, such as traumatic and defining events, has proven to me that if we were to continue, our work together would be fraught by the same trust issues which would only compound over time. Therefore, I cannot see any sense in continuing a process which is just not going to work. In short, you have not yet met my needs, and I am convinced that you never will.

It’s my hope that you will not attempt to contact me in any way. The balance of fees I owe you up to and through our last session, which was held on May 30, 2007, I promise to pay as promptly as I am able. I regret having to terminate our association in this way, but based on my understanding of your business practice, I feel I have no other choice.

What do you say, did I get my message across? (hee)

Lovely readers, thanks for indulging me. Though I can't predict with any accuracy the subject of my next post, I promise you it will contain absolutely no accounts of dog poop OR whining over bad therapists. Pinky swear.

Friday, June 01, 2007


What you get when you cross an elephant with a rhino

I have spent today grappling with this and many other issues. Today didn't start off well, and then it just got steadily worse. Let's just say that last night was the end of sharing my bed with Jimmy. I awoke at an ungodly hour to yup, you guessed it. Ew. Last night I'd thought, "oh, he may have some intestinal thing but he surely won't mess the bed." I'd thought wrong, and I'm going to stop calling him Shirley straightaway. I changed the bed and got back into the now-clean snort fort. When I got up for real, I discovered that both mutts were sick as, well, dogs. I called the vet and brought them both in. Bacterial imbalance in the small intestine was the diagnosis for both boys, with Buster being the more acutely ill. Several medications including Imodium, vet exams, lab work, and flea prevention for all our pets (we have 2 cats, and someday I'll introduce them) came to over $300. Also, this bout of tummy distress has caused so much carpet soiling that our house was downright unhygienic. Who ya gonna call? Carpet cleaning--another $150. Yikes.

I wish this tale of woe ended there, but here's the flip side: while still at the vet's, thinking I could get the pets taken care of and then go on to work (you mean I've gotta do that, too?!) my daughter called from school--seems she was once more smarting off to security and staff during assembly, which she is notorious for, and they finally got fed up with her, it being almost the end of the school year. She drew a two-day suspension, something new for her dad and me to deal with. I meted out discipline at home (immediate withdrawal of cellphone and shopping priveleges) and had to endure screaming, wall pounding, and of course the heavy artillery of "I hate you." Oh yeah, that's my favorite. I withstood it calmly, enforcing parental authority without resorting to any of my old coping behaviors (such as smoking, overeating, or overmedicating), so yay for me. Progress, baby!

It's now evening, and although the dogs are temporarily confined to the backyard, peace and cleanliness have been restored in our domicile. Last night I finished half a pair of Fetchings , but my knitting plans for today were of course hosed by the chaos. Monday I get to find out if I still have a job! (Half-kidding there.) I'll keep you posted, f'shizzle.

And to make the title of this post make sense, here are some of the other deep conundrums with which I have been rassling: how can I help my strong-willed, highly intelligent teen avoid turning her life into dreck?* How long can I hang on to a job that has become boring, confining and stale? And what is the appeal of Larry the Cable Guy, anyway?

The answer to all of these questions, my friend, is not blowin' in the wind. It's 'ELLIFINO!

*dreck: Yiddish for excrement. Had to work that in somehow.

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