~:: A Whole Lot of Nothing ::~

Here is a post with no moral compass, no philosophy or political opining, no responsible reason for existence.  It’s just about me.  Me, me, me.


The Scoots, finally having earned one of Donna’s Buckwheat Days sugar bears.

G has taken Chaz out on a date—dinner and the new Studio Ghibli movie.  This is a big deal. G hates anime. But Chaz loves it. The father has dumped his wife in order to spend an evening with a darling daughter, doing something she will love—all completely his idea.  The wife? Facing the evening alone (he’s had church or work every evening this week – so it’s been many evenings) with determination to indulge herself nigh unto death. And so has she done.


My Valentine’s morning greeting.  You can’t read the candy hearts – they’re private.

Today was a kind of good day.  I finished the image correction of my 397th (and last) page of my project just yesterday. Then I had to wrestle with Photoshop, unraveling the arcane Batch Automation function – which I finally did this morning, turning the big computer loose to resize, apply a black border, and save the .psds as .pngs all by itself.  The process, even for the computer, took two hours.  But I didn’t have to do a thing. Very satisfying. And I wrote a letter I’d been meaning since October to write, and paid my irrigation dues and even finished up the discussion questions for the back pages of the up-coming publication of Breaking Rank. And cleaned out the dishwasher.  And filled it again.


But it was tonight I meant to write about.


The first of a long line of next Christmas’ camels.

I had planned my evening out, this date with myself—thought it over for days —and when I woke this morning, I knew what I wanted more than anything: the best Philly Steak sandwich in this little western town; this morning, I researched it thoroughly.  And a piece of French Silk pie, easily collected along with a triple-berry bribe I lovingly bought for my friends who will bring me hay this July.  But the piece of pie was smaller than I’d imagined it, so I stopped at the Great Harvest bakery down from the sandwich place to buy a giant oatmeal/chocolate chip cookie (which so reminds me of my mother) and managed to collect a buttered sample slice of exotic wheat bread and one of an even more esoteric peach bread as well.


My sad attempt at Fuzzy Mitten’s Pookie pattern.

Then I went through every movie we own, sifted through Netflix and on-demand and Amazon prime, looking for a movie that would charm me, carry me away, make me feel something special – and came up with what I must now admit is probably my favorite (and most often watched) movie in the world: You’ve Got Mail. It was the only one that spoke to the evening.


This is one of the first toy patterns I collected – two years ago? Joey’s house.

Now I am fat and sassy.  The sandwich was still warm by the time I got to unwrap it.  The pie, smooth as it purported itself to be.  The cookie is yet uneaten (is enough really enough?).  The movie, touching and sweet and dear.  The evening is growing toward dark, and the house is quiet, except for the dog who is sneaking around upstairs, not knowing I can hear the boards creak under his feet.


I am deciding about the cookie.  Debauchery. Wildness. A madness of unbridled carbs.  So unlike me.

I am smiling.

This is what the children mean when they say, “I can’t wait till I grow up and I can do anything I want.”


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30 Responses to ~:: A Whole Lot of Nothing ::~

  1. Donna says:

    OK. So happy that the bear is finally being enjoyed! What did he have to do to earn it? I forget.
    Really, don’t you love a self night now and again? Not just the regular meetings or work nights, but one like this where you get to plan and anticipate and INDULGE! I have been ‘good’ for so long now that my list of indulgences would be quite lengthy…the sad part is that none of them come in single servings usually….chips, chocolate ice cream, oatmeal cookies with the cream inside, great burger, mint ice cream, fritos….I just can’t even continue!
    Now, how is that camel standing up on those knobby kneed legs and how is it that you are making for next Christmas already! You are an over achiever….
    Enjoy yourself tonight.

    • webmaster says:

      Well, I have eaten myself sick. Utterly sick. But unrepentant. That camel has pipe cleaners in his widdle wegs (legs), so he can support himself. I’m not really an over achiever – I just hate, hate, hate having everything to do at the last minute – vast rafts of stuff to finish in time. This year, I decided – after I finish this year’s project, I’m going to do two pages of next year’s each day – twelve minutes’ worth. So that next January, all I have to do is assemble and finish – a matter of days instead of dogged weeks – and time to put away Christmas and clean house and start with eyes wide open instead nose to the grindstone. So I figure, one camel a month, and Christmas itself might be much more fun.

      But for now – I watched my sweet movie, ate myself sick and wrote a blog for the first time in weeks. If this two pounds of steak and peppers can find its way out of my upper regions before I try to go to bed tonight, I think I’m gonna sleep okay.

      Oh – Scoots – he had to eat three bites of something good for him – that wasn’t cheese.

      • Donna says:

        That teddy bear is a very good reward for 3 bites of good food! Just regular widdle pipe cleaners? Are you going to make the camels little blankies and halters? I love how he already looks a bit furry and very soft. Now, what can I start making for Christmas? It is such a good idea…let me think…..
        I’ll get back to you on this one…probably around the 1st of December when the idea comes to me!
        I’m going to have to watch the movie again….has been ages!

        • webmaster says:

          With Scoots, it’s a matter of trying to get ANYTHING into him that is good for him. And yes, I will make little bridles and blankies – that should be the funnest part, and if I play my cards right, I might just have time to make them well, and not slap-dash. That’s what i hate, never having time to actually enjoy the process. I dream too big, I fear. So I’m just knitting along in the car, or on the way to Santa Fe, or while people around me are talking. By the time I’m finished, I’ll have learned a thing or two. Rachel doesn’t like to make the same thing twice. But I have to make things about a dozen times before I start learning about WHY I’m increasing or decreasing -how the shape happens, how the animal is engineered.

  2. Rachel says:

    And you were going to try and take my ice cream away from me!!!!!

    Sounds like a loverly evening….. just loverly. Speaking of loverly, I think I want to watch, “My Fair Lady” now……..

    • webmaster says:

      Look you – it wasn’t an entire quart. And it was only one night, not a week long craziness. Besides, if you’d been here, you’d have thrown yourself between me and the pie. You know you would’ve. And you’d have eaten it, too. I mean – you’d have snarfed it up just to “save me” from myself.

  3. webmaster says:

    Got it MC. But just like I promised – I sent it away again. I am SO delighted.

  4. Dawn says:

    I like reading posts that are all about you. It’s fun to get a peek into your life. You’ve Got Mail is such a cute movie. I had a similar night, all to myself, last night. Except I watched 1900 House, and I had to hold off on the carbs. I get one “cheat” day each week. Today is the day, and oh how I’m enjoying it. I had a cinnamon roll and coffee for breakfast. A Philly steak sandwich sounds really good right now…..
    Love those bunnies and the camel!

    • webmaster says:

      1900 house!!I remember seeing that. The poor maid. I bet SHE never got a PHilly Steak in the whole time she lived there. But I think the first one quit, didn’t she? Chaz does the one cheat day, too. MMMM Cinnamon rolls!

      • Dawn says:

        You might be thinking of Manor House? I watched that one too. ; ) I think they might have had two maids quit! 1900 House is another PBS reality series, but it follows a middle class family living in London. They also had a maid (but just one). She had it hard, but she didn’t live with them. She was let go after a few weeks because the lady of the house was uncomfortable having her around. I have been completely immersed in the early 1900’s time period for months now. That’s what homeschooling does to me. I research something for my daughter, then I get sucked in.

        • webmaster says:

          It was in London, I remember, and their big treat was an outing to a swimming pool. But, of course, they had to wear the correct swimming costumes. Just thinking of all those undergarments they had to wear, and breathe in spite of, makes me horribly tired. After I watched whichever one I watched – I felt so blessed for such basic things. Clean water coming in strength out of a faucet – hot if you like. It becomes amazing.

  5. Julie says:

    Sounds like a very nice evening Kristen – isn’t it lovely to be grown-up and indulge yourself a little. I enjoy my ‘me’ time when the children are ar school and H is busy and I can settle down wit a big cup of tea to some un-interrupted knitting time, pure bliss! I like the idea of a long line of christmas camels x

    • webmaster says:

      One of the few perks of being responsible for everything. But a moment of bliss is a very large thing. I will post the line as it grows.

  6. Eve Dowdle says:

    Me too, me too, me too! I simply adore “You’ve Got Mail”. It’s the very first movie I purchased just for myself. Ahhhh… indulgences. I do love them.

    • webmaster says:

      But when I picture you indulging, there’s elegance to it. Still, being ratty old me was fun enough last night. I haven’t eaten anything of note today, though. My body thinks its stocked up for the next week and a half.

  7. Jenni says:

    I adore the camel and then I saw the little bunny in his bunnykins swaddling, to sweet…I’m going to have to make one of those for sure. And more bunnies, your killing me :-) I love a night to myself but it rarely happens. Billy usually gets home at about 7:30ish and all the kid and animal stuff has been done and house brought back to respectability and by that time I’m wrecked and ready to sit and craft and catch up on blogs. Sometimes I get a movie and go and watch it in the quiet of the bedroom for some me time. I’ve just watched the first series of Downton Abbey and loved every minute of it!

    • webmaster says:

      I know. When I first starting knitting (and I really blame Linda for it – her horses on Etsy started all this) it was like I was running through the garden of Eden, snatching toy patterns off the low branches by the armful. And I only just started to mess with some of them. Bunnies are sorta charming. Horses are best. But bunnies are pretty fun. Jen – if you get your house to respectability every day by seven thirty, you are yards, miles mega kilometers ahead of me. Two years ago I just stopped caring very much – about the time when I realized that I could finally focus exactly on what I wanted to do – for as long and as much as I wanted to – since my kids are all living their own lives. It takes a while to figure that out. The house isn’t horrible – but dusty and heaped in some corners. I’ll set it better to rights when I finish these projects. But I don’t have to if I don’t want to. And that’s amazing.

  8. That is no sad attempt. It is delightful! Both bunnies are. But the camel, oh but that camel is absolutely dreamy. The yarn is PERFECT. What pattern do you use? I’m in the midst of knitting up an alpaca, a bear, and a cat, and well, why not a camel?

    That movie is one of our favourites too.

    And I look forward to being grown up, but am thoroughly enjoying the growing up that I’m ensconced in right now. My children are raising me to be a deeply contented grown up. I love that about them.

    • webmaster says:

      That contentment underlies your writing. It’s what washes over me as I look at your images. You have the gift, not only of sight, but of a certain serenity. I know, I know – you lose it, and you get down, and things get out of control. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about seeing the wind take the ribbons of the wind-sock you made yourself and feeling the curl of the ribbons; you see because you look, and you look because of that gift. Children, when allowed to be real in a family, actually force the adult to see and hear – by moving slowly in their innocent quickness, quickly in their physical risk – but by their fresh discovery of things we’ve forgotten to be fascinated by. We get into the “just hand me the tool so I can get this done” adult thing, but children are playing with the tool, wondering over the odd shape of it, turning it inside out. Blessed is the parent who grabs that chance at redemption.

      I realized, in the middle of the night when I think I was actually sleeping, that the camel was the only thing I didn’t credit. And I won’t get around to doing it today – what with Sunday school lessons and family photo correction. And haven’t I told you yet about this guy? Because he is WONDERFUL and AMAZING and seductive – Alan Dart. He is published regularly in magazines in the UK I could never afford (would I love Molly Makes? Can I afford it? Too bad.) But he’s taken all of his old patterns and simply made his own little store. It’s wonderful and his prices are kind and very encouraging. This camel comes from the Ark collection. He’s my fave. The nativity camel, not so much. And yes – if you’ve got an alpaca, doesn’t it just seem right that you should have a camel, too?

      • Aha – you DID tell me about him. I just didn’t remember, which I must tell you, is to be entirely expected. THIS time I will try to remember, because you are right, camels and alpacas go ungulate-in-ungulate (the camelid version of hand-in-hand). Thank you Wikpedia.

        “Blessed is the parent who grabs that chance at redemption.” Kristen, you write the best things.

  9. Ginger says:

    I just adore the camel!

  10. ~This is what the children mean when they say, “I can’t wait till I grow up and I can do anything I want.”~

    I remember thinking that! I’ve gotten so old and stodgy that somehow I had forgotten it. It’s important to remember. Not just for the children’s sake, I’m sure that it makes all of our splurges and binges more divine. Good for you.

    I’ve been off-line for almost a week and I can’t tell you the withdrawal this family has gone through. I thought that it was going to be kind of nice having this forced hiatus from the machine. What I hadn’t realized is how much we depend on it for some of the little things. I was prepared to handle the more important issues (like banking) without it. I’m guilty of not checking my e-mail daily, but wouldn’t you know that this would be our week to host the teen ice-skating event on the only snow day we’ve had since December. We skate in Bend and they had a storm advisory beginning at 4:00 pm. Our session was from 4:30 to 9:00. I was on the telephone all day! Talking to moms… talking to the rink… calling moms back… waiting… calling and receiving calls all day. I certainly have a new respect for my computer connection that allows me to inform so many people at one time. Of course I have no respect for those who tap into my account and communicate with my friends under my name! :)

    Blessings, Debbie

    • webmaster says:

      Ach, but what blessing doesn’t have the potential down-side of disaster? Like when people fall in love – when a woman looks at a potential mate, she sees all these great things about him – but doesn’t realize there are two sides: strength = bossiness, or worse, lack of understanding of other people’s weakness. Decisiveness is the same. A fun nature can mean lack of focus. Things like that. But I’m glad you got rid of the hacker. Honestly, I do not understand the mind and heart of someone who would spend hours and brain power for the purpose of harming other people. I guess they hoped to make money off it -= scoring hits and moving up the google chain, or something. But all they really do is make people hate them and want them arrested. There’s so much to do in this world that’s productive and creative in a beautiful way – that could benefit those around them – why choose harm?

      I bet that day was bedlam – but it was also a reminder of how far we’ve shifted in our every day function. It wasn’t that long ago that a day like that was pretty much business as usual. Also a sort of wake-up call, which is why I signed on for Lifelock (or whatever system watches over your identity). Not that it can prevent everything – but it’s nice at least to think somebody’s paying attention the things in the background I can’t spend time stressing over just now. What a weird world it is, really.

  11. Kathy V says:

    Maybe someone already said this, I haven’t read all the comments. But… funny how you have to wait for the kids to grow up so YOU can do anything you want.

    • webmaster says:

      What’s more, if you don’t make SURE they grow up fairly well, or if you cheat and do what you want prematurely, stealing focus from their up=bringing, you spend years of grief and drama, having to make up time – so the time when you CAN do what YOU want gets pushed even further back. Life’s an odd proposition.

  12. Natalie says:

    I love that you did this for YOU! I just finished off the last mint brownie in your honor. And “You’ve Got Mail” is one of MY absolute favorites, too. The only movie I’ve seen more is “Sabrina” (modern version), but that’s only because I’ve owned it longer.
    PS- I kind of had my own “Only Me” day for a few hours on Tuesday, when I said to heck with the chores and finished “Alien”. Love, LOVE, love, Smitty. He really grabbed my heart.

    • webmaster says:

      Dear buzzy thing, It has been almost two weeks since you ate that brownie, and I haven’t even taken the time to visualize and envy. Till this morning. Happily, I am still stuffed with cheeseburger pizza from last night and thus, I do not covet. Not even a mint brownie. I also very much dig the new Sabrina. The old one irked me beyond belief. Instead of going to Europe for a dash of Paris living, the old Sabrina goes there to a cooking school and is styled as a total geeky failure at it, not even knowing how to crack an egg. But it is her final skill that puts her in the way of winning the man’s heart – because she’s a good cook. Not because she is her own person, independent, strong with experience of her own and an interesting mind.

      May I say how dearly I love it that you loved Smitty?

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