Saturday, September 26, 2009

F.P.U List #22 - Knit a Scarf

I've been very inspired lately, what with the holidays coming up or something, so I've decided that it's time to tackle one of my F.P.U list items - knit a scarf.

I don't know how to knit. I tried once about three years ago and almost ended up either stabbing myself in the eye, hanging myself, or both. I never learned how to even cast on properly because the diagrams that they give you in the books and manuals are pure gobbledygook! At least to me; the images baffle me, I guess, because I can't see how the yarn and needles move.

Like that, helps me none. So I've enlisted a new help - YouTube!! There are some great videos out there that show you exactly how to cast on and start knitting your first row. It took me about an hour or so to cast on and knit my first row, but for some reason I get all bungled up when I'm trying to knit my second. I'm not sure if I'm doing something goofy with the slip knot or what, but I get all these strands going back and forth from needle to needle when I'm trying to make a stitch.

I'm total novice because my yarn is always sliding around on the needles, and my hands cramp up, and I think to myself how in the HELL can Granny do this with her arthritis. But then I think it probably took her her whole life to master this insanity and now she's finally reveling in her glory! That must be it!!

I'm not too down and out about it, because I can already do a lot more than I could when I started, so it's a good beginning point. I can make one row of something very intestinal looking (because my yarn is a mottled pink) before my second row screws me, so I will just watch more videos, put some Ben Gay on my aching hands, and give it another go later. ;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I hate my litterbox.

Yeah, you heard me. This post is going to be about my catbox.

Thar she blows, the Booda domed catbox. I've owned cats nearly all my life and I will never use another uncovered litter box because a) they are messy, b) they are stinky, and c) you show me a cat who doesn't kick litter out like a donkey and I'll show you about 20 who do. So I've always had covered catboxes.

But I've never had a cat as ginormous as Finnegan.

Finnegan is 18 pounds and the size of about two ham hocks from the grocery store. Maybe two and a half. (Suddenly he's eyeing me warily from across the room - can he sense I'm sizing him up in my mind?) He is BIG. Not fat either (okay maybe a smidge), but just a large boned cat. I've never had to worry about fitting a polar bear into a covered catbox, until now.

This blasphemy of a catbox is the biggest covered one we could find, so we brought it home. I felt so bad for poor Finn, who would have to origami his ass up into our older covered box that he rapidly outgrew. Mind you, he's got a semi-bum leg that he can't really pick all the way up on his own to climb into a hole on your regular cat box. So the stairs on this were truly the bomb. Less tracking?! HEE HAW!! Our box is in the guest bathroom but always, litter would track into the hallway, and if there's one thing I can't STAND it's walking on cat litter on the carpet. Afgajrguaedgash. (See, that's how bad I can't stand it.)

What makes this box great is:

- Finn can fit into it without having to become a fuzzy Houdini.
- It looks sort of like a kitty spaceship.
- And I admit, it has cut down on the tracking.

I dare you to try and clean this thing. And by clean, I mean empty the litter and WASH it. You will be more worn out than if you did an entire 90 day shred in one day, and may need an ER trip. Let me tell you why!

IT'S A BIG FRIGGIN' DOME. Do you know how hard it is to get a good grip on something that unwieldy? Oh, by the way, since Finn is the Staypuf Marshmallow Cat, this means he frequently pees on the inside walls of the box. Which means you (read: me) will unwittingly dabble your fingers in a smidgen of cat pee whilst you struggle to flip the cover of this box upside down so you can heave it into your bathtub that it doesn't really fit in so you can scrub the everloving hell out of it.

If there's one thing I hate more than kitty litter on the carpet, it's the texture of cat pee. Not like water at all, folks. A little more slippery. UGH. Can't stand it. No no no no no. I need to invest in some of those elbow high plastic gloves housewives in the 50's used to do their dishes.


The top of this hellacious dome of horror doesn't quite fit into our bathtub, so when I'm scrubbing it it tips back and forth a lot like a demented baby swing, which leads to the swearing - how the bleep can I scrub this bleepity bleep thing when it can't bleepin' stay still for one bleeping second. But that's not the worst part. The inside of this box where the litter is held looks like a giant kidney bean. Have you ever tried to scoop litter out of a box with round edges?? NOT gonna work! I literally have to use a beach shovel.

Note the rounded edges.

Anyways, once you stop digging for dubloons and get all of the litter out of this bizarrely shaped atrocity, good luck getting THIS sucker into the bathtub. You will make a mess. You will need some towels. It's absolutely awkwardly shaped to clean and I have no doubt that the committee that invented this is watching people who buy these things, recording our antics and sailor language as we try to clean these in a civil manner, laughing and playing the video back at company Christmas parties. You will do a lot of leaning and grunting and trying not to flatten your boobs (if you have them) on the edge of the bathtub so you can scrub every side of this thing. It should be some type of prison punishment.

So I really do hate my litterbox. We're on the lookout for a bigger human-friendlier one, but until then I'm stuck dealing with the piece of crap dome from hell. Finn's just lucky he is the bomb and we love him so much!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekend Breakfasting

One of my absolute favorite things to do on the weekends is to go out for breakfast! Sometimes I even like it more than going out for dinner. :)

Brunch is really big here in the south (not so much where I'm from up north...) and it seems like every restaurant around here does it. Even Ruby Tuesday is jumping on the bandwagon and is starting to offer a brunch at select restaurants! (One being right down the way from me... heh heh...)

This morning we went down to Panera Bread and I had the yummiest pumpkin spice muffin with my chocolate milk! I'm also a sucker for croissant sandwiches with egg and cheese in them... mmm... there's a place up in DC called the Corner Bakery that would make the YUMMIEST (read: tastiest & most fattening ever!) breakfast croissant sandwich. Drooooool.... Pancakes and french toast are usually good staples, too. Or scrambled eggs and toast! Okay, now I'm hungry. :)

What do y'all (see, southern!!) like to eat when you go out for a yummy breakfast??

Okay, changing my brain away from food ... I have to say, that I really "noticed my age" today when the first magazine I picked up off the newsstand to ooh and aah over was ... Good Housekeeping! Marie Claire? Nah. Cosmo? Bluh. People? Ho hum. Gimme the HOMEBODY magazine!!!! It's such a cozy magazine IMO, right up there next to Southern Living (another guilty pleasure). I just can't help it, I'm envisioning my new home decked out in all these cool seasonal crafts, and cooking all of the fun recipes inside, not to mention the thrifty tips... yup, officially old. :) I don't care though, I'm lovin' it!!

Hope everyone had a great, relaxing, lover-ly weekend. Our weather is cooling down just a little bit, but still nice and sunny. Fall is totally coming our way!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It lives!


Yikes, that was a nice, what, unexpected two week break? Let me tell you, things have been absolutely nutty around here! I haven't had time to follow my Google Reader OR sit down to blog! Work has been pretty crazy too; it's the start of the semester so everyone wants everything yesterday! (why no, we can't do that!)

So, because nothing turns me off more than a big long boring paragraph (well, that and coffee breath), I'll summarize some of the cooler points of my last two weeks of absence:

x I had a birthday! WHOA!! I've been 29 for a week now and you know what, big whoop. I did get some wonderful gifts from my mom, as well as Mr. Cats and his parents and his sister. (Mmm, World Market gift card...) But yeah, pretty uneventful!

x I had a wonderful time visiting my mom in Massachusetts for Labor Day! Let's see if I can find a photo of home... hmm...

There we go. That's a view of a local ski mountain from my mom's deck. One of the bigger differences I notice between MA and NC is the landscape - at least in eastern NC, there are no mountains! Everything is extremely flat.

But anyways, we had a great time, went to the Melting Pot (YUM) for some fondue, did some shopping, and relaxed! We are already looking forward to heading up there for Christmas, because there is NOTHING like a New England Christmas! (Except for maybe a New England fall... unfortunately the leaves hadn't turned much yet when I was there.)

x The house closes the first week in November!!!!!! AAAAHHH!!! I am beyond excited! We now have windows and insulation, and by next week at the very latest we will have sheet rocked walls and a brick exterior. Our final walkthrough is October 20-something (27th?).. almost a month away! It's almost surreal, but we are very excited. :)

x LET'S GO RED SOX!!! Hopefully we can keep the Wildcard! Dice-K is back too. Go team!! Patriots barely squeaked out a win against the Bills Monday... eek! I'm also keeping an eye on the KC Chiefs, not only because Mr. Cats roots for them, but Matt Cassel is QB there now. They lost on Sunday to Philly I think, booooo. (Panthers got their bums beat too, ouch.) I'm not as big of a football fan as I am for baseball, but it's still fun!

x Mr. Cats and I have a couple of projects we are working on, one of them is somewhat secret that involves video games that will take up a decent chunk of our time. I really can't say anything about it now, but there is a really big chance that we will be able to get in on the ground level of something very cool and exciting in the gaming community! (NEEEERRRDDSSSSS!!)

I'm also taking an initiative ahead of time and starting to learn about gardening. We are going to have a gorgeous, very decent sized backyard that I want to make a pretty, relaxing little haven. I'm looking into hardy plants (I've never had a garden, LOL) and maybe toying with the idea of a small water garden (Will it flood???.. it sure can rain here...). I know I can't (and won't) be able to do it all at once, but I love to learn and I'm really looking forward to my new hobby. :)

And once I get my camera for Christmas, I'm going to start taking more and more photos. I'm eventually going to make a photo blog/site once that comes around too!

x Do you remember my birthday giveaway? Do you? (I hope you do, I'm too lazy to find a link back to it.) The one I was supposed to announce the winner of on the 9th? OH YEAH! That one! Well I've picked a winner - actually, had Finnegan pick a winner out of crumpled up balls of paper with numbers on them, it was very scientific yet unbiased - and it is the girl from The Girl with the Pink Teacup! I'm linking her blog even though it's post-mortem, because while she has left the blogging world due to real life turbulence, she still made some absolutely stellar posts. Dear Teacup, I'll email you shortly with details on this, but if you manage to read this between now and then feel free to drop me a line!

Thanks for playing everyone! Giveaways are fun, I hope to do another one (or maybe a few little ones) around the holidays. :)

WAS THAT LENGTHY? You bet your bumpus it was! Now I'm going to try and catch up on my Google Reader, then head inside for a well deserved nap. It's good to be back!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This is me, a lazy blogger making a post via her phone because I have just been inundated with work and busy and stuff lately that I haven't even had time to check my Google reader at all this week, lest I have time to sit down and post. I know I have a giveaway to announce a winner for and I'm late on that, and I'm really really sorry. :( I am overwhelmed this week and exhausted (I slept poorly over my vaca and it's catching up to me) so ... That's my story + I'm sticking to it.

Hopefully be back in business soon...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A short update.

What a weekend! And it's not over yet...

I was going to post some photos but I just haven't had the time to upload them! Did some birthday shopping, did LOTS of eating (omg such food), and enjoyed the awesome New England fall weather. There is NOTHING like fall up here. Crisp, clear, cool :) And yes, it is 9:30, and I am EXHAUSTED! Snoooore... bedtime soon!

I hope you all are enjoying the holiday weekend and I hope to be back to regular blogging soon. But for now... I'm going to fall asleep watching this show about a 900 pound woman on TLC. Yikes!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Up and away!

That will hopefully be my plane tomorrow - I am flying up to Massachusetts to spend Labor Day weekend with my mom! It's been a while since I've flown by myself, and had a layover, so I'm a little nervous! But it'll be fine. :) I'll make sure to post over the weekend!

Also, don't forget about my birthday giveaway, I'll be picking the winner next week!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

See you ... in September ...!

Happy September!!

Regardless of when the actual technical "fall season" starts, September is just it for me. It's a month of changes; school always begins anew here, the temperatures start cooling down, New England slowly starts to look like the above photo, and I turn one year older!!

Seems some other of my blog-buddies are September babies as well, so happy birthday to y'all!! :) My birthday actually falls on the exact same day as my grandfather's -- cool, huh? He'll be 89 this year! DANG!!

But September is the beginning of my favorite season. From now until New Years is my absolute favorite time of year, hands down! Fall is such a lovely season, and it gets me excited for the upcoming holidays to spend time with family and friends and eat lots of awesome food and buy gifts for loved ones. It's all good times from here, baby! (Or one can hope.)

What are your favorite things about fall?

Mine are, in no particular order:

- Getting to wear comfy cozy long sleeves when it gets chilly
- Pumpkin and spice flavored breads, muffins, pies, and coffees! YUM!!
- The crisp chill in the air, and the clean smell. Sluggish humidity, begone!
- FOLIAGE! Although, down here in NC, it's pretty sparse compared to what I'm used to...
- Upcoming holidays. I get so anticipatory!

September also marks the last third of 2009. It's SO weird for me to think that 2010 is on its way... it's still so "Future-y" (think Jetsons maybe) to me. Where is my flying car?? Wait... that's probably a very dangerous idea.