How to (begin to) fix a really crappy
weekend week month:
1. Apologize a lot. When you’re done apologizing, apologize some more. However, apologize only when you mean it. Too many “I’m sorry”s doesn’t get you anywhere. A cup of hot tea might get help.
2. Thank your spouse for their patience, for their support, and for their willingness to start over and pretend it’s the morning again, as long as you have said cup of tea.
3. Make a plan. Figure out what needs to be fixed, or what might need to be fixed, and get started on getting to step one of that plan. Maybe start by beginning step 1 of 100 in simply getting to the Real Step 1. You have to start somewhere.
4. Get out of the house. Changing the scenery can make you appreciate what you have, and you’re nicer when you’re out in public anyway.
5. See friends. Especially if friends have a baby. Few things make you as mushy as seeing your spouse snorgle a baby.
6. Go to the woods. You should probably take the dog. Feel better among the trees, and feel like a better dog owner when your dog comes home and passes out.
7. Put birdseed in the birdfeeder. Marvel at the birds and take comfort in the chickadees. Yes, the chickadees are coming. Hope is around the corner.
I’m not sure if you guys have met my sister before, but she’s really pretty.
Not only is she pretty, she is also getting married! Unfortunately, I think she would kill me if I posted pictures of her in her wedding dress on the interwebs, so instead I am going to tell you about her bridal shower, which we hosted last week in Pennsylvania.
My sister (let’s call her Cat, because that is an animal like a Bird, and it is cute and also maybe somewhat related to her actual name) double majored in Biology and Russian, because she is a slacker with a low IQ (<– sarcasm, in case that wasn’t completely obvious from the double major in two crazy hard subjects). She also spent a semester in Russia, so we thought a Russian theme would be fun. Also, my family has always had several Matryoshka dolls around the house, and we have given them to each other for holidays, so it seemed like a perfect representation of the Russian theme. You know, Matryoshka dolls and, of course, vodka.
Given that I’m in grad school and have several jobs, I could either outsource this whole thing or take advantage of the opportunity to get crafty. As it turns out, my idea of a pretty perfect evening is one involving: 1. wine, and 2. making things. Happily, I managed to squeeze in the time to consume wine while making things over a few weeks prior to the shower.
I started with a pencil sketch of a nesting doll. This was actually one of the hardest parts of the whole thing.
I found a bunch of pictures online and used pinterest to collect images I liked; from there I narrowed it down to simple things that I thought would be easy to draw and easy to carve. For example, the below is beautiful, but just not feasible given my time and level of print-making experience.
As you can probably see on the above picture, I traced over the pencil sketch with charcoal and then rubbed it onto the linoblock to transfer. From there, I traced the whole thing in Sharpie, and then proceeded to cut away!
This was my first time using a hard linoblock rather than rubbery stamp stuff, and it was much harder to cut. Sadly, I actually stabbed myself three times. Luckily, you can’t see any of the blood here. One time? Fine, it’s my first time with the project. The second time? Okay, I’ll learn from it this time; it’s a little slippery. The third time? Really? Do you not learn from the consequences of your behavior, you silly behavior analyst??
After that, it was time for tea towels! I bought flour sack towels, which worked really well. It was definitely a little more labor-intensive than I had originally expected: 1. unfold towels; 2. iron towels; 3. refold towels for proper centering of print; 4. put block on towel; 5. go crazy with a kitchen rolling pin; 6. let it dry; 7. iron the back of the towel so the fabric paint sets; 8. wash all towels and hope and pray the paint both sticks and does not smear/leak/wash away; 9. do a happy dance that the paint did not smear/leak/wash away; 10. iron all towels again; 11. fold towels; 12. bring towels to Pennsylvania; 13. iron again; 14. fold again; 15. GO TO PARTY!! Oof, a lot of steps. Totally worth it, though, given that there was wine for pretty much all of these steps, and also given how much I love how they turned out!
Besides this, we needed some smaller dolls to decorate the space. I honestly had no clear purpose for them starting out, but I thought we needed more than one nesting doll in order to have a real life theme, so here they are. This was easier and less painful for me (literally – I did not stab myself even once with these!), though original iterations of this print were somewhat creepy.
Solution to the creepy? No faces. At first I thought this would be creepier, but I thought it actually looked pretty cute. However, hundreds of anything are not cute. Here they are having taken over our house.
I ended up using some of these on the vodka bottles, as you can see above, and on the gift table:
To continue with our theme, the game prizes were all Matryoshka kitchen ware: measuring spoons, measuring cups, salt and pepper shakers, and storage containers, plus an extra towel and extra vodka, because why not?
Finally, our activities were a quiz about my sister and her fiance (see prizes above) and decorating a bunch of nesting dolls! This was my favorite part and it was fun to see a lot of the cute touches on these.
All in all? It was a hit, both from my art-making perspective, and, I think, from my sister’s bridal perspective. Plus, it was a great excuse to wear my new bicycle tie. Happy Bridal Shower, Cat!!
Our dogs have it pretty rough. Because Lenny ate most of the dog beds we purchased for her (and the ones we got for Daphne!) the poor beasts are forced to sleep only on the human furniture.
We ship Lenny off to daycare twice a week. She comes home exhausted. It’s really quite awful, all the playing she is forced to do. Apparently, she is also used for some of the new dog evaluations as a “high energy female dog.” Shocker. Luckily, we are at least nice enough to let her sleep it off on the aforementioned “dog bed.”
Besides all that, we insist on taking many pictures of the dogs close up. Look how pained Daphne is to endure this:
(actually, in the above picture, she seemed to be preparing for my yelling at her to get off the couch. Yelling or camera? I went with camera. We all know she sleeps on the couch anyway.)
After the storm cleared on Saturday and the sidewalks were more or less cleared on Sunday, we walked to the store and took Lenny with us. The poor dog had to walk a whole mile; maybe even a mile and a half when all was said and done. We made her wear this ridiculous coat from REI. Seriously, we are the worst.
To add to the indignity, we covered up her little feet! She was none too pleased about this. Sadly, I did not get a video of her panicking about not being able to walk. (As a serious aside: Lenny’s toenails are all starting to crack and some are even falling off. The vet says that this is due to the dry winter weather – I am skeptical about it being “dry” with so much snow on the ground, but fine. Apparently, we should use the booties more and also moisturize Lenny’s feet. Crazy.)
As awful as we are, and as hard as we make their lives, we do occasionally allow Daphne to simply sit outside in the snow, and for this, she is grateful.
Are you, too, mean to your dogs, forcing them into all sorts of horrible things such as clothing and couches? How do they survive the horror of humans?
Happy Wednesday, folks.
Well, folks, the storm has begun. Consider this your obligatory “Nemo is here!” post. We do not have a little orange fish swimming around, but we do have a whole bunch of snow and an orange dog.
As it turns out, this particular orange dog loves the snow. Apparently, she loves it enough that she will simply sit in it and refuse to come inside, despite the open door, warm house, and many treat offerings. Despite this weird, weird face:
The other dog, in the meantime, has been completely passed out since 9am. While it’s a nice break for all of us, I’m starting to get a little worried… she is snuggling and has not destroyed a single thing today. Hopefully she’s just sleeping through the storm and will be back to her normally, slightly-less-lovable self* soon.
We are handling the storm by making our snow blower accessible, collecting candles, and being really lazy. I am eating a lot. It is really some good quality time to just be all together, and I am enjoying it. Can’t wait to see the dogs in the deep snow tomorrow.
How are you handling the storm?
*In case you can’t tell from all the photos I post and bragging I do about this little dog, I really do love her quite a bit. Most of my complaining about her is in jest (except for the part where I complain about how she jumps 6+ foot fences. That part is for serious). Turtle, on the other hand, tolerates her with some mild affections mixed in.