Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturdays we work a half day . . .

And then we go to the park.

Well, lately not so much, because the weather doesn't always cooperate. As noon rolled around today there was more blue than grey so it seemed optimum to get the girls out of the house. Superman says we need more pictures taken. Here you go.

We got them ready and loaded in the truck. When we were in the truck, I thought I would try to catch how excited they were. I post this picture to show you how hard it is to take a picture backwards over your head.
Hey, I'm cute and in my sweater, where we going anyway? Are we there yet?

Ah, Mom! Get that camera outta my face PLEASE! Dad, can't you go any faster?

I know this isn't a great shot, but when I was taking this, I was thinking, this is about as calm as Dori gets. Yet. A bit of slack in the leash, ears a little elevated, tail mid-rise with a curl, mouth slightly open as if to taste the honey gold in the sunshine.

This is Maggie in 'Go-Dog-Go' speed, ears up, nose a-sniffin', tail cocked as if to rudder her direction.

Maggie walks in front with Dori, compatibly, but only when Dad is with us. Here she checks to make sure he's still there.

Nice shot of the park today. See what I mean about sunshine? It's January! So very cool, huh? Hey, Dad! Wait up!

Mom and the girls.

At that point the camera batteries died. The Energizer Bunny doesn't keep up too well when it comes to cute terriers in their Momma's hand made sweaters.

OK, I'm embarrassed to post this because of the messy house. As I said, we charged out as soon as we could close the office. All the mess of knitting projects going! I just wanted you to see Superman with the girls, looking pretty comfy and calm, just home and had treats for being good girls in the park and truck and back. Really, you must notice how comfy Dori is with Daddy sitting so close and Maggie, in her usual hyper-mode when she's that close to her Daddy.

And as I post this, Daddy's stretched out in the living room, sound asleep with the US Open Snow events blaring on the TV. Yeah, it's a good day.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 21st, What's on the needles?

I haven't had much going on lately but I have been feeling pretty wiped out. Today the boss came and I had been worried about her visit, which may have been affecting my sleep. She usually comes in January to tell us a.) if and what our raise for the year may be b.) any change to the base income (this is the figure which I, as a facility manager, try to reach each month and if I do, I will receive a bonus, last year, I didn't receive a bonus based on this base income) c.) if we will be raising our rates this year. So, I was all anxiety, and once she answered all of these, I was ready for a nap.

I have been worried for my daughter, who is stressing out over her car. She's made some repairs to it, but yesterday it failed to pass DEQ, so she's unable to get her tags. Pretty upset, as anybody would be, hard for a mommy to watch. Hopefully, this is an experience she will learn from.

I have also been worried about a distant relation. Her son died, very young, like 10-12 years old, I think it was two years ago. He died with a belt around his neck apparently playing 'The Choking Game.' I had been thinking about her and all parents that lose children too young and the agony they must all be going through (this is something my very own Superman lives with everyday, too, his son died 12 years ago in an auto accident) when I was watching my favorite Wednesday shows last night. Last night's episode on CBS 'Criminal Minds' was about the choking game. I cried for all that I know that's lost a child. Glad it was just me and the dog watching.

And I have been thinking about people in Haiti and orphans. How could anybody that watches the news not have tears to see what they are enduring there, and yet, everyday, aftershocks continue to terrify?

So, I've been trying to stay occupied and, thus, a contributing member of society, by knitting.

I am trying to finish a sweater for my step-daughter, my deadline is next month. It is of blue cotton, a ribbed lace pattern I hope will flatter and be comfortable. I work on it in the evening, for as long as three hours a sitting, while I watch TV. At my desk in the office, I have a pair of socks in progress, for my nephew in the Army. My deadline for that is also next month as he will be home for a visit before being deployed. I want him to have a helmet liner I've already finished, these socks, and some trigger gloves. If I had extra funds, I would like to put a harmonica or a book in there. But probably will only get to finish these socks. I have a couple other projects in progress that I should probably make deadlines for but I'm feeling stressed about what I have going already. One is a long, car coat length sweater with a hoodie, that is all one piece and has a celtic sort of braid that lines the opening up the front and the hood. I have some lace curtains that are about 8 inches short on one panel of being completed, then I will put them up in the office so that I can look at them all day long and even on ugly days have something delicate and beautiful to stare at. I also plan to put together a Barbie wardrobe for my husband's granddaughter, that should be sent off in April.

But on top of all this, I am working on a few knitted T-shirts for orphans in Haiti. One is nearly done, except for a bit around neck edge and hem. Superman went to the craftstore yesterday, almost immediately after I told him that the cotton that I would like to use is on sale. It appears he's bought me enough for two or three more shirts, with what I have already (not much, just a ball of white).

This is the first one, I had started it Saturday and worked on it when I went to meet the Yarn Train (see last post) and this was how far I got before I went to bed Sunday.

That's all for now, thank you for reading this. I hope somewhere there's a ray of sun just for you that brightens your January.

spell check is not working, I'm hoping my english was adequate. . . .

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Yarn Train

This morning, I got to leave the house, instead of run the office, and go do something fun. In a knitterly kind of way. I took my project bag, if you remember, this is one I received from the purple swap a couple of months ago.
This is the project in the bag. The other night, I watched Ann Curry in Haiti discuss a newborn infant, who was already an orphan. I got out my new copy of 'Knitting for Peace' that I had bought for the dog blankets and all, and thought a cotton sweater for an orphan in Haiti might be a good thing, FOR ME, to make. The pattern starts with panels knit center front and back, then the sides and sleeves picked up along the side of these panels.

Armed with walking project, I'm off.

This is the landmark tower at the Train Station. As beautiful as the architecture is outside, inside is breathtaking. But I was not here for the field trip of our city's buildings. That clock says our train is about to arrive, better get in there.

The group was so big, I couldn't have gotten them all in one shot. Here, the primary organizer is going over the game plan.

We listened.

And listened to other details.

On your mark, get set, go!
There was a woman from the group on the train, for whom this was a first time in this adventure, and since I've never been to any of the three shops in the nearby neighborhood, we set out to find it together.

The first shop was Dublin Bay. Their shop is down the next block, just there. This neighborhood is pretty much all new. I hadn't been thru here in a few years, so it was all new to me.
Here is my find, from Dublin Bay. That's right my friends. I bought a spool! I love them spools, can't resist 'em. This is a really pretty heather. The yardage is 1,750. Got me some knittin' to do.
At this intersection, we stopped as my companion needed to eat. She had to be at the train station at home about 6 hours earlier, it was time. We stopped in a little cafe, called (something like Delisia, I will look up and fix this later). I had eaten a big breakfast, so at this point I wasn't really needing anything. However, now that she had eaten, I wasn't about to let my own hunger slow us, so I had a half plain bagel with cream cheese. Her dish was 'Black Pearl Benedict' which had roasted potatoes, spinach, almond slivers, slices of pastry, with a sauce that looked like mole all over it.
We headed down 11th Avenue. There were several little park pass thru areas. Nice day in January, yes?

Next stop was Knit Knot Studio. Very tiny shop, but apparently the owner is something special as far as knitters go. There were so many ladies in there, I was almost glad to leave.

Continuing down 11th, we walked past Powell's Books (we were coming back later for this) to head to the next shop. There was a fabric store just before that, were I found some great leafy buttons to go with my new wool. I think I discovered that abalone doesn't photograph with a digital camera too clearly.

That was right next to the next shop, Knit/Purl. They have a very good selection of colors in the Cascade 220 Superwash there, I think I counted 45 plus another 6 or 8 in the clearance bins. The reason I noticed this is because my local area knitters are knitting the Great American Afghan, and this is the yarn they are using.
And Back to Powell's books.
Now, I was just there with my brother a couple of weeks ago, so I wasn't really looking for anything. I just looked for different authors that I didn't remember seeing on the earlier visit. This was the only Annie Modesitt on the shelf. I guess she's popular with many readers here.
And I opened it up to find . . . .
I found an AUTOGRAPHED COPY! I think I'll pretend that whoever this Stephanie is, she named me this book's God-mother and that is why I have it now. They also gave the Yarn Train gang a free recycled shopping bag. I'm very glad to have that, as I had another bag years ago and Nicole borrowed it.
Well, my adventure buddy hails from the book trade, so she found what she wanted pretty quick. We realized we had more than two hours left, what to do?
We'll first I wanted to stop to pick up a Red Velvet Cupcake for Superman. I had heard that many shops in the neighborhood were doing various things to raise money for Haiti, this particular place is donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this cupcake. I got a taste of it and it was very good.
We walked back to the train station and drove my car over to Twisted. Yep, we got FOUR shops done, none that I had been in before.
(You may have noticed I wasn't taking pictures of the shops we visited anymore. Well, it started raining and I didn't want to get the camera wet.)

At Twisted, we ran into another local knitter, this one I was familiar with because she is on Ravelry. I've seen several of her posts, because she is a travel agent that likes to put together other fun knitterly adventures. Today, she told us all about a cruise/train/knitting trip she's putting together for next fall. Oh, I so wish. We also talked about the local Knitting Guild. I was interested to learn more, she seems to appreciate it.

Back at the train station, the ladies are arriving back with full bags of bargains, tired but with smiling faces. Looks like we all had a good time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Uh, where am I? I forget.

This whole day was spent in a daze. I just seemed to bounce from one thing to another like I have ADHD. I got very little done.

The invoices in the office are done, good thing.

I had to auction off a unit, bad thing.

But it went for over $200, I have to begrudgingly declare that a good thing.

The people that won it are snooty, bargain hunters who drive luxury cars, I have to declare that a bad thing.

The front office linoleum got ripped up, Superman's good thing.

He's really gonna hurt tomorrow, bad thing.

I am day 9 in a row for walking rescue dog, good thing.

I need to sit and knit for awhile, because I haven't done any yet today, bad thing.

I made camping reservations for Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, good thing.

It only took me all day, bad thing.

I found some Parmesan Cheese in the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, good thing.

We really needed it last night for pizza, bad thing.

I helped a friend with her knitting by blowing up a chart that was small and hard to read, good thing.

The invoices didn't get in the mail, bad thing.

I ran away with a friend to check out a couple of small knitting things, good thing.

I left without an agenda of what I need, then without it had nothing to do when I got there, bad thing.

I got to meet someone I see on Ravelry, good thing.

I wasn't wearing any of my projects, bad thing.

Tonight is a new episode of NCIS, with Robert Wagner as DiNozzo's dad, good thing.

No word yet if premier of 'Lost' will be preempted on February Second, bad thing.

Every thing I did was not something on my to do list, bad thing.

But I had fun doing it. GOOD THING!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sad regrets, lesson learned

Once upon a time.

I was a pretty lonely person at about the time I graduated from high school. My brother had some new friends, so once I followed him and invited myself along on their adventures. I was that lonely.

Well, eventually, one moved away, and one went somewhere else, and then it was just me and one person. It was a guy. Traditionally, I get along better with guys so I didn't think much of it. We went and did stuff, talked on the phone, just the same as when it had been all of us. My mom started calling him my boyfriend. It didn't feel like that to me, but I left it alone. One day he said he was breaking up with me. OK. I didn't know we were 'together' in order to 'break up.' But, whatever, OK.

So, now I'm off to find new friends again.

After a few months and some other odd adventures, I received a note from him. He said he thought it would be a good thing for me to be his wife. So, we got married. I thought I had my friend back. I couldn't have been more wrong.

I waited. We made decisions I thought would make us closer. I was hoping my friend would come back. We moved. We got jobs working together. Sometimes, just because, we even got matching outfits, like old married people, or people who come to look like their pets. Initially, people thought it was sweet that we were that close. After a while, they could tell proximity didn't mean 'together'. A few wondered about that, but even fewer were concerned enough to say anything about it.

I thought it was my fault, that I wasn't enough something. I tried to be a wife, or at the very least, a friend. It's tough when you are working at it by yourself, or working for one thing when the rest of the team is working on something else. There was a statistic I heard the other day, that said, Men love women the way they are, and get upset when they change. Women expect their men to change and get upset when they don't. That's very true here: I tried to change to make myself something he would love. He never did.

I thought when we had our daughter that we both would become different people. That may sound like what some people say 'I thought I could change him' but what I thought was I would be whatever it was that was lovable, because clearly at this point I was not.

I tried for a long time. After a while, I realized I was the only one fighting, so I quit. With nothing else to motivate me in life and no reason to live, I gave up and walked away. I thought he would come for me. After three years, he came to bring me papers to dissolve every connection we had.

Except one. She hated me. I'm not sure now why, I thought at the time it was because I had made a change in her life that didn't look pretty, I'd made a scene. That may still be the reason. I think she blames me for the 'ripping apart her family' part as far as the cause, but now I think she smart enough that she knows that a lot of the ripping wasn't me.

What I regret now is still the loss of so much time, my history, the connections of twenty-five years. In my opinion, I was naive, and for that I was wrong. He has some blame too. I don't care about that. What I care about is the cruelness it places on her. As an only child, she's the only one to bear whatever comes with 'in-law' territory. It doesn't have to be a negative connotation, but in the expected way of things, people seem to think they have to hate. I never felt that, but apparently I'm alone. I have always asked that she be respectful of whatever family she has contact with, she doesn't have to stop loving anybody. They, however, make it hard on her by looking to place all the blame and shame on me, and tried to turn her heart. I'm not sure that they will ever be totally successful with that plan, but there are days when I don't hear from her that I think they might. She is all I have to show for that whole adventure. That must be a burden on her too.

I think that whole experience has made me very aware of what it feels like to be loved now. I hardly have to do a thing and he is grateful for what I have done. He attempts to take care of me. I'm not only loved but cherished. And so much more.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sweet Sundays

I must have woke up kinda weepy today, because I was in tears before I got out of the shower. I was thinking about my Grandma. Sometimes in that moment between awake and asleep, I can hear her singing. I had one of those this morning and I was thinking about what she is singing. Most often I hear the songs we sang when gathered with the congregation. Those songs have recently been changed, it saddened me all of a sudden that her favorites may have been dropped. I guess I will always have them, even if they are not being sung anymore.

We took the dogs to their park this morning. We haven't been there in a couple of weeks, because it's been too rainy. Dori was doing really good, walking sedately BESIDE me, slack in the leash, just taking it slow and easy, little curl in the tail and ears half elevated. Sometimes in her new sweater I sense that she feels like she finally belongs. I thought, 'Well, maybe she's happy' which got me teary again. We came around a corner and I look up to see the pine trees clothed in a bit of fog, the sun fighting to get through and a few rays actually cutting through. Another tear or two.

Superman was so tickled to tell me he'd been online shopping for my favorite cars and showing me what he could find. How sweet is that? You would think the silly man loves me. Or something.

I got an e-mail from my co-worker, her mother died. How sad, to lose your mother.

We came home, I took my vacuum upstairs and got all the floors and furnace filters, with the filters on the air purifier. He got the downstairs. Then we dashed out to the new theatre in town and saw 'Avatar'. So very glad Superman didn't make fun of me for crying so soon in the story. I was wiping my eyes the first moment the main character could stand, run and walk, when he lives as a cripple. I was fighting it earlier when he was 'saying good-bye' to his brother. Before the movie was over, I'd pretty much soaked the paper towel I had in my pocket.

We came home and I took a nap. When I got up, he was making us dinner. His family's recipe for chicken fried steak with artichokes. Now, I look over, as I sit in this chair at the computer, he's dozing in his chair, but it's not tilted back, so his head is flopped to the side. To me, he looks so sweet, but I should go move him a little, or he will wake up in pain. My sweet, Superman.

Oh, I'm crying again.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The view from my desk

HAPPY FRIDAY! Be safe, be busy, be cool. Love, ~t

Thursday, January 7, 2010

For those about to shop, we salute you!

I loathe shopping. Can you tell from that last post where I kept referring to the Mall as my own personal Hell?

Lots of reasons.

The smell, for one. New clothes tend to reek of an 'New' odor that is not 'New Car Smell', which I have heard is formaldehyde. I hope not, but I have heard that and so, I imagine that is what it is when I smell it.

There is also a lot of really poorly made product in the stores, that businesses justify sells because the low quality makes it affordable. I see it and I can easily visualize what's filling the landfills.

The worst kind of shopping for me is the clothes shopping for myself. There is some truly ugly stuff out there. 'Stuff' is a compliment, by the way. In my head it was far worse, but you never know if anybody is actually reading this who may be my mother, and I don't want to disappoint.

I don't understand why there are manufacturers creating horizontal stripes. Were they dropped on their heads as babies? Not enough caffeine in the decision making that day? Is that where the evil mad scientists go that are bent in destroy the world or at least making it look really awful? HORIZONTAL STRIPES MAKE PEOPLE LOOK FATTER AND SHORTER. Who doesn't know this? I have walked into stores that I have loved, seen that first display of horizontal stripes, turned around and walked out, and never gone back again. I am on an absolute boycott of horizontal stripes and all the evil commercial institutions that would inflict this horror on the unsuspecting public.

The next evil fashion for women is anything babydoll including some empire waisted garments. No one wants to look pregnant unless they are and most of them don't either. The acceptable empire waist style is the one that doesn't have the belly of the garment gathered to the bodice. There are some that don't do this, they are rare. The best kind is the one that has a dark color at the bottom than the top. I have one that I like that does that, black and a red black print at the top. Only one, 'cause they are that rare.

Sleeve length is often inconsiderate as well. Cap sleeves are greatly desired by those that just walked out of their personal trainer's gym. The 3/4 sleeves are a tough sell, too. The manufacturer probably thought 'it would be a good thing, part long sleeve, part short, it will appeal to everybody'. Not me. I want long sleeves in the cold weather and short or none in the warm. And I do switch them out. Most of the problem I have with sleeves is where the shoulder seam is because for women it seems that it is too far off the shoulder to allow for movement. T-shirts are the worst for this, because they are designed for huMANity, as if the soft comforting feminine curve doesn't exist.

Jeans. OK. This is personal. I have a inner hatred for jeans, but have to wear them on a nearly daily basis. So, I suffer the indignity of the ill-fitting. First, for my size, I am expected to have hips and butt. Every pair of Jeans made for women goes completely stupid in those areas on me. I could probably go with jeans a size or two smaller than I wear and they would fit there, but wouldn't go around the belly, thank you diabetes. It has been suggested that I try men's jeans but this doesn't work as they are made to clothe 'the family jewels' which I don't carry, and thus become the first place to wear and rip because of the stress manly jeans can't handle. (Hmmm. Now that's a thought provoking thing.) Besides the men's jeans are usually bought too small to go around a man's belly, creating a Dunlop Tire which should only make appearances on motor vehicles. The best solution I've found is to purchase stretch jeans, which is tough to do without getting into the whole skin-tight spandex thing, which I have always found to be nauseating. For me, if I'm careful, a jean with a little stretch can help negotiate the size variety between the tummy and the butt. Still those are hard to find also.

In addition to all this, I am a larger chested girl. I have been reduced to bra shopping on the Internet, which is doable, but not fun as there is still a high probability that when I get them, I will hate the fabric or where something lays and it should go back. It also makes finding a flattering top a torture only the Mall/Hell Lord could have dreamed up. Necklines. A turtle neck being the absolute worst and crew necks are nearly as bad as they both emphasize the acreage making it look like there is much more to the eye. A v-neck, scoop neck, square neck are all better choices but I would venture to say there are less than 10% of these are actually effective without overdoing and advertising what you don't wish to advertise. Which is tougher still as there are many who feel anything where cleavage is visible is too low cut, but unfortunately real cleavage comes with the territory. There are a couple of necklines that are flattering on most figure types, but unfortunately that also means the production cost is higher, so they don't get made but only rarely. The more prominent would be a sweetheart neckline. Very hard to find, even online. I'm not saying impossible, just difficult, and more expensive if found.

So, why am I complaining about all of these different aspects clothing? My husband has told me that with a portion of a large check we are receiving, I'm to get some new clothes. He's pretty much demanded it. He has specified I need new jeans and that's about all he says I should get. I have spent about a week and a half online at every different website trying to find stuff I can afford and that I will wear when it shows up. Literally more hours than a pervert on porn. I have nearly ceased to communicate with my family and friends because I haven't been my usually diligent self on all my social networks and e-mail, spending whole days sitting in this chair. My knitting is collecting dust bunnies, I can't remember the last time I played Tetris or my Nintendo DS 'Dog Whisperer', my dogs are getting fat and grumpy and my husband doesn't think I've noticed how nicely his beard is growing in. Oh, the agony. I never would have thought I would complain about having a thoughtful and considerate husband and yet, that is what I've been doing here for the last two hours. Believe it or not, I've begged to be let off this torture device and tried all kinds of cunning plans to otherwise spend the money but he is adamant.

I'm getting off of here now. Oh, wait, what was that website they just mentioned on TV? I gotta go see what they might have. . . . Tell my momma I love her!

Monday, January 4, 2010

I don't know how it happened

So, on January 1st, I went to change the calendar and I realize 'We never bothered to look for a calendar in the kitchen.' Eh? No problem, we'll check the grocery store over the weekend.

It can't just be any old calendar either. This has to MATCH the kitchen. Which is where the 'Coca-Cola' collection is prominently displayed.

Sunday morning, not so bright and not early enough, we get to the grocery store and they are out. Seriously, it was only the third. of. January. Are we going to have to settle for leftover calendars of puppies or Corvettes? No, we are just going to have to try a little harder.

We take the groceries home and put them away, then head to the Mall. Those of you who know me and my history, Take a deep breath, in through the nose out through the mouth. For those of you who don't know me, the Mall is my equivalent of Hell On Earth. At this moment, though, I'm trying to think positively, we'll hit the temporary calendar kiosk and we'll be out of there. Nope all sold out of Coke calendars, all she had were puppies. Of every breed except Rat Terrier and Rescue. I don't think I could have made a choice. But she tells us there's another kiosk at the other end of the Mall. So, we truck down there. Nope we didn't stop. Like I said before, I don't shop the Mall, so I'm not interested in the stores that cater to the Paris Hiltons of the world, or Bill Gates' little brother the gaming techno nerd. (However, when I'm there with my daughter, this place seems more like John Lennon's image of 'plasticene porters with looking glass ties . . . the flowers that grow so incredibly high . . . every one smiles as you drift past'. Oh, wow, that may have been an epiphany for me: The Mall = a bad LSD trip!)

At the other end of the Mall/Hell, the boy there says he hasn't had any Coke calendars in weeks. Since he was near the book store, we checked there. They were having a great sale, but no Coke Calendars. Some Marilyn Monroes and Elvis'. A pretty healthy supply of Hannah Montana's too. On the way back down we try some other stores that might have calendars, none of which had ANY, although we did score a 'Superman' magnet for the fridge. By now, my Superman starting to feel real pain. We sat for a bit, then went into a large department store to get some idea why people were walking out with bags big enough to fill the SUV. We didn't figure it out, we didn't see anything in there at all, well, we saw stuff, but we, being managers of a storage facility where people keep stuff most of it unneeded and unnecessary, were not impressed that there was stuff to be had and headed to the car. Where should we try next if the MALL/HELL doesn't have any. I thought maybe a drug store. There's one near the fabric store I wanted to stop by and check their yarn sale stock. Not in the drug store, not in the greeting card store, which sent me to the grocery store next door. . . . Not with green eggs and ham, Sam I am.

Thoroughly humbled that we should not have flaked on this and gotten around to getting one a long time I go, we head home. As we near the house, I remember there's a drug store half a block away from home, so, we go over there. I thought it wouldn't be a complete loss if they still had some holiday candy left to clearance out. Eh, might as well check then. So, we pulled in and went inside the store, I find the dark chocholates that our counter people seem to like, and we find the calendar supply. There are so many calendars here, the display says there were Coke calendars originally, is it possible they have ONE?!? We dig, we pick, we reject, puppies and kittens and firemen and Porche, horses and castles of Europe and THERE IT IS!

We couldn't believe it, I was having a hard time breathing, thinking about a half block from home, we could have been spared Mall/Hell and the pain my Superman was in. The only thing that made us feel any better about all we went through was that it was on sale for half off. I told him, that after all we'd been through, I would have to blog about this . . .

We came home, went straight to the kitchen, unwrapped the celophane and tacked it up where last years was. We stood there looking at it for a while, flipping through all the images we will be looking at over the next year. Oh, the glory of it all.

When we got to December, I put a sticky note there to remind us we'll need a calendar. Check the drug store next door.

Have a Coke and a Smile. I am.

Friday, January 1, 2010

What a difference a decade makes

Do you remember what you were doing the day that 1999 went away? Do you remember the panic that the world as we knew it was going to come to an end? Don't you just love fearmongers? For me, I was having a nightmare.

My mom and step-dad's anniversary is January 2. Now, I always have had some adventure going to get the cake for the dinner that the family gets together for. One year, I had put the cake on the shelf underneath the cart and when I got to the parking lot I had to stop suddenly and the cake box flew out onto the pavement. It tasted the same but it wasn't as pretty as when I paid for it. I think one year a cat got up on the counter and helped himself. Or was it a child. For some reason the cake never ends up as pretty as I'm sure the baker would have hoped.

On December 31, 1999 I headed to Costco. The family decided the Costco cake seemed to be universally favored, so I ordered one and after everything else I'd done that day, I went over to pick it up.

For some reason, I could not find a parking spot. Anywhere. In the whole parking lot. At Costco, the center of the universe for parking lots big enough to park all the SUVs and Monster Trucks of the hemisphere. Nothing. I think I ended up parking at the Mall or being one of those stalkers that follow a person from the door and waiting for them to load their purchases in their vehicle of choice. I am not a fan of customer stalking, so, I'm thinking I parked at a business nearby and walked half a mile to get there. I finally get to the entrance and cannot find a cart. Litterally, not a cart or a flatbed to be found. I find my way to the bakery, finding the cake we'd ordered and head toward the check out. I do not get halfway back to the front before I find the end of the checkout lines. I look around me and every cart is full of bottled water and toilet paper. Some people have multiple carts of bottled water and toilet paper. I stand in line with the cake held in front of me at about chest level. For three hours. When I get up to about three people from the checkstand a nice gentleman offers to let me set the cake on the edge of his cart, because he can probably see my arms are shaking and I'm about to drop the cake for my mother. Actually now that I think about it, I'm surprised he had a cart with an edge to set my cake on because everyone elses carts are piled high. Good thing there weren't tires on those carts with air in them, none of the carts would have moved because all the tires would have been flat. I finally get through the line, pay for the cake and head out of the store to trek back to where I parked my car.

I wonder if all those Costco shoppers on December 31, 1999, ever got through all of that toilet paper.