Well that was a bit of a break

And by bit of a break, I guess like seven months?  Ooft. Yeah, that's a lot.

Part of it comes down to the fact that I'm lazy, and have been using my phone as my main device more and more. Turns out, when I'm not actually sitting at my computer every day from nine to five, I don't actually procrastinate by posting nearly as much. 

Also, in those seven months, the country has turned into a shitshow of a post-apocalyptic novel, one that I would critique as "far-fetched and way too unrealistic. Tone it down," only it's REALITY.  And lest I pass from a series of rage strokes brought on by the events of the world around me or start throwing shit at the tv, I need to practice a little more self-centeredness and focus on what I can control.  Some of what I can control is political activism and sending money to good causes!  And some of what I can control is my own actions, writing, making stuff, etc.  #resist

Now I just need to think of things to write about.  I have some ideas, I've been working on a number of projects, including weavings, as those who follow me on instagram may already know. 

Look for more here shortly, hopefully.  And in the meantime, I will continue my crafting procrastination by busting out as many www.pussyhatproject.com p*ssy hats as I possibly can before the Women's March in DC on the 21st.  I'm on hat #10 right now.  Who all is going? 

P*ssy hat #9.  Also, more to come on that wall hanging behind me.

Swim bag

Yeah, maybe soon I'll actually be on a better-than-not-even-once-a-month posting schedule. Theoretically yes, since work stuff has eased up a bit, and we've finished moving. . . But on the other hand it's about to be summer and really, who am I kidding?

But in the meantime, speaking of summer, it's gorgeous here today, and I am already thinking of the pool. The problem with going to the pool is that's getting ready for the pool is effing torture.


Unless you have a ready packed swim bag with all your crap in it, ready to go at a moment's notice.

a fully packed swim bag, complete with mulch stain from last year

Here's the thing: I am fundamentally lazy. So I'd much rather put 30 minutes of effort into something once a season to prevent the inevitable "goddamnit, where are the towels?!?!" that would happen EVERY DAY otherwise. 

This way, I never search for sunscreen--it's in the bag. Goggles--in the bag. Towels--in the bag. Snacks--in the bag. My rash guard and suit--in the bag.

What exactly do I pack? Well I'll tell you. And show you! Because who does not love a good "What's in your bag" piece?

fully unpacked. It all goes in the tote.

Back row: tote and towels.

Second row: wet bags, sunscreen on top; mesh duffel with piles of toys on top; big kid's swimsuit, rash guard, and hat.

Third row: my swim coverup, above goggles and sunglasses; my swimsuit and rash guard; diaper clutch with uno, soap case and brush on top, sitting above the prescription goggle case; little one's oldey timey bathing suit and swim dipe.

The bag:

Lands End's XL tote, with the embroidery so everyone knows exactly which bag is what. We have some L.L. Bean totes, which i like for the stiffness of the canvas, but I need the pockets and the attached key fob. (This was purchased before LE stuck their foot in it by retracting the Gloria Steinem interview after right wing nutjobs bitched about feminism. As such, I wrote them and told them that until they got a goddamned spine they'd lost all my business. Which was considerable. And now I'm without a go-to tote and swimwear place. Assholes. Also why I'm not linking to them.)


The biggest little has a specific pool-branded towel he likes, but the rest are Turkish foutas, or peshtemal. I am OBSESSED. They absorb a ton, dry out quickly, are cute, and I got them off of eBay (from this shop--the thick ones are the best) for way cheaper than the fancy places sell them. 

Wet bags:

Two of them. Because inevitably one will not get put back. And tell me why I never knew these were a thing until I had kids? Cause they are AWESOME. The Skip Hop one has a mesh outside pocket which is where I stash my swimsuit and rash guard.

Packing cube:

That's the black mesh bag. Holds the boys' swimsuits and rash guards.  Please to note the little one's oldey-timey one-piece striped job. Last season The Gap had a similar suit that I am kicking myself for not buying in all the sizes, so I hunted one down from Etsy this year (do you die? I die. That is some cute ass shit right there). I need to find him a toddler-sized straw boater, a handle bar mustache, and teach him some barber shop harmonies before fourth of July.

Packing cubes are the shit by the way. I got a bunch in multiple colors from ebags a few years ago. So now when we travel, the boys and I have our stuff color coded. Biggest little is red, littlest little is orange, I am green. It makes packing all those tiny little socks so much easier. JBB is on his own, cause he's a grown ass man and can pack his own stuff.  

Diaper clutch:

That's the crazy patterned zip bag (it's a Ju-Ju-Be wristlet; I have a couple because they are the perfect size and I cannot resist an obnoxious pattern), which is also waterproof so can function as a wet bag just in case. This one holds a tiny wet brush, a spare barrette for me, soap, and all the other little toiletries that we'll seem to collect randomly over the season.

Toy bag:

That's the blue mesh duffle, which is new this season. I straight up copied another parent at the pool who had all their water toys and dive sticks in a big mesh nylon bag. Genius. It fits in the main bag to go to the pool and can just hang out separately on the way back. 


Two pairs for the littles and a prescription pair for JBB (in that fancy stripey case) get tucked into one of the side pockets. I am neither blind nor a delicate dainty flower about opening my eyes underwater so I skip 'em.


Side pocket, alongside extra swim dipes. I have sunscreen in every car as well. Because, preparation! I should buy stock in Banana Boat, Coola, and Supergoop, because despite trying seriously every brand under the sun, those are the only ones that are easy to put on (no ghostly cast or impossible to rub in craziness), smell nice, last a while, and actually work. 


Kid ones go into that little drawstring bag. Mine are either on my head or in the car (I have no joke 6 pairs stashed in there. Again, preparation).  I've had good success with picking up kids sunglasses cheap at The Gap.  I have zero faith in either kid's ability to not break things or lose things, so I get multiple pairs when they have their massive sales.


Uno--a pool STAPLE--goes into a little pocket. Not shown but thrown on top will be a skip hop diaper clutch (also have spares on both cars, because, preparation) with wipes. I generally just throw my wallet and phone on top; my wallet is one of the cute ones from Mochithings hat will hold my phone as well. As I'm sure you can tell, I am a big proponent of the "little bags inside the big bag" method of organization and that site is the best source for all kinds of pouches and wee things. Keys get clipped to tote's attached fob. I usually throw a magazine or book along the side edge, and a water bottle and Cheez-its for the hangries. 

Swim bag, organized and packed, with the toy bag in front.

It is amazing how much crap I can pack in this bag. All that stuff, turns into this...

Swim bag, packed! All but the toy bag which gets thrown on top.

Oh, and this is just for me and the kiddos. Any other grown ups are on their own with their stuff because THEY ARE GROWN UPS and can handle their own shit. Except for the goggles. I got tired of the misplacing of the goggles. 

Back again, again

Whelp, we survived the move. And by "we," I mean "me."  Because let's face it, it was never a question that the other three members of my household would be JUST FINE.  Mostly because two of them are under 10 and would be fine so long as the Legos and the TV survived.  And the other because he's moved a zillion times and does not have the anxiety about having everything you own NOT IN ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE.  

I like things to have their places and to live there and have those places be labeled.  Because I am crazy, I know this.  I also have a tendency towards chaos so this is my way of reining that in somewhat. 

But now that we've made a considerable dent in the boxes, now comes the organization of stuff.  My favorite-slash-the-bain-of-my-existence.  Right now the kids are pretty well sorted and have been since day one.  There are a few more boxes of toys to put away and bins to acquire to put them into.  Books have been shelved, save a few in the living room still looking for a place to live.  My closet is put away, but not put together if you know what I mean.  I have to reorganize that.

The cookbooks are put away, which makes my life much happier.

In the middle of shelving cookbooks.  That whole run is cookbooks.  Because I am crazy.

Oh but my office.  My office.  It's a mess. 

This one is really driving me batty because in one of those boxes is my label maker. AND I DON'T KNOW WHICH ONE. The stress. The STRESS!  On one of my many many trips to the container store I very nearly picked up a new one.  But I can't do that. I have a perfectly good one buried somewhere in that mess, goddamnit.

So meanwhile, look at the pretty wallpapers! Let's pretend this is all we see and there are no boxes anywhere.  These were taken while the papers were going up. 

Mini Moderns Paisley Crescent wallpaper in Tangerine Dream.  The paisleys have lil houses and bikes in them!

Orla Keily Stem wallpaper in Multi

Oh and let's not forget the basement stairs.  I love them so much.

miter your stripes!

things that have happened since the last time I posted....

The first day of school!  This was a biggie, in terms of emotions and time suck.  But now the first week is done, and everyone is happy (so far) and there have only been some tears (due to dawdling mostly), and all is well.   And of course today is a holiday, so no school already.  That 4-day school week is becoming a habit already.

My poor old cat decided to get some sort of infection or illness which resulted in him peeing on the bed--with me in it--at 2:30 am the day after JBB left on a business trip.  Ugh.  A vet trip and a godawful amount of money later, he's doing much better, eating, NOT peeing on the bed, and no longer hiding under furniture that needed to be moved to access him.  Poor kitty.  

JBB's birthday!  There was cake! There were presents! It was fun!

I made the plum cake again, like twice times.  In my defense, we had a lot of plums and the cake is really easy.  

I also made banana bread in like 5 minutes last night.  The recipe is so easy, and our bananas were so very overripe.  Next time, I promise, a post about it with pictures.  (Though my family is packed with strange people who don't like walnuts in their banana bread, so it's sans walnuts. Which is just wrong.  And still won't stop me from eating it.)

Halloween costumes were decided on! And thankfully, they are MUCH MUCH EASIER than last year's choice of Darth Vader and baby Luke Skywalker.  I do need to rustle up some special items, but thankfully, not many. 

Knitting progress was made! Finished up neckline shaping and got both sleeve caps done on Sans Serif. I even bought BUTTONS people.  There's really no reason this can't be done by Rhinebeck.  Theoretically.

I realized that the special order I'd made of Carbonz double pointed needles came in wrong.  I'd ordered a set of size 8 and size 6.  Guess what I got? Two sets of size 8s.  Which means that I will not be starting the sleeves of Sans Serif quite yet. But soon.


I've been doing so well, for me at least, with the running.  I went three times last week! My main route (I have a MAIN ROUTE you guys!) is just down to the end of my street, back, and down to the other end of my street and back.  It's about 3.1 miles all told, though with at least one bastard hill.

The first run was that route, start to finish.  Took a day off, then ran again, stopping at about 2 miles because it was hot and disgusting and I figured my neighbors probably wouldn't appreciate me passing out on their lawn and dying there.  Then the third one was Saturday, and I went the first chunk with the biggest little.  Which: he can walk as fast as I run.  And he's a WHINER (as am I so no surprise there).  He really wants to do the Montclair Bread Company's donut run in December with me, so I was like, ok, let's start practicing.  He did well, though was like, whaddya mean I have to keep up with you? Then realized that he could easily keep up with me by walking.  We did the short leg of the route, stopped by the house and then JBB took the littles to the farther park, and I ran there to meet them.  I didn't mind the change of route, but I'm not sure I'd follow the same way again.  All told, it was about 3.25 miles, with a bunch of walking in there.

But I've hit a stumbling block: my right knee is sore.  Sore like I fell on it, though not all the time.  Which to me suggests I overdid it.  Damnit.  I'm not good at this balance thing, of doing it enough to create a habit but not enough to overdo it.

I mean, I get that's why the C25K program has you go slow and alternate running and walking.  But if I stop running to say, walk up that BASTARD hill, it's nigh impossible to get going again. Inertia! That's my problem all around. Stupid laws of physics apply to my habits as well.

Poo.  I'm going to go torture myself with the foam roller for a while and see if that helps.  


I ran again! Nearly 3 miles, even.  And I did not want to die (much) or throw up (at all)!  Shocking! And Progress.

I also realized one of the key things for me in keeping this thing going is music.  I need something to distract me from the fact that I am running and it's hot and now I'm sweaty and my ponytail is swinging against the back of my sweaty neck and my legs are getting tired and there's a weird itch on my face because I'm sweating and UGH I HATE THIS. 

It's not just distraction, but it's also keeping a beat going a bit.  I realized, almost by a fluke, that some of the best songs I have on my playlist are random indies that have a relatively driving beat.  Songs like Float On (Modest Mouse), Mr. Tough (Yo La Tengo) and Hey Julie (Fountains of Wayne).  Not really your typical running songs, but there's something about the relatively slow but driving beat that's emphazised by either the singing or the music (no big breaks or pauses), and the fact that I can sing along with them.  

Trying to figure out more of these kinds so I don't OD on one playlist alone, or get sick of the songs, led me to jog.fm.  Searchable by bpm and pace! And big enough that it actually may include some of the weird shit I like! Thank you internets!

Meanwhile, anyone got any suggestions for songs to add?