Diary of a SubUrban Housewife

May 30, 2005

Happy Anniversary To Me

Filed under: All About Me — Beth @ 9:15 pm

Today marks my 2nd blogiversary.

Let’s pause for a moment and give a HUGE SubUrban shoutout to the old man for setting me up with this spanky new WordPress blog design, this time purposely unveiled to coincide with my blogiversary. Lovely, isn’t it?

And what’s even trippier than having kept a blog for two years is that I just went back and checked the archive page of my old journal and discovered that I started it on May 30, 1999.

To tell you the truth that is just a little too coincidental to be truly coincidental. But for the life of me I do not remember even planning to start this blog and so don’t remember going back to see when I started my old journal and purposely starting my blog on the exact same date.

So I’m just going to chalk this up to one of life’s big mysteries and not really think about it anymore because, frankly, it’s giving me a big ole headache.

May 28, 2005

The Talk

Filed under: Zoe — Beth @ 6:26 pm

The time to have “The Talk” with my daughter is quickly approaching. You know which talk I mean. Yes, the talk that mothers have had with daughters for generations.

My daughter is only nine, but kids develop younger and faster than generations before. And Zoe is in a class with girls one to two years older than she is, so many have started developing (egad!) and their mother’s have had the talk with them. And we all know how really really bad it would be for my daughter to get her information second-hand from a bunch of 10 and 11 year old girls. Lord knows what kind of damage that could do to her poor little psyche.

Times have changed and I guess that it’ll probably be easier for me to have this discussion with my daughter than it was for my mother with me, and certainly her mother with her, but I’m scared to death. It’s a really big step and not one I could, or would for that matter, delegate to Chuck. (Let’s step back and think about that one for a minute. I know my husband is reading this and sticking his fingers in his ears and going lalalala to block out the noise.)

In anticipation of having the talk we had the pre-talk. The talk that says I think it’s time we had the talk but not the actual talk itself. Zoe clearly knew exactly which talk I was referring to because she told me she was too tired just then (it was bed time), and couldn’t we do it another time. It was painfully clear that she is as anxious about getting the talk as I am in giving it.

That was Thursday night. Nothing more has been said on the subject.

So Zoe had a friend over today to play. As I was walking through the backyard toward my veggie garden I hear her friend going on, in a tres dramatic way, to about something or another to Zoe. I teased the friend and told her she was being a drama queen, but then she told me she’d been having nightmares for days. Come to learn, her mother had just had the talk with her.

While I was in my garden I listened to Zoe and her friend talking. Zoe was saying that her other friends Zoe and Lily had already had the talk with their mothers and they had assured my Zoe that she wouldn’t have hear it until next year. And now Zoe was lamenting that it wasn’t going to be next year, but in a few weeks.

The thing is, since Zoe is a year or two younger than all her friends I worry that she’s behind them in some respects. And while on one hand I think she is horrified at the prospect of getting the talk I think she’s also secretly delighted that she’s right on schedule with the other, older, girls.

May 27, 2005

Pins and Needles

Filed under: Quilting — Beth @ 9:41 pm

I quilt.

Or, more accurately, I used to quilt. A lot. I loved it. I loved it so much that I went and bought a fancy-delancy quilters sewing machine. A Bernina. It’s a beautiful machine. It’s the BMW 7 series (or luxury car of your choice) of the sewing machine world.

Then I stopped quilting. Probably three years ago. I made one quilt for a friend about a year and a half ago, but that’s the only sewing I’ve done.

And my sewing area got to be a bit of a nightmare, along with the rest of my office. Fabric and notions were everywhere. Papers, pens, pencils, and other assorted detritus were starting to overtake me.

About three weeks ago I decided it was time to clean up in here. I bought a new shredder and some fabulous new plastic storage bins for the occasion. I started at one end and slowly made my way through the piles. It’s a far cry from perfect but it’s much better.

And in the process of cleaning I saw my sewing machine sitting there. And something called to me. OK, maybe it was just my friend Kelly calling to talk to me about our other friend Jill’s baby shower. But I heard ringing. And somewhere in the middle of the conversation it occured to me, “What better baby gift than a home-made quilt?”

So I decided to start sewing again.

I sat down with all my quilt books and scoured for the perfect pattern. I found it. I went and bought my fabric.

Here’s the thing…when you’re a quilter (or I guess any person who loves sewing and fabric), when you are out and about and see some fabric that you like you buy it. Maybe just a 1/4 yard, or maybe a yard or two–depending on the fabric and how much you love it. Because when you see that fabric, you know that one day it will be the perfect fabric for that particular quilt you’re going to make. So you add it to the other piles of fabric you have acquired in that way and you have what’s called your “stash”. I have a ton of fabric in my stash and I love it all. Yet, for some really really sick reason, I am reluctant to use it in any of my quilts. I love it and know it would be beautiful but some sickness prevents me from actually cutting into it. So when I want to make a quilt, despite how ever much fabric I may have in my office/sewing room, I have to go out and buy more.

So I went and bought more fabric for Jill’s quilt. She’s having a boy baby so I bought a beautiful bunch of blues, lavenders, and teals. I could barely wait to get home from the fabric store and start cutting into it and sewing it.

I dusted off the old Bernina and started sewing.

And then I remembered why I stopped sewing. You see, it seems my sewing machine is posessed. I would step on the treadle and it would sew the way it’s supposed to. Then, despite still pressing it would stop sewing. Then I would take my foot off the treadle to examine what was going on and it would start sewing. All by itself. And the only way to stop the sewing is to turn the entire sewing machine off.

For those of you who are not familiar with sewing machines–like a car, they are not supposed to go unless you press the treadle (think gas pedal).

So I side-lined that machine and took out my trusty old Singer (think 64 VW bug to keep with the car methaphor I started earlier). It’s not pretty. It does not glide across the fabric. But when I step on the treadle it goes and when I take my foot off it stops.

I vow to take the Bernina in to the shop but it pains me as I know it’s going to cost me a minimum of $300 to get it fixed. And the Singer is doing just fine.

Then I run out of thread on my bobbin.

I go to wind a new bobbin and for some reason the Singer is not enjoying this very much. I have everything loaded the way it should be, and when I step on the treadle I hear the motor going, but the bobbin is not turning.

So I go back to the Bernina. Because even though it’s not working the way it’s supposed to, it does not matter if the machine runs uncontrollably when threading a bobbin. And about half way through the bobbin the Bernina decides it does not like this and refuses to work.

So now I have half a bobbin, one sewing machine that is totally on the fritz, and my old cluncker that’s getting clunkier by the minute.

The very next day I take the Bernina into the shop. That was a week ago Tuesday. I explained that my machine was possessed and that I wanted it exorcised and just generally cleaned and serviced as soon as humanly possible. He assured me a week ago Tuesday that the machine would be ready on Thursday at the latest. In a flash I used up the measley little half bobbin I managed to cobble together before blowing out my machine for good.

Well, now it’s been 10 days that my machine has been in the shop and it’s not going to be home until next Thursday at the earliest. Because in addition to the gears that needed replacing, and the various and sundry other things that were apparently wrong, it also needs a new treadle and that is on backorder from someplace in Colorado.

I’m absolutely on pins and needles. A long holiday weekend perfect for finishing Jill’s project and starting the next one I’ve already got the fabric cut for. No angel music here.

May 15, 2005

My Hero

Filed under: Angel Music,My Old Man — Beth @ 7:28 pm

My husband has a love/hate relationship with home repair. He’s chronicled it numerous times. You can feel free to search over there. I’ve come up with nothing but I know he’s written about it. OK, maybe he wrote about it in his old journal, but the search engine doesn’t seem to be working so just go read through all his old archives and you’ll find it.

Anyway, home repairs for Chuck typically involve approximately eight trips to the hardware store, much yelling of the ever endearing phrase, “fuckingpieceofshit” and other demonstrations of easy success and the enduring love for humankind that my husband freely emits.

So we can all just imagine his pleasure when two projects unwittingly fell to him today.

Project #1: I noticed that the spigot for the hose at my veggie garden is leaking. It won’t turn all the way off which is a) enormously wasteful of water and $$$$, and b) not good for my veggies. Plus, this leaky spigot caused a rupture in the new hose that I put out there just yesterday. So this morning I planned to head over to the hardware store for a new spigot.

As I was heading out the door to get a replacement spigot Chuck asked me if I could pick up a new spigot.

Great minds thinking alike–I just love that.

I proceeded to show him the DIY page I had just printed out with instructions and said that was exactly what I was off to purchase.

So I get to the hardware store and head over to the hose parts aisle. Seems to me that a spigot would be in that general area because I’ve seen those things you put on the spigot to make it branch to two spigots, and other sort of hose/spigot/outside related stuff.

I found someone to help me. While he was not nearly as helpful as a previous experience I had, he was kind enough to inform me that what I wanted was a hose bib, and not a spigot; and he proceeded to show me to the hose bibs.

Well, since nothing is actually easy, it seems that there are two types of hose bibs–ones that require a coupler, and ones that fit directly onto the pipe. I was fairly certain I didn’t need the kind with the coupler, so we proceeded. Then it turns out that they are either 1/2″ or 3/4″. I was not sure which size I needed so I took one of each, grabbed a pipe wrench and came back home.

When I returned with my booty Chuck took the parts and went out to repair the hose bib. Now, I was going to do it. I’m sure I’m fully capable of having done so, I mean, basically it’s turning off the water, screwing the old one off, cleaning it up a bit, putting on some Teflon tape, and screwing a new one on.

But you know how much easier it is when you don’t have to actually do it yourself. When someone volunteers to do it for you. And volunteers graciously.

Yes, you hear a small chorus of angel music. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Well, angel music is great and all but Chuck was doing it. And nothing really goes that smoothly usually (though I continue to have faith that it will).

Well, today was the day when it all worked out. Because not five minutes after Chuck left to start said repair, he returned into the house having completed said repair. And not one single fuckingpieceofshit was uttered.

Cue the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of angel music. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

(Oh, and it turns out I was on the money about not needing the whole coupler thingy.)

Project #2. Several hours later I remembered that I meant to pick up a replacement towel rack for the guest bedroom. Zoe liked to hang from the old one, so not surprisingly, it fell off the wall.

Chuck’s dad is coming tomorrow to stay and I thought it might be nice for him to be able to actually hang his towel up.

(Of course, why I didn’t remember this and pick it up this morning is another story.)

So back to the hardware store I went. I returned the extra hose bib from earlier and picked up a lovely towel rack. Again, I was all set to install it when Chuck offered.


Well, about 25 minutes or so after he started a new towel rack graces our lovely guest bathroom. Not one cuss word or ill vibe issued.


Hmmmm…he’s having so much success I wonder if it’s time for me to ask him to build me that addition I’ve been wanting.

(Oh, and since this entry is all about him, no doubt it is considered the “perfect entry”.)

May 9, 2005

Das Vadanya

Filed under: MeMe — Beth @ 11:08 pm

Your Inner European is Russian!

Mysterious and exotic.

You’ve got a great balance of danger and allure.

Who’s Your Inner European?

I as secretly hoping I was a Spaniard too, just because I love Spain so much, but I’ll take the mysterious, exotic, dangerous and alluring thing. Thanks Karl.

May 4, 2005

Come on People!

Filed under: All About Me,Donate! — Beth @ 11:41 pm

OK, have I ever asked any of you (except maybe Chuck) for anything?


And now I’ve asked you for something and not even something for me personally. Something that will benefit thousands of women and in turn their families and friends.

And have you come through?

With the exception of my close personal friends, the Treppenwitz‘, I’ll have to say no.

Have I said how disappointed I am? Well I’m really disappointed.

And did I offer incentive? Yes.

For a measly $100 contribution you will get your very own boobie pic to use as you see fit–wallpaper, marital aid, whatever. And I realize that $100 is a lot for many of you, but hey, $5.00? You spend that at the Evil Empire daily.

Here’s the deal….I’m $225 short of the halfway point of my goal of $2000 for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk. I would like very much to reach that goal by this weekend.

So I’ll make this easy for you. So you don’t have to even bother to look over to the right side of the page, click right here:

Avon Breast Walk

Donate to my walk. Please!!!!!

Remember, you get a starring place in the Boobie Hall of Fame, and a fabulous icon to put on your page to let everyone know you’re a giver.

And as a new and improved incentive, I will put the URL of every person who donates on m official walk t-shirt so your blog will get tons of free advertising, courtesy of me!

Please and thank you.

Marital MeMe

Filed under: MeMe — Beth @ 7:13 pm

In my husband’s ongoing quest for international fame and fortune through the internet, he created a meme.

To say that he was “dissapointed” that I had not participated, after doing some many others from so many others with less of a claim on me than he has, would be an understatement.

But to be fair, I had tried. Many times. But apparently I had nothing on my clipboard. Apparently until today.

I Googled and felt lucky and came up with this.

Marital discord will hopefully end now.