Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dispelling the Fog of War and other News

Well, we're nearing a week here in Oregon, and things are going really well (all things considered). Vern and the older munchkins are off partying under the stars at a Star Party, and the babies and I have had a couple of very quiet days. It's terribly late, so this is going to be short and sweet.

I've successfully located Target, Wal-Mart, a Big K, Albertsons, a Haggen, Bi-Mart, Win-Co, REI, Old Navy, Kohl's, Joann's and Michael's. Didn't even get lost. (I *heart* Google.) I've driven around the main roads through two neighboring cities, and have a good basic outline in my head of what road goes where, and how things are related. With that under my belt, and the list of stores and their locations plugged thereinto, I'm ready to take directions from anybody to anywhere around here. ;o)

We've eaten decent food on a regular basis for several days now. It's astounding. And tasty. (I wish you could have had some of my salad tonight. Butter lettuce, lemon & garlic feta, hand-chipped pecans, dried cranberries and Lighthouse Honey Mustard dressing. It was divine. Hmmmm . . . on second thought, I'm glad you weren't here to have some, because I ate it all. You can always make your own, though. It was really that good.

I absolutely love my new little house. It's in a neighborhood, which is a totally new experience for me, but we have simply great neighbors, and it's a very quiet street. I'm comfortable letting the two oldest kids ride their bikes within a prescribed and mutually-acceptable area, and we even have access to a little park through a gate in the backyard, which the munchkins dearly adore. Vern loves it, too . . . lots and lots of room for the kids to run, and he doesn't have to mow it! And the air conditioning is an exceptionally nice touch.

There are some adjustments to be made: today Lil'MissL told me that she didn't want to have any fence, so our yard could be bigger. In Idaho, our last home was on an acre, and had no fences, so you could see for a good long ways in all directions. Here, it's about twenty feet (if that) from the back door to the back fence, with nothing but grass and a little patio for interest. The backyard is a serious project, but I'm going to do what I can with free plants from friends and family . . . I'm even going to try to scrounge up a small tree for shade. (The backyard gets H-O-T!)

My furniture looks positively lovely in the family room. I know I promised you a photo, but Vern took the camera, and my oldest has hidden the battery charger, so I can't charge the batteries for my trusty old Oly. Please do be patient, they really will come.

And now, I'm off to bed. Finally. There are some things to do (minor kitchen tidying, and of course all of the unpacking), but they'll wait until tomorrow. Lil'MissL doesn't sleep that late, and the baby gets up to eat in the night, so I want as many hours in as possible before those things happen.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Things I've Learned: Moving Edition

1. Moving truck interiors are smaller than they appear.

2. No matter how carefully you plan, you’ll still spend the first week without dishcloths or trash cans in the house, spreading butter with a grapefruit knife.

3. Ditto for the tools you need to set up the washer and dryer for at least 10 days.

4. Children + moving = chaos2

5. Food prices being equal, it will take you at least three months to get a shopping routine established to the point where you’re not spending double your food budget for your usual fare.

6. It will take an inordinate amount of time to establish internet service. Despite the fact that DSL only takes a few keystrokes to set up, it will take at least two days. And even though it only takes half an hour to actually set up cable internet service, it will be at least a week. I <3 bureaucracy. (The spelling says it all: just like committee.)

7. Without Google, I'm pretty helpless.

8. Even though it’s only four days from when the WIPs were packed to when they’ll be delivered, you find yourself wandering the house aimlessly, agitated and fidgety, with hands that feel oddly empty.

9. Freecell becomes your surrogate WIP.

10. Without all of your stuff hanging around, it's easy to see how little you really need.

Now, off to foray for diapers. (Hoping to actually find Costco or Target . . . ) Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Almost there . . .

We're in Oregon.

I got to sleep on an actual bed last night. (Thank you Elizabeth!)

I got to pick fresh blueberries and eat them on my cottage cheese for breakfast. (Oh, it was so idyllic.)

I will never drive I-5 south through Seattle/Tacoma on a Friday afternoon. Ever. Again.

Next up, trying the key in the door of the new house. More to come once we have internet at the house.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not So Bad

Yesterday was quite the day.

You know how, in every large undertaking, there comes a point when you'd like to say "Check please?" and go whimper in a corner for the rest of the day? Yep. Yesterday was all that and more.

I had this brilliant post planned, in honor of the day. It would read:


Gone To Moving Hell.

Be back later.


And then, Vern told me about something he read. About a young woman in the middle east, and what she has had to experience. What a day is like for her, in a ruthless and war-torn place.

Suddenly, my day didn't seem like much.

Vern told me he would rather live in what we consider Moving Hell for every day of the rest of his life than live in her world. And I complete agree. For all of the things that bother us, for that matter, despite all of the things that make up the daily fodder for my little corner of the blogosphere, we live a charmed and easy life. So today, count your blessings, one by one, and be thankful that you don't live where she does.

So, while I don't ever want to move house again (even though we'll have to at least once more), this just really is not so bad.

Not so bad at all.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fun with Wordle

This is fun, and only takes about 30 seconds . . . and no registration! (Finally, someone Got. A. Clue. I hate how many registrations I have floating around the internet.)

Click on the image to see it bigger. I've got to go get a few things done, or I'd mess with this some more. Chau!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Literal Translations and Our Anti-Child Culture

Verbatim from the user's guide to the hard drive Vern just bought:


Samsung 3.5" HDD Installation Guide


1MB = 1,000,000bytes / 1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes.
Actual accessible capacity may vary from advertised capacity due to formatting and partitioning of the hard drive, as well as due to your computer's operating system.

Do not drop, shock or strike.
If apply impact to the HDD, it causes a Bad Sector by crashing between Head and Media. Do not stack. Do not external shock and vibration.

Do not remove all items, such as Hard drive label, warranty label.
Warranty void if any stickers or labels are removed or damaged. Never disassemble hard drives.

Do not touch the circuit board with hands or tools.
Protect the HDD from Electrostatic Discharge (ESD).
MR Head is very sensitive in Electrostatic. Keep the HDD in their static sheilding bag. (No anti-static bag was present in the packaging.)

Avoid extreme temperatures and humidity places.
Humidity causes a drive malfunction by reacting with an ingredient of oil in Disk and Head surface. Also, parts can be corrode by leaving in humidity.

When use an external case

Do not drop or fall while using and being storage the external case.
An external case is easy to transfer, but can be shocked easily also.

Check the External case's Grounding
External case's Grounding prevents HDD malfunction for ESD.


Don't you just love direct translations? lol

If you don't, don't worry. It takes a special kind of eccentric sense of humor to get as big a kick out of those as I do. ;o)


I wanted to rant about our culture today, how children are distrusted, excluded, and generally seen as a liability by those living firmly (and childlessly) in our adult culture. How I shouldn't be made to feel embarrassed and awkward in public when I have all of my children with me. I usually get "Wow! They're not all yours???" followed by an admiring look and a congratulatory or complimentary something . . . but there are plenty of other times when all that someone can see are the sheer number of bodies, the 50-some-odd pounds of extra pregnancy weight, and the fact that children don't behave like adults. (Duh. So very, very DUH!)

The wanna-be rant was fueled by the fact that one of the two owners of our first choice rental (perfect location, gorgeous home, complete with lovely backyard for munchkin play and a gate to a walking trail) chose to rent his home to a single man with a large dog. Four bedrooms, two living rooms, formal dining and eat-in kitchen, all for one guy. Oh, and a dog. I hope that the guy is independently wealthy, so he'll actually live there, make it a home, and have lots of parties and gatherings. There's something so sad to me when there are huge homes with one or two working people who just sleep and eat breakfast there. Homes are meant to be lived in, made warm with laughter and love and good times, and to resonate with lovely memories. It was completely within the owner's rights to make that call. It's his house, after all. It was just hard because the owner who showed Vern the place told us we had it; he just needed to confirm it with the other owner.

Maybe I feel this way partly because the home Vern and I worked so hard to build still stands empty. The oil executive who bought it four years ago is still working somewhere (Texas or India or something), and who knows when he'll retire and move up on the mountain. I'm grateful that the house sold, so we could move on when we needed to . . . I just wish that we had been able to sell to the family that also looked at it around that same time.

It's frustrating because we actually need a place that large, and because we have five children, we were unable to rent a place large enough to meet our needs. A family, a grand piano and a home business are hard to house these days for less than $2,500/month . . . and even if we could afford that, I wonder if anyone would let us rent their "executive luxury home". We're still looking, and poor Vern is just about fried. The time pressure of all of this actually working out is immense. Wish us luck . . . we're quickly working our way through the list of rentals down in Oregon, and it's taking longer than we thought to secure a dwelling place for our hordes.

Speaking of being fried, I need some shuteye. Sweet dreams, and hug your babies twice as much tomorrow. I'm sure going to.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Thoughts Exactly!

A recent Google News headline:

Our Googley Advice to Students: Major in Learning

Homeschooling: +1
Traditional Western Education: +0

In The Tradition of Cami Herself . . .


I give you the running commentary blog post.

Thanks, Cami. :o)


I highly recommend getting up early.

No, not at some ungodly hour . . . just a while before the kids wake up.

This morning I came groggily to consciousness at 6am. Whatever for? Well, I failed to close the curtains completely before crashing last night (er, this morning). I couldn't go back to sleep because the thought that my sleeping in might keep Vern from getting out in time to make it to Oregon for his appointments this afternoon kept me from my deliciously soft flannel pillowcase.

And the light was still in my face.

So I got up, fed BabyB (who didn't really wake up), had some quiet time to spend in the scriptures (in my very own reading chair, I might add), showered, got together some sandwiches and other food for Vern to take with him today, and was bright-eyed and happy to see the munchkins as they emerged one by one. (Well, the girls came out together, since it was Lil'MissL who woke up first, and woke MissE, who then got Lil'MissL out of her crib.)

And all before 7:30.

I've been in a reasonably good mood for most of the day. It's only half through, but still. That's an accomplishment. I made lunch in a fun new dish from Ikea's 365 collection, (sorry, camnesia strikes again), took the leaf out of the table to make it round so we all could scoop bean dip straight out of the fun dish with our tortilla chips, and now the table is wiped and the dishes taken care of (well, mostly--one skillet from breakfast still needs washing).

The three youngest are down for naps, (on time, I might add! Woo-hoo!), BabyB has slipped gracefully into a 3-hour schedule now that I have the spare processor cycles to pay some attention (he wakes up, eat 30 minutes later, nap 30 minutes after that for about two hours), and now I'm trying to decide where next to attack the re-packing process.

Yesterday I got my clothing cleared out of the master closet and boxed up, leaving out only the things I'll need for about a week (well, a week with lots of laundry--not much fits right now . . . ugh Ugh UGH), and I worked on getting the kids' clothes into the same state this morning after breakfast. We're getting close with their stuff, and it really won't take long to get the rest taken care of. The biggest trick will be trying to figure out how to fit everything in the truck. It barely fit coming here, and now I have three rather large pieces of furniture (plus three smaller ones), to add into the mix. We've been scratching our heads, trying to figure out how to fit more into the truck than we did on the way here, but we're really not sure how to do it. Nearly every drawer, nook & cranny was filled, including the chest freezer. We did forget to fill the fridge and dryer . . . but I'm afraid it's not likely that a couch, loveseat, large chair, ottoman, small chair and table will fit in that space.

Oh, and I really will post photos soon . . . honest. My living room looks so pretty now, compared to when it was empty, that it warms my heart every time it comes into view. (And I have no idea how Vern types at all on this funky ergonomic keyboard . . . on an online test last week, he clocked something like 94 words/minute. I'm making so many errors that I'm not getting much past 35.)

And now, off to pack and cull, pack and cull, pack and cull!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For the Stitchin' Sisters . . .

A thoughtful moment . . .

Stop being so silly, mom!

Mmmmmm. . . . almost lunchtime. Simply divine . . .

Heh. That was a good face, mom!

Huh. Who'd'a thunk?

BabyB as he gazed at the Ikea truck poster. Black and white, with a huge yellow Ikea delivery truck dead center, he got the biggest kick out of it. He looked and looked; then smiled and grinned; then babbles and talked. It was quite the sight. :o)

Sleepy time in mom's lap. He just dozed off as I was talking with him.

And lastly, he loves to talk to his brothers and sisters. It began with MissE here, and now he talks animatedly to the whole gang. Can't wait for you all to see him! Miss you . . . and if you all don't start leaving comments for me, I'll never know you even saw this. So 'fess up already. (You're only voyeurs if you don't let me know you were peeking. ;o)

"Life is certainly a riot!"

The title is from a recent email from my mom, where she closed with that line. Knowing her, she meant riot as in "riotous laughter", but there's also definitely a dose of the violently chaotic element in my life. Here's some of what's going on, excerpted from an email I sent to her. (It's a sign of how totally up to my eyeballs I am, when I recycle emails as blog posts! lol)

We've tried really hard to make this rental our home, but every time we decide we'll stay here for the year lease, something new comes up to make us reconsider. (This has happened at least half a dozen times.) Whether it's negative feedback about the property management company (we found some really strongly-worded info in a review online from someone who used to work there, which has since been borne out in our experience), several poor experiences with them, the fact that the house still smells strongly of mothballs if it's not kept open constantly (I had headaches from it when we got back from Oregon yesterday), the ants in the kitchen (which they're not going to do anything about), the fact that it's just not clean (and we can't afford to pay to have it cleaned, and I just haven't had the time to scrub the floors on hands and knees yet), that despite the expansive floor space and two car garage we can't seem to make the space work to meet our needs (the garage isn't large enough for either the Odyssey or the 4Runner), and finally that they haven't fixed the lock on the garage door in the time allotted by Washington law (which means we can't secure our belongings, and are free to break the lease without penalty).

I just have to explain about the garage. It was advertised as a two-car garage. It has two doors, which would barely admit either of our vehicles. Once either car is inside, you can get out of the car, but you can't get out of the garage. There are two regular doors in the garage: one into the house, and one leading outside. They are both in-swing, and due to the miniscule size of the garage, neither of the doors will open because the cars are in the way.

Vern has had a very distinct and persistent feeling that this is simply the wrong place for us since the moment we stepped into the house (this was before he knew how dirty it was, and he couldn't smell the mothball odor). That feeling has not changed for a month now, despite lots of prayer and trying very hard to settle in. Vern has also had definite impressions while at church that we're just visiting . . . that this isn't the ward we're supposed to be in. I've only been once (he's been there three times, and has really liked the people there), so I figured my feeling that way was just because I hadn't attended much yet. But it's so different from when we moved to Idaho, and how attending the Westmond Ward felt like coming home.

So, we're one step away from sending a letter to {ahem} the property-management-company-in-Bellingham-which-shall-not-as-yet-be-named and letting them know we'll be out by August 1st. Since Vern's business partner has severed himself from the project, things are a lot different with Vern's work. We'll just take the next two weeks to find another rental and get out of here. Yes, it will cost money, be a big pain, and be really hard. But with Vern to drive the whole project, and without the constant business pressure on Vern in the background, it's going to go much better than last time, I think. (Ever the optimist, am I. Or maybe just insane.) The kids will be sad to leave the lake so soon, but I think we'll be able to find a place that they'll love even more. I've told Vern quite a number of times that I'm happy to stay here, and that it's up to him whether we stay or go. And he's decided that if we possibly can, we're going.

And yes, life is certainly a riot.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Bullet Dodged

Today I received a jury summons . . . for the county we just moved from. A quick call cleared up the mistake, but the tone of the letter was serious. It used the word "summoned", and it wasn't kidding. To the county's credit, the last time I was summoned for jury duty was about six years ago, and upon calling and explaining that I had a nursing baby, the man at the jury desk asked when I would be able to serve.

"After my kids are grown?" I answered.

"I'll put you down for that," he said.

So, I guess they figured the baby I was nursing at that time was off to school, and I would be free to serve my county, fairly compensated at $5/half day, or $10/full day, plus just under 6 cents per mile I traveled.

With gas at roughly $4.50/gallon, and a car that gets 22 mpg, that still leaves me paying 14 cents per mile, and that's not including wear and tear (which my husband's former business partner figured at around $1/mile, which includes routine maintenance, tires, etc). And daycare for my five children (once the baby's not nursing anymore) runs in the hundreds of dollars per day at a professional day care facility, or around $50/day if I can find someone who is willing to watch the whole crew for just less than minimum wage.

Sooooo . . . to perform jury duty would cost me $60 round trip in gas and wear on my Odyssey, and $50 for childcare (if I'm incredibly lucky), minus the $13.39 ($10/day plus mileage) I'd be compensated from the county, and I'm left with a bill of $96.61 per day. Even if you only figure the gas cost (and not wear and tear), in that equation it's still $58.40 per day. If I ended up serving full days for half of the dates they specified in the letter, (and not counting additional half days that often happen for these things), I'd have an out of pocket expense of $584.

And the state of Idaho collects somewhere in the neighborhood of two to three times its annual budget in taxes each year.

I wonder if homeschooling counts as a reasonable excuse next time? I'll keep my fingers crossed . . .

Knitting content coming soon . . . I'm starving for some knit-related blog fodder. It seems like it has been a long time since my knit-bloggy friends have posted any knitting, either. C'mon girls . . . let's see some yarn, k? This knitter over here could really use some eye candy. And if your posts are really great, I'll show of a rather time-consuming FO that currently is just four rows from completion . . .

Pretty pretty plllleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaase? ;o)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Women: An Engineer's Perspective

(Click for a larger size.)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Another one for the quotes archives.

I know I need to come up with a better title than that. I just love finding sentences that both bring meaning forcefully home, and do so with surprising twists and double meanings. This one is a gem, from Collections of Nothting by William Davies King:

"During twenty years of living with my wife, decades of relentless acquisition, I had found ways of weaving my collections into the lattice of our life. Now, brought out from concealment, arranged in heaps, not carelessly but also not artfully, these things looked like signs of hoarding, which is a diagnosis, not a hobby.

So I transported the cumbersummation of me into the Ryder and into my new, unmarried life, in the hope that I might locate myself somewhere in the midst of it."

I'm highly tempted by this book, on several levels. I tend to hoard things. I've just recently recognized, and am taking steps to resolve, that I hoard food. Fabric, yarn, crafty stuff, stuff from my childhood, stuff that I felt that, by keeping, would somehow give me some of the history and permanence I longed for. I'm learning that boxes full of artifacts from my childhood and teenage years don't truly add value to my life now. If I must hold on to them, I'll do so via photograph, and pass them on to someone who will not only love them now, but use them now.

My new definition of waste is hoarding something when someone else could actually be using it.

But back from my omphaloskepsis . . . I love that quote's last sentence, and "cumbersummation". That one's definitely headed for my favorite word list.

Friday, July 4, 2008

In Memoriam: July 4th 1776

This is a day on which I've honestly avoided blogging.

My grandfather was a vetran of WWII and the Korean War. His military experiences drastically shaped who he was, and left him with injuries that made the last twenty years of his life far more painful than they would have been otherwise. But he loved his country. Both my parents and grandparents, to whom I was blessed to grow up near and dear unto, instilled in me from the very beginning a deep sense of loyalty and patriotism. Born on Flag Day, and blessed in church on the 4th of July, I could recite the pledge of allegiance with perfect diction at three years old. I remember standing on the porch of my grandmother's little single-wide, looking across the tops of the other homes in the trailer park in Brentwood, California, and seeing the red, white and blue fluttering against the deep, clear sky as I held my hand over my heart and said each word. I continued in that same tradition, educating myself on the origins and history of the United States of America, of its government, and on the Founding Fathers. The principles of freedom, the Federalist Papers, and other related topics were all fodder to my love of country, and fueled the fire which strengthened my resolve to speak up, stand out, and lend my support to try to preserve the rights and freedoms initially guaranteed to the American people by the founders.

Then, on October 17th 2006, my country died. The Military Commissions Act was signed into law, amist great newsy fanfare and rejoicing, as was a quieter bill, HR 5122. The Military Commissions Act gutted the bill of rights, removed the protections of the ex post facto clause in the Constitution, and made detaining and torturing US citizens without knowing what they're charged with, or seeing their accuser, perfectly acceptable in the eyes of the law. But HR 5122 was the final straw. Labeled with "Fiscal year 2007" in the title, it appears innocuous enough. However, section 333 abolishes the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, legalizing the use of federal troops for law-enforcement purposes subject to the whim of the executive. While this might seem a boon to over-worked police and sherriff's departments everywhere, especially in a day when natural disasters seem ever more prevalent, it was the last and final move into legal checkmate for the American citizenry. The legislative structure for dictatorship is complete, and mark my words, it will be used.

Much of the culture and traditions I knew and loved as a child are still around . . . I love this land, and many of its people. But the war is over. The Declaration of Independence, celebrated on this day, is now no more than a piece of decaying parchment. The Constitution is dead, buried beneath millions of pages of legal jibberish. I felt so betrayed when I learned about HR 5122. I felt as though I had spent years of my life putting energy into a fight that was simply a sham to keep the masses distracted while the real conflict was lost quietly behind doors marked "Private. Members Only."

Maybe someday there will be a political and cultural reset. A revolution, or war, or depression that effects change significant enough to let us start over. Maybe someday there will be hope again. But not today. Not for me.

I've no stomach for celebrating.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Amy's Joyful Meme

This is the Meme from Amy Boogie's blog today. It's a fun one, and I'm going to totally rip off her answer for the last question, as it's the way I would have answered, as well. Read on, and please leave me a comment if you take my tag (freely offered to all who read this), so I can go read more about you, too!

1. Where was I 10 years go.
  • I was one week from marrying Vern, and managing to hold together pretty well. Being engaged was the hardest part of getting married!

2. 5 things on today’s to-do list

  • Get the three youngest down for naps on time. (Whoops . . . be right back . . .)
  • Set up my reading corner downstairs (with some of yesterday's spoils).
  • Keep caught up in the kitchen.
  • Make sure the munchkins have clean pj's for tonight.
  • Have dinner ready before I leave for knit night at 5pm.

3.Snacks I enjoy

  • Homemade trail mix.
  • Fruit smoothies (add a little lemon juice, almond milk, and Bourbon Vanilla . . . w.o.w.)
  • Cheese & crackers (not as healthy, but I've gotta keep my blood sugar even somehow)
  • Good bread (i.e. handmade artisan bread with short ingredient lists from local small-time bakeries)
  • Odwalla bars (Choco-walla and Strawberry Pomegranite, if you must know)
  • Really dark chocolate (not as sweet, so it hits my system not quite as hard ;o)

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire.

  • Buy a gorgeous piece of forest on a Northwestern Lake so Vern could build us a log cabin.
  • Oh, and a vacation home on the Oregon Coast.
  • Provide my parents with a home nearby, complete with small farm for my Dad to run. (Don't worry, Mom, he'd be drawing a paycheck from me all the while. ;o)
  • Pay off my in-laws' home.
  • Start a few foundations to provide meaningful education to those who want to better their situation in life, and put lots of money into programs like this one. (Do go read the article--it's only two pages, and it's wonderful news today.)
  • I'm sure there would be more, but I do have the aforementioned things to do today! ;o)

5. Places I have lived.

  • California
  • Utah
  • Northern Idaho
  • Washington

6. Jobs I have had.

  • Baby-sitter (many times and places, a few regular jobs for a couple of months in the summer)
  • Reservations Receptionist here. (Man, was that a blast from the past, looking at the photos!)
  • Administrative Assistant for a small-businessman in Provo.
  • TA at BYU (three different times)
  • Special Events Staff at BYU (I got to sit by a side gate at the track meets. I wish I had been a knitter then!)
  • UPS Shipping & Internal Mail Girl for a big company in Provo.
  • Wife, with optional Mom add-on

7. Who would I like to know more about.
  • From Amy's #7 answer: "All of you. If you read this consider yourself tagged or not. Just let me know in a comment if you decide to do it."

Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Goin' to Ikea . . . gonna buy me a lot o' seatin'.

Yessiree, I, Annalea the furniture-less, am going to make the journey down to Ikea and pick out my living room. As Vern said yesterday, "Spending the day at Ikea with all the kids sounds like a perfect hell to me." So, he's keeping them home (and will be working on Saturday to make up the time), while BabyB and I go down and shop 'til I drop. I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this. (Well, I could, but it wouldn't have quite the same ring to it. ;o)

I'm thinking this one:

And this one (even though the photo looks flabby):

And this one:

And one of these:

(I really hope I can get an ottoman cover to match, instead of that bland beige)

And maybe one of these:

Or one of these:

And a few of these:

One of those last two options is going to be my very own early-morning reading and knitting station downstairs. I have wanted a corner to myself, with a chair and table for such a long, long time. :o)

I just looooooove Ikea. And shopping. Have I mentioned lately that I love shopping? (For anything but clothing, that is. If you know of a good source for women's plus size workout clothing, I'd love to know!)

And now, I'm off to nap some, before BabyB and the munchkins wake up . . . if I can, that is . . .