Friday, December 31, 2010

heeere's tommy!

"Home for the Holidays: Tommy's Entrance"

One of the few end-of-the-year traditions I hold.


"Madeline Kahn Elevator Rap" [A bit of weird editing here, but, ah, Madeline Kahn.]

Have I mentioned that I'm so not a movie snob? (At this point, you're probably thinking something along the lines of, "Duh.")

"let's hope it's a good one"

"Happy Christmas (War Is Over)"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

from the mouth of the babe...

"A rock can live for a hundred and fifty years!"


Kind of a random question, but am I the only one who doesn't read blogs from a reader? Just curious.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

commercial tv? no, thanks

A few things I have recently seen on channels I don't usually have access to:

-- My first Snuggies commercial. I decided they make people look like super-fancy Benedictine monks.

-- I watched a man use a Wonder Mop! (or something similarly named) to clean up a spilled drink from the floor. He then wrung out the mop over a glass and declared the drink ready for consumption. Eew.

-- I watched a couple buy a 600ish-square-foot house for $420,000 -- no parking, tiny bedroom, couple hundred dollars-a-month of HOA fees. Oy. Cardo, Pic and I have no plans to move to San Francisco anytime ever.

-- I watched a child who could have been no more than five have her eyebrows waxed.


I have something of a TV addiction and I need to not have this much access to so much junky crap.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

from the mouth of the babe...

In our home, although the dead insect wasn't a fly but a moth, I believe:

Pic: A fly isn't alive anymore. It's dead. Maybe Kitty took a bite of it.

(And, I have to point out that Snuggles (aka Kitty) is pretty freaked out by most insects, but he loves to chase moths.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

happy (belated) solstice!

Oh, my.

We enjoy a very sedate end-of-the-year holiday season. Nevertheless, by Solstice, I was worn down. Okay, so I was overly tired and didn't properly nourish or hydrate myself until late in the afternoon. Also, Pic and I missed the bus twice -- once because we were just a couple of minutes too late and once because the bus was eight minutes early -- which meant it took three hours to get across town. (Again, ugh.)

We got to Cardo's work and our day brightened when we spotted Auntie C. Pic and I sat and had a nice, long chat with her. Eventually, though, Auntie C had to leave and Pic and I took the car to head out on a quest for Cardo's gift. By that point, we didn't have much time (or much luck) and we returned to Cardo's work giftless. In just moments, I was a weepy mess. Cardo and I were both exhausted, but we ran a few errands and ended the evening by finally buying a tree, decorating it and opening gifts.

The ornaments are a combination of store-bought and handmade, with a few gifted ones.

Pic was the only one to open any gifts on Solstice. She opened a gift card to JoAnn's from Nana and Papa, an easel from us and the gift she insisted we wrap for Snuggles.

I wonder what Snuggles got?! (He got a little remote-control mouse. I'm not sure who was more excited, Pic or Snuggles.)

We're fancy here with our gifts strewn haphazardly about the floor. We finally ran out of a very old roll of wrapping paper and moved onto newspaper.

Wednesday went more smoothly. We dropped Cardo off at work and then ran errands. Pic and I had to make a mall run to get See's candies as a gift for Grandma J. There might be other See's stores in town, but I have no idea where, so we had to go to the mall. Just the thought of going made me tense. I clearly explained to Pic that we were there for one reason only. However, as soon as we walked in, we discovered the new play area the mall owners had installed. "Discovered" in the sense that we talk about 15th- and 16th-century explorers "discovering" the "new world." There was an overwhelming amount of kids all over the place. Just the sight of it filled me with anxiety. Pic, though, was deeply delighted. She asked if she could play for a while. Because I'm such a wonderful person all of the time, I started to snap at her. But, I got over myself and followed after her. I headed to a seat intended for guardians to occupy while keeping close surveillance on their wards (really, the rules state that kids should be closely supervised or the mall might implode...or something). We only stayed for about fifteen minutes, but Pic's face was shining happily. I love that she is so easily pleased; I feel like such a jerk because I'm so easily miffed. We got the candy -- including a few pieces for us, certo -- and headed off to allow Pic to use her gift card and to find Cardo's gift.

Among the items Pic got with her gift card, she chose a painting kit. She painted the little dogs and dressed them up. They now reside in her bedroom.

Yesterday, Pic and I baked, which I might have more to say about later, and then all of us spent an evening at Grandma J's.

Today, Pic and I slept late. We had breakfast at 5th St Bakehouse. Baker D came out to sit with us for a few minutes and he brought Pic a cookie on a little plate. He asked her, "Do you know what that is?"

"A gingerbread man," she replied.

"It's a gingerbread Jabba the Hutt." He proceeded to do a few impressions. So funny!

(I don't think either Cardo or I have ever seen a full Star Wars movie and Pic has never seen even a part of one, but I do get the reference and know what Jabba the Hutt looks like.)

More baking and gift opening happened today, after a nice long walk (yea!). Cardo finished his evening by falling asleep on the couch and Pic and I finished ours with a little painting, using the new easels. After editing (perhaps) and posting this, I'm off to bed with "C" is for Corpse and then some rest.

To all: Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 20, 2010

i give you my heart

Fittingly, I was inspired by Tara's Inspiration Monday to try an origami heart.

I made a mistake at step six because I didn't see how the picture was any different from the picture above and I interpreted the instructions incorrectly.

Ah, well, it still came out as a heart. And, my next attempt was spot on.

My first love note was for Pic and the second I made for Cardo. When I handed Pic's to her, she looked at it, started to unfold it and said, "Thanks. What the heck is it?"

Soon after, she wanted to make one for me and then one for Snuggles (the no-longer covert cat). My first instinct was to tell her, "No, make one for Papi instead; Snuggs can't read," but I refrained. And, Pic got to practice her spelling skills in writing Snuggles's note.

We've decided to make these, perhaps out of newspaper and paint, or maybe wrapping paper from the thrift store, for valentines next year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

strangers no more

This song plays a part in my parents' story:

"Willie Nelson - Red Headed Stranger"

They are now celebrating their 30th anniversary. Thank you Mom and Dad for setting the example of an incredibly loving and in-love couple, showing me what a truly happy, if not always smooth, union can be.

This Barry Mann song, here performed by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville, is their song:

"don't know muc by linda ronstadt and aaron neville"

Happy 30th!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

over the interweb and through the ether

(Or something.)

I'm having a weirdly difficult time getting back to "real" blogging here (is there "unreal" blogging? that's what I feel like I've slipped into). Therefore, I'll try to ease my way back in as my tension from the last four months begins to ease.

Yesterday, we had quite a nice snowstorm. I was set to be finished with my paycheck-earning obligations on Thursday, but some other people had different ideas. Instead of being able to stay warmly wrapped up in my cozy, cozy bed, I had to get up early yesterday to turn in a last bit of paperwork. I made it a little way down the snow-covered road before our car very slowly slid out of our lane. I bumped into the curb, but I was going so slowly that no harm was done. I got the car situated at the side of the road and I called Cardo. I turned the car around and went back home. My dearest partner drove me where I needed to go while Pic slept in the backseat. Stuff got taken care of and now I have a few moments to relax before it all starts up again.

In the meantime: snow! While my first instinct is to hibernate when it's cold and snowy outside, that doesn't work for the whole family. Instead, we went sledding.

Who said you need a sled?

Much of the snow was washed away by the rain today, so we went for a good long walk. I love walking for so many reasons. It keeps me mentally and physically healthy (although, to be fair, I'd have to walk about ten hours a day to combat the amount of junk I've been eating lately). Our walks are also a time when Cardo and I dream about the future. And, our walks are times when we can really spend one-on-one-on-one time together. Most of the time, Pic rides along behind us in the wagon, but we often run around at a park or two when on our walks. I think Pic just puts up with us and our meandering ways because of our park outings.

Before the snow bombarded us, we took our annual pajama-clad, hot-chocolate-sipping drive to check out the solstice lights*. We don't have many traditions, but this annual outing has become one. Every year, we spend an evening driving around checking out the decorations on the houses.

This year, we stopped at the grocery store to buy doughnuts. Pic chose yellow cake doughnuts with chocolate frosting. When I asked her if she had eaten her doughnut, she responded from the backseat, "Yeah, I ate my doughnut, but first I played with it. I pretended it was a tire."

I had a tag-along!

We've also done a wee bit of shopping. We got Pic a couple of gifts: an inexpensive tabletop easel and some puzzle erasers (they're little erasers in different forms like animals and food; apparently you can take them apart and put them back together...hence the puzzle part). We didn't want to get one of the fancier tabletop easels with a nice drawer, just in case we ended up with no interest in the whole venture. (I should say that I got an easel for myself also. I asked Cardo if he wanted one, but he said he'd share mine.) We also bought a set of fine-tipped permanent markers to use for artwork at home. We got 36 markers for less than five dollars, which seemed like a fluke, but it turns out they were on clearance (score!). The markers are kind of for us all to use -- a family gift, if you will.

Pic is very excited about the prospect of opening solstice gifts. She and I still have to get something for Papi. He wants either a new pair of Keens or a car jack that's so heavy I can't even begin to lift it (gift card, perhaps?).

"Brady Bunch - Car Jacking"


Anyhow, we finished off our weekend (for us, the weekend is Friday and Saturday) with a trip down to Carson to cheer on the Ace of Spades in a production of Alice in Wonderland, Jr. at the Wild Horse Children's Theatre. The show was fantastic and I'm so glad the snow had cleared and we were able to make it. I can so totally imagine Pic up on stage. Immediately after we left, she started making plans for her own productions.


* Yes, I realize most people probably don't celebrate solstices and equinoxes, but we do (in as much as we celebrate anything). It makes sense to me that the lights on the houses this time of year might be there to celebrate the soon return of more daylight. Maybe they're there to shine some (wonderfully-colorful) light through the dark days.


Wow, apparently I can go on and on. I'll sign off with wishes of warmth and happiness during this festivities-laden season.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


We need to hire Gary Chang to design a library for us.

"A Tiny Apartment Transforms into 24 Rooms"*

Or, we might hire Dean Proffitt. (I can't find video of the closet with the revolving shoe rack. How can that be, Interweb?)


* I found this on Lovely Listing.

Monday, December 13, 2010

buona notte

I am 92.1875% finished with my current work. The rest will wait. It will have to. Before I can do my part, others should have completed their parts. Uh-huh.

Later today, I will be carrying around enough weight that I might as well have another me-sized person slung over my back. I'm not looking forward to that. I am, however, looking forward to catching up on laundry and dishes. I am looking forward to catching up on some rest.

My family has been (somewhat) incredibly patient with me and we're all ready for my attention to shift in the next few days. I have some wrapping up to do and then I'll have a good several weeks with a much-relaxed schedule.

I'm already feeling nostalgia for things that haven't quite ended. This is dangerous territory, as I have been living so very unhealthfully these last few months. I know it and I don't like it, but I'm quick to forget it. Please, let me not forget it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

a little night music

I'm 51.67% finished. I may never, ever sleep again. Argh!

A bit more music as I take a break here.

"Taylor, the Latte Boy - As I Am - Kristin Chenoweth"
Ah, Kristin Chenoweth, aka Ms Noodle. Ah, Elmo, possibly my least favorite muppet.

"Dolly Parton, After the goldrush"
Ah, Dolly Parton, I do so love you.

"You are my sunshine - Elizabeth Mitchell"
Always makes me think of Beaches.

Back to work? Really? Okay.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

working and listening

I have 56.25% more work to do on my current project. Alas and alack! I am restless. We managed a one-hour walk outside today, which was fabulous, but I now need to be walked again. My somewhat sedentary lifestyle paired with my ridiculous sweet-tooth is starting to make me incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin. Ugh.

Anyhow, as I sit here, working*, trying not to snack too much, music plays in the background. So, if you need some tunes to keep you company, I present:

"Don Williams & Emmy Lou Harris - If I Needed You"

"The Seekers - Lemon Tree"

Apparently I'm having a pretty mellow evening. I only wish my emotional state matched the quiet mood of this music. Ah, well.


* Okay, I was working. And, I will be again after I post this. I promise.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"imagine all the people/livin' life in peace"

"I Just Shot John Lennon with lyrics"

And my favorite John Lennon song:

"John Lennon - Imagine"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

all made up

Oh, my child, who is at the same time so like me and so unlike me. She just came in the den to show me this:

She is such a girlie-girl (sometimes). Now, if only Mamma owned eye shadow, she wouldn't have to resort to using washable marker (thanks be she used the washable marker).

I think I must be a very different person now, in many ways, than I was when I was Pic's age. I remember my favorite color was pink. I wanted pink everything: skin, hair, eyes, ecc. I liked dresses and "being fancy" in general. I'm not sure when I grew out of this. Long ago.

Pic's favorite color is black and she doesn't mind getting dirty (I hated being dirty and I still kind of do). However, she loves wearing skirts (while simultaneously wearing several other layers of clothing) and makeup. When she recently spent the night at her friend L's house, she was almost bursting with glee because they got to play with makeup. She's obsessed with weddings and all the frilly stuff that's supposed to go along with them. Just wait until she hears about school dances. (Hmm, school dances? Perhaps we'll have to hold some homeschool dances.)

If she doesn't grow out of this, well, let's just say that if she ever chooses to get married (and, if she's able to) I might be steering very clear of her. I jest...I'll simply keep very quiet and remember that it's not my party. ;)

to stop and breathe

I've been living a lot of "I can't wait until..." lately. Living in the now? Psh, not so much. And, I know me pretty well by now -- I won't stop doing this anytime soon, although I'll continue to lament my ability to be so very happy with the abundance I have right now.

What am I waiting for? Time. Much more time with Pic. Real time with her, not just stressful time near her. Time with Cardo. Time to take nice long, leisurely two-hour walks (as we did this past weekend! so very needed). Time to read, write, take pictures, think, sleep.

I tend to go through cycles of stress and boredom. It's as if I don't know how to live in the middle, with just enough to keep me busy. If my plate isn't overly full, it's missing. Right now, things are falling off my plate all over the place. I'm afraid, though, that I'll forget this feeling in two weeks. I'll have slipped into not-enough-to-do (as far as I'm concerned) ennui and I'll be pushing to once again take on too much.

When we decided to not send Pic off to school, I was still a bit unsure about our decision and so I set myself up with too much to do to do anything really well (did you follow that?). I'm feeling so much more confident in and excited about our decision now, but I've locked myself into obligations for the next several months. I (mostly) enjoy these obligations, but I'm unable to balance between outside obligations and family time and togetherness.

I had thought that my life would be in a comfortable rhythm by now, but I still seem to be figuring it all out. I think I might be bored if nothing ever changed, but I push too far, too much, too often. (I feel silly even saying that, as I know many, many people who successfully do so much more than I do.)

I've got about a month of tricky scheduling ahead and then several months of needing to really work on a rhythm.

As for that month, though, I plan on traveling, reading, sleeping, crafting (perhaps), cooking, baking, planning, walking, picture taking, ecc, ecc, ecc.

I'd be interested in hearing others' plans for finishing out the year.


Speaking of picture taking, I haven't posted any pictures in a woefully long time. I haven't carried my camera with me as much and I've been lax about uploading my pictures to my computer. However, I do have some shots awaiting their display here. I usually don't take pictures in shops, but I couldn't pass this up:

I was inordinately happy to see this in Goodwill recently.

"I'm throwing out Hug-a-Canada!" (embedding has been disabled by request.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

blog bliss

I often think it might be nice if the some of the bloggers I read stopped blogging. Not "nice" in that I don't thoroughly enjoy reading these blogs, but "nice" in that I'd have a bit more time to do other things (find new blogs?). However, when people do stop writing, I can't help but feel a bit sad.*

Anyhow, a blog I really enjoy recently seemed to come to an end. I kept checking back, just in case, but the blog seemed to have turned into something of a pit of spam. This morning, though? Blankie Chronicles is back in a new incarnation: A Life Like This One! Yea!


* I'm looking at you, Coach J, although I'm happy for you that you no longer need the outlet -- but I sincerely enjoy your writing.


Edited to add: Oh, no! It looks like Good Things Catered also no longer exists. I'm glad I saved so many of her recipes. I thought it might be coming as she was posting less and less. I'm sure I have plenty of other food blogs on my blog roll, but I'll miss Katie's posts. [12/7/10]

from the mouth of the babe...

I was being whiny about people not using their turn signals today and Pic, in her infinite wisdom, remarked, "It's so easy to use your turn sigal,* you just click it and you're done."

Ah, a new slogan for turn signals.


* That's how she pronounces it. I always wonder if this is how it sounds to her when I say it. She also says "cuvvard" for "cupboard."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

today in five acts

* sleep!

* potato-sage soup at 5th St. Bakehouse (mmm)

* walking! (and walking! and walking!)

* cooking at home

* and now? reading and planning, planning and reading

i'm dreaming of...

* built-in bookcases

* solar tubes

* fruit trees

* colorful walls

* a warm hearth

* a front porch

* time spent enjoying the above