Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Over 1,000 page views!  You're making me POPULAR!

Like Glinda and Elphaba in the musical "Wicked"!

Only I don't have green skin, and you don't sing a song about how great you are and then halfway through it force me to wear sparkly pink lip-gloss and try to teach me how to toss my hair.

Ironically enough, I already wear sparkly pink lip-gloss.

So I guess it all fits together nicely!

(Toss Toss)

Thank you for reading my blog and passing it along to others!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Last week I had to go to Michael's for something.  Emily was super good.  She will turn 3 towards the end of March and it must be completely boring for her to have to wait for grown ups all the time.  She stayed with me from aisle to aisle instead of hiding behind end-caps and didn't run amok, which is what I've seen the average 2 year old shoot for during a trip to the store.

I felt some sort of reward was in order.  Positive reenforcement.  So I went over to the $1 bins and found her a notebook that has E's all over it.  Then we went up and down the sticker aisles in the scrapbooking supplies and found cute little packs of stickers between $0.49 and $1.99.  Presto!  Instant sticker book!

Yesterday my mom wanted us to go run errands with her.  We live at the same address, but never see each other.  She wanted some time with her grandbaby too.  So we went to eat at IHOP and then popped down the road a piece to Office Depot.  I didn't need anything in Office Depot, really, so Emily and I went next door to "The Schoolbox" while mom did her office errand to wait for her there.  In about 15 minutes she came in to find us and we shopped around a few minutes together before heading to the car.  Just as we were about to leave, we saw the sticker wall.  I told her about Em's new sticker book and she wanted to get Em a sheet or two that they could do together.

While she was asking Em which ones they should get, I browsed through them myself and was so excited to find a set from my childhood!  It's one of my absolute earliest memories.  I was about 5 or 6 years old.  Mom had to work late and couldn't get a sitter for me.  I can vaguely remember sitting quietly on the floor in her office, with a sticker book and a few sheets of stickers.  But I clearly remember what the stickers looked like.  There were some fuzzy cats, some smiley faces, some scratch and sniff strawberry ones from Stickopotomus, and THESE:

I had a moment of sheer 80s joy!  Hooray for nostalgia!!! :)

So, yeah, the stickers are for her, but they are also as much fun for me! :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Muppets In Atlanta! And a Memory of Dad

Last April, during Spring Break, Jake and I took Emily to several places in Atlanta for a sort of "stay-cation".  (Aunt K and Grandmother Ray had the older 3.)  We did tons of cool stuff like the High Museum of Art, The World of Coca Cola and Fernbank Science Center.  My favorite, though, was our day at the Center for Puppetry Arts.  There is an exhibit there devoted to the life and works of Master Puppeteer Jim Henson.

Seriously, people.  If you haven't been to see this, GO!  It's amazing!  There are Fraggles and creatures from the '80s movie "Labyrinth".  The full Big Bird suit from Sesame Street is there in a twelve foot tall glass case.  Make time to go see the exhibit!  You won't be disappointed. (Unless you don't like muppets, and for that I wonder what is wrong with you.)*

My dad and I used to watch tapes of "The Muppet Show" with his dad.  Grandaddy had I don't know how many seasons recorded on VHS and there was a small notepad that he kept with them that listed the acts, scenes, and memorable moments, and the time on the tape each one could be found at. We could cue up a tape at 10:24, for example, and come up with this guy (who is still one of my favorites):

Dad's favorite muppet was Rowlf the Dog.  

We loved the little segments where Rowlf would play his piano and be sort of wrapped up in his own comedic musical bubble as the chaos of the rest of the show raged around him like a war zone.   It was awesome to see the for real, old and worn but muchly loved Rowlf muppet in the glass case at the exhibit.

In loving memory of my dad, here are 3 of our favorites by Rowlf.  Enjoy.

Cottleston Pie

You And I And George

English Country Gardens (with Fozzie Bear)

*P.S. - The only thing sort of odd about the whole exhibit was pointed out to me by my friend Rosie (who is the one, incidentally, who told me about it) after her visit:  If you wander around among the muppets long enough, they start to give you the feeling of museum animals that have been taxidermied for display.  They sit there in the glass cases and, having no puppeteer controlling them, are not the animated, lively things our brains remember from TV.  Taxidermied muppets.  That concept was so completely odd and unbelievable that it made me REALLY want to go see the exhibit.  Not twisted enough to be like freaky weird, but just a little bit twisted.  And you know what?  She was right!  Now YOU have to go see it to believe it, don't you!  (You really should.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Domey Yonuts

Last Sunday after lunch, as we were driving back toward home, we stopped at the light on Hwy 5 and Douglas Blvd.  When Jake got a green arrow and was pulling on through, the Dunkin Donuts caught my eye.  "You know what?" I said, "I think it would be fun to bring the kids to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast one morning in the summer, as a family.  We've not done that before."

While the children had heretofore been utterly ignoring the "boring grown up talk" in the front seat, all of a sudden the van was quiet for 3 full seconds and then chaos.  I had said a beautiful word- that "D" word- that word which conjures up images of sweet, sticky, sprinkle covered breakfast delicacies in my children's minds, the tangible likes of which they are rarely (if ever) allowed to consume.

Jennifer's response was typical- "YUMMY DONUTS!"  Those words sounded funny to her, so she tried to say them like a tongue twister, over and over and faster and faster.  In a few minutes, though, the children went back to what they were talking of before I had handed them a sugar glazed promise for a future outing.

All of them, that is, except for Emily.  She's nothing short of a parrot these days, repeating anything and everything the children say.  (Sometimes to my great annoyance and frustration.)  We continued on the drive home and very softly from her car-seat, Emily was chanting Jennifer's phrase "Yummy Donuts".  Only it didn't stay "Yummy Donuts".  Her sweet mouth couldn't quite handle that many sounds and so she slowly and surely turned it into:

"Domey Yonuts, Domey Yonuts, Domey Yonuts..."

I love Emily in the pre-school stage!  I'm looking forward to the summer, when I take her with the whole family to get "Domey Yonuts" for breakfast.   :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ah, L'amour

It's Valentine's Day.  I had to celebrate early with my husband yesterday because he left this morning for Arkansas for work and will be gone for around 2 weeks.  We treated each other to dinner at Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse.  The chef was funny, our table-mates were nice and the food was excellent.  The couple on our immediate right actually went to my alma mater.  I felt a little awkward when we exchanged graduating years.  '99 for me, 2006 for them.  30 is really creeping up on me fast!

Anyway, it was a great date and we had a fantastic time.  Today as I periodically check in with my Facebook, I see post after post about love and marriage and Valentine's and chocolate.  In my bloglist, I found the latest post from Elizabethan about her stay in Paris.  (Yeah, she posted it 5 days ago, but I've been at the sewing machine all week and haven't had much time to peruse my favorite blogs of late.)

I thought, "I wish I had more international friends.  I've got friends in England and friends FROM England (but who are American by birth and now live in America).  I've got American friends who live in Mexico.  But I don't have any friends who live in France.  Or who are from France.  Or speak fluent French so that they can teach me."

I would love to visit France.  I love listening to the French language, especially in songs.  So pretty.  I also have a love of French history and culture.  Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, Napoleon.  And the stories set in Paris- Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, the Musketeers stories by Dumas, Ratatouille.  Ok, so Ratatouille is a fairly recent addition to great stories set in Paris, but it's a fantastic movie! :)

And then there are the clothes. The fashions (from ANY ERA in French history. EVER.) are soooooooooo amazing. I could spend the next 20 years wandering around museums (here's just one at the Louvre) drooling over extant French textiles (dresses in particular) and still never see it all.

The only drawback (besides the cost of the trip, of course) to visiting Paris is that I have heard from a variety of sources that the French are the rudest people on the planet.  I don't like rudeness.  I'm actually very shy in areas I'm not familiar with (like in another country; where I don't know what people are saying or where anything is.)  From what I've seen, heard and read, being shy and going to Paris don't mix.  I tried to understand why people in Paris are so rude.  I found a lot of good answers in the book "French Toast" by Harriet Welty Rochefort.  It's a great read and I highly recommend it, whether or not you are planning a trip to France.

I kind of came up with my own reason why the French are so rude, though.  I think it's because the last time- well, maybe EVERY time- they were ever nice to anyone, from one nation to another, they wound up being invaded.  First in 121 BC by the Romans, then the Germanic Tribes in the 400s AD, then the Arabs in 732, followed closely by the Norman Vikings in the late 700s.  Things seem to have been fairly quiet for a few hundred years, but wait, there's more! They were invaded again in 1415 by the English, during the Hundred Years' War, when no-one could decide who was going to be King (1337- 1453) and again in 1795 by counter-revolutionary French forces.  In 1813 they took on England, Spain and Portugal at the same time.  (1792-1815 seems to be when France seriously started to get more than a little bit pissed off at the rest of the world.)  After that they appear to have gone on the offensive for a century or so to prove to the invaders that they could do it too.  Between 1800-1915 they waltzed uninvited into Algeria (1830), Tourane,Vietnam (1847), the REST of Vietnam (1858), Korea (1866) and Mexico (1862-1867).

They crossed the line, though, being all "We're tired of being invaded so we're invading you first", when they invaded Alsace in 1914 at the start of World War I.  Germany came in to invade France in a mighty way in 1914 and didn't leave until Britain (now allies with France) and the United States kicked them out in 1918 and the war ended.

Germany was invaded by France and Belgium in 1923-24 (I guess they don't ever learn?) and then in World War II, France got invaded by pretty much everybody.  Germany, Italy, the Soviets; French held islands were invaded by Japan. Normandy, France was invaded by the U.S., Britain and Canada in 1944 (to wrestle France back from everyone else who seemed to want it) to give France back to the French people.

That's a LOT of invading and being invaded!  Here is my source of who invaded whom, by the way, in case you have more questions about European history.

I think it's possible that Paris is famous for being the rudeness capital of the world because being at war with and fought over by the world for that many centuries is enough to put any nation in a perpetual bad mood!

Maybe eventually I'll ignore the rudeness and visit anyway.  What do you think?  Could Paris survive an invasion by yours truly? ;)  I'd love to visit during Valentine's Day, though.  Because as much as France is famous for being rude, it's positively infamous in it's romance and passion.

Viva la France, and I hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yeah, my prose is better, but I thought I'd toss in something new today...

I've never claimed to be any good at poetry.  I'm not promising that this is a spectacular sample of the verse which I may really be capable of.  But this came to me this morning when I was making breakfast.  Enjoy.

Would you hold my hand, please,
as I step to the edge
and take this leap of faith.

You don't have to push me,
I'll go on my own.
But it's a frightening ride
to the other side
and I don't want to go alone.

I've been hurt before,
broken and shattered.
But God said He'd catch me
so that's all that matters.

He can stitch me back together.
He can erase all my scars.
But first I have to trust Him
and fall into his arms.

I never saw myself as brave,
but it doesn't matter what I see.
Hold me close as I let go,
and watch Him remake me.

I'm leaving behind my shipwrecked dreams.
I've learned that nothing is as it seems.
God, let me follow Your light, whether in flickers or in beams.

Would you stand beside me, please,
as I fall out of my comfort zone
and discover what my life is for.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Peacock From My Childhood

Reading has always been my favorite pastime.  My top marks in school were always in Literature and English.  As an only child of two working parents, I was often given a stack of library books and allowed to curl up with them for hours at a time.

My favorite children's books were (are) the simple story books by Bill Peet.  Already a fan of Peet's characters in many of Disney's Golden Age animated films, I loved his art style and colored pencil illustrations.  I would check out Bill Peet books every single time we'd visit the library.

My favorite, though, is "The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock".

Prewitt is the runt of his peacock flock.  That in itself is bad enough, but things get worse for him when his tail starts growing into a monstrosity that frightens all of the other peacocks every time they turn around.  Prewitt is picked on and hated and just pitiful.  But his luck turns around when Travis the tiger tries to catch the peacocks for dinner and is scared out of his stripes by Prewitt's scary tail!

I love this book and have read it over and over with my kids.  Look for it in the Easy reader section of your local library.

Sense and Sensibility: Making Edmund Spencer more popular since 1995

We found them!  Praise the Lord!!!! My Nikon D300 AND my wedding rings were found together, safe and sound!  There are a few odd mysteries still, such as how the camera and rings wound up together in the first place, and also the matter of WHERE they were.  But then again, what does it matter if they are returned to me unharmed?

If you don't remember the circumstances (and out and out panic fit that was ensuing) when my camera went missing, I wrote it all in this post.

A good 3 weeks after I posted that, a family member found the camera in one of the only places that I was not free to search.  For obvious privacy reasons, I can't elaborate any more than that.  The camera was found in a gold holiday gift bag.  Fact:  I may have a somewhat faulty memory, but I know beyond any doubt that I never put my camera in a gift bag. Not THAT bag, not ANY bag. EVER.  That bothers me.  A LOT.  Because that means that someone else's hands were on my camera without my permission. GRRRR.

The wedding rings had been missing for a few months.  I vaguely remember that at one point they were sitting in a little clay pot that Jeremy made in Kindergarten, on Jake's side of the headboard shelf.  Due to lack of sleep and stress and 3 jobs and the holiday rush, I'm not clear on when they left that location or whether it was before or after I had them there that I couldn't find them again.  I can't be sure of where I put them after that.  But I know where I DIDN'T put them.

I did not put them in a jar.   But I distinctly and clearly KNOW that I did not put them in a lidded jar.  It was a pimento jar.  I don't even like pimentos.  Gran has a lot of empty jars in the kitchen area for her canning and whatnot, so it was very likely her pimento jar, but she didn't put my rings in it either.  However they got there, the rings were in the jar, and the jar was in the gift bag with the camera.

I think it can be safely presumed that whomever handled my camera and put it in the gift bag also put my  rings in with it.  We've no idea who it was though.

It bothers me that my most expensive/valuable belongings have been meddled with.  I'm certainly glad and thankful that they were returned to me.  But it nags me that they went missing in the first place.

Still wondering about the post title?  One of my favorite parts of the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility is near the end when Marianne (Kate Winslet) is recovering from her illness and Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman) is reading to her.  He is reading "The Faerie Queen" by Edmund Spencer.  I knew the lines from watching S&S so many times over, but I never could remember their source.  I had never read "The Faerie Queen" in Literature class, so it was new to me.  Hundreds of years old, but new and foreign to me.  I did a Google search to find the quote in it's context.  And apparently, I'm not the only fan (with a massive crush on Mr. Rickman as Colonel Brandon) who thought of that scene when something lost came up found.  Here is a reference to it in a post by a blogger who lost an earring and then found it again.  There is a link to the entire section of "The Faerie Queen" by Edmund Spencer, that contains our favorite lines, in her post.

 Now that my Nikon has been returned, I am anxious to get back to shooting photos.  I did a set of my friend Meg in the Regency dress I made for her.  When I get those processed and edited, I'll be sure to post a few, or at the very least a link.

"For whatsoever from one place doth fall,
Is with the tide unto another brought:
For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought."