Wednesday, August 30, 2006

He. Swam. By. Himself. Today.

Youngest has been taking private swimming lessons since February. Since February - that is 6 months. (With Oldest, who by now is doing an incredible backstroke, and working on proper breathing with his crawl stroke.)

They are taking swimming lessons from the best teacher we could find - an incredible young man who tolerates no nonsense, lavishes praise, and keeps them 100% on track - not easy. While one is having a lesson, the other must work on technique - even if it is blowing bubbles, etc.

3 weeks ago, Youngest was able to tolerate wearing his goggles long enough to stay underwater for more than a nanosecond. 2 weeks ago, he left his goggles on long enough to actually count to 2 under water, while hanging on to our dear Mr. Mark with both hands and both legs wrapped around Mr. Mark's leg. One week ago, Youngest left BOTH paws on his kickboard and swam out kicking with Mr. Mark's hand a fraction of an inch away from his, frequently touching Mr. Mark's hand in terror. But This Week? Youngest yelled "LOOKY DIS MOMMY!" when I reappeared at the end of their lesson:

Mr. Mark said "Ready?" and gently tugged Youngest away from the ledge seat, and then

Let Go Of The Board

Youngest kicked all around the pool, with the biggest smile (and foggiest goggles) I have ever seen. Mr. Mark was always right in front of him, smiling and talking gently to my son, who just had one of the biggest accomplishments of his life.

He swam. He really swam. All by himself. With us cheering. All the way back to the ledge. Where he handed up the kickboard to me like he's been doing it for years. And took off his foggy goggles and asked "Did you see me, Mommy? I DID IT!" And I snatched him out of that pool and smooched his little grinning cheeks right off him.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Today was the official start of kindergarten. All four of us gobbled down lunch and drove up the hilly crest to the school. Oldest clung to me at first when we arrived. We had forgotten his backpack, and he was worrired about that. So I jetted home while K stayed with the boys. By the time I got back, the classroom door was closed, and everyone was enjoying the goodies a local bakery donated. So, we had to rap on the door and thrust the forgotten backpack through the crack in the door. Way off in the distance, in circle time, Oldest looked relieved.

We didn't see too many tears; 2 sets of parents and 2 children. The class has swelled to almost full (21 students). We know 2 of the children, so that is great. I know Oldest is going to love being in kindergarten. Going to all-day summer camp has him used to crowds, lines and following orders. Useful skills for a student. I hope he eventually veers from the lemming path...

I am thrilled for him. I hope this is the beginning of a love of school, and a life-long lust for learning.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I say, You think:

  1. Visit ::

  2. Cake ::

  3. Period ::

  4. Triumphant ::

  5. Screen ::

  6. Neglect ::

  7. Guitar ::

  8. Loathe ::

  9. Sugar ::

  10. Montage ::

My Answers:

Visit: the Library
Cake: Bread
Period: of Time
Triumphant: Return
Screen: Legend
Neglect: Benign
Guitar: Lick
Loathe: Fear and (Loathing in Las Vegas)
Sugar: Baby (Anyone else remember this candy - Sugarbabies?)
Montage: Artwork

Stolen from Kim

Friday, August 25, 2006

Getting Serious about this Home Swap Thing...

I have researched three companies that facilitate home swapping:

Swap #1

Swap #2

Swap #3

1. I've checked with our health club about allowing house guests to use our membership
2. I've checked with our vehicle insurer about house guests using our car
3. I've checked with our homeowner's insurer about house guests using our property in our absence
4. I've talked to the husband about what stuff we would need to lock up, rooms to put off limits, etc.

I'm thinking this might be a great idea for 2008 - we've already got alot going on in 2007, vacation-wise.

Can you think of any pitfalls? Things we may want to include in our to-do list?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Being Different in a White World:

I forget; We Are A Biracial Family.
My children are -- my children. I no longer see that they are Asian, Korean to be exact. They are simply my sons. I see people staring at us in the street and I assume "Oh, they are thinking what gorgeous boys Oldest and Youngest are!"
But today? I was snapped back. I mentioned to my sister that I had a less than good experience meeting someone today, someone who will have a bit of contact with our family. We went over the usual possible reasons; the woman may have been having a bad day emotionally or physically, She could have gotten distracted during the time she should have been giving us attention, etc. Then my sister said these words "Or maybe she doesn't like Asians. Or is thinking 'Oh yeah; another one buying herself the newest Hollywood Acquisition; different-race children'."
I was stunned. At first I thought, my sister is being a bitch to me! What in the hell! Then I processed it - This might be happening much more than I know.
It was like being socked in the belly - I was physically overwrought for a few seconds. My guts twinged. Who could possibly think there were ulterior motives in wanting my children? How could anyone not know the fierce, visceral love we have for our sons? That I could not love them more had they come shooting out of my vagina?
This really had me thinking today about stuff I hadn't visited for a long time. Harking me back to those Looooooooooooong days doing research, taking bi-racial family classes, reading books, visiting with the Social Worker (who had a few bi-racial, adopted children) and doing tons of work on the What Ifs.
Yeah - What If....
I thought I was prepared to have things like this wash off me like so much sudsy water in the shower.
I have been raw since this conversation. Hugging and holding and smooching the very cheeks off my sons. Wishing I could create a perfect world where Love was the key. When just loving your children was enough.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

YO! The Village is FED UP w/rearing your kids! EDITED

(ETA: These are Major Annoyances and Unbelievable Incidents which have happened in the past 2 years, either to me and/or good friends. The shopping center bit happened when I went to another mall to the Disney Store to get an Ariel costume for a particularly sweet girl in Youngest's class just last week...)

The Village? She's Sick and Tired of all the free babysitting you've been taking abusive advantage of by dropping your whelp off on Society.

1. The parent who drops your kids off at the mall, expecting shopkeepers and customers to babysit your children. Who, of course, meet their other friends who have also been left to their own devices by lazy parents; and who then run like a pack of wild, rabid dogs. Here's a News Flash for you; unless your kids have money in their pockets, a set goal of shopping for 'x' and need to do it privately (i.e., it's a surprise for you), they have no business spending hours and hours at the mall, jus' hangin'. Would you like it if a pack of teenagers or pre-teens hung around your place of business? NO?! Well, then how can it be okay to dump your kids on other people's place of business. This is wrong, and a poor parenting decision.

2. The parent who leaves teenage kids alone and unsupervised, or worse, babysitting younger siblings; when said parents leave for overnight or the weekend. Yes, the peckerhead parents who expect the neighbors to 'keep an eye on' their house/brood! SURE! WHAT THE HECK! We have Nothing Better to Do than to keep an eye on your house, and watch as teens pour into the house with bags of liquor. And then watch as carloads of kids appear, then explode out of the house when a fight erupts, and start puking on all the neighbor's lawns. And when the neighbors call the police? They are then considered BAD NEIGHBORS and the word spreads like wildfire when the teens are issued drinking tickets - "They weren't even bothering anybody!" "There wasn't even that much alcohol involved." "My kid wasn't even drinking!" "What jerks _____ neighbors are!" And here's the one circulating lately: "I'm telling MY kids to not open the door if the police knock! The police can't come in without a search warrant!" (Meaning, you are going to let your teens have alcohol parties in your absense? And you're going to teach them to 'beat the system? Grrreat."

3. Birthday Party drop-off - Here's a Tip for you: The invitation explicitly states who is included in the party invitation. If it is addressed to one child, that is the only child in the family who is invited. If you think it's fine to just bring a sibling, you are wrong. You need to ask permission days ahead to bring additional guests. This is especially true if your child is invited to a drop-off party; it is NOT okay to bring siblings or extra 'friends' and drop them off. And Double Bad Form if you drop off not only the invited guest, but also siblings and friends (too horrible to consider if none of them can swim), to a birthday party at a lake or pool. Do you really think anyone is going to be watching your kids/friends? Do you even care? To me, this is unforgivable, and you would not be allowed to leave the party without your children in tow. And your child would be forever crossed off a guest list for my family's social events.

4. The parent who drops kids off on a playground, and then immediately gets involved in deep conversation or in a book, and doesn't watch their little darlings immediately start bullying other kids. Those rocks they are throwing? That shoving and taunting they are doing? That merciless grabbing of equipment and hogging it? That's bullying, asshat! YES! They are dying for your attention, any attention, so they have learned to bully to get it. Get up and deal with that behavior! Know that some parents won't tolerate it, and will yell at you to force you to Pay Attention To Your Child. Yes. Terrible to have to parent, isn't it. It Isn't About YOU, all the time.

5. The parents who refuse to teach their children table manners and boundaries for dining out. We don't want your children at our table, or running around the restaurant, screaming and playing tag. We don't think it's cute. It's rude and annoying. And dangerous for the wait staff. Please know that some of us do call management over. And that if your child continues to be a problem, you will be loudly presented with our dinner check, with a demand that you pay it as you and your children were the only ones who got to enjoy the dinner.

6. The parents who bring their young children into adult-themed movies, and expect everyone around them to be tolerant of the interruptions, spilled drinks and treats, crying, fighting and hissing of people around them. Please know that some of us will stand up and YELL AT YOU. YES! We will block your view and yell at you to leave or refund our ticket prices. If that doesn't work, we will go to management and demand their intervention. If this is a G movie, we will tolerate some behavior issues. But don't push your luck. Wait until the movie comes out on DVD if you can't control your children. Because we? Are getting tired of setting limits for your kids.

Oh, OH! You forgot about the parents who drop their kids off at the library for all the free babysitting at the reference desk! added for Liz

And a BIG, Huge, THANK YOU to parents who do choose to do the Real Work that is good parenting; raising children to be responsible for their own behavior, polite and mannerly, conscious of others and kind. A functioning member of society. I'm also not talking about special needs kids' behavior here; these are behaviors I have witnessed from normal, run-of-the-mill kids. Most parents I know with Special Needs children moniter them so acutely those kids don't have a chance to veer off the straight and narrow. The parents are On Them, redirecting, encouraging, chiding and exiting when situations deteriorate. I know. I live this. It's not that difficult to do. Consistency is the key. If you are a parent who parents, you know what I'm talking about. And I love you for being a great parent for your children.

If you are a parent who says "Oh, he's so spirited!" "She's never done that before!" "Oh, we are using the 'You're Not The Boss Of Me' style of parenting. We don't set limits!" "Oh, he's just excited to see everybody!" "I don't think he really means to hurt anyone, he's just doesn't know his own strength!" know that we have Got Your Number. And it's a Big ZERO.

BOTHER! I lost my bookmarks!

I have my sidebar to log into your blogs. But all my saved-over-a-year bookmarks? GONE!
How did this happen? By removing the Sony recalled battery, so I don't burn down the house with ourselves in it, before plugging the computer into the power cord.
ARRRRRRRRRGH! (She says in her best Pirate imitation.)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings:

  1. Cruel ::

  2. Jive ::

  3. Weak ::

  4. Understand ::

  5. Bum ::

  6. Stairs ::

  7. Tone ::

  8. Quickly ::

  9. Moment ::

  10. Beating ::

Here are my answers:

Cruel: Joke
Jive: Turkey
Weak: Sister
Understand: Rubberband
Bum: Rap
Stairs: Elevator
Tone: Ring
Quickly: Get in the Car!
Moment: To breathe
Beating: Heart

Borrowed from Kim

Friday, August 18, 2006

5 things Great about today:

Keen shoes. 'Nuf said.

Youngest, poring over a train catalog. Thank goodness it's good old AFFORDABLE Thomas. Not the Bachman catalog that his Daddy prefers to pore over...

Hair care products. But, Oh Darn; it's raining here today. Shucks, no point in fixing my hair for lunch out with the See Jane Run bookies (old book group friends) today!

COSTCO! Christmas this year will be All About Costco. One boy is getting bunk beds, the other is getting a double bed. He keeps falling out of his twin. So there are new flannel sheets (from Portugal! The Best!) for the boys. Down lap blankies for my parents in lovely shades of green and purple. Borghese cosmetics (Ok, these are for me), Flannel sleep bottoms for somebody.

Oldest, playing with Tinker Toys. And Magnetix. And building paper airplanes. And bouncing Silly Putty around. Because? He Can.

Because it's Friday, and because I've not done the 5 things in a long time.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Outside Play Areas - For Karin

The Trex (or manufactured lumber made with plastic) sides for the Pea Gravel Diggin' Pit

View of entire gravel pit. It stays in the shade 'til 1 or so, shaded by the off-kitchen deck above

Peach/Blueberry/Almond tart that I made a couple of days ago. Puff Pastry shell. Yummy!

Boys' Play Structure. They give it a workout daily.

Close-up of mitered corner. Treated lumber inside, Trex outside. We keep meaning to put on the cap....but in the meantime? It's fully in use.

For Karin, with three, 3 and under.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Answering "Yes." to "Do You work?"

It's becoming more automatic each time I answer the question "Do you work?"
"Yes." I simply say.
Boy, do I work.
In fact, I'm working right now. My sons are enjoying a nutritious snack that I prepared, and we're discussing what we are going to prepare for dinner.
Because Tuesdays?
They are our Candlelight Dinner Nights. We always have whatever fish is most fresh at our local fishmongers. Today, it is Sea Bass - YUMMMMMMMMMM! I am going to bake it with delicate Asian spices. Served along side will be jasmine rice, a vegetable stir fry (some from our garden!) and dipping sauces.

Back to the "Do You Work?" question. Of course I work. As does every parent who takes care of home and brood. We essentially keep the World Running, in fact. Some of us have to have second jobs to make ends meet. And that's very difficult. As frequently? The huge full-time job of running the home is still left entirely up to them. And that's simply not fair. They then have two full-time jobs. And the spouse who only works the one job and seldom pitches in or offers to help with the home work? And who arrives home and expects to be able to sit and watch tv, be fed and not help with children's homework or bedtime routines? These are the idiots who wonder why the spouse with two jobs is exhausted, angry, resentful and eventually hateful. Feeling underappreciated and overworked will do that to you. Almost with certainty.

So, to the PTA President (in Oldest's class) who asked "Do you work?" with a gleam in her eye today, sure she was going to guilt trip me into never-ending school servitude at the school; I answered simply "Yes. Long hours. It is sometimes exhausting." and left it at that.

Because, you see, I have filled our calendar until the end of December with all our family's important dates:

Every afternoon the boys have school. Those times went in first.
Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays are club mornings, when we will swim in the warm therapy pool, or the children will go to daycare while I workout or just read for 2 hours
Tuesdays or Thursday are bi-weekly Excursion mornings - so much to do and see here! The alternating Tue/Thur are Do-Nothing mornings. Lay around, read, play, whatever.
Mon/Tue/Thur afternoons are TaeKwonDo/portable DVD movie for youngest/reading for me
Wed/Fri afternoons are therapy/portable DVD movie for oldest/reading for me
Evenings? They are scheduled for game nights/restaurant nights/babysitting nights.

We are busy. Being a family. With our extended family and friends.

This new scheduling, actually writing down what I wish we were doing so it will actually happen for a change, is giving me a sense of peace and power. There is not much room in our lives for much more.

Vocalizing YES I WORK is more powerful than I ever knew.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Dell Laptops are being recalled

Seems the battery can overheat to the point where they catch fire. I thought this baby was getting a little too toasty - I'm glad I'm in the habit of turning it off. So are the boys.

If you have a Dell laptop, I think it's any that shipped Jun 04 - Jul 06 (don't quote me on that). And I had to enter my numbers a few times to get "Replacement Required" - I knew we had purchased in the right time, and my 2nd set of numbers were in the recall - I had to change some of my alphabetical o's to zero's, even in alpha streams. Shame on them for making it so difficult.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Daily Me-ander

It's been brewing for awhile; this desire to 'do' less, 'spend' less, 'have' less.

But, it's easier said than done.

The money? She flies through my fingertips, albeit more slowly.
The purging? Is happening, albeit more slowly than I thought it would happen. I reckoned this summer I would get this house whipped into shape.
The reality is that I found a new skill - R E L A X I N G

How? You ask?

By saying "No.":
To continuing to organize the Special Needs preschool playgroup, which only one or two parents were extremely motivated to attend (actually; which they were very avid to have their babysitters/children attend) I told them to exchange phone numbers with the two other parents and continue themselves. They wanted the email group to continue. I told them they were welcome to do that, too.

To the exchange babysitting we had been participating in. It wasn't working out for me, anymore. Many reasons. And we won't be doing it through the school year, either. After more thought, I have decided paid babysitting is not a luxury, it's a necessity to running a household smoothly when the working spouse is gone 60+ hours a week. One of the summer camp counselors is available for reasonable cost.

To so many TaeKwonDo lessons for Oldest every week. He just needs to practice more at home. He set up a mirror in the living room to accomplish this all by himself.

To more volunteering at their schools. It is somebody else's turn for awhile. I won't say I'll never volunteer again; but for now, No.

To get-togethers with mothers whose tales of woe I'm tired of and their cantankerous children. And have you noticed how, so often times, the two go together? Children who are well mannered and whose visits are pleasant? Those will continue. Others? We Are Done.

Saying YES! to:

The continuing purge of stuff and junque from this household. Clicking my heels with each box that goes OUT.

Reading! I've had many books on every horizontal surface for months. I am reading during the day and at night. It. Is. Devine. Like finding an old friend and getting a huge hug.

Keeping the TV off. Turning the radio ON.

Eating better.
Game Night (Wednesday)
Carry-out Night (Friday)
Sleep-in Morning (Sunday)

Buying, this week:

More fabric for Christmas gifts.
An answering machine so I can screen phone calls. (thanks, LC!)
More art supplies when back-to-school supplies go on sale.
Flattering jeans.

And my birthday month is coming up! I'm going to give myself a health workover - professional diet plan/workout schedule. I am excited about this!

How about you? What's on your No/Yes/Plans for Autumn (or Spring for you Southern Hemisphere folk)?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Show & Tell: Collections

The boys' train collection. Thomas is a Thing of the Past. Expensive G-Gauge trains, with brass track installed outside, have almost taken affordable Thomas's place. The menfolk in this house are All Trains, All the Time.

The yellow funny-looking engine is a diesel switcher, made to shunt trains around a trainyard, not for long hauls. The blue engine is a steam locamotive. And the bring blue fellow - well, that's Thomas, of course! A BIG Thomas. Annie & Clarabelle are lurking in the top photo, I think...

Youngest trotted by and yelped "That's my Santa Fe. My FAVORITE!" You can see how big these fellows are by the brass door hinge to the engine's lower right...You need at least 8 feet of track to turn a corner without a mishap.

And tonight, my K brought home these vegetables out of the garden. Missing are some tomatoes, basil and zucchini, soaking in another sink.

My old, and much reduced collection of enamel boxes. These few left have alot of sentimental meaning to me. Except for the blue and white Wedgwood box in the back. I have no idea from whence that one came. Who was it who was admiring Wedgwood?!

For Joke, via blackbird: Collections

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Starting to Panic

Today and Thursday are the Last Days of 6-hour summer day camp for the boys of mine. I've had 16 blessed 6-hour days, and I've pissed them all away. Well, not pissed in the English sense, but pissed as in wasted. Well, not wasted in the American sense... ACK! I Have Not Done Anything Productive On Tuesday Or Thursday throughout the entire summer except polyurethaning the floors that one day. Which may not have even been a Tuesday or Thursday...

I am not going to have weekly babysitting anymore. Since we've been parents, I've had babysitting 3 evenings a week during the arsenic hours of 4-7 pm (or more). Well, no more. We have to start severely cutting costs, and part of it has to be discretionary things like babysitting, eating out, fancy coffees. Which now that I type it doesn't sound discretionary at all; it sounds like How I Get Through My Days! Uh-oh...

And I'm 2 years from a clean getaway with both children in all-day school. Kindergarten is half day here. Youngest will go to kindy next year. Half Day.

I know those of you who have jobs are thinking "Oh, put a fucking sock in it! I do everything that you do, and work too!" Well, possibly. But I would not consent to working 2 essentially full-time jobs. My husband would have to do more or fork over the funds to pay for what he is not doing, chore-wise, around the house. And he works at least 60 hours a week. Usually more. When he makes the "Go back to work so I can eventually retire" noises, I wave the Word document I created with the 3 columns showing task/time/$$$ to hire out and ask him which half he is going to do, or pay to hire out. End of discussion. We still have that chat annually, but he's not stepped up to the plate with service providers or a written agreement on what he'll take over.

Running errands, food shopping, dry cleaners, all that stuff - I've been able to do child-free for 6 years. The thought of doing it with 2 little boys is making me bug-eyed.

I'm going to need to find the Zen in these chores. And so far? I'm just scared.

And, I'm also having trouble getting my head around leaving Oldest off at such a large institution - public school. Even though our neighborhood school is new, best in the district, blah blah blah; It's got 80+ kindergartners. EIGHTY kindergarten children! And there are 8 grades in the school. Grades 5 and above have even more children in them, as the school bond that funded under 22-per-classroom affected classrooms beginning after that was voted in - 5 years ago. They have 'strict bullying rules'. Yeah, so what? Kids are mean and that's just a fact. Our sons are sweet. They will get picked on. Every child does. I hate that my sons will ever suffer at the hands of classmates! But it's inevitable. So, we work on 'what to say, when', and we practice saying "So?" and walking away. But in reality? Who knows.

Yes, they will have good days and lots of them. And a few bad ones. Please dear god let me have my shit together enough to not overreact and make more of it than it needs to be to help them survive. They are not Me. My wounds may never be their wounds.

Expect Angsty posting for awhile. That's where I am in this space/time/continuim.

That is all.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

65 Things Meme; Stolen

Stolen From Carolyn, Joke, Badger and some other Austinite:

"It's another meme. I haven't felt very creative as of late so I'm cheating."

Ah, Ditto.

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops? Yes. And once by someone pretending to be a cop.

2. What color are your eyes? My eyes are the color of cold, hard cash.

3. When was the last time you went sledding? This past winter. I can't wait 'til the boys are old enough to go tubing!

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone? Alone.

5. Do you believe in ghosts? No. But I believe in other weird stuff.

6. Do you consider yourself creative? Hell, Yes!

7. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie? Jolie.

8. Who was your first crush? His name was George and he was a chubby, but nice, nerd.

9. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you? Yes.

10. Have you ever been ice skating? Yes, lots. But I can't skate backwards except by doing ugly hourglass thingys, and can only do cross-over turns going to the left.

11. How often do you remember your dreams? Every night. But not all of them.

12. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? Yesterday talking to my sister.

13. Can you name 4 songs by The Beatles? Hell-I can name all the songs on Rubber Soul!

14. What's the one thing always on your mind? My next meal. I swear I have a tapeworm or something - I am always hungry!

15. What talent do you wish you had? Lowering my triglycerides. without drugs or dieting. *sigh*

16. Do you know anyone in jail? Yes. My niece has friends in low places.

17. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew? Yes. But I don't think I would stick my neck out now that I have kids.

18. Have you ever been punched in the face? Yes, accidently and on purpose.

19. Do you own any stuffed animals? Yes.

20. Do you have a major crush on someone? Not anymore.

21. Do you miss someone right now? Yes! My girlfriends, some old boyfriends and my sister. Since I've had children I just don't have the time to keep up with my buddies.

22. What are you listening to right now? Blessed Silence. And a car just drove by.

23. Has the death of a celebrity ever made you cry? Yes, Pope John Paul. He was a Pope in a million.

24. What color underwear/boxers are you wearing? Tightie Whities.

25. Where do you work? I work where I am.

26. What ended your last relationship? Marriage.

27. What food do you crave right now? Dark Chocolate.

28. What was the last TV show you watched? Curb Your Enthusiasm off Netflix.

29. What is the last thing you ate? Dinner - restaurant Mexican. *buuuuuurp*

30. Are you on any medication? Yes.

31. What side of the bed do you sleep on? Whichever side has the most room. And usually furthest from the door.

32. What color shirt are you wearing? White Life is Good t shirt.

33. What is your favorite frozen treat? Italian Ices.

34. How many tattoos/piercing do you have? Pierced ears.

35. Can you imagine yourself ever getting married? Yes, but not so many times.

36. Have you ever done something to instigate trouble? Constantly.

37. Do you like your nose? Yes.

38. What color is your bedroom? India Ink navy blue - almost black.

39. Where do you live? Mocky Rountains.

40. Are you an aggressive driver? In a minivan? Puh-leze.

41. What color is your car? Dirt.

42. What do you smell like right now? Verbena soap.

43. What is your favorite color? Periwinkle, puce, heliotrope, burnt sienna

44. What character from a movie/TV most reminds you of yourself? Hmmmmm...

45. Do you enjoy giving hugs? It very much depends on whom I am hugging.

46. Do you own a digital camera? Yes. Numerous. I operate all of them badly.

47. What books, if any, have made you cry? So many

48. Are you a jealous person? Not anymore. I've mellowed.

49. (I took out a question of a sexual nature.)

50. What shoes are you wearing right now? None. Usually, Keens.

51. What is your major weakness? Dark Chocolate.

52. Do you suffer motion sickness? Never.

53. What's the best pizza? Mine.

54. Longest relationship? My parents. My sisters. My friend Sherry since 1971. My friends in Chicago since 1983. My husband since 1990.

55. Are you afraid of thunderstorms? I love them.

56. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Very, very old lady.

57. Have you ever given or been given an engagement ring? Yes, four.

58. What was the last gift someone gave you? A 3-stone anniversary ring from my husband.

59. Who would you call first if you won the lottery? 911 as I would probably have a stroke.

60. Can you cook? Yes.

61. What is your favorite jelly/jam? Cherry.

62. Can you swim? Yes, I enjoy it.

63. What is your first memory? Being at a birthday party in an itchy dress. I was 14 months old. I remember walking home, and my mother saying "You can do it!" and her turning around to wait for me. I remember taking off the itchy dress, and standing in front of the fan with my silk slip on. And then my grandmother trying to comb the knots out of my sweaty, curly long hair. So, it's pain that I remember first - it figures!

64. What item would you like to have buried with you? I'm getting cremated. So, nothing.

65. What are three things you're dying to have right now that would make everything just about perfect? World Peace, endless energy and yeah - a cure for autism.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Show & Tell Thursday: Chicken (EDITED)

I don't know what blogger is doing.
Anyway, the first photo is Early Bird - Youngest's baby toy. I sent it to him in S. Korea while we were waiting for him to come home, along with dozens of sweet baby outfits. None of which fit him! He was A Moose. His lovely Foster Mother never said a word about the tiny clothing that never fit him. She sent him home to us, carefully packing his beloved Early Bird, his Blankie that I had made and more than a few gorgeous Korean-made cotton outfits that fit him for many months. Lovely padded and lined winter outfits, that were perfect for our cold winters. She continues to send him very lovely things.

The second photo is a Chicken, all right. He is a Hot Dip Chicken. Since I don't many Hot Dips, or casseroles of such a small stature, this Chicken resides in a top shelf of the cabinet. He used to hold coins out on a mud room counter. Now Spare Change is plucked from Daddy's pocket and run upstairs to Piggy Banks in hot little hands. So Hot Dip Chicken rests with other things that are being safe from little hands.

Edited: Okay, Youngest's chicken is Earl E. Bird not Early Bird. Thanks for the email.
Hot Dip Chicken is my own moniker for the small tureen. He arrived with a half dozen recipes, all of which were essentially heated dips. Like artichoke, 4 cheese, blue cheese, bean, vegetable and an Asian flavor one which was delicious. I have lost all the recipes, unfortunately.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tuesday Confessions:

1. I take great satisfaction in keeping our home clean. I clean something and do laundry nearly every day. When I stay at friends' houses, I clean their homes, too.
2. I have a collection of cleaning and maintenance books. I just bought 2 new ones, but I am finding them a tiresome read.
3. I am really good at sewing and alterations. I made all my clothing -- even dress jackets and coats -- in high school. I made our sons' crib bedding, and am going to make quilts for their beds.
4. I keep my closet and the boys' closets arranged according to color and season. The boys are hanging up their shirts this way now, too. "Blue lives with the other blue shirts..." Youngest said as he re-hung a shirt today. I've never said a word about it, but I guess the boys have Eyes.
5. I love to cook and bake.
6. We have brunches or dinner parties every week.
7. I had a job for 30 years straight. I have no desire to return to a job or career. (If someone asks me if I work, I quip "Oh, yes; full-time - long hours, too")

I feel embarrassed to admit these things. The jobs I value doing; keeping our home and yard in good shape, gardening, sewing, needlework, being with my children, doting on our pets, cooking, entertaining - these things are not valued much in our society. But people? Love to come to our home.

What about you? Like to clean/cook/entertain? Hate to clean? Cook? Entertain?