Thursday, January 25, 2007

Would you could you with a mouse? part II

K has been asking me all week to fetch a set of hot wheels tracks from the attic. And since today he finally lost his third tooth, I agreed to retrieve the set. After the school work had been finished and lunch was consumed, I borrowed the ladder from Oma's kitchen and climbed into the attic. I don't know if I've mentioned it lately, but I have been hearing things at night. I was pretty sure I had critters in the ceiling but today I saw the evidence: little droppings and chewed cardboard boxes. If Jasmine, our seventeen year old cat, wasn't so tired and rickety and it wasn't winter, I'd have half a mind to toss her up there for the night. I'm not a big fan of the mouse trap. I suppose the good news is I know it isn't a poltergeist making all that racket.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Putting the dream into action

Alpacas, while adorable are a lot of work, or at least I assume they are. I know absolutely nothing about raising animals for profit, but the idea is so appealing. Living in the country on a ranch/farm with nature, a garden cultivated by me and the children. The children could learn to care for the animals, I could learn how to card and spin the wool... but this is a fairly far-fetched dream given my circumstances.

Another dream I have that seems to resurface every time I meet some like-minded, creative individual, is to have a shop where we sell our creative expressions of ourselves. Tif and I have shared this dream from time to time. She's a potter/ceramics artist and now has taken a particular interest in fibers. Tree and I have shared this dream on occasion. She's an artist too, multi-talented in various media and an expert bargain hunter. MK and I have recently been toying with the idea of combining our skills (my sewing and her crochet) to produce some unique garments. Yesterday I met another talented women, Debbie, who shares the dream. She's a fellow seamstress and we were dreaming a little together too.

What would it take to put this dream into action? Money, of course... time.... and some more money, and some more time. Experience with running a business wouldn't hurt either. This is where my dream begins to evaporate. But I'm seriously considering my future these days. What do I want to be when I grow up? How can I use my gifts to support myself? What do I love? What do I know? The dream starts to come into focus again... I think the first step will be this summer. I'm talking up doing a "trunk sale" with some of my creatively gifted friends. We will invite our various circles of people to come browse our wares and maybe even sell something.

Monday, January 15, 2007

...And talk about the weather

Hey, did you know it is January. Did you? I can hardly tell. I keep thinking it's March or April and feeling like I'm in some time warp or something. My tulips are up several inches and the hyacinths too. I was wearing flip flops last night and was perfectly comfortable. I heard something on the NPR news about snowstorms and harsh winter weather somewhere in the country...maybe I should take a trip.

I happen to be one of those weirdos who likes winter. At least, I feel the only reason to have winter is so that it can snow. I really LOVE snow, even if it makes my nose pink, cold and drippy. I think snow makes the whole landscape like a dreamy fairytale--everything whitewashed and pure looking, at least for a little while before it gets mucked up with dirt and sludge.

I went to Target tonight to return something and pick up K's prescription and then just browsed around a bit. Swim suits are out. Some of you might wonder why department stores always sell swimwear in January. I did too, until I learned that in winter, the fashion industry puts out "cruise wear" in between seasons. The fall/winter line has been out and by this point is on sale and it's still too early for the spring/summer lines to be on the racks. I wonder how many people go on cruises? I have little desire if any to go on one, but seeing swimwear in January does make me long for the sun. And when the weather has been this warm it's a bit disorienting, like summer is just a couple months away.... I'm still hopeful for a few flakes but if we don't get any, I've still got a few snowballs in the freezer from last February.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Local musicians Bryan Rowe and Phil Munds are interviewed on WYPR, our local National Public Radio station. Their Celtic piano/french horn combinations are soothing and beautiful. You can hear a little of their music and their story on the interview.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New on the Blogroll

I've just added "A Dress A Day" to the blogroll. I don't know this blogger personally, but I happened upon her page last night looking for vintage patterns, and I think we must be kindred spirits. If you like dresses, you'll love her site. Enjoy!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Greek Tradition

My friend, Tree, is getting married this May and she has asked me to be bridesmaid. Saturday was the engagement party, which was my very first of that sort. You see, Tree comes from the Greek Orthodox Church and her parents are elated that she is finally tying the knot, so they've pulled out all the stops. I have very little experience with Greek culture and I know very few people in Tree's life. We became friends in college while we were preparing to become art teachers. So I didn't see much of that side of her life. But Saturday night, I got to see quite a bit. There was a brief ceremonial betrothing and exchanging of gold necklaces and blessings, annointing of oils, and then came the dancing. First the bride-to-be and future groom danced, not a slow, close romantic dance, but a handholding, side to side circle dance. The family of the bride and groom then joined them linking hands and then the extended families and eventually everyone was invited to join as the circle of linked people spiraled inward with the betrothed in the center. Every so often, Tree's father would throw handfuls of dollar bills in the air. Real dollars! I assume that this is symbolic of him giving a blessing of prosperity, but I'm not sure of the origin of this tradition. After several dances to traditional Greek music of people holding hands and linking arms and dancing round and round, the D.J. played some jazz, oldies and typical dance floor tunes. At one point, I glanced over and saw that Tree's father was wearing a bright red fedora and cape and was hoisted on the shoulders of some other men. Then even later, I noticed that many of the men had their shirts torn to shreds. I asked Tree about this and she simply replied, "It's Greek Tradition." (Oh, well, that explains a lot.) She added, "It's like the smashing of dishes". I can't wait for the wedding! Maybe I'll need to brush up with "Greek Weddings for Dummies" book.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Please join my friends list and help me discover more good films at Netflix.

Smells like burnt plastic

A few months ago someone forwarded me an email all about what it's like having boys and all the crazy stuff they do. One of the cautions was to always check the oven before turning it on. Well, I assure you that my boys are NOT the reason I need to check my oven. My daughter is the one always finding new "homes" for things. Within a minute of turning the oven on tonight to bake some chicken, smoke started pouring out of the vent. I open the oven door to see what would be causing such a foul odor and the smoke was so thick I couldn't see. I turned off the heat and as the smoke began to clear I found two plastic gears for the Gears, Gears, Gears, Robot set the children were playing with earlier. Unfortunately one gear was melted beyond function and the house smells so bad all the kids took to being outside in the cold while I tried to air out the funk.

So here's a caution to all of you with daughters as well as sons: Always check the oven before turning it on.