Friday, September 30, 2011

A lesson in found objects ...


Sometimes the real heroes are the ones you'd least expect.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shameless self-promotion

What a fun ad ....

Looks like Jed is about to face plant in a bowl of soup, doesn't it?

I suppose making the pony come to life is hungry work.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Double-O Seven ... and five sixteenths

Double O Seven and 5/16s

What ya doing?

"I'm getting ready to dry the foundation. We've been waiting for weeks and it's just too damp."

How you going to dry it?

"Blow torch ... mwa-ah-ah-ah!"

You really are secret parging man, aren't you?

"You know it, baby."

Monday, September 26, 2011


Izzy Pop

Ittybit presents ...

"Cherry Tomatoes"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Craftacular Friday is just about ready for takeoff


I happened upon Juju Vail's "Quick Kids Quilts: Easy-to-do Projects for Newborns and Older Children" at the library and was immediately taken with a Rocket ship quilt project requiring a pair of old jeans, some flannel shirts and the ability to suspend disbelief just long enough to make me think "hey, I could probably do that."

I ended up having to visit Goodwill for a pair of jeans I wouldn't mind cannibalizing, and scaling back the pattern from the original patchwork denim background (which I attempted) finished with a flannel border (which I realized was probably about 6,000 finished quilts beyond my skill level).

Eventually, I decided on just the rocket applique (made from the last scraps of usable denim and some strips from some old plaid shirts) -- affixed to a micro-fleece panel sandwiched with a minky backing (Think taggie blankets). Now I'm feeling as if I'm onto something.

If I can manage a few stars, and maybe a planet in the night sky, it would be just the right amount of Out of this World.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Not much of a team player

Hot Rod hamster

Most of the time, as a parent, and even a citizen of the world, I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing.

I just move from moment to moment and hope I don't inflict any lasting damage to bodies or psyches.

But, from the important to the seemingly inconsequential, decisions must be made. Navigation charted. And though we see our destination, we rarely have a clear path. We can never really know with certainty which choice will affect which outcome.

I ebb and flow with and against convention.

I hate dance class. I've made no pretense of liking it, though I wish, for her sake, I could manage a better poker face.

I've been working on that.

But as often as I swallow my misgivings I also push my preferences.

We all carry our own experiences. Prejudices. Pride. It's the thing that makes rebellion so intoxicating. Every experience is unique to the one who experiences it.

I talked her out of Girl Scouts and into 4-H.

I plan on indexing flyers for pee-wee football in the revolving file.

I'm wondering if I can convince them Disneyland is really just a bowling alley in southern Maine. "Hey kids ... look ... It's Vacationland."

I'm hoping neither of my kids get tattooed, but I know I'll learn to accept their bodies with scribbles.

And yet, when The Champ came to me and said the only thing he wanted for his fird birfday was a skateboard, I barely hesitated. First things first: Helmet. Pads. Board. The three musketeers, all for one and one for all.

I'm not sure what possessed me: I just kept invoking the holy trinity: Helmet. Pads. Board.

And as he was working on balance, low and slow on the driveway, I quietly thanked the dogs and dogesses that I didn't have to sit in the bleachers at the little league field passively rooting against someone else's kid on an opposing team.

different kind of board, dude

He's a year older, now, and still dragging his board out on the driveway from time to time.

He wanted to go with me (and bring his board) when he found out I was writing a story on skateparks.

But when he saw "the big kids" doing their thing ... he wanted to leave his board in the car and just watch.

photo.JPG photo.JPG Up photo.JPG

Then he wanted to go home.

And practice.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Autumn of our youth

Ok ..

Which of you wiseapples went and told him to grow up overnight?

He went and grew up yesterday.

We need to have a chat.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Usonian disciple

blocks house designer

Legos are his medium.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Open to interpretation

Homework instructions: "Place the number of the word on the left in alphabetical order on the right. I'm tempted to have her list Eight, Eleven, Fifteen, Five, Four ....

The homework instructions say:

"Place the number of the word on the left in alphabetical order on the right."

I am so tempted to have her list ...






Fourteen ...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Craftacular is back ... and refusing to do its homework

She's not here

Instead we'll just be making it up as we go along.

Vegetable bands


You've seen these wraps on vegetables, right?

They make pretty cool cuffs. Just affix a bit of felt and double sided tape and slip on your wrist. We used a pre-made felt owl.

Why did the rubber chicken cross the road?


Why to stretch its legs, of course.

*I'll wait until you stop laughing*

Ittybit saw this picture in a Highlights magazine and started begging for clay.

Now I'm thinking maybe she has a future with Aardman Studios.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

God, I miss her ...

at times like these:

leaf tease

luludog looking down luluprofile lulusmiles

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Upside down

Not so Good Housekeeping

Bad news: Climate change (or a tropical storm) is turning our property into a lush, mosquito-ridden swamp.
Good news: Our windows can now cultivate exotic-looking mushrooms.

Bad news: Father-in-law, working on our house, accidentally severed the phone line when digging out the foundation.
Good news: No one calls us anyway.

Bad news: After digging out the foundation father-in-law reports insulating it is practically impossible.
Good news: We can use that money on better windows.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The last splash of summer

hose attachment

Leaves are turning.

Pool is covered.

And summer is sashaying away.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'd forgotten ...


how many arguments tend to erupt during the course of home improvement.

Maybe they should call it home wrecking.

Friday, September 09, 2011

How was your trip? Let me take your coat. Here's your hammer

Happy visitor ... Porch Dawg

Lulu is in de howse!

Which means her person, Dappa John, will be sorting out a couple-a-few problems around here.

Like the porches.

And the windows.

And the foundation.

Our looking like the Clampetts days are numbered.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I think it's a law ...

Pancake cookies ... an experiment

Because all baking should be the product of empirical data and not tossing ingredients into recipes that look similar to the ingredients of which you ran out, real bakers would probably call the police if you tried this in their kitchens:


CREAM (for way too long because you put the blender on and walked out of the room to do something else)
*Two sticks salted butter (who wants to deal with the one stick of shortening the recipe required? Not me.)
* One cup granulated sugar (no brown sugar in the house that wasn't in brick form).
* Two eggs (one just looks insufficient)
* Some vanilla (It smells good, so add more than two measly teaspoons)
* Some salt (probably should go in the flour mixture, but it all goes in the same place, right?
GRADUALLY (by the teaspoon) ADD
*1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour and 1/2 cup of add-only-water pancake mix (because ... well, they're both powdery)
THEN JUST TOSS IN (not bothering to stir)
* an entire bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (because whomever thought two cups is enough is just plain mean).


SPOON onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (because who needs another pan to clean) and bake in a 350 degree oven until the edges are golden brown. (Try not to be alarmed when the blobs of batter look like melting ice cream in the oven).

Makes about four dozen cookies (half of which will be either raw in the center or burned) that you will probably need to eat with a fork.

or better yet.

Just eat the batter and pretend it's a dessert mousse.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Wink and a promise

Third First Day

Dear Ittybit,

You go back to school with fewer teachers, more students in your class and a political mindset that views public education as an entitlement (the pejorative definition). Yet, I am reminded you are still at an advantage. And we need to be grateful.

We also need to be present.



Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sign of the times ...


Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Candyappledance Elephant

So ... You know I joined a new group last month, right?

The ranks of the unemployed.

Well, I also figured out that it's not the worst thing in the world.

It may even turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

It's not just me thinking ...

wtf, Barbie?

"Hmmmm, Barbie must be dealing with that not-so-fresh feeling."