Friday, December 27, 2013

May the Force be with you

Jingle Bells

Yoda smells ...

Anakin laid an egg ...

X-wing fighter lost a wing ...

..... Aaaaand Darth Vader does ballet

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ten years ago

And still, you are incredibly sweet.

Happy Birthday, Ittybit.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Naughty & Nice

She made me a horse ornament ...

She made me a horse ornament to apologize ...

... to apologize ....

for making me a horse ornament ...

... for making me a horse ornament

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A rare sighting


Teenage angst is all around her.

And not just because she rides the school bus with high schoolers.

She's growing up.

Toys are scarce on her Christmas list.

The encroachment of fashions and accessories have pushed them into endangered territory.

And yet, the Ittybit she used to be hop-skipped off the bus today -- past the seniors and sophomores - and into my arms wearing a poinsettia ornament she'd made in art class with construction paper and a clothespin.

"It was just too pretty not to wear in my hair."

Saturday, December 07, 2013

There's still time to make HORRIBLE gifts ... usually around 1 a.m.

You know what happens when a person like me can't sleep?

They come up with really horrifying sewing projects that will undoubtedly (and unfortunately) wind up as a school grab bag present.

So ...

Thanks to insomnia, some poor kid will have to deal with ...



Essentially, it's a pocket tissue pack cover and a double-sided doll action figure blanket made with flannel scraps.

To make the pillow cover:

*Cut two pieces of fabric, the exterior side is 5 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches and the lining will be 5 1/2 by 7 1/2 inches.

*Sandwich the fabrics right sides facing each other, ends meeting. Sew first side.

*Adjust the opposite ends so they meet. Sew second side.

*Turn right sides out and press flat so that the lining leaves a 1/4 inch of border on either side.

*Turn lining side out, fold so that borders meet. Sew raw ends closed.

Turn right side out. Stuff with pocket pack.

To make the blanketchief:

*Cut two pieces of fabric the same size. (I used 8 x10)

*Sandwich right sides together.

*Sew around all four sides, leaving a three-inch gap to turn blanket right side out.

*Close end and sew 1/4 border all the way around the blanket to finish.

I'm fairly certain there is a reason this toy has never been invented before.

Smart adults usually discourage children from playing with phlegm.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

If you can't laugh at this ...

You might be visited this evening by a few ghosts.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My thoughts exactly

I'm not sure the take away is what they think it is #justsaying

"Why is that woman smiling while her kid vomits into a bag?"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Twenty days

Stick figures are crazy.

I didn't feel much like writing, I guess.

That's my excuse.

That, and I was feeling sorry for myself.

Sorry that I hurt my stupid ankle.

Sorry that I couldn't run for nearly eight weeks.

Sorry that when I was able to start again I felt like I'd started from square -8.

It is humbling.

Almost as humbling as finding out your fourth grader tells the nurse "Mom is going to be mad if you call her because I feel sick."

And nearly as humbling as learning your first grader walked like a robot to lunch last week because he'd tied his shoes together. And then he cried when the teacher couldn't untie them.

But perhaps not nearly as humbling as being mistaken for a grandmother, being called a housewife, or being asked to have my husband call to authorize this transaction.

But here we are. ...

Hobbling into the Thanksgiving season no worse for actual wear, which I've decided has to mean I need to take all of this discomfort and walking it off.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's hard to believe we're related

mardi gras girl


More sad clown than zombie?

... and The Beast.

zombie hunter

Zombie Hunter

Traffic cone

... and Safety Gnome.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Game on

Don't forget to stretch. ...


Staying limber is important.


Size up the situation ... but don't worry about the competition. We like to keep things friendly.


Don't jump the gun.


Get the best angle.


Even if it hurts.


Don't be afraid to sink your teeth into it.

Friday, October 18, 2013










Sunday, October 06, 2013

A bicycle (bag) built for two

bikebasket  bikergirl

Annabel has been wanting a basket for her bike ever since the training wheels came off. When we couldn't find anything that suited her "style" she decided I could make one with our sewing machine.

I procrastinated for a while, but then I had an idea. I could quilt one using scrap fabrics and a length of high-loft batting I had found in a remnant bin.

I pieced together the top to fit the width of the batting, basted it to the batting and quilted it along the seam lines. Next, I pinned in place the backing, attached a homemade bias tape to the edges and stitched all the way around. Folding the quilted side together so that about four inches remained unmatched, I sewed the long edges and turned it inside out to form the bag. I toyed with the idea of boxing the corners (as might notice in the picture) but I decided to keep it simple.

I top stitched along the back of the top edge to made a crease in the flap for easier folding. Finally I cut two 12" strips of grosgrain ribbon and stitched them to the outside edge of the flap (three inches from each side of center) so the basket could be tied to the handlebars.

It was such a success that Silas demanded one for his bike.

messangerbasket   BASKET

Of course I was out of batting  ... and he wasn't really keen on the pretty quilted look (he wanted man-eating sharks on his basket)... So I procrastinated again.

Until today, when I found some olive-drab twill at the local junk shop (three yards for $6) and thought it would make a nice temporary "bike basket" that I could put on my bike if he didn't want it. 

I used the same basic design as before -- two rectangles of fabric (outer and lining) but without the interfacing or batting. I made the exterior of the bag first, leaving a four-inch section at the top for a flap and then sewed the lining. I boxed the corners for both bags before inserting the lining, turning the bag inside out and stitching around the opening. I then stitched the bias tape around the flap and opening. Finally, I stitched the straps (ribbons that I'd saved from some of our wedding gifts, actually) to the back of the bag. 

Silas took one look at the bag I was now coveting, and decided he didn't care about sharks after all.

Just my luck.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Abandonment issues

Creepy cat.

Someone mentioned that today was the 26th anniversary of the famous October snow storm that took out power in the northeast for about a week.

I couldn't believe it. It seemed like a lifetime had passed. I was in college (first year) and realizing for the first time I had options. Namely, a friend who lived in the city (with power) who would let me crash on her couch while I went to school.

My parents might have had some nostalgic hopes of being together as a family through the hardship.

But I jumped at the chance to abandoned them.

Who wouldn't pick hot showers and late-night-television marathons with friends over studying by candlelight with the parental units as they tried to cook dinner over a Coleman stove?

Turns out I'm more of an opportunist than a survivalist.

These things don't change.

I struggle with what to write here, especially with so much going on in the corner of the Earth that I call my own.

Do I tell you that I worry? Or that I'm not sure I'm happy? Do I tell you I feel anxious and ineffective? That I miss my mother? That I hate feeling any comfort at all that the woman who took her place is delightful. It makes me feel disloyal to the woman she was.

It makes me feel like I've abandoned her again.

Do I tell you that I am not prepared for the future?

I try to push it out of my mind. Think about cheerful things.

The kids are fine and growing like weeds.

Silas went from 32 pounds on his birthday in June to 39 pounds just this past week. It's making me sad that I have trouble hefting the former flyweight.

Annabel is practically a teenager, and acting like one (in the pre-teen positive sense) as she cares about the condition of her clothes and the state of her hair. Tangles are becoming a thing of the past as are mismatched colors and prints.

More often than not, I find I can't recognize either one of them when I search across the soccer field. She's taller than I remember. Her hair is longer. She plays with more assuredness. He is just as fast as the other boys and nearly as tall.

Soon they will be going to high school … and college …

The bus won't drop them here at the end of the day.

Too soon, their homecomings will be brief visits. They will have their own homes elsewhere.

I feel guilty. Like I have abandoned them too, as I spin off into the future where the ground is uncertain.

I need to stop jumping ahead. I need to stay put in the here and now.  

Monday, September 30, 2013


Tantrum ...



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's just a flesh wound

Pick-your-own Apples isn't for sissies! #appletree #1 #Silas #0

But in case you're keeping track, the score is as follows:

Apple Tree, 1

Silas, 0

Monday, September 09, 2013

Off to an auspicious start

First horse, Fourth race. #backtoschool #firstday

We missed one bus.

Second horse, First race. #backtoschool

And then another.

Still, I'm calling it in our favor.

I think we're off to a pretty good start.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Weather or not ...

The forecast called for thunderstorms all day long.

Weather or not ...

We took our chances and went to the fair. Weather or not, here we come. ...

Getting the worst parking spot at fair has it's own reward!

Turns out getting the worst parking spot in the entire fair universe has its perks.


We picked our favorite contender at Cupcake Wars.

Student driver

A little girl I know, having reached the magical height of 48 inches (49.5 to be precise), got her Bumper Cars permit.

43" and ready to ride! #chathamfair

A little boy I know -- now measuring 43 inches (a full inch taller than the minimum) -- has graduated to the Big Kids' Rides.

Right before he went on the tiny tot rides. #stilllittle

Like the Flying Bobs! (OH YEAH!!!)


Though he still fits in his old favorites.


I didn't see a lot of sibling rivalry.

Magic Carpet Racers

Sometimes she came in first.


Sometimes he did.

Zero Gravity

But mostly, they stayed side by side for the whole ride.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Time ...

yellow sea


She flies.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013




She got skunked.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New smiles ...

loses first tooth v.2

... they sometimes take some getting used to.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

End Scene


Character motivation: Ecstatic.


Thursday, July 18, 2013


seussical the cupcake (final version)

Locals ... if you are in town this weekend ... please considering attending Valatie Youth Theatre's production of Seussical Jr. at the Valatie Community Theatre, 3031 Main St., Valatie.

Showtimes are tonight through Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Annabel is proud as pie to be a Citizen of Whoville.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summertiiiiiiime ....

And the living is easy ...

This way and that

Unless you are trailing on foot (with a dog who chases squirrels, birds and errant food wrappers) in 90-degree heat.

Then the living is a little more difficult.

Monday, June 24, 2013