Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dorotea Benita

Last year for Christmas Baby Girl received a Cabbage Patch doll. She has always liked it but has in the last 2 days grown to love it. She's been carrying it around in it's little car seat along with a back pack full of Cabbage Patch clothes. It is pretty cute.
Before she remembered she had a Cabbage Patch she was toting one of my childhood dolls. This doll is much cuter as dolls go but she just calls it "my baby" or "the ponytail baby" if further clarification is needed. That is not nearly as cute as "My Cabba Catsche doll".
When I tucked her in tonight she realized that she'd been remiss in her Cabba Catsche mama duties and asked me if I would please go and tuck the poor neglected doll in her bed. Don't worry, I did. What kind of cabba catsche grandmother would I bee if I didn't?
Kudos to Grandma on the Christmas gifts last year. From whence little Dorotea Benita, her bed, her car seat, and her back pack full of clothes all came.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rejoyce! again I say, rejoyce!

Fall has come to Arizona. Today it was only 94. Hurrah!
I've gotten to the point as an Arizona resident where I can see the heat. All through the summer I look out the window and see misery. It only takes a look to know it's hellishly hot out. Less even than a look. Being summer you know that it's insufferable regardless of the time but the look reminds you of just how hot it's going to be when you do quit the safety of the a/c.
This week when I look out, the world has lost that quality. I don't know what the change is exactly. The sun is still blazing in the bright blue sky and the crushed granite of the landscape it as rocky and dead looking as ever. But, some how, I can see that it is cooler. Nothing is quite as severe looking in the cooler weather. It doesn't have that glimmer. I don't generally see actual heat waves when I look out my window in the summer but there is always a glimmer of heat.
Another way I can tell it is markedly cooler is that when I go out I can breath. The air actually feels fresh, I can draw it deep into my lungs and smell life. In the heat, the air is stifling like a musty old blanket. I have to rush into the house to avoid suffocation.
I love the change of seasons. I miss the drama of season changes back home but noticing, and appreciating the subtle changes of my current home make it more my own.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

sealing up bottles of death

Last fall I took up home canning. It is one of those things that my mother always did while I ran and hid in order to avoid being forced to help. Then, last fall I came to the point in my life where it didn't sound so terrible, and I do like to eat bottled fruit, so I dug in.
Last year the drama was finding a canner. I looked high and low, all the while the pears on my counter were getting riper and riper, until finally I found a place on line to buy a steam canner. This is the type of canner my mother used and it is what I wanted.
This year the pears sat on my counter until they were so ripe I had to put them in the fridge because I was too busy getting ready for my open house. Today I got all ready to start and realised I don't know how long I need to process them. I didn't expect this to be a problem. I don't remember having a hard time finding this out last year. Alas, I cannot find in all of my google searches the length of time necessary to safely preserve my now brown pears at my altitude.
The problem, again is the steam canner. All I can find in reference to steam canners is the warning not to use them because you might kill your whole family with Botulism.
I have been eating steam canned fruit for most of my life. I do not think you need to worry about Botulism unless you don't steam can properly. Since I cannot find the information I need in order to do it properly ,my choices seem to be. a) let the pears turn to mush in the drawers of my refrigerator while I search in vain for the processing time. b) Seal up some bottles of death for my family to enjoy all winter long. or c) let the pears get a little bit squishier and take them to the park to throw at unsuspecting children.
I am leaning toward c.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Want, greed, desire

Feelings this bed inspires within me.


I finished nearly everything on my list.
I also painted my room and may have sold my house.
My list was in preparation for the open house we had today. I will have to post a photo of the 40 foot sign on my back fence. No, I am not exaggerating. It really is a 40 foot sign.
We honestly didn't expect anyone to come to the open house since the market has been so slow, but the area realtors were combining their efforts to get things moving in the neighborhood and planned this neighborhood wide open house. 30-ish of the 105 properties that are on the market in these parts participated. We thought this was the time to do it if it was going to be done, so we joined in. We figured even if no one came, at least we'd get the house clean.
So we worked all week. My agent came over Wednesday Thursday and Friday and taught me to color-wash (that's actually what I did in my room) and helped me get things whipped into shape. It turns out it was worth it.
There was a guy peddling windshields in the neighborhood and he decided to stop and look. He said he wanted the house he just needed to consult with his parter and he'll call us in the next few days. We happen to need 2 new windshields so he will be calling, if he does not want the house we won't be left wondering.
We never made it out to look at the other houses so I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure we had the best stuff going on at our house. There was of course the 40 foot sign mentioned previously. We also had face painting, snacks and ice cream to give away. Mr. Windshield had some crackers and a Diet Coke. I'm almost positive that's what sold him on the house. Nobody with kids came, but Lily and our agent's kids got their faces painted and they were super cute.
Our agent is a friend of ours. She's pretty much the coolest, whipping out 40 foot signs, painting faces and bedrooms and the like. She's a girl who gets things done. I'm glad she's on my team.
In other news, We had our adoption interviews yesterday. We are still waiting for another thing or 2 and then we'll be ready to start getting kids.
Also, Tiny Boy figured out how to zerbit. Now when I am holding him, instead of leaning his little chin on my shoulder-neck area he leans his wide open mouth on me and zerbits. Right now it is really cute. I'll be interested to see how long it takes for it to get annoying. Really though, if you've never had a zerbit from a 6 month old you have never lived.
All in all it's been a pretty intense week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

One Down

I completed a project. I wrote a list last night of things I need to do this week. It is quite a long list. A bit discouraging actually. But I completed one of the tasks, and this has lent me hope.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Turtle Baby Phase one

I started on Tiny Boy's Halloween costume. I expected it to take hours to pattern the turtle shell but I did the whole thing in 30 minutes. I do want to go back and re-configure a couple of pieces in the back end of the shell to change the slope there but it shouldn't be complicated.

Here is the first draft of the shell

And here is the boy crawling out from under his paper shell. The actual shell will be attached so he can't do that.
Three Cheers for Halloween!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


My kid learned to turn on the tv for herself.
Yesterday I sent her up stairs to get her blankie and she didn't come back down. I was busy making dinner and so didn't go to investigate for 15-20 minutes. She was watching Blue's Clues, happy as can be.
This afternoon I let her watch Wonder Pets. I just now heard her start a third episode. She watched the Unicorn and Penguin twice. For the third selection she managed to find a different one. I don't know what it is, I only listened long enough to know that it wasn't the same one again.
I guess this means I'm going to have to keep the remote on a high shelf. Either that or resign myself to constant tv watching by my daughter. I think it'll have to be the shelf. I let her watch more than I think she should already. I can't afford to lose any more ground on the tv front. I also need to keep my ears open for the end of the current Wonder Pets episode. I am lacking the gumption to stop her mid-rescue (fine, mid 2 rescues) but she certainly has watched enough.
All is not lost. She turned it off herself! And before the second rescue! As a reward I think I'll let her watch something... wait. What was I saying?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

One of my favorite pieces of literature

Too Many Daves
By Doctor Seuss

Did I ever tell you that Mrs McCave
Had twenty-three sons and she named them all Dave?
Well, she did. And that wasn't a smart thing to do.
You see, when she wants one and calls out "Yoo Hoo!
Come into the house, Dave!" She doesn't get one.
All twenty-three Daves of hers come on the run!
This makes things quite difficult at the McCaves'
As you can imagine, with so many Daves
And often she wishes that when they were born,
She had named one of them Bodkin Van Horn
And one of them Hoos-Foos. And one of them Snimm.
And one of them Hot Shot. And one Sunny Jim.
And one of them Shadrack. And one of them Blinkey.
And one of them Stuffy. And one of them Stinkey.
Another one Putt-Putt. Another one Moon-Face.
Another one Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face.
And one of them Ziggy. And one Soggy Muff.
One Buffalo Bill. And one Biffalo Buff.
And one of them Sneepy. And one Weepy Weed.
And one Paris Garters. And one Harris Tweed.
And one of them Sir Michael Carmichael Zutt.
And one of them Oliver Boliver Butt.
And One of them Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate.
But she didn't do it. And now it's too late.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Not the animal yak, the slang term for puking. (I like how I used a second slang term to define the first)
I only yaked 17 times during my last pregnancy. The thing about this that really defines me as a person is the fact that I counted. I kept a paper on the fridge with tally marks so I wouldn't lose track.
As long as the number of times I vomited was not more than twice the number of weeks of the pregnancy I considered myself ahead of the game. I could reassure myself that it really wasn't so bad by saying things like "throwing up twice a week is not bad at all, I can totally handle twice a week" There was a time when I was doing it everyday, once twice in a day, but still, knowing the total helped me keep it in perspective. I know quite a few people would consider 17 times a good day and that was my total. Even counting when I got the flu at 30 weeks.
I wish I had counted during my first pregnancy so I could compare. The comparison would make me feel really good about the number 17. I hurled up a storm with Baby Girl. I kept dog poop clean up bags in the car to yak into after the time I drenched myself while driving. I once vomited while making a left hand turn. I got quite good at it. I hope barf-driving is not a skill I ever have to use again.

On a less disgusting note. Last Christmas I made Baby Girl a doll that matches her, they have matching clothes and everything. She named the doll Yazi.
As I was making Yazi I envisioned her becoming the faithful companion doll that Baby Girl would take every where and trust with her deepest secrets. That has not happened but at least she got a name of her own. All of the other dolls were named Yanga. Every one of them, the stuffed animals too. It has just been in the last few weeks that she has named a toy anything but Yanga. It is the end of a era.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I am not using xylophone

Xenophobe; a person who fears foreigners and strange customs.
I consider myself a xenophobe. I am not afraid of people foreign to this country per se, really more just from other planets.
What I am actually afraid of is the portrayal of space aliens in the media. Big head and eyes all veiny and pale with long Joe Peterson fingers and crap like that. Terrified. That is me. Cowering in front of the television hands plastered over my eyes, venturing the occasional peek to see if the horror is gone.
I wilfully misunderstand the meaning of the word because I like the word and want to use it.

Xantha was always my favorite girl name. I would still like to use it someday.
If someone had told me 10 years ago that my first child would be a girl and I would not name her Xantha Belle I would not have believed it. I would have called you a liar.
Even seven years ago I wouldn't have believed it. It wasn't until after I was married and had a relationship with Husband's Grandma (who I named Baby Girl for) did I start to venture from the cherished "Xantha".
Now I expect to be acquiring another daughter fairly soon and yet again, Xantha is losing out. There are a couple of reasons. One is that baby Girl and Tiny Boy both have very strong family names. I don't want the next child to wonder someday if we didn't give her (or him) a family name because she was adopted and so not really a part of our family.
Also because Xantha means fair/golden, and I am expecting a brown baby. A brown child could certainly be golden but not so much fair. Unless I chose to wilfully misunderstand that in this instance "fair" means a light complexion not beautiful. If I take fair to mean beautiful and golden to mean golden-brown then we are in business. But I don't. It rubs me the wrong way to completely disregard the meaning of a name even if it ruins my last chance of having a Xantha.
Xenophobe is just a fun word I want to use. Xantha is beloved. I can't subject the latter to the abuse I give the former.


I wish...
I could have my current life, home friends neighbourhood etc without living so far away from my family.
I could Dance
Hair would grow as fast or as slow as you willed it
I'd lost my baby weight as fast as I did last time
I'd get off my hinder and lose the 10 lbs already
I could have warm winters and cool summers
I could jaunt to Utah for Halloween (the homesick always hits hard this time of year when I start seeing pictures of colourful leaves and autumn hikes and hoodied children in pumpkin patches and we're still dripping sweat when we venture out of doors, even at night, and not a crisp coloured leaf nor a canyon to be seen)
I had a best friend type of person in the same state. I have more general friends than I've ever had before but not a best friend. No one I can call just because I am bored. No one to go to Target with me just because it's more fun together. Is this part of being grown up? Not having a girl friend for just because? I don't recall my mother every having someone like that. Maybe it's a normal thing to do without but I miss it.
I could control myself well enough to read a book without neglecting the rest of my life.
I had braces. As long as I am wishing I might as well wish for straight teeth without the braces.
my daughter was not whining

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


I like things like that. Colors, memories, flavors, contrast.
I love to have vivdly colored accesories. A friend once told me " you can always tell who is having the most fun at a party because she's the one wearing red shoes" I haven't found this entirely true. I've worn red shoes to parties that I didn't enjoy much. I do think, however, that even though I wasn't having the most fun out of all of the people attending the affair. I had quite a bit more fun that I would have had I been wearing, say,brown shoes.
I also love bright colored purses. I'd so much rather carry a pink bag than a black one. "But pink won't match as many things as black will!" chime the masses. "Hogwash", I say. People have just gotten so used to seeing black and brown that they don't notice so much when they don't "match".
Use vivid colors instead of the never ending parade of neutrals and the world will be a more expressive place. No more stifling wardrobe creativity beneath layers of drab. This is a revolution!
Anyone care to join?

I feel inclined to admit that I am currently using a brown purse. It has yellow, blue and pink hearts quilted on it though, so I do not feel bogged down by it's neutrality.