Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dear Alli,


Sister,I am sick. I have terrible headaches and ear aches. I can't sleep. I thought I had a brain tumor. I was up at 2 am coming to terms with having brain surgery and trying to decide if I would do chemo or go the holistic route to recovery. Then I just decided I would screw it all and go live on a deserted island for the rest of my cancer ridden days and drink pina coladas. But, I went to the Dr. He told me I do not have cancer. I have a sinus infection and maybe strep. So, I got antibiotics instead of chemo. I won't be going to a deserted island and I think I'll make it to see Christmas. You're relieved, I know. I don't like my cats. They meow and poop and scratch sometimes and I don't know how I thought cleaning up MORE poop made from bodies other than my own would be an ok thing. I mean, I already clean up the poop of two children, the dog occasionally and sometimes Mr. B. has his moments...Why did I add two cats into the mix? There was a cat turd on my comforter tonight. Someone out there is about to get themselves a brand new kitty, cuz I'm just about DONE!Anyway, I love my life. How's NCU?
Love ya.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Out With The Old...

I'm finished reading this. I'm not so sure about how much I loved it. I actually enjoyed The Patron Saint of Liars (another of Patchett's novels) a lot more. But I won't delve into the details here. That's what my book club is for! We have our first meeting in a couple of weeks. *Big smiles!*


I have moved on to reading this:

RESISTANCE
by
Anita Shreve



And I have a feeling that I will be reading Emma by Jane Austen next. The online classics reading club (called Literary Chic) I've started looks like it's leaning toward Emma for our first selection.

Would you like to join us? You're welcome to!

Oh yes...and I am still sick. This is one of the worst sicknesses I've had in quite awhile. So painful! :(

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Birthday Letter to My Boy

Written September 1, 2006 ~ Beck's 1st birthday

Since Thursday, September 1, 2005 my life gained a new dimension. Beck Wayne was born. This warm, slippery body was placed on my chest and I held his hand for the first time. That was it. I was a gonner. That warm, limp hand snatched my heart away and has had it ever since.
How can something 22 inches long and weighing 8 lbs 7 oz change my life so completely?
It's that smile. The cry. The way he looks when he sleeps. It's his eyes - the sparkle that is so Alive! It's the giggle. His crooked baby teeth. It's the way he cuddles with me after his nap. His squeals when he walks with daddy holding his hands. It's the wary way he eyes strangers. It's how he claps his hands - exact replicas of his daddy's. It's just him.
Beck Wayne. My son. You are a miracle. And while it brings me so much joy to watch you grow and learn new things I want to yell, "Stop!" I want to have the magic power to travel back in time and witness again our first full night together in Ridges Hospital. To see, again, your first bite of cereal, how excited you were but how you spit it out anyway. To take walks with you again in our old neighborhood. To help you sit up and catch you when you topple. I just want to hold on to those time you gave me. Little you.
But I can't. My baby...is one. Never to be three months, seven months, ten months again. One.
Thank you, my precious boy, for making me who I am. Because just as you've learned and grown, so have I. You taught me how to be a mommy - and I have to say, you did a great job.
Now you are learning to walk. No steps on your own yet, but soon. You stood for about 3 seconds on your own today and then flopped to your bottom with a big smile.
You said, "-ose" and pointed to my nose. you gave me the funniest, coy little eyes this morning. A new face I've never seen before.
I am so happy you are one and I am so excited to see what your future holds. Who my happy little boy is destined to become.
God has blessed our first year together. I cannot imagine my life without you now. I love you and will love you forever until the day I die and beyond that.

Symptoms

Headache
Sore throat
Achey
Pain in ears
Lethargic

I feel cruddy.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Read With Me?


I have this ever-expanding TBR (To Be Read) list. It's loooong.

It has a lot of daunting classic authors on it such as Bronte, Austen, Orwell and Woolf. I haven't gotten around to making much of a dent in it yet. Partly because there are so many great new books to read and partly because...well...I want company to read them!

Will you read them with me?

If you're interested in joining an informal, online book discussion group, leave a comment for me and I'll give you details on my new site I've set up.

This group is just for the girlies that love to read and then discuss what they've read. I am thinking 2 months per book should be adequate.

How fun will this be?!

Come read with me!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sugar and Spice











How sweet is she?

She is snuggly in the blankies that Grandma T. made for her & Beck. The pink floral in the foreground has pink, children's toile on the opposite side. The blue gingham and yellow flowers is Beck's Peter Rabbit blankie my mother made for him before he was born.

What a blessing it is to have someone so loving that is so talented working with her hands.

Hi mom!

Website for Readers!


This is a great website for people who LOVE to read!
If you have lots of books that you don't quite know what to do with, this site is for you.
http://www.paperbackswap.com/ is a site in which you post your already-read books and other readers around the country swap their books with you. I have swapped LOTS of books with this site and it works beautifully.
It works on a point system. When you send out a book to another "swapper" and they receive it, you get a point that you can use to order another book. How fun!
There's just something about getting a new read in the mailbox that makes my day. Call me a nerd.
Oh yeah, when you sign up for the first time you have to post 7 or 10 (I can't remember which) books to the system and you get 3 points to start with. (Pretty soon they're switching it to only 2 points to start.) Then...you SWAP!
This is a completely free service.
If you decide to sign up, be sure to say that I referred you. My username is literarychic. I get a point for each referral!
Just a little tip from me to you. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Let's Play A Game

Meme: noun; a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation); "memes are the cultural counterpart of genes"

This is a little blog tradition called the "Middle Name Meme."

Here's how it works: You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you do not have a middle name, choose one you would like to have. When tagged, write your own blog post containing your middle name facts. At the end, choose one person to tag for each letter of your middle name. Then leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged.

I have not been tagged. Not specifically. But I read this on someone else's blog and that is good enough for me!

E veryday I must have coffee and chocolate. If I can combine the two, all is well.
L ipstick isn't my thing. I am more a mascara & blush girl. I like the nude lips look. I leave the lipstick wearing up to my sister-in-law.
I love you so much. I love you so much. I can't even tell you how much I love you." That is the song my mother made up when I was a baby and would sing to me and my siblings. Now I sing it to my babies.
Z ing, Zing Zing went my heartstrings!" That's all I can think of for "Z." But what a sweet movie Meet Me In St. Louis was! *Sigh* I must watch that one again soon.
A va, Amelia, Amelie, Anya, Anika, Audrey. All names I would love to use if I had another baby girl. (NO, I am not pregnant!)
P1000807 eth is the name of my very best friend in all the world. We have been "bosom" friends since before Anne & Diana gave us the term.
e levators scare me a little. I have a bit of claustrophobia so the windowless, tight quarters make me get all clammy and queasy.
T opaz is my birth stone. I've never really liked it. I always wished I could have a beautiful birth stone like diamond or ruby or aquamarine. I love aquamarine.
H appy-go-lucky is probably not the best term to describe my personality. I am a little particular, a little structured, a little persnickety perhaps...

I have NINE letters in my middle name, I cannot possibly think of 9 bloggers that read my blog regularly. I know I am not that popular! So, I will just say, if you've read this blog and The Middle Name Meme sounds like something you'd like to do, consider yourself TAGGED!

Now go, write a blog, inspired by your middle name, all about YOU!

Herbal Inspiration

I'm going to start an herb container garden. Isn't that fun?

Something just inspired me...don't know what but it's there and I'm going with it!

I do not have a green thumb. Not at all. It's more brown. Muddy brown. And ugly. Things die when I plant them.

But. I will try. And you will be updated regularly. I know you are excited.

Photo from marthastweart.com

Look at that great idea for keeping track of which plant is in which container! Charming.

On my list of must-have herbs is:

Basil (for Pesto)
Cilantro (for Salsa)
Oregano (for Italian)
Dill (for Dips)
Rosemary (because it's a pretty name)

I would also like to plant tomatoes, but I don't know how they do in small pots. I'll have to google that one...

Now I just have to beg Mr. B. for a bit of spending money so I can start my gardening project.

Wish me luck!

Look What I Found!

Betty Crocker
Rainbow Chip Frosting!

So, it's not Funfetti, but it is exactly the kind of frosting I was looking for! It has the little colored chips in it. Yummm!

I bought a container 'just because' the other day. What shall I use it for...

Why is this so blog-worthy, you ask? Well...see my previous blog.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Would You Apply?

Job Description
PARENT
POSITION: Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop
JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment.
Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities!
Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
RESPONSIBILITIES : The rest of your life.
Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
Must possess the skills of a doctor, nurse, crisis counselor and negotiator, psychiatrist, police officer, fireman, and paramedic.
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you but not put you in a nursing home when you get old.
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
WAGES AND COMPENSATION: Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent.
When you die, you give them whatever is left.
The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
BENEFITS : While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.
TeeHee...Thanks for passing this silliness on to me, Mrs. D!

Oh My Very Goodness!

I blame pictures like this one entirely for my recent kitty expedition!
Photo from the blog Chez Fifi.


Maybe if I were single with no children and no LIFE I would have a home like this fabulous one. It is gorgeous and all...white!

I love it. But not enough to give up my babies and my man. You cannot have a home that pristine with a family. It's just not happening.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Meet Rhett & Scarlett!


The kitty naming has come to an end and we have settled on
Rhett & Scarlett.

I just had to do it!

Gone With the Wind is my very favorite literary indulgence and these two kitties were just too perfect for the names.



Cleaning up. Such the Southern Gentleman!

Rhett is such a charming little man. He is a non-stop purr-er and if a lap is left vacant he feels that he has not fulfilled his duty and promptly jumps up to fill it. Purring all the way.


A little tuna snack for the pair.

Scarlett, true to her catty nature, is less sure of her love for her owners. She can usually be found hiding under a bed or couch but emerges in the night when the house quiets down and joins her brother...mate...Rhett in the lap of whomever tickles her fancy at the time.

Thanks for your votes! In the end I did exactly what I wanted without much regard to what others said. Much like Scarlett O'Hara herself. ;)
No wonder I love that girl so much!

Happy Camper?

I have an interesting relationship with camping. I kinda hate it. Just kinda.


Camping has some good things going for it. It's outdoors. Beautiful surroundings. Camp fires. S'mores. Relaxing in a lawn chair. Walks in the woods. But most of all...it makes Mr. B. happy. Like, really happy.


Camping also has some pretty stinky things going for it. It's outdoors...always. I can't seem to ever get clean. Bugs. The food is usually pretty nasty. (except for S'mores) No comfy beds. No plumbing. No temperature control. Tents are less than adequate shelter for me. Wild animals.



I try to put on a brave face.
Evie? Not so much.


Our trip this weekend was a very last-minute type of thing. As in, Mr. B. said, "I'm ready to camp, let's go." And I sputtered, "Umm...but...uh...okay?"


We only went an hour away to a really beautiful state park. Since we've never camped with the kids we decided on a sort of "trail run" for our longer, further trip planned in October.


Yes, I take a down comforter camping with me.


Cozying up by the fire with a baby on each lap was probably the highlight of our time.


The low point? All night long.


Evie woke up every two hours. Beck snuggled nicely between Mr. B. and myself but he's got a nasty habit of kicking in his sleep. It was cold and I strongly dislike sleeping in my jeans and with my bra on. Somehow it's not so comfy.


Sasha - our loving Labrador - had an ongoing feud with a raccoon that wished to raid our camp site in the middle of the night. At one point Mr. B. and I stumbled from the tent to shine our car headlights on the little guy perched high in a tree. Did you know that raccoons growl? They do. Loudly. For long periods of time.



Sweet Sasha and Grumpy Evie.



Camping, for me, is the very worst in the mornings.


Hot chocolate and cute mugs make mornings a bit easier.



I wake up stiff and still tired. Things only start looking up after I've trekked to the dirty bathroom and had my coffee. By the time I'm sitting in front of the fire, cozy in my blankie, I'm usually in a better frame of mind.




A camping breakfast tradition: Biscuits with Honey & Blueberries on top.


A bit of breakfast prepared us for a pretty walk on the nature trail that meanders along Cuivre River. We saw boys catching catfish and met a very shy turtle. The weather was beautiful, endless blue skies and a perfect, cool breeze.



We learned that Evie has the same feelings toward camping that I do and that Beck shares his daddy's sentiments.



Beck had a hard time staying upright on the uneven ground. And sometimes you need a time-out. Even while camping...


So, I have determined that children should probably not go camping until after they turn two. I think the entire campground agreed with me around 2 am when Evie was up and screaming for the third time in the night.
As you can see, I was not fibbing when I deemed my camping outlook "interesting." Each paragraph in this post has had a different twist. Lovely nature walks one minute, detestable nosy animals the next. Cozy campfires at night, grimy bathrooms in the morning.
Camping: A paradox of senses for ages 2 and up.

Monday Breakfast.

Nutella spread on a warm croissant.
My diet starts tomrrow...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What Have I Done?

I was just driving. Innocently enough. The afternoon was pristine, unassuming, ordinary.
The car turned into the lot of its own accord.

I wandered in. Like a person entranced.

Something came over me...

I picked her out because she was just too adorable with her wispy hair and old-fashioned markings. There's something just so old-fashioned about a kitty, don't you think?

"I'll take her." I said.

"You know, it's adopt one, get one free for our kittens this month." She said.

"You are evil." I said, with a smile. "I will take him too." Pointing to the first kitty's cage neighbor.

And that, was that.


I am the proud (and mystified) owner of two kitties.

But I must say, I am a bit weary of calling them "Little Girl" and "Little Boy," "Kitty" and "Baby." I need help with names. I want them to be perfect and a pair.

Do me a favor, vote on a pair of names for these sweet felines (who graciously allow Beck to fondle and chase them).


"Little Boy" is more friendly than "Little Girl."
He even plays with Beck!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Welcome, Elijah Jack!


This is beautiful Elijah Jack.
Born September 12th
Weighing 7.2 lbs
He was born to my best friend from when I was in high school. His parents, L & L, welcome him joyfully in South Korea! I wish so much that I could be there - a world away! - to snuggle and kiss his downy head.
L kept me updated through the night last night (daytime in S. Korea) as she was induced and gave birth to this precious boy. The 2 am phone call was recieved more happily than any other middle-of-the-night call I have had! I am completely enamoured with him and cannot wait until their trek across the ocean to visit me this Christmas!
I love you, Eli. You are a complete blessing to your family and your loving "Auntie!"

Welcome, Daisy D!

Mrs. D. and her new "Puppy Love"

This is a baby announcement of a different type. A doggie announcement!
Daisy is a Golder Retriever Pup who has gone to live with my very longest, very best friend, Mrs. D.

Isn't she just the CUTEST?!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

For the Little Girl at Heart


Little House Books - Laura Ingalls Wilder
I think I'm going to re-read these this fall/winter.
The Long Winter is my very favorite!




Evie's nursery has BPG art everywhere!
Almost all of it borrowed from her Great Aunt.
Even the great little BPG lamp.
I should post pictures.


Eloise Wilkin Illustrations
I think she might be my very favorite!





Madame Alexander Dolls
What a lovely collection to have!




Tasha Tudor
This is one of my favorite books.
I loved the illustrations when I was little.




Vintage Holly Hobbie
I colored in a Holly Hobbie coloring
book at grandma's house growing up.



Susan Branch
I just got this very book out to display in my kitchen window.
Autumn is here!







Muffy Vanderbear
Isn't she cute?!
She has many different outfits for different occasions.





Beatrix Potter




The art of Miss Potter fills Beck's nursery.
Have you seen the movie about her life?
'Miss Potter.' Inspiring!