Friday, February 26, 2010

Avoidance Minus 2

I had a high school English teacher who would assign us a list of sentences that had grammatical errors in them. Our job was to correct them. One of the things I was particularly adept at was re-writing the sentence to avoid the error. As we went over them in class and one of these re-writes was brought to the teacher's attention, he'd say, "Avoidance. Minus 2." He was a little dramatic about taking his two fingers and tossing them to one side as though he were throwing them away. I've never forgotten it. It's echoing in my mind as I find myself "re-writing" to avoid problems. Incidentally it actually takes more time than tackling the particular problem would. Today as I looked at the lists of things I need to do I found myself sewing some fun parachute animals for my kids. Now I'm writing to you. Hmmm Avoidance. Minus 2. Although the avoidance factor can be fun

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year!
Staying Warm

The Quiet Dragon (which incidentally we liked best)

The Loud Dragon
Moments before Mowg ran for cover

Dad plugged his ears

Tiny lasted the longest
but soon ran for cover as well

Then we headed home
But one of us wanted her candy NOW!

May good fortune and happiness bless your life in the coming year.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I love paint strokes, especially on glass where the light can flow through it. I love the individualness that contributes to the whole even more than I like the whole. There are a lot of paint strokes in life that contribute to the whole picture. Today is a significant one for us. Perhaps it's the change in color, the unexpectedness of it. My little guy gets regular g-tube feedings. Today he will not have any in his waking hours. This opens up our day to unbelievable possibilities. It also marks a first major step away from them. It means that life may be possible without them. I don't think I can express adequately what that feels like or what it means. If it works well it means regular meals. It means increased opportunity for activities. It means if we don't want to watch a show because we're having too much fun doing something else, we don't have to. It also means if we want to watch one at a different time I won't have to calculate how that's going to impact our day because I know we have a designated time for watching later or earlier in the day. It means when we are visiting relatives we can enjoy them all of the time. It means that life will be different. This morning we stand on the brink of a whole new world in a brush stroke.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!
To all of you for the many ways you touch my life.

May it be a happy day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Careful grooming may take twenty years off a woman's age, but you can't fool a flight of stairs." --Marlene Dietrich

I believe that I will laugh every time I read this quote (thanks to Traveling Oma). I have never been a careful groomer. I am a regular tripper down the stairs. I don't fall often, just often enough. Some of those falls have been memorable for their ridiculousness. One particular day comes to mind. I was walking UP the stairs with an armful of books in my high school. I realized I was about to fall. I took my left hand (I was carrying those books in my right) and reached across my body to grab onto the hand rail to steady myself. I managed to flip myself over and end up sprawled on my back books tumbling downstairs as I fell UP. You can not my friends fool stairs. They're tricky devils.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Book Recommendation:

March by Geraldine Brooks

This is a wonderfully written fascinating story of a marriage coming of age as well as a man. She takes the minor character of the father in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and tells his story. It has made it's way onto my "best books shelf" I don't own it yet, but will. His story is one of a idealism that is shattered by war and takes us to the brink of the steps to move beyond it. Poignant. If you get a chance read it! I'd love to know what you think.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The "It's too long an acronym to remember" Sled Dog Race
(OK it really is : IPSSSDR. See what I mean though?)

Have you ever attended a dog sled race? This was a first time for three of us (me among those three). If you ever get a chance, Go! Talk about friendly folks. It was fun for the kids and for us. Here are a "few" pictures.

Kids bundled up so we could walk down the raceway a bit.

Let's GO!

Getting the dog string ready

Grooming the Trail as the race begins

The order of racers is determined by the previous days times.
Slowest to Fastest. The faster racers will catch the slower ones.

First Racer, Chris Adkins

A new racer starts every 3 minutes
So there's a little time to play in between

Time to wade into the snow until you get stuck.

Yeah! Have a good run.

After a while it was cold so some of us hunkered down.

Or traced letters on the sled.

And then another racer!

We had two favorite racers who made an extra effort to interact with the kids
You are right on the course so it doesn't seem hard for them to do.

In trying to take her picture I cut off the head of Kate St. Onge, who said, "Hi kids," and waved enthusiastically to the kids.

A lot of times in this sport handlers (the ones who move the vehicles around to the end of the race and take care of the dogs when not racing) and racers take turns. Very often they are family members. In this case it was her turn to race and her husband, Rick's turn to handle.
Thanks Kate!

Here is the eventual winner of the race, Buddy Streeper.

Mowg is big on giving folks thumbs up,
so it was very cool to have a racer respond.
Buddy's racing here so that makes it extra nice
that he's taking the time as he goes by.

Then there's time to play with Dad

Another Racer

This race is a "stage stop" race where the racers travel
to different towns and race a "course"in each place.
The "leg" of the race we saw the beginning of is about 43miles.

There they go.

Midwinter can be fun!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tiny Girl Lovin'

Up Close Puppetry
The Mighty Huntress
She's a careful hunter and doesn't take a "shot" until she's looked in every direction

She loves to build up piles of things. I have to check the garbage on a regular basis as it's a favorite collecting point. The other day as I went to pick up in the living room I found this little collection of treasures: shoes (a pair of mismatches--one quite muddy from playing outside), books and trains. All say so much about her.

Snuggling on Mr Eagle after introducing us.

She loves to put on brother's boots (
or any boots for that matter)
and wear them around the house.
Such a fun time this life!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I have a stash of puppets I've collected over the years (all in my pre-kid life). They've been tucked away in the attic. Last week we brought them out and had a wonderful time watching and putting on puppet shows. Scenes from a few shows:

The Rabbit Meets Clifford Show

Lionfish looking for the Ocean

Sister takes jellyfish to the front
Come Back!

Stingray meets Eagle

It's hard to stay hidden when Zils is around
Mmm Waffle!

This leads me to a few crafty projects: I need to finish the curtain--line it and make a pocket for the tension rod. I also have orders for a bunch of new puppets. In our puppet box there were also a large number of stuffed animals of different shapes and sizes. It was fun to see the creativity in my family as we watched an eagle catch a coho, the announcement of Goldilocks and the three bears presentation and just some fun interactions. Zils wasn't sure about it at first, but now puts on regular productions in unorthodox fashion.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Show and Tell
I've had the pattern for this bag for almost 2 years.
Along with the lining. I finally finished it!
It's big enough to contain a quilt.
The best part is that the dowels are from a stash I've been hauling around for ages.
Pack ratting paid off!
This is a doll quilt for the boyo
I used left-over scraps from the above bag
(picked out by the Mowg)
The football print is a fatquarter I got for christmas.
Little sister was quite taken with it as well

This is my jean "rug" for the Mowg's room
I used squares I've had cut and waiting for a project so it went really quickly

Here's the back--I love this fabric, but have been unable to use it in anything
It's a heavy weight material and so it's perfect for this.

I was hoping to have the doll quilt I'm working on for tiny girl done, but I'm still working on it.
I'm close, but it's taken a long time as I've quilted it. It's the second quilt I've pieced together with a pattern. So for another day.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Did you ever make shrinky dinks as a kid? I loved making them! I probably got to one time, but it was memorable.

Last year I came across this tutorial for "shrink plastic" that uses recycled 6 clear plastic with the same results. Here's the link:

She had the best luck with clear clamshell berry baskets so I looked without success for a long time. Then while at my sister's house last summer I looked hopelessly "one last time" at a stack of clamshell baskets that she had just acquired with her seasonal strawberry buying. I found several! I was so excited I quit looking and gathered them all up. When I got them home I sorted through them and found that about half of them were the required "6" and half were the more commonly found "1". So I sorted them into two stacks intending to recycle the one stack if I could and use the other when I had time. Remember this fall when I did that major clean out? I cleaned out what I thought was the stack of "ones". I discovered yesterday that I had cleared out the treasured "6" stack. I had one large blueberry clamshell box. I don't think this is going to help me become less of a packrat. Here are some pictures from what we did:

The "before" picture. These were colored with a permanent pink marker (Sharpie).

They are also the "holed" edges of the clamshell

Curling in the oven

the very curled piece was a curled box corner

The Result

"They're Smaller than your kitchen sink!" Boyo exclaimed.

Yes, in a galactic way they are smaller than my kitchen sink.

The heart was colored by the tiny girl with colored pencil.

It was so much fun I can't wait to find more plastic. One Day!

PS we didn't have any that needed to be flattened as she suggested.

Monday, February 1, 2010
Have you seen it? It's an organization that "recycles" by connecting people who need and those who want to get rid of stuff. It's organized into local groups so you can only see what's available in that group once you've joined. The things have to be free--no strings attached. It's a very fun way to clean out what you don't need and maybe get what you do.

We just got 2 grown-up bikes (admittedly that need some work--but they were free and appear at this point to only need some minor work) through this. How cool is that?!