26 November 2013

Oh Thanksgiving Tree! O Thanksgiving Tree!

Every year my family has a Thanksgiving tradition.  We gather around the kitchen table and cut out paper leaves.  I stick a few naked sticks into a vase and give everyone a pencil.  My husband usually mans the tape.  Then, we each write down as many things as we have leaves of what we're thankful for.

This year, our twigs look more like they have flame colored feathers stuck to them than leaves.  And we have some duplicates.  Like food and lasagna, clothes and shirts, fizzy drinks and soda.  But for the most part, the kids do a great job of writing things they're truly thankful for.

Yes, I'm on there.

But so is everyone else.

The best part of the activity was hearing my kids in the bathroom, with their mouths full of toothpaste, still talking about the things they're grateful for that they didn't have enough leaves for.

I guess I don't need to mention what my favorite blessings are but I'll give you a hint.  Their names are written next to mine on our tree.

20 November 2013

Reduce, Reuse...

My grandmother used to reuse tinfoil.  She'd wash out plastic ziploc bags and use them over and over.  If you ate off a plastic fork at her house, you could be sure it wasn't new.

I find myself doing many of the same things.  My kids love those foons you get at Costco with their free samples (or as my niece calls them sree samples) so when the kids hold on to them until we get home, I wash and reuse.

I make homemade bread.  It seems silly to me to use new ziploc bags every time I make bread, so I dust out the crumbs and use them again.

My husband has been heard to call me a hippie because I use cloth bags at the grocery store, but why would I need MORE plastic grocery bags?  Does ANYONE need more of those?

I prefer making homemade treats to buying them pre-wrapped and processed.  True, it's less expensive that way, and healthier, but every time I throw away a plastic wrapper I have a twinge of guilt.

Aside from the idea of global warming or air so polluted you can swim through it, I like to take care of things I'm in charge of.  Don't you?  I mean, I clean my car (occasionally), and wash my clothes, and make sure my kids go to the doctor and dentist.  It's my job.  Just like doing what we can to be good stewards over the Earth.

I guess I could say that long before her time, Grandma was environmentally conscious.

Either that, or she was cheap.

She was probably cheap. I mean, I couldn't have come by my tightfisted ways without help.

12 November 2013


Early afternoon sunlight splashed golden puddles on the couch, turning the brown to rust.  The house was remarkably quiet.  My kindergartner and my niece sat beside me in a sunlight puddle listening to me read.  It was a riveting story about a tin soldier. (Who probably didn't have rivets, but wore a brave red jacket and loved a paper ballerina.)

The sunshine warmed our little group and I found myself sinking lower into the cushions of my comfortable couch.

I turned the page.  Now the soldier was drifting down an underground river with worrisome-looking floaties on a boat made of paper.  My son and niece were enthralled.  It was so quiet.

My blinks got a little bit longer, but my mouth still said the words printed on the page.  I snuggled a little deeper.

Page turn.  The tin man was swallowed by a fish, but he never lost heart.

My blinks got longer.  I was now forced to pause the flow of my words occasionally when my eyes couldn't immediately pick up where they'd left off, or the darkness of the blink lasted slightly too long.

During one of these mini-naps I heard "solid packed dirt" come out of my mouth.  When my eyes opened, I looked for the words I'd said so I could continue the story that had us all spellbound.  It took a while for me to realize those words weren't on the page.  What the H?

Where had they come from?  Did I have a mini-dream to go with my mini-nap?

"Mom, keep reading!"

With leg bouncing to keep awake, and only two more nods, I finished the story as steadfastly as my tin soldier, before flopping over and letting my eyes stay closed.

Sweet, sweet, sw... zzzzzz

07 November 2013

FInd Cows

My husband created a commercial all by his lonesome.  Wanna see?


I tried to embed the video in this post, but evidently I'm embedding impaired.  Or maybe vimeo is.  Yeah, we'll go with vimeo.

You really should link through.  He's pretty talented.

This is a short film my husband created/directed while we lived in NZ.  I was able to embed it, so that should entice you to watch it.

Wanna see another one?

Yeah.  It's vimeo.

01 November 2013

On A Roll (Or In One)

First of all...

Bless you for your happy birthday wishes.

Now, on to business.

Anyone who reads this blog for more than one or two entries, will remember my unflagging love of a good yard sale.  I found one that you could call a doozy.  So, even though I hadn't yet shed my pajamas or tried to tame the disaster that is my morning bed-head, I stopped at this one.

The rolled up rug (pictured above) was sprawled in all his enormous glory on the lawn.  I wasn't even in the market for a rug, but I couldn't NOT look at this.  Stripy.  Wool.  Gorgeous.  I believe this one rug would probably cost upwards of $600 if I ever shopped in an actual store.  And right next to it, was another rug with brown colored swirls that was heaven to step onto.  So plush.

I walked around the rest of the place, listening to people call out to those in charge asking the price of this leather sofa, or that gold-leafed table. (Did I mention it was a doozy?)  Every thing was more expensive than I was thinking it would be.  (The gold-leafed table was part of a set.  They were asking $300 for the set.  I'm sure that's a bargain, but my tight-fisted soul shrank at the thought.)  Finally, I decided to take my courage in hand and ask about the rugs.

"The brown one is $15. The big one is, what, maybe $30?"  said a lovely blonde with Snuffleupagus-length eyelashes.

"No, no.  That one is $40.  At least!" said another lady, who I refused to look at after that.

The Eyelashes said, "Well, it's her rug, so I guess it's $40."

I had to walk around some more to think it over, telling myself that if I got them it would be worth it. In the walking, I found a few things I couldn't live without.  (How did I not own a copy of "Frankenstein" before that?) In the end, as I'm sure you've deduced, I got both rugs.

When I finally got them hefted out of my car and into my living room, I realized my glorious, big rug was REALLY big.  In fact, I tried to put it on my living room floor, but I might as well just carpet the whole room with it. The plushy brown one is currently next to the sofa.  And the biggie now lives rolled up under my bed, waiting for its time to unfurl its greatness.