Monday, February 21, 2011

Gnomeo & Juliet

Howdy all. I am no longer pink-eyed and bushy-tailed. Everything's grand. It was a fantastic, busy weekend. Did lots of stuff, mostly terrific stuff, but it would bore you if I wrote it all here. One thing (that may also bore you, but it's my blog, so I'm actually ALLOWED to bore anyone I want) was that I became obsessed with needle-felting. Fell in love with it. I feel a teensy bit goofy because...normally I sort of hate crafty things. I sew, yes, but I don't muck about with yarn. I don't furiously knit during Town Meeting like all those new-agey homestead women do, comparing their unique stitches during lulls. Needle-felting is awesome for non-crafty people like myself. It basically entails stabbing some fluffy, raw wool with a special barbed needle a million times until it almost dreadlocks itself, and takes the shape of whatever you're trying to create. Personally, I'd say a craft project that allows someone to repeatedly jab something with a needle is right up my alley. Therapeutic and addictive. I was cranking out the needle felted gnomes left and right. And Eli has been helping me. I made myself carsick on the way to Lebanon today just so I could keep on poking at a pointy, red gnome hat. Try it. Not the carsick part, the needle felting part. And if you have some secret Voodoo Doll fantasy, you can kill two birds with one stone. How cool is that?

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Came down with some gunky eye infection yesterday. Not sure if it's Pinkeye or something I picked up from the aged make-up that I wore the other night. I wear it so rarely, I should just buy new when I do. Either way, it's gross in the extreme. Waiting for my doctor to call me back. I was just saying to someone how it kind of creeps me out that she's younger than me. That sort of thing has been happening more and more often lately. Sometimes I want to say, "Hey! Why should I listen to you? You were still in diapers while I was off riding my bike!" But then, I suppose she could say, "You were still a ski bum while I was off in medical school!" It's all relative.

I don't have any pictures to show you today, because trust me, you don't want to see this. My left eye is all swollen shut and puss filled. There, that graphic enough? I feel...really sickened looking at it. Otherwise, I feel peachy. I guess I'm vainer than I thought, because no way am I stepping a foot out of this house until I look human again. Not complaining though, we haven't been sick once this winter, really. I can put up with a little Bride-Of-Frankenstein squint-eye, if it means nothing else. The real reason I'm bummed is, last night I ordered Justin to hide the monster bag of Hershey's Kisses from me AND HE DID IT. Jerk. I can't find them anywhere. But I can still see the sun shining! Spring's coming! Chickadees have been all in a tizzy the last few days. They are so adorable and chubby and full of personality. So happy looking.

Anyway, off now, hope everyone's enjoying the last of the winter before the sap and mud start flowing. I am so looking forward to both those things. And looking forward to my tear ducts drying up at the same time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

I stole this pic from my friend Sarah. Awesome and slightly offensive. The way a valentine shoud be. Valentine's Day. Didn't really get much play this year. I snagged some candy for the kids as an afterthought yesterday. It was a busy weekend and Justin has a beard so...

The Internet all morning has been peppered with stories of people that fell in love at Home Depot and what-not. And that crazy story about the twelve year old girl who was eating those candy hearts made of chalk, with the cutesy little messages on them, and you know how there's an 'adult' version of those things? The factory must have mixed up, because she got one that said "Nice tits" so her mother is suing. I mean, come on, she's twelve, she's heard worse. It's not super great or anything, but I'm willing to bet she isn't actually scarred for life. Gotta love America, huh? I should sue because there was no warning on reading the story. Now the word 'tits' is burned into my brain and I require immediate therapy. Cripes. And YOU can sue ME because I didn't warn you, etc, etc, etc.

Anyhow, a busy day...teaching a Swing class at school, then we head to riding lessons, then I teach Zumba this evening, for ladies whose husbands also have beards and aren't staying home instead. Hope everyone has a lovely day. Warm and windy here. Sap should be thinking about thawing in a couple weeks, can't wait! Later all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Grammy Sammy just called me, to make sure I got the boxes she left on my porch a couple days ago. It's she and Grampa's wedding anniversary today, awwwww. I did indeed get the boxes, with 70's fabric scraps peeking out of the dog-eared cardboard flaps, getting me rather excited as I lugged them into the dining room and dove in. Hellooooooo orange polyester! A time capsule! The dress Gram wore to MY parent's wedding, flowered in blue, yellow and white...I've seen it in pictures a thousand times. A black and blue, off the shoulder, puffed sleeved, full skirted gypsy frock, far older than I am. An eyelet dream in white, to the floor, empire waisted. An emerald green silk that wears like a second skin. And my favorite, a sheer white swing dress with pink flowers that twirls up in a perfect circle when I spin, that I plan on wearing to the Valentine's Cabaret this weekend. It's so 50's and classic, I feel lovely wearing it, and I love that Gram wore it too. I'm sure she danced in it, who could not?

When I think about my clothes, I'd say my relatives played the biggest role in any sense of style I might have, what I think is fashionable and what isn't...Both my parents have sisters, sisters up the wazoo actually. My Aunties were my idols growing up, they were all so pretty, with long straight hair, parted in the middle, big sunglasses, and they dressed like nobody's business. I'd say that every one of them was almost exactly the same size as me from the 1960's through the 1980's and some of them were serious pack rats. YES! And they really were pretty snazzy dressers. Still are. That makes for heavenly hand-me-downs, in my eyes. My favorite jeans were Aunt Dorie's when she was in high school, I could stare at my own butt in them all day long...why don't they make those anymore?! Dozens of my long, cotton summer dresses went to some groovy dance before they became mine, I had my wedding gown made from Aunt Deb's prom dress pattern, and when she sold her motorcycle, I got some kick-ass leather pants out of the deal. Their taste became my taste, no matter what year it is NOW, that's the stuff that I want to wear. Fits me, costs zip, most of it was made by someone I love, and if I can look half as good as they did...well, that's like, groovy man.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


When you're just plain pissed off, and you slam the dishwasher door real hard to hear the satisfying sound of a glass still have to clean it up in the end. Moral of the story: Don't get mad. And if you do, don't break something that makes a mess. Break something like a cookie, so the dog will just come along and eat it later.

Not meaning to write about my dad, yet again, but I think I'm turning into him. The cup thing. That was always Dad's anger release when I was a kid. He'd bang his coffee cup down on the table, and the handle would bust. We had many handle-less mugs in our house. I don't drink coffee, good thing, huh? Tea, yes, but not to the point where there's a cup in my hand all the time, ready to slam at a moment's notice.

Maybe, in China, the people are so grouchy, they leave off the handles in the first place?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Reason Why

When my son canters on a horse, I bite my nails. When the kids dig an igloo in the snow, I worry it will collapse. When I'm in a crowded room, I unconsciously look for the closest escape route. I hate flying. There's a reason why I'm a bit of a paranoid person. And I know the exact moment it happened. Didn't take any therapy to figure out that a combo of my mother's continual anxiety and one particular incident have made me the way I am. If it hadn't happened, and I had half of each my parent's temperaments, I might be a well rounded person, because Dad is just the opposite of Mom. He doesn't worry. At all. "You guys want to slide off the barn roof? Go for it! It'll join you after I finish melting scrap lead into bullets on the kitchen stove." This is a sad story, or maybe a funny story, depending on how you look at it. Funny in that, one tiny thing can screw you up good. All it takes is a few minutes and life will be different.

I went to first grade. Home schooled ever after that, but in the beginning, I went to first grade. I was the youngest in the class, with my birthday falling on September first. All was well, I made friends, loved writing in my little wallpaper-bound journal, loved putting on class plays, loved to draw. A few weeks went by happily.

There was a boy in my class, Michael Hawthorne...I still despise the name Michael, it took years to call my father-in-law by it without a shudder. (And probably Michael is a delightful person these days, with kids of his own even. Michael, if you are somehow reading this, I forgive you, you were six, but man, you messed me up bigtime.)

Anyway, Michael was the class bully, and I was the smallest, making me an easy target. Mostly it was normal bullying stuff, shoving me in the lunch line, chasing me on the playground, the usual...Cooties and what-not. My girlfriends and I would plot against him in secret under the slide, it was almost fun, in that nah, nah, nah-nah nah, boys-against-girls way that kids seem to enjoy so much.

One day, I had gone into the bathroom which doubled as a storage closet for the painting supplies. The bathroom door had a hook and eye latch on the OUTSIDE as well as on the inside, for whatever reason. I think I remember the door would swing wide open if it was unlatched, out into the reading corner. Plus a first grader's bathroom usually smells like pee. Anyway, point is, I was in the bathroom, and it had a latch on the outside. I had been balancing precariously on the giant toilet with my toes dangling many inches off the linoleum, when a loud alarm started blaring. I heard yells of "Fire drill!" Didn't know really what that meant, only that I'd better get the heck out of there. I hopped off and was hustling my Strawberry Shortcake panties back up when I heard, faintly, over the clanging, the metal snitch of the hook and eye (Michael's doing, I found out later) as the class exited the room. I banged on the door and screamed, but there was too much noise and excitement, they were soon gone, and I was locked in.

In my mind, I was trapped in a burning building. I pounded and clawed at the crack in the door door until my fingers bled, trying to wiggle loose the latch. Heart racing, cold all over. Sure I could smell the smoke, feel the flames reaching for me. Crying so hard. I wanted my parent's to magically appear and scoop me out of there forever. Finally became strangely calm. Or maybe it was some form of shock. I curled up in the corner, on those speckled orange and avocado tiles, arms wrapped tight around my shaking, skinny knees, and waited. Wondering what it would feel like, that last hot breath. Maybe this sounds too dramatic, but I honestly didn't know about fire drills, only fires, I was just a baby with a fertile imagination and this scared the life out of me.

When they found me, they laughed at me and I was scolded about the scarred door and the blood on my dress. What a silly little girl. Why didn't I hurry and get in line with the other children? And it was only 15 minutes. (Why hadn't the, excuse my french, FUCKING teacher counted us? Is what I wonder.) These days she'd have a dandy lawsuit on her hands, but back then, I got in trouble. Not her. Dear Michael had to give me a phony apology which included sticking his tongue out at me as soon as Mrs. Hatch turned away, which was instantly. I'm sure she never thought of it again.

So, that's that. I feel like I was never a real child after, never trusting. Always afraid of something. My mother would get so frustrated with me, after being potty trained for years, when the school bus would drop me off at the bottom of our long, steep, icy driveway, in the dead of winter, I'd slip and fall halfway up, and wet my pants, sliding back down to the bottom in a soggy, teary heap with my lunchbox and backpack crumpled under me. Nearly every day. I never went in the school bathroom again. And I stopped sleeping with my favorite stuffed animals, stopped reading my favorite books, but kept them packed in a bag hanging off my bed so I could it grab quick, in the night, in case of fire. Never told anybody about any of this. The way that woman had been half angry, half scornful, made me think I was stupid. I've been working my whole life to erase the crazy, unreasonable fear...of everything.