Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bowmania 2006

So this week was "bowmania 2006"- my friend Jessica makes and sells great little girls bows. She also designs lines for my vintage baby and leopard daisy lines (check your local shi-shi baby boutique for these fab high end items) anyway in leiu of our traditional visiting teaching experience we decided to have bowmania-- we assembly-lined out 30 bows (see bow link- scroll down to spring line pics L side- middle- were the ones we were working on) and had a great time chatting about politics, kids, families, and all our creative ventures. I was in heaven playing with all the vintage handkerchief scraps and concoting one of a kind combos (I am sucker for fun fabrics- I think its in my blood my grandparents used to own a fabric store)-- then there are the swarovski crystals (you already know i love anything sparkly), tulle, denim, ribbons-- I told her my learning how to make bows ensured I will never have a daughter! But watch out because if i do those bags of ribbon I amass on my outings to the ribbon outlet will be made into some rocking hair confections!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Service Fiesta- OLE!

I work with the Youth at our church and last year i gave birth to a wacky activity idea- SERVICE FIESTA- I had acquired a ton of fiesta themed supplies but was also looking for a way to get our youth doing more service-- and thus was born service fiesta- A PARTY WITH A PURPOSE-- which has now become a tradition, the favorite activity of my youth.

Basically it is a fiesta and service projects rolled together speed dating style. Basically it flows like this

Arrive- Choose your own spanish name, much use of hs spanish and the word ole!
Prepare sack lunchs for a soup kitchen- assembly line style (no fighting over who gets to spread PB)
Play ring the 6 foot inflatable cactus
Scrub the nursery toys with excessive amounts of bleach and toothbrushes (and throw out things that are seriously scary (3-headed dogs and cars 3/4 on and inch long)
Pin the tail on the burro (first touch counts)
Write letters to missionaries and servicemen
Break open the pinata
Awards -Some great 12 inch chili pepper melamine trays from (LOVE the target "one spot")
such categories as - most conspicuous use of the word "ole!, best friend to the cactus, most likely to be in a mariachi band, should conisder a career in professional lunch packing, etc.

oh and always party favors-- I am known to my youth for the distribtuion of great pens (which makes them the envy of school friends) for service fiesta there are great maraca pens you can get from oriental trading.

refreshements- chicken and cheese quesadillas, chips and salsa, we wanted to do fried ice cream but settled for ice cream without the fried

so if you are looking for a fun activity...let me recommend the ever wacky memorable service fiesta

It is sprinkled with the punctuating of conversations and announcements with "OLE!"

Next year we'd like to add mexican hat dance and get your picture taken with the life size mariachi band wall poster!!

Hey Gabriela- we can invite you next year as a special cultural consultant...

Playing "ABSTRACT"

Yesterday, my 5 yr old SS (smart son) and SBS (smart baby son) were playing in the playroom with a bizarre assortment of strings and pillows and some random plastic objects.

"What are you playing?"
"Oh we're just playing 'Abstract'"
"C'mon mom, YOU know what 'abstract' is- when you are playing something but people can't really tell exactly what it is?"

I loved his extrapolation and application-- from hearing me talk about my paintings as being abstract. I love great moments in momdom!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My modern quilting bee

I am not a quilter, but have always longed for the experience of a quilting bee- like pioneer women- sitting around, sharing one anothers company, engaged in creative, therapeutic exercise- creating something beautiful and useful. I am a great believer in the value of what has traditional "women's work" and craft. I believe it gave women from many generations past a sense of competency and accomplishment.

I have always been a project gal as my friends can attest- i like to help people do things- whenever i go visit family or friends the big question is "what is our project going to be?". My friend Catherine (who has since sadly moved thousands of miles from me) was the first studio friend. Our great painting times prompted me to start studio night. Last year, thanks to my expert sheetrocking at 37 weeks pregnant and thousands of my husbands spare hours we finished my studio room- it is heaven- 10 foot ceilings, dimmable can lights, yummy green apple paint, and 350 square feet of to store all my art "stuff"- oh and my favorite art daybed (courtesy of ikea the best hidden storage for stacks of canvases! )

So the other night i had 3 friends come for studio night. The fun begins we close ourselves off in my studio- which has a steel door ajoining the house which creates a nice soundproof factor and we paint away- most are new to painting, but everyone creates. We share our great feminine knowledge of buying, selling, building houses, jobs, kids, church responsibilities, great shopping deals, etc. I finished a commission piece I had been working on and worked on yet another crab painting, my friend donna did a fun piece in pinks and greens, erin did a great keyhole view of an animal back and grasses and my friend christy tackled a huge piece for over the fireplace in house thats being built.

all in all a great night- women supporting each other, trying new things, creating beauty for their homes-really you've got to try it!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

your mama's so cheap...

"oh yah --your mama's so cheap...."
she buys all your clothes on the clearance rack
she will never go to the movies at full price
she uses dryel instead of dry cleaning
she puts an extra can of beans in her chili
she makes your dad highlight her hair
she won't use skycabs at the airport

I hope my kids are never accosted by a bully throwing out "you're mama's so cheap..." epithets because they'd have a lot of ammunition

please tell me i'm not the only one?

Friday, April 21, 2006

my ultimate birthday

So my husband wanted to know what I wanted to do to celebrate my BIG birthday this week (i had warned him it better be good- cause it was a big one). Sadly, I am too practical and cheap and usually settle for a $6 tex mex and make myself a cake. So last night i was dreaming of my ultimate birthday and all it would entail. As you can see from my list it would be quite the extravaganza...

food- on demand
sonic fresh limeades, and onion rings
wrights dairy- napoleons and chocolate eclairs and radio bars
cheng-du- beef with pea pods and spicy orange chicken
moes- homewrecker burrito with the everything
dinner at The Blue Point
a great room service breakfast

potential locations-
hotel (anywhere where someone else cleans up)
hawaii -okay i guess i'll settle for any tropical location
morocco - my favorite foreign destination

potential activities-
a great art museum
a few hours of uninterrupted painting
sitting in the sun and reading a book cover to cover
sitting in a hot tub
a shopping spree
party with favorite family and friends

necessary luxuries-
sleeping in
watching a movie in bed
a new outfit I look fabulous in
a full uninterrupted night's sleep
no whining/crying

sounds good huh??

I think I will be settling for a new dining room rug made from FLOR carpet tiles, dinner at a local spot, and probably a cake decorated with plastic toys by my 5 year old

so go on, dream your ultimate birthday...wishes are what birthdays are about

you know you are a grown up when...

you willfully spend $200 and a Saturday to spread mulch around your beds.
(that is a whole truckload- looks so measly on the driveway)

what do you do that makes you feel grown up?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

the "Do-OVER"

Rememeber when you were growing up and got to call "do-over". Like in kickball-- the first time is just practice. Pretty much you said it any time things didn't turn out just the way you wanted them to. Your childhood friends usually obliged (so you were sure to reciprocate the "DO-OVER" for them) I sometimes wonder what life would be life if it had a do-over button-- Everyone likes to moralize and say- "hey I wouldn't change a thing" or "if I were to go back I would do it all the same again"- can anyone honestly say that??? Not me I have done some silly things, some medicore things and some flat out stupid things. So I'd like to get a do-over now and then. Hindsight is glorious- but sadly its hindsight- but if we could have it as foresight -- hmmmm... We learn from our mistakes and we press on but it's not to say we wouldn't be better without them.

And as long as we are on the subject of revisionist history-- what if you could go back and see where those other paths would have taken you (yes waxing all robert frosty on you here- although it's not always the road less travelled just a fork in the road) just curious what would happened if you went to a different school, had a different major, had a different college roommate, married someone else, bought a different house, took a different job... sometimes i wonder (yes waxing all It's a wonderful life and back to the futurey now)

I love my life, I love what I have, but I wonder what other stories my life could told had I chosen other paths.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Motherhood Ben and Jerry's Style

My friend Lei over at My Many Colored Days was talking about motherhood and distinguishing yourself - Well it got me thinking how our talents and interests are what make us distinct, the term I have always used is "MOM FLAVORS".

For my analogy, I'll use Ben and Jerry's (cause they are a good ole New England brand-I recommend a factory tour to all visiting Vermont) and cause they have the most exotic and tasty blends of premium ice cream around (which were essential to my life during college- study abroad in jerusalem, etc). We all have a base (ice cream) which takes up most of our space and time - Motherhood--( each of us are slightly different in our approaches--vanilla bean, french vanilla, chocolate, etc) and then we each add our special goods-swirls of fudge, chunks of cookie dough, little bits of succulent fruit. Getting the balance just right is critical

I add some art, some dinner parties, some floral design and cake making, my volunteer work as a child life specialist -- and voila I am the mom version of Phish food-- Some moms are musical moms, some moms outdoorsy, some are good readers, some are writers, some are good friends. My mom was a great cook, a great nurse, always involved, as well as being a mom to everyone young and old alike. Each combo of flavors is great and each is different and often a suprising delight of a previously undiscovered ingredient medley! How great to have so many flavors.

So mother on- Chubby Hubby, and Cherry Garcia, and Neopolitain Dynamite!

Friday, April 14, 2006

6 Wierd things about me

for Lei who tagged me...

1. I detest noisy things- like hairdryers, vacuums, washing machines, dryers, they really, really really grate on me--(so much so that i refuse to ever have a hairstyle that require daily blow dryer use)

2. I can't sleep or nap while wearing pants- pajamas yes- pants no--just can't do it??(okay you asked for wierd)

3. I only like 4 kinds of sandwiches (chicken salad, tuna, ham and swiss under the broiler, and PB&J)

4. One of my favorite treats is cold chocolate milk with marshmellows (so they turn chewy)

5. I like moving very 2-3 years and actually am going crazy because I have almost lived here for 5 years- the longest I have lived in one place in my life!!

6. I have the arm span of someone who is 6'3"-- (yep that experiement at the science museum reveals my freakishness)

What makes my days worthwhile?

Having dance party with my cutest boys while waiting for smart dad to get home from work, sloppy kisses and snuggles, wrestling on the floor, playing legos, making up silly songs, baby giggles, reading books, making cookies...

I am grateful for the "new life" they bring to my life. So grateful for the Easter season to remind us of the really important things and to remind us of pure unselfish love. So happy to have my family- forever!

call me sentimental mama today!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

things that go thump in the night

Last night I heard a sound at about 12pm -- a sound only trained parent ears can identify- the sound that means something is not right with your child- a sound that tells you you are in for a long night. It was just a thump sound, but distinctly different from a "normal" thump-out-of-bed-to-go-to-the-bathroom. Unfortantely, this thump proved to be a sick child leaping out of bed as dinner and dessert were revisited on the sheets, carpet, pajamas and all other bedroom surfaces.

By 12:30 as my son was now bedded down on a stack of towels in the bathroom, and a laundry basket was filled with contaminated items. I started feeling queasy and my husband was doomed to follow. By 1 am at least one of us was making a pilgrimage to the porcelain urn every 30 minutes. And so continued our day.

This thump gave me the idea to assemble and market some prepackaged kits, easily stored under moms' and dads' beds for the various thumps-- that way you aren't scrambling around the house bleary eyed in you pajamas at unearthly hours trying to track down all the necessities

The croup kit-decadron, albuterol treatment, (save the ER co-pay) blankets so you don't freeze with open windows, and movies and new toys for distraction, drinks,

The bad dream kit- extra nightlike, books on tape, and CDs, an inflatable mom or dad doll to stay by them until they feel calm.

The stomach bug kit- pedialyte, tylenol suppositories, clear fluids, metal bowls, portable toilet, rolls paper towels, & laundry basket

I am convinced we have been cursed because my husband has been watching the Ten Commandments miniseries and he has elaborately arranged for our own modern day plague experience as we are on week 4 of croup, colds, pneumonia, double ear infections, and now this.

Wishing you no thumps tonight!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

DEAL mecca

I love a deal-- so much so that this blog should probably be "deal mama".
New England is the deal mecca --The unending winters, insane house prices, and unique characters of New England are unbearable, but the deals are its redemption. I have friends and relatives who make trips to shop here (I provide the bed and breakfast and my deal guide skills free of charge) Even my mother a professed non shopper sneaks of to do "one more run".

In case you noticed a hiatus from blogging for the last few days, we had friends visiting, which meant a pilgrimage to all the sights or at least the shops....

To detail some of my great deals of the last 2 days-- 4 new ties for my boys (Childrens place outlet 99 cents each), a full size bag o milanos I am gorging myself on while i type (pepperidge farm store- 80 cents), 60 x 84 lined silk dupioni curtain panels (which ROCK!!) (4.99 christmas tree shops), fabulous bronze knobs for my FR armoire (3.40$ restoration hardward outlet) 12 color prismacolor markers (7.99 BLDG 19- yes reatil 32$) Ribbon-as pictured above- over 120 yards 14$ (wrights ribbon and trim outlet)

The deals here cater to all levels-- from the restoration hardward outlet where the deals are in the thousands of dollars, to christmas tree shops a true new england gem (where you can get deals on everything from almond extract to back to basics shampoo) and Bldg. 19- (a place so flithy I actually consider showering with lysol before reentering my house)-- but i go for the greatest childrens book deals on the planet. We also have worlds best marshalls thanks to TJX headquartes in Boston. And a killer Gap that allows me to get the cutest jammies for a mere 3.97 a pop!

so if you have ever wondered why people are crazy enough to live in New you know the answer.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Pen Pals 7-ELEVEN style

Blogs are like the pen pals of the "lead age" (lead pencil age that is). A friend you haven't met but who you wrote back and forth to. In theory, they were a listening ear, they taught you things about their lives, they brought an element of surprise, they taught you that relationships are really about sharing and listening. It was the stuff of sappy human interest stories on the 5 o'clock local news - you know 2-- 75 year old women who had be corresponding across the continents for decades and their dying wishes to meet. It was the stuff of movies- like Shop Around the Corner.

Well in this the "chip age" we have turned in our pencils- probably because our handwriting is so bad (from typing everything) and the post office is always raising the stamp rate (why pay for slow snail mail when the you can it for free in the blink of an eye over the internet) but the same relationships still exist. In our convienience age blogs are pen pals 7-ELEVEN style. 24 hour access-for all your 1 am company cravings, like a pack of hostess donuts they give you that extra burst of energy you need, or those cherry pies (heavenly concococtions of lard and sugar) that coat your throat and make everythign slide down a little easier, or like the super big gulp fountain drink bar an endless variety of tasty choices to fit your every mood!! (so many great blogs so little time)

You so today I am sending out some love to my "pen pals", the smart women who give me a little push, make me laugh and cheer me on-- you know who you are cause you are reading this. Your blogs are the Fritos and twinkies of my day. A great circle of gals who make my days better- it is to hard to name them all, some are in cosa mofstra, others pop in from parts south and west- (I don't know if anyone is east or north of me?) to say hi. We are those 5 o'clock news stories waiting to happen-- okay maybe by then they'll be TLC podcasts called "A Blogging Story"!

Friday, April 07, 2006


I am approaching an age milestone... although I may try to run, father time is overtaking me and pulling me into the quicksand of middle age... (you know like on old sci-fi movies where the ooze sucks the flailing person in- never to return)

this is how i know the great change is occurring... despite the face that stares back at me in the mirror

1. I actually watched the town school committee meeting on the cable access channel
2. At 7:30 pm I strongly consider going to bed
3. I find myself considering putting more $ into our 401K and scrapping the plans for the new dining room rug. (retirement is still 35 yrs away!)
4. The card that comes out of my wallet the most is my library card.
5. I think about ways to add more whole grains to my diet.
6. Cleaning the basement is at the top of my sat. list
7. My knees crunch and i groan when i get up from the floor
8. I can't stay awake during movies.

Save Me!!!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

inalienable rights

life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...thats what it's all about right.

when it comes to being a mom it seems as though some liberties go out the window.

we could make motherhood a more sane experience if the following rights were granted to all mothers...
1. the right to a nap if any of the following apply- you are awakend more than 2x a night, or your total number of sleep is less than 6 hrs.
2. the right to eat at least one meal a day where you sit down for 10 minutes straight
3. the right to go to the bathroom with no visitors
4. the right to a phone conversation without interruption.
5. the right to cook dinner with out someone holding on to you or you holding on to someone.
6. the right to one day a week with no whining or crying

maybe these rights are just dreams-
dreams of our former lives, things we look back on with a sort of elementary school nostalgia for another time and place when things were simple. but then again if we had them i'm afraid we wouldn't feel like mothers.

Motherhood is not for the faint hearted! Take courage mothers and realize all do for your cause!Onward in the Pursuit of the greatest happiness.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

a happy ending

Thanks for all who weighed in on the broad billed hummingbird-- still haven't decided on other additions- branches, flowers-- but the yellow was a winner! You guys are great artists. There is something so vibrant about it I am afraid of cluttering it. (I promise no more art or bird blogging for a while lest i lose my devout readers)