Thursday, March 31, 2011

at least i won the race

i wrote a story a year ago as part of a longer post & i thought i'd cut it out, re-work it & re-post for those of you who haven't been here since the beginning.

when i was 14, i had a good friend named patti who i spent a lot of time with. sometimes i'd spend the night at her house & since her parents were somewhat less vigilant than my own, we could get away with things there that i'd never have been able to pull off at my own house. for instance, we used to go outside at night.

we generally didn't do anything other than maybe go for a walk around the neighborhood. one night we went for a walk around midnight in our bathing suits and a carload of guys drove up & stopped. they inched up close to us & asked where we were going. we were trying to be cool, so we said nowhere, we were just hanging out. cue the giggles and flirty eye contact. the boys spewed testosterone and made some macho chit chat and asked why we were in our bathing suits. they wanted to know if there was a pool nearby where we could all go swimming together. i blurted out that no, there was no pool, we'd just been playing in the hose and sprinkler earlier in the evening.

it was like one of those moments in a movie where the soundtrack is playing along nicely, then someone says the wrong thing & you hear the loud screech of the record scratching & then there's silence. the boys busted out laughing & sped off into the night. oops. i guess playing in the sprinkler may have marked us as the foolish children that we were, rather than the sophisticated women we were attempting to portray.

one night we got bored of walking circles around her block and decided to spice things up. we were out in our pajamas in the backyard, sitting on her little sister's swing set & we came up with a plan to race through a few backyards in a big loop & whoever made it back first was the winner. the catch was that we were going to take off our pants before we started running. we still had on shirts & undies, so it was only a half streak, but it certainly felt sandalous at the time. we got to our "starting line," peeled off our jammie pants, and took off running. i gained the lead pretty quickly and was feeling rather pleased with myself since running's really not my thing. patti couldn't stop giggling, so she wasn't moving very fast. i was afraid that the giggling might draw the attention of the neighbors whose yards we were running through, and i certainly didn't want to get caught running in my undies, so i was silent & determined.

i had a pretty good lead going, when out of nowhere, i tripped over a dog chain that i hadn't seen in the dark. with a guttural "oomph," i fell flat onto my belly in a full sprawl that knocked the air out of me. my face banged the ground & i had grass stuck to my tooth, but i popped right back up & kept hauling ass because by then, patty wasn't just giggling, she was laughing hysterically. i was terrified of getting busted, plus, i really wanted to win and i was afraid she'd take advantage of my unanticipated tumble. i sprinted to the finish line like a champ, with plenty of time to spare. but once i was there i realized the stupid hilarity of the moment & stood there with my bruised chin & grassy tooth & i wet myself in the grass in my minnie mouse t-shirt and days of the week undies.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

i make me look bad

lately, when i've been thinking about possible post topics, i've noticed that a lot of the stuff i typically post paints me in a really bad light. i think i like to write stories that show humanity with all it's flaws & failings because we all have them, but most people like to hide those failings or cover them up. and i think it's refreshing and funny when i read stories that people have written about themselves where they aren't afraid or ashamed to admit to their ugly bits. i love when they're not trying to put their pretty face on to attempt to convince the world that they're as close to perfect as they can get. and i suppose i like to emulate that in my own writing since that's what i like to read.

but with that being said, i think perhaps i have a tendency to write too many stories that make me seem like a really gross person. like maybe you guys who don't know me in real life, come over here to read my stories and laugh at me, but you think in the back of your mind that you wouldn't want to actually hang out with me. and you certainly wouldn't want to be related to me. because, from the sound of it, i'm a person with horrible gaspizza face & a problem with incontinence. i wear pads on my head and take really embarrassing pictures. i speak without thinking & have bouts of really bad pms. all i need now is to develop some rank halitosis and i could be the poster child for thoroughly disgusting humanity.

i guess i'm trying to say that even though i tell you guys lots of stories and many of them are gross, i'm not like that all the time. i shower daily, use deodorant & don't fart in restaurants (usually). i rarely make off-color jokes in church (unless i'm talking to rachel, then all bets are off) and i don't swear around children. i hope some day i might get to meet some of my blogosphere buddies & i'll try to be on my best behavior. at least for the first few minutes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

it's not a balloon - friday confessional

this is one of those stories that i've thought of writing for a while because it's a good one, if by good i mean horrible, but i've debated with myself because i try to only embarrass myself here. but today i'm inspired by reading this post by helene & it was a long time ago & no one remembers it but me, so here goes. oh, and i'm going to apply the kitty rule now.

when my daughter was 3, we became friends with a single mom & her little daughter who was close to brooke's age. the girls had lots of fun together & we moms got to talk and laugh & compare mothering tales. we spent tons of time together since chris was at work almost every night & our girls were too young for school so there was no schedule to worry about.

one night, it was getting late, so we decided to give the girls a bath in order to prolong our visit a bit and give the kids something to keep them busy. their house was very small & when i was sitting in the living room, i could clearly see straight into the bathtub, not more than ten or fifteen feet away.

so once the girls were washed up, we left them in the tub, splashing around & having a good time. my friend and i were chatting in the living room. then i noticed that brooke was holding something i didn't recognize. it didn't look like any bath toy i'd ever seen before. she put it up to her sweet, clean, little mouth & started to blow it up like a balloon.

i walked into the bathroom & took it away from her & went back into the living room to ask my friend what it was. she kind of giggled and told me that it was her d0uchebag & why was i asking. i told her that brooke had been blowing into it. she turned red and i turned green.

i pulled brooke out of that tub, got her dried and dressed in record time & then zoomed home to wash & scrub out her mouth in an effort to purify the nastiness. she wasn't pleased at having her teeth brushed repeatedly, but i didn't know what else to do. if i'd thought she could manage some listerine, i would have pried her lips open & poured it in with a funnel.

and that is my friday confessional


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


i have a little confession to make. i'm just going to whisper it though because i'm a little bit embarrassed about it. did you lean in close? okay, deep breath... i'm a little bit obsessed with my face.

i'm hanging my head now in the awkwardness of that statement. when i say that i'm obsessed, i don't mean it in the look-at-my-face-it's-really-gorgeous-and-should-be-photographed-for-the-glossy-pages-of-a-magazine kind of way. i mean it more in the i-can't-walk-past-a-mirror-without-leaning-in-for-a-close-look-at-my-current-zit/peeling/hair-growth-situation kind of way.

i never had terrible skin as a teenager. it wasn't great, but no big deal. but when i turned 30, it was like my face decided to try out this acne business and it went for it with gusto. and apparently, it really liked it & was good at it, so it decided to keep the acne around for a while. brooke was three then & she used to stare and point at my spots & once she told me that she'd pray for Jesus to fix me. another time she offered to take me to the vet to get my face owies away.

i managed to get it under control with Proactive for a few years, but recently it's come back and it's making me miserable. i feel like since i'm chubby, and i can't afford to dress my chubby self in particularly fashionable clothes, the least i can do is make my head look good. my hair can go either way - sometimes it's friendly to me & other times it's crap. but my face is usually the only thing left that i can control because even when you're poor, you can still buy makeup & skillfully apply it in such a way that you play up whatever assets you've got.

but my face has betrayed me. and it must be punished. i feel compelled to stuff my face into mirrors several times a day with my nose practically pressed against the glass so that i can pick, dig & squeeze my skin into submission. that doesn't really work though. it just makes it uglier. and i can't keep my fingers from exploring my bad skin, even when i'm out of the house. i'll peel or pick at myself even while walking through a store, never mind that i leave little bloody, flaming red spots oozing on my face. i wish i could blame my compulsion on an illness, much the same way a drinker blames alcoholism. in theory, you can just choose not to take that drink, but the alcoholic can't seem to resist the urge. in much the same way, i can't seem to keep my hands off my face even though i know the results are detrimental to my health and beauty.

i feel like the quality of my day is directly related to the state of my face. i know that's shallow. i wish i could i could say that i was a better person than that, but until i figure out how to work through my pickaholism, please, try not to stare when i come out of a bathroom with bright red blotches on my face. and a TP tail.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

lovely, with a twist

today was a beautiful day in my neck of the woods. and to top it off, both myself & my honey were off work, which is a lovely change of pace, so we decided to take full advantage of the day. after church, we had lunch out & then spent the rest of it outside, wandering around downtown and going through the aquarium.

we've had a membership at the aquarium for years, so i've mostly stopped taking pics of the wildlife there because one tends to look much like the last. instead, i took mostly flower pictures today. it's hardcore spring in the american south right now, so there are tons of flowering trees and bushes wherever you look and today, i used those flowers as my photo inspiration, with a few thrown in of my beloveds as the icing on my cake.

today brooke acted and talked older than her usual self. and having her hair pulled back, which is rare, made me see how much she's growing up. the days of the quirky dog girl appear to be on the way out.

i love all the carnivorous plants around the aquarium.

even the simplest flowers are beautiful.

if you look at this one close up, the jelly that's sideways in the middle toward the left, doesn't it look kinda like a condom? a very mean, pranky condom for someone you hate.

and lest you think my day was all beauty and happiness, let me share one last little tidbit with you all. i went into a public bathroom (one of 9 that i visited today. stupid SBS) and chatted up a lady who came in and was changing 2 babies' diapers behind me while i washed my hands. i frequently make friends in public restrooms. i'm not sure why i feel the need to bond in the bathroom, but whatever, i've got to make friends wherever i find them. then i wandered back outside to rejoin chris & brooke. as i walked out the door, i realized that i was standing right behind some people who were getting their picture taken. i stepped aside a bit so that even though i'd still probably be in the shot, i'd be far enough away that they could crop me out easily. chris was sitting over to one side and he started waving for me to come over to him. i shook my head no, and kept standing where i was so that i could let the folks get their shot. they took their sweet time about it and all the while, chris kept waving more & more adamantly at me and he was starting to look kinda mad. i finally mosied over to him & asked what all the fuss was about and he said, "you've got toilet paper hanging out of your ass!"

frickety frack! i was standing there, for all the world to see, including getting into some stranger's family pictures with my TP tail flapping in the gentle breeze. i asked chris how long it was & he said, "about three sheets." and that leaves me to wonder about my new bathroom friend - what kind of woman lets another woman walk out of a bathroom with three sheets in the wind?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

betcha can't guess what i wore on my head

tonight i stumbled across the show "say yes to the dress" which, in case you don't know, is a reality show where they film women coming into a bridal shop with their family and friends & trying to find the perfect wedding gown. there's lots of drama and a whole lot of white fluff.

it made me think back to 13 years ago when i was planning my wedding. chris was in school and working as many hours as he could, so we didn't see very much of each other. i'd moved back home to save money, so i was spending a lot of time with my mom as we worked through all the arrangements. i never wanted to have a big wedding. i wasn't a girl who dreamed of it all her life. i'd always sort of thought that i'd run off & elope one day, but i was talked into having a wedding after all.

i did NOT want a big, fluffy dress. i didn't want beads, sequins, sparkles or glitz. i didn't want to go totally hillbilly & get married in denim either. i wanted something simple and smallish that i could afford to pay for myself. my parents paid for the wedding stuff, but i wanted to pay for anything i wore on my body, so it needed to be reasonably priced.

it was hard to find just the right dress in any of the bridal shops because they were all too fancy for me, but i finally found one in a department store. actually, it was in the prom section, but whatever. it was long & white & had a small train, so i can't imagine anyone wearing it for a prom.

once the dress was decided upon, i needed to figure out what to do on my head. hair up or down? veil? tiara? nothing? these are important decisions when you'll be looking at the pictures of that moment for the rest of your life. we looked at a lot of different veils and headpieces, but i wasn't really sure i even wanted one and they cost between $60 and $200 bucks. my mom is very crafty and has done a lot of sewing, so she convinced me that we should consider making our own veil.

we found a portion of veily material at michaels craft store. it was longer than i'd thought i would like, but seemed pretty enough. however, it still needed to be attached to something. we bought a string of fake pearls & took our goodies home to play with them & see if we could make something good enough to wear down the aisle.

we cut a piece of cardboard into a sort of long, ovalish shape, figuring we could hook the veil onto the bottom of it. we cut a piece of lining out of one of my little sisters' dress-up dresses that was white & silky to cover the cardboard. we thought we'd string the little pearls around the outer edge to make it look prettier, but it still needed something to make the cardboard piece thicker & look less like a silk covered slice of cardboard.

we thought about it & tried a few things & then suddenly, there was a light bulb moment. that piece of cardboard was exactly the same size and shape as a maxi-pad! mom ran for the nearest box of pads & while the 2 of us laughed ourselves into pants-piddling hysteria, we wrapped that hunk of cardboard with a couple of pads. it was totally convenient, they were already sticky on the one side, ready to stick right down and stay in place. flexible, with wings! we wrapped them in the strip of chopped out and ironed dress-up silk and then hot glued it all in place. we sewed the pearls around the edge and when it was done, no one would have ever known that i was walking down the aisle to marry my beloved with a couple of maxi-pads stuck on my head.

and i've got to be honest, this is one of the best memories i have of my wedding. i can't even think of it without getting a fresh giggle. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

if we woke up in jail...

remember when we had so much fun doing the "how did we meet" post? you guys were awesome participants and made it such fun, at least for me. well, i've got another silly facebook game that i want to play with you guys because i know you're way more creative than most of my facebook friends.

here's the deal, i want you to tell me, in 5 words or less, what you would say to me tomorrow morning if we woke up in a jail cell together. be elaborately simple or bizarre and outlandish. feel free to feed me as many lines as you can think up, my friends, i'm ready.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

dressing room drama

tonight i remembered a story that i heard from my aunt back when i was a teenager. it was one of those great, embarrassing moment stories that just brings a smile to my face, so i asked her write it for me so i could post it here for you guys. thanks, aunt joan! i love you.
Back in my 30s, it was a big deal to go pick out a party dress for the big Christmas party that my employer put on every year. So, my husband (at that time) and I headed out to a local clothing store in Georgia after church, to find me a dress. I found several dresses to try on, and headed to the dressing room to start the fun. There was a line at the dressing room of about 4 people ahead of me. As we stood there waiting, a couple more lined up behind me to get a dressing room.
I finally got my turn at the very first dressing room. This room could easily be seen from the doorway where everyone was waiting in line to try on their "finds." I proceeded to strip off my clothes, leaving nothing on but my pantyhose and my bra. That was really all that was needed to try on party dresses! Keep in mind that the whole point of "pantyhose" is to not have to wear panties under them so that you have no lines showing through your clothes from panties. As I began to take one of the dresses off the hanger I noticed that there was something odd about the hem of the dress, so I knelt down to see if I could fix it. Of course, I didn't notice that the dressing room I was in was one of those that doesn't go all the way to the floor. My husband kept saying, "Joan, Joan, Joan!" and I kept saying, "I'll be out in a minute." "Quit talking to me", "I'm trying on dresses!" So, he finally gave up and left me to my foolishness.
When I finally came out of the dressing room, I got a cheer, a bunch of clapping, and my husband telling me that everyone could see my bare butt while I was down on the floor in my pantyhose. Needless to say, that was the last time I think I ever wore pantyhose, or used the very front dressing room located by the door. Unfortunately, it didn't change my normal urge to ignore my husband as he was trying to tell me something while I was deeply engrossed in something else.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

trouble-making mouth

i swear, some days my mouth must be mad at me because it says the stupidest things!

example number 1.
yesterday my landlord came over to change our air filter. he does this every month & as he's young and friendly, we always chat for a few minutes while he's here. normally he uses the cheap, skinny filters, but this time he brought over a new kind that's thicker & supposed to do a better job. the only trouble was, with the new filter, getting it crammed into the small space was proving to be a bit challenging for him since it's way up high & awkward to access.

i was watching him struggle & then i said, "it's a lot harder to get it in when it's stiff, isn't it?"

he snickered. my brain kicked in. holy crap, i can't believe i just said that to this guy! i need to backtrack! i need to make it less awful! i need to say something about how the old floppy ones were easier to work with. NO, that will make it worse. say something about stiff, not stiff was what you meant to suggest. NO, don't say stiff again!

say nothing. don't make eye contact. go stand in the corner and don't speak anymore. your mouth cannot be trusted. he let himself out quietly while i banged my head into the cupboard, my cheeks flushed with humiliation.

example number 2.
today i went to the grocery store. they had a buy 1, get one free on cantaloupes, so of course, i bought 2. when my groceries were being bagged at check-out, the bagger accidentally put the bag with the cantaloupes into the cart of the man at the next register.

the other customer caught it & returned my bag of fruit, at which time i said, "thanks for noticing. otherwise i'd have gotten home and wouldn't have been able to find my melons."

yeah, my mouth is a troublemaker.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

belle and rosie

this day has been a long time coming and while i'm relieved that it's over, my heart feels so sad that it's here.

today my parents 2 old, adorable golden retrievers, belle and rosie, were put to sleep. they were 12 years old, litter mates, and they've both been getting pretty broken down in the hips & tumor department for the past couple years. they live in a house of stairs and they were having a hard time managing because clearly it hurt them, just getting where they needed to go. the decision was made that their quality of life had decreased too much and it wasn't reasonable to keep them going with expensive meds. they've had long, wonderful lives together with my family and it seemed that it would be too sad for either of them to live without the other, so they were both put to sleep today, in their own yard, laying snuggled up against each other.

they usually said goodbye under the piano.
 i've known this was coming for quite a while. i've been preparing brooke for it for years because every time we went to visit the grandparents, it might be the last time she saw them and we wanted her to always feel like she said a thorough and loving goodbye to them at the end of each trip.

brooke said they were sleeping 'in a pile' like they did on "where the wild things are."
  belle has always felt like she was our dog. we lived with my parents briefly when i was pregnant with brooke & we were moving from one state to another and belle adopted us then. from that point on, she always seemed like our fur girl. when brooke was 1, belle lived with us for nearly a year, but i couldn't keep up with the extra work required to own a big dog, along with the other stuff that was going on in my life, so she went back to my parents' house. every time we went to visit the grandparents, 6 hrs away, brooke's favorite part was spending time with the dogs. she loves the people, don't get me wrong, but the dogs were the best. they played in the yard with her. they chased things she threw. they sat beside her and watched her play with her toys. they stole her stuffed animals and slobbered all over them. they let her walk them around the yard on leashes, even though they were in a fenced yard and outweighed her by 40 pounds. they caught the ice and food bits she threw to them. they obeyed when she bossed them around and they always showered her with affectionate grins, licks and tail thumps when she looked their way. they were never too busy or preoccupied.

i told brooke a few days ago that friday was the day for the dogs to go to heaven. she understands the reason and she's been preparing herself for a long time and since i was crying when i told her, she just patted my arm and walked away. i didn't know if what i'd told her really sunk in, but last night when we were praying before bed, she broke down and started crying and said that she didn't think her life or her heart would ever feel the same again. like things in the world would never look the same again knowing that belle and rose were gone. she said that next time we're in charlotte, she's going to go out back and sleep on their graves.

it seemed to brooke that since we always have funerals for the people we love, then of course we must have a funeral for our beloved dogs. it seemed insulting and wrong to even consider going on with life before a funeral was held, so chris and decided we needed to do something today to recognize and love the 2 furry girls and how much they've meant to our lives. we didn't want to put up a marker of any kind in our house or yard because brooke would likely fixate on it and let her hurt hang onto her. instead, i took brooke out to a party store today and let her pick out 2 helium balloons, one red, for rosie, to match her collar, and one blue, for belle to match her collar. she picked heart balloons and we brought them home and wrote and drew all over them. we told the dogs how much we loved them and would miss them.

then we all went outside with our red and blue balloons, brooke hugged and kissed both of them goodbye and told them that Jesus would read the notes to them when they got to heaven. we let them go and watched until they were out of sight.

our hearts are hurting, but we're glad to have known these wonderful, goofy, sweet, golden girls. we love
you, belle and rosie.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

mommy fail

i was just reading a post by kristy, at pampers and pinot, about her son turning 3 and how as we hit each kid birthday, we relive the birth of our kid. and she's right, i totally do that every year on brooke's birthday. but another thing i always remember every year on her birthday is her second birthday party. her first birthday came right at the same time as we were moving from one state to another & our lives were in chaos and transition, so we didn't do much to celebrate. it's not like she knew, anyway, so it kind of floated on past with little recognition.

for her second birthday, i wanted to make up for the first one & have a big to-do for brooke. most of our friends didn't have kids and we were working with a small church where she was kind of the mascot for the whole group since she was the only tyke around. i invited all our friends over (no family because none lives near us) and we were expecting a house full of adult guests and fun.

shortly before the people were expected to arrive, i was scrambling around, trying to finish getting everything ready. i was cleaning frantically, fixing food, keeping the birthday girl happy and occupied all the while trying to get myself presentable in hopes that i wouldn't appear as sweaty & disheveled as i was feeling. i ran into the kitchen & stopped cold when i saw something drip out of the ceiling. then it dripped again and within a matter of just a few minutes, several more leaks had sprung from the ceiling and i was setting up bowls and buckets around the floor to try to keep it from forming a lake all over my freshly mopped linoleum.

my husband and one of his friends who had just arrived were trying to figure out what was causing the leak. they found the water heater in the attic and that it wasn't just leaking, it was pouring out. they couldn't find any way to shut it off & they were getting pretty soggy and disheveled themselves, in the attic in tennessee in the middle of summer, as they struggled to find a way to stop the flow. our landlord was out of town and unreachable. we called the water company & after some time on hold, since it was, of course a weekend, they went out to the hole in the ground for access to the main water supply and attempted to shut off the water to the whole house. but, naturally, it hadn't been used in many years and the thing was rusted stiff and couldn't be turned.

back in the house, i was on the verge of total overload because portions of the sheet rock were starting to crumble and tumble right out of my ceiling and splatter on the counters and floor around me and there was water pouring like a waterfall through the light fixture. i was pretty sure that death by electrocution was in the very near future for myself, or one of my beloveds.

eventually, they did get the water turned off. not before our guests arrived, but for them, it wasn't nearly as stressful as it was for me. they helped me mop & clean up the giant, wet mess that was my kitchen, while salvaging as much food as possible. someone showed up with a couple bottles of wine & i promptly claimed one and guzzled it rapido. i hadn't had much in the way of alcohol in several years, at that point, so it went straight to my head. before long, i was feeling all happy and silly and loud, and was about to start on a new bottle of wine when one of the pastor's wives took my cup away. she told me i didn't get to have any more wine until i'd had some food and waited for a bit to make sure that i really still wanted to drink more.

of course, by the time i'd eaten & calmed down for a bit, i realized that i was already more than drunk enough and should have had about half a bottle less than i'd already consumed. i don't remember very much about the party, other than how fun it was.

eventually, it was very late and my little early-to-bed girl needed to be tucked in, in spite of how many people were still at our house. tucking the girlie was my job, so i carried on with the bedtime routine- brushing her teeth, dressing her into her jammies, duct taping her diaper around her body so that she wouldn't peel it off & pee up her bed in the night, reading her little picture books to her, singing "Jesus loves me." the whole ordeal was distressing for me to be executing while heavily intoxicated, but singing "Jesus loves me" in a drunken, pathetic way to my sweet little toddler on her birthday was entirely too much for me. during that song, i told God, hopefully not out loud, that i would never again get drunk when my child was around. i didn't want brooke to remember her childhood and think of her tacky mommy singing her drunkenly to sleep at night.

the wind was out of my sails at that point and i was glad i hadn't had that extra plastic cup full of wine, after all. and to this day, more than 6 years later, i've never even come close to having that much to drink again, even if brooke wasn't around. i guess my days of drinking are over. now where's my dr pepper?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

design studio

for the past couple weeks i've been engrossed in a hobby. i go through these spurts of creativity & project-making where i feel like i need to do something beyond the scope of the usual hum-drum workaday business and make something. i showed you some of those things in october when i did my first crafty post and here's my second one.

i try not to talk about weight loss. mostly because i rarely experience it & i'm a little jealous, but then i remember that it's due to my own inactivity and bad food choices, so i can't be jealous. i can only be chubby and live with it, or do something to make a change. i'm not currently willing to make any big changes, but one thing i can try to improve upon is my inclination to snack at night. once brooke is in bed, all i want to do is eat, especially if i'm on the couch. but i LOVE my couch. i swear, it's the most comfortable thing i've ever draped myself across and my soul takes a deep, cleansing sigh of relief when i plunk down in that one special corner. the trouble arrives when my body hits that spot on the couch & then it starts calling for potato chips. and cheese. and cadbury eggs. so i've been trying to do things to keep my hands and brain busy when i'm on the couch in order to prevent the food inhalation.

here's what i've been doing.
 i've been hand-sewing outfits for my daughter's zhu zhu pets. she doesn't really care about clothes for animals, so i've started making clothes for her friend's toys too.
i've been using little scraps of material and a bit of elastic to adorn these little critters. the girls each got a matching, fringed leopard mini skirt.

the wedding set came out cute. i even used a piece i cut off the wrap from my wedding dress to make the bridal veil.

we've got the party girls with their fluffy dresses. i've been using old, outgrown clothes that i've cut up, scraps my mom gave me and remnants that i found at fabric stores.

brooke said she needed some boy outfits, so i bought a couple bandanas that i used to fashion into a couple of the boys outfits here.

the little one on the left is actually made out of an old pair of poorly constructed dog ears that i bought for brooke before i realized that i could make way better ears myself. it looks like a buckskin jacket to me. the one on the right is actually made out of a ribbon that came wrapped around a blanket that i recieved for christmas a couple years ago. with the added rick rack, it kind of looks like a cocktail dress.

these 2 things are my least favorites, but the girls really like them. i let them pick fabrics & styles that they want for their outfits. whatever.

these 2 are my current favorites. i love the little diamond button on the pink bubble skirt.

that's all for now. anyone (of my regular readers who live in the u.s.) have little kids who love some zhu zhu pets want a cute outfit or two? i'm willing to make & send them since it gives me something to do & they're so cute!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

oh, to be classy

the first time i can remember hearing anyone refer to someone as being "classy" was when i was about 10 years old and i was at summer camp. there was a girl in my cabin, around the same age as me, and i heard 2 different "adults" (i put it in quotes because they seemed like adults to me then, but they were probably about 18) say that this girl was classy. i wasn't entirely sure what it meant, but it was clear that they said it in an admiring and somewhat surprised way. i deemed it to be something that i should strive for, whatever it was, so i watched this girl, heather, and studied her behavior and mannerisms, trying to learn something that would make me a better person.

i noticed that she shaved her legs, dry, sitting on her bed. she ate less candy than most of us. she showered daily without anyone having to tell her to. she wasn't a participant in the out-of-control giggle-fests that ran rampant during the evenings at camp. she had naturally curly hair.

i tried to emulate some of those qualities in the weeks and months to come. i tried to willingly eat less junk food. i tried to laugh less and shower more. i tried out the dry shave, but owie with the post-shave razor burn, so i gave it up after one round. i didn't have curly hair, but i sure had a tight perm (thanks, grandma).

i had another friend, my childhood bestie, who i've talked about in several of my childhood story recountings on this blog, who i learned was also a classy kind of girl. her family had significantly more money than my family did & she was an only child, so i thought maybe that was part of it. but there was nothing i could do about my family's income or my multiple siblings. i couldn't afford to dress expensively, but eventually i realized it wasn't so much about how you dressed or where you lived, but more about how you carried yourself and presented yourself to the world.

i tried to be this

i wanted to be a girl who others admired for her style, maturity, and sophistication. i wanted the adults around me to tell each other that i was classy and wish that their kids were like me. i really did try.

but i never quite managed to be that girl. i was loud. i laughed obnoxiously and often. i spit on the ground after snorking up big loogies. i burped out tunes. i talked about my period. i kissed boys and told everyone about it. i ate large quantities of nachos and didn't wash my hands. i carved my name into benches and walls. i made weird faces and talked in stupid voices. i was rarely subdued when my friends were around and i was the first one to stand on a bench and scream over the heads of a crowd in order to get the attention of someone i wanted to speak with.

but i was more like this

eventually i realized that i was never going to be someone who would be labeled as classy. however, i did discover that i had earned the label of fun. and while fun isn't admired in the same way that classy is, it was something that people liked to have around. the fun girl is a good time at a party or a on a road trip. the fun girl knows how to make the best of even the most embarrassing situations and rather than hide those moments, she celebrates them. the fun girl is chattery and outrageous and noisy.

there are still days when i think i could become a classy lady, but then i find myself digging a bug out of my cleavage in a very public place while squealing and spinning around on tip-toe and i realize, yet again, that it will never be.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


about a month ago i participated in a battle of the blogs at tracy's place, it's an average life, where i was given the topic of flatulence & the postion of pro. tracy is over the blogging business and has resigned. since this post never made it on my own site, i decided to post it here today. i've got a post in my head that i'm working on, but it may still not be ready for a couple more days, so if you haven't already read this one, and you're not grossed out by tooting, here you go.

i've been assigned the task of being a fart advocate. creating fervor for flatulence. giving props to the poots. and sadly, this is not much of a stretch for me.

i decided to take this business seriously, so i did some research: ie, i asked on my facebook status if anyone had any gassy wisdom they'd like to share with me. thankfully most of my friends are low class, so i got some positive feedback.

as it turns out, according to nurses nationwide, farting is something that is beneficial for your health. when i had surgery to remove a human from my body (aka c-section) i was told that i couldn't go home until i farted. clearly, there must be something very valuable about the removal of gas from the ass if holding it means you're held hostage in the hospital. the nurses cheered & clapped when i blasted a big one 2 days after birth. never had i been so proud of my ability to cut the cheese.

this brings me to a suggestion for all of us, when it comes to selecting a mate. in other species, the male and female choose the suitor who is most desirable, physically. they want the largest or strongest or in the case of the lion, the ladies pick the dude with the darkest mane. they want to know that their mate is healthy and will likely produce offspring with alpha potential.

forget sexy legs or piercing bedroom eyes, i think we should start evaluating each possible mate based on health & vitality. one sure sign of heartiness and a diet high in fiber is the quality & quantity of toots.

imagine, if you will, a bar filled with speed daters. there are 40 people in the room, all looking for a love to last through the ages. they've all suffered from heartache and squandered dreams in the past, but this time, they're determined not to make the same mistakes. this time, they all came prepared. they've filled up on garbanzo beans and broccoli, brussel sprouts and asparagus & they're ready to find their mates. each person spends 2 minutes with the other mating candidates. their goal is to impress and be impressed. they skip past the small talk, who cares about jobs or astrological signs? she coyly raises her eyebrow as she raises her butt cheek, allowing for the optimal amount of noise and smell enhancement. she waves her hand seductively to waft the smell his way & then smiles and lowers her chin to gaze at him through her lashes while he takes it all in. he smiles and nods approvingly, then turns his back to her and arches his back. he lets forth with a bellow from below, turning his head to look over his shoulder, not wanting to miss her reaction to his power. he winks at her, then leans across the table toward her to whisper something in her ear. one word was all it took. "cabbage."

a love connection was made that night and one couple left together, awash in gastrointestinal bliss.

this, my friends, is a fairy tale with a happy ending. and one that can be yours if only you'll put your best toot forward.