Saturday, September 30, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

A calico post

I found a most excellent blog this evening: Pinch My Salt. That mother went straight to my Favorites. My goodness!

Speaking of blogging, email, internet communities, and the like: I've found that the more I type, the less satisfied I am with my penmanship. I used to feel a great sense of pride over my handwriting; but now when I look in my daybook, it just looks like chicken scratch. I am too fond of the nice, round, evenly-sized font (particularly Garamond) - it has destroyed my handwriting. Or, at least, my affection for it. "Maybe that is good," say the humble ones, "you pompous hen!"

I turn 29 next week - does that mean my teeth are going to wear down faster and my skin look even rougher under flouroscent lighting? Just kidding, but man: where does time go? "Tut-tut," say the older ones, "29 is nearly a baby."

And finally (this dwarf blue spruce is a favorite of mine), look at all the lovely textures and colors in our backyard. Squeeze took this picture the other day. I think it is be-a-utiful!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Feeling teary-eyed...

My heart is broken. I've been reading about Reactive Attachment Disorder, spurred on from reading this blog post last week and keeping up with this blog over the past several months. Both involve institutionalized orphans & the effects of neglect.

Poor things!

Monday, September 25, 2006

EDO did it!

A fine example of what happens when a little brother gains free reign of a digital video camera:

These pictures were taken last December in the very fine (and wet) Pacific Northwest at the Happy Hollow Christmas Tree farm. We were picking out a tree as an entire family, all 7 of us, for the first time in 10 years.

Needless to say, it has always taken a lot of time and many negotiations to pick out the "right" tree. Brother #2, sibling #3 - the bearded one in the 2nd picture (we call him Bison Brent) - was always the most serious in the quest for the Perfect Tree. There is more than one picture from over the years that features him sullen and pouting over a poor tree choice.

I stumbled across these pictures tonight and they made me laugh!

I love you, EDO and BDO.

and JEO

and ALO

and shoooot, while I'm at it: DLO & JACO

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Night, light, & half light

This evening I looked at the clock at 11:12 pm.

Goodnight & adieu ---

Aedh Wishes For The Clothes Of Heaven
William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Note to self:

Weekend trips with a 1 year old are disastrously nightmarish. Especially when all they can say is, "eeeeeeehhh!!" Let's hold off on this for many months, perhaps years; or maybe we'll just never leave the house again.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wool Dipes

We are borrowing a wool diaper cover from our friends Mimi & Jackson; they bought it from a garage sale for 4 dollars. It is hand-made (impressive).

Diagnosis thus far: we like it!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Taking time to smell the onions

Convenience foods simply cut to the chase - as if the only point in preparing a meal is having something to eat. But when you cook, you discover the rewards in slowing down and taking time to smell the onions.

Almost Vegetarian
Diana Shaw

I went to my 10 year high school reunion this past summer, where I saw a former classmate, Joey B., who has been living in Spain the past 2-3 years. Whilst back in the States for the reunion, she was also heading down to Arizona, where she was going to put her house up for sale. "I'm done with the US." she said, "Finished. I'll never live here again." Very curious, I asked her her reasoning and what she said resonated with me bigtime.

"I'm sick of the Rat Race. In Spain, I live in a small apartment, teach 20 hours a week, and I am superbly happy. I'm done with the US," she said. It must be all those siestas!

Seriously, though: The Rat Race.

It is so easy to believe The Lie, which I believe fuels The Rat Race. That we need to have this, and that, and that other thing, to be happy or satisfied. Meals needs to be done in a snap and spending time washing dishes afterwards is a sheer waste of time. Isn't that why we have microwaves and dishwashers? Leisure trumps work (in any form), hands down. Why would I want to have kids?? How would I do this-and-this-and-this-and-this with the responsibility of a child? Let's go shopping! Wheeeeeee!

No wonder why we're all fat and so self-absorbed.

A nebulous stew has been simmering in my mind for the past few years. I feel like I'm onto something, but I can't exactly describe it. (Yet.) Why do we make life such of blur of movement? How can we change it? Getting away from the Race is very appealing to me, but I'm not fully sure how to escape. I'm not even sure if I am in it, or only affected by it: we are absolutely steeped in the culture of the Rat Race.

The first step of freedom is becoming aware of it. The second, I believe, is to start thinking outside of the box, or the confines in which we live. How can we cut back? What can I get rid of? How can I sloooooow doooooown? And another thing, I say ditch all those "living" magazines. They're just out to make a quick buck on all the suckers who want to know, "how to really be happy".
Yuck - gag me with a spoon.

The End.

(Hi Vicky)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Billboards, babies, and pink on pink

We were gone for the weekend: visiting Squeeze's parents in Western MN.

Billboards of note:

  • Babies were born to be breastfed.

The "No W.T. or Tweekers" Billboard was on a private fence, in big bold red letters, with a big circle-slash through and around it. Very bizarre. Tweekers, I am assuming, are meth addicts. But White Trash - who are they?

The "Babies" sign was a sponsored billboard - we went by too fast to see who paid for it. The letters were white, smallish, and in the middle of a large black billboard. I thought it was an extremely interesting propagandistic ploy to get women to breastfeed their babies (one that I whole-heartedly endorse). I've heard that there is pressure on the government to encourage breastfeeding and that the US has the lowest breastfeeding levels in the western world; but to see propaganda like this up close -- fascinating.

On a side note, I also enjoyed seeing the woman in her light pink shirt standing outside of her light pink house.

I just looked at the clock - it is 11:11. Whoa.


I gleefully hit "Publish Post", hoping that 11:11 would be my posting-time, but I see that blogger tracks based on when you start the post, in this case, 10:56 pm, not when you complete it. Bummer.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Midnight Mower

At 9 pm this warm September evening, as I was putting Starbeans to bed, I heard the sound of a lawn-mower start up.

Apparently, the guy across the street has no qualms with mowing the grass in the window-lit light of a dark night. I chuckled with amusement as the smell of freshly-cut grass wafted in through our bedroom window. It will be interesting to see what it looks like tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Our Starbeans

At the age of 13 months, here is a little bit about Starbeans:

  • He goes potty on the toilet almost every morning. When it comes out, he looks down, looks up, and then we both start clapping. I say, "Yayyyyy! Starbeans went potty on the toilet! That's so good." while he hollers, "Ahhhhhhhh!" (his version of yay).
  • He is obsessed with putting things inside other things. For example: blocks in a bucket, kitchen utensils into the clothes basket, toys in his pack-n-play, newspaper through the baby gate and down the stairs, etc.
  • He is starting to look at books! He looks through his current favorite, My Little Word Book, every night before we go to bed.
  • He is becoming more agile during cat-attacks: he can now corner them, grab a tuft of fur, and go down for the tackle from various positions. The body-slam used to be more a little more shaky and not quite as flexible.
  • He wants to walk everywhere.

and the kicker:

  • Today, while pausing to watch the introduction of Sid & Marty Krofft's Land of the Lost (a favorite of Squeeze's from childhood), he was totally and completely freaked out by the roaring dinosaur chasing the Marshalls. He clenched his fists, started shaking, made faces like he was going to cry, and squeaked out a couple of moans. !!! It was astounding. Where does a 13 month old gain any reference for the fact that monsters, or in this case, dinosaurs, are scary?? I was impressed.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Bride's Keepsake Book

Squeeze and I were married 6 years ago, approx 2 months before I turned 23. I had just graduated from college and thought the whole wedding thing was pretty sissy.

I did, however, buy a vintage 1976 (the year before I was born) copy of The Bride's Keepsake Book. I found it at a thrift store the very summer we were married.

I updated it with pictures and some stories, swatches of cloth from our dresses, and the song list from our Wedding Soundtrack. I'm glad I did - it is fun to look back on. However, I had always looked at the Wedding Gifts section of The Bride's Keepsake Book and thought, "Who has time for that?" Funny, since just within the last year, I relished going through Squeeze's maternal Grandmother's bridal keepsake book. I loved looking at everyone's names, seeing what gift they gave, and figuring out their connection to the family.


I updated my copy of The Bride's Keepsake Book. I just finished today.

It all started last week, when I pulled out the old standby How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. It was a wedding gift; one that I've used quite a bit. I like how he talks about the recipes before going into the details, like, "The US must be very removed from the kitchen to have allowed pancake mixes a hold on the market, because they are ridiculously easy to make".

As I opened the cookbook, I thought about its status as a Wedding Gift but I had no idea who it came from. What a shame! I stated such to Squeeze, then wondered out loud about all of our wedding cards in the big plastic bag stored in one of our cupboards. Squeeze promptly went to the cupboard, pulled out the bag, and began going through the cards until he found the Cookbook Giver. Harley S. (& family): one of my beloved professors from college. That makes the cookbook twice as nice! He even wrote in the card of his fondness for it.

So. I brought out my 1976 The Bride's Keepsake Book, found the very blank Wedding Gifts section, and began transcribing all of our gifts and the givers, divided between our MN reception and WA reception. It has been so much fun. First of all, being able to connect various household items, kitchen tools, and other miscellany with the people who actually gave them to us: very cool. Now I can think of these people as I rinse peas in our colander, or weigh myself on our bathroom scale. I love it!

The other thing that struck me is all the life changes amongst my kin and acquaintance since the year 2000: death, divorce, marriage, and children. Death stands out the most starkly, followed by divorce. Jack and Peggy L. are no longer Jack and Peggy L. - it is now simply Peggy L. My heart aches with the reality of life (death). Entering both of their names on the registry felt so normal, and yet - he was gone as I wrote it.

9/11/06 conclusion:
Re-reading this post is like falling down a waterfall. It just ends; hacked. I don't have the time to edit into coherence, yet I don't want to delete it either. Therefore: it is what it is. A waterfall.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Today, we woke up deliciously chilly and had to close our windows. I made my favorite soup: White Bean with Vegetables, Garlic, & Rosemary. Starbeans is wearing clothes for what seems like the first time since May. The sky is cloudy instead of beating us senseless with stifling sun rays.

It has come. Autumn!

Friday, September 08, 2006

13 hours: A new world record

Sheesh. We just ended a 13 hour No-Nap Marathon.

Aside from a 10 minute power nap (the dreaded Car Nap), Starbeans was balls to the wall the entire day: 8:30 am to 9:30 pm. I am so tired! Getting him (finally) to sleep was sweet relief; but it wasn't for lack of trying. I've been giving it a shot off and on since 7:00 pm, but he would have none of it. One would think a 13 month old would need to crash at some point. But no no no - he was so juiced up that he went down for the night a full 45 minutes later than usual. Good grief!

On a less exhausting note: Towards late afternoon, Starbeans brought 2 shirts to Squeeze - his new thing is to carry articles of clothing around, one in each hand, and flap them in the air. But this time, Squeeze put them on him, one on top of the other and for the rest of the night he toddled around in his enormous robes - it made me giggle with affection just looking at him. Isn't he precious??

Monday, September 04, 2006

Autumnal Delights

Autumn is my favorite season. Although it is only September 4th and I might be jumping the gun a bit, a list has been stewing in my head the last few days. I must enumerate my reasons for loving it. I must.

  • Cool nights
  • Sun-warmed afternoons
  • The scent of withering leaves
  • Fungi!
  • Beautiful berries - yew, snowberry, crab-apple, bittersweet
  • Brats at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market - loaded with sauerkraut and mustard
  • Campfires!
  • Wearing long sleeves & pants, but not being forced into mittens, scarves, and a big coat (yet)
  • The Annual Borealis Fall Extravaganza - Squeeze's family gathers every fall in the Wisconsin woods. Roasting weenies, popping acorns in the fire pit, walks through the brightly yellowed Sugar Maples.
  • School - I used to look forward to this all summer long
  • Cozy, dark nights indoors
  • Pumpkin-Apple Bread!! (Nummy)
  • Canning cranberries