Friday, December 31, 2004

Looking for something specific in 2005?

Read about some superstitions, customs, and rituals from Mexico to manifest what you're looking for in the new year. Hogmanay in Scotland sounds like a fabulous way to start the year. More here. In Sri Lanka, the new year is celebrated in April. It will be a difficult year. From the Iranian Culture Society, an interesting article on Persians and the celebration of the turn of the year.
This New Year's Eve thing is way over-rated. All kinds of pressure to have a fabulous night, new clothes, drinking, and heaps of fun. Like prom. I can't think of a single year when I had that sort of fun. Except maybe the year when I was driving back to Connecticut from Wisconsin with an especially entertaining friend, and we were stranded in some tiny town in Pennsylvania in a snow storm. We went to a local tavern and had dinner and then nearby to a cheesy danceclub for the night. Unplanned fun. Complete with party hats and bad champagne. During that drive we also took photos of every bathroom we stopped in. She must have that collection of photos...I have the 'wet floor' signs we collected along the way. So, in 2004, I'm home with a kid who has a nasty cold and fever. We've been in the house for 2 days now, doing puzzles, watching Land Before Time, and snoozing on the couch. She's actually been quiet. Now we are airing out the house, doing lots of laundry, and trying to get moving after sleeping until 11:30. (one of the perks of being a stay-at-home-mom with a sick kid) She's chatting more and more, that's my gauge of level of illness. After the munchkin is in bed, I plan on making dinner for me and John. Swordfish steaks and wilted collard greens. Some nice wine, maybe rent a movie. And I'll do all of this in jeans and some warm, cozy top and maybe even slippers. Not a bit of sparkle in my ensemble. Any plans?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Add to my list of current addictions: Lágrimas Negras

Bebo & Cigala How is it that I never heard this album before? It is stunning. Gorgeous. Bebo Valdés and Diego 'El Cigala' on their first album. Normally I'm not a huge jazz fan, although I love a couple of artists. This CD is typical Cuban music, but sung with a flamenco twist. Bebo is a master pianist/composer from Cuba, and Cigala is a flamenco singer from Spain. The songs are about love and loss. I can't wait to listen again....but it's the type of album that requires you to listen. Not meant to be background music. And tissues are needed, even if you don't speak Spanish, these songs will get you. Lo interesante: Bebo is 84 years old. Won 2 Grammys last year. 'El Cigala' is a nickname, I think it means lobster from Norway. Don't quote me on that.
This is yet another CD given to me by the world-traveler, long-time friend, and fellow mischief maker: SusyKat. Her generous gifts are among the most magical stuff I have; she has a tendency to draw intense and interesting people and things to her. And share them.
Wondering about the other addictions? I probably shouldn't use that word, as I don't have problems with substances. I do get hooked on one CD at a time. I listen over and over and over. The same thing happens with food. Right now it's sweet potatoes. Well, I don't listen to the sweet potatoes. My husband might say that I'm addicted to handbags, shoes, and I'm on the verge of a sock problem.
Buy the album here.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Another loss for the CHD community

Dr. Drummond-Webb, a pediatric cardiothoratic surgeon and pioneer in the congenital heart defects world, died yesterday. He was 45 years old. He was the first to implant a left venticular assist device in a child just a few months ago. He was a gifted surgeon, loved by patients and their parents. He was one of the only surgeons who performed the surgery to repair a defect like my daughter has. (There are only 3 documented cases of Lily's problem currently living in the US , 48 documented cases ever) Lily had her surgery in Boston, but when I joined an online support list, I met another mom with a son who has a very similar defect to Lily. His repair was done by Dr. Drummond-Webb. Here I am painting the picture of my connection to him, but anyone who loves someone with a heart defect has a connection to this man. He has saved many, many children, and allowed even more a chance at a longer, happier life. I can't imagine the stress of his job. I'm so saddened by his death. AHA's Fact Sheet on Congenital Heart Defects My favorite site for explaining CHD to the non-cardiologically inclined Read about some families affected by CHD I hold Chasmyn responsible for getting me addicted to blogging, and we met through a support list for parents of CHDers. Read about her sweet boy Quinn.

Friday, December 24, 2004

~safe and happy holidays to you~

Anything can happen. Anything can be. -Shel Silverstein

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I'm done.

I say this shopping, wrapping, creating is done. Except for the food I'm bringing to gatherings tonight, tomorrow night, and Saturday. Here are the capes I made for the kids, a cheery hat and scarf for Lilster, and a necklace for someone I hope is too busy to read my blog today. Now I'll try and simply enjoy the anticipation that is about to make my daughter burst to bits. She's talking more than normal. Those who know her understand my pain. Sunrise to when I wrestle her into bed she is talking. Or singing. Her preschool had a holiday program yesterday. It won't surprise you that we both videotaped and took photos. The teacher told me that they expected Lily to carry the class through the program, which she did. Loud, proud, and off-key, without rhythm, and made-up melody. It was fabulous.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

In no particular order

1. Kitschy apron 2. New tarot cards 3. Heart bag 4. Tights 5. Socks 6. More socks 7. and MORE socks 8. Toilet seat(to go in the snowglobe bathroom)


The Sun is born again today
We greet the sun's first morning rays,
We sing and celebrate the light,
The Sun's born in the longest night.
Starhawk and Anne Hill~from "Circle Round"

Saturday, December 18, 2004


I am having 21 people for dinner tomorrow. I have much cleaning and cooking to do. Instead I'm checking out my blogroll, and avoiding the oven. If you're wondering where I am tonight, I'm preparing a feast. Just made brownies with M&Ms for the kidlets, and truffles rolled in pistachios and chocolate for the adults. Now I need to organize myself for an early morning kitchen party, in which I plan on listening to Ani DiFranco while preparing roasted root vegetables, baked acorn squash with garlic and pine nuts, spinach, prosciutto and melon salad, mashed potatoes, roast beef, and asparagus. I'm hungry now! Good thing I enjoy cooking. The outlaws arrive tomorrow at 1:00. I'll have a martini about 12:30, and simply try to be amused all day. Wish me luck.
Bumper stickers spotted today:
Fermer le Bush!

Friday, December 17, 2004


Crime scene. Suspect currently under investigation.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

this is the furry creature I love most
(don't tell the dog)

Some kinda cracker

Lily: Did we miss the graham cracker? Me: Your graham cracker house is on the mantel, nicely decorated. Lily: Not that one. You know, the one with the dancing candies? Me: Oh. Yes, we did miss the Nutcracker. Maybe we'll go next year. earlier that day after an aggressive driver tailgated us and then dangerously cut us off (to teach me a lesson about driving the speed limit, I suppose): Me: Ugh! What an asshole! From the backseat: What is an asshole, mommy? Me: It's not a nice word, Lil, I shouldn't have used it. From the backseat: OK, mommy. Then I won't say asshole, either. Does daddy know we shouldn't say asshole? Me: Yes, I'm sure he knows. From the backseat: Can we say asshole to the pets? Do you think that person in the other car could hear you? You would probably hurt his feelings by saying asshole. You should say you're sorry. Me: Don't say it again. From the backseat: OK. You're right. I won't say asshole ever again. Not a nice word.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

More on Texas moms

and others who kill: a religious connection.

Monday, December 13, 2004

I'm always looking for the humorous bits in life. Like to keep that light, playful stuff around me. I am somewhat challenged in this situation....but I am making my best effort.
Traditionally, John's siblings (two sisters, one brother), all buy gifts for each other's children. There are six children total. I'm not a huge consumer, and I've been protesting this for several years now. How many gifts does one kid need, anyway? Last year, at the THIRD holiday gathering for his family, the two sisters and the two sisters-in-law (including me) had a conversation about ending this madness.
On this past Thanksgiving, we gathered at the eldest sister's home. She has a lovely home, and as long as we keep the conversation to decorating and driving directions, we get along famously. This year week she is into the Raw Diet. Yes, she hosted Thanksgiving, and served a raw pumpkin pie. When I questioned her about the two Tylenol gelcaps at the bottom of the vase of the centerpiece, she informed me that aspirin extend the life of flowers. She firmly believes that tractor-trailers are not allowed on the highways on Sundays; therefore this is the best day of the week for travel. Also subjects on which she is an expert: anything she has read about this month. Getting the picture? She protested loudly and at length about John marrying me. I should stop now.
I suggested that each cousin choose a name, and then each child will have one gift to open at the holiday gathering. Our budget is tight, we can't afford gifts for all the kids. All four women agreed. Enough with the gifts. So.....when I called the ring leader (big sis) to ask about trading names, she informed me that after we left the Thanksgiving party, they decided to buy gifts for all the kids anyway. I felt my blood pressure rise a little, but then John and I started to have fun with it. You see, we are hosting the party. Big sis has turned down every invite to our home. John's family doesn't exactly have the same taste in art that we do, and actually avert their eyes from the many female nudes in our home. So that got us thinking. Most of what we display they find confusing, if not offensive. Today I did some rearranging. I put two nudes, an oil painting by Detritus, and a new and overwhelmingly generous gift I got this week from a friend. (actually, he is the artist, Jason Werner) It will keep us amused the whole day to see the confusion. It will help to balance out our stress level in dealing with the misogynists and racists. I don't use the words lightly.
Then we started in on homemade gifts we could create. If you have any ideas, let me know. I set the date for the party for the 18th. Big sis called tonight to see what see could bring (anything as long as it's cooked), and informed me that the party is actually the 19th. Silly me.

Overheard at 4 a.m.

Kid (sleepy, cute soft voice): Daddy, can I please have some milk? Dad (apparently dreaming of tile work): Is it set up yet? Kid: Daddy, what did you say? Dad: Is the grout ready to go? Kid: (loudly): I don't know how to answer that question! I just want some milk!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Santa, please bring this

for our puppy, Willow. You see, she pees on the floor in the house when it's raining. Or worse, on my hubby's side of the bed. She doesn't like to get her princess butt wet. Other than that, she's been a good girl. You can buy it at Cool Stuff Cheap. Via Popgadget

More happy Sunday...

Went to the Festival of Trees at the Wadsworth Atheneum today. Tried out the new camera, and it has many different features than the one I smashed. It will take some time for me to figure it out. Here is what one room looked like at the Festival. It's a gorgeous museum. I bought myself a new piece of jewelry at the museum shop. I adore snowglobes, this was a $2 purchase I couldn't pass up. I only like the plastic snowglobes, the cheesier, the better. *sigh* soooo glad to have my camera. I guess I am addicted. At least I didn't break the computer.

Happy Sunday

My fabulous husband is going out to get me this now:
I'll post some new pics when I get it figured out. I'm happy.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Go look! It's fun!

I stopped in at Chasmyn's and got this very pleasant news: Go look at the teaser trailer. Yes, it involves Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and Danny Elfman. And we have to wait until July to see more. In addition to that happy news, there's lots more happiness over at the Purple Goddess. Go check it out and wish her well!

Friday, December 10, 2004


Apparently we have some serial killers in the making here in Hartford: Cats burned and hanged in Hartford Infuriating.


THE LEAVES, like women, interchange Sagacious confidence; Somewhat of nods, and somewhat of Portentous inference, The parties in both cases Enjoining secrecy,— Inviolable compact To notoriety.

~Emily Dickinson, born on this day, 1830

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Busy, busy, busy

Since I like creating stuff, and we are completely broke from starting this new business, it's a homemade holiday this year. Before my camera split into pieces, I got several shots. With stuff from the garden, we made flavored vinegar and homemade soaps. Rosemary, oregano, and garlic in red wine vinegar, and hand-crafted soap balls with several scents: rosemary, mint, citrus, and chamomile. You can see them here, already packaged with some dried bits and pieces from the garden. And the ever fun Shrinky Dink project....these are glass charms from shrinkable plastic. This set is vintage movies posters. I also made tarot cards, Monopoly cards, seed packages, and Wacky packs stickers. I got the idea from the extrodinarily crafty ljc fyi. Miss Lily made ornaments by just rolling paper and stuffing it into clear glass ornaments. Thanks, Z. ;) ~~~~camera then smashes to bits~~~~ You'll have to take my word on the rest. I knit a few of those l-o-n-g scarves that are so in now, I made five fabulous 'superman' capes, inspired by these done by ljc. Now a few ideas for you, especially (but not limited to) if there are kids around to help: Birdseed ornaments 1. Use white bread, and cut out a festive shape with a cookie cutter. 2. Dunk the bread (both sides) into melted Crisco or melted fat from the butcher. 3. Press both sides into birdseed, then sprinkle corn meal over the whole thing. 4. Use a pencil tip to make a small hole at the top, and set the ornament on waxed paper to dry. 5. After a few hours, tie a string through the hole, and it's ready to hang on a tree outside! Magic Reindeer Food (I stole this from a product I saw in a store) Fill a bag with edible bits...I used oatmeal, cereal, and flax seeds. Add a bit of glitter. Attach a card explaining that the food is the reindeer's favorite treat, and if the children sprinkle some in the yard, the reindeer are sure to find their house quickly. It's a great little gift for the small kids.

Monday, December 06, 2004

I dropped it

And it broke. My digital camera is not functioning. In fact, it is in several pieces. I was taking photos of all my projects for the holidays, which involve the garden, sewing machine, knitting needles, and shrinky dinks. The funds are soooo low right now, so I can't replace it. My camera is an essential tool in my house. I guess I was a little too attached to it. Well, you can't see any new fun photos from me, but hop over to Mac's place and see how she's decorated her dog, Murphy. Oh, and cross your fingers for me that I can create a way to get a new camera quickly, don't want to miss any photo opportunities with the kid this season.

Friday, December 03, 2004

A gift?

My mom (in Wisconsin) mentioned that she found a fabulous little top for me at one of my niece's favorite stores. My niece is 13. This arrived in the mail today. With this note.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

It's never boring

Recent moments of amusement: For the past two days, my daughter has insisted on wearing this. Not only does she wear it, but stays in character. Always. I can not refer to her as 'Lily', as she will ONLY respond to 'Rudolph'. Of course, I am Santa. She ate raw carrots today for lunch. One shopkeeper was so taken with her extreme imagination that she gave her bell anklets to add to the madness. While moving some furniture this past weekend, we came up with a form of kid control: the Lilyroll. It could also be considered a new flavor of sushi, I guess. We are going to see the Nutcracker ballet. We tried a ballet class only once. It looked like this. (yes, those are the ballet slippers on her hands.) That is sort of a dance lessons, thankfully hockey is not appealing to her, and she's still unable to direct a ball where she intends. I'm crossing my fingers that the cello will work out for her. ;)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Alphabet of Desire

V=Virgin in Vinyl The Alphabet of Desire is certainly different than the alphabet sticker book Lily created. The artist, Yuko Shimizu, is looking for a publisher to turn this series into a book. via La Petite Claudine