28 September 2005

Things Found Whilst Cleaning Out the Attic

Technically, a loft. But no better than an attic till we empty it!

I have been having an AMAZING time emptying boxes and boxes of STUFF. Some of this stuff is GOOD stuff, some is BAD stuff (you know..the mouse turds..), and some is really ODD or TIMELY stuff.

1) Color copies of some scrolls I illuminated while serving as a scribe in the SCA. PERFECT TIMING! I have 'princess' themed scrapbooking papers to review, some of which are appropriate for medieval, not just fantasy...woohoo!

2) A new-looking toothbrush of unknown origin. Again with the weirdly good timing! I posted just last night on Scrap Friends asking about cleaning mini bundt pans which aren't as non stick as they claim to be (ok..aren't non stick at ALL)...and the answer my friends gave was 'an old toothbrush'. Time to boil up this old-new toothbrush and put her to work!

3) My passport..which expired in 1994. Ah, the memories.

4) MY LOCK BOX!! MY LOCK BOX!! This thing was misplaced TWO moves ago...and it holds birth certificates, vehicle titles, ALL of the ID I need to get my NJ plates etc...woohoo! WOOHOO I SAY!!

5) Some kind of brand new combo bottle opener/can opener whatchamajiggy. I guess it was DH's? I like the separate ones I have - the bottle opener is magnetic, so I can always find it on the fridge, and my can opener has a comfortable grip...so this one's on the curb near the other stuff, with the "FREE PLEASE TAKE" sign. Who wants to wait for a garage sale? Let's get it out now!!

6) DH's resumes. Again, good timing! These haven't been updated in 6 or so years.

7) PRESCRIPTION SUNGLASSES! Mine! Current Prescription! Brand new! I completely forgot I owned these! Got 'em right before we went to the Crawfish Festival for IMC's birthday...which would be about 5 years ago. Found it in a backpack with other items from the Crawfish Fest. Hot DOG!

8) Ground Ginger. I *told* DH I knew I had ground ginger somewhere! How the heck it got UPstairs I don't know...but now I feel justified for not having purchased a replacement for so long!

To be continued..as I clear out more STUFF.

27 September 2005

Wish List

The little things that would just make my life...prettier. That I always forget to pick up for myself until I really could use them...then forget about again till next time. Maybe writing them here will make them come true :)

1) New, beautiful kitchen set: hot mitts, towels, potholders. Mine are sooo ratty (or partially blackened)!
2) Set of Flylady featherdusters
3) New covered garbage cans for outside. 3 of 'em.

26 September 2005

Wendys. (Plural.)

I pulled out my Wendy Bucklew CD tonight, and it's playing now. For the second time in a row. I bought it after seeing her play at a little coffeehouse type place in Atlanta, one that I'd heard the Indigo Girls frequented when they were in town. There was a mini music festival of sorts, a handful of local singer-songwriters there, and though I couldn't tell you who else played that night, Wendy stood out.

First of all, there was the hair. You really weren't quite sure what her face looked like, because she wore a gigantic mane of thick, coarse-looking, curly-as-all-getout hair, and she had this way of ducking her head over her acoustic guitar so that her face was perpetually obscured.

Then of course, there were the songs. Her voice was...throaty? Soulful. She had a funny, self-depracating sense of humor, fully revealed in her witty but heartwarming lyrics, her playful melodies. They spoke to me. There's something refreshing, funky-in-a-good-way, alive, about them. My second favorite song is "My Heart Might..." ("I would never dance with two left feet...but my heart might.") But my first is this:

I Know the Feeling

Is there a love in your life
Your lucky charm
Your secret vice
Who touches you in all the right places
One who takes their time
One who takes your breath
And sends you up, up, up, up high?
I know
I know the feeling well
I know
I know the feeling well

There's a love in my life
My other wing
My tunnel's light
Who reads to me from all the best pages
One who takes their time
One who takes my breah
And sends me up, up, up, up high
I know
I know the feeling well
I know
I know the feeling well
Let all the love inside come out to play
Tag! You're "it"!
But don't run away
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Wish I could put the melody in your head as you read this. I tried finding a Wendy Bucklew homepage to link here, but the only one I can find currently reads, "Under Construction."
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

So it's listening to these songs again that got me thinking about Wendys. It seems to me that I haven't known too many Wendys over the years, but the ones I remember have been a pretty darned talented bunch. I remember a Wendy that I bowled with in high school. Kuipers. I think she was in my Saturday classic league at interstate, and I think I ran into her during Varsity bowling meets, too. But what I remember about her is mostly this: she had talent. She had the highest average I knew of for a girl our age - I think she was a year older than I - and but gosh was I intimidated by her. She was on the All American bowling team in college, and I know the JBT (Junior Bowlers Tour) has her ranked among the highest ranking bowlers ever. I wouldn't be surprised to find her bowling on the women's pro bowling tour now. Oh, and I think she aced her SAT's or something too. Wendy.

Then there's another Wendy I know, if only virtually. Wendy Price. Not that I know her well, or even know much ABOUT her. But I run into her on scrapbooking boards now and again, where she goes by WendyP, and she's on the Memory Villa design team with me. What I know about her is: the girl can scrap! Take a look at her layouts: http://www.mvlayouts.com/gallery/Wendy-Price See what I mean?

And you know what I think of Wendy from Peter Pan? There's a chick who has her head screwed on right.

There's just something about that name. Wendy.

22 September 2005

Tonight's Menu

Monday September 26:
Just me and the babies tonight. Corn on the cob, rice, Gorton's fish sticks, Bush's vegetarian baked beans. Fresh baked rice muffins.

Sunday September 25:
Fresh honeydew melon; Pan Fried Chicken Livers with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper; egg noodles with chicken gravy (defrosted leftover from chicken paprikash last week); peas.

Saturday, September 24
Garlic London Broil, onions and mushrooms sauteed with garlic and rosemary, fresh baked sesame-topped chalah with honey.

Friday, September 23, 2005
Perch fillets baked with oregano, thyme, pepper and lemon juice; leftover potato soup.

Thursday, September 22, 2005
Tomato-mushroom salad with onions and homemade avocado-mustard-dill dressing, crockpot potato soup (thanks to my friend Nancy, who posted it at http://forum.scrapfriends.us), Gorton's fish sticks, fresh greenbeans and (leftover) steamed cauliflower. Fresh melon for dessert.

Ralph's Words

Ralph's first (purposefully) spoken word was EGG. "aaah"...said very gently, often while holding the refrigerator door. He's been using 'egg' the last couple of weeks. Now his vocabulary acquisition is picking up pace:

1) egg (a favorite food - no yolk, please!)
2) apple (Ralph got to pick up the apples in grandma's yard in Wisconsin while
we visited there, and had so much fun throwing them and
putting them in grandma's bucket!)
2) out (said slowly and gently, asking politely, while standing at the front door)
3) popcorn (puh-BATA!)
4) hat
5) ball
6) bubbles
7) MAMA!

Tonight's menu: rib steak with Iron Chef sesame garlic sauce, fresh steamed cauliflower, Healthy Harvest pasta. Last night's apple cake for dessert.

21 September 2005

Memories: The Creek at Red Rock

Oh, how I love cleaning out the loft. Find from this morning:

The Creek at Red Rock

I took my sister down to the creek sometimes. She objected to crunching through the twigs and dead leaves covering the forest floor on the way there, and she was afraid of snakes,though we never did see any. My little brown poodle Co-Co came sometimes too, sniffing around the woods, trying to smell everything he couldn't smell in the suburbs. Never able to make it down the steep embankment to the water, he would bark at me from the edge of the woods, guarding me from ashore. The adults didn't come at all.
"My" creek is actually the thirty yards or so of it that touches my grandparents' land. Downstream, it crosses the street under a bridge and widens out on someone else's land. Upstream, I only know that it keeps on going, further into the woods, and onto someone else's property. One bank of the creek lines the side of the farm, edged by a strip of woods a good fifteen feet thick. The incline here is so steep that I used to rely on the young saplings to keep me from tumbling to the rocky water beneath. The other bank is very narrow and even steeper, leading directly up to the street. That unclimbable bank is covered with goldenrod, prickly shrubs, stalky pink and violet flowers, and ant-covered Queen Anne's lace.
I never missed a trip to this place when we visited Red Rock; I always brought a spare set of clothing 'just in case.' Once when I was ten, I made one last trip to the water right before we left for home. Two men were fishing way upstream, a father and a son, I guessed, standing on the bank and talking loudly. I wanted to show these men that this was my place; I wanted them to admire how easily I crossed over the rocks. I was also proud because I was wearing a brand new outfit that day -- black black jeans, a shiny red blouse with a butterfly collar, and a velvety black vest with rhinestones on it. The shoes I don't remember, but they weren't sneakers, and they weren't meant for climbing slippery rocks. One moment I was proudly crossing the creek, and the next I was sitting in a foot and a half of cold water. At first I was mortified that the fishermen had heard the gigantic splash, but they didn't even notice me.
Most of my journeys were less adventurous. I had to find a safe place to cross the narrow stream. The banks were too steep to sit on, so I either perched on the largest of the boulders or crouched in whatever dry sand I could find. I looked for the two-inch silver fish that swam in the middle of the widest parts. Sometimes I threw pebbles into the midst of them, just to see them dart away.
If I was lucky, and it was a sunny day, I would fin tiny frogs sunning themselves on the rocks. I didn't want to disturb them; I just wanted to touch them. But the frogs didn't like my friendly gestures, and soon they were scrambling for cover under the larger rocks, where they lived. I could have spent hours trying to coax them back out into the sun, but usually I got bored and left. If I returned after a while, though, there they would be, taking in the sun as if I had never been by.
My biggest challenge, however, lay under the bridge. The creek was wider there than at any other place I knew of, maybe six or seven feet across. There were no rocks there, and the only way to get under the bridge was to shuffle along the foot-wide ledges on either side of the water. The water wasn't deep, but my fear of water snakes and stepping on something I couldn't see kept me out of it whenever possible. The underside of the bridge was only about five feet from the surface, and the ledge began a few inches above that, so the taller I got, the more I had to duck. The sun didn't penetrate here. It was another world. It always felt ten degrees colder under here, no matter how hot it was outside, and the cement walls were clammy to the touch. The grid-like ceiling was covered with layer upon layer of cobwebs. Sometimes I would run into one, or a spider would suddenly drop in front of me, stratling me so that I would slip into the water and run out into the sun, yelling and frantically waving my arms about my head.
A gigantic fish lived beneath this bridge. This was the fish that the smaller fish swam near whenever they were threatened. Now this fish might have been all of six inches long, but it was the largest fish I had ever seen swimming in my creek. It was shimmering silver, like a larger version of the tiny ones that darted around my toes upstream, but much thicker. The way that fish looked at me, with contempt and challenge in its eyes, convinced me that this fish was not only intelligent but arrogant. I had to show it that I was both smarter and faster. He never left that bridge, however, and that made him extremely hard to catch. The ledge was slippery and narrow, and it was hard to see in the murky darkness.
My chance came one day when I found him dozing only a few inches under the bridge. I crept up behind him, trying to keep my balance on the gravelly, steep bank. He saw me. I splashed my foot down into the water to keep him from going further under the bridge, thrust my arms into the water, and grabbed wildly. My palms closed around the slippery flesh. I was so surprised to feel his violent wriggling in my hands that I instinctively flung him away from me. The fish was no less surprised than I was, and as he raced downstream I imagined him trying to smooth his ruffled scales and regain whatever dignity a fish has.
Last spring I went to Red Rock again, and visited the creek. What I saw of it still looked the same; the water was still running, goldenrod still bloomed on the far bank, and a couple of frogs were sunning on a rock. But now a six-foot barbed wire fence, put up to keep my aunt's dog, Shadow, out of the street, kept me from my little creek. For now, I am content to watch from a distance. One day, though, I just might be found in jeans and a torn tee shirt, trying to get a foothold amidst the burrs and prickles on the nearly perpendicular far bank, scrambling down from the street to see if that fish is still there.

c. 1991
Lynn Anne Christie

20 September 2005

Conversation with Ralph

After dinner conversation with my 27&1/2 month old son, Ralph:

Me: "Who's your favorite person in the whole world?"
Ralph: "MAMA!"
Me: "Who's the prettiest girl in the whole world?"
Ralph: "MAMA!"
Me: "Who's the smartest lady in the whole world?"
Ralph: "MAMA!"
Me: "Who loves you more than anybody?"
Ralph: "MAMA!"

Say it and it's True

You're reading it in my blog, so it must be true: I live an organized life in my lovely home.

When you walk in my front door, the welcoming colors on my painted walls and the beautiful homemade decorations and family photos make you feel instantly at home. A faint yeasty scent from the bread I baked earlier this morning underlies the sweet cinnamon smell wafting from my oven, as the pie finishes baking and the crockpot on the counter completes its day-long work on a hearty lamb and garlic stew. I have just finished arranging stems of brightly colored gladiolas, straight from the flower patch on the hill next to my house, in a gleaming Lenox vase on the table. You settle into a polished chair at the kitchen table as I pour a fresh cup of cinnamon coffee to go with the tin of mandel bread waiting at the table for unexpected drop-in visitors like yourself. I quickly rinse off some fresh strawberries and pour a dollop of cream over them before bringing them over too. Since Ralph is napping, Kaycie is happily exploring a toy on the carpet, and my daily chores are done, you and I have a leisurely conversation over coffee, fruit and mandel bread. We pause, occasionally, to smile at Kaycie as she laughs and engages us the charming brand of conversation only a seven month old can bring to the table.

Welcome to my world!

Menu for tonight: steelhead trout, rice with carmelized onions, dill and garlic. Baking fresh apple cake for later tonight (thanks to my friend Janell for the recipe..she posted it on Scrap Friends this morning).