Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why I married my husband Reason #57; or Happy Thanksgiving!

I have recently discovered a love of making bread. I find it really exciting to literally make food. By combining things that, alone, do not really constitute food; you can create a yummy, healthy and versatile happy loaf of goodness. I think that's neat.

I'm making rolls for Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house this year. Our babies' first Thanksgiving and her first Thanksgiving in her new home (a short walk away from mine). We're pretty jazzed and are enough past the new baby stage to be able to take on projects to make this holiday a little more fancy than it has to be. What good is being a SAHM if you don't take the time to make things special?

I'm also in charge of one of those dips where you pour a prepared jar of sauce on top of some cream cheese. I got some tasty pomegranate chipotle sauce that came from Fredricksburg (one of my husband's and my fave places), but that wasn't quite fancy enough, so my sister and I decided it would be cute if I molded the cheese to be a festive shape for the occasion (you know, like you do). With our powers combined we rustled up squirrel and acorn shaped cookie cutters and I had my task set. I had never molded cream cheese using a cookie cutter (or anything else for that matter), but nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh?

Upon cramming the gooey-ness into the shapes I realized that I would never get it to be nice and flat and perfect (like a jello jiggler), so I decided to push it out right away and sculpt them into presentability. They pushed out better than I'd hoped and sculpting went smoothly because I didn't lose sight of the fact that it was a dip to be eaten, not a work of art. I did have a little Stepford moment of zen when I was completely absorbed in the task though.

I was pretty happy with it, but couldn't decide if I wanted to leave the eye just sculpted, or if I wanted to put a little clove in the cheese for the squirrel eye. I decided I could be just a little insane at that point, so I brought it into my husband to ask him what he thought; prefacing the question by telling him that it was silly. His response was that I, of course, needed to put the clove in, that it wasn't a silly question and that he loved me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turkish Delights!

I really need to go to bed now, so no time for a real post. Just wanted to share my new treasury, a tribute to some amazing artisans all the way in Turkey! I kept running across lovely items and finding many of them originating there, so decided to highlight these glorious sellers. Hope you guys like it!

Ugh. I think I'm getting sick. Husband has early shift, so I can't sleep in. Hope I don't feel worse in the morning; it will not be a fun day if I do.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hear! Hear!

I am somewhat frequently peeved by Usage and Abusage of the English language. I'm the first to admit that I am far from perfect and am sure I am guilty of many faux pas in my written and spoken speech. The language is an odd one, full of wiggle room and exceptions. It is also a living, changing thing and can, therefore, be subject to the whims and tendencies of those using it. However, there are some wiggles and exceptions that I am not comfortable with; lest we devolve into the grunts and epithets spoken by the human race in the frighteningly plausible Idiocracy (by Mike Judge).

I took advanced English throughout my schooling. My mother started out her illustrious teaching career as an English teacher. I've been a proofreader in a professional setting. When I take the quizzes that are supposed to be able to tell you where you're from by your vernacular, the result is General American English. I have a reasonable grasp of what is and what isn't when it comes to grammar, punctuation and spelling. I try to always put two spaces after the end of a sentence* (even in texting). I admit that I'm a bit of a stickler and a dork, though I try to be as gracious as possible and mostly just worry about myself. Everyone makes mistakes. I have a chronic difficulty in spelling receive and surprise and my husband and I are constantly looking things up and learning things from each other. I often refer to websites for grammar and punctuation rules. Please do not take this as me putting myself out there as any kind of authority.

My whole life I thought that if something made sense with what you knew from past experience it "jived" with what you knew. Come to find out from Bryan that it actually "jibes" with what you know.


John: "Sally wants to go to the Renaissance Fair this weekend."

Trevor: "That jibes with everything I know about her."

I used the word "champing" (at the bit) and my husband hadn't heard it before. We looked it up and found out the "chomping at the bit" and "champing at the bit" are both accepted phrases.

Just this morning I wanted to agree heartily with someone on Facebook; but before I did, I had Bryan look it up so that I could clarify for myself whether it was "Here! Here!" or "Hear! Hear!" (the latter is correct).

It's an odd language. The important thing is to admit that we're all just doing our best and to check yourself; also to remove the stigma of helpful reminders from those around us when we blunder. That said, here are a few mistakes I've seen/heard repeatedly in recent months and would like to set the record straight (at least in my little corner of the internet).

I'm fairly certain that most of these are brought about by mishearing someone else and thinking you've heard them correctly, then using that version; or hearing enough people saying something incorrectly and thinking that they must be in the right. I've also encountered problems when someone has only read a word and never heard it spoken, though these are not examples of that situation.


"Loose" is the opposite of tight.

"Lose" is the action of misplacing something.


"Welt" is a raised bump on your skin.

"Whelp" is a young dog or wolf. Can also be used in slang to refer to a child or a young, impudent person.


It's Wheelbarrow.


"Breath" is what comes out of your mouth when you "Breathe"


"Moot" refers to something being doubtful or debatable: A moot point.

"Mute" refers to a person incapable of speech or the act of silencing something.


"Peel" is the natural covering of a fruit, such as a banana peel.

"Peal" is a loud burst of noise, as from bells or laughter. Ex: "There were peals of laughter coming from the cafeteria."

The word is not spelled or pronounced "Vo-lump-tuous". Even though it refers to lovely lady lumps, there's no "lump" in voluptuous.

Supposedly should not be pronounced "Supposively."

Could've is an abbreviation for "could have;" as in "I could have done something about it, but I chose not to." It isn't "could of."

One that I foul up all the time is an expression. I could have cared less/I couldn't have cared less.

It is so easy and common to say "I could care less." This, in writing, becomes abundantly clear as an ineffectual statement; but in everyday speech is less obviously wrong. It's easier to say than "I couldn't care less." That doesn't make it right.

Side note: I was interested to read about the origin of the word "O.K." on the yahoo home page the other day. If you didn't catch it, it was a fad in the 1850s(ish) to take a common phrase and then abbreviate it as though it were misspelled. Ex: "no good" was expressed by saying "K.G" - as if the expression were spelled "know good." Weird, huh? "O.K" is abbreviated from "oll korrect."

In short, I know that much of our common and accepted language has evolved from humble human tendencies/preferences/misconceptions/habits; but I guess I just hope that these words aren't getting muddy already. I don't want to see the language degenerate any faster than it has to.

*Upon inserting this text into Blogspot, all my lovingly typed spaces were messed up. Feel free to point out any hypocrisies you find in this post, but I already found that one!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


My best friend and one of the Godmothers to my daughter, Nathalie, had to move away from Austin to San Antonio a couple of months after her own daughter was born, who is now only 4.5 mos. old. My husband, Dicey and I went to visit them.

They are renting a house with well established landscaping, the showiest of which were the zinnias which joyfully crowded their front walk. I felt like sharing these with you.

I've recently become quite fond of zinnias. I purchased some on clearance at my local megalo hardware store and they went ape in my front yard. Then they shriveled up and turned brown. I pulled them up by the roots, but more popped up with our little second summer here in Texas. It seems like they spread, which, with their happy color and jubilant tiny flowers in the centers, could only be good as far as I can tell. I love the red one's little flower crown and how the pink one just has the one tiny fleur. So fun! Zinnia Love!

Monday, November 9, 2009


I went to an art fair to check out the lovely katinkapinka's booth of delightful curiosities and was totally blindsided by the opportunity to meet one of my favorite artists, none other than the utterly charming Tom Tierney! My sister had arrived earlier than I did and was the one to alert me by cell phone as the venue was confusing and convoluted and we had no chance of finding each other in person. As luck would have it, I was very close to where she was, so I didn't have to wait long before I got to meet, hug and chat with this lovely man.
I grew up loving his paper doll books, as my mother had several. They were special and not to be cut up, but they were so artful and engaging that I didn't really mind. (I think I did try to cut one up once though, sorry mom!). I now try to acquire them whenever I come across them at the second hand bookstore my husband works for. If I bought them new, I would be in the poor house, they're inexpensive, but geez this man is prolific! I can only hope to be as vibrant and relevant when I'm 81 yrs. old!

He was born in Texas :D*, has lived in New York, but last year decided to move to Smithville (small town between Austin and Houston) to be closer to his family. I couldn't be more thrilled. He has a studio there with a shop underneath and they're having a paper doll party in March! I'm also fortunate to have an artist husband who not only knows who he is, but likes his work and totally appreciates all this and is on board for us making the day trip with our baby girl.

He was exceedingly gracious, giving me an autograph and telling us the most amazing stories from his impressive, decade spanning career. Including how he met Greta Garbo and the impeccable Erte!!!

He also walked us through several of his books, telling us interesting facts and tidbits about movie and costume history that you can only get from a firsthand account. It was amazing.
I could have listened to him all day and hope to visit with him some more when I go to the paper doll party. (who wouldn't want to go to a paper doll party?!)

Anyway, I thought I would share, as it's always notable when one meets an art hero. Plus, some of you may have been unaware of his work, so I'm thrilled to offer him some unnecessary exposure! I could go on and on, but wanted to post this ASAP.

In other news, I actually have a treasury up right now! It's a miracle whenever this happens as it's tricky business. Please go check it out and click on the links, I think the amount of traffic helps it to be eligible for the front page!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Is upon me! Now that Halloween is past, I feel a little crazed about all the things I want to get done by Christmas, which seems to loom large in the very near future. I'm also full of holiday spirit as I remember my holidays last year leading up to my daughter being born just before midnight on Christmas day. I'm excited to think of all the traditions that we'll create in the years to come and defying the odds of Christmas birthdays being a drag. My husband and I are committed to making her birthday just as special, if not more so, as if it were any other time of year. So there!

I have several custom orders from friends and family to complete; makes me feel good to be busy, even if it's business from biased sources, it's still business!

My headaches have subsided for the most part. I wonder if I was stressed about Halloween? Surprising, but maybe that was it. Halloween was wonderful, incidentally. I couldn't have asked for a better 1st one for my baby girl. She had a great day. While I got ready she played with all my stage makeup on the floor of the bathroom. We visited her Daddy at his work (a bookstore) along with my sister and her family, who were also in costume.
A pit stop at the smoothie place afterwards was grand fun and delighted the smoothie girls as well. On the way to the car, D had a blowout and got her entire outfit dirty, but I had taken her important costume components off already and had spares of what she was wearing. I also didn't have any wipes with me (she really never has these blowouts, it was quite the fluke) but it happened when Celena was still very close by so the Bears came to the rescue and it ended up being no big deal. The weather was really nice too.

Then we went to our neighbors' little girl's birthday/Halloween party; where Dicey got to have a couple nibbles of cake and found lots of things to pick up off the floor and was so excited to be in a crowd of kids. She was totally comfortable in her costume, which made me want to burst with pride.
We hung out on the neighbors' driveway, playing with tiny pumpkins and kids until it started to get dark and trick or treaters were coming. Dicey waved at the kids when they came to our door and got to meet her first parrot, Gustavo!
We kept the babies up a little bit late because of daylight savings time, which was fun because D likes to stay up later than normal for exciting things. The Bears stayed and we watched ridiculous horror movies while passing out candy and eating pizza.

I'm in denial about Christmas present shopping though. I hope I don't start getting headaches before every holiday!