Saturday, May 31, 2008

The New Kids on the Blog

These papier mache figures will be available June 1 at Glitter and Grunge. And don't forget to check out all of the other artists listed there--so many wonderful new creations every month.

Vintage 1920's label made into a cone (above); Liberty banner (below).

And these are a couple of new things available at The Primitive Gathering beginning June 1. And don't forget to check out all of the other artists listed there. The site updates on the first and fifteenth of every month.

And I Thought My Closets Needed Cleaning Out

[From YahooNews--May 31]
Japanese woman caught living in man's closet
TOKYO - A homeless woman who sneaked into a man's house and lived undetected in his closet for a year was arrested in Japan after he became suspicious when food mysteriously began disappearing.
Police found the 58-year-old woman Thursday hiding in the top compartment of the man's closet and arrested her for trespassing, police spokesman Hiroki Itakura from southern Kasuya town said Friday.
The resident of the home installed security cameras that transmitted images to his mobile phone after becoming puzzled by food disappearing from his kitchen over the past several months.
One of the cameras captured someone moving inside his home Thursday after he had left, and he called police believing it was a burglar. However, when they arrived they found the door locked and all windows closed.
"We searched the house ... checking everywhere someone could possibly hide," Itakura said. "When we slid open the shelf closet, there she was, nervously curled up on her side."
The woman told police she had no place to live and first sneaked into the man's house about a year ago when he left it unlocked.
She had moved a mattress into the small closet space and even took showers, Itakura said, calling the woman "neat and clean."

Friday, May 30, 2008

I've Come a Long Way, Baby. . . Well, Sort Of

I took the plunge: Tadpoles and Teacups now has a shop at Etsy. I joined Etsy a while back, but only just recently sat down and figured out all of the ins and outs of setting up a shop and selling there. (Remember, I'm practically Amish when it comes to all things techno. Just read about my early attempts at learning to post comments in Blog-land. )
I've been busy finishing up some items for Glitter and Grunge and The Primitive Gathering which will update June 1, so Etsy has taken a backseat until then. But basically you'll find some fun stuff, crafting supplies, and a few creations that aren't listed at G and G, The PG or on my website.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Queen For a Day

I've been tagged by Melissa at Fischtale Designs to write a list of 5 quirky facts about myself. I have done this a few times before, but since my life is pretty much one giant "quirk" (which probably makes me the Queen of Quirk), I'll give it another go. Here are 5 snippets from the "Land of Quirk", and some of these even qualify as Blasts From the Past, my regularly random series of fond memories of child rearing.

Number 1-- "A Pox on you"

My youngest kid was given the chicken pox vaccine as a baby but came down with The Pox a few years later anyway. I had no idea she could still get the virus so I thought it was just a rash and sent her to school. This was 14 days before Christmas--(yes folks, that is precisely the incubation period for coming down with the illness after exposure.) I never told anyone it was us that spread Chicken Pox. . . er. . .the Christmas Cheer to the entire kindergarten. And if anyone I know asks, I'll just deny the whole thing.

Number 2--"Barfy Artist Disease"

[In honor of one of my fellow blog-sisters, Cindy over at Yapping Cat, as she discussed recently the hazards of crafting and fingers and X-acto knives.]
I guess it's an occupational hazard. (Just look at Van Gogh--his missing ear was most likely a huge misunderstanding and probably involved a miscue with an X-acto.) I've had the same war wound on my left index finger. And then there is the "Dropped the X-acto that Lands Straight into Foot" injury. Followed by the "Too Queasy to Pull it Out Syndrome". Which, if not addressed quickly, will lapse into a condition known as the dreaded "Fainting Artist Disease". Cindy responds, "Yes, if I had had to "retrieve" the knife from being impaled in my finger...the "Barfy Artist" disease would reign..." I hear ya, sistah.

Number 3-- "Julia Childs would run for the hills"

There are pieces of boiled eggs which exploded all over my 10 foot kitchen ceiling. The mess was indescribable, and the smell. . . oh, the smell. . . I'm shuddering as I think of it. One day I will give all the gory and smelly details--but that's another post for another day.

Number 4-- "Potty Training is overrated--I like to call it "Survival of the Fittest."

By the time we got to the job of potty training the 4th kid, with the busy schedules of her 3 older siblings I really found it easier just to use diapers. We spent so many days at ball fields and car lines and grocery stores and practices and other places with limited facilities, I had to find a way to survive. You moms know the drill-- the entire world must stop when your 2 year old has to "go". And I'm not even going to mention the less-than-sanitary conditions of public restrooms--or frantically trying to cover the toilet seat with t.p. before the "waterworks" begin. . . or worse, trying to dangle a 2 year old over the noxious surface when urgency trumps germ-a-phobia. In those days before Purell, echoes of my own childhood came crashing back as I found myself repeating these same words my own dear mother had spoken an eon before, "Don't TOUCH ANYTHING!!" I am probably the only mom on the planet who said to her little one, "Oh, honey, wouldn't you just like to wear a diaper today?"

Number 5-- "Return to Sender"
I celebrated my birthday this month. I am thankful for each day and the wonderful possibility therein, but the scary part is that I'm inching toward 50, so AARP is right around the corner. I'm thinking about moving to a different corner, and not leaving a forwarding address.

(If you're up to it you can read the other lists I've done here and here and here.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Freedom Isn't Free

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

Monday, May 19, 2008

One Ring-y Ding-y

I swear I'm going to stop answering my phone. Many of you may recall some of the memorable text messages I've received recently. There's the infamous, "Can I vacuum glass?" . There's also, "What would you say if I said I got a tattoo?" And I'm still reeling from the call I received from my middle-est daughter (which was related to the rabid skunk attacking my elderly neighbor incident), "Mom, there's something upstairs that smells really, really bad."

And then yesterday came this call from our oldest: "Mom, can I borrow a couple of shovels?"

What on earth does a college kid need with a couple of shovels?! I've got nothing against shovels or people who use them, but this is college which is usually a place for books and pencils and computers and football. But shovels? Our son is a business major, mind you. A business major. What kind of business is he up to with a shovel? Is he looking for buried treasure--in a college town!? He's a good kid, and responsible, and level-headed, and smart, and never causes a bit of trouble; but my mind was racing from the randomness of the request and I couldn't help what blurted out of my mouth, "Maybe. . .um. . . this doesn't involve a dead body or anything, does it?"
Could it be that I've watched one too many CSI episodes?

Turns out my boy is helping some other college kids plant flowers for the Boys and Girls Club in our area. Whew. I knew it all along. :-)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Georgia on My Mind

Georgia is a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Border Collie, and her work ethic reflects her breeding. She was one of a litter of puppies my sister's dog had 11 years ago, and is the spitting image of my favorite childhood pet named Suzie. She earned the nickname "Georgia" from her Tennessee family, and it just stuck once she came to live with us.

The journey to Georgia for Georgia was not pretty. We were a family of 6 crammed into our car, and adding a car-sick 5 month old puppy to a 6+ hour drive was not my idea of "getting away from it all." Vomiting in close quarters is contagious, that's all I'm saying.

Once here, Georgia embraced the farm life with her boundless energy and exuberance and joy of being a dog and she thoroughly loved living on 100 acres of non-stop adventure. She joined our other dog, a rather middle-aged old man of a Lab named Blackjack, who was less than enthusiastic about this young, bouncy whippersnapper; yet Georgia ignored his frumpy nature and cajoled and nipped and often lured him into a game of tag; and she gradually warmed her way into Blackjack's heart and into ours.

Georgia is a dog who loves to please. She typifies the Southern belle image her name evokes and frequently sits with her front paws crossed in grand lady-like style. We often pronounce her name with a French sounding accent to give her an added air of sophistication. She is affectionate and fun and protective and terrified of thunder. Georgia is not perfect and she sometimes scares the phone guy by her zeal to defend the family. (My youngest says that Georgia is so protective of our home because she's the "alfalfa" female of the farm.) She loves to swim and hunt and hang out with our new Lab, Maddie. Tuesday was a typical day for her: she and Maddie cornered a critter under some boards, took a swim in our pond, visited Neighbor Dog, roamed our woods, cleared the varmints out of our pasture, and escorted me down our driveway when I came home. Wednesday we got up to a very sick Georgia, and a sad diagnosis and grim prognosis from our vet.

Yesterday Georgia's life ended. My husband buried her next to our little barn, and my little one planted flowers on her grave. It rained all day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Use what talents you possess:

the woods would be very silent

if no birds sang there

except those that sang best.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Boy, the Caddy

"I find that a duck's opinion of me is greatly influenced by if I have bread or not." Text message from my son quoting a comedian he heard.
And might I expound on the previous words of wisdom: "A golfer's opinion of a caddy is greatly influenced by whether the golfer makes a good putt or not."

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Children, and Saws, and Babies, Oh My-- (Blast From the Past)

[Note: This may be a bit long, but it is so typical of our life here in Georgia. Welcome to my boring little world:)]
It all began one lazy September afternoon, and I was 8 months pregnant. This was the 4th kid in 7 years, and I was bustling about in the last stages of "nesting" trying to get the house in order before the expected arrival of our little bundle of joy. [Perhaps "bustling" is an overstatement--the way the baby was situated, my girth was freakishly large, so what I was doing was more like slow motion waddling.]
Dear Tool Man husband was outside on our makeshift porch sawing something for a project he was working on, and 6 kids were playing in my den (3 were ours, and 3 were add-on kids for the day). I heard a mild expletive on the porch and was just about to open the door to remind Tool Man Husband of the innocent ears on this side of the door and that "little pitchers" have big ears (and sometimes little pitchers have really big mouths and repeat things they hear, especially at church in front of the little old ladies. And sometimes visiting little pitchers go home to their real mommies and repeat the things they heard at the Nashes.) Before I could open the door, an agitated husband came bursting through and hurried straight to the kitchen sink, followed by a trail of blood, 6 kids, and one very pregnant woman. My first thought was, "This can't be good," and then (I'm embarrassed to say), "I just finished mopping this floor; I'm the size of a house and doesn't he know that clean floors don't come easy these days."
My dear Wounded One held the bleeding pinky finger under the running water, and he--along with 6 kids and one very pregnant woman--watched his finger bleed and bleed and bleed; it became obvious that this was more than a superficial flesh wound and that it would require a bit more than a bandaid. . . maybe even more than two bandaids. So I quickly ushered the kids into another room and made arrangements for a sitter and off the two of us went to the hospital. I drove while my husband sat holding a compression bandage on the finger. Perhaps in deference to my very emotional and very prenatal state he cautioned me to drive slowly. "Now, don't get in a big hurry," he said bravely; but before we were even 3 miles down the road, the pain and bleeding were becoming more intense, and he "cautioned" me again asking, "Why the heck are you driving so freaking slow?!" (Thankfully there were no "little pitchers" around to hear this latest colorful language, unless you count the one causing my stomach to look as big as a house.)

"Perhaps some pant, pant, blow, blows might help," I offered. Nothing doing. Before the journey was over he had me flying down the road and weaving in and out of traffic like some Indy racecar driver. As we pulled into the emergency room driveway, the car was almost stopped when he jumped out like a flash and disappeared into the ER. I'm sure we must have presented quite a funny picture, and to the parking lot attendant it must have looked odd that the husband ran into the hospital leaving a very pregnant wife (who was the size of a house) to park and waddle in alone. After clarifying just who was in need of ER service, we were ushered into the waiting room where several other "Tool Men" sat with varying degrees of Saturday morning war wounds. We all sat, the wounded and the wives on a beautiful day in September. "What a way to spend a Saturday," I thought, "I've got a million things I need to do and that floor's not gonna clean itself, Buck-o."

Turns out my Tool Man had nearly completely severed the end of his finger and a plastic surgeon was called in to reattach what was left. Several hours, several shots, several layers of bandages, and several pain pills later we left with a stern warning that sometimes these types of repairs don't "take" and to watch for signs of infection and tissue necrosis. We watched, it didn't take, and it did show signs of necrosis, so a week or so before my scheduled delivery, my husband had another surgery and returned with a much shorter pinky and instructions to keep his hand elevated and wrapped for several weeks.

Fast forward a couple of weeks:
We'd delivered child number 4 (and there was drama there too, but that's altogether another story, which thankfully does not involve table saws or frantic pregnant women driving to the ER.) Not long after this we decided that four was probably the extent of our local population boom, so dearest husband went to a different doc for the "Big V" as he likes to call it. Snip, snip, all done. After his "man" surgery, my husband was instructed to keep ice on the surgical area. There he sat with ice in his lap and his wrapped hand elevated from the previous finger surgery. [Not much sympathy from me--I was still recovering from C-section number 4; and the doc wouldn't even throw in a free tummy tuck, not even for repeat customers.] Our sweet little 7 year old boy was duly concerned and gingerly climbed onto his daddy's lap asking sweetly, "Daddy, tell me about your surgery."
We knew this would happen one day. Ah, yes the moment of truth about the birds and bees. After all we had just brought home a baby sister (not to mention the recent procedure which called for ice in the lap), and kids are inquisitive and it's important to give them the facts and answer all of their questions; so Dad dives right in and gives the boy "the talk". He was very direct and detailed and I tried to stay out of the male-bonding and testosterone; and after about 20 minutes Husband felt like he'd covered all the bases and had left nothing out. Our son was still looking quite confused, so Husband asked if he had any questions. On the boy's face was a look of horror, "Daddy, what does all of THAT have to do with your FINGER?!"
One can only hope that our little guy wasn't completely misled and that middle school health class cleared up whatever confusion remained. But I can bet he'll avoid table saws.