Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Gross Story

I've been debating on whether or not to share the following disgusting story with you folks. When it first happened I thought There is no way I'm sharing this with the interwebs. Yet, here I go.

I enjoy eating uncooked oats. (NO, that isn't the gross part.) I like uncooked oats in small amounts. One of my favorite breakfasts is chopped fruit sprinkled with nuts, uncooked oats, and topped off with a few dribbles of agave nectar. To me, it sort of tastes like oatmeal cookie dough, which is something I could eat by the bowlful.

Anyway, I had been enjoying this breakfast for a week or so when I realized I had run out of oatmeal. But after digging around in the pantry I found another canister of oatmeal way in the back, but it had been opened and I wasn't sure how long it had been there. I opened the canister, smelled the contents, and quickly scanned it for weevils. (In case you are unfamiliar with weevils, they are teeny tiny bugs that like to hang out in grains that have been stored in your pantry for too long.) It looked safe so I dumped some oats in my bowl and enjoyed my breakfast.

The next morning I ate a bit later in the day---so the kitchen was more well lit. I took the lid off the oatmeal and was about to stick my hand in and grab some oats when I see them---weevils. Hundreds of them. Everywhere. The container was black with bugs. Because such a massive infestation couldn't occur overnight, it would stand to reason that when I had breakfast the day before, I had basically eaten a bowl full of bugs.

I need to explain something to you. Although I don't consider myself a vegetarian, I'm pretty picky about what I put into my body when it comes to things that used to be alive. On the rare occasion that I do eat red meat, it has to be burnt to a crisp so as to not even resemble meat. I won't eat chicken if it looks "ugly." And don't even think of giving me something with a bone still attached. Do I look like a viking?! So when the realization hit me that I had consumed a bowl full of live, squirming bugs, it was seriously enough to put me over the edge.

I'm trying to convince myself that maybe all the weevils were initially at the bottom of the canister and when I used the oatmeal the first day, maybe I disrupted their homes and they all came to the surface. Does this sound possible? Or does it just sound like someone trying to rationalize the fact that they ate bugs?

Either way, my pantry is now getting cleaned out once a week.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cloth Napkins

My family uses an obscene amount of paper towels---sometimes as many as 12 rolls a week. In an effort to stop being so wasteful in this area, about six months ago I started to buy cloth napkins. Then about five and a half months ago, I stopped. Because cloth napkins, even when bought on sale, are not cheap. It killed me to spend money on a square of cloth that my family was just going to use to wipe their piggy faces.

As far as I can tell there is nothing special about the fabric used to make cloth napkins. It's not exceptionally thick or absorbent. Here are some napkins that I bought on clearance(less than $10 for a set of six) at Pottery Barn:The sunflower ones are 15% linen, so they are a bit thicker, but the other set is just 100% cotton. Nothing fancy.

Inside the box of fabric scraps that I found over the weekend, was quite a bit of fabric in great condition but it just didn't excite me. Nevertheless, I washed and ironed it, and then put it in my ever-growing stash of fabric.

As I was cleaning out my sewing area yesterday, I got the idea of turning the less-than-pretty fabric into cloth napkins. So I measured the fabric against the napkins I already had, adding an inch more on each side to make neat hems. Then I ironed and stitched the hems. Voila! Cloth Napkins. The main difference between my napkins and the store bought ones is that the Pottery Barn napkins have neater corners:Whereas, my edges are just folded under and sewn. (Maybe one day I'll learn that neat corner thing.)

Obviously, this wasn't brain surgery. I didn't put a whole lot of time or effort into this project. If you look closely, you can tell that I didn't even choose matching thread, I just used the beige thread that was already in my machine. For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure that beige thread is going to be stained a spaghetti sauce red in a few days anyway.

I know this is nothing fancy or all that impressive, but projects like this are my main motivation in learning to sew. I love turning trash into something useful, and in the meantime reducing my impact on the environment a little bit.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekly Update

Ok. There was no weekly update last week. I figured this out just now. Sorry. But, last week was spent practicing my sewing. I think we covered that in great detail. This past week I left the sewing machine for a few minutes and accomplished more.

Two Friday's ago we took the boy to the Fall Festival at his school. At the beginning of every year, when I go to Open House, I see the volunteer calendar in the boys classroom. Having been with the boy all summer I'm usually more than willing to sign up for things. I sign up to bring in items, do work at home, man the festival booth, and chaperone trips. Of course when the time comes to actually do these things, I'm in an entirely different state of mind and I can usually be found walking around the house grumbling, "What was I thinking?" I'll be totally honest with you, spending my Friday night with hundreds of elementary school kids is not my idea of a good time, but it is my son's idea of a good time (go figure.) So we went, and I'm glad we did because not only were they short on volunteers this year, but the boy had a great time. Although at times it was hard for me to tell if he was having fun because every time he caught me walking towards him, he would grab his friend by the arm and steer him in the opposite direction. I guess this means he's reached the "My mom is a complete embarrassment" stage. I hear it's only downhill at this point.

This weekend was a busy one for us. My mom and Jay didn't work on Friday and the boy has a four day weekend, so the house has been full. Friday we went to The Devils Millhopper. This giant sinkhole is one of my favorite places to visit. It's a workout going down the almost 250 steps to the bottom, but once you reach bottom the air just seems so much fresher. I don't know if it's because of the cooler weather or the fact that we haven't had a lot of rain lately, but the bottom was a lot dryer than usual. Normally. it's lush and green.Disregard the fake scowl Jay is giving me in the above picture and just look at the beautiful green background. I always joke that I would like to build my house at the bottom of the sinkhole.

After the steps we walked the trail. (I love how my mom is wearing her String Kings shirt.) Whenever we go to the sinkhole, I always bring my camera and snap a bunch of pictures, but I never feel as if I'm truly able to capture the enormity and beauty of the place. It's just something you have to see for yourself.

Saturday morning we had another garage sale. This time most of the proceeds were put towards the Washington DC trip the boy is taking at the end of the year. The school has sent home various fund raising packets for this but with the economy being as it is, I'm just not comfortable with the idea of the boy begging our friends and neighbors to buy overpriced junk. We will probably be paying for this trip all on our own.

While Jay and the boy were doing the garage sale, I was inside baking bread. Other than quick breads like banana and zucchini, this is the first time I've ever made bread. I've been toying with the idea of making this ever since seeing it over on Simple, Green, Frugal Co-Op but just never got around to it. But then NoWheyMama mentioned loving it so I decided I had to give it a try. The recipe calls for 3-4 cups of any combination of white or whole wheat flour. I used all whole wheat. My mom, the girl, and I like it but I think it's a little too earthy and healthy for the men folk. Everyone in blog land seems to have success with this bread recipe though so I'll try again, just using more white flour.

Saturday afternoon, as Jay and I were driving home, we came across a box marked "free" at the end of someones yard. Being the trash pickers that we are, we took that box home and I was quite overjoyed with the contents: fabric. Scraps of fabric in all sizes. Some of them were sewn together as if someone had started a project but gave up.
I love the dainty, feminine look of this fabric and I knew it had to become a skirt for the girl. So on Saturday night it became one:

I cut the strips down to a more uniform size and then sewed them all together. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be. I had wanted each individual strip to be about 3 1/2 inches wide but because the previous owner had sewn some crooked seams, some are thicker, some are thinner. (I'm totally not judging her crooked seams by the way, Lord knows I certainly have no right to judge.)

I'm still pleased with the outcome. I love that I was able to recycle something no longer of use to someone, and make it into clothing. I can't wait for my skills to grow beyond skirt making though.

Speaking of skirt making, this is the fabric that I ordered with the intention of making a skirt for myself.
Two yards of it sit in a bag on my sewing desk, waiting for me to get up the nerve to work with it. I'll be using one of the ideas from Sew What! Skirts. In my head, I have an exact picture of what I want the skirt to look like, I just need to get brave enough to cut into the fabric. I'll keep you updated.

Saturday night Jay took me out for drinks. Even though we have a live in babysitter(Grandma) we don't actually go out that often. It's just so much easier to stay at home and sit around in our pajamas. But we really should take advantage of it more often because it's so relaxing to get away from the noise and chaos of our house, even if for only an hour. Plus, I have so few chances to get dressed up anymore. I really think that only Victoria Beckham can get away with wearing heels while doing everyday activities. If I dressed like this, I'd look like a jackass.

Before I close out this update, I want to leave you with a few fall images from around my house:

Jay and the girl watching football. I swear sometimes I doubt she's my child.

A chihuahua in a sweater. Always a sign of colder weather.
Lastly, the boy helping Jay sweep pine needles off the roof.
I love the clear blue sky behind him.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Things I'm Into Right Now

It's been a few weeks since my last Things I'm Into Post and after Monday's rant I could see myself getting a reputation for being negative, so I thought I'd lighten the mood a bit and be more positive today. So here are a few things that have brought me a wee bit of joy the past few days.

* My children at the picnic table quietly eating ice cream. Not arguing. Not fighting.
It's rare moments like this that make me wish I could stop time and enjoy the peace and quiet.
The hat my son is wearing in this picture is a prize he won at the Festival his school held last week. It sort of reminds me of something worn by the characters in A Clockwork Orange, and for that reason I find it incredibly creepy.

*My very basic, yet much needed, new sewing supplies.I made a trip to Joann's yesterday to stock up on some essential things I will need as I learn to sew. It's so nice to be able to cut fabric with a pair of sturdy, sharp scissors. Scissors that are not also used in the kitchen to cut the skin from chicken breasts. These scissors are all mine and I better not see anyone else touching them.

*Elsa

Elsa was a stray that my mom adopted. We are guessing she was very mistreated by her previous owners because she is not overly friendly or cuddly. But she loves my sewing corner. If I'm not sitting in my sewing chair, she likely is. When I am using the chair, she sits on the desk or the table behind me, patiently waiting for the chair.

*The newest skirt I made for the girl.

Yes, I know I promised I would show you no more skirts, but that promise was made before the pants debacle. I needed to make a skirt, something I can't screw up, to help rebuild my confidence. I have now decided that her winter wardrobe will consists of many skirts. Skirts over pants. Skirts over leggings. Skirts over tights. Skirts over jeans. You get the idea.

*This blanket my mom had made for me and Jay.It's super soft and warm, fits nicely on my bed, and has fun fur in the middle of each square.Don't ask me what fun fur is because I don't know. But it's very, very soft.

*My new J. Crew shirtBefore getting to the shirt, let me explain something........I'm the last of a dying breed: I'm a Stay at Home Mom that does actually stay at home a good percentage of the time. Jay and I refuse to have more than one car payment so we share a car. Most days I let him take it to work. I just don't need to leave the house everyday. If the boy needs me, his school is only a 10 minute walk away. When I do have errands to run I keep the car and combine my errands all into a couple of trips a few days a week.

Because of my constant stay at home status, I tend to wear clothes until they are, quite literally, falling apart. I had been putting off buying some new t-shirts because, and I don't know if you've noticed this, the economy is kinda bad. Yeah. So I've been trying to avoid a lot of non-essential spending. But when the clothes you are wearing are no longer suitable as even rags, new clothes are essential. Last week J. Crew was having a sale. An extra 20% off already reduced merchandise. I bought this shirt, and a few others, for $11.99 a piece. I think they were originally $39.50.

I especially like the neckline. It makes me feel a little bit more feminine while I'm stirring the compost or taking out the trash. Plus, the price just couldn't be beat. Hooray for things that are both cheap and pretty.

Monday, October 20, 2008

@#$%^^%$#@$$%

Is that an appropriate blog title? (Before you continue reading I want to mention that if the F-word offends you then you may want to quit reading this post. In fact, you may just want to stop reading my blog altogether because although I rarely type it out, I sure as hell think it at least once a day so you never really know when it may pop up again.)

I just totally fucked up on a pair of pants I was making for the girl. Fucked up beyond repair. Well, I shouldn't say fucked up, because who knows, maybe one day I'll meet a four year old with one massively deformed leg and she will think that I was so generous because I took the time to make her these one of a kind pants.

Sigh.

To make matters worse, it was this fabric:

I KNOW!!!! How cute would those pants have been?

There are a few reasons for the fuck up. One being, I get interrupted a lot. By the kids, the phone, the doorbell, the dog, etc. The interruptions probably wouldn't be a big deal if I knew what I was doing. But I don't, as you know. So whenever I do a sewing project, or anything for that matter, there is a lot of stopping and starting. Reason number two is that I got cocky and at one point thought I could "wing it." HA! The third reason is that I think I was trying to make these pants with less fabric than required. Which explains the one teeny tiny leg. And ya know, as I was doing it, I was thinking to myself, This is seriously fucked up. Yet I continued. And that is what makes me an idiot.

Sigh.

I really wanted to make my daughter some pants. The weather is getting cooler and she can't wear skirts all winter. I had these visions of her having a winter of handmade clothing. At this rate, that probably will not happen.

Random Thoughts

There has been a serious lack of substantive posts here lately, and for that I apologize. There really are no excuses. Along with all the usual mommy stuff, I've just been busy reading, practicing my sewing, and watching dvd's. Thrilling, huh? Or maybe you're thinking that there has never been anything of substance here. If that's the case, then let's all praise my ability to maintain the status quo. And now, Random Thoughts.

*Saturday I bought Sew What! Skirts.
There are a lot of sewing books I want. I budgeted myself enough cash for one book and this is the one I chose. I picked this one because it is filled with ideas that are both easy and useful to my life. I like wearing skirts and would wear them more often if I could find more that I liked and that fit into my budget. I cannot wait to get sewing.

*In a few days I will be 32 years old. (Interesting tidbit: I was 21 when I had my son, my mom was 21 when she had me, and my grandmother was 21 when she had my mom.) For the most part, aging doesn't really bother me. I've always felt older than I am, so as I age I feel like the gap between the age I feel and the age I actually am is getting narrower.

*I stayed awake to watch SNL on Saturday night and saw Alec Baldwin in the opening skit. Okay, technically I didn't stay awake. I took a nap from about 10:45-11:30, waking up just in time to see Alec. It was just dumb luck. Sarah Palin did better than I thought she would. But of course I have the lowest of expectations for her. As long as she doesn't walk into walls or start speaking pig latin, I think she's doing ok. I have come to the conclusion that although I think she would be a terrible VP and I disagree with everything she stands for, she does a great job of being useless celebrity eye candy. People are attracted to her and find her entertaining, sort of like Paris Hilton. I had to laugh when she said her favorite Baldwin is Stephen.

Putting politics aside and going just by hotness alone, how could anyone choose Stephen,
over Alec:
or Billy:
or even fat, sweaty Daniel?
Seriously, if you're choosing Stephen as your favorite Baldwin, you might as well not even have a favorite Baldwin.

*In a matter of weeks my son will be going on a camping trip with all the other fifth graders at his school. When I first found out about this trip I had hoped that one of us my husband would be able to chaperone. But he has to work and I have to stay home with the girl. This is the first time my son will be spending a few nights away from home without a family member or close friend. I'm not comfortable with this. But my son is comfortable with it. Sigh. I can't keep him locked up in the house forever just because I want to keep him young. I'm sure that I will be a wreck, but it will be good practice for when he goes on the Washington DC trip at the end of the school year. My baby is growing up.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Because Robots are Everywhere and They Want to Eat Your Medicine......

Ever since the sewing machine entered our house a few weeks ago the boy has been nagging me to let him make something. Once I had learned the ins and outs of the machine, I got on Etsy and bought some fabric I thought he'd like and we sat down to make a pencil case. The boy chose the shape he wanted and did all the work, even sewing on the velcro closures. Hooray for making your own school supplies!Of course I couldn't just leave the leftover fabric sitting there......I had to make another skirt. (I promise this is the last skirt I'll force upon you.)

I didn't have any coordinating ribbon so I just gave it a regular old hem. Since I have more or less mastered the making of little girl skirts, I think it's time to move on to something else. Of course I'll keep you updated on whatever the next project is---even if it ends up going in the garbage.

Oh and if you're scratching your head trying to figure out the meaning of the title to this post, it's from an old SNL commercial parody. (You can check it out by going here---it's only a minute and a half.) You guys have no idea how TV has ruined me. Whenever I'm trying to have an adult conversation this is the garbage that's floating around in my head.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another Skirt

Yesterday the girl came and asked me if I could make her something else with my "sewing pachine." I'm new to the whole idea of seriously creating things for my family, but I gotta say, it's getting addictive. This skirt is from the same pattern as the last skirt I made, and much like that one, it has some flaws. I've been choosing busier fabric that has a lot of color and/or design because I think it's much more forgiving when I make a boo-boo or two (or three or six).I was able to whip this one up in about 45 minutes---so I'm getting better. But I want to mention again how easy the pattern is to follow, so the fact that I'm able to make them is more a testament to the simplicity of it, than that of the greatness of my skills.

As I watched my girl play at the park this morning I was again amazed at the many differences in our personalities. She is loud, outgoing, friendly, and always in a good mood. She has no trouble making friends---in fact, she forces people to be friends with her. Living every moment of her life loudly and with joy comes very, very easily to her.

I don't want to make it sound as if I'm a mean curmudgeon because that isn't the case. I'm just more.........inward. I want to blend in, whereas my daughter wants to be noticed everywhere she goes.

I love that she has this jubilant, happy personality. She will never have the social anxiety that I had, and still occasionally have. Yet, in my heart, I know that one day she's going to want to be a cheerleader. And that will rip me up inside.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

For the Birds

This morning I woke up to find my Cockatiel dead at the bottom of her cage. Chloe was mean and unfriendly but I still hated to see her go. She had a few different owners before living with us and none of them really gave her the attention she deserved so by the time she got to us she was unhealthy and basically wanted to be ignored. Other than cleaning the cage and giving her fresh food, water and millet, we left her alone. She thrived for a while but just hadn't been looking too hot the last few months. I had been expecting this to happen soon.

When I notified the family this morning about the death they all took it the same way I did, with sadness of course, but not overwhelmed with grief. The girl even said, "Chloe's dead? So we have to throw her out in the backyard?" For the record I have no idea where she got this. It's not as if I'm constantly throwing random dead animals in the back yard. The only dead thing I ever throw in the yard is dead flowers.

Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to get the girl involved in the burial process a bit so I wrapped Chloe in some pretty tissue paper and we trekked out to the garden to dig a grave.The girl was still pretty cheerful until it came time to actually put Chloe in the ground. Then it got ugly. She began crying about how she wanted to see Chloe again. I guess she didn't fully understand that death is forever until we were throwing dirt on top of Chloe and her tissue paper coffin. We put a cement step over the grave so hopefully the dogs won't dig her up and bring her body back in the house and suck on her on my living room carpet. (Does it sound as if something similar has happened in my house before? Hmmm....)
The girl is still whimpering about our beloved bird, but her cries are immediately followed by requests for cookies or whatever toy is being advertised on Nickelodeon at the moment, so I think she'll be fine.
*************************************************************************
In other bird news, thanks to an episode of Family Guy a few weeks ago my son has been singing this song constantly. He even downloaded it and listened to it in the car all the way to Jacksonville. I hate you Peter Griffin.
R.I.P Chloe---The bird is the word.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day Trip To Jacksonville

Considering I almost had to wear a bikini top as a bra this morning, I really should be focusing my energy on the ever increasing laundry pile slowly creeping throughout the house, but instead I'm drawn to the computer to tell you about our little outing on Sunday.

Because the girl basically had me at wits end, Jay thought it would be a good idea to get me out of the house for a few hours, and I agreed. Whenever we want to leave town but don't want to spend a giant wad of cash, we usually end up going to Jacksonville because it's only an hour away and they have a Super Target. I justify a trip to Super Target by thinking, It's just groceries I couldn't get here in town. But really, do I need fancy peanut butter? Probably not. Another reason I wanted to go was because Jay had found an independent fabric store in Jacksonville and I was kinda itching to check it out. So we left the girl with my mom, and took the boy on a day trip.

But no matter how many times I go to Jacksonville I don't seem to learn my lesson, which is that the city is a huge, smelly, old, racism and poverty filled freaking disappointment. First up, once we got to Super Target, it just didn't seem all that impressive. I mean, if there was one here in town I'd probably be there once a week, but it just doesn't seem worth traveling 80 miles for. Next up, after driving around for two hours looking for the fabric store, it was not only closed, but gone for good. The sign was there but no store. Great. Part of the reason I wanted a fabric store was I needed to get some ribbon trim for the girl's skirt, as I kinda wanted to have it finished by the end of the weekend.

After eating lunch at a restaurant filled with TVs and half drunk sports fans, we drove around some more in search of a Joann's. When we finally found one it was the oldest, dankest Joann's ever. While I was getting the things I needed, the boy needed to use the restroom but there was a sign on the door that said you had to get the restroom key from the cutting desk. The boy politely asked the lady for it and she handed him a key that is attached to a ruler. Seriously, what is going on in the bathroom of the oldest Joann's ever that they need to make entry to it this difficult?! After I paid for my purchase, the boy still hadn't been able to get into the bathroom so we left and he pee'd in a gas station restroom a few miles down the road. A lovely restroom complete with dead bugs and the ever classy condom machine.

Whenever I get it into my head to go to Jacksonville, I think They have a J. Crew and a Bare Escentuals store. But really, once I get there I realize the shopping is only moderately better. I can get Bare Escentuals online and the selection at the Jacksonville J. Crew is pretty basic. If it doesn't coordinate with a Jacksonville Jaguars jersey, then they probably don't have it. So again, I'm better off just sticking to the internet.

Don't get me wrong, Jacksonville has some things. Like crime. Horrific crime. I get a lot of my local news from stations in Jacksonville and it seems as if they report violent crimes almost daily. Their local murder rate is 1 1/2 times that of the national average.

So yeah, it was nice to get away from the girl for the day, but I can't say it was a relaxing trip. Jay and I made a pact last night that anytime one of us suggests a trip to Jacksonville, the other person has permission to punch the suggestion maker in the face.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekly Update

This update is late, I know. For the last few days I've had a difficult time getting my shit together. The housework seemed overwhelming, the girl was crazy, loud, hyper, and demanding. I found it hard getting the usual stuff done, much less anything else. Because of that, this update is going to be skimpy, unless of course you want to read about the out of control laundry I have piling up. No? I didn't think so.

On Saturday the boy and I made the Amish Friendship bread.It came out delicious, but I am quite positive this stuff is very fattening. Considering the amount of flour, sugar, and milk that goes in this bread, I'm guessing the Amish are not health nuts.

Another project I worked on this past week was this skirt for the girl.

As you can see she was in the mood to ham it up. It's the Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt pattern. I originally saw it on Soule Mama. It was free and easy, two things I love. I made it somewhat longer than a lot of others I've seen. Since this is the first article of clothing I've made, I wanted to give myself some wiggle room in case I majorly messed something up. Next time I'll probably go a bit shorter.I read a lot of blogs in the past few days by gals who had made this skirt. An experienced person can make it in about a half hour. I worked on it on and off all weekend. Not to mention the ten days prior that I spent staring at the pattern wondering Can I actually do this? Well, I can and I did and it is mostly screw up free.

Of course there are a few minor imperfections, but nothing you can see without a magnifying glass. And frankly, if you are staring at my daughter's skirt with a magnifying glass, then I'm probably not the one with the problem. I'm really proud of myself for being able to do this. Plus, not only does the girl love it, but she watched as it grew from just a piece of material to a skirt with a ribbon trim. I think she got a little excitement about seeing it from start to finish.

And that is it for this update. See, I told you it would be short. But before I go I want to mention that my lovely friend Tania over at Blooming Almond gave me a groovy blogging award.

I've been reading Blooming Almond only for a few months, having stumbled upon it back in August when she posted about this awesome tree tote bag she created. It quickly became one of the blogs I click on daily. One of the rules of this award is that you have to pass it on to five readers of your blog. I'm going to have to skip out on this part because I only have a dozen or so regular readers who actually blog themselves so I tend to give these to the same people over and over again. But just know that I love and am so thankful for all the people I've "met" through blogging. I'm always amazed when someone takes the time out of their day to comment on some junk I posted here. And if I comment on your blog, then I consider you to be pretty cool. The blogs I read daily have been a continuing source of inspiration to me and I hope in some small way I can do that for my readers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Random Thoughts

If I ramble incoherently this morning it's because I'm taking two different allergy medications just to function. As much as I love all the trees surrounding my home and neighborhood, every autumn I long to escape it all by living under the sea. Probably not possible.

And now, Random Thoughts:

* Season two of 30 Rock is out on dvd today. This came at a good time because I'm getting a little tired of politics. Plus, yay for more Alec Baldwin in my house.

*My latest Etsy purchase arrived yesterday and I was so excited because I've been wanting to share it with you. These are mature mini notes that are, according to the shop description, "good for a variety of encounters with your average jerk on the street." Here are a couple of my favorites:

At first glance these may not fit in with the vow of kindness I pledged to yesterday, but I beg to differ. When someone is being a cock or a douche, I think I would be doing the nice thing by telling them so. I bought them at ScotiaMade and they were only $6 for 8 mini notes. Jay thinks we will be buying them weekly.

*Yesterday it rained here for the first time in I don't know how long. The girl wanted to play in it so I allowed her to, as long as she promised not to jump in the giant mud puddle at the end of the patio.

Which of course means she did jump in the giant mud puddle at the end of the patio. To make it worse, she then came inside completely covered in mud from head to toe and laughing about her disobedient ways. Of course I was furious so I grabbed her up, placed her in the shower, and turned the water on, not waiting for it to warm up. (Yeah, I know....I handled that really well. I expect to be notified about receiving my mom of the year award any day now. Also....yes, she wants to wear that blue dress every day. I choose my battles.)

*Here is a picture of my son reading on his own, without me having to threaten him. I love it!

*Speaking of reading, I am almost finished with book 48, The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank. It's a collection of short stories all centered around one main character, a gal named Sophie Applebaum. Next up, I'll be reading No one belongs here more than you by Miranda July. As of this moment I have no idea what book fifty is going to be. I have a few books lined up on the nightstand, but Jay says I should make it something big like War and Peace. Any suggestions? And don't suggest War and Peace or The Odyssey. It ain't gonna happen.