Thursday, October 29, 2009

reader or peruser?

so, i have a question for you all--do you read magazines, or merely peruse? are you the type to read every article in your favorite magazine as soon as you get it in your mailbox, or do you read it piecemeal on occasion until it's finished a month later?

as avid a reader as i am, i find that i'm a peruser. (yes, i'm aware that "peruser" is not a real word, deal with it.) whenever a new magazine shows up, i spend a half hour or so looking at all the pictures, then it goes on the bookshelf or the bathroom. some magazines i might read through the articles, especially if i find the topic interesting or there's some kind of tutorial for a craft (hello martha stewart living). but in general i read captions and that's about it. a few months ago i read an entire national geographic article and i was proud of myself. but i only did it because it was written by garrison keillor and it was about state fairs and thus i knew it would NOT be about evolution or being green. oh, and i do read all the hilarious tree-hugger comments that people send in. (my recent favorite was one by a lady who was "weeping" at the undignified pictures of a poor frozen baby mammoth that had been unearthed. seriously? how much dignity does a dead elephant need? ugh. that is a whole other rant that i shall spare you, but seriously, does anyone remember when national geographic was about far off places and interesting cultures? anyway.)

so which are you? reader, or "look at all the pretty pictures" preschooler? :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

taking things too far

okay, i have to preface this post with a little background info.

once upon a time, when my oldest son was a newborn, there was a pile of kids books sitting at my parent's house. my mom said, "please take them!" so i did. among these books was a weird little dr. seuss book called "sneetches and other stories." not being a big fan of dr. seuss, i never read the book until much, much later, when my oldest son asked if he could pick the book that night. he came running to the couch holding this book, and grudgingly i read it. that night it became an instant family favorite, and i can't even count how many times we've read it.

well, the last story in the book is a little gem called, "what was i scared of?". it's a story about a boy/thing who, one dark night, happens upon a pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them. the story unfolds with boy and empty pants happening upon each other over and over, until finally the boy realizes that the pants are just as scared of him as he is of them. it all ends happily with the boy and empty pants becoming friends.

my husband in particular enjoys reading this story to the boys, and they act out the different parts with the kids arguing over who gets to be the boy and who gets to be the pants. the quote, "poor empty pants with no one inside them!" has become a catch-phrase in our house.

so anyway, a few mornings ago i woke up and noticed this sitting in the corner.

ha ha, i said. poor empty pants.

a few days later i walked out of the kitchen in the morning and saw this:

okay, that was a little creepy. the empty pants standing in the corner was a little too reminiscent of the blair witch project. still, pretty funny.

then this morning arrived. the baby was crying so i trudged into his room with my eyes closed, changed his diaper, and started to trudge back to bed. then i stopped, and looked down the dark hallway. and i about soiled myself.

i'm embarrassed to admit that it actually took me a minute or two to actually move the few steps to the hallway light switch, and even after i saw it with the lights on i didn't really want to walk past it. here it is with the lights on--still creepy as anything.

i have to admit, it was ingenious using the oval rack from the roasting pan to make the pants three dimensional. after i got done having a heart attack i laughed till i cried. then i waited for the kids to wake up. that was pretty rewarding, i must say. both of them were scared silly, and then laughed at their funny papa.

Friday, October 23, 2009

back in black

okay i'm not really wearing black right now but it rhymes and rhyming is always fun.

since my little hiatus/re-prioritizing i've made quite a few things, only i can't really remember what they all are--call it post-postpartum fog or early dementia, but i'm having problems with recall. hmmm. oh, yeah. i bought some crappy frames at a yard sale for a few bucks, spray painted them all dark brown, and put some of my paintings, doodles, etc. in them. it livened up an otherwise boring blank wall in my bedroom, so hey.

i do have quite a few works in progress, like a present for my mom's birthday, my never-finished mendocino quilt, a valkyrie hat for my niece, etc. i did manage to finish my kid's awesome halloween (excuse me, HARVEST) costumes, which i will be posting pictures of once they're actually wearing them.

ilya and i also made this little fall decoration which was fun. i gave him a sheet of paper and some finger paints in fall colors and let him go to town. (it's so funny how uptight he is--i had to actually get in there and show him how to finger paint because he spent the first 20 minutes making meticulous and evenly-spaced dots all over the paper.) then we cut out leaf shapes, found a neat stick outside, and used glue and jewelry wire to rig it up. it was fun.

last night i made the most amazing bread EVER. i've been making bread since i was a kid, with varying degrees of success, but this was so successful i almost didn't know what to do with myself. i used this recipe from king arthur flour's website, only i added lots of raisins to the dough (husband is obsessed with raisins) and used regular milk instead of the powdered variety. i don't know what the magic ingredient was but it had to either be the awesome instant yeast we just bought, or the potato flakes (what a weird thing to put in bread, right?) but it is just the nicest fluffiest non-bricklike bread i've ever pulled out of my oven. the dome did collapse a little but i think that was because it smelled so good i was impatient to pull it out of the oven. whoops. still, just look at that! ahhh...

too bad i'm not supposed to eat it.