31 July 2007

V's hobby of the month

Actually, she's done this a long, long time. She's just getting better at it. Here, she chooses another pair of her parents' underwear from the clean laundry basket.

And another.

And here she is dancing while wearing over a dozen pairs of her parents' underwear. When she dances a pair off, she simply steps out of them and puts them back on over her head. Obviously.

We really need video of this, becuase she just seems intent on putting on every pair of underwear she can find and then dancing. That's understandable, right? Right?

In other news, her favorite word of late is "pizza," which she says as a command. "Pizza!" Sweet. Also, in bringing laundry in tonight, I couldn't carry everything, so I handed her two diapers. She carried them all the way from the backyard, into the house, up the steps, and into the kitchen, even though she has to lay down to roll up stairs. Finally, I'm getting some work out of this expensive little pizza eater.

I realize that the above is normal childhood development, but damn, it made me proud. V helped mommy! Whoo hoo!

26 July 2007

A crafty summer so far

Not exactly earth shattering, but I have been up to lots of little crafty projects this summer. At our local St. Vincent's thrift store, I found this sweet little doll-sized quilt, about 2/3 to 3/4 hand stitched, for 50 cents. These sorts of things make me sad: what happened to whoever was working on it? If they got ill/died/forgot how to sew, why didn't someone finish it for them? How does it end up in my grubby little hands for less than a soda pop? I dunno, but I spent four evenings finishing the hand quilting (not nearly as even and steady as my predecessor, by the way) and machine bound . The next morning, I explained to V that she had a new blanket for her dolly. She squealed in excitement, carefully spread it out in the middle of the family room floor, gently lay her naked dolly upon it, and then left it and the dolly there all afternoon. Apparently she took "new blanket for dolly" literally and left dolly alone with her treasure.

Because we insist on continuing to feed the wee child, she keeps growing, and by the end of May clearly needed bigger diapers. So mostly during naps I've been putting together some larger sized ones. We do laundry almost everyday, so we really only need about a dozen to keep her dry and (mostly) happy. It took almost two months, but I made large #12 last week. Here's a picture of part of the collection, on top of Dolly's quilt. Some (those with flannel tabs) use recycled parts from diapers I made that turned out not to be waterproof. Oops.

In other do-it-myself news, we're having toilet problems. It's a long dull story, but we had a plumber here a couple of weeks ago, and at $70 an hour, he's not invited back. (I just seriously believe that plumbing is something more people should be able to do for themselves: not laying pipe for that upstairs bathroom you've always wanted or anything, but fixing almost any toilet problem or drain clog should be totally manageable for the average person who has their whole summer off to figure things out. To this end, I went to the thrift store about four years ago and bought a book for 25 cents on general plumbing. It's not like toilets get outdated every few years, I reckon, and my quarter has already saved us about $500.) So I'm putting in a new toilet, with Shaun as my devoted, cautious (in that "just remember you're mad at the toilet and not at me" way), helper monkey. But even with a helper monkey and a 1978 plumbing text, I cannot for the life of me get those #$%*ing rusted-on bolts off the base of toilet. I almost went to Wal-Mart in desperation at 10pm tonight, but then I remembered I hate Wal-Mart, and can wait until tomorrow when I can go to our neighborhood Ace Hardware where people there are nice to me and provide worthwhile advice.

Also, we are having a ginormous rummage sale in September, so I am trying to carefully sort my fabric stash with the requirement that if I don't love it or need it, it has to go away. I actually thought it would be much more difficult, but I've pulled about 1/3 of it out to the garage already. Mark your calendars, because, um, I need someone to come take this stuff out of my life before I get lost in here.

So, see? We're not just galavanting around Minnesota or lounging in the backyard. We have quilts to finish, diapers to sew, and toilets to replace. Is it any wonder I need a nap?

24 July 2007

Old new friends and the joys of geography

(sorry for the mediocre picture)

Shaun has these amazing friends from college, and we went to a wedding reception for two of them this weekend. Pete and Laurie are the kind of couple that you feel lucky to even know. Like $'s other friends, as every single time I meet one of them I'm struck by how open and kind and welcoming they are. I mean, I married Shaun, and I really like him and all, but his friends are just amazing. Everyone I met (or saw again, most for the first time in three years) this weekend seemed honestly happy to meet me, genuninely friendly, and just funny as all heck. Shaun insists that this is one of the many, many merits of his alma mater, but I've met his friends from high school, too, and find this to be true of all the people who love my husband. Maybe it's the Shaun Phenomenon.

At any rate, we spent just one night in Southwestern Minnesota, put nearly 1,000 miles on the car, and it was worth every minute to see these folks.

Plus, the Mississippi River Valley is just breathtaking. There is something about the history of that river that I find so compelling. When I was in New Orleans, one of the most remarkable things, having grown up next to the start of the river, was seeing the other end of it.

But the Minnesota portion is pretty fantastic, all by itself.

23 July 2007

Twenty two months of cousinhood

They certainly fill out the strollers more fully now, don't they? The more recent one is from a trip to the famous Fargo Street Fair last week.

Sometimes you just gotta dance a little dance

We've been very, very busy lately. Too busy. (That sounds like we're CTU operatives, which we're not). We've been out of town, crossed the state and came back again. I have much more to say, but it's 97 degrees here, with about 94 % humidity, and this has caused my brain to dissolve into pudding. Once it firms up, oh, the stories and photos I'll share.

No, Kerouac did not return my camera. Instead this one is on loan from the in-laws, and I spend most of my time trying not to misplace it.

08 July 2007

In other equally fascinating news....

The blog hit 750 sententences with that last post. Can that be right? But most importantly (to me, anyway, and perhaps the occasional other English nerd reading here) we've acheived an 8th grade level in the Juicy Readability Test! I'm pretty sure it's because I typed "benevolent idealist" seventeen times in my last post.

One other question: How long can one safely keep Bailey's Irish Cream out of the refridgerator once it's been opened? And if it is unopened, will it eventually go bad? And how can something so magically delicious be 34 proof? Mmmm....irish cream...

07 July 2007

I'll Benevolent Idealist you.

As if this weren't already obvious....the website PersonalDNA says I'm a benevolent idealist. Why do I waste my time on quizzes that, if they're any good, tell me stuff I already know, and if they're not any good, just piss me off?

I do feel this one gets a bit personal, saying I'm very confident but not open to others, and that I'm into neither authoritarianism nor style. Hm. Take the test and tell me what you turn out to be, so I can find out what else is out there. (The site says it'll take 30 minutes, but if you can read at a reasonable rate it won't take you that long). And Tami, if you're reading this, they allow for lots of grey areas: most of the questions are on scales, not true/false.

Only one question made me nervous in a "patriot act" sorta way: when I had to place myself on a grid of liberal/conservative in terms of social/fiscal issues. I shoved myself up into the far corner (benevolent idealist indeed!) but paused; if my answers were being recorded for posterity, at least I hope nobody was wasting paper printing them out.

I got some photos developed from the 35mm with a CD. Once I find where I put it I'll try to post more pictures. In the meantime, don't take advantage of my benevolent idealism, and go take that test.