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Showing posts from July, 2007


We're in the midst of a pretty decent monsoon season here in Tucson. In Tucson the monsoon season starts sometime in June (early) or July, when we have 3 consecutive days when the dew point averages 54 or more. I don't know exactly when this monsoon season started, but I do know that we had more rain than ever before on Saturday, July 29. To wit:

There's DH, Jack, and Cassie on the east patio while I snap their photo from the west patio.

The land behind our house enjoys a slight incline, and as the rain continued to pour down we experienced quite a raging current in the wash beyond the wall. Usually the ground is dry enough to absorb the water from any storm the monsoons deliver, but we've had a spat of storms over the past week that have saturated the ground, allowing the wash beyond the wall to channel the runoff to the larger creek (dry all but 3 or so days a year) to the east. Cassie didn't know what to make of the churning rapids (impossible to photograph) so s…

best way to make an empty PB jar recycle-able

then and now

that was then

this is now

These boys are birthday buddies, born on the same day. On the right is my little man Jack, on the left is my friend Doreen's little man Xander. Doreen and I were friends in middle school, way back in 1985. In 1986 my family moved away from Tucson to a small town in central Illinois. Doreen and I kept up a detailed correspondence for a year or two, then we lost track of each other as more immediate high school concerns took precedence. But we hooked up again when I moved back to Tucson in 1999. We rediscovered our friendship, had babies at the same time, drifted apart again, and now it looks like our paths are converging once more. Or she might be so disappointed that my Jack taught her Xander how to armpit fart that she'll never contact me again.

Just for fun, here's pictures of the two of us with our babies when they were just a month old. Do I look terrified or what?

t berry boo boo brazelton

Last Sunday Bin and I went to Savers and scored big time. We got Jack a Lego comforter for his bed (I didn't even know they made such a thing). Bin got a few child care books.

Feeding the Brazelton Way is especially appropriate, because Baby Boo Boo is getting ready for solids and T. Berry Brazelton is not only America's Favorite Pediatrician but also the source of Baby Boo Boo's numerous nicknames (Boo Boo Brazelton, Brazey James, Brazey J, and so forth and so on).

So now you understand why this 50 cent baby shirt is also perfectly appropriate.

I've been replaced . . .

as the object of Jack's affections. Meet Cloudy.

Cloudy is four weeks old and belongs to a friend of mine who is a saint among women. She's endured a troubling first half of 2007 that has landed her a single mom of two children living in a charming older home in a historic neighborhood, complete with all its charming maintenance issues. A new job, a new home, two children, two dogs, and she takes in this orphaned kitten ... what an amazing woman.

So I've not been replaced by the woman but rather by the kitten, who charmed Jack with her squeeky meow, needle-y baby teeth, and razor-y little claws. When it was Jack's turn to hold her he sat calmly in the chair and let her nuzzle him, and curl up with him. I told him, "She feels safe with you because you're giving her a quiet place to cuddle." When his turn was over he said to me, "I adore her." As he walked away, he said, "I think I want to marry her."

I'm OK having a kitten as a daught…

what a day

Mostly we stayed home today, but had to leave for a few hours to go to the post office. I mailed the wrong book to a client (oh, so embarrassed, since I used to ship page proofs of yet-to-be-published college textbooks to multiple recipients at a time, so I know to pay attention to detail and I know to double check, but I still managed to ship this poor fellow a copy of Beach House rather than Beach Road. Has anyone else noticed that Mercury is in retrograde?) so we went to the PO to mail him the right one. On the way we stopped at the recycling center, because I'm almost out of packing material and boxes. I try to ship recycled whenever I can to save costs for me and to lessen the impact on the environment.

At the recycling center I found this forlorn little doll, all Coca-Cola stained and hairless. I doubt she'll survive in this incarnation. Her pretty little porcelain head, hands, and feet will probably end up in a collaged cigar box. Poor thing, lying there in the …

why is it my favorite thrift store?

because they haven't figured out that Vera Bradley handbags are expensive. Last Friday I picked up both of these in one trip, and I used my 50% off coupon, so they were half the price you see in the photo.

Seaport navy tote, retired in January 2005. This bag is monogrammed. The initials are almost mine, if I go by my nickname and maiden name with a different middle name. This one sells for $40 on verabradley(dot)com.

Blue coin handbag, color retired in July 2002. This one sells for $50 on verabradley(dot)com.

I feel like a thief. But I don't feel bad about it.

St. Vinnie's loot

Some of the treasure I picked up at St. Vinnie's on Thursday. I'll get one of those funny bubbly-looking succulents for the fish planter. The ceramic chalice is badly decoupaged with a scene of the Last Supper, replete with embedded paint brush bristles. I'm so in love with the old cans. The lids fit back on so you can use the cans to store stuff. These cans were filled with checkers and marbles, plus a few plastic animals. I wish the Crisco one still had the paper label. The label on the nuts canister says "Contains Virginia peanuts, sugar, butter, and salt." You know that the same can of Butter Toffee Peanuts today would have a long list of ingredients, including some kind of monosodium hydroxy-glutamate and a number of FD&C something or others. The Mother Mary planter is one of my favorite things from that shopping extravaganza. I hope to fill her with some feathery ferns.

Skywalker and Vader Crash Ninja Party at Plasticville Contemporary

paper treasure

Yesterday I spent $27 at St. Vincent de Paul's and brought home a trunk load of goodies: knick knacks, vintage games, a few record albums, a bag of yarn. I'll be posting as the mood hits me today. We had so much fun.

I love how the box is secured with string when most of us these days would tape it or use rubber bands. I couldn't wait to see the cards inside.

Oh joy! An unexpected heavenly chorus of angels greeted me.

How old are they? The copyright on the box is 1957... could these angels and reindeer and the funny lone bunny be relics from 1957? Not in my mind. In my imaginings the angels were colored by grandchildren visiting for Christmas in the house their parents grew up in, playing with these boring alphabet cards and abandoning that tedium to color some Xeroxed angels. After Christmas when the grandparents cleaned up the chaos the grandkids left, they just tucked these angels in with the cards and tied it all up with string and it hasn't seen the light of day sinc…

sweet inspiration

What do you do when you buy candy at Big Lots for $0.99 just because you like the packaging?

You eat it, and find it tasty, and use the carefully salvaged wax paper wrappers to decoupage a shelf you've crackle painted.

Then you hang the shelf in your kitchen above the controls for the evaporative cooler and the now defunct jack for the land line. And from the pegs you hang the aprons your mom made for you.

And now you can barely see those ugly controls behind the glorious bowl of cherries apron, though the defunct phone jack peeks out from behind the tomato apron you don't really notice it anymore because your attention is drawn to the marvelous detail. You hang your sister's framed pictures of cocktail napkins and matchbook covers above the shelf, and place upon it your tiny collection of travel trailers and VW buses, and your little wooden kitchen.

And now you're happy, because the candy was yummy and the wrappers were, too.

summertime rules

I've been busy, but not in the way I'd anticipated when summer began. I had these grandiose ideas about limited TV watching, beginning piano playing, and print practicing. Things haven't shaped up quite that way but things are none too shabby, either. My summer plans were waylaid by an unexpected and generous donation from someone I don't even know, orchestrated by my oldest friend in the world.

The story starts way back in the spring, when I decided to list my books on after I finished reading them. I don't finish more than a book or two a month. I had one book listed and after a few weeks it sold! Talk about positive reinforcement. So I listed another, and soon enough it sold, too. Then I listed all my books, reasoning that I could get any book I really want to read at the library, and I need the shelf space for my growing collection of craft supplies.

I've been selling my books in dribs and drabs and pocketing the change (and believe me, it ain'…