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Showing posts from February, 2008

double duty thrift

silly me, I thought I'd thrifted Darth Betta a new home

for Brazey: another knit stuffie finished

I hope Evan's shark doesn't eat it.

Made from thrifted textured yarn with a slight pink tinge.

I took more time finishing this one, unraveling the ladderstitch a couple of times until I got it right. I'm much happier with the results.

I think the eyes are too big, but they're what JoAnn had in stock and I was too impatient to search elsewhere.

Still, there's no crafty activity I enjoy more than making knit stuffies. At least for now.

the road to the future ends at the junkyard

Behold: the Junkyard.

The As-Is Lot at the back of the Casa de los Ninos Thrift Store. Jack and I have scavenged tons of great treasures here. Some days you go in and there's nothing. Just total garbage. Other days you go in and it's a wonderland. We went last Thursday, the first day of our four-day Rodeo Weekend (does anybody ever actually go to the Rodeo?). It was packed with junk that made us laugh, but little we wanted to take home.

First up: Brandon's yearbook: The Road to the Future! Apparently Brandon was "a pimpin' kind of guy ... a real white chilli dog." Many of his classmates urged him to have a "kick-ass summer," and one of his classmates complimented him on his "ass that doesn't quit."

If Brandon had had any idea Aunt Bin and I would be cackling over his Road to the Future, he would have burned it instead of donating it to the thrift store.

Apparently the Junkyard is the final resting place of used bathroom fixtures...

...and …

Schneider's Barbala

Last week, in an ill-fated Sunday attempt to find a turquoise necklace for Amy to take back to Bridgett, we discovered Bohemia, an Artist's Emporium, in the same strip mall as Picante and Yikes!

We found lots of cool stuff there, but nothing suitable for Bridgett and nothing I thought I couldn't attempt on my own. So I came home and collaged Schneider's Barbala.

First Rate thrifting finds

I've discovered a new thrift store that opened late last October. During December last year I would see offers on the local freecycle list for items to be picked up at the back door of a thrift store located at Beverly and Speedway. Only two weeks ago did I investigate further and make my first expedition to First Rate Second Hand Thrift Store. My initial reaction was disappointment. The giant room was full of collectibles and furniture at antique-store prices. Some glassware and shoes at Goodwill prices. A few racks of clothes at Savers prices.

But then, the Back Room.

Lit by a few fluorescent fixtures flickering above, dismal and disorganized, the Back Room is crammed front-to-back wall-to-wall with Junk. Like some old couple's garage where they and their friends deposit every broken thing they no longer use inside but can't bear to part with and plan on organizing into a garage sale some day. Rag and Bone. Trash. And we all know hidden amongst the trash you often find Tr…


Snowbirds come to Tucson because the winter season here is spectacular. High temperatures are often in the 70s, and lows are rarely below 60. The sun shines and birds sing, and you'd think it'd be all zip-a-dee-doo-dah. But at the start of each new year I begin to decline into lethargy bordering on depression until by the end of February I'm definitely in the Doldrums. Each year I struggle against it and each year I succumb.

This year I've begun thinking of February as my Hibernation Month. Though the weather has been warmer than usual I've suffered more illnesses than usual, completely abandoned my daily walks/jogs because it's dark until 7:00 am, and spent more time curled up on the couch under the covers with a good book and a cup of tea. I'm thinking next year I should succumb to the February Doldrums without struggling, simply accepting that it's my Slump Month, my time to hibernate, to regenerate. To present my somber face to the world, waiting, ju…


it ain't perfect, but you've no idea how long I've been trying to teach myself

what happens when you can't leave your stitches alone

When you're home alone and you can't stop licking your stitches, your people outfit you with the dreaded Elizabethan Torture Device.

If you're lucky, your boy will take it off of you when he gets home from school.

She's recovering nicely. Thanks for all your kind words.

bad mommy

Sunday morning I woke to the cries of coyotes. That maniacal yipping is hard to locate, but I know I waited a long time before I let Cassie out, because it was dark when I heard the coyotes and full daylight when I let Cassie out. When I heard her barking I knew something was wrong. By the time I got outside she was on the other side of the wall, scattering a pack of coyotes in all different directions. I saw at least five of them. She came back to the house immediately when I called, and I checked her for injury. Didn't I check well enough? Look at her here. I took this picture after I came home from church, before we took Jack to a birthday party.

When we got back from the party we found that Cassie had taken an empty peanut butter jar we'd given her earlier and forgot to take away, and cleaned it out while on Jack's bed. Naughty dog! There were some spots of blood on the pillow she'd been laying on. I assumed she'd cut her gums or lips slightly while licking out …

specialist time

At the preschool we offer specialist programs for the children. Once a week they do gymnastics with Mr. J, and once a month we enjoy a program from MegaScience. This month, however, MegaScience had a conflict, so we enlisted the help of another science professional. Can you guess what's in these boxes?

Did you guess reptiles? If you did, you'd be correct.

This is a 7-year-old yellow-footed tortoise, native to the upper regions of South America. She was the first animal introduced to us by Hannah of Reptile Specialists, the only store in town specializing in reptiles. Through their store Hannah and her husband, Ian, provide a valuable resource to Tucson reptile enthusiasts. When they aren't running their store, they bring their reptiles to schools and birthday parties to educate children.

As you can see, our kids were enthusiastic.

Hannah brought us a hands-on experience second to none. Here the children pet a large lizard with spiney sides and a heavy, armored tail. I can…

Xin nian kuai le

Happy Lunar New Year! We had a wonderful little celebration at school. One of our families is Korean and they celebrate Lunar New Year in a traditional fashion. To share that celebration with us, Emily (Mom) and Sue (child) brought this fabulous children's picture book.

"A New Year, a new day, a new morning.
New clothes.
We start the year with new things.
New things, for the year-older me."

---Hyun-Joo Bae, New Clothes for New Year's Day
I read it aloud to the children, while Emily dressed Sue in her New Year's clothes. Sue is a quiet child who doesn't like to be the center of attention.

Sue makes herself as small as possible beside Emily.

The box holding Sue's New Year's clothes. I was particularly fascinated with the shoes.

Sue was very brave to sit in front of the class and show her beautiful and lucky traditional clothing.

Just as beautiful from the back.

Apparently I wasn't the only one fascinated with the shoes.

Rainy days and Mondays

Talkin' to myself and feelin' old. Sometimes I'd like to quit. Nothing ever seems to fit. Hangin' around, nothing to do but frown. Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.

What I've got they used to call the blues. Nothin' is really wrong, feelin' like I don't belong. Walkin' around ... some kind of lonely clown ... rainy days and Mondays always get me down.

Funny but it seems I always wind up here with you. Nice to know somebody loves me. Funny but it seems that it's the only thing to do ... run and find the one who loves me.

What I feel has come and gone before. No need to talk it out; we know what it's all about. Hangin' around ... nothing to do but frown. Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.

(We don't get this weather often in Tucson. Had about 5 minutes of sleety hail, blustery winds, and slight accumulation. It's what I call a genuine weather event. Immediately before the sleet fell I got news that my 101-year-old great…