Sunday, November 18, 2007

reupholstered and it feels so good

After nursing a love-hate relationship with the cushions on these secondhand chairs for years, I finally came down firmly on the side of "must go" and had them reupholstered.

I didn't attempt to do it myself because I fell in love with a fabric remnant that was about a yard too short, and the upholstery shop (T's in Lawrenceville, if you're local and interested) had more confidence in their ability to eke four cushions out of it than I had in myself.

I'm thrilled with the result, and thankful that it is done just in time for the Cavalcade of Houseguests, 2007 edition.

In other news, this morning I made chocolate-cherry pancakes for breakfast by dropping chocolate chips and halved frozen cherries into the batter blobs as soon as I plopped them in the skillet. Highly satisfactory.

Friday, November 16, 2007

crunch time

Zoiks! Thanksgiving is in, like 15 minutes and I am so not prepared, in any sense of the word. Luckily for me, my talented husband is the family chef, so I don't have to stress the day itself. But all the preparation beforehand, that is mostly my department, and that department seems to have been out to lunch.

That is why I am devoting today to all the miscellaneous things that have needed to be done for ages, but the simple reason that I have not felt like doing them has, up till now, provided an adequate excuse for putting them off. To wit: Cleaning the playroom. Repotting the rootbound plants that have been gasping for help in my studio. Repairing the front-door curtain which Jasper damaged in jumping up to look out the window (remind me, again, why it seemed like a good idea to get a new dog?). And most importantly of all, out with the old and in with the new in the room that is to be Iris' new bedroom. Though it's not quite ready for prime time, I will not have to be embarrassed to offer it as guest accommodations next week. Actually, it's looking good enough that Iris is getting excited, and me too. I think finishing the room is going to become Priority Number One after the holidays.

As for those holidays, three words: Must. Get. Motivated.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

three acts


This is Jane, a Playmobil knight who can pass for a girl thanks to her plastic pageboy hairdo and magenta accoutrements:

Jane and the Dragon, the story of a girl who wants to be a knight instead of a lady-in-waiting, is our latest diversionary tactic from the cult of the beautiful princess. Iris loves her. True, she is usually wearing one of her princess costumes when she suits her up to take on the (secretly wimpy and lovelorn) dragon, but still. It's something. Apparently there is a TV show, too – has anyone seen it?

So in the end, the Madeline costume arrived in the nick of time for Halloween, but Iris stuck to her original plan to go out as a goddess. Every time she met a princess, which was often, she said, "I like your dress!"

I appreciate all your comments and counsel on the subject of princess vs. anti-princess. I found it especially heartening to hear that someone as creative and self-determined and generally admirable as Amy was into princesses as a child, and I am definitely going to start tacking "and then she went to college and traveled the world" to the end of all princess stories, as Kelley does – I love that! I also love the attitude of two dads who threw a full-on Disney Princess birthday party yesterday for their little girl, one of Iris' preschool cronies. "She's mixed race and being raised by two dads," they told me. "She can be conventional in any other way she wants." I wish I could be so relaxed.

Another friend, who is raising a lovely little boy, emailed me that maybe there are just as many traps for boys, what with all the action figures and war games. Her own son possesses a figurine named Action Man (don't ask me - they live in France – I wonder if his arch-enemy is Passive Man? Yes, come to think of it, surely it was Passive Man who taught Clint Eastwood to say, "Go ahead, make my day.") Anyway, his mother has told him that his gun shoots weedkiller – you know, because Action Man is a gardener. I am still laughing about that!


I went to the Handmade Arcade yesterday, unencumbered this year by my spin-the sparkly-earrings sidekick. I missed some of my favorite vendors from last year, but there were some good new ones too, and I'm happy to say that the squid people were back and better than ever. I somehow resisted shelling out $80 for a squid nativity, and also nobly resisted spending any money on jewelry for myself, though I was sorely tempted. This felt "painting" by Jennie Stephens, however, I could not resist:


And now, from the Department of Non Sequitors:

"I love you. Even when I'm mad at you. Even when you're mad at me."

"When you're mad at me, like when you say I have to take a break from Jasper, I just want to run away and say I won't be your little kid anymore because I don't like how you're being mean to me."

"When someone is mad at you, you get upset and feel like being alone? I understand those feelings."

"And I understand the feeling of wanting to take a bath in your Halloween clothes."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

good day


"Wow, you did lots of washing today, Mom! You're the greatest laundry washer in the whole world."



"I wasn't naughty today. Except when I pulled Jasper's ears."