Monday, November 26, 2007

Qu'est-ce que c'est Anthropologie?

I am head-over-heels in love with all the Christmas decorations and ornaments at Anthropologie. Some favorites:

Sunday, November 25, 2007


So, Thanksgiving came and went while I was away from the blog, so I think I need to back up a bit before we get too far down the Christmas-frenzy path. As I mentioned, my sister was in town, which was just wonderful. We are very close, and it's hard to be separated by distance especially now that she's an auntie. The phone, which one served us very well, just doesn't cut it anymore. I am 100% positive that each time she gets to be around Little Omi, our girl's intelligence and abilities just skyrocket. On this trip, Aunt Sassy taught her little niece to roar like a tiger, buzz like a bee, and say "please." We couldn't be more thrilled. Plus, with my knee on the fritz, Aunt Sassy had to take up a lot of the slack that I couldn't do. This was in addition to cooking the entire Thanksgiving meal!

In addition to my wonderful sister, here are the blessings I am so very grateful for this year:
Of course, I'm thankful for my hard-working husband and clever daughter. The two of you are just the bee's knees as far as I'm concerned.

I'm lucky to have my mom back in town, and she's brought such a sweet and funny companion back with her. J is a real spark plug and a great addition to our family.

I am especially grateful, and I know Big Omi is too, to have such wonderful friends as B & L. They really know the meaning and spirit of family and friendship, and they're the most genuine people I think I have ever known. Spending time with them is always a delight, and I can count on them to make me laugh, think, cry, and simply appreciate the life I have. They are both so good with Little Omi, and B is so very patient with me as I continuously forgo my guitar practicing to do some other crafty project. On top of that, L makes the most amazing pies and B can smoke a mean piece of meat! Who could ask for anything more?

I am also really thankful for this blog. I love having the opportunity to take a little time out and think about my life, and to share the things that seem to matter from day to day. I appreciate every single visitor and love to read the comments you all share. Most of all, I like the way that thinking about a post has made me tap into my creative side a bit more than usual, and it seems to be spilling over into other areas of my life, like crafting, sewing, or just playing with Little Omi.

This morning I woke up in a really crabby mood. Missing my sister, worried about all the clutter around the house, my knee, and our general lack of money, I was quite inconsolable. But now that I've just spent 20 minutes thinking about everything wonderful in my life, I do feel a bit better. Now, if I can just close my eyes and make it out of this cluttered room without tripping over something and further injuring my knee, I think this may turn out to be a swell day after all...

Christmas is coming

My sister is having a holiday party, so we thought it would be fun to Gocco the invites. I was a bit rusty since the last time I used the old Gocco was to make our wedding invitations 5 years ago, but it came back to me after I had printed about 30 or so of these. I was a tad disappointed in the way the master came out; I would've liked the text to have printed better. All in all, though, I'm happy with the final product.

Flashback Friday: Hippie Love*

I am pretty sure my parents qualified as hippies. This photo is from my sister's christening. Not shown are all of my sister's godparents, who stayed for the pickin' and singin' party after the ceremony. I'm blanking on the name of the little band that was there; who can help me out? Mom? Dad? Sis?

Just in case you didn't get a good view of my sister's christening gown, here it is in all its glory.

By the time I came along, Mom and Dad had grown out of their hippie days somewhat, although my mom is still looking good in her prairie skirt. Dad has moved into his western shirt phase (for more proof, see here). And notice my christening is taking place in a proper church, and I'm wearing a (somewhat boring & conservative) white dress.

*OK, so I'm a bit late this week on Flashback Friday, but my sister was in town and we had a lot to accomplish. Better late than never, as they say...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Headed for the glue factory

I've injured my knee somehow. I don't know how it happened, but for the past several days I've been walking around with a hideous limp. And I can't walk very fast, which got really irritating this morning when the temperature dropped to the low 40s and we were trying to get from the car to the library as quickly as possible. Harumph. Feeling old.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Taking a break from all your worries

It's just 3 days until Thanksgiving, and my sister is in town. She's already whipping things into shape around our house, and for that I am eternally grateful. For our Thanksgiving dinner this year, we will not be eating turkey. No, no, it's not for some moral reason. It's because my sister always gets sick on Thanksgiving, and we think it might have something to do with the turkey. So, we're going to make a pork rib roast instead. Tomorrow we will make the first of what will surely be 25,000 trips to the grocery store for ingredients and supplies. Wish us luck!

p.s. Good grief!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Flashback Friday: Travel bug

When I was growing up, my family took two epic road trips. The first, when I was almost 8 years old, was to the Pacific Northwest via every state in between Oklahoma and Washington. This trip was really amazing. We camped a lot in our Volkswagon Vanagon (see below), which was always really exciting for my sister and me because we got to sleep in the bed that was up in the pop top. We saw Old Faithful, The Grand Tetons, and Seattle's Space Needle. The photograph above was taken at Yellowstone. (Who's that cute little boy standing next to my sister?) A park ranger there inspired me to pursue a career in the park service (later, when I was working at the entrance gate to Rocky Mountain National Park, I met a woman who had been that ranger's roommate at Yellowstone). We drove into British Colombia, where I remember a waiter at a restaurant hesitated to give me a menu because he didn't think I could read (!). We went on a ferry that had a wonderful hammered dulcimer band, The Wild Rose String Band, whose music would become the soundtrack for every road trip our family took thereafter. On this ferry I also met a man from New Zealand who taught me that (at the time) NZ had 3.1 million people and 65 million sheep.

This photograph is from our second major road trip, to the East coast. This was probably the coolest place I've ever car-camped. I'm pretty sure it was in Tennessee, and the camping spaces were giant decks on stilts. In case you're wondering why my sister is wearing a blue bootie on her right foot, it's because earlier in the summer, she stepped on one of these:
And she had stitches in her foot. I guess she couldn't wear a shoe on that foot, until after my dad removed the stitches in a hotel room in Washington D.C.

By the time this photo was taken, we had been in a car wreck in Virginia (we were rear-ended on the highway by a man who was asleep at the wheel) and so here we are standing in front of our second rental car (a Buick Regal) but still making progress on our trip. Looking back on it, I am sort of shocked that my parents were so willing to persevere on our trip after such a harrowing experience!

These road trips are some of my favorite memories from my childhood. I sure hope to be able to give Little Omi experiences like them when she's a bit older (without the car wreck, obviously).

Thanks, AJ, for this week's theme!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A very small diaper

Little Omi has started displaying mothering tendencies by carrying her dolls around and patting them reassuringly on the behind and trying to feed them at the dinner table. I decided that it's never too early to teach a kid how to put a diaper on a baby, so I made a little cloth diaper for her Miffy doll.

This is my first attempt at sewing doll clothes. And as Tim Gunn says, good clothes are nothing without good undergarments, so I guess it's a good thing I started with the basics.

Here's Miffy modeling her new diaper. Why is she also wearing a hat and mittens, you ask? Well, you and I know that they come off, but Little Omi doesn't know that yet, so for now let's just keep it between us, k?

And here's our model seconds later, naked as a jay bird (except for the hat and mittens, keeping her hands and head nice and toasty). Well, we did already know Little Omi was a pro at taking diapers off. I guess it'll be awhile before she's into the whole diapering thing. But when she is, she has her own diaper bag to store it in!

And the land we belong to is grand

On Friday, Oklahoma will celebrate 100 years of statehood. It's a pretty big deal around here, with parades and dedications, concerts and re-enactments, special exhibits and free admission days going on. It's also a bit of a touchy subject, what with the whole "Here's some territory for the Indians, let's make them all go live there. Uh, whoops! Actually we'll be taking all that land back now." history of our state.*

So, in appreciation of our centennial day, I'd like to write a bit about what I love about Oklahoma, and share some interesting facts about our state.

Oklahomans are, on the whole, quite humble, so we don't like to toot our own horns very often. Ours may not be the most beautiful, or cosmopolitan, or forward-thinking of places, but it's a nice place to live and start a family. The people are usually kind and courteous, the weather is mostly pleasant (except for those pesky tornadoes), and the cost of living is quite low. Oklahoma does have its own beauty, too, that unique kind of prairie beauty of rolling green hills and our wonderfully red soil.

Spring in Oklahoma is my favorite time of year. I just love that first day when you can drive with your windows rolled down, feeling the warm sun beating down and smelling the soil heating up.

Did you know that the shopping cart and the parking meter were invented in Oklahoma? Also, the first-recorded sale of cookies to benefit a Girl Scout Troop took place in Oklahoma.

We Oklahomans have our very own Christmas song, in the form of a jingle for a local jeweler. It's not Christmastime until you hear it.

Plus, we have a panhandle. How cool is that?

Frank Lloyd Wright built the "prairie skyscraper" Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. It has recently been converted into a hotel, where you can stay for a shockingly affordable price. Big Omi and I stayed there for our first wedding anniversary, and it was a blast.

Oklahoma is also the birthplace of a ton of famous people, from Will Rogers and Woody Guthrie to Carrie Underwood, a slew of astronauts, J. Paul Getty, Carl Albert, Walter Cronkite, Ralph Ellison, Louis L'Amour, Tony Hillerman, N. Scott Momaday, Bill Moyers, Hopalong Cassidy, Joan Crawford, Gary Busey, Iron Eyes Cody, Blake Edwards, James Garner, Ron Howard, Terrence Malick, Rue McClanahan, Megan Mullally, Chuck Norris, Brad Pitt, Mary Kay Place, Tony Randall, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Alfre Woodard, Hoyt Axton, and his mother, Mae Axton (who wrote "Heartbreak Hotel"). Other musicians include Gene Autry, Chet Baker, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Bob Wills, The Flaming Lips, JJ Cale, John Denver, Color Me Badd (but without them, would we ever have been given this?) and Hanson. Let's not forget Oklahoma outlaws Pretty Boy Floyd and Belle Starr, and then there's the infamous saloon-smasher, Carry Nation. Oh, and perfect-ten Nadia Comaneci lives here with her Oklahoma-native husband, Bart Connor.

Finally, Oklahoma has its very own musical, which is just pretty darn cool. And here's the most ridiculous version I could find**, starring John Schneider (aka Bo Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard) and Pam Dawber (Mindy from Mork and Mindy):

(If you get a little bored and want to skip ahead to the song Oklahoma!, it's at 5:25.)

*I do regret not paying better attention in my Oklahoma history class in high school. However, my teacher, a football coach who on the first day of class listed his priorities on the chalk board as being: 1. Football, 2. Oklahoma history, 3. Family, and 4. Scuba, and was later found to have forged his teaching certificate, was just not a very captivating man.

**For the second-most ridiculous version, see this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What the flip?

Today I saw, within minutes of each other, not one, but two different guys driving their cars while wearing headphones. Seriously, dude.

At least they weren't text messaging each other. Apparently, all the kids are doing it: texting and driving. Yikes. I sent a text (from my house) the other day and it took me approximately 20 minutes to type it out. So you know it won't be me out there texting on the roads anytime soon, unless I have someplace really far away to drive to.

Proud of the Pride

It has recently come to my attention that our marching band (aka the Pride of Oklahoma) has been performing Michael Jackson's "Thriller" at halftime shows at the past few football games. And by perform, I mean perform. Check it:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Flashback Friday: All in the Family

So, I've been a bit behind on my blog posts this week due to large amounts of scary editing that I am turning in today. This is why I'm running my Flashback Friday photo on a Sunday afternoon.

The FF theme for this week is All in the Family, suggested by Hyena in Petticoats. Here's the only formal family portrait that I'm aware of from before 1985 (and thank God the FF rules say pics must be from before 1985, because there's another formal portrait from the 90s that is just horrible. But enough about that!). I like to call this one the Sunshine Family photo, after the 1970s hippified Barbie-alternative dolls we also had and played with a lot. Favorite bits of this photo include:
  1. My sister's braids. AWESOME.
  2. My dad's hair flipping out on the side, echoed by my own hair flipping out in the exact same way.
  3. My dad's Western shirt. He had a whole collection of these, all with wonderful mother-of-pearl snaps instead of buttons.
  4. My mom's shaded lenses and velour dress. YES!
I'm also going to have to check with my mom to see if she still has these two little girl dresses in her stash of Precious Baby Clothes (that's what it says on the outside of the box) because they are too cute. Can you even remember the last time you saw a Pooh-themed dress that wasn't in pastels?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Eye candy

This crocheted wreath from Garnet Hill.

These bed linens from Ikea.

And this adorable passport cover from Etsy shop revontulitikku.

TK-421, Why aren't you at your post?

I've written before about my love of Legos and admitted that there is a large quantity of them in our house, stashed away in a closet so Little Omi can't play with—er, choke on them. Today I noticed these adorable little stormies, which had been a prized acquisition before Little Omi was born, now gathering dust after having been tossed carelessly into a bowl of spare (and mostly foreign) change. Ah, parenthood. It does rearrange one's priorities, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The eyes have it

Before I landed this cushy new gig as a stay-at-home-mommy, I never really had a career, but instead worked a series of interesting jobs. While some were more interesting than others, I always had a good time and learned lots of useful tidbits from each job. For instance, when I was a cook at a pre-school in my 20s, I learned how to time the cooking of each meal item so that everything came together right at lunch time. I also learned that 3-year-olds do not necessarily appreciate a lot of seasoning in their food (kid, after taking a bite of my special peppery corn: Teacher, more milk please! My mouth is burning!).

For a couple of years right after Big Omi and I were married, I worked as an editor at a textbook company. It was a great opportunity for me to hone my skills as a nit-picker and perfectionist. My experience there also led to some freelance work, copyediting scientific journal articles and grant proposals for non-native-English speakers. Now, I'm not exactly sure if what I'm learning from reading these articles is very useful, but you never know when you're going to be able to drop into a conversation how scientists check to make sure mice are properly anesthetized (with a toe pinch, if you're interested) before they are euthanized (with a guillotine, I kid you not), or that fresh retinas from dark-adapted calf eyes can be obtained at slaughterhouses. Although, with the holidays coming up, I'm sure the opportunity will present itself.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Woodland treasures

The weather has been all over the place around here lately. Yesterday, Little Omi was wearing a very summery sleeveless dress for our pecan-gathering outing in the morning, then today it was back into long pants, turtlenecks, and sweaters. I'm hoping the cold air tonight will finally be enough to finish off the mosquitoes, because both Little Omi and I were attacked by the little bastards yesterday & the day before. Poor Omi-chan's face is covered with bites and she looks like she has measles!

We discovered these little mushrooms a few days ago. They're growing near a tree stump next to our house. I wonder if they'll make a good snack for some passing hungry squirrel? Which reminds me, I saw a squirrel napping on a tree branch yesterday. I actually saw him fall asleep, when he... just... couldn't... keep... his... eyes... open....

Monday, November 5, 2007

Picking up, sorting

At 18 months, Little Omi is really getting the hang of sorting objects. Today we spent quite a bit of time in the back yard picking up pecans. For some reason, the dogs haven't been able to eat them all yet, so we collected quite a bounty!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Where's fishy?

Today I was cleaning all the leaves out of our little whiskey-barrel pond and I couldn't find our fish anywhere. It was quite troubling; we've had this fish for 6 years and she has survived 6 winters, 1 move, and 2 dogs constantly drinking the water out of her small home. So when I couldn't see her I just assumed she had finally been lapped up by one of the dogs. I searched and searched, looking under all the lily pads and the big rock, but she was nowhere to be found. Eventually I gave up and came inside and told Big Omi, with a sniff. He looked out the window and there she was, swimming around in the pond like her usual self. Phew! Now, I wonder where she was hiding?

In other news, we made the drive to Chickasha today to enjoy their lovely park and the 80°F weather we had. Little Omi was a very big girl and went down the slide all by herself! (This was after going down about a million times while Daddy was holding onto her.) Quite a big step for everyone involved.

Oh, and we won our football game last night. All in all, a wonderful weekend. Go Sooners!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Flashback Friday: My stylish mom

My mom is one of the most stylish people I know. And how hard can it be to look stylish with you've got such perfect eyebrows? Not only can she put together a beautiful outfit for herself, complete with the perfect dangling earrings, she's always decorated her home so amazingly well, too. Alas, I can only aspire to be so stylish in my own appearance and home. Somehow I didn't get those genes (nor the eyebrows).

But my own memories of my mom don't have that much to do with her style as they do with all the wonderful things we did together when I was little, like playing Legos on the floor of our living room, gardening (well, she gardened while I mostly just pulled up baby carrots or wandered around eating the all the tips off the asparagus), taking walks to collect pretty autumn leaves, or making peanut-butter balls and orange juice pops (and eating them, too!).

And to top it off, she's quite crafty, too. I loved to watch her weave on her big loom, or spin yarn or knit or sew. I can remember clearly the sound of the shuttle zooming across the warp threads and the way the heddle rods would shake when she pulled the beater down on the weft. And the sound of her metal knitting needles clicking together—heavenly. I've mentioned before how she made the all the dresses for our My Friends dolls' wedding. When she was at her sewing machine I loved to sort through all the patterns or play with the fancy weights she used for holding down the pattern on the fabric while she cut it.

My goal in staying home with Little Omi is not only to give her the best foundation she can possibly get to start her life, but to create with her some wonderful memories like these. Love you, Mom!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Birthday to me, circa 2005

What's that, you say? You say my birthday was way back in August so what's up with the celebrating? Let me explain: Back in 2005, my Dad gave me a gift certificate to L.L. Bean for my birthday (incidentally, I also found out I was pregnant with Little Omi on my birthday that year). I have sat on that gift certificate ever since, keeping it in a safe place and visiting it from time to time. I've spent it dozens of times in my mind, going as far as putting items in my basket on the L.L Bean Web site only to chicken out and dump everything at the checkout. I really suffer from analysis paralysis when it comes to gift certificates. I love having the possibility of the new item so much and deciding which item takes away that potential. Well, a few days ago I finally broke through my AP and ordered these wonderful Keen clogs. They arrived today and I already know they will be my primary shoe for the fall and winter (until spring when I can switch back to my Keen sandals). I love them. Thanks, Dad!

Now maybe I'll tackle that Title Nine gift certificate I received from my Mom last Christmas...
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