Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another Meg quote

Sorry for the deluge of Meg quotes today, after two weeks of nothing. We finally have all our technology working again and an afternoon at home, and I keep remembering more good ones. For instance, there was the time I told Meg she should finish going potty and then she could have... um...

"I think 'M & Ms' is the word you're looking for," she informed me.

This is the way of a temper tantrum at our house

Regrettably, and no doubt this astonishes you, it sometimes happens that all is not perfect peace and amity between me and my three-year-old. This is how one such difficult conversation went yesterday.

"No." Me
"WAAAAH!" said Meg.
I waited.
Meg, taking a deep breath, "I NEED SOME SPACE." She ran into her room and slammed the door.

Emotions are hard things.

Meggie cuteness

The other day, after it had snowed and thawed and there was rock salt all over the sidewalks, she said, "Look, Mommy! Snow crumbs!"

Then last night, Jonathan tried to tell Meg a story about France. I wasn't sure Meg was clear on France, so I started quoting Ratatouille at her. "Ze best food in ze world is made in France. And ze best food in France is made in..."

Meg looked blank. But then she guessed -- "Mexico!"

Fiendishly clever, these Americans

Meg wanted some hummus, but I was being uncooperative because I didn't want her double-dipping in the container. Jonathan got up and got her her own little bowl to put it in. Meg got really excited.

She said, "Thank you, Dad! Dad is INGENIOUS!"

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January craft: turquoise kitten

Try not to think about the Rat. Meg helped me style this shot. As soon as the kitten was dry, she whisked it off to play with the Rat of Irrational Happiness, and apparently they're best friends now.

Right... I've had this little plaster kitten for years. I believe my old pastor's wife made it back in craft show days. However, it had collected a couple of chips over the years and the faux terra-cotta paint job no longer did it for me. Clearly it was time to jump on the paint-animals-bright-colors trend.

I was going to paint it pink, but I already had turquoise paint. It's plain craft paint, not primed or sealed or anything. I kinda like it.

The Rat, by the way, was a white elephant gift and before that it had been a joke gift, meaning the person who gave it to the other person is the one who bought it with malice aforethought. It usually lives out of sight in the pantry to scare away real rats and unsuspecting houseguests. I don't know why Meg loves it so, but it would make her sad to get rid of it. So the Rat stays.

January craft: better cardboard swords

 One delightful side effect of wrapping lots of presents is that you get not only wrapped presents (PRESENTS!), but empty cardboard tubes to use for swords.

I conveniently finished two kinds of wrapping paper and a roll of paper towels the same day, and thought of a way to make wrapping-paper tube swords even awesomer. What they really needed were those cross-tree hilt things.

I gently pressed the short piece just flat enough to cut two pointy-ended ovals out of it, one on either side for the long tube to slide through. It was a little bit trial and error. The oval has to be longer and narrower than the circle of the tube so that it will hold it in place, but not so narrow as to smash the tube flat.

I really like playing swords with the cross piece. It catches your opponent's sword when you parry it so your hand doesn't get pretend cut off, which is a great feeling.

The swords have even held up relatively well. When one end got bent out of shape, we just slid the hilt to the other end and kept going. Then, when that was bent, we strengthened it with leopard-spotted duct tape. The awesomeness just keeps sharing. I love it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Orange you glad... oh never mind

As I was putting away the lettuce, it came to me what remaining Romaine is, really. It's the Romainder.

Friday, January 11, 2013

An anniversary of sorts

Today is the one year anniversary of Jonathan working at his current job. It's hard to believe it's only been one year. We're so happy here and with the situation. It was really a miracle job, especially because we know so many law grads who still haven't found a position at all. So we're grateful.

Also, I want to take a minute and brag on my husband. He's handsome. He gives great hugs. He does dishes. He writes a mean will (but he'd rather write nice ones) in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He tracks down people across thirty years and five states armed only with their name and their parents' names, and imports angels from the far east. He also fixes toilets and internet when they start leaking. We've been married four and a half years, and I adore him so much.

Craft shelf ratio

Well, I haven't found the golden ratio of craft to books shelves, but I have rearranged my entire house and come to a new equilibrium.

Fine, it wasn't the entire house.

A friend who was moving gave me a new shelf, so I set it up in the bedroom (rearranging as I went like Rumor picking up force; don't worry, it's a Latin reference) and decided, somewhat arbitrarily, that it was going to be the new sci fi and fantasy shelf. If I put political theory books back in the corner, we might never read them, but we would hunt down Zahn in the remotest region of wherever when we need a Star Wars fix, so it was safe. I even fit them all on there, except Lewis and Tolkien. And I started a giveaway bag of some books I can now bear to part with.

Then I rejiggered the remaining books and got one set of shelves completely cleared off. I HAVE A CRAFT SHELF, Y'ALL! Obviously I started stacking craft supplies on it like there was no tomorrow. Or... like there was a tomorrow? Not sure which way that metaphor goes. It got full fast, is the point. Conveniently, all natural-colored baskets go together perfectly well. There's a lot to be said for having well-defined tastes. The photo boxes on the shelf are pretty eclectic, but since I don't think I picked any of them myself, I refuse to take the blame.

The shelf arrangement is still in progress. I was a little disappointed because the sewing machine is a space hog and takes up the entire top shelf, and additionally the new giant pretty basket that holds all my stamps and ink is another space hog and takes up most of another shelf. The new beading organizers have outgrown their box, and I need to figure out what to do about that. Nor have I actually gotten all my craft supplies collected onto it yet, since it's full but yarn and fabrics and paints and paper are still stuffed in bags and ottomans in corners all over the house. This Will Be Remedied.

But it's so worth it, to have as much accessible as there is. When you can get at the stamps without uprooting the entire room, you're so more more likely to use them. Meg has gotten quite good with her new stamp set and has started hankering after mine, which is... growth. I think. Hurray for a craft shelf.

And, a friend came over and asked if I'd redone the living room -- it looked so open and airy. YAY!

In other news, Jonathan made the mistake of sitting down on a dining chair this evening and it gave up the ghost. By my calculations, if this rate of furniture destruction keeps up, we'll be sitting on the floor in another nine months. I am comforted by the fact that the Lord has always provided -- the grace and the coffee are sufficient.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Judgment falls on the filing cabinet

We have an evil filing cabinet. The drawers won't stay in their runners; if you put so much as a couple pieces of paper in them, the drawers all fall straight down and you have to take them all out to get at anything. Also, one of them is warped, so it doesn't go all the way in, either. I think it does it on purpose. It's really rattley and loud and I paid full price for it only a year ago, and, shall we say, it tempts me to profanity.

Yesterday I was wrestling with it to move it out of my room and into Meg's room, temporarily. (Its next destination is the dumpster.) Meg was sitting on my bed watching with a lively curiosity.

"Can I kick it?" she asked.

I wasn't sure I understood. "You want to kick the filing cabinet?"


"Sure! Kick it!"

Meg gave it one good kick. She and Justice seemed satisfied.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Quote of the day

We got halfway through getting Meg dressed this morning. That is, she was wearing exactly a diaper when she bounded off to sit in her little car.

"Are you off?" I asked.

"No," she said. "I need to put my bunny ears on!" And she did.

Then she was off for Out and About.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Equation for the house

What is the correct ratio of books to craft materials to shelves to rooms?

I want to say:
books = the ones you love or can't easily replace;
craft materials = what you need to make the things you actually make;
shelves = enough to hold your stuff; and
rooms = not so full as to look like a warehouse; should be livable and pretty. For lo, the house is more than storage, and life more than things.

--> Which is impossible. Pick three out of four.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

As long as we're talking about New Year's Eve

I'll mention that we had black-eyed peas last night. I had originally visioned them as a dip, but they didn't come out dippy at all, so I just scooped spoonfuls onto our little plates and ate them as they were. I started by cooking a couple of slices of bacon in a sauce-pan, sauteeing a chopped onion in the fat, and then adding in a (drained and rinsed) can of black-eyed peas. They had great flavor and were quite easy - everything a black-eyed pea should be, in my opinion. Yum.

Happy New Year!

I just looked down at the calendar in the corner of my screen. 1/1/2013. It seems so unlikely, somehow. Where did 2012 go? Where did... all those years go? And what are all those ones doing on my screen?

At the beginning of the year, my resolution was 212 blog posts for 2012.  I didn't quite make it, with only 196 posts, but that's my most prolific since 2007 (207), so that's something. What the resolution did accomplish was drag my blog back to being a regular part of my life, which I had hoped it would do, so I'm relatively satisfied. Hopefully you are too.

We celebrated the new year with special appetizers for dinner over a rowdy game of Don't Break the Ice. Meg got it for Christmas and is a big fan, but hasn't quite grasped the nuance of not wanting to knock the polar bear down among the icebergs, so some of the rounds were short. Jonathan and I meant to play Settlers of Catan after we put Meg down, but we were so tired we collapsed with our several computers and that was kind of that. I played Bejeweled, personally. It's like Tetris only girlier, and I love it so much. I almost made it to midnight, but then I fell asleep at 11:55. Jonathan watched the political reports as we fell off the fiscal cliff.

I don't have any New Years Resolutions, precisely, and I tend to find meditating on the previous year somewhat inconclusive. I'm not sure I accomplished anything last year. I didn't write a novel or learn to knit or, um, visit Madagascar. We're still potty training and haven't bought a house yet. Wait! I sewed a red dress and most of a hobbit cloak. And Meg has learned her letters and numbers. There, that's what I did last year. But in any case, the Lord has taken good care of us, and that's pretty reassuring. I mean, I am reassured that He will take care of us again this year. A very happy New Year to you all.