I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

My photo
I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Patio Make Over

Before



I think I'd like to title this segment "Things I tried so you don't have to".

A couple of years ago I acquired this patio set as a hand-me-down.  I didn't have a patio table set and we do like to eat outside in nice weather, so I was thrilled.  But the set is probably 15 years old and visibly looked it.  It was that old metal green color and was suffering here and there from rust.

I thought to myself "I can totally paint that!"  So I set about doing it.  Now, you may find yourself thinking "I should do that too!"  Don't do it.  I had to paint the whole thing with a Rust-Primer, and then with a lovely bright red that I found (spray paint) and it took WAAAAAAAy more paint that you would have guessed.  Like 20+ cans between the two.  Maybe more.  I kept thinking it would only take 2 more cans and run to Lowe's about 5 times.  So it also wasn't all that cheap.  About $120 in spray paint.  Now I couldn't have bought a nice new big set for that...but still.  But I do like the results.

I'm looking for an outdoor rug to spruce up my cement patio.
What do you think?

with rust primer

This is what I used.  But that gun handle thing is the real winner

Final product






















Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Deeper Questions of the Universe: Bright Bottoms

Photo styling done by my fabulous BFF MSJ.
I've got another very serious question today:  Can a woman of no tender years get away with wearing super bright pants (crops...jeans...etc)?

I found these sassy crops at Target and really love the color.  But I am not a 20-something anymore, and you all know I detest people who do not understand when it is time to give up certain fashion elements.  There is no need to be dowdy, but fashion-age appropriateness has a place in civilized society.


So what do you think?  Can I get away with this??


**on a side note I have my own rendition of "bright bottomed girls you make the world go round" stuck in my head.  I like my version of it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thin Mint Cake

I needed a "special occasion" cake this weekend, but I couldn't really find quite the right one (which, if you follow me on Pinterest you would know seems unlikely...), but once you get an idea in your head it is hard to buck.But I found a box of Thin Mints in the freezer and the person I was making the cake for really likes Thin Mints, but had requested a cake....and this is what happened.
Thin Mint Cake

I wanted a really chocolaty cake, but it turned out I didn't have any baking chocolate, so I amped it up a bit with the cocoa and it was tasty.  I also wanted mint frosting, so I used a pretty typical butter cream recipe and added a touch of peppermint oil, but the frosting was a little rich, and since I cut the two layer of the cake in half to give me more frosting (between the now four layers) and then I couldn't fit the cake in my freezer for the crumb coat, I had to double the batch of frosting, so then I decided I would cut the sweetness by adding a dark chocolate layer of ganache over the top.  Don't judge, it is how my brain works.  And it did cut the sweetness.


Thin Mint Cake Recipe

  •   2 cups cake flour 


  •  1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


  •  1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 


  •  3/4 teaspoon salt 


  •  3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature


  •  2 cups (packed) brown sugar 


  •  3 large eggs  


  •  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


  •  1 cup buttermilk 


  •  3/4 cup hot water



Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.  Sift together cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla. Add flour mixture 1 cups at a time, alternating with buttermilk, beating just until blended. Gradually add hot water, beating just until smooth. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.     
   
Simple Mint Butter Cream Frosting


 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
 6 cups powdered sugar
 1 teaspoon clear vanilla
 1/16 teaspoon peppermint oil (may use extract, add to taste)
 green food coloring
 1/2 cup milk  (more or less)       

Beat Butter until smooth.  Add vanilla. Add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time alternating with milk until you have the desired consistency.  Add Peppermint and food coloring.
*Note: for the cake above I doubled this recipe
                       


  Chocolate Ganache

 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips   
1 cup heavy cream  
1 teaspoon vanilla            


Heat Cream in Microwave on low in 1 minute increments, watching carefully, and stirring between each minute.  When cream starts to boil, remove and pour over chocolate chips.  Add vanilla and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Allow to cool 30 minutes to an hour until it is almost room temperature but still pourable.  If it thickens too much, heat 1" water in a shallow dish and set chocolate bowl in it for a minute, then stir.  The heat of the water through the bowl will loosen it up-do not pour it over the butter cream frosting if it is too hot--it will melt it. I let mine get a little thick...I might test it by pouring a little out and see how it does.



It takes about 1 sleeve of Thin Mints to go around the bottom of the cake and for decoration on the top (well...it takes about that many if you "accidentally" keep breaking the cookies when you cut them in half so that they have to be eaten...)
    


Monday, May 28, 2012

Meet Edna

Please welcome the newest member of the household: Edna.

Edna is a Capricorn who considers herself a "homebody" and likes to do dishes.

Do not let her fool you though, she is not cheap and didn't go home with the first person who opened her door.  And believe me, this gal doesn't take your crap.  Well, she kinda does, but she deals with it....and she's shiny.

She arrived Thursday and we've given her a run for her money ever since.

Welcome Edna.
We hope you're happy here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Skinny Your Pants Tutorial

So you all know I've been converted to skinny jean in the last few months, but I'm a girl on a budget and I  cannot switch up my wardrobe at the same pace as my fashion sense.  But then I remembered "Hey!  I'm a sewing wizard!"  and there is no reason why I can't do a little pants conversion.  Whilst doing this I was brought back a few years when we used to "peg" our pants (soooo dating myself) and while much of it was pants origami, I had several pairs that I sewed as I tight as I could and still get my foot through.

But then I thought "Hey!  Why not take your sewing magic to the world?"  So I've put together a simple tutorial on skinny pants magic.  It really isn't too hard.  And when you're done, it is like you were visited by the pants fairy.  And who doesn't like that?

Before

 Step 1: Go find your pants.  This is important.  Do NOT skip this step. Try them on and see where you'd like the pants to begin to taper.  This is usually right around the knee. Mark with a safety pin.

















Step 2: take another pair of already skinny jeans that you like (If you have some) and measure across the bottom to see how big they are.  This pair measures about 6 1/2" across (or 13" around).  I know I can get into these and I like how they fit, so this is a good size for me.














Step 3: Take the jeans you want to alter and turn them inside out and lay them flat.  Measure across the bottom to see how much you'll need to take them in. I needed to take these pants in about 2" (or 4" around).
There will be a seam on the outer leg and a seam on the inner leg.  Lots of jeans have seams that are flat-felled (I'll show you one in a minute). On this pair of Target jeans the inner seam is flat-felled and the outer one is just regular with the serged edge.  I started with this seam because it is easier.  I will take in the pants more on this side. (You can take them in all the way on this seam, but the pants might fit weird--I'll show you a pair I did that to next).  I decided to go in about 1 1/2" on this seam.  Starting at the hem, making sure they are even at the bottom,  pin all the way through so that the front and back of the pants are pinned together, angling up toward the spot at the knee where your safety pin is.












Step 4: Once you have it pinned, start at the bottom and follow your pins until you meet the old seam--if you are careful you can angle it so then you can sew right on top of the old seam for a 1/2" or so, so that the new seam will disappear into the old one. 


























Step 5:  Try them on.  Mine were still a little loose at the ankle, so I decided to take them in on the other seam as well, but I didn't want to take it all the way up as high as the other leg, because I have a pretty healthy calf and it was just right.  I marked the point just under my calf that I wanted the other seam to angle up to.

























Step 6: 


Laying the leg flat again, you can see the inside of the flat-felled seam opposite my new seam.  You'll also notice the leg front and back are different widths.  I'm going to take in that little bit of fabric just to right of that seam.  You can't take a bulky seam like this in the same way.
















Step 7: Matching the hem at the bottom I am going to let that seam be 1/2" away from the fold (the way it wants to be) and pin the two sides together.  As you can see from the picture above, the seam is pretty straight, but I want to angle it, so I had to shift the fabric, so it would angle.  Make sure even as you manipulate the fabric that you keep it pretty flat so you don't get tucks in it when you sew.


Then I will sew right on the edge of that fat seam (which is about 1/8" away from the original stitching line on the right side of this seam, making sure to angle up and blend my new seam off the edge of the pants (not into the seam) as best I can.












Close up






















From the Outside.  If you can sew right up against
that other seam, you won't see it.













































Step 8: Finish.  Try them on again and make sure you like the fit.  If everything looks good, repeat on the other side.  To finish the seams, cut away the excess fabric leaving about 1/2".  Then you can serge it, or just run a zig-zag stitch along the edge.  If you don't feel like it, you don't have to do anything, it will just fray a bit.








After.  I didn't do these very tight.  They are pretty
stretchy, so I probably could have taken them in
a bit more.



























Here is a second pair of pants I did.  These are actually new twill pants, about $8 on the clearance rack at Target.  I decided to only take these in on one side instead of doing the two seams.  They were a slightly different shape, so I tapered them differently.

I took the angle from the inner lower thigh and continued that down through the knee (they were really loose through the thigh) to the size that I wanted them to be just below the calf and then took the seam straight down so the pants would be the same size through the whole ankle (they were also a little long, and I like the slouchy look around the ankle but thought they'd look better if the seam were straight).
I marked and pinned them and then tried them on, and they were perfect at the thigh & ankle, but a bit snug through the calf.


So I change the angle just through the calf area leaving the top and bottom the same.

It is a bit hard to see in this picture, but that is my actual stitched seam just to the right of a blue pencil marking line.






The after and the before.
Pretty cute, right??
























Tip: After you stitch one side and trim it off, you can use the piece to mark the other side so you get the angle right.  Just make sure that you sew about 1/2" (or whatever seam allowance you used).



Congratulations!  You now own fashionably skinny pants.








Friday, May 25, 2012

Mommy Wars

A couple of weeks ago I was a bit mystified by a Time magazine cover that had a mom breast-feeding her four year old son.  I wasn't mystified by the fact the mom was still breast-feeding, but it amazed me that it made the cover of such a prominent magazine, a fact I thought was meant incite angry judgemental remarks about the mother and her choices and get everybody all riled up against each other.  (What I really noticed was that that woman was way too thin). Of course, I wanted to spout off about it, but I decided not to fan the flames, and also I couldn't put my words together in a clear way.

 I stumbled across this today, and I thought I'd pass it on.  I like this.  I feel like this about so many things.  Do I really care whether or not the Republican hate the Democrats?? No.  Do they fight over stupid stuff??  Yes.  What I want is someone to fix education.  And pitting each other against one another doesn't get it done.  Do I care who is the PTA president next year?? No.  Do I wish our school district served more nutritious lunches? Yes.  Do I care if you feed your kid organic apples, or get them to bed at 8:00 or bathe them more than once a week?  NOT REALLY.  I know you care about your kids, even if you raise yours differently than I raise mine.  Anyone who knows me knows I make my choices because I think they are best for my family, but hey....your kid may already know to use oven mitts to take hot stuff out of the oven, so you might choose to focus on something different.  Good for you.

Anyway.  Here is the awesome blog post.  This is your Friday night bonus.  You're Welcome.
I also like the name of her blog: Rage against the minivan.  Yes.

Prize Winner!

Remember back in March when I had that super cool contest  Yeah, well Tiffany won, and this is the prize she requested.  It took me a bit to make it, but then it took even more of a bit for Tiff & I to get together (face-to-face) for me to deliver it.
Hopefully it is everything she dreamed of and more.
It is awesomeness in a knitted pillow.


I will probably run another contest later this summer for my 3000 view.  The more often you come back the closer you will be to awesomeness like this.


*For the knitters among us; I used the same pattern that I posted a while back, which you can find here,
only I knit this one in the round with a super chunky, which I found to be easier in the end and also prettier.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Solving World Problems One Dream at a Time

and just for the record, this is NOT me.
My clothes fit.  Plus I am waaaay
too prideful to take a photo of my fat.
I'm a pretty vivid dreamer.  In color, but rarely with a soundtrack.  I get quite a few of my more spectacular ideas whilst asleep.  In truth, I solve world problems....but last night I had an entrepreneurial idea, and I'm totally going to patent this baby.

So here's the world problem: There are few things more tragic and unattractive than ill-fitting clothes.  Particularly clothes that are too small.  Seldom a day goes by when I don't see someone whose pants are too tight and I think, you're just accentuating the fact that your butt is bigger than it was last week.  But who can buy new clothes to fit the expanding of America?  We're in a recession ya'll!  People gots to economize.  But pants that are too small just won't do.

Ok.

Now here's part two:
So we've got deodorant that knows when to kick in, right?  We've time delayed medications, cars that know not to run over small children and parallel park themselves.   The world is full of non-alive things magically knowing when to do the thing they're supposed to do. Sprinkler systems that knows when it rained.

Now we combine the two......and voila! Pants that know when to get bigger.  They are guilt free, so if you're just having a bloaty day...you are not uncomfortable.  OR if you are in denial that you are part a growing trend of people just begging to die of heart diasease and diabetes--no worries.  These pants will expand up to 5, that's right 5 sizes!  You can gain more than 50 pounds before you have to buy new pants!!  That's almost a year!
And we're not talking spandex or super sized sweat pants here either.  We're talking real pants.  Jeans.  Khakis.  Light-weight summer wool trousers.  In both flat front and pleated.

They also work in reverse, and will go back down with you, but I don't expect that function to be utilized as often by the expanding pants purchasing demographic.

Brilliant.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Candy Man

Yesterday I watched a little neighbor boy for a bit who did not really want to be watched by me and wouldn't even look at me after I took him from his mother.  I tried to buy his love by letting him watch a movie...he settled on Madagascar and as he watched I was busy at my sewing machine making a "special" twirly white skirt for some Spanish dance Anna is doing in class Thursday (note to teachers: do not make parents come up with stupid stuff like white skirts...it won't matter).
Anyway, it got to the part in the movie where the zoo animals are captured in Grand Central Station and they use tranquilizer darts and the lion has these crazy hallucinations and they play the song "The Candy Man" by Sammy Davis Jr.  I've never noticed the song.  Perhaps because when you are actually watching the movie, it does all this crazy colorful drug induced kaleidoscope stuff, but since I wasn't watching, I only heard the music.
I love this song.  I did not grow up in a house with a lot of music, and spent a great deal of time at my grand parent's house with even less music.  But my grandma did have a record player and one record...this one.  I must have driven her to drink with my requests for her to play this song over and over again.  But as I heard it today, I was taken back 35 years to their house.  I could see the faux wood paneling (we're not fancy pants, no real wood paneling for us), I could see the star burst clock on the wall above the record player.  I could see the numerous dolls my grandma had on her "best" couch (the one with the plastic cover) with their crocheted outfits, I could smell the cigarette smoke and see Zsa-Zsa, my grandma's fat white chiuaua.  There were good times to be had in that house as long as you knew how to play go-fish and could listen to Sammy D on repeat-before repeat was just a button to be pushed.
So I looked up this YouTube video and discovered that the song hit #1 on the charts the year I was born.
And I also love candy, although when I think about what an actual candy man would look like I get a little creeped out.

Sammy rocks his plaid jacket.  And I had a hunch you could use a little 1972 cheer.
Who can make a sunrise?  The Candy Man.  The Candy Man Can.  Cause' he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Conversations with a Boy

Last Friday for movie night I promised the kids I would go fetch them a movie from Redbox...here is the conversation that ensued:

Me: William, I'm running to get the movie, if the timer rings before I get back, take the pizza out of the oven. these seem like pretty simple instructions to me

Wm: Ok.  Wait.  With my bare hands?

Me: No.  Not with bare hands.  It will be hot. Note to self: remember to teach Wm some useful life lessons like how to take HOT things out of the oven. Use oven mitts.

Wm:  Ok.  Wait.  What are oven mitts?

Me: silence.  

Wm: Oh wait! Laughs.  Those are those big glove things, right?  Will you get them out for me?

Me: They are in the drawer right next to the oven.  I think you can handle it.  Actually, this conversation has left me in serious doubt of that.

I left anyway, but made haste lest my house burn down...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ask Huck Monday

Happy Monday!

I found Huck this morning reading nursery tales....I typically don't ask.  I'm not sure I want to know.

Today we have a question from a young reader:

Dear Huck,

Why do dogs like to chase balls so much?  My dog will do this for hours.

Love,
Tired arm in Kentucky

Dear arms,
You should be grateful you have arms with which to throw.  Any dog would give his eye teeth to be able to throw their own ball.  That does not mean, however, that I condone this type of activity.  It is among the baser pleasures of many dogs, to be sure, but that doesn't make it right.  On moral grounds I do not participate in such activities.  My human makes snide remarks about my lack of interest in "fetching" (such a degrading term), and about how I will become fat from lack of exercise.  Little does she know that I spend a good portion of the day while she is at work on her elliptical machine.
But I digress, if your Canine friend loves to play with the ball, indulge him.  There may be a day when such low entertainments will not be suitable for our kind.

Yours respectfully,
Huck


To submit a query to Huck simply email him at hucksadvice@gmail.com.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Book Review: Museum of Thieves


Museum of Thieves

Lian Tanner


This book was recommended for my son by one of our local librarians.  While I love our librarians, we’ve had a few recommendations that I was glad I had pre-read.  Finding books William will like, that will challenge him, yet are still age appropriate is sometimes difficult. 

This is a good one and the first of a trilogy called The Keepers.  And I think would be appropriate for ages 10-13.

The main character is Goldie, a twelve year old girl living in the city of Jewel set in an unknown time-period.
The city of Jewel is interesting.  They have eradicated most diseases, any dangerous animals, and are mainly interested in keeping the Children of Jewel safe.  All children are required to wear guardian chains; basically a manicle with a silver chain that is attached to an adult at all times until they are 12 where they go through the Separation Ceremony. 
At the start of the book, Goldie is at her Separation Ceremony when a tragedy happens and The Guardians (a group of people whose creepiness and power is high) decide not to separate the children in order to keep them safe and that is where Goldie flees and ends up at the Museum of Thieves.
The museum harbors all the relics of the past that the people have gotten rid of.

The book does harbor a rather overt message that children cannot be coddled or protected from everything, and that there needs to be a balance of good and bad in the world, which could be taken as political, but it didn’t bother me since I rather agree (to a certain degree).

Friday, May 18, 2012

I'm Good in a Crisis

5th grade curriculum includes student reports on states.  William got New Hampshire.  He has been working, pretty diligently, on this for several weeks.  They had to draw the flag, complete a fact sheet, complete a set of note cards, do a 4 page report, give a speech and then will have a full "states fair" next week that parents will attend.  We know a lot about New Hampshire now.  Most of this he has done on his own...until his paper was due.  He had spent a couple of hours typing it up, when he emerged from the basement teary eyed saying he was going to fail this assignment.  Drama is not a new thing 'round these parts, so I didn't react too much.  "What's wrong?"
He replied that he was almost done and then his paper had disappeared and now he couldn't get it back.
Oh no.
I tromped downstairs to take a peek and execute my well practiced ctrl Z move, but William had closed Word.
oh no.
Me: "Why did you turn it off?"
Wm: "Because my paper was gone."
Me: "But I could have got it back, luv, did you save it at all?"
Wm: "no."
oh no.
This was beyond my magical ctrl Z powers, and after a few frantic phone calls discovered it probably was gone forever.

But my sweet boy, who has a bit of trouble this year focusing on schoolwork, had done the work and was now in tears. Enter mom-in-crisis mode.

Me: "Well lucky for you, I type fast.  You dictate your paper to me, and I will type it out, and we will have it all back before you can think twice about it."

And that is what we did. We then also had a very important lesson in Saving documents.  It took me about a half hour to put things to right and my luv trotted off to scouts in a much altered mood.  I did not get dinner fixed that night, but it was OK.  And it brought back to mind my own mother.  I do not have a lot of good memories involving my mom.  That is a small part of why I find Mother's Day so troublesome, although not entirely.

She was not an involved mom.  I never remember her coming to a game, or a play, or really anything growing up.  I never remember her helping me with homework or even asking me about school. But I do have a few select memories of her in a crisis.  In fact I have three good memories of my mom stepping up and fixing a problem I had. I treasure these memories. I will share one.

I was a Senior in High School and had a big paper due in Mrs. Hagen's English Class (PVHS friends will remember that class!)  I had done the work, and had proceeded to type it up on our brand new computer (oh that sad little machine!) the night before it was due.  I worked in High School after all my extra-curriculars, and often did not get home until after midnight, which is when, I assume I began typing.  I was not a very fast typer then, and I cannot remember when I finished, but much like William, as I finished up, the computer froze up and the only way to deal with it was to reboot.  All was lost.
I was in a panic.  My mom usually worked early in the morning and was often gone before we all got up.  I think I was still up when she was leaving, trying to fix my computer problem.  I don't remember much else, except that she took my hand written paper and told me she would get it to me before my class.  Back-in-day, there weren't a lot of options for typing up a paper.  But she knew she could go into St. George to the public library and there she typed it up on a type writer and brought it by the school (I'm not even sure she'd ever been there before that day) and got it to me on time.  She pulled through in a crisis.
I like to think that even though they are few, those are the moments I've chosen to glean and use for my own mothering purposes.  I'd like to think my kids know they could come to me in a crisis.  And that I could make it better.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Seize My Day


Mother's Day has come and gone and I survived it as did you.  The Citizens were keenly aware of Mother's Day this year...perhaps we are in that rare state in between babies and teenagers and all is good.



Anna made me this perfect card and perfect breakfast.  She made it all by herself.

My favorite line:
"Your my only mother."

And as a matter-of-fact, I am.

After she gave it to me she realized she had misspelled her own name.



This may be the best breakfast I've ever had in my whole life.



Perhaps I survived the day because I decided to take matters into my own hands and splurged on a pair of shoes I've wanted for quite some time.  Not that gifts are the thing that matters, but that I mattered enough to myself to know that a jaunty pair of red shoes would soothe the soul on a rather difficult day that really only serves to make women feel inadequate.  And they did just that.










Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I'm Packin' It Up and So Should You

I, in my infinite wisdom decree that every family, in all parts of the land, shall pack up their houses, and children, and food storage, and craft supplies and vast quantities of unused kitchen gadgets.  They shall gather together their goats and their chickens and gerbils and parakeets.  They shall comb through their Christmas ornaments and decorative holiday wreaths and wrapping paper.  They shall sift through the happy meal toys and legos and stuffed animals and bits of folded paper that resemble robots and they shall gather it all together and pack it up and divide it asunder.  And the better half shall they keep unto themselves for the maintenance of their families and all the rest shall be declared CRAP and shall be thrown away or donated or yard saled to hoarders.  And so shall it be done in the land every 5 years.

This is Libby's garage after we all dumped our "valuables"
off in it.  Just looking at this makes me a little
sick to my stomach.
That is how often we should all move.  5 years.  Up until this very year, I had never lived in a house 5 years in all my life, but now that I am nearly there, I am suffocating under all the stuff.  When you move every couple of years (and particularly when those moves take you all the way across the country) you are forced to choose and prioritize and look at that multi-tiered jello mold and say "how many times have I used this in the last year and how often to I anticipate needing it within the next?"

So I've been doing a bit of spring cleaning, and lucky for me, my neighbor holds a big yard sale every year in support of the family support group that is associated with her husband's National Guard Unit.  She spends a couple of month not being able to park in her garage as she takes all our crap and stores it there.  I donated my fare share this year, although probably not nearly enough, since we are not actually moving, and it takes an actual move to motivate people to clear it all out.

Why do we have so much crap anyway?  Why do my kids have so much stuff?  And where did it come from?  Well, I'm sick of it.  We're doing some serious purging around here, and so too should you.  Let it be so.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bees

The 5th graders got to go to a Bee's game today if they had all their work in... Igot called in as a last minute parent substitution

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dear Huck/The Regal Beagle

Dear Huck,

How did you celebrate Mother's Day at your house?  Did you do anything nice for your human mommy?
Love,
Cheerfully Obtuse


Dear Obtuse,
Clearly, you are not a regular follower...I did NOT celebrate Mother's Day in the traditional sense.  I mostly ignore my human "mother" because of her intense disregard for my personal space and lack of dignity when it comes to dogs wearing hats.  I would have shown her my love on her dear carpet, but she has somehow clued in to my usual reciprocation of love and locked me outside, again.  This does not bode well for her....and I am forced to become more creative.  It is perhaps a battle of wills...but I will show her who rules the roost.  Oh yes, I will....

Yours,
Huck




To send a question, comment or letter to Huck and be considered for a future publication please email him at
Hucksadvice@google.com

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Two Can Play...

So I'm off my game today...I forgot my computer cord at work and as soon as my computer heard this it died (this is no lie...don't tell me they don't sense things and won't someday take over the world).  I screamed at Anna this morning, the wind is blowing (I hate wind), William is home sick, I don't feel great and Mother's Day is approaching, that odious of all holidays.
AND THEN, I borrowed the kids computer, which I rarely do because it is a PC and is possessed of the DEVIL, and that is when my life just took a new low turn.  Apparently William has set up his own blog.  HIS OWN BLOG.  A blog I know nothing about and which is, by the title of it, about how awful his life is.....sigh.  There are no posts yet, but I will be following...oh yes, I will.  Two can play at this game of home internet subterfuge.



***post published addendum.  When I went to facebook, he is there too!!  How I do not know this is beyond me.  I'm thinking I get a big fat FAIL in Mothering to kids born into the internets.  As soon as I figure out how to do the history on this M&*^%%F*&&%@@! machine....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

William is famous!

Well...maybe not quite yet.  KSL channel 5 is doing some sort of segment called "What Are Kids Thinking" that will be coming up I don't know when.  Schools around the area were asked to invite a few kids from their school to participate, and William was chosen.  It was probably random who got picked, but I like to think it is because he is good-looking, charming and generally a pleasant kind of kid.
William was not really impressed by the idea that he might be on TV so much as kids who participated were given two passes to Lagoon.
So Saturday we drove on over to the TV studios where we saw one of the local TV people in the lobby and then the kids were ushered in for their interviews.  I don't know what they asked him, because parents weren't allowed in the interview and all I could get out of William was "yeah, they asked me some questions about school and stuff..." He was gone for awhile.  Several other kids came and went and still he was gone talking away.  It is a genetic gift, this talking.  Or curse, I guess...depending on how you look at it.
But here he is in the lobby...looking very cool and self assured.  He always looks this way.
I will keep you posted when the program comes out and if William makes an appearance in it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Book Review: The Book of Lost Things


The Book of Lost Things
By John Connolly

This book starts out very simple with a boy whose mother dies and WWI on the verge.  I thought to myself, this seems like a book my 11 year old would like.  Then he ends up in this fantasy world that it kind of seems like he created, and that’s when things start to get dark.  By the end, it is so dark, this book is rendered inappropriate for my son for years to come.

But it is pretty good for adults.  Mr. Connolly sets up a world that is easily recognizable and for that reason I think is, at first glance, easy to dismiss as “children’s literature.”  As a reader, I underestimated Mr. Connolly’s story telling power.

Everything in the book is something that pretty much any child would relate to, and that’s what the story revolves primarily around: the boy, and the world he “creates” with his own fears and stories he has read.  I’ve done this.  I’ve read something, and it has struck me somehow and then my mind twists it into something new and rather terrifying.  Something that strikes at the heart of my own personal fears.

It is a quick, easy read, but do not dismiss this book…it may harbor your darkest secrets and fears.