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

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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.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Look What I Can Do!

Remember last year, when I bravely fixed my own toilet?  Yes, well...yesterday I had a similar experience and of course, am very very proud.

I fixed the lawn mower.

I think this falls into an exceptional category of home fix-its along with other motorized things like cars and.... other motorized things.  It deserves oohing and aahing.

I drive a little tiny cord-free electric mower.  Itty bitty thing.  I love it.  But the battery needed replacing....oh...last fall.  but after my adventures in toilet-land I thought I'd better not get too cocky so I delayed the fixing.  Sadly, my useless crop has started to grow again, and my mower being so tiny, I best get out there and fix it or it won't make it through.

So I got busy getting the cover off the mower.  No easy task.  5 years of rust had sealed those bolt-screwy things down.  I ended up stripping one, but did not let that deter my task.  No.  I embarked on a trip to the hardware store and bought a little tool to fix it...and it worked!  On two of the bolts.  I never could get out the other two.  I had to take it in to have those &**&$#s taken out. Expletives may have been loosed.  But I regained my composure and regrouped.  However, those mower guys were going to charge me twice as much to replace the battery.  So no thank you, I'll do it myself-just remove that damn rusty screw thingies and sharpen the blade please.

So I got it home, put my vast expertise in Internet shopping to good use, and got what looked like replacement batteries ordered.

They came yesterday.  I was intimidated.  They weighed a ton.  And the WIRES!!  There were 6 wires.  A two greens, a black, red, white, blue .  But I armed myself with the appropriate tools got the new batteries in and just hoped I got the right wires back on in the right place.  It should be noted that I did this right after work and did it all while wearing a fashionable maxi dress.  This is important.

I plugged it in and hoped for the best.  Today the charging light was green so I took him out for a spin.  It mowed!  Triumph.

Can she fix it?  Yes she can.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

I QUIT! And You Can Too!

*Dear Lord, please bless that my children are so eager for the end of the school year that they do not notice that I am no longer a willing participant. This is my plea.  Amen.

Yesterday, William sort of let it slip that he may have not done an assignment very well (i.e. at all) so I reluctantly got online to check.  There is nothing wrong with this, it is what mother's are supposed to do...apparently to the death.  But man, I'm sooooo ready for school to be over.  We still have another week to go, but I've already checked out.  But I couldn't tell him that what I was really thinking was "WHO CARES! LETS GO TO THE POOL!"

I have no idea if my kids are doing their homework right now.  I haven't checked their backpacks IN WEEKS.  I guess I should clarify: I have no idea if William is doing his homework right now.  Anna...well, she was painted with a different brush.  She's killing me.
"MOM, we gotta read!"  yeah, I know...blah blah blah, raising readers, Harry Potter, blah.  IF ONLY we could read for 20 minutes.  No. Solid hour.  Every damn night.  She follows me around the house reading to me while I do the dishes, fold the laundry and iron.  She's already registered herself for the summer library reading program.  I figure we'll send this one to college.  William can stay home with me and massage my bunions.

Last week, the third grade had a Running of The Bulls.  The appropriateness of the kids participating in a barbaric Spanish cultural event aside, it really didn't need to be a big deal.  Really. The kids don't care that much.  They're just glad to get outside and run around for a bit-hand them a Popsicle and let it rest.  But no.  Everything has to be this huge production.  I get production.  I work in theatre.  NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO BE A PRODUCTION.  I got a call the last week of April from the mom in charge of that event asking if I could have 2 dozen red sashes and bandannas prepped for the class in a couple of days.  No.  I could not.  I am in tech for a show and also, I don't care.  But she calls back the next day--could I do it if they moved the date? Seriously lady?  I'm working 60+ hours for three weeks straight and you can't cut out some fabric for a cultural event you volunteered to do?  I was a bit miffed but figured she would continue to find reasons to call me,  and also I do not even have enough strength left to make it to the finish line, so I did it.  Reluctantly.  It seemed like less effort. The kids looked adorable running around with their red scarves and sashes zapping the kids who got to play the bulls.  But completely unnecessary.  Moms, repeat after me: NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO BE A PRODUCTION.  The end.

Then I got a reminder email from William's teacher yesterday afternoon that today was to be their Medieval Feast and back in March, when I was still a real parent, I told her just to let me know what was left on the sign up sheet and I would bring that. There aren't a whole lot of involved parents for William's class so when I cared I wanted to make sure they were taken care of.  It's a good thing she emailed, because when I questioned Mr. Beene, he smiled slowly and said "Oh, yeah...that's tomorrow.  You're supposed to bring chicken legs."

!!!!  Chicken legs??  How many?  Precooked, I assume?  He had no idea.  3 emails later I trucked over to the grocery store deli to see what I could procure.  Of course I couldn't cook them myself (I actually appreciated that rule just a little), and there are no deals for the purchase of chicken legs only.  $1.19 EACH.  I hope those day old, cold nasty deli chicken legs were delish for the feast today....

But I felt pretty good about it...my interest in participating in anything school related right now is pretty much 0, so following through felt like a real accomplishment.  I don't understand why we don't just call it quits right after all the stupid testing is done.  The parents are done, the kids are done, the teachers are done.  We could if they quit taking every other Friday off all year long.

It is time to call it quits.  We can use the summer to  re-group, re-charge, re-invest in education or whatever.  In just a few short weeks I'll be day dreaming about new pencils and the smell of that shiny new trapper-keeper I'm going get William so he'll be so ready for Jr. high...because I love new school supplies.  But not today.  My house is full of broken pencil stubs with no erasers and dried up glue sticks.  Today we just need to call it in and go to the pool.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Day Huck Remembered He Was a Dog

I've been giving Huck some much needed (not necessarily deserved-those are two separate things) time away from hats lately.  Also, I've been busy.  But perhaps because of this....I caught Huck doing something I rarely see him do.....acting like a dog.  It was a rare moment, and fleeting, but I had my wits about me enough to catch it.  I'm going to post it here because he'll never forgive me.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Review: The Disappearing Spoon

The Disappearing Spoon
by Sam Kean

I've been so tired lately, it has taken me far longer than usual to get through a book...my head hits the pillow and I practically fall asleep on the spot.

But if you like well researched, easily explained science with lots of you'll-find-this-little-bit-of-trivia-interesting footnotes included, you'll probably like this book.  Because it is a super interesting book about....wait for it.....the history of the periodic table of elements.  I know.  The excitement is catchy.

In that vein of reading only recently perfectly; conversational science (thank you Science Friday and Radio Lab for making science cool....).  If you've read some Mary Roach lately, and enjoyed it, you may like this one too even if Chemistry isn't your thing.

The book goes through the early discoveries in science of elements and atoms and electrons and all the little bits-o-science that every 7th grader begins to learn along with all the quirky scientists, how they discovered them, how they blew themselves up (or didn't), who they stole their ideas from and the failures too.  Also included are bits of history only mildly related to the moment, but prize information fodder if your brain likes to collect absolutely useless bits of trivia that you might get to use in some conversation someday making you look immensely smarter than you really are.

But lest you dismiss the book after hearing the words science, don't.  It really is very interesting.  Even if you've never liked science.  Even if you haven't plowed through SIX semesters of College Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physics the way some of us did before we completely gave into a life in the arts.

And as a side note: there are some kick-ass women scientists along the way that I'd never heard of.  Madam Curie of course, and Rosalind Franklin are probably the best known...but there have been lots.  Serious scientists too.  Nobel prize winning scientists.  Fantastic.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

To Have Something To Live For...


You know I am excited by my excessive use of capital letters.

But tomorrow, Netflix actually proves it has worth and can justify the $8 a month we spend on it.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT premiers a new season.  I really cannot express my absolute excitement over this.  If you have not watched it, you should stop whatever you are doing right now and start with season one (on Netflix).

Stop.  Do it.  NOW.  You're welcome.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Summer Sewing Camp!

Hey readers!  Some of you are aware that I've held summer sewing camps at my house for the last several summers....it began as an organized and dedicated time slot to teach my own kids and a few neighbor kids how to sew.  I'm still doing it, although due to travel, swim lessons and my actual job it is getting harder and harder to work these into the mix.
If you are interested or know someone who is, let me know!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day: You're Doing It Wrong

I keep trying to figure out why I dislike Mother's Day so much.
I've commented on it here and here.

I am not close to my own mother, but throughout my life I have blessed by wonderful women.  I've written about this here.

Pretty much every Mother I knows dislikes Mother's Day.

Why is that?

Is it the card companies with their sappy commercials?
Is the talks in church about their perfect moms?
Is it because we (choose one)

  • Had an imperfect mother
  • Don't have children or feel the holiday isolates women without children
  • Glorifies Motherhood in unrealistic way

But I don't think that's the whole story.
When I think about how we celebrate Father's Day, there are all the same notions, commercials, and cards, and yet most of the men I know think they are pretty decent Fathers.  Sure....they're not perfect, but who is?

I think it is us.  And by us, I mean, the Mothers.  We cannot accept that the job we are doing is good enough.  We all know that women are ridiculously hard on themselves and judgmental toward other women.  I'll bet if I asked every Mother I know right now (including me) to list off the things about themselves right now, off the top of their head what makes them awesome, they would laugh a little nervously and maybe, list one or two things.  If I were to ask those same women what they didn't do well....I'll be they could list off a myriad of inadequacies a mile long.

But if there is one thing I've learned in my generous (but not too generous) amount of time here on earth...everyone has it rough.  No matter what they look like on the outside, no matter how well kept their house is, no matter how clean their kids look, no matter if their hair always done...life is a constant battle.  Some of it we see, but most of it we don't.  That perfect woman that we hold up with a glimmer of hope that somehow, someday we'll be able to be...she doesn't  exist.  She really doesn't.

Parts of her do--in individuals.  Someone you know is a really good cook and manages to cook healthy meals for her family on a regular basis.  Another one is able to keep her house pretty clean.  Another has a great career.  But no one has it all together.  And often the person who looks like she's got it all together on the outside is suffering another private kind of pain.

So maybe this Mother's Day we could give ourselves a little gift.  Set our preconceived notions about what we think we are celebrating today aside and say

I am good enough.
I am a good enough mother, wife, friend.
I am thin enough, beautiful enough, faithful enough, kind enough.
I am good enough.

I remember being pretty depressed and sad a few years back because there was no one around to celebrate Mother's Day for me.  My kids are young and there is no pampering or house cleaning or dinners.  And I was sad all day because that is an idea that has been perpetuated and that I had bought into and my day didn't look like that. But you know what?  Lots of other silly ideas have been perpetuated throughout the ages and I don't always buy into those, so why this one?

Today I will let my family celebrate me in any old way, because I am pretty damn awesome.
Today I will celebrate the women around me for their strength, their courage and their sometime inappropriate humor.  Not because they are perfect, but because, like me, they aren't and yet we all just keep on moving forward.  One Mother's Day at a time.