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.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Obligatory Back-to-School Post

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Doesn't he just look
too cool for you?
Yes, well, he is.
No really.  It is.

Oh?  did you you want me to say that I'm sad that summer is over and that I'll miss being with my kids?  Well, shucks, you're just going to have to go read another blog, because I freakin LOVE the start of school.
Frankly, I hate most things about summer, including the lack of routine.  I crave it; it keeps me focused and going.  I also love school supplies....oh that wonderful smell of a new eraser (who even uses erasers anymore?  don't know, but I still buy them).

Anyway.  The Citizens are back at it.  William started Jr. High last week, to which we were almost late for the first day (yay mom!) and Anna went today.  She has an awesome teacher this year.  William had her in 4th grade also, so this is old hat.  She has a theme each year-this year is military.  She showed up in Military gear and started barking commands at the kids.  They loved it and man was their line straight.

I start back tomorrow.  I've got my roles, and my calendars and my new fancy ipad to keep me on track.  I even have new pens and dry erase markers *sigh*.

Yay for school!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pride & Prejudice...and cake (I hope)

Today is my 17th wedding anniversary.  Or would have been.  Just slightly over a week ago a judge finally signed our divorce papers.  I say finally because this has been more than nine years in the making.  Very few people knew the details of my very private life, but I’ve finally reached a point where I am ready move on.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last nine years.  I don’t have to take crap from people anymore to make them happy or to avoid conflict.  I’ve learned not be passive aggressive for the same reasons.  I can accomplish a whole heckovalot in a single day and while I often don’t need anyone, I have wonderful friends to whom I can turn for just about anything.

There are a lot of reasons I haven’t told many people about my particular “situation.”  And it probably comes down to two things: Pride and Prejudice.

I am proud.  Stubbornly so.  I am a child of divorce and never ever ever wanted my children to have to deal with that.  They are a huge reason why things have moved so slowly-to avoid trauma in their lives.  I also never ever want anyone to not consider me for a job or a favor because they think I can't handle it.

And Prejudice.  First of all-it isn’t anybody’s business and secondly people judge.  Ever heard the phrase “single mother” used in a positive way? Maybe incredulously…but that’s about it. It is practically synonymous with the words helpless, financially burdened, and unavailable.

It is funny, if people think your husband is traveling all the time, they don’t bat an eye except to tell you how they just can’t stand it when their husband is away over night.  Everything is so hard
But if you are a single parent, you can just see them take stock and try to figure out how they are going to have to pick up your slack.

This is particularly so in Mormondom, where we are practically bludgeoned to death with helping your neighbor—a new family moves in and the VERY FIRST THING you hear about them is that she’s a single mom, because that will tell you all you need to know.  No one wants to be assigned to be that family’s Home or Visiting Teacher because they just know you’ll be a burden.

Mormons also deeply believe in marriage and family, and failing at the one thing you were supposed to do….well, pity the fool.  I never expected to be here.  If there's one thing I'm pretty good at, it is my commitments.

But here’s the thing.  I didn’t do anything wrong.  I am financially stable.  I work very very hard to keep us so.  I also volunteer at my kid’s school and fulfill my callings at church, just like a normal person.  I almost never play the “I can’t, I’m a single mom” card and never call my home or visiting teachers or neighbors or ward members for anything. 

I am fully aware that I am very very lucky.  As a single parent, I sit in a place of privilege where I have an excellent education, I am not going to lose my home, and my kids get to take piano and dance lessons, and my car works and we have plenty of food.  I recognize that the world does not favor all single parents in a similar manner.  I recognize that many mothers do need some extra help…I just wish we gave it to them willingly, without judgment. 

You can feel sad for me if you like, but not because I am no longer married.  You can feel sad because this sort of thing hurts.  You may not use the phrase “it is for the best” even though it is nor tell me “I’ll find someone.”  I’m not interested.  Unless he is a rather old, rather wealthy surgeon in somewhat poor health.  Then we can talk.

I’m happy to put this particular chapter of my life behind me.  But I’m a stronger gal for it (some of you are wondering if that is even possible, bless you), and I do not regret my choices. It has shaken my faith, tested my endurance, and made me eat more cupcakes than is good for me.  But again, do not pity me.  I have nothing but good things in my life, because I’ve put the worst away.

**If anyone wants to make me an awesome divorce cake...I woudln't say no. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Privilege Comes in Many Forms

So I saw this video posted on Facebook this weekend:

And after I wiped away the tears my first thoughts were "I'm going to make Huck watch this so he can be more appreciative of his life of privilege.

I'm really glad my kids get back tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Chubby Puppy

So....I took Huck to see a new vet.  When we were looking for a dog I wanted a breed that was not prone to allergies.  Beagles are not supposed to be that dog.  And yet, here we are, four years in, and I have a dog with allergies. Fan-freakin-tastic.

But during the exam, the vet told me that Huck was just a few pounds heavier than he should be and gave instructions to restrict his caloric intake.

So Huck is on a diet.

This is how he feels about it:

He can't even raise his head he is so weak from hunger.

I've been trying (well, I was trying, but that collapsed today at Cafe Rio with my BFF with what is now christened "The Freedom Salad"...but that's another story) to restrict my caloric intake too.  And I echo his sentiments.

Poor chubby puppy.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Book Review: Elegance of the Hedgehog

Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery
translation by Alison Anderson

I was hand-me-downed this book.  Which doesn't make it less worthy; I'm just not sure it would have crossed my path otherwise.  It took me a bit to get into it.  In the end, I quite liked it.

The story is set in Paris, modern day and revolves around the daily routine and thoughts of a concierge at a ritzy apartment building.  Renee is a middle aged woman from an unprivileged,  poor background with no education, no grace and no beauty.  She admits all this readily as her day revolves around taking care of the needs of the people in her building who have all of those things.
However, she has a secret: she is incredibly well read, enjoys philosophy and high culture art films. Her outwards expressions to the world around her gives them exactly what they see and what they expect, however.  She prefers it this way thinking it is easier if people believe what they see (or don't).
Renee's life is set next to another tenant of the building, who is also misunderstood: Paloma.  A girl in her early teens who cannot stand the pretentiousness of her family and who is calming planning to commit suicide and set fire to their apartment (in, I must say, a completely pretentious way).
A new tenant moves into the building, a Japanese man, who begins to treat Renee as if she were a person and somehow immediately knows that her cat "Leo" is named for Tolstoy...

It is an interesting story, and reflects philosophically (Ms. Barbery is a philosophy professor after all) on the roles we play in our own lives.

Perhaps not quite frivolous enough to be a summer read; but perfect to start out with in the fall.  And the cover will not embarrass you on public transport.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Solving Those First World Problems

Remember back when I invented pants to solve your issues with weight gain and loss?  Yeah.  It was a big hit.  Well, I'm at it again.

So as is my custom when The Citizens are away, I went to a movie.  Its a big treat because it is usually NOT animated and I don't have to share my popcorn.  So I went to see The Great Gatsby. Really pretty.  But that's not why we're here.

 I've been ruminating over a popcorn lover's problem for some time now: If you are a woman who likes popcorn perhaps a little too much and tends to shovel it in your maw with both hands once the lights go out...you may have noticed, when you get home, that your bra is full of bits of popcorn and kernels and perhaps even full pieces of the stuff.  If you think about it, a direct drop of a piece of popcorn that just missed your mouth goes straight into that little opening at the top of your shirt.

Aside from the fact that popcorn can be a bit itchy when lodged in your bra, it is a shameful waste of such a tasty treat.  So I've invented The Popcorn Trough (patent pending).

Here is a sketch.  So it is sort of funnel shaped, so it can nestle in that little dropping space, with elastic straps that go up around your ears creating a safe space below your chin for kernels to drop into.  When it is full (or you've run out of other popcorn) you simply remove
the straps and deposit the popcorn back into your bucket where it can be enjoyed again, thus eliminating that embarrassing moment when you miss your mouth.  No more greasy popcorn stains on the front of your shirt!  No more missed eating opportunities!  No more itchy bra or having to reach down the front of your shirt to retrieve those stray bits!

And while I really think my target audience will be women, I can see this coming in handy for guys as well.

Problem solved.  You're welcome.