Category Archives: Family + Friends + Animals

Reindeer

The hatch-battening days have struck.  Today was not cool by numbers, but had that piercing quality that makes you wish you were wearing a warmer hat, and mentally assess your coat and scarf and mitten collection.  Will it be enough?  The days that soberingly remind you that winter is cold, and reminds you what that feels like.

Inspired by the possibility of earning a little money at Xmas craft fairs, today the kids and I opened Santa’s workshop and made some prototype reindeer.  First we filled the back of my sexy new truck with branches and dragged them home, importing that wonderful wood and snow smell of Christmas.  It went incredibly well.  The green wood was really easy to cut and drill, and the process was creative, flexible, and rewarding, rarely frustrating.  The oldest boy amazed me by pumping out three different sizes.  The smallest one is only an inch and a half tall.  The “head twig” was too tiny for him to drill for antlers.  We’ll see how large a team, or herd, we can create tomorrow.  This should be good.

Its almost like they hatch- they just come together as though they were meant to, and then they emerge- full of personality and mocking their intended design, if you started out with one.

Hilarity ensues

One night they’re learning to start fires with flint, the next they’re shooting stop-motion karate sequences and Zoolander spoofs.  The kids asked tonight, in passing, if my Mac could make videos, and the evening turned into an hours-long marathon date with Photo Booth.  They enthusiastically uploaded their efforts to youTube, which tells the story best.  This is the best one. I was behind the scenes, starting and stopping and turning the music on and off.  Oh, and doing the blood.  I provided NO other direction.  The most demanding part of my job was to not laugh audibly, so I spent 100s of filming minutes with one hand clamped over a splitting grin, shaking with laughter.  Cleverly, they made the soundtrack with one earphone of a Shuffle rested by the mike of my computer, but it meant they could hardly hear the sound.  Again, boggled at the wild creativity of children, how well they cooperate and improv, and how transparently they filter their influences: hiphop videos, action movies, and Ben Stiller.  Apologies to the eight people out there who haven’t seen Zoolander- the finale will completely escape you- well, so might the whole thing.

Happy Tricking!

One of our pumpkins, pre-move

Today I got laser surgery on my second eye.  In the intervening 12 years (since the fix was in on the first eye), the price has come down about $400 and the technology has advanced one tiny bit- they burn off a few less microns of eye material.

I am wearing an eye patch I made on the subject eye and no one looks twice since it’s Halloween, even though I’m not otherwise dressed in any way “Yarrr”.

It’s Halloween costume time.

A couple I know with three children have welcomed Kevin and I into their backyard, and they have the grace to make me feel entirely welcome and comfortable in their house at all times, like an unplanned roommate.  I feel quite useful with my sewing skills, and have started early on the kids’ costumes.  With so much time, we’ve tackled some most imaginative ideas.

IMG_0017The oldest boy is going to be a shark, formerly a fair-prize-sized stuffed dolphin, emptied of its stuffing.  It’s taken some work to make the transition from a friendly looking dolphin to a shark menacing and realistic enough to satisfy an 11yr-old.

The littlest girl wanted to be a Smurfette, so I created a one-piece leotard that zips up the back out of a garishly blue woman’s sweater.  That’s her smurf skin, topped by the white dress (made from an adult white t-shirt) , a blond wig, white stocking hat (made from another t-shirt with a handful of polyfil stuffing for the distinctive shape), and some white “shoes” made out of some fleecy slippers that velcro over her normal shoes.  Impossibly adorable.

The middle boy wanted to be a dead Energizer bunny (a crafty bit of anti-brand attitude I thoroughly appreciated), so I started on a one-piece back zippered bunny suit that resembled pink Pjs but for the integral hood.  Just after the requisite larger than life ears were ready, he decided he wanted to drop the Energizer part and just be a dead/zombied pink bunny.  Supporting the ridiculously large ears wasn’t easy, and I didn’t think it would work at times, but they turned out amazing!  Almost half his height again tall, the giant ears defy gravity and are very adjustable. Continue reading It’s Halloween costume time.

Cat contentment

Shouldn’t have worried about Kevin coping with the move.  What with all the shuttling of boxes and stuff, the removal of furniture including her favorite chair, and the general furor, I thought she might feel insecure and fear being abandoned.

In fact, she’s actually become more content.  I suppose these days more closely resemble the construction zone atmosphere prevalent in the last 6 years (which she was quite at home with), than the rigid and sterile home-on-display-for-sale stasis of the past 6 months (which caused much confused querulous meowing: “What, no power tools?  Too quiet around here.”).

CIMG9887
...caught in the act of licking her lips, too

And heaven-above, during moving time, are there BOXES!  Boxes everywhere, boxes galore, boxes of all sizes to try out, new ones added daily!  Box pictured, offering ample stretching capacity, great views of food and water dishes, and overlooking possible fridge door openings, has clearly been “favorited”, so no chance of actually using it for packing.

We’ll probably carry her from the house in it.