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I want to be a homemaker

Sometimes, treasures fall into your lap.

Home1My father-in-law brought this on Sunday. Ostensibly, it was for the Diva's birthday. Because he is a sensible man, he handed it to me first to see if it passed muster. She's welcome to read it, of course, but I've gotten far more delight out of paging through it. It's like a time machine.


The copyright is 1961 and the story is mired in its time. A little girl, Jane, adopts three dolls and a dog and moves into the family's shed, where she makes a home for them. Mother -- the actual Mother, not Jane -- comes to visit and share advice.

An example of the two-page spreads:



Shortly after this, Tom, the neighbor kid, comes over to help Jane paint her house because she finds the interior drab. "At last," goes the text, "the playhouse was a gay and happy place."

Sadly, there are no illustrations of Mother kicking back with a cocktail because she's finally gotten Jane to do something outside so that Mother can have 15 minutes of blessed quiet. Or maybe I'm projecting.

My FIL found this at a library sale at the school where he taught second grade. Stamped in big black letters on the front and back flyleaves is "DISCARD." Wonder why?

Other page scans if requested. It might be that I'm the only one intrigued by this sort of thing.


qotd, again from Harper's Weekly

"Pundits were surprised by McCain's clumsy rhetoric, by his lack of teleprompter skills, and by the fact that he stood in front of an ugly green backdrop. "Content better than delivery," said Karl Rove. "John McCain," said Mort Kondracke of "Roll Call," "sounded old." A messenger delivered a handwritten note from McCain to Obama's Chicago offices inviting the Democratic presidential nominee to a series of Goldwater-Kennedy-style debates. Bill Burton, an aide to Obama, told the messenger, "You know, you could have just emailed this."

-- From the Harper's email news round-up, which is still one of the funnier news round-ups going. Which might be damming with faint praise, come to think of it.

BTW - the Gen-Xer in me just wants to say, "Goldwater? Kennedy? You mean Ted, right?"

actual knitting content plus other stuff

I finished some socks.

IMG_1771Generic sock recipe from, well, I can't remember anymore. Lorna Laces in Miata, which isn't a colorway that I'd ordinarily pick up but was a gift. I like the jazziness of them, frankly, and think they will make the cold dark of March easier to take.

Now I'm making some socks for Maddy in a colorway that could easily be referred to as clown barf. She picked it. I just work here.

IMG_1773Barney, on the other hand, does as little work as possible. Unless it's shredding the chair, in which case, he's all over it.

CSA Arugula Update -

Because I had some pine nuts that were getting long in the tooth, I made arugula pesto, which was tasty out of the bowl. Also included are two garlic scapes. I've chucked it into the freezer for a night when I need something quick to throw on pasta. 

I've mused over my love-hate relationship with The American Life before. I'm in a love phase right now and stories like this week's "Duty Calls" help woo me. Just a note - don't listen to the middle part, which is where the speaker starts talking about how he and his mom both wish things were different, when you are walking to school to pick up your own child because you will burst into tears and make the crossing guard wonder if he ought to call the cops. Ask me how I know this.

things you never thought would happen

Yesterday was kindergarten moving up day.

I'm generally not one for rituals like this and tend to always remain unmoved. Turns out, what it takes ot move me is a ritual involving my own child, especially when said child gets up on stage and sings all by herself *and* volunteers to read a long thank you poem aloud to one of her teachers in front of 75ish people. She always amazes me, that kid.

The pictures we took weren't the best. You'll get the idea.

There was a short play, during which the Diva played a singing dog trainer.

Then, YMCA was sung.

IMG_1786 Yes, really. The kids loved it. Some adults couldn't help but snicker a bit at all of the double entendres. And by some adults, I mean me.*

IMG_1789A bagpiper lead the procession when it came time to get certificates.**

IMG_1796 Maddy and her best friend, processing.

IMG_1800 The Diva (in flip flops) gets a hug from her teacher (floral dress) and the principal (guy).

IMG_1811Maddy read a poem in honor of one of her teachers.

Songs were sung. Happy tears were shed. Moments were captured.

IMG_1816Like this one.

Hard to believe how quickly we went from this little excited girl to this remarkably confident first grader.

It's all just a kick in the head sometimes.

* I'm sure there were other adults snickering silently. I just know what was going on in my head.

** Oneonta seems to be a bagpiper hotbed. No, really. Every now and again, on clear summer nights, I'll hear the strangled sound of the 'pipes rolling out of the hills.

many things make a post

Short one today. We had Kindergarten Moving-Up Day and it has been a whirlwind. More on that later.

* Julie Taymor on theater and the imagination. (And if you ever just want to think/be inspired, randomly watch the TED talks clips. Gods bless the internet.)

* The Old 97's have a new album out! Great is my joy!

* What I will be this Halloween. I'll have to carry around a phone, by far my favorite of the Yip Yip oeuvre.

* Amazing how much Lucifer looks like Trout. Same look of blankness, even.

* The last sign in this post made me choke on my coffee this morning. In a good way.

* Anyone have any great arugula recipes? I'm not sure I can just eat it straight in a salad -- and it was this week's green o' plenty from the CSA.

condition your ball

This weekend, at the bowling alley, we had the Diva's sixth birthday party.*

IMG_1744 The Diva is in pink, natch.

IMG_1729The Boy amused himself at the alley as best he could. Also, he bowled.

IMG_1733The Boy and his friend C, with the special ball ramp thingy they let kids use.

IMG_1737At one point, I looked over and the By had his entire head down in the ball return. If we can keep him from putting an eye out (his eye or someone else's) before he turns 10, I will be completely amazed.

A good time was had by all of the shorter people. Scott and I didn't have a bad time, mind you, but it was exhausting.

IMG_1751 Perhaps we would have been rejuvenated had we stopped to use the Lustre King Custom Ball Conditioner. It restores original lustre, you know.


* Her actual birthday is Thursday, which is her first day of summer vacation, which seems like present enough.

qotd, pre-Wimbledon edition

"The spin is that tennis' quirks are part of the charm. It's like learning a secret code. If matches would be played in four 15-minute quarters and the scoring went 1,2,3,4, game, any imbecile could grasp it. A friend of mine recently remarked that, "Tennis is for the kids who took Latin." This is a good example."

-- From Jon Wertheim's column on how tennis is scored.

And, yes, I took Latin, because I am that big of a geek.

We are entering the most wonderful time of the year, btw. I love Wimbledon with a passionate passion. The grass. The pomp. The circumstance. The tennis. Watching Wimbledon and knitting is, perhaps, one of my most cherished moments of the year. Because I am that big of a Geek.

an unscheduled break + csa

Ms Thing is a bit under the weather and home from school. A little fever, a little achy. We'll see. Hopefully, she'll rally before her birthday party on Saturday.

Still, some stuff -

A sixth foot (a right one, this time) found in Canada. Curiouser and curiouser. (ETA: Turns out this was a hoax.)

One of a series of billboards I saw advertising this cave, which is just up the road from a bigger competing cave.

While I think the story of the cave wars would make a good piece, that wasn't what I was sent out to get. Some other time, maybe.

The CSA offerings this week were more lettuce, spinach and beet greens. The latter two I chucked in a quiche.


It was not bad.

Right, must go check on the sickie.

actual knitting content

Now that they are safely in the hands of my swap partner, let me present my version of Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts:

Yarn: Louet Gems Merino in Neptune and Linen Grey.

Here they are, blocking. Once blocked, they weren't quite so oddly lumpy. And Jang's purled seams are freaking brilliant bits of design.

Because the spouse is more spacial than I*, I engaged him in a conversation about what he might have lying around prop storage and/or the scene shop that would be vaguely wrist-sized and cylindrical. His answer was ketchup and mustard squeeze bottles, which were perfect.

The progress on the Mary Tudor:

Glue stick provided for scale. One full repeat down, three more to go. On the body, that is.

Two random things, then I've got to do some real work -

A fifth severed foot has been found. It's amazing how quickly something moves from oddly fascinating to downright creepy. Why was it the fifth foot that pushed everyone over the edge?

I'm fuzzier than usual this morning because Trout, in his infinite twitchiness, was spooked by the sound of his own breathing (or something) at 3 a.m. and freaked the fuck out. Unfortunately, my face was in the path of his mad dash and I now have a deep scratch/puncture wound just under my left eye. I intend to tell everyone I was attacked by pirates. Play along.


* Spacial, not special or [airquote]special.[/airquote]