Thursday, April 30, 2009

Duct Tape

"What have you been doing lately?" you may ask. I would answer, "Making a duct tape dress form and using it (sort of) to make a dress for myself." I would also add, "The Hus helped."

He did, in fact, swath me in duct tape (I had a t-shirt on, so that it wouldn't stick to me, but then we forgot to cover my armpit and that hurt). The basic idea is to become all wrapped up, then cut off the mold and stuff it and tape it up again, thus creating a basic form of oneself to use when fitting patterns and things. It works!

Once I had the form, I made myself a dress, inspired by a dress found on Gilt, which is a website with designer clothing on sample sale.
This is the dress. Are you proud of me, mom?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cardinals are Vain, Woodpeckers are Jerks and Wrens went to UVA

During these mild spring days we've been having, the Hus and I like to sit outside and read on our little patio. Three times now I have noticed a male cardinal (whom the Hus has named Ned) engage in a little vanity show. He hops up onto the car window, checks himself out, flutters a little, fluffing his feathers, and hops down to the cement. Then he performs the whole routine again for himself.

Today we watched Ned's display for the third time and also noticed a gorgeous woodpecker bob his way up the tree and begin systematically destroying another bird's nest. He didn't even keep the building materials for his own use. He just ripped leaves and pine needles out and dropped them, fluttering, onto the ground.

The wrens are my favorite. They're not as showy or bright, but they're the practical, unassuming ones, who go about their business and occasionally stop to stare at me before rushing away, as if to say, "At least when I graduate I'll get a job."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Foraging (or thanks for the tip, Mari!)

Near the railroad tracks that run along the bay, wild blackberry bushes cover the ground. When Abby and Kathy were in town, we went down to check if they were producing fruit, found they were and picked some. A couple days ago, Jon and I went back to get more, since we had used up all the others in a smoothie (let me tell you, folks. Smoothies use up a lot of blackberries.)

As attractive as this picture is not, it is pretty funny. Note the rainboots to protect the feet from fire ants (right, Abs?) and brambles. Note the t-shirt, draped superhero cape-ish across my shoulders to protect them from getting burned (they had gotten a little pink when we played tennis earlier that day). Also, notice that, in order to find the blackberries, one must stare intently at the ground, looking for juicy shiny berries. Otherwise one will step on them. One wouldn't want to eat stepped-on berries.
I'm afraid this is what our children will look like when they dress themselves.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Middle School

I know those who love middle schoolers. They are the ones who are quick to defend, quick to say, "But I love jr high precisely because they're so full of life!" and "People think middle school is awful, but I am so excited to be with those kids." I have stood by and nodded my head like a bobble doll. I have even considered in my heart of hearts that perhaps they were right. Perhaps I was the inconsiderate, impatient one. But no. No, my friends, you are wrong. Believe not the defenders of adolescents, good-intentioned though they may be. Middle school is the devil, living and breathing with multi-colored nails and body odor.

Today I hardened my heart of hearts against them. I taught geography at Woodham Midlle. Today I patiently explained countless times how to find the answers to the worksheet in the book and how to fill it out, only to have the worksheets returned empty or filled in with fake answers. Today I read that the economy of Myanmar was socialism. That the thing that North and South Korea share is "an entire page". And that the reason the economy is so poor in Thailand is "yes". Today I successfully threatened boys twice my size and three times my weight. I objected to lewd songs being sung, pelvic thrusts being delivered to the white board, crayons being hurled, penises being drawn in textbooks, girls being hit and classmates being locked out of the room. This afternoon, I resisted the urge to chuck a marker at the back of a shaggy kid's head. "That would be immature," I thought, "I wouldn't want a law suit or to get fired."

I am stupid. Being fired is exactly what I want. Second to that, writing referals is what I like. I like it very much.

Here is how I am unlike a middle schooler. During my free period, I left my room to get some water. It occured to me that perhaps I should bring my purse with me, but I was just down the hall, so I didn't. Instead, I thought through how I, were I a bratty 7th grader, could sneak in, locate the sub's purse and take something out of it before the sub got back. During my picturing of the situation, I realized it wouldn't have worked, had it been me. There was a brownie on the sub's (my) desk and I know I would have gotten distracted by it before ever finding the purse. In fact, I probably would have considered that a better find than the purse. But not the devil, the devil would have gone for the credit cards and identity theft.

But I digress.

I make no arguement with those friends of mine who adore jr highers. In fact, I encourage them to do so, since someone has to. Let it be known that there are some students whom I like. The ones that make even my hardened heart softer. But they are the ones who act like high school, or even elementary students. Which is nice, because it leaves me free to maintain my dislike of middle school. Which I do.

In dedication to our dear friend Zach, who fights daily with the rotten lot of them, I conclude: Let loose the whiteboard markers, and with them, gain freedom.

Monday, April 20, 2009


"Art in Bloom" was going on downtown in Pensacola this weekend. The flower market had most blooms for less than a dollar a stem, so we (myself and the visiting friend and the friend's mom) wandered for a long time. I, being obsessed with fresh flowers lately, bought a bunch for 8 dollars or so on the condition that I would be able to take one of the nearby buckets to put water in to keep them fresh, since we weren't going straight home. As I attempted to walk out with my prize, I was stopped and told I couldn't take the bucket. Discussion ensued. I pressed my point. I had, I explained, been told I could take it. My flowers needed the water. I had already purchased them. Exploration ensued for another, less prized bucket. Nothing. I stood patiently. Finally, giving in ensued and we left victoriously.
The blooms sat in the front of an art gallery, then a wine shop while we admired and tasted, respectively. They now live on my table.

THIS is the hibiscus the Hus bought for me. It's tree-ish.

In romance news, the Hus and I have finally consolidated our music library. This has been a long-awaited event and is very symbolic of marriage, because, when we realized that together we had over 6000 songs in iTunes, a pruning process was deemed necessary. Marriage, like consolidation of two music libraries, takes sacrifice. We have been deleting songs, so that our collection can fit onto our iPods. We are down to 5,581 songs. We are still getting along just fine.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Just a Thought

If I take a multivitamin with my brownie, does that cancel the empty calories?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Christos Anesti!

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation."

Galatians 6:14,15

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Things You do When it's Almost Easter in Pensacola

You make a Lemon Berry Trifle for Easter Sunday

You have friends over to dye Easter eggs.

You also go to the pool and sit in the beautiful sunshine, since in April in Florida it's warm enough to go swimming. (Which the Hus and the Hus' friend did. While I and my friend, who is married to the Hus' friend, sat and watched. And got sun.) You don't, however, take a camera for pictures. Which is unfortunate when you later decide to do a post on things you do when it's almost Easter in Pensacola.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bible Posts are so Serious

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it's work in you, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything... Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him."

Sometimes, when I get emotional and feel the need to share with the world, I struggle with relevance. With his usual tact, the Hus described it last night like this: "You're just... a passionate person..." So, I shall temper my passion, and embrace relevancy in this post.

My favorite feeling is that exhilarated, dancing, beyond-words joy that comes from running recklessly in the rain, a certain look from my husband, the music of Bach and Enico Morrone, laughter with old friends. It's the feeling of being fully alive. Really alive.

Here's the best part: God doesn't promise us a 'crown of job-well-done' or even a 'crown of victory' when all is said and done. Life. I love the thought that my existence will be crowned - adorned even- by Life. My very favorite feeling will be the last chapter.

That's something to cheer up even a hopelessly passionate girl.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Why I Like Our Maintenance Man

::Upon the changing of our air filter::

Maintenance Man: So what have you been up to lately?

The Hus: Wasting tax-payer dollars.

((p.s. I don't think that response is funny))

Me: That's not funny.

The Hus: The Navy has too many people in the program, so I have to wait to start the next phase of flight training.

Mainenance Man: And they want to run healthcare, too?

My Favorite Haiku

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don't make sense

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Simple Luxuries

Yellow Tomatoes in a tomato, cucumber and feta salad.

The making of a baby blanket for a recent baby shower (in anticipation of Annika Grace)

Fresh flowers. Oops. It's sideways.