Thursday, March 31, 2011

Idle IDOL Chatter

Thank Goodness, this pair is staying... and we're loving the romancerumors. Casey is still a favorite of mine, and we think Haley did the best Elton John, this week. America seems to have gotten it "right" in the eliminations, with no more saves. It's nice that all the kids shall tour; their pain is ever so slightly lessened, in leaving the compettion. 
Rock On, Idols.

Tune In

CMI Friend Tigger sent this link to the 
Woman's Hour on BBC talk radio. With the time difference, yesterday's "Mothers And Sons" aired as I prepared dinner, thus keeping me in one spot to listen. I enjoyed the various guests and their relationship stories. One comment regarding Baby Grands really stuck. Referenced was the bonus unity felt with sons when they become parents and together we experience loving the same child(ren). Unconditional love is then truly appreciated.

Tonight's episode is about marketing our products. Artisan bread? Coffee filter flowers? :-) I don't know... but if I remember to do so, I'll listen. Why not charge up your laptop and give it a go... especially now that Dr. Phil is heading into repeats.

Thanks for coloring me inspired, Tigger

Here's Hopin'

Did you know that when Kentucky has won March Madness in the past, the Yankees had winning seasons?

And did you know that when it snowed on opening day in 1996, the Yankees won the season? Yep, it's snowing, today.

And did you further know that Captain Derek Jeter has a shot at 3,000? It would be a first for a same-team player. I think that I can speak for our entire family when I say that we are so rooting for him!

Let the games begin! Go, Yankees!!!

Hot Sparkling Ticket

FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
 Good Luck, Mr. D.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Funky Filter Fashion

Flip and do both sides
with dye and water
All four Baby Grands have incredible imaginations. They continue to put our downstairs playroom to good use, as did their daddies. It serves as a grocery, gym, video store, museum, Lego center and stage. It seems like just yesterday that I made costumes for Brian, Christian, and Cousins Kimberly and Vicki, in anticipation of a summer production. With the clan due to be in attendance over Spring break, I thought to get a jump on costuming. 
Showing inside seams, lapel and outward
shoulder folds
As mentioned last week, there are a gazillion ways to dye the filters. Today's method is quick and clean, as in "no mess". I counted out numbers of filters needed for each vest, ironed and stacked them on top of large baggies. Then, I dripped yellow and green food coloring over Gavin's and Chloe's; red and blue on Aubrey's and Hunter's. Spritzed with water, till saturated; and then turned into bags and placed in sink. There, I added more water, gave them a swirl or two, rinsed and drained. I hung them to dry, with a cookie sheet underneath. Impatient to try my idea, I used a hair-blower to dry one set. I laid out two rows of five each, for a smaller vest. The center pair became the shoulders. I folded and glued, till I got the desired shape: shoulder tabs outwards, side seams inwards, lapels out, etc. I cut to create neck space and folded excess to back.
Cut neck opening
When pleased with the shape, I adorned the vest with a ribbon belt, glued around the sides and back. A little bow tucked into the lapel finished it. The boys' versions shall have more masculine ribbon.
Back - note outward shoulder folds/tabs
Possibilities are absolutely endless for further decorating. I see pockets and fringe, buttons and trim. But sometimes simplicity speaks; and when pulled apart during play, not to worry... it'll just be a great excuse to dye some more coffee filters.I hope to finish the rest on Friday and shall post more pictures. I love playtime.
Another day, another vest... it went together so quickly, using ten discs for a larger size. Note the different effect created simply by overlapping filters in a different direction. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

M-O-W for M-O-M??

Madre has been on a RAT diet for a while - rice, applesauce and toast. Her desire to cook has diminished. Understandable. Family members know what an amazing chef she's always been. When she's feeling stronger, I'll encourage her to resume this favorite pastime.
With a hint in her voice, she mentioned that a friend had enrolled in the Meals-On-Wheels program. Not for my Mom. From a thoroughly reliable and inside source, I hear that many eligible old souls go through laborious paperwork to apply for the same. They are excited to receive their sustenance, when approved by a visiting home worker. Then, after about a week or two of the fare, calls are made to cancel the service. Use your imagination. Ah, amusing and sad, all at once. Sad because there are those who have no alternatives. Here's where we come in...

Surely by now you've purchased the handy rice cooker I spoke so highly of; right? Indispensable. Perfect, too, for preparing well rounded, easily digestible food for single servings. Yesterday's dish included chicken, jasmine rice, shaved carrots, and seasoned EVOO, presented with homemade cake and a banana. It was a hit. Today we did potatoes, light fish and more carrots, because they seem to be working. Aesthetics are important.

My partner delivers, when I'm not available to tend to Meals-On-Saab-Wheels. What a team! And I heard a perkier voice on the phone, earlier this morning. 
Let's hope.

4'9" Mouths Of Babes ♡

Sunday Art
If you have young (or short) kids or grandkids, you've heard the updated suggestions for seatbelt safety. Just a few months ago, 8-year-olds were deemed okay to sit with the car's version and no booster. Oooooh-kay. Aubs celebrated, when she turned 8, last November. However, the newly suggested requirement calls for children to be no shorter than 4'9", in order to qualify for proper lap- and shoulder-belt fit. It makes sense. Ill-fitting belts can do more harm than good. This is all easily Googled, along with the mind blowing numbers of children lost to vehicular tragedies. The problem lies in how tough it might be to convince young 'uns that they still need a booster; even 12-year-olds might be too short. Well, here's our anecdote....

Aubs' Choice
We spoke to the issue with Aubrey, 4'5", as we drove to Middletown the other day. She was very receptive, going so far as to say that she was nervous without a proper seat. We promised to address the matter quickly, and indeed purchased an appropriate lift for her age. You see, Joe had just gotten rid of extra full-back booster seats... and I mean just. Timing is everything, no? I told Aubs that her willing acceptance of the new rules was quite mature; I was impressed by her understanding of the "why", herein. 

When I shared the story with Bri, later on, he just gave her a whimsical look and said, "Oh, really, Aubrey? You mean you're not going to cry and carry on when I put your seat back in my car?" Hilarious. I just looked at her... "You didn't...." Giggle.

Twist On Tourism

Have y'all heard of "maternity tourism"? The linked NY TIMES article is definitely worth a read. 

Passionate Primal Pose?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Best Day Ever ♡

Germs and dirt aside, it seems that the 
floor in Sam's Club offered comfort for 
big-screen viewing. After the wretched 
Rango experience, we could do nothing
but chuckle at Gavin's "position".
We spent lengthy, enjoy-
able time with Aubs and Gav, on Sunday. They were great; just so happy to be kept busy with the simplest of life's pleasures. Even a bad movie couldn't hinder Gavin's joie de vivre. Midway through the day, he announced to me that it was the " day ever." I have to laugh, because we were concerned about the itinerary. But once again, it was proven that children really just want YOU and not what you have to offer. We've lost count of the surprise hugs received, over the course of the day.
Color Us Inspired

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nickelodeon - NOT For Kids

A strong opinion, here. "Nickelodeon." What does it mean to you? Moi? "Kids." Well, don't be fooled. We took our local Grands to see "Rango", today. Mistake. Inappropriate language and adult references. And way too much violence. Very disappointing. Our 8-year-old laughed at the animated imagery and afterthought kid-comedy. Our 6-year-old was bored within half an hour, because there was not enough kid-comedy. Awful.

Sunday Sun Risin'

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On The Hook

For the duration of IDOL, I'm switching from doubles to a single. Yep, a market bag in summer cotton is on the crochet hook. Blankets are on hold till next Fall, G-d willing. How pretty is this rainbow?

"Linnertime" ♡

Surreal Shawangunks Through My Lens
We headed in a favorite direction to meet Christian for some quality one-on-two adult time, yesterday. Sweet and much needed time, I might add. Seems that New Paltz has become our new haunt - a fact that is just fine with me. The drive encompasses ever-changing, spectacular scenery that affords endless photo ops and Adobe fodder. I took advantage.
Outside of the revisited Harvest Cafe sits a most interesting metal sculpture of climbing children. Note their reaching and helping hands, being used in unison to depict what Joe interprets as "lending a helping hand". I like his interpretation and take it one step further to add "as each child reaches for his or her goals". Next time, I'll switch up lenses, so that I can capture it in its entirety; it starts at ground level and soars above roof and treetops.

Earlier this week, I'd seen a photo taken in Alaska by eagle/photographer pal, Charles. The scenic mountains therein looked surreal, as though painted in the faintest of watercolors. Since I won't be going to Alaska anytime soon, I thought to seek out a similar effect from the Shawangunks, shot as sunset neared and then filtered a tad in Adobe. I'm pleased with the result and hope you like it, too.

As for "linner" (Christian's word, coined in honor of the meal we shared between lunch and dinnertime), it was delicious. Time spent breaking bread and talking, talking, talking. What can be better? Well, except that Hunter was upset, when he heard we were together without him and Chloe. He phoned us, and no matter my explanation that we'd soon have Spring break together, he twice said, "But, G'ma, it's not fair." 
Be still, my heart.