Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dread Pirate Rollo

Rollo has been carefully considering his future career choices.  Just after Christmas, he decided that when he grew up he would be a Mad Scientist.  Mad science being a broad field, he planned to specialize in designing toys which he would animate with "life powder."  I assume that is a compound he intends to invent.

Without cancelling that plan, he has had an alternate idea lately. 

"I know what I want to be when I grow up -- a pirate!"

He has already designed his ship, and has laid plans to relieve the Spanish of their ill-gotten treasure, establish a pirate haven on an uncharted island, and defeat Blackbeard.

He further refined his plan after we watched our favorite light opera, "The Pirates of Penzance." 

"I want to be one of the Pirates of Penzance," he said.  "Then I could sing all the time, and my brothers couldn't stop me!"

Friday, January 29, 2010

Springing Forward

By the time the hoopla of Christmas and the New Year are over, I have usually had enough of winter, and I am ready to think about spring.  It is reasonable, really, to begin a new year with the season of new life.  Most cultures did, didn't they, until the self-aggrandizing Romans turned the New Year into a bank holiday.  Never mind that February and March come between now and springtime; I have visions of planting and blooming and even canning.  This January the weather around here has not been very convincingly wintry, and apparently I am not the only one who is confused:
Besides all that, our book club's choice for this month was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver.  The best parts of the book are, naturally, about gardening, and my ambition has been growing.  I've been trying to figure out how to rig up a better seed nursery inside, which new seeds to try, how much of the yard to plow up for new beds, and it is all so exciting!

Until today.  Perhaps in order to prevent, or at least postpone, my gardening hubris, my body has come down with a cold.  Now I am ready to curl up under a blanket and let it be winter outside.  I'll read another book, one about running.  And maybe next week, I'll be excited about that!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Stash to Treasure: Sewing Chair

Even at its lowest, Dandelionslayer's drum throne is a bit too tall to fit (with me on it) under my new sewing desk.  So I looked for something more adjustable, and more back-supportive, and I found this at Goodwill:

It is a good height, sturdy, and comfortable.  But the upholstery is a little stained, a bit worn, and not my favorite color of green.  So, I searched my stash, and found this ivy print, the remains of a chair project I did a few years ago.  With some linen-look scraps for underneath, and some leftover Velcro, I had just enough to make slipcovers.

And now this little chair is just right!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Pinewood Derby cars took to the boards yesterday, and we all played our parts.

Here is Scoot, the racer.

His car, the Pion.

The Caterpillar on security detail.

Rollo and D2, loyal fans.

And the Pion takes first in lane A!  Scoot's car won its first two heats, then was narrowly edged out of the final.  Dandelionslayer worked hard in the pit, especially when a misfire sent Scoot's car down alone, and the pi holding the weight broke off.  Track management thoughtfully provided a glue gun for such eventualities, and the Pion was back on the road just in time.  I was assigned to refreshment rationing after the closing ceremony.  We managed our exit without undue drama, an impressive feat for our family at a pack meeting!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sprucing up the Sewing Space

It wasn't exactly a New Year's resolution, as I've been considering improvements to my sewing area for years now.  But some things fell into place, and I decided the time had come for reform.
Before, with card table and cardboard boxes overflowing

The most important piece to replace was, of course, the table.  I found a sturdy desk on Craigslist that was just right.  Buoyed up by that discovery, I bought some storage bins for the fabric scraps.  I folded them up according to this tutorial, a process so fun that D2 wouldn't let me do it alone.  I've found a place for nearly everything, and it looks great.
After, neatly organized

Now I'm thinking of projects for using my stash of stuff, to keep from overflowing again!

Friday, January 15, 2010

"Head, shoulders, knees, and fish..."

... sang D2 on our way home today.  I don't think he's come up with any new movements to fit the song, but it sounds fun, doesn't it?  Or at least wet.

This wet morning we went to a baby shower.  Soon after the baby's arrival was announced, I decided to make him a receiving blanket, following this tutorial.  I found a cute monkey print for it, and just the right amount of brown flannel on the end of a bolt.  Then Dandelionslayer decreed that this baby needed a gift that would point him in the right direction for the future:  a Star Wars toy.  We went out shopping, but couldn't find anything suitable.  So I adapted a favorite pattern, and crocheted this little meditating Yoda.

May the Force be with you, little one.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Scary Tales Can Come True

It happened to us.  I was getting ready to go grocery shopping the other day, and I thought, "Maybe I should check the bank account."  I often do on grocery day, and I wanted to know about a check Dandelionslayer had forgotten to record.  I also knew that I had recently transferred plenty into checking, and I wanted to get going.  But I had the same thought again, so I did take a look.  And, lo and behold!  Weird transfers!  Unauthorized purchases!  We were victims of identity theft.

So much for hurrying out to go shopping.  Fortunately, Dandelionslayer was at home to confirm that, no, he hadn't bought that, and to share the burden of the phone calls.  The banks were helpful, and the companies cooperated.  After a couple of tense days, I think we have our money back.  The best thing is that we found out right away.  And how?  Because I listened.

When they say the Holy Ghost whispers in a still, small voice, they mean it.  I didn't receive an overwhelming feeling; no heavenly light shone down on the checkbook to get my attention.  It seemed to be just an idea, and I almost brushed it off.  Maybe if I follow enough of these impressions, they will become clearer someday.  Maybe not.  Either way, I am grateful to be a child of a Heavenly Father who cares enough to send me ideas to protect my family.  And I trust in his help to bring all our new passwords to my remembrance!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dictionary Moment: Lyart

Lyart is an obsolete adjective, listed in the SOED, with two applications.  For horses, it means "spotted with white or grey."  For humans, it is simpler.  "Of hair: grey."
This is not a term we'll use around the house much, since I didn't personally serve in the Navy, and Dandelionslayer doesn't want to talk about the Navy's effect on his pileous pigmentation.  But someday, I'll need an elegant term like lyart to describe me on my driver's license.  When I do, I'd better take the dictionary along.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Sparkling New Year

Fast away the old year passes
We weren't planning to stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve...
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses
but we invited a few friends over to play.
Sing we joyous, all together
The younger set did more screaming than singing, but it was mostly joyous.
Heedless of the wind and weather
We did notice the wind when we went out sparkling.  Thin clouds were racing across the full moon, as if the shreds of the old year were rushing to make their exit in time.  But our heed waned after our guests left (at a reasonable hour).  Then, fueled by root beer and general excitement, the male members of our family went back to seeking fame and fortune on the high cyberseas of their new computer game.  They weren't satisfied until the clock had been ticking out the new year for some time. 
May your new year be satisfying in the real world!
Fa la la la la, la la la la!